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Me and My Munchkin

Me and My Munchkin: May 2012

Thursday, 31 May 2012

My Sunny Day

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day in Adelaide. It was warm, and I was actually able to get around without a jumper on (no kidding).

I'm sure that most of you know that I've had a rough couple of weeks. I won't dwell on them, but if you missed it, you can read about a few of my struggles lately here.

Any who, I woke up yesterday morning, in Master A's bed, after spending the night in there with him - it was so much easier than arguing in the middle of the night. The morning was cold, like every other morning. But within an hour the sun came out, and it actually stayed out!

I spent the morning catching up on some blog reading while Munchkin watched Toy Story and then ran around the house for a little while. I then looked in the mirror and smiled. The sun was pouring in through the window, and I felt good. For the first time in a month, I felt good.

I decided to take advantage of my re-discovered feel-goodness (that's totally a word) and after Master A's nap, I loaded him in to the pram and off we went to the park. Playgrounds are just about Master A's favorite place in the world. Not so much mine. All that climbing and running after him, my pelvic floor muscles cringe just at the thought of it.

All the same though, we had fun running around the park, going from the swings to the see saw to the slippery dip, and back to the swings again.

I'm a mother that bribes her child. Every time we go to the park, I take a yoghurt or banana or some grapes to coax him back into his pram. After settling him in the pram with his favorite squeezy yoghurt, we started home.

We walk past a nursing home to get home, and quite often you will see the residents walking along the street on that block. We passed an elderly woman with a walking frame and I gave her a big smile. You could tell that it made her day. I can only hope that when I am at that stage in my life I can find someone who is still kind enough to look me in the eye and give me a big smile.

2 weeks ago, I would have passed by the elderly lady, with my head down. Not being rude, I am never rude. I just didn't have the will or the motivation to be overly friendly to strangers like I usually am.

So after a beautiful sunny day, and a huge long blog post to say what I am basically about to sum up in 2 words:

I'm back!

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Wednesday, 30 May 2012

My Diary/Calendar

What is the one thing that you found hard to manage when you became a parent? For me, it is my time. I have always been a procrastinator. My lifestyle is not the best, I eat badly, and when the weather gets cold like it has been lately, I struggle with the motivation to exercise, therefore my energy levels are pretty low. I am trying hard to manage my diary to prevent missing appointments or double booking.

My diary is also where I keep my plan for blogging, and my to-do list. I am a little unhappy with my diary, and would love to upgrade to an Inner-B diary, which is something I will look to do in the future. In the meantime however, I have this diary, which I picked up from Cheap as Chips. It has a week to a view, and ribbon page separator.

I use lots of sticky notes. I am currently taking part in Seven Cherubs project: Happy days in May. I keep my notes for this project on sticky notes each week. I was also inspired by the lovely Marissa at Beautifully Organised when she completed a post on her own diary, complete with a little video. She talked about using a sticky note in her diary with a small to-do list, containing only 3-4 items. The idea is that with a smaller list you don't feel overwhelmed. I have been putting this into practice and finding it actually works. I then also will sometimes do another sticky note list for a specific day of the week.

I also use this magnetic calendar. I picked up the magnetic whiteboard from the reject shop for less than 10 dollars and drew up my own calendar on it. Every appointment that is in my diary goes on this calendar. This means that I can check my appointments at a glance. I don't need to open my diary and fight through everything written in there to find my appointments for the day when I am trying to chase a toddler around the house. To make it even easier, I use a red marker for my appointments, and blue for appointments and play dates for Master A. 

I even put in recurring appointments, such as day care, as often when I am on the phone at home and making a play date, I forget about these things and have booked things on days Master A is at day care, or his dad's house. 

This is my current system for my diary and planner. It is certainly working for appointments. I haven't double booked appointments, or forgotten them in a couple of months now (most mums would know that this is an achievement in itself!)

However when it comes to my time management, I am struggling to find time for everything. So I am currently looking at improving my time management skills, and organising my blog, so watch this space!

