Becoming a family of four

Motherhood
Our Little Tribe – First Family Photo of the Four of Us

I have been meaning to write this blog for you for SO long now. As I sit here and reflect on the past 12 weeks, tears fill my eyes with so many emotions. I cannot believe our littlest member to our tribe, Avery is already 12 weeks old! Yes, you read that right! It honestly feels like we had him yesterday. This week, Avery also ticked off the milestone of rolling from his front to his back which I was so excited for but then suddenly realised he has grown and developed so much already.

We had always known that we wanted more than one child and it was when Spencer turned 18 months, we were ready for another baby. This pregnancy was completely different. I initially had some bleeding at the beginning and thought we might of lost him, he was breech until 35 weeks, then hubby lost his grandfather in the peak of Covid-19 lockdowns in Shanghai, China and then 12 weeks later, I lost my grandfather in the peak of Covid-19 restrictions in Sydney, Australia. We took their passings very hard and it made us treasure our family so much more and honestly, Avery has been the light that has kept us going in this crappy year as we had something to look forward to. We were also so excited to have two boys – brothers! When we were waiting on the gender reveal, I never quite understood why people would make comments such as “hope you have a girl” because we would have been thrilled with either sex but honestly, I was even more thrilled to have two boys! I just always felt like I would be a boy mama and here we are!

Our littlest member, Avery.

Following suit of is brother, Avery went past his due date and was induced. Little did we know I was already in labour on our induction day, that he would be delivered in two and a half hours and that our little pork chop would weigh a meaty 3.7kgs! I was so damn proud that he was such a good weight as I never expected him to be 600 grams bigger than his brother!

I had never been away from my oldest son, Spencer and due to Covid-19 restrictions, he wasn’t able to visit me in hospital. I wasn’t sure if Spencer understood the whole pregnancy and a new sibling arriving when I was pregnant but looking back now, he definitely did. We talked to Spencer about his brother, read books to him and even gave some gifts to sweeten the deal of a new sibling arriving and when we introduced Avery to him, he was so excited (and to have mum home too of course)! Even now, Spencer is very affectionate towards Avery, tries to play with him and shares his toys. I expected some jealousy but there hasn’t been any thankfully but Spencer does demand for our time. On other occasions he will say “Mum, Avery crying…go” which breaks my heart that he knows I have someone else I need to care for but at the same time so incredibly proud that I am raising such a caring and nurturing young man. In another year, I imagine they will be the best of friends and fighting heaps too!

Adjusting to being a family of four has been hard for me – the first six weeks particularly. I was learning how to navigate between two kids and also Avery is so different to Spencer as a baby. Spencer was mix fed due to tongue tie issues where Avery is exclusively breastfed (meaning all the feeds are on me). Spencer would also wake/play/feed to sleep, where Avery likes to wake/feed/play/sleep. Not only that, Avery likes to be held during day sleeps, whereas Spencer would happily sleep in his own cot.

I remember reading a post on Instagram where someone asked for votes on whether they found it harder going from 0-1 kids or 1-2 kids. I was surprised to see most mums found it harder going from 0-1 kids! I wouldn’t change anything as I love being a mum but boy juggling two kids was a different ball game – especially with Spencer’s high energy levels! I felt guilty for not being able to spend the same amount of 1-1 time with Spencer and the chores were piling up. I had little time left to spend with hubby and no time to myself. Resting when the baby does isn’t an option either with a toddler around! So unless you have a nanny, a gardener, a cook, someone to do your laundry, dishes and the list goes on… there will always be the mess and chores around. There are no perfect mothers.

There will be days where your children have tantrums, days where you don’t want to parent, wonder what you have gotten yourself into, where you doubt yourself, where you feel guilty, feel like you shouldn’t have yelled at your kids and done everything you can but still nothing is working and nothing is getting ticked off from the to do list. All these emotions and feelings are normal. It is ok to feel overwhelmed. I think being a second time around mum, you know there is light in the tunnel as you have been through it before and we get through it. Parenting is challenging, it is hard, it is filled with emotions but so worth it. Despite the hardest days where I am so emotionally and mentally drained just wanting to get the kids in bed, when they finally are, I end up finding myself looking at photos of them. Then I cannot wait for them to wake up to start the next day to do it all over again. It is a crazy ride! No two days are the same.

