The Little Details

I made a video as part of documenting our journey of #sellingijong. I filmed this on my iPhone, edited it in one sitting on iMovies on my iPhone as Tim finished up work. It was fun getting back into editing, especially with music.

When two year olds want to eat

We have play dates at Play Up at the Museum of Modern Australian Democracy (Old Parliament House). I normally pack crackers or corn thins and a fruit. Today I decided to pack cabanossi, grapes, sliced apples, cacao slices and corn thins. Clover grazes from breakfast to lunch and I get the hungers too.

She started her first course of cabanossi when we arrived (10:40), usually she’s into her second snack after finishing her breakfast at that time so I was surprised she lasted. All was well until a staff member told us that only dry food were allowed (never heard of this before). I swapped it for corn thins and Clover was fine. She ate, ran off then came back and started unpacking the bag (she helped me pack it). She wanted cabanossi, I said we couldn’t so she named everything else and looked so sad every time I had to say we couldn’t. I said we could eat it at a cafe afterwards to which she said “now?” since we hadn’t been there for very long, I convinced her to stay.

When we left at about 12 we headed home (I forgot about the cafe). As we got closer to our place she piped up with “I eat lunch in cafe?” I was like “uh…” tried to say we can eat at home and then go to a cafe. She didn’t like that. I said we have to change everyone’s nappies first then go. She didn’t like that either and wanted to get changed in the passenger seat (we were in front of our house). We did go inside and I changed their nappies.

I tried to sway her to eat at home and she kept saying she wanted her merienda. I said we can still eat it at a cafe but we can eat lunch first. She wasn’t convinced. To her the order of eating was merienda at a cafe then lunch. Perhaps because during the week we don’t head out to cafes so once I said that we’d eat in one there was no going back.

After sitting by her as she let her emotions take over, the more I could see she needed sleep (and food). We got back in the car and headed to Lyneham. We circled three times because 12:30 is a popular time. Clover asked if we were there and I said we had to look for a park and by the time I looked at her she was asleep. And I was famished.

I don’t like it when they fall asleep in the car. Iris not so much because she sleeps anywhere but Clover has one nap (if that) a day and it always stings when she sleeps in her car seat. I know she needs it so I waited. 

I parked in a leafy street and sat there. As she started to stir I drove off she woke up like a light and was ready for pizza. We found a carpark pretty much straight away and ended up at the Turkish Pide place as it had couches. We ordered and settled/took over.

Iris laid down, rolled over, inspected the cushions, her toes before wanting to crawl off the couch onto the floor (she didn’t by I’m sure she would’ve). Clover looked around in amazement, naming and asking what was in the fridge, fetching us plates, opening the cutlery and digging the spinach, feta and tasty cheese pide (not so much the spinach). I had taken out her merienda and we polished it all off.
It was great to have a new place to go to that didn’t mind us bringing in our own food, rearranging the table and it no one batted an eyelid that I had a baby lying down and a toddler mesmerised. That’s what it should be.

I haven’t slept much and I keep having 9:45pm epiphanies especially as I dive back into my Brain Body Medicine Certificate and reading Big Magic. My brain is tired and I’ve become hyper aware of what triggers me. I’m being Sadness in Inside Out and letting the emotion sit with me, wash over me then watch it melt away. It has helped me a great deal this week. And I noticed it a lot today.

When all signs point to staying home

So today was a very stay at home kind of day but I didn’t want to. I saw that Nanna’s House (secondhand toy store) had an open house and I was determined to go. Not because there was something we wanted but I just had such a nice chat with her last time I had to go.

I went to bed about 12:15am this morning and was woken up by Iris wanting a feed less than an hour later. Then again every two hours until 6. I had déjà by of when we transferred her into their room for the first time where I woke up not knowing which bed I was in as I lie feed (best thing ever). Tim went to the office today and before he left he had both kids changed and Clover eating breakfast by the time I got out of bed at 7:30.

I asked Clover if she wanted to go to the toy shop which she wanted to go to immediately so we got ready (8:00). Then she got hungry (9:30), she ate, Iris fed, I drank tea. Somehow it got to 11:30 we were all ready and headed out the door. I realise it probably wasn’t the best time to leave being so close to lunch and seeing Clover’s eyes slowly close.

