Monday, April 29, 2013

Chore Chart

Zach our eldest thrives on routine and structure. Since starting school this year it has been a little bit of a struggle to get him to focus on some rather mundane day to day tasks like make his bed, brush his teeth and complete his homework. I had a go at creating my own chore chart but I wasn't happy with it, so reverted to searching the net for a downloadable chore chart that we could customise for each of the kids.
I found this really cool chore chart via Sutton Grace blog who found it via
Since downloading this chore chart our children have been more focussed and their behaviour has improved dramatically. Because it took me quite a while to find a chore chart that worked for our family I decided to help via sharing here too! I didn't create this chore chart and I'm not the first to share it but wanted to easily be able to find it, when we need to amend our chores as the kids grow.
Please click below to download the file. It is edit only so you won't be able to save any of the names or chores you type on the document but you can save a template of the file for later use.
Tip: on the left side of the screen under google docs there are two tabs: FILE and VIEW. Click on file and then select "download original". It will then download to your computer and should open in reader automatically (if you have adobe reader already installed on your computer).
I love how this teaches them how each child contributes to the family and also visually rewards them for positive behaviour and actions. Zach is only 5 (almost 6) and the twins Aisha and Aaliyah are 3, so the chores we have are very basic. We tend to focus on the little things we struggle to get them to achieve. My husband and I discussed about whether we pay them for the chores that they do. We think that Zach is old enough to understand the concept of money and we have already begun teaching him about earning, saving and spending money. We have followed Erin's example from Sutton Grace and are paying Zach $0.05 for each tick he gets at the end of the week. For Aisha and Aaliyah if they get mostly ticks we will reward them with some stickers or a special craft activity.

The Aziz Family Rules
be kind
be honest
ask once, ask nice
no yelling
no talking back
no whining or complaining
no hitting, punching or kicking
wash hands after using the toilet
respect others, respect yourselves and respect your family and friends
use our manners - please, thank you, no thank you, you're welcome and excuse me
get dressed
brush teeth
make bed
eat our breakfast
get ready for school
put our shoes on
put our shoes in the laundry
complete homework or have quiet time
wash our hands ready to eat
eat all our dinner
take our plates & cups to the sink
put dirty clothes in the basket
have a shower
brush teeth
get dressed in pajamas
hang up towel
quiet time and ready for bed
no whining or crying
kiss, hug and say goodnight to everyone
Another method we have been using is a behaviour chart I found on Pinterest. You can print it out, laminate it and cut it up. I placed some double sided Velcro on the back of each one and place the appropriate one on the bottom of each children's chore chart. Zach loves this!! Just need to find a Dora or Barbie themed one for the girls, but for the moment we are using the superheros for them too.   
I'd love to hear from you if this works for you too, or if you have any secrets you'd like to share.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Thank you

I want to sincerely thank you all of you who follow, interact, share and support Yasminah's Gift Of Hope. I want to personally thank you for continuing to inspire me and empower me to break the silence for babies born too soon. For over 4 years I have posted quotes, questions, reflections, positive affirmations, shared articles and my personal journey following the stillbirth of my daughter Yasminah and the premature birth of our daughters Aisha and Aaliyah.

We have a beautiful community, connected by the invisible bond of grief. This page, my blog, our community is more about sharing kindness, support, and love. Breaking the silence, creating awareness and guiding families on their journey. I hope you feel safe and supported in sharing your own experience in a positive space without judgement or fear.

Too many babies are born too soon. I will continue to break the silence, share our struggles, show compassion and provide support. Thank you for listening and all your kindness. Your love and support is felt, appreciated and returned.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


A little piece of my heart is missing and it will never be filled. I think I keep trying to fill the gap. Helping others - reaching out, over extending myself to breaking point. I have reached rock bottom and come back again more than once. I'm really making an effort to keep some 'order' and normality in my day to day life. Sticking to a routine helps me. It's not always easy. It is never easy. But the alternative is dark, depressing, lonely and down right wasteful.

I have been blessed.

I have been incredibly blessed!

My life isn't the one I imagined it would be all those years ago, but I wouldn't change any of it for a single second. I would make the same choices. I have learnt valuable lessons. Sometimes at the cost of my own heart and sanity. I have been hurt. I have been hurt too many times. I think it's because I'm so trusting. I believe that people are genuine, that they tell the truth, that they are who they say they are. Until they aren't.......and that hurts. I've promised myself that from this day - beginning now I will not let people take advantage of me. I won't allow myself to get hurt anymore. I won't let negative energy into my positive circle.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Westmead NICU Twin Crib

We need your HELP! Please help us raise $2500 needed for a twin crib in honour of our daughters Aisha and Aaliyah for new multiple families to use at Westmead Public Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. 

3 years ago we were blessed with the early but safe arrival of Zachariah and Yasminah's little twin sisters Aisha Ann and Aaliyah Ann. Born at only 31+5 weeks old 

Aisha ~ 16/12/09 ~ 11:53pm~ 1554g ~ 41cms ~

Aaliyah ~ 16/12/09 ~ 11:55pm ~ 1730g ~ 41.5cms ~ 

We spent a very long 4 weeks in Neonatal Intensive Care at Westmead Hospital. We anxiously watched and waited for our girls to be reunited outside of the womb. It wasn't until week 3 that they happened to be in adjoining rooms in the NICU and one of our lovely nurses helped put them together for the very first time! She gently carried Aaliyah attached to all her wires and monitors through the adjoining room’s doorway and placed her next to Aisha. The moment they were next to each other they smiled and nuzzled into each other. This brief 30 seconds if forever etched into my heart. It was magical!

That was a turning point for Aaliyah, who up until that time was a little further behind than Aisha. Her condition improved and one week later both of our girls were discharged home 4 weeks earlier than predicted by their caregivers. I honestly believe it was from this single moment. 

Westmead at the time didn't have a twin crib in the NICU and ever since that moment we have wanted to get one for Westmead, but we need your help to make our dream a reality. 

We are asking for your support to make a donation towards purchasing this very valuable piece of equipment for the NICU. We want to help another multiple family have this same opportunity to capture their premmie twins reunited in the NICU.

A twin crib for use in the NICU encourages co-bedding. Cobedded multiples can see, touch, and smell each other at all times, just like they could before birth in the womb. It allows the babies to share space together and they can even have them positioned as they were in the womb. Feet to head, head to head, back to back - however they were placed. 

Research has shown that heart rate and other stress cues reduce. Cobedded twins seem less irritable than other twins. When twins sleep together, they coordinate their sleep/wake cycles and have less stress and they seem to gain weight better than multiples that aren’t co-bedded. 

Twins are used to being together - so when they are in a situation such as the NICU where holding time is limited - giving them the comfort of companionship of their sibling can increase their chances of survival and promote happiness. Cobedded twins seem to have happier parents, fewer episodes of bradycardia, better thermoregulation, and lower oxygen needs. 

Please make a donation, every amount big or small can make a huge difference. 

To learn more about Aisha and Aaliyah’s journey please watch