Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
When I find myself in a mis-snapping mis-hap, I take a deep breath, put on that big goofy smile my baby loves and, resisting an eye roll at myself, I start to sing our "1 snap, 2 snap, 3 snap song" (yes, I make these up as we go along)... again. But inside I do wish there was a better way.
Which is why I think RedSnapper Onesies are a seriously GENIUS idea.
Check out the little red snap right in the middle. Its like Baby-Dressing for Dummies. As someone who loves organisation (colour coding makes me giddy!), this is my new favourite mommy-minute saving tip! Plus, they have some super cute styles to choose from.
Hey, but don't take my word for it! Now is your chance to win your very own RedSnapper Onesie! Click here and you could be on your way to singing the "snap song" only once!
Onto singing the chopping veggies song,
Now, living in wannabe big town but still fairly rural Australia (I do love my city, but its true), I have NO idea if or when this movie will come here; however, I finally sucked it up to watch the trailer and I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE IT.Culture. Babies. Real Life. Some of my favourite thing all packaged into what looks like it will be a hilarious hour or two to spend my life on.
Maybe you're from the big city and I'm the only one behind the times on this, but this small town girl is saying if you haven't at least seen the trailer, watch it! FACT: I cried.
What is the point of growth spurt? I hated them when I was growing. And I still hate them now that I'm growing you, my little boy.
I hear some kids just grow steadily. No spurting. I'd like to know where we were supposed to sign up for that option. I'm quite sure you would strongly prefer this option as well.
For the record though, I thought growth spurts were supposed to make you tired? I swear sometimes I look at you and wonder, "How in the world are you not asleep!?"
You have rubbed your eyes red, yawned long enough to swallow a fly or two, and yelped those pathetic, grizzly cries over and over but your poor little thing... sleep just will not come. When I look at you, I remember the childhood feeling of those achy joints - a dull, annoying pain that just won't go away - and wonder if you feel the same but with no words to tell Mama where to rub.
All you want to do is eat. But Mama's milk just can't come fast enough. I feel so sad that I can't seem to give you enough of what you need but I know that if you suck long enough more will come. Its the way God made us to work in a team. Its tiring sometimes. But I like being on the team with you. And when you don't feel well, there is no better place you'd rather be.
And so the training, the routine, the principles, they all go out the window so I can give you that little bit of extra comfort until finally, your ravished little tummy is satisifed enough to drop into a deep sleep.
I let you stay next to me instead of in your cot and even though the last little while felt so exhausting, in the moment, looking at you sleeping there, I know we made it! And I know we'll make it next time.
I love you little boy!! Grow good. Love, mommy.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Work. Housework. More work. More housework.
So when we had unideal nap time on a day when I really wanted this "me" ... uh ... "work" time, I was not thrilled when a quiet little voice in the back of my heart said, "Stop. Sit. Wait."
I headed to the door, willing to ignore it, but my heart tugged me back and I reluctantly fell backward into the soft rolls of my rocking chair. Wishing I had something productive to do while I stopped, sat and waited (where is that phone and why isn't my email downloading on it today!?), I noticed the Bible sitting under the lamp.
It was one of those moments where the last thing I wanted to do was look at it... (yes, I have those) but I picked it up and opened it up, lost and uninspired, to the very beginning. (Definitely uninspired.)
And then I started to read.
The creation story. The one I've read probably hundreds if not thousands of times. The story I've told my little boy at least 10 times since he was born. Yes, the very one I spent five days of the last week teaching about.
And yet, in all of that, it hit me in a new way again. (Okay, IT didn't hit me. God Himself hit me. Okay, He didn't hit me... you get what I mean.)
It was the part about rest... and it wasn't just a slap in the face telling me I am taking too much on or doing things in my own strength. It was the reminder that the reason that God rested was that "It was good."
And that the reason He wants me to rest is because what I've done is good!
I want to spend my life loving, respecting, and working in team with my husband, lavishing on and training up my little boy, and using my time to help people in a very tangible way. I want to do that well.
And when the week is over, I want to remember that I've done good.
Getting bubby to sleep sucked. The emails waiting to be answered were still there when I got back. And so was the ant infestation I noticed on my way to the bedroom.
But my heart... my heart was at rest.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
How does revelation come walking the aisles of Bunnings? There's something about the smell of saw dust that just makes the world okay for me.
It must be growing up the daughter of a contractor (who, ironically, ended up developing an allergy to saw dust and changed careers)... falling asleep on the construction site to a symphony of power tools while my 18 year old mother helped her new husband on the job...
