lil-L the talking tornado

When I was pregnant with lil-L I read heaps about talking to your baby about everything you are doing all day long to get their vocabulary up. Being a first time mum I went along with everything I ever read just in case it was right. I don't know what worked exactly, but at 2 years and 8 months she seriously does NOT stop talking.

It is truly amazing how much she picks up and just how quickly and even more so the fact that she has the vocabulary of a much older kid but the understanding of the world as a 2 8/12 yo. Funnier still is that she mimics everyone around her and especially me.

Look out for posts labeled 'Talking Tornado'....

beautiful quotes

"never fear spoiling children by making them too happy. happiness is the atmosphere in which all good affections grow." thomas bray

beautiful quotes

"our children will create a world we cannot imagine, they will accomplish things we cannot even dream..." kathryn t. shaw

my first birthday as a mother of two

Yesterday I celebrated my birthday for the first time as a mother of two... it was just heaven! The kids weren't any nicer than normal.. they were just themselves and thats what made it so special. Daddy had organised a voucher from them for me to have a hot stone massage (something I've been wanting to do for ever) and a full facial (something that I never really intended to do in my life) and Lil-L refused to give me the present or the card she made for me :o) Eventually I got it and read the little book that came with the voucher about all these amazing things they have on offer at this new Wellness Centre.. wow!!

We headed off to mothers group and due to sicknesses there was only three of us so the girls sang me Happy Birthday and blew out my candles for me.. ate all the teddy bear cupcakes that S worked so hard at making for me... again... gorgeous as their little chocolate covered faces made me smile far more than consuming the decorations myself would have.

Both Lil-L and Zaccy slept for me beautifully when we got home and gave me a chance to have a bit of me time. A couple of my closest friends dropped by. Auntie G looked after the munchkins while me and EPL went out for a kid free dinner. When we got back I got to have a good old chat with Auntie G a great day in a nutshell...

What absolutely made my day though was when Auntie G and myself were giving Lil-L a bath and she said that I needed to soak my feet in her bath... so I did.. then she said I needed to take off the prickles off my legs... so I did.. then she told me to put keeem (cream) on my legs... so I did... and when I made the comment following this spontaneous pampering of "I love birthdays, I wish I had more".. Lil-L casually replied, "Santa can give you more birthdays". I just love her to bits!!

Have fun guys!! I sure am!!

fave finds for christmas

I've been a bit flat out fixing my hubbys computer.. in short... I soo love my mac!!! I just wanted to get these goodies on my blog asap so there is still time before chrissy to order them.
The website to check out is They have some amazingly gorgeous stuff and really well priced.. I'll try and put up as many of my fave finds before little feet come tapping down the hallway to find me..

Goki House Wooden Shape Sorter.. the cutest shape sorter ever!! and its made out of wood which is even lovelier!!

Hip Stuff Bowling Set Giraffe.. just amazingly cute!!!! and so unique!

Hip Stuff Milk Tooth Holder Cat.. only $4.95... the best stocking filler ever!!! again so much sweeter than other tooth boxes i have seen

Goki Shaker Building Blocks.. two in one really, you get the rattles and building blocks in one. wish we didn't have so many building blocks or that one would most certainly be added to the toy box!!

Hip Stuff Wooden Fire Engine.. you can't go wrong with this one at $12.95, after all its red and wood and just stunning!!

Janod Magnetic Aeroplane.. this is my absolute favourite of them all... you will soon realise that i love planes and this has it all.. its wood, its magnetic and its a plane.

Sparkle T Party Favours Cheeky Monkey Whistles (set 6).. the hip infant has some great party favours too, check out that section great alternative for lolly bags!!! these are only $12 for a set of 6

Alimrose Handsqueaker Horse Denim.. both my babies had these... well zaccy still does... 
its a great toy to leave in the cot for them to play with when they wake up. lovely, safe, soft and a great toy to put in their memory box when its all over. 

Haba Clutching Toy Buzz Buzz.. these are just adorable and absolutely timeless. 

I could stay here for ever and pick out stuff from this site, but little zaccy is starting to chat to himself and will be calling out for me any sec.. so must wrap this up... seriously.. check out this site there are some great finds here
over and out and back to my favourite job in the world... mother
i got me a promotion too just last weekend.. the little guy is off and racing.. well crawling

fave finds for christmas

Alright... so its no secret that I love my kids and am slightly obsessed with sourcing the most adorable, exciting, educational and amazing things I can possibly find and afford... Christmas is not far away and I am happy to say that I am done.. and dusted!! as far as Christmas shopping goes.

