100th blog post :)

100th blog post :)

Hi guys,

Wow! Today marks my 100th blog post.

On the top right of my blog you can see when I started – 7 May 2017.

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This was our celebration lunch after posting my first blog in May 2017 πŸ™‚

Over 19 months of consistent work and reflection πŸ™‚

I made the goal of making a weekly blog post and getting to 100 posts before I review how it’s been going.

I think I missed maybe 2 or 3 weeks due to having a baby (Jan 2018) and being overseas for my Grandma Taina’s funeral (Sept 2018).

It’s gone so quickly and my confidence is growing slowly over time although I still get butterflies when I post something new to you guys πŸ˜‰

So what Leki and I thought would be cool would be to share how we organise these weekly posts.

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Moved from Kyneton to Gisborne – another family milestone

Here’s how we do it:

  1. DIY website
  2. Organising our time to plan the content
  3. Tidying things up

Make your own website

First step is either buy your own domain or start blogging on a shared platform like www.blogger.com!

What’s a domain? It’s the www.yourname.com.au in the address bar of your web browser.

I thought MyWifeLife was cool and after I searched for whether it was available – to my surprise it was πŸ™‚

I used GoDaddy.com for my web hosting and domain registration.

The second thing I did was sign up with WordPress.com and started playing around with my website design and layout.

Now I understand it’s pretty basic at the moment.

I’ll be working on making it a bit more ‘beautiful’ in 2019 but I wanted to get the regular weekly posting under control first before I worry about the fancy stuff πŸ˜‰

And that’s it.

Think of a domain name, register it, buy and design your website and publish interesting information so people can relate to you.


Planning & Blogging

This is very much a team effort.

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My little girl is growing so fast πŸ™‚

Leki and I work on this project together and we really enjoy it!

Why?

Because we talk about what we’d like to share and it keeps us close when we have deadlines to meet.

The constant planning and communication is something that helps us in our relationship as a couple, improving on things individually, gives us a direction on how we want to parent our kids and allows reflection on how we can be there for our friends and family.

Let me give you some examples.

On the individual level I’m not very good at spelling. I’ve written before that I don’t even know how I passed high school and got my VCE certificate. That’s not a joke I should have failed English and Maths… easily.

So when Leki told me I should start a blog and that it’ll help you with your confidence I didn’t believe him. I was too worried about my own insecurities to see how it can be a valuable teacher.

For the first 6 months I struggled to post up a selfie on my blog site (although I do selfies all the time).

I’ve now grown to a place where I can start to make short video messages (vlogs) which 19 months ago would have NOT BEEN A REALITY… believe me!

In terms of documenting our lives it’s been such a great tool to reflect on how my kids are growing among other things.

Do you remember when your child started crawling and then began hauling himself up but isn’t quite walking? I forgot to document that stage of child development with my 3yo Emelina and now my 11mo Kyneton is not far from being up and walking and so I can share his milestones with you but more importantly keep it as a record on my blog forever!

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A bit of exercise climbing Hanging Rock

I have visions of keeping this blog for the next 21+ years so I can bring up these old stories on their birthdays πŸ™‚

At the couple level – it gives us an incentive to stay connected. Leki writes the blog and I read and review it. I then add my own phrases and give feedback before adding some photos and shooting my little video message to partner this blog post πŸ™‚


2019-onward

So right now Leki and I spend about 2 hours a week on this project.

Leki spends an hour writing it.

I spend an hour reading, uploading photos and shooting/editing the video.

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Welcome to the family baby Kyneton

That’s it.

We then put it up and see how it goes πŸ˜‰

I really hope you continue to enjoy witnessing our little project and I’m excited for what’s to come in 2019 and beyond!

As a last comment I do strongly recommend you try and start your own blog because the benefits from it outweighs the negatives.

I thought I should keep my details private. Nope, you know what suburb I live in and what my family gets up to.

I thought I could get by having a blog without having to do selfies or shoot videos with my wrinkly face πŸ˜‰ Nope, you’ve seen me up close and personal.

I thought I’d never have the confidence to spell, write and speak to people that aren’t friends or family without exposing my failure of being a poor student. Nope, I did it anyway.

You can share things that help you and others which is very rewarding… just with a little effort and steady consistency.

I love you all.

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Looking forward to what’s ahead in 2019!

With love,

Belinda xo

Time Management

Time Management

Hi guys,

I write a lot about establishing a routine.

It works like a framework because not everyday is the same but the best thing about a routine is that everyone knows what’s happening.

Part of having a routine helps reduce the stress and increase my happiness.

Something we all subconsciously think about but never talk about.

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Backyard fun πŸ™‚

Here are the 3 main things that I choose to focus on:

  1. Manage my ME time
  2. Manage my couple time
  3. Managing the kids

ME Time

This is always something that can be improved.

As a full time Mum I often fight this feeling of being inferior.

I stay home so there’s always ‘free’ time.

It’s easy to be home because you’re not doing anything.

The list goes on.

Let me tell you that if you choose to stay home or work part time or work full time it comes at a cost for all Mums.

The stigma IΒ feelΒ is that Mums shouldΒ be working.

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There are many reasons why I feel this way.

  • Peer pressure from other Mums making me feel less important because I’mΒ justΒ a housewife
  • Financial pressures with the rising cost of living
  • Being more isolated and lonely living away from my immediate family
  • Feeling like being a home maker is not valuable

A way around feeling bad is having the constant and open communication with my husband.

For instance, we believe in having one parent at home trying to help raise our children.

Your journey may be different but we’re all trying to get to the same destination – to be happy.

