Hey parents. Let’s be good to our kids.

 

A few months ago I saw a post online about a mother who had shaved her daughters hair off because she was always playing with the scissors. She was always trying to cut her own her or cut everything in sight. She shaved her daughter’s hair off because she felt that there was nothing else she could do to stop her little girl for reaching for the scissors. She felt she needed to “teach her a lesson”. There were so many comments in agreement saying “good on you, show her who’s boss”, “she needs to learn” etc The only thing that girl learnt was humiliation that will no doubt haunt her for the rest of her life. She learnt that communication came in the form of punishment, and that her feelings didn’t matter because she was doing something that someone else didn’t agree with. Last week I saw a boy no older than 4 walking out of his driveway, coughing and crying. So visibly upset that he was choosing to walk down the road in the rain. What had made him so upset that he felt the need to escape the one place that was meant to make him feel safe? I watched him for a while before I drove over and stopped the car. I asked if he was okay and he just looked at me with tears in his eyes, shaking his head. In that moment I just wanted to put him in my car and take care of him. I told him to go inside so that he was out of the rain, and said that I hoped he felt better soon. I watched him stand there as I drove off, and I saw the person that was meant to be looking after him just point and laugh. My heart ached for that little boy. Just the other day I was in the mall watching the kids play in the play area. A little boy, younger than my own son ran out crying. He walked around the mall searching for his parents, he was so visibly upset and lost. My partner walked right down to the other side of the mall with him before picking him up and bringing him back to the play area. It had been a good 10 minutes and we couldn’t see anyone who looked like this little boys mum or dad. There was no one distressed searching for their child, in that moment I panicked and thought they’d actually left him there for good. 5 minutes later a dad came out of nowhere and asked what was going on. As we explained to him what had happened, he told us his 11 year old was in the play area.. and then he asked her why she hadn’t been watching her brother, why had her brother run off without her seeing? The mum also came over from the other side of the mall wondering what had happened. These parents had left two of their kids in charge of a toddler and ate where they couldn’t see their children. They didn’t notice their child walking around the mall crying. Not once did they panic or show any worry over what had just happened. I was angry for the daughter who was expected to be play mum, and upset for the little boy who couldn’t find his parents. These moments have played on my mind lately. Small snippets of a child’s life that have reminded me that there are so many kids out there who ARE suffering in ways we couldn’t even imagine. These moments have left me feeling helpless, wishing I could do more for all the kids that are falling through the cracks. The kids that are being taught that they aren’t important enough to come first, to be loved and nurtured in all the ways that they need to be.  As parents we need to love and respect our children. We need to treat them as we would anyone else, we don’t need to “show them who’s boss” or put adult expectations onto them. We may be struggling with our own shit, we may not know how to get out of a bad situation or a vicious cycle, but we need to be strong enough within ourselves to put our children’s needs first. Whatever your journey , wherever you’re life is heading.. please just do your best and be kind to your kids. Love them without bullying them, love and respect their innocence,  and love them so hard that no matter what’s going on in life.. they will get by just knowing that you’re there.

 

Lucky last- Putting the baby clothes away for good.

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Tomorrow marks 2 years since we welcomed our youngest into the world. He was our little miracle so soon after a miscarriage and he’s the final addition to our family.  While he enters another year of toddler life, I’m reminded that he is no longer my little baby anymore. The baby clothes have been packed away in storage, waiting to be passed down to future nieces, nephews or grandchildren. Baby rattles have been replaced with blocks, walking has progressed to running and baby babble has quickly turned into words and sentences. Some families make the decision not to have anymore children, and some have that decision made for them. Our decision is one we had to make late last year due to my own health complications, one that has taken me a while to be okay with. I’ve been blessed with two beautiful children who are growing so fast that some days I just want to freeze time and keep them as they are right now.  2 years on from the newborn stage, and I’ve finally accepted that there will be no more babies in our future. There will be no more little kicks or movements in my belly, no more pregnancy cravings, no more breastfeeding and no more first cries, first smiles or first steps. Those first milestones that we so impatiently want our first born to meet , suddenly become moments we want to hold onto and soak in with our last. We find ourselves torn between the excitement of our children learning new things, and the sadness that comes with knowing that we won’t get to relive that moment again. As my boy turns two tomorrow, I will remember his first breath and the way he gripped my finger so tightly. I will hold onto the memories of his first smile and I will remember the excitement of wondering what he would look like, what he would be like and who he would become. I will celebrate my own journey of motherhood so far and look forward to the future of raising children who have left babyhood behind ✨

