Friday, February 27, 2015

What its like to be a child of suicide...

{TRIGGER WARNING} Please note this is my own personal experience and this post is not intended to give anyone advice in regards to suicide or mental illness. If you feel you need someone to talk to please contact your doctor or call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or the Suicide call back service on 1300 659 467 to seek professional help.



Firstly let me say being a child of suicide is something I hope none of you ever have to experience. I wouldn't wish it upon anyone, even my greatest enemy (if I had one). Unfortunately this is the life I've had to live since I was 10. These were the cards I was dealt through no actions of my own. I had no choice but to accept it as reality, because it was. I've lived this life every day since June 7th 1995 when I found out my father had died {we found out a few days after her died}.

I've actually been able to quite successfully go through life without many people knowing that dad committed suicide. I always dread the "what does your dad do?" question because then I have to come out and tell people he's dead. The common response to this is "Oh I'm sorry, how did he die?". Sometimes I lie, but sometimes I tell the truth. Most people recoil in shock and wish they never asked when they find out its suicide. Others want to know how he did it. I get there's a certain level of curiosity, but discussing details about how my father killed himself isn't high on the list of conversations I want to have with people. Especially those who aren't my closest friends. I've mentioned his suicide on here before, but I've never once mentioned how he did it, and I don't intend to, because it doesn't serve a purpose bringing that out in a public arena. And to be honest I already re-live that in my head continuously even though I wasn't actually there when it happened. I don't need the reminder.

There's no point in me judging what he did. He's not here to defend himself. It's not going to bring him back and it won't change anything. I'll never have the answers I want so I'm not going to compound the hurt by adding anger on top of the pain. No point rubbing salt into my already deep wounds. But boy do I wish he'd never done it. That one single decision that he made has had a profound affect on my entire life. 

HOW SUICIDE HAS AFFECTED ME


I had to deal with kids teasing me
When I first returned to school straight after it happened all the kids in my grade had been told what had happened. The resident bully decided this was great ammunition to tease me even more than usual. The first day I went back I was greeted by her in the corridor pointing and laughing at me saying (really loudly) HA HA your dad killed himself! She probably didn't understand the gravity of the situation at 11 years old, but that's not really an excuse for her behaviour.

I live with subconscious guilt
I wasn't there when dad died (thank god), but I used to constantly wish I was. Because if I was there I keep thinking I could've stopped it. I know it probably wouldn't have made any difference and I know it wasn't my fault, but there's that tiny part of me that wonders.

I made bad choices in past relationships
I honestly think I allowed myself to be in a controlling relationship because I craved a male authority figure. I didn't have any male attention or a dad to build up my self confidence when I was growing up, so when my ex husband came along I lapped up the attention. Even though it was a very toxic type of attention.

I fear everyone is going to leave me at any point
I have the hugest fear that the people I love are going to up and leave me at the drop of a hat with no warning. Whether it be through an accident or of their own choosing, I'm always worried that when I'm happy its all going to be taken away in an instant. Because that's what happened before.

I'm a control freak and limit risks
I'm working on trying not to control everything and go with the flow more, but my natural tendency is to want to be in control of what happens. That way I can prevent bad things from happening - at least that's what my mind thinks. I deliberately limit risks so I don't put myself in situations where things could go wrong, however I'm also trying to work on this. I put off doing my V8 hot laps for months because I was scared something would go wrong, but in the end I did them and had an awesome time.

I live with an anxiety disorder
I'm not sure if its a direct product of dad's suicide or if I developed anxiety because of what happened after, but I have finally been diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder. I always overestimate the likelihood of something bad happening and at the same time underestimate my ability to cope with it if it did happen. I've most likely had it for years, but I've never seen anyone about it until I was diagnosed with PND. The stress of having a new baby pushed me over the edge and my anxiety peaked and started to affect my ability to function on a daily basis, so I sought help. Since then I've learnt a lot of ways to help cope with my anxiety and I really wish I had of sought help years earlier instead of accepting that was how my life was.

I always go over the what ifs
What if dad didn't die? 
Would he like T? 
What if he was in bub's life? 
How would her life be different having a granddad?
Would I feel more loved if he was still around?


Image | Cherry Lola

There have been a few positives to come out of the situation though, if you could call them that. Going through such a traumatic experience at such a young age taught me a lot of life lessons. Lessons I probably wasn't ready to learn yet, but I learnt them none the less.

