Next Christmas

Yes thats right, there will be another Christmas next year. Alot of people forget this when it comes to the post christmas sales. Alot of decorations are 50-80% off. I know that for me i need to stock up on christmas kit. This year was sparse. We have a small tree with no lights and thats it. But not only this its also a good opportunity for birthday and christmas present shopping for next year. Think ahead people. What will you need? Here is my list so far:

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  • Christmas lights, both indoor and out.
  • White christmas tree
  • Wrapping paper
  • Clothes for Rue, sizes 1 and 2.
  • Birthday present for Rue (for July im thinking one of those tee pees)
  • A few gifts for Nieces. (aged 3 and 5)
  • Possibly some baby items to donate if they are a good price. (Blankets and wraps are always in demand)
  • Bed sheets for our bed (BD being a truck driver gets filthy and tar doesnt wash out too well)
  • Bonds singlets for BD (Part of any truckie’s uniform)
  • Socks for BD (He has 20pairs of the same sock to prevent mismatches but they are getting worn out)
  • Shoes for me (i have one pair…yes, seriously)
  • Laundry basket (the dog has peed on it a few times so i will have to get rid of it to prevent further urination)

Im hoping to not spend too much on this lot. I won’t buy anything that isnt at least 50% off or a bargain price. Hoping to get the tree for about $20-$30 (rrp $120). Lights maybe under $10 and wrapping paper under $2 a roll. Birthday presents under $10 a piece. Sheets are usually a really good sale item i usually get a doona cover for about $50 (rrp Over $100). ┬áBut my fave sale item i might have to give a miss this year. I have a love for egyptian cotton bath sheets. The really big fluffy ones. Each year i will generally get two of one color but having moved a few times i seem to have ‘lost’ alot of them so i now have only one of each color and only 3 towels all up and they are losing their plumpness. They normally retail for about $50 a piece but at sales are under $20. But this year other things are going to take priority over towels. We have enough and i am now on my Centerlink maternity leave so money is tighter.

Another item i will look at are party supplies. Not sure if they go on sale or not but as im now a mum i have alot of birthday parties in my future to cater for. Plates, cups, goodie bags and drink dispensers. How cute is this jungle theme:

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Quilt

I am never making a queen size quilt again! Ugh. I have been quilting this thing for weeks and still have a full half to go. My wrists are hurting from moving it around and i think i might use up another spool of thread before im done. Plus i woke up this morning to find the dog had peed on it!!! Thankfully it was on the edge that had some overhang so i cut it off and ill have to wash it before i gift it. Needess to say the dogs spent the rest of the morning outside.

Watching little man and he just nearly flipped back the other way (front to back) go little man!

Im also doing well on a quilt for myself. I found it in a quilting mag and had to give it a go. This is my quilting area, not a bad view on a stormy afternoon.

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Decorating

I have a tree up! I wanted a real tree for the first time ever but BD said no way. He claims they are full of bugs and make a mess. Both points i dont care about but i have to repect his wish as he has to live with it too. So plan B. BD had a fake tree in the garage.

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I went for simple. After christmas im going to make the most of the sales and get a big white christmas tree for next year. I am also going to pick up some small potted trees to scatter around the house for next year. I love that idea. That way its not thrown out in January and its festive in more than one room. I had to dog proof this tree so i supported it with these little stools which also served as a resting place for this wicker basket which i can stack the presents in so they wont get chewed on. You might also notice a small hand print ornament. This was made with air dry clay which i picked up for $8 at Bunnings then finished with some gloss finishing spray also from bunnings. Next step will to be to get some twinkle lights up. Love me some twinkle lights. The rest of the ornaments are newish. When i moved to my own place a few years back i realised i had no ornaments so i have bought a few a year. I have a sheep on a wagon from New Zealand, a painting santa and a nutcracker. My ultimate would be a santa in a hot air balloon as it was my fave on mums tree when i was little. Havent had luck finding him yet.

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Groceries

As im trying to save for a house deposit at the moment i have been evaluating what i spend my money on. Right now, my biggest expenses are food and electricity (well BD pays electricity but i consider it a big household cost). So i have only been using the dryer if its nessesary ie if there is washing and its raining and i need to do more washing. But the other one is food. I generally do a big shop on payday of about $200-$300. $100 of that is formula and nappies so its not a cost i can cut back on. But after this shop i find that i still have to go to the shop a few times before next payday to get dinners which is another $200 odd. So this week im trialing a new method. Yesterday i did a semi shop, formula, basics that we were out of and two roasts for dinner. Why roasts? Well BD has added chicken to his list of foods he is sick of. This now makes it mince, chicken, sausages, rice, pasta. Steak, pork and roasts are really all i have left. As Rue is now eating i need to pick up fresh fruit and veg on a regular basis so i thought rather than one big shop i would try just getting 2-3 days worth of meat and dinners at a time. We will see how it goes. Im hoping it not only saves money but encourages me to eat more fresh food.
I actually picked up a few baby food pouches because rue doesnt seem to be liking what i make him. He loves apple and banana but he needs veg too. He loves the sweet vegie one to the point that he was actually opening his mouth for more were as usually i have to trick him into opening up. So im trying a few of the combos they do myself at home. Tonight for dinner he has apple, banana and pear puree. Lets see how it goes :)

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Rue is 20weeks!