Second child syndrome

My first child did not prepare me for my second. Regardless of the 3 years of parenting I had up my sleeve, having another child was like being a new parent all over again. I didn’t think about just how attached my children would be to each other, and how hard it might be for my second child to develop his own independence. Everyone says child #2 is always so much more laid back than the first, that 2 kids are easier than one. They’ll play together and keep each other company etc. Who ever said that must have some pretty sweet and chilled little babes. What most people forget to mention is that the second child is usually the first child’s shadow, They follow them around, watching and learning from them..taking in everything about them. They may be their own unique self, but they don’t know who they are without their older sibling. They aren’t sure of who they are yet and the absence of the sibling suddenly feels just as upsetting as dad heading off to work and being gone all day.

Since Willow started school, Ive noticed this is what’s happening with Luka. He’s walking around like a lost little puppy, not really sure what to do now his big sister isn’t home. At first I thought, wow are we onto the terrible two’s already? He’s had more attention and one on one time than ever before, he gets to play with all his sisters things when she’s not home and he’s doted on left, right and centre. Willow being at school meant more meaningful time spent with Luka, more trips to the park, more time for things like baking, playgroups and everything you get to enjoy with the first child. .haha how wrong I was! We’ve been to the park a few times, and everything else is still on the to do list. Our days have been full of temper tantrums, uncontrollable crying, constant cuddles and face time with dad whenever he has a spare moment.

Yesterday I spent an hour on the floor cuddling Luka after he woke from his nap, I wasn’t allowed to move from our spot and I definitely wasn’t allowed to get back to what I was doing before. Eventually I had to get up and carry on with making lunch and getting dinner ready, all while listening to my child scream the house down because he just wanted to be held. It was at this moment that I realised just how hard this new independence is for him. He’s pushing boundaries left, right and centre and needing all the comfort and attention that his sister would usually provide. “No” and “Go away” are the words of the week, and ” Where’s Wah Wah?” is asked constantly. In time, I know that Luka will learn who he is without his sister, and develop his own little personality.. But for now we’ll be over here surviving on caffeine, those much needed 9:30am naps and plenty of cuddles.

The Big 5

And suddenly she was 5 ✨🎈

This time 5 years ago, this little girl entered the world and pulled our hearts right out of our chests. She wears her heart on her sleeve, loves fiercely and has a wild soul that I hope forever remains untamed. Love you more than the moon and all the stars, Happy birthday Willow xx Today marks the start of new adventures and the transition to school. Here’s a few photos I took yesterday to celebrate.

Balloons from Pop Roc Parties NZ

Tutu Du Monde dress from Beaumonde Babe

Jacket from Cotton On Kids

Enjoy ! x

 

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The best parts of co parenting

 

I was reading a blog piece today about a mother worrying how she would cope with co parenting, and what the outcome would be for her daughter in the future. Would co parenting be enough? It got me thinking about my own parenting journey, and what I would tell myself 4 years ago when I was worrying about those same things.
To me, any kind of parenting is “enough”. If you are doing your absolute best to make sure your child is loved, cared for and happy, you are doing enough. Whether you are a single parent, co parenting or raising your child with your other half.. It doesn’t matter, your child will still thrive in whatever environment they live in as long as they are provided with what they need. They will never feel sad about what they have missed out on, because in the end their “imperfect family” may just turn out to be the perfect family for them.

Before becoming a parent I had an idea of what it would be like in my head. I read books, took advice and was pretty confident with how I was going to parent. What I wasn’t prepared for was co parenting. Co parenting is a learn as you go, every situation is different kind of thing. Sometimes you feel like you’re walking through a dark tunnel not knowing which way to go, and sometimes you feel like you know exactly what to do. We can only learn and do our best to parent separately, there’s never a perfect method to make sure everything runs smoothly from the get go. It hasn’t always been an easy road for us, but over time I’ve learnt that parenting separately gets better, it gets easier, and you get through to other side of that dark, hazy tunnel eventually.

