Friday, December 30, 2011

I want you.....

I hinted the other day that with the blog overhaul to start taking place over the next few weeks that I'm also looking for contributors and people to guest post. So this post is a little shout out, bulletin board, put your thinking caps on sort of post.

When I started this blog it was a way of helping myself through my grief of losing Elle & Meg, so I could come through in one piece and to continue my journey forward to build a family and live a happy and inspired life being creative as well. Since becoming a mum my posts have taken on a wide scope of topics, for example:
* breastfeeding
* re lactating
* natural parenting
* cloth nappies
* arts, crafts, play
* relationships, marriage
* home life
* pregnancy
* life and just everything else in between

Although I started this blog for me primarily, over time it has become more than that, I have had people contact me privately sharing their own experiences with the loss of a pregnancy or a child, I've had mums contact me about wanting to resume breastfeeding and needing encouragement with re lactation. Then there are others who have commented on a post or contacted me privately activities about activities I do with the kids etc. Earlier this year (2 more days and we start another I was very honoured to be contacted by Early Play Australia and asked was asked if I would link up with them so they could use me a reference or resource, for others looking for similar content on line.

So with all the above in mind and my hearts intention I'm wanting to make Journey to Bliss so much more for my readers and those who will surely come in future to join us. That is therefore why I am on search for you, my blogging buddies, I will be looking for people to guest post about things I mentioned in my bullet points above. But I am also on a particular look out for others who might like to be a regularly contributor under the banner of natural parenting.......breastfeeding, cloth nappies, Waldorf, pregnancy etc.

If anything I am suggesting is sparking an interest in you , please don't hesitate to contact me at journeytobliss(at)bigpond(dot)com(dot)au so that we can start plotting and planning.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Capturing the new header image.....

Well today's the day.

I am off with my little family for a photoshoot which if all goes to plan will result in an amazing new header image for my blog redesign that will start to take shape soon. I am working with a friend of a friend who has recently started a photography business in the last 6 months, and we are hoping to scratch each others back so to speak with this project.

I don't want to reveal too much about the location or the image and what we are going to try and achieve today. But suffice to say we are relying on mother nature to play into our hands a little bit. If she doesn't play into our hands, we are just going to have to go for Plan B.

I am excited about the changes that are to come in the new year here with Journey to Bliss, I hope you are too. I hope you will continue to stay tuned over coming weeks as I am piecing together other plans and will be on the search for contributors and guest posts.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Eve better late than never....

Yes I know I talked up everyone popping in to share there Christmas Eve highlights here, and then I just don't pop up my head for a few days. Good reasons though.....I've been sick and trying to fight off a cold that wanted to take over into the start of a chest infection Christmas morning. Hence I was awake at 3am trying to cough quietly if there is such a thing, so I wouldn't have the whole house awake at such a silly hour.

Despite me being sick, DH is also off work for 10 consecutive days so I have been opting for logging off and turning off gadgets and enjoying time with him and the kids. So with all that being said, I still wanted to pop in share some Christmas Eve moments with you....albeit late.

Christmas Eve during the day and someone was already zonked.

Movie day and family time.

Silly buggers.

Making garland to decorate Santa's treat basket.

Shortbread baked and packaged up to drop in our neighbours for a few Christmas Eve drinks.

Home again to prepare Santa's treat basket.

Not to forget the reindeer, sprinkles of reindeer food and carrots.

Oh the thrill and excitement.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Time to fess up....

As of the new year this little family is embarking on a lifestyle change. Since my pregnancy with Sarah, I have not been as healthy as I once was. DH has struggled for many years, carrying excess weight, and due to his eating habits despite my healthy stints over the years he has battled to keep it off permanently. It is all to apparent now with Cohen being two and half how he is aware of things. If we don't look at making these lifestyle changes and have them sustained for the future we are setting him, Sarah and any future children up for a life of bad habits.

What we consider as bad habits, others may not, but nonetheless it's time for us to tweak our lifestyle in the places where we know we have slacken off and start a fresh and stop having ourselves and our children suffer in the long run.

