Monthly Archives

November 2016

GIVEAWAY

CLOSED: WIN WITH GLUKI ORGANICS

24th November 2016
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CONGRATULATIONS CARLA VAN DER WESTHUIZEN 

We’ve said it before but we will say it again! We love Gluki Organics and here is why:

Gluki Organics is an uncompromised, high quality plant-based product range that meets my needs for my babe.

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The ingredients include: Baobab fruit Powder, Marula Oil, Kalahari Melon, Mongongo Oil, Mafura Butter, Jojoba Seed Oil, Shea Fruit Oil, Sunflower Oil, Organic Avocado Oil, Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Rooibos Extract, Organic Orange Peel Oil, Organic Coconut Oil.

All the products smell delicious!

The products are ideal for baby’s soft sensitive skin yet still effective: the shampoo still foams and the wash still gets all the paint off after a painting afternoon.

Now we’re giving you the chance to win the ultimate Gluki hamper – consisting of all their products, worth over R900. Here is what is in your hamper.

Organic Baby Bedtime Bubble Bath

Natural Baby Powder

Lip Balm

Organic Baby Bum Cream

Organic Hygienic Hand wash

Organic Tissue Oil

Organic Baby Body Wash

Organic Mother Nipple Cream

Organic Baby Shampoo

Organic Baby Moisturising Lotion

Organic Mother Hand and Body Moisturising Lotion

Organic Baby Oil Gel

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To stand a chance to win, comment below telling us why you love organic products.

Ts&Cs apply.

Competition closes 30th November

BABE, BUMP, MAMA

WHAT IT IS REALLY LIKE TO HAVE A PREMATURE BABY

22nd November 2016
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Everyone has at least one friend who has had their babe or babies prematurely  but do you know what it is really like to have a premature baby?Here we chat to Chantal, whose little girl was born at 34 and a half weeks, weighing only 1.55kgs.

Can you share a little bit about how and when your baby came into the world?

Pregnancy, I wish I could say was an easy and stress free journey but throughout the months, I was continuously worried about the size, or rather lack thereof, of my preggy belly and of course how our scans showed a decrease in our baby’s growth each time we went. Around the 32 week mark, I started feeling a lot more of what was thought to be Braxton hicks pains, cramps and discomfort. After booking myself in to have a stress test in order to assess my babe’s heart rate, I was diagnosed  with pre-eclampsia  and admitted for rest and observation. My rising liver enzymes and  blood pressure had the doctors considering  an early delivery. I was sent home to bed rest but on the 24th of May 2016 after my liver enzymes rose dangerously   and I had developed itchy hands and tummy, I was told to head to Parklane immediately for an emergency Caesar   It became too dangerous for baby and me as I had developed coliostasis.  This is where the liver and gall bladder start failing due to the high pregnancy hormones produced from the placenta and the only way to fix or reverse this is to deliver. Stressed and worry cannot be explained as we were only 34.5 weeks pregnant and I remember praying nonstop that our baby would be healthy and ready to meet this beautiful world and her new family.

The staff and hospital were amazing and within two hours of being admitted and prepped for surgery, Hannah Grace was born via emergency C-section on the 24th of May 2016 weighing in at a tiny 1.55kg. She was a fighter from the very start and gave us the most incredible bellowing first cry. Despite her prematurity she had  good lungs and was in good health for her size. It all felt surreal and a flood of emotions came with that moment – fear, joy, pride and love that made my heart pound out of my chest.

I held her for a minute before they wheeled her in an incubator up to NICU; her home for the next month.

Were you prepared for your baby to be born too soon? Did you think it would happen?

Although my health was deteriorating and the doctors became more and more concerned, somehow my mind wouldn’t accept that I was actually going to have a premature baby. I have the vision of Hannah being lifted out of my stomach breathing her first breath of life and still being in a daze of disbelief that she was here already and that we had become parents 6 weeks prior to our prepared due date.

We had moved into our new house at the beginning of that month and had great plans to paint and decorate the nursery. I still needed to sort out the last bits and pieces  and unpack and sort through all our amazing gifts from our baby shower but with all the hospital visits and bed rest that all clearly got pushed aside. I had 10 minutes to pack my hospital bag as my husband was on his way to pick me up to take me in to Parklane. So to answer your question of being ready, No, not even close!

I am sure some moments were harder than others. What was the worst part? 

The day I was discharged and had to leave my precious baby girl in NICU and drive home without her will remain one of the toughest days of my life. I felt as though my heart was in pieces and sobbed all the way as I tried to justify in my mind that she was in the best hands and receiving the care she needed at that time.

