Monday, December 31, 2012

Seeing Out the Old Year.....


And seeing In the New!!





HAPPY NEW YEAR 
FROM THE JOLLY DRAGONS!!!






Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pinterest Prepper

I found a fabulous find on Pinterest today 

EQUIP2SURVIVE - 

a pin board for Doomsday Preppers as they are apparently called now. I prefer Survivalist.

I haven't looked at nearly enough, but what I did look at, was great! 

This is a fabulous resource for any Prepper!

*heads off to look at more*

Friday, December 14, 2012

Poor Hatchling......lol

Hatchling was fast asleep on her playmat while I was pottering around.

All of a sudden, she starts wailing and I mean truly sobbing.

I rush over thinking maybe she punched her self in the face, or knocked her arm... Looking at her, I can't see what the problem is as her wails increase.

She is now sobbing quite hard - something is really upsetting her!

I go to pick her up and realise what is wrong.

Her little fist isn't just resting by her head, oh no, her little fist is firmly clenched in her hair and pulling quite hard!

LOL 

Poor thing! The more she got upset, the harder she pulled, which made her more upset! Which meant she pulled harder! Awwwwww

Am I a bad parent because I was PMSL as I comforted her?  :D

And because I can.....



aaaawwwwwww a sleeping beauty


Sew From Your Stash

Sew From Your Stash is a Facebook group that I joined recently. It is as it says - the aim is to sew completely from your fabric stash without succumbing to the lure of the siren call of the Fabric Store.

LOL

As I have WAY too much fabric for someone who doesn't actually have a sewing STORE, I felt it was a good thing for me to do.

So I will share my 'Stash' here and over the next year, hopefully I will be able to reduce my stash down by heaps.

The only Out Clause I am allowing myself is when I have a direct need - as in a birthday gift or the like - and I DON'T have that exact fabric. Example - I make a crayon roll for a child who loves dinosaurs but I don't have any suitable fabric. But buying fabric because it is cheap or on special or 'just because I MIGHT use it' is No Go!!

So, here we go...I spent two days sorting and organising and clearing out my Fabric Stash for this Photo Shoot - believe me when I say that I probably threw out this much again!

This is probably about 2/3 of my Fabric Stash.


The top of my shoulders just reached the top of the pile - so if I was facing this, my face would be looking directly at my red box of patterns on top


Inside my storage drawers


What my boxes look like inside 


Side board is full as well - these are the 'special fabrics' that I don't want lost in the general Stash. Fabrics like the ones I used for Dragonett Lass' birthday gifts.


I know that I am missing a box of Christmas Fabric, which believe me when I say I am MOST perturbed about - as that fabric was supposed to be for THIS Christmas (was bought in the Sales beginning of this year)
There is also about 60 metres of polar fleece missing - the kids steal my polar fleece seconds after it enters this house!! They love to use it for cubbies and blankets and the like. 

I am also missing two boxes of girls dress fabric - shirred dress fabrics to be precise and it is the real kick in the teeth!! 25 metres of shirred dress fabric that I was going to make into Summer clothes for Dragonett Lass. Ggggrrrrrrrrrr!!! 

But otherwise, this is now it! I literally can NOT fit even a FQ in anywhere,  so now comes the task of using it all up!!


Off We Sew!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Are you thinking of being a Home Birthing Dad? Got Questions?

Here's a blog that came up on my Pinterest


It's a great idea and I think I'll get DragonPapa to do the same thing here!!

Also, other than being very very sick, here's the reason for my absence...




Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hatchling's Arrival


Okay, Birth Story Time...

I had been having days of serious Braxton Hicks and then days of nothing - it was infuriating LOL - I would think "Yes, this is it!!" then after 5 hours, it would peter off to nothing. ARGH!!

Then on Monday the 5th, the baby's actual due date according to ME (the doctors kept telling me that women never really know their due dates for sure unless they were IVF - pfft! What a joke!!) I had a lazy morning in bed as DragonPapa had been home for a week - it was lovely.

But I got up at 11am to have a shower and felt my waters run. No pop with this baby. So showered, got the birth pool ready (we had already trialed it the day before) and I kept moving this time. Spent lunchtime watching the storm roll over the city and getting photos of the lightning - well, trying to LOL. Got lots of lovely dark stormy weather photos at any rate :D

By 3pm, it was still just crampy nothingness - catch your breath kinda of thing. But we got to 4pm and suddenly, it went from catch your breath to Holy CRAP *sobbing* nnnnoooooooo! level in 2 contractions.

So I decided that it was time to get in the pool and see if that made any difference - nope. I normally head straight to water when I am sick or in pain and feel an immediate relief, but for some reason, labour just doesn't get relief in water - I have no idea why!

