This is a Sponsored Post brought to you in conjunction with “Medela”
There he was. My first born child. A whopping 9lb son. I had clearly defined expectations on what becoming a mother would like. I pictured my birth. Natural with no complications and drugs only as a last resort. I imagined what having a newborn child would be like. I wouldn’t sleep a lot. I would breastfeed. I would gaze down at our newborn son as he happily nuzzled into me.
Oh boy within the first 24 hours all my expectiaitons had been thrown out the window. After a complicated labour, there were no time for drugs as I was rushed in for an emergency C-Section.
My first days of motherhood were spent in pain, struggling to walk and shower, depressed at the loss of my ideal birth. I appeared confident as I approached breastfeeding. My baby seemed to be taking to it until…..the advice began.
Demand Feed. No feed Every 3 hours. Listen to your baby. Your baby needs to fit into your life, so create a routine. Feed from both sides each feed. ”Drain” one breast first before offering the other. Your baby should feed for at least 30mins and then burp. Anyone else want to offer conflicting advice?
I left the hospital dazed from lack of sleep, druggged to my eye balls with my head spinning. The first week home, I spent more time confused and upset than happy. This was not what I had pictured. What on earth was I “supposed” to be doing. What was my baby “supposed” to be doing?
With guidance from a great midwife who came to visit me at home, some calls to the Australian Breastfeeding Association and some time to let the baby blues pass and go easier on myself things approved. My big boy whopper became a great feeder. I stopped comparing him to other babies and how long they fed for. I breastfed him for 12 months when he literally weaned himself.
This was 7 years ago. It feels like a lifetime. Oh how itmes have changed. This time around with our third baby the information on breastfeeding is so much more readily available. It’s demand feeding all the way. Your baby “rooms in” with you and their is a new “normal”………
See that “normal” breastfeeding advice? Normal varies so much and is different for each mother and their baby. Oh how I could have done with that piece of advice 7 years ago. A baby can feed between 12-67 minutes!!!! 4-13 times! I truly believe if I had of had this information, I would have felt a sense of ease that what I was doing was ok. That I needn’t compare my baby and how we were going with what was written in a book or with the mothers at mothers group. Everyone has their own normal.
I am so thankful that things have changed and hence why I have been so excited to share this with you. I encourage you to share this information with any expectant and new mothers you know. Even those that have been through it all before.
If only I could go back in time, and save myself those tears, frustration and heart ache. ”Soldier on Mother” I would say. ”Do what is best for you and your baby. You are doing an awesome job.” Have confidence in yourself and cherish these moments, for the days may seem long, but the years are short and this part of your motherhood journey may seem full of worry and anguish but I promise you this too shall pass.
Medela provides real solutions for breastfeeding mothers to get over any hurdles in the early days and to support their long term breastfeeding goals. Through its extensive range of breast pump products and other breastfeeding products, Medela is committed to promoting the benefits of breast milk and encouraging long term breastfeeding. For more information visit: www.medela.com.auwww.facebook.com/medela.au
This picture was taken a long time ago (2012!) and although the space has changed the system has remained the same! (We have moved mail and finances into the study)
“Real organising is not just about sorting and storage.
To keep things organised, you need to establish a SYSTEM.”
Setting up systems in your home is like setting up routines or new habits. After a few months of sticking to them, you wonder what you ever did before!
So here is our Family Finance System…
1. Mail In. This can be either the paper variety or most often electronically. As soon as the bill comes in it is opened. NO MAIL REMAINS UNOPENED FOR MORE THAN 24 HOURS. Yes sometimes you dread opening bills. But delayed bill paying adds to paper clutter, increases the chance you will misplace it, pay it late and have to pay more in late payment fees. Collecting and opening the mail is a shared task and part of our everyday routine. As we enter the house, after the school pick up, Master O collects the mail. He loves this job! Whilst the kids are having afternoon tea, I go through the mail (and all the notes in the school bag!)
Junk mail straight to recycling bin
School notes to School File it Folder
Invitations and Notices onto The Family Noticeboard.
