Baby Bug Racer

Baby Bug was always in a hurry. He couldn’t quite walk yet, but he had lots of ways to get around – he could roll across the floor or hold himself up on furniture and drag himself along. He had a little walker with buttons that made all kinds of fun noises.

But Baby Bug especially loved his little car.

His tiny feet peeked out the bottom and he could push himself along as fast as he liked.

Baby Bug wasn’t the safest of drivers, but his collisions with walls, doors and mummy and daddy’s legs only made him giggle.

When Baby Bug wanted to go REALLY fast, he would climb into his car and push himself up and down the hallway as fast as he could!

“Slow down, Baby Bug! You’ll hurt yourself!” Mummy would shout.

“Slow down, Baby Bug! You’ll break something!” Daddy would yell.

But Baby Bug never slowed down.

One day, when Baby Bug had just awoken from a particularly pleasant nap, he decided to hop into his little car and see how fast his little legs could take him.

He lined himself up with the hallway, and started to go!

Faster and faster his little legs went and the car went faster with them.

Baby Bug had never gone this fast before!

But just as he broke into the hallway at a breathtaking pace, mummy and daddy were opening the front door to greet a neighbour.

Ker-thump thump! Baby Bug bounced straight over the door step in his little car, and THWACK! knocked the neighbour into the garden!

Baby Bug was frightened, but the little car had too much speed!

Down the driveway he went and onto the footpath, with mummy, daddy and the neighbour all chasing behind.

“SLOW DOWN, BABY BUG,” mummy shouted, “YOU’LL HURT YOURSELF!”

“SLOW DOWN, BABY BUG,” daddy yelled, “YOU’LL BREAK SOMETHING!”

Just as the little car reached the corner, about to roll out into the street, Baby Bug stuck out his tiny hand and caught hold of the street pole.

Around and around and around the pole he flew, his little hand gripping on for dear life!

But, just as he thought he couldn’t hold on any longer, a pair of hands reached in and snatched him out of the little car, and Baby Bug found himself wrapped tightly in mummy’s arms.

“Silly Bug!” said mummy, “this is why you shouldn’t go so fast!”

