Westside MamaMag August 2015

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WESTSIDE

August 2015

WIN a free term of ready steady go kids classes WORTH $18o Homework help Terriblereadiness teething School 5Anxiety movesinfor mums children Top Feed 10 motor kids skills right Taxintime sorted Investing education Children’s book week

free Local fun for the Westside mum 1


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winter wonders Hi mamas, I hope you’ve been keeping warm and well. I find that in winter, and particularly during winter school holidays, it can take a bit more effort to amuse the kids. But we had a lovely break, escaping for a couple of nights to Phillip Island (where I dared a high ropes course), and seeing Disney on Ice for the first time (we loved it!). Perhaps best of all, I surprised hubby by sending both the girls on sleepovers and organising to stay at the Windsor for the night! Eliana enjoyed a writing workshop at the 100 Story Building while Arabella (dressed as a fairy complete with self-applied makeup) ‘helped’ me deliver the last of our July issue in Seddon. It’s amazing how long things can take with little ones around but also amazing how it gives you a whole different perspective on what’s important – choosing the perfect novelty item at The Party Shack in case you are wondering. There’s been heaps of events on in the inner west but our favourite recently was the construction play event organised by Tot: Hot or Not and Small Scapes. Children of all ages created a pop up Sunshine Children’s Garden from cardboard. This month we tackle Book Week costumes. When my first child was in prep she wanted to go as the seahorse in Eric Carle’s Mister Seahorse which was a bit of a favourite at bedtime. I made an elaborate cardboard creation… which she had to take off as soon as she needed to sit down. Whoops. We’ve given you some ideas for costumes which are a bit more manageable for you, and for your child. Finally we need to talk about something that many of us try to avoid. The dentist! With August hosting Dental Awareness Week, we thought we’d bring you a little dental flavour to this edition. When was the last time your family went for a visit?! Until next month, stay warm in the west and don’t forget to floss!

@localmamamag


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Contents Terrible teething All you need to know about teething

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5 moves for mums 8 Make the most of your time at the park

a free term of ready steady go kids classes AT MSAC woRth $18o

Kid’s teeth What’s all the fuss?

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Parklife We visit Werribee Zoo

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Dental phobia Can we cure it

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Teeth cleaning Nag free strategies

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Australia’s leading sport program for 2.5–6 year olds!

In the Village We visit Spotswood

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Auction campaigns with kids How to manage

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Footscray, Williamstown, Werribee, Hoppers Crossing, Essendon, MSAC, Carlton and Hawthorn.

Mama of the month 22 Cherie Clonan from The Digital Picnic Mama can cook Winter warming vegetarian dishes

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Gross motor skills Top 10 skills for pre-schoolers

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All it takes A mama’s story of adoption

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Children’s Book Week All the dress up ideas you need

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Turn the page 32 This month’s picks from Enchanted Years Replenishing mums Taking care of you

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Tiny technology Technology in early childhood

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A mama’s journey Fit body, fit mind

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Kid’s craft and our colouring comp 40 Tax time 42 Tips for organising your tax documents

MamaMag August 2015

Visit our Facebook page to enter

www.facebook.com/localmamamag Entries open to Victorian residents only. Competition starts August 1st 12.01am and closes August 31st 2015 at 11.59pm. Prize is valid for Term 4 2015 enrolment at one of the above locations for weekday classes. See readysteadygokids.com.au for more information on classes. Visit www.mamamag.com.au full terms and conditions.

MamaMag is published monthly for the mums of Melbourne’s west by Grizzle Design Pty Ltd. ABN: 26 042 138 550. PO Box 8018 Brighton East VIC 3187 Phone: 1300 771 446 Email: info@mamamag.com.au www.mamamag.com.au

5,000 copies are distributed monthly. Editor in Chief: Sarah Cavalier Westside Editor: Rebecca Gelsi Design and layout: Grizzle Design Like to contribute an article or products for review or giveaway? submissions@mamamag.com.au Like to advertise in our next month’s issue? info@mamamag.com.au or download our media kit from www.mamamag.com.au The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the publishing staff. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without permission of the publishers. Health related articles are designed to be informative and educational. They are not intended to provide specific medical advice or replace one-on-one advice from your health practitioner.


terrible teething We’ve all been there! Some make it through like a walk in the park (yes I’m one of the lucky ones!), but for others teething can be months or years of pain and suffering. It’s usually not very difficult to tell if your baby has started teething. Around 4-7 months you’ll notice frequent crying, red cheeks, more drooling, problems sleeping, and general fussiness. You might even notice your little one is refusing food or is trying to nibble anything he or she can get their hands on!

It’s teething time Teething isn’t much fun for anyone. Seeing your child distressed or being woken up in the middle of the night can be difficult. but remember your baby has teeth breaking through their gums for the very first time, ouch! It’s important to remain patient and it’s natural to feel a little helpless. While there is no magic cure for teething there are some tricks that can help soothe the pain and keep things quiet(er), at least for a little while.

Soothing your teething tot Each child is different and sometimes you have to use trial and error to get results. The first thing to remember when you have a teething tot is that distracting them from the pain will help, and there are a variety of ways you can do this. First try affection and attention. Giving your baby plenty of cuddles and extra attention can help keep their mind off their mouth for some short term relief. Some light pressure with something cold can also help relieve sore gums, like gently rubbing or massaging the gums with a clean finger or a cold spoon. Just remember, not too hard and not too cold! A chilled washcloth can also do the trick. Written by The Australian Dental Association For more information visit www.ada.org.au 6

There are a range of teething rings available for babies to gnaw on. Chilled (not frozen) teething rings offer temporary pain relief through the pressure and cold and act as a distraction. Teething rings can be attached to your baby’s clothing, but never tie anything around the neck as it risks strangulation. Lots of parents choose to let their baby suck or chew on a dummy as this can settle a restless baby and provide temporary relief. Using dummies is OK as long as you don’t put anything sweet on them like honey or jam (or you’ll cause decay!). Children who are eating solids can also use remedies such as hardened sugar-free rusks, peeled cucumber or frozen carrots large enough that they cannot be swallowed. If these measures fail to provide relief for teething, ask your dentist or pharmacist for advice before using any pain medication or oral gels that contain a local anaesthetic. Should your child present with symptoms not outlined above, do not assume they are simply teething. Symptoms such as diarrhoea, rashes (other than those caused by drooling irritation) and fever are not symptomatic of teething and your child should see a healthcare professional to rule out other illness.


When will my child’s teeth appear? When you have your first child it can be both an exciting and anxious time. It’s natural to worry about what is normal and be particularly concerned about your new addition to the family’s health and teething is no exception. As a guide, your baby is likely to sprout their first teeth around six months old. Sometimes teeth can come through as early as four months and as late as ten, so there is no need for alarm if teething starts a little early or a little late. If you’re worried, it is always a good idea to see a dentist to make sure everything as it should be. By aged three all twenty baby teeth should have come through, and by around age six your child will likely start losing them to make way for their adult (secondary) teeth. The chart below illustrates what age your children’s baby and adult teeth might arrive.

baby teeth adult teeth 7


5 moves for mums A day at the park doesn’t have to be spent supervising and drinking lattes! As mums we are all so busy and, let’s be honest, it can be really hard to find the time to exercise. The next time you visit your local playground, why not get active with your little ones and squeeze in a quick, fun workout that you can enjoy together! I spent the afternoon with young Zoe (4 years) recently at a fabulous beachside park. We came up with 5 exercises that cover all of the main muscle groups and also integrated some of the play equipment to make things a little more challenging! Next time you visit your local playground, why not give this a go!

