Monday, February 28, 2011

Workforce Woes.

Welcome to the 'Secret Diary of a Single Mother', one of my regular ramblings
...Enjoy the first entry...

This is it! I am taking the plunge back into the work force.
My plan for maternity leave and what was to come after the birth was as simple as- "There is no plan". I definitely wanted to spend as much time as possible being a stay-at-home-mother and getting in that quality, carefree, relaxed time with Stella while she was young. For me, it was important bonding and 'discovery' time. There were many stages when being at home would make me feel very restless and frustrated...but once a bit of routine was established I began to settle in and be comfortable with my days at home with Stella. The restlessness sneaks back up when she isn't with me, those 3 days a fortnight that she spends having Dad and Daughter time are 3 very long days. I need to keep as distracted as possible to keep from missing her (Yeah right, as if i'm going to stop missing her!) and that is how I made the decision to return to work on those horrible 'baby-free' days.

So...In 2 days time I will be getting up to an alarm rather that a blabbering baby, putting on shoes rather than fluffy house socks, leaving with a light handbag rather than one weighted with toys and nappies, grabbing a coffee rather than a rusk stick. And I couldn't be more nervous! I'm worrying about what to wear, worrying about making small talk with customers, worrying about how much knowledge I have retained in my year off, worrying about everything! I am worrying that I will be physically and mentally exhausted and that this will effect my mood at home. I am worrying about BALANCE. How do you create the perfect balance? What is the perfect balance? Basically, there is not a thing I'm not worrying about.

If you have any stories you can share with me on your own experiences regarding return to work I would so enjoy reading them, perhaps it will provide me with some insight and reassurance. After my first day back, which I am sure that I will enjoy like crazy, I'll continue sharing my journey on the 'tackling of balance' with you!

Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Winter Loves' First Giveaway!

....Drumroll please...
The little secret I have been struggling to hold behind my lips can finally be let out!

Winter Love is having a very first *giveaway* to celebrate its' beginnings and thank the followers. Up for grabs is my favourite That Vintage piece that I shared with you earlier in the week, The Feather and Lace Birdcage pendant.

Photograhy by Jesse Hunniford
To enter this giveaway follow these simple steps:
1. Become a follower of Winter Love.
2. Head to the That Vintage Etsy store by clicking here .
3. Comment on this post with a short desciption of why you like 'That Vintage' designs.
4. Make sure that I can contact you via e-mail by leaving your e-mail address with your comment.

The competition will end Monday March 7th at 7:00pm EDST and the lucky winner will be judged based on originality and creativity. Please don't be disheartened if you don't win....As Winter Love grows and develops there may be more celebratory giveaways!

So get commenting and keep reading to see if you are the winner, which will be announced on Tuesday the 8th of March.  Goodluck!

Meet Krystal!

The lucky last 'Meet the Mamma' is Krystal. I've only know Krystal for a short amount of time over Facebook and she always has a smile on her internet persona dial! This is her story.
Mother to Felix (2 years)
I have one little dude, Felix. He is 2 years old. Alot of people, actually the majority of people who hear his name for the first time ask how we thought of it & why. It was a name we thought of only a few days before he was born. We had a short list of favourite names & decided to choose once we saw him. One of our other favourites was 'Oliver'. But he's definitely a Felix.

A typical day involves...
Lots of energy required! Toddlers never seem to stop unless they are eating, drinking or sleeping...and even then they don’t! Felix wakes at around 5 - 5:30, creeps into our room & wakes us (sometimes by wacking us on the heads, eep!). We all have breakfast together then Shane gets ready for work whilst I clean up breakfast stuff & Felix plays. During the day Felix & I do a whole bunch of random things depending on the weather & Felixs mood. Some of our favourite things to do are drawing, playing with playdoh...sometimes eating it, baking yummy foods together & watching ‘Chuggington‘. Come night time, our bedtime routine involves dinner, shower, quiet play, singing, then bed...pretty normal really, but it works.

The best part about being a mother?
What isn't the best part about being a mother? Sure, I have my (really) bad days, sometimes I want to scream at the top of my lungs & feel like I'm going insane. But at the end of the day, seeing Felixs smile, hearing his cute laugh, watching him do something I've taught him...its all worth it, every single second.

