Mama Mondays – 10 & 11 months post partum update

The Urban Ma blog post partum updates
Mama Mondays – 10 & 11 month 
post partum update

Only a few weeks to go and our baby girl turns the big O-N-E! We had such an exciting couple of months recently with our first ever trip overseas as a family of four! So this post is both a ten and eleven month update rolled into one.

Height/Weight: Hannah is growing fast and we haven’t had a maternal nurse check up this month but she already feels a lot taller and heavier! She is currently fitting into size 0 and 1 clothes and some of her dresses are still size 3-6 months old! Not sure if the label is wrong or maybe that brand just has bigger sizing.

Routine/Sleep: This month Hannah has been waking up at around 6am and sometimes even as eearly as 5:30am…she has been going to bed at around 8-8:30pm so I’m not quite sure why she’s up so damn early! Naps are still happening at around 2-3 times during the day depending on what we’re doing and she always falls asleep in the car.

Eating/Feeding: I breastfed Daniel until he was thirteen months and I think Hannah will probably be feeding until about the same age. We have already started to slowly eliminate her night feeds. The hubby sleeps with her in our room and I sleep with Daniel in his room so she can’t smell me at all. When this is the arrangement we are able to have her sleep straight through the night. Like Daniel, Hannah loves sleeping with one of us, especially her big brother so her cot has become just a play pen!
Hannah is eating practically everything and anything. She has tried a little bit of peanuts, honey and cows milk just in this past week and she hasn’t had any reactions. She loves to hold her food and whilst she hasn’t started using a spoon on her own yet, she is getting lots in her mouth by getting her hands dirty! The other night she had a gherkin in one hand and a spear of asparagus in the other and was alternating gobbling up the two. She loves eating oranges and lemons and doesn’t even flinch at the sourness, she just keeps eating until only the rind is left.

Hannah has still not taken to drinking milk from a bottle and I think she’ll end up skipping that all together. We bought her a drink bottle from Disneyland as a souvenir and the first time we gave it to her she couldn’t figure out how the straw worked – she kept tilting the bottle to get her water. After only the second time of giving it to her she had quickly figured out how to suck the water up the straw. Babies are so smart!

10 months post partum update

Milestones: Our baby girl finally has teeth!! Two weeks ago her bottom tooth cut through and then just this weekend we saw one of her top central incisors also make an appearance. It looks like there are three more top teeth waiting to erupt any day now. I tried so hard to take a photo of them because this will be the only time we’ll ever see her cute little gums like this but it was impossible with her moving around so much. I’ll have to get the hubby to help me. And to think just two weeks ago we were wondering when her teeth were going to come! – Daniel’s first tooth erupted when he was eight months.
no-teeth-yet“Where are my teeth?!!!”
hannah-asparagus“It’s all good – I can still eat without them!”

Hannah sounds like a little beat boxer in the making at the moment. The sounds she makes are so funny! She is still constantly babbling out words I can’t quite recognise but more than twice already we heard her say what we swear sounds like “hello!”. She absolutely love it when I ask her “What does the sheep say?” because she giggles as soon as I say “Baa-baa”. She must think that sound is so funny!

Hannah can stand and sit herself down easily now while she’s holding onto something and is still yet to master standing on her own.  At ten months old Hannah went on her first ever trip on a plane! We went to Hong Kong and from there boarded an amazing cruise and I posted part one of the trip last week.  

Both Daniel and Hannah were so excited being on a plane and on the cruise. They were well-behaved as we kept them occupied with lots of games and food. As long as both of them have food, it seems they couldn’t have a care in the world! Daniel has been planning his next “family holiday adventure” ever since we got back. He’s been obsessed with making collages.

How cute are the hand/foot printed cards the kids made for Daddy!Our personalised Mickey ears! Happy 7th wedding anniversary!

We celebrated both Fathers Day and our wedding anniversary while on our holiday. The kids had an absolutely blast! Can you tell? Hannah’s face says it all – that smile melts me every single time!img_2874

This past month Daniel and Hannah also watched their first ever live stage show. We watched some shows on the cruise and also at Hong Kong Disneyland. The live music and singing and dancing has them both mesmerised – I’m glad it wasn’t just me enthralled by the singing Disney princessses hehe!


Lately this mama has not been eating very nutritious foods at all. So I feel like I was much more fit at eight months post part I’m and now. I really need to get my butt into gear. Luckily Daniel is such an active little boy. He wants to go for a bike ride every minute of the day so at least that pushes me to get some walking done. My eczema flared up quite badly towards the end of our trip, especially the first week back home. Not sure if it was the weather or my bad diet but after heaps of moisturising twice a day and getting a new script, my skin is now slowly healing and feeling smooth again.

Hannah’s first piggy tales! Hannah’s hair is growing and at that awkward stage where it gets so messy if I put a headband on. It’s still short but strangely long enough to look wild when it’s not held back with a clipThank you Kids Business for our family night at the movies! xx

Movies with a toddler?

The firsts kept rolling in these past couple months as we took Hannah with us to the movies for the first time. With no one to babysit and Daniel wanting so badly to see Storks, we decided to go. I had my snacks, toys and patience packed and ready so that we wouldn’t be disturbing anyone in the theatre. We watched the 7.20pm session and after having some dinner and a bit of playing on the seats Hannah fell asleep towards the end of the movie since it was her bedtime. All in all a successful night out phew! If you have to bring along a toddler to the movies then our top tips would be:

1) pack lots of food
2) bring quiet things for them to play with
3) watch a session that is during their down time, not a session that’s just after they’ve woken up
4) book seats where you have easy access to the exit in case you need to soothe them or they start making noise and,
5) be flexible! I don’t expect little ones to sit still through an entire movie so if they need to get up and about then at least you’re near the exit 🙂

Hope this helps if you want to go to the movies but need to bring a baby along!

