Tag Archives: photos

Years to collect, minutes to ruin

30 Mar
door covered in stickers

My bedroom door

I can’t believe it was exactly 2 years ago that Hannah and I went to the U.S. It seems like it was so long ago, but at the same time, the memory of the horrible airplane ride with Hannah’s vomit all over me is as vivid as it was 2 years ago.

Here is a post from when we were over there.  My how time flies:

Okay, so it may not be most peoples hobby of choice, but as a teen, I collected stickers.  Not the kind you’re thinking….  There were no binders or folders full of neatly placed stickers on every page.  No, nothing like that.  The stickers I used to collect were far more…illegal….

I can’t remember how it started, but I used to see a funny sticker, and then i’d stealthily (or sometimes not so stealthily) peel them off their source and put them on my stomach for safe and undetectable travel home, usually under the cover of darkness.  Or to my van (which was awesome by the way).  When I got home, I’d proudly display my plunder all over my bedroom door.  I got dumpster stickers (the best one being from a horse poo dumpster and said “doo-doo only“), Honey Bucket stickers, wet floor stickers, anything that I could get really.  Yeah, yeah, I was naughty….

don't put your baby in a pan

Some of them are just plain funny

After a couple years, my door was completely full.  No room for anything else.  I think I stopped at that point.  My collection was finished.  Plus, I went to Australia, so I couldn’t really get any more stickers anyway.  Not to mention I got too old for that sort of thing.  I mean, I could probably get away with such juvenile behaviour as a juvenile, but when I turned 18, I figured I could actually get in trouble if I were ever caught.  So, I pretty much stopped all such behaviour (gnome stealing, sticker stealing, can tipping, etc.).  I didn’t want a “record,” and I certainly didn’t want to get in trouble.  I’ve never particularly liked being in trouble.

dumpster sticker and inedible sticker

Inedible…I can’t remember what this was from exactly, except that it was something that was CLEARLY not for eating

My bedroom door has remained the same ever since I put all those stickers up, over 10 years ago.  Every time I come back here for a visit, I can look at it and giggle at how silly I used to be.  Plus, some of them are actually quite funny, and go in the WTF, why would someone actually put a warning sticker on something for that?  Needless to say, when I arrived this time, my door was just as I left it.

toddler wreaking a door

tearing stickers off the door

For a few days anyway.  Then Hannah found the sticker collection.  She didn’t seem to like it.  No, she didn’t like it at all.  That, or she wanted those hilarious stickers for herself.  She wasted no time in tearing the stickers within reach right off that nostalgic door, often ripping them to pieces in the process.  Bits of sticker lay all over the floor in my room.  Each time she is hanging out near the door, (usually shutting the door before I can get in and then giggling her cute little head off ) she pulls off more bits.

My poor door is now sad looking, with vacant spaces within toddler reach, like an unfinished, or vandalised work of art, with bits of once was still hanging there by a thread. Oh well, my parents are going to move within the next few years, so I won’t ever see my door again anyway.  Maybe Hannah was just helping them get the door ready for future buyers.  I suppose someone had to do it.

*This two year anniversary post was sponsored by Signazon.com, a printing company who offers custom reusable stickers

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the path of destruction

torn stickers litter the floor

it.

torn stickers

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The Spartan race

19 Mar

Four friends and I signed up for the Spartan Race quite a while ago.  A few of us knew before sign ups were even open that we were going to sign up.  Needless to say, I’ve had plenty of time to train for the race.  I was going pretty well with my training – running further than ever before, doing pump class at the gym….  But then I started uni and my gym days sadly fizzled down to one day a week.  I can only go to the gym when the creche is open, and the creche is only open from 9-12 on weekdays and 8-11 on Saturdays.  Now that I have uni, the kids or I have something on every single weekday morning, leaving only Saturday for the gym.

Point being, I went to the race is less than par condition.  Plus I had the tail end of a nasty cold.  After getting our numbers and leaving our bags at the bag drop, we wandered over to the start line that was counting down until our 11:20am start time.  We’d been eating red frog lollies and chocolate hot cross buns in the car, so we were hopped up on sugar and ready to go.   A photo with Commando from The Biggest Loser Australia provided us with further race excitement.

Kristina, Romana, Lauren, Commando, The Jess, and me right before our start time

Kristina, Romana, Lauren, Commando, The Jess, and me right before our start time

5…4…3…2…1 BEEP (airhorn)! Everyone started running.  And by running, I mean leisurely jogging.  For about 20 seconds when it turned into walking.  We all wondered why, until we got to the top of the hill and found everyone in front of us making their way down into the water, inhaling the giant cloud of dust as they went.

the first obstacle

the first obstacle

On the other side of the creek, a giant grassy hill awaited us.  We jogged half way up and then walked.  Good golly, I should have done some hill training.  Instead, I ran on the treadmill with the elevation set at 0 the entire time and concentrated instead on eventually running 7km’s – the length of the Spartan race.

After the giant crazy hill that left a lot of us fairly winded and wishing for a drinks station, the ground levelled out and we started jogging again.

