29 Oct 2014

How to Wean My Baby Off Breastfeeding?

Kai's thirteen months old now and I think I'm going to start weaning him off the boob. Why? Cause he really looks for it now, pulling my shirt and does a little tanti when he can't find it himself. I've even tried to cover them to prevent him from getting to it and he gets so mad! 

For awhile I thought he only wanted the boob at night for comfort, but lately he wants it for .... whenever he feels like it, when he's bored, while watching tv ... I think he treats me like a dummy. 

I always thought since I was at home I wouldn't rush this and maybe this time let bub dictate this decision. No, I don't want to be breastfeeding a seven year old and in my head I think "that's not going to happen to us" ... but who knows? 

With Eli I weaned when he was eight months. I'd had gone back to work, and although I had all intentions to continue breastfeeding until he was at least twelve month old, my supply diminished considerably. I don't even remember how I weaned it just happened really. I guess dropping down from regular feeds to pumping twice a day helped the process. Eli was a lot younger, so he was none the wiser. Kai on the other hand, being older, and already declines food he doesn't want, is a little more persistent. And because Kai is wanting the boob on demand lately I've noticed a bit of an increase in supply and fear the weaning this time might not be so ... easy.

I've heard personal stories of painful engorged breasts for days, leakages and advice that once you decide to wean, you got to stay strong and stick to it. It's been likened to quitting smoking ... surely it can't be that bad?

So I'm asking for some advice and tips here. 

How old was your baby when you weaned him or her off the boob? What was your experience? And any tips to make the change as comfortable and pain free for me and Kai

24 Oct 2014

Menu Log Review + Giveaway

I don't know about your house hold but we often buy take away. I was recently asked to try out Menu Log. What's great about their service is you go online, see what restaurants are available in your area, order, pay and have your food delivered right to your door - all from the comfort of your computer (or laptop, or smart phone).

The order process is so easy ...
1. Go to www.menulog.com.au they even have an app you can download so you can access your local restaurants even easier.

2. Type in your suburb or the suburb you want to do a search on to see what restaurants are available in that area.

3. Once you've specified the suburb to search a list of all restaurants in the area will pop up. You can narrow the results even more by filtering by a few specific cuisines, minimum order requirements, rating or specials being offered by the various restaurants.

4. Once you've decided which restaurant you want to order from, you simply select the restaurant from the list, and their menu will appear for you to select dishes.

5. Food is grouped into similar dishes so its very easy to navigate through the menu. Once you have decided on a dish you want you just add it to your order by selecting the + button.

6. Once your finish selecting your dishes you simply press the Place Order button. The page will update asking for delivery and contact information.

7. Lastly you're asked your credit card information for payment and once processed your order is sent to the restaurant.

8. You should receive an email from Menu Log stating your order has now been forwarded to the restaurant you selected.

I ordered from Go Sing cause we were feeling like Chinese that evening. I don't know about you but we always order the same dishes from Chinese restaurants - combination chow mein, honey chicken, special fried rice and crispy chicken. We've never ordered from this place before but decided to based on its high rating and number of reviews. We were very satisfied with our decision as every dish was actually really delicious and tasty. We'll definitely be ordering from Go Sing again.

I'm running a giveaway. A $40 voucher to spend on any restaurant listed on Menu Log. So if you'd like a night off from cooking or maybe want to gift a family or friend a free meal why not enter?

To win simply subscribe to my blog by clicking here
Please note to complete subscription (and entry) you need to activate your subscription by waiting to receive a confirmation email and clicking on the link attached, thank you.

Other Giveaway terms and conditions:
  • Winner will be randomly selected on Monday, 10th November at 9am AEST and will be announced on my instagram account @genymum so follow me on instagram too so you can find out if you won.
  • Unfortunately the giveaway is only available to Australian residents.
  • Voucher can be used on any restaurant listed on Menu Log.
  • Voucher can only be used if order is home delivered. 
  • Voucher must be used within a month post 11/11/2014
Good luck and don't forget to subscribe to win!!

This was a sponsored post by Menu Log

21 Oct 2014

How Do You Know Your Child Has Food Allergies?

I've mentioned previously that both Eli and Kai have food allergies. It was pretty severe with Eli, so much so that we carry anapen around with us at all times.

Unfortunately food allergies are very common in children now, but fortunately there are preventive measures in place in most childcare centres and schools to help children and parents manage their condition. 

Being a parent to two kids with allergies I get asked a few questions about this topic. I'd like to share a few of the commonly asked questions I get ...

How did you know your son had allergies?
With Eli how we found out was when we attempted to give him formula. It was a can of stock standard formula that you can get from any supermarket or chemist. After he had a few sips he projectile vomited, and within minutes developed hives around his face and all over his body. His face went puffy, he developed red circles under his eyes and he was really itchy.

