Thursday, May 31, 2012

Our Birth Wishes

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Well, I told myself that today was the day. The day to sit down, re-read the notes I have written over the past 8 months and finally write my birth plan. With my first pregnancy, I didn't have a birth plan. I was young and intimidated and thought that having certain wishes for the whole process made me seem demanding and high maintenance. I didn't feel confident enough in myself to have a vision and goal as to how I wanted my labour experience to be. Of course, no labour can be controlled and rarely do plans actually go to plan, but having preferences and desires written down can really help your support partner and midwifery team to create the experience you are wishing for. Many people I've spoken with are quite 'anti-birth plan' in fact, choosing to go with the flow and trust their bodies. I respect this view entirely as I am sure that having a rigid plan that doesn't actually go to plan could be really disheartening. I guess part of me likes the idea of a plan because it makes me feel prepared for the unknown, it gives a little false sense of security. If I replaced the word 'plan' with 'wishes'; this would be a little more reflective of the concept. These are our ultimate wishes, assuming there are no emergencies and I am able to birth naturally.

I am so excited to share this experience with Nick, but just as nervous as any first time mother! I thought I would share with you all our birth wishes.
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Pre-labour and early labour

* I would prefer to avoid an induction. I would like to wait as long as possible for the onset of natural labour and if necessary be willing to try natural remedies and 'old wives tales' in an effort to bring labour on.

* In early labour I would like to try water therapy for pain relief. Using the bath and shower if this is comfortable at the time.

* We would like to consider a full water birth, if this feels right at the time and the midwives and doctors are able to support this decision. I would like my partner in the water with me.

* I would also like to use heatpacks for early pain relief

* I would like to try to remain as calm and relaxed as possible using breathing techniques, music and meditation support from my partner.

* I am happy to have medical students attend my labour, however not to have them involved in decision making or procedures (stitches post-birth, pain relief administration)

* My partner and I would like to document our labour and birth experience with many photos and note writing.

* We do not wish to have visitors or phone calls during labour.

* I would prefer to have the lighting dimmed as much as possible during labour and after birth.

Second and third stages of labour

* I would like to be encouraged to remain physically active to cope with pain and to encourage the progress of labour. I would like to be reminded and encouraged to try different labouring positions.

* My partner and I would like to be kept aware of the stages of labour we are going through and it's progression as well as regular discussions about our options and feelings about the labour.

* If possible, I would like to avoid excessive monitoring that may restrict my ability to move freely. If it is necessary that I am induced, I would like as much time free from monitors whilst in the second stage of labour so I am able to remain physically active and move in a way my body is asking me to. 

* I am happy to have morphine and gas. I do not want to have an epidural. If I change my mind during labour, I'd like to be reminded of the advantages and disadvantages of both morphine and an epidural.
* I do not want an episiotomy and would really like to avoid tearing. I am happy to try positions in which this can be achieved and would like guidance and reassurance from my midwives during the pushing stage to avoid this. However, I would prefer to tear than to have an episiotomy or intervention.

* Nick would like to help guide the baby when crowning and place the baby on me. Nick would also like to cut the cord.

Post birth

* I am happy to have Syntocinon to assist with the birth of the placenta.

* I would like to have naked skin to skin contact with our baby straight after birth. I would like to be reminded to remove clothing from my top-half before beginning the pushing stage.

* Nick would also like to have skin to skin contact with our baby in the hours after birth.

* I would like to see a Lactation Consultant as soon as possible after birth and receive as much assistance as possible from a Lactation Consultant during the days after birth and once discharged.

* We would like as much time as possible alone with our baby before being moved into the maternity ward or showered.

* I would prefer to have our baby sponge bathed only for the first few days and no soap/lotions/chemical products used until discharge.