So in order to protect my ME time I always work on feeling ‘ok’ about being at home to being with.

It might be a 30 min break while 11mo Ky is napping and Eme is at Montessori school.

Or my nightly Neighbours time at 6:30pm πŸ˜‰

It’s these little nuggets of time that I can carve out for myself to be ok with being by myself.


Couple Time

There are 2 main times throughout each day that Leki and I try and connect regularly.

In the morning with our breakfast routine and at night when we put our phones on airplane mode and we talk to each other for > 30 minutes.

Every morning we spend breakfast together because my husband gets home from work late and a family dinner doesn’t suit us.

So we make the time to have a good hot breakfast together and spend a good amount of time talking about the day ahead, what’s happening on the weekend and looking forward to future plans.

On a typical morning when Eme leads us for our morning prayer to bless our food, my husband Leki has already cooked our hot breakfast and Ky is waiting patiently πŸ™‚

We usually talk about how Eme is going at Montessori school/Gymnastics then we talk about our numbers on the scales and Leki measures his blood readings.

Just before we finish up breakfast we then grab Eme’s calendar and Eme practices using and reading a calendar.

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Fun times!


Family/Kids Time

Our 3yo Eme knows her night routine (we call it a wind down routine).

After dinner she has 30 minutes to either have some screen time or play before she’s brushes her teeth, goes to the toilet, says her nightly prayers before reading her books eventually falling asleep.

There’s no more tears or tantrums because we’ve stayed consistent with her routine and she’s happy sleeping in her own bed in her own room.

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I’ve talked about prepping food because it frees up your time during the working week.

We either pre-cook food on Fridays (if the weekend is busy) or Sundays.

Once we’ve bulk prepped our meals then we are set for the next 5-6 days πŸ™‚

Time management is important for the working person so why shouldn’t it be important for families too?

If you let things drag out or procrastinate doing things then it all piles up PLUS you lose out on doing the fun things because you’re playing catch up.

Washing piling up in the laundry, dishes staring at you in the sink, kids are fed and cranky, hubby is home and wondering why the place is upside down. It doesn’t feel good does it?

Another things that time management can help with is spending quality time with your family.

Even if it’s a short time.


We can pack that all in because we prioritise our time.

There’s a lot less rushing around because we consistently talk about the plans coming up and mentally prepare for what’s required to make it all work smoothly.

And what’s the final result?

Less Stress and Happiness – my original goal to begin with.

I hope you continue to do the things that make you happy πŸ™‚

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YAY!

With love,

Belinda xo

I’m Losing My Hair

I’m Losing My Hair

Hi guys,

Today I thought I’d share with you one of my primary weaknesses – my thinning hair.

The biggest fear I have in losing my hair is looking like Golem from the Lord of the Rings πŸ˜‰Gollum_Render

I may be over doing it a bit but you can understand my worry.

So my hubby and I went into a little deep dive on what may be the cause of my hair loss.

We like the informationΒ relating to biohacking and general well being from Dave Asprey and the team at Bulletproof πŸ™‚

Here is a recent blog post from the Bulletproof guys that I will be directing a lot of my energy on.

Leki also enjoyed listening to the BulletproofΒ podcast which helps give us more information on this topic and everything related to biohacking.

After reading the research/blog post above – here are the top 3 things I am going to do in order to help reduce and reverse my hair loss:

  1. Reduce stress
  2. Reduce inflammation
  3. Monitor my hormone levels

Stress

Dr. Sophia Kogan MDΒ reports thatΒ stress is a huge component of hair loss.

The body’s stress hormone –Β cortisol – causes a 40% drop in the production of key compounds that protect your hair follicles and help them grow.

When these 2 key compounds (hyauronic acid and proteoglycans) are depleted or reduced then your hair falls out. Sometimes it never grows back!

So what am I going to do?

The big positive thing in reducing stress directly reduces the load on the nervous system.

So if I can reduce my stress and make it a conscious part of my daily habit it can help unload my nervous system.

How am I going to do this? I’m going to challenge myself by doing these 3 things!

Something I’m going to be working on is being grateful in the moment. Challenge: I’m going to thank someone everyday and it’ll be a random text/call to friends or family and I can’t send a thank you to the same person πŸ™‚ So that’s 365Β different people I’ll be send a message to! Or even a simple thank you throughout the day will do!

This has been a big problem for me. Apart from having a 11 month son who struggles at night I’m also a night owl staying up at night on my phone. Challenge: Keeping my phone on airplane mode and out of arms reach when I go to bed.

Although I been losing a lot of weight it has not been from a lot of exercise. This is another big weakness of mine.Β Challenge: Committing to a 4 min Tabata/HIIT program of burpees. 20 seconds ‘on’ doing burpees and 10 seconds resting.


Inflammation

Although the direct link of chronic inflammation and hair loss is not clear Dr. Kogan believes there is a correlation.

So she’s saying that a lot of people who have hair loss problems also have chronic inflammation problems!

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Going baldy πŸ™

So what am I going to do?

I feel I have this one in pretty good check.

We have been a practising paleo family for over 2 years and most recently upgraded to a cyclic ketogenic food strategy with intermittent fasting for over a year.

This has greatly helped reduce my inflammation. I’ve written a lot about this in my monthly weight loss update.

If you’re unsure about what to do then check out these guides to help with your well being πŸ™‚

The biggest challenge is setting a new routine and being disciplined with the small changes over time!

BulletproofRoadmap_Rebrand_outlined720

 

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Hormones

Thyroid andΒ testosteroneΒ imbalances are also key causes of hair loss.

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Be careful!

These 2 hormones affect the growth of hair and can cause the hair follicles to shed.

