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Why Waking A Sleeping Child Is A Little Bit Like Child Birth

Waking a sleeping child is a little bit like child birth. You know you have to do it, you know it’s going to hurt a bit and change the status quo but it will be worth it in the end!

My 2 girls have generally been good at going down for day sleeps. Usually, when they go…they are gone. Into a deep, peaceful, silent sleep. As much as I adore my 2 bundles of delicious cheeky chattering children – I also adore these day time sleeps and the peace and quiet this time offers me.

I often become like a woman possessed, running around desperately trying to get all of my jobs done as quickly as possible in the hope that I can have some precious and rare ‘me time’.  If I manage to achieve this, I sit down and either do some writing, enjoy some lunch without the children climbing on top of me and taking food off my plate or out of my mouth, chat to a friend or my husband on the phone without screaming children in the background or now and again I have been known to have a sneaky siesta.

I don’t mind admitting that I’m a little bit in love with day time sleeps!

The problem with daytime sleeps is that often my children would sleep all day if I allowed it (probably as a result of refusing to go to bed at a reasonable time or being up during the previous night). I have to confess there are certainly occasions when I have considered leaving them to sleep all day as I’m enjoying a snippet of relaxation in my usually chaotic and noisy life.  The reason this is a problem is that if they did sleep all day, as I’m sure every other parent is aware – there would not be a great deal of sleep happening for anyone that night.

Occasionally I have been known to let them sleep a little longer than the agreed time limits my husband and I have discussed (I don’t usually volunteer this information to him when he comes home later wondering why they don’t seem even slightly tired, running around like little grenades and climbing all over us, each other and the walls).

As the end of their day time sleep approaches I anxiously and continually glance at the time, wishing that (for today at least), it could just go a little slower than usual. I leave it to the absolute last-minute possible before accepting that my quiet time is over for the day. Once I’ve dragged myself up from the comfy couch, away from my laptop or even harder from my snuggly afternoon siesta,  I rather reluctantly begin my approach to wherever they are sleeping (my 3-year-old tends to have her day sleep on the sofa). Such a big part of me is desperate not to do what I am about to do.

IMG_3188.JPGI step away – for a second. As quickly as I step away I am reminded of the many nights when they have refused to go to bed and/or been up several times in the night. I know what it is I must do. I feel like I’m attempting to jump off a very high and slightly scary diving board. I will get there, I’m just taking a moment…to appreciate the calm before the storm.

I move back towards my sleeping child and this time I say their name a little louder, giving them a slightly more forceful stroke/shake. “Wake up baby, it’s time to get up now”. This tends to be met with a few grunts, as they retract and shrug me off them. My inner voice cranks up again, “This is so wrong, it feels wrong, they obviously need the sleep. She did have a bit of a cold earlier. Maybe she’s poorly and needs a bit longer today?” Hmmmm, pause. I look at the clock again. Already 10 minutes over the agreed time limit. Sh*t. Taking control of the situation I become a little more insistent/brutal. I draw the curtains back forcefully as I sing/shout out “time to get up girls, wakey wakey”.

Their eyes slowly open one by one as they sleepily rub them and start to move their little bodies around. Sometimes they just lie in the same position for a while with their eyes open, playing with the label on their teddy bear or sucking forcefully on a dummy. Each time I approach they recoil. They often cry – for the next half an hour. It’s very rare that I’m met with a big smile and look of “Hi mummy, thanks so much for waking us up – we really love you”. Nope, I generally feel like Cruella Deville which I find rather ironic considering I didn’t really want to wake them up in the first place.

I have to wait until they are ready before I can lift them out of the cot or from the sofa to give them a cuddle, the timeframe for this varies from day-to-day and child to child.

Now and again they wake up of their own accord. Is it wrong to admit that my heart does sink a little bit as I hear them cry out “Mummy, Mummy, Mummy”? I reluctantly accept that my precious and rare ‘me time’ has come to an abrupt end (this is especially disappointing if they haven’t met their full sleep quota – on these occasions I feel a tad cheated).

Once I have accepted that quiet time is over for the day and all the grumpy sleepiness has evaporated, the day begins again as it did that morning. With fun, laughter, cuddles, tears, tantrums, noise and so much love…..I soon forget my need for solace as I embrace the joy my children give me and remind myself…….there’s always tomorrow!

 

 

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Are You There?

The phrase ‘being present’ seems to have become increasingly popular lately. I’ve read numerous articles about how mums and dads need to be more ‘present’ when they are with their children, a partner not being ‘present’ in a relationship. It is certainly easy to get distracted with mobile phones, laptops, iPads, social media addiction, daily chores and work pressures on your mind.  

