Dad, Development, Mums, Playtime, School Kids, toddlers, Uncategorized

School Holidays!

swing

Wow school holidays hit us like a slap in the face this time round.  Where did the time go?  As busy parents, Dave and I only caught on that holidays were coming up on the Wednesday before.

3 whole weeks of both kids at home – at a time where we actually don’t have a car available to us! What a nightmare!  We are one week in and…I haven’t had a moment for blogs or recording or work till now.

And boys are like puppy dogs, they have so much energy you have to take them out for runs, plays and activities.  If I keep my boys in the house too long, they literally start to destroy it.

Anyways having surrendered to the fact that I’m not going to be as productive these next few weeks, I’ve been trying to come up with activities to do with them in the house and locally.  Here’s a few things I have on the program.

Walks to the park

If the sun is out and it’s not raining, it’s a goer! I thought I would have a problem getting them to leave but after a good play they are more than happy for a drink of water and home time.

Cooking

Chance adores cooking.  This week we made banana and choc oat muffiny cookie things (I was improvising).  We also make pizza using wraps and tortillas with tomato and cheese.  They are so quick and easy.  Next week we’ll do cup cakes and pancakes.

Lego

Everybody loves Lego, till they step on one!  Building things with Lego is so good for their development and creativity.  We always opt to buy the genuine Lego brand though as they are built to last and wont crack into sharp bits.

Dancing

We have lots of Wiggles and ABC kids DVDs in reserve and the kids absolutely love dancing.  Plus it burns lots of their seemingly unlimited energy (ours too).  All in fun and exercise.

Art

My kids are big fans of Mister Maker so they love drawing and making things with cardboard, paper, clay, straws – just about anything.  Try to collect bits and pieces they can use for crafts: jars, boxes, toilet rolls, tins, lids buttond etc it is also a nice way to recycle.

So there is a good start.  I’d love to hear what other parents are doing on school holidays to keep their kids entertained.  Please comment below.  Remember that days of them dying for your love and attention are numbered so make use of the time while you can. One day you might be the one chasing after their attention 😉

Dad, Mums, School, School Kids, Uncategorized

Just show up

Today my son Chance had his half year assembly and presentation day. It was his and my first.

His class of 3 year olds came out and sang and recited a poem for a big audience of parents and friends.  My son being my son of course, came out and went straight for the microphone and hogged it for the whole performance!  I had to go up on stage to hold him back from taking the mic over from the other kids.  It was hilarious.  But the best part of it was when he looked out to the audience and saw me there. His face lit up and he shouted “Mum!’ and my heart was full.

It was optional but I attended.  And I attended because I remember what it was like to be a kid and not have anyone show up to watch.  My family couldn’t always make it due to work, lack of transport and other commitments and sometimes they did, but they were late.  Even though it wasn’t them being intentionally nasty, as a kid, sometimes it felt very disappointing and even embarrassing.

So today I showed up for my kid. On time.  And I was proud and happy for him and for all the other parents that I saw there showing up for their kids.  I think that it is so important for them to know that there is someone there rooting for them, always, no matter how young or old or popular they are.  It’s such a great confidence booster and builds so much trust.

So if you can make it. Show up. It might be boring. You might hate it. It might be an effort.  It may be out of your way. Show up. And be early.  And clap and be proud and excited for them.  They’ll remember it for a long time.

Today my son showed me all of his work that was displayed on the walls at school, including the below drawing of the kitchen?  He’s a creative one 🙂

chance draw kitchen

Behaviors, Dad, Development, discipline, Mums, Playtime, toddlers, Uncategorized

Kids will be kids

boys play

I have 2 of them.  Active little monkeys.  3 year old Chance and 2 year old Etienne.  I actually don’t know where all of their energy comes from.  Always touching, climbing, jumping off or destroying something!  Sometimes I think they are on a mission to kill themselves.  As parents of small children we barely have any energy left for ourselves at the end of the day, when we take our boys out,  David and I get asked how do we keep up with them?  Truth is we are pretty relaxed with our boys, often we let them figure it out for themselves.  I mean that in a non-neglectful way of course.  We give our boys the freedom to run, jump, dance, throw, wrestle, climb as they please.  The rule is if its not gonna hurt them or put them in direct danger or destroy someones property, let them do it.

