New chapter: Starting school

When Miss A was just a baby, I couldn’t wait for her to reach the next milestone. I was eager for her to roll, crawl, walk and talk. And those milestones were celebrated with great excitement.  But lately, another milestone has been looming and my emotions have been mixed.  And today was the day for that milestone. My “baby” started school.

I wrote here about preparing myself for this moment. I held back tears when we left kinder for the last time. For me, it signified the end of a wonderful chapter and a reminder that my little girl was not so little anymore.

Today was a very big day. People talk about this big moment in their child’s life (and indeed their own) but you can’t truly appreciate the significance of it until you reach it. I used to wonder why mothers felt sad on the first day of school. Surely, it represented greater freedom for them and independence for their child. But now I get it. I really get it.

Miss A has been my constant companion for almost six years. Our bond is loving, secure and tight. Very tight. She is my buddy. She is my ‘big’ baby. She is my world.

Perhaps the emotional impact of starting school is greater because she is my first-born. I wonder if when the time comes for Miss H to skip through those school gates I will be jumping for joy at my freedom for the first time in over a decade. Or perhaps not. Perhaps I will then mourn the loss of my baby and the loss of my last preschooler.

But for now, Miss A is ready. She’s so ready. That’s not to say she doesn’t have any nerves. She’s a little apprehensive at the unknown; the big school grounds and the long days. And she also says she will miss me. But how could she possibly miss me as much as I will miss her?

We all took Miss A to school today. I loved how much of a family event it was, and how excited her younger sisters were for her big moment. They sat on her bed and watched her dress into her uniform this morning, admiring her shiny black shoes and cute little school hair ties. They understood the significance of the day and cheered her on.

The collective excitement and anticipation in the Prep classroom was very moving. All the little preps looked utterly adorable. Each and every one of them. And the parents looked proud – oh so very proud!

After a short time in the classroom, Miss A looked at me and said, “So when does school actually start, mama?” And that was my cue to leave. “As soon as we all get outta here,” I replied, and I hugged her tightly and said goodbye. There were no tears from her, and no tears from me. I walked out of the school grounds feeling proud and happy. And ready for the next chapter to begin…

My darling Miss A,

This journey will be one of the most incredible experiences of your life. It will amaze, excite and reward you. It will inspire, challenge and stimulate you. And you, my girl will shine.

Your passion and curiosity will ensure you thrive at school.

Your kindness and compassion will ensure you make lots of friends.

Your enthusiasm and readiness will make school so much fun.

Go, my darling girl. Learn, laugh and play. You have nothing to fear. So many wonderful discoveries await you. Most of all have fun. Bucket loads of glorious fun.

I love you,

Mama

How did you feel on your child’s first day of school or kinder? Was your child excited? Were you emotional? 

Wordless Wednesday: The art of play

We gave Miss A a tabletop art easel for Christmas. She loves drawing and painting and has shown quite an artistic inclination and talent from a young age. I love watching her create something from a blank canvas. Unlike her younger siblings, she can sit and focus on one task for a long time. After breakfast she goes straight to the craft tubs and begins drawing.  After drawing, she then begins crafting (is that a word?). She will happily build, make and create all day long. She produces about a dozen works of art a day. In fact, we are drowning in her artistic creations, but I can’t bear to discard many.

I love her curiosity, care and quiet patience. I love watching her work; weaving her own narrative around a blob of paint, mosaic or glitter glue. I love her persistence and precision. Most of all I just love watching her eyes as she creates, quietly focussed and determined, blazing with imagination and wonder. (more…)

Mothers need support, not condemnation

Yesterday I overheard two mums in the park talking about how someone in their mothers’ group had her ten-week old baby on formula. Cue: gasps of horror. The tone of this discussion (read: bitch session) was condescending and judgmental. Their blatant lack of support for this woman was appalling. Their sense of superiority made me mad. Breastfeeding is neither heroic nor, mandatory. Mothers should not be shamed for feeding their baby, from nipple or teat.

Sadly, such criticism is nothing new. No other role in life is as scrutinised and criticised as motherhood. And new mums are easy targets. Every mother has a story about the unwanted “advice” from a relative, friend or even a stranger in the park. I remember my first trip to the shops as a first-time mum. A passerby stopped to admire my new born. But her admiration was quickly replaced by a series of rude questions. “Did you delivery vaginally?” she enquired. Stunned, I murmured I had. “Good,” she said, “much better for the baby.” I realised then I would need a tough skin as a mum. (more…)

Beach therapy

After a frantic end to 2014, we have enjoyed a slow and calm start to the new year. Let me tell you all about it, in stills.

