I love my GP. She is so lovely and knows me and my family well. I marched into her office with my 3 year old, wishing to make the appointment speedy (because they were already an hour behind schedule).
“Hey Dr G, I think I have a poo obstruction.”
This probably wasn’t the right tactic, but I told her I was bloated and she did an abdominal exam. She asked me a few standard questions and then asked me if I could be pregnant. I laughed out loud and smiled,
“No. That’s impossible.”
She finally convinced me to take a pregnancy test, but as I sauntered off to the bathroom I couldn't help myself, “This really is a waste of time you know. I've only missed 2 periods in my life and they were both when I moved house. So that’s all this is.”
I peed on the stick and then the nurse asked me to wait in the waiting room for the result. At this point we were now an hour and half past our original appointment and my patience was waning with my bored toddler. She called me back into the room and at this point I was peeved and just wanting to go home. The tiredness was coming on strong, as was dinner, bath and bedtime for the kiddos. She walked up to me with her hands closed around something and moved in a delicate manner, as if she were cradling an injured baby bird. My interest peaked. She made her way over to my chair and opened her hands to reveal the pregnancy stick with two distinct pink lines.
I find it difficult to put into words what the next few moments exactly felt like, but my entire body went numb and I felt like I was being swallowed whole. I burst into tears, crying while my toddler looked on, perplexed. I couldn’t speak. All I could do was muster a broken stutter of something like, “I just….. I dunno. How is this possible? Are you sure?”
I imagine that the first minute of knowing is similar to what someone experiences before they die- a slideshow of thoughts, memories and feelings experienced in a single millisecond.
Mine went a little something like this:
We were done.
I don’t want any more babies.
Life is finally getting easier. Finally.
I am so tired.
Three would be nice, but I’m spread too thin as it is.
I sold our baby stuff.
Emerson is too young.
How could YOU be so ungrateful?
You don’t deserve this.
The baby won’t survive in your broken body anyway.
Don’t get attached.
My doctor had trouble reading my reaction, and I assured her that we were 100% keeping the baby. I explained to her that my shock was simply attributed to the fact that we had such a struggle to conceive years before, for both of our kids. Even though she was my GP she didn’t know the extent of our infertility issues. When I explained the backstory, a huge smile crept over her face and then she said, “Well I guess this was just meant to be then.”
We decided not to jump on my traditional pregnancy protocol of severely lowering my immune system. It seemed my body had finally reset and knew what it was "supposed" to do. I decided to trust my body for the first time then and there.
My GP left the room and I just hugged Ry and I cried and cried and told her how much I loved her. In that moment I felt so much guilt because I knew yet another baby meant that I had to give her even less of myself.
I zombie walked to the car and called my parents first. I was on the phone with them when I arrived at the appointment and assured them that I would call them on my way home. It’s all a bit blurry, but I think the conversation went something like,
“Soooooo.... it’s not a poop obstruction. I’m actually pregnant!”
Squeals. Excitement. More tears. I expressed my joy and my subsequent fear. The fear of losing the baby and the fear of what we were going to do, falling pregnant at such a precarious time and still without a lick of local family help or support. I drove home the rest of the way on autopilot and decided that I wanted Ry to hand deliver her daddy the stick and film his reaction. After all, I’ve never peed on a stick before.
It was never that easy for us.
This was a first.
It is not uncommon to have a huge aversion to veggies during your first trimester. You're not alone!
I wanted to share how you can get more veggies into your diet during the first trimester when you might not be feeling quite yourself.
1. Adding raw spinach to a smoothie is a great way to boost your greens intake.
2. You can also add green powders as they are hard to detect in a smoothie.
I like Body Science's Clean Greens or the Healthy Chef's Everyday Greens.
3. Another great way to add insanely healthy cruciferous veggies to smoothies is to steam some cauliflower and then pop it in the freezer. When the time comes to assemble your smoothie, add the pre-cooked frozen cauliflower. Not only will it make your smoothie creamier, but it helps to add a nutrient dense punch!
