Friday, October 14, 2011

Update on my journey

My two older kids are at preschool, and both the younger ones are having their naps. As much as I'm enjoying it, I'm a little lost lol.

As I stated in my post yesterday, the past couple of months have been rush rush and have quickly blurred past me.

For the first few weeks after having bub, I didn't continue with anything to do with my journey to regain control of my house and finances, in fact it was quite the opposite. My plan of being strict with money and paying out that car went out the window, the house seemed to return to the state it was when I was working and the clutter seemed to breed like crazy...

I wasn't too concerned with the house and clutter as I know life can be crazy with the arrival of a new bub and would soon be dealt with once things settle down, but I was really concerned about the money side of things, as with the arrival of bubs, we're even more desperate for extra space and another room.

We can in no way afford an extension on the house, or to move to a bigger place at the moment, so we decided to get built ins in the kids rooms to free up some storage space. This has been heaven sent. Miss 4's room is tiny, but since having the built ins has made her room look larger. We've also put some shelves up, and by doing so we were able to get rid of her little table which housed her pretty things. She has so much more floor space now.

We haven't yet removed the old wardrobes from the boys room yet, so I can't comment on how much space it has free'd up. But I do love the built in :)

Over the past few weeks, I've started getting back into decluttering. I've managed to get rid of about 7 bags from home. We also held a garage sale, and with the promise of not bringing the left over stuff back into the house, I filled more bags and actually got my mum, aunties and cousin into the decluttering spirit. Between us, we managed to fill bags and boxes the length and width of a massive 8 seater dining table (It was stored there until dad could take it to the op shop. He's the only one with a car big enough to fit it all lol). That's great considering my mum and aunties hold onto things until they finally sell. Which in one case was 8 years lol.

Even with the house looking like a bomb hit it, it's so much quicker and easier to return it to a state of order. So those months of decluttering and organising has definitely paid off :)

We're still paying extra onto the car, with a minimum of $50 a week. Most weeks we put a lot more on it, but I found when we pumped so much money into the loan, we'd fall off the wagon. We're now under the $20000 mark on our loan :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

8 Weeks Old Today

Where has the time gone?? I can't believe how fast the time has gone. It seemed to fly by in a blur.

Things are going really well. He's finally starting to settle into a routine which is great (he was waking every 1-2 hrs).

I'm combining breast and bottle feeding. I was exclusively breastfeeding, but it was a bit hard to constantly feed bubs when I still have 3 other kiddies at home. Since doing this, he has been a lot more settled.

He sometimes has trouble with passing and bringing up wind, which is new to me, none of my others had any trouble lol.

He is VERY fussy (like his dad) we think we've figured out what he likes or what soothes him, but the next day it's something different.

He loves his cuddles and loves watching his brothers and sister.

The kids are great with him. Miss 4.5 always asks to ''baby sit'' bubs. The older 2 will often give him his dummy or bottle, or turn the swing on for him. Mr 3 loves fetching his bouncer :)

My husband has been excellent. He will get up to the older kids in the morning and lets me have a sleep in if I want (which in a way is not to good because I could spend all day sleeping lol).

Hubby took 6 weeks off work, but after 4 weeks, my brother needed help with some things so my husband helped him out for 2 weeks. It was hard at first, because my husband had been there to help out with everything, then he was gone all day, but I had to get used to all the kids/housework/cooking etc at some point so it has worked out well. The worst bit was getting the older 2 ready for pre school and taking them to swimming lessons, but mum, dad and my sister helped out there.

The younger 2 have just woken up from there naps, so I best be off. Hopefully things will be a little less busy from now on and I can update more.

Friday, September 2, 2011

He's here :)

Our newest member of our family has arrived :)

Our little man was born at 36wks 6 days on 18th August 2011 at 6.35am. He came into the world weighing 7lb 3oz and 45cm long :)

He's soo tiny, I have no idea where he was hiding all that weight. I didn't believe he weighed that much, so they re weighed him and sure enough he did lol.

He's doing really well, and has grown 4.5cm in 2 weeks :) He hasn't put weight on, in fact he's lost more, but the Family health nurses aren't really concerned as he's growing well in length.

Here's a pic of our wee man :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

I think I'm finally getting it...

the value of money that is...

Saturday afternoon we were all having one of those ''blah'' moments. Kids playing together, DH on the computer and me sitting on the lounge. I really couldn't be bothered doing anything, we'd spent a few hours going through and tidying up our daughters room earlier in the day, and even though my husband did the bulk of it, I was tired.

It was nearing dinner time and I was hungry. I REALLY REALLY felt like pizza! I was craving it something shocking. I told my husband I wanted pizza and he pretty much said that's nice. He's really good like that, if I don't feel like cooking, he'd rather cook then buy take away, even though it's the smartest decision it's still a little disappointing when I'm really wanting it lol.

The kids over heard pizza and started getting all excited. My husband said seeing as though he hadn't been here the last few days (he went to Melbourne for work) that he'd treat us to pizza.

We only really eat pizza from Pizza Inn, it's sooo yum and the pizza's are massive, but it can be expensive. And when he said he'd treat us, something in my head turned. I couldn't justify spending (wasting) $50 on pizza when I've got a perfectly good roast in the fridge that needs to be used up. It was an instant change of mind for me. My husband rarely agrees to getting take away and usually I JUMP at the chance to get it, but not tonight.

I thanked the husband but told him I couldn't justify spending the money on pizza when that could cover a weeks groceries or go towards the car he wants to get. He was shocked and offered to cook, but I had already decided to use the roast in a stir fry and knowing it wouldn't take long to cook (it'd take longer to explain to him what to do lol), I decided just to get on with it.

The kids whinged that they weren't getting pizza, and let us know they weren't impressed with stir fry, or as my daughter put it, ''I don't want stir!'' lol... Tough, kids! you get what you're given! Funny enough they all wanted seconds :)

Whenever we order take away, the kids and I are so excited about it, but once it's gone I sit there and think was it actually worth the money we spent on it? My taste buds always say yes, but my wallet says otherwise lol.

So I'm hoping that now we have a goal to pay off the car this financial year, that us saying no to non essentials will continue :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Random: I feel proud :)

Last night on the phone to my husband, I was poking fun at him saying how his work will never send him away again as he costs them a fortune in food! He easily eats $60+ worth of food a night (hotel room service), and he said well that's their problem, I'll tell them straight, I'm used to coming home from work, welcomed by a beautiful, huge, home cooked meal, not some piddly little kid serve lasagne that costs $17.

Naww him saying that made me so happy :) Then he started complaining how he didn't like their chili con carne. I decided to throw in (to stir him up) that mine's better and he misses his wifes home cooked meals and he goes yeah I do, I really do.

He's probably sucking up, but I don't care, I heard what I wanted, and now I can hold it to him if he ever whinges lol :)

He'll be welcomed home to a yummy Roast beef and veg dinner, and if I'm feeling generous I might even make him his fave choccie pudding and custard :)

The old saying "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach" is definitely true :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I wish all days were like today (warning: whinge session)

Yesterday I had a horrible time with DS3. He was acting like such a brat!! So ignorant, overactive, not listening to ANYTHING I'd say, chucked tantrums over the slightest thing, and I mean SLIGHTEST. He's so bl**dy loud that his normal talking voice is practically yelling.

 I couldn't put him in his normal bed (shares with DS1.5) cause he jumps in his cot and keeps him awake, and sometimes hurts him (doesn't mean to just too rough). So DS1.5 cannot get sleep when DS3 is around. So since Monday night, DS3 has slept in DD's room. Monday and Tuesday night this went sooo smoothly, he went to bed when told, shhhhd when told etc.... then came last night. COMPLETE OPPOSITE!!! He was up til 11.30 with his loudness keeping everyone awake, kept jumping on DD's bed, she came out so many times saying how he was keeping her awake. Chucked more tantrums when I'd try settling him down... It took me 3.5 hrs.

I couldn't believe the change from the first 2 nights to last night, then I realised, he went to preschool on Monday and Tuesday. That had probably tired him out so he was happy to go to bed. Yesterday he was home, so he was bored out of his brain (he's got a short attention span so keeping him entertained can be very hard).

Then the boy decided he wanted to get up at the crack of dawn :(

Anyway enough whinging, today was a lot better. He still had his tantrums over pathetic things, but that's just him lol.

The day went pretty smoothly, we had breaky and did the whole morning routine. I put a movie on for the older two (yep I relied on the electronic baby sitter, but hey a mums gotta do what a mums gotta do), while the little feller and mummy tidied up.

The kids came out on time for snacks and went back in the room and played. Mummy and DS1.5 tidied up some more, put a load of washing on etc, and ended up in the boys room and managed to fill two bags of stuff to go to the op shop. Unfortunately the older two thought this was a perfect time to come into the room and start playing with toys (some of which were going in the bag grrr lol).

