A little bit about me…

A little bit about me…

Hi! I’m Joanna, a busy thirty-something, married Australian mum to four year old and three year old boys. (As of November 2021)

I’ve learned a lot since becoming a mum and certainly made plenty of mistakes.

I wish to share my experiences, mum / life hacks, routines and opinions on various parenting related topics.

If I’ve told you about my blog, please respect that I wish to not openly broadcast our specific location within Australia.

Please feel free to message me directly with any questions, and I’d love to hear comments and feedback!

Hitting that ‘follow’ button would be amazing, I’d certainly appreciate your support and I’ll do a little happy dance! Thankyou!

Deceptive Reality

Deceptive Reality

It’s important I feel, especially at this time of year, that we remember that the photos of our lives we add to Facebook, Instagram etc may not be our ‘real‘ reality, and try our best not to compare our own situation to others.

Example, I speedcleaned my kitchen this morning in a spare fifteen minutes.
It’s by no means perfect… but it’s unarguably much improved.

However…if I stepped back a bit further…you could see it’s not as clean and organised as it seems

And if I stepped forward, you could see the obviously dirty windows. (Too high to easily clean without a ladder…it’s on my to-do list!)

If I post a photo of my clean & Christmassy dishwasher, I could easily hide the real reality of the mess of what I call my ‘crazy Kitchen corner’ between dishwasher and second freezer.

It’s not a lie, it’s just the part of my reality I generally choose to show. We all do it. In photos of our homes, children, pets, Christmas decorations etc, and ourselves.

So please…try not to compare yourself to what you see on social media, to photos your family and friends post or images you see in magazines and mainstream media.

Because if they stepped back…or showed you the out-take photos of their kids etc… what you SEE is not necessarily their true reality.

Just do YOUR best to be the BEST version of YOU that you can be, do what YOU can do and make the best of what YOU have in life.

Always remember… (as my mum always told me growing up)… that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Please hit FOLLOW if you haven’t already and have a Merry Christmas!

Kiddies Food Kutter

Kiddies Food Kutter

Anyone else’s kids use these?
What kinds of food do they cut/peel with them?

We’re wrapping them for Christmas and I know our 4yro & 3yro boys will be super excited!!!

They LOVE helping in kitchen but get so frustrated that they can’t cut and peel most food safely…this will certainly solve that problem.

I was a bit sceptical about them to be honest…and I thought “surely they’ll cut themselves” but I actually tried to saw/peel & cut my finger with both the cutter & peelers, and try as I might, I couldn’t do it…yet it peeled and cut a carrot easily.

Now they’ll be able to actually help and learn to cook, right alongside us.

I’m pretty dang excited to be honest and looking forward to cooking with my mini masterchefs!

Note: NOT a sponsored post.

Always Trust Your Gut!

Always Trust Your Gut!

I just had a memory pop up on my personal Facebook page which I’ve decided to share…

Backstory

My now 3yro son was diagnosed at birth with a bowel condition called Hirschsprung Disease.

(Please follow this link to a previous article about it which details the disease and what happened after he was born) https://foreveryoungaussiemum.home.blog/2019/09/08/ever-heard-of-hirschsprung-disease-i-hadnt-either/

Three years ago…

So…we’re back…

I spent yesterday unable to shake the feeling that something was wrong with bubba. I barely slept a wink last night just watching him sleep…and the feeling didn’t go away this morning.

He was showing several signs of Necrotising Enterocolitis, a serious complication of Hirschsprung Disease.
Doctors had left us with several symptoms to look out for and rush him back to hospital if seen.

Doctors have run several tests and treatments already, he’s improving but we’ll be in Surgical ward for few days at least til a treatment plan finalised.
Possible surgery back on table…

Just goes to show…if your gut is telling you something is wrong with a loved one…don’t ignore the feeling.
It’s better to check and be wrong than to be right & ignore it…

Today…

Three years later and I still remember my heart racing in my chest in panic…

And how my amazing Dad dropped everything to drive us hours away to city, thinking that I was just going crazy with needless worry but then halfway through journey we changed bubba’s nappy, we saw his biiig blown up tummy and Dad’s voice trembled as he said “right, car now, let’s GO!!!”.

Or how I nearly fainted when doctor told me “if you’d waited 24hrs longer to come, we’d be having a very different conversation right now.”

Hard to remember these days looking at him now & how close we came to… 🥺

Always trust your gut, especially when it comes to your children. You’re better to ask/check and be wrong than ignore it and face the unthinkable…

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Speedcleaning The Madness

Speedcleaning The Madness

Do you speedclean?

I’ve been unmotivated to clean all day… so I decided on a 15minute speedclean before dinnertime…cause if I didn’t, this mess would carry over til tomorrow & frustrate me more!

(20 minutes in reality as I had to break up a pre-dinner-hangry argument between 4yro & 3yro)

I won’t bore you with details of what exactly I cleaned…photos make that pretty obvious…

I love my Christmas decorations, they were scattered throughout kitchen. Maybe this will help stop this area becoming a dumping ground for random stuff…

So if you’re short on time, please don’t feel you can’t still make a difference. Even if you don’t get it all done.

