Tag Archives: #children

School Holiday fun 

Looking for a little something to keep the kids occupied this school holidays? 

No one wants to be stuck in the house with cabin fever everyday so why no get out and check out what Melbourne has to offer. I have narrowed down some of my favourites below.  

Diamond Valley Minature trains 

This little gem is open every Sunday from 11am and Wednesday afternoons on school holidays. It’s a park with a minature train track that you can ride on with the kids. 

The track is complete with tunnels and bridges which makes for an exciting ride. At $3 per person per ride it’s not going to break the bank. You can take a picnic lunch here and relax in the shade or let the kids burn some energy in the playground.  I would recommend getting there early as there can be lines. 

Oakridge Wines kids cooking class 

Why not take the lovely drive out to the Yarra Valley and get the kids cooking. 

The cooking class at Oakridge Winery is so much fun. The kids go off and pick herbs, learn about making flour and make a delicious pizza. I watched and assisted as Hudson is younger, but if you have older children you can bring a friend and enjoy lunch in the beautiful restaurant while sampling some of the delightful wines. 

You can contact Oakridge Wines to book for the upcoming holidays. 

Lights by Dreamworks  

The lights by Dreamworks exhibition is at the Rosebud foreshore these Easter holidays. 

It’s a magical wonderland of beautiful lanterns from all the kids favourite Dreamworks movies. Kung fu panda, Madacascar, Puss in boots and How to train your dragon are just some of the amazing movies that are brought to life with huge lanterns. 

There is craft activities, rides, food stalls and your kids may even run into some of their favourites in real life. 

For further information and tickets head to the website.  

Smurfs high tea at the Langham 

This school holidays the Smurfs are taking over The Langham’s high tea. 

Join Papa Smurf and the gang for an afternoon of delicious Smurfy approved treats and school holiday fun. 

Contact The Langham for further information.

NGV 

The National Gallery is always a favourite of mine to take the kids. It’s a great day out that is 100% free. 

The kids area is wonderful and currently has Patrick Pound: The Great Exhibition on display.  It’s an interactive activity trail that takes children on an expedition. 

Holiday Inn – Staycation Melbourne 

Since Melbourne has so much to offer it could be worth staying a night (or two) in the heart of the city. 

At Holiday Inn on Flinders Lane kids stay and eat for free. They have just updated all of their family rooms and they are stunning. 

It’s conveniently located near the free city circle trams, Docklands, Crown Casino and Flinders Street station. Also, the bar has some really good cocktails for mum and dad. 

For further information check out their website. 

Have fun !!

Rachelle xx 

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How do you do it?

I’m a working mother, I work 4 days a week and have had my job for 6 years. After both of my children I returned to work relatively early (7 months). Working gives me balance and purpose. Plus, I like contributing to our household income and setting an example for Hudson and Scarlett. However, the older they get the more I am struggling. 

My work has a policy where I am meant to return to work full time when Scarlett is at school. This is still a few years away but it’s a concept that I struggle to get my head around. School isn’t like daycare. The hours are much shorter. I often lay awake worrying hiw this will work? How on earth is this managable? Can I be present for my children, get them to after school activities, help with homework and be the mum I want to be. All of this while working 40 hours a week (with a 2 hour commute each day)??? If anything this is a time where they really need me to be there for them. 

My husband runs his own business so his hours are long and ge can’t do drop offs or pick ups, he also doesn’t get paid annual leave. This means before and after school care with school holiday programs. I can get some help from family, but again I don’t want to be the mum that is never there. 

How on earth do parents manage? Working full time, children, homework, food shopping, cleaning, washing, cooking, activities, family time and friends. Is it even possible? Cost of living is expensive so its really just not as easy as throwing in the towel and saying ‘I quit.’ 

It appears in our quest to have and do it all we have found ourselves in some sort of crazy situation where it is impossible.

I’m so thankful for my job and healthy children. In no way am I whinging. I’m simply asking the question. Is it even possible? Will I regret these choices later in life? Will my children resent their mother who was always rushing around and busy?  I want to be there for my babies while they still need me. 

Other working mums, how do you do it? 

Rachelle xx 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Give it time

When you are pregnant all the books, websites and other mums tell you about the overwhelming feelings of love you will have for your child from the second they are placed in your arms. Some women gush about how they love pregnancy and the feeling of growing a life inside of them.

It’s no secret.  I didn’t enjoy pregnancy, not for one second. All the sweating, nausea, hunger and stretching of everything (mainly my pants and bras) just didn’t appeal to me. Every now and then I enjoyed the little kicks but 90% of the time I felt like an alien had taken over my body.

