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Summer 2014

Australia’s favourite family lifestyle magazine


At home with Ada

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“I had my baby at home, alone, in the shower.”


The essential baby checklist

Are you ready?








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FUNKY KIDS Uber cool gear for kids this summer.


SWIMMING TIME Fabulous swimwear fashion.



AT HOME WITH ADA Diminutive Home & Away star, Ada Nicodemou, talks babies, baking and being a working mum.



THE WITCHING HOUR IN 20 EASY STEPS A humorous take on the notorious dinner-bath-bed routine endured by parents of toddlers.


STAMPED WITH A SILVER LINING From humble beginnings in rural Australia, today the Koolaman Designs collection encompasses more than 100 individual creations and is recognisable locally, nationally and internationally.


JESSICA ALBA MODELS SUSTAINABLE LIVING The celebrity starlet reveals why she practices eco-friendly habits with her daughters.


READY STEADY WIGGLE! Wiggling their way around Australia, the latest tour promises to keep children dancing, singing and laughing.

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ELIMINATING ORTHODONTIC RISK THROUGH EARLY INTERVENTION Braces are traditionally considered the best treatment for straightening teeth but alternative treatment is worth considering before taking a seat in the orthodontist’s chair.


CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE Looking for the perfect gift? From babies to teens and parents, our suggestions have you covered for every budget.


FOSTERING LOVE Tara Dryland looks into Foster Care and introduces some inspiring Australian families that provide a loving home to kids who aren’t their own.

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney



Our selection of websites offering great products for your family.


FIVE GOING ON FIFTEEN Offspring columnist Gary Ausbruch shares what it’s like being Dad to a daughter who’s growing up quickly.

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THE NEW BABY CHECKLIST Everything you need (and a few things you don’t, but might find useful) to welcome your perfect firstborn into the world.


AN UNUSUAL BABY SHOWER Offspring reader, Sarah Laird, shares her unique birth story, recounting how she gave birth at home, in the shower, and alone.




SCHOOL HOLIDAY ACTIVITY GUIDE Special feature on events and activities to do with your kids during the summer break.





TODDLER TRANSITION Smart ways to transform a nursery into a toddler’s bedroom.

VEGIE SMUGGLERS Tips and tricks to get your kids to eat more fruit and vegies.


UP, UP AND AWAY! If you’ve ever dreamed of taking the family to London and beyond, now’s a good time to get the ball rolling. PARTY DIRECTORY


Ada Nicodemou

Produced and published by Offspring Magazine Pty Ltd. ABN: 95 159 474 245 PO Box 204 Avoca Beach NSW 2251 Website Editorial enquiries Advertising enquiries Phone 02 4326 1178 Subscription enquiries

Publisher / Editor Kate Durack Contributing writers Ari Chavez, Gary Ausbruch, Claire Armstrong, Kate Bullen, Brooke Evans-Butler, Zoe Deleuil, Colleen Willis, Tara Dryland,, Jane Millington, Melanie Hearse, Letitia Rowlands. Graphic Designers Steven Lillywhite, Sally Travis Printed by Offset Alpine Printing Advertising Sales Shelley Timmins, Gary Mason, Kathleen Steadson

Distribution 50,000 copies distributed by paid subscriptions and for free at selected locations throughout Sydney. Also available online via Offspring magazine is an independent magazine published quarterly by Offspring Magazine Pty Ltd. Opinions represented are not necessarily those of the publisher. Offspring magazine contains general information and does not claim to substitute for health or parenting advice. All content is subject to copyright, and may not be reproduced without permission.


Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

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elcome to our Sydney Offspring launch issue! such as work-family We’re very excited to be able to offer Offspring to balance struggles, you - the only gloss, quarterly, family lifestyle magazine birth stories by average available for free to families in Sydney. women, not just the I started Offspring Magazine four years ago in a sleepZena-type warriors, and deprived, light bulb moment, while recovering after yet what it was really like another sleepless night, tending to my 16 month old, being a modern-day high-voltage, daughter who insisted on hourly cuddles parent, not all about SuperMums with a swag of hiredaround the clock. help, botox and post-caesar-nip-tucks. Living in WA at the time, there was an absence of I didn’t want to read dumbed-down stories or only easily-accessible, quality information about the real about breastfeeding and nappy changing. I wanted parenting experience. Sure, there were gloss parenting interesting and intelligent information that would magazines available at a cool $9 a copy, but much of inspire we women to have a satisfying, fulfilling life with these literally glossed over the real issues, in my opinion. children. To be devoted mothers but happy ones, and Aside from the million-dollar marketing campaigns able to discuss the not-so glamorous side of motherhood prescribing how to be a Supermum, there was a void We aim to have a little bit for everyone in Offspring of discussion on sharing how it really was. I was - a good balance of real life and practical, parenting supposed to have it all together but I hadn’t lost my advice. Pregnancy & Birth, Babies, Early Childhood, the baby weight, was suffering from Primary Years, Education, Health, Food insomnia, struggling with my new I picked up that & Nutrition, Business Mums, Internet identity or lack thereof, our marital Buying, Family Travel, Parenting, a “new baby” and relationship had changed, we were Fashion, we’ve got it covered. down to a single income, and as much I LOVE being Mum. But, I want a life “happily ever after” as I loved my beautiful new baby, I was outside it too. Not selfish, just holistic were not from the very grumpy, a lot of the time. I think. But getting the balance is the same story book I picked up that a “new baby” and quest and what a lot of this magazine “happily ever after” were not from the is focused on. Offspring is a lifestyle same story book. magazine for women, who happen to be mums. It is Still, there was no public forum on The Whole Baby a magazine for parents created by parents. All our Truth. No one saying it’s normal to feel absolutely out contributors have kids so are writing with truth. of control. Not just in labour but for the next two years We hope Offspring will become a trusted, relevant afterwards. At least nothing in a gloss magazine. As such resource to which you can relate, cherish and look Offspring was born. The magazine was intended to help forward to reading every three months. connect mums and help us share our experiences and We’d love your feedback on our first Sydney magazine. our days. Connect with us on Facebook and sign up for our I wanted to share stories of inspiring mums who were enewsletter to connect with like-minded mums and to making it work. Women who were successful in juggling receive Offspring articles more frequently. the life, work and parenthood rollercoaster, and were Join our Facebook page and new enewsletter to share prepared to talk about it truthfully, warts and all. in conversations I wanted to know more about the actual modern KATE DURACK parenting experience, including the contentious issues EDITOR


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our contributors

ARI CHÁVEZ COLUMNIST has had work published in Australia, England, Japan and Singapore. She has a delightful toddler, Gabriel, who was born with coffee in his veins. She is currently completing her first novel as part of a PhD project.

GARY AUSBRUCH ACCOUNTANT/COLUMNIST is financial controller for a mining company. He has had columns published on the challenging subject of the lighter side of accountancy, and has written for SBS TV. He is married to Sue and has two young children, Ella and Sebastian.

KATE BULLEN DIETITIAN runs au and is mum to three young children. Kate has translated her love of all things online to providing expert nutrition coaching online – it works well for anyone who is busy! Kate’s passion lies in making healthy eating simple and enjoyable.

CLAIRE ARMSTRONG JOURNALIST of eight years across a range of publications and mother of two beautiful girls. She has a passion for all things parenting and a love of sharing stories about the parenthood journey.

TARA DRYLAND JOURNALIST When she’s not managing the family restaurant business, Tara is busy being a single mum to her two-year-old son, Jett. She loves working for Offspring, as it allows her to merge her passions for writing, parenting and kids fashion!

DEVON PLUMLEY MIDWIFE believes her work is most satisfying when she can empower a woman and her partner to birth their baby naturally; and the new little human being thanks his mummy with a squeal!

LETITIA ROWLANDS JOURNALIST Letitia worked for daily newspapers for 20 years covering a wide variety of topics but since becoming a mother five years ago, her writing has focussed on family and parenting topics. Letitia lives in Sydney with her husband and two young sons Hugo and Jasper and enjoys a freelance career writing for magazines and websites.

BROOKE EVANS-BUTLER JOURNALIST has written for home improvement, bridal and women’s lifestyle publications, but says Offspring enables her to combine writing with her new favourite hobby, being a mum to her boys Caleb and Jonah.

BETH JOHNSTON JOURNALIST worked in print media before welcoming baby boy Sam into the world. She is now doing freelance writing and absolutely loving being a mum.“Sam changes so much every day, so it’s great to be able to keep that passion for writing but not miss a thing.”

JANE MILLINGTON INTERIOR DESIGNER has over 14 years experience in all facets of the design industry including Interior Design, Styling, Sales & Marketing. As owner of Happy Go Lucky www.happygoluckykids. and mother of two children, Samson and Liv, Jane specialises in children’s bedrooms and nurseries.

COLLEEN WILLIS TRAVEL WRITER has roamed the world for many years on her own and with her husband and daughter, Rebekah. During this time, Colleen has been a teacher and an awardwinning recipient of Flight Centre both in Australia and overseas. Colleen will guide you through family travel the way she knows best!

ZOE DELEUIL JOURNALIST is mother to Tilo, two, and has another one due in October. She says that writing for Offspring is ideal for a novice parent as it involves learning more about many aspects of parenting, from choosing the right school to essential buys for newborns.


Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

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N I W T H G I N A4 Y FAMIL ! AY W A T E G Offspring Magazine is excited to launch Offspring Sydney with a massive 50,000 copies!

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Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

Offspring Magazine is now Australia’s largest gloss, quarterly, family lifestyle magazine. n

Join our enewsletter & Facebook page to receive Offspring articles more often! SIGN UP TO OUR ENEWSLETTER ON OUR WEBSITE WWW.OFFSPRINGMAGAZINE.COM.AU AND JOIN US ON FACEBOOK WWW.FACEBOOK.COM /OFFSPRINGMAGAZINE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN. n WIN a 4 night family escapes at The Executive Inn, Newcastle for 2 adults and 2 children (12 years and under using existing bedding) in a family room. n Prize is valid for travel until October 31 2014 subject to availability, excludes 18 - 21 April and 3 - 5 October 2014.

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Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

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A beautiful place for pregnancy Yummy Mummy opened up in Sydney six months ago and Amy is determined to take her concept all over the country.


ometimes pregnancy isn’t the easiest time of a woman’s life. In fact, if you take into consideration the morning sickness, the hormonal rollercoaster and the aching body parts, it can actually be really difficult for some women. Many beauty salons and day spas don’t have the equipment or specialised training when it comes to working with pregnant clients, which can make essential relaxation quite difficult to receive in these nine months. That was until mother of two, Amy Farley, created Yummy Mummy Pregnancy Day Spa, specifically to take care of mums and mums-to-be. “When I was pregnant with Macy I was turned away from several day spas for a massage or facial, and

during pregnancy that’s when I needed it more than any other time!” Amy recalls. “My lower back was killing me and my skin had turned back into what I looked like as a teenager. I had no where to go.” Her mission became to open up a space that welcomed pregnant women and took care of all of their skin and body needs during this trying time.

Yummy Mummy opened up in Sydney six months ago and Amy is determined to take her concept all over the country. “I want all pregnant women in Australia to be able to visit a beautiful place and know that everything in the day spa has been created for pregnant women by a pregnant woman. I want you to come in when you are feeling average and let my lovely team of therapists make you feel amazing again.“ Yummy Mummy specialises in pregnancy massage and personalized spa facials to help women who are suffering with pigmentation or acne. For more information and details please visit www.pregnancydayspa. or contact them on 1300 YUMMY MUMMY

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Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney


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Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

At home with BY ARI CHAVEZ


Ada Nicodemou Talks Babies, Baking And Being A Working Mum


iminutive Home and Away star, Ada Nicodemou,

and fifty people and it was gorgeous, it was

is holed up in a Channel 7 studio hooting with

Greeks don’t do anything by halves!

laughter at the thought of making her baby boy Johnas’ cake for his imminent first birthday.

“I need to bake the cake,” she states dramatically, “and I

going to be really unsettled, he’ll be really overstimulated’.

have never baked in my life! I’ve got it in my head that I want

We tried to write down the names of just family and it was

to do a Cheeky Monkey. I’m a sucker for punishment but I

fifty people before we invited friends!

thought I’d do a trial run this weekend and see how I go.” She

I don’t mind doing all that if he appreciates it, you know,

giggles, nervously. “Does it make me a better Mum that I am

if he has fun. We decided that instead of doing all that,

making my own cake? No. But I think it’s going to make me

and spending all that money, we are going to have the

feel better so I’ll do it.”

most amazing lunch with our immediate family...French

Parenting history is littered with the birthday cakes of

champagne and seafood and all of that. I think the first year

mothers – always mothers – painstakingly mixed, often

is more about us, about going ‘oh wow, we made it! It’s been a

at midnight while everyone else is sleeping, and placed

bit of a whirlwind!’.”

tentatively in the oven and watched for signs of over-

Whirlwind is an understatement. After giving birth to her

rising or, worse, collapse, before attempts at icing and

“happy, funny baby” in August 2012, Ada returned to Home

characterisation begin. Thomas the Tank Engine, Cheeky

and Away in February 2013 as feisty single mother Leah

Monkey, Dora the Explorer, Micky Mouse, Elmo, Big Bird...

Patterson-Baker, a long standing role that has made her one

The list is relentlessly endless. For the baking-challenged

of Australia’s most recognisable actors. She also reprised

amongst us, it’s a fresh hell indeed.

her role as the host of the matchmaking show, Please Marry

Ada is determined to succeed, however, despite not quite

My Boy, where she is the bubbly centre of a strange parallel

knowing her way around a mixing bowl and a wooden

universe where mothers are intimately involved in the choice

spoon. Her Cheeky Monkey birthday cake is more than just

of their sons’ partners, and stepped up as the face of two

a delightful surprise for Johnas, it will go some way towards

publicity campaigns. It’s a demanding schedule for anyone,

assuaging her unease about her decision to throw her son

let alone a new mum learning the ropes of motherhood and

a low-key birthday party. Defying the current trend, which

operating on minimal sleep.

sees parents celebrating the first-year-milestone with fancy

Ada laughs, ruefully. “I have this really bad trait where I

catered food, and a guest list of wedding-esque proportions,

just don’t say ‘no’. And then I get really overwhelmed, and

Ada is keeping it refreshingly simple.