What about the bills???2. Bills Board. The bills go straight onto the Bills Board. This is simply a clipboard where we keep all bills until they are paid. By having them in one location, we both know what needs to be paid. I briefly check:
When is the bill due? This is recorded in iCal (a software calendar program for Macs)
Is it how much I had budgeted for? We rarely get surprises! In general we have calculated how much each bill should be and put that money aside each fortnight. My HOT TIP IS. When creating a family budget slightly over calculate each bills. That way you are never left short! Even if the bill is less than you had expected, PAY WHAT YOU HAD BUDGETED FOR! It will mean you are always a little ahead and give you a cushion, should you find yourself struggling one month.
Is it accurate? I always check our bills for inaccuracies. Especially if it doesn’t seem to match previous bills or is more than I expected. This way I can judge wether it is time to change suppliers or switch to a better plan or deal.
3. Family Finance Folder. Once the bill is paid it is stored in the relevant section of the Family Finance Folder. I ALWAYS record the receipt number, on the bill, before storing it away. At the end of the financial year all of these records will be used for tax purposes and then stored in a large filing cabinet in our home office.
So there you have it. Our Family Finance System. Did I miss anything? Please leave a comment and let me know!
Over the next few weeks, I hope to share with you how we manage our family finances.
Our Family Finance Folder
Our Family Finance System
Doing your Fiancnial Homework and
Using iCal to manage our bills.
Being on one income over the last two years, it has been more important than ever, that we manage our money carefully. Once a year, usually just after tax time, I re evaluate all of our finances. This job is made so much easier as we have all of our financial details in the one spot. Here is a peak inside our Family Finance folder.
The Family Finance Folder
This folder stores, budgets, bills paid and all the necessary information to contact the various companies we pay money too.
Now to take a closer look inside….
The folder is divided, using the Extra Wide Tabbed Dividers, into the categories of our most common bills. This will vary for all families but as a guide…
Bank (Mortgage, Statements etc)
Behind each divider are plastic pockets. For bills that come monthly I have 12 pockets, bills that come quarterly 4 pockets etc. HAVE ENOUGH PLASTIC POCKETS FOR EACH SECTION. If you go to file something away and you don’t have room for it will give you another reason to start making piles of paper!
On the back of the divider I stick an “Important Information Sheet”
You will need one for each category of your folder. (You can Download it HERE)
Glue this form on the inside of each divider in the Family Finance Folder.
Record on the top part of the form “the details” for each company. This includes the company name, phone number, your account number, policy name, phone pin numbers and internet passwords. By doing this, each time you need information about that company or need to correspond with them you have everything you need in one place. If you don’t have all of this information, don’t worry as we are about to fix that!
The bottom “Correspondence” section is for you to record, any correspondence with the company. This includes any phone calls or emails sent or received.
Also inside the folder I have a large clear envelope for receipts and payslips! These became too bulky inside a plastic sleeve. I use this to store any receipts throughout the year, that we may be able to use come tax time.
On the other side of the folder cover is our “Family Finance Calendar”. This outlines all of our incoming and outgoing expenses. I chose to record this information using a calendar format.
I input all of our direct debit bills, wages and regular bills, electronically on a calendar (I use iCal.) This program allows me to enter the amount and type of bill, the frequency of payment and even colour code it according to what account it comes out of. The item then appears on every months calendar.This was a big one for us! We had so many different bills being direct debited and we had lost track of what day of the month and how much they would take out. Just when we would think we had all the bills covered a new amount would be debited from our accounts! I am just finishing off a YouTube video for you as to how exactly I use iCal so stay tuned! I print off each months calendar and place it in the front of our folder to help keep track of the bills coming and going.
So there you have it, the first stage of managing our money, is making sure we control all the paper clutter in an organised and easy to access manner.
As part of our “School Station” set up we not only try to contain the constant stream of school paraphenalia but paper too!
As a teacher I was well aware about how much paper gets sent every day (and also aware of how many actually never make it into the hands of parents!) So before Master O even started school I got to work on a school File It Folder.
