Monday, December 22, 2014

The non commercialised 'Christmas Eve Box'

As it is Christmas Eve-Eve-Eve I think it is an appropriate time to have this conversation. I am sure I am not the only one to have noticed how popular the 'Christmas Eve Box' has gotten over the last couple of years. I think Pinterest has the pleasure of being responsible for this new "fad". The following picture has made its way around several of my social media feeds many times over.

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/400046379374758845/

My initial thoughts were... really? Do our kids need more presents? closely followed by... we never had anything like this as kids growing up, we had to wait until Christmas day before we got to open any presents, is it really necessary?

So the first few years, I ignored it and didn't give it much thought. Then for some reason, this year... I would say it might have something to do with the fact that Hannah is almost 3 and is really starting to take it all in this year. Her little face lights up at all aspects of the Christmas concept. A little switch flicked inside of me and all of a sudden special family Christmas traditions is a really big deal and something I really want for my children. They are only small for such a short amount of time. I want Christmas and their memories of them to be such a magical, joyful, warm time.

So among other things we went Christmas light looking, did Santa photos, watched the carols by candle light and so on. Then I found this pin...


And it occurred to me, The Christmas Eve Box isn't about going and buying your kids another present. The items in the box were not just randomly chosen gifts. It is about building a family tradition. By purposely putting things in it that helps make Christmas eve not just another night. It wasn't until I seen this version of the Christmas Eve Box; which included things like a magical key to leave out for Santa, the special ornament to place on the tree, the cookie mix to make Santa a treat and the reindeer food. 

This stuff doesn't need to be brand new brought things every year or expensive commercialised presents! It plays a part in the family activities that you do together the night before Christmas. To prepare for Santa's arrival. Those magical, special, warm memories for children to have as they grow old!

So... I have been working on this-



I am not completely done, My hunt for a special magical Santa Key is not over yet, and as we are going away for Christmas day, it isn't practical to do baking the night before so we will start that next year and I didn't make Amelia her own box this year as she is just way to little to even care about any of this, so she will share Hannah's this year. But here is to our new tradition. 



I am also thinking of starting an 'Elf On The Shelf' next year. Another popular new "fad" that is going around at the moment. Why not... it's Christmas!

Do you have any special family Christmas traditions?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Gift Giving Guide- best gifts for Mum!

A lot of the gift giving emphasis at Christmas is on the children, and lets face it... most of the time it is the Mums' doing the gift buying and often they find themselves forgotten or an after thought. Dad's or anyone who may be buying for a Mother, let's appreciate her hard work throughout the year and spoil her, she deserves it! 

Although we are edging closer and closer to Christmas day and most people have already started their gift buying, if not finished it by now; we all know Dads' leave their Christmas shopping to the last minute, sooooo it is not too late to not so subtly show the Dad in your life these great gift ideas for Mum.



All Mum's LOVE handmade gifts and cards! But put a little effort in. Something a little more special than the average texta drawing. How about get some paint out and do hand prints. Capturing this point in time where the children will never be this tiny again, a hand print is a lasting memory! Maybe these might provide you with some inspiration-



Most mums really don't need expensive gifts. It is the thought that counts!


All mum's also love something nice to eat. Have you thought about some chocolates? Lindt chocolate is among the very best and you can get a packet like this from your local super market somewhere between $5 and $10. 


I did hear that chocolate releases the happy hormones. Happy wife = happy life!

and under

How about a photo mug. They are beautiful and a great way to get your wonderful photos and memories off the computer and being appreciated everyday. You are only limited by your imagination with the design. Harvey Norman do them for around $12.
Giving Mum her own special cup just might get her day off to a brighter start!



Watch the kids for half an hour and send Mum off for a Pedicure! For roughly $40- This is a long lasting feel good gift! Most towns have a nail salon in at least one of their shopping centres, or try the local beauty salon. Taking just half an hour out for herself recharges her batteries while the AMAZING massage chair soothes her aching back and the beautician gets to work on her hard working feet which has an instant effect... Each time she looks down at her beautifully painted toe nails she will continue to feel refreshed for many days later.



