Thursday, 30 June 2011

POTD

Wet Washing!


The weather is bit hit & miss this week. The wet washing was going nowhere so I've been catching the sun when I can and using the heater at night. I have a dryer for those rainy days but due to cost of electricity these days I'm reserving it for towels and bedding only.

P.S. I hope no 'smalls' are showing. I always try to put them in the middle of my airer really close to other clothes in case of visitors!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Lastest Tupperware Love

I confess I am a Tupperware Addict! I love the stuff. My latest and greatest Tupperware buy – The Turbo Chef! I have seen this around for a while but was not at all interested in buying one. My thinking was would I really use it that much considering it was priced at around $55. Then someone gave me the light bulb moment. Bells went off in my head and the credit card was whipped out in a flash.

You see as I have mentioned in a previous post I have a fussy eater in this house. There are certain things she will and will not eat. She has a sensitive gag reflex. Put anything in front of her with chucks in it and forget it. For example she loves sultana bran but spits out the sultanas. Or sometimes gathers them all in the side of her mouth and very ungracefully spits them out some time later. Hope you’re not eating while reading this post. 

So what does the Turbo Chef have to do with this? Well my wonderful Tupperware lady told me how she had seen a woman out to lunch with her baby whip one out of her handbag, proceed to stuff some of her food in it, spin it and voila baby food! How cool is it? I have been mashing with a fork lately because I hate getting out my stab mixer. It’s portable and much faster. It’s also much easier to chop according to how chopped or even pureed you want it. Love it!! 





My goodness reading back over this it could sound like I was selling the stuff. Nope, never have and never will. I'm far too nervous in front of adults I don't know. I'm fine with kids! Even though kids are generally more likely to bite (Yes it has happened to me).  
I just wanted pass on a great idea that someone shared with me.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

It’s Nearly Time – sob, sob

My youngest little cherub is 3 months old next weeks. She is growing fast. When I say growing I don’t just mean chubby, I mean long too. It’s nearly time for to move out of her cradle and into her big cot. But this also means moving into her own room. I have mixed feelings about this. My first thought is yippee I get my husband back in our room. He didn’t deal with the broken sleep at all well. If he was woken at 3am he just couldn’t get back to sleep. This was not good. Grumpy tired husbands are not my preference. My next immediate thought is then sob sob my baby is growing up so fast. What makes it even harder is the likelihood that she is my last. It’s a strange new feeling. My oldest moved into a big cot and her own room at 7 weeks but we lived in a unit away from home that year. She was still so close and would join me in my bed when my husband went to work at 6am. This is going to be hard. I think I may have to choose a definite date or I will keep putting it off.


I loved this cradle. It’s a family cradle (I slept it in) and it worked so well for us. It fits 3 IKEA tubs under it beautifully so I can have everything at hand. Tub 1 – wraps, Tub 2 - clothes, singlets, socks etc, Tub 3 – sheets and blankets. 




It will be sad to pass it on in the family but nice to know that there will be many more babies starting off their precious lives in it. 

Monday, 27 June 2011

AQWA

My husband had a day off last week so we decided to take the girls out on a little excursion. The weather wasn't great and since they had both recovered from being sick we choose somewhere indoors. We went to AQWA. 

I love this photo. Miss Molly is a real Daddy's girl. But really she had more fun playing on the stairs than anything else. 


Note to self: Do not take the girls again until they are much older. Also go first thing before any school groups have a chance to get there. With the school kids there she couldn't enjoy the touch pool and many of the exhibits. They pushed her out of the way and were too noisy for her. I got them to back off but it was too late as she was too intimidated by them and their noise.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Photo Name Cards

This is a brilliant idea I pinched from my sister (an extremely fabulous early childhood teacher). They are name cards with photos. 
 I decided it was time to make a set for Miss Molly. It helps her language as she talks about the different people, she begins to recognize that words having meaning and hopefully she’ll begin to recognize her own name. A little early I know but why not. Kids are often more capable of what we expect and as much exposure to what we in the business call a ‘print-rich environment’ the better. When she is older they will help her read names as well as write them. She can use them to practice writing names and others in the family.

I made them on the computer in word using text boxes. I got them laminated by my lovely sister as my laminator died long ago. I found some great magnetic tape in Kmart yesterday for $6 to go on the back then put them on the fridge. 
 

As you can see they are on my bar fridge as our big fridge doesn’t take magnets.
 
My fabulous sister first made these when her oldest child was little. He’s now 16! They were displayed on a cheap magnetic white board in her playroom. She has 5 children and still has them going in her house today. They are bigger than mine and since her youngest are now writing well they mainly use them as place-cards for setting the table. Each night a different child gets to decide where everyone sits by putting out the name cards. It makes the chore of setting the table a little more exciting! So lots of uses and very educational.