My son Hudson was born six weeks early, saying this came as a surprise is an understatement. When I heard my baby boy cry for the first time I was so happy. I was overcome with emotion. Yet, I wouldn’t describe it as it says in all the books. Love wasn’t gushing out of me like an overflowing sink.  I had mixed emotions, he was taken to the special care nursery straight away. I was excited, upset, confused and 100% scared out of my mind. 

Then, it came time for Hudson to come home.  I was still so frighted,  he was tiny and had reflux so he cried A LOT. I was a new mum with no idea and when my husband returned to work I felt very alone. It was like being given a new toy with no instructions. I loved my baby but was waiting for this warm fuzzy, fluffy feeling that I had heard about? Why wasn’t I gushing love from my pores? Glowing? Declaring my love for my child like all these other women?  What was wrong with me?

Looking back on this time, I realise there was nothing wrong with me. I was adjusting to a massive change in my life. I had a rough start, difficult baby,  was incredibly sleep deprived and frankly it’s just not my personality.  I love both of my children more than anything in this world. I would walk accross hot coal to protect them,  jump to their defense and claw your eyes out if you hurt them. However,  this feeling has developed over time. I feel like I have got to know them and like any new experience it’s daunting at first.

I tell all my friends and any first time mothers not to expect these amazing, overwhelming warm feelings of love straight away as it’s not always the case. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad mother, it doesn’t mean you don’t love your children.  It just takes a little time to bond, confidence, some sleep and everything gets better. Everyone’s experience of motherhood is different, dont ever feel bad for being honest and admitting your true feelings just because they are different from others or from what books describe.  You are  a good mother!

image

Rachelle xx

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

So long 2016

As we head into a New Year I can’t help but reflect on the past year. I have a slight apprehension about what a new year brings as 2016 hasn’t exactly been an easy one for me. I started 2016 at the beach with my family, full of hope for a wonderful new year. 

This year has taught me a lot and I have certainly grown. There were some low points. I delt with the gut wrenching pain of losing my father and explaining death to a 3 year old and one year old. Telling them they will never see their Pa again. A concept I still don’t think they understand.  I also had to watch my mother lose her husband and someone she has cared for, for over 30 years. 

Hudson broke his arm,  which meant 4 weeks off childcare and a little boy who is now very anxious about hospitals and x-rays. 

We also had our first experience with tonsilitis and hand, foot and mouth (oh the joys). Along with many other little trinkets from childcare, otherwise known as viruses. Which basically meant I stayed home with upset little children and copious amounts of snot.  All the time praying my husband doesn’t get man flu. 

While there were some bad things that happened. There were also many good things. Both Hudson and Scarlett have learnt so much.  Scarlett started walking. Plus, they now play and interact as brother and sister.  I am loving watching them grow into independent little people who are caring and so loving. 

Another positive was my new job, which allows me more flexibility and to work from home with the kids. It’s been great learning something new and working with new people.

There has been tears, tantrums, laughter, guilt, cuddles, more tears and more laughter. I guess this is life and especially life as a mother.  There will always be curve balls and low points but they are balanced with good. It’s important to aknowledge the negatives but dwelling on them and letting them consume you will not help anyone. 

So again, just like last year. I’m going into 2017 with a positive outlook and I’m excited to see what the new year brings. 

Rachelle xx 

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Ohhh you’re an only child

If I had a dollar for every time I heard this phrase, especially with ‘tone’. I would be a very rich only child.  It’s often followed by a couple of ridiculous questions. Were you bored? Did you hate it? Are you spoilt? Well no, actually I don’t know any different.

I believe I have been brought up well, I was rarely bored and I had friends. Being an only child didn’t affect my social skills and surprise surprise….. I really wasn’t any more spoilt than my peers (all of which had brothers and sisters). I didn’t get everything I wanted or my own way and my parents taught me respect. They may have spoiled me with love but I don’t think this is a bad thing at all.

While I like to say that my parents didn’t have anymore children after me because I am perfect. The reality is that it was a struggle to have me and just after I was born my father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (at 30 years old). My mum has often told me she would’ve liked more children,  but they didn’t think it was a good idea and didn’t even know if they could have more. When I was younger,  I often asked for a baby brother or sister, but the reality is that I didn’t really care. I was happy.

The only time I wished that I had that extra support was when my father was quite unwell a couple of years ago. He was in intensive care in hospital and I felt a lot of responsibility to make sure both him and my mum knew I was there for them. I am lucky though as my husband is very supportive, I am close with my aunty and we shared the load.

