Tag Archives: infant

A hard heart makes for a hard life

Squishy heart image

My babies are both crying. One is having a meltdown and one is crying in sympathy and hunger.

It seems trivial to me that coming inside from the deck could cause such a stir but here we are living the disappointment and emotion of it. My natural instinct would be to tell my toddler to calm down and just do as I ask while I go pick up my infant for a calming cuddle.

What I actually do is crouch down and offer my arms to my toddler. My embrace is refused. Okay then. I stay down and empathise, “Yes I know it’s hard to come inside with me when you want to be on the deck. It makes you upset hey”. I look into her eyes and see a little child having a big problem. “I love you bubba”. All attempts at nose wiping would be futile at this point so I stay still and wait. She runs around the kitchen. I wait, while offering words of reassurance. I go back onto the deck and retrieve three toys and deliver them. No? Alright then. After a fair bit of hoo ha, there is an opportunity for connection. I pick up my toddler and give a cuddle. There is a fair bit of wriggling involved, then my darling comes good. The little face is wiped. I put some music on, cuddle and breastfeed my infant. The storm is over and we are back on track. Phew.

If I had gone with my first reaction, I could have ended up rousing on an upset toddler who has to calm down by herself while she watches her mother rock and nurse her sibling. She would receive no understanding for her big feelings or problems. They would essentially be dismissed, even though they are big issues in her world. She would then be taken to play school where she has a big day, most likely without any sleep. She would come home tired, needing connection at a time when infants are renowned for needing a fair amount of mummy time and physical affection. You can picture the rest. Sure, my infant would have had her immediate needs met, but there are two babies in my house.

A soft heart creates a safety net for the people around me, especially the little ones. Being a gentle place to fall, having a ready embrace and offering tenderness is my key to a happy life. Oh, it’s not all beach balls and sunshine all the time at our place, but practice makes perfect. The more moments where we choose a soft heart builds a better way of being. A hard heart makes for a hard life, for everyone.

So this is my commitment to myself. Offer myself a soft heart. Then everyone else  in this crazy web of life with me will feel the love and be better off for it.

Is it a bird, a plane, no, it’s a whistling kite!

Fully adjustable and reversible sun bonnets using classic styling and contemporary, natural fabrics
Fully adjustable and reversible sun bonnets using classic styling and contemporary, natural fabrics

The Whistling Kite has been industrious of late. I have been busy with an infant on one arm, a sewing machine on the other and a toddler wrapped around my legs. Hooray! Welcome to the official launch of the Whistling Kite Collective. I am very excited to open my Etsy store www.whistlingkite.etsy.com

Square

My store is loaded with some beautiful sun bonnets to suit newborns to children of around 3 ½ years of age. I have also loaded my sun bonnets page with images of my latest custom orders- the “House Party” and the “Super Deluxe”. The jewellery range is coming soon- earrings for mum and a matching bonnet for her baby!

Fancy floral and indigo, stretch denim
Fancy floral and indigo, stretch denim

This blog is being loaded with bushwalk reviews, the Journey of Wellness and a More Natural Life series of posts. The Journey of Wellness series covers my attempts to love myself and those around me completely, without judgement or condition. The More Natural Life series examines how to use nature’s gifts to create a better life.

Cedar Creek is perfect for water play
Bush walk reviews, toddler adventuring and more…

As many of you know, I am a botanist, so there will always be an appreciation of beautiful plants and the natural world. I also love to cook, so frequently upload sweet and savoury recipes.

There are some ultra beautiful locations being reviewed soon- stay tuned!
There are some ultra beautiful locations being reviewed soon- stay tuned!

Want to make contact? whistlingkitecollective@gmail.com

Want to like us on Facebook? www.facebook.com/whistlingkitecollective

We are holding a market stall on 31 August in Brisbane, Australia. The Mathilda Market is a boutique baby, parent, home market with limited run, handmade products. I will have an amazing introductory market special available.

Thank you so much for your support. I really appreciate it. I would love it if you could share widely, tell everyone you know about the Whistling Kite Collective and send me all your good luck vibes!

xx

How we rock the forest

You don't need to pack the kitchen sink when rockin' the forest with small children.
You don’t need to pack the kitchen sink when rockin’ the forest with small children.