Knowing that things could change in an instant means I don't take anything for granted. I'm grateful for everything good that comes my way. I appreciate the small things. I slow down and really enjoy life and try to live in the moment as much as possible. I appreciate every. single. moment. I get to spend with bub and I tell her I love her every chance I get, no matter how busy life gets.

I wouldn't wish my life experience on anyone, but if there's one thing I can pass on to others it'd be to make sure you slow down and enjoy life. Laugh, smile and spend time together. Make beautiful, happy memories. Because one day you'll hold onto those memories so tight and be forever grateful that you made them.


Toni x

Linking with Grace and Sonia

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

52 WEEKS OF MEMORIES | 8 - ON THE FLOOR

What isn't on the floor these days? 

Seriously its like there's been a cyclone in my house most days. She hasn't quite mastered the art of putting things away yet. The joys of living with a toddler tornado.

We do however do a lot of play on the floor. This week while we were housebound due to flooding and torrential rain (thanks Marcia) I got out a paint with water book to see if she'd be interested. She's never painted before and considering how much mess she makes with other craft activities I thought paint with water was a much safer option than actual paint. She absolutely loved it. I think I might have a little artist on my hands. Although it did drive me a little nuts when she was bleeding the colours into each other! I really need to learn how to control my ocd when it comes to playtime otherwise playdough and painting with send me loopy. I just remind myself its still fun no matter which way we do it (and I have to consciously look at things from her perspective and turn off my adult brain sometimes).
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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Mummy Must Have Review | Ecococoon Bottles

I'm not one to brag.... but, I just discovered the solution to my cold tea problem!

After having a baby, I soon learnt that making a cup of tea (or coffee) and managing to drink it while its still hot requires military precision. Something which I clearly lack. So for the past 18 months I've been fighting a daily battle to try and enjoy a hot cup of tea, and failing miserably. Not from lack of trying mind you. There are days where I've boiled the jug 3 times before having time to actually make the tea, then I forget about it and re-heat it one or two times before finally getting to sit down and enjoy drink my luke warm cup of milky soup that used to be tea. That's persistence! Or stupidity, but its worth it for that much needed get-me-through-the-day-without-falling-asleep caffeine hit.

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Closer to Nature Explora Review

This post is in collaboration with Closer to Nature and Kidsbusiness

Closer to Nature Explora review


At eighteen months old bub has been enjoying the wonder and fun of solid food for a year already. It's gone by so fast! I can still remember the first time I gave her pumpkin puree and our journey through different fruits and veggie purees. What a fun (and messy) stage its been, for her and me.

Now that she's well and truly turning into her own little person, she wants to start acting like it, which means she wants to do most things herself. Meal times were one of the first things she decided to tackle herself. Although I felt a little rejected at first, I soon became totally fine with her new-found independence at lunch and dinner because it meant I had ten minutes where I could run around and get things done without being followed. Until about two months ago she was still relying on me for breakfast time, because she couldn't quite grasp using a spoon with porridge, at least not without accidentally tipping it all over herself. Fast forward a few weeks and she seems to have this self feeding caper all worked out.

When I went to the bloggers brunch in Melbourne recently, I found out Closer to Nature were looking for bloggers to trial their weaning products. I've tried a heap of different brands when it comes to feeding products for bub, some good and some less than impressive, so I was keen to see how Closer to Nature would compare. For the past few days we've been putting some of the Explora products through their paces.


CLOSER TO NATURE EXPLORA RANGE

The Explora range has been specifically designed to make the weaning stage more intuitive to help nurture independent feeding and drinking. The products cover the first stages of weaning right through to independent toddler feeding, helping babies to master eating and drinking in small, gradual steps. We trialled products that are suitable for toddlers, including the Explora magic mat, easy scoop feeding bowls, first grown up cutlery set and active straw cup. I've also tried out the Explora electric baby food blender on bub's behalf.


EXPLORA MAGIC MAT

The Magic Mat is designed to work with all of the Explora plates and bowls. It sits securely on the high chair tray and holds the plates in place on the mat with a suction cup. I was a bit sceptical of whether this would work given I've used so called suction/non slip bowls before that suction to the high chair tray (only problem is they don't stay suctioned for more than two seconds). 



I put bub into the high chair after I'd already set up the bowl, so she didn't know that it came off, just to see whether she'd try and move it. I was actually really surprised that she didn't move it at all while eating, and even better, it didn't move while she was eating. She didn't spill one single thing. 

