Blog Reading: 2 Simple Steps

*As I’m in hospital today with my girl, here is a post I prepared earlier.

A year or so ago, most of my friends didn’t know what a blog was, let alone read any.  Times are a changin’ though.  My friends are visiting here, they are sometimes commenting, which I love!  Some have set up their own little place in where they write for them, for their kids or for others, awesome!  Many now have their own special blogs they have found along the way and love to read (but not effeciently and regularly maybe), so cool!.  I love it, I love it all!

So, for all my friends new to blog reading, here are the two ways that I keep in touch with my favourites!  First of all, I have a Google account (this is just my Yahoo mail login), which I then use to access Google Reader while I’m at home and have access to my computer.  This is the place where all my favourite blogs are bookmarked.  As a find a new place that I want to visit, I copy the URL and pop over to my Google Reader, click on the subscribe button, paste the URL and voila!!  This then means, whenever a new post is published on that blog, it will appear here.  I visit here each morning while Phoebe is still asleep, it tells me how many new blog posts I have to read, so I just click on “all items” and start reading my way through.  The only thing is, you can’t comment on a blog from here.  If you want to leave a comment, you will need to click on the blog title, which will then open it up in your browser like normal and you can comment away.  If I’m busy and want to comment later, I mark the post as unread and will come back to it when I have time.  It also allows you to star some of your favourite posts for future reference.

I also use my mobile phone a bit to access the blogs I read.  I’ve tried a few ways to do this and now have a new one which I am loving.  Same as Google Reader though, in order to comment, you will need to open the post in your browser to do so.  The App that I am currently using is called FeeddlerRSS which can be used on you phone and also iPads.  I’m loving the simplicity of it, and the ability to open the post in your browser to comment, the option to mark a post as unread and to favourite posts.  I’ve used it the last couple of mornings and it has been really effective and syncs each time you open it up.

So, there you go, two easy ways I keep in touch with all the blogs I read all in one convient place.  I know there are other ways out there, but these are the two I use regularly and find quite simply and easy.

Do you think this will help you keep track of the blogs you love?



Hand Holding

In two days time, I wont be here in my home like a normal Wednesday, I wont be dropping Phoebe at kinder like I normally do, there wont be the morning rush and I wont be looking after Fynn either.  Instead, Hubby has the day off and early in the morning we will drive to the hospital with our little girl, ready to hold her hand while she gets her tonsils and adenoids out.

People go through a lot worse with their kids, and I mean alot worse.  I know what happens out there, I don’t live in a bubble and I’m not oblivious to it.  I’m not sure how those Mum’s and Dad’s do it, regularly, they are strong, or know the tricks to ‘act’ strong for their little ones and maybe fall apart in privacy.  But the fact remains, no one wants to see their baby in pain, and in two days time, we’ll be in that place.

Phoebe has decided that she wants me to be the one to go into the theatre with her and for me to be the one to stay the night.  I’m happy to do both.  I’ve been lucky enough to have a couple of good friends who have prepared me for what it might be like (I don’t normally name names but thanks Nicole, Kim, Yvette and Rachael).  Hubby then joked “why am I having the day off then?”, he wants to take her in, I’d be happy for that too, believe me, they tell me that’s the hardest part.  But instead I told him, he’ll need to hold my hand, and I’ll need to hold his, then together we will appear strong enough and be able to hold hers through it all.

We arrive at 7am, and we don’t know how long the wait will be.  I’ve been told it goes by the youngest, and knowing he doesn’t operate on kids until they are four, I’m hoping we wont have to wait to long.  She has to stay the night, I will stay by her side. She has picked out some new pjamas for her stay and I have bought her a special present for when all is done (something to sleep with, that I know she’ll love). I’m greatful my growing baby belly isn’t too big as it would make the stay even more uncomfortable.  And then I have the whole next week off.

I don’t doubt that her recovery will be hard at times and I know from past experience that all she’ll want is her Mum, I’m prepared for that.  I’ll lay in bed with her if I have to, the hell to housework.  I’ve told hubby to leave his ipad though so I don’t go completely batty from watching the Little Mermaid and other wonderful kids movies over and over again!!

So, if it is quiet here the next week or so, and my maternity post doesn’t appear like it has every Friday in the past, you know why.

