Sunday, October 24, 2010

When Is Enough Enough?

Its great to back, I haven't written a blogpost in awhile.. Feel refreshed and have had a great week... Where have I been? Overseas? No... Away for the weekend.. Ahhhh not quite.. We've stayed at home here in Sydney and finally managed to have a few good nights sleep.. feels so much better than a holiday ever could.

Somewhere between falling pregnant and giving birth I lost being able to sleep through the night.. Call it nesting but about the point of being 6 months pregnant my body clock was preparing me for the life change about to come.. After giving birth I found sleeping was non-existent eventually letting our baby run our lives and co-sleep...First I didn't develop enough milk.. yes me with breasts I thought were born to produce milk found it challenging to breast feed.. giving up isn't in my DNA and I tried and tried for six months only to finally surrender to co-feeding.. in the meantime Izac was constantly cranky not getting sleep.. who can blame him really.. he was just doing what I'd let him.. and I was just doing what I knew.. which at that stage of my new life job of being a mother was absolutely nothing.. I really wondered why newborns didn't come with instruction manuals that were individually made at that point.

I'd read the books that preached control crying, routine but honestly was too tired and challenged to make them work. Karitane was pointless, actually we were asked to leave after 24 hours.. Izac came down with diarrhea and we were escorted out of the building like we had the plague.. I fully understood why and would have complemented them on their strict " no sick children policy" had it not have been for a phone call a week later from their customer service department asking me had I enjoyed my stay and had the program been successful.. It was then that I informed them perhaps they should read their discharge notes prior to ringing a past patient ..

Most recently, after six months of being on a day care list, the new carer also told us Izac was too difficult after two days in day care... at that point I said enough is enough..

I have to be honest to say what the day care worker said really threw me.. nobody likes to think of their child as challenging.. whilst I've known all along that he's a little lets say hard he's also beautiful, cheeky and an amazing little boy. What this child worker did was motivate me to make a choice. That day I choose to change our behavior and his. I choose to stop letting our child run our life and choose to teach him how to sleep alone.

I rang a Sydney Baby & Toddler Sleep Specialist referred to me by Body Beyond Baby - a specialist in helping mummies regain their post baby weight. I'd spoken to Lorraine from Family Angels a few time over the past few months and didn't really think my Izac fit the criteria for them to work with us.. Ok so sleepness nights, check, constantly waking, check.. having to be hugged constantly and lie down with him to fall asleep, check... crankly during the day.. ahhh yes check.. Ok so who was I kidding?

Still I waited until I knew enough was enough... and now that we're almost at the other and Izac is sleeping through the night I don't know what took me so long to realise we needed help. At about this time last week I really wondered if my child was that difficult or if it was something I didn't know how to do.

And along comes Lorraine from Family Angels to help educate us on how to get little Izac to sleep. She was warm and spent some time finding out about our current routine and just seemed to know how to read Izac and what was going on. She stayed with us three nights in total and has stayed in constant touch to find out how he's going. Not only can I see the world of difference in his sleeping routine but he's a happier little boy. Day 6 and he only took 15 minutes to fall asleep and is sleeping through the night (which in 19 months has never happened).

Now I know there may be some critics out there who may ask why we couldn't do this alone? After two years of not sleeping our mind's and bodies gave up.. Sure we had the occasional night of sleep when he was at my mums but with us there was no rest.. not one night where he managed to go asleep alone or didn't wake at least 3-8 times. We tried, gave up and co-existed with a child we love and didn't know how to put into a routine. What did she do differently than us?

Hmmm now that's simple.. With over 20 years experience Lorraine was quick to read Izac.. and he was quick to fall into step. He struggerled with it, screamed down the house and even came out with his own surprises but he like many before him have learned to sleep on his own. Yes I now believe it can be done. He now knows when bed time is approaching and tonight told me he was tired and ready to read his book with his body actions. Sure he fell asleep on the floor screaming the first few nights but the last two he got into bed himself.. Sure it was hard to hear him screaming but harder to know he has been cranky and exhausted as a toddler by waking so many times during the night.

Night 2 I asked Loraine if he would know how to find his bed in the dark after falling asleep on the floor and she looks at me and saids, "if he knows how to find your room in the dark and crawl into your bed, I guarantee you he can find his own".. Ummm good point.

