Last week, our little family, The Mister, Ms 4 , Mr 2 and myself, participated in the 2015 Walk For Prems. It was a great day, and we all had fun! Although it was quite windy for much of the day, it didn’t seem to put anyone off and there was a great crowd gathered around Albert Park Lake in Melbourne. The Walk For Prems is a regular Walk, that raises funds for the Life’s Little Treasures Foundation. Life’s Little Treasures Foundation is Australia’s leading charity dedicated to the families of babies born sick or prior to 37 weeks gestation. This year, the aim is to raise $250,000 and the walk was held in six cities around Australia simultaneously. The major sponsor for the race, was Medela. Medela understands the importance of human milk in the NICU and know that the content of human milk makes a considerable contribution to the best possible development of premature babies. According to Medela CEO, Jarrod Percy, the organisation is looking forward to helping the foundation in the very valuable work it does to support the families of premature and sick babies.
We have been blessed with healthy, full term pregnancies with both our children, and feel incredibly grateful for this. When I was presented with the opportunity to participate in the walk with Team Medela, to raise awareness and funds, I discussed it with The Mister and we both agreed it would be a great way to support those that have not been as lucky as we have.
You see, this cause is also important to us, as we have friends who have experienced the roller coaster ride that comes with the premature birth of your baby. Their little man Thomas was born at 27 weeks. What followed was three months in the Royal Children’s Hospital with surgeries, IV tubes, humidicribs and more. The family received support from Life’s Little Treasures, and others throughout this bewildering and scary time. Eventually, they were able to take their wee little man home, where he received lots of early intervention in the form of physiotherapists and occupational therapists from the Royal Children’s Hospital. Thomas is now in primary school, and continues to work on his motor skills and is also learning keyboard, riding his bike and participating in running try outs. He is an amazing little man, who in the words of his mum “is a very caring boy who loves learning about the world he lives in and it has been possible because of the Royal Children’s Hospital including all the staff and availability of equipment”.
It’s amazing what babies and families can do when they have the right supports in place. The Life’s Little Treasures Foundation want to ensure that no family endures the traumatic and life changing experience of having a premature of sick baby without easy access to critical information and community support to help them through their journey. The Walk For Prems event continues to raise money, and in the last three years has raised half a million dollars. The actual Walk was great – there was such a fun atmosphere, with families walking with their babies and kids and even their dogs! There were prams and toddlers and lots and lots of teams walking for the little one in their life who made their way into the world too early. At the end of the walk, the kids enjoyed music and food and all sorts of fun activities. It was a great day!
If you would like to find out more about the work that Life’s Little Treasures do to support prem babies and their families, click here. And if you feel like you would like to donate some money, and help the Foundation reach their goal of $250,000 you can do so here.
Have your kids participated in a fundraising walk/run? How did they go? I would love to know!
Have you heard of the delightful new book, ‘Too Busy Sleeping’? Recently, I had an opportunity to put my hand up to review this lovely, lovely little children’s book, through the Parent Talk Australia collective. I was very excited when the author, Zanni Louise, contacted me to say she would be happy for me to review her first book.
It’s just gorgeous! It is a little story about a new baby coming home – how will Eleanor, now a big sister, react? It is delightfully illustrated by Anna Pignataro, with a kind of vintage, crafty feel to the drawings. Ms 4 tells me every time we read it, that she thinks the first and last page looks like stickers and buttons, and she tries to take them off.
Both my kids love this book. Little Mr 2 just loves babies at the moment, and on every page points to Reuben and exclaims “bebe!” It’s a positive story, that looks at the arrival of a new sibling through the eyes of a little one eager to play and eager to love.
It’s a lovely book whether you are preparing your kids for the arrival of new baby or not. A little story about excitement, learning patience and love.
I love Too Busy Sleeping because it is positive and joyful, and shows that older kids, even preschoolers, can look forward to the homecoming of a new baby. Even if they’re not quite happy with the sleeping needs of said newborn!
If you would like to get your hands on a copy of the gorgeous Too Busy Sleeping, you can here*.
What books do your kids love to read? Is it the same one, over and over, or a new one every night? Let me know in the comments, I love to hear from you!
Linking up with Mamma Raj Says for #ReviewRoundUp!
*This is an affiliate link. If you click here and purchase, I will receive a percentage of the sale. This won’t affect the price you pay.
Monday night, Mr 2 decided that he was going to wake up at 3am and come into our bed. Now, to be fair to him, the whole previous week The Mister had been away and I was not going to do the ‘sleeping in your own bed’ battle by myself. So Mr 2 was used to just coming on in and sleeping on top of me. Because why sleep on the other 3/4‘s of the bed when you can make sure mum is sleeping on the edge?
Suffice to say, he got a rude shock when he was gently guided back to his own bed at 3:00 am on Tuesday morning. He did not handle it well. And for the next two and half hours, did his best to ensure no one else in the house slept either. He cried, he got out of bed continually, he kept heading up the hall to his sister’s room. Often, he would be put back into bed, appear to settle for 10 minutes, and somehow sensing that I was just about to return to sleep – bam! The pitter patter of little footsteps could be heard as he made his way to our door. To say that he was less gently guided back to bed at this point would probably be an understatement. I was not coping well with three hours sleep!
