"A portrait of my family, once a week, every week in 2014"

Daniel & Joshua pretending to be asleep, Mama & Daddy being goofballs. The perfect representation of us this week, we've all felt a little bleurgh at times & at others we're bouncing off the walls! I think the rubbish weather is starting to get to us, we desperately want the sun back so we can go exploring & get rid of these cobwebs! 

Inspired by Jodi at Practising Simplicity.  



Dinosaur playdough.


Both my boys are dinosaur crazy, they love to watch them on TV, read about them in books, pretend to be dinosaurs and make up little stories with their little dinosaur figures. They also love playdough so I thought I would combine the two. This kept both kiddos amused, mostly independently, for quite a while. Win! We made 'fossil' impressions and footprints, tried to identify the different dinosaurs and their colours, and practiced rolling out the dough. We also felt the impressions left behind and decided they were bumpy & rough (all for the learning opportunities!) I hid a couple of dinosaurs in balls of dough which Joshua especially found hilarious. I love that he's pretty much over putting playdough in his mouth because gross, and so I can leave them to moulding and pressing and squishing while I get something else done without worrying. This would work with animals too, paw prints and claw prints! 



Catch the Moment 365. Week Four.

022. Really Mum?! This face makes me laugh every time!


024. My little puzzle genius, he now knows all his letters!

025. Bundled up from the cold, going down the slide by himself without falling!

026. Fort hangs & peek-a-boo's.

027. The tickle monster comes out before bed.

028. Daniel was so proud of his 'pattern'.

I had a couple of days this week when I nearly forgot to take a picture, as I've had other things on my mind. I'm still enjoying the challenge though, and even got a chance to play around with my ISO settings so I'll post those later this week. So crazy that January is nearly over already, where has that time gone?! I'm a little jealous of everyone who has snow at the moment, though granted I would probably get annoyed after a couple of days! Can't wait to see beautiful snowy pictures though, please leave your tips in case we ever do get some our way! 

Nurse Loves Farmer



Family dates.


One of my '14 things in 2014' goals was to start family dates. Being more purposeful with our time together, especially as it doesn't happen very often. We have a weekly pizza night, on a Friday, when we all eat together and talk about our days. Starting Daniel in football training has also helped, as that is something we all do together, out of the house. We've also gone football boot shopping, to the park & out for lunch afterwards. & to the fish shop! I came up with a few ideas of things we could do together, for those weekends when we don't have any plans. 

// Bowling.
// Bike ride.
// Picnic.
// Long walk.
// BBQ.
// DIY ice cream parlour (lots of sprinkles & toppings, cones and sauce!)
// Breakfast date.
// Aquarium.
// Museum.
// Cinema.
// Fair. 
// Zoo. 
// Ice skating. 
// Swimming. 
// Movie night (with duvets & popcorn!) 
// Soft play.
// Parks. 
// Feeding the ducks.

Some of these seem quite obvious but I like to keep a list on my phone to look at when my mind's gone blank! What sort of things do you like to do as a family?! 



Our Week.

My creation

A good week, overall. Lots of selfies, some sweet flowers, dance parties and forts. Daniel had another great football session today, it's so sweet to watch him try the skills and watch his confidence grow! We've had a great weekend with Daddy home, I even got a lie in yesterday and doughnuts for breakfast today! Always over too quickly though! 
We have a busy week this week with lots of play dates & crafts planned. I'm loving having my diary full of lists that I can cross off, it's definitely keeping me (more) on track!
I had to change my URL back to my old one, as all my old posts weren't working. Boo. So (I think) if you've followed me in the last couple of weeks you might need to update your settings?! Annoying, I know. 





"A portrait of my family, once a week, every week, in 2013."

We have read Goodnight Moon to the boys every night for at least the last three years. It holds a special place in our hearts and reminds us of Daniel's namesake, his Uncle Kyle. Daniel can 'read' the whole story by heart, and as you can see, it is well loved! It's always a part of our bedtime routine, along with pyjamas and teeth brushing. What's your bedtime routine?
Tonight Colin's gone out so it was just me and the littles. I used the tripod, atop of Daniel's little table, which worked pretty well. They boys think it's really funny to wait for the flash, it makes them giggle every time!

