[UPDATE] Losing Weight After Having A Baby (Pt.IV)

[UPDATE] Losing Weight After Having A Baby (Pt.IV)

Hi all.

Thanks for dropping in 🙂

This is the 4th episode of my weight loss journey which I update monthly. Click below to review the story so far!

Episode #1 – Jan

Episode #2 – Feb

Episode #3 – Mar


The goal of this chain post is to track my weight loss but maintain breastfeeding for my newborn son Ky for over 12 months.


Why all the effort?

Well to be honest – it’s because I want to be in a bikini by late-June 2018 for our overseas trip to Thailand!

By this time my newborn son will be almost 5 months old.

So my goal is to get from my starting weight (94.9 kgs post baby) to my pre-baby weight (75 kgs) and ultimately to my super duper goal of 69 kgs by June 21 2018!! 🙂

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Apr 2018 – Weighing 81.5 kgs after 120 days in!

Top 3 Talking Points

  1. Ky is getting a bit irritable at night
  2. I’m running low on breastmilk
  3. Not losing as much weight per week as I would like

1. Ky is getting a bit irritable at night

Kyneton is now 3 months old and he was doing very well. Averaging 6-8 hours at night and feeding almost every 2-4 hours during the day.

Suddenly in the last 2 weeks I have had a couple of nights where he slept for 4 hours then would wake and cry to feed every 2 hours. This happened probably twice at home and a couple of nights when I stayed at my parents place during the week.

I’m not sure what changed as my diet, exercise and breastfeeding volume has been pretty good and consistent. My only idea is that he’s getting more hungry and pretty sensitive to noisy siblings 🙂

So I will be thinking about starting to puree some solids soon – broccoli, sweet potato and other goodies! I hope that helps to settle him. Wish me luck 😉

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Apr 2018 – Waist circumference now 110cm. Down 10cms after 3 months!

2. I’m running low on Breastmilk

As I flagged in my last post (3rd edition) I have started intermittent fasting (IF) and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

My food intake has been consistent meaning I still eat 3 x meals in an 8 hour window: 8am-4pm then I fast for 16 hours.

I eat breakfast at 8am, have a heavier lunch at 12pm then a lighter dinner at 3/4pm.

I also have some great healthy snacks and smoothies during my 8 hour window with plenty of water.

I’m not sure if it’s Kyneton hunger that’s demanding more milk from me or if he’s ‘ready’ for solids but our Maternity Nurse suggested that newborns are ready for solids between 4-6 months.

So I’m going to be monitoring these next 4 weeks very closely and I’ve decided to stick to my health plan, eat well, practice IF and HIIT twice a day.

The only change is that I will double my breastfeeding ‘power smoothie’ intake. One at breakfast and another at the end of my 8-hour window.

I’ll let you know of my results next month.

Ky will be 4 months old and might be ‘ready’ for solids but I need to do more research on that!

SIDE
Slow and steady!

 

3. Not losing as much weigh per week as I would like

In my first episode I put it out into the universe that I want to lose 1.2 kgs per week so I can achieve my goal of 69 kgs by June 21 2018.

At the time of writing I should be 79.1 kgs if I continued to lose weight at that targeted rate.

I’m currently 81.5 kgs.

Don’t get me wrong I’m really happy with that effort and how I’m looking and feeling but I’m not losing quite enough.

I notice that despite all my effort I’m losing about 3 kgs per month or 750g per week.

So if I continue at that rate I’ll be my pre-baby weight of 75 kgs by the time I get to Thailand. Not a bad prize for second place 🙂

My husband Leki also promised to buy me an outfit for Ky’s Christening coming up in May if I reached my target of 79 kgs. That was another incentive to push for my goals.

Hopefully I can get a consolation prize off him LOL

FRONT
Shrinking waist line 🙂

So the game plan right now is to work on my mindset and general well being.

Sometimes when things don’t go your way you can start to beat yourself up and blame other people because it’s just not working.

My main goal over the next period of time is to be consistent.

No one wants this more then me.

No one is responsible for the results except me.

Only I can decide how I react to good and bad news and how I can move forward despite being disappointed.

ori [3]
My little man 🙂
Again, I would like to reaffirm my primary goal which is Kyneton continuing to feed happily and sleep well at night.

By the look of how he’s putting on weight and filling up I’m VERY happy with my results!

More to share next month as we’re getting closer and closer to Thailand 🙂

#64DaysToPhuket

 

With love,

Belinda xo

Time’s Up

Time’s Up

Wills are strange things.

They can be an affirmation of love or an opportunity to say things that would never have been said in life. They can make dreams come true or be an instrument of revenge. They can bring families together or tear them apart.

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When you have young children, making a will also includes making provision for the care of your family if you and your partner are both gone. This can be an agonising decision. Who will love them or raise them the way you intend ? Are the grandparents too old, too sick or unwilling to take on raising another family?

Is your sibling’s spouse on one side charming but way too casual with their own children? Is your sister-in-law a martinet whose children are frightened to say boo and live in something close to a prison camp? Are other siblings unmarried and always travelling or partying and will other siblings on the other side take offence that they weren’t chosen?

