So much for raising 3 daughters

Some of the readers may already be aware, but we are expecting our fourth “bundle of joy” in a matter of weeks.

Like Doyin over at Daddy doin’ work, I too at some point wanted a boy and when we found out that my wife was pregnant, I thought, this might be the time! She was craving foods that weren’t on the list with the last pregnancies, like pickles, so I thought to myself we might be welcoming a son to the family.

At the 20 week mark, we went along to the scan. I was adamant that we were going to have a boy, I was going to have a son. After a grueling 20 minutes, the sonographer took a look, we were having another girl. My heart dropped. I was literally depressed for about 24 hours. I was so certain that we were going to have a boy because all the signs pointed to it.

After I came to my senses, two days later, I was excited that we were going to have another girl. Maybe this one would be the one that likes to watch football with me!

So now I have a dilemma.

My blog was always about raising 3 daughters, but I will now, with my beautiful wife, be raising 4 daughters. Something that I am very proud and excited to be doing, except for at 3 am, then I’m definitely not excited to be raising my kids! I might have to do a re-design of my banner!

With 10 weeks to run, we’re gearing up to welcome our little baby into the world. I’m excited to meet our little girl, but I can tell you, this is going to be the last one!

Doyin

>> Also check my friend’s blog: Best stroller & carseat combo reviews

Get off your phones (my goal for 2015)

source: http://uvamagazine.org/images/uploads/2011/winter/feature_essays_2015.gif

I am the worst for this. I admit it.

As I looked around the park this morning, 6 out of 7 parents were on a smart device.

Like I said in the first line, I’m pretty bad for this but today I made an effort to keep my phone in my pocket except for snapping a pic or two.

We’re not the most active family, I blame that on both the wife and I working full time, the fact we have a one year old that goes to bed at 18:30 every night and also, when I do take my kids out, they never bloody listen to me and I end up coming home pissed off.

But today, I’m making a promise.

A promise to my kids that this coming year, I am going to make more of an effort to be present when we’re at home and at the park.

Being present in their lives is one of my goals in life. I’m trying to start an online business so that I can spend more time with them however in the process, I’m spending less time with them.

What’s the answer?

I don’t know. I honestly don’t however, I do know this, moving forward, I’m making a goal to be on my smart device less when the kids are awake. I’m making an effort to get them outside every day for at least 60 minutes of play. I’m going to cook healthier meals, tastier meals that makes them want to eat better and finally, I’ll keep taking them to the gym with me. Taking them to the gym, they see me working out, being healthy and as a role model to them, that’s something I need to keep doing.

So screw new years resolutions, nobody sticks to them anyway.

This is my parenting goal for 2015, what’s yours?

We made it to one year and pissing off my wife

Typically, I piss my wife off once a week. Nothing new there but I thought that it would be a while after our first wedding anniversary before I pissed her off again. Nope. It took just 3 days.

We’d been looking forward to this weekend for a long time. We had foregone a massive honeymoon after our wedding due to work and the proximity to Christmas so we thought that we would go all out for this particular occasion.

We booked a package through Sydney Seaplanes that would fly us to a resort for a night, dinner and breakfast included and then back to Sydney where we would have a night at the Four Seasons. Sounded awesome, sounded expensive but it was totally worth it. (Also check my friend’s reviews on best foldable picnic table, which can be used for dinner, picnic and coffee for big family). 

In addition to all of that, we squeezed in time to get tattooed, see Cirque Du Soleil and visit China Town for possibly the best chinese food of our lives.

None of that pissed my wife off, not the constant videoing of what we were doing with my new Sony actioncam, not my complaining of lack of Wi-Fi in the hotel room, no. It was something else.

I want the new iPhone 6 Plus.

Christine recently got sent the offer from her phone provider and having utilised my upgrade for her, I jumped at the opportunity. My impatience and constant checking which resulted in me ordered her the wrong phone plan pushed her over the edge.

Well done James, you’ve pissed her off again.

Moral of the story, don’t assume you know what your wife wants because she doesn’t want that one. Apparently, I’m a pro at pissing off my wife.

A new venture for the family

 My wife and I recently embarked on a new venture with Arbonne International. One of the reasons we really wanted to get involved is because we (my wife) wanted to be able to work from home and spend more time with our family.

