Child Development

Child Development

Hi guys,

Today I thought I would write about how I’m observing my kids develop over time.


Kyneton is 9 months old

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Our little Island boy

Sleep

He’s still been a struggle with short naps throughout the day (averaging 30-60 mins 2-3 times per day) and wakes 3-4 per night (5-10 mins each time for comfort feeding).

Not much progress here other then maybe getting some relief with topping up my breastfeeds with formula after he’s 1yo.

Body Movements

He’s getting around very happily with his walker but is a very lazy crawler. He can hold his head comfortably while lying on his stomach and looks side to side especially when he sees me and he’s hungry 🙂

He can sit independently now although when he starts to lean one way too far he hasn’t learnt to correct himself and sometimes falls over.

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All smiles 🙂

Spatial Awareness

Ky is still learning about potential hazards and doesn’t understand the risks he takes… yet.

We do know that he learns from pain.

Like playing is a toy then he jams his fingers which causes him pain. Or putting his fingers in my mouth and then I lightly chew on his fingers. The next time he tries and sticks his fingers in my mouth he’s more careful and avoids it! Smart little cookie monster. 🙂

Food

I am absolutely blessed that Kyneton doesn’t appear to have any allergies and enjoys most foods we give him.

We alternate his breakfast as we previously documented and he eats a smaller portion of what we eat throughout the day.

He loves his little water bottle and looks forward to his morning booster shake with Eme and I 😉

Discipline

It’s a bit early to talk about how we discipline Ky because we don’t really know what to do.

Apart from telling him “no” to certain things – like when he bites my nipples when feeding, or if he’s clawing out at other kids, trying to push away food because he doesn’t want to eat etc.

We are looking to start smacking Ky around the 12 month mark.

Nothing heavy handed, just a flick of the fingers if it’s unsafe or a tap on the bum if he’s doing something dangerous.

It seemed to work with Eme and we’ll observe how it goes with Ky until we can hold a simple conversation and when we can start him in our local Montessori school at around 18-24 months.


Emelina is 3yo

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Visiting Nani and Papa

Sleep

Eme is a dream when she’s asleep at night. She can power through pretty much uninterrupted from 8:30pm to 7am most days. Some days if it’s been full on she may have a nap in the car driving about and can close her eyes for 1-2 hours if it’s really needed.

We have found that when she watches some programs on TV/ABC Kids or sees something on the ABC kids app on the iPad she can start ‘seeing things’ during our wind down time.

She can be a struggle to put down to bed because there are ‘monsters around’.

This may happen 1-2 per week. Leki and I try and remain strong to avoid her sleeping in bed with us so we often resort to lying in bed with her to calm her down, read a couple of books and then creep out quietly once she’s fallen asleep.

Our ideal night routine involves tucking her into bed snugly, saying her nightly prayer and blessing her family then she has a stack of books next to her that she reads.

Often after 15-20 mins she’s fall asleep with the books lying flatly on her face. We’d then return the books to the shelf and switch off her night lamp and then we’re free 🙂

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Eme’s local gymnastics school

Gymnastics

Eme has almost completed her first full year of gymnastics. She loves it!

I remember watching her in the early lessons and she would not listen to the teacher.

She struggled to follow instructions.

Fearful of climbing horizontal ladders and scaling the ladder wall. She also had a hard time following the other students because she was one of the older kids in her class and the ‘smaller kids’ were struggling to perform the tasks properly.

Fast forward 6 months – she’s improved so much.

A lot less fearful of the obstacle course. She can keep her balance on a beam much better and can swing, hang and jump without too much trouble!

We are so proud 🙂

Discipline

Eme is doing a lot better on the discipline front.

A lot of her development is due to our self-education.

We have reduced our need for smacking and started to talk more about her feelings. We have found that sometimes she screams because she’s in pain or she’s angry or that she’s scared. But to us all we hear is the ‘scream’.

So before we jump the gun and assume it’s always the ‘same’ scream we ask what’s she’s feeling and try to describe it.

For example – in the morning if it’s cooler then normal we ask Eme to put on her robe. When she’s trying to put her arm through the sleeve she used to scream. We would then ask her to try and explain what’s wrong and she’d usually say:

‘Arm stuck… please Mama help.”

Or another example is when she’s not listening when we ask her to do something. Like putting toys away she either ignores us or doesn’t respond. Instead of making her feel unsafe and scared by smacking her we would speak to her at eye level rather then talking down to her and explain why we need her to pick her toys up.

If she listens then she’ll do what we ask. If she continues to be difficult we then send her to her room to sit it out for 10 mins.

After a while she realises that all she had to do was do as we ask and then she can continue to have fun instead of sitting in her room bored.

We’ve noticed the next time she is asked to do something – she pauses and thinks for a couple of seconds – and then does what we ask. We think it’s because she doesn’t want to be banished to her room again 🙂

Discipline is always a work in progress.

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Eme’s Montessori School

Montessori Report card

We have been enjoying Emelina’s progress through her Montessori school.

HERE – is Eme’s mid term report to give you an idea of how our little 3yo is developing 😉

Leki and I find this report as a fantastic guide for how we can developing our parenting style.

It’s on our Montessori teacher’s recommendation that we explore Emelina’s understanding of feelings so that we can help guide her development.

As always – it’s a work in progress for Emelina and ourselves as parents!


I plan to update the development of the kids every 6 months.

It’ll be to document how they grow and change over time which seems small and insignificant but over time they change SO MUCH!

For example in the week that I was away from Eme (in Tonga for my Grandma’s funeral) she had seem to grow so fast in those 7 days.

Similarly Leki observed that Ky had more hair, 2 new teeth poking through the gums while being overseas.

We’ll continue to hold our kids close before they think they’re too cool to be around us 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this post.