We had lunch and played some games, read some books and did some learning. It was time for bubs to go to bed, so off he went and the older two played with the Thomas train set, which I completely forgot I had bought for DS3 last year, and he's barely played with it cause I put it up out of the way :)

I did some more loads of washing, chucked some in the dryer and thought I'd sneak some time on the computer. Big mistake!! Of course the kids thought this was a perfect time to start mucking up! Long story short, DD hogged all the trains but 1 and DS3 thought it was the end of the world and chucked an all mighty!! He was actually vicious and abusive I couldn't believe it! I put him straight to bed in DD's room and he continued on with the tantrum (I had already done the whole reasoning, calming down and everything else you do, buuuuuutttt nothing worked). Eventually he calmed down and went to sleep.

I was exhausted by this time and was starting to get the tightening's/contractions again, so took this as I sign to rest. I told DD mummy was having a sleep and she can lay down with me and either sleep too or watch telly. We slept for almost 2 hrs which was fantastic. I really needed it.

The boys were both still asleep when I woke up. I'm not sure how long DD had been awake for, as she was up playing.

I watched her play for a while, made a couple of phone calls and got the boys up. It was then time to start dinner.

We ate dinner, bathed them, they played while I tidied up. I put the bub to bed. I watched H&A and the older two played snap :) They're now watching Sponge Bob.

DS3 is occasionally being loud and I've told him off a couple of times (after reasoning with him) as he has already woken the little feller up.

I know DS3 still had his bad moments today which did stress me out and brought me to tears a couple of times, but over all it was a great day which went pretty smoothly. Usually he's a pain like that all day most days.

I've considered getting him tested for ADD/ADHD, but I've never had a complaint from his teachers, in fact they all love him, they can't get enough of him. It seems to be mummy he plays up for. He tries it on Daddy, takes one look at Daddys face and doesn't do it again.

Ohh DH is in Melbourne for work this week, so that could be adding to DS's agroness (yep I make up words lol), all week he's been asking for him, and really missing him, where as DD understands where he is, why he's there and when he's coming home, so she hasn't been effected by it much, and the little one has absolutely no idea what's going on and simply cracks up laughing on the phone to DH when ever he rings lol... Strange boy... :D

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Where I'm at...

Well as I'm typing this, I'm looking around my lounge room and it's in a bit of a mess.

Coffee Table
Bubs beanie
Leaflet/flyer thing

Blanket half hanging off the lounge.
Basket of unfolded washing
Towels 1 folded 3 aren't
A layby
Pile of new bubs clothes

On The Floor
My boots
Kids school bags
Mr 3's robe
Baby wipes
Kids drawings
Un blown up balloon
Lunch box
Bread bag tag
3 toys
Menu plan
and a stool in the wrong spot...

A clothes rack - I think the clothes are dry lol

I've been walking over this stuff pretty much since I came home at about 4.15. It was worse than this earlier and have slowly been putting things away and getting the kids to help aswell.
I could use any excuse under the sun as to why I haven't finished, but to be honest It's sheer lazyness. I am very tired, but the amount that's lying around would probably take all of 15-20 minutes to tidy up... Having said that it's still not enough to convince me to do it lol.

Pretty much my whole house is like this, clutter lying around. It's doing my head in, and as much and as fast as I clean it seems to reappear again. I'll blame the kids, every flat surface, lack of time, how I'm feeling etc, but when it comes down to it, it just proves that we have WAY TOO MUCH STUFF.

We have a council clean up this week (was actually Monday but haven't done our street yet), So we carted some junk out the front, and was amazed to see how quick the broken walker disappeared lol. Its broken so I hope to god they aren't actually going to use that for a baby.

My husband had some old parts for a VH/VK Commodore. He's been meaning to get rid of them, but as the flyer stated no car parts he didn't put them out. I told him to, cause guaranteed some scrapper will come around and snap them up before the council come around. And that's exactly what happened. Within 10 minutes lol.

There's still sooo much we need to get rid of, but most of it is building rubble (bricks etc), so will contact a brick recycler for a quote.

But as far as insides concerned, I'm still finding it hard to get rid of things, as I keep thinking of the "value" of it. I hate storing things for garage sales unless its something worth putting on, but as far as toys, I just want them gone. I've gotta be ruthless! I really don't think my daughter needs 3 tea sets.

So I had a very quick look in her room today while she was at pre school, and I saw 4 things that went out for the collection. I've got my eye on a few more things that I'll box up and take to her pre school or the op shop.

I want to go through their books and take a heap to the pre school/op shop. I don't even want to begin to think how many touch and feel/shapes/numbers etc books they have. Mum just came back from Cairns so now they have more lol.

I've held onto almost ALL their clothes, except for a box and bag I sold to mum a few months ago, a few rotten ones that were binned and a couple of bags to the op shop. All of which have only happened this year. The boys clothes I will keep as we have 3 boys, but as far as the girls clothes I'll go through and sell/scrap/donate etc. Except the baby clothes (On the phone to hubby today, he called to see how my check up went, he said next bub we're going private. I smiled from ear to ear and said yeh well I don't want to go through this again, and he said yeh well we'll wait a few yrs, save up and we'll go private) Woohooooo!!! lol!!! As much as I'd love to go again, if he didn't I'd have to accept it. But he wants another in about 4-5 yrs :D So I'll hold onto all the baby clothes esp. the pink :)

So that's where we're at with the clutter, we're weeding through it slowly and have seen progress.

Financially, we're doing ok. We scrapped that car and lost out $400 but we're not dwelling on it, we're simply rebuilding our emergency fund. We've got about $250 left on the credit card, which will be paid out next Monday. We are now putting an extra $50 a week on the car loan, and have finally gotten to the point where we can afford Sanity Money for each other. We don't take it out regularly, actually most the time not at all, we've been used to not having it for so long, but it's great to know it's there when we want it. Groceries aren't strict necessities anymore and naughty naughty we're spending a bit on chocolate and other yummy stuff. Again we aren't concerned about extra money being "wasted" on luxuries, we're enjoying the fact that we can buy them without worrying how to pay the mortgage.

The pregnancy has been up and down, but looks like things are improving. I've been admitted a few times for certain issues, the most recent being last week for a reaction to the steroids. I was only in over night, and thankfully all was well. Bubs has caught up in his weight and is now looking like he's gonna be a big boy (not sure if I mentioned, but he was 2 weeks behind in growth), he's now 87th percentile in weight lol. I've got slight placenta previa, but so far they aren't too concerned and hopefully I can still have a vaginal delivery. I had low fluid, but this boy is making me soo thirsty and I'm downing drinks like they're going out of style, and at the last scan the level was normal :). The baby is at brim, and I have a scan next week or so to recheck the above issues, and to check the cervix length. Even though the Dr's concerned about pre term labour, I'm not too concerned now, I've had the steroids to boost his lungs, his weight is great, and he's a fighter, so I know he'll be fine :) But having said that, I'm hoping he stays put til 36 weeks at least. Unfotunately I'm still getting the constant Contractions, but I'm getting through them.

And no I still haven't tidied up lol.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Guest Post: How to change your attitude to money.

I feel so honourned to have the lovely and extremely talented Kylie from Aspiring Millionaire and to guest blog today. Kylie is not only a very talented blogger, but she is also a wife and mum, and the author of two books, 365 Ways to Make Money and 26 Ingredients.

How to Change Your Attitude To Money

Photo Credit

Our thoughts on money often stem from our childhoods, how our life was and our parents thoughts on money. This thought pattern is not easy to change. Since it is more common to grow up in a poor or middle class family than a wealthy family it is easy to have a more negative attitude to money or the “We can’t afford it” mentality.

I grew up in a poor to middle class family but instead of my parents constantly saying “We can’t afford it” (although, of course, on occasion they did say that) they generally tried to teach us about money and a more frugal way to live and would suggest “We do things xyz way instead”. My parents also taught me to aim high.

My husband on the other hand grew up in a pretty poor house where the ‘we are broke’ attitude was very obvious. He often had quite a fear of there not being enough money and would stress quite a lot even with all bills paid and plenty of money in the bank.

It might sound crazy, but one of the biggest things that helped us is visualising. We worked out what we wanted; what our goals were, set a budget and created a vision board. And nothing was too far out there or unrealistic for us to aim for.

Many books and financial professionals recommend visualising what you want. The thing is many people think they are visualising, when in actually fact they are just thinking.

Money is not a bad thing and you do not need to be broke for the rest of your life. If you look at your life, your income versus expenses and make a plan there is no reason you can’t be successful. The only thing holding you back is you.

Here are some steps to help you:

1.) Recognise your money attitude and situation
Do you feel like you are coasting along just fine despite being in huge amounts of debt? Or are you constantly worrying how you are going to pay for everything? Either scenario is not really a good one to have. You need to sit down and look at your finances. Does your income cover your expenses? Are there any ways you can cut back without feeling completely deprived? If your income covers your expenses and you have some left for savings you are doing well. But you still need to ensure you have a positive money attitude.