Simply change HOW you eat them
1. If you normally eat steamed broccoli, but cannot stomach it, try to eat broccoli another way. Raw for instance. You might find that simply changing the way you're used to eating something is all it takes.
For me, I couldn't stomach steamed broccoli, but the raw broccoli was really nice, crispy and a bit spicy which appealed to me. Here is an outstanding healthy broccoli salad recipe that you must try of you are a broccoli fan.
I also tossed some broccolini in olive oil and baked it for 10-12 mins at 180C. It gets a lovely, crispy char and was a lot more palpable, for me at least.
3. Bake them in
There are so many excellent recipes out there that are loaded with veggies and hidden protein.
Here are a few of my favs.
1. For something semi-sweet and not naughty: Chocolate black bean brownies
If you have a very sweet tooth, I wouldn't recommend these!
2. This is always a home run and makes a nice morning snack or a simple, palatable breakfast if you aren't feeling too hot: Lemon zucchini bread
3. Possibly my favourite muffin of all time and loaded with fibre. They are also dairy and flour free: Carrot muffins
4. So this doesn't have hidden veggies, but it is 90% apple and oh so delicious. I highly recommend this apple tea cake to accompany your morning coffee or tea. It also would make a great breakfast with a dollop of coconut or Greek yogurt.
How are you guys doing? Are you hanging in there? I have friends and family all over who are still in Stage 4 restrictions, or some form of quarantine, and my heart is breaking for them. Here in NSW we are still on restrictions, but they are limited compared to the restrictions we carried out from March - May earlier this year.
We are voluntarily wearing masks in public; avoiding crowded places and restaurants. Libraries are still closed and we have not been to playgroup or swimming lessons since February. It has been an incredibly isolating experience, and as a result, we have spent a fair amount of time and money on creative activities for the kiddos. #ThankyouAmazon
A lot of my friends are home and trying to navigate full-time work and raising their littles. Some are even having to homeschool as well, and this has mostly been a recipe for disaster. Chatting to a few of my Mum friends is actually what gave me the idea to write this blog post.
Essentially I wanted to write something that would appeal to all my food loving, book reading, Netflix bingers out there. I have put together a few lists to help you navigate what remains of your quarantine, and I hope it helps, even just a little bit....
The List For the Book-o-holics
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
Girl, Stop Apologising by Rachel Hollis
Minimalism, Live a Meaningful Life by The Minimalists
Daring Greatly, Brene Brown
Rising Strong, Brene Brown
Non-Fiction Must Reads
Non- fiction is my favourite genre, without a doubt. These are 10 must read, real life memoirs that will rock your world:
1. The Tattoosit of Auschwitz
2. Half-Broke Horses
3. The Glass Castle
4. Calypso, David Sedaris
5. Naked, David Sedaris
6. Running with Scissors, Augusten Burroughs
7. Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson
8. I Just Want To Pee Alone, Mom Blogger Collab
9. I Was Told There'd Be Cake, Sloane Crosley
10. People I want to Punch In The Throat, Jen Mann
The List For The Netflix Junkies
Line of Duty
The Office, UK and US
Parks and Rec
The Good Place
The Last Dance
Making A Murderer
The Accountant of Auschwitz
Inside Bill's Brain
Tell Me Who I am
The List For The Food Lovers
Slow Cooker Wonders
Detox Lentil Soup
Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Korean BBQ Burritos
Slow Cooked Beef Brisket
Beef and Caramelised Onion Sausage Rolls
Chocolate peanut butter smoothie
Healthy Carrot Muffins
Spicy Soba Noodle Salad
Moroccan Carrot Salad
The LA Chop Salad
Vegan Chocolate Pie
Blueberry and white chocolate scones
Cookie Dough Energy Bites
Healthy Apple Tea Cake
Hope you love some of these recommendations.
Hang in there, stay safe and be well.
I wanted to introduce you to a crazy good FREE offer that Brenda Janschek and Alexx Stuart are running.
Both ladies are passionate about children’s nutrition and have helped thousands of families over the past decade when it comes to a whole range of health and lifestyle challenges from fussy eating to family meal disconnects, cooking stress, lunchboxes and healthy body image.