There wasn't as much water in the pool as I originally wanted, so maybe that was the reason?

So I was in the birth pool, in transition - sobbing and snotty are usually good indicators, lol. I turned to DragonPapa and said "Something doesn't feel right" - I couldn't put my finger on it, I just didn't feel 'right'. It was really hard to explain, especially as I was trying to explain it to DragonPapa in between very fast contractions.

Then suddenly, I felt my heart skip a beat. It is a very definite feeling if you have ever had it happen before. And I have. Thinking I had imagined it in the heat of the transition contraction, I continued on as normal. After two more contractions, it happened again and I found it hard to catch my breath. 

By this time, my main support person had arrived. We discussed it and she agreed with me. Even if it was nothing, I was worried and not feeling 'right' so we made the decision to go to hospital.

Now, I am very much a believer in birthing where you feel safest. For majority of women, that is at hospital. For a handful of women, it is at home. But you must listen to your body and your instincts and mine were telling me that something was "off". So I got out of the pool, checked how far along I was - I was only about 4-5cm dilated, which told me that I was probably going to be a little while longer (if not quite a bit longer) even though I was feeling a little pushy.

In between contractions, we called the hospital to let them know that I was coming in and got dressed. I was already chuckling over how I was going to cope with contractions in a car. Ouch!

By this time, my other support people had arrived - we needed them to be here to watch Dragonett Lad and Lass. I had already managed to calm a panic attack before it got started, at having to go to hospital. I stood up to go to the car and promptly felt very faint and lay back on the couch. It was then that I felt my heart do its funny little skip again and it was decided that we should call an ambulance to be on the safe side.

While my support people were on the phone to the ambulance, I was feeling really crappy AND still having transition contractions - only now they had ramped up and were PUSHING CONTRACTIONS.

I was laying on the couch on my side, feeling very spacey and in awful labour. I remember my support person saying something about her being told to tell me NOT to push, the ambulance was just pulling up....pfft - I had NO control by then LMAO!

DragonPapa had been staying away helping with the kids, but he stepped up to help take off my pants - yeap, I was still wearing my pants from before, lol - and promptly got screamed at by me (sorry honey :D ) but off they had to come as Hatchling was on the runway. One leg out and held up, my support person was still on the phone to the Ambulance people. She was being told "On the next contraction, support the head" she was saying "Nope, already out..... nope, shoulders out too ...whoops gotta go, baby's completely out!" and literally dropped her phone (from her shoulder) to catch our Hatchling. I will always remember how it feels to have a baby move through my birth channel, it really is like nothing else.

Two massive pushes and Hatchling had arrived!! Born at 6.27pm, a whopping 2.5hrs from the first proper contraction, 7.5hrs from waters breaking. Born on her Due Date! And the Stickiest Vernex bubba I had EVER seen!!! Looked like someone had covered her in an inch layer of zinc from head to toe!!

The ambulance team arrived as my support person dropped her phone. They immediately got to work, checking me over. My wonderful support people held my space beautifully - skin to skin, delayed cord cutting, but I was out of it. I passed out for a minute mere seconds after Hatchling was born. But the ambulance team was brilliant. They did everything they needed to, yet still respected my birthing wishes. Perfect!
But I was still quite out of it, even after I came to. But I quickly regained myself and started to feel fine. I birthed the placenta nicely and the ambulance team got a lesson in home birthing as well - YAY!! They, along with my support team, checked over the placenta and then me and everyone agreed that I looked fine, bubba was doing perfectly. Minimal blood loss, my stats were looking good - so they felt fine about me staying home and off they went to their ambulance to finish up.

By this time, I realised that I was STILL wearing pants.... well, one leg anyway, lol... and I needed to rearrange everything under me - hadn't planned on birthing on the couch AGAIN, lol - so I stood up to remove my now birth-yucky clothes and collapsed back onto the couch.

Ambulance team were called back in - thankfully they were still sitting in the driveway, but this time, they couldn't get a good BP reading and I was feeling quite spacey, so it was decided that it would be best for me to be transferred. By this time, they had called another ambulance team in and as the reality of the situation hit me, I went into my first of many panic attacks. I was definitely going to hospital, I'm neither stupid nor a hero, but the thought of being a home birth transfer to the very hospital that instilled the first birth trauma on me combined with just giving birth AND feeling really bad meant I was NOT coping.

But the ambulance teams were perfect. My support team explained my situation to them and they were fantastic in supporting me as well. The storm had hit without my noticing and I barely noticed the rain on the way to the ambulance.

