The kid is 1!

Dear Leila,

Do I have to stop calling you my baby now? Your Dad has suggested you aren’t a baby anymore but I know better. I know it because you still like to sidle up to me when I’m sitting on the couch and lay your head on my knee for a little rest. And you still like to lay back and let me hold your bottle for you while you hold my finger and your eyes get heavy and relaxed. I know you are still my baby when the only thing that will stop your (fortunately becoming rare again) tears at night is getting to sleep on my chest under the doona in our bed.

But other than these last little vestiges of babyhood you are turning into a real little person. You are talking in sentences (that no one else can understand) and are very sure of what you want. Generally that is access to light switches, your books, to play with the buttons on foxtel, and whatever anyone else is eating. You have become a bit of a flirt and have a quite adorable new mannerism of putting your hands over your mouth in faux surprise. You are so very gorgeous.

You are slightly less gorgeous in the middle of the night these days as you will regularly wake up every 15 minutes for 1-2hours and only go back to sleep with cuddles. Generally Mummy cuddles. But we have had a few good nights so I am hoping things are improving. You have discovered that your bookshelf is next to your bed so quite often when you are supposed to be going to sleep in the day time you are standing up attempting to drag your books into your cot. Usually you just manage to dump them on the floor and then shout in frustration.

You are an outside kid I think. You are happiest at the park, on the deck or generally in the fresh air. Not necessarily in your pram though, being restrained in any way is not your favourite thing (I’m so pleased we are about to go on another long plane ride!). You are particularly in love with the slide and if I lie you down you like to go down without any parental assistance. This week I let you go down a slide and you plopped right off the end on your bum into the sand and looked quite shocked, but then you started giggling and tried to climb back up.

You aren’t walking yet but you will stand up and walk around on anything. You probably could walk more than the few steps you have attempted but you resolutely (belligerently??) resist our attempts to encourage (trick?) you into walking between us. When you don’t want to do something there is absolutely NO way we can make you. You just kerplunk down on your bum and your legs become jelly legs. Fair enough kiddo – you do it in your own time.

You had a lovely 1st birthday party with our Perth family, your Scarf grandparents and a few family friends. Unfortunately your baby friends are all in Sydney and we have had to share birthdays by Facebook. Mummy is endeavouring some crafty activity to make some birthday presents for them – but it is fair to say that craft is not her strong suit… You ate cake at your birthday and I am pretty sure you liked it. You went a little bit bananas (happy bananas!!) and reeled around laughing from person to person. You did take an hour to go to sleep that night though. Fair enough – sh*t was exciting!

You are much clever-er at toys now. You still put everything in your mouth, but you also play with things. Your attention span is still microscopically short though. If something engages you for more than 5 minutes I think we have a winner. So far that is books, opening and closing the door of your car, trying to get the remote controls, pulling folded clothes out of the basket, throwing balls around, umm… anything that has Mum or Dad or Nanna involved.

You are such a fabulous little person and every day I can see hints of the person that you will be. Funny, interesting, amused, strong willed…

We love you little girl xxx

10 months (and 2 weeks…)


(Leila in her favourite part of the house during her grandparents surprise wedding!)

Baby girl there is no stopping you now! I find myself marvelling at how clever you are and how much you are learning and doing, every single day.

You are really getting the hang of pulling yourself up to standing on things. You particularly like the leather couches and you always have a little chew or lick of the fabric on the way up. Speaking of which, you have 4 teeth all the way through and two more on the way. You are a drool monster.

Your crawling is fast and effective, if not particularly elegant. You are showing some signs of wanting to do a proper crawl, but mostly you are happy with your commando hybrid crawl. It is possibly cruel but you do excellent crawling just before your bath when we put you on the cold bathroom floor – no one wants to commando crawl on that!

You are getting quite adventurous with your eating and you much prefer finger food now. If I could bottle your enthusiasm for mandarins I could change the world. Or at least single handedly support the mandarin industry. You like pikelets, bread with vegemite, sweet potato, pumpkin, peas, sultanas (just a few as you like to chew on them for a few hours…), any form of rice cracker, baked sticky porridge bar things, great nanna’s pumpkin scones, bananas… And you love drinking out of your own sippy cup with your own straw.

We showed you some kids tv for the first time this month. I think you were frankly amazed that there is something other than AFL on tv as that is the only time we have the tv on when you are up. You were transfixed and when you give up your morning nap you can bet your bottom dollar I will be engaging the ABC Kids Babysitting Solution.

