Give Yourself A Raise

A little while ago, I received an email from Raise asking me to participate in their campaign ‘Give Yourself A Raise,’ where I’m to share about how I reward  myself as a mother. Raise is an awesome new marketplace to buy and sell gift cards on the web.  With the extra money you can save on discount gift cards to your favorite brands, you can spend more on the things you love.

I’ve been pretty honest on here lately about how much I struggle with the lack of tangible rewards, and especially praise, that motherhood brings. Motherhood is intense, and it is constant. I find myself both loving my life and feeling utterly exhausted, and it often feels like there is no reprieve. My daughter makes me sparkle and shine. Nevertheless, I have very little time during the day to relax, and yet I struggle to get everything done, and I end up feeling lazy and berating myself because my house is a pig sty and I got fast food yet again. Being a mother is wonderful and is it’s own reward. Being a mother is difficult and thankless.

I couldn’t really think of what I do to reward myself. Being a mum makes everything except laying down your life for your kid seem selfish. So writing this blog post was pretty hard. But then, Thursday morning happened.

My little girl is pretty happy-go-lucky. She’s clear about what she wants, and full of energy, and for the most part, she’s easy to be around. But on Thursday she was having an off morning. She hasn’t been eating or sleeping well, because she has teeth coming through, so she was quite grumpy, and everything felt like a bit too much.

First, she didn’t want her water. We were at Playcentre, and she walked around the morning tea table, grabbing which ever water bottle she could see and trying to drink out of it. When I swapped the bottle for her own water bottle, she had a tantrum.

Then, she was playing in the pretend kitchen, picked up a fake cob of corn, and brought it over to me, tapping it and frowning. When I told her it wasn’t real corn, Tantrum Time.

Lastly, as we were leaving, she made a game of stealing things out of other kids’ bags, and running away with them. Cue third full on tantrum in an hour.

I had been planning on making lunch. I’d even decided what to make. I was so determined to be “good” and make my own lunch instead of going through a drive-through. But as we got into the car, I said to Madelyn, “Right. I’m going to need some McDonalds.”

Other mums reward themselves with pampering sessions, nights away, shopping. Sometimes even a shower, or toileting with the door closed and no audience, can seem like a reward.

But me? I reward myself with a cheeseburger.

How do you give yourself a raise? Is there something you buy or do for yourself that makes it all feel less overwhelming? I’d love to hear from you 


A tale from when she SHOULD have been in the playroom – not the bathroom!

I recently got an email from Dropcam asking me to participate in their “Tales From The Playroom” campaign, a challenge to share a funny or heartwarming story about something my child has done. Okay, game on!

Last night was one of those evenings where I wish I’d had a Dropcam to use as a baby moniter. It may have saved me a lot of money.

Due to my abysmal time-management skills, which saw me crawling into bed at 2am that morning, I was exhausted and so was getting Madelyn ready for bed earlier than usual. She was still energetic and mischievous, but I hoped a calm, drawn out bedtime routine would help her settle to sleep. I was running her a bath, and had stepped out of the bathroom for a few seconds to grab something, assuming Madelyn had followed me as she’d been underfoot all afternoon.

Until then I heard a bang and a massive splash.

I ran back into the bathroom, hoping I wouldn’t find her unconscious at the bottom of the tub. I let out a sigh of relief when I saw her standing beside the bath, looking at me like she was the most clever girl in the world. Soon after my sigh of relief was followed by a cry of frustration when I noticed a small, black rectangle sinking down through the water.

The little monkey had thrown my phone into the bath. How clever of her.

To be fair, it’s kind of my fault. I’ve been encouraging her to put things into boxes and baskets (mostly her toys, into the toy box). What a large, exciting “box” the bath must have seemed to her young mind. Who would have thought I’d be saying that teaching my child to clean up backfired on me?

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At least she’s cute

Sun and Clear Pebbles now has a Facebook page

I thought about it and thought about it and thought about it, and finally did it. I made a Facebook page for my blog!

It would be really, really great if you could head over to Facebook and “like” it:

To say ‘thank you,’ here is a photo of Madelyn with a sand mustache


Our souls are deep with dreams

This weekend, the gypsies were in town.

Madelyn and I went to the Gypsy Fair with Aunty Melissa, and then we all walked to the pub, where Daddy and Uncle Phil were waiting for us.

“We are all wanderers on this earth. Our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams.”
– Gypsy proverb

Maddy and her Daddy

This little girl loves her daddy. DSCF1312 Her face lights up when she hears him arriving home. She turns to me, her eyes sparkling, and sighs happily. As he walks to the door, she sees him, and her little feet wave around. The first thing he does when he gets inside is kisses and tickles her, and she giggles and blushes. She pats whatever she’s eating or playing with, as if to say “Look what I’m doing, Daddy.” If she hears his voice while breastfeeding, she’ll stop feeding and start trying to sit up to get a look at him. Even if she’s half asleep. And she cries when he leaves for work in the morning. It is the cutest, most sad thing, watching her face as she realises he’s stopped playing with her and has started to leave.

Yesterday, while they were playing together, she looked at him and said “Da!” for the first time. She doesn’t know what that sound means yet, but the timing was brilliant.

She knows he delights in her. She knows she is his precious little girl. She knows her daddy loves her.

Madelyn goes to the speakeasy

Okay, it wasn’t a speakeasy, it was a 1920s soiree. But it is far more funny to talk about a 7 month old at a speakeasy, so that’s what I called it when I got her ready.

Angus’s cousin turned 21, and her party was a 1920s soiree. It was actually fun to dress Madelyn up for this one, especially because it meant I could justify buying her an outfit I really wanted.

Madelyn wore a purple romper from Lilly & Boo, which cost $20, and a matching headband which was $5 if bought with the romper. And then, because her little tootsies were cold, white socks with cute little frills. She looked adorable.

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(And yes, the right side of this photo does look funny. I decided to be that mum who blacks herself out of photos today)

Madelyn, my beautiful baby model

My little cutie was a model today. She modeled some Lilly & Boo rompers for LuvBug Photography.

I was actually pleasantly surprised with how well she did. She had about 7 different outfit changes, and stayed pretty content right until the last one. She fell asleep in her second to last outfit, so I woke her up for the photos, and she just sat and stared. Didn’t smile all that much, but didn’t cry either.

One tricked I’ve learnt with her, which came in handy today, is that she loves it when you blow on her face. My funny girl.

I should get the photos in about two weeks, but here is my favourite from the ‘previews’.

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My Little Old Man

Our friend, Anneke, had a senior citizens themed 21st party, so I had another opportunity to try and be amazing at costumes.

I had no idea how I was going to dress a baby, with next to no hair, up as an old woman. While I was looking around the shops, trying to get some inspiration, I came across some stick-on mustaches. Instantly, I decided to dress her up as an old man, rather than an old woman.

She had some red pants and heaps of white tops at home, so I also bought some red ribbon with white polka dots to make suspenders. I also found a white knitted hat, which was a little too small for her, but completed the look perfectly.

The result? One very cute little old man