4

How do you deal with toddler tantrums?

toddler_tantrums

The tantrums around here have completely escalated lately, to the point where we are having them at grand mal proportions. And yes I’m mostly talking about the toddler variety, though there have been a few adult versions as well in response to certain renovation ‘disasters’.  (Let’s not mention how laying the flooring on the stairs went. It’s done now, moving on…)

 

Tantrums I get. I don’t like them of course, but I totally understand wanting to push against the word ‘no’, especially when it must seem like it is only said to stop things that seem like fun.  I know that toddler tantrums are just a part of learning that no matter how much you flail your arms and scream that sometimes you won’t get exactly what you want, when you want it. Hell, we sometimes even forget this lesson as adults!

 

But the rage… I don’t understand the rage that completely takes over my (mostly) sweet and calm boy. It’s like he becomes possessed by it; hitting and kicking and screaming so much that his face goes bright red and I don’t even recognise him.  And he is not one to just lie on the floor either.  He will run, slam doors and continue trying to get whatever it is he thinks he should have.  Which makes the whole ‘ignore it’ tactic pretty ineffective.  Unless of course, you’re happy to ignore said child as he breaks things and hurts himself.

 

Yesterday it was over a Peppa Pig drink bottle that I didn’t buy. Today it was because his ice-cream ran out.  The day before last it was because we wouldn’t let him sit on the table.

 

Often they coincide with the refusal to have a day nap but sometimes they are also triggered by his determination that “I not need sleep Mummy!”.  And each time the only way I’ve been able to calm him, is to literally body lock him against me and rock and shhh until he finally passes out.

 

I feel like the tantrums are only ramping up as we head towards three.  Please tell me he’ll be over this by the time baby brother arrives.  (Lie to me).

 

And in the meantime… what on earth do I do to survive toddler tantrums? Hit me with your tips!  Distraction? Time out? (assuming I can find some sort of padded secure space to be the time out area). Take up drinking…?

 

 

2

Multitasking – friend or foe?

multitasking

 

We all multi-task. Well except for maybe Men – i’m only kidding of course they drink beer and watch the footy, so there’s that. (ha!)

 

But seriously, multitasking. I do it all day long. I make lunches whilst also making breakfast, and coffee, and shamefully probably washing up dishes from the night before as well.

 

I rarely watch tv without doing something else; reading, working on the computer, scrolling social media on my phone.

 

Whilst driving I’m usually listening to a podcast and if I could work out how to do another something whilst sleeping I would probably do that too.

 

It makes me feel more productive. But does it really help?

 

Like when I’m cleaning the house. Does it really make me more productive when I half do every job and don’t really get to the bottom of any single one? By the end of an hour it is not uncommon for me to have put a load of washing on, half vacuumed the house only to have stopped to pick up toys, emptied clean washing onto the bed but not actually put anything away and put all the dishes into the sink to soak (only to never come back to them later).

 

Clearly multitasking when I’m trying to clean the house does nothing but leave me feeling like the whole process is useless because I never actually get anything done. But what about in other areas?

 

Am I actually helping myself or making life a whole lot harder? I’ve decided to do an experiment. I’m simplifying. Slowing down. Focusing. I want to see if doing one thing at a time actually makes me feel better and I have a sneaky suspicion the result will be feeling less rushed, and I’m hoping the whole thing will result in a general feeling of more time.

 

So what about you? Are you guilty of multitasking everything? Do you think it actually helps you get more done and have you ever taken the time to notice how it makes you feel?

 

Want to join me in my little experiment in finding out whether multitasking is really our friend or our foe?

6

Wholefoods Chocolate Crackle Recipe

I really struggled to title this post and in the end I’m still not 100% with happy with calling them wholefoods chocolate crackles. It sounds so awkward and ugly.

 

 

I tossed up between choosing terms such as ‘healthy’ and ‘sugar free’, afterall there is sugar in them,  it just happens to come in the form of honey.