I have learnt to prioritise which one of the boys needs tending to first, to go a little easier on myself and not to worry too much about the chores as it’s not the memories the boys will remember and not how tidy the house was. I have never looked back and regretted that the house wasn’t tidy enough.

They say it goes all too quickly and it truly does. Forget about the laundry pile and soak in those newborn cuddles and smell. Leave the cleaning and instead look at those little baby movements – those stretches, those little hands wrapped around yours and tickle those little tiny feet. Before you know it, they will be running away from you and no longer babies. I’ll be holding on extra tight to my boys and soaking it all in – You just never know when these moments become memories.

Porridge shawl by G.H. Hurt & Sons.

Photography by Sarah Mei Photography and Alana Wu

Rocky Road

Food

Rocky road is one of the easiest treats to make and so often a crowd pleaser. My toddler also loves helping me make this recipe. It is also easy to transport for special occasions or can make the perfect gift which has been made with love. This rocky road is nut and egg free* yet has so much texture with each bite – lots of crunch and chew!

Ingredients

500g melted chocolate
Marshmallows (quartered)
Desiccated coconut (2 cups)
Digestive biscuits (crushed)
Red liquorice twists (sliced)
Edible flowers (optional)

To Make

Cut up all ingredients, place into a tray with baking paper and mix. Melt chocolate, transfer to tray and mix. Place tray in the fridge to set for an hour, take out from the fridge, cut into small squares and you’re done!

* Please always check the ingredients label for allergens

Ponchik Babies + Kids

Interviews

@ponchikbabieskids - Archie - Moss Green Overalls, Pebble Rib, Mulberry Beanie + Eva (owner) 2

If you’re looking for those soft, timeless colours in children’s pieces to wear over and over, then look no further than Melbourne based business, Ponchik Babies + Kids. Our children have been wearing clothing from Ponchik Babies + Kids since they were little tiny babies! I loved everything about this business – the staple pieces, the neutral tones, the size range available, that I could do my whole season shop at one business, the designs, service and the amazing quality of their pieces which have been handed down between my children and still last all the dirt play, crawling, food messes and have seen my children through all their milestones. We have an exclusive code WUWU15 which will give you 15% off their entire website.

1. How did you come up with the name of your business?

Great question! In Russian heritage, beautiful, chubby bubs are affectionately called Ponchik, and so was my son Archie. My Mum was born in the former Soviet Union and we try to incorporate Russian in our household as much as we can.

2. What do you sell?

Timeless cotton pieces that look gorgeous for dress and play.

3. How did you get the idea to start Ponchik?

When Archie was four months old I was really struggling with letting go of my prior corporate life and straight into motherhood. I felt like I still needed a bit of business to help me through. Honestly, in the beginning I thought it would be a hobby. Now I can’t quite believe where the business has gone and we’re now stocked in over 80 stores around Australia and NZ.

4. What is your business background?

I studied a Bachelor of Business at uni, then went to the Melbourne School of Fashion to study Fashion Business. My first job out of uni was with a major footwear retailer in the planning department. I was there for around 8 years. I am also a yoga teacher and before becoming a mumma taught yoga full time for a year.

5. Where do you get inspiration for your designs and new collections?

Really it comes to me in dreams, fabrics, colours, designs. So I have to make sure I wake myself up properly to write it all down! Also, I design what I want Archie to wear, and if I had a girl what I would want her to wear 🙂

6. What is important to you for your business?

A good quality product, a happy production team and happy customers is of massive importance.

7. What motivates you?

Alana, I am loving these questions! If you ask my husband, I wake up happy and positive most mornings (just need a good night’s sleep!), I am a little bit of a perfectionist and very dedicated to things I am a part of and care about. So I think that is motivation enough for me. Also, running this business gives me endorphins I am pretty sure – so I keep coming back to my desk daily excited!