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Naughty Breakfast In The Bedroom!

Naughty Breakfast In The Bedroom!

So…how’s your morning gone?

Mine turned to utter **** at 7am… I’m being brave and sharing it with you… 🙈

My 4yro and & 3yro boys were unsupervised in living room for 15 minutes whilst I’d gone back to my bedroom to get ready for school bus drop and must’ve crashed out asleep after a rough night.

Usually, they just watch TV, ipads or read books. Or make a toy mess building blocks or what not.
No different to playing in backyard whilst I cook dinner, or playing inside whilst I hang washing etc.
They know the rules and generally follow them. They have their moments but are usually sweet kids who do the right thing.

Not today though… I was roused by the rustling of a bread bag and the words “lets cut it up”… I thought “ok, its almost breakfast time, they must be trying make a sandwich, there’s probably a small mess”…

BOY OH BOY OH BOY WAS I WRONG! 😱

What in the…just…omg…WHY?!?! 🥴😡🥺

They must’ve been hungry and looking for breakfast but instead of coming and asking for food as they usually do three thousand times a day…

They’d lifted a tiny kid chair (cause dragging I’d have heard), climbed up to where breakfast and coffee stuff is stored, taken to 4yro’s bedroom and poured it EVERYWHERE!

Once cleaned, ipads in “jail” for a week!

Honey, sugar, maple syrup, hot chocolate powder, tea bags… It’s rubbed on the bed, mirror, ipad, teddies, reading chair, floor…

Everything is so sticky! Maple syrup is sticky!

I cannot believe what they managed to accomplish without making a sound because I’d have heard them… I left them on couches quietly watching Ipads!
They’ve NEVER done anything like this before!

Their ipads are in ‘jail’ now for a whole week!

Please tell me I’m not the only parent who has had this sort of mess occur in record time?!

Note:
Judgemental comments will be removed.
I’m not a perfect parent, none of us are and I cannot watch my children 24/7…

Patches On My Heart

Patches On My Heart

Trigger Warning: Pet Death

How do you get yourself back into the rhythm of housework etc after losing a beloved pet?

RIP Patches. My beautiful boy… 😭

We lost one of our beautiful cats Patches yesterday…

We’ve had him over three years. Though really…he chose us. He was on our front porch, sad and skinny, not long after we moved into our current rental house.

I remember saying to my husband “if you feed it, it’ll never leave!”…and I was right. I tried to get him sleep inside but he wouldn’t stay inside, preferring to sleep on our front porch loungechair.

He was skittish for a long time but in recent months warmed up completely, and would come through cat door early each morning the moment he heard me get up, and after eating his fill of dryfood, he’d curl up on my lap whilst I drank my coffee.

The kids loved him, he tolerated their poking and prodding, and was a sweet boy… Yesterday a friend said in passing “I saw a black n white cat on roadside other day…”…my heart sank… as I realised that I couldn’t remember how many mornings he hadn’t come in for cuddles…

I just knew it’d be him…and I rushed to find him… He was hard to identify and I had to take photos to compare his markings… He was too far gone to bring home for boys to say goodbye or transport to bury…so I laid him under a nearby tree… 😭

I’m finding it difficult to find the get-up-n-go to do more than bare minimum tasks done around the house… Drinking my morning coffee today knowing he wasn’t about to come through the cat door was so hard…

Even more so because I’ve not told our young boys what happened…they can’t say goodbye and it would just upset them…(they’re so young and we’ve other cats so tbh, they’ve not really noticed he’s missing) so I’m hiding my grief as well.

I’ve written an ambitious list for today…maybe a list will help motivate me at least…

Sorry for this depressive post…but I’m sharing the real ups n downs of life…and this was a down I just needed to write about… Writing has helped me deal.

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Keeping a clean home – with less stress!

Keeping a clean home – with less stress!

NOTE: This is not a sponsored post in any way. (Oh, how I WISH Dyson would sponsor me!)

Hi! I’ve been away from the keyboard for awhile but I’m back now and more posts to come soon.

Invest For Less Stress

Sometimes the key to keeping a clean home with less stress, is to invest in smart, time-saving equipment & supplies.

I know Dyson brand is a differing opinion amongst many, but I LOVE my Dysons cordless vacuums.

My trusty (left) Dyson V8 (bought secondhand) is still going strong after 2 years, and we purchased it to replace our previous Dyson V6.

My husband’s amazing best friend gifted us (right) Dyson V10 brand new, and I was surprised recently with these awesome Dyson vacuum stands. (Purchased from Catch-Australia website)

My boys both love to help me vacuum & they take turns to push the V8. I’m not sure how much they’re actually vacuuming up…but they’re still helping, and more importantly, they’re learning to like helping.

Now both Dysons have a dedicated place in laundry, will always be charged, with accessories handy.

Call me strange…but things like this make me so happy!

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Speedcleaning for Sanity!

Speedcleaning for Sanity!

Setting a timer, be it a SmartWatch, heating food in microwave, cooking toast, running quick load on dishwasher…speedcleaning is a great way to get things done!

Focusing on simple, repetitive or similar tasks is the key. Nothing that requires extra thought.