Are you both orphans with no close relatives? Would any of your friends be agreeable or capable? You pray it will never happen but you must make some provision or they will end up in state care. You may be fortunate that you have someone who is both willing and loving but many couples don’t have that luxury and agonise over the best of a very ordinary bunch. In our case it meant them being put into the care of an interstate uncle who barely knew their names and changed partners more often than his socks, or an aunt who drank heavily and screamed like a fishwife at her own children.

Will your children not only lose their parents but their home and friends and be forced to make great adjustments while coping with overwhelming grief? These are sobering thoughts for any parent.

mi vida loca funeral GIF-source

 

We wrote letters to our children to be given to them, in case the worst happened, before the reading of the will, (updating them every two years) so they would have written proof of how much we loved them and how proud we were to be their parents. We included a couple of photos very special to us all and then we prayed hard that they would never need to read them.

We breathed a sigh of relief when our eldest child reached an age where he could have the guardianship of his younger sister and brother.

Organising Myself

Organising Myself

Hi guys,

Thanks for stopping by.

Today I wanted to give you a little insight into how I try and keep myself organised and how I track things.

With the help of technology I am able to track how my day, week and month go as I can become overwhelmed whenever I lose track of what’s coming up.

So there are a few Apps that I use in no particular order to stay organised:

 

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For my sisters we have a group chat on Facebook Messenger.

There are 4 of us and we talk about all things sisters do  😉

It’s a great way for us to keep in touch and make sure we are in communication on anything that’s coming up with our individual families.

We talk about our upcoming Thailand trip in June, things within the family we need to sort out and saving dates for celebrations that’s coming up soon!

I wrote earlier about how our time with important people is getting less and less and so I cherish the video calls, texts and time my sisters and I put into staying in touch 🙂

 

Viber

viber-iconOn my in-law’s side of the family they use a social media chat app and it’s updated very regularly.

In the Group chat there’s Leki’s parents, his siblings and partners.

It’s not uncommon that someone would post a little picture of what the kids are up to that day or a message of support if someone is doing it tough or planning for any events coming up in the future.

Recently Leki’s brother posted a little photo of their son having his first babycino which brought a smile to my face!

 

Gmail + Google Calendar

So looking specifically at my own little family – Leki and I sync the calendar app on our gmaikphones (we are Samsung fans!) to our family Gmail account.

This allows any entry into the calendar app on our phones to automatically sync with our family gmail account.

It’s really helpful in avoiding a clash in our schedules or either of us ‘double booking’ a weekend.

Highly recommend using this app!

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Mar 2018 – Calendar App on Samsung Galaxy 8 phone

You can see in the example photo above of my calendar for March 2018 (which is a calendar-iconscreenshot from my phone) Google has entered in automatically any National or State holidays relevant to Australia making that easy.

You can imagine as the family grows and gets busier with school, sport, celebrations, meetings etc. it may be important to block off time just for myself or for my family so we can try and relax 🙂

I am feeling confident that with developing our system of communication \we can stay on top of it all.

 

Old School Diary

The final piece of the puzzle is Leki’s diary.

He prefers to keep everything in it and enjoys crossing out an ‘item or job’ once it’s been completed.

All the reminders for bills to be paid, birthdays to attend, celebrations and important reminders live in here.

Every year since he was in high school he’s kept a diary and from 2003-current he has a collection of all the diaries documenting what was going on at that time!

I was going through a diary from our early days dating as an example and it reminded me of those early years when we would go to the movies and just hang out. Felt like an eternity ago 🙂

I wonder how we will look back at this time 20 years from now with the diary entries he places in 2018!

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Summary

So when we sit down to eat breakfast every morning I previously described how we always spend this time talking about our day ahead, anything coming up on the weekend or anything else coming up.

We whip out the phone and check any entries on the Google calendar, then check any reminders or notes on the Facebook Messenger and Viber chat groups then double check with Leki’s diary.

Once we know ‘where its at’ we can move forward with our day and be confident we have all our bases covered.

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Keeping my calendar free for Eme 🙂

How do you keep in touch with your family and friends? Are you trying your best to stay connected? Remember time with your loved ones is precious and needs to be appreciated everyday.

 

 

Have a great day – with love,

 

Belinda xo

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Hi guys,

I hope you guys had a great long weekend celebrating Easter.

This is a time of the year which we can all afford to slow down and be appreciative of the all the wonderful things like Family, friendship, health and time we can spend with people we love and those who are close to us.

Being raised and a practicing Catholic I know my faith has received a lot of criticism recently but I enjoy the community and structure that it provides me on my daily and spiritual journey.

Every Sunday when we attend our church service I use that time to reconnect with my Family and give thanks for the all the good things in my life and try and be forgiving of the things that are testing my patience.

This Easter we managed to organise an Easter Egg hunt for both sides of the Family which was great to see all the little kiddies hunting for eggs!

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Fun times with Leki’s siblings and their families

We started Easter off on Good Friday by participating in ‘The Stations of the Cross‘ which was a long walk to many ‘stations’ around our town. Great way to start this long weekend 🙂

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Stations of the Cross around Kyneton 🙂

Soon after the Good Friday church service we caught up with Leki’s siblings in a National State Park (Brimbank Park)  and had our first Easter egg hunt which was a success!

leki fam2
The kids were very happy with their haul this year!

