Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Poem about Mums

I received this in an email today... it was just one of those ones you pass around to everyone, but I just loved how it sums up being a Mum.

I would love to credit someone with this, but no name was attached unfortunately..

Before I was a Mum,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mum,

I had never been puked on.

Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mum,

I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mum,

I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mum.

Before I was a Mum,

I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body..
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mum,

I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mum.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mum .

~Anon

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Nature vs. Nurture


Life with sons has been a bit of a rude shock to me. Not the baby bit, but now with my 2 sons heading towards the ages of 3 and 4. They love cars, trains, loud noises, and they laugh at burps and farts. I have been pondering the 2 schools of thought that divide the gender difference arguments. On one hand is the "nature" school where gender differences are accounted for by natural forces such as genetics. Then you have the "nurture" school where advocates say we bring up our children to like the male or female type of activities, for instance girls play with dollhouses and boys play with trucks.



I am beginning to completely support the nature version. My 2 boys have had a wide range of toys to play with and they attend a community center where I have seen the different activities encouraged. But still, they are becoming obsessed with all the "boy stuff". Which is a bit devastating because I am a "girly girl" who likes reading, sewing, and most of all the quiet.



So I am having to learn how to put car tracks together, to run around all day, and to enjoy some rough and tumble!

But I think it is true in life isn't it that things take us out of our comfort zone whether we want to or not, and it is usually for the best!

More Cooking!

Thought I might bombard you this morning with another of my favorite easy recipes.. This one is as follows:

Monique's Super Easy Creamy Bacon & Broccoli Pasta:


1 packet spaghetti (the hollow one works great)
1 onion, chopped fine
6 rashers bacon, chopped
1 large or 2 small heads broccoli, chopped
1 large bottle tomato pasta sauce
1 250ml tetra pack thickened cream (or fresh)

1. Put the water on to boil for the pasta - when boiling put in the pasta and set the timer
2. In a large frypan add onion, then chopped up bacon. Cook until starting to brown.
3. Add broccoli to frypan and cook for a few seconds
4. Tip tomato pasta sauce and cream into frypan and simmer for a few minutes
5. When pasta is cooked drain then mix the sauce through
6. Serve!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Win at Babysitter Directory

If you are looking for information on babysitters or nannies, then the Babysitter Directory is the place for you!!

PLUS if you register and post on their new forum you will go into the draw to win a pack from Your Cheeky Monkey!!

Pop over to Babysitter Directory and have a browse around all the vital information there.

Promotion runs until the 30th May 2009.

$500 Shopping Spree Comp

The entries for the $500 Shopping Spree Competition close on the 30th April.

Have you entered yet? There are heaps of prizes to win, including a $30 gift voucher from Your Cheeky Monkey!

To enter head over to Cherry Magazine:

$500 Shopping Spree Competition

Good luck!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

New Organic Babywear Range















I am SO excited to finally have a baby wear range that is not only organic but that also features my supercute Cheeky Monkey logo!! All products are so soft against babies skin. Perfect for your own bub or for a gift. Sizes 00 to 2 available.

We have bibs, t-shirts, long sleeve t-shirts, and rompers.

What do you think of our new organic babywear range?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Winter Slow Cooker Recipe

The cooler weather is well and truly approaching now.. I thought I might share with you my secret recipe for my Slow Cooker Casserole..

MONIQUE'S SLOW COOKER WINTER STEW

In the morning, place in your slow cooker these ingredients in this order:
About 6 potatoes peeled and cubed
Wedge of pumpkin peeled and cubed
Sweet potato peeled and cubed
A couple of carrots peeled and diced
Wedge of cabbage sliced
A couple of onions diced
PLEASE NOTE you can omit any vegies you don't like and add in any you do - I really just throw in whatever I have in the fridge at the time (this is a great way to use up all those vegies sitting in your fridge so they don't go to waste!)
You can fill your Slow Cooker nearly full with veg.

On top of your veg place 1kg of raw meat - I like organic chicken thighs (leave whole) boneless and skinless or diced top quality gravy beef (like wagyu if you can get it).. I like to pay a bit more for good meat because as you will see, this recipe make a huge amount so it actually works out quite cheap per portion.

Over the meat tip a large jar of your favorite pasta sauce (or whatever you have in the cupboard!) - about 500-750g is good. DO NOT PUT ANY MORE LIQUID IN - everything cooks down to a perfect amount of liquid, and do not stir.

Put lid on and set to low

Mid-afternoon or evening, you can give it a good stir if you want.

Just before serving, stir through a small tub of sour cream. Stir through and let warm for a few minutes. You can serve this on its own or with rice, noodles or bread.

This recipe does our family for 3 meals - I normally divide into 3 - one for that nights dinner, one in the fridge for leftovers the next night, and one in the freezer!

