baby-1178539_1920

Mothers Intuition saved our Daughter

They say time flies by when you are having fun. For me this describes what it has been like being a Mum. One moment there is a perfect tiny hand holding your finger so tightly and the next your baby is holding the hand of their first love. Tomorrow we celebrate 19 years of love and life with our second youngest girl. I will always be eternally grateful for never losing faith and trusting my instinct that I would hold her in my arms even when the odds didn’t look great.

A child conceived after losing another is a blessing but there is a sense of being on edge and disbelief that this baby with stay earth side. Only 3 months after losing our baby (4 months into pregnancy) we were blessed to discover that I was pregnant. We were careful to keep it to ourselves and not to tell people to early but severe morning sickness that resulted in hospitalisation and bleeding at 12 weeks took that out of our hands.
After IV fluids and rest all was well and I was sent home only to frantically phone my husband to rush me to hospital with bleeding and cramps.

On arrival we were greeted by the emergency Dr, who after asking questions checked for a heartbeat.
“I am sorry but there is no heartbeat, I know it is very sad but you already have 3 healthy children”.
I am not sure if this doctor had skipped the lectures during his training on how to be compassionate but it only became worse when he insisted in the next sentence on organising surgery for the next morning to remove any remaining tissue in my uterus. At this moment I believe my husband asked to please check again for a heartbeat but not in the calmest words. The only words I remember speaking were “Our baby is still alive, I know it”.

There are moments in life that seem to go on forever and the short wait to validate what I knew in my heart was one of them. The sounds that filled the air still hold a place in my dear memories. Our baby was a fighter and as parents we were going to do our best to help her grow strong and know that she was loved always.

29 weeks later after continuous severe sickness that lasted right up till the last month and being on light duties only (hubby had to take leave for duration) we welcomed our baby girl on Friday the 13th March.
Everything was as it should be. Tomorrow and every other year we as parents are here we will celebrate her strength and determination and I will forever be grateful that I trusted my intuition as a Mother.

thumbnail_wordswag_1487997621595

Spotlight on : Teacher_Types

If you have young children and have searched the internet for ideas to keep your kids occupied , are an Early childhood teacher or were just looking for great kids products then you will more than likely have come across Teacher_Types. As busy parents So much of our ideas and inspiration is taken from the fantastic articles that Bloggers post , but we rarely get to know more about the people who spend their time gifting us with magical time saving tips.

So as Barney from; How I met your Mother would say , Have you met Lauren ?

Lauren-42
Hi everyone! I’m Lauren, mother of two (Miss M and Little Man), teacher of little people (part time that is) and blogger at www.teachertypes.com. I’ve been blogging for 3 years and I absolutely love it! I blog about early learning activity ideas plus parenting stories and have established a beautiful community that is growing daily. We live in the amazing city of Adelaide and love eating out (yes with the kids!), swimming and spending time together as a family of 4.

5 things people don’t know about me
• I was a very fussy eater as a child (VERY fussy. Like my mum would scrape off all the pizza toppings so I
could eat it plain, and I would only eat hot chips at a restaurant until I was a teenager).
• When we first got mobile phones in Year 12 (2000) my best friend and I used to spend all day texting each other
quotes from The Simpsons.
• I used to be a dancer, and then a dance teacher, and then a member of several different gyms. I love the Les
Mills body jam classes when I get to dance like I’m 18 again! I actually almost get teary when certain songs come
on.
• I’ve had two caesarean, laser eye surgery and my tonsils out but have never broken a bone.
• I am so addicted to Instagram that my phone battery does not last a full day.

MY best blog post

Ok am I allowed to share my most popular and my personal fave?
My most popular post was all about differentiating between Montessori. Reggio Emilia and Waldorf educational practices and it went nuts! Seems like a lot of people were interested in knowing what makes each of them different. http://www.teachertypes.com/2016/08/montessori-reggio-waldorf-let-us-explain.html. My favourite post is one I wrote early last year about becoming a mother of two. It was rather open and honest and different from what I normally write – but I got some wonderful feedback from it. http://www.teachertypes.com/2016/02/the-moment-you-realise-youre-mother-of.html

Best thing about being a Mum

That you are their whole world. They look at you with the love heart eyes. They don’t want anyone else (although sometimes this is really annoying and you just want your personal space). They trust you. They smile when they see you. And that hug you get when you pick them up from child care is the best hug in the world.

5 items that can be found in my handbag

• My 3 year olds headband
• Hand cream
• Party poppers
• Baby wipes
• Scrunched up receipts
(Rather random and not very interesting lol!)

Lauren

0

sports-1260307_1920

What Every Parent Should Know about Teens

So many days have passed when I wondered if I would make it. My heart was splattered on the floor looking like it had been chewed up and spat out by a wild animal and the whole of my chest ached like it would never be repaired. This was the learning journey of parenting teens. If somebody told me it would feel like this I would have laughed.