Children are meant to be seen AND heard.  Every action and sound that they make in these first few years helps them to develop and learn.  They are supposed to know how to climb — if you don’t let them they won’t learn.  They are supposed to touch and feel objects to learn about textures and for mobility.  The more they use their hands the better they get at it.  They need to jump off things to practise landing on their feet.  They need to fall to be able to learn to brace and pick themselves up.  And sometimes they need to feel pain to learn how to cope with it.  They are constantly creating new rules about what they can, can’t, should and shouldn’t do.

If you are constantly hushing your child every time he or she opens their mouth, your child may struggle with vocalising opinions and standing up for themselves in the future.  If you don’t allow them to make mistakes they will assume that life is easy and naive.  If you don’t let them take small risks now they will not learn to assess risk at a later stage.  If you give them everything, they will expect it from everyone else.  If you shelter them away from disappointment, rejection, loss and fear, they will struggle to create strong coping mechanisms.

So let them live.  Let them play in the dirt, let them get dirty, let them hang from a tree, jump off the ledge.  Just be there.  Be there to make sure they are ok and safe, then be there to pick up the pieces.

Don’t worry too much about mess till the end of the day.  Create a fun, safe and active environment for them at home.  We like to cook, draw, play chasy, soccer, wrestle and dance with our kids.  The whole family gets involved, even grandma! We take them to the mall, the park and the beach often because they need to get out.  And when they are well exercised, they sleep better at night. And so do you 🙂

I’d love to hear about how other parents deal with active kids, so please feel free to leave a comment below.

 

 

Baby, Birth Story, Mums, Pregnancy, Premature, Uncategorized

Etienne : My little miracle

 

It has taken me more than 2 years to write this post.  I guess it’s because it was such a crazy time of my life, but before I write anything about what I experience with him on this blog, I’d like to introduce my youngest son Etienne.

After a traumatic experience giving birth to my son Chance (you can read about it here: https://creativemamaau.wordpress.com/2013/12/22/my-birth-story/ ) I wasn’t sure I wanted to go through the whole process again.  Especially not any time soon.  But fate had decided that Chance would have a little brother. Just under a year after Chance was born I fell pregnant.

I have to say being pregnant the second time was easier, just because you knew what to expect and you aren’t freaking out at every body change, movement, cramp etc..  I was much more lax about it.  Being pregnant and having a 1 year old proved to be a challenge however.  My first child is and has always been active.  He also is very affectionate and likes to climb all over me.  Once I started to get bigger, I struggled to keep up with him and hold him in my arms.  I continued to work normal hours (I’m a singer and vocal coach) and had this amazing plan that I would take all the work I could get till the end of March then I would take time off in April – when bubba was due.  It was a great self organised maternity leave plan I had for myself.

roxy-pregs-e.jpg
1 week before give birth

Etienne came on the 22 February 2015.  A whole 8 weeks premature.  Right in the middle of my busiest work month.  The night before, I had contractions, which I brushed off as the ‘fake’ ones cause it was way too early.  But they intensified and at 5am I asked David to take me to the hospital.  Yep my baby was coming.  He was ready to be out it one easy go.  It would have been a real short labour, had we not had to prolong it.  You see, when a baby is born 8 weeks early, the lungs have not yet fully developed and so there was a massive risk that he would not be able to breathe on his own.  To help move his development along, I was given steroids and told I would need to wait 12 hours for them to enter bubba’s blood stream.  This would give him a boost and give the lungs a chance to further develop.  I also was given something to try to stop my labour.  12 fucking hours of him wanting to come out and and me and the doctors holding him in.  No pain relief drugs.  My uterus hurts just thinking about it.

 

My mum flew to from Melbourne to Sydney to join me at the hospital.  By now we were about 9 hours in and David’s eyes were falling out of his head from fatigue.  I sent him home and called my best friend Veena.  She was the angel that dropped whatever she was doing to help me through the last few hours and hardest contractions.  Each time they came I buried my head on her shoulder and squeezed her hands – I was sure I would break them.  At the 13th hour, I finally got my epidural.  Gosh, as soon as the pain was gone, I told the doctor — all good, no rush now, we can just chill.

Because I had had a c-section with Chance, under 2 years before, I was originally recommended to have another c-section with baby number 2.  The pressure of giving birth naturally after a c-section, having not fully repaired, could lead to the scar tearing open again.  But things were progressing quite fast (bar the doctors slowing things down) and Etienne was going to be tiny, so the doctor didn’t think it would be too much of a risk to have him naturally.  I took the natural birth route.   I gave birth to Etienne just after 11pm that evening with mum, David and Veena present.  My Epidural had worn off just in time to feel the push and Etienne was so small he popped out of me relatively easily.