I was also given one of those green sucky pain sticks.....OH MY GOODNESS!! They are a bit nice, aren't they?? lol... to help control my after pains and my panic attacks. The Ambos kept me grounded and calm ( with the help of those lovely green sucky sticks lol) They even went into the ER first to give all my background to the ER staff to ensure a calm and smooth transfer for me. I was honestly truly blessed by the people around me that night!

DragonPapa followed with Hatchling in our car as Hatchling wasn't a patient herself, just me.

I ended up spending two days in hospital and we discovered that I had a blood count of 6.6 - the 'average' person should be up around the 10-11 count - basically, I had an unexplained and sudden haemoglobin drop - my iron bottomed out. It had all the markings of a massive bleed, but without actually HAVING a bleed - that's me, the Medical Head scratcher - lol.

So three bags in a blood transfusion and a nice count of 9.2 and off home I was sent.

It truly was a healing experience for me - and my support team as well. We all had our issues from past traumas, but this transfer was seamless and smooth and just as lovely as a transfer can be. ;)

From the Ambulance teams, to the ER doctors to the nurses who cared for me, everyone was calm and caring and supportive. All my issues were respected and my requests honoured. I felt in control and supported the whole time. 

And my wonderful, wonderful support peoples - I couldn't have done this without them. From their physical support, to their mental support and even their families’ support, I can never repay them all. L, J and C - thank you from the very bottom of my heart, Thank You!!

But most of all, to my Husband, without whom none of this would have been possible. You are the rock on which I build my life. You are the life in this partnership and I love you with all my heart and soul!

Welcome Hatchling and know that you are loved!!

(as always, I will updating this as I remember things - this is simply a retelling of what happened, hopefully I can come back soon and fill it out with feelings and emotions later)

























Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Heart Words


We have a saying here in our house - Heart Words Are Forever.

What is a Heart Word?

Well, we define a Heart Word as a word or sentence that can be used to affect a person's heart or mind - either positively or negatively.

So in this household, we talk about Heart Words that can hurt and Heart Words that can help.

We all know the old saying of "Sticks and Stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me!", but unfortunately, we all also know that this is not true. Words can and DO hurt, sometimes more than sticks and stones. And the results can be felt for years after a physical injury has healed.

So, using Heart Words in our house is a Big Thing.

Now, why this post, I hear you think...

We had an incident that involved Heart Words recently.

Dragonett Lass was having a temper tantrum over having to go to bed at 1am...... yes, 1am. Apparently she wasn't tired. Unfortunately for her, the rest of us were.

Her response to DragonPapa explaining (for the one thousandth time) why we need sleep...

"Why do you make everyone here SO miserable?? Why don't you just go away?"

Cue Heart Words that Cut. DragonMumma was on that like flies on the proverbial!!!!

After everyone had calmed down (make that after DragonMumma had calmed down - and I do NOT get angry at my kids very often at ALL) we had another talk about Heart Words and the damage/good they can do.

Dragonett Lass came to me afterwards and said the following...

"Mumma, I am really sorry, I didn't actually mean to say that to Papa. Can you tell him I'm sorry?"
"No Dragonett Lass, I can't. That is something that needs to come from you."
Fidget and squirm.
"But what if DragonPapa doesn't forgive me?"
"Aw sweetie. Look, I have two things to say, then it's your choice what you do. One - DragonPapa will always forgive you - that's what parents do. We love you no matter what, always know that. Two - when you use Heart Words to hurt someone/anybody, you leave a wound. An apology is like a bandaid. It doesn't stop the pain, but it can help to stop bleeding, it can help to stop it getting infected or worse, it can help it heal. Do you understand what I am saying?"
Nods quietly.
Silence for a few minutes...
"Mumma, how long does it take to feel all better?"
"Your hurt or Papa's?"
"Both"
"Heart Wounds can take longer than body wounds to heal sweetie and sometimes they can last a very long time."
More Silence...
"Learning stuff is hard."
"I know love, I know"
"I need to go and give Papa a hug....."

Hard lessons for anyone to learn. Hopefully, this is a lesson that is learned now and not one that needs repeating.....

And a lesson for DragonMumma here too ..... No more Milly and Molly (that sentence was straight out of the mouth of the resident bully on that show) - actually no more TV for a looooong while - and definitely no more cornflakes......OMGoodness, the behaviours we are getting since we had cornflakes come into this house!!!! Three days of shocking, shocking behaviours!!

DragonMumma + lesson learned about Cornflakes = Moving much more quickly to a new lifestyle diet....but more about that another time...



Saturday, October 27, 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DRAGONETT LASS!








Happiest Ever Birthday Yet, My Gorgeous Dragonett Lass!!

You make every day one I look forward to!
I wish all the good things forever for you!!

Love Always
DragonMumma!! 

BIRTHDAY TIME AGAIN!!