2.) Create a plan
Write out all your expenses and income, set a budget and if the income does not exceed expenses look at where you can cut back but also where you can create more wealth. The focus of creating more wealth helps steer your mind away from the we are so broke mindset as you have more money coming in versus focussing on scraping by. That said, even with extra money you still need control of your money.

3.) Work out what it is that you want Sit down and write out a wish list. Things such as financially free, a holiday to Hawaii, a particular car, whatever it is you want in your life, write it down. Next create a vision board. If you want to know how to make one I have written about mine here and an update on results here.

4.) Focus on the positive
This is easier said than done, but if you can focus on the money coming in, the fact you have paid xyz bills or you still have your mortgage this can help you a lot in changing the mindset from negative to positive. Look at your achievements and keep them in mind. You do need to be aware of your financial situation and there is no point ignoring things if you are in a financial mess, but congratulating yourself for even small money achievements helps create a positive vibe.

5.) Visualise
Create some affirmations for yourself such as “Money flows to me freely” or “I earn more than enough money for our family”, whatever it is that will help you. Say these affirmations to yourself a few times a day. As well as these affirmations create your fantasy in your mind. What is it you are striving for? Sit down, close your eyes and imagine it. What does it look like? What does it feel like? What does it smell like? Have it so accurate you can sense every part of it because it is real to you. It may take a while to be able to create your vision, but once you have it, visualise it regularly.

I can honestly say that since changing my attitude from scrimping and saving to how can I create more wealth? the opportunities have been amazing. I originally created my vision board with things I wanted to own, do and be. In just over 12 months I went from none to about 50% of them either bought, done or happening in my life. I expect the next 12 months to be much the same.

You don’t have to have a poor or negative money mindset. Whilst it is often more acceptable in a group setting to be similar and not discuss how well things are going, does not mean you should conform to the norm. Be your own positive self.

Kylie is the author of 365 Ways to Make Money. She blogs at about ways to make and save money.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I'm Back

As you know I've taken a break from blogging recently as I've had some pregnancy issues, plus a lot's been going on.

I won't go into all the details but basically I've been having threatened prem labour, have had spotting and was admitted to hospital. I've got a scan next week to see how things are going.

I've been having many appts and ultrasounds to check the baby and the cervix.

The retaining wall is just about done, the only thing left to do is the stairs :) It's not number one on our to do list, but it will be done soon.

We didn't get around to finishing everything on our list for June, but it didn't matter anyway as the baby shower was cancelled as I was in hospital, and we ended up having it this Saturday just passed at my mums house. I had such a fantastic day and I feel so blessed to have such wonderful family and friends :)

My husband bought a second car because of the high chances of bubs coming early, he didn't want to leave me without a car. Well after looking and looking and looking, we found one. $650 with 2 months rego. He looked over it, took it for a drive... paid for it home.... and it's a lemon :( It over heats after about 15 minutes of driving. Hopefully it's something minor but the mechanic said it might be the head gasket (haven't had a chance to take it to him yet as he's booked out, but hubby called him). I told DH to cancel rego and send it off to Sims Metal (wreckers) lol. So we'll see what happens there. I'm not impressed as we had to use our emergency fund to pay for that overly priced lemon. I'm trying not to dwell on it and have started re building our EF.

Last week and this week I've been playing nurse to my family as they all except Mr 1 caught this weird  flu (my extended family and so many other people have had it too). I've never seen my husband so sick. His lasted about 2-3 days. Miss 4 lasted 24 hrs and now has a bit of a cold. I so far thankfully do not have it and Mr 3 has it pretty bad. He had a fever and was throwing up constantly yesterday and was so lethargic. I was really worried about him, as last time he got sick he got Febrile Convulsions.

I've almost got all bubs things washed and ironed, and we've set up the bassinet and change table etc in our room.

I think that's all for now, I'm a bit distracted as my good friend has given birth to her first baby a couple of hrs ago :) I'm so happy for her and her Fiance :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Problems with Pregnancy

Sorry for not posting recently, I've been having some problems with the pregnancy. I will do a proper post soon.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pregnancy update - Regular contractions

I had been feeling off since Friday night, I couldn't quite put my finger on what was making me feel sick (headache, nauseas etc), cause it seemed to be a lot of things.

Saturday I was ok, probably because I was outside in the fresh air all day, but come the afternoon I started feeling ill again. Night time came I felt terrible. Again I couldn't pin point what was making me feel like that. I felt like I had a terrible fever but in fact it was nowhere near it. 35.8, normal for me.

We put the kids to bed, Hubby was on the net, and trying to talk to me, but I felt so zoned out I didn't even realise. I wanted to go to bed but had absolutely no energy so I layed down on the lounge with my hubby...big mistake...he thought that was a perfect time to start showing me all these cars he wants on E-Bay lol..

Anyway I went to bed at about 10.30 and fell asleep almost straight away. I woke up at about 1.30ish with terrible period pains and cramping, I tossed and turned for a while, that didn't help...went to the bathroom, got a drink of water, they didn't help... went back to bed, kept tossing and turning... SORRY FOR TMI but thought maybe I needed to go to the toilet... nope didn't need to... got another drink, took panadol... went on the computer for a little while... Nothing I did eased the pain. They were lasting 45-50 seconds and were 4-5 minutes apart. At this stage I'd already been awake for 2 hrs and they were definitely regular. I went back to bed and again tossed and turned for ages.

Any normal person would have rang the hospital. I didn't as I knew it would stop. I went through this for two weeks constantly before I had Mr 1, as I had an irritable uterus and by the looks of things, things are no different this time around. If I was further along, say 35-36 weeks and up, I honestly would've grabbed my bags and headed to the hospital, that's how real they felt.

I finally ended up falling asleep after about 4 or 5 hrs of torture and woke up perfectly fine. During this whole episode I felt like I needed to throw up but never did.

I spoke to my husband and best friend about it, and both of them told me to ring the hospital to see what they say. I didn't want to cause I knew exactly what they'd say... Well I rang Labour and Delivery, and yep they said exactly what I thought they'd say. I explained my history, the cervix size, the low fluid, the ill feeling, the REGULAR contractions etc etc. And asked is it any cause for concern? Is it history repeating itself (meaning irritable uterus or the like)? I knew it wasn't real labour as it wouldn't have stopped otherwise. The woman on the phone goes nah it's only Braxton Hicks because it wasn't regular... I said it was regular. and explained the whole situation again. Then she goes on to say ohh it's not real labour because it stopped. I'm like I KNOW THAT, I'm asking if its a cause for concern due to previous history... her response - (pause) umm.. I don't think so...

Thanks Love, You really put my mind at ease!

Ahh well at least I won't get in trouble from my Dr for not alerting the hospital this time lol.

So I've put myself on modified duties and I'm taking it easier (impossible to say easy when you have kids :)). Hubby is being fantastic, not only is he busy with the retaining wall, but he's constantly checking on me, doing things for me etc. , making sure I'm not doing naughty things like lifting heavy things, or too much physical activity, and it works out well, as he has taken Annual Leave this week, so it'll be good to have him around to help out when things get stressful.

I have my antenatal appt on Tuesday, and will be mentioning this to the Dr. I just wish Tuesday would hurry up.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Pregnancy update - Ultrasound results.

I had my scan done yesterday and got to see bubby again :) He's so cute and his profile looks a lot like our younger son. At the 19 wk scan he looked more like our older son.

The results were ok, apart from having low amniotic fluid and my cervix being on the lower side of normal in size.

I haven't been back to see the Dr as my appt isn't until Tuesday, so I'm not sure whether I should be worried or not.

The reason I am seeing a Dr and not a midwife is due to having a history of low fluid (Mr almost 3, Mr 1.5 and now this one) and was induced with Mr3 because of it, and Mr 1.5 was born a month early (spontaneously), my Thyroid issue and previous preterm labour (I went into labour at 34 weeks).

So I'm guessing this could go 1 of 2 ways. Because both the fluid and the cervix are on the lower side, it might be cause for concern and he might put me on bed rest or what ever he feels is right, or because it is still within normal range he might disregard it. So at the moment I don't know what to think.

The fluid level was normal at my last scan.

I know the fluid can regenerate in some women, and apparently drinking plenty of water can help, but I have been drinking PLENTY of water and it hasn't helped.

I haven't been feeling him as much the past few days, mainly only hiccups.

I've been thinking of calling the hospital, but I know a midwife will answer the phone and most don't seem concerned until there's an absolute emergency, for eg. When I went into preterm labour at 34 weeks, midwives tried sending me home, but the head of OB/GYN refused to let me go, so he admitted me on strict bedrest (I was only allowed to get up for the bathroom) and I was supposed to stay there til I delivered. I discharged myself 2 days before he was born, but OB/GYN still made me come in for CTG and other monitoring, and each time I came back for a test he would ask me "So you coming back to us tonight?"