This will be a place to organise and store EVERY bit of important paper for the school year.
Step 1. Gather Your Supplies
I found these cute coloured “Marbig – Vivid” folders at Big W! You will need
A4 Ring Binder (one with an insertable cover and spine works best for decorating! )
Extra wide Tabbed Dividers
Scrapbook Paper (Optional)
Step 2. Create a Cover
You will be looking at this folder a LOT, so why not make it pretty! Little Mis A chose a cute sheet of Scrapbooking Paper from Spotlight. 12 x 12 Scrapbooking paper makes the perfect cover as it the perfect size!
Cut about 3 cm’s off one side to create the front cover and use the offcut for the spine! Add the date and your child’s name and your ready to go!
Step 3. Create Dividers
The dividers are whats make this folder functional. Extra Wide tabbed dividers work the best as you can still view the tabs when the folder is closed making access easy. Although we have had a school folder before the same sections didnt really apply to Kindy. Some ideas are
Calendars and Rosters
Rules and Regulations
Lists (Uniform/Books etc)
Special Days (Excursions/Celebrations)
If you are creating a folder for school you might also want to add sections for;
Simply use a labelmaker (or your neatest handwriting!) to create labels for each divider tabs.
Step 4. Fill!
I use post it notes to help categorise the papers I already have. Then simply amke a divider for each category! Time to say goodbye to the random paper piles! Firstly fill each category with plenty of plastic pockets, you dont want to be searching for more half way through the year. Now categorise your papers and start adding!
Step 5. Extras.
I also add a large clear plastic envelope with velcro closure into the front. I keep all of the kids name labels inside it! I am also on the hunt for some specific “certificate” plastic pockets!
End Of The Year.
At the end of the year, I go through the folder and cull whatever we no longer need and add reports and any other end of year extras to create a School Memory Folder. It is so nice to be able to grab a folder and look through everything your child has accomplished and experienced during the school year! I have even thought about creating a Project Life school album with all the folders contents!
Be warned having a folder doesnt ensure you will always be on top of the paper pile! You need a system!
A folder doesn’t fill its self. You need an effective system in place for dealing with the paper.
READ. Check for notes DAILY. Check bags, lunchboxes, communication books and if you can the school website. WRITE. Write down ALL DATES immediately. We write them on our family calendar and in my Planner. Be sure to write in your diary
a) when the note needs returning AND
b) when the event is taking place. ACT. What do you need to with this information?
Does it need returning? If it does, fill it out and put it back in their school bag immediately!
Do you need it for future reference? File it away in your “SCHOOL FILE IT FOLDER”
Do you need to tell anybody else about the event?
Organise different pick up arrangements or a day off work?
And now you are ORGANISED!
You have a storage place and a system to help you manage the school paper clutter!
My search for a new planner was prompted by my need to better manage my time. For the last 3 years I had been using the week on 2 pages format of the Erin Condren Life Planner. It worked well to keep track of appointments, but I needed a more indepth system that could not only track multiple areas of my life but where I could manage my time on a yearly, monthly, weekly and daily basis.
The beauty of customising your own planner, is that there are a smorgasbord of planner pages available. You can buy pre printed inserts for discbound planners but I was more interested in creating my own “hybrid” planner at home, using downloadable pages and my home printer. Etsy and Pinterest have a massive assortment of planner pages and templates for everything from meal planning to cleaning schedules. Most are dirt cheap and sometimes even free! Using this method, you can create your own personalised planner, customised to meet your family’s and your lifes needs.
Whilst on the hunt, I stumbled upon the brand DIY Fish. DIY Fish is a store on Etsy that offers a new planner page system, unlike anything I have seen before. THe “Packs” Consist of Monthly, Weekly and Daily pages. The range is MASSIVE and you will literally get lost in her store trying to work out which pack you like the best. I strongly suggest you go in with a clear idea in mind of what you need in a planner page.
What I need/want in a planner page
A Monthly Calendar
An overview calendar of the month ahead to record birthdays, swimming/ballet/soccer/tennis lessons, kindy days etc.
