First fresh day of 2015 and we hit the sand. Happy baby, Happy days.
Shopaholics alert. Do not enter the Myer Giftorium. Do not pass Pitt St Mall, do not go through those glass doors, do not take that lift. If you dare enter, you will be faced with a blissful haven of amazing products and services your brain and credit card cannot refuse.
Nell and I entered this glorious space yesterday. And had a shopping ball! If you’re struggling for those last minute Xmas presents THIS IS the place to be.
My top picks are below.
Dadda/Hubbie: R&A – super cool quality leather and grooming products (also currently 25% off.) Bonus – you can get the giftee’s initials or name embossed for free. Winning! 1) Cocktail Flask & Bag Pack – $49.95 2) iPad Case – $99.95 3) Sunglasses Case – $69.95.Bubba/Niece/Nephew/Anyone Really: Back in the 80’s when I was growing up Mr Men/Little Miss were the books to read. They are back in a very cool way – personalised! Who doesn’t want to be names after a little colourful character? I grabbed a personalised print for Nell. Who else but Miss Chatterbox! Prices start from $39.99 (Available Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane).
Mumma/Sister/BFF: No woman can ever have enough perfume. There has to be multiple perfumes on daily rotation. Two major purchasing factors – the scent (duh) and the equally beautiful bottle. 1) Balenciaga Rosabotanica EDP – starts at $125 2) Chloe Signature EDP – $130 3) Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb EDP – $205
Today I left Nell with a stranger…for 45 mins. For the very first time.
I decided to get my arse in gear and join the local gym. It’s spanking brand new and has a equally spanking brand new creche. To date I have not left Nell with anyone other than a friend she knows or a family member so this is a BIG deal.
My girlfriend takes her two kids there so made sure we went at the same time so she would recognise her little mates and feel comfortable. I packed the usual over anxious child bag – 3 change of clothes, 4 nappies and about 32 snacks….
The girls were so lovely and welcoming and all the kids were running around happy as Larry. Nell seemed oblivious to the fact that Mumma was about to burst in to tears. Really had to get my act together – it was only a 45 minute circuit class – she will survive but Mumma may not survive the workout!
So I did it. I focused on my panting breath and aching legs and pushed through the workout. I eagerly burst through the doors to expect Nell to come rushing at me….but no she was cuddling one of the carers and calm. They said she was TOTALLY fine, cruised the room, played on her own, was mesmerised by the toilet (like she is at home – good sign for training down the track right?) and only grizzled near the end (due for a snooze).
So it’s done. I’ve cracked the initial separation anxiety for me and entered the world of my child in someone else’s care. Okay so it’s not a full day (that’s to come next year – already having mares about that) but it’s a start. And also a start of my tummy and bum getting a bit smaller. Yeah. Right.
‘I’m okay Mumma – work that booty’
So this is not going to be a post about an amazing dish I’ve created and slaved over an oven for hours. This is as basic as balls. Apricot, coconut balls in fact. I’m a rubbish, crap cook but I try. If I find a simple recipe, with simple ingredients I’ll give it a whirl.
I’ve stolen this recipe from First Bites (Natalie presented easy food for kids at my local library). I’m on the look out for health dry snacks for Nell that aren’t rubbish packet stuff from the supermarkets. Think I’m on to a winner as she devoured it and asked (okay pointed) for more.
20 dried apricots
200g Almond meal
2 tbsps coconut oil
5 tbsps coconut water (I used normal water as didn’t have any in the fridge)
¼ cup desiccated coconut
Tbsp. Vanilla Essence (I used extract)
Put dry ingredients together in the food processor and blitz until coconut is fine. Add apricots and pulse or process in 10 second bursts for 60 seconds.
Take blade out of processor and add oil, vanilla and 2 tbsps of coconut water, adding more if you need. Mix with a spoon or hands until you are happy with the texture. The reason you don’t mix wet ingredients with blade is because it will cause the crumbly mixture to become overly tacky, not entirely pleasant. If you prefer it a bit more moist, add coconut water 1tbsp at a time until satisfied.
When you are ready to roll, take tsp size amount and roll into tiny balls for baby, because if yours shoves the whole thing in its mouth you want them to be able to breathe around the bite. Roll bigger sizes for older kids and adults. Once mixture is in a ball shape then roll in coconut and place into container. Continue until all mixture is used then store in the fridge for up to 7 days or 3months in the freezer.
So your gorgeous friend/rely has just put in a mammoth effort and popped out a new bubba. She is super new to the world of parenting (as is Dadda) and it’s a massive shock to the system – sleepless nights (actually no sleep FULL STOP), recovering from the physical aspect of birth (ouch) and an overwhelming sense of ‘whoa’.
Having been through this process a year ago with Nell, I thought I would pull together the Top 5 Best Ever Gifts for a New Mumma. These are not the standard ‘baby’ gifts (clothes, toys etc) – these are the things she NEEDS to help her through this tough stage and are so so so helpful and greatly received with open arms.
1. Food: This means cooked dinners. A good friend dropped off a range of home cooked meals that lasted us a couple of nights. It was a godsend as the lack of sleep had made us incapable of cooking a decent meal. If you don’t want to cook yourself you can organise delivery through these nifty services (feel free to share any in your local area):
http://wholesomeness.com.au (Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast)
Or if hubby has the energy to muster something together food box/recipe services like http://www.hellofresh.com.au/food-boxes/ are the way to go.
2. Chocolate/Lollies/Her favourite treat: This is needed in copious amounts. I’m not talking one or two bars, I’m talking cartons of the good stuff – Costo levels. My vice was fridge cold plain Cadbury family blocks. I would go through one a day in the early stages of breastfeeding – it was the only thing that made me feel satisfied (and about a litre of iced cold milk to wash it down!).
3. Magazines/Music: Whatever types she likes to read or listen to. It will give her the ability to switch off and wind down for the all important sleep! My preferred reading material was trashy celebrity magazines…I know shameful confession.
4. In home Service: Massage, Manicure/Pedicure, Hair Blow Dry: If she’s the pampering type or even if she’s not – a relaxing in home treatment will make a world of difference to her state of mind. There’s tons of mobile services in local areas that will bring back some normality and make her feel slightly human again. Some suggestions below or those handy local area FB groups will have great recommendations.
5. Time Out: This is time for her to have a shower, a short nap, walk around the block – something just for her. If you can hold (if allowed – mummas are fiercely protective) the bubba or take it for a stroll in the pram so she can have 15 minutes to herself to revive and refresh. Nothing better!
Today was treat day for Mumma. When ever I want to treat myself it’s all about pampering. Back in the day (I’m talking 20’s) I would get a facial every month to fix my hormonal skin – which actually wasn’t that bad in hindsight – but of course at the time it was most hideous thing ever! So today was about relaxing and fixing the newly acquired wrinkles (from Nell’s lovely sleep patterns).
For those Sydney peeps I’ve found a glorious lady called Nicole at Drift Facials (based in North Bondi) to tend to my face. She makes all her own product using natural ingredients and best of all you relax in her beautiful home – so quiet and serene! A divine facial that includes a long, long, long head massage (way longer than your average hairdressing basin job and one of my top five things EVER), followed by an equally long facial massage to plump up those sagging areas.
The best bit of the entire experience – waking myself up from my snoring. This is not the first time and it sure won’t be the last.
Zzzzz to my smooth skin.