Yes, to the outside eye this may seem like a pyramid scheme and that it would be impossible to build a business. To be honest, the selling of products is the side of the business that my wife will be taking care off, I just want to try my hand at building another business and applying tools I’ve learnt from Tweet Canberra and The Social Media Revolution.

One other thing that really highlighted this business compared to the others on the market, is the fact that you can qualify for a Mercedes Benz.

I have a thing for luxury cars, something that kids tend to ruin. Cars like Volvo Cars Australia, Mercedes Benz, BMW and of course the dream car, Lamborghini.

Reality is a b*tch and it takes hold when you begin to day dream about having a luxury car but I tell you what, even if there is a faint chance that I can be rewarded a car for building a business, I’ll give it a red hot crack!

I’ve been building a couple of businesses to try and build an income that allows me to have a lifestyle to spend more time with my kids. What about you? The question is what do you want in life and how are you going to get it?

A letter to my health

Dear Health,

I’m sorry.

I know I’ve been showing you little attention of late it’s just, I’ve had lots running through my head.

Between studying at university, running an up and coming business, playing with the kids and trying to spend time with my wife, you’re not the only thing that has suffered.

But I promise, things will be different this time.

We had a good run last year. For six months, you were the main focus of my attention. You kept me focused and operating at peak performance but I wonder if that was because you knew I was getting married?

Yes it’s true, we were close leading up to my wedding and I don’t want you to think that just because there is someone else in my life that you’re all alone.

The truth is, I miss you. I miss the delicious food that we shared, the sweaty sessions in the gym and most importantly the looks. Yes health, since our hiatus I’ve put on some kilos. My pants are tighter and my face is fatter.

I miss you but things are going to change!

image

You have my word that from today, no more burgers for lunch (except on cheat days), no more Pepsi Max just because, no more ordering pizza at 10 o’clock at night because I’m hungry, no more 3 toasted sandwiches because I skipped breakfast and no more drinking half a carton of beer because I’m lonely.

But can I still enjoy a glass of wine?

But I want a promise from you too Health. I want you to promise me that you’ll make me run more, sleep more and eat less. I know that’s a two way street but at 5 am when my alarm goes off, make me get up and don’t let me convince you that sleep is better.

Let’s rising pet(s)!

Taking care of pets is an effective way to relax. I adopt 1 cat, 2 rabbits and keep them in a very large outdoor rabbit hutch – looks like a villas for pets.

We can do it health.

It starts today!

Sometimes you need a break

I’ve been flat out recently. Today is one of those days where I just don’t stop! When I came home I just wanted to lay on the couch and close my eyes. The kids had other ideas.

Kids climbing on their dad

Our couches aren’t good enough for the kids to sit on

Up at 5:30am, off to university, in classes all day, rush home in peak hour traffic, kiss my wife, swap car seats, say bye to wife, put kids in car, drive to dancing, pick up Miss 7, rush home and serve dinner.

that’s not to mention bed time routines and the fight I have with Miss 3 over bed time!

Sometimes we need a break.

A while ago, I tried to change careers. I don’t have a bachelors degree and with no experience in any other field but the Australian military, no one wanted to hire me. So I told myself that I was going to make my own experience.

This was reinforced the other night when I went a careers expo (I like to keep my eyes open). When I was talking to some of the exhibitors and I told them that I was stilling studying at the undergraduate level, I was dismissed instantly.

It’s incredibly demoralising.

But since I have chosen to make my own experience, I’m that busy it is ridiculous. Today it just boiled over and I was going through the motions. You know how it gets, you’re tired, fed up, other things on your mind and you just go through the paces.

I was in auto mode whilst picking up Miss 7 from dancing and when I got in the car, I forgot to put the car in reverse and drove over the curb! Luckily I realised what was happening before I did any damage to my car.

Although, that would have given me an excuse to call Get Approved Finance and buy a new car!

Sometimes, I drive past someone doing a job like landscaping or delivering packages. I am sure people in those jobs work really hard, but sometimes I wish I had a job that required simple tasks.

That or go camping for an extended period of time and leave my phone at home!

[This post was in collaboration with Get Approved]

MH370 and explaining real world problems

For kids, life must be so black and white.

[Photo by flickr user Moritz Petersen]

You’re either good or bad. Naughty or nice.This morning, when I was getting ready for work, I had the TV on and watching the news. Miss 7 decided to get up and join me, a common morning ritual. As I was pouring the milk into my nutri-grain, the MH370 story came on.

