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A Bundle of Myrrh

"My beloved is unto me as a bundle of myrrh." Song of Solomon 1:13

Archive for the ‘List’ Category

Good Find #3!

Monday, April 26th, 2010

I’m finding all sorts of helpful tips today!


Kerry and her husband Rob, are the authors of the new book, How to Have Your Second Child First: 100 Things That Are Good to Know… the First Time Around (Chronicle Books).

When our mutual friend Lisa introduced us, I told Kerry that I am frankly too lazy to review her book since it’s no longer possible for me to have my “second child first”, but that I would like to know if she could share some advice with some actual rookies. “How about what to pack your diaper bag, or what a new mom should stock in her car?”

Here’s what she said:

Stock Up

It’s a classic new parent moment: You open your diaper bag at a restaurant, and realize it’s got a thousand things in it—but not one actual diaper. Or you drive to your old office to show off your newborn, and realize you have spit-up (or worse) on your shirt. These are but a couple of examples of why you should keep your car stocked! By keeping a few things in a cardboard box on the floor of your trunk, you have a constant insurance policy….and you don’t have to pack a bunch of stuff every time you leave the house. Want to stay longer than expected at a friend’s place but it’s almost baby’s meal time? No problem. Breasts leaking on your way to a job interview? You’re covered. Here’s what experienced parents advise keeping in your box at all times (and don’t forget to restock!) I guarantee it will save you more than once.

  • Five diapers
  • Full-size pack of wipes (to clean hands, faces, and clothing, as well as bottoms)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bottle of water (for drinking, dealing with messes, or mixing formula)
  • Baby blanket (for warmth or to use as a changing pad)
  • Nonperishable snack (if baby’s on solids), such as a couple of wrapped teething biscuits or zwieback toast
  • Nonperishable snack for you (like an energy bar or trail mix)
  • Sustenance for one meal if your baby is not breast-feeding exclusively (i.e., bottle and dry formula and/or one jar baby food with spoon and bib)
  • Change of clothes for baby (make sure it’s size- and season-appropriate as the months pass)
  • Change of shirt for you (and spare breast pads if nursing)
  • Towel (for any number of things, from drying off playground swings to mopping up spit up; this is a great way to recycle your ratty dishtowels)
  • Extra pacifier, if your baby uses one
  • Extra favorite toy, book, or lovey, to pull out in a pinch

Going out on foot with your stroller? Don’t lug that huge diaper bag around with you. Keep two diapers, a zip-top bag of wipes, a blankie and/or small folding changing pad, and an emergency five-dollar-bill (in case you need coffee or a cookie) in the stroller basket at all times, so you can head out in a flash—without feeling like a pack mule.

Before Bed Tips

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

I found this list on another site, I don’t have 5 kids yet and my life though busy at home isn’t busy outside of the home yet either but I think this could be a good reference in several years. I do have a list of things I do before I “turn out the lights” for the day, I clean up the kitchen table, the kitchen counters, sweep kitchen floor, clean high chairs and pick up toys. That does seem to help me start out fresh the next day or at least not feel swamped as soon as I get out of bed! Anyway here’s this list for reference.

1. Set Table For Breakfast.

We set out the place mats, bowls, spoons, glasses, cereal boxes so all that is required in the morning is for the juice and milk to be taken out of the fridge. This means that everyone can serve themselves as they get up.

2. Prepare Lunch Boxes.

This is by far much easier to the night before than in the morning. You can see my process in detail here at Preparing School Lunches.

3. Complete Notices.

The children have a folder where they place any notices from school when they arrive home. I will fill them in as required and place them in their lunchbox for collection. It is their responsibility to then see that it makes its way to school.

4. Ensure Clean and Available Uniforms/Clothes.

We don’t actually put the clothes out for the school kids, but Mr I and I will will make sure that their uniforms are in the right spot for the children to get them. I will work with the preschooler to lay out clothes for the next day. He is at a stage where he is very particular about what he will and won’t wear. Having them organised the night before means that if he wants to wear his “motorbike t-shirt” that I have the time to calmly find it for him. If I leave this to the morning, I find that this sort of demand more frustrating and time consuming and it starts to build up stress in the house if it takes me some time to locate the desired t-shirt.

5. Un-stack Dishwasher.

Depending on what I have cooked and who we have had to visit, our dishwasher can do 2 -3 cycles in a day. Almost always we put the dishwasher on after dinner and Mr I then empties it before bed. As one of the kids jobs is to stack the dishwasher in the morning, it is so much easier if it is emptied.

6. General Tidy.

With 5 children, I have realistic expectations about the tidiness of our house. One thing I find really helps is to try and start each day with a relatively tidy house. This doesn’t mean perfection, but means all things back in their place, so when the toddler makes his way into the lounge room for the first time in the morning and starts tipping out the blocks, it is just one layer of toys on the floor!

7. Empty The Bin/s.

We have three small bins inside: rubbish, recycling and compost. It is most likely that one of these will need to be emptied and Mr I does a check of these at night. Having them emptied means less running around for me the next day.

8. Check The Calendar.

As dates for events come in, they all go up on the family calendar. Checking it regularly means that I have a better idea of what is coming up and can then make the appropriate plans.

9. Make To Do List.

I find that once I have written down my to do list, I automatically feel more in control of what I have to do the next (few) day/s. It also means that I can plan the best way to prioritise the activities that need to be completed and reduce the level of running around that I do.