The hardest part of parenting?
Learning how to cope & get through the tantrums. The past few months have been the toughest so far for all three of us. They don't call it the 'terrible twos' for nothing, it really can be oh so terrible at times!

What inspires you?
I think the easier question to answer would be 'what doesn't inspire me?' I can be inspired by the smallest and biggest of things. Anything from a pretty leaf, a yummy smell, sparkly jewellery or going op could say I'm easily inspired.

The effect on your relationship since having children?
I believe our relationship has more so grown than changed. Both Shane & myself have learnt & experienced things neither of us had ever experienced before having Felix. Even when I was pregnant, we were both changing and growing as a couple, & as a family. One thing we have needed to focus more on since having Felix is making time for 'us'. It's so, so easy to get lost in the same old daily routine, that we have to take a step back every now and again & make an effort to do something special together.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Blogs We Love 2011

If you are enjoying your read here on Winter Love, why not nominate it for the Womens Health Magazine blog contest? If Winter Love is selected as one of the 'Blogs we love 2011' the blog will receive a Womens Health badge for the page and my story will be shared with Womens Health readers.

Reading about the competition and hearing that some of my readers had already nominated me got me feeling very excited and motivated. Please nominate me by clicking here and continue to read, read, read away!

Plenty of love,

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Post Pregnancy Hair Loss

When I was pregnant I read nearly every book written on pregnancy, birth and babies. In some, there were brief mentions of hair loss after birth, but nothing detailed. So when Stella was 4 months old and I still had a
head full of thick hair I revelled in the fact that I was 'lucky' to escape this 'old wives tale'.
But... old wives tale it was not. My hair loss began about 5 months after giving birth and the extremity of it certainly made up for the late start. 2 months later, I'm still a shedding Mamma.

When I wash my hair I am greeted with around 3 handfulls, I don't dare blowdry or straighten it anymore, otherwise my bathroom tiles become carpeted. My clothes have constant strands clinging. My vacuum cleaner is always clogged. When Stella is playing she'll often have a mouthful of hair, some wrapped around her fingers and an insane amount in between her toes. I've even found my run-away hair in her nappy!
I have very long hair and couldn't possibly cut it, my long hair is what defines me. So, unless I am leaving the house it is usually in a big bun twisted on the top of my head. I even wear a beanie to bed in a failed attempt to keep the strands attached to my head!

I know that it is most definitely normal to lose hair post-pregnancy due to fluctuation of hormones, but normal or not... IT. IS. DRIVING. ME. INSANE. Most of the information I can find on the hair loss suggest cutting it to lessen the annoyance. But I can't, won't, just will not! Other than that I have heard that taking Silica Supplements can help nourish hair. If it is going to lessen the hair loss or give me luscious glossy locks (with the added bonus of stronger nails and clearer skin) then what have I got to lose? I may buy some supplements and see if there are any changes.

Has anyone else had a hairy experience with hair loss post baby as I have? (Oh what a pun!)
How did you deal with it without going stark raving mad? Am I going to have to take the plunge and cut my pride and joy?

Please comment with your stories and opinions, I would love to hear them. Meanwhile, I'm going to vacuum my floor...again.

Meet Annalese!

Annalese is my Cousin-in-law, our babies are very close in age and she is wonderful to confide in at any time. We use each others ears often. This is Annaleses story.

Annalese Peterson
Mother to Arden David (8 months)

A typical day involves...
I'm a stay at home mum until July when I go back to work part time. My partner Brendon is a shift worker and works two 12 hour day shifts, two 12 hour nights then four off.
Arden sleeps in our bed from about midnight on and has just started to only wake once after that anywhere between 2 and 6:30am, which is so awesome because he was waking every 2 hours only a month ago.
Some days he'll wake at around 7:30 others it'll be 9am, and I'm usually still half asleep until he jumps all over me to get me to wake up. If Brendon's home I'll ask him not so politely to get up with him so I can have a lay in.
When we get up we jump straight into the shower or sometimes he has a bath, to get the day started.
From there it's only a matter of about an hour to get him to have his weetbix or oats before he goes back down in his cot for a nap which lasts between 30-90 mins. In that time I get our tea prepared and pretty much all the housework done.

