Preschooler Gift Ideas

We absolutely hit it out of the park with gifts for our daughter Ava this year- she loved almost everything we found for her!

I’ve linked some of her favourite things if you need gift ideas for your preschooler!ONE.png

One- Disney Puzzles, Big W | Two- Kids Umbrella, Sunnylife | Three- Fire Station Lego, Lego | Four- Doctor’s Bag, Big W | Five- Fire Truck, Kmart | Six- Walkie Talkies, Amazon | Seven- Construction Lego, Lego | Eight- Dr Baby Barbie, Amazon

Be careful little eyes..

IMG_8289.JPGOver the past few weeks we have been noticing that Ava (my 3 year old) has become excessively clingy. For example, whenever Greg or I leave for work she gets weepy and ask’s if we’re coming home, she won’t travel in the car with my mum by herself anymore, she doesn’t want to sleep over her house without us.. It was quite unusual for her considering just a month or so ago she was completely fine with us leaving, going out etc

We thought it was just a phase she was going through at 3 years old but a few days ago my Mum had the thought that perhaps it was something she watched on Frozen- we had never let her watch the movie until a few weeks ago. If you haven’t seen the movie, there is a scene near the beginning in which the two main characters (sisters Ana and Elsa) parents’ go on a trip on a boat, they get caught in a storm at sea and never return. Ava asked me what happened to the parents and I told her that they had died (she has understood the concept of dying for a number of months when we attended a funeral earlier this year).

Suddenly it seemed like this clinginess was actually due to something she had seen and thought would happen to her.

I called her over a few days ago and asked her to tell me about the movie Frozen (just to see whether my mums theory was correct.) The first (and only) thing she told me about straight off the bat was that Ana and Elsa’s mummy and daddy left on a trip and died. We were all shocked. It actually broke my heart that she was thinking that mummy and daddy were going away all these weeks and we would potentially not come home..

I quickly reassured her that Mummy and Daddy were not going to die and that we would always come home and anything she saw on tv was just a show and pretend. We went through it a few times and then told her that we were going to go to the gym. She slowly said “okay, okay..”

We’ve had to re-assure her a few times the last few days that we will always come back but it absolutely made me realise that we need to monitor things she is watching more. Her other shows are “younger”- Micky Mouse, Noddy (the inspector), Wiggles…

I guess it’s a wake up call that if you have kids and you notice a change in their behaviour perhaps consider what they are reading or watching- you may never know what their little hearts and minds are remembering and imposing on real life.

More than just the crumbs.

Most have their ‘me time’ at night, when you have no energy left. You’re giving yourself crumbs which is why you spend it scrolling or watching. My ‘me time’ should be when i’m at my best...png

Do you know who Rachel Hollis is? DO YOU KNOW WHO RACHEL HOLLIS IS? Yes, I was emphatically asking you that question.

I don’t know which instagrammmer it was but someone along the way in the last 6 months snapped a picture of them reading the book “Girl wash your face” by Rachel Hollis. Linked here at Amazon and here at Amazon Australia.. go buy it now..don’t wait just buy it. There are great parts to the book and not so great parts (like with every book) but I can absolutely tell you that it has changed my life!

If you know me in person you’ll know that since the birth of baby number duos I have lost a lot of weight.. I’m talking like 45 pounds/20kgs+.. I totally credit my weightloss to two really really hard but rewarding things:

  • The Sweat App- The program BBG by Kayla Itsines gave me that spark I needed to actually start exercising in the comfort of my own home because like legit, who has the time to go to the gym more than twice a week.. especially with 2 kids under 5.. it’s not going to happen.. Did I mention that my husband was training for a marathon while and after I gave birth? Hello 2+ hour runs..

and

  • Reading Girl wash your face by Rachel Hollis- I don’t remember much of the book to be honest (I’ve started re-reading it) but one thing that I do remember is her saying something to the effect of- “if you plan to workout (at any certain time) and then you decide not to or get too busy you are breaking a promise to yourself.” We can’t handle it when other people let us down or break promises to us why is it okay for us to break promises to ourselves? This simple statement got me through those times where I thought 9pm was too late to workout or putting on gym clothes at 6am when I was so exhausted. Just a year before I probably broke promises to myself multiple times a week- now, it’s rare if I go a day without a run or 28 minute workout.

While I know these two things may not work for everyone they worked for me.

One morning last week I jumped into the car and on a whim decided to check if Rachel Hollis had a podcast. I figured- she’s cool and hip and speaks really well- she’s bound to have a podcast.. and lo and behold she did!

