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Babies

Maternity Leave – Julie Halpern

Maternity Leave – Julie Halpern

Maternity Leave

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I think any new mother would appreciate this entertaining, relatively accurate (in my experience anyway) portrayal of early motherhood.

This story commences when Annie is in labour. She has a little baby boy they call Sam, and thus begins her journey, day by day through the first few months of motherhood. The highs and lows, the grossness and the laughter..

I really enjoyed the format of this book. It is journal entries along with Facebook statuses and email correspondences between Anna and her family and friends. This made it extremely entertaining and easy to read. The chapters are set out in days, and they are quite short so its easy to put it down and pick it up again later (great for when you are busy with the kids!)

It had some extremely funny moments and I could really relate to most of it (except for the part where she gets her husband to squirt her bottom with water while she poops on the loo whilst breastfeeding her baby at the same time – I can’t say I could relate to that!). But it really had a lot of other moments where I would go “YES!!! THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT IT WAS LIKE!”.

I related to Annie SO MUCH! I felt we would have been good friends! We had such similar experiences! I too have an older cat who has shared a big chunk of my life with me. I also love Buffy and Battlestar Galactica is my FAVOURITE SERIES! I am a complete nerd too!

I have read some reviews of this book describing how it doesn’t describe motherhood accurately, and portrays Annie as borderline depressed. I don’t necessarily agree with this. Annie’s experience was so similar to my own, and I would not have classed myself as depressed. It’s hard work suddenly having a tiny person to be totally and utterly responsible for. A total culture shock, and I was not one of these magical mothers who took to it straight away. It took me MONTHS before I had a bond with my son. It is not unusual to not have an instant connection the child you suddenly have in your arms and sucking on your boobs!

The first few months are HARD. They are filled with amazing highs but incredible lows, and sleep deprivation… I enjoyed that this book didn’t skirt around this issue like others do. And the humerous approach was really refreshing. I only wish I had read this 2.5 years ago, when I was up at 3am trying to get my screaming son to latch onto my boob whilst crying my eyes out, wondering if things ever get better.

Would I recommend Maternity Leave?

Yes, I would recommend it to any new mother, and any mother-to-be, who wants a pretty accurate portrayal of some of the difficulties of having a newborn. I would actually say its good for the new dads and dads-to-be to have a read through also, to gain some understanding of just how difficult it is to be a new mother when they go back to work. Overall an enjoyable and entertaining read!

Many thanks to Pan Macmillian and author Julie Halpern for a copy of Maternity Leave to read in exchange for my honest review.

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Pan Macmillan | AMAZON | AMAZON AU


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 Mindfulness for Mothers

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Mindfulness for Mothers – Rebecca Ryan

Mindfulness for Mothers – Rebecca Ryan

Mindfulness For Mothers

Well… What a little gem of a book this was!

There was once a time in my life not so long ago when I was on a bit of a search for answers. What am I doing here? What is the meaning of life? It led me to take up meditation. I went to classes, read books on mindfulness and ‘being in the moment’. I even attended not one, but TWO, ten day silent meditation courses in the Blue Mountains. I was in the meditation zone, so to speak… However, as it so often does, life got in the way. I became a mMindfulness For Mothers 2other, and the ten day silent solitude is but a memory, some wonderful memory from a time in my life where I could go and pee without someone dragging along at my heels. Where I could duck to the shops for groceries without dragging along a nappy bag, a toy truck and a 15kg screaming toddler… Meditation for me now mostly feels like a memory.

 

Mindfulness for mothers reminded me that we can find stillness in simple moments. Brief moments are all I have during the day now it seems!

I enjoyed that the book wasn’t too hippy or airy-fairy. Ryan made some excellent observations and quoted some scientific studies and facts without sounding like some doped up hippy love child. And I really appreciated that.

I love that the meditation exercises are EASY and absolutely realistic!  I especially love the one about being still with your SLEEPING baby!

Coming from another mother, I found I could relate easily to almost everything she was discussing. She gets the time restrictions and STRESS that having a small baby can bring. But this makes it all the more important to take some time out of our heads!

I thought this book was fantastic. It has a place next to my bed to remind me to take time out and be still. And I will be sure to have it handy if I have another baby!

Mindfulness For Mothers 3

Would I recommend Mindfulness For Mothers?

Yes for any Mum with a small child! Or a big child for that matter! I am sure that many of the exercises will be beneficial for just about anyone! And the cover! GORGEOUS!

A Great mothers day present idea!

Many thanks to the author Rebecca Ryan and PanMacmillan Australia for a copy of this beautiful book in exchange for my honest review.

