Loading...

Site news

Date added: 24/07/2014 I want to be a part of it, New York, New York… New York – part 2

After a gruelling 30 hour journey from our home in Ocean Grove, via Los Angeles, to our apartment on the Upper West Side, we were so very grateful we didn't have the girls with us! This was one of our first realisations at how different this holiday was going to be. There was no way we could have taken the subway from JFK airport to the Upper West Side after a long haul fight on a Saturday night with three kids and luggage. But, with just the two of us, we managed!

Our apartment on the Upper West Side (well, it was on the third floor,

but this was the entrance, your typical NYC brownstone!).

 

It took a couple of days to settle, but soon we were able to leave the apartment by 10am and spend the whole day sight-seeing, having slow, lazy lunches and dinners, and return to the apartment around midnight. We didn't have to look at our watches. We didn't have to make a million toilet stops that three little girls all needing to 'go' at different times creates. We didn't have to ensure that a menu catered for all five of us before sitting at a table. Oh the freedom!

 

Having lazy, slow dinners at bars – no kids in sight! 

 

Do you know what else we got to do? We got to do one of the most basic of actions of a relationship – we got to hold hands!! I mean, yes, we both hold hands all the time but not – read, NEVER! - with each other! We have three little girls who grab hold whenever they can. It was strange to actually hold a hand that wasn’t soft, chubby and gripped as tightly as possible. It took a bit of getting used to, to be honest! But it was lovely, again, to do something that we hadn’t been able to do for years.

    

At the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park.    

 

New York City is such an iconic place. Barely a day passes where you don’t catch a glimpse of New York via a movie, TV, the newspaper or a book. So many well known landmarks are in the one city! If you have been there, you’ll understand when I say that New York just has this vibe that you really can’t explain. It’s just an incredible place to be.

       

Times Square.       

 

We are so grateful to live in a world with Skype and great telephone connections, and we were able to Skype or speak to the girls every second day. It can sometimes be difficult to have a phone or Skype conversation with young children, but luckily we only had one conversation result in one of the kids in tears. A few more of those conversations may have resulted in me being in tears though... oh, that dreaded ‘mother’s guilt’!

          

Radio City Music Hall.          

 

Our days in New York were super busy. We walked, and walked, and walked. We averaged walking about 7-8kms a day. Some days as much as 15kms. So many times we muttered to each other that ‘we wouldn’t be able to do this if the girls were with us’. We knew how lucky we were being able to experience the amazing city that is New York without the girls slowing us down, and limiting our experiences. And we also know how much they will love it when we take them there one day when they are much older.

             

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge on super-busy and very w             arm Memorial Day.

 

One day we took a day trip to Washington. This wasn’t as simple as it sounds… we were awake early to catch a 6.30am bus. The bus took 4.5 hours to reach Washington via Baltimore. We had a whole 5.5 hours in Washington before heading back on the bus to New York – another 5.5 hours of travelling. We arrived home to our apartment after midnight. That was 10 hours on a bus in one day. That is absolutely not possible with three young children. My dream of seeing Washington would undoubtedly not have happened had the kids been with us.

                

Washington Monument and the Reflection Pool taken from the Lincoln Memorial

(and yes, we did say 'Forrest!' a LOT while we were here!).

 

The Capitol Building.

 

Occasionally, we would go somewhere or see something that would really pull at our heart strings and make us wish the girls were with us, especially in Central Park and the Natural History Museum. However, just as many times we knew that would have been all we were to do that day if they were with us.

Our girls would have loved the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park.

 

More...

Date added: 21/07/2014 Start spreading the news, we’re leaving today … New York – part 1

My husband and I recently had an amazing holiday in the USA. We… deep breath… left our three young children at home for two weeks. Yes, we did. We really did. Honest. We were selfish. No parental responsibilities at all. We went on our own. We had a holiday WITHOUT our children.

Going by the responses we’ve received so far, you are either nodding and thinking 'awesome, I wonder if we could get someone to look after the kids while we go on holiday', or shaking your head and muttering, 'how could you possibly go on holiday without your children?'. Well, let me tell you how this came about.

It started back in 2001. My then boyfriend (now husband) and I were in the middle of two years backpacking our way around the world. We had a flight booked from London to Boston in November 2001, and were planning on making our way south to New York, and then west across the US. Well, as we all know, things don't always go to plan and 9/11 happened.

A friend of mine was living in New York at the time and advised us not to come to New York - she said the place just wasn't the same, as understandably, New Yorkers were reeling from the tragedy that had hit their city. So we listened to her and didn't go to NYC, instead travelling west to Chicago. Ever since then we have dreamed of New York and vowed to get there one day. As we celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary in April this year, it seemed as good a time as any!

 

Image from Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/kmcWhaleSpout/nyc-vegas/)

The planning for this trip started at least 6 years ago, even before the birth of our second child. We are a reasonably well travelled couple. We travelled extensively before we became parents. We have travelled long haul with children to the UK and Thailand, so we had a pretty good idea of what a trip to New York would be like with kids. Young kids. Three young kids.  

We always had this idea in our minds of being in New York ‘young and free’, since this was exactly what we were when we first planned on going there. Think ‘Friends’, ‘Sex and the City’, ‘Seinfeld’, and most movies set in New York. Back then we were in our twenties and responsibility free. We were going to have the time of our lives, albeit, on a very limited backpacker budget! Combining the words ‘New York’ and ‘children’ just never seemed to be cohesive in our minds. So, we gave my parents plenty of ‘lead’ time, and they were always supportive of the trip!