1. THE ROPE CLIMB Enjoy a rope/ladder climb with your little ones working the entire body. Who will get to the top first?

2. THE WALL SIT Sit against a flat surface, back against the wall and aim for thighs to be parallel to the floor, this will ‘burn baby burn’ those legs.

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3. BENCH DIPS Keep the body nice and close to the bench and perform your dips, squeezing the back of the arms (triceps) as you lower your body then push back up again.

4. BURPEES Get out in the park with your little ones and perform 45 seconds of burpees (the kids love these) you can step them out or jump them, or just jump around and enjoy your family fun time. These work your entire body! My favourite most functional exercise!

5. BENCH PLANK Feet up on the bench, plank position with wrists and shoulders aligned, hands shoulder width apart- & hold! Warning: as you can see here, I can promise you that your child will want to jump on top so be sure to enjoy the extra resistance!! Ouch!!

TIPS: Perform 45 seconds of each exercise, with a 15 second rest in-between. Ensure you are nice and warm before starting. Walking to the park is a great warm up. Hit as many rounds as you can do and ask the kids to join in too!! They will love it! When complete, head over to the cafĂŠ for that well deserved latte! By Bianca Basile, Blue Sky Fitness www.blueskyfitness.com.au

Photography: Kellie Mastwijk Styling: Runway Room Clothing: 2XU Australia

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Kid’s teeth. What’s all the fuss? Unless your kid is a shark, they will only get two sets of teeth, and both are equally as important. With Dental Health Week this month, lets stop and have a think about our children’s teeth and address some of the most common questions. Let’s talk numbers! A full set of baby teeth consists of 10 upper and 10 lower teeth. First adult tooth appears at around 6, but it varies. Usually lower front incisors come through first, followed by the “6-year old” adult molars. By 13 years old, most teenagers will have lost their last baby molars. When should I take my baby to the dentist? If only I get a dollar every time I get asked this! Our recommendation is around 2.5 years old. Your child’s first visit may just be a quick peek, ride in our dental chair on your lap, and a “hi-5”, but it’s important to desensitise your child in the dentist’s room (and to us!). Do I need to brush my baby’s teeth? Do try, I know it’s hard. For infants up to 2 years old, gentle brushing with plain water with a age-specific kids toothbrush is adequate. By 3 years of age, they will be more tolerant of the toothbrush, you can introduce a small smear of children’s toothpaste and it’s important to spit out the excess. Do not use an adult’s toothpaste as the fluoride concentration may be too high, and always store toothpaste safely to prevent excessive ingestion. Baby teeth will fall out anyway, why bother? The same can be said about your hair! Untreated decay in baby teeth can cause many irreversible problems such as infection (hence pain!), alignment issues and orthodontic problems, gum disease, damage to developing adult teeth etc. 10

The only time we recommend leaving decay untreated is if your dentist agrees to do so. Sometimes that is when the tooth is pain-free and it’s so wobbly that the tooth fairy is at your doorstep. But when in doubt, please consult your dentist. My child has crooked teeth, does my bubba need braces? There are different types and causes of crooked teeth, such as genetics, thumb-sucking, tongue thrusting, trauma etc. It is important to get an assessment from your dentist who has had adequate orthodontic training and experience, or a specialist orthodontist. In some cases, early orthodontics intervention may be advisable and in other cases, extractions of permanent teeth and full braces are needed. At Seddon Dental, our team of dentists had orthodontic training who can provide free orthodontic advice and management. As always, when in doubt, ask your dentist. We are here to help. For more information visit www.babyteeth.com. au and www.seddondental.com.au Written by Dr Lother Poon, BDSc. (Melb) Principal at Seddon Dental

F.I.C.C.D.E (Ortho)


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Parklife

Brought to you by:

werribee ZOO! K Road, (Werribee Open Range Zoo), Werribee South Did you know there was a playground at Werribee Open Range Zoo? Seriously this place has it all, and the playground was a fab addition in 2014, tucked in behind Ranger Kids (an awesome indoor space) It is an excellent outdoor play area with slide, tunnels, wooden planks and stepping stones, turrets, trees, a large nest swing and more. It is blended into the ‘look’ of the zoo and is a great spot for a picnic and debrief post your safari. Best of all, you have everything y

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you need here to stay for a well....ummm... the WHOLE DAY! Mamma’s special mention: By becoming a Zoo member ($90 for the year per adult and kids are FREE) you can visit Village Kids anytime you like. Plus get all the added bonus’s of being AT THE ZOO! The nitty gritty: 9am - 5pm every day of the year. Last entry at 3.30pm.


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Dental Phobia... Can we cure it? It’s been said that there really are only two ultimate human emotions from which others seed – that of Love or Fear. Fear is the undercurrent of all negative emotions. Unfortunately, when it comes to the dentist, for many people, fear wins. And the root of many of our fears traces back to one time: childhood. Most of the fear that is experienced in the dental chair undoubtedly stems from terrible childhood experiences. It’s not an uncommon occurrence to find an adult patient grey and shaking in my dental chair infected with the ‘dental phobia’. They recount the times when they had a foot on their chest during an extraction or when the vibrating drill hit a nerve and the childhood dentist would not stop. Or even when the dentist ‘pinned’ them down. Unfortunately, this fear can infuse into their children. Children are gifted with an uncanny intuition and can easily feel energies if it hasn’t been conditioned out of them already. Sadly, during a child’s dental appointment, a hovering, over cautious parent can inadvertedly transfer ‘their’ fear over to their children by asking them over and over if they’re ok and reassuring them that they are doing so well.

The child starts to wonder … why shouldn’t I feel ok? Should this be hurting? A seed of doubt is planted. In our outreach programs (‘My Mum’s a Dentist’) to asylum seeking mums and their children, we see many little mouths filled with broken, neglected, rotten teeth in the children. However, we are very sensitive in our process

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of empowering them to take accountability for their children’s health. It is so important to avoid instilling any fear or shame around them during the education process. I remember volunteering in Vietnam – a team of two dentists treating at least 50 children a day in the poorest outskirts of the Mekong. In soaring temperatures and 100% humidity, we would treat these kids under tin roofs with icebags on our necks, a bucket shared between the children for them to spit out in, and old carseats as their dental chairs. During the examination process, the poor kids were lined up and petrified. They presented with some of the worse teeth I had seen – rotting, black, cavernous teeth with bleeding gums. Although it was obvious that they were suffering in pain from the bombed out teeth with abscesses, many when questioned would answer that they had no pain to help avoid any treatment. I later found out our trainee Vietnamese dentist was extracting teeth without giving the proper anaesthetic. This wasn’t a malicious act – the rural Vietnamese dentists simply had not been trained properly! Fear had spread like wildfire amongst the kids. BOOM! Phobia created! In our first world country, this childhood pain scenario at the dentist has been etched on even the most robust of persons. The typical scene in the dental room is that a patient walks in, face ashen, knuckles white, jaw grinding.

They sit down and say “No offense, but I hate the dentist”. Then they proceed to tightly open their mouth with hands clenched and whole body bracing to ironically assuage the oncoming procedure.


The end result is both a very exhausted patient and dental team. How do we avoid this scenario? How do we try to release fear’s hold over us?