 

And the word ‘healthy’ differs in meaning depending on who you are and what information you agree with.

 

Some people don’t agree that coconut oil is healthy as only recently it was avoided as it is a form a saturated fat.

 

Others are still looking for low fat (blegh! And to think I used to be one of them!) while others still think of food in terms of numbers.

 

Anyway it seems maybe I’ve just been thinking too deeply about what should really just be titled DELICIOUS.  And for the record in my books they’re all good because they contain whole foods and I know everything that went into them.  Oh and they pass the toddler test so that’s all that matters isn’t it?

 

chocolate crackles

 

Ingredients

2 cups of puffed rice (health food ailse)

1 cup shredded coconut

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup honey

3 tablespoons cocoa or cacao

 

Method

Mix rice and coconut in a large bowl.

Melt coconut oil and honey and mix through cocoa.

Mix together and spoon into muffin cases. * If you prefer your crackles to be covered more just add a couple of extra spoonfuls of oil, honey and cocoa.

Refrigerate until set.

Try and hide them from the toddler so you get to eat some yourself!

 

chocolate crackles (2)

2

Make your own Maternity Clothes – DIY Stretchy Maxi skirt

I’ve got a secret to tell you. I’m a bit of a scrooge when it comes to clothes.  And when I know they have an expiry date, I’m even worse, which is why dressing when I’m pregnant is a little bit difficult.  This time I’m attempting to make a few of my own maternity clothes (also a part of a new years resolution to make more things for me, something that’s you know, only taken until September to happen.  All in good time!)

 

As much as I love the maxi skirt I made  earlier this year, now that I’m a fair bit bigger, the high waist is really not working for me. Enter the DIY stretchy maxi skirt.  Perfect for pregnancy as well as that awkward “I’m not pregnant anymore but still don’t fit anything period”.

 

You’ll need about 2 metres of fabric depending on your size (just check you can wrap it around your waist with room to spare – can you tell I’m all about the precise measurements?)

 

Make sure it is stretchy (jersey knit or something similar) so that you have plenty of room to get fat grow.

 

1. Measure your hips and add 5cm.  Divide that measurement by 2 and you are going to cut that length on the fold. Keep the scraps to make a tie cord, or you could just buy a length of cord for a few dollars.

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2. Fold right sides together and down the long length (this will be the back seam).  You could overlock it if you like but jersey knit won’t fray so I didn’t bother.

IMG_7591

3.  To make the waistband, fold over 2cm twice and stitch the top and the bottom all of the way around (we’ll snip a small hole for the cord).

4. To hem, simple fold over 1cm twice and stitch the bottom only.

(It doesn’t really matter which way is which as long as your pattern is facing up).

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5. (Apologies for no image – I think I got too excited to have something new to wear!). Snip a small hole in the center of the front and thread your cord through.  (If you’re making your own, cut three lengths from the scraps and plait together, tying off the ends).

stretchy maxi 1

stretchy maxi

How did you manage to dress yourself whilst pregnant without spending lots of $$? Did you make your own? Thrift? Know of any secret bargain places I should check out?

8

First impressions of our own making

first_impressions

Don’t feel sorry for me. There still was a lot of love at problogger. Photo courtesy of @katie180.

 

I’m sure you’ve all been there.  You’re at a social occasion and you don’t really know many people, so you look around for someone new to talk to.  Yet everyone seems so engrossed in their own conversations that you don’t know how you would even join the conversation without being completely awkward.  Or maybe you do try to approach someone and the first impressions you get from them leaves you feeling like they’d rather eat their shoe than have to talk to you any longer.

 

Which got me thinking…

 

How much are our first impressions based purely on our own shit; our own insecurities and issues, rather than what the other person actually thinks?

 

This was me at problogger last weekend. Yes, in comparison to last year I felt way more comfortable and mostly got over my feeling of being a very small fish. But there were still a couple of people who I would’ve loved to talk to, but I just couldn’t get over the feeling of being that little bit irrelevant to them. Like somehow the fact that my blog has a small following compared to theirs somehow makes me less worthy to talk to? I told myself they seemed a bit standoffish, that they weren’t interested in talking to anyone other than those in their clique niche.