Hello most recent episode called “How to supercharge your morning routine.” I think someone came to my house and looked in our room every morning. I drrraaaggggg myself out of bed about 45minutes before I need to leave the house. I am exhausted you guys.. Reagan is a good sleeper unless she’s sick or teething which has pretty much been our lives the past month. Thank the Lord for my amazing husband who has bared the brunt of this- he has fed her and changed her at unGodly hours of the morning (or night.. it’s all a blur to me). Without him I would have lost my mind.. legitimately lost my mind.

Anyway I digress- “how to supercharge your morning.” You guys.. she drops truth bombs for about 45 minutes straight. The biggest thing that stuck out for me was when she talked about “me time.” At first I scoffed.. “me time”.. she obviously doesn’t have little children because there is no “me time” only “slave time”. But guys she’s onto something.. she talked about how we’re only giving ourselves crumb me time.. as in, our “me time” generally happens at the end of the day after we’ve worked all day, taken care of the kids, showered and fed everyone etc which is why our ”me time” usually involves Netflix or scrolling through Instagram for an hour.. we’re running on fumes by the time we get our time. She suggests moving ‘me time’ to first thing in the morning. Right off the bat.. wake up 1-2 hours before you actually need to wake up and do something that sets your soul on fire!

Guys, I’m going to do it. If words had ever slapped me in the face this was the day.

I can only imagine how hard it’s going to be tomorrow morning but you know if Rach can do it so can I! Haha..

Reagan Jean

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My bright big blue eyed girl.

Reagan ‘Little Ruler’ | Jean ‘God is gracious.’

 

 

A fed baby is a happy baby..

IMG_1814.JPGI’ve been debating whether to post this or not for the fear of being seen so controversial but to be honest I felt that everything that’s to follow needed to be said.. for all women out there who will one day face the exact same situation I’ve experienced.

Breast feeding vs bottle feeding..

I read an Instagram post while I was pregnant which said something to the extent of ‘we support you women who can produce milk but choose to formula feed’. Choosing to bottlefeed formula as opposed to breastfeeding isn’t an easy decision, for some they don’t make enough milk, for others it’s a matter of mental health or perhaps for medical reasons you actually cannot breastfeed- whatever the reason you do not need to justify yourself.

Yes, midwives and hospital posters- we know, breastfed is best. Yes, random stranger who sees you pour formula into a sterilised bottled- we know it would be so much “easier” to just use what God has designed our bodies to produce but we’re not going for what is “best” by the standards of research or what is “easier” by the standards of convenience- we’re going for what works for me and my family.

So if you choose to formula feed and not even try breast feeding I cheer for you. I had a moment a few weeks ago where Raegan was struggling to poo (I know TMI..)- we were going on a few days. She would cry and only pass wind so I knew it was hurting her- I thought it may be the formula.. with tears in my eyes I felt to see if I had any milk (I had worked on suppressing my milk straight after she was born)- I barely had anything.. I felt so guilty for a split second and then snapped myself out of it and started working through exercises to help her poo. I was feeling guilty because of what other people had shamed me into thinking and feeling which was not okay.

So here we are 4 weeks later, she is actually a month old tomorrow and we are growing and thriving! We’re working out new routines for the girls and I and we are loving life (most days)! If you are where I was a few weeks ago, mumma, you have chosen to do what is best- don’t let anyone make you question your decision or shame you into thinking you’re not a great mum!

Introducing Raegan!