So in the new year we as a family are:
* reducing sugar intake as much as possible, confession is DH and I are major sweet treaters
* DH is going to kick his Diet Coke addiction, this is a biggie I joke sometimes that he is a junkie looking for a fix
* concentrate on family exercise together, our lives and schedules are too busy to grant us both time away to do our own thing in this department
* have a back up plan for those days when things don't go to plan and you opt for takeaway as an easy out

More simple back up plans like vegetarian homemade pizzas would be good.

These a four pretty broad points but actually involve a lot of little intricacies that we need to fess up to and get sorted on. I know that we are already off to a significant start on things because we rarely buy processed foods in our grocery shop, so our home is a reasonable safe zone in regards to temptations. It will be about managing those times when we are out and about and when we have jammed packed weekends.

As I said before these might not seem like major points for some but we know they are for this family and if we can make these changes and sustain them there will be significant changes and fun times ahead for this family. For DH it will be a leaner, healthier version of himself, for me it will be a healthier, stronger version of me who is organised on the bad days with healthy options. Most of all for our kids there will be healthier parents, as it is now Cohen has a very healthy diet but he goes to battle with us because he sees us eating bad things we tell him he can't have. These changes will reduce issues and backlash, and give us more time and energy for our family time. For the last reason alone it is enough reason to say, it's time for change.

Are there changes ahead for your family in the new year?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fun times....

It's a great time of year, isn't it? Lots of questions being asked by intriguing minds. Smiles, laughs and tickles at funny stories about the jolly old man in the red suit. Reflective times for mumma's and dadda's of how much has happened in a year. How much they have grown, how much more is to come.

It's been another big year for this little family, and next year will undoubtedly be the same with so many exciting plans and thoughts. So much to happen here and so much to happen for me, us, our family hopefully. Although I've been preparing for Christmas happily, somewhere out of the blue today I think the spirit of Christmas really invaded me.......I'm getting so excited.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The yummiest pancake must try.

Wholemeal Apple and Cinnamon Pancakes with Ricotta and Honey

1 cup wholemeal self raising flour
1 1/3 cup of milk
1 egg
A dash of vanilla extract
About half a teaspoon of cinnamon....sorry I'm not an exact cook, I like to freestyle things on a regular basis.

Mix above ingredients in with one grated granny smith apple.

Cook them up and voila you have got the yummiest breakfast, brunch, lunch or snack and healthy too. We had them for lunch with a generous dollop of ricotta and drizzling of honey.

Sometimes I surprise myself with a good little recipe on the fly.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How are your kids handling.....

this time of the year? How are your kids, your family holding up? I don't ever like playing into theories about kids and their behaviours, because I tend to feel that you can have them or yourself live up to those opinions........particularly if they aren't the most positive ones.

I have lost count of the amount of people, caregivers, parents, whoever saying that their kids or kids they look after are running ratty, that it's the end of the year and they are over it. I'm hearing things like the kids aren't behaving as well as they normally would and the kids are tired and that bad behaviours are worse than ever.

Image from here.

Is this true? Why do you think it's true? If this theory is indeed fact amongst others, my opinion is that I think it's got a lot more to do with parents and the stresses we are all under at this time of the year. As a result kids being kids feel these vibes and tensions in their parents and caregivers and respond accordingly.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Changing your way of thinking.......

I know I was just saying yesterday that I have been busy with the silly season and not much time to work on the more nitty gritty posts I have been wanting to do. However a beautiful and enlightening conversation with DH last night has had me wanting to rush in and share with you.

You see DH and I are in amidst of another baby boom amongst our friends, I have several friends who are expecting and a few friends who have given birth in the last few months and as most recent as last week. I was checking my Facebook last night and saw that a friend in Melbourne (first time mummy) is struggling with an unsettled little mister. So I made the suggestion of a baby carrier, it was nice to see others supportive of that suggestion and also recommend some of the better carriers on the market. All while this was happening I was informing DH of the conversation that was taking place, as we have both known this new mummy since she was in her late years of primary school.

It was through relaying the conversation to DH, I really saw how much he has actually taken in about my natural parenting ways. When I say my ways, I mean it in as much as that he has always been supportive and in agreeance, but along the way he has found it difficult with some aspects. For example when I eventually opted for Sarah co-sleeping full time out of desperation to get sleep, DH would keep verbalising his opinion that's not where she should be.