Do you have an effective diary system? I would love to hear about it.
Do you have good time management skills? Whats your secret?


Monday, 28 May 2012

Letting Go

For those of you who don't know me very well, I am a creature of habit. I also tend to over think and over analyse everything. I have my routines in place and I very rarely like to stray from them, possibly for fear of the unknown, or upsetting anybody. I've come to the realisation that I need to change this habit of mine, as it's becoming a little compulsive. I need to let go.

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When I say that I need to let go, I mean more than just straying from the routines regularly. I need to let go of certain situations and move on with my life. I need to let go of certain ways of thinking, that is possibly toxic to my happiness (and state of mental health).

I have started with something small. I used to carry around a large nappy bag with so much stuff in it. I would have Master A's change of clothes, nappies, wipes, tissues, hat, sunscreen, toys, hand sanitizer, my antihistamines, pain killers, plus more. I had still have a huge fear of being somewhere and needing something and realising that I have left it at home. This big, heavy bag that wouldn't shut would get lugged everywhere, even just to do the grocery shopping.

I have traded this in for a small Thomas the Tank Engine backpack, where I carry a few nappies, wipes, a simple change of clothes, my purse, a book and a small toy which both get changed every couple of days. I am no longer carrying a huge bag, and do you know what? I have not yet needed anything that I didn't have with me at the time. To save my own sanity though I am putting together a car kit that will contain a lot of the other stuff, so that at least it is still accessible when we are out.

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When it comes to certain situations, I need to let go of the fact that I am not going to be single forever. I have had trouble moving on from a past relationship from years ago, and have finally decided that I need to put it behind me and open myself up to other people. I have always had the frame of mind that no one will measure up and it isn't right. It is holding my back from meeting the future man of my dreams and allowing myself to be loved by others.

I need to let go of the idea of the perfect life. I had so many plans for my life 5 years ago. Needless to say, being a single mum certainly didn't make that list of goals and it was not my idea of a perfect life. I am trying to let go of that. In there are obstacles, there are challenges. Nobody is perfect and everyone has flaws.

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Life will not always go to plan, no matter how much I try to plan it and make systems for it. I need to let go of that, or I will have a mental breakdown every time I can't wash my sheets on a Monday. Look at your routines as a guide, a tool for getting through life just that little bit easier. But allow them to be flexible. Allow yourself to be flexible.

Letting go is starting to feel good. I am waiting for the feeling of weight to come off my shoulders, the weight I have been piling on over the last few weeks and to just enjoy life and enjoy the ride.

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I love my life. I love the people in it. Sometimes we just need to let go of trying to control everything and remember to enjoy it.

Do you have trouble letting go?
What do you need to let go of?

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Sunday, 27 May 2012

Complaint-free May Challenge - Week 4

This week has proven to be a little difficult again. As explained in my post When the Going Gets Tough, emotionally I have gone through a really rough time in the last few weeks. I have been trying not to let it get it the way of my challenge, but haven't always succeeded.

Then there was my girls night out last night. I had an absolute ball, however my poor feet copped a brutal bashing, and I was one of those girls seen walking the streets of the city at 1am carrying my heels in my hand. I was exhausted and so ready for bed. Yes I know, 1am is not that late. But seriously I am so not used to dancing in high heels for that amount of time. I let out more than a few complaints of sore feet that night.

But I learned from it: next time pick different shoes.

I am about to head in to my last week of the challenge. And although I have curbed my complaining, I have not successfully eliminated it, and will be trying extra hard for these last few days.

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Friday, 25 May 2012

Easy Peasy Zucchini Slice

Do you have one of those kids who will not eat their veggies, no matter what bargain you have up on offer? Master A used to be a great eater, trying whatever I put in front of him. Not so much anymore. He realised he can think for himself and say "NO!"

This zucchini slice is delicious and so easy to make. And I have started adding new veggies into it (just one at a time to make sure he doesn't notice!) As a general rule, I will make a double batch of this and keep it in the fridge and heat it up for lunches.

