Friday 26 September 2014

Dinosaur Fun -

Our local shopping centre currently has a brilliant Dinosaurs Alive display. The dinosaurs move and make noise. Its a treasure trove of fun for the toddler and preschooler alike!  There is information on each one on display, which I must read over and over, and the best bit for Mini Miss? There are foot prints all over the shopping centre leading to each display! She is so focused on these foot prints every time we go, much to the annoyance of some older, less interested shoppers (to them I now say, get a life, she is 3!!). 


So for obvious reasons, Mini Miss has been OBSESSED with dinosaurs! No, these obsessions are not confined to boys! 

My first activity I found on Pinterest and as always, altered it a bit to make it more fun and more personal for my Mini Miss.... We built..... 

Dinosaur World!!

I bought a Kitty Litter tray from our local Dollar Tree for $3. Yes, that sounds gross, but I promise Miss Lucy is not allowed to use it! They are great for containing messy crafts, science experiments, and other fun stuff. You will see the 2 I bought starring in a lot of the science and messy craft Mini Miss gets to do! 

To do the landscape, I filled the tray with Baking Soda, which acted as the sand. I made a Bubbly Blue Lagoon using Vinegar with blue food colouring. I decorated with plastic trees and rocks. Then, The Piece de Resistance, The Erupting Volcano. 

I made the outside of the Volcano using our favourite home made Playdough recipe. (find it HERE). To make it more interesting I mixed granulated coffee (I know, it seems like a waste, but it was cheap coffee & it really did make a difference) into the mix to give it the brown colour, but also a bit of texture. Inside the Volcano was a plastic cup with a water/vinegar/dish soap mix coloured with red food colouring.  

Finally I added some dinosaurs and the masterpiece was set & placed outside (a great place for messy play, I highly recommend it!

apparently, from this photo, they were all headed to the Bubbly Lagoon!

Mini Miss got stuck straight in and had a ball with this. She loved the Bubbly Lagoon and although I missed taking a photo of the Volcano as I was supervising its eruption, she loved it! It oozed red bubbles everywhere. Lots of mess was made.

Of course, once all the contained bubbly fun was had, she got into the Making Mess part. This is more just fun than science, although there is colour mixing, more chemical get the idea, but basically, its like playing with colourful mud! 

And then later in the day, even more messy play was had! This involved measuring and pouring, scooping and loads more wet gooey mess seeing as I had been busy with Mr Moo and hadn't got around to hosing it all away.

Yes, a bath was VERY necessary after this day!! 


  • For ALL outdoor messy crafts I keep 2 things nearby. A bucket of soapy water and an old towel. That way the mess does not make its way into my house!
  • Spend time talking about why the vinegar and bicarb when mixed together bubble up.
  • Encourage your child to think about what the world was like when there were dinosaurs, what was the land like? Were there people? Where did all the dinosaurs go? What about Volcanoes? What makes them erupt? 

If they have questions you don't know the answer to, I find honesty the best policy. I am not all knowing, but I do know how to find out and I love to show my kids how to use the tools they have to find out more. Mini Miss is already learning the value of Google. Investigating together is great fun and it teaches such valuable skills like researching, making sense of the information they find, and coming to your own conclusion with the information you have found. 

So get building, get messy and have fun with your kids! Play is such an important part of learning at this age! 

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Rainbow Rice

This Muddled Mummy has been rather busy lately, and to say Mini Miss has been misbehaving as a result would be an understatement.

It's like, at times, like she has been possessed by a Poltergeist, a mischievous, very naughty, attention seeking monster! 

So, rather than spend all my time constantly berating her, putting her in time out, and generally making one miserable little girl and equally miserable mummy, we have reinstated the "Activity Monday". 

Activity Monday came about when I was working 3-4 days a week as a way to educate, entertain, extend and most importantly, spend time with Mini Miss. It was on a Monday, as that was my set day off! 

Now its just Activity day. The benefits of being a SAHM mean I can do more activities more often, as long as Mr Moo is behaving himself! I can REDIRECT her energy, her need for attention into something positive for both of us, rather than being constantly frustrated by her behaviour. This gives her the time and attention she wants in a positive way, and so far, so good, its reducing the negative behaviour!

Yep, its hard. It requires planning. It means letting some things go in the house until the days she is at daycare. That is hard for me. Its meant a reshuffle. 

But its so worth it!

So here is our first Activity....

Coloured Rice

Materials Needed:

  • Long grain rice (we used a 1kg bag)
  • Food dye
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Ziplock plastic bags
  • A container to put it in
  • Kitchen utensils to pour, measure, mix etc

The How To:

1. Separate the rice into the bags. We had 7 bags and I used scales to make them fairly even. No need to be that sad and precise, thats just me lol!

2. Add food colouring to each bag, I used about 20-25 drops of each colour to get a nice vibrant colour, add a big dolop (yes, that is a measurement!) of hand sanitiser and seal the bag. The hand sanitiser helps spread the colour and seal it into the rice grains.