He gets distracted really easy at lunch and doesn't want to eat, he's too busy worrying about chewing his bib. So I've found a way to make him automatically open his mouth..... I play the "Landcare Australia" commercial which I have bookmarked on youtube. He just loves that ad and it makes his meal times so much easier and quicker! He has home made vegetables and cous cous. I've recently started giving him chicken. Bedtime is usually around 8:30-9pm. He goes to sleep in his cot after reading 'Hairy Maclary', a bottle and a little cuddle. We will visit a friend with a baby or Ardens' cousin usually one day a week. He loves playing with other babies. I'm going to start taking him to a playgroup this year.

The best part about being a mother?
I never thought I would love being a mother as much as I do and I never realised that motherhood would be the best thing that could ever happen. I love when he wakes up and is having a little cry, then sees me and laughs. When I pick him up he wraps his arm around my neck like he's a koala. The open mouth kisses he gives me when I ask for a kiss, the finding something new to play with and discovering what it does or how he can fit it in his mouth...That is the kind of thing that melts my heart. When I'm in an elevator or shop and people have a little chat to my boy makes me such a proud mum. I love chatting with other mums about babies and products. Everyone has different stories to tell and things they do, this is where I get most of my advice from. I used to hate it when I was pregnant and people would tell me this and that. Now I'm one of "those" people with my own thoughts and advice.

The hardest part of parenting?
The hardest part is my worrying if he's safe. In the very beginning I didn't want to go anywhere or see anyone. I was learning to breastfeed which took around 3 months for it to feel natural. That was probably THE hardest part.

What inspires you?
I'm inspired by people that can successfully lose weight. I know it's an odd thing to be inspired by, but I just love finding out as much as I can about being healthy and exercise. It's so much harder now that I have Arden but I know I'll get there. The Biggest Loser is a show that I will not miss. I love seeing the training. I love seeing people riding a bike or running, not just to get somewhere but for the fun of it too. It makes me miss what I once was, but I'd never give up the life I have with my boy just to go back to the days when I was a skinnier version.
Also, on a completely different note; running an efficient household and being a mother, a lover and a friend is the hardest job. And most of the time isn't getting paid by money, but love for the hours she puts in.
Time is so valuable and if one can fit all of that into a days work then she's the greatest inspiration.

The effect on your relationship since having a baby...
After 9 years together, I thought we'd be pretty good raising a child. I thought we both had the same opinions on how to do things. When Arden came home for the first time it was winter. He didn't go to sleep in the bassinet through the day, so I just sat on the couch and held him to sleep. This continued until he was about 4 or 5 months old. Brendon thought I should be putting him in his cot and letting him cry himself to sleep. I wanted to show Arden that I loved him and for him not to feel sad. It was also 'time out' for me too.
So, We've had our share of arguments and also about who does what.

 I'm a stay at home mum so I know I have to do the majority of the housework and parenting, but it's nice sometimes to get home from the shops to have the washing hung out or for him to offer to change a nappy. Sometimes I get in my own little stubborn mood because he hasn't read my mind to know what I want. I also wouldn't mind a "day off". It sounds silly but I need "me" time every now and then. It usually means Brendon will take Arden to visit his Nanny and Poppy so I can go for a run and have a bath. It's the little things that he does without me needing to ask that makes me love him that much more.

I am a "let herself go" kind of woman. I constantly struggle with my weight after putting on 24kgs and only losing 16. So I get around the house in daggy trackies and tshirts because I'm determined to not stay this way and refuse to buy bigger clothes. I wear my hair the same all the time, pulled up in a ponytail and all tucked away and wear make up only on a special occasion. After all that, Brendon looks past it and still tells me he loves me. So I guess I can't complain too much?

I could never imagine how hard it would be to be a single parent. Having a little life that relies on the love from a mother is the hardest and most emotional thing. Having that someone to back you up and take over if you just want to scream and cry for half an hour because he won't eat his tea or go to sleep 'til midnight.
I have so much respect for those who do it alone because it is so so hard even with a partner. I'd be an absolute wreck if I was on my own.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A pretty production line.

Last Saturday night, My talented friend Sophie, brought around to my house her business in her handbag. Not quite, but she did bring a big box of freshly laser cut Tasmanian myrtle, the foundation of her jewellery line; That Vintage. Soph has been super dooper busy (When is she ever not busy!) with preparations for Niche. Niche is a market showcasing Tasmanian designers in which a percentage of funds go to St Giles; supporting the disabled community.

