Life's a beach

 
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 Meg wears Target  dress  and Converse  sneakers , Austin and Remy wear Target  shirts  and shorts similar  here .

Meg wears Target dress and Converse sneakers, Austin and Remy wear Target shirts and shorts similar here.

Kids are so completely unpredictable, am I right? We went to the Brighton Beach Huts a few months ago and both kids had an absolute ball so I thought, let’s go back, why not! And so we did and of course things didn’t go quite to plan…

Austin simultaneously wanted his shoes off but also hated the sand touching his feet, so that was fun. Remy had a blast, but beelined for the water over and over. And when we let him get his feet into the crisp morning water he cried because the water was too cold.

So although we packed buckets, spades, towels and snacks we lasted about 40 minutes at the beach tops! Here’s hoping we have some better luck as the warmer weather rolls around.

Playtime at Fawkner Park

 
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 Meg wears: Country Road  knit , Seed  jeans ,  Oliver Bonas  hat. Austin wears: Country Road  jumper , Next jeans similar  here , Country Road  boots . Remy wears I dig Denim jeans similar  here , Austin's old jumper, Angulus boots similar  here , Pat wears Industrie  chinos , Nique  t-shirt,  jacket from several seasons ago. 

Meg wears: Country Road knit, Seed jeans, Oliver Bonas hat. Austin wears: Country Road jumper, Next jeans similar here, Country Road boots. Remy wears I dig Denim jeans similar here, Austin's old jumper, Angulus boots similar here, Pat wears Industrie chinos, Nique t-shirt, jacket from several seasons ago. 

Are you even a mum of boys if you don't spend most of your time looking for parks, playing in parks and researching the next park you're going to head to? There's no denying it these boys of mine LOVE the outdoors and I love seeing them so happy when they are out exploring.

Fawkner Park is one of our faves to hit up so I thought I'd share all of the hidden little pockets and areas to play within the park (because it is seriously HUGE we are still finding new areas each time). 

And this sweet little Daffodil field has just popped up (which the boys absolutely loved, especially watching the doggies run wild through them).  If you're hunting it down, it is right near the Slater Street entrance (you can't miss it!).

There's also two playground areas (choices!), the first one is next to Christchurch Grammar School on Toorak road. It's quite cute with a little flying fox and lots of slides for all sizes. If you head down towards South Yarra Primary School there's another two playgrounds here, one for the younger kids and one for older. There's also a great stretch of footpath along here for kids to ride their bikes (or learn how to ride, cuuuute!).

And just on Sunday we found a really sweet little sandpit area behind the Fawkner Park Tennis Centre. Literally we just keep finding more spots! And thank goodness because these boys appetite for playing and exploring is just endlessssss.

 

Number One

 
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And just like that the smallest person in our house is one year old. We thought time went fast with one kid, well with two, it just wizzes by like no tomorrow! We threw a bit of a party to celebrate Remy's birthday (and to also celebrate us all getting through the year in one piece. I mean, first birthday celebrations are really for the parents, right? Just a little, WOO-OO you guys all survived!).

It's been a year of learning to juggle two kids and their competing needs, battling sleep deprivation and ordering deliveroo Messina ice-cream (what else is a gal gonna do when you're a sleep deprived mama with two crazy, screaming kids at home? Yep, stand over the sink eating ice-cream while yelling at the kids to be nice to each other!).

Remy has been a dream-boat of a baby. He is so soft and cuddly and loves a snuggle. He's cheeky and giggly and can't get enough food (which is just the BEST THING IN THE WORLD after dealing with Austin who still only eats the same 3 things over and over). 

When he was a newborn he was sleeping through the night (I know, WHAAAT?? Yep, it was mental but amazing). Then he did a full reversal and was waking all night long and turning his mama into a walking mombie (thats a zombie mama to you and me). But a quick trip to sleep school has fixed all that (thank F). 

I'm trying to think what his favourite things are... TV shows, toys, books? But he's really not in to much because the thing that takes all his attention BY FAR, is his big bro. He couldn't care less for TV shows because he can watch Austin tearing around the house, jumping, running and being crazy, and why sit still for a book when you can play chasey with your brov. He loves animals, especially dogs and squeals like a nutter when he sees them at the park. 

We love him to bits, our little Remy boy, and now we have a year of the precious little boy being 'number one.'

 

 

 

7 'mum hacks' that my hubby taught me

So it turns out ‘mums way’ isn’t the only way to do things around the house (who would've thunk it, huh?). I know because I’ve been watching hubby around the home and he has shown me all these totally legitimate alternative ways of doing things. Mind blown. In fact I’ve been so impressed that I've been taking on some of his little tricks and they are making life pretty damn good. So if you are wondering what they are, here are the top seven for all you mamas and dads out there:

1. No TV screen in the car? No worries! Yep, hubby got me on to this sweet little trick – all you have to do is put the head rest up, wedge your phone in and get the youtube going! This little nugget has got us through many a long car trip, especially the last 20 minutes when nothing seems to work. (Oh, praise youtube). 

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2. I do heaps of batch cooking in our house, it just makes dinner time way more manageable and it especially makes Remy’s baby food quick and easy (I mean, who wants to be steaming and pureeing every few hours?). The only problem with this is when I over microwave some of the food (so easy to do when they are small portions) but you have a hungry child who needs to be fed immediately. So mostly I would just sit there and wait and hope that it cooled down really quick. But hubby knows the lay of the land and showed me that all you really need to do is 1) switch the food in to a new cold bowl, and 2) if you really want to speed up the process, put the food into a bigger bowl or plate. And voila the food cools down twice as fast! (Can I just say, this probably seems super dooper simple but not once did I think of it before I was shown). 

3. I overhear hubby doing this one all the time, in fact I’m pretty sure he does it every bedtime! Austin loves his bed time books but however many you read it is never enough. So every bed time even though hubby has full intentions of reading 3 books, he always says ‘last book’ before book number two – then when he ‘caves’ for one more Austin thinks he has won the book time battle! I wonder how old Austin will be when he cottons on to this little trick?

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4. As a general rule if the dishes are in the dishwasher they will be cleaned. That’s right. Get ready to get over your OCD because they don’t have to be in the right shelf, height order, rinsed or scrubbed before you put them in... yep, you heard correct! No re-stacking for the second time and you will still get sparkly clean dishes at the end. (In all truth sometimes there might be one dish that is not completely clean but I don't even care! I just leave it in there for another cycle. I know, I'm crazy right?). 

5. Pyjamas are nice but not necessary. If your child falls asleep earlier than expected, or is simply being fussy (or downright difficult) at bedtime, there really is no need to kill yourself trying to get the jammies on your toddler. Chances are they won’t even notice, or if they do they couldn’t care less.

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6. If your child is old enough to communicate and is not saying ‘I’m hot’ or ‘I’m cold’ or thirsty or hungry or anything else... it is perfectly fine to just let them be. They will let you know if they need something. (Yes, this also doubles as a personal note to self as I am forever checking in on the kids to see if they are 'ok').

7. Do things beyond your kids current abilities and push those boundaries. So often I see my hubby trying to do something with the kids that my immediate thought is ‘Stop! He can’t do that yet!’ and luckily I’ve bitten my tongue because some of these moments turn out to be the best! Throwing the kids in the air, playing wrestling games (like REALLY wrestling) and general craziness gets the BIGGEST laughs from them and I can honestly say the kids have the best time. Encouraging the kids to do things they can’t yet (when I might be hesitant to avoid it until they are ‘ready’ to prevent injuries or tears) has shock, horror, never ended in disaster. It’s just encouraged them and started them on their next little learning journey. Go dad!

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So, thanks for the learning curve Daddy-o, it seems sometimes the best mum hacks, were created by dads. 

It's party time... for at least half an hour

 
 Wearing:  Tobi Dress  ,  Seed Earrings  ,  Marcus B  shoes -  similar here  , Serra hat -  similar here  , Karen Walker  sunglasses  , Burt's Bees  Lipstick  in 'Sunset Cruise' , Vintage Ipes bag -  similar here  and Swarovski bracelet - similar  here

Wearing: Tobi Dress , Seed Earrings , Marcus B shoes - similar here , Serra hat - similar here , Karen Walker sunglasses , Burt's Bees Lipstick in 'Sunset Cruise' , Vintage Ipes bag - similar here and Swarovski bracelet - similar here

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 Before my  Tobi  dress got completely covered in kiddie mess

Before my Tobi dress got completely covered in kiddie mess

Walking to the party like a BOSS because you are OH, SO ORGANISED today. Got the kids, check. The balloons, check. On time? Oh yeah, you know we are! Baby food? Yep! Toddler food? All ready. Spare clothes are sorted and packed. Sunscreen and hats are in the bag. Toys for the kids are aplenty. 

