Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Once we went a walking...

I took my girls a walking, a walking in the woods...

Well, the bush, anyway. We'd set out from home on what was a beautiful sunny day in our local micro climate, but once we hit the local mountain it was COLD. Clearly when Jack Frost gets booted from the sunny lowlands, he takes to the hills. I took this photo just before lunch!

Bug took to the hills too. She took a while to find her feet on the rocky ground (that was a bit distressing for a scrub-raised kid like me, I'm inadvertently raising little city slickers!) but she soon hit her straps and took off. Way off. The kind of "off" where you eventually think you should call her back, but then she just looks round cheekily and keeps on running... 

I had brought some index cards for Peanut to record interesting things. She was busy sticking down all the different kinds of leaves she could find, when Bug brought her a rock. So she stuck that too. Funny monkey.

Nice views, eh bro? (I may be watching some kiwi's-taking-over-the-Gold-Coast show while I type. It's terrible. I highly recommend it.)

We built a little lean-to as a play house. The girls wanted to live there forever. Bug crawled in, flopped down on her back, and refused to come out again. I think she was knackered after all her running away. Which is a bit rich, really, because she had actually been carried most of the walk. Otherwise right now we would still be at the trail head, looking at interesting pebbles, instead of home watching "quality" tv.

Pfft. Quality TV. Who am I kidding? If I'm not careful, the kids will pick up on this trash subliminally while they sleep, and I'll end up with two little duck-faced teeny boppers...

Oh no. Too late.

Friday, August 17, 2012


My children come from a long line of runners. And by runners, I don't mean sporty-race runners (although we do that too). I mean toddler runners. Running from mum runners. And we're quick ones, at that.

Here is a delightful photo of my aunt as a child. Note the industrial strength leather harness. From my experience with dogs, I assume it's because she managed to chew through her previous cloth lead.

I was given a harness for Bug the other day. I welcomed it - the giver loves my girls as much as I do, and would be equally pained to see them run into danger. But the gift made me think. Why have I never had a harness for my girls before?

I can see the positives. Knowing your child is safe and attached in an airport or near a busy road would be very reassuring. Let alone when you are trying to concentrate on something in public, and then you look up to find your children have wandered away! But by the same token I have seen a mother haul on a harness like it was attached to a recalcitrant dog, pulling her small son around the supermarket while he stumbled along behind her, crying.

I am the woman who refused to buy a GPS until I could map-to-ground perfectly, and who didn't want a dishwasher. I am wary of things that seem too easy, and I fear that if I used a harness I would fall into bad habits.

In my limited experience, taking the "easy" road with child training usually ends up being harder in the long run. I would prefer to take the time to teach my girls the correct behavior the first time, and then reap the rewards afterwards. It seems easier than putting off the training until later, when they are already set in their ways. Besides, the smaller they are, the easier I can catch them and scoop them up while they are still learning!

I also come at this from the relative luxury of having just two intelligent, healthy children. I understand that it would be markedly different if the child had a physical or mental impairment, or if there were multiple small children in a family.

Once Bug had learnt to walk, she immediately wanted to run. And she wanted to run unencumbered by my hand. Usually in a busy car park. I took the time (and it did take time) to teach her that she either held my hand when I asked, or she was carried. No arguments, no debating or crying, no other options. If she wanted to walk, then the default was holding hands. And if she wanted to run? She had to ask. No pulling away, no darting off. So now she says "Mama? Run mummy? No hand?" And it's wonderful. I let her loose as often as I can, but I like knowing she will be safe with me - and importantly any one else she walks with - just holding hands. So it's lucky our new harness is also a handy backpack, disguised as a very cute puppy. It's still getting plenty of use and love!

On a related note, I have also trained my girls to keep both their hands on the car when they are in the car park. It keeps them safe, but it's also funny to see them lined up like little hoodlums in a police raid. Hey, I get my kicks where I can.

So, gentle reader, did you harness your children? Will you harness? Were you harnessed?
Or, like me, do you prefer not to?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Stress. I need some.

Sometime I wish my jobs here at home were just a little bit...harder.

It's terrible when I've had one of those niggly, annoying days. The kind of day when it took me Two Whole HOURS to get the the bottom of the laundry folding pile (a trip away will do that) and then I wander in to Peanut playing next door, only to find I now need to refold all Bug's clothes too (Peanut needed clothes for her teddies, apparently. They were very well dressed.)

The kind of day where we escaped the housework and fled to the park, only to find it already over run by a particular local family I find to be totally out of synch with mine - the kind of family where the mother says "oh, I love long day care, it means I can get rid of the kids from 7am until 6pm!" Shudder.

The kind of day when I am expecting Mr A home for family pizza night, but he messages to say he'll be late home at 6, and then calls at 6 to say he'll be even later...  Poor Mr A.

And there's the rub.

None of my issues are particularly stressful. Nothing is very hard about folding laundry or park socializing or making pizza solo. And that's the problem!! It might be annoying to me, but do you think I get one iota of sympathy when Mr A staggers in after saving the world, juggling millions of dollars of equipment and organising hundreds of men, sending them to far flung places? No siree Bob. No sympathy.