I mean just how tough can parenting teens be?

Don’t get me wrong I love all our kids but the teenage years can test the patience of even the most saintly person. I do believe that I may have become desensitized to almost any possible prank they could throw at me over the course of raising teens, much to their annoyance.

Let me tell you what I have learnt about teens.

They have an arsenal of verbal and physical responses to ‘No’.

Wearing you down with please, telling you they hate you and not talking to you are just some of the popular weapons they will use. The cycle begins here and letting your no mean no will set the bar for future requests.

Expect the unexpected

A lot can change in a week, month and a year. These are the years that your child is growing from a child to an adult. Emotions and hormones are all over the place. If they aren’t sure what they want yet then how can you be sure. Give them space to grow.

They are on a journey towards being adults

The balance between boundaries and freedom to make choices is an important one. So Jonny’s mum supplies him alcohol for the party because she believes it’s safer that way and you say no. Owning your parenting choices can be tough when you are seen as the fun police by your teen.

They still need you

Going to sports games and having you there to see them get that special award is important even if they fob you off with “I don’t mind if you come”. Taking interest in their achievements and struggles are what will keep them talking to you.

Responsibility and expectations are good

They may whine and play the I’m not happy card when you ask them to do a regular job but you are settling them up for failure by not giving them responsibilities and having some expectations. In an adult world we are expected to contribute in some way to our jobs , daily housework and cooking. Teaching our older kids how to cook at least 5 basic meals has meant that they are not surviving on two-minute noodles or takeaway.

Keep out of their relationships

Seeing your teen be heartbroken is shattering but expressing your disapproval of their partner or the situation will more than likely come back to haunt you . Listening , comforting and having comfort food or a great movie to watch together is a better choice.

Give yourself a timeout

This has saved me from self combustion.
There is no way that you are going to be able to send a teen to their room or somewhere else and sometimes space is needed . Make sure you have somewhere to go when words are starting to get heated. Music , a book , magazine and chocolate are great distractions (for yourself)

Warning

Teen years and stages can vary and be different for each child and survival rate for parents is good.

20170204702182767~2

First Day of Kindy

It’s been a while. Okay, in fact it has been 14 years since I dropped our Second youngest off to kindy for the first time. I still remember all the feelings which were a combination of excitement for her and sadness for me. It was the same except with a huge difference. I know for sure that this will be the last of many firsts.

How lucky am I that I get to have this journey again. Today as I walked her through the gates with her sister, I felt my heart skip a beat and took a mental picture in my mind to hold onto.

Everything was just as I had pictured it to be, a combination of nervousness from unfamiliar territory and excitement for this new adventure, until the time came for us to leave her.
The tears then flowed and the choice was made for her sister to stay a bit longer to settle her in.

The tears lasted only a short time (our girls that is) but mine lasted as I drove to work. I have been the teacher watching parents drop off their children on their first day of school. Watching them linger and wait until the last possible second to leave.
Today I was the parent and wanted to linger and be a fly on the wall to watch her settle in and make new friends..

How wonderful it was at the end of the day to hear our girl chat about her first day at Kindy and hear her tell us that although she was scared at the start of the day she made friends and had fun.

Jules x

wordswag_1485145630689

Play with Food – Meet Simone

I have always held a fascination for meeting and knowing more about the face behind a business. What inspired them to start their business and where do their ideas come from. It may be why I am a teacher but I also really admire people who use their skills to help others and pursue their dreams. That is why I am very excited to share with you, my first Spotlight on guest to kick of what will be a monthly feature here.

Mealtime struggles are a regular event for many families. I have many friends who would have embraced a service that could have given them some feedback and advice on their child’s eating habits. I shared my experience with Simone’s Play with Food Skype Consult + Happy Mealtimes eCourse Package here which I recommend to anyone who is experiencing food struggles with their child or is just looking for more information and advice.

Meet Simone – Play with Food profile pic

I love food, variety and playful activities with my children. I started Play with Food as a way to showcase different fruits and vegetables in an interesting way for children to learn about. Learning to eat is a full on sensory journey. There are sounds, colours, textures, smells, feels and temperatures to learn about. My approach is to increase a child’s food familiarity before focusing on what goes in the mouth. I love how fluid the learning process is and that eating is so far from “pass / fail”. Learning to eat is something I find TOTALLY FASCINATING.

pursuing my dream to run Play with Food has led me on a huge education journey as I took on SOS Feeding Therapy training in 2013 to compliment my children’s nutrition and food technology background. I have loved working with some brilliant minds in the feeding space and finding my creative voice via my blog. Food and nutrition science can be, let’s face it, a bit boring. So, I hope my blog brings it more to life for people. Yet, it’s the how of meals that intrigues me the most. How we approach feeding our kids is key to their acceptance of the foods. How they feel. How we feel. How our bodies work. How our senses respond. How we move food into and around our mouths. How we react. How we draw battle-lines. How we reset. How we converse about food. How we respond to our internal hunger and full cues. How we want our kids to eat. How we nourish our bodies.