So I'm pleased that I have to see the Dr over the midwife as I know otherwise I wouldn't be getting the care my baby needs. I just wish I had his direct line so I could at least ask for advice.

I better add, I am in no way bagging out midwives here, as they do a great job and I want to study midwifery after I'm done babying, I've just had some negative experiences in the past with certain individuals, and feel more comfortable seeing the Dr.

Well for now I'm going to try and take it easy (kinda hard with kids but I will try), keep drinking my water and eagerly await Tuesday to see what he says. I will update after the appt.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pregnancy update - 28 weeks

On Tuesday I had my antenatal appt. The Dr's were happy with the ultrasound and Glucose Blood Test results. I had to do a wee test which showed a have a UTI so have been put on antibiotics. That surprised me as I had no symptoms what so ever.

They are concerned about me showing the same symptoms as I showed with my youngest son before I went into pre term labour. So I am being sent for another ultrasound today to check the size of my cervix to make sure it isn't shortening and a follow up on bubbys growth.

They are starting to track his growth now, just in case I do go into labour early. I asked what will happen if my cervix is shortening. He said that I'll have to be transferred to the bigger, more equipped hospital, as this hospital isn't equipped for such prem babies, which I was already aware of, but I thought they might have a drug that could stop/delay the cervix shortening. He told me they don't and they can only interfere once labour has begun.

As frightening as it is knowing there's a small chance he could come early, I know he will be in good hands, as they are preparing for the worst just in case.

I've got a follow up appt next Tuesday and will see what he says. He's mentioned he has a plan in place for me, and has allerted other Dr's. Me being the ditz I am didn't think to ask what the plan was or what it means. I'm guessing it might mean the extra scans, test etc, but I'm not sure, and hopefully I'll remember to ask him next week.

But for now, I can't wait to see bubby again later today :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pasta with Creamed Corn and White Sauce

Here's the recipe for the yummy pasta I made for tonight's dinner. I was sceptical about trying it at first, but I saw the kids scoffing it down, so I had a taste and I was hooked :)

Unless I'm following a specific recipe, I don't measure ingredients, so for this everything was chucked in to the amount I thought was good, so I've given a rough estimate to what the amounts looked like. You can change to what suits you :)

500g Pasta
4 rashers of Bacon
1 tin of Creamed Corn
2 cups of grated Cheese
1 Onion
1 tspn Garlic (I use the minced garlic in the jar)

White Sauce -

2 tbsn Butter/Marge
1-2 cups of Flour
2 Chicken stock cubes (just for a boost of flavour)
Enough milk for desired consistency
1 tbsn of Parmesan Cheese

Directions -

Cook Pasta
Fry Bacon and onion in fry pan til onion is almost see through, add Garlic and saute for a couple of minutes, once cooked set aside.
In another sauce pan (I reused the onion and bacon one to get the juices), melt the butter and add in flour and mix well.
Add in milk and whisk until all combined.
Add the chicken stock and whisk til it's a good consistency.
Once almost cooked, add both the grated and Parmesan Cheese, and bacon and onion mix. Stir til well combined.
Mix through the pasta and enjoy :)

Menu planning

I've tried over and over again to write out a menu plan and grocery list and stick to it. But I can't seem to do either. I don't know for sure why I can't seem to do either but one thing I know for certain is that I'm lazy when it comes to cooking dinner. Don't get me wrong, I love cooking, and trying new recipes, but I find I only really try out new recipes when it comes to snacks and baking. Dinner in our house hold usually consists of meat and 3 veg (love love love it lol) or something easy and lazy such as tacos, spaghetti, stir fry etc (all from a store bought jar not home made).

We could have a pantry full of food, but if I don't see that stir fry sauce jar, I won't make stir fry, even though I have plenty of items I could easily whip up into a yummy home made sauce.

So as usual, today I got out the sausages for the kids and myself, and a steak for the husband. As much as I love bangers and mash (sausages and potato), I really wanted to use up at least 1 of the 3 tins of creamed corn... I had no idea what I could do with it apart from a side to a salad... So I looked at other ingredients I had in the fridge/pantry/freezer that I could use up and stall my need for going grocery shopping and having to part with our hard earned money.

I saw the big bag of pasta and thought about making a pasta with a white sauce/creamed corn sauce. Well I did and it was fantastic (will post recipe later)! I think I've finally got the idea of using what I have instead of using up the easy stuff then taking the cheats way out and going grocery shopping instead of putting my brain to work and coming up with different foods.

I was supposed to be going grocery shopping tomorrow as we've ran out of eggs, snacks and cordial (we will also need bread soon, but we now buy that from our corner store as its fresher and nicer). So I've been googling egg less snack recipes, so that cuts two items off my grocery list, and as for cordial, we have plenty of milk and water, and plenty of milk flavourings if the kids get bored. Plus they don't need cordial anyway. I've also noticed the kids are eating more fruit since we've ran out of cordial, so that's a win win. That just means we'll have to grab some fruit throughout the week but that's fine, my husband will grab it when he grabs the bread next time.

I had a quick look in the pantry for future meals, tomorrow night I will do the meat and veg as I need to use up that meat I pulled out for tonight. There's a can of diced tomatoes plus a taco sauce jar (and plenty of garlic/herbs) pasta and mince, so I can make a big batch of spaghetti and freeze some. Plenty of carrots, potatoes, peas, meat, pasta, sauces (stir fry and others), so I can make plenty of soups.  I still have 2 tins of creamed corn and noodles, so I could make a similar dish as tonight. Plus have plenty of baking supplies as I did a quick shop yesterday for baking goods, so I can try a dough and make pies and use up some of that meat.

So dinners are sorted, Lunches are pretty much sorted as we'll have left overs where possible and we bought a 4kg box of chicken nuggets which we all love on bread with mayo ( to me it tastes almost like KFC minus the lettuce) and are no where near getting sick of it. Breaky's - there's plenty of cereal, porridge, semolina, bread for toast, fruit etc, if we run out I'll make egg less pancakes or try a new recipe. Snacks - I'll be making, plus there's plenty of fruit. One thing I wouldn't mind getting is rice, as I found this awesome custard recipe and when it thickens right up, it tastes like the rice puddings or rice custards you can get in the cans (I absolutely love them), and they'll be great for the kids snacks for pre school.

Apart from tomorrow night, I'll be trying to use up the "harder" items first, meaning the ones I need to think about, because I know if it slip back into using the easy items, I won't learn anything and will be right back where I started.

I won't aim for a specific day to go grocery shopping again, I'll just try and use what we have and see how we go.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Monday Madness

Here's my whinge session about yesterdays not so nice happenings. Be warned, it's rather long...

First off I was peeved over the rain still hanging around. My poor husband has had nothing but interruptions since starting this project (the retaining wall). Interruptions ranging from the weather, which we understand can't be helped, to people constantly ringing or dropping in and asking/expecting him to help them when they can clearly see he's busy. This is not aimed at any one in particular.

My older brother told my husband not to make plans for Monday MORNING as he was coming around to help install the gate. Well Sunday night he said to keep the afternoon free as he's working in the morning and can't do it. My husband got a little peeved as he'd already changed plans to be available in the morning to help my brother and also, he was working in the afternoon. Well my brother never showed up (My husband has also taken days off work because my brother has said he'll be there and either doesn't show up, or shows up far too late for anything to get done). Then I find out from mum that she's pretty sure he walked out the door in his good clothes, not work clothes, and was going somewhere. So there's the possibilty he has lied to us yet again.

So with the above making me angry, My younger brother and sister in law pop in. I got a little frustrated at first as I was having a break from painting the bathroom, but was busy baking treats for the day, and they just stood there whinging about their own problems. I politely listened as I've always been a listener and a shoulder to cry on, but thankfully my husband saved me by (deliberately) saying "So babe did you get everything finished in the bathroom that you needed to?" Of course I replied no, so that got them moving, but they kindly offered to help out by Sis in law watching the kids, and my brother helping either myself or my husband (ended up helping me). I felt terrible about getting a little frustrated, as they did help out a lot.

In the mean time I almost fell off the ladder, luckily the over toilet storage thing was there...

My husband had to leave for work at 3pm, which tied in with when my brother and sis in law were leaving, also the same time my two boys woke up. So this is where I started to feel a bit stranded and stressed. My boys were very full on and demanding food, drinks, and everything else. So my daughter thought she'd have a go at demanding more food. I was trying to see to all of them, clean up the paint stuff and keep my cool... it was hard to do.

Other little normal kid things happened like the constant bickering, not sharing, hurting each other etc, but with each little thing I was getting more and more heated.