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Leki 33yo, Eme 3yo, Ky 9mo and Belinda 32yo 🙂

With love,

Belinda xo

The Last Grandparents

The Last Grandparents

Hi guys.

I’m sorry I’ve been off the radar for the last 2 weeks.

On Thursday 27 September 2018 my last surviving grandparent – my Mum’s mother passed away peacefully in Tonga aged 87.

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Rest in Peace Grandma Taina

We celebrated her life with a Melbourne family vigil at my parents house on Sunday 30 September 2018.

Grandma Taina was the matriarch of our large Family, loved our local Catholic School, was loved by her village of Ma’ufanga and leaves behind many relatives with broken hearts.

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4 days later on Monday 1 October 2018 my husband Leki also lost his last surviving grandparent – his Mum’s mother! She too was aged 87 and passed away peacefully with family around her in Melbourne.

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Rest in Peace Grandma ‘Iunisi

Unbelievably we had both Grandma’s pass away within days of each other.


I would like to share my thoughts as this is still very fresh for me as I’ve just returned from Tonga and saying goodbye to my Grandma Taina.

I left for Tonga with my sisters, Mum and my Aunty on Tuesday morning (2 October) only 6 hours after hearing of Leki’s Grandma ‘Iunisi passing on.

I travelled to Tonga with our 9 month old son Kyneton and Leki stayed in Melbourne with our 3yo Emelina.

When we arrived to our village in Tonga with the Bosco Hall decorated with Grandma Taina’s pictures, mats and cultural items I felt so overwhelmed with grief and sadness.

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The rush of getting to Tonga and trying to manage my son distracted me from what was actually happening… until I walked into the hall.

Mum was crying beyond control, the community were singing hymns, prayers were offered, relatives were inconsolable and I was heart broken.

Into the next few days from Wednesday to Friday there were a lot of formal events and gatherings at the family home and in the Bosco Hall which was a great opportunity to catch up with everyone.

There were more arrivals from overseas over these couple of days which set off another round of crying, consoling and comforting each other in our grief!

By Friday Grandma Taina was being prepared for her final journey to rest with my Grandfather ‘Amato who passed away 14 years ago.

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There was a long march from the house to the local Catholic Cathedral led by the ‘Api Fo’ou school band and after her final prayer and blessings from the Priest.

Grandma Taina was then carried by her grandsons to her final resting place.

While I was overseas in Tonga, Leki’s family was preparing for the funeral and burial of Grandma ‘Iunisi.

Her final viewing was on Thursday 4 October and Leki’s family organised a closed family affair.

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Grandma ‘Iunisi wanted to rest with her husband and Leki’s family honoured her final wish.

After her viewing in Melbourne she was transported to Adelaide to rest with Grandpa Sione Na’a after he passed away 21 years ago.

Here is a tribute made by Leki’s brother for their Grandma – ‘Iunisi Fiefia.

Although this is a tough time for our families we are encouraged by the fact that they lived long and full lives.

They were able to see their children grow, have grandchildren and spend time with great-grandchildren which is such a great blessing!

Sending you all our love.

Rest in Love – Grandma Taina and Grandma ‘Iunisi.

We will miss you terribly and you’ll forever be in our hearts!

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Belinda, Leki, Emelina and Kyneton xo

 

Here is the footage of my Grandma Taina’s funeral:

 

 

[UPDATE] Size 10 Dress By Christmas (Pt.VIII)

[UPDATE] Size 10 Dress By Christmas (Pt.VIII)

Hi guys.

I’m in the 9th instalment of my monthly well being story and I summarise my results every month – check out the story so far:

Episode #1 – Jan (4 days after baby #2)

Episode #2 – Feb (Losing the baby fat)

Episode #3 – Mar (Starting to hit the wall)

Episode #4 – Apr (Intermittent fasting and HIIT training)

Episode #5 – May (Lost 17.2kgs in 4 months!)

Episode #6 – June (Mission Accomplished!)

Episode #7 – July (New Goal)

Episode #8 – Aug (Positives & Negatives)

To be honest it is a struggle to bring you new information because the theme is still the same.

I’m trying to lose weight.

I’m currently 69.5kg which is AWESOME as my target was to reach 69kg by the time I fly away to Bali on 24 Oct and fit into a size 10 dress by Christmas.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED 🙂


What’s new?


Not to sound ungrateful but I’m struggling BIG TIME!

So much so that I find it helpful to put my main struggles down so I can work on them.

  1. SLEEP
  2. EXERCISE
  3. SHOPPING FOR CLOTHES

Sleep

Our newborn son Kyneton is 9 months and is a terrible little sleeper… compared with our 3yo daughter Emelina.

He’s down at 8pm, gets up for a feed at 10pm, cries for some comfort at 1am and again at 3am before the morning hang out time with my hubby Leki at around 6am.

This might be the ‘normal’ routine for some babies according to the local health nurse but it’s such a difference from Eme.

She slept all the way through the night from 8pm to 8am.

I just assumed that he’d be the same – guess again!

Something I’m looking to play with is expressing for bottle feeding.

I’ve been slack in trying to express after each feed so I can feed him with the left over when he’s hungry or so Leki can help.

Another thing I need to think about is the food Ky eats. He now eats what we do but it’s mashed through our Vitamix blender.

If I can get him ‘full’ with food and then load him up on breastmilk then I’m hoping (fingers crossed) that he’ll be more settled at night and I can get my sleep!

I’d really love your advice on what works for you if baby isn’t sleeping too well at night! Send me a message on Messenger please – love to hear from you 🙂


Exercise

It is the SAME THING I keep complaining about.

I just get lazy when I start thinking about any type of exercise.

In my mind I think that I’ve been busy enough for the day and if I’ve been really good and disciplined with my food then I’ll be ok.