She did however manage to get it loose once she'd finished after she'd been pulling on it for a good few minutes. In her defence though she wasn't being naughty. She always hands me her bowl and cup once she's finished dinner before she gets out of the chair, so she was just trying to tell me she was finished. I let her keep trying to get it off to see just how much effort it'd take for a child to dislodge it. Evidently it takes a lot of effort. It is however extremely easy to remove the correct way (but you don't tell the kids that).


EXPLORA EASY SCOOP FEEDING BOWLS

Apart from the benefit of working with the magic mat, the easy scoop feeding bowls also have a unique triangular base making it easy for kids to scoop the food out. I don't know how it works, but it does. Every meal she's eaten from them she's managed to get every last bit of food out when there's normally little bits left in the corners of her other bowls.
Explora easy scoop bowls
The bowls are also dishwasher, steriliser and microwave safe, which is great because I still batch make a lot of her food and re-heat it in the microwave at dinner time. The bowls are a good size for toddler meals. The only limitation would be that there's no lids for the 4 pack of bowls, however they can be bought in 2 pack sets that come with lids and spoons.


EXPLORA FIRST GROWN UP CUTLERY SET

Prior to trialling this cutlery set bub had only ever used plastic baby spoons and more recently a fork. I was keen to see how she'd go with a metal set. To my surprise she actually uses them perfectly fine, despite the metal being slightly heavier than the plastic ones. I think she actually really likes the fact that they look like grown up cutlery and she feels like a big girl when she uses them. I still haven't let her use the knife yet though because she wouldn't know what to do with it and all her food is cut up small enough that she wouldn't need to use it. When she's a little older I'll introduce the knife.



EXPLORA ACTIVE STRAW CUP

Bub has long had a fascination with straws and any time we have a drink with one in it she throws a tantrum until we give her a drink from it. I quickly worked out it wasn't the drink she was interested in, but being able to drink out of the straw, so these cups are perfect for where she's at. 


The clip lid on the top that flips the straw up is quite hard to get open so there's no way she could open it herself, which is good to stop leaks. It's definitely leak free when the flap is clipped down. When the straw is open it can leak a tiny bit if she shakes it upside down on purpose, but that usually only happens if she's throwing a tantrum (in which case it's swiftly taken off her).


EXPLORA ELECTRIC BABY FOOD BLENDER

Obviously at 18 months old bub has well and truly progressed from pureed foods, however there are still many ways baby food blenders can be used for toddlers. We've been using it to blend up fruit to make home-made fruit and yoghurt ice blocks. So far we've made watermelon and coconut yoghurt ice-blocks but I plan on also trying out pineapple and mango as well.


The blender is a lot smaller than I was expecting, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. As T pointed out, it will be easy to fit in the cupboard as it doesn't take up much space. The bowl also makes up to 250ml still which is comparable to most other baby food makers on the market.


ABOUT CLOSER TO NATURE

Closer to nature® is the number one baby feeding accessories brand in the UK and one of the top brands of infant products and accessories in the global market. Loved by parents and little ones, closer to nature® receives numerous awards and accolades year after year globally. The closer to nature® range is available at stockists nationwide. www.closertonaturebaby.com.au | www.facebook.com/closertonaturebaby


Do/did you have a toddler who loves to feed themselves?


Toni x

Disclosure - I was sent Explora products for review. All opinions are my own based on our experience with each product as per my disclosure policy.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

52 WEEKS OF MEMORIES | 7 - WATCHING

I always thought I'd be one of those parents who'd be able to spend every waking second with their child and never rely on tv. Then I had a baby. I soon changed my tune. Where would I be without Giggle & Hoot, Thomas the Tank Engine and In the Night Garden?! Probably rocking myself back and forth in a corner. 

When the ABC first changed the timeslot of In the Night Garden I was freaking out because everything was out of whack, but after a few weeks it turned out to actually be a blessing in disguise. Bub's shifted to having only one day sleep now and it naturally occurs around the same time as In the Night Garden. Its kind of become a routine for her to watch In the Night Garden and then go have her sleep. It helps that she's obsessed with it. I have no idea how it makes kids sleepy, but it certainly works.

7 | WATCHING


If you'd like to play along too, join in with 52 Weeks of Memories and get creative. Feel free to share with your friends on Facebook or Instagram, the more who join in the better!

You can follow me on Instagram and join in on Facebook. When sharing via Instagram or Facebook don't forget to use the hashtag #fmy52weeksofmemories so I can see your lovely photos. I've also started a facebook group for the challenge if you feel more comfortable sharing in a group setting. If you have a blog feel free to link up your photos via the linky below and come back each week to link up each new prompt. 