* We would prefer not to have visitors in hospital especially if we are discharged early. We have informed people of our decisions but please kindly remind anyone who comes to visit that we would prefer them not to do so when not in the hospital environment. We would like to focus on bonding, feeding and settling with just the three of us and the midwives support for the first 2 days we are in hospital.
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And that's it! Our plan that may not go to plan! Our wishes and desires for the way we want to bring out daughter into the world. I am so ready, so nervous and so excited all at once. Let the next 6 weeks fly by! I plan to share with you the reasons behind some of the decisions we have made in our plan over the next few weeks. Did you have a birth plan written before labour? Feel free to link me up to your birth plan posts, I would love to read some others!
Plenty of love, 
winterlove blog natalie

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Longing to Connect

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Connection. It's something most parents yearn for with their children and many strive to achieve on a daily basis. It's something that for me, was easy to obtain when Stella was younger. There's plenty of opportune moments when snuggling up for a feed, rocking to a lullaby and settling to sleep, plenty of time to breathe in the quite and stillness of the moment and to gaze into your childs eyes.

Young babies rely on you wholly for physical and emotional comfort and if you give all you indescribable degree of connection is formed. Connection achieved with the utmost of love; the unconditional and protective love that a parent holds for their child.

Now that Stella is older, there is less room for those sleepy cuddles and long relaxed gazes. With each month that she gets a little older, our days seem to be filled with more and more of those monotonous daily tasks. Setting boundaries and explaining the why's and hows of things seems to be what each moment is all about...and each moment seems to fly by with tested patience, tantrums and fixing what gets undone. I feel as though I am struggling to connect with Stella emotionally.

It's something I've been thinking about quite regularly... especially when at the end of the day, the only way I have been able to emotionally connect with my toddler is to lift her out of her bed once she's fallen into a deep sleep and cuddle her tightly. With all the exploring, running, eating and dancing that is done in a toddlers day, sitting down for a little moment of reconnection is certainly not feasible.

So, how? How do you reconnect with your child and bring back the bond amongst the daily banal? I am yet to find these answers but I will search within myself until I do. One of my favourite sources of inspiration as a mother at the moment is this blog written about Attachment Parenting. I find myself more and more drawn to this concept and the values is represents. It seems that attachment parenting has all the answers I need to get through these slight phases of insecurity and unsettlement, and the more I read, learn and research about the topic the more aware I am of my parenting abilities.

Tell me, have you ever felt a little disconnected from your child? Or had a longing to connect and bond like you did when they were so snuggly and dependant? How do you connect with such a busy little being in such a busy busy lifestyle?

Share with me your thoughts! I'd love to hear what you think.
Plenty of love, 
winterlove blog natalie

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sweet Child Of Ours

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Sweet child,

I have an idea in my head and a feeling in my heart about who you are.

 I can picture you asleep and imagine your soft voice. You are delicate and quiet; a humble and honest little girl. You seem shy and reserved although not afraid to stand up for what you believe. You are content with the small things and see beauty in the mundane. Your eyes always speak louder than your voice.

Of course, these predictions may be completely wrong. You may be as equally confident  and adventurous as your older sister...But I have a feeling in my heart of  how you might be.

Not long now until you enter this world; we have been waiting for you. Your blankets are folded and your bed is made. Our arms are waiting to hold you close, our hands are ready to stroke your sweet head.

Love surrounds you whilst you continue to grow inside, We can't wait to meet you... 
our sweet little child.

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

3 simple goals a day

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I am the queen of lists, I even have lists of my lists. Call it an obsession but keeping them makes me feel organised and motivated, and I'd be pretty darn lost without them! Lately, with the exhaustion of pregnancy and raising a toddler I've found that my extensive to-do lists rarely gets looked it. Instead of things being ticked off...there are constantly things being added. Sometimes looking at my list induces more stress than it is worth!

So, I have since decided that rather than going into a slightly mad-mama frenzy everytime I glance at my lists, I would instead create smaller and more friendly ones. Goals and to-do's that are more achievable, less daunting and simple...It's called my '3 simple goals a day' project.

Each night before falling asleep, I'll think about three enjoyable things I can do to make my day feel more productive. Sometimes they are important, other times they are purely things I want to do but wont if I don't make a conscious decision to 'get around to it'. To add a little more fun (and because, lets face it an iPhone is more efficient than a piece of paper) I've prettied them up using a new app and been posting them to my Instagram.

3 simple goals a day
3 simple goals a day
The results so far? Success! Knowing that I have those three little things to do that will improve my mood, my parenting or my productivity is a huge booster for days when motivation is seriously lacking.

I recently read a saying; "Every day may not be good, but there is some good in every day". My 3 simple goals a day project aims for just put some good in every day.

