Monday, September 7, 2009


Last week nearlySuperDad's work took him interstate for 4 days, so I decided to take Mr 1 for a mini-break at my in-laws place. Mr 1's grandparents live only 1 hour away in my old stomping grounds, but it was a pleasant break from the humdrum of everyday life.

We packed the car early Monday morning and dropped nearlySuperDad and his work colleague at the airport, then headed off for our holiday. What fun it was not to have to do (much) housework and to share Mr 1's routine with his grandparents for a few days.

I got to catch up with family and friends and go shopping, sometimes with my son and sometimes without! Mr 1 got the chance to explore a new home and garden for a few days and his grandparents enjoyed having him around immensely.

It was a lot of fun and I can thoroughly recommend a local mini-break to any Mum who needs a little time-out from the home routine.

Have you taken a similar mini-break? I'd love to hear your experiences...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Getting crafty - another apron

I'm excited to share my latest crafty creation with you. I decided a while ago that I would teach myself to sew by making different styles of aprons. I found a great inspirational book, "A is for Apron - 25 Fresh and Flirty Designs" by Nathalie Mornu, and I've been slowly working my way through the different designs, learning new techniques as I go.

This is my latest apron, a birthday present for my MIL. The project was actually a little more ambitious than I had realised at the outset, but my mother - an excellent sewer - assisted me in achieving a lovely final product.

Care to share your latest crafty exploits? Go ahead...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hot in the City!

We have been experiencing a glorious mini-heatwave! It is still winter here but the mercury has soared and today in my town it reached a whopping 36 degrees! Woo hoo!

To put my excitement into perspective, this is the first winter my family has experienced since we moved to our new town last spring. We expected it might be a little colder here, but soon realised we had underestimated the chill. On top of the colder weather, we also had a quite a few weeks of bad health and I had morning sickness - altogether a winter I'd rather forget!

You can imagine my absolute delight when the weather forecasters predicted this break from the cold, and I certainly was not disappointed. In fact 36 degrees feels very hot after months of maximum temperatures at least 10 degrees lower and minimums in single digits.

I noticed Mr 1 was not handling the heat as he became quite irritable and drank heaps of water, so we stayed inside and turned on the airconditioning to keep our cool. We spent half an hour outside at 4.30pm this afternoon, where it was still a steamy 29 degrees.

There's a few more hot days predicted in the next week, then it's back to the reality of cooler days, at least for a few weeks. Bring on Spring!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Home hunting

We have our current home on the market. We are looking for a new home which is a little bigger and feels a more like the warm family hub I'm after... We've been searching for a few months and we've come up with a few good options along the way, but which for various reasons have turned out not to be 'the one'.

It is really tricky searching for a new home! First you have to like the property you are looking at: the land shape, size, contour, the location of the house, proximity of the block to services, major roads, neighbours and schools... Then you have to step inside the house and weigh up if it has all or most of the requirements your family needs. And if all or at least most of these seem to line up with your ideal property list and the property fits in your budget, you then have to imagine if your family could feel like this is their home, the place they like returning to and where they feel really comfortable.

It sounds a little academic, but going through this process with every property you have an interest in can be quite exhausting! We are working on this process at the moment and we have had some frustration but we are persevering. I know it will be worth it when we finally get to move into our new home!

What are your experiences with property hunting?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Kindness of Friends

We've been sick lately in the nearlySuper household. Hubby and I have had coughs and sore chests, I've also had very blocked ears and nose and Mr 1 had a long cold followed by bronchitis and is now on a puffer for some asthma. Yuck! Needless to say, it's been a rough few weeks with none of us feeling up to much at all.

Before we were really unwell we put our house on the market and so we have had to endure the usual round of open homes and inspections. To top it all off, our families and closest friends all live too far away to stop by and help out. I miss that!

Something very nice has been happening though - 3 lovely girlfriends have all made us a meal. The first brought over meatballs last Friday. It was a complete surprise and a real blessing after a day of running around between the doctors and radiology. Mr 1's chest had to be x-rayed to rule out suspected pneumonia. My friend caught me at home between appointments, a miracle in itself!