Not. One. Bit.


I need a harder job, so I get bubble baths run for me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cutest Party EVER!

Ok team, here's the plan. 

Find two sisters. Have them live really far apart. 

Like Perth - Venice far apart.  

Then have them give birth to their children at around the same time. Make the kids a girl and a boy. Wait a year, then have everyone gather together at the grandparent's house for a ridiculously cute first birthday party.

You'll need the basics - a Women's Weekly Birthday Cake number one cake. 

Wait... let's make it two cakes, one in pink, one in blue. (Put them on separate cake boards, so no one confuses a joint first birthday with that of a transgendered eleven year old. You can never be too careful.)

Order in the biggest, sugary cupcakes you can find, because dude, those things have glitter on them. Glitter! 

And add gourmet party pies, sausage rolls and the best pasties in Western Australia. 

Better get someone to make fairy bread... and lollies, too please!

Find an engineer with heaps of spare time and a hankering to DO something, and get him to hang your decorations. This ensures perfect uniformity, and gets Uncle Seb out of everyone's hair for at least three hours - engineers get it right the first time, but damn, they take their time.

Finally, add in a liberal sprinkling of helium balloons (don't let the teenage hooligan take them outside and let them go, you'll have none left) and then invite over the absolute plethora of people who love those two little babies. It will be a total hit!

{Word of warning. If you just happen to be visiting this party with a three year old and a one year old, for example, and you leave the three year old in the care of her Papa while you put the one year old to bed, make EXTRA SURE that while you're gone, said three year old doesn't consume more than one cupcake. Two is probably too many, three definitely so. In fact, three will probably cause those cupcakes to be regurgitated all over you and your shared bed six hours later. How do I know these things? Intuition. Certainly not hard won experience. Ahem. In other news, I may never be able to eat pink cupcakes again.}

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Absence Note

Dear Interwebs, 

please excuse         Mrs Accident        
for her absence on the         last week           
as she was        visiting relatives in Perth.        

Ahhh Perth. Sunny, sunny Perth.

T-shirts to the park Perth.

Picking all the grandparent's cumquats Perth.

Teaching little sisters how to do somersaults Perth.

You wouldn't believe me if I told you I'm glad to be home, would you? 

But I am. 

(Even if the temperature difference is about 20 degrees!) 

Home sweet home. 

And blog sweet blog... 

I'll be back tomorrow with some pictures of the cutest party ever thrown. 

See you then!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Snark on Pinterest

One thing that truly surprises me is the lack of snark on Pinterest, especially considering the pins and commentary are all public.  When I'm having a bitchy day myself, it's so hard not to jump in and write back. I want to bring a bit of honesty to the medium. I want to get on there and go "really? REALLY?!"

Hey pinner, I bet you're not really "Making this ASAP!" You're probably just snugged on your couch pushing "refresh pins". That's not ASAP. Get cooking.

That marinated vegetable salad does NOT look delicious, you fibber.

I sincerely doubt your half baked exercise routine produced that exquisitely tan, toned tummy you have used as the pin picture.

Adding boatloads of food colouring to your kids food to make it "exciting" is not a good parenting decision.

And don't get me started on the "OMG so CUTE!!1! ^.^ Squee!" people insist on writing on their nail art photos. It's fancy paint on dead skin. Go do something constructive like solving world hunger, or blogging something. Geez.

I could go on for hours.

I realise I'm probably the only person in the universe who has these evil Pinterest commenting compulsions. Better call the men in white coats.

I'll snark them, too.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Cloth Nappies

Cloth nappies!! HUZZAH!!

We love our cloth nappies at Casa Accidental. If you've somehow attained a lovely young sprog, or are about to have one join your family, hopefully this post will inspire you to give cloth nappies a go. 

There are many different types of cloth nappies. A good description of the different types is here. I'm not going to go into a debate on different styles and their merits, it's been done, but I will tell you what I like about ours. 

We use modern pocket nappies. There is a fleece inner layer that wicks moisture faster than any disposable nappy I have found. Small bums stay seriously dry. (Big bums probably would too, but my sprogs are both bumless wonders. I can empathise. It's a genetic flaw from my side of the family. There is no juice in our caboose, no junk in our trunk... but I digress.)

The outer layer is waterproof, and the inside is an absorbent, removable bamboo insert. 

I love the removability. It means they are quicker to dry than other all-sewn-in nappies. Even so, I have twice as many inners than outers (following me?) so they can take their sweet time and languish on the line if they choose. 

Let's run through the washing process. First, find a small child and get them to soil your nappy... 

Tip the solids into the toilet (you should be doing that with your disposables, anyway. Don't put poop in the bin, people! Gross.) The microfibre means this is super easy, but if you are really squeamish you can buy flushable liners. I don't know if these would effect the wicking as we haven't tried them. I have visions of people rapidly stuffing a liner down the back of little Billy's nappy-rash-prone bottom when he pulls a "poop face"... 

