Kids Playroom- Yes or No!?

Now that we are rounding the corner on sickness in our home I’m slowly transitioning out of survival mode.. It’s one thing when mum is sick.. I generally keep going on with life and work.. but when you’re little one is sick you want to wrap them up in bubble wrap and rock them to bed.. while simultaneously wanting to throw them out the window.. well.. not really.. but you get the idea..

Miss Ava came down (for the first time) with the cold sore virus.. eek.. I know.. It runs in our family.. like W.H.O.L.E  Family.. so it was inevitable, but it was so terrible. Apparently (from what I read on Dr. Google) the first time they get the virus it’s really bad.. and trust me.. it was really bad. She didn’t want to eat.. her throat was sore.. she had canker sores in her mouth on top of cold sores.. we’re still coming out of the whole event but it’s a lot better compared to what it was!

Side note here.. Ava normally has a dummy (pacifier) when she goes to bed- so nap times and night time, however we sometimes end up using it to keep her quiet during church or lunch.. I recently found out Greg gives her the dummy in the car on the way to drop her to my mum.. Insert double frowning face here..

Anyways.. I had an ah hah moment last week that the dummy was probably not helping the cold sores get better as it was constantly rubbing up against them..so while in the car one drive I took Ava’s dummy and told her that her Na-Na (Dummy) was going Bye-bye.. and that she needs to wave Bye-Bye to her Na-Na.. well she waved bye-bye and then didn’t asking me for it again.. she probably has asked us for it twice in the last 4 days.. I don’t know if I’m dreaming or if my child is a genius.. whatever it is we are off the na-na!! What the?! Yeah.. call me the baby genius or something.. let’s see if we can get her to read by the time she’s one and a half! My advice is- if your child is old enough to understand the concept of something or someone going goodbye or bye-bye then they are ready to understand the concept of something being taken from them.

Anyways.. back on to recovery mode.. now that Miss Ava is feeling a lot better I am starting to notice that her normal toys are not cutting it for her. We used to carry toys around in the bottom of the pram but these are the same toys she played with when she was 6 months old.. I know.. we’re bad parents..

I created a little alphabet book for her (not that it’s working)- every animal in the book is a dodo (dog).. Lord help us.. soooooo..I’ve been toying with the idea of a playroom.. We have a three bedroom home so if we did create a playroom we would lose this spare bedroom.. OR.. we could move a pull out lounge that we have into the playroom for guests to use when they are over… I would love everyone’s thoughts and suggestions! I’ve highlighted some of my favourite playrooms that I’ve seen around the web! There are some really great ideas for functional yet fun rooms! Designing anything for Miss Ava sends me into a pinning frenzy…!!

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Sources (From Left to Right by row)

One | Two |Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine

Woven- Two little peas in a pod

For those who have just started following Growing A Bebé, Woven is a new series of stories from the women around me- their stories of labour, love and growing their little families.. I hope you see the imperfect perfect of this experience we call motherhood in the tapestry of stories woven by each woman..

My next guest in our series, Woven, is from a dear friend of mine. We have been friends since we both can remember; we’ve celebrated birthdays, weddings and kids together! We both married Greg’s in the same year as well (a little fun fact)!

Today, I am excited to introduce Rachel Willmott!

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Okay, question number one- how big is the family you come from?  Not very big at all! Mum has 1 brother & dad is an only child. I am blessed to have 2 grandparents still here with us. I am the eldest of 3 siblings.

Can you tell me a bit about your family? Dad comes from Scicily / born in Australia, and has remarried an Australian. Mum comes from Chile / came over when she was 4yrs old.
I’m the eldest at 30, younger sister at 26, brother at 19 and a half brother who is 5 weeks old.

How many children do you have? I have twins girls who are 2.5yrs old and another bub due in August 2017.

Where did you have your children? The twins were born at Liverpool Public Hospital, NSW.

How did you find out that you were having twins? Take us through that first ultrasound! From the very beginning, our girls have made our parenthood journey an adventure full of surreal & comical surprises. The routine 6 week scan was no exception. Having a heart full of mixed emotions coupled with a bladder full of water, I lied on the bed waiting trying not to shed tears, burst out in laughter or pee myself. It felt as though as soon as the sonographer placed the doppler on me he made a very strange and surprised sound. His english wasn’t very good so Greg asked why he made a strange noise? We remember his words as though it were yesterday, “Looks like double-trouble”, closely followed by “Go halve your bladder – too full”. As I sat in the bathroom, my mind was racing through questions like “his english must be really basic”, “did I hear him correctly?”, “how large will I grow?” and finally “why do they ask you to drink so much water in the first place?”.

When I came back, it was confirmed that we were indeed staring at two little peas in my pod. Greg and I looked at each other in absolute shock and somehow had a magical conversation through eye contact. We had joked about having twins, then to see those twin hearts beating was a surreal moment for us. Obviously once we got over the initial shock, the logistics of having twins began to set in. The journey since has been challenging, often fatiguing but above all extremely rewarding!