Bel x

Self Portrait Maternity – 20 weeks

Half way!!!  Sorry the post is a little late, Phoebe and I decided to have a nice pjama day yesterday and then we headed off in the afternoon to see Bubba V on the big screen.  My blog also turned one yesterday and I missed it, completely missed it!!  But I suppose that it has been fitting that I have been pondering my little place the last few days, it looks like a name change is on the cards and a bit of a make-over.  I love what I have done here, and it will all stay, I just feel like I’ve outgrown the name and need something that incompasses all that I write and may write in the future.

Photos done quickly and courtesy of Camer+ app.  I’ve been feeling good this week, not too tired at all and my pelvis has been behaving mostly.  Chuck in a couple of cleaning frenzies, one down at our caravan and one at home.  Not only did it involve cleaning top to toe but also moving large pieces of furniture by myself, tsk tsk.  Bubba V is moving around alot move, and last night, despite the fact that no one can feel bub move yet, I could SEE movement in my belly!!  I love this part of pregnancy, the kicking and the moving, it gives me a sense of calm and knowing things are ok.

This pregnancy however, I feel as though I am more emotional.  Little things seem to be getting to me and almost bringing me to tears.  I wasn’t like this with Phoebe, although Hubby may beg to disagree.

Bubba V was very uncooperative for the 20 week scan.  Things are looking great but I need to go back in a week or two for some final measurements.  If we had’ve wanted to find out the sex, it wouldv’e been impossible anyway.  If baby was in a bedroom, it would have been hiding in the tiny wardrobe, on it’s belly and all curled up.  I’m looking froward to another scan.

Bel x

Living out my dream

If I wasn’t a teacher, I either wanted to be a Park Ranger or an Interior Designer.  Park Ranger because I love being out in the bush, and Interior Designer because I always love changing things around in the house and my room.  I love the thrill of changing furniture around and adding need textiles to create a new space ……. not saying I’m good at it though.

In the next few months, I will be turning Interior Designer when the new playroom/study shell is complete.  I have taken this opportunity to design the room with all the furnishings I want/need.  Our house is teeny, with only 3 bedrooms and one open plan living area, hence why we are making this extra space (to fit in Bubba V and still have a study/playroom space).  The rest of our house is mainly dark wood, but in this new room, I’m going for white and brighter colors.  The room will be airy and have loads of natural light but I also have to squeeze a lot into this space.  This room will house ALL the toys, ALL of my study which includes books, looks of books.

So Ikea and Pinterest are my current friends.  I’ve researched and collected all the things I want in the room over the last few months, I haven’t rushed into it.  So what do you think?  Is it too white?  I’m trying to tie the room in with the rest of the house by using the cane storage boxes, plus we will have a chocolate brown sofa-bed in there too.

1.  Expedit Shelving Unit from Ikea – I’m using this one inbetween the two bigger ones.  It will have the TV on it and all DVD’s etc inside.

2.  Expedit Insert with Drawers, Ikea – for all those DVD’s, portable DVD players, chargers and cords.

3.  Melltorp Dining Table, Ikea  – this will be my new desk.  I already have a white filing cabinent which should fit perfectly underneath.

4.  Ringum Rug from Ikea – this will be to protect the floorboards from the desk chair and add some colour.

5.  Reidar Chair, Ikea – not 100% sure on this yet for desk chair.

6.  Expedit Shelving Unit, Ikea – having two of these babies on the sides of the smaller one.  This will house ALL toys in the house.

7.  Branas Basket, Ikea – to hide away all the toys, dress ups and knick-knacks.

I also need to get some little colour co-ordinated bits and pieces for my new desk space.  I already have some polaroids printed that I will display above the desk and am in the process of wording my own playroom posters with the help of my sister.  So c’mon, tell me what you think?

Bel x

Have I outgrown you?

When I joined Facebook all those years ago, I joined because a couple of friends were overseas and it was an easy, instant way to keep in touch with them.  Over the years, my love of Facebook grew, probably like yours did.  I like many others, have a big friend list (not bragging, just stating facts), that consist of family, close friends, work colleagues past and present, old school friends and some new friends too.  It gave me a way to re-connect with some old friends, and keep up to date with the goings on of others.  It was a saviour at times too, being at home with a newborn.

