Wednesday, 14 October 2015

My favourite Swaddling products

Swaddling is really important in the early days because it gives bubs a sense of security and helps with sleep and settling. They have a reflex called the Moro or startle reflex which makes their arms flap around when startled and even when they are just sleeping. This inadvertently wakes them up.  I used to just wrap Little HSH tightly, his hands down and by his side with the average muslin or jersey wrap but found that he became a bit of a Houdini as he approached 4 weeks old. He was always able to squirm his way out of his nicely done wrap. 

Thereafter I became a baby marketers dream, purchasing multiple products that promise to help your baby sleep. Maybe all mums are like that. When you are desperate for sleep and you've become a prisoner of your own house, the internet is your escape. At least it was mine. 

I tried a few products, all with very good reviews that I found worked. 

Aden and Anais

To start off with, we had Aden and Anais's bamboo wraps. I chose bamboo because it was so much softer then traditional muslin. Aden and Anais have really nice prints and I bought a pack with prints that are uni sex rather then traditional boy colors. These wraps are really big and can be used as a shield over the pram, to cover up when breastfeeding, wrapping bubs etc. We used it for a while when bubs was a few weeks old but found the fabric was too stretchy and got loose quite easily. From 3 months onwards, I started using Aden and Anais to do the "Angel wrap" which involves wrapping his arms up towards his face. This is a good wrapping technique to use as its easier to transition them to being fully unwrapped. For example, you can start loosening the wrap around their arms, or only wrap one arm etc. 

Miracle Blanket 

A few weeks after he was born, Little HSH started escaping his wraps, the ones we painstakingly folded to perfection. Mr HSH was particularly good at this. I googled and found the Miracle Blanket. It promised to help your baby sleep longer, pediatrician approved and apparently inescapable. Well, did it help our bubs sleep longer? Debatable, sometimes he did, and sometimes he didn't. But it proved to be fairly easy to use and it was in deed inescapable. We used the miracle blanket for several weeks until Little HSH became frustrated with his hands by his side. I will be keeping this product in our drawers for our next bubs. 

Love to dream-swaddle up. 

This is my favorite swaddle of all times. Very popular on the market and well worth the money. Online stores like the Sleep Store and Wriggle Pot will often have sales on, especially if you purchase two. The theory behind Love to dream is that babies actually use their hands to suck on or rub their face as means of self soothing. I found the swaddle to be very well made with comfy material that washes well and a sturdy zip. Anyway, Mr HSH and I both love this swaddle and I think bubs slept well in it too. I started using Love to dream from when he was around 6-8 weeks when he benefited more from learning self sooth rather then always having his hands down. We purchased 2 in size small and 2 in size medium. We don't use them anymore even though size medium goes up to 8kgs. Instead with now use the Aden and Anais to angel wrap (same principle of wrapping hands upwards towards face) Little HSH so that we can transition him to being fully unwrapped as he is learning to roll. I will definitely be keeping this product for our next bubs. A must have!

Sleepy Wings

Sleepy wings is an Australian product designed for use to help transition babies into sleeping bags by swaddling their arms up (or down if you choose to). I used them successfully with Little HSH and he is now in his sleeping bag without using sleepy wings on most nights. This product is also good for babies with eczema to prevent them from scratching themselves. Another handy product. 

Friday, 18 September 2015

A letter to myself 4 months post partum

The first few weeks after having my son was filled with awe, love, tears and exhaustion. I remember spending my day either feeding, or trying desperately to get him to sleep. The times in between would be spent in the dark, his bassinet in one corner of the room while I huddled in another corner, passing time on my lap top.

I wrote these words during those first weeks post partum:

"It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.
No one. Not your mother, friends, colleagues or even, in my case, my livelihood could have prepared me for life’s biggest lesson.
In the early days, whilst navigating the aftermath, both emotional and physical of having an emergency caesarean, I felt myself frequently overwhelmed by the 24 hour 7 days a week nature of parenting. There were no days off, and in my mind, no help or assistance from well meaning friends and relatives that could trump the attention and care I gave my child. Consequently, there was also no escaping the monotony of feeding, nappy changing and putting a reluctant baby to sleep.
There was also an anxiety to ensure the survival of this precious little bundle.  Was he breathing? Were the blankets too high or not tucked in enough? Why was he bringing up milk? Is this colour of poo normal? How many hours was he sleeping a day and was this number enough for his development?