It was great catch up with with Leki’s family and we chatted about plans for the end of the year and planning the next family holiday which should be very exciting for early 2019!

On Easter Saturday we decided to stay in and make use of some of the local things available to us. Christmas 2017 we were gifted a tent that can fit 5 people and so we decided to give a few things a test run. We have a nice big river that flows through our town and Leki thought it’d be a great opportunity to trial some fishing.

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Fishing in the Campaspe River – No fish though 🙁

Later in the same day we had pre-planned to camp out in the tent. In Australia, we are now in Autumn/Fall and so the night temperatures are dropping below 10 degree Celsius so Ky and I decided to give the camp out a miss.

camp
Eme and her ‘cubby house’

Emelina and Leki did very well and they reported that it was very comfortable in the tent overnight!

Easter Sunday we spent this time at home resting and cleaning up and then traveled to Leki’s parents house (over an hour away) to spend the night and hang out with them. We don’t travel to the city that often so it’s always great to get the kids to spend time with Papa and Nani 🙂

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Ky’s 1st Easter!

Easter Monday we then traveled to meet with our parish Priest to organise little Ky’s Christening for later this year. We had already asked some relatives to be the Godfather (from Sydney) and Godmother (from Melbourne) and now I am looking forward to organising the next family gathering in early May.

After our meeting with the Priest we then travelled to my parent’s place for the second round of Easter egg hunting.

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Chocolate daze!

We planned for lunch at 2pm and then the Easter egg hunt soon after. The kids were very excited and I can report all the kids were bouncing off the walls with the chocolate they got 🙂

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Happy with her haul!

So we had plenty to eat and caught up with great conversations over the Easter Long Weekend.

I am thankful for all the good things in my life and I appreciate the setbacks and the lessons I can learn from them.

I love my husband, my children, my Family and that we live in such a great community with great people around me.

From my family to yours – I hope you had a refreshing long weekend with loved ones and continue on in 2018 in good health and good spirit!

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My little crew

With love,

Belinda, Leki, Emelina and Kyneton xo

‘Project Breastfeeding’

‘Project Breastfeeding’

Hello everyone.

Today I thought I’d share my thoughts on “Project Breastfeeding”.

To begin – let’s start at the very beginning.

In Mar 2015 I gave birth to our first child Emelina and I had internal struggles with that pregnancy questioning whether I would make a good mother.

I’m not sure where that feeling came from but it may be those situations where you’re unsure of yourself because it’s something new that you’ve yet to experience.

For instance learning to drive for the first time was scary but after a while you hop in the car, turn the ignition and off you go. Starting a new job you have some anxiety about how people may see you or questioning whether you’ll be happy here is always something you ask yourself. Meeting new people you always try and make the best impression and end up making a total fool of yourself.

All those examples and more are instances where you are fearful and unsure before you make the leap of faith.

Simply getting myself together was an effort but now I’m responsible for another little life.

Just that idea alone overwhelmed me.

I have to admit that the first 3-6 months of Eme’s life I was just going through the motions. Wake up, eat, feed her, burp her, change her, nap, eat, feed, burp, change and sleep in repeat.

Then one day it happened.

I ran out of breast milk.

It was like the tap was switched off and overnight we had to move to formula when Eme was 6 months old. I didn’t pay enough attention to what I was doing so I simply ran out of supply.

Maybe it was too easy to give up because my nipples were raw and sore. Maybe I wanted to run out because I wanted to be freed up to do others things. Maybe I told myself that 6 months is enough… or maybe I just honestly ran out.

I’ll never know but this time round I have a better game plan to manage myself and create the best possible outcome for baby #2 – little Kyneton.

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I believe firmly that it is up to the mother and environment to allow the new baby to flourish.

Feeling stressed? Living in a challenging environment? Not eating well? Not getting enough exercise? Poor sleep? Not keeping your chest warm?

There are many reasons why things are the way they are but it’s up to me to figure out why things are that way.

Am I stressed? Then I’ll try and reduce my stress and reduce the pressure and noise that I place on myself.

Not the best environment to raise a child? I like to imagine myself as the infant. Unable to move myself or be comfortable so I’m very reliant on my parents to look after me. What can I do to keep my baby as comfortable as possible?

Not eating well? Where does baby get their strength and nutrition from? Me. I need to do the best I can to make sure baby is nice and healthy.

Not getting enough exercise? Something is better then nothing. That’s what I tell myself 🙂

Poor sleep? If I’m not sleeping well enough then it will leave me irritable and that will only make things worse for the baby. It can be a chicken and egg situation and I completely understand that but which is easier to control – myself or the baby? Personally I can control my thoughts, feelings and actions more then a little baby.

Chest not warm? In the islands my mother tells me that women keep layers over the breasts to keep them warm. The warmth allows the blood vessels to flow better and help produce more breast milk.

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Above I have outlined a couple questions that I regularly ask myself.

If little Ky is upset or not feeding comfortably I ask myself what HAVE I DONE to make him upset.

