Friday, 6 December 2013

Advent 2013: Part Four

*Updated since I forgot to hit publish anyway*

Tomorrow is already here and yet I haven't slept, (*and didn't until half twelve or later?) so today I plan to:

Wash and dress first thing (or at least by nine o'clock) *Nope, no power and we weren't even awake until ten to nine, got washed and dressed about eleven?

Do a load of dark laundry and turn over the "whites" on the radiators/airer. *No power, no heat

Read "Christmas" by Dick Bruna to Bundle. *Read this over breakfast

Write my sister's Christmas card and post it and the other "international" cards at the local post office (or send Hubby). *Nope, tomorrow/today

String both trees with lights. *Did one in part before the power returned then finished off and added to the lights after we got power, then decorated and enjoyed the pretty (at least in low level light) especially as it's in our bedroom, reflected in the mirror and visible throughout the house as it stands at the end of apartment right in the middle, Bundle's reaction after just the lights were added was wow - so worth it!

Attach one of the bed rails to the cot-bed. *Nope

Have Dad tighten/add another screw to the cot-bed. *Nope

Have Dad cut a 23" square of plywood for me. *Nope but did ask him

Have Dad cut-down my "broken" wise man for me to sand him for use. *Bless him he'd already sanded it down so it stood upright so had to explain why I'd drawn a line further up, thanks Dad for not getting annoyed about that (definitely a first)

Give Dad plans for "Lucy's learning tower." *Nope but I did build the stepstool (too high for Bundle without the support structure)

Plan outfit for Sunday's anniversary lunch. *Nope

Buy/make 40th anniversary card for in-laws. *Nope

Pack away autumn. *Nope

Put away emptied Christmas decoration boxes. *Nope but they are now gathered into the master bedroom by the wardrobes

Explain "new" sleep expectations to Bundle for nap and bedtime. *Yep, no more pushing therefore no nap was had (aside from a snooze on the breast) but with a couple of songs he was out like a light at bedtime (alas very unsettled night since - hello I am typing this after five and been up since four - after he was literally screaming, ah the joys)

Tidy nursery bed. *Yip and hurray as it was about time

Tidy books/toys and make a dedicated space for the Christmas books. *Nope

Pack away Channukkah in marked box (to be added to over the next year, think blue and white Magen David, wooden Hannukkiah set, pewter Hannukkiah and blue/white candles, dreidels and fill-able dreidels, chocolate gelt, Hannukkah cardigans). *Thought about it but didn't, keeping out my mini-Hannukkiah anyhow with the Chritsmas decs since it's cute

*Sidenotes saying I would light candles for the power cut saw Bundle head straight for where the assembled tealights/Hannukkiah had been - bless.

*Bundle put out one of the tealights with his finger, that's one way to learn Mama wasn't lying when she said it was hot

*Raging headaches caused by screaming toddlers at four in the morning are not pleasant

*Why does one stormy night lead to power cuts nationally every year? Do they somehow forget that winter is a season that happens annually and therefore not winterproof - I know first world problem or what?!

*Need to pick up the family Christmas dinner ham (that we won't actually be eating) tomorrow/today also

*Tea and buns at a (just recently finished) student's house tomorrow/today, we (Bundle my Mama and I) just fell in love with M and her Mama K, it will be lovely to see the kitchen/extension I've heard so much about and for Bundle and M to enjoy another playtime, they're so sweet together (the eight-and-a-half year gap means nothing to them). M is his sister by another mother

*Lights and decorations on our main tree tomorrow/today I hope and finishing off/tidying/dusting the other wee spaces around the house

*Getting to my actually present making i.e. knitting for Christmas would be advisable too, I have eight scarves to knit (six of which will have to at least be done by Christmas Eve though preferably before), better get motoring as there are only eighteen/nineteen days left!

*And so to bed ...(it is twenty to six after all)...

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Advent 2013: Part Three

The tree is built (ugh, next year that is so the Hubby's job) but it really is too big for its table base and so needs a plywood square to provide a more stable (read Bundle-proof) base. Si I've just left it in all its evergreen (fake) goodness and haven't even added the lights. Decorating at large continues, slowly, because I'm quite out of sorts so I am.

Bundle went down for nap today in pants as per usual (for nap) and I tried to get him to settle himself a little more which led to a two hour bedtime, four toilet trips (two included poos), two wee-d on pairs of pants, his last (doesn't popper under him) vest heading into the laundry basket (must do laundry, again) along with his blankets. Mama who was waiting on him to sleep so she could shower, losing it, shouting, putting him into a nappy and back into the buggy with the instruction to stay put or else and heading for the shower (door open). Returned fifteen minutes later to a sleeping babe. Frustrating, also I'll have to wake him since he took so long to go over (even though I started early). Ugh! Yucky day but at least I'm clean.

Six Words:

Frustrated tired but clean Mama, ugh.

Sleeping, infuriating but lovable Bundle, peaceful.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Advent 2013: Part Two

During morning milkies (after a second consecutive dry night) my son excitedly noticed the Merry Christmas wooden letters banner above our bed, I told him there was lots to see and I'd give him a tour. Well as if there was ever any doubt that he was my son - he greeted the partially decorated (things grouped but not set out, boxes and boxes yet to be unpacked and ne'er a tree to be seen) with a wow! He just loved it all and when I'd finished the "tour" he asked for more - joy-filled Mama morning for sure.

We enjoyed a lovely breakfast with my folks at a favourite haunt and I picked up a honey dipper which I'm planning to use as a mini-whisk (both for myself and for Bundle to practise his stirring skills in due course). Bundle was beautifully behaved as he ate and took in his surroundings (enjoying the decorated trees and chandeliers). We enjoyed our fill then had a couple of impromptu "tours" around the area on our circuitous route home and discovering (well a discovery for me anyhow) a factory outlet of a wood-burning stove company - definitely an addition to our home we would love.

Play time, stories, milkies and bed for the baby while I started laundry, finished cataloguing our Christmas books and then headed in for a rest myself (alas sleep eluded me again - fyi I was up until after three and arose at quarter past/half-eight). Bundle slept a good solid two hours and arose from his dry (vest and pants-clad) nap to resist pottying and enjoy his milkies first; he was in no rush for the potty afterwards either, he's holding it for longer and longer as he really finds his limitations, or is "forced" (read deeply encouraged) to go by a Mama who needs to drive somewhere or put him down for a sleep.

Straight up from nap, we dressed and headed off to exchange his birthday gift t-shirt so that he can actually wear it now (since it is Christmas-themed, well Santa-themed, after all). As a happy consequence of the this exchange this Mama got herself a lovely Christmassy red cardigan and bam-bam-baaaam more importantly was able to get the ba a wonderful pair of rubber-(read grip)-soled slippers, for now in red and yellow with a monkey? face and for the next size up in light blue with a dog's face and fluffy ears - yay!

I rang my Papa to have him turn on my oven (thanks Papa) and threw the tea together as soon as we got in. Bundle had a small portion of homemade thick vegetable blended soup, peas, green beans, the end of his cheesy crackers and raisins snack, cheese and meatball pizza, Hawaiian pizza and a potato waffle. Whilst the Hubby and I had the two pizzas, potato waffles, peas, green beans and mushrooms in butter.

Post-dinner my Hubs and I just glowed as we watched our wee one cavort about in his pants, sitting up at the (perfectly-Bundle-sized) coffee table to play with a puzzle and just gad about and generally entertain us. The Hubby then nipped off to a church meeting whilst I settled Bundle for the night - playtime, tidying up, pooing by himself in the potty (with only a gentle reminder to remove his pants first tee-hee), closing curtains and laying out tomorrow's clothes, stories, milkies, toilet and being sung/pushed to sleep.

About two hours later he stirred (dry and in pants for the night - his choice) to use the bathroom and feed himself back over to sleep again. We are just so proud to be your parents little one, wet or dry.

Oh as for Advent, we read Christmas books and I thought about but didn't build a tree - instead I surfed (internet only) and watched a couple of stupid programmes.

It's now almost twelve and time for bed.

*Updated to add* he wet our bed at half twelve! So after stripping him and the bed he continued the night in a nappy (dry of course). It seems to be a confidence thing, happy to hold it in a nappy but perhaps a lottle stressed about it all in pants???

Advent 2013

Enjoying a foray into celebrating Channukkah this year, it has overlapped the start of Advent and well I just wasn't ready for Advent to begin. The Jesse Tree is undecided, the decorations unmade and so I think next year will be time enough for it. We have two new nativities this year though and numerous children's Bibles and a little one who enjoys reading with a fervour unforeseen even by this reading-mad Mama so I think Advent will certainly be a time of preparation for the "big day" just without a script per say.

Decorating has begun in earnest with boxes upon boxes unloaded from the wardrobes as the little one drifted off to dream world (nap and bedtime). Our "wee room" is all but decorated (I was waiting for a vase to dry which will be filled with blue and white baubles). The hallway and doors off it are adorned. Autumn is all but packed away (only tablecloths and kitchen linens to go I believe). The nativities await the clearing off of the "old dining table" on Wednesday when Bundle's two-week birthday period ends and the cards come down and streamers and birthday signs are packed away once again. The piano is topped with seven snow globes, three snowmen, Santa's workshop scene and an orphan plastic reindeer figurine. The Christmas music book is open on the music stand. One of the winter-y pictures is displayed upon the easel. A collection of candles has gathered, as has another of lanterns, another of snowmen and another of Santas. There are soft bodied reindeer, snowmen and Santas strewn around the sofas and stockings and Santa hats will call to Bundle in the morning. The trees await "building" - a six-footer for the lounge in traditional red, green and gold and a five-footer for the bedroom in much more modern purple, pink and silver. The silver round post-modern spiral will more than likely adorn our chest-of-drawers whilst I'll borrow a bare-branch white wooden tree from my Mama to sit atop our dining room sideboard and accompany our Christmas dinner without over-powering the room (I hope). The red light-up reindeer will grace the kitchen windowsill and I've even managed to decorate Bundle's play kitchen with light-weight wooden blocks spelling out JOY on the top of the upper-cabinets. Our new "Merry Christmas" banner hangs happily over our bed and this Mama is enjoying the accompanying excitement as she anticipates the month of holiday cheer ahead.