Wishing you all have a wonderful week! And if you’re heading out this weekend you might want to check out this enchanting place. It’s just over an hour’s drive out of Melbourne so it’s a great day trip out to get some fresh air and indulge in stunning scenery.

What is your favourite road trip destination?


Sunday Reflections – The importance of gratitude

How can I be a blessing to others today?

Once there was a young man who never thought of donating blood. But then his father got very ill and was hospitalised. 

One day the son was sitting by his faher’s beside as he was getting a blood transfusion. As he watched the blood flowing into his father’s veins, he suddenly realised that somebody donated the blood that was now keeping his father alive. Straightaway he made up his mind hat he would become a donor and he was as good as his word.

Many are willing to avail of the generosity of others, but few are willing to give something back. This is why gratitude is so important. It makes us want to give something back.

(Excerpt from the parish’s weekly bulletin which can be found here)

Every night Mr D practices gratitude by telling us the things he is grateful for that day. It’s so heartwarming to hear what he has to say, which lately has been all about family and holidays!

Whether it’s an action that is big or small, how can you be a blessing to someone today? 

Road tripping – Warburton Valley

Go the Doggies Western Bulldogs AFL Grand Finals SeddonOff to get some coffee just around the corner from this super cool wall of bulldog. Congrats on the win!

Little Miss H has been waking up ridiculously early lately. Yesterday, out of all days (a public holiday), she woke up at 5:30am. Really? Is life really that amazing that you have to get up so early? Turns out it is 🙂 Four hours later when the hubby awoke, we started on what turned out to be a beautiful day out with mother nature.

10am Off to get some morning coffee, we headed to Fig and Walnut, a charming little cafe in Seddon. The kids had fun in the courtyard out the back. There were veggie boxes and a wooden cubby house that kept them occupied while we soaked up the sun and enjoyed a delicious almond croissant. Mr D must have worked up an appetite in the short while we were there because he asked to order some food and drink – he had a slider and babycino which he gobbled up quite quickly. It must’ve been the effects of the beautiful sunny morning coupled with the hit of coffee that we decided to just get up and go on a roadtrip.

1:00pm Destination Warburton Valley. About an hour and a bit drive from Melbourne City along the M3 there were lots of things outside the window that kept Mr D entertained from animals to cars to the artwork along the Eastlink. I love seeing the shades of grey with white centrepiece at Mullum Mullum tunnel. So pretty!

2pm The kids fell asleep by the time we got to La La Falls so the hubby stay in the car with them while I hiked up the 3.2km return trip through the lush Mountain Ash Forest. It was actually a good thing because we didn’t have the baby carrier with us and it would’ve been a hard walk having to carry Little Miss H the whole way. So it ended up being “me” time!

Since it was such a spontaneous drive, I think I was a tad bit inappropriately dressed with my super white Converse sneakers – everyone I walked past was commenting that they’d be brown by the time I walk back hahah! Surprisingly they weren’t! The track wasn’t flat but it was pretty family-friendly with lots of families with school-aged kids and people walking their dogs. With the babbling streams being heard and seen here and there and small stone bridges along the way I just kept thinking Mr D would love it here. It was like I was expecting to bump into an elf or hobbit along the way.

 So peaceful and picturesque this is a wonderful walk with sights and sounds to soothe the soul.

3pm We stopped by Warburton’s town centre to grab some pies from the local bakery and check out the handy information centre along the main strip. They were knowledgeable and friendly sharing other wonderful attractions to visit. Armed with some maps and info sheets we drove only about 7km until turning off left onto Cement Creek rd. The road was unsealed and we drove over a one-lanes wooden bridge that Mr D loved! Within only a few minutes we were at the car park.Warburton BakeryWarburton Bakery Pies
Passing through the gates was the fascinating Redwood Forest. Over 1457 Californian Redwood trees (sequoia sempervirens) were planted as part of the hydrology research program on canopy interception (read more about it on this information site). Planted in a grid arrangement the trees so tall, between 20-55metres in height, stand in appealing straight lines and it was captivating being amongst them. We felt so small and fully enveloped by nature. There were no echoes when we talked to each other – it was like the air was cushioned like a well-sound proofed theatre room! Mr D was engrossed in it all and loved the open grassy area just to the side. A perfect picnic spot. Like with La La Falls there are no toilets at Redwood Forest but the town centre close by has all the amenities.Redwood forest warburton Redwood Forest Warburton tall trees Victoria Redwood Forest photography Victoria tall trees road tripkid friendly Melbourne forest walks Redwood forest warburton

Warburton is absolutely beautiful and it was such a lovely way to spend the public holiday. Next time we’ll have to leave earlier in the morning or even better, stay over night to see:

– the Rainforest Gallery where you can walk among the tall Mountain Ash treetops along an elevated walkway. Some of the beech trees also found in the area are up to 400 years old!

– the summit of Mt Donna Buang

– the Lilydale to Warburton rail trail. Bring the bikes along and ride this 40km iconic trail for walkers, cyclists and horse riders!

– so many walking trails around the area where you can take it all in and get active amongst the greenery.

Tip: If you need a quick pit stop, check out the cute, little Thomas Avenue playground in between the main road and the Yarra River. A great place to stretch out after a long drive. There are toilets on site and the playground has many stepping logs, some swings and animal sculptures including a big wombat and tortoise. Walk a little bit further down and the banks of the river boast ducks and other wildife – you may even see a platypus if you’re lucky!

Family day trip Warburton tall trees Vicotira Redwood ForestLoving being among all this fresh air and soothing surrounds.
Warburton Redwood forest

What’s your favourite road trip destination? Hope you’re having a great long weekend so far whether it’s being out and about or relaxing at home enjoying watching the Doggies win!

Night! -xx-

Travel Diary – Family Itinerary Hong Kong + Cruise

First family holiday overseas? We’ve got the perfect itinerary!

