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Peace

I had lots of posts to publish this week. DIYs, and house updates and Christmas posts.

But the events of earlier this week makes it all seem a little bit… Irrelevant.

I found myself wanting to watch the events unfold, feeling all the feelings with tears streaming down my face, but in the end I had to switch off. I needed to switch off. I’m sure it’s mostly preggo hormones but I had a few days where I couldn’t get past the sadness of it all.

And yet at the same time my heart feels full of blessings and I find myself just wanting to unplug and enjoy them.

Yes we are working crazy hard trying to finish the house. But I’m taking better care to enjoy working late into the night, just Andrew and I, in the lead up to our last Christmas as a family of 3.

I heard that there was a fair bit of racist negativity on Facebook, and yet my feed was full of displays of solidarity and people sending peace.

So I may publish those posts later, or I may not. I’m not sure yet.

In the meantime I’m going to hold my little boy tighter, listen a little closer and enjoy this holiday season with all of its craziness.

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Win a Heavenlee Swimwear voucher

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We spend a lot of our day in togs.  And I’m sure that as soon as our pool is up and running we’ll pretty much just live in them.  Which means we need more than one pair, because NOBODY likes trying to wiggle back into wet swimmers, especially when they’re usually covered with a crunchy layer of sand.  Even Eamon, who is partial to eating sand, will have a whinge if I try to put wet sandy togs back on him.

 

Needless to say we have quite a few pairs and I dare say Santa will be bringing him a few more this year.  If you’re like us, you’ll love the prize I have on offer today. Heavenlee Swimwear have given me a $39.95 gift voucher to give away to one of my lucky readers.

Designed by Perth Mum Lee-Anne Stillitano, Heaven Lee Swim make the highest quality swimwear for both little girls and boys and best of all it is made from easy-fit UV50+ materials. Oh and did I mention, they are designed by an Aussie Mum?  Yep, I’m more than happy knowing my money is going towards a Mama like me.
All you have to do to win is leave me a comment here or on Facebook telling me what you would buy for your little one with this voucher. The winner will be drawn on Tuesday the 15th at 6pm.  Good luck!

 

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Christmas Traditions – Homemade wrapping paper 3 years on.

Wrapping paper tradition

 

Today’s post is exactly why I love blogging so much.  I love being able to compare Eamon each year, to see how he has changed.  Last year I thought he was so big compared to our first year.  But now looking at the photos of him this year I now see how little he really was. Will I do this every year? Look back and think how little he was?

 

Yes he was talking last year, but not really saying many words. Now we have full sentences and questions.  Oh the questions! 

Last year he was walking. But now we just run.  Often away from me which drives me insane!

Last year he was still very dependent on me and now I have this little independent person who has very strong opinions about what he likes and dislikes.

 

christmas wrapping

 

I also love that these little things we do year after year, also capture how we’ve changed and moved on.  Our first christmas wrapping was done in Bell. The house we brought Eamon home to. The place we met and fell in love.  Our very first family home.

 

wrapping paper

 

Last year, we were in a little flat, just Eamon and I, whilst Andrew and I were separated. Everything was uncertain and I felt unsettled.  I remember being sad about it almost being Christmas because I felt like I couldn’t look forward to my favourite time of year whilse I was so sad about my family falling apart.

 

And now this year.  I love that you can see the progress of our house renovations and dirt pit of a backyard behind Eamon.  I love that next year I will probably look back on this year and wonder what I was so stressed about.

 

christmas wrapping tradition

But mostly, I love that looking back on these photos of Eamon just makes me so damn proud.  So proud to be his Mama and so proud that this is my boy. Yes I know he isn’t doing anything out of the ordinary in any of these posts.  He is just a kid having fun with a bit of paint, so his cheapskate thrifty Mum doesn’t have to buy wrapping paper.  But seriously, look at my boy!

 

Ok gushing over.  Thank you for humouring this emotionally charged pregnant Mama.  What Christmas traditions do you do each year?

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Simple Christmas Bunting DIY

Despite having virtually no time to do anything at the moment other than try and put this house together in time for Christmas, I have found a few moments (usually when 3am pregnancy insomnia kicks in) to do some Christmas crafting.

