Saturday, September 17, 2011

Alex, Spring Cleaning and A Bit of Organising

Thank you everyone for your lovely comments last post :-D Alex had his scan and unfortunately it turns out he does in fact have ureta reflux. There are little kinks in the ureta tubes to the kidneys which makes the wee flow the wrong way, which is why he had the urinary infection. He will need to be on a low dose of antibiotics for 2 years :-( Of course it could be alot worse, but this result is still extremely upsetting for me as I had wished the Dr would say "Your boy is perfectly healthy and will never need another test or drug again"...

Anyway, spending more time in the childrens ward (this time just a few hours) once again put things into perspective for Shane and I as we watched a beautiful tiny girl with muscular dystrophy play with the toys in the waiting room. Many, many babies have terrible conditions much worse than what Alex has and I am thankful that his condition isn't worse. He wont need surgery which is a HUGE relief. The antibiotics will keep his urine sterile and in 2 years the tubes will have straightened themselves out. At least he likes his medicine- it is banana flavoured :-) I am taking pro-biotics so he gets some in the breast milk, and hopefully that will be enough to prevent him getting thrush from taking antibiotics long term. I am also going to see a naturapath to find out if there's anything else I can do (the Dr's answer was "No". (Followed by a Loud Silence).

Anyway- apart from all this we are going very well! Little darling sleeps for 3 hour periods now which is a huge relief! And the night feeds are very "Get the Job (quietly) Done and Back to Sleep". I am still having trouble sometimes with the breast feeding, and it usually happens in the middle of the night (I guess because I am tired and Alex is tired and the whole thing goes pear shaped) and the vasospasms are worse at night. So now I pump a couple of bottles and we give him those at night, usually one at 3am and Shane gives him one early morning so I can sleep for a longer stretch. I usually get 5 or 6 hours sleep a night now which is bliss! It's enough to feel almost normal again and sometimes I get a little half hr nap in the afternoon. Alex still sleeps alot during the day of course.

I have begun to think about Spring Cleaning, as it's that time of year and our place hasn't been properly cleaned since Alex was born. Some things need to be done for health reasons, poor Shane gets terrible hayfever and Alex sneezes alot too. I now feel like I am ready to tackle some short bursts of cleaning (I can get ALOT done in 20 minutes- I am like Speedy Gonzales :-D) while he sleeps. He is playing with (well, looking at-) his toys more now (he's 2 months old now) so I can get some things done while he's awake too. I have decided to write up a timetable for the next few weeks, with the cleaning projects that really need to done, like the dusting. I will write up on my whiteboard in the laundry what jobs need doing, and allocate 20 mins twice a week. I find it much easier if I allocate a certain job to a particular day, for e.g. Vaccuum floors on Monday, Grocery shopping on Tuesday, Spring Cleaning (only 20 mins) on Wednesday, Cooking on Thursday etc. I was reading a post on the topic of creating a cleaning schedule on the Creative Organizing blog, here is the link. I also do a load of washing or 2, everyday. I know that sounds excessive, but we really do have that much washing!! Especially as Alex brings up a lot of milk, we are constantly changing his clothes and bibs, and then there's the cloth nappies, which we mostly use as large bibs. He also has diarrhea alot from the antibiotics :-(. We go through alot of nappies a day, so we have to use disposables as well as cloth. I'm constantly surprised how much washing there is even when I try to always have a bib on him! Do you find you have ALOT of washing with your babies or is it just me??

A friend of mine asked recently if I have any new tips on organising. I realise I haven't really written anything useful on organising/tidying for a while- it's all been about Alex hasn't it :-D  Well I'm not sure about anything new on organising but I can sum up a couple of helpful tips I've been thinking about. Firstly, when de-cluttering an area like the kitchen bench, I go with the rule Like With Like, meaning keep like things together. This rule can be applied to both tidying up and organising. When tidying, I first run around grabbing all the clothes, off the floor, bed, furniture etc. I then sort out dirty clothes from the "can be worn again" clothes- I know this might sound a bit gross but I put the "can be worn again" back into the cupboard. Otherwise the house is cluttered by these items- I will wear things like jeans many, many times in an attempt to cut down on washing (mind you- I don't fit my jeans yet so it's mostly just pj's around the house ;-)) Obviously, dirty clothes go to the laundry basket.