So as we spoke last night about our new mummy friend who is struggling and all our other expecting, want-to-be expecting friends and just about parenting in general, I heard him say the following:
"I just think now about what I have heard you quote, that if you were stuck on a desert island with you baby with no baby books, no help, no family, no one giving you advice or tidbits, you would parent your child instinctively. You would breast feed your baby, you would carry your baby and you would sleep with your baby."
He went on to say and explain that is why he has relaxed his way of thinking on anything he was having lingering resistance to on the parenting front.

I must say I was so pleased and so proud of him that he is now fully in a place where he recognises and understands all the benefits of what we are doing in raising our children. He admits now that his previous resistance to certain things along the way has been about him, and society type opinions and pressures. Prior to last nights conversation I already had a DH who would openly talk to anyone that would listen about clothing nappying and baby wearing but now I have a husband who is fully accepting of co-sleeping as well (rather than being accepting out of necessity) I'm so proud of the voice and advocate he has become on many aspects of natural parenting. To my DH, it's amazing what our little blessings teach us along the way isn't it? You are a remarkable daddy and our children or lucky to have a daddy like you.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Come on in it's Christmas....

I know haven't been around posting as much the last couple of weeks, I'm probably no different to many others out there who's calendars are filling up with the silly season heavily upon us. Unfortunately it means something had to give and I guess it's resulted in the odd post here and there. But on with sharing you a snapshot of Christmas decorating. We have a heap of baubles leftover and some battery powered lights. So DH and I put our heads together and we now have a little Christmas cheer on our entrance table.

The pics don't show how lovely it really is and the nice ambience that it gives when it's dark. It's been extra nice the last few days with all the rain and heavy cloud cover we have been having, because it's been dark enough during the day to have the lights on to appreciate them as well.

Anyways best be off to create some more Christmas cheer, I'll in again soon to show you what we've been up to.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bring a plate.....

Cohen is off to family day care this morning and they are having a Christmas party because one of the kids will be finishing up for the year soon. So our day care mum has asked for us to bring along a plate of food for the party.

I'm generally the mum who would send the fruit platter or other healthy alternative but for a change I had plans of making something "naughty", I had planned on making these yummies.

However after a million trips out yesterday, which also included several trips into the supermarket I still forgot to buy cream to make them. By the time I got Sarah settled down last night I was exhausted and knew I still had to rustle something up for this morning. So I present to you my abstract version of a rudolph treat, using just three ingredients.

I just soften the biscuits in the oven as per the original recipe instructions. Melted chocolate and divided into between the cookie cups and popped on some raspberries. As I mentioned before I would never normally do something like this for a kids party, so I added extra raspberries for good measure.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The intended and unintended day....

My day has been a mixture of the intended and unintended today. The intended saw me listening to a friend who visited who really needs some help and comfort at the moment. I hope she left feeling as though I was able to assist her.

The unintended has seen my "to do list" being ignored in favour of fun for the remainder of the day.

So the kids and I went for a little walk out front and across the road from our house and Cohen selected these goodies.

Today it was all about crunchy handfuls for dead's so funny to see what inspires children's minds.

I have intend all week to make a sensory dough and finally got around to it whilst the kids napped. I didn't however intend on putting baking powder in it instead of cream of tartar, so when I realised my mistake I added both. My intentions were good and it looks like it still turned out. I didn't add colouring this time and opted for mixed spices instead......reminiscent of Christmas baking. I will halve the batch so one can be used for adding tinsel and beads and so forth to it.

I've also unpicked a pair of Cohen's shorts to use as a pattern for some Christmas shorts I'm making him from fat quarters.

And I have fiddled with a bag design for my business.

So there you go sometimes it's good to sit back and let your day take a detour from the intended.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm a different person now...

I've been working on this post for weeks now, starting, deleting, editing, starting from scratch and back again. I've struggled to put into context the words and feeling behind what I have wanted to say. But this morning I read my girlfriends rather personal post over at Things I Do and it just allowed my own words to free up to tell you my story of how I am doing with my journey through issues with anxiety due to my grief, PTSD and so forth.

