• Nemo party hats DIY
    DIY,  Family,  Kid Friendly,  Parenting

    Nemo & a 2nd birthday party.

    Turning two way before I am ready
    Our Little Miss as a bubba

    Our Little Ms turned 2 recently.  How the hell did that happen so quickly?!  Not that long ago she was our little bub, with no hair and no teeth (for a loooooong time!).  Now she is running around having conversations with everyone and being way too smart for us.

    We decided to have a little party for her – family and some little friends.  And me, being me, kept thinking I had at least a month to sort it out.  Then we realised we had a week and two days.  Gah.  Amazing how time slips away when there is a new little one in the house.

    Somehow I was stumped as to what theme to have for her decorations.  Just a colour? Music? Hmmmm.  Then, when she was watching ‘Finding Nemo’ for the one hundred and eleventh time, it hit me!  Finally.   So ‘Finding Nemo’ it was.  Thank goodness for Pinterest.  So many great ideas – check out my boards to see what I mean!

    So the goal was not to spend too much and not to get too stressed out.  Hmmmm!  Via Pinterest I found a great site that had invitation templates, decoration templates and ideas, name tags etc.  It also has ideas for games, face painting etc and covers all sorts of themes.  We used their invitation template and printed off some of the decoration prints and stuck them to our party bags.  I found blue and orange party bags going super cheap at Spotlight.  Speaking of the party bags, I added these free activity sheets to some balloons and treats.  

    DIY Nemo Party Bags

    We decorated the house with crepe paper and some Nemos that our Little Miss’ super clever Godmother whipped up for us, using this tutorial.  Yup, she is much more crafty (and patient) than me!

    Nemo party decoration DIY

    This link had some easy, printable Nemo party hats – easy to cut out, and staple together.Nemo party hats DIY

     So these were some easy, DIY and cheap decorations and ideas I found via Pinterest.  And best of all, Ms 2 had a great time!  She loved the decorations, and hats and party food – I put a drop or two of blue food dye in a jug of lemonade and bam! Ocean blue drink.  Mostly though, she had a ball running around with her little cousins and friends all afternoon.  Best part of the day.

    What successes have you had with birthday parties?  Do you go all out, or pared back?

     

  • Kids and online safety
    Blogging,  Family,  Parenting

    To Name or not to Name?

    Kids safety on the internet.  Something I have been thinking about, pretty much since I started the blog, is whether or not to post photos of the kids, and to use their names.  So far I have chosen not to.  On my personal FB and Instagram pages I do, but here on the blog I have generally used photos that don’t show their faces, and referred to them as the Little Miss and the Little Mister.  But is this thinking sensible caution or just a touch paranoid?  Most of my favourite bloggers identify their kids either with their names or photos or both.  And these are successful bloggers, with loads of people clearly knowing who they are.

    I come from a professional background that no doubt contributes to my caution (ten plus years in child protection and working with vulnerable/at risk families).  I’ve done a bit of reading around the web, and of course, found conflicting ideas on the subject.  Some people feel that the children should be old enough to agree/disagree with their photos being posted.  Some feel that there is a risk of predators accessing and misusing the images.  Some have even suggested that in the future, other kids could use the images in cyber-bullying – particularly if they are embarrassing photos.  I found this article and this one to be interesting reads on the topic.

    I have to say I’m still undecided.  It’s cumbersome, referring to the kids as the Little Miss and the Little Mister.  And sometimes, I really want to share photos with you!  Like here.  Perhaps I’ll share the occasional photo and think on how to refer to them without too much identifying information.

    What do you do? What do you think?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

  • Five Months Old
    Family,  Parenting

    Cot to Big Girl Bed.

    Ahhhhhhh, the transition from the lovely secure cot (ie can’t get out until mum or dad let you out) to normal sized kids bed. Sure, I knew it would be tricky, but I also knew I didn’t want to move the Little Miss into a big bed until she was ready. You know, climbing out of her cot, happy to sleep on a bed at nanny’s, that kind of thing.  Then we had the Little Mister.  That was all good, all planned.  But – the Little Mister is bigger than the Little Miss was at his age. 

    Five Months Old
    The Little Ones at five months.

    In fact, he is our gorgeous little Buddha really. And that means he is not going to fit in the bassinet much longer (between you and me, he could probably be in a cot already).  Sob!  So that means it’s Big Bed time for the Little Miss.  I made a conscious effort to make her part of the process – she came with me and selected the sheets and doona cover, and she ‘helped’ her dad put the bed together.  She loves helping him construct things. 

