Saturday, January 21, 2012

Starting Toilet Training

This week I started... toilet training with Shaan and stopped!  Ok I know you are not meant to do that.  But I ran out of motivation after the first day with no success.  One thing I tried this time was using rewards for staying dry and clean rather than whether he went in the toilet or not.  A much less frustrating process for both of us because he could be rewarded frequently during the day after he checked his pants were dry.  I really don't think he is ready yet though especially  if I want him to be trained within a few days.  Toilet training K was such a long, drawn out affair with a lot of stubbornness involved and I don't want to go through that again.  So even though my pride would like him to be toilet trained now, I think I will wait until the next school holidays in April to try again.  Or more signs of readiness.

This week I visited... our local child health nurse to have Dhiraj weighed.  Just a spur of the moment thing because even though he has been sick lately, his eating has been all over the place.  He wieghed in at approx 200g lighter than the last visit at 8 months which is a bit concerning.  So yes he does need to put on some weight and apparently the answer is more carbs.  I had been giving him too many servings of fruit and vegetables a day and not enough of the breads, pasta and rice.  Thankfully it's a fairly easy change to make.

This week... I scrapbooked for the first time in a very, long time.  It's an interest that I have wanted to get back into after stopping just after Dhiraj was born.  So it has been put on my weekly planner and yeh this week I actually did a bit.  Alongside my daughter who was very enthusiastic to see me get out my craft supplies.  In the end I got re-elagated to one end of the desk as she took over most of my desk with her craft work.  Oh the mess! :)

This week I decided... to have screen free time for the kids.  They had been watching something each morning while Dhiraj was napping for up to a hour and I got some time to myself.  But then on top of that K has been watching a few Disney movies during her rest time.  Really I find that a lot of them deal with very serious adult concepts like betrayal, rejection, death etc in the context of an entertaining story.  So I thought it would be healthy for all of us to have a break.  I am trying to not watch anything at night from Mon-Thurs and instead work on things like scrapbooking as mentioned above and my blogging.    The kids have done well with it and have played outside more.  So far I have done ok with not having that time to myself in the mornings.  Ok I am really missing that time now!  

This week and well the last few months I have been struggling with... menu planning.  Since the weather has gotten warmer I have had less idea of what to cook and less motivation too.  A lot of the dishes I was cooking on a regular basis just aren't great summer dishes.  Like chicken curry- yum!  Lately hubby has been commenting on the lack of planning with my meals.  He reckons I have been making lots of strange dishes. Ok some days I do just go to the fridge, have a look in, see what needs using up and try and make something from that.  But still... I then suggest I could cook meat and vegetables for him every night.  No chilli!  The interaction goes down hill from there.So this week I've been thinking about summer staples and what in particular appeals to the taste of my family members.  I did a couple of spicy salads- yum!   Check out the The Curried Aussie for the latest recipes.

What does your family like eating during summer?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Financial Diversification for Families

 This past week I've been reading... about financial diversification in building a personal investment portfolio.  Just for the fun of it.  :)  Apparently buying an investment property in the same suburb in which you live is not considered diversification. Why is it an important concept to get? Because it minimises your risks when investing long term so that you can get the best returns and not lose money and go bankrupt. Ok that sounds important! It's interesting because what I would have considered diversification- having an investment property and a small portfolio of shares is not diversified at all. For shares, it's suggested that a minimum of 15-20 shares is a good start. Ok it just means that for us we are a long way off before we can start that kind of portfolio. Arhh – all the good ideas I have!  Obviously if I want to get into the market before then I need to go for a managed fund.  Maybe that's why average Aussies are encouraged to pay off their mortgage on their home first (as there are no tax deductions unlike the interest on investment loans. What's our government thinking!) and then salary sacrifice into super (taxed at 15%).

This week I've been able to... stand a little straighter. Yeh- that means my back muscles are not so tight. Still got a long way to go though! And I did 4 mins of cycling! Boy, did that tire me out. :) 

This week I gave into... Miss 5 yr old's pleas for us to do some cooking or more specific make cookies.  Find the recipe I used here at The Curried Aussie.  She wanted to use some cookie cutters I had bought at Christmas time to do some Christmas baking. One of those great ideas that I didn't end up having time or energy for. Maybe both! They had a ball (ha,ha!) rolling out their dough and surprisingly they didn't taste test much as they went along!