I knew it had been raining but when we went down to the garage it wasn’t. By the time we drove out it started to spit, we drove off and the rain got harder than it bucketed down. The closer we got to our destination the worse it got, the roads were flooding, the wind was nuts and it was much to loud for our music to be heard. This combination put Clover to sleep.

I parked at the side of the road then immediately didn’t want to be surrounded by trees so took refuge in a shops car park. Clover slept and Iris watched the rain on the rear windscreen. The weather wasn’t easing so I decided to go home. I was also super hungry.

By the time Clover woke up (in our garage) I asked her if she wanted to go to my parents place for lunch. She did and off we went. The rain stopped and Clover kept telling me that the pedestrians didn’t need umbrellas anymore.

It was just Toto at home, he interacted with Iris as Clover and I ate. He kept them both amused as I finished eating, drank tea and rummaged through their decluttering looking for cassette tapes. It may have only been 15 minutes of alone time but it was enough to reenergise me, even though I didn’t know I needed it.

At 2:30 we headed off to the toy shop once more. We went on the same road but it was clear, it was as if it hadn’t rained. We got there and ended up staying for the 25 minutes before it closed. I chatted to Penelope, Clover rearranged and explored quietly and Iris smiled and cooed. 
We bought a cloth tool belt with tools and headed home. We took a pit stop at a cafe for merienda. I had a chai latte, Clover had most of a blueberry muffin and Iris fed. I think it was probably the first time I went to a cafe with both kids on my own, which just occurred to me now. It was quite normal. Go me!

It was still too early to pick up Tim and I tried to go the long way to the city but Canberra is just too darn convenient that I needed another option. So I drove to the NMA. From the car (Iris was sleeping so we didn’t get out, not that I wanted to) we looked at sculptures, spied a boat, spotted ducks and Clover saw something she wanted to climb and slide down (both sculptures).

We picked up Tim, went home, he cooked, did our night routine and here I am. It’s funny how not tired or exhausted I am from all the driving and the shifting plans. I don’t actually ever plan to do anything on Tuesdays as it’s the first (of really only two) days I’m on my own with both kids. It’s my no plans day. We don’t normally leave the house. Today we did. And I’m so glad for it. 

The inner voice is always right.

Baby and toddler shelf

Reaching for the shelves for the first time

Reaching for the shelves for the first time

One of the things that drew me to Montessori was how a room can be set up for different ages. I admit this was something I was really looking forward to back when I was pregnant the first time round.

Today as I spotted Iris making her way to the shelf and I knew the time had come to get it baby ready and toddler approved. I got to it straight away.

Even though Clover has other areas of the apartment with activities just for her, I still didn’t want to make the shelf completely for Iris. I’ve been wanting to rotate her activities for awhile and it always seems to drop off my Monday to dos. Today I made it a priority after seeing Iris in action.

I moved her Animals basket in the living room, put her threading, vegetables and fruit plus her board book in storage. I set up Iris basket, rejigged a few things, swapped others and went through the rotation boxes to see what could be suitable for both kids.

On the shelf (in the kids room) for a thirty month old and a four month old.

  1. Vegetable and fruits basket – I have two different sets of books with matching and cards. They didn’t come together so it was a nice surprise I could combine them. This is the small board book Nene got in the Philippines. Ironically the photos are very similar to the flash cards. I figure if Iris finds it the board book will withstand her baby strength.
  2. My family book – Such an adorable little cloth book great for babies (and their older sibling). It has a photo of Iris, Clover, Tim and I, my parents and Tim’s parents. Clover reads it more than Iris 😉
  3. Iris’ basket – Has a wooden and wool teething/sensory object and an interlocking disc.
  4. Animals basket – A Steve Parish Look and Feel book and a colourful echidna, both were given to Clover when she was born. I’m so psyched to have a stash of books with real images/photos (as supposed to cartoons) that I can have our for Iris, just like with Clover.
  5. Midwife kit – We got this for Clover as part of our “you’re going to be an ate” prep. It’s made from soft cloth material and includes a teeny Velcro bracelet that was used in Iris when she was tested at the hospital.
  6. Sound boxes – Clover uses them more for shakers than matching, sometimes for cooking. It’s low profile so for now it’ll live there.
  7. Yoga and labour cards – I tried to put them in her photo album after Iris was born but she insisted they belong in in the tray.