8. A question for a bit of fun now… would you rather smell like rotten eggs for a day or dead fish?

Ew! Can I change this question? Haha! Neither, really!

Moving house during a pandemic

Reviews

So many people have been affected by the current Coronavirus pandemic and many have
had to relocate for various reasons. Reasons such as moving to safely care for an elderly or
at risk relative, sudden loss of work or unemployment, needing to upgrade or downgrade. Personally, we had purchased our home prior to Covid-19 but our settlement and move was in the midst of the Covid-19 NSW restrictions.

It is already stressful enough moving homes, let alone moving with children too! Here are a list of tips for moving homes throughout Covid-19 whilst sticking to restrictions and laws. So, before you stress whether it is even possible, it definitely is possible. Just make sure you are familiar with your states most current Covid-19 laws and restrictions that might affect the process which can differ from state to state. For example, the number of visitors allowed to assist in helping pack and move. Moving to a new house during Covid, you will want to avoid large numbers of visitors assisting in one location or house to abide by your states social distancing requirements.

You also might not have to do all the packing and moving yourself! Although social distancing rules still apply when moving, in some states, workers do not count as visitors. So, using removalists might be able to help without adding to the visitor limit. At the moment, transport and logistics is still an essential service, so removalist companies are still readily available. Just make sure to maintain social distancing and personal hygiene practices such as everyone washing their hands regularly, using hand sanitiser, wearing masks and ensuring that heavily touched surfaces (such as door handles and light switches) are being wiped down regularly to prevent the spread of germs.

If the move is expected to be temporary with a job circumstance being on hold or moving to care for family members, it could be a really good idea to leave things behind in storage to minimize the risk of coronavirus spreading and minimizing the cost of transporting unnecessary amounts of belongings. Companies such as Hire Storage are perfect for all your storage needs.

Moving interstate is technically possible at the moment too, although, it is a little tricky. Moving into most states you will be required to have a couple of things. To cross into most states, at the bare minimum, you will be required to have a border pass. To accompany this, you will most likely need to have proof of residence for your new abode with approved exemptions. Some states will even require you to quarantine for up to 14 days as well, whether that is in your new home or a government allocated location.

Hire A Mover Team

The main things to remember whilst moving during the pandemic is to:-

1. Not to stress yourself out too much;

2. Ensure to maintain social distancing and hygiene practices; and

3. Just take an extra second to express that little bit of extra caution with the current restrictions, rules and laws.

Do these three things and you’ll be just fine! I have always found moving homes to be such an exciting time. For those moving, I wish you all the best with your move and hope that you enjoy your new residence!


This post is in collaboration with Professional Removalist Company Hire A Mover Sydney & Influencer Management Service – #AsSeenOn.

My hospital bag

Motherhood

I was writing up my handover notes for work and realised that I have five weeks left before baby arrives! This second pregnancy has flown by and I was much more organised when I had my first (the luxury of time without a toddler). It dawned on me that I better start packing my baby bag. My hospital bag is based on four nights stay.

I like to have my hospital bag packed by 36 weeks latest. This means everything is packed, washed and literally all you need to do is pick up the bag and walk out the door. I say 36 weeks because baby can come early, it is done and means you can now relax. Plus I find when you hit full term (37-42 weeks) you get tired and uncomfortable. Trust me, you do not want to be packing between contractions!

I admit that I am highly organised and an over packer. Last time, I brought a whole large suitcase after all but there were a lot of things that I didn’t need. Here is a list of my essentials and personal favourite brands to take with you. I have kept my list very simple this time around.