Their course Thrive is AMAZING and you gotta do it once at some point for all the incredibly practical, useful information and support given there.... BUT that’s not why I’m writing to you today.
Today, I’m inviting you to join me, Brenda and Alexx over in a brilliant free 5 day series they’re running from 7th June. I love how they’re not calling it a ‘challenge’ - these times are challenging enough, right? The theme of the series is a perfect and gentle focus on something I know a lot of you have told me you could do with, so the timing is brilliant. It's called:
"How to Add Extra Nutrient Boosters to Favourite Family Meals and Reduce Mealtime Stress"
Isn't it perfect? So, if you’re feeling stressed about meal time whether it’s cooking overwhelm, health challenges or fussy objections, I guarantee you that after 5 days soaking up the goodness from these two wonderful guides you WILL learn a lot of useful, practical things to take into your family life and kitchen from this moment on.
All you have to do is sign up via this link with a quick name+email and they’ll send you a welcome email with your free workbook, webinar invite + private facebook group where they’ll be sharing daily recipe demos and lives to support you!
You have zero to lose and lots to gain so jump in and sign up HERE.
Let’s ditch the mealtime stress so many of you tell me you experience, right?
Enjoy, and I’ll see you in there.
I would like to preempt with this —
this blog post is not meant to cause anxiety or further distress around this pandemic.
My husband and 8 month old are both high risk for respiratory issues. This means that we have decided to implement new lifestyle changes since this nasty virus showed up. It might seem neurotic to some, but I thought I'd share because a few of you might be interested, or think to try something you might not have thought of.
We know the virus is not in our home, so we have created a line of defense to keep it that way. Here’s how:
We do a combination of ordering food online with Delish Deliveries and shopping at the supermarket. When food is delivered to our home, we disinfect the boxes first, then bring the box into our home. We open the box and proceed to disinfect everything inside piece by piece. This whole process can take up to an hour, but now we have it down to about 35 mins or so. The fruit and veggies are placed in a water + vinegar solution or a Dr Bronner's castile soap bath. We are not able to recycle the cardboard anymore due to COVID restrictions, so we simply recycle it. We do the same system after a grocery shop. Every single item is cleaned and/or opened and placed away.
We use old, reusable plastic bags that we already had when shopping. Cloth bags are more likely to bring the virus into the home. When I have used cloth bags, I wash them immediately upon my return home. We leave the plastic bags outside the house as well.
When we visit the grocery store, we avoid going at peak times. It's very quiet during the day as most people are at work or working from home. We avoid going on the weekend if possible, as this is when you'll most likely have to cue up and wait to get in.
(This happened to me once, and I won’t do it again).
At the shops, we get in and get out. We don’t loiter and we don’t touch all the things. My husband saw a man sneeze in the cleaning aisle, twice, without covering his mouth. He saw the spit/spray absolutely cover all the products in front of him. It was a great reminder of how easy it can be for viruses to travel. So, grab what you need and move on.
We never leave the house without a mask. We use N95 masks or surgical masks. We also have double sided tape to create a flush seal if it doesn’t fit properly for any reason.
We leave our shoes at the door and do not wear them inside.
I don’t kiss my 8 month old on the lips anymore.
When we get home from the shops, doctor’s office, wherever…. we place our belongings down and disrobe. Then we have a hot shower and wash throughly. After this we disinfect everything that was used: wallet, credit cards, keys, phone. I think this is particularly important if you have small toddlers and babies who like to play with your phone/keys.
We always wash our hands after retrieving the mail and we disinfect our mail box.
We always wash our hands after bringing the garbage bins in, and we also disinfect the bin handles.
We do not eat out. We don’t get take away. We don’t get Uber eats. We don’t get coffees to go. Simply put, we don’t eat or drink a single thing prepared by anyone other than ourselves.
Have you made changes since COVID, or is life pretty much the same?
Wishing you guys all the best during this bizarre time.
Stay safe and be kind to yourself.