Well, as you know now - lol - it is Dragonett Lass's 7th birthday today.

7 years! It seems to have shot past with out my even noticing!!

*sniff sniff *

*clears throat *

Huummmm, anyway. This year, we went a more handmade approach - as DragonEggling is due in about a week or two and I'm having some pain issues, money and time are very tight. Plus she has chosen a exxy Daddy Dinner for after the baby is born as well.

So off to Spotlight (as mentioned in a previous post) to get some of their Far Far Away Fabric Collection and together, DragonPapa and I made her three things. There was going to be more, but as each item takes me about 5+ hours apiece..... LOL - too many 3/4/5am finishes after the kids are in bed is too much for this little pregnant DragonMumma!!

But, as of 4am this morning, I have officially FINISHED!! 

Everything sewn, wrapped, cooked and prepared for Birthday Happiness that is today!!

So here, very quickly, is what we made for our Eldest Dragonett...



Her Very Own Messenger Bag from Zaaberry (see linky in the Links Of Interest Section  >>>>)
A Notebook Cover
A Texta and Pen Roll (with New Textas and Pens to start her off right!)

As you can see, we branched out and even put a double pocket on the front on her bag!
And all in her Favorite Ever Colour - PINK!! 

lol! As if there was any doubt! HAHA

So - Bag...



Then, Notebook Cover...


and Texta & Pen Roll...




DragonPapa and I created and sewed the Notebook Cover and Pen Roll without any tutorials or instructions - I for one am extremely chuffed with our success!!

So, here's hoping that they are well received.

Happy Birthday My Darling!! 



Monday, October 22, 2012

Surprises and Delights

Okay, a very quick two part-er here...

Part One - Awww Growing Up

First of all - Dragonett Lass was sitting next to me on Saturday night as we watched some TV on the computer. All of a sudden, she yelped and spat into her hand - out of nowhere (at least to me LOL) her tooth had fallen out!!



Cue the Tooth Fairy - or as Dragonett Lass figured out ages ago- DragonPapa  :D

Part Two - Da da DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH

This is what happens in this house when you try to spend a few minutes on your own..... HAHAHAHAHAA



Dragonett Lad decided that the fish needed feeding before I was there - so goodbye to our new container of Fair Trade Coffee (for visitors), a $20 worth of fish food, some pepper and apparently some bubble mixture "fish need fun Mumma"  *headdesk*

So currently, the stoned fish are swimming strangely (yeah, I'm not holding out much hope for their survival after the Dragonett Lad Feeding) in their hospital tank, awaiting transportation to the new (to them) bigger fishtank with the power filter while I get up the courage to scrape the Coffee/Fish Food/Pepper/Bubble Mixture out.

Can I just say, it is an "interesting" smell....... *gag*

So yes, I again haven't learnt/remembered that taking 5 minutes to wash my hair in the shower (what DOES Dragonett Lad have against me washing my hair???) and suffering through strong regular Braxton Hicks pain and discomfort at the same time means Destruction and Mayhem here.... and I wanted another one!!

*wanders away, thinking "What WAS I thinking????"*

 LMAO!!!



Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Poem for Why I Home Birth

Stolen from Facebook


Can I labor over there?
Can I labor on the chair?

No! Don't labor over there!
You cannot labour on a chair!
Lie on the bed and you will see
You must labor with this IV!

I do not like this sharp IV!
I need to move, to dance, to pee!
Doctor, Doctor, let me be;
Get your pesky hands off me!

No! You can’t move, or dance, or pee!
You must labor with this IV!
Not over there, not on the chair,
Not with the ball, you’ll have a fall!

Can I labor with a doula?
Can I use some calendula?
Can I push on hands and knees?
Can I birth just how I please?

No! Not with a doula! What’s calendula?
Lie back, legs back and count to ten,
Hold your breath and push again!

No thank you, doctors, nurse, and crew,
I’d rather labour without you.
I’ll walk and labour here and there!
In the shower – everywhere!
I’ll labor standing, squatting, sitting
I’ll labor on my couch while knitting!
I’ll have a doula – I’ll have three!
They’ll let me eat and bring me tea.
Try them! Try them! You will see!
And you can shove that darned IV.

Another Master Piece

We have another birthday party this weekend - Dragonett Lass's Best Friend in fact.

So, off to Spotlight Dragonett Lass and I went last week and she picked out a stunning patterned fabric from the Far Far Away Quilting Collection - of which I went back today and got the other patterns for Dragonett Lass's own birthday gifts ;P


So, for another Birthday Present (and again for a LOT longer than I ever think it will take - let's just say that 4-5am finishes with tidying/finishing touches to do the next day is WAY too long in my mind - lol) I have made her friend a Zaaberry Messenger Bag.




