Category Archives: Blog

Go hug your mama

On this day four years ago, I said goodbye to my beautiful mother. She was a happy-go-lucky woman who spoke her mind, she was incredibly generous and laughed every single day. Our world was a great place with her in it. And now she is gone.

Even though four years have passed, I still remember her passing like it was yesterday. She was a brave woman and she fought it well, but in the end that beast, otherwise know as cancer, got her. For four years she lived like she had outsmarted it; she travelled, she discovered new foods and she went out everyday. No one even knew she was sick and that is how she wanted it to be, so she decided to tell no one! (I found out accidentally and she hated that I knew.)

For four years my mother lived life to the fullest. Then one day she didn’t feel like going out. Then she stayed in bed. Then she stopped eating. Then she was in pain, the kind of pain you wouldn’t wish on your greatest enemy. My mother wanted to die at home, but on that last day her pain was so great I felt like I had no choice but to take her to hospital. I still regret that decision. That night she gained her wings and life hasn’t been the same since.

I am writing this post as way of allowing myself to grieve. It only occurred to me today that I have never really allowed myself to cry. At the time of her passing, I had a toddler and a baby. I was frantically looking after my kids, then my mother and when she passed I then had my dad to look after. He was so sad. So very sad and still is. They were true soul mates. I was worried my father would die from a broken heart; so everyday I spent with him, teaching him to cope without her.

As time has passed a new kind of busy has taken over. We moved my dad into a retirement village which required a lot of support but is now a fabulous place for him. My family then moved 900km away. That was a gut wrenching decision. I still remember the sadness in his eyes when we told him. The next year was busy settling my family into a new life.

And here I am, four years later. As I write this I cry real tears, tears that I am allowing to flow freely and it feels good to finally release my sadness. I know tomorrow will be a new day, I will still be sad. I won’t have anyone to ring up and have an honest chat about motherhood; how frustrating and exhausting it can be. No one else can ground me like my mother used to; to wake me up from my selfish thoughts but also praise me when I needed it most.

I hate that she is gone. I have so many regrets, so many words I wish I could have spoken and I have a baby who will never know her grandmother.

So, if you have a mother; ring her up and tell her you love her, just because! Even better, visit her and hug her, just because you can!

And…if you are are a mother, take care of yourself. Visit the doctor and get all your woman checks. They may save your life and let you live to cuddle your grand babies!

And…take photos with your kids! I have no photos of my mother and I, not one photo. That saddens me but then I realise I have just a few photos of my kids and I! (Mostly the newborn in hospital pics!)

And…if you too are a motherless mama, you will be okay. The sun will keep shining and we can take some comfort knowing we have a special angel to watch over our kids.

When was the last time you hugged your mama?

Books to Read to Babies From Birth to Age 3

The best gift you can buy a new baby….books! Books are an awesome gift, the power of reading can literally open doors for little ones later in their life. If you are a parent, please read to your child. It is good for them….and you too!

Here is a list of my favourite books for little ones. (Babies from birth up to three years of age, but your children will continue to read and read and read these again!) I have chosen these books as favourites for their repetition and rhyme (helps to develop speech and reading skills later on) bright illustrations and….these can all be bought as chunky board books! (Safe to leave lying around for little ones to ‘read’ to themselves)

These are in no particular order! And yes….there are many more I could add!

