Welcome Back To School!

Welcome Back To School!

Hi guys.

I’d like to revisit this post from last year. Read about it – HERE.

51604138_3166936666665636_4771188536726519808_n

I wrote about tearful parents saying goodbye to their kids as they return to school for the new calendar year!

Traditionally, after the Australia Day public holiday is when children and parents are gearing up to returning back to school!

For parents, it can be a time of relief… FINALLY I can send them back so I can have some time back for myself.

For kids, it can also be a time of relief… I remember sitting at home waiting to go back to school because I was sooo bored at home πŸ˜‰

For new kids at school, it can be a time of excitement and anxiety.

51357565_3166935669999069_310936476676259840_n

My nephew is starting Prep at his local Primary school and I can see him smiling ear to ear brimming with pride in his fresh school uniform.

My little Emelina returned to school yesterday although it’s 4yo School it’s a big upgrade for us!

She’s gone from 2 x half days to 3 and can potentially go to 4 x half days depending on how she goes.

Plus we’ve decided to continue her development at our local Montessori School.


So why have we put in Emelina back in Montessori?

Because Leki and I believe in the philosophy. Please take the time to read below from our school website:

Capture

Emelina is in herΒ first plane of development and is in Cycle 1 amongst 3yo-6yo.

We have observed that this is great for her development as she’s one of the ‘younger’ kids in the class she’sΒ pulled up by the older kids in some of their habits and they shape the way she learns.

51284387_3166936136665689_5144594213211471872_n

For example – think about that time when you were young and impressionable and you had older siblings or cousins that you hung around. You thought they were so cool and taught you interesting things. You wanted to learn more about what they were showing you that you followed your natural curiosity toΒ learn.

Another benefit we’ve observed is that although Eme prefers to hang out with the older kids she can help the smaller and younger kids. That’s all part of the plan.

Another example – imagine you are hanging out with your younger sibling or cousin. They look at you wide eyed and astonished with everything that you do! So as the thoughtful older sibling you would try and explain things in simple terms, or gently show them a way of doing things that easy or just be more gentle with them.

We are proud that Emelina is enjoying her education experience.

But, she’s far from being an angel.

Eme likes being first.

First in the line for an activity.

First to demonstrate something.

First to eat at snack time.

51169455_3166936743332295_534993942572171264_n

She’s learning to take turns and understand that we all have a turn in the ‘spotlight’. It’s not really the concept of sharing it’s more about understanding there’s a time and place to be competitive.

It’s ok to be second is the lesson she’s trying to learn!


Well that’s my little update on Eme’s education experience.

Little note – we’ve entered our 1yo Kyneton to Nido (pre-school/’nesting’) class for a 1hr supervised session per week. It’s really about getting him in another environment with some specialised play.

More on him down the track!

Not looking forward to being one of the tearful Mothers saying goodbye to the kids heading off to school full time πŸ™‚

51495585_3166935023332467_8790446720761724928_n

With love,

Belinda xo

Australia Day

Australia Day

Hi guys,

Today is an appreciation post.

20190129_111313
Yeodene, VIC

I live in Australia with my Family in the city of Melbourne.

There are so many things that I am grateful for.

The clean air I breathe, the smooth roads we drive on, the standard of living, opportunities for work, support services and technology available and having my extended Family around me that are easily accessible.

20190128_171518
Forcing a smile before pool time πŸ˜‰

Australia Day is a time where I spend it with my loved ones.

It also reminds me of how lucky I am to celebrate life here in Australia.

It could have been so different.

20190127_115510
Father Peter O’Toole was very warm and welcoming

I could have been born in the Islands where my Mother is from.

Although it is a happy place it is still a third world country.

Tonga was dubbed the ‘Friendly Islands’ by Captain James Cook on his passage through the South Pacific Ocean and yes it is a friendly place to visit but compared to Australia… well there isn’t any comparison.