 

But really, I have no idea what they were really like. Maybe they did just have resting bitch faces and all of my impressions of them were based purely on my feelings of inadequacy.

 

So then I was thinking (it’s funny how much thinking you get done when you don’t have a little person around to think for) … how many times do we do this is real life as well?  How often do I waste opportunities to connect with people because my impressions of them is negative but only because of my own issues?
And then the real question… How the hell do you get over doing that? How do you stop listening to your own insecurities and just take people as they are; resting bitch face and all?

6

Spring cleaning my diet (post Problogger)

spring_cleaning

So I pretty much spent most of Problogger ridiculously full and it’s probably a good thing I am pregnant otherwise I would certainly be having a food baby after two big days of eating learning.

spring_cleaning2

But I would be lying if I said that two days away are the only reason I need to do a spring cleaning of my diet.  After 3 months of morning all day sickness where I’ve just been eating anything that makes me feel better and then another month of being sick with the flu where nothing made me feel better, my diet has been pretty ordinary.  And I’ve been feeling it.  Tired. Sluggish. Lump-like. Oh wait, is that just pregnancy?

 

So I decided I would take on a bit of a Spring detox, just to do a bit of a reset to get back to healthy eating. Nothing crazy because … you know, pregnant lady here needs to eat every five minutes and certainly isn’t going to be able to survive on juice. Oh and the fact that I’m also feeding a 2 year old and a beer and steak fan, means that anything too drastic is likely to last about 5 minutes.

 

So what’s my plan? Wholefoods.  Real food. (Whatever you prefer to call it.) Basically food in it’s completely natural state (eg. an apple – duh!) or with fewer than 3 ingredients (if it comes in a packet it has to have an ingredients list 3 items or shorter).

 

It’s pretty simple really, and mostly what my diet looks like when I’m eating normally . Except every now and then we get lazy and convenience packets tend to creep their way in and before we know it we have all these things in our pantry that have far too many questionable ingredients (what is a humectant anyway?).

 

But I also know what I’m like. I know that I plan these things (mostly in my head) and then by morning tea the next day I’m already eating the first thing I can grab because I typically organise Eamon’s lunch and somehow forget to make my own.  So I knew I needed a real plan to make sure I could at least make it through the first day.

 

1. Cull the pantry of anything with questionable ingredients. Anything with more the 3 ingredients has to go (you could just pack them up for now if you’re uncomfortable at throwing away food).

2. Stock up at the Farmer’s market. The fewer times I have to visit a grocery store where my pregnancy brain will convince me to buy exactly what I don’t want to be eating anymore, the better.

3. Make a menu plan. Again this helps to reduce the number of times I have to shop, but also because I’m more likely to resist eating crappy food if I know dinner is going to be delicious.

4. Pre-prepare snacks It’s like my stomach only has two settings at the moment. Full and so completely empty I must eat RIGHT NOW! So you get what snacks have to ready to go, right?

 

Any other ideas for me? How do you plan your week to make sure you eat healthily?

6

The contradiction of taking time for ourselves

taking_time_for_ourselves

I’m writing this from the Gold Coast where I’m staying for two nights for the Problogger conference.

 

Two nights (and days) without having to prepare meals. Two nights where I don’t have to get up when a little person calls out.  Two days where I don’t have to clean or organise anything. Two nights (and days) where I only have to think of myself.

 

And how do I feel…?

 

Excited, a little apprehensive (it’s a big two days of learning that I came away from feeling very overwhelmed last year) and also… a little bit sad. (and maybe a touch of guilt – though I’m trying my hardest to squash that one)

 

This is longest I’ve been apart from Eamon since, well ever. I’ve left him overnight before but usually I’m back fairly early the next day so it hasn’t felt like a big deal before.

