30 by 30 Update

Four months ago I turned 30 but I’ve deciced that I have until the day before I turn 31 to see how much of this list I can tick off. My original post had a few things ticked off and I was pretty excited to see how many more I had managed to tick off since (without even realising it). There a couple where I have adjusted due to change of interest or physical restrictions (no. 12, 24) but there are others where I intentionally didn’t divulge the entire truth when I was thinking about them (no. 20, 21).

Eight months to go!

  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
  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
  18. Simplify our home ✓
  19. Travel overseas with a luggage weighing only 10kg ✓
  20. Grow a herb garden human x 3 ✓
  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 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
  28. Attend a conference
  29. See cherry blossoms in Japan ✓
  30. 30 films in 3 years ✓

Day One – Sparkle

Sparkle /spɑːk(ə)l/ verb: Shine brightly with flashes of light.

Every time we visited Nanay at the hospital these past few months Clover would light up that spark in Nanay’s eyes. The very last time we saw Nanay awake, a spark seemed to dance between the two of them. That night Nanay fell into a deep sleep. As reality set in among the rest of us Clover stayed true to herself. She wandered around, smiled, giggled and rearranged things. One of the nurses commented that she lit up the whole ward. It was so lovely to hear and it was so very true.

She’s a sparkle, a glitter and the light whenever it’s needed. It’s her super power. But it’s not her responsibility. It’s her glow and her essence. It’s who she is and the spark she exudes is contagious. She keeps me in the moment. She always has, even when she was in my belly.

 

 

To cloth or not to cloth

Eight months ago a friend asked me for some cloth diaper tips. We do something different now but I’m glad we gave cloth diapering a go because I wouldn’t have known the real reason as to why I wanted to do it in the first place.


Here is what I said…

To be honest I was too overwhelmed to do research before Clover so I went with a friends recommendation. She owned a store and did all the research and gave me three new nappies to try. I ended up buying seven more covers and a bunch of inserts. But she must’ve bought her batch before they redid the design and I don’t actually like the new model so I don’t recommend it.

But! I do have tips so you don’t have to buy too much. As you know we’re digging the simple living and not wanting own too much stuff. My friend did give me great tips and I’ve read some stuff, but it seems people like excess so I couldn’t relate too much. So here is what we do and my tips 🙂

QUANTITY:

  • You don’t need that many nappies! We have 20 atm and having less is probably doable if it was hot all year round.
  • We do have more inserts/liners than the covers though.
  • We use pocket size nappies so the intention is to put the insert inside the pocket. We don’t do that. We have the insert in between baby and the nappy. That way when she does a pee we can just change the insert instead of changing the whole pocket (hence the need to have less nappies)
  • We have twice as many inserts as covers. We have a few thicker inserts for overnight and I’m still finding the right balance in terms of the kind of inserts I like. One option is to use terry towels folded in threes, but they’re not as absorbent or thin as the actual inserts (this was what we did when we started).

MATERIAL AND TYPES:

  • Go for natural material, cotton or bamboo are good. Hemp is good and sturdy but I’m yet to get used to it.
  • We have press studs instead of velcro as it seems to wear better and when you stick them in the washing machine it won’t get stuck to each other. (For velcro bibs I put it in a delicates bag
  • There are infant/new born nappies and then one size fits all. We got one size fits all so Clover didn’t fit in them until she was about four months (but every baby is different).
  • Get one that you can stick in the washing machine, I think most do!
  • Oh and I recently found out that microfibre is not supposed to go on the baby’s skin (which is what we were doing) and it gets a smell, no matter how clean it is because it seems to retain detergent. So avoid that if you can!

STARTING OUT:

  • We used disposable nappies at the beginning partly because there was a lot of change as it was and tried to just make it easier for us to start. Another reason is that their poo is very very different.
  • We used Aldi nappies and now thinking of going Naty nappies when we’re travelling <<Naty by  Nature Babycare is what we use now, and this is why>>

RESOURCES:

  • I always wanted to go to the Cloth Nappy library but never got around to it. Here are two in Canberra:
  • The Cloth Diaper Vlog that I found recently is ObbsandLala it’s freaking awesome! 
  • Whatever nappy you decide to use, look up the care instructions on the their website or contact them. If they’re a good company they should be more than willing to help. Bumwear was really good at this!