20190128_173059
Ky is not happy in the water πŸ™

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m proud of my heritage and the culture and customs that come with it.

But let me be clear – I’m Australian first and Tongan second.

Proudly Australian but of Tongan descent.

20190128_170806

I spent the Australia Day weekend with my husband Leki’s family at an AirBnb in Yeodene (almost 1 hour inland from Geelong).

We shared stories, made new memories and made time to be together.

We’ll look ahead with great energy and see what 2019 holds for us!

Plenty of surprises I’m sure πŸ˜‰

20190126_233033
Happy days!

I hope you had a great long weekend and spent some time being grateful for how good we really have it.

With love,

Belinda xo

Kyneton Turns 1!

Kyneton Turns 1!

Hi all,

My son just turned ONE YEAR OLDΒ on 3 Jan 2019.

IMG-b445a76579c67a7e21457ecfb754c1a8-V
My little birthday boy

If you missed it – I documented my real birthing process minute by minute in an earlier post – HERE.

WARNING – YOU WILL SEE SOME BLOOD OF A REAL MUM HAVING A BABY πŸ™‚

Unbelievable how quickly time has gone.

So today I thought it’d be helpful to talk to you about how we organise little gatherings and a lot of it comes down to early planning and asking for help with the preparations.

IMG-e64a3755cc71205e41a3426b41395fe9-V
Never mind his presents – happy with his balloon LOL

Here are my Top 3 recommendations:

  1. Plan Early
  2. Ask For Help
  3. Make Sure Your Guests Have Fun!

Plan Early

My husband Leki and I started planning for Ky’s 1st birthday around August last year.

The main thing we talked about was when and where.

We decided to push his birthday party to later in the month as 3 January most people are away on holidays.

The next thing that drove our decision wasΒ whereΒ we would have the party.

That came down to cost and convenience.

We had thought about a Water Park, local gardens/park, the backyard, at a play centre, at my parents house, in a Hall but either it was too expensive or dates were unavailable.

IMG-daddb9e94d32e3a6d9d4e937f4e5a367-V
Making memories

Then we thought about Eastern Beach in Geelong.

It was perfect!

45 mins drive from Melbourne, kiddies pool, diving boards for older kids (adults) πŸ™‚ and plenty of green grass for the family to enjoy!

BEST OF ALL IT’S COMPLETELY FREE!!!

The only thing that we can’t depend on is the weather.

Now on the day we were blessed to have great sunshine and a cool breeze in the shade. So happy! πŸ™‚

But… we were so afraid it would be overcast with rain which was what was forecast for the whole week leading into the birthday weekend. Lucky for us it turned on just in time πŸ˜‰

IMG-7980621fa6047b816ff29f2b7b26cc51-V
Daddy & Son time

So now that we had a location we decided to plan for the Australia Day weekend but when Leki rang the council to enquire whether we could put up a 6m x 3m marquee they said a BIG cycle race was on the long weekend. “The Cadel Evans Great Race”Β would essentially shut down the whole city of Geelong. Lucky he rang!

So we pushed it forward a week and decided on 19 January 2018.

We made that decision in Sept 2018!

So from Sept to Dec 2018 we started buying little things to help make it easier for the day. Leki bought a big esky from Costco, a large marquee from Bunnings and I organised the little banner and decorations early so I didn’t have to stress closer to the big day!


Ask For Help

Nothing great can be achieved by yourself.

Ask for help!

IMG-0ac8f847c2f7e1cd31e0f0e9fa00dc87-V
My little Family of 4

We are fortunate to have a wonderful family surrounding us that can help in any way they can. Offering help with food preparations, donating their time to help, organising the kids to get there even though parents have to work, contacting me to see if there’s anything that needs doing and lending a hand to shop for things especially juggling a few kids πŸ˜‰

Believe me it’s a ‘good’ stress when you are running an event but when you have some help it makes it enjoyable as well!

IMG-c76b5e6b46859fafcd4fd9de502d79ea-V
Thanks to everyone who came and helped make the Day successful!