Whilst I try to limit the amount of time I’m spending doing all of these things when I’m with my children, I have to be realistic, I have chores that need to be done, emails that need responding to, appointments that need to be made etc.  I try to have a balance, however there are times when I’m with the girls,  I find myself getting sucked into Facebook a little longer than I expected, or emails or housework, repeating “just a minute”, “hang on”, “I’m coming”, “I just need to do this and then I’ll be with you”. To which they either shout, “Look mummy”, “now mummy”, louder and louder until I get annoyed with them and give in or if they aren’t getting a reaction from me, they eventually retreat and go off to play.

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Plum Collections – Review

When dressing my two girls,

I need clothes that can cope –

With the food spills and playing,

And all the washes with soap.

I often think they look cute

(I’m a tad biased I know)

And like them to wear clothes,

That will allow that to show.

So the things of importance,

When I buy them such things –

Are how long they will last for?

And what look they will bring?

With all of that in mind,

It’s then time to assess –

If the price that is asked for,

Is fair – more or less?

Who are Plum Collections?

Plum Collections is one of Australia’s most loved and trusted brands for children and babies clothing, swimwear and sleeping bags and has won many awards. It is a small family business run by Genie Pepper and her husband, Shane. The business was started by Shane’s grandfather. Genie and Shane took over in 2011 which is when they revitalised the brand, introduced sleep bags and swimwear and a new more contemporary look as well as initiating a partnership with SIDS and Kids.

Denim Trousers – Size 2

Look/design – I love the pale denim look and the soft stretchy fabric means they are comfortable. The little turn-ups at the bottom of each leg are a cute feature.

Fit – they fit my daughter well (especially as she is in the top percentile for her weight). The thick elasticated waist didn’t seem to dig into her like some other leggings do.

Durability/quality – whilst they looked good quality initially after the first wash they looked a little tired and worn and the elastic waist shifted so it was no longer flat.

Price –$24.95

Jacket – size 2

Look/design – the pale peach colour with the white fluffy collar on the hood is adorable and my daughter looked lovely in it. I liked the gold zip and fastens which is a nice contrast with the peach.

Fit – the fit was great for now and I could see I would definitely get another winter out of it for her size wise. It’s a generous size 2. The elasticated wrists are great to stop her hands disappearing and getting it wet when she needed to wash her hands – so it’s practical too!

Durability/quality – the thick padded material and collar feels and looks good quality. I was concerned that I would end up washing it every day given the pale colour but it seems to be easy to wipe lots of things off rather than needing to put it in the machine.

Price –$76.95

Flowery Tunic – size 2

Look – at first I didn’t think I would like this. I’m not a huge fan of flowery clothes. However, when I matched it up with the denim leggings it looked gorgeous. I love the gathered neck and wrists and the little buttons at the back. Very 60’s and a step back to more traditional girls’ clothing (I’m sure I’ve seen photos of me wearing similar style clothes when I was a little girl).

Fit – the fit was perfect and there is room for her to grow  into it so she will get good use from it.

Durability/ quality – she has worn this particular item several times since we received it. It’s been through the wash at least 3 times and hasn’t faded or worn at all. The thick cotton material is great for this colder weather and feels good quality.

Cost – $34.95

Navy and White Dress – size 2

Look – this dress is very cute. I’m a huge fan of navy and white and love the nautical look. The waist is slightly gathered so helps the skirt puff out and the thinner material means it is a great choice for the next few months as the weather is heating up.IMG_0566.JPG

Fit – it fit perfectly now however as she is a big size 2 this dress doesn’t have as much room for her to grow. That said when buying clothes for her normally I would have gone for the next size up so I have been surprised at the fact she has fitted in Plum’s other size 2 clothing with room to grow.

Durability/ quality –generally it looks good quality and well-made however I did notice the hem has frayed slightly underneath before it had been worn. It doesn’t affect the look of the dress in any way as it is underneath.

Cost – TBC

Pink jumper – size 2

Look – I love this jumper. The speckled pink fabric is bright and funky and the sparkly circles add to the fun look of it. I like the detail of the turn up at the wrists. Both my girls loved it, it fits both of them so they now fight over who it belongs to!

Fit –it’s a generous size 2 as it fits my 3.5 year old too.

Durability/ quality – the material feels nice to touch and good quality. It’s been through the wash a few times (and splattered with food) and it has survived and still looks as new

Cost – $39.95

Peach Top – Size 2

Look – another gorgeous design. I love the peach colour. It really suits my 2 year old’s pale complexion and with 2 girls it was great to deviate from pink and purple. The gathered wrists help make it look a little more special than plain ones and the beautiful sparkly butterfly was a real hit with my daughter who I thought looked gorgeous in it.

Fit – it’s a generous size 2 so I was pleased to see there was room for her to grow into it yet it fit well.

Durability/ quality- the fabric is lovely a soft and feels like good quality. It’s been through the wash a few times and survived.

Cost – TBC

 

Glitter Tutu – Size 2

Look – This tutu absolutely gorgeous. My daughter wore it to a birthday party teamed up with the peach top and she received compliments from so many people.

Fit – this is a generous size 2 so I’m pleased she will get more wear out of it. It fit her comfortably.

Durability/ quality – with 2 girls I have a few tutus of mixed quality. This was one of the best that we have in terms of quality.

Cost – $39.95

Swimwear (various sizes)

Look – it all looks lovely and again…not pink! Beautiful designs.

I particularly liked the flarey sleeves on the black and white spotted swim suit.

Fit – the swimwear range goes up to age 7. I tried size 2 and 3. The sizes are generous so they fit both girls well with room for growing.IMG_0942

Durability/ quality – the swimwear is thick, feels of high quality and provides 50+ sun protection -this is very important considering how much time we spend at the beach. We braved the sea last week but in a couple of months it will be worn every day.

Cost – various see website

2.5 Tog Sleeping Bag

Look/design – the pattern is simple but has proved a big hit with my 2 year old. She loves identifying what all the cute animals were. I also like the spotty design inside. The double zip is great in case you need to do a nappy change so you don’t have to take the whole sleeping bag off. My daughter actually won’t let me use any of our other sleeping bags anymore she loves this one so much. My only negative is it could possibly do with a flap of material over the top of the zip as I noticed it was rubbing on her neck a little.IMG_1003

Fit – we received the 18-36 months size. It’s huge with lots of room for her to grow (hopefully she will still be up for sleeping in a bag next winter I like the fact she can’t escape from the cot when she is zipped up).

Durability/ quality- it feels lovely and soft and although I’ve only washed it once it certainly looks as though it will survive a good few washes.

Cost – $69.95

 

 

In Conclusion

When my two girls and I unpacked the box from Plum Collections, I have to confess – we were squealing in delight. Every new item we pulled out looked adorable. I particularly liked the way that so many of the pieces of clothing worked well together and it was great to have a change from pink! Everything fitted well, looked gorgeous on the girls and felt good quality. The only items I had a slight concern with regarding durability were the leggings and the navy and white striped dress. I spoke to Genie, the owner about this. She was concerned and explained it was a manufacturing issue which she would feed back to them immediately. I could tell that she takes a great deal of pride in her business and that customer satisfaction is paramount to her. I have no doubt that these issues will be rectified. Overall I would have no concern recommending Plum Collections as it offers beautiful products which are high quality and good value.

For more info and to purchase any items please visit their website: www.plumcollections.com.au

A Note from Me

I was gifted the items to review. I am not connected to Plum Collections in any way and received no payment for writing this review. I write every review honestly, from my own experience using the products.

 

 

 

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What Happens When Daddy Goes Away?

When my husband asked if it was ok if he flew to the UK for a couple of weeks with work a few months ago, I swallowed hard and said “of course it is, we’ll be fine”. We have a three-year-old and a 2-year-old. I can count on one hand how many times the two- year-old has slept through, my husband is very much aware of this plus the fact all of our family are in the UK, hence his concern at leaving me to cope on my own.  

As the time for his departure drew closer I tried to maintain my positive mind-set, I wanted him to go away guilt free. Whenever the self-doubt began to creep in I reminded myself of some of my friends who cope amazingly with husbands who work long hours or are away a lot and aren’t often available to help out with the kids. I have one friend whose husband was away in the army for 6 months when she was looking after two very young children without any family close-by. I also have friends who have separated from their partners and therefore frequently have to manage alone.

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My Love of Candles (and I’m not talking about the ones on birthday cakes) – Burnt Beech Review Plus 10% Discount

My love of candles 

When I was growing up I remember if my Mum used anything remotely scented in the house my dad would lose it. And quite honestly who can blame him, in those days it was all about dusty bowls of Pot Pourri and abysmal artificial aerosols or foul-smelling imitation air fresheners.