People need to stop with ridiculous comments about only children.  I believe couples are extremely lucky to have one healthy child, if they have more it’s a wonderful blessing. Yes, I now have two children, it’s not because I feel I missed out as a child. It’s simply because my husband and I wanted two children. If I hadn’t been able to have anymore children after my first I would have also been very happy. Decisions shouldn’t be judged, especially if you don’t know the back story. Next time someone tells you they are an only child or they only have or want one child let’s try to keep the ‘oh are they bored’ or ‘they must be spoilt’ comments to yourself.  One, two or ten children they are all beautiful and the number you have doesn’t need to be justified. Especially to judgemental strangers.

image

Rachelle xx 

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Guest Blog – The Mummy Grind

 

AM1

As mothers, I think there is so much pressure to be on your game every damn second of the day.

Sometimes this is my face when I wake up realise I have to parent. That’s okay!

Image by @carliewheelerimages

If you complain, you’re not grateful.

If you clock watch till bedtime, you’re not enjoying your children.

If you take time out to do something for yourself, you’re being selfish.

If you are not making fantastical, themed lunchboxes for the kids every day, you’re just slack.

If you’re having one of those days where you could quite easily down three bottles of wine and run around in circles with your shirt over your head, then you’re just a bad mum.

Well, I am having one of those days. My house looks like I’ve been robbed by a gang of toddlers, I couldn’t get to daycare fast enough this morning and I want to call the boss, tell them I’m not coming in today and then sleep until next week.

But my boss is actually a two year old, and a baby, and they quite frankly, don’t give a damn about my excuses. So i’m continuing on with my job, and if I don’t shout from the rooftops how much I love changing poo explosions and cleaning up the same toys 23 times a day, please forgive me.
image

image

If you don’t love your regular job, that’s okay. In fact, its almost expected. If your keen to get there each day, and go about your day, loving every single part of your job, good for you, you magical working unicorn! But I’m pretty sure most of us just don’t feel the same enthusiasm.

In a regular job, you check the clock, and you count down to the weekend.

In a regular job, you have bad days. Sometimes you are over it before the day even begins.

In a regular job, you get over it and you fake a sicky every now and then.

In a regular job, you sometimes check out and sit and gossip and/or Facebook for majority of the day (and to my boss who is reading this, I obviously, never ever did this 😏)

It’s assumed that everyone in a regular job hates Mondays, and spend the whole week wishing it was Friday.

But if you do any of the above as a mother… You are a terrible person.

Motherhood is on the same level as a full time job. So why do we get judged for feeling those same feelings that people in the workforce feel?

The only difference is we get paid in kisses, not cash. And we never get to clock off, we are on the job 24/7!

Not being deliriously happy in every.single.moment of your parenting life does NOT mean you don’t love or appreciate your children, it means you are human! It’s the most rewarding job, but it’s also the most challenging. And you are doing the best you can. And that’s the most important thing.

(And if you are doing the working mumma thing…. :O You are my hero. I don’t know how you do it, you deserve a medal… and all the wine!)

You go, Mumma.

xx

Shani Archer – The Awkward Mummy

www.instagram.com/theawkwardmummy

www.theawkwardmummy.wordpress.com

am4

 

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Cake baking tips from Lou @cake2therescue

Hi I’m Baker Girl Lou, owner of DIY Cake Kit Company – Cake 2 The Rescue.  I’m so excited to be guest blogging for The Mummy Code this week and I can’t wait to share with you my top tips for baking and decorating a home-made birthday cake.
Before I start, the thing you should all know is that I’m not a baker by trade, I actually started out in engineering and then interior design. I’m no Donna Hay, in fact, my lack of decorating skills is my secret weapon!  So, I promise you, if I can do it, so can you!  
The funny thing is that kids don’t need their cake to be perfect! What they see in a home-made cake is love.  They love bragging to their friends as it arrives at the table, candles lit, “My Mum/Dad made that!”  I honestly think there is nothing like a homemade cake so I hope that the tips and tricks I’m about to share give you the confidence to give it a go!
Since opening Cake 2 The Rescue in 2011 I’ve created over 200 kits, each designed to ensure that people with little to no decorating experience can have success in the kitchen!   Between making 200 cakes and the feedback I’ve received from 11,000 plus customers I’ve learned the pit falls of cake making.  I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t, what can go wrong and how to avoid it.  My moto is “Hero-status for minimal effort, stress free baking even on 2 glasses of wine!”
So here are my top tips:

Making a Template
Google is fantastic for templates.  Search for things like printable masks and colouring pages, these will give you great outline drawings easy to print and make templates.  Consider making the head of a character rather than the whole body. The shape will be easier to cut out and that means, easier to ice! Avoid 3D cakes if you have to move your cake to another venue.

