Rues first year

I mentioned a while ago (i think) That i was making a year book. Well it has morphed into a family album/ Rues first year record. Im having alot of fun with it but im struggling with some parts. You see i have many pictures of Rue (obviously) but am not sure what else to include. It really needs more stories in it. I have a few family tree pages with various lists, family, cousins, great grandparents. I have a list of milestones and a letter from me to him. But thats no where near enough to fill in all the gaps.

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I would love to put some paintings done by rue in there but he hasnt really done any yet. He did one for mum and one for daddy. Maybe i can do some hand prints? What other things would you include?

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Erin Condren planner

I got my planner. Well i actually got it a while ago but i wanted to use it before i reviewed it.

Firstly i got the basic planner with the collage cover. I love the pics and i also left a IMG_0272few blank spaces just to break it up a little. I think i will use the month to view the most as i can clearly see bills coming up. But when i get to work i think week to view will be more helpful for meetings and day to day info.

I got a sticker pack with my planner which are the $ ones and birthday ones. I have bought a few sticker packs from etsy since i got it and have to say i have been dissapointed in the quality. The bill due ones are way too small and i have another pack i havent used yet that im not happy with either so i may stick to buying them from the shop now so i can see them before i buy them. It also came with a smaller calender book and a contacts book that i wont use as frankly how many calenders does one person need and my contacts are in my phone…

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Happenings

I havent posted in a while because i got a new phone and havent set it up to get my pics off yet. So this will be a pic less post. Sorry.

There has been alot happening. My sister is pregnant YAY. She is about 18weeks. Im hoping for a girl so i can buy dresses but i have a feeling from her 12week scan that its a boy. I grabbed some girl clothes from a recent vinnies sale just incase. They were only $1 each so worth it for future babies even if she has a boy.

My grandmother passed away on Monday. She has been bed bound for several years and her mind went so it wasnt unexpected but she will be very sadly missed. I like to think she recognized that she had a great grandchild and another on the way, Rue got to meet her a few times so i am happy she got to see him before she passed. It gives my granddad something to look forward too, having more great grandchildren to build cubby houses for.

Rue is crawling! I had to do some hurried baby proofing and a big clean up as he is into everything. Its a challenge keeping him in the loungeroom and not escaping to the rest of the house. He likes the dogs bowls, power cables and pushes on the front screen door which doesnt latch properly so we have to keep a close watch on him. He has also dropped down to two naps a day which makes it more exhausting. He is also all over the place with his moods. I think its teething but no teeth have come through yet so i cant be sure.

He starts babyschool (day care) in 2 weeks and i hate to say it but im looking forward to the break. I havent been away from him for more than an hour since he was born (he is 8months now) and although i adore him mummy needs some down time. I start work the following week so i think for those 3 days he is in care and im not at work ill try squeeze in a massage or something relaxing. He is doing two half days then a full day for his first week. He starts a week before i go back to work because i wanted to be close if he doesnt settle. If im at work and he freaks out i have to come all the way home. His carer is only up the road from our house so much easier to come get him from there. No idea how he will handle it. He is good with other people but i have usually been in the room so he might not like not knowing where i am. Its so upsetting to think that i wont be there if he crys and needs a cuddle but i know he will be in a safe and caring environment and i will eventually get used to it. Im going part time at work and having Fridays off so that i can spend more time with him while he is still a baby. I think that once he is 2yrs old we will look at changing to a childcare center rather than a family daycare and i might go full time. We will wait and see :)

My mum is flying in for the funeral tomorrow and staying until Saturday night so it will be good for Rue to get a play while she is here. Mum will be down a few times this year, for his birthday then for my sisters babys birth in August. Both within a month so a bit expensive but she tries to use qantas points for the flights where she can. We are trying to plan the babyshower for around Rues Birthday so that she can come. My sister will be 35weeks which is when i had my shower so hopefully it works out.

And thats whats been happening!