The report continues to show that both thyroidΒ (either high or low thyroid activity) and testosterone imbalances can be managed with medications.

**CAUTION** These common medications prescribed byΒ your GP and over the counter products can also give you problems!

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Caution!

Minoxidil commonly known as ‘Rograine’ and FinesterideΒ are medications I’ve seen on TV adverts and in the pharmacy but I haven’t used them before.

As I understand it, these medications block the pathways that make these hormones – thyroid and testosterone.

Minoxidil blocks thyroid pathways which can give you scalp inflammation, oily residue and irritation (dandruff) which contributes to hair loss.

Finersteride which alters testosterone can cause loss of sex drive, erectile dysfunction and problems ejaculating. Major problems so please consider medications carefully!

So what am I going to do?

Easing stress will definitely help – so the first point takes care of that for me πŸ˜‰ But,Β  something I need to improve on is working on my gratitude and exercise.

Nutrition also helps balance your hormones and the second point covers that for me too πŸ™‚

I’m choosing not to make this too complicated for me right now.

Instead of trying to foods that’s hard to find or buying ‘quick fix’ supplements I’m going to focus on gratitude and exercise first.

Once I’ve made those changes consistently I’ll review how my hair regrowth is going and if it’s still stalling I’ll then try some other measures mentioned in the report (like eating adaptogens and monitoring hormone levels closely)

I have recently organised to have a blood test looking specifically at my hormone levels. Then in 6 months I’ll get another blood test for my hormone levels and compare.

Fingers crossed.

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So there you go.

I’ll be looking to monitor my hair regrowth and keep you updated πŸ™‚

In 6 months I’d like to update you on how I’m going with my gratitude and exercise program. I’ll also show you some before and after with my hair regrowth.

Looking forward to sharing the results with you.

Wish me luck πŸ™‚

 

With love,

Belinda xo

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

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

Hi guys.

This is the 11th month of my monthly well being journey and it has been a great teacher.

It has taught me some things about myself like being patient, to be open minded and to understand new ideas.

It’s also challenged me to think about changing things once I’ve found it wasn’t working out so well.

This is only possible once I was able to be structured with my day by establishing a routine that works for me and my little family πŸ™‚

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Nov 2018 – 68.9kg πŸ™‚

Well it’s 21 November 2018 and I weigh 68.9kg!!

I’ve lost over 26kg in 11 months πŸ™‚

A quick summary 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)

Episode #9 – Sept (The Main Struggles)

Episode #10 – Oct (The Bali Body)

 

Jan
94.9kg in Jan 2018 down to 68.5kg in Nov 2018!

One of the biggest transformations I’ve made over the year has been my weight loss.

But the biggest change has been my way of thinking.

I’m not worried about losing weight anymore because I’ve achieved all my goals – numbers wise.

The next thing I’ll be focusing on isΒ having more energy.

I’ll explain a little more further on πŸ˜‰


In my family, November is a very busy month.

The Melbourne Cup public holiday, my birthday, Mum’s birthday, cousins, nieces and nephews also celebrate birthdays and being the middle of Spring everyone feels the warmth of summer around the corner!

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Lots of birthdays in Nov!

Having a lot of celebrations mean challenges with food choices and trying to be disciplined.

Often the conversations I have with my husband Leki revolves around how we are maintaining our discipline with our food choices and decision making.

For example, when we celebrated our ‘collective November’ birthdays at a local pub Leki and I looked at the menu earlier in the day and discussed what would be the best option for us.

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Sharing a plate πŸ™‚

We talked about the portion size, whether I’d go steak with vegetables instead of chips and Leki would go a burger with chips and we’d share. That way we don’t over indulge on the bad things but we still have a bit of fun.

Or another example is when I’m at home and planning a day out with my kids.

I purposely eat what’s been prepared at home and take a few little snacks like fruit to make sure I’m ‘happy full’ at home and avoid being tempted while I’m out.

It’s the little things that over time give you a BIG result.


What’s new?


Last month I wrote about wanting to have more energy available to do the things that I want.

β‡’ Energy to be more patient when I’m frustrated

β‡’ Energy to wake up and attack the day

β‡’ Energy to take setbacks and bounce back to my feet

β‡’ Energy to address some of my mental health worries like not feeling good enough

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Nov 2018 – 68.9kg πŸ™‚

Part of having energy is recognising when something is not good for you.

βˆ— Have I been spending too much time watching TV?

βˆ— Am I on my phone too much?

βˆ— Have I had too many snacks today?

βˆ— Do I really need to eat this cake?

βˆ— Is gossiping really good for that relationship?

βˆ— Is it healthy to always be thinking negative thoughts?

βˆ— Am I staying up too late at night?

 

Here are 3 things that I’m planning to do to create more energy for myself:

  1. Stretch out my fasting window
  2. Reconnect with long lost friends
  3. Start new relationships

My Fasting Window

I have been practising intermittent fasting since April 2018.

It is the pattern of eating where you only eat within a certain window and then you fast for the remaining time – fasting window.

Traditionally I’ve been eating in an 8 hour window from around 8am to 4pm.

I then fast (miss dinner) from 4pm to 8am the next day. A lot of the hard work is done when I’m sleep 6-8 hours which is still apart of my fasting routine πŸ™‚

The interesting thing is I still had my 3 x meals within my 8 hour window.

My first meal (breakfast) was at 8am, then my BIG meal was lunch at 11am then I had a smaller meal (dinner) around 2-3pm before having a snack or something light before my 4pm cut off.

Later at night when we’ve put the kids down to bed I have a cheeky glass of red to relax and enjoy a nightly program with hubby.