Is his nappy wet or dirty? Does he have indigestion from overfeeding? Is he tired? What did I eat 12 hours ago – have I eaten anything different that’s irritating him? Have I been stressed? Did I have a shit sleep last night?

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So with that being said if you are interested in how I seem to be achieving 7-8 hours of sleep with little Ky who’s not even 3 months yet here is my winning formula:

  1. Eat well and sleep well
  2. Reduce stress (physical or emotional)
  3. Breast feeding ‘Booster’ smoothie once in the morning

Ingredients: Almonds, whole banana, tablespoon of grass fed butter, 1-2 tablespoon of cacao powder, ~500ml of coconut water, sprinkle of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal, teaspoon of MCT oil and 2 tablespoons of oats

Pop all that into your blender (we highly recommend the Vitamix blender) and you should get almost 700ml of smoothie goodness which is almost like a milkshake consistency.

In my last post I reported that I have started practicing intermittent fasting with an ‘eating window’ of 8 hours from 8am-4pm. That smoothie in the morning really gives me a kick start for the day along with my light breakfast.

Kyneton requires a feed almost every 2-4 hours throughout the day although I’m trying to stretch him out to 4 hours and I’m happy to have him cry if he’s getting hungry because I find he can comfort feed too which is difficult to manage.

So If I review my typical day in terms of feeding Ky it looks like:

  • 8am – first feed
  • 11am – second feed
  • 2pm – third feed
  • 5pm – fourth feed
  • 8pm – final feed before I put him down for the night
  • 4-5am – early feed

Well that’s my current update with “Project Breastfeeding” and I’ll provide updates later in the year as we battle through teething, introducing solids and any other obstacles that keeps things interesting.

What does your breast feeding efforts look like? Do you have a secret smoothie that keeps your breasts full of milk?

See you next week!

With love,

Belinda xo

[UPDATE] Losing Weight After Having A Baby (Pt.III)

[UPDATE] Losing Weight After Having A Baby (Pt.III)

Hi all.

Thanks for tuning in for another episode of MyWifeLife.

I’m adding to the story from my first entry which you can read all about it here 🙂


The idea of this chain post is to track my weight loss but maintaining high quality breastfeeds for my newborn son Ky for over 12 months.


So what’s new?

Well this is Part III of my monthly weight loss progress report and the quick summary is below. My main measuring tools for how I’m progressing is weight loss and Ky’s sleep quality at night.

Weight Loss

Started at 94.9 kgs and now 84.7 kgs. That’s 10.2 kgs lost in 10 weeks! (from Jan 6 to Mar 17)

Kyneton’s Sleep

From the outset Ky needed feeds every 3-4 hours at night as a newborn and he’s now 2.5 months and giving me an average of 6-8 hours between feeds at night.

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My little seedling Ky 🙂

This tells me that he’s happy with the breast milk I’m producing and he’s looking quite full. He was 3 kgs at birth and now weighs 4.88 kgs.


So in my most recent update I flagged two things that I struggled with:

  1. Leki’s birthday and naughty food
  2. Staying over my parents house and not sticking to my food choices

I can report that I was put to the challenge again as there were a lot of celebrations over the last month:

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My little family and Eme’s 3rd birthday
  1. My daughter’s 3rd birthday party
  2. 3 x birthday parties from my Mother’s Group (now 3 years of friendship!)
  3. My mother-in-law’s birthday

What’s a party without having a good time?

mother's group
Mother’s Group going strong!

After my last update I made the decision to be really careful with what I ate and I tried very hard to manage the portions when I ate at these parties.

I can say that it’s a hard task to turn off my emotional heart at celebrations and tell myself half truths like “It’s ok – only one won’t hurt” but I had to listen into my logical mind and rise above the internal struggle 🙂

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My mother-in-law’s birthday

The result? I chose to be really good.

Even better my results reflected my discipline. My numbers are steadily dropping and Ky continues to thrive!

But I don’t want to report just the good stuff. I prefer to write about the things that didn’t work so you can learn from my mistakes.

A

So what was the main challenge I’ve found in the last month?

I’m not losing enough weight per week to reach my target of 69 kgs by June 21 2018

As you know Leki and I always weigh ourselves first thing the morning before we have a light breakfast.

I was getting frustrated because although I was losing weight, I wasn’t losing enough.

Solution #1: Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating IT IS NOT A DIET! This took me a while to understand.

So here’s what I’ve found after some initial research following guides from Dr. Berg.

Please watch this short 7 min video which will do a better job of summarising Intermittent Fasting better then I could:

What I really like about this video is that it gives you a practical strategy to progress your fat burning goals with changing my pattern of eating.

I am currently at the 16:8 stage whereby I have a ‘window’ of eating within 8 hours and fasting for 16 hours. I personally prefer to have my first meal at 8am and then have my final meal at 3-4pm.

That means I fast after lunch/early dinner through the night and wait for my first meal at 8am.

You’d be surprised as I don’t ‘feel hungry’ and most importantly I’m producing high quality breast milk and Ky is still very happy!

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Updated tracking sheet

Solution #2: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

So looking at the tracking sheet above I should be sitting at 82.9 kgs if I’m steadily losing 1.2 kgs per week to reach my goal of being 69 kgs by June 21 2018.