I know my hubby Leki keeps reminding me of the other health benefits of regular exercise even in small doses.

But, again, I always think it’s such a bother.

Some people struggle with the food discipline but that’s the easy part for me.

I’d probably struggle to exercise even 1-2 times a week at this stage.

What’s your exercise routine? Is it something that you just love to do and look forward to everyday? Little help! I’d love to hear what works for you hit me up! 🙂


Clothes Shopping

AW.MY.GAWD!

I have always hated clothes shopping.

I have this figure that’s frumpy around the waist but skinny in the arms and legs. Pear shaped is what they say. I’ve written about my struggles with online shopping because of my funny body shape – HERE.

Well, as you know I’m going over to Bali in late-Oct with my in-laws and I’ve been slowly getting some summer clothes and swimsuits to take over!

What a struggle!

Trying to fit into something that makes me feel sexy and not reveal my unflattering parts (tubby stomach and muffin top) is always a challenge.

On top of that having an active 3yo and a sooky 9 month adds a bit more difficulty trying dresses on in the little cubicles.

Part of my weight loss journey is to feel good but in all honesty the majority of my efforts is to look good! 

When I get an outfit that I like and I snap a quick picture to send to Leki I know he’ll tell me the truth. If it’s ugly he’ll tell me, if it makes me look fat he’ll tell me and if he likes it he’ll give the green light 🙂

I like shopping at the big retail shopping centres so I can have a good look around and try things on. My go to is usually KMart, Target and Forever New for everyday things but for nicer dresses I like Myer.

Where do you shop? Let me know if you found a place that good for frumpy Pear shaped ladies! Where are my pear-shaped ladies at 🙂


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Now 69.5kg!!!

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BALI HERE I COME :)))

I’d like to lose another 2-3kg and be around 67kg heading to Christmas!

After Christmas on Jan 2019 I would have kept this weight loss journal for ONE WHOLE YEAR! Read my very first edition on Jan 2018 which was 4 days after I gave birth – HERE.

Wow, what a ride.

But for now… the struggle continues 🙂

 

#36DaysUntilSummer

#28DaysUntilBali

With love,

Belinda xo

Sick On Holidays

Sick On Holidays

Hi guys,

Short post from me today.

I got sick while on a little family trip over the weekend.

We left on Friday afternoon after my husband Leki finished work and arrived to the Bellarine Big 4 site at around 3:30pm.

We had pre-cooked a lot of our meals, packed a lot of our usual goodies and had been prepared to have some quality R&R time.

We spent Friday maximising the sunshine because the forecast for Saturday was rain and grey clouds 🙁

Eme jumped on the trampoline, made new friends at the playground and we went for a nice swim together.

We then warmed our pre-prepped meal and had our dinner together at 7pm.

Later that Friday night I got violently sick.

Vomited 3-4 times, had the runs and achy joints all night. The works!

Woke up on Sat and the batteries were very flat! Btw #NotPregnant

I’m still not sure what caused my reaction.

I was the only one that fell ill.

Leki, Eme and Ky were all fine so I can’t really blame our food – which we all ate.

Leki seems to think that I picked up a bug somewhere that only I was susceptible to. As a result I was the only one that fell sick 🙁

Ky was upset wanting to be fed but I managed to breastfeed him 3-4 for the whole day as per usual!

Eme and Leki were pretty good making use of the family park even though the weather was pretty cold and rainy. He took the kids out for almost 4 hours to give some time to rest.

I didn’t plan on getting sick so I didn’t pack any medical supplies – not even panadol. I’m usually pretty good with remembering to bring some things but didn’t on this trip for some strange reason.

So here’s what we did to ensure I bounce back quickly.

I rested and slept for nearly all of Saturday.

Leki bought activated charcoal and probiotics to assist with my recovery.

The activated charcoal was mixed with a cup of water and taken with an empty stomach (didn’t want to eat anything at that stage).

Believe me it doesn’t look that nice but I knew it was going to help my upset stomach so down the hatch it went!

I wouldn’t say that I felt better straight away but it did seem to calm the rumbling in my stomach.

Leki and Eme both took some of the activated charcoal with water as a safety measure.

My understanding of activated charcoal is that it binds with all the nasty toxins in your stomach/guts so the body can get rid of it more effectively.

The probiotic has some ‘healthy/friendly’ bacteria to help repair the intestinal wall and fight the ‘bad’ bacteria.

Again, no immediate relief but every little bit counts.

It makes me think what I would have done if I was unwell and at home.

I may have gone to the local GP and she may have prescribed an antibiotic to kill the bacteria in my gut.

Sure, it would have fixed the problem but the issue with antibiotics is that it kills ALL bacteria. Both good and bad bacteria in your gut. So I try and avoid it unless I really need it to save me 🙂

So the rest of Saturday was pretty boring for me anyway. Mostly staying indoors while Leki took the kids to the local shopping centre, watched a movie at the park’s indoor cinema and playing outside.

By Saturday night I had recovered enough to eat something.

By Sunday morning I had recovered 80% and was able to enjoy the rest of our little trip especially the beach walk at Ocean Grove.

This had been a timely warning for me as we prepare for a little trip to Bali in late-October and I’d hate to fall sick over there!

I’ll be doing some research and become more knowledgeable about things to prepare before a trip to ensure my family stays healthy!

With love,

Belinda xo

#74DaysUntilSummer

#36DaysUntilBali

[UPDATE] Morning Routine

[UPDATE] Morning Routine

Ok here we go!

I’m going to show you how our usual morning routine looks.

I first wrote about this topic 18 months ago. A LOT has changed. We’ve moved house, changed some of our food habits and had baby no #2. Read about it – HERE.

