Sunday, 31 July 2016

Toddler Lunch Ideas

I was inspired a few weeks ago by Mandy from 'My Lovely Little Nest' on Facebook's Toddler Lunches, and have been trying to ensure Miss M lunches now have a good variety from each food group for each meal (but especially lunch and dinner). I am definitely not a nutritionist and just wanted to share with you what my almost 20-month old has been eating lately and maybe give you some ideas! Mind you, she is still quite picky and not all of the food shown gets eaten! Hopefully the more she is exposed to a range of healthy foods, the more she will enjoy them! 

I don't have any fancy lunchboxes (I do love the look of them but already have so many containers and Tupperware!) but here they are! 






1: Above we have capsicum, carrot sticks, cheese sticks, cucumber, Veggie chips, wholegrain crackers, kiwi fruit, grapes, snow peas and a sweet potato dip.



2: Above is a peanut butter sandwich, diced cheese, corn kernels, snow peas, tomato, kiwi fruit, sultanas, apricots and a yoghurt.



3: Strawberries, pretzels, carrot sticks, corn kernels, cherry tomatoes, fish fingers and a banana.


4: Yoghurt, vegemite sandwich cut into a flower shape, snow peas, popcorn, cherry tomatoes, apricots, sultanas and tinned peaches.


5: Lastly, a yoghurt, mandarin, pear, corn cake (rice cake) with peanut butter, pretzels chicken bites & brown rice, carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes and diced cheese.

I always only offer Miss M water to drink as well, and she has a cup of milk with her breakfast.

Here are some other ideas! 

Dairy:
  • Yoghurt
  • Milk (can add milo) 
  • Cheese (diced, grated, cheese sticks) 

Grains/carbs: 
  • Bread 
  • Rice 
  • Pasta 
  • Rice cakes 
  • Wholegrain crackers 
  • Homemade savoury quiches/muffins
  • Homemade baked goods 
  • Pretzels
  • Air popped popcorn 
  • Cereal/weet-bix 
  • Soy crisps 
  • Veggie chips

Protein:
  • Yoghurt
  • Lean meats & fish (leftovers) 
  • Nuts/trail mix 
  • Baked beans 
  • Beans and legumes 
  • Boiled egg 
  • Avocado 

Fruit:
  • Banana, apple, pear, mandarine, oranges, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, grapes etc 
  • Dried fruits (sultanas, apricots, apples) 
  • Tinned peaches/pears etc 

Veggies:
  • Cooked veggies (carrot, corn, peas, pumpkin, potato, sweet potato, broccoli, beans, snow peas etc) 
  • Raw/uncooked veggies (carrot sticks, snow peas, beans, tinned corn, celery, tomatoes, capsicum, cucumber etc) 
  • Hidden veggies in savoury muffins/quiche etc 
  • Salads 

There are some fantastic websites that provide lots of toddler-friendly recipes too! 

Kidspot: 

Taste:

The Organised Housewife:

Monday, 25 July 2016

Pregnancy Diary Weeks 28-31


I began my school holidays by entering the third trimester! It always starts to super exciting at this point, because the count-down really is on, which is also scary at the same time! Only 12 weeks until our little one is here!

In the first week of the school holidays we stayed home, but in the second week we headed to Emerald Beach above Coffs Harbour for our last family holiday as a family of 3! We haven't travelled a lot just with the 3 of us - we mostly visit family and stay with them (which we love doing!), but it was a really nice change to just book a cabin to ourselves, and spend lots of quality time before #2 is here. We stayed at the Big4 Discovery Park at Emerald Beach, which is just perfect for kids! Even though Miss M was far too young to do lots of the activities (she is currently 19-months), Brendan was able to do lots with her, while a very pregnant mummy watched (and relaxed!) There was a jumping pillow, water park (like one you'd see at a theme park!), an indoor soft-fall playground, go-carts, a kids club and access to the beach. We explored Woolgoolga and Coffs Harbour, as went to the Pet Porpoise Pool and The Big Banana. It was an excellent week away, and I'm keen to go there again sometime!