Surrender and let go. Be in the present and realise that ‘this too, will pass’ (this was my mantra during childbirth!). The following are tips I share with my patients when they are with us. a. Take deep slow breaths. In fact, take more than 10 continuous breaths. This helps you to gain clarity and become grounded. You cannot physiologically be stressed or anxious when the deep breathing kicks in the parasympathetic nervous system. 2) Feel your body release on the exhalations– let your neck be free and into this space let your shoulders drop down. Allow your back to widen and lengthen. 3) Notice any tightening that appears in your body, in your face and see if you can systematically release and let go of the tightening. 4) When you open your mouth, you can fling it open and hold it there tightly, OR you can picture it as a hammock and let it drift open. 5) Keep focusing on allowing each of your facial muscles to let go, even when you open your mouth – your cheeks (masseters), your temples (temporalis), your forehead (frontalis), between your eyes. Feel for any frowns.

Breathing and letting go are invaluable tools for life. It is the ability to fully trust and open (in many ways, not just your mouth) that will helps us step into dental environment without fear. We can choose to be in a state of contracture and tightening or we can soften and release. What do you choose? By Fern White from Beacon Cove Dental

Fern White is a dental surgeon, mama, yoga teacher, boss-lady and lover of learning. She is passionate about bridging the gap between medical and mindful practice and supporting asylum seeking mamas and children. 15


Top Eight Nag-Free Teeth Cleaning Strategies 1. Make it fun! While many parents want to reduce the amount of tech time, there are times when it is very helpful. Check out the two-minute apps that are available for android or apple devices including Macleans Nurdle Time or Oral B’s Disney Timer for younger kids. They help make the experience into a game and really fun. 2. When at the toddler stage, try two toothbrushes. One for them to hold and play with (after all they love their independence at this age) and one for you to get in there and give their teeth a gentle clean. 3. Give them an electric toothbrush or a brightly coloured toothbrush. Make sure you use kid’s toothpaste that they’ll like the taste of. Your dentist may have a range of fun electric toothbrushes with suction cups to help stop them getting lost on the floor.

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4. Make it part of their morning and night ritual. This will start the habit from an early age. Remember kids learn by example so make sure you are setting a good one for them to follow. 5. Brush your teeth alongside your kids. It’s amazing how much kids model from those around them, so get cleaning together. 6. Brush each other’s teeth. Make it a game of seeing who can get the cleanest teeth. 7. Show and tell! Kids often need to know why they need to clean their teeth regularly. A good way to show them is to get dissolving agent tablets that they chew. The pink dye shows where the plaque is. Kids love to understand and learn why…why…why. 8. See a professional. If you still have problems with a bit of defiance, sometimes hearing it from a professional can make all the difference. Give your friendly family dentist a call; we are always ready to help!


Are your kids brushing well? Interest free payment plans We bulk-bill Medicare for the Childs Dental Scheme $1000 of dental care for kids aged 2 – 18 for families that qualify for the CDBS Health fund extras? No out of pocket on Check & Cleans for health fund members with benefits available

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Fun and educational music classes for ages 6 months to 5 years

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1. A little bit fancy - Duchess of Spotswood The Duchess is a much loved inner west treasure and is especially popular for breakfast or brunch. Traditional English food with specials like mackerel and scotch eggs. 87 Hudsons Road. facebook.com/DuchessOfSpotswood 2. Family dinner - Spottiswoode Hotel Traditional pub food and a cosy but spacious atmosphere with friendly service make this hotel a popular place for families. The $10 roast each Sunday is very popular – be sure to book ahead. 62 Hudsons Road. spottiswoode.com.au

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3. Amazing sweet treats - Candied Bakery A sort of Australian, American, European bakery – oh whatever, if it’s sweet and delicious you’ll find it here. Boston cream doughnuts, apple pie milkshake, key lime pie. There’s also hot dogs and savoury pastries. 81a Hudsons Road. candiedbakery.com.au

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4. Craft beer - Two Birds Brewing Named after female owners and brewers Jayne and Danielle, Two Birds Brewing is the west’s go to for craft beer. There’s also yummy snacky type food and a few more substantial options – all food carefully chosen to go well with beer. Try the taco beer if you’re game. 136 Hall Street. twobirdsbrewing.com.au 5. Scienceworks Ever popular, the dinosaurs are at Scienceworks now with the Tyrannosaurs – meet the family exhibition. Scienceworks is wonderful for children of all ages but once a month they also have a Little Kids’ Day In featuring activities and shows especially for kids aged under 6 years. 2 Booker Street. museumvictoria.com.au/scienceworks

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6. Modern Medical The doctors at this recently opened clinic have a loyal following from parents in the area. Children (under 15 years) are bulk billed before 5pm weekdays and all day Saturday. 196-200 Hall Street modernmedical.com.au/hobsons_bay

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7. Melbourne Academy of Performing Arts (MAPA) This popular performing arts studio has something for children of all ages and even adults. They teach a wide range of dance styles, drama, acrobatics and music. They also offer school holiday programs and children’s parties. 140 & 144 Hall Street. mapa.com.au 19 19


How to manage the kids during an auction campaign Surviving an auction campaign can be hard work and very stressful especially when young children are involved. Marty Rankin from Village Real Estate in Melbourne’s inner west says

“it’s always hard for parents to keep the house looking pristine and ready for inspection when you have young kids. I have kids, and so do many of my team and we know what it’s like! We thought we would pass on some tips we have accumulated over the years, to help other parents of littlies when they are thinking about selling their home.” So here are twelve tips to help parents prepare for an auction if they have young kids:

1. Once your home is listed it’s a good idea to allow a few weeks to get prepared for the 3-4 Open For Inspections (openings) that you will have, as well as the actual auction. 2. Put your ‘buyers eyes on’. Get your agent’s advice as to what they believe you may need to do to maximise your selling potential. Many agents offer a free visit by an interior designer or stylist. Accept that offer as they can often make suggestions you never thought about. 3. As any parent knows, kids’ toys are one

of the main reasons for clutter in the home. Pack away any toys they haven’t played with for some time into boxes. Get them to keep a basket of favourites and involve them in the process. Make kids responsible for packing up their toys into that special basket before every open for inspection. Store the old toys in the garage, or if possible hire a small storage shed for the next few months. The kids will forget about them and it will be like Christmas when they unpack them again! But then again, this is a good time to do a charity run with clothes that have been outgrown, toys that are no longer needed, accessories, old story books, and anything that hasn’t been used or won’t be missed.

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4. If you have more than one bathroom in your home clean them on a Friday and then ban the kids from using one of them until after the opening. Share the one with them that’s easiest to clean. On the day of opening you will only need to wipe over one bathroom. 5. On the day of opening have a basket for

all your last minute clutter, you might find the odd shoe or toy and even last minute dirty washing can be put in it. Hide it somewhere - even in the boot of the car if you can’t find anywhere else.

6. Call in as many favours as you can from

family and friends. Rather than people coming to help you, farm the kids out. Fridays are good days to try and get them looked after, as well as during the opening itself. If you haven’t had luck with the babysitters for the day of the open, it’s easier for one parent (or grandparent) take the kids and dog out for a couple of hours leaving the other to get organised. Much easier than two parents chasing kids around and cleaning up after them!


7. As well as the kids, see if the dog can be

relocated for a few hours so you won’t be picking up dog poop just before the opening starts.

8. You don’t want to mess up that sparkling

kitchen! Go out for dinner on the night before the opening, or order takeaway. And keep breakfast simple on the morning of the opening. If possible do as much cleaning as necessary on the day before the opening. Get in cleaners (or friends!) to help if possible. Generally a thorough clean prior to the first opening makes the next few weeks a bit easier.