Buy Mum a good TV series. This is sure to keep her entertained for a while and is a great distraction from life. Some time out and a chance to stop worrying about what needs to be done and every other issue that our busy schedules bring. You can usually pick one up for around $25 or Sanity often has a 2 for $40 deal. I personally recommend "Hart of Dixi", "Arrow", "Revenge", "The Black List", "Veronica Mars" and "Mcleod's Daughters".


Perfume comes from a HUGE price range these days, but if you hit your local discount chemist they usually have some good brands at great prices. I personally love Hally Berry's Pure Orchid which can be purchased for around that $25 mark. It has a beautiful sweet subtle scent.



Between $60- $80

A new pair of jeans is another lasting "feel good" gift! Every time she wears them she will instantly get a boost as she will look and feel great! Jeans can be a little tricky because to get a really good pair that fits perfectly-you really need to try them on. 


So maybe opt for a gift voucher at Jeans West or Just Jeans.
Now if you really want to spoil Mum, watch the kids for around 3 hours and send her to the hair salon. This has a very long lasting feel good effect. The time out and adult conversation will make her feel human again. Sitting in the air conditioning having a cuppa in peace without the kids demanding everything and anything from her, maybe catch up on some light reading from her favourite magazine (which there is never time to do at home) and leaving with a fresh new hair cut, or style, a head massage and a wash with the good shampoo, a colour rejuvenation and maybe some foils will make her feel like she is worth a million bucks and this could last up to six weeks!



On my personal wishlist this Christmas is a Fitbit Flex- wireless activity and sleep tracker. I have been wanting one for so long. For roughly between $118 and $130 this simple wristband tracks steps, distance, and calories burned. At night, it tracks sleep quality and wakes you silently in the morning. Check the lights to monitor progress towards personal goals. It’s the motivation Mum may need to get out and be more active. And she will thank you when she is feeling more energized and pride in reaching her targets.

Well that is it from me. Mums... please comment, what else is on your wish list... Someone might be searching for inspiration for your Christmas gift. Here is your chance to drop that hint ;-)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Vegetables in tiny tummies and peace at the dinner table.

I have come to realise that I don't hold a similar view as most parents with regards to how to handle children and the dinner routine. I know this by witnessing multiple other friends and the way they handle the situation and also after many debates within my own family and their views on the matter. I don't in anyway judge the way other people negotiate tea time habits but I sometimes feel that others may silently question my lenience. My children don't have to eat all their tea before they are excused nor do they have to eat their vegetables.

This is something I have struggled with throughout Hannah's entire food eating journey. She has always been a light eater and a very fussy one at that. I have always been satisfied that she has eaten what she has because at least it is something in her tummy. I suppose I don't do myself any favors with regards to how other people may judge how I allow her to eat so little because I would rather serve up too much than not enough which makes it seem even more drastic then it really is. I often over estimate how much she will eat.

Many years ago I came across a book called Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld and I have been wanting it forever. Finally a few weeks ago I acquired it. As I was reading I found myself almost constantly nodding, this is exactly the way I have been thinking but have been unable to find the words! I just couldn't agree more with everything she was saying and it defended me and my point of view PERFECTLY!



As Jessica puts it so well I would like to make a few quotes from the pages:

"Forcing your kids to eat foods they hate only reinforces their distaste."

"Deceptively delicious" (or the concept of) "enables parents to give kids what they want and what they need at the same time. It acknowledges your kids' genuine dislikes without being confined by them. It empowers you to exert some legitimate control over what your children eat , without inviting the usual fights."

She then continues...

"Just as the most powerful lessons are the ones that aren't taught, the best parenting solutions are the ones that build good habits- invisibly."

The most important quote that rings so so true to me is:

"I want my kids to associate food and mealtimes with happiness and conversation, not power struggles and strife. With a little sleight of hand, you can make the issues of what your children will and will not eat disappear from the table."

Jessica Seinfeld, you are a genius! The book provides many tried and tested recipes; which even though I am a stickler for a good recipe to follow. This book cleared my foggy head space and my intentions from the beginning so I can purposely implement this strategy throughout all of my cooking and enhance my existing recipes.

The book advocates preparing and freezing a variety and small quantities of fruit and vegetable purees to add to your cooking wherever it might be disguised in colour and flavour, so your children can keep eating the food they love as well as obtain the vitamins and minerals their growing bodies need. Through out all of this still maintaining visible vegetables on the dinner plate but if they don't eat it... well it is not as big of a deal.