Reminder - next weeks prompt is on the floor.

Toni x



Also linking with TrishRaychael and Jen


Linky rules

2. Add your post for this weeks prompt
3. Grab the button below and link it to the bottom of your post or sidebar or text link
4. Visit some of the other blogs and share some comment love (because its the nice thing to do)

52 weeks of memories




To create a photobook like I did with the 2014 photos visit:



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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mummy Must Have Review | Mumma's Little Helpers Food Catcher

I've mentioned in the past that bub has always been a relatively good eater. She pretty much eats anything I put in front of her, with the exception of cherry tomatoes, she gags endlessly with those. I've never had too much of an issue with getting her to eat all her food, thank god. Although she has discovered how to get away with not eating her food lately, thanks to sickness.

It seems when she's sick she loses her appetite and some nights just flat out refuses to eat dinner at all. But she's smart. She doesn't just sit there and throw a tantrum hoping to be let out of her chair (because that would be completely futile on her part). Instead, she pretends to eat her food, putting it to her mouth and then quickly flicking it off to the side so it lands on the floor. Its quite stealthy. Unless you're watching her every move you can't really tell what she's doing and it looks like she's still eating all her food. But on closer inspection it becomes obvious she's just redecorated the floor in a really creative way. I'm partly impressed by her creative genius and then partly pissed because I have a huge mess to clean up. Thankfully I've now discovered the food catcher which has foiled her plans.

Image | Mumma's Little Helpers

ABOUT THE FOOD CATCHER

The food catcher is a revolutionary Australian made product designed by a mum to help save parents sanity at meal times. It's essentially a material cape that attaches to high chairs in order to catch any food that is accidentally (or purposely) dropped onto the floor. The food catcher stops messy eaters getting food all over the floor after each meal, meaning less clean up time for mum (or dad) and less stress during the dreaded arsenic hour before bed time.

The food catcher is suitable for any four legged high chair and attaches to the tray, back of the chair and around the legs with velcro. Its waterproof and can be wiped clean or machine washed when needed. The food catcher comes in a waterproof storage pouch (as pictured above) which could also be used as a wet bag for swimming or for water bottles. It also comes with all velcro required to attach the product to your existing high chair.

TIP: It can be made portable by buying extra bits of velcro to attach to grandmas high chair, without needing to buy another food catcher.

USING THE FOOD CATCHER

I was keen to give the food catcher a go for a few reasons, firstly, I hate vacuuming so anything that limits the amount of times I need to do it is worth its weight in gold. Secondly, I don't have an average high chair so I wanted to put the "fits any 4 legged high chair" claim to the test. Thirdly, nobody really likes cleaning, so if there's a way to make the process easier I'm all for it.

This first hurdle I had was getting the food catcher to fit our high chair. We have the Infasecure feed 'n' read convertible high chair, which we inherited from my brother. It converts from a high chair into a separate chair and table and has legs that are a lot thicker than most high chairs. It's also taller than a lot of high chairs because the seat sits on top of the table. After a small amount of trial and error I got it to fit though. It actually wasn't as hard as I was expecting it to be.




To make it fit our high chair I had to put it through the legs above the base of the table frame because our chair is a lot higher than most. I also had to put the velcro on the back of the chair down lower than intended. My tray is obviously wider than a standard high chair because when I velcro the food catcher right to the edges it sits flat against the edge of the tray instead of leaving a gap at the front. Its easily rectified though by sticking it to the velcro a little closer to the middle which then creates an opening at the front.




Even though our high chair has much thicker legs than many others, there's still enough velcro on the food catcher to enable it to sit properly with winged sides. There's also plenty of room at the front for her to move her legs without restriction. Since I've been using the food catcher its caught 95% of the food that she's dropped. The only food it hasn't caught was a few bits of rice bubbles that were stuck to the front of her which fell off once I got her out of the high chair, so I can't really blame that on any fault of the product.

TIP: If you have a high chair where you need to remove the tray to get your child out, leave the food catcher attached and place the tray flat on the floor while lifting your child out. Replace the tray and any food that was caught on their lap also falls straight into the catcher.

Getting food out of the food catcher is super easy. She hasn't actually dropped huge amounts so I've actually been able to just pick or scoop it out with my hand. Of course when I have the food catcher in place she decides not to throw her food everywhere (bet if I took it off she would though). If your child drops lots of food you can easily scoop it out with a bowl or shake the food catcher over the bin. Once emptied it can be quickly wiped over or washed if needed.