Groceries

Im trying to bring down my grocery bill so i thought i would ask what you all have found to be the good cheap options. Here are a few i have found myself:

  • Pork is now the cheapest meat (besides beef mince which BD wont eat)
  • Mi goreng, asian noodles ($2 a pack of 5)
  • Pototoes. Great for making potato salad when things are tight.
  • Frozen peas and corn. (a staple in my household)
  • Whole chicken. I recently found that a whole chicken is $7 where as a woolies roast chicken is $13. And its so simple to make.

I would like to say that i shop at Aldi but most of Rue’s things come from Woolworths so i tend to go there to avoid shopping twice. I do however try and buy things on sale. I also always check what the saving is as it can often be less than $1 and its not really worth it for that.

My go to cheap dinner used to be Tuna bake. A bag of pasta $.99, jar of sauce $3, tin of tuna $3. But BD informed me this week that even though he ususally has second servings he doesnt actually like tuna…hmm.

My other tip is to check the sale catalogue on a Wednesday. Like this week a party pack of sausage rolls and party pies are $9 save $4.50, and dog food is $12 also save $4.50. If you like Up and Go, it goes on sale about once a month for about half price. In terms of my shopping it will get a little cheaper when Rue goes into care as BD pays childcare fees and our carer provides nappies and food so i wont have to use the grocery budget for them.

Aim next shop is to see if drumsticks are cheaper then chicken breasts….

Roast chicken: roastchicken_90247_16x9

Combine 2 tbls butter with 1tsp garlic, a squirt of lemon juice and some herbs and spices (i like paprika). Rub all over the chicken, inside the cavity and seporate the skin from the breast and rub on the breast too. Bake at 210c for 90mins covering with foil when the skin browns, about 45mins. Allow to rest out of the oven for 30mins then carve. Perfect!

Sensory box

I found this great idea on pinterest (love that site). A little box of random objects to keep bubs attention and exploritory instinct amused. As he is sitting all the time now he needs something that can keep him occupied in the one spot.

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I grabbed random objects, a spatula and a tea strainer were the favorites.

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He also loved the fact that the base of the box i used has little bumps on it because its actually half of a tupperware marinator container.

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Other items on pinterest were cd’s, whisk, pompoms. Basically anything with an interesting shape or texture.

Languages

I decided that i want Rue to be bi lingual. I think that in this world where travel is so easy we need to know more than one language. In other coutries knowing English is almost mandatory in school. I myself am hopeless at languages. My brain just doesnt recognize anything but english. In primary school a lebanese friend taught us to read Arabic and i wish i had practiced because i of course cant do it anymore.

We had a few languages to chose from. Australia has a strong asian presence so Japanese or Chinese are very common languages. I also considered Arabic considering how prominent the middle east is at the moment. But in the end practicality won and i went with Turkish. Why? My sisters husband is Turkish so their child will be learning it and it just seemed like a good idea. They can teach each other and Uncle Onder is a live in teacher. Alot of people didnt think it was a good idea. Let him learn english first! was the most common objection. But frankly he will learn english everyday. We speak it, everyone we know speaks it. We dont have to teach it. Languages are so much easier to learn for children so for now, or in a few months when he actually starts talking, we will stick to simple words like hello, mum, dad. Then as he gets older we can start on sentences.

I got my crafty on and made some flash cards to stick up. It was super easy. I made them on Word. Just a 4 cell table. Entered my text, font size 20 i think. Found a border in google images and set it to ‘behind text’. Then copy and pasted it into the other cells so it would be the same size without fiddling with each one. I used an online translator to find the Turkish words then double checked them with my sister who is learning it herself, (and tell me how to pronounce them). The cute little pictures are also from google images. If you are worried about copyright, its fine for personal non commercial use.

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Next step is to laminate them so that they last longer.

Childcare

We have had an exciting week here. Rue learnt to sit himself up. Still working on the down part and often leads to his head smashing down on the floor. I have become super pillow mum, scooting over to stick his boomerang pillow behind him incase he falls. He is getting better though. Thankfully. Seems to have given up on crawling now that he can sit up, he was so close too! I think i might turn around one day and see him crawl. Such a clever boy.

