Thursday, April 11, 2013

Making Life Easier*




Life with two kids is busy. Okay okay, life with two kids is chaos most of the time. Life with three will be.... umm... i'm just not sure yet (reassurance required).

I'm excepting that I will spend the best part of twelve months in my pyjamas  carrying a baby and about 15 extra kilos. I imagine that I will be tied to the laundry basket, small peoples bottoms and the broom for approximately 24 hours each and every day. It will be full on, that i know.

In light of this, Dave and I are planning on making a few minor changes to our home that will make things a little easier during the crazy season. We've dipped into our savings to complete the following:


1. Install a front loading washing machine  in the kitchen** - we currently have a downstairs laundry. No, I don't mean just down a flight of stairs either - I mean outside, down the side path that was demolished during landscaping, over the mud, under the rain and around the beaten track 'downstairs laundry'. It's nasty and makes washing in anything other than perfect conditions very difficult.

2. Installing Air conditioning- this was a big one for us and I'd be lying if I said it didn't take a few 'strong' conversations to come to a decision. I wanted it BAD, Dave didn't want it BAD. We wrestled over the purchase for ... lets say.... 3 years. In the end, we got air con. To be fair, there are only a few days each summer that it's really required but they are some desperate days. To further justify the expense, our heater broke last year and we were yet to replace it. For the past 3 winters we have spent close to $800 on heaters that seem to brake once the warranty is up. The air con will solve this  (can you hear me saying that to Dave?)

3. Installing Heated Towel Rails - Towels never dry in winter, its a fact. Drying yourself with a cold, damp towel is truly unpleasant, also a fact. We plan to get a 10 rung number that will hold all of our towels and save us masses of unnecessary washing. If you have a heated towel rail, i'd love to know details. Also, has anyone ever bought one online and could recommend a site? I'm not interested in dragging two kids and my belly around numerous bathroom suppliers.


Tell me, have you made small changes to your home that have genuinely made things a smidgen easier?

Do you have gadgets that are REALLY great, not just a waste of money (talk to me about the ipad, people)?

Tell me what saved your bacon when a new baby arrived at your place, please?!



* tell me i'm not deluded and that these things really WILL make life a little easier.
**after much discussion on facebook I decided to go for the 7.5kg Samsung Front Loader. I ended up ordering it form appliances online (at a serious bargain). It will be installed under the breakfast bar and it will change my life.

106 comments:

  1. A Dyson DC44 cordless vacuum has definitely made life as a mum easier- any spills and I just zoom it up! No dragging the vacuum out of a cupboard, plugging it in and dragging it around- it lives in the gap between my fridge & cupboard and I can just grab and vacuum- so easy!

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    1. Oooh i've been wanting to upgrade my vacuum for a while and have been thinking about a dyson. so you rate this model? do you have carpets or wooden/tiled floors?

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    2. oooh i'm going to google that now!

      dave will be so thrilled that I wrote this post- so far i've added a new fridge/freezer AND a vacuum to my list....

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    3. It is excellent. The battery lasts long enough for me to do the whole house and a week's worth of spot cleaning before I need to recharge (i live in a unit) and we have carpets. It is so good at cleaning the dirt from the carpet that the first time I used it, I had to empty the rubbish bit every few steps and I went through 2 charges- it was THAT much better at getting dirt out!
      It also came with a duster attachment that is actually really good at vacuuming up dust on shelves and window sills etc. Definitely recommend it.
      It seriously makes me happy every time I whip it out and use it!

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  2. I hear you on the washing...our is down a dirt path and in a lean to under the house...I swear things get dirtier in the process of doing the laundry than they were before.

    We got a dish washer this year and it has CHANGED MY LIFE!
    I never thought I would love an appliance but I love my dishwasher. I actually don't even really care about it cleaning the dishes...I just love having a place to put the dirty dishes that is not on the counter.

    Also my slow cooker gets used at least weekly and is wonderful!

    Next up in these parts...in three years or so...will be a Thermomix! Be still my heart!

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    1. ahah I'm laughing at this because my laundry is EXACTLY the same. If you accidentally drop a clean item on the way to the line- it's got to be washed again. so so annoying!

      I'm off to google the thermomix.... what is it exactly?

      oh and the slow cooker? ACE!

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    2. the thermomix was my get rid of baby weight incentive, my $2000 get rid of baby weight incentive. worth it though!