Emerson Rose came into this world hard and fast on July 30th at 2:30am
Monday, July 29th
I headed to see my OB for my standard weigh in, blood pressure and quick ultrasound. She wanted to do an internal to see how things were progressing, if at all. The week before, bub was high, nowhere near my cervix. Thankfully I had dropped a bit, so things were moving along, albeit slowly. I didn't want any intervention, and as she was all up in there, she said, "now I will just do a little stretch." I was annoyed because she did it without asking, but I couldn't really feel anything and decided not to let this grind my gears in the big scheme of things since I was not able to go over term anyway due to other factors.
I dropped my hubby off at work and then went to physio at 11am to get more work done for my SIJ pain. I ended up losing my mucus plug at 2:30pm. It came flying out like a bat out of hell. I remembered that my daughter was born the following day after losing my mucus plug, so I knew things were about to get real. I made sure I had everything ready to go in my hospital bag and then I tried to go about my day like nothing was out of the ordinary.
I didn't have regular contractions until 8:30pm about 2.5 minutes apart. We were watching The Block and I was pacing the house like those tigers you see behind the glass at the zoo. Oh yes, I remember this feeling...
If you've never had a baby before, you might not know this part, but they'll usually tell you in your antenatal class to call the hospital before coming in. They tell you to do this so that the midwife can ask you some questions and listen to you over the phone. She could tell when I was having a contraction and listened closely to how I spoke, and more importantly, my breath. She said that I should come in because of how close my contractions were, so we loaded up the car and rushed off in the pitch black night.
It was a really quiet night and there was a weird weather change, even a little bit of rain. The midwife said this either made for a particularly quiet night, or a busy evening with as many as 8 babies born to three midwives the weekend before. There were only two midwives on shift (normal) and there was only one other gal in labour.
I felt like I was in good hands.
I hopped on the table and had my internal exam. Given my level of discomfort, I was hoping to be a minimum of 3+ centimeters, at least. I remembered being told by a midwife at my first birth that getting from 1 to 3 centimeters was the hardest part. I was secretly praying to have passed that initial milestone given the strength and frequency of my contractions, so you can imagine my dismay when she said I was 1cm.
Yes, you read that right.
One. measly. centimeter.
(And in case you didn't know, you don't get to push until you reach 10 centimeters!)
"You're the same dilation as you were this morning at your appointment with the OB. One centimeter, maybeee 2," she smiled jovially.
I did not smile jovially. I sat stone faced and quietly panicked on the inside, joker face in play. I knew that second labours were quicker and I've heard they can be more painful, but this - THIS was a hiccup I was not anticipating. I expected to be 3-5 centimetres and hoping to push within the hour, maybe two. She interrupted my daydreaming.
"So, since you don't want medical intervention, you can leave to go home and labor there. Or, if you'd like to stay here, you're more than welcome because it's such a quiet night, and you can go for a walk to get things going. Either way I'm going to go call your OB now and let her know what's happening."
* What I didn't know until a few days later was the midwife did in fact call my OB, and told her what was happening. My OB said, "Do not let her leave the hospital! That woman has made up her mind to have a baby!" Damn. She knows me well.
I decided to walk the hallway with my hubs, taking breaks and holding onto the railing when I had a contraction. This is where my ballsy husband captured the moment he hummed the Rocky anthem to me on Instagram. The comment section is pretty hilarious if you need a good laugh. It was really difficult to mentally push past the fact that I was so little dilated. Doubt kept creeping in, much like anxiety does, and tried to make me lose focus and waiver in my birth plan.
I decided that I didn't want to be on my feet. Another labour done and dusted where I've had every intention of moving around heaps, but it just didn't resonate with my body. They wanted to hook me up to the monitors, and once I was in bed, that was it for me until she came.
Each subsequent check, I progressed another centimeter. I didn't want to move from the bed, which was a surprise because I spent a lot of time in the shower for my first labour, and I assumed I would do the same. I tossed from side to. Left, right. Left, right. Left, right.
