Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ho Ho Humbug

I used to love Christmas. I'd go to the Christmas shop that was only open from October-December and delight in the fairy wonderland of lights, earthy colours, beautiful decorations and model trains. A Classy Christmas, if you will.

The first year I started to Humbug was the last Christmas my Dad was alive. He'd just had lymphatic surgery and was being spoiled by my family from the comfort of his bed. I wasn't there. I was here in Hobart having a Very Smythy Christmas. But we thought Dad was ok.

The next Christmas Dad wasn't alive. I think we spent it without our families at our new house in Hobart. A quiet affair, punctuated with Mr S and I playing epic marathon games of Worms on our games PC.

Then we moved to our Huon Valley abode and we couldn't afford to go anywhere for Christmas for a few years, and truthfully, I was glad. There was a giant Peach-Pie sized hole in my Christmas heart and I was happy to spend Christmas with my main Mr S, and a giant Christmas ham. I refused to put decorations up, but my friend rocked up and got it all out and insisted. Then I was pregnant with Millie, and too big fat and tired to do it, but Mr S insisted, and the house looked lovely. Last year, Millie was 7 months old and waking up every 40 minutes overnight and got her two front teeth on Christmas day and my mother's raging flu the next, so it's safe to say that we got through Christmas. Enjoyed? Well... Got through? Yes.

This year is a bit different. Lady Pippa is tiny, but Millie is SUPER excited about the Christmas Tree and is trying to open all the presents already. Her daycarer has a tree and decorations and lights and I think they talk about Christmas a fair bit, so she's picked up a fair bit of Christmas Spirit there.

I'm still Bah Humbug'ing a little bit. I like putting the decos up. I LOATHE taking them down, but I do organise my decorations in zip lock bags so they're easy to find next year. And the lights are wound carefully or put into bunches of ten with twist ties for easy unravelling.

Buuut, I've dragged my Christmas heels long enough. We've been listening to Christmas radio, Mr S has procured a live tree and last night I declared It Was Time to Decorate.

Pip was screaming, Millie was LOUD, I had a raging headache (now known as the Beginning of a ManCold), but I put the Christmas radio on and declared that WE WOULD HAVE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT GODDAMNIT through gritted teeth.

The tree is decorated (and looks like I just let Millie go to town, but the reality is I'm very crap at decorating trees) and there's some more lights up. We're getting there. I've been doing some Christmas Crappy Craft with Millie too, so there's some handmade decorations to put up this week.

I present you with a picture that sums up our Christmas Mood last night...

To the tune of an unhappy newborn, a loud toddler & Pandora indie Christmas radio, I declared WE WILL HAVE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT.

Have you got your Handmade Christmas Pinterest Glory on, or are you just like me?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

When is enough, enough?

Is my grammar wrong in the heading? Most probably. Or should that be most, prob-ably?

Today I deleted the Facebook and Twitter apps on my beloved third child iPhone. Why? Because I couldn't take reading update after update about mass school shootings and I don't have the self control to leave the apps there and just not open them. Instead, I'd just read update after update about school shootings and soldier's wives sleeping by their dead husband's caskets, and I'd just cry and cry. Ah, hormones. You heighten everything.

I'm lucky that my kids are tiny and not asking about the senselessness behind the events of this week. Parents and carers of those who are, my heart goes out to you. It's one thing for us to explain about how Lucy thought Millie might take away her toy and that's why she got scared and angry... but I don't know how I'd explain that the mental health system in the USA needs an overhaul and don't even get me started on gun control.

I know it's not the age that we live in, but I wonder if perhaps a bit of a media blackout is a good thing. When I was struggling with some anxiety issues I made a point of only surrounding myself with lovely things. A gratitude journal, a beautiful bunch of flowers, positive affirmations. And I didn't read the newspaper. The first day I decided not to read the paper I glanced over at it, and the page was printed in black ink, with the words 'TERROR IN THE FACE OF THE GFC'. See my point?

I'm well aware of the events that have occured, and it's terrifying and heartbreaking to think of so many families without their children. My heart can't take it. My heart also can't take the news being rehashed again and again and arguments about gun control and statistics about gun control and someone retweeting a pro-gun lobbyist. It's like a thousand brick being slammed down again and again. Once was enough to make me cry and find my children and my husband and hold them all so very tightly.

How do you deal with the bad news in our media?

Friday, December 14, 2012

FFS Friday - tax problems and Play School songs.

I just tried to type Frofsu - which is Friday with my fingers on the wrong keys. That should be a good key indicator of how I'm feeling...even more accurate is that most of this is actually LAST week's FFS that never got to see the light of day because I didn't finish it.

UPDATE: It's actually Last LAST week's one.. with more additions. I'm so brain dead I just typed editions, and didn't spell it correctly. (FFS).

  • Life with a toddler and a newborn is challenging. One screaming newborn seems to trigger one screaming toddler. A screaming toddler does not trigger a screaming newborn. FFS.
  • We seem to be all waking at 5.45am. M goes to bed at 7pm, and no matter what time I start getting ready for bed, it's usually about 10pm, then 1-2am, then 4-5am then god knows what time. I think my eyes are starting to bleed. FFS.
  • I will never be alone again. I have just realised this. FFS.
  • It was 34.9 degrees celcius on the deck last week at 5pm. What gives, Tasmania? This is precisely the reason I moved away from NSW. At 6am it was 21 in the coldest room of the house. This temperature does not bode well for either my headache or my kiddlywinks' moods for the rest of the day. FFS.
  • I have spent more time in hospitals and seeing Doctors and taking antibiotics in the last few weeks than I care to count. Thankfully, all is on the up and up and I hope that this trend continues.
  • My Paid Parental Leave pay was taxed incorrectly for the first back payment, with the reasoning 'I noticed something was wrong, but effectively it's more than you'd get paid anyway, so I didn't worry.' Not the point. Thankfully this has been rectified and I can pay my bills again.
  • Bogan Neighbour's dog barked for four hours last week. FFS.
  • Bogan Neighbour has been revving his car for hours each day again. It's good because then Millie and I can talk about cars and the noises they make, it's bad because he keeps revving his car for hours. Then they started whipper snipping at the same time. It made me whippy snippy. FFS.
  • I wake up singing nursery rhymes and songs from Play School. 'What do you think my name is? I wonder if you know? My name is JOHN! Hello! Hello! Hello! Hello! Hello!' FF-Bloody Hello-S.
  • I keep having MotherGuilt (TM) - poor second child gets popped in her cot/on my bed/on the couch whilst I wash my hands/help M with a task. Then I mean to go straight back to her... but she's not howling, so I do as much as I possibly can. Often I go back... and she's asleep, or very close to it. Who is this child? I thought I only bred newborn howlers? Does she feel neglected because I don't hold her all day? In fact, she often goes to sleep more easily if I pop her in bed and leave her to it. So strange.
  • I cannot wait to be able to drive again, and take my troops on afternoon drives. I'm also terrified of taking two kids out by myself in the car. FFS.
  • After my CSec I didn't cough for 10 days or sneeze for 18 days. Since my first sneeze I haven't been able to stop sneezing (hayfever! Yo!) and I know I'm alive when I forget to brace my scar. FFS.
  • I keep forgetting to take my painkillers. FFS.
  • I'm getting soft in my post baby hormonal high. I feel bad for FFS'ing because there's been so many delightful things happening as well!
  • Still have an intermittent headache. I've worked out it's related to breastfeeding and the way I hold myself whilst feeding, and how I look down. Unfortunately I quite like to look at my baby... so I foresee a headache until I stop feeding. FFS.
  • I'm as forgetful as ever. I'm sure I had a point here, but I can't remember it. FFS.
  • I do an insane amount of clothes washing for two big people and two small people. It's not double the washing with two kids, it seems to be triple. I can't have more than two kids, I'd have to get a laundry service. FFS.
Shiny Things Friday
M clutching her favourite things that day... three unripe greengage plums.