Now here is our change table on an idle Wednesday, scratches and all. Pure reality. Yes, it is in the shower. This is the only place in the girl's bathroom it would fit. It's super handy, unless Sarah is staying over and needs a shower!

You'll notice the tightly lidded bucket down the bottom - that's for the dirties. I separate the inner and outer, and put them both in there. I "dry pail", no soaking here.

You'll also notice the messy pile of nappies on the upper shelf:

Pre-folding is for chumps, I build as I go. It doesn't take long and Bug likes the extra seconds of singing while she's on the table.

I wash the nappies on their own in a hot wash, with just a teaspoon of laundry powder and a big splash of vinegar in the rinse. The vinegar kills any nasties, and also strips any remaining soap so the inners stay beautifully absorbent.

In winter I dry the insides in the clothes dryer, with a dry towel or two to speed things up (damn Canberra weather). Summer they go on the line. The outers go over the shower rail above the change table. Handy!

(See that pink bottle of stain remover there? Also handy - keep your stain remover where you undress, so you remember to spray before you leave your clothes in the hamper. It's heaps easier than hunting through the load when you're about to wash it, and gives the stains plenty of pre-treatment time.)

And that's that.

All up, cloth nappies mean about one extra load of washing every two days or so, which isn't much in this house. The drying in winter can add up, but we still come out in front compared to the cost of buying disposables. It cost about $750 to set up my cloth nappy stash, which sounds like a lot (I bought about 12 in each of three different sizes, however they are now available in more adjustable sizes that do birth to toilet training).

But consider this: those nappies have done both girls. I have calculated the cost of disposables, and for two kids they came out at about $4500. FOUR THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS! We've saved enough for a holiday, even factoring in washing costs. Score!

Did you cloth nappy? Will you?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Soap Holder Tutorial

I've seen some awesome soap making tutorials around. 

This is not one of them. Given the best soap makers beg you not to have children and small animals in the way while you create, it's clearly not something I'm meant to be attempting. 

Instead, this is a tutorial for a soap holder. Bug likes to sneak into the bathroom and dig her fingers into our lovely lavender soap, gouging out chunks and smearing it onto her face. The only upside is she smells divine. 

Since I couldn't find a reasonably priced, wall mounted, plastic soap dish in any of the stores I frequent, I decided to DIY. Here's how:

You will need a face washer / flannel / wash cloth (oh, what-ever-you-want-to-call-it. Bob.) and a small loop of ribbon or elastic. 

Take your Bob and chop it in half, and put half to one side. You won't need it.

Chopped in half. I made two - one to use, one as a spare.
Fold your remaining cloth into thirds, with the raw edge at one end.

Now we are going to sew up the raw end. I ran a straight stitch then trimmed and zig zagged over the end:

These are obviously not my actual stitches - mine are far bigger and uglier ;)

Then, once you're all sewn, turn it inside out.

It should look like this!

Now, if you want a hanging loop, grab your elastic or ribbon and stitch the ends together.

Stitched up. 
Pin your loop into the corner of your cloth, far enough in to be caught in a seam...

...and then run that seam along the open end.

You can see the seam here.
And there you have it! A lovely purple soap holder bag for our lovely lavender soap.

The soap will take a second or two to maneuver into the bag, but it is also just tricky enough a toddler can't maneuver it back out. Success!

So, gentle reader, did your kids ever get into the soap or similar? My dog ate a whole bottle of olive oil once. Now that was an experience!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


We went ahead and planted our tree on the weekend.

It was hard to find a spot, given it is supposed to grow 12 metres tall and be quite spreadish, but I eventually picked a place by the letter box Not too close to impede our local postie, not too close to the road to make trouble.

I love using a shovel. Almost as much as I love using a mattock. There is something so satisfying about driving it into the dirt and turning up clods. 

I suffer from Bunn-nesia. It's the mind fog that occurs when you wander into the local hardware store (Bunnings, in this case) and can't recall a single thing you actually need. Instead you find yourself buying miniature painted wooden ducks on sticks, or more twine. This time I was suckered in by tiny metal watering cans for the girls that match mine - purple for Peanut, green for Bug. Hopefully they will last a bit longer than our old plastic one. It faded and fell apart in a matter of months. Panzer may have had a hand in speeding it's demise...

Of course once the tree was in and watered, there was mud.

So. Much. Mud.

The girls stomped in it and ran up and down the path comparing muddy footprint sizes and generally getting dirty. I had to wash Peanut's jacket after she lost a boot in the sucking ooze, stumbled backwards down the mild slope and landed on her bum in a puddle. She thought it was HIGH-larious. 

I reckon this little adventure will become an annual Accidental celebration, to be added to the annals of time with "Happy Ham Day*".

Hooray for Tree Day!

{*There was no ham at Christmas one year. Mr A was gutted, so I bought one in the post Christmas sales. And so it passed - Happy Ham Day now fills the long, tortuous gap between the celebrations of New Years and Australia Day. Because to go without a party for a whole 25 days is just unthinkable!}