I don't like shops, and thats not a secret either!! I hate spending valuable daylight hours walking around shops that are loaded with run of the mill toys and even worse.. branded toys. I have a marketing background and understand where these guys are coming from, but what my child watches on TV or at the movies etc does not need to plastered all over their clothing... just needed to get that out!

Online shopping was the go this year. I searched and found some amazing toys and would love to share them with you, as well as some really cool online shops..

My Fave Finds

Geomag G-baby
available at

The Geomag range of G-baby toys is a unique play system, where all the magnetic pieces work together in different ways. Use them in the bath, on the playmat or in the stroller - the possibilities are endless. Each G-baby element is made in Switzerland of Makrolon, a unique plastic with the highest level of reliability and safety.

A G-baby toy helps to develop your child's gross motor skills and imagination. Suitable for babies 9 months +

It's the perfect gift for a newborn, or for a first birthday party - a toy that will grow with your child's imagination.

available at

This range has quite a few fab items but these are my absolute favourite!!

Micador early stART Link & Learn are colourful shapes that click or link together for fun and educational play. They are designed just for 2 to 4 year olds and are safe and easy to use.

Link & Learn helps develop fine motor skills and creative expression in children through construction. The possibilities for unique creations are endless. They are also designed to develop problem solving and colour recognition, and they can be used as an aid to counting.

I just couldn't wait for Christmas with these when they arrived.. lil-L just loves them!!!

Badger Range
available at

After ordering the night night balm for lil-L and realising how amazing these products were, I ended up getting the whole set. My absolute favourite is the anti-bug-balm. I've put a bit of info about the anti-bug-balm below, but you have to check out this range for yourself! This would be a great gift for a new mom!!

Australia... summer... flies. Yes we all hate them, so you slather yourself and the children in chemicals to ward them off. Sure, we don't like the chemicals, but we hate the flies more! Not to mention those buzzing bloodsuckers, the mozzies.

Well, guess what - Badger Anti-Bug balm, with a great new formulation, is blended to strike fear in the hearts of biting insects everywhere.

It smells good, feels good, soothes dry skin & it works. What else do you need to know? Oh yeah, it's 100% natural, and nearly all organic, and totally good.

Online Shops - great handmade stuff for the whole family

alright guys... I'm off to bed, I will post some more of my fave finds as soon as time allows..

happy shopping!!

best dollar ever spent

I keep reading about just giving in to the obsession kids have with pulling tissues out of tissue boxes for shear amusement of the child and five minutes to yourself.

Well... I needed a few minutes the other day (well a lot more actually) and I remembered the tissue box which was sitting peacefully on our bedside table as I tried to fold a few clothes while singing and dancing to my now crawling super zac... needless to say the singing and dancing while folding laundry was not as entertaining as I hoped it would be, and face it.. the bed was just too high off the ground for me to continue this lame form of entertainment.. after all, I have no musical bone in my body and certainly cannot dance to save my life...


So I gave in... and got sooo much more than 5 minutes!! I got the laundry done and zaccy zac just loooved this sensory experience (as you can see by the excessive drool marks on his bondsies). And for those environmentally conscious.. I saved the tissues as they were all clean for wiping up of little mishaps that happen around our house.

absolutely the best dollar ever spent!!

toilet training adventures

Toilet training has seriously been one of the funniest adventures in my life.. and it continues... I am hoping to be done by age 3 for lil-L purely so that she can enter the world of coloured balls in IKEA when we go shopping... just kidding...

I think I spent 90% of my waking hours in the toilet for two solid weeks when lil-L first started toilet training... and that was a loooot of hours seeing my little angels were not sleeping at all well at this stage.

The first days were truly funny! Not long after we started, lil-L did a seriously ingenious thing.. She did not know how to open doors at this stage and we had forgot to leave the toilet door open for her. I was busy changing Zaccy and she was busting to go to the toilet. Knowing that I couldn't leave him on the change table, she didn't even ask to go to the toilet, but instead, got one of her pull-ups out of the drawer and put it on, did a wee in it, took it back off again and gave it to me to put in the bin... I would have never thought of that... my little legend!!