Then I remembered I had my antenatal appt booked for this morning so I started searching for my antenatal card. I could not find it anywhere. I ripped the whole house apart and was getting really angry by this stage and found myself snapping at the kids (normally I'm a very cruisy, fun loving, happy person.. It takes a lot to get me to this point)...

I was angry over my brother stuffing us around after all we'd done for him (We were the ones who opened our hearts and home when he needed it the most, but I understand why the others couldn't do it)

I was frustrated with all the interruptions...

I was upset with everyone leaving me at once...

I was frustrated with the kids constant damands and whinging...

I was starting to get angry over other issues going on in our lives -  related or not...

I was fuming over not being able to find my antenatal card. I felt like such a failure and that all my effort and hard work trying to organise this place has flown straight out the window.

Then as I was looking for my antental card, I asked my daughter where Mr 1 was ( we were all in the main bedroom, I was on one side of the bed, bub was on the other, so I couldn't see him) I asked her what he was doing and she said drinking his bottle. I was like oh ok that's good... She started laughing and says haha silly boy drinking glue hahahaha... Me.. whaaatttttt? She grabbed the "glue" bottle which was actually my ultrasound gel for the doppler. The lid was still perfectly intact so that was good. I thanked her for taking it off him and then she laughed again at his ''big bottle'' I ran over to him and he had the bottle of bleach to his mouth!!!!!! I went into panic mode, I felt like the worst mother in history. My 1 yr old son got into the bleach... Could this day get any worse... I could not believe it. Where on earth did he get that bleach from... I put that in the bathroom high out of his reach... then it dawned on me... my little brother had to move everything in order to help paint. He'd put the bleach on the floor and I hadn't realised. Thankfully the lid was still on, but it had leaked and his face wreaked of bleach. I called the poisons centre straight away. The guy that answered was helpful, asked a few questions and advised me he'd be ok, he may get a little tummy ache and to just give him milk, water or food. I gave him milk straight away and he was fine. The only time he'd cry was when he didn't get his own way....yep that's normal so he's fine lol.

I felt so defeated. I felt like I'd fallen off a speeding wagon and was trailing along behind it hanging on by a thin rope. I couldn't seem to get any control over the situation even though I tried. I was stressed, upset, alone and defeated. I wanted my husband. I wanted to be in his arms. I have not felt like that in months and months, more like a year.

I decided to take a break from searching for the antenatal card and spend it with my kids. I felt terrible for snapping at them, they're only kids they don't understand. So we played for a while had dinner, baths and bed.

My daughter stays up an hr later then the boys, so I decided to put Dora on for her, and I was going to go through EVERY drawer in this house until I found that card. I went through the first drawer, nope. Second drawer, nope. Third drawer, is the new baby's newborn clothing, so I smiled and decided to look though his clothes. Then there it was. The antenatal card was in the babies newborn clothes drawer. I cuckled to myself. Is this a sign?? Is bubby trying to tell us something?? Lol, well I'll never know, all I know is that I found my card, and my son was happy and healthy and didn't have any ill effects from the bleach. What more could I ask for :)

I felt instantly calm after that. I had so much stress build up through out the day, and for it to go like that was strange. But I was happy none the less. Then my hubby came home and he was the icing on my cake :) I love that man so much! He's my best friend :) Nawww lol...

We've sorted out the gate. Hubby called my oldest brother (yes, I have a lot of brothers lol, 3 brothers and 1 sister.. and of course me) Who owns the company my (older) brother works for, and has asked for someone else to be sent out and that we would pay him. But we refuse to pay my brother because of his attitude, my (oldest) brother agreed and said to leave it with him and he'd call one of his guys and find out the price he would charge (my oldest brother isn't profiting from this and doesn't expect to). He called back later with the price - $220. We accepted. Yes it's a lot of money, especially considering my (older) brother was doing it for free, and yes the money will have to come out of the emergency fund. But the way we look at it, our driveway is a steep slope, so many times we've had to run after balls, bikes and kids on bikes due to the slope, so to us the gate is a necessity. We're happy to pay that price, as we've still got a bargain in the end.

So that will be getting done soon, providing they have time to do it, and also we received a call from the blinds company, they will be getting installed tomorrow morning between 9-9.30. I can't wait :)

So if you're still with me, thankyou for reading that and sorry for boring you with my issues lol. I'll blame these pregnancy hormones for making mountains out of mole hills :)


Sorry I didn't post lastnight as I said I would, I was in a bad mood and felt very stressed (unrelated issues), so I didn't get all the painting done, but I'm happy it's at least started.

Here's the before pics (walls were prepped at this stage but not painted)

Walls so far (not completed, nearly done with first coat on walls, and cutting in on roof)

To the left has had its first coat, but the roof in the right hand corner needs its first coat.

Lol this side definitely hasn't had a first coat. All other area's have except...

That small patch along the roof (I couldn't get a good angle with the ladder as the basin is right behind it and it juts out a bit), will get hubby to help as he's taller and might not need the ladder.

Well that's where I've left the bathroom for now, I havn't done anymore today, it's been another busy, rainy day, but hopefully tonight when hubby gets home, or tomorrow, I can get in there and do some more.

I'll be doing another post later on tonight about yesterday afternoon. I havn't had such a stressful afternoon or felt so depressed and defeated since before I quit work... Thankfully most things have been sorted out.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Today's Happenings.

Today is yet another miserable rainy day. The husband is outside none the less, and is continuing on with the retaining wall. I would prefer it if he was inside keeping dry and warm, but the way he looks at it, one hole dug, is one step closer to the finish line.

He's right...

Which has got me thinking about what I could do inside to help us get ahead with our list of things to do by the 25th June.

I can't really, or I should say shouldn't really do any painting in this weather (even though I'm considering it), but I can do the prep work, i.e wash down walls, fill in gaps/cracks etc...

So I've made a start on the bathroom as I've recently scrubbed the mould and bought the mould resistant paint. I've filled in the cracks and I'm slowly working my way around the room washing down the walls and roof. I'm taking a break for now, eating strawberry cake fresh out of the oven :)

My brother and his Fiance are coming over soon to help out. My Sister in Law is going to watch the kids and keep them occupied, while my brother gives myself or my husband a hand.

I'll take a pic of the bathroom once I've finished this post and will take another one once it's time to pack away and call it a night, whether or not it is finished. I'd LOVE to have it all painted by that time, but we'll have to wait and see :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A busy, busy week...

This week has been a VERY busy week for us and unfortunately haven't got as much completed (outside) as we'd like, and here's why:

Monday: Mums, Swimming lessons, few errands, back to mums, and home. I was home for not even half an hr before hubby was off to work.

Tuesday: Blood test (Glucose pregnancy one) So all up that with travelling that took a couple of hrs, back home, DH got a little work done on the wall before heading off for Mr almost 3's PD Surgeon appt. Back home, Hubby off to work .

Wednesday: DH off to Bunnings to get some things for the wall. I had an ultrasound to check bubbys growth, back home, Hubby off to work.

Thursday: DH's RDO (day off work) went to whipper snip the lawn, it wouldn't work properly, checked it out, went off to get the part and petrol for the lawn mower, back home, mowed the lawn. General outside tidying (only about half an hr) before my brother came up to help install the gate (FINALLY :) ) Drilled the holes (in driveway) set the posts, concrete didn't set in time so had to call it a day. By that time dinner was ready.

Friday: Dropped the kids off at pre school, picked up mum, went to Kmart (needed baby shower card for today, and pay laybys), Got some fruit and veg, got ultrasound results, got pulled over for RBT, dropped mum off, back home, unloaded car, Hubby jumped in and off to work.

It may seem like there's plenty of time to do stuff while the other is off running errands, but it's impossible for DH to do anything outside with the kids, as the yard is unsafe, esp. for bubby (the older 2 love the mud piles lol)

He leaves for work at 1pm Mon-Thurs and 11am on Fridays. He has a RDO every second Thursday, but most of the time he gets called in for shifts.

We tried to combine errands as much as possible, but we're so limited for time before my husband goes to work.

I do what I can when hubby's working (around the house or at work). Most days I just get general house work done, but I try to get a little of something else done, such as yesterday while all the kids were outside with my husband, 2 of his mates and my brother, I managed to finish the primer on our daughters door frame. I also got a chance to scrub the mould off the bathroom roof, much to hubbys dismay (he down right refused to let me scrub it off without the asbestos mask, goggles and gloves :) He's a sweety :)). I don't feel like I've failed and could've acheived more, as with 3 very demanding kids and this rain, I'm surprised we're getting anything done.

And here's the good news, Mr 3 DOESN'T NEED SURGERY :) :) We're so thankful and so relieved!
The baby is growing well and isn't effected by my thyroid condition :).

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Plans for the New Financial Year

With just over 3 weeks til the New Financial Year, I thought it was about time we had a look at our finances and work out what we could do to improve that area.