You are a chatty little (not so little) thing. You have got ‘Mum’, ‘Dad’, ‘Nan’, ‘Pop’, ‘Boo’, ‘Poo’ and a few other words down perfectly. You have nearly mastered ‘Bunny’, ‘Park’, ‘Chicken’ and some others. You know when I am telling you to stop (chewing a book for example) and you look at me, frown and make a sharp ‘nah’ sound at me. Oh dear. I can already get a sense of what you will be like as a toddler.

You have lots of tricks! You have got ‘Pop’ in ‘Pop goes the weasel’ absolutely perfect now. We still love singing it with you. You can say ‘Arrrrrr’ when Daddy asks you how the pirates go. You can also do a mean Monkey noise when we ask you how the monkey goes. You love to play peekaboo with us and particularly like to hide behind a door and then poke your head out and say ‘aaaa Boo’. A bit like mummy has been doing to you for a significant portion of your life really.

You LOVE music. All sorts but particularly nursery rhymes and anything that comes out of a fisher price toy. You bob you head and ‘sing’ along if you can. You love me singing to you (with the notable exception of ’10 in the bed’) and your faves are ‘Row Row Row your boat’, ‘Miss Polly had a Dolly’, ‘If you’re happy and you know it’ – and others but frankly there is a significant part of my brain that likes to avoid thinking about these songs whenever not crucially necessary.

We are living in Perth in your Nanna and Poppy’s house. Without a shadow of a doubt, your favourite room is the library. At least 3 times a day you will make your way in there to pull out all of the books on one of the shelves and flip through all the pages. You don’t care if it is a novel (Leon Uris anyone?) or a picture book. You are quite partial to the book about cats though. You are allowed free access to the books until you start chewing or tearing. You are getting much better in this respect and I don’t usually have to take them off you unless you are tired or cranky. You still love story time too – too many favourite books to mention🙂

We went to the zoo for the first time this month – it would be a slight exaggeration to say you loved it, but you did enjoy yourself. Especially the hot chips at the cafe. And the cheetah, the elephant and one of the monkeys who wanted to steal your cruskit through the glass…

Last time I checked you weighed 11kg and were 78cm tall. 98th percentile for your height and weight – for an 11 month old.

You find so many things amusing and are such a happy little munchkin – we love it when you wake up every morning and come and have a cuddle with us. We especially love that you sleep through the night most nights – what a blessing!

So much more to say but you are the most fabulous, mysterious, clever and loveable little thing that I could ever imagine.

Oops – letter to Leila – 7,8,9 months…

The fact that I haven’t written a post in the last 3 months is testament not to there being a lack of things to write about but rather my inability to sit down and focus for more than 3 minutes. This is not your fault baby girl, you are awesome. But Mummy is just keeping up right now.

We have had lots of ‘life’ stuff in the last few months. Dad got a job in Perth and we decided to make the move. This is excellent because we have lots of family here, but it is also sad because your Dad’s side of the family are in Sydney still. We managed the move without too many tears because we have 3 trips back planned just this year. What this means is that you have had a lot of change for a little girl. You have handled it like an absolute champion, but every now and then you let me know that you would like to just settle down and hang out for a couple of days without doing much. 

You are doing new things all the time. Just last night you pulled yourself up to standing on Daddy’s legs and got yourself into a sitting position to get to a toy. This week you have become a waving bandit. You wave at everything, preferable inanimate things, but sometimes people too. Mostly you like pictures or statues of people. Daddy freaked out the other day when you crawled down the corridor and started waving at the staircase. He thought someone had come in the house, but no, you were just waving at your balinese lady friends in the painting hanging over the stairs. Perhaps our highlight has been that you have learned to say the ‘pop’ in Pop Goes the Weasel. We have it on video and watch it over and over again. We constantly tell you that you are clever. Daddy read that we should be praising your effort instead of when you do clever things. I think he is joking…

I weighed you the other day and you are now 10kg. I think you have slowed down a little in the height department but I don’t really know as it is largely impossible to measure you, especially on my own.

You are still quite a loud young lady but you are more chatty than shouty these days which is nice. Actually I think that you react badly to dairy foods which makes you shout, no doubt because you have a sore tummy.

You have started in the last month to do things specifically for the reaction you will get. You have a very cute winky face that you do when people are laughing at you. You keep doing it to get more reaction and it is extremely adorable. Your daddy and I are so in love with you that it probably wouldn’t matter which face you pulled🙂 You like to go on the swing in the park now. Your commando crawling is expert, but you are starting to lift your bum up to crawl properly – no interest in putting your weight on your hands though yet! You can hold yourself standing for ages now but I don’t think you will be walking in the next month (!).