Or the special memories of walking the aisles with my builder-turned-minister husband who can talk for hours about the physics of different types of hammers. And I'm not exaggerating.
Today as I walked those aisles, breathing deep and smiling at the elderly lady who had her arms full of a special project I could tell she was just itching to get started on, hoping that one day I could be just like her, I remembered the last time that I had walked those aisles.
It was the day that I had started labour and I remembered the very chair I sat in when I had the first long contraction that caused me to need to catch my breath. And the woman who looked at my sympathetically. And the shopkeeper who came to ask if I was okay as I laid my head on the little DIY table. And then the determination I had to suck it up and not show the pain when I realised that people saw there was "movement at the station." (I hated that phrase during the 10 days I was overdue, by the way.)
And while I enjoyed the memories that came flooding back - and the fact that there were special things about the day that made it so memorable that it would strike me in an ordinary moment like that, I also got a little bit sad.
Because if that day was the last day I was at Bunnings, that means that I haven't been to Bunnings in almost four months. And its one of my favourite places to be.
In that moment, I realised all over again just how much my life has changed in the past four months. There are the obvious changes - the weeks without sleep, the overflowing rubbish bins, the yellow poop stains on my favourite shorts, and the fact that my heart feels like it has tripled in size.
But its the subtle changes that surprised me... the fact that I had not had a moment to do one of my very favourite things in almost four months.
So as I walked the aisle today, holding the hand of my favourite man, as he pushed the pram holding our sleeping sweetheart, I relished in what it meant for my heart to dream again...
Planning the deck we could build on the back of our house, the dwarfed fruit trees (um, they have dwarf avacado trees now!? yes, please!) we would put on it and the friends we should share the fruits with... Calculating how many cold cokes we'd have to sell for a dollar to save the money to do it.
And picking out the new floor we could put down at our ministry centre so that our friends who have an Indigenous dance outreach could practice and the teenagers who need a safe place to hang out can dance their precious little hearts away... And feeling motivated again to get that grant application in to see it a reality.
Teasing. Laughing. Loving. Disliking. Problem Solving. Not having to use the toilet every 5 minutes.
It felt good to dream again.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Little did I know, that these wraps would be an absolute staple in our bed time routine!! And we found ourselves doing laundry more regularly just to have the best blankets to wrap our little one when naptime came around. It got to the point where we decided having a few more would be helpful because we were getting behind on laundry (hey, I never claimed to be on top of everything!) and lo and behold the next day we got a belated baby present - a set of SUPER adorable muslin wraps. Ummm, perfect!
American mommies, if you don't have muslin wraps, I 100% recommend you get a set, particularly if you live in a warm climate. They are a staple for Aussie mommies and I can see why. Our little one sweats like none other. In fact, we ended up sleeping him in just a nappy and a muslin wrap swaddle almost every night because it was so hot! They're also perfect for a lightweight blankie, a semi-breathable shade cloth for your stroller/pram, and a million other things like an impromptu breastfeeding cover (although not as ideal as proper one), a burp rag, and more. (Disorganised or resourseful - you decide!)
So, all this to say that Toys-R-Us (Australia) has these on sale for half off - just $10!! If you don't have some, be sure to go snag a pack... or a few!! You won't regret it... and if you do, just send them our way! ;) Your timing might be the perfect solution to me actually doing a load of laundry!
Definitely NOT avoiding housework,
I went on Etsy in search of some cute note cards and was thrilled to find flo3er Not only are her cards adorably handmade, but the prices are absolutely amazing. After growing all to accustomed to the "cheap" rack at Target in America, I have been shocked to find cards upwards of $8!! Sometimes that is my entire budget for a birthday gift!!
I was stoked to find these awesome cards at a really great price... even including shipping!
Flo3er agreed to send me some of her note cards free of charge to review... and the best part? Yep - she also sent me a pack to give away to one other lucky person! Aren't they too cute!?
The shipping was SO quick and they came packaged with a cute little sticker that had the perfect boutique feel.
One of the great things about flo3er is that she will even custom make cards for you! How is that for customer service? This truly is the perfect place for a mummy on a budget who doesn't want to sacrifice thoughtfulness... and adorableness. Is that a word?!
So, what do you need to do to win this super cute pack of 4 birthday tags?
You can enter up to 5 times. Be sure that you leave a separate comment for each entry as each comment will be counted as an entry!