Birthing:

Each birth plan is so personal but these were some of the birthing items which I took and loved:

  • Birth Plan
  • Own Pillow – This was my number one hospital item. I was able to sleep well and I felt comfortable having something from home with me.
  • Flameless candle – I loved focusing on the candle, the atmosphere it created and also used it for night feeds where there was no harsh lighting
  • Entertainment – Favourite music play list, favourite photos and some movies on an iPad.
  • An insulated straw water bottle – no risk of spilling the water and not having to keep filling up regularly
  • Bralette and Bloomers – I wear the ones from Bimboy and Roy. You can also wear them for nursing too.
  • Thongs – for walking around the hospital in and to wear in the shower
  • A kimono or large tee with buttons – This is for easy nursing, comfort and being able to cover up as well. I love the styles from Saffron Lane and Maive and Bo. 
  • Snacks – for hubby or yourself
Clothing:

Most of the hospital clothes which I took with me to the hospital last time were from one store – Mamaway. I absolutely loved how I could pick up most of my essentials from the one place. You won’t need to many clothes as most the time you will be having skin to skin contact with your new bub.

  • Day feeding bra – I used the Mamaway Ultra Light Antibacterial Seamless Maternity & Nursing bra because I loved how it could stretch up to three bra sizes which is important when your milk is coming in.
  • Night bra – I like to have a different bra for night feeds so that I am not fiddling around with clips. I love the Mamaway Crossover one which is soft, lightweight, stretchy with antibacterial and anti-odour properties and is perfect for frequent feeds.
  • Nursing Pyjamas – Again my favourites were from Mamaway as their two pieces have an adjustable waist for pregnancy and can also be adjusted for postpartum. It is has easy feeding panels which you can just slide across.
  • Day time visitor outfit – I would normally pack two changes. I am taking the below two dresses with me this time which i can dress up or down, add layers to and pop on to get out of loungewear. These are also from Mamaway. I suggest dresses incase you have a c-section or an emergency c-section so that pants do not irritate the wound.
  • Underwear – I would normally pack seven days worth incase any got dirty. I also packed really large high waisted underwear incase I had an emergency c-section. I just purchased some cheap ones from Target so that if they were stained, I could discard of them.
  • Socks or slippers – I brought some ‘Happy Socks’ but others recommend socks with grip at the bottom. I purchased some cheap slippers from Kmart to take with me.
  • Breast-pads – Personally, I love reusable ones as I was super itchy from the disposables. The reusable option i recommend are from Stevie Jane who hand makes both daytime and night time bamboo pads. Otherwise a good dispoable option is by Pigeon.
IMGL7063

Maternity and Nursing Dress from Mamaway.

imgl7013

Nursing Bra’s from Mamaway.

Other items:
  • Packing cubes from Kmart really helpful. Otherwise I use canvas bags with a drawstring to organise my hospital items.
  • Hairband – to get the hair out of your face and away from your chest when nursing. Plus, it doubles as a reminder for which side breast you last fed on if you put it on your wrist! Cooper and Hudson have gorgeous scrunchies.
  • Hairbrush
  • Hairdryer 
  • Travel set Shampoo, Conditioner and Body Wash – I recommend Vatea as it contains no nasties and because there is so much skin to skin those first few days, this is was of importance for me. I choose the travel set from Vatea
  • Lip balm – I personally love the Vatea lip balm as it contains no nasties.
  • Skincare
  • Makeup
  • Contact lenses and Solution
  • Glasses
  • Cold and heat therapy – this is a must. It is a huge relief to have cold packs on you when your milk comes in. Later on, it can be warmed to help with blocked ducts. I love the ones from Body Ice Woman.
  • Camera and charger
  • Phone and Charger
  • Wallet – pack your medicare cards, licence, credit card and a small amount of cash. Don’t bring too many valuables.
  • Maternity Pads – my hospital supplied these but pack these if your hospital doesn’t. A reusable option is Modibodi.
  • Incontinence Pants – laugh now but thank me later. These are super convenient! I wore these with a maternity pads inside and I didn’t have to worry about blood leaks. Change them if blood overflows onto them from the pad or change daily. If you have a natural birth, they also hold in the cold pop stick for your down their region nicely. These are the ones I used and will be taking with me again from Tena.
  • Postnatal belt – I personally use the Mamaway Postnatal Belt which can be use after c-section and natural birth. It also helps with back pain relief, stabilise c-section wounds, uterus and muscle recovery. If you have private health as well, it is usually claimable with a referral.
  • Lactation cookies – we be brining Franjo’s cookies to snack on. If you don’t like biscuits, they also have crackers and muesli.
  • Nipple balm – do not forget this! I used the Lansinoh Ointment before and after each feed to prevent dry cracked nipples. Another option we loved was from Moogoo.
  • Breast Pump – optional whether this is something you would like to pack. I will be brining my Haakaa pump with me. I will be using this more so to catch the excess liquid gold from the other breast when nursing.
  • Dirty clothes bag – I use wet bags from Hippybottomus for these. They are lightweight, compact to pop in your bag and the double zipper allows you to separate items e.g. wet/dry, clean/dirty.
imgl6352-2