You are a real thumb sucker these days. If you want a cuddle you stick your thumb in your mouth and look at me plaintively. In fact you will give Daddy and Nan, Granddad and Nanna a cuddle too now so I am not so special. It is a bit embarrassing though when you look at me or when someone says ‘mummy’ and you put your thumb in your mouth and lay your head on my shoe/foot/knee or whatever you can reach. Sometimes just the floor. Still those 3 second cuddles before you notice something more interesting are the absolute encapsulation of the joy of parenthood. It is so delicious.

When you were born your Dad and I told ourselves that we would play you good music and that you would grown up with excellent musical tastes. Ha! You love your nursery rhymes and in fact it is the only thing that will keep you happy on car rides longer than 10 minutes. I have tried other music but as much as I want to gouge my ears out after hearing baa baa black sheep for the 10th time in a day, it is better than your cranky shouting the whole way home. My friend referred to nursery rhymes as baby crack. I can only agree and laugh at my pre baby delusions…

Baby girl you are clever and funny and gorgeous. And you work very hard too (see Daddy!). Nah just kidding, you actually have a very low tolerance for frustration, but that is ok – you are a baby.


What I would buy if I was doing it all again…

A lovely pregnant friend has asked what I would and wouldn’t buy from a nursery checklist so I thought I would write my own list! This is just my opinion of course and you don’t NEED quite a lot of it…


The single best thing I had for the first 4 months was a Bednest – this let me have the baby right next to me and even open onto the bed for the first 4 months. You certainly don’t need it, but I loved it.

You do need a cot too. I bought this one from Incy Interiors – but if I had loads of money I would buy the Leander that goes from baby to bed. This is one of those things that you should spend as much money as you have to spare. I don’t think you need to go crazy (hence I didn’t actually buy the Leander…) but you will be living with it (possibly in your bedroom) for quite a while so make sure you like the look of it. We have discovered that the kid sticks her arms and legs out of the bars and gets stuck so something with a bit less space might be useful…

You need at least 3 sheets (bottom sheets only) and a couple of mattress protectors. They will vomit and poo and wee on it and you will have to change it in the middle of the night. I have seen that Aden & Anais now do cot sheets in Bamboo – that would be great for winter as they are so outrageously soft and delicious. I think I will buy some now.

We had a sound monitor as we planned to keep her in our room till 6 months at least. At 4 months she moved into her own room as we were waking her up and she slept much better. I was worried that she was still so little so I bought a video monitor and it is the best thing. I would probably buy a video monitor straight up. If you are not a worrier then sound is probably fine🙂

We swaddled Leila for the first few months (until she could flip onto her tummy). We swaddled her with blankets to start with and then moved into zip swaddles. Next time round I would skip the blanket phase – it is really hard too! Get them straight into those little worm suits. Woombies are nice and tight for the early days, and Ergo Baby and Love to Dream are great for babies a bit older who you want to get used to unswaddling their arms. After that use sleeping bags. Aden & Anais have great ones! 

I would say though that every baby seems to be different in preference – you might need to try a few – you can often buy second hand on some of the Facebook baby gear sell/swap sites.

Nappy changing

Some people think you don’t need a change table but I reckon you do – but I have a dodgy back. We have one that we are borrowing from my sister in law and it is great. If i had loads of money I would get the one that matches the Leander cot, but I think that the Ikea ones would be just fine for this.

Stock up on nappies before the baby is born, but don’t buy too many newborn ones, we had a box leftover when we had to change to infant ones. Red hot tip – if you are getting lots of overflow/poonami explosions, try a size up! Get some wipes too. Be careful of the loads out there that have fragrance which is quite irritating. I had this great idea that I would use cotton wool balls and water, but it turns out I am even more lazy than I thought. Wipes are fine! Expensive (buy the big boxes), but fine. If you are doing cloth nappies I have nothing but admiration for you. See comment about me being lazy. 

A lovely friend gave us her nappy bucket thing and we have used it so much! This is a thing that you don’t need but makes life easier. The refills are extortionately expensive though so you weigh up convenience and cost I guess. Bags would do the job!

Oh – and Sudocrem! Nappy rash is yucky but easily avoided with frequent changing and a bit of cream here and there.


This really depends on your house. We have a small apartment with an enormous bath (renovating mistake number 1). To start with we used a baby bath with a plug in the kitchen. That was fine as we have a tap that extended. When she got too big we got this bath seat that was honestly the best thing ever. This means we can use our big bath and she is really stable. You could use this for pretty tiny babies I think.

