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It could always be worse.. August 30, 2012

After a break up a few years ago, I turned quite spiritual and read a lot of things that made me adopt a new lifestyle..
Basically I wanted to be positive, and happy, and to help people.

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I try to keep these going on a daily basis –  but you cant help but get down sometimes when you’re face with people who are the exact opposite of this, and in turn you think negatively.
The Motto’s that I have are “don’t complain about it unless you’re doing something to fix it”, “There is always someone worse of than you”, “you’d rather regret doing something than regret not doing something and the generic “do unto others that you want on to you  ” – I think you could live a pretty good life if you remember these.

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With my new diagnoses, i’ve explained it to people/healthcare people have talked about it with a compassionate tone, which is lovely, but through out the unknown pain and tiredness, I just keep on going along and sucking it up, trying to not complain about it (unless I couldn’t move that day) –  i’ve had it for so long that I am infact used to it –  with now knowing what it is, all it means is I can better understand it and explain it to people when someone might make a comment of you’re lazy today etc… And even though I probably have a lot harder time than the average joe, I am still under the understanding that there is people worse of than me. I still try and go out of my way to help others, and being the photographer that I am I want to be able to help people with my skill regardless of my situation.

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Take this guy for instance – he has Ehler-Danlos Syndrome – this is in the same family of what I have, but a lot worse –  and hes still trucking along best he can 🙂

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I recently wrote a book with the online mothers group I belong to –  the main drive behind this was because of how my pregnancy was and how ‘the system’ convinced me i’d be fine and convinced me of other things that would happen along my pregnancy, which gave me comfort, and then to find out none of it happened just made me want to get my story out there of how my pregnancy was(and 34 other mums contributed as well), and to let anyone else who’s feeling alone in a situation to feel comfort in knowing that they weren’t actually alone (my book)

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I don’t want to change the world, but my main goal with anything I do is that I want to make sure one person can benefit from something I do, even if its just telling the busy coffee maker at the local cafe that ‘s/he’s doing a good job’. I surround myself with people who I love and bring out the best in me. I would do anything for them, and would only hope to get the same in return. Of course i’m going to have breaking points from time to time, but because of the people I surround myself with, I can communicate how I feel/get it off my chest and this helps me a lot.

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Life is a journey, enjoy it!

 

New technology November 17, 2011

Filed under: Short Advice — The Anonymous Mum @ 8:46 am
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Well I’m super excited … Just got my Xmas present early from hubby and bubby-an iPad!

This morning as bubs was being brought into bed with us… I turned on my new iPad and opened a kids story book app to watch with him, however it really got me thinking.. Technology has come in leaps and bounds since I was a wee one.. I remember watching the Simpsons on new colour telly before the news every night, and Sunday morning cartoons.  And yet bub will be brought up with technology all around him from checking the time on our phones/computers, checking to see if our friends are free via email/text message, and ‘hearing’ the news via digital news or on hd telly.. Which has just become the norm for everyone now….

Yes this is great, but it also extends the circle of role models to our children. So instead of uncle joe who drinks ‘happy juice’ sometimes and swings you from your ankles because he’s so strong.. We now have randoms teaching them that it’s okay to drink on the job… Or we have ‘plastic fantastic’ role models having divorces every couple of months instead of great aunty and uncle smith who have been happily married for 30+ years…or the batSHcrazy lady on a forum saying that everyone is wrong and her way is right and that everyone else is mean for doing something, instead of the weird castle lady living down a long driveway a couple houses over..

Regardless of  what pros and cons new technology brings, I think it’s best to provide a safe and comfortable environment for your growing family and to teach them kindness and courtesy, and also teach them that there are 2 sides to every story,  and to not force your ideas on people, just to teach them that to accept people of all kinds.

 

Cartoons September 20, 2011

Filed under: Short Advice — The Anonymous Mum @ 12:14 am
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They say that babies/young children cant decipher whats true and whats not –  this being the case, letting the ‘youngin’s’ watch cartoons must be crazy for them! The whole scenerio reminds me of the movie ‘The Invention of Lying’ –  this movie is based around the fact that NO ONE in the world can lie.

After being subjected to cartoons one morning when our Mr wouldnt settle unless he had something to focus on, I started to think about this a little closer…

Aparently our children can drive our cars, go swimming without parental consent, can walk around and cross the the streets by themselves, use icecream machines when told they’re not allowed too, can eat sugary food, can hide animals in their backpacks, eat food where ever they want too, not tell their parents where they are going, use mum and dads power tools/appliances, run around with swords,  and can hang out with stray animals….

It makes me laugh as so many parents are worried about letting their kids watch Family guy/Simpsons/American dad/Southpark –  and yet the Disney Junior channel is teaching all the ‘bad’ things they talk about.

