Sunday, 17 March 2013

Mother’s Little Helper: OSIM uCozy Neck and Shoulder Massager

My “baby moon” trip to Singapore was a great opportunity for me to get out and about walking everywhere post the first trimester roller coaster. With the humidity, heat and wavering energy levels I found a haven in the OSIM chain of stores in one of the many malls that line Orchard Road. They specialise in therapeutic devices such as massagers, chairs, and the really wild and wonderful eye massager goggles! This store had an entire lounge room set up for their high end chairs where customers were booked into to try them out in a tranquil spa-like set up. I stared enviously and made do with amusing myself with what was on display.

I have owned those hideous ‘shiatsu’ machines in the past – the kind that knead you into a more painful knot than what you had to begin with so I was a little sceptical when I tried uCozy Neck and Shoulder massager but the level of relief it provided for tired muscles without the hideous punitive infliction of more pain. I rated its performance “ZOMG” (my own classification system, feel free to borrow). It was great on the legs after walking many kms in a day and sore shoulders & neck. It turned the lovely lounge recliner in our hotel room into a mini spa!Osim massager 11-03-2013

It is has the option to use with or without heat – the rolling motion is gentle without hard edges (it has nice smoothly tapered edges) and the heating is delicious when the temperature starts to cool.

Now that dragon is in my arms all the time, lots of rocking, changing, lifting etc I am finding this wee contraption my greatest source of relief as without any babysitters to call on, a one hour massage for this tired body is one luxury I will have to put on hold for a bit longer.

I didn’t realise until writing this post that a store had been opened here in Sydney, at Westfield Parramatta. I may just have to call into this store for 5 mins of rest too one day!

What other indulgences have you invested in as tired new parents? Which ones were the best or most overrated??

Where to find : OSIM Australia WebShop

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Friday, 15 March 2013

A Cheeky & Sustainable Solution to Baby Wipes

Child rearing in the western world seems like the most resource intense and wasteful pastime much of it courtesy of big name brands that have been the sole educators for new mums with direct access to them via even the maternity wards (ever wondered where we get our knowledge of menstruation as well? sorry that may have been a bit much right off the bat right but think about it?!). I had been warned in the past by experienced Mums that commercial wipes were notorious for aggravating nappy rash so I was interested in finding an alternative.

I had resolved to buy bamboo viscose, cut to size and serge the edges however my little sewing machine was not going to create the joyful tidy little cloths that I wanted that an overlocker would achieve. As I researched online for what solutions parents were using and how I stumbled across this product Cheeky Wipes, based in the UK.

While I contemplated getting it from them I was relieved to learn that the founders had partnered up to bring the product to Australia and had started the company for the very reasons I was looking for their product (it would have been really helpful if the UK site referenced the Australian business).

I decided to opt for the “All in One” starter kit and though I thought it was priced at the high end ($59.95) the practicality and convenience of the solution was enough to convince me that a tired new parent didn’t need to overcomplicate matters! In hindsight, best decision I made for my household. I also got extra wipes, which I am really glad I did because even with a warm Sydney summer,  I have reduced the pressure to do frequent washes just to have enough wipes on hand. I find the cost of extra wipes OTT – bamboo ones are more than $1 per unit so the margins are fairly steep. The terry cotton wipes pose better value for money but I am still not that keen to be throwing money towards someone sewing on all the little tags!

The kit includes the containers (“mucky” and “fresh”), wipes and essential oils to start you off. The practicality of a wash bag inside the “mucky” container that you can throw in the wash. You also get a great little travel system that means you can take your fresh wipes with you in your nappy bag and a “mucky” bag that has a zip out wash bag as well. The essential oils will keep things nice and fresh smelling, and the colour coding will prevent contaminating clean cloths. Simple, functional.

I was really appreciative of how easy it was to set up and get going. The colour coding also meant I could get grandma and papa up to speed and using the system in no time and most importantly even with my having antibiotics, both of us vaccinated, the annoying stifling humidity and any number of things that dictate the “explosiveness” of things my little dragon has only suffered the most minor nappy rash which is usually cleared after a single application of balm.

I would recommend this as a great gift for new parents, or just a new arrival. The solution does make it easier to make the choice to move away from disposable, chemical laced wipes and the versatility for use in home and out and about means I may be using these for a few years to come. The outlay is a little steep in my opinion but the convenience has outweighed the cost and it would easily pay for itself in the first six months.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Breaking A Long Absence

I took an unplanned break from documenting life a little recently – didn’t stop living it mind you, just found myself particularly short on “me” time to capture it in writing. The facebooks, twitters, burpples and instagrams of this world continued to chronicle my activity in bite sized chunks but having time to reflect in words was not on the cards.   Here’s why.

2012 was a bountiful year – “bountiful” because there were events that punctuated change, learning and loss. We kicked off the year with the nuptials of two beloved family members in New Zealand and in Melbourne. We snuck in a trip to Adelaide (a first and I will share my visit to Maggie Beer’s farm one day) then returned to life in corporate Australia thinking all the ‘hyper’-activity would settle down for the remainder of what we thought would be an uneventful year.

It wasn’t to be – the passing of a six year old family member and the mourning that followed left an indelible mark. To add to the sadness, while I sat in their family home assisting with funeral arrangements the media were parked outside my corporate office broadcasting the imminent large scale job cuts. A moment that proved an opportunity to question priorities.

It wasn’t surprising that in the melee that I was somewhat neglectful of my own health. I’m  normally am pretty good (thanks to a chronic condition) at picking up whether I need to change what I am doing. I had to fit in another trip to Melbourne for more family occasions but I had a nagging feeling something was off base but kept pushing it aside. Whatever magic the Universe planned for us it was sending some strong signals –  while we grieved the passing of one child we discovered we were expecting one of our own.  A surprise blessing quite unlike any other.

So there I was facing potential job loss with precious cargo on board! Self preservation kicked in and my focus switched to staying health and enjoying the pregnancy. I did fit in a trip to Singapore (‘baby moon’) and enjoyed some great food (not as varied as I would have liked but the return visit shall be different!). I survived the first cull at my employment, then the second, then as the year closed for Christmas I farewelled my colleagues and prepared for the toughest gig I would likely ever face and new job title. I was about to become a “baby momma”.

So here I am 7 weeks since becoming a mum to a gorgeous healthy little girl and revisiting this neglected outlet. There are plenty of posts waiting to be uploaded and as time permits these will make an appearance. Things have changed of course and while fancy restaurants, cooking experiments and food experiences are now limited, I will be sharing what I am learning on this journey, so be warned there may be many parent-related discoveries a long the way and probably some more crafting as finances dictate my source of recreation (theatre we enjoyed a 20 yr relationship but I am on a short break for now!). Hopefully those that have enjoyed my posts in the past can appreciate the transition and as with all things life moves on and a new phase has started for me! This blog will too evolve as I make this often difficult transition.

Thanks for hanging in there and if you have just recently dropped in – look forward to sharing with you in the future!

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