If you are lacking motivation and drive and your to-do's are piling up around you, why not join me and create your own 3 simple goals a day project? Perhaps post them to Instagram or tweet them for extra determination, I'd love to see what simple things you come up with in an effort to maximise happiness in your days!

If you are interested in joining me, I have created a button for you to link up with. Grab the code and use the image to complement your own 3 simple goals a day post. Don't forget to tag me if you share them via Instagram (@natalie_winterlove) or Twitter (@winterlove_nat) so I can follow your journey along the way!

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I can't wait to see what simple goals you come up with!
Plenty of love,
winterlove blog natalie

Monday, May 21, 2012

Baked with Love; slow cooked Sausage Casserole

This weeks easy-peasy family recipe is slow cooked sausage casserole. We recently made the leap and purchased a slow cooker and haven't looked back since! It fills the house with such a scrumptious aroma, whilst requiring a minimal amount of work. Mama and baby play while the sausages cook away! Enjoy...

Slow cooked Sausage Casserole

slow cooker
slow cooker

500 grams sausages, cut into bite sized pieces
1 onion
5 cubed potatoes
4 sliced carrots
1 cup of frozen peas
1 tablespoon curry powder
3 cups of beef stock
2 tablespoons of cornflour

Add all ingredients to slow cooker, cover, cook on low for 6 hours
Add cornflour to slow cooker 30 minutes before serving to thicken.

I love that all I am required to do for this big family meal is chop the ingredients and place them in the slow cooker. It really can't get any easier than that!
Plenty of love, 
winterlove blog natalie

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Measuring A Mamas Success.

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Lets go back... back to Tuesday a fortnight ago.

I started the day with a browse through Pinterest, nothing out of the ordinary really. A quick scroll through the DIY, crafting and kids sections whilst sipping my morning cup of tea. After my little fix of pinning goodness, I decided that today would be slightly different to every other day... today would be successful. A creative success. I would go the extra mile as a mama, as a housewife and as an inspired crafter and blogger. Don't ask me what that 'extra mile' entailed, because I really couldn't answer it for you. But I think it had something to do with the illusion of success and fulfillment that is regularly portrayed through my Instagram feed and Pinterest boards. I wanted to have a day as good as the pictures, a day worthy of the 'X- pro II filter'.

So I set out armed with wonderful intentions and an inspiration list as long as my mane. The first? Picture perfect and on trend nails. A peach ombre manicure, it looked easy in the pictures so it shouldn't be that hard to achieve right? Wrong. 40 minutes of nail polish mixing and wobbly painting later I had fingernails that looked like melted lollies. I had nailpolish on the cover of my phone, the kitchen bench and the palms of my hands.

A little deflated, I pushed through to the next task with the ideal outcome in mind; a batch of beautifully baked and iced cupcakes and a freezer full of red wine beef casserole. I got in the kitchen and busied myself with an abundance of bowls, spoons and measuring cups...whilst keeping Stella occupied with a mound of flour to make finger patterns in. With so much 'creative success' trying to be achieved, I may have added a little too much flour to a bowl here or a little too much red wine in a saucepan there, perhaps I was distracted by deciding which Instagram filter best camoflouged the poor quality of my manicure to then post to twitter. Or it could have been that I was busy pleading with Stella not to eat handfuls of flour but to instead experience 'tactile development play', like the positive parenting article I saw on Facebook told me about. Either way, the kitchen was a disaster zone, my baked goods were less than perfect and my stupid manicure was smudged and chipped beyond repair. Creative Success? Not achieved. Parental success? Not as planned. Housewife success? Certainly not.

Not one to give up easily or go down with out a fight, I pushed through and referred back to the inspiration list. Handmade vintage headbands. Shouldn't be too much of a challenge should it? All I need to do is measure, cut and tie my fabric, and then snap some posed photos of my sweet and co-operative toddler modelling the beauties for me. Correct? Incorrect. Toddlers don't like having things on their heads. and my fabric didn't like being cut. My desired outcome wasn't to have a photo of Stella with an ear twisted up in a bow and frayed cotton through her hair and over her face whilst she screwed up her nose at me.