They showed a clearly distraught woman being carried away by security. Miss 7 asks “what’s wrong with that lady Daddy?”. Now I normally would have gone with, “she’s sad darling” I had a feeling that explanation wouldn’t have cut the mustard.

“Well baby, a plane went missing and no one knows where it is and that lady must have had family on it”. The puzzled look I received in return spoke for itself. “The police think that a bad man turned the plane around and made it crash darling” to which I received “why?” “well, that is what they are trying to figure out”.

I’ve never really tried to explain a real world problem to her before, other than the old “he/she was a bad person and that is why the police take them to jail”. But there was something in the tone of her voice that told me she wouldn’t have accepted the standard answer.

Back to my original point. Life is so black and white for our kids. When is it a good time to start explaining real world problems to them? I guess there would be a lot of people who object to telling their kids the truth about the world and I agree to some circumstances.

When the ad break comes on the TV and the news is about the Daniel Morcom case in Queensland, I mute the TV. No kid needs to hear about the murder of other kids but for something like the MH370 story, I’ll let them listen in.

Is that wrong of me to do? I spoke recently on the Life of Dad After Show about letting kids be kids so is them listening to the news complicating their lives or is it just feeding their curiosity?

I don’t have the answer, maybe you do? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Please leave a comment below and tell me your thoughts on explaining real world problems to your children.

Shopping with kids

Normally, we try to avoid doing food shopping with kids at all costs. It’s a predictable routine:

“I need lollies!”

“I need the toilet”

“Can I have this?”

“You never buy me anything!”

“Miss 2 got something yesterday!”

“Are we done yet?”

“I don’t want vegetables for dinner!”

Today started off a little different. We picked Miss 2 up from 3 year old kindy and headed to Coles to get some food shopping done. She was tired which lead me into a false sense of security. “She won’t be an issue” I told myself and in the beginning when she wanted to sit in the trolley, I thought I was on to a winner.

Then this happened.

shopping with kids edited

Add a new item to the trolley, she’d lay on it. Using the toilet paper as a solid bed base, she actually looked quite comfortable.

When asked “do you want to get out and walk now?” “Not yet. 2 minutes okay?”. That the favourite response this month.

But then we met up with a family member who is in Canberra for work at the moment and decided to get a coffee. All well and good until “I need the toilet”. Okay, trip number one. 5 minutes later, “I need the toilet!”. Again? Okay let’s go.

You know what they say about three’s

“I need the toilet!”. No you don’t but by that stage she was off and running down the hall to the parent room. I think it was the fact that she got to press the green button to open the door because her bladder sure as hell isn’t that small.

Moral of the story.

No matter how good you think your shopping experience will be with kids, it will never be as good as being by yourself! I’ll be avoiding shopping with kids from this day forth. (Also check my reviews on best kids outdoor playhouse).

Dining out with kids

The other day, after we dropped Miss 7 off at school, we headed over to a local cafe that I’ve been wanting to try for some time now, Chatterbox espresso bar.

Breakfast and coffee at Chatterbox Espresso Bar

Breakfast and coffee at Chatterbox Espresso Bar

It’s an exceptional spot and if you ever visit Canberra you have to get a latte from here!

When we decide to go out, a little bit of fear starts to appear in my stomach. When we walk past a new Range Rover Sport, that little bit of fear increases to an overwhelming amount of fear.

I almost start crying.

My kids are generally good kids, generally. This morning was a good day but further into our dining experience, we encountered a problem. Miss 1 loves to squeal.

I apologise to the public of Canberra.

Miss 1 wasn’t the problem this morning although she did contribute to the noise of the cafe. Miss 2 (almost 3) needed “tuddle” (that’s a cuddle for those of you who don’t speak 2 year old english) when I was half way through my breakfast. All I wanted was to enjoy my beautiful breakfast but instead I had a two year old that insisted on having a cuddle with her head tucked right into my neck.

I love that my daughters love me. I’ve certainly not always been the favourite but for a while now “I need Daddy” has been the phrase of the day. I never want it to change except for when there is a delicious large breakfast in front of me.

But it’s not just when we are out and about with kids. Tonight whilst watching My Kitchen Rules, Miss 2 insisted on have a cuddle whilst I finished my dinner. What is it with these kids?

