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News
White Glove Services

Thanks so much to Scarlett of White Glove Services for the lovely review on our brand! With over a decade's experience as a professional Mothercraft Nurse, Nanny and Household Manager, Scarlett launched White Glove Services for families looking for anyone from an experienced & dedicated Nanny, Governess or Maternity Nurse. Based in Queensland, White Glove Services has now also expanded its reach to service countries outside of Australia and it also caters for those lucky ones among us who happen to be looking for a professional Private Chef or Household Manager.

A busy mum herself, Scarlett, who is expecting her third baby this year, certainly knows how to take the pressure off finding the help your family may need and making sure the process runs seamlessly. Please make sure to keep her details handy should you be considering extra assistance to run your home in future!

 

xo

Holly

Freddie's Nursery

I'm so excited to share photos of Freddie's nursery today! Joni from Lay Baby Lay and The Animal Print Shop have also written lovely posts highlighting Amanda's nursery and introducing their readers to our Aussie brand! Amanda is an incredibly talented interior decorator - we hope you get inspired by these photos!

Sources: (1)  Gray and White Striped Rug ; (2)  Felt Drum Pendant ; (3)  Gray Pouf ; (4)  Octopus Pillow ; (5)  Striped Sheets ; (6)  Navy Wooden Car ; (7)  Animal Prints ; (8)  Yellow Car

xo

Rebecca Judd Loves
Celebrity Spotting

We absolutely love Rebecca Judd's style and buckled at the knees when we received this lovely note from her! Seeing as we're currently in the midst of renovating our home, we're hooked on Rebecca Judd Loves - The Style School. Her taste for interior design is impeccable - she certainly has her finger on the pulse.

 

 

Spotted: 'What Would Karl Do'

We are just loving Jess Dempsey's beautiful nautical inspired nursery for her baby boy on the way! Have a look at Jess' full feature about her nursery on her fabulous blog "What Would Karl Do". With Jess' blog there is no excuse for frumpy maternity wear - this mummy to be rocks pregnancy style! Our Red/Cream Striped Bandana Bib is available here.

Feature: Checks and Spots
Feature

Check out our "Day in the Life" feature over at Checks and Spots - a lovely lifestyle blog curated by Clare Hillier and based right here in Melbourne. Contrary to what some people may think, mum's don't lay around in bed all day while watching Ellen, painting their toe nails and planning their next champagne picnic! It's quite the contrary - oru key is organisation and lots of planning!! Check out the article here.

New Milo Knitted Blanket
New

We're absolutely loving our new 'Milo' Double-Sided Knitted Blanket! Measuring 70 x 70 cm, it's the perfect size to bundle baby up on brisk morning pram walks and it's also just right to lay out on the grass with bub's on a warm Summer day!

Feature: Style My Child Review

Thanks so much to Style My Child for the lovely review about our brand! Style My Child is our go to source for the latest baby trends..Check it out next time you're looking for inspiration in kitting out your little babe! 

 

 

 

Freddie's Nursery on Lay Baby Lay!

I'm so excited to share photos of Freddie's nursery today! Joni from Lay Baby Lay has written a lovely post highlighting Amanda's nursery and introducing her readers to Hunter Baby! Amanda is an incredibly talented interior decorator - we hope you get inspired by these photos!

Sources: (1) Gray and White Striped Rug; (2) Felt Drum Pendant; (3) Gray Pouf; (4) Octopus Pillow; (5) Striped Sheets; (6) Navy Wooden Car; (7) Animal Prints; (8) Yellow Car

xo

Eliza's Nursery on Lay Baby Lay!

What a treat to wake up to Eliza's nursery on Lay Baby Lay today!!! Have you heard of Joni's beautiful Nursery Inspiration blog?!! If you haven't yet, get onto it! I scrolled through her site for hours and hours deciding on how to decorate Eliza's nursery earlier in the year - she features lots of real nurseries on her blog and lists where to find everything!! I'm so grateful Joni has shared photos of E's little room today! Stay tuned because Amanda's nursery will be featured on Lay Baby Lay tomorrow too!!! 