But as soon as he did he was taken away.  The prodded and poked him and stuck wires into him and put him on machines and into a box.  He was born 1.6 kg.  My palm was the size of his whole torso.  My heart sunk when they told me he would have to stay in the hospital for 6 weeks.

 

 

I stayed in the hospital for 10 days and then every 4 hours I needed to return to the hospital nursery to breast feed my baby.  He always fought to stay off the machines. My boy was a fighter. He wanted to breathe on his own and on the 3rd day, they took him off the oxygen machine.  He still had to have a tube into his mouth and nose, which went down to his tummy because he had not yet learnt to suck, so he was fed milk through this tube with a syringe. There was a nurse with him 24 hours a day.  Thank god for those nurses.  It was hard.  I had a one year old who was needy and not allowed to see his brother yet, I had a full schedule of work and my partner and I were exhausted.  To top it off, we were also moving house. FML!

Choosing the natural birth option was the best thing I could have done for myself.  I was literally able to dance the next day.  I did however wait a week before my first gig (straight out of hospital and on stage as diana ross and the supremes lol).  By the 3rd week the intensive care nurses thought I was superwoman (or had lost my mind). Every 4-6 hours into the hospital, breast feeding or express pumping in between gigs and teaching.  I remember feeding, then of to the hair dresser for a massive 60s do and eyelashes, then coming back for 2nd feeding, then off to a “Starlettes gig” and then back to the hospital at midnight for a feed still in my gold sequins maxi dress.  Then the next day I was Tina Turner.  ‘What a glamorous life I had’ they said, But I was delirious 🙂

 

etienne skintoskin
Skin to skin

Pumping milk out of my breasts in between sets wasn’t fun either but I didn’t want to explode whilst on stage (it happens), so it had to be done.  Anyway, my little man was doing well in hospital.  We had a lot of skin to skin time and he slowly learned how to breathe and suck.  I will never forget holding him in the baby ICU and watching the red light flash on the machine that monitored him with his heart rate counter falling rapidly because he was tired and just momentarily forgot to breathe.  It happened twice in my arms.  His heart may have not stopped fully, but mine surely did.

 

 

 

etienne coming home
Holding hands on the way home

It was a hazy 6 weeks and when it was time to leave we moved into our new place. Bringing Etienne home from the hospital felt so awesome, even though he wouldn’t have professional monitoring by nurses 24/7. I was excited to have him home with the rest of the family.  My heart was full when in the car on the way home from hospital, Chance held Etienne’s hand.  It was the perfect start to our new journey with our 2 boys.  Having 2 children under 2 is hard work but I’m glad I had them when I did, because they are close in age and they interact really well with each other now.  Also for us parents, we are still familiar with the development stages when the second one goes through them.

Oh and they are not the same, they are like chalk and cheese with regards to personality.  Etienne is no where near as social as Chance is much more sensitive (he is his father’s child for sure), he is fairer (like he actually might burn in the sun rather than tan) and he has straight hair.  He sure did catch up on his weight too. The little tank is almost the size of his brother now and has been wearing the same size as him for a year.

I wasn’t sure I had enough love in my heart to share between 2 children but the moment I lay my eyes on him, I had found another very special place to hold Etienne forever in my heart.  He is 2 now,  fussy as hell,  loud, sometimes grumpy, but my is he beautiful.  I still can’t believe he’s mine.  He will forever be my little miracle.

I’m still grateful for the nurses at RPA in Sydney, I’ve never seen a team so caring and hardworking.  They literally saved my child’s life and continue to save lives everyday.  My best friend Veena,  I mean, you watched me pop a baby out of my vagina, we homies for life!  I’m so blessed to have you as Etienne’s godmother.  To David, I never told you how fucking awesome you handled both births and pregnancies.  I love watching you parent and become a better dad each day.  To mum, who taught me to be a mum and who left her life to choose us and be a part of our little family.  Thank you for always showing up for me.  And to uncle Scott, whom we could not have coped without through the early months of both our sons.  We can’t wait to have you here with us again soon.

Lastly, thank you for taking the time to read my story.  It has been quite therapeutic to write and remember.  Till the next one (blog post, not baby).  :p

I’ll leave you with some recent photos of my Etienne.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health & Hygiene, School, School Kids, Uncategorized

Attack of the School Germs

handpaint

Let’s be honest.  Kids are grotty. Their hands have touched and poked random crap out of curiosity, they sweat buckets from playing, the are professional nose pickers (he literally handed me a booger yesterday), and most have yet to grasp the idea of covering their mouths when sneezing or coughing.