It’s always a work in progress but this is how it is 80% of the time in the average week.

It’s really my husband Leki that drives the mornings because I’m up a couple of times over the night depending on how our 8 month son Ky is sleeping. Our 3yo daughter Emelina sleeps like a champion 🙂

So I’ve invited my husband Leki to write this blog and how he manages it all until I can drag myself out of bed 😉

Enjoy.


Howdy everyone.

My mornings usually start around 4:30am to 6:30am depending on Ky’s sleep.

If Ky’s last feed was at 8pm then he usually needs a few short 5-10min nursing moments at 2am-3am. (Belinda does a great job as I’m knocked out cold).

So let’s say he’s up 5:30am.

I’d spend time with him in the morning as I usually get up at 4:30am. (I practice biphasic sleep which allows me to wake early)

So between 4:30am-7am I’ve got 2.5 hours to myself to read, study and think. Plus when my son wakes up I can spend some quality time together because my work hours are usually 9am until 8pm.

I really enjoy the mornings because that’s the only time during the week where we are all together. During the day I’m working and Belinda and kids have their own schedule to keep.

Some families sit down over dinner together.

Our family meal is in the morning.

I eat lunch and dinner at work and Belinda and our kids eat at home.

Because we bulk prep on Sunday’s we are pretty organised for the working week with the main meals.

My job is to ensure we have our quality morning routine which is preparing a hot breakfast at 7am.

It takes me 30-45mins to organise.

Here’s what’s on the menu:

  • 3 x lightly pan fried eggs for Belinda and I plus Eme and Ky have 1 x lightly pan fried egg each cooking in coconut oil
    • baby spinach
    • asparagus
    • avocado
    • grass fed butter
  • Belinda’s breastmilk booster shake which Eme and Ky also have
    • almonds
    • flax seeds
    • MCT oil
    • coconut water
    • oats
    • chia seeds
    • banana
    • ground cinnamon powder
  • Belinda’s boobie cookies and fenugreek supplement
  • Water and lemon water with apple cider vinegar
  • Bulletproof coffee (blended together)
    • MCT oil
    • 1 tablespoon of ground coffee
    • grass fed butter

I cook with Ky watching me in the pram and then Eme usually gets up at 7:30am because of the noise.

Ky is ready to have his morning feed from Belinda at 7:30am and when Eme rises I get her to wake up Mama for breakfast.

I then spend 15 mins getting ready for work and then we sit down for a good 20 mins together to eat a nice hot breakfast.

Eme says grace and then down the hatch 🙂

Breakfast Breakdown:

Eme and Ky have 1 x pan fried egg each (as described above) with a bit of the smoothie along with water.

Belinda has 3 x eggs with a glass of water, boobie smoothie, a fenugreek supplement and boobie cookies. (Remember Belinda has fasted from 4pm the day before so she’s hungry in the morning)

I make the 3 x eggs but I pack it to have with my lunch.  I add the eggs together with my pre-prepped lunch around 1:30pm and I eat dinner at around 6pm. (I fast from 6pm to 1pm the next day) At breakfast I drink hot lemon water with apple cider vinegar then 15 mins later I enjoy my Bulletproof coffee.

Voila!

I hope you’ve enjoyed a little insight into our usual morning routine.

It’s not really important what we do or what we eat in the morning.

The point of the post today is actively setting the time to be there for each other in the morning.

I think it’s important to spend as much family time together daily even if it’s only for a short time.

There will be a time that our kids will be ready to move out of our home and be independent young adults.

At that time Belinda and I will wish to be able to sit down over breakfast one more time together as a family. (Belinda wrote an awesome post about this earlier – read about it here)

We are all busy but we actively try and prioritise our mornings to spend quality time together and be happy.

To your happiness,

Leki.

Traveling woes!

Traveling woes!

The problem with holidays is the preparation, bad enough if you are a solo traveller but many times worse if partner and children are involved. First is the decision of what each member of the family believes to be essential for their future comfort and happiness. I was reminded of this yesterday while waiting to be served at the bakery. A four year old child watched in disbelief as the last chocolate donut (with sprinkles) was handed over to ANOTHER PERSON. He screamed “ No! That’s my donut. Mummy that’s my donut! Why has that woman got MY donut?”

He was outraged and obviously angry that his mother had not snatched it out of the hand of the woman who had taken HIS donut. His embarrassed mother tried to shush him and distract him by offering all the other delights on display. He wasn’t having a bar of it and sobbed even more loudly as each delicious treat was offered. Didn’t his mother understand that a chocolate donut (with sprinkles) was the only cake or biscuit acceptable?

I couldn’t help wondering if this occurrence marked a turning point in his relationship with his mother…..obviously she was not the all-powerful woman he had believed her to be. In later life would he talk about the horror of that moment ?

My two older sons still speak in hushed voices of the time they were left for an hour in the Royal Women’s Hospital crèche while I attended a prenatal clinic….their sense of abandonment still lingers forty years later. Many would find that laughable compared with so many who are in childcare constantly but to them it is very real.

How many parents have accidentally left behind that essential item their child cannot live or sleep without. We left Oggy Doggy on a fence post more than an hour’s drive away and when we realised managed to obtain another one identical to the original. Was our child happy? No he was disgusted. Didn’t we know Oggy Doggy smelt different?

A friend decided to let her child pack her own bag rather than face the inevitable arguments only to find she’d packed books, pencils and socks but no shoes other than the sandals she was wearing, no underwear at all and no tops. Neither was happy but the child did learn consequences.

And let’s not forget the adult male in the mix…..always insist he packs for himself!!!!

Avoiding The Naughty Things

Avoiding The Naughty Things

Hi guys,

I hope you all had a lovely time with your Grandfathers, Fathers and partners over the weekend celebrating Father’s Day.