FYI: we’re watching Jack Ryan atm πŸ™‚jack ryan

Well what’s changed?

I’m now shortening my eating window and increasing my fasting window to 18:6.

18 hours fasting and eating within a 6 hour window within a 24 hour day.

I am now eating from 11am-4pm.

So I have my Bulletproof coffee and apple cider vinegar + hot lemon water in the morning at 8am but my first meal (is now at 11am. ‘Lunch’ is at 1pm then my final meal is around 3-4pm.

I’m getting closer to where Leki is atm as he’s practicing 20:4.

Fast for 20 hours and eat in a 4 hour window. His first meal is at 1-2pm and his final meal is at 6pm with little fruit snacks in between.

Our eventual goal is to practice OMAD –Β One Meal A Day.

This can be something I talk about later with you πŸ˜‰

Surprisingly, as I’ve restricted my eating window and eating quaity wholefood the result is more energy!

So where am I placing my new found energy?

I’ve chosen to spend my energy on things that make me happy.

With leads me to my next 2 points – reconnecting with old friends and making new friends πŸ™‚


Reconnect with old friends

When you’re home full time with kids you can be starved of adult conversation and entertainment.

It’s great to be able to connect with friends and talk about things other then nappies, tantrums and poor sleep.

A few drinks to blow off some steam can help too πŸ˜‰

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Girls night out!

Recently I had a great night out with some girlfriends at Fox101.9 RnBLive concert.

It was a chance to relive our youth by having some popular RnB artists from our younger days. Usher was the headlining act but there were plenty of others for us to get our groove on!

Just being with the girls gave me a booster shot of energy into the arm!

With this new found energy and time that I’ve created for myself I’ve reached out to old girlfriends from high school.

It’s been great to keep tabs on each other with the help of Facebook and social media.

We’ve managed to organise times over the next fortnight to meet face to face and reconnect again!

Looking forward to seeing how everyone has been over the last 15 years (since we finished high in 2003!)

Another source of energy is with my Mothers Group.

There are 3-4 ladies are going strong now since we first came together almost 4 years ago!

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Eme’s 1st birthday – felt like such a long time ago πŸ™

Since I moved from the city to the country it has been challenging to see the Mum’s as regularly as I would like but we try and maintain.

We’ve got a few play dates lined up so it’ll be good to carry on from where we left off last πŸ™‚

Belonging to a social group can improvement your health both physically and mentally.

Trying my best to eat well and organise myself around a structured routine allows me to have more energy to do difficult tasks.

Tasks like putting yourself out there and trying to organise a get together.

Having the energy to think about how I can organise my week, thinking about how I’ll manage my kids for the day and how I can have some fun πŸ™‚


Start new relationships

After moving to a new part of Victoria I’ve opened myself up to meeting new Mums in the area.

How?

Well there’s Montessori Mums.

We have our 3yo enrolled at our local Montessori school and next year she’ll be in school 3 x half days PLUS we’ll be enrolling our 1yo forΒ NidoΒ classes once a week.

There’ll be some down time to get to know some Mums πŸ™‚

Apart from school we’ve enrolled our daughter to our local gymnastics school.

She’ll be put up into the next class in 2019 and so we’ll be meeting some new kids and Mums which should be exciting.

The last group are Social Media Mums.

I’ve connected with quite a few Mums which is really nice and I’m excited to be apart of our little community.

Looking forward to learning and sharing knowledge over the journey πŸ™‚

Meeting new people can be exciting because you have a chance to ‘reinvent’ yourself within the new relationship.

I think it’s always important to be true to yourself and be respectful of everyone around regardless if they’re new faces or old friends.

It’s always energising to meet new people πŸ™‚

Jan1


Final thoughts…

I am looking forward to achieving my goal of squeezing into a size 10 dress by Christmas!

This has been my adjusted goal since I’ve lost my baby weight down to 69kg.

I’m going to a wedding in early Dec and I’m trying on lots of different dresses which is equally exciting and stressful.

In my next update (in December) it will be my last update on this particular theme of ‘losing weight’.

From 2019 onward it will be about doing things that make me happy and what energises me.

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts.

 

With love,

Belinda xo

When I was 16

When I was 16

Hi guys,

Last week I celebrated my 33rd birthday with my family.

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Mum and I celebrate our November birthdays!

It was a great time to appreciate the things you have like health, happiness, safety, and security.

When I reflected on how my life is… I started thinking about the time when I was 16yo.

Maybe you can relate.

When I was 16yo I remember lying on my bed staring at the ceiling in my room thinking… “what is my future going to look like?”

“I wonder when I’ll get married”

“I wonder what my husband will look like”

“Will I ever find the right guy?”

“I want to get married before I’m 25”

“25?? Wow… that’s SO old” πŸ™‚

“When will I start having kids?”

These questions continued on and off from when I was 16yo until well into my 20s.

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Doing my traditional dance (ta’olunga) on my 21st birthday

I remember praying everyday that I would meet someone that would genuinely love me.

The real me.

The Belinda that blushes bright red when I have a simple conversation.

The Belinda that can’t spell too well.

The Belinda that is a simple home body.

The Belinda that works in a factory.

The Belinda that loves her family and supports her community.

The Belinda that is happy with the simple things.

I thank God everyday for the life I have but I had to put the intention out there for the universe to understand what I wanted in this life πŸ™‚

So as I reflect on my 33rd birthday I am grateful for all the things that I’ve experienced.

I’m now double the age from when I was staring into my bedroom ceiling as a 16yo and I smile about the things I was thinking about then and how I am now.

