Month: July 2014

It’s her party (and I’ll cry if I want to)

Millie is 1.

My baby.

Grown up. A big toddler. I no longer have to tell people her age in months.

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Millie the birthday girl

The husbando and I have had a year to get used to this parenting caper. A year as someone’s mummy and daddy.

I’m a little sad. It’s been the BEST but the FASTEST year of my life. I’d love to do it – the sleepless nights, the sore boobs, the pooey nappies included – all over again.

But she’s a healthy, happy, sweet, determined and beautiful little girl and getting cuter, funnier and smarter by the day. We’re so lucky.

Which is why we threw her a big 1st birthday party.

I’ve gone and done the very thing I swore I wouldn’t before I had a child.

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Happpy Birthday Millie!

Me a year or so ago (usually en-route to a 1st birthday party):
Why even bother throwing a 1-year-old a party? It’s not like they know what the hell is going on. It’s a huge waste of money. This baby birthday thing is getting out of control. A small family gathering is plenty.

Me the last few months:
Millie is turning 1! How exciting! Let’s throw her a party and invite all our nearest and dearest! I’ll order the invites now! What should be the theme? How big is too big for helium balloon arrangements? What should she wear? Oooh Etsy! I’ll have one of everything pink and cute and woodland, ok? Thanks!

It was a great day. Millie didn’t know what the hell was going on, but when she’s older we’ll show her the photos and tell her all about the room of people who love her and were at her 1st birthday.

We held it at a cafe/bar because our house is packed if any more than 3 people visit at once. It was the best idea I had. First birthdays are mostly for the adults so this ensured everyone was fed and watered and wasn’t subjected to my cooking.

Mister Fox starts to take shape as Millie's woodland wonderland
Mister Fox starts to take shape as Millie’s woodland wonderland

I could decorate to make it look how it looked in mind and I could focus on Millie and chatting to everyone while someone else served the food (and cleaned up afterwards!).

I bought an inflatable ball pit to pop in the corner of the room for Millie’s little buddies. It was a huge hit.

Millie's little friends Olivia and Isabel having a ball (geddit?)
Millie’s little friends Olivia and Isabel having a ball (geddit?)

I chose a woodland theme (deer, foxes, rabbits, toadstools, flowers, birds) and ordered invites and decorations to match. Easy peasy.

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The woodland theme started with the invitations

Millie’s birthday cake was a giant cupcake. Without too much tweaking it looked like a toadstool. Bingo. We’d ordered cakes from this bakery before so knew it would look fantastic and taste delish.

The cake was a hit with the party girl
The cake was a hit with the party girl

I went a little crazy on Etsy to gather the decorations. Once I had the theme in mind it all seemed to fall into place. Oh, and I had to have a glitter letter pom pom banner. Of course.

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Little Dovie makes glitter name banners just perfect for parties

With the theme set months ago, I gathered bits and pieces as I went. Hubby said it was like the months before our wedding again. I was in full organising mode.

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It’s all in the details

I always remember my birthday parties and being able to wear my prettiest dress. For Millie I picked my favourite Aussie children’s label and ordered a printed floral smock dress, bloomers and matching bib – I added some winter tights and leather bow moccs and her outfit was complete. Almost.
I found a dainty headband with tiny flowers and a bird sitting atop and snapped it up. It couldn’t have matched her theme or outfit better. She looked like a little woodland nymph.

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Millie dressed for her party in Aussie labels Printebebe and Hubble and Duke

It was a great party, if I do say so myself. But like most events and milestones this year, it was over way too fast.

Better get planning for when Millie Moo is 2.

Millie’s 1st birthday party suppliers:
Invites: Creative Union Design
Venue: Mister Fox, Ringwood
Catering: Mister Fox, Ringwood
Balloon arrangement: Party Bazaar, Elsternwick
Pom pom banner: Little Dovie
Woodland bunting: Mozi
Cake & mini cupcakes: Little Cupcakes, Melbourne
Cake topper: Little Dovie
Mason jars & lids: Typo
Flowers: Simeon’s Florist, Elsternwick
Fuzzy bunny decorations: Bed, Bath N’ Table
Wooden toadstool figurines: WoodrockTurning
Crochet toadstools: Astash Toys
Deer figurine: Moppit and More
Lolly bags: Daiso
Inflatable ball bit: Big W
Balls for ball pit: Kmart

Nothing corny about it – eco friendly’s the way to go

We’re not greenies in this household, but we try to do our bit.

We only buy recycled toilet paper. We line dry most of our washing, most of the time. We use grey water on the garden. I’m vegetarian.

When I was sent some Mother’s Corn natural products to try, I was excited and was really hopeful Millie would love them too.

She did.

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Mother’s Corn baby tableware is so clever. Made from corn (PLA resin is extracted from cornstarch), the biodegradable plastics used in the products are as strong as the other dinnerware we used for Millie – but are BPA free, printed with non-toxic ink and free of petrochemicals that are harmful to the environment.

The segmented joy meal plate and self spoon & fork set have created a new, exciting eating routine for Millie. No longer content to let me shovel food into her mouth, Miss Independent is learning to self feed and will attempt to scoop food from her plate. The baby cutlery has a round finish on the fork and was easy for her to grip. I put a variety of different foods in her sectioned plate and she thought it was the bee’s knees. She sat there, selecting what she wanted to eat first and let out some excited squeals when looking at the spread in front of her. Little silicone stoppers on the base of the plate stopped it from sliding off the high chair tray. It’s also microwaveable.

