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Month: September 2012

Friday Finds: Peek-a-boo App

Friday Finds: Peek-a-boo App

This week’s Friday Find comes courtesy of my dear friend Amy. A Mother of two, she shares my obsession with all things Mac! Amy and I were sharing our selection of our favourite apps recently, when she suggested a simple yet engaging app called Pee-a-boo Baby Rattle. At nearly seven months old, Ella is learning to understand that people and objects continue to exist, even if you don’t see them! Games like peek-a-boo are a daily favourite in our household at the moment, as Ella squeals with delight when we poke our heads around a corner or up from behind a couch.  It’s so funny how you can now see the look of expectation on Ella’s face as she now knows what’s about to happen. Little brains are just amazing as they learn.

The Peek-a-boo App allows babies to play this familiar game on their own. Once babies and toddlers either press the smiley face or shake they phone, an animal appears making their corresponding real sound. A variety of favourite animals include a:

  • Dog
  • Bird
  • Cat
  • Pig
  • Parrot
  • Duck
  • Frog
  • Chicken
  • Cockerel
  • Mouse

There are soooo many apps out there for kids, it’s hard to know which ones are actually worth it. This app costs 99c. Ella already seems to love the colours and sounds. I’m sure that it will come in handy when she grows a little older and shows her alter ego in the most convenient places. Apps like these can be a parents best friend, as well as a great learning tool for little ones. In my book, if it’s recommended by a friend (especially this one), then it needs to be in my baby tool kit!

Hope you and your kids have fun with Peek-a-boo too. If you have any other App recommendations, I would love to hear from you! You can find Peek-a-boo Baby Rattle on the App Store here.

* Images are linked to their original source

Friday Finds: Minihappyme

Friday Finds: Minihappyme

When you have a baby, you are faced with many decisions. Funnily enough, one of the biggest decisions is which pram to buy. It’s like buying a new car. There are so many gadgets, accessories, colours. Walking into Baby Bunting for the first time was an overwhelming experience to say the least. There are over thirty types of prams to buy. For new parents, the site can make you feel every part ‘pram iliterate’, and I have to say that I turned right back around and found the comfort of the familiar Witchery much more inspiring. Things sure have changed in the world of prams since we were kids. The term ‘pusha’ is certainly not something that I hear flying around in the world of Mummas and Papas these days!

Before purchasing our pram, I decided to put the power of Facebook to good use and promptly sought recommendations from friends who had road tested their own. I quickly came to realise that the variety was endless and the factors vast. What did we want our pram for? (Um, to push a baby around?). Were we buying a pram to accommodate a second child? Did I intend on jogging with our pram? (ah, no…labour was enough excercise for one year!). It was however, great to see the pros and cons about a variety of prams first hand. When Dan and I ventured back into Baby Bunting a second time, we entered feeling well informed and quite knowledgable with the terms Bugaboo, City Strider and Phill& Ted in the back of our minds. We decided that our pram only really needed to carry one child as we thought that we might as well learn how to look after one, before we contemplated having more, let alone a pram that carried two!

I have to say that we were thrilled with our purchase and love our pram. Like so many new parents, it’s one of those purchases that you come to either love or loathe, and I’m pleased to say that we are still loving it. The pram we chose (Bugaboo Chameleon) came with both a bassinet and seat, rain cover and mosquito net. Although the pram was a little pricey, it folds easily, moves easily has some pretty amazing suspension (my husband’s favourite part). When Ella was born we used the bassinet, and she loved it. Slept peacefully and lay there in her cosy capsule. Recently, we have moved her into the seat, and it’s as though she now has a whole new world opened up to her. The pram now folds almost flat into the car and takes up much less room. This is something we cherish given that with two adults, a baby, a dog plus all of our luggage.

One thing however that really irritated me was when we moved her into the seat, I didn’t realise that the pram did not come with a seat liner / foot muff. This makes sure that your little bubba is comfortable and warm, especially in the warmer months. After asking several friends who had the same pram, they all agreed that whilst annoying to buy, it was a necessary accessory. So I trekked off to my new favourite store ‘Baby Bunting’ and got Ella a bright pink foot muff. Amazingly cool and funky, it would want to be, because at $180 I was a little flabbergasted! Especially when researched showed that they were selling for $70 in the USA but with postage, it would cost more than that to ship over.