I’ve got this newborn baby at home that’s not sleeping and

“We were going to throw one,” the unaffected thirty-


And for the birthday we thought, ‘he’s not going to know the difference, he’s not going to get his sleeps, he’s probably

is quite challenging. Adjusting to motherhood and being a

six year old says, “but we decided against it. We had a big

working mum has just been really, really hard. I just take

Christening at the beginning of the year with one hundred

each day as it comes and that’s all I can do. Some days are

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

I never thought I’d make a career out of acting.

better than others.” Ada’s life juggling multiple television and publicity commitments, a marriage and a baby, is a far cry from her sixteen year old schoolgirlself who decided, on a whim, to audition for a role in a new television show, a decision that would lead to a twenty year career in show business. The role was Katerina in Heartbreak High, a gritty series about a tough, multi-racial urban high school. Initially a twelve week spot, her character proved so popular, the role was extended, ultimately for three years. Ada has worked steadily ever since on shows such as Police Rescue and Breakers, made appearances in Beastmaster and Pizza, and taken on a small, but significant, role as the White Rabbit Girl, Dujour, in The Matrix. Along the way, the striking and vivacious actor has been nominated for three gold and two silver Logies. “I never thought I’d make a career out of acting,” Ada explains frankly, still sounding surprised at the thought. “I was at school, I went for an audition, it was for twelve weeks and I happened to get it. I thought, ‘I’ll do the twelve weeks and I’ll go back and do my HSC and I’ll go to uni and that will be the end of it’. And twenty years later I’m still doing just happened this way. I’m really lucky. I know there are a lot of people out there who would love to be an actor and have studied...I’m acting full time, I’m practising my craft every day, so I do feel very blessed.” Ada’s passion for her work is one of the reasons she cites for juggling the demands of motherhood and paid

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney


parenting Johnas infinitely easier than it might otherwise be, yet, still, often refers to a post-baby life that is both demanding and unglamorous. In the age of the Celebrity Mum, where models and actors routinely present an image of picturesque, stylish motherhood, appearing both effortlessly nurturing and completely fulfilled, while their nannies employment, but there is much more to the story - the need

and staff stand just out of shot, Ada is unexpectedly, and

for an identity outside the home, a break from the relentless

delightfully, candid about the challenges of motherhood and

demands of a baby, the desire to maintain a sense of self, the

her need for a network of support. “Every day is such a blur, isn’t it,” she asks rhetorically,

relative ease of paid work. “It’s funny, I wasn’t sure how I was going to be when I had

bursting into laughter again. “Just this morning I was thinking,

Johnas and whether I wanted to be a stay at home mum or

last year this time I gave birth to him. I don’t even remember

not, and you just don’t know until you have them,” she muses,

it! I remember bits of it, and I remember my life before Johnas,

noting that her pre-child ideal for motherhood was to be

but at the same time, look it’s such a struggle and everyone

around her child 24/7.

says how beautiful it is, and it is, but it’s also really hard. No one prepares you for that, and I just

She pauses for a moment to weigh up her words. “I love him and I love spending time with him at home but I also do love going to work,” she says, carefully. “It’s hard saying that out loud sometimes, because you do have a lot of guilt around that, but I definitely wanted to go back to work...I do find work a lot

I think the first year is more about us, about going ‘oh wow, we made it! It’s been a bit of a whirlwind!

easier. Some mothers love staying at home and I take my hat off to them, I think it’s fantastic, but I couldn’t do it.” As it happens, Ada and her husband, chef and restaurateur,

wonder sometimes if people aren’t that honest about it. When he was a newborn it was really hard. He’s got silent reflux so before that was diagnosed it was just horrible. He was screaming and shouting. Those first few weeks were really tough and everyone kept saying, ‘oh it gets easier, those first

eight weeks are the hardest’ so we were holding on to that. And it does get easier but it’s still a struggle, like teething is so hard. Johnas has been teething from five months. He

Chrys Xipolitas, have a thoroughly modern arrangement where literally has a full set of teeth in his mouth and he is not even Chrys looks after Johnas during the day, before heading off to

a year old! He’s been in so much pain, poor little thing...and

his restaurant, Island, in the evening, and Ada spends time

that’s the struggle. You can’t fix it and you don’t know exactly

with him in the afternoons and evenings, and on her days off

what’s wrong...I feel like I’m guessing.”

from her flexible filming schedule. The baby’s grandparents are also heavily involved in his care, making Johnas the centre of

different from Ada’s pre-baby perspective of earth-mothering

an enviable village of loving adults, who happily nurture and

her child 24/7, actually getting pregnant was much harder

guide his development, and share his days.

than she anticipated. Prior to even considering a child, Ada

Ada acknowledges that the support of her family has made


Just as the realities of parenting have proven to be quite

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

and Chrys endured a tumultuous time in their marriage,

which resulted in a brief, unofficial, separation in 2010. The split was triggered by a chain of events, which started when Chrys’ then-restaurant, Zippo’s, was destroyed by fire. He fell into a debilitating depression, which, at its worst, saw him confined to bed unable to face the day. He agreed to attend the rehabilitation clinic, South Pacific Private, where he undertook therapy and began a medication schedule. It was a lonely experience for the thirty-nine year old, who had married Ada just three years prior in 2007. “I didn’t want family and friends to visit because I’d been

newspaper in 2010. “I used to try and tackle things on my own and I would feel the pressure build up inside. Parts of

there before and you look forward to them coming and

me would get flustered, which was a trigger and makes me

then you get down when they leave – I just needed to be by

feel not in control. But saying it out loud, as I feel it, is so new

myself,” he later stated publicly.

for me, and I really feel Ada and I are a team now.”

It was a gruelling time for the couple and Ada, while

“It was also part of our healing process,” says Ada, of the

refusing to comment publicly at the time, was spotted out

decision to reveal their troubles. “It’s okay to talk about it,

and about sans wedding ring.

we’ll all be better for it in the long run.”

“I didn’t understand it,” confesses Ada. “I tried to fix it

After Chrys had completed his in-clinic therapy

and I didn’t understand why he couldn’t snap out of it. I

program, the couple reunited and decided they wanted to

think men are ashamed of it, especially if you have to take

start a family, however Ada’s fertility was complicated by

medication or you have to go and see a doctor. It’s all good

endometriosis and a polycystic ovary. After trying for a baby

and well if you’ve got something wrong with you physically, you just go to a GP and you sort

for twelve months, the pair decided to try IVF and were successful on their first attempt, an uncommonly

yourself out, whereas mentally, you don’t do

lucky outcome. With one in six Australian couples

anything about it. We have so many rates of

now experiencing fertility problems, and rising,

suicide, especially in men, and older men, so it’s very, very sad.” While the couple were tight-lipped at the time about the extent of their

Ada is passionate about women becoming informed about how their bodies work. “I didn’t know my body,” she reveals, “and I was so ashamed about that. I thought,

problems, they have since chosen

‘jeez, I’m a woman, I should know how

to go public with their experience,

my body works’ but it wasn’t a concern of

and the strategies that helped

mine until I couldn’t fall pregnant and I

them, in an attempt to help shine a light on mental health issues, and support other people who are suffering. “Now I talk about things,”

thought, ‘well hang on a second, if only I knew this earlier, I might’ve made different decisions’. You do whatever you can to fall pregnant, I think, but you don’t

Chrys explained to a national

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney


Some mothers love staying at home and I take my hat off to them, I think it’s fantastic, but I couldn’t do it. realise how hard it is to fall pregnant until you start. I think it’s really important for women to know that it’s well and good to put it off and have a baby when you’re ready – I’m not saying have a baby when you’re eighteen years old but, unfortunately, at eighteen years old you’re a lot more fertile than you are when you’re thirty five, let alone forty and so on. It’s all good and well to make those decisions, but I think they need to be informed decisions.” She’s quick to acknowledge the good fortune in her situation aware, perhaps, of the heartbreak those undertaking multiple IVF cycles, or simply unexplained and prolonged infertility, experience. “We’re very lucky, we’ve got a beautiful little boy and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We might have to go down that way again, and that’s fine, and we’re very lucky that we have those options.” We talk briefly about the possibility of more children or, more accurately, the pressure to have more children quickly. Ada sounds exasperated. “You meet someone and they say ‘when are you guys going to get married?’. And you get married and they say, ‘when are you going to have a baby?’. And you have one baby, you’ve literally given birth, and people are like, ‘so, when are you going to have another one?’. And you’re like, ‘wow, let’s just enjoy the moment!’ She pauses for a moment, perhaps reflecting on the months of reflux Johnas endured, the sleepless nights, the rollercoaster of emotions new parents typically experience, the demands of her work schedule, the needs of her child, the blessed Cheeky Monkey cake she needs to conjure up, somehow, in the next few days, the whole complex, whirling kaleidoscope that is parenthood. “I definitely do want to have more children down the track,” she says, eventually, “but I don’t feel like I’m ready yet, so we’ll see how we go.” And with that, she’s off. Swallowed up by the demands of work and more interviews and further publicity and, of course, her “laughing, happy” baby boy, Johnas.


Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney



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Linda Hallas



FUNNY MUMMY with Ari Chávez

THE WITCHING HOUR Ari gives a humorous take on the notorious dinner-bath-bed routine endured by parents of toddlers

in 20 Easy S teps 5

Run Toddler’s bath. Fill with bubble liquid. Pause to load washing machine and survey laundry mountain,

which expands daily. Maybe laundry mountain should be on The Biggest Loser, not Dog.


Dinner is served at special Toddler-sized table. Child sits. Surveys meal. Picks out microscopic zucchini


Go outside. Stalk Toddler. Toddler thinks this is VERY FUNNY. Speeds off. Dog follows. Hurtle after

pieces hidden in vegetables and deposits them wordlessly in my hand. Toddler is too smart for his own good. And mine.

Toddler. Try not to trip over Dog, who can take up a lot of

Also, I am a rubbish bin.

room sometimes. Grab Toddler in a self-developed manoeuvre called


Toddler returns to plate. Eats half his dinner, mostly

The Octopus. Wrap all limbs

the meat. Feeds stuff he doesn’t like to the Dog, who

around Toddler and DO

is circling the table like a hungry wolf. Dog thinks we starve

NOT LET GO. Toddler can’t

her. We don’t. Dog is a Labrador aka Eating Machine. Vet said

thrash arms or legs but

she (Dog) should be on the The Biggest Loser. I think Vet

can yell a lot. Toddler

meant we’re Bad Parents. Dog is therefore on a diet, except

starts yelling.

Grab Toddler in a self-developed manoeuvre called The Octopus. Wrap all limbs around Toddler and DO NOT LET GO.

Toddler keeps feeding her. Toddler gives Dog some carrot then frowns because Dog eats it. Chucks tantrum. Throws


Octopus yelling Toddler into

rest of food on floor. Starving Wolf-Dog pounces on mess and vacuums it up. Toddler stares. Computes he has NO FOOD

bathroom. It’s not elegant but

LEFT because Dog has hoovered it. Flings himself on floor.

it works. Toddler spots bubbles

Turns air and self purple with rage.

and screams. Tries to scramble into bath fully clothed. Wrangle clothes off him. T shirt gets stuck


Open can of beans for Toddler in an effort to un-purple

on Toddler’s head. Yank shirt. Comes off. Head stays on,

air and entice him to eat a vegetable. Win win. Toddler

luckily. Toddler looks indignant. Plonk him in bath to distract

smiles. He likes beans. Eats three. Is full. Feeds unwanted

him. Toddler plays with bubbles. Eats wads of bubble foam.

beans to Dog. I grab plate before Dog puts on ten more kilos

Obviously Toddler is starving. Splashes water on me for

and Vet signs her up for reality TV. Certainly don’t need bad

starving him.

parenting skills beamed to nation via Dog’s belly. Toddler and Dog look tetchy. I eat beans. Sustenance.


Empty bath to avoid complete soaking. Have standards. Octopus Toddler into towel and look in


Ask Toddler if he wants

the mirror at how handsome

a bath. He says no. Ask if

he is. Toddler smiles. He is very

he wants a lot of bubbles in his

handsome. Take advantage of

bath. He says no. Ask Toddler

Kodak moment to dry Toddler’s

if he wants to play with his

hair. Toddler jerks head. Screams

special boat in the bath. He says

blue murder.

no. Tell Toddler I am going to run his bath. Toddler howls, “NOOOOOO!” Crawls out Dog’s



Trip over Dog on way to Toddler’s bedroom. Mutter

door and bolts for slide. Dog

something under breath because

follows, wagging tail.

Toddler mimics EV-ERY-TH-ING.

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

Dog follows us to nappy table. Lies down, head on paws. Toddler demands Nemo nappy. Tell Toddler Nemo nappies


are for swimming not sleeping. “Nemo, please,” says Toddler, remembering his manners for once. Shake head. “NEMO PLEASE, MAMA!” bellows Toddler, urgently. Curse freaking Nemo and pull out a Winnie-The-Pooh nappy. Toddler starts thrashing. Pin him down in a Nappy Table version of The Octopus. Wrestle nappy and PJs onto him. Toddler is speechless with purple rage. Enjoy silence.



Put Toddler in cot. Toddler requests 500 books. Give

1 1 1 1


Toddler is distracted by avalanche of toys and lack of personal space.


Take advantage and sneak out of room.


Dog follows.


Sit down on sofa to enjoy restful period of catatonia.


“Mummmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyy” calls Toddler.


Pretend I am deaf, even though Toddler has

“Mummmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyy, please!!!!!”

him books. Toddler requests Teddy, Mama Rabbit,

Baby Rabbit, Wombat and Hairy Maclary. Give them to him. Toddler requests plastic crap. Gather plastic crap off floor -


remembered his manners again.

about two tonnes - and plonk it in cot. Notice how nice floor looks. Toddler requests singing giraffe. Give him enormous and ridiculous giraffe. Toddler requests xylophone. Give him xylophone AND guitar.



1 1


Dog stares at me. Ignore her, too.


Dog gets up. Goes and lies in hallway, halfway between Toddler’s room and lounge room.

Toddler’s cot looks like rubbish tip with a small child poking out.



Dog is very smart. Knows every way her bread is buttered.

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney



Stamped with a silver lining

In 2007 sisters Lisa and Stacey set in motion a dream to create personalised, timeless pieces of hand-stamped jewellery and launched into the world of online business. Today, the Koolaman Designs collection, encompassing more than 100 individual creations, is easily recognisable and highly respected, sold locally, nationally and increasingly internationally, all from humble beginnings in rural Australia.


oolaman Designs owners and operators, Lisa O’Keefe

additional marketing and networking proficiencies,

and Stacey Clayton, took a unique idea, teamed it

Koolaman Designs was launched with 12 styles available,

with their baby bonuses and shaped a company,

seven of which remain in stock.

designing simple yet chic hand-stamped jewellery with an appeal that transcends age, culture, occupation and

name contenders, Lisa acknowledges that being the fourth

status. You will be equally likely to spot a Koolaman Designs

generation to live at the homestead, Koolaman is a name

adornment on a cover page model as on a mum at playgroup.

deeply engrained into their lives, and had she not been living

“We were inspired by some pieces we saw from overseas and couldn’t find anything like it currently in Australia and hoped others would love the idea as much as we did,” Lisa tells Offspring. The duo pride themselves on the company’s strong link to rural Australia. Living a staggering 450km apart, they

at the station, the catalyst to begin the business may never have existed. “We have a lot of rural customers drawn to the jewellery because the story behind it appeals to them and so does the name,” Lisa says. Each Koolaman Designs piece is letter-by-letter hand

utilise modern technology to manage the company from

stamped by a team of four local women from neighbouring

their respective homes, with Stacey at their childhood

farms to create truly unique pieces for each and every

property near Victoria’s Rutherglen wine region and Lisa based at the business’s namesake, Koolaman Station, a 73,000-acre, remote sheep and wheat property in south-western New South Wales.

customer. The signature pendants, bracelets, earrings, cufflinks and key tags have become a popular way of creating family heirlooms, celebrating and honouring important occasions and milestones such as

“The distance between us

the birth of a child, the memory of a

has actually brought us and our

loved one, weddings, christenings or

families closer together than we


would ever be if we both worked regular 9 to 5 jobs,” Lisa says. Putting to use the skills acquired from their agriculture and finance backgrounds, and quickly learning


Coming up with a name was easy. Whilst there were other

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

Originally only available in Sterling Silver, the collection has blossomed to include 9ct yellow, white and rose gold, with the recent addition of a new line of silver and locally-sourced leather.