Source: Lay Baby Lay 

These are a few photo's of Eliza's room - read our full story at Lay Baby Lay here

Collette Dinnigan Loves Hunter Baby!
Celebrity Spotting
We are absolutely SPEECHLESS!!! We spotted Collette Dinnigan's baby boy in Hunter Baby this morning!!! Collette, your incredible contribution to Australian fashion has been a huge inspiration to us. Mother's wear so many hats and we are very grateful to have you as a role model to aspire to. We wish you and your family the very best in your new journey.

 


Source: Herald Sun

 

We would like to offer a discount to all our customers this week because we're so grateful for all the support we've received this year! Enter code COLLETTELOVESHUNTER at checkout to receive a 20% discount!! Discount expires Wednesday, November 6th 2013.

Thank you to all of you - we're motivated each day by your incredible support!!



xo Holly & Amanda

HALLOWEEN
BakeHolidays

With every passing holiday, a little part of me still gets homesick. I've been living in Australia for over 7 years now (you think it would wear off!), but I can't help the feeling. I'm sure it's the same for many of you who have moved away from home, especially around the holidays? Well it's just about time to put our pumpkins on the doorstep and I'm getting that "I wish I was in Canada" feeling! I miss the way Canadians celebrate Halloween - several jack-o-lantern's at E-V-E-R-Y house, hundreds of kids popping by my house to trick-or-treat and the best part - homemade pumpkin pie and the changing autumn leaves!

Well to get me in the festive spirit this month, I thought I'd have a look at what Waddler is doing in the UK. This great children's company knows how to frame a gorgeous photo! Have a look at these beautiful images from their current and past catalogues! 

Meet Our Mini's
Meet Our Mini'sParenting

Meet the inspiration behind Hunter Baby! Max's arrival was the catalyst for creating our baby boyswear range in December 2010. Freddie and Eliza are recent additions to the Hunter crew. These lively kiddos are our main source of inspiration (and headaches) and the fuel for our creativity! 

SLEEP

  1. Oscar Top - Oliver Stripe Cream / Navy
  2. Vintage Rocking Horse - Similar available from Restoration Hardware
  3. Antique toys from eBay
Parenting : Oprah & Biscuits
Parenting

I think my husband secretly believes that I lie around all day eating tim tams & watching Oprah. And he is right, to a certain extent, since that is exactly what I would do – once I have fed Max his breakfast, cleaned his highchair (1sttime), swept the kitchen floor, un-stacked the dishwasher, washed Max’s bottles, hunted down dirty socks under the couch, put the washing on, soaked the really stained stuff in a bucket of napisan, dropped off my husband’s dry cleaning, played with Max on the floor, read him two books (spot and spot), fed him a bottle, then his lunch, cleaned his highchair (2nd time), hung up the washing, wiped a small vomit up from the carpet, put Max to bed for a nap, brought in the washing when it starts to rain, tidied Max’s play area, arranged a service for the car, called the pool man to come and fix the pool pump, scribbled down a sudden idea for a new post, pegged the washing back out when the rain stops, answered the phone twice to non English speaking people trying to sell me things I don’t want, phone wakes Max, make a trip to the supermarket to pick up an extra pack of wipes, milk and something for dinner, unpacked the shopping realising I had forgotten my husband’s shaving cream (the real reason I needed to go today), told Max to get down from the fireplace 30 times, removed him from the bathroom 10 times where he has discovered the toilet and how much fun it is to throw things in, fed Max dinner, cleaned his highchair (3rd time), bathed him, dressed him, bottled him, put him to bed, prepared dinner while discussing with my mother-in-law what gifts we need to purchase for their family this Christmas, gone in to re-settle Max (he consistently wakes about 8pm screaming every night), cooked our dinner, ate it, tidied it up, put the dishwasher on, talked to my husband about his day, told him I love him, had a shower, crawled into bed.

