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Month: October 2012

Friday Finds: Where is Sophie?

Friday Finds: Where is Sophie?

This week’s Friday Find is literally about something that I lost and found. Sophie the Giraffe. I was introduced to Sophie at my baby shower. I was asked the question – ‘Do you have a Sophie?’. Not only did I not have a Sophie, I did not know who or what Sophie was. Sophie…as it was explained…was the number one teething toy for babies. She is the new black, the handbag equivalent for little ones, that they must never leave home without. Thank God for Mary (our family friend), not only for introducing her to me, but for also giving her to Ella. It was following my baby shower that I discovered that Sophie comes with a price tag of around $30! I was flabbergasted. She must have some sort of magic potion that miraculously soothes baby teeth, because for that price..I figured she must be special.

Since then I have discovered that Mums everywhere know and love Sophie, just as much as their babies do. You see, Sophie IS from Paris after all. My friend even told me that she is available for a third of the price over there, and can be seen in many a supermarket aisle! Sophie indeed seems to cast a spell on babies everywhere, because they all (including my Ella) love her. Ella chews on her for hours on end and so far, she has come through with flying colours.  Sophie that is. So it was with great horror, that yesterday as I arrived home from a day out, that Sophie seemingly vanished…

I have been known to be a little forgetful at times, but I knew that Sophie was something that I should keep safe, just as I would my wallet or iPhone. Sophie was no where to be seen. I searched high and low. I Called friends from Mothers group, and even declared a disaster on Facebook. Mothers alike shared in my pain as I searched for the missing toy. Those who did not know Sophie asked what this seemingly bizarre case was all about. Those who did sent their prayers and well wishes for the lost giraffe. Some shared their stories of lost Sophies from long ago, whilst others wondered why children they knew also had a giraffe named Sophie. Was it a coincidence? One friend pointed out what ‘an expensive loss’ she would be. I have to admit that this factor was on my mind as I thought about the cash I would need to splash out if I kept losing this precious giraffe. I prayed to Saint Anthony and kept up the search. Then…a breakthrough.

Sophie had wedged herself underneath Ella’s carseat. She must have had enough of the chewing and throwing on the ground. What ever the reason, I cannot tell you how relieved I was to find her. After a bit of a wipe down, Sophie was a good as new and back in the hands (and mouth) of my baby girl. Disaster averted. I hope that she stays around for a while. This Mummy doesn’t want to have to keep replacing her daughter’s expensive taste in teething toys. Even if she is pretty cool.


So to Sophies everywhere…I hope you stay put!


Friday Finds: Shhhh….The Quiet Book

Friday Finds: Shhhh….The Quiet Book

I stumbled across something called a ‘Quiet Book‘ a little while ago on Pinterest  and was captivated instantly. I immediately pinned it to my ‘Being a Mum‘ Board for a closer look at a later time (when Mums have spare time). A ‘quiet book’ I discovered, was a hand made, personalised book filled with lots of ‘quiet’ activities to keep toddlers and young children occupied for hours. The idea is that this book can be carried anywhere – in the car, the pram, to appointments…anywhere where children will spend time and need some entertainment. Even though there are so many great apps available for iPads and iPhones, I also believe that children need (lots of) time out from technology.  What makes these books really special is the focus on fine motor skills and concentration. Little fingers, tying, buttoning, matching. The sense of touch is brought to life. No whizz bang sounds and animations, just textures and fabrics. Boy o boy  could my Mum and Dad have used a few of these books as they drove four kids to Queensland year after year!

After I found these fabulous books, I thought that one day, I would make one for Ella and any other possible little Korbers that may come along. Not in my wildest dreams did I think that a friend would get in sooner and present Ella with one.  My dear friend Kate gave Ella just that, her own Quiet Book. Beautifully personalised with her name and lovingly made by a 75 year old lady. This book is filled with beautiful little activities that will require Ella to use her eyes and fingers to do a range of things. Most of all, it will require patience and persistence….something that little kids need to learn!

When you open a quiet book, your are immediately struck by the gorgeous features and details. Each page presents a new challenge. Press studs, buttons, bows, velcro….each task uses common objects for little ones to manipulate. The book contains:

  • Clothes to stick and hang on a line
  • Baby lady bugs to count, zipped up inside their Mummy
  • A kitten’s collar to buckle
  • Flowers to button on their stems
  • A mitten for Ella to slide her little fingers into
  • Shapes to match and press onto studs
  • Button Wheels to count on carriages with animal passengers
  • A doll’s hair to plait
  • Shoelaces to tie
  • A clock with hands to change the time
  • A hand made abacus with sliding rods
  • A puppy’s leg to bandage
  • A clown face to make

Below are some shots that capture some of these gorgeous pages…

Using the big and little hands to make the time, counting the beads on an abacus. I just love the fact that they are lovingly handmade for tiny hands to move, touch and play with…

Counting and feeling the buttons, popping the little animals in the different carriages. I can see Ella giving each of these animals different names!

