Thursday, July 25, 2013

Letter to Tricky - the last as an only child

Hey Tricks,

It hasn't been too long since I wrote you a letter, your birthday was only last month after all.

But as we get so close to Bobbin joining our little family I wanted to tell you that even though I'm so, so excited for your new Big Brother status and cannot wait to meet the newbie, I'm starting to get a little sad that our one on one time is coming to an end.

I'm going to miss it being just us two during the day. 

I love our mornings. After your Dad leaves for work you jump in to bed with me and we plan our day in between cuddles, kisses and tickles (and saying how much you miss Dad already).

I love when we have crafternoons! Right now you only want to draw racetracks or use cars to create wheel patterns on the paper with paint or cover cars in playdough... I'm sensing a bit of a theme there.

I love how excited you get when instead of eating lunch at the table the two of us grab a blanket and your teddies and have a picnic down at the park or on the trampoline (or the lounge room floor if it's raining). Then when your Dad comes home you excitedly tell him about how fun it was, like I'm the best Mum in the world.

I know we'll still do those things, and you'll be able to show Bobbin the ropes, but I will miss it... and even though you're pretty chilled out and like to play independently, I think you'll miss it, too.

I'm a bit worried about how I'll be a parent to two when I'm just so used to only focusing on you. I figure everyone else does it and I will get the hang of it, but still, it makes me a little anxious.

One thing I'm not worried about is having enough love for you both. The moment I found out I was pregnant it was like my heart grew so I could fit you both in - and I'm not talking about pumping extra blood, even though I've been doing that too. If my rib cage could have grown at the same time that would have been ace because Mama can hardly breathe any more.

There are big changes just around the corner for all of us, my love. Your 'Big Boy' status, that you remind us of constantly, is going to be cemented when a teeny tiny baby comes home.

We'll figure out how this family of four bizzo works, together.

Love always,

Mama xxx

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bobbin's Babyshower - The Winners!

Well now, that was a rollercoaster! Note to self: Running a multi brand giveaway with daily prizes is hard work behind the scenes!!

I hadn't anticipated how many people would email me to ask questions - I thought I'd answered them all in the lead up post introducing the brands, the big "how to win a blog giveaway" post where I told you what I was looking for in an answer and how I pick the winners and the terms and conditions. Turns out no. Well, we live and learn, right?

But nothing can take away from how awesome it feels to get an email saying you've made someone's day, that they've never won anything before and are so excited. The warm fuzzy feelings are intense and make it all worth while.

So you're all waiting to hear who the winners were aren't you? I'll stop blabbing on and get to it:

Amby Baby Hammock - Cassy N

Breastmate Breastfeeding Helper - Virginia M & Angela V

Closer To Nature Breastpump - Sarah B

Juggle Family & Parenting Consulting - Sarah B, Vyky B & Emma G

Hugabub Baby Carriers - Megan T

Britax Steelcraft Infant Carrier System - Jenn U (who wrote an amazing 6 stanza poem!)

Il Tutto Designer Nappy Bag - Tamara B

Shloer Hamper - Carissa M

Congratulations to all the winners!

Without you all entering (there were thousands of you - and yes, I read ALL the entries!) and sharing the love, Bobbin's Babyshower would not have been a success, so thank you all so much.

And a massive thank you to the brands, marketing folk and PR reps who were so generous with their products and tolerant of my baby brain.

Now we just sit back and wait for this child to make an appearance some time in August. I don't know why they give due dates considering there is a massive five week window of "full term" between 37 and 42 weeks. I'll be ready from 37 thankyouverymuch.

Unlike the Royal Baby there will be no official press release when I'm in labour, no armed guards and no easel to display the details (unless an Instagram pic with a frame counts?). But according to tradition, there is a bet on amongst friends for the date, weight and sex!

 Any guesses when Bobbin will be born?

Friday, July 19, 2013

I get my heart ripped out every Thursday morning

The sad face gets me every time
Tricky has been going to day care once a week since mid February. That is five months. Or twenty two weeks.

He has only ever missed one day on account of a public holiday. So, twenty one times (not including the initial play/introductory sessions) he has walked up to the gates and every single time it has been the same.

Much like grief has stages, so too does Tricky day care morning routine.