“One of our strongest ethos for the company has always been empowering and fostering localism and a commitment to promoting opportunities for rural women.” network connections, listening to our customers and building a reputation based on a quality product, and importantly word-of-mouth recommendations.” Juggling the business, the distance and six children between them, the sisters still manage to give Koolaman Designs that personal touch, by attending expos, markets, fairs and field days around the country. And with owning a jewellery store comes the perk

“Whether it is meeting people at an expo or a

of creating your own pieces. It is not unusual for Lisa to be

small gesture like slipping in a hand-written note with an

advertising up to seven items on any given day. She jokes you

order, it has always been important to Stacey and I that we

can hear her jingle before you see her.

create a personal service for our customers. We think this is

“We have certainly made mistakes along the way and have learned from those,” Lisa concedes. “The key has been staying true to our product and brand and developing strong

especially important given our online status which means we don’t often meet customers face to face,” she says. One of our strongest ethos for the company has always

Birthing Gowns

Designer Mamas.indd 1


To view the full range and order visit

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1/11/13 7:55 PM

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney


And while the rural factor gives the company a uniqueness that is not easily replicated, it also poses one of the biggest challenges for the sisters. Luck would have it that the three busiest times on the Koolaman calendar - around Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Christmas - coincide with three key farming periods of sowing, shearing and harvest, making for hectic times on both sides of the Koolman namesake.

been empowering and fostering localism and

“There is a lot of negotiation

a commitment to promoting opportunities

and teamwork between us, our

for rural women. “We are well aware that for women living in rural and remote locations, the distance to travel, conventional employment and access to child care often means it is impossible to have a job outside the family


husbands and families, to ensure we get the balance right and look after each other,” she says. Already taking out several mumpreneur awards and

farm or home. The unique nature and flexibility of our

nominations, and receiving invitations to share their

business has enabled us, and the women who assist us, to

experiences at forum events and inspire others to nurture

successfully combine career and family while being able

and chase their dreams, the future looks bright for these

to remain on farm and work hours that suit. It is a flexible

Aussie mums who are already in the process of a Re-

arrangement and we pride ourselves on remaining local,”

brand, as the Koolaman trademark continues to evolve

she says.

and stand out from the crowd - or should we say shine.

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

Book today fo Autum r n 2014!

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Jessica Alba

models sustainable living BY CELEBRITYBABYSCOOP.COM

Jessica opens up to CelebrityBabyScoop about her daughters Honor, four, and Haven, one, who “like to play, explore, get messy, and are creative.” She goes on to talk about modeling “eco-friendly habits for the girls,” her book hit shelves in March, and her upcoming film that she can’t wait to take “Honor and her friends to see.”


he’s one of our favorite celebrity mums. From her chic sense of style, to her handson playdates at the park, to her eco-

friendly business, we can’t get enough of Jessica Alba. After creating The Honest Company last year, the mum-of-two is now joining forces with Zulily to share her safe and sustainable products with a new audience. CBS: We hear The Honest Company has joined forces with Zulily. Tell us all about the new partnership. JA: “The Honest Company and Zulily both believe in simplifying families’ busy lives by bringing them affordable, stylish, and trusted products every day. Our companies also support using business for social good and are committed to giving back to families in need. So, I knew working together would be a great extension of our Honest mission. Because Zulily is about helping mums discover new brands and products, we’re excited to reach this new audience, share our safe and effective eco-friendly products with them, and grow our communities together.” CBS: How are your daughters doing? What are they into these days? What do they do to make you laugh? JA: “Every day with my girls is a dream and just hanging out with them is the best thing ever. They’re happy and healthy one and four year olds who like to play, explore, get messy,


Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney



together similarly shows the girls about repurposing old items. Involving children in gardening and cooking is another great way to inspire eco-friendly living. Caring for the plants in our herb wall garden helps Honor understand the steps to growing food (including patience!), how it ultimately lands on her plate, and about being a good steward of the planet. Honor is also a great sous chef when we’re in the kitchen, so being a part of the dinner process encourages her to eat the foods she grows and develops her taste for fresh ingredients. Hopefully, this lays the foundation for children to prioritise their health and that of the planet.” CBS: What’s up next for you? JA: “I’m very excited to have published my first book The Honest Life this March! It’s a colourful HowTo guidebook for people who want to make a healthy and non-toxic home without giving up the fun, fashionable things. I hope people will be inspired

“We try to model and practice eco-friendly habits for the girls”

to make the ideas their own and find what works for them. Also, I’m looking forward to taking Honor and her friends to see my upcoming animated film Escape from Planet Earth because it’s really

and are creative. And since they’re typical kiddos,

a sweet story. I had a lot of

they’re bound to make me laugh.” CBS: What are some of the ways you get your girls to be

fun working on this film — it

eco-friendly? What are some tips in teaching our kids to

was great to play the nemesis since I don’t often get to

love our environment?

play that role.”

JA: “First and foremost, we try to model and practice is one of the most popular blogs

eco-friendly habits for the girls. Otherwise, we talk to

on the topic and the foremost provider of everything celebrity-

them about being mindful and explain that things can be

baby, featuring baby fashion, baby names, baby trends

turned into something else one day. This can be as simple

and up-to-the-minute celebrity baby gossip and pics. Get

as teaching them about recyclables and showing how to

all the latest news, updates, and photos about Hollywood’s

sort bottles and cans from trash.

most beloved celebrity mums, dads and their babies. Who’s

We also do a lot of DIY crafts like using cardboard boxes to make airplanes and dollhouses - our creative playtime

the latest Tinseltown baby? Who’s due next and who just announced a pregnancy? It’s all on Celebrity Baby Scoop.

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney


Ready Steady Wiggle!

After more than 21 years together, 7 million albums, 23 million DVDs and 8 million books sold, The Wiggles have performed to more than a million fans across the globe.


ate last year the original all-male Wiggles line-up

Steady, Wiggle! Tour promises to keep children dancing,

stepped aside to allow a new cast to take over their

singing and laughing with Red Wiggle Simon, Purple Wiggle

kid-errific work. Almost one year on and the world has

Lachy, Wiggles’ creator, Blue Wiggle Anthony and Yellow (and

embraced the new group with open arms and dancing feet. And what a year it’s been for the world’s all-time favourite children’s entertainment group. Four new CDs and DVDs have been released, their first new TV series in over seven years has begun (airing weekday mornings on ABC2), and touring has included months of

first-ever female) Wiggle Emma. Emma has also proven to be a role model for this new generation of fans, shown by the emergence at shows of “the mini-Emma army” - girls dressed up like Emma. Even USA’s Time and People magazines have reported on the arrival of the first female Wiggle. During the December tour, young fans will also have the

shows in hundreds of regional areas in Australia, a national

opportunity to see all of their wiggly friends, Dorothy the

tour of New Zealand, a series of shows in Dubai, and a seven

Dinosaur, Wags the Dog, Henry the Octopus and Captain

week sold-out tour of the US and Canada.

Feathersword, and bop along to Hot Potato, Rock A Bye Your

In fact, when The Wiggles travelled to the USA to launch the new show, they were asked to perform at the New York Mets baseball game, and were covered by national press

Bear and all their other cherished favourites, as well as exciting new hits like Do the Propeller. And in exciting news for fans of the original cast, former

including USA Today and Fox and Friends. And famed US

Red Wiggle Murray Cook and Purple Wiggle Jeff Fatt are

entertainment TV’s OMG! Insider said it all: “Yes - It’s the

still actively involved with The Wiggles, writing songs and

hottest celebrity ticket of the summer. Not Justin or Kanye...

making cameo appearances in the live shows and videos, plus

It’s The Wiggles!”

working behind the scenes with tour planning.

And now they’re coming home to see off the year with an arena and entertainment centre spectacular with their

For details on the Ready, Steady, Wiggle! Tour, visit

December Ready Steady Wiggle! Tour. Blue Wiggle Anthony enthuses, “2013 has certainly been a bright chapter in The Wiggles success story. We have a new energy that’s quite contagious! It’s been such an exciting year so far and we’re playing to a new generation of Wiggle fans”. Wiggling their way through Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart and Canberra, plus regional centres including Newcastle, Wollongong and Launceston, the Ready,


Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

Eliminating orthodontic risk through early intervention Braces are traditionally considered the best treatment for straightening teeth but there are several things to consider, including alternative treatment, before taking a seat in the orthodontist’s chair. Like all medical procedures, braces come with a variety of risks to the patient as well as limitations to what the treatment can achieve. On their website the Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO) said it was vital to understand those risks and limitations as well as investigate alternatives. “You should be aware of the potential risks and limitations which apply to your treatment and you should be aware if there are alternative treatment options,” the ASO said. Perhaps the most severe limitation occurs once braces are removed and the patient is required to wear a retainer to prevent teeth relapsing. The constant pressure necessary to force teeth into alignment with braces is also a significant risk and can damage roots of the teeth. While it is impossible to predict each patient’s susceptibility the ASO said root resorption (root damage) could “become a threat to the longevity of the teeth involved”. With bonding agents and enamel etching used to attach braces as well as the extra effort necessary to maintain oral hygiene, braces can increase the risk of enamel damage, gum disease, tooth decay and decalcification. The greatest limitation of braces though is the inability to

begin treatment as soon as the problem becomes evident. Three in four children experience crowded teeth or incorrectly developed jaws and this can be apparent from as young as four years of age. However, traditional treatment with braces is usually not started until all the permanent teeth are present at approximately 13 years of age. While hereditary causes have been blamed for misaligned teeth, research has proven poor oral habits, such as mouth breathing, tongue thrusting and incorrect swallowing hinder facial development. Consequently, it is possible to treat the underlying causes of misaligned teeth prior to braces becoming an option. MRC Clinics® are able to correct poor oral habits using removable oral appliances, enabling early treatment. The ASO said early intervention could achieve outstanding results. “Early treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing or make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated,” the ASO said. “Early treatment may also achieve results that are not possible once the face and jaws have stopped growing.” More information regarding early intervention and alternative treatments can be found at


1576_MRC_OffspringAd-FA.indd 1

23/10/13 4:13 PM

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney 31


Christmas gift guide

Looking for the perfect gift? From babies to teens and parents, our suggestions have you covered – for every budget. BY BROOKE EVANS-BUTLER

A special soft toy makes a special first Christmas gift. Silver Cross – Elizabeth Traditional Bear $59.95 (presented in white Silver Cross gift box) from Tiny Polkadots, www.

Gifts for

babies Puppet books are great (they are a book and toy in one!) We love: Hello Spot! A Puppet Play Book by Eric Hill, RRP: $19.99 from Dymocks.

GAIA bath and body wash, from $11.50 from selected supermarkets, pharmacies and health shops.

Bath accessories are great stocking fillers – and natural products are perfect for a baby’s skin. GAIA bathtime fun pack, $21.95 from selected supermarkets, pharmacies and health shops.

Buying clothes for babies and toddlers is so much fun – and cool outfits will be great for all the parties during the Christmas and New Year season.

Rock Your Baby Kitten Bandit Bodysuit, $35, from Stork’s Corner,

Rock Your Baby Nina Tutu Dress, $40 (Available in Vanilla, Framboise and Violetta) from Stork’s Corner. Rock Your Baby Headstock Tshirt, $35 and Come As You Are Tshirt, $35 From Stork’s Corner.


Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

For baby (newborn to 1 year old)



Bath toys need

Baby’s first Christmas is very special, so why not give

replacing regularly

something to do with a Christmas theme? A good quality

– and you can get so

much more than the humble rubber

Christmas stocking, a personalised Christmas decoration or special Christmas book can be used every year.


Afforda b options le $20 and und er

duck, with squirters, shape sorters and musical toys all available or bath play. Sticking with the bath theme, a gentle baby bath gel or moisturiser, wash cloths or even a fluffy towel will be used and appreciated.


Somethin special g over $50

Looking for a special gift? There are various businesses that can create a personalised canvas for Baby’s play room


or name sign for their bedroom door. A piece of ‘Baby’s first

Babies learn through play and love simple toys with various

jewellery’, such as a bracelet or necklace is a lovely idea for a

textures or that make noise. Look for stacker toys, rattles,

first Christmas, and getting the jewellery engraved will give

teething toys, mobiles and soft books.

it that extra special touch.



Swimming lessons are a popular activity for parents and

Some people can struggle knowing what to buy a baby for

babies during the summer months, so swimming gear is

Christmas, so it can be a good opportunity to buy something

an affordable and useful gift. Think swim nappies, cute

practical – but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t also be special.

swimwear and towels.

A beautifully crafted wooden toy box is a special first Christmas gift that will be used and treasured for years to

Mid-ran g $50 and e under


come. Other practical but lovely ideas include book ends or

Books are a great gift idea for any

bookshelves, or bedding and accessories and furniture for

age – but spending a little bit more

when they outgrow their cot.

and getting a book that is personalised for a baby will be a gift that will be loved for years to come. Look for recordable


books, which allow you to record yourself reading the book.

A good quality tricycle can be a gift that will be used into

This is a beautiful way to personalise a gift and a great gift

toddlerhood (look for ‘smart trike’ models that can grow

idea for grandparents to give to grandchildren.

with your baby, by being adjusted to suit babies from one year up). Ride-on toys are always a hit once baby is on the


move. Look for the large range of push-along toys, activity

Parents will usually buy clothes that are practical, so it is

walkers, baby swings and rocking horses.

great to have a bit of fun and buy clothes with the cute or

Stocking fillers: Bibs, wash cloths, a hat, socks, sippy cups,

cool factor for gifts. Larger clothes are always appreciated by

plastic cutlery and plates, teething rusks, food pouches,

parents (as babies grow very quickly!).

bubble blowers.

For toddlers (1 to 3 years old)

Afforda b options le $20 and und er



Toddlers love books

Sometimes it can be difficult to find popular costumes in

– after all, they

toddler sizes, but toddlers will have just as much fun with

encourage special one-on-one time with a

parent. For something a bit different, puppet books are cute (these have a puppet incorporated into the book). Toddlers and babies will also love pop-up books.

dressing up accessories, such as tiaras, fireman hats and feather boas.

Mid-ran g $50 and e under

ART AND CRAFT Art supplies are great to channel a toddler’s love of mess into something

creative (just don’t buy art and craft kits with small pieces MUSIC

that could be a choking hazard for a young child). A chalk

Toddlers love making noise! Choose an easy instrument,

board or easel will be something that can be used for years

such as a tambourine, maracas or toy drums.

to come. A good quality art smock is also a great gift idea that will also be appreciated by parents.

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney



Gifts for

Sunglasses are a great gift for kids – they look so cool and are great for the summer months! Frankie Ray – Sun Glasses for Children, $29.95 from Bloom and Grow,

toddlers All toddlers love to role play – and this beautiful pram will be a gift they will love. Tidlo – 3 in 1 Dolls Pram, $109.95 from Bloom and Grow.

Bubble bath is so much fun – and a great idea to add to a Christmas stocking! Natural Mini Moo Bubble Wash, $17.50 from pharmacies and health food stores.