It’s almost like they sense that we are enjoying something and feel the need to ruin it.

I should probably add “Dining out with kids: A way to make everyone hate you” to my “10 reasons why I love parenting” post. But for now, I just want to eat a meal in peace without a 2 year old on my lap.

Do your kids annoy you at the wrong time? Let me know in the comments below.

Our family tradition of watching movies together sees Frozen knocked off as number one

I’ve got mixed emotions. I can’t decide whether it’s a sad day or a happy one.

Frozen has been knocked off it’s throne as number watched movie. It’s replacement is:

We had a movie night on Saturday night, it was great. We threw a mattress on the floor, the kids brought out their blankets and we put on a movie that wasn’t Frozen! To say I was happy that Frozen wasn’t going to be on the TV would be an understatement. Popcorn was allocated, pop rocks distributed evenly and juice boxes were opened.

We all enjoyed it as we lay there and watched a stripe less Zebra on his quest for stripes. I think the kids enjoyed having Mum home at night for a change, normally a Saturday night is a work night for Christine. But that’s hospitality right?

These are the moments that count and they won’t last forever. We are lucky that at the moment, Miss 7 and Miss 2 like the same movies (most of the time) which means we can still have nights like last night. I don’t imagine it will last for too much longer as Miss 7 might want to start swapping animated movies for movies that fall in the Tween category (god help me if I have to watch Zac Efron tell me that we are all in this together).

No Zac, we’re not in this together.

I wrote a while ago about Family Traditions. This is one tradition that we love and man, we do it well.  I just wish my kids would stop fighting over who is going to be the bloody Zebra!

What are some of your most treasured family traditions? Christmas dinner, thanksgiving or maybe a simple Sunday roast with the family. Let me know in the comments below.

Parenting Fail

I did something horrible.

Parents accidentally hurting their kids is a nightmare.

Bored? Play with your kids! [source: loldailyfun.com]

As parents, we never imagine hurting our children. The other day, I did it. I hurt our youngest daughter, Miss 1.

Miss 1 has been teething of late, poor girl. Between smacking her head on the coffee table whilst trying to walk and having a large amount of teeth coming through, she can’t seem to catch a break. When I was putting her in the high chair for dinner, she was wriggling, I pinched her with the clip (Also check the best foldable table for picnic and coffee).

Parenting Fail.

I don’t like hearing my daughters in pain on the best of days, let alone because I caused it!

In my opinion, having seen two children go through it, teething is up there on the pain scale. Some days it seems there is nothing that you can do that provides them relief. Enter Nurofen, which is exceptionally good for those teething symptoms, especially when a fever is present. No Nurofen? I’ve used a pack of frozen peas for relief before, that’s how much I hate seeing them in pain.

It must be hell (like watching the Young and the Restless) for our kids when their teeth are coming through. Let alone when their mean Daddy pinches them with a high chair clip.

I’m sorry.

I see it as sort of a right of passage for new parents. Obviously we do not intentionally hurt our kids, but there are times when it just happens and then we spend the next 30 minutes wondering why anyone let us leave the hospital with a human being.

I wonder all the time, “How did someone ever trust me to be a parent?”

Even though I have a 7, 2 and almost 1 year old, I still look for practical parenting tips on a regular basis. Not only does that give me inspiration for this blog, but makes me feel less like an idiot.

But the good thing, or the bad thing depending on which way you look at it, is that parents, mother-in-laws, grandparents and everyone else who has ever had kids, seem to have a never ending supply of advice when it comes to parenting.

Perks of parenting, eh?

While you are here, why not join the Raising3daughters family? I’ll send you a weekly update of posts and when I run a competition, you’ll be the first to know about it. 

I need Daddy

“I need Daddy!”

Three sweet little words that make my heart skip a beat. I love hearing them. Especially at bed time, when she is sleepy and all cute.

I used to spend so much time away from home, my relationship with my daughters were strong back then but no where as strong as they currently are. When we found out that Christine was having our second daughter, and our third daughter, naturally I began researching about raising girls. I had read that my influence in my daughters life will help shape her self-esteem, self-image, her confidence and her opinions of men.

I hope she dislikes all of you who seek to date her.

Apparently, the relationship we have with our daughters shapes their self-esteem, self image, confidence and opinions of men. I hope she is disgusted by them!

