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Month: February 2016

Product Review: Zak Australia

Product Review: Zak Australia

I don’t know about you, but if I had to count how many drink / water bottles I own in my house, it would be more than 15. Actually it would be about 5 because I’ve got that many miss matching tops and bottoms that it’s hard to keep track. The same goes for plastic ware. I’ve got so many with lids that don’t actually work that it’s driving me crazy!

So when I was asked to take a look at Zak Australia‘s range of kids plastic ware and drink bottles, I was happy to throw some of the old stuff out and start afresh. The kids were immediately drawn to their bright colours, and being Minion themed, they were an instant hit. My own little minions adore all things Minion Mania and their bright designs really make it easy to spot them in the bottomless drawer that holds all of the kids plates, bowls and bottles.

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Here are some of our other findings:

  1. The colours also make it easy for kids to ‘spot their bottle’ at daycare. No more sharing germs.

  2. The thick lids wrap around and snap onto the bottom. Not just a little ‘snap’, I mean it really fastens on. So no more coming off in your handbag in the car, or accidently spilling popcorn everywhere when your little one gets it out of their lunch bag.

  3. Microwave safe. Win

  4. Dishwasher safe. Win win.

  5. Snack tubs are a great size. Not too small, not too big. Easily fits in Mummy’s handbag so no lugging around the bigger lunch box.

  6. The bottle lids easily turn, but fasten shup. My kids can do it themselves which is great.

  7. Price point is spot on. Most of their range retails under $15 and are easily available at supermarkets, Kmart, Big W and other stores listed below.

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So there you have it. A great range, fantastic quality, affordable, appealing and accessible. They also come in other fantastic themes including Frozen. A great idea for a present, or simply for your little one’s school bag or daycare.

Zak certainly gets this family’s tick of approval, and I’d happily add to the range!

To view their products visit Zak Australia here: http://zakau.com.au/

kate

 

For crying out loud

For crying out loud

This is one of those posts that can be hard to write, as I hope that people take it for how it is intended, with love. It’s a post about being challenged as a Mum. Sometimes our kids just leave us stumped. There has been a lot of tears in our house lately. Tears and tantrums. For the past year we’ve been dealing with a little boy who has been very unsettled, but in the last month he has really come out of his shell and found his happiness. I wish the same could be said for our little Ella. She on the other hand, has completely fallen apart. She is emotional, sensitive and will simply burst into tears for any reason. She has always had a tendency to easily shed a tear, but this week has brought it all to another level.

Those of you who are raising children who are sensitive will understand. At least I hope you do. At the moment, you can simply look at Ella the wrong way, and the tears will start. I truly believe that things have been made worse lately because of my operation, and the fact that I’ve been walking around on crutches. The kids have been minded a lot by our Mums, and I simply haven’t been able to run around and do things with the kids. Ella has clearly picked up on this, but it is feeling oh so extreme right now. Yesterday she cried through her entire ballet class. She cried when she got home. She cried when she ate her dinner. She is just so sensitive that it is starting to worry me a little. I have to admit that things got the better of me after her dance class, and I felt myself start to cry as her dance teacher and I were talking about both of us feeling sad for her. It’s just such an emotional roller coaster. Ella usually loves dancing, but so far has not left my side this year. She is generally a really, really happy kid, but lately the tears have gotten the better of her.

You see it is so hard raising a child who is emotional, especially when you are emotional yourself. I do love the fact that I care about people’s feelings, but sometimes it is exhausting. It’s really difficult feeling everything. When it’s happy and positive, it’s wonderful. But when its feeling lonely, scared, worried, it’s terrible. I’ve always felt each and every emotion in a big way. I’m worried (ironically) because I don’t really want that for Ella. It’s hard seeing in her, what you see in yourself. Especially when it is something that you wish you could change in yourself.

As a teacher and an educator I know that this is very normal for kids Ella’s age. However when it is your own child, the worry is heightened. I’m someone who needs outside reinforcement to make me feel at ease. I’m someone who has to share how I’m feeling. It’s hard for Ella because she doesn’t have the vocabulary to express how she is really feeling. She simply wants to be by my side 24/7.

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Somewhat selfishly, I have to admit that I don’t want to be ‘THAT MUM’ whose child screams when you leave her. I don’t want to have my heart breaking each time we head to dance class, as she sits on my lap and watches the other kids. I want her to be happy and confident. I want her to feel good about herself enough to leave my side. So we’ll do what we need to. Ride it out. Praise positive behaviours. Talk her through what is happening each day. We’ll do lots of happy things. We’ll make her feel ok about how she is feeling. However we will also throw in a dose of tough love. Building resilience is so important and right now, it’s on the top of my priority list with her. I want her to feel good about herself, but I also want her to be a little bit stronger. It’s not something you can easily develop, but I’m hoping that we can.

This is a post that I hope we can read in years to come, and think about how far we’ve come. I hope that I can help my little girl to actually be a little less like me. Less prone to cry at the drop of a hat.

kate

 

Moments like these…

Moments like these…

As a Mum, each day there are moments that catch us by surprise. Small moments that make us smile, make us frustrated, make us happy, and then there are those that fill us with love. These last few weeks have seen our household deal with a variety of moments, and emotions. As I recover from hip surgery, as we start a new year, as Ella starts in the kinder room and as Hudson gets used to being at daycare. Moments that come and go, and moments that have made me stop and really think about making memories that I, and my family will remember forever.

This week has seen Facebook and social media peppered with hundreds of images of little ones starting school, starting kinder and starting their own little adventures in this big wide world. When we first had Ella, I vividly remember an elderly lady affectionately asking me how old she was, and at four weeks old this lady gave me some advice. ‘Cherish every second because before you know it, she’ll be old like me’. Similar advice has been given to myself and Dan over and over. Each time you knod and smile, but to tell you the truth I didn’t quite realise how true it actually is. With a blink of an eye, our darling Ella is almost four years old, and will be starting school in two years (we are keeping her back). How, oh how did this happen so quickly? She is very emotional at the moment, and (like her Mum) finds it difficult to keep back the tears. I know she will be ok in a few weeks. Hopefully I will too 🙂

And then there is our little Hudson. His transition to daycare has been really hard. He has cried and cried and done his upmost to be angry and stubborn. It is so hard to see your little one be so upset. But then today, the amazing director at his daycare emailed me with the news that he had been laughing and smiling, having a wonderful day dressing up. The excitement in the email was palpable and honestly I couldn’t have been more appreciative that she took the time to tell me. Through the use of a fantastic app called Story Park, we see on a daily basis their daycare adventures. Photos, videos and stories tell a variety of tales, and today…we received one that I will certainly be showing him when he turns 21. Pictures of him dressed from head to toe in a dress with a crazy hair style to boot. Clearly he is having a ball today and I couldn’t be happier. How thrilled we are to have such wonderful people caring for our children. What a moment to cherish.

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I told myself that this year I would really try to stop, slow down and enjoy the little things that happen each day. There may be small moments of fun, hugs and kisses, painting and playing in the park. It’s moments like these that we need to cherish and really enjoy as they happen. I’ve been using the TinyBeans App to save these moments forever and to look back at the amazing ways in which my children have grown. The best thing is that it’s private. You can share them with family members, or keep them just for yourself. You can even send social media pics straight to the app! Photos really are the best way to keep moments like these alive.

What ever moments you have experienced this week, I hope they are happy ones that make you smile.

kate