Author Archives: shannon_gibbons

About shannon_gibbons

I am a business owner, teacher, wife, mother, daughter and sister! Lots of titles, but I am just me. I started blogging as a bit of an outlet whilst being home with my son, and whilst I have bursts of inspiration to blog, I also have many moments when the inspiration isn't there. I now have two divine little boys at home which is wonderful and challenging! I try to be real on this blog, and I have a feeling that it will evolve into bigger and better things as time goes on. Have fun reading along as I continue on my journey :)

Peaceful Morning Yoga Session – I think not!

I have been on a quest to exercise daily to help my energy levels increase and for my general wellbeing. Some mornings I walk with my Mum, which has been a great opportunity for us to spend some time together as life is so busy! Then other mornings when we can’t walk for whatever reasons, I try to do some yoga in the lounge room. I’ve found a great YouTube channel with a great selection of videos from beginner, to more experienced, and even a 30 day challenge! So this morning Mum and I decided not to walk, so I got up to do my Yoga instead. Our 6 and a half month old was already getting grumpy at 5:40am, so I got him up with me at 5:55am and popped him in his swing to watch me stretch it out…15 minutes in and he really couldn’t have been any less impressed with my yoga routine and he spat it, the dummy wasn’t working, neither were the toys, so I paused the yoga and prepared his bottle. My husband got up to feed Charlie for me, but at the same time Mr almost 3 year old, Henry, walked out of his room to start the day. He started out fairly supportive of Mummy doing some yoga, even helping by placing a supportive hand on my back as I completed a pos, but before long he was demanding “Choc Milk” (aka a warm Milo) and his support for my quest went right out the window! I did get to finish my yoga workout, but it wasn’t at all peaceful, I missed much of what the lovely instructor was saying, and I probably didn’t do the moves exactly right but I did give it my best shot. I did get out of bed, I did make the effort and I do feel all the better for it. Something is better than nothing, right?!

So if you are keen on doing some yoga, check out Yoga with Adriene. The sessions aren’t too long so they’re great if you have a tight schedule, and she’s really good at explaining the positions. I started the 30 Day Challenge today, so we’ll see how many days I can stick that out to! Join me in it, send me an email to let me know – wintermumblog(at)gmail.com…we can keep each other accountable!

inhale.exhale

Second Time Around

We have been blessed with another wee bundle of joy…well it’s been just over 4 months now but he’s still a tiny bundle compared with his boisterous but adorable toddler brother! There are a few things that I have totally forgotten about when it comes to newborns/babies! Firstly, your hair falls out! My goodness, it falls out so much that I wonder how I still manage to have a head full of thick hair! My hair ends up all over the house, or in the car as I manage to pull out chunks of it when I’m driving along and it’s tickling my neck! My baby is constantly getting it wrapped around his fingers and then in his mouth when he’s sucking on his hands!

Getting out of the house is like a military operation! In the end you just decide not to go anywhere unless it’s absolutely necessary! I found it hard to get into a good routine of leaving the house with 1 child, and I felt like I had finally got the timing right and for the most part could get out of the house without too much drama. Throw in #2 and my goodness the learning curve is high again and I am back to the stage of wondering if it’s worth the effort! There is no such thing as a quick trip to the shops, and you never just duck out for a few minutes if you have the kids in tow! Thank goodness for supermarkets who deliver groceries otherwise we’d just be eating two minute noodles, soup and toast all week!!

Getting out of the house with kids

Image from Google Images

Having a shower is no longer relaxing, at all! I lock the door to have a shower in peace and the toddler screams on the other side of the door and bangs on it just incase I didn’t realise by the screaming that he wanted to come in! If I leave the door open the toddler wants to get into the shower with me! I try to have a shower when my baby is in bed and just before he falls asleep, because unfortunately his room shares a wall with the bathroom (the joys of living in an older house, everything is compact and all close together). Sometimes I can’t manage that for whatever reason (come to think of it, trying to have a shower is close to trying to get out of the house!), so that’s when the door is left open so that my baby can lay on the beanbag where I have a good eye on him – well a good eye on him in case the toddler comes close…on the whole he is great with his baby brother, but there are those moments! I have started showering at night, but by the time I actually get into the shower my eyes are beginning to hang out of my head and I just want to be horizontal and sound asleep! Let’s not even get started on going to the toilet on your own!!!

