by Lori Dwyer on July 3, 2014

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang.


When I was very, very little, I had no front teeth.

My first set- my baby teeth- came through on time. But they weren’t great. In fact, as legend would have it, they had almost no enamel on them at all. My six top, front-most teeth were chalky and spongy, and near guaranteed to rot and be painful.

So they just ripped them all out. Because, really, who needs teeth when you’re learning to eat and speak and whatnot?


I don’t remember ever being self conscious about my missing teeth, though my mum says I was, a little. The photo evidence tells me same.

In pictures where I’m really young- about two years old, I think, twelve months or so after my teeth had been pulled- I’m still smiling, gaps and all.


By the time I hit three, maybe four years old- the age my daughter is now- I’m smiling differently. I was too young to be teased about it (surely…?) but I’m guessing that enough well-meant comments had come my way to make me a little shy about smiling properly. I stayed that way for the first few years of primary school, too.


I think I was about nine or ten years old when I actually started to smile properly again.


I must have found I liked smiling because, really, I started doing a lot of it.

And I’ve been doing a lot of it ever since.


Naturally, having such crap teeth as a child led to having crap teeth as an adult. My teeth are horribly sensitive, especially to cold foods. Or cold days. I can’t smile and breath in at the same time, or it hurts. 

I’m awful at remembering to brush my teeth, and at making sure my kids brush their teeth. Night times are better- teeth brushing fits in perfectly with baths and books and bed. But in the morning, while we’re rushing to have breakfast, get dressed, pack lunches, gather school bags… teeth brushing sometimes gets forgotten. 

So, in line with moving and being happier and attempting to develop some healthy new habits, I’ve given myself a bit of a teeth brushing challenge. I need a star-chart or something.

Perfect timing, because Sensodyne just sent me some of their toothpaste to try. They 


tell me it’s not just for sensitive teeth, but also for stronger enamel and maintaining what’s left of my teeth’s natural whiteness. And it puts a layer on top of your teeth to protect them from the cold, cold Melbourne wind. I’ve just started using it and I have to say, it’s certainly pleasant- more silky than gritty, with no chalky after-taste.

But it’s early days yet. I’ll let you know how we get on.


This is sponsored post by Sensodyne. For the relief of sensitive teeth. Always read the label. Use
only as directed. If symptoms persist see your dentist.
SENSODYNE is a registered trade mark of the GSK group of companies. For more
information on the Sensodyne range, or to report an Adverse Event, please contact the GSK
product information line on 1800 028 533.



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I Hate Mornings.

by Lori Dwyer on July 1, 2014 · 29 comments

This post bought to you by Nuffnang and Uncle Tobys.


It doesn’t matter how much ‘better’ I feel about the world, how settled and happy I am feeling with this new life, this Melbourne life… mornings suck. Mornings always have sucked. I am not a morning person.

I was asked to write this post and describe my dream morning. Lots of examples were given- breakfast in bed. Waking up on the beach. Showering under a waterfall.

All of those sound lovely. But if I was honest, my dream morning wouldn’t be a morning at all. It would involve sleeping until at least noon, snuggled up in bed next to the Amazing Man. No children screaming at me to get out of bed and make them breakfast at 6am.

Anyway. That’s a highly unrealistic expectation. Let’s pull this back into the realm of real life, where mornings start early and are, currently, freezing cold.

I don’t function properly until at least 10am. And half the important stuff happens before that. Getting kid dressed and fed, lunches made, the school drop-off completed. Some days all my energy has evaporated by 9am, used up simply by the act of getting myself and the kidlets out of the house.

In an ideal world, I’d start my day with 10 minutes of yoga. Instead, I spend the first half an hour curled up on the lounge, two small-ish bodies curled around me in improbable ways, kicking their icy cold feet in my back.

Ideally, the Bump and the Chop would get themselves dressed, brush their own teeth and put their shoes on, all without being asked six thousand times. They would not fight, or roll their eyes at their unreasonable mother who is just trying to get them to school on time. They would not screech at me, or at each other. There would never be a morning where I stand in the kitchen cursing because there is no fruit for school today, after forgetting to buy it the night before.

In the real world, there’s arguing and grumpiness. There are school clothes thrown on five minute before we leave the house. Some days, lunches are haphazard and less than nutritionally perfect.

Most mornings are laced with a hefty dose of parental guilt.

I hate mornings.


Uncle Tobys sent me some of their Oats Quick Sachets for the kidlets and myself to try. I think they’re attempting to make mornings more bearable. It actually kind of works. The kidlets still screech at each other- and me- but a lot of the time it’s screeching over who gets to choose their Oats flavour first. Which I understand. There are Creamy Honey, Apple and Berry; and they are all quite yummy. Nom nom. There’s something therapeutic about a warm, creamy bowl of oats on a Melbourne winter morning.


