Xavien’s Golden Safari First Birthday

Xavien’s Golden Safari First Birthday

Well I must say that this past year has flown by! I feel like I just blinked and my tiny newborn turned one. I always knew that I wanted to throw a themed party for hist first birthday. I feel like for boys you are limited with ideas!

During the year we used to take Xavi to the Zoo and I always loved the greenery, animals and being out in nature. Its something I really want to expose him to as he grows.

I also wanted something that wasn’t traditionally done for a first birthday. So the Gold Safari idea was born! A mix of greenery, animals with classy gold finishing.

I went about making mood boards before I contacted all the local Perth business to help me bring the vision to light. I choose to use small businesses run my mums, as I really wanted to support local.

I began organising everything at least 3/4 months out! I also did a lot of things myself and was very particular about every detail.

For the kids we hired a ball pit, slide, pony cycles and had stickers and zoo animal masks for them to play with. They loved the pony cycles so much! I would definitely use them again!

I didn’t want to do lolly bags for the kids so their gift boxes contained:

  • A plastic zoo animal
  • Play doh
  • Bubbles
  • Zoo Tattoo
  • Custom cookie

The masks, bubbles, stickers and tattoo were from Discount Party Supplies. They have so many different themes and party supplies on their site!

I choose Halo Events as my event/styling company and they also provided the animal props, ONE table, big balloon displays, welcome stand and all the setup. They were so incredible to work with and as always, did an amazing job.

All the other amazing businesses are listed below (Instagram handles) and I would highly recommend everyone I used and would use them again. All of them went above and beyond to help and bring the Gold Safari vision to light!

Photographer Zahra Creative

Venue @rafflesperth
Event Planner @haloevents_perth
Table Arrangements @the_bloom_box
Kids Table/Chairs @allegraandgrace
Ball pit, slide, rug @milaandchloe
Balloons @theballoonfairy
Cake and cupcakes @queenofcakesperth
Cookies @therusticteaparty
Tableware and Gift boxes @Favorlanepartyboutique
Signage @truestyledesigns
Cake topper @footandflame
Photo drop ( Leaf drop) @tleafcollections
Time Capsule ( Wooden box) @lepetitcadre
Pony Cycles @ponycycles

 

Travelling to Bali with a Baby

Travelling to Bali with a Baby

So I must admit that I felt a bit nervous about travelling oversees and on a plane for the first time with a baby!

Will he sleep on the flight? Will he adjust to the weather? Will it be too hot? How will I bath him? Will he cry on the plane? Will his ears hurt on take off and landing? What will he eat? Will he sleep okay?

All of these things went through my head at first. My first bit of advice is get organised and prepared. The more organised and proactive you are before you go will determine how relaxed you are when you arrive at your holiday destination.

We had the best time in Bali because I was relaxed and prepared for everything.

Flights:

I booked our flights to compliment his usual nap time. When going to Bali this is generally easy to do as you have a few airlines to pick from. I chose an after lunch flight on the way there and a morning flight on the way back. This worked really well for us. He napped both times. Have enough toys and food keep the occupied. I over packed snacks and also preordered food on the flight. If you preorder food, you also get served first which is ideal. You are allowed to take food and milk to feed your baby.

  • Choose wooden ( not noisy) toys. I picked up a a few from Kmart and he loved them
  • Pack some fruit, berries, water bottle, packet snacks, sandwich and milk if you are bottle feeding
  • Pack a sleep suit, blanket and comforter on the flight
  • Pack jumper and socks in case it gets cold
  • Nappies, change mat, cream, wipes, hand sanitiser

We also booked a window and aisle in hopes no one will sit in the middle, this worked for us on the way there! I would do this again. He also loved looking out the window. Be prepared that you will be entertaining them every minute they are awake, its hard for them to be in a confined space if they are used to crawling/walking around. That’s why the toys and food come in handy.