Being a parent changes you forever."

I never finished what I was writing but it was raw and real. Now as my son approached the 4th month of his life, I am able to reflect a bit more clearly on how I have grown as a person and as a mother.
I love Mr HSH more. Before we had our son, we were very close as a couple, rarely fighting, always intimate and shared everything with each other. My husband was my lover as well as my best friend. Its a bit cliche, but when our son (let's call him little HSH) was born, I grew to love him even more. I love the way he bonded with little HSH and he became a very hands on dad, albeit he did not cope well with sleep deprivation.

Having children will tested my patience beyond its limit. Whereas in the early days, I would become endlessly frustrated and desperate when little HSH wouldn't sleep or resettle (he's a cat napper), experience have taught me to just go with the flow. I still obsess about sleep and I always attempt to resettle him, but if he doesn't respond, then I would get him up and try again later. This is especially the case when there is a wonder week or he is learning something new.

Children change. Every day is different. I am still amazed every time I see our son master a new skill. I try to put this into perspective when I get frustrated at him for being cranky or demanding. One day he likes his dummy, and the next day he doesn't. One day he was sleeping 2 hour naps, and the next day napping went out the window. They're resilient though and somehow we all manage.

I learnt that I can be strong and adaptable but also emotional and vulnerable. Being a parent calls for sacrifice but it was also a great lesson in life. It helped me see Mr HSH in a new light as we fumbled our way around the joys and challenges of parenting. I grew closer to my family as my parents became grandparents, and my brothers became uncles. Every one matured and took on new roles and I found myself cherishing my family more than ever before. 

What advice can I give myself after this 4 month stint as a mother. Adapt, be flexible, survive and be strong, most of all, cherish the many moments, whether good or bad as a parent. Being a parent lasts a lifetime! 

Monday, 13 May 2013

My country Australian Outdoor Wedding

I realize I haven't posted on this blog for a while. It is not easy having to maintain a passion for writing to an unknown audience, especially if you have to juggle that with all the other ramblings of life compounded with a serious case of CBF (can't be f%$ked)

In any case, I felt that it would be good to post about our wedding as it remained a big part of the blog for a while.

On a sunny day in February this year, I was lucky enough to marry the love of my life. Many people would say that your first love is seldom your final love. I can probably attest to that. Mr HSH was my 4th and final boyfriend. I was his 2nd and last. We were not each other's first loves, neither was it love at first sight. In fact, we took a while to expedite our relationship  but slow and steady wins the race this time. I can't think of spending the rest of my life with anyone other than him. We grow and feel nurtured in each other's presence.

We had an amazing day. During the day, it was hard to absorb the enormality of it all and it felt quite overwhelming. It was wonderful and magical. Both of us being introverts, felt playing the ultimate social game quite the challenge. Now, 12 weeks down the track, when we sit back and reflect upon it-we can smile and laugh  about a beautiful day we can reminisce about in years to come. Will we do it again? I hope not!

Photos courtesy of Ben Adams from Newcastle.

The much talked about Kate spade shoes. Unfortunately I realized a week from the wedding that they won't be appropriate. The scratchy nature (from the glitter) of the shoes kept scratching against the fabric of the dress. I also felt like the fabric was being caught against the shoes every time i walked, plus it made a scratchy noise. I took some photos with those shoes but ultimately just wore another pair of heels I had at home.
The Qipao I got from It wasn't so bad after all. I didn't have time to wear the Carla Zampatti dress I so wanted to wear for the reception due to time constraints. I wore the Qipao for the tea ceremony we had at our house before the ceremony. 
We had a slight mishap. The dress didn't fit me on the day! It was a hot day so I swelled up but unfortunately we couldn't clip up the top two buttons! It was quite funny to begin with....not so much after 45 mins of trying to get the dress on. 
I love this photo of my mum. We are still struggling to put the dress on...
A pic of Mr HSH and I.
I love my dress...