Hong Kong Travel Diary Royal Caribbean Cruises

Happy Thursday everybody! I hope you’re having a fulfilling week so far and the weekend is right here so it can only get better. I apologise for my absence and lack of posts in the past few weeks. I’ve missed posting for you but if you’ve been following me on Instagram you’ll no doubt know that we’ve just come back from our first family holiday overseas with Little Miss H. First time taking a toddler overseas = planning, preparation, may a little strees? = lack of blog posts. This is just a quick little post to give you an overview of our itinerary and then I’ll  have some separate posts for you on each different places. Hopefully this info will be of help or interest to you if you are visiting Hong Kong or Okinawa, Japan soon, or if you are embarking on your first family holiday!

Our son Mr D is three years old, almost four, and Little Miss H was ten months at the time of our trip so packing a bunch of nappies and carrying around a pram as well as our luggage was just one of the extra things to think about when planning for our trip. All in all it was one of the most happiest and amazing weeks we’ve had yet and I can’t wait for the next one.

Hong Kong cruise Family Travel Diary

Day 1: Hong Kong sights & board ship
Day 2: Xiamen, China
Day 3: Cruising
Day 4: Okinawa, Japan
Day 5: Cruising
Day 6: Hong Kong & Dinsey’s Hollywood Hotel
Day 7: Disneyland
Day 8: Disneyland & depart for Melbourne

Depart MELB 14:30 Arrived in HKG 21:00
We flew Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong which was around a 9.5hr long flight and arrived at ten in the evening. We saw the bright city lights as we had a taxi take us to our hotel (we stayed overnight at L’Hotel, Causeway Bay) where we checked in and slept ready for the next day.

Day 1: Hong Kong sights then cruise departs for Xiamen at 17:oo
We checked out the areas of Victoria Harbour and Causeway Bay seeing the sights, doing a little shopping and, enjoying the cuisine before catching another taxi to the Kowloon side to board our cruise ship Voyager of the Seas, which is part of the Royal Caribbean fleet. We had never been on a cruise before and were in awe as we walked through the check in terminal at how huge the vessel was that stood there docked in front of us. It was all happening on the pool deck where vibrant music played and a dance party greeted everyone as the ship left Hong Kong.egg waffle Hong Kong food Discover

Day 2: Xiamen – Day 3: Cruising – Day 4 Okinawa, Japan – Day 5: Cruising
Our cruise was the 5 Night Okinawa and Xiamen Cruise that alternated between days of cruising and days at the ports in Xiamen, Okinawa and of course, Hong Kong. There was such a great variety of activities on the ship and without spoiling my upcoming blog post, let me just tell you that from sports, to music, the ship had it covered. We were spoilt for choice when it came to which experience to pick from each day. We were even so spoiled for choice when it came to the food (I’ll talk more about this in the coming posts!). One thing I hadn’t expected was how much we all loved and missed the staff/crew on the ship when we had to disembark. Imagine if we went on a cruise longer than five days! I think I’d be crying having to leave everybody that made our trip so special. (Or maybe I’m just a tad bit too sentimental!).Royal Caribbean cruise Family travel

Day 6: Hong Kong sights & Disney hotel check-in
After saying our goodbyes to the amazing staff on board, we made our way to Disney’s Hollywood Hotel on Lantau Island at around . We decided to explore more of Hong Kong and spent the rest of the day in Central and Causeway Bay eating and shopping our way through the busy and wet streets (it was pouring rain!). We made it back to our hotel in time for to see the nightly fireworks show (upon our arrival at the hotel we upgraded to a room with a view of the fireworks). The kids were squealing with excitement seeing the explosions of colour in the dark night sky. 
Hong Kong Causeway Bay Family travel blog

Day 7: Disneyland – Day 8: Disneyland and departed HKG 19:10, arrived in MELB 06:25
The next two days were dedicated to the magic and happiness that is Disneyland. Hong Kong Disneyland is the smallest of the six Disneyland parks around the world and it was such a great one to visit with Little Miss H and Mr D. We spent one and a half days there and still didn’t get to see all the things we wanted (we missed out on watching the Lion King show and seeing the Paint the Night parade as it wasn’t running due to Halloween preparations) so we will definitely be coming back to catch Lightning McQueen in the night parade. With shuttle buses running every few minutes between the two Disney hotels and the Disneyland park, it was so convenient traveling with the kids to the character breakfast and Disney dim sum we had booked. I’ve posted a few photos of the most adorable little buns you’ll ever eat on my IG feed and I’ll post more here in my upcoming posts!Hong Kong Disneyland

Our flight back home was a night flight and with all the wondrous things the kids saw at Disneyland during the day, they both slept through almost the entire flight They were still sleeping when we landed in back in Melbourne.

How the cruise and trip to Hong Kong ticked all the boxes on First Family Holiday Wishlist
The above itinerary totally hit the spot when it came to all the things we wanted to do and see. The hubby and I love trying new things and visiting new places together and having Mr D and Little Miss H there with us made everything even more unforgettable. When planning the trip we had a few things on our wishlist and below is how the above itinerary ticked all our boxes.

1) Somewhere we’ve never been – We wanted our first ever holiday as a family of four to be somewhere we’d all never been before. That’s the thing about traveling. When you’re in a place that’s new, unfamiliar and far from home, it immediately brings you to the present moment. No routines, no auto-pilot, no pre-existing behaviours allows for total immersion into something new and, either exhilarating or terrifying. And with that something new shocking your system, it brings about learning and growing as you are forced to learn about and adapt to the environment around you. With the cruise we were able to unpack just once and visit multiple destinations. You’re traveling and covering ground (or water!) while you’re asleep so it’s a great way to get from one place to the other. Okinawa’s Shuri castle was grand, Hong Kong Disneyland was a dream and we took the obligatory pic with Bruce Lee’s statue. Somewhere we’ve never been? Tick!

