5 Tips for a Healthy & Happy Pregnancy for the Modern Mum

5 Tips for a Healthy & Happy Pregnancy for the Modern Mum

By Guest Bloggers Lisa Marshall from Aussiewell.net.

Although it’s normal for expectant mums to worry about keeping their unborn babies safe while pregnant, the stress isn’t good for you or for bubs. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can protect your little one and make your experience carrying him or her even more enjoyable. Here are a few tips for the modern mum to put your mind at ease and pave the way to a healthy, happy pregnancy:

5 Tips for a healthy & happy pregnancy for the modern mum

Image via Pixabay

Maintain a healthy diet

It’s good advice for anyone, but it’s especially important for pregnant mothers who need their strength and growing babies who need nutrients. All of your food groups — fruit, vegetables and legumes, grains, milk products, and meat products — should be represented daily. However, make sure you read the NSW Pregnancy Dietary Guidlines here, as there are types of each food and means of obtaining it that you should avoid. Always eat breakfast to curb hunger and prevent snacking on high-fat and sugary foods throughout the day. Eat plenty of protein to help your baby grow and fibre to help your digestion. You can easily make a lot of healthy switches that will cut calories without sacrificing a satisfying, hearty meal: leaner cuts of meat, low-fat dairy products, and wholemeal over processed goods, for example.

Don’t forget to inform your other health care providers

Obviously your GP and gynaecologist will be aware of your pregnant state, but be sure to make your other physicians aware as well. Your skin only allows for so much absorption, but check with your dermatologist to find out if any part of your care regimen may have adverse effects, especially if you’re taking any oral medications. Tell your dentist as well — he may want to consult with your GP for certain aspects of treatment. If you’re seeking mental health care, make sure your therapist knows you’re pregnant and adjust medication as needed. Never make any dramatic changes to your health care routine without consulting a doctor first.

Wear sensible shoes

Wearing the wrong shoes during pregnancy can not only be uncomfortable, it can actually be dangerous. While carrying, your body releases a hormone called relaxin, which can loosen ligaments and increase your risk of joint injuries like sprains.  Combined with the swelling some women experience and the weight gain that changes your body shape, posture, and centre of gravity, your feet have a lot of extra pressure. Stick with comfortable, supportive shoes to reduce your risk of injury, improve your posture, and increase your general comfort.

Watch your back

As your baby grows and your weight increases, there’s also an additional strain on your back. The spine can sometimes get dragged forward with the weight, causing the joints to deviate from their natural alignment and cause major back pain. Lessen the effects and get your posture back to normal by making a point to sit and stand up straight, elongating your spine from pelvis to head. While walking, lifting, or doing other physical activities, draw in your abdominal muscles around the baby. You can even do some belly dance exercises to keep up spine flexibility!

5 Tips for a healthy & happy pregnancy for the modern mum

Image via Happy Fit

Stay active

Your fatigue may be trying to keep you down, but don’t let it! Stay active and moving (as approved by your doctor). If you have a daily routine — like running every morning, for example — talk to your GP about how, and if, you can continue safely. Yoga and meditation are really great also as they help calm and focus your mind. There are a range of pregnancy Yoga studios around too, so do a quick google search for your closest studio. Get some exercise every day, and when possible do it outdoors for some fresh air and sunshine. Go on a nature walk with your spouse or a mate, take your dog to the park for a relaxing game of fetch, or take a stroll through your favourite part of town. Swimming is another great option; it can work every muscle including your heart, plus the buoyancy will take some of the pressure off your joints.

Don’t let your mind run away with you and prevent you from fully enjoying your pregnancy. Keep these tips in mind and consult your doctor as needed, and you’ll be able to embrace the experience with open arms.

Lisa Marshall wanted to start AussieWell.net after meeting some of her long-distance online friends on a trip. Being from the States, they had a lot of “typical” questions about living in Australia, and so Lisa decided to provide a newcomer’s guide — a go-to for any and all info on moving to or living in the country. Now that she invests a lot of time in her site, she continues to think about the safety, wellness, and overall lifestyle advice she can spread to Aussies and their visitors.

