Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sorting out our lives pt 2

In my last post, I mentioned how I wanted to look at different areas in our lives that needed work, and to focus on them. You can read it here.

While catching up on other blogs, I came across Organising Queen's blog. Her most recent post A life service is pretty much what I'm talking about.

This is from her post
Answer these questions honestly
How happy are you with the state of your health, family, home, career, friends, etc?
Are you at the point where you thought you'd be at this time of the year?
If not, be honest with yourself and say why or why not.
Are you making excuses for anything? (Remember You get to choose )
What do you need to let go of?

I'm going to answer these honestly...

How happy are you with the state of your health, family, home, career, friends, etc?
  • Health - 6/10 - needs a lot of work.. I'm always tired no matter how much sleep I get. I need to exercise more and not be so hard on myself.
  • Family - 7.5/10 -I love my family, they are the most important thing to me, but because I'm always tired, I don't feel I give as much as I can (yes I'm being hard on myself). I need to spend more quality time with the kids, I need to listen more, interact more, play more and stress less. I want more time for hubby and I, but it's hard, especially with him working so much, but we sneak cuddles and kisses where we can and talk a lot. My me time consists of falling on the lounge, pulling out the laptop, surfing the net for a little while and having a long hot shower at about 11pm. I want to get back into yoga, and simply have a chance to think and relax.
  • Home - 7/10 - The decluttering is definitely paying off, and I'm enjoying my house more and more, and I don't feel embarrassed anymore. There's still a lot of unfinished jobs, but when the budget allows, we'll get other people to do it, we'd rather spend our time together as a family.
  • Career 9/10 - I'm a SAHM (previously a work away from home mum) and even though I miss the money, Í'm so much happier and relaxed, therefore a better mum and wife. I take my job/role seriously and I'm really interested in learning as much as I can about home ec, to improve the lives of myself and my family.
  • Friends 6.5/10 - I really need to catch up with my friends more. I usually see friends once a week, and a weekend catch up once or twice a month, but playdates/catch ups are often being post poned due to both parties being too busy, too tired, or im my case, time restricted due to hubbys work hrs and school drop off/pick up. I'm using the school holidays to catch up with friends as I won't be so restricted.
I'm adding this one as it is mentioned in my last post and very important to us...
  • Finances 7/10 - I hate debt! But having said that, I'm pretty happy with our situation overall, as we're in our 20's, with 4 kids and our total debt including mortgage is less than the total debt of a few couples I know that are only years away from retirement.
Are you at the point where you thought you'd be at this time of the year?Yes I'm content with where we are.

If not, be honest with yourself and say why or why not.

Are you making excuses for anything?
I do need to spend more time with friends. I've gotta stop post poning.

What do you need to let go of?
Physical and Emotional clutter


Going by the answers, I need to work on interacting more with my kids, just ''being there'' isn't enough. I need to be kinder to myself, and I need to spend more time with my friends.

So how does one give more to be kinder to others, yet give less to be kinder to oneself?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sorting out our lives

With the new financial year fast approaching, I decided to look at not only our finances, but other areas of our lives that need some work. I'm using the new financial year as a clean slate.

Area's in which I want to work on are:
  • Debts
  • Kids quality time
  • Routines
  • Housework/organising/decluttering
  • Me time
  • Mummy, Daddy time
  • Family time
  • Friends
I'm going to sit down and work out ways in which I can improve on each of these areas. For eg. With Debts, I want to get the car loan under $10000 by the end of July (It's at $12400ish at the moment). Easy to say, but is it doable? I really hope so!

I will do another post once I've made a plan, but for now the best thing I can do for myself is to get some sleep :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dr's Visit and possible diagnosis...

I've been a little MIA the last few days, it seems that in such a short amount of time, a lot has happened.

My 70 year old neighbour had sugery to remove one of his lungs due to cancer, he had internal bleeding, got pneumonia and had a heart attack all within a week of the surgery. He's on life support, but as of yesterday he was showing signs of improvement, thankfully.