I have a loving husband, 2 beautiful children and we are happy and healthy in our own little house in the suburbs.

If I were to give myself advice knowing what I know now this is the Top 3 bits of advice I would say to 16yo Belinda:

  1. Be kind to yourself and don’t try and please everyone
  2. Be the person you want to attract
  3. Live your life today and don’t dwell in the past

Be kind to yourself and don’t try and please everyone

So here’s the thing.

As a hormonal 16yo all you want in the world is to be liked by everyone.

I know that trying to tell a teenager that everything you are going through, the things you’re feeling, the stresses of your school life, the pressure of you family life the weight of expectation you put on yourself… it’s all in your head.

Talk a breath and just relax.

The number one person to worry about and look after is you – 16yo Belinda πŸ™‚

The more you can improve yourself and learn from your experiences then the better adult you’ll develop into.

Trust me.


Be the person you want to attract

Let me tell you a true story.

Earlier I mentioned that every night when I was 16yo I’d lie in bed – I would pray to God to help me find the man of my dreams and to help me understand my future.

I don’t know if that was just a hope that something was going to happen for me or if there was some divine intervention that would deliver ‘prince charming’.

Anyway I prayed every night without fail.

Then I would go to sleep and wake up and continue on with what I was involved with. School, my Catholic community, many family events and celebrations.

Fast forward to when God brought Leki into my life my prayers have changed from helping me find myself and my future to being thankful and appreciative of the life I live now.

Thank you God for the blessings you have given me.


Live your life today and don’t dwell on the past

I have a past.

My husband Leki has a past.

That can be a limiting factor in some relationships because the past weighs heavy on what’s happening today.

Leki and I believe that trust is something that you spend a lifetime building and only takes a moment to lose forever.

We can move on to enjoy today and embrace tomorrow because we have learnt the lessons from yesterday πŸ™‚

That’s not a good or a bad thing – it is what it is.

I can’t control what’s already happened but I can control how I feel about things.

Live for today Belinda.


Well, that’s the messages I would give my 16yo self if I had the chance.

I remember the confusion, excitement and promise I had as a 16yo and even though I’m in my 33rd year I feel like I have more energy and expectations of myself now then I did then.

As they say – the only person you should be comparing yourself to is theΒ old you.

Love yourself Belinda and work on the things that make you happy.

Hmm.. I wonder what would the 50yo Belinda tell the Belinda of today?

Our daughter Emelina will be 21 and our son Kyneton will be 18.

Will we have more children?

Do we live in Gisborne still?

Am I happy?

Do I have my body still or have I let myself go with menopause πŸ˜‰

I’ll have to wait and see.

Do the things that make you happy.

With love,

Belinda xo

Babyproofing the Home

Babyproofing the Home

Hi guys,

Our little boy Kyneton is now 10 months and started crawling (finally)!

He has sticky little hands that like to explore all sorts of things around our home.

It’s been a couple of years since we last baby proofed the house when Emelina (3yo) was starting to be adventurous so we had to dust off all the protective equipment again.

Emelina had some falls off the couch onto the floor and some other near misses.

Although we believe that accidents can teach the kids a few lessons it’s never nice to deal with the tears πŸ™

So here are some of the major changes we will be making for little Ky:


Bed

TheΒ Montessori Method encourages children to explore their environment and to be curious.

In terms of bedding we will look to move Ky form his crib to a single mattress on the floor rather then a ‘big boy bed’.

Here’s what we decided to do sleeping wise with our kids:

  • Bassinet next to Mum and Dad for 3-6 months
  • Move kids to the crib in their own bedroom
  • Progress onto a single bed after 1 year

With Emelina (who’s now 3yo) we had here in the bassinet until 3 months and then in the crib in her own room.

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Early morning fun with Ky and Eme

She was in her own ‘big girl bed’ by 12-14 months.

Kyneton was in the bassinet for 6 months as his sleep was more interrupted then Eme’s.

He’s now 10 months old and we will be planning his move to the single mattress on the ground in the next 6 months πŸ™‚


Kitchen

Like any household the kitchen is the biggest challenge with baby proofing.

Lots of draws and cupboards, cutlery and sharp objects, big heavy pots and pans, hot oven and liquids and poisonous things under the sink.

Based on our experience with Emelina she started walking around 12 months.

It’s also around this time that we started smacking Eme. Nothing too heavy handed just enough to correct her behaviour.

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Magnetic locks are pretty handy in the kitchen!

So we were able to teach her where the hazards were.

We also had a few protective measures put in place.

We bought some cabinet locks and gated locks.

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You already know we love Aldi!

Living Room

Now that he’s started to crawl we just have to make sure there’s not too many small objects on the ground.

He’s like a little vacuum.

Everything goes in the mouth πŸ™‚

We let him crawl around the living room on the floor but monitor himΒ  as he explores his new environment.

Sometimes when he tries to open the TV stand cabinets to poke and play with wires we give his hand a little smack and say ‘No Kyneton’ in a serious tone.

He lets out a little cry and then looks a little confused.

He then reaches out for the cabinet door again and we repeat the little smack on this hand.

He’s beginning to learn that the smack is not very nice and playing with the cabinet door may not be a good idea πŸ˜‰


Bathroom

I wrote about one of my favourite purchases recently which I picked up off Gumtree.

It’s a baby bathing seat anchored to the bathtub via suction.

Ky really loves baths and looks forward to it but most of the time he showers with Leki.

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Happy times πŸ™‚

Other then that either Leki or I are always with the kids in the bathroom so there’s always a pair of eyes around πŸ™‚


To be honest we are more relaxed the second time around.

The first time round with Emelina we were more fearful.