I was also so angry and saddened at the sense of loss in terms of experiencing having her by my side from the start, “missing” out on her first month as being her primary care-giver and nurturer as I watched nurses do what in my mind I was supposed to do as a mother. Not being able to hold her and only touch her through incubator windows whilst she lay there connected to all sorts of pipes, electrodes and feeding tubes has a way of making a mother feel like an observer and not a parent with any control.

What surprised you the most about your premature baby?

The strength and tenacity she had from the very first breath had me in awe every day as I watched her grow and strengthen. In such a short space of time, she had endured and faced so many life challenging obstacles with such grace and came out a trooper. Dynamite sure does come in small packages.

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Once you were discharged and Hannah was still in NICU, what were your days like? 

We live in Fourways which is a good 45 minute drive to Parklane in non peak hours.

I would wake up and immediately phone the ward for an update to hear how her night went.

My mom and I would pack our bag for the day which had lunch, water and the breast pump and head to Parklane to be there by 9h30 every morning. The drive there felt like hours as I could not get there fast enough, I would race through security and 3 levels of disinfecting my hands at wash stations before what felt like running to Hannah’s incubator. To this day, that smell of the disinfectant places me smack in the middle of NICU everytime.

I would sit next to her incubator singing to her, chatting to her and just holding her hand or doing kangaroo care between expressing milk to feed her every 3 hours.

My husband Dominic would arrive every evening around 17H00 and we would leave together around 19H30 / 20H00. I battled with evening anxiety for quite a while as it became associated to leaving her.

We would get home around 20H30 and I would phone the ward every night before I went to bed as one last good night check and to hear who the new nurse was for that shift. I would wake early the next day and repeat it all again.

Are people allowed to visit you and your baby?

The security and visiting hours are extremely strict in NICU and grandparents are the only visitors allowed with their visits limited to 30 minutes on a Sunday afternoon. They do not bend the rules under any circumstances. I became a regular at the hospital café in which I met with my amazing family and friends who were such support through those tough weeks.

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And once you took her home? Tell us about that? Do you think you were more nervous than if she had come at full term? How did you feel as you finally left the hospital? 

BEST day ever! The 22nd of June 2016, two days before Dominic’s birthday and a week after mine, what better birthday gift does a parent get. As excited and happy as I was, deep down I was terrified – how was I going to sustain the constant care and sterile environment that Hannah had grown to know and to top it off it was the middle of winter. Keeping her warm was our first challenge as we stepped outside the hospital for the first day as a whole family. It was a freezing day but nothing the car heater on full blast and the warmth of our excitement couldn’t fix. We drove super cautiously and eventually arrived home to meet my parents who were staying with us from Cape Town to welcome Hannah to her new home.

We could not stop staring and cuddling her. It felt strange being able to hold her without feeling the sense of permission.

On the day you leave NICU, the nurses brief you and give  advice, guidelines, precautions and warnings which sets the standard of reality into top gear so yes, the nerves were out in full force. Were we ready to wing this parenting all on our own? The risk of infection is so much higher in prems and their small bodies struggle to manage their body heat, so it did increase our levels of nervousness more than if she had come out full term. We wanted to prevent any risk of having to go back to NICU.

What are people’s reactions towards having a baby born too soon, and what is the most frustrating thing you encountered?

We were overwhelmed at the support, love, prayers and care shown from friends and family near and far. Hannah was so very loved before anyone had even met her. It was this love and support that helped us through each day. Everyone clubbed in to help wherever we needed which was so touching.

Other than the lack of total control you have of the entire situation to just speed up the readiness to go home, being a ‘secondary observing parent’ from the sideline was to me the biggest frustration. Watching nurses and doctors feed, change nappies, wash and handle Hannah left me with a sense of being robbed of being her number one. I had to ask permission everytime I wanted to hold my own child and despite the staff always being so amazing, it stole everything natural out of becoming a parent for me.

Watching Hannah fight a serious infection two weeks into being born, was another event of total frustration as we realized the  lack of control we had over her surviving or not.

If there is one thing you wish people would understand about having a premature baby it is…

There is just no tip or advice to make it any less difficult or less emotional. The sense of vulnerability you feel in possibly losing your child whilst holding onto any bit of positivity you muster up has you digging deep into your energy and emotional sources changes you forever. You do however come out realizing how strong babes really are being born fighters from hour one and the strength you have as a parent going forward on the amazing journey of parenthood.

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What is one thing that people can do for you while your baby is in NICU that can help? 

All the prayers, phone calls, messages of support and visits helped more than words can explain.The prepared meals however were an absolute lifesaver to come home to after a long day at the hospital with no time to do household shopping let alone cook!

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BABE, NEST, PLAY

MEET THE MAKER: LAURA OF WORK OF HEART

10th November 2016
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We absolutely love the products from Work of Heart. They are so cool, modern and stylish and it’s great that you can customise them as a special gift or for a specific occasion. Here we chat to owner/maker Laura.

