Raising Will

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Toddler Meals: easier than you think!

OK. I’ll admit it. For the  first 7 months of his ‘solid-food life’, I fed Will food from a jar.

**awaits scorn and finger-pointing**

Why? I’m lazy. That’s really all it comes down too. That and fact that Will ate so very little and so haphazardly that any attempt at home-cooked meals would surely end up on the floor and/or in the bin. So I jar-ed on, dragging that old ‘mother’s guilt’ bandwagon behind me.

Then one day I decided enough was enough and I needed to start feeding my child real food. Don’t know what changed my mind really. Maybe it was the awesome inspiration that is Annabel Karmel. Maybe it was the fact that every jar meal of Will’s smelt the same. Maybe it was the fact that Will’s growth had always left a lot to be desired… Anyhoo, change was a-foot!

So I went on a mission – to find some delicious toddler meals for the little guy; and there is a plethora of information online – much to my excitement and the delight of Will’s taste buds. For all of those mum’s struggling with ideas as to what to feed their toddler, a Google search will turn up trumps with lots of recipes for your repertoire. But while your here, I’ve put together a bunch of toddler meal ideas to get you started. Check them out! 

I think Will’s favourite addition to his menu are the grazing plates I make up for him. Basically, whatever’s in the fridge/cupboard on a plastic plate for him to go bananas over. He LOVES them – and proves it by proudly decorating his hair with various condiments.

Will's 'Tasty Plate' and fruit smoothie

Will's 'Tasty Plate' and fruit smoothie - also a great snack idea!


Lunch Time! Will chows down.

Lunch Time! Will chows down.

 We’ve cooked lots of different meals for him now and I don’t know if this just mysteriously coincided with our change, but Will’s appetite has increased 1000-fold, and I swear he has grown heaps in the last few weeks. He’s sleeping better and arsenic hour isn’t as bad as it once was… All in all – wins all round. So don’t forget to check out Raising Will’s list of Toddler Meal Ideas and I’ll leave you to drool over some of Will’s Cottage Pie…


Will's Cottage Pie!

Will's Cottage Pie!..... I may have eaten some of it....


I actually made something I pinned in Pinterest


Pinterest: a procrastinator’s heaven…….and a special announcement!

A little thing that’s surfaced since I was last blogging is the amazing world of Pinterest.

For anyone with tendencies to dream of precious and inspiring things, Pinterest will definitely take away your time. Perfect for filling in that extra five minutes, relieving boredom, or LOSING A WHOLE DAY IN!!!! Yes, seriously, a whole day – I can hear the Pinterest converts’ weary necks creaking as they hang their heads in shame…

Soooo Very True....

Soooo Very True....

For those not yet familiar with the phenomenon, Pinterest is a website that plays host to ‘virtual pinboards’ filled with images from the net that people love/hate/exclaim at/wonder at/laugh at/dream about/want to remember for that sleepover their child has in another nine years… These pinboards are created by members by ‘pinning’ images they find anywhere across the WWW via a simple little button that is installed on your internet browser. These ‘pins’ then permanently link to that very same spot where you found it, for future reference of course!

So for example, you find a recipe you really like. Using your installed pin button – you can choose the image to save to your pin board, add a comment and that’s it! You’ve got a photo bookmark you can visit anytime you want to cook that recipe. It will spell the end to wedding magazines – I’m sure.

The idea behind ME joining up to Pinterest was of course to get some inspiration for crafty things to do, and to laugh and wonder at all the funny and cute things that people pin. Will’s birthday cake – as some of you may remember from our Facebook Page, was inspired by Pinterest. So technically, todays post isn’t the FIRST thing I’ve made…. but I digress….

My second official Pinterest-inspired project has been this wall hanging for the little guy’s room.

Will's Wall Hanging

Will's Wall Hanging - inspiration courtesy of Pinterest!

I think it looks great and I found it really simple to make once I found the right thing to use. My problem was finding the letters to use… then one day, whilst minding my own business, a TYPO STORE jumped out and ate me. It took me hours to get out of its stationery-hazed depths but I emerged with one (ok maybe it was more… but….. I….. don’t remember) (yeah – I may’ve needed a trailer to get home) (ok… yes…. a semi-trailer!) souvenir from my visit. A great little box with over 150 little craft wood letters inside! Then it was off to Spotlight to find the perfect frame. 

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Putting Down New Roots…

OH MY! I may have dropped off the side of a cliff for a few months….. BUT I’M BACK!

And so much has changed.

The biggest change is we’ve moved – no longer in sunny Bendigo are we, but following a wish for our kids to grow up on a farm just as we did. We are renting a place about forty minutes north of Shepparton in rural Victoria. And I must say, I’m certainly enjoing the change of pace, although it did take me a while to adjust and I went through a nasty period of isolation.

Charing Cross - Bendigo

Seeya later beautiful Bendigo...
*Photo courtesy of bendigotourism.com

I never thought I’d be the Post Natal Depression type… A whole 13 months after little Will was born, this is where I found myself, staring into the precipice. And I had a choice – I could turn and walk away from that deep dark chasm, or I could jump right on in. And at that point, jumping in seemed like all I wanted to do. I’d moved away from my home of nine years, left all my friends behind, my job, my support, my hairdresser, my local knowledge, my Doctor, my favourite coffee place. I’d arrived at my new life with my family. I slowly realised that they were not going to be enough to ground me and my new roots, and now I had no idea where I stood.

I went back home for a visit and as I turned the car and left sunny Bendigo once again, thats when all my feelings came to a head. My worry, my heart-ache, my home-sickness. I cried. A lot. I realised that I’d been feeling negative for a few weeks now, unmotivated, ill, tired, going through the motions only to stop my little guy from crying because it hurt my head. I cried because I realised that I was losing parts of myself. I got home eventually and spoke to my husband about how I was feeling. I am so grateful that I can bounce my ideas off him. I made an appointment to see a local GP and from there had some tests done to make sure nothing physical was wrong. All A-ok. So it was starting to look suspiciously depression-like. I’d now had some time to come to terms with the fact that jumping into this abyss WAS NOT what I wanted to do. I did not want to be that person any longer.

I made a simple appointment to see my new Maternal Child Health Nurse. And that was all it took. She took my hand – albeit in a her own odd way – and showed me away from that precipice. I’m sure she had NO IDEA what she had done, but those sheets of paper I was sent away with saved me. I joined a playgroup. I joined the gym. I joined the Toy Library. I enrolled in swimming classes for Will. I had put down those new roots and they were far far far away from that ominous cliff.

Before this whole saga had settled in and whilst my moving adrenalin was still flowing, I’d ripped up a piece of our lawn, hoping to plant some new grass for Will to play on. During my time at the precipice, the soil had laid bare and dry. As I admired my own new roots… I knew it was time to get grass planting. Now long and luscious, I look at the patch of grass as representing my journey. Looking closer – I see a little surprise. I can’t wait to find more…

Putting Down New Roots

Putting Down New Roots.... Can you see my little surprise?