The sleep deprivation, and that needs to be in italics for added emphasis on how bad this is! I completely understand why it’s been used as a form of torture because, quite frankly, it is torture, and even more so with a toddler thrown into the mix who doesn’t want to sleep when the baby sleeps so that you can sleep, or even let you lay your head down on the couch for a little snooze! I have tried the latter, only to have all sorts of toys, mainly cars, driven up my face all the while making extremely loud ‘zooom’ noises and calling ‘Mummy! Mummy!’.

I know that these things aren’t anything new at all! Most, if not all, Mum’s experience these things and more. The nice thing is to be able to share and vent with people so that you don’t feel totally alone and like you are the only one that experiences these things!

What are some of the daily battles you face that you have forgotten about since having your first child? Or even if you only have one child, are there other things here that you have found difficult or challenging?

When life shifts before your very eyes

It’s been a while between blog posts, which I am annoyed about!! I always have good intentions to sit down and do some writing, but unfortunately life gets in the way! In the last little while, I have been working through the role of Mum and wife versus me – I have struggled a bit with feeling like I don’t have anything for me anymore, and that the responsibilities of life hang on my shoulders and begin to weigh me down. I love being a Mum, nothing fills me with joy more than seeing my little boy happy as Larry and laughing! I love being told that I am loved and hearing him call out Mum (even in the wee hours of the morning, although I would be happy if he decided he didn’t want to do that anymore). I also love my husband, and love being his wife. I took on my husband’s surname after we got married, and I say it with pride. I am blessed to have a very supporting partner in life, and for the most part we share the same visions and goals in our life together as a family. I am also really looking forward to welcoming our second child in a few months time, and whilst it brings with it some unknowns around what life will be like with two kids, I am excited for my son to be a big brother, and to see my husband fall in love with a new wee person in our lives!

However, there are still moments where I just find it all overwhelming and I begin to feel ‘lost’. I feel like I don’t know myself anymore – I used to be independent, driven, goal orientated and wasn’t one to sit around and wait for things to happen. I am still like that, I think, but it just all looks a bit different now. I am certainly still someone who doesn’t wait around for things to happen, I am not known for sitting on my backside all day long (well I don’t think so anyway, someone tell me if I have that perception of myself all wrong!!). I have goals and I am driven, but the game has changed and the goal posts have shifted, I just need to get myself onto that page and realign myself. What has been comforting to hear is that other women before me have felt the exact same way, and that I am not alone in coming to this sort of realisation like a sack of potatoes falling to the ground! It sounds like a fairly common new mum thing to come across, and it’s more than likely (as one friend said) going to happen when #2 arrives and the goal posts will shift again!

I read lots of blog posts that happen to pop up in my Facebook feed which all support and back up how I feel sometimes. I am also a big believer that identifying the triggers to your feelings is half the battle, then the other half comes in putting strategies in place to help you overcome and deal with it. I am working on the strategies, and have been trialling a few things with some good results. I feel that I am my own person as much as I am a mum and a wife, and once I’ve given them some time to manifest and work, I will share these strategies with you. For now, if you are feeling like I am (or have) and have just picked yourself off the floor out of the foetal position and you’ve wiped the tears away (don’t worry, I have so been there), just know that you are not alone! If you don’t feel that you have anyone you can share your worries with, you can drop me a line at wintermumblog(at)gmail(dot)com and I’d be happy to share some of the resources that I have found that have helped me along the way…I will share them here, as I have said, I just need to put that particular post together first!!

Feel free to comment any thoughts you have on this – you might have gone through something very similar when you had a young family, or you’re going through it now…you may even have some helpful thoughts to share, I’d love to hear them 🙂

A frosty start

So Winter has well and truly come upon is here, with yesterday but extremely chilly and wet! I believe that there’s already snow on the mountains, which will make for a great opening Ski Season this coming long weekend. Most of us like to hibernate in the Winter, and there is nothing nicer than cuddling up in bed under the doona or on the couch under a blanket when it’s so cold and wet outside. We are lucky enough to have a wood burning heater in our house. We also have gas central heating but since the fire has gone in, we hardly use it. You just can’t beat the heat from a wood fire! We love it and I particularly like roasting my bottom in front of it after coming in from the cold.