2) Warm and sunny – We wanted to go somewhere that was summery and bright. It was hot in Hong Kong (although it did rain there during our time at Disneyland) but not as hot as it was in Okinawa. The suns rays helped us to defrost from Melbourne’s winter chills. It was just so nice to lay around in the sun all day and the kids coped rather well with the change of climate. They didn’t complain and Mr D loved covering himself with sunscreen.

3) A bit of shopping and trying out the local cuisine – The hubby loves city destinations and Hong Kong with it’s amazing food, shopping and bustling city vibe was just the ticket! When the hubby had booked our trip and I had started Googling things to do and see in Hong Kong, I couldn’t believe we had never been there before. And now after having been, I know we’ll totally be back for more!

4) Ease and Convenience – Haha I did say “wishlist” right? But yes, we wanted to go on a holiday that would be as fuss-free and as relaxing as you can get with two little kids. Hong Kong is not too far away but still far enough to feel like you’ve gone somewhere totally exotic. The time difference is only two hours so none of us experienced any jetlag and we were able to get straight back into the swing of things when we arrived home! The availability and options of food on the cruise was perfect for our little ones – they could have ice cream whenever they wanted and they could pick from so many different types of dishes (our kids love to eat!). Swimming pools open 24/7 and meet and greets with the Dreamworks characters were another things the kids loved. With everything organised, all the hubby and I had to do was relax and just show up. Ease and Convenience? Big tick!

I think one of the biggest things that surprised me was how much we were able to do and see in such a short amount of time however our energy levels stay high and we weren’t ending each day feeling exhausted. I think what helped with this was that we stayed right near the Disneyland theme park and it was super easy to get back to the hotel and relax. And the other thing that helped was the cruise. Cruising has never really been something that’s on my bucketlist. I never had the urge to really want to go on a cruise ship, but my parents had recently been on one and raved on and on about it when they got back from their trip. The hubby also spent a lot of time trying to find something that would suit what we wanted to accomplish during the short amount of time he had off work that wasn’t too expensive. With all inclusive packages and super friendly crew on board, I now see why cruising is such a crowd favourite.

I think one thing to think about before booking a cruise is to check that the cruise line you’re inquiring with are actively doing something to combat the impact that they have on the environment. It wasn’t something I had thought about before but after spending time staring out at the beautiful big ocean on our trip, and seeing such a huge vessel carrying thousands of people to different destinations across the seas, I wonder how air pollution, waste management and fuel consumption is being addressed. I’m so new to the world of cruising and would love for everyone to enjoy a holiday on one as it was so incredible – all the more reason for us to be aware and choose wisely.

We had the most wonderful experience traveling as a family overseas for the first time and we can’t wait for the next adventure! Royal Caribbean were amazing and we’ll definitely be looking into cruising with them again. Hong Kong has just way too many things for us to see and do so we’ll have to come back for more! Next time I really want to see the life-size replica of Noah’s Ark. We didn’t get to visit it this time round because we didn’t want to cram too much into our days but it looks ginormous!

Hong Kong Noah's ark Family travel blog

The hubby and I are very similar in the way that we are quite open to trying new things, cope well with unexpected situations and are organised but also flexible – thank you Wes for being such a good travel buddy, baby daddy and all round companion. Thank you for carrying  Little Miss H so close to you even though the sun was scorching down. Thank you for looking after our kids while I waited in line to try the FlowRider hahah! Thank you choosing the cruise and the places you did! Our holiday wouldn’t have been as fun as it was if it weren’t for you!

We celebrated our wedding anniversary while we were away and here’s hoping we have many more adventures to come! I hope this post was helpful and if you have any questions at all leave me a comment, or if you are going to Hong Kong soon let me know what sights, restaurants or shops you’d recommend to visit!

Night! xx

Hong Kong Disneyland Family Travel Blog the Urban MA Avenue of the Stars Hong Kong Family Travel Blog The Urban MA

Mama Monday – Breastfeeding looks different for everyone


My Breastfeeding Journey 

Breastfeeding is different for everyone. Just as no one person’s journey through parenthood is the same, the breastfeeding journey comes with its own set of highs and lows. To be honest, I never really gave breastfeeding much thought until I became pregnant with Daniel. I’d seen all these stories in the news about women being shamed when breastfeeding in public or I’d hear of mums arguing with other mums about whether formula or breast milk was best. In my head I just thought, I’m sure they know what they’re doing, let them make their own decisions and let them be. Then as soon as we found out that we were going to be blessed with a little baby, I started paying more attention.

The Lead Up – When I found out that I was going to be a mama to a vulnerable but powerful little human being, something changed. In an instant it wasn’t just about me anymore. A tiny little person was in the making, and would be dependent on me for everything. Inside my belly he was growing…his little fingers and toes, his brain everything! All of a sudden, every decision I was making I was making for the both of us and I wanted was give him the best. So I spoke to friends, spoke to mum, read books like What to Expect When Expecting, resarched online, watched videos and research and, decided I wanted to try breastfeeding when Baby was born.2-hours-old

I stopped drinking and tried to get rest. I drank lots of water and followed suggestions from by OB about what things to eat. Being my first pregnancy I was so pedantic about checking everything I was eating to make sure it was fully cooked, thoroughly washed etc etc. When I was a baby Mum said that she had no milk and so I was put straight on formula while we were still in the hospital. I was hoping it would be different when it was my turn! Unlike some of my friends who were pregnant at the same time as me and whose bra sizes had increased significantly, my boobs stayed the same throughout my pregnancies. I was really hoping they’d get bigger! Why were they still small? I thought I was going to have no milk like Mum but that all changed as soon as Baby arrived.