Give your child their on letter box to post letters to Santa, the Tooth Fairy or Easter Bunny – or just to play postman. How cute! $39.95 from

This fun inflatable ride-on toy is so much fun, and recommended for children from 18 months. Howdy Cow (inflatable ride-on) $75 from Tiny Polkadots.

Bring a touch of magic to your child’s room. Fairy Door, $44.95 from Stork’s Corner, www.

FAVOURITE SHOWS If the toddler in your life loves The Wiggles, High 5 or any of


the many other children’s programs and groups, there will

A toddler will get hours of enjoyment from a sandpit (if

be a collection of CDs or DVDs that they will love (and likely

purchasing a sandpit for Christmas Day, remember to buy

to be to additional licensed merchandise, such as toys or

some bags of clean washed sand from a hardware store as

clothing, to match).

well).’Stand and play’ toys such as water and sand tables, are also great gifts for summer-time play.

TODDLER FURNITURE Look for toddler-sized fold out sofas (for sleepovers or for


watching television) beanbags and child table and chair sets.

Toddlers love cubby houses – and choose the right one, and

Many are bright, colourful and affordable.

this could be a gift that is still being used for years to come. Cubby houses range from around $100 for a plastic play

Somethin special g over $50


ON THE MOVE For toddlers starting to learn how to ride a

house into the thousands for a quality timber construction. Stocking fillers: bath crayons, toothbrushes, crayons,

bike, a balance bike is a great option (don’t

chalk, water-based paints, PlayDoh, sunglasses, bubble bath,

forget the helmet).


Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

For children (3 to 10 years old)


Afforda b options le $20 and und er

PUZZLES Puzzles are fantastic educational toys –

they help children develop problem solving skills and hand-eye coordination and are great, quiet toys to keep the kids entertained. And if you thought puzzles were boring, think again! Check out magnetic puzzles (such

Gifts for


as fishing puzzles where the child has a magnetic ‘fishing’ rod for picking up the pieces). There are even ‘sound puzzles’ where the sound of each puzzle piece is activated for each piece (such as animal or transport sound puzzles). ART AND CRAFT There is nothing more wonderful than a child’s imagination, and the gift of art and craft supplies is an affordable option. Colouring books, chalk, pencils, crayons, stamp sets or water-based finger paints will always be a hit with the kids. IN THE GARDEN

Add these great titles to the kids’ Christmas list. Hard Luck Bk8 Diary Of A Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, $14.99 from Dymocks. Weirdo by Anh Do, $12.99 from Dymocks. Hey Jack Stack! 10 Book Slipcase by Sally Rippin, $49.95 from Dymocks. The Royal Ranger Bk12 Rangers Apprentice by John Flanagan, $17.95 from Dymocks.

Get the kids out in the sunshine by giving them the tools they need to create their own garden. Many gardening centres sell gardening tools for kids (including gardening gloves). Add some seeds for quick growing flowers or vegetables and a flower pot that they can decorate and you have a great gift!

Mid-ran g $50 and e under

SCHOOL SUPPLIES For daycare, kindy or school, backpacks, lunch boxes, water

bottles and library bags are always on the ‘needed’ list for this age bracket. Choose a fun design or bright colours that the kids will love. DRESS UPS Children love dressing up and there are so many costumes available for purchase. For stocking fillers, kids will love dressing up accessories such as fairy wings, wands, swords

Magnetic puzzles are great for your child’s developing hand eye coordination – and are a fun twist on the usual puzzles. Tidlo magnetic puzzle, $19.95 from Bloom and Grow.

and masks, but if you have a greater budget, a costume so they can dress up as their favourite princess or superhero is sure to be a hit. BEACH ACCESSORIES For the beach or the pool – towels, sun hats, beach or pool toys will always be used over the summer Christmas holidays.

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney



Gifts for


What kid doesn’t love dress ups? Indian Headdresses, $69 from The Cool Kids Space, www.

Micro Scooters (Mini $119.95, or Maxi $179.95) from Stork’s Corner. EverEarth Fairy Tale Dollshouse $55 from Tiny Polkadots.

Balance bikes are essentially small bikes without pedals. They are great training bikes to teach children about balance, and are so much fun! Kiddimoto Balance Bike, $119.95, from Stork’s Corner.

Somethin special g over $50

OUTDOOR FUN A scooter or skateboard (and of course, the essential helmet elbow and knee pads) will be a great gift to encourage the

Role playing toys encourage a child’s wonderful imagination. Playmobil Summer House #4857, $150.00 (includes summer house, family, furniture and accessories) from Tiny Polkadot.

kids to get outside and enjoy some sunshine. Depending on size, a trampoline will be a more expensive option, but will


be something that can be enjoyed by siblings and friends.

The range of Lego and Megablocks sets are pretty impressive – and you can get different brands for a smaller budget or


could spend hundreds of dollars for a set with all the bells

Toy kitchens and doll houses will be a hit for both the

and whistles. Always popular with the boys – there are now

boys and the girls, and depending on the size, complexity

also sets aimed at the girls as well. They encourage problem

and brand, can range from around the $50 mark into the

solving and can be used over and over again – what’s not to

hundreds. Whatever the role-playing toy, these give great

love about that?

scope for some stocking fillers to complement, such as play food, apron/chef hat, tea set, dolls and doll furniture.


Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

Stocking fillers: Crayons, pencils, PlayDoh, stickers, toy jewellery, colouring books, jigsaw puzzles, marbles, lollies.

For tweens and teens (11 to 16 years old)


Afforda b options le $20 and und er

TOILETRIES Fruity and sweet smelling bath and shower gels, body

sprays and lip balms are pretty and useful stocking fillers. Travel-sized

toiletries are great to take to school and for sleep-overs.

Gifts for

tweens & teens

ART AND CRAFT Depending on their interests and age, stocking filler art and craft ideas could range from drawing pencils and water colours or rubber stamps. DIY kits are great to give bored tweens and teens something to do, so kits that allow them to make their own bracelets or build-your-own car/train models are great choices. BOOKS Yes, this age bracket is very tech savvy, but that does not

Cute toiletries are great stocking filler for tweens. Hello Kitty body mist, $4.95 from Coles, Priceline and selected pharmacies.

Teardrop by Lauren Kate, $24.95 from Dymocks.

mean they will not appreciate a good book, especially over the holiday season. Ask your local book store about popular titles for teens. Or look for music/television/celebrity magazines. Journals, scrapbooking albums, joke books or fun calendars are also great stocking fillers.

Mid-ran g $50 and e under


Any gift that is a boredom buster is a great idea for the holidays! Idea Boxes for Kids (features wooden double sided coins in each pack, with an idea or activity suggestion on each side), $20 (until after Christmas) from The Cool Kids Space.

You only have to look at the popularity of Junior MasterChef to

see that cooking is becoming popular with kids, tweens and teens. Look at the range of child-focussed cooking books and accessories such as aprons, oven mits and kitchen utensils. FRAGRANCE For boys and for girls, perfume or aftershave is a nice gift idea – and if it is one named for their favourite celebrity, it is sure to be a hit!

A product endorsed by a favourite celebrity will be a hit with teens. Katy Perry Killer Queen, from $39 or 30ml. Phone 1800 812 663 for stockists.

CLOTHES There are so many styles of clothes at various price points,


so you are bound to find something in your tween or teens

Bored teen? Why not give the gift of an experience, such as

style to suit your budget. Celebrity or sports star endorsed

movie tickets or what about a photography, cooking or art

brands are popular – but remember to keep the receipt in

class? Talk to the parents of one of your child’s good friends

case you are unsure of the size or style – or give them a

and enrol them in the class together.

voucher to their favourite clothing store. JEWELLERY

Somethin special g over $50


For a boy or a girl, a piece of jewellery is a special Christmas

There is no getting away from the

gift – whether a watch, bracelet or necklace. For a teenage

popularity of electronic devises, so

girl, a charm bracelet such as Pandora charms, is a great

high on the Christmas list for many

option, as they can be added to each year. They also give

tweens and teens will be portable DVD player and iPads or

your teen an opportunity to personalise the jewellery to suit

tablets. iTunes cards and accessories such as covers and

their style.

headphones can make great stocking fillers to complement these gifts.

Stocking stuffers: chocolate, lollies, iTune cards, movie tickets, stationery, hair chalk, fashion jewellery.

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney



For Mums and Dads

GOURMET DELIGHTS Afforda b options le Food gifts are always $ and und 20 popular Christmas gifts er – but go gourmet for

Gifts for

Mums and Dads. Include favourite chocolates, nuts and coffee

mums & dads

for a grown-up spin on the food stocking fillers. ACCESSORIES Socks and jocks are always popular gifts for Dads – and underwear, stockings and scarves are also good choices for the mums.

Great reads for Mums and Dads: Breaking News by Paul Barry, $39.99 from Dymocks. Eyrie by Tim Winton, $45.00 from Dymocks. Ned Kelly by Peter Fitzsimmons, $49.95 from Dymocks.

THE ORGANISED PARENT Calendars are a popular Christmas gift to prepare for the new year, and ‘family organiser’ calendars (with room to write each family member’s appointments) are a great choice. Diaries and notepads are also good useful gifts.

Mid-ran g $50 and e under

FRAGRANCE A fragrance is a lovely purchase – whether an old favourite or the latest celebrity

release. Price can range from mid-range to a higher budget, depending on the type of fragrance and the size of the bottle purchased. BOOKS Who wouldn’t want a good book for some holiday reading? From crime, romance or the latest cookbook from Mum or Dad’s favourite celebrity chef, the book store is sure to have plenty of ideas! KEEPSAKES Save with Jamie by Jamie Oliver, $49.99 from Dymocks. Maggie’s Christmas by Maggie Beer, $49.99 from Dymocks. Cook books are a great gift – team with some tea towels, oven mits or funky utensils for something a bit extra special!

For parents, a keepsake can be one of the most special gifts. Keepsake books or photo albums to record their children’s special moments, or canvases and keepsake boxes to take small hand and footprints or to treasure first shoes or tiny clothes.

Somethin special g over $50

EXPERIENCES Vouchers for a meal at a favourite restaurant, movie tickets or magazine subscription.

JEWELLERY Jewellery is always high on many Christmas lists and personalised jewellery is huge at the moment. Think engraved bracelets or pendants for mums, and cufflinks or key rings for dads. BAG/WALLET A quality leather wallet, sports bag or overnight bag is a nice gift A manly fragrance for the man in your life: Tommy Hilfiger Freedom Sport, from $55 from Myer and David Jones.


Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

idea for Dad. For Mum, look for a handbag, stylish nappy bag for new mums, or chic shopping tote bag – there are so many options! Stocking stuffers: Lotto, scratchies, body wash, hand cream, iTunes vouchers, biscuits, candy canes.

Gifts for

mums & dads

How much to buy?


New parents love keepsake gifts. Pearhead - Baby Shoe Frame, $32.95 from Bloom and Grow.

How much to spend will depend on the individual budget – do you get one big present or lots of stocking fillers? The choice is yours. A gift category becoming popular with parents includes: ‘Something you want, Something you need, Something you wear, Something you read.’

All women love handbags – and for a new mum, a stylish and practical nappy bag is a musthave. Petunia Pickle Bottom - City Carryall (embossed) $199 from Bloom and Grow.

Hand cream is a small and affordable luxury to add to a Mum’s gift. The Body Shop Almond Hand and Nail Cream, from $9.95 from The Body Shop.

For siblings ‘Something to share’ may also be added, which could be a board game or DVD. It is a good idea to keep on track with your spending, as it can be easy to blow your budget if you go overboard when buying numerous gifts.

Note: Prices quoted were correct at time of print and may change without notice or depending on stockist. Note: Prices do not contain postage costs. STOCKISTS: Bloom and Grow, 1300 557 691, | The Body Shop, 1800 065 232, The Cool Kids Space, 0423 532 788, | Dear Little Letterbox, | Dymocks, www. | Stork’s Corner, 08 6161 9123, | Tiny Polkadots, 03 9077 2833,

Imaginabox® – the multi-award winning simple, but practical kit that turns any cardboard box into a working toy – perfect for all those unused boxes this coming Christmas! Developed to stimulate children’s imaginations, engage them in building the product and keeping them occupied with play for hours, all parts (including the plastic parts & stickers) are reusable, recyclable and simple to assemble…children will never be “card-bored” again! • Suitable for Ages: 3+ • Passed Australian/New Zealand & European Toy Safety Standards • Phthalates and BPA free • Simple to assemble • Re-usable plastic parts and stickers • No need to spend hundreds of dollars on a toy when all you need is an Imaginabox® kit and your own cardboard box

• Plastic parts actually move • Use any sized box – the Cradle is great on nappy boxes! • Cardboard box not included

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Range includes: NEW! Cradle, Oven, Car, Aeroplane & Train - RRP$ 19.95

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney


Fostering love All children should have a safe and secure home environment. The harsh reality is some children can be at risk of harm in the care of their own family. Tara Dryland looks into Foster Care and introduces some inspiring Australian families that provide a loving home to kids who aren’t their own.


oster Care is a form of family-based care for children

training and assessment. Once approved, Foster Carers can

who have experienced trauma, neglect or abuse at

specify the age of the children they are willing to provide care

home and have been removed due to concerns about

for, as well as if they have a preference for providing care to a

their safety, welfare and wellbeing. There are a variety of factors that contribute to parents being unable to adequately

child of a particular gender or cultural background. The different types of foster care mean that carers do not

provide for their children, including mental health issues, drug

need to be available full-time and can combine the challenging

and alcohol issues, domestic violence or disability.

work of fostering with other commitments.

Thankfully, we have Foster Carers - everyday Australians who have confirmed their commitment to protecting vulnerable children by providing a safe and secure environment and catering to their physical and emotional

Respite care gives full-time foster carers, parents or guardians

needs when their own family cannot. Foster parents provide

a regular break, often for one or two weekends a month, or a

all of a child’s daily necessities and provide them with stability,

week each school holidays.

affection, consistency, and nurturing. Amy Weeks, Team

Emergency care is for children who require a placement

Leader of the Foster Care Program at ANGLICARE Sydney says

immediately due to concerns for their safety. Care can be for

Carers get involved for many reasons, including to extend their

one night only or more.

family or to gain parenting experience, but usually just to have the opportunity to provide direct care to children in need. “We have many carers for whom fostering is their first parenting experience. What matters most is that they are all easily adaptable, child-focused, caring, understanding, flexible and open-minded,” says Amy. The process of becoming an authorised Foster Carer generally takes about six months and involves thorough


Types of foster care

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

Short-term care is for children who may require a placement from a couple of weeks up to 12 months or more while they are on interim court orders. Restoration to birth family will be explored. Long-term care is a permanency option arranged when a child cannot return home and permanent court orders are made. It is anticipated that a child will grow up in this new family. Adoption by the foster family may be a possibility.