I started to not feel too great, surprised at how strong the contracts were so early on. I tried to keep my head in the game, and ride each contraction, one at a time. If I focused on the only contraction I was experiencing, it made me feel better and less overwhelmed. You know that the contraction will peak, and relief is justtttttt on the other side. It's so easy to panic and think, but how much longer will this go on?? I'm just so tired. I cannot do this.
PAIN WITH PURPOSE I told myself, which was my birthing mantra. If you're thinking, wait, I need to write that quote down because it's AMAZING... please do. It was brought to my attention by my BFF and professional baby birthing guru, Rachel. She has had three water births, all drug free, and she is pretty much my birthing idol (and an incredible mum to boot). Since completing this post, she has had yet another baby. She's a freaking superhero.
It was around this time that the anesthesiologist came in to see me because the nurse messed up my cannula for my drip.
"So, how are you?" she asked while prepping my cannula.
I so wanted to roll my eyes, but I plastered on a smile and said, "Good, thanks."
"And what are we thinking in terms of pain relief tonight?"
My breath caught in my chest for a moment. I knew that this woman could take away all my pain. I knew it could slow my labour, and I also knew that getting an epidural freaked me out because my spine is precious. I really didn't want my baby to be exposed to any of those drugs. I was so, so tempted, so naturally I blurted out,
"I'll be fine thank you. I don't want one. Bye."
"Ok, that's great. I'd rather not give you one. I was only asking because I'm leaving for the night. So if you change your mind, I'll be over 30 minutes away."
I was quietly relieved because the farther away she was, the better in my eyes. If it isn't on the table as an option, then I knew it was all up to me, my cervix and a bit of grunt.
I continued labouring, left side, right side, on repeat. They wanted to leave the monitor on me because after each contraction, there would be a weird pause on the monitor readings. So I stayed on the bed and just tried to find distractions and munched on ice chips like my life depended on it. Hubs put on Spotify and then I suddenly felt the strangest sensation, and a *pop* inside my body, followed by a huge gush of liquid pouring from between my legs. I had hubs get the midwife, who said I might have peed (um, no) and she would check it out. Her face was surprised when she pulled the sheet back, which I found strange, because what's the big deal... my waters finally broke. What she eventually explained was that there was a lot of blood as well. I didn't stress about it, and I went out of my way not to assess how much was actually lost. We changed my bed pad underneath me, and business as usual continued.
By the time I was 5 centimeters I was really uncomfortable. My midwife came in and said, "you sound different. You're transitioning."
"What do you mean I sound different?" I was perplexed.
She said, "Your sounds are getting more intense. It's so nice to hear the moans from your room. We don't hear them that much these days." (Oh God, don't flatter me now babes, I'm in struggle town).
"I can tell they are getting harder and faster by listening to you outside."
For the record, moaning sounds funny, but that's exactly how I have to get through labour. I need to breathe deeply in my nose and let a gentle sigh, moan, hum leave my body. This is like a primordial necessity for me. It's fascinating, and not too loud or obtrusive.
Soon after, my husband was trying to convince me to hold off on applying the TENS machine. I agreed that was a good idea and held off as long as I could. When I felt like I was wavering, he kept reassuring me,
"You're doing great, you got this, this is so much better than last time."
I only had fond memories of last time, and seeing as I was up shit creek smack bang in the middle of this second labour, all I could focus on was the hurdle ahead of me.
Tuesday, July 30th
I dilated from 5cm to 10 cm in 40 minutes. Yep.
That is why I lost a lot of blood, because my cervix effaced so quickly. I felt so much pressure in my bum and the midwife asked if I wanted to push. I didn't want to, but the pressure was mounting.
Now this is going to be a hell of a visual, but those that know, KNOW. Have you ever seen a cow give birth at the fair? I used to watch them give birth every year at the state fair, and it was one of my favourite things. I distinctly remember the mother's distressed demeanor, her wide eyes, and the chains firmly wrapped around the baby calve's ankles. The mummy cow's body would heave and heave, and you could see it all happening before your eyes and under her tail. I felt like that bloody cow. Suddenly, it was all happening and my body had legitimately taken over, like, babe- I got this.