Temperature in the shade on the deck last week. WHY?

My brother, Uncle Kenny with Millie & Pip.

M was at daycare, P was asleep and I had an espresso. SO EFFICIENT RIGHT NOW.

Then Pip woke up and started screaming for 4 hours...
Cake was needed.

But really... look at that smoodgy...

Linking up with Sarah at Dear Baby G for FFS Friday.

Dear Baby G

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Updates from the coalface...

Pippa loves Millie

My lovely friend John has been a font of parental advice. When I fell pregnant with Millie, he told us in all honesty 'The first three months were utter crap for us. Everyone tells you the first six weeks are hard, but they lie. It's the first three months.' And he was right. At 3am when I'd be trying to feed Millie and it was hard and it was cold and I thought the world was ending, Mr S would say 'Remember what John said? The first three months. And we're halfway there. Hang in there. Here, have a sandwich.'

We met up with them again in March this year, when I was newly pregnant with Pippa, constantly seasick but not saying a word yet, he commented that having two kids was not doubly harder than one, it was harder again. 'You can get one off to sleep and the other wakes up. You spend the time when they're asleep thinking you should be sleeping, or relaxing or doing something for YOU, but the reality is you're resetting the house for the other kid to wake up and trash it.' It's true.

We are at the six week mark now. It's gone so quickly, I can't quite believe it. I've settled into some sort of routine for the day, which saves my sanity to no end. I've also set my standards for what gets done in a day quite low, and my priorities have shifted. I have sewn two seams since Week 39 of pregnancy - and I felt like I'd run a marathon. I baked a batch of cupcakes yesterday and I needed a lie down. I'm not quite sure what's going on there, I imagine it's quite taxing for my addled brain to switch between full on parenting mode to other pursuits right now. What do you think?

I have never done so much washing in my life. Pippa is super colicky and super vomit-y, so I'm washing towels, linens and clothes daily. This morning she coughed and wiped out herself, two towels, my outfit, two pillows and our bedsheets & underlay. She's since then wiped out another two Wrap Me Up swaddles & two towels. Crazy, huh?

My days literally consist of putting washing on, dishes, washing out, washing on, feeding everyone, washing in, washing away, dinner on, dishes, Mr S home, we eat & bathe the kids & bed. I'm typing this with one hand, Pippa in my arms, Millie asleep.

Mr S asked me how I was feeling about being a full time Mum. I love it. There are hours of the day when I really want all kids to stop crying (5pm anyone?) so I can curl up in a ball... or immerse myself into a vat of wine, but I really love it. I love being busy & I love being able to spend this time with my girls.

This weekend, I'll pick up the car keys and try driving again. I'm also petrified of taking two small kids out of the house by myself... wish me luck!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What I've Learned This Week

In lieu of regular, in-depth blog posts for which I have no mental capacity nor can I manage to prioritise any time for, I give you my learnings for the week...

I've learned to pick my battles... and I was pleasantly surprised.
She was stoked that she could drink from a big glass, and I was stoked that she didn't
spill any of it nor smash the glass.

  • Blue crayon will come off the iPad screen using, funnily enough, iDevice screen cleaner. No toddler lives were lost in this ordeal.
  • I am exceptionally happy that I am a rule follower for iDevices and have screen protector film on all devices.
  • There are several books in my collection that I can no longer loan to anyone, after a tiny newborn made us all proud with projectile p-... you get the picture. The books are clean, but I'd still never loan them lest anyone comment on the colour of some of the pages.
  • A toddler wearing crocs and repeatedly climbing on you and sliding off not only hurts, but wears one's patience very quickly.
  • Doing endless loads of washing is not as tedious as I imagined. It turns out I quite enjoy hanging it out, bringing it in and folding it. Putting it away is not as fun, but I can get through it.
  • I still hate choosing what we're going to eat for dinner.
  • Pip's talent for awakening due to starvation as I pick up a utensil to eat remains uncanny and quite impressive.
  • If Millie doesn't eat her dinner, she goes to bed without dinner. She still sleeps through the night. Amazing.
  • If I do not eat, I do not feel hungry. Instead I feel depressed and teary. It took me a few days of "OH MY GOD I FEEL DEPRESSED AGAIN OH MY GOD." and then eating something and feeling sunny again. Rock on ridiculous blood sugar, rock on.
  • I can't wait for my iPad keyboard to arrive. I've written four draft posts and haven't got the energy to sit up at my desk and finish them. At least with the iPad keyboard I can finish them in bed, or on the couch, or on the deck. This is why my blog will never be as good as those who actually take the time and prioritise the blog above other things. Right now, priorities go Baby #2 and Baby #1, food, water, sleep, housework, The West Wing, sewing, blogging, returning phone calls. Oh man. Sorry, blogging, it's not you, it's me.
  • ABC2 is my friend. Scratch that, you're more than that. Without you, ABC2, I'd be lost.
  • Our deck is THE BUSINESS. We spend most sunny days out there, and it's totally childproof. No longer do I fear my children running on to the highway. Mr S has worked his cute bottom off and our yard is safe. Hoorah!
  • To pick my battles. Millie, you want to wear your swimmers in the lounge room at 6pm? Sure thing. Want to pick the unripe plums and play with them in the birdbath? Ok. Shall we make a pillow fort? Groovy. Want me to wrap you up swaddle style so you're not jealous of Pippa? Great, go get a blankie. (FYI, a toddler wrapped, burrito-style in a giant polar fleece Dora blanket is pretty darn cute. The Dora blanket is not cute, but that's another story.
  • I've learned that cloth nappying two kids isn't harder than one, so far. I've only used cloth with Pip a handful of times, and Millie is in cloth during the day aside from a certain time of the day, and at nighttimes. I'm doing 'nappy' loads every day anyway of Pippa towels and washers, so having nappies in as well is easy. 
  • I've just realised I can touch type this post with my eyes closed. Wonderful.
  • I'm trying to feel ok with the fact that Pippa will not usually go to sleep if you hold her. She'll doze then pop a sneaky eyelid open. But, pop that kid in her bed and walk away... she's sleeping before you reach the door. Weirdo.
  • The biggest thing I'm learning is that I'm ok. I'm doing ok. I've been keeping an eagle eye out for signs of anxiety, and so far, nothing out of the ordinary. I've been proactive this time and I have lists of things we can do, including Millie craft activities (by the way, most fun ever!) and friends to ring and chat to, places we can go once I'm driving again, meals we can eat. I also keep a standard daily routine of really basic stuff, like having a shower, washing on, breakfast, washing out, cutting up fruit for our snacks and veg for our dinner, etc etc. Inane, but it gets me through. At the close of the day, everyone is clothed, bathed, fed and watered. Job well done.