Meet the carers Lucy and Edward (both 38), Turramurra, Sydney


ucy and Edward were inspired by close friends

who had fostered dozens of children and after seeing an

“Not every child has an ideal environment to grow up in and we just really want to help these kids that need love - that’s easy for us to provide.” Edward Hercus “We are responsible for everything just as though the child was our own. It’s a huge responsibility.” The couple love documenting the whole process

advertisement at their church they decided to apply

and take tons of photographs and videos of special things

through ANGLICARE Sydney.

the babies do and say. “We feel that’s really important for the

Since becoming short-term foster carers in August 2011,

kids,” Edward shares. “We are privy to so much; their first

they have cared for four young babies and currently care for a

steps and words. We have an obligation to record that and

baby girl with high medical needs. Lucy explains: “Often these

pass it on and it helps our own children to get involved and

babies are victims of substance abuse whether it’s alcohol or

to understand.”

narcotics in utero, so we have had situations where we have

In most instances the family have chosen not to keep

fostered a newborn straight out of hospital. We’re not always

in contact with the child once they leave their care and

told of the situation they’ve come from but obviously we care

have decided it’s better for their own family if they just

for them like our own. In our current situation, the little girl’s

say goodbye. “It is absolutely heartbreaking to have the

medical needs became evident as we got to know her.”

kids leave us, but the goal is to find permanent care. It’s

The couple also have four children of their own and

impossible not to get attached but we know it’s not forever.

Lucy brings relevant experience with her job as a Doula. As

We’re just really passionate about helping children. Not

short-term carers, Lucy and Edward can foster children from

every child has an ideal environment to grow up in and we

periods of two weeks up to two years but say each child

just really want to help these kids that need love - that’s

becomes a firm part of their family no matter the time-frame.

easy for us to provide.”

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney


Di and John Waddington

boundaries and consistency, things these kids have

(retired), Warriewood, Sydney

never had before. We’re firm but fair. Once they


i and John have been

know they’re going to be fed and cared for and

fostering for more than 12

loved, they relax and settle in.” Di and John are valuable carers not only

years and have provided crisis,

because of the high quality of care they

respite and temporary care for more than 35 children of varying ages

provide but also their flexibility and

and needs and from a huge range of

openness to a variety of children. “We’ve had children for just one night or for longer occasions


spanning a few years; each one of them becomes a part of

Preferring to take on a grandparent-like role, the couple encourage the children to call them as such and still remain

the family instantly.” Di says a favourite part of the process is to create a ‘Life

in contact with many children they’ve cared for, acting as informal grandparents and taking them on outings and

Story Book’, an album filled with photos, stories and letters

attending special days at school. Although it’s hard work,

for the children to keep once they move to permanent

they say it’s so rewarding and that all the positives outweigh

care. “It’s my little way of showing how much I have

any negatives.

enjoyed them. I have to do it for them and their new carers, otherwise, who else will know these special memories?”

“It can be difficult to prepare yourself for the children’s challenging behaviours, but at the end of the day, it’s not

Karen (46), Annandale, Sydney

about me,” Di says. “We’re there to provide patience, love,


hen Karen reached the age of 39 and couldn’t have

“We’re firm but fair. Once they know they’re going to be fed and cared for and loved, they relax and settle in.” Di Waddington


a biological child, she applied to foster a child of

any age or gender – her motivation was simply to parent. Her application was successful and Karen became the

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Karen’s foster child has thrived in her care, overcoming academic challenges and transitioning into adolescence as a confident and well-adjusted young girl. full-time carer to an eight year old girl (now 13), who will remain in her care fulltime at least until she is 18 and probably beyond. Karen’s openness to children of all ages highlights her uniqueness. “I am a parent to a child in every sense of the word,” she says. I make daily, medium and long-term decisions on her health, happiness and education and help her with any problems or issues she may have. We are a

always inform them of big events in her life and seek input

family, just like any other.”

from them if it’s needed.” Karen’s foster child has thrived in her

Karen says there are definite challenges to fostering, namely dealing with the child’s parents’ feelings toward the child being in care and toward Karen as a carer, but she is lucky to have the support of her own family. “My child comes from a family that we see regularly; she is very much loved by her


To talk to someone about foster care call 1800 367 837. Or visit for a Foster Parenting Information and Application pack

biological parents and grandparents. I

care, overcoming academic challenges and transitioning into adolescence as a confident and well-adjusted young girl. “I’m so thankful to be able to parent a child, to watch her thrive in my care, to guide her to be the best person she can be and to be rewarded with love and thanks. It’s the best.”

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Our internet picks SHOPPING online is fun and convenient. Now there is fantastic range of fashion items and great buys for the family. However, looking for good-quality sites can be overwhelming with such a large number from which to choose. Finding your way around can be daunting! We’ve provided a few good Australian sites, including a couple from WA, which offer a great range of stylish, beautiful and practical items to help point you in the right direction.

Knock on Wood Toys is an Australian online boutique wooden toy store selling a beautiful range of handpicked wooden toys from Australia and around the world. There is something special about wooden toys. Their durability gives them a unique ability to become family heirlooms that can be enjoyed by generations. Brands include Big Jigs, Edtoy, EverEarth, Hape, I’m Toy, Kiddimoto, Melissa & Doug, Micki, Pintoy, Sevi, Smart Games and Voila. Great Christmas Gift Ideas! Order today and avoid the rush. Subscribe to their newsletter and/or like on facebook to keep up to date with new products and promotions. Teesh is an online store providing practical, simple and colourful accessories for tween girls. Their product ranges from necklaces to customised bookmarks. It makes a perfect birthday gift or stocking filler. • Flat rate shipping fee of $5 Australia wide • 30 day return policy

Use code “OFFSPRING15” at checkout to receive 15% off your total order.

Shop Inside welcomes you to browse through a wide range of bed linen and homeware products for every room of your home including the master bedroom, kids bedroom, baby nursery, kitchen & dining room, family room, bathroom and laundry. Well known brands such as Linen House, Hiccups, Aura by Tracie Ellis, Living Textiles, Downia, Logan & Mason, Kas, Bambury, Sheridan, Davinci, and Private Collection to name a few. Please “Shop Inside” we just may have what you have been looking for! Contact 03 9931 0160 or

Enter OFFSPRING in the coupon box at checkout and save 10 % (Offer ends 30 November 2013)


Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

Engraved jewellery Harmony balls

Tooth fairy boxes Birthstone rings

Baby bracelets

Key rings

Bebe blocks

Oh My Giddy Aunt! Online shopping makes it possible for you to tell the stories of your life with personalised jewellery and custom-made keepsakes. The giddy aunts have been online since 2003 with Australian made, original designs and traditional favourites – including a huge ‘ready-to-send’ range. Celebrate each milestone and special occasion with a keepsake that will be treasured always. Find something for the whole family at


“My child looks like a fashionista without the usual price tag!” – happy mum Minippl is an online store for little princesses and princes offering gorgeous clothes to suit the everyday occasion or those times when your little one takes centre stage! Our collection caters for sizes 2 to 6, with a range of outfits from tutu sets to tights and cardigans. Visit us online today. Like us on facebook to keep up to date with new products and promotions. Contact:

Free delivery throughout Australia with no minimum order.

Bottomsup Natural Organic baby skin care, a true home-grown Australian product. We use only the finest natural and certified organic ingredients. Our range of products are free from any added funny business including sulphates, parabens, petrochemicals and synthetic fragrances. Perfect for sensitive and dry skin conditions including eczema, cradle cap and dermatitis. Wholesale and retail welcome. Email: or Phone: 02 9662 2269

Mamaway is all about celebrating motherhood, caring about a woman’s needs throughout pregnancy and beyond.They stock a huge selection of Maternity and Nursing Wear. Check out the top essential items for an expecting mother on their online store. Contact:

Enter OFFSPRING at the checkout for 10% discount on all products. Free shipping on orders $50 and over.

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney



with Gary Ausbruch

FIVE GOING ON FIFTEEN Gary shares what it’s like being Dad to a daughter who’s growing up.


here do babies come from, Dad?” was not the

birthday party of one of her friends a couple of weeks ago,

question I was expecting from Ella, age five.

there were about ten little girls dancing in the living room,

Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say it was a

playing a game of musical statues. They’re all jumping around

question I was expecting, one day, but was hoping I wasn’t

doing pretty random dance moves, except for Ella, who was

around when it was asked. “Err, ask your mother,” I replied,

looking particularly Lady Gaga-esque. The music stops and

trying to look busy and heading for the nearest exit. “Why,

so does she, mid-move – in a suggestively wide stance, bent

don’t you know?” she asked, following me. “Of course I know!”

over with hands on hips, and even though her hair was draped over her face, I could still glimpse the look of

I scoffed. But how on earth was I going to deal

concentration in her eyes. The music starts again,

with this? The only thing that was coming into my head was the way it’s usually

“Oh, I just can’t wait to kiss Jacob again!” she exclaimed with nervous excitement.”

handled in the movies. “Well Darling, when a mummy and a daddy love each other very much…” Absolutely not. There was NO WAY I was going to have that conversation now, not with a five year old. I’ve been noticing a lot more “five going

and this time she’s shaking those hips like Shakira. I didn’t think five year olds even had hips. Then, the other day, before one of her school friends, a boy, was coming around to play, she told me how much she was looking forward to it. “Oh, I just can’t wait to kiss Jacob again!” she exclaimed with nervous excitement. Kiss him? Again? And in our house? I thought Kiss Chasey was

on fifteen” behaviour with Ella recently. At the

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too quickly, such as limiting

purely a playground pursuit. These days she seems to be ditching

exposure to blatantly sexual

Dora’s backpack for Miley’s mike.

music videos by Lady Gaga and overtly scary-looking people like

She wants to know if she’ll have big

Nicki Minaj – which we do – but

boobs like Nicki Minaj (a conversation

popular culture has an unprecedented

about why Nicki Minaj’s breasts are so

way of seeping into everything these days, and there’s

big is another one I am not going to have

only so much you can control outside your own home.

with her now). This can’t be happening! All of this makes me uncomfortable because it means my

Ella was still following me, waiting for an answer, and

little girl who sleeps with Lamby and Poodle is growing up.

The Omnipotent One wasn’t around for me to handball

And all the time creeping closer to sleeping with things other

to. I knew I had to take some responsibility and deal with

than stuffed toys.

this then and there. Flustered, and with my head full of evil sounding words like sperm and impregnation, I

I don’t really want to be the stereotypically

sat her down and took a deep breath. Just as I

overprotective father, making dad jokes about

was about to start talking, she spoke. “Now,

chaining my daughter to her bed, starting

“These days she seems to be ditching Dora’s backpack for Miley’s mike.”

sentences with, “In my day…” and warning her that, “I know what teenage boys are like because I was one,” but I’m sure I will. This type of behaviour is engrained in dads when it comes to our precious little daughters. Of

do they come from the hospital I went to when I was sick, or the hospital we visited Granny Jean in?” I thanked my lucky stars for the temporary respite I’d been granted, and the opportunity to become better prepared for

course there are more practical things we can

when this issue, inevitably, was raised again.

do as parents to try to stop them growing up

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Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney


T he new baby checklist BY ZOE DELEUIL

Everything you need (and a few things you don’t, but might find useful) to welcome your perfect firstborn into the world etting ready for your first baby can easily become a


First things first: packing your hospital bag

frenzy of internet research, earnest conversations

Ideally you should do this by 35 weeks. Before you start, find

followed by enormous bills in various baby shops,

out what your hospital provides. Some hand out nappies,

refunds, exchanges and 3am nightmares about getting

and baby clothes, while others don’t – check this out and

laughed at by the midwives for not having any clothes big

save yourself extra packing. Don’t let your partner be the

enough for your newborn (actually, that wasn’t a nightmare,

one dragging three suitcases and a birthing ball across the

it happened to me).

hospital car park.

There’s something about the nesting instinct that can send even the most lacklustre shopper into a frenzy of


credit-card swiping. Or maybe it’s the way everyone loves to

›› Snacks for you and your birth partner, eg bananas, muesli

tell you that once the baby comes you’ll never be able to do

bars, lollies or boxes of juice

anything, ever again, let alone buy baby gear. Shopping? in three years time. Eating? Get real. You’ll be living on toast

›› Water bottle (one with a bendy straw works well), ›› Lip balm ›› Old nightie, sarong or old, loose dress to give birth in,

crumbs and KFC. No wonder first-time mothers panic.

sarong (or ask for a gown when you get in)

Forget it, they say. You’ll be wearing that exact same outfit

But post-birth, you realise that the shops are still there and you are more than capable of visiting them. However, you may as well use that ferocious nesting instinct while it lasts to get super-organised before the birth. Here’s a list of essentials, as well as a few things that will make those early

›› A water spray is good if it’s hot ›› A hot water bottle can help with pain. ›› Music, massage oil and a birthing ball ›› Birth plan & hospital notes ›› Camera

days a bit easier. Boob Before & After Singlet

Maternity bras

Boob Boosting nursing tee


Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

HOTmilk Angel Divine Maternity Bra & Brief

Baby onesie & nightie

Newborn natural jacks & Newborn Lion

However, if you leave the house in a rush or your baby comes early, don’t panic – the hospital will have everything you actually require. HOSPITAL STAY

›› Pack comfortable clothes for afterwards ›› Toiletries ›› Breastfeeding bras if you’re planning to breastfeed

›› Maternity pads ›› Plastic bag for dirty clothes ›› A baby care book is useful for any middle-of-the-night

grow out of these in no time, so don’t go overboard.

panics if the postnatal ward is busy

can be pulled up over leggings.

›› Snacks such as fruit or muesli bars if you miss a meal ›› Phone and camera.

›› A few cardigans or jackets if it’s a winter baby ›› A couple of soft cotton hats ›› Three rugs to wrap your baby in – flannel or light wool

›› Six cotton vests ›› Tiny socks – six pairs should be fine; get longish ones that


ones for winter, cotton for summer

›› Baby nappies ›› Baby wipes ›› Newborn jumpsuits(eg. five babygros). You don’t know

›› Muslin wraps are handy for wrapping a summer baby in or for mopping up spills!

how big the baby is going to be, so better to bring footless babygros and little socks. (Make sure

Incy cot

everything is freshly washed using a laundry powder for sensitive skin.)

›› A soft hat & vests are important as newborns need to be kept warm

›› A blanket


›› Six to ten cotton babygros. Footless jumpsuits worn with socks will last longer and are guaranteed to fit, while legless ones are good for hot days, or you can combine them with leggings for easy nappy changes. They will

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney


Modern Cloth Nappy Breast feeding cover

Feeding your baby BREASTFEEDING If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll need some Lansinoh and breast pads, and may also need the phone number of a


good lactation consultant, plus books or websites for any out-of-hours

It’s a good idea to stock up

questions. Robin Barker’s

on disposable nappies – at least four packs. Own-brand

bestselling Baby Love has a huge

supermarket nappies are fine,

amount of straightforward information and advice on breastfeeding. And bookmark a

and considerably cheaper if

couple of breastfeeding websites, such as Kellymom

you’re on a budget, or stock

( or La Leche League (

up when the name brands are

You’ll also need suitable clothes – a few good breastfeeding

on sale. A wide range of cloth nappies

bras and loose tops; you can always drape yourself with a shawl

is available locally from Booty Crawl

for modesty. Mothers Direct ( has a good

range of clothes and other breastfeeding equipment. Breastfeeding can mean being pinned to a couch on a regular

Six is a good amount to start with, but if you decide to use

basis, so remember to have some snacks ready to go: fruit,

them full time you’ll need around

biscuits, nuts, muesli bars, cheese and crackers, hummus and

24, if you do a load of washing

carrot sticks or dried fruit, as well as the remote control and a

every second day. With our sunny

large bottle of water to stay hydrated – it’s thirsty work. A Kindle

climate, cloth nappies really aren’t

is another good breastfeeding companion – light and easy to use

as much work as you might

with one hand, and no pages to turn.

think, so worth looking into.