The Oats have this thing where you can use the empty sachets to add your milk to the dry mix. The sachets even have a line marked on them to show you where to fill them to, in order to have the perfect amount to pour in. The novelty of that has not worn off on the kids. Or me. And it means less washing up for us. Which is awesome because I still have not dealt with the fact that we don’t have a dishwasher.


And, let’s face it, it’s oats we’re talking about here. They are creamy and good and nutritionally sound. I can’t imagine a better winter breakfast. Take that, mummy guilt.

Happy kids. Guilt-free me. Easier mornings. It’s a win, win, win situation, really.


One lucky RRSAHM reader will win $50 in Uncle Tobys product and a $200 Red Balloon voucher towards your own ‘dream morning’ experience. Just leave a comment answering the question – How would Uncle Tobys Quick Sachets help you achieve your dream morning?

Giveaway ends 11 July, 5:00 AEDST. T’s&C’s can be found here. Happy comping!!


The Beast.

by Lori Dwyer on May 6, 2014 · 6 comments

This post bought to you by Nuffnang and Mercedes-Benz Valente.


Mercedes-Benz Valente offered to lend me a car. I’m not sure anyone told them about my reputation as a totally terrible driver. Which is good. Because had they known, they might not have wanted to hand over the keys. 

And the people mover they lent me was seriously awesome. Not only has the Valente been named People Mover of The Year for 2012 and 2013, it was also comfy and stylish and so big that the Bump took to playing hide and seek in the back of it.

I was instructed to take the Valente and the kidlets, and go on a day trip. Considering there are a about a hundred places around Melbourne we haven’t been, choosing somewhere to go was difficult. We settled on a one hour drive to Arthurs Seat to visit the Enchanted Maze.

It actually felt a bit odd, going out with just the three of us. The Most Amazing Man had to work, so he couldn’t come with us. With the exception of our epic road trips to Sydney, we’re used to doing pretty much everything as a family of four. I hadn’t realised how used to it I’d become. The kids felt it too. “We will have to tell the Most Amazing man about this. He would love this”, says the Chop.

We got lost in mazes. We played giant Snakes and Ladders. We trudged great big heavy inflatable tyres up a steep hill over and over and over, so we could ride the Tyre Slide back down.  


There is one particularly terrifying attraction at the Enchanted Maze– the 3D indoor maze, designed to be as scary as possible. We were about 4 turns into it– just that little bit too far to go back– when I realised that this probably wasn’t a great idea, and that I may have just sentenced my kids to a few nights worth of bad dreams. The figures on the wall seem to move and seethe and I’m scared, so I figure the kidlets must be.

The Chop said he wasn’t afraid, but having made it through once was certainly not going back in. Much to the Bump’s disappointment. She was terrified and I ended up carrying her most of the way. But as soon as she got out she just wanted to go in again. “Do you like being scared?” I ask her, and I see her think about it for a moment, then nod.

Watching these little people learn about themselves is fascinating.

Both kidlets crashed within minutes of being back in the Valente. The model I got to drive was an 8 seater people mover with sliding doors on both sides and conference seats– three seats facing forward and three facing backward so the kidlets could sit opposite each other, which they thought was the most exciting thing ever.

The Valente was massive but drove so well– it took the curvy road up to Arthurs Seat like it was on rails. Being in the driver’s seat felt high up and safe. It has a five star ANCAP rating and something called Adaptive ESP, which actually compensates for the weight distribution of your passengers in an emergency.

The Valente has separate air con controls and speakers for the back. It also had bluetooth, three sunroofs and a stack of other groovy features. I felt like the most stylish mum ever at school pick up- the Valente has that Mercedes look to it with alloy wheels and tinted windows.


And it was so easy to drive. Given my (not completely unfounded) bad driver reputation, I was more than a little bit scared when I saw the size of the Valente. But I even managed to reverse it backwards down a tiny street with cars parked on each side (with the assistance of the reversing sensors) after I got lost for the millionth time trying to navigate home from South Melbourne. (Getting lost in Melbourne is a regular occurrence for me. Still.)

Anyway. The Valente is awesome and you should totally buy one. The kidlets rate it a solid five out of five, and were more than a little disappointed that we had to give it back.


Thanks to Micheal Flynn at the South Melbourne Mercedes-Benz dealership for letting me take the Valente and trusting me to bring it back in one piece. The dealership was amazing- they even gave me coffee while I waited.