I’m currently 84.5 kgs almost 1.6 kgs over where I should be.

You can see I have added in brackets where I hope to be every week (losing 1.2 kgs every week being the goal) so this weekend I should be 81.7 kgs and by Easter 80.5 kgs.

It doesn’t get any easier for me!

So instead of feeling sorry for myself I’m gonna suck it up and WORK EVEN HARDER!

HIIT is a form of interval training where you can ‘work out’ for a short period of time but at a high intensity. This will  cause you to fatigue earlier if you’re working hard enough and burn up some calories!

Here’s what my self directed HIIT program looks like:

  • Sit-stand squats off a chair
  • Wall push ups
  • Step up/down

At each station I go as quickly as I can for 1 minute non-stop x 3 rounds = 9 MINS in total!

I do that HIIT twice a day usually around 10am and again at 4pm.

So my revised formula for safe weight loss is more of the same but finely tuning some areas.

I’ll still focus on eating right, monitoring my portions and keeping a healthy and optimistic mindset as the scales can really be mean to you even when you’ve been good 😉 It’s a long game not a quick fix!

Layered on top of that I will now practice intermittent fasting eating within an 8 hours window from 8am-4pm and exercise HIIT twice a day as outlined above.

Sounds like a lot of effort but that is the level of effort I’m prepared to go to lose the weight.

B

The most important measuring stick despite all this effort, to me, is that Ky is happy.

I am finding that his feed at night is stable and consistent at 6-8 hours apart which is a very good sign!

More to share next month as we’re getting closer and closer to Thailand 🙂

#92DaysToGo

The struggle continues!

With love,

Belinda xo

Sweet & Sour

Sweet & Sour

Hi guys,

As a Mother I feel that the majority of the time I need to put my children’s needs and wants before mine.

It can vary from taking food off my plate to feed them if they’re still hungry to sacrificing sleep because of nightmares to just being there to soothe them even when I know I have heaps of things piling up on the to-do-list.

But… there are important times when I need to push my agenda first before my kids.

I would like to talk about my goal to raise independent Bulletproof kids.

I read this awesome article from Chris Sacca who grew up in New York and his parents practised ‘Sweet & Sour’ school holidays.

During the “Sweet” part of the school holidays Chris’ parents organised some nice experiences like sitting in a court room, being in an office-type job with an uncle and observing what it was like to work in that environment.

The remaining part of the holidays was known as the “Sour” experience. For example Chris was thrown into some waste management jobs with family friends and his parents advised them to give him the worst of the worst duties to manage.

Chris was probably in early high school at that time so roughly 11-12yo and he reported how that experience shaped his way of thinking and how he looks at people, work and the world at a larger extent.

You see, he valued BOTH the white and blue collar experiences.

The hard work of digging troughs and unplugging smelly pipes but enjoying the benefits of doing manual work and being outdoors. He also felt the benefits of being indoor and in a nice air conditioned facility but saw how stressed his uncle was with dealing with customers.

After reading that piece by Chris Sacca it has shaped my own thoughts and ideas as I’m mostly optimistic about how the future will be for our children.

For example, I see improvements in technology as a positive thing. Yes there are dangers and dodgy things lurky around the web but I still feel there’s so much good that outweighs the bad.

Having information readily on hand by searching Google, or trying to find out more information by watching a Youtube video or reading reviews on a product or service makes things very easy for us.

Most little kids I come across have no problems unlocking a phone, flicking across the homepage and then selecting the right App for them to play on! I’m sure most children are exactly the same 🙂

So if little 2-3yo are already navigating iPhones and iPads imagine what they are watching and learning by the time they’re in middle primary school?

By the time they are 7-8yo these young kids will be well informed or are skilled enough to research things to help themselves!

I feel they will already start forming an idea of their place in the world and how the world really ‘works’. Wow what a world we live in now 😉

So it is with that in mind I would like to plan little ‘Sweet & Sour’ experiments with my own kids as they grow because they are growing so quick already! 

I have previously mentioned that we plan to send our own children overseas for part of their education here. That will take some time to plan with the help of family and friends we can action that.

Outdoor
Outdoor vs Indoor

In the mean time I would be looking to chalk up a list of ‘Sweet’ and ‘Sour’ experiences for the kids 😉 I know that sometimes the kids half expect to be entertained when it’s school holidays – definitely want to avoid that as best we can!

One final point I would like to touch on is the future and our children.

The job landscape is changing so much as technology is disrupting some really big players. I mean, Facebook collects and publishes news like a newspaper but it doesn’t own or produce any of the content, Airbnb offers accommodation without owning any property, Uber offers a ride sharing service challenging the business model of taxis – all that without owning any fleet of cars.

At the everyday level there’s companies like Xero that help with simplifying accounting for small businesses, robots improving the manufacturing efficiency and I even saw an article about how newly trained doctors should avoid some fields of practice because computer software is removing the human error element!

Dr. Eme
Dr. Eme or Chef Eme?

Again, I would like to highlight that I’m OPTIMISTIC about the future and that there are so many opportunities for our children.

My thoughts are that if we can offer our children a lot of different experiences when they are at an impressionable age both locally and overseas then they can come up with solutions to improve our future and make it a better place – for everyone!