We returned to school last week and I am still feeling really good at this point in my pregnancy, a lot better than this point in Miss M's pregnancy. The weather was warm and gorgeous last week (just for a day - then it rained most of the next day lol!) so Brendan and I took Miss M for a walk - something I have been neglecting a bit lately, mostly with the excuses of 'I'm tired' or 'It's too cold.' I was a lot slower walking but still managed a few hills, and felt so good afterwards! I did plan on keeping active throughout this pregnancy, and I have been more so than in Miss M's pregnancy, but unfortunately I can't say I have been in a good routine! I am chasing Miss M around all day though, so that is something I guess!

I have been struggling to want to eat veggies lately. I am still craving healthy foods, but haven't been keen on veggies or salads. I guess there's not telling what our bodies want when we are pregnant!

Other funny things I've noticed are that I have a lump just under my big toe on my left foot that has literally popped up overnight, and my eyesight for long distance has gotten really bad (I normally have always had good eyesight). I was hoping these were pregnancy-related and that they would disappear once baby #2 arrives but the doctor doesn't think either have anything to do with being pregnant! The lump is a ganglion and is a bit of fluid that can pop up and disappear, so I don't need to worry about that (it isn't painful) but I do need to get my eyesight checked. 

It's getting harder to tie my shoes and shave my legs, and I'm basically wearing 3 pairs of jeans on rotation (I'm thankful it's winter this time round!) but I can still manage everything else fairly well. Miss M constantly wants to be carried, and this is a bit of an issue. She's only just over 10kgs but with the extra weight I'm already carrying, it's far too heavy. She's been super-clingy too, and I wonder if she knows something is happening! We've told her there's a baby in Mummy's tummy, and when we ask her 'where's the baby?' she points to my tummy (she also does this to my mum as well lol!) which is super-cute. I think she will be a wonderful big sister, however she may get quite jealous at first, as she whinges and wants me to cuddle her whenever I hold another baby!  

The only other thing that has been a bit disappointing this past week has been that I've copped some bullying via social media. This person made it clear they read my blogs and see what I post on my page but don't actually follow/like the page, and yet they don't like the content on the page and were critical of it. I am fully aware that when you make parts of your life public that you will receive criticism and while this person cannot bring me down (they've been blocked!) it is disappointing that they felt the need to contact me and give their opinion (obviously everyone is entitled to their opinion, but some opinions definitely don't need to be expressed!) I am thankful to this amazing community for your support, and am hoping it's a one-off - especially to an emotional pregnant person! 

At 30 and a half weeks we booked in at the hospital where you get to answer a ton of questions. Last time with Miss M we got a tour of the maternity ward, but obviously I am well-acquainted with the ward so that wasn't needed this time (and definitely wasn't half as exciting either!) Our maternity ward is really good for a rural hospital - there are 6 private rooms and each shares a bathroom just with one other room. There's no need in my town for private hospital cover, because you basically get it anyway! I will admit, I am looking forward to hospital food (I LOVE food that is brought to me on a tray - I even love airline food too!) Crazy, but it's true!

I had another appointment at 31 weeks, and now I have fortnightly appointments until 37 weeks, and then I'll have weekly appointments. In my town you can't bulk bill, so it can become costly! I am measuring 29cm, and bub's heartbeat is strong. He or she is still head down and moving lots, and my blood pressure and everything else was normal was well.

It's week 2 at school now, and I finish up in the middle of week 7 - only 5 weeks to go! That's about it for now - I will write again after my 35 week doctors appointment!



28 weeks


29 weeks (on holidays at Emerald Beach)


30 weeks




31 weeks




Saturday, 9 July 2016

Reflections on Project 14


[Image: Organising the Four of Us on Facebook]

I have just completed Project 14 and I want to share some of my experience and my reflections because it was FANTASTIC!

