Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mothers Day Expectations...

I must admit my hubby hasn’t risen up to my expectations in the last two years on mother’s day, no breakfast reservations, running out to get a card on the afternoon of, getting a pressie the day after...you get the idea and though in other ways he is fabulous (always pitching in even though he works very hard and never expecting me to fulfil the traditional stay at home mum role - even though I do own an apron and a duster and am constantly searching for the perfect mop) this is the one area where he has been the ‘less than perfect hubby’ so probably on a par with many a husbands out there.

This year he seems determined to improve on his past performance and already last week he went off in search of story books about mothers...it just happened to be while I was with him, and he sat at the borders kids table playing with the kids while I searched for books and managed to find a couple which I then paid for while he took the kids to the car and as I type they are still sitting on the kitchen bench waiting to be wrapped.

Another improvement this year is hubby organising a reservation for breakfast – and being very considerate he even checked where I would want to go and went in made a reservation.

So this mother’s’ day looks set to be the best so far– the only thing that would ruin it would be being given a ‘domestic’ present, if my hubby brought me a coffee machine or new blender (both which we could do with) or anything for the house which I feel chained to sometimes I will have to take revenge with his credit card!

If like me, you have high hopes for mother’s day but are also realistic about what the outcome may be I hope that you enjoy it the way you want it to be...a lovely sleep in, breakfast in bed or a decadent breakfast out, a family outing or some alone time, a homemade card from your little darlings or even just some gorgeous cuddles I hope it’s not just another day.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Dinosaur Days at the Hunter Valley Gardens

On Sunday we braved the dodgy looking weather and headed up to the Hunter Valley Gardens to see the dinosaur petting zoo, not quite knowing what to expect we tried to keep our 3 year old sons expectations low and reminded him that dinosaurs were not real (we were fully expecting a brave and bolshy boy...right up until he actually saw the dinosaurs and then we would have a clingy and simpering son) and that there was nothing to be scared of to which we got the reply “I’m not scared of dinosaurs mummy” in a scornful tone.

Being prepared we booked our tickets online which really was a waste of time as there was no separate line but luckily we had got there before the rush and made our way quickly to the formal garden to get seats for the show. We started on the bench seats at the back and when Oli was feeling brave enough we made our way closer to the hay bales and stage area. We still weren’t quite sure what to expect and when the baby dinosaurs came out in their little pouches Oli was happy to go up and have a pat, a bigger dinosaur was next and it still wasn’t that scary and the puppetry was so well done we had to keep reminding Oli that the dinosaurs weren’t real.

With the Erth spokesperson giving lots of great information and providing plenty of toilet jokes for the children in the audience (I don’t think I’ve heard the words weewee and poopoo so much in such a short space of time) we finally got to the biggest dinosaur of the show (I forget their names...sorry!) When it emerged from the tent I suddenly heard a screaming child calling for his mummy, looking up I saw Oli running as fast as his little legs could carry him (prompting lots of laughter from the people he was running past) and calling out for his mummy....it’s so nice to be wanted.

This dinosaur was amazing, the sounds and movements were so life-like (from what I can imagine) that it was no wonder there were children running screaming for their parents as it moved around the stage (not just my child!) Lots of fun was had with brave children offering up food, their own arms and at one stage their own heads to feed the dinosaurs and with copious amounts of laughter and screams the show finished.

Although Oli was happy to cling onto daddy for the last part of the show he has talked about nothing else since and after a quick stroll around the gardens we went across to the village for a lovely lunch, followed by a play on the playground (a quick trip to the chocolate shop by your truly) and then off home. It was a fantastic day out and if you get a chance this holiday’s to pop up and check it out it is well worth a trip. Check out the Hunter Valley Gardens for more details.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

How much is too much information for young children?

The team at Bubs About Town are heartbroken to learn of the tragic deaths of two babies in the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. Of course any loss of life in this situation is awful but hearing about little defenceless babies makes our hearts wrench and eyes water and so this week we have gazed upon our own gorgeous toddlers/babies and wondered what if?

What a terrible thing to have to think about, and indeed it doesn’t bear thinking about, from the floods in Queensland, the fires in Victoria to the earthquake in New Zealand there has certainly been enough heartbreak to go around lately and the scariest thing is how do you prepare for the things that can’t be prepared for.

In our homes we have started talking about our ‘What If’ plans and though my husband was initially doubtful it was soon apparent that this was the only thing that would help me sleep at night so we now have meeting spots in case of emergencies and these vary for each disaster from flood, bushfire, tsunami and earthquake as well as a list of essentials to take from the house.