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  3. I'm thinking of signing up to as many delivery services when the baby comes in July so we dont have to stress about things like groceries etc.

    Aussie Farmers Direct for fruit. veges, meat, dairy etc
    Coles online for all the other crap
    and there's even a nappy subscription service called Little Rascals.

    PLUS i love getting things delivered when I'm at home :D

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    1. You can just get your nappies from Coles online!

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    2. We use aussie farmers for bread and milk- such a life saver. We also get a fruit and veg box from a local organic service.

      Will look into Little Rascals... do they deliver their own brand? I'm a huggies lady for newborns :)

      xx

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  4. Replies
    1. talk to me about the thermomix- what IS IT??

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    2. It's good. But bloody expensive. . .

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    3. I went to a demo last Sunday and walked home $2000 poorer! I have two kids under two and its going to make my life so much easier! The main thing that sold me was the time saver - I'd rather be playing on the floor with my kids than string dinner on the stove. Safety was also a major factor, I quite often have my six month old in my arms whilst cutting and cooking dinner :/

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  5. have they invented some kind of automatic carseat-belt-doer-upper that also gets 3 littles into a vehicle with all their shoes on?
    yeah, well, they should.

    get ON IT, inventor-peeps!!

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    1. i'm wondering how i'll do the middle one up!?

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    2. in a fairly unglamorous manner, em, let me tell you..!! ass out to all the cars passing by.. classy like.

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    3. Seat buckle extension! It exists.

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    4. Car seats for three is the thing i'm most struggling to get my head around. Just found seat buckle extension on ebay today. . .

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    5. No short skirts!! That's a rule of mine anyway really.

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  6. When my mum bought her Kobo E-Reader, I at first thought it was just a waste of money and a silly gadget. However, I then started to think how practical it is. There is no room in our house for any more books, and an E-Reader can hold ALL your books in one place. If you're going on holiday and want to take some books with you, they can take up a lot of room in your suitcase. If you have an E-Reader, yet again, all your books are there in a small gadget which you can slip into your handbag. If you're outside and reading a book, there is nothing more annoying then the wind flapping all the pages about - with an E-Reader this doesn't happen. Also, I have found that buying books on my Kobo (yes, MY Kobo, I ended up buying one), is also a lot cheaper, so you're saving money when actually buying a book. So if you or anyone reading is thinking of buying an E-Reader, I highly recommend one, I don't know what I would do without mine now!

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    1. I read all my books on the iPad. It's great! I think the screen does pick up a little more reflection than the e-readers like the kobo and kindle though.

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    2. I have a Kindle and am so convinced about its wonderfulness I have converted 6 of my friends who swore they would never use an e-reader!

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    3. I have a kindle.
      I was very unsure about this change as I LOVE books, I love the feel of the pages, the smell of library books.. OK I know that grosses some people out but I LOVE BOOKS.

      BUT I have a neuro disease that makes life tricky, and I have lost a lot of my vision because of it. SO reading books with small print hurts. SO I now have a kindle and I can make the print as big as I need on any given day so no more achy eyes because I couldn't stop reading even after I should have stopped. AND it fits in my handbag. Is so light. AND is less clutter in my house (cause I used to have like ten stacks of books I was reading or to read in my house). LOVE love love it.

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  7. I'm loving the sound of all of those purchases!! For me having a newborn aircon was a must. I hate to be cold. I reckon some ugg boots may have to be ordered also to see you through winter!!

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    1. oh yes, the uggies! I ahve a wonderful pair of uggies but they are getting rather stinky, i must confess!

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  8. We got a heated towel rail last winter and it is indispensable. Do it! we live in Victoria and winter is cold, damp and grey and it is impossible to get towels dry. There's only so much room in front of the fireplace and I'd rather me be in that space than the damp towels.

    I was concerned about the power usage (did it use heaps of power or whatever?) but it doesn't seem to use much power; it is certainly cheaper than using the clothes dryer for towels every day.

    And there's just something nice about a warm fluffy towel.

    Good luck with the new bub x

    PS Sorry can't recommend an online place to buy; but my husband bought our towel rail at Bunnings.

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    1. BUNNINGS! I can do bunnings, those kid sized trollies make it e.a.s.y......


