Phew! It has been a long time since I blogged, over 12 months in fact. 2013 was a challenging year for us. We had made the decision to move to a rural location on an isolated property and the start of the year saw us living in a small caravan (with the 4 kids) as we waited for accommodation to become available. We were hugely excited about the possibility of sustainable living.
Eight months later, after a lot of rain, mud, mud, mud and gale force winds, we moved into town and I returned to work as a teacher (at a new school), while my husband stayed home with the kids, made products for our small business (Blue Moon Dreaming) and worked evening shifts. I also had to deal with my eldest son staying in the city, after his father changed his mind about allowing him to move with us. He was 11 and has always lived with me. He now lives with his father, which has taken some getting used to!
Suffice to say I have not felt like blogging!!
It has been a while coming but I feel like our lives are back on track – we are madly saving to buy a place with an established house, I have a handle on the job and am looking forward to teaching Year 1/2 in February, my stepson has settled in well to the local highschool and my son seems to be coping well with the change to living arrangements.
I am really excited about the year to come and stumbled upon this great workbook just in time for making all my New Years Resolutions a reality.
I decided 2014 is the year I AM going to be on top of my life (there is a lot going on on lots of levels)!! Forget resolutions (they never last!) I found this great work book on-line – it is affordable & has lots of beautiful images & has really helped me focus! Check it out here and create an incredible 2014 with Leonie Dawson’s Amazing Life & Biz Workbooks
What are you doing to make sure you stick to your New Year’s Resolutions?
We have made a really exciting decision for our family – we have left the city and moved to the country! Why you may ask? Well for us the cost of living has just got too high…with four kids, it looked like we would never be able to have the lifestyle we wanted with rents going up & up. Also too, a rented property really limits what you can do to be sustainable as everything needs to be temporary.
We have been here for 3 months and it has really been an adventure! We are currently in temporary accommodation while we wait for a second house to be built on the property and to say this has been challenging is an understatement! The end is in sight however…and I am just hoping we are able to move into our permanent housing before winter. We have had a few rainy, cold days so far, which have proved really challenging with two toddlers under three, resulting in rather more TV time than I would usually endorse – but you do what you have to.
It has been exciting though to be able to begin taking small steps towards sustainable living. Johan has been nurturing lots of seedlings and planted up vegie/herb patches. Thanks to careful watering over the hot days of summer we were able to begin harvesting our first crops of spinach and have some tomatoes ready for picking soon.
We are also looking at beginning a Square Foot Garden.
The exciting thing about this method of gardening is that there is no digging involved, it is low maintenance, high yielding and possible for anyone to do.
I would love to hear from anyone who has tried this gardening method. Did it work for you? Why? Why not?
OMG How did it get to 1st of December and I missed a month of posting? Life just gets so busy this time of year. In our house it is total chaos as only a house with 4 kids can be….
We are busy getting ready for a big move & lifestyle change, moving to the country, 4 1/2 hours drive from where we live now. I am madly trying to pack while supervising two little ones who NEVER sleep at the same time. My youngest Selene is now crawling and pulling up on everything, which is great fun in a house full of packing boxes. On the plus side I am sure she is getting lots of stimulation from her constantly changing environment – the trick being to keep her safe, as Darling Son 3 broke the playpen by climbing on it as though it was a ladder :(
My eldest is graduating from primary school, which is a big deal here. They have a special ceremony and dinner, and other special activities which make the next few weeks a busy time. Add to that, silly me volunteered to chair the Parent Committee for the Graduation (what was I thinking) so it’s busy, busy, busy! And yesterday Johan and I went with Caelan & his class on the STS Leeuwin and got very seasick in rough seas, but it was still fun.
And then there is all the joy of moving…boxes to pack of course, organising truck and getting permission from Darling Son 2’s dad for him to actually move with us…which is proving a little problematic!! With only 18 days til the lease is up, to say we are panicking would be an understatement.
So yesterday I look at the calendar and realise that November is gone! Panic!!! The Christmas tree is packed long ago, and I don’t want the drama of trying to move a decorated one. We will be staying in a caravan for a time, so the big one is out anyway. I usually love Christmas and decorate everything in sight. I have always done Advent Calendars with my kids and wanted this year to be no exception…so here is what I have come up with…with a little help from my eldest son. The big boys also have really nice ones from a card party I went to.
Here is the one we made….
We made pockets from Christmas paper. I also included a note for each day (this is for the big boys) with lots of fun activities and a small treat for Conor (aged 2) – a challenge this year, since we no longer eat food containing sugar!! What do you put in your kids Advent calendars?