You will need:
2 medium sized zucchinis
1 small carrot (or half a large carrot)
1 onion (I just use a handful of frozen chopped onion)
1 cup self-raising flour
5 eggs
3 rashers of bacon (I have tried using diced bacon from the service deli at the supermarket before, but found you couldn't taste it very well in the slice, however it is a great time saver)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup oil
salt and pepper

Grate the zucchini and carrot, and finely chop the onion and bacon. Put into a large bowl and add the cheese, sifted flour and oil.
Lightly beat the eggs and add to the mixture. Mix it all in until you can no longer see the flour and it all holds together nicely.
Season with salt and pepper and pour into a well greased lamington tin. (I use a casserole dish and line it with baking paper).
Bake in a moderate oven for 30-40 minutes or until the slice browns.

Once cooked, cut the slice into squares and wait until cooled before putting into an air tight container and placing in the fridge.

This is a delicious slice, and you can add whatever veggies you want into it. Enjoy!


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

When the Going Gets Tough

Being a single parent has its pros and cons. Pro: I only have 1 baby to clean up after. Con: dealing with custody issues.

When I separated from Master A's dad we agreed not to put any parenting plans or orders in place. Master A was to live with me and stay with his dad every 2nd weekend. In the 7 months since the split, I have been dealing with changes to the agreement almost weekly, arguments about his dad wanting to have him more, my concerns that his father is incompetent and doesn't provide a very stimulating experience for him when he visits, his father picking him up late and dropping him off early and the new issue that presented itself last week: his dad getting a new girlfriend.

In February I contacted the right people to get some kind of an agreement in place, and we have been to mediation sessions in an attempt to come up with a workable agreement on Master A's upbringing.

Now don't get me wrong, we do, for the most part, get along. It is only when anything regarding Master A is brought up that we fight like cats and dogs. I am just a little hesitant to keep going the way that things are, with his dad trying to change the plans on a regular basis to suit him.

In the last few weeks I have been dealing with a few emotional issues. I am trying to move on from something in my past and it is proving more difficult than I could ever have imagined. And a lot of this goes back to forgiving myself, and accepting the facts.

I have to say that in my emotional state, finding out about my exes new relationship via Facebook really sent me over the edge. Although I am extremely happy that he has moved on, it made me think about how alone I really am. I am slowly coming to terms with it, and I know that I am not alone.

Then there is the other aspect of it. Master A had already been introduced to this new woman, and the whole world was told about it before I could even think about the effects it would have on Master A, his relationship with his dad, and me. I have always made it clear that I want to meet anyone who would be a part of my sons life in that way, before they are made a part of his life. To not be given this chance, and also not to be told personally that this would be happening added to my emotional shut down.

After making it through last week, and then the weekend (with the help of my gorgeous friends) I finally broke down on Sunday night, tears and possibly what could be considered as a bit of an adult tanty, all in the comfort of my bed. It all became just too much and I couldn't hold it in any longer. I let it all out, and though it feels so much better to have done so, I can still not get everything off of my mind and I feel as though I have run a little on auto pilot this week.

I have debated whether to publish this post or not. I am a pretty personal person. But this is one of the reasons I have started blogging. To break through those barriers of keeping my life to myself. If I can help one person feel better about struggling to cope with custody issues or a past relationship from many years ago that they really have not moved on from, and to feel ok talking about it, then I am more than happy to share.

These are emotions that I struggle to come to terms with. I like to think of myself as strong. I am tough and I don't let myself get seen as vulnerable. And at the moment, I am vulnerable. And that's ok.

I would love to hear about your coping strategies when you feel as though everything is just too much. Please be honest, we are all friends here and I would love everyone to feel as though they can be comfortable with anything they are struggling to deal with. (Please note that any rude or abusive comments will be deleted immediately. This is a touchy subject and we all need to treat others with respect.)