My 3 year old started school 2 weeks ago.  In 2 weeks I’ve kept him home 3 days, 2 separate infections, the first, fever and sore throat, and the second, a cold/cough… Both times he’s almost lost his voice..  Apparently I’m getting off easy… I haven’t experienced ‘Attack of the school gastro’ yet. (And I’m heavily crossing my fingers).

I started to think that maybe schools and other kid areas are dirty and gross and aren’t well kept.  I send my child to a private and brand new (newly built in December last year) school with a small amount of students.  There are only 10 kids in his class and still he has picked up the germies.  He also got sick in the small time frame I sent him to childcare in Sydney. Surely they (all schools etc) cant be germ infested holes.

I’ve been reading up this stuff and have come to the conclusion that:

Kids are just gross (including mine) and germy

They soak up infection and bacteria like sponges

They have low immunity if they don’t mingle with the rest of the world.

So what to do?

Apparently, not much. I can boost my kid’s immune system by feeding him veggies or if he doesn’t like a variety of them, get him on some chewy kid vitamins.  I can teach him to regularly wash his hands (which is no problem, Chance doesn’t like his hands dirty anyway).  I can show him to cover up when sneezing & coughing and I can shower and clean him regularly (at least once a day).

Also I’ve heard the more he interacts with other kids and gets sick, the better immunity he will have to infection later on.

So let your kid be social, don’t stress too much if they eat a bit of dirt and roll through those minor infections, it is said to be good for them.

And for Fs sake, if your kid has a contagious something, please don’t send them to school to infect mine…The attack of the school germs is not fun!

I’ve added a guide below

Lastly, if anyone has any tips on how we can battle through this please comment below. I would love to know how you have coped with the germ factor.

 

 

keepmehome

 

 

 

Food, Grandma's Corner, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

Grandma’s Corner : Pregnant and hungry

preg and hungry

 

Mother of 4 (all 30+) and grandmother of 8, I thought I would write about some of the differences between my generation and the new generation concepts around pregnancy and parenting.

I have decided, in my first blog I would like to comment on the new theory of what you can eat whilst  pregnant — at least a new theory for me. The ‘foods to avoid while pregnant’ issue, is a very curious idea to me and I was wondering if it was to anybody else as well.

Back in the day we ate whatever we wanted and how much we wanted whilst expecting.

The following was found on the (Kidspot .com.au) website:

Prevention

I think the following should apply even if you are not pregnant.

Avoid changing the cat litter and any foods or drinks that contain raw egg. When gardening, ensure you wear gloves to protect yourself from coming into contact with cat pooh.

I am not so clear on why we are not able to eat the following foods. Shouldn’t we eat most foods that we normally eat so our children can already be prepared for the world that they are being born into?

All types of sprouts, such as alfalfa sprouts, broccoli sprouts, onion sprouts, sunflower sprouts, radish sprouts, snowpea sprouts, mungbeans and soybeans (raw or cooked) are also best avoided.

Other foods to avoid include:

I would suggestthat if the following foods are harmful for babies, then why do we eat them ourselves.

 

  • Cold, smoked and raw seafood, especially oysters
  • Pre-cooked diced chicken, the type you buy at delicatessens and sandwich shops
  • PateHam and other manufactured meats
  • Self-service salad bars or packages salads, such as coleslaw and pasta salad
  • Soft cheese, such as brie, camembert, fetta, cottage and ricotta
  • Soft-serve ice-cream and thick-shakes

 

Personally I would not eat liver any way but if it goes through our body first would this not prepare the child for life after birth? Why is it harmful to a developing baby?

 

  • Liver. Although liver is a rich source of iron, it also contains high levels of vitamin A –

 

something which, in excess, can be harmful to a developing baby. Liver should only be consumed in   small amounts during pregnancy (a maximum of 50g per week).
Mercury in fish

Okay, this is understandable. Mercury in fish can be dangerous for adults so I see why this needs to be avoided, by why some fish and not others? Which fish would be considered safe? I do not think it is healthy for pregnant women not to eat any fish at all. Some may opt to not eat any, because they are not sure what is safe. I would say I had occasional fish and chips while pregnant and it was probably shark because at the time I was not told not to eat fish. If anything I was told I could eat anything I liked. I wonder why is salmon not included in this list.