Project 14 was a private, paid Facebook group, set up by Leanne from my favourite blog and Facebook page 'Organising the Four of Us.' For only $29, we were treated to 14 days of tasks (plus two pre-tasks) plus a live video of between 30 and 60 mins daily by Leanne where she went through various strategies for each task and what works for her, and we could ask her any questions we liked. The group of about 55 people was interactive and we could post pictures to the wall or ask questions as we completed each task.


The tasks included some very interesting topics including:

 - Creating morning and evening routines
 - Creating daily habits
 - Decluttering spaces
 - Being mindful
 - Being productive
 - Budgeting
 - Relationships
 - Nourishing your mind
 - Self-care 
 - Family time 

I chose to take part in Project 14 for a few reasons:

 - It was being held during week 10 and the first week of the school holidays, which was perfect for me as I only had two days of work during week 10, and was home the first week of the holidays
 - I was keen to 'shake-up' my current routine
 - I am always motivated by a group-approach to anything
 - I really admire Leanne, and her positive view on life
 - I have started 'nesting' and was keen to get in and declutter a few spaces, as well as look at my existing routines

I really looked forward to waking up and seeing a new task card for the day, and finding out what we were focusing on. I thought that I would love the decluttering tasks the most, but I actually got the most out of the 'self-care' days, especially being productive, being mindful and nourishing your self. Putting aside 30-60 mins to listen to the live video each day meant that I had a special time for myself to just sit, relax, and think about my goals for the house and for my family and myself, and I really felt motivated and inspired afterwards.

The best bit about Project 14 is that I not only spent 14 days being very productive (while allowing myself a time to relax each day!) but I have learnt a ton of new strategies that I have continued to use, even after the 14 days had finished. The page has stayed open as a very supportive group has been created, and everyone is so lovely and so willing to help out.

Leanne is planning on running a second Project 14, and I really encourage everyone to join in, as it is one of the most inspiring and motivating things I have been apart of!



[Image: Organising the Four of Us on Facebook]

Monday, 4 July 2016

Mummy Stuff: 30 School Holiday Ideas for Kids!

It's finally school holidays in NSW! In case you are stuck for some ideas (especially during winter, and when it's been so cold lately!) here are 30 suggestions for fun things to do with your kids over the next fortnight!

[Image credits at the end]


1. Baking - cupcakes, cookies, donuts, slices - the list is endless!


2. Cooking - set your kids a task to cook lunch for you one day. It could be homemade pizzas, or even spag bol!

3. Ten Pin Bowling / Indoor play centres / Theme Parks

4. Hot chocolates in the park (and a play on a playground)

5. Family walk, or even a bushwalk where the kids can explore nature

6. Taking pets for a walk



7. Playdates with other kids and families, or visit your grandparents

8. Going to a heated pool if your town or city has one, and letting the kids buy lollies from a corner store after (this was a fun tradition from my childhood!)

9. Pyjama days inside with movies, popcorn and board games

10. A day at the beach if it's a nice day


11. A day out at a zoo or aquarium or museum

12. Shopping day - set your kids a budget and they must buy something to wear, something to read etc.

13. A day out at the local markets

14. Bike ride

15. Picnic in the backyard or at a local park - get the kids to help pack a picnic lunch! You could also make it a teddy bear's picnic for younger kids.


16. Lunch out at a café or restaurant

17. Kick a footy together at a park or fly a kite!

18. Rearrange the kids bedroom (good chance for a clean out too!)

19. Treat the kids to a movie at the cinema

20. Pinterest has an endless range of science experiments for kids, as well as craft activities, and lots of the ingredients/items you might need are things you already have at home!

21. Planting a flower, veggie or herb garden together (it can be as simple as in a single pot, or a large garden in the backyard)


22. A family camping trip, or even just pitching a tent in the backyard for a night!

23. Making a fort using your dining table and sheets inside!

24. Creating an obstacle course (either inside or out!)

25. Pamper day - a homemade foot spa, facials and nail painting!

26. Visit the local library to pick out books or DVD's to borrow (or to the local DVD store) - often libraries have school holiday activities on offer too (as do shopping centres!)