My little man is 20 weeks this week. That’s 4 months!

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Weight: 5.8kg

Length: 62cm

Head: 42cm

Size: 00

Skills: Rolling back to front, grasping toys, pulling things into his mouth, sitting with support, babbling (we think he might have said No, dad dad and mum).

He has just started solids. He likes apple puree and mashed banana. He doesnt like Farax (baby cereal) peas, broccoli and cauliflower and he isnt sure on carrot.

We think he might be ticklish under his arms, under his chin and on the bottoms of his feet.

He likes standing, watching TV, sitting on dad, his teddy, looking at his reflection. He doesnt like the sewing machine, mum leaving the room, and i have found he hasn’t liked his dummy the last few days.

He sleeps in his sleeping bag, in his bassinet at night next to mum and in his crib in his own room during the day. He still has 3 naps during the day and sleeps 9pm-8:30am with one or two feeds at 2am and 5am.

Craving the beach

The plan was to go up to Queensland to visit my mum in January (hi mum). But frankly im not sure how we can swing it. The easiest method would be flying but this involves a $900 price tag and we would have to lug the pram and car seat on with us. Its a 1.5hr flight then a 1.5hr drive to mums. The second option would be to drive up but that would be a 15hr drive not including rest breaks! I really dont think Rue will go for this at his age. He is great in the car but we have only ever driven one hour when he just sleeps. We are doing a trip to sydney in a few weeks which will be a 4hr drive so i guess it could be a test. The plan for that is to go in his nap time then when he wakes up ill jump in the back with him to amuse him.

Then another option came to me. Train! I love trains, they are so quaint. I have never actually been on a train besides scenic ones on holidays. But i imagine they would still be quaint. It would save us driving and we can get up and walk around with Rue. Only when i looked it up its not only the same price as flying but we would have to change trains half way and it still takes 14hrs! Why on earth would i do that when i could fly for the same price???

So now i need to find $900. I dont even have $100 lol it would be great though, she has a heated pool and the beach is just down the road…and she would cook for me lol The only other option i have is to try and get enough Qantas points to cover part of the airfair. I would need 8000 to cover one leg for one person. So 32,000 for the whole trip for both of us. Sounds out of reach doesnt it? Well mum and her husband have just done exactly this for their trip to Canberra in January. The trick is to look out for special offers, Qantas often sends out things like, get home delivery and get 2000 points (with the Everyday rewards card from Woolies). Or get 150points in a month and we will give you a bonus 500. Right now i have 600 points mostly from grocery shopping. Not quite 32,000 lol So now im on the look out for those special offers.

Amish Puzzle ball

I was almost angry at BD this week. He sold one of his cars and told me he bought a PS4 and a heap of games with the money then he was going to get a huge speaker system and install them in our bedroom…i was 90% sure he was joking but he just never cracks so its sooo hard to tell. He kept insisting that he was getting the speakers and that i had to be home to accept his PS4 delivery. Still pritty sure he was joking. He kept the ruse going a whole week until he said to come outside and help him carry the speakers in. And he turned up in a new car! Turns out he had sold one car and traded the other and gotten himself a safer car for us to travel in. He is such a sweet heart! I dont know about cars but its a pritty shade of blue and us a vrs? Lots of power so a great hoon car for him but also safer than his last two cars which were old and not great for long distances. Such a good man i have :P Even if he does yank my tail once in a while.

Anyway i was posting last time about the simple life and Amish. Well then i found this pattern. Its an Amish puzzle ball. It was really fast to make and only took me an afternoon. Pattern here.

Rue loves it. Shoved it straight in his mouth lol Basically all you do is cut 12 of the outer shape and 24 of the inner. Then sew two inner to one outer, stuff it with stuffing then sew them together. Simple.

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Prepping

Im not a prepper. I guess im more of a boy scout, be prepared. There have been times in my life where im left out on a limb and wonder why on earth i wasnt more prepared. The power goes out and we all flounder, cant boil water, cant cook, cant charge our phones. I think we rely on technology and modern conveniences too much. We can duck down the shop when ever we like, run 20 things in the house at once. Well i love it lol I do. Modern conveniences are excellent but i also think that you need a back up plan. So yesterday i went online and got me some oil lamps. I have always loved the ones my grandparents have up on a shelf at the farm. Not used but still charming. They also had a wood burning stove which heated the water too (we installed a hot water system and electric oven when my nan passed as its not practical to keep it burning all day).

