Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sleep Deprivation

by Victoria

I was just reading a mother's account of caring for her newborn baby and dealing with sleep deprivation in the papers and it struck a chord. She talked about hallucinating that her baby's head spun around like Chucky when she was in hospital, after giving birth. She continued to breastfeed, even though that was causing her to have little sleep, because of the relentless advice she was receiving that breast was best (it is but at what cost?). She would have at most, a 45 minute unbroken sleep at night. Once, when she was advised to pump her breast milk so she could sleep through the night while her husband tended to the baby, she woke in the middle of the night to see their baby asleep on her husband's chest. She snatched the baby up, which woke everyone up. While struggling to get sleep, she was also struggling to be the perfect mother. It all sounded so familiar and speaks of an inner battle most new mothers and fathers would understand.

Our Miss P is now 21 months old but it was only 3 months ago that she started to sleep through the night. Before that, she would have slept through the night less than 5 times since she was born. I never knew what torture was like until I suffered sleep deprivation. I was angry, impatient, and tired physically, mentally and emotionally. Everything was a drag. I would think of my day ahead and wonder how I would survive the day feeling so tired and having to care for her. Some days I still feel like that but these days, it's usually because I was up reading late into the night, so entirely my fault.

I remember that when Miss P hadn't yet slept through the night, every evening, before Mr B and I went to bed, we would wonder how many times she would wake up and how long it'll take us to get her back to sleep. I remember feeling quite depressed knowing that we'll have an interrupted night's sleep ahead of us. Even Mr B would comment about how depressed he was thinking about the night ahead, which was unusual for him as he tend not to be as forthcoming with his feelings as I am.

I recall feeling sad for myself when I would read my friends' facebook statuses either that their child slept through or that they had one bad night. I was thinking "one bad night? I haven't yet have one good night!" Here I was struggling to get 5 hours of unbroken sleep and I found myself sometimes resenting having chosen to be a mother. I didn't resent Miss P, just the difficulties of motherhood and sad that I didn't have another pair of hands in the day when Mr B was at work.

What caused Miss P to begin to sleep through? We have no exact answers but there were a few things that happened during that time. One, after being stubborn about it for so long, I gave up my cappuccino fix that I would have several times a week. It was also around this time that we took Miss P to a playschool concert and bought her a Jemima doll which she took a liking to and would take her pretty much everywhere with her. We tucked Jemima in bed with her and found that over time, when she would cry out at night and my husband would get up to her, she would cuddle Jemima, kiss her several times, and get back to sleep. We tried to give her several comfort options previously but she never took to them. Now, she has found her comfort doll. We were so happy! It was like the antidote we were looking for but had no idea which one would work. I had also chosen then to give up the night feeds which meant Mr B got up to her, instead of me.

After the experience of sleep deprivation, what would I say to parents who are currently sleep deprived? Take turns to get up to the child at night, ask different people for help in the day so you can nap. Make sleep your 1st priority. Even if you can't actually sleep, lie down and rest. It is calming and gives you a chance to take a break. With practise, it is likely you would fall asleep more easily the next time. Don't be disheartended if someone remarks that your child should sleep through the night by now. Each child, like every adult, is different. They will sleep through the night in their own time. For now, catch sleep whenever you can, and don't take on the mothering role alone. Remember the saying, "it takes a village to raise a child".

Friday, July 29, 2011

Style Camouflage truck pant (with bag) - Product review

By Bec

I bought these pants for my son as he loves "Army Man" pants and these have been a winner!  I would say these are my 4 year old's favourite pants (he is wearing them as I type)!  They are really comfortable for him - he is normally a tracky pants kinda boy - doesn't like jeans as they are too stiff.  The camoflauge pants are just as comfortable as tracky pants, but nice enough to wear out!

His favourite part of the pants is his "Army mission pouch" (the bag).  It is supposed to go at the back - but Hunter can't see it there - so he clips his onto the front!  He loves collecting treasures so in the "Army Mission Pouch" they go!


I thought the sizing was on the small size.  I bought Hunter (4 years old) size 120 - which is for 5-6 year olds, thinking he would get this year and next year out if it, however he would have out-grown them in the legs by next year. 

