Product Review ~ Food Babies Love Cook Book

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…Nikki used the Food Babies Love Cook Book to help with the introduction of solids to her 7 month old daughter Arrabella. She has kindly shared her thoughts on it with us, in between batch cooking for the week…

What is the item generally used for?

I presume its mostly used for mums who need a bit of help in the kitchen department. I don’t mind cooking, but I get stuck a lot for inspiration so the recipes in this book helped me with that.

When/how did you use the product?

I used the book once I had tried my daughter on all of the solids to make sure she wasn’t allergic to anything, and when I was ready to start straying from the one or two ingredient purees.

What did you love about the product?

I loved that I could use the recipes for Arrabella and for us – I’d just make one dinner from the book, mash some for her and leave ours as is. I liked knowing that we could all have some of the one meal.

Was there anything that didn’t meet your expectations?

I didn’t expect there to be so many recipes that we could all share, or so many great ideas that weren’t entirely focused on heavily pureed foods. It help me to introduce new foods to her that I’d never think of but that she loved. The recipes really opened up our repertoire, especially considering I’m the kind of person that just buys all the same ingredients every week.

Who would this work well for?

I guess anyone starting solids or who is stuck for ideas with their baby/toddler. Lots of Baby Led Weaning compatible stuff in there too. My husband loves the mini frittatas and the pie recipes.

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How a Memory Board (and My Mum) Saved My Sanity ~

When my twin babies were first born, I would happily snap photos left, right and centre, printing dozens of photos of them sleeping and carefully placing them into photo albums alongside lengthy descriptions of dates, times and achievements.

As I moved forward, and my third daughter was born, I vowed to take the same time and care in documenting her milestones, her picturesque smiles and hilarious facial expressions.

Then , of course, something happened. Life happened. Life with three children I discovered, can be busy, and if I’m honest, I’m lucky if I remember what I had for breakfast, let alone how many weeks my last was when she first cut a tooth. I found myself forgetting to take photos for weeks on end, and then playing catch up and taking 40 photos with my iPhone of Miss P on the toilet, having a tanty at the park and on the Time Out Step. My Anne Geddes prowess seemed to have died a miserable death, and my littlest was having her worst moments documented instead of her best. I can’t tell you how many pictures I have of this kid with her hair unbrushed, face smeared with Vegemite, snotty nosed and overtired. And remember those print outs I mentioned earlier? Remember the photo albums I dated and bound and showed to my Mother In Laws knitting group? Pffft. This poor kid was lucky if I uploaded my phone to the computer, let alone made it to the photo counter at my local Kmart requesting doubles, no wait, triples in case anyone wants a copy. Even my email updates to loved ones slow down, and my Facebook timeline came to a grinding halt. Way to add to my Mothers’ Guilt, like I wasn’t already down on myself enough for giving the kids chicken nuggets for dinner TWICE last week when the Mum at my Mother’s Group managed to Instagram daily photos of her organic, vegan, low calorie and slow cooked culinary delights. I bet her kids has heaps of photo albums.

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I whinged to my lovely Mum, and God love her, she went out and bought me my first Memory Board. Small enough to not feel overwhelmed with pressure to play catch up on lost time, pretty enough to keep on display and smile at every time I pass it. How is it that Mum’s can always so clearly see the solution? Add to Mothers’ Guilt list – Must display awesomeness even when the kids are fully grown.

I use my memory board as an on-going documentation of all my children, of their growth, their development and their beauty. It has evolved over time to not only become a collage of my kids, but now that it’s possible, a timeline of happy family snaps that we were all a part of. Swimming lessons, birthday parties, play dates and dinners out have all frequented my board, staying for a while until I can find a spare hour to drag myself to Kmart and print out a handful more.

The guilt I had over Poor Miss P’s lack of memorabilia has slowly subsided and has been replaced with a lovely smugness, ahem, I mean Mother’s pride. I have created a monument to my family that changes as we do, an updated homage to the evolution of our family.

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Now, as I write this, those bulging photo albums of my first children, overly laden with seventeen photos of each exact moment, is being stored in the garage, collecting dust and falling apart at the seams. My memory board takes pride of place, greeting visitors and loved ones with smiles and reminiscent occasions. Yeah, ok, you know what, I am a little smug. That thing looks awesome! I’m awesome for putting it together. And my Mum is awesome, just cos, you know, she saved the day yet again.

