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I Miss My Husband!

I Miss My Husband!


 

“I miss you.”

I say these words to my husband far too often these days. Sure, the man gets home from work around 6 every day, watches TV with me for an hour or so most evenings, and sleeps beside me every night, but it’s not enough. Since having our son 18 months ago, our marriage has changed – in good ways, but also in challenging ways – and our quality time has suffered.

There is one other time in our marriage when this has been a problem – and it was right at the very beginning. We didn’t live together until after we were married, and within weeks of saying “I do” I realised that we were going days without connecting properly. Now that we were finally living together, we were both working on the assumption that we would just see each other all the time at home – which, in theory, freed us up to make lots of individual plans with friends and commitments to other people. But we quickly learnt that living together is not enough, and despite the fact that we were seeing each other regularly, we were not focusing enough on connecting regularly. It was our first lesson on marriage, and luckily we caught it quickly enough to change our habits before we did any damage.

Now with a little human in the Donovan family fold, we’ve fallen into the trap of taking each other for granted again. Don’t get me wrong – we’re fine, we’re happy, we’re very much in love – but still, we miss each other. That connection we’ve enjoyed so easily for over eight years now is a little harder to catch thanks to six o’ clock dinners, bedtime routines, teething, tantrums and toys all over the floor. When we flop down on the couch at the end of the day, it’s not often to spend quality time together – it’s to recover!

Does any of this sound familiar? Do you miss your husband as much as I miss mine? Here are some simple ways that may help you to reconnect.

Really talk

I can go days of building up things that I want to open up about with my husband, but never feel like there’s time to do it. I blame Netflix. Open conversation is so important in marriage though, and shouldn’t be reserved as something that happens once every few days. Go beyond the usual “How was your day?” small talk and delve deeper. Some couples have a set list of probing questions that they ask each other at the end of every day. I find it really beneficial to sit outside in our backyard when I want to have a good conversation with my husband in the evening. Something about the night sky, the lack of distraction and the openness of the space tends to foster our best chats.

Make eye contact

We can let a whole conversation slide by without ever looking someone in the eye these days – whether we’re loading the dishwasher, scrolling through Facebook, getting dressed or wrangling a toddler. Purposefully locking eyes while conversing instantly ups the connection and makes both people feel listened to and valued.

Laugh together

There is something wonderfully bonding about enjoying a laugh with someone – it aligns you for a moment and makes you feel like they just get it. Getting out of the house to enjoy a comedy show might not be the easiest when you’re deep in the throes of parenting, but watching a funny movie at home together (or heck, even dog videos on YouTube) should be equally satisfying.

Snuggle

A lack of physical connection is one of the quickest ways to grow apart from a spouse, so make sure to spend intentional time just holding (and being held by!) each other.

See a counsellor

Though I have not personally gone down the road of marriage counselling before, I have heard many people shouting the praises of a marriage ‘fine-tune’ once in a while, and it makes sense. Sometimes we need help to unpack all of our feelings before we can build our way back to a proper connection. Seeing a marriage counsellor is never a sign of failure – it’s a sign that you care about your marriage, and you want to put measures in place to protect it.

 

Our roles as parents are super important – but so are our roles as husband and wife! At the end of the day, our kids will grow up and leave home… but our spouses are in it for the long haul. Taking constant care of your relationship will help strengthen it and build a connection that will last for years to come.

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Shop On Line With SIDS And Help A Great Cause!

Shop On Line With SIDS And Help A Great Cause!

We here at Australian Baby card are proud supporters of SIDS, we think the work they do is amazing and much needed.

Did you know that SIDS actually has an online store called Shop Red Nose that sells hundreds of baby and children's items. And get this 100% of shop red profits are reinvested into delivering the Red Nose mission of saving the lives of babies and children during pregnancy, birth, infancy, and childhood, through education services, advocacy, bereavement support, and world-class research. How awesome is that?

They stock lots of brands like some of our favourites below.

And guess what all Australian Baby Card holders also receive 20% discount (excluding Postage and Handling). You can view Australian baby card deal here: SIDS

So next time you are doing some online shopping, why not shop Red nose through SIDS, you will not only be purchasing items you want but also helping a worthy cause.