5 Things I Love About You, Part 2…

5 Things I Love About You, Part 2…

To show my kids that it’s the little things that matter, I am writing down 5 things I LOVE about them each month. Why not make your own list for your child?  This is a great way for you to record the moments, rather than focusing on the milestones. What will your 5 little things be?

Charlie

  1. I love that you are FINALLY interested in and enjoying your sisters.
  2. I love the way you pretend you didn’t get a morning cuddle so you can sneak another one.
  3. I love your ever growing vocabulary, especially some of your more colourful descriptions, “mum, the girls are freaking me out.”
  4. I love the way your inquisitive little mind works and the way you are 100% sure I have all the answers.
  5. I love your good news/bad news game. “The good news is I had fun mum, the bad news is I didn’t catch any fish.”

Lily

  1. I love the way you scoot like a demon
  2. I love the way you are obsessed with your Pa.
  3. I love the way you are MAD about food, especially ice-cream and frozen peas (?!?).
  4. I love the way you have learnt to drop your bottom lip.
  5. I love the way you are so independent and content.

Evie

  1. I love the way you start each day by asking after each and every family member all the way from your brother to the possum that lives in Ouma’s roof.
  2. “Coocoorie”, this apparently means Dolphin. Evie uses this word so often that Charlie and Lily have now taken to referring to Dolphins as “Coocoories” too!
  3. I love that you are crazy about dance class.
  4. I love your cheeky, naughty smile.
  5. I love the way you have come out of your shell, no one would believe you used to be the shy quiet one!Could you please however go back to being my star sleeper. Your new propensity for noise isn’t so cute at 3 am.

Love from Mum   xx

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Is Qld health Anti vaccine?

A few nights ago a strange thing happened. I was tagged in a Facebook post at about 10.30 at night. You can see the image to the left. At first I was a bit confused. What on earth was this, could it be possible that a public hospital was promoting an anti- vaccine group? Within 24 hours, this photo was on the news, in the paper and both the government and local hospital were scrambling to respond.

An old friend who is currently pregnant had been to our local hospital for an ante-natal check up and been given an information flyer that focused on a range of different topics and the hospitals suggested contacts to locate advice. Strangely they listed the best source for information on vaccination to be the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN). Now unless you have heard of this group before you are probably going to wonder what all the fuss is about. Well, herein lies the problem. The Australian Vaccination Network is, in fact, completely anti-vaccination. They have named themselves the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) in an attempt to sway people and most importantly to effect search engine results. So when a mum looking for information, googles a simple question about a vaccination and possible side effects or adverse reactions they end up getting information that is notoriously biased and not based on reliable scientific data. It had me wondering, had QLD Health turned anti-vaccine?

The NSW government recently forced the AVN to change it’s name as the Department of Fair Trading found the name to be intentionally misleading. Minister For Fair Trading Anthony Roberts said that “…the Australian Vaccination Network does not present a balanced case for vaccination, does not present medical evidence to back-up its claims and therefore poses a serious risk of misleading the community.” So what on earth was the hospital doing recommending them as the best source of information for parents? Is Qld health now anti vaccine? Has the world gone completely mad?

Confused by why she had been referred to such a group my friend tagged a few mum’s asking what we thought. I was shocked and shared the photo- asking the hospital to “please explain??” and that’s when the power of mums and social media collided.  By the next morning the image was all over Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with mum’s asking questions like “Qld health anti vaccine???” Many were employed in the health sector and began contacting their colleagues, the hospital, the health minister and also the media.By lunchtime the hospital had removed the flyer from circulation and launched an investigation into how it was created in the first place. By that night the story had hit television news and the government had weighed in too.

The good news is that mum’s wanting balanced information about vaccination will now be getting it from their local hospital. The great news is that this demonstrates the fact that you should never mess with mums. I love how we are such a passionate group of people. So if you see something, hear something or believe in something – share, speak and YELL! Other mum’s will get behind you and you can inspire change!