You need a few flannels but you don’t really need any bath products. We used olive oil after the bath as Leila was born with really dry skin and we put QV oil in the bath. No shampoos or wash or anything. Again – avoid fragrances, particularly for delicate baby skin!

You don’t NEED a baby towel that has little ears on it, but it is really cute🙂

One tip for newies – put the towel in the dryer during the bath so it is warm when the baby gets out – that stops it being such a shock and you can avoid a bit of the post-bath trauma!

You might be good at estimating bath temperatures but I am really sh*t at it – this thing from Avent is great.  


You will get loads of clothes, buy as few as you can manage. It is really hard though as baby clothes are adorable.

I think singlets suck – get these guys instead.

We tried loads of different pajama options that allowed for easy nappy changing in the middle of the night. The answer is a two way zip. Bonds ones are ace and they have fold over feet so your baby can grow a bit and still bit in. Pure baby ones are also lovely but a bit more expensive.


Not sure it counts as play, but at about the 8 week mark we bought a baby swing. It was awesome. It allowed us to eat dinner. Nuff said. I got this one for $100 from floor stock at Baby Bunting and resold it for $50 when she gave up on it about 8 weeks later. Try and get a second hand one and let it put your baby to sleep or just chill out… You don’t need it, but there will come a point when you weigh up money and space in your apartment versus 10 minutes to eat with your loved one. 

In the first few weeks there is no playing really. But get an activity mat as they will love to look at the toys and eventually hit them and then eventually grab them and try and eat them and rip them off. 

An expensive buy if you can afford it – a Bubba Mat! Many mums in my mothers group have this and we all have the same one that has the least offensive pattern. Nice and soft for babies who are rolling off their activity mats and starting to crawl!

You will give in and get Sophie the Giraffe. Embrace it. Sophie will cop a lot of punishment. You will probably get it as a gift anyway🙂


I breast fed for the first 4 months exclusively and then started solids and formula for one feed a day. You don’t need anything really if you are breast feeding but a good supportive chair is great. I could never feed in bed because of my dodgy back but loads of people do. Some can even do it laying down. Not me – way too uncoordinated. 

I didn’t get a feeding pillow but have heard good recommendations for My Breast Friend. 

I wish I had started expressing and trying to get Leila to take a bottle occasionally earlier than I did (maybe at the 2 month point?) – I used the Avent pump and I found it excellent. Lots of people recommend the Medela swing which is a lot pricier. We tried LITERALLY every single bottle when we tried to get her to take it. That is another story but in the end we had success with Pigeon bottles, and also Nuk ones from Target.

Also, your boobs will leak when the baby sleeps longer than anticipated or your hear it cry, or you think about it. You can get disposable breast pads but I bought reusable ones that you wash. I think they felt nicer and a bit less waste can’t be a bad thing.

Get fitted for maternity/feeding bras about a month before you are due. I have 5 and have only just started wearing anything else. Myer in the CBD did a great job fitting me as they knew exactly how big I would get. Bonds feeding singlets are great too. And then you can wear a t-shirt over the top.

Travel – car

You have to get a car seat and you can choose between a capsule and then a car seat, or one that converts. We have the convertible option which is fine, but I would probably go for a capsule next time and get the attachment for the pram. For those pregnant now, Australia is in the process of approving the Isofix system. That is heaps better than the current system but we don’t have exact dates. So I would get a capsule so that when the baby moves to a bigger seat Isofix should be approved and you can get one of those.

You should also get a cover for the window as sun in the eyes is another reason the baby will hate being in the car. A mirror on the back of the seat so they can see you will eventually help. A bit. 

Travel – walking

Get a good pram! I love our Mountain Buggy Swift – the bassinet was great when she was tiny and she loves the seat now. It is really compact and fits easily into shops. Check whether it will fit in your car boot! The Baby Jogger prams are also great as they have a one handed fold and the pram folds in half – we have a Baby Jogger running stroller which is pretty awesome. 

Get a stroller caddy also – it helps! Just FYI, none of the drink holders will hold a coffee without spilling it everywhere. You will just get used to pushing the pram with one hand.

Baby wearing

I think baby carriers are a must! I have had 4 through combination of gifts, loans and purchases – the baby bjorn original, the hugabub wrap, the ergo, and the baby bjorn One. 

If I could only buy one it would be the Baby Bjorn One as Leila only likes facing out now and the Ergo and the Hugabub don’t allow that and it is better back support than Baby Bjorn original. I do think that the Hugabub is awesome for tiny babies though. If you have any intention of travelling I would invest in baby carriers for sure. Also it is still earning its keep for us in the witching hour from 5 – 6… Or any grizzly period really.