Baby Bug was just happy to be safe and sound in her arms again.

~~~

Baby Bug was always in a hurry. He especially loved his little car.

“Slow down, Baby Bug! You’ll hurt yourself! Mummy would shout.

“Slow down, Baby Bug! You’ll break something!” Daddy would yell.

And Baby Bug slowed down… a little.

Happy birthday Baby Bug!

June 24, 2012 at 10:56 pm 1 comment

A tale of two tweeters

Once upon a time, there was a children’s writer who loved writing stories and sharing them online. She would write stories for friends and family, and some just for fun. But while posting her stories online was fun, the writer wanted more.

“I would so love to publish a book, a real live book with pages and pictures and things,” she sighed.

“But how can I create a book when I can’t even draw as well as the average four year old?”

“Oh when, oh when will I have book to call my own?”

After many months of fruitless searching, the young writer had all but given up hope.

But one day, as she strolled through Twitterland, she stumbled straight into the arms of the perfect illustrator.

As she gazed into the illustrator’s website, the writer saw everything she had hoped to find and more.

And so a friendship was born, and with it a partnership that would one day lead to… THE WRITER’S FIRST BOOK!

~~
I’ll be back with more on this exciting story (in more of a normal blogging format!) next week. But, long story short, things are in progress, it might take a little while but it is SUPER EXCITING and I can’t wait to share more!
xo Chrissie

May 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm Leave a comment

The state of the nation – erm, I mean, this blog

Hi guys,

It’s been far too long since my last post here at Squeaky Shoe Stories, so I thought I would stop in to let you all know what’s happening.

But first, to make up for my absence, here is a ridiculously cute image of a squirrel in snow:

I have taken a bit of a time out from writing, due to other things that have been going on (if you’re interested in further details you can read my husband’s blog post over here which should explain things a bit).

I have still been working on Squeaky, but it’s been more behind the scenes stuff – primarily I have been TRYING to move my domain across to another host. Or something. I don’t entirely understand the lingo, but basically I want to make the site faster and better, and also to have a dedicated email address which I am currently unable to do.

I say trying, because it’s kind of a tricky process, especially for newbie like me. This is ultimately a good thing, since it’s all done to protect peoples’ domains – the protections in place stop people from nabbing someone’s domain the minute it expires and then charging them money to get it back.

But right now those protections are proving a teensy bit frustrating as I attempt to navigate the whodackys (whodackies? What is the plural of whodacky?) and the whatsits. Cross your fingers for me!

I am also working on a story right now which I hope to be able to share soon. It’s a bit rough (okay, very rough – I wrote it at midnight on the Notes application on my phone because I couldn’t sleep), but I’ll clean it up soon.

In addition, I have a VERY EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT COMING! It’s an announcement that I’ve been wanting to make since I started this blog, and it’s coming very soon. It is SO STUPENDOUSLY EXCITING THAT IT HAS ME HAPPY DANCING ALL OVER THE SHOP AND TYPING IN CAPITAL LETTERS A LOT!

So yeah, I’m a little bit pumped for that.

In the meantime, tell me what you’ve all been up to! Any fun plans for Mother’s Day? I’m having a big family brunch with my parents, my in-laws and and my in-laws’ in-laws (sister-in-law’s mother-in-law. Not that that’s confusing or anything).

xox Chrissie

May 12, 2012 at 9:40 pm Leave a comment

Clara’s House – part two

To read part one of Clara’s House, click here.

Over the following weeks Clara and Burger spent even more time in the woods behind Clara’s parents’ house. Slowly they worked away at the little house, cleaning, tidying and freshening it up.

Clara’s parents were so busy with their own renovations that they never seemed to notice the trickle of items leaving the house – some cushions here, a small tin of paint there and a fair amount of scrap wood all disappeared bit by bit.

Over at Clara’s house, things were progressing nicely. She couldn’t reach high enough even with the old wooden ladder she had found to paint the house itself, but she had brightened it up by painting the door and window frames a cheery yellow.

When she couldn’t find glass at home to fill the windows, Clara constructed some rough shutters to keep the wind out. Inside she cleaned the dirt off the wooden floors and polished them as much as she could. Burger helped, skidding around the floor with cloths tied to his tiny paws.

As autumn fell, Clara got to work in the garden, clearing out the garden beds and pulling weeds out from the cracks in the path. A few packets of seeds slipped out of her parents house and some water carried down in a big bottle and soon the garden was looking as pretty as a picture.

Clara was so proud to see all her hard work paying off.

“Oh Burger, it’s so pretty!” she said. “I can’t wait to finish it all so we can show mummy and daddy!”

