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Baby mythbusting 101

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It occurred to me today that not only haven’t I written a post forever…but I also know a lot of people with new bubs. These two things are in no way related, just so you know.

And while I love oohing and aahing about everyone’s cute new little bubs, it does always make me catch my breath when I think about what these mum’s must be going through.

All the well-meaning advice, the old wives tales, the myths, the conflicting information can really be enough to send you off the deep end.

So I’m here to bust some common myths that drive me a little bit bonkers and put a lot of pressure on new mum’s that feel torn between what they want to do and what they’re told to do.

This doesn’t mean that I think the below is something all mum’s should do, but if you want to do it you need to know it’s okay and your child isn’t going to go through their teenage years still wanting to breastfeed and sleep in your bed….if they do you might want to seek help, urgently.

  • Cuddling your baby to sleep will not mean that they still want to cuddle you to sleep when they are teenagers, it would make for an awkward sleepover situation;
  • Breastfeeding your baby past the age of one will not make it impossible to wean them (see here), will not make them introverted…but it might kill off your boobs (I’m living proof and secretly can’t wait until menopause, as my mum reassures me that’s when my boobs will magically reappear – fingers crossed);
  • Breastfeeding your baby to sleep does not mean that they won’t be able to settle once you wean them. They will, they’re more versatile than you think.
  • Having your baby sleep with you (in a safe way of course, we used to put them in a baby sleeping bag on top of our blankets and only when they could easily lift up their head) will not mean that they will want to sleep in your bed forever. Both of ours are out, albeit the youngest pops in for early morning snuggles most mornings.
  • It’s okay to have a strict routine, but it needs to be flexible  too because life is unpredictable.  Your baby will cope with change if you lead the way. If you’re anxious about it then they will be too.
  • Day time naps aren’t for every child, my kids are living proof that a child can ditch the daytime nap at a young age (read 18 months…and yes I did cry long and hard about it) and still function academically and physically at a high level. Don’t sweat it.

The best advice I ever received was from a work colleague. When I rang her in tears that my eldest wasn’t ‘conforming” she said ditch the books and do “whatever works for you. If that means driving to the Sunshine Coast and back (this was clearly before petrol became gold) so he sleeps, then do it.”

BEST. ADVICE. EVER!

Oopsiemumma xo

P.S. Here’s another post I wrote busting the “perfect parent myth”, it’s quite shocking.

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What no-one ever tells you about dogs

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When we bought Juke Box (our surname used to be Box…it’s a long story…and so we always said our firstborn would be called Juke – hilarious..no?) 10 years ago, no-one ever told us that there were a million things you needed to know about owning a dog.

It was never mentioned that we’d fall for the runt of the litter, with doey eyes and the sweetest nature.

We had no idea that as a Boxer, Juke Box would be extremely lovable and intelligent in so many ways, yet absolutely ridiculously stupid in so many others. Read here if you don’t believe me!

There was no warning that as a puppy he’d keep us up half the night with toilet runs and whimpering, eat my brand new rather expensive leather high heels, among many other things, and escape so many times from our yard that the entire neighbourhood would know who he was before he hit his first birthday.

oopsiemummajukegate2013

Juke even managed to escape the day I went into labour with Master Sporty. So there I was walking the streets, hanging onto random fences for dear life while I waited for my contractions to pass, looking for him. There was no way I was giving birth to anything until I knew he was safely back at our house.

We missed the part on Google that warned Boxers have many medical problems, our vet now drives a Porsche thanks to us and day trips to the Bahamas. We, on the other hand eat porridge three times a day to pay off our enormous vet bill.

Not a single person mentioned to us that the dog we swore would never come inside, would somehow make his way into our bed, onto our couch and stand guard at the end of our first babies cot when he was sleeping (that was kind of cute, the in our bed not so much given that he was a 27 kg hair shedding dog – ewwww).

We knew when we bought him that  Boxers had some unique qualities, like a particular hatred for fire (they get quite distressed when camping and stamp out the sparks, kind of handy really), they think they are puppies ALWAYS and while they look like good guard dogs they will lick you to death first.

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What we didn’t fully understand was that Juke Box was going to howl whenever our baby cried, would protect him from falling off anything he deemed unsafe and would generally treat our children like one of his well protected “pack”.