So to get our fix of social times and gossip yet not hinder her preparation efforts, we had a little 'factory date'. Sophie, Lauren (My florist friend) and I sat down with some apple and pear cider, chinese food and the big box of wood. We chatted about creative ideas whilst peeling masking tape off the cut pieces ready to be made into necklaces, earrings and rings. The smell of freshly cut myrtle is amazing! It's that camp fire type smell- woody and warm. Stella played amongst us too and even had some input by dribbling on some of the pieces.

It was a great night, I seem to be surrounded by such talented people. Its both inspiring and intimidating at the same time...I wish I had the skill these girls have with wood, fabric, flowers and their crafty little fingers! I have an abundance of ideas and notes on notes of inspiration, but lack the talent to do anything with it. I will however, be helping at the That Vintage stall at Niche market which I am very excited about, I helped out last year and it was wonderful. So nice to chat with creative minds and serve customers. It had that retail vibe that I miss from my working days, but in a more relaxed, personalised environment. I can't wait for this one!

I thought I'd share with you my FAVOURITE piece of Jewellery by Sophie, The feather and lace birdcage pendant. I wear it with everything!

I'll keep you updated as to how the market goes in April!

Meet Tahnii!

Tahnii is a friend of mine from highschool, we used to gossip about boys and parties...We now gossip about playgroups and baby clothes. This is her story, So beautifully written!
Tahnii Marquis
Mother to Bailey (2.5 years) and
Bella-Rose (3 months)

A typical day involves...
When you're mum, the days roll into one and you wake up and wonder where the time has gone! As much as I try to make every single day magical for my little ones, there are common elements of each day which can only be described as "mummy moments". The kind of moments that are monotonous and routine, and yet all mums can nod their heads and relate to. I'm talking about the nappy changes, the three times a day struggle of mealtimes, the bathing, the story telling, the playing and the bedtime bliss! My days, have increasingly become more and more about these "mummy moments" and less about spontaneity but I couldn't be more happy.

My typical day consists of waking up at 7am (after a night of broken sleep) to the biggest smile from my princess and prince. It's moments like this that you want to capture and put in a bottle so you can release them when they're teenagers and no longer excited to see your face first thing in the morning.
I love mornings. Bailey will bounce into the room and smother his sister (who after her last feed/wake has managed to end up in my bed out of laziness) and myself in kisses and cuddles and we'll all snuggle up in bed until inevitably bum's need to be changed and tummy's fed. When Bella naps, I try to squeeze in some quality time with Bailey. It's not often we get to just bond with no distractions, so this time is so special to me and I miss it so much. Bella will probably only sleep for 40minutes and then back to being a dairy cow.

Meal, Play, Change, Sleep. That is my typical routine. I try to get us all out of the house at least once a day, whether just for a walk or a shop, the fresh air does wonders and restores my sanity, as looking at the same four walls all day is not healthy. And by 6pm it is dinner time, bath time, teeth cleaning, book and bed and by 7pm it is ME TIME!  In reality this usually entails bedtime for me too, as I think I have skipped motherhood and headed straight for the retirement village because by 8.30pm I am usually exhausted and need sleep myself. Gone are the days of all-nighters. All in all...I wouldn't change it for the world.

The best part about being a mother?
There are so many amazing things about being a mum. Sure, there are so many unbelievably hard things too, but the amazing things easily outweigh these tenfold. I think personally, the best thing is the unconditional love. You never really understand the meaning of the word until you look into the eyes of this magical little being which you have created and held in your body for 9 months, then hold them in your arms and know instantly that you would give the world for them. That they love you for your imperfections, and to you; they will always be perfect. That you created life, and in that moment, would die for them. Being a mother is full of smiles and tears every single day, but seeing these little people grow and develop their own little personalities and discover the world, is the greatest experience I have ever had, and I feel blessed to be taking this journey with them.