Tomorrow the tree-building (ugh) and taking Bundle on a tour of all the decorations but first a lovely breakfast outing with my parents before they high-tail it to Australia for the holidays and then I hope to size-down a Christmas top bought for Bundle, email my sister for her birthday to allow for the time difference, exchange some ill-fitting pyjamas, buy him some non-slip slippers, waterproof his new shoes and hand-me-down boots, jaunt through the charity shops, finish decorating, tidy, clean, launder, write the few Christmas cards that Hubby has left for me to write (my family and closest friends), knit gifts and fast and enjoy being off work until January (or later). That should be the whole week, not just tomorrow though! Oh and play lots of Christmas and Channukkah music (three nights left)... and so to bed, it is stupid o'clock (almost two AM) and I'm not even in my pyjamas yet! Breakfast is at nine/half nine!

Six words:

Christmas coming, joy abounds, miracle birth.

Tired Mama, busy brain, sleep eludes.

Sleeping toddler, snoozing man, blogging lady.

Potty Training Bundle: Part Two

Well after a week or two of Mama geting little to no sleep and Bundle being harder to settle we reverted to cloth nappies at night (with no fleece liner so he would feel the wet instantly) and this now well slept Mama with a well-slept babe appreciated the lessening if the stress levels and there have been an increasing number of dry nights since the re-introduction and when asked Bundle says "no" to pee-pee in the nappy, pee-pee goes in the potty/toilet.

It's now been almost a month and the accidents are few and far between, though still an ever-present danger. He doesn't really request to go but we take me him about every hour or when we know is necessary (e.g. before going in the car or after arriving at the shops/playplace etc.). He is holding it longer and konger and testing out his limits more by resisting going occasionally (and having accidents right after which I allow although I know they are going to happen as this is how he will learn). We introduced the wearing of underpants yesterday and he loves them! He doesn't want to go in his pants or in his trousers and he is just blossoming. Given the choice the last couple of nights, he is choosing nappies at night and that is fine he is making his decision to stay there for now and I can accept that happily (for now). He sleeps and I, well I still have insomnia but I sleep too.

Six words:

Growing boy, underpants super cute, proud.

Us, proud of him and him, proud of himself.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Potty Training Bundle

He's been toileted (by us, and others mainly my Dad and MIL) since he was five months but we didn't "do EC" in its fullest capacity so with hypospadias repair a distant memory (read everything healing nicely with the passing of a week-and-a-half) and the pee stream beautifully straight...

Sidenote - I cried, I properly burst into tears at the sight of that straight stream exiting as it always should have; I held him aloft over the sink (in front of the mirror) as I used to when he was small and turned us slightly sideways to see more clearly and enjoyed that toileting experience with such emotion as my baby's op was proven successful (no small matter, one-in-ten to one-in-twenty require a follow-up op; as the surgeon described it, the repair would be more art than science). This was on Saturday (a week past on Wednesday from the op), the day before PT day, with our water cut-off for two days and counting due to a burst pipe and a trip to the in-laws' necessary in order to shower.

... I was sooooo DONE with nappies and so we started. After a later night (a wonderful concert at church) and no need to leave "the commune" (our pet name for our family farm of three houses - our's, my parents' and my sis/BIL's; we, Bundle and I, skipped the remembrance service at church - with our church hosting the town's servicemen's service I find the focus on men's sacrifice much more so than God's and whilst I greatly support the services and the freedoms which they protect(ed), I don't feel it appropriate that their roles in our country's life, past and present, should be celebrated in place of Sunday worship of God) we set to, or you know meant to, first thing.

Bundle didn't sleep fabulously and Mama certainly didn't so I slept in while Daddy handled brekky and so PT began at about noon and we jumped in with both feet - day and night, goodbye nappies. Goodbye clothes also, as we cranked the heat and I shut us in the master bedroom/en-suite with our two potties and a box of toys, books and puzzles for some intense mama/boy bonding. Nap wasn't dry (surprising as it often is) and one little wet on the floor (stopped straight away when attention was brought to it and finished in the potty). Unsettled night as mama got little to no sleep and Bundle fought it tooth and nail (perhaps not liking his attire - no bottoms).

Day two and a trip out (clothed) to do some laundry and visit the neighbour grandparents briefly. No more sleep to be had.

Day three and a repeat of the trip above, then a trip (in the car) to visit the other grandparents (snack eaten there, dry throughout with two potty trips whilst there). No more sleep, terrible night - mama got a wet top and a lie-in which alas did little to improve her mood which needed adjusting.

Day four and a number two accident (in trousers) with his Daddy, who (thank you honey!) cleared it up too. Two hour nap, had to wake him, piddled half-way through after a wee slip. A nappy! put on for a two hour plus time of being minded at the grandparents' and removed as soon as we got home, he requested milkies twice/thrice (unheard of) extra and had a woo-hoo moment when he was left to play alone (and bottomless as he can't push down his trousers by himself - a skill we've been working on) whilst I made my tea (he'd eaten). He appeared in with me looking guilty and I followed him to seek out the present/puddle - only to find number twos in the potty!!!! Woo-hoo!!! Coudldn't get him off to sleep for about two hours! Knackered and still up (after midnight), really not sleeping well at the present time.

Here's to a better night ahead and drier times and a move from I've peed through I'm peeing to I need to pee...

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

#7 Weekly Weigh-in

Keeping track thrice weekly but here's the official weekly weigh-in:

#7 13 st 2 lbs (184 pounds)
#6 13 st 1 lbs (183 pounds)

From operations to mama being disastrously emotional/useless to potty training and well lots of chocolate and large portions - yet again amazed the gain was only that of a pound.

Third (Amended) Goal - to lose something!
Reward - momentary success and perhaps the ten peach loop sweets I never got around to getting myself when last I succeeded

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

#6 Weekly Weigh-in

Keeping track thrice weekly but here's the official weekly weigh-in:

#6 13 st 1 lbs (183 pounds)
#5 13 st 0 lbs (182 pounds)

Amazingly after another week of chocolate and not small portions I have only gone up a pound - I'd almost count it a success. Bundle came through his operation beautifully, his Mama is still recovering however.

Third (Amended) Goal - to lose something!
Reward - momentary success and perhaps the ten peach loop sweets I never got around to getting myself when last I succeeded

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Day 31 - Cleaning around a catheter

Actually was fairly productive today as we "relaxed" post-operatively, Hubs allowed me a rest-in (completely awake time to myself in a somewhet zombified state following the unsettled-ness of the baby's sleep. He freaked out at eleven o'clock and we HAD TO FORCE PAIN MEDS INTO HIM; from then he slept and fed well and then had a wakeful period from 6-7am so I was basically awake.

We were awaiting the morning poo and the changing of both nappies, disentangling the catheter, keeping his hands from it, keeping it from dripping over the new nappies/changing area/Bundle himself, while actually cleaning him up and also keeping him out of the poo and away from his bandaged up genitals - why do mums have only two hands? He got there comfortably (yay) and we set to with some bickering and little "spillage" but intact.

Fast forward through a lovely visit to the in-laws' house (including seeing our wee 3yo niece) and then home for a story, milkies, (no toilet), putting his doll to bed and then going himself after prayers. Bundle stirred after forty-five minutes and then fed/slept attached until the two hour mark. A dry outer nappy in place, dolly awakened and after some playtime with Granda, his 9yo boy cuz and Nanny, I started on our dinner preparations. Midway my nostrils were assaulted, Bundle wasn't upset (yay) and poo number two (pun intended) of the day was facing me.

Nanny had gone to bed and Granda had taken my nephew home so Han Solo I prepared for battle. I worked quicker, distracted (where is your head?) and only had slight "spillage" and excessive wipe-usage as the bad points to the change.

Dinner was had and enjoyed to the accompanying family-friendly movie, "Yours, mine and ours" and was followed up by a productive clean-up/empty dishwasher/reload it/repack baby bag/put away laundry time. As often occurs we also had an evening ablution that I didn't hesitate to handle alone.

I was better prepared and after feeding the catheter tube ends back through the inner nappy I wrapped them in a cloth nappy fleece liner, held in place with sellotape, to prevent further "spillage." Distractions were less effective and a stern tone and hand removal were the only things that prevented Bundle from removing his catheter (twice), scary stuff. Poo clean-up complete I unwrapped, reinserted and nappied him up for the night.

So he has the catheter in until mid-morning Monday and it cannot come soon enough and yet I can only pray it's long enough to allow greater healing of his "high-powered hose." In the meantime, pyjamas are the order of the day.

31 days of Cleaning House has not exactly been mastered but it was at least discussed, baby steps people!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Day 30 - Thankful for Clean

Today I was thankful for clean, or more precisely sterile as my Bundle underwent a hypospadias repair operation.

I was also thankful for the many prayers that accompanied him "under the knife;" the lovely surgeon, A Dick (I kid you not); being first then bumped only to second on the theatre list; being "farmed out" to a private hospital on the public health service, which despite the added miles of travel (getting up at half five this morning) was wonderful, friendly, aesthetically pleasing and noticeably cleaner; for warm-hearted encouraging staff nurses; for encouraging and prayerful texts and for the news that my grandfather (though struggling with low blood pressure) came through his op. last night as well.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Going in I had struggled for days with emotions but I was strong for my son beginning last night and lasting until after I left him "sleeping" on the operating table, at which point the tears flowed, I didn't even realise I'd walked up a flight of ten steps to meet my husband.

Afterwards he was somewhat distraught for the first hour, settling only while (breast)feeding and then eating and drinking - poor wee mite he has done so well today.

My dark thoughts coming in to the op. had included every variation of the worst-case scenario and thus all happiness today was magnified, it is how I have always processed information. I went in fully giving him to God and I came out blessed that God allowed us to keep him, intact. My preparations included many photographs and a voice recording of his latest jabbering and they shall be treasured regardless but how lovely to have kept "the real thing," our bonny little boy.

Now sleeping in his double nappy with catheter in place and his parents' hearts intact.

#5 Weekly Weigh-in

Keeping track thrice weekly but here's the official weekly weigh-in (actually from yesterday):

#5 13 st 0 lbs (182 pounds)
#4 13 st 0 lbs (182 pounds)

Amazingly an almost-week of overeating and indulging and lots of chocolate hasn't thrown my weight off (it went up then back down across the week). Emotional eating was/is the rule at the moment but hopefully I'll put myself back on track after Bundle's op is over him (it was this morning by the time for which this is scheduled).

Third Goal - to reach my lowest post-partum weight (12 st 8 lbs) and get back to where I was 2009/2010
Reward - add a sticker to my "star chart" for every pound lost, working toward another book buying reward and jump around the house like a mad thing.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Day 29 - Emotional

Very emotional today as I consider my baby (23 months) going under the knife in the morning. I've soent the day cleaning out my emotions (and brushing the nursry) so I am ready to be strong for my baby come the morning.