After a mums group gathering with 8 kids all lil-L's age, their mums and now 5 new siblings.. chaos as you can imagine, the hosting mum yells out to the kids "if you do a poo on the toilet you get Smarties in this house!" So lil-L runs for the toilet.. not the slightest clue what Smarties are mind you.. but never the less.. runs for the toilet and yes... she managed to squeeze one out, despite already achieving one at home before we left.. so now she knows what Smarties ('farties' as she calls them) are.

So now lil-L believes that doing a #2 on the toilet deserves a reward of some kind.. I gave in and we got some of those Natural Confectionery Dinosaurs.

So she is sitting on the toilet the other day... doing a #2 and I am squatting down in front of her to assist her if needed. She was having a little trouble but was determined to get her hands on that dinosaur.. "My do it my-by-self, go away, make some dinner" comes flying out her gorgeous little mouth.. I was dumbfounded and seriously had no response... so I went and made dinner.

I was sitting on the toilet a few days later doing a #2 and she comes in and squats down in front of me as I do when she is on the toilet and says "I'm just helping you".
So I reply as she does to me, "I'm alright, I do it my-by-self, I'll let you know if I need your help".
She doesn't budge... "go make your dolls some dinner lil-L, I think they're hungry" I add...
no, she's still there... so I continue.
I'm done and reach for the toilet paper... my hand gets nudged out the way and she gets a hold of the toilet paper "I wipe your bottom, just to make sure you don't get poo everywhere"... (is this what I sound like?)

As frustrating as toilet training is sometimes, and especially accidents, you've gotta look on the bright side.. it is kinda funny too, and face it.. you only go through it once.

Enjoy it when your time comes!!

i love a clean house, but hate chemicals......

check out this blog...
I haven't come across these products before but they look great!!

absolute balance acupuncture: i love a clean house, but hate chemicals......

Kids Websites

With the change in weather, I've been madly late-spring cleaning the house and yard.. it never quite gets done with two mini variables running around, getting sick and not to mention me getting side tracked playing in lil-L's kitchen or lying around on the trampoline with zaccy Zac.

I have however stumbled onto a few pretty cool sites lately while playing on the iPhone during those 3am feeds that I'd love to share.. - just a coool comprehensive site - great sleep website - some nice mom things here - good old favourite - my favourite kids slippers ever... - great kids gear

If you know of any other great kids sites please share them here :o)

Get Creative

Something I have decided to do next year and actually put it into my schedule, is to dedicate 5 hours a week to recycle and hand make things. There are so many gorgeous fabrics out there, so much stuff we throw out that we could reuse and so many things I just want my kids to have but seem to always be out of my price range.. my answer.. just make the things yourself!!

One of my favourite toys, which I still remember to this day, was a little basinette my mum made me from an old shoe box. She covered in wrapping paper and attached a couple of handles to it so I could carry my doll around everywhere with me. I just loved it so much that it travelled with us all the way from Austria to Australia.

The website that has inspired me to start creating is This is seriously the best site ever... an ebay style site for all things handmade and supplies to hand-make your own things.

If you know of any other great sites that either sell supplies, reasonably priced fabric, patterns or have some great ideas for recycling, I would love to hear about them...

Wall Decals, Blackboards and Magnets

I am presently somewhat obsessed with wall decals, blackboards and magnets.. I am not too sure how exactly it came about, but I am loving them.

A couple of years ago, I painted a small wall in our house with blackboard paint, with a vision of it being a communication station for our family. It seemed like a master plan as it would by default have allocated space according to height. EPL taking the section closest to the ceiling and myself the next little space then the kids. Until the kids learnt to write, their space would just be a big scribbling pad and better still... they could tell their friends that they are allowed to draw on walls.. well, one wall.

I originally wanted to paint this wall with magnetic blackboard paint, but found out that this product is no longer available. I later found a couple of black metal strips at IKEA which I hung up on the blackboard wall, meaning that we could hang smaller notes or put up artwork the kids did and change it regularly.

When lil-L was born I discovered those magnetic frames which was just the ants pants.. I am a photographer so this meant I could just keep changing pictures of my little darling without the hassle of reframing them all the time.