We are the first to arrive and feeling good. So we sit down to a beautiful glass of rose. But we totally forgot the first rule of parenting - don't ever get too comfortable. Too cocky. Too.... much like you are just NAILING the situation. Because inevitably...

The toddler tries to run away. The balloons get knocked off in the process. See ya later balloons. You realise you have got the start time of the birthday lunch an HOUR WRONG. The kids manage to get dirt and/or food all over their clothes (I mean, really, who knows what it is??). By the time everyone arrives you are hot and bothered,  balloonless, with two messy little kids and everyone has missed the DAMN first thirty minutes of when you actually had your shit together. 

Well, we almost got it completely right. Let's just say NEXT TIME it will go perfectly. 

Christmas is...

 
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Christmas with kids is sneaking presents in to the house and wrapping them in the dark of night. Coz you just KNOW they will hunt down that one cupboard at the back of the wardrobe where the stash is.

Christmas is having your toddler be forever traumatised from the one time his daddy dressed up as Santa at playgroup. Come on, when will he ever forget this moment?! 

Christmas with a six month old is being so excited to watch him get sooo close to crawling, but then also hoping he holds off until after the big day to save the Christmas tree from destruction. Fingers crossed!

Christmas as a mum is gifting yourself an awesome present… because there is no guarantee someone else will get it (no matter how hard you hint at it). Hello, an awesome wood watch from Jord. Wooden, unique and all mine. Let's just pop it under the tree and say it’s from Santa, shall we?

Christmas as a family is so damn infectious. How can you not get hyped up when your toddler asks every single day if he can open the presents under the Christmas tree? I’m just hanging out to see all the excitement on their little faces on the big day.

Yep, Christmas sure is for early starts and late nights. For huge shiny trees covered in baubles and sparkly lights. But mostly it's for the looks on their darling little faces and squeals of delight. To know as a parent you must be doing something right.

First Christmas as a family of four, here we go!

If you want to gift yourself or someone you love one of these unique wooden watches Jord is offering my readers 25% off for the holiday season, just jump here to receive your special code. Also, I've linked Jords women’s watches, men's watches and also mine here. You can thank me later when you get to cross some presents off your list! :)

 

Baby you're late

 
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I just want the world to know that I am a mother.... And because of this I will not be on time. Now, don't get me wrong, I love punctuality. I thrive on being organised. I am basically a big fat dork who likes to get to a party ten minutes before it has even started.

But that has all gone. Completely. Out. The. Window. And not even by choice! My precision planning has been rendered useless. My in-depth lists completely pointless. And years honing my OCD grade organisation is oh so laughable in its current state.

And I blame it on the kids! Pooplosions. Vomit. Extremely urgent need for raisins in the middle of nowhere. Milk stop. Pit stop. Oops forgot to stop, and go to the toilet. Pant changes. Nappy changes. Vomit all over my clothes changes. Toddlers falling asleep in the car. Or babies not falling asleep, no matter where they are. Out of routine. Out of sorts. Lack of sleep. Too much sleep. (HAHA, kidding, that one never happens). High fever. High energy. The toddler high-fiving every single person in the party. And quite simply, I did not think it would take fifteen minutes to get from the kitchen to the car. Ugh.

I would say now that we have realised this we are going to plan ahead. But I think we are just best to accept the inevitable. We'll be there, for sure, but don't ever expect it to be on time. 

 

The baby will sleep

 
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So we've been pretty lucky with Remy so far. Thank F he sleeps like a champ, and pwetty please, knock on wood, let's hope it continues. But having a little baby back in the house reminds me of all the things we did to get Austin to sleep, and also with Remy too (though no where near as much work) and then all of the things people do and say when you’re trying to get your baby to sleep. This time round, I can see the humour in it. But um.... it wasn't so funny when baby number one refused to sleep. I'm sure there are a heap more, but here are my top eight things people say and do when you're trying your damn best to get the baby to sleep (and to stay asleep): 

1.     “Oh he looks so tired” most often said in a high pitched voice right in the baby's face

2.     “Oh he's eyes are still open.” Mmm hmm, they will be if you keep staring at him like that

3.     “He made a sound, he must be awake!” person runs quickly over to the baby to stare, prod, and try to pick it up. Yep, effectively making sure the baby will neverrrrr fall asleep.  