Not An ABC member don't worry, you can sign up here: Sign me up!

You can shop Redo Nose through SIDS here: Shop SIDS

 

Don’t just shop, Shop Red Nose and help save more little lives!

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Date night without leaving the house!

Date night without leaving the house!

 

Now I love to cook! I find it so therapeutic and relaxing. Yes even with a little ones at my feet asking me to help all the time,  I love to hear the words, ‘I helping too’. They get the bowls out along with every cooking utensil in the draw they can lay their little hands on. Its loads of fun watching them practicing their pretend cooking skills.

 

I do 99.9% of the cooking at home. Hubby confesses that he’s not confident at cooking however, he is always keen learn and will help out when I need it.

 

So this got me thinking. We were due for a date night and given that he’s not that confident in the kitchen, why not have a date night of cooking together? I thought homemade pizza’s would be the pretty easy to start with. We made up the pizza dough,  I got hubby to arrange all the toppings we wanted and we began rolling out the bases together and making our pizza’s. It’s great to include the kids in making the pizza’s, they love it and have such fun building up their little master pieces. I also find if they help cook they are more likely to eat it!

 

We have a ball doing it together and made loads of mess but had the most beautiful homemade pizza’s. Hubby thought that it was pretty easy to do and said he felt confident enough to give them ago himself in the future, guess who's having pizza every night now! haha

 

After finally getting the kids to bed, we settled on the couch with some wine and watched Game of Thrones. What better way to end a fun afternoon than in the arms of your best friend on the couch eating pizza!

 

Date night’s don’t always have to be about organising a baby sitter and going out for dinner, keep it simple, inexpensive and most of all enjoyable. 

 

Does your hubby or partner cook? If so what’s their signature dish?

 

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How To Implement A Reward Chart - 5 free reward chart printables

How To Implement A Reward Chart - 5 free reward chart printables

Reward charts are one of the best ways to encourage good behavior, discourage behavior you don’t want, and rewarding your child for practicing new skills. If you don’t know how to get started, read on.

Decide why you are using the reward chart Before you start using the reward chart, you need to be clear on why you are using the chart, so that you can talk to your child about the change you want to see. Be specific, rather than say your child needs to tidy their bedroom, tell them they need to pick up toys and put them away. Choose a chart Once you have decided why you are using the chart, it’s time to choose a chart. The type you choose might depend on it’s purpose, but to help you out we have listed 5 free reward charts at the end of this page. Decide on the rewards A reward chart wouldn’t be a reward chart without some type of rewards. Young kids love stickers like a star or smiley face, whereas older kids would prefer something more tangible. Create some short term rewards It can be hard to keep kids motivated for too long, so it’s a good idea to create some short term rewards that help kids keep their mind on the end goal. Rather than a sticker it might be something like a new book or day out doing something they enjoy. Reward good behavior immediately Giving the reward, such as a sticker, as soon as your child models the right behavior will reinforce that they are doing the right thing. Don’t punish your child if they don’t get a reward If your child doesn’t earn a reward, don’t punish them or threaten to take a reward already given off them. Instead, encourage your child to try again next time.

After sorting out a reward system, you might be wondering if it will work? Reward charts are great for helping reinforce expected behavior. They can help turn a task or experience into something with a positive focus, and that’s going to make the experience better for everybody. Working toward goals and receiving a goal at the end is a part of life, much like going to work and receiving an income at the end of the week, and reward charts work in much the same way.

Now that you are ready to try using a reward chart, it’s time to choose one. We have done the research for you and listed the 5 best free reward chart printables below. Free kids chore chart system from Simply Designing http://www.simplydesigning.net/free-kids-chore-chart-printable/ This printable is perfect for rewarding chores, with space to add in chores to suit your child’s abilities.   Superhero reward chart from The Chirping Moms http://www.thechirpingmoms.com/2015/03/free-printable-superhero-reward-chart.html#_a5y_p=3549132 These reward charts are the perfect multi use reward chart, no matter what behavior you are rewarding. There are two designs to choose from.   Free printable chore charts from Passion for Savings http://www.passionforsavings.com/free-printable-chore-charts-for-kids/ These rewards charts are perfect for any age group. There is a chore ideas printable grouped by age, a daily responsibilities printable and daily chores printable.   Toddler chore chart from Dandee-Designs http://www.dandee-designs.com/2011/08/modern-toddler-chore-chart.html This chore chart is perfect for toddlers who can’t yet read. It features little pictures of simple chores that young kids can do with minimal assistance.   Weekday printable chore chart from The Vintage Mother http://thevintagemother.com/free-printable-chore-chart/ This free printable chore chart works well for those tasks that only need to be completed on weekdays, such as making lunch for school and homework after school.  