The hardest part of parenting?
Everybody tells you how hard parenting is going to be. I fell pregnant at 17, so I was told that my social life was over, and that my dreams for the future, everything, was going to be that much harder. As much as this was all true, I accepted it. I think the hardest thing is being constantly judged for every decision I make as a mother. Being a young mum of two, I have to try twice as hard to make sure that I am not put into a stereotypical basket.
It is sad that even we, as mummy's are so judgmental towards each other, and even though I try wholeheartedly to respect other people's decisions, I too have on occasion fallen into the trap. We should never have to, as mothers, defend the decisions we make for our family. We're all sharing the same experience, so should be supportive of each other regardless. A wise woman once told me - "Do not worry yourself about the judgement of others, when they are adults, nobody cares how they were fed and when they learned to walk. All that you need to know is that by 30, they are all toilet trained, sleeping in their own bed, and eat the occasional vegetable".
What inspires you?
Other than my children, Learning. And teaching. Watching your children learn is so amazing. I finally understand the tears in the eyes of parents when they watch their kids on stage, or why unrecognisable pictures are framed and put on the fridge. One of my main passions in life is helping children to learn. You get such an indescribable feeling of pride when they finally "get it". I love that every single day the experiences I share with my children are their first learning opportunities, and I try to foster their growth wherever I can. I never want to see them struggle, and want to help show them the world - which they do through such rose coloured eyes. They could be anything they want, and I want to help them to get there. They will move mountains.
This time next year I will be a fully qualified early childhood teacher, and am proud of myself too for continuing my studies, throughout everything. There are times when I felt like I couldn't study as well as be a full time mum, but at the end of the day I want to set the best example for my children and prove to them they can do anything if they set their mind to it. They are the future generation, and they give me faith that they will be wonderful.

Thoughts on single parenting...
Parenting is hard. I will not lie. Single Parenting is even harder. Being a single mum of a toddler, and a newborn - let's just say it was a struggle of a mountain I was not sure I could conquer. Every single decision I make influences my children, and that is a lot of pressure. At the end of the day I know however that as long as I try to do my best for them, they will forgive me my mistakes and relish in my triumphs alongside me. I think that being a single parent has made me a stronger person. There is no other person to rely on, no other person to get up in the middle of the night whilst you have an extra hour sleep before you have to get up to the day ahead, no other person to cry to when things haven't gone to plan, nobody to share the experiences of their first words and milestones. On the other hand it allows me the freedom of making decisions for my children without conflict or being undermined. It has made me closer to these little angels, who know mummy will always be there. As much as it is lonely, and not a journey I planned on taking alone, I do so with the best of my ability every single day. At the end of the day, relationship status is irrelevant, and all that matters is you did the best you can, and I have.

Monday, February 21, 2011

7 days. 1 week. Too many hours to count.

Confession: I have spent the last week in Pyjamas. Almost constantly. I have found it so hard to muster the motivation and physical energy to do anything. The housework is all up to date, everything is neatly in order, cleaned and dusted. We've also done some serious nursery rhyme singing and block tower building. So not everything is being neglected. But I just can't shake the pyjama bug. I've been bitten and I can't recover!

Even as I sit here now, I'm P.J. clad with unwashed hair in a birdsnest style on the top of my head. I feel terribly guilty. I'm not sick. Just drained. I need some hardcore vitamins I think to give me some much needed energy, As soon as I am able to put on a pretty dress, I'll go to the chemist and get some... Soon. Hopefully.

Has anyone else been bitten by this pyjama bug? If so, what is the cure???

Hoping to grace the next post with some fresh hair and pretty threads.

Meet Zoe!

Zoe is one of the Mothers I met on facebook who I chat to regularly and she gave me some great ideas and feedback and my posts. This is her story in a nutshell!
Zoe Somers
Mother to Imogen Grace (4 years) and
Isabel Jasmine (5 months)

A typical day involves...
I usually have 3 feeds before actual 'wake up time' of a morning. One at 1am, another 4am then at 6:30am, usually exactly those times to the minute, Isabel has some sort of internal clock! Our wake up time is around 7:30 - 8am to get up and get Imogen ready for Kindergarten. I get up and get Imogen dressed, do her hair and tend to Isabel, while Dan makes Imogens breakfast and gets her lunch ready. Usually I get Dan to stay home with Isabel while I take Imogen to school, its much easier that way, plus Isabel is due for a sleep by the time I head out.

My partner, Dan leaves at 3:30pm most nights to start work at 4:30pm as he is a chef. So I get dinner ready while organising a tired 4 year old and a baby. 6pm and its bath time then 6:30pm I take both girls into Imogens room and read a bedtime story to them both.