On another note…has anyone seen or done this celery trick before?! We eat a lot of celery in this house, so it’s a lot of wasted celery bottoms that go into our compost bin. I was Pinterest surfing (and if you haven’t got into Pinterest yet, you are missing out – but be prepared to waste a lot of time!!) and found a tip to grow your own celery. All you have to do is cut off the bottom of the celery, place it into a shallow dish of water, and leave it inside in a sunny spot for a few weeks (and keep the water up to it). Before you know it, the middle will be sprouting new life, and once there’s a good amount of growth there, you just pop it out into the veggie patch! That easy!! We’ve done this a few times before, as has my mum and another family member after I raved about it. It’s worth giving it a go in order to have fresh celery on hand all the time!! Happy planting!!

Celery bulb

Celery bulb

Celery after 3 weeks

Celery after 3 weeks

Chucking a sickie!

I’d like to call in sick today…you know, ring the boss and just say that you’re coming down with something and you won’t be in. That’s the kind of morning I am having, but who do I call? I don’t think that my son would understand me, or care for that matter, if I told him I wasn’t going to turn up to be ‘Mum’ today! Regardless of how I feel, I am mum to a lively, cuddly (when he wants to be), loud, messy and loving little bloke, and I have to turn up and be fully present no matter how I might personally be feeling. But on days like today, how do you push through that mental barrier of just wanting to have a day off, and get to the other side so you can be the best possible mum for your child (or children)? I was Facebook scrawling this morning in a bit of a daze, and a post on “How to pull it together when you are Parenting on empty” by www.notjustcute.com popped up – how appropriate!! There were some good tips in there, things that I know and have heard before, like Letting Go (and yes I did start to sing the song when I read those two words, who doesn’t?!) and only aiming to achieve one major goal for the day – and if some days that’s just keeping everyone in the house alive, then that’s absolutely fine! The washing can wait until tomorrow, and the dishes are ok to sit in the sink for just a little bit longer. This one for me has been particularly hard to come to terms with over the last two years since my son was born (well, almost two years), because whilst I’m not a clean freak, I do start to feel a bit out of control when the house looks like a bomb site. When I start to feel like that, I look at doing just one task to get things on track a little – that might be just to clean up the toys lying around the house, or tidy the kitchen bench. Something achievable that will make you feel a bit better on the inside, but won’t take all day to do.

The blog post also mentioned to remember to schedule some fun! It doesn’t have to be a day full of planned activities, but something like a trip to the park in the morning or playing with your child for half an hour or so – it’s not only showing your child that you do have time for them and that you want to play, but I can find it to help to forget about all the things that I should be doing and instead focus on having a little bit of fun with the pride and joy in your life. As a teacher, I know that children want to be given attention from their parents to help them form identity and feel loved and wanted, so giving this time is so very important for them, and for building a much needed and rewarding relationship with your child (I use singular here but of course it applies to all the children you may have).

Now, let me just throw in here that I am NOT an expert, I am just simply one mum who readily admits that I don’t have it all together all of the time, and if me sharing that simple fact and a few tips or websites that I have found helpful helps just one other mum to feel a bit more human again, then I’d say that’s a win! Parenting is hard work, and nothing can prepare you for the days where you are just pulling it together on coffee and chocolate (and we’ll get to my new found love of chocolate shortly). We hear lots of the stories of people loving being a mum and loving staying at home to watch their little munchkins grow, and no doubt I’ll write about those days too, but today this is where I am at and I wanted to share…I know that I find stories of others also battling through at times uplifting, because I feel the weight of the world life from my shoulders as I realise that I am not the only one!!!! Women should support one another and this is one way that I am going to do just that! And believe it or not, writing and sharing about my story actually helps me too – who would’ve thought?!!

Anyway, so now that the disclaimer is out of the way, lets get back to the really helpful stuff! In the post I read all blurry eyed this morning, there was a good analogy used about airlines reminding us to put our own oxygen masks on before we put them on others. This is so true, if we don’t look after ourselves first, how can we possibly expect to look after anyone else, let alone little people who take so much love and care and attention?! So doing something like reading a magazine, going for a walk or reading a book, even for just a short time, can be enough to feed yourself some much needed energy to continue on with your day. For me it can be reading blogs or looking at the online magazine subscriptions that often get left for months as life carries on, so catching up on them is a bit of special ‘me’ time. Don’t underestimate the calming and therapeutic nature a good soak in the bath can give too, and it’s something you can enjoy once the kids are in bed.

