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MAGAZINE.COM.AU

P reparing For Christmas

Dealing with Christmas Day Anxiety

Elope for Christmas?

Interview:

Deanna Jolly ISSUE 63 - DECEMBER 2016 december 2016 | mychild

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60 48

30 CONTENTS COVER STORIES

8 16 42

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DEALING WITH CHRISTMAS DAY ANXIETY YOGA - HELPING PEOPLE FALL PREGNANT

ELOPE FOR CHRISTMAS

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CELEBRITY READS

60

DEANNA JOLLY ENTREPRENEUR MUM FROM THE BLOCK

EVERY MONTH

6 7 34

EDITORS LETTER EDITOR PICKS BOOK REVIEWS

38 110

THE MUMMY BLOG LIVING THE MOMENT RECIPES

YOUR CHILD

30 18

HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CHILD’S GIFT EXPECTATIONS TAMING TODDLER MELTDOWNS AT CHRISTMAS


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REAL READS

64

“MY OWN UNIQUE ROLLERCOASTER OF MOTHERHOOD - KIRSTY WHITEHEAD

DAD READ

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5 TIPS ON HOW TO SURVIVE YOUR FIRST CHRISTMAS AS A SINGLE PARENT

CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

42

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HOW TO MAKE YOUR BABY’S FIRST CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

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TEACHING CHILDREN GIFT ETIQUETTE

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6 WAYS TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS ON A BUDGET

SHOPPING

24 78 88

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE

TU TU DU MONDE - AT THE MIDNIGHT SOIREE SHOP KIDS FASHION

100

GET THE LOOK INTERIORS

106

TOY REVIEWS

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EDITOR BIANCA MEDINA

ASSISTANT EDITOR JANA ANGELES

  ART DIRECTOR CRAIG BURKILL

SALES DIRECTOR KATALIN CSARDAS

CONTRIBUTING EXPERTS  APRIL DAVIES LIZZY FOWLER LEAH SHANNON OLIVIA ARROW SHIREE ECHLIN DR. AMANDA WAALDYK LISA MARIE D’ALONSO GENIE PRICE

EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES  EDITORIAL@MYCHILDMAGAZINE.COM.AU

ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES  ADVERTISING@MYCHILDMAGAZINE.COM.AU

CONTACT: CRE8 PUBLICATIONS  PHONE: 0411 572 877 8 GROSE ST, PARRAMATTA, NSW 2150

My Child magazine and mychildmagazine.com.au are wholly owned by Cre8 Publications (ABN 70 141 165 675). No other parties or individuals have any financial interest in the company or in My Child or mychildmagazine.com.au. My Child contains general information only and does not purport to be a substitute for health and parenting advice. Readers are advised to seek a doctor for all medical and health matters. The publisher and authors do not accept any liability whatsoever in respect of an action taken by readers in reliance on the recommendations set out in this magazine. Reproduction of any material without written permission by the publisher is strictly forbidden. We cannot accept responsibility for material lost or damaged in the post or for any unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. All reasonable efforts have been made to trace copyright holders.

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EDITOR’S LETTER Dear Lovelies Hope you’re all well! I still can’t believe it, here we are finally - the Christmas Edition. What happened to this year? Why is it that when you have children time seem to go by way too quickly? I remember life before having my daughter and getting through a year seemed to take forever! So the countdown is on, only 24 sleeps till our little ones will be up before the sun rises wanting to rip open all the goodies that Christmas brings with it. For us adults, we know that presence not presents is what really counts at this time of year and building memories that last a lifetime is the best present we can get. Nothing compares to the time we get to spend with our loved ones and families during the silly season, catching up, eating good food and have a few giggles is what Christmas is all about. Now about this issue, we have covered various topics to help you with the silly season. If this is your first Christmas with a baby check out the article on How to Make your Baby’s First Christmas Special. We also have a great article on teaching your children gift etiquette so that they can learn the real meaning of Christmas and hopefully save you the embarrassment of being rude if they get a gift they don’t like. The article on Dealing with Christmas Day Anxiety is a great read to help you put those nerves at ease and How to Celebrate Christmas on a budget just to name a few. We also have a great Christmas Gift Guide in the issue to help you if you get stuck with what to buy. The issue has all the regulars of fashion, recipes and another amazing celebrity interview with the super talented Dee Jolly and a beautiful real read story from Kristy Whitehead about her unique rollercoaster of motherhood which is a must read. Thanks for all your support in 2016 and we are looking forward to an amazing 2017 with more exciting things to come. Sending wishes to you, your families and friends for a beautiful Holiday Season and a peaceful New Year.

a c n a i

B

Bianca and the mychild Team xx

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xxx


editor

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CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

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CHRISTMAS DAY ANXIETY DEALING WITH FAMILY CONFLICT ON CHRISTMAS DAY By Genie Price

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Written by: Genie Price

To help:

Is it a Merry Christmas or a Christmas to be dismissed?

• Seek mediation if necessary and try to talk it out as a family unit.

Though Christmas is meant for celebrating and spreading joy, it is also the most likely time of year to experience family conflict, anxiety and relationship stress.

• Pre-warn first. Respect the other parent enough by asking them in advance for the children, so that it doesn’t come as a surprise to them.

Let’s face it – we don’t all get on with our in-laws and whether it be that, your Uncle who drinks too much or someone else from your family acting up – some Christmas celebrations do not go as planned and battles between siblings and other guests - can arise.

• Identify your emotions and give yourself some time to work through the feelings you may be experiencing.

A recent study by The Australian Counselling Organisation indicates several reasons for conflict at Christmas and here we list some of those, alongside ways in which you can combat it. Causes for conflict can include: SEPARATED FAMILIES: As reported in the 2011 census published by The Australian Bureau of Statistics the sad reality is one in five families are headed by a single parent, and we all know “flying solo” in the parenting department can place high demands on both mental and physical health and wellbeing. Courthouses across Australia see an influx of single parent families fighting to secure their children over the Christmas period and research suggests if you are divorced or challenged by any form of family breakdown, you are at higher risk of experiencing anxiety and depression or family conflict throughout the holiday season. Using the court system not only brings about stress and anxiety in children, but it often creates ill feelings towards the other party also – which can dampen the “Christmas spirit” and generate conflict.

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• It is best if both parties try to be courteous to each other during the festive season and limit their disagreements while children are present. • If you really can’t come to an arrangement about who gets the children, then spend Christmas Day with one parent and Boxing Day with the other. Try to keep it fair and swap arrangements the following year. INCREASED FINANCIAL PRESSURE: People love to spend money, and Christmas time is the most favoured time of year to do so, hence it’s nickname the “silly season.” It’s that one time of year where most people spend exorbitant amounts of money on not only decorations, food and gifts, but on entertaining and the “holiday season” in general. This increase in expenditure can cause added financial pressure to one’s pockets. To help: • Christmas is no surprise, so, start putting money away early in order to stay within budget. Putting money away each week will decrease the chances of overspending. • Use layby. This will stretch out the expense of gifts over several weeks or months. If possible, take advantage of all the postChristmas sales, if finances allow.


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• Educate your children on what Christmas is about and explain to them that it is the “giving to others” that is most important. This should help them to develop a sense of gratitude that does not cost you an arm and leg.

• If you feel isolated from others and that you cannot leave the house, do the shopping online and have the gifts sent to their direct address. This will help with social anxieties, fears or feelings of claustrophobia.

• Consider a simpler menu for your Christmas lunch – there is no reason you can’t have a “potluck” where everyone who attends - brings a plate to share.

• Keep your expectations real. If you know some people don’t get along – be as welcoming as possible and make everyone feel comfortable, and prepare for any disagreements which may arise.

• Watch the price tag. Gone are the days when meaningful gifts were given and at low cost. Many people fall trap to “keeping up with the joneses” and buy gifts which are over-priced, or not going to be used. Be mindful of the gifts you buy and their purpose.

• Have some games organised which cater for different age levels. According to the Salvation Army, families which share in group activities during Christmas day are far less likely to argue.

• Seek advice from a financial advisor if you are experiencing severe money troubles. Centrelink offers free advice for people on benefits. FAMILY MISUNDERSTANDINGS: All families have their downfalls and over the years each person moves on with life - to build their own. You see less of each other and for whatever reasons – often, stop talking. Whether the lack of communication is for a week or two, or a year, the mere thought of being together again after such a long time starts to creep in, and this itself can lead to feelings of fear and anxiety, which could create conflict and stressed relationships on the day. To help: • Respect each other’s decisions and listen carefully. If you have asked someone to attend Christmas with you this year and they really don’t want to – respect them and make arrangements to catch up at a later date.

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• Use relaxation techniques for when times get overwhelming. Using different breathing methods and listening to music can quickly defuse feelings of stress. ABSENT LOVED ONES: Christmas time has for many years, been seen as a time to reflect on the past and unfortunately for some, that means memories of loved ones that have passed away. Grief in any form is hard to deal with and you are likely to go through feelings of depression, isolation and loneliness around these family times if you have experienced the death of a significant friend or family member. To help: • Remember the good things about your loved ones and celebrate these. • Honour your loved one by donating to a charity in their memory or plant a tree in your yard to look over and care for. • It’s ok to want to be alone to think about your loved one. Talking out loud to them or writing them a letter may be helpful.


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• It is ok to have a good time. Don’t feel guilty. Sharing a few laughs with family or friends doesn’t mean you don’t love or miss that special person. • Ask friends for their support. If they don’t know how to help you, tell them and respect them when they do at least attempt. Try not to let feelings of past resent and tension damper the Christmas you truly deserve. Instead, practice patience and accept that some things are better left in the past, and unsaid in the present. You never know, you may find yourself having a “Christmas to remember”.