Although this has lessened my anxiety I was shocked to hear my son parroting information he had obviously got off the news, “people trapped under rubble mummy, mummy what’s rubble?” I had had the telly on in the background watching the latest disaster this week and didn’t think much about it until he said this. Having to think on my feet I explained as simply as I could that there was an earthquake which made the ground move and because it shook quite hard then some buildings fell down where people were working. The inevitable question was “why?”

Now I should have known better after his reaction to the floods in Queensland, especially as his father was preparing to go there for work this week when he got quite anxious and told me “daddy can’t go, it’s flooded”.

We’d love to know how other parents have explained these natural disasters to their children and how much detail you have gone into with them without giving them a fear of the world that young children should never have.

Either comment here or email us at info@bubsabouttown.com.au  and let us know, all comments will be published (can be done so anonymously if requested).

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sue Dengate Seminar

Last Wednesday night I was lucky enough to secure a ticket to go along to Sue Dengate’s seminar ‘Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour’ organised by the Hunter Alliance for Childhood. It was a fantastic turn out with the auditorium at Club Macquarie bursting with parents, grandparents, early childhood educators and teachers. The first thing to grab my attention was the two tables set up with a variety of food packaging, clearly showing real natural foods and those that claim to be ‘natural’ and yet contain hidden preservatives and additives such as 160b (a ‘natural colourant that is highly reactive to intolerant children) and MSG and I was shocked at the types of foods containing these additives and preservatives while still claiming to be ‘natural’ a trap I now realise I have often fallen into time and time again.

It was the most fascinating two hours I have spent in a long time not to mention completely overwhelming having so many of our beliefs about good food turned around. White sugar not being the problem, the myth of fruit, the ‘natural’ colourant, broccoli, the fact that we routinely have an average of 20 additives in our food everyday, even if eating at home there will be an average of 19 additives per day in our food.

We were supplied with a fantastic brochure regarding behaviour, health and learning problems in children that can be caused by common foods. It breaks down three types of children, the quiet ones, the restless ones and the defiant ones, how health problems such as hives, eczema, headaches, diarrhoea, glue ear, asthma, tonsillitis and so many more can be traced back to food intolerances.

I finally had the difference between allergy and intolerance explained, an allergy being a medical event which usually occurs within 30 minutes of ingesting food and an intolerance which can occur hours, days or build up slowly in the system until a trigger will set it off such as a virus.

At the end of the two hours we were all left asking “so what can we eat?” It was that shocking but I consoled myself with the fact that our son’s behaviour was pretty consistent with other two and a half year olds and although we had drawn some parallels between sugar and his behaviour I wasn’t so concerned that we would have to start him on the elimination diet, but I can see how this would be very beneficial to parents with children with severe behaviour problems, constant irritability and or health problems. After discussing the shocking events of the seminar with hubby we decided that maybe sugar wasn’t our son’s trigger so we have been keeping a food diary since then with a note of his mood ups and downs and so far we are seeing some surprising patterns that will definitely influence our future grocery shopping.

If you haven’t yet read Fed Up or watched the DVD then you are missing out on vital information for your family. For a chance to win a Fed up pack including the original book Fed Up the Failsafe Cookbook full of natural and easy recipes for your family and the Fed Up DVD then check out our competition page for entry details.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Toys and Tantrums

Bubs partner Sara shares her Toddler Tantrum moments....

Saturday is usually  'daddy day' with my husband and young son, they head off to GymbaROO, the toy library, the fruit shop and then home for a big sleep (usually both of them). I love my Saturday mornings, I get the housework done and usually manage to meet a friend for a hot choccy and shopping as well, it works out perfectly.

This week however, with GymbaROO on holiday and my husband taking the day off yesterday to look after our son while I attended a course I opted to have a 'mummy day' so daddy could get some work done. 

Our day was planned, off to the toy library where I hadn't been for nearly a year and then off to meet friends at Caves Beach Hotel, it was a mummy and children only day for most of my mothers' group so we thought we would treat ourselves and go somewhere special for the morning.

I was so excited and thought my darling son would be the same, trying to time it right I managed to get to the library only three minutes before opening time which still wasn't fast enough for someone....so first tantrum of the day outside the toy library at Lambton....bad enough but recoverable once the doors opened and we got inside....then we managed to get into the library and he was very sure of what he wanted, a giant red ride-on motorbike....not a problem but I wanted to make sure he knew what he was missing out on, the parade of 'oooohhh look at this car ramp and wow did you see this boat' was met with blank stares and lots of brrrmmmmm brrrrrmmmm noises.  Ok so a motorbike it was. 