1.Time For Bed by Mem Fox
This is a beautiful bedtime story, calling baby animals to go to sleep. The book is a rhyming book with similar beginnings and different animals. “It’s time for bed little mouse, little mouse, darkness has fallen all over the house….”
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2. Where Is The Green Sheep by Mem Fox
Such a simple book with lots of positional language. “Here is the up sheep and here is the down sheep...” The illustrations are quite humorous and little ones will want this read again and again. It is a favourite in many households! (All of my kids still love it!)
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3. Cuddle Time by Libby Gleeson
Short, simple and sweet. Just a few words on each page to keep even the youngest babes interested. It is about some little ones who climb into their parents’ bed and get tickled and cuddled. So lovely!
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4. I Went Walking by Sue Williams
Another very simple book. Repetitive words for easy prediction. Each page features a new animal, with picture clues for which animal is next. “I went walking, what did I see…a black cat looking at me…”
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5. Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
This one is a classic and will be read for many years. It is a bit like an eye spy book, with familiar characters to find and lots of rhyme and repetition. “Cinderella on the stairs, I spy the three bears…”
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6. Kiss Kiss by Margaret Wild and Bridget Strevens-Marzo
This is a cute one. Baby hippo is in such a rush to play, he forgets to kiss his mum. He then hears his animal friends “kiss kiss” their mums. Lovely illustrations and lots of short but descriptive language. “Baby hippo hurried under the leafy, leafy trees…”
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7. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell.
Another classic. This is a ‘lift the flap’ book which little ones will love guessing which animal comes next. Short and simple with cute illustrations.
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I know there are many more, these are are list of my absolute favourites! I was going to pick just five, but couldn’t! Which books did your little ones love? Which books do you think should go on my babies reading list?

Father’s Day Chocolate Bar Card

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Here’s a sweet idea for the sweetest Dad in your life!

Call into the supermarket and buy a range of chocolate bars. Then make up a list of things about dad and glue on the chocolate bar where appropriate!
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Here is one we have made, you will be able to add in extras based on what other bars you can find or what your dad will like!

You may want to cross out some words (like cross out the mal in malteaser…to leave ‘teaser’!) or leave as it is! Have fun and get creative! I’d love to know what extras you have added in!

Tip: The fun sized bars are much easier to work with! (Or get a big piece of paper like I have, so dad can enjoy the big sized chocolates!)

Dear Dad,

Even though you are a (smartie) pants
And you can be a real (malteaser)
You are a little (golden rough) around the edges but I still think you are in (mint pattie) condition!
Thank you for always giving me a (boost) or a (twirl) when I have needed it!
You are every girl’s (Dream) father!
I think you are out of this world! Maybe from (Mars)
So this Father’s Day, relax, have some (Timeout) and know you are the sweetest dad ever!

I love you!

And the winner is

Thank you to all who entered the Thermos Foogo and Funtainer giveaway….All of your suggestions were fabulous!

The winner is Aimee….

I would put beef goulash in one and buy another one to put sticky date pudding with caramel sauce for dessert! Perfect for a rainy, winter day like today.

Sounds very yummy! We loved the two course suggestion! Thank you for your entry and for sharing the post!

Aimee, I will email you soon and get some details from you so Kitchenware Direct can send you your prize! Congratulations!

Everyone else, thank you so much for entering and sharing the post or sharing my page!

A huge thank you to Kitchenware Direct for the giveaway!  Please check out www.kitchenwaredirect.com.au If you are bored of sandwiches…buy a foogo or funtainer! You and the kids will love it!

 

Pack a Hot Lunch for School!

Would you like to win a Thermos Funtainer and a Thermos Foogo for yourself or your kids?… The wonderful people at kitchenwaredirect.com.au will send one lucky reader a Thermos Foogo and Funtainer! (Australian residents only!)

Here is how to enter:
Tell me (to the upper left here in the comments section or scroll to the comments at the bottom of this page)what would you pack in your thermos foogoo or funtainer? (Just a few words!) Too Easy!

And…Please be a liker of my Yibba Yabba Mama page and share the page or this post on your wall! (Thank you!)

Notes:
Competition begins Thursday July 11th 2013 and closes 5pm Sunday July 14th 2013. Winner will be contacted via email and announced here on this blog on Monday July 15th. Kitchenware Direct will send the prize to the winner, Australian address only. Most creative entry wins!
This competition is not associated with Facebook. Only the winners details will be kept.

Good luck! I do hope you enjoy packing a hot lunch!
Please check out the thermos foogoo and funtainer range from http://www.kitchenwaredirect.com.au

(Direct link here: http://www.kitchenwaredirect.com.au/Coffee-Tea/Vacuum-Flasks/Thermos-Foogo-Stainless-Steel-Vacuum-Insulated-Food-Jar-Pink-290ml#reviewsTab)

They are an awesome online company, I have been using them for years!