To add to the fun, Ms 4 had woken at roughly the same time due to a coughing fit that continued to annoy her for an hour or so. She wasn’t asleep either. In fact at one point, when Mr 2 was still in his room, yelling loudly, she suddenly appeared in our doorway, hands on hips and demanding “what’s all this racket about??” If I wasn’t so exhausted and irritated it would have been adorable. In fact I think it did manage to raise a small smile. She was promptly sent back to bed, and exhausted, we gave in and bought Mr 2 to our bed. Where he quickly fell into a deep and angelic slumber. Faaaaaark!!!
How do they always manage to have these terrible nights when you really need them to sleep early and well?! We have kinder at 8.30 for Ms 4 on Tuesday’s. We need to be up and at them in order for me to be only slightly late and disorganised. So of course, the two cherubs would have slept until about 9 if I’d let them on Tuesday. Any other day that would have been great!
Sleep and Mr 2 has been an ongoing battle for us. Recently, it had seemed to be a lot smoother. We put in some hard work (using the camping out method) and he was sleeping well in his cot, not crying for us to bring him to our bed. Then after a little while we decided to take the side off his cot, whilst he seemed settled with his sleep, so that he didn’t think he needed to come out. It was a theory. A theory that seemed ok until routine changed and it all went out the window. He had been going to bed and staying there, and only every now and again coming to our room. Now, he fights bedtime and, well, please see above! I know for some, kids in the bed are no big deal. And I didn’t mind when he was smaller, but now, it just doesn’t work. The Mister doesn’t sleep at all well and finds himself exhausted when doing the long drive to work. So for us, it’s not something that suits us.
Now I could ask for your tips on sleeping, but really, I just want to know that I’m not the only one battling this!! Do you have a toddler fighting to get in your bed? I saw that Tegan over at Musings of the Misguided has some good tips for coming to terms with a kid who won’t go to sleep.
*Update* For this week, the cot has been turned so that he can’t get out. And we’ll be revisiting the camping out method 🙂
* This is a sponsored post. I received a product to trial and review. All words, opinions etc are my own. *
Are you an organised mamma? Do you make it out the door without getting shouty and sweary and mightily flustered? I don’t. I am forever doing several laps of the house gathering children, nappies, clothes, wipes, children, bags, shoes, children – why don’t they just stay in the one spot when I am trying to get out the door??!!
I am certainly not a mum that upon returning to the house, refills the nappy bag with all the essentials. I use a different bag quite often. Sometimes my handbag, sometimes an actual nappy bag. Sometimes a tote. Just depends on where we’re going, for how long and if I have one or two kids with me. So I can often be found dumping things out of one bag and into another. Adding to the frustration.
But then, I came across the opportunity to review this fabulous item! The BabyButton Mama Organiser. It has been really useful. I spend a lot less time racing about, because I’m able to keep a few nappies, wipes, a pair of knickers for Ms 3 and even a wet bag in it, and it just goes with me, which ever bag I use. It fits disposable or cloth, which is great, because I mainly use cloth. And because I can pop it in the handbag, I usually pull it out when we get home, and that makes me check what is left in there and fill it back up (well, usually).
It has a handy loop to hold on to, and even has pockets that could fit some cards, pens, a phone etc. The external fabric is easy to wipe clean and I think the whole thing could be easily put in the wash on a gentle cycle (I haven’t tried that yet though!). And it’s only $24.95.
This great little product is by BabyButton – a Melbourne based company started by Janelle, a mum who decided to do something about all those things that as mums, we can feel unprepared for – breastfeeding in public anyone? Disorganised nappy bags?! She has a great range of things, including breastfeeding covers, nappy wallets, bibs and blankets. And if you think the Mama Organiser sounds like something you could use, I’ve got some good news for you! The good people at BabyButton are letting me give away one Mama Organiser to a lucky reader! Yay! Just fill in the rafflecopter form below. And if you can’t wait, or want to purchase some of the other lovely products, I also have a special 20% off code, just for my readers! Just enter tmgiveaway at the checkout to receive 20% off your entire purchase. How great is that?!
So tell me, how do you keep organised? How do you get out the door without losing it?
Linking up with Mama Raj Says #reviewroundup!
They melt my heart. We’ve had a bit of a rough fortnight here. Colds, conjunctivitis, teething, upset tummies and lots of little kids parties. It all amounts to tired toddlers and ratty parents. Perhaps even the other way around.
Blocked noses and bubba’s who suck their thumbs, do not equal good sleep. Mr 15 months had just worked out the sleeping through the night thing, when wham! Blocked nose, cold, conjunctivitis and a back tooth trying to come through all happened at once. Urgh. So one night, when I had settled him back to sleep for the fourth time, all before 3am, Ms 3 woke up and wanted me to come into her room. Usually she comes into our bed and goes to sleep. But the Mister was also sick, and this just wasn’t working.