3. The first fun part for Mini Miss was mixing the colour in the bag so that it coated each grain of rice!

4. The boring part....letting it dry. Its best left overnight, bags open, out of reach of impatient curious hands! The rice will be stuck together when dry in the morning, but a quick squish in the bag will loosen it again. 

5. To prepare what the play experience, I set up the rice in a flat container. Believe it or not, the tray is a kitty litter tray from a cheap shop, clearly NOT used lol! The end result was our RAINBOW RICE! 

Mini Miss couldn't wait to get into it. I set around the tray kitchen items such as scoops, funnels, measuring cups, spoons, various sized containers, even a silicone muffin tray for "baking". 

Keen she dived straight in....

It was fun. It was messy. It lasts. You can store it in an airtight container and use it again, and again and again! 

She measured and poured. When we were colouring the rice we talked about mixing colours. So lots of learning as well as lots of fun!

I got my inspiration for this, and for most of our activities, off Pinterest.

You can check out some of my kids activity boards HERE and HERE and even HERE.

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Birth Story of number 3!!

So its time to come in, do some spring cleaning, blow away the cobwebs and the tumbleweeds of this blog.....


First up, seeing as its a very recent and still very much a part of my life, is my birth story for baby number 3!

Mr Moo is now 7 weeks old! How time flies in a blur of sleepless nights, endless nappies, sterilising bottles and constant reminders for Mini Miss to "be gentle".....As well as the running of the rest of the family who need to all know they are still loved and important!! 

So Mr Moo was a planned C-section for medical reasons. If you have read my blog or my Facebook page, you will know that Mr Moo's pregnancy was very High Risk. That, plus the fact that I had already had 2 c-sections meant there was no possibility that I could have a natural birth. 

I am sad about that? Yes. And no. Yes, I REALLY wanted to experience child birth in all its glory. I wanted to bring a baby into the world as God intended. But, had I done that there was a very good chance my babies, and I, would not be here to tell the tale. At the end of the day, regardless of how they arrive, as long as you and your baby are healthy, that's all that really matters.

So here it is....

We headed into the hospital mid morning, having spent the morning doing last minute packing and cleaning, making sure car seats are in, making sure Mini Miss was set and ready for an extended visit with her Gran & Pa. We arrived and were settled into the bed that would be mine for the next few days. I was happy to see that A) my room, which was a shared room, was empty & B) I had a new bed, which was surprisingly comfortable for a hospital bed! It is, afterall, the little things when you are trying not to focus on what is about to happen.

I have a fear of needles. To say I freaked out during Mini Miss's delivery would be an understatement. I was a mess of tears, snot and puffy face by the time they got the Epidural in. It took almost an hour as I was that distraught. I was so sedated during her delivery that it is foggy to say the least, but at least, unlike Miss Teen's delivery, where I was under a general, I was present. I heard her cry. I kissed her and touched her and held her in recovery. 

So, I was anxious, but I was suppressing it. Fake it til you make it style. 

I was also anxious, that like Mini Miss, my surgery would be postponed and I would have to wait until the next day. I didn't want that. Mr Moo's delivery date was already too close to the date of my friends beautiful angel, being just the day before. I wanted to keep that date as HERS. Its Melinda's day, and I didn't want my baby to share that. I was uncomfortably pregnant, my disease was already starting to flare up badly. I needed him OUT!! ASAP!! 

My midwife came in, told me I was first up, which gave me some relief on the whole waiting thing. Then without waiting she started to prep me. No need for details on this part, but there is changing of clothes and sheets, and shaving that all occurs. As a mother, there is  no such thing as modesty. As well as checking on bub to make sure all is well, and to check on me too.

Then my Obstetrician came in to check on me, assure me I was first cab off the rank and then he was off to getting ready. He also asked if I wanted my tubes tied. Yes, I HAD wanted that, but put on the spot like that, having not discussed all the ins and outs of the surgery and the recovery, I panicked and said no. Duh! I could be all sewn up and no longer having to think about the dreaded BIRTH CONTROL, but oh no, panicky me stepped in and foiled THAT plan....sigh.....

Then, as Hubby and I were relaxing (me = Faking it still) suddenly my midwife was there, as was the orderly, and we were off and rolling down the hallway to surgery. We reached the point where Hubby had get dressed into scrubs and wait, and I was whisked away. Away from Hubby, the panic rose like bile in my throat, but I swallowed it. Told it to bugger off. I was NOT having the experience spoiled! This is it. I don't get to do this again! I want to be present. I want to enjoy it as much as it is possible to have your insides cut open while awake!

Then I was in pre op, having drips inserted, catheter, and being talked through my procedure and being asked the same questions a thousand times over. 

I love that part. Your name, date of birth, allergies, blah blah blah....every single person who comes into some sort of contact with during this stage asks the same questions. I mean, I get the need to be careful and make sure you have the right person for the right surgery, but really, I had a huge moving on its own belly, its not like I'm there for a eye surgery! 