I haven't posted about this journey in some time and how my grief work over Ella and Meg and subsequent loses has been going. Mainly because I have been under the care of a physcologist for eighteen months now. Somewhere along the line in my pregnancy with Sarah, my other anxiety issues relating to family stresses were put into a manageable context and place for me. I don't ever post much about my family (mum, dad, and younger brother) as there are a lot of complex issues and I also don't want family to read something and for me to feel I need to justify speaking about them in context to my please bare with me as when I am speaking about family I will only refer to things in a general context, rather than specifically to do with them.

So where was I? That's right I was saying that things have been put into a manageable context. What I mean but that is I have been able to identify through my therapy what triggers I have with the family and with planning ahead of time I can reduce my physical and emotional reactions. In relation to my PTSD relating to the losing Elle and Meg, well that is always an on going journey. I have periods of time when flashbacks become regular, but I have no control over when they come or how long they last. Flashbacks don't come all that often these days but do increase with lack of sleep and you all know sleep has been an interesting concept with Sarah still not sleep through. However since reducing expectations and having her cot side car to our bed, it has helped me be more rested and calm and therefore my PTSD symptoms have reduced significantly.

To be honest though, before putting Sarah's cot side car to our bed, I was in an emotionally bad place again and hanging on by a thread with sleep deprivation and flashbacks. So my doctor strongly suggested I take a small dose of anti-depressants. It was the first time since losing the girls that I just accepted that I really needed the extra help with AD's. But as it was with me being busy with my two I kept forgetting to take them. But after a month of regular session with my physiologist and establishing Sarah into side car co-sleeping things were on the improve and I just stopped taking them because I felt I had clarity again. I should note though I have been on AD's during another phase of my life many years ago now for an extended time. However I have found this around being more aware of triggers and how to manage things has been a lot more beneficial, at least for me anyway.

Overall in the last eighteen months I have changed and despite the diagnosis of PTSD and so forth I have actually become a lot more relaxed, stress free, calmer, happier and care free than I have been in a really long time. I don't sweat much of the small stuff any more, I have structures in place to deal with difficulties like my family, I have boundaries and I have the ability to say I need help if things a piling up on me. Although I can't change what is, and what has happened in the last few years especially with losing the girls. I have found that place along the way to be thankful for what I have received out the journey so far, which is this new me that I like a lot, it feels like I'm emerging into the me I've always wanted to be. Of course my issues are a work in progress, but at least I know have a support plan and system in place with my physiologist. Who knows how long I will continue to be in therapy, but I do know it will at least for now be another year or more with our plans to expand our family further next year. Sheer madness some of those close to me may say, that we are going to try and get on the baby wagon again some time next year..........but hey it's part of our Journey to Bliss through all these trials and tribulations in the last few years. So who know for now what may happen with my emotional journey from now, but at least for now I'm growing happier and happier again.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Craft with a milestone reached for good measure....

This morning I set Cohen up with some paint stamping with Christmas cookie cutters. I have loads of leftover scrapbooking album pages leftover and thought Cohen could stamp them and we could cut them up to make Christmas cards, as he has been enjoying scribbling on paper and folding it and saying it's my birthday card. So with that in mind you can see the idea I was running with, so I set him up like so.

Just a bit of a tip (from my teaching days) for those who are scared about this paint activity as an indoor activity with little ones. Pour a little paint into a takeaway container, add a little water and a good squirt of dish washing liquid and mix it around. Get a cheapie kitchen sponge and place it in the container, let it soak up the mixture a little and turn it over if necessary. It makes for a lot neater, cleaner way of facilitating the activity and makes clean up so much easier.

So as I was saying Cohen had decided on green and although you can't see it in the pics we added silver glitter paint as well, and agreed when it dried we would also draw on the cardboard with crayons.

When time for drawing came, after a few little scribbles over some of the paint Cohen decided to flip the cardboard over to draw on the other side, and look what he did.