That's all I've got.

Bundle Tales #4

20-23 months

Making the car/vehicle noises as he plays.

Developing a keen interest in animals and vehicles of all sorts but especially in love with cows and tractors (good choices since we often are surrounded by one or t'other.

Saying so much more, or at least trying to and signing lots more too. Generally just communicating in all the pleasant and more frustrating ways also (real temper scream of fury).

For a time responding to the question of who I am with Dad but now beautifully sing-songing Mem, Memmy or Mummy.

Dad, Daddy, lots of words are da.
Mem, Memmy, Mummy.
Moo for cow. Baa for sheep/lamb.
Beep-beep (horn noise, noise your nose makes when pressed).
Ding-ding (bicycle bell).
Tractor or some approximation.
Ga, Ganny, Nenny. (Granda, Granny, Nanny).
Cheers and cheese having very little between them but context and not always that.
Saying his own name, which can also be eerily similar or gorgeously clear, ditto for Please.
Apple, Amen, Toast, Pat (for Postman Pat - who he adores from our many books).
Mo for more accompanied by his version of the sign.
Trying so hard and just exploding with new mimickry of words and much more "chat" at around 23m.
Betty (great-aunt and also family dog). Help. Book. Man. Bob. Car.

Running everywhere but especially to meet his Daddy at the door after work.

Still charming everyone he meets, even when he's being "shy" and playing peekaboo from behind my legs or over my shoulder. The shy act never lasts long despite the situation though.

Freezing on thresholds out of "shyness" and often needing to be carried inside but quickly recovering himself and "working the room."

Growing into 12-18 month size clothes at 22 1/2 months though by no means all of them, especially still between sizes on the trousers initially but then enjoying a second growth spurt (causing much face-first tripping as the muscles seek to catch-up with the bones).

Starting to be a much neater eater and gaining a lot of ground in self-spoon-feeding and using the more fast-flowing water cups. Occasionally managing to not destroy a whole outfit for lack of three bibs (yes layering them up was necessary, still is, in order to avoid three daily changes of clothing).

Eats a wide variety of foods from eggs (omelette, quiche, dry-fried), courgettes, carrots, mushrooms, apple, orange, plum, nectarine, raisins, grapes, occasionally bananas (though they are a big no-no or for about a week a big yes-yes), peas, green beans, sweetcorn, pizza, pepperoni, smoked salmon, beef, chicken, cheese, ham, bacon, pancakes, biscuits, bread and bagels, beans (all but especially tinned with tomato sauce), lasagna, hot apple barley cereal, sausages, chips or waffles, potatoes in other forms (finally), creamed rice, cake, to fish fingers...

Happily dons his coat at the mere mention of outside.

On our fourth pair of spectacles (second design) as our head grows (a very noticeable millimetre at a time).

Sitting through whole church services with minimal disruption or noise, plays with his quiet toys/reads/enjoys his morning snack with oerhaps one trip to the loo signalled by an antsy bottom.

Showing lots of interest in other children and physically wanting to touch, tap or hug; alas not always welcomed and he seems to always choose the children that will squall the loudest over his entering their personal space.

Learning to be gentle in stroking the dogs Lucy and Betty.

Still enjoying his milkies day and night and signs milkies with great glee.

Won't really feed in public/when out as he gets too distracted, even at LLL surrounded by nursing babies/toddlers.

Still being toileted at regular intervals and very occasionally will sign to go. Most number twos are in the potty, thank goodness.

Settling into his sleep even better (welcomes the routine or it but still not keen on the cot or being left lone to sleep except in the cocoon of the buggy).

Still enjoys from 1 1/2-2 1/2 hours sleep in the afternoon and only nods off in the car on the way home from La Leche League and can now be difficult to keep asleep during the transfer inside from the car.

Goes to sleep to the sound of Mama singing or playing the piano or both but also to silence and stillness (no pushing/rocking/bouncing) and enjoys just snuggling in.

Enjoys sleeping back-to-back with Daddy.

Loves to do that wonderful toddler trick of kicking the covers off of himself in the that one graceful double leg movement.

Has been found at the bottom on the bed (usually on top but once underneath the covers) in the middle of the night.

Still loves to dance and play the bodrhan along to Galway Girl and most music.

Had his first haircut at about 21 1/2 months and went from lots of "isn't she lovely" comments to no one mistaking his gender in one fell swoop - his proper little boy haircut is so lovely that I can't believe I waited so long and yet I totally can as his little curls are all but gone, with only a kink or two remaining.

Wearing his first little suit (matching formal trousers, waistcoat, shirt and velcro tie) to church and just looking so stunning that Daddy has dressed *up* to match instead of a more casual look.

Happy chappy, smiler, my friend described him as "manically happy."

Brave (usually) about physical challenges, climbing up/down e.g. step ladder, high/low bed, chairs, stairs though can freak out over surprisingly low things, ah the queerness of folk.

Enjoys the mountainous challenge that is climbing the external steps to our home.

Very obedient, usually and we've had many "wow" comments about how he responds - a real answer to prayer because for the longest time he just ignored all instruction.

Loves to put the dirty (disposable) nappies in the bin and the wet (cloth) nappies in the nappy bin/bucket; also laundry into the hamper/washer/dryer.

Loves to tidy up his toys so much he's been known to do it unbidden; at the LLL group as I was trying to get him to leave and enjoys the satisfaction of toys in their "homes."

When asked to park his "scooter," or "truck" he does so.

He signs for prayer, bed, milkies, more, book,
We're working on (or should be) drink, help, sorry, thank you, food and "I love you."

Can take off his (non-popper) vest, wide-legged shorts, pyjama bottoms and unzipped body-warmer solo and tops with a little assistance.

Will hold your hand for a walk and stay fairly contented in the trolley on shopping trip.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Day 28 - Cleaning in Mama's and the sidebar

Today I washed some dishes (an almost unheard of event) at my Mama's, dug the meat out of some leftover chicken and used the carcass to make some stock but mostly...

I cleaned up my sidebar on my sister (challenge) blog.

Virtual clutter and disorganisation is almost as hindering as the real life stuff and nonsense. Glad that's sorted perhaps I could suck it up and actually do some real honest-to-goodness CLEANING!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Day 27 - Cleaning up the visual

An old display unit, for what - who knows, recently unearthed at the back of an outhouse and given a thorough going over. Placed horizontal rather than the vertical stance its brackets suggested and filled with an assortment of small "treasures," mostly of my husband's bachelorhood. Trinkets of worth to him but not necessarily of tremendous beauty. Gathered together, the trinkets, including a couple of my own, and the small shells and stones to add a touch of nature, a display worthy of witness - a gathering of us both and our lives and loves. Simple and yet not quite as it shoukd be - the unit darkly painted failing to show off the "treasures" and so to scrapbooking or rather scrapbook paper and the large collection I have gathered up over the years. A few small rectangles of lighter paper (chosen with input from the Hubby) and the "treasures" are offset and ready for a proper exhibition.

Beautifying our space, making it ours, cleaning up the visual of the old and making it new.

Christ risen cleans up the visual of our hearts and makes them new and clean, showing off His love if only we allow it.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Day 26 - Toddling along...

Today was not a day of much cleaning or clearing or tidying or organising, it was a day of baby steps, toddling along...

Today I cleared the detritus of papers from the top of my bedside cabinet; it wasn't much of a pile, a couple of notebooks, a few letters waiting to be filed away but there it had sat for so long. The clearing took little time and yet the effect was remarkable. I wouldn't have said the space was messy or cluttered and yet clearing proved that it had been. The "cleared" surface or as cleared as it would ever be was more restful, more peaceful, a calmer visual; calm is especially of importance for the insomniac and so I will endeavour to keep it clear. The touch-lamp, water bottle and box of tissues, ever-ready and waiting for the constant use all three items get, they alone shall remain.

Today I washed two full loads (and one yesterday) and hung to dry the light and easily dried items downstairs and the non-dryer thicker items across the radiators upstairs and dryer items were gathered from both loads before that helper was called into play. My maidservants worked hard for me today and I thank God for them.

Today I quick-cleaned both bathrooms.

Today I visited with my parents at the outreach cafe of our church and enjoyed a freshly baked date and wheaten scone with jam and cream and shared a slice of scrumptious apple pie with Bundle. I enjoyed his hand-loading of his teaspoon with his mini-crackers and grape halves and his sheer delight at the piece of iced cake I allowed him.

I enjoyed an afternoon visit to my parents' home and a catch-up chatter with my mother as Bundle played in the wide variety of cast-off toys. They go to Australia for three months and we'll all feel their loss.

Following my Cleaning Schedule is the goal but as insomnia knocks me or emotions rage through me and depresssion takes the legs from under me I am thankful for a loving husband and son and wonderful family to cheer me on, make me a cuppa and just live alongside me. The house has seem improvements and I have a long way to go but I am glad that God's grace sustains me and not the ability to eat off my floor, although I do anyway :) five second rule people!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Day 25 - Cleaning out my wallet

Well more accurately cleaning up my finances and FINALLY cancelling a website subscription I wasn't even using. It was going unused because it wasn't useful to me and yet I procrastinated as per usual and didn't cancel it straight away, even though the website wasn't going to suddenly become useful. Who knows how my brain works, I certainly don't.

So today I cleaned up my finances and I'm glad. Now if only some of this philosophising could manifest in the kind of household cleaning I had originally intended for this month of blogging... then all will be just dandy.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Day 24 - Raw hide

Raw hide! The wagon rolls on without me aboard.

It seems even when one *chooses* to alight from the wagon as opposed to falling off of it, it is still decidedly difficult to re-board. The intellectual decision made to hitch up and head back out onto the plains notwithstanding, the caravan continues its journey without me.

My Hubby is home, my emotional equilibrium almost restored, as restored as it is these days anyhow and yet I am cast adrift, zombie-like, not quite doing and not quite striving and certainly not thriving.

Another day of failed tasks, undone challenges and I am unmoved.

Prayer and prayer and perhaps this little engine will once more...

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Day 23 - Coming Clean

I haven't done a thing hardly the last couple of days, I let things slide, I checked out as my Hubby checked in to a flight, to another country (sort of), and a hotel. I chose this, to overeat, to checkout, to lay awake, to let my emotions rule me, to wander around zombie-like but...

I did chose to air the house, to open the blinds/curtains, to tidy up, to empty the dishwasher and reload it. I chose to shower as soon as I got Bundle down for a nap, to clean me, ready for Hubby's homecoming. I chose many other things to dismiss over the last few days and a few others to keep-up and I have no real regrets in truth. I made these decisions in full awareness of my state of loss (boy I missed him) and I made them so I would not be overwhelmed by my emotional state but rather lean into it and focus on the important over the less so.