Baking Your Cake
You really want your cake to rise as flat as possible so keep the oven a bit lower (say 160oC) this will make the cake rise slowly and more evenly. Position your cake in the middle of the oven not the top.  If your oven usually cooks things more quickly than recipe guidelines or your cakes have a habit of splitting in the middle then chances are your thermostat is out of wacks so make sure you bake at a lower temperature than recommended and consider having your oven serviced.

Bake The Day Before
If you bake your cake the day before you decorate it, it will be much easier to ice.  It’s a bit like buying a loaf of fresh bread straight from the baker’s oven, it always tears when you try to spread the butter.  You’ll get less crumbs if you give it time to settle. 

Making Butter Icing
You icing needs to be spreadable but still thick.  So add your food colouring to get the desired colour before making the icing softer. Usually the liquid of the food colouring is enough to soften the icing but if it’s not just add a little more butter or a teaspoon of milk.  If you thin the icing before you add the food colouring you may end up with a runny mess!!

Icing Your Cake
Think of icing your cake as gliding the icing over the surface, not scraping butter onto bread.  Put a big pile of icing on the middle of the cake and then gently push the icing around the cake and over the sides.  If you have too little icing on your spatula you will drag the surface of the cake and that’s when crumbs sneak in!

Fondant is Fun (I promise!)
Don’t be scared of fondant, it’s just like using play doh only edible!! It will give you a really professional look and give you much more flexibility in your design than using lollies. Just remember butter icing is king when it comes to taste so make the majority of your cake with butter icing and just use fondant for the details like for example the face on your ninja turtle.

Using Fondant
Warm the fondant up by kneading it in your hands, this will make it more malleable and easy to use (I recommend gloves!). Roll it out onto a sheet of baking paper, this will make it easier to pick up the shapes.  Run your finger round the edge of the shapes after cutting them out to remove any rough edges and give a smooth finish.

Storing Your Cake
Avoid putting your finished cake in the fridge unless you have to.  On the bench is always best or with the air conditioning on if it’s a hot day. If you have to keep it in the fridge, serve your cake immediately when you remove it from the fridge to avoid the colours on your cake running as it warms up to room temperature and moisture sets in.
Hope these tips have given you the confidence to try making your next birthday cake at home.  You can always have a practise run a few weeks before if it’s your first time just to put your mind at ease. And please remember it’s not about creating the perfect cake, it’s about the love that went into making it.  I promise you, once you see the excitement on your little ones face, you’ll never look back.
Happy Baking!!

Cake 2 The Rescue – DIY Cake Kits are offering a special $5 discount off their cake kits to Mummy Code readers, valid until 30th June 2016.  So if you want all the hard working taken out of planning your cake and love the idea of having the recipe card, template and everything you need arrive in the box ready to bake and decorate, take a look at their fabulous cakes.

image

image

image

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

NOTHING COMPARES TO YOU

 

It was high school when I started comparing myself to others. Make up, material things, my period, my boobs, boys and first kisses were all areas that I would compare myself against my friends.

10 years on it was my body I was comparing. Life went on and in the background my fertility struggles had begun. I compared myself to those who blinked at their partners and fell pregnant.

CE1

 

Without a doubt the biggest comparisons of my life so far started as soon as became a parent. Nothing would compare with the love I had for him but I also started compared him to every other baby I came across. I also started compared myself to other mums.

I compared my 33kg pregnancy weight gain, my c-section birth, and my 4 months of breastfeeding to the women I saw who lost their baby weight instantaneously, had natural non-medicated births and breastfed for as long as they chose to. I compared my son who had colic and reflux to those whose babies ate at longer intervals and slept well.

As months went on I compared my son to others who were in a different percentile in height or weight, to those whose babies smiled and laughed and sat up and crawled and stood and walked before my little one did. Comparing my sons’ peers speaking in sentences whilst he was saying his first words.

CE2

It’s all pointless. ALL of it. Unnecessary stress is added to your life due to bloody comparisons. What a joke. None of it matters.

Here’s a thought….instead of comparing ourselves to others why not compare this….

If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the world.

If you have money in the bank, your wallet, and some spare change, you are among the top 8% of the world’s most wealthy.

