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BABE

BABE, MAMA

MEET THE MAMA: CHLOE FROM KISS KISS PHOTOGRAPHY

1st December 2017
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We’ve worked with Chloe on a few projects lately and have loved getting to know her. She is mama to almost 2 year old Ava.

Tell us one of your favourite things about being a mother. 

Anytime her little hand grips mine in a tight hold while we walk.

What is one piece of parenting advice you heard and tried to follow as a mother.

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

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Tell us one of your favourite memories of parenthood so far.

When Ava realised she was Ava. She kept pointing to herself again and again saying Ava, Ava! She was so happy to be her own person in the world.

What if your idea of the perfect way to spend a day with your little one? 

In nature, swimming.

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What are your favourite books to read to your babe?

Dr Suess is always on rotation as well as a collection of vintage Beatrix Potter books that belonged to my step mother as a child.

Do you have any family rituals?

My husband gets up every weekday morning with Ava and makes himself a coffee, Ava a baby chino and me a cup of tea. Ava climbs into bed with me and we drink our beverages whilst reading stories in bed.

What one thing we will never catch you doing as a mama?

Saying “I’ll never….” because I’ve done everything I thought I would never do as a mom.

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What is the biggest surprise to you about having children?

How clever they are and their ability to teach you. I feel like she teaches me far more than I teach her.

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What do you love most about your husband being a dad? 

Aw man, EVERYTHING!? Seeing them develop their own relationship that’s separate from me is pretty special. I shoot over weekends so they spend a lot of time together and it really shows.

Follow Chloe on Instagram here.

BABE, PLAY

ROAD TRIP ACTIVITIES

27th November 2017
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We went on our first road trip with Francie last weekend. We headed to a farm in Limpopo, which was about 5 hours away. I was so nervous about the long drive with Francie. She isn’t the best in the car. Since we have a “no screen” policy I created loads of fun road trip activities for our journey. Here they, in case you are prepping for the holidays too. I also ordered this activity tray which was perfect for activities and snacks in the car, I’d really recommend it.

1. Velcro Coloured Sticks

Francie spied these on my desk this week and I know that she is already curious! I bought these coloured ice cream sticks at my local stationary store and then stuck velcro on them. The coloured sticks are great because not only can she stick them together, but also sort them into colours and patterns.

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2. Lacing!

A new, fun activity which Francie is loving at the moment. We have a hand me down version from our cousins but here are three options which look great:

Melissa & Doug Farm Lace & Trace

Alex Lacing One, Two, Tie My Shoe

Viga Wooden Transportation Lacing Blocks

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3. Activity Books (I picked this selection from Exclusive Books)

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4. Crazy Clay 

I recently discovered Crazy Clay at our weekly Mom and Me and we both loved it! It’s a fantastic mix between Play Doh and Presstick. This was a huge hit and she played with it for ages. The great thing about it is that is that you can keep reinventing activities. First, she played with the clay on it’s own, then using paper to create artwork with the clay and in the end I even gave her little things to stick in the clay.

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5. Magnetic Drawing Board

I got one from Baby City for only R60. Francie hadn’t had one of these before and she totally loved it, it was a hit.

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6. Button Trees

Trust me, this is worth making! Francie absolutely loved making these trees and it kept her busy for so long that I didn’t end up using all the activities that I packed. She loved threading the buttons and then on the way home, she enjoyed taking them off too.

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Looking for some other busy bags? See some other ideas here.

BABE, READ

TWO OF OUR FAVOURITE BOOKS

24th November 2017
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Do you know “Oi Frog!” and “Oi Dog” by Kes Gray and Jim Field? These are definitely two of our favourite books at the moment. Oi Frog is a “hilarious rhyming tale about a frog who discovers that all animals have their special place to sit.” Of course, the rhyming is super appealing and all the kids in our family love this book from 2 year old Jack to nearly 7 year old Honor. They’ve even learnt the rhymes themselves. I also like that it introduces us to some new words like “mules” “gophers” and “satsumas”.