No-one ever told us that he would completely steal our heart and those of everyone who ever met him and then one day he would suddenly die and nothing would ever be the same again.

No-one ever dares to remind you that Boxers only average 10 years and don’t like to let on when they’re sick or in pain.

No-one ever warned us that losing your pet, your ‘firstborn’ child together, is like losing a human from your family. The grief is the same, the loss is the same, the big hole they leave behind is the same.

But in typical Juke Box fashion, he went out in style. Not any regular disease would do for our boy Juke, nope he had to go and get a rare salivary gland condition and go out as the “one in a million dog” he always was. Literally, a one in a million chance he’d get the disease that would kill him.

And to add to my grief, losing our much-loved Juke Box has meant we’ve turned into one of those families. You know, the families that can’t let go of their pets so they do this:

oopsiemummajukeashes2013

Now to explain to the three-year-old that her doggy is in an urn, and she’s not to knock it over. I seriously don’t want to have to suck him up in a vacuum cleaner.

Now that would be an awkward moment.

oopsiemummajukeold2013

RIP Juke Box

16-11-2002 to 24-03-2013

Oopsiemumma xo

Mr Fix-It takes charge of our wedding anniversary…and nailed it.

It’s been a big couple of months.

First Mr Fix-It went and turned the big 4-0. I wasn’t ready, I’m still not ready, I’ll never be ready to be married to a forty-year old. I’m still having my own personal midlife crisis about it. Which is scary because I’ve already written about how I was having a  midlife crisis last year.

THEN we went and had our 15th wedding anniversary. Seriously it seems like only last year we hit number 10 and now we’ve catapulted to 15.

Every anniversary we alternate who takes control of the celebration, we don’t do presents, we do escapes from reality outings.

When we hit number 10 it was Mr Fix-It’s turn.

Now, Mr Fix-It has come up with some gorgeous little places to eat over the years but quite frankly I’m a control freak and I wasn’t letting him take the reins with our 10 year wedding anniversary. You can read all about how that little adventure went right here.

Soooooooooo when our 15th came around it landed directly on Mr Fix-It. A little reluctantly, actually a LOT reluctantly, I gave up the reins, closed my eyes and hoped for the best.

Well this is what I got:

First we went to Cha Cha Char for lunch, in Brisbane City, on the one and only day EVER that a gunman was wandering around the main shopping mall. We weren’t so worried about the crazed gunman, the police seemed to have it under control, but the traffic snarl that made us late for our lunch date was rather annoying.

Then Mr Fix-It convinced me we were going on a half hour drive to our next destination, when in fact we drove a couple of hundred metres down the road and spent the night at the beautiful Stamford Plaza. (Note – this is not a sponsored post, but if you work at the Stamford feel free to send me a few nights free, it was fabulous!).

oopsiemumma march 2013

Oooh la la, very romantic, no?

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There’s nothing quite like a good view.

Then on day two, Mr Fix-It had another little surprise up his sleeve. We hit the road and headed South-West. Driving through lots of farming country. I started to become a little concerned that his idea of a romantic getaway was staying in a rustic cabin, with an outside loo and mooing cows outside the window.

I had nothing to fear.

There was not an outside toilet or mooing cow in sight. But this is what I did see.

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The only sign after endless dirt roads. They are tricky at The Bunyip, they know how to keep their guests out of sight and well relaxed.

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This was our accommodation. We stayed in the right-hand side apartment. Mr Fix-It and I LOVE this type of architecture. So simple yet so effective.

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Let me show you inside.

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It was a little overcast and I forgot my camera, but you get the idea. Gorgeous leather couches, delicious wooden floorboards and accents of calming green.

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I have always dreamed of having a bedroom on a mezzanine floor with a beautiful view, and here it is. Even the shower and toilet had a view.

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I loved just sitting in bed and looking at that view, how could you be anything but calm waking up to this every day, bliss.

But our little apartment was only a little taste of The Bunyip (check out their website for some gorgeous photo’s). There was also The Great Room.

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The Great Room is a massive living space with a huge kitchen (you can self-cater if you prefer or have Rob and Marina cook for you – they produce AMAZING food…which I don’t have any photo’s of *sigh*). This room has all sorts of areas set up for relaxing and eating, a truly amazing space that you share with the other guests (although we got seriously lucky and there were no other guests, a rare occurrence), and a truly amazing view.