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Mia And The Duck are a fabulous local company who source and use recycled materials as much as possible in there ever-growing range of Nursery Decor Products. They are currently stocking their gorgeous, modern Memory Boards at Flower Child Baby Boutique. Check them out at our website Flower Child or Mia and The Duck or the Mia And The Duck Facebook Page or pop down to the store and try to decide which design you can’t live without.

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Product Review – The Bubble Wrap

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…Leanne is a mum of two expecting her third, who recently found the time (goodness knows how?!) to review our Bubble Wraps in Tutti Fruiti. Read on to see what she thought…

What is the item generally used for?

Wrapping babies, as pram covers, feeding cover and for light blanketing. Probably a gazillion more uses now that I think of it actually.

When/how did you use the product?

I am an avid fan of wrapping so I would imagine using this wrap an awful lot wen the new baby arrives. There are three good sized wraps to a pack, which I reckon would make a really useful but cute baby shower present. Hint hint!

What did you love about the product?

The quality of the muslin is top notch, the wraps are really soft and lovely. The size is great because you want some extra material to really wrap baby up properly, and this one definitely delivers that at 120cm x 120cm. The prints are gorgeous too, and are quite unisex, with lots of bright colours and prints.

Was there anything that didn’t meet your expectations?

No, not at all. I really liked these wraps.

Who would this work well for?

I imagine most mums would need a stockpile of muslin wraps, even if they aren’t ‘wrappers’ as such. A good quality wrap lasts ages I have found, and you can always find uses for them. My daughter currently uses a few that I was given when she was born to wrap her dolls, and my son used them as a comforter at night well into his preschool years. A good investment, that’s for sure.

http://flowerchild.com.au/bubble-wrap-cotton-tutti-frutti.html

Exclusion Policies – When To Keep Your Baby At Home

 

sickness

ˈsɪknəs/

noun

1.the state of being ill ~ “she was absent through sickness”
2. the feeling or fact of being affected with nausea or vomiting ~ “she felt a wave of sickness wash over her”
  1. Synonyms: illness, disease, aliment, complaint, affliction, infecction,

    We all know the drill when it comes to sending our precious bundles to Kindy – pack a spare pair of undies, don’t forget their hat, and definitely don’t send them when they are sick. It sounds pretty simple, but it appears more and more parents are administering panadol in the parking lot in the hope no one at their centre will notice that their son or daughter feels like death. And look, I get it – there are times when you NEED your child to go to Kindy; work, interviews and appointments wait for no one.

From what I can gather, the grey area where most people struggle with this topic, is WHEN exactly is their child sick enough to keep home, and what constitutes an ‘acceptable’ illness.

Little Diggers Preschool in Collaroy Plateau have made their Exclusion Policy clear and concise enough for even the sleep deprived to follow, but there is something extra in the policy that owners Linda and Lyndy have added themselves – children with snotty green or yellow noses will be sent home from Kindy immediately. The reasoning behind taking their policy one step further is simple – green/yellow snot = infection which can easily and readily infect other children as well as the staff. Just like all other banned infectious illnesses, Linda and Lyndy see no difference with Sinus Infections; and believe me, they stick to their guns on this one.

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While many may balk at the pioneering example of a modern day exclusion policy, I must say that my first hand experience with it has been commendable. My youngest has been attending Little Diggers for over a year, and not once has she picked up a new bug/parasite/nit infestation from her gorgeous buddies. I wish I could say the same about other Kindergartens we have frequented – I’m certain I lost more hours from work dealing with sickness picked up from less stringent Exclusion Policies, than I ever did from hangovers pre-kids.

As far as ‘acceptable’ illness goes, all day care centres will have their fair share of coughs and colds doing the rounds. Although transmittable by air, children are not usually sent home because of the absence of an infection. If you aren’t sure whether your child is suffering from a cold or an infection, then consulting your GP should be your first step before dropping your preschooler off for a day in someone else’s care. A thermometre will usually help you to distinguish a fever – generally speaking, a temperature over 38 degrees warrants a day home in bed. That being said, you know your child, their symptoms and can easily decipher the seriousness and contagious status of your child’s illness with your Doctor.

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Exclusion Policy’s are in place to protect your child, other children and staff. They are NOT in place to make life difficult for parents, although sometimes it may seem like your wee one only gets sick on their day care days/your work days. I know that I for one am incredible grateful that my daughters health is held in high regard, and I am so relieved that my heartbreaking days of dragging my sick little girl to the Doctors week in and week out, are over.

If you need to organise alternate care for your little one who is too sick to attend their day care, try contacting an emergency nanny service in your area.

Product Review – Squeez’Ems

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…Maria is introducing solids to her little man and has put our Squeez’Ems to the test… 

What is the item generally used for?

For feeding on the go, but using homemade foods.

When/how did you use the product?

I used the Squeez’Ems when Harry and I would be out at meal times, which feels like most hours of the day at the moment.

What did you love about the product?

I loved the convenience of pouch feeding, and I’m sure he’ll love being able to feed himself once he masters the grip/squeeze combo. I also really enjoy making his food so I like that I can still have that convenience but with our own homemade meals. I like to know what is in his food but we are also pretty active, so this product is a bit of a winner for us.

Was there anything that didn’t meet your expectations?

I thought washing them would be a bit of a mission, but they are dishwasher safe so that debunked that problem for me.

Who would this work well for?

Anyone starting solids or who needs to feed on the run. Chunky purees pass through easily so they aren’t just for beginners. I am sure we’ll use ours later on for jellies and custards etc.

BooginHead products 12/12/2012

http://flowerchild.com.au/the-original-squeez-ems.html

Honouring Winter ~ with Kinesiologist, Emma Sternberg

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Honouring Winter

Every season has a purpose. Not just for the planet, but for us as well- our minds, bodies and spirits.

Winter is the time for introspection. For rest, for building, so that when the time is right, we have all the things that we need ready to help us grow and move.

Winter is the time of preparation and rejuvenation.. think of the cozy warm arms of a nurturing mother.. we take the time to curl up, heal and build slowly.

Do you honour this time? 

In my research, I learnt that a virus has a purpose within the body. It kills weak cells to make us stronger. When I discovered this, it occurred to me that as humans we have learnt to “soldier on” on such a deep level that we are missing the opportunity to trust in our bodies.

So my article for you today is not about helping you to “fight” the winter colds and flus.. but it is a guide to help you build, so that when the viruses come, your body is able and ready to prepare and rejuvenate for the months of movement.

Step 1: Feed your body, soul and mind. Think nourishment and nurturing on all levels. Keep your mind kind to yourself. If your thoughts enter that darker place, just gently refocus your mind on your breath or on reality. Those thoughts will be there, but we don’t have to listen to them.

Feed your body with warm, nurturing, hearty soups, casseroles and slow cooked yumminess. Think bone broths (or grandmas stock!), spices, garlic, ginger, honey. Now is the time to reduce the amount of cold, raw food and mucus producing dairy.

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Step 2: Slow down. Do more yoga instead of cardio. Say ‘no’ to more things. Focus on your eating- chew! More one-on-one catch ups instead of big boisterous groups. Now is the time to deepen the relationships- with yourself and others.

Step 3: BREATHE! Take long slow deep breaths  as often as you can– count to at least 5 on each breath in and out, feeling your lungs push gently into your lower stomach. The breath in makes your stomach push out, the breath out gently pulls your stomach towards your spine. If you feel anxious, focus on breathing out, as this will allow more oxygen in.

Step 4: Welcome the emotions. Allow yourself and your children to feel, release, let go. Winter in Traditional Chinese Medicine theory is the time in which your energetic body releases grief and reconnects to spirit/god. If grief comes up for you or your children (remember anger is just fear or sadness too!) just allow it and ride the wave.. it will come and then it will go naturally. Book a session with a therapist and honour the feelings. That big cathartic crying in the shower is such a beautiful release too!

Step 5: Be. Bring your mind back to the present as often as you can. Play with, curl and cuddle your kids and partner. Bring the love in.

Whatever you’re doing, bring a sense of peace and nurturing in. As women, our mind and way of being sets the tone of the house (unfortunate at times – but it’s true!). Open and soften your body and mind. Notice when it’s not and just change the way you hold your body, the rest will follow.

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Happy Winter!

Warmth and joy, Emma Sternberg x

 

Emma’s Holistic Kinesiology Practice is located in Mona Vale, Sydney. To find out more, check out her website at ~

http://www.northernbeacheskinesiology.com.au/about/

Product Review – Bamboo Baby Wipes

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… Ever been stuck out and about with a dirty nappy and no wipes? It seems those are days of the past if Julia’s review of Bamboo Baby Wipes is anything to go by…

What is the item generally used for?

Dirty hands, faces and bottoms!

When/how did you use the product?

I used mine at home for bath and nappy change time, and when we went out for nappies, and messy hands and faces.

What did you love about the product?

I especially love how soft and delicious the wipes are – like seriously soft and gorgeous. I also loved how I could reduce my waste and cost considerably by not using disposable wipes. It really is an eye opener when you start to realise how often you turn to disposable wipes, I felt like these reusable ones really helped to illustrate that. I also liked the size of them, it meant that I could pack a moist one in my wet bag and it barely took up any room, but I could use it a few times before needing to rinse and dry it.  I also love that when I have these reusable wipes with me, I don’t even have to think about whether I’ve got wet ones with me, if I’ve run out or need to top up. Getting caught out without wipes is totally a thing of the past now.

Was there anything that didn’t meet your expectations?

Um, not enough in the 5 pack! Mental note – must return to the store to buy a couple more packs! Ha ha!

Who would this work well for?

Anyone with a messy little bub! Nappy changes, meal times, messy craft, outdoor play – you name it, I used my bamboo wipes.

http://flowerchild.com.au/bamboo-wipes-5-pack-by-flower-child.html

Reality Check ~ What does sickness in a large family really look like?

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Ok, so let me start by saying that my young family, for the better part, are mostly healthy and happy. I am grateful they we don’t often get struck down by ghastly viruses or bugs, but let me tell you, when we do, I’ve learned that it’s time to batten down the hatches and get ready for the crazy ride that is better known as having “three kids sick at the one time”.

Our most recent bout of illness came into fruition after my middle (and toughest) child complained of feeling hot. I knew something was amiss because she would never ordinarily forego an opportunity to stay up late and eat crackers and cheese in front of Masterchef. What ensued was days upon days of fevers, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea, which our trusty GP assured me would get better with ‘plenty of rest and fluids’. Without fail, and despite my attempts to quarantine her and sanitise every surface my can of Glen 20 could reach, the virus spread. Before I could mutter the words ‘don’t drink from THAT drink bottle’, two more sleepy eyed children appeared in the darkness of my bedroom at 2.30am complaining of sore tummies.

 So here, my friends, is my honest illustration of what having three poorly kids in my house looks like.

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Three sick children means playing bed swap – continuously and feverishly, and usually in an attempt to avoid mysterious, vomit smelling patches on doonas that haven’t made it to the washing pile yet.

One load of washing on, one out, and three more backed up in the laundry – all sporting above mentioned mysterious wet patches.

Using wet wipes to haphazardly wipe up missed attempts of hugging porcelain, vowing to ‘get to that when I have time’.

Discarding countless toothbrushes, towels and pillow cases to piles that are also given the ‘I’ll get to that’ promise.

Frantic runs to the chemist in pyjama pants.

Taking much needed micro sleeps whilst holding someones hair back.

Making irrational, moody phone calls to hubby complaining about how he luckily ‘gets to go to work all day’.

Making soup for all poorly children, who don’t want to eat soup for dinner, but who will later request some at 4.45am because they might be feeling better now.

Revisiting said soup half an hour later in a bucket beside your child-ladden bed.

Barking orders like a veteran Emergency Room Surgeon. “Hydrate”, “2ml syringe” and “Stat” now make up 85% of the conversations had with immediate family members.

Cancelling all plans to collect mail for the next week. Perhaps two.

Asking for descriptions of poop way more often than anyone should ever admit to.

Holding one’s eyes and mouth closed after being coughed on and praying those little wet splatters weren’t snot.

Realising that bed socks have become an integral part of daily fashion, and that bras and hair brushes are now deemed completely unnecessary.

Giving up on all hopes of sleeping for longer than an hour at a time, and relenting to the fact that the moment you do fall into a slumber, someone will probably poke you to tell you about their poop.

Reheating a tea four times, and then giving up, downing it cold.

Watching countless episodes of Peppa Pig, and grumbling frequent and sympathetic remarks about how hard poor Miss Rabbit works.

Failing to open curtains in most rooms for days on end. The neighbours have discussed sending in a search party.