Inspired by the wonderful Jodi, from Practising Simplicity.


Every cloud has a silver lining.


Inspired by my meltdown, I've decided on a few positive changes. We made sticker charts for both boys, and they get a sticker for every good choice they make (listening, doing what they are asked straight away, being kind and helpful etc) At first I thought Joshua was a little young but he's pretty easily convinced as soon as you mention a sticker! I think I'll need to invest in some new ones, the speed we're going. On the other hand, I've started using time outs with both boys, but much less frequently. I'm changing my attitude too, trying to stay positive and encourage good choices, rather than immediately threatening with time outs. We're also going to make it a mission to get out of the house, even just a quick trip to the park, or have a play date every day. Yesterday we went on the way home, until Joshua started shivering! & today we had a sweet play date with a little girl the same age as Joshua, it was too cute to watch them interact! Hopefully this will help break up the day a little more and keep us all entertained! 

Thank you for the sweet supportive comments too, they mean the world. The reason I chose to blog about that was to show that everyone does, it's so normal to have a bad day. I like reading posts like that, because it's comforting to know you're not alone.



Catch the Moment 365. Week Three.

015. Bubbles!

016. Too sweet not to share. Joshua has started hiving his cheek for kisses.

017. That little old dog is probably his favourite toy ever.

018. Watercolours, for the first time.

019. Building towers with Daddy, look at that concentration!

020. Nightly ritual, Goodnight Moon.

021. Baking cookies, yum. 

This week went so fast! I can't believe it's Wednesday again. I've been trying to keep busy at home with the boys, with arts, baking, pretend play & minimal screen time (including my phone!)
Mindi posted a wonderful tutorial for understanding manual settings, starting with ISO, but I haven't had a chance to play around with it yet. Tomorrow is a quieter day so I'm hoping to have some time, in the light as well. Fingers crossed for me!

Nurse Loves Farmer




It is 8:30pm & I'm tucked up in bed, after a really rubbish day. The type of day that leaves me sobbing on the phone to Colin, shutting down and figuring bed is the best place for me. 

Quite honestly, I'm really struggling with this no nap thing. Joshua's napping in the morning at my Mum's & Daniel has stopped completely, which makes for a looooong day. I rush around getting ready and out the door in the morning, work until 2 and then it's all systems go until 8pm. Today we watched TV at Nanny's, came home & did some drawing, played HappyLand, hoovered, had snacks & baked cookies. Then I started to make dinner, and that's where it started to go downhill. 

I'm regretting not putting Joshua back down for a sleep actually, because he threw the most almighty strop while we were drawing, and ate the pens, and again while we were baking cookies. I couldn't cut up a pepper without one or both of the boys screaming because one of them had snatched/pulled hair/climbed on the other. I lost my temper with the pair of them, and even Daniel started shouting at me. I sent him to his room twice for screaming at me while I was talking to him, and put Joshua in time out countless times. 

I could have dealt with it a whole lot better but I just reached the end of my tether. Joshua actually slept really well last night but somehow that made me feel even more tired, and my Nana had another fit this morning so I'm worrying about her. It's not fair to take it out in them, I know it's not, but they sure as heck didn't make that easy. 

For the first time ever I poured myself a glass of wine before dinner, after bursting into tears on the living room floor, and gave up. I couldn't do it anymore, I dished up dinner and finished baking the cookies, going through the motions but barely talking. I put the boys straight in the bath after dinner (except Daniel who didn't get changed in time and went straight to bed, after several warnings) & did some yoga, cried again, and apologised to the boys. Daniel told me he was sorry for shouting and not listening, and we had a big hug. I'm thankful they're so forgiving this young. 

I snuggled Joshua close while he nursed tonight. For the first time in a long time I just watched him, his lashes against his cheeks, his eyes growing heavy, his fingers wrapped round mine, his mouth pouting. I waiting until he was asleep and closed my eyes too. My heart's been missing that time, those snuggles while we're both totally relaxed, sleeping soundly. 