      .... except when the kids bolt.....

      xx

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  9. Great ideas Em, and a washer in the kitchen will be fantastic. We have an iPad and Ronan plays** on it every day. It is awesome. **when I say play I mean learn... No kidding, the apps we have teach counting, colours, shapes, puzzles, words, sorting and that's about it. It occupies his when Finn is sleeping and I NEED quite time in the house. It is something I can sit and DO with him as apposed to just plonking him in front of tv. Also, google 'foogo thermos' best baby related thing I think I've EVER bought. Heat up the food for bub and you have it hot for whenever you need it and wherever you go. Brilliant ( obviously not something needed for at least six months or so). Xx

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    1. thats why i'm keen on the ipad- I NEEEEEEED QUIET TIME! NEED IT ;)



      x em

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    2. Thought of two more lifesavers.... A dust buster (instead of sweeping up the crumbs you just suck those suckers up) I got a heavy duty work and one from Bunnings, cheaper than a vacuum cleaner and so much easier to just grab and use. It is cordless etc. second thing is a slow cooker, OMG your life will never be the same again. And in Winter you will use it every second night. Xxx

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    3. Oh and a chest freezer :)
      P.S shipped around for best price re iPad and I can tell u now that u can't beat Big W. it will a good thing for J and O to sit beside you and do when you are feeding too!!

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  10. We'll be getting a new fridge as ours is starting to fade. We can't go much bigger than we already have due to size but I'm hoping to get at least a little bigger. I would kill for a dishwasher, I don't think I could explain the difference it would make to our lives but we are renting and it's just not going to happen. If we move soonish I'm definitely only moving to a place with a dishwasher (yes I'm dreaming)!
    Our laundry is on the back of the house - outside down a path and around the back. It's not too bad but I know it's going to suck going out there in winter. I miss our old laundry that was between the kitchen and the bathroom. Made those early days with Lily so much easier. Especially as we do cloth nappies.

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    1. you know, you've reminded me that I REALLY need a new fridge. Like bad.

      Ours is over 10 years old, the seals are breaking and the freezer isn;t frost free.

      ON THE LIST!

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  11. My big pre-twins appliance purchase was a deep freezer. Filled with meals for the early weeks, and still going strong for bulk meat purchases etc three years on.

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  12. Oh an air con is a MUST! Nothing is worse than a stinky hot, humid day and bothered little children because of this heat! Good choice there Em! As for the iPad - My 4 year old keeps bugging me for it! Call me old fashioned but I prefer her to go and play with her doll house or get busy in her craft corner... There's enough time for her to get into all that gadget-y stuff!

    As for me my dishwasher and slow cooker are God sent!

    Sophie xo

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    1. P.S. I have a 'Slow Cooker Thursday' edition where I try a new recipe every week if you're interested in easy and delicious slow cooker based recipes! Come and visit me ;)

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  13. We just built our house and installed a heated towel rail from renovationD online (i think it's this one: http://www.renovationd.com.au/round-heated-towel-rail-600-x-1150-left-hand-power-inlet-p-639.html) & we've been happy with all our bathroom fittings from there.. Also definitely love Woolies homeshop, I used that for the first three months after my 2nd was born & it was such a relief :)

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    1. thank you so much for the link- it's on sale too! Might have to cart that bad boy!

      Does it plug into a power point or need wiring? We just had a power point put in so I need one like that!

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    2. I'm pretty sure it'll do either. I emailed them with the links to what I wanted to buy & what fittings I wanted & they sorted it out & just emailed me the invoice :)

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  14. Aircon= sleeping children, non grumpy cranky children, peace of mind for mummys and daddys that said children will sleep!
    Best decision easily.I am in Adelaide and we have some rotten heat waves that seem to last for MONTHS! We are home 24/7 and when its stinkn hot, everyone is stinkn crazy.
    But it is the sleeping in comfort when it is horrid and has been horrid that makes a huge difference.
    And Em... I found having one child the hardest. Number 3...well its like a reward for all the hard work you have already done...a chance to enjoy the bits you couldnt or didnt for the first 2!

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  15. I would say our tumble dryer made all of the difference when our third baby arrived (now 7 months old). I remember constant loads on the go in those early newborn days. We put it right next to the washing machine, it was out of one, straight into another. Easy! I love hanging the washing out, but in the UK we have such dreadful, rainy weather - I really do not know how I would have managed without it! :)

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    1. YES. I finally got one when I was pregnant with my 3rd. LIFE SAVER.

      There are just days where you cannot possibly get enough dry in front of the fire.
      OR just don't want to. lol

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  16. For making your life easier with a newborn, I third reanon & emma's suggestion of online supermarket shopping. DO IT!!!