P.S

Speaking in support of vaccination I have found myself in the firing line more than once. But unlike the AVN I do not hide the fact that I come from a medical family background. I believe in science and have faith in medicine. You may have an alternate belief to me and that’s fine. I hope you can still appreciate this story for what it is, a story about the power of the little person speaking up and being heard.

Sam xx

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10 Baby sleep aids that will help you get more SLEEP!

10 Baby Sleep Aids

Sleep! It’s the one thing every parent needs, wants and desires, but nine times out of ten, doesn’t get enough of. Anything that helps your baby sleep, helps you sleep and in my books thats a MAJOR win! Below is a list of sleep aids that have helped my children settle faster, sleep better and most importantly sleep in!

Many of these amazing products are available in stores and online. My favourite online retailer for all things ‘sleepy’ is Sleep Tight Babies. You can visit their store by clicking HERE.

1. Ergo Cocoon and Ergo Pouch

New born babies love to be tightly wrapped or swaddled when they sleep it gives them the feeling of being in the womb. There’s just one problem- they wriggle… thus they squirm their way out of the wrap, get cold and wake. This can also present a safety issue if baby becomes tangled in the discarded blanket. I had huge issues ensuring my first born stayed wrapped for his sleeps, no matter how skilfully and tightly I swaddles him he still managed to escape. At my twins baby shower my sitter gave me an Ergo cocoon baby swaddle. Made from organic cotton baby can have arms in or out and they come in a range of options suitable for different temperatures. My girls loved them and so did I. No more baby origami for me at 2 am! Hooray!!!

When your baby grows out of the cocoon there are plenty of bigger options. My favourite for winter is the 3.5 tog Egro Pouch.

2. Airwrap Mesh Cot Bumpers

Creating a safe sleep environment for you baby is essential. The SIDS foundation offers information on how to best prepare you baby’s cot. They do not recommend the use of fabric cot bumpers, however my children always seemed to find ways to get their little limbs fought in between the cot rails! Then I was introduced to the Airwrap-Mesh Cot Bumper. This clever creation is supersedes traditional cot bumpers, its breathable mesh fabric allows maximum airflow and reduces risk of over heating or suffocation whist protecting baby from tangling limbs in-between cot rails. The thin collapsible fabric of the Airwrap Mesh ensures that it cannot be used as leverage to climb out of the cot. The AIRWRAP 4 sides mesh fits most cots including larger brands like Boori.

3. Baby Shusher

Now this is pure genius. How many times have you stood over a cot at night “patting” and “shushing?” Well now the shushing part is taken care of thanks to the Baby Shusher. It turns out that it’s actually very noisy inside your belly, in fact your baby has been snoozing in utero whilst listening to noises produced by your blood flow, voice, tummy and lungs that hit about 95 decibels (about the same as a very loud vacuum cleaner!) This portable, easy to clean shusher produces a rhythmical sound that will break your baby’s crying cycle and engage their own calming reflexes. The Baby Shusher has a timer and of course a volume control.

4. mimijumi bottles

Full tummies = sleepy babies. It’s a frustratingly simple equation that has been befuddling mum’s for centuries. Is he or she hungry??? One benefit of co-feeding (breast and bottle) is that you can express milk for your baby and offer a bottle at night when you supply may otherwise be low. This means you can gauge exactly how much of the feed your baby has taken. This strategy also allows for your partner to offer your baby a dream feed at night. This will allow you to get more sleep!!! Hooray!

(If you are thinking. “what on earth is a dream feed?” you need to read Save Our Sleep by Tizzie Hall- see below).

5. Save Our Sleep, by Tizzie Hall

This book divides mothers. I myself thought it was excellent. You can read my blog about it here. I am a ‘routines’ kind of mum and had no idea how to get my baby into a routine. I thought this book was a godsend, however I did adjust it to my own liking. I think that most things in parenting are a bit like this, you take someone else’s idea and adapt it to suit your child and your family. Whether you are a Tizzie Hall fan or not, the bottom line is if you want sleep you need to pick a strategy and stick to it! Babies need consistency to develop regular patterns.