Since then, I realised that a friend had actually recommended a website : (thanks Charise & Mel). A very clever Mum had also been annoyed at the ridiculous prices that companies were charging for these accessories. She decided to start making her own pram liners, foot muffs and other accessories for a range of prams in funky fabrics. The best part is they are almost half the price of the same products made by the actual pram makers. I have several friends who have bought these items from Minihappyme and have been really happy with her products. I wish I had have read the Facebook recommendations more thoroughly and seen this site before I forked out an arm and a leg for my Bugaboo one.

I’m sure I’ll need to buy another pram liner / foot muff in the future and I’ll defiantly be buying one from this site. I know that many friends are moving their little bubs into bigger seats right now, so I’m hoping that this find will help you save some $ that you can spend on something else, maybe some shoes for Mum this time!

*Images are linked to their original source

*You can also find Minihappyme on Facebook here

Friday Finds: Babyology

Friday Finds: Babyology

I’ve been learning how to be a Mum this year, and recently, I’ve been learning how to write, maintain and develop my own blog. I’ve been blogging for a while now about technology in education, however it hasn’t been until the creation of this blog for Ella, that I have learnt about the real craft of blog writing. I have a long way to go in achieving my goals and helping this blog grow, however one of the things I have learned about is developing a schedule for posting so your audience can establish their own relationship with your writing.

My main purpose for writing this blog is a personal one. It’s primarily for my family as a way to document memories and celebrate milestones for our daughter Ella. However, I have also been sharing some great resources, websites, challenges and stories with friends who are also travelling on this journey of parenthood. It’s been great to hear about other people’s experiences, advice and general comments as they impart some of their own wisdom or frustration. I’m definitely a people person, and this blog has really helped to connect with others, some familiar, and some not. We all have one thing in common – we are doing our best to be great Mums and Dads.

In four weeks I will be embarking on a new phase of parenthood as I return to work part time. I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to fit everything in, and how I’m going to be able to keep a regular presence on this blog. So I’ve decided to set myself a target, no more like a routine, to keep myself on track. In some ways, this blog will just evolve as Ella grows and that won’t follow a routine (just like babies). Her milestones will just happen, and I will write about them as she grows. However I’ve thought about documenting other things in a scheduled way. So each Friday, I’m going to write about fabulous finds that I’ve come across that have made my job as a Mum a little easier. ‘Friday Finds’ will be devoted to sharing websites, apps, blogs, products, tips and anything really that I’ve come across either through the web, friends or other means. Hopefully these finds might help other parents find their feet!

The first fabulous ‘Friday Find’ has to be the team @ Babyology. Many of you probably already know about and follow the Babyology website, but if you don’t, do yourself a favour and check them out here. According to their Bio, Babyology is:

The place to find anything for children and parents that’s worth having, from the practical to the sublime and everything in between. If you love hunting down cool, innovative gear for pregnancy, babies, toddlers and kids, then Babyology is for you. An online arbiter of good taste for anyone who’s ever felt overwhelmed when faced with buying for little ones, we’re here to show mums, dads and everyone else that good design and a sense of style don’t have to disappear when parenthood begins’.

This website certainly keeps you up to date with the latest and greatest products and releases. They post fantastic articles about every day parenting topics and host discussions about issues relating to everything from high chairs to breast feeding in public. The bottom line is – this site is Australian. It’s written by Australians for Australian parents. With all the information out there – this site is fantastic. It also has a fabulous pram and high chair ‘chooser’ tool that allows you to compare and contrast products to find one that suits your style and budget.

By subscribing to their site, you receive updates each week about the latest news, ideas and products on the market. They are also visible on Facebook and Twitter. What’s even more fantastic is that if you ‘like’ them on Facebook, they will donate 20c to the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Association of Australia.

This is a simple, fun and informative site that has helped me make sense of the huge world of baby products! I hope it helps you too!

*Featured images are linked to their original source.

Hitting the Bottle

Hitting the Bottle

In four weeks I’m going back to work. I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone. It seriously feels like yesterday that I was finishing my last day of school and getting beautiful gifts off the children, parents and teachers. I was lucky enough to finish school at the end of last year (2011), and so it really felt as though I was just going on another set of summer holidays. It wasn’t really until school went back this year, that I found it really bizarre. Since then, time has flown. The first three months are a bit of shell shock, and it takes a while to find your feet and then you get to really enjoy everything that being a Mum has to offer.