Just line those Oprah episodes up for me to watch, I’m sure there will be time tomorrow.

xx Amanda

Parenting : Cakes & Cookies

Image - Nicole Hill Gerulat

I ordered Max’s birthday cake last Tuesday. In the days before, I flicked through a few cook books, like the old classic ‘Womens Weekly Children’s Cake’  book (circa 1980), and a more current Donna Hay version. But, I decided not to attempt one of my own. I think it’s because I could see into the future, and how the baking event would play out. I would shop for the ingredients, measure them out exactly, following instructions to a T. All would be looking good until it came out of the oven, and it would be one of: A – burnt, B – sunken & hideous, C – dry and stuck in the tin or even possibly D – all of the above.

Trying again, this time considerably more flustered than the last, so not following instructions as well, the result would be even less perfect. I would then call my mum crying saying the cake was a disaster & the party was off. Solving my problem, she would then be up until the wee hours of the morning baking my son’s first birthday cake. Note to self. Am not going to let this happen.

So, while Max was sleeping, I googled ‘kids birthday cake shops’ and tracked down what looked like the nicest cake place I could find. Her name is Maria from Lollipop Cakes & Cookies in Hawthorn. She has some of the most fabulous birthday cakes, ranging from animals to cars and castles. Plus, there wouldn’t be a tear in sight. So I called her and booked a time to choose his cake.

A few days later, Max & I knocked on the candy pink coloured door behind a row of shops. Walking up the stairs, past her kitchen, it smelt like freshly baked cookies and sugar. Yum.  I had definitely made the right decision. She showed us her folio of cakes and they are truly spectacular. I won’t spoil the surprise and tell you what we chose, but I guarantee, you will love it. (I promise to post a picture after the party).

She explained that we could have one of a number of special flavours – fudge & cream, banana & chocolate, and vanilla with strawberries to name a few. Off she went, while Max and I waited patiently on her couch. Upon returning, she handed me a large platter of cake. And before I could even stop him, Max saw that plate, leaped over me like a tiger, grabbed the biggest bit and stuffed the whole thing in his mouth! “No Max!” I shrieked, as slobbery cake tumbled from his mouth onto her white couch.

Maria was so good about it. She could have given me a hard time, rushing off to get a cloth and looking annoyed. But instead, she simply laughed saying that her mum had told her not to buy white couches in a cake shop.

“Well, I think he has chosen the banana & chocolate cake then!” We had to laugh.  

xx Amanda

Parenting : The Holiday

 

My husband and I are currently having a disagreement. Nothing terribly unusual about that, but someone needs to give in, and I damn well don’t want it to be me.

The topic up for debate is holidays in 2011, will we or wont we bring Max? My husband is on the affirmative, and I am firmly on the negative.

I have never been on a proper holiday somewhere with my baby, who is almost now considered a toddler. Some might think this is kind of sad. But for me, it’s just how it should be. Maybe I should to define the word HOLIDAY. The dictionary states it is ‘A day free from work that one may spend at leisure.’ Hmmm. Ok. For me, the reality of spending my days caring for a toddler is quite hard work. To say it was leisurely would just be a flat out lie. I am literally running after Max, who is now crawling and crusing the furniture at speed. I am also constantly watching him, removing hazardous objects from his mouth. He eats everything in his path including rocks, twigs, shoes and toilet paper is a new favourite. There are also infinite nappy changes, 4 solid feeds a day in the highchair, 3 bottles  & 2 sleeps a day. And that’s just the basics. I love Max, and I love being his mum, but I don’t want to do this while I am supposed to be on HOLIDAY.

I have spoken with a few mums and dads who have taken small children on family holidays, and the overwhelming consensus is – a holiday with young children, can’t be called a holiday. It should be called a ‘change of location’. Because, young children don’t suddenly look after themselves just because your paying $500 a night to be on an tropical island. They just keep doing what they normally do. In fact, some parents even claim it can be harder. The kids are in an unfamiliar environment. They don’t sleep as well, waking during the night. And for breastfeeding mums, one friend explained that a time zone change between here and the UK meant her milk supply was out of wack. She had stacks of milk all night, and then not enough during the day. The baby was unsettled because she didn’t have enough to eat. In case you can’t tell, I’m already sold.