Ie: whilst defrosting meat for dinner, grab a basket of wet laundry & hang as much as you can…or aim to load all dirty dishes into dishwasher & wash anything else…or pickup all the toys in lounge, & wipe all surfaces…or heck, all three!

If I’ve been away from home, busy or unwell and the housework has gotten on top of me…speedcleaning is a great way for me to get back on track and feel motivated again.

I set an activity to keep my boys occupied, and using my SmartWatch, I run 5 – 10 minute timers per room followed by a quick zip around with my Dyson V10. Whilst this doesn’t get a room perfect by any means, it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished enough to not be embarrassed if visitors come by unexpectedly, and not feel so overwhelmed.

Simply making a bed, tidying books and clutter, removing any rubbish and giving surfaces a quick dust/wipe makes a huge difference to a bedroom! Or wiping over basin, mirror and bath, picking up any floor mats, and tidying toothbrushes etc makes a bathroom look much better!

The more you speedclean, the faster & more efficient you will become!

It may sound strange…but often life is so chaotic & stressful…and so much I cannot control…somehow speedcleaning allows me to calm my mind & focus on tasks in front of me.

Speedcleaning saves my sanity.

Daily To-Do Lists

Daily To-Do Lists

Tomorrow, I can just sense, is going to be ‘one of those days’…kids been very full on today, & despite it being 8pm, I’m about to go to bed & crash out.

I sit each night & write a to-do list, whilst hubby n I watch TV. Any tasks from that day I didn’t achieve ie deepcleaning, organising tasks etc, I add them to next days list.
Some tasks take literally weeks til I finally get to them…I’m not a SuperMum.

I don’t always achieve everything on list…nay, I RARELY finish everything on list…but I find lists helpful to me for several reasons:

  • I’m accountable to something, which I find helps…maybe because I used to work in an office so task lists were a common practice.
  • Ticking off completed tasks, even simple ones, gives me a sense of accomplishment.
  • It helps me mentally stay positive…even if I look around & think ‘house is trashed…boys have made so much mess!…I’ve not done anything productive today’, I can check list and know that this isn’t the case.
  • My husband (who NEVER questions how much I’ve done at home, he knows we both work hard in our respective roles and we both do housework), can glance at list and see what I’ve achieved…and I can feel proud of it.
  • And lastly…if I have a bad sleep, sick kids or busy day etc…I can check list & be reminded of tasks to do that my tired brain doesn’t remember. It helps drive me forwards.

Tomorrow isn’t, but prior to kindy/daycare etc days, I also write both my boys names & tasks like ‘nappybag’, ‘lunch’, ‘snack’, ‘bottle/sippy cups’, ‘clothes’ etc.
(Plus I usually add ‘pajarmas, bottles, beds made, bath clean, towels ready’ etc at bottom of list as bedtime prep…just forgot tonight.)

Lists don’t work for everyone…but I find it really helps me!

If you’re having issues feeling motivated or remembering tasks…writing a list might work for you too!

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Gutting the clutter…turning chaos into peace.

Gutting the clutter…turning chaos into peace.

Our bedrooms are supposed to be restful sanctuaries…a place to lay our head and hopefully forget about the demands and stresses of our day to day lives.

Well…let me tell you…this was not relaxing. As our door is childlocked and generally kept closed during daytime, our bedroom had become a dumping ground for so many random storage items.

So much clutter…

I’ve tried decluttering before, working bit by bit but always lost motivation part way through and never really making headway…as the clutter would end up being moved to other rooms.

Well, with four child-free hours a few days ago, I literally gutted the room of everything except for furniture and piled it thoughout the rest of my home.

Starting with a clean slate, I moved smaller furniture to better spots, cleaned inside drawers etc and then slowly started the process of going through it all.

I firstly went through the items that were strewn throughout our kitchen, living room, hallway and bathroom, being incredibly ruthless as to whether that item was really necessary to keep and if we had room for it. I had no choice but to keep up the process as our bed was quite literally covered and unable to be slept in!

I had three handy laundry baskets – Keep, Donate & ‘Unsure’ plus a bin for tossed items. This is how I usually organise and I’ve found it really helps speed up the process so as not to linger too long on each item.

After that, I proceeded to go through drawers one by one. I found some useful dividers in a random box and re-folded items. I was sick of picking up jeans and other items, and tossing aside cause no longer fits me… (after two kids back to back…a lot of my clothes don’t fit anymore…but I am in process of losing more weight) so I assigned two cube storage boxes to keep items that were slightly too small.

Now my main drawers only contain clothes that fit me perfectly and are all arranged by type…which makes me so happy!

I’ve never been so ruthless going through items but boy, was it totally worth it! I cannot believe the huge pile of donation items I ended up with on our front porch and our garbage bin was 1/3 full of broken items and packaging.

This is what I accomplished…in four hours whilst my 4yro and 2yro were at kindy/daycare.

So lovely and bright…and even better with the beautiful curtains my wonderful father installed during the process.
I love this room now…few bits n pieces to still go through and finish, but it’s such a peaceful relaxing space now!

The challenge will be keeping it this way and not allowing any clutter to edge it’s way back!