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We also have currently got a childcare drama. We went from no options to two. Yesterday we went to visit a family carer (childcare in  their home) who was wonderful. Right down the road with a cute setup in the granny flat out the back of her house. But. Then we got a call to say Rue got a place in a Childcare center. Catch is he has to start in two weeks which is 4 weeks before i go back to work. I am viewing the center this afternoon. No idea what to do. Do we pay the deposit with the family carer to lock her in for when i go back to work, $200. Do i lock in the childcare which is a huge $800 payable NOW. Or do i say no to both in the hope we get another offer closer to April??? Childcare is in hot demand in Canberra. Rue has his name down at 8 places and all are full. The only way to get in is if someone leaves which they only have to give 2-4weeks notice so it will be very close to when i go back to work to find out if we get another place. The family daycare is more expensive but closer to home and the dates line up better. Decisions decisions and we have to decide pritty much either cob today or Monday at the latest.

Personally i prefer a center, more regulated and more staff to keep an eye on things. With a family daycare there is only one person so if they have to leave the room the babies are unsupervised. Then again starting a full month before i go back to work is a bit of a waste of money…I would only get him to do half days then part time until i go back to work but we still would have to pay the full cost. BD desnt really mind what we do, he doesnt know much about the whole care thing where as i used to work in childcare so have an idea about what is good. But the cost will come out of his pay so i feel like i need to do right by him too.

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Plus side

Because im dreading going back to work i thought i would think of some positives:

1. The gym is a 3min walk from my work so i can work out without taking time away from Rue.

2. I work in a major shopping center so have access to any shop i want in my lunch break. Not to mention a full food court.

3. Free printing and photocopying. My work allows this as long as its minimal personal use and not business use.

4. I love stationary so splurged and got myself a Erin Condren Life planner. I personalised the cover to be a collage of Rue. Cant wait until it arrives.

5. Adult conversation. The only people i really talk to now are BD and my sister. A bit more varied conversation will be nice.

6. More money. Its not much more after childcare but its enough that i can start getting on top of things rather than just making ends meet.

My aim is to get my credit cards down and my savings up before we decide to have another bub. Maybe a year or so. Maternity leave gives you enough money for bills and thats about it so having savings is a big help but it does get diminished at an alarming rate due to wanting to buy cute things for Rue :P All for this little man :)

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Moving house

No im not moving, my sister has built her own home and can move in April. I would like to say im a bit of a master at this by now. I have moved home 12 times in 10 years. Yep, i have it down pact. So here is my guide to moving house.

Firstly should you hire a removalist or truck? I lived in an apartment up 8 flights of stairs with no lift. It was not practical or logical for me to move myself so i hired removealists who did it in 3hrs flat. Cost $300. Well worth it. Normally however i just get friends to help and hire a small box truck for about $100 a day.Store-and-More-movinghouse02

As soon as you decide to move:

  1. Go room to room and pull out anything you dont need. Remember, if you keep it you have to move it. Book in a garage sale for the next week and sell items on facebook etc if you dont want to donate everything. This will give you extra money for boxes and bubble wrap also.
  2. Prepare bags for donating. Cull your clothes. I normally get atleast one full bag and thats normally every year.
  3. I can normally halve my belongings in my pre-move decluttering. Remember if you keep it you have to move it.

A week before you move:

  1. Throw out out of date food or that bag of lentals you know you will never eat.
  2. Change your address with all the important places, bank, phone, medicare, car rego.
  3. Cancel your electricity and book for it to be connected at the new house. I get it connected the day before we are due to move in. Generally this day the house is free for cleaning anyway.
  4. Fill the car with petrol and clean it so you have room for boxes.
  5. Get boxes from work, behind supermarkets or our tip has a box cage you can dive into.
  6. Buy thick stickytape for closing boxes and a permanent marker.
  7. Locate alan keys and screw drivers. Buy more if necessary.
  8. Do all your washing.
  9. Pack things you dont use. Knicknack draw, most kitchen things, linnen.
  10. Clean. Anything that can be cleaned now will save you time later when you are tired after moving. Kitchen cabinets are the biggest job. And outside, mow the lawn etc.
  11. Eat your self out of the house. Eat all food in your fridge and freezer if possible to avoid it spoiling and so you dont have to move it. Avoid grocery shopping.

