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How to make an Advent Calendar

As many of us do, I spend a fair chunk of my time on Pinterest. I don’t search for anything specific, I just mindlessly peruse the scores and scores of pins, looking at nothing in particular. It’s a fab way to kill time.

On one of these many perusals, I found this picture of a homemade Advent calendar.

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How cool is this? And to think, rather than the kids eating bland, cheap chocolate once a day, I could put interesting lollies into each box. Maybe even two lollies. What?! Crazy! Fun! OhmygoshIneedtodoit!

So, I pottered off to the shops to buy all the supplies I needed. I think, somewhere along the way, I forgot I had three children, and would therefore need to make three calendars. But, that’s ok. Three isn’t a lot.

Here is what I needed:

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Paper to make 48 boxes (because, lids as well). Times three.

Stickers to decorate.

Ribbon and card for the base.

Lollies.

More lollies to replace the original packs. That someone ate. It was me.

And, here we go. Let’s make an advent calendar!

I didn’t want to spend a ridiculous amount of money on this thing, so I bought a pad of small paper. The boxes are supposed to be made with square paper, but this wasn’t an issue, I just had to cut each piece into a square before folding. I got surprisingly quick at this.

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To make the box, I googled “how to fold a box”. I freakin love the internet. It knows everything. And, because I’m not going to detail every step to you, here is the link I used.

how to fold a box

By about box #30, I was folding these so fast I even had time to pat myself on the back and congratulate myself on what a crafty, dedicated, organic mother I was. As I ate lolly bag #2.

And so, night after night (well, night after whatever random night I remembered, “oh, that’s right, I’m meant to be folding boxes”), I would sit and diligently fold boxes.

I did a really, really good job.

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Until I realised, I had folded over 60 boxes and I still had a long way to go. And, somehow, mysteriously, half of November literally vanished. Gone. No idea where it went. How could it possibly be November 27, when just yesterday it was March 3?

And then, someone ate the other bag of lollies.

Still me.

And so, here you go. After the better part of a month, and over $15 spent on supplies, I give you, the advent calendars for the kids.

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What’s that, I hear you say? Those don’t look like ….

Well. No. They aren’t. Because apparently three kids x 24 days x lids and bottoms = a freakin butt load of boxes. Not to mention the fact that the kids kept eating the lollies. OK IT WAS ME.

These calendars were $2.10. EACH. I don’t even care if the chocolate tastes like dirt, I’m not the one going to eat it.

And, my kids win anyway – they get a super exciting pre-Christmas treat – two sticker books, 64 pre-folded boxes and some ribbon. All the christmas craft one could want!

And me? Well, lollies, of course.

 

 

 

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12 Questions About Life – Princess, Take Six! BoyChild, Take Three!

It’s a cold Saturday and the kids are getting restless, so I decided to do this again. We last did it back in April, when the kids were a lot younger, and also before moving was even on the cards. So, a lot has changed since then.

Princess doesn’t like to get things wrong, she has a real desire to please people, so it took a little bit of explaining of the process this time, and that she couldn’t get the answers wrong, because there were no wrong answers. She even said to me, “Ok Mum, you can start but I hope you are right. I don’t want to get the answers wrong!”.

She’s a thinker, that kid. And, when asked what frightens her the most, her answer was “my imagination”. I think a lot goes on in that head of hers.

Here are the questions and answers (previous answers in brackets)

12 Questions About Life – by Princess, 6 years, 3 months

1. What is the meaning of life? Love

(That’s too hard)

2. What do you want to be when you grow up? A vet and a zookeeper

(A teacher)

3. What makes you most happy? Cuddling Mum

(When I laugh)

4. When do you feel most loved? When kissing Mum and Dad

(When Mummy cuddles me)

5. What are you afraid of? My imagination

(When my teacher dressed up like a ghost at Halloween and scared me. I screamed)

6. If you had one wish, what would you wish for? Puppies

(Another American Girl Doll)

7. What is the funniest word? *insert strange noise*

(Tickle bum. No – shake your boooooooteeeee)

8. What is the easiest thing to do? Cartwheels and handstands

(Make loom band bracelets)

9. What is the hardest thing to do? Backflips

(Clip the ‘s’ clip onto the loom band bracelet at the end)

10. What makes you mad? BabyGirl biting me

(Babygirl hitting me)

11. What is the meaning of love? God.

(Going to school. Because I love my teacher)

12. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? Buy lots and lots of toys

(Buy a Lego Friends Shopping Mall).

12 Questions About Life – BoyChild, 4 years, 9 months

1. What is the meaning of life? I dunno

(What’s that mean?)