Cold and Heat Therapy by Body Ice Woman and Lactation Cookies by Franjos.

Baby items:

I suggest packing these items into the baby bag which you will continue to use. The baby I recommend is from Arch Bags which doubles as over the shoulder bag and backpack which is easily convertible or Arrived.

  • Baby announcement plaque – I love the wooden plaques from Darling Hart and Emm & Co. If you prefer something with baby’s details, My Lovely Gifts Au have beautiful birth plaques (don’t forget the marker!).
  • Baby going home outfit –  I recommend the Monkey Tree Children’s Store as they have amazing array of quality brands, Our Joey for organic clothing or Pappe for something luxe.
  • Swaddle or blanket I will be taking my Heritage Blanket for our announcement photo.
  • Baby journal – I love the Bebe book from Truly Amor.
  • Nursing pillow – I use the one from Mamaway as you can use it during pregnancy and also for nursing.
  • Car seat – I like to ensure this is installed by 36 weeks.
  • Baby moisturiser – we use the baby balm from Vatea which is fantastic for those babies who have eczema. It can be used as a nappy balm as well. The balm is award winning too, contains no nasties and contains 99.9% organic ingredients.
  • 2-3 few nappies and a pack of wipes – we love the Simple to Us nappies as they they are Australian Owned and do not contain any nasties like alcohol or fragrances.
  • Change mat
  • Poo bags
imgl6717

Baby Journal by Truly Amor, Mink Blanket by Heritage Blankets, Baby Shoes by Bobux, Rattan Rattle by Tila Interiors and Rainbow Mobile by Lew and Mae.

IMGL7425

Eucalyptus Gum Wrap by Emm & Co.

IMGL7421

Knitted Booties and Bonnet by Woolly Mutton, Bebe Book by Truly Amor and Earth Side Plaque by Emm & Co.

 

DISCOUNT CODES

Mamaway |www.mamaway.com.au|TRIBEOFWUWU10 (for 10% off) valid until 10 August 2020 on top of their current offers

Stevie Jane Australia|www.steviejaneau.com| TRIBEOFWUWU (for 10% off)

Vatea |www.vatea.com.au| TRIBEOFWUWU (for 25% off)

Hippybottomus |www.hippybottomus.com.au| TRIBEOFWUWU5% (for 5% off)

Arch Bags |www.archbags.com| TRIBEOFWUWU10 (for 10% off)

Cooper and Hudson |www.cooperandhudson.com| TRIBEOFWUWU (for 15% off)

Monkey Tree Store |www.monkeytreestore.com| TRIBEOFWUWU (for 20% off)

Our Joey |www.ourjoey.com.au| TRIBEOFWUWU (for 20% off)

Simple to Us |www.simpletous.com.au| WUWU20 (20% off first order)

On a last note, we wish all those expecting, a beautiful and safe birth of their baby. Please feel to reach out to me if you have any questions, need any help or would like further discount codes. I look forward to hearing about your beautiful purchases for your own baby or for your friends or family.

This hospital bag list was created with the intention of supporting small businesses and is based on my own personal experience. Participating stores have not paid a fee and no links are affiliate links. The discounts have been negotiated purely for the interests of our followers. On behalf of the small businesses – Thank you for choosing to support small.