6. Groblind

My children ALWAYS sleep better in a dim or dark room. Learning to differentiate between nighttime and daytime is something a baby must learn. Thus walks outside in the sunshine during awake time and dark cool rooms for sleep time are a perfect way to help your baby learn the difference. But how to make a bright room dark? We can’t all afford to install traditional block out blinds and what about when you aren’t at home? Gro Blind is the solution. Gro Blind is portable and easy to use. It attaches directly to the glass using suction cups, this ensures a tight fit that really does block out the light. Especially handy when travelling this nifty little product fits easily into any suitcase and is relatively inexpensive.

7. The Sleepy Tot

My littlest Evie LOVES her dummy. There is only one problem: she looses it in the middle of the night… there came a point where I was waking twice a night to fish a dummy out from under her cot. Then I was given a sleepy tot! This clever little bunny holds up to 4 dummies at a time and can even be attached to the side of the cot for extra safety and to ensure the bunny itself doesn’t end up under the cot. The bunny is light weight, breathable and easy to clean. I owe a lot of nights sleep to this little bunny!

8. Brolly Sheets

Ahhhhh toilet training. What fun for mum. The Brolly Sheet made the journey to nappy free nights a whole lot easier for my son. This clever piece of highly absorbent material is tucked under the mattress on each side like a mini fitted sheet. If there are any accidents during the night you simply slip it off and the bedding underneath is fresh and dry. This will save you from a giant pile of washing and make you life a lot easier!!

9. Sleep Trainer Clocks

My 3 year old Charlie has been waking early, very early. We are talking 5 am, its still dark outside early. That was until I purchased a sleep trainer clock. These magic clocks can be set to a “bedtime” and a “wake time.” The clocks change colour when it is time to get out of bed. My sone receives a small reward for staying in bed until the clock changes colour, we now have a 6.30 wake up and I can tell you that extra 1.5 hours is heavenly!

10 . Sleep Consultants

So what do you do if you have bought every book, blanket and contraption on offer and your baby still won’t sleep? You call a sleep consultant! I have worked with Amanada Bude from Groovey Babies Sleep Consultants for some time and highly recommend her. Sometimes you just need to call in the experts!

Sweet Dreams Mum’s!

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Family Lasagne Recipe

Family Lasagne Recipe:

In our family lasagne is a favourite. Yes it can be a little labour intensive to make but its ALWAYS worth the work, especially if you do a double batch and save a tray for another night! This simple recipe uses the sauce from my bolognese recipe. If this is pre made (in a big batch) then assembling a lasagne is actually very simple. The most important thing to remember is that recipes like this come from the heart. I never make it exactly the same, I use what I have in the fridge or what I feel like that night. So go with your heart and enjoy this family lasagne recipe with your family!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bottle Italian Passatta
  • 1 Pack of fresh lasagne sheets
  • Grated cheese (of your choice- I like Perfect Italiano – Perfect bakes)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Ricotta cheese
  • 1 Packet of frozen spinach
  • 2 Takeaway containers of pre-made bolognase sauce (click here for recipe)

Bechamel (white cheese sauce) store bought or see recipe below.

Method:

Note: It’s always best to make 2 at once so you can freeze one for future use.

  1. Use a splash of passatta to coat the base of a large baking tray.
  2. Cut lasagne sheets to form the first layer.
  3. Spoon over a layer of bolognese sauce (ensure this is not too hot or your sheets will curl up).
  4. Cover this with a second layer of lasagne sheets.
  5. In a large bowl mix the defrosted spinach and the ricotta with 2 tablespoons of parmesan.
  6. Use this mix to make the next layer and then cover this with another layer of the pasta sheets.
  7. Repeat the bolognese and ricotta layers (don’t be shy to splash some of the passatta sauce in-between he layers as you go to ensure a juicy result- nothing worse than dry lasagne!)
  8. Finish with a layer or bolognese and pour over your white (béchamel sauce).
  9. Top with grated cheese and bake for 30-45 min  at 180 degrees depending on the brand of lasagne sheet (check pack for instructions.) Consider covering your lasagne in foil during baking if the cheese on top becomes too brown!
  10. ENJOY! Once cooled you can freeze portions or the whole tray!