We didn't make it to church on Sunday as none of us was feeling well and Mr 1 had a big sleep in - hooray! Come Monday, I was worse and Mr 1 was still on the mend so nearlySuperDad took the day off work to look after us and continue his recovery. Another of our friends noticed we weren't around and volunteered to make spaghetti bolognaise for Monday night, and a 3rd friend emailed to say she'd take care of the following night's dinner and a chicken pie and vegies turned up.

So that's 3 meals - how lovely. None of the meals was fancy - just nutritious home style cooking, but generously given from the heart at a time when it really helped us out. It is such a blessing and relief to get to the end of a long unwell day and not have to make dinner! The simple things in life really are the best.

Have your friends blessed you with a kind act? I'd love to hear about it...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fashion Steal of the Week!

Hooray, the return of Fashion Steal of the Week! after quite a few weeks of no shopping - no really, I mean NO shopping!

Needed some new clothes for Mr 1 who is rapidly outgrowing his wardrobe due to his lengthy arms and legs, not his girth... I've always been happy with the quality of Pumpkin Patch clothes, but being the bargain hunter I am, never want to pay full price! I was happy to trawl through the sale racks of end-of-season gear to score some jeans and these:

Long-sleeved printed boys size 1 tees: $12.99 each - Pumpkin Patch

I'm in that yucky in-between size where regular jeans and pants sit too low and tops barely meet in the middle, but I'm also too small for most real maternity... I scored some great-fitting maternity jeans @PP for a tiny $24.95 - yay!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I'm back - with good news!

Wow, it's been a few weeks since I've posted and during that time I've felt pretty rotten! You see I'm expecting our second child - due next February, and I've been going through morning sickness for a couple of weeks - yuck! I agree with all the other women who think it should be called "all day sickness" - mine lasts from waking until bedtime everyday, mostly making me feel too rotten to do anything but the essentials. One surprising thing I have noticed is that if I make a little effort and get out of the house, the distraction helps a bit and I forget how I'm feeling for a little while.

Mostly I just can't be bothered and Mr 1 has had more days at home in a row than he's had in a long time. Not that that's a bad thing, but he does get a bit bored. And he's walking now, really walking, not just a couple of steps, but the length of the house a few times over! My little person totters along with his arms out to the sides, chattering away in baby talk. NearlySuperDad has commented that Mr 1 suddenly turned into a little person. I think he was in there all along, but now we can see him a bit clearer.

Anyway, back to me - I mean the pregnancy! I wanted to share with you that we are so delighted that we fell pregnant right away with baby number 2. It was a long road with Mr 1, it took 2 years from when we started trying to conceive, and then it was on medication. Our gynecologist tested us but could find no medical reason for us not to conceive. She said it was "spontaneous infertility" and wouldn't necessarily occur next pregnancy. Nevertheless, this time around I was not getting my hopes up at all, and I had prepared myself for another journey. Imagine our surprise when it all happened immediately! We are delighted to have another baby, the kids will be 21 months apart and hopefully great friends.

I think all conception stories are absolutely miraculous and great, would you like to share yours? Add a comment...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lessons from Proverbs 31

I've just started attending a weekly ladies Bible study comprised solely of Mums. We are spending some time looking at our role as Godly wives and mothers and last week we studied the Proverbs 31 woman (see Proverbs 31:10-31 in The Bible). We have been challenged by the ideal we are working towards, presented in these scriptures.

I was particularly struck by the many references to how hardworking this woman is. It really hit home to me that it is necessary and Godly to work hard at whatever we are doing. This does not mean that we have no time out to relax and take a break. Rather for me it means that during my work time I really need to get going with gusto and get my chores and household management under control. I really do count it a blessing and honour to be able to stay home with my son and work at managing our home and family. I would certainly rather be washing or cooking than driving to work for someone else!

After our study last week, I found myself more willing to get disciplined and work rather than giving in to my tendency to stop and have a break several times a day. I did have a couple of short breaks each day, but I limited them in duration and then got back on with my work. Rather than going for the easiest and least chores each day, I made a special effort to go the extra mile and get the jobs completed (around my normal weekly schedule of activities like Playgroup, visiting, etc).

I found at the end of the week I had fitted more into my week (like making a couple of meals for friends) and I felt better about my achievements. I was also able to completely relax on the weekend without any guilt about jobs I hadn't completed. I'm encouraged to keep up the new harder work ethic and endeavour to make it my habit. I really want to take pride in keeping my home in good order and my family well cared for.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Priorities vs Opportunities

I've been thinking about the balance of priorities and opportunities a lot lately. Mostly it has been brought on by our search for a new home. I thought it would be fairly straightforward: go looking, find one that suits our current needs, sell current home, purchase new home, voila! All done!

