The most wonderful time of the year

Love it or hate it Christmas is coming, fast…….and I love it. I have wonderful memories of Christmas growing up and it’s even better now that I’m a parent. I see the magic and wonder in my children’s eyes and it just makes me feel so happy. Don’t get me wrong, I still threaten to call Santa multiple times a day and they are convinced that he is using elves and special cameras in smoke detectors to make sure they are being good.

This year I discovered Portable North Pole. PNP brings the magic of the North Pole Village to life! It’s a free app/website personalise a special festive video message from Santa just for your child and its really easy to use. Simply enter in your child’s name, age, the gift they are hoping for and favourite pics and you’re all set! Also a free feature ,is a cute “Fun for Groups” video that lets groups such as childcare and preschool groups enjoy Santa’s greeting together.

With a paid Magic Pass option you have access to all PNP’s features, there are activities for kids (including cute filters) and codes for top secret parent and Santa business. Plus you can even schedule a call from Santa and with the mobile only Reaction Recorder, the best part is you can record your babies as they watch their personalised videos and the reactions are priceless.

Here is an example of a video for Scarlett where Santa remembered it’s her birthday soon. She was so surprised to hear Santa saying her name and absolutely loved that he didn’t forget her birthday:

Here is a snippet of a reaction video:

The filters are lot’s of fun too

Check it out and make this Christmas super special. You can get 20% off your own Magic Pass by going to this link and creating your account.

Have a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends.

Rachelle xx

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Bone cysts – Apparently they’re common.

My son Hudson has broken his arm twice, same place, one year apart and both from minor falls. Plus, it’s his upper arm, which is unusual.

I get a lot of questions about his arm and how he broke it twice from such small falls. Well, it’s because he has a bone cyst. Then everyone asks what it is? How they are treated? and if I’m worried about it?……of course I’m worried, I’m a parent, we spend most of our time worrying and feeling guilty. Anyway, I thought I would try to explain as a lot of people haven’t heard of a bone cyst. I’m no doctor, this is just my experience.

When I was first told, I freaked out and spent the first week Googling and worrying. It’s basically a fluid filled hole that forms in the bone (normally upper arm or leg) and apparently they are common. A lot of people have them and they cause no harm. Plus, they normally go away once we finish growing. Sometimes they are picked up in an xray for something else.

Hudson’s cyst has grown big enough to weaken the bone, hence the breaks from minor falls.

In all of my reasearch on the internet, I read stories about bone cysts being treated with operations and steroids. For our case there is no treatment required, just simple monitoring to make sure his breaks heal. We have check ups at the Children’s hospital and Hudson has had to be careful with activities until his arm is all healed. The cyst is still there and will be until he finishes growing, but as he grows his bone will get bigger and stronger. I’m desperately hoping he doesn’t have any more breaks.

Of course, this is just our experience and there are all sorts of cysts. It’s always best to speak to a medical professional if you think something is wrong. Both times Hudson has broken his arm my heart is in my throat and I feel helpless. He is in pain for a little bit but children are very resilient and he manages the sling and not being able to run around crazy. He is a happy, healthy 5 year old and I am so grateful.

Have you had any experience with bone cysts? Feel free to share your story.

Ps… massive shout out to Melbourne Children’s hospital and the staff who are fantastic. My heart goes out to all the families who have to stay there a lot ❤.

Rachelle xx

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Dinner doesn’t have to be a marathon

Being a working mum I love a quick tasty dinner and it ‘s always a bonus if I can incorporate some veggies too.

I have always been a fan of Marathon foods and my kids love their puffy dogs. While they would love to eat them every day, I see them as a treat and would prefer they eat something more balanced.

I recently discovered that Marathon foods now make a range of easy heat and eat meals in their Chef Direct range. There are meatballs, lamb shanks and even a beef hot pot. My favourite is the Con Carne mild chilli beef and bean. They are all so versitile and really good for if you haven’t done any meal prep or forgot to defrost the meat for dinner.

Tonight I whipped up some tasty and healthy mexican bowls which everyone loved. I used the Marathon foods mild chilli beef and bean mix (straight from the pantry), added some capsicum, corn, garlic and tomatoes. Fried it up in the pan

Next I boiled some quinoa and brown rice, made a quick guacamole. At this point I realised I had no corn chips so I toasted some pita pockets under the grill with olive oil, a touch of cumin and garlic salt.