I have always sneaked in some grated carrot and or zucchini into my cooking but last night was the first time I tried out the purees. I added cauliflower puree into our mashed potato and butternut squash puree to our gravy and it worked! Hannah ate it all none the wiser. 

Here's to many more happier, healthier, peaceful dinner times in our home!

*I know this theory and post may be a little controversial and I know there are a lot of people out there who may have strong opinions about children eating their vegetables. I invite you to comment your point of view, but please be open minded and keep comments constructive and encouraging. -Teagan

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Oh My Goodness, I just cleaned my oven... this is a big deal!

I have been down and out with a head cold this week; which means that I am WAY behind with my uni study and it is to the point where I feel I don't know where to start. What does one do in this situation? Jump right in and try to catch up in the rare prime studying situation where both kids are asleep and the husband is also passed out on the oldest ones bed (believe me, it is adorable!) 

No!

One further puts off studying by not only testing out my new Norwex Oven and Grill Cleaner but then writes a blog post about it!

I must admit, I have been an independent Norwex consultant for about a month now and I have continuously heard AMAZING things about the Oven and Grill Cleaner, but the entire time I have been a consultant it has been out of stock. So the anticipation and excitment to try it out has been feverishly building over the last few weeks. It finally came back into stock last week and I put in an order straight away and it arrived yesterday. So I have been itching to test it out ever since!

I do need to declare that on a scale of 1-10:

1= love cleaning my oven and do it routinely every week
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
10= Hate cleaning my oven and avoid cleaning it at all costs.

I am safe to say I am a firm 11 which equals, I down right refuse to clean the oven and when it must be done, at times of say moving house (which happens far to regularly for us)- I would rather pay someone else to do it.

It is a miracle that there is a product in existence that makes such a person WANT to clean an oven!

Any way to the point, in the Norwex consultant world there is a set 4 products that are used to do in house oven cleaning at demonstrations, and a process used to show how easy it can be done.

Step 1- fill the laundry tub and add half a scoop of Norwex Ultra Power Plus laundry powder and place the racks in the tub to soak.

Step 2- heat the oven to a warm temperature where its just warm and you can touch it with your hand then turn off, followed by spraying on the Norwex Oven and Grill cleaner and allow to sit for 10 mins.

Step 3- use the Norwex Spirinett to loosen any baked on food debri and grease, then use the Norwex All Purpose Kitchen Cloth to wipe clean.

Step 4- return to the laundry tub and use a spirinett to scrub any grease and food debri from the racks.

Step 5- reassemble and admire your oven sparkling

So I cleaned my oven this morning and it worked magically. To be honest, it left behind a stain on the bottom of the oven that was there even when we moved in, so I wasn't actually expecting it to lift and it may have had I had more time and applied some more elbow grease but other than that it did a great job and there where no crazy fumes that most traditional oven cleaners have; for example when we moved into our house everything I cooked in the oven for the first week or so had an oven cleaner smell and taste to it! Norwex Oven and Grill cleaner doesn't have a strong scent even when you are using it.

To procrastinate from studying just a little longer... I have documented the before and after pics to share with you. I forgot to take the pic before I sprayed the cleaner on so you can see that in the before pics but i'm sure the get the point. It was horrifically dirty because like I said earlier... I do not clean ovens ha ha.
 


So, I now am sitting at a 7.5 on the oven cleaning scale of 1 to 10 and I must say that even though I still hate cleaning the oven and it still is a pretty big job... I would do it if and when it needs to be done. Pretty good progress if you ask me.

If you are interested in purchasing any of these products to try in your home, please go to my website:
http://teaganchilds.norwexbiz.com.au/ 

Prices are as follows-
Oven and Grill Cleaner  $33.50
All purpose kitchen cloth $20.50
The Spirinett $7.50 for a pack of 2
Ultra Power Plus washing powder $27.00

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Leaning Into Technology Free Retreats- Day One



Today is Wednesday, which means that yesterday was Technology Free Tuesday. My first infact. Actually it was the second week since I announced I was doing a Technology free Tuesday but the first week I completely forgot about it until the Wednesday so... I got off on the wrong foot. Better late than never!