Fish is a great food for pregnancy and breastfeeding mothers but be careful which fish you choose. While some fish contain Omega 3 fatty acid – important for the development of the central nervous system in babies, before and after they are born – other fish may contain mercury levels that can affect the development of your baby’s nervous system, leading to delayed speech and movement.

Studies have shown that the foetus is most at risk from mercury levels in fish during the third and fourth months of gestation.

Women who are already pregnant, or planning to become pregnant within the next six months, should avoid fish with high levels of mercury, such as shark, swordfish, orange rough gemfish, ling, southern bluefin tuna and barramundi.

Statistics show we have more children with allergies now, the we had in the past (and on the rise) and I wonder if it could be because we do not prepare the foetus for life in 21st century in the same way as we did 20 years ago.  A lot of these allergies and intoleranies did not exist when I was growing up.

I have been to seminars on allergies and food and one of the things I found most interesting was the fact that we have so many varied cultures in Australia  and therefore more food varieties in our world today, that we did not have when I was pregnant. The seminar was partly focused on this as a reason for some of the allergies that occur, During my pregnancies  I would not have eaten a great deal of Indian food or Chinese food but since then I have of course eaten and enjoyed more varieties of food ( the Australian Culture has changed greatly since I was a child)..  There is also a lot to be said on how we grow and prepare our food today as opposed to the past etc GMOs but that is another discussion in itself.

I have four children and they all eat differently. One a vegetarian, one will try everything (but,doesn’t like curry much). One who is very picky and eats small meals all day (hard to please but never gets fat). One who eats large amounts of food of many different varieties. They are all grown up now, two have had medical problems such as eczma because I am asthmatic. Only two have had this problem. My mother was asthmatic from the age of 21 and I have been from the age of 18, my brother was born with asthma and my sister is prone to bronchitis, so I;m keen to know if Asthma is genetic or did my mother eat the wrong foods or could high stress levels during that time of her life have been a contributing factor? ( I know for a fact her stress levels were very high most of her life because of family life, and especially when she became a single mother).

I have a grandson who is allergic to peanuts. Could it be because we are advised not to eat so many different varieties of food while pregnant today?. Though I did have an aunt that would not eat peanuts she always said they made her feel ill. I find it interesting that the small amount of research I have done does not seem to have any clear cut reasons for all the allergies we have to-day, at least for me. I have 8 grandchildren and only one has allergies, 5. eat generally anything they want, 1. is lactose intolerant and 1, eats mostly sweet food, and one brave child would eat more but must sustain a certain diet.

Only one of my daughters took notice of the recommended pregnancy food list and I wonder if this may in some way, be a link to her sons peanut allergies. Are we giving mothers to be “blanket diet rules” which need to be adjusted to incorporate other factors, such as, medical history, genetic history and culture etc. ?

I still believe that we should eat what we would normally eat (in moderation – I wouldn’t be advising running off and eating a truck load of mouldy cheese), whilst pregnant, and pay more attention to food freshness and hygiene standards rather than food type, as bacteria and food poisoning seem to be the only real issue with eating certain foods whilst expecting.

Oh, and it’s a given that you should not smoke, drink or take drugs!!! As far as I am concerned anyway.
Bye Bye from

Grandma to the world (or at least it seems that way),

Diane Moffatt X

grandma and chance swing

Uncategorized

Introduction

roxy2chancetowel

As some of you may know, my name is Roxy, I’m a working musician, a singer, vocal coach, band manager, business owner and musical director.  And on top of all of that I have a son named Chance.  I am a 30 year old Creative Mama.  I have started this page to bring together a whole bunch of non-9 to 5-ers and unconventional mums/dads to talk and share ideas on parenting and integrating a child into a busy, creative and ever changing lifestyle.  My son is 10 weeks old today and from birth my partner, David, and I have tried to remain fairly the same in terms of our lifestyle since he arrived.  David is a stay home dad, fitness trainer, sound engineer, producer, performer, graphic designer, artist and tech enthusiast – And to add possibly the best baby daddy – ever 🙂  Because of him I have been able to keep up my busy teaching and gig schedule, the running of my business “The Boutique Music Group” and even get a full 8 hour sleep…sometimes.

Anyway I really hope you enjoy reading and sharing here as much as I do.  Please use categories to find what interests you eg. “Product Reveiws”, “Hot New Stuff”,”Daddy’s Corner”, “Parenting Today” and drop me a line if you wish…

Okies…Let’s get started 🙂