My newest discovery is large sheets of metal at IKEA. The new additions to our house include a large Red magnet board for lil-L's room so she can hang whatever, whenever she wants and I don't have to stress about blu-tack and sticky tape on walls. And the other is a round black circle board for the laundry for me so I can hang my handymom to do list on it.

I also found these groovy little metal discs about the size of a AU20c piece that come with double sided tape so you can have a little magnet spot ANYWHERE in the house. I stuck 4 of these on the inside of the front door.. At the moment the little discs being used as a display space for lil-L's paintings, but a future vision is that each person can have their own disc to hang a note for themselves of something they need to remember the next day. Its a perfect little spot as you will always see it before you leave the house as we always use the front door to leave.

The other little item.. or big one I am slightly addicted to is those removable wall decals. There are so many amazing images out there and they are so much fun for decorating a kids room, and more so, they are removable so the decorations on your child's walls can evolve with them. Lil-L's room has a set of cherry blossom flowers which are scattered above her bed head, a set of 3 chickens and currently I am sticking up the alphabet for her. Zaccy has a big red plane with white clouds on his blue feature wall and a set of blue/white/red hot air balloons on his wardrobe.

And still rolled up waiting to be stuck up, I have bought a 1.8m tree decal to stick in the laundry in thoughts of drilling a set of hooks into the wall where the branches are and turning it into a flat coat stand. By default the lower branches will be for the little ones and high ones for daddy.

I like blank walls and but I also like things on them... and then I like to change my mind... a lot!! Wall Decals, Blackboards and Magnet boards are therefore the best thing ever in my eyes. I can write quotes on the blackboard, draw pictures with lil-L, write letters of the alphabet for her and our house can just evolve with us.. now to find a blackboard wall decal I like...

I guess the main thing I am trying to achieve is great communication in our family and a sense of fun. Life is to serious!! And too short to be serious!!

my kids activity list

With my hubby working very long hours so that I can stay at home with my babies.. I do just that, and often solo. I therefore need to be very organised with my time so that I don't overlook certain things such as providing a stimulating environment for my children. The activities I am focusing on here are the ones we do around the house, together as a family and that are not in a class format. As I add content to this blog you will soon come to realise that I love lists, they are a crucial part in my survival and I have even bought a laminator to laminate the important ones :o)

To put it simply, there is a list hanging on our magnet board with a separate list of activities for both lil-L and Zaccy. There is a two year age difference between them so by default the activities are quite different. The main reason I did one of these lists is that lil-L is truly phenomenal and I will openly brag about that, but whether she was born this way or whether it was something that I did right as a mother I will never know. I do know that I was very pedantic about everything I did with her, from nutrition to providing age appropriate activities for her throughout her life. So just in case, it had something to do with me and the way I did things with her, I want to make sure that I give my little guy the same fighting chance.. after all he has to survive in the same household as her...

For both kids I have many activities listed that are just a part of our everyday, such as washing, sweeping outside, pulling weeds, vaccuming, baby massage, bubbles in the bath etc, but I list these so that as we do an activity I can tick it off and try not to keep repeating the same thing each day. Each list has very age specific activities listed too.

We need to function as a productive family so I never plan any particular activity for a particular day as we never know what each day will bring and what will be most important to do for that day. I consciously do this as I don't like to promise lil-L something and then break her little heart if we cant do it for some reason. The way I use this list is as a memory trigger. If we are having a boring moment or I need to feed Zaccy or the 'Terrific Two's' are starting to show, I pick lil-L up and say "Lets go and pick an activity off our sheet" and we make our way to the list. The beauty of a two year old not being able to read, is that you as a parent get to choose the activity. I personally give lil-L a choice of two so that she feels like she has made the choice herself.

There are a couple books that I have found invaluable in generating ideas for these activities and these are truly worth while getting hold of for any busy mum;
Baby's Fist Skills by Miriam Stoppard
365 Activities you and your baby will love by Dr Roni Cohen Leiderman & Dr Wendy Masi
350+ Free Activities for Toddlers by Trish Kuffner

Zaccy's List
Because I found Dr. Stoppards book so comprehensive and its approach so different as it focuses on age specific activities (month by month even), I have made a list of all the activities throughout this book and each month I reprint this same list and circle the relevant activities that are most important for that month. I also keep 365 Activities you and your baby will love at hand so I can just randomly pick something new to do.