    I know it seems boring to use up your computer time on supermarket shopping. But seriously, it is so much easier to sit down at the computer for 30 mins (or 3 lots of 10 mins as the case may be!) than go to the supermarket with 3 children!

    And then I find that when the shopping arrives I have more energy to unpack it, rather than trying to do it at the end of a big trip when everyone is cranky.

    Other plus: you spend less as there are zero impulse buys. I just search the items I want. No browsing.

    Usually delivery is available the next day or if you're unlucky in 2 days. So I suppose you can't leave it to the very last minute but if I am in dire straits I just stroll up to the milk bar for bread, milk, frozen pizza to get me through the last day!

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  17. And...a Coffee machine. The ...beeswax best!
    The boys love frothy milk as a treat...and sheesh...it is milk!

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  18. Ditto to online shopping. I love it tallys as it goes so i can add or subtract tim tams appropriately and I always have what I need for complete meals rather then coming home with everything for lasagne except the pasta or the mince etc....

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  19. I have a 4.5yr old, 2.5yr old and a 6mth old.
    Second freezer - extra meals. Shop Online - aussie farmers (milk & bread and fruit & vegetables) and coles online. Actually I buy everything online and have delivered (clothes, shoes, etc). Busy mornings and quiet afternoons - keep older 2 happy. Find enclosed activities with extra adults (church music class, library reading/craft session, swimming lessons, fenced park). Baby carrier! - baby is safe and no trying to keep other 2 busy while settling baby in cot. ABC4KIDS! (and the iview app). Pre-school. I need my baby only days! Bake, clean, run errands. Coffee! Chocolate biscuits - for you and bribery! I didn't find the first 6mths too bad after baby number 3. Now the sleep deprivation is really hurting and so am I!

    I will be watching for more ideas :)

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  20. iPads are great for mums too! So easy and light during those long breast feeding sessions. Slow cookers are awesome. Also a tip I got was to make double quantity meals on weekends when you have another set of hands and then two nights you don't need to cook, just heat up. Combined with a slow cooker that takes care of most meals during the week.

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  21. Love your ideas, they all sound super. Having just had baby 3 in Nov 2012 and with my oldest starting school, I have embraced the world of online grocery delivery. So that would be my number on thing!
    Oh and paying a man to come and mow the lawns. Saves family time on the weekend!
    And I know what you mean about the outside laundry, mine is outside and down a few stairs. Makes going out in the rain fun!
    Good luck

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  22. Slow Cooker. Not an expensive purchase, but a priceless addition to my life! And, an excellent budget choice (cheaper cuts of meat), meaning you have more money to spend on vacuum cleaners, towel rails and new fridges! ; )

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    1. Oh yeah, and coffee machine (Via Venezia manual one - not expensive at all). Saved my life during sleep deprivation! Even though it's manual, it's not complicated or annoying. I only have two coffees a day, but I want them to be good! Also - saving $8 a day by not buying takeaways. (that's over $50 a week!)

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  23. Oh girl!

    You won't have time for the iPad. I barely can check my email these days.
    Ain't no gadgets done me no good lately. I used to read kindle while feeding Lucy but now I read the very hungry caterpillar to Lucy a THOUSAND times.

    My biggest life saver has been to schedule cleaning. I do one room a day and the rest can go to pot if I clean that one room I won the day. Helpful for sanity.

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    1. I have just started a list which is on the fridge and it has the job of the day written on it, makes cleaning seem so much less time consuming and more manageable!
      I got inspired after reading Down To Earth by Rhonda Hetzel (she also has a blog), a great book about living more simply with heaps of ideas for budgets, slowing down, natural cleaning products etc.

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  24. lovin all over this mama sharing :) our biggest spend on something life saver-ish was two winters ago, we purchased a dryer. I can't believe I made it through three kids before getting one! and living in melbourne..! e was just a few months old and drying teeny tiny clothes and a gazillion bibs and burp cloths day after day on clothes horses.. we still use it sparingly for energy consumption reasons but during the heart of winter, it's on almost every day for socks and jocks, sheets and towels, face washers and tea towels, getting the kids pjs nice and hot just out of the bath. and AMEN to the air con! we lived through the hottest summer in melbourne our first year in this house, pregnant with #2 - NEVER AGAIN!! man I love that thing! xx