And if all else fails, maintaining and going through a stock pile of chocolate is a good one too!! I am not much of a chocolate fan, but lately I have been loving Cadbury’s Hazelnut chocolate!! YUMMY!!

If you’ve got any tips on how you get through those tough days, I’d love to hear them in the comments section below. Have a wonderful day 🙂

So it’s been a while…

I haven’t written on this blog for ages…I just haven’t had the mojo to do any writing. I haven’t had any inspiration, my life has been a bit hectic and perhaps I just felt that I didn’t have anything to say or worth writing about. I am hoping that I am not the only blogger that goes through stages like that. I was all ramped up to share my veggie garden delights over the summer, but honestly there weren’t many delights to write about as some changes evolved in my life. We decided that it was time to think seriously about growing our little family, and that is exactly what I am doing now – I am harbouring a little one in my belly and we are now just over 4 months away from meeting our little one #2! This may have also contributed to my lack of energy for writing – unfortunately I was fairly sick from about 6 weeks up until 14 weeks, and anyone who has had more than one child will most likely tell you that being pregnant with another one, whilst still caring for the first, is hard work! Throw in the desire to curl up in bed for days on end and it’s even worse. It’s nice to be over that constant queezy feeling, and now it’s just a case of staying healthy as we approach winter and I do my best to be mum to a toddler and nurture the wee one growing inside. In the coming posts, I hope to share a bit more about what the last 6 months have looked like, what plans we have in place over the coming months before #2 arrives, and the little business that I have started up an what that involves! I am excited to share these things, and evolve this blog into a bit more than it has been up until now. I look forward to sharing the journey with you all, and hope that you can get some inspiration, support and ideas from little ol’ me! And, I might even get a bit creative and make the actual site look a bit more exciting!!

Sleep like a baby

'Sleep like a baby' found on Pinterest with link to http://www.someecards.com

‘Sleep like a baby’ found on Pinterest with link to http://www.someecards.com

Whoever coined the term ‘sleep like a baby’ clearly never had a baby! We are going through a rocky patch at the moment with a sick, teething child who has now taken to napping during the day rather than the nice 2 long sleeps he normally would have! What the?! Please, little man, no!!! Any other mum who is often home with a child during the day will no doubt sympathise when I say that sleep times are the times that you can get stuff done! You can eat, shower, go to the toilet in peace, put the washing out on the line, bring the washing in from the line, tidy up or just.sit.down.for.a.second.of.peace! So when your child, or children, don’t follow their ‘regular’ routine (shhh, don’t say the ‘r’ word!!), you start to feel yourself going a little batty! Perhaps I was just batty before, in fact I’m sure those around me would definitely say that I was, but right now I feel particularly batty. I’m forgetting things, lots of things, and only seconds after I thought those things. And not in the baby brain way, but in the exasperated, I AM TIRED, I AM MENTALLY EXHAUSTED and SICK OF CRYING kind of way! I love my son, he is honestly the most adorable, loving, happy little dude, but on those days where you think that there are many more tears than laughter, it can really get you down. You wrack your brains trying to think of all the possible reasons why they might be so upset – hungry, thirsty, tired, hot, cold, wet nappy…what ever it is! So you go about trying to ‘fix’ it! But let’s face it, we all have those days where we got up on the wrong side of bed, so why should babies and children be any different?! That thought doesn’t help when your child is hysterical, throwing themselves backwards and narrowly missing the door frame, or arching their back as you try to console them in your arms! I know that I could be heard saying to my son once or twice ‘Mummy will sleep then and you can do the housework!’ I don’t know what the answer is to any of this, it’s just a phase and it won’t last for ever. It’s just a reflection of where we are at right now, we’re riding the highs and lows of parenthood!

Some other thoughts that I have on this: is Mr H ready to go to 1 sleep? I’ve tried this a few times, but he still only sleeps for an hour and is super grumpy in the afternoon, rubbing his eyes and yawning…so I don’t think that he is ready just yet. I also use The Wonder Weeks app (and have the eBook as well) but right now it’s meant to be a sunny, happy stage…hmmmm!!!! The sun ain’t shining in this house!!

We’ll just ride it out and get through one day at a time…with lots of coffee and chocolate (I must be desperate to go for the chocolate because I don’t normally eat it!) to go with it!

What are your tricks for keeping sane when you have these days with your little one(s)?! I’d love to hear them!!