I focused on prayer and study. I focused on personal contact. I didn't cancel my catch-up with a friend. I didn't cancel my tutoring sessions. I withstood in a lot of ways, crumbled in others.

He is home and my equilibrium is reset. My house is our home and no it is not cleaner but it is happier.

#4 Weekly Weigh-In

Keeping track thrice weekly but here's the official weekly weigh-in:

#4 13 st 0 lbs (182 pounds)
#3 12 st 11 lbs (179 pounds)

This is what happens when you eat junk food solidly from Monday night until Wednesday evening when your Hubby gies out of the country in business. I chose this path; I knew I'd gain. Back on the wagon again tomorrow and back on the path to my next goal.

Third Goal - to reach my lowest post-partum weight (12 st 8 lbs) and get back to where I was 2009/2010
Reward - add a sticker to my "star chart" for every pound lost, working toward another book buying reward and jump around the house like a mad thing.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Day 22 - Checking out

Check out my progress.

Check out how much I cleaned today or yesterday or last week.

Check out from cleaning because Hubby's away.

Check out how much I have to do.

Check out how much I did, check out how much I still have to do.

Check out out how it doesn't stay done, stay clean, stay tidy.

Check out how it is all day everyday, or a little everyday...everyday.

Check out how it has to be done again and again and again and again and again...

The curse of the fallen, that dust will always fall, we come from the dust, we return to the dust and in between we, you know, dust!

I can't wait for heaven, streets paved with gold, pearly gates, radiance, the brightest of lights to dispel all the darkness and show up the lack of dust.

Praising for eternity and no dusting, singing for the King and no sweeping.

There is a castle on a cloud, I like to go there in my sleep, aren't any floors for me to sweep...Les Mis

There is a Kingdom in the clouds, some day I'll go there no more to sleep, aren't any floors for me to sweep...Heaven

Monday, 21 October 2013

Day 21 - Miss Saboteur

It happens with every goal I aim for, every plan of attack, every attempt to change my ways; at some point I sabotage myself.

It might be a slow sneaking back to old ways, after all, old habits die hard. It might be allowing myself to fall off the wagon once and then twice and then finding it hard to climb back aboard; or just not bothering. It may just be outright quitting or a spectacular "fall from grace" or a plan to fail.

It is the sinful nature exerting itself, the call of the familiar or the "easier" path. It is choosing the "what I want right now" over the "what I want." It is seeking comfort in the old, the familiar, the food I gorge on, the TV/book/blog that allows me to zone out; instead of doing the next thing, instead of seeking and finding comfort from the One from whom comfort and peace flow.

So many times I've given up, walked away or not even tried.

I am in a period of struggling once more and I have been/am sabotaging myself.

I've been sitting up too late which has more than likely added to my insomnia. I've been slow to get started in the morning. I've been prioritising my time very poorly. I've been letting my emotions and tiredness get the best of me.

We have been busy which has put extra emphasis on the need to prioritise in order to get the basics done and at the same time I've been continually adding more and more challenges (on my sister blog) without thinking about when or where I can fit in these additional activities. I need to take a couple of days while my Hubby is away to really think through all that I have to do and to lay out how I can best fit things in and which tasks should take priority on a busy day.

I think my Cleaning Schedule needs to be prioritised and up until now I've really not been taking it seriously. My (small) efforts have paid off, but really a little more foresight, planning and effort would improve my success at these tasks immensely.

So with a heavy heart over the copious amounts of rubbish I've just consumed and the little work I have today achieved, I shall to bed. Goodnight.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Day 20 - An Inside Job

Roman Catholics visit the confessional and "atone" for their sins.

I believe Salvation Army members kneel at the mercy seat to confess.

Traditionally Presbyterians are to examine their hearts before the six annual communions.

There is even the encouraged prayer format of A.C.T.S. Adoration Confession Thanksgiving Supplication.

Prayerful confession is again wiping clean the slate of our soul.

Turning over the new leaf of repentance.

With the introduction of so many challenges on my sister blog I feel as if I am chasing my tail and never fully accomplishing anything; yet I have accomplished so much and one area that has greatly improved is my prayer life.

Daily "prayer sticks" time with Bundle has left me more open to God, seen me confessing my aberrations almost daily and seeking the forgiveness of the cross, with thankfulness for His mercies being new each morning.

Six lollipop sticks to guide me and direct me to His throne of grace;
Purple - a prayer format or prayerful passage,
Yellow - something for which to give thanks,
Red - family member, friends or church family to pray for,
Green - prayer for government, missionaries the world over, our ministers, the persecuted church
Orange - a supplication, please help me to be kind, patient, Christlike, (I really should add-in all the 'fruits of the spirit')
Blue - confessions, cleaning my soul, cleansing my heart, being contrite and apologising for the wrong that breaks His heart, mindful of the debt paid and freedom granted, PRAISE THE LORD!

Other short-term requests are added in to the mix and the prayers can have moments of checking off the list but those are few and far between, as the dialogue begins and my heart opens up to God. Tears flow and my soul sings. Our Father... Thank You Lord... Please lift up... Guide me O though Great Jehovah... Help so-and-so see their need of You... I'm sorry...

All the parts come together to make more than the whole. Thanks and praise and pleas and confession.

Confession especially, "they" always say it's good for the soul and they're right.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Day 19 - Building good habits

So I'm definitely not following my schedule too well, but even on days like today, when every hour was easily accounted for and none of my scheduled cleaning was done, things were still cleaned?!

In building up better daily habits for myself, I clean both bathrooms daily and (usually, hey I'm a work-in-progress) give the kitchen counters and sink a bit of a once-over. I also bleach the toilets three times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays).

So today, being Saturday, I may have been busy, I may not have "cleaned" or felt I had time to, but the toilets were bleached, the bathrooms were given a quick run-over and the kitchen counters were wiped down.

Building daily habits is helping my house, heart and head and that allows everyone to benefit from them ;)

Friday, 18 October 2013

Day 18 - Be prepared

Today I followed a new recipe (an actual recipe!) and made hash brown crusted (vegetarian) quiche; you kmow it was good when my Hubby didn't even mention that it would have tasted better with a little meat in it!

All-in-all a successful cooking experiment but I certainly got to think about preparedness, you see alongside this (slightly) increased amount of cleaning, there has been a dramatic lessening of messing up the house and a big increase in tidying and setting things to rights about the place. The house is definitely looking the better for it.

Recently the Hubs decided to invite his family for Christmas and I begrudgingly agreed to go along with that decision. The decision itself made sense, my in-laws weren't terribly keen to host, my SIL is pregnant and pretty sick (and hosted last year, though not for us). Logically it made sense but emotionally...

I dream of being a regular, relaxed, house at the ready for company hostess - however I am none of those things. Hosting makes me terribly stressed, we don't do it very often, the house had (until recently) not been company ready ever and well I disliked that state of affairs (being that hospitality is biblically mandated and especially for church elders-my husband being one) but wasn't trying terribly hard to right the situation.

Now however that I'm discovering the benefits of (somewhat slapdash but much more) regular cleaning and better tidying habits I actually text Hubs today to say how "I'm kinda looking forward to Christmas now that I'm starting to make headway on the house." His reply made me cry:
"That's just great. You brought a big smile to my face... You are doing fab. Christmas will be great."

Of course I haven't yet offered to actually help him with the cooking, but baby steps people! ;)

Anyhow just to round this off nicely, yes it's good to be prepared, to have a plan, to be company ready in case the "company" materialise but sometimes being prepared ahead of time has its downsides...

This morning saw me prepare all the vegetables for my new quiche recipes, I was set to go, with courgette and celery chopped, chopped onion defrosted, cheese grated and potatoes peeled and grated. I set to creating my masterpiece after my hour of tutoring had been accomplished and... I found lots of grey grated potato. So tonight I served my Hubs and Sunny hash GREY based vegetarian quiche - yum yum!

It was still delicious though!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Day 17 - A little cleaning goes a long way

Today (being the third Thursday of the month) saw us at our monthly La Leche League meeting, a definite pick-me-up for this Mama, it also being a LLL meant no official cleaning schedule beyond my everyday ones of a quick swipe over the bathrooms and kitchen. In a (very) small effort I was putting away some stragglers (items set down to be put away but still sat there, wherever there may be, months later) and having done that tiny (put off for far too long) job I set to and dusted that cupboard top and tidied up the decorations to beautify the space.

A little cleaning goes a long way because now that space makes me smile, instead of think, "Oh! I really should tidy that and dust it."

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Day 16 - The quick brown fox

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

Getting quicker at the bathroom cleaning and I made myself get stuck in and clean both bathrooms today and brush out the en-suite. Hubby pitched in and brushed several floors today, love that man.

Getting into the habit of cleaning definitely makes me quicker at it. Funnily enough it also goes much quicker when you don't have to tidy first or scrub away weeks/months/years of grime to find the clean.

A little everyday, yet another golden rule that rings true.

#3 Weekly Weigh-In

Keeping track thrice weekly but here's the official weekly weigh-in:

#3 12 st 11 lbs (179 pounds)
#2 12 st 13 lbs (181 pounds)

Second Goal - to lose something
Reward - to ironically get to eat another ten peach loop sweets

Yummy, yummy, yummy, in my tummy! So pleased too, wasn't expecting two pounds off!

This week (in the early hours of Tuesday morning to be precise) I began reading the "42 days to fit" and "100lb loser" e-books in preparation for taking the 42 days challenge (my next-but-one new challenge I think).

The 42 days challenge aims to help you lose 15-20 pounds which would be an amazing weight-loss to add to my eleven pounds so far (this from my original of 13 st 8 lbs not from the start of this weekly weigh-in blogging, a loss of only three pounds). A 15-20 pound loss would be especially helpful as I have another 47 pounds to lose to reach what would be considered a healthy weight for my height, namely 9 st 6 lbs.

Generally speaking "they" say you should aim for two pounds a week, but even a quarter of that (a pound/fortnight) would see me reach my weight-loss goal in less than two years which is a fabulus feat considering it took me well over a decade to get here. A one pound a week loss would see me hit my goal in less than a year and I think (pregnancy-permitting) it is not unreasonable of me to consider losing at least a pound a week for the next six months or so, so I am setting myself a longer-term goal of 32 pounds by my next birthday (my 32nd, which is actually about 31 weeks away). So here goes:

Third Goal
To reach (at least)my lowest post-partum weight (12 st 8 lbs) and get back to where I was in 2009/2010

Add a sticker to my "star chart" for every pound lost so far (since week one) i.e. at least six, this star chart is working toward another book buying reward. Oh and jump around the house like a mad thing.