The Arrival: My boobs started to become a little fuller in the very last couple of weeks of pregnancy. I got excited that I could finally use my new maternity bras (nowadays I’m more looking forward to the day I can wear those sexy lacy bras again!). I was fortunate to have an extremely quick, albeit dramatic, labour (I gave birth to my son in the passenger seat of our car as my husband sped over the Westgate. Second time around I made it to the hospital in time for Hannah!). As soon as we got to the hospital and the OB and midwives checked that me and Baby Daniel were okay, Daniel was put on my chest where he seemed to just magically work his way up to start feeding…it was the most amazing thing to see. Hannah was exactly the same. As soon as she was born she was placed on my chest, and even without opening her eyes she just wriggled her way up towards my boobs and started feeding. I was enthralled.hannah's first feedThis is what an exhausted mama and daughter looks like one day post partum

The midwives taught me how to hold Baby in the optimal position for feeding and then away he went. Being tired from giving birth I don’t remember it hurting right at the start but what I do remember were the contraction type pains in my tummy as my uterus slowly shrunk back in to place with each feed. There was no milk yet, but there was the “liquid gold” – colostrum that was rich in nutrients that Baby needed. The nurses were very encouraging and I knew that I just had to keep Baby feeding in order for the milk to come through. That’s where it was different for my Mum. From the stories I hear about back in the day it didn’t sound like they were as encouraging about breastfeeding as they are now because Mum said they just put me on formula straight away. These days they are very aware that the milk can take anywhere from a few days to weeks to come through so they were very encouraging of my decision to decide to try breastfeeding. It helps to have supportive midwives and I loved that the hospital had a breastfeeding room and dedicated lactation consultant available for us whenever we needed. I think it really helped that I was made to feel at ease and relaxed. Stressing out doesn’t help and I think a baby is so in tune with its mama that he/she can sense what you’re going through and stressing out will stress them out.keep calm

Those first few days: When Daniel latched on immediately after being born I thought, wow this is so easy I wonder what everyone is complaining about? But then the next day my nipples were so sore and it felt like I was doing it wrong. Was I holding him in the wrong position? Is he not latching on properly? The midwives came and showed me that he really had to get the whole nipple in his mouth and it seemed like they just shoved it in his face LOL! I was thinking oh my goodness how can he breathe if it’s that far in? But the midwives showed me and assured me that he was just fine. As soon as they did that, I could see the difference and Daniel was latched on much better. However my nipples felt so sore and raw. Luckily for my baby shower I was given Lasinoh which I had packed in my hospital bag and it helped a lot to ease the pain. I remember Daniel preferring the right boob over the left and I would dread every session when it was time to alternate him to the left one. It hurt so much because it felt so raw but I kept thinking, it’ll be ok, just keep going and it will get better. And it did.

My mum took time off work for both of my pregnancies so that she could be there for me after giving birth. With Daniel, Mum and Papa cooked lots of soupy Filipino dishes like Nilaga and Tinola which contained a lot of water and helped me keep hydrated whilst breastfeeding – it’s surprising just how thirsty you get when you breastfeed. I always kept a water bottle with me when Daniel was a baby. When I came home from the hospital with Hannah, it was my cousins who prepared an amazing feast for me with lots of veggies and a Filipino dish called Bulalo. I was so happy to have everyone around. That’s one thing that a new mama needs – food! So if you’ve got a friend that pregnant or new to the parenting world, a simple drop off of a tasty home cooked meal is a small but super helpful gesture that does wonders.
I remember Mum would also just pop over in the evenings after she finished work and clean. She cleaned the kitchen and benchtops up so that all the dishes were clean and the clutter gone. Again it may seem small but it makes the biggest different waking up to a clean house instead of a messy, cluttered one. Thank you Mum…you’re the best.


The first couple of weeks: I left the hospital feeling well equipped with what I needed to be able to continue breastfeeding at home without the help of the nurses. A close workmate gifted me with a breastfeeding pillow which I found really handy especially with Baby being so small. Just as I thought everything was going well, the first night home after all our visitors had left, I suddenly felt extremely dizzy, feverish and sick as I climbed upstairs to go to bed. I was so weak that the hubby had to practically carry me into bed. My boobs were killing me and they were so hard…like rocks. Hubby was so worried he called the 24hour doctor and explained my symptoms. He was told that I needed to feed the baby and that would ease the pain. I couldn’t even hold Daniel or move at all, that’s how sick I was feeling, so the hubby lay me on my side and positioned Daniel so that he could feed. It was probably only about fifteen minutes in total that I all of a sudden felt so sick but as soon as Daniel started feeding, I felt a hundred times better and my boobs softened and stopped hurting. I must’ve not alternated my feeds evenly between my left and right boob. I was using a hair tie to try and remember which side Baby fed from last but I must’ve forgot to change wrists! So many things to remember! – it makes it hard when you’re running on minimal hours of sleep and navigating your way through those first few weeks of becoming a new mama and a tired wife.
One thing I continued to do from the hospital is track my feeding times. I used my “notepad” on my iPhone but now Medela have this super handy app (MyMedela app) where you can not only track feeding times but where they have a whole bunch of useful information all in the once place. Best thing ever. The app includes a problem solving centre with commonly asked questions, information on your baby’s progress and so much more. It means you can have just one thing open on your phone and spend more time closely bonding with Baby…especially helpful during those midnight and 3am feeds.
During those first couple of months when Baby was still finding a routine and I was up at all hours of the evening morning, I spent most of my time on our Snuggle couch. It is the most comfiest corner of our house and I ended up watching Larry Emdur on the morning show, I thought he was so funny lol! With Hannah I watched the whole Glee series in those first couple of months when she was awake around the clock. Even though it was exhausting being up all the time and not getting enough sleep I miss those times. Those peaceful times when it would just be Daniel/Hannah and I awake while it was still dark. So much closeness. It was these precious times on our own in the stillness of the night that were some of the most moving moments of motherhood in the early days.