My 2 mess-makers are my big inspiration for running the blog. They fascinate me everyday. I also work part-time in a feeding clinic with problem feeders and that is a humbling, satisfying and amazing learning experience in itself. My favourite quote is “there is always something to be grateful for” and at this stage of my life, I think gratitude is overflowing.

Simone

* Note : this post contains affiliate links that I fully endorse. All opinions are my own

er

20170105_100703

Happier mealtimes

Going through the motions to get Miss Moo to try new foods or eat salad has been an ongoing battle. If it was pasta every night we would win . Fruit and veggies were fine as long as they were not mixed together. Reading her daily communication from daycare about what was consumed left us astounded and wondering what we were doing wrong. We needed to change things because bringing the daycare chef home to cook for us each night was not an option no matter how appealing it sounded.

I was more than a little excited to meet the lovely Simone from Play with Food and when she suggested a Skype session so she could observe Miss Moos interaction with food I instantly accepted.
We organised a lovely Skype session which felt more like a relaxed play date with food as Simone’s two daughters joined in the session as well from their home in Sydney with us in Western Australia. Simone had given me a list of foods to prepare and items to have ready before our Skype session.
I was concerned that Miss Moo would not join in because she had not met Simone but my concerns disappeared quickly and it was lovely to see her engaged. The most difficult part of the session was explaining to Simone’s daughters that we lived too far away to catch up in person.

PSX_20170123_134003

We followed the Skype session with a phone discussion and feedback which gave me some guidance and tools to use along with the information from the Happy Meals eCourse. Our approach to food and mealtimes has changed a lot since making changes and even though our life is just as busy we notice the difference in Miss Moos approach to eating and dinner time is much more chilled.

If you are looking for some advice or ideas and are getting a getting tired of spending hours searching the internet for information about how to make mealtimes a happier experience then take a look at what Play with food has to offer.

6

Note **I was given the Skype session and resources to review and as compensation for this blog post. All opinions are my own and the enjoyable mealtime experiences are a credit to the wonderful Play with Food Skype session and Happy Meals e course resources.

shutterstock_341904785 (2)

Getting ready for the First day of Kindy – Brightstar Kids

Our youngest child starts kindy this year so with only a few weeks until school starts we are starting to get prepared. On the list of things to do before school starts has been the process of buying shoes, lunch boxes, labelling clothes, bags and everything else. Not forgetting getting her and myself mentally prepared.

Over the years I have spent many hours spent searching through the lost property box for my children’s belongings and I was always thankful that I had taken the time to label everything. The money I saved from having to purchase more clothing, lunch boxes and other school items would easily be in the thousands.

Since she started Day care I have been using Bright Star Kids Labels . Not only do they last through the dishwasher and wear and tear the designs are great. Miss Moo enjoyed choosing the colour and design of her labels.

Capture

With the countdown on here is what else we are doing to get ready:

Preparing a mock lunchbox

Although she has been at daycare for a few years now , her food has been served on a share plate or on a plate. We want to prepare her for eating recess and lunch at Kindy so we have began to pack her recess and lunch in her lunchbox using the containers she will be using.

Wearing our shoes before the big day

Uncomfortable shoes just make our girl so grumpy so we knew it would be important for her to choose her own shoes and wear them before she started Kindy. As there is no set shoe colour at the Kindy she will be attending then we were happy to let her choose her pink sneakers with Velcro. I really believe that unless your child is ready to do up their own laces then choosing shoes they can put on and take off independently is important.

Making up a weekly Velcro schedule
Life is going to be busy so I will hate making up a visual timetable for Miss Moo so that she knows whether she will be attending Kindy or Daycare and who will be picking her up.

Is your child attending their first day of Kindy, School or Daycare?
Thanks to the generosity of Bright Star Kids , we are giving you the chance to Win a $50 voucher to spend on your own labels. All you have to do is enter via the link below.
Good luck!

Note: A set of labels was gifted to myself for review purposes. All opinions are my own and unbiased.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

img_0026

Wrapping up the year

I wait with anticipation as the plane lands and I celebrate with our girls by my side. I have made it on time ! He looks so tired and worn out after coming off night-shift and catching two planes home. I wonder how much longer we have being a FIFO family as his arms wrap around all three of us. This is what matters the most , this moment now is all any of us can count on and be present for. As the madness of Christmas approaches and people rush around filling their trolley with gifts and spending up big we are focusing on what is really important, spending time together.