My husband is adamant that Max should come with us. Partly because he doesn’t get to spend that much time with him. But also because he doesn’t grasp the full on nature of 24/7 care. He is fabulous with Max, and to his credit, when he is home, he does the majority of the feeding/changing and caring for Max. It’s just that a few hours in the evening is not comparable to all day care, often starting at 5.00am. And if I had to single out the hardest aspect of parenting, it would hands down be its unrelenting nature.

I don’t think I need to define ‘leisure’. For everyone it different, but it usually involves doing things at your own pace. For me, its also doing things that I can’t do everyday. Reading a trashy book or magazine, lying in the sun with a mojito, shopping without having to navigate a pram around clothing racks which are never designed with enough space in between. Sleeping in, going to the toilet on my own and generally giving myself a well earned break.

So after much discussion we have made a deal. Speak to a few friends who have gone on holiday with their toddler. Ask them what it’s like. Was it enjoyable? Would they choose to do it again? AND, If after speaking with them, you still want to bring him, we can talk about it more seriously.

I will keep you posted with the outcome!

xx Amanda

Parenting : Plastic Fantastic

Before giving birth to max, I hated colourful plastic toys. I thought they were cheap and nasty looking, and had planned to have as few as possible in our house.

Pre baby, we had a beige & white colour scheme going throughout the living room, and I simply couldn’t imagine adding rainbow plastic cars & playmats to that. Everything had its place, glass apothecary jars full of shells, bits of delicate coral and linen fabrics. It would have been a crimeto fill the house with loads of multicoloured crap. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t intend for my child to be toyless. Far from it. I wanted him to have everything, except for plastic stuff.

Luckily for me in my pregnant haze, there were lots of lovely looking toys out there on the market that were more friendly to the eye.  Delicate wooden cars in pale blue and natural woods, and expensive French branded playmats in red and blue, made from beautiful soft velour. I bought them all eagerly. Only problem was, once I actually had the baby, I discovered pretty quickly that the vast majority of the time, babies hate pretty looking toys. Really, the moto to go with when selecting a toy for a child is – the uglier, the better.

Max’s uncle likes bringing Max a new toy every time he visits, which is very kind. One time he visited, he came with a small troll looking soft toy, with fluro red scruffy hair and a weird scary face. I have no doubt it was bought at BP or alike on the way here. I eyed the new toy cooly, planning to put it at the back of a cupboard as soon as Uncle Rory left. But what happened to the toy you ask? Well of course, Max loved the hideous thing. And still many months later, crawls around the house with it, like a dog, in his mouth, shaking it violently.

Over time, as mothers tend to do, I changed my tune, and more and more large bright colourful toys appeared. So much so, that when my mum asked yesterday what Max might like for Christmas I had to admit, “well our house pretty much looks like a ‘toys r us’ shop now, so maybe something practical, like a  backpack for daycare or a sand pit for outside. Ahh, how things change.

Max and his buddies also seem to be very taken with homemade toys. A Mount Franklin bottle with some beads in it, taped tight with sticky tape. An empty formula can that acts as a drum, and last night I even shoved some bits of dry pasta into a large M&M’s tub. It’s a hit.

The other toy related phenomenon I have noticed is that more is not always better. As well as ugly toys, babies seems to flock to anything that’s not a toy – and is either breakable, poisonous or just plain dangerous.

A friend with a baby of similar age to Max came to play a few weeks ago, and was in awe of our toy shop like livingroom “ Wow, she said, Ella would love having all these toys!  I need to go shopping and buy her more things to play with. ” I looked across to Max, who was as usual, not playing on his rainbow playmat. Nor with one of his gazillion toys. He was rather attempting to climb into the fireplace, for the 10th time that day, take all the sticks out of the wood basket, and eat them.

xx Amanda

Parenting : Uh-Oh.