Then I popped everything in a bowl, added sour cream (with chopped coriander in it), grated cheese and some rocket.

Dinner was on the table within 15 minutes and tasted amazing! The most time consuming part was boiling the rice, but really you could use the pre boiled packet rice and cut even more time off your dinner prep.

If you haven’t already it’s worth checking out the Marathon chef direct range, perfect to have on hand for busy nights. They would also be great for a quick lunch or a gourmet camping meal.

Rachelle xx

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smarTfold – The go anywhere bike

Since becoming a mum I have had a few different push along trike/bike contraptions. Some have been good but they are very clunky to take in the car and I would never consider taking one on a plane. Others have been an absolute pain to put together or steer and pretty much end up breaking or on the hard rubbish within a few months.

Recently we received the smarTfold 7 in 1. It is amazing. Firstly, it comes pretty much ready to go straight out of the box, there is no need to bother with hours of allen keys and instructions.

Secondly, there are different stages specific from kids aged 9 months up to 3 or 4 years old. At all of these stages it’s possible for the parent to steer so your not battling your tiny rider for control or just pushing the bike along on the back wheels. If your little one can steer you simply push a button near the wheel and it swaps to child controlled steering. Scarlett got on and drove straight into the wall but she is getting the hang of it now (I am already dreading teaching my two to drive a car).

The best part as the smarTfold folds straight back down into it’s nifty little bag. Perfect to take on holiday’s or if you live in an apartment with limited storage. There are heaps of designs, its super comfy and has a seatbelt (you need this for little ones or if you have a runner). There is also a cup holder and storage bag so you can pack snacks, sunscreen, balls etc for a trip to the park.

Check out my one below. We love it.

Rachelle xx

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Just relax! 

I’ve read so many articles lately about women’s mental loads. There are always a lot of comments underneath saying ‘that’s life’, ‘your generation just wants it all’, ‘ suck it up’ etc etc. I have to say I agree with these articles 100% and don’t give one crap about the comments. 

My husband often says I have a short fuse (which yes, sometimes I may). However, I wonder if he knows that sometimes he is the reason, our family is the reason. My head is so full of everything for everyone else that sometimes the small stuff will really push my buttons. I’m not really angry about him being late home from work or the fact we run out of milk. I’m angry because I’m the one who has to remember everything.  

I work, keep track of everyone’s schedule, meal plan, cook, clean, worry about everything and organise just so our weeks run somewhat smooth. These are just normal weeks, if we’re going away or doing something extra. I’m the one doing most of the leg work. Packing bags, ironing, making lists, he pretty much just turns up on time and orders a cocktail….does he think we are organised by magic?? 

Don’t even get me started on birthdays and Christmas. His name goes on the card, he shares in all the thanks but he hasn’t thought of anyone’s birthday (other than mine) in about 10 years. He is surprised and happy when people open their gifts as it is a genuine suprise. He has no idea what we got them 😂

I get that some men are different but mine has mental load of his work and that’s about it.  While my head is exploding with finer details of our lives.  My husband would have no idea what food allergies our friends kids have, knows nothing about NAPLAN or what a kinder enrolment form looks like?? I’m literally writing this blog and cooking dinner while he plays the Playstation. He then tells me to ‘relax’ or ‘don’t stress’….ummmm mate I would be as chilled out as Snoop Dogg if if only had to worry about myself and my work? 
So….men next time you tell your partner she has a short fuse. Maybe think, share some of that load, show some interest, help a little. You will be thanked! 

Rachelle xx 

Protect your beds

As a mother of two little ones and wife to a husband who sweats profusely I know all too well about mattress protectors.  At first,  I wasn’t sure if it is a worthwhile investment, however they are really worth their weight in gold. We purchased a really good mattress a couple of years ago and I quickly realised that I didn’t want it to be stained or ruined because of my husbands sweating.  Since having children there is definitely a need for  mattress and pillow protectors. Both of my kids used to spit up a lot as babies, without a mattress protector our cot mattress would have been ruined.  As they have got older, the protector ontheir beds is handy for any ‘accidents’,  spills or times when they are unwell.

I have tried a few different mattress protectors. The super cheap plastic ones that you can hear crinkling around under the sheets (they also make you extra sweaty..YUK!). Cheap toweling protectors that are bad quality and only last a couple of washes and finally Protect-A Bed, these ones actually work.