Not so! Starting out on the property search has made us aware that we probably don't want to turn around in another couple of years and go through this all again, so we better find a home that will do us for the next 5 to 10 years (anyone who knows us well will remember hearing this familiar phrase before!).

This still sounds a fairly simple proposition, but our financial situation means we could try to buy at a similar price point as our current property and invest elsewhere, or buy a more expensive property using all our finances and "invest in ourselves"... or we could buy a block of land now and build later...

Part of our caution at the moment has been brought about by a valuation on our property which was a little lower than we were hoping... due to the economic slump of course! Does this mean we should choose not to sell now, or is our original thinking for selling more important than our potential financial gain if we ride out the slump?

We were looking at moving to improve our feeling of being settled in our new suburb. How important is the financial gain in the long run: worth considering or not the main thing?

Love to hear your ideas!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dairy-free family friendly recipe

On Saturday night I whipped up a quick chicken noodle soup which turned out great! NearlySuperBaby enjoyed it for dinner the next night, and I had leftovers for lunch - yummo!

Chicken Noodle Soup
600g chicken thighs, chunky diced
1/2 onion diced
1 clove of garlic diced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 potato diced
1/2 sweet potato diced
1/4 small pumpkin diced
1 cob of corn, kernels cut off
3 cups chicken stock (or enough to cover meat and vegies)
1/2 cup white wine
2 tsp soy sauce
celery salt to taste
spaghetti, broken into pieces about quarter length

Brown onion, garlic, chicken pieces.
Add white wine, potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, corn kernels, stock and soy sauce. Bring to the boil and simmer, covered for 20 mins.
Add spaghetti pieces and simmer a further 10 minutes or until soft.
Blend half the volume and return to pot to thicken soup (I did this in the pot with a stab mixer).

Enjoy steaming hot with crusty bread. Mmmm!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

On the move - moving on

After much discussion we have decided to look for a new home again! We only moved into this house 9 months ago and it certainly enabled us to get to our new location, but it has not really felt 'homely' for me.

NearlySuperDad struggles with change and thought we would not need to encounter any more right now. He was hoping I'd start to feel differently about living here and settle in but it just hasn't happened.

I've tried to get used to this house and put our stamp on it; selecting a home colour scheme, then buying curtains and matching accessories for most rooms and painting a feature wall. I kept telling myself it would turn into our lovely home in just a few more weeks... and I certainly didn't want to be ungrateful or discontented - but nothing changed for me. So I started to consider maybe it just wasn't going to happen.

I guess part of the problem is my comparisons with our last home. Although it wasn't perfect, I adored many things about it. It was on a large block in a cul de sac in a lovely neighbourhood around 15 years old. Established greenery gave us privacy from both neighbours. The rising sun flooded in through the lounge room windows, and as it set in the late afternoon it filtered through the trees up the back onto the patio. We had worked to make it homely during the nearly 7 years we lived there and it was certainly comfortable.

Through the process of buying and living here in our latest home and for the following reasons I don't think this house is right for us long or even medium term:

1. The living areas are squishy! Our last home had a bigger family room and a bigger lounge room and we furnished them accordingly with big pieces. I didn't realise they were big at the time of purchase because they fitted our space but our furniture is too big for this house.

2. The kitchen severely lacks bench and cupboard space. We even got a cupboard built to try and address the cupboard space, but there is no room for extra benches.

3. Plain white glossy tiles are not kid friendly - impossible to keep clean longer than 5 minutes. I mean seconds!

4. A really modern colour scheme (white walls and tiles, grey carpet) doesn't suit our current furniture. We bought large timber pieces in our last home and they feel homely and comfortable to us. I feel like we would need to sell our current stuff to make way for more sleek modern furniture if we were to stay here - sleek glass and chrome pieces.

5. A modern colour scheme is hard to make warm and cosy, the type of feel I've realised I need to really look forward to returning home.

6. The layout of a home becomes more important once you've had kids! It needs to be practical and work logistically. Having the dining room right next to the baby's bedroom means dinner guests inevitably wake up our son, if he manages to go to sleep in the first place!