I guess I didn't want THIS to happen!
Then suddenly I was in theatre, sitting there, cold liquid, possibly ice (no, not really, but that antiseptic feels like its been in the freezer!) being rubbed roughly on my back and dribbling down, lots of plastic blue plastic being stuck on my back. My midwife was holding me and making me focus on her as the local was administered. Then once it was working, I had a spinal block. 

Unlike the last time, I was calm. I didn't cry. I didn't panic. Fake it til you make it had worked. I had made it! The spinal went in first time this time, with minimal discomfort. I was almost beaming with pride at myself. I'm not sure how many expectant mums look or sound as happy as I did once that was all done, but I was just short of euphoric and I was getting a few weird looks! 

Within minutes, Muddled Hubby was by my side, my Obstetrician was there and we were on.

I could give you a graphic description, but I'll keep it simple. A spinal block numbs all the PAIN, but not ALL sensation. So I could "feel" pulling and tugging. But it didn't bother me at all. I could hear snipping, I could hear the Doctors chatting away, happily, calmly. Not like last time at all. Relaxed, calm, waiting.....I remember smiling at Hubby. I remember talking to him about nothing in particular. Then suddenly I heard a doctors mention forceps, and I focused. One of the doctors poked her head over the lovely green screen that prevents me having to SEE what they are doing, and said "ok, I'm going to push hard on the top of your stomach in a minute. It will feel uncomfortable, but this is how we deliver your baby".

Ok, this is it. I look at Hubby. I already have tears in my eyes. Prepared for that wave of emotion. I feel the push, I feel the rush of fluid, or whatever it is that happens then more pulling as he didn't want to come out! 

Then that cry. That little Waaaah.

And the wave of emotion. The tearful look at hubby, whispers of "we did it" and other inconsequential phrases that mean "he is here and he is safe". Then Hubby gives me that look that is torn, I want to stay with you, my wife, the mother of my child, my son, and just love you, but I also want to go and see him, our son, I want to hold him. I whisper "go, go to him honey" and I lay there alone in that quiet moment as they clean him up, do their initial tests, with Hubby hovering, probably in their way. 

In that moment so many thoughts cross my mind. I'm relieved. Relieved that he is here, that he is safe and presumably healthy. I think over and over, with more than a little disbelief "I have a son". I think of my friend Kath, of her angel Melinda, I think of my friend Kathy, fighting so so hard just to experience this feeling once. 

As the Doctors continue to clean me up and stitch, or this time, staple me back together (the click click of the staple gun was a little weird!), I meet my little boy, face to face. I can't hold him as both my arms have drips and monitors of all sorts attached, but I can kiss him. I can smell his newborn smell, I can look into his eyes and know, without a doubt, that my life, my family, is complete. That this little life right here in front of me completes my lifes purpose. I have born all the lives into this world I was meant to. 

Master Thomas, Mr Moo to my blog from now on, was born on 16 July 2014 at 2.14pm. He was a healthy 3.8kg (8p7), and 49cms long. 

We were whisked off into recovery. This time there were no nurses fighting to treat me. My heart was strong and calm, so recovery nurses were working WITH the midwife. I got to hold him, feed him, to lay there and just soak him in while they did whatever it was that they did. To be honest, I wasn't really aware anyone other than myself and Thomas were there. Not even Hubby. Although I spoke to them, did as I was told and let them do things, all I could see was my baby. 

His blood sugar, a worry given I had Gestational Diabetes, was fine, so I got to hold him all the way back to the ward. Eventually though, his levels dropped a bit and he was whisked away to special care for monitoring and some top up feeds. I knew that would happen, so while I was heartbroken, I wasn't surprised. 

Unlike previous deliveries, I wasn't taken to ICU. I was stable and well enough to go straight to maternity. This meant he could be brought to me for feeds while I recovered the use of my legs! 

By the next morning I was busting to get up and moving and have my baby with me. By lunchtime I was moving around, painfully, but moving enough that he could be brought to me. 

Our stay in hospital wasn't all a breeze. I got a migraine 24 hours after my surgery. As yet, it hasn't completely gone. Doctors aren't sure why. Also, 2 days after surgery, I fainted. Something I have never done. I am still suffering nasty dizzy spells, and have almost fainted again a number of times. Again, there is no obvious reason as to why.

But other than those couple of complications, we are well. We are all settling in well. Mr Moo is a pretty good night sleeper, days are a mess, but nights are good. 
Mr Moo 6 weeks

Mini Miss has a lot of jealousy issues, but we are working on that. She LOVES her little brother so much that I don't doubt her jealousy will diminish over time. She loves it when he is awake and alert and he only has eyes for her when she is in the room! 

Miss Teen is absolutely smitten with her "little bro", although as soon as he cries, she is happy to hand him back! But is also happy to be an extra set of hands when she is needed. Looking at electives for school next year, she said "well, I don't have to do Early Childhood as it covers how to look after babies and toddlers. I think I have that covered"! 

So thats our story. Unlike the previous 2, not full of drama and danger, as all deliveries should be. 

And given it is our last baby, I am incredibly grateful for that. 

Miss Teen, Mr Moo & Mini Miss