1. First (you must do this one): Visit the flo3er shop on Etsy and comment to tell me what cards you like best.
Sample Entry: I like the Car Birthday Card for Little Boy
2. "Like" the flo3er Facebook page and comment that you did. Flo3er is new to Facebook so leave an encouraging welcome message!
Sample Entry: I liked the Flo3er Facebook page.
3. Follow this blog and comment that you do.
Sample Entry: I follow The Aussie Mommy!
4. Follow The Aussie Mommy Twitter and comment that you do.
Sample Entry: I follow The Aussie Mommy Twitter!
5. Blog about this Giveaway and send the link to your post.
Sample Entry: I blogged it!
This giveaway will close on Monday, 31 May at midnight! Winner will be announced on 1 June!
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
A One-Armed Wonder.
Its true. All of a sudden, I developed these miraculous abilities to do day-to-day tasks with only the use of one arm.
I could feed my baby with one hand and make dinner with the other... I could type massive proposals one-handed and cuddle my baby with the other... Vaccuum while burping... Dusting while soothing... Text messaging with one hand!? (Well, I ashamedly admit I learned to do that one-handed PRIOR to having a baby) BUT, one time, I even fed my baby, blowdryed my hair, AND ate my breakfast all at once. So what does that one make me? A no-hand wonder!?
So, did I miraculously develop a super power? Or just become a mom?
As a multi-tasker to the max, I have an incredible respect for efficiency, which is why now that I've seen what I'm capable of I am stoked with my increased capacity, albeit diminshed by my new found responsibility... an adorable little man and new favourite way to spend my time!
With a salute to all my other one armed friends,
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Apparently, I wasn't the really tired one though because as I brushed with half-opened eyes, my sweet husband stumbled in and had the realisation - "Wow. I was so tired last night, I put my underwear on inside out!"
Now, I always fold his underwear (right side out) meticulously to put it away and yet somehow he was so tired that he managed to get them that tangled!
It gave us both a chuckle and I was reminded of one of my most tired moments since mommyhood began...
I was walking home in a comatose mode, literally 100 paces from my house when all of a sudden I stopped. Left, right, or straight!? I could NOT remember how to get home.
A body does funny things without sleep.
What's your sleepiest mommy moment?
We knew a number of our friends who had read the book "On Becoming Baby Wise" by Gary Ezzo and Robert Buckham. We had a lot of respect for the way they parent and the way their children are behaved so we decided to have a go.One of the things that really stuck out to me about this book is that it strongly emphasizes the importance of the marriage part of a family. (Now, please understand I know there are circumstances where this is not possible, but I'm talking about a family where there are a married mom and dad. Sometimes we forget the importance of that relationship when we start adding kids into the mix!) This has always been significant to me, especially because I remember how important it was to my parents and how blessed I felt growing up in a house where my mommy and daddy loved and respected each other.
The other thing this book does is really empower the parents to be that - parents! This day in age, lots of kids tend to run their households. This book helps parents understand what it means to love and care for their children and help them develop into awesome adults.
I learned so much reading these principals and a lot of them we have incorporated into the way we care for our little boy.
One of the really controversial things about the book is that it advocates "Crying It Out." I don't really want to go there in this post because there are plenty of arguments both ways for this, but what I do want to point out is that it would be a shame to throw away all the very good tips this book has just because you don't believe in "Crying It Out."
I gained a lot of knowledge and insight into newborn sleeping patterns, how to feed, and the importance of learning MY baby and not just relying on a system or schedule.
I will say that one con for me was that while the book did encourage parents to learn their baby's cues, for me, it didn't help me know HOW to do that. While I really WANTED to get to know my baby and what he was trying to tell me, I didn't feel very equipped to do that.
In addition to a LOT of trial and error (which SEEMS against the book in theory, but really is all part of learning to be a new mommy or daddy, which the book advocates), I also found some other helpful resources in other books. Mostly, though, it has just taken time.
Of course, I'm constantly reminded that a mere three months into this parenting journey there are lots of other challenges ahead, I am really grateful for where we are at in our family. If you're looking for a good resource for your newborn or infant, I'd definitely encourage you to have a look. We are looking forward to reading more of the Babywise series to see what other tips may be offered for our little man!
Here's hoping for some more time to read,
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
The number one way, is a little game my grandpa (I call him Papa) taught me and played with me when I was little. For this reason, it makes my heart ooze with happiness every time I play it with my son and see his smiles and giggles.
I sit my baby up on the edge of my knees, facing me and sing a little song that goes like this:
El Paso, El Paso, El Paso (bounce baby softly on knees)Now, my little guy likes the first bounce and LOVES the second bounce. The third is just a bit rough for him yet and he sometimes gets a bit of a confused look on his face, but I figure we can build to that as he grows in confidence.