Curious as to how I went? Well, I'm glad you asked.

I some how remembered the moment I woke up which is a huge accomplishment for me! The biggest thing I noticed about the day was that it seemed to go slower and seemed longer, now that might seem like a nightmare to some but my brand new teeny tiny baby who is not so tiny anymore... is 6 months old (today actually) and that time went ridiculously fast. I desperately want time to slow down so that I can enjoy her and my older toddler as they are before they get much bigger. So, in saying that, this next point will seen fairly obvious but I felt like I had more time to get stuff done! It was kinda nice to stare into space and daydream for a few short moments throughout the day. It gave my brain a chance to defragment and I was more able to plan and execute what I had to do or what I would like to do next.

I went so well with only having a strong urge to jump on a couple times through the day which was so much better than I had expected. In the morning I actually got to be present and enjoy snuggling in bed with my princesses and our day started quicker without having to wait for me to scroll through my news feed.

I jumped on to retrieve a phone number, took a few phone camera pictures, wrote a few texts and kept an eye on my emails but everything was able to wait until the next day! It was so refreshing. It may have been a coincidence but I even fell asleep quicker when I hadn't been staring at my screen for the last half hour!

Piece of cake guys! This post is evidence that I survived! I am hoping in the coming weeks to be able to stricken up this even further and even increase the technology ban to a second day a week.

And the cherry on top it made checking my news feed the next day, even sweeter :-)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Technology Free Tuesday

http://www.raisingboysandgirls.com/raisingboysandgirls-blog/technology-sabbath











Today, I checked social media...

When I woke up
When I was feeding Amelia
When I sat down to have a coffee
When I was feeding Amelia
When both kids were asleep
While I was waiting for a webpage to load
When I was feeding Amelia
Several times after I updated my "status"
and after I have finished writing this post, while I'm laying in bed about to fall asleep I will check it for the final time today.

I know I am not the only person to check in on what is happening in the world this often, even though that list is quite long. I know some others check it even more frequently then that!

What I hate most is I find I put off playing with my toddler to finish checking the news feed or constantly while I am feeding my baby. I lay in bed at the end of the day hating myself for staring at my phone instead of soaking up her perfect skin and her long, long eyelashes or admiring her amazing "newborn blue" eyes and playing with her tiny fingers! She is only this tiny for such a short time, as I know all too well by how un-uncomprehendingly fast the last 5 and a half months have gone.

I am wasting it!

I am going to wake up one day when she is a toddler and hate myself even more because I can't go back to when she is a tiny baby and re-live this, absorb her, ingrain it into my memory. I will have sacrificed these precious moments, for what? Being up to the hour with my how every many "friends" I have on Facebook and what they had for breakfast/lunch/dinner, or that they are going to they gym/Dr appointment/work, or how much they wish it was Friday. Scared that I am going to miss something, now that I am a stay at home Mum. That I am missing out.

I am missing out on my baby and my toddler!

My whole world!

The up most important things, that I would sacrifice anything for.

In my recent About post I wrote that I am leaning into a healthier lifestyle where I plan to gradually make small changes to improve our lifestyle and how I had some small goals to implement over the coming months.


This week I am introducing Technology Free Tuesday!!! Where everyone in our house must participate.

Soooooo... considering how my study and business directly rely on the computer and the internet (as does most of everyday life these days) we need some ground rules.


  1. NO tablets, apps, social media allowed! (including: Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Blogging)
  2. Phone calls, text messages and phone camera accepted.
  3. You may look up a phone number/address/details if necessary.
  4. Studying and business allowed.
  5. If it can not possibly wait until tomorrow you may briefly research something but it is frowned upon! and strictly for a maximum of 5 minutes.

*These rules will evolve and change as we go along until we work out any kinks and "loopholes" but these will make the foundation and a starting point.

Image credit
Please, please, please if you see me on social media on a Tuesday- tell me off! I may have withdrawals ha ha

Stay tuned on a Wednesday for an update on how we go.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Why I became a Norwex Consultant.

Just like any Mother, I strive to provide the best possible opportunities for my children in life and to have positive role models for them. I recently wrote when I updated my "about" post, that through small gradual changes I am leaning into a healthier lifestyle. One of my goals for the coming months was to minimize the chemical use in our household. 