I usually leave the food catcher on the high chair all the time. The only time this has been an issue was one night when my cat decided to try and sleep in it. Luckily he did it in front of me before I'd gone to bed so I got him out quick smart before he damaged it. He hasn't done it again (because he knows he'll be in BIG trouble).


ABOUT MUMMA'S LITTLE HELPERS

Mumma's Little Helpers is an Australian business based in Sydney. It was only launched in January 2015 and has already experienced rapid growth. Mumma's Little Helpers endeavours to create products that make day to day life easier for mums. The business was created after founding director Lyndsey came up with the idea of the food catcher. They also sell padded high chair hoods and plan on adding more products to the range in the future.

Mumma's Little Helpers is also a very environmentally aware company and deliberately don't use any disposable packaging. The food catcher pouch is made from fabric off-cuts to minimise wastage and is reusable. Product instructions are also printed on recycled paper.


MY OVERALL OPINION OF THE FOOD CATCHER

The food catcher has been a welcome addition to our household and has certainly decreased the amount of cleaning I need to do after her meals even though she hasn't dropped a huge amount of food in it. Considering bub's relatively good on the food front, I can only imagine how much time it would save for mums with really messy eaters.

Lyndsey has worked really hard on the design to ensure that it does indeed fit all 4 legged high chairs. Given that I probably have the most bulky 4 legged one available I'd definitely back that claim.

The fabric is really good quality and durable so I think its definitely worth the $39.95 price tag. I think mums of 6mth + babies and toddlers would definitely benefit from this product, especially those pursuing baby led weaning. The only limitation is if your child can throw food quite a distance (but hopefully they haven't mastered that talent at such a young age).

The good news is, if you're struggling with messy meal times and need one of these in your life, Mumma's Little Helpers have a special 10% off offer for Finding Myself Young readers. Simply enter the code FMY when ordering via mummaslittlehelpers.com.au


Toni x

Disclosure - I was sent a Food Catcher to provide feedback to Mumma's Little Helpers founding director Lyndsey. All opinions expressed in this review are my own based on my experience using the product. I did not receive payment for this review.

Linking with Jess

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Monday, February 16, 2015

All you need to know about childhood vaccinations

One of the main things I was concerned about when it came to my daughters health, even before she was born, was what vaccinations she would need to have and when. I spent a lot of time reading up on the different types of vaccinations needed and what was involved. I was never considering not vaccinating her, I just wanted to know as much about the process as possible. Before I was given pamphlets from the hospital I really didn't have any idea about childhood vaccinations, apart from knowing that they were available. Today I have a guest post from HealthInsurnceComparison.com.au which helps explain the ins and outs of childhood vaccinations (in Australia) in detail for those who may be in the same boat I was in.


KIDS VACCINATIONS

Vaccinations are an easy and effective way to protect children against diseases that could otherwise make them seriously ill or prove fatal. Some of the most frequently recommended vaccinations are covered by Medicare but there may still be some out-of-pocket costs to think about. The situation with travel vaccinations can be a lot more complicated as Medicare does not offer any support for this. Here’s what you need to know about getting your children vaccinated.

Which Vaccinations Do Your Children Need?

Several different vaccinations are needed during childhood - especially in the first few years - to give immunity against dangerous diseases. This includes Hepatitis B, which should be given as soon as possible after birth. The National Immunisation Program (NIP) recommends that the following also need to be protected against:
  • Diphtheria (at 2 months)
  • Tetanus (at 2 months)
  • Polio (at 2 months)
  • Rotavirus (at 2 months)
  • Pneumococcal (at 2 months)
  • Measles (at 12 months)
  • Mumps (at 12 months)
  • Rubella (at 12 months)
  • Meningococcal C (at 12 months)
  • Varicella (at 18 months)
  • HPV (at 12 to 13 years)
NB: The MMR vaccine is required at 4 years if the MMRV has not been given at 18 months
Some vaccinations will only need to be given once but some diseases will require multiple vaccinations to provide full immunity such as the Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DTPa) vaccination to protect against diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus.

Medicare and Children’s Vaccinations

The National Immunisation Program (NIP) funds vaccines for 16 diseases. Vaccines covered by the NIP are free of charge to those who are eligible on age grounds or if they are at risk on medical grounds. Be aware that consultation fees for the health care provider’s time may apply, even though the actual vaccinations are free.