What have you learned this week?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Oh man, I started thinking about this while I was doing the washing up and it became an entire Susan Jeffers-esque 'I'm thankful for EVERYTHING right now' style of thing.

But honestly, here's what I'm feeling warm and fuzzie'd by this week.

  • I'm thankful for my surgeon Aisha, who safely delivered Pippa whilst simultaneously cracking jokes with me over the dividing curtain and stitching me up beautifully. She made a potentially scary situation, well, not as scary.
  • For friends who drive insanely long distances just to say hi and kick back on the deck. My friend Beck sent me a text last week saying 'Can I come over? I've got the kids, but I just want to say hi for five minutes.' No sooner had I replied that she pulled into my driveway. It turns out that she was coming and that was that. She ignored the bomb site lounge room, pulled out two giant frozen meals for us, brought us cakes for morning tea and sat with me whilst I fed Lady Pippa. Today my friend Mel and her hubby A2 came for a visit, and whilst their son O played with M, A2 made sausage rolls in my kitchen, gave us some for afternoon tea and put a dozen more in the freezer. Then he did the dishes and tidied the kitchen whilst us ladies gasbagged and swapped around our Bellaboxes. Awesome friends indeed.
  • Our family daycarer, who will go out of her way to drop Millie home on one of her allotted daycare days, and not charge us for the other allotted day as I can't drive Millie to care. She sends home magazines for me to read and is a part of our family down here. We love her lots.
  • For the confidence that being a second time Mum brings. I don't panic (as much) when Lady Pippa hollers the house down, I just turn the TV on and get comfy with her on my chest. It's more stressful when Millie's also hollering the house down... I remember Veggie Mama telling me the most difficult thing she'd found so far was choosing which screaming child to tend to first. Oh, I get it now Stacey.
  • For friends who I can carry on a textual conversation with over an entire day without seeming stalker-like. Ros and Sarah, thank you.
  • I'm thankful for friends that keep sending me LOVELY packages in the post. You make me feel so special and you spoil my little family so very much.
  • On that note, Millie was sent a bracelet by her friend Maggie, and it's so special to her that it requires losing the use of said bracelet arm, just to make sure it stays on. She just made me take it off her arm so she could use both hands for another task.
  • And always, for the insanely wonderful Mr S. He changes nappies at night, he makes me smile when both kiddlywinks are hollering, he does the shopping and buys me a block of chocolate without fail, he goes to work full time so I don't have to, he bolsters my confidence in the middle of the night feedings, and he makes me a cup of tea in bed every morning. Every morning. He's a keeper.
  • Lastly, I'm thankful for Lady Pippa, who is such a mystery, but had stolen my heart from the word go. I didn't think it was possible to have enough love after Millie, but your heart just seems to grow and expand in ways I couldn't imagine.
Linking up for Thankful Thursday at We {Heart} Life.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Peach.

Dear Dad,
Ever stylin'

It's your birthday again. Again? Really? Time is flying by at the moment.

There's Pippa, you see. She's suddenly three and a bit weeks old and life is a bit crazy. In a good way. She's got this way of just looking at you, and you're certain that she's got it all figured out already, at only three weeks old. She smells divine and is such a delicious mystery. Millie is ever gorgeous, looking more and more like me as a baby (hence the ever gorgeous, y'know?) and turning into a Toddler Lady before our very eyes. I'm pretty sure you'd think she was the best thing since Vanilla Slices.

I'm not sure that you ever imagined yourself surrounded by grandchildren, but Dad, if you were here, you would be. Sally and I would also be leaving the room at opportune moments... leaving you to change dirty nappies. Hey - you always wanted to be a grandfather! Ha!

You're never far from my thoughts. Millie's stunning blue eyes are your eyes. My nose, your nose. (thanks a bunch, by the way.) Your four brothers? Identical to you. My brother Ben? Sounds just like you on the phone. It's freaky.

I think of you every Saturday night when there's nothing on television but freakin' Star Trek: Next Generation. Don't get me wrong, I love Picard with the best of them, but EVERY Saturday night? You'd bloody love it.

You would have been 64 today. Instead, you'll always be 58. Which is far too young for you to be missing from our lives, and I live in hope that by the time I'm 58 no one will needlessly die of cancer. I hope that by the time Millie and Pippa are 58, cancer is just a dirty word.

Love always,


Friday, November 23, 2012

FFS Friday... we're back!

Hello there FFS Friday. I've enoyed reading everyone else's gripes, but I haven't really missed writing it. I know. There's something wrong with me. But today I appear to have cracked the hormonal sads so what an opportunity to get things off my ample property-of-Pippa chest.