7. Buying in a new estate where you don't know the end feel of the area is a bit of a risk! A new house may seem enticing, but finding one in a more established street at least allows you to gauge the climate of the neighbourhood a little more accurately.

I'm sure there are more lessons I've learned, I might update this list later... I'd love to hear your housing lessons and stories, leave a comment!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Getting crafty - my first sewing project

A couple of weeks ago I attempted my very first sewing project - an apron. I purchased an "Apron in an Hour" kit from Made by Miffy at the Stitches and Craft show. I was skeptical about the 'hour' but managed completion in 1.5 hours - not bad for a first attempt at sewing!

I enjoyed the experience so much I am now making my 2nd apron. After browsing some great books and with the prompting of my Mum, a sewer from way back, I've decided to make this one a bit differently, rounding the corners and adding a frill. I hope it works and will post you a photo when it's done!

I love sewing! I fought it for so long, believing my "stinkin' thinkin' " that I would be really bad at it and now that I've started (nearlySuperDad bought me a sewing machine for my 30th late last year) I'm not sure why I waited so long.

It is great for me to exercise my patience and go a bit slower to end up with a good quality end product. Also hubby is delighted that my machine is seeing the light of day. I guess he feels it was worth purchasing! Next I'll want (need) an overlocker...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The look - achieving great outfits

Anytime I have a big occasion to go to, I like to think ahead about what I will wear. Actually, it's more like I go into a panic attack until I think I have the perfect outfit sorted. A comment made by a friend got me thinking about this conundrum again recently. She described an outfit she had planned to wear to lead worship at our church on Sunday, but when the day rolled around, she turned up in something altogether different. I questioned her about the original outfit and she said "It seemed like it would work in my head but when I put it on, it looked all wrong!"

So many times when I'm outfit planning, I run into the same situation. I think about the event and feel I'd like to try and pull off a particular look, then I try to assemble said look from the pieces of my wardrobe. Sometimes it works, fairly often I'm left at the last minute with a pile of discarded clothes and a different outfit on me.

Recent outfit attempts (preferably with a nod to at least one of this season's fashion trends):
*Timelessly graceful (a wedding outfit)
*Thrown together but actually super well dressed ("this old thing? I just threw it on")
*Sporty yummy mummy (lots of days)
*Classy but understated (this look requires clothes with a great fit and cut)
*Girls night out (maybe a bit more girly than usual)

My most successful outfits are definitely those that I've preplanned and tried on before the event, complete with accessories, shoes, etc. to make sure the whole thing works. I advocate having a few pieces (more if you can afford it) of well cut classic clothing that works any time you need it! That way you can be confident you look good, even if you're not completely on trend.

Some Wardrobe Essentials
*Black trousers - correct length, flattering shape
*White blouse - perfect with jeans, trousers, skirts, under dresses, vests etc
*Dark jeans - whatever cut suits your body shape - bootlegs for me!
*Knee high boots - essential winter wear, great under skirts, dresses, winter shorts
*Tights - opaque in matching shoe colours for optimum leg length
*Fitted jacket - whatever style is flattering for your figure, dresses up jeans and down trousers
*Accessories - the easiest and cheapest way to be on trend

It goes without saying that items of clothing I've worn and had good comments about go into higher rotation, and those items that annoy me or are not quite right are less likely to see the light of day again, at least until I forget about last time! If you have a wardrobe of clothes you really love wearing, I think your life is made easier. Flattering clothes that make you feel good are the best starting point for fabulous outfits!

A great reminder is to photograph an outfit once you're really happy with it (I tend to forget what went so well with those pants last time!). I've never actually photographed an outfit but I'm willing to give it a shot the next time I put together a winner.

My favourite style is boho chic - lots of layers, flowing and pretty, the more on the merrier (to a point!)... A boho chic outfit on me looks like a knee length flowy skirt in cord or similar, a long-sleeved tee under a vest then a jacket, scarf and hat, also tights and knee-length slouchy boots. I'm also quite partial to sporty chic although pulling this off well requires a few key label items to show your sporty 'credentials' (understated cool shoes - think Converse, add a little Lorna Jane tee and mix with Esprit cargos).

I'd love to hear about your outfit triumphs and flops!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fashion steal of the week!