It starts as soon as he realizes what day it is. A helpful clue is that we're getting dressed before 9am.

"Are we going to Perth Pop's house?"
"No, it's Thursday. What do we do on Thursdays?"

And it hits. His eyes widen and then his face crumples. The lip quivers and tears start to well up, threatening to tip over and fall down those still chubby cheeks. Oh, those cheeks.

"I don't want to go to day care."

If he said it in an angry voice maybe it wouldn't be so hard, but instead he whimpers it, dejected.

"I just stay home" he grizzles.
"But nobody will be here! You can't stay home by yourself, who will make your lunch?"
"I can go to Dad's work" (how he manages to speak with that lip so far out I have no idea)
"Awww, we can't go to Dad's work, mate, the day care ladies will miss you too much"
"I don't like them. I don't like day care. I miss you. And I miss Dad. I neeeeeed a cuddle"

And he collapses in to my arms a sobbing, heaving, mess.

It continues the whole car ride. Little sniffles from the back seat. Sometimes from the front seat, too.

When we get there, he holds on tight to my legs. A dance of avoidance that now pulls my hips apart and has me grimacing in pain. He refuses to put his bag away, won't look at the other kids and remains my shadow.

"One more cuddle?" he mewls and buries his head in to my chest, inhaling deeply, "Will you come and pick me up?"
"Of course! I will always come and pick you up. I'll be here at four o'clock, let's look at the clock and figure out when that is"

We go to the clock and he tells me that it will be four o'clock when the big hand is on the twelve and the small hand is on the four. He looks up and with the hint of  hope in his voice says "You could pick me up at two o'clock?"

As I die a little bit more inside, I give him a final squeeze and walk out as he attaches himself to the nearest limb of his two favourite "ladies".

This kid has never had a problem leaving me to go with other people. Granted most of the time the other people are related to him, but sometimes they aren't. Sometimes they are MapGuy's work colleagues and he will take their hand and wander off with them. Yet every Thursday, his anxiety is huge.

Right now you're probably wondering why we are still persevering or possibly even thinking that I'm cruel for wanting one day a week to do work and chores (which really isn't happening lately, it is all birth appointments!). It's because he will have kindy two or three days a week next year and we figured this would be a slow, steady introduction. But most importantly, within a few minutes he is fine. He ends up having a pretty bloody good day and is all smiles when I pick him up. He runs up and hugs me then trips over his words as he tells me all the exciting things he has done.

Without fail he invites me in to see where he has been playing and despite it being the same every week I go in and fawn over how cool that train is, or how he makes the dinosaur stomp so well, or how he has "baked" the best cake I've ever eaten. He is positively joyful. You cannot wipe the smile off his face... and he doesn't want to go home.

When we leave he hugs his "ladies" with gusto and runs out, still nattering away about what he has been doing. He is still somewhat reserved and doesn't really play with the other kids... and he refuses to go to the toilet there, preferring to hold on all day and make his kidneys almost explode. But the enthusiasm I see every time I pick him up, and the way he talks about his caregivers all bloody week long makes me feel sure he does actually like it when he is there.

So we keep going.

And I keep getting my heart ripped out every Thursday morning.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Preparing for birth

Recently on The Daily Edition the delightful trio of Woogs, Beth and Kerrie were talking about how some mamas to be are heading out for spray tans so that they look good in those first post-birth pics. Woogs has written before about what real post-birth photos look like and yours truly was in the post and a few of the pics from it, including the one of moi and 5 minute old Tricks were displayed on national television during the segment.

Yup, my non-photoshopped pic featuring lashings of side boob is now famous:

But the whole thing got me thinking about what I'm doing, and more to the point what I'm not doing, to prepare for Bobbin's arrival.

