Swim through witching hour (literally) – a good one for daylight savings

Here’s our latest “thing” and I would totally recommend you try it out as your challenge…

About twice a week, we (my husband, my two kids and I) all go to the pool at the end of the day (usually straight from day-care/work).

We take turns doing laps (which are therapeutic in and of themselves) while the other watches over the kids. Then we give them their shower right there (most pools have special family changing rooms, with plenty of space and nice warm water), have dinner (either at the swimming pool or at a shopping centre next door), put their pyjamas on, brush their teeth and head back home.

Half way through the drive the kids are already fast asleep. When we get home, we just have to put then in bed, and enjoy the rest of the evening – no dishes to wash, no toys to pack away, no cajoling into the shower, no bedtime stories… *heaven* J

It does take a little bit of organising (packing pool bag, pjs, toothbrushes, etc), but I just keep the two bags always ready: one with pool stuff and one with pjs and toothbrushes, and just make sure I organise them again straight away every time we come home. Totally worth it! J           

First Time to Hire A BabySitter

I knew one thing.  I needed time to out with my husband alone more than once a year when his parents came from England or my parents came from Queensland. 

I had a recommendation from a friend for a babysitter and I booked her in.  When she arrived, I knew the grandmotherly figure was perfect.  The kids were in safe hands. 

We left our sleeping children, walking ten minutes up hill to Dulwich Hill, holding hands under the starry sky to an Egyptian Restaurant.  The food was delicious and despite feeling tired from night weaning, I was out, alone, with my husband.

We followed one simple rule - Five (5) minutes of talk about the kids and after that they were a no go zone.  It did stretch me for the first few minutes and my mind did wander back to the kids every so often, but it was good practice to focus on other topics.

Back at home, our toddler had woken but the Babysitter had dealt expertly with her, lying in our bed with her, then offering some milk, then finally lying with her again before leaving her to go quickly back to sleep. 

I was amazed and in awe that now I could reliably have a night out every two months while someone warmly and gently took care of my children.                                                                                       J

Reading....for Pleasure (shock, horror, gasp)

I’d forgotten how nice it is to read a good novel. To be able to just “disappear” into this whole other world… 

For a good few years, all I read was either work related or parenting related. I thought I didn’t have time to read, but now I make the time! 

Even if it’s just for ten minutes, it takes me away to another universe AND it stops my brain from thinking /worrying about a hundred other things.

Because I am obviously a bit of a rule nazi, I have made two simple rules for myself in this regard:

a) easy reads only; and light hearted stories - nothing full on emotional or depressing (I have the same rule for movies at this point too).   Call me superficial, but it’s meant to be a time out…

b) no reading with the kids or other interruptions around – I like to know that if I’m going to pick up the book, even if it IS just for 10 minutes, I’m going to be allowed to “travel” with it without interruptions.

I never take it to the park with the kids for example. If I’m at the park with the kids, I’m with the kids. Even if they’re happy playing on their own, the risk of being interrupted mid-sentence is too high… this way they’re happy (about the attention) and so am I…                                                                         M