Kristina and me looking rather puffed after the very first hill

Kristina and me looking rather puffed after the very first hill

As we turned  a corner, we found a mass of people crawling on their bellies under low barbed wire. Oh, so that is what Commando meant when he told us to roll under the wire.

Unlike the masses before us, we heeded his advice rolled.  It was much easier.

Rolling under the barbed wire.

Rolling under the barbed wire.

We ran/walked some more up and down hills until we came to a large wall with a rope attached to it.

Romana scaling the wall aided by a rope

Romana scaling the wall aided by a rope

We all successfully scaled the wall and continued on our way, with a  much needed drinks station within our sights.

excitedly running towards a drinks station

excitedly running towards a drinks station.  Yes, I have double jointed elbows. Feel free to cringe.

When we got there though, there was a big arrow pointing us in the opposite direction.  The drinks station was actually later down track, the paths just nearly crossed at that point.  Perhaps rounding the bend towards the drinks station was later, but you know what? It was 7kms, heaps of obstacles, and a hot day, so I don’t remember exactly.

Up and down some more grassy hills with cow poop (the whole event was in a cow pasture), we came to a series of muddy hills with troughs of muddy water in between them.

sliding on my bum down a slippery mud hill into a giant mud puddle

sliding on my bum down a slippery mud hill into a giant mud puddle

Some people landed in the pit so hard that their head went under.  Lucky for me, I managed to keep my head above water…er…mud.  My contacts probably wouldn’t have fared so well if they were full of mud.

Me and The Jess in a mud pit

Me and The Jess in a mud pit

It was quite hard getting out of the muddy pits as the hills were so incredibly slippery.  Successful exit required help from team members and finding foot holds along the slippery slope.

me climbing out of the mud pit

me climbing out of the mud pit

“Romana’s butt looks like it’s crying.” The Jess told me after the mud pits.  Her shorts had big mud patches on the butt cheeks and muddy water was trickling down her leg.  “I bet we all look like that.”

“Yeah, you do.” The guy running behind us said.

“Oh, so you’ve been looking at our butts, have you?” The Jess asked him, accusingly.

“I have to look at something while I run.”

He ran past us as he we laughed.  Awkward Turtles was written across his back.  Yeah, that was a bit awkward.

Next we came to a huge row of zig zagging balance beams.  If you fell off, you had to do 30 burpees.

Me and Romana tackling the balance beams

Me and Romana tackling the balance beams

They were a lot thinner than the standard balance beams at gymnastics centres.  Plus they wobbled since they were not so firmly stuck in the ground.  I made it almost to the end and started wobbling.  I was about to come off when Mr. Awkward Turtle ran over grabbed me until I re balanced myself, saving me from the 30 burpees.

“He owed you for looking at our butts.” The Jess said.

We ran/walked up and down some more hills before coming to some very muddy looking water.  It was swimming time.  Proper swimming time, this stuff was above our heads.  It was so refreshing as we got in, and I’m a decent swimmer, so I enjoyed our little river swim.

swimming across the river

swimming across the river

The Jess looked like a dog fetching a stick since she carried her camera in her mouth and doggie paddled across the river.

Finally, we came to the drinks station, where we were only allowed one little cup of water.  I think I could have drunk 3 litres by that point.

I haven’t been on the monkey bars since I was a little kid, but somehow my entire team and I managed to get all the way across.

Me on the monkey bars

Me on the monkey bars

Next we came to a giant wall.  Since The Jess has crazy like-a-monkey (I’m trying to say that without sounding derogatory) climbing skills, she went first, scaling that wall like it was nothing.  She stayed at the top to help the rest of us not-so-good climbers get to the top.

I decided to go second.  I planned to stay at the top to help as well.

Scaling the wall with help from my team

Scaling the wall with help from my team

Until I got there.  Then I realised there wasn’t much to hold on to on the back of the wall and I just wanted to get down.  I held on to the top of the wall and got my feet to the second board that was nailed to the back of the wall, providing a very small foot hold.  To get to the next one, I’d have to hold on to the first board nailed to the wall.  It wasn’t very thick, and we were quite high up.  What if I fell?

I stayed where I was, not knowing quite what to do.  I’m not sure if she scaled the wall whilst I was trying to figure out how I was going to get down without falling to my death, or is she just walked around the said of the wall to help me, but Lauren walked over and offered a hand.  I needed more than that.  My fear of falling outweighed my embarrassment and Lauren physically carried me away from the wall.  Thanks Lauren, I’m still grateful.

More running up and down hills brought us to the javelin throwing area.  I’ve never thrown a javelin in my life.

Me throwing the javelin

Me throwing the javelin

I missed.  Just.  My javelin even touched the straw bale, but it didn’t stick.  Neither did the other girls, which means we all had to do 30 burpees.

This is why I shouldn't dance. I can't even synchronise burpees for a photo

This is why I shouldn’t dance. I can’t even synchronise burpees for a photo

At least we got a photo of us molesting our javelins.

javelin molesting. As you do.

javelin molesting. As you do.