Image here

But the last year or so, I’m wondering if I’ve outgrown Facebook?  Things have been irking me, from a while ago and recently too.  I’m not sure if it’s enough to make me cancel my account altogether, I’m just not sure what to do.  Some of the things that have been on my mind:

  • Photo stealing.  This is a big one for me.  A year ago I backed up my data to my hard drive and deleted most of my photos.  Facey Friends were reposting them on their own wall but with no acknowledgment of where it had come from.  If my Facey friends could do this, who else could?  Now I’m extra wary of what photos I post.
  • People being snarky, whether they mean it or not.  We are all time poor, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t re-read what you have written before you hit ‘post’ especially if it’s on someone else’s photo or on their status.
  • Manners and being polite, thinking of other people’s feelings, hello….does this not exist in cyberspace or are that rude in real life too?
  • The open-air fighting, seriously, do it face to face.
  • The various type of Facey status updaters (which I am all sure we have been guilty of every now and again).  The whiners, the attention seekers, the constant link posters, the mummy status’ (which I definitely have been guilty of!).
  • And does anyone ever catch up anymore, or even make a phone call these days (considering most of us have smart-phones and are using them to check Facey).

The things I have noticed about my own recent online behavior:

  • I still check Facey all the time, I still love it, but I don’t post many status’ anymore.
  • It seems to be getting quieter though.  Not sure if it’s just me, but have you noticed it to?
  • I love taking photos, always have, always will and I still love to post some.  I still remain very wary, probably more so now of what I post, especially because people can now save to their.
  • I mainly use it for my Blog and to check up on other Blogs too.
  • I actually prefer Twitter, although, none of my friends are really on there.  But I am starting to make a few Blogging friends.

So, I’m still not sure what I am doing or going to do or how I feel about Facebook anymore. I know there are goods and bads, but I don’t know how to weigh these up exactly.  What are your insights and how have you been feeling about it all lately?

Bel x

Self Portrait Maternity – 19 weeks

19 weeks, almost half way there!  My mood has been a little all over the place this week.  I’m sick of people telling me how ‘huge I am’ and I just want to scream “I’m nearly half way, I have to show sometime!!”.  But enough of that, I’m feeling pretty good and my mind  is positive.

I’m still loving the same things I did the last few weeks, milkshakes, cordial, spaghetti bolognese.  We are busy trying to get the playroom/study ready so we in turn can get your bedroom ready!  Your Dad has been working super hard, I’m glad I married a tradie!  Phoebe loves talking to you, and giving you hugs and kisses in my belly, I’m sure you can hear her.  She’s going to be an awesome sister you know?  I’m feeling you kicking alot more, there is no longer doubting that it is in fact you.  My pelvis plays up badly some days and not others.  I have lots of baths to help with the pain and I’m trying to find somewhere to do water aerobics.  Next week we get to see you again on the big screen!  We can’t wait.

Bel x

I’m scared, I know I shouldn’t be but….

I’ve re-written this post a couple of times, taken out sentences, added in different ones, then deleted the whole thing and started from scratch today.  I didn’t want this post to come across negatively, at the time when I originally wrote the post (the deleted one) I guess I was in a negative mindset.  But now that things have calmed and I’m feeling level-headed, I’m re-writing the post in a way that seems more fitting.

I have never been extremely body confident, but was happy with my body and the way I looked before I had Phoebe.  I’ve never really been one for exercising or playing team sports either.  When I fell pregnant with Phoebe, I put on 15 kilos and since the day I had her, I’ve only lost 5 kilos (funny that that was probably how much she weighed, whoops!).  I have many stretch marks to tell the tale of her being in my belly, I like to call them ‘kick marks’ though and they honestly don’t bother me one little bit (I was never a bikini wearer in the first place).  I was left too with LOTS of excess skin, the type that my Doctor told me could never be toned through exercise, only fixed by surgery.  But I hide it well with my clothes choices, no one notices, and when I have shown friends, needless to say, they were a little shocked.

About six months ago, I became unhappy with my body and I’ll stress I wasn’t necessarily unhappy with my weight, more the way I felt.  And so I started to move my body!  I slowly (with the help of some friends) built up my walking to spurts of jogging.  I borrowed a treadmill and started jogging even further.  I actually did start to enjoy it (previously I lacked motivation and drive).  I’m unlucky in the fact though that I can’t change my diet too much, I have this unusual problemo with texture which doesn’t allow me to eat fruit, salad and some veggies (although I’m getting better at having them within other foods).  And then I fell pregnant, I got tired (like we all do) and I was too exhausted some nights to even manage with all the housework let alone going for a walk/jog.  Now my pelvis is playing up too, so I’m in a spot of bother.