According to an article on the Australian, “A man’s best and worst traits will be represented in his daughter’s taste in men”. Well I’m up the creek without a paddle, mainly because I am perfect, just ask my mother-in-law.

In the same article, Annie Gurton, a counselling psychologist, claims that “women whose fathers have told them that they love them, that they are beautiful and wonderful, will have stronger, more robust self-esteem”.

I tell my girls that I love them and that they are beautiful, but when they fart like a miner, I tell them they stink! Does that mean I have ruined them?

It’s no mystery that men have been trying to understand women for many decades. Hell, I can never remember what Christine likes from Subway! When she orders something that doesn’t ring a bell, I need to stop in at woolies for a piss test to make sure number 4 isn’t on the way. If all this information is true, maybe we need to understand ourselves before we can understand our daughters. Again, I’m up the creek without a paddle because I’m a bloody basket case.

Changing careers

Changing careers can be difficult but can also be very rewarding

[source: www.business2community.com]

Finding a new job can be hard for some people. A while ago, I tried to change careers but I found it impossible to land a decent paying job that would support my family. Unfortunately, the ramblings of a little Australian Dad Blogger doesn’t make enough money to fill my car let alone support a family of 5!

Jobs in Australia  have been hard to come by in some particular fields. In my case, I didn’t have enough experience for an employer to hire me. I wanted to jump across the desk and tap them on the forehead, “how am I going to get experience if you don’t give me a chance mate!!”. Instead, I walked out, demoralised and wondering what I should do next.

Career changes are hard. It can be demoralising if your applications are constantly rejected but it can also be a very exciting time. One thing I found when I was considering a career change, I was scared. I had spent a decent amount of time in the military and that was all I knew.

“What if I get fired? How am I going to look after my family?”

Christine was just about to stop work and have our third daughter. I was scared that we would be stuck not able to pay rent, feed the kids and have to live in our cars. I had the comfort of a fortnightly pay check, a roof over our head and food on the table (also check the reviews on best folding table for picnic, meal and coffee). 

As a father and a husband, I feel it is my responsibility to look after my family and this added to the internal confusion that I was having. Should I go, should I stay, it was a battle in my head that was driving me insane.

What did I do?

I stayed. It wasn’t the right time for me to leave the military. I do have big dreams, some involve my current employment, others don’t. However, the experience has taught me a lot about looking for a new career. For example, in my search I discovered that 83% of jobs are never advertised online! I guess this is why everyone always says “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.

Are you thinking about a career change? Have you recently changed careers? Let me know about it in the comments below.

Eat your bloody vegetables

I have vivid memories from when I was a kid, sitting at the dinner table and my sister balling her eyes out because she didn’t want to eat her pumpkin. I used to have chuckle because I wasn’t being yelled at for a change.

Fast forward 15 years and I am fighting the same battle with my own kids! 

Eddie Murphy in a broccoli suit.

A scene from one of my favourite movies, Daddy Day Care.

I’ll admit it, I love a pizza….. or two…. okay and some chicken wings. Food is my weakness, shut up!

But I also love eating healthy, when I can be bothered cooking and it’s not stinking bloody hot here in Canberra. My kids just love sticking it to me when it comes to eating healthy!

“I don’t like vegetables”

They’ll make you big and strong…

“I don’t like carrots!” 

You ate them yesterday…

“This tastes funny”

You ate the same thing last week and loved it…

“I wanted red rooster”

So did I but my metabolism isn’t as fast as yours and I’ll stack on 3 kilos thinking about it, thanks kids.

But I have to admit, I have had a win with apples. I cut the apples into “apple chips”. They love it but maybe it’s not the best idea naming something healthy after a food that will block their arteries and make them look like Honey Boo Boo. (If you don’t know who Honey Boo Boo is, save yourself and do not click this link!)

I just don’t know what else I can do, short of making them sit there all night and eating them. Sure I could hide the vegetables in their food but I will guarantee that they will sniff it out quicker than the drug dog that busted Schapelle Corby. I could make vegetable juice. They love juice but again I reckon they’ll figure out it is good for them and spit it back in my face. (Also check check the best folding table for picnic and family meals)

What’s next?

Do I give in? Do I let the little buggers win this round whilst I retreat licking my wounds and begin planning the next round? I don’t know. I guess I’ll just tough it out, shove a few pureed veges in here and there and hope for the best, well either that or I’ll turn into a vego and they’ll have to eat vegetables. I can’t back that up, I’ll never give up meat.