Not very far from the javelins, were the…um…I don’t even know what you call them, but there were a few walls with chunks of wood nailed to them that we had to get all the way across without holding on to the top of the wall, or touching the ground.  It wasn’t very high up, so I was fine with it.

Turns out, I was really good at it.

like a spider

like a spider

I was not so good at the rope climb.  Neither were the rest of the girls, or anyone else who was there at the same time as us.  Except the Jess.  She climbed that thing like it had knots in it or something.

The Jess (pink top) owning the rope

The Jess (pink top) owning the rope

The rest of us had to do 30 more burpees. Sigh.

On the side of the rope climb was a very slippery high ladder that we had to climb up to get to a couple of cargo nets that we had to get down.

Romana and me on the cargo net

Romana and me on the cargo net

At the triangle things, I ran towards them, grabbed leap frog style, and spun straight over.  The series of them took my about 3 seconds.  I’m much better at the obstacles than the actual running.

Just hold on and spin, you'll get straight over.

Just hold on and spin, you’ll get straight over.

Unfortunately, after the triangle things came the sandbags.  8kgs of sand which had to be carried up a giant hill and down the side.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t fall over a couple of times on the way back down.

My team going up the hill

My team going up the hill

It felt great to get the bags off of our shoulders, but the race was far from over.  There were a couple walls to go over, and one to go under.

I had a nice bruise from this one the next day

I had a nice bruise from this one the next day

We trekked through a muddy creek, sometimes up to our waists for about a kilometre.  By then, it was really hot and the sun was beating down on us.  I desperately wanted a drink, but none was to be found.  Unless you counted the muddy creek we were walking in, but I didn’t want to get any weird diseases.  I’m sure half of the mud was actually cow poop.  We hadn’t had a drink since just before the monkey bars.

trekking through the creek

trekking through the creek

When we finally came out of the creek, scraped up from tripping on submerged rocks, we crossed back through the triangle things, this time crawling through them.  Most people had to shimmy along on their bellies, using upper body strength to pull themselves along.  Not us short people.  We got to do a proper crawl.  For us it wasn’t really an obstacle, just a fun tunnel that would could giggle through as we watched everyone else labouring so hard to get to the other side.

Being small also allowed me to turn around at the end of the tunnel so I didn’t have to go face first into the muddy cow poop water like most people.

The swim was refreshing, but then we came to another barbed wire obstacle.  This one seemed never ending and was on very muddy ground, not grass like the last one.  Everyone seemed to have realised that rolling was the way to go.  I guess it would be too hard to belly crawl under barbed wire for about 400 meters in the mud.

Look way back into the photo, see how crazy far that rolling goes for? And to the right hand side, you can see the sand bag hill

Look way back into the photo, see how crazy far that rolling goes for? And to the right hand side, you can see the sand bag hill

Let me just point out that I don’t do spinning well.  I can’t even go on the teacup ride at Lollipops.  Spinning makes me feel like puking, and we all know how I feel about puking (vomit phobia remember?).  By the end of that barbed wire roll, I could hardly stand up straight, and I felt like I was going to lose my breakfast.

Needless to say, it probably wasn’t the best idea to put the fire jump straight after 400 meters of rolling.  I’m just lucky I didn’t land in the fire.

We jumped that smouldering log pile.  It was actually on fire and licked at our heels as we jumped, you just can't tell from the photo

We jumped that smouldering log pile. It was actually on fire and licked at our heels as we jumped, you just can’t tell from the photo

After pushing our way through some half hearted gladiators with big sticks, we were done.  We made it.  We finished the Spartan race.  We were covered head to toe in mud, scraped and bruised, parched, and tired, but we did it.

We finished the spartan race

We finished the spartan race

Hannah did the kids spartan race, but that’s another post for another day.

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Limetree

8 Feb

After waiting more than a month for our new NAS (which Aaron tells me means networked attached storage. Whatever that means), Aaron got an email from the company he bought it from saying that they tried to deliver it, but we weren’t home.  If we’d like them to try again, it would cost an extra $10.  Um…what?

I’ve had plenty of things delivered here via courier and otherwise, and if we’re not home, they leave a little note saying to call the courier company to arrange a drop off time.  Easy.  Not with this place.  I don’t even know which courier company they used. I actually think that they didn’t use any courier company. Because as I said, they always leave a note. And they make it easy for you to contact them.  The goods don’t go back to the company after one failed attempt.  That would not be good business, and besides, not very many people are home in the middle of the day anyway.

After that little incident, Aaron did a bit of research on the internet and found many, many comments about said company being a scam.  Sigh.  The only reason we bought it from that particular place is that they were the only ones who had the exact model of NAS that we already had.

You know, the one that blew up in the freak storm.  The one that held every single one of our digital photos that go back almost 10 years.  We have some photos of Hannah printed, framed, and on our walls.  We have a couple of photo books full of nothing but images of her.  But I haven’t yet gotten around to making a photo book full of Daniel, or printing photos of him for the walls.  And guess where all of the photos of him were? On the NAS.  The one that blew up. Yes, that one.