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Sunday, 20 May 2012

Complaint-free May Challenge - Week 3

This week has been full of ups and downs. I have taken a few emotional blows and am trying to keep standing with a smile on my face. This has made it hard not to sit down and have a good old whinge. I have allowed myself a small amount of time to get all of my feelings out on a couple of particular issues to my close friends and family, and follow the challenge at all other times.

I would have to say that considering the circumstances, I have done rather well this week, and am looking forward to trying even harder this coming week.

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Friday, 18 May 2012

Forgive but Don't Forget

I am someone that has a lot of bad habits. I bite my nails, procrastinate, can be fairly lazy, eat WAY too much junk, and get ultra cranky when I haven't had enough sleep. One of my my worst and probably most harmful habits though is holding on to things, mentally and emotionally, and not exercising forgiveness.I have trouble forgiving others, for certain things that they've done. But I have the most trouble forgiving myself.

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I am a huge believer in the saying "forgive, but don't forget". I just have trouble putting it in to action. Forgiveness is necessary, in order to stop yourself from feeling bitter. However I don't think that you should ever "forget". Otherwise how is the lesson learned?

Yesterday was a tough day, and an even worse night followed. Master A was clingy, demanding, and he wanted everything yesterday. Walking around with his fingers in his mouth were a dead give away that his teeth were bothering him, so before bed I gave him a dose of children's Nurofen and rubbed teething gel on his gums. Unfortunately this didn't do the trick, and within a few hours he was wide awake... for the rest of the night.

I like to think of myself as pretty patient, especially when it comes to my son. I use breathing techniques and my own 'happy place' when I feel my temper getting short. Last night, however, after trying to please him all day, I lost my temper at him. And when I saw the tears on his face my heart sunk. Immediately my thoughts turned to "Oh my god I am a terrible mum!" Of course I know that I am not. I love my son, I care for him, feed him, play with him, provide experiences for him, I try (sometimes unsuccessfully) to always put him first. However when I woke this morning, after about 2 hours sleep and gave my munchkin a big cuddle, I felt a strong surge of guilt.

I wrote a while back about mums feeling as though parenting should just come naturally to them, and to be easier on ourselves. I am probably the worst culprit though. I need to learn to forgive myself for my mistakes. I need to forgive myself for losing my temper at my son in my tired state. I need to forgive myself for quitting tafe 5 years ago. I need to forgive myself for leaving my Munchkin's dad, and breaking up whatever semblance of a family we had, leaving him feeling terrible. I need to forgive myself for every decision that I have made, leading my life up to where I am now. But, I do not want to forget. I have grown so much in the last 3 years. It is only because of my experiences that I am here today, writing this post.

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Do you have trouble letting go and forgiving yourself?
What do you need to forgive yourself for?

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Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Bedroom Transformations - Part 3: My room

About a month ago I posted about starting bedroom transformations for myself and Master A. Those of you who follow the blog will know that I moved back home with my parents when I separated from Master A's father. When this happened, it was only meant to be short term (a few months) however after a few health complications with Master A, I had to quit work and therefore, my stay has been extended.

I was sharing my room with my older sister up until she moved out again one month ago, which gave me the opportunity to do these transformations! As much as I love my sister, she is very messy and has more stuff than she knows what to do with, which meant she had most of the storage space and my things had to go where they could, which was usually on the floor.

I posted about Master A's bedroom transformation just a couple of weeks ago. Finally, my bedroom is finished and ready to be revealed!


Wardrobe before.

The after result! I'm still pressed for space, but making the most of it. My chest of drawers was finally able to come into the room, along with my beloved desk. I scrapbook, study and blog at this desk, and as there was no where in the house for it to go, the bedroom will do just fine!

On the very top of the desk I keep my scrapbooking embellishments in the black drawers, and my scrapbooking papers. The white folders are for my filing and the pink box also has more scrapbooking supplies.

The 2nd shelf houses my diary, notebooks and budgeting books, along with all stationary in the small white drawers.