I felt my body push without my willing it. It was such a bizarre sensation, and I called out to my husband frantically. "Tell her, I'm pushing, but I'm not pushing!!"
Last we chatted, I wasn't far along enough in my dilation to start pushing. This was unsettling.
The midwife rushed into the room and said that my obstetrician was on her way (really?!) and would be here any minute. I knew we didn't have that long. I was on my left side, ( I birthed both my babies on my left side) and suddenly my OB breezed into the room and into an open gown that was being held by the midwife. In less than one minute she had slipped on her gloves and did an internal. "Erica. It's time!! PUSH!"
I took a deep yogic breath to the pit of my belly and gave an almighty push. The first push literally took my breath away as I immediately felt the ring of fire, hot and tight. My body immediately reeled back, I felt the head move back up inside me slightly. The ring of fire is when the labia and the perineum reach their maximum stretch around the baby's head. Instinctively, I didn't want to push a second time because I knew what was coming. I figured, the harder I push, the quicker this burn will go away. I'm SO close now, I know this birth should be done in less than 1 hour. I can do this!
After my second push, Dan and my doctor said they could see hair. HAIR! Already, I thought..?? No frigging way. I knew the ring of fire would subside once the head was out, so I gave another almighty push, to which she met me with a "STOP!" The cord was wrapped around bub's neck, so she quickly tried to free it which was difficult to do since only the head was out and the cord was so tight. This explained why the baby wasn't coping well after each contraction because breathing was a bit more difficult. Once she slipped the cord off, we worked together, "small push, small push, small push, BIG push!"
After my fifth push, she was caught by OB and I felt the most immense relief.
We became a family of four at 2:29am on July 30th.
I was still losing a lot of blood, even after Em came into the world, so I was put on a drip to contract my uterus and stop the blood loss. The medicine, combined with my body's natural uterine contractions were incredibly painful. The afterbirth pains worsen with each delivery, a fact that I did not know.
My placenta wasn't coming, even after the needle in my thigh, so my OB quickly gave me a catheter and manually drained my bladder. This helps the placenta to be delivered, which I found super fascinating. I actually got to see the placenta this birth, which was remarkable, and then it was swiftly taken away and properly stored for my placenta encapsulation lady.
I got the shakes hard core after this birth. The adrenaline kicked in something fierce and I was shaking uncontrollably. Not a nice feeling, but at least I didn't vomit after the birth like I did my first time around. We were escorted to our room on another floor and my husband and I were able to share a queen bed while little Em slept soundly beside us. I didn't go to sleep until after 5am and was woken at 6am to the sound of the breakfast trays being delivered.
Then, that was that... life goes on, much to our dismay.
We were forever a family of four from that day on.
Not leaving the house due to the hazardous air quality of the NSW bush fires has been detrimental for my mental health.
My toddler and I do 67.5 crafts per day, on average. We bake, we pretend to bake in her kitchen, we paint, draw, trace our bodies on craft paper, build forts, make book labyrinths, have a bath in the middle of the day, do play dough. The list is endless, my patience is not.
By the time my husband gets home, around 3pm, I’ve already asked him 21 questions before his bag hits the floor.
“What’s it like out there?
How was your day?
What did you eat?
Did you have the recycled air on in the car?
Who did you talk to, and did they tell you any jokes?
What was the podcast about that you listened to your quiet drive home?
Do you think that a zombie apocalypse is imminent?
Should we start building a bunker with food and water since 2019 was the hottest year on record in Australia?
Will Matrix 4 be a total bust, or the best Matrix yet?
Have you seen how clean the house is?
Do these yoga pants give me the illusion of having cakes, or more of a ..... cupcake?”
I’ve witness my slippery slope and came to a resolution this week, quick smart. I went to my local library and got a bunch of snarky, sarcastic non-fiction books.... my favourite genre, don't mind if I do.
I love reading and it's been a while since I've had the luxury of getting lost in a good book! Are there other things I could be doing with my kid-free nap time? 100% !!! But meal prepping or folding laundry doesn't remotely give me the amount of satisfaction as a good book and a little bit of quiet time.