It all began on Monday morning, the 6th of May- we woke up and decided to go into work with Greg. We had been home for a week earlier with no sign of baby so I had resided myself to the fact that the baby wasn’t going to come till I was over 42 weeks and needing to be induced..
Once we got into work Ava and I walked to the local cafe to get a coffee then headed to the park to try and waste some time. We spent the day plodding or more like waddling around the office and ended up leaving around 3pm.
I dropped Greg and Ava home and went grocery shopping considering the baby wasn’t coming for a week I actually meal planned and needed to buy groceries. I remember also stopping into Kmart to finish off a baby shower gift for a friend and browse through the aisles a little. Once I got home I noticed that I was bleeding a little- something similar had happened with Ava so I called the birthing unit who recommended I come in to be checked.
We loaded up my bags, called a friend that lives close by because of course my sister decided to work a double shift at her hospital that day and headed into Liverpool hospital. We got to the hospital at 5:42pm- the street parking in front of the hospital is free from 6pm (with 15 minutes free), so we parked and stood outside the car for 3 minutes waiting for the timer to tick over to 5:45pm so we wouldn’t have to pay for parking (that was how non urgent the situation felt!). At this point I had only had one contraction in the car.
We went up to the birthing unit- after about 20 minutes a midwife came in to put me on one of those machines that monitor contractions and heart rate. At this point I was starting to get contractions somewhat consistently but still nothing significant. After about 20 minutes of monitoring they took me off the machine and decided to do an internal examination. After two different midwives checking they confirmed that I was 5cm already! Greg and I were both shocked- I barely had felt any pain and I was already halfway there! Thank you Jesus!
I knew I wanted an epidural but the contractions were manageable at this stage so I didn’t want it yet as the midwife assured me that if I was coping I should keep going because the epidural is known to slow down labour.
Greg and I started walking the hallways as contractions started coming every minute. I could feel them starting to build so I’d stop and lean against the railing until they passed- Greg and I have an understanding that when I’m in pain I don’t want to be touched or rubbed or spoken to so he would literally just stand there until the contraction passed. I can’t remember what we talked about but the contractions were still manageable. I tried counting through them.. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 but after a few contractions It wasn’t helping me to cope- I just breathed through them which seemed to work a lot better.
Mum arrived around 7:30pm with dinner (McDonald’s)! I ate in between contractions. She suggested I get in the shower to see if that would help with the contraction pain.. so I jumped in the shower for about 20minutes.. at this time it was around 8:30pm. The midwife came in to see if I wanted to get an epidural- apparently the anaesthetist was next door doing another ladies one. She said he would be about 20min so I put my order in..

The two original midwives came in again and needed to examine me before the epidural- I had a contraction laying on the bed while the midwife confirmed that I was 10cm and needed to push. We were all in shock.. his words were- do you want the good news or bad news? I said good news first (obviously)- he said- you’re 10cm.. the bad news.. I finished his sentence- it’s too late for an epidural.. I distinctly remember saying “this can’t be happening…” I looked at Greg and started crying and he said to me “Steph.. you can do this.. regroup.. you can do this…”

The head midwife quickly started ordering the student midwife around asking for warm blankets etc. She started ripping the plastic off the tubing for the gas (pain relief) but the head midwife told her it was pointless- I was literally pushing..

I asked him whether I could sit on my knees and hold the top of the bed- with Ava I had had an epidural (which didn’t work) but I had to give birth on my back.. I quickly flipped over and hung off the top of bed- I felt a contraction build and started to push.. I think I pushed twice and suddenly heard Greg say “her head is out..” Followed by a frantic “stop pushing.. stop pushing… ” To be honest the pain was completely bearable.. I think because I knew what has to be done and I knew I was so close.. When I say bearable I mean it was a weird dull ache painful rather than oh my goodness I’m being stabbed or dying pain..

Two or three more pushes later and her body was out..

It was the quickest and easiest labour, especially compared to my first delivery! I have felt amazing since giving birth- barely any pain- I’ve already been out a few times and today we even went for a walk (without Greg)- though it took us a bit longer to get out the door we did it and loved it!

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She’s here!

Well, on the 6th of May at 8:52pm Miss Raegan Jean decided to join us! After a quick labour (more to come on that another day) we were delighted to welcome her! I’m feeling amazing and the entire family is absolutely smitten including her big Sister Ava! I can’t wait to share more photos and thoughts on being mum of TWO girls!

Baby Girl Items

IMG_2544.jpgInstagram has definitely connected the world in a lot of wonderful ways such as me being able to find boutique small businesses that I would never have come across had I not used hashtags or spent a few time looking around on insta! Below are some of my favourite baby items for our new little one that I am loving!May 9 _ The Red Room +1-202-555-0143 tickets@jazz.mail.com.pngone- Linen Bow (3 little crowns) | two- Jumpsuit (Zara) | three- Cashmere Set (Zara) | four- Amie Dress (Jamie Kay) | five- Beret (Janie & Jack) | six- Muslin Swaddle (3 little crowns) | seven- Tiny Girl Gang T-shirt (Jean and June) Picture source here  | eight- Newborn Moccasins (Freshly Picked)

Baby Adelaide

Recently I became Aunty to a beautiful little girl over in Perth! My best friend of 25 years had her first little bundle of joy. When we were over there a few weeks ago I was able to spend a few hours taking photos of this beautiful baby girl.. all the heart eyes you guys..It took a lot of hard work to not post all 200 photos!!

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Outfit of the week- Ava

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Bow: Lovisa (similar linked here)

Overalls: Ebay

Long Sleeve Top: K-mart

Shoes: Cotton On (similar linked here)