I feel blessed that Lorraine gave me the knowledge and courage to give our son the ability to fall into a deeper sleep alone, help him grow, learn and give us back our lives from the point of constant exhaustion..

So there it is.. I always like to give credit where it is due and Lorraine you have changed our lives.. I could go on and on about what she did but really what worked for us may not work for you. To be honest I think that's why it worked so well compared to books, reading all the advice in the world and not getting results. This angel came into our home, our environment and gave us what we needed to make a difference. Now we're not quite there yet but I know it won't be long ... Its also fair to say that the reason this worked so well is because we were ready to listen to the advice and go through with it.. It isn't enough to hear all the advice unless you are ready to carry through with what the advice is.

If you're reading this and thinking enough's enough I'm here to tell you something can be done but you and your child need to be ready to ask for help! Ring around, talk to a professional and find a solution. It made a difference to my family!

Just in case, here's Lorraine's contact details!

The biggest compliment to me is getting a referral for a good service and now I'd like to give one back! Let her know I've referred you-I'd love Lorraine to know she's dearly appreciated!

Friday, September 17, 2010

September Designer Review...Missy Moo

All the way from Melbourne is gorgeous accessories Designer Missy Moo bringing everything from polka dots and florals to stunning Japanese fabrics with her for our Spring Market this weekend.

Who can resist a little something to take home from your trip to Allies Attic! Pick something up for yourself or perhaps do a spot of early Christmas shopping instead!

Can't wait to see the little treats Missy Moo has to offer.

September Designer Review... Saponify

Natural, beautiful and it smells good enough to eat! Originally looking for a alternative to dry skin and eczema for years, Founder Sarah was sick of doctors prescriptions, creams, salves, special dry-skin formulated washes and nothing seemed to help her poor skin. Working as a chef at the time her hands were often wanting care and love.

After having used natural goats milk it was the only thing that seemed to not irritate her hands. What was confusing to Sarah was the conflicting information available about soap. Major cosmetic companies told of how soap was drying, and supposedly left a film of soap on your skin. She was left wondering how something that was meant to be so bad for her skin, could in actual fact make her skin feel great.

A truly natural alternative to the cosmetic industry, all Saponify products are lovingly handmade by one woman in Sydney. Products are all tested on Saponify families and friends so you can be sure that when you buy a product from this natural skincare co it's had the seal of approval from numerous happy human guinea pigs!

Allies Attic is extremely happy to have this gorgeous range on board for this weekends market! Happy buying!

September Designer Review.. Charli Bee Designs

Extra large baby wraps aren't easy to find.. you know the ones that just seem to still be able to wrap your baby completely even though they're older than three months? Sydney Mother & Daughter team Dell and Jayne set about back in 2009 to design and make unique, beautiful styles that complimented the personalities of our little bundles and of course our prams. They also found that the extra large wraps could be used over the pram to protect bubs from insects and sunlight in nap time and work just as well for twin prams which are of course wider or longer than most prams.

Their inspiration to launch Charli Bee Designs was from frustration from not being able to find swaddles for babies after they reached 4-5 months of age and eventually the mother and daughter team started making their own. With so many compliments received from other mothers Charli Bee was launched.

Charli Bee will showcase their exclusive Spring Collection this weekend at Allies Attic.

Partner Interview.. Forever Bliss Photography

If you like the photos on our website you'll love Award Winning photographer, Chantelle Bliss from Forever Bliss Photography who specializes in pregnancy, newborn baby photography and also children’s family photos. With photos like these it’s no wonder Chantelle’s creative style has seen her fast become one of the most sought after photographers in Sydney. Kudos to Chantelle for taking this amazing shot pictured.

Enjoy the interview...

Talk us through the Forever Bliss story and what inspired you to create it?

I have many years experience working in the advertising and commercial photography industry, and after the birth of my first child Jack, I was taking hundred of photos of him, as you can imagine! Then my friends started asking me to photograph their children, and their friends, and friends of their friends etc wanted me to photograph their babies, so Forever Bliss Photography was born!

Working with children can be rewarding and challenging at the same time, what’s the formula to capturing those precious moments on camera?

