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 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.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The wonder of friends....

I couldn't help but think as I was looking around at all our wonderful friends at a picnic the other week how lucky we are to have such a fantastic mothers group.

We all met at our local Child and Family Health Clinic in Charlestown where Wendy and Michelle would lead the Joey's groups for mums and babies from newborn to 3 months.  These weekly sessions were a great place to learn and support each other but what none of us realised is how it was going to shape the next few years (and I'm sure into the future) of our lives.

We started with a group of nine mums and babies all within 6 weeks of the same age, for the first few months we would meet as often as possible, sometimes daily for chats and walks from Merewether Beach up to Strzelecki lookout and then exercises in the park on the way back to Swells for hot chocolates and coffee's.  As our babies got older and we started returning back to work our catch-ups got less frequent but we still remained close getting out for dinner as often as possible.  We shared our babies first swimming lessons, first crawl and steps together and now we share potty training advice and how to cope with a toddler and a newborn on a daily basis.

Now over two years on we have lost one treasured friend, her husband and her little girl back to the UK and our group now stands at eight.  With four new babies and another 5 on the way (can you work the math out on that one?) we still try to get together weekly for dinner or a playdate at the park and it's wonderful to see the children playing together and when possible the partners getting together for a spot of cricket, poker and other manly pursuits.  

Although life gets in the way sometimes and we can't always see everyone frequently we keep in touch with emails and facebook and I'll be the first to admit that these wonderful women keep me sane and feeling completely supported, I always know I can call on someone for last minute advice, babysitting and coffee's on those days where I just need to get out of the house.

The best advice I can give to a new mum is to get yourself along to your local Child and Family Health Clinic so that you too can have the same fabulous support as your baby grows.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Happy Birthday To Us!

That's right, unbelievably it's been an entire year since we launched with our first site and so much has happened since.

We launched in February last year with our basic layout but were quickly looking to improve and expand and only 5 months later we re-launched with our fantastic new look site.  This site now includes many more fabulous pages containing information about our local area from dining out, to walks and wildlife, playgroups, live forum chats and current lifestyle articles. 

In amongst all the hard work of the last year we have watched our 'babies' grow into toddlers and are amidst the second birthday celebrations, we have many more exciting plans for Bubs in the year ahead as well as exciting new additions to our families and we look forward to sharing these with you as we go along.

Bubs wouldn't be as successful as we are today without all of the local support that we have received, we are so blessed to live in a community as supportive and involved as Newcastle, thanks to you all for all of the wonderful emails and comments, we couldn't do this without you!

Thanks again,

The Bubs About Town Team

Monday, February 15, 2010

Another rant..This time a BIG one!

After reading an article in the Sunday Telegraph yesterday about the changes to the medicare rebate on private obstetric fees, ( I decided to finally put my thoughts into a blog in the hope that it will subside my anger a little.( Apparently it's better to get your anger out in the open)
I must firstly say that i'm not generally a very political person, I don't pretend to know the inner workings of our government, but in this case I really have to ask and want to know WHAT IS OUR GOVERNEMENT THINKING? Not only will our public hospitals be overcrowded and the care jepordised as a result of these changes, but hardworking, tax payers are now being penalised for choosing to have specialised care during pregnancy and the birth of their precious children.
 I had my first child almost two years ago at Newcastle Private Hospital. We have always had private health insurance and when I became pregnant, chose to go through a well known local obsteatrician who provided us with excellent advice, care and support during my pregnancy & birth. At the time we paid a lump sum of around $2200 dollars for the doctor's fees and were pleased when we recieved around $1700 back from Medicare. This rebate made it possible for us to afford not only the care and some much needed baby furniture, but we had peace of mind about the care we would be recieving and the support that we would have during our stay at the private hospital. These things were very important to us.
Now pregnant with my second child, and due to some prior medical complications we have chosen to go with the same obsteatrician & hospital for our care. I was upset to find out that we would be recieving only $463 back out of our $2200 this time due to the medicare changes. Had we known about these changes prior to me falling pregnant again, i'm not sure what our choice would have been, however when did it become ok for the governement to essentially choose the way we have our babies and the specialised care we need by putting it financially out of reach for so many people? To be honest I don't think I would be so angry if some of the money was going back to the obsteatrcians, I really believe they earn their money and we are essentially trusting them with bringing our precious ones into the world, however the money is going straight to the Government!
Yes, it is my choice to choose private care, but I pay my taxes, pay into private health fund and work hard so why not! These new changes have put our maternity wards and birthing suites under more pressure than they already are, turning people away from hospitals in Sydney has already been reported and many women now have to worry about whether or not they will even be able to have their baby in a hospital due to the overload of patients. With the Government bringing in the paid maternity leave in 2011, there is an expected baby boom in Australia, how will our hospitals cope then when private care is now unaffordable to so many that would choose to have it?
There is so much more I would love to say about this subject and I may just have to follow up next week with my second instalment, (just to get it all out of my system), but I would love to hear your comments on this topic, whether you agree with me or not.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Just a quick rant....