5 Stars (5 / 5)

PURCHASE:

PAN MACMILLAN | BOOKTOPIA | AMAZON AU  | AMAZON US

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rebecca Ryan

Rebecca Ryan is a yoga and meditation teacher specialising in pre- and post-natal yoga. She enjoys sharing her passion for meditation with other mothers, whether long-term meditators or newbies, and encourages her students to allow mindfulness to seep into their daily lives.

Rebecca lives in Melbourne with her husband, two children and her dog, Sammy.


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It’s a Little Baby – Julia Donaldson

It’s a Little Baby – Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb (Illustrator)

It's a Little Baby

One of the best things about having a book blog is the opportunity to review new children’s books with my son! Oliver has only recently turned 2 years old, and he loves to read! (I wonder where he gets that from..?) We read together numerous times every day and he just loves turning the pages and attempting to mimic the words when I say them.image

It’s a Little Baby is an absolutely delightful lift the flap book with gorgeous illustrations and a cute poem/song that my son just adores!

“Somebody’s hiding. I wonder who. It’s a little baby and he’s waving at you.” The babies do different things on each page under the flap, such as waving or clapping, and the child is asked to mimic the actions of the baby. It is accompanied by a song online that is available through the website or by scanning the QR code on the back cover.

Oliver has so much fun pulling the flap and seeing what the little baby is doing! He constantly yells “BABY” when he pulls the flap to see the baby. He also loves the illustrations of the dog, cat, and other animals that are throughout the pages, and he enjoys pointing, waving and dancing with the babies. He likes the accompanying song and dances and twirls aroimageund the room whenever I play it. It is his go-to book at the moment and is constantly produced whenever I ask him to “grab a book to read”.

From my perspective I think its adorable. The baby illustrations are so cute and I really love seeing how much fun my son has with it. My son is slightly behind in his speech, so I love anything that encourages him to say words and copy actions. This book is now known as the “baby book”!

Would I recommend “It’s a Little Baby”?

Absolutely! I have no doubt that any young child will love this book with the fun rhymes, gorgeous illustrations and fun book flaps revealing cute little babies! The only thing that I don’t like about it is that I have to read it to him at least 20 times a day!

5 Stars (5 / 5)

No hesitation! 5 Stars! Fantastic book!

Many thanks to PanMacmillan Australia for a copy of It’s a Little Baby in exchange for an honest review from Oliver and myself.

Release Date Australia: 23rd February 2016

Release Date UK: 11th February, 2016

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Julia DonaldsonABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Julia Donaldson is the outrageously talented, prize-winning author of the world’s best-loved picture books, and was the 2011-2013 UK Children’s Laureate. Her books include What the Ladybird Heard and What the Ladybird Heard Next, Tyrannosaurus Drip and the modern classic The Gruffalo, which has sold over 13.5 million copies worldwide and has been translated into over sixty languages. Julia also writes fiction as well as poems, plays and songs and her brilliant live children’s shows are always in demand.

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ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:

Rebecca Cobb is rapidly establishing herself as one of the most talented names in picture books. Since graduating from Falmouth College of Arts in 2004 she has published a number of well-received books with Macmillan, including the heart-breakingly beautiful Missing Mummy and the critically acclaimed Aunt Amelia.

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No Rain Today – Kristen Iten

No Rain Today

No Rain Today

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I love finding books to read with my son. Being 2 years old now, he is beginning to understand and comprehend the meaning of books a lot more, and he just LOVED No Rain Today!

No Rain Today is the story of a little cloud who got very upset because nobody liked his rain. Not the squirrels, or the cats. And even all the little children stay inside because they don’t like it when he rains on them. So he decides to hold in his rain to make everybody happy. But it has some unexpected consequences.

First of all I thought the illustrations in this book were just divine! The cats and the squirrels were especially cute and I think the illustrator David Overholt is extremely talented!

My son absolutely loved the little cloud! I loved watching him react to the illustrations! He was very upset to see when the cloud was upset, and he loved the animals and the little girl! And he was super cute trying to say “Umbrella”.

I really enjoyed the positive message this book conveys! I took it as the importance of being yourself and not holding back, but there are also many other subtle meanings such as the importance and beauty of rain, that playing outside, even in the rain can be a lot of fun, and I am sure that “don’t hold in your rain” can also be a metaphor for “Don’t hold in your pee!” I will be sure to use this as we toilet train!

Would I recommend it?

Absolutely for any toddler, or young child. We had a lot of fun reading this book together!

Many thanks to author Kristen Iten for a copy of this book for my son and I to review!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

As founder of k10conceptions, Kristen works tirelessly to produce high quality children’s literature. As a child she experienced firsthand the wonder that is a parent reading to their child. Now as a mother herself, she has committed to providing unique stories that parents around the globe will use to build lasting family memories of their own.