This is a fantastic stroganoff like meal where the vegies all cook down so even my toddlers who spot any green gobble this down without realising its mostly vegies!  This recipe is also fantastic to blend up to desired consistency with a little milk for babies - smooth for younger babies, or leave a bit lumpy for older babies.

Enjoy!

Related Posts:
Best ever Zucchini Slice Recipe
Mock KFC Twisters

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mummifiedtimesfive - Win a Years Worth of Radiant!

The gorgeous Tina at Mummifiedtimesfive (a super-duper blog) has up for grabs a whole years worth of Radiant Laundry Powder! Wow!

Follow the link to her blog to find out what to do to enter..

http://mummifiedtimesfive.net/

Chantilly Bowtique Competition

The lovely Chantelle at Chantilly Bowtique has a new competition running where you can win a set of hairbows or a headband for your little girl, pop over to her blog to find out how!

http://www.chantillybowtique.blogspot.com/

Giveaway - Bristyle

Just found this fab giveaway on the blog Bristyle!

Louise from Made by Miffy and Christine from Little Chrissy, give a sneak peak into their fabulous worlds of crafty goodness, and give away some of their wonderful handmade items to two lucky readers of Bristyle!

http://brisstyle.blogspot.com/

All you need to do is leave a comment where it tells you to - so pop over and support some very talented ladies, and be in the running for a cool prize from them!

The winner is drawn on the 25th of this month - so be quick!

China's Operation



Thanks so much for all the well wishes from everyone for China's surgery. Here is a couple of pics of just how bad it was, the top cut is about 30 cm long - scary! So she is getting lots of loving at the moment to say the least!

Please send us lots of doggie kisses and hugs :)



Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Would you like a Tag n Cuddle for FREE?

Would you like to try one of my gorgeous handcrafted Tag n Cuddles (worth $16) for bub??

All you need to do is purchase ANY 3 Cherub Rubs Organic Baby products and I will pop one in for you FREE!!

Pop over to the website to find out more!

Why Handmade Baby Gifts are the Best!


Going through the treasure chest of baby stuff from when my sons were born, the only things I have kept have been the ones that were handmade (either by myself or something that was given as a gift). These were all the things that were made with love and thought and time from the gift giver. They are all so very precious. Handmade baby gifts are unique and original keepsakes, which can be preserved and loved for many years to come. A collection of handmade items reminds your child when they are grown of how special they were when they were born!

In my collection I have the knitted beanie from a family friend, the little cardigan from my grandmother who is in her 90’s, the assorted booties and baby blankets. They were well used, the only disappointment how quickly baby grew out of them! I hope to keep these to pass down to my grandchildren.

In today's busy, commercial and materialistic world when you can buy the best ready-made (and mass produced) baby products and gifts, the baby gifts that have been handcrafted have perhaps greatly lost their value. But then also these handmade baby gifts are considered by many people to be the best reflection of one's love and affection for the baby. There are so many other gifts that you get given that are practical and much needed items – clothing, toys, books and more – but as we all know your baby’s first few months pass by in the flash of an eye. These all get given or thrown away, there is very little emotional attachment to them. But how can you bring yourself to pass on a special gift that has been made just for your little one?

I believe that a handmade gift contains not only the fabric, cotton, yarn or wool that it is made from, but that it is also infused with much love from the maker. Just imagine your baby swaddled in all that love and joy!

Some of the reasons why it is great to give a handmade gift for a baby:

• You don’t have to worry someone else will give exactly the same thing.
• You can tailor something to exactly suit Mum and baby.
• You know they are more than likely to be made with top quality fabrics and yarns.
• That it is unique, original and practical.
• It is not produced overseas or in a sweatbox factory.
• You can make (or buy) it as traditional or as funky as you like.
• If you make it yourself it is cheaper than buying in a store.
• If you purchase it from a crafter you know you are supporting a hard-working local person (more than likely a Mum themselves).

So when you are thinking of a baby gift for someone (or even for your own baby), consider making a special gift yourself, or have a hunt around for a beautiful handcrafted gift. I can guarantee that it will be much admired and appreciated, and it will be sure to be tucked away for future generations in the recipient’s own special baby box.


Monique Nickalls JP (Qual) BSc (hons) Dip Prof Couns., is also the Owner & proud baby product designer & handcrafter at www.YourCheekyMonkey.com.au

Welcome to the world of blogging


This is the first blog I am posting in blogspot, all very exciting to be setting up a new blog! So hi if you have popped in to visit me :) Its nice to have you here, I am happy to hear any feedback or suggestions from anyone!

Its been a nerve-racking day for me, my 7 year old boxer had surgery for some very aggressive lumps on her back, I am off to pick her up shortly the vet has warned me I am going to be shocked with how much flesh he had to remove :(

Thought I would share this photo of China with my youngest son - I love this photo I think it has such a lovely feel about it!