The 3rd shelf simply has photos and notepads. The bowl is where I put all spare gold coins each day. Makes it easier when you're going somewhere you need a gold coin donation, you can just raid the bowl. Not to mention it's an easy way to save.

I also have my filing trays and other bits and pieces on the desk, such as containers with more (yes, more!) scrapbooking supplies, blank disks, etc.

I love the magnetic whiteboard on the right of the desk!

Back to a big bed again! I don't know how I managed in the single bed!

And what every single mother, who's at home nights with the children needs, a big DVD collection!

And last but not least, the beautifully organised wardrobe!

I must say, that even without painting, decorating or new things, I am so happy with my new bedroom, especially as it's such a multi-function room. This is the room where Master A and I spend a lot of our time, as I will drag new toys for us to play with into the room each day.

Have you ever had to have such a multi-functioning room?
How did you make it work for you?

The Organised Housewife

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Monday, 14 May 2012

I'm Calling in Sick

The one thing that I miss about being a working girl, with no children? When you were really sick, you could call in sick to work, and lay around on the couch all day, wallowing in self pity and sleeping through the virus from hell.

Being a stay at home mum to a demanding toddler means that even when I feel like I should be finalising my will and setting any affairs in order, I still need to cook, clean, change stinky nappies and on some level, entertain my child.

I started feeling the tickle in my throat on Friday. By Saturday I had a rather sore throat, and when I woke up on Sunday, it was a full blown virus. Sore throat, sore head, achy body, runny nose, and then of course, it triggers my asthma and I'm coughing enough to give me a strain in my back.

For the last 2 days all I have wanted to do is lay in bed and fall asleep to Vin Diesel on the TV (Yum!) But Master A had other plans. See, I was silly enough to decide to finally follow through with my plans of taking Master A's bottle away Friday night. It all sounded so good in my head. He was at day care for the day, would be tired and should make it easier, right?


He went to sleep beautifully, and slept through the night, until waking at 5:30 Saturday morning. He has subsequently woken at 5:30 each morning since. He then likes to throw a tantrum, you know, just in case Mum might give in and open up the bedroom door, bottle in hand. After that he is sooky, and ultra clingy to Mum for the rest of the day. So when I am wanting to simply curl up in bed with my warm doona and hot chocolate, I have my beautiful little boy, at my bedside wanting cuddles, wanting me to come play, anything so that Mummy will hold him and he can latch on like a leech!

I am usually all for cuddles with my boy. I love when he wants to come and sit with me and just snuggle. However when I'm sick, I like to suffer in peace!

I am so embarassed to say that for the last 2 days, Hi 5 and music video clips on the iPad have been my nanny. My poor boy has not got a whole lot of one-on-one play time with Mummy. I have been dragging toys into the bedroom, turning the television on (something I am normally pretty strict on viewing amounts) and hopping into bed to get some rest.

So there it is. I have relied on the television to entertain my Munchkin for the last 2 days. It is certainly not something I am proud of, but I think that it was necessary for my own health and sanity. A happy, healthy Mummy means a happy, healthy Munchkin, right? RIGHT?

Have you ever relied on the television to play "nanny" when you were sick, or needed to get things done?
What do you do when you aren't well and you have a clingy child?


Sunday, 13 May 2012

Complaint-free May Challenge - Week 2

Well, I am proud to say that I have done so much better during week 2 than I did with week 1! I am not entirely complaint-free, however I am getting much better at recognising when I am about to complain and stop it in it's tracks.

Today was a little bit hard as although it was Mothers Day (and what a lovely day it was), I was feeling really unwell, and I struggled not to have a little whinge about my sore throat, or achy back and neck.

On the whole though I am very pleased with my progress this week, and would give myself a B-!

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Friday, 11 May 2012

Introducing... Master A!