Between The Great Room and the apartment building is a gorgeous little pool for a summer splash. It was a bit cool and drizzly while we were at The Bunyip, but it made our time there all the more relaxing. Speaking of relaxing, Marina gives the most fabulous massage. A talented pair.

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Mr Fix-It had thought of everything. Not only did we have beautiful accommodation, fabulous hosts and to die for views, we also got to go on our own little  romantic picnic. Rob and Marina sent us on our way with a picnic basket and two esky bags FULL of food (so full of food that we literally couldn’t eat dinner that night).

With directions in hand, we headed to the Governor’s Chair, if you can overlook the signs that warn of your impending doom should you accidentally step over the unfenced edge, then the view is simply breathtaking.

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It was a bit misty with all the rain we’d been having, but you get the idea…and did you notice I’m practicing my “no tuckshop arms” pose?

Then we headed to Lake Moogerah, had a walk along the dam wall and set up our picnic of heavenly goodies.

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I think this anniversary getaway was a winner. I might just trust Mr Fix-It to organise our 20th wedding anniversary…although it does technically fall on my year.

Any romantic getaways to share?

Oopsiemumma xo

Favourite Photo Friday – 15 years of commitment…with a gorgeous man

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wedding

Fifteen years ago today, when we were just babies, we got all dressed up in pretty outfits and committed to a lifetime of love, tears, adventure, arguments, mystery, stress and fun together.

And that’s exactly what we got. It’s not all fun and games, and some days I have to remind myself that Mr Fix-It’s life insurance will not buy me a dad for my kids…though it would pay for a nanny and a cleaner…mmmmm.

I organised our 10-year extravaganza, so today landed directly in Mr Fix-It’s lap. He’s kept it all about mystery, relaxation and fun.

I have no idea where we’re going or what we’re doing and quite frankly the suspense is killing me. All I know is we’re going away for three nights, kid free, and it’s not too far from home.

Or at least I hope it’s not on a plane because in typical Oopsiemumma style,  I am sick (I spent our honeymoon drugged to the eyeballs on over-the-counter medication in Hawaii) and a flight might make my head explode.

I’m placing bets on a night in Brisbane city followed by two nights at the Gold Coast.

Place your bets below!

Oopsiemumma xo

Mr Fix-Its birthday bash – the big four-ooooooh

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Mr Fix-It recently turned 40.

He coped…I didn’t.

I have vivid recollections of watching my step-dad have a 40th surprise birthday party and thinking “Gee he’s getting soooooo old”.

So when Mr Fix-It’s 40th suddenly landed on my lap, he seemed quite okay with it, while I rocked in a corner in denial that I could be married to someone so ancient (apologies to all my over 40 readers who have just taken me off their Christmas card list).

In order to deal with this pending doomsday birthday I threw myself into birthday preparation mode wholeheartedly.

In fact, so riddled with insanity was I that I decided to cater for it myself, because I’m such an awesome chef, never leave things in the oven until they’re black, have never set off the smoke alarm and am always in complete control while in the kitchen. My name is also Pinocchio.

But with the help of some inspiring friends who came up with a “Big Kids” party theme, and after roping in my mum and mother-in-law to do a bit of cooking, I managed to pull it off without too many hiccups and can even say I really enjoyed it and felt totally calm (might have helped that my gorgeous sister-in-law, parents and good deal of friends were only too happy to help me in the kitchen).

I’ve had a few requests for a rundown of what I did so here it is:

  • First you order a jumping castle and add a magician to entertain the adults kids. Note: I’m not sure who had more fun on the jumping castle and there were a lot of adults peeping around the corner into the kids magic show. 
  • Then you PANIC for a few weeks, write lists of things to do that you then lose or screw up and throw out and write another list of things to do…so it feels like you’re actually doing something and NOT panicking.
  • Then you reassure the birthday boy 20 million times that it WILL BE FUN…or so help me.
  • Then you PANIC that it WON’T BE FUN and everyone will be talking about your horrendously boring party for the rest of their lives.
  • Finally you pull yourself together, realise you chose a big kids party theme because it’s easy and you start to get your cook on.