We were hoping and praying that if we bought another NAS, exactly the same as the first, we could take the hard drives out, put them in the new one, and they would magically work.  Maybe it would just be the plug that was shot, and not the hard drives.  We’d have the best chance of revival if we got the same model.  Something about the array and how it reads the drives.  I don’t know, I’m not a computer nerd, but Aaron told me something of the like.

As soon as we realised the company was dodgy, we got online and attempted to find someone else that had the same NAS.  We found one we thought was the same, but when it came, less than a week later, it was a little different.  It also didn’t read the drives.  Or they were corrupted.  Or something.

Aaron found some software online that claimed to be able to recover things from corrupted drives.  “It costs $60 bucks though.” He told me.

“I don’t care what it costs, I want those photos.” Seriously, photos of my babies are priceless.

We did manage to recover most of them.  It took hours and hours, but we have most of them back.  Some are completely gone though.

Shortly after the NAS blew up, I got an email asking if I’d like to be an ambassador for Limetree.  I clicked the link and found an absolutely fantastic idea:  You upload photos, videos, even letters and set a date for them to be delivered to your child(ren).  They are stored online (though privately, no one else will have access to your photos/videos), so even if your house burns down, you will still have your precious photos.  Even if your NAS blows up, if you uploaded them on Limetree, you will still have them.

limetree

On the delivery date, your child will get to see years and years of photos and videos.  You can show them their first bike ride (and you’d better believe we took video of that!), first day of school, the first time they held their baby sibling.  The list goes on and on.  I can only imagine the excitement I would have felt if Limetree was around when I turned 18 and my parents had it set up.  I would smile as I looked at photos of my gigantic fat baby self, and when I used to crawl on the table to steal cherry tomatoes out of the salad, and my first pony ride.  What a priceless gift, and definitely one I want to give to my children.  I know they will feel so loved and so special when they receive their photo and video delivery on their 18th birthdays (which is when I’m setting the delivery date for).

My brother and me when we were little. See, I told you I was a fat little thing.

My brother and me when we were little. See, I told you I was a fat little thing.

I know that all the photos I upload for them, and videos too, are safe no matter what happens to us and our computers and/0r house.  What a fantastic idea.  And even better, you can do it for free.  Or, if you’re like me, and take a million and one photos of each event, you can upgrade to a very reasonably priced paid plan.

Needless to say, I am an ambassador for Limetree.  And they gave me a premium membership too.

Not only me though, they are also offering 15, yes, FIFTEEN of my readers premium memberships as well.  If you are one of the first 15 readers to comment on this post, you will win yourself a premium membership for one year.  After that, you can go down to a free membership, and you won’t lose any of the photos and videos you’re already uploaded, or you can renew your premium membership yourself.  Oh, and Limetree would love it if you like’d their facebook page.  And of course, I’d love it if you like’d Mommy Adventures’ page too 🙂

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!
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Radelaide

29 Nov

I’m back from Adelaide! I could have done some blogging when I was over there, but I couldn’t be bothered. Sorry. I didn’t even check my emails. I was too busy spending time with Jess and the kids.

We walked around the airport before departing to expend some of the seemingly endless toddler and preschooler energy. Both kids LOVED looking at all the planes.

“Is that our plane? Is that our plane? Can we get on it now Mommy?” Hannah kept asking me.

Hannah was very good on the flight. She ate her snacks and looked out the window. Only at the end did she start with the “are we there yet? Are we there yet? Mommy when are we going to be there?” questions. Daniel on the other hand….

Daniel was quite tired. I got the flight that departed just before his bed time, if you remember. Unfortunately, he didn’t sleep a wink, and instead was very grumpy. Luckily though, he didn’t scream. As long as I was rocking and/or bouncing him. The. Entire. Time. Sigh. My back was killing me by the time we arrived, but at least I didn’t have a screaming child and all of the plane staring at me with annoyance.  Although I’m sure the poor lady who got stuck sitting next to us must have been annoyed with all the bouncing. And with Daniel reaching behind himself to push buttons on her keyboard without my knowledge. Cheeky monkey.

I’m so glad the flight was pretty fast. It even arrived 10 minutes early.

Getting off the plane

We were going to ride the bus everywhere during our stay, until we found out that the bus to the zoo cost $20 per person per direction. Hiring car seats cost $35 per seat for a week.

Chasing Meerkats that were running from side to side in their enclosure was a favourite activity at the zoo. Apparently Daniel LOVES animals. Even the cardboard cut outs of animals.

The meerkat was not very cooperative with the camera, but the kids were running after it as it ran from one side of it’s glass sided enclosure to the other.

We went strawberry picking at Beerenberg Farm where Daniel tried to eat green strawberries and had tantrums when I wouldn’t let him.

The Jess, Me, and the kids strawberry picking

The Jess lives in a swish new apartment in a brand new building right across the street from a beautiful beach. Daniel had a blast chasing seagulls back and forth along the beach (hmm…I sense a pattern here) and playing in a tide pool while Hannah enjoyed making sandcastles and collecting sea shells.