But winter came too fast, and soon Clara found herself cut off from her little house by rain and snow.

As she played inside her parents house in the warmth she would stop, gaze out the window and sigh.

“I wish I could go and see how my little house is doing,” she told Burger wistfully. “I do hope it’s okay!”

Then one day the snow stopped and the sun came out. It was chilly but clear, and Clara begged her parents to let her and Burger go out.

“I don’t know…” said mummy.

“Won’t you be cold?” asked daddy.

“Oh no,” Clara said, “I promise we’ll keep warm and we won’t go too far.”

Finally mummy and daddy agreed to let the intrepid duo go out on their own, on strict instructions that they stay in the one area and come in at the first sign of snow.

Excited, Clara and Burger ran off into the woods to see their little house.

Apart from a light covering of snow the house didn’t look any different to when they had left it. Clara stroked the happy yellow door fondly.

“I missed you!” she whispered softly, so only the house could hear.

Although the sun was out, it was still a cold day, so Clara and Burger holed up inside and started arranging the few meagre possessions they had gathered.

Clara chattered away the whole time while Burger followed her around diligently, carrying tools and straightening cushions as he went.

“I think we could put a shelf here, and some curtains would really brighten it up. Maybe a small table, so we can sit on cushions and eat,” Clara said as she made her way around the house.

After some time there Burger looked up and frowned – as much as a chihuahua can frown. Clara looked up and noticed the same thing Burger had – it was growing darker inside the house, and it shouldn’t be anywhere near evening yet.

Stepping outside, both Burger and Clara’s jaws dropped. Big dark storm clouds were rolling in fast.

Burger barked in alarm.

“You’re right Burger, let’s get out of here!” Clara cried.

As they started the trek back to their parents house the rain started, light at first but growing stronger.

Clara was already running as fast as she dared on the slippery ground.

“Burger!” she cried, “we’re not going to make it!”

Suddenly, Burger sped up and changed direction, diving sideways through some trees and disappearing.

Clara stopped, dismayed. She couldn’t leave Burger out here on his own!

Calling out to him, she fought her way through the wet grass and trees, trying to find where he had gone.

“Burger!” she shouted, “Don’t be scared! We can get home and out of the storm, I promise we’ll be okay. Come back, Burger!”

He didn’t answer.

Clara fought on, but as the storm grew heavier she grew more scared.

‘Maybe I should go home,’ she thought. ‘I can’t find Burger on my own, but mummy and daddy will know what to do’.

Just at that moment she heard something come cracking, crashing and splashing through the trees towards her.

Clara backed up, afraid, until Burger came bounding up to her, his tail wagging and sending water spraying this way and that. Behind him were mummy and daddy, their hair soaked in spite of their rain coats.

“Clara, you’re alright!” mummy cried in delight, snatching her up in a big cuddle.

“Come on,” daddy said, “we have to get to shelter quickly”.

Burger barked commandingly, and they all fell into line behind him, Clara now riding on daddy’s back.

“I don’t think this is the way back to our house, Burger,” daddy called out.

“It’s okay daddy, our house is closer!” Clara shouted to him.

Mummy and daddy exchanged a quick glance, then shrugged and continued to follow the little dog.

After a short time they came upon the little house, but there was no time to admire it. The storm was almost overhead, so the four of them piled inside and shut the door behind them.

Daddy went around the inside of the house, fastening the shutters closed with anything he could find and checking for cracks while mummy grabbed the cushions from the pile in the corner and set them up as a bed. Then mummy, daddy, Clara and Burger all snuggled in together on their cushion bed to wait out the storm.

While the storm was big, the little house held strong, just as it had for many years prior, and despite the roaring thunder and bright flashes of lightning outside, one by one they all fell asleep.

When they woke up, the storm had passed and a new day had dawned, bright and cheerful.

Clara opened her eyes and wondered for a moment where she was. What happened to her big pink room with her pretty blue capiz chandelier? Then she remembered – she wasn’t in her room at all, she was in her house!

She bounced out of bed and ran outside to see how the little house had fared in the big storm. Outside though, her excitement gave way to dismay.

Small branches, leaves and twigs littered her once cleared garden and her fledgling plants had been left beaten and bedraggled by the wind and rain.

One pretty yellow shutter was hanging half off its hinge, while another had a board missing.

Yawning, mummy and daddy came outside to join her.

“It’s not fair,” Clara told them, her eyes downcast. “Burger and I worked so hard to make this house pretty and now it’s ruined.”

“Oh Clara!” said mummy, crouching down to give her a hug, “this is a beautiful house. Just look at that pretty yellow door!”

“Besides,” said daddy, crouching down beside them, “I bet with all four of us working here we can get ‘er done in no time!”.