Kristen started her writing career as a freelance writer. Most of her time was spent writing informativKristen Itene nonfiction content. “That was pretty unfulfilling on a creative level,” she remarked. “There was the satisfaction of a job well done when I would finish a piece, but as a whole, the job became such drudgery that I began to question whether or not I even enjoyed writing.”

She soon realized that she was writing the wrong kind of material. “When I switched over and began to write from the imagination things really began to pop!” Kristen is now a successful author with several children’s books awaiting release. She manages k10conceptions and is working to build a vibrant community on facebook that supports parents in their efforts to find creative and developmental playtime activities for their children.

AUTHOR LINKS 

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Pros and Cons of Having a Late Walker

My son is a late walker. At 20 months of age he is still yet to master crawling or standing up on his own, let alone walking or running around. There is nothing physically wrong with him apart from being “Hypermobile” – Or extra flexible. He is just a late walker. This has its good side, but most definitely has a bad side…

Lets take a closer look at the pros and cons of having a late walker…

PROS:

I don’t have to chase after him!

IMG_0933This is probably the number 1 positive thing about having a late walker. HE CAN’T RUN AWAY FROM ME!!!!!

In fact, I am lucky enough to have one of these children that I can put down in one spot, duck to the loo and be fairly confident he will still be in that same spot or in the general vicinity when I return. I know many parents who would kill for that!

Plus, its a lot safer having him not running away. Kids can be fast little critters, and I have watched many a mother have to sprint to chase their child to prevent them from getting into some sort of trouble. My child’s version of running away is bum shuffling at an extremely slow speed to get where he wants to go. I don’t even have to rush to catch him! I can finish my cuppa!

 

The Guns

Yes, my arm muscles are looking pretty damn awesome! Having to constantly lift a 13kg sack of potatoes has its advantages I guess..

 

Childproofing Can Wait a While

Yeah, my son couldn’t even get himself to the cupboard easily, let alone get into it or on top of it… While other mothers were frantically childproofing everything in sight, I got to do it later. And steal the best child-proofing ideas.

 

Saving Money

Do you know how much a pair of decent toddler’s shoes cost nowadays??!!! I can probably put him through university with the money I’m saving on shoes!

 

 The Cat is SafeIMG_0936

My son loves our cat… Loves to pull her ears, grab her tail, chew on her face… Thankfully the slow bum shuffling allows her plenty of time to escape when he sets his sights on her… Although she is getting old and doesn’t move fast – so she is in for a rude shock when he finally does start to chase her on his feet!

 

Patience

Patience is a virtue apparently… And I’m getting REALLY good at it…

 

CONS:

The Embarrassment of Bum Shuffling

Yes, having a bum shuffler is EMBARRASSING!!! Not because they are slow to walk, but because when they shuffle across the floor they look like a dog that’s wiping its bum on the ground.

 

Other Mothers

Yes, fellow bum shuffling mothers can most probably relate to the annoying and sometimes downright rude comments of other mothers. Much of the time they don’t mean any harm, but you still want to wring their necks!

Here are a few examples I have encountered:

  • “Oh look at him shuffling around there. He moves well doesn’t he? For his age?”

“He’s 19 months….”

“OH……….”

  • “My sisters friends cousins sisters friend had a child who butt shuffled. He was autistic. You better get him checked.”
  • “Oh just put him on the floor love, he will figure it out.”
  • “You mother him too much. Stop picking him up.”
  • “Well your obviously THAT kind of mother…”  WTF!??

And my personal favourite:

  • “He will get there in his own time…” Yes, but what about in the meantime!!???

 

Constipation

With his limited movement and hypermobility comes constipation… I don’t think I really need to say more. It sucks!

 

Frustration

You can probably guess. He sees all the other children (many who are younger than him) running around, climbing play equipment, sitting in chairs, etc etc. He DESPERATELY wants to be part of it. He doesn’t understand why he can’t. He isn’t able to comprehend that he will get there eventually, he just knows he is not there now. Its HEARTBREAKING!

FrustratedIt is also incredibly frustrating for me watching him not being able to do things the other kids do. We have some friends who had their child a year after mine. A WHOLE YEAR! And already they are starting to pull themselves up on furniture and will no doubt be walking soon. It feels like my son is over a year behind all the others. It makes me think, have I done something wrong as a parent? Do I not push him enough? (mind you we are currently doing 2 hours a week of intense physical therapy so I highly doubt my motivation is an issue). WHAT HAVE I DONE WRONG?

Absolutely nothing! I just have a child who doesn’t know how to walk, he hasn’t figured it out yet. Hopefully he will soon.

Mel xx

 

Do you have a bum shuffler??

A child with hypermobility or  is ultra flexible??

Anything you can add to my list??

Feel free to make a comment 🙂

 

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