El Trote, Trote, Trote (bounce baby bigger on knees)
Giddyup! Giddyup! (bounce baby super fast)
Whoa! (pretend that you're stopping the horse and lean baby back just a bit)
Another game that is similar is one my husband plays. Our son likes it almost as much as its very similar. It goes like this:
This is the way the lady rides, lady rides, lady rides. This is the way the lady rides to church on Sunday morning. (bounce baby slowly on knees)What games do you like to play with your little ones!?
This is the way the gentleman rides, gentleman rides, gentleman rides. This is the way the gentleman rides to church on Sunday morning (bounce baby bigger and sing faster)
This is the way the hunter rides, the hunter rides, the hunter rides. This is the way the hunter rides to church on Sunday morning. (bounce baby super big and sing faster)
This is the way the baby rides, baby rides, baby rides. This is the way the baby rides to church on Sunday morning! (bounce baby all around and sing super fast)
Loving the playtime,
Sunday, May 9, 2010
To give a bit of history, we had spent a few months not trying to not have a baby, but as we looked at the potential timing of a little one's arrival, we decided we would need to stop "not trying" for a few months so we could time things better. My husband had been away during my prime time of the month so I figured we were in the clear and we would start being "safe" when he returned.
So, when I went overseas to work with a developing nation on a strategy to help improve their health care, I didn't take any extra health precautions. That week was a strange one. I was SO emotional. Usually I am very on it and enjoying what I do, but I found myself very sensitive and out of it. I even cried!! I was sharing a room with a friend during our stay and she secretly wondered whether I was pregnant because I was so strange.
When I returned home from my trip I was having coffee with a girlfriend. I was telling her how emotional I'd been and wondering what was wrong with me and asking for her to pray for me. Our coffee date went on and we were getting ready to leave and I had a thought - "Hey, I'm late. Do you mind if I run in and grab a pregnancy test?"
I know, I know. Stupid. But I didn't even put two and two together with the emotions.
I got home and needed to pee so even though my husband was having a meeting with some colleagues in our living room, I decided to take the test.
Of course, it was positive. What in the WORLD do you do stuck in your bathroom with guests in the living room when you find out you're pregnant!? I just stayed calm, hid everything and went and joined them. It seemed like they were lingering (they probably were, we hang out a lot and normally I LOVE having them around!) But when they weren't showing any signs of leaving, I said something really rude. I said to my husband, "I really need to speak with you privately before dinner."
They definitely got the hint and as soon as they were out the door, I showed him the test. Of course, I had purchased the cheapest one in the shop and we were both really confused at how I could be preggers so we did the only thing a naive first time pregnant couple would do - go buy a second test! It was positive too and so began our journey...
And now, a year later, I am being celebrated as a mommy by my precious boy and his daddy.
Enjoying this day oh so much,
Friday, May 7, 2010
Well, today is the day you get to change YOUR breastfeeding life!! That's right, the fabulous ladies at Lilacs & Lollipops are offering one privileged Aussie Mommy reader the HideAway Nursing Cover of your choice!!
If my first blog didn't convince you enough, well let me say that Lilacs & Lollipops have just released a new and improved version of their fabulous HideAway Nursing Cover. According to their Etsy store:
"We have improved our Nursing Covers by adding a Terry Cloth pocket and Nickel Overall Buckle. The Overall Buckle will allow you to adjust the Nursing Cover to the exact length you want and no re-adjusting for every use."Now, I love my HideAway Nursing Cover, but any mommy saving minute like an always adjusted overall buckle really sounds appealing to me!!
If you're not a breastfeeding mum, well I would definitely recommend this Lilacs & Lollipops HideAway Nursing Cover for a gift for any mums to be. It is my new number one favourite to give to my girlfriends at their showers! You'll also have to check out the Lilacs & Lollipops store to see all kinds of other fabulous baby shower gifts with ADORABLE diaper clutches, bumbo covers and more!
So, are you wondering how you can win this fabulous giveaway from Lilacs & Lollipops? You can enter up to six times. Here's what to do:
- Visit the Lilacs and Lollipops website and comment this blog to tell me what HideAway Nursing Cover you will choose if you win. (One entry)
- "Like" the Lilacs and Lollipops page on Facebook and comment that you did. (One entry)
- "Follow" the Lilacs and Lollipops blog and comment that you did. (One entry)
- Tweet about this Giveaway and comment that you did. (One entry)
- Follow The Aussie Mommy on Twitter and comment that you did. (One entry)
- Follow The Aussie Mommy blog and comment that you did. (One entry)
Thursday, May 6, 2010
That's my approach to motherhood a lot of times too. I know that I have the capacity to do what I need to do to take care of my little boy. I want to be assured of that.