Today I’m writing about trying to maintain your lifestyle when there are so many temptations.

We had a Father’s Day weekend as Saturday our family celebrated for my husband Leki and Sunday was flat out with my father’s breakfast and then catching up with my father-in-law for lunch/dinner.

So with that said here are my 3 main points:

  1. Communication
  2. Food prep
  3. Decision making

Communication

Leki and I talk all the time.

Over breakfast in the morning we communicate to our family about what’s happening today, what we’re looking forward to later in the week and little trips coming up in the next few months.

During the day while I’m running around or holding the fort down at home Leki might call me on the phone and we’d chat for 20-30 mins while he’s driving to and from different locations for work.

We often talk about things that we’re planning to do later that week or events that are about to happen over the weekend.

Then later at night we would continue to talk about it while we’re winding down.

The theme of this is communication.

We discuss and plan for what is coming down the pipeline because we can understand it from both perspectives – his and mine.

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Watching Rugby with Ky

Let’s take the Father’s Day weekend for example.

Leki works every Saturday.

After he finished we drove 60 mins to support my cousin play in his Rugby League grand final at 2:30pm.

Then from there we travelled another 30 mins to a meeting Leki had until 7:30pm.

We would return home after 8pm on Saturday night.

It would be almost too easy to drop into Maccas or take away on Saturday – but we didn’t.

Instead of making excuses we communicated over the week on how we busy we were going to be plus managing our little kids.

The solution?

We prepped meals and talked about how we would manage our day.

Once I had prepared the meals Leki and I talked about our respective eating windows (intermittent fasting) and how we would manage things together.

You see, Leki only eats in a 4 hour window from 2-3pm until 6-7pm and I’m eating within a 8 hour window from 8am-4pm.

So we talked through how we’d be managing ourselves and our family over the upcoming weekend.

Communication with your partner is key to being consistent!


Food prep

Last week I shared our outlook on prepping meals to free up time later in the week.

Our food prep can supply our household from Sun to Fri most weeks.

By Saturday lunchtime we’ve run out of food which is when we’d do our weekly shopping, have our carb refuel meal (cheat meal) then rest up Saturday night having a night in.

Sunday after church from 1pm to 3pm we’d spend the time bulk prepping nutritious meals for the upcoming working week.

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Bulk shopping 🙂

Over the Father’s Day weekend though things were a slightly different.

I knew we’d be busy all weekend long so in order to keep our healthy buzz going we would have to prep and pack food to take.

My goal is to get to less 69kg by the time I’m away in Bali in late Oct. That’s about 7 weeks away and I’m around 71.5kg.

In order to lose the weight I need to be consistent.

Moments of weakness or a weekend of ‘letting myself go’ can undo over a fortnight of ‘being good’. It’s happened to me before!

So I was willing to get on the front foot, shop, cook and prep meals and snacks all the while balancing my 2 x kids and keeping my home in good working condition.

On Thursday (leading to the Father’s Day weekend) I went to Aldi and did some extra shopping.

Then over Thursday and Friday I pre cooked some meals so that we’d have them ready for the weekend coming up!

We had some snacks for the Rugby game and then we had some food ready to have just before Leki’s meeting on Saturday night.

Which leads me to my next point…

Communication + Prepping = Better decision making


Decision making

With our efforts to communicate throughout the week we can make better decisions.

In my “Sister chat” which we discuss things on Facebook Messenger in a group chat and it’s here my sister organised Father’s Day breakfast for my Dad.

Similarly with Leki’s family on a group Viber chat they had organised something for Sunday lunchtime.

The result was challenging.

2 x restaurants to eat on the same day with a lot of temptations 🙂

Given that we would be tempted we decided to check out the menu of Lazy Moe’s where we’d be having part of our celebrations.

After having a quick preview on what was on offer we both decided to grab the Veg breakfast option with extra poached eggs, avocado and picked the gluten free toast.

It was amazing because we enjoyed ourselves with family but didn’t feel too guilty after as we maintain our disciple with our food choices.

Soon after we caught up with Leki’s parents and last minute decided to eat out at a Chinese restaurants in Crown called Man Tong Kitchen.

This was unplanned.

As we sat down to enjoy the banquet meal we decided on some options that would not throw us out of wack.

We decided to order some smaller entree dishes (dumplings etc.) and one fried rice and sizzling chicken plate to share among us. We also had some dessert – Leki had the red bean pancake with ice cream and I had the banana split with Eme.

The result?

I put on 500g or half kilo the next day when I weighed myself.

I take that as a positive because I could have chosen to ‘let myself go’ for the weekend and easily put on over 2kg (which has happened in the past).

It’s now 2 days after the weekend and I’m back to where I was on Saturday – weight wise.

So, 2 x meals on Sunday takes me 2-3 days to return back my ‘usual’ weight.

Decision making is important and I feel you need to help yourself as best you can by communicating with your partner/support network and prepare food to make choices easier on you and your family.


We are all human and there are things that we like and don’t like.

I like eating.

I like having fun.

I like seeing the numbers on the scales going lower and lower.

I like feeling and looking good.

Whatever you like comes at a cost and you have to be prepared to make the sacrifices.

The struggle continues 😉

#49DaysUntilBali

 

With love,

Belinda xo

[Update] Meal Plans on Auto-Pilot

[Update] Meal Plans on Auto-Pilot

Hi guys,

This is an update from my first post on this topic almost 10 months ago. Read about it here.

There have been some slight changes in how we organise our grocery shopping, our bulk prep work and the meal plans after monitoring our results over this period of time.

The big factors in deciding what we’ll eat is taste, prep time and quality of the produce.

I previously wrote about how we prefer to spend a little extra on quality food and cut back on other things as the trade off.