His first ever clear attempt of a full body with head, arms and legs. I am so proud of him and there was lots of cheering and cuddles. But now I'm stuck with a problem, do I still cut them all up to make cards, as he has drawn huge faces on the back of all the card stock which is 12" x 12". Perhaps I should leave it up to the artist, in case he has changed his mind about making cards.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Some extra special Christmas magic....

If you want to build on the mystery and magic that is Christmas and all that is Santa, you must, must, must check out Magic Santa.

It allows you to have a recorded video message from Santa for your child, with Santa addressing your child by name and with other specific information you will have entered. I could get carried away and tell you just how amazing it is in every detail, but I will just let you see for yourself, it will leave you wanting one for yourself.

If your child gets a video message from Santa, I would love to hear about your child's reaction.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Salt Dough Ornaments....

Salt dough would have to be one of the easiest things to whip up for your kids, very few homes wouldn't have flour, salt and water available. What better way to get the kids started on the Christmas decorating with making some ornaments. The original recipe calls for fours cups of flour to a cup of salt. But because I didn't have a full cup of salt this is what I did.

Salt Dough
2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup salt
water to moisten

Mix flour and salt together and gradually add small amounts of water until you are able to form a dough. The dough should not be wet, so just add enough that allows you to start forming a ball that is still dry but can flattened out without crumbling. You can add food colouring to the water or do what I did which was add a small amount directly to the dough whilst kneading to give a marbled effect.

Roll out and using cookie cutters press out your designs. For the hole I just used a chopstick to make a large enough hole. Then into the oven at 150 degrees for an hour, but do check to see if they have any give because if they do you will want to give them more time in the oven to dry out.

So many variations on designs ie.adding glitter, letting kids paint them when they cool down, drawing with felt tips, pasting onto them......possibilities are endless really.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Wet play, frozen fun...

DH gave me the heads up earlier in the week that the end of the week might be wet weather days. So I knew I would need to be organised with things to occupy Cohen with outdoor play and outings being limited. So with a bit if pre-planning and being inspired by my stalkings over at Counting Coconuts and sensory tubs. I got out a large kitchen tray and some of the kids toys and odds and ends and put them in the tray and filled it with water and into the freezer it went.

Both the kids had fun investigating it at first.

Then Cohen got to thinking about how he was going to get the toys or treasure as he called it out.

My camera battery ran out whilst Cohen played, but he ended up freeing everything and placing it in the tray I provided. Some toys still had huge chunks of ice still hanging off them and Sarah enjoyed picking them up and sucking on them. Once Cohen had freed all the toys and he was left with tiny pieces of smashed ice, more imaginative play stepped in, with him declaring that they were his ice lollies.

While summer is hanging about I think I will try and do one of these a week. Even if it ends up being rainy you can still do this inside as we have, I just turned a huge plastic lid I have from the kids blocks container upside down and put a towel underneath for absorbency.

Mummy blog blah....

I do quite a bit of blog reading each day and there seems to be a bit of "blogging blah" as I would call it going on. There are a lot of bloggers missing in action at the moment and then there are others who are posting but mentioning and quoting that they are struggling to word their posts or find inspiration. Although I've noticed it with a lot of mummy blogs, to be honest I'm noticing it right across the board with the blogs I follow and different genres.

In fact just the other day I started a post about how I have several meaty subjects lined up to talk about but I'm struggling to have the words flow, like how I would like to read it if you know what I mean? Is this "blogging blah" like the end of the year crawl when working full time and you're just desperate for a few weeks off and some free space in the head to zone out.

Either way I don't know what the answer is, but all I know is despite ideas, goals and projects I'm working on behind the scenes sometimes you just need to step back and let life be the cue. I think we can so often live in a headspace of continuous thought about the future that we sometimes need to scale things back. So in respect to Creating Calm this month and the upcoming silly season, I'm going to put the serious stuff on the back burner and get on with fun stuff and sharing that with you all.

The new year will see a new look coming for Journey to Bliss, with me getting stuck into some meaty subjects but there will always still be lots of fun to share. Oh and I'm brewing another idea and plan for an awesome weekly feature.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sharing some bloglove....

