Wednesday, March 19, 2014

10 things I can't live without: the toddler and baby edition

I had it in my head that having a second baby would be really hard. And it was and it wasn't at the same time. Helpful, aren't I? Parts of the last six months have really kicked my butt, and other parts I've swanned through as if I was an old hand.

So I've created a list of the ten things I couldn't have lived without with a toddler and a baby these last six months (even though in the last couple months he's technically been a pre-schooler!). Some of them are so superficial and first world that I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it, but some are all earth mother zen shit, so it evens out:

10 - Washing Machine
Seems obvious, right? Well ours broke recently and was out of action for a week. A week is nothing in the scheme of things, but oh boy, did I feel it! Soiled Wondersuits, singlets and CLOTH NAPPIES in addition to the grime filled clothing of an adventurous pre schooler that I couldn't just throw in the wash did my head in.

9 - Social Media
Having a new baby can be really isolating, and not being able to get a bit of sleep when the baby does because there is threenager running around means you're not always up for visitors or going out. Though I am trying to be a social butterfly right now, having that online interaction with other adults on the days I can't get out has been super, even if it is just flicking through Instagram and seeing other people who are tired but have cute kids.

8 - Gro Clock
Tricks has slept through the night without waking and getting in to bed with us or and calling out for us to get in to bed with him ten times. In his whole life. He used to always come in to our bed and it was the only way for all of us to get any sleep and that's cool, I'm down with the whole cosleeping thing, it's our preference... but he's a kicker and I wanted him to be in his own bed by the time Bobbin came along for safety and because sleeping with only one child kicking you in the face is preferable to two. We tried our own version of the gro clock first (a lamp that would turn on at 6am - didn't work) but eventually splashed out on the gro clock and it has helped a lot. He still wakes multiple times most nights, but when he manages to sleep through or put himself back to sleep he is SO proud of himself and comes rushing in "the sun is up on my clock!".

7 - Smart Phone
For late night feeds to keep me awake. Nothing worse than falling asleep whilst breastfeeding to wake up half an hour later to find a hickey on your boob after bub has moved! Though, erm, I may have dropped it on her head once. Oops. But my phone is used mostly as a camera and I upload pics to my family every day using the Tinybeans app. And play Words with Friends whilst successfully avoiding Candy Crush.

6 - Thermomix
Yup, the big guns. I love being able to whip up something really fast and I'm a bit addicted to the custard and also the cacao hazelnut spread I make. Dipping strawberries in either is heaven. I also quite like how it looks like I've put in lots of effort when I haven't. It helps me in the sanctimummy stakes, you see. Mmmm, wanker food.

5 - Unity Transport System
I didn't realize just how much I would use the Unity as a click in click out system. I didn't have one with Tricks, so I wasn't entirely sure how much I'd use it, but it has been fantastic. It is so handy for a quick trip to just grab the Unity out of the car rather than bother with a pram or a carrier and the inevitable wake up on transfer. I found it particularly helpful in car parks and think it would be even more valuable when there is a smaller age gap between kiddies and they were running around and what not.

4 - A Relaxed Attitude
OK so it might seem like a cop out but this is so important, especially to someone like me who can be quite highly strung (who, me?). I don't know how but I've always been more relaxed about parenting than anything else - natures way of making sure my kids don't end up needing too much therapy perhaps? But rolling with the punches and picking your battles is a must for me as is cutting myself some slack - like when I didn't put Bobbin in to her cloth nappies for the first four months because with renovations, and crap everywhere it was just something I couldn't face. When I'm feeling the tension rise I call on the other things on this list and a bit of me time to help calm down. A bath and a cuppa tea. And by cup of tea I totally mean glass of wine. 

3 - Baby Wearing
This gets a high ranking because of the amount of things I can accomplish when wearing Bobbin. Not just the whole vacuuming and cooking thing, but playing with Tricky, too. I played a game of soccer with it the other day and I've also rocked mini golf. It's the most sport I've played in my life, actually. But most importantly, it is where Bobbin feels the safest and gets the most cuddles and kisses. I might just be addicted because I've got two Hugabubs, an Ergo, a Breeze Baby and an Olives & Applesauce one. I also have a Baby Bjorn in the shed, but I think they suck so that's where it belongs.

2 - Family
My parents, my sister, my extended family of aunties and cousins plus the whole clan of inlaws are awesome, and I know I could call on any of them for help because I have. They each have a wonderful relationship with Tricks and though Bobbin is an attention seeker and will happily lunge herself in to anyone's arms, I'm sure she does actually love them.

It is so handy to have my parents live five minutes away and it definitely helps that they are very hands on grandparents who are happy to host sleep overs, take the big kid on outings one day a week, meet up for coffee or pop over for afternoon tea. And my mum always does my dishes when she comes over, and sometimes she'll take a basket of washing home with her. My family rock my socks.

1 - MapGuy
Yeah, you can roll your eyes, I would if I was reading this on someone else's blog. It might seem obvious to put my husband in the number one spot, but I've heard horror stories about some partners not doing anything. MG keeps his cool, cooks, cleans, feeds the dog, puts up skylights, climbs through the ceiling to fix the TV for me, fixes retic, installs the outdoor movie screen (OMG I HAVE AN OUTDOOR MOVIE SCREEN), you name it. The man is a legend. He's Mr Perfect. He'll come home from work and start dinner or take the kids off my hands so I can sit down for a minute. I cannot fathom how single parents or solo parents make it work. I get scared when I have to put them both to bed by myself if he works late, how do y'all do it every single night?

So there you have it. Some of the things on the list cost money, others don't.

What couldn't you live without when you added another munchkin to the brood?

FYI: none of this is sponsored in any way, shape or form. I've had previous PR dealings with some of the brands but this is just me sharing what I love.

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