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 Letter to my Future Wife – Why we don’t need more children

Dear Christine,

 

I would like to take this opportunity to address your recent blog post regarding the possibility of having a fourth child.

 

First let me state that I love you and the girls incredibly but this has to stop. Let me start by addressing a few points that I think should change your mind.

 

1.     My blog is called “raising3daughters” not “raising4children”. Now I say children because if it so happened that we had a fourth child, it would have to be a boy. No God would be that cruel and make me the father to four daughters.

 

2.     At our last ultrasound with Miss 0.5, the sonographer told us the odds of having a boy, 17%!!. If you wonder why I don’t want to have another girl, please refer to my next point.

 

3.    In your recent post, you talk about the average cost of weddings being $45,000. Now, if we assume that the economy continues to grow at 3%, in 25 years that would equal approximately $79,000. Now if we multiply that number by 4, $316,000!!!! However if we stick with the 3 we have now, it brings the price down to approximately $237,000. Bearable I guess, better keep working on that passive income stream!

 

4.    This is a direct quote from your latest post, “I HATE being pregnant”. Do I need to say more? I won’t mention the complaining!

 

5.    I DO NOT want to drive a Honda Odyssey. As much as our best friend would love to see us buy one, I have no intention of buying a family wagon.

 

6.    Four school lunches to pack, four uniforms to wash, four pairs of school shoes to buy and four teenage girls to deal with while I deploy.

 

7.    Think of your sanity! Between, Jake and the Neverland pirates, Pepper Pig, In the night garden and Dora the Explorer we struggle to keep our sanity now. Imagine having to go around the bouy and do it all again with another child!

 

8.    I’ll make this my final point because I don’t think I need to say more. If we were to have another child, imagine the lack of space left for us in our bed on those early Sunday mornings, it’s already cramped in that cheap king sized bunk beds!

 

Now surely you’ve seen some logic in my arguments and we can put this discussion to rest.

 

I love you.

 

Your future husband.

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.

Water Safety these holidays

An empty beach.Water safety. [image source: Sed-Rah-Stock]

As the silly season comes towards the pointy end, it’s important we do not let down our guard when it comes to water safety.Yesterday, my girls were playing in the pool. It was Boxing Day, it was hot and there was a lot going on. Every year we hear about water related deaths around Christmas/NYE time so it is important to maintain awareness around the water at all times.

According to the Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report 2012, there was a total of 284 drownings. Of this number, 21 deaths were children aged 0-4 and 13 deaths were children aged 5-14 years. Drowning deaths occur all year round in Australia however, Summer accounts for 31% of the total number of deaths followed by Autumn 26%, Spring 23% and Winter 19%.

The report continues to break down how these deaths occurred, unsurprisingly swimming accounts for 19% of the total. What shocked me is that 6% of the deaths related to drowning derives from bathing! This just shows that at all times, we as parents, need to maintain our vigilance when it comes to water safety.

Teaching kids how to swim is extremely important, but you all knew that. But something that happened yesterday re-enforced that to me.

Miss 2 was floating around in the blow up ring with her Nanna when she was eager to swim like the big kids. She hasn’t had any formal swimming lessons yet but has grown up around the water so she isn’t unfamiliar in that environment but she still can’t swim.

Imagine if for a second we had turned our backs?

She could have slipped through the ring and the worst possible outcome may have occurred. It is imperative that we watch our kids around water, no matter where they are, bath, pool, beach or lake.

Ensuring water safety should be at the top of your list these holidays!

Have I taken on too much?

Taking on too many tasks for the good of my family.

Image source: http://stanfordflipside.com/images/153rolloutPTSD.jpg

This post is in collaboration with Yes Loans. Their ease and speed when it comes to personal loans is unmatched and that is the sort of support that any busy person needs

In my quest to become location and financially independent so that our family can do what we want, when we want, I think I may have taken on too much and it’s piling up.

At the moment, I’m studying for exams at university, trying to building a training program, managing social media for two clients, writing in blogs, recording a podcast, being a husband and being a father.

It’s a lot.

Sometimes I just find myself needed to sit there and watch the TV, listening to the random advertisements like the latest Voice update, wondering, is it all too much?

