Folding a Fitted Sheet

I’ve finally learned how to fold a fitted sheet!

It only took me twenty something years.

Instead of the usual, scrunch-it-up-in-a-ball or the messy attempt at folding method, I watched a video on how to fold fitted sheets properly, and now my sheets look like this…

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If only I had a linen cupboard to stack them neatly in! For now it sits neatly piled on a bench in our laundry.

I found this little gem of a video on Facebook.

 

You’re welcome!

Abby xx

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Buying gifts for little people

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It might only be July, and a long time until Christmas, but I’m just about all done with Miss E’s Christmas shopping already. Having almost all of our families birthdays in November and December along with Christmas, makes it a very expensive time for us. We clearly planned Miss E well, with her birthday falling in between Christmas and New Year! So I decided I need to be organised well in advance, if we don’t want empty wallets at the beginning of January.

I’ve done most of my shopping at the toy sales this year, planning out what I would buy before I walked through the door. Walking into a toy sale with all those bright coloured, light up, noise making toys can be overwhelming, I needed to make sure that I knew what I wanted, before I went in.

I came up with some criteria, then checked the catalogues and made my list.

Here’s some of the criteria I was looking for:

  • Nothing that requires batteries, has lights, moves automatically or has automated voices/plays music. I don’t want Miss E sitting passively and expecting to be entertained by her toys, she should play an active role in entertaining herself.
  • Should promote imaginative play and open ended activities.
  • Some outdoor play equipment.
  • Help develop fine and gross motor skills.

Here are some articles that guided my thinking before I came up with my criteria.

http://mamas-in-the-making.com/2012/06/starting-the-toy-revolution/

http://www.janetlansbury.com/2010/10/better-toys-for-busy-babies/

That said, we already own some toys that break my own rules. Bought by me before having Miss E, and before I’d thought this through, or as gifts from friends and family. I haven’t thrown these toys out though, I just limit their use to ‘once in a blue moon’, or when I’m desperate for a few minutes peace to finish my lunch before it’s cold, or have a shower.

Do you have specific criteria for the toys you buy your children? If so, what would you add to my list?

Abby xx

4 Helpful App’s for Mum’s

4 helpful apps

I’m no technology whiz, by any stretch of the imagination. That’s probably obvious by my use of the technical term ‘technology whiz’. I do however own an iPhone, and kind of know my way around it. Since becoming a Mum, I’ve found a few apps that I love and have helped me out along the way.

Here are some of my favourites:

What to Expect

This is a great FREE pregnancy app. You’ll get weekly updates on how your baby is progressing, what size they are, new developments etc. Along with the millions of books I read, I really enjoyed having this app to tell me what was happening that week in my pregnancy.

The Wonder Weeks

This is a paid app ($2.49 in Australia), but I truly believe it was worth what I paid for it! This app is designed to support the Wonder Weeks book (which I do not have) but works well on it’s own as well. This app tracks the weeks of your babies life from birth to almost two years old, and explains when they are experiencing ‘Wonder Weeks’ or developmental leaps. I’ve found this app helpful in understanding why my baby is unsettled and frustrating easily at times, and I’ve found myself picking up on new developments (i.e. following moving people with their eyes) as they’ve been happening, because I’ve been reading about them on Wonder Weeks.

Tinybeans

This is by far my favourite FREE app. A photo sharing app, designed for parents to share daily photos and videos of their little people with family. I originally downloaded this app, just so that I could share regular photos with interstate family members, but with a husband who also travels regularly for work, this app has been so handy. By putting all the days photos and videos on there, family can stay connected, see how she’s growing, and we’re not overwhelming Facebook and Instagram with thousands of updates all the time. You have complete control over who sees your photos and videos by sending invitations via email to those people you want to share with. For me, the only people able to view are Matt, Miss E’s grandparents, aunties and uncles.

The pictures are displayed in a calendar format and everyone receives a daily email telling them when there are new photos and videos available. There are also options to keep records of height, weight, and milestones on the app, but I haven’t bothered much with that. I get a message on my phone at 6pm every day, reminding me to upload if I haven’t already for that day. It takes me a few minutes a day to share these, but means so much to all of our family, all of whom are addicted to this app!

Fitbit

This one is not just an app, but a wrist band you also buy. It’s a bit of an outlay, I’m lucky I received mine as a birthday gift. I have the Fitbit Flex, a wrist band I wear 24/7, that records how many steps I take a day and also records my sleep. I have found it most helpful for recording my sleep. Teamed with the app, you can record and look at your sleep patterns and how much sleep you’ve had. As a new mum, getting up many times in the night, I’ve found this great for telling me exactly how much sleep I’ve had. When I get up in the morning and read that I’ve had 3 hours sleep, I know that I need to take a nap at some point during the day when Miss E is napping. If it tells me I’ve had 5 or more hours sleep, I figure that’s enough to survive on, and I power on. The image below is a screen capture of the app one morning when I hadn’t had a very good night of sleep!

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The main purpose of a Fitbit is to record how many steps you’re taking. The goal is to reach 10,000 steps a day. You can keep track of how many steps you’re taking through the app, and the wristband will vibrate and light up when you reach your goal. A few other cool functions that I’ve yet to use are:

  • you can set an alarm on it that will gently vibrate to wake you in the morning.
  • you can also record how many calories and glasses of water you’ve consumed each day.
  • it tells you how many calories you have burned.
  • you can share your data with other friends who have Fitbits.

and to think, all those years mothers mothered without smart phones! Ha!

Abby xx

Baby bag essentials

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I have a love/hate relationship with my Baby Bag.