So in I trudge, thinking I was never going to see sleep again. She lay there, looking up at me as I sat down, then she patted the pillow and said “you want to lie down with me?”. Heart melted. Thoughts of sleep no longer matter. God I love her. She is so adorable. Then she says “can you sing me a beautiful song to help me sleep?” Good lord. Cuteness overload. I don’t really sing, it’s not that soothing really, but she requested twinkle twinkle, so I sang that and she nearly fell asleep. Wow, this might be a winner I thought. Her eyes popped open and she smiled at me again. “Lie down a little bit mummy.” Ok. Why not. An hour later she finally fell asleep and I went back to my bed. Not caring one jot that it was only an hour and half before I was likely to be woken again.
It’s the little things sometimes, that make parenting so worth it.
As I’ve blogged earlier, I experienced PND with my first bubba, and it has also made itself known this time around. But I’m talking about something a little different. I’ve lost ME, for a little while. I think that it’s normal – after all there are massive changes after giving birth – physical and emotional. My focus has completely shifted. It is so easy to lose sight of yourself, as an individual, whilst mothering. Perhaps it’s easier when not in paid work as well? I’m at home, and not in the paid workforce at this time. So you know, spending days at a time talking to small people who don’t understand a) what you mean and b) logic, can be exhausting. Exhausting!
The relentless routine of feeding, cleaning, feeding, cleaning, and laundry. So much laundry. Every. Day. Perhaps it’s not really surprising that the mojo disappears for a while. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Right? Right?! Hehehehe.
So i’m on a bit of a mission to get my mojo back. And I’m not just talking losing weight and doing some exercise, although that will be a part of it. It’s about finding me as a person again. Or perhaps more accurately, easing some of my individual self back for me. And for The Mister. ‘Cos that’s a whole other issue – the evolving nature of the couple, once kids are added to the mix!
I’m starting with some obvious things – trying to improve the household diet, and add some regular exercise in. But I’ve also thought I need to do some more interaction with adults. So I’ve joined MOPS – Mothers of Pre-schoolers. It’s a playgroup where the kids are cared for in their rooms – ie baby and toddler rooms, and the mums get to participate in conversation, some activities and listen to different speakers for a whole two hours, no kids! (unless they need their nappies changed, then you get paged….). It’s really been interesting and has lead to another positive. They held are little Market just prior to mother’s day, just for the MOPS mums. We were encouraged to have a table there if we were starting up a new business, or if we already had one. It kicked me into gear, an a little seed of an idea that we have been sitting with has sprouted! The Mister and I are still working on it, but we are setting up an online store. Once it’s active I’ll write about it a bit more.
It’s been a bit of a challenge, and a bit nerve wracking – I’ve not really done any retail or markets before, but I do feel it’s actually helping my energy as well. We’ve got the office tidy and back in control, the same with changing out the pantry, and organising the kitchen. All things we’ve been meaning to do for ages.
Tell me, what have you done to get your mojo back post baby? Are you still looking for it? Tell me I’m not the only one????!!!!!!
* I’ve linked this up to the Digital Parents Blog Carnival for May 2014! Click through to check out some really excellent blogs.photo by: MSVG
Post Natal Depression. Ah crap. That can’t be right. Not me. My husband is super supportive, I have fantastic support from my mum, family and close friends.
Mothering was ‘supposed’ to be my thing! I’m ‘supposed’ to be ‘good’ at this! I should be feeling seven shades of bliss and happiness right now. Not feeling so overwhelmed that I can’t make a decision about how to finish the shopping, or to even get out of the house.
I’m well educated and aware when it comes to PND – I’ve worked with vulnerable women and their families for over 10 years, including new mums and community agencies. I know that it’s a lot more common than people think, that it has nothing to do with your ability or education.
I was diagnosed with PND when my first bub was four months old. And this came about because I knew how I felt wasn’t the way it had to be. I talked to my husband and to my mum – a current Maternal and Child Health nurse. A then I went to my GP. She was brilliant. Listened to me, reassured me, and basically acknowledged how I was feeling and just how hard and UNEXPECTED mothering can be.
For me, a combination of counselling and medication helped. But there again was another thing to ‘feel guilt’ about – medication whilst breastfeeding! However, I was reassured by my GP, and to be honest, I needed something to help me out of the fog I was in. Medication helped me with that. I’ve always thought and advocated that if the mum isn’t at her best, how can the rest of the family be?
In the time since this all came about, I’ve done a lot of thinking and reflection. How have we developed such expectations of ourselves? Why should I as a woman, automatically ‘be good’ at mothering? Why do I think I should be? Why do I think that I’m not? Mothering, parenting, is such an amazing, tiring, funny, exhausting, wonderful and shattering experience all at once. It’s not something that you can fully prepare for, despite the reading, the classes, the internet trawling you might do. It is different for EVERYONE. The pregnancy, the birth process, the feeding, the sleeping, the change to your partnership. The change to yourself.
The most important thing I think I can say to anyone about to become parents, or even those already in it, is to be kind to yourself. Be gentle. Love your baby and family. But love yourself as well. Chances are, you’re doing a fabulous job.
If you think you could be feeling better, or your partner could be feeling better, check PANDA out. They’re a good place to start.