We still take care with how we let Ky explore the house but we aren’t as quick to his rescue.

He’s a pretty happy camper now that e’s crawling and we’re looking forward to when he’s on two feet and running around…

But not too soon.

With love,

Belinda xo

Bali vs Phuket

Bali vs Phuket

Hi guys,

Exciting post for you today as I’ll do my best to compare two very popular holiday destinations for Australians.

Bali in Indonesia and Phuket in Thailand.

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This is our personal experience and your results may vary although we had a heap of fun at both πŸ™‚

I’ve been fortunate to travel to both hotspots within 4 months of each visit earlier this year in 2018.

I’d like to present a comparison from the perspective of a family of 4 – Mum, Dad, 3yo Emelina and 9mo Kyneton.

Enjoy πŸ™‚


Flights

Apart from accommodation – flights are the one of the biggest costs of a holiday.

Phuket in June 2018 for 10 days

  • Cost us $6,000 for a couple and 3yo (our 9mo was free)
  • Flew with Jetstar (although we had almost a year to plan this trip)
  • Flight was $2,600
  • Accommodation was $2,125
  • $1,500 for spending money

Bali in October 2018 for 6 days

  • Cost us $5,500
  • Flew with Garuda (we planned this trip in 2 months)
  • Flights were $2,116
  • Accommodation was $2,240
  • $1,000 for spending money

Garuda offered a full service and we definitely enjoyed the shorter 5 hour flight!

Jetstar was a struggle. Although it was clean and comfortable the 9 hour flight with 2 little kiddies was a massive buzz kill!

We were big fans of the food on the Garuda… not so much Jetstar πŸ™

Garuda to Bali is definitely the winner here!

Bali 1 – Phuket 0.


Accommodation

gaceland

We stayed with my family at the Graceland Resort in the northern beaches of Patong (Thailand). It was clean, the staff were friendly and we were a short walking distance from everything you need like markets, food stalls, massage parlours and the beach.

We’ve just returned from Padma Resort Legian (Bali) and it too was clean and close to everything.

In terms of what both resorts offer – they have a lot of activities for families and the pool facilities were awesome.

I must say the pools, extra curricular activities and general set up of the Padma Resort wins out here again for our little family.

They have a fully staffed kids club where your kids aged 4+ can be supervised and entertained while making new friends as the parents relax and unwind.

The pool areas within the Padma was also superior.

There are 3 types of slides that kept our little 3yo Emelina very busy and Leki also had his fair share of fun too πŸ™‚

The entertainment and in-house restaurants offered within the Padma were great!

We participated in themed dinners like a Full Moon festival with cultural floor shows, a Japanese night and cuisine and a local Indonesian dinner.

Great memories!

The biggest kicker was the babysitting services available at The Padma Legian.

We hired 2 x babysitters through the Hotel to look after Ky and Eme for 3 hours while Leki and I finished off our shopping and got an hour long massage together πŸ™‚

Although we were a bit tentative we were relieved that it all went to plan and both Ky and Eme didn’t even notice we were gone!

Bali 2 – Phuket 0.


Shopping

In Phuket we managed to visit the markets in Patong, Karon and Kata beaches. We also travelled to the night market only available on Friday nights.

I was able to fit a lot of fitness clothing, tops and sets for the kids, shoes and bags. The cost range from <$5 for an item (small tee shirt) to ~$40 for 4-6 items.

It was helpful to walk around with the calculator and dividing every Thai Baht number by 25 to convert to my Australian currency.

In Legian we visited the local market plus travelled to the bigger Kuta market.

Not as many things to buy compared to Phuket but the shop keepers were a lot less aggressive which I enjoyed.

Sure they want to make a sale but as you turn to leave they allow you to leave without trying to hassle you down the street like they did in Phuket.

I’d give this one to Phuket just because they have a larger range of things to buy.

Bali 2 – Phuket 1.


Food

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Let me just start by saying that as a family we’re not super picky about what to eat.

We have preferences to eat things that are healthy and will give us energy rather then take our energy away (like sugar and bad carbs).

The great thing about both Bali and Phuket is the fresh food!

The fruit platters, fish, vegetables and juices are all freshly supplied by locals.

You can taste the difference and it gives you more energy to attack your day!

A little note – our 3yo Emelina developed a mild allergic reaction to (we think) satay or peanut sauce and we woke one morning in Bali to swollen eyes!

We were able to source some steroids (in liquid form) which quickly settled her symptoms after the Clarytyne didn’t help.

The major deciding factor for me were the readily available fruit and crepe stalls that are around every corner in Phuket.

In Bali you can order all sorts of drinks and food within a restaurant but I really missed the roadside carts.

Close one but I’ll give this one to Phuket πŸ™‚

Bali 2 – Phuket 2.


Safety

Both areas are prone to Mother Nature and drunk people.

In Thailand most of the recent ‘troubles’ have been in Bangkok not so much Phuket (which is a southern island).

I would say Phuket is definitely the busier night scene with dance bars and Bangla Road being a crazy part of Patong!

Bali is mostly a Hindu region but Indonesia is a 90%+ Muslim country.

Many Australians in both Bali and Phuket are respectful and courteous but there were some Aussies that didn’t do the right thing which reflected poorly on the rest of us.

End of year footy trips and the boys were getting to drunk and rowdy, others were bogans from the suburbs, some didn’t show any polite etiquette being plain rude.

I hope the locals understand that not everyone behaves like them!

The road traffic appears chaotic with cars driving in the opposite direction, bikes zooming and weaving between cars and people jumping out of nowhere to cross the road.

We saw the crazy traffic in both Phuket and Bali.