A chance of scene helped us reset and recharge.

A game of Peek-a-book and a stroll through the sculptures at Montalto Winery. Can you guess which one is me? :-)

Swims, beer, books, food and family….

Thank you, my sweet spot, for being my antidote to life’s stresses and noise. I cannot think of a better place in the world to kick start a new year. Three cheers for the sand, sea, and salty air. 2015, I am ready for you!

First steps…is your little one on the move?

There are so many firsts in a young child’s life; the first smile, the first word and the first steps. These milestones are highly anticipated and embraced by parents universally with great celebration. Every parent will remember the first time their baby looked into their eyes with recognition and love and an uninhibited smile spreading across their face. Gold.

But babies are not babies for long. In the blink of an eye they grow up, and quite literally, stand up! My three “babies” were all eager to get moving. They didn’t want to sit back and observe the world around them; they wanted to be amongst the action, and in fact creating the action (read: distraction) with great enthusiasm. I remember when my first-born started crawling and climbing; an experienced mum said to me, “Nothing is sacred in your house anymore.” And boy was she right!

There’s nothing quite like seeing your baby take their first wobbly steps: the trial and error, the frustration, the intense determination and the beaming sense of satisfaction when they achieve those much-desired steps. It opens up a whole new world for them, and creates an entirely new world for parents. One that involves danger assessment and risk management!

I loved watching each of my babies master the crawling, climbing and walking stages. They each had a slightly different variation on those first moves, but they all walked before they turned one, turning my house upside down.

Do you have a little one on the verge of taking his or her first steps? If you do, you might want to take advantage of an exciting opportunity to sample a new shoe, hot off the press.

Bobux Xplorer product sampling opportunity

Bobux has designed the Xplorer especially for children who are “learning to walk”; sometimes walking – sometimes crawling. At the cutting edge of children’s fashion the Xplorer is made for parents that seek something different and appreciate contemporary design. The Xplorer shoe will be launching worldwide in February 2015. Bobux is offering Aussie mums the chance to receive a special preview edition of these savvy shoes before it arrives in Australia.

An invitation for NASD readers

Bobux is looking for 120 pairs of little feet who are just learning to walk. If you have a little one who is about to walk, is still crawling or freshly on their feet – we want to invite you to try our newest shoe, the Xplorer.

These designer “learning to walk” shoes are packaged in a limited edition tube and are the first release of our newest
product; if you are chosen you will be
the first in the world to experience the Xplorer shoe.

The 120 families who are selected will be contacted after January 19 to be advised that their free pair of Xplorers is coming and due to arrive in late January 2015.

It’s simple. Just fill out an application form here. Use this shoe size chat to determine the correct size for your child.

Applications will be closing at 5pm on Monday 19 
January 2015. Enter now!

 How old was your little one when he/she went from crawling to walking?

Christmas greetings from me to you

Christmas is always such a busy time of year, isn’t it? Unfortunately, some of the joy of anticipating this special day can be eclipsed by the pressures, obligations and “busyness” during the lead up. But finally the kinder concerts, ballet performances, school transitions, and social obligations have all come to an end, and now Christmas is here for us to enjoy.

We celebrated with my husband’s side of the family, a week early, to avoid back-to-back family celebrations on Christmas Day. It was a smart move. Nine adults and seven children gathered at our home for a seafood feast, and celebration of life. Now, all I have to do now on Christmas morning is wake up to the joy of Santa’s visit and lap up all that magical goodness. Then I’ll turn up to my Auntie’s with a salad and bottle of sparkling, ready to embrace another celebration and devour another Christmas spread!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you for following Not another slippery dip. The tagline of my blog is something I hope to embrace over January: Stress less. Play more. Slow down. I wish you lots of holiday joy and hope you have a break from the harried pace of life. May your holidays be filled with:

Slow, lazy days with the family,

Family, food and celebration,

Rest, reflection and contemplation,

Lingering cuddles and kisses,

Unscheduled hours to let quiet fun unfold,

Slow walks, slow cooking, slow mornings, slow afternoons,

Gratitude, love and peacefulness,

Laughter, love and optimism for lies ahead…

On behalf of Miss A, Miss J, Miss H and Mr NASD, thank you for following and wishing you and your families a VERY Merry Christmas.