I’ve discovered that being a Mum means getting used to change. Nothing ever stays the same for very long. You need to get used to being flexible and rolling with the punches. It’s funny because in the beginning, I found breast feeding overwhelming and challenging. Like most new Mums who decide to breast feed, getting used to a new function for these two things that have been a part of your body for 33 years is a little bizarre. It takes a lot of patience, persistence and sometimes, a lot of pain. I was lucky enough to work through my battles pretty quickly and came to love breast feeding after a few weeks. Although breast feeding means that you really are under the pump (excuse the pun) 24/7, breast feeding has its benefits: its free, its portable, its convenient, no sterilising needed, nor warming of any bottles. Before I had Ella, I was completely open minded about feeding. I thought I would give it a go, and if it worked…great. If not, then I new there were other options. So many mums feel such pressure to persist with breast feeding, even when they are going through hell with mastitis, blocked ducts (this was my vice), lack of supply, poor attachment etc. etc. It is so hard and can be made worse by the constant pressure by society. I personally believe that every mum just does their best. What ever they choose, it should be up to them. For me, I was lucky enough to achieve the ability to breast feed relatively quickly and whilst I found it exhausting, through the months I have developed a love of this time with my beautiful girl.

Like all things though as soon as you get used to it, something changes.  I had been thinking about my transition back to work and what we would do when I went back. It’s funny, before Ella was born I thought that she would be exclusively bottle fed by then, but now that I am six months in, things have changed. In the past few months I have been going into work to help out from time to time. Ella has had several bottles since she was born, for various reasons: medical appointments, hair appointments :-), date night etc. Most of these times Ella has taken to the bottle pretty well. However there was one day things changed. My Mum had been minding Ella and she would not take the bottle. Simply refused. After an hour of persisting, my Mum called me to come home. Let’s just say that for my Mum (a nurse) to call me, this was saying something. I arrived to find a sad little baby, slumped over my Mum’s shoulder and an equally distressed Nanna. It was heart breaking. She had almost passed out from crying so much. I felt like the worst Mother in the world. I didn’t want to give up breast feeding, but this just wasn’t helping Ella.

It was after this day that I committed to weaning Ella towards co-feeding. After speaking with my Mum and friends, my husband and I decided that it was kinder to Ella to gradually get her used to bottle feeding, so that when I returned to work, she would be fine. I guess my problem was that I knew I was never very good at expressing and the thought of trying to do this whilst working in a Primary School was not a very practical option. I knew that bottles for Ella meant formula and this was fine. I did lots of reading (probably too much) about the advantages of co-feeding for working mothers. I didn’t want to give up breast feeding both for Ella and myself and to be honest,  I hand’t realise that this process was possible. I found a great schedule to help me work towards breast feeding in the morning and evening, with bottles during the day. This schedule (BabyLove) was gradual and something that I thought I could do over a number of weeks, to get us both used to it. Currently I’m in the middle of starting two bottles a day, and Ella is doing fine. So am I.

It’s funny that the transition from breast feeding, to bottle feeding, or in our case both has been something that I have found really hard. Not so much from the physical side, but the emotional one. I know that at heart I am a very emotional person, but whilst my obstacles have not been greatly physical in terms of soreness etc. , the challenge of taking the step towards moving my baby away from something that I now love has been really hard. I know there are so many Mums who struggle with so many different facets of feeding, its endless. I know in the end that I am doing the right thing for my baby. Whilst I would love to stay with her each day, I’m also looking forward to working part time and returning to a job I love. She will be better for it and so will I. Include her Dad in that equation too. I’m sure that there are so many Mums and Dads in the same position. We all just need to stick together and do what’s best for our babies and our own sanity.

Wish us luck xxx

I heart Pinterest!

I heart Pinterest!

My name is Kate Korber and I am a Pinterest-aholic. I never thought I would be, but I am. I admit it. I’m on this band wagon in a big way. When I saw all the talk about Pinterest (via Twitter and Facebook), I thought – yeah, yeah…another thing. Coming from someone who openly admits to loving social networking and the fantastic world of mobile devices, I was apprehensive to delve into this new ‘fad’, for reasons that I now seem to forget. After a year of learning to be a Mum (still learning and always will be), I was quite proud of myself for embracing Instagram and starting this little blog. I thought that I could not possibly be into something else – boy was I wrong.

I am always talking about (no raving about) the possibilities of Twitter in terms of networking and professional development for teachers.  It is such a fantastic tool to ask questions, share knowledge and resources. It really is an untapped resource for many who seek to broaden their networks, whether it be for a new business, community group or personal interest. I also used to love and use a fantastic resource called ‘Delicious’. Delicious was an online bookmarking service that allowed users to tag their favourite websites with keywords and save them to the ‘cloud’ (ie. the web). This means that all your favourite sites could be accessed any time, anywhere and be shared with anyone you like.