Well I haven't done a Fashion steal of the week for a few weeks, mostly because I've done very little shopping lately and been quite busy. On this Sunday just gone I drove into north Brisbane to the Baby and Kids Market held at Nudgee College every couple of months. It has become a hugely popular market with heaps of stall holders selling mostly preloved babies and children's clothes, shoes, toys and other equipment. I queued about 20 minutes then paid my $3 entry fee and gently elbowed my way through the massive crowds. I picked up a booster high chair seat ($20) and a playdoh table and some great clothes and shoes for Master 1.

Gently worn baby clothes and shoes: $1 - $2.50 per item - Baby and Kids Market

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dairy Allergy - Food Allergy Week

I enjoy making most of my son's food - all mains, most desserts and some other snacks and finger foods. As he has a dairy allergy I've had to modify quite a few recipes to come up with suitable alternatives. The most obvious substitutions I do are based on soy milk and soy margarine. I also need to check the ingredients panel on all bought foods and ingredients I use in cooking for him to ensure there are no milk products listed. I feel very blessed to live in this day and age where most labels in Australia clearly list milk products and have allergy warnings - I can't imagine how hard it was to try and work around allergies before mandatory labelling!

NearlySuperBaby had an allergic reaction to a cow's milk based formula at 6.5 months (he is still breastfed at 1). I had started him on Farex (rice cereal) 2 weeks prior which he ate with gusto. After speaking with some friends and family, I decided to bulk out his cereal with formula rather than the boiled water I had been using. On a Sunday morning I made up 60mL of formula and poured about 30mL on his cereal and started feeding him. He sounded kind of wheezy and choked up as I fed him and proceeded to get the cereal all over his face. After about half the cereal he seemed done, so I decided to give him the rest of the formula from the bottle. He coughed and spluttered and wheezed so I gave up and wiped his face. Underneath the cereal was a mess of bright red blotches and welts, all around his mouth and chin. I phoned my ER doctor brother-in-law and he advised we take our son to the hospital as he was having an allergic reaction. The welts moved down his neck and onto his upper back and chest before disappearing around an hour later.

At the hospital's advice, I booked nearlySuperBaby in with an allergist and had him tested. The allergist confirmed he has a cow's milk allergy which he should grow out of. I'll take him back for more testing in a few months (at least 6 months after the first lot of testing at 9 months). In the meantime we are on a strict No Dairy diet.

I'm very aware and cautious about what nearlySuperBaby eats and I have noticed a few incidents of small amounts of welts to the side of his mouth in the past few months. Recently when I added whole egg to his diet he had some welts, so I've gone back to using yolks only. Also last week he had welts after eating half a dried apricot. On checking the label I noticed Preservative 220 listed, so now I'm also checking all labels for preservatives. I'm not keen on him eating any more of those than absolutely necessary, but it sure is difficult to find preservative-free dried fruit apart from sultanas!

My sister put me onto a great website about allergies and she has removed all preservatives from her 3 kids' diets with vast improvements in their behaviour.

I'm going to post some of my successful baby and toddler recipes here - rated by nearlySuperBaby, of course - for you to use! I'll add to them as often as I try out new things, which I'm aiming to do weekly with the help of a few books I'm working through.

Here's the first recipe:

Eggy Bread

1 egg yolk
2 tbsp soy milk
1 piece bread
1 tbsp soy margarine

Beat egg yolk and soy milk.
Soak bread in egg mix, making sure both sides are well coated.
Heat margarine in a frypan until sizzling.
Fry coated bread until golden on both sides.
Serve cut into bite-sized pieces and cooled.

Do you have an allergy story to share? Or how about sharing your baby or toddler's favourite home-cooked food?

Monday, May 11, 2009

All New: First Birthday, Dedication and Mother's Day!

Wow, we have had a busy few weeks in the nearlySuper household!! We were hard at work preparing for SuperBaby's first birthday and dedication. We held it in a local park with shelters and play equipment, and it was a lovely afternoon.