Modern Cloth Nappies

Bottlefeeding: You’ll need six to eight 250-280ml bottles with newborn teats, as well as a bottle brush and disinfecting equipment (chemical soaking solutions or a steam steriliser),

The average baby will go through a cost some 7,000 nappies at or she he ore bef 500 $3, of around want ht mig is toilet-trained, so you ation bin com a ng usi to think about e and hom at of cloth nappies for use h to bot – out ng disposables when goi l and dfil lan to on uti trib con reduce your it of hab the in to save money. And get let, toi the o int ’ lids putting any ‘so for not the bin – it’s better the environment.

and formula labelled ‘standard from birth’. Check measurements carefully and always make up formula according to the instructions. New Difrax bottles The butterfly shaped soother from Difrax is ideal for combining breastfeeding and bottle-feeding; a unique Difrax bottles

anti-colic and ergonomic design. Blooming Bath

For cleaning Unscented wipes are good for when you’re out and about; at home water and cotton wool is gentler on newborn skin. A portable change mat is handy for taking out with you, while a wipe-clean one is essential for use at home. For bath time, you can use a very mild soap and a sorbolene cream for afterwards. Blunt nail scissors are good for that first nerve-wracking nail trim.


Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

Hooded Towel

SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents are the leading cause of sud den and unexpected death in bab ies aged one month to one year. Mattresses should be clean, firm, we ll-fitting and flat, and there should be no puffy or soft bedding, as this can increase the risk of suffocation. The Sids and Kids website has a useful guide to making up a cot to meet current safety recommendations (

Sleeping A bassinette is useful and portable for the early days, but babies aren’t in them for long – about four months – so can easily go straight into a cot from day one. There are

The Bestnest

plenty on the market, as well as secondhand ones on Gumtree or eBay. Sleeping bags are great for keeping babies warm (and asleep

Stokke bassinet

for longer). Grobags are good quality and will last through several babies if necessary – try

Sleeping Bag www.thebaby

The Sleep Store (thesleepstore. for a wide range. A mosquito net is also handy in summer – there’s nothing more guiltinducing than waking up to a baby covered in Leander Cradle

mozzie bites.





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Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney


Non-essential but nice to have be bathed in

✓ A baby bath is handy, but newborns can bit bigger they are

they’re a the kitchen sink, and when . bath fine in a normal t to go to bed ✓ A breast pump can be useful if you wannigh t feed, or to the first early and let your partner give a babysitter. But it’s also leave some expressed milk with might find you rarely use, so one of those things that you quickly. don’t rush into buying one too make life easier, ✓ Equipment for getting out and about can rug, a thermos, and a nappy such as a waterproof picnic nappies. A coffee cup mat with holders for wipes and means essential but better holder for your pram is by no r precious double-shot latte. than juggling (or spilling) you

Giimmo Bear night light.

✓ Baby massage oil is great to use after a s baby bath or to calm down a fractiou and ds han r you een – warm it betw too. m, war is room the make sure

✓ Swaddling rugs or armless

for swaddle blankets work well m war them ing keep ies, some bab ’t wake themselves up. don they so ’ ther toge d ‘hel tightly r baby if you’re ✓ A baby monitor is good for hearing youthe house. part of out in the garden or in another at night to get ✓ Slings are handy for walking the floorrlate ing you hands free when out your baby to sleep, or for keep nd the house. Baby Bjorn and and about or doing things arou it’s worth borrowing a few and Ergo are popular models, but in es Bab . you for able fort com seeing which one feels most u) has a good comparison m.a narm besi (ww s Arm brands. table of different models and

so he can look dy han around. A fleece or rug is also . on the floor or for tummy time space – particularly ✓ A change table is good if you have theesse ntial. not – but if it has storage underneath

in ✓ A bouncy chair is great to sit your baby for letting him lie

Bamboo bouncers


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Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

Getting around

you have to deal with stairs on a regular basis, but you don’t


want it to be too flimsy. Look for good steering, suspension

This is one thing you definitely need before you leave

and an easy folding action – try them in the shops before

the hospital.

you buy. And for safety, it should have a secure seatbelt

›› You’ll need one that has been approved to the Australian

that holds the baby firmly in place, good brakes and ideally

Standards AS/NZS 1754 for child car restraints.

a wrist strap so the

›› Kidsafe ( recommends buying a new

pram can’t roll away

car seat rather than a secondhand one, particularly if it’s

from you.

Littlephant Daybag

more than ten years old.

›› A baby’s car seat needs to be rearward facing, properly


fitted to the car (you can have this done for you) and

This needs to be big

adjusted to fit the baby’s body. The car seat should always

enough for a fold-up

be in the back of the car where possible.

changing mat (great in grotty public toilets), a


few nappies, wipes, a

Essentially, you need an adjustable pram that can lie flat

change of clothes and

for the first few months and then move into an upright

the usual phone, keys

position once your baby can support her head – this will

and wallet. Don’t feel

last from birth until he refuses to get into it. Buy the best you can afford, particularly if you walk a lot, or look for a secondhand one on gumtree or eBay – a cheap

compelled to buy the one with pink elephants on it – it’s really not expected these days.

pram is a false economy as it will either break or drive you mad. Other useful features to look out for are good sun protection and space underneath to store your bag. Lightweight models are preferable, particularly if

Did you know? Besides seatbelt discomfort, several studies have shown that car crashes & seatbelts are the leading cause of death and injury to mum and unborn baby during a crash or sudden braking.

The Tummy Shield has been carefully designed and stringently tested in Australia to reduce the risk of injury to mum and unborn baby, it works by redirecting seatbelt pressure away from the abdomen area to the thighs and pelvis area during a crash or sudden braking, it will also make using a seatbelt more comfortable.



WITHOUT TUMMY SHIELD Stokke Crusi carrycot black melange & Xplory carry cot red.

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Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney


The only seat you’ll ever need! The Luxi Caprice is Australia’s only birth to eight years old child restraint, and is the highest rated rearward facing car seat in Australian independent testing. Converts from rearward facing, to forward facing with harness, to booster seat. Luxi Caprice $439.95

Vario Caprice RRP: $139.95

The Vario Caprice features an adjustable head rest, anti-submarining design and cup holders for convenience. Available in six gorgeous colours, the Vario Caprice is suitable for children aged approximately four years to eight years old.

Baby’s Safety first at Infasecure The Comfi Caprice features an ergonomic seat base designed for comfort and safety, handy cup holder, and is available in six gorgeous colours!

The Kompressor Caprice is the most compact birth to four years old child restraint in Australia, making it perfect for families who need multiple restraints across the back seat!

Versatile Folding Booster - RRP: $59.95

Kompressor Caprice RRP: $319.95 Comfi Caprice RRP: $139.95

Comfi Caprice 6 MTHS TO 8 YRS*


Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

The Versatile Folding Booster’s super light (2kg), unique folding action and carry handle make it incredibly easy to transport and store. Suitable for children approximately 4 years to 8 years old.

*All references to age are to an average proportioned child. Children vary in shapes and sizes. The ages outlined above is an approximation only.

Weddings, Parties, Races, Christenings, any occasion. The SZABO Peplum Dress is figure flattering, perfect for all occasions. Peplum dress $119

This gorgeous dress is the hero of the SZABO spring 13 collection. Perfect for a day on the beach or your baby shower. Crochet lace maxi RRP $119

The Delta dropped hem dress in Charcoal is stunning for a night out the festive season. Delta drop hem dress $109

SZABO desert linen pants and delta shade cami take relaxed dressing to a glamourous new level. Desert linen pant $129 Shade cami $75

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Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney


Balancing family and work Balancing work and family life is a struggle for most parents. Soon after having their baby, many parents will be asked ‘when are you going back to work?’ and the decision about whether to return begins. It’s no easy decision deciding to go back to work or not. Many factors come into play – including finding the right balance between work and family. While the reasons for returning to work are often financial, there are a range of other non-monetary benefits of being in the workforce. Increased self-esteem and self confidence, career progression and simply feeling part of the outside world are some of the other benefits. So, how do you decide whether going back to work is the right decision for you? Below are some things to consider. Benefits of returning to work: You will be earning a regular income, you are enhancing your career,


Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

you are keeping longterm goals on track, and you might even find that you enjoy your kids more – having less time to spend with your children can increase your enjoyment of their company when you are with them. Negatives of returning to work: Childcare costs can be prohibitive, with fees of up to $125 per day, the cost of having a child in formal care can be a significant barrier to work. The Federal Government subsidises a significant portion of this cost via the Childcare Benefit and Childcare Rebate but the cost is still a significant consideration. You may lose family tax benefits and there are also lifestyle costs - whether it’s the cost of transport, the need

to buy more takeaway food, paying for a house cleaner or needing more ‘corporate wear’, the lifestyle costs of working can be several thousand dollars per year. It is also important to consider how your children will cope. While there are many opportunities for parental guilt when balancing work and family, research suggests that children are just fine when both parents work. When it comes down to it, it’s important to do what makes you happy – if you are happy within yourself – whatever the decision, that is the best outcome for your children. For more information on work-life balance, and other parenting and education resources, visit www.asg.

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Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney


Selfheating baby bottle The paulandstella self-heading baby bottle combines impressive, unique technology with a stylish look, which suits busy, modern families that are on the go. This ingenious, 100 per cent BPA German invention is now available in Australia. Without the need for electricity or batteries, and just one simple click, the bottle will automatically heat the water to the perfect drinking temperature for your baby. The milk reaches body temperature within a few minutes. Your paulandstella Baby Bottle will keep the temperature for more than one hour. This can be checked at any time by looking at the integrated thermometer around the middle of the bottle. No more testing or guessing temperatures.

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Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

Cord blood used to treat 3-month-old cancer patient Why your child may one day need their cord blood Harlow was just three months old when her parents were given the shattering news that their little girl had cancer. She had three rounds of chemotherapy to shrink the tumour which was blocking her kidney so it could be removed. Although the surgery was successful, doctors recommended a stem cell transplant to assist the prevention of the cancer from returning. Luckily, Harlow’s parents had stored their daughter’s cord blood when she was born. This meant that doctors could perform two transplants using Harlow’s own cord blood stem cells. After two months, Harlow was home again, a happy, healthy baby, much to the delight of her relieved parents. Cord blood used to be thrown away – until researchers discovered it could be used in a similar way as bone marrow to

treat several diseases, in particular leukaemia, which is the most common childhood cancer. Since 1988, 30,000 cord blood transplants have been performed worldwide, to treat leukaemia, sickle cell anaemia, a hereditary blood disease called thalassemia, immune system disorders and some metabolic conditions in some patients. Cord blood is rich in stem cells, which can replace diseased cells and rebuild a child’s blood and immune systems. The stem cells in cord blood are less damaged than stem cells taken from the bone marrow of adults. Scientists are currently looking at all sorts of other possible uses for cord blood, and clinical trials are

Australia’s Leading

Cord Blood Bank Now is the time to get the facts on cord blood banking and decide who should store your baby’s cord blood stem cells. 1. Your baby’s umbilical cord blood is an invaluable resource as it contains their stem cells. These stem cells can be frozen and stored indefinitely for future use. 2. You only have one chance to save your baby’s stem cells - at the time of their birth. The cord blood will otherwise be discarded. Collection is quick, safe and painless. 3. Cord blood stem cells are routinely used to treat patients with cancers, blood disorders and immune system deficiencies. 4. Cryosite pioneered private autologous(1) cord blood banking in Australia in 2002 and since 2011

underway to discover whether stem cells could one day be used to treat diseases as diverse as cerebral palsy, brain injury and autism. Just a few months ago, a team of Chinese and US researchers at the University of Illinois found that the use of cord blood stem cells meant patients with Type 1 Diabetes could reduce their daily insulin dose by up to 40 per cent, bringing hope to sufferers. Family cord blood banking is available in Australia. In 2002, Cryosite launched Australia’s first private cord blood bank, providing a safe, secure, trusted option for your child’s cord blood stem cells. It has successfully stored cord blood for more than 12,000 families. Resource l 1. ViaCord l 2. BMC Medical 2012. Reversal of type 1 diabetes via islet β cell regeneration following immune modulation by cord blood derived multipotent stem cells.


“Fam site is a il B lood y Cord This m Ba e bloo a d ste ns your nk” b m

aby’s cells to tr c e c othe at them an be s ord tore r com selve d sa pa mem tible fam nd bers il y .

Cryosite has been licensed to provide a “Family Cord Blood Banking” service for Australian families(2). Family banking represents a significant new era in cord blood banking in Australia and greatly extends the potential uses. 5. Since 2002 Cryosite’s scientists have banked cord blood for thousands of Australian children in our own TGA licensed laboratories. With a decade’s experience in cord blood banking, Cryosite continues to provide the scientific expertise and financial stability(3) essential to confidently store your child’s stem cells for your family’s future use.

Talk to our friendly experts on 1800 220 410 or download a comprehensive brochure from our website.

References: 1. “Autologous” means your child’s cord blood can only be used to treat themselves. 2. Cryosite’s cord blood laboratories are fully licensed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (Lic No MI-18072008-LI-002488-11). 3. Cryosite is Australia’s only publically listed private Cord Blood Bank (ASX code “CTE”).

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney


Soft mats i play® The fun, colourful i play® i play® Boy’s swimwear range has built-in swim shorts ® i play ’s patented ultimate RRP $23.60 swim nappy. With its 3-layered protection and snug-fit, it contains accidents both in and out of the water. No other nappy is needed – saving money and the environment.

A Bubba Mat is the perfect cushioned play mat for your baby or toddler, offering a designated zone for playing, learning, eating, changing, growing and exercising every day. The soft and cushioned mats come in several sizes and beautiful reversible designs that simply wipe clean, making them the perfect space that can be enjoyed by the whole family for many years. Pricing: $129-$299. Please see the website for the current product range and further information.


Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

DummySpritz NEW to Australia, 100% natural sanitiser ideal for dummies, toys and anything else babies put in their mouths. No alcohol and no added sugar. The main ingredients are lemon juice and orange oil. No rinsing required – just spray and go. RRP $7.50

i play® Girl’s one-piece RRP $36.80

Bunkers built to last

Swaggers Nappies RRP $28 ON SALE $14.00

Most cots are outgrown within two to three years. Bunkers’ Convert-a-cot grows with your child and eliminates the need to purchase a cot, storage chest, change table and single bed as individual items. The Convert-a-cot has four main stages: Initially starting as a cot with deep drawer chest and change table in one, then converting to a training bed, then forms a full size bed, and finally forms the base for four different styles of bunk beds! Bunkers design and build long-lasting, hard-wearing products that can adjust to the changing needs of Australian families. Check out their full product range online today!

Trim lightweight fit, One size pocket nappy lined with Coolmax, super fast drying.