The best thing you can do as a parent/caregiver is to be there for them to explain situations and not let stray animals into your house.

 

 

First Timers September 17, 2011

Filed under: Short Advice — The Anonymous Mum @ 11:37 am
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Whether you’re a first time mum, or are buying a gift for a bub for the first time hopefully this can help you out.

Ive luckily got an online group of awesome mums who helped pitch in suggestions on what to buy, what not to buy, and things to be cautious about.

So here are some tips for gift buyers or first time mums on things you definitely should look at:

Cot/Bassinet Sheets and waterproofing – Baby will always be excreeting liquid whether that be dribbling, pooping, peeing or throwing up so having extra sheets and waterproofing to protect babies mattress will come in handy
Blankets –  always good to have a few for warmth during bottle feedings/pram/cot –  just make sure they’re machine washable –  you don’t wanna be handwashing anything if you can help it!
Wipes/Muslins –  My mum made me about 20 little muslin wipes, and 5 burp clothes and I have to wash them every 2-3 days because of how much we use them
Bibs – same as the muslins.. once you’re feeding bubs more than once a day, you’ll be amazed how quickly you go through them(especially when bubs is teething and dribbling constantly) When buying though I highly suggest checking how they go on –  i’ve had quite a few bibs that have crap Velcro and have scratched poor mr’s neck to buggary! check to see if the Velcro is sewing under fabric so there are no corners to it –  or even better, get one with a buttonclasp
Plastic Spoons, Containers, Plastic cups and bowls – these may not come in hand right away but they can be used for everything(bath time, distractions during nappy changes, playtime, food)
Baby safe/sensitive laundry powder/liquid – always good to have on hand
Nappies –  before stocking up massively on ‘newborn’ size… be cautious that your bub might not even fit them-   you can always stock up up on the next size up
Baby sleep bags and Baby wraps –  you can use Muslins for this as well at the start, but you will find that bubs will wiggle his way out of it/it will be annoying to re-wrap at 2am so the baby wraps are specially designed to not unwrap easily
Wall Decals –  quick and easy way to decorate babies room without damaging the wall(fantastic for renters!)
Camera –  you will never get this time back again.. and even though it might be an effort to take shots/get someone to take shots of you and your bub, you will cherish the pictures later in life massively!
Onesies –  these will ALWAYS come in handy… bedtime, day time, chuck in the baby bag for accidents while out, and they wont ride up like plain tshirts will, and they also double as extra protection for poo explosions

The following have mixed feelings among ladies and it totally comes down to how you live/what you have already/approach with caution:

Baby Baths – If you already have a bath and have a good back you will most likely not need this..but if you have a bad back(cant hold bubs while in the shower for too long) and don’t have a bath this is definitely a goer –  just see if you can fill this up/use it in the shower box to save any carrying
Baby Carriers/Slings – very mixed feelings on this –  I think if you live in your car and use your pram a lot when you get to places, you’ll probably find you wont use this at all. We don’t have a car and pram everywhere, and we find it easier just to put our wee one in it once we get to places
Baby Bouncers and bumbos(chairs) – fantastic if there is no one else around to help you, you can put your bub in it while you have a shower or cook –  but then can only really be used for the first 6 months.
Baby Jumpers – great fun if your bub likes it.. not so great if they scream constantly for the duration of their time in it
Changing Table – not needed in all honesty… unless you have a bad back and changing bub while standing up is easier for you.. and once they start moving change time becomes SO much harder anyway! I had one person mention that their change table converted to a shelf unit afterward.. if you do wanna buy one, see if you can do this so it can get a second life and isn’t just a piece of furniture to put in the garage
Baby Monitors – sometimes not needed… if you’re confident enough that you can hear your wee one from all the other rooms in your house you don’t need it. I have really bad tinnitus(ear ringing) and dont feel confident enough that I would hear bub.. so we have one, but these days we mainly use it for its melodies during the night time when bubs is unsettled.
High chairs –  expensive chairs aren’t always good..  Make sure it is safe/approved.. but also make sure its very basic/not many nooks and crannys… you don’t wanna be finding left over pumpkin stuck down a hole behind a fluffy pillow a couple weeks later. Ive got a $40 Ikea high chair and I could pretty much just hose it down
Breast Pumps – Breast feeding itself is a very sensitive subject – if you’re wanting to try breast feeding, then look into renting an electric one from the hospital.. and if you like it/it works for you, then have a hunt around. I have a manual one which I loved as it felt more natural to me.. but the electric ones are far more efficient
Baby Mobiles – good for like the first 3 months… then they tend to get in the way.. if you get one, see if you can hang it from the ceiling so bubs isn’t trying to grab it constantly.. and sometimes over the top of where you change your bubs is good for a distraction
Bath Seats – good if you are bathing more than one child in the same bath
Sterlizers – Mainly for bottle fed babies. If you can afford one/have the bench space for it/don’t mind using it all the time then go for it – otherwise on the stove top is fine..but you don’t need to sterilize bottles for that long – I think NZ says 6 months and various states around AU say 4-8 months
Bottle Warmers – probably not worth it.. quick zap in the microwave or a soak in hot water is fine.. but then again you only really need to do that if you keep your water/BM chilled or its winter.
Soft Toys – o so cute.. and o so annoying for any parent…they only need a few… after that you’ll be finding places to put them/always cleaning them up –  get a few ‘special’ ones
Breast Feeding Pillows – you don’t need specialised breast feeding pillows.. normal pillows like maternity pillows or tri pillows do they same trick.