Baby Bags

Baby bags are crap. They fit almost nothing in them and they are horrible to get things in and out of. Unless you have a Marc Jacobs one of course – they look great! I use a beach bag! 

In your baby bag should be a sub bag of nappy related accoutrement (nappies, bags, wipes, hand sanitiser). I’m currently using this one by Socreate. 


You don’t really need to buy wraps as you will get thousands of them – but the bamboo ones from Aden & Anais are all I would buy if I had another crack.

A few cloth nappies are great for wiping up ‘stuff’ (stuff – poo, vomit, wee..).

Get breast feeding friendly clothes and a few things to wear post baby tummy before you have the baby. I was so grateful I did this as I would have rather gouged my eyes out than go to try clothes on with a tiny baby. 

I couldn’t use nail clippers, I ended up biting her nails.

Have a dummy just in case – you will literally do anything at 2am when you are up for the 4th time and the baby is pissed off at being awake/the way you looked at it/the view.


Wow – that was epic! Those of you with bubbas – what would you add/change/remove?

What I’ve learnt about travelling with a baby (alternate title – ‘Everyone on this plane hates you and your baby hasn’t even cried yet’)

So I have taken the little lady on 4 flights now, 3 with the husband and 1 on my own. We are about to fly again and I thought I would put together a record of what has worked/not worked/might work for plane travel with baby.

What to take:

– A large, easy to get into bag. Ideally with a zip! I have found that typical baby bags are not big enough for travelling. In fact I don’t think they are big enough for every day use either. I bought a fantastic one for about $200 and never once took it out of the house. I used a beach bag. Oh well – you learn! This one looks pretty great!

– A baby carrier. When our little one was tiny I swore by the Hug-a-bub. Now she much prefers facing outward so I have a Baby Bjorn One (much more back support than the old Baby Bjorn). I also have an Ergo which is great. And an old fashioned Baby Bjorn. I have a baby carrier habit. But I only use the One nowadays. These are a must when travelling – particularly on your own. You can carry the baby on the plane and stay standing up as long as possible without killing your arms. Keeping hands free while you try and get yourself sorted out is also very useful. You can’t keep the baby in the carrier when you go through security though so make sure you can get it off easily. Use this for entertainment, walking up the aisles, sleeping – everything!

One alternative/addition that I would consider if I had a spare few hundred $$ is the BabyZen Yoyo stroller which folds down to cabin luggage size. This would be a fantastic alternative to taking your full sized pram and checking it in the hold.

– More nappies that you think you need. This is probably a given but our babe has a delightful habit of poo-ing in moving things – like cars, her jumperoo, and planes. I would also take those disposable changing mats. A few of them. When you change your baby on those tables over the top of the toilets they are really hard and seem quite uncomfortable. If you have a wrap or jumper with you to put under the baby’s head I would recommend it as I think the vibration of the plane is quite strong if your head is right on it. 

– Toys. Small ones but ones that can keep the baby occupied for a while. Don’t be that person who only brings squeaky or musical toys, but you can bet your last dollar I will be bringing squeaky Sophie la Giraffe and the beep car keys. Better than shouty baby I reckon. Make sure you save them up and dole them out one at a time. Go for a walk in between so the baby doesn’t get ‘toy fatigue’. Don’t forget the ‘outside the box’ toys that you can get on the plane – a water bottle, the safety instructions, etc. This trip with a 6 month old I am going to take Sophie la Giraffe, keys, a crackly chewy book, a rattly ball of some description, a soft bunny, her daddy…

– A muslin wrap. I love the Aden & Anais bamboo wraps because they are so outrageously soft. These can wipe up vomit, keep the baby warm, cover your clothes up during feeding, be an emergency bib, be a peekaboo toy, be chewed on by teething babies, be a barrier between the baby and dirty plane surfaces, etc. 

– Drugs. If you have a teething baby take the works –  Panadol, Nurofen, Bonjela. Not to use all at once of course, but you just never know. 

– Separate handbag. I personally carry a leather handbag that fits in all my stuff separately as I find wallets, phones and keys fall to the bottom of the baby bag never to be found again. I can fit an iPad mini and a book, a cardigan or wrap, my phone charger and a bottle of water in here no worries. If you were an organised person you would probably put in an extra top or something. I prefer to live dangerously.

– A spare set of (warm) clothing. It is cold on planes. You baby is reasonably likely to get poo/food/excessive vomit on itself. You could free style some sort of sarong type outfit with the wrap you cleverly brought with you, but you will get weird looks.