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NOTE: It is normal to experience some level of sadness or depression when experiencing conflict or grief, however, if these feelings persist outside of the Christmas period please consult your local GP or counsellor for advice and steps forward - as you may be suffering from an ongoing medical condition. Any other Credit Details Required: www.aifs.gov.au/facts-and-figures/typesfamilies-australia www.mindhealthconnect.org.au/beatingchristmas-stress-and-anxiety


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PREGNANCY

Yoga WHY

IS HELPING WOMEN FALL PREGNANT WRITTEN BY: SHEREE ECHLIN

BY DR. AMANDA WAALDYK, FOUNDER OF ANGEA ACUPUNCTURE AND YOGA (ANGEA)

It is estimated that one in six couples have difficulty conceiving, meaning that in many cases the road to conception is not always an easy one. For many, this often leads to increased levels of stress, anguish and frustration. Over the years, studies have proven that yoga can not only helps to reduce stress but assists conception through various practices and positions. A key aspect of fertility is to initiate the “relaxation response”, which is achieved through the practice of yoga, by connecting the mind, body, breath and movement. The mind-body connection has a huge impact on our fertility and reproductive system. When our bodies are stressed, we produce the hormone cortisol, which negatively affects our fertility by creating hormonal imbalance, irregular menstrual cycles, infertility and more. For many trying to fall pregnant, yoga offers a natural alternative. Yoga for fertility is a series of specific postures that regulate and influence your endocrine system, increase blood flow and vitality to your pelvic region, and improves the nutrient supply to your reproductive organs. These specific postures not only restore physical and emotional health,

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they release muscle tension, reduce stress and boost fertility. Practicing these postures on a daily basis can dramatically increase your chances of successful conception. Yoga is the connection of mind, body and breath. When we combine asana (postures) with pranayama (breath), we are able to initiate the “relaxation response” in the body. The “relaxation response” is an important function when it comes to fertility and pregnancy. New research has emerged that indicates yoga can improve the reproductive function by reducing stress, and balancing the neuro-endocrine axis (hormones). A study conducted by psychologist Dr Alice Domar, the director for the Mind-Body Center for Women at Boston IVF, found that participation in a mindbody program, such as yoga, can do just that. Here, the stress hormone (cortisol) was shown to have physiological effects on the body that not only alter the balance of hormones in the body, but especially to those relating to fertility. Emotions such as anger and fear can activate the sympathetic nervous system which can massively hinder the fertility processes. When our bodies are in this stress response “flight or fight”, it constricts blood flow to our reproductive organs and interferes with conception. In yogic


philosophy we call this prana or life force, and allowing prana to flow freely is key for conception to occur. The regular practice of poses such as Vipariti Karani (Legs up the Wall Pose) can dramatically assist with female conception. In fact, this asana is considered the “Jewel for Women in Yoga”. It is based on the belief that your blood and hormones circulate better through your body when it is inverted. The blood flow to your reproductive organs calms your central nervous system, restores your body, and initiates the relaxation response. Supta Baddha Konasan (Reclined Angle Pose) is another essential posture in yoga for fertility.

It is a gentle restorative pose that opens up the energy in the pelvis, stretches out the inner groin and thighs, and creates a space of openness both physically and mentally in order to prepare for conception. Paschimottansana (intense stretch to the west) is a master posture in fertility yoga. It has an abundance of benefits physically, mentally and emotionally. It stimulates the ovaries and uterus and strengthens the function of the entire reproductive system. It feeds oxygenated blood and life force to the pelvic region. Overall this helps improve the reproductive function in both men and women, and can help reduce the harmful effects of stress on the reproductive system. While some may perceive yoga as simply stretching and posture, it is so much more than a physical practice! The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit work ‘yuj’ which means to unite, and now with modern research we are beginning to understand the benefits of this ancient practice. In the craziness of our busy lives we have lost the connection to self, and our inner compass. Today, more and more people are searching for this deeper connection, and when the times comes to endeavour down the road to conception, yoga offers a natural pathway that is being taken world wide.

About Dr. Amanda Waaldyk – Founder of Angea Acupuncture and Yoga (Angea) Dr. Amanda Waaldyk, a renowned Doctor of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, founded Angea Acupuncture and Yoga (Angea) clinic in 2007. Dr. Amanda specialises in fertility, helping thousands of women (and men) achieve their dreams of pregnancy through a method she realised and termed, The Angea Method™ in 2009. For more information on Angea Acupuncture and Yoga clinic, or to book a consultation with Dr. Amanda or one of her practitioners, visit www.angea.com. au. Follow Angea Acupuncture and Yoga clinic on Instagram @angea_acupuncture_ yoga, on Facebook www. Facebook.com/ AngeaYogaStudio, and on Twitter: https:// twitter.com/angeafertility.

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TODDLER

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TAMING TODDLER

s n w o ltd

e m

AT CHRISTMAS

Written by: Genie Price Disrupted travel schedules and travelling with little ones plus the sheer excitement of the holidays can easily bring about a recipe for tears, tantrums and meltdowns. Although Christmas is a happy time,

having either a “sensory� child or a spirited and impulsive toddler, can turn this time into one of the most trying. How can parents manage life and minimise meltdowns to maximise memories over the festive season?

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TANTRUM VERSUS MELTDOWN: Doctor Sue Larkey, the Author of The ultimate guide to school and home: Key Strategies for all ages, explains a tantrum as a deliberate act to behave a certain way: to gain attention or manipulate others, whereas a meltdown, is seen as an emotional and often, behavioural response to a stressful situation. With unfamiliar environments, routines and people around at Christmas time – this can be a prime breeding ground for either of the two to occur. WHY? Whether it be a tantrum or a meltdown, a toddler’s response to a situation has often seen parents labelled as “bad” – however, this is not the case. REASONS FOR EITHER OCCURRENCE: 1. Hunger, tiredness and communication: A toddler’s most common response to a stressful situation may be triggered by one of or all of: • Hunger • Tiredness • Lack of communication skills When a toddler is either hungry or tired, the response will likely be a loud one. Identify times where this happens more often and decrease the chances of a tantrum or meltdown, in advance. For example: if you have to go to the grocery store – give your child a snack before you leave the house.

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better and more appropriately in places where it is unfamiliar, which can place stress on them. Toddlers and young children’s confidence soar and anticipation towards these special times - Christmas and birthdays, is higher. When hopes are high - both children and adults feel disappointment much more acutely if it goes bad. 3. Unfamiliar people and places: When we are surrounded by unfamiliar family in our own home, it can cause an overwhelming response for some. The lack of attention for your toddler may result in them practising attention seeking behaviours, which are inappropriate - as they feel the need to fight for it. 4. Fear and Anxiety: Causing Stress: Unfortunately, some toddlers show genuine fear surrounding Christmas (including of the jolly man himself), and just as common, fear towards new sounds, sights and people. Emotional responses to both fear and anxiety are usually unknown territory to a toddler, therefore may come as a complete surprise, and be more challenging to deal with. DURING CHALLENGING TIMES, AS PARENTS WE CAN HELP GUIDE OUR WEE ONES EMOTIONS BY: • Looking for and being aware of triggers: If you already know that your toddler will kick and scream at the sight of new people tell your guests in advance and prepare.

Following close behind hunger or tiredness is a lack of communication skills. If your toddler is new to talking - the pure frustration and lack of ability to “tell you” the need/want can be testing.

Perhaps do a meet and greet in a neutral space, such as a park, leading up to Christmas day, introduce your child and allow them to “hang” with them and play. This could help eliminate any fears from all parties, particularly your child for on the day.

2. Higher expectations: Adults unknowingly place higher expectations on their toddlers and children to behave

• Stick to your routine: Your toddler is relying on you to stick to a predictable routine. This helps with

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regulating tiredness and helps nurture healthy meal times and sleep/bed-time habits. Even though it’s Christmas day, try to keep to your regular routines as best as possible. • Dice up your day: Cut the gift opening, activities and events on Christmas day into smaller, more easily handled sections. It is not necessary to open 30 gifts all at once, this could create sensory overload. Christmas day usually is a big day – try to plan it so that it includes opening some gifts, (not necessarily all at once) and includes a play time as well as a rest period. You will find you will need to recharge. • Active listening: Active listening is a communication skill which, unless you have been the recipient of, or witnessed – it is one which will need to be learnt. By active listening to your toddler or child, you are getting down to their level and working it out with them, together. During this type of communication you will: • Tune into feelings being expressed • Listen to feelings rather than assume • Show patience and interest with what is being displayed • Reflect back what you think you have heard- to clarify In situations where your child has limited communication – you can still implement the active listening strategy. However, it is slightly different in that you use body cues and body language and get them to “show” you by taking their hand and allowing them to do so. When used effectively active listening allows you to engage in a deeper understanding of your child’s needs and requests. • Watch what they eat: It’s inevitable that the sweetest of sweets will be part of the Christmas day celebrations, however, if you know that your toddler or

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child get his “crank on” when fed such foods – don’t give in to temptation in that “oh but it’s Christmas” - as you could wind up with one very unhappy toddler on your hands. By keeping your toddler’s snacks throughout the day as healthy as possible, alongside plenty of sugar free fluids – little Bob, who could be a nightmare to deal with, may be just the angel you were looking for. • Allowing them space: If they decide to meltdown completely, it is ok to let them have space to “have-it-out.” By leaving your toddler to cry will do two things: • Help their body establish a response to further help next time (hoping that there aren’t too many “next times”) • Show your toddler that you will not give in This approach is not for everyone, and by all means – do as you feel comfortable, as each situation will call for different measures. However – by giving your toddler or child both time and space, it allows them to negotiate their feelings and allows the body to naturally work out how to regulate the response. It will also show your toddler that the behaviour (if it was inappropriate leading up to the tantrum) – will not be tolerated. Toddler’s and young children are easily overwhelmed by sounds, sights and other stimuli, whether it is the loud Christmas carols, the extra guests or the scent of tinsel and gingerbread – too much of these stimuli may invoke stress. Toddlers and young children are still learning to adapt and regulate these feelings which leaves it is up to us as parents to help them understand the best response to these feelings and to help them regulate their emotions for a peaceful, stress free Christmas.

Any other Credit Details Required www.suelarkey.com.au/media/meltdowns.pdf www.p eacefulp arent.com/wp-content/ uploads/2014/12/Week-4-Workbook-2.pdf


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Christmas

Gift Guide

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Xmas

Gifts

MyChild Chistmas Gift Guide BABY hToothy Shark $44.95 rrp

BONZABRATS.COM.AU

50

gBright Starts Jungle Stream Bouncer $49.95 rrp

UNDER

$

BABIERUS.COM.AU

hFred Chill Baby $19.95 rrp

CITYBEACH.COM.AU

gIce Cream Truck Plate $14.95 rrp

BABYVEGAS.COM.AU

gPlaygro Ball Playnest Activity Gym $89.99 rrp BABIESRUS.COM.AU

UNDER

100

$

iFisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Mower or Vacuum $59.95 rrp TOYSRUS.COM.AU

hBashful Monkey $54.95 rrp

SENDATOY.COM.AU

iOricom Secure870 $359.99 rrp ORICOM.COM.AU

SPLURGE hIngenuity Inlighten Cradling Swing - Cambridge $299.99 rrp BABIESRUS.COM.AU

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hFisher-Price Rainforest Friends Spacesaver Jumperoo $129.99 rrp BABIESRUS.COM.AU


Xmas MyChild Chistmas Gift Guide 1-3 Yrs

Gifts

fCrayola 3-in-1 Double Easel $49.00 rrp KMART.COM.AU

iInflatable Bouncy Castle $49.00 rrp KMART.COM.AU

hCool It Fantasy $6.00 rrp EMBELISHGIFT. MYSHOPIFY.COM.

gFred dinner Winner $32.95 rrp

THEBENTOBUZZ.COM.AU

gVTech Create & Discover Desk $79.99 rrp TOYSRUS.COM.AU

hSand and Water Picnic Table $99.00 rrp KMART.COM.AU

gMe And My Mum book and lamb $66.90 rrp (book $26.95 lamb $39.95) TUSKHOMEWARES.COM.AU

iSmarTrike Dazzle 5 in 1 $199.99 rrp TOYSRUS.COM.AU.

hLittle Tikes Endless Adventures Rock Climber and Slide $699.99 rrp TOYSRUS.COM.AU.

hLittle Tikes Hide & Seek Climber & Swing $299.99 rrp TOYSRUS.COM.AU.