Co parenting can become something great if both parents are willing to put their child’s needs first. It’s always easy to focus on the negatives, but there are also so many positives to this situation. The positives are what I keep in the back of my mind for those hard days, these are just a few of them.

LOVE

Double birthdays, double Christmas and double the love. Your child is surrounded by so much love. They are blessed with the best of both worlds, loved by immediate family, extended family and new family. The love they are showered with will always outweigh the negatives. I always see this as the biggest positive to come from our situation.

LIFE LESSONS 

Co parenting allows a child to learn to be independent, resilient and open minded. Their normal may not be the same as everyone else’s, but it allows them to see the world in a way that is different to most.

APPRECIATION

You will appreciate your child so much more when they’re away from you. You will think about them non stop while they’re gone, but you will also enjoy every single moment with them knowing just how precious your time is. I miss my little girl every time she goes away, but I look forward to her coming home and I spend so much more time appreciating everything about her.

CONSISTENCY

Consistency is everything. Your child will thrive when yougive them consistency. They will always feel safe, secure and understand exactly what is going on. Consistency has always been important to me. It has helped with things like having 2 seperate homes, 2 seperate parents and 2 seperate lifestyles.

YOU

The time spent away from your child will give you time to reflect and focus on YOU. In the begining I dreaded overnight visits, they eventually turned into weekend visits and I slowly started to appreciate these quiet times. I kept myself busy, found hobbies and became more than just “mum”. Now I enjoy time with my little boy and give him extra one on one time. He gets to bond with his dad and I in a way that he may not have under different circumstances.

ADVICE 

Some of the best advice I was given when it came to co parenting was to think of your parenting situation and your child as a business. At first I thought it was a really harsh way to think about everything, but it made sense and it definitely helped keep emotions at bay. You want your business to grow, to thrive and be the best that it can be.. Just like your child. You need to make decisions that will benefit your child, and even though you may not agree with your business partner (the father ) you need to learn to compromise and work together in order for your business (child) to grow and be the best it can be.

Co parenting isn’t everyone’s fairytale ending, but it doesn’t mean it can’t become one. Our life is far from what I imagined it to be.. I didn’t start my parenting journey with a “perfect family”, but the family I have now is blended and full of love, and that to me is pretty perfect. I hope there are other Mama’s out there who are still holding onto hope of their own happy endings , no matter their situation.

Xx Kristelle

 

Luka turns 1 -Our Woodland themed party and cake smash

Luka is officially ONE! It’s been a year of sleepless nights, never ending smiles and plenty of laughs from this little man. He has fit into our family perfectly and it feels like he’s been with us forever.

Luka’s birthday party was planned pretty last minute. As much as I tried to plan ahead, I really just didn’t have time to organize everything 😅 We decided on a Woodland theme because Luka loves nature and being outdoors in the garden (eating all the leaves).. and a woodland theme was also super easy to work with. I made a Robin Hood costume the week of the party (thanks Pinterest!) and a photoboard using wrapping paper from Pop Roc Parties.

We booked The Punnet Cafe  for Luka’s birthday over the weekend,  and I can not rave enough about how amazing they were ! The food was beautiful, the setup was perfect and the playground out the back was so much fun for the kids to play on. They provided everything we needed and we were able to adjust everything to suit our theme.  I would definitely recommend this venue to anyone in the area. Below I’ve shared some photos from our special day and the quick cake smash photo shoot I did , I hope this helps anyone wanting ideas for a woodland theme party for their little babes!

Enjoy,

Kristelle xo

THE PARTY

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Family photo with our little Robin Hood
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Luka’s woodland themed cake made by my talented sister in law

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Antipasto platter for the adults.
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Food selection for the kids.

 

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Robin Hood and the Lumber Jack (Such a cute outfit idea).

 

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Kids table set up, Straws and Napkins from poprocparties.co.nz

THE CAKE SMASH

The cake smash was done a few days after the party, and I made up a vanilla cake using a box mix from the super market . We’re in the middle of winter and the weather is always unpredictable so I had to get them done while the sun was out!  These photos were taken behind some logs at the park close to our house.  It was so much fun watching Luka carefully poke at the cake for a little while before realizing he could eat it.. And once he had a bite he kept going back for more!