We bough the Baby Jogger City Tour travel pram and we loved it! I also received compliments at the airport when people saw me folding it and putting it in the travel bag so easily! It held up really well on the Bali roads too. We carried ours on the plane as hand luggage. Airlines will usually check your pram and travel cot for free.

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Accommodation:

I loved staying in a villa! Xavi had so much space to crawl and play. Also at night time we could put him to sleep in the room and we were able to watch tv and unwind in the lounge or swimming pool area, without bothering him. I would definitely only stay in a villa with a baby. Thats just my preference. We used Bali Villa Escapes and stayed at the Istana Satu Villa

In bali there is a lot of convienience that can be purchased! You can hire pool fences, toys, cots, walkers, have organic food delivered, have groceries delivered etc

I used Bali Baby Hire for toys and I went to the local Bintang Supermarket to purchase bread, fruit, milk, cheese, snacks to have in the villa so he could have fresh fruit everyday. Most villas will provide this for you and a lot also have villa room service.

Although I didn’t order any meals for Xavi because he just ate what we ate and I bought some organic sachets with us, there is a great company that makes organic baby food and snacks and delivers it to you! You can find more information here Mini Muncher

I bought a box of 1.5lt water to bath Xavi in everyday. We used 1 bottle plus 2 cups of boiled water for his bath water and his bath gel. We had hired a bath tub that was delivered the night we landed. There was no issue with him getting the water in his mouth if that is a concern.

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Essentials:

So when it comes to packing for your baby, its easy to go overboard! I thought I had packed too much but I literally used everything I packed. It also depends on when you travel to Bali. July/August has beautiful weather and towards the end of the year is hotter and humid. The villa also provided a travel cot and mosquito net ( which is a must) in Bali, but you can hire them.

Sleeping:

  • Bonds zippy wonder suits for sleeping ( yes its hot but the aircon is cold)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleep sounds (If your baby uses them) Baby Sound Spa
  • I also bought the Adair kids room spray as we use this very night at home
  • Their teddy/blanky/comforter

Play:

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Feeding:

  • I bought plenty of organic snacks and Only Organic Sachets, I bought enough for x3 per day ( just in case)
  • I bought a travel bowl, utensils and bibs. I loved the B.Box Range
  • I also loved the Medea Quick Clean Microwave Bags I used them at least 4 times per day to sterilise Xavi’s bottles/utensils/breast pump parts.
  • I also took my Enjo Vegetable Cloth because I literally use this everyday for his fruit

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Clothes:

You can never have too many and they are so small they don’t take up too much room! Aim for 2-3 outfits per day! We took lots of short sleeved leg rompers, shorts, singlets, and singlet onesies!

I hope some of the above can help you and ease the stress of travelling with your bubs!

If you have any more questions please record below or see my saved stories on Instagram!

xx

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The fun world of solids!

The fun world of solids!

Firstly I find that there is alot of information available for this stage but like all the stages it can be conflicting and a confusing time for mums! Often when we feel confused, we tend to have some anxiety around the process. What to start with? Is he ready? What are the signs? Some mums tell me to wait, some mums tell me to start, my doctor says something different, start with purees or finger foods etc…

So I’m going to outline how we started, what I did and what our 6/7 month current solids/milk routine is now!

I had done a lot of research, read articles and books and I decided to start baby Xavi at 4 months of age. He was showing signs that I was looking for and he had doubled his birth weight. He was reaching for food and drinks in my hand and looking at me when I was eating or drinking. So I decided it was time to start him.

I chose to use organic produce to start with. I used pumpkin, butternut pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots and baby porridge. The first day I tried him at lunchtime and over the next few weeks we continued that. I used my finger first, then a soft tipped spoon. The amount was 1-2 teaspoons at first and then he started to take more. I fed him until he told me to stop. Signs to look for are avoiding the spoon, arching back, ignoring you, clamping their mouth shut or crying. He took to solids really well! We stopped often to give him cooled boiled water to help with constipation. Soon he had worked his way up to two feeds per day at a few teaspoons per sitting.