Does Medicare Help With Travel Vaccinations?

If your family are going abroad on holiday, you may need to have vaccinations to stay healthy while you’re away. Certain vaccinations may also be needed as an entry requirement in some countries. It’s therefore a good idea to see a healthcare professional a couple of months before you leave to see which kind of vaccinations should be given and when. Depending on where you are going, your family may need to have new vaccinations and/or have booster vaccinations.
Yellow Fever is the only mandatory vaccination needed for Australians travelling to one of the affected countries. Depending on your destination, there may be a risk of various other diseases including hepatitis A and B, rabies, malaria, meningococcal meningitis and typhoid. These are simply recommended, rather than obligatory.
Medicare will cover the costs of a consultation but will not usually extend to the vaccinations themselves. If your GP does not have adequate supply of the vaccine in the surgery, they may write you a script instead. Shopping around at various chemists gives you the opportunity to get the best value for money, and there is also the option to go to a travel clinic (although this will often be more expensive).
As a general rule of thumb, it can cost up to $85 per vaccination. The mandatory Yellow Fever vaccination typically costs around $75 per person. If your family will need lots of different vaccinations, the costs can quickly add up.

Travel Vaccinations and Health Insurance

Health insurance can cover some of the costs of travel vaccinations but not all health funds will necessarily include it in their Extras policies. It’s therefore important to check whether you’ll be covered for travel vaccinations. If in doubt, ask the health fund directly to confirm their stance.
Don’t forget to look at annual limits too. Travel vaccinations are often lumped in with pharmacy Extras cover, which can have a big impact on how far you’ll be covered through health insurance before you go over your annual limit for these services.
*****
At www.HealthInsuranceComparison.com.au, we’re all about helping more Australians to understand health insurance and find the best cover for their needs and budget. Whether you’re just trying to get a feel for the market or you’ve already got a very good idea of what you need to be covered for, we’ll help you to find a policy that works for you.

Linking with Eva, Alicia and Kirsty

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Coconut water for kids (Cocobella Kids review)

This post is in conjunction with Cocobella Kids and Kidsbusiness

Having a child with numerous food allergies has been a challenge, but one that we've adapted to quite well. It wasn't as bad when she was younger and I only had to account for her dairy allergy, but now that she's a toddler and is very much into eating and drinking, all the time, its become a lot harder. I've become quite an expert at reading ingredient labels and finding alternatives for the foods she can't eat. It hasn't been as easy to find alternative drinks for her though.

While her friends have gone onto cows milk now that they're all over one, she's had to stay on prescription formula. We trialled soy milk in small portions over the last few months, but its become abundantly clear that she's still allergic to that too. So, up until recently her drink options consisted of 2 bottles a day and water in between. Pretty boring I know; but when she reacts to a lot of colourings, additives and preservatives found in most juices and cordials and is allergic to dairy, there isn't really much left. Or at least I thought there wasn't anything else, until I went to the Kidsbusiness Bloggers Bbq in January and discovered Cocobella Kids.


Cocobella Kids stand at the Kidsbusiness Bloggers Bbq Melbourne 2015
Cocobella stand at the Bloggers Bbq | Image via Kidsbusiness


To be honest I'd never heard of Cocobella before the Bloggers Bbq so I had no idea about their products. I'd also never considered coconut water as an alternative drink for bub. I've never drunk it as I tend to avoid all things coconut (moreso because of the texture rather than the taste) and I'd only really heard of coconut water via friends on Facebook. However, I went into the Bloggers Bbq with an open mind and was keen to learn about all of the different brands involved.

I never realised that coconut water contained so many natural electrolytes (potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium and phosphorus), making it great for hydration. When I discovered that Cocobella coconut water is 100% coconut water and nothing added a light bulb went off and I realised it might be ok for bub. Then when I learnt about the new Cocobella Kids range which combines pure coconut water + 100% fruit juice (no added nasties) I got really excited. Only other allergy mums would truly appreciate how exciting it is to discover something new that's safe for your child to eat, or in this case drink.


Cocobella Kids coconut water + juice cartoon.

Cocobella Kids apple berry breeze and tropical island tetra packs.

Cocobella Kids is a lunch-box-friendly, healthy coconut water drink for kids made from 70% coconut water, 30% fruit juice and nothing else. Cocobella Kids is available in 200ml (BPA-free) Tetra-Pak's in two yummy fruit flavours (Apple Berry Breeze and Tropical Island). Cocobella Kids retails for $3.49 per 3-pack in Woolworths supermarkets nationally. 

