A letter to my first baby..

14987979562151837706You my darling girl are one of the greatest things your father and I have ever been a part of creating. I couldn’t help but let a few tears fall when I realised that you were not going to be my only baby come April. You have only known the undivided and devoted love of your dada and mama but come April there will be another set of tiny little feet in our home. I’m not worried about loving you less or loving your new sister as much, I believe everyone when they say that my heart will grow, but I am mourning the loss of not being a family of three anymore.

Over the past few weeks you have been spontaneously telling me that you love me- my heart feels like it’s going to explode every time – I image it’s how the Lord feels when His children tell Him they love Him, spontaneously.

You have been talking about the baby in mummy’s tummy almost every day- we talk about her eyes and ears and how she’s going to watch Banana in Pajama’s with you. We talk about how she is going to be your best friend and how you’re going to help mumma give her a bottle and wash her hair. I’m sure you will never remember doing this but often you check my belly with my iphone charge cord – one end around your neck the other against my belly- I’m assuming you’re copying the sonographer- you are one smart little girl my baby!

Today you asked to pray for the Baby. I bowed my head, you closed your eyes and you prayed “Dear Jesus, I pray for Baby Raegan, in Jesus Name, Amen.” You went on to pray for the stuffed animal that you were holding as well but I’m sure it’s because you were feeling the presence of God. I don’t know what your little heart was trying to convey to Jesus about your new sister but I know He heard you.

You are going to be the most amazing sister and friend… I know this because you are an amazing gift from God.

We love you forever and always.

Mum

Blessed..

img_8319If you follow along on Instagram you would have seen that I surprised my best friend of 25+ years at a hospital on the other side of the country on Friday. She had given birth 5 days earlier and wasn’t expecting me to fly in for a visit but thankfully we had a number of points that I could use- it was a beautiful (and very emotional) reunion. Her- just given birth and coming off the hormone high that comes with pregnancy and me- 25 weeks pregnant with a baby- we were blubbering messes for a few days.

The weekend was filled with time on the couch watching a newborn baby sleep and feed, kissing her every few minutes, changing itty bitty nappies that look like doll nappies and eating from a freezer full of leftovers from her mum! Liz has been an absolutely champion since giving birth- seriously- I am in awe of how well she has recovered and how well she is nursing Baby Adelaide!

Seeing this little baby brought back so many memories of when I came home with Ava- I was definitely a lot more emotional and uncertain that Liz appeared to be- I remember lots of tears and feelings of adequacy. With your first child you never really know if you’re doing things right- google became one of my most trusted advisories! Liz’s baby, Adelaide, is absolutely perfect. She has 10 fingers and 10 toes- she’s eating like a champion and filling up those nappies just as fast! She has a head full of jet black hair and really long fingers like her mumma! She is perfection..

I came home really early on Monday morning exhausted from the red eye flight but so so happy to see Greg and Ava at the airport! Ava came running to me yelling “mumma, mumma”- I was ready to burst into tears- blame it on the hormones and lack of sleep!

This week has been a pretty standard week for us- lots of cooking at home and family time- most of our church events are yet to start up- I have been reminded so often this week at how grateful I am for God’s many blessings- as lame as it perhaps sounds I seriously can’t count them…

I watched Greg and Ava play in the backyard yesterday- spraying each other with the hose to cool off in the weather- I made them dinner with food from a full fridge that they both loved! I followed a recipe for coffee choc chips cookies, I washed my dishes in a sink with running water, I picked a dress this morning from a closet full of clothes, I woke up to the sound of my daughter playing and talking…I drove to a job that allows me to balance motherhood and being a career woman.. I could go on and on..

Sometimes we don’t realise how blessed we truly are.

We have a large print in our lounge room which says “Count your many blessings”*- in 2019 I’m determined to focus more on what God has blessed me with and nurture and appreciate those then become blinded by what I don’t have.

* The print is from Caravan Shoppe- I’ve posted here before or you can go directly to Caravan Shoppe and purchase here– It’s part of their Woodland Thanksgiving Package.