I thought that I might do a post to introduce the only man in my life, Master A. He is currently 19 months old, and has the toddler attitude to match. No matter what though, I will never get enough of my little munchkin! Here's a few facts about Master A:
  • Obsessed with Hi-5 and The Wot Wots
  • Also loves Thomas the Tank Engine and Toy Story
  • Can't eat enough 'nanas'. He would live off bananas if I let him
  • Has a fascination with closing doors and drawers
  • Born 6 weeks early. Read about his struggle here
  • Started crawling at 10 months
  • Started walking at 16 months
  • Loves to brush his teeth, to the point that he will throw a tantrum when it's time to put the toothbrush back
  • Had surgery at 17 months old
  • A great talker, doesn't quite know when to stop talking
  • Loves to play outside, with balls, cars and trucks
  • A natural climber, I am just waiting for the regular visits to hospital with broken bones
My boy is the best thing that ever happened to me, and I will be there for him forever.


Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Getting Back on Track

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In recent weeks I have lost my focus and direction. I have been walking around each day, with definite goals in mind, but no real motivation to get to them. My days have been a mess, and things are not getting done. Responsibilities are falling behind and I am a little unsure as to whether I still want the same things. My 6 month goals and 12 month goals are still the same, however I have been a little unsure what it is I am working towards in my personal self. What I am doing it all for, the big picture.

After sitting down and having a think about what it is that I still want for my life, and how to fix things like my weekly schedule so that I am working toward this, I have come up with my current focus in life.

Getting my life running more organised and smoothly. I have let a lot of my routines and systems fall behind and life has been a little chaotic because of it. Living with my parents means that there is 3 adults and a toddler all living under 1 roof. My dad is known as a bit of a hoarder. This is particularly hard on myself, being such a tidy-nazi. It also makes it hard to keep clean myself and keep systems in place when you are living amongst clutter. I am going to assist my Mum in clearing the clutter, to make the house a more pleasant place to live in for all of us.

Raising a healthy, happy and independent child. This is a life-long goal. Master A has had a pretty bad run when it comes to illness, however he always comes out on top. He is also a very happy, social, and fearless little toddler (as a lot are). I believe that it is essential that children grow up with some degree of independence. I am working hard on this and always will.

Furthering my study and career. I have been toying with the idea of studying for a couple of years now, and found it all went out the window once I had Master A. His father insisted that I work, and whenever I spoke of cutting back hours to study I was shut down quickly. I was only able to quit work once I had separated from him. Now that I have been home for a couple of months I am looking at studying again. I love budgeting and accounts so will be applying to do a Tafe course online for Accounts Administration in the second semester. I have then been tossing up the idea of applying to do a Bachelor of Accounting through Open Universities. These plans are not set in stone, but things I am thinking about.

Expressing myself through my blog. I  have only been blogging for a little over a month and I am already loving it. I love helping other mums feel that they are not the only ones that feel the way they do some days. I love explaining things from a single mum's point of view. I can not wait to build my blog and plan on doing this for a long time yet!

Bringing down the debt. The entire reason I moved home with my parents was that I was not financially able to support us, after walking away from my relationship with the majority of our debt. It is not something I am proud of, but it is something I have to wear. I am slowly but surely climbing out of the hole, and although I have a long way to go, I know that this is what I am working towards.

I know that this is very similar to my goal blog posts, but the difference is that I have lost my focus, what I am doing all of this for. This is what I want from my life. I just have to take it one step at a time, just me and my munchkin.

Have you ever lost your focus in life? Forgotten what you are doing it all for? I would love to hear about your experiences and how you put yourself back on track.

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Monday, 7 May 2012

Weekly Routines

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Routines play a huge part in our lives. I'm not sure how I would get through the days without them, and to be honest I'm not willing to try. They are always a work in progress. I am forever looking at ways to tweak them and make them work even better for us, but on the whole what we have in place works pretty well.

One routine I try to follow religiously is my weekly routine. I try not to schedule my entire day, as to allow for changes easily and spontaneity. We do, however rise at the same time each morning, have morning tea, lunch and nap time at roughly the same times each day. Dinner time is always between 5:30 and 6pm each day and Master A's bedtime is at 7pm every night.