I find this time really nice. Its beautiful the way both girls will sit quietly and listen to the story, the perfect wind down time. It usually takes an hour to and hour and a half for Imogen to actually go to sleep, she spends a lot of time playing and talking to herself, or she gets up several times to go to the toilet, ask for food/drink, tell us she loves us.. really any excuse to get out of bed. I like to try to get Isabel to bed between 7 and 8pm most nights. She hates her cot, so its usually half an hour of crying and dummy returns. But once she is asleep she will stay asleep till 1am.
Then its mummy time!

The best part about being a mother...
The unconditional love, the smiles, giggles, hearing every new word, watching them sleep, seeing a 'new first', watching their little faces light up when you walk into the room, knowing that someone relies entirely on you. Teaching, I love knowing that these children are learning from me. I am their main influence, and when I see they are doing well, learning fast, that is a great feeling.

The hardest part of parenting...
Lack of control and not knowing what is actually wrong with your baby until they are old enough to talk.
Also advice; I find it hard to know what 'advice' to listen to. You are always hearing different peoples opinions on every subject, Sleeping, eating, teething and every other person seems to know best. It makes it very confusing.

What inspires you?
This is a hard one because I actually dont know what inspires me. I like to think I inspire myself. I know what I want for me, and what I want for my children. I have spent a lot of time finding myself and who I am. I was only 18 when Imogen was born and I found it hard to adjust to parenting. Now, I have a whole new outlook on the parenting game and I know how I want to play it.

Thoughts on Single Parenting...
Only a few days after Imogens 2nd birthday, I realised I no longer loved her father anymore, so we split. For around 3 - 4 months I did it alone. And it was hard. She had to adjust, it was a lot for a small child to grasp. So she did what any child would do and she misbehaved. Bed time was hard, eating was a game, and toilet training had to be put on hold for a while. But I understand completely why she acted this way. It was a big change for her, it was also hard on me. There were many tears, from us both. But it is so rewarding to know that you got through those times on your own, some nights I had help, but the nights I didn't, it was an accomplishment to know that 'I did it' and I did it myself.
Parenting is hard, but single parenting is the hardest. I couldnt imagine doing it alone these days. And I think anyone who is a single parent now, and surviving (whether they are pulling their hair out or not) are obviously doing an amazing job.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Winter Loves' Regular Ramblings

After many great suggestions and lots of pondering I have come up with list of regular posts that will be featuring on Winter Love. One of my closest friends Sophie Hill was kind enough to make me some headers for these posts, she is such a busy busy busy bee and knows how inept I can be with modern technology, especially with photos. I appreciate all her help immensely! I cant wait to show you how amazing they look and start a-postin'!
So... Drumroll please.....These are my regular posts which will be featured every week.

Threads and Trends- Documenting our Mamma and Baby styles.

Gah Gah Gadget- An innovative baby gadget/toy/product featured each week.

Sweet Child of Mine- Letters to my sweet Stella Winter

Secret Diary of a Single Mother- All that's floating in this Mammas head splurted onto the keyboard.

Our Week in Words- The adventures we had, what we did, where we went. How Stella slept, ate and played. The ups, downs, ins and outs.

I hope that these sound like something you would like to read about regularly! I am really looking forward to starting them. Please feel free to e-mail me with a baby gadget if you have found one that is worthy of sharing! Also, Monthly I will be doing a post called 'Meet the Mamma'. A new Mamma (or Dad) will be introduced to you all, sharing with you some of their wisdom, advice and showing off their bouncing babes. If you would like to be that Mamma (or Dad), e-mail me! I would love to hear your stories and share them with the rest of the blogosphere.

In the next week I will be introducing you to the parents who provided me with all the ideas and motivation for these regular posts! Watch this space!

Thanks again for reading, you can now follow me on twitter too!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Indulgence in a chair

It's here!
Today the postman brought me something I've been looking forward to for a long time.
When I first found out I was pregnant I started a scrapbook of all the incredible baby gear I NEEDED. The latest, coolest, most designer stuff thats ever been dribbled on. I was hit with a reality check when I browsed local baby stores and looked at prices online. The items I wanted would nearly have cost me my annual wage in total!

But...there was one indulgence that I was determined not to skimp on. I had my eye on it since before Stella was even thought of and I had saved and saved and saved for it.

...The Highchair...