We love bush walking as a family. We adventure almost weekly. It brings us together and provides for beautiful shared experiences. Our standard kit is shown below. Various items are added to subtracted depending on the conditions and duration of the walk.

Ergobaby soft carrier
What would I do without this carrier? It is by far my best ever baby purchase. Mine has a handy zip pocket that can carry a nappy, mobile phone, small camera and keys. Our infant is carried in this. She can breast feed, sleep, chat and admire the surroundings. Of course, she wears her Whistling Kite Collective bonnet for enhanced bushwalking comfort!
ergobaby

Kathmandu framed carrier
Our lovely toddler can generally walk great distances for a little person, but sometimes she needs to be carried for a rest.  This carrier is good, but there are many on the market. This carrier also has a zipped storage area that can carry most items required for a half day walk. She is up high and can see over Dad’s shoulders.
kathmandu carrier

Insulated lunch box
Healthy snacks and more substantial lunch items.  For a half day walk we usually take sandwiches, fruit, crackers, natural yoghurt, crackers, assorted dried fruits and nuts; packed with an ice brick.
lunch box

Melobaby nappy change wallet.
There are lots of brands available, but I love this as it has removable microfibre change mats. I holds four disposable nappies, plastic bags for used nappies, small bottle of hand sanitiser, wet wipes and a spare flannel cloth. Now we have two children, we use disposable nappies for bushwalking.

Camera
We have a Sanyo video and still camera, plus the cameras on our phones. My Ergobaby carrier pouch holds this camera for quick access. I find that my Nikon DSLR is too large for on-the-go photography when we are with our children. It only comes on particularly scenic walks or when I know flowers are on display.
camera

One pair of spare pants for each child.
If we are beach or creek walking, then I pack a whole replacement outfit!

Water- two bottles

30 + Sunscreen
This is applied prior to our walk and we carry some with us. Its absolutely essential for young children in Queensland, Australia.
sunscreen

Small microfiber travel towel.
images

If I am taking the girls for a walk by myself our walks are shorter and our kit is very minimal! We always have suitable footwear for each adventure…

All you need is love, really?

Is love all we need?
Is love all we need?

Can you relate to this? I have been up for what feels like days. I am covered in milky vomit, there is a persistent smell of poo and I simply cannot find the source (maybe it’s up my nose), the house is in disarray, dinner is half cooked, both little people are asking for me to fulfil their needs, I haven’t showered today. There are dust bunnies against the walls that I will soon have to name if they don’t meet the vacuum.

Then my toddler starts “acting out”. I know it’s to get my undivided attention. I know she has big feelings and needs connection. My infant needs some mummy love. I feel upset, overwrought and frustrated. All I feel like doing is opening the nearest door and running up the street like a screaming banshee.

I went to a parenting seminar that basically instructed me to use a naughty spot, followed by a time out if my child didn’t comply with my requests. This didn’t work for me. What works for me is love, just love. I know it sounds unbelievably simplistic. When I want to run, or cry, or get angry, I am teaching myself to take a deep breath and give love. My goal in the moment is to get through it with empathy and love. My goal for each day is to go to bed with a happy heart.

You know what? I can see the difference my unconditional love makes to my children. They open up, relax, share more of themselves with me, tell me things, “act out” less, want to make me happy and sleep better.  When a moment gets a bit too tense the following is working for us at the moment:

  1. We breathe like Puff the Magic Dragon. Big breathe in through the nose and a slow exhale out through the mouth. In the early days we practiced this when we were all happy and relaxed. I have noticed that my toddler is now doing this herself without my prompting. It works for me too and we all feel better.
  2. I get down to their height and tell my children I love them.
  3. I offer some physical affection. I say “Can I please cuddle you?” Note the language of me giving love, not requesting it…
  4. I take it easy on myself and prioritise for a better moment. I have been known to call their father at this time and say “What would you like for dinner, thai or fish and chips?”

Not all my parenting challenges can be solved with a cuddle and a chat, but genuine interest and love gets me most of the way there. The only way I can give unconditional love to my children is to give it to myself. Being a parent is challenging. Some days I approach it with zen-like mastery, others I have to remind myself to breathe. Yes, I am flawed, but I try to remind myself that my family deserves the best of me. I must love myself (more on how I am trying to achieve this in the Journey of Wellness series- stay tuned). So really, I think maybe yes, all you need is love…