 

Potty Training- The final countdown

img_8002If you remember back in November, 2017 Ava began telling us when she needed to go number 2’s instead of using her nappy- she was 1 and 3 months old! She got the hang of going number 2’s in the potty within a week with only a few accidents here and there over the course of the next year or so but number 1’s were not catching on at all. Every time we’d have a great few days in undies she would have a few major accidents and we would revert back to nappies- after a month or so we gave up altogether and went back to pull-ups full time with the hope of trying again after she turned 2. We tried stickers, chocolate, rewards- the whole kit and kaboodle!

While overseas last November (2018) we stayed with my husband’s father and step-mum, well they have 4 dogs who use the “potty” every few hours- they ring a bell hanging from a door and go outside. Ava quickly caught on to this and started telling us 99% of the time when she needed to use the bathroom for 1’s and 2’s! I couldn’t believe it.. Would you believe me if I told you that she only went through  roughly 25 pull ups in a 3 week period? I have those dogs to thank!

When we got back she came to me the next morning and said “no nappy, undies mumma”.. In December we had a few accidents but we haven’t had any since well before Christmas. We’ve been on adventures to the grocery store, the library, a restaurant, friends’ houses- not one accident! Another “baby” chapter has closed and it’s amazing but so so sad!!

My tip for nap times is to make sure your child goes to the toilet directly before nap time and directly after nap time. This has helped us to not have any accidents while she’s napping.

My top tips when potty training/thinking of starting potty training:

  1. Consider- is your child ready? We tried a few times and she just didn’t catch on. Instead of having accident after accident we decided to stop the process and start again in a few weeks.
  2. When they are getting the hang of using the toilet buy them some really cool undies- we went with Emma Wiggles ones, Moana ones and Minnie Mouse ones. It was such a novelty for her to wear them!
  3. When you start the process ask your child if they need to use the potty every 20-30 minutes. Sometimes they need a little coaxing or encouragement to recognise the urge to use the bathroom. After a few weeks though trust that their instinct has kicked in and lay off the hounding (ha- I think Ava was sick of people asking her constantly “do you need to go wee-wee!”
  4. Try not to stress too much- everything is washable!! I washed a couch cover, a car seat, undies, dresses- it’s all a huge learning curve for kids- approach every accident with lots of grace.
  5. Carry around an emergency bag- In the bag I keep the following 4 items: 1. A change of undies 2. A spare dress 3. A ziplock if the original clothing was dirtied and 4. a nappy (for emergencies).

At this stage we’re still using a nappy for nighttime’s as she still has a bottle. We’ve weaned her down to two bottles a day- we’ll be working on dropping the night time bottle in February/March.

I don’t have much of a recommendation by way or potty training charts or reward charts but hopefully there’s something in our experience that can help you along your journey!

Outfit of the week- Ava

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Dress: Zara Kids

Shoes: Big W (Similar linked here)

Bow: Seed

The helicopter mum jumps out of the plane..

IMG_5551.JPGHave you heard the term- Helicopter parent? It’s a mum (or dad) who pays very close attention to their children at playgrounds/out in public- I think we all know them- it goes beyond the general caring for your child to make sure they don’t die while at the park- I’m talking about the parent who is one or two steps away ready to jump in when needed. They are hyper aware, standing at attention to defend and protect their child. Was I a helicopter mum.. am I a helicopter mum? Thinking introspectively- perhaps. I make super conscious efforts not to be when out with friends or at a safe park but sometimes it just happens, especially with the sacredness that comes with your first child.

Last week at an indoor play place I let Ava go. It probably wasn’t the best play area to do so as it is a HUGE indoor area with really really high climbing areas (which she wouldn’t be able to climb to without my help.. I think).. but nonetheless, I let her go. I let her go and play independently- so much so that I actually couldn’t find her at one point. I had seen her enter one area of the large child magnet contraption but not come out so I headed over to see what she was up to. I called her name, I scanned all the little girls to see if I recognized her strawberry blonde hair- I couldn’t find her. My next thought was (though fleeting)- did someone take her.. quickly countered with, no- I was sitting near the door no one could have walked out with her without me seeing..

Eventually we found her coming down a makeshift slide that started up pretty high (how she got there I don’t know) but it was definitely a test at letting her go.