The picnic snack cup set consists of a mug cup with two handles and a silicone lid with slits in the top to allow bub to reach in and grab a snack while the lid holds in the remaining contents. It’s had such a workout when I’ve taken Millie out. She Ioves thinking she is in control of her food and it’s saved so much from falling on the floor and being wasted.

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The natural products are microwaveable but are not dishwasher friendly, however. But this hasn’t been a hassle for me, the smooth edges clean up easily and quickly in soapy water.

Possibly the item that is by far the flavour of the month is the Mother’s Corn bubble set. I’d seen these stocked in some of my fave kids’ stores and gave it a go immediately.

Suitable for ages 3 and up, it was left to me to do the bubble blowing while Millie waited for the result. I can’t pretend I didn’t love it. This non-toxic blower makes a LOT of bubbles. It’s brilliant. Millie was overjoyed. Pure wonderment.

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The bubble liquid is made from cellulose (extracted from trees and used in ice-cream and bread) and the bubbles last long enough to land and sit on your finger.

Millie is going to go bananas when she’s old enough to use the blower. Just watching the bubbles float through the air garnered a ‘hip, hip, hooray’ clapping frenzy.

Mother’s Corn products are exclusively distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Kidsberry.

For details, visit the Mother’s Corn web page or follow on www.facebook.com/MotherscornAUS

* This is a sponsored post

Itsy bitsy teeny weeny swimming girl

Millie made a splash today and had her first swimming lesson.

We booked in for the term with Brighton Swim School Aquatics and will go weekly for 10 weeks.

The classes at the centre are appropriate to a child’s age, development and ability.

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We’ll see how she goes, but I’d like to have her in swimming lessons until she’s proficient in the water, at the very least.

Apprehensive at first (not as apprehensive as her mummy was about getting into swimwear for the first time in 18 months – eeek), Millie was splashing about and giggling after 5 minutes in the pool.

The instructor said she was at a good age to start. Millie is 11 months and mostly understands what to do after some help or a demonstration (kicking her legs to make a splash, putting rubber ducks in a bucket).

Blowing bubbles in the water will take time, however. At the moment she is drinking it. Hmm. I really would like her to learn not to do that.

I didn’t learn to swim properly until I was at school (who remembers the Aquapass?). I don’t want that for Millie. It’s a life skill and I’m glad she’s testing out the water before she can walk or talk!

Millie and another little girl, Allegra, are the only two kiddies in the class.

It was so sweet to see my baby girl, who this time last year was still weeks off being born, discovering the joys of a swimming pool and trying something for the first time.

We can’t wait for next week.

Back off rude lady, I’m doing a stellar job

Today was a good day.

The sun was shining despite the winter temp and Millie and I headed off for a walk.

Mum and daughter gleefully going about their day – until an opinionated nosy parker decided to ruin it.

My hubby was called interstate on business for a few days, so I decided to go to a cafe with Millie for lunch to save myself cooking a big dinner for one.

In a high chair, Millie Moo played with her toys, ate the lunch I had brought along for her and sampled the eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and toast from my plate. She was such a good little bub, happy to munch away and occasionally smile or wave to fellow customers as they passed through.

A journalist by trade, I relished the chance to read the paper while sipping a latte. How lovely. Well…

Millie started to grasp at the edges of the newspaper so I passed her the catalogue that was lodged in the middle. The shiny, crunchy paper kept her occupied for a couple of minutes as she waved it about and slapped it against the table.

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A woman, probably in her 60s, came over to tell me she used to give her kids the toy catalogues to look at. I smiled, thinking she was just being nice.

“I would never have given them that one though,” she continued.

Say what?

“You have to watch what you give them. I had to look twice at what she was holding,” she said.

Oh my goodness, I thought – have I given Millie a catalogue laced with poison? Was it covered in pictures of naked men? Had she grabbed someone’s book and was scrunching it up?

No. It was a Dan Murphy’s catalogue. Shock horror.

“She doesn’t know what she is reading,” I said to the woman, assuring her that Millie was still a long way off talking and walking let alone ducking off to the bottle-o.

“Well it won’t be long,” she said. “Naughty mummy.”

I was shocked, otherwise I would have come up with something witty to say.

It didn’t matter that Millie had a morning nap, was quiet, happy, warmly dressed, eating vegies or had a clean nappy on? Or that I had triple-sterilised her utensils, love her dearly and am a new mum still learning how the hell to be a good one?

I wish I had told her to mind her own business.

Millie didn’t see the pictures on the catalogue and even if she did, she doesn’t yet know what they are.

Most households have bottles of wine on display at home. We have a small collection in a rack in our lounge. It will be years before Millie realises they’re there.

I could count the number of alcoholic drinks I’ve had in the last 11 months on one hand (and none in the 9 months before that).

I don’t need to justify myself. I was just mad at this stranger judging my parenting after a quick glance.

Why do people of a certain age feel the need to be critical once you’re pushing a pram?

A girl from my mother’s group was chastised by a shop assistant for taking her 6 month old son into the supermarket bottle shop. She was getting a bottle of wine for guests that were coming for dinner that evening.

Other friends have had older people tell them their child needs warmer clothes/a hat/a sleep/all of the above while out with their baby. Those pregnant with their second or third have been told with raised eyebrows how tough they’re going to find it once the new bub comes along. Just a smile or “congratulations” would be nice.

I don’t get it. Why do some people only say negative things to mothers of babies – mothers who are probably running on minimal sleep and are pleased just to be out of their pyjamas and out of the house?

How about it rude lady? Next time you see a mum and her baby, how about telling her that her baby is lovely and remind her that she is doing a damn fine job.

If you haven’t got something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

Have you been confronted by people with opinions on how to raise your child? What did you say?