lil-L's Activities
Because lil-L is 2.5yrs old now and I want her to be stimulated in different areas. I have separated her list into categories as follows;
Rainy Day Activities... Music Day, Blanket Riding, Hat Dress Up, Chair Maze etc..
Outdoors... Blowing Bubbles, Sand & Water, Planting Flowers, Weeding, Trampoline
Early Learning... Colours, Coin Sorting, ABC Flash Cards etc..
Manners... Quiet & Loud Voice, Thank You & Please, Interrupt Rule etc...
Nature... Rock Treasure Hunt, Make a Bird Feeder, Name Parts of Animals (wing, antlers, claws, beak...)
Art... Painting, Foot Tracing, Stamping, Gluing etc..
Movement & Music... Yoga, Bike Riding in Park, Lets Pretend.., Dancing.
I have 4 different lists in rotation and as we fill one in and cross everything out we print out the next one. Its a great way of doing something a little different each week/month and lil-L loves taking ownership of her activities and being part deciding what will happen each day.

the pile of washing

It really is amazing how much washing a mother does in her lifetime. It took me a while to come to that realization as my beautiful mum did a great deal of it for me when my daughter was born. It really didn't hit me till my son was born, as keeping up with just a toddler who rarely got sick was pretty nice.

When the little man was born it just seemed like the loads increased by ten fold. A lot of it was due to him having reflux and going through about 3-7 changes of clothes a day.. mainly due to me not catching on to the fact that this was the reason bibs were invented. When the reflux got under control and bibs were a regular item in our household it all calmed down pretty quickly so now its just a little thing I laugh about.. until...

Until my big boy decides to clean out his van that is and all those THICK winter jackets and towels come out.... 8 loads of washing later our house is back on track.

I really should not say this out loud, but.. I kind of like the washing, well.. hanging out the tiny little items of clothing that is. They really are gorgeous and the little cherubs grow out of them so fast, that the more you can look at them, the more use you get out of them in a way.

the confidence my toddler gives me

My daughter had her fist official birthday party invite... she has been to many birthdays, but this was the very first invite that she received from her very own friend at childcare. I didn't know this girl nor her mother so we shared this very first experience together last Sunday.

I am one who normally hates attending social events where I don't know anyone, but this was very different. As I drove my little princess all frocked up in her gorgeous pink tutu and sparkly shoes to match I felt a weird confidence I never had before. I was proud of my little angel for making her very own friend and not to mention one who is 6 months older which is a big gap for a 2.5yo. I did for a moment think to myself that I am not going to know a single person at this party, nor do I even know what the birthday girl or her mother look like. That feeling passed quickly and was overtaken by excitement. I had to be confident for my girl and I had to show her how to enjoy herself at an event such as this.

Lil-L is pretty outgoing but it always takes her 20 minutes or so to feel confident in a new environment. She takes her time, observes and then joins in. By the time the face painting started, she was in full swing, climbing up and down the playground and sliding down the big tube slides. She lined up to get her face painted and although this was also a new experience, it didn't faze her one bit. She joined in and enjoyed every part of the party. I was so proud of my little angel and felt an enormous warmth just observing her confidence in such a new environment.

I know I have my own personality traits and I lack confidence here and there, but its amazing what you will do for your kids. They give me such great confidence and such enjoyment in watching them take part in different things. I just hope their enthusiasm and drive continues throughout their lives.

our family

I am guessing that seeing this is my very first blog I should introduce my family. We are a small unit made up of four members. My husband 'epl' with an American background, myself 'kasiabear' with Polish background and our two beautiful babies born right here in Oz (who my world absolutely revolves around).. 2.5yo little girl 'lil-L' and our newest addition 4.5mo little man 'zaccy'.

I have started this blog as I never imagined being so in love with my kids and so dedicated to raising them in the very best way that I can possibly manage. I am forever reading books, magazines, searching the internet and listening to anything I can, just to absorb any new pieces of information that may come in handy in the future. I adore my kids but also love all the other little mites I come across and if what I write here, can: help, inspire, teach, enlighten or just amuse other mothers out there so they, in turn, can make their babies lives better in some way.. then this was worth my time... believe me, my family is not perfect, but I choose to work hard at making our lives as wonderful as I can with what I have.

Enjoy my posts and take what you can out them to make your life just that little bit nicer, easier, funnier...