Daniel playing in the water

The Jess and I even got a couple of runs in whilst the kids were asleep (don’t go calling CPS/DOCS, Jim stayed in the apartment with the kids). I think I’d go running everyday if I lived at the beach. Beach runs are awesome. 

The view from our run. This photo was taken while I was running….

The Jess’ apartment is crazy long, so the kids had a ball running up and down the crazy long hallway, chasing each other and giggling. She had her birthday while we were there (the purpose of our visit) and Hannah and I made her a super delicious black forest brownie cake. My own creation.

The Jess blowing out her sparkler candles

The one day The Jess had to work while we were there, I took the kids on the bus to a shopping centre. I got their hair cut (Daniel’s for the very first time!), and then took them to the little playground inside the centre.

And then this happened:

The egg on his head.

Daniel was so excited about the little toddler sized slide in the play area that he would go up the stairs, down the slide and then run around to the stairs again. On about his 10th pass to the slide, he tripped and went forehead first into the pointy end of the wall on the side of the slide stairs.

I had to find a doctor, convince him to see us even though they didn’t have any free appointments, and pay some money because they didn’t bulk bill.

Then, because I had to take Daniel to the doctor, my two hour bus ticket expired and I didn’t have enough cash to pay for another ticket.

“I’ll just go to the ATM and get the next bus.” I told the driver.

But everyone is nice in South Australia (everyone I encountered at least), and he let me ride the bus for free.

The Jess sometimes refers to Adelaide as Radelaide. Because you know what? It’s pretty rad. People are nice, it’s clean, there are really awesome parks all over the place, great beaches, etc., etc. I really like Adelaide. Maybe I’d be singing a different tune if I’d visited in the height of summer where they have heat waves for days on end with temps over 40 degrees (104f). Ick.

Hmmm… WordPress seems to have changed their media uploading page. I can’t find the slideshow button, so you get a gallery instead. It’s so annoying when they change stuff and you have to relearn how to do everything. Humph.

Anyway, the verdict on flying at bedtime or when fully awake? Fully awake hands down. On the way home, we went to the airport straight after Daniel’s nap. He sat in my lap nicely the whole time, eating snacks, playing with his dinosaurs, and watching Peppa Pig on the iPad. Not a whinge was heard, nor was he at all restless. I didn’t even feel bad playing Peppa Pig without headphones because there was a family sitting in front of us, and guess what their kids did the entire flight? Yep, Peppa Pig on the iPad.

Sorry if there are spelling mistakes or sentences that don’t make sense. I’m tired, so I’m going to bed without proof reading it. Oh well. Also, please click the banner and vote for me. My rank is falling since I haven’t been posting. Pretty please? Thanks.

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!
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Under the jacaranda

12 Nov

I love this time of year. It’s hot, but not disgustingly hot, and the Jacaranda trees are all in bloom. Wherever I look, I see beautiful purple flowers covering the trees. The flowers fall off the trees and make lawns and sidewalks turn purple. And we all know how much I like purple.

There happens to be a Jacaranda tree in the neighbours yard that hangs over the half-fallen down fence and drops flowers all over our garage area. The day of the storm , the sky was overcast, the flowers were newly fallen, and Hannah and I had some free time whilst Daniel had a nap. In other words, perfect portrait conditions. And believe you me, I took advantage of it. I had to before the sun came out and put horrible dark shadows and bright patches all over Hannah’s face, and obviously before the pretty purple flowers blanketing the driveway turned to hideous brown mush that gets all over your shoes and makes you slip.

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Being 3, she currently enjoys putting on her best fake smile for the camera, which, even though it’s totally fake and obviously fake, is pretty adorable. See the fence behind her? It’s missing half the boards, and another quarter of them are attached only at the bottom and hanging off towards the driveway, nails and all. Sometimes they completely fall off and I have to get out of the car and shove them up against the fence so they don’t scratch the WRX as I drive past. Stupid fence.

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Flashback Friday – Stalking silverchair

8 Sep

The year was 1999. I was 16 years old. I got into music when I was about 14 years old. My very fist favourite band was silverchair, and I haven’t ever had another favourite band. It’s always been them. It still is. Even though they have since broken up (sad face).

Silverchair are an Australian band that got discovered when they were like 12. If you’re seen those new Qantas commercials, you’ve heard Daniel Johns, the lead singer. The song is lyric-less, but still features his voice. And he wrote the music too.

Anyway, when I was younger, I, like thousands of other girls, thought I was going to marry Daniel Johns.

I used to drool over Daniel Johns. Before he started wearing eyeliner.

I’ve seen silverchair play approximately 5 times. But in 1999? 3 times. And that’s pretty good considering I lived in the U.S. and they are from Australia.