As of yesterday, we're FINALLY out of our 3 year fixed rate of 8.95% on our mortgage! I can't begin to say what a relief it is! The loan automatically switched to the variable which was at 7.8% and a saving of $56 a week. Beautiful! And seeing as though we've "packaged" our loans, we get a discount of .7%, taking the interest rate down to 7.1%, Total saving of $87 a week from what we've been paying the last 3 years!

We are re fixing the main loan (we have 2 mortgages, one which is the actual house loan and a smaller one which is a consolidated loan, we couldn't put them together without paying the hefty exit fees/break costs) and keeping the smaller one variable, so when we want to extend, we can without paying the break costs on the fixed rate. The fixed rate will be at 6.99% for two years :) If I remember correctly, we will be saving another $5-8 a week.

We've decided we will allocate all the money we are saving, straight onto the car loan. We're used to paying such a high amount on our mortgage every week, and seeing as though the car loan is the killer (more than $150/wk) we're aiming to pay that off by 30th June 2012.

Here is our plan:

  • All moneys saved from the lowered interest rate will be put straight onto the car. I'll set up an automatic transfer so I cannot ''forget''
  • Living within our means so we'll be living off hubbys wage and all social security, tax, overtime etc will go straight on the loan.
  • Baby Bonus - Car loan
So all extra money will be put on the loan. We will be allocating ''Sanity Money" as we believe that is highly important when trying to stick to a budget or working towards a goal.

We've worked it all out, it's definitely doable within that time frame, its a matter of self discipline and motivation to see if we can follow through.

I would love one of those money/debt progress bars to put on my blog so we can all see how we're going with our goal. I've seen them on a few blogs but can't remember which blogs and/or where to get them from, so if anyone knows, could you please comment and let me know, many thanks :)

What are your plans/goals for the New Financial Year? I would love to hear about them :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Progress Pic's - Retaining Wall and backyard

We, I should say hubby is in the process of building a retaining wall. We have a sloped block in which we've recently excavated and are now retaining it.

I took these pics on Saturday and have since done a bit of work but will post more pics as we go :) Please excuse the jungle :)

I think he's marking up where he needs to dig... not quite sure what he's doing lol

Hubby hard at work digging away

Here's the pics of the rest of the back yard. Please excuse the jungle.

That's the gate my brother has been promising to install since January, we're at the point now we'd rather pay someone else to do it.

The old lady that we bought the house off planted ground covers EVERYWHERE and no matter how much we spray and weed them they always come back. These weeds have claimed many a plant. so we're gonna rip out that garden.

These weeds are uncontrollable.

Sorry for the not so detailed post, I have a splitting head ache that won't go away :(

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Blinds and Timber

Today's the day the timber for the retaining wall got delivered. My husband is excited and eager to get started. That had to be the post opening as where timber and my husband are concerned, timber is sacred lol.

Not to me...

Yes I'm glad it's here and excited that the retaining wall will be done soon, BUT I'm excited over the blinds quote even more!! :)

We originally got quotes through 3 'bigger' companies, well franchises really, but decided to get one last quote through a highly recommended local company. The quote ranged from $189 - $614 CHEAPER than the other quotes. So we agreed right then and there. They answered all our questions, well actually answered before we even asked lol. They didn't try and avoid things or 'sell' their product. No 50% deposit required and balance to be paid BEFORE installation, and I haven't heard a bad thing about them, unlike the others.

They also manufacture here, 10 minutes from our home so they should be done pretty soon. He said give it 2 weeks but it's likely they'll be ready before then :)

I cannot wait til they are installed. I'm sick of the mismatched non block out curtains, ripped blinds and on 2 windows, nothing at all.

So I look forward to my daughter being able to get a decent sleep without car lights lighting up her room.

What's planned for the month of June?

During May, I wanted to focus on learning about and putting into action, Time Management. This went pretty well. We're in a relaxed routine, at the moment. We know where the time wasters are, the kids have set bed times, eating times etc, I have daily must do's. The only thing I haven't really done is set up a weekly cleaning list - what house work to do on what day. I have yet to do this as personally it doesn't suit our family just yet. Once bubs is here and things have settled down I would love to set up a good cleaning schedule.

During June, there's a few things under way. As you know in previous posts, I've mentioned the odd jobs and reno's that we'll be doing, hopefully all of which will be done by 25th June, which is the day of my baby shower.

Along with that I plan to get a strict budget under way and stick to it. It's kind of like budget "rehearsals" for the new financial year, in which we will be starting fresh and tracking are spending.

We've been getting better with our budget since paying off some of our debts, and the past couple of weeks we have been sticking to it quite well.

We've got a set budget in place, but each pay day, I'll check the acct and see what the pay is - usually it's a set amount unless he does OT. With that pay I'll tweak the budget a bit, for eg, allocate more to savings or debt reduction if the pay is more. Look at areas in which we can cut back if the pay is less than expected (this can happen quite a bit even though he's on a set pay, sometimes it's only $1 or $2 which we don't really notice, but last week it was $11 which put us out, luckily I didn't need to go grocery shopping in the end)

I'll put a copy of this budget on the family notice board so my husband can see how much he can spend on what.

Hopefully we can get this budgeting down pat before the new financial year :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The ball is rolling

We had our screen door installed today, I'm so excited :) :) I've been wanting to get it done since we removed the old back door and installed the sliding door - back in September 2009.

Here's a pic :)

We got the privacy mesh that's why it's a little dark.

The mud pit in the background is where the darling husband has started the retaining wall. So my grass that has FINALLY started growing from when we excavated is now smothered in more mud. Ahh well at least it will be all finished soon :)

Hubby has also re-measured the retaining wall and has ordered the material which will be delivered on Thursday.

Unfortunately we haven't been able to continue painting the architraves/doors because of the weather. Apparently the rain is set in for the next few days, so I've been considering doing a bit of painting before I go to bed so it has the night to dry. Thankfully it's not fumey paint otherwise I would not consider this.

Hubby is thinking of taking a week or two off work to get it all completed by 25th June. He scared me today by saying
"As of tomorrow I've got 25 days to finish it all."
My gosh, I never even realised that. Time flies... It seems like we'll never get it done by then, but as my husband always says (which most of the time drives me insane lol)

"Nothing's impossible"

I hate to admit it, but he's right. Hopefully he doesn't read this post as he'll use that against me (usually he says nothings impossible when he's talking about buying a Camaro, Motorbike, having a massive 2 story house, be totally debt free and god knows what else by the times he's 28...he's 26 now... Keep dreaming baby :D)

I'll post updates as time goes on. We have a quote for blinds on Thursday, and I'm eager to see how that goes :)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Odd Jobs and Renovations

Doing up our home is an important part of our lives along with all the other things we're trying to achieve. We wanted to buy an older style house so we could do it up to our liking and within our means. So far so good :)

My husband and I sat down together on Saturday night and wrote out a list of all the things we want done around the house. A realistic list. If it was up to my husband he'd get a motorcross ramp near the house as he reckons it'll be awesome to jump the house (He loves motorcross and unfortunately is a dare devil lol)... Hence the reason this is a realistic list :).

So many times we've written out lists of what we want done and we've even done budgets to allow us to get it. But we'd never actually made a plan or continued through.

It is so true in what they say, anyone can write out a to do list or a bucket list (or what ever list tickles their fancy), but most of the time it won't happen unless there is a plan in place on how to get there/complete it, especially if it involves money.

Well ours does involve money.

So here's what we've done.

  1. We both wrote down what we wanted to get done. Surprisingly it was exactly the same
  2. Wrote down the estimated/actual costs (we've had quotes done for some things)
  3. Put in number order of what is to be done (has changed order somewhat thanks to my husband, will explain later)
  4. Set a date for it to be done by (not everything, mainly many smaller things) 25th June
  5. Look into the financials to see if date is achievable - it is :)
  6. Got to work.
It was hard to number order some tasks, as some have been started, some ordered and awaiting installation (by professional), will explain in further later.

Here's what is on the list.

(In number order)

  1. Paint architraves/door frames and doors. Started/almost finished.
  2. Screen Door - Ordered, deposit taken.
  3. Skip bin - We weren't going to get one but at the moment our whole yard looks like a building site.
  4. Blinds - Quotes done, couple more to go.
  5. Deck Roof - Started.
  6. Sand and stain deck - will do once roof is completed, will be the same colour stain.
All these things we have some control over as financially we can afford them now and we aren't relying on other people to complete them, apart from the blinds and door, but we're going through reliable and recommended people/companies.

This is the rest of the list which we want done, but it depended on time, money and other people (installers etc.) as to why they didn't make the list above. They are in no particular order.