Although it seems random there is a sort of ‘give way’ courtesy that the drivers offer one another.

It’s like they know when they should wait and give way or when it’s their turn to move forward/turn. Funny to watch!

At the entrance to both Resorts (Graceland and Padma Legian) there’s always a security check and they verify every car and taxi that enters the resorts.

This always helps keep things in good order!

With all that said I felt safe in both locations.

Bali 3 – Phuket 3.


Entertainment

enetrtain thai [2]

If you’re after some night spots with a group of friends or a nice quiet drink with your partner Phuket would be my recommendation. It caters to all types of people.

We have travelled to Phuket as newlyweds, with a group of young adults and with a large group booking with many families and kiddies.

Thailand caters to all your entertainment needs.

Beach activities, family activities, adventure tours, relaxation, massage, bars and beaches it has you completely sorted.

I got the impression that Bali is a little more conservative with their way of life.

You can see it in the market stall vendors, the friendly staff that wait on you at a restaurant or the guys at Padma.

The Balinese just seem nicer.

There may be a lot of entertainment available in Bali but we didn’t see it.

We were happy to mostly stay within the Padma resort and be entertained there πŸ™‚

Given that we are a family of 4 and been to both locations I would call this one a tie.

But, if I was a single girl wanting a big week with the girls or travelling with a few friends and their partners I would most likely recommend Phuket just because there’s more to do.

If I was older and wanted more a relaxing holiday minus the hustle and bustle I would recommend Bali.

This one for me is a tie.

Bali 4 – Phuket 4.


Summary

It really depends on what you want.

Given that we will be in family mode for the next little while if the opportunity to go overseas presents itself we’ll most likely pickΒ Bali over Phuket.

Why?

A big factor is the 5 hour flight and it’s cheaper spending wise in Bali.

The flights and accommodation are pretty much the same unless you pick up a great deal πŸ˜‰

We don’t mind missing out on the adventure and party stuff for now – we’d prefer a nice family resort like the Padma Legian again in the future.

But, once the kids are old enough and it’s just Leki and I again… we may have to return to Phuket and have a party LOL

We’ll cherish this family time always.

With love,

Belinda xo

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

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

Hi guys.

Welcome to Episode #10 on my monthly weight loss journal.

It has been such a ride!

A quick summary so far:

  1. Baby no.2 born 3 Jan 2018 and I weighed in at 94.9kg
  2. First goal was to safely lose weight to 69kg by June 21 for our family trip to Thailand… ended up losing to pre-baby weight of 75kg… not a bad effort!
  3. Adjusted goal was to comfortably fit into a size 10 dress and be < 69kg by Christmas 2018

Well it’s 24 October 2018 as you read this and I’m currently 69.1kg!!

I’ve lost over 25.8kg in 10 months πŸ™‚

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YAY!

To give you more of an idea of how I battled the ups and downs over the journey you can read my month by month account below πŸ™‚

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)

Episode #9 – Sept (The Main Struggles)

I have to be honest.

There’s been another reason why I’ve been wanting to lose weight.

It’s to fit nicely into a bikini while I’m in Bali.

When am I leaving?

TODAY πŸ˜‰

infinity-pool
Infinity pool at Padma Resort Legian

Yep, I jump on the plane with my family and we’re having a little getaway with my in-laws (my hubby Leki’s family) staying at the Padma Resort.

I’ll have more feedback for you about the resort and how we find Bali because we are big fans of Phuket (have been 3 times so far) and it’ll be interesting to see what the differences are from one to the other πŸ™‚


What’s new?


I like reporting on things that were helpful and challenges with my weight loss strategy.

It helps to keep me accountable by reporting things to you plus I like being able to review the story especially when I find things are difficult.

I’ve been fortunate to be on this journey with my husband and together we can ‘hack’ was works and what doesn’t work for us right now.

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Lost 25.8kg and the last goal is to get into the size 10 summer dress for Xmas

So… I’ve reached all the goals I’ve set out since Jan 2018.

β™₯ I’ve lost weight

β™₯ The lovely size 10 summer dress is around the corner (no thanks to my frumpy pear shaped body)

β™₯ I’m in a bikini and feeling sexy

What now?

Well, after a little bit of thought about what I want to achieve next – here it is:

I want more energy

β‡’ Energy to do things I want

β‡’ Energy to be more patient when I’m frustrated

β‡’ Energy to wake up and attack the day

β‡’ Energy to take setbacks and bounce back to my feet

β‡’ Energy to address some of my mental health worries like not feeling good enough

Who couldn’t do with more energy?

So how will I get more energy I hear you ask?

Here’s a little insight into how my husband and I will make it work:

  1. RESEARCH
  2. ROUTINE
  3. REMEASURE

Given that my husband Leki is very active with driving our health plan I’ve invited him to write about it. Enjoy πŸ™‚


Research

I work in the health field as a physiotherapist and I can tell you that a love of learning can help.

I’ve always been a curious person and when I finished playing competitive sport as a 29yo I noticed that my health was not as sharp as it once was.

What made it worse was when we had our first child – Emelina – in 2015.

I knew drastic measures had to be taken and quickly as both Belinda and I were getting quite unhealthy!

Belinda has written about our first weight loss effort in 2015 – HERE.

So what are our couple goals 3+ years into our health journey?

My goals are about longevity and quality of life and Belinda’s is to have more energy to do the things she wants.

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Down to 69.1kg just in time for Bali πŸ™‚

So how do we achieve these goals in a cost effective and timely manner?

With monitoring the quality of food that’s on our plate.

Let me explain.

Early on in our health loss plan our primary interest was to lose weight.