Next I tackle paper, and sort into piles- rubbish, things to be read, bills, etc- usually bills go straight into my 3 tier paper organiser but lately the little buggars end up on the coffee table or kitchen bench etc. After clothing and paper has all been put away or dealt with, I will grab all the bathroom items, for eg. moisturiser, hair ties, lip blam etc that finds its way to the rest of the house. On I go in this way- just tackling one "type" of thing at a time. Have you tried this system when you tidy up? I find it helps me stay focused, as otherwise I may walk randomly around the place unsure of what I am picking up next.

"Like With Like"- I always use this rule with organising. Basically, keep like items together, and when relevant, keep them in some sort of container and label it. It can be that simple! For eg, if you want to tidy up the bathroom cupboard, sort everthing into piles- hair things, skin creams, first aid supplies, soaps, teeth cleaning items etc. Next source suitable containers, I recently got some small white plastic baskets at Woolworths, and they were only about $9 for 4! (Photos to come, another day- camera battery is flat :-)) I never spend alot on these sorts of containers. Remember to use plastic ones in the bathroom as cane or material will get mouldy. Next you can either label the containers once you've filled them with the individual piles "Hair Things" or you may not have to if it is obvious to you and your family what is in them. Aahh containers- I do feel better when things are snuggled neatly in them.

Speaking of snuggle- Bubba is waking so I better get going- please share with me if you are doing some organising lately, and if you use the "Like with Like" rule- and what containers are you using??

Xxo  Sarndra


  1. I have a lot of washing. I had two very close together and had not washed one day. I counted the cloth nappies I had hung that day and there 72 of them on the line. I used those squares of cloth for everything.

    It does get better.

    I am sorry to read that your precious man has had a rougher start but as you wisely commented there other things. the tow years will pass and I hope that time and nature bring complete healing.

  2. Sorry to hear that Alex has to be on the antibiotics for so long but good to know no surgery is required.

    When my twins were born, we did a load every day for them and our two loads a week for us. We now (at two) do four loads a week altogether so it does get better, eventually :)

    Mine used to pee and soak everything (babygrow, vest, receiving blanket) at every change, so you can imagine...

  3. Hi Sarndra :) Im sorry to hear that Alex is on AB's for so long, but so glad to hear he doesnt need an operation! I bet he is growing fast!

    Aaah, washing with a spewy babe in cloth nappies - been there with mine! we sill have 2-3 loads a day and she is now 4 :)

    if you get stuck for cloth nappies and need more, I have two huge storage tubs of them (used) that are just sitting here cluttering my space, email me is you are interested :)

  4. Hi Sarndra, nice to see your post. Too bad about the confirmation on the ureta reflux but it is good news that it can be managed and that he will be better in the long term. Goodness I wonder what parents thought before we had modern day medicine.

    The schedule sounds like a good idea but do keep it manageable.

  5. So glad Alex can grow out of his problem. Shame about the long term antibiotics though. My current doctor has no qualms with natural medicine and even has a list of qualified naturopaths he trusts that will contact him, with patients permission, if they think their treatments may react with what he has suggested/prescribed.
    My boy had day surgery on a hernia he'd been born with just before he turned 2. When he was a baby he also had what they now term reflux, which was probably causing his colic, but they didn't have a name for it 21 years ago. An understanding baby health nurse advised me to feed him hourly to see if he could cope better with smaller feeds, which he did, and from there we just adjusted his feeding regime as he became older.
    I also had 2 under 2yo so I often had 2 dozen nappies on the line each day, another dozen soaking and a dozen clean as well as washing the clothing. I lived in tracky pants and loose button up tops at home :).
    Six months from now you'll be surprised at all the 'extra' time you have. Oh, and take lots of photos, preferably dated, as you're usually too tired/busy to remember when milestone events happen, let alone write them down, in the first year.