My friend Lyndsey, who was also rather obsessed with silverchair, and I always has these crazy schemes to get backstage and meet Daniel Johns. Who cares about the rest of the band, we wanted to meet Daniel Johns (yes, I may have a child named Daniel John. I know what you’re thinking, but we did not name him after Daniel Johns. Yes, I know how improbable that sounds, but seriously, it was unintentional. His middle name was always going to be John because it’s Aaron’s middle name, and Daniel was the only first name we agreed on. Plus I had a dream before we got pregnant with him that Hannah had a little brother and his name was Daniel. Convinced now?)

The first time Lyndsey and I saw silverchair was at the insane concert on a mountain in the snow. You could go snowboarding, and then watch some bands play. Insane, right? Lyndsey and I decided that during silverchair’s set, she’d pretend to pass out, then we’d both crowd surf to the front, over the barrier, and then to first aid. Which in our teenage minds, was right next door to silverchair’s dressing room.

Silverchair came on, my other friend and I moshed, screamed, had a blast. I don’t know what happened to Lyndsey. She seemed to disappear into thin air. I guess I was enjoying the music too much to notice when Lyndsey actually did pass out and have to crowd surf, unconscious, to the front and over the barrier. Not that the front was far, we were in the third or so row, slipping and sliding as we jumped up and down to the music on the compacted snow.

The left photo shows the stage in the snow. The right is Daniel Johns from where I was in the crowd. Notice in front of me was only the security guard and official photographers. Booyah.

At the end of the concert a voice came over the loudspeaker telling my friends and me to go to the first aid tent to reunite with Lyndsey.

I got all excited. I was actually being invited by name backstage?!

A security guard showed us where to go. There was a lone tent with a first aid cross on the top, nowhere near the actual back stage/dressing room area. Sigh. At least Lyndsey was ok.

But we were still determined. We don’t give up easily.

4 months later (why they came out twice in one year, I’m not sure, but they did, and I wasn’t about to complain), as I was driving my crappy van down the road, I heard an ad on my favourite radio station, 107.7, The End. Hang on, the radio (amongst many other things) in my van didn’t work. I must have been somewhere else. Silverchair was doing an End Session.  Why is that so awesome? An End Session (at least in those days, don’t know about now) was where a band went to a recording studio to play a very small, intimate concert (that was recorded) in front of about 30 people.

We had to go. But obviously something like that was not easy to get in to.  In fact, it was just plain annoying. You had to call up and be the 7th or whatever they decided caller.

We didn’t like those odds. So we thought outside the box, only as 2 16 year olds could. We found out when the call ins started. We had to get in before then. We had to secure our tickets. We found out where the radio station was located. We brainstormed.

Cookies. The main morning DJ was rather…um…obese. And what to obese men like? Cookies. We spent all day in the sweltering in Lyndsey’s trailer (what, you forgot? I was from a trailer too) heat wave of July heat, slaving over the stove perfecting out sugar cookies and decorating them to look like the morning DJs.

The next morning, I drove us to Seattle at ridiculous o’clock in the morning to deliver our cookies. Ok, so we didn’t actually think the whole getting in thing out much. When we got there, the building was locked. Obviously. It was 5am. We waited, standing around like we were meant to be there.

Someone came by and opened the door. We casually went in after him. YES! We were inside. We checked the sign that told us what was on each floor. 107.7: top floor.

We went to the elevator. Sigh. You had to have a swipe card to push the button and actually go anywhere. Our door friend was not going to our floor.

But hang on, there were stairs. 20 something flights of them. Awesome. We had to take a few breaks along the way, but we made it to the top and found the wonderful door that led to the radio station.

Locked. Bugger.

We pounded on that door for 5 minutes. No one came. Maybe they were ignoring the 2 crazy girls with cookies wearing silverchair t-shirts. Or maybe they didn’t hear us.

We walked all the way back down. And back outside. There was an intercom out there.

I pushed the button and waited. “Hello?” a voice said, more asking than stating.

I told them we spent the whole previous day making cookies for the DJ’s and could we possibly come upstairs and give them out?

“Yeah, ok. I’m sure Andy Savage likes cookies.”

The door opened, and the elevator button worked. We rode it to the top and suddenly we were there. They actually let us into the studio where they were on air, broadcasting the breakfast show.

They spoke to us on air. They were impressed with our cookies and their likeness to the DJs. They enjoyed eating them. But only after we took a bite first to prove they weren’t poisoned.

They were amused. Their bellies were full, this was our chance.

I don’t remember exactly what I said (I was the talker mostly), but I mentioned the End Session, and said we had to go.

“If you can think of some way to earn the tickets by the end of the show, then we’ll talk.” Andy told us.

We stayed in the studio all morning. Scheming. Plotting.

“How about a scavenger hunt?” I said. “We could go around Seattle, collecting 107 different things and if we do it, we win the tickets.”

They were clearly impressed. What can I say, I’m an ideas woman.

They thought about it for a bit.

“Ok, if you girls can collect 107 different pieces of crap from different businesses for free from the start of the show tomorrow until the end of the show, we’ll give you the very first tickets to the End Session.”