Using the grocery list I outlined earlier here – we spend 2 hours on Sunday cooking for the week as a family. We look at it as a bit of bonding time 🙂

Word of warning!

We don’t count calories.

We lean towards having a nutrient rich meal (paleo food source) which keeps us in ketosis for 3-5 days of the week.

We then ‘refeed’ carbs on Saturday or Sun so we don’t get too tired or overwhelmed!

It’s called cyclic ketosis.

I’ll talk more about this down the track but for now here’s more information that I’ve found helpful 🙂

On top of that I try and move (HIIT 1-2 per day) regularly and practice intermittent fasting where I eat only within an 8 hours window from 8am-4pm.

That sounds like a lot of work but once you get into a routine and develop a discipline it quickly becomes a lifestyle.

Due to this routine I’ve been able to lose weight quite quickly and easily since having baby #2 earlier this year.

I open up and report my findings monthly – read the August issue here.

So back to the original point of this blog post – here are the updated 3 x meals we prepare weekly:

beef burger with lettuce
Beef burger with tomato, carrot, lightly pan fried egg and lettuce bun (no cheese)
salmon sweet potato
Pan grilled salmon with pine nuts, asparagus, broccoli and baked sweet potato
Minced beef
Grass fed minced beef with green beans, broccoli and spiralised zucchini

Here’s the process on how I prep everything:

  • Prepare the meat (lightly grill or oven bake) = 30min
  • Prepare the vegetables by washing them and preparing them (boil, oven bake, spiralise or light grilled) = 30min
  • Allow the food to cool > 1 hour
  • Pack the food into containers = 10min

The end result is we can pick from a variety of food to eat on any given day.

Check out how we do this together on a typical Sunday:

https://youtu.be/ZGMNGqkvb2o

For example I might have the burger + lettuce bun for lunch with the kids at home and then salmon for dinner.

All I have to do is heat it up.

Similarly Leki picks what he wants in the morning as he’s packing his food to eat lunch and dinner at work.

So as breakfast is prepared every morning by Leki and lunch and dinner for the week is organised after our Sun cook out the whole week is pretty much running on autopilot.

Can’t get any better then that!

In terms of cooking oil we only use coconut oil for all pan/cooked prep work and it costs about $12-$15 per jar at Costco.

Costco63

Here are my go to ‘snacks’ for the day:

  • Fruit – blackberries, strawberries, apples, pawpaw and bananas
  • Natural or Greek yogurt
  • Almonds
  • Keto friendly snacks like chocolate drops and cookies which I make at home with Eme

My main weakness is dessert and sweets. On my weaker days especially when my monthly visitor arrives my poison of choice is usually:

  • Tim Tams
  • Corn chips

This is an update on how we keep on top of our food prep and making sure it is healthy and most importantly tasty! No one likes eating cardboard 🙂

We’ve made the effort to drop our sugar/sweets intake over the last 10 months but it’s always a work in progress.

We’ll see how good we’ve been over the next 6 months where I aim to provide you an update on how we’re going food prep wise and whether we’ve made any changes.

What works for you? Do you practice intermittent fasting? Are you apart of the Keto cult 😉 or do you follow another game plan? Either way I always try and keep an open mind when trying new things!

Have a great day.

Belinda.

Top Purchases for < $100

Top Purchases for < $100

Hi guys,

Very fun post for you today!

I thought I would put together a list of the most helpful purchases in the last year which hasn’t broken the bank account but has been invaluable in our daily life.

I’m not really focusing on the cost of the product but rather the time it saves!

I hope you find it helpful 🙂

Ambiano blender

Now to be honest we purchased this blender years ago at Aldi and it lasted us about 2 years before it died.

aldi-blender
Ambiano

The cost for the blender was $40 from memory but it was so helpful.

We started making our Bulletproof coffee with it. I used to puree Eme’s food without issue. I made smoothies over the summer time and it was really cheap but well made.

We have since upgraded to an expensive blender and we chose to buy the Vitamix 5200 Black which cost us $729 from Costco.

You don’t really need this type of blender to begin with but with amount of food prep we were planning to go through we decided to treat the family to something more robust.

Vitamix-Blender-5200-Stainless-Brushed_1_230px
Vitamix

It hasn’t skipped a beat since!

Velocity Points

I wrote earlier about small trips that we try and plan as a family to rest and recharge.

We have a credit card with is linked to a rewards program and we completely forgot all about the Velocity Points we had collected over the last 3-5 years.velocity

Leki got an email reminding him of the rewards program and was surprised with what we could redeem.

We’ve just returned from a weekend trip to visit family in Sydney.

90% of the trip was redeemed through the Velocity Points program.

20180817_152755
Fun in Sydney

Airfares, car hire, public transport and a few meals was what we were able to redeem plus we stayed with family in west Sydney.

We also managed to get some tickets to watch the Bledisloe game 1 match. Our family are proud Wallabies supporters and we had a great time watching them at Olympic Stadium.

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We lost 🙁

Thin Lizzy

IMG-c7d19013d1cd8f6a55a235ef68994da2-V

This is my go to brand for light make up.

Cheap price but quality product. I’ve been using them for over 10 years and will continue to use their products!

I like that the look is natural and I don’t have the glossy reflection in photos.

Besides it doesn’t take too much to remove the make up after I’ve had a little glam session 😉

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My Thin Lizzy pack costs $30 and lasts me around 3 months easily 🙂

Montessori toys

Check out our little Montessori space at home. It’s one of our many pride and joys within our little home.

 

Montessori toys are nothing fancy or expensive.

They are basically toys that challenge the senses of the child to help their curiosity to learn.

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Learning with water

Some of our collections are from our recent trip to Thailand.

