Tuesday, May 8, 2012

4 ways I saved my sanity (at times...)

I'm quite a patient Mum to my boys.  I wasn't always that way, however with each addition it really became a necessity!  I had no escape, I was with them 24/7 basically.  Due to breastfeeding them each for 12 months I also didn't get a lot of time away while they were very little. 

My best ideas for saving sanity are...

1. Let the house go....as much or as little as you can handle. 
For a period of time after Ethan and Jayden were born I hired a cleaner.  It was such a help! Did I have time to clean my house?  Yes, I did.  Did I feel like cleaning my house? NO!! On those random days when all boys napped or were engrossed in a movie I wanted to chill out.  Not start cleaning!!!   Seriously, if you walked into my house right now you'd all probably have a heart attack but it will get clean, one day, probably when my boys are grown up and out of the house.  Seriously though, pick the things that matter most to you, your partner/husband and kids and prioritise that.  So in our house, Michael hates not having clean laundry so I prioritise that, then comes the kitchen.  The kids honestly couldn't care less about any level of cleanliness (in fact Louis once told me he likes it when the toys are everywhere because he just never knows what he might find when he trips over them!) however I hate them losing parts of sets of games etc so picking up toys are next on my list.  I have also been known to clean even just 1 room and vacuum it.  Sometimes the idea of cleaning an entire house from top to bottom is enough to motivate me to take the kids out to the zoo for the day instead. Don't fight it on those days when it's all too much...there's always tomorrow.

2. Take time out.
This looks different for everyone!  My time out (as you may have already realised) can simply be zoning out in from of the computer! My mum always used to hassle me to go out and take a class or socialize but in those early years honestly,  I just wanted to veg without a little person needing me.  Now that the boys are older (6, 5, 3 and 2) I don't feel the need to get that time out so much unless I'm sick or particularly overwhelmed.  I enjoy their company and their antics and feel like I've mellowed a lot more.  Now if I decide to take a class or socialize outside of the home it's because it's something I really want to do and not because I'm trying to escape them!  Sometimes more than anything we just need to rest and rejuvenate! If I was particularly stressed out I would find a book or website, blog or facebook page that would inspire me.  Often it was enough to restore my gratitude for my family and my children and for the role I have as Mum and bring me back to a place of appreciation for all that I have.  Find out what really works for you and make it happen.

3. Relax and enjoy.
Oh my gosh.  When I had Louis I thought it was all about routines and getting him to nap at this time and for this long.  Honestly, no wonder I did my head in! I expected him to hit certain milestones such as sleeping through and I honestly just didn't understand how individual each child could really be! I'd been told not to cuddle or rock him to sleep, to stop breastfeeding him because he looked hungry and all sorts of other ridiculous advice.  If someone gave me the same advice today it wouldn't worry me, but back then I was so unsure of myself and I really just wanted to do the best thing for him and all it led me to was more uncertainty!! I PROMISE you (unless you choose too), you won't be giving your child nighttime breastfeeds when they're 5, you won't be co-sleeping with your child when they're 8 and you won't be rocking your child to sleep when they're 6.  If you don't make them to a do a chore list as long as your arm they will still learn to be productive human beings.  They will not turn into axe murderers from playing video games.  What are the biggest clashes you have with your child/children right now?  I'm sure they're are ways around those arguments rather than someone winning or losing everytime.  Find a way for everyone to win and enjoy themselves! Are some of your rules because of fears that you have for the future?  Are they realistic? 

4. Have an easy family meal on hand
Have something aside from takeaway that is easy to make and that you always have the ingredients for.  In our house for many years (and 3 out of 4 still eat it) it was "Cheesy Pasta".  Nutritious? Not really.  Easy? YES!  It meant that I could make it in 10min, it didn't cost anything and didn't involve the age old husband/wife debate of who was going to call and who was going to pick up the takeaway!  Michael never was a fan of pasta but on those nights when you honestly can't be bothered cooking I'm sure your husband can look after himself (he would often have 2 minute noodles or something equivalent)  No, this is not something you want to be eating every night but really, it's no worse than fish and chips!! Again, find what fits you're family...