STORING/WASHING:

  • I used to wash ours every night but read that it wasn’t necessary so trying to do it every other night, which makes it easier for me. People do it for longer but I think that’s a wee bit gross.
  • We have a Little Squirt Water Sprayer which is super handy! It’s a sprayer that attaches to the toilet so you can wash the poop down. The only thing is that you can’t seem to adjust the intensity of the water.
  • Our routine is spray the poop down the toilet, squeeze it out and put it in an open tub in the laundry.
  • I use EcoStore Laundry powder, and only recently started using half the normal amount (for all laundry) because apparently that’s all you need!
  • I do a pre wash first in cold then do a normal cycle. We have a front loader and is eco so it doesn’t actually use enough water. I’m trailing out which method to use best atm but one thing that works is sticking a towel in there to trick the washing machine haha.
  • Breastfed baby poop is water soluble (which I didn’t know) so apparently you can just stick that in the wash.
  • Now, it’s inevitable that the inserts/nappies will get a bit stained, but stick them in the sun to dry and so far they all come out white!

BRANDS AND BUYING

  • So I used BumWear because it was ethically produced but because they use microfibre, it defeats the purpose of going down the owning less route, so I’m going to sell them. (I did however keep the wet bags and they are awesome.) This was a big thing for me because I hate wasting money. But at the end of the day you have to be happy with what you use instead of preserving with something just because you have it.
  • In saying that I love Hippybottomus! A friend uses it and I saw it for second hand so I thought I’d give them a try. They are pretty snug, easy to use and uses natural material.

ACCESSORIES

  • Wet bags are useful especially if you are going to be on the go (but even if you decide to go disposable, these are good for the poopy clothes).
  • A tub to store nappies before putting in the wash. There are a lot of different nappy bins, but I don’t know any that are for cloth. I got one from woolies, it’s small and fits in our laundry tub. It’s open because nappies aren’t supposed to smell!

TIPS

  • Now my main tip is totally to buy second hand! It’s not as gross as it seems, because they get washed (a lot). I had to prewash all my new ones and it too ages. I got Hippybottomus second hand for a fraction of the price. Just remember to ask when they got it and why they’re getting rid of it. 
  • Also don’t buy too much, because you may find that you don’t like it once you put it on the baby. Or the baby may be allergic to using cloth (that’s what happened to our neighbour). And if you do end up not liking it you can resell it, you may not get all your money back but at least you get something!
  • If you can, check out other peoples stash and ask your friends why they chose that particular brand or type.

That’s all! Hope it’s not too much information. If it’s too overwhelming, you can always decide to do cloth nappies after the baby is born. It’s really never to late and the baby won’t care either way, so it’s whatever you guys want to do 🙂

Let me know if you have any questions! To be honest, I wish I had someone to ask things to. I loved being pregnant and being at home is with Clover is fabulous but sometimes it gets so isolating and confusing that I don’t even know who (or how) to ask. Hope this helps! 

Own little person

The “I just woke up” look.

Also, when did our little baby turn into a little girl?! She really has grown in the past couple of months. She’s such her own little person it’s completely mind boggling and a such an honour to watch and be a part of.

I remember asking Jacob when he was maybe three what happens after you’re a baby and he said “you’re a toddler, then a kid then an adult”. He may be onto something.

Thirteen months old

Thirteen months old. Scots Creek, Adelaide.

After having a quiet day at home for her first birthday, we spent the week getting ready for her weekend celebration, stayed at my parents place for a week before heading south. It’s highly convenient how Clover manages to make herself at home wherever she is.

From drinking cows milk to “using” a potty to dropping down to one breastfeed I guess in retrospect it could seem like a big month but in all honesty it feels normal. So much has changed but we’re still us.