“You mean, you’d help me? But aren’t you too busy with your own house?” Clara asked incredulously.

“Of course not!” mummy smiled.

“We’re never too busy to help you,” daddy said.

Clara beamed at them both.

“Well then, we’d better get to work!” she said brightly. “Daddy, you and Burger can start clearing all this mess in the yard, I want to talk to mummy about the decor!”

As Clara chatted away to mummy about colours and window treatments and all those other fun things that Burger seemed to find so dull, she realised that her little house was even better when it was shared with her whole family.

March 4, 2012 at 7:00 am 2 comments

Clara’s House – part one

Once upon a time there was a little girl called Clara who lived in a lovely house with her mummy and daddy and her best friend Burger the chihuahua. Clara loved her parents’ house, which they had worked hard to make into a lovely, cosy, fun space for their little family.

But what Clara loved the most about their house was the woods behind it, with trees that were even taller than her daddy and grass so long that in some places all Clara could see was the tip of Burger’s tail. Clara and Burger went to play in the woods every single day when the weather was good.

Sometimes they played hide and seek, other times they played chasey through the trees, but Clara’s favourite thing to do in the woods was to explore.

“Ooh, look at this beetle, Burger!” Clara would cry, and Burger would trot over obligingly to have a look.

Some of the things Clara found seemed really interesting to Burger, but she never let him try to eat anything.

One morning, Clara woke up feeling extra energetic.

“Come on Burger,” she said, “let’s go exploring!”. Burger whuffed agreeably.

“Have fun!” called mummy as they walked down the path to the woods.

“Be careful!” daddy yelled after them.

Off Clara and Burger went, running, jumping and skipping all the way. After a fun morning racing through the woods, Clara collapsed to the ground giggling uncontrollably. Burger trotted over barking his enjoyment and giving her very enthusiastic kisses.

When she caught her breath, Clara sat up and looked around.

“We must have come a really long way, Burger,” she said. “I don’t think we’ve ever been this far away from home before!”

Burger looked at her calmly. They were a long way out, but he knew he could find their way back, following their tracks with his sensitive nose.

“I wonder what we’ll find this far out!” Clara said as she got to her feet. “Come on Burger, lets explore!”

Burger whuffed his agreement and trotted after her.

In this part of the woods the ground was barer and the trees grew closer together. It felt different too, quieter and more still.

Clara and Burger ducked and weaved their way through the trees, the woods getting thicker as they went.

It was hard going, and soon they were both growing warm. But just as Clara was about to suggest they turn back, something caught her eye.

It was definitely wood, but it looked different to the trees.

“Burger, come look!” she cried, speeding up to investigate.

Stumbling into a  small clearing in the woods, Clara gasped, while Burger stood in silent puzzlement.

There in the centre of the clearing stood a tiny, run down house. It looked solid enough, but was clearly very old, with no glass in the windows and weeds growing through what once were flowerbeds.

Clara was spellbound.

“Oh Burger,” she breathed, “it’s beautiful”.

Burger cocked his head at her. He couldn’t quite see the beauty in the dilapidated old house, but then he was often bemused by the things his humans got excited about – like that strange stone dog that mummy seemed to love so much. Burger had tried sniffing him, and didn’t think him much of a dog at all – his nose wasn’t even wet!

Still, Burger loved his humans and was quite happy to follow along with all of their adventures, and this strange old house would be no different.

While Burger was musing on the oddities of humans, Clara was in raptures over the house.

“Oh Burger, there’s so much that we can do! If we find some glass for the windows we can seal it up and add some cute curtains. We can paint the house and the shutters and plant flowers in the garden beds and lay down some floors and make a path… come on Burger, we need to get started!”

To read part two of Clara’s House, click here!

February 26, 2012 at 6:00 am 2 comments

My Daily 11

I have been tagged in the Daily 11 by the delightful Tif from A Warped View.

This post is all about me, because… well, why not? In all seriousness though, I love these types of games for getting to know people better. If you enjoy reading my facts and answers, why not join in?

I have illustrated this post with some pictures from my February Photo of the Day album, just for fun.

I hope you enjoy these random facts about me!

The Rules :

Post the rules

  1. You must post 11 random things about yourself
  2. Answer the questions set for you in this post
  3. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
  4. Go to their  blog and tell them you have tagged them
  5. No stuff in the tagging section about “you are tagged if you are reading this” – you legitimately have to tag 11 people (However if I haven’t tagged you and you would like to play along just leave a comment with your blog address and I will add you to my list of tagged peeps)