  • Repaint Hallway
  • Repaint Bathroom
  • Retaining Wall
  • Side Fence
  • Metal Lattice (to cover piers)
  • Front Fence/Sliding gate
  • Roller shutters
  • Re Seal Driveway
  • Side Gate (Driveway)
  • Pool - few years away yet
  • Extensions - few years away yet
So that's what we both agreed to on Saturday night. That's the order in which we'd do things, more or less. If the screen door get's installed before we finish painting, that's a bonus and beyond our control, just shows the screen door company are good lol.

Sunday morning was a whole new ball game. Notice how the retaining wall didn't make the cut on the 'numbered' list? Well in the time it took me in the laundry to sort colours, towels etc and start a load of washing, my husband had started to demolish the old retaining well. I'd left him 10 minutes earlier painting a door, and now found him ripping out bricks... Seriously this guy never stops lol.

I was gob smacked I did not know what to say... All I could manage was
''Are you serious?"
 I Left him to it and went and picked up our daughter from Nanny's and head to Kmart to get her some goggles for swimming. We came home and found he'd ripped out about half of the bricks, marked up where the new wall/steps are going and had started digging. Ohh and pulled out the posts from under the house. Thankfully they're the wrong size as I can guarantee they'd be set in concrete already.

So as you can see, our list has been altered. I told him we couldn't afford that on top of the others to be completed within the month. He said to scrap the skip bin. That's ok as they're costing about the same anyway. So at least now we know what's happening there.

There are a few things on the second list we'd prefer to have done over some on the numbered list such as, the side gate. Two of my brothers are fencers, and waiting for them to do it is like waiting to win lotto (that's extremely hard as I refuse to buy lotto lol), But they both work 6-7 days a week, and as they're doing it as a favour to us, I understand why it's taking so long.

So at the moment, we're planning to have the painting (of the architraves/doors) to be completed by Friday Night so we can start fresh on a new task on the weekend. Knowing my husband that'll be the retaining wall. The screen door will be installed Tuesday or Wednesday. We almost accepted a quote for the blinds, but we've decided to get a quote through a local highly recommended company. They're coming out on Thursday. If I get a chance on Friday, I'll paint the hallway, or at least wash down the walls. I know that isn't on the main list, but it's something I can do without my husband and won't cost anything as we already have the paint and supplies.

So that's the plan so far. Here's hoping it can get done in time :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

It pays to check your accounts

We are currently in the process of redoing our mortgage as the fixed rate expires in a week. We have opted to go on a package which gives a discounted rate plus waives any and all fees, including application fees etc. But with a higher yearly fee.

I checked my acct balance today only to notice that my loan was $500 dearer. I was baffled as I knew interest was charged last week so where has the extra charge come from? I checked the history and to our horror the bank had charged us a $500 switch fee!

I rang them up and the guy was really helpful. It was very obvious he was frustrated at the operator who took my call last week and dealt with the loan, as apparently she has made an error in how she's doing the loan. She told me it'll be a 2-3 step process, but he said it should only be one and has emailed her and told her to waive the fee!

I'm happy with how it was handled and will be checking regularly in case this happens again. I'm not happy with being charged the extra interest for their stuff up though.

Let's hope the rest of it goes smoothly!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Small things we're doing to save money

In our household, winter is usually a very expensive season with the extra costs of convenience appliances and comfort food. It usually means heaters, electric blankets, long hot showers, solar water booster (when it doesn't get hot enough we need to switch the booster on) dryers etc.

So I'm writing a post on what we've been doing or going to do to save some money and help out the environment also.

  • Eat red meat 3 nights a week - Surprisingly this was my steak lovin' husbands idea
  • No/limited heater usage - We're putting on extra layers, plus investing in extra blankets. My brother and his fiance were so kind to buy our kids dressing gowns (they all had there own already but were fast outgrowing them). We've had some pretty cold days/nights but haven't had any complaints about anyone being cold as yet. 
  • Close doors by 3pm to keep in the warmth.
  • No/limited dryer usage - Unless it's absolutely necessary, line dry or rack dry does the job
  • Cut down on disposables - we use 4 disposables per day. 1 at nap time and bedtime for each of the boys. The other nappy changes are all cloth. We have just purchased a bulk lot of MCN's, including night nappies, so if they work well for the boys, we will be making the switch to full time cloth use.
  • Avoid hot water booster where possible - If our solar water hasn't heated up enough by my kids bath time, I'll either sponge them down if they've had a clean play day, or boil some water and pour in the bath. Most of the time though, there's enough hot water for the kids bath. Hubby and I have very quick showers.
  • My husband showers at work as much as possible.
  • Combining errands to save on fuel.
  • Bulk cook/stretch meals to save electricity - I'm very new to this as usually if I bulk cook it tends to get eaten straight away, but we're being good now :)
  • Don't over indulge - We have to make it last, otherwise we go without.
  • Switching to fortnightly (eventually monthly) shop - save fuel and wasted groceries.
  • Drink cordial or water - juice and soft drinks (soda's) are a treat in our house.
  • Keep filled drink bottles and snacks on hand.
  • Bake as much as possible.
  • Check out Ebay/Gumtree or op shops first.
  • Using dishwasher after 10pm when it's cheaper.
  • DIY as much as possible - my husband completely renovated our bathroom himself and saved a minimum of $8000.
  • Organise/declutter
  • Plan ahead - this is a goldie

When we were really struggling financially, we HAD to do these things in order to survive, but now I'm finding it fun to cut back as much as possible - it's like a game to me now :)

Update on To Do list

I'm very pleased with the results of my to do list. It just goes to show, if you have a long hard think about what's really important and what really needs to be done, set yourself a date in which to do by and apply yourself, you really can do wonders.

Here's what was on my list -
  • Mr 1's Xray

  • Mr 1's Dr's appt

  • Claim for expenses

  • Register cat

  • Baby Shower invites

  • Actions -
    • Monday night I made a start on my expenses claim. I've been needing to do this for a few months now, with quite a bit to claim, so I knew this would take some time.
    • On Tuesday my Husband took our son to have his Xray while I went across the rd to Aldi to do some grocery shopping. We then went to the Council to register the cat, then went back home. Later that day I wrote out the rest of the invitations and addressed them all. I also finished and checked the rough draft of the claim.
    • Today I typed up the claim and emailed it to the Case Manager, the invitations have been posted and Hubby took bub to the Dr's but he was overbooked (even though he doesn't take bookings, just an overload of patients today), so he will take him back tomorrow morning.
    I cannot even begin to explain the weight that has been lifted off my shoulders :)

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    To do list

    This is my 'important' to do list that I mentioned in my last post. They are in order of importance. I'm aiming to have these done by Saturday.
    • Mr 1's Xray - asap
    • Mr 1's Dr's appt - Wednesday once we've received Xray results
    • Claim for expenses - asap
    • Register cat -  have to do by the start of June, so sometime this week
    • Baby Shower invites - it's in a month, so asap
    They're the things that have to get done this week, and I know if I don't focus on these, they won't get done, apart from the medical ones of course.

    My Plan

    Xray -
    Either my husband or I will take our son for the Xray first thing today.

    Dr's appt -
    My husband will take our son on Wednesday, as he needs his 2nd shot and he's a strong boy, I can't hold him down.

    Claim for expenses -
    I have started the expenses claim, so hopefully I'll have that finished and sent off by Wednesday (even earlier would be good)

    Register Cat -
    I have received the letter saying to register her by early June, so sometime this week, maybe after I take bub for his Xray.

    Baby Shower invites -
    Have already given some out, but will write some more up and send them out. I was putting this off, as I always put so much time and effort into making my own invitations, but my sister gave me a pad of invites she had leftover from her baby shower 6 yrs ago. As much as I wanted to make my own, I was so appreciative of the offer, as I really don't have time to make them like I usually do, and also I'm using something that would have otherwise been wasted. So it's a win win :)

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Rocks in a Jar analogy

    During the month of May, I chose to learn about and put into practice, Time Management. A lot of which is common sense, but one thing that really stood out was the Rock in a Jar analogy.

    Basically it's regarding the things on your to do list. Most people tend to put off the bigger or more time consuming task for many reasons/excuses (I am one of those people). Whether it's because there's so many other things on the list that 'need' to be done, or you go to start the big task and the phone rings or some one pops over, or what ever other 'interruption' happens to come your way.

    Which brings me to the rocks.

    In a middle of a seminar, a professor pulled out a jar and filled it with rocks, to which he asked his class if it was full. They replied yes.

    He pulled out some gravel and poured it into the jar. Again he asked his class if it was full. By now they'd caught on and replied probably not.

    He then pulled out some sand and poured it in the jar. Is it full? They replied no.

    He then poured water into the jar until it reached the top.

    There is method in his madness.

    If the Jar is filled with all the little bits first, like the gravel, the sand and the water, there is no way you'd be able to fit the big rocks in.

    The rocks represent the important things in our lives. If you keep trying to do the not so important tasks and putting off the bigger ones, they'll never get done.

