Baby names (and nope I’m not pregnant)

I’ve been sitting in my car parked in the carpark of Officeworks for over an hour as Mr 1 is sleeping (very early start to the day with an airport drop off for Daddy 😦 ) and am getting very, very bored. I’m sure I’ll have used up my internet usage for this month in this last hour alone – but I digress… I read an article on baby names and their meanings and thought I’d share it as I can never ever not read an article on baby names regardless of whether I’ll ever have another baby!! That and I have nothing else to do!!

So here it is cool baby names and not so cool meanings. If nothing else, it’s a little food for thought for my pregnant friends and followers; enjoy!

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How my bad 4-year-old and I found our way home

Absolutely love this post – can relate 100%. Well worth the read.

An Honest Mom

There’s simplicity parenting, attachment parenting, parenting by temperament. Authoritative parenting, French parenting, parenting the spirited child.
And one I think we’re all familiar with: parenting by the seat of our pants.

8690355973_b873f0b742_k Image by Shena Tschofen

That, whether I like it or not, is where I parent from most of the time. And let me tell you, the seat of my pants is battered and worn. As I have mentioned before, parenting Jo since I got pregnant with Cal has been no cake walk. We’re talking hitting, kicking and throwing things at me when I was pregnant, having big physical outbursts with other kids and trying to contain his massive physical energy in a small house with a newborn.

I sought advice everywhere I could—books, friends, my mom. I dissolved into tears while asking Jo’s teacher what I should do after his first morning of preschool, all while bouncing Cal…

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Pretty painting and mud cakes!

I dropped the little mister off at daycare the other week and before I had a chance to kiss and cuddle him to say goodbye he had sat down at a table that had some paint, paper and a potato masher on it. He was straight into it! I thought what a clever, EASY idea so decided to give it a go today and also looked for other household items that might make nice paint brushes so ended up with a dish brush and a whisk.

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I stuck some paper down to their little outdoor table and got the paints set up then let both go a little wild.

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The dish brush was a little old and the bristles squashed so the effect wasn’t as spectacular as I had imagined but the masher one was pretty cool! The whisk didn’t really work, but ah well!!

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So while they were already in need of a wash, what better timing than now to make some mud cakes!

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I shouldn’t lie – I didn’t actually initiate this one… It would have happened whether they were already dirty or not – my little chef is obsessed with baking these cakes!

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His kitchen is a mess, but that’s always a sign of a good chef right?

I have some paper / drawing crafts for the next instalment – so stay tuned, they aren’t messy at all!!

Clever crafty craziness!

So, like a million other mums out there with toddlers or pre-schoolers or young kids in general, I am always on the lookout for something different, challenging, exciting, educational or just plain fun to do with my two. I look back over the last few months and feel really proud of the effort I’ve put into finding and then executing stuff to do that will entertain or teach my boys in one way or another so thought I’d start writing about our daily shenanigans. If nothing else, I’ll love having this record of what we did during these precious years that I’m so grateful I can enjoy one on one each day with them.

So I’ll start by recapping some of the things we’ve done over the last few weeks. These things are EASY and quick and generally not very messy! I only attempt things that I can prepare quickly so that if I’m sensing I need to do something a little fun to keep the boys at bay then I know I can get onto it quickly without losing their attention.

I don’t have many photos of these activities as I wasn’t planning on writing a blog about them but future fun will be fully photographed!

The first is a coloured milk swirling activity. I can’t remember where I saw it, but here is what mine looked like:

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You’ll need:

A shallow dish
Full cream milk
Different colours of food colouring
Cotton bud
Dish washing liquid

Fill a shallow dish with full cream milk; add some drops of different food colouring;

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Get a cotton bud and put some dish washing liquid on the end then dip it in and keep swirling and watch the magic!

Truly beautiful.

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The next one is fireworks in a cup, it was pretty magical too! I saw it
here

So again, it uses items you will already have at home and is super quick and easy but so much fun with the little ones and big ones alike (aka me!).

You will need:

A glass
Warm water
Food colouring
Oil

These are the ever so difficult instructions (insert sarcasm here!):

Fill the glass 3/4 full with warm water.
In a separate cup put a few tablespoons of oil and add just a few drops of food colouring, then mix up with a fork a little.
Add the oil to the water and watch the fireworks display!

The photo doesn’t do it justice at all – try it out and you’ll see what I mean!