  6. Sounds like you are very organized to me???? Two blogs in one month and thinking about spring cleaning already at 2 months....I really admire you!

    Sorry about Alex and while other children's suffering does put things into perspective you really can't help but feel real sadness that he has this to deal with and the thought of antibiotics for 2 years does sound overwhelming. Maybe you could find out what you could do naturally if it was your body that had this issue and then do that knowing that he will benifit through your breast milk???? Don't kill yourself can only do so much but things like ph levels and having cranberry maybe really helpful? There is a homeopath called Fran who practices in NSW that may be able to offer some long distance advise. Ask Rhonda if she knows of her through SS? Breast feeding is hard isn't it??? That's what they don't tell you.....glad though you are getting some sleep as that helps to make everything feel so much better. And a big YES to washing.....unbeliveable just how many little things you go through in one day. I washed baby washing everyday to keep up and I found that if I soaked the nappies well then I could do a rinse in the machine and then add the baby clothes and wash together which was really helpful....then I washed our things every second day but when you add towels and sheets you pretty much have to do 2 loads per day. You mau even find that disposibles as necessary due to his condition as the urine is locked away in the cell. Even though I avid support cloth nappies our little one had such bad excema that every time he wee-d it literally blistered his skin so eventually we had to go to disposables just to clear up his skin. Aldi ones are good and pretty good price wise.

    Like-with-like LOL well we have to much like to begin with....cull-with-like might be a better option for us.....a place for everything and everything in it's place.....what if you have run out of room????

    x Chrissy

  7. Hello lovely! I owe you an email but ive been waiting for a chance to phone instead!!!
    So sorry to hear about the ureta reflux mate :-( poor Alex. Ethan had the barium swallow ink test because he had such terrible reflux although it wasn't as bad as what Alex has....and honestly we went through SO much clothing during that time!!! I felt like there was always washing and folding to be done then!! So i feel for you with the washing thing! At about 10 months he grew out of it but it was a very challenging time. So I'm thinking of you going through this with your precious boy.
    On the organising front it is tough to find time in these early days isn't it? I'm with the moment I'm trying to pinch 20 mins at a time to get as much done as possible! I've still got my folks here so they are helping out alot and I am thankful for that. In the early days all I try to keep on top of are the very bigger jobs will wait for a while now :-)
    Anyway thinking of you sweet Sarndra and will chat soon!!!
    Love Lus x

  8. Thanks so much ladies for your lovely comments.
    Marcia, yes everythings sure does get soaked (and usually poo'ed on!) at most changes, I cant even imagine what it would be like to have 2 babies!!! Did you grow an extra couple of arms?? :-)

    Car, thanks, I might be interested in your nappies. I'll email u soon (but if I forget please send me a reminder :-))

    Chrissy, thanks- I'll ask Rhonda about Fran. I am seeing a naturapath soon but we could use all the advice we can get at the moment.

    Hi Lusi, so nice to hear from u- so glad to hear u are going well and that your parents are there helping. Say hi to them for me, they are wonderful people :-) Yes, no time for organising! I did manage to sort Alex's clothes bibs etc into containers- I envy your lovely baskets thought :)

    See you all again soon

  9. Robyn, yes great advice about photos, we try to take alot and we just got a fantastic new camera which takes excellent video so we are having fun trying it out :-) its so important to remember to tak e pics isnt it- boy how the time is flying by! I cant believe Alex is 10 wks old already!

  10. Hi Rose,
    Yes its a relief to get a diagnosis, cant imagine life before modern medicine either! and its only getting better which is so great.