A Weekly Overview (peek at my week)
This is what my Erin Condren offered me I wanted something similar but in a different format. It has to have space for me to plan out blog posts, meals, Tot school, study and of course appointments.
A Daily Page (or two!)
This was afterall the whole reason I was looking for a new planner. I wanted somewhere to schedule my day, write out to do lists, plan in more detail the days activities, write reminders and basically brain dump (more on that later!)
The system an be bought in 3 month packs (which is what I did) so after the 3 months if it’s not for you, your not stuck with a whole years worth of planner pages.
Words simply can’t describe how this system works so beautifully, so I have taken you for a walk through my planner in this YouTube clip.
Just after this video I bought the next 3 month pack (Jul-Sept) I bought the same version that has a new slightly different name
Version 2.2 Day on 2 Pages
It has very minimal changes. Here is a quick closer look at the pages.
Daily – Day On 2 Pages
It also comes with “Charts” to help track other areas of your life. On this Monthly Chart (the Monthly Calendar is on the back) I am tracking my household cleaning zones. It also comes with weekly charts as well.
You simply purchase the planner on Etsy, it is emailed to you within 48 hours (as a downloadable file) and you print, cut and punch at home. If the whole print, cut, punch bit is overwhelming for you, I know a few kind people who will do it for you for a small fee!
Over the next few weeks I will show you a closer look at each section of my planner (starting with the Daily Pages) and how I am using it!
So let’s start at the very beginning, because like Maria Von Trapp sung, it’s a very good place to start!
To create an organised life, it’s not just about organising your house. You need to start by organising yourself. You need to create a routine and manage your time so you have the time and energy to clean and organise!
The best way to start is with a planner.
My name is Larissa, and I am a Planner Addict. Not sure how it all began but becoming a teacher sure did nothing to quash my addiction to making lists, plans and timetables. I live for lists. I make them in my sleep I am sure. I have plans for the day, for the week, for the month, for the year and for the next ten years!
Over the years I have “played” with many planners. Some were opened and used with such enthusiasm I thought they were best thing since sliced bread. A month later they sat lifeless and I had returned to making lists and recording important dates on random scrawled sticky notes. Some like my Erin Condren Life Planner went the distance. I have used it for the last three years and it has literally only been in the last few months that we have parted ways.
But since our third baby entered our family, life has been way too busy for the open format of the Life Planner. Its beauty in its coloured fonts and gorgeous covers was great to look at but was not helping me manage my time or my life effectively as it could. It was time to try something new.
So being a list maker I made a list of what I needed in a planner.
5 THINGS I NEED IN A PLANNER
FLEXIBILITY. There are two kinds of planners. The ready made and the DIY. They each have their benefits. I have always been a ready made kind of girl as I like to be able to buy a planner and start using it straight away. Ready Made planners are cheap, . The problem being that it is hard to “add” to a ready made planner. You need to adjust your needs to suit the format of the planner pages and not the other way around. The Erin COndren planner has days divided into Morning, Day, Evening. But I need to do lists, blog notes, tot school ideas, I need my planner to keep track of multiple areas of my life. Although the Life PLanner was great for keeping track of general appointments it was more a diary than a planner. I want to be able to add personlaised content and sections to keep track of all areas of my life, in one space.
SPACE. I need a daily page. I need space to WRITE! One column is not enough for me. I want space for a specific time schedule and space for appointments and even a space to jot down notes throughout the day.
MORE THAN A DIARY. I want my planner to hold my cleaning schedule, blog ideas, meal plans, tot school plans, goals, to do lists, shopping tracker….EVERYTHING! I need to be able to add things and remove things as I please!
PRETTY. Of course practical is just not enough, I want it to be pretty too! I can do without the coloured pages (I cna decorate those myself) but I want the cover at least to be appealing.
SMALL. I need my planner to be usable but compact. I want it to be light enough to take in my handbag. My EC was one of the smaller planners I have had but it was still too bulky. A5 is my perfect size.
After a bit of research I found the perfect system.