Bambo nature nappies RRP from $17.95 price varies from sizes One of the most environmentally friendly nappies on the market, manufactured in a production facility, 95% of all waste is recycled. Dermatologically tested carrying the Nordic Swan Eco and FSC labels. For further information please contact

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Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney



an unexpected

Real Life

baby shower


For those of you who experienced long labours, be warned this story may invoke birth envy. When Sarah Laird (31), recently gave birth to her second son, Alby, it was all over in a matter of a shower and a couple of pushes. There wasn’t even time for her support crew to arrive.


magine this - you are patiently waiting out the last couple of weeks before baby number two makes its

arrival. Your youngest is happily asleep in his own bed, you’re also in the land of nod. Suddenly, you’re woken in the middle of the night with the kind of cramping that suggests Bubs might be on its way. Sarah Laird (31), mum to boys Luca (3) and Alby (two weeks old), found herself in this situation recently. And while second-time-around, short labours are far from

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remarkable – as they say, we’ve been having babies for thousands of years and we’ll be doing it for thousands more - the rest of Alby’s birth was a little less ordinary. “On the night Alby was born, I woke up at about 1.30am with some mild cramping,” Sarah recounts. “After trying to ignore it for awhile I got up and went downstairs. At this stage I was thinking these must be the beginning stages of labour but, as anyone who has given birth understands, this can go on for quite awhile. I wasn’t having regular contractions yet and just rested on the couch in front of the heater. I rang my partner Kim (27) at around 2.45am

Children’s bedrooms

Trompe L’oeil

to suggest he come in as this was probably going to be the

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Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

on loud speaker in the middle of the bathroom, rang the

house we were renting for our baby’s birth.)”

midwife Tracey, and hopped back in the shower. I told her I

Sarah was under the care of the Community

was in the shower and I’d had the baby. Of course she was

Midwifery Program, and following advice from her

shocked, but I think she handled it really well - she stayed

midwife, spent the next hour or so

calm, told me to make sure Alby and

moving around and using the fit ball.

I were warm enough and that she

Having already experienced a painful posterior birth with Luca, Sarah was keen to do everything in her power to encourage a strong, straightforward labour. Feeling a stronger contraction at 3.30am, Sarah felt the urge to hop in the shower – it had been a great source of pain relief in her labour with Luca. As she was getting into the shower, she experienced a stronger contraction and what felt like her waters breaking.

The contractions were mild, short and very irregular so I didn’t have any reason to feel I was near giving birth, nor was I even sure I was really in labour.


day. (He was at our home, about an hour away from the

was on her way. I then called Kim, which was a funny conversation that I barely remember – I told him I was in the shower, had already had Alby, and that we were fine. Then I told him it was a boy and hung up!” Sarah’s voice takes on the dreamy tone of someone enjoying a pleasant memory as she recalls a favourite part of the story. “I wrapped Alby and myself in a towel and went out to the lounge room where I had the heater on. I sat

While standing under the warm

quietly gazing into Alby’s face and

water, Sarah experienced some mild contractions, and knowing Kim was on the way, thought

contemplating the incredible experience we had both just

once he arrived they would call the midwives to let them

been through. He began suckling almost immediately and

know things had started.

I felt so calm and in control. The first few moments with

“Suddenly a strong painful contraction surged through me and I squatted down to work through it. As I rose up

your child are infinitely precious and miraculous and I will never forget mine.

I realised I was pushing, and I could actually feel his head moving down! At this moment I realised things were progressing much faster than I had thought. I pushed for a second time and his head was out. I remember thinking ‘OK, I just have to do this’ and knelt down while cradling my baby’s head with my hands. Two more pushes in quick succession and I caught my baby boy in my arms.” Still in shock from what had happened, Sarah knelt in the shower for a moment, then turned Alby over and loosened the umbilical cord from around his tummy. “I remember feeling a moment of extreme relief that he was breathing and appeared healthy and normal. I was holding my new baby boy in my arms and thinking ‘Wow, did that just happen?’” Back to practicalities, Sarah realised her phone was in the lounge room and she had no idea what time he was born, nor did anyone know that she had been remotely close to giving birth. “I put the phone

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney



After ten minutes had passed, I heard my eldest son calling out to me, so I told him to come into the lounge room. He came halfway down the hallway, and I said ‘Luca, come and meet your brother’. He came into the room and was so delighted to see the baby in my arms. We sat there for another fifteen minutes or so looking at Alby, and then Kim came in.” After Kim had met his new son, and the midwife had arrived and given Alby a clean bill of health, Sarah called her parents to share the kind of news they are unlikely to forget. “Dad answered the phone. I told him I had already had the baby and had given birth in the shower on my own. He just kept saying ‘What? What?’, then he put Mum on.” Sarah says lots of people tell her how amazing she


was to cope, but to her, there wasn’t any other way to handle it. She also credits having planned to give birth at home with the relaxed way she reacted when things started to happen so quickly. “Because I was in the place I expected to give birth, I wasn’t panicking that I was still at home. If I’d been

says she never anticipated she would give birth to Alby

planning a hospital birth, I might have focused on being

quite so quickly, or at home, alone in the shower. “I am in

in the wrong place rather than dealing with what was

awe of what our bodies and minds are capable of and feel


extremely proud that I was able to find the courage and

While birth is often an unpredictable experience, Sarah

strength that I needed to bring Alby into our lives.”

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Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

1/11/13 2:39 PM


n u f r e m Sum By Letitia Rowlands


he kids have just finished a long year at school and are ready to get stuck into some holiday fun. But with

end-of-year celebrations and Christmas preparations taking up much of our time, it is often hard for parents to come up with ways to fill the seemingly endless days of the summer holidays. With that in mind we have put together a guide of some fun ideas to keep you and your family busy until the school bell rings and the kids head back to class for 2014.

Christmas Lights It just doesn’t feel like Christmas until you’ve seen the city’s sparkling festive lights. So why not give yourself a break from the chaos of last-minute Christmas shopping, take the family along to enjoy a warm summer night in the CBD and gaze at the city buildings in all their festive glory.

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney



In particular the children will love watching Town Hall come alive as night falls and its facade is lit up like a huge Christmas present. The city’s official Christmas tree in Martin Place is also worth a visit. l


Wet ‘n’ Wild Grab your swimmers and towels water lovers, the wait is over! The much anticipated Wet’n’Wild Sydney is due to open on December 12, just in time for school holidays, and is sure to be a favourite destination for families from across the city this summer. The water park will be home to more than 40 slides and attractions including some of the tallest and fastest water rides in the world. It will also have the world’s largest Sky Coaster, which lifts passengers to a height 10m higher than the sails of the Sydney Opera House, before they plummet to earth, face first, at 120km/h. Single day admission is priced at $70 for people over 110cm tall, $55 for people under 110cm, and children aged three and under are free. Opening hours vary throughout the season. 425 Reservoir Rd, Prospect


Phone: 133 386




Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney


Sydney Festival The harbour city in January wouldn’t be the same without Sydney Festival celebrations and 2014 will be no different. Running from the 9th until the 26th of January the festival is a must-do on the city’s arts and culture calendar and there are many shows and activities just for kids. Among some of the family-friendly attractions this year will be a bounce-on life size inflatable Stonehenge, a retelling of the Pied Piper story and kids’ craft workshops. Some activities are free and are held in various locations around the city as well as at the Parramatta festival centre.


Pirrama Park Centennial Park

If when you hear the word playground you think of swings

Whether it’s a morning spent feeding the ducks, an

and a slippery dip, then you will be pleasantly surprised

afternoon playing in the sunshine or an all day party

when you take your children to visit the award-wining

with friends, it’s easy to forget you are just minutes away

Pirrama Park in inner-city Pyrmont.

from the CBD when you are relaxing in the oasis that is

The swings and slippery dip are there of course, but this

Centennial Park. Located just five kilometres south-east

adventure playground also has a massive sand play area, a

of the city, the parklands continue to be a favourite with

rope climbing frame and water park to keep everyone cool

families of all ages from across the city and are a popular

in the summer heat. There are wide flat paths for bike and

destination during school holidays.

scooter riding and, for Mum and Dad, there is a great cafe to

For more information you can contact the Visitor

grab that all important morning coffee while taking in the

Information Centre on the corner of Grand and Parkes

sparkling harbour views.

Drive, Centennial Park.


Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont.

Phone: (02) 9339 6699



l l

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney



Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre When is an aquatic centre not just an aquatic centre? When it also boasts an urban jungle adventure park, laser tag games and arts and crafts classes. These are just a few of the activities you will find at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre these summer holidays. Of course there will also be lots of fun in the pool for kids

Featherdale Wildlife Park

of all ages, along with school holiday swimming and diving schools for those who want to perfect their water skills. Entry is $7 for adults, $6 for children and family passes

When you walk through the gate at Featherdale Wildlife Park it doesn’t take long

are available. Opening hours are 5am to 9pm Monday to

to realise this is going to be an up close and

Friday and 6am to 8pm on weekends and public holidays.

personal experience with our native wildlife.

Olympic Boulevard, Sydney Olympic Park

Kangaroos with babies in their pouches jump

Phone: (02) 9752 3666

around the grounds and happily feed from

your hands and stay still long enough for a

l l l

family photo. Emus crane their necks to see what you are up to and, of course, the chance

Learn to Hang Ten

to cuddle a Koala is one which cannot be missed. Entry is $28 for adults and $15.50 for children. Family

Our city is blessed with beautiful beaches so why not make the most of them, while keeping your family active, by

passes are also available. Open 9am to 5pm every day,

enrolling the kids in learn to surf classes. There are lessons

except Christmas Day.

in the city’s north, east and south and classes cater for all


ages and skill levels.


Phone: 9622 1644


Do you notice that your child... estmead,

W Walks funny or has bad posture? rman, Concord, Arta anhope Falls down quite often? Leichhardt, St Gardens Does not like sports? Has growing pains or wakes up at night crying? Suffer from heel or ankle pain ?

Protect your child’s feet and posture especially when doing competitive sports and dancing



p: 9689 3377 f: 9689 3311 e:



217-229 Kildare Rd, Doonside


Why Ravenswood? Ravenswood is a remarkable school. We offer a unique combination: quality teaching and outstanding academic results; a school that is just the right size, small enough for individual care but large enough to offer choices; and a focus on the development of a girl’s character and values in a Christian environment. Why not visit Ravenswood to find out more about our school, and what it can offer you and your daughter?

Ravenswood is…

• The right size • A welcoming and open school community • A school that provides opportunities to shine • Committed to choice, offering both the HSC and IB • Proud of its strong academic results in a non-selective environment • Engaged with the wider world through a clearly defined global connections programme Full details

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney


Sydney Observatory

Chinese New Year

The little space explorer in your life

Sydney’s Belmore Park,

will love a visit to Sydney Observatory

near Central Railway

either day or night and, with extra

Station, will come

activities scheduled, the school

alive with music,

holidays are the perfect time to go.

dancing, mouth-

Daytime activities include 3-D

watering food and

Space Theatre and Telescope Tours,

fireworks to welcome

Sydney Planetarium Tours and Mini

in the Year of the

Archaeologists In Training workshops.

Snake with a Chinese

At night time families can take part in

Market. Families

Stories of the Night Sky, Night Telescope

will enjoy soaking

and 3D Space Theatre Tours and Twilight Pizza Nights. Open 10am to 5pm daily. Night programs are by booking

up the atmosphere and children will

only. Prices differ depending on which activities you wish to

be impressed with

take part in.

performances, including

Watson Rd, Observatory Hill, The Rocks

dancing lions and modern pop performances.

For more information and bookings: (02) 9921 3485



l l l

Starts on January 24 and runs until February 9.

Is your child ready 4 school?


Primary School • High School • Adults

Classes for children aged 3-6 years Classes enrolling now! Castle Hill, Kellyville, Concord and Cherrybrook,

0401 384 936 • • Tutoring at your home or location of choice Teacher Owned and Operated • 7 Days a Week • School Holiday Programs Also Available

Phone: 0412 506 017 Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney



If you don’t want to leave home

Build a cubby house

Draw a city, farm or seaside village

All you need is some tables

A clear slab of concrete and a packet of thick sidewalk

and chairs that can be

chalk is all that’s needed to turn your backyard or

moved around and lots of

driveway into a bustling city, animal-filled farm or

sheets and blankets to drape over the furniture. Let the kids’ do the work as they figure out different ways to create

peaceful seaside village. The best bit is that once the drawing is complete, just throw a bucket of water over it and you are ready to start again.

their own style of cubby house. You will be surprised how long they will play inside their newly built homes before pulling it all down and starting again.

Rainbow rice Pour rice into several cups and add a couple of drops of

Make a cardboard television Cut opposite sides out of an old nappy box

different food colourings in each container. Mix it through the rice and lay it out to dry. Once it’s dry the brightly coloured rice can be played with, poured from cup to

(or similar sized cardboard box) to

cup, through a funnel or used to make

create a pretend television. One child

pretty patterns on the ground outside.

can crouch down behind the box and use puppets or toys to put on a show for their siblings, or for Mum and Dad,

Baking and cupcake decorating

seated on the other side of the box. This

This favourite activity might be

keeps the kids’ imaginations working

messy, but at least there’s a reward

and stops them spending too much

at the end of the in the form of a

time in front of an actual TV screen.

yummy afternoon tea for everyone.

Plan ahead for fun at Wesley Vision Valley 2014 is just around the corner and Wesley Vision Valley has something for everyone. It’s a good time to start planning your next holiday camp, church retreat, corporate gathering or weekend away. Wesley Vision Valley Manager, Jessica Warner, says that many adults came to the Valley as children and were now coming back with their own children. “People are always really excited by the changes and are certainly taking advantage of the extensive activities,” she says. “The kids come away having enjoyed the horses and the adults challenge themselves on the abseiling. “And at the end of the day, the cafeteria is buzzing with talk about their exciting day.”

Open seven days. Contact us now 1800 043 344 Email. 70

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney



oin the drama at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) this summer and enrol in one

of their popular short courses. Whether you are looking for an opportunity to participate in an intensive skill focused program, the chance to try something completely © NIDA 2013 (PHOTOGRAPHER: MAJA BASKA)

new or have fun in our creative play

(Presenter, Play School); Robert Jago

programs, NIDA is the place to learn, get involved and be dramatic! With more than more than 100 different courses running throughout

specifically designed for teenagers

(actor, Bell Shakespeare company). Holiday courses in Sydney are on

with intellectual disabilities. Current tutors and guest artists

offer at NIDA throughout Sydney. The NIDA School Holiday program

December and January, NIDA Open’s

include Andrea Demetriades (actor,

an extensive range of exciting, pop

Crownies); Douglas Hansell (actor,

runs from Monday 9 December to

culture-themed holiday activities

Ensemble Theatre); Tanya Goldberg

Wednesday 18 December 2013 and

and intensive skills-focused drama

(director, Ride On Theatre); Guy Edmonds

Saturday 4 January to Sunday 26

programs catering to 2-18 year olds,

(actor, A Moody Christmas); Sheridan

January 2014.

including pre-schoolers, primary

Harbridge (cabaret performer, Songs

school aged children, teenagers and

for the Fallen); Tommy Murphy (writer,

course visit: or call

HSC students, as well as courses

Holding the Man); Benita Collings

02 9697 7626.