 

The Boy who wouldn’t sleep


As parents we all have stories to tell about the lack of sleep we’re getting at night, and how often our child is or isn’t sleeping. Some babies sleep soundly through the night at an early age, while others take a bit longer. Then there are the babies that grow into toddlers who still aren’t sleeping through the night. We seem to put up with this and once we’ve exhausted all techniques and advice, we accept that we will just have to wait until our child starts sleeping through the night ..even if that day never comes. A few months ago we decided to see an Osteopath, and it has been one of the best things we have done so far. If it is something you’ve been wanting to do but weren’t sure about, I hope this story encourages you to give it a go and see what happens.

Our little boy Luka is 11 months old and has never been a good sleeper. From birth he would consistently wake at 11pm, 3am and 5am.. and that pattern never stopped regardless of our efforts. Up until a  month ago we were up at least 3 times a night with him, rocking him and putting him back to sleep. He would kick and scream for an hour at a time on the worst nights, Some nights we were up every few hours! Aside from this, Luka was a very happy baby and could put himself to sleep during the day. Physically he was thriving and he was reaching all milestones in record time. Countless doctors appointments told us that it was just teething, our boy was perfectly fine otherwise and it was literally something we would just have to endure. Sleep routines and cry it out methods weren’t working, calm baths and massages before bed did us no favours either. All the natural remedies you can think of, we tried. It’s like our little boy became immune to everything that we tried with him, and slowly I felt like I was losing my mind because nothing was working. The constant sound of a crying baby makes your heart ache like nothing else. You don’t realize how important sleep is until you’re not getting enough of it.. and we definitely weren’t getting enough of it.

As a parent, you know when something isn’t right and you keep pushing for answers. Our decision to go to an Osteopath was made after a few days of no sleep through the night, and Luka’s resistance to sleep during the day. We felt like there was something internal going on that just wasn’t being seen. The first visit was a consultation. From the many things I was told, I learnt that Luka is hyper vigilant, super sensitive and also had some digestive problems that were affecting him. Everything started making sense and I felt like finally we were getting somewhere.  The week that followed was literally the week from hell. Nothing had improved (obviously), but the recommended oils for sleep hadn’t worked either and not only was Luka not sleeping at night.. he was fighting his sleeps during the day as well. He was happiest in our arms and out and about, but we all know how difficult it can be to keep that up all day every day!

Our second visit to the Osteopath couldn’t come soon enough.  While we were there I was shown some massages to help Luka with his digestive system, and techniques to help calm him when he gets agitated. She also recommended giving Luka some herbal tea to help with his tummy at night. I went to the health shop and was made up a herbal remedy made up of chamomile, milk thistle and Nettle leaf that I give Luka 3 times a day. Along with the regular massages,  THIS has been our miracle solution. It’s been almost two months now and the boy we have now is totally different to the baby I described earlier. He goes to bed by 7:00/7:30pm and sleeps through until 5:30/6am . If he wakes before that it’s only to put his dummy back in, or give him an extra rock and cuddle while he has been teething. He has had 6 teeth come through in the past month, and is still sleeping much better than he ever did before. We still have a few rough nights here and there, but we have finally had our little boy sleeping through the night successfully and consistently. There are no signs of internal pain anymore and we have a much calmer, content baby.  I’m kicking myself for not going to see an Osteopath earlier and would highly recommend one to anyone who is struggling with a sleepless child. Sleep is so important not only for our health but our emotional well being. As parents we shouldn’t have to accept that our child isn’t sleeping well, there is always something that can be looked into even if you feel like nothing is working! A well rested baby equals a well rested family and parents.  I have a link here to an article with more information on the benefits of an Osteopath. I hope this helps any parent out there struggling through the sleepless nights. 

xo Kristelle

 
 

 

 

Rainy Day Activities for Pre Schoolers

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We’ve had a few rainy days stuck inside lately, and no doubt we’ll be having plenty more as Winter approaches.While my son is only 10 months old, he’s a bit easier to keep entertained. My 4 year old is a different story. There is never a moment in the day where she is sitting still for longer than 5 minutes. On the days we’re stuck inside she still needs to be active, and most importantly she needs to be entertained.  Below I’ve put some of our favorite Rainy day activities that provide plenty of fun and entertainment when we’re stuck inside for the day (Thanks Pinterest!).