  • Contrary to my experiences last time, I'm not hating breastfeeding. It's easy and SO much easier than dealing with sterilising bottles. It's hard enough to keep up with sterilising dummies because Child A keeps stealing Child B's dummy... I'll let you guess who is who... FFS.
  • I got this month's Bellabox, and I'm suitably unimpressed again. I contacted them last month in the height of pregnancy Angry because no matter what my profile says they keep sending me makeup, and my friends who actually WEAR makeup keep getting sent nail products. I have a deal going with Mel from Honey You Baked, where we compare our boxes and swap what we don't want. So far she's a perfect match for me, and me her. FFS.
  • I'd forgotten a newborn's ability to awaken the moment food is present. Suffice to say Pippa is often covered in crumbs. FFS.
  • Millie was a pooer. We were prepared for that this time around. There's one small problem here... Pippa is a chucker. Actually, make that a POWERSPEWER. Like, 80's style rock and roll spewer. Most feeds. And she's quiet about it, too. We're currently doing two or three loads of washing per day to keep up with the towel/bedding/Mummy clothing quota. FFS.
  • That said, she is the best thing since sliced bread and coffee, so it's okay...
  • Millie has launched into terrible twos with gusto. Everything, repeat, EVERYTHING is the end of the world. I heard some terrible screaming from the bathroom the other night complete with throwing-self-on-ground sounds and 'NO NO NO NO NO NO NO'. Turns out Mr S was drying her hair gently with a towel. She's not even two. Help. FFS.
  • I made the mistake of opening the credit card statement, instead of giving to Mr S unopened as I usually do. FFS.
  • I am three weeks in to my six week confinement, where I cannot drive, pick things up off the floor (but I have been, often without realising until I'm stuck on the floor and my shitty blood pressure prevents me from getting up easily), cannot pick up Millie (this is breaking both our hearts), cannot change Millie's nappy (involves lifting her, not heartbroken about this one at all), lift heavy things etc etc. It's safe to say it's driving me crackers. I am quite deft at picking things up with my feet, but seriously? This sucks. FFS.
  • I know I need to slow down because there's one stitch hole that just won't heal. Or, it does until I bend down. FFS.
  • I've had a headache for three weeks now. It's not a spinal headache, and thankfully the migraines I had every day in hospital have gone away, but most days there comes a point where I literally can't see straight. Also driving me crackers. FFS.
  • Sitting at my desk makes it worse. I'll never blog regularly again at this rate. FFS.
  • The amount of painkillers I'm taking should be knocking that bad boy on the head. FFS.
  • Mr S goes back to work on Tuesday. BOOOOOOOOO.

Shiny Things Friday


Our first lunch date, Pippa was a week old.

Millie had a great time with her GrandMarg. Pigtails and babycinos...

Millie shows Pippa how it's done.

I keep finding Millie selfies on my phone.

Millie cow-watches next door...

My two loves.

She's totally awesome, right?

Millie helps me take my shoes off.

Aaand takes them 'to the front door'...
I found them on the couch. Almost at the front door.

Pippa was given this beautiful hanging from Jane at Life on Planet Baby.
She has an Etsy shop here.

I found these on my phone...

Pippa and I at Lymington beach this week, soaking up the sun.

Speaking of Lady Pippa.

Very awake, very alert, and smiles a lot.

Finally, I was given this by my lovely friend Annette. I feel very
spoiled as I have a cup each day. It's important to spoil new mamas, I've decided.

Linking up with my favourite Sarah at Dear Baby G.
Dear Baby G

Friday, November 16, 2012

What I've Learned in the Past 14 Days

This post could also be entitled 'Things I'd Forgotten About Having a Newborn'.

Bogan Baby Fist Pump for Bogan Baby Ugg Boots.
  1. You will be tired. You will sleep more soundly and in larger blocks than when you were pregnant, but you will be significantly more tired. This is known as the Unfair Effect.
  2. The poo. You know it's been a good nappy change when you find yourself soaping up to your elbows. There will never be any pictures of newborn poo on this blog or anywhere I'm involved. Take heart.
  3. You will relax your rules about screen time and start handing M the iPad whenever she points at it and says hopefully 'Ipa?'. This is partially because you find it cute (and concerning) that she's learned how to say iPad, but also it means you can lie in bed and she will sit with you and you both watch Play School.
  4. You will also find yourself continuing to watch Play School long after she's left the room.
  5. Breastfeeding can hurt. But the difference is that this time, so far, it seems to be a lot easier. Aside from...
  6. Mastitis. I started getting mastitis the day before I was planning to come home. Thankfully due to my history of getting Mastitis I was on a course of antibiotics before I could blink and feeling MUCH better within half an hour.
  7. Appetite. I have never eaten so many meals that I've proclaimed to be 'Best. Food. Ever.' and I go to bed with a 1L water bottle, a box of crackers, a banana and muesli bar. Most gone by daybreak. At this rate I will never lose my pregnancy weight.
  8. You will feel vindicated about how bloody huge you were at the end of your pregnancy. That is because there was a bloody huge baby occupying your stomach space.
  9. People will question your birth choice, regardless of your birth choice. Although, I don't imagine many people have to answer the question 'Why did you have a vaginal birth?' as opposed to the amount of times I've been asked 'Why did you have a C-Section?'. The majority of people mean no malice behind their question, but I've certainly felt judged.
  10. You still look pregnant. When we leave the house I like to hold Pippa, it makes me feel less like someone will ask when I'm due.
  11. The newborn cry will melt your face off. Not in the 'I'm melting from the cuteness' but the 'Oh god, it sounds like everything bad in the world.' It's okay, they're meant to sound like that.
  12. Some days everything is too hard. It's okay to hide in the bedroom with the blinds closed, but you will feel much better if you take your newborn, a cup of coffee and go and sit in the sun.
  13. This is the glorious time when caffeine does not mess with your ability to sleep. Fed the baby? CUP OF TEA. I've FINALLY finished a cup of tea I made at 3.45pm, and remade at 4.30pm. And I will still sleep soundly. Hurruh!
  14. My babies have an supersonic sensor for food. Perhaps it's universal, but your soundly sleeping baby will sense the spoon being raised to your mouth and wake up, immediately hungry themselves. Every meal.
  15. Nobody is reasonable at 3am. It took us a month or so to figure it out when Millie was a newborn, but Mr S and I have realised that we are both highly unreasonable in the middle of the night, so we take care to be kind to each other. I find this difficult when Mr S cannot wake up to change a nappy, despite him saying he's about to get up, but I try my best.
  16. You will be tired. I know, I already said this, but it's true.
  17. Newborns smell delicious, and their cheeks feel like tasty tasty steaks.
  18. When in hospital, your street grade narcotic painkillers will make you feel like superwoman. Then you will come home without the Tramadol, and the Panadeine Forte will run out. The days when this happens suck, but the next day is better. Soon you'll be pain and painkiller free.
  19. The TV is your friend. It doesn't care if you have baby spew on your shirt, haven't put socks on in weeks (can't reach down there!) and always has something to watch. Even if you've downloaded it or are renting multiple movies on Apple TV. 
  20. The time you spent stashing meals in the freezer and making a Freezeventory, then sounding like a meanie and not letting extended family raid your freezer? Time well spent. Pat self on back. Everyone has gone home now and no one in your family (i.e You and Mr S) feels like cooking. The day Pip was born I made my mother a list of things to do, and asked her to make two banana cakes. One for now, and one cut up for the freezer. This was also a winning idea of mine, and a winning action of Mothership's.
  21. Babies have wind pain. And they sometimes cry, a lot. I also have wind pain. Pippa's is from guzzling at the milk bar, mine is from a surgeon rummaging around my insides. It certainly gives me empathy for Pippa's wind pain.
  22. A Good Partner is worth their weight in gold. Mr S spent my time in hospital treating me like a princess, bringing proscuitto, brie and dips to my hospital tray, wine with my lunch (mixed with painkillers, natch), running to the shops for trashy magazines, and now we're home, running to shops for Lady Things, painkillers, snack food and generally Taking Care of Business. I'd be lost without him. He says he'd be lost without me. Go Team Us! He also changes nappies in the night. No, you can't have him.
  23. Breastfeeding Hormones are Ace. I didn't experience this with Millie at all, but one feed with Pip and I'm all 'Oh man, I love you guys!' and Pip's all 'Oh man, I jus' wanna say, wait, wait, I jus' have to tell you... I loveyouguyzzzzzzz.' It's lovely and makes feeding feel a bit better and less 'Open your mouth wider, wider, big mouth now, milk's going everywhere...'
  24. Being a second time parent rocks. It's hard work, but we feel like we've got a tiny idea of what's going on this time. I feel so much more confident with Pip. My midwives in the hospital kept remarking 'You're such a confident mother!' and I kept wanting to look behind me to see who they were talking to, but I couldn't move because of all the effing pain, so I assumed they were talking to me.