It feels so humbling when you have Family that are so helpful and it’s coming from a place of genuine love.

THANK YOU EVERYONE πŸ™‚


Make Sure Your Guests Have Fun!

Everytime Leki and I host an event we try and spend time with everyone to make them feel welcome and special because we realise everyone could spend their time doing something else.

But, they chose to give up their beautiful Saturday to spend it with us celebrating Kyneton’s 1st birthday.

IMG-5ee9bc271189f3266d0754d2dd52e9f5-V

A little hack we like to think about is if we were being invited to a party what would we like to do or have done for us?

Being in the open we thought it was important to have shelter, comfortable chairs and space for everyone to relax.

We also wanted plenty of food so people could enjoy themselves and then take some things home to eat later in the day or the next day.

IMG-3ab6fe78b8cca8b549895b3bdf2e0ca6-V
Kiddie Pool

Another thing was looking after the kids and making sure they had fun. We planned little games to play and wanted to make sure they had plenty of swimming time, play time and adventure in the sun πŸ™‚

For the older members of the Family we wanted to make sure there was plenty of shade and comfort for them out of the sun.

All in all I can say the day was a success and a large part of it was due to the great weather and planning the day out as best we can!


 

In closing this is a sad post for me because although we had a lot of fun my little side kick is growing up.

We’ve enrolled him into our local Montessori School with Eme which is only an hour per week just to get the hang of things and to introduce some Montessori ideas (we started Eme at Montessori at 18 months).

Aside from that we are looking forward to my hubby’s birthday in February then Emelina’s 4th birthday in March.

Time flies when you’re having fun πŸ™‚

With love,

 

Belinda xo

Meal Plans v3.0

Meal Plans v3.0

Hi guys,

As with all things you start to review what’s been working and what needs to be improved.

Well I can tell you that our food strategy has been working very well and the prep work to free our time has been working a treat πŸ™‚

Then it gets to a point where you stop and look where you can gain further improvements based on what you can see.

I wrote about our Meal Plans that are easy to prepare in Nov 2017 which was then later updated on Aug 2018.

salmon sweet potato
Option #1 – Wild caught salmon, asparagus, sweet potato and avocado

For example, when we first set out on our weight loss journey in 2015 we kept it really simple and decided to cut out sugar and any grain foods.

After a few weeks we noticed that our appetite changed, the food cravings changed and our energy increased despite eating less.

Most recently we’ve then continued with our wholefood/clean food sources and follow a cyclic ketogenic strategy since late 2017/early 2018.

We both lost even more weight and gained even more clarity and energy!

Both Leki and I are now in a place where we want to eat betterΒ quality food.

Minced beef
Option #2 – Grass fed minced beef with spiralised zucchini

We’ve been educating ourselves on how meat and vegetables are prepared industrially before it reaches our local supermarket for us to buy.

This post will be an update on where we are choosing to buy our meat into the next phase of our wellness plan.

Basically we’re reducing our reliance on processed meat from factory farms and we’re looking to source from grass fed animals for the quality of their nutrients.

Following the healthy ketogenic strategy we are practising a high healthy fats, moderate protein and low carbohydrate game plan πŸ™‚

Just a quick recap – we are switching the body’s fuel source to rely mostly on healthy fats (ketone bodies) rather then glucose (sugar) or protein although the body can tap into all 3.

We follow a lot of resources to guide our journey – Dave Asprey from Bulletproof, Tim Ferriss from 4-hour Work Week and Dr. Berg. Here’s a short video that can help spell out the basics of a healthy ketogenic diet πŸ™‚

So if we’re relying on sources of healthy fats to power our bodies we need to make sure the food we eat are jam packed with great nutrients.

Unfortunately if you are eating meat from animals that are factory raised then they are usually given grain which is a carbohydrate. As they say you are what you eat.