HOT TIP: I'm most excited about Calypso from one of my favourite authors, David Sedaris. If you like memoirs and non-fiction essays, he is your man.
The last two days my kids have actually napped at the same time, which has allowed me to crawl into bed with my book and read while listening to the hum of the air purifier. It's the best use of my time, far better than mindlessly scrolling Instagram or googling if dogs can communicate telepathically.
It's so good to be back with my nose in a book. Comment bellow with your favourite books of all time, pluuuueasseeee!!!
1. Money is simply a tool; it has no value until it’s spent
2. Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice
3. Life isn’t fair
4. No good deed goes unpunished
5. There ain’t no hood like Motherhood!!
6. Getting pregnant isn’t easy for everyone
7. People will betray you
8. You can have many soul mates, but hopefully you find one to love and love you in return
9. “Do no harm, take no shit” is my life + our family motto
10. The older you get, the less friends you’ll have, but the relationships are more meaningful
11. Rudyard Kipling’s “If” is one of the greatest poems of all time. Ever.
12. That getting paid to do something you’re passionate about will change how you feel about it
13. Read. Read. Read all the things.
14. Uteruses (and vaginas) can bounce back to normal size
15. Infertility. F*kn. Sucks.
16. Growing a human is harder than it looks
17. Childbirth is an incredible marathon and not something to be feared
18. Yoga is outstanding for mental health
19. Pinterest is addicting AF
20. People will use you for their own benefit. Don’t be anyone’s doormat
21. That looking after the planet isn’t that hard. Love her
22. Watching your partner evolve from spouse to dad is a remarkable experience
23. An attitude of gratitude is one of the best things you can ever possess
24. That all I want is a simple life, a bit of land, chooks and a flourishing veggie patch
25. When you say, “don’t tell anyone,” they will most likely tell someone
26. You don’t need alcohol in order to party, unwind and have fun
27. My daughters are my greatest life achievement
28. Owning your truth might be one of the hardest things to do, but it’s bloody rewarding
29. Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels is a flat out lie
30. Drugs are bad, mkay
31. Spending time in nature is therapeutic and a necessity
32. Having, loving and losing a dog is a rite of passage
33. People who chase money are not my people
34. Take time to look up and admire the stars. It’s important to feel insignificant in the vast scheme of things
35. Be best friends with those who brought you into the world
It's officially the SILLY season and people are all over the place traveling to and fro by plane, train and automobile.
I recently did two long interstate drives on my own with my 2.5 year old and 3 month old, and it inspired this blog post. I drove from Sydney to Melbourne, which is 926 kilometers to be exact! That's 575 miles for those not on the metric system. We only stopped once, and did the 9 hour trip in 11 hours there and on the return leg home. #EPIC
Pretty sure I was a long haul trucker in my last life.
I wanted to share a few tips that I/we did in the hopes of helping some other families out. Road trips can be tough, but they don't need to be.
Preparing for the trip
1. Lay out everyone’s outfit for the next morning, including yours!
2. Shower and pack the entire car the night before.
3. Drink a lot of water the day before because there won’t be a lot of H20 consumption the following day.
4. Wake up, get yourself dressed, finalise the packing of the car if anything is left, and eat your brekkie. I recommend two hard boiled eggs. Quick, easy, healthy and no clean up!
5. Brew your hot bevie (I choose coffee on the way down and bone broth in the way home). In all honesty, I didn’t really drink the coffee. I only took mini sips when I felt like I needed it.
6. Go to the toilet before you leave. Force out a poo with gusto, but don’t give yourself hemorrhoids. This is paramount if you’re like me and competitive... who stops?
Pansies, that’s who.
7. Wake up the baby. Change their nappy, give them a BIG feed and load them in the car to fall back asleep. Be sure your rear facing mirror is set up so you can check them safely while driving.
8. Last thing to do is wake the toddler. Put them on the potty, put a nappy on in case of emergencies, and then place your toddler straight in the car.
First leg: Quiet time, if at all possible. Maybe they will both go back to sleep, maybe one will. Give your toddler brekkie in the car. Give them something that’s not messy, easy to eat and yum. Something that says please eat this quietly AF because your baby sibling is sleeping.
