Raising Will


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Mealy Monday!

Organising this weeks family meals…

Something I wanted to share with my readers is the art of meal planning. For those who don’t already take part in this weekly or even fortnightly (or monthly!) past-time, I cannot stress how much time & money it saves. Now coupled with the luxury of online shopping, Mums can ensure they provide their family with nutritious home-cooked meals, all within a budget (something I used to have a lot of trouble with)!

A while ago whilst I was drooling through a kikki.k store in Melbourne, my hubby saw a Meal Planner Pad and quickly exclaimed “If there was something you were gonna buy today – this would be it!” And buy I did. When we got home I stuck a heap of self adhesive magnet strip all over the back and it, to this day, is stuck on our fridge. I use it to plan my weekly menu and from that (plus a trip around the house) I would make a grocery list and head off to the shops. This all worked a treat and then along came baby.

In Will’s first few months, my meal planning fell in a heap along with my fitness regime, sleeping patterns and personal hygiene. In the last month a few factors have encouraged me to get back on the meal planning horse. Will is starting solids gradually, we are saving for a holiday to Tassie in April and my Maternity Leave payments have ceased. When at the supermarket, not only was I haunted by expensive ready-meals and mental blanks on what else we could have for tea, but we’d get to the checkout and I was spending WAAAYYY over our budget. What do you do? You can hardly stand there at the checkout and say “Oh hang-on. I’m just gonna have to run half of this back to the shelves…!”

Re-enter Operation Meal Plan (OMP).

So I started OMP again and shopping became a lot simpler, even if we did have to lug a baby around the supermarket. However we were still not on budget and often came home from the supermarket with items we didn’t need (stupid impulse purchasing). That’s when I found Online Shopping. I signed up to Coles Online (Woolworths has a site too) and the last three weeks I have had my groceries delivered to my door. All exactly what I needed, without the fuss and most importantly, in budget (clicking a ‘minus’ symbol is a lot easier than sending groceries back to the shelves). No longer am I tempted to throw that extra pack of Caramel Crowns in the trolley, and if I do (yes – I have the willpower of a butterfly) then I can only keep it if the end grocery total is under our budget figure. So to finish up (and I’ll share each week), I present to you our family’s menu for this week:

  • M: Peri Peri Chicken & Salad
  • T: Spaghetti & Meatballs
  • W: Beef Stroganoff
  • T: Stop…. Freezer Time! (delving into the left-overs)
  • F: Oven Baked Fish & Chips
  • S: Roasted Vegetable Tagine **new recipe**
  • S: Chicken Schnitzel Burgers & Chips

I aim to try a new recipe each week so I can whittle down the mountains of recipes I’ve collected over the years.

So OMP continues for yet another week. Why not try it yourself – being a little organised never hurt anyone.

Menu Planner

My Kikki.K Menu Planner for this week


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Stand in the way…

The miracle of life is extraordinary.  Click your fingers and life is started; click them again and life is ended; click a third time and life is returned.

It is the thought that haunts every mother’s mind. As you walk in to check on your little one before you go to bed, no matter what sort of day it’s been, there is always a worry you will look into that cot and something will not be right.

So what would you do if you found yourself in this situation? What would you do if your baby wasn’t breathing? How would you call an ambulance if you were home alone with your child? Do you know CPR? What about outside the cot…. What would you do if you walked out of the toilet to find your baby bleeding heavily or unconscious? It’s certainly not something anyone wants to think about, but you need too. To be unprepared when an emergency strikes could see your family or friends go through a horror no one wants to imagine.

So Be Prepared! Take a first aid course. Take a CPR course. At least watch the DVD that your Maternal & Child Health Nurse surely gave you. Update your first aid kit. Check for dangers around your home. Teach your children to swim. If raising my little William has taught me anything, it’s that a mother will be more prepared than she thinks.

When the moment came (and yes, they will come) that I looked in the cot and something was amiss, all of my brain connections fired at once. One night sitting on the couch, I heard a choking sound and immediately ran to the bassinet where William had been fast asleep. His mouth was full of white liquid and he could not breathe. I picked him up and flustered, patted his back to no avail. This wasn’t working. What now? I laid him head down at 45 degrees and gave him four sharp blows to the back then cleared his mouth of the milky gunk that could have taken away my little man. Cuddling him into me, William’s soft face nuzzled into my chest, dazed but OK. The first aid course I had taken 10 years ago had perhaps saved my son’s life.

After watching a real-life episode of CPR on TV tonight, I am reminded that life can quickly leave the ones we love. Make sure you can be the person that stands in its way.

Will & Mum

First Aid saved my son. Could it save yours?


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A picture says….. well…… I love you.