Sunday night, bub came down with a raised rash on his hands and feet which was spreading up his arm, I was so worried as my sister has recently had measles. I called the after hours Dr, and after what seemed like 1000 questions, he said it was possibly a allergic reaction or a viral infection, and to take him to the Dr in the morning.

I was going to the Dr anyway, as I needed to take Mr 2.5. It turns out both bub and I have chilblains, him on his hands and feet, and me on my toes. Thankfully that's all it was. Mr 2.5 on the other hand, possibly has ADHD and Asperger's. It didn't come as a surprise that he might have one or the other, but it was a shock to hear both. I need to take him to a pediatrician to find out for sure.

I'm nervous and worried naturally, but I'm prepared for the diagnosis, whatever it may be, as he'll get the help he needs and hopefully things will improve from here. I need to call the pediatrician back next week, as the aren't doing any bookings at the moment.. why I don't know, but I guess they have their reasons.

Have you had/know anyone that has had any experience with kids with ADHD and/or Asperger's? What should I/we expect? Any information will be greatly appreciated :)

Linking up with the lovely Jess @ Diary of a SAHM for IBOT :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Update on Missy's room

As you may know, we've been fixing up our daughter's room. Even though we did a major declutter last year, and with regular 'sort throughs', it needed a lot of work. You can find last years declutter post's here and here.

Here's a couple of pics of her room before we started on this journey last year.

Ok...yep...that's how her room looked... on a regular basis.

It never gets that bad anymore, we've decluttered to a point that it's controllable even when it's a mess. If that makes sense... :)

This is how it looks now. It's not completely finished. There's still holes in the wall that need filling and painting over, scribbles to clean off... But the main thing is her room is tidy and organised.

It's such a great feeling to look back on the pics from last year. 
We've gotten rid of so much stuff not only from her room but the whole house.

Here's what we do that helps with the toy clutter:

  • I often get the kids to pick toys to give to charity. 
  • If they double up on a toy, 1 needs to be passed on.
  • If an inside toy goes outside and they don't bring it back in/look after it, it goes.
  • If the toy box overflows, it's time for a clear out
  • If they don't use/play with it, it goes.
  • If it's broken/missing parts, it goes.
  • If family and friends ask what to get them, we'll suggest money towards something big (this year possibly a cubby house), get something that they're really interested in, or clothes.
  • We don't buy many toys for them throughout the year, toys are left for Birthdays/Christmas.

Before starting this journey, we did pretty much the opposite to the above. It definitely shows.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Family Outing - The Zoo

On Sunday, My husband was putting his dirtbike on the trailer. He was going for a ride to test it out after fixing it up. Our daughter got really upset and didn't want him to go because she wanted "her family of 6" to be together. This broke my heart. We've been focusing so much on other things recently, and this really showed with what she said. 

I didn't want to ask Hubby not to go as he's been so eager to go riding, but the bike has been out of action for months and he's been rebuilding it. So I suggested a family day out. Forget school, forget work, just focus on the family.

Here's our day :)

Missy and Mr almost 4 cracking up over I don't know what :)

Mr almost 4's favourite part of the day.

It climbed onto the log, toppled off and rolled onto its back, and he thought it was hilarious :)

Mummy's favourite part of the day :)

Mr 2.5's favourite part of the day :)

Well, the fountain and a random bird that kept on finding us but I didn't get a pic of it :)

Missy's absolute FAVOURITE part of the day :)
She loves ponies say no more.

Hubby's best friend :)

It wouldn't leave us alone so he had to keep shooing it away lol

Mr 2.5 telling it to go away :)

It stole his lunch lol

(this wasn't Mr 2.5's random bird)

Bubby :)

We had a great day and can't wait to do it again.

Missy has requested pony rides next.


Linking up to Jess at Diary of a SAHM for IBOT :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Four-step Priority plan for Mother's - Dr Phil

As said in my latest post which you can find here, I want to be a better mum to my kids. I found this on Dr Phil's site and it has some great tips for frazzled mummies.