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Audrey & Evenlyn (The two peas in a pod)

Did you have a Natural of C-section birth? How long was labour? I had natural births for both girls. If calculating from the actual pushing phase: Labour was from 11:00am – 3:20pm = 4.5 hours. My water broke 8am Wednesday & so I spent the night in hospital where I dilated 7cm without knowing it. I was given an epidural Thursday morning & started pushing before midday. Girls were born by 3:20pm Thursday.

How was your pregnancy? I had a great pregnancy, aside from some back/body aches due to being rather large and having to sleep sitting up for almost 2 months. I had regular ultrasounds and appointments so I was always well informed with my personal & twins’ development.

Did you take maternity Leave? If so, for how long? Yes, my Mat Leave was exactly 12 months.

What was the hardest thing you struggled with being a new mum? Sleep deprivation (I seriously love sleep) and my own personal body recovery & healing. I had to be readmitted to hospital 2-3 weeks after delivery due to Mastitis & an infection from the episiotomy. Not pleasant. At. All. All the while trying to juggle two crying babies, two nappies, two bottles, two of EVERYthing.

Did you work outside of the home when you had children? No. Well I wasn’t ‘paid’, but I sure did lots of work 🙂

What do you currently do for work? I am currently working 2 days/week as a Payroll Clerk for a Transport Company. But I’ll be going on Mat Leave again very soon!

What do you find the hardest thing is now, at this stage of life with your children at the age they are? The hardest thing for me at this stage is trying to find the time, energy and motivation to stimulate their inquisitive brains everyday. (and filling out the day-care paperwork so THEY can worry about paint & dirt & inquisitive brains) haha
Having said that, the girls are actually quite easy to ‘talk’ to at this stage than ever before, which I’m finding a lovely surprise.
Don’t get me wrong, they still have their tantrum-like commands and requests, but I find it’s easier to talk and reason with them at this stage.

If you could give one piece of advice to a new mum what would you tell them? Stress less. This coming from someone who doesn’t stress very much! Honestly, I can look back and say that I worried about insignificant things that I read TO DO & NOT to do. But every mother & child is different. It’s so easy for a new mother to fall for the ‘Keeping up with the Jones’ expectation to have everything perfectly under control all the time. So stress less 🙂

 

Menu Planning

Hopefully without sounding too insane, I love organising and planning! Lists are one of my favourite things to make! I’ll write a list at the beginning of the week of everything I need to do and then make lists daily of specific things for that day, all the while crossing of things from the weekly list. When it comes to organising my husband and I with breakfast, lunches and dinner it’s no different- I have been menu planning for years so I’m sure this will be a time-saver in the coming months when a newborn is introduced to the family.

*on a side note- yes I do make my husband’s lunch- he doesn’t work anywhere near a cafe or a shopping centre- and as you will see, menu planning ensures he has something (somewhat) healthy to eat instead of grabbing fast food.

My menu planning regime is very simple.

My first recommendation is to list everything you have in your pantry, freezer and fridge. You don’t have to do this every week, but when you initially take the jump to start menu planning you’ll want to know what you have- for example you may have been buying spaghetti noodles every time you go shopping and you now have 4 packets, or you may have a can of chickpeas from a year ago sitting in your pantry.

Before you even start to plan for the coming week or month try to use up the things you forgot you had! Our goal is to reduce any hoarding and over- buying, essentially saving money!

There are websites which can help you find recipes for those ingredients you have stockpiled such as Supercook and Foodwise.

Next, you’re going to want to create a template or system for planning that works for you. Because there are only two of us (and generally we can eat the same things) I menu plan like the below:

Monday

B- Toast

L- Chicken and Salad

D- Spaghetti with meatballs

If we have something to attend at night I will make a note of it so I know to cook our dinner for the following night the night before:

Monday

B- Toast

L- Chicken and Salad

D- (Music Practice) Spaghetti with meatballs

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Don’t be afraid of leftovers and having them the next day for lunch. No one wants to eat the same meal 3 nights in a row, but by accounting for the same meal one more time that week (if you were to make spaghetti on Tuesday night, it would last till Thursday lunch)- it will help with wastage and planning.

Next, I go through my menu meal by meal and write down the ingredients I will need (example in the above picture). I categorise these by Diary, Fresh, Meat etc because that’s generally how the grocery store is set up that we go to. You can categorise them whichever way works easiest for you.

Of course I add things after this to the list that I know we need- cereal, bread, museli bars but essentially I have my main meals accounted for. Do I forget things- yep! Do I purchase something I don’t need because it’s on sale or my unborn baby is telling me I need it- yep! But overall, menu planning can be exciting and budget saving!

I have created a free template for how I menu plan here. I’ve also added a printable template for a grocery list here. There are a few templates that I came across which are slightly different which may work for you (photos are hyperlinked):

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My last tip (that we definitely implement) is consolidating cooking. For example, this week we had BBQ lamb on Tuesday night- I also had Greg BBQ the chicken for Wednesday and Thursday’s meal. This saved on cooking time for me, as well as having the meals ready a lot faster when needed as opposed to waiting for the meat to bake that night.

Hopefully you have read through some helpful tips that you can implement to make life easier!