These days I find Christmas pretty overwhelming and each year I dream about taking the boys away to a secluded cabin on a lake somewhere and avoiding it altogether. In my dreams we fish for flatties during the day and play cards at night, we have long sleep-ins and read books out on the deck in the morning sun, me sipping hot coffee while the boys feed bread to the local birds…
Failing that dream ever coming true, I’ve been trying to work out ways to help the boys to focus on the important things and enjoy the magic and meaning of Christmas, and have worked out a few things along the way:
1/ Involve the kids in the act of writing cards, and have a conversation about the person and what kind and meaningful words you can write together. Continue reading “Christmas”
Nothing feels more freeing than travelling light, which is particularly true when you’re navigating airports with little people.
For me, packing twice and laying everything out on the bed in full view helps to eliminate the double ups and identify what would likely come home still folded and unworn.
I also start with packing my favourites, thinking through the various occasions as I fold – beach/pool, dinner, short walks, slow mornings..
Over the years of packing carry-on with little ones in tow, here’s what I’ve learnt:
Continue reading “Family travel”
A few years ago, back when I was single, I rented a house in Richmond with a girlfriend and convinced her that if we put a door on the formal lounge room we could get a 3rd housemate in to reduce our rent.
As fate would have it a gorgeous vivacious girl named Meredith came to rent that room.
Back then I wasn’t that eco-aware, beyond doing my bit to recycle and turn the lights off, but Mez always had the big Sukin bottles in the shower, and was always a little bit earthy.
Fast forward a decade and it was Mez who I turned to when trying to navigate the possibility of cloth nappies. Here’s the advice that she gave me after years of trial and error:
Continue reading “A simple guide to reusable nappies”
It’s funny how you can know someone for years and never really connect, yet with others you meet once and become friends for life from that moment on.
My friend Gemma is one of those ones that I got chatting to one night at a party in my mid 20s and before long we were spending every weekend together; gossiping around The Tan on a Saturday morning, heading out together later that night and meeting up again for a roast of a Sunday afternoon.
I had always admired Gemma from afar; she was one of those girls who seemed to have it all figured out. She was beautifully spoken – a trait she gained from her mother and later honed as a journalist, and always seemed to be so well put together wearing ‘outfits’ rather than just clothes.
Anyway, Gem recently confined in me that she and her hubby were expecting later in the year, and asked about what baby gear she would need, which got me thinking about the true essentials.
You can actually get away with one tenth of the baby kit that so many of the parenting websites would have you believe you need. Here’s a quick list that I put together for Gem. Every baby is different, so if you find that you need extra kit beyond this list, you can always buy it once the bub arrives. Continue reading “A simple guide to baby gear”
Pregnancy is a funny thing. All of a sudden strangers will stop you in the street to talk to you about your pending arrival, particularly women who love to talk about their experiences and pass on often unrequited advice. I would always take it with a grain of salt, as often the advice is more about their own self soothing than about your situation, however one of the best tips I was given when I was pregnant with Ol was to watch the Oprah Baby Language clip on Youtube.
After a while I started to hear the different cries and was able to work him out and get him what he need and it soon became second nature, to the point where I could hear other people’s babies ‘talking’ in the streets. Babies really are clever things and assuming your baby doesn’t have reflux or other difficulties, you can generally keep them pretty content just by observing them closely and listening to what they’re trying to tell you. Continue reading “A few simple baby tips”
Over the years I’ve picked up a few tips from seasoned girlfriends and worked out a few more along the way, so I thought it would be helpful to share them with any mums (or dads) looking for a bit of help here and there.. I know I’m always keen to hear from other mums about tips for tricky situations, which is often a lot faster and more effective than reading a thousand parenting books.
Continue reading “Slow parenting for toddlers”