This is Willow. She loves sharks.

by Shae on July 28, 2014


This kid.


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Willow has always been what one would describe as “a handful”. She crawled at 4 months, walked a 10 months and was fully running and climbing (so much climbing) by her first birthday. Because of toddler Willow we had no handles on cupboards, a lock on the fridge and nothing grouped together that could possibly be “stairs” so that she could get higher. Her first, and only word for months, was NO. She threw tantrums that my friend’s even remember with horror. In fact, in my circle of close friends, a child having an irrational, long standing, screaming fit over something that cannot fixed by a single thing is called “having a Willow”. Now she is the queen of what I can only describe as SASS. So much sass. She has an answer for everything and I won’t lie. It gets a little old.


The flip side of this big personality is awesome. She is one of the most loving, funny, clever and passionate kids going around. She wanted to do dancing when she was 3 and now, at 6, she is practicing hard for her R.A.D primary ballet exam. All at her own insistence. She has been known to stick up for and look out for Harper on the playground, as well as brushing off with an eye roll any comments about her having short hair “like a boy”. She once spent 6 hours helping one of my friends make jewelry.

Her other big passion, aside from ballet and Monster High dolls, is SHARKS. Willow loves sharks. Particularly Great White Sharks. We have borrowed every shark book from the library at least twice, watched all the docos and browsed a lot of you tube. Willow loves them so much that on our recent trip to Seaworld she stared into the tank, sighed, and asked “do you think they’re happy in there?” rather than being pumped to see them up close. She has a big heart.

She is worried the numbers of great white shark, and others, are in decline. She wants to know why practices like shark netting, shark culls and killing sharks for fin soup are still allowed. She has concern for the health of the ocean where her favorite animals live.


Willow turns seven on Sunday. She wanted a party at the park. More specifically a SHARK party with shark games.

And she requested that instead of people buying her a present they donate some money to saving the sharks.

Off her own back, with no prompting from us, she came up with this idea. With the proviso that Luke and I still buy her a present of course.

What a kid eh? I’m so proud of her. Then I thought that I would spread the word and see how much we could raise.

For her birthday, my awesome kiddo wants to raise some money to save the sharks. So I’m going to get her that. As well as a present, as requested.

Here is the link to Willow’s shark party fundraiser. Throw in a bit of money of you have it to spare, share this link, get the word out!



Happy birthday kiddo.





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This week we were..

by Shae on July 27, 2014


So I started a Sunday thing, did it once and then went away and forgot all about it.

Let’s try again shall we?

But we’ve been away for a while so this “week” covers the last couple.


This week we were..


-At ballet a whole lot. Willow’s primary exam is at the beginning of September and the girls are working hard to be ready. Willow is happy because too much ballet is never enough. She’s still mad since finding out that some kids are homeschooled so they can perform more and she isn’t one of those.


-Chasing snow! We live not too far away from the beautiful Mt Macedon and we were on snow high alert for a few days. We were lucky enough to be there during a big flurry. Even if it was for only 10 minutes and melted as soon as it hit the ground.


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-STILL reading The Hobbit aloud. But we’re all pretty emotionally involved in Masterchef at night so ther hasn’t been a lot of before bed reading. Kind of ready for Bilbo to go into the mountain already.


-Finally back at the zoo. It’s taken us a while to renew our membership this year as we were trying to stretch it out so it wasn’t due at christmas anymore! Spent the day there on Friday. It really is one of our fave places to go.


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-Trying new things. Tannah is giving netball training a go for the remainder of the season and she might play next year. Willow has finally talked me in to letting her do a trial class at cheer and I am in the process of starting a paper journal.


-Arguing about Minecraft. I can’t pretty this point up or pretend I have any good feelings about what’s happening.


-Grateful for Tannah’s new tutor. I have a whole post worth of stuff to say about the how and why that I’m going to leave for another day, but I will say now that we’re all happy with the current arrangement. And that there are some cool stories being written.


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So that’s us.

How about you?


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by Shae on July 24, 2014




I hope that this blog doesn’t give some sort of impression that I’m an always together kind of parent. If you read my twitter you’ll probably get a more accurate idea of just how much I wing it. And often stuff it up completely.

Like yesterday….


Tannah was trying out netball for the first time. She plans to just train with a team for the remainder of the season and will likely play next year (goodbye free Saturday Mornings, I will miss you). The team trains after school, at a school and most of the kids go to said school.