Miss K's beautiful creations!

This week we have seen the end of (thankfully!!) ... Miss K getting over a very yucky tummy bug. So thankful that she's improving and not waking at night anymore. At the same time Dhiraj had about 4 days of crying, more like screaming on and off all day and only sleeping for 40 mins at a time during the day.  Consequently he was a very overtired and clingy baby and it was hard to tell whether he was sick or extremely overtired or teething etc. After a few exhausting days of this I was thinking of taking him to the doctor and just saying, my baby won't stop crying since there didn't seem to be anything else wrong with him. Thankful he's back to his sunny self, eating better again and his sleep has improved.  And still no teeth!

This past week we enjoyed... our first trip to the beach for the summer season.  It has taken us a lot longer than usual to get there this year but we finally did even if it was just a brief 20 min visit.  So beautiful!

Ok only Hit and Kalyani went down to the water and the instructions were "Do Not Get Wet!".  Hmm- so this is what really happened!  The girl loves the water!

I don't like being in the car, Mummy!
This past week I tried out some ideas... for organising my blog writing. It's something I have struggled with for ages, finding regular time to focus on my blogging. Then wrestling with whether it's something that should be a priority in my life at all.  Over the last few months I have been working on putting into place habits and routines that mean I am much more in control of daily household tasks, meals etc. The hope is that I can make some time each day to focus on my own activities.  This past week I tried to focus on writing posts for about 30 mins each morning while the older two were watching a show and  Dhiraj was sleeping. It sort of worked except for the mornings when I was interrupted too much to get a lot done.

Quick Blogging Update:
I am planning to give this blog a bit more attention this year.  I am hoping to post at least twice a week on a variety of topics relevant to women and families.  It does feel like a big challenge for where I am at!  However I would love that my thoughts and ideas, stories and photos would be encouraging to you on your life journey. :)  Love you to sign up to follow my blog.

How do you organise your day or week to have time for personal interests? 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A blue, banded bee in the vegie garden!

My buy of the week in the post Christmas sales... a 120cm brand new Christmas tree for $3.25.  Much to Miss 5 yr old's disappointment I didn't put up our table top tree this year at Christmas time.  The last few years I got tired of wandering around the house picking up Christmas tree decorations and putting them back on the tree.  Plus I wanted a bigger tree.  So in my only post Christmas very short, try and keep 3 kids happy and together, shopping trip I got this Christmas tree bargain.

My find of the week...  a blue, banded bee.  Apparently the unusual looking white and black bee that's been hanging around my vegie garden is not a rogue bee after all but a native one.   Even better is that this bee is an efficient pollinators of plants such as tomatoes and chilli because it uses a technique called buzz pollination to release more pollen from the anthers.  Yeh more tomatoes for us to eat!  

My love of the week and always...  11 months old and such a darling!

Book of the week... Growing Great Girls by Ian and Mary Grant.  I've only read a few chapters so far but it is such an encouraging read.  Love this quote from a single Mum talking about her attitude to raising her daughters on her own.

"I could model martyrdom and live with bitterness on a daily basis, or I could show my daughters something different.  I decided that I would choose a path for myself, one that would be about learning and growing and becoming all that I could be, and hopefully that would show to my girls an attitude that would set them up for a healthy life."  What an awesome perspective!

Challenge of the week... difficulty standing up straight and being in a lot of pain with my back.  Shuffling, shuffling!  I feel like this ongoing challenge in my life is bringing me to the end of myself and beyond.  There are days I feel I don't have the physical capacity to look after my kids, my home, myself and yet I do...  I am working out that my capacity is indeed stretchable.

Thankful for this week... God's Word!  Oh and a few days of cooler weather.  Summer has been feeling a lot like the winter months.  All of us cooped up inside because its too hot to play outside, getting frazzled with each other.  So lovely to be able to enjoy being outside during the day when the weather is not so stinkin' hot!