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Mini Me

Mini Me

Travelling With a Toddler

As you read this we have just arrived overseas with our toddler in tow. It took us a marathon 30 plus hours of travel – including stopovers – something I would highly recommend for any parents planning on traveling with a toddler.

When I was telling people that we were going to Europe with our toddler we faced a lot of mixed reactions. Most people were questioning why we would travel with a toddler? People raised the disruption of said toddlers schedule (what schedule?) and the inability to do the fun things we would be able to do on our own.

My thoughts were – “no one was there when we made the baby so why should we expect other people to look after our creation so we can travel?‘. Plus, hubby and I are grown, so the idea of partying throughout our whole holiday just isn’t as appealing as it was in our twenties. Of course, we will sneak in one or two date nights  – we are only human – but we are happy to have moved past that partying stage.

Back to traveling with a toddler – when it comes to parenting, and to a lot of people’s surprise, I am a person that just goes with the flow. I learned pretty early on that in order to manage any situation that arises you need to have a rough plan and resources at hand and just deal with what’s in front of you – there and then.

From my recent personal experiences, these are my top tips for traveling with a toddler:

  1. In your hand luggage have at least two changes of clothes – you never know what will happen up in the air.
  2. One can never have too many diapers. I packed one diaper for every hour that we traveled – seems excessive but you don’t want to get caught out!
  3. Pack snacks and food that your toddler is accustomed to – because, well, we all know how unappealing plane food is.
  4. My little one can be fussy about the bottle she drinks from so I made sure I had her favorite bottle/s on hand to keep her hydrated throughout the flight.
  5. Carry familiar toys and books that will keep them entertained – I found that stickers and play dough were a big hit!
  6. If you can, travel later in the day – this will help to line up nicely with their sleep routine, especially as you transition across time zones.
  7. Arrange a stopover (2-3 hours max). During this time let them run around the airport so you can all stretch your legs and consequently reduce the toddler’s energy.
  8. Create rapport with the stewards – they will be your lifelines – i.e. they’ll help to heat up your food and provide extra snacks and toys for your little one.
  9. Make sure that when the toddler sleeps you sleep, otherwise you will be in a world of pain.
  10. Just relax – kids sense anxiety and tension and mirror it. If you take it easy during the flight they will too. Calm mum, calm toddler they say.

Truth is, I am very lucky to have an easy going, up-for-anything kind of toddler – but if you have any other tips that would help other parents who travel with their toddler please, share in the comments section.

IamTinashe

Mini Me

Things I Have Learnt Living With A Toddler

When I look at my daughter now I can’t believe that this time last year we were clapping at the fact she could sit by herself – back then it seemed like quite the achievement.

She has grown so much and these days she is Miss Independent – eating, walking, and running unaided, and her vocabulary is growing broader with each day that passes.

Can I just say – Hi five if you’re a new parent! You’re going a great job! Or perhaps you’re still enjoying uninterrupted sleep, and will have kids one day. Or your kids are grown and you are just reading this to relive the experience through someone else’s eyes. Either way, I am glad that you are here.

Living with a toddler can, at times, be very challenging but all so rewarding! So let me share the top ten things I have learnt living with a toddler.

  1. Try moving them when they don’t want to go to said place. It’s impossible! My daughter just turns her legs to jelly. Moving her only makes her drag her legs on the floor. To move her I have to physically pick her up.
  2. You can be laughing one moment – really enjoying each other’s company – and next moment a tantrum is in full effect. It’s hard to comprehend the full range of feelings that this little person can experience. i.e. giving her a pink spoon when she wanted the green spoon can set her off. Don’t laugh at her – I made that mistake once- it only makes things worse. Haha
  3. Regular Sleep and food are necessary – without them you will be dealing with a little monster. Think this goes for bub and mum really.
  4. They will push boundaries. It’s subtle at first but every now and again you will find yourself saying, stop, no, don’t – regularly!
  5. They love a good song. Turn on a tune – any tune – could be a Good Guys commercial – they will dance or start waving their hands in delight.
  6. Silence is scary. It’s almost certain they are up to something naughty. No, you’re not paranoid.
  7. When I go grocery shopping alone it feels like a mid week vacation. Hear a child crying – a similar cry to your child’s in aisle six – and you just about have a panic attack – “how did they find me?”
  8. Household appliances – they are no longer just for the invented use, they will find ways to use them as a toy. i.e. now that she can open the fridge on her own, I have to close the fridge 50 times in a row because she likes to look at what it in the fridge, point at random things and say “more”. Cute the first time – not so much the 50th time.
  9. You sit back and reminisce about all those times you needed to set an alarm to wake up in the morning. Let’s all take a moment to laugh.
  10. All above are true but I would do it all in a heartbeat for the love, hugs, kisses and joy that the little princess gives us.

Have you had the toddler experience? I would love to about it…

For those wondering Tasima’s outfit details are For those wondering Tasima’s outfit details are Denim Shirt – Cotton On, Tutu – Kardashian Kids Collection, Shoes – Zara.

IamTinashe

Mini Me

Growing Pains…

It’s not easy being a working mother. If you fail to prepare you literally prepare to fail.

One of the best things we did was to enrol our baby into a day care before she was even born. Now that it’s time for her to go to day care, we are well ahead of the pack. No stress. No drama in our life – just the way we like it.