I have this favourite new shop called Megan Park on high street, Armadale. The clothes in there are to die for. Beautiful drapey silks & soft cottons, in elegant dresses and tops. The colours are exquisite turquoise, lilacs, intertwined with beige, white and watermelons. There is also lots of stunning detailed beadwork, which I am in love with at the moment. It’s not exactly mummy friendly wear, but for special occasions, it’s great.

As Max’s first birthday is coming up, I thought I would treat myself to a pretty new dress for the party.  So we popped in this morning, and… well… I don’t think I can ever go back.

It started off ok, I selected a few beaded dresses to try, and began undressing. Max hates not being able to see me so started grizzling instantly in his pram. “Why don’t you pop him on the floor with a few of these toys we have?” The sales assistant suggested sweetly? Showing me a few wooden play toys. Seemed simple enough, so I hopped out from behind the curtain in one of the dresses and put him on the floor with the toys. He was stoked, and smiled up at me happily. From the corner of my eye, I noticed a large antique crystal lamp behind the clothes rack nearby, about a meter high and very expensive looking.

I came out in the second dress. It was spectacular on the hanger, but it wasn’t quite right on me either. To dressy for a kids party, the sales lady and I agreed.  Plus, they all seemed to make me look a bit frumpy. As I looked up at Max it was classic slow motion terror. He was heading towards the crystal light at speed. Before I could even process what was happening, he reached to try and climb up it……and….. smash. It hit the floor, crystal smashing everywhere, max now also screaming from the frighteningly loud bang noise. He wasn’t hurt, just surprised.

SHIT. Shit, Shit Shit. This was not a situation I was familiar with. What do I do now? Do I pay for it? But its not even for sale? As Max’s only has one word, which happens to be – Uh Oht, the clever boy knew exactly when to use it. “Uh Oh, Uh Oh.” he said smiling at me.

Credit to the sales assistants at Megan Park, they were so nice about it, saying soothing things such as “don’t worry, we all have kids, it’s not a problem.” And “This has happened before, not the first time.” One girl even said to me on the way out “it livened up the day!” Oh God. All I kept saying was “I’m so, so sorry.” & “Cheeky boy Maxy, not good.”

As we left the store, I called my mum and we laughed about how I had apparently knocked over a giant ceramic tiger in an antique shop at roughly the same age. Great, doesn’t make me feel much better.

I walked back up the road towards the car, it considered it again, should I have offered to pay for it? maybe I should have contributed to a new crystal lamp. What is the etiquette with that? As a newbie to children destroying things in shops, I wasn’t quite sure. Feel free to post a comment and let me know you think!

xx Amanda

Parenting : Rose Tinted Glasses

My husband and I went to a beautiful wedding on the weekend, and there will typically be at least one new pregnant friend there. This weekend was no exception.

I don’t generally give first time pregnant mums the story of my first 6 months, as I think everyone’s experience is so different, and I don’t want to be the one to taint their excitement with potential realities. No one scared me with gruesome stories while I was ‘blooming’, and I spent my pregnancy proudly wearing my rose tinted glasses. However, I am always happy to talk with them about my birth. Because it was a really positive experience.

I had an elective cesarean booked in for the day after he arrived, mainly due to intense anxiety about the birth process. But as luck would have it, my waters broke about 11pm the night before the booked cesar. Everything progressed as normal, I had a spectacularly effective epidural after about 2hrs at about 2cm dilated in the hospital, and 13hrs after it began, Max emerged yelling & healthy. “Textbook labour” the nurses kept telling me the entire time, which was music to my ears. The recovery wasn’t nearly as fab, but that’s another story.