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  25. My friend recently had twins so now has three children under the age of two...yes, whew! She says that her chest freezer (bought a fairly newish one off gumtree) has been a lifesaver. When she knew she was having twins, she cooked 60 meals - soups, casseroles etc and put every leftover she could into a meal of some sort and froze it. Now she feels like if at the end of the day everyone is going crazy, at least there will be a hot meal for her and her husband and soups go down a treat with a cranky toddler. She was aiming for 60 meals to last a year (one shit-crazy day a week where there is no point leaving the house is what she budgeted for but it has lasted about 5.5 months and is planning to do another big cook up again to fill it up. Words can not describe how often she goes on about what a life saver it is, so much so that I am keeping my eye on our local Gumtree too now.

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    1. We bought a separate freezer when we had our bub too. It's the size of a minibar, but a freezer with draws. We got it from Aldi and it's a life saver.
      My sister-in-law is in the same boat with twins + toddler, tough gig!

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    2. We bought one too and a few weeks before miss.2 was born I went to town making freezer bag slow cooker meals. OMG so easy- dump a pile of ingredients in bag and kept us all fed. Google the meals. Super worth it. So yah- chest freezer/slow cooker. And a carton of wine....xx

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  26. I got my iPad when I had the bub, great for late night breast feeding/blog reading sessions. In fact it was one of these midnight feeds that I stumbled across your blog!
    Be prepared to loose it to your kids though.
    I love love love it. It is also great for cooking, looking up recipes on the net, prop it up in the kitchen and whacko.

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    1. There's a great app you can get called Paprika. You look up recipes on other sites and then download them to the app so they are all in the same place.

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  27. You know we are an apple family... Logan loves the iPad! And while I try to limit his time on it usually, when Hugo was a newborn it was soooooooo fantastic to have while I was breastfeeding round the clock for that first little while. And, yes, there are actually some really cool and awesome educational apps around.

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  28. I'm sure Dave wont want to hear this but the i robot is an absolute Godsend.
    I hate sweeping and equally hate dragging the dreaded vacuum cleaner out. The i robot will vacuum your house all day everyday. It's not cheap ($720) but it has seriously changed my life at home. I know you've mentioned how much you dislike your gritty floors. Much cheaper than a cleaner and I haven't personally vacuumed my floors in 3 weeks since we've had it.

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  29. For our second child we installed central heating and a split system heater/cooler in the kitchen/living area. We're green and it was a VERY big decision. But I'm so glad, because those late night feeds were so much more comfortable. I think you'll be happy with these decisions. It's all about making life less difficult as it will be hard enough already. Hugs to you. Not long now!

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  30. Don't sweat it especially now you're getting air con! I found three much easier than two and they were all under three but the older two amused each other and have grown used to sharing Mum. It's lovely!
    As for air con, we are still in conference as my eco husband insists we will fry the planet with air con. However breastfeeding in summer highs with a baby slithering around on your sweaty chest ids not the same as dewy skinned cuddles.
    I liked having a thermos of tea for the late feeds so I didn't have to make one or get hubby to do it. Just a nice bonus when you're there alone together in the wee hours.
    Don't anticipate too much if you can help it. Remember you are much more experienced and will probably let your instincts take more control this time. Pick your battles, roll with it and on the chaotic days, laugh and wallow in it rather than resisting. It will all pass before you know it and you'll want it back again!
    P.S. I ended up going back for five!

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  31. I was really nervous about baby number three, as well. I couldn't imagine how I was going to be able to balance them all and get things done. It was scary. But then the third was born and it all fell into place on its own. We found our groove naturally and I allowed myself time to adjust, to sleep during the day, to wear pajamas. Nothing is easy about three, but it is so rewarding. I think definitely a washing machine in your kitchen will help you out and a/c, but you're better off with a broom than any other gadget I can think of. You will be a wonderful mother of three!!!

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  32. all you really need to is ASK ;) I can always add more food to the pot.

    As for your new fridge/freezer - get the fridge on top...a small but very lovely luxury (and easy to get food out whilst holding baby).

    J x

    PS. I found all these comments fascinating. What an education!

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    1. Yes! Fridge on top is the only way to live! : )

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    2. We just bought a fridge today and I am so so happy we got the fridge-on-top kind - I can imagine it's going to be a back-saver in the long run!!