We unfortunately encountered constipation to which I tried all the remedies, I was unhappy after two weeks of it so I decided to stop solids and keep him on breast milk until it subsided. I did this for two weeks then I started him back. In hindsight I would not do this again, as he refused the spoon when we started so I had to go to finger foods! Xavi baby still has issues on and off with hard stools but we manage it the best we can with extra water and fruits (Prunes, Pears, Plums, Peaches etc) and probiotics.

Every baby is different, some are ready when you try them, some are not, some get constipated, some don’t, some love your cooking and some don’t. It’s all a learning curve and as long as you remember not to take it too seriously you will both have fun.

I started to add in meat and tried him on the usual allergy type foods (eggs, peanut butter, fish) before he was 6 months as the research I had done specified it may reduce their risk of allergy’s if tried before 6 months.

After the first few weeks of adding in different vegetables each day, I decided to mix it all up and get creative. I cook 90% of his food and we use organic food sachets also. I have lots of fun creating dishes for him and now what I cook myself to eat I l give him some as long as I haven’t added any salt or sugar.

We do fruit and cereal (with added iron) for breakfast, vegetables for lunch and meat/fish for dinner. He is currently on 4 hourly milk feeds

Here is a typical day:

  • 6.00am Wake and Milk feed
  • 7.00am Breakfast
  • 8.00am Nap Time
  • 10am Milk feed
  • 11.30am Lunch
  • 12.00pm Nap Time
  • 2.00pm Milk Feed
  • 3.30pm Nap Time
  • 4.30/5.00pm Dinner
  • 6pm Milk Feed
  • 6.30pm Bed

So I leave 1 hour at least between milk and solids. During the day its milk first, then solids. Before bed its solids then an expressed bottle after bath time.

This is working great for us and he is now on about 3 tablespoons of food per sitting plus 2 snacks during the day. I also give him finger foods at every sitting so he can play, eat, learn and explore textures. I steam up different fruit and vegetables, grate cheese, soft pasta etc

I hope this helps some mums out there starting out with solids!

Remember just have fun with it and enjoy the process.

 

xx

Mini Chia Puddings

Mini Chia Puddings

Im loving anything coconut these days! So mini chia puddings are my go to for a healthy dessert, day time snack or breakfast!

You will need;

  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 5 tbls organic chia seeds
  • 1 tbls agave
  • 1 ts organic vanilla extract
  • 1 mango ( or your chosen topping)
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl
  2. Leave for 5 mins and then mix again and seperate into 3-4 mini bowls or 1 big one if you choose!
  3. You can either add in your mango now to set within your pudding or once it has set you can add fresh on-top.
  4. I put in the fridge overnight or you can make in the morning and enjoy at dinner time

Note: I use 1 mango for 3-4 mini bowls and I also add in coconut flakes on top, however you can add any toppings you like! Some of my favourites are;

  • Dried blueberries and apricots
  • Dates and coconut
  • Mixed berries
  • Strawberries

Enjoy!!

A note on why Chia is amazing for you!

Chia seeds are a superfood! They are high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, protein, dietary fibre and Omega 3 ALA. The 9 things that Chia can help you with is:

  1. Skin and aging
  2. Digestive health
  3. Heart health
  4. Dental health
  5. Boosts energy and metabolism
  6. Helps fight diabetes
  7. Helps build muscle and lose weight
  8. Helps build stronger bones
  9. Helps fight breast and cervical cancer

Just 9 reasons to enjoy this yummy desert even more!

12 hours to Motherhood

12 hours to Motherhood

So here it is! My birth story. To be honest I don’t really know why it took me so long to get it down! Although it could be the fact that I have a newborn! haha

I view my birth as a positive, enlightening experience that I am tremendously proud of. There were a few things that I was trying to avoid during my birthing process (Interventions) but it turns out it was all necessary to deliver Little Boo safety and soundly into my arms. I did a lot of work around birthing without fear and I’m so glad I did, as I was able to enjoy most of the experience and now look back fondly.

So I planned to have a calm, natural hypnobirth. I only really decided this in the third trimester when I discovered hypnobirthing! I did attend the classes a tad late, but nevertheless I had 4 weeks after I had finished the classes to try and master the tools. In hindsight I would recommend if this style of birthing interests you – do attend classes as early you can so you can really tune in and develop/practice the skills.

I also had a detailed birth plan, however I am a big believer in going with the flow, as labour can take many turns (and it did!)! But it was my choice if it did go to plan, I did get the experience I would like.

I chose to birth in a private hospital and I always knew that I was unable to go over the 41 week mark (my OBs rule) and to be fair I was happy with 41 weeks of carrying Little Boo!  There was also the fact that Little Boo was posterior and showed no signs of moving into the preferred birthing position.

Generally they say that babies that are posterior make for a harder more painful birth – but I didn’t buy into that! I trusted my baby, I trusted my body and I focused on being calm and positive and then the rest,  I left up to my OB.

So from 39/40 weeks I started to do all the things I could to bring in labour. Eating pineapple, raspberry leaf tea, evening primrose oil, exercise, sex, squats, hypnosis, meditation, eating dates, massage, pressure points etc. I also did everything I could to try and move Little Boo from being posterior. 40 weeks rolls around and still no sign of him coming out so my OB booked me in on Tuesday 15th August for an induction, that I really didn’t want. The reason being is, at that stage I was scared of the induction due to the fact I wanted to use my hypnobirthing techniques without pain relief to see me through my labour and I was concerned that the surges (contractions) would come on too quickly.

I woke up that day with a horrible migraine and I tried to cancel the induction by calling the hospital but we were told to come in. By the time we got there I was very emotional and in pain. My OB at first was not too happy about moving it but agreed due to the intense migraine I was suffering. The induction was moved to Thursday 17th August. He sent me home with some strong painkillers and I was told to rest.

So I did just that, I went home and slept off my migraine and relaxed at home. That evening I rechecked my hospital bag, his room, and made sure I had everything ready to go for Thursday. Hubby had to work so I ordered takeaway and watched netflix.

Little did I know that at 8.30pm Little Boo started to initiate labour! I thought I had eaten too much so I ignored the tummy cramping and went to sleep, every hour or so I woke up and went to the toilet and there was no show or waters broken so I went back to rest. Then I realised the tummy cramping was not going away but instead becoming more intense. I was so excited I jumped out of bed, put my music on, got my exercise ball and starting using my relaxation and rocking techniques to breathe through the surges. I was also timing them on my phone to keep track. At 1pm I rang hubby who was on his way home and he said “Are you in Labour” and I and “YES”. We rang the hospital to advise them and then I told him to go to bed to get some sleep, as I knew I was a fair way off.

3.30am at I was in and out of a hot shower and I knew it was time to go to the hospital. I woke up hubby and told him that it was go time. I was still very much in my zone of relaxation and feeling positive, although the surges were now getting stronger I was thinking how on earth would I be able to sit in the car!

We made it to the hospital and checked in, I had asked for a room with a bath and requested midwives that support hypnobirthing. It was now 4.30am.

Now I had opted for no vaginal examinations and no talking so I could remain in my “zone” so that it could help me breathe through the surges without pain relief. However it all went a bit haywire!

The midwife checked me and said I was only 4cm dilated after 8 hours of breathing through surges, which were now very intense. I felt disappointed. At that moment I felt doubtful that I could keep going with my plan. She offered to run me a bath, which I agreed, however it was not hot enough and it was not helping me relax. So next was a hot shower. At this stage she told me I would have another 6 hours to go, and it was at that moment I was thrown out of my mindset and “doubt” had taken over. There was no way I could handle the intensity for another 6 hours! The surges were coming every 3 minutes and literally taking my breath away, and it was taking all my energy and focus to get through them. So I did what I didn’t want to do and asked for an epidural. She told me that the anaesthetist was 45 minutes away.