I love it because it’s beautiful and practical. I hate it because I feel like I’m constantly having to restock it, check that everything I need is in it and then lugging it around everywhere. If only everything that a baby needs could fit in my handbag.

sigh.

It took me a while to work out what I really needed in my Baby Bag, and as it turns out, it was only about half of the stuff I lugged around everywhere for those first few weeks.

My Baby Bag essentials are:

Firstly, a practical (and pretty) baby bag. We’re talking big, lots of pockets and compartments, a long strap to go over the shoulder, and handles to carry by your side. I have the Mimco Zetta baby bag, and I love it!

baby bag

I carry everything I need for a change on the go. Here we have nappies, wipes, a tiny tube of nappy rash cream, hand sanitiser, change mat (came with bag), nappy sacks & a change of clothes.

changing items

To keep the nappies and wipes neatly together, I made a simple little strap to go around them with some velcro on the inside and a cute button just for whimsy.

nappy strap

For feeding, I carry bibs (pretty handmade ones & practical terry towelling ones), a burp cloth, bottles, a bottle/food cooler bag, food/snacks in small containers, a portable spoon & a thermos for warming bottles on the go. This part of my bag has changed many times. Miss E drank only Expressed milk for the first three months, so we had to keep the milk in the cooler bag, and take a small container and thermos full of hot water to heat the milk in. Now she’s on formula, we carry a bottle of sterilised water and a thermos full of hot water to add to the bottle to get the right temperature. We’ve only just started venturing into the world of solids, so the spoon and food containers are new to us, so this configuration may change.

feeding

I made a heap of burp cloths myself. I’d love to say the idea was all mine, but it was Matt that suggested they be made in this shape, so that they neatly fit over the shoulder. They’re made with pretty fabric on one side, and terry towelling on the other.

burp cloths

So that Miss E doesn’t get bored when we’re out and about, I also carry a floor mat that I can put down anywhere, and a couple of small, lightweight toys.

play stuff

The floor mat is just a small patchwork quilt I made out of scraps, and as you can see by this crinkly photo, it lives rolled up in the baby bag ready to be pulled out when we’re visiting friends or family.
floor mat

This little taggy toy was something I quickly put together before Miss E was born. It’s just a piece of cotton, with a mink backing, and some ribbons sewed in loops around the edge. I then attached this little plastic loop for chewing on, or attaching it to the side of the pram. Miss E loves sucking on this, so it needs to be washed regularly!

taggy toy

I also carry a stockpile of spare dummy’s and some sunscreen, just in case.

dummy n sunscreen

and if the weather is as cold and gloomy as it is here now, I carry a fleece or flannelette blanket and beanie as well.

cold weather

and that, is my baby bag!

For now, I long for a day when I no longer have to carry one of these everywhere I go!

Abby xx

DIY Perpetual Calendar

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I wish I was the kind of person that had the discipline to keep a daily journal. I’ve tried to start a few over the years, but I always get a couple of weeks in, and then it seems to get too hard. Realistically, I don’t have time to be writing in a journal everyday (okay thats a lie, I just prefer watching re-runs of Big Bang Theory, browsing Pinterest or playing 2048. So yeah… no time), but I’m not willing to give up on record keeping.

Three years ago I stumbled across this on Pinterest (Oh the irony!) and decided that this was my kind of record keeping. One line to describe my day each day.

Using a small basket, some index cards and some old postcards I made my very own perpetual calendar.

The most time consuming part was dating 366 index cards (can’t forget Feb 29!) and trimming the post cards down to size.

I picked out 12 pretty postcards from my stash, trimmed them down to size, and made them my month dividers. I then simply arranged the cards all in order, put them in the basket, and I was done.

calendarcard

I keep the basket in the top draw of my bedside table. Each night when I go to bed, I pull it out, write the year on the next line and a quick one line summary of what I did that day.

It’s not all that exciting for the first year that you’re filling it in, but as the years roll by and you see what you did on that same day in previous years it becomes an enjoyable walk down memory lane.

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I’m already coming across memories I’d already forgotten.

Are you a record keeper as well? How do you record the little things?

Abby xx

Arranging the change table

When we were putting the Nursery together, I had all the aesthetics worked out and none of the practicalities. I knew exactly how I wanted it to look, but little idea about what we really needed or how it would be used.

nursery1

Quite the Pinterest addict, I searched ‘change table organisation’ and found little inspiration.

So initially everything was just heaped into pretty baskets, and over time, with trial and error, we’ve finally found the system that works for us.

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On the top shelf we keep the items we need close to hand during a nappy change. Nappies, wipes, tissues, Sorbolene, hand sanitiser and nappy rash cream.

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Behind the nappies and wipes, are the burp cloths, extra boxes of tissues, nail clippers, hair brush etc.

Blankets, swaddle wraps and bibs live on the bottom shelf.

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We have a Sangenic nappy disposal bin and this blue bucket is serving as our dirty clothes basket until I find a pretty alternative.

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We bought the change table second hand, with a few bumps and scratches that we’d planned to paint over, but never got around to actually doing it. I made a pretty cover for the foam insert and that’s as far as we got!

To protect the pretty pink cover from ‘messes’, we place a cloth nappy underneath Miss E when changing, and swap it out for a clean one when necessary.

The cute little puppy dog was a gift. It’s one of those ring-pull toys that sings ‘How much is that doggy in the window’. Miss E loves it, and it’s stopped many a grizzle during the changing process.

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Our system is by no means perfect. We’re constantly tweaking it. But for now, it works.

And it looks pretty 🙂

Abby xx