I’ll be taking a break from blogging for most of January. A self-imposed digital detox is beckoning me so that I can have more time to simply be with my family. If you’d like to follow me on instagram, I’ll be popping up there now and then. Otherwise, I’ll see you in 2015 for a new year, new direction and possibility.

Merry Christmas. Stay safe. Laugh lots.

May 2015 be a year rich in imagination, possibility and meaningful relationships. 

Let’s talk about bags. Handbags. Nappy bags. Change bags.

Before I became a mum I had a reasonably large collection of handbags. After all, a handbag is a very important accessory, and the right handbag can perfect an outfit. I owned a nice range of colours and sizes in which to carry my wallet, keys, lippie, phone, sunnies and a pen (one must always carry a pen!). Everything within my bag was for me. Only me. What a luxury!

You sacrifice a lot of things when you become a mother. Along with privacy, spontaneity and freedom you also kiss goodbye your handbags for a while. A long while.  When I had my first baby I traded in my assortment of bags for one giant-sized nappy bag! Like most new mums, I was shocked at all the STUFF babies apparently needed. Bottles, bibs, wipes, dummies, nappies, clothes, comforters and breast pads – and those were just the essentials! For the next few years my stylish handbags hibernated in a cupboard, along with my good lingerie, makeup, and heels!

Having three children very quickly meant my nappy bag became my constant companion. I longed for the day of being free from all the STUFF you need to carry around for a tiny person. Foolishly I thought that when my youngest outgrew nappies, I would be reunited with my nice handbags. Wrong. You see, I’ve come to realise that a mother needs WIPES forever. She also needs to carry around all the things that children won’t carry.

I was naive to think I would outgrow the need for a nappy bag. A mother always needs a “nappy bag” even when she’s free of nappies. Surely, a stylish nappy/handbag existed, I wondered. And then I discovered Storksak!

Storksak is an international phenomenon.  The functional, fashion savvy collection is adored by parents worldwide with some of Hollywood’s hottest stars, including Angelina Jolie and Jessica Alba, choosing the Storksak as their preferred accessory.  Now, I am no Jolie! I can assure you I don’t look effortlessly chic running around after my tribe, nor do I intend on having five kids, but I am in love with my new Storksak Noa bag.

This bag is ideal for mums with toddlers, who may be juggling iPads, drink bottles, colouring books and the like! Unless you have a child who likes to carry around their own stuff??? No, didn’t think so. My last nappy bag was bulky and I was rather glad to get rid of it. My Storksak bag is light, roomy, and the perfect depth.

Here are my favourite features of the Noa bag:

  • It’s practical AND stylish. Double tick!
  • I love the colour. The chic, neutral shade of Navy on the outside is complemented by a co-ordinating grey lining. But I also have my eye on the Powder Pink….(hint, hint hubby)!
  • The coated canvas fabric is wipe clean inside and out, meaning your lovely new bag needn’t become grubby!
  • Internal features include a changing mat, side insulated bottle pocket and interior pocket, whilst an external pocket ensures valuables are easily accessible.
  • The Noa also includes a handy mini-organiser bag, featuring six pockets and an internal compartment. The mini organiser was designed to hold a mini iPad but it’s perfect for holding nappies, wipes, bottles, pencils and just general little accessories for kids.
  • The bag is finished off perfectly with stylish silver hardware, detachable long strap, and luxurious leather handles.

Take a look at all the STUFF I am carrying around in this bag, and there’s still plenty of room for more.

What I love most about the Noa bag, aside from it’s functionality and style, is that you can “wear” it with anything. Dressed up, or dressed down, this bag looks good with any outfit. On the odd times that I step out of my mummy uniform, it’s nice to be carrying a stylish bag as the perfect accessory.

Exclusive NASD reader discount

The Storksak Noa bag is available in January 2015 but you can pre-order now. Storksak is offering NASD Australian readers a 15% off when on all pre-orders. Simply head to the the Storksak website and order online. Enter the discount code DIP15 at the end of your transaction.

The code will expire on Friday 30th January. Happy Shopping, ladies! :-)
* Please note this offer is only open to Australian customers.

 

*Disclosure: Storksak kindly gifted with the Noa bag to trial and review. All views expressed are my own. This baby is hot off the press  – it’s nice to know I am on trend with something :-)