But, if you eat farm raised, grass fed animals then you are eating meat loaded with the healthy fats. Add in the great vegetables, avocados, MCT oil with our Bulletproof coffee and grass fed butter then we are set up for success!

beef burger with lettuce
Option #3 – Grass fed beef burger (minus cheese)

We live in the Macedon Ranges and we are fortunate to live amongst some great organic farms and butchers. Here are our new sources for meat:

So we still prepare the same meals as our last update the only difference is the source of food. So we still shop at Aldi but we are now purchasing a lot less and going more local with the fresh produce.

The next thing we’ll look into is finding a great fruit and veg shop as I’ve come to learn a few things about that as well (which I’ll share on the next Food update).

I have also made the commitment to stop eating as much chocolate and sweets and we’ll look to make our own. These include:

  • Chai pudding with Almond milk
  • Keto chocolate bombs

It’s been hard to let go of the Tim Tams as we’d have it almost every night with our wind down routine when the kids sleep.

Leki has worked his way down to “one meal a day” (OMAD) and I’m being more strict with my intermittent fasting window and avoiding more of the naughty food.

This may seem like hard work but we genuinely enjoy it.

It helps keep us healthy and happy to do things we want with more joy and energy.

 

Hope you’ve found your happiness.

Belinda xo.

My Core Beliefs

My Core Beliefs

Hi guys,

A little controversial post today.

I started this blog without really telling you my beliefs and core values.

Why is that important?

It will give you an idea on how I think and where I stand on issues.

Here we go!


Couple first, Kids second

In order to run a happy household we believe that the Mum and Dad should come first before children.

It sounds harsh but the reason is that if Mum and Dad are on different pages then how can the kids thrive?

The husband and wife connection is most important.

Kids are not silly – they can read Mum and Dad and can play us against each other πŸ™‚ Our little 3yo Emelina is already trying this tactic on us!

20160805_112946
Eme growing too fast πŸ™

So if Mum and Dad are effectively communicating and are aligned on their thinking and core values then their message will be consistent when we get tested by the kids.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2017 stats) the highest chance of divorce is around the 12 year mark and when couples approach the mid-40s to early-50s.

So thinking about that a little more closely – let’s assume a couple got married in the mid-20s and started having kids straight away. By the time you’re in your mid-40s:

  • Kids are more independent and in their late teens/early 20s
  • Kids may leave the home/empty nest syndrome
  • Stress of money as kids are at peak expense (phones, clothes, car, bills!!)
  • Work, work, work and less time

After 20 years of hard work and slogging away and then POOF! The kids disappear and it’s just you and your hubby again.

The only problem is that in 20 years the communication between you as a couple may have stopped or dropped off dramatically.

20160804_162758
2016 at National Gallery of Victoria

Maybe priorities have changed and too much focus was placed on the kids rather then your primary relationship as husband and wife.

You may start to think about what else is out there.

You might start to think about what you missed out on.

You then begin to feel like trying some new.

Then all of a sudden divorce can become a real conversation.

This is not something I’ve made up.

The Australian Government statistics show a 5% increase in the rate of divorce from 2016 to 2017 (although the trend of divorce is reducing compared to 15 year ago in 2001).

Our personal view is that the couple’s relationship for the family is like a house.

The foundation is the husband and wife.

The kids sit on top of us as the house.

The strongerΒ the foundation then the more support and sturdy the house will be πŸ™‚


Discipline and Routine

I write at length about this very topic.

Our belief in discipline and routine shows in all aspects of our lives.

 

20170514_114833
Eme and Nana at Church

Review the blog posts below for more details on how we go about it as a Family.

Disciplining our kids.

Shaping their curiosity and learning with the Montessori Method.

Faith and reflection by going to Church.

Morning and night routine.

Health and exercise.

Food choices and preparing nutritious meals.

Time management and making time for important things and people.

For us it’s not about reading and thinking about these topics. It’s about action and living it πŸ™‚

20170821_144343
Eme having down time with Grandma Taina (RIP) Miss you!