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  33. I'm going to bookmark this post. Such great awesome-mama-sharing tips! You have to do a follow up post to let us know what worked for you! x

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  34. In all honesty, if getting myself AND the washing basket to the machine required me leaving the premises (thus donning footwear and appropriate clothing) i highly doubt i would be motivated to wash. Ever.

    Seriously.

    I take off my hat to you... i would have thrown a 'tanty' years ago x

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  35. Loving all this great advice :) I have the same samsung front loader and love it! oh and I love my fridge on top fridge too! Best thing I did before I had my babes was to fill the freezer with ready made meals, one less thing I had to think about each day. xo

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  36. I find that the less I have, the easier life is. How many tiny little t-shirts does one little boy need? How many pairs of shoes does a Mama who only wears thongs or boots need? Do we really need all of these bloody toys!? These and other questions I ask regularly. That's why we're having a garage sale this weekend! x

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    1. I totally agree Sarah. Every week we aim to take a bag of love to our local Vinnies, instead of Birthday gifts for our lil one we ask our family and friends to donate to an orphanage dear to our heart. xx

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  37. My must-have is a sunbeam large sandwich press. They're about $80 and make cooking quickly with kids soooo much easier - I make toasted sandwiches (obviously!}, pancakes, omelets, grilled veg and grilled fish on the press! It's easy to clean, and requires a tiny bit of spray oil only. I'd be lost without it! Oh and I'm typing this on my iPad, which I am in love with :) xx

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  38. Em do you have a baby sling? Or an Ergo baby carrier? You can carry the baby and still have 2 hands to wrangle two cheeky monkeys. Also you can wear bub whilst your doing house work and it rocks bub to sleep/ AMAZING!!!

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    1. Oooh I agree! Having both a sling and an Ergo made my life so much easier when my second baby arrived. Not just for trips to the shops or to the park but for just getting things done around the house (cooking, having my hands free to play with my first born, I even completed a lot of breastfeeds while my baby was in the sling :) )
      Oh and I had one of those cried-non-stop babies so it was much easier to settle her and be able to carry out other tasks at the same time. Made me feel semi-normal. Well, kinda.

      Loving all these ideas - thanks to all the ladies who have shared their tips and experiences!

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  39. I absolutely love this post Em, because I am actually a firm believer in little changes making a big difference to the home you live in... and the life you're living too. Some such purchases we have made around here are: storage ottomans... for doing away with all those pesky toys that seem to settle over every square inch of floor space in the house... they also double as extremely comfy, good sized seating; a little Dyson Animal vacuum... quite possibly the best appliance I've ever purchased... light & portable, reliable, hardy and a necessity with messy, crumb-dropping kids about the place; and the slow-cooker is another good one, makes Winter meals especially simple, tasty and hearty.
    I would LOVE heated towel racks, but may have to settle for a tumble dryer... because at this stage we have neither and the thought of another Winter of struggling to dry washing (towels especially) just makes me cringe.
    Enjoy the little creature comforts you have decided upon Em, you are NOT deluded and the little things WILL make your life easier xoxo

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  40. Dryer, and dishwasher with drawers aka fisher and paykel so no bending over when baby in carrier or being breastfed to load it up. I want a cordless vacuum cleaner now...

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  41. tumble dryer came with baby number 3, plus i emptied our spare room this year and have it for drying racks for laundry and ironing...this means im not constantly staring at laundry needing attention, it made a huge difference being able to get things dry and shut a door on it! i also replaced my 100year old vacuum for a dyson, yes it does make life vastly easier but i went for 1 of the small roller balls and wish i had coughed up for the bigger version, they are much better and dont need emptying every 5 mins! also throw away stuff...the less you have the less you have to keep tidy, thats my all-time top tip! 3 kids is much the same as 3 i found, even if it doesnt feel like that to you it will still be worth it. hugs xxx

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  42. We had our third baby towards the end of last year and I have just learnt to accept many things - help from others (meals, people offering to take my older son to school or toddler for a play date, folding laundry etc), having a less than tidy house (I was staying up late cleaning and gave up on that) and really trying to make an effort to communicate to other's (and my husband) how things were REALLY going. Food preparation, cleaning and cooking were the things I tried to tackle this time. I cooked of things before my baby was born, including food for my eldest and toddler during the day eg pizza scrolls, sausage rolls, muffins etc as I know the mornings are tricky with feeding baby. We have organic fruit and veg delivered each week, so that is great (I see you have Aussie Farmer's which is great) and also did the rest Woolies/Coles and often order when I am feeding my baby. My other tip is to have toys/healthy snacks ready for your older children, they always seem to get up to mischief when I am quietly breastfeeding and settling the baby. Having three children is definately happy chaos, enjoy the last weeks of your pregnancy xx