Oops thought I would add that I didn't make one for all family members as my family is huge! I choose our own family, all grandparents and only the Aunties, Uncles and cousins she sees the most. She has 6 Aunties, 4 Uncles and 18 cousins! I will gradually add more but the poor child would be overwhelmed if I did all now!
 

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Go, go, go!

Is such a relief to say to my oldest daughter go, go, go play outside. We've had a bit of a project on the go out the front and we are finally fenced in, nice and secure. We built a wall, laid some lawn and now Miss Molly has a play area at the front. There is still more to happen here but it is safe and she is locked in! This is a huge relief since today I found out she can open the front door all by herself! 
Gotta love a nice sunny day in winter.




Wednesday, 22 June 2011

A Little Piece of Me

My Precious Miracles


Last Sunday I caught up with a friend I haven’t seen for a while. She and her husband moved away for a couple of years. Seeing her and talking about the biggest thing we had in common has left me quite reflective this week. What do we have in common well that’s infertility and it’s a lot more common than you think. 1 in 6 couple will experience some degree of infertility. You may know someone who is or has experienced infertility. You may also know people who have infertility issues but you just don’t know. Infertility is funny thing. Some people are very open it and others prefer to keep it quiet. We are the blabbermouth type of people! Our friends spent the first part of their journey in private and then later decided to share it with their friends.I will share with you a bit of our story.


We decided after we got married to start a family. I was 30 and didn’t want to ‘forget to have children’. I was convinced it would happen in a matter of months. My mum had 6 children and often remarked that she only had to look at my Dad and she would fall pregnant. Age wasn’t even a barrier to her as she had me at 44! My sisters found it easy to. Two of my sisters have large families, one with four and the other with five.

So we tried .. and we tried .. and we tried……..NOTHING.

After a year we went to the doctor. We got referred to a fertility clinic and after many tests they didn’t find any major. The fertility clinic suggested we attempt three rounds of IUI (googling this would be easier than me explaining). We failed twice and then they said stop. Apparently they did find something wrong after all. My husband’s sperm had issues and ICSI (a form of IVF) was our only option. We took a break, gathered ourselves and our finances and …I fell pregnant naturally! We were so excited. We had a six week ultrasound and our world fell apart. The heartbeat was too slow. We endured a horrific 6 day wait until the next ultrasound. I crumpled into a heap. I hid from the world. I didn’t go to work. It was so hard not knowing whether to grieve or not. My mum was away in England and I really needed her. We were told we had a 1 in 3 chance of good outcome.
The odds ended up not in our favour. We fell apart but we fell apart together. The stress and emotional rollercoaster of infertility puts a lot of pressure on relationships. We were lucky as it just made us closer and stronger. But we fell pregnant naturally. I was convinced we would again.

Two years went by …. Nothing

It was time to go back. This time we saw a different specialist. Ours had left. Our doctor sat us down and was open and honest with us. She told us that we may fall pregnant again, it could take months or years but the outcome would mostly likely be a miscarriage. This was hard to swallow. For once I didn’t want to fall pregnant naturally.
We had to do ICSI. So we did and we were one of lucky ones. It worked first go. We truly were blessed. We were lucky again with our next child too as it only took two egg transfer rounds. Our two children are miracles and whilst our journey to have them wasn’t easy we were lucky. Lucky to have each other, lucky to have it strengthen our relationship and lucky our journey was short.

For those of you who may have travelled or may be travelling this journey I am truly sorry.
It sucks!

For those of you who haven’t please don’t tell people suffering infertility they just need to relax or have a holiday!!
That sucks!!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Sickness

Nothing much is getting done around here at the moment. My eldest Molly has an ear infection and bubs has a virus so there's lots of this ...


Monday, 20 June 2011

POTD

What's for lunch?
My daughter is such a fussy eater! I call her a grazer. There are certain things she will and will not eat but it changes all the time. I like to take photos of her lunch to record her fussy ways. Maybe one day I'll we'll look back at them and she'll understand what a painful fusspot she was!! LOL! 

Friday, 17 June 2011

The Laundry - A Temporary Solution

I really want a laundry with built in cupboards and bench top! In our previous house we had this and I miss it. The house we bought six years ago only has a built in linen cupboard. Putting in cupboards and a having the sink in a bench top will happen eventually but right now we our renovating the outside of our house first. So I needed a temporary solution. I particularly needed somewhere to keep the baby baths. My solution was of IKEA of course! Surprise, surprise!! I bought a relatively inexpensive table top and legs. It’s been wonderful. My washing hampers fit nicely underneath and my washing basket and trolley parks nicely beside it. My eldest daughter insists it is always her job to put the trolley back in its space after we have hung out the washing.