We took him to the GP and he was looked straight away. They administered some antihistamine to ease the itch and another form of medication to help with the hives.

A few days later we had to return once his body had returned to normal to do a skin (or prick) test to start the process of determining what he was allergic to; and develop a plan to manage it.

The initial prick test identified he was allergic to cows milk, eggs, wheat, soy, nuts and seafood. We were given a referral to see a paediatrician who specialises in allergies, who conducted another round of the prick test and blood test to measure Eli's immune system's response to particular foods, by checking the amount of allergy type antibiotics are in his blood stream.

Eli recovering from a recent allergic reaction

What can I do to prevent my kids from getting food allergies?
That is the million dollar question. Right now research and medicine is unable to pin point how or why one develops allergies to one or more types of foods. As I mentioned food allergies has been on the increase the past several years, however the understanding of it is still in its infancy. No one knows whether it is something developed during the womb, something passed on hereditarily, environmental factors or even diet.

Personally, I have my own theory based on no research, and the fact that food allergies are common in developed countries, and changing my own diet ... but I'll keep those opinions to myself. 

How do you know if my child has allergies?
Look out for reactions your child may be displaying. Typical reactions include sudden itchiness around the face or body, hives, vomiting, diarrhoea, swelling of the face, and if your child is old enough to tell you they may mention a tingling in their mouth and or tummy pains.

Some children exhibit these symptoms instantly like Eli does. He'll start scratching furiously and his skin will start to go red when he's eaten something he's allergic to. Kai however, takes several minutes. One time we were out at a pub and I gave him some of my mash potatoes. Forty minutes later he was scratching his head and another twenty minutes later he started projectile vomiting.

What should I do if I think my child is having an allergic reaction to something?
Firstly, try and remember what it was you last fed your child before he showed symptoms and avoid giving that particular food to your child in the mean time. Common food allergies are nuts, cows milk and eggs but kids could be allergic to various types of foods. For example my friend's daughter is allergic to peas. 

Speak to your GP to review your child's symptoms to determine whether they do have allergies. Mention what you fed your child, what reactions they exhibited and discuss what you should do in the event your child shows these symptoms again. You may also want to discuss some testing to confirm allergies.

If you're child is being looked after by someone else also mention to them not to feed your child certain foods they could be allergic to. 

What should I do if I want to know for sure my child has allergies?
Contact your GP and ask if they do the prick test to confirm whether your child is allergic to particular foods. If they don't do it ask your GP to recommend another practice that does, or a doctor they know who has some knowledge in this field. Or you can contact the children hospital in your state as they would do it and have more contacts for you, I know Westmead Children's Hospital  in Sydney provide this service.

I'm still breastfeeding but I think he may have food allergies so should I avoid certain foods so it's not carried across to my child?
I'd suggest trial and error. If you're still breastfeeding and think your child has allergies, again try to remember what it was you ate last that may be causing the symptoms and remove from your diet to see if there is an improvement in your child's condition. 

For example Kai had rashes around his face and body for weeks that would go away even after we saw the doctor and was given steroid cream to tackle the condition. I was still breastfeeding at the time and our doctor suggested it could be food allergies since his symptoms hadn't improved. We did the skin prick test and results indicated he was allergic to cows milk and eggs. At the time I did start eating more eggs in my diet trying to increase my protein intake so I stopped eating eggs and avoided milk if I could. There was an improvement in Kai's skin after I made these changes.

To read more information I recommend going to the Australiasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy website. I'm also happy to share more info, answer questions or provide some contacts based on personal experiences so feel free to email me on gen.y.mum@gmail.com 

Disclaimer: Information above is based on personal experience and advice I was given for on my sons' situation. You should always speak to a medical professional to discuss your situation. 

16 Oct 2014

Jarryd Hayne Hate

Yesterday Jarryd Hayne announced to the public that he's quitting the NRL to pursue a chance at the US based football sport gridiron

I'm not a big NRL sports watcher nor do I support any particular team, but my husband does. He loves his Parramatta Eels, I guess it stems from going to an affiliated high school, so he's a little devastated that the star player is leaving the team. 

What surprised me the most from hearing of this news was the amount of people online and on social media doubting his ability to make it in the National Football League


I don't get why people would be so ... unsupportive? I remember seeing on one of my social media accounts of someone who quotes positive affirmations statuses discredit his ability to cut it amongst the potential competition. That's not being very .... positive ...  affirmative ... if that's even a correct statement?

I feel a sense to defend Mr Jarryd Hayne and his decision. Not because my husband is a big Parra fan but because I think we need to give this talent some credit and some support.