Before bed, Clover tested the new baskets and asked Tim to read the Look and Feel book. Tim added descriptive words as he read them (the book basically says “look” on one page and “feel” on the other). Clover asked questions as Tim read. I sat there feeding Iris totally proud that I found something both kids will enjoy.

Still one of my best finds. Baskets handmade by Brac Aarong bought at Oxfam Clover (5 months old) 15.02.15

Still one of my best finds. Baskets handmade by Brac Aarong bought at Oxfam Clover (5 months old) 15.02.15


30 by 30 Completed

Eight months ago I wrote my 30 by 30 Update giving myself the deadline of tomorrow night to complete my list. I did all but one! Not bad 🙂

  1. Meditate with a Zen master ✓
  2. Live in California ✓
  3. Start something that lasts ✓
  4. Go all natural ✓
  5. Eat tapas in Spain ✓
  6. Sangha-hop in 6 different countries ✓
  7. Teach children English ✓
  8. Follow my advice to prospective students (find what I’m passionate about) ✓
  9. Learn a language ✓
  10. Only own 100 things that spark joy ✓
  11. Go to Europe ✓
  12. Volunteer in 12 different food related places ✓
  13. Live in the Philippines ✓
  14. Spend a whole day just walking (or a coffee hunt) ✓
  15. Be part of a flashmob ✓
  16. Produce a book ✓
  17. Make an app a system ✓
  18. Simplify our home ✓
  19. Travel overseas with a luggage weighing only 10kg ✓
  20. Grow a herb garden human (x3) ✓
  21. Teach my nephews daughter Plum Village songs and maybe also Zumba ✓
  22. Take care of something -> Myself ✓
  23. Go to my name ✓
  24. Do 100 pushups ✓ Do 50 push ups in a row
  25. Visit 25 15 (I’m pretty sure I only meant 15!) of the most liveable cities in the world (according to Monocle) ✓
  26. Travel around the world without dipping into our savings ✓
  27. Touch my toes while sitting down <– Having two pregnant bellies since writing this to do prevented me from completing this, and I’m okay with that
  28. Attend a conference
  29. See cherry blossoms in Japan ✓
  30. 30 films in 3 years ✓

This toddler dress

This is now my favourite Clover dress. Their nan found it at her local op shops and posted it over to us. I was so excited for Clover to wear it.  

  1. The pattern is so fun and not kiddy at all. It’s vibrant and full but not overstimulating or have unnecessary embellishments. 
  2. The long sleeves are stretchy and can be pulled up easily.
  3. Apart from the press studs at the back she can put it on herself and the one sided pattern helps her know which way is front. 
  4. It’s a great for in between seasons. It’s light enough not to get too hot but warm enough for the cool Autumn breeze. 
  5. It can be a dress or shirt. It’s the right size for Clover except the length, so yay for leggings.

As a bonus it’s Desigual and man they make awesome clothes! 

I put it in the dress basket of her wardrobe for her to find. This morning, after she got dressed with Tim, she showed me her dressed. I asked her if we could take a photo for Nan, she agreed and our mini photoshoot began.

M: Where shall we take it? 
C: My room
M: Sure, where abouts in your room? 
C: White wall.  

I don’t ask her to smile or say cheese as I like the candid shots much better. It’s funny how she stands with her back right up against the wall, pauses for a moment before laughing or smiling then wanting to see the photo.

If I were to minimise her clothes (even more) this would definitely make the cut. I’m very particular about clothes especially when it comes to dresses. I’m for letting clothes be clothes and allowing the child to do whatever they want to in what they wear. Clothes should be made if good quality that lasts, easy for a toddler to wear themselves and something fun that they can grow with not something that is designed overly stimulating or unnecessarily “kiddy” (or mini adult style).