Oi Dog is pretty similar only this time the frog takes charge and tells everyone their new place to sit. Again the rhyming, illustrations and repetition is such such fun.

These two are a fantastic addition to any Christmas list or Santa bag!

Another one of their books which we have tried is Quick Quack Quentin which is a bit advanced for little ones but our 6 year old loved it!

PS. I noticed when linking that they are on sale on Take a Lot at the moment.

BABE, MAMA, PLAY

BATH TIME WITH MY BABY

9th November 2017
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Although bath time (like in any home that is filled with children) is very much part of our end-of-day routine. I love it. I love the chats that sum up our day, the singing accompanied by splashed and of course the quite moments of cuddles and breast feeding. It is often during these everyday moments that as a mother one is made even more aware of how quickly things change, a slippery baby turns to a sitting toddler and then into a water confident, splash making little girl. I asked photographer Judith Bell to come capture our bath time before it changes again. Here are some of the pics, which I love.

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BABE, MAMA

MEET THE MAMA: SARAH

7th November 2017
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Although we have been “online mama friends” with Sarah and her gorgeous little girl Aria for quite a while we loved meeting them in person the other day. Sarah is the mama behind Mascara and Mimosas and sweet babe Aria is just delicious.

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Favourite product for toddlers and why?

Aria doesn’t use ton of products, we are very lucky that she hasn’t suffered from anything like eczema or severe nappy rash. Two products that I make sure that I always have for her though are:

Kiehl’s nurturing oil for mom and baby – this nourishes Aria’s skin like a bomb and a little really goes a long way.

Shampooheads Awesome Annie Detangler – Aria has very knotty hair and this detangler gets those really nasty tangles and knots out pretty easily and with minimal discomfort.

As for toys, it’s a tricky question as Aria’s preferences change as often as we change her nappy! But the toys that she loves the most are her doll, her wagon, books and crayons and paper for drawing.

How has your style changed since becoming a mom?

To be honest, it hasn’t changed that much, I have always been a jeans and t-shirt kinda gal as it’s what I find most comfortable.

Best gift you have received for Aria?

Wow, we received so many amazing gifts for Aria. Practically, her princess tent has been fab to keep all of her toys hidden away in and her chair and table set is really great for her to sit at to do a whole bunch of different activities. For her dedication, Aria received some really gorgeous jewellery that I have put away to give her one day when she’s older and will really treasure them for the sentimental gifts that they are.

Favourite book to read toAria?

She has a ton of books, lately we have been reading Frog and the Whale in a Princess Tale by Tina Scotford. It is both written and illustrated by South Africans which is such a treat.

Where is your favourite place to go hang with Aria? 

Without a doubt, Kiddilicious. It’s a great restaurant in Bedfordview with the most wonderful kids playground as well as really good coffee. Can’t go wrong!

Favourite meal to give Aria?

Bangers and mash is definitely her favourite meal, but my favourite is anything that’s quick and easy, ha!

What is the biggest surprise to you about having a toddler?

How quickly they change – one day they don’t know much and the next day it seems like they’ve swallowed an encyclopaedia! It really is amazing to watch a little person grow and learn.

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You have a successful mom blogger – Any advice on balancing motherhood and work?

Don’t beat yourself up, you won’t always get it right. Balancing motherhood, work, my marriage, friendships as well as taking time out for myself is really difficult and most of the time I neglect one aspect but I have learnt not to be too hard on myself, I’m only human. At the end of the day, if I can go to sleep knowing that I did my best, that’s enough for me.

What one thing do you want to teach Aria?

Kindness, I think that it’s such an important virtue to have.

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Follow Sarah on Instagram and make sure you visit here blog too. 

Photography: Kiss Kiss Photography

BABE, GIVEAWAY, PLAY

GIVEAWAY: #WINWITHART

1st November 2017
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If you don’t know that we love doing art with our babes then you definitely haven’t been following us for very long. Afternoons spent in our art room are some of our happiest, and our babes love getting creative (and dirty) with paint, pastels, and all sorts of craft materials.