I am so grateful to my beautiful friend for giving this fantastic book to my baby girl. I can’t wait for her to grow up and use it on many an outing, hopefully in peace and quiet!! If you want to create your own, or get some ideas from the other Quiet Books I found on Pinterest, visit here and here. In fact, Stephanie Segal has entire Pinterest Board dedicated to Quiet Books! Etsy also has some great ones that you can purchase here.  I would love to hear from people who have create their own quiet books and their experiences if they really do work! 🙂

School’s back!

School’s back!

This week, I went back to work. I finished up at the end of the 2011 school year, and went on summer holidays, just like everyone else. Although I had planned, and knew that I would return to work at the end of 2012, when I finished, it honestly felt as though I was losing a large part of myself. I cried and cried. I remember ringing my husband on the way home from school on the last day balling my eyes out. I couldn’t even speak. My husband just laughed at me because he finds it hilarious that I love my job that much to cry about not being there. I guess I’m pretty lucky to have a job that I love – the kids, the families, and the teachers. The saying goes that if you love your job, you will never work a day in your life. That really describes me and how I feel about being in a Primary School.

I found that when everyone went back for the 2012 school year, it really hit home that my life was now taking on a new direction. I would always have work as a large part of my life, but when my baby arrived, she or he would take me to a new place, with new interests and responsibilities. Obvious that this all may be, it was really hard to almost reinvent yourself, to yourself. Hard to redefine your sense of belonging.

However, once I got my act together and Ella and I worked out this whole Mummy/ Daughter thing, my new ‘self’ was born. Once you get used to the new routines, responsibilities, sleep deprivation, nappies etc. etc. your sense of self comes full circle. I used to get such satisfaction from large accomplishments at work, now I feel great about the small things: Ella finishing a whole bottle, cooking and freezing her food, giving her a bath. My boss once told me that when you have a baby, your outlook on life goes from being outward to inward. You care less about the outside world and more about the things that are most important…family.

So when it came time this week to venture back to work (part time), it was with mixed feelings. I was incredibly happy to be at a work, with people whom I love, but it was really hard to leave my baby girl. Even though she was going to spend a day each with her beautiful Nanna and Baba, the moment I thought of leaving her, I burst into tears. I was fine up until a couple of days before. I had been speaking with a variety of people who had seemed surprised that I was going back to work with Ella being only seven months old. In this day and age, the reality of bills and mortgages mean that parents have to work. Both of them. It’s hard though when that feeling of guilt cant rationalise this reality. I wish it would.

It’s all about being organised. Nappy bag, food, pram, clothes…back ups for backs ups. Car packed the night before. I didn’t sleep very well the night before…hoping that Ella would sleep (and so would I), and also hoping that I would wake and not sleep through the alarm. Even setting my alarm was weird.

The fact is, I’m just lucky to have a job that I love and that can cater for my need to also be with Ella. Many people don’t have that flexibility. Although it will take a little time to adjust to the new routine, I’m so glad that I get the chance to do keep my foot in the door, and continue to be part of a fantastic school and community. I’m sure Ella will be better for knowing that her Mum not only works, but loves her job too.

Just not quite as much as I love her…..:-)

Seventh Heaven

Seventh Heaven

On Wednesday, Ella was seven months old! Seven gorgeous months. This month Ella’s personality has really come to life. Smiles, giggles, wriggles and the first glimpse of some little tantrums. Argghh the bliss. She is so much more animated and responsive. She has become quite discerning with various people, and has been known to rock that bottom lip if she sees someone she does not know!

As the weather here starts to get warmer, it’s made me think about the time when she was born. It was really hot in Melbourne and the middle of summer. The day Ella was born (February 26) was a 42 degree day. Just what you want when you are 39 weeks and six days pregnant! Ella came 1 day early. She clearly was too hot inside and wanted to get out to cool down!

Last month I took a photo of Ella when she was six months old. The photo was of her with the words ‘I am six months’ around her head. Yesterday I remembered (phew) to capture her again at seven months. Only this time, it took me about fifteen photos to get one that I could use! She is such a wriggly worm now that she kept turning around to look at (and eat) the letters. It actually made a really cute montage.

The inspiration for this photo came from Pinterest. Surprise, Surprise. I found this photo and thought it was a fantastic way to capture your growing baby over the months. A very imaginative and clever way to document those smiles, growing features and cheeky grins. This idea originated from ‘Oh Sweet Babies‘ – they have great ideas to help parents remember the ‘tremendous’ changes over their child’s first year of life. I was talking with my friends about how long we thought we might be able to keep it up. I’m aiming to capture her each month until her first birthday, and then each year from then. I’m sure she will be loving it when I have her on the floor at twenty one.

Ideas like this are rife on Pinterest. There are so many great ideas for capturing memories, decorating nurseries and keeping toddlers occupied as they grow older and more curious. I have created a board with ideas like this to inspire me over the years to come. To view or follow my board titled – ‘Being a Mum’ – click here.

I look forward to capturing the months (and years) to come. If anyone has any other great ideas on capturing their children grow, please forward them to me!

* The image to the left is linked to its original source.