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7 Simple Ways To Teach Your kids About Feelings

7 Simple Ways To Teach Your kids About Feelings

Learning how to recoginise and control feeling and emotions is such an important part of growing up. These 7 activities will help you teach your kids about feelings in a simple and fun way.

Emotion eggs from Laughing Kids Learn http://laughingkidslearn.com/tool-for-teaching-emotions-in-kids These eggs are a fantastic tool for teaching kid’s emotions, you can use them in so many different ways. You can use them to role play different feelings or to copy the faces drawn on each egg. It’s also great fun to copy the faces in front of a mirror, so kids can see how their faces look when they copy the expression of each egg. 1 Emotions scavenger hunt from Mosswood Connections http://mosswoodconnections.com/activities/new-socialemotional-page/emotions-scavenger-hunt-social-skills-activity/ This game is a great way to build awareness of emotions by people watching. Download the worksheet and find somewhere to sit and people watch, then children can identify people that match the emotions on the worksheet and mark them off. 2 Emotional animals kids game from Craftionary http://www.craftionary.net/guest-post-emotional-animals-kids-game/ All you need for this game is two square wooden blocks and a permanent texta. Next, choose some emotions and write those emotions on each side of one of your dice. Next, choose 6 animals that are easy for your child to mimic and write those on the other dice. To play the game, roll both dice and act it out. 3 DIY kids emotion matching game from B-Inspired Mama http://b-inspiredmama.com/kids-emotion-matching-game-with-free/ This game is so much fun, and is made personal by using pictures of your children. To put the game together, grab a camera and take pictures of your kids acting out each emotions, them print and laminate those pictures along with the emotion words from the free printable. Attach Velcro dots to each picture and emotion word, and children can match the words to the picture of themselves acting out that emotion. 4 Empathy Beads from Sugar Aunts http://www.sugaraunts.com/2015/05/quick-as-cricket-activity-teach-empathy.html These empathy bead bracelets are inspired by the book ‘Quick as a Cricket’. Pull out some pile cleaners and a range of different coloured bracelets. Ask your children to give each typs or colour of bead an emotion, and then create a bracelet made up of the different ‘emotion’ beads. 5 Printable Inside Out emotions board game from Strawberry Mommy Cakes http://strawberrymommycakes.com/2015/06/12/printable-inside-out-emotions-board-game/ If your kids loved the movie Inside Out the are going to have fun playing this board game. First of all, print out the game and cut out the pieces. To play the game, move the pieces as the cards tell you to. When you land on a ‘memory’ spot you have to tell of a time you felt that particular emotion. 6 Exploring emotions with slime from Little Bins for Little Hands http://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/inside-out-exploring-emotions-activity-with-sensory-play/ Start off by making some homemade slime, and dividing it into 5 balls of slime. Next, add a colour to each to represent one of 5 emotions; joy, anger, sadness, disgust and fear. You can then talk to your child about certain situations, and as them to decide how that situation makes them feel, and express it by choosing the appropriate slime colours. 7

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Date Night Without Leaving The House!

Date Night Without Leaving The House!

 

Date nights don’t always have to be about organising a baby sitter and saving your pennies for a night out. Whilst it’s lovely to get all dolled up and extremely enjoyable to have a night out, the reality at times is that we simply don’t have the time or the money to do this on a regular basis. So why not have date night at home and theme it!

 

Think about this, your favourite cuisine and basing the whole evening around it? Food, movies, you, hubby – you could even improvise and go as far as clothing as well for a bit of a laugh!

 

We had Saturday date night at home a couple weeks back and we both had a craving for Chinese. We decided to put dinner off for us until the little ones were fed, bathed and in bed for the night.