    It's difficult to not let the anxiety I felt when M was born creep back in, where every newborn scream made me feel like I'd NEVER work it out and she'd NEVER stop crying. As Mr S keeps telling me 'We got this.'
Yep. We got this.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Enola Fall & Why You Should Support Their Kickstarter

As all indie musicians know, money can be scarce and it's hard to fund professional quality recordings upfront off your own bat. Enter Kickstarter.

Enola Fall are recording a new record, and really need your help. Head over here, and be as generous with your cash as you can afford to be. I cannot wait to see how the new record turns out, and I really hope they can make their target. It ends in approximately 22 hours, so you'll need to be speedy.

Hobart's a pretty small place, and the music industry in Hobart is even smaller. Over the course of playing shows in Hobart I met and got to know Joe Nuttall of Enola Fall and his fabulousness excellency of awesome partner, Lesley* quite well. I've played support spots for them, and Joe's played support spots for me and we've all played on the same bill more than once. One time, we both played at a corporate event where I sang in front a 30 metre QANTAS sign and Joe walked through the crowd playing his banjo. Strange.

Now, Joe has written what is quite possibly my favourite song in the whole world, 'We Become Wolves'. He's also written a LOT of very awesome songs since 'We Become Wolves', but it remains my absolute favourite.


When you get to see Enola Fall perform live, the room stops. And stares. And dances.

Go and have a listen to their back catalogue here.

Joe works supremely hard at his craft, and as he becomes steadily more successful I am unable to think of any musician I know that is more deserving of such success. He tours Enola Fall a lot and this entails spending both a lot of time away from home and a lot of hard earned cash.

So again, check out their Kickstarter and help support local (or perhaps not local) independent musicians.

Need more proof that they're ace?

Enola Fall website
Listen to 'I Don't Drive'
Listen to 'Capture the Flag'

You will excuse my lack of writing finesse here. I've been meaning to write this post for ages, and the Kickstarter ends tonight and the baby is sleeping and I'm half asleep too...

*Lesley and I work together and she is responsible for the Best Maternity Leave Card Ever.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tea is very important, AKA my Hospital List.

I don't enjoy being a patient in hospital. I enjoy hot lunches in hospital because
  • Someone else cooks the meal
  • Someone else brings me the meal
  • Someone else takes the dirty dishes away and does them

Those things and the mechanical bed aside, I'd rather be at home. But I thought hard about it this time and here's what I've got with me this time to make hospital feel a little bit more like home.

My own mug, loose leaf tea and tea bags

My public hospital supplies either paper cups or plastic mugs with meals. Tea out of a plastic cup? Mrs Smyth Snr drank one today without dying, but I think she was blinded by the delicious Pippa.

My iPhone alarm clock dock.

Hospitals are NOISY, man. I'm in a private room this time but it's right next to reception. Mr S and I can tell you all sorts of gossip we've overheard. I'm also a hefty iDevice user, so having the dock means my phone is always charged, we can listen to music to drown out the bogans hospital noise, and I know what time it is.

My own pillow

I hate being away from home, so my boomerang pillow is a must for me here. Smells like home, comfy like home.

All Manner Of Food And Drink

As I look at my bedside table and tray table I can see:
  • Grandmarg's Banana Cake (Best Ever, recipe to come!) Gone. I ate this in record time yesterday.
  • A box of Cadbury Roses chocolate thanks to Melina
  • A bottle of Coca-Cola
  • Jug of water and glass
  • Peppermint loose leaf tea and infuser
  • An apple
  • A banana
  • A box of Oreos
  • A box of LadurĂ©e French tea a friend brought in for me yesterday.

There's also another bag of fruit on the floor, a box of Oreos in the cupboard and a packet of Ritz crackers in the cupboard. I'm hungry now.

My iPad, charger and stand

Enough said, really.

Hair Ties

Man, these are such a necessity for me. I get around with a ponytail most of the time, and having been stuck in bed for a couple of days, my messy hair has been getting the better of me. I even brought my hair dryer this time. A good fringe gives me faith to face the day.

Toilet Paper

Standard issue toilet paper doth not a happy woman make. Ok?

Garnier BB cream and Garnier Dark Spot Corrector

Not a sponsored post! But it could be, I love it so very much. The corrector has come with me, only because I like a light moisturiser under my BB cream. I cannot gush about the BB cream enough. After a night where I had 90 minutes sleep total, broken into three sleeps (!), I still had compliments on how well baby must be sleeping because I looked so rested.

Notebook and Pen

So useful. Keeping track of feeds, writing down handy hints from the best night midwife ever (Terri, the homebirth midwife for those in Hobart following along) and making notes about my artillery of heavy drugs. As Mr S isn't staying in hospital with me this has really helped me feel more relaxed and less worried about forgetting anything.

So there you have my very simple hospital survival list. It doesn't state the basics, such as enough maternity pads to create your own padded cell or breast pads, but this is what has helped make my life more comfortable so far.

What's your additions?

And oh yes, this.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

40 weeks...