Here’s a fun fact……. After 5 years, up to half the weight of an unprotected mattress, or a mattress with a poor quality protector, is made up of your own bodily fluids, skin cells, bacteria and mould?  Gross, not a great thought to help you get to sleep. Plus, if you a spending money on a quality mattress it is worth spending the money to protect it so it lasts.

Protect-A Bed have a huge range for all of your needs. There are mattress protectors in different styles and materials. Their Tencel® products are recognised by the Eczema Association Australasia, so they are perfect for anyone with sensitive skin.   A quality mattress protector can also help to alleviate the symptoms and triggers of Asthma.  You can also purchase pillow protectors and linen protectors. Linen protectors are wonderful for children that are learning to go nappy free at night. No need to change the entire sheet, simply remove the protector and your little one (and you) can go straight back to sleep.

The protectors come in all sizes from bassinet protectors all the way to super king. You can even get ones with extra depth for if you have a pillow top mattress. I think these make a fantastic gift, especially for expecting parents.

Everyone needs to be given at least one of these as a baby shower gift. You get so many wraps, toys and clothes, but a mattress protector is really practical and I’m 100% sure any new parent will thank you in the middle of the night post poop explosion or projectile vomit

Don’t waste your time and money on cheaper alternatives like I did,  buy Protect-A-Bed and rest easy knowing you aren’t laying in a pool of old sweat, skin cells and dust mites.

 

Rachelle xx

 

 

 

 

 

Catch a gift for dad this father’s day

Can you believe that Father’s Day is only 2 weeks away! Have you got your presents sorted for all the special men in your life? Don’t stress if you haven’t, Catch.com.au   has everything you need and there is still time for postage.  While you’re there you can probably pick up a little treat for yourself and the kids ( I know I always do).

If you’re stuck for ideas Catch.com.au even has a gift guide for dad.  There are so many options. Tools, personalised gifts, socks, jocks, car cleaning products, games, active wear and men’s accessories.  There is something for every price range and some really amazing brands.  Here are some of my picks for a happy fathers day.

 

Catch pizza - Copy

Pizza oven – $229

Catch Nixon - Copy

Nixon watch $69.99

Why bother with the stress and hustle and bustle of going to the shops to buying father’s day gifts when you can have them delivered to your door. Plus, if you join Club Catch you can get free shipping and access to exclusive sales. Club Catch is $69.00 per year, but you can trial for 30 days for free to see if you like it.

I also find the Catch.com.au is perfect for Christmas and birthdays. There are always toy sales and lot’s of little stocking stuffers. I have just joined Club Catch and I’m sure there will be a few orders arriving in the next few months for all the upcoming birthdays and Christmas.

Collaboration sourced via Shopping Links
Rachelle xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awareness for Kody

My names Brooke and I’m a mum of three from London.

I was 18 when I had my first baby, Jayden. I had a straight forward pregnancy only suffering with extremely low iron, causing me to constantly be tired. I had a natural, straight forward delivery, and Jayden was born at 38 weeks weighing 6lb 12oz.

I was 20 when I had my second baby, my daughter Lexxi.  My pregnancy was completely different from my first one. I didn’t feel pregnant. People told me I didn’t look pregnant, I was really small.  When I was about 6 and a half months pregnant a family member told me I looked like I had slept heavy, little did I know it was me starting to swell up. After weeks of constantly swelling I went doctors and was rushed to the hospital as my blood pressure was too high. I had pre eclampsia, something I’d never heard of. My daughter was born at 33 weeks weighing 3lb 1oz. She had to be tube fed for roughly a month and she came home before her due date. She’s now 5 with no complications.

In 2016 I had my son Kody at 27 plus one, again due to me suffering with severe pre eclampsia. Kody had a slight bleed on his brain but within a few weeks it corrected itself. Kody had extremely severe chronic lung disease and was put on various breathing supports, Kody also suffered with numerous infections as his lungs were too weak to cope with anything, even routine immunisations.

Kody made it to the high dependency unit a few times but always ended up back in intensive care, we were told numerous times that Kody might not make it.

Kody went to great ormond street hospital to see if there was an underlying problem but there wasn’t. He ended up going to a lung and heart specialist hospital in Chelsea.
As Kodys lungs were so bad they started putting pressure on his heart causing him to suffer with pulmonary hypertension. Kody was ventilator dependent so he had a tracheostomy to see if he could eventually come home on a portable ventilator. Kody was heavily sedated and muscle relaxed on many occasions. Kodys lungs were getting worse, he was on the highest pressure that the ventilator could give and his body still wasn’t receiving enough oxygen.