Tell us a bit about your products. 

I make handcrafted wooden blocks for little ones; they are design-led & can be used as beautiful decorative accents to be enjoyed by grown ups too. I personally make each piece, with great attention to detail & lots of love. Most of my products are custom orders – one of a kind sets to add a personal touch & perfectly match a certain space. My clients are able to choose their own colours, letters, words, short phrases & even photographs, to make their block sets unique & treasured keepsakes. I currently also have a range of Santa Sacks & Christmas Onesies for the festive season.

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What inspired your business?

My daughter Evie is the inspiration behind Work of Heart. She led me to discover a whole new world – of children’s room decor, party decor & toys. I began creating personalized items to celebrate the special milestones in her life. I enjoyed it so much I began making for family & friends, & my little business grew from there.

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How does your business fit your lifestyle?

Work of Heart was a creative passion turned full time business after Evie was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 18 months of age. I began working from home, as I needed to be available to her 24/7.  My business fits my lifestyle perfectly – I’m blessed to be able to stay at home with her whilst also pursuing something I love. I’m so thankful for each & every client that makes this possible.

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What is your favourite product & why? 

Its so difficult to choose! At the moment I love the milestone block sets, as they are so versatile! They are the perfect photo prop to document a pregnancy & little one’s growth, & can be used for years to come on birthdays and first days of school.

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To order: Visit Laura’s Instagram and then email her.

BABE, BUMP, MAMA, READ

FAMILY ALBUM & THIS WEEK’S READING LIST

4th November 2016
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Olivia Wilde and new babe Daisy Josephine

Happy weekend lovely mamas! How is this the first weekend in November? With the days just getting hotter we’re loving spending afternoon swimming and eating ice cream – basically practicing for December holidays. We’re also heading to a baby shower this weekend, we love celebrating mamas and their babes on the way! Have a wonderful one.

Here are some links that caught our eye this week:

Let your kids play!

When one is enough 

Boredom is good

The misleading promise of I.V.F.

Should we really be sneaking veggies into kids food?

5 love languages of child

An Icelandic lawmaker breast-fed her baby while giving a parliamentary speech — and no one cared

How we’re endangering our kids’ imaginations

Best baby registry ever

It takes a village

DIARY, MAMA

FRANCIE SUGAR (YEAR 2) – 52 PORTARITS ROUND UP – OCTOBER

3rd November 2016
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Week 28: No matter how our nights go you end up in our big bed from early in the morning and you know what? It’s my favourite thing to have you sleeping next to me. I nearly wrote “curled up” because sometimes you are – curled up as close as you can get, I often awake with your body twisted around my neck or your little legs resting on my tummy. Other times you sprawl out, taking up as much space a you can.

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Week 29: We’ve just spent 10 days in Paris. People thought we were crazy to take a toddler to a big city but it was fantastic! You traveled like a super star, sleeping on me the entire flight and carrying your backpack with such pride. When we finally made it to my favourite city we explored the new surroundings – you mastered slides, ate croissants every morning, learnt all about buses and trains – which are now pretty much you favourite thing. You loved going on the carousel in the Tuileries garden, you saw the Eiffel tower. You discovered your shadow. We took you to see Monet’s lilies in the l’Orange and the impressionists in the Musee d’Orday. You drank tea at Laduree. You danced on Pont Neuf. We played in playgrounds around the city. We took you to my favourite cafe. You slept on my back.

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Week 30: Being back home has been tougher than I thought – you took a while to get back into it and you have been sick – refusing to eat for a week and sticking to your mama’s hip like glue. We’ve had long naps together, and sometimes longer nights. We’ve slowed things down, spent time with the family and done our old favourite things. Jack turned one this week so we celebrated his first birthday with must excitement. I love that you call him “Jack, Jack”.

Since being back home one of your favourite games is to pretend that you are catching a bus or train. Our conversations go something like this:

Francie: “bye” (followed by a kiss or hug – on the most accessible place, often a knee?)

Mama: “Where are you going?”

Francie: “Bus” or “train”

What do you need: “ticket, bag, binki” (which you are currently holding). You head to the door.

Mama: “Who are you going to see?”

Francie: You answer either “Bailey, Nana, Nana” “Jack Jack, nona” or “mimi”

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Week 31: It was Bailey’s birthday this weekend – you loved it. You thrived. Your clothes came off less than halfway through the afternoon – you wondered around thinking you owned Kimmy’s garden, playing with everyone or no one. Often checking in with your mama or papa, eating cake, strawberries and frozen pops. The afternoon was wonderful – Kimmy’s garden filled with too many people, delicious food and over excited children. Pretty dresses and sun hats… the sun shone and at the end of the day you were dirty, exhausted but chatty and happy – just as you should be.

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