Here’s what I did for the birthday menu (I was catering for 33 adults, and 17 children – not all made it in the end so I had a few leftovers which was kind of nice for the week after). Apologies to my non-Aussie readers if you have no idea what these food items are. I promise they’re all edible:

Nibblies:

  • A bowl of  “old style” lollies.
  • A few bowls of chips that we used to eat as kids eg. Burger Rings, Cheese and Bacon Balls, Cheezels (that I saw more than a few adults walking around with on their fingers!)
  • I made a pesto dip, sundried tomato dip and hummus dip and served with rice crackers, jatz and vegie sticks (that no-one touched…because there were Cheezels on offer).
  • Fairy bread – YUM!

Main Meal – finger food:

  • Cheerios (small frankfurts) with mini rolls.
  • Homemade sausage rolls
  • Homemade mini quiches served cold (in one case still frozen..oops).
  • Party pies
  • Meatballs and yoghurt mint dip- 2kg’s that I forgot to get out and serve.
  • Four pizzas that I didn’t serve because everyone was getting quite full.
  • 5 Baguette’s cut up into smaller serves and served with either ham or salami and lettuce, cheese and tomato.
  • Zucchini slice made by my mother-in-law.
  • Pasta with tomato, bacon and a delicious dressing served in cups with forks.

Dessert

  • Fairy cupcakes made by my mum
  • Frog in a Pond – jelly in a cup with a chocolate frog
  • And of course the cake, every child’s dream, a jelly pool (that could have done with a bit of chlorine).

cake up close

I’m happy to post up or email out recipes if there are any that you’d like.

In case you’re wondering, I’m not having a 40th birthday party, because I’m never ever, like ever, turning 40. I’ll be 36 forever, it has a nice ring don’t you think?

Oopsiemumma xo

Miss Princess and the case of the brown paper bag

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Miss Princess has been a little “challenging” of late. Or should I say a little more “challenging” than usual.

It seems that her usual temper tantrums and cranky moods have, well, cranked up a notch or seven. I thought that as she closed in on turning four things might settle down a little. I was oh so VERY wrong.

For the record we’ve no idea where this hot temper comes from, she can’t blame it on a horrid babyhood.

This child hung out in a sling until she was 14 months old, co-slept from birth until she slept through at two and a half and was breastfed to the age of three. Nothing to complain about there.

We’re blaming a genetic throwback…though I do suspect it’s more a genetic combination issue.

It’s cranky pants central at Oopsiemumma headquarters on Monday’s when big brother gets to go to school but she doesn’t. And all hell breaks loose after her Monday mid-morning gymnastics lesson because she doesn’t want to leave.

And Friday’s…well let me just say that every second Friday when kindy isn’t on, I start reaching for the wine bottle before 2pm. Totally acceptable to do that on a Friday I believe.

The meltdowns and tantrums reached fever pitch today, by the time I got home from school pick-up I was ready to run away from home.

So Mr Fix-It stepped in. I’m not sure whether it was to save my sanity or to save Miss Princess from me, but either way it worked.

He taught her to breathe.

Five deep breaths every time she got angry.

And it worked.

By the time bedtime rolled around she was deep breathing so much that I thought I’d need to get her a brown paper bag. I actually thought she was going to hyperventilate.

Let’s hope for some more deep breathing in the morning when she realises it’s the weekend and kindy still isn’t on!

Do you have a temper tantrum calming technique?

Oopsiemumma xo

Favourite Photo Friday – A sad day with happy memories

oopsiemummaripnannagreen

 

 

It was a bit of an emotionally mixed up day in our household today. Mr Fix-It’s Nanna passed away in England and suddenly everyone felt a very VERY long way away from one another.

His Nanna had been unwell for many years, and in all honesty her mind had left this earth quite some time ago, but the finality of her life being over was still a tough pill to swallow for everyone.

This photo is one I took at Point Cartwright, one of Nanna’s favourite places to visit whenever she was out here on one of her long and very enjoyable visits. This photo shows the Point at one of its wildest, following a storm. It’s pretty much how we’re all feeling at the moment.

If the weather plays nicely this is where we’ll be spending Sunday, as a family, remembering Nanna as she was – vibrant, loving and with a wicked sense of humour.

RIP Nanna Green.

Oopsiemumma xo

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