4.     *person starts singing baby a song *song is doing the opposite of getting baby to sleep 

5.     “He's not tired, he just slept” 

6.     “I don't think he's happy to go to sleep” Ok, he made just one teensy weensy sound. I'm preeeety sure he will survive.

7.     Random person on the street “oh looooook a sleeping baby!!!!”  Argh. Not any more. Thanks a lot stranger.

8.     And the biggest culprit of all meeeeee, dropping all the heavy things, walking into walls and making all the loud noises while trying to be SOOO quiet. Why am I always the most clumsy when trying to be all stealth around the house?

 

When we said kids wouldn't change our lives

 
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Yes, we actually had this conversation. I mean, most people do before kids right? Looking back we said a lot of hilarious things. These are some of my favourites:

- I won't be one of those parents who is always talking about their kids. Always sharing pictures of them. Saying how gorgeous, talented, and advanced they are. Hmmm, sharing a couple photos each and every day ins't considered over sharing, right?

- We'll get the kids to fit into our lives, not the other way around. This is actually the best one. If only the pre-baby me could see all of the countless hours sitting in the car while the baby sleeps, whispering in dark rooms while doing absolutely nothing to get the kids down, and waking up at all sorts of odd hours for night time feeds, cuddles and sick children. 

- We won't let kids age us. Oh, no. We will be different to all the people who told us it is inevitable. (HAHAHA)

- We'll definitely keep our social life post kids (and by social I don't mean drinking a glass of wine while watching netflix). 

- My kids won't eat anything out of a packet. (This is basically just a variation of 'we'll be the best parents', like duh, of course we will. Other ones in this realm include: our kids won't be naughty in public, they'll all eat all the fabulous healthy foods, and sleep like the precious gems they are).

My gawd, could we have been any more wrong about everything? Our lives did change. SO dramatically. But it turns out it was one of the best changes possible.

To every woman I scared with the story of my first labour – I'm sorry

 

And the good news is the second one wasn’t nearly as bad. And maybe the first one wasn’t so bad either? 

 

After the birth of Austin, I saw my birth story like a war badge that I was proud to display. Something horrible, but amazing. Something I endured. 

But the thing is, Austin’s birth wasn’t that bad. There was no ‘emergency’ situation. No one was at risk at any point. A healthy little baby was born at the end, and apart from being a bit knocked around I was totally fine. 

Yes, this was the most intense pain I’ve ever felt (beyond this world bad). Yes, the baby had moved posterior creating horrible back pain. Yes, I was induced which (depending on who you talk to) makes the pain so much more intense. And oh boy, a big yes, I was NOT coping with the pain at all.

But it’s taken me until after the birth of baby number two to think, maybe it wasn’t so bad?

Things went a lot more smoothly with baby number two. Yes there was pain (a lot), and it was uncomfortable and at times your body is doing some really gross (but equally amazing) things. But really I think the big difference was me.  Being prepared for the pain and being proactive in managing it. With birth number one, I remember laying there just waiting for the pain to wash over me.  Birth number two I just thought there is no way I can do it in the same way. Sitting and waiting for pain. So I needed to do something different. So I looked into pain management techniques, tried to get in to a really good positive mind frame and created a plan that involved Pat (aka the best #instagramhusband going around) so we would be in it together. Of course, labour is a totally unpredictable beast, and anything could have happened which would have totally changed all of these plans. But things went pretty well (amazingly so), hello, did you see the cute little button we produced?

So I just wanted to say, to all the women out there (especially the ones I told the story of me screaming down The Freemasons hospital, with the nurses trying to get me to shut the hell up) it’s not so bad, your body was built for this and you can do it!

Well, there’s my bit.

And if you’re interested in some of the pain management techniques I used during labour get your hands on “Birth Skills” by Juju Sundin (thanks to my darling friend Hayley for the suggestion, what would I have done without this?!!). I don’t think it’s ground breaking material, and it may not work for everyone but if anything you can walk (or scream) in to your birth with some skills (and confidence) up your sleeve.