I've always forgotten to photograph the lining - I am proud of my linings - lol.
I had quite a bit of white wedding satin left over and it works an absolute treat as lining for these bags.

I also lengthened the the flap from 8" to 10" and I think it looks better after I made it.

So here's fingers crossed.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Birthday Dilemma's




We have been stressing over what to get Dragonett Lass for her 7th birthday.... even SHE has no idea! (not sure if that is a good thing or not LOL) - other than her own iPhone... and THAT ain't happening LMAO - so we have been asking and asking and suggesting and hinting and everything is a no thanks.

THEN.... da dah daaaaahhh!! Tonight, she whispers that she knows what she wants.

We gathered together in the office and waited....

Her request??

A Fancy Dress Up Dinner (Formal Attire of course!!) at a Proper Restaurant with just her and DragonPapa.

All together now...


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!


So together with a bag I'm making her and a bracelet from Dragonett Lad, it will be an interesting birthday I'm thinking.

So now we are on the hunt for a 5 star restaurant with White Linen Service (I think that is what you call it? lol) and fancy servers for Dragonett Lass's first Dining Experience - with food that the fussy little miss will actually eat - LMAO!!

And in all honesty, as long as the Dessert Menu is acceptable, she'll be FINE!!


Edited to add - We have narrowed it down to TWO selections - one with great food but reviews on service are dodgy -the other has FABULOUS reviews on service, but food isn't what Fussy Miss would eat - LOL


Monday, October 8, 2012

Hey there DragonEggling...



I have a teeny tiny favour to ask.....


You know that ligament/muscle I keep pulling because...
well, because I'm busy growing and carrying you...
can you do me a favour and NOT keep kicking the crap out of it? 

Please? 

I really would appreciate it!

Thanks,

Your Loving Breeder, Guardian and Egg Warmer

DragonMumma


Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Sewing Success!!

I know right?? Like, WTH??? lol

But I actually did it!!

I sewed something and it came out looking fabulous - even if I do say so myself!! *preens mightily*

I was trying to find something to make for some good friends children party and was directed to a blog by a member on a Facebook Sewing group

Zaaberry Kids Messenger Bag Tutorial

It's a free tute for a kids bag - I figured, why not give it a whirl?

Now, the kids have been very ill all week - 39+ degree temps, coughs, just a horrible time - then I got it as well - yay, pregnant AND sick!! What could be a better combo?? *rolleyes* lol

So it was put off. Then it was time - the party was upon us and I had to put up or go shop! NNNOOOOO!!

lol

So, after many hours of sewing and DragonPapa's assistance (more hours than it should of, but I won't say exactly how long.... we all have our pride ya know! LMAO!!) I finished up with two stunning Messenger Bags - and the best bit? The Birthday Children loved them!!




As we have quite a few birthdays coming up, I foresee many more of these coming from this house!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

At Least They Are Honest....

At dinner tonight...

"Dragonett Lad, stop making your spaghetti dance and eat it please sweetie"

We watch as he has a string of spaghetti in one hand and one in the other and he dances it across the room.

"Sweetie, are you going to eat that or play with it?"

"PLAY WITH IT!! YAY!!"  As he runs out of the room, trailing spaghetti bits and sauce behind him.

"Wwwwhhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeee...." as his voice fades away....

So we pack away his dinner. He comes back after a few minutes...

"Heeey!! Dadda, I EAT!!" (all indignant and bossy voice)

We replied 

"Are you really going to eat it?"

pause from Dragonett Lad

"NOPE!! PLAY!!!" and runs out of the room again.

Hey, at least they are honest kids!! LMAO

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Interesting Conversations With Others that get me thinking

I will start off this post by saying that I love just how different people are - their views, their thoughts, their beliefs. Sometimes I want to hug them, but then sometimes I want to drop them in a very very deep well!! LOL

So in that light - I recently had a conversation with... let's call them D, shall we? It got me thinking...

As you all know, I am in that place where I am looking at changing directions, doing more with my life, yada yada - you get my drift.

Now, my one burning desire is to own my own home. When I was younger, I loved renting. I loved the freedom of it, the lack of responsibility - but I have always hated the control that others have had over me - Landlords seem to have nearly all the power in Australia, and tenants .... lets just say, not much :(

But for the most part, I liked renting.

But as I have gotten older and my mental health issues have become more a part of my/our lives, I have started to rethink renting. Then we had our 2+yrs of hard arse struggle and it solidified in my mind just how precarious life can be.

Now, all I want is my own home. I want the stability of our own home, that can't be taken away because someone has had a change of mind or circumstances.  I want a home where I don't have to stress each and every day that something will happen that needs fixing, or calling the Landlord to fix. Or any of that.