10. Wind Down.

This is a new one for me. I am now trying to turn the computer of 30 minutes before I want to go to bed and having time to just potter around, read etc, before I hop into bed. This should mean that I go to bed calmer and feeling more relaxed.

What is your night time routine? What things do you do, to help make mornings easier?

Terrific "Twos"

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

Ok, age 19 months has it’s definite downs as i’m sure will the next couple of years (ok 18-50 years) but there are SO many things about this age that are too sweet and wonderful not to love!

It’s so fun to see Lily learning and discovering new things. It’s fun to watch her play and see her imagination being to grow. I love her little enthusiastic “hi”s when I get her out of bed and how serious she gets when she “talks on the phone”. I turned to see her leaning on the oven with her feet crossed the other day just talking away with her little lips pooched out and I saw my baby 15 years from now! Everyone says that time will be here before I know it. As much as I can’t wait to see Lily grow and change, sometimes I want to stop the years so she stays just like this, my sweet funny little 19 month old fumbling with her spoon, her socks and every word.

Lists, so I don’t forget

First little words:
“booyah!” – blueberries
“no-s” – snow
“pease”- please
“bah” – ball
“off”, “uh-oh” (a favorite),
“mmm”- more
“oh” – a show
“BYEEE!” (must be shouted)
“CaCa” – Clara
“no” (another favorite)
“mama” – “help”
still signing “thank you”, “milk” and sometimes “more”
hmm, I know there are more….

What Lily loves to eat these days:
frosting, pancakes, waffles, spaghetti, macncheese, vitamins, blueberries, oranges, chocolate chips, corn
Meat and all other Veggies are still a no go unless they come pureed in a baby food jar and Clara has eaten some.

What fun it is to:
put on pants, read books by herself, take clothes on and off hangers, watch “ohs” shows (Baby Einstein and Kipper), knock on doors, look at our hymnal,

How Lily helps Mama sometimes:
put dishes away, “folds” laundry, get things for clara,

The things you don’t do anymore:
“oh” when we hear the town whistle
scoot on your bottom of course

To Lily Ruth:

Lily, in another week you’ll be 20 months old! That means 4 months away from being 2! For almost 20 months you’ve filled my life with laughter, joy, pride, worry and precious moments. Daddy and I can see your personality growing and changing. I thought you’d be so shy and though you still scowl at strangers, you’ve become so friendly. I’m amazed to see you indiscriminately go to someone you don’t know at all and sit happily on their lap. You make so many people smile and bring cheer to everyone you’re around. Well, except some men, who for some reason only you know, are scary.

You love routine and the familiar. “Quiet Time” and bed time have been so easy with you. You eagerly get ready to get in your bed. I think this is one of your favorite places right now even if it’s just to read your books or play with your blanket.

You like trying to dress yourself and are quick to ask Mama for help. “Mama” you say. Daddy is worried you’ll always say “mama” instead of “help” and that’s my fault since months ago I taught you to say “mama” when you needed help instead of crying or yelling like you used to do. Oh well.

You are still a very picky eater. You don’t even want meat to touch your high chair tray. If we put it there you hand it right back to us. I think you’ll be a little stubborn! You definitely know what you like to eat and most of it is very sweet! You’ve gotten 8 teeth now. Still just two little ones on the bottom and some big old molars in the back and four on top. I love to see those little bottom teeth when you make your hammed up grin face!

You love your baby sister Clara, sometimes a little too much! You two are already best buddies! It warms me all up inside when I find the two of you playing and laughing together in your room or on a blanket in the living room. You can be very nice to her, you share or find her a toy when she clearly wants what you have. You bring her a bottle when she cries and pat her bottom like Mama does and you love to tell her “no!” when she’s being naughty. You pat the floor or the crib when you want me to put her next to you and I know if you wake up crying from a nap I can just bring Clara with me to get you and you’ll smile right away.

I can hardly believe you’ll be a two year old so soon! What a fun year that will be! You’re a precious gift to me and Daddy. I love watching the little girl you’re becoming and know some day soon you’ll be a helpful, kind and delightful young woman.

No Place Like Home.

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

I recently read a post on a blog I follow about giving your children “enriching experiences” on a budget. It talked about not needing money to have a fun and memorable time with your kids or a fun time learning something with them. It got me thinking. My girls aren’t old enough to take places where we have to pay to have fun and learn something like zoos (though we have been there and I have to say it was more fun for me and Phil than the girls we know but we needed to get out) or museums. Even if they were we live pretty far from any cities that would give them this opportunity. So how do I make ‘home’ a fun and “enriching” place to be? I came up with some things ideas:

  • Once the weather permits we will have a great time exploring outside
  • We have a very nice park here in town (again Aubri the weather has to be “warmer” for this!)
  • I loved building forts when I was little
  • Dress up!
  • Craft time of course
  • Read books or go to our town Library
  • Picnics inside! That was always so fun for me!
  • Cushion Mountain and Cushion Bridge

I took the cushions off the couch and chair in our living room and made a “mountain” and a “bridge”. The girls (and I) had a lot of fun and burned some energy for sure! Lily gets pretty riled up, but I think it’s been really good for her.

I’ll keep trying to come up with more ideas. If any one has other suggestions I’d love to hear them!

Cushion Bridge where you run as fast as you can and fall over. (It’s fun, trust me)