Out and about: I am so grateful that Daniel and I worked well together. He was a good eater…still is. Hannah was exactly the same, thank goodness, and so it was even easier with her because I had done it all before. One thing I had learnt to do with Daniel was the art of feeding in public without looking too obvious. I used to be the most shy person who ever lived on this earth and even though I am a lot more outgoing now, I am still a little reserved depending on the situation. On my first trip to a shopping centre one month after Daniel was born, he started crying and being a first-time parent I freaked out that he was crying and being so noisy so I didn’t make it to the parents room – I just wanted to feed him straight away to stop him from crying in front of everyone (so different the second time around haha!) I had a light weight scarf with me and dressed in a tshirt with a singlet underneath. So instead of just pulling my top’s neckline down and feeding that way with my chest exposed, I did it the other way. I pulled up my tshirt from the bottom, and fed Daniel as discreetly as I could (I have eczema and have had it since birth so I still get a bit conscious about that every now and then). Even my friends commented that it just looked like I was holding Daniel while he slept. With Hannah, I found these amazing Nursing Mama singlets that are made specifically for breastfeeding with a slit in the middle for quick and easy access. I wish I had these when Daniel was a baby…I now have one in every colour and wear them even when I don’t have the kids with me as they are the softest piece of clothing and doesn’t make me feel itchy.boobsNursing Mama crew
Pumping and Going Out – Along with What to Expect When You’re Expecting, one of the many baby books I read was Save Our Sleep. It was recommended to me by a friend and so I tried to follow along with some of the routines in there including pumping my breast milk for Daniel to take through a bottle. It worked up until Daniel was three months old but after that I just couldn’t get him sleeping on his own so we ended up co-sleeping, which now I look back on and treasure. He’s grown up so fast I can’t believe how quickly time passes and I’m so glad we shared a million cuddles together. Everyone is different though and that’s why I’ve found the reading to be helpful to try different things to see what works for you and for baby. Everyone is different. With Daniel the hubby bought me a manual pump which was ok. The second time around, the hubby bought me the Medela Swing breast pump which another friend highly recommended and I wish we had bought it earlier. It is so quiet, convenient and gets the job done fast.

With both Daniel and Hannah, I ate a serve (or two) of ice cream every single day. When I’d go out for dinner I could eat the whole menu and know that Daniel would just suck it straight out haha! This time round with Hannah, the hubby and I have been trying to eat a lot more nutritious food and loads of vitamins and minerals.


Nearing the end: Daniel took breast milk from the bottle once a day until he was three months old. After that he refused the bottle and didn’t want a bar of formula so when I was coming up due to go back to work I started stressing out a little. I didn’t know how to wean him off the boob so I extended my maternity leave an extra four weeks. I breastfed Daniel until he was thirteen months old, until one day he suddenly bit me while he was latched on and I almost slapped him it hurt so much and caught me off guard! That was it. After that, I stopped feeding him and he went on to get his nutrients from food and cows milk. We now drink more almond milk which he seems to like with his Weet Bix 🙂

Hannah is like Daniel in the way that she is not interested in the bottle. Lately though she has started to drink from it… only a few mls but it’s still something! I am loving the below meme because it totally describes how breastfeeding is nowadays with Hannah. She pulls on me so much and twists and turns around it’s ridiculous! So funny! And  little painful. And right now she has this thing where she likes pinching and holding one of my boobs while she feeds on the other. Even though her pinching hurts a little, I’m enjoying these little cheeky moments with her because it won’t be long now until my whole breastfeeding journey comes to an end.

gym nurse ticsniplash

When will my milk come?
My baby won’t stop crying? – Do I have enough milk? Is the milk too much for her?
How often should I feed?
When should I pump?
Is it supposed to hurt this much?
I’m due back at work – how long will it take to ween him off?

Almost four years since I first started breastfeeding after fluffing my way through so many questions and uncertainties, I now have so many memories to treasure and current moments with Hannah that I am desparately holding on to before it all ends. Some of my friends had an end-of-breastfeeding party when their little ones weaned off. Other friends hated the whole breastfeeding stage and couldn’t wait to stop. And some didn’t breastfeed at all. And you know what, that’s ok. Every mama out there is doing the best she can and trying the best way she knows how to raise a tiny little baby.Breastfeeding Hannah

We’re so lucky that these days there are so many resources available to us and with this year’s Breastfeeding Awareness Week having just passed, I’m feeling a little nostalgic knowing that this may be my last year of breastfeeding my baby. It has been a wonderful journey in which all the tiny joys of life together with the tough times, have enriched my life knowing that I have helped both my children grow and, strengthened the bonds I have with family and friends.

Just in case you missed it, I’d like to share a little video Medela put together featuring fellow bloggers and how breastfeeding was different for them.

Hopefully this helps you or your friend know that you are not alone when it comes to this journey. If you have any questions please comment below, tweet me, or send me a message via Instagram of Facebook. I love hearing your stories and knowing what you’d like me to post about next.

Good night -xx-

IMG_2724Flashback to when Daniel was only five months old…seems like just yesterday.

Mama Mondays – 8-9 months post partum update

9 months of funMama Mondays – 8 and 9 monthpost partum update

I can’t believe that it’s already the end of July and Hannah will be turning one in a few months.

Height/Weight: Hannah’s growing up fast and we got her checked and measured at the maternal child health nurse. She now weighs 9.9kgs! I was looking at hers and Daniel’s check up books and she is roughly around the same size as Daniel when Daniel was her age. Hannah is still fitting into size 0’s and with this cold, winter weather, she’s been wearing shoes more often. My favourites are Moccs Made With Love, Bobux and Attipas this month – they’re so easy to put on and don’t fall off as frequently as other brands plus they keep her little toes super warm.