My beautiful baby lived until he was 7 months and one day. I’m now trying to raise awareness in Kodys name for these conditions. I have an Instagram account – @awarenessforkody.
Facebook/AwarenessForKody
I’m doing ‘Kodys story’ a little journey book for the hospitals and hospice we stayed in.
I have ribbons & hair accessories which if people donate money towards I’m giving it to either the hospitals or one of the causes close to my heart.  I also have many other projects I’m going to do to hopefully raise awareness.

Thank you – Brooke xxxxx
My baby Kody ❤️

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Is connected the new confused? 

Forget trying to think of answers to any questions or finding out information in books. These days we have a wealth of information literally at our fingertips. This is so amazing, yet every single day when I scroll through my social media I am hit with a heap of artcles telling me what I should and shouldn’t be doing as a parent. 

Are we all expected to raise children that are perfect all the time? They must have manners, be spirited but not cheeky,  have created 6 apps by the age of 7 and be a natural at any sport they attempt.  

All while the parents never yell. Play with them,  but not too much, they must know how to be bored.  Praise them, but not use the phrase ‘good girl or ‘good boy’, this could shame another child or be taken the wrong way? Show them affection, but don’t kiss them on the lips. Someone on the internet might think that’s gross! Both parents are expected to work, but also be available for all school/kinder functions and acivities (that always seem to be held during business hours)…..Oh and don’t forget you must feed them only organic food, be a plastic free household and don’t even think about giving them refined suger (that stuff is pure evil). 

I’ll admit, I read the articles and I do think about them.  So many questions have swirled around in my head. Should I control cry or not?  Is breast really best? How do I restrict screen time? What are all the milestones again? Why are they such picky eaters? Do humidifiers work? Am I a good mum? 

I’ve decided screw it, half of these articles are simply click bait……..No one is perfect and being a parent is overwhelming enough without all these extra ‘guidelines’. 

The truth is every child is different and parenting styles are different. We are all just doing our best to raise happy, healthy, well balanced children.  Sure, read the articles. Be open to new things, but take it with a grain of salt. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty, especially if you’re a new parent. Do what works for you, your baby and family.  I do 😀 

Rachelle xx 

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Guest Blog -Sharna  @jameshealthjourney

Hello all…

So Rachelle said, ‘write about something you’re passionate about’. Equality and inclusion for all!!! That’s it, that’s what I am truly passionate about. 

Let me introduce myself to you. My name is Sharna, my labels include wife, mother, ballet teacher and autism advocate. 

I am the mother of two beautiful little souls, James (4 years old) and Scarlett ( 2 years old). They are the apple of my eye, my greatest achievement!  I never thought that motherhood would ever fulfil my soul, I thought nothing could ever replace the passion of dance that I held so dear to my heart for many years. 

Motherhood has not only fulfilled my soul but it has given me a fierce perspective of what is right. 

Having a child with additional needs has made me loud, proud and determined to spread awareness for not only autism, not only special needs but inclusion for all.

You see we are all different.

We love different, we learn different, we see the world differently. Being different from another shouldn’t mean exclusion or disrespect. Being different should be embraced. 

Every single person regardless of religion, race, sexuality or ability should be embraced.

You see we all have something to offer the world we live in.

When my son James was diagnosed on the autism spectrum at age 3 I was determined to show the world his abilities. The day he was diagnosed was the day my voice got loud. Not only for James but for all that need inclusion.  It’s really mind blowing the amount of narrow minds that still walk amongst us today. I encounter many, believe me. It gets me down it truly does. 

My son at age 4 has learnt all too well the disrespect of others, he is 4. He sees it and he feels it. He feels it deeper than us, he knows he is different but teaching him he is not less than when you encounter such ignorance is hard. It’s hard on him and it’s hard on my mummy soul. 

Ignorance doesn’t make me stop, it makes me fight harder…. louder and stronger. 

I wanted to ask you today to think about the world around you.  Embrace, encourage and include all of those that are ‘different’ around you. 

We are one world. One love.

Much love, 

Sharna xx  @jameshealthjourney

www.jameshealthjourney.com

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