How do you get your kids to eat their vegetables? Share your magic formula and I’ll send you a lettuce. Only kidding, I don’t buy lettuce. My kids don’t eat it!

I hate doing the dishes

There I said it.

Show me one person that enjoys doing the washing up and I’ll stop whinging.

Get a dishwasher!

We had a dish washer and we didn’t like it. I always found that the dishes wouldn’t come out washed as well as doing it by hand.

Maybe I just needed to use some better detergent? Maybe I needed a better quality dishwasher? Maybe I was loading it wrong? Maybe I should just throw out the china and replace it with paper plates (every parents dream!)

But I am looking at dishwashers on the Good Guys website. They range from $399 to $2,167 so what level do I go for?

One thing I found with our last dishwasher was that we always had to use dishwasher cleaner other wise it started to stink! We came to the conclusion that this was because we weren’t rinsing our dishes first.

So having said all this, when Finish Australia wanted to work with me on this post, I jumped at the opportunity to see if it was really worth buying a dish washer and using their products.

I guess I am just hoping to can free up more time to blog.. or make the dishes easier so my kids can take over!

To help me write this post, I borrowed a friends dishwasher. But before we washed any of the dishes, we had to make a mess, enter Mexican Night. We all brought plates, covered in Mexican style food goodness, cheese melted on to plates, salsa sauce everywhere.

So we made our mess and loaded the dish washer. Quantum dishwasher tablets, the ones with the little red balls in the middle, are designed to give you an amazing clean and shine every time you use it.

They worked well, in fact, really well. The sticky cheese and salsa was gone, without rinsing! That’s what I like to see. But what about all the left over food that is sitting at the bottom of the dishwasher?

No need to worry about manually cleaning, Finish has a product for that!

As the product page says, just because it looks clean, doesn’t mean it is clean. The dishwasher cleaner targets those places that are hidden from view. So how often do you run the cleaner?

I guess that depends on your usage. We are a family of 5 so we have lots of dishes meaning that we probably need to clean it more often that a family of 2 or 3. So I believe it is situational and how often you use it.

Do you use a dishwasher? or do you prefer to wash your dishes by hand? or maybe you make your kids do the dishes?

Want to win a packet of Quantum Dishwasher tablets? Simply leave a comment below telling me how much you hate doing the dishes and the funniest one will win! Competition is open to Australian residents only and will be drawn one week from date of publishing.

(This was a sponsored post)

[Part One] Buying the perfect family car

This is a two part series, the first of which I will have a look at factors affecting purchasing a car for your family and the second will examine several options that fit the bill.

A picture of a family buying a new car

Buying a new family car is a big task. Lots of different factors to consider. [source: dreamstime.com]

In Australia, there are currently 6 million families with school aged children. Families need to get to places therefore, they need a car. At the moment, we are a two car family however Christine’s car has been riddled with problems and it’s worth two fifths of stuff all, so there isn’t any reason to fix it.

As some people would put it, I drive a woman’s car.  I bought my Ford from John Hughes in Perth, (second hand, which would normally mean it would be a horrible experience) however, it was actually an amazing buying experience. Not only was the buying experience awesome, but so is the Focus. It is small and with three growing girls, it won’t be long before we need a larger car.

Picture this.

You decide to not once, not twice, but three times drive across the country in a car that is made for midgets. Not only is it tiny and when you have 5 people in it, it’s insanely tight and the close proximity of three girls who love to have a whinge (more than the English cricket team), it well…  it drives you up the wall.

So why not sell “Fanny Focus” and buy a bigger car? Good point, except I still owe money on it and we are not in the position to borrow money for a car just yet. Why doesn’t Christine drive it then? Well good citizen, she is as stubborn as a rock and refuses to learn how to drive a manual. Many an argument has been had over this topic. She always wins.

Okay, so what makes a perfect family car then James?

Well first off, it needs to be practical. Practical enough that I can take a sleeping bag and sleep in it if the kids drive me up the wall, or if I’m in the doghouse! I’ve never wanted a family van before, until recently when we hired a Kia Grand Carnival. We had 5 adults and three kids in it and we still had enough room to kick the footy. It’s huge! Drives like a bus but it sat beautifully on the road and was comfortable.