First L-T Goal
To weigh no more than 10 st 7 lbs by 21st May, 2014 (the Wednesday closest to my 32nd birthday)
Kindle? New iPad? Ki-fit sub? New book? Chocolate??? A much smaller bottom? The ability to fit into my smaller clothes? To Be Confirmed.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Day 15 - What Cleaning Schedule?

Today I opted out. I cooked (lunch, dinner and tomorrow's lunch). I beautified the nursery walls with the rest of the animal/woodland decals. I played a couple of new pieces on the piano. We visited a gorgeous newborn. I studied further about Judaism and Pesach and Seder. I zoned out. I didn't clean.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Day 14 - Hi-ho-hi-ho I clean as I go

Cleaning schedule aside (a trip to Ikea with my Mama, SportySis and Bundle rather got in the way) I cooked up a storm of pancakes (flipping pancakes for an-hour-and-a-half cos if I do them on a high heat they all just burn) for tonight's tea and future dinners (they freeze beautifully separated out with oft-reused squares of grease-proof paper).

When I finished the kitchen was no disaster, not even dare I say a mess. Why? Well, because I learned the golden rule, the one I always though was stupid, and I cleaned as I went along:

I made up the pancake batter this morning and stored it in a empty milk jug in the fridge (my Dad always swore by letting it sit a while in the fridge).
The batter dishes from this morning were put into the (emptied before breakfast) dishwasher.
Spills were wiped up as soon as they were made and before they set hard.
I wore my apron and used it to protect my clothing and wipe at my hands to save numerous washings.
Non-dishwasher dishes were rinsed out and set into the basin beneath the sink (out of sight and thus not causing visual clutter) or into the sink itself (not piled high or obstructive).
Bundle was attended to so he didn't make extra messes.
I continued to make and plate and clear and clean as I went while cooking and finished up the last pancake with oil already back in the cupboard, dishes already in the dishwasher, Bundle cleaned up and away with Daddy to get ready for bed and the box of pancakes for the freezer filled and finishing its cooling.

Food for our dinner, food for the freezer and a not overwhelmed kitchen or pile of dishes to greet my Hubby.

Joy, joy.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Day 13 - Sabbath Rest

Supposedly a restful day, yes it did indeed include a nap but a very busy one.

The Husband's birthday:
- an early start for me, getting up with the (surprisingly) early-rising Bundle;
- then a busy church service, sat in the back pew rather than our favoured 'baby corner;'
- then naptime (bliss and sorely needed;
- then visitors and cake (in-laws and nephews);
- then over to my parents' for dinner and more cake and time with my sis and nephews;
- then bedtime for the baby and
- then Downton Abbey - joy!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Day 12 - Tidying vs Cleaning

Today choosing tidying over cleaning; deciding to tidy instead of clean; prioritising tidying over cleaning - why?


Necessity is the mother of invention.

Necessity in this case forced this procrastinating, ditherer to pull up her big girl pants and get to getting.

Tidying done, the lack of cleaning didn't matter so much and the house is ready for visitors.

Cleaning house indeed.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Day 11 - Decorating and Dusting

Today was all about (finishing my) decorating for autumn which of course included (finally) dusting in the lounge.

Dusting is a job I put off much too often.

Dust was also moved around on the bedroom and nursery windowsills and I decluttered the decorations on the nursery sill a bit. Also cleaned the kitchen hob.

Another day done and the house is going to bed a little cleaner and much more beautiful to me.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Day 10 - Finding the floor

Today's mission was to clean the floor under the master bed and cot and to clear underneath the bed in the nursery and clean under there too.

To avoid another unpleasant allergy attack I was armed with the wet cloth mop thingy and I think it's helped, no sneezing and sniffling here.

Alas my time management (and lots to do including an appointment and shopping trip) has left the job only half done and in fact I've probably hidden away more floor than I've found today. I don't understand how others work so quickly or productively, I've never had that ability; I crave it. Forever and always it has been that the path to tidy and organised is one heck of a mess, a household/room in chaos and never looking like there has actually been any progress until I've completely finished. How I long to not make a mess in order to tidy but acceptance of this state of being is the first step to recovery perhaps. Anyway here'e to finding some flooring while losing the rest...

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Day 9 - Cleaning out the (figurative) cobwebs

This morning was mostly about clearing out the mental clutter; for some reason writing lists, making plans - fulfilled or otherwise is an extremely calming activity for me.

While Hubby and Bundle had a lovely breakfast, dressed and visited Granny together, I had a restful lie-in, delicious omelette and planning/reading time, all while sat in bed. KNOWING AND BELIEVING that Hubby was happy for me (and in fact very encouraging of me) to take a rest made all the difference, it made the time truly restful. The relaxation allowed me time to recover from yesterday's dust-bunny-induced-allergy-attack and greatly lessened the "thrills" of the extreme hormone rollercoaster I've been riding since Friday last.

As for actual physical cleaning, some still happened but not to schedule; just the organic, natural flow of that needs cleaned so I'll clean it.

Tonight I may be slowly alighting from the rollercoaster car and I am truly grateful.

#2 Weekly Weigh-In

Keeping track thrice weekly but here's the official weekly weigh-in:

#2 12 st 13 lbs (181 pounds)
#1 13 st (182 pounds)

First Goal - to lose something and put myself in the twelves once more
Reward - ironic I know but a bag of peach loop sweets (twelve sweets only though)

Yay, with a one pound weight loss, peach loops here I come!

On to the next goal and I'm really pushing the boat out with this one - lose another pound - ta-da!

Second Goal - to lose something
Reward - to eat another ten peach loops (yummy)

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Day 8 - Dust Bunny Infection

Today my "plan" was to work in the kitchen but I got distracted clearing out EVERYTHING from under our bed.

Four underbed storage bags containing out of season clothes and lots of beautifully made no longer fitting/never have fit me clothes.

Two massive storage bags of duvet/pillows.

A couple of pairs of Hubby's shoes.

A suitcase of hand luggage bags and larger handbags.

And now . . . our bins and the laundry basket and much less dust.

The dust, oh the dust. I have spent the whole day since I cleared out the clothing etc. sneezing and sniffling and coughing and blowing my nose.

The dust bunnies have definitely infected my system.

Since they are so DANGEROUS I suppose I'll have to get them before they get me.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Day 7 - Make hay while the sun shines

Today I did only my already-used-to-it-section of my Cleaning Schedule as I waited until the evening before beginning to tackle my cleaning tasks.

The saying goes, make hay while the sun shines, and it certainly is preferable - whilst I may sometimes turn out to be more productive in the evenings, it is much harder to complete tasks such as floor brushing in a poorly lit bedroom, especially during autumn/winter months.

So whether I'd rather work in the evenings or not, I need to make hay while the sun shines and brush floors at the same time.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Day 6 - Work 6:Rest 1

This week has certainly not stacked up to the correct ration of six days of work and one of rest. This week has had decidedly less work than it ought and more rest but I don't think God will hold it against me; sometimes rest is required to allow for the work of tomorrow. Tomorrow will hold enough work for itself and I'll be more ready for it, after the rest of today and yesterday.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Day 5 - Daddy-Daycare

Today the Hubby just took over and I mostly took to my bed and rested and relaxed and it was bliss. After two nights of severe insomnia I was just beaten. I napped with Bundle and it was delightful. The day also held brief snippets of time with family and a first night out for this Mama since Bundle made his debut - I had a chilled out attendance at M&A's engagement dinner for three hours and Bundle had a lovely bedtime with Daddy but was ready for Mummy's return also ;)

As for cleaning of THE house - nope BUT I cleaned out my mental house very well. Even Mummy's need a day of once in a while too!

Friday, 4 October 2013

Day 4 - Who has time to clean?

Today's cleaning schedule called for nothing, well nothing beyond the regular quick cleans of the bathroom and kitchen and making the bed anywho and it's just as well. I had hoped to get around to cleaning the last few pieces of silver (a tray, hatpin holder, napkin ring and jewellery box), but seriously who has time to clean?

Tots' group first thing, then a couple of errands then home for naptime/lunch then straight into dropping Sunny next door for me to tutor C. Then helped my Mama with dinner preparations and wasn't home until Sunny's bedtime, oh and insomnia which had me up until four means I'm about as useful as a chocolate poker and therefore won't do wnything before I collapse into bed.

So, seriously, who has time for cleaning?

Thrice Weekly Weigh-In - Why?

Everyone focuses on the number don't they? The number on the scales must be checked weekly and must always go down and then when it doesn't there will be a week of worrying and another number to focus on but I don't want that - yes, the number is important, after all I'm trying to lose weight; of course I would like it to always go down, but let's be frank a good bowel movement can be worth a pound and maybe I haven't eaten enough fibre this week so ;) ...

I've instituted thrice weekly weigh-ins for myself because:

- my head is a sieve and I won't always remember all of the weigh-ins and they'll all be at different times of the day in various states of dress or undress

- when the number's gone up after a couple of days I want to halt it's progression before it picks up speed, if in fact it is overeating related

- it keeps me focused on my weight or rather doing something about it, it keeps the need to think before scoffing a chocolate bar firmly in mind, it helps my Mummy brain (still very much in recovery) remember the goal and the plan and the point.

I just read back over my old blog's last few posts which were all weight-loss and weigh-in related and was struck by the fact that in nineteen months (yes, over a year-abd-a-half) all I've managed to do is gain six pounds.

BUT in my efforts to "turn down my inner critic" and focus on the positive I had set myself some very good post-partum goals, some of which actually stuck! I do make my bed daily and get dressed and lay out my clothes and keep the baby bag packed and ready to go and I am aware of what's on the calendar and yay I have actually made some progress. Alas one of my goals was to move out of maternity clothes as soon as I felt comfortable in my old clothes and well I have only this last week packed away my maternity jeans because well, they are so damn comfy! Still keeping the black maternity tee though as it's very flattering on my mummy-tummy!

So progress and not so here's to more steps forward or at least a little nap in place and leaving behind the girl who forgot to stop when she was full, deterrmined to get her money's worth at the buffet breakfast.