27. Go fruit picking - we used to have a strawberry farm just out of my town. It was a lot of fun picking your own strawberries and thinking of ideas to use them up!


28. Go on an adventure to a new town - cold days are great for a drive!

29. Feed the ducks in the park

30. Writing letters to a friend or grandparent


Hopefully some of these will keep you busy and provide lots of fun and learning for kids these school holidays!


[Images (in order) from: ozeducation.com.au, robinhood.ca, petguide.com, ebay.com, libuickclub.org, growingraw.com, scdkat.com]

Friday, 1 July 2016

Pregnancy Diary Weeks 22-27

It's been awhile since I've written about my pregnancy - I've had a hard time getting into the doctor (mainly because of the long weekend) and I had been writing these 'diary entries' following each monthly doctor's visit. Doesn't time fly though - I'm about to step into the third trimester!

I've still been feeling really good, although the second trimester energy is fading a little and I am feeling tireder during the day and of an afternoon. It doesn't help with this weather! It has been ridiculously cold, and all I've wanted to do has been to stay indoors! Exercise is fairly well non-existent because of this haha! I've been enjoying my days off, and have been trying to spend lots of time with Miss M (who has just turned 18 months!) doing craft and make-believe play and fun activities like that.

It's starting to hit me just how close to having this baby I am! Only 3 months to go if he or she arrives on time. I am feeling excited, but also nervous because I don't think I realise just how much life will soon be very different! I guess it all depends on the temperament of the baby, as well as how much they sleep, and also my attitude towards it all! Miss M was a really well-behaved baby and I felt like I got into the swing of it quite quickly, and it helped that she slept through early on (only until 6 months old though!) but there's no guarantee what the next one will be like. That's all part of the fun though!

I have made a list of things I want to achieve while on maternity leave, as the end of August isn't far away! I will share this with you later on in another post. It has things like cleaning, decluttering, making sure I am ready for the baby (washing clothes etc.) and making lots of freezer meals. I am very blessed to have some amazing friends who create a roster for 2 weeks worth of dinner meals - this was such a big help after I'd had Miss M 18 months ago!

Weight gain at this point is about 10kgs. I am still quite happy with that. I do get worried as I head into the third trimester that I will put on lots of weight, but if I continue with my healthy habits, hopefully I can aim not to put on more than 15. I did have a bit of a mindset shift a few weeks ago, where I felt very overwhelmed with the weight gain (as someone who's always struggled with their weight, it is always hard to remember to remind myself that putting on weight is a good thing in pregnancy!) I could feel myself starting not to care about what I put into my mouth, but that's exactly what happened last pregnancy. I decided to go and see a dietician, just for a once off visit. I know quite a bit about food and nutrition, but it was really good confirmation of what I had been doing, and I also gained some great ideas for low GI breakfast, lunches and dinners to keep me full. It was a really good experience, and my mindset was able to shift again to being positive and making healthy choices again.

I haven't had any other food cravings particularly - I'm still enjoying nuts and dried fruit and fresh fruit. A new small business in my town has opened up that sells sugar-free treats, so I've been trying to replace my need for something sweet each day for one of those! My favourites are a raw chocolate slice and a raw caramel slice. So good! It means I don't need to go and buy chocolate, but still get my sweet treat!

At my doctor's appointment at 27 weeks and 4 days, I got my whooping cough booster vaccine and flu vaccine, and I got to see my beautiful bubba who is now head down! At my last appointment at 21 weeks he or she was sideways and so it's a very good thing they have shifted! The heartbeat is strong and I am still feeling lots of kicks, especially at night. It's such an amazing feeling! 

That's about it - it's been much less eventful this past 6 weeks. I'm thankful Term 2 is over, which included some stressful report-writing - Term 3 should be much quieter. Excited for the school holidays!


Week 22




Week 23


Week 24


Week 25


Week 26