This image is from my Pinterest Board ‘Move it’ – I cannot find the original source to give credit where credit is due 😦

So, I’m scared, I know I shouldn’t be, but I was already unhappy with my body…..I’m completely happy at the moment though, I’m pregnant and loving the little home I am creating.  But I’m wondering what state my body will be left in after Bubba V arrives?  I’m not feeling at all pressured by celebrities and their bounce back bodies (although I sometimes do have the urge to slap them), they obviously worked hard, really really hard.  So, my question to you is, am I alone in the way I’m feeling?  How did you or are you trying to feel better about your body after children?

Bel x

Not on a bandwagon or a soapbox

Please don’t jump on a soap box or a bandwagon, I haven’t and won’t when it comes to breastfeeding.  So if you are one of ‘those’ don’t continue reading, this post is just about me putting my thoughts down on paper.  Each to their own, you do what works, and you shouldn’t need to explain.

I realize now as a mother, that back then I knew absolutely NOTHING about breastfeeding.  Only one of my friends had a child and well, she just made it look so natural and easy.  Breastfeeding is natural, of course it is, but it doesn’t come naturally that’s for sure.  I didn’t know what ‘let down’ even meant.  I didn’t know the emotions and pain that would come along too.  I knew little of mastitis or how regularly to feed, what was normal and what wasn’t, or if in fact there was even a normal!

Being pregnant again, I have been pondering breastfeeding quite a bit lately.  When I arrived home with Phoebe I thought I was doing pretty well.  No one told me though what it would really be like, I don’t think anyone could have prepared me.  She fed LOTS, and fell asleep LOTS while feeding.  After a couple of weeks I remember saying to my partner, if this continues, I don’t think I’ll ever leave the house again, and these were my honest to god feelings.  My anxiety began to rise, and panic attacks ensued.  My baby girl could feel my stress and in turn became stressed.  The mere sound of her crying for a feed would send my stomach into knots.  It all became to much, to much for me mentally and in turn too much for her as well.

I made the decision to bottle feed, I’ll admit I did cry when I did it.  Not because of having to give up, not because I felt I was a bad mother, but I think because I had never really thought much about it at all and wasn’t prepare.  I guess I was in shock.  I made the conscious decision that for the first three months, no one would be allowed to feed Phoebe except Hubby and I.  We bonded, you can do that when you bottle feed you know?  And still to this day, I believe it is one of the reasons why we are all so close.

I wish I was crazy passionate about breastfeeding, but try as I might, I just don’t think I am.  I wish I knew that I was 100% committed next time around to breastfeeding, but I am not.  I do know that I am trying to educate myself more.

Bel x

Self Portrait Maternity – 18 weeks

I’m a little late with today’s post.  I’m normally organised ahead of time and have it ready to go in the morning, but being back at work this week has thrown things into a bit of a spin.  That and the turn from beautiful spring days in Melbourne back to what seems like winter, yuck!!

18 weeks!  This week I’m sore, so very sore, but I’m not complaining, I’m still loving being pregnant.  My unstable pelvis is much worse than first thought.  I have to continue with exercises but must stop with my walking.  Instead I need to turn to the pool and maybe a prenatal aqua class (which of course, seem to all be over the other side of town).  I’m feeling lots more kicks this week than in the past two, or this week, I know for sure that it is of course you!  I’m back at work, which has meant I’m back to being a little tired, but that’s ok, it’s no where near as bad as it was.  I’m still loving chocolate milkshakes and cordial, as well as lasagne and spaghetti bolognese.

I’m having a bit of a down week, lots of thinking going on in my head (a few Blog posts to come, so watch out for those).

Bel x

Chase the Sun

This time last week I was on school holidays.  Phoebe and I took off to my Dad’s place on the edge of Echuca to chase the sun.  It was a beautiful couple of days, spent in the quiet, relaxing and chatting.  Sometimes it’s just nice to escape the normality of everyday life.

It’s now daylight savings, and to our family, it means a lot of things.  It means summer is near, BBQ’s and eating outside, catching up with friends, camping, and of course, Christmas and other celebrations.

Phoebe and Pa walking down to the river (this was my favourite photo of the trip)

Putting my new remote for the camera to good use.  I might actually be in some photos!

And this one is my other favourite!

Although the weather in Melbourne is back to being a little crappy again, daylight savings is making summer feel that little bit closer.  We are doing lots around the house and have been getting out for walks and bikes ride most nights.

What is your favourite part of the season change?

Bel x