In previous churches we've attended, the baby dedications were held in the service and we naturally assumed the same would be true at our current church. Not so - dedications are done en mass on Mother's Day and Father's Day, or individually by arrangement after a service in the church cafe or at a private party. As we didn't want our first child dedicated en mass and none of our family or close friends goes to our church or even lives nearby, we opted to dedicate our son at his first birthday party. This worked out pretty well as most of our nearest and dearest were there to celebrate both special occasions with us.

party menu
*mini sandwiches
*savoury zucchini slice mini muffins
*mini chocolate crackles
*mini iced cupcakes
*chips and lollies
*soft drinks, water, cordial

I planned a fairly simple party menu and a friend shared the catering with me. Another friend arrived on the morning of the party armed with cake decorations and proceeded to guide and assist me so I ended up with a fabulous birthday cake of which I was really proud! She also stayed on and alongside my Mum finished the last minute catering for me. Down at the park, we hung a few decorations around the shelter and tied a helium "1" balloon to fly up above the roof. The kids played on the nearby play equipment while the adults chatted and ate. Our pastor did a lovely dedication and prayed for us and then we sung Happy Birthday and blew out the candle. Then I opened the presents while my sister-in-law put overtired Mr 1 to sleep in his pram.

I found the park venue really easy to manage with lots of kids and it meant my own home was neat and tidy and if we felt up to it we could invite folks back, or just go home... As it turned out, almost my entire family and one set of dear friends came back and we got Indian for dinner. It was a lot of fun but the nearlySuper family was exhausted by the time the last party goers left at around 9.45pm!

The next morning (yesterday) was my first Mother's Day. Last year I missed out by only 2 days and I was feeling very large and uncomfortable on the day, not to mention emotional! This year I enjoyed the day immensely as nearlySuperDad made sure I was truly spoilt! I had a sleep in while my boys jumped in the car and picked up fresh flowers and Mcbreakfast which they brought me in bed. Then they gave me gifts - a cloud-soft pink fluffy gown from my son and 2 CDs and a DVD that I'd been hankering for from hubby - what a haul! There was also a touching Mother's Day service at my church so it was a great day. We even had a recovery sleep in the afternoon - aaah, bliss.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Fashion steal of the week!

This week has been a lean shopping week - which always keeps nearlySuperDad happy! I ducked out to a Vinnies just off the highway near me, in a semi-rural area, hoping to stumble on some fabulous vintage piece that everyone would "ooh" and "aah" about. I wasn't quite so successful, but I did manage to pick up a pair of Billabong cords, a new pair of purple low-heeled ballet slippers, a cream cord skirt and a chocolate and pink dip-dyed skirt, all for the grand sum of $12! Score!

Billabong caramel cord jeans: $2 - Vinnies boutique, Blacksoil

Sleeping baby equals sane Mum

My son is about to turn 1! I can't believe how fast this year has gone, and the absolutely amazing developmental changes my son has undergone. From a helpless newborn to a talking scooting little person who knows his mind, my son is so much fun.

Lately we've been fighting him about his sleep. He has been struggling to sleep in the day at all and has slept no longer than 45 minutes at a time, sometimes only 20 minutes. I've found this very tiring, and the hours of frustration when he refuses to sleep and I go back and forwards to the cot have worn me down a bit. I've noticed Mr Tired and Cranky loses physical tone and is much more accident prone and harder to console. At night he's been difficult too, crying long and hard, sometimes until he vomits, and waking during the night and crying, sometimes for up to an hour! This is quite concerning for us: he's always been such a good night sleeper, sleeping through from just 7 weeks, and we hate him vomiting, he's already so skinny.

This morning he was once again yawning his head off and whinging so I put him in his bed with his latest favourite soft toy, a blue and white dog. I don't normally let him have a toy in the cot but I figured I had nothing to lose as he hasn't slept in the morning all week. He murmured a while and I peeped in after some time of quiet and found him sitting quietly with the dog. I wasn't prepared to give up so kept on with my housework. After I while I checked again and found him asleep with the dog, leaning over from the sitting position. I guess he wasn't ready to lie down and give in but his tiredness overcame him. I think that dog might be my new sleep-time friend... it's worth a try!

NearlySuperDad and I are about to attend the third installment in the parenting program we have been using, from Growing Families Australia (also published for the secular world, minus the biblical content, as Babywise, Toddlerwise, etc). We did a course for newborn and another for 5 to 12 months and this latest course is for pre-toddler, 12 to 18 months. I'm very keen to hear their suggestions for handling the behaviour of my independent and able boy. We have had great results using the information and guidelines from the previous 2 courses so we plan to keep on going.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Figure my shape

It's been nearly a year since I had the baby. One year to stand back and see what that miracle did to my body... I've been taking stock of it lately and I've got to admit, it's not all that bad!