Yesterday when I woke up this is how I looked.
Meet Pippa Jane Smyth. She came into our lives at 9.15am yesterday morning, 2nd November 2012.
She required an exit via the sunroof, and at 4.7kg... Let's just say I'm quite relieved that she was a Sunroof Entry into the world. It's been decided that Mama Smyth don't make no small babies.
Pippa smells delicious and has Mr S and I wrapped around her little tiny fingers and toes. She is so far the identical image of newborn Millie, resplendent in her rosebud mouth and chubby chubby chins.
Millie is exceptionally taken with her little sister and is enjoying all the spoiling that comes with having Nanny and Poppy Smyth AND GrandMarg in the house. When they came to visit yesterday, Millie chased her banana cake (GrandMarg) with 3 Oreo cookies that she spotted on my tray table and I heard there was some treats from Nanny Smyth as well. Sugar, Toddler be thy name.
I'm off to PippaWatch and have another cup of tea. Zzzzzzzzzz.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Final Countdown

So here we are, at week 39 + 5 days. There's a very real possibility that I'll be holding a newborn within a few days. It's really quite a strange feeling. I look at Millie, and our life as is, and to suddenly throw another child in the mix? It's doing my head in.

My in-laws arrived yesterday and have spent the morning cleaning my spare room out, putting things under the house, entertaining Millie and baking banana muffins for M's playdate. I have been... well, essentially freaking out.

How will Millie cope with the new baby? How will I cope with Millie and the new baby? Will I ever sleep again? How will we ever eat meals again? What if I can't feed the new baby? (I know the answer to that one, duh.) What if? What if? What if?

I know it'll be fine. Because aside from every reassurance I can give myself, it will have to be fine. We will muddle through sleep deprivation and toddler tantrums and crayon on the backs of chairs and milk everywhere and we'll be fine. Better than fine. We'll be awesome.

So I leave you with this...

But tell me... what are your tips?

Friday, October 26, 2012

FFS Friday: I have a pink knife and an apple in my handbag.

Instead of a big long page of rants I will let you be privy to something I experienced this Tuesday. Looking back, I actually wasn't sure it was possible for someone to hit me up with every pregnant lady cliche. But it's all true, and all took place over the course of 10 minutes.

Mr S and I were in town to do some various errands and I popped M in her pram whilst Mr S went to get his eyes tested. We have not had a second cup of tea today as we left the thermos at home...

I stopped in at a jeweller to get my watch battery replaced. I've never really been there before, and I won't be back in a hurry. As soon as I walked in the door his wife offered to help with the pram (no thanks, I'm good) whilst Mr Jeweller remarked:
'Geez. Look at you!'
That should have been my DING DING DING walk out the door, but alas, I did not.

I smiled and made the requisite 'Yes, soon' noises whilst he looked at my watch. Then...
'Oh! You've already got one! I should loan you that show about the babies being born, you know? That one on SBS. About the babies getting born. It'll hurt so much you know!'

'I've already done it once.' Wan smile.

'I mean, geez, two babies? Wow, you're keen. How old's the little one?'

'19 months.' Wan smile. How long will this take?

'Geez. The second one's so different. It'll hurt and they won't sleep.'

I made small talk here with his wife about babies either eating or sleeping and how M eats anything we throw at her blah blah blah blah. Isn't this over yet? I made a snap decision at this point that I could not stand to wait to have the band adjusted as I intended. Just put a new battery in already...?

'I mean, geez, wow, it'll hurt. And two will be so hard to deal with. You know, the feeding and the sleeping. Or not sleeping he he he. Now... I'm not sure that I've got the right battery for your watch. It is a bit old, isn't it?'

'Remember, I already have a baby. I've done it before. And every baby is so different.' And my watch is gorgeous and actually not that old at all.

More small talk with his actually lovely wife about how wonderful M is.

'Oh, she's a good kid?'


'Well, we had two that didn't sleep didn't we Mrs Jeweller? Good kid or not, geez.'

Wan smile. M is patiently sitting in the pram grinning at everyone walking past. It's times like this I wish I had a biter for a child.

'I don't know why you'd do it again. Geez.'


'Besides, looks like there's TWO IN THERE, isn't there?' Buddy, I've got a pink knife and an apple in my bag. Did you really just say that?

At this point I actually glare at his wife, to which she halfheartedly tut tuts him. He finds the battery and replaces it.

'Here you go love. Oh look at you little one! Look at you sitting there! Yeah, you're in your pram aren't you? Now what's that in your mouth? What's that in your mouth?'

'She says IT'S A DUMMY.' Caps lock voice. Caps lock glare. I pay and as I turn to leave I say

'Have a good day. I'll leave you to terrify someone else now.'

And I leave their shop door open, after they've complained about how cold it is.


And an extra FFS goes to me for not thinking clearly on the spot and what I meant to say was...
'You are an arse. Have a nice day terrorising someone else.'

BNHQ Update:

  • Their dog has gotten out. Again. FFS. Thankfully we now have our yard gate closed a lot of the time as we have our beautiful deck and spend a lot of time playing soccer on it.
  • When M and I were outside playing said soccer, I noticed a smallish child riding a tricycle on the road shoulder across the road. This shoulder has a dirt path less than a metre wide. Smallish child is doing three point turns, and when I gently point out 'Hey matey, there's lots of cars on the road here, it might be safer if you stay in your driveway?' I'm met with 'I can do whatever I want.' So I get out of our yard, across the highway with M on my hip, and the BN spot me coming in, and I meet them in their yard. Whilst being jumped on by two dogs I explain the situation, to which BNVisitor1 (who is the child's parent) starts screaming at him that he knows he's not allowed and oh my god he KNOWs he's not allowed and the dogs are barking and they're all screaming at each other and I just can't wait to get out of there. Now BNHQ occupants glare at me when I pull into the driveway. I'm not sorry for caring, and yes, it is us that called the police a while back. FFS.
  • And seriously, enough with the idling and revving of your BNHQ cars for hours at a time. SERIOUSLY? FFS.

Dear Baby G

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Baby Br... Wait, what was I saying?

In the last few weeks I've:

  • Forgotten my name (this happens regularly)

Tried to check Twitter with the device in my left hand...
the television remote.

  • Forgot how to use my eftpos card this week, and when the very nice man at the post office corrected me, I said somewhat indignantly 'I know!' and he said 'Do you? Really?'. Bastard. He was right.
  • Tried to put my tea cup in the bathroom sink.
  • Walked into countless rooms and forgotten why I was there.
  • Used iCloud's 'Find my iPhone' feature more than once to locate my phone. Only to find it next to the mousepad where once clicks the mouse on 'Play Sound on iPhone' in iCloud.
  • Wandered the house to find my phone, only to realise it's in my pocket.
  • Told someone that I worked at '<business name> in Huonville'. They said 'Isn't that in Hobart?' I said 'No, Huonville.' 'Huh.' 'WAIT, I said Huonville? I meant Hobart. They both start with "H".' Just kill me now.
  • Trailed off mid-sentence with absolutely no idea of what I was saying in the fir...
  • Reminded myself that I actually need to take M out of the car when we get home, and not just wander inside myself.
  • Forgotten to check my diary to see what I've written down to do so I don't forget. Yep. I know.