Note : If you want to add a few more veges why not include a layer of mashed sweet potato or a layer of grilled capsicum and egg plant. The sky is the limited with this family lasagne recipe so go nuts!

Bechamel sauce recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 60g Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Plain Flour
  • 4.5 Cups Milk.

Method:

Melt butter in a saucepan over a medium heat until foamy. Add flour and cook for 1 -2 minutes. Turn heat down LOW slowly add milk whisking continuously until a smooth consistency is achieved . Cook for a further 10 minutes until mixture thickens.

Thanks for reading my favourite family lasagne recipe! I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does. If you have your own additions to your family lasagne recipe please let me know!

Sam xx

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BRIBERY IS NOT A DIRTY WORD

This weeks post is from guest blogger Tegan Bryers, mother to 2 year old Harper and part time child care teacher. You can check out more from Tegan on her website Harper’s Place.

BRIBERY IS NOT A DIRTY WORD

I swore I’d never result to bribery to get my child to behave. After years listening to parents threaten everything from the menial ‘just wait til your father gets home,’ to extreme forms of capital punishment, I had heard enough threats to believe that I, in my infinite wisdom, was above such forms of behaviour management. How wrong I was.

As we approach the eve of one of children’s favourite holidays, it seems that even I am not immune to the greatest forms of bribery. That is the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus bribe. It is with much finger wagging and foot stamping protest that I have to admit to pulling out the odd, ‘The Easter Bunny is watching you,’ or ‘You won’t be getting any chocolate eggs from the Easter Bunny if you keep doing that.’ How wonderful it is to have something in your arsenal of behaviour strategies that actually gets results, and immediate results.

The only downside to using these forms of bribery are the fact that it takes the Easter Bunny and Santa a long time to deliver on the goods. For some parents, the bribes start the moment that the first egg is spotted in the Supermarket checkout, which I think this time was on about Boxing Day. The longer the bribe drags on, the less effective a strategy it becomes.

My darling two year old is one such child who has resorted to an almost eye rolling response now when I use any bribe starting with ‘The Easter Bunny….’ How can I blame her, the bribe is even wearing thin on me.

The other downside of such a bribe is the fact that come Sunday morning, you’ve got no bribes left until November, when the Christmas trees start appearing (who am I kidding, they start in about June now.) On top of that, the fact your children have spent all morning gorging themselves on chocolate means you will inevitably have the most irritable and unreasonable child on your hands for the rest of the day. Plus, child care is closed until Tuesday so there is no where you can send these little monsters, and no bribe big enough to snap them out of their sugar high slump.

Anyway, Happy Easter everyone. Enjoy you long weekend ….. xx Tegan

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1 mum, 3 ways. Do I have enough love to go around?

1 Mum, 3 Ways

Do I have enough love to go around?

One of the first things I said just moments after finding out I was having twins was, “Poor Charlie.” I was terrified of how the now pending arrival of twins was going to change his life. Since the twins were born we have tried our best to balance the twins’ needs and Charlie’s needs. Yet even so, there have been more than a few moments when my heart has ached. Dividing yourself three ways is not easy. I often feel that no matter which child I am with, I am somehow disappointing one of them and when I am with all three, well… life can be quite chaotic! Quality time doesn’t exactly feel all that “quality.”  The kids have settled into a great routine and are generally very well behaved, but there is one thing that ALWAYS sets them off. ME. When I walk into a room both the girls charge for me at lightning speed, pushing and clawing at each other to get to me first. This is then followed by a level 10 meltdown from which ever twin I don’t pick up first. In an attempt to curb this behaviour I try to pick up both at once (destroying my back) or I sit on the floor and embrace them both. Neither of which satisfies them.