So really, it is no surprise that we are huge fans of mama-run businesses that love kids and all things creative. Two of our favourite companies are: Firstly, Bumble Box – a coffee table art book of all your child’s art. That’s right, mama and former teacher Paula turns kids’ art into the most treasured book. Secondly, Minimi Artelier – whose PLAY2LEARN line includes garments designed to protect children’s clothes while doing arts and crafts, cooking, baking and more, at school and at home.

The other day, we invited Kiss Kiss Photography to our home, threw on our kids’ Minimi Artelier Play2Learn overalls, and let them paint to their hearts desire. Here is the result:

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We then packed up all our artwork from the past couple months and sent it off to Bumble Box.

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Look at our book that we got back! I am so excited with it, it almost makes me weep.

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We are so excited to have partnered with Bumble Box and Minimi Artelier to bring you this #winwithart giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a 60 page Bumble Box art book and a Minimi Artelier Play2Learn Overall.

Here is how to enter:

Follow Bumble Box and Minimi Artelier on Instagram, then Instagram a picture of your child’s art/doing art with the hashtag #winwithart (don’t forget to tag us @Kimmy&Bear).

This competition closes on 15 November so get painting.

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Thank you to lovely Chloe from Kiss Kiss Photography for snapping these pics of our babes painting. Follow Kiss Kiss Photography on Facebook  and @kisskissphoto on Instagram.

Ts&Cs apply.

BABE, BUMP, EAT, MAMA

WE LOVE: HERBIVORE

11th October 2017
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I know that they have been around for a while but we absolutely love Herbivore products, they are so delicious and super healthy too, making great food and snacks for the whole family.

FYI:

  • All Herbivore products are raw vegan in formulation, dehydrated at low temperatures to ensure they retain as much of the nutrients supplied by mother nature as possible.
  • All Herbivore products are also free from any animal products, contain no added cane sugar, are naturally gluten free and without preservatives or additives.
  • They strive to use ingredients that are organic, farmed sustainably and harvested fresh.

Here are the products:

Kale Chips in Birds Eye Chilli, Sour Cream & Onion and Cheezy.

*Our fave is the Sour Cream.

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Super Cereal in Coconut Cacao, Fig & Cinnamon, Gingerbread and Vanilla Pecan

*Our fave is the Coconut Cacao

What’s in the cereal? Sprouted buckwheat, sprouted quinoa, dates, banana, pecan nuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, chia, Himalayan salt, vanilla bean

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And we cannot wait to try the Power Porridge which will be launching soon.

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BABE, MAMA

WORK/MAMAHOOD BALANCE: ELISE FROM DOPE DONUTS

10th October 2017
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Meet lovely Elise who is mama to 10 month old daughter, Stella and also makes the most decadent donuts in Jo’burg, so this mama knows all about juggling it all.

What inspired you to start Dope Donuts?
I was constantly made aware of these amazing looking donuts available in other countries besides our own. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and create my own, homemade donuts which were available online.

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What’s your work schedule?

I always wake up really early in the morning. Besides for the fact that Stella is still waking up for feeds at night (thankfully only once), I do my best work first thing in the morning. So after I give Stella a bottle, I respond to my emails and orders that have been placed, check up on my social media accounts and then start making my donuts for the day.
I am also constant communication with the PR company, NougatPR, that I use throughout the day. They update on the progress on any campaigns we are working on, and we also fire ideas at each other.
How do you handle childcare?
Rose, comes in ever week day from 8 – 5pm. I hand over Stella as she arrives which gives me a chance to get ready and dressed for the day. She is like a best friend and I would be incredibly worn out without her. Nothing is too difficult for her – even though she has 3 kids of her own. She is dedicated to Stella’s wellbeing and adores like her own. I love Rose!
When do you typically hang out with your little one?
Thankfully I work from the comfort of my own home, which means that I am with Stella almost all day. Because I am so lucky, I don’t take this special time with my daughter for granted. I even take her to see clients.