If I can't manage a manicure, a cooking session or a crafting venture... then surely, surely I could manage to get both Stella and I showered and dressed in cuddly, clean, colour co-ordinated PJ's for a snuggly afternoon book reading session? Surely? Surely not. Soap got in the eyes, toothpaste got on the floor, the water ran cold and the towels were MIA. The faded purple pyjama top wouldn't fit over my baby bump and Stellas flannelette's appeared to have something resembling crusty weetbix down the front of them. To top it all off, Stella was so exhausted from the days work of success striving that she insisted on 'nigh nigh' time and ripped up her book for extra emphasis.

Looking around me I saw nothing that could be measured as a success. I could smell burnt cupcakes, I could see nailpolish stains on the bench through the powdery flour haze and I tripped over strips of fabric whilst trying to get to the vacuum cleaner. The very least I could do was tidy this unruly house and make it gleam like a housewives dream.

...Is what I told myself before crashing, asleep on the couch.

All in all, the day was nothing short of disastrous. It wasn't worthy of pinning or posting or even prettying up with an Instagram filter. That night, I was reading through an article I had bookmarked and planned to read earlier in the day. And if only I had stopped. Stopped right after breakfast, right after my morning cup of tea and read it then... Because boy was it an insightful reality check.

"...There's this crazy phenomenon going on right now. Good, devoted mothers get on Pinterest and blogs and Facebook and Twitter. And then they flip through parenting magazines and TV channels and they’re convinced they’re not enough. They’re convinced that everyone else has magnetic, alphabetized spice containers and that unless their garden parties are thematically accessorized with butterfly lanterns...there’s no point in even showing up for the day."

"...I realized that my family doesn’t care about what I see on Pinterest. They care about me. Of course we want to learn, improve, exercise, cook better, make our homes lovelier, and provide beautiful experiences for our children, but at the end of the day, our children don’t want a discouraged, stressed-out mom who is wishing she were someone else.

If you ever find yourself looking in the mirror at a woman who feels badly that she hasn’t yet made flower-shaped soap, please offer her this helpful reminder: “Your children want you!  "
And that is what I needed to hear. Life isn't about what can be pinned or posted. Success can't always be measured in cups or centimetres. Being a good mother, partner and person doesn't necessarily mean a kitchen full of baked goods or a manicure that's totally on-trend. It is about feeling satisfied and happy, about feeling content and fulfilled. About reaching the end of the day and feeling that you achieved what is important to you, whether that be only to make your child smile or to hold your partner tight, it is still an achievement. And one that can bring more fulfillment than any sock bun tutorial on the Internet.

If you ever find yourself looking in the mirror at a woman who feels badly that she hasn't yet made flower shaped soap, please offer this helpful reminder: Your children want you. Your partner wants you. You can just be you.

Plenty of love,
winterlove blog natalie

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Wishlist

baby gear wishlist
Lately, there has been far too much on this wish-list. It is becoming out of control! Here are my favourites to share with you for the week...

Peter Alexander onesie. These are PJ's worth leaving on all day, and even worthy of a trip to the supermarket. Stella would look like such a cheeky cheetah in these. Perhaps it needs to be part of her second birthday gift collection!
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Dreaming of the Theatre scales duvet cover by Love Mae.
Love Mae make the most beautiful wall stickers and whimsical gear for children, the newest product from Mae is the most beautiful and whimsical of all. Bedding with scales? In a colour palette of slate, floral and blush? Yes please. I am in love with This  bedding
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The Flexi Bath. With nearly a whole half hour per day being spent in the bath, bathing babes certainly takes up a large chunk of our lives. But the bath needn't. Bathing a newborn is made much easier when you can do it on a kitchen bench or a low table. This innovative little beauty can not only be put on any surface (that is safe of course) but can also be folded away for easy storage. Anything that makes a parents life easier receives a big fat tick!

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The Coocoi newborn gown by Merino Kids. I have been on the lookout for an outfit to add to our hospital bag for the baby. I have an abundance of all in one suits in shades of pink and white ($8 from Target, bargain!) But have yet to get something special. I'd really like one nice but comfy and cosy alternative to a terrytowling suit for those first few days of sleepy, feeding goodness. This one is my favourite so far.

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Pikapu Modern Cloth Nappy. We have begun our collection of MCN's (cue applause for such a brave move!) and the Pikapu brand are the first to grace the changetable. I am hoping to collect quite a few more of these in red, grey and white.