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We tried this a few times as the first time we had a little too much food colouring so it wasn’t as spectacular – so keep the drops to a minimum. I personally think lighter colours work better and look prettier. We also tried adding drops of food colouring to the glass after we’d added the oil and it does break through but is not quite as effective.

One final liquid based activity to finish this post (there are so many others I’ve tried, so will save them for anther day!) is ‘hopping’ corn. This was super cool – I was quite mesmerised and loved that it lasted a fair while! I saw it here

I have a video of ours but can’t figure out how to upload it plus it would’ve been a spoiler so here is a pic, but you really have to try it to see how great it is!

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You’ll need:
A jar
Water
Food colouring
Bi carb soda
Vinegar
Popping corn kernels

Fill the jar with water and add a few drops of a light coloured food colouring. Then add a handful (or more!) of corn kernels. Then a few tablespoons of bi carb and finally a few more tablespoons of vinegar. Then the hopping will begin!

I think this little tasting plate is a nice sampler of the EASY ‘tricks’ (as my little guy calls them) we have tried out recently. Lots more to come!

Is the pigeon pair the perfect pair?

I recently had my second baby and he is a little brother to a big brother. We didn’t find out the sex of either baby as we wanted the surprise. I honestly had no preference for the gender of number two, but there was no denying that my husband was desperately hoping for a girl. I know so many of my friends and family were also hoping we’d have a girl, purely because we’d already had a boy. I wouldn’t have wanted another baby if I only wanted a girl as that surely would have been setting myself up for disappointment if we had a boy and having a baby is the opposite extreme to disappointment, so a beautiful healthy baby is all I wanted. I got my amazing, beautiful baby and through a magical water birth that made it all the more wonderful. And while he was all wrapped up on my chest, the sex still unknown I was enjoying this new life through a beautiful cuddle, so I didn’t want to unwrap him to find out whether he was a boy or girl, I was so completely elated regardless. I can say very honestly that there wasn’t the slightest hint of disappointment when I saw he was a boy. I was absolutely in awe of him and the fact I had grown this precious little human in my body and here he was. My husband is far from disappointed, but does say he was ‘hoping’ for a girl. I think that feeling is very natural and it’s wonderful he’s so honest about it. I don’t think any less of him as I know he couldn’t be happier with our amazing son.

We didn’t receive any ‘disappointing’ type comments whatsoever when we announced his arrival, but before he was born so many people assumed I was hoping for a girl and would comment to this effect. It almost made me feel like there was some pressure to have a girl so they wouldn’t be disappointed for me. I have several friends who have all just given birth to their second child and at least 90 per cent of them had the opposite sex to their first. I don’t feel jealous as there is nothing we can do to control what sex our children are so they aren’t any more blessed than I am to have two wonderful children.

I think I would even go so far as to say that having two of the same sex will actually be even more wonderful for me as they are only 20 months apart so I’m sure they will be great mates growing up and play together nicely. And if this isn’t the case, then so be it. This is not to say that two girls or a boy and a girl can’t have a lovingly beautiful relationship either, but I am saying I’m grateful I have my boys and most importantly, I am so delighted I have been given the opportunity to have two children and two very different children at that. Not only do they look completely different (polar opposites – think blond hair and blue eyes compared to brown hair and brown eyes), but they have completely different personalities. My experience of being a mum the second time around couldn’t be more different either and although some of that would be due to my confidence etc, a lot of it has to do with their different personalities. Even their births were one extreme to the other.

So many people use the term ‘lucky’ when they have a ‘pigeon pair’ like it is more special than having two of the same sex. I don’t think that they are any more lucky than I am to have my two very different boys. If we have a third baby, I have absolutely no doubt it will be a boy as I’ve always had a feeling I’d only have boys and this certainly wouldn’t stop me trying for a third baby. My parents had four children and the first three were girls… The fourth and final was a boy and although there was no denying they desperately would have loved a boy after three girls, they weren’t trying for a boy – four kids was what they were meant to have and there definitely wasn’t going to be anymore after number four regardless of gender! Number four was in fact a surprise and only 16 months after number three (which is me)!! My brother and I grew up extremely close – much closer than my sisters and I and fortunately we are still very close. But of course it is wonderful having sisters who were by my side when I got married and are there to talk girl stuff and enjoy girl outings etc and I can’t deny I would have really felt like I was missing out if I only had a brother.

I really don’t think there is a perfect combination of children, but I do think having any combination of children is perfect for each family and I wouldn’t wish for anything other than what I’m given. I do feel for those that have that desperate need or want for a boy or girl and don’t get it, but I’m glad I’m indifferent.