She came running to me, crying, twice because of “the ball.” We’re assuming she slipped on a ball twice, coupled with the fact that we were 2 hours overdue for a nap who knows what actually happened, but all in all she did great.

It took all the will power in me to not know where she was at all times. She’s not even two- what if she breaks an arm or a finger or gets a concussion and I can’t find her.. those were very real possibilities that quickly raced through my mind.. and then my logic kicked in- broken arms mend, broken fingers mend, there’s mum’s everywhere- she wouldn’t be concussed without anyone knowing.

When your little one suddenly becomes independent and starts to do things on her own, it’s as if the moment you have been dreaming about collides with this very real motherly need to be needed.

After a long day of being generally overtired she woke up at 9pm inconsolably crying- I picked her up, carried her into bed with me and we slept the night away.

While I worked on not hovering that day I think she realized I needed to be needed just a little bit extra.

A Letter to my daughter

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IMG_5458IMG_5459IMG_5460Dear Baby Girl,

You are nearly 22 months old- well on your way to turning two.

You are an absolutely joy to have in our lives.

You are.. the joy of being woken in the morning with small hands patting my arm saying “hey”

You are.. the twirl and la grande jatte of a ballerina- full of life and joy

You are.. all the kisses and smiles

You are.. all the words of a love I never knew existed

You are.. the smile that lights my face when I leave work and know I am coming home to you

You are.. God’s perfect creation

You are.. so very loved by me

Kids House Garment Rack

While browsing through Instagram a few nights ago I saw someone post about a house clothing rack for kids from Big W (here)- it was super super cute.. I showed Greg but knew we wouldn’t have anywhere to put it.

Fast forward to yesterday I decided to go into my local Big W to see whether they did actually have it in stock (we always seem to be one of the last stores to receive anything new)- well they did.. and I couldn’t resist!

636530935728849582_Afterlight_EditAt my ultrasound when I found out Ava was a little girl and not a little boy as I had hoped I cried..and cried some more..

I think it’s natural to feel a flood of emotions when you were hoping for one result and you find out it’s literally the opposite (and not to mention you are literally brimming with extra hormones and feelings being 20 weeks pregnant). After a few hours (yes, it took me that long) I committed to celebrate and embrace the little girl that was going to be joining our family in only a few short months. I’m so glad God gave us a little girl- Ava is literally the joy of our family… and we are all obsessed with the biggest tutu’s and frills we can find!

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Free events around Sydney!

CLIMB HIGHThere are a few websites floating around that have lists of free events for kids around Sydney. When I started Growing a Bebé, I wanted to make it a point to post about good free events for other mums however trying to cover all the different websites was a bit hard. Below are my top picks for September for ages beginning roughly at 3. On a side note- I would recommend clicking on the clicks to make sure you don’t need to register in advance for the event!

September 2016

Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
        01 02 03
       
Storytime– Ultimo
Rock ‘n’ Rhyme– Glebe
 
04 05 06 07 08 09 10
 
Lego Free Play– Waterloo
 
Kids Makerspace– Surry Hills
Storytime– Ultimo
Rock ‘n’ Rhyme– Glebe
Smooth Festival of Chocolate– The Rocks
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
 

Smooth Festival of Chocolate– The Rocks
Festival of the winds (Kite festival)– Waverley

 

Mum and Bub- Exercise your mood week begins- Redfern
Lego Free Play– Waterloo
 
Storytime– Ultimo
Rock ‘n’ Rhyme– Glebe 
 
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
 
 
Lego Free Play– Waterloo
 
Storytime– Ultimo
Rock ‘n’ Rhyme– Glebe
The essential Baby and Toddler Show– Moore Park
The essential Baby and Toddler Show– Moore Park
Family Fun Day and Outdoor Movie– Double Bay 
25 26 27 28 29 30  
 The essential Baby and Toddler Show– Moore Park
Convoy for Kids- Truckies care for kids– Sydney Olympic Park
Circus Solarus Dinosaur Dig begins- Sydney Olympic Park
Lego Free Play– Waterloo
Create a giant Peach mobile– Stanmore
 
 
Create a giant Peach mobile– Dulwich Hill

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