– Bottles/dummies/chewy things. Babies can’t equalise their ears as easily as adults so give them something to make them swallow frequently during take off and landing. This could be breastfeeding, bottle feeding, a dummy – whatever floats your boat. If breastfeeding you have to time your run, don’t start until the plane is taking off. I once had a fully fed baby by the time we even got to the runway. Oops. Similarly the plan will be descending for about 40 minutes, wait until the seatbelt sign has been turned on – and even later than that if you can.

What to do:

– Have a mindset that you are going to entertain your baby the whole trip, then any sleep and spare time you get is a bonus. 

– Do whatever it takes to keep the baby happy. All the rules about food and toys and screens are out the window. If my husband wants to bring the remote control or use his iPhone to entertain the baby – go for gold! If I could pull her favourite power point off the wall I would do that. Hey maybe there is a product in that… 

– You can pee with a baby in a baby carrier.  Or even sitting on your lap. Just saying’… 

– In a similar vein, if you are on your own and may have to take a baby to the bathroom (no friendly strangers or hosties around) then a skirt is a lot easier to manage in the bathroom. I prefer a jersey maxi dress myself.

– Engage with those people who want to tell you how cute your baby is. They can play peekaboo with the baby for 5 minutes and you are 5 minutes closer to your destination and your first cocktail/red wine/prozac. 

– Try and get a basinette if your baby is little. It is really easy to travel with a sleeping baby and you can watch those episodes of Keeping up with the Kardashians documentaries that you have missed. 

– My doctor told me that she wouldn’t recommend drinking a glass of wine just before getting on the plane and breastfeeding. But she wouldn’t NOT recommend it either…

– Some people will scowl at you. Smile back. You have a beautiful baby to cuddle and they probably have a teenager.

– If the baby cries the whole way, do some calculations of what percentage of your holiday the trip is. Doing that maths should take you a while and you will be closer to landing. (oh, and it might give you some perspective to help get through).



I’ve heard a bit about the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and as much as I loathe the acronym, I am the poster child. I was the kid who didn’t want to have a proper shower in case something happened and I missed it and just ran my hand under the water to trick my Mum. And now I am the person who does 100 things really half arsed just so I can try everything. I did a season of triathlon because I really hoped that out of the 3 legs I would a natural at one of them. Turns out not so much so after an expensive lesson I went back to just running which I am crap at but quite enjoy. I don’t really mind being that person who wants to try everything, I crave constant novelty and change, but there are definite downsides to it. Mostly that I don’t do anything ‘properly’ and I always seem to have unfinished business. And it is quite hard to focus on 10 things at once. 

Because i know this about myself, in the last few years my goals have been to not set goals but focus on intentions. This is quite extraordinary for someone who is a uni trained executive coach (all about goals) but when you start looking more deeply at intrinsic motivation I found that I was probably setting some goals that were not really set for the right reasons and I had no chance of achieving. Blah blah lose 20kg, clean the house, run more marathons etc etc. So last year my intention was ‘less’. Do less. Have less. Buy less. Eat less. Earn less. Just kidding. But you get the drift. How did I do? Truly sh*thouse. Within 12 months we got married, bought a house, renovated said house (well, we paid someone to renovate said house), I got a new job in a completely different field (same company), got preggers, travelled, lost a few kgs, put them all back on, spent loads of money, etc. I have been intending to meditate for no less than 5 years and have probably racked up a total of 5 x 5 minute meditations in total.

This year I had no intentions and set no goals. And wouldn’t you know it, everything is starting to get simpler. I know this is probably because I have a baby, the good fortunate to be able to stay home with her, and all my energy is focussed on her. But jeez it is nice. I found myself sitting on my couch with a clean(ish) house and looking out the window at an overcast sky and felt an incredible sense of contentment. Firstly because the baby was asleep and frankly that is always awesome. But also because for possibly the first time in my adult life I didn’t have to be anywhere or do anything other than sit where I was and do what I was doing. There is plenty I could have done (I have started studying something because I found myself with an hour to spare and god forbid I not be overcommitted – you could call me a slow learner) but I didn’t feel compelled to do it. And I didn’t move. And that is what I think the Joy of Missing Out (JOMO) is all about. 