Others are from Target like her shopfront where she pretends to be the shop lady selling us fruit and coffee 🙂

Eme was gifted a kitchen set where she pretends to make pancakes and breakfast when Leki cooks in the morning.

We also love hosting kids at a party because they are self contained in our little Montessori space 😉

IMG-288c5cbb1ab3b4436387795bfa5199f9-V
Learning about nature

Each of things that we’ve collected over the last year range in cost from being FREE (giveaways or hand me downs), second hand from the local op shop or purchased from Aldi/other stores for $8-$35.

Coconut oil

We go shopping at Costco once a month – I wrote about how we organise our grocery previously here.

One key product we always purchase in bulk is coconut oil.

coconut

We go with either the Kirkland (Costco generic brand) one or the Absolute Organic brand (which is still a Costco branded product I think) and we use it for lots of things.

Costco63

Leki uses it to slick his hair.

We both use it for our skin as a moisturiser.

It’s our only option of oil for cooking (our only alternative is extra virgin oil as we strictly avoid vegetable oil or other oils with a low melting point).

We usually purchase one bottle for approx. $13-18 and it lasts us about 3 months! Talk about value for money 🙂

Veggie Bullet

IMG-2f64583f65ad4924adbe388da1e17847-V

We only just picked this one up less then a month ago.

Advertised at $89 at JB Hifi we were then offered a further $5 discount at purchase. I think their competitors The Good Guys were also having a promotion!

The veggie cutter is saving me a MASSIVE amount of time plus improving my family’s health.

How?

Firstly the chopping, dicing and spiralling work takes time and effort. It would take us 30-45 mins to get through our prep work for 3-5 days of sweet potatoes, cucumber, broccoli, carrot etc.

The Veggie cutter has this all prepared and ready to be cooked within 5 minutes 🙂

Plus we have now removed white rice from our diet and replaced it with spiralised zucchini mixed with our meat of choice for a great effect!

Read about out automated meal plans here.

IMG-3bfb5f545baa0c89430952f135bf0395-V
Spiralised zucchini 🙂 Our rice replacement!

Baby bathing seat from Gumtree

I reached out to a Mama who was advertising her bathing seat on Gumtree.

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Within 30 minutes we had reached an agreed time for pick up and later that day I was a proud owner of this bathing seat.

It’s been such a welcome relief because we’d shower him in tandem with Leki when he’s home which can be quite late so I needed an alternative. I struggled to manage them both at the same time.

IMG-8d0e93ed6d464193479c32538194aaeb-V

This product which is obviously second hand has been a lifesaver and Ky really enjoys his bath and looks forward to it everyday 😉

It only cost me $25 second hand which is a bonus! Brand new is $45 from Baby Bunting 🙂

Go Pro Black 4 from Facebook Marketplace

go pro

This is an expensive purchase but it’s been such a great buy I had to share it with you!

We decided to purchase an older version to learn how to use the Go Pro.

It was the perfect purchase for our recent trip to Sydney.

The quality of the videos, the accessories that come with it, the memories they capture. Priceless!

gp2

Leki found a great deal on the Facebook app within ‘Marketplace’.

The seller lived in the Melbourne CBD and Leki organised the exchange which cost us $270.

We also bought a memory card and the mounting stick on top of that for an additional $110 from JB Hifi.

Check out the video we posted using our new (but old lol) Go Pro!

What purchases for < $100 have you found invaluable or time efficient to help you on your day? I’d love to hear of other products other there that help Mums 🙂

See you next week!

[UPDATE] Size 10 Dress By Christmas (Pt.VIII)

[UPDATE] Size 10 Dress By Christmas (Pt.VIII)

Hi guys.

I started recording my weight loss journey after baby #2 on Jan 2018 and this is the 8th (August) edition of the how it’s been going for me.

I summarise my results and publish every month – check out the story so far:

Episode #1 – Jan (4 days after baby #2)

Episode #2 – Feb (Losing the baby fat)

Episode #3 – Mar (Starting to hit the wall)

Episode #4 – Apr (Intermittent fasting and HIIT training)

Episode #5 – May (Lost 17.2kgs in 4 months!)

Episode #6 – June (Mission Accomplished!)

Episode #7 – July (New Goal)

Last week I wrote about my primary goal of maintaining high quality breastfeeding with the secondary goal of losing weight down to a size 10 summer dress.

IMG-6c0054766331967ea750bb92b78a5bb5-V
Surviving the winter… brrr

The real struggle has begun!


The main issue I’m finding is the reward is NOT married to the effort.

What does that mean?

In my early days with the baby fat it was ‘easier’ for that to come off me.

All that was required was a little effort with my food choices and a big effort with discipline.

So what’s changed?

Now that I’m back at my ‘healthy’ weight it’s a harder task to lose more weight.

What’s required now is a big effort with my food choices and a bigger effort with my discipline.

IMG-521873f2db8167fc5323bf7b62c54e42-V
Blessed 🙂

Where to from here?


Let me start with what’s worked for me

I always come back to the same ideas that seem to work for me.

Once I acknowledge what’s been good I then think about what hasn’t been that good or what I can improve on.

Good things first:

  • Modified paleo/wholefood diet
  • Intermittent fasting
  • Simple High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) routine
  • ‘Cheat’ treats

Things to improve on:

  • Negative self talk
  • Seeing other people’s results and making them my own
  • Letting other people enjoy their own well being journey
IMG-dbd51f80ce201104cd33d0a0a0a2b050-V
Glamourous Mum life 🙂

The Negatives

Self talk

Sometimes when things don’t go your way it can be easier to blame other people, other things or just blame the situation.

In those testing times it can be the self talk that determine the outcome.

My natural tendency is to blame other people, blame things or blame the situation.

Negative self talk has been my go to strategy. Not good 🙁

Something that I’m actively working on is asking myself “is this as bad as it seems?” or “what does that mean?”.

