Posted in For the love of food

Want a healthy snack for the kids that feels a bit cheeky?

Easy as Coconut and Date Balls

3 cups shredded coconut

2 cups pitted dates

2 Tbsp natural peanut butter (optional)

1/2 Tbsp Cocoa

Whizz up the coconut and dates. Be careful not to burn your motor on your appliance as I have done. Do it in two batches. Add in the peanut butter. Roll in to balls. Swish around in a bowl with the cocoa. All in a jiffy. Easy as.

Serves 30/

Posted in Parent Zone, Parenthood

The Dummy Fairy is Coming!!!!

It was all very random. I was looking at Matisse’s teeth this morning and remembered my dentist gently prodding me to stop the dummy before she is five. At that stage I was heavily pregnant and insisted once this baby was out the dummy would be gone. I’d let her get used to the new human making changes first. So here we are.

My sister told me a story about the dummy fairy coming one night and miraculously erasing them forever. Leaving a little present in her wake.It worked for her kids so why not give it a shot. To be honest I wasn’t overly confident.

Matisse thinks the world of her cousins so I sold her a story about when they got a little brother or sister they became big kids and didn’t need dummies any longer.

She ran with this and went and scooped all of them up around the house. Too easy. When going to bed she broke my heart saying ‘I’m sad, I have a dummy all of the time’. The enormity of the situation was made clear. Every day that she has been alive she has had a dummy by her side.

No nappies, no dummies. I have a BIG KID now.

Willow better stay in baby land for a while.

This morning she was very happy to find a little present and a certificate.

Posted in Parenthood, Positivity

I’ve got a problem

She’s sitting right next to me on the couch, breathing lightly, moving so effortlessly. Making me look at her, not want to move, just stay.


I have a confession to make. I haven’t gotten out of my pyjamas today, or even showered. Normally I at least have a shower and put clean pyjamas on. Who am I kidding? This is modas operandi. My life.

During the week we are incredibly busy so it’s nice to take a step back and chill. I’m finding this pace far too comfortable and more often not motivated to go out. I judge myself for this, it’s almost like this second baby was always here and life goes on but then I have this stop button. Like literally I just stop.

I don’t want to go out I just want to soak up this little baby stage for as long as I can cause before I know it she’ll be three and shocking me with swear words in context. But that is another story.

My beautiful Willow, you are too much of a delight to hang out with.

Posted in Parenthood, Positivity

Newborn Baby Fade

Today I had a little moment. It is more complex the second time round but each baby brings with it some version of challenge. For Matisse it was the birth then feeding and sleeping. Seeming incredibly significant at the time to my sleep deprived brain my focus was that she was healthy and happy.

We had a whirlwind four weeks with Willow. I got the perfect birth a relief after Matisse’s traumatic one. We sat there in amazement at how incredible the experience was.

Everything appeared to be falling in to place. She was alert and feeding constantly. We had mum and dad staying with us helping out with Matisse. Lots of wonderful visitors, life was peachy. Then her weight went in to free fall.

She was from a good paddock starting out just over 4kg so I didn’t fret at the usual loss. She was within 10% which Matisse wasn’t so I thought we were golden. Home and hosed no fuss needed this time.

Natural birth, healthy baby we were home for afternoon tea. I was over the moon for Matisse to be unfazed by it all. We went in the middle of the night, she came to visit in the morning with Nanna and Pa. off to childcare and home to her new baby. Life was not too different. Plus Willow came in to the world with an Elsa costume for Matisse so she totally rocked.

After all of the wonderfulness I couldn’t foresee any feeding problems. Each weigh was a loss. Each weigh got more frequent. Each weigh the midwife got more and more worried and I became stressed. Why wasn’t my baby putting on weight?

She didn’t have any outward signs of being ‘sick’ she appeared to feed well and for lengthy periods. She wasn’t crying for more. It was a bit worrying.

On this particular weigh in I’d already started the milk supply drug Motilium and had been giving her top ups. Still not much of an improvement. My midwife at the hospital wanted a paediatrician to look over Willow to give her the all clear. Let the fun begin.