I wanted to make this particular change because I wanted to reduce my children's exposure to such harmful chemicals. My youngest baby will be starting her crawling adventure before I know it and will be putting her hands and everything else for that matter in her mouth. I don't want her to be potentially putting all these chemicals directly into her mouth! In saying that I also don't want to sacrifice the cleanliness at the same time.

This is something I have been thinking about for a long time. Only a few short weeks ago I discovered Norwex. It seemed to be the answer to most of my problems. So after some careful consideration I decided this was something my family needs and something I can give to my family, hygienic but chemical free living conditions.

Joining as a consultant seemed to be the sensible course of action as my personal wish list was growing longer and longer the more I learned about it and it seemed ridiculous to pay full price for everything. By becoming a consultant I could help my family by contributing financially and also the most rewarding benefit is that I can help others realise there is another way besides relying on harmful chemicals, resulting in healthier families, saving time and money and helping to protect the environment.

So how is this big change going to effect this blog, I realise there is a fine line between "The Mumma Next Door" ---> Me ---> and this new Norwex adventure as we are all one and the same. I am not going to use this space to promote Norwex products. However Norwex is a key component to achieving my chemical free goal which is something some of you might like to be doing at your home as well so I have all intentions of sharing with you some of the wonderful products that I find along the way.

If you would like to stay up to date with Norwex or would like to know more about it you can follow my Facebook page Teagan Childs- Norwex Independant Sales Consultant.

Or if you would like to make a purchase you can check out my Norwex Website teaganchilds.norwexbiz.com.au 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Stocking your kid friendly first aid kit



One of the most important things that you can do to prepare yourself as a parent is to ensure that you have a quality first aid kit. You could go many months without needing one at all, but when the time comes that your child has an accident you will be so grateful that you invested the time and money creating one before you needed it. During those moments when you need to be there for your child, the last thing you want to be thinking about through the haze of panache and rush of emotions is where was that ice pack? Do I have any band aids left? Or worse, having to rush out to the chemist while your little one is in pain.

The quickest and easiest way to build your kit is to buy a pre-made basic family kit and add to that. First aid kits are widely available from most outdoor or home improvement stores and even Big W usually stock a variety or kits. We picked up both our home and car kits from Super Cheap Auto for a fairly reasonable price. Buying a pre-made kit first, ensures you don't have to think of everything and will ensure you have most of the necessities such as bandages, alcho wipes, tweezers, slings, eye wash, dressing, gloves, a first aid guide... the list goes on. 

Once you have a good basic kit then you can start adding the other important stuff that are really essential when you have kids around. I personally added:


  • Burn Aid- for burns.
  • Antiseptic cream and powder.
  • Stingose- for those stings and bites.
  • Migraine Kool'n'soothe sheets- for fevers and temperatures.
  • Character bandaids- (believe me... these work wonders keeping bandaides on toddlers who will pull regular ones of immediately)
  • After sun lotion/gel/spray- for those days when you get caught with no sunscreen.
  • At least two icepacks- for bumps and bruises. (I strongly recommend a novelty character one as well. My toddler outright refused to use our regular one. I invested in a "Hootabell" one and she actually likes using it now)
  • Nurofen and panadol.
  • A heat/wheat pack- for aches and pains.
  • Hydralyte iceblocks- for mouth injuries and in case of dehydration.
  • A good thermometer.
  • Kids cough, cold and throat lollypops.
  • Vicks vapor rub- for those sniffles.
I know those last few are more for illnesses but I think it is really worth while having those on hand as well because your child can go to bed one night feeling fine and wake up the next morning with a full fledged cold. (Check out my Illness Bible post)

Finally once you have your contents get a recognizable container or bag to put it all in and place it somewhere easily accessible and easy to find so in those times of emergency that is one less thing you have to think about.


Something else to remember is that when you run out or use something from your kit, always replace it straight away. That way you don't forget or get caught off guard the next time you encounter a similar incident. And I can not stress enough the importance of taking a first aid course. Most towns offer courses regularly through their ambulance or specialty training businesses. They usually cost around the $120 mark and is usually a several hour class, but you will be thanking yourself if you ever find yourself or someone you care about in a situation that needs help. 