Wild flower style table settling-courtesy of Wunderplant. Table number was handpainted by Momental designs.
Everyone had organic raw honey as their bonbonierres. I bought, sterilized and bottled all the honey, including adding on the decorations.  
Cake courtesy of the cake company. Best wedding cake I have tasted-and that is being objective.
Reception set outside the lawn of Emu Bottom Homestead in Sunbury. 


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Grampians engagement photos

We had an epic day with our photographer at the Grampians. I was super excited to get the photos early this week. We have lots of favourites. Below are just a few of the shots. Sorry, I couldn't post the close ups as Mr HSH didn't want our faces on the internet if possible.

Monday, 10 December 2012

My 2 cents on the 2 day FM prank call tragedy

Reflecting on the 2Day FM scandal and the death of a UK nurse over their prank call, I've come to realise the real terror of it all, the wrath of an global condemnation.

If you haven't heard. 2 radio hosts from 2 Day FM obtained the phone number to the hospital where Kate Middleton was being treated for hyperemesis (acute morning sickness, leading to dehydration), they first spoke to nurse Jacinta (who later committed suicide) and then through to another nurse who probably, inappropriately gave some information over the phone re: Kate's condition. It was nothing incriminating-It was something along the lines of, she's feeling better, sleeping on and off, being rehydrated with fluids and no longer retching. BIG DEA (insert sarcasm). As someone who looks after pregnant woman and see lots with morning sickness, this is just so standard practice. What I thought was a inappropriate was the provision of patient information over the phone, and yes, I do agree the hospital should review the protocol regarding giving information over the phone to relatives, even if it was the Queen of England. Where I work, I would never give any details over the phone. They can either speak to the patient or their partner etc. However, I can't really blame this nurse too much. You'd be pretty flustered too if you thought you were speaking to the Queen. What is unbelievable is that the radio hosts were able to pull this prank off. They sounded so fake and as far from the queen as you could possibly get.

So everyone has a good laugh about it. bla bla bla.

Then a few days ago, the nurse Jacinta who transferred the call to the nurse who gave confidential information over the phone was found dead! Sad, tragic outcome to an inappropriate, but seemingly harmless prank.

My initial reaction was to think who would kill themself over something like this? Sure, they say the Brits take their royalty seriously, but apparently there has been no significant, if any repercussion from the hospitals towards the nurses. Sure, you may get told off as you would for giving info over the phone. Yes, it was probably a bit of a media circus and we can only blame the paparazzi for it, but to kill yourself and leave your family behind? Especially all she did was transfer the call through to the nurse looking after her. I feel that there is probably other stuff going on in her life. The prank call, inappropriate as it was, may have been the final straw, but the average person would not have comitted suicide over it. However, I wasn't in her shoes and I feel for her family and friends and colleagues. May she rest in peace.

I do want to speak for the 2 radio host who was caught up in this whole shit storm. How many of us have listened to a gotcha call and laughed, cringed and then moved on. Understandably, with the announcement of Kate's pregnancy, everyone wants to get a piece of the goss. What TV show or radio show is not about getting viewership. It is basically all down to profit. I think the prank was poor form. It's just not cool to ring someone in hospital who is unwell. However, I truly believe that no malice, or sinister undercurrent existed. It was just one of a thousand prank calls, albeit this one had a tragic and unforeseeable outcome.

Ultimately, the 2 radio hosts have become the scapegoat of it all. However, let's not forget that behind them is a whole team of people who would have designed, approved and allowed the broadcast to go to air. They are equally responsible but those 2 radio hosts will forever be associated with this as they are the faces the public sees. So I see it as a inappropriate prank gone very wrong. Certainly, the actions of the radio station contributed, however I find it exceedingly unfair that the blame are directed at these 2 radio hosts alone. Perhaps we should review the procedures and protocols regarding prank calls and the provision of private information over the telephone. It is a valuable lesson learnt in a very hard way for all involved. I think those two hosts as well as all those involved in allowing the phone call to go to air will live with this solemnly for the rest of their lives. That alone, is punishment enough. Let's give them a break and not drive them to their own breakdown. Although its easy to demonise 2 people, it's a lot harder to condemn a whole nation.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Birthday, engagement photoshoot and other ramblings

Much have happened since I last blogged.