In to emergency we go. Three paeds saw her, sleep deprived mother feeding three hourly round the clock and distressed from witnessing her babies first ever traumatic experience. Three viles of blood dripped from her foot. I couldn’t comfort her enough and felt incredibly numb. She was being admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and I couldn’t contain the tears at the thought of leaving my newborn in hospital two weeks after taking her home.

Dan whizzed to the hospital half a day in to his first day back from paternity leave. We were escorted up to NICU and it felt like they took my baby from my arms, without word, placing her in the humidicrib, stripping her off and placing a heart monitor on her. Nothing appeared reasonable at this stage. I asked the nurse if I was going to be able to hold her again while she was in the crib. The answer was yes but only for feeding. My newborn bubble was being burst.

I felt incredibly silly feeling so ‘on edge’ when there were beautiful babies surrounding us that were noticeably struggling. Their parents eyes drawn at having been doing this down pat routine for weeks. It was heartbreaking, I kept thinking they were subtlely telling me that my baby was actual sick. Dan and I were scared.

Dan left to pick up our bigger baby from childcare and organise all that we’d need for our stay. Silver lining, they had a room for me I wasn’t going to be too far from Willow after all. Good news was the blood test came back clear, no infection detected. Bad news, it was to be repeated the next day and we still had no indicator as to why we were admitted.

The Paediatrition came by and said she needed a urine specimen, good luck getting that from a baby. She convinced me that she needed to place a needle directly in to Willows bladder to get the urine. I was told to leave as it was more distressing for the parent. I wanted to comfort her but felt like I would break if I stayed. How I couldn’t be stronger was beyond me, I was failing and not coping well at all. The nurse came to get me and alas the procedure had failed, Willow had a wee as the Paed placed the needle in to my little babies bladder. I wish I’d said no. Days later we were discharged without urine specimen the importance placed on this was a farce but at the time I needed to help then uncover any problems.

We were moved within the unit after a few hours and with every move you are deemed lower risk. ‘Keep moving us’I said. I was put on a strict feeding routine. Feed, give expressed milk. Express, clean the parts to the machine. It would take 1.5hrs and feeding 3hrly I was able to get plenty of cuddles but very little sleep. I was struggling to eat, shower get the very important coffee and go to the toilet. I didn’t want my baby to feel like I’d left her. I was failing. My body was failing.

She appeared to be well, they couldn’t tell me anything otherwise But they wouldn’t let realease us without a diagnosis or weight gain.

Being a full term baby we got a daily weigh, yay us! But they wouldn’t do it until 2 in the morning so I added that to my current calendar of events. On the second night I suggested we do a before feed and after weigh to determine how much milk she was getting. 5ml after a 45mins or so I was devastated yet relieved at the same time. I needed to up the Motilium and focus more on me to get my supply up. Her nappy was drier and drier each change it was time for formula top ups and at this two am weigh in I was so exhausted there was not much more to give.

Now we were on to breast feeding, expressed milk top up, formula top up then expressing again. The in house lactation consultant was available when needed and helped me to get a very tired Willow feeding properly.

All we needed was a weight gain and the bloods to be clear. I’m sure the nurses wanted me out, with each day my conversations got more and more delirious.

On the third night we had a gain, I was ecstatic we had done it and hopefully with a clear blood test in the morning we would be on our way.

What made our discharge an even happier one was seeing our mate across the way going home too. He had been in for the long stay. Over 100 days and his parents were overjoyed to finally be taking their baby boy home.

We had no idea what they were looking for. When I had a nurse home visit she told me that it is fairly common in the special care nursery to have babies whose bodies reject the nutrition of the milk. I was then informed.

Never do I want to repeat that experience again. Willow had a slow gain for a while as we got home but now she is finally over her birth weight and getting chubbier every day.

Almost six weeks in and I’m still attached to a breast pump after each feed. She will eventually get the feeding business as she gets older but now I’m just happy she is healthy and giving us the cutest smiles. Hospital didn’t ruin our happy baby after all.