Need some inspiration for packing a hot lunch? Read here:

Hot Pasta for School...yummy!

Hot Pasta for School…yummy!


It is winter here and the perfect opportunity to try something other than sandwiches! I send my kids to school and Kindy with a thermos filled with last night’s leftovers…anything from pasta, risotto, fried rice and even instant noodles! They love it! Here are my tips for making a hot lunch hot!

1. Choose the Right Thermos!
I bought the thermos brand one called Foogo It is perfect for kids as it is a small size of 290mL but has a wide opening – easy to manage! It also has an easy open lid which is spill proof – no leaky accidents on the homework! It stays hot on the inside, but cool enough on the outer to be carried by little hands!
There is also a very cute range called funtainer – they have gorgeous designs for kids ranging from butterflies to Hello Kitty!
I bought mine online here: http://www.kitchenwaredirect.com.au

Hello Kitty Funtainer from Kitchenware Direct

Hello Kitty Funtainer from Kitchenware Direct

2. Prepare Your Thermos:
Before packing the food, fill up the thermos with boiling water from your kettle. Put the lid on and leave it for 5 mins to heat. Then empty the water and fill immediately with your desired hot lunch! You need to preheat the food to a slightly warmer temperature than you would serve it at. It will stay warm for hours! (The foogoo and funtainer will keep the food at the same temperature for several hours, making it safe and yummy!)

3. What to pack?
My kids love any kind of left overs. Soup is probably not ideal for little kids, it takes too long to eat and could spill on someone! You are better off packing something that can be eaten with a spoon or fork. I like to send my kids with a “spork”, kind of like a spoon and fork in one!

Pasta: any kind is fine, personally I find the bigger and chunkier ones easier and faster for kids to manage! (Spaghetti can get spilled on uniforms! I like penne, bows or shells) Add a small amount of sauce to keep it moist: Bolognese, tuna mornay or whatever!

Vegetable slice, quiche or pizza: these can be kept warm too! I cut them up into bite size pieces that can be picked up with a fork!

Instant Noodles: I find it best to undercook these slightly as they keep on cooking! Also, drain off most of the liquid or else you will end up with one gluggy mess! To make these more of a meal I add shredded chicken or ham and a small scoop of frozen vegetables. (Peas and corn go well!)

Cold food: the foogo and funtainer also keep cold food cold! Fill the thermos with cold water for 5 mins and fill with cold foods: salad, fruit, jelly and custard!

I am Ready and Refreshed for This Week…Thank You Long Weekend!

Nature has so much to offer

Nature has so much to offer

I love long weekends! Just love them! I love that extra day to do more, or to do nothing….but it is another day without any pressures! (Let me be clear, I don’t go to work, in fact having everyone at home is more work, but I still love it!)

How did your long weekend begin? I don’t know how or why this happened, but today I woke up cranky! I am quite exhausted at the moment; my toddler thinks 4am is an appropriate wake up time, so perhaps I was too tired to remember that today was a long weekend! So, I dragged myself out of bed and snapped at the kids. Not a good start. I told myself “This is not going to be a good day…” Then I heard what I had said and had to fix it.

I did the only thing I could think of.

I climbed back into my bed and got out again, this time from the other side! (That was kind of weird, since it was hubby’s side and I don’t deal with that kind of stuff well!)

So with a different frame of mind I reappeared ready to thank Her Majesty for the day off and ready to make the most of this extra day! Today I let the kids in the kitchen; we made ourselves omelettes for breakfast.  Hubby had to disappear off to work so the kids and I went for a walk. Nothing too exciting, but it is for us, for we seldom do it! I have a multitude of excuses of why we don’t go, usually it is too hot or I am too busy. But today, the glorious winter sun was beckoning and most of the housework was done. So off we went.

And it was wonderful.

So wonderful.

My girls rode their scooters and I pushed bubby in the pram. She squealed with delight as her sisters rode ahead. They were all so happy. Then I realised it. I was happy too.  I think it was all that fresh air. It was reconnecting with nature, taking in the beauty of those native plants and the red outback earth.  I love nature.

Exercise and fresh air! Love it!