Classes to suit all young people from ages 2 and up in creative play, acting, and singing including: • DRAMA SCHOOL • NIDA GLEE CLUB • LEAGUE OF NIDA SUPER HEROES • DOCTOR WHO: ACTING ON SCREEN • NIDAWARTS AND MANY MORE! Classes run throughout December and January

To learn more and sign-up for a


Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney


grey owl cushion, also available in pink. RRP: $40

elephant pin board – large. these charming elephant pin boards have a felt-like, firm surface that is perfect to pin into. available in various designs and sizes. 74cmW x 58cmH x 1.2cmD. RRP: $139.95

Zachary Hunter bed linen. Soft grey Chevron Duvet single cover RRP $250. lantern to match RRP $54.

n o i t i s n a r T Toddler By Jane Millington

The transition from a Nursery to a Toddler’s bedroom isn’t as tricky as you may think. Add a beanbag, or an ottoman; a road traffic lamp or a pin-up board to transform your Toddler’s room this season! grey, yellow and Cream knitted throw rug. 96cml x 75cmW. RRP: $70

is your little girl a dainty ballerina? then she will love this beautiful mirror featuring a girl in a gorgeous tutu silhouetted in this mirror. easy to peel off application to apply to walls. 90cmH x 40cmW. Material: acrylic mirror RRP: $180 each.

Small liquorice ottoman. 35cmH x 40cm Diam. RRP: $499. also available in a large ottoman RRP $750


Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

Scoop single bed designed and made in australia from solid tasmanian oak. also available in white, Walnut stain or Dark Chocolate stain. $1,375.

Crochet pink or grey round floor matt. 122cm Diam. RRP: $140

Babushka wall hanging. 74cm long. RRP: $40

timber Butterflies wall decal. these life size butterflies are available in either a set of 3 natural bamboo butterflies or a set of blackened okoume butterflies. RRP $24.95

Gigi alphabet Alphabet wall Bamboo gigi Gigi is a stunning decal. gigi letters collection of Bamboo letter 1.5m that span a huge 2.5m x 1.5m area of wall. RRP $450

Cross knitted jacquard bean bag or Pink and turquoise bird bean bag. available in various designs and colours. 50cmD x 98cmH. $110 Cubed bedside table. Satin painted finish featuring 3 open sides with circle cut outs. available in White and Red. 50cm x 50cm x 50cm. RRP $420

Reversible throw in grey. 95cm x 75cmW. RRP $65

Pinwheel rugs available in pink, yellow, Blue or green. RRP: $297

Are you worried about your child?

We can help you to understand your child’s social or communication issues For more information 1800 ASPECT (1800 277 328) Road traffic lamp. 74cmH x 36cmW at base. RRP: $175

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney



Only 50 per cent of Australians eat the right amount of fruit and vegetables. Here are some tried and true tips, tricks and strategies to include more fruits and vegetables in our family diet.

Tips and tricks to get your kids to eat more fruit and vegies


Vegie Smugglers W

e all know that fruits and vegetables

What is a serve?

are good for us, and there is very good

A standard serve of vegetables is about 75g or:

research confirming this. Not only

n ½

cup cooked vegetables

do fruit and vegetables have protective effects for

n ½

cup cooked or canned beans, peas or lentils

reducing our chance of getting cancer and heart

n 1

disease, but anyone who eats the recommended

n ½

amounts of two fruits and five vegetables are more

n 1

likely to be a healthy weight.

cup salad vegetables

A standard serve of fruit is about 150g or:

Adults are recommended to eat two serves of fruit

n 1

medium apple, banana, orange or pear

and five serves of vegetables, legumes or beans. The

n 2

small apricots, kiwi fruit or plums

recommendations for children can be seen below.

n 1

cup canned fruit (no added sugar)

Vegetables and legumes/beans



Serves per day*


Chat about Fruits and Vegetables

13-23 months

2-3 years

4-8 years

9-11 years

12-13 years

14-18 years









to ask my children. My seven year old







daughter said mango and broccoli,







Food Group

*Additional amounts may be needed by children who are taller or more active


medium potato (no chips!)

medium tomato

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

Do you know what

your children’s favourite fruit and vegetable is? I found it a fun exercise

and my three year old son said banana and carrot. This question led into a chat about fruits and

Berry Smoothie


important for our blood cells to grow. Mandarins and oranges have Vitamin C to help us stay well and heal cuts and bruises. Broccoli and baby spinach contain Vitamin A which is

Serves 2

important to help us see at night and grow strong teeth. An easy way to find out more about fruits and vegetables is to

1 cup milk

Google them!

1/2 cup baby spinach 1/2 cup frozen berries


2 tsp vanilla essence


1/2 cup ice il a blender and blend unt Place all ingredients in ired. e honey to taste if des smooth. Can add som ! ries ber us by the delicio The spinach is hidden

Are they really hungry? If only I had a dollar for every time I heard one of my children say ‘I’m hungry’! My three year

old will say this often after finishing his breakfast of three Weetbix, some oats and sultanas. So I am pretty confident that he isn’t hungry and I use this opportunity to ask him if his tummy is making hungry sounds or if he would like to play with his trains, get out his crayons or read a book.

vegetables and why they are so important in our diet. It is important to keep any conversation about food fun, light-hearted and age appropriate. I like to tell my children that fruits and

Usually it is just boredom and once I have set him up in an activity he is happy. Children have little tummies and can easily fill up on milk or juice (which I say doesn’t count as a serve of fruit because most juices don’t contain fibre). It can be useful to keep a

vegetables are ‘super’ foods because of their different colours.

food diary for a few days of what your child is eating as this

For example, strawberries have folate in them which is

can provide some clues on areas to improve.

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney





Encouragement and Praise

Children are often wary of foods, particularly foods

Children need to be offered, and encouraged, to

that they haven’t enjoyed previously. Dinner time can be a

eat foods. Vegetables are the most often rejected

particularly difficult time of day to encourage children to

food – but each vegetable needs to be offered at least eight

eat as they are often tired after a long day. If this is the case

times before becoming a trusted and accepted food. The key

try lunch time and snacks to offer new fruits and vegetables

is repetition, encouragement and praise.

when they are likely to be more receptive. Whole pieces of

The jury is still out on rewards. The long standing ‘eat all

fruit such as bananas, apples and pears, or offering tomato

your vegetables and you can have some ice cream’ can do

and avocado on crackers or some vegetables sticks with

more harm than good. If this is something that you are saying

peanut butter or a dip, are some easy, healthy snack options.

most nights then it probably isn’t working. The time when rewards of this nature can work is to encourage a child to try a food. If your child is refusing to even try different fruits or vegetables, a promise of a reward can work to encourage



Shop together Visit a fruit and vegetable market or your local farmers market with your child or children as

tasting, but after this it loses its value and may even cause a

an outing and opportunity for them to choose a fruit or

child to dislike a food even more. Beware of this backfiring!

vegetable that is in season that they would like to try. The

Noticing when they have made an effort and commenting on

rule is that whatever your child chooses you must buy and

this goes a long way to improving eating habits.

prepare, and you as the parent must try the food too. Empowering your child to make decisions about fruits



Plan to eat fruit and vegetables

and vegetables means they are more likely to try the food

As parents we are in the powerful position of

because they have been involved in the process.

influencing what our children eat – but of course

Finally, consistency plays a big role in getting children to

we aren’t the only influence – and our level of influence

eat their fruit and vegetables. There are always going to be

decreases as the children get older. So start early is my

those days where it comes down to a boiled egg and toast for

advice! If children see their parents eating and enjoying

dinner – but it is all about what happens most of the time.

plenty of fruit and vegetables, then children are more likely

Kate Bullen is an Accredited Practising Dietitian

to do the same. Children are more likely to adopt healthy

and Mum to a seven year old, three year old and 15

eating behaviours when they have more than one person to

month old. More information can be found at

imitate – so recruit as many family members as possible!

Tips from other Mums rs to cut ✓ Be creative and use cutte into shapes fruit and vegetables ✓ Hide the vegetables! ✓ Eat together as a family pare and ✓ Get the children to help pre age about the cook the meal. From rt to use of two children can sta potatoes/ peelers to peel carrots/ sweet potatoes s – puree ✓ Make fresh fruit ice lollie d add some some watermelon an fruit and sliced bananas, kiwi t in ice moulds strawberries and pu


Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

✓ Grow some vegetables in

your backyard ake great ✓ Frozen peas and corn m er months snacks over the warm fferent ✓ Vegetable pizzas with di ch as a vegetable pictures, su trees, carrot garden – broccoli for and peas for flowers ✓ Lots of different vegetables in small rk wo amounts often better than just a couple of vegetables in big quantities

! y a w a d n a p u , p U BY COLLEEN WILLIS

If you’ve ever dreamed of taking the family to London and beyond, now’s a good time to get the ball rolling.


flight with anyone under 10, then keep reading!

towards the end of the year airlines release what they call

holiday, as this would be the first time I had travelled such a

their “Earlybird” fares. These fares are usually sold at rates

long way with anyone other than an adult. However, I was

that are cheaper than normal.

pleasantly surprised to find that with a bit of planning (and

urope is towards the top of many people’s wish list for places to visit. Here are some useful tips and ideas for planning a trip with the family to London and Paris.

Now’s a great time to start arranging such a trip as

If you’re like me and dread the thought of a long haul Earlier in the year I flew to Europe with my family. It was with much trepidation that I agreed to this

a relaxed attitude to routines) things went much better

Helpful hints to find the best deals available:

than I had anticipated.

• Use a travel agent. This can often save time as a good agent will be able to access many fares quickly. • Check out the airlines own websites and join their

Some tips include: • Pack snacks – good for between meal times and

email list.

possible delays.

• Follow the airlines on

• Order special children’s meals.

social networks as

• Pack wipes

sometimes they offer

• Take a change of clothing in case of spills/accidents

sales on their sites.

or baggage delay.

• Word of mouth. If you

• Technology can be a life saver. I-pads, smart phones,

know someone who got

DVD players have all diverted many an argument

a great deal on their last trip ask them who they went with and how they booked it. While cheaper airfares can be a great incentive to

when travelling! • Books shouldn’t be ignored either, especially for older children. • Take something to alleviate ear pressure for take-off and landing e.g. lollipops, dummies. • Make a toilet run before

travel, there are some

the food and drink service

things you must be aware

commences. Trust me, it’s

of and some simple

often inevitable that

precautions to take when

someone will need to go

booking them:

when the aisle is blocked!

• If possible, know your departure and

• If travelling for the first

return dates.

time, prepare a route map

• Decide if you want a stopover or not.

so you don’t run the risk of

• Make sure you are fully aware of all

getting lost. Also allow

fees and charges. If you need to change

extra time at the airport.

dates or cancel your trip, the fees can be quite high and in some cases, not even possible to do.

• Sydney has a dedicated queue for families at all security screening points.

• Check that everyone’s passports are

For more information visit

up to date.

• Insurance, insurance, insurance. NEVER travel without it! Ever!

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney


When we arrived in London we decided to hit the ground

Highlights include:

running (a good way to help with jetlag is to get outdoors as

• The Tower of London

soon as possible). We had researched what we wanted to do

• Big Ben

before we left and took advantage of the good weather to

• Legoland Windsor (take

go straight to the London Eye and get a magnificent view

the train to Windsor for

of London.

the day – this is a winner!)

For more information visit:

• The London Dungeon • V & A Museum

There are many fantastic things to do and see in London for

of Childhood

all the family, from a leisurely garden stroll to a fast paced day

• Buy a London “Hop on

at a theme park.

hop off” sightseeing bus pass. This is a terrific way to get around to many of the attractions on a double decker bus and learn a few things on the way. • The British Museum • Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew • Buckingham Palace. Don’t forget to say hi to the Queen if she is there! For more information visit:;;

Accommodation There are just so many different options for London accommodation that you need to decide what your parameters are: • Hotel or apartment? • Is it family friendly? • Location – if possible stay near a “tube” station (this is the nickname for the Underground rail) Enter dotshop in discounts to receive a $20 gift voucher when shopping cart reaches $85


Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

• Pricing. For more information visit:


or most children, a visit to Europe isn’t complete without the chance to see Disney Paris. It has all the magic and wonders that that we come to expect

from such a place. Whether it’s your favourite characters walking around right before your eyes, or just the sheer magnitude of it all, there’s something here for everyone. Disney Paris is located in Marnela-Vallee which is 32km from the centre of Paris. There are two

Walt Disney Studio’s Park has plenty of

separate parks to visit, Disneyland

action and rides too.

Park and Walt Disney Studios Park.

• Production Courtyard

Disneyland Park is divided into

• Toon Studio

five lands:

• Backlot

• Main St U.S.A.

• Frontlot

• Frontierland • Adventureland


• Fantasyland

Disney has several of their own branded hotels, which are

• Discoveryland

located closer to the parks than other properties. One of

Each land then has its own rides and attractions that are specific to each theme.

them, the Disneyland Hotel, is right at the main park itself. For more information visit:

Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney


Travel Tip

stayed in an apartment at

yet still If you are short on time sy to catch want to see Paris, it’s ea u get to see the train in. This way yo eg. the Eifel some of the main sites French pastry Tower, have an authentic you are ready. and then go back when out 100m from There is a train station ab -la-Vallee the parks called Marne ur ticket. and it’s easy to book yo The train takes about 45 minutes into central Paris.

the Marriott Village d’lle–deFrance which was fantastic and then hired a car (a shuttle was also available to the parks). For more information visit:

Getting there If arriving by plane into Charles de Gaulle airport, you can either hire a car or take a train from the airport itself. The train is fantastic as it is high speed and takes less

Things to consider when booking a Disney hotel:

than 10 minutes to the station!

• They are closer to the parks

run from both airports.

• They are ‘theme’ orientated which can very appealing • Some rooms are apartment style However, these rooms can be expensive and if you choose to stay a bit further out, the savings can be significant. We


Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney

Bus services and taxis also If coming from London, the Eurostar goes directly there! It takes approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes. For more information visit:


The Friendly Animal Farm that comes to you with minimum fuss & maximum fun!


Farmyard Fun for: • Playgroups • Schools • Pre-schools • Fetes • Kindergartens • Birthday Parties • Pony Rides • Special Events D.P.I APPROVAL NO: A00104

Cuddle, pat, brush and play with our baby animals

Phone 4576 1407 •

0404 938 297


A Sydney based, mobile party service custom designed for the interest and age of your child. We provide all the equipment and art supplies. We set up, entertain and clean up once the party has come to an end.

Sydney depot Kellyville


Also Available: • Balloons • Food Warmers • Tables & Chairs


Hornsby Parramatta Penrith



Event Co-Ordinator Zoe |Email

PARTY ZONE 0 r 15 Ove to help es the themcreate ty! you ect par perf

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(08) 9842 6442

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Why not have Griego at YOUR party ? YOUR children will love being part of his show !

Call 02 9997 6926 to book your 3 act show Offspring | summer 2014 | sydney


Australia’s premium family lifestyle magazine l

50,000 hard copies each edition l

Also published online


Fantastic distribution - directly targets Sydney families l

Competitive advertising rates l

Quarterly publication - 3 month shelf life l

Offspring Sydney Summer 2014 issue  

Sydney's only free family lifestyle magazine. Published by Offspring Magazine Pty Ltd.

Offspring Sydney Summer 2014 issue  

Sydney's only free family lifestyle magazine. Published by Offspring Magazine Pty Ltd.