Do you have any family rituals?

My husband and I bath Stella together and get her ready for bed. We also walk our dogs on the weekend.

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What do you enjoy most about your current set up?

I am so incredibly lucky to have my own business as this allows me to spend most of my day with Stella. Even when i’m working I can pop past Stella for a huge ‘smooch kiss’.

What’s the biggest challenge about your current set up?

Because I work from home and know that my daughter is only a step away, I find it hard to switch off from being a mom… It’s like having to be available for everybody, all the time.

What about time for yourself? Do you take timeouts? What do you get up to and how often?

Yes I do. I like to go for a manicure and pedicure once in a while to treat myself. Although, I occasionally bring Stella with and sit her on my lap. It only take a couple of minutes until she is whisked off though by one of the ladies that works there. 

Let’s talk about dinner – who handles dinner in your home?
I make dinner. I love cooking, and my husband doesn’t at all. I get satisfaction in feeding others, i’m a Jewish mama.
Top tip for the work/motherhood balance?

I would advice working moms to not put too much pressure on themselves. I want to be a great mom, first and foremost. That is what matters the most to me most. Yes, I run my own business and I love to see it succeed. but with the right help, I can get the balance right. The key is to not try and do everything yourself. Pride can be a terribly hard thing to pursue.

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Craving some delicious donuts? Visit Dope Donuts or follow them on Instagram. 

BABE, WEAR

WE LOVE: THE NEW COLLECTION FROM FLYNN JAXON

9th October 2017
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We have been huge fans of Flynn Jaxon since they started and their new summer collection has not disappointed. We love it. Their fabrics are amazingly soft and super comfy and the items always fit well. Here are some of our favourite pieces:

Sleeved baby vest – in black and grey. (It’s so hard to find babygros in black so these are a win!)

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Pink harems (I bought these for Francie Sugar).

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They also come in navy, grey and black.

Infinity scarf

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The onsie. This is just amazing!

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The Romper – these are probably our favourite product. Super soft and easy to pull on. The twins live in theirs in summer. (again so many other prints and colours are available).

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Make sure you have a look at their website for all they products. Their shorties and track tops are great too.

BABE, MAMA

MEET THE MAMA: STELLA

5th October 2017
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Lovely Stella lives in Noordhoek, Cape Town with her husband Robin and 2 kids, Noah (aged 2.5 years) and Kaia (aged 9 months). She is a stay at home mama with dreams of selling a few baby products, which she is currently designing – we can’t wait to see them.

 

Favourite product for babies/kids and why?