Here are some examples off the top of my head for my own kids:

  • Eme has uncles working on the railways and her experience there may inspire her to create a solution for improved public transport
  • Ky has another uncle who is a doctor and he may be inspired to help kids with cancer
  • Eme might spend time with her auntie who is a make up artist and photographer and find out how to serve customers really well
  • Ky might enjoy listening and playing music and with the help of another uncle he can learn about how to be a musician
  • Eme might be affected by volunteering overseas that she wants to help people gain access to clean drinking water
  • Ky might figure out that he’ll make a better plumber then an academic scholar and decide to learn a trade rather then pursue University
  • Eme might really enjoy another culture and want to learn the language
  • Ky might be really good at playing video games and wants to explore software engineering
  • Eme might show some interest in operating big machinery and being outdoors
  • Ky might enjoy eating food so much that he wants to be a chef

The list goes on!

Camper Eme
Ranger Eme?

This post may come across as wishful thinking but I have to be honest it is something both Leki and I think and talk about all the time.

In these uncertain times the best we can do as a parents is raise children who are respectful and resilient – Bulletproof Kids 🙂

Food for thought.

Belinda xo

[UPDATE] Daily Routine With 2 Kids

[UPDATE] Daily Routine With 2 Kids

Hi all,

As you may know we had our 2nd child, Kyneton, on the Jan 3 2018 and he joins his older sister Emelina who recently turned 3!

Something my hubby Leki and I are both really into is designing our day so we can have TIME.

So what does that mean?

ROUTINE!

In one of my earliest posts I outlined what our usual routine looked like at that time.

In that context Leki works full time, I am at home full time and our 2yo daughter Emelina is at home full time with some activities throughout the week I outlined here.

So what’s changed?

Well… Leki has returned back to full time work after having 6 weeks of part time work to help at home with our newborn, I’m full time at home and we now have 2 little cherubs to manage at home.

So I thought I would share some of the things we find that are serving us really well and I would appreciate any feedback or observations that you’ve found helpful in your parenting journey too 🙂


Let’s start at the beginning.

Morning Routine

I get up 7am and my mood is very dependent on how Ky and Eme sleep overnight (obviously?!).

To back track slightly we try and put the kids to bed at 8:30pm-9pm the night before and we had worked very hard to have Emelina sleeping in her own room and self soothe so we can give appropriate time and effort to Kyneton.

Fortunately, Emelina is now 80% toilet trained and sleeps throughout the whole night with the occasional ‘code yellow’ at night and sometimes struggles to settle into her sleep routine although we strongly believe in the ‘self soothe‘ strategy. (This might be a future blog post if you’re interested – let me know if you’d like to know more)

The reward for our early hard work is that 6 out of 7 nights Emelina sleeps in her own bed in her room, sleeps all the way through the night and without any accidents. We can almost see the finish line YAY! 🙂

So let’s assume I’ve had a standard night where Emelina is asleep solid throughout the night and Leki is out like log next to me.

Kyneton sleeps from 9pm to 3am then he stirs and requires a feed.

I usually have full engorged breasts ready for him to feed so I give him one breast to settle him and then I change him then feed him with the other breast. This whole process can take up to 60 mins.

I complete this process in bed sitting upright with my night light from my phone and I’m blessed because if Kyneton is crying and wailing (and boy does he have a set of lungs!?) both Leki and Emelina continue to sleep without any problems.

At 4am I put Kyneton down and then I return to sleep until I wake around 7am. Leki usually gets up early to make breakfast for us, help clean up/wash dishes and packs his food for the day at work (I’ve trained him well LOL).

We have automated our food habits which make it one less thing to worry about.

I previously wrote that we have the same 2-3 options at breakfast and the same 2-3 food options for lunch and dinner which are pre-prepared – read about it here.

We pre-cook our meals for that day around lunch time and to have enough left over for the next day’s lunch and dinner meals. We use pre-packed containers and all that Leki has to do is pick what he wants to eat at work for lunch and dinner when he’s sorting everything out in the morning for breakfast.

I firmly believe that structuring your day via routine allows you to make better decisions i.e. deciding to prepare nutritious food or allocate more time to important tasks.

By 8am Leki and I have weighed ourselves and updated out tracking sheet, Leki has prepared breakfast and has himself changed and cleaned up ready for work, Emelina is up after having about 8-10 hours of sleep (AWESOME?!) and Kyneton is ready for his morning feed. Ky sleeps very well averaging 6 hours (feed #1 at 3am) then 5 hours (feed #2 at 8am).

Dishes
Trained them both myself 🙂

We sit together and hold hands and Emelina repeats her morning prayer to bless our food then we talk and enjoy each other’s company. We talk about our plans for the day and look ahead to the week, month and any events coming up over the next few months.

I really enjoy having this time together in the morning because Leki usually gets home 6pm-7pm and we don’t get a chance to sit and eat together at dinner so we put in a massive amount of effort to get at least one meal together.

And with that… the morning is done.

Daily Routine

During breakfast we discuss what the plan for the day may be.

I have this system where I try and complete the ONE THING before lunchtime. Regardless of how the day goes as long as I complete that ONE THING then I’ll be satisfied with my day.