Letter to Leila – 6 months



Dear Leila,

You are 0.5! I can’t believe it. Surely you are still my tiny bundle? HA!!!! You are a growing girl now. This month you hit 8kg and who knows how many cm. You are wearing size 1 pants though so I think it is many cm… 

The biggest, most life changing thing that happened this month was that you started sleeping through the night. Not 5 hours through the night, 12 hours – 7pm till 7am. Woah. I have not caught up with you though and neither has your Daddy. He and I wake a lot during the night but we can go back to sleep. I had a 6 hour sleep the other night – that was a record. We like to watch you on your video monitor. You roll around into all corners of your cot. Once I came in to find you face out at the end of your cot, your legs poking through the bars and your mouth wrapped around one of the (metal) bars.

You have a complicated relationship with people other than your Dad and I. You love your Nannas, but everyone else – who knows. Sometimes you love people and sometimes you screw your little nose up at them. In fact screwing your nose up and pursing your lips has become your ‘go-to’ expression for anything you find distasteful – hunger, parsnips (actually that is screwing your nose up AND vomiting such is your displeasure), strangers, mummy sometimes, being tired, teething. Yes teething. Your tooth hasn’t come through yet but I can see it under the gum and you are seriously cranky about it. Everything you put in your mouth seems to hurt but you compulsively chew nonetheless. Poor little monkey.

You have been doing some awesome laughing lately – particularly for your Nanna, but also for me if I work hard. And sometimes randomly like in the Doctors office before your 6 month injections. Then you stopped laughing but that was predictable. A quick verse of ‘Ole Macdonald had a chicken’ got you back smiling again and forgetting the horrific violation of trust that I had just subjected you to. 

You are seriously alert this month. You are really playing with things. It is not all about chewing on things anymore and I am constantly surprised by the things you can do by yourself. You can sit up to play with things now which is cool. You still topple over when you get tired or distracted though🙂

And how could I forget your commando crawling! It is amazing. Every metre is hard won as you drag yourself across the floor, but every day you get a bit more efficient. You can cover quite significant amount of distance but I am not too worried about you getting into too much just yet, you aren’t very fast… 

It is still our favourite part of the day to get you out of bed in the morning. You are so happy to see us. We always do it together as neither of us want to miss out on those first smiles and the frantic kicking and waving and rolling that ensues. When your Nanna was here she got the biggest smiles at wake up time.

We love you pumpkin xxx

Good Advice For Someone Like Me – Leonard Cohen

behind the pain
someone is rejoicing

behind the torture
there is love

who’s going to buy
this bullshit

if you don’t become the ocean
you’ll be seasick
every day.


I haven’t heard this one before but I came across the last line on a Facebook post from Sarah Wilson . If you don’t become the ocean you’ll be seasick every day. It is very Buddhist really – at the heart of every struggle and every pain is attachment, and the resulting resistance. There is nothing that is absolute, there is only perception.

This all sounds terribly melancholic (it is Leonard Cohen after all) but it isn’t. I just liked it.


2 things I’m loving right now…

1. Holly Throsby’s kids album – ‘See!’

In our house we have had the luxury of many years of being music snobs. Going to indulgent indie gigs and staring at our shoes or jumping erratically to Iceland’s finest exports (hello Jonsi…). But since the kid was about 4 months old she has started to be very clear about her musical preferences. And those preferences are not Die Antwoord – XP€N$IV $H1T (NSFW kids) or old school wu tang. Give the kid a bit of Twinkle Twinkle or Old Macdonald and she is happy as f*****g old Macdonald’s pig in sh*t.

So I was excited to find that there is actually a bit of an industry of non-horrendous kids music out there. I am just getting started exploring, but have discovered this one by Holly Throsby and love it. She has a beautiful voice (goes without saying) but this record is catchy, appealing to the small one, and not repellent to me. In fact I have caught myself singing ‘Hello Tiger, hello tiger, gosh it’s nice to meet you’ more than once. I also love the song ‘Can I do that too?’ and feel that it is prescient of about 1 year into the future – ‘whatever you are doing, can I do that too??’…

Highly recommended and also think it would be great if you need a sleepy time record as it is pretty chilled out. We lay on the floor at about 5.30pm (after dinner and before daddy gets home) and have a good time singing and rolling around.

2. Reddit – parenting subreddits

Now I was a bit late to the reddit bandwagon. I used to look at it every now and then to see the funny pictures of french bulldogs or something horrific on wtf that Ben would NEED to show me. But I didn’t get my own log in until before Leila was born. Now however I love it. There is truly a subreddit for any of my strange and varied interests.

But specifically I have been interested in the parenting ones. There are the mainstream ones: Parenting (which is a bit preach-y), Mommit (which is a bit whingy), Beyond The Bump (getting better) and my personal favourite BreakingMom .

There is other cool stuff like IAMA also which is where people put themselves out to answer questions from the general reddit population. Sometimes it is famous people but sometimes it is just people who have done something interesting.