My pre-birth preparations have consisted of the following:
  • Buying black "lounge pants" that I can wear both as PJs and as pants so that when I have visitors come over so I don't actually have to get dressed. They're only a half a step up from trackie dacks but it is a very important half step
  • Finding the disposable underwear Georgia bought me so I don't have to wash knickers (you know what kind of friend buys you disposable undies? The BEST kind!)
  • Choosing between large and jumbo knickers for when the disposables run out
  • Figuring out how many mini mars bars I can fit in my birth bag
  • Getting my hair dyed red - yep, totally vain. Though in my defense I have not had it done in nearly four months and probably won't get a chance to do it for another four months
  • Buying an adorable crocheted toy for Tricky "from Bobbin" from Daisy Roo and Two
  • And the semi-important things like weekly prenatal yoga, clinical pregnancy pilates, raspberry leaf tea, organizing to eat my own placenta, meditation and visualization stuff etc. You know, the slightly-crunchy stuff that I'm all in to
What I haven't done:
  • Got a spray tan - if I look pale and exhausted after giving birth it is highly likely due to the fact that I JUST GAVE BIRTH
  • Got a bikini wax - I do my own waxing and I can't see down there anymore to do it so I'm embracing the natural look. I refuse to "tidy up" for a midwife who has seen it all before a few thousand times
  • Had a facial - this one kinda doesn't count because I'm desperate for a microdermabrasion facial because I have ALL TEH PIMPLES and my T zone is congestion city
  • Removed the clothes airer full of socks and undies from Bobbin's room (note to self: get on to this, pronto)
  • Finished packing my bag - I'll only be away from home overnight so I've just thrown the afore mentioned lounge pants and disposable undies in a bag... I really should get around to adding some nappies and the camera or those post-birth photos won't even exist! But I've got no idea what else to take!
I'm sure I will look appropriately knackered and overjoyed in those first photos, probably with hair hastily tied back in a bun and a sweaty brow like I did in the last lot. And that's OK.

Plus what are Instagram filters for?

Help me! What should I put in my bag for one night? Anything you wished you'd taken with you and forgot or vice versa?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Capture the Cover and win $1000

This is a S1 post
For full details please see my disclosure policy

It’s baaaa-aaaack! After the success of last year, Yellow Pages’ Capture The Cover Competition is back and I’m super chuffed to be part of it again.

Because plain covers are boring and so 2010, you’re invited to liven up the humble ol' phone book a bit and give them a local flavour. It is happening all over the country and I’ll be helping to spruik the Perth competition. Map Guy’s photograph of yachts at sunset at Hillary’s Boat Harbour was a winner last year and got on our local cover! He now thinks he's a famous photographer...

Map Guy's image is bottom row, centre
But rather than just local pics, this year the Yellow Pages team want to go one step further and are looking for the hidden gems in your community. Places “Only Locals Know”. You know the spots; the tucked away nooks that only the people in the immediate area know. Though I’d suggest you stay away from the tucked away nooks that are frequented at night by necking P platers. People with cameras in those places tend to be frowned upon.

It could be anything, really. The best place to get fish and chips, that park that has the enchanting trees at dawn, the ideal sunset watching spot, you name it, or, er, photograph it as the case may be. As long as it is local, it’s good!

So how do you enter? Head to and upload your pic. Super simple.

Your image must:
  • Be a .jpg
  • Be the highest quality your camera allows
  • Not show anyone's face
  • Be taken in the region that you live (you’ll be asked your postcode & photo location)
What I really like about this year is that you can enter directly via Instagram, just remember:
  • Take the picture in your local region
  • Include the hashtag #CaptureTheCover and @yellow_au
  • Include the location and your postcode in the caption
There are five awesome judges for the whole competition including Perth photographer Steve Fraser who takes the most stunning landscapes I’ve ever seen. Check the website for some great photography tips - make your pic stand out from the rest and you just might win.

There will be five covers for each of WA's regions and the winner of each cover will receive $1000 and there will be seven runner up prizes of $100.

So go out, start exploring and get snap-happy!

Is there a local gem in your area?

Monday, July 8, 2013

My hips don't lie. They don't work, either.

You know the film clip for Shakira's My Hips Don't Lie? The one where it looks like her hips are disembodied and have a life of their own? Well, I'm currently imitating that video clip with every step.

Now I don't look anywhere near as attractive as Shakira (plus I don't have some weird undead mummy-boy standing in the background to make me look more youthful and... alive?) and I can only put it down to the fact that I don't have rhinestones stuck to my back and that my movements are involuntary. And painful. But other than our marked physical differences, our hips move in the exact same way.