Anyway, the oil lamps are darn hard to find. I have checked a few op shops with no luck and the ones i have seen online are a bit flowery and glass and old ladyish. I wanted trendy metal ones. Then i found these!

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How super cute are they. They only stand 8′ tall and i thought they could be great at bbqs on the tables. So cute. They were cheap too at $10 a piece. Only problem, they are in America. Postage was $50! so i got 4 with some oil and spare wicks to make the postage worth it. Cant wait until they arrive and i hope they are ok because the only review on them said that the bottom stuck to the bubble wrap as the color came off the glass…I was willing to take the risk for them as i have never seen any as cute as these. ( i secretly also thought they would work on the tables of a wedding *cough cough*)

I got them from here if you want to grab a set for yourself :) And i got the aladdin oil as it seems to be the one with no odour even after a while of burning. Might see about using citronella oil too for bbqs.

Breastfeeding

I find myself bombarded everyday with images of women breastfeeding. On social media, on the TV. Women claiming that they have the right to feed in public, that its the most wonderful thing in the world. That those who dont breastfeed are disadvantaging their children. Well folks. I wanted to tell you my own story. Because breastfeeding is the best thing for your child but frankly not everyone is able to feed and we shouldnt be made to feel inferior for it.

When Rue was born he went straight to the nursery due to a low temp and low blood sugar. I didnt get to see him for a full day. When i did he had been fitted with a nasal feeding tube because his nose had been compressed in the womb and he wasnt able to breath through it. This was a temporary problem that would right it self in a few days. Until then they had to start him on formula. Due to a traumatic labour i was bed bound for the first two days. Rue was brought to me on the evening of the first day and i tried to breastfeed him but he couldnt breathe and feed so wouldnt latch. I expressed into a syringe a few times a day which the nurses gave him before his formula.

On the third day i was aloud out of bed in a wheel chair so could only go and see him when my partner was in the hospital which was about 3 times a day. They gave me the use of their breastpump but i could only use it when i was in the nursery. I expressed about 10ml of colustrum each time. It was not much as due to my haemorrhage my body was busy trying to make blood rather than milk. The nurses said it was a really good effort to get that much in my condition. On the forth day he got his tube out and i tried him on the boob again. He could latch but wouldnt suck and quickly pulled away. On the sixth day we went home. I continued pumping with my home pump and got about 20-40mls each time in about an hour of pumping, It was time consuming and exhausting for my body which was still trying to heal. I tried to breastfeed him everyday but he now wouldnt latch and would scream every time i tried. After 2 weeks my supply had gone down to 20ml a day. I knew i couldnt keep it up. At three and a half weeks i packed the pump away. I felt terrible. I felt like i had failed my little man. Im nearly in tears now thinking about it. At one month i made one last effort and bought nipple shields thinking he might think it was his bottle. Nope. Hated them. So that was that.

My baby was happy, gaining weight and healthy. I had to accept that. Alot of women are in the same position as me. I have friends who were in tears daily because they couldnt breastfeed. They tried everything.  Some went to clinics for weeks to try get their babies to feed. They ate special diets, lactation cookies, went on medication to increase supply. They battle masatitis and thrush. All because we have it drilled into us that we have to breastfeed. Well you know what. I think thats a horrible thing to do to new mothers. Its hard enough without laying that much pressure on us. Sure breast is best but if you cant, if its affecting your mental or physical health then we need to be accepting of formula. As mothers we should not pressure other mothers to breastfeed. We should be 100% accepting of formula feeding babies. Dont shove breast is best campaigns in our faces. Dont look pityingly at us when we tell you we formula feed. Dont tell me that statistically my child will be dumber than breastfed babies, dont tell me that he will be sickly because he didnt get my immunities. My baby is healthy and happy and there is NO benefit to making us feel like crap about a decision that we did for the health of our selves and our babies. The decision is hard enough without shoving breastfeeding guilt trips in our face everyday. I guess you could say that breast is best campaigns have actually gone one step too far. In trying to get us all to breastfeed they have alienated those who cant. Much like the feminist movement that gave us so many options but now its considered a controversial decision to be a stay at home mum. We have to justify a decision that used to be the norm.

So stop and think before judging. Even if you didnt mean it your words and actions can cut. And dont worry if you read this and think im talking about you, none of my friends do this, its mostly a side affect to being a member of mothers groups where there are alot of opinions floating around.