    Thanks so much Suze, we hope for complete healing too. :-)


  11. SO sorry that the little one has troubles!! You are wise to seek out other possible solutions. Antibiotics are not without side effects. Our almost 27 year old daughter was on at least a daily dose from the age of 4 months to 10 years (with the exception of maybe 6 weeks of that time she was not on them). Her stomach and digestive are permanently impaired...she has a very limited number of foods she can eat (most very expensive). NO GRAINS are ok. It all began with vaccinations. And by the time she was maybe halfway through the series at about age 3, that doctor figured out the connection. But the damage was done. Sadly she was a perfectly healthy little baby until we began the immunizations at about 3 months of age. (We were late starting as the other children were sick and you could not have a well baby checkup with shots if you had sick children with you). Within 1 month she had to be on asthma syrup to control the asthma that came. I totally breastfed her and she did not have much table food before she was 6 months of age. I do not want to scare you, but do research. We did not have the internet in our day nor much of any way to seek out information. Fortunately today that is not the case.
    Blessings on you all, Elizabeth in NC

  12. I just wanted to say hi again and offer some moral support regarding Alex. You must both be upset to hear that he has ureta reflux but it’s so good that it has been diagnosed and that he is receiving the correct medication. If my twins had had anything wrong I would definitely be pursuing the natropath ideas as well as the prescribed medication. I firmly believe that diet and/or supplements have a role to play. (I would however, err on the side of caution and get 2 or 3 opinions from separate sources as to what would work plus their possible side effects and clashes with the prescribed medicine but you have probably thought of all that anyway). 

    Yes, we too had a huge amount of washing almost every day, now that the girls have just turned 13, it’s clothes all the time, some of which are worn once and put in the wash. Like you, I put them straight back in the wardrobe if they are not dirty and half the time the girl’s don’t notice anyway!

    Re Spring Cleaning …. Mmmm!!. I washed the front door the other day as it was covered in dust and have decluttered all rooms as we have a school fete coming up so they got most things that we felt could be sold to raise funds.

    When tidying I go from room to room with a rubbish bag but today there were things in the girls rubbish bins which I could re-use e.g. present bags from their recent birthday party which I can definitely use again and they are sooo pretty to boot! So I had to have a chat with them about thinking if rubbish had another use before throwing it out!

    I then hang the rubbish bag on the bannister incase I find any other rubbish before I go downstairs. I usually look in all the drawers for rubbish too. I like to scour the second hand shops for containers that sit in cupboards and I label them with a Letratag machine. Most pre loved stores have a pile of this sort of thing, all you have to do is think outside the box and maybe take measurements of the space you need to fill with storage.

    You both sound like you have things under control, remember it will never be this labour intensive or sleep depriving again! (unless you have another)!

    All the very best & kind regards,


  13. I quite often grab a laundry basket and gather items laying around the house (books, hair clips, nail file and polish, usb, magazines)then do a trip to each other room and put back those items in their correct spaces.

    We have a raised bar in our kitchen which seems to be a dumping ground for keys, recipe books, bills, dockets, paper clips etc. Drives me insane!

    Glad the little chap is sleeping in bigger bursts for you, six hours of unbroken sleep will feel like 10!

    Cheers - Joolz

  14. Baskets in bedrooms for make-up and in linen cupboards for toiletries as well as under the vanity in bathroom are great. With the neat freak older teen at home and the messy older teen away at university in student 'digs' (apt), there's nothing much to 'pick up' around the house these days.

    Now, I'm waiting till summer holidays in Dec to tackle my cupboards to do the usual 3 black bag cleaning approach: Keep/Give Away or Re-cycle/Throw Away......

    We have had a maid twice a week for 21 years and between her cleaning & ironing and my touch-ups the rest of the time, our house stays pretty much 'sorted'.

    Enjoy these precious moments with your baby.

    Lots of love from Cape Town, South Africa

  15. We have piles of washing too! I do 2 loads a day and have to hang up inside as it's winter here! Cloth nappies seem to leak less for us though. My son sleeps in such short bursts (he needs top ups!) that I'm really behind on housework. I'm working on a list though, adapted from the fly lady zones.