Day before:

  1.  Bake cookies. This may seem like an odd thing but trust me you will want something to keep you going because we all know that once you stop for lunch you dont want to start again.
  2. Pack EVERYTHING. Seriously, my biggest recommendation is to make sure every single thing you own is in a box. Otherwise you will make 20 trips for those little odds and ends and moving will take twice as long.
  3. Use pillow cases and teatowels to pack dedicates like plates and cups. You need to pack them anyway so why create more rubbish by using newspaper?
  4. Label boxes carefully. Room and contents. Pack essentials in the same box so you can open that first when it comes time to unpack.
  5. If you have children make sure you pack a play box. This can include dvds and toys so that they are kept occupied while you are working.
  6. Pack the car with important items/ boxes the night before so that you know where they are and they dont get lost in the move.

Packing tip: Empty each room one at a time and move all boxes to a central place at the front of the house (lounge room is best). That way you know the room is empty and can be cleaned.

Day of move:

  1. Pack an esky with milk, tea, sugar, coffee, spoons and cups, the kettle and the cookies. You will thank me later.
  2. When dismantling beds use a ziplock bag for screws and the alan key used and tape it to the bed head or side.
  3. The first trip needs to be the biggest. You will get more tired as the day goes on so large furniture needs to go first.
  4. If you have many helpers assign one person to load the truck. This person stays in the truck and moves things around to fit which means everyone else just has to ferry items from the house to the truck.
  5. Leave a fitted sheet on mattresses to protect them from dust and dirt.
  6. Ensure the first person to get to the new house has toilet paper, the esky and some sponges and spray and wipe. I always give the kitchen and bathroom a wipe down as soon as i get there. Plug in the kettle and boil water.
  7. If you have the man power, leave one person at the old house to clean while you unpack the first load. This saves alot of time.
  8. Put each box in the room it belongs in. This will save you searching for items later if you dont get around to unpacking for a day or two.
  9. Plug in the fridge as soon as it arrives to allow it to start cooling.

Unpacking:

  1. Before you even go back for the second load (or if you only need to do one load) Set up the bed and put clean sheets on it. There is no way you will feel like doing this at the end of the day and sleeping in your bed is so nice at the end of a long day.
  2. Unpack towels for showering and put away all food.
  3. If you have children set up the tv and get out the dvds you set aside. This will keep them out of your way.
  4. Order pizza.
  5. Try and unpack and clean everything in one day. Moving should not extend further than it needs too as it will only increase the stress of it.

If moving with babies:

Pack a nursery suitcase. You should be able to live out of this for two days. It should have, toys, formula, food, nappies, changes of clothes, wipes, bibs, blanket. This will allow you time to set the nursery back up without having to hunt around for things.

Good luck!

A friend

We had a visitor yesterday

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See it? No, how about now.

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Yep its a bloody big Huntsman. For those in other countries a huntsman is a very common spider in Australia. It isnt venomous, you wont feel well but it wont kill you. They are however bastards. They like to appear on screen doors so you have to reach past them to get inside, above toilet doors and you have to decide if you can hold it then they disappear and you you are left to wonder where the hell it went.

This one was above my sewing machine. I left it there until BD got up. I pointed it out, ‘Wow thats a big one’ he said validating my decision not to get near it. Im fine with small spiders which i just squash or spray but big ones creap me out. Squashing isnt an option because they will explode and make that crunching noise, shudder. Spraying is also not an option as its so big that it will gallop across the room at me then disappear leaving me to wonder if its dead or waiting for me in a corner somewhere. Huntsman you see, dont scurry, they gallop. They rise up and full on sprint across the room. And this ones fangs were HUGE, i didnt want it going anywhere. So my big strong man cought it in a chinese food container and for some odd reason put it on a shelf. Its still there, he refuses to get rid of it and im not touching it. I may have to throw a towel over it and throw it outside later, i hate walking past it. Ew, ew ew.