We’ve spent the last three weeks in Adelaide hanging out with Clover’s Nan and Pa. She’s entertained us all with her cheeky grins, constant need to move, enjoyment of food and love of birds.

She no longer toddles but walks with confident and ease. Sometimes she gets a little too excited and semi face plants. She likes to sweep the back porch and explore the garden. When she stumbles, she picks herself up with no fuss and attempts to dust herself off by wiping her hands.

Her Nan has taught her heaps. My favourite is when she whispers “aark” when she enters a dark room, just like her dada did when he was her age. She goes “ahh” after a satisfying gulp and goes “tsss” when she knows there’s a hot mug nearby.

She’s grown taller, her hair is slightly longer and her smile is just like her dada’s when he was little. It’s beyond adorable!

#planetclover #howoldisclover

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Getting ready

Getting ready

I’ve done quite a bit of op shop hunting here and they’ve been mostly book finds. It’s been really fun and predictably addictive, but as a result it won’t actually fit in our luggage to take home. Fortunately my mum is coming for a conference and just happens to be in search of a new suitcase. So yesterday we bought her a new four-wheeler carry-on luggage on sale.

The packing nerd that I am, I took on the challenge to make my Clover purchases fit. I’ve been documenting how I pack when we first headed off for our round the world tour of awesomeness in 2013. I’ve always wanted to film how I pack, but have had to use shot by shot apps and it was just too time consuming, enter Hyperlapse. I’ve been using it for Clover films and thought I’d give it a try.

The packing list:

  • 13x onesies (Clover’s no longer on onesies!)
  • 2x shirts (pressies from her Nan and Pa)
  • 6x dresses (more pressies)
  • 18x books (secondhand goodies, a good chunk are pressies)
  • 4x books for me (because I can’t resist child development books)
  • 4x wooden puzzles (3 sets are secondhand, the other is a market find)
  • 1x pair of baby Havianas (a thrift store find)

Eight years and four months later

For our six months (dating) anniversary, I visited Tim in Adelaide and he took me to this lovely restaurant for a fancy meal.

Eight years and four months later we thought we’d make the most of Clover and Nan time and had a fancy lunch out at the same restaurant.

Later this month it will be nine years since we met in the middle of the Memorial Drive Tennis Stadium here in Adelaide. Time is a funny thing.

Peeling banana like a pro

If I hadn’t been looking at the Montessori method three years ago (yes pre pre baby) I wouldn’t have thought a twelve month old would have been capable of such complex dexterity.

I remember reading about it and being completely fascinated. When I was pregnant and again in the past year I would see posts for toddlers but didn’t take much in. Only recently I realised I can actually start making use of these tips. I feel like I have a toolkit that’s continually expanding the more I see what Clover is into. It’s surprisingly simple and so much fun!

Being a Montessori mama rocks.

This time last year

One year ago Clover was two weeks and a few days old doing tummy time for the very first time. It wasn’t for very long but I was pretty excited about it.

Starting tummy time early and being persistent with it paid off. She rolled over quite efficiently, learned to commando crawl with determination, almost skipped crawling and was able to pull herself to standing, one day she stood up and a few weeks later she was talking her first steps.

Today she sat and mixed using a bowl, wooden spoon and “noodles” (cut up toilet paper roll). She entertains herself, checks in constantly, explores everything and will always let you know she loves you. I will never stop being in awe of the awesomeness of our adventurous toddler.

Coat hangers

Back home Clover has yellow velvet child size coat hangers that I found on eBay before my ethical shopping time. It’s nice, simple with a metal hook. It fits in the non plastic home I strive for.

We’re in Adelaide for the next few weeks and we have ample storage and hanging space. I’ve organised our drawers using our packing cubes and Kon Mari styled Clover’s clothes. What I didn’t think of were her jackets, jumpers and “can wear again” clothes that need to be hung. I tried to use adult size ones and that failed.

So when I went to woollies yesterday I was pretty happy to find these coat hangers who support the Afford Australian foundation of disability. It made the fact that it’s plastic and manufactured in China somewhat okay. It’s just impractical to try to strive for 100% all the time.