Toy chosen and time to head off...or so I thought..... with a giant motorbike under one arm and a handbag full of books in the other I literally had to wrestle my delightful two year old off the library computer, practically bribe him to get him out the door and then manhandle him and the bike to the car, with a crying toddler in the backseat and a sniffling mum in the front, 'mummy day' wasn't looking so fun after all.

After getting to the hotel things had calmed down but I still had a very temperamental toddler on my hands, luckily after a while with his little friends he had calmed down and the day was saved!  The afternoon has not been so successful, a fall off his new motorbike resulting in a big bruise and lots more tantrums later we are now 'negotiating' shower time, so I'm hiding out writing this as mummy needs some time out and leaving daddy to cope for a few minutes while I vent.

It usually helps to get it all out so I'm hoping to feel more refreshed when I come off the computer and ready to deal with the rest of the nightly routine.....or perhaps we'll pop our darling son in bed a little early and some chocolate will help.....either way, tomorrow has to be a better day....doesn't it?

Back to Bubs About Town

Friday, June 25, 2010

Angie's Birth Nerves

Bubs Partner Angie shares her nerves in relation to the upcoming birth of her second baby.

Well this is my second pregnancy and a totally different experience to my first, these final overdue weeks seem to be the longest days to wait so far. I eagerly await each day to see if by evening some signs may arrive for an impending birth. I’m not really sure why I expect things to happen of an evening or by night but anyway, those anxieties along with excitement happen daily, depending on how many times people have been in contact with me and asked the question yet again….”just calling to see if anything has happened yet?"
At 38weeks I tried to turn those nerves into positive mental thinking and the thoughts of a more natural approach to birthing, if nothing else other than to gain control over my fear of what all mums know to be a painful but positive experience of pain. Having been recommended by a friend to read the books, HypnoBirth and New Active Birth, I found myself immersed and as a result my frame of mind has suddenly become more relaxed from previous weeks gone by. I thought that if this only helps me during the early stages of labour then at least it will have helped me to relax, in turn allowing my natural endorphins to activate knowing now that labour progresses in a more controlled and efficient way when you allow your body to deal with this natural process, holding onto fear, pain and anxiety only inhibits these endorphins and produces adrenaline to slow everything down…ask me if this is all true after the birth and I can give an honest answer!

So for now, having attended my Obstetrician appointment today to discuss induction and sweeping of the membranes, I’ve been told that I’m already 2-3cms dilated with a fairly thin cervix so I need not worry if I wish to wait longer as things seem to be progressing along well naturally.

For now…. when my 2 year old is tucked up snugly in bed, I shall continue sitting on my exercise ball rocking my hips every night, just hoping that is all it takes soon….eeekkks!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Picture this, 3 pregnant women, one 34 weeks, one 18 weeks and one with twins at about 15 weeks. Its 7am on a Sunday morning and what are we doing? Travelling down the freeway to Sydney to indulge in the one thing we would give up our much needed sleep-in for....SHOPPING!
We have seen advertisements and heard people talking about Matildas Markets, the unique children's markets in Lane Cove often,  so after checking out the great website, we thought it was worth the drive down to check it all out.
So after our mid way caffeine fix, (half strength of course) we arrived at Lane Cove armed with comfortable shoes, money and a whole lot of expectation, we entered the hall where the markets were being held!
Now we will be completely honest we were a little (and I do mean little) disappointed. There was lots of beautiful, handmade and unique things to buy at these markets, however many of the stalls seemed to be selling very similar items and mostly they were for little girls. Which is fine if you have a gorgeous girl, but if you don't and have beautiful little boy, there was about 2 or 3 stalls in which you could really look at.
With this in mind, we do have to say that the products available were amazing and of really good quality.
We all purchased little cooking sets for our kids (in boys & girls), some little accessories and great cashmere blankets at a bargain price. We spent probably about and hour and a half there looking through the stalls, by the time we were done, people were streaming in and the hall was getting very full. So with a few purchases made, a little less money and some expectations not exactly met..we headed back to the car, but not before purchasing 6 amazing cupcakes for $10 on the way out.

So with some time on our hands we then headed to Chatswood Chase for some lunch and great shopping. Spent about an hour in the T2 store choosing teas and then sometime browsing through the great stores they have there, if you haven't been there lately and LOVE your shopping it's a must visit.

Overall we did have  a great day, if your down in Sydney for the weekend and the markets are on, (check the website for dates) definitely head over and check them out, otherwise we would probably recommend looking at the stalls online and purchasing there.