This is a new chapter in our lives, and I'm just mourning the loss of the old routine I guess. Including the moments in the middle of the night, those sweet cuddles, just the two of us while the world is sleeping. Today was a total write off, but tomorrow will be better. I'm thinking that if we get out of the house a little more that will help, we rushed home today. An early night tonight, ready for the best start in the morning. 

So, so thankful for these sweet boys, even though they drive me crazy, I don't know what I would do without them. 



Sleep training, our story.

So it's 3am and I'm writing about our sleep training, of course. I'd like to preface by saying that this is OUR story, and whether you choose to breastfeed/bottle feed/co-sleep/CIO etc etc, that's absolutely great, because that's what's right for your family. I wanted to share our insights of 'sleep training' because I was inspired to do it by someone else's post, and if I can inspire someone else then great, because we all need our sleep, amiright?! 

Joshua was never a good sleeper. I wrote about it a few times, actually. After 18m of broken sleep though, I decided enough was enough. I had thought it for a while but there was always an excuse. Whenever I decided I would put my foot down, poor guy got ill with a cold or cough, without fail. Weird. 

I started off by reading Elizabeth Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution which I would definitely recommend to anyone not willing to cry it out. Don't get me wrong, we let Daniel CIO and it was the best decision I could have made FOR HIM. He started sleeping through the night within a week, and ever since we have never had problems with him sleeping, he will just go and lie down and put himself to sleep, no fuss. Joshua, however, is a whole 'nother ball game. Jeez Louise this kid is stubborn. I can't even think where he got that from. If he wakes and he's not quite in the right mood (like if he's still EXHAUSTED because it's 3am!) he will scream. He will scream and scream and scream, like he's stopping himself sleeping. He will stand in his cot or bang his legs, like he will not allow himself to relax and fall asleep. Even now he's lying down, almost asleep, he's fidgeting and crying out. I'm sure this 'talent' will come in very useful when he's a Uni student who is pulling an all-nighter to get his work finished, but right now it's pretty darn silly. So, I was grabbing him out of his cot whenever he woke, bringing him into our wonderfully warm, cosy bed and feeding him back to sleep. Where he would usually stay, all night. Which I wouldn't have minded in the slightest if he slept any better, but some nights I barely slept because he wanted to feed ALL NIGHT and would fuss when he stopped. Sometimes I could pretty much sleep through it and it's pretty easy to get back to sleep with a little snuggle hot water bottle next to you, snoring gently, but there is only so much sleep you can loose without becoming an actual zombie.

I should probably mention that I have let Joshua sleep on me for almost every single nap since he was a newborn, occasionally he would fall asleep in the pushchair, but about 90% of the time I was feeding/snuggling/singing him to sleep. This was really useful when we were out, say at my Mum's when he needed to nap, and OH. MY. GOSH. It was just the sweetest. I absolutely treasured those moments, watching his little eyes grow heavy, his lips puckering in his sleep, feeling his chest rise and fall. Almost everyday though, I was using his nap as an excuse to nap myself, because I was SO TIRED. Quite honestly, I was too lazy to sleep train. Which sounds mad, but it's true. I didn't want to spend longer than I needed to getting him back to sleep, because I didn't want to miss out on any more sleep, despite the fact it was better in the long run. 

I started by putting him down awake in his cot at bedtime. We have always had a pretty solid bedtime routine - bath, pyjamas, milk & book, bed - which Elizabeth Pantley suggests. I still stay in the room while he falls asleep, with some classical music on, but he is self soothing (YAYY!) and falling asleep. 

When he wakes in the night I wait a minute or so, I can often tell by his cry if he's really awake. I go into his room, pick him up for a quick cuddle to calm him and tell him "It's nighttime, time to sleep" (Pantley suggests using the same phrase as part of the routine), then pop him back in his cot and tuck him in. I do still have to pat him sometimes, and the first night he screamed for nearly an hour, refusing to settle which was absolutely horrible but after that it's got easier and easier. He likes me to lie on the floor next to his cot, and sometimes play with my hair, but (especially if he has a good nap during the day) his wakings are less frequent. Woohoo! 