For example, if I want to clean the bathroom or commit to ‘Arts & Crafts’ time with Eme for 1 hour or call and follow up on an inquiry from the previous week – whatever it may be I always plan to have that completed before lunch time.

Why?

Something always comes up.

I may get distracted with something on my phone, get lazy and park in front of the TV, Ky might get too clingy and I can’t get around too easily.

I have found that if I commit to completing one thing I’ll feel happy.

So, after Leki leaves and I’m home alone with the kids (remember I’ve breastfed Ky while we all have breakfast) I’ll take Eme to wash up, brush her teeth and make sure she’s gone to the toilet to avoid any accidents. Kyneton is in a semi-conscious Zen like state 🙂 after his morning feed so he usually leaves me alone for 1-2 hours if I’m lucky.

It’s this 1-2 hour window that I get my MOST IMPORTANT WORK DONE.

So from 9am-11am the important work can be:

  • Hanging out the washing (I tend to put the load on the night before then hang the next day)
  • Cleaning/vacuuming
  • 1:1 time with Eme
  • Cooking dinner and pre-packing for the following day
  • Chasing up loose ends with family and friends over the phone
  • Working on my diary/blog 🙂
Montessori
Eme at Montessori on Monday!

For instance some days I take Eme to Montessori School (we call it her ‘big girl’ school – she loves it)  or other days we need to go to the Doctor for Ky’s check up or maybe Ky had a poor night so it throws our morning out of whack. That aside, 80% of our mornings look like what I’ve described above.

The 11am-4pm time frame allows me time to get out for some grocery shopping or relax at home or most of the time I’m doing more the work outlined above.

Night Routine

The wind down for the day sometimes starts around 4pm.

I try and factor in my daily program that I watch at 6:30pm (I’m a massive Neighbours fan – wrote about organising my day earlier here so I can be ready to sit down and watch) so I have my usual end of day routine mapped out.

Between 4pm-6pm I’m either warming up dinner or taking Eme for a bath to wash. Once I’ve done then I finish off with the other. For example, I usually bath her first and then feed her dinner after and manage Ky around that. I may feed him first to settle him and when he’s content in the bouncer I’ll focus on Eme.

During the day I have Ky on the baby wrap or down in the bouncer as he tends to feed every 2 hours then he falls asleep.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE – You may notice that there are big chunks of time that are unaccounted for. E.g. If I’m at home from 9am-11am or 11am-4pm what does Eme do?

She plays.

abckids

We have ABC Kids on the TV in the background but for 80% of the day she’s running around entertaining herself. WE DO NOT ENCOURAGE ANY SCREEN TIME UNTIL LEKI GETS HOME AND ONLY FOR 1 HR MAX!

I previously wrote about Curiosity Over Judgement in a previous post and it’s basically trying to avoid judging what our kids are doing and allowing them to be curious (unless it’s dangerous).

One example I can share is that when Eme was helping me do the dishes (we don’t have a dishwasher) and she picked up an empty glass jar to scoop up the dish water. Now I was very close to telling her off but I practised ‘curiosity over judgement’ and waited to see what she’d do. She then raced over to her toys and picked up a handful of tiny toy fish and placed carefully into the bottle with the dish water and sealed the glass jar with the lid. She then looked at me with a cheeky smile and with a sense of accomplishment and said “Look Mama – fishies!”.

You can imagine my shock and amazement with the imagination of this little girl. She had this spirit of joy that I would have stunted if I told her to ‘stop it’ or ‘don’t make mess’. That look she had I’ll keep with me forever 🙂

Rocking Chair
Rocking Chair is one of my prized possessions 🙂

So to bring us back to the timeline – it’s usually 6:30pm and I’m parked on my favourite recliner rocking chair (picked it up off Gumtree for $60!) and Eme is clean and fed, Ky is usually latched on and feeding and I’m watching Neighbours. Organised crime really!

Leki arrives home from work at 7pm and he’s already had his pre-prepped dinner at work. He then has a quick wash then comes and keeps an eye on Eme while I have a shower and freshen up and then we start the “Wind Down Routine”.

“Wind Down” Routine

So at 7:30pm we have 2 x kids who are fed and washed (we bathe Ky every 4-5 days as instructed until we have a review with the local maternity nurse when he’s 3 months) and we start the relaxing part of the day.

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We have our desserts together which is usually something naughty like chocolate almond ice cream or coco balls which we make at home (usually both LOL) and Leki and I watch our nightly ‘program’ which is The Blacklist at the moment. We are basically watching anything that takes our fancy until GoT returns in 2019 🙂

iview

While Leki and I tune into our nightly program, Ky is being breastfed and cuddled and Eme is watching her program (Free ABC Kids iView app) on the family iPad. This is usually from 7:30pm-8:30pm.

After an hour and our program has finished I then lay Ky down in his bassinet next to our bed, Leki and Eme brush their teeth together and he takes her to the toilet and then he tucks her into her ‘big girl bed’ in her own room. (This may be another blog post in the future as we decided to have Eme in a bassinet for 3 months then moved her into her own room. We have the same game plan for Ky!)