P.S. In the interests of boredom avoidance I will only post a weekly weigh-in here and I think Wednesdays are as good a day as any (I weigh-in M/W/Sa) and I very neatly weighed in at thirteen stone even on Wednesday past (182 lbs) so any loss will drop me nicely back into the twelves and anything beyond two pounds (as if, since I'm still hardly trying, unless I get sick, which, nope I'd still mind) will land me nicely in the 170s. Last year I beat out my pre-pregnancy weight-loss to get down to 12 st 8 lbs (176 lbs) by fourteen weeks post-partum and now at 22 1/2 months PP I'm six pounds heavier and definitely less shapely (14 weeks PP was about the time of my son's baptism and I looked way better in my wrap dress then than now). Here's to making a positive difference!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Day 3 - Seeing Results

Today (Thursday) my plan was to attack a bigger or more often put-off cleaning job and so I tackled that petri dish of delights - the fridge!

It, as always, had been too long since the last time and something (who knows what) had been spilled in the 'basement' under the two removable bins - yuck. I had to wash a bottle of beer along with all the shelves/bins as whatever the spill had adhered itself to the bottle, it was way beyond wiping. I employed the lazy cleaner's best friend, a sink full of hot soapy water, and let the shelves etc. soak. While I let the sink do its job I let a couple of wet rags do their's as they soaked a couple of stuck on spills into (almost) oblivion. I suppose I could have looked upon a little scrubbing as a workout but that sounded too much like work. While the soaking worked its magic I chopped some vegetables for tea.

All this to say that currently the necessities are sitting in the now wiped out fridge while the rest of its contents are sat awaiting further (probably unnecessary) refridgeration or drying.

Waiting this long to clean out the grime does have a significant benefit - you actually see the results of your (almost) labour, sparkly clean (now once more) see-through shelving and bins and well it almost makes you motivated to keep up the good work (almost).

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Day 2 - Aiming

It's only really the first day of cleaning and I didn't want to. I made a pretty slow start to the day and then it was Bundle's bedtime in the blink of an eye so I wanted to sit and rest, I was tired and especially sleepy after singing numerous lullabies but I sucked it up. I made a small effort and roughly brushed out the three rooms and *bonus* the kutchen too.

The plan was to aim for this:
- Wednesdays
--- brush dining room
--- brush guest bathroom
--- brush hallway
--- clean dining room table/change tablecloth
--- clean guest bathroom
--- dust dining room
--- dust hallway
--- dust wee room
--- straighten dining room
--- straighten hallway
--- straighten wee room

I aimed, I missed by a mile but at least I aimed and well that's another step forward.

#1 Weekly Weigh-In

Posting this retrospectively having decided that this would be Day 1 (see here for more information):

#1 13 st (182 pounds)

Any weight loss will knock me into the twelves and anything more than two pounds (as if) will land me in the 170s, a happy (or at least happier) place indeed. Fourteen weeks post-partum saw me at 12 st 8 lbs (176 pounds) and I look forward to shrinking beyond that.

First Goal - to lose something and put myself in the twelves once more
Reward - ironic I know but a bag of peach loop sweets (twelve sweets only though)

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Day 1 - 31 days of Cleaning House

I hadn't written here for a while, too busy writing a sister blog of challenges, to do lists and done lists that has been helping me to focus greatly and improve spiritually and emotionally mainly, while also upping my game in the day to day running of my home. Today I've come home. This blog was to be my journey from house to home and this journey has continued apace - with less beauty, less philosophy but oodles more practicality. This month I return here to allow the whimsy to re-enter my journey forward, ever forward.

I was quite unconscious as September slipped into October and the 31 days of posts began, and yet, yesterday began my new journey/challenge (on my "His Challenge Accepted" blog) of adopting a cleaning schedule. The decision to make this my next challenge was the prodding of that still small voice of God, not, you know the "voices" and the first step in this voyage was simple - pray.

Prayer was/is a necessity as I step out on this journey - was I ready to commit to a level of cleaning that most people would still consider sub-par? Could I possibly jump in with both feet?

No, no I couldn't and certainly not in and of my own strength. With Divine assistance the plan is still, slowly, slowly, catch-y monkey - aiming to build up to my schedule steadily and thus more acheivably.

So Day 1 - pray and plan.

So here's the plan:

--- brush out en-suite
--- brush out master bedroom
--- brush out nursery
--- clean en-suite
--- dust master bedroom
--- dust nursery

Tuesdays (kitchen)
--- brush floor
--- clean appliance fronts
--- clean counters
--- clean cupboard doors
--- scrub and shine sink and draining area
--- scrub floor

--- brush dining room
--- brush guest bathroom
--- brush hallway
--- clean dining room table/change tablecloth
--- clean guest bathroom
--- dust dining room
--- dust hallway
--- dust wee room
--- straighten dining room
--- straighten hallway
--- straighten wee room

Thursdays (except third of the month)
--- complete a bigger/often-put-off cleaning task such as:
--- cleaning out the microwave and thoroughly cleaning and shining the hob OR
--- clearing out and cleaning the fridge OR
--- stocktaking the freezer, updating the inventory and de-icing it OR
--- cleaning the "outside" toilet OR
--- clearing, cleaning and tidying the utility/laundry area OR
--- cleaning the oven OR
--- washing windows or glass panelled doors OR
--- a major decluttering/spring cleaning/decorating project etc.

Fridays (every other week)
--- vacuum area rug in the lounge
--- vacuum carpet in the wee room

--- brush lounge
--- change bed linen (every two/three weeks)
--- dust lounge
--- dust and tidy car interior
--- mop or spot check lounge floor
--- straighten lounge

--- rest

Already in place are the daily habits of laundry, a quick-clean of the bathrooms and the kitchen/sink. I also already bleach the toilets three times a week. While brushing out and cleaning the en-suite has been a Monday task for a number of weeks. The bed is made evry morning and that has certainly been a good habit to add. This month will focus on simply working through the above schedule as much as I can and giving myself grace when I fail but staying committed enough to jump back in and keep trying.

Here's to a month of cleaning house, sorry I mean a month of cleaning (my) house (more) and not stopping this oh so exciting schedule once the month is up, but in point of fact actually cleaning my house everyday for like ever!

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Haiku - August 29th - 10.20pm

Too early to start, tired.
Late finish, too late. Why does he
Fight? Struggle? Have difficulty relaxing?

Following instinct. Nurturing more than
Most. Breastfeeding. Responding to cues and love.
Always love. Cuddles, kisses. Fails.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Haiku - August 28th - 1.50pm

Frustration, anger, snapping, emotional wreck.
Knowing I'm loved and lucky, should be
Grateful, joyful. I hate depression.

Reminders on my bathroom mirror:
Pray, breathe, sing praise and choose joy.
Switch it not you off.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Looking to the future

I want a clean home so...I have to clean.
I want an organised home so...I need to organise.
I want an uncluttered home so...I need to declutter.
I enjoy crafts and want to improve and practise crafting so...I need to carve out the time for and make the effort to craft.
I want Bundle to sign more so...I need to sign more.
I want Bundle to be calmer so...I need to be calmer.
I want to make gifts for Christmas so...I need to organise my time so they'll be made in time.
I want to get better at piano so . . . I need to practice.
I want to lose weight so . . . I need to eat better and less.
I want to bake more so . . . I need to plan out ingredients and carve out time for baking.

Top Ten - August 26th

1. Whites laundry. Put away dry laundry. Allow Bundle to "help" me.
2. Tutoring and clear table afterward.
3. Enjoy a walk to Stonegate and back (wear trainers) after naptime.
4. Drop off a little starting nursery gift for my niece.
5. Baked potatoes, beans, bacon and cheese for dinner.
6. Write up my parents' holiday dates on the calendar. Practise the piano.
7. Practise covering up one of Bundle's eyes in a peek-a-boo game as preparation for his eye appointment.
8. Put away excess baby bag things, bag and pile of novels that Mum borrowed, box of crafting cardboard.
9. Sew another item from the mending basket.
10. Ring regarding a follow-up podiatric appointment.

Quiet Ambition

My quiet ambition is to organise others, to be allowed into their sanctuaries, physical and mental and to clear out the debris, sweep away the cobwebs (figuratively) and create and space-save, put like with like and beautify.

I want to help others make the most of their homes and their time. I want to help them make better use of their finances, help them budget, help them develop and grow in their interests, hobbies, lives (parenting, marriages etc.). I want to help them lose weight and improve their fitness by helping them find the time to do so.

I want to help others in the ways I cannot help myself.

I am the epitome of those who can, do; those who can't teach.

My house sits as a house, not always a home.

It is unloved in its messiness, disorganisation, chaos, clutter, dirt and dust.

Eugh, the kitchen floor alone.

I have made strides in the right direction.

A step forward of a beauty-enhancing craft.

A step back of an unbrushed floor.

Forward, a scrubbed and shining sink.

Back, the knowledge that the scrubbing removed two-year-old paint drips and that the same paint job needs redone.

Forward, a cleaned up, decorative find from the outhouses to add to our homeliness.

Back, an unmade bed, sat all day and the next.

I make efforts and once routines to include this good thing or that are firmly established then I have a proud moment but it does not last as I look at all that needs done. All the other things that need to become routine and I just don't feel like I improve though I know I do.

I want to help establish routines and beautify.

I want to help my father declutter and organise and label in the many outhouses and garage/workshop spaces on the farm. I want to help calm his work spaces to help his slowly unravelling mind; to help calm the interior through a calm exterior.

I want to help my friend plan her wedding, I want to be a reliable friend to her and the rest.

Mostly I want and NEED to improve how I suggest and prod and help others improve; remove any condescension from my tone, any patronising elements to my speech. I want (with Divine assistance, which I REALLY NEED) to be as respectful of others as they are of me; to respect the strides they make, as my husband acknowledges my (albeit minor) revisions and improvements. So often when I speak I just wish I hadn't.

So this is my quiet ambition to improve and in so doing help others to do likewise. Iron sharpens iron.

Haiku - August 26th - 2pm

Family life, building our routines,
Book, milkies, toilet, prayer, bed and songs.
Signs and attempted words echo.

After nights of crying hard,
Sore, hearts broken and comfort sought; touch,
Contact for reassurance of love.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Haiku - August 21st - 11.10pm

Lay in this morning, bliss
Turned over thinking I won't get back
Over. Awoke three hours later.

Lay down the law tonight.
Stuck to my guns, no messing about.
Baby asleep, Mama less stressed.