I would definitely recommend this style of sleep training, I tweaked it a little to suit us but I'm happy to answer any questions if you have any. 


Our Week.

My creation

001. Less photos than usual this week, I've been trying to switch off a little, only checking my phone when the boys are occupied instead of trying to do so while they're clambering all over me. Instagram is really inspiring to me, but it's hard to put anything like that into practice when I'm glued to my phone all day. I'm also reaching for my camera more because of the 365, which is great as it was part of my New Years goals. 

002. Daniel started his football sessions last week, we only stayed for a little while but this week he did the whole thing and he was awesome. Last time he was a little reluctant to join in without one of us, but today he was so much better! Colin and I were so proud of him, he followed instructions and really tried his hardest, even at the tricky things like dribbling through cones and scoring goals. His little face was an absolute picture when we all cheered for him! We went out just before to get him some new trainers, and he was so excited. We found him some adorable retro Adidas, in his 'team' colours, so I was totally sold! 

003. So far, I've had great success with my list writing and keeping organised. I don't always (ever?!) tick everything off of my to-do list but I do feel like I've accomplished something. I've started a list of the films I've watched this year (three down! & they were all really good actually, especially Olympus Has Fallen!) and some ideas for at home date nights! 

004. I'm excited to get started on some sweet valentines projects this week. I'm also hoping to do a cute photoshoot with the boys, I've finally found a wall in my house without anything on so I'll check the lighting tomorrow & get started, I'm thinking a wall of hearts! I've been pinning like mad, all these ideas, Daniel's been asking to do painting and baking and things recently which makes me smile, today we made cookies for Grandma!

005. Have a great week! 




"A portrait of my family, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Friday night is family pizza night in our house, Colin's not often home early enough for dinner so Fridays are pretty special. We make pizza, garlic bread, salad & sometimes onion rings and breaded mushrooms! The boys are finally getting more adventurous with their food choices, Joshua actually ate three slices yesterday, I'm sure that kiddo is having a growth spurt! We talk about our days (even though I always rolled my eyes when my parents asked me about mine) & Daniel always tells us how much he missed us when he was at nursery/asleep. It's one of those little, simple things that I look forward to all week, not just because I love pizza! 

Inspired by the wonderful Jodi, from Practising Simplicity

Last week, my favourite had to be those muddy puddles and amazing blue eyes from The Yaegerpack.



What my toddlers eat, on the daily. Sharing for inspiration & fun. 

Brown rice, mince cookies in tomato passatta, peas and grated cheese.

Mini homemade pizza with mozzarella, garlic bread, carrot sticks and cucumber sticks.

Waffles, sliced banana and grapes.

Grilled cheese with cheddar and ham, cucumber slices and crisps.

Ride and peas with homemade salmon nuggets (made with egg, Parmesan and breadcrumbs)

Ice cream and sprinkles, a special treat dessert!

Lots of Love
Momma B


Catch the Moment 365. Week Two.

008. Date night!! A sweet little Italian place with delicious food. 
009. Reenacting Planes. 
010. Still trying to convince J not to break all the train tracks! 
011. Laughing at his Godfather, holding his new Simba. 
012. Football training excitement! 
013. This pretty much sums up how Daniel feels about babies, especially Thomas! 
014. Strange bedtime pals, a plastic tub & a wooden giraffe.

Still going, learning a little about editing every week and experimenting with perspective a little more. Undecided about whether I'll try and use the theme each week or just continue winging it, especially because some days we're a mad rush in the mornings and then out all day till bedtime. I'm still a little nervous about carrying my camera around all the time, but I am taking it out more when I think there will be something worth photographing, like when we went to see my Nana last weekend (though none of them turned out very well as I didn't want to use the flash in case I disrupted anyone, oh well.) I'm glad I'm using my camera more, anyway, and will be looking at my photography class this week for sure. Thank you to everyone that popped over and commented last week, it means so much to me! Every comment made me smile!

Nurse Loves Farmer