Preschooler Gift Ideas

We absolutely hit it out of the park with gifts for our daughter Ava this year- she loved almost everything we found for her!

I’ve linked some of her favourite things if you need gift ideas for your preschooler!ONE.png

One- Disney Puzzles, Big W | Two- Kids Umbrella, Sunnylife | Three- Fire Station Lego, Lego | Four- Doctor’s Bag, Big W | Five- Fire Truck, Kmart | Six- Walkie Talkies, Amazon | Seven- Construction Lego, Lego | Eight- Dr Baby Barbie, Amazon

Be careful little eyes..

IMG_8289.JPGOver the past few weeks we have been noticing that Ava (my 3 year old) has become excessively clingy. For example, whenever Greg or I leave for work she gets weepy and ask’s if we’re coming home, she won’t travel in the car with my mum by herself anymore, she doesn’t want to sleep over her house without us.. It was quite unusual for her considering just a month or so ago she was completely fine with us leaving, going out etc

We thought it was just a phase she was going through at 3 years old but a few days ago my Mum had the thought that perhaps it was something she watched on Frozen- we had never let her watch the movie until a few weeks ago. If you haven’t seen the movie, there is a scene near the beginning in which the two main characters (sisters Ana and Elsa) parents’ go on a trip on a boat, they get caught in a storm at sea and never return. Ava asked me what happened to the parents and I told her that they had died (she has understood the concept of dying for a number of months when we attended a funeral earlier this year).

Suddenly it seemed like this clinginess was actually due to something she had seen and thought would happen to her.

I called her over a few days ago and asked her to tell me about the movie Frozen (just to see whether my mums theory was correct.) The first (and only) thing she told me about straight off the bat was that Ana and Elsa’s mummy and daddy left on a trip and died. We were all shocked. It actually broke my heart that she was thinking that mummy and daddy were going away all these weeks and we would potentially not come home..

I quickly reassured her that Mummy and Daddy were not going to die and that we would always come home and anything she saw on tv was just a show and pretend. We went through it a few times and then told her that we were going to go to the gym. She slowly said “okay, okay..”

We’ve had to re-assure her a few times the last few days that we will always come back but it absolutely made me realise that we need to monitor things she is watching more. Her other shows are “younger”- Micky Mouse, Noddy (the inspector), Wiggles…

I guess it’s a wake up call that if you have kids and you notice a change in their behaviour perhaps consider what they are reading or watching- you may never know what their little hearts and minds are remembering and imposing on real life.

A big girls room

Have you ever been stuck in a rut when it comes to a bedroom- you don’t know how to change it you just know you want it changed, it needs a freshen up?

That’s exactly how I felt about Ava and Raegan’s room. Here’s the link for what her room used to look like prior to Raegan being born. When Raegan turned around two months old we moved her in Ava’s room. They both sleep quite heavy so we had no real problems with one waking the other up.

We obviously had to change the layout of the room to fit a cot, single bed and large chest of drawers. I was also getting a little tired of the watercolour dots on the wall. Thankfully they’re removable so we re-located them all to the playroom!

DSC_0135.jpg

DSC_0129DSC_0131DSC_0133DSC_0141DSC_0144DSC_0147DSC_0136DSC_0140I DIY added the tassels to a basket I already had been using for Ava’s stuffed animals.

The “you are capable of great things” print relocated from her playroom to her bedroom a well as the fluro coloured tassel garland.

I didn’t have to buy anything additional- by simply switching out pieces we already had I was able to change the room into a little more grown up for our 3 year old while keeping the left side still simple and complimentary for Raegan.

Heart Whispers

Ramblings from when we first brought Reagan home… (and I never posted for fear of judgement)

A bird lands on the pram next to me as I watch my eldest play in the sand. A quick flick of my hand and the bird flies away. I grab the cap for my youngest’s pacifier- would birds think it’s food? Not sure, but I don’t want to take the chance. I make a mental note to sanitise my hands after touching the handle of the pram.