I haven't shared some bloglove for a while and I have been inspired to this past week, whilst plotting, preparing and planning for the silly season. Although I used to work in child care many years ago (now feels like a lifetime ago) I sometimes need a little reminder and inspiration of different things I could do for the kids or in particular Cohen at this point in time. Of course with the silly season approaching it's always good to have different and exciting activities for little ones to enjoy.

So I've been doing a spot of stalking over at Counting Coconuts and checking out some of the coolest sensory tub ideas. I'm totally and utterly re-inspired with ideas for the kids.

Pic from Counting Coconuts
Check out this cool transport sensory tub. But given it is heading into the silly season I am now brewing a great little idea for a Christmas sensory tub.

On a more personal note whilst sharing some bloglove. It pleases me so much to see that one of my most dearest IRL friends has found her blogging love again and has started a new blog this week. She is an incredibly intelligent and creative mumma with knowledge and experience in vast fields from Beauty Therapy through to Education Technology. I'm excited to see where her blogging antics will take her, and knowing her as I do she will definitely be someone to keep an eye on. If you need a nudge to pop on over and have a look she is offering a giveaway of handmade soaps. So pop on over to Things I do.
If I'm really honest it will be nice having one of my beasties to blog talk with he hehe.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Plotting and planning this week....

I'm busy this week with several projects and gatherings on the horizon, not to mention Christmas planning. I have shopping of all descriptions to, fruit and veg, meat, crafting and Christmas shopping and if I can fit in some op shopping that will be some down time for me. I've got a to-do list that is growing longer and longer and meal plans and some special organising to undertake. One of the most important dishes I need to plan for this week is for a morning tea I am hosting on Friday. I have a bunch of mummy friends coming here on Friday morning for a morning tea recipe swap. Everyone has been asked to bring a plate of something savoury or sweet with a copy of the recipe to share with all the other mummas.

I'm having the morning tea because it has been a seriously busy year for us and many other families I know and so many of us haven't had much opportunity to catch up with one another. Would you believe there are even some us with babies who are crawling and trying to walk now and we haven't seen each other since the birth if our babes or longer.

I'm rather looking forward to the morning tea, but I do need to get my skates on and knuckle down and commit to what I'm making and get my house in order for this influx of mummas and little ones that will be here on Friday morning.

I hope the morning is successful and that I have some nice pics to show you from the day. Now I'm off on a search for inspiration.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Daddy and Daughter moments.....

Do you know how long it has been for us to get to moments like these?

About eight months to be precise......ok perhaps not precise but thereabouts.
In the last month Sarah has been happy to be soothed and settled by her daddy. It's something I think both daddy and daughter have needed and if I'm truthful it's what mummy has needed too.

Although Sarah is still very much a mummy's girl and doesn't like me straying far from her, I can see each day how her confidence is growing in different ways and with different people. As a family we are all very much looking forward to the Christmas break, because daddy will be home for ten days. It will be good for all of us, but especially for Sarah I think it will be the longest period of time he will have been off work in any one stretch since Sarah was born. I am so looking forward to capturing more of these moments.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Finding calm with baby....

I just attended my ABA meeting for this month, this morning. It's so nice that our meetings are on a Friday now because Cohen is at family day care and it allows me to be a lot more hands on in our group. This post was prompted by some things I have been mulling over myself but more so by a conversation with one of the new mums that joined our meeting today.

I overheard her talking about her babies sleep "problems" and how things are difficult with her daughter, something I can definitely sympathise with. I offered some suggestions of things that have been suggested to me from other well meaning people. But it wasn't until I heard myself offering my "own" advice that I really heard my own voice and realised how we have found some calm with Sarah and her sleep "problems". I just told this new mum to stop worrying about the sleep, just got with the flow. Stop saying to yourself maybe when he/she gets their issue with their wind sorted maybe he/she will sleep through. Stop saying, wishing, hoping, mentally pleading that once he/she reaches other development points or milestones maybe they will sleep better.