Four-Step Priority Plan for Mothers

Are you stressed out from running the household, packing lunches and being a PTA mom? If you're mentally exhausted and out of balance, you aren't being fair to yourself or your family. You'll be a happier person " not to mention a better wife, mother and friend " once you stop putting your own needs last.

Make yourself a priority with Dr. Phil's tips!

1. Get over the guilt.
  • Don't feel guilty for taking time for yourself. It's not selfish to make yourself a priority.
  • Redefine what it means to be a "good mother." Instead of using society's definition, create your own measure of success as a parent.
  • A good mother is not one who only sacrifices; a good mother is also able to give of herself. If you don't have passion and happiness in your own life, you can't give it to your children.
  • Give yourself permission to be more than half of a couple, more than "just" a mom.
2. Make yourself a priority.
  • Don't confuse the quality and quantity of your time. They simply aren't the same things. Focus on the impact that your time does have, and give yourself the same attention you'd give someone else you love.
  • Don't do everything for your children. They are able to do some tasks on their own. Take the time to teach them how to do things for themselves.
  • Learn the art of saying no, the ability to delegate and the capacity to accept help without feeling guilty.
3. Discover your passions.
  • Find something that you love to do. What gives you a sense of pride, accomplishment or enjoyment?
  • Think back to when you last felt this sort of passion. Now, ask yourself: "What would it take to put that feeling back into my life? What can I do to recreate that feeling now?"
  • When you've found your passion, make time for it in your regular schedule. Don't allow yourself to treat this "me time" as an option. It should be as important as anything else.
4. Gain the support of your family.
  • This isn't always easy, but it can be done. Let your family know how and why you need to do things for yourself " so you can be a better mom and wife.
  • Compromise with your family. Help them to understand that while things may change, you won't be abandoning them.
I definitely need to make myself a priority, sometimes I feel so behind the scenes and forgotten about, even though I'm not. My family don't make me feel like that, it's how I make myself feel because I'm always making sure everyone else is happy, comfy and nourished, the house is at a non embarrassing state and the bills are paid that I forget about myself.

    Thursday, June 14, 2012


    In my last post, which you can read here, I stated that Family is what I want out of life. My family IS my life. In saying that, I want to prioritise me life.

    As I'm typing this, my little man Mr 3 gets out of bed and asks for a drink of water. I gave him a little drink, and he gives me a big cuddle tells me he loves me and walks to the lounge..

    "I'm sitting on the younge with my jink and I'm going to wait for Daddy."
    (mistakes intended, that's how he talks :))

    I was thinking of sending him back to bed, but then I thought why not let him stay up with me? He's no trouble. It'll make him happy and I'm sure he'll be asleep before Daddy gets home anyway.

    My Priorities:

    My children.
    My children are my absolute number one priority. They come before anything and anyone in this world (The husband would like to think he comes first but nah lol).

    Being a good mum to my children.
    This explains itself

    My husband and myself.
    I do tend to put everything and everyone before myself, I think it's what us mums do, but I'm making myself a priority, and start taking better care of myself. The husband - I want to spend more quality time with him, a date night is near impossible, so even a romantic dinner and a movie at home will suffice.

    Friends and other family (mum, dad, siblings, cousins etc).
    With four kids, I don't have a lot of time to catch up with everyone all the time, but I try to talk/text/chat with friends and/or (other) family on a daily basis, and catch up with closest friends every week.

    Having fun and living life.
    Again, this explains itself.

    The House.
    I would love to have a self cleaning house, but I'm yet to get that button working, so for now, the housework, decluttering, organising and general maintenance is an ongoing thing. I want my house to be a haven where my family can feel relaxed, and guests can feel welcome.

    We have lots of plans for our house. We've completely renovated it, and we're planning more projects in the future. We were originally trying to pump any and all extra money onto our car loan to get that paid off asap, so we could get the extra room built and have another baby  our kids can have their own rooms (yes we will be having another bub in a few years :)). We've changed our priorities, and feel so much happier and calmer :)

    Money is a necessary evil. We're earning less but living more :)

    What are you priorties?