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Xmas

Gifts 50

MyChild Chistmas Gift Guide 3-5 Yrs

UNDER

$

hApples to Pears Farm in a Tin $24.95 rrp

hBath Crayons $11.95 rrp

WOMBATSTOYSHOP.COM.AU

WHERETHEWILDTHINGS ARE.COM.AU

gTouchable Bubbles $7.95 rrp

fMag Po First Words $42.95 rrp

KANDKCREATIVETOYS. COM.AU

SHOP. AUSTRALIANGEOGRAPHIC. COM.AU

iThomas & Friends Trampoline with Sound $59.00 rrp BIGW.COM.AU.

UNDER

100

$

hImaginarium 55 Piece Train Set with Table $99.99 rrp TOYSRUS.COM.AU.

hImaginarium Wooden Kitchen $99.99 rrp

TOYSRUS.COM.AU.

iHappy Hop Hot Summer Double Water Slide $699.99 rrp TOYSRUS.COM.AU.

SPLURGE hAvigo 6V Mini Cooper White With Remote $349.99 rrp TOYSRUS.COM.AU.

hDoc McStuffins Vets n Pets Care Centre $149.99 rrp

BIGW.COM.AU.

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Xmas MyChild Chistmas Gift Guide 5-8 Yrs

Gifts

gZoingo Boingo $34.99 rrp ORICOM.COM.AU

hDino Hunter $19.95 rrp SEEDHERITAGE.COM

gNPW Pocket Microscope $21.95 rrp

WHERETHEWILDTHINGS ARE.COM.AU

i Now You See Me Magic Case 150 Trick Set $79.99 rrp TOYSRUS.COM.AU.

hDiscovery Channel Virtual Reality Glasses $54.95 rrp PUZZLING.COM.AU

gKikkerland Rainbow Maker $69.99 rrp

PROFESSORPLUMS.COM.AU

f65cm Huffy Granite Bike Ladies & Mens $169.99 rrp TOYSRU.COM.AU.

iIntex 15ft x 36in Metal Frame Pool $349.99 rrp TOYSRUS.COM.AU

hPlaysafe Regent Swingset with Flying Fox $499.99 rrp TOYSRUS.COM.AU.

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KIDS

HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CHILD’S GIFT EXPECTATIONS Written by Jana Angeles Christmas is just around the corner and what better way than to enjoy the company of your family and friends during this wonderful time of the year. When it comes to gifts for your children, “Santa” may be running tight on money due to bills that need be paid for in the new year, so saving every penny seems ideal for most parents. What children don’t understand is the difference between wanting and needing something and as parents, we have the responsibility of teaching them those differences.

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A toy gadget on the top of their wish list may be “Santa-approved” in their eyes but what happens if you feel like they won’t benefit from the toy? And what happens if you feel like caving in because of the guilt you may feel when you get them something they don’t want? Christmas shopping can get a little tricky especially if you want to people please this time of year but let’s be honest, Christmas isn’t about gift-giving is it? There are ways to manage your child’s gift expectations and these may help you make some final decisions when it comes to final purchasing during the busiest time of the year. BE A GOOD COMMUNICATOR TO YOUR CHILDREN There’s nothing wrong about speaking to your children when the holiday season is around the corner. It’s important as parents that you’re able to lay down the expectations you have for them when it comes to gifts. Teach your children the strengths of getting something you need for christmas as opposed to having something they want. But also justify if the present that they want is worth having. With so many options when buying gifts for kids, it’s best to discuss them so you can meet each other halfway. Don’t feel obliged to follow your children’s wants rather than your own. If you can’t meet their gift demands, offer up any alternatives and see if they are happy with what you’ve offered them. Also if you’re not happy with their gift selections (ie, they want a puppy but you have allergies), be honest with them and don’t sugarcoat anything you tell them. Say nothing but the truth!

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Let your children know they won’t get everything on their wish list When your child has over twenty items on the wishlist, you can imagine how Santa must be feeling when seeing it: overwhelmed and pretty darn stressed. I mean, it’s already a struggle trying to pay the bills but having someone want that many things? It’s not a realistic picture to receive them in one holiday season. Let your children know that “Santa” can only afford one or two (if you’re feeling generous) items off the list. Reiterate the fact that he needs to buy other children some presents. Also note to your kids that Christmas isn’t about the gifts and that being too greedy


isn’t a good thing. If they do end up being disappointed that they didn’t receive all the gifts from the wish list, help them understand the importance of appreciating something being given to you rather than showing the face of disappointment. Let them know how fortunate they are and that other children aren’t as lucky during this time of year. REMIND THEM TO BE GRATEFUL Christmas is the season of giving and also the season of gratitude. Being thankful for what you have is something we’ve had to learn over the years. Remember that you are leading your kids by example so be sure not show any conflicting actions towards the gifts that you receive this

year. Yes, there will be times where we’re not satisfied with what we’re given but we should also remember that the effort made by someone else counts. Gift-giving isn’t what makes Christmas a holiday season; it’s spending time with our loved ones and making memories. Although it’ll be hard for your children to get off the road of disappointment, always take the time to teach them how to show people kindness and respect when it comes to gift-giving. LET YOUR CHILDREN PARTICIPATE IN GIFTGIVING This is a great idea for your children to get excited over the spirit of Christmas. Getting them to participate in giving gifts to their friends and their family will allow them to be creative when it comes to homemade gifts as well. Let them know that giving gifts is just as fun as receiving them, and it also brings warmth and happiness for the people they care about. Of course, the gifts don’t have to be expensive and a simple sentimental gift made by your child could go a long way. For example, a great gift idea would be to pick a favourite photo with a grandparent and make a homemade picture frame for it. Not only will this showcase sentimental value but it will be treasured by them for many years to come. The more meaningful the gift, the better. Overall, Christmas is the time of year where you get to eat delicious food and spend time with your family and friends. There’s nothing materialistic about the season; it’s all love and happiness. Remember the gifts come as a bonus so teach your kids the values of generosity and kindness this Christmas.

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BOOK

reviews

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Dave’s Rock Frann Preston-Gannon Loveable caveman Dave will need no introduction to those who have already enjoyed Frann P re s t o n - G a n n o n ’s earlier release, Dave’s Cave. In this hilarious follow-up, Dave is no longer looking for a new and better cave, rather he’s doing everything he can to make his rock the BEST rock possible. But will Jon’s rock be better than Dave’s? With a little healthy competition thrown in, this is a light-hearted story that you and your children will easily fall in love with. Author-illustrator Frann Preston-Gannon is the first UK recipient of the Sendak Fellowship and acclaimed author of The Journey Home. Her illustrations are both beautiful and modern and accompany text written in laugh-out-loud ‘caveman language’ (“Dave love rock. Jon love rock too…”). Appropriate for ages three to six.

I Love You Clemency Pearce and Rosalind Beardshaw

Is there anything better than hearing your child say ‘I love you?’. This is a beautiful board book that will encourage your early talker to say just that. Appropriate for children aged one to four, this comforting story shows how three little words can make anything seem better – whether your little one is feeling sad, grumpy, or even shy. Featuring cute illustrations of animal families, the story reinforces the fact that mummy and daddy are always here to help, offering hugs and kisses throughout life’s many challenges.

All I Want For Christmas Is Rain Cori Brooke and Megan Forward Some girls want new dolls for Christmas, or a princess fairy outfit. But not this little girl. All Jane wants for Christmas is rain for her parent’s farm in outback Australia. Taking the train into town, she sets off to find Santa, and ask him for her one wish. But will it come true? This is a delightfully different book to read your children at Christmas, reinforcing the importance of giving back to others in need, and set in a landscape far removed from the traditional snowmen. Appropriate for ages 3+.

Goodnight World Debi Gliori

A bedtime ritual is a great idea for soothing your child to sleep, and in this new title from much loved author Debi Gliori, you’ll introduce a long list of important things to say goodnight to. From the plants and animals outside, to your very own toys and, finally, the sunshine. Written in lilting, rhyming text and beautifully illustrated by the author, this book is perfect to read at bed time to children aged one to five.

by

REVIEWED

bookwormz.com.au december 2016 | mychild

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THE

MUMMY

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blog december 2016 | mychild

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Living the MOMENT WRITTEN BY: SHEREE ECHLIN

I often enough wonder how I’m doing as a mum. Am I good? Bad? Somewhere in the middle? Miraculously great maybe? Haha! But in all honesty does it really matter? Why am I bothering trying to work out if I’m any good when my kids are stuck with me anyway?! Poor darlings (insert evil laugh here). They never stood a chance, haha! Of course I’m always going to question my worth in everything I do, I swear it’s built into my DNA, that and I am my own worst enemy with everything I do! (Yes my dearest darling husband I see you nodding your head)!! We are all busy trying to outdo each other, criticise choices or just generally bring each other down, for sometimes what seems like no reason at all. By we, I mean mums (and sometimes dads too). I just can’t fathom why and I’m not exempt from it all either. But really, why?? Why does it happen? (Now I sound like my three-year-old). Mumshaming, judgement, criticism, whichever word you choose or whatever way you look at it, no one wins. Yes “we” all do it but there is a big difference (huge even) between voicing your opinion behind closed doors and on a public level. And it has got to stop. We spend enough time second guessing ourselves in front of our kids. And don’t they know it....they know when you’re down and they thrive on it! But behind the scenes we should be backing

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each other, picking each other up when we are falling down. Who am I kidding?! Let’s all just fall, fail and give up disgracefully together. Being a parent is tough. Yes, it’s something you choose to do but that doesn’t necessarily take away from the complexity of the role. It’s a full time gig. Days, nights, all day and all night at times. You can enjoy lots of fun one minute and then endure rounds of what feels like endless torture the next, especially when they can talk and scream and yell and stamp their feet.....I’m sure you get the picture. Have kids “they” said, it’s the best thing you will ever do. It’ll be fun. (Insert evil laugh here again). Oh yeah, it’s about as much fun as watching chocolate melt and then knowing you can’t eat it. And we all know how much chocolate means to me. Oh look, I have said often enough I love my girls and nothing will ever change that. They reall y are everything to me. But every person has a breaking point or an end of their tether and trust me when I say the tiny humans (and I’m sure the bigger versions are just as bad) seem to have a knack to find your point of no return particularl y when you are not on your game. It reall y would be easier if each child came with their very own personalised set of instructions but that


might make things a tad too easy and there would definitely be no challenge. There is no one easy way to fix things, especially with kids. You will feel like a failure 999% of the time. That’s not a typo, I did say 999% of the time. And let’s face it, maths was never my strong point. Kids are exhausting. They somehow turn themselves into bundles of pure boundless energy when you have nothing left. They just know! I’ve often wondered how you can love someone so much one minute and the next you are filled with an almost seething rage. But then you see the cutest smile or they give you a cuddle and suddenly things become okay again, well for a few minutes anyway.

It’s already been a crazy few months in our house especially with my little baby turning one and now the silly season is upon us, it’s definitely going to get crazier. All I want for Christmas is two minutes of peace (haha!). Don’t worry I think I’ll keep dreaming for another decade yet. On that note, from my crazy beautiful little family to yours, I hope you all have an amazing Christmas and an even better start to 2017. Whatever your little darlings throw your way, try to keep smiling and know that it will get better…..one day. You can read about more of my “fun-filled” days and nights through my blog www. shereeechlin.com.

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ELOPE FOR CHRISTMAS PROS AND CONS

Written by Genie Price Living, loving and a Merry Christmas elopement the pros and cons of eloping in the jolly season. And, though we know weddings can be beautiful, once-in-a-lifetime experiences you share with your nearest and dearest and of course, the one person you want to spend forever with, they can also cost thousands of dollars and can be a ma jor headache. So, why not elope instead?

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RELATIONSHIP

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Rather than tackle a full marriage ceremony, Bec Afanasiew gives her personal reasons for making the choice to elope.

who will provide the ceremony for free if you have chosen their resort as your location to elope.

PROS OF ELOPING:

Be mindful that on some Islands, Sunday is a religious day and they may or may not offer a service on these days or public holidays.

LESS EXPENSE: According to the Bride To Be 2015 ‘Cost of Love’ survey, a wedding in Australia is now estimated to cost around $65,482 almost double the average spend of three years ago, which was a huge $36,000. Both numbers significantly close to those needed for a deposit on a house, however, figures for elopement come out far less than that. Even small, deluxe “elopement packages” at luxury resorts come in far beneath the 36,000 price tag. Courthouse weddings in many states cost less than $100 dollars. Figures which Bec Afanasiew and her long-term partner, Trevor are thankful for. Bec laughs when she reads the figures and says “what happened to the days when it was simple like the1800’s where a maypole and a cake would suffice.” Bec suggests the best thing you can do when planning your elopement/wedding is to stop, take a deep breath, and sit down with your fiancé to work out what you both want and along with it – the financials. The couple agrees “neither of us wanted to spend a fortune on a wedding so we decided on another option”…“Either go to a marriage registry or to elope.” They decided to elope in Bali. Research shows it is possible to purchase an elopement package, which incorporates your ceremony as well as your honeymoon. This works out cheaper than using various locations. If you do your research, there are some hot spots

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LESS STRESS: As sad as it is, finances play a huge part in a couple’s stress levels, as well as their decision to elope or marry. Though the event itself is usually fun and fabulous, the stress of organising a traditional wedding is far higher than elopement when you take into consideration items such as church and car hire, reception costs - caterers and menu planning as well as working out seating arrangements for 100 plus people. Bec says that for her and Trevor - the planning journey for their elopement has been “significantly less stressful” than what others have dealt with for their larger, more traditional ceremony. And, because the Christmas period isn’t that popular a time to engage in elopement, research indicates the availability of locations and venue as well and cost of items such as flowers – can be cheaper at this time of the year. That is good news when looking in admiration of some of the most popular destinations! MORE INTIMACY: A recent survey indicates that couples prefer elopement for the level of intimacy. It is believed to nurture the romance and level of “togetherness” in that, it is “just the two of us”, and at Christmas time, the celebrations are already full of happiness and laughter, so why not add to it by having a celebration of “love”.


Having this private ceremony will enable both partners to be honest with each other without the glaring eyes of 100 guests listening to your every word. So, if your man, like many others – is one that gets stage fright every time he opens his mouth, then eloping in a private ceremony may be the way to go. A HOLIDAY ALSO: Taking only 6 months to “plan” their elopement, Bec admits, “We actually started to plan the family holiday first and it worked out for us to tie the elopement into it as well”. Bec and Trevor are excited to be taking this step, and though overall happy with the decision to elope, there were a few downsides to this decision.

THE CONS OF ELOPING: ABSENT - FAMILY AND FRIENDS: Many Mothers and Fathers want to share in the joy of seeing their “baby girl or boy” walk down the aisle, and often, some friends may also find this pill hard to swallow, but the biggest downfall and one of the hardest parts of the planning is leaving behind those that wanted to share in the day’s celebrations also. “When I told my Mum,” Bec says “she was disappointed,” but goes on to say “we have organised a celebration with family and friends when we return to Perth,” which has hopefully kept everyone feeling involved and at ease with their choice. It’s a challenging time for couples, but they are encouraged to do what is best for their own wants and needs, whether they be financial or otherwise, when making this already hard decision.

DISTANCE: Bec is the kind of girl who likes to see things up close and in person, therefore choosing Bali as their destination made that a bit more trying - “distance was a barrier, seeing photos of items such as flowers and cakes, trying to choose - was difficult” so she decided to leave these final details until the “last minute.” “By leaving them to the last minute, I do run the risk of limited availability for these things, but these are the particulars I wanted to see in person,” Bec admits. And, with good reason, as Ixora Cakes and Beecup Cakes in Bali display such elegant designs for their wedding cakes, to truly know what you are getting, a cake must be taste tested first. WEATHER: Particularly in places like Bali, around December – there is a 35% chance of rain on the day. However, Bec is not fazed by this and gives her honest opinion when she says “we will just roll with it if it rains, we plan to embrace it.” Bec and Trevor are scheduled to leave Perth for Bali in December with the plan to elope on the 21st, the perfect time to celebrate a Merry Christmas elopement in 2016. Good luck.

Other important information: THE LEGALITIES: Many moons ago where elopement was considered involving jumping through a bedroom window at midnight and running away together, in this day and age a little more planning may be involved before you can take that leap.

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Most resorts can pre-arrange the licence to save you a visit to the Registry Office. However, you will need to take original or certified copies of • birth certificates • passports • divorce papers (if previously married) • death certificate of spouse if widowed • a confirmatory letter of current marital status where the couple resides or a statutory declaration signed by a Justice of the Peace or Solicitor to prove he/she has not entered into a marriage before. Whether you choose a traditional wedding or elopement, it is your day that should represent both partner’s personalities, and the important thing to remember is to enjoy the process. A wedding and an elopement are a lifetime commitment – the planning that goes into, however, is not. Sit back and enjoy the journey ahead with the one you love.

Any other Credit Details Required I would like to thank Bec Afanasiew and Trevor Green for their input into this article and wish them both luck on their journey. If you are pl anning to elope on an isl and such as Bali, to view the divine elopement and wedding p ackages you can visit, www.bali-wedding-p ackages.com/ For cake ideas and designs and to read testimonials from satisfied customers, follow the links below: www.ixoracakes.com/ www.beecup.com/wedding/

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CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

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Written by Jana Angeles Hooray! It’s your baby’s first Christmas this year and it seems like you’re stuck on ideas to make it a special one for them. Although they won’t remember it at all once they grow up, the thought of making their first Christmas a special one counts as something, and you’ll cherish it for a long time. Despite getting awesome gifts for Christmas, spending time with family and friends is what makes the occasion so momentous and beautiful. So how can we make our baby’s first Christmas something to remember? What can we do as parents to make it a memorable one for ourselves? DESIGN A PERSONALISED ORNAMENT FOR YOUR LITTLE ONE Having a personalised ornament for your baby will be a special decoration you could hang up for years to come on your Christmas tree. There are plenty of ideas out there, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the cliche, bauble with their name on it. It could be a small frame that has a photo of the family in it being used as a Christmas decoration. Maybe a handprint of your child’s hands on the bauble too as a keepsake of how small they were as a baby. Get creative and don’t hold back if you have a zany idea you would like to try out! START YOUR OWN FAMILY TRADITION Did you miss out as a kid and went without a family tradition each Christmas? Well, now’s your chance as starting your own for your family to get involved. As your baby grows older, they’ll begin to learn the importance of togetherness in family and to appreciate the sentiment that comes with doing this tradition each year. It could be as simple as making homemade cookies for “Santa”, seeing the fireworks, taking silly pictures and curating your own photo album or getting a real tree for Christmas. The options are endless when it comes to family traditions. Make sure it’s something fun for everyone to enjoy!

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DECORATE YOUR CHILD’S NURSERY TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS! Being festive doesn’t feel right if your house isn’t decorated with Christmas stuff! Get into the spirit of Christmas by putting up cool decors for your bub to enjoy. It can range from just putting colourful tinsel around the walls or a mini


into knitting, you can knit a Christmas stocking too. If making things from scratch isn’t your thing, you can check out plenty of DIY kits for stockings available online (eBay and other online stores). CREATE A CHRISTMAS TIME CAPSULE Accumulate all memorable items of your baby’s first Christmas into one box. Keep adding more items each Christmas until it’s filled up with the most precious items you’ve seen your child play with or has worn during the special occasion. You can also add some happy snaps too if there’s space. When your child is a lot older, you can take out the time capsule and reminisce on the items, sharing heartwarming memories to your child; it’ll be a box they can look forward to opening for years to come. MAKE A PERSONALISED MESSAGE FOR SANTA With the internet being a cool place to do stuff, you can now create your very own personalised message for Santa. There is a website called TalkToSanta. com and it allows you to either have a personalised live chat with Santa himself or have a personalised video just for your child. With the video, you’ll be able to keep a copy of it too so each Christmas you can play it to your child, creating hype and excitement for that time of the year.

tree placed in the room. You could also get some Christmas soft toys to decorate too. MAKE A DIY CHRISTMAS STOCKING If you have talent working around a sewing machine, you could make your bub their very own personalised Christmas stocking. Decorate it with fabric paint or if you’re

There are so many ways to make your child’s first Christmas a special one but the most important thing is to allow your child to understand the meaning of the occasion first. Remember to teach them the gift of giving and to share kindness and gratitude for their loved ones this year. Now that’s something worth treasuring for years to come.

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BABY ON

BOARD

Travel tips for the holiday season

The summer months can be synonymous with being on the go, embracing the great outdoors and soaking up the sun’s rays. But, they can also present a few challenges, especially for mums. From juggling an ever expanding nappy bag, to protecting very sensitive skin, summer and the holiday season can prove tough on both mum and baby. 52

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Nappy specialists, BabyLove shares its top 5 tips to sail through summer with a happy baby in tow... 1. Essential ‘travel’ kit – every nappy bag should contain a few essential items, including 4 disposable nappies, a pack of nappy wipes, plastic bags for easy disposal as you go, a clean towel/ sheet for a make-shift change-table, 1-2 changes of clothes and sun protection! 2. Avoid irritating nappy rash - to prevent nappy rash this season, nappy specialists BabyLove advises parents to use nappies that have high absorbency so that they stay dry and breathable at all times while also giving babies sufficient care and comfort. 3. Reduce over-heating by regularly checking and changing nappies. A highly absorbent nappy will also be vital in ensuring a more comfortable feel. BabyLove’s nappies include a DriWave™ layer that absorbs instantly, actively drawing liquid away from the nappy’s surface. 4. Fit baby nappies with ease. To avoid nasty red marks on your baby’s legs, ensure a snug – but not a tight – fit when dressing your baby or toddler. Cosifit™ is the only nappy in Australia to include specially designed “double support gathers” which more evenly distribute pressure from the leg band elastic, whilst also providing a snug fit. And, they deliver an advanced level of leakage protection, so you won’t be caught out when you’re out and about.

After two years of extensive research with Aussie parents, BabyLove developed their revolutionary Cosifit™ nappy- the first in Australia to feature specially designed double support gathers which prevent red marks appearing on a baby or infant’s skin. The reinforced gathers also deliver a higher level of leakage protection, minimising gaps emerging around the legs. BabyLove Cosifit is available in a range of sizes from Newborn and Infant to Crawler, Toddler, Walker and Junior. The range is available at Woolworths, Coles, IGA, Big W, Babies’R’Us, Baby Bunting, Chemist Warehouse and other leading retailers and online stores. Discover the BabyLove Cosifit™ difference for yourself by requesting a free sample at www.babylovenappies.com.au/cosifit

5. Hydration. Regularly re-hydrate your little one as the day unfolds. A cold pack or vacuum container are ideal for keeping drinks twice as refreshing, so you and baby can cool down whilst on the go! “We know that mums want nappies to care for their babies’ sensitive skin and this is never more so than in the warmer summer months, when delicate skin is more susceptible to the harsh elements,” said Debra Smith of Unicharm, the manufacturers of BabyLove Nappies.

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DAD READ

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5 TIPS ON HOW TO SURVIVE YOUR FIRST CHRISTMAS AS A SINGLE PARENT Written by Jana Angeles Christmas time is a happy occasion for most families but for a single parent, it may not be as fun. Sharing holidays with your children may not be ideal for yourself but you have to remember that the arrangements you made with your ex-partner were implemented fairly for the both of you. You may spend Christmas every other year with your children but just because you’re spending the holidays alone this time round doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the fun out of the occasion. So how do we survive our first Christmas as a divorced parent? How can we adapt to our changed lifestyle for the special occasion?

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HERE ARE SOME OF OUR TOP TIPS: Come up with new Christmas traditions Now that you’re a single parent, the traditions you used to share as a family won’t be done this time round, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative with your new ones. There are so many options you can do with your children (and for yourself!) and you’ll be able to share memories with them doing these every year. Whether you have the kids every other Christmas or on Christmas Eve, it’s important to stick to them so then that way they have something to look forward to when they spend the holidays with you. BELOW ARE SOME SUGGESTED TRADITIONS: • Have a pyjama party - You can never go wrong when it comes to watching your favourite Christmas flicks with your kids. Grab some of your favourite junk food and recite every memorised line you know while watching It’s A Wonderful Life or How The Grinch Stole Christmas! • Save up those silver coins - Christmas doesn’t have to be an expensive occasion for the kids. Instead of buying gifts this year, you could encourage them to start their own money jar and save up for a gift they could get for someone they care about. It could either be for a relative or a close friend. • Get your children involved with the Christmas decorations - Letting your kids get involved with decoration can be a fun and memorable way to spend time with them. Although you may not have time to see them this Christmas,

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you can look at the decorated tree and remember the smiles and laughs you shared while decorating. You could get crafty and encourage your kids to make the decorations themselves or go out to the shops and buy reasonably priced ornaments and tinsel. • Get some help in the kitchen - When your kids are old enough, you can get them involved by choosing what dishes they want to cook for Christmas. You could find yourself baking pies, cutting up ingredients for your mains and icing the pavlova cake for dessert. Getting them involved in some way can make it more memorable for them. BE FLEXIBLE WITH THE ARRANGEMENTS YOU’VE MADE WITH YOUR EX-PARTNER Not having your kids for Christmas this year means you’ll have to make the arrangements with your children work for you and them. This could mean having an early Christmas dinner and opening up presents a few days before Christmas. If your ex-partner is taking the children with them for a mini-holiday during Christmas time, make the most of this opportunity by spending some quality alone time. You can take the time to pamper yourself, catch up with some of your friends or family or take the time to prepare for your children’s return. Don’t feel pressured into competing with your ex-partner when it comes to celebrating Christmas. Being materialistic and spending too much money on gifts is impractical. Remember that Christmas is celebrating the togetherness of family and creating positive memories to share with each other.


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GET HELP FROM YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS Just because you’re single this year doesn’t mean you can’t get help from your family and friends. Being alone during the holidays can bring us down sometimes so it helps to have some company and be with your family and friends. Instead of shopping alone for Christmas, get your closest friend to come with you to help decide on what gifts you should get for the kids and your loved ones. Also if you need help when it comes meal preparations for your Christmas dinner, let a relative help you out with the cooking and cleaning. You don’t have to do everything on your own. Having a little help can make you feel less stressed during the busiest time of the year. YOU CAN’T PUT A PRICE TAG ON MEMORIES! Getting your children some cool presents can be a nice thing to do but Christmas time shouldn’t be about how much money you’ve spent on them. Spending quality time with your kids and coming up with thoughtful gifts can really make it a special occasion for them. You could write a thoughtful letter, curate a thoughtful gift box or provide them a cardbox box where they can run their own restaurant for trade when it comes to playtime. Making memories with your children is something you should aim to do this Christmas even if it means celebrating the occasion early. If you’re spending this year alone, go sign up for some volunteer roles to help out charities and non-profit organisations. Giving back to the community is a great way to get involved during the holidays and will be a great distraction from thinking about not having the kids for Christmas this year.

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TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF Surviving your first Christmas as a single parent can be tough and while there’s things to distract you with, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll make things less difficult for you. Be sure to take care of yourself this time round and do some selfreflection. Be sure to pamper yourself and have an open mind when it comes to celebrating Christmas. If you’re feeling lonely, angry or depressed, know that there is at least one person that will listen to your thoughts and feelings. There are also some helplines available like Lifeline (13 11 14), Mensline Australia (1300 78 99 78) and ParentLine (1300 30 1300) where professional counsellors can listen to your problems. Just because you’re a single parent doesn’t mean you’re automatically rid of your feelings of loneliness and depression. It always helps to talk to someone and vent in order to clear your mind and take some weight off your shoulders. Being a single parent is tough and we understand that many of us will struggle to cope with our first Christmas without our kids. Remember that there’s always help available when you find yourself struggling to cope with anxiety and depression this time of year. Although things are different from what they were in the past, always aim to prioritise the kids and create some happy memories together. Christmas doesn’t have to be a downer for you just because you’re no longer with your ex-partner. Even though things aren’t the same anymore, you can still make Christmas special and memorable for the people you care about.


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ENTREPRENEUR MUM FROM THE BLOCK

Written by Jana Angeles Deanna Jolly has cemented her name in the Australian popular TV show The Block. Originally starting her own fashion label in her 20s, Jolly has always had her heart out for anything with design. Since her involvement with The Block, she has further explored the ins and outs of interior design and has grown to love building future homes for families nationwide. Having a strong marriage with her husband Darren Jolly and maintaining such positive relationships with her two daughters, Jolly’s appearance on The Block has shaped her into a determined and passionate woman.

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CELEBRITY INTERVIEW

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“It really gave me the opportunity to focus on what I love and to take myself seriously with it,” she says. “I think sometimes as a mum, not working for a long time and focusing on my husband’s career gave me time to really focus on what I love and just be real about it. It really taught me to follow my instincts because one of the things that happen on The Block is that you’ve gotta be really quick and decisive so if you’re able to tap into your instincts really easily, it just allows you to make quick decisions and good decisions.” Spending most of her 20s concentrating on her fashion label, all that changed when she gave birth to her two daughters, Scarlett and Lily. As she followed the journey of

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motherhood, her strong focus with interior design became something she wanted to work towards. Following her passions with interiors eventually jump started a business run by Jolly and her husband called D+D Home. With her husband being a registered builder and her eye for interiors, they were able to team up together and build a business, creating a positive impact for future homeowners. “From right through as a child, my dream was to be a fashion designer and then I made that happen and that’s what I worked in my 20s and early 30s, so there was a really natural progression into interiors,” she shares. ”I think it’s happened with lots of mums when


it starts becoming less about you and how you look at your environment, your space and making a home for your children.” With some time off from the spotlight, Jolly enthused on the idea of being on TV again, briefly mentioning some projects in the works. While being a busy mum, she juggles her family and social life working on her business while also expanding her talents by working on things such as designing a beach house and more. But in the end, she’s still trying to juggle her professional life with her role as a mum. “That’s something I’m just coming to grips with now because it’s all been very fast and it’s happened out of the blue so I’m just kind of learning that balance now,” Jolly states. “I’m a mum, I’m a wife, we’ve got our own business, I also contribute to various magazines. I’m very busy everyday and before I did The Block, I just started to feel like I needed to get back into working but I hadn’t worked for eight years. Now I work everyday, six days a week really. I’m always busy so I am learning to balance that because I very much still want to be a really hands-on mum and be there for my girls so it is tricky; it’s really tricky.”

and more about the emotional side of stuff and just having that relationship. “I’ve just got this really beautiful relationship with them and I hate to say that’s cliche [but] we’re their friends and there is truth to it. Just having a family is just the most precious thing. It’s interesting because when they were little, they’re so cute and they’re so funny and there’s so much joy with little kids that you sort of think it becomes less interesting as they get older, but it’s the opposite. It’s less about them being cute and funny; it’s a much deeper relationship and there’s more layers to it. It just becomes better and better.”

But even if the balance is something that has posed as a challenge, Jolly shows care and love towards her family. With an eye for design and all the technicalities that come with building a home, the most important part of her journey is to build positive relationships with her two daughters; being their guiding light and always leading them to the right direction in life. “I just adore being their mum,” she says. “It’s by far the most important thing in my life and as I said, they’re just getting to that age now of seven and nine where the relationship that I have with them is just so beautiful. It’s less about them needing me for everyday things december 2016 | mychild

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By Jana Angeles Presents are a wonderful thing and receiving them during Christmas gives our children the opportunity to be happy and grateful. Sometimes we don’t realise as adults that we have to teach our children gift etiquette because there are moments where their reactions to gifts, especially ones they don’t like, end up making the giftgiver embarrassed or upset. So how can we teach our kids to be respectful when it comes to receiving things they don’t like? How can we instil the values of gratitude while also saying the two words ‘thank you’ each time?

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CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

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These are some difficult questions to answer as parents sometimes struggle to communicate this to their children. It’s not often we come across many instances where we feel like we’ve failed in our roles as parents but with more communication, compromise and understanding, you will be able to teach your children the value of gift etiquette in no time. Here are some ways you can teach your children how to understand the importance of gift etiquette and why it is necessary. SHOW OTHERS GRATITUDE AND BE COURTEOUS TO THE PEOPLE WE MEET What we show to our children is a reflection of what they think is right behaviour. It’s important that as parents, we’re aware of our actions and how they affect the people we interact with on a daily basis. If we don’t show any gratitude or any sense of courtesy to the people we come across, how can we expect our children to do the same? Of course, there will be times where we will stumble upon many terrible gifts we receive from people but showing them kindness and respect will help our children do the same when they are given something they dislike. Christmas is all about being thankful for what you have; it’s not a competition when it comes to gift-giving. COMMUNICATE TO YOUR CHILDREN WHAT GIFT-GIVING MEANS Being given a gift means a kind gesture from a friend or family member. Remind your children that being given gifts is a way of saying that they are special. You can also emphasise the important values of gratitude and respect when receiving gifts, regardless of what shape, size or form it comes in. Don’t feel pressured

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into thinking they will understand this straightaway because it won’t happen overnight. Regularly communicate with them the importance of being grateful when receiving a present from someone, regardless of what the item is. Instilling kindness in children is easy if you show it to them on a regular basis. TEACH THEM HOW TO SAY SOMETHING POSITIVE ABOUT THEIR DISAPPOINTING GIFT Being given pajamas instead of getting that jumping castle they wanted can be a letdown for your child, especially if they’ve placed a certain expectation in receiving a particular item in the first place. Disappointment is normal to experience as a child but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t look at the downsides of the gift. If your child has received a much practical gift, let them know it’s something they could use on a daily basis. Cue in words such as “interesting’, “useful” and “thoughtful” as these words can help them convey their thoughts on a gift they’ve been given from someone else. Remind them that although the gift that they may receive is “bad”, justify your reasons on why it’s good for them and allow them to see the positives of their disappointing gift. Encourage them that there’s always a positive reason why people have given them certain items to them. ENCOURAGE THEM TO BE NICE AND POLITE TO THE GIFT-GIVER Children have no filter and sometimes they may say things that will hurt your feelings. Though they are unaware of what they say most of the time, do your best by teaching them how to be nice and polite to the gift-giver. Whether it’s a family member or a friend, let them know that saying mean things about the gift or to the actual individual is inappropriate.


Teach your children how to respectfully respond to a gift (even if it’s not what they wanted) and encourage them to say something positive about it. Christmas is a time where people can come together and celebrate the company of family and friends. We must remember that gifts come as a bonus and no matter

what we receive, showing gratitude and respect is the best way to appreciate the family season. Never be afraid to face a learning curve together with your children and always learn how to persevere and trust that they will do the right thing eventually. As parents, we have the power to influence these tiny individuals so do not be afraid to step in and fix what isn’t right.

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REAL READ

“My Own Unique Rollercoaster of Motherhood” By Kirsty Whitehead

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Once upon a time… Well, I wish that’s how my story went, mine’s a little more realistic as I’m sure yours is too, we dream as children about our future, ‘what do we want to be when we grow up?’ I wanted to be a Mum, I always knew that and a Mum of 10 babies. Thankfully I’m only a Mum of three babies and I never could imagine what kind of roller coaster ride motherhood would be, I would like share with you some of my experiences of a Mum of three children and what a bumpy magical road it has been. Rewind twelve years back into my life and I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. I remember looking down at her and welcoming her with the words, ‘Hello beautiful’, then I saw the spot on her leg, a little brown spot and my heart sank. I knew that her father had a neurological condition that was hereditary, but I was naive and had the thought; ‘That would never happen to me, my baby would be healthy!’ I tried to convince myself that it was just a birth mark, not a café latte spot (a pigment that occurs when you have Neurofibromatosis). I couldn’t keep denying the truth as more and more of these marks appeared as time went by. Everything for the first few years seemed okay. I had dodged a bullet and my daughter seemed healthy. She had a couple of spots and we assumed that most were birth marks. She was a little slow to start walking and she wasn’t a clear talker but each child developed at their own pace. The alarm bells started to ring a little louder when I was calling her name and Shelbie just didn’t hear me, or so I thought. Turns out she wasn’t deaf, Shelbie just had difficulty processing words and working out their meaning, so for a time we learnt to communicate

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using cards. Each little accomplishment we celebrated and at that time I found out I was pregnant again. I was so elated. The good news is that the odds of Neurofibromatosis are 50/50, so as one child already had the condition, I figured we were clear. How wrong was I? My little boy was born and was perfect. He had the same spots that came with the condition and his eyes looked like they belonged to a chameleon lizard. I had two beautiful children. I would stare at my little man for hours as he slept and doted upon him as every mum does. Shelbie was so excited to be a big sister and wanted to help. There is nothing more special than the precious moments of a newborn baby and the bonding that happens within the family. Jackson was only six weeks old when he had his first little cold. I took him to the Doctors and was assured that he was fine. The next day we were rushed to hospital as he could hardly breathe. Jackson’s little cold had turned into pneumonia. He was fighting for his life. I wouldn’t leave his side, he was so little and so lifeless I thought I was going to lose my baby before I had really gotten to know him. He had tubes coming out of him everywhere. Jackson is a tough little bloke and he responded well to the antibiotics and even though it was touch and go for 24 hours he survived and for the first time I experienced relief. This was only the beginning of our hospital life; Jackson seemed to be prone to pneumonia and different chest infections. In the meantime, Shelbie had just started school, what an emotional day that was, well for me anyway. She was more than ready and gave me a quick hug and off she went, leaving her Mummy with a little tear of pride in her eyes. What was I going to do? Concentrate on Jackson of course.


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He wasn’t walking, or crawling or even sitting up by then. That’s not a good thing for a one-year old. The doctor thought he was just behind in his development. Even with a lot of physio, the specialists were not entirely convinced that he would walk at all. I was determined to do everything in my power to help Jackson walk. Every day we would do the physio and little by little Jackson started to move on his own. I spent hours on the floor moving his legs and arms into the position of rolling over. Finally he proved his doctors wrong and he took his first steps at eighteen months. If I could have plastered the news on a billboard I would of. I watched other mums celebrate so many other milestones and I’ll be honest with you, part of me wished that was me. I craved normality, whatever that was. I was trying to balance life, children, work and a husband. I started to learn when my boy was starting to get sick, I could see when he was using the wrong muscles to breathe and knew exactly when the right time was to take him to the hospital. I spent many sleepless nights in the hospital in his first three years. Every time we would be discharged, I was so thankful to bring my son home with me. I needed answers. Why was he getting so sick? By chance, one doctor noticed an abnormality in his breathing and sent him off for some tests and that’s when they discovered the cause that Jackson had a lazy valve and he was aspirating. This meant that when he ate and drank, some of the fluids would enter his lungs, causing continuous infections. Jackson was lucky again as he could have drowned from simply drinking his bottle. Needless to say, he was quickly weaned to a cup and we had to add some thickeners to his drinks. It didn’t stop the hospital trips though.

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I appeared to be super Mum, routine was the key, my reality was so different. I was tired of managing to keep it all together. I was noticing so many different things with my children. Jackson had some odd walking mannerisms, Shelbie couldn’t handle noise. By now, Shelbie was seven and I met up with different teachers and psychologists who noticed she was significantly behind. The answer was simple, more work had to be done at home and more appointments needed to be attend to. My husband and I hardly saw each other by this time; his escape was to throw himself into work. I was riddled in Mummy guilt. I felt so guilty. I felt like it was my fault. I was so overwhelmed at every appointment they would find something else. On top of all this I was so sleep-deprived as Jackson was an insomniac. If I did fall asleep, I would wake up to flour, milk and all sorts rubbed into the carpet. I was ready to pull my hair out. Both Shelbie and Jackson had been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder. It had a ring to it but I assure you it didn’t make it easier, just more learning for me; there was never a dull moment in our household. I mentioned to the doctors that my little man had chameleon eyes and they sent me to an Ophthalmologist to get this checked out. The first step was to patch his eyes. It was a whole lot of fun sticking patches on a three-year old. Pirates became our favourite game. The Ophthalmologist decided to give Jackson an MRI just for precautionary measures. Being so little he had to have a general anaesthetic. I was there to hold his hand as he went under and I ended up having to hold his body down as it was shaking uncontrollably under the effects of the gas. Once he was


finally asleep, I gave him a kiss and walked out into the corridor and cried. It was awful and an absolutely heartbreaking experience. We had to wait for the results of the MRI and I went in their feeling positive. It was only precautionary and it was unlikely they were going to find anything. That was the first and last time I ever walked into an appointment to get results with such a positive outlook. I was informed that Jackson’s optic nerve was thickening and started a tumour. Thankfully his tumour didn’t grow and he didn’t need to have Chemotherapy, but the emotional rollercoaster was still there and at every check-up was a time to reconsider the options. I felt blind-sided, and I was so angry. It wasn’t fair.

himself, he was more antsy than usual, and he kept trying to bite me. I took him into Mum and he started to try and bite her. We ended up taking him up to the hospital as he just wasn’t responding to us and my Mummy gut knew something was wrong. On the way to the hospital he started to violently shake and in the five-minute drive it turned into a violent seizure. As we raced into the doors, the nurses took him from me and laid him in bed. It was the first and only time they managed to get me to leave his side. As I looked through the doors, I saw them get the crash cart out and in that moment I prayed like I have never prayed before. Jackson thankfully came through and to this day they still cannot explain what caused it. Although I knew it meant more tests and hospital visits.

I didn’t cry when I got the results. I had to be strong. The good news was they could do surgery on Jackson’s eyes to straighten them up. I described before that Jackson’s eyes were like a chameleon’s. He would turn one out to see and leave the other in, he had control over them as result of the eye-patching. It was leaving him so tired though, not that it helped him sleep that still eluded him. The surgery was deemed a success; both his eyes were now straight. Both his eyes looked so painful, so blood shot and he was bleeding tears. He was so brave and I was so proud of my little solider. He smiled and hugged his new teddy bear as he came too. Children have a way of being so resilient and he was off and running within a couple of days.

That overwhelming sense of helplessness came again not long after the seizure episode when I noticed Jackson was breathing with the wrong muscles, something that happened almost every time the boy got a cold. He went downhill fast and I raced him to the hospital. As I pulled him out the car, he stopped breathing and thankfully, the nurse rushed out. The woman’s and children’s hospital was normally an hour away, but that night we did the trip in 25 minutes by speeding down the highway. I cannot explain the emotion I felt when they said he was out of the woods. I just burst into tears as he slept. The tubes, the drips and all the monitors didn’t scare me anymore.

I almost lost Jackson seven times in his first three years of his life. One of the scariest times was when we were visiting my mum up in Jamestown and it’s hard to explain, but Jackson just didn’t seem

The hospital became a second home to us. I tried so hard to make hospital days fun and not so scary. By this time, Jackson had been diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis type 1, Autism, ADHD, Sensory Processing

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disorder and global development delay, chronic asthmatic and Scoliosis. Shelbie had neurofibromatosis type 1 and was diagnosed with an intellectual disability. Both my children suffer daily with nerve pain, chronic headaches and just to move some days is hard work. Shelbie had her own share of hospital trips but thankfully things seemed to be going smoothly. Things took a twist when she was about six when I found this strange spot on her. I had hounded several different doctors about this spot that was developing on her scalp, finally a neurologist ordered an MRI. It was horrific how they tied her to the table. She was screaming as the machine was so loud and intensified because of her sensory processing disorder. The neurologist told me nothing was there. The word relief was an understatement. Fast-forward to 2012 and I swear her spot had gotten bigger. Again, several doctors later and a Paediatric registrar had a look and instantly called the paediatrician. He took one look and we were rushed up for a head X-ray. They left a message that a neurosurgeon would call me. In minutes there was another message on my answering machine telling me that my daughter has a 3 cm bony legion on her skull and that they booked me an appointment ASAP. I took my eight-year old to this appointment and was told they didn’t know what had caused it and that the previous doctor had missed the start of it. It had now grown and there was nothing protecting her brain except soft tissue. They can’t simply put a plate over it as the main drainage vein was in the way. Quite simply we were told the risk of Shelbie dying was too high. It’s hard for any

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parent to imagine how you would react to this news with your daughter overhearing it all. I remember walking out and waiting for the next appointment and there was a little girl with no legs. Shelbie turned to me and I’ll never forget her words; “I could give her my legs Mum, I’m not going to need them anymore’. I managed to get all the way home before I broke down. I was helpless and felt broken inside that I could lose my little girl. 2012 was a huge year for us; an emotional year. I left my husband (that’s another not so happy story), I gave up my business as my sole purpose was to be there to support both my children. It was a big year of self-reflection and self-discovery. One that was so vital in making me a better Mum. Something wonderful happened through all this, I found myself, I did a lot of healing and in the process I met the love of my life (other than my children). I honestly had convinced myself that love wouldn’t be possible because what man would take on two special needs children. He was there at every appointment and for the first time ever I didn’t have to do all this alone. It’s 2016 and I cannot tell you just how thankful I am to have both children still with me. They have taught me so much and we face some of the biggest unknowns. Shelbie’s hole in her skull is bigger and next to it. She has a tumour growing. We were accidently told that she has a spot at the front of her skull starting to decalcify. Life is scary for Shelbie and yet she holds herself together so well. I am so proud of her strength. I have held her as she cried in my arms worrying about whether she is going to die. We have talked about her fear of whether ‘her face is going to cave in’ and every time I hold her close and


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try to explain things the best way I know how, it breaks my heart. I wish with all my strength that I could take away some of the worry, the pain that she suffers but I have to accept that I can’t. Jackson, being that little bit younger than Shelbie is quite oblivious at times to what is going on. Recently, he has been running into things and mistaking objects. My mummy gut knew something again wasn’t right and I hounded specialists until they gave him an MRI. It was here they found that Jackson has a brain tumour. It’s another optic glioma in the middle of the brain (chiasm). It’s a different kind of cancer as it is not malignant but is slow growing. Every three months Jackson has MRI’s under a general and he goes through a series of tests and we see a team of specialists. If his brain tumour has grown or it changes in any way then they will start chemo unless they want to do a biopsy. A biopsy involves the neurosurgeon to make a cut through my little boy’s skull from one ear to the other across Jackson’s forehead and then lift his brain to get underneath to take a sample. The procedure comes with lot of risks. Words cannot express how I feel. I also want you to keep in mind that Jackson and Shelbie are both present when the Doctors explain this to all of us. Our journey is far from over. In fact we are only just starting a new chapter of unknowns, the biggest unknown is I do not know how long I have my two babies for. We also don’t know if Jackson is going to keep his sight. I’m not a super Mum, I am just a woman who loves her children unconditionally and plays the different roles that us mothers do. As heart breaking as this journey has been, there has been so much joy, love and laughter. In amongst

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all our families adventures, we welcomed a new family member, a healthy baby boy. Joseph doesn’t have Neurofibromatosis, he has no brown spots and brings us all much joy and much needed distraction, especially on hospital trips. I have described the hospital as our second home, these days we are there pretty much weekly, sometimes two or three times a week. I’m often asked, ‘how can I help?’ Truth is there is not a lot anyone can do*. Everyone’s journey in life is different and I’m not going to tell you I wouldn’t change a thing. In fact, I would take away all their pain and suffering if I could. I am grateful though and it has made me who I am today, I appreciate every small moment, every smile I cherish. It has given me a new perspective in life and I try to take nothing for granted. I don’t have my fairy tale that I imagined growing up but what child does? I have my own unique rollercoaster of motherhood. *To support Shelbie & Jackson and their family, visit their GoFundMe page: www.gofundme.com/2jj4us4


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CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

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6 WAYS TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS ON A

Budget Written by Jana Angeles

Christmas time is a joyous occasion for families but one thing that can get in the way of that is the financial stress that comes with it. You’ve probably had to make ends meet this year, have had to be more thrifty because you’re saving up for a holiday or have recently come back from one. Either way, money should be the last of your problems for Christmas and communicating with your partner on how you want to do Christmas (cheaply) this year is to reach a compromise on what you should be spending this year. december 2016 | mychild

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You might be feeling guilty that this year you won’t be able to get gifts for all your friends or the fact you can’t spend something expensive on your partner. Either way, it’s important to remember that the thought counts and you can create a memorable Christmas with your family without stretching your budget. Here are some useful ways you can save money this Christmas. BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET Set a certain amount of money to spend on food, drinks and gifts to spend when it comes to the Christmas season. The last thing you want is to overspend so make sure you actually stick to the budget. Even though you know that your child wants that latest iPad or that really cool toy, save it for next year when you have money to spare. Remember that you and your partner agreed to stick to a limit. Show support to each other - we know it’s hard not to spend on things we really want! BE LESS EXTRAVAGANT ON GIFTS We know how tempting it is to spend money on luxurious items but remember that you have to be wise when spending gifts on people. Gift-giving doesn’t necessarily need a price tag attached. Be creative when it comes to gifts. If you have a talent in making stuff, optout for a DIY approach. You can also be cheap and thoughtful by either writing meaningful letters to your friends and family, gifting a portrait of your favourite photo or putting together your own food hamper (under $30) for your loved ones. Gift cards are another option as you can choose a certain amount of money on them. This way people have the flexibility of choosing an item of their choice in that particular store.

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MAKE THE EFFORT OF SHOPPING EARLY Nobody likes crowds so avoid them at all costs by shopping early. Make sure you prepare and be organised especially if you are hosting a dinner for your family and friends. When it comes to grocery shopping, make sure you arrive early and buy all the items you need to avoid disappointment. If you know that a sought-after item is on your Christmas list, queue up early (look up the Christmas opening hours of stores) and purchase the item before anyone else beats you to it. Shopping early creates less stress for you


and your partner. Make sure to delegate shopping tasks equally so that you don’t stress yourselves out. It helps if you work together as a team and agree to not leave Christmas shopping in the last minute. COMPARE PRICES WHEN SHOPPING Everybody loves sales so to make the most of what you’re spending on, compare prices when it comes to shopping. Considering the fact that you’re on a budget this year, making the effort of doing some research online can help you determine where to go if

something is sold for cheaper. You can do this for Christmas gifts and grocery goods. It doesn’t hurt to do this especially if you’re able to make the time and effort in finding ways to save more money. Saving every dollar counts. IF YOU’RE THE PARTY HOST, HAVE PEOPLE BRING A MAIN MEAL FOR THE GATHERING So this year you’ve been appointed as the party host for your yearly Christmas dinner. But just because you’re organising the party, doesn’t mean you have to spend all the money on food and drinks. Have people bring in a main meal for the gathering. This not only saves times on food prep and cooking, you’ll also have more choices in what to eat. This will save time and money for you and your partner and will put less stress for the both of you to impress your guests. STAY HOME FOR CHRISTMAS OR TRAVEL CHEAP Christmas doesn’t have to be boring if you’re at home. Although going away seems like a feasible option to do, you save a lot of money if you choose to stay home and celebrate the occasion this year. You’ll save money on flights, accommodation and more if you’re on a budget. If staying at home is simply not an option for you, consider staying at an AirBnB for a couple of nights and see if there are any special discounted packages (hotels and flights) for you and your family. Book and travel smart! Being thrifty during Christmas isn’t a bad thing. Remember you both have the responsibility of showing each other support and although things are tight this year, money can’t be substituted with the happy memories you’ll share with your family.

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GET THE LOOK:

interiors

Leah Shannon is a designer and owner of Parade and Company, a lifestyle brand specialising in decor for children’s rooms. She has 15+ years experience in design and a passion for creating children’s spaces that inspire, educate and spark the imagination. 100

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INTERIORS

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All products available at Habitots.com.au iNursery Works sleepy time rocker (feeding chair) $849.00 rrp

gMonty Tribe Clothes rack from $270.00 rrp

iIncy Interiors Teeny Cot

hNana Huchy dolls

$799.00 rrp

from $33.00 rrp

fNeon Poodle Heart light $118.00 rrp

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hJolie Petite Chose Kitty Blanket from $33.00 rrp


Room Styling by Mardi Mason. Photography by Rachel Winton

hLarge face print - Pax and Hart Frankie $55.00 rrp (unframed)

gThe Family Love Tree mirror $229.00 rrp

gTwo and Jax Heart print & icy pole $45.00 rrp (unframed)

gMost cushionsarro home from $399.00 rrp

hIncy Interiors change table $399.00 rrp

iThe Family Love Tree

iMister Fly playmat

side table $99.00 rrp

$89.95 rrp

hArro Home Pink hThe little Collection

Diamonds rug $595.00 rrp

Chair $80.00 rrp december 2016 | mychild

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fFloor Pouf - and the rest $90.00 rrp andtherest.net.au

Knot cushion g Hang it designs $55.00 rrp hangitdesigns.com

hTimber book shelves

fWhite ship - Scandi kid

- The Timba Trend $40.00 rrp thetimbatrend.com.au

$89.00 rrp scandikid.com.au

Felt ballsg - the woodland child $65.00 rrp etsy.com/shop/ thewoodlandchild

hShip has sailed print Pax and Hart $55.00 rrp leoandbella.com.au

fPom pom blanket Lily pily baby $90.00 rrp lilypilybaby.com

hWooden Camera

fWall stickers

- Behing the trees $25.00 rrp behindthetrees. bigcartel.com

The lovely wall co $39.95 rrp thelovelywall.com

iToy box Fox and Wilder $125.00 rrp foxandwilder.com.au

hWhale cushion Boo and Bear baby $85.00 rrp booandbear.com.au

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hWild heart plaque - Zilvi $35.00 rrp zilvi.com.au

hTepee - Fox and Wilder $.130.00 rrp foxandwilder.com.au


Photo and Styling Credit: Charlotte Beckley, Fox and Wilder

fWhale pilloe case

fWooden penguin - Design

Broen paper lemon $35.00 rrp brownpaperlemon. bigcartel.com

stuff group $64.00 designstuff.com.au

hMetallic silver “Theo Winnie dot label $61.00 rrp winniedot.com.aus

Bed - muBu home $899.00 rrp mubuhome.com.au

fRug - Jord home hRound cushion little connoisseur $90.00 rrp littleconnoisseur.com.au

$120.00 etsy.com/uk/shop/jordhome

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TOY

Reviews

106

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TOYS

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TOY

Reviews

REVIEWED BY APRIL DAVIS

5/5

JELLYCAT TWINKLE BUNNY MEDIUM

This Twinkle Bunny shimmers and shines with soft creamy fur and glittery silver stars in her ears. Your child can snuggle with a Bashful Bunny that is as beautiful as stardust, and as whimsical and pretty as the moon in the night sky. Our verdict A snuggly nighttime - and daytime - companion, the Jellycat Twinkle Bunny is suitable for all age groups, but its soft cuddly demeanor make it especially loved by babies. Made from soft polyester, you can’t really go wrong with a cute plush toy

RRP $39.95 – AVAILABLE FROM LARK STORE / WWW.LARKSTORE.COM.AU

ISGIFT SANTA SNACK SET This cup and bowl set is the perfect reminder that Santa is always watching. The melamine set stores well and is dishwasher safe. Our Verdict A fool-proof way to get your kids to eat their vegetables, this affordable and fun Christmas cup and bowl set will make every meal a holiday. Your little ones will love the cute Santa design, and will be more than wiling to gulp down every mouthful to keep Santa happy.

4/5 RRP $ 21.95 - AVAILABLE FROM HURLEY BURLEY TOYS / WWW.HURLEYBURLEYTOYS.COM.AU 108

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childs FROM A VIEW

4/5

ISGIFT ERASE IT! ADVENT CALENDAR This colourful and unique advent calendar is the perfect way to keep track of how many days there are until Christmas. Simply peel away each day to reveal either an animal or festive themed eraser. The calendar can also double as a decoration, as it comes complete with a handy red string that allows it to be hang from anywhere in the house. Our Verdict Containing all of the fun of a traditional Christmas countdown - minus the sugar rush - your kids will love the cute and quirky erasers and will be thrilled as they begin to run out of doors to open.

RRP $19.95 AVAILABLE FROM LITTLE BOOTEEK WWW.LITTLEBOOTEEK.COM.AU

ISGIFT FROSTY THE MELTING SNOWMAN Made from plastic pieces and putty, Frosty the Melting Snowman can be put together, melted, and then put together again. Take Frosty’s putty out of the tub and build him by adding his arms, hat, eyes, nose, and scarf. When he melts, don’t fret, because the fun isn’t over yet - you can build him all over again!

Jack

I had so much fun with this. First I put him together, and then he melted! Just like a real snowman! It reminded me of the time Nanny and Poppy took me to the snow, except I didn’t have to get cold building this snowman. Our Verdict Fun and interactive, building Frosty is a good weekend activity. The compact storage case also comes in handy, as Frosty has a lot of small pieces that can be easily lost. Recommended for children aged three plus, it’s still advisable you supervise your children as they play, since Frosty has lots of itty-bitty parts.

RRP $49.95 AVAILABLE FROM COOL THINGS/ WWW.COOLTHINGS.COM.AU

4/5 december 2016 | mychild

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Fast

FOOD

GET THE LITTLE ONES INVOLVED TO HELP CREATE MASTER MEALS USING OUR RECIPES THAT ARE KID FRIENDLY & CAN BE MADE WITH LITTLE EFFORT.

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breakfast

BRUSCHETTA 0.10 Prep 0.20 Cook

Serves 12

INGREDIENTS •

500g trussed cherry tomatoes

400g portobello mushrooms, stalks removed

1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil

24 slices mild pancetta

2 bunches English spinach, trimmed, washed, dried

12 slices sourdough bread

250g fresh ricotta

METHOD 1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Place the tomatoes and mushrooms in a roasting pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoonful of oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until tomatoes begin to collapse. Remove from oven and set aside. 2. Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes or until crisp. Transfer to a plate. Reserve and set aside one-quarter of the pancetta (see note). Heat half the remaining oil in the pan and add the spinach. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until spinach just wilts. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. 3. Brush the bread slices with remaining oil. Preheat a char-grill or barbecue. Cook the bread slices for 1 minute each side or until toasted. 4. Spread the ricotta over bread slices. Top with spinach, pancetta, mushrooms and tomatoes. Serve immediately.

m u y Photo: Ian Wallace december 2016 | mychild

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panattone french TOAST & BERRIES 0.15 Prep 0.15 Cook

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS • • • • • • • • • •

3 eggs 1/3 cup (80ml) thin cream 1/3 cup (80ml) milk 2 tablespoons caster sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 1.5cm-thick rounds of panettone* (cut across horizontally), quartered 250g frozen mixed berries, thawed 2 tablespoons icing sugar, plus extra to dust 40g unsalted butter Thick cream or yoghurt, to serve

METHOD 1. In a wide, shallow bowl, beat eggs, cream, milk, sugar and vanilla. Add the panettone, turn to coat and leave to soak for 10 minutes, pressing down from time to time to ensure it soaks up the batter. 2. Meanwhile, place half the berries in a blender with icing sugar and 1 tablespoon water. Blend until smooth. Combine with remaining berries and set aside. 3. Heat half the butter in a non-stick frypan over medium heat. Drain excess egg mixture from half the panettone slices and cook for 1-2 minutes each side until golden. Keep warm while you repeat with remaining butter and panettone. 4. To serve, place two slices on each plate, dust with icing sugar, and top with berry compote and a dollop of cream.

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Photo: Ben Dearnley


glazed ham with SWEET BBQ SAUCE 0.25 Prep 2.15 Cook

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS • • • • • • • • • •

1 double-smoked ham leg (about 4.5kg) 1 cup golden syrup 1/4 cup tomato sauce (ketchup) 60g unsalted butter 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped 1 teaspoon chilli flakes

METHOD 1. Prepare a covered barbecue for indirect cooking. For a gas barbecue, heat one burner on medium-high and leave the other burner(s) off. For a charcoal barbecue, build a fire on one side of the charcoal grate, leaving the other side of the barbecue empty, and let burn just until the coals are covered with white ash. Do not spread out the coals. 2. Line a large heavy rimmed baking tray with foil. Remove all the packaging from the ham. Run a sharp knife down the back of the ham and using your fingers, gently separate the skin from the fat. Run the knife over the fat to lightly score it all over. Place the ham on the tray and set the tray on the side of the barbecue that is off. Close the lid and leave to cook (the barbecue temperature should be about 190C) for 1 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the ham registers 42C. 3. Meanwhile, in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat, whisk the golden syrup, tomato sauce, butter, mustard, lemon juice, vinegar,

Worcestershire sauce, garlic and chilli flakes until the butter melts and the mixture is well blended. Remove the glaze from the heat and set it aside. 4. When the ham is warmed through, increase the barbecue temperature slightly (so the barbecue temperature reaches 200C). Using a pastry brush, brush some of the glaze all over the ham. Cook the ham, basting it about every 5 mins with the glaze, for a further 45 mins or until the thickest part of the ham registers 52C on the meat thermometer and the ham is evenly caramelised. 5. Remove the ham from the barbecue and set it aside on a carving board for 10 mins to rest. Meanwhile, pour off the juices from the baking tray into a tall and narrow heatproof container and allow the fat to settle to the top. Skim off as much of the fat as possible. In a serving bowl, combine equal parts of the skimmed juices and remaining glaze. 6. Serve ham with the barbecue sauce.

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thyme hasselback POTATOES 0.10 Prep 0.45 Cook

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS • • • •

12 (about 2kg) desiree potatoes, peeled 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil 3 teaspoons thyme leaves 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

METHOD 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. 2. Halve each potato and place, cut-side down, on a chopping board. Make thin cuts at 5mm intervals about two-thirds of the way through. Place in a large bowl, then repeat with the remaining potatoes. 3. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with thyme and garlic. Season well with salt and pepper. Gently toss to combine. Place in a large roasting pan. Bake in the oven, turning occasionally, for 45 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

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Photo: Ben Dearnley


turkey pesto PASTA

Serves 4

0.05 Prep 0.12 Cook

INGREDIENTS • 400g spaghetti • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved • 200g shredded cooked turkey breast meat • 100g baby spinach • 3/4 cup (195g) store-bought pesto • shaved parmesan, to serve

METHOD • Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions or until al dente. Drain and return to the pan. Cover and keep warm. • Shred turkey meat into small pieces. Toss with hot pasta, pesto, baby spinach, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Serve topped with shaved parmesan and crusty bread.

m u y Photo: Guy Bailey & Andrew Young

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grilled flatbread PIZZAS 0.20 Prep 0.35 Cook

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS • 4 x pieces (20cm-diameter) wholemeal Lebanese bread • 1 x 450g can thin pineapple slices, drained • 160ml (2/3 cup) tomato pasta sauce • 1 red onion, halved, very thinly sliced • 240g (1 1/2 cups) chopped lean ham • 100g (1 cup) coarsely grated reduced-fat mozzarella • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh continental parsley

METHOD 1. Preheat the grill on high. Place 1 piece of bread on a baking tray and grill on 1 side for 3 minutes or until toasted and crisp. Repeat, in 3 more batches, with the remaining bread. 2. Meanwhile, cut each pineapple slice into 12 pieces. Spread the untoasted side of each piece of bread evenly with pasta sauce. 3. Sprinkle the pizzas evenly with onion, ham, pineapple and mozzarella. Lower the grill tray until the top of the pizza is about 12cm from the heat source. Grill 1 pizza for 5 minutes or until light brown and heated through. Transfer to a serving plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat, in 3 more batches, with the remaining pizzas. 4. Sprinkle the pizzas with parsley and cut into quarters to serve.

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Photo: John Paul Urizar


christmas

CHEESECAKE 0.40 Prep 0.55 Cook

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS • • • • • • • • • • • • •

200g packet digestive biscuits 85g unsalted butter, melted 500g cream cheese 100ml thickened cream 3 eggs 200g caster sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste 300g sour cream 150g natural yogurt 300g frozen cranberries 2 tablespoons port 1 teaspoon arrowroot 8 small rosemary sprigs, dusted with icing sugar, to garnish

METHOD 1. Preheat oven to 180°C. 2. Process biscuits to fine crumbs in a food processor. Add butter and whiz to combine. Press evenly into the base of a 20cm springform cake pan and chill while you make the filling. 3. Place cheese, thickened cream, eggs, 100g caster sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste in the (cleaned) food processor, and process until smooth. Spread filling over biscuit base. 4. Bake for 30 minutes or until filling has set. Remove cake from oven and set aside to cool for 15 minutes. 5. Meanwhile, combine sour cream, yoghurt, another 50g caster sugar and remaining vanilla paste. Spread over cake, then return to oven for a further 10 minutes. Set aside to cool, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. 6. Place remaining 50g sugar, cranberries and port in

a saucepan over low heat. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove lid and stir.Continue to cook until the cranberries give off their juice. Stir arrowroot into a dash of the juice, then add to pan with berry mixture and continue to cook until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and cool. 7. To serve, top cake with cranberry sauce and garnish with the dusted rosemary sprigs.

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christmas

BROWNIES 5.40 Prep 0.35 Cook

Makes 24

INGREDIENTS • • • • • • • • •

250g butter, chopped 250g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped 3 eggs 1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar 3/4 cup plain flour, sifted 1/4 cup self-raising flour, sifted 1 cup frozen raspberries 1/2 cup white chocolate bits icing sugar mixture, to serve

METHOD 1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Lightly grease a 4cm-deep, 27cm x 17cm (base) slice pan. Line with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang at both long ends. 2. Place butter and dark chocolate in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high (75%) for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every minute with a metal spoon, or until smooth and melted. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. 3. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add chocolate mixture. Beat to combine. Fold in flours. 4. Pour half the mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle with raspberries and white chocolate bits. Pour over remaining mixture. Bake for 35 minutes or until just firm to touch (see note). Allow to cool completely in pan. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm. 5. Lift brownie from pan. Cut into squares. Dust with icing sugar. Pack into boxes.

All recipes sourced from taste.com.au 118

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Photo: Alan Benson


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mychild Magazine December 2016 Issue