What you need.
2 pieces scrapbooking cardboard
PVA glue
3m ribbon
Scissors
Pen
Ruler

 

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Step 1.
Mark up the back of your cardboard with triangles. I made mine 5cm high and 5cm wide. You can make cutting and ruling easier by offsetting your triangles. You’ll only have waste on each end.

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Step 2.
Cut out your triangles.

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Step 3.
Cover the back of each triangle with glue and stick them along the piece of ribbon. I made mine alternating so that both colours can be seen whichever way it hangs.

 

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Now all I need to do is decide whether it will be a tree decoration, on the wall or hanging vertically?

 

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What do you think?

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Christmas craft with toddlers

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When I started this Christmas craft with Eamon I was clearly feeling a little bit optimistic. In the end I had to completely let go of what I wanted this activity to look like, and just let him paint his hand with glue and hope that some of it would make it to the canvas.

 

Eamon was able to do all of the steps except for making holes in the canvas, though we did need to do it over a couple of days as his attention span was pretty limited.

 

What you need.

Canvas

Battery operated lights

Paint swatches in green (you could just use different coloured card)

Mosaic mirror squares (or whatever else you like for decorations)

PVA glue

Paint brush

Scissors

 

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Step 1.

Cut all of the paint swatches into triangles. {I’m pretty much just tapping into his favourite hobby here. ‘Nipping’ pieces of paper into the tiniest pieces that I have to pick up all over the house}

 

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Step 2.

Paint glue on the back of each triangle and attempt to make a tree shape on the canvas.

 

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Step 3.

Add decorations to tree then set aside to dry.

 

Step 4.

Use scissors to cut small holes in the canvas and get toddler to push lights gently through.

 

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We plan to gift ours to a grandparent although we might need to make another one for us.

 

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Do you brave Christmas craft with toddlers?

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Choosing joy over struggle

choosing joy

Some days life just feels like a struggle. Like I wish I could just go back to being a kid and having nothing to worry about or any responsibilities.  Remember that?! When we thought life was ‘like so unfair and nobody took us seriously.’ Damn I wish I could go back to when life was not so serious.

 

Instead.

 

The house is a mess. It’s too hot. I’m uncomfortable. My pelvis/lower back aches. I have low blood pressure and need to lie down from dizzyness. Tantrums are being thrown by adults and children alike. People are rude. I don’t have enough time.  There is too much to do. I’m lonely.  Bills keep arriving.  I forget the only thing I went to the grocery story for.  Tantrums were thrown. Bribery was used.  I feel like a bad mother.  There are many many hours until bedtime.  Our house is still a construction zone.  I am dying to nest without anything to ‘nest in’. Eamon is sick.  Sleep is scarce.  I still haven’t called my friend back who called last week. I feel like a bad friend. The house is a mess. It’s too hot. I’m uncomfortable…

 

Some days this is literally what runs through my head.  It doesn’t matter what your life actually looks like there will always be struggle.  And it’s not about comparing mine to yours, because I know there are many many people who have it worse than me.  I also know there are people who have it better than me.  But it’s all ebb and flow and it will find it’s way around again eventually, doesn’t it?

 

Some days I need a great big slap in the face though.  And don’t worry, the universe usually delivers and I don’t get to stay wallowing in the struggle for too long. Stories of families who are fighting a losing battle with cancer, mothers losing babies too soon, people who live without ever feeling safe, young children who have never had a full belly…

 

I don’t know what it is about pregnancy but it’s like all my emotions are turned up to extreme.  I feel things more than I usually do.  Other peoples’ sadness affects me more than it usually does, which is not necessarily a bad thing.  When I’m lost in ‘the struggle’ feeling more is actually a blessing.  It knocks me straight back into I have it so good, what the hell am I complaining about mode.

 

And suddenly instead of wallowing in the struggles I’m counting my blessings.

+ A perfectly healthy, mostly polite, fiercely strong-willed 2 year old boy.

+ A husband who is working round the clock to build us a beautiful home.

+ A home with so much potential. {6 months on and we’re still using real estate talk – oh dear}

+ A family who would drop everything if I ever asked.

+Friends, who despite our lack of time for physically catching up, are really never far away.

+ And then there are the simple things we often don’t even consider; food in our bellies, running water, safety.

 

Bloody hell we’ve got it good.

 

So why is it that it’s so easy to get lost in the struggle rather than choosing to focus on the joy?

 

Today I’m choosing joy. Are you?