I know I shouldn’t assume I’ll be excluded or have to defend our no-school position, but experience tells me it will be shit with at least a couple of the Mums. And I’m kind of over it. So I went in with my usual optimism left at home.

The kids are training and Tans has settled in well. There are a group of Mums standing right next to me but no one is speaking to me-which I get, they all seem to really know each other. Suddenly one of the Mums says “so who IS that girl?”

I take a deep breath and offer “the one not in uniform?” She confirms so I jump in, smiling. Hopeful.

“That’s my daughter Tannah. She’s trying it out today and might officially join the team next year”

The other Mum cocks her head to the side, looks back at the team, looks back at me and has a face that says I’m confused. She is silent.

That’s all it takes for my must-I-be-having-this-conversation-and-it’s-sure-not-to-go-well-and-I’m-destined-to-be-the-weirdo-again brain to decide I should just jump in. Let’s get it over with. GO.

“She’s not in school uniform because she doesn’t go to school. That is we home educate. She’s the same age as these girls though and even knows one of them from her sister’s ballet”. This all spills out in one breath and without punctuation. I’m kind of spewing forth this info at the poor woman.

The woman pauses, looks back at the team again, then turns to me and says

“Oh no I didn’t even notice her yet! I was talking about the teenager helping the coach”

“Ah. She’s some sort of rep player here to help out” I reply as I wait for the ground to swallow me up.

She shuffles away as quickly as she can.

I felt like Ron in this clip.



So now if they think I’m some sort of militant, homeschooling, weirdo. They might have a point.


Never let it be said I’m cool at all times.


Have you ever made a situation awkward?



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by Shae on July 22, 2014


Remember when you have a baby (or before) and you know everything about the stages ahead of you? ME TOO.  I remember once sprouting some garbage out of my inexperienced mouth about how the term “tween” was simply created by corporations to make you buy more. I rabbited on about how the ages of kids didn’t need to be broken up into categories and so on.

No while I still do think that the term tween is plastered all over stuff to make a buck, I now also know that there is absolutely an in between stage. And that we have a fully fledged Tween at out house.


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I have noticed that Tannah is straddling both worlds. On one hand she is still so small and very much a young child. On the other she is changing. Her friendships are changing and I can’t deny she that she is not the little kiddo she once was. Sometimes I feel a little out of my depth.

Tannah is breaking away from her sisters in play. After years of the three of them (mostly) happily getting engrossed in imaginative play together, there has been a shift. She will play with them-but not for as long and not unless she gets a real say in the “laws” of the game. But she will still tip out all the plastic horses or fairies and immerse herself in a solo game for ages. When we are at our home ed group there is a lot less of the en masse game of the “magical ponies” and a fair bit more of wandering around chatting about minecraft.

Sometimes she seems so grown up. I see her sitting on her bed listening to music on her iPod and flicking through a magazine and it takes my breath away because surely it wasn’t so long ago I kissed her hands while she nuzzled and drank milk from my breast. Was it? I took her to her first big concert last week. We saw Lorde (who was freaking amazing) and Tannah carefully planned her outfit and was as perfect a concert buddy as any. When Lorde took the stage I glanced sideways at my biggest girl and my eyes filled up. She knew she was being initiated into something really amazing that was reserved for the not so little-and the joy on her face was palpable.

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Yet at the same time, being a tween is a paradox. For all of the ways she is growing there are ways she really is still so small. When there are big, real tears about not being able to find Betsy at bedtime I see it. She is still blissfully happy to dress up and twirl around the house or watch a bit of sneaky Play School with her smallest sister. Her body still needs to move. To run and climb and yell.

But when she comes to snuggle with me on the couch her body doesn’t fold so neatly into gaps of my own like it used to. Suddenly she seems all legs and angles.


But we rearrange ourselves and find a new way of fitting together. To accommodate the changes.

It’s pretty much my plan for the years and changes ahead.




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Own it.

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  In the last 12 months it happened. There wasn’t a magical day or goal that I met but slowly the feeling crept in. I am confident in my ability to raise these kids. And I like how we’re doing it. Do you know what the main factors in this were? It happened when I […]

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Sovereign Hill Christmas in July- with giveaway! {sponsored}

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  We were lucky to spend a couple of days at Sovereign Hill last week. I can’t believe we had never been there before! Well Luke had been with school, but we had never taken the kids. To say they had an awesome time is an understatement. And not just because of the boiled lollies […]

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