Her voice cuts through the millisecond of silence- “faster mumma, I want to go faster.. The slide, I want to go on the slide”.. I’m brought back to reality and slow the spinning contraption in front of me down so she can get off. I wrangle her arms around the baby strapped to my chest and lift her off. I watch her navigate through the sand towards the big slide, a little boy nearby catches her eye but he’s quite a bit younger than her, she looks away disinterested. “I want to go on the swing mumma.. the swing.. the swing..” She won’t stop till I acknowledge what she’s said. I push the pram over to the edge of the swing set and gingerly step through the sand to push her. “Higher mumma.. higher..” “Patience” I exclaim .. it sounds meaner then I wanted it to.

You wanted this.. I hear my heart whisper..

The baby on my chest stirs.. I start the mumma bounce- one hand pats her little bottom while I make the white noise “shhhhh” sound for a solid minute hoping that she lulls back to sleep. “I want to get off mumma.. I want to go on the small slide..” “Really? You just got on the swing..” I exclaim.

If you can just make it to nap time.. I hear my heart whisper.

I think in terms of hours now. 3 hours till the next bottle, 4 hours till nap time.. if I stretch bottle number 2 I can get them both to nap at the same time. Dinner is in 2 hours if I do bottle four at 6pm. If I go to sleep right this minute I’ll get 5 hours of sleep or I stay up for bottle number 6 and then get 4 hours of sleep..

You don’t have me time.. I hear my heart whisper..

I lay on the carpet, willing and coaxing my newborn to lift her head.. if she can just look to the left. I can feel the anxiety building in my chest. I’ve googled neck issues consecutive nights this week. I’ve rotated her bed, I’ve called her name- nothing seems to be working. I’ve been on a seesaw of celebration and worry. Was it something during pregnancy, maybe something I ate, maybe she was too squished in my womb.

It’s your fault.. I hear my heart whisper..

I see crumbs littering the floor beside the kitchen.. The vacuum cleaner sits beside the staircase. How are there crumbs already- I only vacuumed an hour ago. Dishes peak out from the top of the sink. I see her bright pink and orange bowl. It was used to house a chocolate biscuit but really only held for decoration. Chocolate crumbs scatter the couch- I say a quick prayer that she didn’t smoosh the chocolate into the fabric.

You can’t keep this house clean.. I hear my heart whisper..

We have dinner guests tonight..as our guests file through the door my eldest runs over to her sister and with a “ta-da” pose exclaims- “Here’s my bubba! She’s such a cute bubba!” I feel tears prick my eyes.. “This is her dummy and her bouncer..This is Baby Raegan..”

These are your girls..I hear my heart whisper..

I stir from sleep, reaching for my phone- it’s 6:05am. I feel a weight near my legs and look up to see my eldest with her Eeyore teddy leaning into the bassinet. A moment of panic sets in until the silence is broken by her little voice “Eeyore.. this is Baby Raegan..” Hello.. hello.. hello baby.. mmwwaa..” I’m lulled back to sleep by her voice introducing Fluffy Bunny..

She has such a kind heart.. I hear my heart whisper..

Are we done…?

IMG_2553.JPGLast night as my husband and I divided and conquered showers, bottles and bed times for our two girls he looked at me (as I passed our 3 month old out of the shower) and said “no more..” I knew exactly what he was saying and feeling and wholeheartedly agreed!

I doubt I’ll look back at this post and laugh with a growing belly.. but I guess who knows.. never say never people keep telling me..

My reasoning was- if I didn’t shed tears when I packed away the three zero clothing of Raegan’s or when I packed away the bassinet and baby bath for the last time that that meant I was done.. I’m not someone who has emotional attachment to things- you can ask any of my family members.. new car- cool.. new house- cool.. things can come and go and I really wouldn’t be phased.. what am I attached to? I don’t know.. I’m still trying to figure that out.. but I digress.. no tears were shed, no heart strings were pulled.. I didn’t feel sentimental or overcome by a feeling of loss. It wasn’t a hard or long road like many others I know and for that I will forever be grateful. But all that being said I think we’re done. I never felt “done” after Ava.. I always knew we would have number 2 but this time it seems pretty final.

Only after watching Maria Kondo’s organisation show did I get together little boxes of sentimental things for our family- never assuming that they would value that stuff (if the word stuff doesn’t show you how non-sentimental I am I don’t know what will..haha) later in life.

Deciding not to have more children is monumental- I know. It’s something that I’ve been praying about it and asking for the Lord’s direction on. I’ve seen people mourn over the decision, talk about a sense of loss or sadness but not me and I guess that’s what makes us all unique.  How about you? Do you feel like you’re done or is there a niggling feeling in your heart for another baby?