 

And it’s a total contradiction isn’t it. I’m an advocate for taking time for ourselves as Mothers. Whenever Andrew goes away I’m always saying how I’d love to be able to do the same, maybe not for as long as he does, but to be able to take that time out that makes you really appreciate the time you are there.  Its always the first advice I give to my friends who are Mothers when they feel they aren’t coping – “take some time for yourself”. Yet here I am feeling a little uncomfortable now that I have it.  Feeling a little bit lost, like I’m missing something (or someone).

 

So I’ve decided to take my own advice.  To keep pushing the guilt away and to see the small case of the sads as a good sign. It’s obviously a sign that I’m exactly where I’m meant to be in life, if the moment I step away from it, home is exactly where I want to be.

 

Tell me I’m not the only one who desperately craves time for me but then feels a little bit lost when I do get it!?

2

Little Mirrors

little_mirrors

Children are our greatest little mirrors aren’t they? They literally mimic back to us the best and the worst parts of ourselves.

 

I’ve been noticing this more and more lately as Eamon’s personality comes out.  I didn’t realise how affectionate I was, until I commented to Mum one day that Eamon is so affectionate. She replied “You know that’s because you are, right?”.

 

I think I could quite confidently claim his love for reading though, as Andrew still says he had read more books in the last two years with Eamon then he ever has before.

 

And as much as I don’t want to admit it, my negative habits are starting to shine through as well now.  I hear my own voice in his when he has make-believe conversations with his toys and is telling them off.  Actually in all honesty sometimes he uses this voice with me when he is not happy with what I’m saying.

 

His obsession with the iPad says a lot about what I like doing in my down-time and possibly what I spend far too much time doing.

 

And whilst I won’t claim his stubborness as entirely my own, I have noticed this trait shining through as well.

 

It defintely makes me think about the things I’d like to pass on, and those I’d rather not have him repeating.  And I’m not just talking about the obvious things like the swear words, which are definitely picked up on as something interesting to repeat now.  But also those things we inadvertedly think and say about ourselves that we pass on almost by osmosis.

 

+ I don’t want to pass on talking negatively about myself. {you know when you have those bad days where you pick yourself to pieces either out loud to yourself in the mirror}. I don’t want this to be what he repeats about himself, ever.

+ I don’t want to pass on that it’s ok to snap at other people when you’re stressed. {again not something I’m proud to admit that I do.}

+ I don’t want to pass on the tendency to keep doing, doing, doing, rather than just being and enjoying.

 

So tell me, do you have a little mirror at your place as well?  What habits are you trying to make sure you don’t pass on?

 

0

Why I Write.

Way back in July, Caitlin from Mother Down Under nominated me to respond to the blog hop ‘Why I Write’. Better late than never, right? It’s also probably not a bad time to reflect anyway – Problogger is now less than two weeks away!

 

why_I_write

 

What I am working on?

Too many things is probably the most accurate answer.

+ I have a book that is ¾ finished. It’s about Motherhood and nurturing ourselves whilst we raise little ones, and ironically I’ve been giving myself a huge break lately and just looking after myself, rather than finishing it. One day!

+ I’m attempting to get back to regular blogging here. Remember when I used to blog craft tutorials and yoga and motherhood stuff. Me too, (vaguely).   I miss it.

+ I’m still working with Caitlin on The Kindred Collective and whilst it will hopefully one day be a busy online space, we made the decision to start our focus on the local workshops. Our next workshop features Nikki Parkinson from Styling You and is for all women, not just Mothers. It’s going to be great!

 

How does my writing differ from others of its genre?

My writing probably differs because I break every rule about picking a niche and staying with it. My interests change and move between yoga, sewing, creating, craft, writing, motherhood, wellness, renovating, and general whinging (is that a niche?).

I always feel like others are more focused and know where they are going with their work, whereas mine tends to just be a narrative of where my scattered brain takes me.

 

Why do I write?