I knew straight away bub would like the tropical island flavour as she loves pineapple and mango. I was a little unsure about the apple berry breeze though as she's had allergic reactions to apple in the past and she'd never tried blackcurrant before. Regardless, I took samples of both flavours and the plain Cocobella coconut water home for her to try and crossed my fingers she'd like them and wouldn't have an allergic reaction.


She absolutely loves the tropical island flavour. Her face literally lights up when she sees the popper, she's that obsessed with it. The even better part is that she doesn't have any allergic reaction to the tropical island juice, so we'll most definitely be buying more of that. She was a little apprehensive about the apple berry breeze flavour because she's never tasted blackcurrant before. She winced her face a few times, but still drank the whole popper. She did come out in very mild hives around her mouth after having the apple berry breeze which no doubt is because of the apple juice component. She's reacted to apples since she first started solids, but I've been re-trying them, in varying forms, every few months to see if she's still allergic or developed a tolerance to them as she's gotten older. She seems to be able to handle dried apple, but obviously she's still mildly allergic to apple juice so she probably won't be having the apple berry breeze as often, but I will keep trying it probably once a fortnight to see how she goes. She still likes it and isn't bothered by the hives so I'm not too worried about the reaction.



In my opinion the 200ml packs are the perfect size for a kids serving. Its about the same amount as what she'd have in a bottle so its been a great substitute for her midday bottle which we've recently cut out. The Cocobella Kids juices are also the only drink she's ever drunk in its entirety in one go apart from her bottles. She drinks plain water throughout the day, but won't drink a whole 200mls in one go. I think she also likes the novelty of it being in a popper and being able to drink through a straw.


Typical lunch box | rice biscuits + spaghetti + banana + sultanas + cocobella kids popper


I'm really impressed that it doesn't have any added sugar or colours and flavours. The colours and flavours are where we usually run into trouble with reactions when trying new foods and drinks. Also most fruit juices are only 25% juice with a lot of added sugar, so its nice to find a brand that is 100% fruit juice and only contains the naturally occurring sugars from the fruit. I've included a brand comparison table below for those who are as obsessed with food labels as me.

Image | Cocobella Kids


Would you give cocobella kids a go with your kids?


Toni x


Disclosure - I was sent samples of Cocobella Kids in exchange for a review. Cocobella also donated 100 packs of Cocobella Kids to be distributed to my mothers group mums respective daycare centres. I did not receive payment for this review.


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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

52 WEEKS OF MEMORIES | 6 - FEET

Is there anything cuter than baby feet? I mean seriously, I could look at her teeny tiny toes all day. Although they aren't as teeny as they used to be. Her baby photos with her tiny feet just make me go cluck, cluck, CLUCK! As much as my ovaries really wanted me to share an old photo, I remained strong and stuck with a current photo, I even made a cameo this week...


6 | FEET


If you'd like to join in 52 weeks of memories you can find out how to play here. Feel free to share with your friends on facebook or instagram, the more who join in the better!

You can follow me on Instagram and join in on Facebook. When sharing via Instagram or Facebook don't forget to use the hashtag #fmy52weeksofmemories so I can see your lovely photos. I've also started a facebook group for the challenge if you feel more comfortable sharing in a group setting. If you have a blog feel free to link up your photos via the linky below and come back each week to link up each new prompt. 

Reminder - next weeks prompt is watching.


Toni x





Linky rules

2. Add your post for this weeks prompt
3. Grab the button below and link it to the bottom of your post or sidebar or text link
4. Visit some of the other blogs and share some comment love (because its the nice thing to do)

52 weeks of memories







To create a photobook like I did with the 2014 photos visit:



Click to read more »

Monday, February 9, 2015

Team Android vs Team Apple: The war dividing my family

Remember the good old days when everyone had a Nokia 5110 and there was no debating over what brand was the best, because they were the-bomb-dot-com? Seriously, they were the best phone around and completely unbreakable! I had mine for about eight years. Ah the good old days...

Before smart phones.

Before arguments over how many mega-pixels the camera has, whether it has internet connectivity, how big and then how small it is, how thick or thin it is, etc etc...

Now its all about this....




The Android vs Apple debate is dividing people all over the country. In our house we are firmly split down the middle with T being on team apple and me being strongly on team android. We're both as stubborn as each other and neither of us will budge.