Firstly, I watched the press conference speech he made addressing his decision. And anyone who did should already understand maybe the number one reason why he's leaving the NRL. 
"I feel like I've done everything I can in the game ... Like I said there's goals but you got to enjoy the journey ..." 
He's not enjoying playing NRL anymore. Anyone whose worked in a job they've stopped enjoying or hate, surely can relate to this. Why stay when you're not motivated? So many people stay in jobs for years doing something they hate - this guy has done something about that, why hate?

So he's going to attempt a career in a different football code. How can people assume he won't make it? How negative is that? It's like telling someone who previously was an accountant and decided to pursue their dreams to open a cafe, that you hope they fail. I don't think people would normally say such things to others, so why would people doubt that he could keep up against the competition in the states? Why hate?

As I mentioned I'm not overly a big NRL fan, but I appreciate talent when I see it. Watching Jarryd Hayne play and seeing him master his skill over the years you can tell he's gifted at what he does. Anyone who thrives at being great at something will want to push themselves, and maybe trying a different sport is his way of challenging and enhancing his talent. Jarryd is at the peak of his career, he's still young, fit and his body hasn't failed him with injuries yet. So of course he's going to consider opportunities that could be life changing. We all have some regret in life where if we had made a different decision, wondered what could have been? Jarryd probably doesn't want to do that with this opportunity. He's seizing his moment, so let him ... why hate?

Lastly, I would like to point out he belongs to generation Y, therefore he's achievement orientated, attention craving and has a high expectation on life. So it's not wonder he's looking out for what's in his best interest. 

Good luck Jarryd. Hope your talent and success will shut your doubters up. We wish you all the best as you have a crack at the NFL. 

Your Fans

14 Oct 2014

The Truth About Having Two Children

A few of my friends are either considering, expecting or recently had their second child. Being one of the first amongst my circle of friends to have had a baby and then another one I'm usually asked what it's like having two children. I've previously blogged about what to expect in those early days but here's some real truths about raising two children ...

1. Your home will be neglected even more
When it was just Eli I cleaned the whole house on a weekly basis. No I didn't do it all on one day I spread the tasks over the week but everything got done weekly. The floors, the bathrooms, the washing, the ironing, groceries and ran errands. With two children it's even harder to get stuff done especially getting on top of keeping your house looking like a show room. It's a combination of lack of time and lack of ... caring. 

2. You will be even more tired but unable to rest
Remember when you had your first child and the advice you use to get about the lack of sleep was to sleep when your baby sleeps. Yep that doesn't happen when you have a second child. Unless your first child is going to childcare or is being looked after by someone most of the time, you don't get the luxury of sleeping when your baby does. I think my boys tag team on keeping me up, only falling asleep when the other wakes up - they do this all day and night.

3. You don't get out
When you only had one child you would meet up with friends for brunch or play dates, you could do the groceries with one child, you would brave going to events as a solo parent with just your child, but with two kids you don't even dare. They're too young and unpredictable to risk being out of the home by yourself. I don't think I even ask to meet up with people anymore because it's too hard unless the parent to child ratio is either equal or higher on the parent side. 

4. You will wonder why you ever complained about the pains of having one child
You thought one child was hard, it's nothing compared to raising two. You think back to that period of time with fond memories and realise how much easier it was. The simplest task is twice as hard with two, (and especially when you're alone) like getting the kids into the car, organising a night out or even getting out for walks.

5. Your heart will double in size
As a parent of one child you wonder how will you love another child as much as you do with your first. I don't know how to explain it but you do ... and as equally. They are so unique and different to your first and that's what you fall in love with. How differently they hit milestones, how differently the look, how differently they find things amusing ... their differences is a welcome experience that opens your heart even more. 

Parents of two or more children what other truths would you share about raising multiple children?

8 Oct 2014

Seasoned Friends

I'm a firm believer that people come into our lives for a purpose. I also believe some people are only in our lives for a season of time; and I also believe that things happen for a reason. I learnt these mantra's from personal experience. There was a period of my life where I did lose some friends, and at the time didn't really understand why our friendship, our dynamics were changing. 

Friendships are like a relationship. You invest your time and your heart into this person. You make memories together, you share your joys, fears and your dreams. So when the friendship ends you do feel a sense of sadness, loss, heart break even.

A few years ago I fell out of friendship with some people. I was thinking about it a few months back and trying to pinpoint what moment if any, where it all came undone. I think a few years ago it would have been clear as day but now, having moved on .. I can't for the life of me remember what happened. I do recall feeling the friendship was one sided where, I felt I was trying more than the other. 

At the time I thought I would never find friendships like theirs again, but to my surprise they were quickly replaced by new friends who I built a stronger connection with. People who were more giving, more loving, more selfless than my previous friends. These new friendships were so easy, genuine and these people really cared about me, despite not knowing me for very long at that time.