We were ecstatic. I knew we could do it. Free stuff? Ha, we were experts at free stuff. We spent every summer at the fair, showing horses and going around to all the different booths collecting free stuff. Not because we wanted it really, but because it was fun. It’s just what we did.

The next morning, we drove back to the radio station at ridiculous o’clock in the morning. It was the summer don’t forget, school wasn’t on, and I wasn’t working that day. I don’t think. Or maybe I called in sick.

One of the DJs drove Lyndsey and me around in my van, stopping all the time so we could jump out and ask business for free crap. The first few gave us very strange looks, but still complied, giving us things like used disgusting wash clothes, and packets of sugar.

My van. Yes, it was awesome. I loved my van.

We checked in regularly with the radio station, broadcasting where we were and what we were doing. People started expecting us and having things ready to give to us as soon as we arrived. It was fantastic.

We had 3 hours, but still, it was tight. Our time was almost up and we were one item short.

The DJ drove through a construction area with lots of cones.

“Just open the door and grab a cone.” He told us.

He drove really slowly, and we stealthily grabbed the cone, bringing our total to 107, and securing our tickets. Not to mention we had a blast doing it.

My End Session pass. Yeah, I still have it.

The station regularly made people do different scavenger hunts for tickets after that.

A couple weeks later, it was End Session day. We got in line early and got to sit (on the floor, there were not chairs or anything) right up front. Just a few short feet from Daniel Johns. We were mesmerised. Here is a link to one of the songs recorded that day:

http://www2.1077theend.com/listen/silverchair-anas-song

Afterwards, we were told that the guys would be coming out to meet us fans, sign stuff, and take photos. Oh. My. Gosh. I nearly wet myself I was so excited. This was it. I was about to meet Daniel Johns.

Except he didn’t come out. Everyone else did. But not him. Not the holy grail of our teenage dreams. Wanker.

Ben Gillies (the drummer) and me after the End Session. Why yes, I am giving him bunny ears. I am cool like that.

That’s ok, they were playing a show that very night just down the street. A normal show. One you buy tickets to go and see. Of course we’d already bought our tickets the day they went on sale.

silverchair’s touring keyboarder (he wasn’t actually part of the band) after the End Session. I wish I could get away with blond hair and burgundy foils now. 

We decided to put the passing out plan to action once again. This wasn’t the snow, so there wouldn’t be a random first aid tent this time. No, the first aid station had to be backstage.

We got near the front as usual. We’d get there even if it meant we had to scratch and bite and kick. It was silverchair after all. We didn’t want to put operation pass out into motion too early. We didn’t want to miss the concert and besides, Daniel Johns wasn’t going to be backstage if he was in the middle of singing.

So we waited. Then near the end, it was a go. Lyndsey “passed out” so convincingly I wasn’t sure if she really had passed out. We surfed over the barrier to the waiting security guards who carried Lyndsey with me following to the first aid station. Which was just off the front of the building. Nowhere near the dressing rooms. Or even the hallway that Daniel Johns would walk down at the end of the show. Sigh.

13 years later, and I still haven’t met Daniel Johns. Sigh.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway on my other blog. You could win a $100 voucher for Magnabilities jewellery. They ship worldwide, thus the competition is open to everyone and $100 can get you a lot of stuff. Enter here.

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!
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The zoo and Luna Park

28 Jul

In addition to the little family get together with a Mickey Mouse cake, and way too many presents from Grandma, Aunty Jess, Romana (Hannah’s best friend’s Mum), and I took her and Violet (her best friend) to Taronga Zoo. AND, we had the yearly joint birthday party with the other 7 kids from our antenatal class. This year, it was at Luna Park (you know, the amusement park right next to the Sydney Harbour Bridge that was shut down for ages due to noise complaints from all of the richies living in the multi-million dollar apartments over looking the harbour. Well, it is really loud with all the rides and music and screaming…).

Hannah about to blow out the candle on her Mickey Mouse cake

We took the kids on the train to the zoo, with the plan that Daniel would sleep in the pram on the train and then be all rested and cheerful when we got to the zoo.

Yeah right.

That didn’t happen. Sigh.

Instead, he proceeded to scream for most of the hour long train ride. I pushed the pram forward and back, forward and back a million times whilst everyone stared at me wondering why I was not picking up the screaming baby. Hannah was happily playing a Dora The Explorer iPad game in the other pram seat.

Phil and Teds Dash Buggy With Doubles Kit Black

Well people, I was trying to get him to sleep. I put a blanket over the sunshade of the pram so he couldn’t keep himself stimulated from all the people faces and scenery flying by. A lot of times, he does scream in the pram before falling asleep. It’s the wind down.

I think he would have slept too, if the old asian man in the seat across from us didn’t get up from his seat and pull the blanket up so Daniel could see, followed by making goofy faces at him for half an hour. I tried explaining that I was trying to get him to sleep, but was met with a toothless grin, nodding head, and broken english “He just want to see. He happy when he can see.” Sigh.

By the time we got on the ferry, it was almost lunch time.

More screaming. He was hungry and wouldn’t sleep.