It was a few years ago now, but someone once said to me (being my ever-snap-happy self) “You know, you’ve taken more photos of me than my Mum ever did!” I must’ve looked shocked as the person’s self-esteem wallowed blatantly at my feet. The briefly revealing comment was politely laughed off and the subject was changed but I said to myself at that very point that my children would never feel that way.

Photos can be some of the most powerful items in a person’s life. Of course, what possession does everyone save first when disaster strikes? And what are we all afraid of most when our computer crashes? What is it about these bundles of pixels or prints of photographic ink that has us so committed to their protection?

Memories.

I imagine our brains, although ridiculously more complex, are like squishy computers. They archive a LOAD of stuff. And just like I often have no idea how to locate archives on my computer, I think the same could be said for my memories. Many of you I expect, are in the same boat – too busy swimming through all the squishiness of your brain to lay your thoughts in one place. Until you look at your photos. Those moments captured; mini time-machines that take you back to that very point. That point when you were so happy, so amazed, so terrified, so proud. Photos enhance your squishy-swimming-power.

So what does that say about my poor friend above? Had Mum taken more photos would their childhood memories be different? Would the love of a parent still be doubted when up against the squishiness? Well I’m sorry science nerds, but I’m not intending to conduct this social experiment on my own kids. Especially when I think I already know the answer. Bring on the flash of a camera at every birthday! Bring on the cheesy grins and the eyes wide with surprise! Bring on the pixels and the funny smell of photo ink!

And bring it on we did. Today turned into Photo Day at our place. Will was happy to oblige the surprisingly upbeat lady at Portrait Place with plenty of smiles and we were happy to oblige Camera House with our hard-earned in return for a plastic bag filled with memories. Already brimming with pictures, in two weeks our new family portraits will grace our walls. In the meantime, our own photography skills will feature. Ever the slacker when it comes to getting stuff framed, I lashed out today and bought some frames too. Here’s my effort:

Photos

Photo of photos - embracing the memories

So my dear William, may you never question our love for you or your personality. And may all my readers take so many pictures that their families are never bogged down in squishiness.
Shhhh.... baby sleeping!


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Much ado about sleep…

As a new mummy, there is much to be said about sleep. No longer do you measure the success of your day on how little sleep you achieved as you filled yourself to the gills with a various array of alcoholic beverages, still managing an appearance at your 9am lecture the next morning, albeit resembling a zombie (ahhh – feels like a lifetime ago). No. The Uni-student life is long behind you. And replacing the pub crawls, goon and jager-bombs are mothers groups, smooth purees and breast milk. As your life transforms so does that nightly visit to the Sandman that you used to take for granted. Something I heard numerous times whilst pregnant – ‘Make sure you get lots of sleep before the baby comes, because you won’t get any when they arrive’… If my maths is right (2+2=4…carry the 1…9024+6785…) I should’ve started collecting the latter ‘lots of sleep’ in 1993! These days, for me to stamp my day with an A+, not only must I obtain at least 6 hours of sleep, but little Will needs his beauty rest too. It is this last point that often sees the sanity of new mothers disappear along with the goon and Jager.

Working again with my fantastic maths skills (7+3=10…divide by 33…throw in a Pi or 2), I’ve come up with a sleep formula for new mums:

Mummy-sleep minus Hours-baby-should’ve-slept-but-didn’t = AMS.

AMS or Actual Mummy Sleep is the reason new mums have brains of mush. Technically all new mummies are walking around on perhaps 2 hours of AMS. All you non-mummies, imagine for six months you had to live on two hours sleep a night. Yes – that’s right – impossible I hear you say! I assure you it’s the truth. This state of ‘spaced-out-ness’ is reffered to as ‘AMS Syndrome’. And I think if you investigate a little further you will find a correlation between baby booms and downturns in the world economy  – BECAUSE all those women suffering from AMS syndrome are (and I use the technical term here) ZOMBIATED!

So, Ummm….. I’ve forgotten what I was saying….. Would you like some pureed sweet potato?…. Yes…. that’s baby spew on my shoulder…. *shrugs*

Will & I


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The story begins….

Well, here we are. My first blog post. And I have no clue what to write about…

Perhaps I can start with a project that has inspired me this last week – Project Life. The concept behind this exciting adventure is to take a photo every day for a year. It can be a photo of anything, anything at all, and as you look back you will have all these fantastic memories of the small things that make your life what it is.

Three days ago I made a decision to purchase one of Becky Higgins’ kits and give this a go and it’s already changed how I live my day. I am constantly asking myself if this moment is my ‘Photo of the Day’ and I find that I have so many special moments that I could capture. This realisation is officially the best part of this project – I create so many memories every day with myself, my husband, my son, my friends and family! What a special concept…

Had I not been snapping away with the camera today at the small things, I never would’ve captured this fantastic picture of Will and I. And this image is certainly something I’ll treasure for years to come.

It just proves that life is fantastic every day….

Michelle