I know that the reward for all of this will pay off in the end. I just need to keep my focus and keep the reasons why I am doing all of it at the forefront of my mind.

This is for my family and my kids so that I can spend every day with them and watch them grow up.

There are lots of people who miss out on this. I wasn’t one of those children and I was truly blessed to have my parents at all my big sporting events or school functions. I want to be able to give that to my kids also. I want to be the dad who is there on sports day, who is there for every birthday. I’m gonna buy the Skyward Summit, an outdoor playhouse for kids, which has shape of mountain. You can check review about it at here!

I have missed the last 3 birthdays of my 7 year old because of work. 

I don’t want that anymore. I also want to help people who are in the same boat and I am sure there is a lot of us.

I’ve earned the title of Dad

This is the second post in a two part series when I talk about earning the title of dad and that it shouldn’t just be awarded to someone who helped conceive the child. If you haven’t read the first post you can check it out here.

All dressed up and heading to the movies

All dressed up and heading to the movies

 Treating them like your own

I’m a big softie. Anyone who has spent any decent amount of time with me will be able to confirm that. I also believe I am a good father. Sure I have some ups and some downs but overall I think I rank pretty high on the parenting scale. When I met my Fiance she had a 3 year old daughter (Daughter 1) and I knew this before I had even been introduced to her. I’d seen a friend have a relationship with a girl who had a daughter around the same age and it failed, terribly. But for me, I didn’t care that she had a child. Truth be told, I was glad that Daughter 1 was around. I loved the idea of being a role model to someone, to be the one responsible for her well being. It was a great feeling the day she decided to call me dad.

It’s an honour

For a child to accept you as their dad, when they have a choice, is no greater honour. They are trusting you with their lives, no greater trust could be bestowed upon you. This is exactly how I felt when she decided I was her dad. My partner didn’t tell her to call me that, she had called me James from the beginning but we had formed a bond that was incredibly strong and has been growing ever since. She is my daughter and I am her dad and no one will take that away from me.

I’ve been there for her when she’s been sick, I’ve been there for her when she has come home from school upset, I have been there for Christmas day but unfortunately I have missed her birthday for the last 3 years due to work requirements. Although I miss her birthdays, I make sure I make it up to her whenever I can. Take this for example. It is her birthday one week after I leave next week so next weekend is all about her. There’ll be balloons, there’ll be cake and there will be party food. We don’t know anyone in Canberra yet so it will only be our little family but man it will be fun. I’ll post pictures afterwards.

What’s next?

The adoption laws in Australia seem fairly straight forward but having said that I don’t have a clue where to start. I’ve been reading and its fair to say, I can do a lot more to get my head around what needs to happen and how the process works but that is the route we are headed down. She is one of the four best things to happen in my life and I will never ever let her down (I’ll try not to at least).

3 simple steps for staying fit these holidays

We all know how it goes. “I’m on holidays”, “It’s okay, I’ll start the diet in the new year”. I’m the worst for that stuff. Every year I fall off the wagon two days into the silly season. Well not this year, oh no. I’m going to be training no matter what, even if I am hungover. Besides, if Fast Lane Dad can run his fitness regime over the holidays I can too.

But how am I going to do it? Yes there will be a few curls (beer curls) involved but most importantly I’ll be focusing on cardio to burn off that extra serve of pudding and ice cream I am more than certainly going to demolish.

However, I know that you are going to want to join me in my holiday fitness so here are a few “fun” exercises that I’ll be doing to keep on top of that waistline.

1. Morning run/swim/ride- Yes, that is when all of our heads are going to hurt the most but getting out in the fresh air first thing helps clear the mind and gets those wonderful endorphins running and sets us up for the rest of the day.

2. Use the kids as fitness equipment – Kids make great light weights for heaps of reps. I use my daughters sitting on my back while I do push ups. I also use them for leg raises. Lay on you back, let your little weight lay on your legs and hold on, raise your legs up and down until your abs burn and can not go any more.

3. Box jumps – I am sure if your household is anything like mine you will have a tonne of boxes laying around from opened toys. Lay one of these on the ground in an open area, stand to one side, and then jump over the box to the other, repeat until knackered.