Loud cough, loud sneeze, loud
Nose-blower, why? Not helpful as a parent,
Keep waking the baby up.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Top Ten - August 21st

1. Whites laundry including bedding and t-shirt in soak. Clean laundry area and sink. Fold and put away dry laundry.
2. Eyebrows. Shower and shave legs.
3. Sew Bundle's nappy and Hubby's anniversary t-shirt.
4. Brush out en-suite.
5. Quiet time, scripture memory, prayer, grace, bedtime prayer, Lord's prayer, catechism time and worship CDs.
6. Walk to the far end of the road and back (1 1/2 miles) after naptime.
7. Eat a small breakfast, sensible lunch and prepare ahead a healthy snack (carrot sticks).
8. Clean en-suite sink and bleach loos.
9. Clean pigeon-hole shelving unit, decide on future paint colour if any. If necessary paint with methylated spirits.
10. Tutoring prep (see yesterday).

Additional rules:
No TV, except during dinner and times when Bundle is asleep.
Swagbucks, Moodscope, apps, email and Kindle only available while Bundle is asleep.
Podcasts allowed only while I am eating breakfast and during milkies.

Honey-do List
Get up with Bundle to allow Mama a lie-in.

Haiku - August 20th - 10.10pm

Time, where goest thou? Sleep,
Why do you hide when most tired,
Am I? Can't sleep. Tired.

Why does insomnia persist when,
Activity increased, both mental and physical. Pursuits,
Which should tire, but reinvigorate.

To bed and no mistake.
To bed and no arguments from me.
Then why am I up?

Who needs enemies when you,
Have yourself? To blame, to cause such,
Pain, negativity, distress, stress, frustration.

Rain bouncing off roof and,
Ground. Battering the senses and causing shivers,
Despite heat, humidity. Weather memories.

Breathe, just breathe, pray and,
Breathe, just breathe and write that list.
Tomorrow another day, another chance.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Top Ten - August 20th

1. Dark laundry including sheets and pillowcases.
2. Set timer for three minutes and shape eyebrows. Shave my legs after Bundle is settled in bed.
3. Watch educational reform video with Hubby and use it to draw a spider diagram of my takeaway from the speaker's educational philosophy
4. Sew another item from the mending basket.
5. Tutoring preparation - print out the next couple of weeks of the Armour of God copywork. Print out another phonics workbook. Write out all forty-four phonemes on flashcards.
6. Walk toward the other end of the road and back (1 1/4 miles) after naptime.
*Update - walked around and around MrsThing's house instead, as I had SportySis for company and it looked like rain.*
7. Reduce the amount I eat at breakfast. Eat sensibly at lunchtime.
8. Quiet time, scripture memory, prayer jar, grace, bedtime prayer, Lord's prayer, catechism time and worship CDs.
9. Brush out en-suite, WC, kitchen and hallway.
10. Arrange new podiatric appointment. Email Amazima. Research Google's 20% employee time.

Additional rules:
No TV, except during dinner and when Bundle is asleep.
Swagbucks, Moodscope, apps, email and Kindle only available while Bundle is asleep.
Podcasts allowed only while I am eating breakfast and during milkies.

Honey-do List
1. Bath Bundle after dinner.
2. Replace bed sheets.
3. Hang artworks. Cousin's watercolour (lounge). Yesterday's monogram artwork (kitchen) - mask also.
4. Charity shop donations drop-off and purchase of colour ink for the printer.
5. Empty bin in the barn and scrub clean (inside and out). Also scrub clean the potty chair from my sister.

Haiku - August 19th - 10.30pm

Quiet house, supper digesting, peace.
Sneeze erupts from sleeping babe, sleeps on.
To-do list for tomorrow brewing.

Catching up on reading blogs.
Enjoying educational discussions, thinking to the future.
Homeschooling - eclectic, God-centred, delight directed.

Philosophies of education aside; focus,
Homemaking must be mastered first before more,
Added to the brimming plate.

Little Susie Homemaker, fifties style,
Dreams of gleaming surfaces, smiling, order,
Instead chaos, clutter, must clean.

And now, I must sleep,
Last night, up gone three, mind whirling,
Hundred mph, lists help soothe.

Today, list followed, much acheived,
Still more undone, but paint finally removed,
From kitchen sink, two years.

Tomorrow, busy day to come,
Work and visitors all combined and double-booked.
Successful day if nerves intact.

Success only possible through Him.
Stretched tight, nerves frazzled, leaning on Him.
The everlasting arms bring peace.

Pray, breathe, pray, breathe, confess.
Grace offered anew, refreshed I breathe again.
Thankful heart praises, prays, breathes.

Haiku - August 19th - 7.40pm

Dinner cleared, house to tidy.
Hyper baby needs calmed. Husband home, fed,
Away again, external duties call.

Catechism songs play, baby plays,
Mummy plays at poetry and Daddy works.
Bedtime calls, we tiredly answer.

Time to get changed, pyjamas,
Stories to be chosen, read, milkies drunk,
Potty time, then lullaby, sleep.

Haiku - August 19th - 4.30pm

Post walk, laundry, activity, glow.
Moment of rest, relaxation, reset - milky time.
Upturned face, giggles, dribbles, joy.

Haiku - August 19th - 3.10pm

Chose not to sleep - why?
For disturbed sleep tires more than none.
Baby slept soundly. I rested.

Six words - August

Going fast, I'm crazy, hormonal, help.

Haiku - August 19th - 2.30am

Sleep eludes me, or I
Being without foresight avoid it, baby sleeps
Soundly, unusually long, breathing heavily.

Top Ten - August 19th

1. White wash including baby blankets, duvet cover and pillowcases. Replace duvet cover and pillowcases.
2. Brush out en-suite, nursery and bedroom.
3. Clean en-suite, including bath and shower screen, using vinegar spray and bleach loos.
4. Calculate and set aside tithe. Set aside change from purse and tally it along with moneyboxes. Calculate child sponsorship and set aside for it. Empty Bundle's moneyboxes into his bank account.
5. Set timer for three minutes and shape eyebrows.
6. Cleanse, tone and moisturise before bed (after Bundle is settled for the night).
7. Shine kitchen sink and scrub basin inside and out.
8. Quiet time for me. Scripture memorisation during breakfast, prayer time with Bundle during snack, grace before dinner and Lord's prayer/bedtime prayer before bed. Play worship CDs during day. Catechism time with Bundle in the afternoon.
9. Walk to the end of the road and back (1 mile) directly after naptime. Weigh-in and record on app.
10. Make a family monogram on scrapbook paper, framed for the hallway.

Additional rules:
No TV except during dinner and after Bundle is asleep.
Swagbucks, Moodscope, apps, internet, email and Kindle only available while Bundle is asleep.
Podcasts allowed only while I am eating breakfast and during milkies.

*I also repaired three jar decorations that had become unstuck and printed out some copywork for tutoring.*

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Gentle Strength

The curling fingers wrapped around my finger. 

The sweetness of a hot, sweaty head with slick curls on damp forehead all smooshed up against me, seeking human warmth, not heat.

The hand that reaches out in reassurance that we are present.

The little head, sprung up as out of sleep he falls and into life and energy and the big grin and good morning "Hiya," proudly speaking his intent to start the day. 

The energy, oh the energy, the sleepy, drooping head, so relaxed and nodding, nodding until a dog barks and the spring is sprung as the sleepiness dissipates and the hand flies to his ear aside his cocked head with a "huh" and a questioning look as he seeks to know what is happening abroad and the settling begins again in earnest after the question is answered. 

The gentleness of the touch and the strength of the touch.

The gentle play of fingers lifting small bites from the table, of collecting up tiny toys or stroking your face.

The rough and tough and soreness of rebellion, fighting unassailable truths that sleep must be gotten and nappies must be changed in order for health to be held. The strength of will, the power of little arms stretched out in protest and squeals that pierce armour of the toughest form that squawk "no" to whatever the parent wishes: shoes on, feeding time, bed time, "you can't play with that," it's dangerous or fragile or not ours, you can't, shouldn't, won't and the resounding "no" and "never" and "I shall not be moved," responses.

You set the limits and choose the battles, repetitions worth repeating in order to move along and grow and learn and we all grow and learn.

There are distractions and deflections and things put out of reach and places and times avoided and naps are sought at appropriate intervals and we all work for a common cause - peace though not often quiet.

Of course tempers fray and sanctuary is sought away from squeals and Daddy is called into play, "tag you're it" and sometimes "baby jails" can save your sanity but always resolve, resolution, the coming together again of mother and child in dramatic reunion, big hugs and sobs and "sorrys," "I love yous" and love always love always love. 


Bundle Tales #3

Putting his doll (Jimmy) to bed and getting him up after naps/sleep. Giving him hugs and kisses.

Requesting milkies with repeated signing.

A precious moment of interrupting his play at LLL to come and sign for the toilet and then go and just melt his Mummy's heart.

Climbing out of the buggy and pitter-patting his way to find us, often going straight back to sleep. Proof positive that he just wants company.

Sharing his toys nicely with others.

Keeping his nappy dry for long stretches (most of the night).

Putting up his hands to protect his face from licks from the big dog.

Terrifying the little dog, not through any negative actions but simply because he is unpredictable and interested in her.

Pouring the (fortunately only number ones) comtents of his potty over his naked self in a temper, earning himself a cold shower (didn't have any hot water) and thus prompting angelic behaviour the rest of the morning.

Leaning to the side to surprise his Daddy from his hiding place on top of his Daddy's shoulders when Daddy claims to have lost him.

Continuing to charm the pants of all and sundry.

Trying to speak so much - recognisably (to us anyway) saying tractor, quack quack, moo.

Loving the cows and heading to the nearest window, gate etc. at the mere mention of them.

Giggling in anticipation of his milkies.

Giving the best most snuggly hugs in the world.

Open-mouthed, slobbery, drool-y kisses.

Sleep acrobatics landing him in all sorts of uncomfortable positions, for both him and us.

Bundle Tales #2

Dancing with lightning feet to Galway Girl.

Requesting Galway Girl by heading straight for the stereo in Nanny & Granda's.

Playing the bodrhán (both child-sized and Granda-sized and goat-skin stinky) with great gusto.

Greeting us with an enthusiastic "Hiya!" in the morning and pretty much any time we return from an absence.

Putting his legs over his Daddy's neck and also finding it more comfortable to sleep with his head hanging backwards or on top of his Mummy's legs.

Initiating "cheers" with his cup or rice cracker. (20months)

"Parking" his truck in its spot in the barn. (20months)

Carrying the nappy bucket to its home in the bathroom and putting the laundry into it. (20months)

Being so careful of kerbs and door ridges, going so far as to crawl or climb over millimetre rises. (18-20months)

Signing milkies when asked "what are we going to do now?" (20months)

Asking for a book with "beu beu" and his attempt at a book sign. (20months)

Waking to go to the toilet.