When I met T he already had an i-phone. I can only assume his obsession started because he wanted to be one of the "cool people" who had an i-phone. I base this on the fact that every time a new version of the i-phone has come out he's gone out with all the other crazies and upgraded to it regardless of whether he needed a new phone or not. Because god only knows how horrendous it would be if everyone else had the new i-phone (4, then 5, then 6) and he didn't. In his defence though he wasn't one of the completely crazy people who camped out or lined up for hours to get one.

Me, on the other-hand, I don't feel the need to adapt the latest cool craze. I'm definitely not an early adapter when it comes to new technology. I prefer to sit back and wait and see what others think rather than rushing out and buying something based on hype. It also helps that everything electronic gets cheaper the longer its been on the market, woohoo to that. I didn't get a smart phone until 2011 and I got the Samsung Galaxy 1, yes the 2 was about to come out, but that didn't really bother me. I kept that phone until my contract was coming up for renewal and then upgraded to the Galaxy 3, despite T's best effort to turn me over to the dark side {I mean team apple}. My galaxy 3 is still going strong and I don't see any need to upgrade. The only thing I miss with an android phone compared to an i-phone is that some apps aren't available for android, like Fat Mum Slim's Little Moments App. Although I'm not about to change phones just for an app.

I think T has finally realised that the battle to convert me to team apple is futile. He is however trying to use our daughter to gang up against me. He's trying to lure her to team apple with the i-pad and various kid friendly apps. So far she's been helpless against his temptations, but I can hardly blame her, she is only 1 after all. I'm sure if we had a Samsung tablet and I filled it with kid apps she'd love it just as much. Especially if I put in the night garden on there.

So tell me, is your house divided like mine?


Toni x


Linking with Kirsty, Alicia and Eva.


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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

52 WEEKS OF MEMORIES | 5 - BED TIME

Ok so I have to admit there are days where bed time can't come quick enough. We've all been there right? As much as I love her, some days I just can't wait to get some time to myself at the end of the day. This week she's spent at least part of every night in bed with us because she's been sick. Its been a looooong week of me getting not much sleep because I'm being kicked all night long. I can't wait for the day she goes back to sleeping the whole night in her cot. Mumma needs some proper sleep.


5 | BED TIME


If you'd like to join in 52 weeks of memories you can find out how to play here. Feel free to share with your friends on facebook or instagram, the more who join in the better!

You can follow me on Instagram and join in on Facebook. When sharing via Instagram or Facebook don't forget to use the hashtag #fmy52weeksofmemories so I can see your lovely photos. I've also started a facebook group for the challenge if you feel more comfortable sharing in a group setting. If you have a blog feel free to link up your photos via the linky below and come back each week to link up each new prompt. 

Reminder - next weeks prompt is feet.


Toni x





Linky rules

2. Add your post for this weeks prompt
3. Grab the button below and link it to the bottom of your post or sidebar or text link
4. Visit some of the other blogs and share some comment love (because its the nice thing to do)

52 weeks of memories







To create a photobook like I did with the 2014 photos visit:


Click to read more »

Monday, February 2, 2015

7 parenting moments all mums will relate to

Oh how my life has changed since I became a parent. There are things I do on a daily basis now that I never imagined I'd be doing. Having children seriously is an entire lifestyle change...



  • Sitting on the couch is riddled with danger because any number of toys are laying in wait ready to lodge themselves in places they definitely shouldn't go. Yet you still take the chance because five minutes of sitting down is worth the pain.

  • Singing cartoon theme songs is second nature, to the point where you don't even realise you're doing it. Most of the time you forget you're in public and there's a bunch of people staring at you thinking you're completely crazy. Although even if you knew they were watching you'd still do it because Thomas the dam tank engine is the only thing that will keep your child from throwing an epic tantrum.

  • It's impossible to sleep while the baby sleeps, but by the time they become toddlers you're more than happy to have a nanna nap. In fact most days you can't survive the day without it.  Seriously how did I ever stay awake for 9 hours straight at work?!

  • You seriously consider drinking from your child's sippy cup when you forget to pack your own drink.

  • The kettle gets boiled numerous times before you actually remember (or get time to) make your cup of tea/coffee. Then you have to re-heat it five times before you actually get time to drink it. Some days you just forget about it completely.

  • You spend most of the day wondering why you had kids and then at the end of the day realise you wouldn't want it any other way.

  • No matter how many tantrums you have to deal with, you'll still love them.


Do you have any more to add to the list?


Toni x

Linking with Alicia and Kirsty



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