  • The Bugaboo Donkey stroller. I love Bugaboo period. An amazing brand where design and practicality go hand in hand. This product is so well thought out and is a life saver when it comes to carting around two kids. Although its on the bulkier side, we’ve even traveled across the world with it.
  • The 360 Ergobaby carrier. Definitely our most used baby item by far. It is so comfortable to use and doesn’t hurt my shoulders or lower back like other carriers sometimes do. My babes have spent hours upon hours in it. I use it for running errands, for naps, for settling when baby is irate, for traveling on planes, for traveling period, for beach walks, coffee runs, you name it. I even use it for hiking! I love this carrier so much. Like, so much.
  • A snot sucker. Ours is the NoseFrida from Fridababy but I’m sure a few brands make them. Little lifesavers for those unavoidable snotty noses.
  • The Lotus Everywhere Travel Crib by the Guava Family. After the Ergobaby, this is by far our most used baby item and also one of our most favourite. We travel a lot and no matter where we go, this travel crib comes with us everywhere (like the name!!). It is super light and the size of a carry on. It can be set up and folded down in a matter of seconds, and most importantly, our kids sleep amazingly in it. Cannot fault it.
  • The Baby Bjoern bouncer. The design of this bouncer just speaks to babies. I’ve heard from many mamas that this bouncer is always a hit with their kids and I couldn’t agree more.
  • Bonds Wondersuits. Probably one of my all-time favourite baby products. Such a simple design yet so few brands manage to combine comfortable, soft, zip up sleep suits with stylish and sweet designs. Bonds manage to do this. My 2.5 year old toddler still wears them at night and I don’t think either of my babes have ever owned a different brand of pyjamas!
  • The Pure Beginnings organic bamboo baby wipes. I have travelled all over the world with my kids and hence bought wipes and diapers and creams and baby snacks literally all over the world. These wipes are my all-time favourite. They are so soft, moist enough (but not too moist!), they aren’t too thin, nor too thick, and most importantly, they smell amazing. Oh and they are biodegradable. They are seriously perfect.
  • The Swaddle UP sleep suits from Love to Dream. Oh how I love these! My second babe slept in hers from birth up until nearly 6 months! They gives babies wriggle wrong, whilst still hugging and cocooning them tight for safety and comfort. Really love these.
  • There are many sound machine out there and I’m sure lots of them are really great. I’ve only tried the My Baby Sound Spa by Homedics and used it religiously every nap and night time sleep for both my babies. I definitely think it helped them sleep soundly. I used the ocean sound, but there is a white noise option, as well as heart beat or lullaby option too.

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How has your style changed since becoming a mom?

If showers are a luxury with a newborn, then you can bet that getting dressed are too! In the first few months I undoubtedly live in stretchy yoga pants and breastfeeding singlets. The same ones on repeat. Very uninspiring, but really all that matters at that point is that your clothes are washable and comfortable. Eventually, around the 4 month post partum mark, life and body shape seem to return to normal-ish again for me. That is when the jeans become a regular choice again and I start switching up breastfeeding singlets with tshirts – how adventurous of me!

Now that I am a Mama of two, my style prioritizes comfort above anything else. I love my comfortable jeans, black leggings (Lululemon wunderunder leggings for life!), casual t-shirts, sneakers, UGG boots and flip flops. My style has also become more simple and basic, with less sass and less fuss. I love that. I don’t worry whether my wardrobe has enough colour in it, I simply buy what makes me happy. The greys, the blacks, and the whites are my staples. I buy less but I ensure that what I buy is higher quality and more comfortable.

Best gift you have received for your baby and for you child?

A link to a sound track called ‘Sounds for Silence.’ Six tracks of different sound rhythms and noises that are soothing and relaxing for babies. One would never think them to be, just like one wouldn’t think white noise to be soothing for babies, but this soundtrack is absolute magic in what it does for calming newborns. I have the soundtrack on my phone and used it so much for both Noah and Kaia as little ones, pretty much from day one. The person that developed this soundtrack is called Harry Zehnwirth and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

Favourite book to read to your children?

Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox and The Very Itchy Bear by Nick Bland

Do you have any family rituals?

We create Birthday Tables when it is someone’s birthday. It is a tradition I was lucky enough to grow up with and I want to be able to create the same special memories for my children (and my husband!) that I hold dear in my heart. The night before someone’s birthday, I will decorate our dining table with candles, balloons, confetti, a homemade cake, a card and lots of beautifully wrapped presents. We then start the birthday with singing, opening presents and lots of cuddles and kisses.

Another ritual I’ve started since having our kids, is that both my husband and myself will write a letter to our kids on their birthdays. These then get safeguarded in a special place for the years to come. It is something we want to continue doing until they are at least 18 years old, so that they get to one day hold these thoughtful and heartfelt letters as their very own keepsake.

Where is your favourite place to go hang with your children?

We live in Noordhoek and have the most picturesque little farm village down the road from our house. We often stroll there by foot (Kaia in the pram and Noah on his little bicycle) and can easily spend a couple of hours there. They have a sweet little playground (which is enclosed by a fence – so key!), an amazing bakery and deli, an ice creamery, a raw juice bar and the most important, a delicious take away coffee shop. The place ticks all the boxes and just makes us so happy.