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Beep Beep Elm Bib. I love trees, trees on anything and anywhere. So of course, our new baby is no exception.  This pretty bib is screen printed in Australia, and gender neutral. You could pretty up babys dinner time, anytime!
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Are there any baby items you are currently lusting over? Perhaps a new furniture find that has got you all excited? I have plenty more goodies I am lusting over to share with you very shortly. The list just grows and grows and grows and grows and grows.
Plenty of love,
winterlove blog natalie

Potty Time; A giveaway for you!

potty time

With babies comes sleepless nights and feeding, with toddlers comes tantrums and mess, with pre-schoolers comes...toilet training! It seems at each stage of parenthood when one milestone is achieved, a new challenge is presented. And my latest challenge? Toilet training. 

You may remember a few months back me mentioning Stellas readiness for getting rid of the nappies, well since then she has developed an even more heightened sense of self awareness and she is both physically and mentally ready for the challenge.

To help me with this patience-testing, exciting and very new venture I have still been using my Potty Time resources. There always seems to be a new query or worry on my mind and Potty Time has helped me immensely. Two Little Hands were kind enough to send me the Potty Time Training DVD, which is jingling away in the background as I type. The DVD has a way of capturing both kids and mamas with its terribly annoying but catchy little songs, I find myself singing about washing hands and 'stopping to go' even when Stella is down for her midday nap.

potty time dvd

And the best bit? You have an opportunity to sing along to these jingles as well! I have a copy of the Potty Time DVD and Music CD for one lucky reader to receive and help them on their way to toilet training success. Now, who wants to look as silly as I do humming along to the addictive tunes of this DVD?

* To enter, all you need to do is comment below with a 'T' word that best describes your toddler. Terrific? Terror? Talented? Be as creative or as simple as you like! *

The giveaway is open to all readers, international and local and ends on Thursday the 24th of May at 7:00PM AEST. The winner will be chosen via a random number generator.

I can't wait to announce a winner! Goodluck to you all (and send a little luck my way too for the challenge ahead of me!)
Plenty of love,
winterlove blog natalie

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Links of late

links of late

This weeks smile inducers...

* What a pretty, pretty bedroom. No wonder this creative wonder woman is always so inspired!

* You know those days when you really struggle to 'get your head in the game?' The days when playing with and entertaining a toddler seem like the worlds largest challenge? Kate at PickleBums has put together a list of 5 ways to play when you really don't feel like it.

* The definition of picture perfect? These beautiful, peaceful and radiant pictures of a sweet new family.

* Olivia from Soul Singin' Liv has started blogging about 'Baby Steps To A Happy Heart', detailing an ongoing list of steps she is building to nurture a happy heart. What would be on your list if you were to have one?

* I am lace obsessed! There is little lace touches everywhere around our house. How sweet are these DIY lace jars? Thanks House of Humble!

* What do you think of this article on modern mums attempting to 'Do it all'? Do you believe we can have healthy balance and satisfaction in both motherhood and careers?
*Appolina Blossom, what an adorable name! I love reading birth stories, here is one I found recently.

* Bear ears are definitely trending. Everything looks better with the addition of bear ears! Thanks Milk Eyes for sharing all the sweetness.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Our Journey; Post 5

Our Journey


Can you believe it! Week 31 is upon us, the final countdown is officially on! It really does only feel like yesterday that I announced my pregnancy to the world. Although it has flown by, I can't remember what it feels like to bend down without huffing or what my knees look like.

The above image is one of the very few I have snapped of my bump in the last four weeks, and it captures how I am feeling perfectly. A little flat, a little puffy, a little frustrated and a lot tired. I have become increasingly frustrated with how physically incapable I am of getting things done, How can a busy busy mama possibly slow down!

Despite my frustrations and exhaustion, I am still eagerly awaiting the arrival of our baby with my all. A small corner of our bedroom has become her sweet little nook with neutral colours and a whimsical feel, I often lay in bed and stare at the space she will soon occupy, wondering what our lives will be like. Her abundance of shoes are lined up neatly in the drawers waiting for her little feet to fill them, the swaddles and blankets have been ironed and folded neatly, waiting to be wrapped around her warm little body. I feel confident in saying we are almost completely ready for her arrival, with only a few small items to tick off the list and prepare.