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  43. The front loader in the kitchen will make all the difference for you, great idea! We just bought ourselves our first big purchase in ages- a second freezer. It's an uprighty one with drawers, and it has actually changed things and made things easier. I can now buy meat in bulk- cheaper and lasts ages. I now make some meals in triplicate, and stash it in the freezer. It feels pretty awesome to have nights off but still eat something proper. And...you don't need a thermomix. ;)sarah

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  44. I think dishwasher is a must, though saying that we currently don't have one--> what is wrong with me!?

    iPad = amazing! Especially if you are going to be breastfeeding. I spent so much time on the couch feeding mine (boy didn't do anything but eat!). And now there are some decent apps to blog from, so as long as you can learn to type with one hand, you're all set!

    Bettina
    www.littleoldsouls.com

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  45. Loving all these comments.

    For me it was a dryer, I got one when my 3rd was on the way. LOVE

    Slow cooker as mentioned. Prepare dinner while you have a quiet(ish) moment in the day and pop it on.

    Sling. I got one with my 3rd and it was brilliant.

    A good pram with toddler seat. We had a phil and teds with seat that clips on the back. My 3 yr old was big enough to walk but it was often a mission. It was so good being able to strap them both in and go.

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  46. So as a mum of 3 little boys (3, 22months and 7months) the one thing that made my life so much easier was a cordless stick vacuum with a detatchable dust buster thingy. Easier than dragging out Mr Dyson and quicker than sweeping, it so light and easy to use I get my 3 year old to vacuum for me :) It only cost about $100 from Big W.
    Also as lots of others have said a slow cooker.
    And a pram with two seats. We have the Strider and it is has absolutley saved the day on many a stress filled outing.
    I never thought of a heated towel rack but I am now off to research and convince the Mr.

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    1. P.S Just hung out a load of washing and realised I'm very smitten with my new twin end pegs (http://www2.woolworthsonline.com.au/Shop/ProductDetails?Stockcode=215592). The little things really do make a world of difference.

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  47. Agree with all the recommendations for a slow cooker. Lifesaver!

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  48. you are probably getting one already, but DEFINATELY hire/buy/beg/borrow/steal a baby capsule. The poor third baby gets dragged around in that thing like nobody's business. My poor thirdy spent a lot of time in what was affectionately known as 'the bucket' - swimming lessons, kindy and school drop offs etc. You can plonk them down (safely) whilst ever-so-gracefully restling the car seat straps of the older two.

    And a decent sized clothes airer. All those itty bitty clothes are fiddly. Being able to peg them quickly and easily (and getting Lady Babies to help) is a time saver. then you just chase the sun around the bak deck with it.

    I found the jump from one to two way harder than two to three. You will be fine! X

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    1. and as for the towel rack - DO IT! I have an ancient and rusty legged free standing one that used to be my Nanna's. Love it. No one likes a manky smelling damp towel.

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  49. Oooh...best newborn tip when cold was..
    a hot water bottle, pop it on bubs sheets while you feed and when you pop them down after they are all milk drunk...the sheets are warm and toasty and they dont wake up!
    This was AWESOME!

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  50. I love the way you interact Em!
    Many bloggers seem to assume they are the ones imparting their perfect knowledge...not you.
    You are fab.
    You bring people together...

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  51. An in roof attic/storage space. I guess ours is about 5m long by 4m wide. You can stand upright in the centre section and have to lean on the outside edges. There is a pulldown ladder and light up there and all our STUFF. For a princely sum of $5,000 in Melbourne, all our stuff that is either seasonal (off season clothes) or occasional (skis and fondue pot) are up there.

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  52. Our #3 is five weeks old, I second many of the tips above most notably the ergo it's awesome! I have found I can put the washing machine on but struggle to get washing out on the line so for now hanging washing is an evening activity. I have always wanted 3 kids so far it is busy, exhausting, challenging and totally and utterly wonderful. best wishes

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  53. I'm not adding anything new here, but, my life-savers are the dishwasher and tumble dryer. Coming in a close third is the coffee machine!

    I've got two boys, but if we end up adding a third spratling to the mix, a chest freezer will be in our future. We're also considering air con - this summer just past was a total shocker.