My husband is incredibly supportive and we enjoy fantastic times together as a family. But when it comes to me and my relationship with each of my children I am often fraught with anxiety over whether I am getting the balance right. Charlie and I were a team when it was only him. I felt like I was his universe. With the twins I really worry I am missing out. I guess I am yearning for those moments you have as a first time mum, those moments where you feel as if nothing else in the world could make you happier than the moment you have just shared with your baby. With 3 under 3 I have had to learn to have eyes in the back of my head and to juggle about 10 tasks at once. All three kids have learnt that the squeakiest wheel gets the most oil and thus a chorus of chaos often descends upon our household (usually between 5-6 each night!). I am very lucky to have a lot of fantastic help, yet even watching my kids share a beautiful moment with our nanny or their grandparents can stir feelings of jealousy and guilt. I want to be the centre of my children’s universes, but racing around trying to fulfil the needs of three toddlers I rarely feel centred. I look at mother’s that have 4 or more kids and I just can’t help but think…how do they do it? Not the mundane everyday, feeding, fetching,cleaning and carrying but the caring and the loving and the connecting. How do they have enough time, energy and love to feed each of their children’s souls?

In writing this I wanted to be able to tell you I had a plan, that I knew what to do and how to fix this problem, but to be completely honest with you I don’t. I have decided to try to get in a little bit of one on one time with each of the kids at least every week or so and not to feel guilty about it. Beyond that I guess I just have to have faith in the fact that my kids are loved and that at the end of the day, that is what really matters.

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Gnocchi Chips: Cheeky “chips” for kids!

Gnocchi Chips!

Let’s be honest, all kids love chips! My kids would happily live on chips if I gave them half a chance. But they aren’t exactly the most nutritious food on the menu! I do however happily serve them as a side to a healthy meal. I often laugh about the fact that my kids will eat a whole plate of chips but if I put one tiny piece of boiled potato near them it instantly gets thrown across the room.

Chips take a lot of preparation to make fresh and the frozen ones are just a bit gross to me. Well thanks to Nigella I have found a great solution. Gnocchi chips. Easiest recipe in the world and the kids LOVE them. You may be thinking: what on earth is Gnocchi? Gnocchi is actually a round shaped italian “pasta” made from potato.  Thus it makes the perfect base for homemade chips. If you are super clever you can also find sweet potato gnocchi and trick your kids into eating healthy chips!

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • Olive Oil
  • Store bought Gnocchi

Method:

  1. Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a large pan.
  2. When the oil is hot add the gnocchi. You can test this by adding one piece. The oil around it should bubble.
  3. Cook until golden brown, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove gnocchi and allow to cool on paper towel.
  5. Serve as a snack or as a side to a healthy meal!
 
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Best Bolognese Recipe For Families!

Best Bolognese Recipe For Families!

Spaghetti Bolognese is staple diet in our household, our children can be found with pasta (“wiggly worms”) in their hair and faces painted in tomato sauce on most nights!!! The best part about this meal other than the fun and mess is that it is extremely  nutritious with 5 different types of vegetables and a low fat content. Often put in the “too hard basket” Bolognese is actually very simple. Its the kind of recipe you really can’t stuff up. A bit of this and a bit of that, quantities don’t really matter. As long as its made with love Bolognese always tastes amazing. This has to be the best Bolognese recipe for families, it has everything little growing bodies need and is super tasty. Save your self time and make a giant pot, it freezes really well and is such a life saver when you are out of time and searching for a quick dinner option. You can also use this sauce to make lasagne!

Ingredients

I have made a giant pot of sauce here. It is important to note that quantities are not strict it is important to taste as you go. Alter the quantities to suit your family’s tastes.