I used the Alien Blue app on my phone to read these and found them a godsend during late night feeds. The Americans are up and about in our night so there was always plenty of content.

Letter to Leila – 5 (and a bit) months



In the tradition of Dooce and Fat Mum Slim I decided to try and articulate with a reasonable frequency what is happening in the life of Leila, and Ben & I, so that we have a record of it.

I can’t attempt to catch up on all the happenings and transformations up to this point. Lets just say that you have changed our lives in a permanent, extreme and generally lovely way. It is incredible to realise just how self centred we were able to be before you were born. Want to go out for dinner? Sure! Want to sit in the park and drink a bottle of Veuve? Sure! There is very little spontaneity to our lives any more, and I have never spent so much time in the house, but my goodness you make up for it.

It is tempting to talk about how magical the experience of parenthood is, and it absolutely is, but I want to be real. Truthfully the last month has been rough. You decided at 4 months old to stop those lovely 6 hr and 7 hr stints of sleep and need feeding 2-3 times per night. This made mummy not much fun to be around. But we got a sleep consultant, we started solids, we got through the month and lo and behold, you are sleeping from 7pm till 7am without needing us. Your Daddy and I haven’t quite caught up with you so we are often awake at 12-3-5 having a chat about how amazing it is that you are asleep, or that you are waking up and PUTTING YOURSELF BACK TO SLEEP! This is unbelievable!

You are very vocal at the moment. No words but lots of shouting and gurgling and laughing. You have a new sound every day and once you find a noise you like you keep making it until I want to beat myself around the ears. When we do baby talk to you, you crack up laughing. I maintain that mumumumumumum is your favourite but I am fairly sure dadadadadadadadad will be your first words.

You are very smiley at the moment. Especially since you started sleeping more at nighttime. You will smile at strangers, and whereas your Dad used to have to work for smiles and laughs, you will smile as soon as you see him now. That makes me a bit mushy. My favourite time is probably when you wake up, or when we have to wake you. You keep your eyes squished closed for a while but if I start to sing you one of your favourite songs (Old MacDonald for instance) you start to smile and then look for me or Dad. Once you find us the smile spreads across your lips and cheeks and is so big that your nose and eyes wrinkle up. You have a particularly distinctive smile that involves a huge wide open mouth. This often turns into you trying to eat us if we are very close. I think that must be an expression of extreme love, right??

We have just bought a running pram so that we can keep exercising while we take you with us. You don’t get up till 7am though so not sure Daddy will be doing much running with you. I am trying to get a bit fit again though so our 4pm walk is going to become a 4pm walk/run. I am definitely looking forward to it not being so hot, 4pm at the moment is like midday. Sydney is so humid!

You are sleeping in your own room now, and we watch you on a video monitor. It is incredible the positions you can get into and stay asleep. But we are taking a non interventionist approach now – if you are sleeping then that is great.

You can sit up for a few minutes at a time now. You can’t get into sitting by yourself but once you are up you are pretty stable. You are so much more interested in playing with your toys now. You don’t just automatically put them into your mouth either. You hit things and press things and bang them around. It is fascinating watching you change and learn. You have a jumperoo activity centre that you are in love with. We only let you in it a few times a day for a few minutes at a time but you go bananas every time – especially if Daddy and/or I sing or pretend to bounce along with you. That smile :) 

You aren’t very good at holding your weight on your legs yet – we are seeing a physio about your wonky right foot. You are very strong everywhere else though so you will catch up. 

You are an incredible eater for a 5 month old. Actually I think you are probably eating too much – but I figure if you want it, it must be ok. From vege purees, to mashed avocado, to fruit purees and baby porridge – you would now much prefer a meal of solid food than a breast feed. You need the fluid though so we persevere. You are very cute to watch sipping water out of a cup. I am not sure how much gets in but we keep doing it for our own amusement! 

You are tiny to us, but pretty big compared to babies your age. You are chubby, and really long. I haven’t had you measured in a while but you were the length of a tall 7 month old when you were 4 months old. Hopefully you will be lovely and tall like your Dad.

I am getting to terms with not being able to do all the things I could do before you were born. For the first few months you and I would be out and about loads and you would sleep in the pram. You would probably still do this but you are happier and sleep better when we spend more time at home. So that is what we are doing. I have enrolled in some online study – more on that later – to keep me busy during your sleeps and not just watching tv or eating. 

We love you so much and can’t believe our luck at having such an incredible (and strong willed, funny, gorgeous) daughter. We can’t wait to see what the next few months brings!

Love Mum x