Two weeks before she was supposed to start day care, we organised an orientation. There’s that HR side of me coming out. This basically involved us taking her to day care for two, three, and four hours at a time. One day we went in the morning, the next day during lunch and the next day mid to late lunch and it just kept rotating. We hoped that this would ensure a seamless transition into day care.

Without tooting our own horn this was ingenious because we got to know the teachers and they got to know our baby girl. Our baby got to experience day care whilst knowing that her safety blankets (dad, mum and grandma) were just nearby.

Fast forward to today and its hard to believe that she has been going to day care for over two weeks now. It feels like I’ll blink and she’ll be graduating from high school – things are happening so quickly!

The night before our baby’s first day at day care I hardly slept. I kept waking up, wondering how she was going to cope all by herself in this new environment. I questioned whether it was a good idea for me to return back to work. Maybe I should have just stayed at home with her.

tasi

My first bout of mothers’ guilt.

It is difficult to leave your child in the care of strangers for the first time. You worry about if they will get enough attention and proper treatment. Will they change her diaper enough? What if she doesn’t eat? Will they give her enough water to drink? Will she be able to sleep without me there? It sounds ridiculous as I write this let alone read it again, but the feelings were real.

My second bout of mothers’ guilt.

These are all natural and perfectly normal feelings according to other working mothers who have placed their children in care. I have said this once and I will say it again, support from other women is a wonderful thing. Speaking to women in the same boat has me prepared mentally and emotionally – it’s made it easier to cope and reassure myself that we had made the best decision.

Even with all the effort we had put in I was still very anxious.

The morning of her first day at day care she was all laughs and giggles – excited that she was up early and going somewhere. I just hoped she wasn’t going to be in for a nasty surprise.

Once she was settled we said our goodbyes, gave each other our last hugs. As I walked out the door, she began to cry, you know that ugly cry – fighting her carer so that she would release her so she could come to me. I continued walking but it was at that moment my heart sank to my ankles. I continued walking and turned the corner without making eye contact – just as the books and articles I read had said to do.

I waited a few minutes and looked back – she was fine.

Later on in the day I called the day care to check up on her. I held my breath as I waited for an answer. They let me know that she had settled well, eaten and was fast asleep.

I guess the point of this post is that, as our kids grow it’s harder for us, the parents, to let go. We find it hard to accept that this person is becoming more and more independent and carving their own way in the world.

With all the feelings I experienced leading up this experience, I am mostly proud that our baby adapted well to change. May she continue to always welcome change.

tasima

 

Mini Me

As Good As It Gets…

The below image always makes me smile. You see a mother looking at her daughter in appreciation of God’s creation whilst the daughter is completely unfazed. It looks like I could literally eat her up. If you are a parent, you know what I am talking about. My heart literally jumps out my chest with joy. Which is funny because she unlocks a different side of me – I often find myself watching her as she sleeps and I give her at least thousand kisses and squishy hugs a day. I didn’t think I would be the type, but I just can’t help myself.

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The truth is I am obsessed with her – I love being her Life Ambassador as she explores the world and learns new things. Naturally, as a lover of fashion and clothes, in general, one of my favourite things to do is to dress up my mini me. I absolutely love it – her? Well, the jury is still out. For now, though she has no choice but to just go with it. I am taking advantage of this time because I know there will come a time when she wants to dress herself or worse still when she thinks that I have no style and my suggestions are horrid. I rebuke that.

On any given Monday to Friday baby girl can be found in “lounge wear’ because it allows her to learn how to walk, crawl about and explore in comfort. Plus I work full time so the weekend is the only time when I can truly make an effort to dress her up.

Our little diva has a wardrobe that I think most adults would be jealous of – dresses, coats, jeans, shoes, boots – you name it, it’s there. I guess she is fortunate to be the first baby in the family so naturally, she is being spoilt rotten. Who doesn’t like to buy baby clothes?

Tasima at her current age doesn’t really understand the fuss, especially when I squeal with delight at the outfit combination I am going to dress her in. Regardless, whatever she wears she owns it – I can’t even pretend to be surprised – after all, she is my daughter!


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Mini Me

Dressed Up In Love…

Say hello to Tasima! My beautiful baby girl. I am obsessed with her. Like any new parent I can’t believe she is mine, all mine!

*giggles uncontrollably*

You have read about Tasima here, here and here – so its high time you meet her right?

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Look at that smile and tell me it isn’t infectious? Quick facts, Tasima likes regular and I mean regular feeds otherwise she gets hangry. She is not about the dirty diaper life, so be sure to keep a close eye on that otherwise she will not hesitate to give the side eye – True Story. She is also a fan of naps and lots of them through out the day. Perhaps thats the secret to her natural beauty.

Before Tasima was born her wardrobe was full of gorgeous goodies purchased by our amazing family and friends. When I pull out my camera or even just my iPhone to take a picture or a selfie her face just lights up and she gives these amazing gumless smiles. With the love of the camera its clear that she is my daughter. Honestly I don’t blame her because the camera loves her.

Tasima wears outfits from Pumpkin Patch, a brand that I honestly had not heard of until I had Tasima. Now that I can see that they have all the latest trendy items for my tiny tot, she pretty much has all the “must have items”.

More updates to come on what my mini is wearing…bonus picture shown below!

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