Not just any highchair, Its a total and utter machine of a thing. It is like the king of highchairs.
The Rolls Royce of models.

The Bloom Fresco loft highchair. It is nothing short of amazing. If it was possible to be in love with a chair, then I am smitten.

It can be used from birth to school age, So has a longer lifespan than a standard highchair. I really wish that I'd had it when Stella was a newborn as it would have been so handy to have as a day bed/lounger for her. I can just picture her using it as a chair to do her drawings and homework in too (such a scary thought that she will ever be that big).

Not only is it functional, but it looks stunning. The height can be adjusted to suit breakfast bars and counters. Just like a sophisticated bar stool for a baby! has a leatherette cushion. Yep, leather!
The colours available would put a bag of jellybeans to shame, the tray is dishwasher safe and it has a 360 degree swivel. The leather inserts can be purchased separately so colours can be mixed and matched to fit with any decor!

It is a dream. Come. True.

I was able to set it up by myself in around 30 minutes. Its definitely 'un-coordinated girl' friendly! Because the chairs aren't available in any Tasmanian stores, I ordered mine through Bebe Online. The service was fantastic.

If you are able to indulge in one baby buy, I would recommend this chair without hesitation! Go on, treat your baby! (and yourself!)

Meanwhile, i'm polishing this chair daily and basking in its awesome-ness!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Regular Ramblings- An Update

Thankyou all so much for your ideas! Keep them coming!

I will be deciding on the final list for regular posts very soon and will be featuring the Mummys behind the inspiration here on Winter Love during next week. The Regular Ramblings will begin the week after that!
Also... Have you become a follower? If you read regularly and have friends who would read please recommend they become a follower. There will be something exciting coming soon that all Winter Love followers have the chance to take part in. My lips are sealed! However, I will give one hint...Myrtle.

Thankyou all so much for your words of encouragement. The enjoyment you get from reading is my motivation to be writing. I am loving it, seriously loving it.

Plenty of love,

Rough Ride.

Tonight was one of those nights. It was a rough, rough night.

I love being a single mother, I don't usually find it 'hard' or 'testing'. Quite the opposite actually, I cherish the Mother-daughter moments we share. I wouldn't want it any other way.
But sometimes I wonder if dealing with rough nights would be a little more simple or less stressful if someone was there to help. Not necessary physically helping, but someone to lean on for support and to get reassurance that you are doing the right thing.  Someone to turn to and ask for an opinion.
'Do you think she has a stomach ache?', 'Do you think we should try giving her some panadol?'
I find that the most difficult thing about doing it on my own.

Stella was so unsettled tonight, she hasn't been like it for months. I couldn't for the life of me pick what was upsetting her so much. Which is horrible as a Mother; to not have an instinct as to what the problem might be or what I could do to help her. In the end I put it down to either teething or the hot, muggy weather.

She was terribly tired so we started the wind-down, bedtime routine at 7pm. Sleep still hadn't come by 8pm. Sleep still hadn't come by 9pm. Sleep still hadn't come by 10pm. All the while she was getting more tired, more restless and more irritated. I tried every settling technique in the book; Bottle, bath, book, cuddles, rocking. None worked. At around 10:30pm I found I was losing my patience. I was becoming tired and irritated too, So I put her down to play with her toys. I guess I thought she'd get more tired and that when we tried to settle again, it would be easier. Not so.

At 11pm I was holding onto my calm mamma demeanor by a thread. I changed her nappy, gave her a bottle, made sure she wasn't too hot or cold and then put her in the cot, safe but un-happy.
Rather than waiting where I could hear her grizzle, I had a very hot shower and tried to regain some calm.
After a shower and long, deep breaths, I was ready and rumbling to start the settling again and just keep trying until she went to sleep. However, I didn't need to. She had put herself to sleep out of pure exhaustion.

It's times like this that make me second guess how much I really enjoy parenting. Especially single parenting. But that thought is only brief, so incredibly brief. Because when I looked at the sweet, peaceful sleeping face of my baby I was washed over with love. Unconditional love. I know that tomorrow morning will be filled with smiles and snuggles yet again.

As I sit here; at near 1am. It becomes clear to me what really is important. Tiredness is nothing, mess is nothing, because when the sun comes up I am doing the most incredible thing I have ever done and will ever do. The most rewarding, enjoyable, touching experience. Being Stellas' Mum.