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012

    What do I want out of life?

    When I was little all I wanted to be was a vet and help save animals. Through high school, I wanted to be a criminologist or obstetrician. I still wanted to be a vet, but I didn't think I'd have the heart to put animals to sleep, even though it would be for the best.

    I was in high school when my husband and I started dating, and I still hadn't decided what I wanted to be. When I turned 18, I got a job at a local club and worked very hard. It was then that I decided what I wanted. We wanted to move out and start the next phase of lives together.

    We moved out when I was 18, got married at 19, had a baby at 20, bought a house at 21, had baby 2 at 21, had baby 3 at 23, quit my job at 24 and had baby 4 at 24.

    It was such a hard transition at first, as I was always independent and refused to ever financially rely on anyone, especially my partner. It was hard watching mum and dad struggle raising four kids on one income, and I didn't want that for us. Hubby on the other hand, wanted me to stay home once we had our first bub, but he was happy with what ever I decided.

    In order for us to afford for me to stay home, we had to completely change the way we lived. We always bought new and always bought quality when it came to the big things like furniture. Bigger was better(so we thought) and we thought we could do it all. The house, the cars, the kids, the jobs. We were always doing something to the house, we never stopped. When I look back now, we wasted so much money. So much time. So many important moments with our children.

    How things have changed.

    All I want out of life is my family. I want to have a big family and to be surrounded by love and happiness. I would love to stay home with my babies for as long as possible. I want to give my kids a great life, and let them experience and enjoy being kids. I want to be able to help them when they're older and have their own families.

    Life has greatly improved since we've made the change, we're all so much happier. My daughter said to me the other day,

    "Mummy, when I grow up I want to be a mum just like you."

    That made my heart melt!

    We don't need the rushed life, the debts and the material things, we just need each other :)

    Linking up with Diary of a SAHM for IBOT

    Friday, June 8, 2012

    Plans for the new Financial Year.

    Well it's that time of year again, time to reassess our financial goals for the 2012/2013 financial year. It doesn't seem that long ago that I wrote last years post.

    Our financial goals for this year are:
    • Pay off the car.
    • Pay off the Credit card.
    • Put extra on the smaller mortgage.
    • Put money into savings.
    Apart from financial freedom, we're aiming to get an extension on our house in the next couple of years and will hopefully be able to get it done without going into more debt, or at least minimal debt.

    Our income was reduced temporarily throughout May, so therefore only minimum payments were made. What also made it harder, was from May-August we had/have 2x Car Rego's, 2x Car insurance, Home and Contents Insurance and Rates. We put bill money aside every pay so thankfully we didn't have to rely on credit or scramble to make ends meet.

    Our income had since been corrected and we'll get back on the wagon and continue putting extra on the debts.

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

    2011/2012 Financial Year.

    {Image Credit}

    Last year I did a post on our financial goals for this year, which you can find here. Our goal was to have the car loan paid off by 30th June 2012.

    This was completely doable, and we were sticking to our goal, but after a few incidences, long discussions and a few headaches later, we decided to shift our priorities a little bit.

    We had been wanting to completely fence off our yard, as we're on a sloping block which slopes down towards the road, and no matter how careful we are, kids, bikes and sloping driveways do not mix! So we agreed that getting the fence was a priority. So we saved up for it and got it done :)

    We also decided to take the family on a long deserved holiday to the Gold Coast. We also saved up for that and treated ourselves to a beautiful, well needed getaway :)

    We don't regret our decision at all, but it is a little disheartening to think that we could've been paying our last payment this month, but that's life :)

    We're aiming for the car to be paid off by my birthday this year, which is 31st December.

    Wednesday, June 6, 2012

    Boys and their toys!

    Today was the first day in a long time that I let my guard down with the kids and their toys... and it showed!