Now we have lost weight and both our bodies have achieved something called ‘adaptation’.

Adaptation means that our bodies are able to tap into multiple sources for energy consumption efficiently.

Our bodies can run on carbohydrates, fat and/or protein depending on what we have in supply.

If your primary energy source (food you eat) is from bread, wheat, rice aka gluten foods then your body’s primary fuel source is from carbohydrates/sugar.

If you subscribe to a low carbohydrate diet (paleo/keto etc.) then your body will be usingΒ fat/ketone bodies as your body’s fuel source.

There are many studies showing the benefits of a low/no carbohydrate diet producing benefits such as:

  • Clear thinking
  • Reduced appetite
  • Improved performance
  • More energy

Once we had the discipline to stick to our paleo/wholefood diet and then layer intermittent fasting on top of that we were able to achieve adaptation pretty quickly.

We can cycle in and out of being in a ketogenic state (using ketones as our primary energy source) because we have achieved appropriate adaptation.

For example, if we are ‘good’ for 5 days of the week from Mon-Fri then we can afford to refuel carbohydrates aka cheat meal(s) because our bodies are very efficient in using up the newly supplied carbohydrate energy source (over Sat-Sun) and then we can revert back to ketones over the working week.

I hope that makes sense.


Routine

To achieve our set goals of losing weight (Belinda) and longevity (Leki) we both agreed that it should be ingrained into our lifestyle.

It shouldn’t be a chore, it should be something we are excited about.

We are genuinely happy to prep our meals together.

Yes it can be repetitive and a drag spending 2 hours on a Sunday cooking meals but we look at it as a wise investment of time.

Investing 2 hours cooking on a Sunday will give us 4 hours of freedom every work day = 20 hours for the week to pursue whatever we want.

If you’re a stay at home Mum – think about the prep time to make lunch and dinner everyday… it takes a toll on you and your time doesn’t it.

After time well spent on the weekend all Belinda has to do is pre-heat our prepped meals and away she goes!

For me – I get to eat good nutritious food which will keep my mind and body happy plus I save money on spending on take away food.

Win/win really.

Another big part of our week is our exercise routine.

Granted, we both could be better with our efforts but we try and get regular movement going daily.

Belinda’s ranges from walking to the local park/shops for 1 hour or her home-based HIIT exercise program.

I really enjoy my body weight training and all the guess work is taken out of the equation as it’s a ‘plug and play’ type system.

I am a big fan of Gymnastic Strength Training. Check them out!

I’ve been doing home based body strength training since Oct 2017 and although my results are slow and gradual it has been very rewarding.

My traditional weaknesses of flexibility, upper body strength and balance is improving with each effort!

Belinda will aim to walk into town 1-2 per week depending on the weather and continues her 10-min HIIT session 3-4 times per week.

Her program consists of 3-4 different exercises and she goes at 80% intensity for one full minute until the timer goes off and continues her circuit of 3 exercises until the 10 mins is up!

My gymnastics training alternates during the week.

Following the online schedule I spend 4-5 x 30 mins blocks of effort per week.

So I might work on some upper body and core based exercise progressions for 30 mins on Mon morning.

Then work on trunk and lower body work using the Olympic rings on Tues night.

Wed morning session for the upper body and core again with a rest on Thurs then lower body and rings on Fri night.

Depending on how quiet the weekend is I’ll maybe do an additional block.

The key thing with gymnastic training is that form and consistency is the primary goal! I’m looking forward to showing you my progressions over time!


Remeasure

We continue to track our daily weight on the scales and this helps give us some measure of the trend.

In the early days of our weight loss journey the number on the scales was very important to us.

Now not so much.

Why?

Belinda has achieved her target of being 69kg now (just in time for Bali).

Plus I’ve been happily around the 84kg mark for over 6 months and steady.

It’s more aboutΒ how we feel now!

20180803_080055
106kg down to 84kg – 22kg lost! Happy days

In order to accurately measure ketones I spent $80 buying a blood monitor with ketone + glucose strips to monitor my blood reading daily.

This can help us understand how our body reacts to certain food and how our lifestyle affects our ‘insides’.

At the moment I measure my blood readings first thing in the morning and I keep a spreadsheet on what the numbers are daily. That’s keeping track of my weight, ketone and glucose readings.

Over time I will start to take measurements before and after my standard meals throughout the day and see how the levels spike or stabilise depending on what I’m eating.

Fun times ahead!


To summarise we want let you know we enjoy trying to stay in good shape. Both inside and out!

But we also acknowledge that it comes with a time and pocket cost.

Both Belinda and I believe that putting time in NOW and spending money NOW on our health and education which will benefit us NOW and in the FUTURE.

What do I mean?

Because being in poor health – TAKES your time and it TAKES your money both NOW and in the FUTURE.

Looking forward to the next monthly update and I hope you’re all happy and healthy wherever you are!

But for now – Bali here we come.

Yours in health,

Leki, Belinda, Emelina and Kyneton

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

IMG-5c692758ff1aefdee3078ee0ed5ff2f1-V
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 πŸ™‚

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.

IMG-7f68abf11e58cd9f762c0f475ba23697-V
All smiles πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜‰

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 ourΒ 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 πŸ™‚

IMG-c8dc4e303ec4b24a39c9aff02ad539d8-V
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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

Discipline is always a work in progress.

IMG-7d86483874c74349c27b1fb362cf5244-V
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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ™‚

I hope you enjoyed this post.

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Leki 33yo, Eme 3yo, Ky 9mo and Belinda 32yo πŸ™‚

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.

grandma tongaa
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.

grandmaa
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: