Coloured jeans – go on Mummy, brighten up your family’s day.

I absolutely love my coloured jeans – and so does my son. He actually told me to put on a particular colour this morning.

Wearing some colour brightens up my day. I am a jean lover from way back. So having the option of coloured jeans leaves me grinning like the Cheshire cat.

The good news is that you can purchase mummy body-friendly coloured jeans with an equally appealing mummy budget-friendly price tag. Target, Big W and Kmart all sell these jeans for very reasonable prices. I have personally found the Kmart jeans (pictured below) to be the best fit for me (size 10 Australian). It’s not very often than I spend money on myself but at $15 a pair, I now have two colours, and am somewhat tempted to add another colour to my collection for Spring.

So go on, be bold and get some colour on your legs and a rainbow in your drawers. What is your favourite colour? I have blue and grey. What third colour would you recommend for me?

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Toys we absolutely, wholeheartedly rate! #01: a super dooper wooden clock.

We love wooden toys. In fact, I think I am going to ban the purchasing of plastic toys – even secondhand ones – from our household.

One of the first quality wooden toys that we personally purchased (we’ve been given a few as delightful gifts) is a Tidlo Sorting and Teaching wooden clock:

These are the features that I absolutely love about it:

  • The one toy facilitates so much learning: shape, colour, number and word recognition; fine motor control skills; and of course, learning about how to tell the time.
  • The shapes are the perfect size for little hands.
  • The shapes are magnetised – so less likely to go missing when not being played with.
  • The toy is excellent quality.
  • The vibrant colours are appealing to children.
  • The toy is attractive enough to have on display in a child’s bedroom at all times and comes with a little stand, perfect for display on a child’s book-shelf.

We have had this toy for about a month now and my son still constantly asks to play with it. He usually tires of toys very quickly. It’s fun and educational, is a fabulous display piece, and will be loved by a child from the stage that they can start sorting shapes to when they can competently tell the time – what more could a parent ask for? A reasonable price tag? It ticks that box also.

Here is another clock shape sorter option by Melissa & Doug – love, love, love:

Do you have a shape sorter clock toy that your family loves? What other wooden toys would you recommend?

Where have you been all my toilet cleaning life?

A little while ago we moved house and I was so devastated when I couldn’t locate my Enjo products for quite some time. I was most over-joyed in particular when I was reunited with my Bathroom Handy.

It really is … handy. I had truly forgotten just how handy it is, until I cleaned the toilet with it at the new place for the first time.

I had been cleaning the toilet with one of those conventional toilet brushes and had even resorted to the dreaded toilet duck chemicals. The toilet looked clean enough and I’d given it some serious scrubbing with each clean – and ended up with a massive chemical-induced headache in the process.

Anyway, the same day I was reunited with the Bathroom Handy, I cleaned the toilet with it. With the first wipe under that toilet rim, I remembered just why I love this product so, so much. Oh horror, the amount of unpleasantly coloured refuse that the clever Bathroom Handy managed to reach and clean. It took about 10 rounds under the rim to remove all that hidden refuse. But remove it I did, easily, with the Bathroom Handy and water alone. No headache and a very satisfying (and somewhat terrifying) cleaning experience.

So I dare you to discover just how unclean your toilet really is under that pesky rim.

Grab a Bathroom Handy and give that toilet a good once over. Let me know what you find… actually, perhaps don’t!!!

http://www.enjo.com.au/products/product-gallery/Bathroom-Care/Bathroom-Handy.aspx

Mei Tai – the Babywearing Bomb!

When my son was very little, I spent a lot of time carrying him – he wouldn’t have it any other way, having rejected the pram on multiple occasions with raucous hollering (anyone would have thought I was trying to kill him rather than give him a comfortable place to lie). This made getting out and about a difficult thing, until I discovered baby carriers.

I went the standard course that many parents go with baby carriers. I initially made the mistake of buying a Bjorn-like, crotch-dangler contraption. It was the ultimate shoulder torture device and my son didn’t look particularly comfortable either – although he didn’t let out a squeak in protest (anything but the pram)! I later found out that such a device is not recommended by Paediatricians, Physiotherapists and Chiropractors, due to the position the baby’s hips are held in, whilst their legs are allowed to dangle in such a manner.

Armed with my new-found knowledge that baby should be seated in the optimal ‘M’ position – knees higher than bottom, I then bought myself the only ergonomic buckled carrier that I could find sufficient positive reviews about … an Ergo Baby Carrier. I really had no idea of the other options available and scarcely had the time to do the research. All of my friends either used Bjorns or Ergos, so I couldn’t glean any additional ideas from them.

I decided on the Ergo Sport model, mainly because I wanted a carrier that my muscular, 6’5″ partner could also use. It was also touted to be cooler than many other buckled carriers – this I thought, would be useful for the hot South Australian summer. However, in short, I hated the Ergo and it turned out to be an incredible waste of money for us. I didn’t like the insert for the hot Australian Summer but without it, the carrier absolutely consumed my son until well over 6 months of age (despite him being 95th percentile for height). My son was an ‘arms out’ kind of a baby. He hated being swaddled and equally detested having his arms constrained in a baby carrier.

So I shelved the Ergo for when my son was older, as no matter how I tried, I just could not adjust it to suit his needs at around 6 months of age. When he was finally big enough to tolerate the carrier, I found it ridiculously uncomfortable – it tugged on my shoulders no matter how I adjusted it, in a front carry particularly, and surprisingly even in a back carry. I just couldn’t adjust it down enough for my frame for it to be supportive enough. My son was also a notorious baby carrier leaner – and the height of the body panel of the Ergo was not sufficient to prevent him from doing this.

You know that old saying ‘Your mother knows best’?! Well it turns out my mum really did, when it came to babywearing at least. My mum enlightened me to how she used to carry me in a ‘mei tai’ that she had sewn herself. She insisted it was incredibly comfortable for both her and myself, and that it was the only way that she could get anything done or go anywhere without me howling. I originally dismissed her comments as I didn’t think that a mei tai would be suitable for a newborn. I should have done my research – turns out they are absolutely perfect for newborns, even premmies, like my son. If I had have known I would have ditched the sleepy wrap that I used initially (and also hated!).

Anyway, when my son was around 5 months I decided that I would try a mei tai as nothing else was working for us. I first invested in a Gerobaby mei tai and a half buckle carrier. These were the Bomb. Oh my gosh, I was in baby carrying heaven from the moment I put one on. It was so comfortable for me. It was also obviously incredibly comfortable for my son as he would be happily worn in it for hours. I found the learning curve for tying the carrier to be quite quick and soon learnt the art of tying the straps under tension (with the gentle bounce to get the best positioning for my son).

As soon as I put the mei tai on, I was impressed by how I could achieve such a very exact and secure fit, that I had not been able to achieve in other carriers I had thus far tried. My son seemed better positioned in it than the other carriers, and as an added bonus, he felt absolutely weightless – no shoulder pull or lumbar spine pain. Amazing! Of note, my partner could also get a great fit, without the fiddly adjustments required for buckled carriers. The versatility of the me tai was fabulous – the panel could be left at standard height to provide a head rest when my son was tired, or if he was wide awake, the body base could be rolled to shorten the panel and allow him to ride with arms out. We wore those carriers every day without fail, for hours, for months and months. They held up beautifully, even after multiple washes, and they received countless compliments. Even those who were dubious about babywearing had to admit ‘He sure does look comfortable!’

The mei tai is the bomb of baby carriers for the following reasons:
Adjustability between users and suitability for all body sizes and shapes.
– Ease of use – no buckles to worry about. I can get my mei tai on in less than a minute and can do so straight from the car.
Versality – can be used on front, hip and back, and babies and toddlers of all ages. Straps can be worn in many different ways to suit the individual wearer and to change the distribution of carrying support as your child progresses from newborn to toddler. I am a huge fan of being able to cross carrier straps at the back for a front carry – so much more comfortable – and the mei tai allows for this, whilst many buckled carriers don’t. The base can be rolled to shorten the panel. If your mei tai doesn’t have a cinching mechanism you can use a ribbon or similar easily to achieve this. You can also easily insert a rolled cloth nappy to give baby some additional height in the mei tai – if you are not a fan of rolling the base, or don’t want to roll it multiple times.
Durability – a well made mei tai washes up well, are easy to iron and show very little sign of wear.
– Mei tais are appealing as a baby wearing option for both Mummy and Daddy (and Grandma and Grandpa!). You can design a mei tai with reversible prints: a masculine print on one side and a feminine print on the other. Alternatively, opt for a plain colour on one side and a feminine print on the other.
– The basic design has stood the test of time. Mei tai carriers have been used for eons. This is hardly surprising given such a simple and easy to use design, that is also super comfortable for baby and parent, and can be dressed up with lovely fabrics to make it look beautiful or funky.
– A good quality mei tai will always be cheaper to purchase than a buckled carrier of the same quality. They are truly very affordable and absolutely good value. A reasonable quality mei tai will hold its value well and sell for a reasonable price secondhand.

What to look for:
– Padded straps. Padded waist for older babies and toddlers (or use a babywearing support belt such as Catbird Baby’s).
– At least two layers of supportive cotton – canvas, twill, or similar. (A decorative lighter weight cotton panel may also be used.)
– Double or triple stitching on straps and body and either box stitching or batik stitching where the straps join the panel.

Many baby wearers opt for a woven wrap conversion mei tai. I just couldn’t justify the expense personally but it is another option you may want to consider. As the wrap straps flare, this provides additional support under the baby or toddler’s bottom and legs and may extend the life of the mei tai further into the toddler years (by then still providing knee to knee seated support, where standard size mei tais with regular straps may not).

Brands that I love (you can’t go wrong with these simple and affordable mei tais):
Babyhawk. They have such a versatile number of stock prints. The carrier is very supportive even through to toddler years. I can still carry my 15+ kg toddler in my toddlerhawk. It doesn’t go knee to knee but because it folds up nice and small it is still a go to carrier for shopping trips and the like. I designed mine with a pocket – very handy. I would prefer the pocket to zip or close with velcro but if I really wanted to, I could add the velcro myself. My son has always liked the design of the carrier as where the straps join the body panel there is plenty of room for him to get his arms out, whilst still having good back support. it doesn’t have a hood however my son is not a sleep in carrier kind of a kid – this may be a consideration for if you intend to have a sleeping baby in the carrier.
Freehand. This carrier has a little stretch and super comfy and ideal for newborns. Just make sure the carrier is genuine – there are many counterfeit sellers.  An add-on hood can be purchased for the mei tai.
Kozy. Countless parents rave about this mei tai for newborns and toddlers alike. It is a real workhorse carrier – you will get years of wear from it. I personally don’t like the fit as much as some other mei tais but since plenty of parents do I have included it in this list. It also doesn’t have a hood or a pocket (stock).
Catbird Baby. This mei tai is beautifully made and I adore the strap angles – the mei tai fits so perfectly. The fabric is so lovely and soft whilst also being so supportive for both baby and wearer. The Catbird Baby is my favourite mei tai for its price point. Incredibly affordable and totally lovely. It is manufactured stock with a hood but no pocket.
Melkaj. Beautifully made and every single mei tai is unique. These are truly artwork. They are also incredibly comfortable and priced well, given the amount of detail and hand-craft that goes into each one. These mei tais also come with a hood but no pocket. You could likely get a custom with a pocket.
Two Mommas Designs. Simple but effective, these mei tais are loved by many. They are quality made with a great design that is incredibly comfortable. These mei tais come stock with a hood and a pocket design can be requested custom.
Gerobaby. My first mei tai love! The padding on the straps and waist band is super comfortable. These mei tais do not have a hood but Morgan would certainly be able to make one if requested. A pocket is a worthwhile optional add-on. I would suggest that these mei tais would be best used from 3-4 months onwards. Morgan designed me a custom Toddler half buckle which I still use with my now 24 month old. Her work is fabulous and very reasonably priced.

Trust me, a mei tai is an absolutely essential baby purchase. You won’t regret it. Instructions for use can be located on most of the above linked web-sites. Let me know which brand you have or intend on purchasing. Do you have any other recommendations?

Toddler version 0.1 – upgrade recommendations?

Disclaimer: please note, this content is purely comedic.

Today I waited to speak with Toddler version 0.1 support desk for over half an hour. After this time had elapsed, I became even more disgruntled than Toddler version 0.1, who had been tugging on my leg, wiping his snotty nose on my track suit pants, and sulking and whining like a broken record ‘Mummy PLAY! Mummy PLAY! Mummy PLAY!’ for the entire 30+ minutes. So, I thought I’d seek the advice of other parents with a Toddler version 0.1, as to what options may be suitable for our family.

Our Toddler version 0.1 is literally ‘out of the box’. Although very happy with the gorgeous toddler than he is, he does have some short-comings. This is understandably to be expected, given that he is a very early version (in fact, the first released model of his kind). Of interest I have read that there are a significant number of patches, fixes and add-ons now available for Toddler version 0.1. Yes, these are likely to cost me an arm and a leg. Hell, why not, I have already lost my mind care of Toddler version 0.1. I am keen to enlist the help of other parents who have already purchased said patches, etc, for their recommendations. I have compiled a short-list that I am particularly interested in.

Toddler version 0.1 Add-ons

From the immense plethora of options available in this category, I am seriously considering the following:

– Instant sleep button; and,

– Nappy auto change feature.

Toddler version 0.1 Major Fixes

These major bug fixes are released quarterly with each standard major release cycle, usually in response to the most severe and recurrent incidents reported by parents. There are several from this category that have piqued my interest:

– July 2012 release: correct compulsion to break into cupboards full of expensive adult possessions and then irreparably destroy said items (all in the space of a 30 second parent toilet break).

– July 2012 release: correct objection to bed time. This fix covered all issues frequently reported by parents relating to both day-time naps and the over-night sleep. They guarantee no more sleep avoidance behaviours once this fix has been implemented.

– March 2012 release: correct tendency for shopping centre major melt-down and all out floor-sprawling tantrum display.

– December 2011 release: correct fussy eating. It has been reported that after this fix is staged, Toddler version 0.1 will eat everything served up to him or her on their plate with utter relish, and exclaim with sincere gratitude, ‘Thank you Mummy, that was delicious’. This is my personal favourite.

Toddler version 0.1 Patches

These patches were created in between major releases and are generally less expensive. There are a number of patches that could be of assistance to our household.

– Gentle patch. Ensures small, helpless, adorable animals will not come to harm in Toddler version 0.1’s eager hands.

– No more nose picking patch.

– Sit still patch. This functionality is invoked in socially appropriate settings – i.e. it was designed especially for church services, restaurants, and the like. A complete list of triggers is documented on the developer’s site.

– Instant aversion to power-points and all electrical items patch.

– Generously share toys with visiting toddlers patch.

– Use tissue for nose blowing as soon as nose runs patch. This one will be of great benefit to other working parents such as myself who are tired of going to work covered in snail trail snot.

– Instantly occupy self with imaginative and quiet play when phone rings patch. This functionality is good for the duration of the call and will only be switched off when phone is hung up.

Reported Toddler version 0.1 defects – fix pending

The developers of Toddler version 0.1 maintain a publicly accessible defect registry and encourage parents who currently have a Toddler version 0.1 to submit encountered defects (if not already raised).

The instant lock jaw and total body paralysis on presentation of a tooth brush to Toddler version 0.1 is the most severe and recurrently reported defect that is still awaiting a fix to be developed. Other noteworthy reported defects are: instant hearing loss when asked to pack up toys; propensity for misuse of even the most innocuous, toddler friendly object, resulting in certain injury; and, unyielding compulsion for playing with scalding hot objects.

 

Which Add-ons, Fixes and Patches have you used for your Toddler version 0.1? Have they been of benefit? Do you have any other Defects to report. I’d love to hear, so come on, please share 😉

DISO Irresistable Chicken Mince Nugget Recipe

DISO. That’s Desperately In Search Of – in case you haven’t moved in those parent help group (or similar) circles. Desperate. Oh yes. In Search Of – Google frenzy ensuing. Mummy v0.1 has a need for an absolutely awesome Chicken Mince Nugget recipe.

So I have a 24 month old son who is amazing … amazing at food avoidance techniques. He is immensely successful of depriving himself of nutrition and has no idea of the detriment to his own well-being, nor the frustration and exhaustion it is causing for Mummy v0.1. Mummy v0.1 is fast becoming a nut job. Unfortunately my son would be delighted to exist entirely on a liquid diet. He loves those bottles. We’re working on that issue.

I am ashamed to say that my son eats mostly the same thing every day. He frowns at his parents’ food with deep disapproval – apparently pondering over how we could eat such poison. He has never been interested in meal time and instead, sees it as an inconvenience to his play time. He is interested in the mechanics of eating – likes implements and telling us about the biology of eating (where food goes, from one opening to the other!). Immensely stubborn and incredibly suspicious, he just will not try anything new. Unfortunately one of the few sources of protein he will eat is chicken nuggets. Yes, I know that this is hardly a good quality source of protein, and yes, I know that the store bought variety are hardly healthy. Hence I am seeking a home-made alternative with a similar texture to his regular store bought ones.

So please, overwhelm me with suggestions, and please, let the recipes be simple – I am hardly a domestic goddess!

I have stumbled across the following two recipes, both with promising reviews. Which one to try first – any thoughts? Wish me luck!

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/17472/chicken+and+vegie+nuggets

http://www.babyledweaning.com/recipes/lunchdinner/enids-minced-chicken-nuggets/

Hello world!

I’m an every day working Mum – currently attempting to juggle work as a System Analyst and a Mummy to a 24 month old. In the world of IT Specifications we have a draft version (version 0.1) which is rough and ready but super eager and ambitious. I liken myself to this as a Mummy. Maybe I’ll achieve version 0.2 one day!

I have always loved writing, ever since I was a little tacker. When I was in primary school I’d finish my work as quickly as I could and then spend the rest of my time writing and illustrating story books! My other interests are fitness and crochet/craft.

I have a B.Sc. in molecular biology and genetics, have studied nutrition and dietetics at Masters level, have completed a Certificate in Fitness, and have professional systems test analyst qualifications. Yes, a totally mixed bag of useless knowledge for the most part!!!

I expect that I’ll blog about the comedic aspects of parenthood, products that I love, the occasional educational piece, and perhaps sometimes even about my adorable son.

If you think I’d enjoy your blog, please drop me a line and I will check you out.