11  Random Things About Chrissie :

  1. I have amazing people in my life. I have no idea what I did to get so lucky, but I am so grateful for my friends and family.
  2. I wrote and illustrated my first book when I was four. I had to use a hole punch and some wool to bind it, since I couldn’t find the stapler (it was hidden from me because, well, I was four) and I was too independent to ask for help putting it together. I have since learned that I am not and never will be an artist, so from now on I’ll leave the illustrating up to someone much cleverer than me!
  3. My voice squeaks when I get angry, and Mr Bee thinks it’s hilarious.
  4. I have a growth in my brain which appears to have intertwined with the blood vessels in the balance centre of my brain, causing dizzy spells and vertigo. My husband is very well practiced at catching me, but the other day I actually fell for the first time in more than 10 years of having this issue, and broke the wall.
  5. I’m seriously addicted to coffee. I am trying to cut back… and failing. Badly.
  6. My wedding cost less than $8000 and it was just what we both wanted.
  7. I am horrendously indecisive, especially when my blood sugar gets low (oh yeah, and I get hypoglycaemic)
  8. I love working from home, but some days I forget to go outside.
  9. I am frequently torn between loving my house for all its potential and hating it for its lack of space, lack of storage and inability to meet our needs. I want to do it up because it was neglected for so long, but I know it’s not practical to put too much into a house that we ultimately won’t stay at.
  10. Despite having a natural tendency towards stress I have taught myself not to stress (much). This is necessary for me to survive – my stress levels got way out of control a few years ago and I made myself really sick. I often have to remind myself that most of the things I worry about are trivial and aren’t worthy of my time or my health.
  11. I am really forgetful. Matt always has to find my phone, bag, shoes etc because I can’t remember where I put them. I sometimes forget to eat when I’m home alone, and at times I forget to breathe. Seriously.

My questions

  • What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Go back to sleep =p But when I wake up for the second (or third) time, I generally stumble into my office and turn on my work laptop.
  • What is the last thing you do before you go to sleep?
Give my husband a good night kiss – it’s very important!
  • What was your favorite children’s book?
This is a hard one! But if I had to pick one, it would have to be Dogger. Also, Block City for all the colourful pictures and Matilda by Roald Dahl. Okay, sticking to one was too hard.
  • Who do you look up to?
Ellen DeGeneres. I know she’s a hot topic right now, but I have admired her strength, honesty and positivity for a long time. She also seems really genuine, and I like that in a person.
  • What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
There are two rules in life. Rule 1: I will make the decisions that affect my life. Rule 2: If I’m wrong, see rule 1.
  • What is your favorite board game?
Rummy (or Rummikub, depending on which set you buy). It is awesome fun, kind of like scrabble, but with numbers and no board (wait, does it still count as a board game? Oh well)
  • Do you believe people are inherently good?
Yes.
  • If you could have any super power, what would it be?
I never have an answer to this question. I may be imaginative when it comes to stories, but when it comes to imagining my life differently I draw a blank. I’ll say healing, despite the fact that it sounds totally smarmy.
  • What is the signature dish that you cook?
Chicken risotto!
  • If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I really like the atmosphere, environment and (most of) the people in Perth, if I was going to live somewhere else in Australia Melbourne sounds pretty cool. I haven’t been enough places overseas yet to make judgements, but I do love New Zealand and have heard good things about Switzerland.

My Tagees :

I hope these delightful people don’t mind that I’ve tagged them (I know some people hate these kind of things) and there is no pressure to participate if you don’t want to. I have tagged you all because I enjoy reading your blogs and would love to learn more about you as individuals. If you haven’t been tagged but want to join in, go for it! Just tell me in the comments so I know to go and look for your answers!
  1. Matt at Fearninckx Rising (my husband – it’s our shared blog)
  2. Leanne at French Kissing (a dear friend who is seriously inspiring and entertaining)
  3. Danika at Artemiss Creations (a fabulous artist and designer)
  4. Kirstie at Musings of a Happy Life (some great recipes and inspiration)
  5. Liv at Col Panna (a fantastic food blogger)
  6. Julie at 365 Day Project, my way (life inspiration)
  7. Kaz at Living on a Latte (organising, crafts and recipes – lots of fun!)
  8. Rebecca at Novel Girl (writing advice and reviews and other cool things!)

Questions for my tagees :

  1. Why did you decide to start a blog?
  2. Tell me a lame joke (You know you love them!)
  3. What is/was your favourite children’s book? (Had to steal that one from Tif!)
  4. What is your favourite food?
  5. Name a song you love.