When it comes to food and solids time.. you don’t NEED to buy all the baby food that the supermarkets put out for $2 a sachet, when you can buy a quarter pumpkin for $3 and make 10x the amount of what one sachet produces. And if you dont have a microwave already you don’t need it badly… as you can do everything on the stove top. Nearly 9 months on here and I think they only luxury I would get out of having a microwave would be heating up my coffee after it goes cold ten thousand times.

Prepepped foods for yourself and baby are the best –  make a big batch of something and freeze it down.. you will love yourself for it when your scrambling for something to fill you up so you can deal with the screaming teething baby who’s dribbling enough to fill a small paddling pool.

 

Possesiveness after birth September 12, 2011

Filed under: Short Advice — The Anonymous Mum @ 3:45 am
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If you think you already try and protect those close to you before having a baby, that protection feeling multiplies 200% after birth.

Any sticky situation feels like 200% worse, that step down to your backyard resembles a cliff now and that car that whips around the corner when you have a green light signal to cross – it gives you the impulse to sprint after the car and pull a few signals yourself.
I live on the 23rd floor… when I was pregnant I could go out on our deck for short bursts to wash our windows/water the plants.. but now I am petrified of our deck/never open the door, and constantly have bad thoughts about it as much as I try and push it out of my head.

This feeling to protect isn’t just all about physical stuff like tables/cupboards/locations/transport it also changes the way you think about your friends. Most of your friends you’ll be able to decipher if they’re true friends pretty quickly, but there are a few that linger that you’ll need to cut otherwise there can be emotional damage, but the ones that remain and are true friends will soon become like family to you, and your possessive/protective circle extends outward for them.

I also find that I come second priority .. My boys come first –  Muck with them…. and you’ve got an enemy in me. No one messes with my boys!

I’m finding that I have moments of weakness and moments of strength with situations directed at me.. sometimes people might say something that might seem/is nasty but I wont take it on board, will walk away and protect my boys from it happening again,  and other times it will destroy me as I was prepared/didn’t know I needed to protect myself from whats coming.

A couple months ago now a ‘friend’ that was lingering that I was hoping to include in my circle as I really enjoyed their company, trusted them and trusted them with my family – sent me an email from out of the blue. This email came at a time that I was already weak and home sick and it shook me to the core and has made me question myself ever since. For my TRUE friends out there… they know me well.. i’m a friend that would act like a family member, offer food, bed, company whenever it is needed, be on the phone with them for half an hour providing support before they break up with their last ever boyfriend, care packages, but more importantly that I can be their rock if they ever need it, and I’d like to think they would do the same for me. I have never questioned myself as I have been very confident with who I am. Usually I would have shrugged it off and got on with things.. but now I feel like i’m constantly offending people when i’m not. My strength in that sense will come back in time, and for now I will revolve myself around people who I care about/care about me.

Possessiveness/protectiveness is there for everyone…. but try having a baby and you’ll want to protect them from all the crap in the world, and then some!

I have come to realise – feeling bad is helped by mooshfacing with your wee one/s 😀

 

Maintaining Awesome August 29, 2011

Filed under: Short Advice — The Anonymous Mum @ 1:38 am
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Pre baby you may have an awesome routine.. doing your nails while watching trash on telly or going and getting your nails done, dying your hair an awesome colour, making amazing meals, spending some time doing yoga or pilates, keeping a clean house, going to work, going out drinking with mates..

The fact is you are now a mum.. life will never be the same again. But don’t forget you are still you, the difference is trying to find time for you.

People are always trying to find a work life balance(some people spend most their lives trying to find it) and the equation becomes way harder when you add a child into the mix.

Unless you have a live in maid that is doing 100% of the upbringing of your child, I think its majorly important to maintain some of your previous routine.
Currently I have a under 1 yearold, and I think the goal at this stage is to keep 2 things from your previous routine… one for you, and one to keep you sane.. and to do them atleast once a month.. for example:
Maintaining your awesome hair colour (for yourself) and going out for a drink with mates (to keep sane) –  if you’re anything like me you’ll feel really guilty doing something for yourself, but believe me –  in a weeks time you’ll love that you’ve done it.