 
Speaking of washing hampers I have two double one from Ikea. This is so I have four compartments: darks, colours, whites and towels (includes bibs, flannels etc). I am extremely fussy about my washing. I never wash towels with anything. 

I’m so obsessed with washing that it drives my husband nuts. He’s always saying ‘but I only wore it for a couple of hours’. In fact he’s even resorted to hiding some clothes so that I don’t wash them!!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Cooked Playdough

I absolutely love the smell and feel of warm, freshly made playdough!
It's been a very long time since I've made some but I decided that my eldest was ready for it.
It was important for me to involve her so I let her help me put all the dry ingredients in the saucepan. She had a slight meltdown when I took it away to cook it. Luckily I had playschool recorded from earlier the morning so I managed to distract her with a bit of box watching. 


 Cooked Playdough
1 cup salt
2 cups plain flour
4 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons oil
2 cups water
food colouring

Mix everything in a saucepan. Add colouring. Cook on medium heat for 5min stirring constantly. Store in an airtight container in fridge.


Oh dear I must clean my windows!

Hint: If you have a problem with your child eating playdough just add more salt.
Kids usually hate the salty taste.


Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Menu Planning

I was so inspired by Super Organiser Mum's beautiful menu planner printable found here, I decided it was time for a change. 


Cooking dinner had become a right mess lately. By the time late afternoon came in my house I couldn't be bothered thinking about what to cook. My hands were full with a baby suffering reflux and my not quite two year going feral with temper tantrums. I was rocking a baby and the same time as implementing time-outs. I was exhausted and frustrated. I needed to get better organised. 

The first week I did it on a piece of scrap paper just to see if it would help. It did. So one afternoon my husband came home and for once had no calls, quotes or invoices to write up or urgent jobs around the house. I left him with the kids and fled to Officeworks to buy some little clipboards. Of course I made the most of it and got photos printed for project life and window shopped around! I had to make the most of it!!

Menu planning for me needs to be simple, cheap and fast. I wrote down a list of all the meals that were easy for me to manage at the moment to use as a guide for choosing my meals. I recently made up a freezer inventory for my chest freezer so I know what meat I have too. 


Now I didn't want to be too boring so I've decided to try one new recipe each week. This week I'm trying the Beef casserole with Parmesan dumpling the Jade from Super Organiser Mum recommended on her face book site. Here is the recipe for those interested.

Monday, 13 June 2011

The Study Project - What's in a Box?

So what do I keep in all those boxes. 
I haven't been nicknamed 'The Container Queen' for nothing!!

Above on the left I have a box of cards (birthday, baby, anniversary, plain) and a box of wrapping paper. I'm a budget queen when it comes to such things since most people throw them out anyway. I buy lots of cards and wrap cheap from Red Dot and Crazy Clarks. I make photo-cards for Mother's day, Father's day, Christmas, Easter and other special occasions.

On the shelf below I store map books, large envelopes, laminating sheets and printable label sheets. I had to buy an extra billy bookcase shelf from IKEA to make more room for this.

Next I store photo paper and white card in the blue tray, envelopes and printer paper. I keep these in a tray so I can easily transport them to my printer and have everything I need right there when printing special projects and photos. However I do most of my photo printing at Officeworks since its so much cheaper than printer ink.

In the middle I keep my children's health books and those fantasic plastic IKEA boxes. 

They hold:
pins & clips
highlighters
markers
sticky tape
nametags
bits & bobs
printer cartridges
red pens
pens
glue
ink pads
notepads
batteries
party stuff
staplers

Yes that it a lot! But I'm a teacher on maternity leave who had to bring all her stuff home. 
So yep a whole box of red pens!! Crazy, I know!

On the next shelf I have a fabric organiser that I store all our chargers in. These were driving me nuts all over the kitchen bench and study desk. The rest of the stuff is there temporary. 

The magazine holders are varied with camping, boat/fishing, instructions/warranty info, surf-club (my husband is a surf lifesaver), work, past diaries and choice magazines.
The last boxes are Camera stuff,  less used chargers, old phones, CDs, more stationary and lastly parts. By parts I mean all those parts that are needed for safety gates, changing cots to toddler beds, allen keys etc.

Phew! That's a lot of stuff but at least everything has a place and can be found easily.

But wait there's more ... 
Oops I haven't done that cupboard yet. 
I might take out shares in IKEA before I do that one!!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

My Study Project – Part 2

Well it’s time to go filing cabinet! Bye Bye.


I bought this filing cabinet off my sister over ten years ago. The top two drawers contain all our personal and house associated stuff. The bottom drawer used to store teaching stuff until I went to teach upper primary and I moved it all into Lever Arch files. Over the last couple of years the two bottom drawers have just collected clutter.
I was so inspired by this on the Jenna Sue website it was time for a makeover.