  • Olive oil
  • 2 Large brown onions chopped
  • 2 Large carrots finely chopped or grated
  • 2 Large sticks of celery finely chopped or grated
  • 4-6 Sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 4-6 Cloves garlic or 1/3 “squeeze tube”
  • Italian mixed herbs (either “squeeze” or dried)
  • 10 Mushrooms chopped
  • 500 g pork/veal mince ( you can buy this pre-mixed)
  • 1-1.5 kg Beef mince
  • 4-6 Cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 Jar of Passata
  • Water
  • Salt

Method:

  1. Dice the onion and chop the carrots and celery very finely (I used a food processor).
  2. In a large pan heat a generous amount of olive oil.
  3. Fry onions, garlic, herbs, carrots and celery for a few minutes until they begin to soften.
  4. Add mince and fry well, breaking apart as much as possible and string well.
  5. Add chopped mushrooms and continue to fry well. (You may wish to transfer from a fry pan to a large pot as this point like I did!)
  6. Once mince is browned add cans of tomato and passata.
  7. Use water to rinse out cans, add this water to the pot. (Approx 1/3 water for each can)
  8. Reduce heat to a simmer and allow to cook down for 30 minutes, stir regularly.
  9. Taste your sauce and add salt accordingly.
  10. Allow to cook down for a further 15 minutes. (At this time boil your pasta)
  11. Store remaining sauce for freezing.
  12. Serve your sauce on a pile of “wiggly worm” pasta with cheese on top!
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5 Things I love about you TODAY.

5 Things I love about you TODAY.

“Today you are You, that’s truer than true. There is no one alive that’s Youer than You.” Very wise words by Dr. Seuss. I had a moment the other day. A friend and I were discussing the twins language skills and vocabulary, she asked which words Charlie had been able to say at the same age and a terrible realisation hit me… I couldn’t remember. I had been given so many of those “my first year” milestone diaries and I had not used a single one. As feelings of guilt swirled inside me I grasped  for things I did remember? First tooth: 4 months, first word: “mum” (of course), walking: 12 months. Although I could pull a few “charlie facts” out of my overtired brain the “I can’t remember list” was far longer. In all honesty this made me kind of sad, as if my not remembering cast some kind of dark shadow of insignificance over these moments which at the time had been so magical. I didn’t want Charlie to one day ask, “mum, how old was I when I…..?” and for me to draw a blank. I want my kids to know that every little milestone, every phase (good or bad) is noticed and cared about. In fact I believe it’s not the milestones that matter but the seemingly insignificant moments that mean the most 10-20-50 years down the track. So here is the plan:

5 things I love about you TODAY!

I am setting an alarm in my phone so that once a month I record 5 things I love (or love/hate- like poo) about each child on that day.

Here is todays list:

Charlie:

  1. I love the way you randomly tell me: “Mum, I love you all day.” It melts my heart.
  2. I love the way you frown, pat your belly and say: “My tummy is so sore, it needs a lolly.”
  3. I love your new cranky face. (See image below)
  4. I love that everyone you meet is your “best friend.”
  5. I love that you are so obsessed with the green tractor at daycare (that you have named Frankie) that you ask God to look after him when you say a prayer each night.

Lily:

  1. I love that you are so happy go lucky.
  2. I love that you are SO affectionate and generous with your kisses and cuddles.
  3. I love that you are infatuated with your brother and want to do everything he does, even though he’s not that keen on you.
  4. I love that you are a dare devil and will attempt anything. No slide is too high for you.
  5. I love the way you love the ocean. Although I must remind you, you can’t actually swim yet, even if you think you can.

Evie:

  1. I LOVE that you sleep through the night, every night.
  2. I love that you want to be by my side, ALL THE TIME. It’s nice to be wanted, ALL THE TIME.
  3. I love the way you wave and blow kisses to complete strangers making them smile.
  4. I love the way you LOVE our dog Daisy and shower her with cuddles and feed her all your food.
  5. I love your cheeky nature, you have the cheekiest face and are always up to something clever. Like accidentally taking selfies on mummy’s phone.

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