They are currently on sale for $21.60 - at that price I'm thinking of getting another pair for Hunter in the next size up!  Check out the Camouflage pants.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Cupcake decorating

By Bec

So you have seen us making cakes, now its time to see our cupcake decorating!  We had some friends around and decided to make a sweet mess!  I made up 6 different colours of icing and we got lots of lollies and made lots of exciting cupcakes!  I'm going to leave you with a series of pictures to see how much fun it was!

Just a note - if you don't like mess - then this activity is NOT for you!!







Thursday, July 21, 2011

Come visit our stall at Mathilda’s Market on 27th August at Sydney

Come visit our stall at Mathilda’s Market at the The Entertainment Quarter, Bryon Kennedy Hall, 122 Lang Rd, Moore Park on Saturday 27th August, from 9am to 1pm. Believe us, you’re in for a treat! Mathilda’s Market is one of Sydney’s finest shopping destinations for the little ones. With plenty of stalls, yummy food and kids’ entertainment, everyone is sure to have a delightful day. Entry is free. Want to see some of the divine creations you’ll find at Mathilda’s Market? Just click on www.mathildasmarket.com.au, or read their blog at www.mathildasmarket.blogspot.com. And if it’s a little too far for you to go, don’t despair - Mathilda’s Markets are held regularly in seven cities around Australia.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Product Review: bObles Chicken

by Victoria





I was excited when I saw the product that I was going to review: the bObles Chicken, one of a range of bObles tumbling animals. As I have not heard of this product before, I did a google and youtube search on it. The following was the description of the range of bObles tumbling animals that I found on their website.

The bObles Tumbling Animals is based on simple geometrical forms - cut in the shape of animals. They are suitable as children´s furniture, but are designed for creative play. The child is able to tumble, roll, balance, seesaw, rock, jump and gain some bodily experience, which can serve as the foundation for further development.

The Tumbling animals are produced in firm foam with a soft surface, very easy to clean under the shower. They are tested especially for children and is free of any toxin or phthalates.

I was intrigued when I saw the product. It was a unique product as its use and function was not immediately apparent. This allowed Miss P to use it in many different ways as her imagination led her. When she first saw it, she studied it and was curious as it was not like any toy she had seen. When I flipped it on one side so she could sit and rock from side to side, she loved it. The following is a short video of her using it to rock from side to side.

video

The video is a very short one as Miss P is at that age where she doesn't sit still for too long before wanting to see the image I am looking at on my camera.

When I did a search on youtube, I found many other parents enjoying their bObles animals. One parent used it as an aid for the child's tummy time. The bObles chicken gave the baby on tummy time abit more of a height so they had more to see. Tummy time was thus more fun.

As a parent, I love the bObles chicken for its shape, colours, and material. The foam used to make the bObles chicken was indeed firm but lightweight. It was light enough for my 21 month old to carry it around. I like that it came in a nice carry case so if I wanted to take it with me on a playdate, I could easily and conveniently bring it along with me.

Most of all, due to the cold weather and the rain we’ve experienced, I found the bObles chicken a wonderful tool to use indoors. I was able to still keep Miss P entertained and replicate some of the fun we have outdoors, in the house. There are just so many possibilities and uses for it. I can imagine using it as a launch pad for her matchbox cars or as a balancing 'beam' for Miss P. After playing with the bObles chicken and loving it, I went to the Little Yoyo Styles website and bought a bObles 6-layer fish for Miss P. I'll blog about our play with the bObles fish in one of my future posts.

For more details or to buy a bObles animal, please have a look at the range here.

Friday, July 15, 2011

What was I thinking?

By Bec,

Have you ever had a "What was I thinking moment?"

This was mine!!
In hindsight it was a truly - what was I thinking, I'm the worst Mum in the world!

It was a treadmill accident.  We had just got the treadmill and Hunter decided it would be fun to have a go.  That's my first "what was I thinking?"  Why would I think it's okay for a 4 year old to go on a treadmill?
Next - I left the room as I was tidying up - again "what was I thinking?"  Why on earth would I leave a 4 year old unsupervised on a treadmill?

I heard the screams and I don't think I've run as quickly in my life.  He had put it onto 4 - 4km her hour is too fast for a 4 year old on a treadmill.  He couldn't keep up, slipped to the back of the treadmill and got caught on the rubber, between the treadmill and the wall.  He got burns all over his leg, back and arms. 

I said at one stage after the accident, treadmills aren't for kids.  Which led to - well why did you let me go on it Mummy?  (In that sad voice) - again, "what was I thinking?"