The labour jitters are certainly upon me, and I swear they are responsible for the pregnancy insomnia that pays a visit every night. With my first labour, I felt that I was physically fit and that my body was ready to give birth. I was exercising regularly and rarely ever sat still and I think this played a large part in how smoothly and quickly my labour travelled. This time, however, is a totally different story. I am unsure how my unfit body will perform with the challenging task ahead of it. A birth plan from a few months back has been drafted and stashed away amongst a pile of papers in a deep drawer, I really must pull it out again soon and re-evaluate my goals, wishes and preferences.

Lately, Stella has taken to pointing at all the new baby items around our house and exclaiming "The babys'!". She doesn't seem to mind that a few of her baby items have now been reclaimed, as she has got grown-up girl items in replacement. I am confident in her ability to be a wonderful big sister, although still very concerned about how I am going to juggle the tasks revolved around looking after two children. I want nothing more than equality between my girls, and it is something that is often on my mind. How to best create this equality and spread my love, time and devotion evenly. This is something I have written about this previously, wondering how far my heart can stretch and pondering all that is involved with going from one child to two.

Birthing and parenting classes at our local hospital start next week, and in all honesty... I couldn't be more excited! Put me in a room full of big bellies and plastic demonstration dolls on a Thursday night over a cocktail in a bar anytime! I am in desperate need of a refresher when it comes to the stages of labour, pain relief methods and settling techniques for newborns. It will be interesting to see if the second time around really does come with more confidence, because at times I feel like nothing more than a 'newbie' all over again. The thought of holding a tiny newborn baby and bringing her home not only excites me, but terrifies me all the same.

As I sit here now, I can't imagine how our lives will be in nine weeks time. Busier, more intense, more challenging but also far more enriched. These nine weeks will fly by, and then... I shall be a mama of two. Oh. My. Gosh!

Looking forward to sharing with you the very last leg of our journey! 
Plenty of love,
winterlove blog natalie

Around these parts...


It feels like an eternity since I last posted about life. Just life. The things we've been up to, how our days have been shaped. To be completely honest, since I last posted about my "Momentary Lapse" I have still been feeling a little flat and a little blue. The pre-baby blues? It seems to be pretty common amongst expecting mamas-to-be. I'm hoping it'll pass in time.

So what has been going on around these parts? Well, plenty and not so plenty all at the same time.

My nesting instinct has kicked in and at an extreme level, I have re-vamped our bedroom and Stella's bedroom, re-decorated the loungeroom and re-arranged the playroom. I am also baking quite a lot here and there, slowly getting our freezer full of 'heat and eat' meals for when baby arrives. A new post update of our pregnancy so far is in the works, something that I tell myself  I'll sit down and write nearly every night. Maybe tonight? Yes, I WILL do it tonight. (maybe)

Whilst the man in our lives has been busy at work, Stella and I have been a little restricted by the wet and dreary weather. Usually, I adore this weather. It is my ultimate favourite season and I love nothing more than a dark sky. Not just for hibernating either...when the weather takes a turn like this I feel a strange sense of excitement. I want to be rugged up and out shopping or sipping hot Chai in a park. However, with a toddler...this weather is unfortunately not ideal. There are runny noses and muddy parks to take into consideration. Stella still begs me to go outside everyday, and we make many, many little trips to our grassed courtyard, the clothesline and the letterbox. I can tell it isn't satisfying her yearning though. Perhaps that will be my goal for the coming weeks, to tackle as many outdoor adventures as possible when the weather is less dark and moody. Dragging around this big, heavy body especially with poor iron levels and dizzy spells really doesn't do much for my motivation for such adventures sadly.

Our indoor activities have included plenty of play dough rolling, dolly role playing and drawing. I recently picked up a tin of chalkboard paint... and have developed a very strong urge to paint every surface in the stuff. I have made Stella two chalkboards so far, one hung on the playroom wall at perfect scribbling height, and another just big enough for writing a word. My intention was to write a new inspirational word for the day on this little chalkboard every morning, or maybe even help Stella in beginning to recognise her name and some simple words. However, the word 'Tuesday' has been written on it for well over a fortnight now...that's life for you...busy and full of wonderful intentions.