9. Teenagers! Get them to have a sleepover at their friend’s place. As we all know, teenagers like to sleep in, and getting them up and moving early on a Saturday is not easy! Make sure you get them to clean their rooms before they go!

10. Have plenty of clothes, tea towels on hand for last minute wipe downs, finger print removal on windows, oven doors etc. 11. Plan your open times around sleep times.

Open For Inspection times are generally locked in for the whole campaign so make sure you have a say. The last thing you want to do is have an open for inspection right in the middle of a two hour sleep time.

12. Make sure you don’t have to run around

after the kids when your most important asset is on the line. Your agent will need you to be focused and quick decisions need to be made with clarity. Ask for one more babysitting favour from family or friends.

By Village Real Estate Based in Seddon and Newport, they consider themselves the ‘anti agents’. They don’t like a lot of the things many real estate agents do. They are cheeky, irreverent and like to ‘stir the pot’ a little. For more information about Village or the areas that they cover, go to www.villagere.com.au.

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MAMA of the month This month we speak to Cherie Clonan, one of the mums behind The Digital Picnic. Cherie and co-founder Catherine King run social media workshops, and provide ongoing social media management and digital media services to businesses. They have also produced an ebook on working in social media management, aimed as being an essential guide for anyone interested in pursing a career in social media management for themselves. All of this, while wrangling small children. When did you decide to create The Digital Picnic and where did the idea come from? In all honesty, the whole idea behind our TDP workshops was something as simple as multiple friends /industry professionals coming to me and asking if they could take me out for a coffee in exchange for social media help / advice / tips and tricks. At the time, I was working in social media management fulltime and simply didn’t have the time to do multiple coffees in exchange for social media marketing advice. I began to realise that there might be a market for workshops where small business owners/ recent university graduates within relevant fields/aspiring social media managers could all come together for a fun and interactive workshop where we focus on offering incredibly practical social media advice, which aims to guide our attendees on best current social media practices. I knew I didn’t want to launch this business idea on my own, but I’d also heard some horror stories about business partnerships that had been anything other than successful. I met Catherine through a local mother’s group, and not only were our personalities incredibly complimentary, but our skills sets were too. We just work really well together, and it all just works. What were you doing before you had kids? Sleeping. Sleeping in. Sleeping uninterrupted. Sleeping. Eating. Eating hot meals. Eating hot meals uninterrupted. We were both just generally doing all of the things one takes for granted before little people arrive on the scene! 22

Professionally speaking, we both hail from marketing backgrounds, however Catherine’s background has been in digital marketing within the corporate arena, whereas my background has been freelancing in social media marketing for different companies. What’s the best thing about what you do? It’s meeting people in our workshops. It’s hearing them introduce themselves and their stories when we first kick off each and every one of our workshops. It’s being inspired by their stories. It’s being able to relate to their stories. It’s the realisation that hearing small business or entrepreneurial stories is exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing; they inspire you with their stories, we empower them with social media knowledge. We feel very lucky! What’s been your proudest moment? I think it’s been kicking our business idea off and going from having to really promote our workshops heavily, to now being in the position where we are able to much more casually promote what we’re doing, courtesy of good word of mouth/feedback that currently fills our workshops. It couldn’t be a bigger compliment, and we feel so proud of what we are doing for ourselves, … and our attendees. Have there been any challenges? Absolutely. I think the biggest challenge with small business ownership is learning how to actually say “no” to some work. When you first begin, you feel like you have to say yes to everything,


because you just want to make it as a small business owner, and you think saying yes to everything will ensure that. But we are also mothers, and we have very little people at our feet, so we have capacities as well as work/life balances we want to cultivate for ourselves. By saying no to some potential work opportunities, we’ve actually been able to make ourselves available to even better opportunities, so for us, saying no has been an incredibly valuable lesson. What does an average day look like for you both? Most of our work related conversation is done via Facebook private messaging between each other [currently 13k messages long since our launch in October 2014!]. On an average day, we’re managing the social media accounts for the multiple clients who have engaged our social media services. We also contribute to our exclusive private Facebook groups for our workshop attendees, and our eBook purchasers. We field emails, generate proposals for prospective social media clients, have regular meetings with current clients, and of course, we have our little people at our feet [2 two year olds, and 1 four year old between us currently]. It’s busy, but manageable. And most importantly, enjoyable. What advice do you have for others thinking of starting a business? Be prepared to work some long hours, but if it’s something you genuinely love doing? The hours won’t feel long. Also, your friends will all think you’re completely cashed up. And you won’t know whether to laugh, or cry! Finally, where can we find you? On social media, of course! www.thedigitalpicnic.com.au e. hello@thedigitalpicnic.com.au f. facebook.com/thedigitalpicnic i. @thedigitalpicnic

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mama can Cook! Why not try out these winter warming vegetarian dishes this August!

Baked Bean Bliss Serves: 2-3 | Prep: 2 min | Cook: 15 min Ingredients:

Method:

3 tbsp veg/olive oil

Heat oil in a sauce pan and add onion, tomatoes, garlic, paprika, cumin and salt. Slowly cook until soft.

1 large brown onion, thinly sliced 3 large red tomatoes, chopped 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 50g roast red pepper 1 tsp paprika ½ tsp ground cumin 400g cooked mixed beans Ÿ tsp salt or to individual need

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Add cooked mixed beans and roast pepper. Stir regularly for about 3 minutes. Serve with bread or rice.


Both these delicious dishes can be whipped up in under 15mins!

Lentil soup Serves: 4 | Prep: 2 min | Cook: 15 min Ingredients:

Method:

3 tablespoon veg or olive oil

Heat oil on medium. Add onion and garlic and stir for 1 minute.

1 large onion, finely chopped 2 clove garlic, crushed 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Add turmeric, salt and tomatoes and keep stirring until soft.

1 cup (210g) dried red lentils rinsed

Add lentils, 6-7 cups veg stock or water, bring to the boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring to prevent sticking for about 12 minutes

1 medium size zucchini slice thinly

Add spinach and zucchini and stir for 1 minute.

30g fresh spinach

Serve with crusty bread and butter.

2 large tomatoes chopped

1/2 tsb salt 25


gross motor skills There’s a lot of chatter going on about gross motor skill development and the importance of getting started on this before kids go to school. But what exactly are gross motor skills? Gross motor skills are the larger movements your child makes with their arms, legs, feet, or entire body. For example, throwing, running, and jumping are gross motor skills. These skills are important as they assist a child with their core stability and being able to function independently in their day to day life, doing things such as putting on their own clothes and getting themselves a drink from the tap or fridge. Developing gross motor skills early on will also help with the development of fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are the coordination of small muscle movements, usually involving both hands and fingers, with the eyes. When the core strength is developed through gross motor skill development, fine motor skill activities such as drawing, writing, arts and crafts and eating at the dinner table are easier for a child as they will be able to sit up stronger and for longer. It is not just physical and day-to-day things that are positively impacted by exercise and gross motor skill development. Research suggests that not only is it healthy to get children moving, it is also great for memory, imagination, social development and brain functioning. In a study conducted on children up to 19 years of age1, it was found that aerobic physical exercise is positively associated with cognition, academic achievement, and behaviour. Unfortunately, despite the many benefits of exercise and early gross motor skill development for our kids, Australia is lagging behind when it comes to physical activity. 26