I’ve contemplated sewing them clothes and I know one day I will. For now I love the different avenues I have to find clothes for both kids. In three years I’m yet to buy anything new (that’s doesn’t fit in my stringent checklist) it’s opened my eyes to a world of different brands and I get to trial the quality and taste at a very low cost if not free. Secondhand love is very addictive. 


The other night Clover held Adele (her doll) and Little Mouse in each arm as she was lying down to go to sleep. She told me that one was her toddler and the other was her baby. “They have [my] dede like mama”. Dede in Tagalog is to breastfeed or breasts. It’s what we she when Iris is feeding. Today she held buttons (a bear), lifted up her dress and started feeding him (from her belly button). It was very sweet.

Every now and again Clover feeds the baby animals. Sometimes from their mothers or other animal mothers but lately it’s been a shoelace.

Clover: nyum nyum nyum

Clover: nyum nyum nyum

It hasn’t happened much lately but tonight as I fed Iris as we are dinner Clover asked for dede (breastmilk in Tagalog). I asked her how she wanted it and she said “like Iris”. I said okay and she was about to take off her bib and come to me then got distracted.

I’m part of what I call the Milky Mama Facebook group and it is such a beautiful community and braintrust. On January 4 I asked what others had done when an older child is suddenly interested in feeding. The responses blew me away and I was so touched and honoured to be heard. I spoke to a lovely lady via PM and it was nice to be reassured that what I was doing was OK. It sat so right with me but I realised I wanted to share the story and know what others have done. Because someone’s bound to have experienced it all before.

This is what I wrote…

Has anyone experienced their weaned toddler/child wanting to try breastmilk when a new baby comes along?

The other day our 2yo bumped her head and normally is so not fussed with stumbles, but she was particularly tired, so when I sat by her, she climbed into my lap and looked at my boobs. She goes “I drink milk mama dede?” (dede is breast in Tagalog). I smiled I said “If you like”. Then she got distracted and ran off. She weaned herself off at 13 months but has a 2 month old sister and every now and again, when the baby is upset she goes “baby drink milk mama dede!”

Yesterday, she wasn’t upset, nor was her sister, she was playing with the her Farm animals and kept riding it so I asked her if she wanted to see where baby cows get their milk from. I showed her how the calf was fed by the cow. She took them off me and fed the calf, then she looks at me and goes “I drink milk mama dede?” I said “how do you do that?” she unclipped my maternity bra and grinned. I was contemplating letting her go on the breast but wasn’t sure if that would confuse things or something. So I asked if she wanted to drink from a cup. She said yes so I expressed into a shot glass (on of the first glasses she drank from ironically) and showed her where the milk came from.

She drank it, made a face, I asked how it tasted and she said “nummy!” (yummy) She asked for it again today, but I know that it’s not producing the milk for her. I’ve always liked the idea of tandem breastfeeding, but it’s been more than a year since she was breastfed. I have a feeling it’s a phase and she’s genuinely interested, so I don’t discourage the idea but I don’t encourage it either.

What have other people done?

Clover hasn’t gone back to breastfeeding, she still makes sucking sounds when she’s tired and falls asleep that it makes me wonder if I unintentionally helped her wean herself off at 13 months.

Sometimes she asks to have a feed, often out of the blue (for me), sometimes because I’m feeding Iris and most of the time she gets distracted and forgets. Occasionally though she gets few droplets that she or I hand express. A couple of times he wanted expressed milk to rub on Iris’ scratches. I think to her it’s enough, if one day she wants to give latching a go, I’ll be here. The milk I’m producing is currently designed for Iris, but if Clover did want it, it will change to suit what she needs.

I’m not sure if she will want to go back to breastmilk and that’s okay, it’s her choice. I know that she knows it’s there if she wants it. Normalising breastfeeding from infancy is so important to me, to us as a family and for our babies it is simply the norm.


Today Iris started swivelling! She’s been following our movements by turning her head, and recently you can just tell that she wants to move like her Ate Clover. On Monday she rolled off her blanket and onto the bamboo floors. She inched forward slightly, discovered that she could grip onto the floor and slowly learned that dropping her head on the hard surface was not a good idea.