Traditional and Conservative

This is the hardest point for me to share with you.

Why?

I almost feel like we are the silent majority.

20180205_185153
My little family Feb 2018 for Leki’s 33rd birthday

Father works for the Family and Mother nurtures the Family.

I’m a proud Stay at Home Mum.

I wrote earlier about this being one of the main priorities even in the early days of our relationship as a couple – before we got married.

The world today is much different to that of our grandparents.

Technology allows easier consumption of content and connection.

20180622_152525
Pool time in Phuket 2018

New ideas are embraced.

Great improvement in lifestyle with travel overseas much easier and affordable.

Opportunities for a better life. (Both Leki and I come from migrant parents)

All of these positive improvements in our lives come at a cost.

We almost live in a 24 hour economy.

“Customer service to be available on demand”.

“Longer trading hours at the shopping centre”.

“Now open longer”.

“On call whenever you need”.

Yes, you have more opportunities to earn more money.

At what cost?

I don’t begrudge you if your circumstances are different from mine and you are a working Mum.

All the more power to you.

I’m a supporter of your right to do what’s best for you and your Family.

All that I ask is that you give the same support back to me in our decision to do what’s best for my Family.

Right now it’s to be a Stay At Home Mum.

20180817_105617(0)
Off to Sydney for the weekend!

Once all the kids are a touch older and independent I may decide to go back to some part time work or volunteer position.

But our priority is setting up a Healthy & Happy Home πŸ™‚


This post is not intended to come across to you as judgemental.

I believe in putting my intentions out to the Universe so that I have solid footing to stand on.

I’ll promise to keep an open and respectful mind while I do what’s best my little Family.

Love always,

20171226_115503
Xmas 2017 – 2 weeks before little Ky arrived!

Belinda xo

[UPDATE] ‘Project Breastfeeding’ (Pt.3)

[UPDATE] ‘Project Breastfeeding’ (Pt.3)

Hello everyone.

Today I’d like to update my “Project Breastfeeding”Β post from Part 1 –Β Mar 28 2018 and the following update Part 2 onΒ Aug 9 2018.

Those blog posts were when my baby was 3 months (Mar 2018) and 7 months (Aug 2018).

This will be my last update on this topic as I’m almost running out of breast milk.

Plus the timing is perfect!

Why?

Today is Kyneton‘s 1st birthday πŸ™‚

Yep that’s right – I pushed this little boy into the world on this day at around 10:20pm last year.

What a New Year gift! (We’ll celebrate his birthday later in the month)

20180103_224736
Welcome to “Team Sisifa” Ky in 2018!

So reviewing my breastfeeding journey I wrote in my first post that I struggled with regular comfort feeding at night and nipple soreness/blisters.

Those nipple creams were a life saver!

It was then a process of getting into a routine with little Kyneton’s feeding routine.

I first set out to breast feed Ky for 1 year after a lot of lessons learnt from my first child Eme (3yo).

I was only able to breast feed for 6 months with Eme and this time I really wanted to go for as long as I can.

My husband Leki and I researched what we could do to achieve this 1 year goal.

A lot of our research pointed toward being healthy.

That meant eating well, plenty of water, physical exercise and reducing stress! Seems pretty simple when you say it out loud but it’s another story when you try and apply it in your daily routine.

After a lot of educated trial and error I found a great routine within the first 4 months of constant breast feeding.

I went all the way with complete breastfeeding without topping up with formula.

That’s until I noticed Ky preferred my R breast and as a result my L breast didn’t produce as much milk after 4 months.

By 7 months my L breast stopped completely. The R breast was still going very strong though πŸ˜‰

I continued to breastfeed solid for 10 months when I decided to top up with formula at night – as I couldn’t produce enough breast milk alone plus we had already started introduced some fluids at 5-6 months then solids at 8 months.

At 11 months I began weaning off the breast and he was running on 3-4 bottles of formula per day and eating solid food comfortably with his daily meals.