Another couple of hard things that come with becoming a parents is that you learn who your true friends are.. a lot of people promise they’ll be there for you, and then baby comes, they come once, and then you’re forever hearing excuses – embrace the true friends, you’ll need as much support as you can get.. if its just calling up someone to have a cry, or asking someone to bring over a meal for you as baby has colic and is forever hanging off you.. you will have so much gratitude for your true friends –  and don’t be afraid to ask for help so you can go and dye your hair/have a shower, or ask them to hold bubs while you do your nails while they’re visiting –  you would do the same for them after all..

One last thing.. your body wont be your favourite thing for a little bit.. do what you can, but don’t push yourself too much as you don’t need the stress, getting it back to ‘normal’ will come in time.. for now show off your favourite asset, with class.. if you have fantastic breasts, go out with low cut tops on.. if you have a fantastic bum, wears tight pants out.. if you have fantastic legs, show them off! it’ll make you feel sexy plus chances are people will only be looking at your assets, not your semi-flaws.

 

 

Apartment living August 26, 2011

Filed under: Short Advice — The Anonymous Mum @ 8:38 am
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So I had a traditional upbringing in New Zealand, small house and a big backyard within 10 min drive of the beach.
When it was sunny, we were out in the backyard either playing cricket, soccer, tag, netball/basketball, or down at the beach, and when it was crummy we’d be inside building forts..never once thinking that my own kid would start their own life without the same experience.

We moved to Melbourne, AU last year (from Wellington, NZ) as the husband unit couldn’t find a job for 8months after being made redundant and we found out we were pregnant a month later while sitting on a blowup bed on someones floor. We wanted to find somewhere as central as we could so it was easy for me to get to appointments and no public transport costs for the man, but obviously there are no places with land/grass/decent size deck in any city unless you’re made of gold. So we ended up with a 2 bedroom apartment in Southbank in Melbourne on the 23 floor..

We are renters, we don’t like being renters but we don’t have a choice.. and it amazes me how most apartments have the most ‘prone to stains’ cream carpet, let alone having a baby around.

Here are some tips we have found since having a baby within our apartment living:
– 23 floors great view! but it is a bit much for a fire drill during a 35degree day with a 6week old…
– Before getting carpet cleaners in make sure you check about the chemicals they’re bringing in otherwise you might all be camping in the lounge for the next week while the fumes clear
– Cant paint? wall decals are amazing!! and family photographs make you feel less ‘cabin feverish’
– Aircon and ventilation, if you think your apartment is going to get stuffy and you’re about to go out.. open windows/doors/anything! not going out, put the aircon on. When it gets stuffy, it gets really stuffy – baby will not like it and neither will you after a nights sleep.
– Check how close your ‘favourite things to do’ are –  how far away is public transport/the beach/ a park – when you have cabin fever you will need it.
– minimalistic furniture..I think we’ve been lucky with falling in love with IKEA in Australia.. very minimalistic and cheap.. it also makes it seem like we have more space in our apartment
– babies don’t need many toys –  don’t go overboard, they don’t need much to keep them happy.. more toys means you need space to put the toys away
– window outlook –  Ive had an apartment once which looked directly onto another building 1 metre away… believe me it drives you insane! get a place which you either see out onto a courtyard/road/beach(if you’re lucky) and natural light.. if you don’t have natural light your place will be very cold and the electricity bills will be very high!
– make sure the windows are safe with a baby/toddler around – any curtain/blind cords put well out of reach, as chances are your wee one will want to play around the windows –  I have heard some horror stories.
– measure spaces AND door ways before buying furniture –  we had to put our washing machine in via our bedroom as the bathroom door is 2 inches smaller than all the other doors in our apartment –  funny after the fact, but not during.
– check out storage before moving in –  we have one cupboard and one pantry doors worth of storage… luckily we didn’t have much stuff being new to the country and only having 3 suitcases worth of stuff.. but you don’t want stuff clogging hallways/doorways –  it will make you feel really down.
– Let your bub experience the world! – being stuck in an apartment your wee one doesn’t see much –  take them down to the park, let them feel the grass, take them for a swim, take them for lots of walks(if you’re usually a car bound person) they will love you for it!
– Sards wonder soap is amazing –  it cleans any stain on the wall/carpet/floor

We would LOVE a house in suburbia with the white picket fence.. that day will come, but for now we try and stay sane.  Apartment living is definitely an experience though and I wouldn’t give up that experience for the world, I believe it teaches you to be cleaner and respect your space a lot more – but if you can avoid it with miniyou’s around, it would be a little better.