I'm suffering yet again from Pelvic Girdle Pain with a side dish of Pubic Symphysis Pain. Because the world obviously doesn't think I say Girdle and Pubic enough. I could call it PGP and PSP but I just think of mining companies and gaming consoles when I hear that. And my hips aren't a gaming console... well *ahem* not when they hurt this much.

I had it last time around and even had my ass taped to prevent my hips rotating. This time I knew the first warning signs it was happening (it was inevitable with my super stretchy ligaments - my body does not do pregnancy well at all) so sought treatment really early. Early treatment means I can still walk most of the time, hurrah!

This time, rather than having adhesive strapped to my backside, I'm relying on weekly physio, yoga and pregnancy Pilates plus a super tight belly belt that manages to make my baby bump look like a giant muffin top the way it suddenly juts out over the top. But for the mild relief the brace brings, I will be muffin-y with pride. Besides, muffins are delicious, right?

And did I mention the part time crutches? OH a preggo on crutches is quite the sight, let me tell you! If you thought people moved out of your way when you were pregnant, you should see the enormously wide berth they give you when your growing bump comes hobbling along with support sticks and a face that says "if I stop I may never start again". Shop assistants come out of nowhere to help you out of their stores lest you be stuck in them and actually give birth next to the sales rack. I can't blame them, amniotic fluid is a bitch to get out of carpet. So far I've only needed them a few times though. Phew.

People tell me not to wish this pregnancy away and I'm not. I'm just wishing it speed. Light speed.

Did pregnancy screw with your body?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Bobbin's Babyshower Day 7 - Il Tutto Baby Bag

OK, so I’ve saved the one I’m most excited about, my favourite, most lusted after product til last. The Il Tutto Nico Tote baby bag.

The super stylish Nico Tote is found on the glamorous arms of celebrity mums such as Dannii Minogue and Jacqui O and it could be on yours too! I’m so jealous.

The Nico, like all Il Tutto bags, is practical without compromising on style. It has:
  • Zip out printed lining for ease of washing
  • Waterproof changing mat
  • Three external pockets to keep things organized
  • Insulated bottle holder
  • Clear plastic zip lock bags for wet things
And all of those things are hidden inside a sleek patent bag that does not scream “The only songs I know all the words to are by The Wiggles”.

To get your hands on one of these gorgeous bags, in either black or navy, valued at $249, and be the glamorous mum in your mothers group, answer in the space provided on the entry form:

How many colours does the Nico Tote come in? hint: answer here

That caps off a whole week of giveaways for Bobbin's Babyshower! Don’t forget you can enter each giveaway daily and use the share buttons to go in to the drawer to win the Shloer hamper.

Bobbin’s Babyshower Giveaway graphic modified from a Creative Commons image from NinaMatthews Photography

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Bobbin's Babyshower Day 6 - Steelcraft Infant Travel System

Riddle me this. Why do babies fall asleep in the car only when you turn in to your own street or driveway? With only a few minutes of sleep they’re never gonna transfer inside with all the unbuckling and picking up and putting down. Plus if your baby is anything like Tricky was, if they wake up after 5 minutes they’re ready and raring to go for another hour unitl suddenly OVERTIRED!

Oh to be able to transfer a babe without waking them. Well, you can, you know. With a Safe-n-Sound and Steelcraft Travel System Infant Carrier.

You secure bub then click the carrier in and out of the car and either carry it around by hand or click it in to your compatible pram (click here to see if your pram is compatible – it’s the bottom row of the table). None of this bending of teeny little arms to get them out the straps and waking them up!

The Travel System Infant Carrier:
  • Is super lightweight
  • Has rear facing position for new babies
  • Includes a canopy for shade
  • Comes in five funky, bold colour options
  • Has an easy one hand release from the car
  • Is comfy with head support, harness pads and crotch buckle cover
To win a Safe-n-Sound Steelcraft Travel System Infant Carrier valued at $329 answer the following question in the space provided on the entry form below:

What approximate age can you use the Travel System Infant Carrier up to? Hint: answer here.

Don’t forget you can enter each giveaway daily and use the share buttons to go in to the drawer to win the Shloer hamper.

See you tomorrow for the last day of Bobbin’s Babyshower Giveaway.

Bobbin’s Babyshower Giveaway graphic modified from a Creative Commons image from NinaMatthews Photography


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