What’s my formula of choice?

I like Bellamy’s Organic brand.

Ky likes it too πŸ™‚

900g-step-1-front_615_360x360

So this is a happy but sad post.

My son is growing and thriving to the point that I’m in my last moments of breastfeeding.

I’ve gone through the process of carrying him inside me for 9 months, then having him attached to me for regular feeding and now I feel like I’m releasing him into the wild to fend for himself πŸ™ LOL

This “Project Breastfeeding” post was aimed to document my progress with 1 year of that mother-son connection.

An additional benefit is that I can share with you what helped me get through the year.

My biggest take away to continue to product milk is to be happy and healthy.

Cliche but it’s the truth!

Worked for me πŸ™‚

Who knows if we have baby #3 at some point I might try and aim for 2 years of breastfeeding.

We’ll see.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey with me and thank you for keeping me accountable to my goal.

On to the next one.

 

With love,

Belinda xo

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

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

Hello everyone.

This is the last time I’ll post my weight loss journey.

Why?

Because I’ve achieved my goal of being 69kg and maintaining it.

My adjusted goal of fitting a size 10 dress will be something I’ll continue to work on which I’ll share with you down the track πŸ™‚

But for right now here’s a recent photo where Leki and I attended a friend’s wedding in early December.

wedding

Not quite a size 10 dress but it is a dress I last wore in 2014 which makes me feel good that it still fits me πŸ™‚

Review the story here:

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)

Episode #11 – Nov (More Energy)

I will be continuing to shine the light on this theme of reducing my stress and increasing my happiness in 2019.

Today I will review my New Year Resolutions I set late last year πŸ™‚


What’s new?


In December you start to think about 2019 and what you hope to do and achieve.

This time last year I wrote a blog post about Fear Setting.

My Top 3 Fears heading into 2018 were:

  1. My baby boy being born with a disability and complications with the birth
  2. Family member dying suddenly and losing the ‘spark’ with my husband
  3. Not being able to lose weight

If you have followed my story so far then you will know all these unknown fears before 2018 were very real to me but as time went on they were unfounded.

Let me unpack these fears and reflect on how the year went despite my fears:


My Newborn Baby

On Jan 3 2018 I gave birth to baby #2 – Kyneton.

I outlined in that blog post the circumstances of how little Ky arrived into the world.

2 hour labour, last minute changes, umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and a happy healthy bouncing boy.

Leading into the birth I had some worries that Mums can often think about.

“What ifs”.

What if this happens or that happens?

At the end of 2017 leading into the New Year I was happy and healthy.

We had moved from the metropolitan city to a regional town called Kyneton and as a family we made the big country adjustment pretty smoothly.

Little Ky’s nursery was all set up and ready to go and I had great people around me like my husband Leki, my sisters, both sets of parents, family and friends to count on for support.

Despite all the good feeling I still felt like the “what if” scenarios kept creeping into my thoughts.

We are close to celebrating Ky’s 1st birthday and he’s a rough little nut who explores this environment with his sticky fingers like any 11 month would.

So as it turns out – Fear #1 was completely debunked.

He’s as healthy as we could hope for!

20181225_062720
Sweet dreams little Ky

Fear 1 out of 3 busted πŸ˜‰


Life’s CurveΒ Balls

I remember thinking at the beginning of 2018 that this year will be such a big challenge.

I have 2 kids now which comes with it’s own sets of challenges.

We live further away from friends and family which will force us to be more resilient and independent plus present opportunities to make new friends.

We continued Eme’s enrolment at our local Montessori school and also put her in our local Gymnastics School.

To make things a bit easier on us we decided to move 30 mins closer to Melbourne and resettled in Gisborne. A lovely village town less then an hour away from the CBD!

We were also continuing with this theme of small regular holidays for a reboot of the system and to enjoy our family while we can! We prefer to make small trips to local Big 4 camp sites but I had 3 x overseas trips within 4 months. Thailand in June, Tonga in September and Bali in October! This is not a usual thing believe me!