 

While I ordered Chinese takeaway, hubby got a couple Bruce Lee movies ready – ‘Enter the Dragon’ & ‘The Big Boss’. I got the chopsticks, bowls, glasses, napkins and set up some cushions on the floor of the lounge room in front of the coffee table and we were all set for our Chinese themed date night. We even have chop stick fights and mimic the movies English dubbing.

 

If you didn’t want to order take away you could pop in the oven some of the entertainer packs with some spring rolls, money bags etc or prepare some fried rice or what every your favourite dishes are and have them ready for when the kids are in bed.

 

We’ve also themed date night around Italian. I made some fettuccini carbonara, garlic bread and salad. We had some chocolate gelato for dessert and watch the God Father! The sky’s the limit with what you can theme it as. What about Mexican or a decade such as 1940’s? What about kids party themes – cupcakes or fairy bread? Don’t let your imagination limit you.

 

It’s often the simple, impromptu things that often turn out to be the most fun and enjoyable. Most of all you get to spend some quality time with the one you love the most and it’s inexpensive.

 

Have you tried themed date night? If so tell us what your theme was. If you haven’t tried it out would you give it a go?

 

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Tips To Dating After A Baby

Tips To Dating After A Baby

For those who have had a baby know what it’s like to try and even leave the house fully clothed let alone get out for a date night with your significant other. Some days it’s just not going to happen.

Hubby and I made the decision at Christmas last year that we wouldn’t buy each other presents and instead make more of an effort in spending time with one another. Since we had the little ones life seems to revolve around them, which is fine, however we never seemed to have time out just the two of us.

Not to mention the fact that Hubby can’t even kiss or cuddle me without being pushed away and told to basically “leave Mummy alone!” Poor Hubby! 

So we spoke to our amazing family friend and booked her for ‘date nights’ every 4-6 weeks. When booking with her we will lock in dates for the next 4 months, that way they’re in and we look forward to them. Let me tell you the first one was weird! We saw a truck on our way to dinner and said “Look it’s a truck” and cracked up as our little ones weren't in the car. How life changes when you have kids. 

Our first date night was pretty funny. We booked dinner at a local Yum Cha place and aimed to be at the movies by 8.30pm. Hubby and I were sending texts to each other all day psyching each other up, it was like back in our dating days. We felt like 20 something year olds.

We thought we’d have enough time to get to the movies and purchase our tickets at the booking office and more importantly that we’d have plenty of time to grab like a large popcorn and coke that I’d been craving it all day. What we did! For Plan B? We didn’t have one. So, we thought let’s go bowling, we had a blast.

It didn’t end there. After we’d finished bowling and thought, let’s stop for a coffee and cake on the way home. We went to our usual haunt, mind you this is going back almost 2 years and it’s only 10pm and they’re all closing for the night, seriously? Just our luck, first night out on our own and this happens. We haven’t been out of the game that long peeps.

Plan C? Stop off at Coles for a cake and coffee at home.  We had a good laugh and it turned out to be a great night. 

Remember these tips: 

Book date nights in a few months in advance with the babysitter, friend whoever you trust and can get.  

Compromise on what it is you want to do, take turns in choosing the movie you want to watch or better off surprise your partner with something you know they love doing.

Lock in dates on a calendar so you have something to look forward to.

Decide on what you want guys want to do. Book it (and if you decide on the movies…..pre-book your tickets)

Get excited, text each other; What are you wearing tonight sweet cheeks? Can’t wait to share a large popcorn with you.

And remember, who cares if it doesn’t go to plan, make the most of it and make your own fun.

I must say holding hands was a massive highlight,  given that we’re forbidden by our Children to have any form of affection toward each other in their presence! 

Why not recreate your first date, It’ll be loads of fun and bring back many fun and happy memories that you can reminisce about.

And, don’t forget to hold hands.

Tell us what your first date night was like after baby?

 

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The day a pair of white boots taught me a lesson.

The day a pair of white boots taught me a lesson.


It was 1986. My local shoe shop. I was 14 years old. Every day for 2 weeks, I went for a walk and saw them gazing at me from the window. Finally, I walked in and tried them on. White leather boots, not too high, not too short – more like semi cowgirl style. I remember tassles - funky white strips of leather hanging down the sides, and little shapes 
cut out through the top.

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