Since I moved out of home and B.K (before kids) I loved using scented candles. I like the ambient lighting candles offer as well as (if you get it right) the delicious smell. Unfortunately, like in the days of Pot Pourri and aerosol air fresheners there are still some terrible smelling and poor quality ones out there.

When the opportunity arose for me to write a review for Burnt Beech candles I was delighted. For the last few years the only candles I’ve enjoyed have been the type to go on birthday cakes. Now my girls are a little older and go to bed at a reasonable (ish) time (subject to change at any moment),  I’m getting a little me time back and I’m looking forward to allowing some relaxation and luxury back into my life.

So what do I want from a scented candle?

  • Looks good in the home and quality (especially if buying as a gift)
  • The wick doesn’t burn down too quickly so you are left with a load of candle and no way to burn it.
  • Smells natural, not overpowering or artificial and even better leaves a scent even when unlit
  • A fair and reasonable price

Cara Bourn (the owner) delivered the candles when we were out. They arrived in a simple brown paper bag with a pink, grey and white logo sticker which stood out and brightened up the bag.  Inside the bag 3 candles were wrapped in pink tissue paper. She included a Thank you card and some background on the company. I could tell that she takes a great deal of pride in her business.

The three candles I reviewed were:

  • Beachside Boardwalk
  • Spicy Chai
  • Pineapple Sangria – Travel Tin

Beachside Boardwalk

Beachside White

Appearance: The white glass jar with the Burnt Beech grey and pink logo makes it appear both luxurious and calming. The design is subtle and would look good in any setting. Once you take the lid off I was pleased to see that it was full of candle and not half empty.

Wick: The wooden wick burns well and is easy to re-light

Ambiance: it gave off a strong, warm glow

Smell: This candle has quite a sweet scent. It is not offensive but was probably my least favourite of the three I sampled. It also left the most noticeable smell in the room of the three candles when unlit.

Price: $29.99

Pineapple Sangria (Travel Tin)

Appearance: Despite being a tin rather than glass it still looked good quality.  The contrast of the pink and grey logo on the black tin stands out but the logo design is simple so no ‘in your face’.Tin

Wick: The wooden wick burns well and is easy to re-light

Ambiance: it gave off a strong, warm glow

Smell: The smell is delicious, so nice you want to eat it! Even my husband commented on how nice it was.

Price: $17.99

Spicy Chai

Appearance: I love the black glass jar. It looks sexy, romantic and luxurious all at the same time.Spicy Chai Black

Wick: The wooden wick burns well and is easy to re-light

Ambiance: It gave off a strong, warm glow

Smell – when I smelt it in the jar I wasn’t actually too keen and thought it would be my least favourite of the three. However, when it was lit the spicy scent is so subtle and warming, I really enjoyed it.

Price – $29.99

A little more about Burnt Beech

The Burnt Beech candle range is inspired by exotic things. Each candle is carefully hand poured with pure eco soy wax, which burns cleaner, is long-lasting and biodegradable. The beech wooden wick burns with a crackling sound to replicate the ambiance and warmth of a camp fire and the exotic aromas have been selected to remind you of faraway places.

For more information or to place an order visit their website or social media pages:

Website: www.burntbeech.com.au

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/burntbeech/

Enter the special discount code ‘blog10’ to receive 10% off your order valid until 30th September 2016 (shipping is only within Australia)

 

 A note from me:

I met Cara through a friend. She gifted me the three candles and I received no payment for writing this review.

All website orders receive free gift wrapping. Candles will be put into a black brand box with a window, and then wrapped with brown Kraft paper and finished with a pink bow (as below).

 

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What is the Perfect Age Gap Between Having Children?

If you knew me and my husband you would know that we didn’t exactly meticulously plan out when we were going to have our children. If we had, we may be considerably better off financially (because of visas we were on and working arrangements at the time). At the age of 33, I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and given a rather gloomy prognosis from the specialist. He informed me that it could take as long as 10 years for someone with my condition to conceive and wellit might never happen.

I was devastated and left the clinic in tears. The one thing I’d always been absolute on was my desire to have a family.

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Sinchies – Reusable Pouches Review

My 2 girls (ages 2 and 3) can’t get enough of yoghurt squeezie pouches. Whilst I’m the first to admit I find them convenient, there are a few things that bug me about them.

  • The organic or healthier yoghurts are often double the price of their unhealthy sugar laden competitors.
  • With 2 children getting through at least one a day each, I have been concerned about the environmental impact of so much packaging being wasted

Therefore when I was offered the opportunity to review Sinchies reusable pouches (which can be used for anything not just yoghurt btw), I was keen to see how they stacked up.

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