Giving up on coffee, wine and chocolate. Making do with an expired muesli bar discovered at the back of the pantry.

Pffftttt. Showering? You’ve got to be kidding.

Sneering enviously at anyone who dares to walk past the house in full health. Or fully clothed…in you know, day time clothes.

Realising that anatomically, three kids was a massive mistake. Two hands to pat, two knees to sit on, two shoulders to cry on… not nearly enough patience/stamina for all this. Decision on which one to put back still pending. (Of course all of these delirious thought processes are sincerely regretted and taken back once more than four hours sleep is granted…)

Promising half-heartedly that everything will be okay, when deep down you have lost count the days and are beginning to think this nightmare may in fact last forever.

Wondering how on earth we manage on so little sleep when we bring our precious little newbies home. And then vowing to never have ovary-induced clucky attacks EVER AGAIN.

Falling madly in love with your children all over again, hating their pain and their total vulnerability, but adoring that you are the only person that could ever give them the love and the gentleness (and the clean sheets) that they need right now.

Despite the exhaustion, the worry and the endless work load, I am the mother of three sick children, and you had better believe that I rock at it. (I may burst in to tears and wipe my snotty nose on your shoulder if you don’t.)

 

misspolly

 

 

 

 

 

Product Review ~ Lauren Trials A Buster Boo Blanket

…Lauren agreed to review a Buster Boo Cot Quilt for us after trialing one for a week. Here she shares her honest thoughts…

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When/how did you use the product?

Buster Boo says it’s a cot quilt but I used ours in the car and at the park as something to sit on as well.

What did you love about the product?

Aside from the adorable two prints, I liked the size of it and the fact that it rolls down to next to nothing. It’s really quite warm under there too. It also washed really well.

Was there anything that didn’t meet your expectations?

I wasn’t convinced that it was a super essential item but now I’ll definitely rethink that. It’s organic cotton and Australian made which I like, but ours also played a bit of a visual role in our nursery and really set off the colour scheme we have.

Who would this work well for?

I think that one of these would make a really gorgeous, practical baby shower gift. There are heaps of boys and girls prints to chose from, but loads of unisex ones too for people who don’t find out. My girlfriends will definitely be getting these from me from here on in!

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Clever Tips For Getting Through A Long Haul Flight With Kids ~ Trish McManus , Flight Centre

Trish McManus is a Senior Consultant at Flight Centre in Dee Why on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, as well as a working mum of one. She has travelled internationally with her son for many years, and has jotted down her top travel-hacks for parents flying long haul with their little ones.

trish

Travelling with kids…. Well that can be a really stressful task.

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  •  I tell clients to get long haul evening flights if possible, so you can hopefully put the children to sleep without too much interference to their routine. I advise the parents to pack their pajamas so it feels like they are going to sleep as per usual.
  •  Take new toys, and colouring/sticker books.  Don’t give them to the children until they are on the plane so it is a surprise.
  • Always pack a few spare changes of clothes.  There is always a drink spilled or a vomit here and there.
  • Take the kids empty water bottles through to air-side at the airport check in and you can fill up the bottles at the free water bubblers before you get on the plane.
  • Check your airline’s policy on taking baby bottles, formula and sterilised water through check in – they do differ, so it is best to confirm prior to your trip to avoid getting caught out.
  • Pack a light stroller. Never take a fancy/expensive pram as they get very damaged in flight.
  • Baby carriers like the Manduca are great.  It means that parents can have their hands free to handle the suitcases.
  • If there are two adults and 1 child, book three of the four seats in the middle section.  Nine times out of ten you will get the four seats to the three of you.
  • Don’t forget to request your Child Meal.  It means the child will eat food they are used to and they get fed first.
  • Purchase children’s headphones prior to the flight – the generic adult sized ones they sell on board will not sit properly on your child’s head.

travel pack

Trish McManus | Senior Consultant | Flight Centre at Dee Why

TOP PART TIMER OF THE NATION 2011-2013 

TOP PART TIMER OF THE AREA 2013-2014


683 Pittwater Road | Dee Why NSW 2099 | Ph: (02) 9982 8899 | Fax: (02)9982 6339

Email: trish.mcmanus@flightcentre.com.au

My Part-Time working hours are: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9am-5.30pm

Travel Agents License Number: 2TA2719 | ABN: 25 003 377 188