- Printable-finger-puppets-for-christmas A sugar free Advent surprise
- A gorgeous home made effort Well worth checking out just to see how pretty it is!
16 weeks in to the no sugar challenge and we have made real lifestyle changes. The bigger kids still whinge & moan, but they probably would whatever we did! Johan and I have both noticed some big weight losses – 8 kg for him and a whopping 17 kg for me – way to lose baby weight! I am not sure if the breastfeeding helps…but I certainly didn’t lose much through breastfeeding with my other two children.
The nice part is I am fitting into clothes I haven’t worn since before I had my eldest son 11 years ago, so that is a big plus for me.
It hasn’t been easy and I have definitely had times where I really wanted food with sugar in (particularly when menstruating), but remembering how much I have lost weight wise has been a big motivator. A few times when I have actually broken and eaten sugar-rich foods, it tasted dreadful. This was particularly disappointing when it came to ice-cream – a huge weakness of mine in the past. I have learned to make a great substitute using dextrose & when you make it yourself you don’t eat it as often because it takes a while to make :)
Another interesting thing has been in starting my little one on solid foods…she has not been so keen on the sweeter foods like banana and apple, which my other two loved.
Overall it has been a huge success for our family and a chang we will stick to….I even ignored the dessert at a family barbecue last night & didn’t feel deprived.
Please let me know if your family are trying the challenge too, as it is great to hear how other people are coping.
- How to Reduce your Sugar Intake (healthybodylife.com) recommends fruit…but I think if you have cut out all other processed sugar this ok so long as you limit to two serves a day!
- Strange Psychological Response to Sugary Food (belmarrahealth.com)
- A Sweet Treat (kimskitchenblogdotcom.wordpress.com)
- Sugar vs. Cocaine: Which is More Addictive? (zazenlife.com)
- Sneaky Places Sugar is Hiding (belmarrahealth.com)
I knew this would be hard but I had no idea how difficult it would be. I had high hopes…I had done all the pre-challenge stuff…I was ready.
But I started late :( They were on Day 20 and I was still struggling to complete Day 1, but I guess it’s small steps so I started with our IKEA Expedit shelves and emptied baskets and removed clutter. I was really inspired by the organised housewife’s photo of her toy cupboard.
But life got in the way…in the form of a gorgeous 7 month old who despite starting solids has missed the memo re needing to nurse less, and continues to sleep very little. We also had many visits to the Family Court….which proved extremely time-consuming.
And now we are moving 4 1/2 hours south in less than 10 weeks time….so all my careful decluttering has been overshadowed by a need to pack boxes. Hmmm! Maybe this is my big chance to chuck stuff out!!!!
I hope you manage better than I did…..now I am off to find me a blog about packing up to move lol :)
There is a lot of stuff out there about vaccinations and as parents we often worry…should we, shouldn’t we? We all want the best for our children. Having had children 10 years apart I really noticed the increase in the number of immunisations scheduled for children under two.
Just had to share this from A Sheep No More via Facebook
Something to think about.
Cleaning…I hate it!!!! Before I had four kids and a husband who grew up with servants (yes he really did!!) I hated it but I could stay on top of it. True, Kieran and I lived in a small two bedroom and I worked so the house stayed tidier, but it was manageable.
Now my place is 100% out of control…the kids leave stuff everywhere, we are always tripping over toys and baby stuff, and my gorgeous husband who, it must be said has many admirable qualities, leaves dirty coffee cups and socks in all manner of odd locations!! So when I found The Organised House Wife and her 20 Day Challenge to Organise and Clean my Home I was intrigued.
I am starting the challenge tomorrow and will post my progress here.
If you would like to join me please click the link below
I think Father’s Day is a great time to reflect on the impact of a father on a child’s life. Today the media will tell us about lots of dads who do a terrific job, but I think it’s also a time to think about those who don’t.
What about the abusers…the ones who tear down their child’s self esteem, for whom nothing will ever be good enough, who are constantly trying to discredit their child’s mother, to hurt her, to make her & by extension her child’s life hell. Do these men stop and think about the effect this has on their children and most importantly their sons? I think not.
Please share this post if you agree with me or if you know other mothers who need to take a stand for their kids xx
- Family Court – Did you know they have a Duty Lawyer who can advise you on what to do? I didn’t.
- Women’s Council For Domestic & Family Violence Services (WA) – If you are in danger call the Police on 000. If you are considering changing your circumstances this website has great links and advice.
- Midland Women’s Healthcare Place – Offering a wide range of services, these guys are great and I have personally used their services on a number of occasions in different capacities
- Women’s Refuges