There you have it folks. Three simple steps that can help burn some extra calories this holiday season to make room for that tasty christmas dessert.

Moving on from the holiday season, I am going to be starting a new blog series that will run from now until the 1st of November 2014. It is called, “I’m going to run a marathon”. It will run right up until I complete the 42.2km marathon at Carcoar cup located in Carcoar NSW. In this series I am going to be documenting my training, nutrition and struggles leading up to the big race. I would love for you to join me on my journey and if this is something that you have wanted to do, let’s do it together.

How much is too much at Christmas?

Year after year, I watch my friends and friends of friends upload pictures of the presents under their trees. Some have a few to cover the ground underneath the tree and some have an entire room filled.Then the talk of how much we spent starts, $300 to $3,000 is from last years discussion. But how much is too much?

We tend to spend between $300 to $500 for all three kids. $500 being we have had some massive requests, like a bike. For us, we like to buy gifts that can be shared, or toys that the girls can sit down and play with each other for at least a month after Christmas.

But I can not understand why you would spend $3,000, sometimes more, on Christmas gifts for your two children? That’s $1,500 each!

I have to wonder about the implications that this would instil in the children. What are their expectations going to be like in later life? But what I also wonder is, what could your child possible “need” that would drive you to spend $3,000 at Christmas.

I grew up going to a Catholic school, where I was taught Christmas was about giving. Now, I am no saint and I could certainly improve in the area of giving but I personally think some people have lost the sight of Christmas. Shouldn’t we focus less on what we teach our children about receiving at Christmas and a little more about giving and sharing the holiday season with our family.

Christmas this year is very special for my family, it is the first Christmas as a married couple and our third daughter’s first Christmas. So maybe this year, we should all focus a little less on how much we spend on presents and focus a little more on how much time we spend with our families.

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.

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.

Twerking – What the hell

Before you read my post watch Miley Cyrus’ new music video and then read on

I get it. She wants to break free of her ‘Disney’ image from the Hannah Montana show but is this really an appropriate way to do it?

Celebrities will always try and be controversial because that is what sells. People talking about them increases their visibility which is in the end what they are looking for. What I disagree with, is the approach that Miley has taken to try and craft her new image.

How many girls out there grew up with Hannah Montana and probably look to her as a role model? Now she’s ‘Twerking‘ all over the place, what kind of role model does that? Surely knowing that you are a role model to so many girls around the world should bring with it some moral obligation.

I am not saying that she needs to go to church every Sunday, but there is a line, one which I believe she has crossed. I am just glad my girls don’t have a clue who she is.

How much is enough? Do you think public figures have an obligation to be good role models for our kids? Leave a comment below.

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Please, let me poo in private!

Just once, in my own home please kids, let me poo in private.

[image source: http://i.imgur.com/xYSzi.jpg]

I thought I had snuck away for 10 minutes of silence. I closed the bedroom door quietly so that I wouldn’t make my chasers aware of my location. I slid the bathroom door shut as I thought to myself “yes, I’ve made it!”. I settled in, retrieved my handy mobile phone for a session of Angry Birds – Star wars 2. But the silence was soon broken. I heard the door creak open in the bedroom, so I quickly turned the noise off my phone.“Maybe they didn’t hear me” I thought.

I was wrong.

Next was the bathroom sliding door, and from behind it came Miss 2, “Daddy, I want some milk”. Followed by Miss 7, “Daddy, are you doing a poo?”. Damn it, I just wanted 10 minutes peace and quiet to go about my business!

Part of me expected the baby to come crawling in. Or the cat. He doesn’t like to miss out on any action.

It’s a known fact that once you have kids, privacy goes out the window. Little did I know four years ago that I’d be sitting on the throne with a two year old having a full blown conversation with me.

But how can we parents find the privacy we so desire? Lock the door?

I did that once, those little fingers are amazing at picking locks.

Here in our household we share taking time out. I like to run, so each day for about an hour I leave the house and just run. It gets me away from the grind of being a parent and let’s me unwind. My wife, likes to go out for coffee, alone.