At the same time, while I'm very confident in that, I've also decided that I really like to hear other peoples' experiences. I like to hear their ideas and what worked for them. I know that their choice may not work for me because their child, family and circumstances are different from mine, but I often find I get some great tips hearing from other mums.
Today I took a big step. I went and saw a lactation consultant. I went with this mentality: "I am fully capable of taking care of my son. He is healthy and he is thriving and that is good. BUT, there might be something more I can learn. There might be a way that I could do this better."
Thanks to the Australian government (Hey you Americans, the right national health care MIGHT not be as bad as you think... I'm just sayin'...), I was able to see a lactation consultant at an Infant and Parent Management Service totally free. The nurse I saw was very sweet. I took my son at a time when I was sure he'd be ready to eat and we just chatted.
Do you know what I learned today? My gut was right. He IS healthy and thriving.
- I said: He generally only eats for around 10 minutes at a time.
- She said: He is a very efficient eater. (She could hear him chugging away!)
- I said: He still takes feeds during the night... sometimes 2-3 times!
- She said: Is he always this active? (Yes.) Because he is always on the go, he needs more calories than babies who are content to just sit quietly.
From one vulnerable mum to another,
I didn't mind today's wall so much. The emotional wall, now that is a spooky wall to hit! Today I hit the physical wall. I just got to the point where I didn't think I could physically keep my eyes open anymore.
So I grabbed baby boy and even though he wasn't tired, we rested together on my bed. Him, babbling away to the lines on our wood-paneled ceiling and me, content to smell dried up spit up as I nuzzled into his cozy neck rolls.
Is it possible to be THIS tired and yet THIS fulfilled all at once? Ah, motherhood.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
I've always love the sound of a laughing baby, but I don't think there's anything that could've prepared me for the sound of my own little boy laughing.
Weeks and weeks ago, I didn't even recognise his laugh. There were these tiny girgles as he smiled but slowly but surely the gurgles started to get longer until one day I thought to myself, "Wow! He has been laughing!"
These days, my little man is FULL of laughs and I feel like the funniest person of the world. Isn't it fun to make people laugh!? And especially so you own little one!?
We have had lots of giggle session lately (admittedly, some of them when I'm supposed to be setting the tone for bed time... I'm a sucker, I know!). I finally captured one on video and just had to share because I know that a good baby laugh is always guaranteed to brighten my day.
I hope this one brightens yours!
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Now that I have a little Aussie boy, I want to make sure that his skin is always protected. I'm very careful about this and now that we're going into the water with him and to the beach more, I've had my eye out for some great swimwear.
One Bored Mommy has an awesome option from Sun Protection Zone. You can visit her blog site and enter to win one of these short sleeve rash guards for your son or daughter.
If I win, I'd get the brown and white short sleeve rash guard.
I also really like the long sleeve suit. This one is cute, don't you think? Not only does it have the standard UV protection of all Sun Protection Zone's products, it even has a nappy changing snap at the bottom! How perfect!
Enjoying the sun,
My personal favourite for our little boy? These little vest outfits... perfect as we head into winter!
Hoping for a great winner!
Saturday, May 1, 2010
The next day my mom insisted on buying me a breastfeeding cover but we could only find one in town and it was $60 for this piece of square fabric. I was not impressed!
Instead, I hopped on etsy and found a wonderful seller - Lilacs & Lollipops. They had heaps of HideAway breastfeeding covers in beautiful fabrics with very reasonable prices!
Lilacs and Lollipops were great to work with. When my HideAway breastfeeding cover arrived, I was so impressed with the quick shipping and I don't know what they scented the cover with, but it had the most beautiful (but subtle) scent for the next few washes!!
It is so easy to feed in public with this cover. It fits right around my neck with a little pop out top so I can see my little man. Its also perfect to wear over his Baby Bjorn. He is one of those super stimulatable kids who is just always curious. Whenever he's tired and I pop the breastfeeding cover over his carrier, he falls asleep literally in about 30 seconds! Its breathable and I can peek down at him. PERFECT!
If you're a breastfeeding mom, i definitely recommend picking up one of these HideAway covers. It will seriously change your breastfeeding life!