1. Action Dice

2. Magic Milk Experiment

3. Balloon Games

4. Sea Foam Sensory Play 

5. Scavenger hunt. We’re loving this letter scavenger hunt found here.

And our personal Favorites for quiet time..

1. Busy Bags  Memory matching blocks.

2. Book Reading

3. Finger painting

4. Pasta Pictures busy bag.

Comment below with any activities you love to do with your little ones 💕✨.

– Kristelle xo

 

 

 

 

Tailor Skincare- My top 3 must haves!

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A few weeks ago, I was sent a pack of Tailor minis to try out. The mini pack had the dry cleanse, oil cleanse, hydrate,  moisturizer, balm and the Tailor Masque. I am a long time fan of Tailor Skincare and have purchased their products a few times. I love that everything is made from natural ingredients, and also made right here in New Zealand! The mini packs are a great way to try out each product if you’re new to the Tailor skincare range, and are also great for travelling. As a mother of two, I like to buy good quality products that will last a while. Tailor skin care is quite pricey, but the quality speaks for itself and each product lasts a lot longer than similar products available in supermarkets. Below I will share my top 3 faves and why they are a must have in anyone’s skincare routine.

  1. First up is the Oil Cleanse. The oil cleanse is great for removing makeup and dirt that can get trapped in our skin and pores. This by far is the best oil cleanse that I have used for removing stubborn waterproof mascara, while still being gentle on the eyes. I also really love the smell of this and would recommend this as the first product to try if you haven’t tried tailor skincare before! It doesn’t leave your skin feeling oily and is easily removed using a warm face cloth.
  2. Next is the Dry Cleanse. What I love about the dry cleanse is that it can be used every day without leaving your skin dry like an exfoliator normally would. The magic in this product is the betonite clay, and I find that it leaves my skin feeling so soft and clean. I can’t even explain in words the different kind of “Clean” this product gives my skin, but it does really feel so clear and almost brand new again. My pores have been noticeably smaller as well, which is always something I struggle with skin wise.
  3. The last favourite is the moisturiser.  It’s light, smells great and leaves my skin feeling fresh and hydrated. You only need a small amount of this moisturiser so it lasts quite a while. I also love how easy it is to scoop every last drop of moisturiser out of the container!

The packaging of each product is gorgeous. If you are wanting to try Tailor Skincare but don’t know where to start, then these 3 products are what I would recommend trying first. I have oily skin with a few dry patches and these 3 products suit my skin perfectly, they also haven’t caused any breakouts that can usually occur when trying new skincare. Next on my list to try is the new Tailor Serum! You can buy Tailor Skincare from  here. I hope you love these products as much as I do!

xo Kristelle

 

 

 

 

Like Mother, Like Daughter.

There is no one in this world that I could ever clash with as much as I do with this little babe. She’s confident, defiant and strong willed. She has an opinion on everything, and once she has her heart set on something there’s no changing her mind. As she grows, so does her defiance. I know that one day she will be a fierce leader, she just needs a bit of guidance along the way.

I didn’t realise just how true the phrase “Like mother, like daughter” was until I had a daughter of my own. We are alike in so many ways, and although that is something I adore about our relationship, its also something that makes me want to tear my hair out. Too often I see myself in her, I can see what she’s thinking and feeling as she tells me over and over that she doesn’t want to do something. She’s adamant she doesn’t want to do it, and she has plenty of reasons as to why she doesn’t want to. We bounce back and forth, some times arguing for longer than any parent in their right mind would argue with a child.

Raising such a strong willed individual can be a challenge on a good day, and on a bad day I am left feeling emotionally exhausted. Tonight I gave in to Jam sandwiches and cheese for dinner, I’m picking my battles and saving us from another meltdown. These are the days where I truly learn what it means to be a parent. To be selfless, to love unconditionally, and most of all to be patient and kind even when I don’t want to be.

While my little girl is learning who she is, she is also teaching me about who I am and the kind of mother that I want to be. I want our clashing personalities to strengthen our mother/ daughter relationship rather than divide us in the future. I hope my daughter always knows just how inspiring she is to me.

While there is still  plenty to learn on this parenting journey, it’s one of the most important journeys we will ever make. Let’s do all we can to raise our daughters right.