It’s not that we don’t love our kids, it’s that we as humans sometimes need some respite from constantly chasing after a 9 month old and making sure she hasn’t got dog biscuits in her mouth, or trying to toilet train the 2 year old.

[image source: http://redtricom.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/who-needs-vacation.jpg?w=413&h=288]

We all need space, some people more than others.I want to hear your tips and tricks for having some alone time. Do you go to the gym to get away from it all? Let me know in the comments below.

What to do when a child has lied

Taking a stand against your children’s lies!

I found this meme on Google+ and I would definitely hate to be in that kid’s shoes!

I like it.

Raising kids

Taking a stand against your children lying

Let me know if you have any good pointer on how to deal with lying.

What’s your New Years Resolution?

Set SMART Goals this New Years to ensure your success

Set SMART Goals this New Years to ensure your success

Set SMART Goals this New Years to ensure your success

2014 is just around the corner and it’s that time to make that dreaded New Years resolution. But how are you going to ensure you make a New Years resolution that is achievable in 2014?

Set a S.M.A.R.T Goal!

Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time bound. (Tweet this!)

(As featured in my Essential Holiday Survival Guide)

Using this formula will help you develop a series of goals or a goal that will allow you to be successful this year.

Specific – It’s no good making non-specific goals this New Years as it won’t give you a goal post. By making your goals specific (I’m going to run a marathon in 2014, follow me on Operation MOVE) it allows you to know exactly what you aiming to achieve.

Measurable – Is your goal measurable? “I’m going to get fitter this year” isn’t measurable. “I’m going to run a full marathon in November 2014″ is. This goal tells me exactly what I am aiming to achieve and by when I am going to achieve it.

Attainable – Are you going to be able to achieve your goal or is it wishful thinking? I hate running but I enjoy the challenge that it gives me. Having said that, I run 3 to 4 times a week and I try to push my distances each time. Having an attainable goal means that you can visualise yourself creeping closer to achieving that goal/s.

Realistic – Is your goal to make a million dollars this year when you have a career that pays $40,000? I wish you all the best and I hope sincerely that you achieve that goal but that isn’t very realistic. Your goal needs to be realistic so that you can work harder every day to achieve it. Some one wanting to loose 10 kilos is realistic if they work hard and diet!

Time bound – Under Measurable I specifically said, I am going to run a full marathon in November 2014. This gives my goal a time frame and it allows me to plan how I am going to achieve it i.e. training plans. Ensure that every goal you set is time bound, not only does this give you a measuring tool to see whether you’ve achieved it or not, it allows you to map your plan of attack.

So what goals are you setting in 2014? S.M.A.R.T Goals! Whether you want to improve your business, fitness or any other aspect in your live, follow these principles to maximise your chance for success.

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

Tips: Fitting in after working away from family

Working away from family

Working away from family

Working away from family is incredibly tough. I’ve spent lots of time away in the past, here’s how I fit back in. [image source: Royal Australian Navy]

 I’ve spent a large portion of the last 5 years of my working life away from home. From 1 day to 5 months, it doesn’t get easier working away from family despite what you might think.5 months away from home is a long time to be working away from family. Fortunately enough this was before the birth of my last two children. Miss 7 was around then but her mother and I had just starting dating. Never the less, spending time away from home is tough and I personally feel it gets tougher as your kids grow up.

I believe this is the case because they start to get involved in new activities other than cry and wiggle around on the floor. I was lucky enough growing up that my Dad was able to make it to most of my school carnivals, football games and swim meets. I always knew I could look to the bleachers and see him there. But here I am, spending months on months away from home and then coming home and struggling to fit back into the family’s routines.

Routine is good, routine is safe and it makes the time fly (at least for me it does). Remove yourself from your family’s routine for a few months and suddenly fitting in becomes harder than ever. They have the morning routine before school, routines for after school activities and even bath time. Finding out where you can fit back in can be difficult but here are a few tips that I use to get back into the rhythm of my family’s day to day life;

  1. Get involved. You are not going to get back into their lives standing on the sidelines whinging about how you aren’t involved. ‘Get amongst it son’ and help out. After school runs to the dance class or footy training is a great place to start and you get an extra few minutes in the car to talk about how your child’s day has been.
  2. Stay in touch with what is changing back home. It’s hard being away but talking about what is happening at home, routines etc, helps you get your head around it early. Meaning you can jump straight in and give that helping hand to your partner. Get a head start and ask your partner what their routine is like for this day and that day and you’ll be laughing.
  3. Create new routines (within reason). Don’t come along and decide that you are going to take the family for a walk at 5 o’clock at night when that is normally feeding time in the family zoo. Talk with your partner about how you want to get involved “I wouldn’t mind taking Bobby to the park and kicking the footy around this afternoon”.