THE DISCBOUND SYSTEM
The “Arc Discbound System”
The Discbound System revolves around planners and pages that are bound together by discs. The beauty of these discs is, unlike ready made planners that are bound, with a discbound you can remove and add pages as you like.
See those nifty little holes the punch makes? Thats what makes the pages removable!
Using the discbound punch, you simply punch holes in any paper, card, laminate and add it to your planner! Tuckshop lists, rosters, excursion notes, dividers, plastic pockets, lists, anything can be added to your planner simply by using the discbound punch. Once an item is in you can also remove it and relocate it to another space in your planner! This is tricky to describe so this YouTube clip, demonstrates for you. Be kind it’s my first attempt at YouTube!
Now this is just a SYSTEM. It is not a specific planner.
That comes next. To start creating your own discbound planner you will need;
the punch and
a discbound notebook (I bought a Martha Stewart Discbound notebook a year or so ago, but highly recommend the Arc notebooks).
As mentioned in the YouTube clip both the Arc Punch and Notebooks can be found at Staples Online and delivery is quick and generally free. You could even just buy the punch and create your own planner using a laminated piece of cardstock as the cover. The punch is also available through Amazon as a “travel” punch that is a much cheaper and lighter version of the punch I bought, you just have to find a kind friend overseas to purchase it for you (get your act together AMAZON! Australia needs shipping too!)
You now have the foundations of a completely customisable system. This system can be used year after year. As one year ends you don’t need to buy a whole new planner, just update your inserts!
I only wish I had of found this system a long time ago, especially whilst I was working. I could have easily added all those newsletters, staff meeting notes, rosters into my own planner without stapling plastic pockets into my store bought planner.
So that’s the beginning. But I am afraid it is a long way from finding “Planner Peace” for now you need some planner pages!
The options for Planner pages are endless but tomorrow I will share with you my choice and in my opinion, THE MOST AMAZING planner pages I have ever come across.
For a sneak peek I have already uploaded a look inside my planner onto my brand spanking new YouTube Channel -
Last night on Facebook I pleaded with the flock for HELP! I have had many plans for School Bag Storage but none of them have “felt” right. Problem is DONE is better than PERFECT! I need something, before I trip over another school bag!
So here is where we were in JANUARY! Yep and that is still where we are AT!!!!
I must admit this is not my first “School Station”. Master O is about to start his third year at school! Please don’t ask how that makes me feel!
Our first station looked like this.
This area was set up especially for Prep – Grade 1.
Here is how the room looked as a whole.
and in that space that was supposed to be a clipboard station is now a giant pile of school/library/sheet/sport/swimming bags.
The drawers worked brilliantly, although his bag was a bit squashed in that bottom drawer I absolutely loved having those two top drawers for homework folders, library bags and everything that came along with going to school!
I also loved the Basket on top for our School File It Folder and storing notes.
THOSE TWO THINGS ARE A MUST.
But then…..once he got to Grade 1, the homework increased, and once he changed schools, it increased again. This area was simply too distracting for homework. It also meant I had three sets of stationery areas. One in the playroom, one in this area and one in the study for myself. So we moved Master O into my study. We set up his desk and noticeboard and stationery across from me in the study. In general though come homeowrk time we all sit at my desk together! I have a huge L shaped desk and three chairs. Little Miss A sits across from me and does some phonics practice, drawing, cutting or experimental writing. Master O sits next to me so I can talk him through what he is doing. He is a very self sufficient and independent learner but I love to know what he is learning at school and the best way to do this and to be involved in homework. The big desk is also great for doing projects (which seem to take up so much room and get bigger each fortnight!)
I digress! So those handy drawers moved into the study and I took them over as my own as my desk has no drawers in it. So we went through the last part of last year with a great space for homework but no specific place for storing school stuff.
and that my friend is where we are at!
What do I need this space to do?