Check out what Jenna did here.
She is so fabulous she has made the printables available here too.
So now I have this …


Ahhh! That’s so much better and takes up less space.

Next project is to buy an expedit from Ikea to replace where the filing was. Then I’ll move all my Project Life, Sweet Baby Kit and general scrapbooking stuff out of the dining room buffet in the fabulouso expedit bookshelf.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Not So Tidy Anymore!

You know that nice and tidy kids cupboard?
Well someone decided they wanted to reorganise it in their own way! 


There was so fun much going on in this cupboard I let her keep playing for ages.
It was so interesting to watch her learning by trying to stack some things and put things inside each other. She even lined up matching things along the shelf at one stage.

Lucky for me everything was easily put back in its right place thanks to those containers. They make it so easy to quickly chuck everything back in to it's place.


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Room Idea

I love these hooks in my daughters room. In winter they hold my daughters most used jacket, jumper and dressing gown. In summer they hold a lightweight jacket and hats. I love this system as they are easy to grab if we are heading outside to play or out the door and need a warm layer.

The best thing is they were really cheap from Kmart. I put them on the wall with 3M command Velcro type wall fasteners. It means if my daughter tries to pull down a jacket she doesn't pull the hook off and wreck the wall. Instead it simply comes off (with a might pull) and I can reattach it back on the wall again easily.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

My Study Project – At last!

Well no camping this long weekend but we got a short break from daughter no. 1. She had a sleepover at her Grandma & Grandpa.
So my husband and I got busy! I don’t mean that kind of busy either!!
Having our very inquisitive helper absent allowed us to do a few big jobs that we’ve been meaning to do for a very long time. The first 3 jobs are in our study.

  1. First there was an Ikea bookshelf to assemble.
  2. Move all my teaching files into that shelf (There are a few since I’ve taught a lot of different year levels)
  3. Put up a whiteboard (We really need this since we run a family business)


  1. Finally put our Flat screen TV up on the wall. It’s only been waiting 6mths!!
If you are wondering what's in the 3 large boxes well it's more teaching stuff in two. One stores maths games and the other has literacy games. The third box stores old photos.
On the far right are some spare picture frames I need to fill and some teaching posters that I want to store in a better place. Maybe that will be the next project.

Monday, 6 June 2011

POTD

Here is another POTD idea.
If you are doing any painting around the house take a photo of the colour chart.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Camping with little kids

Well this weekend is a long weekend and everybody is off camping but us.
We are a camping family. There is nothing we like better than to get away from all of life’s stresses and distractions to enjoy the great outdoors. No TVs, DVD players or electronic games. It’s even better without the phones but we do run our own business so it’s not always possible. Love it when it does happen though.
Our youngest bub is only 8 weeks old and she had her needles today. We felt this was a little for our style of camping. No glamping here! We are tenting people and the nights are just too cold right now.
So I’m reminiscing about last years camping adventures. I’ve been looking through all our photos and thought I’d share the little things we’ve found useful camping with a little one.

 The number one item is the IKEA high chair. The legs come off for easy packing in the car easily wipes clean. It also keeps her off the ground. We go beach camping with friends with older kids who would accidentally kick sand in her face if the walked or ran past.

 
A shade cloth mat is a great playmat. The sand falls through the mat. There is nothing worse than having sand everywhere your child plays. This is an essential item for us as my oldest daughter is a little phobic about sand. She hates it! So no sandpit playing for us, but I’m working on her!

 
Plastic tubs are great for packing all your stuff in, It gets sand, flies and creepy crawlies out of your stuff. When empty they make great bath tubs too. We warm up water during the day in our solar shower for a bath later in the day. 


Oh how I miss my camping! 
Would love to hear if anyone else has some great camping tips?

Update: New post on My Camping Tips here

Thursday, 2 June 2011

POTD ideas


I am bottle feeding my youngest and thought that I would take photos of her bottle to record the changes in how much she has each feed and the equipment I use.
This was at 2 weeks.
 This was 8 weeks.
Here is the steriliser and bottle warmer. 
I wish I had a bottle warmer with my first!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Kids Cupboard

I love my Kids cupboard. I am seriously lucky to have such a large kitchen that I can devote one whole cupboard to the kids. I store all their feeding stuff here. 

 
The drawers behind the formula tins are full too. The tops one holds different sized teets and spare dummies. The bottom one holds small Tupperware containers that I use for snacks. My number 1 daughter loves grated cheese so I grab a small container to put some in for her lunch.

I like that everything is accessible for my daughter. I believe that fostering independence in our kids is vital. She now gets her own plates, bowls, cutlery and bib ready for meals.
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