Karryn Wheelans

how to get kids to empty the dishwasher without being asked!

I came home to find my 14 year old step daughter had emptied the dishwasher,  (a chore that wasn’t even assigned to her) off her own bat.


No asking, no bribing, no threats, nothing. Just emptied!

How did I do it?


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The Maths of Motherhood!

Bear with me!

This is the (fairly simple) equation that has prevented me from a life of pure insanity.

pocketmoney + chores = power

(plus or minus)

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The Unlikely Voyage of Jack de Crow

An aussie school teacher in England sets out on a sailing/rowing adventure, leaving the border near Wales and like Dr Dolittle, who set sail and bumped into Africa, kept going until he bashed into the Black Sea.

   In this travel memoir, A.J Mackinnon (Sandy) rows, sails, struggles, hauls, wades and drags his way for a year and 12 countries along canals, up and down locks, rivers and creeks. He writes beautiful prose about his         many adventures on board his tiny boat, Jack de Crow, sometimes too poetically and verbosely that it hurt to continually conjure up the images of the people and places he describes so vividly and often so humorously.

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That’s not FAIR!!

I have a super- amazing photographic memory!

I can recall exactly what chores my now 13 year old had to do when she was 7.

I can remember the ages each of my 5 girls had to start emptying the dishwasher, making their own lunches and ironing their own uniforms.

I can remember how much spending money each was allocated on family holidays, how many dances they were allowed to go to each term, how much time they were allowed on msn, now Facebook, and at what age they paid for themselves to go to a movie.

I am also a clairvoyant.

I can tell you when each of my children will be paying their own mobile bills, board and vacuuming their own rooms.

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The first step of a Stepmum!

Don’t discipline your step children.  Leave that to their biological mother or father!

Can you say crap on a blog??

If not, politely with a puckered face I say, “what a load of rubbish!”

Like many mums, I too have those parenting bibles- “What to expect when you’re expecting’, baby name books, a stack of mags with advice on everything from how to get babies to sleep, stop sucking dummies, when to start toilet training and how to join a play group.

I haven’t heard or read of, any so called “guides for step parenting”.  In fact are they out there?

But somewhere I must have seen this advice because it stuck in my mind and stuck in my craw.

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Smacking stepkids?

Gosh, just started this blog and already a serious issue!  I was hoping to start off slowly with how much pocket money I dish out…another time.

In today’s papers there’s a report of a judge overturning an assault charge on a man, who cuffed his 13 year old stepson around the ears for swearing at his mother and refusing to wash up.

Judge Paul Conlon said, ” it is a sad day when caring parents, attempting to impart some discipline to the little princes and princesses are dragged before the courts”.

He also commented that, “one of the reasons that so many young persons find themselves in trouble with the law is that there has been an absence of any effective discipline in their lives”.

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I do NOT like being a stepmum!

I played that paper chatterbox game as a child, where, when you lift up the flaps, I would end up marrying a gardener, driving a Ferrari, living in a toilet and having 20 children.

Sometimes I ended up living in a mansion or driving a golf buggy but not once did I ever turn over a triangle that said I would have 2 biological and 3 step kids!

Little girls don’t talk about wanting to have a blended family when they grow up.

But like the dreams I had as a child, of becoming a famous tennis player, (even though I never even picked up a racket until I was at university) or living overseas with a handsome prince, life sometimes doesn’t turn out they way you envisaged.

Step mothers were always portrayed as the evil villains in children’s stories….Cinderella had one, so did Snow White!

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If only our clothes could talk!

The Secret Lives of Dresses!
by Erin McKean.

This is simply a glamourous read, with  all the charm, simple sophistication and class of a vintage or retro dress.

Dresses, which collectively become a character in this book and tell the stories of their owners,  with wistful or vibrant,  melancholy or joyous emotion.

A range of feelings that Dora traverses as she comes to terms with love and loss and friendship and family.

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Shhhh … A 5 star secret on the barrier reef!

The Qualia Secret…

It’s touted as Australia’s ultimate luxury resort, attracting high profile celebrities and stars, the elite of the business world and of course the wealthy, all seeking seclusion and privacy.

But here’s a sneaky way to enjoy the extravagance of Qualia, the $1500.00 a night (approx) premier accommodation on Hamilton Island, in the middle of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and perhaps hob-nob with world-famous socialites WITHOUT checking in.

Umm…but there IS a catch.

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La Vie Parisienne (Paris Life)

La Vie Parisienne (Paris Life)      By Janelle Mc Culloch

Dramatic, lust-filled romances!  Disastrous french villa renovations! Life-changing career moves!
In the same vein as other travel memoirs (think “Eat, Pray, Love” or “Under a Tuscan Sun”) La Vie Parisienne is a tale of a woman traveling to France in search of  well….something soul-soothing.

In this case, for Aussie girl, Janelle McCulloch, there were no high-level temptations, flirtations or decorations,  but like meeting a entertaining friend everyday for coffee, I looked forward to reading on whenever I had time.

Janelle describes her escape to Paris,  as an opportunity to “look for love and the perfect lingerie.”

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