    However, bizarrely, she is not cooperating with the transition.  I know right?  A two year old with her own mind.  Who would have thought.  I recently asked over on Facebook if anyone had any good ideas or suggestions for this transition.  So the suggestions confirmed what I had thought we would need to do.  Lead her back to bed when she gets out, keep things calm, tell her it’s her bed now.  And that this could go on for a week or so.

    Helping put big bed together

    But, best laid plans and all that.  The Little Mister chose this time to revert back to wanting two hourly feeds over night (no way Mister!) and I was not getting any quality sleep.  Trying to stay calm and encourage a two year old Little Miss back to bed for over an hour at a time was not something we were coping with on so little sleep and she just did not seem to be ‘getting’ it.

    So I’ve pulled the plug on the big bed for the time being and am working on getting the Little Mister to drop some feeds – luckily he has at least gotten over this two hourly thing!  If things become dire and we need to move the Little Mister out of the bassinet, my mum has a cot at her house we can borrow.  Luckily.

    I think the Little Miss is just not ready for the bed yet.  And you know what?  That’s fine.  She is only two and frankly, I’m not sure I’m ready for her to be in a big bed yet either.

     cot to big girl bed

  • Family,  Sustainable Living

    Sustainable or crazy? Why we use cloth nappies.

    Modern Cloth Nappies
    Modern Cloth Nappies

    This is the first post in a planned series on cloth nappies.  We decided early on that we would use cloth nappies as much as possible.  For both the long term cost factor and the environmental factors.  What we didn’t know was just how many options there are now!  Modern Cloth Nappies or MCNs as they are referred to come in different sizes, shapes, materials and prices.  And there are so many retailers and manufacturers.  Many are work at home mums or mums that have turned their nappy obsession into successful businesses.  It’s quite amazing really.

    I read reviews and trawled through site after site.  I didn’t know anyone who had used MCNs and so didn’t have any ‘real life’ feedback available.  In the end, we took a punt on the Baby Beehinds hemp one size fits all model.  Mainly because they were having an awesome run out sale!  So they were a good price.  These nappies are supposed to fit from birth to toilet training and they need covers.  We have also used itti bitti.  So far they have worked pretty well and I’m amazed to say that we use them full time and only use disposables when we have gone away for more than one night, or when something has happened like me hurting my back and not being able to move!  Getting nappies in and out of the washing machine when you can’t move ain’t easy…

    Modern Cloth Nappies

    Recently, we went through a period where we used more disposables – my toddler had gastro and we had a newborn who didn’t quite fit into the nappies straight away.  This period reinforced for us the decision to use cloth nappies.  I truly hate throwing bags of used nappies into the bin!  And spending that money on a packet of nappies!  Urgh.  It can be tricky with two in nappies and living in Melbourne to get them dry in time, but really, I just need to work on being more organised with the washing!!

    How about you?  I would love to hear from others who have used MCNs or who are planning on it.  If you do use them, what was the main factor behind your decision?

     

  • Family

    ANZAC Day in Melbourne

    Yesterday was ANZAC Day. Commemorating the loss of life in so many wars, remembering the terrible battle that was Gallipoli and thanking the men and women who continue to serve.

    It was a very cold and very wet day for it in Melbourne – it rained all night and into the morning. We didn’t get to the dawn service – maybe when Little Miss is a little older.

    Mt Dandenong

    But we spent a quiet day together and went up the mountain for lunch. The cloud quickly descended whilst we were inside!

    ANZAC Day is always a reflective one for me. I think of both my grandfathers who have passed away, and who must have sacrificed more than their physical wounds during their service in WWII. I also think of my uncle, also passed away who spent time in Vietnam.

    Lest we forget.

  • Family,  Parenting,  Sustainable Living

    Change

    Change is coming to our house and we are excited!  My husband finishes up at his current employment today and after the Easter weekend, will be going back to work with a previous employer and good friend.  The best bit about this?  He gets to work a couple of days a week at home!  Yay!!

    Photo by Flickr user mae.noelle
    I really think this is going to be fantastic opportunity for our little family.  He will get to spend a lot more time with our Little Miss – in the mornings, evenings and at lunch time.  It is a shift toward the lifestyle that we would love to build for our family.  Obviously working from home will require discipline from both of us – he will need to do his work and I will need to let him!
    Photo by Flickr user The Field Museum Library
    And let’s hope a change is as good as a holiday, because we won’t be able to do that for a while, with him starting the new job next Tuesday!
  • Family

    A Long Weekend

    It’s Labour Day weekend here in Melbourne and today we took advantage of the beautiful weather. We had a picnic in the the Royal Botanic Gardens with some of the bubs and parents from our ante natal group. I highly recommend the Ian Potter Children’s Garden for those who haven’t been. It was lovely to sit on the grass in the shade and watch everyone having such a fun time.