What do you have in your first aid kit that I might have forgotten?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

About

Hi, my name is Teagan. I am a mother of two beautiful little girls. A two and a half year old (Hannah) and a brand new bubby (Amelia). I am a former child care educator of six years and am currently studying my Bachelor of Education- Early Childhood so that when I return to work I can be a primary school teacher.

Parenting and studying aside; I am really interested in food, photography and continually changing my lifestyle for the better, so you will find these topics will be what a lot of my posts on this blog will be about.

As a parent I want to raise my children to have the best possible opportunities in life and to have positive role models to guide them. This is why I am "Leaning" into a healthier family lifestyle. By leaning I mean gradually making small changes to improve our lifestyle. Through this gradual change I hope that I will be more likely to stick with it then what I would have had I gone cold turkey and made drastic changes.



Some small goals I am hoping to achieve which you should read about over the next few months include introducing a Meat Free Monday, Technology Free Tuesday, reducing our sugar intake and minimizing the use of chemicals in our household. 

Follow along in our journey or even join in with us.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Thinking outside the block

This morning I posted on The Mumma Next Door Facebook page


"I know I'm a bit of an evil mum, but when I'm playing blocks with Hannah & she has sorted them all into their colours... I secretly love taking one from each group and putting it in the wrong pile just to watch her figure it out & fix it up. I just got told "don't do it again!" Ha ha"



Shortly afterwards Hannah wanted to try and build the construction that was pictured on the box. This is not the first time this has taken her interest, and as much as we have tried a few times to do it before, it is a little difficult for a toddlers developing fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. 

I had a quick perusal on the internet to see if anyone has posted some construction templates or patterns that we might be able to copy, and with no luck what so ever I thought to myself... maybe I am over thinking this and we could create a template together by placing some of the blocks on the photocopier and printing out our own patterns.



Hannah loved the whole experience, from watching the picture come out of the printer- through to exploring them with the blocks... it was definitely a success! The only glitch was that instead of trying to construct the patterns we had made, Hannah opted for putting the blocks on the matching picture on the page. I figured if that is what makes her happy then I can run with that too. 



What great ideas have you come up with while playing with your little one lately?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Android Apps for Toddlers

I got thinking about my first ever blog post Android Apps for Little Ones recently. Most of the apps we were using then when Hannah was around one-ish are rendered irrelevant these days now her abilities and interests have increased. So I thought you might like a little update on apps we are using now that suit a 2 and a half year old. 

The big star all time favourite app at the moment is Zoodles- kids mode
It came free on my new phone. It is also secretly my favourite app as well as it locks your child in the game and they can no longer access any of the phones other buttons or capabilities outside of the game (even the home key doesn't work... well on the HTC anyway). It has loads of features including artwork, stories (which you can record and film yourself or other family reading) and if you are connected to wifi or your mobile data it accesses the best of educational Youtube clips without you having to do a thing. Then if you have set up your account it sends you a weekly wrap up of what your child has learned, engaged in and how many minutes they spent doing so. It also sums up what areas of development your child has been practicing. I think it is so wonderful that I have installed it on all our devices.




We are also using the Macleans Nurdle Time for brushing teeth. Brushing Hannah's teeth has been a nightmare! So I downloaded this app and it worked a treat... for a while. When she started loosing interest we started using the family time option which allowed us all to have a "Nurdle" and they all danced along together which gave Hannah enough of a kick to play along again! What it is: You create a profile for your child in which you select when you would like to brush and it dances around to a catchy tune for 2 minutes while you brush. If you complete your 2 minutes you get 20 points which you can then use at the shop to pick an outfit for your "Nurdle".



Slightly less then before, but still occasionally Hannah likes to play Toddler Counting 123 Free. Great for learning to count. It progressively increases in numbers from 1 up to 20 (or less, it gives you the option to stop it at any number) the child touches one of the items and it counts it out loud, they touch the second one and it continues to count until all the items have been selected.



This next one is just for tablets. Trace and share is great for fine motor development and also social skills. It allows the child to practice tracing straight, diagonal and curved lines. It also has a sharing option which allows the child to place for an interval before prompting the child to pass it on to the next child.



Finally the Kids ABC Phonics lite has has several different games which develop the child's understanding of many language and word/letter concepts. One of Hannah's favourites is the "make words" puzzle which says the letter sound as you select it and then identifies the word when it is complete.