Yes, what's that old saying? never work with children and animals! It is very very rewarding to me, to be able to capture a child's personality, a beautiful sleepy baby and the relationship and love happening in those first few weeks with a new baby. Honestly it has a lot to do with patience, and practice, I have some clients call me the baby whisperer!

When a child hates having there photograph taken you....

I take the time to get the know the child, it can be quite overwhelming for them, so I quite often will put the camera down and just chat with them, tell them some silly stories, tickle them, play with them, make then feel comfortable with me. If I can get them laughing at me for being silly that usually works!

Your most memorable photography moment?

Gosh, that's a hard one. It would have to be capturing the exact image I had in my mind of my boys at the beach at sunset. I now have that image printed on canvas 30x40" on my lounge room wall. I love it so much!

When you’re not photographing you are…

At the beach with my boys, relaxing with friends and have a nice glass of wine with great company.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

September Designer Review: Ruby Days

Every little girl needs a good collection of the prettiest hair accessories, and at Allie's Attic this weekend, you can pick up some stunning pieces from local Sutherland Shire designer Ruby Days

Katie, the talent behind this gorgeous vintage inspired label, is a very busy lady at the moment, and we are very lucky to have her on board for this Spring market, as she has only just recently welcomed the arrival of her newest addition to her family, little Lawson! Congratulations mummy!

Katie explains "Ruby Days is about making your self feel unique. With a main focus on hair accessories that can make any plain old day feel special". All Ruby Days' products are handmade with love.

September Designer Review: Etre Candles

Derived from a French word meaning “ to be “, être candles, is a family run, Australian owned boutique business that creates premium scented candles. être candle company started four years ago with an intense passion to create highly scented candles of distinction.

The Candles, made from Palm Wax, are expertly created from only the finest quality ingredients. Made to their unique recipe, each candle is lovingly handcrafted by expert candle makers and not mass produced. Therefore, the personal care taken in their manufacturing means that the candle fragrance will not run out until the last drop of wax is burned. With over 30 different fragrances to choose from, these candles are a MUST to burn!

être candles inspiration to create comes from être designer and founder Gia’s passion in all things scented.

"I guess what makes être different from other candle companies is that they use Palm Wax instead of soy which is what 90% of other candle companies use". Gia continues, "I like to be different and believe that the aroma you will get from one of our Palm Wax candles will be far stronger than most Soy candles currently on the market". être Palm wax is sourced from well regulated estates in the USA where there is no harming of the Orangutan habitat.

So not only do they care for the environment and planet around us, they also create some of the most divinely fragrant candles on the Australian market to date!

For more details and to see what everyone is talking about visit

September Designer Review... Yunginz

Allies Attic are always looking for fresh new styles and Yunginz Footwear is our pick for Australian footwear designer for 2010! Created by two mums, Yolanda and Jenny in 2007 after feeling frustrated at not being able to find unique stylish shoes, Yunginz is spot on in the style stakes.

Best of all their shoes are created whilst obtaining crucial advice from a podiatrist to cater for a child's growing foot with extras including arch/heel support, cushioned inner soles and toe reinforcement where applicable.

Check out their latest Spring Collection this weekend at Allies Attic Markets.

September Designer Review: L'il Cherubs

There is nothing more exquisite than a beautifully constructed, handmade garment, especially when you know it has been lovingly created by a mother of three, who puts as much love and care in to her creations, as she too devotes to her family.

Michelle, the creative mind behind L'il Cherubs, is devoted to producing gorgeous clothing and accessories for babies and children. Using stunning cotton fabric prints, mixed with light weight denims, you will find booties, pinnies, shirts, shorts and dresses!
Available in baby sizes up to 5 years, there is such a gorgeous variety, and a must see for mums who are always on the look out for funky, stylish boys wear!

September Designer Review: Bloss Dolls

A picture says a thousand words!

Really there is just no need to say anything else, these absolutely gorgeous dolls are handcrafted here in Sydney. They are all unique, so it comes down to which colours or fabric print design most takes your fancy.
Word of warning! It is extremely difficult to choose just one! They really make the most perfect gift for any little girl, and my plan, when we complete our house renovation, is to have a bit of a collection of them! You can start your collection this Saturday at our Allie's Attic market!

September Designer Review: Urchin

Hi, Deni here again with another guest blog review! Having been on board with Allie's Attic since the first market almost a year ago, I have worked with some really great designers and seen so many beautiful products. I have also done my fair share of shopping along the way!