First time pregnant mums seem to always be very focused on the birth rather than the actual concept of ‘having a baby.’ I was probably guilty of this too. But if there was one suggestion (not advice but more strong recommendation), It has to be – take the drugs. Not the futile gass & air or the tens machine. The hard stuff.  Epidural it up, ASAP. After my epidural, I spent the next 10 hours of my 13 hour labour reading NW, Who and Cosmo. No joke. In retrospect, I should have taken a photo as no one believes me. My mum went and bought them from the hospital chemist AFTER the epidural was administered. Post epidural, the three of us (my mum, husband and I) swapped magazines, while glancing sideward’s at each other as we listened to the lady in the next-door labour suite. Clearly, (and I asked the midwife just to make sure) she didn’t have an epidural. She was screaming, roaring as you would imagine someone might if they were being cut into tiny pieces, and then asked to eat their own little bits of flesh. It was chilling.

 As I sat there calmly flipping through my mag, folding the corner on a pretty pair of metallic flats, I felt awful for the lady in the other room. Maybe she was committed to doing it the hard way, like a real woman, or maybe she just liked pain, but I think she didn’t know what she was missing out on. If I had mobile legs (when you have an epidural you can’t walk as you are literally paralised from the waist down – YAY), I would have stuck my head around the corner and told her the situation. It didn’t have to be like this.

So fast-forward to the weekends wedding, as we sipped our drinks, listening to the string quartet play, I began chatting to a newly pregnant friend, and she asked about my labour. I said my speech about my positive labour. I left out the bit about the other lady howling and eating her own flesh in the next-door room. And as many first time mums do, she told me in detail how she hoped to go without drugs. Women were made to do this – it’s a rite of passage. Maybe she is right, but I personally have my doubts.

xx Amanda

Parenting : The Breastfeeding Coin

A friend forwarded me some info on the topic of ‘breastfeeding in public’ yesterday, as a suggested topic for a post. Before even reading it, I thought – No way – I can’t. Not because it’s too controversial or contentious, but because I don’t really have a fixed opinion on the topic. Surely I need a strong opinion to write a meaningful post?

After thinking further, I considered that maybe my lack of definitive views was not as lackluster as it initially seemed. It might be even quite refreshing to read something about the topic that isn’t fierce and heated.

That’s not to say I don’t care about the topic, I do. I breastfeed my son for a short period of time, so I do understand a mothers dilemma. We can’t just sit about the house for the duration of our feeding career because the odd person may be offended if we feed our baby in public. A woman has every right to feed her baby wherever she chooses to, and no one should stop her. However, I can see both sides of the coin.

Feeding is in my opinion a fairly intimate experience. It also involves body parts that society believes (rightly or wrongly) we should keep private (unless we are taking a trip to a nude beach, or visiting our friendly spray tan lady). And while I generally believe we have the right to feeding a baby wherever we like, I can understand why some people do find it offensive. While most mums cover their breasts so well you would hardly even know they were feeding, there are others who are more relaxed. And as I have well experienced while breastfeeding myself, babies pull on and off the boob regularly, resulting in the occasional full frontal view for others nearby. For most people, this is just amusing, as not an issue. But I can understand the odd person, particularly men, who might find this a bit confronting. No one expects to see boob when they are quietly sipping on a latte or wandering around Chadstone shopping centre.

We all have the right to our opinion, maybe my middle ground as a mother is not going to be enough for some. But  for now, I’m just happy to be a floater.

xx Amanda

Parenting : Apple Green Bikini

I have to admit to a new addiction. Well, truth be told, its’ not THAT new. But before the other night, at a friend’s dinner party, I hadn’t realized how common my new addiction actually is. This compulsion is rife, and it’s taking over my credit card.

It’s the world of online shopping. Oz sales, Ebay & Etsy to name just a few.

Before I was pregnant, I thought it was absurd. Why would you purchase something online, when you can’t see it, touch it and try it on??  Fast forward two years, and with a ten month old monster wriggling under one arm, and considerably saggier boobs than before, I think I know why.