Sent a fantastic sewing tutorial to someone on Twitter. Sans link. Cringe.
I can't believe how badly baby brain has affected me this pregnancy. I hope it'll go away after the baby's born? Maybe?

How's your baby brain? Please tell me I'm not the only one?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Toni and David

When I was pregnant with M, Mr S and I affectionately named the Braxton Hicks contractions Toni (Braxton) & David (Hicks). Conversations between us used to go a little like
'How are Toni & David today?'
'Toni is singing her greatest hits and David is banging on about Human Rights. I mean, quite rightly so, but he's particularly vocal today.'

Thankfully, Braxton Hicks contractions end when you give birth, so I didn't need think about them for not very long at all a little while. This time around they started up EARLY. As in, from about 13 weeks. Which is manageable when one's baby isn't particularly huge, therefore the surface area for a Braxton Hicks isn't particularly huge either. But now, LORDY. Given that my baby, therefore my uterus IS particularly huge, Toni and David are very active.
'Toni will not shut up with "Un-break my heart" and David is very shouty. Very very shouty.'

Or when one hits in public people around me start to look very concerned. I have pregnancy induced asthma this time around so the squeezing of my entire middle coupled with my reduced lung capacity often has me feeling a bit pale and breathless.
'Er, are you in labour? <nervous giggle>' I'm highly tempted to say yes, just to see what they do.

So for the next few weeks Toni and David will continue to sing on loudly and bang on about human rights, and then I'll give birth. And I will make sure I will not have to think about it for a bit longer this time.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thankful Thursday - A Night Out

You may recall my Thankful Thursday of a few weeks back. Remember the one where I wanted to find something BIG and LIFE AFFIRMING to be thankful about... but the overwhelming gratitude I felt that day was that by the time most of you read it, I had finished my last day at work and was on maternity leave.

I came home from work that day, picked up M from daycare, sat on the couch for a bit and decided there was no way I was cooking and got fish and chips for dinner. Mr S picked up a bottle of wine and we had a sip and clinked glasses towards our future.

Over the course of the next day I had three Ocular Migraines, each getting progressively worse, winding up with me lying in bed, unable to sleep but unable to open my eyes. The next day I woke up with the Headache Hangover (whee! fun times!) and as I supervised Millie's breakfast smearing of weetbix all over the dining table Mr S asked for use of the car. Sure thing. I'm not going anywhere.

Just as he left he said
'Oh! I've organised dinner for tonight! All you have to do is make sure Millie's fed by 6pm. And wear something nice.'

'Oh great!' I thought 'How lovely! He knew I wasn't feeling well and wanted to do something nice.' I spent the day pondering if we were actually going anywhere (No! Ridiculous! We can't afford that!) or were we just having a nice dinner at home (much more likely!). But still, a nice outfit was requested...

When one is 35 weeks pregnant and the size of a house, this is somewhat easier said than done.

I wore this dress, it being the only thing that isn't jeans that fits.
Also FYI L-R: Mr S, M, me & Mothership.

I even shaved my legs. That's how much of an effort I went to. Doesn't sound like much, but my Heavily Pregnant Sistas will understand. I wore this outfit and at 5.55pm decided to brush my hair, because even thought we weren't going anywhere, it would be nice to have brushed my hair more than once in a day. You know?

Mr S ambled through the door at 6pm on the dot, dressed up very handsomely. He packed Millie a bag, instructed me to get in the car, to not worry about makeup please, and just get in the car. Now.

We drove to Millie's daycarer's house, where I was instructed again to stay in the car (I'm a fusspot leaving M) and we were on our way. To dinner. In town.

It transpires that Mr S had organised this with Millie's daycarer about three weeks ago to celebrate my finishing work and have a night out by ourselves before #2 rolled up, put down their kit bag and interfered with our sleep for a period.

Mr S took me a beautiful Greek restaurant, where we stuffed ourselves full of dips and breads and olives and stunning Greek food. We then went to a bar for a drink and fancy dessert. Despite ourselves, our conversation was peppered with baby names and talk of Millie. We did manage to talk of matters other than these... eventually. A movie was contemplated... but there's a high probability I would have fallen asleep. As I demonstrated, falling asleep in the car on the way home.

Wouldn't this be a lovely well rounded blog post if there were pictures of the restaurant, a selfie of Mr S and I, a picture of our dessert (I tried, but Mr S convinced me that no one cares. He's right.) and another selfie at the end of the night? Well, no. I was too busy having fun stuffing my face with Greek dips.

I'm so grateful that Mr S took the time to organise such an event and to keep it a secret from me for so long. M's daycarer didn't breathe a word either. I'm such a lucky lady to have a Mr S in my life.

And now, as baby #2's arrival approaches with the speed of light, Mr S is being even more wonderful than normal. And that's a lot of wonderful.

What are you thankful for today?

Thankful Thursday

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What I Like To Read

Following on Copying Shamelessly Sarah's lead from a few weeks back, here are my favourite blogs to read.

Dear Baby G

Dear Baby G 
I have always loved Sarah's blog, and look eagerly at my feed reader to see if she's written anything new. As I've mentioned gushed previously, she's also a fantastically awesome lady who I am proud to call my friend, not just on the innernets. 
What you'll find at Dear Baby G:Stories about homebirth, health issues, the cutest toddler in the WA timezone, and beautiful tales of home life and the odd recipe and craft tutorial. Sarah's your gal.

Sew Delicious

Ros is exceptionally awesome and I think one of Australia's unsung sewing bloggers. She's hilarious, her tutorials are spot on, her tutorial photographs are even more spot on, and I can't believe she's not driving around a brand new sponsored Mercedes Benz... Also a lovely lady who I call a friend.
What you'll find at Sew Delicious:
Awesome tutorials for a wide variety of sewing projects, lovely link ups for sewing link parties and most recently, a hefty digest of sewing tips in her Back To {Sewing} Basics series. 

Kate Says Stuff

Kate Says Stuff
Kate writes such gently touching stories I'm always keen to see what's up next. Kate Says Stuff hosts the Thankful Thursday link up, which I think is such a wonderful idea to make me pause and appreciate the awesomeness in my life. She has a good proportion of guest posts that are always thought provoking and bring a quiet stillness to my life as I read. Kate also hosts lots of fantastic giveaways! And, she's absolutely lovely.
What you'll find at Kate Says Stuff:
Thankful Thursday, Autism information and support, stories of family life, fun giveaways and great reading.