The trip to Tonga was especially difficult because my Grandmother passed away very suddenly. If you would have told me that the last time I would spend with Grandma Taina was in May 2018 I wouldn’t have believed you. She was so strong and happy at 87yo. I miss and love you Grandma! πŸ™

One of the biggest challenges I worked on this year was being happy.

Together with the support of my husband we’ve talked about how we can have more time to do the things we want.

A lot of that is being on the same page with disciplining our kids, our evolving morning routine, our wind down routine at night and making couple time a priority.

A big part of 2018 has been food prepping!

It has creating more time to do the things we enjoy more then anything else we tried! Highly recommend your family to create more time πŸ™‚

Although I didn’t set out toΒ be happy orΒ reduce my stress being on a well being journey helped me realise what was important.

Being able to recognise when I’m stressed or not actively being happy has been a key learning for me in 2018.

couple
Couple Time!

Winning my Fears in 2018 I’m 2 from 3 πŸ™‚

Winning!


Losing Weight

I can’t lie.

I’m really proud of my weight loss effort this year.

Started with good intentions a couple of days after having my second baby.

I tracked my efforts with the food we chose to eat, how and when we would try and exercise and feeding my mind with happy thoughts!

I never thought it would take me further then just numbers on the scale.

yah
Christmas Morning πŸ™‚

Started at 94.9kg I’m now 68.4kgs – comfortably.

I’m not starving, not worried about what I eat, not worried about cheat meals and I have plenty of energy and enthusiasm to win my day.

This would be the gift I’d love to give you for Christmas.

Knowing that at the other side of weight loss is your growth into a improved version of you.

Fears knocked out of the park – 3 from 3 πŸ™‚


Final thoughts…

What’s my Fears for 2019?

Here they are:

  1. Not having enough ME time
  2. Not being being able to stand up for myself
  3. Not being able to have more babies

I’ll unpack these Fears next time but for now IΒ hope you enjoyed your Christmas with loved ones.

Here’s to the best version of you in 2019!

With love,

Belinda xo

Planning for Baby

Planning for Baby

Hi guys,

This is a true story and it’s a little bit scary for me to share.

We thought we’d have babies easily when we started planning for a family.

We tried for 18 months before we were successful.

Let me start at the very beginning.

Leki and I started dating in September 2007 and got married on November 2011.

We were both 26 years old.

2008
Our 1st year anniversary in 2008

Those 4 years from 2007 to 2011 we discussed all things that young excited couples dream about.

Where we would like to live, buying our first home, holidays, looking forward to events and parties and when we would eventually have children.

We decided to enjoy ourselves as a couple for a few years before having kids… that was the master plan.

So for 5 years we were working away until we started to talk more seriously about kids.

We didn’t feel any pressure from family or compete with friends.

None of that.

We felt like we were in a ‘comfortable’ spot now to start trying.

It was November 2012 and we’d been married for 1 year.

We thought this would be a perfect time for me to stop working and concentrate on the next stage of our lives.

We couldn’t conceive for 18 months.

So after a lot of tough times Emelina finally arrived in March 2015.

When it was time to think about baby no.2 it took 6 months!

Then little Kyneton arrived on January 2018.

Both times it was stressful to think that something might be wrong with me πŸ™

2007
2009 – Early days at my cousin’s wedding

So here are the main points I would like to share:

  1. Planning
  2. Basal Body Temperature
  3. Be Happy

Planning

We placed a big emphasis on whether we could afford to have children and maintain a decent lifestyle.

We’re not big spenders but we would like to be comfortable.

Working on our family income and making sure we did our numbers gave us a sense of security.

After a lot of thought we felt the time was right to start trying.

Looking back knowing what I know now, I would have probably started having a family earlier.

Why?

We put it off for material things or for the thought that there’s time down the line.