2. What do you want to be when you grow up? A train.

(A cat)

3. What makes you most happy? Talking

(Counting)

4. When do you feel most loved? Friends

(With Dad. No, Mum)

5. What are you afraid of? Frozen Movie

(Shaun the Sheep Movie)

6. If you had one wish, what would you wish for? A heart

(Fish)

7. What is the funniest word? FRUIT!

(bing!)

8. What is the easiest thing to do? Playing with trains

(Lego)

9. What is the hardest thing to do? Trying to get the car out of the box in the toy room because it’s stuck and I can’t get it out

(Play Bingo)

10. What makes you mad? Crying

(Squares. BABYGIRL TOOK MY LEGO ARGH!)

11. What is the meaning of love? Hearts

(SHE TOOK MY LEGO!)

12. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? Buy trains.

(Get a Paw Patrol Garage)

And here are the previous ones, if you are interested. Hopefully BabyGirl will soon be old enough to start answering them as well 🙂

12 Questions About Life – Princess, Take Five! BoyChild, Take Two

12 Questions About Life – Princess, Take Four. BoyChild, Take One.

12 Questions About Life – Princess, Take Three

12 Questions About Life – Princess, Take Two

12 Questions About Life – Princess, Take One

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Not Giving a Crap #inmyactivewear

Recently there was a hilarious parody video that went viral on social media, called Activewear (view it here). If you’ve not seen it, you should. It’s freakin funny.

But, since that video has come out, there has been a shift in attitudes towards women wearing so-called “activewear”. Or, perhaps the attitude was always there and I just didn’t notice?

Well, I have a confession to make.

I go to the supermarket in my active wear.

I do school drop-offs and pick-ups in my active wear.

I go shopping in my active wear.

I grab a coffee in my active wear.

I put petrol in my car in my active wear.

Strangely, I also go to the gym in my active wear.

You see, I am busy. I cart a relatively (read:incredibly) independent-minded and determined two-and-a-half-year-old with me where ever I go. I also go to the gym. Now, I’m not a small person by any stretch of the imagination, but since moving down here I decided to fill my time by going to the gym every day, and I love it. It is my only “me” time. I have lost body fat, I have increased my body muscle mass, I have lost weight – and, most importantly, I have gained body confidence.

It didn’t even occur to me that people might look sideways at me popping into the supermarket after the gym, still wearing the clothes I just did a workout in. Hell, I went to the gym for a month before I even realised there were change facilities there! And, despite that new found (and, I realise in hindsight, pretty important) information, I often don’t get changed at the gym anyway. Have you ever tried getting changed with a two year old around?

Furthermore, by the time I drag BabyGirl out of her creche, go through the not one, but two button operated doors at the gym, toddle to the car stopping every few steps to look at a rock, or a “boooootiful fwower”, get into the car, let her close her door, then wait another, oh, ten minutes for her to sit in her seat so I can buckle her in, I no longer have that attractive, red-faced, hideous post-gym glow that I get after a workout. So, once I finally make it to the supermarket, or the petrol station, or, heaven forbid, the coffee shop, I look pleasantly refreshed. My point being, I don’t look like I’ve been to the gym.

Recently in our local paper’s “whinge” section, someone wrote a scathing letting about “fat, unfit, hideous women doing school drop offs and going to the shop in their activewear” and I found myself getting really, really upset. Who are they to decide whether these women (god, they could be talking about me, for all I know) haven’t either just been to the gym, or are going? And even if they aren’t, who gives a crap? Maybe these women walked there. Maybe they just like their comfy pants. “Tidy yourself up”, it said. “Buy a nice pair of jeans”.

Ha!

Find me a nice pair of jeans, a comfortable pair of jeans, that won’t require me to sell my first born child in order to afford them, and I will get them. I dare you.

Suddenly I found myself to be self conscious. I started to allow extra time at the gym so I could rush into the change rooms and get changed before collecting BabyGirl (thus cutting back on workout time). I suddenly became very aware of what I was wearing. And then I woke up and thought, you know what?

I. Don’t. Give. A. Crap.

If I want to go out and wear my cropped pants, my sports bra, my singlet top, my hoodie and my running shoes, I’m damn well going to. Because in what world do we live, where women (or anyone) have lost the right to wear what we choose? It’s not indecent. It’s not offensive. And, most importantly, it’s COMFORTABLE and it makes me feel good. It reminds me of the hard work I put in every freakin morning at the gym. Work that I am proud of.

I understand the parody video, I thought it was hilarious, but lets not carry it over into our everyday world. Ladies. If you want to go shopping in your activewear, do it. If you want to pick up your kids in your active wear, do it.

Instead of attacking women who wear these workout clothes, lets applaud them, for giving exercise a go. Even if it is just to walk to the letterbox, it’s still lapping all those people on the couch.

I know what I’m asking Santa for at Christmas.

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Activewear.