Pinterest brings this idea to a whole new level. As a teacher, and now a new Mum, interest has allowed me to browse the web and ‘pin’ ideas, resources and any new finds to virtual pin ‘boards’ that I have created. Instead of bookmarking a link, you basically bookmark an image from the site that you like. Thus you develop a fantastic pinboard of images relating to your topic of choice. As a new mum, this means that you can pin ideas for your baby’s room, cute clothes, recipes, art and craft ideas etc. If someone shares a great website with you – pin it! If you find a picture of a great birthday cake for next year – pin it! You can create boards for any topic you like!

Some of my favourite boards that I have created include:

  • Being a Mum
  • Kids Fashionista
  • Kids Wonderland
  • Fashion Style
  • Cool for School
  • Dream Kitchen
  • Dream Bedroom
  • Dream Bathroom
  • Education Inspiration
  • Awesome Interiors
  • Cool Images
  • Frames, Frames, Frames
  • Great Quotes
  • Technology in Education

The best thing about Pinterest is the ability to follow others, so you get to see what other people are ‘pinning’. You can follow every day people, friends, businesses, celebrities or anyone who inspires you. You can re-pin their ideas onto your own boards, email the link, share it via twitter or Facebook etc. You can browse through categories and look at what is hot in the world of interest at that point in time.

I think that the possibilities for this site are endless. If you were researching for your wedding, you could pin all your ideas to a board you have created! If you have a business, you could pin ideas for potential clients, or post images of things you are proud of within your own. If you are researching for ideas for your own home, you could create boards (like I have done) and save ideas for later. If you are a teacher, you could post ideas for the classroom for all areas of Education. This image is a snapshot of my board ‘Kids Wonderland’ which holds heaps of ideas for Ella’s bedroom. Some of these ideas I have used, some are for the future. Click on the image to be taken to this board.

As a Mum, I’m always on the look out for ideas and resources that make our lives a little more easier and fun. As a Mum on the go – Pinterest is a great way for us all to save the ideas that we would like to make happen, but always seem to forget. If you are like me, paper is the enemy – I never seem to remember where I put papers down. However I always have my phone or iPad handy and this site can help me to keep my ideas in order, even when my brain can’t. That has to be a good thing!

If you would like to share the love – follow me on Pinterest via

By the skin of her teeth

By the skin of her teeth

Last week, Ella got her first tooth! Two days later, it had a twin. Within two days, Ella’s two bottom front teeth had poked their way through her gums, explaining what had been quite an irritable and grumpy couple of days! For the previous few weeks, I had suspected that Ella’s constant gnawing on my fingers, her clothes, toys and well, anything she could shove in her mouth, was indicative of the so called ‘teething’ phase. It’s funny, around 5-6 months, any sign of a grumble or sad face is coupled with the question / statement – ‘oh she must be teething??!!’. People had warned me that this period could turn any ‘good’ baby into a crying nightmare with the pain of little teeth peep through their precious little gums. I didn’t like the sound of the idea – both for Ella and for her Mummy and Daddy – but we are pleased to report that she has come through relatively unscathed. Whilst she certainly showed us her greatest impression of a sad little baby for a few days, we think we got off pretty lucky.

That said, people have also said that it’s not the front teeth that cause the problems, its the molars at the back of the mouth. During those few days, I cracked open the famous ‘Bonjella’ to see if it would help sooth any aches and pains. I have to say that the taste was pretty strong, even for her Mum, and you would have to like liquorice to be a fan! Ella’s face was priceless as she instinctively spat it out. Hmm…I guess it will be a work in progress for the next teeth to come.

Teething has also brought about a whole new obstacle to Breast Feeding. Yep. The girl has a good bite, and it hurts. Before Ella had teeth, she had a liking towards biting down on her Mummy’s nipples using her tiny little gums. Her Daddy would always respond to her Mummy’s cries with ‘oh…she’s just a little baby’. Daddy doesn’t say this anymore.   Man, it really hurts. It’s funny how many breast feeding mums have told me that they have started to think about weaning after their little ones decided to chomp down a few times. I’m going to try to keep going and just keep my eye out for those little choppers…..

Getting teeth has also made me think about that famous Tooth Fairy. Being a Primary School teacher for over ten years, I like to think that I am up to date with the latest fads and trends, but one thing is for sure…I have no idea what the going rate is for a baby tooth. I remember waking up to a glass of water with a shiny gold dollar coin at the bottom and thinking that the Tooth Fairy was the best thing ever! I wonder if the going rate has suffered from inflation in the last twenty five years or so. Here’s hoping some things have stayed the same!

For the mean time, I think we will work on getting through the rest of the teething process! Wish us all luck!