    This theory really hit home yesterday when I was playing in the dirt with the kids. I had one of the kids buckets and was picking out the clay rocks in the dirt and placed them in the bucket. I knew I could fit more in and started filling the gaps with smaller clumps and dirt. I had a flash back to the article I read.

    I saw first hand how everything fit nicely when the bigger rocks were placed first. I pictured my to do list, with each rock representing the more important tasks, and all the little rocks representing all other things. It got me thinking about how I really need to take a good long look at my to do list and start focusing on the things I 'never have time for' such as my expenses claim I've been needing to do since July last year. I don't know if I'm still able to claim it, or if it's too late, but I've made a start on it and we'll see what happens. If it gets declined then that'll really change my thinking, because as a result of me putting this task off, I would've lost money which is rightfully mine. So here's hoping it gets accepted lol :)

    I will be posting a to do list focusing on things that NEED to get done, such as my sons Xray, Registering the cat etc, and not focusing on housework.

    Once these tasks are done, I know I will feel like a load has been taken off, as I think about that claim EVERY day.

    You can read the full article here

    Getting things done - Without really realising it

    As you know, I've posted a list of things I want to get done before baby arrives, which you can read here. One thing that we've meaning to do for a while is painting the doors and architraves.

    We made a start on the painting on Thursday and each day we've been doing a little bit more. I gave up on the painting after a while, as the constant bending was starting to get to me, so I decided to spend my weekend outside with the kids.

    I did the basic stuff around the house, washing, dishes etc. and the rest I spent with the kids. After a while I found myself getting fidgety and eager to do something, so I started weeding. This was something that desperately needed doing, and as the ground was soft, it's something I could do sitting down and with little effort (I posted about my pregnancy scare last week, you can read it here). There's still a bit of weeding to be done but it's looking so much better now.

    After a while the kids wanted to go out the front/Driveway where Daddy was painting the doors, so off we all went. But again I started getting fidgety. Since I've been on this organising mission I can't just sit there and relax. I'm constantly looking around at what needs to be done and what I could be doing. So I told the kids to grab the buckets and spades and help mummy shift some dirt (We have 2 piles of dirt out the front from when we excavated the backyard that we're using to level out the front)

    I grabbed a couple of buckets and we all started filling them up. This was perfect. We were spending time and interacting with each other, the kids were having a blast, and we were doing something that needs to be done.

    The kids loved filling up the buckets and spreading the dirt where it needed to be put. Hubby wouldn't let me pick mine up so he carried them for me which was sweet.

    We didn't get much done, probably about 7 big bucket loads (The piles are about 3m long 1.5 m high and about 1-1.5m wide each), but the way I look at it, one bucket load is one less we need to do.

    We were all so tired as we've had a busy week, even hubby was tired and he's a battler who never gives up lol, so we went inside for lunch and crashed on the lounge with a DVD :)

    So for a weekend where I was meant to be relaxing and taking it easy, I got a whole lot done while I was sitting down. The added bonus - I spent the whole time with the kids :)

    It was so good to come back inside to a tidy house, esp. seeing as though we'd only done the bare basics inside. It just goes to show how organising/decluterring really improves ones life :)

     - I haven't been able to get on the computer as much recently, so I haven't been able to update as often, but I'm hoping to get a couple more posts done today and throughout the week.

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Pregnancy update

    I've had a little scare this week, as the other day I had some spotting (sorry for TMI) and some contractions. They weren't regular, but enough to make me uncomfortable. I decided to keep an eye on it.

    The same thing happened the next day, more spotting and contractions. I also felt really strange. I rang the hospital, more so for advice. I knew bub was OK cause I could feel him moving around, plus I have a Fetal Heart Monitor (Doppler) so if I get worried, I check his heart beat. Because of my history of prem labour and birth, they wanted me to go in. Unfortunately this wasn't possible as my husband was still at work and no one was available to look after the kids. I went to bed.

    I havn't had anymore bleeding, but I'm still having fairly strong contractions (not regular). I'm keeping an eye on it, and if it worsens, becomes regular, or I start bleeding again I will go straight to the hospital. Otherwise I will let my Dr know at my next appt.

    I'm worried for obvious reasons, esp. seeing as though I'm only 24 weeks (25 tomorrow) but I'm thankful that I've made it past 24 weeks, cause if something does happen (god forbid), I know there is a chance then if I was 23 weeks or less.

    We have been so busy with appts, general living, and trying to get as much done around the house before baby arrives (such as painting), plus trying to keep up with my decluttering and organising, so today while the kids are at pre school I went to a nice lunch at the pub with my parents, my sister and my little feller, and now I'm taking it easy before I pick the older kidlets up.

    I'm sure it's my body's way of telling me to slow down.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Total Chaos Recovery

    In my last post I mentioned my Total Chaos Recovery (TCR). I was having one of those days where I felt like sitting in front of the TV eating chocolate, or lazying about in the warm sun...hmm nice to dream but I had to get back to reality. My house was a mess!

    I looked around at the mess that had accrued over the past 3 days and just wished I could close my eyes and it'll disappear... unfortunately that didn't work lol.

    So this is what I did:

    Had a drink - Yep I had a drink. This freshened me up a bit and gave me a bit of energy for the daunting task.

    Put a load of washing on - I usually do a load or two a day to keep the pile down, but it's amazing when you miss a day or two how it seems to EXPLODE.

    Went around and picked up any/all rubbish.

    Straightened up all the obvious messes - Such as folding up my lovely big tiger blanket which seems to take up the whole lounge (DH hates it lol) :) putting kids table and chairs back where they belong. Folded and put away clothes.

    Quick vac with handheld.

    Spent a few minutes tidying smaller messes - Such as kids toys/books etc

    All up this only took 30-40 minutes. I didn't spend time decluttering or deep cleaning, I was focused on getting the house back to a state of order, and I did :) I was so happy with it I decided to give it a name lol.

    So on days when I feel like I don't want to do anything, or don't know where to begin, I'll follow these simple steps and my house will be better in no time :)

    There's plenty of blogs/organising sites out there with similar systems to tackle mess, but I hadn't found one which suited my house, my family and my clutter spots. Every house is different. For me it's the lounge room which seems to get the messiest, I know with my mum's house it's her bathroom, my besty's house, it's the back room/entertainment room.

    Feel free to follow my TCR whenever you may need it. You may need to tweak it to better suit yourself, but either way it should help get your house back to some sort of order :)

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Slipping back into old habits

    We've been so busy since Saturday, that all new routines that had been put into place flew straight out the window.

    Last Friday, I set myself a To Do List.

    I'm pretty happy with what I was able to get done in the time I had, as I completely forgot about Grocery Shopping, and having to walk to pick up the kids (DH had the car), so I lost almost 2 hrs of precious cleaning time (I added Grocery Shopping to the list later in the day).
    I've been really wanting to get in there and give the bathroom a good scrub, so I promised myself I'd get it done over the weekend.

    Saturday came, My Husband got called into work, and head off at 6am (I'm used to having him here in the mornings and off to work in the afternoon) People popped in and a very disobedient almost 3 yr old made it impossible to complete the task.

    Sunday came, we had a birthday party to go to which was smack bang in the middle of the day, so apart from getting up, doing the bare basics and getting everyone ready, there wasn't much time to do it in the morning. So I thought I'd do it when we got back. Well, we stayed at the party 2 hrs longer then planned (we wanted to stay for an hr but the kids were having a ball and it was a fantastic party). We got home and all had some hot chocolate and I was all ready to tackle the bathroom and my brother and his fiance showed up. They had a lot of things they wanted to sort out and seeked our thoughts and opinions (They're wanting to buy a house and get married in the next couple of years). So they were here for a few hrs. Once they left I pretty much had time to get dinner, bath the kids, shower and head off to bed.

    Monday and Tuesday (today) were the same - Swimming lessons, Antenatal appts, Top up Grocery shop (hubby decided he wanted to stretch Fridays big shop over 2 weeks, but in order to do that we needed some things. Numerous phone calls to finalise things... amongst all the chaos I didn't really get my daily must do's done.

    My kids have been really clingy the past 2 days (Probably cause we've been so busy), so yesterday I took them outside for a play and they helped me weed the garden and transfer some plants. I know I could've easily got the bathroom done in that time and caught up on my daily must do's but I also need to spend time with my kids and give them plenty of options to know they're 'helping' and spending time with mummy.

    Today however, I did get more done then I expected, as along with having a busy morning, I really felt like doing nothing as I was annoyed and overwhelmed by all the mess and by how I was slipping back into old ways. This is where I came up with my 'Total Chaos Recovery' (Will add details in another post). I followed the steps in my TCR and within an hr, I was satisfied with my house.

    As that had got me in the mood, I ended up scrubbing the bath, vanity and over toilet storage, and now all I have left to do in the bathroom, is to clean the mirror, shower screen, vac and mop the floor. HOPEFULLY I can do that tomorrow :)