I have sat down and written out a plan of what we do for a general week. It has gotten a little out of control as I have lost a bit of my focus and direction in recent weeks (more on this next post) but I am determined to get back on track and have set some new rules in place to make things a little easier and ensure that whatever I need to do gets done.

  • Every Monday morning, Master A and I go for a trip to the park. I am now starting to vary which park we visit for a little change. Sometimes friends will join us, others we go alone. This is great especially after Master A comes home from his dads the day before, as it means we get time to bond.
  • Vaccum the house.
  • Wash the bed sheets.
  • Wash one load of clothes.
  • Study. This is usually done after Master A has gone to bed at night.
  • Wash one load of clothes.
  • Time to do some research for the blog and write a post ahead of time.
  • Master A goes to his dads house every 2nd Tuesday, meaning that I get a little bit of time to relax.
  • Wash one load of clothes.
  • Wash towels.
  • Study. Again this is usually done after Master has gone to bed.
  • Visit a playcafe with my girlfriend and her son in the morning.
  • Wash one load of clothes.
  • Wash one load of clothes.
  • Study.
  • Grocery shopping.
  • Master A is in day care on Fridays, meaning that I can get any errands done in peace!
  • Every 2nd Saturday Master A goes to his dad's house first thing Saturday morning and comes home dinner time Sunday night.
  • Budget. I am paid fortnightly, so budget accordingly.
  • Plan for week ahead (check diary, calendar, make plans, etc).
  • Study.
  • Blogging.
The rest of my time is usually spent doing generel things; playing with Master A, spending a bit of time watching TV, way too much computer time, cleaning, catching up with friends for playdates.

A couple of things that I need to change in regards to my days/weeks are:
  • I tend to catch up with friends daily for playdates. I am known to over book and therefore all of my responsibilities fall behind. I am going to limit myself to either a morning or afternoon catch up. Of course there are going to be days where I don't stick to this rule for whatever reason, but generally speaking, I need to stick to this.
  • The time after Master A has gone to bed is usually wasted. I am usually so exhausted from my busy days and terrible eating (as a result of my busy days) that as soon as Master A is put to bed I shower and then collapse in bed to watch some TV. If I have the energy to stay up I'm a little embarrassed to say I usually sit on Facebook, leaving things that need to be done (general tidying, blog posts, studying) un-done. I am hoping that by slowing down my days, I can get some order to my nights too.
Do you have a weekly routine and if so, does it work well for you? Are there any changes that you can make to it to make it work better?

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Sunday, 6 May 2012

Complaint-free May Challenge - Week 1

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I am going to be completely honest with you all. At the end of week 1, I failed miserably. I have tried for most of the week to put of lid on any whinging or complaining that I can feel boiling up in my stomach, but there were times where I just thought "to hell with the challenge! I need to complain!"

I can only hope that this week I am a little more vigilant with it, and that I don't have to deal with as many exes, annoying family members and friends (I love you all!) and that I can get a hold on my child's sleep habits.

Does anyone have any ideas for dealing with this challenge and help me get through it a little more successfully?

