Monday, 16 June 2014

Falling in love all over again....

Who knew the human heart could expand to love greater, deeper and more than it did before?

Three weeks ago we welcomed a new daughter and we couldn't be more smitten.

Emerson is a lot like her big sister and brother and yet her own precious little person.

She sleeps better than the first two, is not a fan of nappy changes, enjoys a chat, sounds like a kitten and is a tiny little poppet who has taken over our hearts.

So for now blogging and Thermomix are taking a backseat while I settle into my third stint as mama of a newborn. Thank you all for your support and best wishes!

Think BIG. Start (really!) small ;)

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Impending birth... baby's a comin!

Well, there hasn't been a great deal of blogging going on around here - I've had this sudden realisation that it's May and I'm having a baby this month and perhaps I should start getting ready!

It's funny, the things you realise when you get to baby number three, the things that are really important.

Some things I've learned:

1. 'Stuff' will not love, nurture and feed a baby.

2. If you've got a few nappies and a boob, you're pretty much set.

3. People are incredibly generous with their old baby gear.

4. This baby has to come out whether I'm ready or not!

My beautiful little sister-in-law and her gorgeous husband are having their first baby. I remember that excitement, nerves and the sense of the unknown. I remember the mountains of beautiful baby shower gifts... and the wonder of where I would put them all! I am so excited for them as they embark on that journey and I'm getting a little giggle about how much my outlook on impending motherhood has changed since that time for me!

With our first - everything matched. Everything was organised, set up, washed (in LUX flakes of course) and installed months in advance.

With our second, maybe a month or two prior we had everything ready, because we still had everything from our first and because we had decided second time around to know the gender of our baby, we had all our beautiful blue things lined out.

This time around, we started with nothing. We hadn't planned any more babies so everything had been given away! All we had was an high chair and an baby carrier. I just this week (with three weeks to go) have washed everything in regular laundry powder. I have, because of the incredible generosity of our beautiful friends, all the 'stuff' I need (which is considerably less than we had the first time around - yet I have all we need!). But although we have the stuff, it currently lives in the spare/babies/study room and is somewhere buried under Mt Washmore! I am still a long way off 'ready', if you determine ready by the state of the baby's room.

Until now I haven't thought too much about becoming a mama for the third time. I was so sick with the first two babies that this time, until these last few weeks, I've barely noticed being pregnant because it's been so much easier this time around. And I think as a result, I haven't really prepared myself physically and emotionally.

Will I have time, room and space in my heart for a third? Will I still give my two older sweethearts the attention and love and care that they need. Every day I am praying that God will give me that capacity and the stamina to extend myself to this third little person and still love on my big kiddies the way they need. I know that I have it in me to be a great mama as long as I don't put pressure on myself to be a certain kind of perfect.

So, a 'Sunny Mummy' once told me that I should 'Look after my children's mother'... and that will become my mantra in these coming weeks. I know that if I take care of myself first, I will have the best to offer my babies - all THREE of them! Eeeek! Mummy of three! It's hard to believe but I'm so excited and I can't wait. I am, admittedly apprehensive about a third c-section, but I know that I am in the care of a great OB and that God's in control and that the outcome will be a beautiful little addition to our family.

I can't wait to share my news with you! Until then, Think BIG. Start small.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Calmer mornings

I'll be the first to admit, mornings at my house can be a tad mental.

To begin with I am not now, nor have I ever been (and doubt I ever really will be) a morning person.

I don't jump out of bed with a spring in my step - at the moment, I roll my big prego belly out and slowly stumble down the hallway until my muscles decide to acknowledge the day.

My kids constantly bicker about who gets how much breakfast, who cleaned their teeth the best, how everything's 'not a race' and many other random argument starters.

My daughter usually complains that she doesn't like porridge, wants to wear her dress as opposed to skorts, wants to do her own hair etc etc

So the long and short of it is, mornings can be painful.

Keeping in mind that in just on two months I will have a third little person vying for my attention in the mornings, I started to think about how I might be able to create a bit of calm in the mornings and hopefully, a bit of motivated independence in my bigger kids so that when the baby arrives, they'll be able (and willing!) to get themselves ready in the mornings.

So here are a few simple things I now do to make our morning's run smoother. Hopefully they're useful for you too!

1. Create a 'launch pad' 

We have a designated corner in our lounge room that has a small white Ikea table in it. On that table each night we place uniforms, right down to the socks and undies, ready to put on for the next day. Under the table lives the school shoes (or 'day clothes' and shoes for my pre-schooler), school bags and any other item important for the next day e.g. Library bag filled with library books to be returned, school banking books, school projects or homework to be returned etc.

With all these items in plain sight and laid out ready, little one's cannot complain 'but I couldn't find my dress/socks/undies'... there's no excuse for not getting yourself dressed in the morning! I also make sure that as often as possible, each child is responsible for laying out their own gear for the next day - it adds accountability and reminds them that everything's ready, so they won't need assistance to find anything in the morning.

2. Sunday afternoon bake-fest.

Every Sunday afternoon (again where possible - if I'm travelling I catch up on Monday afternoon), I do a big bake-fest. I will make cheesy spinach scrolls (and freeze), baked lunchbox treats like muffins or home made LCM bars, peel and cut carrot and celery sticks for the week (and store in an airtight container filled with water in the fridge) and make sure the fruit bowl is stocked high and the plain additive free crackers are loaded.

3. Re-load lunch boxes each afternoon.

As soon as the kids are home from school or pre-school they know they need to bring me their lunch boxes from their bag. As soon as they're cleaned out, I re-load them and put them in the fridge where the kids then know they need to come and collect them and put them in their bag the next morning. If I don't get to do this at that moment, I generally do it before I go to bed. That way, even if I'm slow to start the next day, I know the kids can get their lunch out and pack it with no fuss.

4. Lay out breakfast.

I have to admit, breakfast is something I have struggled with when it comes to my two kids. I don't like buying cereal because for the nutritional value, they may as well eat the box it came in. The first thing my kids have every day when they wake is a banana or apple, something they can help themselves to. I then will get up and make the porridge with chia or something like eggs that is protein packed to keep them going all day. But on days or sometimes weeks where we are all tired and things aren't running so smoothly, making cereal (something not too sugary) easily accessible so they can get their own breakfast makes morning complaints less and time taken to get ready speeds up.

If you're kids are littler - say around 4 and up - pour their cereal in the bowl the night before and pop it on the table covered in glad wrap. Allocate them their own special little milk jug in the fridge with just enough for one serve to avoid over-pouring and food wasting. It will allow them to have some independence and at the same time, save your sanity.

5. Create a morning checklist

For bigger kids, it can be words - for little kids - pictures. If they have a checklist of what to do every morning, they can't say they didn't know they had to do it!

Now, I don't always get this right, but I can easily recognise that being a little more organised means a lot less stress in the mornings.

The best place I've found for hints, tips and motivation for how to get organised like this and beyond is from my friend Marissa over at Beautifully Organised. I recently attended on of her Busy Mum's workshops and although I had already started this journey to calming our morning's, the things I learned at the workshop really affirmed what I was already doing and gave me new ideas on how to really succeed at creating stress free starts to my days!

Make sure you pop on over and visit her blog or sign up to her Facebook page for more ideas and motivation... don't forget to tell her I sent you!

And finally - be flexible. If it doesn't happen like this for you, find your own groove. And if it's doesn't happen right away, keep calm, carry on, think BIG and start small ;)