Contain School Items Be easily accessible and at a childs height but alos be neat and tidy Be flexible in its arrangement for different children’s needs 1. So what do I need our School Station to contain;
School Bags x 2
School Hats x 2
Homework/message Folders and Planners
Library Bags x 2
School File It Folder x 2
Artwork Folder (Miss A)
Sheet Bag (Miss A)
Sports Bag (Master O)
After careful thought I don’t want it to contain school shoes. School shoes and especially Kindy shoes have a habit of coming home full of sand. So they can stay in the garage!
How do I want to contain it so its neat and tidy, flexible and easily accessible?
I think I need a combination of baskets, shelves, drawers and hooks. I dont want to hang the school bags. We have had bad luck with hooks in this house and I dont want any more damage to my walls. I also want the end solution to be flexible. I am still thinking about moving this station to the study so whatever I use I want to be able to relocate it easily. As they get older they can also then move it to their own bedroom. It has to be able to be configured in different ways for different children. Because my children are quite spaced apart in age (3+years and 4+Years) they are always going to have very different school needs. By the time Baby #3 starts school Master O will be starting High School!
So I think each child needs their own station. Master O’s will need to be able to hold sports equipment and Little Miss A’s, a sheet bag for Kindy. It can’t be too tall. Little Miss A needs to be able to open and close everything herself. After writing all this I am automatically thinking of my old friends IKEA Expedit and Trofast. The fact that the Trofast has both drawers and shelves and comes in a variety of heights has me thinking it may be the answer! Although the frames are both a similar price, it is much cheaper to buy the Trofast drawers and shelves (around $5) than buying baskets or drawers for an Expedit (between $10-20).
What will work in the space?
So this is where I am thinking. It is where everything else organisational is located and would make the space feel complete. I do worry as this space is at the opposite end of the house to the garage (where we enter the house) and the study (where we do homework). But for now I think its worth a try! It is a tall and skinny place so those STUVA Drawers won’t work.
So let’s get planning!!!!
I am such a visual person that I had to literally piece it all together in pictures.
I am off to IKEA today to check out a few different ideas including this one!!!
I am a thinker. A middle of the night list maker. A mind full of chaos and that stops me from sleeping. A goal setting, idea dreaming, busy bee.
But I am afraid I am also a procrastinator. A starter but not a finisher. An over analyser, that is so busy thinking that she often forgets to DO.
I want to be a doer. An accomplisher. So I searched for change and discovered this…..
and even better this
oh and of course this
Sound familiar. This is me. My brain is so busy storing every “to do” list that it has no space for anything else, including sleep.
This is the “Getting Things Done” theory by David Allen. This theory deserves its own blog post (or three!) and I will write more about it in detail. Lets just say its so freaking amazing, I instantly decided to put his ideas into action.
To do this I needed a planner. Somewhere to brain dump. To write out all of my actionable thoughts, goals and dreams. Somewhere to create order out of my chaotic mind. My current planner wasn’t cutting it. So I took the leap to the self made planner system and the DIY Fish inserts and Discbound System.
But the most appealing and effective part of the planner for me is the DAILY PAGES. This is something I have never done before. Used a 2 page spread specifically for that day. I had always been kind of a weekly overview gal. But I needed more detail!
So here is a look at what I did! A peek inside how I use my Daily Pages.
There is just so much to write about this system and about 100 more blog posts in the making, but this is a start. I was so desperate to share this video that I want to DO IT NOW so you can get started too!
I will be back to share some pics and more detail of my daily pages and how I use them, so stay tuned and check back soon!
As any new Mum can atest there is nothing like a good nights sleep. I can’t tell you how many nights I have spent counting how many hours or even minutes of sleep I plan to get, will get or didn’t get. We have wrapped babies, played white noise, rocked, patted, bounced and willed babies to sleep.
Third time around I am trying some new tactics. The first one being a swaddle! I have wrapped both Master O and Little Miss A when it was sleep time and found I had no end of problems. Escape artists, unwrapping and rewrapping between feeds, wraps that never seem to be the right shape or size, babies being wrapped and still managing to kick blankets off! We have experienced it all. So once our newest arrival was here I called for help on our Facebook page. What could I do differently this time? The overwhelming answer from our community was a SWADDLE!