In 2014, a landmark survey of 15,000 people compared the physical activity of children from 15 countries and found that the majority of 5 to 17 year-old Australians do not meet exercise guidelines and more than 70 per cent spend more than two hours a day watching an electronic screen. In the same study, it was found that more than 80 per cent of children fail to get one hour of exercise each day, ranking us behind Britain and Finland as among the least active in the world. (SMH May 2014) This aligns with the global trend of rising childhood obesity which has become increasingly worrying. Over 20% of 5 to 17 year olds in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries are considered overweight or obese on the basis of 2011 data. Adding to this our gross motor skill development is not up to scratch, with many Australian kids not having the gross skills required as they start school which can lead to many social issues such as bullying and trouble with fitting in. Knowing the activities that will best support your pre-schooler’s growth and development is not easy, so I’ve compiled my top ten gross motor skills to teach your pre-schooler this year. I hope you find them valuable. If you would like some more help with these skills and more, come and join the team in one of our many locations across Melbourne! References: Lees C & Hopkins J 2013, Effect of Aerobic Exercise on Cognition, Academic Achievement, and Psychosocial Function in Children: A Systematic Review of Randomized Control Trials, Preventing Chronic Disease Journal 10: E174.

By Briony Vince - Ready Steady Go Kids


Top 10 skills to teach your pre-schooler this year! 1. Jumping Jump and land with both feet landing on the ground at the same time, using the arms to swing to assist with forward motion.

2. Balancing Balance on a low wall or balancing beam walking either sideways or with one foot in front of the other.

3. Hands in the air Raise both hands up into the air at once.

4. Walking backwards Look over one shoulder and walk backwards, careful not to bump into anything!

5. Walking on a straight line Walk on a line one foot in front of the other.

6. Throwing and catching a ball Practise throwing and catching a big ball with your pre-schooler, then move on to a smaller ball such as a tennis ball.

7. Walking on tip toes Walk up high on the balls of the feet, step on small stones placed in a line or along a line.

8. Kicking a ball Swinging the stronger leg, give a ball a big kick with the inside of the big toe and then run and get it. Repeat!

9. Weaving Weave (zig zag) around small cones or anything you can mark out on a flat surface, with aeroplane arms out for balance.

10. Bear crawl Crawl along the ground on hands and feet with bottom raised up.

Don’t forget to enter the August MamaMag Promotion to win a FREE term of RSGK classes! 27


All it takes All it takes to make a family is love and an open heart! Some days my heart is just so full of love I feel it actually might burst. When I was presented with the challenge of facing a life without children, one of the biggest questions I had to ask myself was, what am I going to do with all of this love inside of me? I have always been the type of person who saw the best in everyone and the world around her. But whilst going through my difficult journey to motherhood, it was bloody hard some days – actually almost impossible. How could I be happy for other people who seemed to be able to get pregnant just by saying the word ‘sperm’ or looking at a penis! Now I now it’s not that easy really, but that’s just what it felt like some days. Don’t even get me started on the times I would go down to my local shopping centre during school holidays, and be surrounded by women with 3 or 4 cheeky rug rats in tow. How come she gets 4 I would ask myself? I really only just want one – is that too much to ask? The inequality of life at times really was too much for me to bear. You see my problem is that I am the type of person who believes that you create your own life and the happiness that ensues. I am the master of my own destiny. If you want something in life, don’t sit around waiting for it to happen – go out and get it! I think that is why I found the whole IVF process so frustrating. It didn’t matter what I did, I had no control over the outcome. They said stop eating this and that – so I did. They said limit the stress in your life – so I took 12 months off work. They said try acupuncture – so guess what – I did. Drink red wine – now that one I can live with! You name it, I did it all for the sake of becoming pregnant.

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For me though, none of it made any difference to my unexplained infertility. My body just did not agree that it was supposed to have a baby grow inside of it. I had never really been one of those women that was desperate to be pregnant. I just knew that getting pregnant was a vital part in creating the family that I so desperately wanted.

I wanted children in my life and a family of my own. I had waited so long to find the perfect man for me and I was losing him through the process of trying to become pregnant. We were exhausted, grieving and just going through the motions each day the best we could. Two years in we were told that basically our chances of conceiving were ‘fuck all’, and the best option we had was trying to use an egg donor. Luckily for us we did have a beautiful friend offer to be our egg donor, and I did fall pregnant twice, but it was not meant to be. At that point we made the most difficult decision I think we will ever have to make.

We CHOSE to save our marriage over having a baby. I remember calling my husband one day at work crying. I was inconsolable. He came home and we lay huddled together on the lounge room floor for hours, and we just sobbed our hearts out for the baby that we would never create. It’s funny though, because almost as soon as we made the decision to put our marriage first, it was like a weight had been lifted.


a mama’s story

We had once again taken control of the situation and our lives. It felt amazing. We started to put our focus back into each other, and spending more time with our friends. We laughed more, and enjoyed all of the things in life that our friends with kids couldn’t do spontaneously – like see a movie or lay in bed all day reading the newspapers. We still really wanted a family, and children in our lives. That had not changed. We were still focused on creating the family we had always dreamed of.

I have ALWAYS known that I would adopt a child. For my husband however, the decision was not as easy. It was a process that he had to work though, and I had to wait patiently, being supportive and encouraging of him. We had learnt through our earlier challenges that we both needed to process and sort through things in our own way. For him it just took a bit longer than me.

When I see her run laughing down the hallway when her dad comes home from work and leaps lovingly into his arms, I am thankful that I gave my husband the space and time he needed. When I think about all of the tears I cried and the times my heart ached, I can now smile, because without them I wouldn’t have my very own beautiful family to love. By Chrissie Davies Chrissie Davies is an educator, consultant, loving mama via an open adoption, and passionate advocate for understanding children with challenging behaviours. She is committed to empowering and supporting families to live the life they truly deserve. www.chaostocalmconsultancy.com For more information on adoption visit www.adoptchange.org.au or www.dhs.vic.gov.au

I will never forget the day he called me to say that we had been matched with our beautiful 16 week old daughter. I never knew that you could be in love with someone before you even met them. But you can.

Talk about a love explosion – my heart just about bursts every time I look at her. Every morning when she wakes up singing, I am reminded that I am so glad that we made the decision to save our marriage and put our relationship before everything else.

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Children’s book week Saturday 22nd August – Friday 28th August 2015 With the increasing number of honour weeks supported in schools – science week, art week, English week, etc. – it can be easy to dismiss Children’s Book Week as just another academic celebration. So, with the frankly limited time in our daily lives, why should we make a point of observing Children’s Book Week? Firstly, it acknowledges the work of Australian authors and illustrators. Children’s Book Week has been hosted by the Children’s Book Council of Australia every year since 1945, and during this week the achievements and successes of Australian authors and illustrators are celebrated and awarded. Secondly, it fosters your child’s imagination. Dress up parades, fancy hats, and craft activities are all time-honoured parts of Children’s Book Week celebrations, and each one encourages your child’s ability to create something new with the resources at their fingertips. In a world where the rate of technological change is impossible to predict, having the imagination to invent and create is a vital 21st century skill. Finally – and perhaps most importantly – by sharing our love of reading, we are showing our children that reading has an important place in our lives. As they grow, children learn what is important in their world from the adults around them. They learn what parts of society are valuable enough to earn their full attention, and what parts can be skipped over and fitted into the time between appointments. We know that having a teacher or parent model a love of reading does wonders for a child’s perception of reading as good and pleasurable; having this attitude modelled by a community for an entire week is invaluable. 30

The benefits of reading have been repeatedly linked with academic success, increased empathy, and the ability to re-imagine the world into something new – just to name a few. Taking the opportunity to sit with your child and celebrate the reading experiences that made them laugh and cry is an important part of your child’s development. It can help transform the perception of reading from a necessary skill into an enjoyable pastime. It shows them that books have an important place in our daily lives, and that they matter. When it comes down to it, books are meant to be shared, and that’s what Children’s Book Week is all about.