Enjoying the kookaburra hand-puppet, uncontrollable giggles when the kookaburra tries to eat him/kiss his neck, face, tummy. Including falling over from giggling so Mummy only plays at this when he's lying down. (19/20months)

His wonderful kisses where he leans in or when he lifts his chin and pouts. (18-20months)

His all-encompassing hugs, so wonderful and usually before nap or bedtime. (20months)

Playing the kissing game - everybody kiss Daddy, everybody kiss Mummy, and......everybody kiss James - cue the big giggles. (12months+)

Just adoring his books - requesting stories all day long and poring over them for up to an hour (once or twice) just staring, absorbing and flipping those pages.

Carrying sticks around at all times and following Mummy and Daddy's directions to drop them at the door (to our house or Nanny and Granda's) sometimes with squeals afterwards when the realisation hits that he no longer is holding them but increasingly with no adverse reaction. (18-20months)

Playing his xylophone, shaking his jingle bells and tambourines, drumming all available surfaces and tipping out the box of musical instruments every morning - thankfully also tidying them back into the box with direction and maybe a little squealing.

Enjoying many varied music styles and Mummy singing him nursery songs and folk songs from around the world.

Loving you to read the wall pictures/photos/art to him; there's a little girl driving a car and her dog "woof woof" is watching her; telling him the gumnut story; reading him his alphabet, a is for armadillo; there's a picture of Daddy and Bundle. (20months)

Cuddles and kisses to say sorry. (20months)

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

32 Goals: Week 1

Daily Tasks
Choose a cute notebook and begin to study Isaiah and make notes using the SOAP method (4)
Revise and relearn previous Scripture memorisation with Bundle (at breakfast) (6)
Work consistently to teach Bundle more signs (milk, food, toilet, bed, book, pray, quiet and no). (7)
Engage Bundle in a daily prayer time (10)
Say grace before all meals (10)
Maintain laundry, open blinds and make beds daily (13)
Air the house (13)
Tidy 32 things a day (15)
Read Flatland (22)
Save change (especially fivers) (26)
Track spending (26)
Dilute milk (26)
Knit (26)
Swagbucks and GFK Media Panel (26)
Practise separation discipline with Bundle (from event not from me) when necessary (31)

One and Done Tasks
Devise a meal and snack plan (2)
Try my Urban Dance exercise DVD (3)
Revise my already learnt WSC questions and answers, use the study book and CD (5)
Revise BSL alphabet, numbers and colours (7)
Develop a fluid schedule and more routines to the day to allow for cleaning, exercise, grooming, crafts, special interests, reading etc. (8)
Choose a time to get up each morning (8)
Tidy up the family tree information already gathered (9)
Make a prayer pot (10)
Revise Spanish alphabet, numbers and colours (12)
Develop cleaning schedule (13)
Tot up any decluttered items(14)
Sort/donate/declutter/delve through a "box" (18)
Email OzSis and family at least once (20)
Email Mr&MrsThing at least once (21)
Download the send to kindle application onto the PC (22)
Revise previously learnt hymn/chorus words (23)
Collate a scrapbook of Bundle's birth cards (24)
Rejoin GFK Media Panel (26)
Complete maximail surveys (26)
No takeaway week, set aside saved money (26)
Turn off TV/SkyBox at night, unplug microwave, toaster, washing machine and dryer when not in use (26)
Download and back-up the free curriculum about studying geography etc. through the great commission (27)
Set up an organisation system for my tutoring supplies (27)
Contact Suzanne re Blyton books (27)
Update business money phone app. after tutoring (28)
Tidy the base of the long-hanging wardrobe (29)
Practise church behaviour with Bundle by listening to ten minutes of a sermon CD, include practice of the signs for prayer, quiet and no (31)
Practise the piano (32)

Indefinite Tasks
Spend time with my SportySis (1)
Reduce my dairy intake (2)
Reduce/Cut out the junk food (2)
Lose weight (2)
Enjoy fresh air with Bundle (3)
Walk faster and farther when taking Bundle out in the pram/buggy (3)
Groom more consistently (11)
Eyebrow shaping, haircuts, re-fixing hair through the day, make-up, exfoliation, cleansing, toning and moisturising, weekly night-cream, handcream and nail care (11)
Use clothes dryer as little as possible (26)

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

32 Goals for my 32nd Year

This coming weekend I shall turn thirty-one and so, once more, my life is in sharp focus... are 32 goals for my 32nd year, in no particular order...

1. SportySis & Sewing
Spend time with my SportySis and have her teach me how to use a sewing machine.
Spend time with her crafting otherwise and just spend time.
Make four fruit and vegetable bags from my already set aside pillowcases.

2. Weight Loss
Reduce my dairy intake.
Cut out the junk food.
Plan ahead for meals and snacks to lessen the likelihood of my falling off the wagon.
Lose the weight (pregnancy permitting).

3. Exercise
Enjoy fresh air with Bundle, including walks, playdates and trips to the park etcetera.
Walk faster and farther when taking him out in the pram/buggy.
Try all my exercise DVDs (one DVD a fortnight - trying it at least twice).
Borrow off friends/family to try and find one (or more) that I might *enjoy*.

4. Quiet Time
Study my way through the book of Isaiah.
Make notes about what I'm learning.
Use SOAP method.

5. Catechism
Learn a Westminster Shorter Catechism question and answer every week.
Use the study book and CD to help.

6. Memorise Scripture
Practise Scripture memorisation daily with Bundle (at breakfast) and try to learn a new Scripture about once a fortnight.

7. BSL
Revise British Sign Language, set aside a time each week.
Use vocabulary videos online.
Work consistently (at lunchtime or other relevant points in the day) to teach Bundle more signs (e.g. milk, food, toilet, bed, book, please, thank you, more, all done, dog, pray, quiet).

8. Schedule
Develop a fluid schedule and more routines to the day to allow for cleaning, exercise, grooming, crafts, special interests, reading etc.
Choose a time to get up each morning.

9. Family Tree
Focus on the family tree - sending emails and letters to confirm or learn information and gather letters, photographs and stories to collate and distribute.
Tidy up the information already gathered.

10. Prayer
Make a prayer pot.
Engage Bundle in a daily prayer time.
Say grace before all meals.

11. Grooming
Groom more consistently.
Eyebrow shaping, haircuts, re-fixing hair through the day, make-up, exfoliation, cleansing, toning and moisturising, weekly night-cream, handcream and nail care.

12. Spanish
Revise Spanish vocabulary and grammar, set aside a weekly time.
Make use of the various books, CDs etc. That I already have.
Plan a Spanish holiday and practise!

13. Housekeeping
Improve household care - continue with fortnightly bed linen changes, maintaining laundry, opening blinds and making beds daily, improve my airing of the house, cleaning and tidying.
Develop cleaning schedule.

14. Declutter
Declutter 32 things a month.

15. Tidy
Tidy 32 things a day.

16. Wedding Album
Choose favoured pictures.
Collate our wedding album.

17. Photo Book 1
Make a personalised photo book for Bundle.
Go through the alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes.
Include close family, familiar locations and pets.

18. Sort
Sort/donate/declutter/delve through at least 32 "boxes".
Including those in the barn and attic.

19. Photo Book 2
Collate a photo album/scrapbook of our Australian adventure.
Include journalling of our adventures.

20. OzSis
Develop my relationship with OzSis and her kids through regular emails (at least once a fortnight).

21. MrsThing
Maintain my relationship with Mr&MrsThing through regular emails (at least once a fortnight).

22. Kindle Reading
Read at least 32 of my Ultimate Homemaking Bundle e-books to ensure value for money.
Also all other "purchased" e-books (Flatland, Life of Pi).

23. Singing
Learn the words of a new hymn/chorus every week.
Make use of our multiple worship CDs.

24. Scrapbook
Collate a scrapbook of Bundle's birth cards.

25. Velcro
Velcro the sofa cushions.
Also cut, hem and velcro in place the Ikea fabric panels onto the craft cupboard doors, also clean the glass.

26. Save £2,500
Saving change (especially fivers).
Gathering what we already have (updating and closing the post office accounts).
Selling (e.g. excess nappies and wraps, ki-fit, perhaps using gumtree to declutter the outhouses and sell "excess" books, perhaps buying and selling charity shop finds).
Cutting spending (buying up cheap end-of-day bakery items and freezing them for general future use, tracking spending for a month to seek ways in which to save, cutting out all buying for a month-save milk/fruit/vegetables, using the library, reducing the number of takeaways we buy, buying in bulk for a saving, paying cash, buying little to no junk food, drinking only water/coffee/tea, growing vegetables/herbs, crafting rather than purchasing all gifts, watering down our milk, losing weight to fit into the clothes I already own, checking online for discount vouchers, comparison shopping, buying used).
Getting free money (rejoining tv panels for vouchers, using maximail, using swagbucks, getting swagbucks referrals-Mimi&Bella/SportySis/Mama/Gerta, emailing companies whose products we buy or those with new products to request coupons/free samples, completing online buying through maximail/swagbucks sites).
Cutting bills (e.g. sharing a main meal at a restaurant-just order an extra side or going for a kids eat free option, lowering the hot water temperature, using the dryer less, no paid for TV, unplugging appliances, doubling up on oven usage, using the slow cooker more, keeping the fridge/freezer fuller, turning the heat down/off, boiling the kettle once with the minimum amount of water in it, comparison shopping suppliers-where possible).

27. Schooling Supplies
Download and back-up the free curriculum about studying geography etc. through the great commission.
Organise tutoring and homeschool supplies.
Contact Suzanne re Blyton books and Girvins re Firefly, English book.

28. Tax Return
Complete my tax return before January 3rd 2014.
Keep better records using application on my phone.

29. Clothing storage
Clear out underneath our bed (and keep it empty).
Tidy the base of the long-hanging wardrobe.
Re-organise the second single wardrobe.
Sort Bundle's clothing storage.

30. Candlemaking
Try making scented candles.
Potential gifts for Christmas and birthdays.

31. Church Schema
Practise church behaviour with Bundle by listening to one (part) sermon a week through iTunes/SermonCloud or on our numerous sermon CDs.
Include signs for quiet and prayer.
Practise separation discipline (from event not from me) throughout the week.

32. Piano
Practise the piano at least once a week.
Learn to play the following tunes (at least a basic version) well: Happy Birthday, Away in a Manger, Jesus Loves Me and How Great Thou Art.

Skills, goals, projects, teaching, learning, using, making, talking, bonding, organising - a busy year ahead.