I'm definitely rounder and spongier than before, and I've got a mummy-tummy that likes to bulge over any pair of pants with a waist lower than my belly button. Also my joints have a tendency to be sore and and my cycle came back less manageable than before...

But I've decided not to worry too much, I'm hoping to have another little one in the near future so I don't see the point in killing myself getting a super figure back just yet! I'm a few kilos heavier than I was when I fell pregnant with my first, nothing too drastic...

I'm actually looking forward to the return of rosy clear skin and shiny bouncy hair which was a lovely bonus last pregnancy!

Now, about my wardrobe at the moment: I think I need to clear out anything that's more than slightly tight on me. In the past when my weight has fluctuated, I've kept any clothing that was in good condition in smaller sizes, intending to wear it once my weight dropped. The reality is that when I do get back into the smaller clothes they are inevitably not the current style! I've learnt that unless a piece of clothing in a smaller size is an absolute classic, don't bother keeping it!

As usual, the types of clothes that suit my size 12 cello shape are: v necked and deeper round tops, crossover tops and dresses, wider legged and boot-legged pants, and A-line skirts and dresses which skim over my thighs and round bottom, and end knee length or lower.

I've been trying to buy all my wardrobe in these shapes lately, I think mostly I've made good decisions, I've certainly been more conscious of what certain shapes of clothes do to my figure.

Parenting decisions

Long before my little one came along, I was dreaming of being a mummy. As a young girl, my parents nicknamed me "Mother Number 2" for my involvement with my brothers. I've wanted to be a mum for as long as I can remember. Since having my son, some of my choices have reflected my younger dreams of what mothering my children would look like.

My bub wears cloth nappies. Not the old-fashioned terry towelling squares my mum used, but modern fitted, adjustable size nappies (Happy Heinys) which can be thrown into the washing machine and then the dryer. I always wanted to do cloth nappies. I have compromised some on my original dream: bub wears the cloth nappies at home and for short trips out, but on longer trips and when I haven't quite got to the laundry he wears disposables. I am happy with this decision and it works really well in our home.

My bub eats homemade food. Every main he has ever eaten was cooked in my kitchen, and quite a few sweets and treats come out of Mum's Diner too. I always wanted to cook my baby's food. He has a diagnosed food allergy which limits what packaged food I can give him, but I was cooking for him before that was an issue. It is extra work making his food, but I like him eating my tasty nutritious food. Soon he will move onto modified versions of nearlySuperDad's and my mains and that will be less work!

I've noticed that quite a few Mums around me make comments after seeing my son in cloth nappies or eating food out of a home container. They volunteer reasons why they use disposables or jar food. I can tell you that my choices in these and other areas are personal. I made them from my perspective on motherhood. I don't really mind what choices other Mums are making, and I am certainly not judging them. I'm just mothering the way I want to, and I'm enjoying it a lot.

I'd love to hear your comments!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fashion steal of the week!

I'm getting in early this week because I doubt any of my other purchases are going to top this! I was shopping in Myer@Northlakes yesterday and happened to spot a pair of jeans marked down to a ridiculously low price... but they are for nearlySuperDad (I guess I can't get every bargain for myself!).

Men's Lee Riders Darkwash Slouchy Jeans: $15 - Myer

The jeans were on a sale table marked at $60 but then discounted by a further 75%! Needless to say, notoriously-not-into-fashion-nearlySuperDad is pretty chuffed with his new duds.

Keeping up?

Wow, I've had such a busy few weeks... and my home shows it! I've been doing my best to keep up with the housework as per my schedule, and to keep the meals on track with our roster, but add a sick baby, a lot of errands, some holidays and a days of (much-needed) rain to any week and something has to give!

I'm having to let some stuff slip and just do the most urgent... and nearlySuperDad is helping me out by picking some of the simpler dinners to make and doing the groceries before work - what a lifesaver!!

I'm not going to worry too much, I've already done 2 of my 7 loads of washing for today (and I'm really hoping the construction work behind my home doesn't cause dust) and I'm wanting to spend as much of the day as possible at home... I might even get dinner on before nearlySuperDad arrives home (surprise!).