I was wrong.

There is nothing quite like having a family.

Regardless of all the things you may think or hear, once you have your own flesh and blood your world changes.

20150113_111620
2014 – 6 months pregnant with Emelina

Basal Body Temperature

You want to know how we finally fell pregnant?

What worked for us was tracking my basal body temperature.

F2D_800
Digital basal thermometer cost about $15

Basically there’s a digital thermometer that can detect small changes in your core (basal) temperature.

Our family Doctor suggested using this device you can keep track of your small temperature changes.

Why?

The idea is to track when there’s a spike in your basal temperature which corresponds to the mostΒ fertile window of your menstrual cycle.

This is when you ovulate (the ovaries release a new egg).

I keep track of my menstrual cycle using an App which can help me determine when is the best time for some loving πŸ˜‰

I used the Period Tracker which is free to download on Android or iOS.

period-calendar-logo
Period Tracker works well!

So combined with the period app and tracking my basal temperature it gave me the best chance to fall pregnant.

So I had the thermometer next to me on the bedside table and it would be the first thing I do in the morning.

I’d then track the temperature everyday – you can use this table I found online belowchart2As you track your temperature you can see the trend of the readings and we decided to try on 3-5 days when I wasΒ most likely to conceive πŸ˜‰


Be Happy

I can tell you that in the first 18 months of trying for baby #1 I was so stressed and scared that I might not be able to have kids.

I was in a really dark place because I had stopped working and was mostly at home. My self worth was very low πŸ™

I was also thinking about my age and that I’m getting older (approaching 30) and my baby clock was ticking.

Looking back I think I was overthinking things and not looking after myself.

Thinking it would happen for us like a flick of a switch gave us a false sense of security.

I’m not saying I would have continued working while we tried to have a baby but I would have spent that time trying to improve myself.

Instead of feeling sorry for myself, eating poorly and blaming everything and everyone else.

If I had my time again I would have done these 3 things:

1. Start being healthy

Making better food choices, doing things that make me happy and regular exercise would have helped me get on the right path.

I started prioritising my health with Leki when we turned 30 after our daughter finally arrived. We should have done this much earlier!

If we had started getting healthy in our 20s I believe it would have helped our efforts to fall pregnant much quicker!

2. Try for a family earlier

Knowing what we know now we would have started a family earlier. 100%!

3.Β Try not to put too much pressure on yourself

Self explanatory.

I’ve been on a real crusade over the last 12 months to reduce my stress. It’s not something that you touch or feel but it’s something that you can measure by how happy you are.

Some stress is necessary to grow into a stronger person but excessive stress can be very unhealthy.

If I had my time again I would encourage that Belinda to do things that make you feel good about yourself.

27173122_2395860143773296_136744833243025159_o
2018 – Welcome to the family little Ky!

So there you have it.

18 months is not a long time for some couples who I know have been trying for years and YEARS and I acknowledge that that’s another level of stress that I cannot even comprehend.

All I can say is that I can understand the pressure that you’re under.

I’d be happy to talk with anyone who is struggling with family planning although I’m not a professional it’s more of a shoulder to lean on so we can compare notes!

I am absolutely blessed and appreciate all the good things that come out of tough challenges.

Stay strong Mama!

With love,

 

Belinda xo

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.

20170514_150500
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.

image-0-02-07-3047c50778d72ab8f42dea8ee7f0f5445e7392d68e0fb46aabfd8855f9e0acd9-V
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.

20170910_134739
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!

20171105_123605
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.

20180104_114927
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.

20180621_233054
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.

IMG-acf29b1ed9fc28b48943ced1b076a747-V
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.

IMG-b2cc826fd448b552d99af4997f5387ea-V

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.

20181201_193537

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.

IMG-ab427cbd580ce3996e9ca80dd8f2ad0c-V

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™‚

IMG-3180c62768faf5c3bd1819066e81beb5-V
YAY!

With love,

Belinda xo