This is an extremely long blog post but in saying that it has been cathartic to share my story.

Posted in Uncategorized

Are you using your listening ears? 

I’d say about the last six months but for most of this parenting gig I’ve felt a little lost with discipline. How in the hell do you get a strong willed little lass to stop, recognise and listen? 

Counting worked for a while. That fell flat pretty quickly. I added another element, if you don’t listen by the time I get to five you will have to sit on the stairs. This often escalated to full blown tantrums. Fun for everyone. 

Next step- If you don’t listen we won’t go to x,y,z. Too bad if we didn’t have any plans that day. It felt like a day full of threats. Not exactly a positive experience for all. 

We were both stressed so I made some tactical changes. 

Rather than having food treats I put together a bag of erasers with positive affirmations, random little toys and cute stickers. If she listens she gets two stickers, if she has a great day overal she can choose a prize. We’ve gotten to a point where I tap my ear and she knows what I’m talking about. Easy. 

I’ve made a little book that she shows her Dad at night if she has had her listening ears on. Being tangible it allows her to maintain that sense of pride. Food only gave short term effect. 

For the moment as one thing works tomorrow may bring with it a new challenge. What tactics do you use to get your little one to listen? 

Posted in Entertainment, Parent Zone, Too Much Fun!

Gone are the days!

I went to a local twilight fair at the St John of God primary school today. Matisse thought the jumping castle was amazing, the wood fire pizza even better and the mango gelato the bees knees.

We went with her little friends and they had their end of the week crazy going on. At one stage we had three kids going in different directions, normally an anxiety ridden dread rises at this stage but they were okay.

It was nice to give a bit of freedom and they were to a degree contained.

This moment reminded me of life before. Dan and I used to go to the Westgarth Primary school fete every year. Normally hungover, excited to raid the book stall and discover some new treasures. Cure our ails with the ever popular bar and wander home to spend the afternoon drinking coffee and reading our $2 wins.

Today we sat in the sunshine, the kids behaved reasonably and enjoyed some time out. I even indulged in a cheese platter, which was wolfed down by tiny bellies. No joy there.

Life is different but the sun was shining. My tired girl sound asleep by 7pm with more stories to tell her Dad tomorrow. My sleep in tomorrow well deserved.

 

Posted in Parenthood

I found my place and it’s called ‘Our Place’

our place

9am – 5pm at 16 Ivanhoe Parade, Ivanhoe

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Sometimes you stumble upon a little gem, maybe a rough diamond even but it just works. Our Place takes the stress out of having that caffeine hit.

We are very fortunate in the area to have plenty of cafe’s to choose from and they are all very accommodating to children but that doesn’t take any of the anxiety out of grabbing a coffee or a bite to eat when your child just wants to run around and be, a child.

Our Place has a community feel and half of the cafe is dedicated to a play area for the kids to do whatever they please. They even have an unlocked old school gaming machine which might unleash the kid in you.

All profits made from the cafe are supporting the Kids off the Kerb not for profit organisation benefiting disadvantaged and at risk teenagers. The project assists youths with training and employment opportunities giving them a pathway into paid work.

So grab a drink, relax, let the kids play away and feel good that you are helping out a worthy cause. You can’t go wrong there. As a bonus if you are in need of more energy being burned there is a playground just around the corner.

 

 

Posted in Parenthood

I see you, I see me. 

Raging energy pulses through this child’s veins. She courses through the house searching for the next thrill. Climbing is now her thing. Jumping to her first broken bone I fear is inevitable.

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She screams, the frustration of not yet knowing how to articulate her feelings. How do I parent that? It’s not her fault she has passion but we are learning to breathe. To take time and understand one another. I want to keep that patience to understand her. Know why she gets angry if she doesn’t get her own way. Give her that voice that she’s not yet learnt and guide her to better choices.