These are just some of our favourites we are using at the moment. I would love to hear what are some apps that you are using that you can recommend?

Sharings caring!!!

Boltic Amber Beads

After using them with Hannah, I remained skeptical but they might have helped. I have just gone out and brought a replacement bracelet for Amelia to try. After only 24hrs her drooling has decreased & she isn't putting her hands in her mouth as much. A coincidence???

We are having a discussion on The Mumma Next Door Facebook Page. Join in! I would love to hear who has tried Baltic amber beads & what do you think of them? Do they really help with teething?



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My Illness Bible

Even after being in childcare for 6 years and being a mother for another 2 and a half years I am far from being an expert when it comes to child illnesses. The moment one of my babies break out in a rash or comes down with a fever I suddenly turn into a detective trying to work out what is going on in my little person's body. Is it "just a rash", is it serious, do I need to take them to the hospital? I am a regular caller of 13HEALTH.

So to help ease my nerves and try to make these big decisions I have found a few resources that I include in my little "Illness Bible". Straight after the first signs of a rash, out comes my little binder.



The first few pages include are extracted from the Huggies "Baby health and illness eBook" which can be downloaded, viewed and printed from here. The pages I included were: 

  • Common illnesses: description, symptoms, recommended treatments.
  • Pain relief and your little one.
  • Five frequently asked questions when your bub is sick.
  • Coughs and fevers: when to see the doctor.
  • Four food fixers. 

They are pages 4 through to 13. I didn't find it necessary to print the entire book but if you feel the need, by all means included it in your binder. 

Next- is a tool I picked up from my time in daycare. It was every educators go-to when there was a sick child in our care to work out whether a child needed care from a health professional, what we could do to help or if they needed to be excluded from care and control the spread. 

It is the "Staying Healthy in Child Care- Preventing infectious diseases in child care" which can be downloaded, viewed and printed from here. I only printed the fact sheets in part 5 because lets face it 1- the handbook is 197 pages long. Who has that kind of ink and paper or even a binder big enough to accommodate (read: waste) that kind of printing. And 2- because in the household you don't really need to follow the procedures that run a childcare center or be told how to wash your hands and clean then bench etc, it's just common sense. 

However there is some useful information in other parts of the handbook which you might find interesting to have a read such as the National Immunisation Program Schedule on page 21 which even covers up to age 65! And managing symptoms after immunisations on page 34.

What I love about the fact sheets is they cover everything for 
respiratory complaints including Asthma, ear infections, Bronchitis even down to the runny nose. 
Gastrointestinal complains including Diarrhoea, vomiting, Rotavirus and worms! 
Skin complaints including Chicken pox, cold sores, Head lice, Rubella.
And even just general notes on rashes and finally a section for 
other complaints such as conjunctivitis, Glandular fever and Meningococcal and many, many more.

These fact sheets help me in so many ways such as diagnosing if the symptoms could potentially be a particular illness and in which case whether I need to take the child to see a health professional, how to treat the symptoms/illness and my responsibilities as a parent and control the spread of infection and also if my child has been in contact with another child who may have been ill, what the infectious period is.

The binder really is just a guide and if I am ever in doubt I call 13HEALTH and make a GP appointment, but sometimes it is nice to know more about the bugs that are "going around at the moment" and what symptoms to keep an eye out for.

I hope you find these few resources as useful for you as they are to me and help ease your mind.

*Keep an eye out for the upcoming post about what I include in my first aid kit Stocking your kid friendly first aid kit ;-)

Monday, July 14, 2014

GIVE AWAY!!!!! Extra Strength Nano-Bamboo Postnatal Compression Belly Band

I am very, very excited to announce that...

After Mamaway heard about my recent post- 



they very generously offered me one of their Extra Strength Nano-Bamboo Postnatal Compression Belly Bands to give away to one lucky follower. 




To enter the competition you must like The Mumma Next Door facebook page. The competition runs from 15/07/2014- 22/07/14. 