Cheesy Pasta
Pasta (any type although I would usually use spirals)
Tomato Sauce
Tomato Paste
Cook any type of pasta as per usual.  Drain and add back to saucepan.  Add a good squirt or tomato sauce and a good tablespoon of tomato paste.  Mix in lots of grated cheese until melted.  Serve.

(I did attempt to add veggies one day but they knew and didn't eat it...oh well...I tried!)

These are idea's that don't rely on money, partners or childcare and can be utilized by most families in most situations.  Can you relate to these idea's or have any that you'd like to add?

Ethan's 1st day of Kinder

Looking very proud in his kinder jumper!

Yesterday, Ethan had his first day of 3yo Kinder.  Oh  my what a big boy!  It is so rewarding watching them grow up and gain confidence and independence but it's so bittersweet.  I'm grateful for him to be able to sleep well, feed himself and wipe his own bum but that's about the limit right now!

 Note: There will rarely be a clear photo of Ethan because he never stays still! Lol...

He was a little hesitant at first, hiding behind my leg and holding my hand, but after having a big jump on the trampoline he all of a sudden looked up at me and said "You can go now Mum!"
"You can go now Mum"  

I left and sat in the car and reflected on the fact that my big 3 1/2 year old boy was now a Kinder boy! How did the last 3 1/2 years go so fast? It seems in the blink of an eye he went from the most gorgeous little baby (who at 3 months old spent the next 3 months screaming) to crawling, walking, running, talking, spending almost every waking hour on the Ipad! Lol...

The time goes so fast, it is so important to appreciate all of those little things.  The smell of their hair, little fingers holding on to ours, big squeezy cuddles and yep, even the crying and tantrums.  They are all what makes up our little people and it's often how we choose to remember it that has the biggest impact.  All children cry and get frustrated at times.  I'm choosing to remember those things not as part of them being a difficult child but as part of them just being a child full stop. 

I'm choosing to remember the smiles, laughs (oh those laughs that are so uncontrollable for little ones)  big eyes, tickles, big bellies, toddler walks, determination in standing and walking, eating favourite foods with such passion (yes, smearing it all over their little faces and hair) big kisses, chasey through the house, bopping to music, ....OK, I'll stop...have I mentioned lately that I'm clucky! Lol...I don't know what life looks like without little kids and babies anymore and as I get closer to that stage I may have these moments of completely freaking out!  Which is alright, because it just goes to show how much I've enjoyed these years!  Nothing has made me more complete than becoming a mother and nothing has challenged me more.  I'm forever grateful for the 4 little men that are in my life. 


OK, big soppy mess of a post! Lol...god help me when they're all at school!!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

My Family...Louis

Louis Robert Visser
Born 09th October 2005
Weight: 2.67kg (5lb14)
Length: 46cm

To say I was excited about my little baby was an understatement...he was my dream come true!
Cheeky smile - around 4 months old

Louis seemed to grow so fast!
1 year old - it was about now that he got a photo shoot in a Target catalogue!
Cutie pie - A big boy in his car seat!
One of my all time favourite photo's...I was pregnant with Dylan in this shot!
Big muscles!

A trip up to Donna Buang to see the snow
Mr. Serious
At the beach
Learning to surf!

Yes, he's got a biscuit in his mouth, but how cute is he!! Lol

Mr Parrot

This was at a pre-kinder class Louis and I went to together - so much fun!

First day of 3yo kinder
Ready for a trip to Oma and Opa's farm!

Kinder bonnet parade

4yo Kinder photo

Spunky new haircut!

A visit to our new home!
Happy 5th Birthday - A party at Hungry Jacks with is kinder friends

1st Day of school

Louis attended Tae Kwon Do in 2011

A visit to kinder

Koala Louis
Swimming sports with his new super fast hair cut

Playdoh sandwich
Jumping Pillow

Lot's of fun using coloured hairspray

New Pyjama's for Easter 2012

OK, so it has been a total spin out putting all these photo's up!  Where has the time gone??

Louis was a serious little baby, often people would say he looked like an old soul. He started talking before he was 1yo and reading by 4yo.  He is quite the perfectionist which we're trying to help with but I think he's definitely getting better at taking risks now that he's getting older.  He has been an absolute blessing to our family and such an awesome big brother!