It was at that point that I heard my own words clearly and realised that things have been so much better since I have dropped expectation in regards to sleep with Sarah and just let be what will be. As it is she still doesn't sleep through the night, feeds frequently and during the day she only will nap if I lay down with her to feed and that isn't always a given she will sleep either. I of corse try and provide opportunity and environment for to nap each day, but who knows on which day it will play out.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that life is a lot calmer with a baby when you drop expectation and just let life, that precious little life be and find their own way to what they are needing with your help, assistance and nurturing. When you just let things be, you just start getting on with things and stop sitting around complaining you're not getting anything done, because baby won't sleep.

To be honest right now in my life I have never been busier with being a SAHM, looking after my two, being wife, writing two blogs and trying to work on building my business as well as working on other plans and projects. I'm just so glad that I have stopped the sitting around hoping and praying Sarah will rest and sleep and I have just got in with it. As a result Cohen gets a better me because I'm not so worked up on getting his sister to sleep. I also just get to see and appreciate both my children in different and new ways and just accept that that sleep or no sleep this is who they are.

Cheekily as I post this though, I must share the above pic. We left our ABA meeting and within seconds of being in the car she fell asleep. So when we came home and I got her out of the car she stayed asleep, so I figured I would try putting her down. What do you know she has slept for an hour and just woke moments ago and is now's that for having no expectation, I got rewarded today.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Harvest time....

With the kids being sick this week there hasn't been much outdoor play. I haven't wanted to drag the kids in and outdoors with their hacking coughs and change of temperature back indoors to air conditioning. However during a cooler moment this week we watered our veggie patch and checked on our baby carrots and determined it was harvest time.

See the orange top Cohen?

They aren't the prettiest looking baby carrots.

But they're yummy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Creating Calm when kids are sick...

I have both kids sick at the moment with cracking, croaking coughs. Not to mention the heat has kick up a notch in the last week. So I have two whining sick unhappy kids, having meltdowns left, right and centre. So I have endeavoured to try and give Cohen quiet, calm activities to keep him settled and out of the heat.

As it was this morning I just had to get out of the house to Spotlight to pick up some craft and sewing supplies, as I have must finish projects to do by the end of the week. Whilst there my mind was finally jogged to a little fine motor activity I wanted to put together for Cohen.

His little activity is currently working a treat for creating a bit of calm when it's all to much for the little guy. So for about $8 I picked up some plastic cross stitch canvas boards, and a packet of plastic needles with blunt and rounded ends and we are in business (I already had some rainbow coloured cheap yarn here at home).

If you'd like to give this little activity a go at home with your little ones, I've already got a few suggestions that might help.

* If you have young ones like Cohen (he is 2 and half) I think it's best to go with the small shaped boards, so that they don't get frustrated and fumble with the bigger boards.

* Use a small ply yarn so that they are able to thread it through easily.

* Keep yarn length no longer then the length from the centre of your child's chest to an outstretched arm, otherwise with too much pooling yarn and wool they will get frustrated with not being able pull all the yarn through easily.

Hope you have some success with this activity if you choose to give it a go. It's a great no mess activity, which I'm pleased about with two sick babes, less mess to clean up at the moment the better. For older children you could also supply them with beads to thread on as well or draw a simple outline on the board with a permanent marker for them to follow. Otherwise let them freestyle a design.

If you give this a go with your little ones, I'd love it if you would pop back and let me know how you went.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Keeping my Babes in bubbles....

I have sick babes again, so getting time to arrange my bigger posts I have lined up is proving difficult. It also doesn't help that the silly season is fast approaching and the calendar is filling up. So I've pulled up stops this morning kept Cohen home from day care as he isn't well enough and we are having some mellow, reconnecting time. As I post this it has just gone 11.40am and he is already napping. I'm laying down with Sarah as I type and she is drifting off to sleep as well......poor thing has a cough also.

One thing I'm remembering with this months 30 Days to Create Calm is, it's ok sometimes to say no to plans and offers of play dates and catch ups so that you can re-centre things at home....especially when the kids aren't well.

So at least for the next few days I think we are going to live in our own little bubble and find some fun and calm at home after a busy week last week.

Note - pics taken early last week in a moment of calm in a crazy schedule last week.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Do you have to soak them?

I have been prompted by 30 Days to Create Calm, to post about one of the routines in our home that is generally down pat - Clothing Nappying and Washing. I'm posting to show people that it really isn't that complicated and doesn't necessarily have to cause you undue stress to your household workload.