Routine/Sleep: Hannah is now mostly having only two naps during the day time with the occasional three when she’s super tired or we’re driving around somewhere (she falls asleep in the car all the time!) She still isn’t sleeping straight through the night and the hubby loves it when she snuggles up next to him trying to find a comfy position.

Eating/Feeding: In her eighth month, Hannah loved being fed food that was mashed instead of being pureed. She liked feeling the texture and feeling like she was chewing something even though she still hasn’t got any teeth! Lately in her ninth month, I’ve found that she wants to be holding her food more and feeding herself, so she’s been eating lots of crackers, steamed veggies and fruit. We just need to keep an eye on her that she doesn’t bite off more than she can swallow. I love watching her little fingers trying to hold onto her food and her lips as she munches are so cute!

9 months post partum


p style=”text-align: center;”>Milestones: By her eighth month Hannah was well on her way at winning the fastest crawler award. If I turned my head for even just a couple of seconds, she’d disappear into the cupboard, under the dining table or behind the couch. She’s so quick to crawl now on her hands and knees instead of her caterpillar-type movement which she started off with. Currently in her ninth month Hannah has just started to stand up on the sides of the couch or ottoman – I think the fact that Daniel tries to keep some of his toys up there out of reach is Hannah’s main motivation for standing up!IMG_8754

Hannah is also quite the conversationalist constantly babbling to herself and Daniel and trying to talk in the middle of storytime before bed. The hubby swears he heard her repeat the word “propeller” to him while he read Daniel his book about pilots. I wouldn’t be surprised – she’s able to make so many different sounds now, I love watching her mouth and lips move. Cutest thing ever!

Daniel has been such a big help especially with Hannah being so fast at getting around the house these days. He always makes sure the floor is clean for her by taking of his shoes and putting them away as soon as we get home, and if he sees her touching something she shouldn’t, he stops her and turns her in another direction. Daniel also knows just how to entertain her in her cot while I’m in the shower, singing nursery rhymes to her and making funny noise and faces to make her smile.

The past couple of months has also seen me head out to the club for my sister in law’s birthday! It had been so long since I went out and drank that it took me weeks to recover! Hannah also had her first sleepover at grandma’s house just last Thursday. I think I actually slept worse not having her with me because my boobs were SO sore and hard because she normally still feeds at night. By 5:45am I just couldn’t take the pain anymore so even though it was so cold and pouring down rain, I quickly drove to mum’s house and fed her.



p style=”text-align: center;”>This past month we also went away with the whole fam to Silverwater Resort in Phillip Island and had so much fun! I’ll write up a separate post on the resort and the things we got up to as there is too much to mention!

I feel so very blessed to have these two in my life and every night just after we finish saying our prayers I love hearing what our little family is grateful for. Tonight Daniel was so funny, I just kept hugging him and kissing his face!

IMG_7701I just love him so much…rain hail or shine, he just wants to be playing outdoors!

Grateful Daniel


p style=”text-align: center;”>Me: Daniel what are you grateful for today?
Daniel: Dear God, thank you for mummy and daddy and Hannah and Tita Arielle.
Me: Awwww that’s nice…do you miss Tita Arielle?
Daniel: Yeah I miss her.
Me: Really? What do you miss? Like what do you like about Tita Arielle?
Daniel: I miss her and Tagalog (Filipino language)
Me: Awww! But doesn’t Mummy talk to you Tagalog more now?
Daniel: Yeah but I like Daddy to talk Tagalog too. Daddy needs to learn I think.

Hahahah! Gosh he just surprises me everyday. Looks like we really have to get our act together and speak more Tagalog to him!

Do you practice daily gratitude with your little ones? Try it – you’ll be amazed at the things they say 🙂

Have a great week everyone.

Night! xx

Date night CalMex style by the bay

Bay City Burrito interior bar Bay City Burrito interior

Date night in St Kilda

“Do what you did in the beginning of the relationship and there won’t be an end.”

When I used to hear the words date night I used to think why does it have to have a specific name? Isn’t every night date night? Going out on spontaneous trips to the movies, rollerblading by the beach and flying to new destinations to explore the world with your bae. But that was before we had kids. Before having to juggle breastfeeding, nap times and various other preschooler and baby needs before ours.

Our world has become a much more colourful place since our two little munchkins joined us. I never thought I’d get so excited to watch Sesame Street again (it helps when people like Usher, Bruno Mars and Emma Stone appear on it!) or be so enthralled watching Hannah’s little fingers trying to grasp food for the first time.

In the midst of hearing the monster truck song on YouTube over 20 times in one day that my son is completely obsessed with, and having to remember doctor appointments, nurse checkups, dinners with friends, catch ups with my mothers group, visiting relatives, play dates, birthday parties and events, the kids are on my mind 24/7. And that means sometimes someone misses out…hence the need for highly anticipated date nights! I remember when we got engaged and started our marriage preparation, one of the many questions our priest asked us was about communication. How were we going to talk and stay close to each other when/if we had kids? I thought well we’d just make sure we find time to listen and talk. Hahaha! A lot easier than it sounds. Little did I know it would take a little bit more than just positive thinking to be able to get out and about with the hubby

Thankfully we have family close by who also believe in the importance of spending time together even if it’s just for a couple of hours, so last Thursday we headed off somewhere new that we hadn’t been to before…the Mission district in San Fran.

Bay City Burrito menu

Just kidding – although going back to States for a family holiday is on our list!

Instead of the fourteen hour flight across the Pacific, we headed out to Bay City Burrito in St Kilda right next to the iconic Luna Park to try their Mission San Fransicso – style burritos. With Hannah already nine months, we’ve been able to get out a lot more lately as she is now on solids and lasts longer in between her breastfeeds. Our last date night took us on a tour of Europe at the alluring Copper Pot restaurant in Seddon. This time round we switched it up and got our CalMex on.