By the time he got there it was an hour and I was still in the shower. The hot water was my pain relief and I had my hypnosis/relaxation tracks which were on repeat. Hubby was in and out being an amazing support person and doing everything he could to help me.

Then the anaesthetist arrived and the process was started. Little did I know that it takes a good half hour for that! By this time it was 6.30am.

I did not feel the epidural go in at all! Then something interesting happened. The surges were as intense as ever and were showing no signs of easing. So I asked him when it would work? He said it could take 15-20 mins. By that time my OB had arrived and came in to break my water. He also bought with him another midwife and bright lights! Luckily I already had a flannel over my eyes to keep myself somewhat in the dark and relaxed. I had my eyes closed pretty much from when I arrived at the hospital until the very end! That was one thing in my control. It really helped me to remain calm and go with the flow.

Half hour passed by and the surges were becoming more intense. I asked if he had put any drugs in and he said it should be working! So guess what? It wasn’t! All of that for nothing! “Brilliant” I thought to myself and then I just focused on breathing and being in the present moment. It was 7.30am and I was 8/9 cm dilated and my body decided it was time to push.

This part was amazing! The body is incredible. Little Boo was working so hard on the inside and I was doing my best to help him. I did the second thing I didn’t want to do and that was birth on my back. But it was 11 hours of labour and I was one tired Mumma-to-be. So I went with the flow and listened to the voices instruct me on the outside (my OB and midwives) even though I couldn’t see them. There was one midwife that was in my ear and helping me to “breathe” through the surges and helping me ride them up and down. She was a godsend.

My body was pushing in waves automatically and I was verbalising the surges without me even trying and every inch of my body was pushed to the limit as I did my best to help Little Boo come earth side. 45 mins into active pushing and my OB needed to intervene. “Great” I thought – “what now”? The third thing I didn’t want to happen – an episiotomy. Much to my surprise – I didn’t feel a thing! Then Little Boo was still having trouble so out came the suction. I found out later that he was still posterior and he had a short cord! Those two things were working against us, so no amount of pushing or breathing would have helped without the suction or episiotomy. I said do whatever you need to do to deliver my baby safely.

It was then it all moved quickly.

I gave birth to my Little Boo at 8.34am after a 12-hour labour. I hypnobirthed through a majority of it and up until the last minute I had my eyes closed and was as focused as I would ever be. I was so focused I didn’t want to take of the flannel from my eyes until he was in my arms but I heard everyone yelling me to “Look” “Look your baby is here”. I will never forget watching him meet the world and being plonked onto my chest. I think I was in shock. I just remember feeling so proud, so relived and I was so in awe of him and of what I had just done.

He latched right away and stayed there on me for 90 minutes so I could bond with him. During that time I was stitched up (again that didn’t hurt either) and I birthed the placenta and it was a few hours before I was able to have a shower and get into my room.

By the time we got to our room, the enormity of what had happened dawned on me. I was a Mumma, I had carried, nurtured and birthed this little human. I would never be the same again and I knew then, that I was reborn also. I was so overwhelmed by love and affection I could not stop staring at him all night and every night since then.

And that was the day my whole world changed.

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The First Six Weeks

The First Six Weeks

Six weeks has passed already! It’s amazing how quick the time goes! I wanted to share some of my learnings so far.

Postpartum healing

The first 2 weeks for me were the most difficult with healing. I was very impatient with pain and I had a natural delivery that also involved an episiotomy. What helped me was the perineum spray and padsticles that I made myself. I also used ice and painkillers that were safe while breastfeeding. I had a donut to sit on to help with pressure and I used the perineum spray after going to the toilet. By day 15 the pain was 90% better and by 3 weeks I would say I had no pain.