I get numerous comments and questions when people realise we are a full time cloth nappying family. At first the appearance of modern cloth nappies have people intrigued, but conversation often turns quickly to the laundry. The amount of laundry, the method of washing and routine often concerns the initially interested parties in cloth nappies. Then of course the concern about how do you have time to do it all?

With modern cloth nappies these days things really couldn't be much easier. So for those who are interested in cloth nappying and you have concerns of the workload and routine to organise it all, this is for you.

1. Any solid waste is removed from nappy straight after changing. With the advancement in materials, waste will often just roll off. There are also Little Squirts available to attach to your toilet system to help with this process if you have stubborn solids.

2. Place nappy in a nappy bucket or you don't need it filled with water or soaking agents. In fact soaking agents would damage your nappies over time.

3. Wash nappies either everyday or second day. I wash every day because I can add random nappies that have been changed to a load of regular washing throughout the day. Otherwise come the start if each morning my nappy bucket is full and it's the first load on in the morning and first hung out.

4. When nappies are dry, DH and I find it rather carthardic to sit in the evening with cuppa watching telly putting nappies together. Seriously it only takes as long as a cuppa to get the job done and dusted.

See it really isn't much different to doing your regular washing of clothes and linen huh?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Creating Calm and Nurturing the senses - Touch

I've been following Debbie's post at Aspiring Mum about trying create calm this month. I'm finding it helpful to iron out the little kinks here and there in our home environment. We're getting closer and closer to things buzzing along nicely. One of the things I mentioned in signing up or Creating Calm in 30 Days was how I was also going to mention my efforts to further work on and develop nurturing through the senses and how I find it creates calm in elements of our day to day life.

I thought I would speak about touch first, it is quite possibly the most important if all our senses and without it we fail to thrive. Attachment parenting allows so many opportunities to nurture your child through touch. The two biggest things that happen in our family life that allow me to restore calm are breast feeding and baby wearing. Attachment Parenting International offers several other suggestion on how you can nurture through touch especially with babies and older children.

Skin to skin with daddy can be just as important.

As well as many of the suggestions from Attachment Parenting International I have found unique ways of incorporating touch and nurturing to help instill calm especially with a toddler.

Some tricks that work for us are:

* Cohen doesn't like massage, but if I suggest we play
barbers it allows me to softly combo his hair with my fingers, and pretend to softly snip hair with my finger tips. He will then often let me shave his face (pretend of course), I will stroke his eyebrows and softly brush my fingertips over his cheeks and chin. I often use is technique or similar on those days when Sarah has had me busy and I've not been able to be involved in much of his play. He often likes to return the favour and this little game nearly always calms him and changes his focus.

* I've also found that a light touch when trying to give Cohen an instruction to do something can be beneficial. The light touch of a hand on the arm or shoulder can break the wandering eyes when you're trying to speak with him, and focus the attention on me and what I am saying. Therefore reducing frustration both on his part and mine and therefore nurtures his confidence about fulfilling a task.

* I still breast feed Cohen and although he appears to be on a slow wean, I still try to encourage physical closeness and touch by having him close during Sarah's feed times throughout the day. He often enjoys a story snuggled into my side while I feed or sometimes he is happy to hold hands whilst I feed and sit on lounge.

I hope the above link and my suggestions might help in creating calm moments in your days, especially on those days where you think everything is going to pits.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Kiss, Kiss...

I have some big posts I'm working on at the moment. This post wasn't planned or intended for today but whilst I perfect and refine a couple of posts I'm working on, I have something to share with you.

See this wee gorgeous face? Kissable isn't it? Well this pic was taken a few months ago, but it is a fav of mine. My wee little girl is soon to turn 9 months in about 2 weeks. She has blown away her daddy and I tonight showing us that she knows what kiss, kiss means. It is ever so cute and she leans in mouth open to plant one on you. She even understands cuddles and place her cheek against yours to snuggles into our necks.

She has further astounded us this evening by free standing........I suspect we're going to have another early walker on our hands.

Everything is happening so fast now, I just want to freeze time and enjoy this sweet time forever.

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