Exercise and fresh air! Love it!

The kids were quite happy to come home. I usually detest playing with food, but today, I let them create with their fruit! We had all sorts of fruit animals! (Perhaps you have seen my strawberry mouse on facebook today?) Both of my big girls proclaimed “This is the best day ever!” I had to agree.

So, tomorrow is back to work, school and kindy. Bubby and I need to get groceries and other jobs. Tomorrow is not back to the grindstone. It will not be ground hog day.  It will be a new day. I am refreshed and ready for it. And if I do wake up at 4am feeling like a slug, I will remember how to energise myself (even if I have to get back into bed in order to get back out of it again!)  I am going to do this more often and I have made a mental promise to take the children out for a walk more often. I know we will all be better off for it!

Are you refreshed and ready for this week?

Jobs for June

Source: PowerPlug!(Motivational Quotes)

Source: PowerPlug!(Motivational Quotes)


How has your June begun? I have made the executive decision to allow June to be great! I won’t bore you with the details, but May has been quite horrendous for me! Nothing tragic, more so hectic and quite stressful! I don’t know why I did it, but I decided to start blogging then too! Aughhh the stress of it, so much so, that on many occasions I made the decision to quit blogging…before I even gave it a go! But…. in the last few days I have had a few uplifting moments which have given me the confidence I desperately need.

1. My husband found my blog.
I never told him what I was doing, for I fear failure. Since he loves me more than anyone else ever has, I didn’t want him thinking this would be another one of my hair brained mad ideas (I do have them sometimes!) and I didn’t want him to see me collapse with embarrassment. I feared disappointing him. I still do. But… he found it, I may have left references to Yibba Yabba Mama open on the ipad, I don’t know, but he asked me about it and I nearly died! I tried to fob it off, but he gently asked about it, admitted he didn’t get the whole mummy blog thing, but told me to go for it. He hasn’t read my blog yet, but often asks about my Facebook page. (Hang on, he hasn’t liked my page yet!)

2. Cazza Bazza mentioned me!
Caz Makepeace is from my Uni days, (I loved Uni because of her!) she will always be Cazza Bazza to me. She is an actual blogger. People read her stuff. And they like her stuff! Just when I was at the point of thinking “I can’t do this…” I stopped everything and decided to catch up on everything I missed during the week..Like Cazza Bazza’s blog “Mojito Mother” and instead of reading about some cool new earthy idea or something truly inspirational, I see my name…and a plug for Yibba Yabba Mama! I tell you, my heart leapt out and I couldn’t believe it! I still can’t believe it! I won’t ever be as cool and talented as Cazza Bazza, but if any of you mums need some help getting the mojo back in your life (I desperately need it!) head over to http://www.mojitomother.com (one seriously cool mama!)

3. I think I am going to guest post over at a fabulous blog!
I won’t tell you where yet, in case she changes her mind…..! (Fabulous people are allowed to change their minds!) In amongst all the mayhem in my house, I managed to write a post, submit it and…..I think it may get published/posted in the next week or so! Yay for me! (But I won’t get too excited just yet!)

4. I have Beautiful Friends
I haven’t told all my friends about this blog. Just a few whom I thought may find it useful. Some of them have liked all my posts and shared some of my Facebook page. Very uplifting! Thank you, you know who you are. xx

I admit that I am feeling like a little fish in a big pond! I keep discovering amazing blogs, which have a huge following. I still can’t work all the features of my blog site, my photography skills are getting worse and I haven’t got a clue about all the technical aspects of blogging. In May this discouraged me, in June it will inspire me. I know I have lots to say, I don’t know which direction I am headed…but that is all part of the fun! So now…

My Jobs for June…
I am going to try to organise my house…the chaos is killing me! (Not to mention the health hazards!) I will use the expert advice from all those wonderful bloggers out there to help me!

I am going to be positive and grateful for what I have (again more inspirational bloggers to listen to!)

But….my first job is mummy….so if I need to take a breather from this blog I will, my girls need me more. But if I am a happier and a more organised mummy, I will feel more at ease doing something for me….this blog!

What are your jobs for June?