It was fabulous timing though. Because before ‘the dinner party’ my husband genuinely believed I had a problem. I was an addict – to the point that he almost wanted me to go and ‘talk to someone about it’.  “You need to stop”, he said sternly. “None of my mates wives spend endlessly online babe. It’s getting out of control.” Rude.  And more to the point – wrong. Although I must admit, like a true addict in hiding, every time a new purchase arrived in the mail, I would quickly rip the package open, snip the tags off, and stuff the offending item into its new home (mostly in my or Max’s cupboard). I would then run and dump the redundant packaging outside in our recycling bin….sigh. All traces were gone, it was as if the item had been there forever.

Fast forward to the other night, and a few drinks later, us girls somehow got onto the topic of swimwear for summer, starting with a simple comment from the host –  “Oh, you should see my new bathers I bought online! Amazing, and they were on sale too…from America!” As she carried them out, we oohed and ahhed over the lovely bright bikini. As silence came across the table, it became apparent that the boys were now listening too. Might have had something to do with a sexy apple green bikini being flung around the table.  

Smiling, her husband pipes up “are all of your wives like this? Or is it just mine?” And with that, the table erupts into raucous stories of their online addicted wives. Each apparently more addicted than the next, “the other day, when I came home from work, I couldn’t even SEE the kitchen bench between the parcels!” . Halleluiah, I’m not alone.

Although I am currently trying to reduce my online spending, there is no doubt it’s an easy and very mum friendly way of shopping. Brightly lit change rooms highlighting cellulite can be avoided & baby tantrums prevented. What happens if the item doesn’t make you look like the skinny & tanned model wearing it on the website? Well in most cases you can just post it back for a full refund. Or worst case scenario, you could re-sell on ebay, often making more money than you had actually paid in the first place.  

So although my husband now realises my problem is not ‘monumental’, I still can’t stop myself from hiding my new purchases when they arrive.

xx Amanda

Parenting : The Pram Code

So, what does your pram say about you? Sounds ridiculous. But apparently, it says a lot.

Before I had Max I had little understanding of this ‘pram code’. I explain it simply as the unspoken stereotyped perception between mothers, that your pram says something about what kind of person, and mother you are.

Pre-baby, I had eyed off the stunning Bugaboo enviously. I watched mums happily walking their babies around leafy streets, in their pretty pram, as I was driving off to another day of same same work.  So when I became pregnant it was effectively a fait a compli, a done deal… I was having the beige bugaboo.

Even before buying the pram, I found resistance in baby shops about the bugaboo. “oh, you want to look at that one… do you?’. I was confused. One shop owner even said bluntly. “look, I will happily sell it to you, as I have some stock of it out back. But I think its rubbish, and overpriced, and I would rather sell you a better, cheaper brand.’ Huh? This was just the beginning.

As I spent the remaining weeks of my pregnancy with other mum friends, each would ask at some point the leading question. “so – which pram are you getting?”. Like a new cub, entering the lion’s den, I would respond naively. The bugaboo. My answer was received with a wide variety of responses. From nodding knowing agreement, to shocked “NO! – you cant be! ”. I was making a statement.

Once the baby was born, I was far too focused on my recovery and new care of my baby boy to worry about my pram. I barely pushed in the first 4 weeks. But once he got to about 3 months, I started to feel uncomfortable. After new mothers group meetings and alike, it was clear that a bugaboo mum was considered (by all other pram owners) as a bit rich and flash. Was I comfortable making such a bold statement to people I didn’t even know?

Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of ritz. Give me the good life and expensive things. So I ummed and ahhed for a few weeks about what to do. I told my husband about ‘the code’, and as men tend to do, he was confused, and advised me worry about more important things. Like if we were ever going to get a full nights sleep again. And when a normal sex life might return.

So, you probably want to hear a bit more about this so called ‘code’. As I mentioned before, its generally unspoken, so my code may slightly differ to the next mums. But from what I have gathered here are just a few of the typical stereotypes…

Bugaboo – Wealthy, design conscious mum, Phil & Teds – Multiple children, time poor mum,Mountain Buggy – Elite yet practical, potentially active mum, Silvercross – Old money mum,Maclaren – Travelling & functional mum, Mothers Choice – The ghetto mum.