He had daily visits to the nurse for a week and a half to re-dress his burns.  And then daily vitamin E cream!  He is fine now, but boy do I feel like a bad Mummy!

Have you ever had a "what was I thinking?" moment?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Extra curricular activities

By Bec


Savannah practising her ballet!
It’s a commonly asked question – how many planned/extra curricular activities should our kids do? These days there are so many choices for our kids, music, sport, craft, languages. And once you can decide on a type, there are then so many choices and companies within – piano, guitar, singing, dancing, karate, AFL, kindergym, soccer, swimming, French and the list goes on.

We all want the best for our children, and often feel they get the most out of life by having more experiences. I think sometimes we can go too far. Kids need to be kids, and they learn just as much by being with us (their parents), playing and exploring.

I realised one Friday morning, when I was trying to rush my children to get ready so we could go out for yet another planned activity (can’t remember what this actual activity was), that the kids just want some time to chill and play with their toys. My son was being un-cooperative and was just playing with his toys. My kids are in childcare/kindy 4 days per week, so doesn’t leave much time for just chilling!! I’ve avoided after childcare/kindy activities so far, but I’m sure there will be a few more sneak in when my son starts school.

My children now have 1 extra curricular activity each. I feel it’s important they do something they really enjoy, so we stopped swimming. My son wasn’t enjoying it. My son currently participates in Get Active Sports and my daughter does Bebe Ballet.

Get Active Sports is fantastic as it’s a 6 week program – plenty long enough for my son – and they do a different sport each term. 6 weeks is long enough to work out if you like a sport, but not too long that if you don’t like it you are doing it forever. This year he has done tennis (not his thing), AFL (he enjoyed this) and next term starts soccer. He gets a free racquet/ball at the first class of each term.

I started my daughter in ballet as a replacement activity for KinderGym. She was really enjoying KinderGym, but my work schedules meant I wasn’t available on KinderGym days. Bebe Ballet was one which took girls as young as 18 months. We started when she was around 21 months in term 1 this year. The progression she has made in these 2 terms is amazing. I was ready to take her out after the first term as she didn’t pay much attention – I’m glad I didn’t, as now, just a term later she is doing great. She loves walking on her tippy toes (they are practicing tight rope walking for the concert) and practices at home.

How many extra curricular activities do your children do a week and what are they?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Toys and Giveaway!!

By Bec

You may be aware the big mid-year toy sales started Thursday at Kmart and Big W, and the Target one is a month or so away.  It's a frenzy.....I've been reading on parenting forums the extent some people go to to stock up on toys (shopping at midnight, going the day before to stalk where the toys they want will be, going in pairs so one can shop whilst one waits in the layby line).  It seems crazy! And personally layby is not my thing....you have to then go back into the store fortnightly to pay it off - too hard!!

So I think it's a great time to do some online toy shopping through Little Yoyo Styles!  I decided to see what would be on my toy wish list and have found the following:

For my 4 year old son
Kidkraft fun explorers pirate play set
This would be awesome for imaginative play for my son. He loves pirates and treasure!!

Zoobie pets lencho the lion
Is it a toy?  Is it a pillow?  Is it a blanked?  No, it's ALL 3!!  How awesome!  This would be particulary good for travelling in the car or plane!

Aromaplay

We have used this, smells great and is easy to use!! I would love to get a few more!!

Robot measuring tape

My son loves measuring, and this will make it so much fun!!  Not only that he is learning maths at the same time!!

For my 2 year old daughter
Mother garden wild strawberry flower kitchen
Just look at it!!  Need I say more!!!  It even comes with accessories!

Mother garden wild strawberry lunch sandwich

This would go great with the kitchen.  Fantastic for imaginative play!!

Pinwheels and pearls ribbon wands

She loves twirling these at ballet!!  She would love one to play with at home!

Sunglasses


All stylish girls need a pair of cute sunglasses!!

I could add plenty more to my wish list, there are real gems to be found on the site if you have a little search!!

Now the exciting part - Little Yoyo Styles is giving away a $50 voucher for one lucky reader to spend on toys.  All you have to do is tell me what is your favourite toy from the Little Yoyo Styles store in the comments section below.  Make sure you include your contact details so we can contact you if you are a winner.
Competition is open until midnight AEST 16th July.  I will draw a winner using random org.

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