Good Luck!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 21, 2014

SRC Recovery Shorts, Mamaway Postnatal Corset and Cesarean Recovery

As my pregnancy was nearing the end, knowing I was about to have a planned elective cesarean I began to ask myself how am I going to recover this time whilst continuing to care for my toddler? After my first emergency cesarean my recovery seemed to take a long time and I suffered from a lot of back pain for many months after the delivery of my daughter and that was when I only had one tiny newborn to care for. I needed to find some support that will get me back on my feet and into our new routine FAST. 

I began to do some research through pregnancy magazines and online narrowing my options down to two. The SRC Recovery Shorts and the Mamaway Postnatal Corset. I spent many hours searching and sifting through reviews and trying to find a Mamaway Postnatal Corset vs SRC Recovery Shorts comparison but from what I could see no one had used both to be able to offer a genuine opinion about which one worked better. So I made the investment and brought them both.



The initial outlay was far from comparable. The SRC Recovery Shorts were $189 and I received free postage by quoting a code at the checkout. It mentions all over their website that "Many private health insurers in Australia will provide a rebate to customers who purchase an SRC product". My private health insurer is Medibank Private and they DO NOT offer a rebate for this product which is good to know prior to purchasing it. The Mamaway Postnatal Corset was a far cheaper option at $109.95 including free postage for orders over $50. Both arrived very fast in the post.

In the first few days after the delivery I tried the Mamaway postnatal Corset on day 3. Although it was very adjustable, I found it to be quite tight at first even though I followed the correct sizing suggestions on the website. I found the length of the corset to be just right giving support to my back and to the wound area. It was a little fiddly to put on but super easy and fast to remove. The first few days it felt a little uncomfortable around the surgical area when I was moving around but it did feel very supportive and helped me to maintain a good posture which did seem to help with the pain. It made sleeping so... much better! I am a side sleeper and after my first cesarean I struggled to lay flat or on my side for many days afterwards. This time with the aid of the corset I found sleeping on my side and rolling over much easier and more comfortable. 

I waited until day 4 before attempting to wear the SRC Recovery Shorts as I was concerned about pulling them up and over my wound. I was right to, it was a little painful and quite tight and difficult to pull up and down. After all, this is a time of many toilet trips and is hard enough without the extra burden of difficult clothing. I have been told that I am short waisted and this may have affected the fit of the shorts for me. The waist band seemed to be far too high making me need to roll the top down. The waist band was also very thick and tight on me, which added an element of discomfort. It also seemed to offer support in all the wrong places. it was looser and less supportive in the stomach/ abdomen and back region and was tight around the waist & thighs. Because of this I favored the Mamaway Postnatal Corset and wore it much more frequently then I did the SRC Recovery Shorts.

After returning home and about a week later my body was getting smaller and smaller starting to return to its normal shape & size, I continued to wear both products. The SRC Recovery Shorts still seemed to fit the same (tight around the waste and thighs) and was still difficult to pull up and down although now it wasn't as painful. I found it to offer minimal back and abdomen support when I began to return to day to day life and household requirements. The Mamaway Postnatal Corset though started to get much easier to put on and I was able to adjust it to fit my shrinking stomach and it still continued to offer great support to my back and surgical area. I found it continued to offer support for my posture, sleeping positions and helped me start to ease back into my day to day activities and routine with a newborn and a toddler. It also helped me to have the confidence to start wearing my pre-pregnancy clothes again acting as shapewear.

Both garments were made from very good quality material and felt lovely on my skin. During early winter with around 10-30 degree weather and colder in the hospital neither of them seemed to make me feel hot or sweaty. They both seemed to allow my skin to breath and didn't seem to smell after being worn. 

A very big advantage of either product, in which covers your entire stomach and back. Whilst breastfeeding in the presence of other people you don't need to worry as much about covering up. You can focus more on the area and task at hand with confidence.

Throughout the process of wearing both products, I felt my recovery was much faster and less painful and my body, still with a little way to go after 4 weeks seemed to return to it's normal shape and size faster then my first unaided cesarean did (although this was not the purpose of why I purchased and wore either garments, but I do feel it helped).

So with all considered even if you take out the price factor for me, I found the Mamaway Postnatal Corset offered better post-cesarean support. I recommend it to anyone who is considering having a cesarean.

If you would like more information on either products their webpage can be accessed at:

www.recoveryshorts.com

www.mamaway.com.au

*This is NOT a paid or sponsored post. The information provided are my own opinions and experiences.