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One thing I want her to always keep is the passion in her expression. I fear the day when she shrugs her shoulders, throws her back pack on and walks out the door. Owning it all and leaving me in a heap. Teenage years will descend too quickly and I will be living my own Mum’s biggest threat. ‘ I hope you have a daughter of your own so that you can experience this’. She showed no malice but frustration. I had shutdown and hated authority. She was my enemy and I had worn her down over the teen years.

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I’m not even sure the years of preparation as an awful teen will suffice given that twenty odd years later times have changed. A new world to lose her to and no advice from me.

I will bide my time until these years hit but ‘threenager’ is being thrust upon me rapidly. I will continue to take that breath and be kind to myself. We can only do our best in that moment of fire!

MummaKate xx

Posted in Parenthood

Avoiding the unavoidable- Choosing a guardian

will

YOU will never find someone to parent your child as well as you

YOU will never find comfort in the fact that you have chosen a guardian as it means leaving your child.

YOU will never find it easy, EVER

With this in mind we have decided it’s time to get a move on things

But it’s so HARD

You have to picture your children without parents. Without you.

Death, the one thing that you strive so hard to avoid but need a contingency plan just in case.

The bottom line, as I have found is that if we don’t have a plan the decision is left up to the state. Someone that doesn’t know me, my child or our family.

Some may have an easy solution while others have complex family situations to consider.

To make our decision easier we have drawn up some areas that are important to us. This is our phase one of deciphering an incredibly hard topic, one that we have avoided for over three years.

couple deciding

1. Who is close to your child? Who do we trust?

2. Are they in close proximity to you or would it matter if they moved?

3. Do they want or have children?

4. Are their parenting styles and values in line with your own or similar?

5. Who is capable of taking on a child? Taking in to consideration finances, physicality and emotion.

This is a good start to narrow down a few guardians and to move away from the idea of impossibility.

In talking to a few Mums with similar aged kids there was a general consensus that the decision will never be made easy.  It will also never feel right but you will at least know your wishes are formalised  and known to those that you love.

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We love a resource-

How to Choose and Appoint a Guardian for Minor Children

Australian Guardianship Law

Posted in Goal Setting, Just Me, Personal Development, Positivity

Refresh, rewind it’s almost the end of July

Hello friends,

I’m feeling a little

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When I want to be

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Yup. That’s me sitting in a field with a nest of flowers on my head. Don’t lie, you can totally picture it.

I’ve got myself into a little bit of a frazzle over the first half of the year that it is now July and I am wiped.

I feel like I need a holiday!

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(I’m not sure about this rock climbing thing)

One more month and I get two days off!!!

I’ve been thinking a bit about how I can maximise me. I know it sounds weird. It might be a winter blah thing going on but I feel tired and want to destress and declutter. I want to make the most of my time without feeling like everything is a chore.

Can you believe my brain is so wound up I find it hard to sit down and read? Magazines are fine but an actual novel has become impossible.

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It’s time for a change so for Christmas in July I’m going to give myself a few presents.

Firstly- I’m going to switch off every day. It’s time for some meditation and mindfulness. Half an hour of meditation a day equates to an hour of sleep. YESSSS free sleep, how could I say no?

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My second present- it’s time to get my yoga on. Dem bones, dem bones, Dem dry bones are feeling old and rickety. Aside from the physical benefits of flexibility and building lean muscle mass it helps with stress and anxiety.

Third- I’m totally feeling spoilt right about now. I’m going to breathe and say a big screw you world. This morning my alarm went off. Matisse was already lying beside me, we’re back to being a super duper early riser. I gave her big cuddle and we hung out for a bit. I said to myself there’s no stress today who cares if I’m running a bit late. Without the chaos I was actually early today.

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The big four- the TV has got to go. Nope I am not replacing it with a bigger better version. It’s time to switch off the rubbish. I’m not cutting it completely but I’m turning off at 8:30 and grabbing that book, I deserve it. I love reading and I’ve missed it just as I have missed writing.

The biggest present to myself is handing over a few valuable tools to combat the awfulness of winter and to decrease some stress in my life. I challenge you to think of a few presents you could give yourself.

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Today I…..