A big girls room.

img_8342Considering Ava was my first baby I have had no idea what ages they are supposed to transition into big girl beds or drop bottles or learn to talk – I have googled almost everything!

We had an inkling that perhaps Ava was getting a little too big for cot converted to small bed before we left for the U.S. last year- we would find her half hanging out of the bed some mornings. She was also getting into the habit of coming into our bed a lot earlier than her normal 5/6am. We didn’t think to change her over to a single bed beforehand though as we weren’t sure if she was big enough- was it normal for a 2 year old to need a single bed already? She is so little…

When we got back after our trip we put her to bed as per usual but was woken up at about 11pm to her crying inconsolably- she had fallen out of the bed! The same thing happened the next night- Greg and I looked at each other and new it was time to transition her to a big girl bed!

I had been scouring Facebook Marketplace while we were overseas waiting for a white metal frame bed to appear at a bit cheaper than Ikea’s price of $200- and so on Monday morning a bed came up and I pounced! Come to find out the bed was for sale from a little girl (this was her old bed) because she wanted to buy an ipad! I felt so bad that I was buying her old bed for such a discounted price.. haha.. When she found out that the bed was going to be Ava’s first bed she included some of her old favourite books for Ava- it was the sweetest thing!

We set her up in her big girl bed a few months ago and she has been loving it!

Our little girl is not so little anymore!

img_8343img_8344img_8345img_8346img_8347img_8348img_8349img_8350img_8351img_8352img_8341

Sources for mostly everything here!

Faux Sheepskin – Ikea | White Frame – Kmart  |  Colourful pom pom bunting- Adairs (similar linked here)  |  Flowers- House 2 Home (they don’t have their items listed online. You can visit their website here) |  Wall Dots – 100percentheart  |  I love you forever print – Caravan Shoppe  |  Bed – Ikea (similar linked here)  |  Quilt Cover Set – Pillow Talk  |  Swan head – Target  |  Fairy doll – Adairs  |  Pink throw pillows– Ikea  |  Jewellery Box – Pottery Barn

I’ll have a DIY for the dollhouse coming next week!

Ava- 2 years old!

Well I have been super slack when it comes to posting.. we can call it lack of inspiration! Guys.. what would you like to see posts on? Apart from photos of my amazing daughter I am totally lacking in the inspirational field.

If you follow me on insta you’ll know that Ava turned two last week! I took some quick photos the week before so I would have a current photo to post for her birthday (yes, I’m that mum)! Just as her little scratch on her cheek has been healing (it’s been almost 5 months) she fell and knocked her head on the heater two days ago and now has a gash near her eye… I thought only boys were supposed to be rough?! Anyways.. On a happy side note- I thought Ava needed 2 year old immunizations (yes, I’m also that mum that immunizes her daughter)..wellllllll…she actually doesn’t get any more until she’s 4! Woohoo for Ava!

So.. here is our baby girl.. 2 years on..

IMG_6332IMG_6334IMG_6336IMG_6340IMG_6342IMG_6343IMG_6344IMG_6346IMG_6347IMG_6349IMG_6350IMG_6351IMG_6352IMG_6353IMG_6354

 

 

Wall Decorating (without a lifetime of regret)

So sorry for the radio silence you guys- life has been so busy! I’m finally sitting down and catching up on blogging while Ava is napping.. let’s see how long I actually get to “work!”

I wanted to do a quick post about some ideas I had for people renting or people who are not wanting to put permanent “things” on their walls (bedrooms, nurseries even living areas). In our home we decided to use renters wall hanging hooks and removable stickers for pretty much everything so we wouldn’t have to commit to a lifetime of something (or holes everywhere) or have the need to re-paint a wall or room (because seriously who has the time). We rented for about 2.5-3 years so everything was “temporary” and that has very much translated into now- even though we own our home.

While I’m not game enough to do the wallpaper thing (I have many friends who do and they do it well!) I wanted to share some ideas for those who are okay with wallpaper or painting- there are so many amazing ideas out there- I couldn’t help myself.

