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 ✨

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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

 

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

 

 

 

 

Oh hey “INSTA-MUM” !- My top 8 mums of Instagram.

Insta-mums are hot topic at the moment, they are everywhere and their lifestyles/ opinions/ images etc are highly debated through social media. Some critics say they’re over seeing “perfect lives” and ‘pretty pictures” of an Insta-mums day to day life.. the ones with the fabulously dressed kids, happy family snaps and spotless homes. They never have a hair out of place and parenting looks like a walk in the park. Some people love those “real” Insta-mums with their posts of the dishes full to the brim in the sink, and the kids still in their PJ’s at 2PM. They eat lollies for breakfast and treat their Instagram like an open diary.

Instagram is a reel of well thought out captions, images and hash tags. Regardless of what anyone else says, none of it is “real life” Whatever your personal preference, there is no doubt that you will connect with mothers all over Instagram who are similar to you, and you may even make a few life long friends. Hashtag #instamum and start exploring !

Below I have listed my top 8 Insta Mums and what makes them follow worthy in my eyes. Who else would you recommend following? xo

  1. @sophiathewild – An independent mama who shares her love of the outdoors, beautiful images of her little girl and drool worthy photos of clean treats. Her captions are thought provoking and always worthy of reading. Possibly my favourite Insta mum of them all, this lady is all heart and soul.
  2. @fromlondontobrooklyn– If you’re looking for décor and outfit inspo for boys, this is the perfect mama to follow! She has a classic, original style that shows through her posts and has an amazing eye for detail. She also shares DIY projects that are pinterest worthy and has the cutest 3 little boys who are always styled to perfection.
  3. @allymking– Photographer/ Model/ Mother. This mama has exceptional talent, her fashion is always on trend and she always shares the most magical shots of  Rarotonga. Another new favourite on my newsfeed.
  4. @rockyandruby– A  refreshingly candid and hilarious mama who shares photos of her two little babes and their everyday lives. She has loads of tips and tricks for any parenting situation and can lighten the mood on any parenting woes. Definitely one to follow if you need a laugh.
  5. @babyboheme– Another mama I love to follow for boys #fashioninspo. Her Instagram is filled with snaps of her two babes and family, and I love the boho vibe to her posts. Not just a pretty picture, this account also shares some heart warming captions that would make any mama feel warm and fuzzy inside.
  6. @theleostyle– This lovely lady oozes elegance and sass. I love following her to see photos of her super cute fam, and also her amazing work as a makeup artist!  One talented mama who’s Instagram feed has been a long time inspiration of mine.
  7. @casarahmarychapman– A new mama on the scene who shares endless snaps of her gorgeous wee girl. Her adorable outfits make me clucky for another, and her smile is infectious.  I love that her milestones are shared on her blog, these are always precious to a parent and remind me of my own precious moments with my daughter.
  8. @withthewhittakers– Another creative mama who shares endless snaps of her two babes, their day to day life and let’s not forget the cute little tag #whatsyababewearing. She also creates some super unique DIY projects and supports a tonne of local stockists. I love anything different and anything handmade, this is always my go to account for finding those special items that just can’t be found in stores.

I hope you enjoyed this blog and found a few new mums to follow/ connect with. Keep being amazing ladies! xo

 

 

 

 

Our Modern Family

 

What makes a “Family”?  We live in a world that is so diverse and different, the idea of family can mean many things. I always felt like a perfect family was mum, dad and the kids. That perfect family with the white picket fence we all dream of having. My idea of family has changed a lot since becoming a mother, so I thought I’d start my first blog post here with the journey of my own little family.

In our household, our family consists of myself, my daughter from a previous relationship, my partner and our son who is 6 months old. We may not be your “traditional” family, but to me our little family is a reminder that there are always second chances in love and life.

Rewind back a few years, I was a new mum living on my own with my wee babe, wondering how I was ever going to get through this parenting journey on my own.  At home, it was just the two of us, but we quickly adapted and developed our own rhythm. We grew together, and I was learning as much from her as she was from me. I learnt to share her, to be away from her when I missed her the most. I learnt to keep a brave face even though I was going through hell . I spent countless nights thinking about how my child might “miss out” because she was having to go between two parents, never experiencing that “family” lifestyle I always hoped she would have. As we grew, I realised that while I was worrying about whether or not I was doing enough for my child, she was such a happy little girl with no idea that she had missed out on anything. She was lucky enough to have two families, two birthdays, two Christmases and twice the amount of love. Life doesn’t always go the way we plan it to, sometimes it ends up being far greater than we could ever have imagined it to be. Sometimes we gain so much more from what we feel we have lost.

As time went by, I learnt to let go and completely enjoy raising my daughter and our little family of two. We were never truly on our own, and were lucky to have family members who provided enough love and comfort to keep our hearts happy. Eventually, I met prince charming (down at the pub might I add) and he completely changed my idea of what a family could be. Not only did he take the time to get to know me, he took the time to get to know my daughter. He loved us unconditionally and sacrificed his way of life to fit in with ours.The three of us fit together perfectly, and this year we completed our family with our son.

If someone had told me 3 and a half years ago that I would be a mother of two, happily engaged and living in a blended family, I would never have believed them. Family is Family regardless of titles,roles or bloodline. Most importantly, Family is love.  This has been my biggest lesson since becoming a mother and I only hope to continue to share these lessons with my little ones.