I have always loved to write.

I remember as a child I was always starting a new journal, scribbling down thoughts and recalling events (and never finishing the old ones as the perfectionist in me would always feel like the writing was too messy).

I started a ‘family newsletter’ when I was little and sold copies to my parents (always the entrepreneur). I think I even sold them a subscription which I never came through on. (Sorry about that Mum!)

Dare I say it, but I found university pretty easy because I can easily spin words out of thin air which is basically all you have to do at uni (oh and find someone important who said it first and credit them of course).

And now…? I just write about what I know; motherhood mainly, and my particular experience with it.

Why am I compelled to write about motherhood? Because it surprised me with its intensity and how little I really knew. Because I think too often we gloss over the reality of it when we speak to other Mother’s face to face yet really we all want to hear that everyone else is struggling too, that we aren’t alone.

And because I like the way putting my thoughts out there helps me feel more connected, that there are so many others going through very similiar experiences all around the world.

 

How does my writing process work?

I’d never really thought about what I do as a ‘process’ but I guess it is. For the blog, I mostly just note down ideas as they come and when I get a minute I start writing a post (usually in a Word document). Posts sometimes sit on my computers for ages as half written jumbles, other times if I’m really clear on what I’m writing about it will be published on the blog in the next few days.

 

And to keep this little hop moving along… I nominate Sarah at The Fifth Element Life, Julia from A WrittenRevolution, and Katie from Katie180.

2

Pregnancy Round Two. How it’s different.

pregnancy two different

Lots of people told me it would be totally different second time round and I sort of just nodded and smiled, in much the same fashion as I did when people told me having a baby was hard work.  Total in-denial naivete.

 

And yet here I am second time around finding myself exclaiming; “it wasn’t like this last time!?”

 

Choosing a Doctor and hospital.

Last time there was one doctor who was recommended in our closest town with a private hospital (1.5 hours away). So there was really no decision to be made, or perhaps I was just too naïve to look into making an alternative decision. Last time I diligently went to every appointment and never questioned why I was paying someone to weigh me. I rarely asked questions last time because I never really knew what to ask.

 

This time, I’m thinking about having a private midwife rather than an obstetrician who I only see for 5 minutes at the end. So far though I haven’t found said midwife or decided on a hospital, but I do have lots of questions ready for them. This time I’ve only seen a GP so far, and even though she has bulk billed me every time, I struggle to convince myself that I actually need to turn up to the appointments.

 

The nursery

Last time I had already started thinking about and buying things for the nursery. I borrowed the furniture and had started making bunting and upcycling a dresser. I’d probably even started putting the room together.

 

This baby isn’t getting a room, he/she is getting a ‘corner’. I’ve decided I need the spare room for grandparents to stay and help with said baby and active big brother. This time the cot will be in the corner of our room, although I’m not sure how that will work as Eamon only lasted ½ a night in our room as a newborn – I couldn’t handle all the snuffling! Also at the moment baby is sleeping in the corner in god knows what as we don’t have the borrowed cot any longer (my sister-in-law is also pregnant and needed it back).

 

Body

Last time by this stage I was still doing everything as normal, the nausea and exhaustion had passed and I was feeling great. I think I probably still fit in most of my regular clothes too.

 

Pregnancy round two and at 14 weeks I’m already scratching for clothes and regretting that I didn’t keep my maternity clothes from last time. My belly already aches by the afternoon and I’m still falling asleep by 8pm.

 

Motivation

Last time I was feeling creative and productive. I’d started sewing like a crazy woman making thousands of cloth nappies.

 

At the moment I struggle to motivate myself to do even the most basic things, and all creative production is non-existant.

 

House

Last time we were renovating and I was still holding heavy things up for Andrew at 8 months pregnant.

 

This time we are still renovating (albeit a different house) and I anticipate I will still be holding heavy things up when I go into labour.

 

Was round two different for you?  Are there any other charming second round pregnancy suprises waiting for me?