Every night Emelina has her standard prayer for her family and asks for a good night sleep 🙂 We remind her that if she needs to go to the bathroom to get out of her bed and let us know – she responds with ‘no weewee undies, no weewee bed” – she’s such a cutie pie!

After we tuck her in and she’s snug we keep a small night light next to her and start the countdown timer to turn the light off… 3… 2… 1 and off the room light goes! We get the occasional grizzle for 5-10 mins but then she fades away and falls off to sleep really quickly.

OBSERVATION: There was a point when Eme was 1-2yo and having 1-2 mid day naps but as she got to >2.5yo we found that she could power through the day without the nap and sleep the whole way through the night.

Well, that’s our typical day and it does seem like a lot of work goes into it but it’s worth all the planning because I feel like I can enjoy each day without feeling too overrun.

There is no perfect day and sometimes I feel overwhelmed with my normal routine but I always try my best.

I’d love to hear how you plan your typical days – you know the one… the days where no one sees what you’re up to and you need to get shit done!

Hope you found today’s post valuable!

With love,

Belinda xo

How Do You Manage Grief?

How Do You Manage Grief?

I had a call this morning from an old neighbour of my parents. Elaine and her husband Fred lived next door to my family from the time I was a teenager and we were constantly in and out of each other’s homes. They were there for our marriage and when visiting my old home we always went across to see them. They gave our sons their first cricket bats and the whole family were very fond of them.

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Sadly Ted died suddenly nine years ago but Elaine remained in their home because that was where she felt closest to Fred. My parents have since gone and so visits have become the occasional phone call and Christmas card but today Elaine felt compelled to call me.

She said yesterday was her 90th birthday and she was suddenly overwhelmed by grief for the loss of her husband of 55 years. She wanted to talk to someone who had known and loved him.

Friends have told her she should be over it by now but she said how can you forget the loss of someone who was such part of your life.

It reminded me of a book I was given when I was grieving which listed the emotions one should expect to experience and how by certain amounts of time having passed you should “have moved on”. It was written by a well known psychologist but I felt the author had never actually experienced grief and ended up by pitching it into the rubbish bin.

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Everyone is different and experiences grief and shows grief in a multitude of different ways; it is impossible to generalise. Some people get relief by shouting and screaming and throwing things while others may appear to getting on with their lives while internally bleeding. Both are valid.

Some need to talk it out while others just need the quiet and space to fully realise their loss. Some can no longer stay in the home they shared amid the constant reminders of what was, while others relish the familiarity and the sense of their loved one being nearby. Some have done their grieving over a long period of illness and need to move on to a new phase of life and are perhaps more open to finding love again. Others cannot imagine life with another partner and prefer their memories. They feel being alone is preferable to settling for what they perceive as second best.

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No one should ever live their lives according to “what the neighbours think” or friends or even family. Do what that small voice deep inside you tells you is right for your circumstances and you.

Baby Wraps

Baby Wraps

Hi guys.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my random thoughts 🙂

Today I would like to share my observations on baby carriers and baby slings.

Now to be honest I’ve only started to pay more attention to baby wraps the second time round. When I had my first child I carried her for the first 8 months then transitioned to the Baby Bjorn carrier which was gifted during my baby shower.
baby-carrier-original-black-spirit-023071-babybjorn

This time round though with my newborn son I’ve come across baby wraps through my local community 🙂

If you’re unsure about baby wraps, don’t stress because I was too!

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Ky in the kangaroo pouch 🙂

Looking at it purely as a newbie the baby wraps looks so difficult to put on.

You have almost 5 metres of material that you need to carefully wrap around you while you’re making sure care that it sits comfortably on you.

So why have I decided to give the baby wraps a go this time? Because it feels better.

I have a closer connection with my child as he’s resting his head right over my beating heart.

It is really convenient when breastfeeding as the need arises because the wrap can provide some privacy.

One of the significant down sides of the baby wrap is the time it takes to put one on and it can get pretty hot and stuffy if it’s a warm day.

I have also been introduced to baby ring slings which I haven’t had a chance to try out yet although I do know a few ladies who swear by them!

It’s essentially the same design although instead of layers of material to pull on (baby wrap) the ring sling can take some of the guess work out.

This made me think about how other cultures tend to carry their babies.

The two main styles that similarly carry their babies on their back are African and Asian cultures which I thought was interesting.

It may be better for my posture to have the baby slung across my back but I like the intimacy of having them across my chest especially when they’re infants!

If they’re old enough to walk then I’d prefer to have them on their own two feet then have me lug them around everywhere 🙂

The African style

The Korean style – Podaegi

In short, I am starting to use my Baby Wrap more and more and with time I should be able to reduce the time to pop the baby wrap on.

Currently it takes me about 5 mins to put it on compared to 30 sec with the Baby Bjorn carrier but I’m really interested in maintaining that bond with little Ky until he gets a bit too big and heavy for it 😉

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Altona Beach 2015

To be honest I’ll most likely use the Baby Bjorn carrier when Kyneton gets bigger purely because of the convenience.

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Moonlight Cinema – 2015

What’s your experience like with wraps? I’d love to hear it!

Have a great day,

Belinda xo