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  54. Forgot to add... A hug-a-bub and now ergo have been INDISPENSABLE!

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  55. One of those glider chairs, with the footstool Em. Seriously! I lived in that chair for a year and I never had to walk around with Noah in my arms as I would just rock him in the chair. He was far too heavy anyway! They are soooo comfy!!!

    I also loved my auto breatpump and hug-a-bub. xx

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  56. i would say, that the quiet lull around midday for an hour or two if you can where kids are in their rooms playing quietly with a snack and drink and no interruptions for mum is a must, it takes a few weeks for them to cotton on to the fact that mum is a no go zone during this time but once they understand and have a few sometimes toys to play with etc they start asking if its quiet time yet. it gets them all fresh for the arvo too. i personally haven't got one but i've heard gro clocks are amazing for helping kids to stay in their rooms in the morning until the allotted awake time and then also for the quiet time too.

    meal planning is great too, brainstorm a list of easy meals and make sure you have everything on hand for the week and stick to it. a friend goes by the rule of 1 rice dish, 1 pasta dish, 1 one pot meal, 1 vege meal, a meal you double and freeze for the following week, a freezer meal from the previous week, and a new recipe. I've gotta get into this more myself.

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  57. We started using our tumble dryer daily when our third child was born, thinking it would just be a short-term thing. Well, 4 years and another child later, it's a-tumbling roughly 3 times a day. Best. Thing. Ever (and they are nowhere near as expensive to run as people think).

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  58. Oh, I pad for sure. Some of the apps are really educational for children. I used to think otherwise, but now I can see what benefit they have. Good luck nesting...Georgia

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  59. I think its all been said! But I couldn't cope without my dishwasher, clothes dryer (naughty), and menu planning! On Saturday morning, over coffee and the paper, I plan the weeks meals and shop accordingly. I always have a night of beans and toast for when its just all too much. And beans are good!

    Slings - a must. I had a baby swing chair/cradle thing with Louis and it was very handy at times.

    I didn't used a change table but instead had little nappy stations all over the house - a basket with wipes, nappies and a change of clothes. That way if I was involved in a game with Stella I could change Louis in the playroom or bedroom or lounge room or without ruining the flow of our game.

    And I got a gardener - Mark became out all round helper. He got wood in, did the gardens, took away rubbish and fixed things. As my husband was overseas a lot and I was at home with 2 small people, the gardener helper was a godsend.

    All the best Em!

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  60. I would give anything to have first floor laundry! Ours is in the basement and has to go up to the second floor. I was not prepared for the amount of laundry with three kids. Now that my boys are getting older, almost 6 and 8, their laundry piles are the worst!

    I don't really have any recommendations on life saving gadgets. A good baby wrap! With two active kiddos I needed my hands and had to be ready at all times, so Jess lived in her wrap. Oh, and a slow cooker! I never thought I would use one, but it has helped so much.

    xo
    liz

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  61. Pressure cooker is one kitchen gadget i can't live without now...i grew up seeing my mum use it so much but i get scared of whistle. You get without whistle now and they are so much practical and safer!

    I just used to throw in ingredients in the cooker, in 15 minutes chicken will be ready whilst rice goes in rice cooker...

    I don't think we could have fresh hot meals daily without it! Also, when baby started weaning on solids, i could just make porridge or rice in the cooker with veggies etc and whip it up in puree...

    I can't recommend pressure cooker for healthier fast meals in the household!
    Ritz xo

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  62. We had 5 minutes of being parents of three....then the second twin was born making us parents of 4. We were renting at the time - no dishwasher, no family help, washing machine downstairs. One thing which helped was a play pen so I could safely leave the babies (placed inside the playpen) out of reach of the toddler while I would hang out washing or cook a meal etc.

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  63. A local shop that delivers for free (or low cost) was a must in that first 12 months after #3 (meant we had milk and bread and sometimes real meals on the table)
    A king size bed
    A tumble dryer (the winters are long and cold here)

    Good luck
    x

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  64. Sorry for the late comment. Yes, I installed heated towel rails in all 3 of our bathrooms - LOVED them. Not only do you get to enjoy dry towels, but they are also lovely and warm (and providing your bathroom isn't huge, they do take the chill off the room too.) FYI We purchased the Heirloom Genesis range which come in a wide choice of sizes. I definitely recommend this brand. xx

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Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em