I opted for a probiotic coconut yogurt squeeze pouch which worked a treat.
In the two front cup holders, I have my hot bevie and my reusable water bottle. I also have an extra, clean pacifier on hand. The water bottle is more of a novelty really as I don’t drink much of anything when I’m doing these long haul drives. It’s there in case I need it, but mainly it’s there for my toddler.
The food bag is well organised and on the front seat. It's loaded with things like:
Carrots, cucumber, crackers, nuts, berries, sandwich (quartered), popcorn, prunes, apple, and banana
The activity bag is also well organised and located in the front seat:
- Old phone on airplane mode, for looking at photos only
- Colouring book + crayons
- Sticker books
- Toy phone
- Board books ( and interactive ones, like Spot)
- Plush toys
Car charger / car play ON for maps and Spotify jam sessions. Be sure to have your playlists set in advance. Have your kid’s list ready and your preferred playlists + podcasts as well for if/when they sleep.
Personal TIP: When you stop, stop somewhere nice! Get a good feed, take your time to finally drink something or have a proper coffee. I’m all about saving money, but I treat myself to a good feed on these types of breaks.
I find that taking the kids to a park during the break just adds A LOT more time and builds their resistance to getting back into the car tenfold. Who wants to get back in a mini straight jacket car seat after a romp on the swings? I sure as hell wouldn’t. Having said that, if I’m driving with someone else, then I’d entertain a park stop or Maccas coffee/playground refresher.
Good luck, and safe driving!
I like to follow this little quote when shopping for loved ones each Christmas:
'Something you want, something you need, something you love, something to read."
1. Janod Walker
This unique walker includes 30 colorful blocks, an abacus, rubber grip wheels and a sturdy base (which is a must, especially for those littles who are learning to walk)! It's a timeless piece that can be used for years and years.
2. Linen cooler bag
These linen cooler bags come in the cutest patterns and designs and are from Biome. They are PVC-free, phthalate-free and lead safe inside and out! The linen is raw and uncoated as well. These are just super stylish and a wonderful alternative to plastic or paper bags.
HOT TIP: BIOME is opening in MELBOURNE this December
3. Natural soap animals
How cute are these?!! Anything that makes bath time even more fun is a win in my books! These adorable soaps are handmade in Victoria, palm oil free, plastic and chemical free.
4. Cuddle + Kind stuffed animals
These dolls are so darn cute and come in two sizes. For every doll sold, Cuddle + Kind give 10 meals to children in need. And, it gets better! Currently they're running a special that is offering 15% off the dolls, plus double your impact... that's 20 meals!
Since September 2015, Cuddle + Kind have provided 8 million meals for children in need.
HOT TIP: If you join their mailing list, you get free shipping on your first order!
5. Natural crayons
These Honeysticks crayons are great for small hands (larger version available too), and are handmade from 100% pure New Zealand beeswax. They are free from paraffins and toxic ingredients as well.
Everything from Janod is out of this world amazing in my opinion. My toddler is almost three and still loves this butterfly stacking puzzle. I love that it's so well made that our newborn will be able to play with it too, many years later. The Janod calendar also makes a great gift for a kid learning the days of the week, numbers and moods. It covers all the bases and it's one of my favourite rituals my toddler and I do each morning.
Love Mae Bamboo Dinnerware
If you follow me on Instagram, then you'd be no stranger to these Love Mae bamboo divided plate sets. These trays were paramount in making my life easier when it was feeding time in our home. I loved being able to see the fruit, protein and carbs at a glance.
If you're looking for something a little larger (for older children), then check out these adorable plate sets. Want more? Love Mae's lunch boxes are toxic-free, dishwasher safe and 100% recyclable as well. If you love their designs, but aren't in the market for dinnerware, check out their wall decals which are so colourful and fun.
HOT TIP: They are having some great sales on at the moment
Hope this list helped inspire you a bit!
This little corner of the internet is for non-yoga topics like motherhood, low-tox living and green beauty products I love.