I want to be able to relax and know that the roof over our heads is there for however long we want it to be. I NEED to know that someone can't just come in and say "This is wrong, this is not acceptable, this is fine, why is that there, etc" or worse of all "Time to leave"

BUT..... we have had the past few years of hell - what with health issues, money issues, emotional issues - you name it, it has probably passed over our plates. So owning our very own house seems nigh impossible - and I'm not being dramatic. You need MONEY to have money - lol! 

That said, I am always looking. Whenever we HAVE managed to save a deposit and be able to start looking, something ALWAYS happens and we end up having no deposit. But now, after our years of hardship, we are skint and only just now starting to afford the things "normal" people can afford. So we are starting from scratch - again.

Anyhoo - I recently had a very very down day. I spent a few days thinking that we were forever going to be at the mercies of landlords and Real Estate Agents and getting very very depressed.

What has this got to do with conversations? Bear with me :)

So, after my few days of blackness, I did what I always try to do - look up and figure a way out.

And of course, after prayer and discussions with DragonPapa - we came to our solution.

As we will have no help with a deposit and will have to do it all on our own, we need to sort our budget. That's the easy part - we account for nearly every single cent we spend - we have to. At our rate of savings (pfft) we will have enough for a decent deposit in - oh in about a millennium!! LMAO

So we looked at what our criteria was and it turned out to be this...

We need to know that we could afford the mortgage even if there was a limited income coming in.
We need to know that we could afford to cover the upkeep and costs of owning our house.
We need to know that we weren't committing to a HUGE debt that we would have NO way of ever paying off
We need to know that we could see us paying it off in a short time if finances allowed.
We need to know that we wouldn't be living/working JUST to pay the mortgage and that the rest of our lives  wouldn't be shunted off to a very distant and stressful second place.

So.... we worked out what WE were comfortable paying and THEN we looked at what was available. Only after that did we adjust our requirements. Having worked in Banking, both of us had experiences with people who over committed because they loved their house, before they loved their budget - IYKWIM

And we found what we were looking for.

Here's the conversation bit.

DragonPapa and I were discussing our plans - we're talkers, we love to hash it all out and figure it out as much as possible THEN go for it if we are both in agreement - it can sometimes take a while before we are both on the same page. Well, someone overheard us - D. Here's how it went...

D - Why would you live there?
Us - Because it's affordable and gives us what we want
D- But why there?
Us - ...... be..cause...it's ... affordable...and ...gives....us...what we want??
D - How much?
Us - Well (total example here of course - if you can find a house for $100 BUY THAT SUCKER!! BUY IT NOW!! lol) to buy a house there will only cost us $100 and our mortgage will only be $10 a fortnight.
D - But its so far away!
Us - (feeling confused a tad) Not really
D- what about work? You'll spend SO much more on travel than you will save
Us - We are still looking into it, but public transport is only $XX a week and only takes XX time. We are still ahead by heaps.
D - well, I don't like it.
Us - (chuckling by now) Okay, you don't like, it, that's okay you don't have to live there
D - Did you know, I saw a house in XXXXX suburb that was ONLY $250!! That's cheap!!
Us - *confused silence*
D - What?
Us - Ummm, that's well over DOUBLE what we want to pay!!
D - So? It's in XXXX and it's only $250!! You really need to be thinking of the kids you know!!
Us - *now stunned silence*
Silence as D potters around - DragonPapa and I just look at each other completely confused - did D not realise what we had been saying? Or did they just not HEAR us?
Us - D..... you realise something? If we buy the $100 house, it's only $10 a fortnight and deposit is only $25. If we buy the $250 house, it's like nearly $30 a fortnight and deposit of $60 - that's a HUGE difference. That's like half our income on repayments alone! 
D -So? That's just what everyone does nowdays.

It was at that point we realised something. This person, this educated, very experienced person of the world, couldn't see our side of this conversation. They really couldn't understand why someone would buy a smaller house, in a less than salubrious area rather than the 'nicely done up', larger house in the much more acceptable suburb. 

We talked about it afterwards and came to the conclusion that in the end, it boils down to this - 

Debt is simply a part of our world now. Rarely do we have to save if we want something, there are plans and finance and credit - don't get me wrong - we TOTALLY use these things too - oh my goodness do we! lol

But it has become the point now, where it is a reflection of ourselves. To have the Big House in the Good Suburb. To have the Nice Car. To wear the Right Clothes and have the Correct Wardrobe. Mustn't be seen wearing the same thing too much - people will talk. Have the Holidays and the Trips - all that crap. Get it on credit if you need, work harder to pay for it all.....

And do you know what I hear the most from people like D?

I wish I had time to do xxx .... I wish I could retire... I wish I could work less.... 

Hhhhmmmmmmm...

Can anyone see a link? Or is it just us?

When you boil it down and look at the bones of this, this is what we get.

* IF * we can save the deposit needed and buy the house we want, we are getting a home that will be cheaper than our current rental - that's including rates and transportation costs and maintenance costs. AND we will still have extra in our pockets. If we put that extra we are saving BACK into our new home, we will have paid it off IN FULL in 10-15yrs - quicker if we pay more (as we are on a good rental wicket here $$ anyway) If we pay what we would have to if we moved out of here and rented around this area (the area D was suggesting), we would have it paid off in 6-8yrs. And we would have saved ourselves hundred of thousands of dollars in interest. Not only that, but there is an almost guaranteed increase in value there as compared to other suburbs.

But, the most important factor of all - the Main Point to all this - It Would Be OURS! Our Home. Somewhere safe and secure. Some time soon, not decades in the future.



AND OURS!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Christmas Post - Take 2

Okay, let's try to get this one done nicely, yes? LOL

It is about 90 days until Christmas - yep, only 90 days!!!!!!


Now, we have already started planning and preparing for our Christmas Gifts to friends and family. Why? Because we have to.

If we don't, we run the following risks...

A) Running out of time
B) Running out of money
C) Running the risk of giving people crappy gifts (or none at all)
and the most important one of all
D) Totally NOT enjoying it and it becomes just another greedy ME ME MEMEMEMEEEEE day!

So, in this household, we do Hampers. We have been doing them for about 4 yrs now and we LOVE them!! I know not everyone we give them to does, but *shrug* you can't please everyone - lol.

For us, it started as a way to give to everyone, yet not spend too much money as we were desperately broke. Then, because we had so much fun doing it and the response was overwhelming, we decided to do it again (I won't confirm nor deny that money May have been a factor - lol) now, it's just what we do.

This blog started as a forum post - well several, so in the interests of being lazy, I will cut and paste those posts here.

So for anyone wanting ideas or hints, here are ours.

I love hampers. I have been doing hampers as Christmas gifts for about 4 years now. I have found that people really like the personal touch that seems to go with hampers.
We do the same thing - over the year, pick up bits and pieces as I find them that I think people will like (watch expiry dates)
DVDsBooksPhoto holders - coasters, books, mugs, etcPamper stuffAlcoholTreats
Basically, anything can go in a hamper - limits are only $$ and what the recipent would like.
I also do home made things
Bath Bombs (I can tailor them to suit the person getting them - generally I go very safe, no harsh chemicals, etc)Alcohol Soft toys/clothingFood - Rocky Road, White Christmas, Muffin/Cake/Slice/Hot Drink-In-A-Jar, Macaroons, different sorts of biscuits - sugar, coconut, chocolate, stained glass windows, different shapes, different colours, etc, Cherry Ripe Slice, Christmas Slice - tons of them.Christmas Decorationsand of course, the kids make stuff for those that want it - Grandparents, family friends, etc.
We have already started - lol, I love it
Quick Edit in - we are also even making our own baskets this year biggrin.gif
 

 Then followed by 



most of my recipes are now on paper format as I have juggled around with qualities and quantities, but I have linked some of the original recipes (and those I *think* were the originals or just damned near enoughlaughing2.gif ) and typed out a few from my computer folder/recipe book
Any questions, feel free to ask - and if you find any new recipes you think might be cool, please, share laughing2.gif!

http://www.allfreecrafts.com/giftinajar/index.shtml - for my In-A-Jar mixes - I do either a jar or make them myself. 
http://www.craftbits.com/gifts-in-a-jar - more gifts in a jar sort of thing
http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/21266/christmas+balls - this one is a favourite, but eewwwww I can't stand rolling the balls (so sticky and needs constant washing of hands so that mixture doesn't stick to your hands instead of together) so will sometimes cheat and make it into a slice. Not as nice, but still yummy as!! Also I like to use little patty pans as well - makes everything neat and tidy
Cowboy/Cowgirl/Christmas Cookies Mix from Bakerella - I just change the M&Ms to the Christmas colours and make the biscuits and wrap them in food safe cellophane
Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons
Martha Stewart's Biscuit Recipes for Stained Glass Window Cookies (and heaps more)
Old Fashioned Sugar Biscuits
Rocky Road Slice - sorta like my recipe - tweak until you like it
Mini Toffees - I prefer to use the tiny little foil cups/patty pans so that you avoid the tearing/sticking paper when removing them from their patty pans/cups- you also get a lot more out of the recipe that way.
No Idea where I got this one from - if anyone knows, please let me know as I need to reference it in my recipe book.But it is REALLY nice if you love brownies apparently (I don't, can't stand them personally) I have had nearly everyone ask for more of these

Double Fudge Brownie Mix
Jar Ingredients: 2 cups sugar 1 cup cocoa (not Dutch process) 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup chopped pecans 1 cup chocolate chips Mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight containerTag Instructions: Double-Fudge Brownies 1 cup butter or margarine, softened 4 eggs 1 package Double-Fudge Brownie Mix Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 12 by 9 inch pan. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the Double-Fudge Brownie Mix & continue to beat the mixture until it is smooth. Spread the mixture into the greased pan, & bake for 40 to 50 minutes.
White Christmas (a really common recipe, so find one that you like)
1 1/2 Cups of Rice Bubbles1 1/2 cups of Powered Milk1 1/2 cups of Desiccated Coconut1 1/2 cups of icing sugar250gms of Copha3/4 cup of chopped Glace Cherries3/4 cup Sultanas
Melt Copha, mix everything well, press into tray or patty pans or shapes and refrigerate until set
I also trickle melted chocolate (white or milk, doesn't matter) over the top or pour it into the patty pans first for a nice chocolately base.

Others I use that don't require a recipe - 
Chocolate dipped Marshmallows - literally dip marshmallows in chocolate, set on waxed paper to set, sprinkle with Christmas coloured sprinkles if so wish while chocolate is still wet. Kebab sticks work best for this so that you don't get tempted to lick your chocolately fingers after every dip roll2.gif
Chocolate Molds - pour melted chocolate into Christmas molds and let set - make sure you get cooking chocolate and taste test first - I also add, nuts, cherries, sultanas, M&Ms - all sorts
Chocolate/Sugar covered Mixed Fruit - get mixed fruit (or dried fruit of your choice) and place in bag with sugar and shake, then portion into food safe cellophane packets. Chocolate version - line a waxed paper tray, spread into a thin layer and pour/trickle melted chocolate over and shake gently to even mix out (then spend 1/2 hour after licking wax paper roll2.gif )

Everything I make gets put into it's own food safe packets/baggies with ribbon ties and added to the hamper. I usually give 4 pieces for everyone the hamper is intended for. Sometime the packets get quite big so make sure that you have lots of wrapping stuff and take the time to work out how it looks best to you.
To finish off - as many people don't know every singles persons food issues/needs/avoidances, I also print these off and tie them to the hamper as a little roll. That way people can check what is in each thing before they eat it. I also make sure that everything is washed and cleaned between each and every session.




I also make flavoured Alcohol, but its best if you know the people you are giving too and that way you can find the most accepted drinnk and do a few of those - heaps of recipes online.
I have more, but my Christmas Hamper Folder is packed away in the Christmas box and I'm not quite ready to dig it out yet (the kids will want to decorate the house....nnnnnnooooooo! grin.gif )
But if you hunt through the links I gave, there are heaps of idea to try - always try first if you can.
Good Luck and have fun!!! biggrin.gif

then...

Ohh, I almost forgot - I also do these - 
Candles (scented, coloured, plain, containers, pillars) Soaps (scented, coloured, plain, smooth, rough)Salts - different flavoured salts and cooking rubs in little jars are always nice to get (example - get rock salt, lemon grass, pepper, etc in a grinder, grind until its the consistancy you want, put in a little decorative jar with a descriptive label - ta dah!! biggrin.gif)Home Made Jams
Sew (simple things as I suck at sewing - you might be a wizz biggrin.gif )
ApronsSoft toys (I just found Spoonflower , they have some pocket dolls that look really easy, I have ordered some and just waiting now! ddance.gif P.S. I don't get anything for referrals, just sharing the love biggrin.gif ) I used to just buy patterned cloth from Spotlight and cut and sew, but these look promising as well! There are also Felt toys that work well for people.Placemats/napkins/oven mits/table runners/ mini quilts/ whatever the person might like - no point wasting time on someone who will think "WTH?" if you give them a handmade tablerunner laughing2.gifCross stitch - raw stock vs kits are cheaper and easier to personalise IMO

lol, do you think I spend a lot of time thinking of handmade gifts to give??  

 LOL - so yeah - we like hampers here!!

Here's an example of one years worth of hampers - We had approx 50-60 hampers to give out. Overall, including the personal bits and pieces we bought for people, we spent approx $300 all up. That worked out to be approx $6 a hamper and those hampers were PACKED!!

I guess you can see why we like to start early here - and with the Hatchling due in Nov, I really have to have some idea of what I am doing this year...I think we might be lucky if we have a small hamper this year - LOL

If you have any ideas that you use and love, feel free to let me know - share and share alike :D