Bay City Burrito’s St Kilda installment has been open for three years now,with their first Hawthorn restaurant serving customers seven years strong. We met ever-charismatic owner Gary, who informed us that their style of food is Californian Mexican as opposed to TexMex. It’s widely known that Californians generally tend to want more healthy options in the food they consume and, as a result CalMex cuisine utilises more of the fresher ingredients such as lettuce, tomato, avocado, black olives and leaner cuts of meat in their dishes. Fish tacos and other fusion extras can also be found on the menu of CalMex style eateries.

The hubby ordered the Bay City Bomber burrito and it was seriously massive! He had to take a break towards the end to have a breather but it tasted so good he still managed to finish it off!

At first glance of the BCB menu, I was excited at the huge variety of burritos I could choose from, and then even more impressed when I saw that there were some flavoursome vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options as well – need to keep this place in mind next time I have a catch up with friends!

We ordered:

– the Bay City Nachos – warm tortilla chips smothered in BCB’s home made queso sauce & topped with fresh pico de gallo
– Sangria
– The Mission Special Burrito – Pick any two items (grilled chicken, lean steak, carnitas pork, tofu or veggies – I picked the lean steak and pork…it was amazing!) with cheese, black beans, Spanish rice & mild salsa in a grilled flour tortilla
– the Bay City Bomber Burrito – steak & chicken, black beans, Spanish rice, cheese, guacamole, lime sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, Spanish onions, black olives, & mild salsa in a grilled flour tortilla

There were also specials like their warm chicken and tortilla soup and the Sampler Basket which included a small chicken burrito, a steak street taco, with chips and salsa. Maybe we’ll try those next time.


We had such a fun date night thanks to the vibrant music, comfortable furnishings and of course the alcohol we consumed – it doesn’t take much these days to get me a little red and happy as I am quite out of practice when it comes to the drinking side of things haha!


We were served by a really friendly guy who I also saw go around to each of the tables afterwards just to check if everyone was ok with their meals. It was nice to see the attention they paid to their customers even though they also had quite a few takeaway orders coming through. I loved my burrito so much that I actually ordered another one to take away. Yes,Little Miss Piggy right here!

How cool are these coasters under our drinks!? The colours of the decor and furnishings were a great combination drawing inspiration of the Mission district back in the States. And see that plate of Bay City Nachos there? You can’t see the special queso sauce because it is perfectly layered underneath so that it is evenly distributed – every single tortilla chip gets a dunk in the cheesy goodness.
We almost licked the plate clean. That queso sauce was sooooo good! Check out our warm, tightly packed foil packages…ahhhh I was in burrito heaven. It was nothing like I had ever tasted. So jam packed with a balance of rice, beans, cheese and meat. 
Bay City Burrito St Kilda
The hubby’s burrito compared to mine. The menu got it right – “It’s MASSIVE”! You’ll have to try it for yourself as the picture just doesn’t do it justice. Even just looking through these now makes me want to drive out there to get my hands on one…or maybe I’ll go for lunch tomorrow…Ok so I haven’t tried everything on the menu but this has got to be a winner – the Mission Special Burrito with beef and pork.Bay City Burrito service St KildaThe hubby loves hot sauce. He puts Tabasco on everything. I never used to be able to eat spicy food before…even when I worked at Nando’s back in the day, I always only ordered my chicken with the lemon and herb dressing. That all changed when I tried tom yum at a Thai restaurant for the first time. It was sooooooo spicy but the flavours were so spectacular that I had to just keep slurping the soup even though the spice levels were insane. Ever since then I love spicy food and luckily so. The hubby and I tried out the sauces on our table and they elevated our burritos even more!
Bay City Burrito hot sauces
hot sauce Bay City Burrito St KildaThese two sauces were amazing! The Chipotle and Cayenne one on the left had a gorgeous smokey taste while the one on the right had a kind of acidic vinegar taste to it. Very different but both complemented our meal really well.

All in all we had such a fun night out together chatting about anything and everything without the kids interrupting our train of thought. We were so full that even though it was cold out, we took a nice stroll down Acland street to get a little air. When we left Bay City Burrito we saw these cozy blankets just outside the door for people who may have wanted to dine in the outdoor area. How thoughtful!

Burritos N’ Blankets for the homeless

Speaking of blankets and Melbourne’s freezing weather, not only do Bay City Burrito aim to make the best burritos in town, the crew at BCB also aim to help the homeless by going out every fortnight to hand warm, clean blankets to those in need. I found this on their Facebook page!

Here’s how it works and how you can help:

For every clean blanket you drop off to our St Kilda OR Hawthorn store we will match it with a fresh warm burrito and every fortnight go hand them out in Melbourne to the homeless in need.

But we need YOU, yeah YOU. Have a check in your closet, donate some of your extra blankies or if you are especially a kind soul buy a nice new one for someone that really needs it.

Help us help those in need. Changing the world one burrito at a time.

One world, one love…

BCB Crew X
Hawthorn: 838 Glenferrie Rd
St Kilda: 4 Shakespeare Grove

CalMex Bay City BurritoSan Fran Bay City BurritoDate night Acland St St Kilda Bay City BurritoA relaxing stroll down Acland street. All those windows filled with neverending shelves of cake were sooooo tempting!

Do what you did in the beginning of a relationship…keep dating, keep learning and trying new things. Something so simple is as good as a holiday and can help strengthen and nurture your connection to each other. We found a new place we both loved and a cuisine we thought we new but learnt more about thanks to BCB! Next time we’ll be back for Happy Hour. Meet you at the bar – cheers!

Where was the last place you went to for date night?

IMG_0046When we got back to my mum’s house ready to pick up our little ones, this is what we saw – a content little boy cozy in bed with his aunty! Awwwww!

#The Urban Ma dined as guests of BCB. All opinions are our own.