She was watching us eat lunch today and making sounds suggesting that she wanted a change of scenery. I asked her if she wanted to go straight onto the bamboo, to which Clover replied “yes” for Iris. After vacuuming and mopping the floor I placed Iris on her back and like a ninja she was on her belly. Clover was still eating and I moved my chair then ended up on the floor so she could watch us both. Didn’t take long for her to start swivelling. She did a 180 and at the beginning she did favour one side, she realised she could move in both directions, usually trying to chase Clover.

The Development of Movement - Stages By Dr Emmi Pikler  

The Development of Movement – Stages By Dr Emmi Pikler  

Her movements remind me so much of Dr. Pikler’s The Development of Movement – Stages Iris really did go from turning her head, to practicing moving her hands, turning on her side, on her belly, turning back and yes she has spent many a day lying on her belly so cool! 

It wasn’t until Monday that I realised how limiting her blanket was. She needed a surface she could grip and slide on. She can go backwards on her blanket or bed, plus pivot, but being on the bamboo floors just gives her a bit more speed and she clearly enjoys it.

One of my favourite things about this season is watching how she discovers movement for herself. All I need to do is give her the space and time to do that. So much fun!

Eighteen weeks old (yesterday)

Eighteen weeks old. Home.  

Eighteen weeks old. Home.  


  • Iris rolled herself off the living room rug and onto the bamboo floor pivoting towards Clover.
  • She grabbed the rattle that her Tita Olivia gave Clover when she was a baby.  
  • She semi sort of inched forward and her determination is awesome.
  • Normally a silent laugher, she literally LOL’d when Clover did something that clearly amused her.


  • Saw Hidden Figures at Palace with Tim. We got front row seat and Iris hung out on her blanket. She was more interested in us then he screen. The crawling baby next to us was fascinated with her.
  • We have a new markets to go to complete with a giant mushroom playground and squishy floor so next time Iris can lie down on her blanket.


  • The first two feeds for the day are on lying down feeds which are fabulous. I can have a mini rest/nap. Even with a toddler bed I fit in nicely and with their new rug I can roll off without making a sound or hitting the bamboo floors.
  • Tim cooks us delicious Happy Body Formula meals which means prep is ao much easier. Iris is starting to tune into our eating times so getting food ready one handed is a bonus.
  • We needed over the mattress mattress protectors and Baby Bunting was having a sale (that place has always scared us). We got Iris a Tripp Trapp ready for when she wants to have solids/can sit up on her own.


  • Matt and PJ came over for lunch. It’s cute seeing Matt and Clover interact it’s like a glimpse to what Iris and Clover will be up to.
  • Nene and Toto took Clover while we went to the movies and they came back and laid about with Iris as I pottered about tidying.
  • Friday is family and errands day. We opened up a bank account for each kid and in return they got rooster piggy banks.


  • The cold continues but it seems to be disappearing. We moved her floorbed into our room temporarily. 
  • Iris had her four month shots on Friday. She got both needles in at the same time. She yelped and had a concerned Clover watching her. Her Ate and Dada gave her a cuddle then she had a feed.
  • She’s dropped almost two percentile so I’m trying to encourage more feeding to boost her energy. As a result 3am feeds are back. We’ve made an appointment to see the GP because I didn’t know nurses didn’t do the same check ups as MACH nurses (makes sense and oops!)


  • I’ve heard of hygge and didn’t know much about it. After listening to a podcast I was intrigued. When I read this blog post from Alex at Hygge House I was like wow this is me. I was go, go, go and when I’m not, when I slow down and be present all is well in my world. How she describes hygge right here is what I crave and feel. It’s what I’m doing more this week and loving it.

…hygge requires consciousness, a certain slowness, and the ability to not just be present – but enjoy the present. That’s why so many people distill ‘hygge’ down to being a ‘feeling’ – because if you don’t feel hygge, you probably aren’t using the word right.

  • I’ve always had difficulty in doing nothing but when I do “nothing” I’m the happiest. Watching the kids, being with them and dropping whatever I’m doing (chores) is simply delightful.
  • Dropping study and volunteering has allowed me to embrace hygge and has freed up space to get my creativity flowing. Wins all round.


– My favourite Iris thing is how she just lights up when she interacts with Clover (and vice versa) so adorable!

Behind the scenes  

Behind the scenes