Coming up this weekend, I am looking forward to our maternity photo shoot, something we have had booked and planned for quite some time. I have our outfits ironed and ready and even got a spray tan in an effort to feel more vibrant. What a wonderful way to celebrate Mothers Day, with some snapshots of my dear little growing family.

In the coming weeks, I hope to bring you the many posts that are on my to-do list. A DIY of the mobile I made for baby, some 'baked with love' posts, more links of late, the exciting big baby purchase we made and my re-decorating efforts.

What have you been up to lately? Has life been busy and full of wonderful intentions? Link me up with your happenings of late so I can return the love of the blogosphere. Remember, you can also find me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram (username natalie_winterlove) and Twitter if all is a little quiet on the blog front.

Plenty of love, 
winterlove blog natalie

Thrifting Thrills

thrifting thrills

It has been a while since I last picked up some treasures whilst thrifting. However, the things I have picked up over the last fortnight certainly make up for it!
Nick spotted these cute little leather baby shoes at our favourite market, dated from the 1970's they were still boxed! They smell of the 70's, a sweet and happy leather smell.

thrifting thrills

Another find that Nick is responsible for is the addition to our lounge room, a very large brown chequered vintage suitcase. I love the way it looks in this room, the colour suits perfectly and it is huge! Big enough to act as a piece of furniture for displays.

thrifting thrills
thrifting thrills

The treasures I picked up myself include two pale pink dresses for our girls, I can't wait until they are old enough to wear them, side by side in vintage pinks one summer soon! I also found another piece for my ever growing silver collection, isn't it beautiful!
thrifting thrills
thrifting thrills

What little thrills have you got from markets and op-shops of late? Anything worth sharing? I am itching to buy more baby and childrens goods on my next thrifting adventure!
Plenty of love,
winterlove blog natalie

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Stella Winter; 22 months old

Stella Winter

22 months old and with a personality bigger and brighter than ever. Stella is certainly the light that brightens our skies.

I have so much confidence in the big sister she is soon to become. Her confidence, helpfulness and willingness to please will be traits that make her a joy to have share the experience with.

Her self-awareness has grown in incredible leaps and bounds lately, not only has she figured out the world around her, but also how it works in relation to her. She points a little chubby finger to her chest and proclaims "Sdella" with pride. Everything in Stellas little world has a place, a purpose and a meaning, and watching that deeper level of understanding unfold has been a precious experience. With understanding has come an abundance of questions and queries, she is forever asking what things are and who people are. Her favourite game to play is called "Name that thing"... where she points to an object and tells us what it is and what it does. This game can seriously go on for hours.

Following me around the house I hear "Beep, beep, beeeep. Washing machine? Sdella help, outside? Boots on, Ok mummy!" Her little toddler speak and disjointed sentences are one of my most loved sounds. She commentates our lives with her sweet little voice, making every mundane task seem like an exciting adventure.

This later stage of toddlerhood has been challenging on my patience and physical energy more than anything. Emotionally, she is a dream. We certainly get a fair share of tantrums and defiance, but nothing that can't be calmed with tact and experimentation. If our week is a total tantrum throwing frenzy, it is usually for a good reason. Either she is struggling to master a new physical milestone or is reacting to something going on around her that she simply doesn't understand; why mum can hold a hot cup of coffee and she can't, why she can't have a banana in her hand whilst playing with her toys or why toilet paper shouldn't be ripped up into tiny little pieces. With a deep, calm breath and a lot of trial and error situations can be diffused prettily easily and permanently over the course of a few days.

However, keeping up with this little spark of light can be one big physical challenge. Perhaps it is just the large bump that I am carrying around causing the puffed out sighs and sleepy yawns when Stellas little chubby hand reaches up for mine. "Come on, mama" she pleads with me. I find that struggling to stay energised and motivated for such long days of intense exploring really have an effect on my self esteem as a mother. I feel guilt ridden and saddened that I am perhaps not giving her all that I could.

Despite the struggle, I still find such joy in my days spent with Stella. The way her face lights up when she hears any kind of music, the way she tugs at my arms to sing "row row", the way she looks up in awe and whispers at the stars when the sky is dark.

That is my Stella, the Latin meaning of Star. She lights up my each and every moment.

Stella Winter
Stella Winter