And when Papa has time to hang with us as well, then nothing beats the beach. Especially our local beach here in Noordhoek. Big open space, salty air, tiny sandy toes, and endless opportunities for making the best sand castles.

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Favourite meal to give your children?

Pancakes. Because homemade pancakes for us means slow mornings on weekends, filled with family time. Nothing beats those.

Now if pancakes don’t pass as a meal (which I would totally understand), then I would answer with a big slice of lasagna, a lentil curry, a hearty quinoa dish or a plate of homemade spaghetti bolognaise. Basically, any shared meal that my husband and I have at night. Unfortunately, Noah is a toddler and as much as I would love him eating exactly what we eat, he chooses to eat plain pasta or rice, plain or crumbed chicken, and, our saving grace, a wide range of plain cooked veggies like corn, peas, beans, sweet potatoes, cucumber or avocado slices. Thank goodness for those!

What one thing we will never catch you doing as a mama?

I am strict when it comes to safety and politeness. I am a total pushover when it comes to everything else. So with that in mind, you’ll probably catch me doing most things as a mama.

What is the biggest surprise to you about having children?

That parenting was so much easier when I raised my non-existent children hypothetically! I do a lot of things that I always vowed I would never do as a mother. Like using screens to entertain my child, especially when out in public. Oh how wrong I was. Two and a half years and two babies later and convenience wins every time. Or letting my child consume sugar, co-sleep, and thinking that I can handle a public toddler tantrum, or better yet, that my child will never have a full blown public toddler tantrum. How I laugh looking back at those thoughts. But alas, what would life be if there were no surprises, no challenges and no learnings as a result!? So I guess my biggest surprise is that I’ve surprised myself many times over!

Also, the realization that parents definitely do not know all the answers and how all the clichés that you’ve ever heard about motherhood are so utterly true – the lack of sleep, the amount of poop, the juggling, the chaos, and the love – oh the love! There really is nothing quite like it.

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What do you love most about your husband being a dad?

How his playfulness has come out! He turns into a child himself when he spends time with Noah and Kaia and I love it.

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What one thing do you want to teach your children?

I try to keep our conversations focused on authenticity, humor, kindness, generosity, intelligence and curiosity. These are the traits I want her to cultivate, to look for in a friend.

To love, respect, appreciate, learn and embrace. That’s more than one thing isn’t it? Oh dear. I guess, if it were only one thing I could teach them, it would be to love. Because where there is love, there is life.

I am very generous with my affection because to me, love is one of the most important values of all. It sets the foundation for so many other values in our life – honesty, consideration/empathy, compassion, justice…to name a few. I try to always openly demonstrate my love and affection for the people in my life, whether it is their father, or their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. And I don’t let a day pass (most probably, not even an hour!!), where I do not express my affection for my children by saying I love you, hugging, kissing, squeezing, and cuddling. I hope to always make time for doing special things for each of my children like placing a little note in their lunch boxes, taking them out for a milkshake date, taping a heart to the bathroom mirror or simply giving them a hug for no reason at all.

Best piece of advice you could give moms of two kids. 

The step up from one to two kids was monumental for me. Much more crazy than no kids to one kid, and no one warned me it was going to be so full on! The advice I would give to a soon-to-be-mama of two kids is that the crazy will feel normal soon. The jump from one kid to two is overwhelming and can feel like a lot so remember to take help when you can and remember that you’re not alone. And get baby number two used to doing everything in a baby carrier – my ring sling and Ergobaby were life savers for me!

And also, as clichéd as it sounds, this time, when our kids are so young, passes so quickly. Let yourself feel attached and don’t have any shame in saying that your kids are your life these days. There is a time and a place, especially when they are this young. Let yourself enjoy it.

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Stella has a beautiful Instagram feed so make sure you follow her and read her blog too.

 

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