It’s just a chuppa chupp…

It’s hard to believe that something as little as a chuppa chupp can cause such a massive melt down by a toddler. The mere sight of them cause a whole physical body transformation in my toddler – he either jiggles with absolute delight if he can somehow score one or he wriggles, back arches and then lets all muscles loosen so he’s a sack of potatoes if I don’t allow him one. So. Not. Fun!!

The latter was of course my toddler… right before swimming lessons this morning. And then, during swimming lessons. Challenging (frustrating) comes into play yet again! Tempting as it was to let him throw his tantrum in the pool, it wasn’t quite practical!

The melt down didn’t go unnoticed and neither did the tense look on my face… The instructor even made note of this (oh dear, I must have looked mad!!). When she asked what the issue was I told her it was all because he wanted a chuppa chupp (that he sees every Tuesday morning on the counter in the office that I have to walk into to get his name marked off!!). Her response was “He’s being a real toddler”.

Oh so true and such a wonderful reminder that he is a toddler and this is perfectly normal. It really hit home how unnecessary my frustration was – he’s a toddler and this will happen. Those five words perked me up like there was no tomorrow – so thank you to my lovely swimming instructor for the blunt truth that I needed on this Tuesday morning.

The first musings of being a Mumma… A Mumma to two now!

On the 2 month anniversary of my newest little man I decide to write my first post for my new blog! On this glorious Saturday afternoon I sit here enjoying a cup of tea whilst both boys are asleep and I’m alone… Yet again.. I thought I’d empty my mind a little about how life is now I have two beautiful babies under two years of age (with a husband that works extremely long hours and all my family interstate).

Challenging (read: frustrating) yet rewarding (read: magical) is probably the best way to describe life right now. The transition from one to two was surprisingly smooth. I was extremely anxious leading up to having two little ones with so little help but I can honestly say it isn’t any harder than with one. It certainly is exhausting and more time-consuming but getting out and about and doing everyday things doesn’t seem to be any different. How??? I’m not entirely sure either – but I do know that my frame of mind, confidence and knowledge are all so different this time round. I’m sure most mums to two (or more) would agree that being more relaxed about it all due to knowing what to expect is such a huge help. I can’t explain exactly how ‘un-relaxed’ I was with my first, but I know I’m so much calmer and confident with everything this time. I would often stay at home all day with my first waiting for the right moment to go out (the baby had to be sufficiently fed, had had enough sleep and even have done an adequate poo!) before I felt like it was time to leave the house. This time not only do I have no choice with number one having such a huge social commitment but I also realised that a new baby can be quite adaptable! They can sleep whilst driving to and from a destination and have their nappy changed or be fed once there.

I must put a disclaimer in right here though that number two is so extremely happy and calm and easy-going. He sleeps well – day and night and feeds well and even spends his awake time so well! This perhaps is why things seem so easy.. But then again maybe this baby isn’t in fact any different to number one – maybe it’s my attitude to being a mum and my ability to understand the cues etc that have made it easier? It’s a tough one to call, but either way I’m grateful for how easy things have been for these two months despite feeling sorry for myself on the odd occasion (like today) when my dear husband is working hard and I’m not able to enjoy some family time on a weekend like (what seems to be) all the other little families out there are!

I can’t finish this post without commenting on the lack of family and even lack of husband (for so many hours a week) around… I think of how much easier things would be if I had someone here to help with little things Every. Single. Day. Like seeing my worst-bedside-manner-ever-obstetrician for my post-natal appointment… This is where the challenging (frustrating) certainly comes into play. The total meltdown number one had whilst number two was crying with hunger while we were in the waiting room (with other patients) was frustrating and not because I was running down the hall of the hospital with the baby attached to my breast trying to grab the toddler with one hand, but frustrating that I didn’t have someone to come with me to help out.. Of course I have many friends with several being extremely generous and helpful (the kind of helpful where staying the night to look after number one while I was in labour was not a problem in the world and coming to swimming lessons to look after number two while I’m in the pool with number one isn’t an issue) but I certainly wouldn’t want to push the boundaries of my friendship too much and I can’t ask these wonderful people to drop everything for me too often when they have their own families. But I wouldn’t think twice about asking a family member. Despite my daydreams about it being easier if I was closer to family, we manage… And at the end of every day when my beautiful babies are happy, healthy and so very loved I am rewarded by their presence and all the challenges are worth it ten times over!