Example no. 1 – Seeing that I’m not losing weight

If I try and ask myself those questions then helps manage those inner feelings of frustration, anger and hopelessness. So if I ask myself “is it as bad as it seems?” then I can see that’s it’s simply just numbers on a weighing machine. With time and persistence these numbers will change.

Example no. 2 – Ky crying at night

I’ve written that I’m struggling with settling Kyneton at night. Rather then get upset I ask myself “what does that mean?”. I try and work on the questions I ask myself so that I can arrive to better solutions rather then accepting things as they are.

Social media is not real

The interconnected online world is not real.

A simple photo on Instagram does not show the struggle.

A short video showing you my best angle is not the real me.

My freckles on my face really irritate me.

My thinning hair and the fact that I may become prematurely bald worries me.

These are some of my many self perceived ‘problems’.

In Facebook-land or Instagram you don’t see those things… just a good things.

Imagine the image that people online may or may not be showing you.

What’s my point?

Don’t measure your happiness with what you see online.

Find happiness in real places like what’s inside you, people around you, at home, a sunny morning, drinking your coffee… you get the idea.

A bit preachy I know but I hope you see the message.

I follow all types of Mums online.

Some are funny, others are passionate about things and others are really fit and healthy.

Sometimes it can feed into my negative self talk.

So next time you see the gorgeous girl on Instagram, feel guilty with images of that Mum sweating in the gym or just plain feel uncomfortable about where you are in your journey don’t make things worse by comparing yourself to someone else.

Run your own race 🙂

20180805_134431
Food prep 101

Let other people enjoy their own well being journey

Don’t get me wrong I am proud of the results I have had since I started in 2015 (after baby no.1).

I’ve grown A LOT.

I have lost a lot of weight.

I try my best not to judge you.

I try my best to keep an open mind.

I appreciate that we are all on a different path.

I appreciate that you might have a different game plan.

I need to learn that you’re on your own journey.

My results are unique to me and if you find it helpful – that’s really cool 🙂

20180805_134442
Teaching Eme, Ky crying and Leki bulk cooking 🙂

The Positives

Modified Paleo/wholefood diet

I’ve written at length about our family food choices.

We believe in eating a paleo/wholefood diet meaning that we try and eat things that come directly from the land or from animals.

Basically we try and avoid things that are manufactured or come out of a box.

There are a lot of free materials available to assist you in your ongoing self education but I would point you to who we follow – Dave Asprey and Dr. Berg.

Since we have changed our eating habits our bodies are now very efficient with the type of food we eat we are optimised for ketones.

What’s ketones? Basically our bodies use ketones (healthy fats) rather then carbs (sugars) or protein for energy. Think of it as the body using all the fat (in storage on the love handles) for energy rather then carbohydrates or protein.

I highly encourage that you educate yourself on this because this is the key for lifelong health.

This means that we practice cyclic ketosis where 4-5 days throughout the week we are in ketosis and the other days we cycle out of ketosis. There are many factors on why being in ketosis is beneficial not only weight loss but it’s really good for your insides. (I can elaborate on this later.)

We just eat a varied wholefood/paleo diet (food source). This food source is high in good carbohydrates (vegetables), moderate in protein (meat/fish) and very low in sugar (fruit/treats).

Since we have chosen this wholefood/paleo food source it allows my family to use ketones (healthy fats) as the primary source of energy.

When we have a treat on the weekend and eat some takeaway with family or have something ‘out’ it will take us out of ketosis although we can return to our optimised selves within 1-2 days.

That has been the result of hard work and I would encourage everyone to start your own journey TODAY!

20180814_075924
Heading towards that summer dress 🙂

Intermittent fasting

I’ve written at length about how I fast for the majority of the day and that my 8-hour eating window is typically at breakfast until late-lunch/early dinner. From 8am-4pm is my eating window.

Intermittent fasting is not a diet plan.

It’s a ‘pattern of eating‘ that’s all.

You can eat whatever you like and still fast.

That’s what I mean by not a diet but rather a pattern of eating.

So I couple my paleo diet with intermittent fasting to maximise my external and more importantly internal health.

Simple High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) routine

I’ve shared with you that regular exercise is a clear struggle for me.

The science suggests that a short high intensity exercise for 10 mins is the same as an hour of leisurely walking.

With 2 young kids at home I’d struggle to carve out 60 mins for myself.

So 10 mins of action packed workouts is the goer for me!

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Everyday I’m hustlin’!

‘Cheat’ treats

Leki and I enjoy coffee and chocolate.

It’s our weakness when it comes to treats.

We have been working on paleo friendly desserts/sweets that won’t break us out of ketosis but still tasty and satisfying.

I’ve just started making a couple of things and when I get them to a good enough level to share with you I will 🙂 Keep an eye out soon!


Wow.

I’ve nearly gone the whole post without telling you where I’m at with my numbers!

A
Lost 23kg in 8 months

Well 4 weeks ago I weighed in at 74kg July 2018.

As this reaches you I’m at 71.9kg.

I lost just over 2kg in the last 4 weeks.

Also another little thing to share… we’re going to Bali in late-October 🙂

Long story but in short I’m so happy I’ve been steadily working on losing the weight because Leki only decided that we’d go in the last 2 weeks.

Gives me an extra incentive to push harder for the weight loss and the summer dress!!

B
Can’t wait until summer 🙂

So, if I can continue to lose an average of 2kg per month by late-Oct I should be 68kg!!

Then if I can be good in Bali and continue my journey to Xmas I should well and truly squeeze into that size 10 summer dress 😉

Here’s to fighting the good fight.

 

#109DaysUntilSummer

#72DaysUntilBali

With love,

Belinda xo