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fashion steal of the week!

I had a very quiet shopping week for myself this week because I was pretty busy doing other things, like visiting with friends, etc... Nearly SuperBaby did ok though, he got a great winter wardrobe top up from Target and Myer (25% off most full-priced baby brands!). The only piece I bought was a pretty "boho luxe" top I picked up during a trip to Toowoomba for Easterfest.

Gauzy red and grey paisley top: $15 - Cotton On

This top is cute and I'll be able to put a longer sleeved top underneath, perfect for change of season dressing. I'm planning on teaming it with my favourite Lee Riders jeans. Now I need some patent(?) wedge shoes (I noticed those in my latest Shop Til You Drop) or some wedge boots (they seem to be around too)... I guess these need adding to my wishlist!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Fashion steal of the week!

Well this week the final price of my steal amazed even me! I picked up these boots thinking they were a great price at $49.95, but when nearlySuperDad (aka hubby) came out of the store with the receipt (he bought 2 great pairs of mens shoes at half price) they were a lot cheaper again...

Knee-high flat brown leather Skechers boots: $19.50 - Skechers outlet, DFO Jindalee

This meant I had an altogether fab shopping trip, because I also picked up 4 jumpers for $10 each - 1 @ Myer Indooroopilly on the "75% off marked down price" rack, and 3 @ Just Jeans outlet (DFO Jindalee).

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fashion steal of the week!

I always want to be on-trend with the latest fashion but need to do it on a fairly tight budget. While I love owning labels, anything I have was almost certainly picked up on a good sale. I'm going to let you know my best buy each week. Here' s last week's steal:

Maxi dress from Crossroads: $20 (on sale).

I love this mostly black dress (with some orangey-red paisley patterning), it's made of a stretchy comfortable fabric and is a flattering cut on my cello-shaped figure. Trinny and Suz would be proud! I wore it to church on Sunday with a black singlet underneath to make sure it was modest, paired with flat leather thongs. I've wanted a maxi dress for a loooooong time but found it pretty hard to get a cut that suited my figure (being big up top) and my budget!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Time management

I'm determined to make good use of my time at home with my son. Lately I've felt like I'm drifting along without feeling that sense of achievement I enjoyed during my career girl days. I know it's a little different these days being at home full-time, but I'm sure I can put some order and a little discipline into my days and weeks to change how I feel about this...

So here goes! I've been inspired by reading my friend Jamie's great practical blog baby get green that there are some simple practical things I can start doing to bring some shape to my calendar of seemingly endless blank days.

Here's what I propose to try:

1. Make a weekly plan of housework
2. Make a daily "to do" list of errands
3. Make a fortnightly meal plan for dinners and eventually all meals
4. Make a list of projects I'd like to complete just for me eg. cross-stitch bookmark, hanging scrapbooking album for my son's room, etc.
5. Cut down my TV watching - I've noticed the TV is a real thief of my valuable time!

I guess my thinking is that by bringing some order into my daily life, I will actually have more freedom to relax and enjoy my down-time, once I have achieved my daily workload...

I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Guilty or not?

I'm sitting here with a daytime soap on TV in the background. The lounge room floor is littered with toys and the air conditioning is running... and the baby is asleep. The kitchen's a mess and the dishwasher needs emptying, a huge pile of baby clothes needs folding and my dressing table needs a serious declutter... but I'm tired as usual.

Every day at this time I face the same dilemma - go for it around the house, or sit down and take a small amount of me-time? Either direction can produce good results, but I feel so guilty if I stop too often... after all I'm home full-time so the house should be sparkling and all the washing, cooking and organisation up to date, right?

I've got to sort this out, I can't keep bluffing my way through with no order to my weeks, so I'm going to give RLO's a shot - rostered lunch breaks off! I'm going to try having Tuesday and Thursday lunchbreaks as guilt-free break time to shamelessly do whatever I enjoy for the entire time the baby sleeps. Then the other weekdays I'll go for it and get as much done as possible with the lure of my RLO tomorrow... I'll let you know how it goes in a few days...

Here we go...

Well, this is it! I've decided to take the plunge and start up my own blog... I'm planning on writing about my everyday life - the great stuff and the struggles, all here for you to see! I plan to be honest with you, to share my real feelings. What better place is there for this?!!