Today I saw something that worried me and the more I think about it the more it disturbs me.  Walking into Target the other day I glanced to the side and saw a product that I have never seen before.  It is basically a baby prop up toy in the shape of a children's favourite television character. 

Now I have no problem with the character itself or the fact that this lovable furry man is on countless baby and toddler toys, I have a couple myself.  The thing that worries me is the whole concept of the 'propping up' of babies too young to sit up by themselves.  Aside from the fact that a minority of babies may need elevating due to medical conditions I feel worried that so many of these products are for sale in our local department stores as it gives the notion that sitting babies up before they are ready is ok, perfectly acceptable and common practice. 

I remember hearing many times at our local Child and Family Health Clinic not to sit babies up before they are able to do so themselves or 'walk' babies by their hands until they are ready to walk themselves.  At the time I didn't think too much about it as my little one was still quite young but knowing what I know now about baby development I am worried that too many parents these days are trying to rush babies through their milestones, especially sitting and walking.  Babies will sit and walk when their bodies are strong enough and co-ordinated enough to do so on their own and 'help' with reaching these milestones is unnecessary and stressful for both parents and babies.

So to complete my little rant today, I would just like to say, relax, enjoy every day and don't be in a hurry for your little babies to grow up, it happens too fast as it is. 

Whew I feel much better now that I have got that all out!  Any comments?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Toddlers and planes don't mix...

...I knew this and yet I still booked the tickets, made the plans and packed our bags.  Straight away I started thinking positively 'of course my usually boisterous, noisy and excitable toddler will become a calm, quiet and easily distracted young man the minute we step on the plane'.  These thoughts stayed with me right up until we stepped into the check in line and I had to see the 'oh oh' expressions on my fellow passengers faces when they saw my little man bouncing around the departure terminal.  Instantly I was defensive, glaring back as if I could silently communicate to them that parents and children have just as much right to travel as they do and this will be much more stressful for me than it will be for them.  I do this glare until my husband (my lovely husband who helps me with my bags and reassures me that everything will be fine and then gets to escape home for a week of peace and quiet....and a huge list of 'to do' while we are away) reminds me that we were once these 'oh oh' people quietly sighing when seeing an energetic toddler about to get on our plane.

So for better or worse we get on the plane armed with a portable DVD player a never before seen sticker book filled with dinosaurs, trucks and diggers and a pile of favourite DVD's and my toddler amazes me with his restraint and ability to stay awake hours after his bedtime.  Although the three hours seemed to drag on forever we finally arrived at our destination with little of the expected stress and a new confidence that we could turn around and do this all over again a week later.

After a lovely break catching up with family and friends we get back on another plane, sweetly smiling at all of our fellow passengers to reassure them that they would not be disturbed by my darling boy only to have him throw biscuit crumbs all over our very understanding neighbour, scream an hour before landing 'no more plane mummy' over and over again until falling into a deep sleep that he then had to be traumatically woken up from the minute we landed. 

On the upside we survived our trip and are happy to be home and even happier knowing there are no more trips booked for a while yet!