So we’ve got practical as the first requirement. Next in my list of requirements is, budget friendly. Like a lot of families, we are a one income family so we can’t afford to spend $90,000 on a Land Cruiser. I’m not talking just budget friendly in the price tag, but in fuel consumption and service costs as well. Last thing we need is to have a beautiful new car and no money to fill the bugger up!

Practical, budget friendly are the first two requirements in my list and for the third I am going to say, future proof. By future proof I mean that if you choose to/accidentally have more kids in the future, there is room or if you are playing car pool, you can fit other brats in the car. Also, if your kids are getting close to that age where you’ll have the lovely experience of teaching them how to drive, you want a car that is going to be good for them to learn in.

– Practical,

– Budget friendly, and

– Future proof.

As a family man, safety is top priority. So when looking for a suitable family car, a good safety rating is a must. Here in Australia, we use the ANCAP (Australiasian New Car Assessment Program) ratingwhich is determined by an independent vehicle safety advocate. Boldly on their website, ANCAP states “ANCAP recommends 5 star rated vehicles. Accept nothing less”. So I’m going to add the ANCAP safety rating as one of my requirements because when it comes to those little devils, you can never be too safe.

– Practical,

– Budget friendly,

– Future proof, and,

– 5 star ANCAP safety rating.

With these four requirements I am going to begin my search! But before I do, these are a few nice ‘must haves’ in my opinion.

– Cruise control,

– Tow ball,

– Bluetooth, and,

– A proper spare tyre not a space saver.

Now, I also asked my Twitter followers the following question to see if they had similar views when buying a car as me.

 

A couple of my wonderful followers took some time out to answer the question, some seriously and some not so much. Amongst their answers were, bullet proof panels (never know when you’ll find yourself in the hood having a shoot out), boot size (for stuffing bodies in from said shoot out), how easy it is to get the kids in/out and how easy it is getting a double pram in and out (won’t need this when you’re in a shoot out). All relevant answers in my opinion, especially the bullet proof panels! You never know what’ll happen in the future or in the hood.

Everyone is going to have their own requirements when buying a car and that is dependent on their family situation. Obviously a single bloke like Justin Bieber could drive a lambo, hopefully whilst not hyped up on cough syrup.Where as a the Brady bunch would probably need a 12 seater bus. So don’t take my requirements as gospel, adjust them as you see fit to your family’s situation.

But come back next week, where I’ll examine a few cars that I think will fit the bill (for my family) and tick all my boxes . In the mean time, I’d love it if you would sign up to join the Raising3daughters.com family where you’ll receive emails from me each week detailing my top posts and in the future, I’ll work to bring you exclusive content and giveaways.

You can sign up here!

What is something you look for when buying a new car? Let me know in the comments below!

My top ten reasons why I love being a parent…

Babe, if you get up, I’ll let you sleep in”

1:30 am

I roll out of the bunk beds (1st floor of course) because apparantely a cat nap is all our youngest daughter needs tonight, plus who can resist a sleep in?

I get her up, 10 minutes and she’ll be ready to go back to sleep.

2:07 am

I put her down, tantrum. Bugger.

2:30 am

Why don’t I write a sarcastic blog post about the top 10 things I love about being a parent?

1. As a parent, I can play games with my kids at 2 am.

2. No matter how hungover I am, my kids love me enough to wake me up at 6 am.

3. If my kids shit their pants, I am privileged enough to clean it up.

4. Even if the best football game in the world is on TV, I don’t get to watch it. Instead, I watch Peppa Pig.

5. I no longer have to take a dump alone.

6. When I buy an ice cream, I no longer get to eat it all by myself, I get to share it. With three other people, who have already eaten their ice creams.

7. I can no longer spend any more time than it takes to eat a meal at any restaurant or pub. Upon completion of said meal, we get to leave, ASAP.

8. I know every word of the following movies:

– Despicable Me 2,

– Despicable Me,

– Finding Nemo,

– Frozen,

– Smurfs 2,

– Smurfs 1,

– The Lion King, and

– Tangled.

9. I get to buy a loaf of bread and 3 litres of milk at least 4 times a week, and last but certainly not least,

10. I no longer have any time or money to spend on a hobby such as golf. Instead, I blog about how much I love my kids at 2:30 am.

So there is 10 reasons why I love being a parent. What’s yours? Leave a comment below!

I’m excited by…

Poo!