From choosing to sell the dream beige bugaboo, to waving it goodbye out my front door, only took about three hours from start to finish. I photographed it carefully, adding multiple angles, wrote a brief description of how ‘new and sophisticated’ the pram was. Then posted it on ebay. Within half an hour, a lady living round the corner had eagerly offered me a quick cash sale, and by the time my husband returned home that evening, we were pramless.

The next day I set off to baby bunting, to purchase a second pram. They had a special on their older model floor stock, which was ideal as the idea of putting together another new pram was unappealing at best. It was a third of the price of the original pram, and after 5 minutes learning how to fold and unfold it, I popped it straight into the boot, fully assembled and off we went. 

I want to be clear, I am not insulting bugaboo mums. Nor does every Mum suit their allocated stereotyped  ‘pram code’. Many of my close friends have the bugaboo pram and they love it. Some are even really down to earth. Maybe they don’t buy into ‘the code’, or maybe they just don’t care. It is hands down the nicest looking pram on the market. It is also the lightest and one of the most compact prams available.  I think for me, I just felt like a phony. All those years of dreaming beautiful prams, perfect motherhood, and once it was here I realised it was about much much more. Dirty nappies, vomit stained carpet, but also first little giggles & smiles, and your own flesh and blood being here, loved and treasured. Enjoying those moments.

This is the real dream. And for me there is not beige bugaboo in sight.

xx Amanda

Parenting : A Topless Summer

Today was one of the first days you can feel summer is approaching. Once it gets past about 25 degrees, and you can leave the house knowing you don’t need a cardi or an umbrella, I just feel happier.

Before we were married, we lived right on bondi beach, in a hideously ugly building nicknamed ‘the pizza hut’ just behind the famous icebergs surf lifesaving club. The vibe down there was quite magic. You were buying milk and bread at coles alongside packs of blonde Swedish & French backpackers and suntanned surfer dudes and it did feel like you were on holiday most of the time.

Summer for us down there seemed to go on all year. Not only is the weather so much warmer in NSW, but living in backpackers heaven gives the place a seriously relaxed atmosphere. Each weekend we would stroll down to the beach after breakfast sometime around 11am, me with my ipod, suncream & hat, and Harry with his book in hand and just lie and watch the beach and people go by. Lunch might consist of a burger at the North Bondi RSL, and we would often cap the day off with a beer/sav blanc somewhere with friends. My now husband may also have had a punt on the horses, sporting games, dogs or whatever else he could find to waste his money on that day.

In sharp contrast, last summer was a complete write off. In fact, im not convinced there even was a summer 09/10. I theoretically know there must have been one, and people have since told me it was even a ‘really nice hot one’, but I gave birth to Max on the 14th December. He is now 10 months old, but the weeks after that are now just a haze of feeding, sore boobs & leaking body parts. For me, it was not that pleasant.  And I as I feel like I have spent the last two years in perpetual winter mode, my skin also being paler than ever, I am extra excited to now notice the weather warming up.

But, priorites have changed. This was comically pointed out to me on the phone this afternoon by my lovely single and childless friend who made a simple comment “Its so nice today, I cant waaaaait for summer…” “Me too” I added eagerly, “what’s so exciting is it means I can start feeding Max in his highchair topless, which will seriously cut down on washing, staining & soaking.” I paused, quiet for a moment before we both burst into laughter. Although I was serious, that comment was kind of distressing. In the past I might have remarked that I couldn’t wait to be able to ‘start tanning’, ‘drinks and a BBQ  outside on a warm evening’, or even just ‘being able to wear skirts and singlet’s again’.  

It didn’t make me sad. I think, it’s was just a little reminder, that although I am about to spend my first (second) real summer with child, I shouldn’t forget who I am and what I love. A happy mother makes a happy baby and all that jazz. So on that note, I might wrap this up, and head outside for a vino.

xx Amanda