You will probably have to go back to work at some stage so don’t start making up grand plans when you are going to head back to the grind stone. It is however, essential to dive head first into it all and acclimatise back to normal life.

I’ve said it before, talking about these situations will only benefit you in the long run. Being open about what you are feeling with your partner will not only help them understand what you are going through but will help you gauge what he/she wants from you.

So what are you waiting for? Take the bull by the horns and find ways to get back into your family’s routines.

Mashup Saturday

image source: mixes and mashups soundcloud profile

It’s Federal election day here in Australia but that is the last thing I am thinking about.

I’m on a search, for new music for the gym. I refer to soundcloud for some inspiration. After spending a while searching for some great new mashup tunes for the gym, I came across these little gems!

 

 

Let me know what you think!

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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[Part two] Great gift ideas for Dad this Christmas

Welcome back to your one stop shop when it comes to gift ideas for Dad this Christmas.

In part one we had suggestions such as bluetooth gloves, like a boss aprons and even a fitbit to keep track of those calories over the silly season (for some calorie busting tips see my 3 simple steps for staying fit these holidays). In the second part of the series, I’ll cover some more expensive items if your budget is a little bigger than mine.

Buy Dad a GoPro this christmas

GoPro Hero 3 Black edition [image source: CNet]

Dad like to get outdoors?Well get him the new GoPro Hero 3! Just released in time for Christmas is the Hero 3 Black edition. Starting at $399 online, the GoPro (as stated on their website) has started a revolution with small cameras that are versatile and can be fitted to a multitude of different devices, such as bike helmets, surfboards and snowboards. Along with the actual camera, there is up to 18 official harnesses and mounts that Dad can purchase for any kind of situation.

Is Dad a bit of a chef?

Buy Dad Heston Blumenthal's new book this Christmas

Heston Blumenthal’s At Home is the perfect gift idea for the culinary challenged Dad. [image source: Amazon]

Heston Blumenthal, one of the most celebrated celebrity chefs has released a new book that will surely get Dad’s taste buds jumping. At Home, helps Dad develop those techniques that will have him cooking skills like Heston in no time. It covers topics like, proper care for meat, taste and flavor, stocks and infusing and of course many dishes that Dad can use all his new found skills to create. You can pick up Heston’s new book from any good book store or from Amazon for $40

Dad collecting too many books?

The kindle is a great Christmas gift for Dads who love reading!

Dad enjoys reading? Buy him a Kindle! [image source: Amazon]Dad collecting too many books?

Get him a Kindle! Amazon’s Kindle new paper white device, is claimed to be one of the best e-readers currently available on the market. It boasts a huge battery life claiming that a single charge will last Dad up to 8 weeks! But the best thing, if your dad is anything like me and he collects books, the kindle paper white carries up to 1,100 books! That should keep dad going for a while! So what is it going to sting you? One payment of $139! None of these gift ideas suit your Dad? 

Red Balloon offers great packages for most exciting experiences

None of my suggestions suit your Dad? Give an experience!

 

Well no need to worry, I still have one great idea for you. A Red Balloon experience. From V8 experiences to sky diving to a wine cruise. Red Balloon has it all and best of all, Dad can pick exactly what he wants to do. The gift certificates from Red Balloon are valid for 12 months so that gives Dad plenty of time to make a decision and at the moment you can get free voucher delivery until the 18 December.Vouchers start at $25 and max out at $1,000. So I guess the next question is, how much do you love Dad?

There you have it folks, some more great gift ideas for Dad this Christmas. Do you have any other great gift ideas for Dad this Christmas? Let me know on the Raising3daughters.com Facebook page.

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?

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