As you get older you know who your real friends are and who your acquaintances are ... and that's okay too. I've kind thought being in my thirties I've filtered who my real friends are, but I think there's some people who have reached their season in my life.

Again I'm finding some people harder to maintain a friendship with. For a while I've felt disappointed, rejected, judged and that the effort is one sided. I hate beating myself up with my over analysing the non verbal communication, the fakeness and the awkwardness. 

I'm not stating we're no longer friends ... I'm just done trying to maintain it, done caring. This isn't high school and I'm going to bad mouth you to people, ignore you in public or exclude you in a conversation ... I've just come to the realisation that our friendship reached its season.

Have you experienced friends who have peaked their season recently? How did you approach the situation, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

6 Oct 2014

What School Didn't Teach Me

School holidays are almost over once again ... woohoo the shops and playgrounds can be a little less crowded again!

Conversations of schools seems to be circulating amongst me and my parented friends lately. I don't know why the topic has suddenly increased. Maybe because our children are getting older quicker than we like, and topics and worries of all things "in the near future" crosses our minds.

Ian has an idea of where the boys are going. I have a more simplistic approach. I think ultimately no matter what school you put a kids in, their success in school is determined by the actual child. You can put a child in the best school, be paying school fees that require you to remortgage your house but they may just not be ... smart. Ok that's a big harsh, but lets get real not everyone is book smart. Every child (or person) is unique, with different strengths and weaknesses and some people are more creatively inclined (think Beyonce), or may be gifted with impeccable coordination (think Lebron James). 

This is why I think schools should teach our children other knowledge besides the standard school subjects. I'm not debating the current education curriculum, I just feel we need to broaden the education to teach children life skills that they will probably more likely use and need. I've identified a few skills I think children should learn in school ...

1. How to bounce back from rejection / set back
Now in full fledge adulthood, I've realised life is full of set backs and rejections. Whether its not getting that job you applied for, the end of a long term relationship, death of a close family member or making a decision only to realise it was the wrong one ... life sometimes doesn't pan out exactly how we'd like it to. Over the years I've realised and been surprised how many people actually don't know how to handle set backs very well. They don't have the drive to get their head space in a good place and rely heavily on others to do it for them or simply stop trying. I was fortunate to have grown up in an environment where, even though excelling was of highest priority, when I didn't get 100%, I was still always encouraged. I was taught the skills to recognise and learn from my mistakes; and how to over come feelings or thoughts of failure. It's a skill we constantly use in varying forms throughout our lives. Most people learn it eventually but I think its a skill our kids need to be taught early. I say this because maybe if our kids harness this skill earlier in life they will become more confident. 

2. The impact of saving, spending and losing money
School teaches the value of earning money. They build up expectations that finishing a certain education will allow us to make a certain amount of it. But what I think the school system fails to teach our children is what to do with it once they start earning it. I'm not talking about teaching kids the nitty gritty about investments, but more education establishing good money habits for the future. I remember getting a $1,000 credit card at age 21 and within eighteen months I had maxed it out. Obviously I was spending more than my means and its a lesson I learnt the hard way and took many years to recover from. The education system needs to teach our kids the the value in saving and the impact of debt.

3. Listening to your gut instinct
This is a life skill I'm constantly working on. This ... feeling, common sense, conscious, spirit - whatever you want to call it, is usually right, and we ignore or shut it down instantly in fear or failure or the unknown. We need to teach our children at a young age to listen to that voice inside. Encouraging our children to go with what their instincts builds on their confidence and not be scared to speak up. Harnessing this skill may one day stop your child from getting into a car driven by someone who was drinking; or provide the skills to make difficult decisions; or give them confidence to realise and pursue their calling.

4. Understanding risk
Again now being an adult I've realised life is full of risks and when I think back on my teens even in my twenties I was very risks adverse. I feared the unknown, rejection and failure. I realise now if I wasn't so afraid or understood the risk involved I may have made different decisions. Like never working overseas even though it was something I've always wanted to do. Even as a teen I signed up for a student exchange program and was in the final stages ... but my parents pulled me out (that's another post). It was something I thought about doing in my twenties but never pursued it because I was worried about not knowing if I'll have a job, and not being able to make my mortgage repayments. In hind sight I could have actually gone because I had enough money to cover several weeks of repayments and if all else failed I could've asked my parents to help me out - this is the kind of risk assessment we need to teach our children. We need to teach them there's more than one answer to a situation and then educate them how to rank these options based on their values and comfort.

Sure these skills should not be limited to being taught in school, but especially at home. As parents we're our children's teachers and they are our mirrors so we play a big part in moulding and providing them with life skills. But I remember hitting a stage in life (my terrible teens) where I didn't want to listen to anything my parents said, but I always listened to my teachers.

What life lessons do you think the education system should teach our children in schools? What skills do you wish you learned in school instead of later in life?
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