A Love To Dream Swaddle UP.
The Love to Dream team also read my cries for help and sent me “Swaddle UP” to put to the test.
After a good laugh at how our big buddha baby looked all snug as a bug we put him to bed. From that first night on I found he slept for longer between feeds and also was able to resettle more quickly after a feed! Brilliant!
So what do I love about this product?
The Startle Stopper. Love To Swaddle UP has a unique design that helps calm the startle reflex. You know that sudden jerky movement the baby does with its arms that “startles” them! Well by having their arms wrapped it calms the reflex allowing them to stay asleep!
Arms up. Unlike wrapping, the Love to Dream Swaddle UP allows babies to sleep in their natural position with their arms up. Our bub was already an arms up sleeper so this swaddle was perfect! It also allowed him to suck on his hand which he loves!
No escaping! The swaddle also offers an easier, safer way for babies to sleep as it reduces the risk of them wriggling out or getting tangled in loose wrapping.
The twin zipper. It was just so easy to do a midnight nappy change! His arms and body could stay warm and snug whilst I only had to unzip the bottom!
Works with the weather. We live in South East Queensland. With an April baby we have experienced warm nights AND Freezing mornings all in the space of a week. I love that I could put him in the normal swaddle on average nights and then layer him up in the Love to Layer On Merino when it got cooler! This meant there was no need for blankets!
Possibly the only con was that he outgrew it so quickly! We are already into the next size! But then again he is one big baby (6.3kgs and 64cms at 2 months) and very broad across the shoulders .
At first I blamed “Domesticated Dad” thinking he was overindulging on midnight snacks.
But it was not……
It was “My Pigeon Pair”
The constant crumbs appearing in the strangest corners of the house should have been a clue!
They have been conspiring against me to “steal” whole packets!
I wrote that 3 years ago!!! The beauty of having a blog is being able to go back in time and revisit little snapshots of your life! These organising ideas start with the best of intentions but I must admit occasionally the habits formed start to slip. Life gets hectic and you are just trying to survive each day with a new baby, let alone put organising ideas into place.
But this week the same problem resurfaced. I find the kids constantly asking for food and drink. I am usually stuck on the couch feeding the endlessly hungry baby, so they end up helping themselves. This can be great, but I am the first to admit I often look back at the day (and in the pantry) and wonder how many snacks they have consumed! Also when Master O is not home to lend a hand it is harder for Little Miss A to help herself to a drink. Cue whinging and whining and draging chairs around the house to reach the tap or a mother breastfeeding a baby with one hand and unscrewing a lid and filling a drink bottle with the other. Poor baby nearly ends up in the sink!
A quick check of the blog and I remembered that we used to have an effective solution…..
The Sip and Snack Station
I must admit I got a bit sad looking at the picture. It was taken 3 years ago. Little Miss A would have been about 14 months and master O 4!!!
Check out Little Miss A’s sippy cup and how small Master O’s drink bottle was!
Over the years we have had many versions of this idea but we truly are in need of upgrading it and getting the habit working again!!!!
How it used to work…
I placed all snacks out of their reach.
They receive a snack “ration” each day.
I place the amount of snacks I want them to eat in a day, in a small plastic container each morning.
It is their choice if they eat them all at once or gradually over a morning.
I may need to refill it at lunch time with some new fresh snacks.
I placed them in a container similar to my Winter station but this time within their reach.
It also holds their drink bottles.
Why it works…..
Oh I had forgotten about this situation!
“Yesterday, Little Miss A had a vomitting episode and I had to rush off to the doctor.
It was so good to be able to simply grab the contents of this station and throw it in my bag knowing they would have water and snacks regardless of how long I would be out for.”
I am afraid this situation will always exist regardless of how old your children are!
It allows me to monitor how much and what they eat.
Little Miss A knows where a drink or snack is and I don’t have to juggle feeding a baby and filling a drink at the same time!
So today I will be updating and creating a new Sip and Snack station for our growing family, stay tuned to Instagram for pictures!