No, I’m not some sort of sick, perverted idiot! I am excited because Miss 2 is finally starting to get the toilet training idea so much so we’ve hit the dizzy heights of number 2’s!

The whole toilet training thing was getting me down and I was frustrated that she wouldn’t get it. But just as quickly as she was conceived, click, she had it. It was almost like she enjoyed watching her mother and I get frustrated with constantly cleaning up piss on our white carpet (seriously who has white carpet in a rental!).

I’ve never toilet trained a child before. It baffles me that something most of us take for granted, (well most of the time unless you drunk) could be difficult to master but I guess for a child everything is new.

When we first started trying to toilet train, I kept looking at Christine like she was bonkers. “Miss 2, do you need the toilet?” 15 minutes later, “Miss 2, do you need the toilet?”. It sounded like a broken record but apparently it worked and she got it, finally.

But back to my original topic, why am I so excited about sh*t? Because if she’s doing number 2’s that means that there is limited number of days remaining that I need to fork out $29.99 each week for a disposable poo catcher!

Seriously, I need to start making nappies or become a wedding photographer, two of the biggest rip offs in the history of man kind.

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We’re doomed

As the title suggests, we’re doomed. No not everyone, just everyone in my house.

Why?

Taking some of her first steps towards independence!

Taking some of her first steps towards independence!

Our youngest daughter officially took her first steps yesterday. I thought I had learnt with Miss 2, don’t push them to be fast learners, you’ll only regret it, I told myself. So I took a back seat and didn’t encourage her that much. But like any competitive parent, I want her to be the best and the fastest. It will be my downfall I swear!

But yesterday she did it, all by herself, a couple of steps.

What I am not looking forward to is the following;

– Opening kitchen cupboards and pulling everything out,

– Throwing a tantrum at the shops because she is now an independent girl and needs to walk every where,

– Running away from me at the shops after said tantrum,

– Scaring me at parks and other public places by running towards dangerous situations (e.g. behind swings), and,

– Climbing out of her cot and running around her room, periodically banging on the door keeping her two sisters awake.

Having just said all that, I am really excited that she is beginning the next stage of her development. I would just prefer it if she chooses to sit still, not run away and not test my patience in any of the scenarios I mentioned before.

Did you push your kids to walk as soon as possible? Did you regret it? Leave a comment below! 

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A sticky date… with ice cream

Every parent’s worst nightmare, a child covered in a sticky substance, no baby wipes and out in public. I partly have to take the blame for this one, I never taught her how to eat ice cream from the cone…

It's slowly dripping...

It’s slowly dripping…

“Do we get her a cone?” I said to Christine as we both exchanged troubled looks. We both knew neither of us brought any portable cleaning products and we still had to get some things from the shops.

We are currently on holidays in Whyalla, South Australia, where the outback meets the sea. Wendy’s gets a pretty big work out from what I have seen and for a good reason, it’s hot. But as you all know, ice cream melts when it’s hot, especially in a hands of a two year old.

Why haven’t I taught you to eat an ice cream out of the cone?!

I guess it was partly fear, of this happening. The image of a sticky mess unable to effectively clean it all up and the stained clothes, oh not the clothes!

She started with biting the bottom of the cone off.  Again, troubled looks were exchanged between Christine and I. I am playing the scenario through my head, where is the toilet, did I grab enough napkins from Wendy’s?

Surprisingly, the ice cream did not drip from the bottom, just everywhere else. Her hands were covered and it was slowly dripping down the sides.

Emergency evasive action!

Emergency action needed to be taken

Emergency action needed to be taken

“Get some more napkins!”. Christine jumped from her seat and fetched some more, I tried my best to mop up the drips from the cone. I managed to get rid of all the excess ice cream just as Christine arrived with a re-supply of napkins. “Put them on her lap”, good idea I thought.

The end was near. The rainbow ice cream had been devoured and we were in the safety of the cone zone. But what about the sticky fingers you ask?

Well surprisingly, my little angel (devil) managed to keep a relatively tight schedule on finger licking which minimised the stickiness.

Well played Miss 2, well played indeed.

I guess, I didn’t need to teach her how to eat ice cream from a cone after all. Everyday I am fascinated by how much she actually knows compared to what I think she knows. Both her and sisters continue to wrap me around their fingers and everyday, I love them just that little bit more, except at 3 am. Nobody loves waking up at 3 am…

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