Veggie Mama

Stacey shares the most amazing vegetarian recipes and pictures from her house in QLD. This lady can food blog, yo! I've got a few of her recipes in high rotation (Corn chowder, anyone?) and I love her even more now that we almost have twinsies for our first bubs... and we managed to get knocked up fall pregnant magically again within weeks of each other.
I love her despite her ability to be full term pregnant and hide that baby in her insides so well that if you looked closely you might wonder? Whereas I, well, I am a hippo. (but this post is not about me, obviously.)
What you'll find at Veggie Mama:
Meatless Mondays, flavour packed vegetarian food that makes you wonder 'Bacon? What bacon?' and gorgeous kid's food ideas.

I started reading CINO about a year or so ago, and it was her tutorial page that got me more confident about making kid's clothes. Jessica is also having an early November baby, so I've been following her baby tutorials with keen interest. However, she is a hand made goddess, and made an entire hand made nursery for her new baby, which is CINO baby #3, so she's even more amazing for doing this with a four year old and a two year old. (As we discussed in another post, I bought a second hand cot, a new mattress and washed some clothes. Yup. Mother of year over here. Again, this post is not about me.)
What you'll find at CINO:
Outfit a day pics, fantastic kid's clothes tutorials, stories from family life, and the life of a brilliant sewing blogger.

Parental Parody

Georgia, along with Sarah, is one of the only ladies that can make me almost choke on my tea with laughter at 6am. I love reading about her twin tornadoes, along with her other two kids who seem like the loveliest, cheekiest monkeys around. Also, next to Ros, Georgia is my #1 blog face book page commenter. What's not to love about that?
What you'll find at PP:
Laughs, and competitions to win wine. Enough said, really.

Honey, You Baked

Melina and Danni live in two different states, but used to share a workplace. Now, they share recipes and kid's activity ideas via their blog, Honey, You Baked. Melina is one of my Lady Village, but I swear I'd tell you about this blog even if Millie isn't often dressed head to toe in Miss E's handmedowns. The recipes they post are amazing, and they have the ability to make dinner look easy. I made this a few weeks ago, and I was a convert.
What you'll find at HYB:
Kid's activities, handy recipes, beautiful sweet treat blog hop posts.

Styling You

This isn't a blog I check every day, but I find myself referring to Styling You again and again. What a resource! Nikki features great product reviews and has always given me some great sneaky fashion advice on The Twitter as well. 
What you'll find at Styling You:
The Model and Me series, product reviews, fashion advice.

Cass Can Sew

Cass is a newer addition to my reading list, and I'm absolutely loving her blog. I found her through Sew Delicious and I'm in love her vintage op shopping bent and ability to make the CUTEST things. THE CUTEST! You need to check her Etsy shop too.
What you'll find at Cass Can Sew:
Great tutorials, vintage style, op shopping adventures, great recipes just like Nana used to make.

So there you have it, just a handful of my favourite blogs. I'll do another post, because there's more, but I'm tired and hippo-like and pregnant, and it's taken me a week to write this one. At the risk of never blogging again, I'll let you enjoy this list before I continue with it!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mrs Smyth Pretends To Be Organised

This is my 'Wait... what's my name?' face. With my awesome colour coded diary.
I am exceptionally forgetful. Even more so now I'm heavily pregnant. I forgot my name a few weeks ago, and yesterday when I tried to spell out to Mr S that I would take Millie to the p-a-r-k... it came out p-r-k-a-wait-p-r-k-wait-you know what I mean. I'm unsure he'll let me forget it...

A few months ago Mr S's rotating monthly roster started getting the better of me, meaning that I kept stuffing up Millie's daycare hours as well. So I bought a new diary and some new textas and started colour coding my life. Mr S's work hours are in dark green, Millie's daycare is in orange, my to do list is in purple and I cross it all out in red. Other things are grey, blue, and the meal plan is in red. The textas are freakin' awesome to tote around - they fit in the strap of my diary and their hard case means they don't get lost/Milliefied.

I also found some ways to better organise the rest of my life.

To help me keep a visual track of where I'm up to with blogging (and often forgetting about this little beauty of a form... therefore I sometimes fall behind) I've been using this Blog Weekly Calendar from With a calendar on one side and a 'To do', 'Blog Parties' and 'Ideas for Next Week' on the other side of the page, it's a truly marvellous tool for a forgetful blogger like me. When I stick to it, that's when I do some great posts.

image from

Day to day I try to follow the list I write in my diary, but if I need extra nudging away from Facebook I use a Daily Schedule Form from

image from

I also have their To Do Itinerary Form printed out to sometimes help me get a better visual of my week, but I generally use my diary for this too.

I have a few printouts of the Master To Do List from for the laundry list of "to do's"that aren't freakishly urgent yet need to be noted or I will forget about it. Case in point: I know write 'Check car oil' in my diary every fortnight... or I don't do it. The last time I actually got around to doing it, months after I said I would, the car took 4L of oil. Oops. Sorry Handsome James. Thanks for not dying on the highway.

Master To Do List from

I am yet to laminate but have ready to go a few copies of the Pantry Inventory and Freezer Inventory (Freezeventory as I affectionately think of it) to stick on the pantry door and help us in our post baby haze. Remember I talked about treating your freezer as a take-out joint? Yup. This will help.

Freezeventory from

Pantry Inventory from

Then there's meal planning. I am a firm believer in meal planning, and writing shopping lists for meal planning. I've talked about this before, but never actually shown you my meal planner. There are HEAPS of Meal Planning printables out there, but I just didn't find one I liked. So I oh-so-quickly whipped up a fortnightly meal planner that I stick to the pantry every fortnight. We only shop weekly, but this gives me a good visual of where we're at for the next fortnight, and I can make sure we're eating precisely what I feel like cooking on any given night. Bacon and eggs for dinner? Phew. It's on there.
Mrs Smyth Meal Planner

You can download the Meal Planner and print it for yourself if you so choose. It's pretty basic but it has everything I need on it, and enough room for me to write meals for Mr S and myself, and also what M will eat if she won't have what we're having. Want it in another colour? Let me know.

I also know that there's so many oh so pretty printable planners (I know, I've spent hours looking at them) but for me, functionality is key. I realise these are all pretty plain, but they get the job done, and that's what's important for me. Design Finch has a great round up of a few pretty planners that you might like to take a squiz at.

I have a stash of these forms in a display folder that I can grab easily and get planning. I try to do our meal planning and shopping list on a Sunday so I can have a clear idea of the upcoming week.

Next in this series: my serious love of HomeRoutines.


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