Probably the coolest thing we did during th month of November was to fly our photographer Ben down from Newcastle, drive 3 hours west to the Grampians and spent 4-5 hours taking our engagement photos. We opted for this slightly elaborate engagement shoot mainly because the Grampians hold a dear place in the heart of Mr HSH and I. Plus, it has great scenery and who wouldn't want to hike up a mountain in thongs and a silk dress from Saba! Anyway, we had a marvellous time. Exhausted but marvellous! Mr HSH and I got up at 0630 in the morning. Mr HSH kindly made me my favourite homemade breakfast Eggs Benedict as the day we went to the Grampians was also coincidentally my birthday! I had my make up and hair done by Stephanie from Sassy brides and off we went! Ben was a delight and we were ever so grateful that he was willing to get dirty and go hiking and climbing with us. I got a sneak peak of the pictures on his camera and they look great! We took pictures at the grand canyon (part of the pinnacle walk), hollow mountain, some random fields and against the backdrop of the Taipan wall at Mount Stapleton. We got back home at 1am and promptly dropped off to sleep right then and there! Below is one of the pictures from the day. It was taken on top of Hollow mountain.

The Sunday before my official birthday, Mr HSH surprised me with dinner at Woodman's estate. Woodman's is a old country hotel in the Morning peninsula. Despite Mr HSH's good intentions, Woodman's provided food that was nice enough but it's decade of decadence have long passed and it seems the food, staff and decor are all but outdated. Nonetheless, I had a great time, simply because of Mr HSH's presence.

We bought our first DSLR about a week ago. It's the Nikon D7000! We are having a blast with it. Our old Sony and the bad pictures it took was just getting to us. Mr HSH is now quite the amateur pro with the camera, learning to adjust the ISO and aperture etc. Me, I'm just using the auto function.
Oh....and we've found a block of land in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne! It's huge-more than 1000sqm! The auction is coming up! I can't wait! We're trying not to get too emotionally invested in it but it's hard not to. It's in a great area, prestine environment, local schools and small shopping centres, but not great with public transport. Anyway...will keep you updated! 

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Hair and make up trial

I had my hair and make up trial today. It was both fab and hard work at the same time. Not that I actually did any of the work, but sitting in a chair and having someone draw on your face and pull at your hair for 3 hours can be a tad tiring. I initially went in wanting to look like I've got a decent amount of make up on (want to look "made up" but not "too" made up if you know what i mean), but at the same time not so heavy that Mr HSH might be "scared" off. I had false lashes on from Mac. They weren't too uncomfortable but I always find they obscure my vision a little bit... Anyway, below are the result. I've broken my rule and posted a pic of my face, but hard to blog about results of a make up trial without seeing the face....

When Mr HSH saw the make up, he was surprisingly not scared off by how much make up I had on. He even said I could have more on if I wanted. I think we're just about right with the make up personally.

In regards to the hair-I generally really like it. It's a side bun. I really like the back of my hair and how it looks on the side of the bun, but the other side (where the hair comb is) probably needs a bit more twigging. Plus, I think I want my hair to be a bit higher up the top. Overall though, very happy with the results. I had an option of getting the make up artist to go to the reception to touch up my make up for an additional cost, but decided against it in the end. I was tempted to be beautified again but cost aside, it just wouldn't work logistically as there is only 90 mins between end of ceremony and reception and that times taken up by photos. I tried touching up myself at home tonight and it turned out pretty good so i'll just go with that.

All the hair pins and hair bun left over from trial today.

To finish off, just thought I'd post a picture of some beautiful peonies I bought from Helen Dillion florals yesterday. Yay it's peony season!