ONEONE (1)

ONE- Anewall  Spring Floral Mural  |  TWO- Anewall Roke Ombre Mural  |  THREE- Oh Oh Blog Polka Dot Wall DIY  |  FOUR- Photowall Tropical Wallpaper (source of image)  |  FIVE- Little Hands Wallpaper  |  SIX- Chalkboard Wall (source of image)

Now that I’ve got that out of my system and I’ve reassured myself that:

  1. I would completely botch putting wallpaper up because I lack a lot of patience
  2. Greg would kill me for putting wallpaper up
  3. I can’t justify spending money on something that I will probably botch and told off for..

Here are some great ideas for temporary wall decor!

ONE (2)ONE (3)

ONE- Kilim Hanging Rug (source of image)   |  TWO- Clipboards of your kids’ drawings (source of image)  |  THREE- Hanging a Gathre Mat (source of image)  |  FOUR- Bunting! (source of image)  |  FIVE- Hanging Fun Items like a kite (source of image)  |  SIX- Haptic Lab Sailing Ship (source of image)

A Letter to my daughter

IMG_5461IMG_5455IMG_5457

IMG_5458IMG_5459IMG_5460Dear Baby Girl,

You are nearly 22 months old- well on your way to turning two.

You are an absolutely joy to have in our lives.

You are.. the joy of being woken in the morning with small hands patting my arm saying “hey”

You are.. the twirl and la grande jatte of a ballerina- full of life and joy

You are.. all the kisses and smiles

You are.. all the words of a love I never knew existed

You are.. the smile that lights my face when I leave work and know I am coming home to you

You are.. God’s perfect creation

You are.. so very loved by me

Our life routine with a toddler!

I have received so many questions over the past 18 months as to how I keep Ava in a routine. We have super busy lives between work, church and life.

I know I have posted Ava’s newborn routine before but I wanted to detail my routine day-to-day with a toddler! Below is a summary of our routine- while it doesn’t follow the below every single day I would say we follow this about 80-90% of the time.

IMG_3374.JPGMondays

6am- Ava wakes up so the whole family is up. Ava has a bottle in our bed while Greg or I go for a run/gym/gym class

7am- Come downstairs and make breakfast for everyone. Get the lunches together for everyone going to work that day. Wash the dishes from breakfast

7:45-10:15am- Play inside/outdoors, meet friends for a play date and grocery shop. If we’re strapped for time I won’t grocery shop here so she doesn’t miss her 10am/10:15am nap.

8:30am- Snack time- banana, watermelon, a few crackers etc

10:15am- Ava has her second bottle and goes down for her first nap. She will sleep till around midday. This is where I get any specific things done such as emails/blogging/menu planning for the week (If I didn’t have time too last week and we haven’t grocery shopped yet)

12pm- Eat lunch (or go and buy lunch) and grocery shop. I generally go into Kmart and walk around the shops a bit to drag the time out here. If we grocery shopped in the morning this is where we play indoors/outdoors.

2pm- Ava has her third bottle and goes down for her second nap. She will sleep till around 3:45pm. After I put her down I will empty the groceries and make dinner for that night. When I make dinner I always make extra so we can have it the next day for lunch. Depending on the difficulty of the next days meals I may also make Tuesdays and potentially Wednesdays meals here and freeze them.

3:45pm- Snack and Indoor/Outdoor play until dad gets home around 5pm.

5:30pm- Dinner together and after dinner play

6:15pmish-7:15pm- Bath time and book reading

7:15pm- Fourth bottle and bed time

Ava will sleep through the night now until 6am when we do it all over again.

If you have any specific questions please let me know. As mentioned, we normally follow this schedule except for Fridays- instead of grocery shopping I normally clean the house.

Another thing to note is I do our laundry just once a week, on a Saturday morning. Everything gets consolidated in the laundry and I will do 2-4 loads, hang them out and have everything dry by late afternoon. So I’m not stuck at home I work the loads around our Saturday schedule. For e.g. If we go out to breakfast I will put a load on as soon as I wake up so it’s done by the time we’re leaving for breakfast. I’ll hang that load out and set another one ready for when we get home from Breakfast.

I used to have a friend who did her cleaning on Saturday and she commented to me that she felt like it was cutting into her family time as her husband worked Monday-Friday- her comments have stuck with me for years which is why I make it a point to do the bulk of cleaning on Fridays during the day.