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Friday, 4 May 2012

25 Things To Do On a Rainy Day

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Winter is upon us! Here in little old Adelaide we have had cold, rainy days which can mean a restless, ratty toddler. I have been compiling a list of things to do with the kids when the rainy days hit and we all become indoor-bound!
  1. Hire some classic kids movies and have a DVD marathon, complete with popcorn and warm blankets. Some of my favourites are Toy Story, The Lion King and The Jungle Book.
  2. Put on some wellies and a rain coat and go puddle jumping. Just make sure you have some towels and dry clothes all ready for when you come inside!
  3. Head to a play cafe. Let the kids loose on the playground and you can sit back and relax with a coffee (or in my case a hot chocolate).
  4. Throw a sheet over the dining table and have an instant fort. Put some pillows and blankets in there to make it extra cosy!
  5. Pull out the car mat and cars and let them 'drive' to their little hearts content.
  6. Get out the playdough and some playdough tools and set it up on the coffee table. If your children are old enough, get them to help you make the playdough to play with.
  7. Create an arts and crafts box. Collect feathers, paper, cardboard, textas, pencils, glitter, confetti, whatever you think that you can use and pull it out on a rainy afternoon.
  8. Pull out all the family photos. Even at 19 months, Master A loves looking at photos. Especially ones of Mummy and him.
  9. Put on some music and have a dance party. Master A would rather watch Channel V or MTV over ABC Kids anytime. He loves to have a boogie to some of his favourite tunes.
  10. Find some old socks and make sock puppets. Raid the arts and crafts box or mummy's sewing supplies to give it a face and some hair.
  11. Play some board games or do puzzles. There are so many cool options out there these days so you're not only having to choose from monopoly or Cluedo anymore!
  12. Have an indoor picnic. Lay out the picnic rug and have some yummy sandwiches and snacks packed ready to go. You could even invite their teddies to come along for some fun!
  13. Depending on your children's age, bake something yummy to eat for dessert.
  14. Make a trip to the library to get some fun books to read.
  15. Pull out some of mummy and daddy's old clothes and play dress-ups.
  16. Try some finger painting. Messy, but a lot of fun!
  17. Blow up some balloons and hit them around the room - make sure they don't hit the ground!
  18. Play hide and seek.
  19. Do some karaoke. The Singstar games would be perfect for this.
  20. Make some musical instruments. Old ice cream containers make the perfect drums. Get an empty tissue box and some rubber bands to make a guitar and fill empty water bottles with rice or buttons for maracas.
  21. Have a fashion parade. Pull out all their new winter wardrobe and have them strut down the catwalk.
  22. Have story time. Make it fun by making your own story and take turns to make up the next part of the story.
  23. Keep a stash of new colouring books ready for rainy days and pull them out for the occasion.
  24. Have a scavenger hunt hiding objects through the house and have the children find them.
  25. If all else fails, pull out a huge box of toys, tip them out and let the kids just go for it!
What do you do with your kids on rainy days?


Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Bedroom Transformations - Part 2: Master A's room

A couple of weeks ago I posted about starting a transformation on both mine and Master A's bedrooms now that my sister has moved out of my bedroom. I have spent a lot of time sorting through both rooms. My bedroom is almost finished, and Master A's is finally completed, all but a couple of finishing touches.

And then.....

I've added some gorgeous jungle curtains over the top of the blinds. These are sunout, to help darken the room for day naps.

Grans cottons for her sewing are still stored on the shelving above, but I hae almost all of the built in desk to store his toys. There are 2 old nappy boxes kept on the desk, 1 has clothes he needs to grow into, and the other is for throwing clothes in that are too small. As Gran still has things stored underneath the desk, we will soonbe putting a brightly covered curtain around the edge of the desk, to conceal all of the stored stuff.

I love putting these bookcases on top of the desk, as it means that when Master A is in bed, he can't reach the toys to play with, instead of going to sleep! One thing that I still need to do is to print out labels for the tubs so that Master A knows exactly what's inside. On the very top I keep his drawing pad and crayons.

On the left bookshelf:
  1. Toys
  2. Building blocks and a couple of books
  3. Train set
  4. Shoe basket and day care communication book
On the right bookshelf
  1. A couple of wooden puzzles and alphabet blocks
  2. Beach toys and games
  3. Books, playdough and a couple more wooden puzzles
  4. Cars

The changetable has an awesome amount of storage, but I found that the more I stored on there, the more Master A loves to pull out and throw around his room when he is in bed. I use an old gift box from my baby shower to store nappies in. Theres a tub for facewashers, and behind that is where I store the swimming nappies, extra packs of wipes and a small stash of bibs in case we ever need to use one.

So there you have Master A's room! He does have a tiny room, so the majority of his toys and books are kept in the lounge room, meaning there is not as much to store in his room. After the couple of finishing touches, including finding some great wall stickers, his room will be perfect for a little boy!

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