    We've got a rule that the kids have to pack away their toys before they move onto something else, whether it's to play with another toy, have something to eat, have a nap etc. The kids are usually pretty good at remembering this, with an exception for Mr 2, but most of the time he follows suit with what the others are doing.

    Mr 3 in particular, is a clean freak. He helps his sister tidy her room, and then tidies his own. He asked me today to check how tidy his room was and if I was proud of him. He's so cute. Yes his room was tidy and yes I was proud of him. But then the cheeky monkey walked into MY room and said,

    "Mummy your room is a pigsty! Look at all this stuff  next to the fan! Clean it up so it looks like mine!"

    Lol. He's a funny boy!! Yep, there was stuff by the fan, which was 2 bags of stuff for the Op Shop (Charity Store), a bag of maternity wear/baby stuff for my cousin that I no longer need, and bub's vaporiser. But the rest of the room was tidy.. I guess not to his standards :)

    Anywho, the hubby is doing another double shift today, so wasn't home. The boys have a serious case of cabin fever because of all this rain and the weather reflects my moods, if it's raining, all I feel like doing is nothing.. 

    So one boy had the Thomas The Tank Engine play set out, and the other had the blocks. This was all good, then they went outside for a bit while the sun was out. I tidied up the toys, as I was happy they were actually burning off some energy outside. This was short lived as it started raining again, so in they came and started playing with the toys again. Slowly other toys started creeping out.

    By dinner time, they had almost all their toys spread throughout the house, and weren't really playing with any of it. So I told them to start tidying up before dinner, and Mr 3 (almost 4) started straight away, but Mr 2 decided he wanted to play. I had had enough of the toys, and it was time to start winding down, so I had a race with him to see who could pack away the most toys before dinner was ready and he was more than willing to clean up.

    Even though we have a strict rule in place, I'm happy to see that if/when we let our guard down and things get out of hand, that it isn't a matter of one step forward and two steps back, as it took about 5 minutes to have it all tidied up and put away properly :)

    Tuesday, June 5, 2012

    A nice weekend.

    We had a nice rainy weekend here in Sydney, and I say that without sarcasm... It actually was a nice rainy weekend.

    We were supposed to go to a friends house for a BBQ, but due to the weather, we have postponed.

    Hubby and I spent some time decluttering our bedroom and managed to get rid of a lot of stuff, which freed up a lot of space in hubbys side of the wardrobe... unfortunately mine's still packed, but I'm hoping to get it done this week.

    We came across an old video of my husband as a young teenager on his dirtbike, it was so cute to watch and listen to his young voice, the kids were amazed.. I don't think they believed it was their Daddy :)

    We spent time together watching movies and playing games.

    All I can say is, MY POOR HUSBAND!! lol

    I found a recipe for Cloud Dough from Flights of Whimsy and thought I'd give it a try. I knew the kids would have a ball with it.

    The recipe called for 8 cups of flour and 1 cup of baby oil.. I tweaked it a bit as I didn't have that much flour :)

    I used 3 cups of flour and approx 1/4 cup of baby oil.

    This was great as I've been wanting to use the baby oil up, I've had it since Miss 5 was a baby (I don't use the oil on bubs apart from removing cradle cap).

    Mr almost 4

    I have more pictures that I wanted to add, but for some reason, it seems to stuff up everytime I try and add them.

    They had a blast with the Cloud Dough. They played with it for ages and pretended it was snow, play dough, dirt and rubbish for their trucks and plenty more things.

    It was so good seeing them all play happily together and using their imagination.

    Linking up with Diary of a SAHM for I Blog on Tuesdays.

    Sunday, June 3, 2012

    Car Loan update

    We're aiming to pay our car loan off by the end of this year. Including minimum repayments, we've been trying to put $1000 a month onto the loan. The past couple of months went well for us and we were able to meet our goal, but unfortunately we had a temporary loss of income throughout May, so therefore no extra repayments were made. As of 1st June, we're just under $13400. I'm hoping we get a decent tax return and are able to start putting extra on the loan, so we can get it under the $10k mark within the next few months.