By Ellen McKechnie Children’s and Youth Services Librarian West Footscray & Maribyrnong Branches Maribyrnong Library Service So, how can you get involved in Children’s Book Week? By joining the celebrations at your local library.

Maribyrnong libraries:

During the week, Story Time sessions at all branches will read a selection of the nominated book titles. The Footscray and Maribyrnong branches will have a special craft activity for children aged 5 to 12 years during their monthly Kid’s Club, and for teenagers a Manga drawing workshop will be held at the Braybrook branch. Children’s author Tania Morgan will also visit Story Time at the Footscray branch and read her book “A very special place”.

Hobsons Bay libraries:

Visit story time at any Hobsons Bay Library branch during Book Week to hear Book of the Year shortlisted stories. Attend the unveiling of the brand new Book Cubby - a mobile library dedicated to showcasing books made by children for children. Join CBCA shortlisted local author Claire Saxby to make a book and be the first to fill the shelves of the cubby.


Mama’s Book Week rescue dress up ideas: With Book Week soon upon us, those of us with school age children will probably need to pull a costume out of thin air! We’ve put together some suggestions for all levels of craftiness.

Make it: Mr Men – any of the Mr Men (or Little Misses) can be made with a box or sheet of cardboard decorated with paint or textas plus some ribbon or rope to attach your creation. Olivia – the ears really make this one. Use material or cardboard attached to a headband. Alice in Wonderland – if you have a blue dress all you will need to make is a white or apron. The Cat in the Hat – you can make the red and white stripy hat from material or cardboard, perhaps added to a hat you have at home. Miffy – with the right clothes you’ll only need to make the ears for this one. Again, adapting a headband can work well. Red Riding Hood – it’s the hood and cape that really make this one. Pippi Longstocking – a darkish blue or denim dress with patches of material sewn on. Long hair for plaits is handy.

Found or bought: Where’s Wally – always popular, Where’s Wally works best with a red and white striped shirt, blue pants, and red and white hat but near enough is always good enough with Book Week costumes.

Hermonie – very similar to Harry Potter; black robe, stripy scarf, wand. You may like to add a tie if you have one. Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz – a blue dress and a toy dog. Too easy! Fancy Nancy – princessy type dress and a feather boa. And add plenty of hair decorations. Captain Underpants – you’ll need a red cape and underpants, but unlike the book, clothes under the undies are probably best for school. The Saucepan Man from The Magic Faraway Tree – attach small metal pots and pans from the kitchen or play kitchen but don’t forget your child will need to sit down! A few on the front will work best.

Raid the costume box: You might already have one of these costumes. There are any number of books with fairies, princesses, pirates and witches. Snow White, Cinderella, Fairy or princess dress, Pirate or Witch

Oh no, is that today? Best bet if you’ve remembered on the day is Specky Magee (or one of his female friends) because you just need to send your child in their footy gear.

Harry Potter – the black robe, stripy scarf and stick (wand) make this outfit. You might like to buy the glasses from a party shop.

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turn the page The Very Noisy Bear By Nick Bland The Very Cranky Bear and his friends Sheep, Lion, Zebra and Moose are all back!! There’s music in the air in the Jingle Jangle Jungle. Can Bear’s friends help him find the perfect instrument to play? Filled with vibrant, funny illustrations and paired with an engaging rhyming story that’s perfect for reading aloud. Hardback $16.99 Ages 3+ The Bad Guys: Episode 1 by Aaron Blabey They sound like the Bad Guys, they look the bad Guys.....and they even smell like the Bad Guys! But Mr Wolf, Mr Piranha, Mr Snake and Mr Shark are about to change all of that. Mr Wolf has a daring plan for the Bad Guys’ first good mission. The gang are going to break 200 dogs out of the Masimum Security City Dog Pound. This is a fun new junior fiction series from multi-award winning picture book creator Aaron Blabey. Packed with hilarious illustrations and an equally hilarious story. Paperback $9.99 Age 7+ When Dad showed Me The Universe By Ulf Stark & Illustrated By Eva Eriksson When dad arrives home from work he wants to show his son something very special...the universe. Of course they can’t embark on such a daring adventure unprepared, so they wrap up nice and warm, gather their provisions and set off together. A modern Swedish classic now available in English and a great book for children to share with fathers and grandfathers. Featuring a strong narrative and soft, classic illustrations. Paperback $16.99 Age 5 +

Clementine Rose and the Birthday Emergency By Jacqueline Harvey Will an unexpected emergency ruin Clementine’s party plans? Clementine Rose is counting down the days until her birthday party. But first there’s the school sports carnival to attend and a very special race to run. There’s also the all-important party theme to decide on! Amid all the excitement, Lavender doesn’t seem her usual self. A trip to the vet is in store, and now Clementine has butterflies in her tummy for all the wrong reasons. Will Lavender be able to attend the party? And why is Aunt Violet is acting so mysteriously? Paperback $12.99 Age 7+

Enchanted Years is an independent children’s boutique store selling books (including foreign language children’s books), toys, arts & crafts, clothes and room decor for children aged 0 - 10. Join us for story time on Wednesdays at 10.30am. Follow our facebook page to find out more about author events and special offers. Open 7 days a week. www.enchantedyears.com.au 32 32

30 Ferguson St Williamstown. Ph 9397 1154


enchanted years has a wide selection of high quality wooden toys, games, books, dress-ups, clothing and bedroom decor. each item in our store is individually selected allowing us to stock a range of products that are as unique as the child you love.

30 Ferguson Street Williamstown - 9397 1154 - www.enchantedyears.com.au

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Dr Roberta Szekeres Clinical Psychologist

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• Stress, anxiety, depression & mood related issues • Relationship & parenting issues • Grief & loss • Stressful life changes • Confidence & self-esteem • Alcohol related issues

FEET FOR LIFE p: (03) 8645 9845 childrenspodiatry.com.au 189 Somerville Rd | Yarraville Vic 3013 444 Clarendon St | South Melbourne Vic 3205 Live Local - Shop Local - and don’t forget to mention MamaMag!

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Superior Heathcare Holistic Centre 69 Anderson St, Yarraville

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roberta@psychinspire.com

www.psychinspire.com 33


Replenishing and Nurturing Mums Time and time again, we are aware of the uncanny synchronicity between our emotional well-being as mums and that of our children’s. Yet, it still doesn’t cease to amaze me to see how my daughter is the most emotional and challenging when I am at my most exhausted and stressed, and so much calmer and wellbehaved when I am also calm and content.

spontaneous, creative, and playful sides have the chance to emerge. When we have greater well-being and inner calmness, we are more likely to be in tune with the emotional needs of our child, further enhancing their wellbeing and relationship with us. Our children will notice the difference and you will notice a difference in their behavior too.

Juggling and multi-tasking, pressure for mums is greater than before. As a result, we can easily fall into the automatic mode of “doing”, rather than “being”. In striving to get more done without taking time out to take care of ourselves, we not only can end up being both physically and emotionally exhausted, but also more likely to disconnect from ourselves and our loved ones, become run down with illnesses, have sleep problems, and suffer from anxiety and depressive symptoms.

Life is now. Not when a stressful situation has passed, or when the endless list of things to do is done. While in reality we seem to have never ending things to do as mums, it’s a matter of balance. We as mums can at times put a lot of pressure and guilt. We need to reconnect with the bigger picture of our life and what’s most important to us. Our time with our children is so precious and it’s certainly a monumental and amazing contribution that we have. We need to enjoy it now.

“my daughter is the most emotional and challenging when I am at my most exhausted and stressed” I cannot understate the importance of one piece of advice for mums…YOU NEED TO TAKE CARE OF YOU and your emotional and physical well-being! You need to take a bit of time out each day to replenish and nurture yourself, to slow down and to reconnect with yourself in the present moment. You are not being selfish. As we take action (or do less) to enhance our well-being, our ability to think more clearly, make better choices, and to cope with stress also enhances, which flow on to the quality of our relationships. Our capacity to give to our children will be greater. By having more time to engage in our self-care and opportunity to re-connect with our inner selves our intuition,

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“Life is now. Not when a stressful situation has passed” One great way that I have found to replenish and nurture my self as a mum is to have a restorative break, particularly when faced with a lot of stress. To do this restorative break you need to allocated a block of time (ideally at least 2 hours) that is totally free for your relaxation, free from the pervading “should” and “have to” and importantly guilt. During this period there is no telephone, texts, internet or chores to do. Ideally, a brief amount of house cleaning is done prior so you enjoy your environment (even tidy one room). You can do anything you want to…just sit and contemplate, write, read, have a bath…there are no rules, except that it is time out alone, and that the time is nurturing and replenishing and therefore enhances your well-being.


Additionally, we need to have regular sources of enjoying positive activities that nurture us, such as walks along the beach or nature, bike riding, yoga, relaxation exercise, meditation, reading, warm baths, art, catching up with a friend. At times, it is important to ask for help, including from other family members if possible, or other mums. Other mums can be a great source of support for each other in the community and kids really love being connected to other friends. It’s really important to take care and replenish ourselves as mums, and nurture ourselves in the same way we do our children. We are such important role models for our children, and by replenishing and nurturing ourselves on a regular basis, we teach children that value so they also can replenish and nurture themselves for when they grow up. Dr. Roberta Szekeres Clinical Psychologist (and mum) www.psychinspire.com

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Tiny technology Technology in Early Childhood, by Ms Sarah Bethune. Today’s children are growing up in a digital age which is quite different from previous generations. Children have access to a range of technology and media and from a young age many students know how to manipulate a mouse or navigate their way around a touch screen. However, there must be a distinct difference between using technology for education purposes and entertainment. All experiences involving technology or media, in an early learning environment, must be designed to directly support educational learning and development. When incorporating technology into the curriculum of an early learning centre, it is important students develop an understanding of the purpose of technology so it can be used to support their learning and development. The use of technology and media in an early learning program should not be an isolated experience. Students must be encouraged to work in small and large groups. Small groups of children can use iPads to conduct research on a current area of interest or inquiry. Children can also work alongside one another on individual iPads whilst working on educational apps to develop pre-literacy and pre-numeracy skills, and iPads can also provide opportunities for creative expression and problem solving. If appropriately supervised the internet as a research tool provides a wealth of information to support children’s learning on current inquiry topics or interests. There are also many opportunities for students to access technology as a means for communicating. Exploration and play with the computer keyboard and a word processing program can be a great way for children to begin exploring letters and words. There may also be times when a class is using email to communicate with the wider community or to consult an expert in a particular field to ask a question relating to 36

an inquiry. Through these activities children begin to learn that email can be used for communicating and interacting with others. The use of technology in an ELC environment is also not limited to tablets and computers. Light tables can be used in a multitude of ways in to provide children with opportunities to learn about light, colour, transparency and reflection. Children can also be provided with opportunities to use equipment such as digital cameras, video and audio recording equipment to document their play and learning. It is important however, that technology and media are not used to replace creative experiences, physical play and real-life exploration. Play is central to the learning and development of children therefore their interactions with technology must mirror their interactions with other play materials. The key to using technology with young children is balance. Technology is therefore used as a learning and research tool at times when it is appropriate to extend or support the children’s learning and inquiries. Ms Sarah Bethune is a Early Learning Centre Coordinator at St Catherine’s School.


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A mama’s journey I have always been a very active person. Growing up I loved horse riding and I was an avid netball player, competing for my schools and suburban teams!! After school I completed my Honours degree in Environmental Science and Graduate Diploma in Education and went on to work as a secondary teacher. However I always felt like I wanted to pursue my fitness passion and work as a personal trainer. So whilst teaching I studied part time and gained my qualifications as a PT and started running bootcamps for women. After 3 years working part time as a teacher and PT I moved to London where I didn’t continue my work as a PT, therefore my registration lapsed back in Australia. When we returned to Australia I was 12 weeks pregnant with my first child so I continued working for the education recruitment company I had been with in the UK. After the birth of Drew I certainly went through many of the early challenges that the first time mother faces. I couldn’t get him to sleep. He had reflux and was quite restless so didn’t like being restrained in the pram and car seat etc. Initially I was quite apprehensive about taking him out in public as I thought everyone would stare at me if he started crying. This was when my anxiety problems began. We went to Masada sleep school at 4 months, which was a godsend, but on the last day he developed a slight cough. This didn’t alarm myself or the doctors there, however he rapidly deteriorated throughout the day and we took him to emergency around 4pm. It took two hours to be seen by a doctor and then to our utter disbelief we were sent home and assured that he would be fine.

It’s the only time I second-guessed my own judgement and I will live with that for the rest of my life.

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That night as my four month old baby boy struggled to breath we rushed him to emergency at Monash Hospital. He was put on a feeding tube and oxygen straight away but within a few hours he was under sedation in intensive care with several machines attached to him to assist him with breathing and he was diagnosed with acute broncollitis. He needed doses of adrenaline and I remember being told “we believe he will pull through and make a full recovery”. Which is such a frightful sentence to hear. I remember thinking and what if he doesn’t what do we do then? He did pull through and within a week we were back at home. But that was just the beginning of my son’s struggle with broncollitis and subsequent asthma.

For the first 2 ½ years of his life he was admitted 15 times to hospital for an average 3 day stay. Every time he caught a cold/virus I would have to call the ambulance and we’d go to the Royal Children’s Hospital. Each time it was the same. The first sign of a running nose I would pack our hospital bags so we were prepared for day three when we would make that trip. He underwent a full range of tests by his specialist team at RCH to try and find a diagnosis, as they couldn’t believe that it could be just such acute asthma. He was tested for cystic fibrosis and a range of immunity disorders. The end result is however asthma. Throughout this time I developed anxiety and panic attacks and I lived in constant fear of what could happen to my son. Each time he caught a cold I would feel my heart race, a lump build in my throat and a whole range of thoughts race through my head. I would have flashbacks to him lying sedated in intensive care. I could burst into tears at any moment if these thoughts became too much. Often if I saw an ambulance driving on a road I would have an attack.


I coped as best as I could with these feelings and hid them from my friends and family as I felt they were a sign of weakness and I didn’t want to be a failure. My wonderful husband is the only person that truly knows how hard those first 2 ½ years were for us as a family. I wasn’t able to work in any capacity as my son wasn’t able to attend day care. At one point I was advised by my specialist to keep him at home as much as possible and keep him away from other children so he would stop getting sick. Of course I followed doctor’s orders but it was a very isolating experience and one that didn’t help my anxiety. When Drew was around two he started to show signs that he was growing out of these acute attacks. We managed to look after him at home through some of his asthma attacks and they were becoming less severe in duration. Around this time the fog I had been living in also started to lift as that intensive fear I felt was abating. This was also the about the same time I noticed a Facebook ad popup on my feed for a fitness class where you could exercise outdoors with your young children with you.

So I promptly turned up for ‘Tone up for $10’ and met Bianca. She worked my butt off! I remember feeling amazing after that session. I then purchased session passes and started attending sessions weekly with Drew during the week and on my own on the weekend. I was so grateful and thankful that I had found an environment that allowed me to exercise that was child friendly. We were outside enjoying the fresh air and working towards a better future and our health.

Armed with drive and determination I put in the hard yards to move that baby weight and get fit. I joined the Facebook group HIIT Monthly Challenge, used the PT in my Pocket app and did a weekly session with Bianca. It was during these PT sessions that we started talking about whether I would like to start work as a trainer again and more importantly for her. Of course my answer was yes. So with quite a lot of nerves and self-doubt, but a whole heap of enthusiasm, I taught my first Metafit class in Hampton when Kate was 4 months old. I now run 4 Metafit classes in Sandringham and Hampton and I absolutely LOVE IT. From this experience I have learnt many things. Most importantly I have learnt just how precious life really is and how it can be taken away in an instant. I have learnt how important your health, both in body and mind really is. And how the two are intrinsically linked. It is my aim that the Bayside community can view my classes not just as an exercise class but also as a supportive community. It is due to this supportive environment that I am where I am today and for that I am extremely grateful. By Nikki Thomson Nikki has pre and post natal exercise accreditation and would love the opportunity to work further with mothers groups, maternal health centers & schools.

www.blueskyfitness.com.au

I began thinking that perhaps I could work as a PT again. I was inspired and motivated by Bianca as a fit, healthy mum and absolutely loved the business model. Whilst I was pregnant with my second child I made the decision to work as a PT again. I continued training with Bianca until I was 37 weeks pregnant and after a straightforward birth I started exercising again at six weeks.

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Gracie’s Dream Clouds This activity is very special to me as it is the activity I made on Gracie’s Day with all her special friends. A day where we celebrated the beautiful, fun, creative and courageous Gracie. Gracie was diagnosed with leukaemia in her Prep year 2014 and is now dancing and singing in the clouds. Please visit her special page to see how you can support other children facing this battle. www.graciesgiftfoundation.weebly.co m What you will need: • White paper • Glitter • Pencil • Scissors • Glue • String • Sticky tape

Let’s get started! Draw one cloud on your piece of paper, carefully cut this cloud out. This cloud shape is now your template to make all the other clouds. Using your cloud template trace and cut out 8 more clouds. Place some glue around the edge of the cloud and spoon some glitter over it. (you could use glitter glue if you have some.) Let the glue dry. Fold the clouds in half with the glitter on the inside then open the back out again.

Pick your first cloud and place the string in the middle with some sticky tape, glitter on the outside. We use 3 cloud shapes to make each cloud. Cover half the cloud in glue (the non glitter side) Place a cloud on top, making sure only half is glued down, now put glue over both halves and stick the last cloud on. You should now have a 3D cloud with the string in the middle. Repeat this 2 more times with the rest of the clouds. I like to hang something from the bottom. A star, a heart or with this example a little girl flying on the clouds.

I would love to see some of your art work. Post your pictures on my facebook site. Facebook.com/lizzyannstudio www.lizzyann.com.au 40


1 of 4 Disney Fairy packs

valued at $138 each Prize pack includes : 1 x Take Flight Tink 1 x Tink Bubble Fairy Doll 1 x 9” Classic Fashion Doll (random selection of either Tinkerbell, Periwinkle or Fawn) 1 x 9” Deluxe Fashion Doll (random selection of either Tinkerbell, Silvermist or Rosetta)

Then post your entry by August 31st to: MamaMag PO Box 8018 North Road LPO, Brighton East VIC 3187

Name: Address:

Age: Postcode: 41


Don’t let tax time be For many of us, the thought of getting our paperwork together for tax time is a daunting one. Once a year, every year, we are expected to have our paperwork ready for our accountants, and yet somehow when the time comes around, we have no idea where to find it all! Getting your tax paperwork organised with an easy system with some vital tools will not only take away the stress, but will also save you time and money. Here are some helpful tips to assist you in finding what you need when you need it for your accountant.

Top Tip 1: Know what you need Ask your accountant to give you a list of the information and records they will need for your tax return. Is your paperwork personal or business related? It will be the same each year (except for a few small budget changes) so once you have this list you can plan ahead for each year. To cut down on paper clutter only keep the paperwork you really need.

Top Tip 2 : Tools To set up your system I recommend the following tools:

Top Tip 3: Systems How to use these tools Magazine holder: Label your magazine holder with the tax year eg Tax Info 2014-2015 During the year place all tax related documents into this magazine holder. The 5 tab plastic pocket divider and the plastic binder wallet go inside the magazine holder. 5 tab plastic pocket divider: label the tabs •

PAYG summaries

Private medical & super

Motor vehicle license, rego & repairs

Insurance & dividends

• Misc As you receive any of the information or paperwork relating to these categories, place them in the labelled area ready to hand over to your accountant each year. Easy, organised and your accountant will love you! Plastic binder wallet: In here include all receipts and invoices for out of pocket medical expenses.

a) 1 magazine holder

Towards the end of the financial year, put together a spread sheet including the following categories:

b) 1 5 tab plastic pocket divider

1. Name on invoice

c) 1 plastic binder wallet

2. Amount of claim

d) 1 lever arch file

3. Amount received

e) 1 receipt box and 12 envelopes

4. Out of pocket/gap

There are also tax pack tools that you can purchase labelled and ready to go.

You can also ask your private health insurer and Medicare for this information. Remember to ask your local chemist for a list of claims you have made through the year. Check with your accountant what the threshold amount is for you to claim this.

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taxing on you! Receipt box: Use a box to save your receipts for expense claims. Include 12 labelled envelopes per month for the financial year July to June. You may wish to include separate envelopes or plastic pockets for specific claims eg Donations/ Dry Cleaning/ Petrol /Self Education/ Misc /Work related. Lever arch folder: Label your lever arch folder “finances”. Include all your bank statements for the current financial year in here. This comes in handy when you want to reference any interest claims over the financial year.

There you go… why not get those tools and implement this system, I guarantee that you will find this year’s tax time less taxing! If you would like any assistance in setting this up or any other organising help please connect with me Sue Glasser Certified Organising Professional, Paper Flow Consultant & Workshop Presenter at info@paperclippo.com.au or call on 0402 109 007. Don’t leave it too late – we want to get on top of that tax paperwork ASAP.

Top Tip 4: Schedule time No amount of tools will ensure organisation without scheduled time to work with them. You will need to make time to get organised. Schedule a time in your diary every week to keep on top of your tax paperwork. Treat this scheduled time just as if it was an appointment with your doctor or dentist or dare I say your accountant!

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www.wildaction.com.au

PH 0419 385 245

LI VE Di AN re I Yo ct MA u! To LS

THE PERFECT WAY TO CELEBRATE YOUR NEXT CHILDREN'S BIRTHDAY PARTY!