 

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Is it really worth it to refashion outdoor cane furniture?

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When I originally started planning this blog post, it was a straight DIY. How to refashion outdoor cane furniture.  But after actually going through the process of doing up one of these four old chairs I started questioning whether the process was really that financially beneficial.

 

What you need.

3 cans spraypaint per chair

3m durable fabric per chair  {outdoor fade and water resistant fabric is about $30 a metre, I just used a cotton drill that was $10 a metre.}

5 large buttons

 

refashion outdoor chair

 

Step 1.

Find something else for the toddler to do other than use your project as a bed.

 

refashion cane chair

 

Step 2.

Fold your fabric with right sides together and lay each cushion piece on top.  Allow for seam allowance (an extra 2cm around sewn up edges) and for overlap to add button closure.

 

refashion chair cushions

Step 3.

Hem the two bottom edges.  Pin and sew fabric together. Insert the cushion and mark where buttons need to go. {I found with my seat cushion it closed neatly enough without buttons so I took the lazy option. My back cushion has 5 buttons holding the cover closed.}

 

Step 4. Spray chair with at least two coats of spray paint until you can’t see any of the original colour.

 

Step 5. Sit back and admire all your new chair.

 

So this chair ended up costing me approximately $46 to refashion and that was going with the cheapest option for fabric. I would have preferrred the outdoor canvas.  And no it’s not outrageously expensive but when you consider you are looking at almost $200 for a set of 4 chairs, it is getting pretty expensive for second hand furniture.  And that is without the cost of the chairs if you were looking to purchase chairs for this project.

 

Will I be going ahead and covering the rest of them?  Probably not. 

Will I be finding a corner in my house for this chair and loving it anyway. You betcha!

 

What do you think? Is it really worth it to refashion outdoor cane furniture?

DIY chair refashion

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Do you shop online?

pitchi

 

Do you shop online?

 

I have to admit. Despite doing almost everything else online I haven’t really embraced online shopping as you might expect.  Sure I’ve purchased my fair share over the last few years but usually this is only after checking out the item in store and only going with the online option if it is considerably lower.  (I do prefer the instant gratification option when I can get it.)

 

But I think it’s more than my dislike for waiting.  I like being able to see the product, to move it around and to be able to ask questions of those helpful shop people who often know nothing but make up a good story anyway.

 

But… now that shopping trips mostly involve either running after a toddler, wrestling him back into the pram whilst he screams, or trying to distract said toddler so he will stop screaming; I am starting to embrace the online option.

 

My favourite online stores are those that give you more than just a picture and a price.  I like a good story behind what I’m buying, so I guess that’s why I’m often sold on things by other bloggers and creative business owners who share the behind-the-scenes stories that go with their products.

 

I was introduced to Pitchi the other day and I’m really wishing this site was around when I was selling babies and children’s clothing.  I would have loved to be able to create little video clips like this one to sell my clothes.  Anyone can use Pitchi to sell their products to a large audience at no cost, so I can see it quickly becoming as big, if not bigger, than other collaborative selling spaces online because it’s doing what others aren’t; using video.

 

But for now I’m happy browsing through the clips of other creative entrepreneurs and ticking off my Christmas shopping list at the same time. Except for when I get distracted by the homewares of course, always the homewares!

 

The baby should buy me a Christmas present right?  I’m loving these Moroccan rugs!

 

Have you embraced online shopping?

 

This post was brought to you by Pitchi but all opinions are my own.

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5 things to say to a pregnant woman instead of ‘Wow you’re huge!’

things to say to a pregnant woman

In the space of ½ an hour the other day I had no less than 5 comments made about my belly, my body and my size. All of which were quite honestly pretty offensive and by the 5th one I was ready with a highly inappropriate come-back for the next person to say something which unfortunately I did not get to use.

 

I know that most people don’t mean to offend.

I know that they genuinely don’t get that hearing ‘wow you’re huge’ repeatedly is not something that makes one feel particularly confident about the fact that this baby has to come out of you know where.

I know that they think that commenting on the amount of food I am eating is open to judgement just because I’m eating for two, or worse eating for three as I was told today.

 

But some days… I can’t help but feel just a little bit shit about myself when I’m already feeling uncomfortable in my own body.

 

Whilst I could add to the angry pregnant lady rant about inappropriate comments that already exists on the net, I thought I’d do something differently instead.