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week.

If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, but most not do.

If you have just finished reading this, then you are more fortunate than 3 billion people worldwide who cannot read at all.

CE3

STOP COMPARING.

Don’t give up on your dreams and the things that you want in life, but don’t compare your chapter 1 with someone else’s chapter 20.

BE YOU.

NOTHING COMPARES TO HAPPINESS AND SELF-WORTH.

Suzy @childrens_empire

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Mini Mars Bar cones

A great party treat and easy for little hands to hold without getting melted, sticky chocolate everywhere.

Ingredients
1 packet of mini Mars Bars or 4 large Mars Bars chopped
100 g butter
3 cups of rice bubbles
1 block Cadbury milk chocolate

1 packet of mini waffle ice cream cones (**if you can’t find mini cones just cut the large ones to size)

Method:
Combine Mars Bars and butter in a saucepan. Stir over low heat, without boiling, until the mixture is smooth
Stir in Rice Bubbles and press mixture evenly into small cones
Melt the chocolate in the microwave on a low setting, stirring every 20 seconds
Drizzle over top of cones and decorate with chocolate buds if desired.

image

Mini Mars bar cones😋😋
This pic also has caramel corn cones – I will pop this recipe up soon.

Enjoy!!

Rachelle xx

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mother of a toddler and a baby? I hear you!

The reality of motherhood is if you have more than one child, you have most likely had a point where you have had to deal with two babies or a baby and a toddler……to all these mothers RESPECT!!!

▫ I see the rings under your eyes from being woken up by a tag team of little humans. One screaming for food or pooping at ungodly hours. The other demanding water or yelling that their socks be put on after falling off in bed.

▫ I understand you are constantly checking nappies and sniffing for who has pooped. Now you have twice as much nappy time, it seems like all you do is check for poop change poop, change wees….ask the toddler of they want to got toilet….toddler then poops in their nappy or pants anyway……repeat the process over and over until bedtime.  No wonder you are always slightly distracted by poop or fart smells.

▫I see that you can barely hold a conversation like a normal person. As you always have one eye on the baby who is probably eating something off the ground or throwing things. While your toddler runs about screaming, having tantrums or interrupting you every 30 seconds to declare ‘Mum, look truck’….’Mummy, bus’. Also, see point one. The whole poop thing is very distracting and makes it hard to hold an adult conversation when you’re sniffing a small humans butt.

▫ I have observed you sweating at the shops. Where you either have
        * A – a double pram filled with arms and legs  
        * B – a double trolley full of arms and legs grabbing things off shelves    
          *C – a pram and baby carrier strapped to you like you’re a one man band.

▫ I get why you don’t find it funny when every second person stops to say ‘oh wow, you certainly have your hands full’. While I understand people are just trying to be nice, I have rarely been out alone with my two children without hearing this at least once. If people can see that my hands are full and I am a sweaty mess, don’t stop me to declare how you can see how busy I am???

▫ To the mum negotiating with the toddler with smarties (or chocolate of choice) because the baby is crying and you need them in the car. I get it, do what you can to get them where you need them. Having a toddler is like dealing with a small drunk person, negotiating with them is harder than negotiating with a terrorist,  add a screaming baby to the mix and you have a stressful situation, to say the least.

▫ I understand that your TV viewing mainly consists of Thomas the tank, In the night garden or Dora. I also get that eating is less relaxing these days and normally consists of scraps from the high chair tray or left over nuggets that are quickly consumed in the small 10 minute window that (if you’re lucky) both children are sleeping.

▫I can see the faded spit up/dribble  stains on your clothes that you have just wiped with nappy wipes because it’s easier than getting changed. Also, the small chocolate finger prints on your jeans from when the toddler was trying to get your attention while you changed the babies nappy are a dead giveaway that you’re a mother of a baby and toddler.

▫ I  see you on a baby free night out. You wait for these moments, footloose and fancy free. Yet, you really don’t know what to talk about. You hear a baby crying and it distracts you, your handbag feels so light without all the nappies and snacks.  Deep down, you miss your little snot monsters?

▫ Most of all I see the worry and doubt in your eyes. Am I doing enough? are my children happy? Am I doing the right thing? You are. 

Having one child is hard but wrangling a baby and toddler is definitely hard work and involves a lot of ducking and diving.

** NOTE: If you are a parent with twins, triplets etc 😙, I can only imagine….well done to all the mummas.

I think we have all earnt our wine tonight.

Rachelle xx

Tagged , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: