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NOVEMBER 2013

Games for family bonding

Kids birthday parties On a budget

FREE!

Making time For family

Thanksgiving Fun for the kids Your Free local Parenting magazine


Artwork designed and donated by Stacey Pegrem

McQuade Park Twilight Market

Sat 7th December 2pm-7pm Raising money for Breast Cancer Research Petting Zoo Jumping Castle

Stalls Food

Band Plenty of fun for all!

Plus join us for the World’s biggest community colouring in!! Cnr Hawkesbury Valley Way & George Street, Windsor


November 2013

Contents Regulars 5 Letter from the Editor 6 Did you know? 10 Ask a professional - questions from readers 11 Monthly Recipe - Homemade sausage rolls 14 Your Story - The death of my Father 17 Make a change 26 Kid’s fun 27 Business Directory 28 Community Noticeboard

Articles 7 Making your family a priority 8 Kids birthday parties 12 Kids and safety - through the eyes of our children 21 Doulas - to hire or not to hire 22 Family bonding games

Special Features 18 Christmas gift giving guide 24 Thanksgiving crafts 25 A new arrival in the family

Cover photo is by Louise Blake Photography 4


Letter from the Editor Dear Reader, As the weather warms up and the year comes to an end we need time to relax and unwind. This time of year begs us to focus on our families as we plan for some much needed time off. This issue focuses on families and how we can do a few simple things to enjoy the time together and really bond. Check out our family bonding games article on page 22 and maybe make some delicious homemade sausage rolls together for a family meal (see recipe page 11). We are excited with the response we have had from our readers regarding our new website and our panel of experts. Please make the most of having these professionals on our team. They are there to answer your questions and give you advice when you need it. If you would like to ask a question or get in touch with any member of our team, please send as an email and we will get in touch with you as soon as we can. You can usually expect a response within 2 business days. Enjoy the warm weather and stay safe. Until next month,

Julie-Anne England SAVE THE DATE! Saturday 7th December Charity Twilight Market See page 3 for details

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Small Steps Parenting Magazine www.smallstepsparenting.com www.facebook.com/smallstepsparenting info@smallstepsparenting.com


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Did you know…?

Written by Simone Yuen, children’s book author, www.rainbowballs.com.au

Did you know..... 2 and 3 years old are unable to share because they do not think about what others want or feel. So, mums and dads, please don’t get stressed or feel embarrassed when your 2 and 3 years old don’t want to share. Have 2 identical trains, one for each of them and let them enjoy playing with their own train. Did you know.... Occasionally 2 and 3 years old are able to share but don’t expect them to share all the time. You can introduce the concept of sharing to your children with the following activity: You hug her teddy and then give it to her to hug and return to you. You kiss her teddy and then give it to her to kiss and return to you. Your child will begin to learn that taking turns and sharing can be fun and that giving up her things doesn't mean she will never get them back. Did you know.... Sharing introduces your children to the concept of division. Saying ‘one for you’, ‘one for you’ until nothing is left shows them sharing out is about division. Here’s a simple activity: “Can you share out the cake for everyone please? One for you, one for mummy, one for teddy and one for Peachy. Good sharing darling!”


Making your family a priority These days life sometimes feels like it is cult the more children you have but there going at hyper-speed and we lose our breath are several ways to do it…. Maybe just trying to catch up. We get caught in this have 15 mins with your older child while never ending cycle of washing, cleaning, dad baths the toddler, or plan in a story cooking, working, paying bills…. The list time for 20 minutes before bed while the goes on. I think that it is often hard to feel other kids are doing their homework. It like you have had enough time leftover to may only happen once a week but I give to your family. promise you that one on one time will I know there are days where I sit down at make a difference to your child...and the end of the day when the kids are in bed you! and I wonder whether I was a good mum 4. Plan family days where you all do someand wife. I sometimes feel like I have so thing you enjoy together. Turn off the many things to do that I lose track of my TV, leave the mobile phones off, and real priorities. At the end of the day, what is forget about social media. Maybe go really important? Will it honestly matter if camping overnight, or for a hike through your house is a bit messy, if your washing the bush or plan in a fishing trip. Whatisn’t folded but you had a great day simply ever it is allow that time for your family playing with the kids? and nothing else. I know we can’t live like that all the time 5. Allow and encourage your family to talk but my point is that we need to make time to one another about their lives and what for those that are important in our life - our is going on in them. This will encourage family. So here are some tips to making children to open up and express their your family a priority in the midst of our thoughts. This kind of trust between fambusy lives: ily members can make a big difference in 1. Plan some quality time alone with your avoiding or being able to deal with big partner every day. This may sound diffiissues such as bullying at school or copcult but a good relationship between you ing with family changes. and your partner will create stability and 6. Lastly, really enjoy your time together better parenting. Even if some days this with your family. This time with them is is only half an hour, acknowledging the precious and should never be wasted. priority of this relationship will build a firm foundation for your children. 2. Make time to eat one meal per day together. I know many families can’t organise dinners together because of work commitments or after school activities but maybe just sit down to breakfast together for half an hour before beginning the day. Talk about your plans for the day and what you are looking forward to. 3. Try to schedule some one on one time with each of your children. Now obviously this is going to be a lot more diffi7


Planning the perfect kids birthday party! Another year has once again rolled around and you are confronted once again with the birthday child. Now while I don’t think you have to have a party every year, you will want to plan a good birthday party now and then. Here are some hints and tips to make the planning more enjoyable and less stressful. 1. Start by choosing a theme - even better, for them. Understand that a large party if the child is old enough, encourage with a lot of people can be quite overthem to get involved with the planning. whelming for a child. They may easily select a theme they like 3. Get planning - plan what food you will such as Buzz Lightyear, Cars or Dispiprovide, what games you plan to run and cable Me for boys or maybe Barbie, any party gifts or prizes you wish to Princesses or maybe a craft party for a have for the guests. Keep a list of these girl. If you child is too young to help things so you know where you are at at each stage of the planning. Consider buying a folder to keep all the paperwork in one place (plus you can then reuse this folder each time you plan a similar event). 4. If you are having invitations custom made make sure you plan for this in advance as you will likely need 6 weeks or more. Otherwise handmaking your own or finding some free printables online will do the trick. 5. When planning the time for the party, consider both the birthday child and the type of party you are planning. For example if you have a young child plan the party, select a theme that is simwho takes a nap at 12 noon, consider a ple and easy to pull off. Maybe a colour party for around 2pm so the child is retheme a theme centred around a type of freshed and ready to enjoy their party. food such as icecream or maybe go with Also if you are planning to serve only the theme you chose for their bedroom. nibbles and cake make sure you plan the 2. Write out a guest list. Chances are it will party at least an hour or so out of tradinot need to be too large as it is just a tional meal times so guests don’t expect child’s party, however, don’t forget to a large feed. invite their favourite friends or family. 6. Plan a venue - obviously the best and Also try to remember that the party is most cost effective choice is to have the 8


party at home, however, this doesn't alties such as making their own pizzas or ways work. If you plan to have the party creating bracelets or building models. somewhere else, like a hall or a park, 9. Make sure you enlist extra help from keep in mind booking in advance and other parents or family members on the also back up plans in case of bad day of the party. It will be much easier weather. for you to have the help and much safer 7. When planning the menu don’t forget to to have the extra supervision with the find out about any child allergies. Also if extra little guests. you are serving food for a meal try to use 10. Take lots of photos. This time will go by simple foods such as mini pizzas, hot in such a flash you will barely have time dogs, vege sticks and dip or mini burgers to enjoy it. This photos will make up that can be eaten quickly and easily with some very precious memories for your minimal fuss and mess. child’s photo albums and will be some8. Plan the games around the age of the thing you treasure for the rest of your birthday child and guests. Traditional life. Make sure you are in some of the party games like pass the parcel and muphotos and try to get at least one photo sical chairs are usually loved by the 3 with every guest at the party in it. and 4 year olds. Kids who are a little 11. Lastly, don’t forget to say thank you to older love games like treasure hunts and everyone who came and for the gifts. games with a little more skill such as pin Small cards or notes are a lovely way to the tail on the donkey. Pre-teens may say thank you. appreciate crafts or more hands-on activi-

Combos Slides Obstacle Castles Slushie Machines Phone: (02) 4571 1240 or 0402 100 681 Email: tomcatjim1@bigpond.com Birthdays/Corporate Events/Preschools/Fetes/Christmas/New Years 9


Ask a Professional... QUESTION: My breast fed baby is 8 months old but still wants to fed during the night. Is there a gentle way of weaning off the night feeds so he begins to sleep through? It is not unusual or uncommon for an 8 month old baby to feed overnight however, try these gentle tips. Consider the food and fluids he has through the day. Is he taking a cup? If not, introduce one with water to play with as he learns to drink and transition from the breast. A cup with a straw could also work. Offer smaller more frequent snacks and fluids throughout the day to be sure you satisfy his hunger and thirst. Let him have a long breastfeed at bedtime. Wear your partners PJ's or shirt/top that was worn that day while snuggling him in with a dummy. He knows it's you but the smell of your partners clothing may distract him, offer a dummy or drink of water as you cuddle him to sleep. Ask your partner off to cuddle him to sleep on their on their days off after a drink or a dummy if this helps. Things won't change overnight and it takes patience. Breastfeed and settle if he becomes too distressed and try again the next night. Good Luck This answer has been supplied by Lynne-McKensey Hall IBCLC who is a also a registered nurse and midwife. Learn more about Lynne-McKensey on our "About Us" page on our website.

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Monthly Recipe

Homemade Sausage rolls Ingredients: 500g sausage mince 1 teaspoon of mixed herbs 1 brown onion, finally chopped 1 small carrot, grated 1 teaspoon crushed garlic 1 egg 1/2 cup of bread crumbs 1 tablespoon of barbeque sauce 2 sheets ready made puff pastry Method: 1. Preheat oven to 190째C. 2. Place the sausage mince, herbs, onion, garlic and carrot into a large bowl. <is until combined. 3. Add the egg, barbeque sauce and breadcrumbs and mix again until completely combined. 4. Divide the mixture into four equal portions. 5. Cut the pastry squares in half so you have four rectangles. Using one sausage portion at a time, roll it between your hands into a long tube shape. It should be the length of the pastry rectangles. Lay it in the middle of one of the pastry rectangles. 6. Repeat with the remaining sausage mixture. 7. Roll up the pastry around the sausage mixture and push together to secure. Turn the sausage roll over so that the seam is underneath. 8. Cut each of the rolls in four equal pieces. Sprinkle them with sesame seeds and bake in the oven for approx 20-25 minutes or until pastry is golden and flaky. 9. Serve with homemade potato wedges and a fresh salad. Would you like to see your recipe featured here? Go to our webpage or facebook and share your favourite recipe with us. 11


Through the Eyes of our Children Child safety is no laughing matter, just when you think you have child proofed your home those gorgeous little cherubs find something else to get into. It’s like they just know exactly where to look to find mischief. Kind of like secret mischief school for kids or something. Have you ever wondered what it is your child/ren are actually looking at? Why they find things so fascinating. I actually decided to try and find out what these cherubs see from their level. Just to get more of an understanding as to how else I could effectively child proof my home. There were 2 small children at home with me, my toddler daughter and baby son who had just started crawling and pulling himself up. So, in order to see from the kid’s perspective, a day was spent literally down at their level, on my hands and knees. Following them around, yes it was a wonderful game. While crawling around with the kids for the day, I discovered little hiding places. Under the cushions in the lounge, behind the TV unit, behind the lounge, under the mat, and the ever so awesome TV cabinet. The TV cabinet I had at the time was a low line cabinet so the kids were able to easily access the DVD player and stereo. Not to

mention the pretty lights that flash and change colour. How fascinating, I sat back and watched the kids’ faces as the TV was turned on and the channels changed and as the DVD player went from standby mode with the red light to on with the green light flashing before the solid green light stayed on. Then when they go over to explore the pretty lights, there is the noise that the box makes when they hit the player to see what it is…this is the way all children learn, through exploring and trying different things out. They don’t realise that these items are run by electricity and may give them a zap, or be broken easily. Remember the good old VCR players? Pretty sure almost every family has stories of what toys or items have been found in the family VCR player. The kitchen is usually the heart of the home, when you are down on the child’s level there are so many things in there that are just so fascinating, there are all those things that mum and dad go to the cupboards for. When we stop and think about it, the main cupboard would be the pantry, closely followed by the cupboards under the sink. Unfortunately this is where a lot of poisonings occur, the kids are completely unaware that those liquids and powders under the sink are poisonous. They see their carers going to those cupboards, their understanding of why has not yet kicked in yet so they think it’s a great place to explore. Another thing I remember from when my 1 st was very young was the importance of turning pot handles inward or at least away from hanging over the edge of the stove. Kneel down at the kid’s level and see how tempting it is to reach up and see if you’re tall enough yet to grab the handle. What about in your laundry, how are the 12


laundry products stored. Up high, under the sink? Is there anything in the bathroom cupboards that could be potentially dangerous? What about the drawers. Any drawers, how many have seen the kids get their fingers closed in drawers? Are there any razors, medicines or other items that could be dangerous to the child? We now have baby number 4 at home, we are now in a rental so putting anything permanent in place (e.g. holes in the walls for safety gates etc) is just not possible. It took me until the 3rd baby to fully understand the importance of child safety around the home. We sealed in the front of the TV cabinet with perspex, also took the glass out and replaced it perspex and put those latches on the inside of the doors to stop the kids from opening them. Remember at their level they will work out how to open cupboard doors from underneath the doors, the handles are not the only way to open doors.

At the time we were home owners and we put up a permanent gate in our family room. The breakfast bar stools were also removed. My daughter proved to be a climber so they had to go especially after one horrible fall that drew a loads of blood. That was how we found out that she was going to keep trying to climb the thingsâ&#x20AC;Ś. How about those cupboard doors that have the handles close together, there are safety latches that are available from most hard ware stores or Big W or Kmart. There are plenty of ways to protect our children, make a game of it one day and get down on their level to fully appreciate how they see their world. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s loads of fun and you can learn a lot. Not to mention that it really is a great way to learn for yourself just how fascinating the world to a little person is. Written by MJ Karlson, mum of four, domestic engineer.

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Your Story Audrina’s Story - The loss of my father My mother and father were so excited when they found out that they were pregnant with me. My dad from day one knew that I would be a girl and wanted to shop for his baby girl. My mom wasn’t so sure so she wouldn’t allow him to buy anything just yet. They waited to find out until the day I was born and while my mom was in the hospital he went out and bought a pink frilly outfit for me with pink blankets and all! He already knew! For the next year or so, we spent most of our time in the hospital due to some illnesses that I had. They couldn’t keep my breathing normal, or at all, for many months. I spent most of my first year on heart monitors and breathing monitors that would set off ear piercing alarms if my breathing and/or heart rate changed. Over the years it got better, though mom and dad were always really worried and never went far from my side. My brother always told them that I was his baby and never wanted to leave me or let go of me. He was my protector for a very long time, even to this day, he still is. When I was 6 years old, I liked to be in the garage with my dad working on cars and just getting dirty, listening to music, and playing with him. One night, his best friend came over; he had been drinking heavily while on medications that didn’t mix well. My mom was out in the garage with my dad helping him clean up from the day, when he pulled into the driveway. The man confronted my mom with a pistol in hand and smelling badly of alcohol. He demanded to know where my dad was and when she refused to tell him, he pulled the trigger. She had a guardian that night because the gun jammed. When that happened, he got so mad that he started hitting

my mom in the head with the pistol. He pulled back to pull the trigger again. Hearing something happening outside, my dad ran and put himself between my mom and the gun, just when the gun fired. Being so drunk and high on medications, his friend ran off and was later found by the police. My dad fell to the ground in my moms arms and died shortly after. We found out that he was shot with a hollow point bullet and when it entered his body, it bounced around and ricocheted off his bones before piercing his heart. This friend was tried and convicted of many different charges some including attempted murder, murder, discharging a firearm in the city limits, assault with a deadly weapon, and a handful of others as well. He was sentenced to 10 years in jail with no parole. During his jail time he tried to send people after my mom and me, stating that he was going to end my father’s blood line for good. When that failed due to my mom hiring private security to follow both my brother and I anywhere we went, he vowed to finish it himself. Each day was a struggle. I spent my entire life up until that point attached to my dad’s side as much as possible. We did everything together; he got me dressed every morning for school, did my hair, and attempted to change my earrings. But as time went on, it got a little bit easier for us. When it came to be the time that this man was to be released, my mom had found someone and fell in love again. We had made plans to move to Montana with her new husband when we contacted the jail to find out when he was to be released. The jail notified her that he had been killed a few years back while in jail. We were so 14


happy! I know it is wrong to praise that someone had died, and we went to confession that day, but this man had caused us so much pain and so much hurt, that this was such great news we had to be happy. A huge weight had been lifted off of us. We had made plans to change our names when we got to Montana so that he couldn’t find us as easily, now that he was dead, we didn’t need too. It has been over 21 years now since my dad was taken from us. It still pains me to think about losing him, that he didn’t get to walk me down the aisle when I found my true match, like he was for my mom, he wasn’t there when my children were born, I didn’t see the light and pride in his eyes when we would have told him that we named our second born after him, he won’t see his grandsons grow up. That was taken from me and even though I still have a lot of hate and a lot of anger towards this, having my soul mate next to me to give me strength, helps me through each day without my Papa. I truly believe that my dad watches over me and over us every day and every night. I believe that he is the one that brought my husband and I back together after high school. I believe that he is the one that has helped us through our toughest times and celebrated with us during our greatest times. My father will always be here with me, with my children, and with my husband. I send a prayer out to him to watch over my husband during his deployments, to bring him home to me safe. I also believe that he gives me strength to make it through the deployments with 2 boys! My story, my life was a struggle, but having the right people around me to give me the strength I needed to push on, made all the difference in the world. I miss him so much and he will always have a special place in my heart and in my thoughts. I write this story so that maybe someone

will read this that is going through a struggle in their life right now, and see that no matter how your story began, you always deserve a happily ever after. My story has not ended by far, but because I had the strength to keep going, it becomes clearer each day. I look forward to the future and see so much happiness and love; I cannot

wait to see it all unfold. Don’t give up on your happily ever after, it’s there, just keep getting up, keep fighting, keep pushing. *A special thanks to my step dad for taking such good care of mom when I left home; to my brother for being there and protecting me even when I didn’t think I needed it and for putting up with me; to my mom for not giving up and for giving me a great role model, for protecting us even when we didn’t know; to my husband for loving me even though I was so broken and afraid to let anyone in and for staying by my side as my strength and my love. To all the others who have helped me along the way and kept me on the right path, thank you! * Written by Audrina, one of our readers in America, and mum to two beautiful boys. 15


Change

Make a

Here at Small Steps Parenting Magazine we believe that each one of us has the power to make a difference in our world. Make a change is about that. It is about doing one thing each month to make a difference in someone else’s life and create a change in the atmosphere in our own community.

McGraths Hill Childrens Centre (Inc) ABN 21 226 389 044 PO Box 554 WINDSOR NSW 2756 69 Andrew Thompson Drive MCGRATHS HILL NSW 2756 Ph: 02 4587 7141 Fax: 02 4577 2632 mhcc@westnet.com.au

This month we want to focus on services in the community that need our assistance. Today we want to bring your attention to the McGraths Hill Children’s Centre. This lovely daycare centre is a non profit organisation that has been running since 1989. All money that comes into the centre goes back into making the centre the best it can be for the families and children they care for. McGraths Hill Children’s Centre is currently in need of some additional finance in order to update some of their equipment and furnishings and provide educational incursions for the children. To do this they have been kindly given some fantastic prizes for a raffle they are having to raise money. I would encourage you to buy some tickets and tell friends and family too in order to support your local community and have the opportunity to win some great prizes. Prizes and further information can be seen on the previous page. If you are interested in enrolling your child at McGraths Hill Children’s Centre please contact Mary, Jo or Sonya to organise an inspection on (02) 4587 7141 or send them an email at mhcc@westnet.com.au

Small Steps wants to do what they can for community. If there is a cause you would love some support with please write and tell us. We would also love to hear how you have helped someone in your community or hear how someone has made a difference to you. Write to us and share your story. 16


Our Christmas Gift Guide Christmas is once again around the corner and begging the question “What do I get people for gifts this year?”. In order to showcase some new products and support some of our talented local businesses, Small Steps have chosen 6 items that you can get for gifts this year for under $40. So have a browse and place your orders for these unique gift ideas. These gorgeous cloth dolls are a must for any young girl. They come in several different designs and are quality made. Standing approx 35cm tall, you can add this to a Christmas stocking for only $30. Check out their website for other styles and more great gift ideas. Angel Babes - Quality children’s products at a price you can afford www.angelbabes.com.au www.facebook.com/myangelbabes julieanne@angelbabes.com.au

A delightful gift for any woman, these soaps look good enough to eat. They are locally handmade with quality ingredients and their scent is absolutely divine! These cupcake soaps are only $8.50 each so are a great gift idea for collegues, neighbours, friends or family. Planet Yum - Pure Natural Handmade Soaps, Candles and Bath Luxuries www.planetyum.com.au sales@planetyum.com.au

A gift with a difference for a new mum is this Australian made health record holder for young children. Coming in various designs and costing only $15 these covers were made to replace your “blue book” and give it that nice personal feel. We have two of these to giveaway! To win simply go to our Facebook page and comment “Bubbafly win!” The first two people to comment will win! See our ad on page 6! Bubbafly - beautiful baby health record folders www.bubbafly.com www.facebook.com/ WIN!! BubbaflyBeautifulBabyHealthRecordFolders 18


Stuck on a gift idea for someone for Christmas? What guy (or girl) doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like chocolates? These chocolate bouquets will delight even the fussiest person on your gift list and are made from quality Australian chocolate. A huge bouquet like this Christmas one (pictured) will only cost you $35. A lolly cupcake (pictured) starts as low as $20. Delicious Buds - Chocolate & Candy Bouquets www.deliciousbuds.com.au or 02 9634 7509 www.facebook.com/deliciousbudschocolate

WIN!!

This delightful story by Lisa McDonald, an Australian author, tells of the fun adventures of a cute little tea cup pig around the farm. It will capture even the young ones as you read this story aloud and point out the beautiful illustrations. We have two signed copies of this gorgeous book to giveaway! For your chance to win go to our facebook page and tell us who you would like to win this book for. First two to comment will win! Book can bought be bought on Amazon for $19.79 or you can get signed limited copies for $25 from Lisa. lisajones14@htomail.com www.facebook.com/ TheAdventuresOfPenelopeTheTeaCupPig

If you are looking for something unique for that baby shower gift or just a present for a new mum why not try these adorable gifts from Cherished Moments. What could be cuter than handing over a baby milkshake and lollypop? With a white onesie and two face washers this milkshake is only $12. The lollypop, holding two facewashers will cost you only spare change at $3.50. Cherished Moments Baby Gifts & Hampers - Practical baby gifts for new parents www.cherishedmoments-bgh.com.au cherishedmoments.bgh@gmail.com

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Doula’s - to hire or not to hire The word ‘doula’ comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained professional who provides continuous non medical physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth. Doulas, also known as a labour coach or labour assistant, are not well known in Australia. When I tell people I am a doula I often get confused faces and am asked “what? What is a doula?” In short a doula is a pregnancy, labour and postnatal support person. A doula will support the mother and her partner/family through the labour and birth of their baby. A doula supports the mother through ensuring her needs and wants are met, that her birth plan is respected and followed. The labouring mother is able to rely on her doula and know she is in good hands and that her birthing experience is what she has planned... A doula mothers the mother. Many doulas offer additional birth related services or are complementary therapists. Some include belly casts, massage, birth planning and education, capturing the birth through photos or video and so much more! Each doula offers support, knowledge and experience in different areas. Some doulas have experience with VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) and others with loss and multiple births etc. It is important

to ‘shop around’ and not just go with the first doula you find. You need to be able to feel comfortable with your doula and feel as though you can trust them when you are most vulnerable. It is also important for your partner to meet any possible doulas so you know if you will all click and be able to work together to achieve the same goal, which is a positive birth experience. It was said that “If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.” (Drs. J. H. Kennell & M. H. Klaus). Doulas can have such a positive impact on a birth. Studies have shown that a supportive doula can lower the chances of: * Caesarean birth * Forceps or vacuum * Use of synthetic oxytocin for inductions or augmentations * Epidurals and other pain medication * Postpartum depression and labour length As well as increasing the success of: * Breastfeeding * Mother-infant interaction and bonding * Self esteem and satisfaction in achieving the birth the mother wanted. A quick search on the internet is all it takes to find a doula in your area. Written by Alicia Bennetts, a trained Doula. 21


Family Bonding Games Struggling to keep your family time fresh and exciting? Here are some games to play to learn more about each other, provide time to talk about things and create a nurturing and loving environment. Would you rather? This is a fun way to learn more about your family and their preferences. Basically all it is to ask the question “Would you rather?” with two different options…. For example, “Would you rather holiday at the beach or in the mountains?”, “Would you rather eat a snail sandwich or spiders legs?”. It can get quite creative and quite interesting. Keep an eye on our blog for a good list of would you rather questions. 20 Questions. Simply choose an object and allow your family members 20 questions to which you can answer “yes” or “no” until they figure out the object. Geography game. This is a good game for families with kids pre-teen or older. All you do is choose a geographic location somewhere in the world, for example, “London”. Then the next person has to choose another location that starts with the last letter of the previous word. So for this example it could be “New York”. See how long you can keep playing for. Card games. Depending on the age of the children in your family you may choose more simple games like “Go fish” or memory, or more difficult ones like “Uno” or poker. Board games. Who doesn’t love board games? There are many great board games to play together as a family. Try Monopoly, Pictionary, Game of Life or even better make your own. Simply get a large piece of

cardboard, draw a path and add challenges. Use photos of each of your faces to create your moving pieces, add a dice or two and get playing! Playdough fun. For this game you simply need a couple of tubs of playdough and a children’s picture dictionary. Form teams of two and give each team a lump of playdough. One person in each team goes to one end of the room and together picks an object in the picture dictionary (each team member must have the same object). On the count of three they must mold their object out of playdough while their team member guesses what they are molding. The first team to guess correctly wins! Digital hot potato. Remember the classic hot potato game where you pass the ball as quickly as you can? Well this is an updated version with a lot more laughs. Simply use a digital camera and set it on the timer mode. Then have each person pass the camera around the circle pointing it at themselves for a few seconds before passing it on. When the timer goes off and takes the photo that person must show everyone the picture before playing again. Makes great fridge snapshots! Video game showdown. Pull out the old game systems and get playing some fun competitive video games, My favourites include Mario Kart and Donkey Kong. Take turns to play other members and stay involve even when you are not playing… cheer on 22


the other players and encourage the ones who are struggling.

and collect each of the items on the list and get back to the meeting place (the dinner table or lounge room) as fast as they can. Puzzles. Puzzles are a great way to bond The team who gets back first wins! You may with family as you work together to build also like to play it where you have to put the the puzzle. Why not make it even more fun items back as fast as you can too! Another by having a family photo printed onto a puz- variation is to use a digital camera and take zle? The kids will enjoy seeing pictures of photos of the things on the list. This way you themselves and their family members com- can have larger items on the list such as a ing together to create one large image. tree, a car etc. When you get back to the meeting point you have show your photos to Never ever. Get the family into a circle and the other teams. each hold up ten fingers. One person starts by saying “Never have I ever…” and then If I had. This game lets you learn more lists something they have never done. For about the other players. One player starts by example “Never have I ever jumped out of telling the other players what they would do an aeroplane.” All of the players who have if they had something… e.g. a million doldone this thing must put one finger down. lars, a pet giraffe, a large house. Encourage The game continues until only pone person the kids to get creative. Then have the next is left with fingers still up. person tell what they would do with the same thing. Once you have all had a go, Scavenger hunt. Divide your family into change to something new. teams of two or three. Write down a list of 10-15 objects. Give a list to each team and For more ideas see our blog or Facebook start the timer. Each team has to race around page.

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Thanksgiving crafts So I know that we don’t celebrate thanksgiving in Australia but as my husband is American, it is a tradition in my house, and I think it is a nice tradition each year to find things that you are thankful for. Here a couple of kids crafts and activities for those of you who might like to change it up a bit this year… or just enjoy a new craft. Chocolate turkeys Even for those of you who don’t celebrate thanksgiving… who can resist these cute little chocolate turkeys? Simply use two oreo cookies, two Cadbury chocolate pieces from a roll and a Malteaser. Then “glue” them all together with white icing and draw on the features. Allow the icing to dry to hold your creation together. Makes a great edible decoration for the dinner table. Turkey handprints Simply dip your child’s hand in paint and press it onto paper. Once it is dry, cut out a small oval shape and cut off the bottom. Glue it onto your “hand” turkey and then add a crest on its head and little feet at the bottom. The kids will love this craft and probably insist on doing many of them. Maybe use them on the front of cards as a thank you gift! Thankful leaves As it is Autumn in America, a tradition is to decorate with leaves for Thanksgiving. For this little craft simply cut leaves out of paper, write the things you are thankful for and hang them on string around the house. I think this is a nice idea to teach the kids to be thankful for what they have. If you want to make the craft fit more with the Australian season you may want to do flowers or handprints or something summery like swimming costumes. 24


A new arrival in the family The birth of a baby is a wonderful event that family members hope to share in. This includes helping the new mother transition into her new role of motherhood as well as admiring the new baby! In many cases partners take leave after the birth of the baby to spend time with their partner and the new arrival. Partners are keen to help but may be unsure of how to, especially if the mother is breastfeeding. If either or both the baby's grandparents are helping with household chores and cooking, partners may feel further displaced about their role while at home. Cuddling the baby to sleep after a breastfeed is the most pleasurable and useful role a partner can have. Cuddling provides a wonderful bonding opportunity, the baby feels secure and the new mother can eat, drink or sleep knowing her baby is asleep and safe. While it is hoped families are happy, close and united in the care and support of the

new family, tensions can arise when well meaning but ill informed advice is offered to the new mother, in particular. Science has opened our eyes to the myths around breastfeeding and early parenting skills that will in most cases contradict family advice and opinions. We all know the saying "it takes a village to raise a family" so it makes sense to promote harmony and peace within the family based on the same advice so everyone can share in the joy of the new arrival. Written by Lynne-McKensey Hall. Lynne is a registered nurse, midwife, educator and IBCLC (lactation consultant) and author of a series of books titled Breastfeeding and Baby Matters. She is also a professional on our expert panel. You can learn more about her on our website.

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Kids Fun! S U M M E A A O M G N E V P R D F I Y T O O E C B D F S A N Y Y L I M F A M I L H B S T L S O E P L Q W L E R C H R I S Q A S D D S I N G V V H J F S J U M P I Summer Flowers Water Beach Jumping Sand Movies Family

R Y E E W D A Y K A T T F A W N

I C R U O E S E N A D G G T J A E A F T B R D E E D A Y F C F G H M A S G H J E T F Y Q F G S P Holidays Adventure Christmas Presents

JOKES Q. What's small, furry and bright purple? A. A koala holding its breath! Q. Why did the emu cross the road? A. To prove he wasn't a chicken! Q. What's a crocodile's favourite game? A. Snap! 26

A F T R B A T S D F H V L R E O W N W T T E E U R N R S J E V O E H Y D K M R T E D G N E E T V Enjoyment Play Sing Craft


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Noticeboard SURVIVING CHRISTMAS Four week group for parents and their children aged 5 years and under with Summer & Christmas topics: * Making Festive Food on a Budget * Women’s Bush Fire Awareness Lots of Parent and Kids Christmas craft including Gingerbread Houses, Christmas tree decorations, Cool Magnet Gifts, and more Dates: Four week group on a Thursday 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th November Time: 9:30am—11:00am Where: South Windsor Family Centre, 6 Greenhill’s Way, South Windsor Ph: 4577 9804

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All articles in Small Steps are for editorial purposes and not necessarily the opinion of the publisher. Small Steps does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any of the information, content, or advertisements contained on, distributed through, or linked, downloaded, or accessed through this magazine or the corresponding website or facebook page, nor the quality of any products, information or other materials displayed, purchased, or obtained by you as a result of an advertisement or any other information. In no event shall Small Steps be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, punitive, or consequential damages of any kind whatsoever with respect to the service, the materials, and the products. You are encouraged to exercise discretion while browsing the Internet. No part of this publication or the corresponding website is to be copied or reproduced without permission.

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November 2013 online mag