  6. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  7. What is one quality you love about yourself?
  8. How would you describe your personal style (could be clothes, home, etc)
  9. Do you prefer being around lots of people, just a few, or alone?
  10. Do you have any regrets in life?
  11. How would you spend a perfect day?

I hope you’ve enjoyed my Daily 11. Feel free to join in the fun! I’m aiming to have a new story up next week, so stay tuned.

xx Chrissie Bee

February 12, 2012 at 6:30 am Leave a comment

When the time is write

Last year was a good year for writing, but I plan to make 2012 even better. In order to find more time for writing around working full time, looking after the house and animals and spending time with my brand new husband, I have put together a few tools as part of my new, overall organisation system.

Okay, even with a shiny new calendar on my wall I forget what day it is, but these things take time, and I am taking baby steps towards making the most out of the time I have!

1. To do lists

I am a chronic list maker, so having this notebook helps me keep everything together – because there’s nothing worse than losing your to do list! This isn’t just for writing, but it helps me stay on track to get everything done, which means I don’t feel guilty about taking time out to sit down and write blog posts or work on stories.

This notebook is from Kikki.k – I actually bought it with the gift certificate I was given as a farewell from my previous job (along with a receipt folder for tax claims, which should make my tax accountant – also known as my father in law – very happy. Yay organisation!)

2. Diary
I know the focus of this post is tools to help me write, but the fact is no one part of life occurs in a vacuum. Everything is affected by everything else, so part of making time to write is taking control of the rest of my time.
This diary is another Kikki.k find, which I love. It has columns for each day, rather than boxes, which suits my list-loving nature. I cannot tell you how many years I have looked for a diary like this! Seriously, I’m picky when it comes to diaries.
Having a good diary helps me keep track of what’s happening when, so much like the to do lists I’m able to keep the rest of my life organised and fit in time to write around everything else.

3. My notebook

I love a good notebook! While I tend to work in a variety of ways (my computer, my laptop, I actually wrote my wedding vows directly onto my iPhone), I will always be a pen-and-paper girl at heart. I spend ages picking out the perfect notebook – it has to be A5 so I can carry it around in my handbag, spiral bound so I can fold it around if I’m writing in a tight space. and it has to be cute so that I enjoy using it.

I found this one at Big W – I was actually really surprised at their wide range of pretty stationery! I will definitely be hitting them up for supplies in the future.

This notebook is where a lot of my stories start, and some of them even finish there! I sometimes edit things when I type them up, but more often than not they stay much the same.

4. Time planner

This colourful time planner was created by the lovely Jen at iheartOrganizing, which comes with a lovely inspirational quote from Benjamin Disraeli – “He who gains time gains everything”.

Using this planner I was able to schedule out my weekdays (weekends are a schedule-free zone!). I start work at 6am (yes, really!) but fortunately I work from home so I only have to get up at 5.30! Generally I’m done with work between 2.30 and 3pm, and I don’t go to bed until 9.30pm.

So realistically, I have a whole 7 HOURS after work to get things done. Even with some housework, cooking dinner, taking the dogs out for a walk and other such things I should be able to fit some writing into that time!

You can find this document as  agree printable here. You should also check out Jen’s blog, because it is chock full of amazing ideas and inspiration.

5. Jotter pad

In order to make my writing time more focused I purchased a jotter pad from The Reject Shop, it was about $4 from memory. I’m planning to cover it with something pretty, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet. It’s on my to do list!😉

The jotter will follow me around, and is a place that I can use when I start getting distracted by thoughts and ideas. This notepad will be purely for writing ideas, whereas other notebooks tend to become mixed up with a bit of everthing. This way, if I’m sitting down to write I can look back and draw inspiration from those notes.

6. Okay, there’s not a sixth item in the picture, and I haven’t actually used this yet, but I love the look of it and I think it’s just what I’ve been looking for. These daily planning pages from The Complete Guide To Imperfect Homemaking (number 1 in the post) have spaces for planning dinner and blog posts, as well as a general to do list.

Find the post with the printable here, and also check out the blog – it’s another of my (many) favourites!

I’ve already downloaded the page and will be printing it off to start using this week. I’ll let you know how it goes!

So now it’s your turn – what tools do you love for getting organised? How/when/where do you find time to do the things you love?

xox Chrissie

February 5, 2012 at 11:16 am 2 comments

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