One of my favourite purchases (actually, I bought one for each of my kids), was from Urchin at the last market we attended in Mosman back in April, and I was thrilled to hear that they were making their way south for our September market.

Urchin's clothing is both designed and made in Australia from 100% cotton. Comfy T-shirts are available in sizes for 3 months up to 4/5 years - and sizes up to 12 months are also envelope neck, plus they have baby onesies for up to 12months.

Certain to be a favourite of the Cronulla coastal community, are the beachy thong, lobster and sandcastle designs!

Urchin also creates a variety 0f gorgeous selection of nursery and kids wall art canvas, made from vintage and recycled fabrics and buttons, so no two will be exactly the same!

Remember to make up your Christmas Gift List - as there are such fantastic designer's featured at the market, you are sure to find the most beautiful, unique and dare I say, perfect, gifts for all your friends and family!

St George & Sutherland Leader Features Allies Attic

Allies Attic is gaining tremendous support from the local community including editorial coverage in this weeks St George Leader leading up to this weeks market at Sharkies.

Allies Attic designers will include talented local artisans, entertainment, free entry and parking & kids craft corner!

Pictured in the photo is from left is Chantelle from Forever Bliss Photograhy, Deni from Cheeky Chickies, Leonie of Leonie Simpson Jewelry, myself and Brooke from BLUCY!

You're also be able to meet all the makers direct, find unique limited edition pieces and find some great keepsakes!

September Designer Review.. House of Cards

Its the day of a wedding you're going to, you've purchased a present and now its just the card left.. down at the newsagents its all the same, Hallmark cards that really aren't inspiring you.

When you're at Allies Attic this Saturday make sure you drop by House of Cards, handmade unique pop-up greeting cards are truly amazing. The cards look like every-day greeting cards on the outside but once opened the pop-up springs to life and amazes the recipient.

You have to see it to believe how beautifully created they are. It will perfectly compliment that special gift and can be a gift itself! Some people even keep the cards because they like it too much to give away!

September Designer Review... Alicia Gabriel

A regular Allies Attic artisan, Alicia Gabriel has been working with reinventing a children's space for the last six years to create a fun space to play and sleep.

Alicia's play with color, design and texture demonstrates her love for a beautiful environment for your child! Her designs are exquisite, creative and emotive as careful attention is placed to ensure each piece is as unique as your child. Her popular artwork is loved by young and old alike and has been popular at our markets time and time again. Limited edition personalized pieces can now be ordered in time for Christmas.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

September Designer Review.. Eve's Buttons

Ever so cute is new Allies Attic designer,
Eve's Button and the creation of Sharon Bland and Al Higgins. Created in the attic of founder Sharon's house to make handcrafted gifts, keepsakes, collectibles and jewelery this collection is distinct and beautiful.

Standing out from the crowd, Eve's button use the highest quality Astor button moulds and hand sourced beautiful fabrics. They pay special attention to detail and finish, assuring their customers a product of excellence. Each button they make is hand cut and pressed to produce a high quality finish.

Allies Attic customers will receive an exclusive 20% discount off end of line stock.

With Christmas around the corner, we are sure you will find the perfect gift for you and your loved ones!

September Designer Review...Kids Art Canvas

Encourage your child's imagination with Kids Art Canvas, a personalised canvas where they can hang their artwork, photos and personal momentous and be a source of decoration and self expression.

Justine of Kids Art Canvas enjoys creating an alternative gift for little girls and boys that can be used encourage art and craft into their lives. She first started creating projects on a smaller scale and then was getting projects from not only mums for their kids but also a range of home wares options too and before you knew it Justine was running her own little business.

This season there's lots of floral spring colors and green and blue for boys! Justine also can personalise any particular interest or design for you to make it a unique gift and enjoys special little projects. Recently she was contacted by a grandmother who asked her to do a canvas for her daughter who had just adopted a little girl from China - they wanted a canvas that would have her name on it but would also relate to China. Justine sourced some lovely Panda material and some beautiful ribbon with minature bamboo trees on it to create a design from there for her.

Kids Art Canvas will be at Allies Attic this Saturday with lots of lovely designs you can browse and buy on the day!