Finally we got him to sleep after lunch. At the zoo. After I breastfed him at a table in the food area. A man came over and asked if he could have one of the chairs I wasn’t using. As he was asking he saw that I was, in fact, breastfeeding a baby, and he went bright red mid-sentence.

Fisher-Price Little People Zoo Talkers Animal Sounds Zoo

Hannah had a great time at the zoo with her best friend Violet. Hannah got a camera for her birthday, and she and Violet took a lot of photos at the zoo. I made a blog for Hannah’s photos. It’s interesting what 3 year olds take photos of. Here is her zoo post if you’d like to see it.

Last weekend was the Luna Park party. Hannah has been looking forward to it for months. Every time something came in the mail, bills, menus’s for delivery Chinese food, whatever, she would get it out of the mailbox and happily exclaim that it was from Luna Park, about her party.

I think she could have stayed at Luna Park for 3 days straight, riding rides repeatedly, and still not get bored. She’s a daredevil.

I’m have a giveaway on my reviews blog at the moment, win one of two book packs containing What to Expect When You’re Expecting, What to Expect The First Year, and What to Expect The Second Year. Entering is fast and easy, and open to people worldwide. Go here to enter.

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If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!
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Babies are like puppies

5 Mar

Puppies and babies…. Sure, babies require a lot more work, but they really are a lot alike:

Puppies like to chew on anything and everything.

So do babies.

Puppies seem to like shoes the best.

photo courtesy of http://blog.naver.com

So do babies.

Hannah chewing shoes at 8 months old

Puppies try to follow you around wherever you go, getting upset when they can’t see you or get to you.

He got too tired following us, so we had to put him in the pram

So do babies.

Mommy, let me out, I'm trying to follow Daddy!!! Hannah 10 months old.

Puppies pee all over the place.

Zoe peed on my shirt. My clean shirt. Read about it here

So do babies.

Puppies playfully nip you.

So do babies.

Hannah biting Aaron's nose the day she was born

Puppies get into all of your stuff.

So do babies.

Daniel getting into our video games

Puppies are always want to sit in your lap.

photo courtesy of life.time.com

So do babies.

Hannah in my lap at 5 months old

I could go on and on, but then you’d get bored. So I won’t…

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The little blankie that could

7 Oct

Fill in the Blankie, a personalised baby blanket:

I travelled across the world to get here.  But it didn’t take me very long.  I was so excited to finally get out of my package and meet my owner/best friend – the person who will love me unconditionally for the rest of their life.  Daniel.

I could hear the package around me being torn open.  Light flooded in. “Oh wow, it’s beautiful!” Someone said.

A little girl grabbed me and excitedly ran off giggling.

The little girl trying to steal me

“No, no, you’re not Daniel!!!” I screamed.  “I belong to Daniel, not to you! Daniel’s name, birthdate, time of birth, and weight are written on me.  Not yours!”  But she kept cuddling me and running around, totally ignoring my pleas, acting as if she couldn’t even hear me.

“That’s for Daniel sweetie, you already have a special blanket that you love.”  She put me down and ran off to get her own blanket.

Finally, I got to meet Daniel.  I was wrapped around him, warm and snug.  I knew from that moment that we would be forever bonded.  He would cherish me his whole life, eventually showing me to his own children.  I knew that I would be that one blanket that he always kept.  Everyone has that one blankie.  But I’m special.  I’m personalised.   I am made to last.  I’m adorable.  I’m loveable., cuddly, and soft.

Then he threw up on me.   “Oh no,” his mom said “the blankie!”

I'm very well made!

“That’s ok,” I told her “I’m robust and made of high quality materials, you can wash me!  Just throw me in the washing machine, I’ll be fine!”  But she couldn’t hear me.  Probably because I’m a blanket.  Luckily she threw me in anyway.  Good as new.

Want your own Fill in the Blankie? You can get 20% off by ordering one by 19 October 2011 using the code iwnt20. Click here for some suggestions for  personalizing your baby blanket.

Want to WIN a digital gift certificate for $150 towards any Fill in the Blankie (mine cost less than that including shipping, so depending on the blanket you get, you won’t have to pay a dime!)? All you have to do is comment on this post telling me your most embarrassing mommy story.  Anyone in the world can enter, you don’t have to be in the U.S. or Australia.  Entries will be judged by an impartial third party as I’m sure I will know some of you who enter (to make it fair for those I know and those I don’t) and will be notified via email. Contest ends 13 October.

 

UPDATE: Some people have said the this site won’t let them leave a comment, so you can also post your entry on the Mommy Adventures facebook page wall.

*A free personalised Daniel blanket was given to me by Fill in the Blankie for me to review.

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Aunty Jess has a horse face

8 Sep

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The iPad has been invaluable. I use it every time I feed Daniel overnight. I can get on the Internet, play games, watch anything we have recorded on our media PC, I have e-magazine subscriptions, the list goes on.

But the other night, it had us laughing so hard we had tears. Looking back still makes me laugh. I’ll never look at the Jess the same way again. Oh yeah, we love the iPad.

Horse Face...

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