There will be presents under the tree in our house but Christmas will be celebrated as a family on the 7th of January when we will gather together as one big noisy family. It will not matter what the date is or that everyone else celebrated their Christmas on the 25th of December. There will not be carolling like on the movies but I guarantee there will be jokes (although corny) , laughter and a visit to the beach.

Our daughters and I will start a new tradition of giving each other a handmade gift. We are also simplifying our day with a BBQ breakfast and our Christmas lunch will be out at a restaurant and followed by a visit to the beach.
The afternoon will be time for everyone to relax.

We will Miss having Mr T + T home on Christmas day and Santa will still make his arrival to our house on the 24th in the evening because although we save many special moments for our family time , life has to keep going and there is no pause button.

2016

2016 came with a few bumps in the road
! This year has been challenging and my goals have shifted.
We started the year with a Three year old and I shared Signs you have a Threenager.

I didn’t always win favourite parent of the year with my School of hard knocks approach.

When the days were a little tough I always found my Instagram tribe to be uplifting and I had fun completing some style challenges this year. Here are my top 9.

img_0025

What is your favourite thing to do at Christmas?

Jules x


picture_20161218_183154609

Gingerbread Playdough

The holiday season can be a combination of hectic and excitement. As a Mum I am lucky that our older Kids enjoy stepping in and completing activities with their youngest sibling. Our eldest really enjoys Art and Craft , so getting covered in glue or glitter is not a problem. With Christmas approaching I thought it would be lovely to have a post written by her. She also shares her makeup tutorials on YouTube

Hello ladies (and gentlemen)! Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year! I might join in on the usual complaining about spending so much money and seeing distant relatives that can be a bit.. overwhelming – but in actual fact the pluses for me far out way the negatives.

I love having an excuse to over decorate the entire house, and I love making (and eating) food! I do regular craft activities with my youngest sister (3), and Christmas is another fabulous excuse to make more decorations and food! Today we decided to make some Ginger Bread play dough and decorate the gingerbread people with some bits and pieces.

dsc03780

To me Christmas is all about spending time with those who mean the most to you. For me that is my family, and my partner and his family. I feel that too many people don’t enjoy Christmas because they force themselves to do things they don’t enjoy. If you don’t want to see that crazy Aunt or Grandma who is loudly racist in public, don’t! This doesn’t mean that you don’t love them, only that you may need to spend this Christmas doing something for yourself. Don’t want to cook an entire Christmas lunch for 20 people? Go out for a bring and share picnic or go out somewhere you like to eat.

While it is a time of giving and to think about others, don’t forget about yourself this Christmas!
Much love, The frosted donut xo

dsc03806

Here is the recipe we used:
No Cook Ginger Bread Playdough recipe

4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 tspn cinnamon
1 tspn ginger
1/2 cup oil
1 cup water
craft glitter

Stir in a large bowl with a spoon until well mixed. Add more water or flour as necessary. Take out of bowl and knead playdough until the right consistency.

dsc03839

thumbnail_picmonkey0_5498983960365093

Christmas gift ideas

The countdown to Christmas is on and so has the mad search for the perfect gift. The gift that will leave a great lasting impression.
Walking around the shops can lead to more confusion and with so many presents ending up in the back of cupboards, it is great to buy a gift that will be worn, used or admired.

Here are three gift ideas.
Zivia Designs Smartcup
untitled
Not only are Zivia designs the creators of the best teachers diary I have used. They also sell a fantastic double walled smartcup that you can put your coffee or beverages in and know that it will not spill. I even threw mine into my bag last week as I was walking out the door and had no extra hands to carry anything. A button opens and shuts the lid for you, keeping your hot drink safe from little hands or from spilling all over those important documents. The smart chip inside the lid means you can Paypass with your lid using the CaféPay app and the app even remembers your order! (only at participating cafés). The Zivia Designs smartcup is also dishwasher safe.

Mieroglyphs bracelets

simple_gold_main_largeneon_silver_large

If you are on the lookout for a gift that is a little bit different then Mieroglyphs Hand-Crafted | Vegan | Cruelty-Free bands are great. With a variety of colour choices and for both Men and Women made from cork/leather. You can choose one of the messages available or use one of your own to have inscribed on the inside. When ordering you just need to send in wrist measurement. The best part is if you enter the code – TODDLERSPLUSTEENS20 at checkout you get 10% off .

JORD Wood watches

psx_20161124_163411

I wrote a review about Jord Wood Watches here with a chance to win $75 to spend on your own and $25 voucher just for entering. I am still loving my wood watch and it is so comfortable. I have also been admiring the Men’s watches and with so many designs what’s not to love. What a great statement present to buy someone special.

To get you in the Christmas spirit Zivia designs and I are giving you the chance to win your own cup. All you need to do is tell us what you are looking forward to this Christmas and be following both ziviadesignsperth and Toddlersplusteens on Instagram. The winner will be chosen for its ability to tug at our heartstrings.

Jules x