 

I’m going to assume that, like me, they love a pregnant belly and they really just want to be involved in this time in some small way, and whatever comment they’ve said was just the first thing that came into their foolish minds.

 

I’m going to assume that they just didn’t know what to say.

 

So here are my top 5 things to say to a pregnant woman instead of…

 

Instead of ‘Wow you’re getting huge!?’ try ‘Look at you! You’re glowing. Pregnancy definitely suits you’.

Instead of ‘Wow you’re going to suffer this Summer!’ try ‘What a great season to have a baby!’

Instead of ‘Eating for two?’ say nothing at all! Or try making conversation like a normal person. In case you don’t know ‘How are you?’ and ‘What’s been happening?’ are good opening lines.

Instead of ‘How long have you got to go?’ and ‘Wow still such a long time?!’ try ‘What an exciting time. He/ she will be here before you know it.’

Instead of ‘Wow you’re going to be busy with two!’ say ‘When would you like me to come look after {insert number 1’s name} so that you can do something for yourself?’

 

Did you have people saying innappropriate things to you whilst you were pregnant?

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What renovating with kids is really like.

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Renovating with children and/or whilst pregnant is extremely enjoyable… Said no one ever.

 

I am currently employing every yoga skill I have for staying calm amidst the total chaos that is our house and often my day ends up being a bit like this…

 

Wake up sweating from windows and doors that have been closed all night as there are still no security screens down stairs and toddler insists on being wrapped around your arm (best case scenario) or neck (worst case scenario).

 

Make coffee in kitchenette on the 20cm of bench space that is not covered with washing up drying from the night before, whilst attempting to breathe in the bump if anyone else wants to also make coffee and steps behind me. Remind myself not to feel angry at the person who wants to walk behind me as I do not actually own entire kitchenette space.

 

Drink coffee in outdoor area covered in sawdust and surrounded by power tools. Remind myself that sawdust is a good thing (it means progress is happening upstairs). Argue with toddler about why power tools are not ‘his toys’.

 

Make toddler breakfast. Make own breakfast in Tupperware container as only have 3 bowls out of boxes due to small kitchen space and all three are being used to hold leftovers in the fridge. Curse yourself for what seemed like a good idea 6 months ago.

 

Shower with toddler. Attempt to dress whilst also holding bedroom door shut with bottom. Try to think positively, at least we have doors even if they don’t close. Lose balance due to now ridiculously large belly. Attempt to maintain dignity as door swings open thanks to ‘helpful toddler’. Argue with toddler about why he cannot swing on the door like a monkey.

 

Spend most of the day stopping toddler running out the front to play in the dirt pile that is the front yard, or worse playing on the road. Argue with toddler about why he can’t play out the front by himself. Lock toddler in house as we no longer have a fence to keep him in. Spend rest of the day distracting toddler so that he doesn’t escape out of the laundry or garage door which he has now taught himself how to open.

 

Find motivation to complete odd jobs upstairs. Walk upstairs. Get to top of the stairs and feel dizzy due to low blood pressure. Sit on floor playing trains with toddler instead.

 

Try again to finish off odd jobs that need doing upstairs. Spend half an hour looking for tools that you have hidden from the toddler. Find tools and spend the next half an hour attempting to complete job whilst arguing with the toddler about why he can’t play with the hammer/ paintbrush/ drill. Try to convince toddler that show on the iPad is more interesting than renovating. Give up on completing odd jobs and hide tools so toddler can’t find them.

 

Decide to clean up renovating mess instead. Sweep floor. Go find dustpan and brush to clean up pile of dirt. Find toddler has helped and floor now looks exactly the same as it did before you swept. Remind self that dirt and sawdust means progress.

 

Notice that toddler has also decorated freshly painted walls with dirty handprints. Sigh. Resign self to the fact that at least they match the floor.

 

Give up on renovating. Feel sorry for self that big pregnant belly and small sidekick that means you are basically useless when it comes to renovating.

 

Go find husband to see what he is up to. Find he has destroyed fence, ripped up deck, built half a kitchen, organised 4 different tradies to arrive next week, done a dump run and sold some old timber on gumtree.

 

Resign self to the fact that your role is now food and drink preparation and toddler duty.

 

Take photos of progress husband has made so that you can claim ‘we are renovating’.

 

#thankgodforhandyhusbands

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