Support

I have my mother in law staying with us to help me and I cannot stress enough how much she has helped me. It’s imperative to have a support network for those first few weeks especially! You are healing, you will be sore, bruised, emotional and may be in pain. Then you have a new little human you are trying to look after. You are also trying to figure out feeding, sleep deprivation and adapting to your new life! If you can and if it’s an option, organize as much help as you can for as long as you can. Washing, chores, eating, showering and looking after yourself becomes a little bit of a luxury. You are able to do all these things if you have help.

Breastfeeding

I chose to breastfeed and thankfully my baby and I were able to make it work well for us. Although the first few days resulted in really sore nipples, blisters and I was in pain. I asked for a shield to help me initially and you do have access to a women’s physio that can give you laser therapy on your nipples! It doesn’t hurt and I got 3 sessions at the hospital – a few days later I had no pain and my nipples were healed! I thoroughly enjoy breastfeeding now. You can seek any women’s health physio for this service. I also use the shield every now and then when my baby cluster feeds.

Sleep Deprivation

You will be okay and you will sleep again. You still get to sleep it just may be broken up. Your body helps you by producing hormones to assist your ability to adapt. Some nights baby will sleep more and others less. It will pass and you will feel rested again.

The app “The Winder Weeks” is amazing. It’s great to know when your baby is experiencing developmental leaps and what to expect and what you can do to help your baby.

Postpartum Body

Your body will look different, you will still have a belly after birthing your bub but it will shrink slowly. I chose to use a belly support from Mamaway Your boobs will become bigger once your milk comes in ( usually takes 3-5 days) and you can feel hot and engorged. It may also feel like your getting the flu. When you breastfeed you may feel tummy pain! This is your uterus shrinking back into place. It will pass. Going to the toilet is not as scary as you may think. Just be patient and take your time. A cooling perineum spray or spritz bath will be soothing afterwards.

Baby Clothes

I used lots of zippy wonder suits those first few weeks! Buy ones with built in mittens and socks – even easier! I also loved separate tops and bottoms for sleep time. That way if baby needs a diaper charge during the night you don’t have to fully undress them. I also loved the Love to Dream sleep suits for sleep time and I used the Cocoonababy to help baby sleep and it’s easily portable to move around!

Let me know in comments if you wanted me to cover any other topics!

Xx

Stretch Marks

Stretch Marks

If you have been following me for a while, you will know I tend to be very organized and plan well ahead!

Preventing stretch marks was definitely on my list of things to try and avoid. My mum had stretch marks and many forums will tell you it is probably hereditary! I disagree.

Now, I already had stretch marks on my hips from when I was a teenager and I had gone through a growth spurt. They are white now and barely visible. So I was thinking there would be a good chance of me getting them during my pregnancy!

So here’s what I did!

  1. I used Dove Triple Moisturizing Body Wash every shower
  2. Applied Mio Tummy Rub Butter and Oil morning and night from end of trimester one
  3. Applied The Stretch Serum in the last 8 weeks of trimester three
  4. Drank 2.5lt of water daily during my pregnancy
  5. Exercised

The result was I had no stretch marks at all during my pregnancy! However after bub was born I noticed I had four small marks on my belly ( hardly noticeable) which I’m okay with!

I had no stretch marks on my boobs until after my milk came in! They have come up around my nipples and underneath but I have heard from a lot of woman, they tend to go away after breastfeeding. However if not, I’m fine with that too.

I’m continuing with my creams now on my tummy and boobs and will for the next 4 months or so.

If I’m concerned about stretch marks at a later date I will get them lasered. Until then a spray tan covers them!

So all in all, even though I was very proactive with prevention and I’m happy with the outcome, I still have some stretch marks.

However, every woman and every body is different. Some women get them and some don’t, but there are lots of things you can do to prevent them or minimize them.

I look at my body and my marks now and I embrace them because I was able to create, nourish and bring a little human into the world and when you see their little faces, nothing else matters.

Much love xx