We are very fortunate to have my parents living very close by, and they have an amazingly close relationship to our children. My Mum was happy to move in for the two weeks and the girls were more than happy to have their 'Shizzie' living with them. It was all sorted. An incredibly detailed two week schedule was written up, including those minor (but super important) details like ‘sports uniform day’ and after school activities, along with all the numbers of all my lovely school mums (just in case!).

I wrote each of the girl an individual letter (mostly asking them to behave and be good girls!) and bought them farewell presents, and a handmade felt fairy each that they could hug when they missed us. I was as prepared as I thought I could be.

As we packed to leave, I don't think I've ever been so nervous and anxious in my life! What if something happened to one of them? How quickly could we get home? What if something happened to us while we were away (I mean, we’ve ALL seen Frozen haven’t we? Elsa and Ana’s parents were only going away for two weeks too!!!)? How would the girls cope? I had to have faith that it would all be fine. I had to remind myself that we deserved this holiday and that the kids wouldn’t enjoy it that much anyway. They were going to be very well looked after and they adore my Mum. In fact, they were going to be spoilt rotten!

Eventually, the day came where we said our goodbyes and drove to the airport. As the plane was ready for take-off, we looked at each other and seriously could not believe that it was just the two of us. It hadn't been just the two of us for years, and now it was just the two of us for the next two weeks!!

 

          

Image from Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/kmcWhaleSpout/words/)          

 

More...

Date added: 20/03/2014 International Day of Happiness

Did you know that today, March 20th, is the second United Nations International Day of Happiness? All 193 UN members have agreed that we all need an International Day of Happiness – a day to inspire action for a happier world. What a fabulous day to celebrate life!

Being happy is such an essential part of our lives and our health and wellbeing, and especially for our children. Being happy makes everything easier and allows you to appreciate the small things. Being happy doesn't come from the things we buy or own, it comes from within. We all have different things that make us happy, or reasons to be happy. Today is about celebrating those things and reasons. and hopefully we will all see more smiles today.

Chcek out http://www.dayofhappiness.com.au/ for further information. We love the tips you will find there, like this one for being happy with friends:

 

I'm going to play my part by taking our golden retriever, Bonnie, along to school pick-up - she always manages to make the school kids smile :)!!

 

Both images from http://www.dayofhappiness.com.au/

Happy day to you all!

Tell me, what makes you happy?

Thanks,

Kate x

 

More...

Date added: 04/03/2014 And then there was one...

Like most Mums and milestone occassions, I can clearly remember the night my third child, Ruby, slept through the night for the first time. Yes, I was feeling the relief that comes with that full nights sleep (at last!) and being able to get through the day without that 'lack of sleep' fog hovering over me. But mostly, I was feeling sad and disappointed, and I mourned the loss of those night feeds.

You see, when it comes to your third child, the only time you get to spend with them ALONE, is during those night feeds. During the day time you have two other children to care for, and as soon as that feed is over you have to put the baby down and get on with your day - there is washing to hang out, sandwiches to make, play dough to prepare for the toddlers...!

I remember having Ruby fall asleep in my arms after her night feeds, and I just held her... sometimes for up to an hour before I would put her back in her bassinette and climb back into bed. I was in no hurry. I had the time, I love a good cuddle, the only place I needed to be was bed, and I knew those moments were limited and oh-so-precious. And when Ruby started sleeping through, we lost our only alone time together.

I mean, couldn't you just gaze at this adorable face at all hours of the day and night?

Ruby - 3 hours old

Now, 3 and a half years down the road, I find myself in a new position. Miss Molly is now in Grade 2, and my middle girl, Grace, started Prep this year. So for the majority of the school week, it's just Ruby and I!! At first, Ruby hated being without her two big sisters. She felt lonely, she was missing them and their company, and she also seemed to miss them telling her what to do! I was also missing them and Ruby was relying on me more than she ever had before. It was making every day a bit harder and more challenging.

But then, like a lightbulb, Ruby realised the opportunity she had - she could play with whatever she wanted and whenever she wanted. She didn't need her big sisters permission or approval anymore. She could be the 'Mum' to all of her dolls and not have to play the role of 'sister' or 'baby', which she was always lumped with. She was able to help me do some baking (so much easier when you only have one child helping!).

To say I've been spoiling Ruby might be a little understatement, but we have been loving our lunch dates, coffee dates, shopping dates, playground dates... just the two of us! Even supermarket shopping has become enjoyable again, now that I only have one child with me :).

Ruby has also started at 3 year old kindergarten this year, so she is officially a 'big girl now' (her words).

      

My 'big girl' on her first day of kinder

This is my fifth year of being a kinder Mum, and to be able to drop her off and pick her up at kinder without manouvering a pram or dealing with a baby or toddler (or both!) as well is a huge advantage. I actually get to spend time with Ruby at drop off and make sure she is settled before I leave, I can speak to her teachers, I'm not in any rush and the whole process is so much easier!

What a world has opened up to us! I have under two years left before I will have all three of my babies at school, and while I can only imagine the free time I will have then, I can assure you that I will be making the most of this precious time now.

Kate x

More...

Date added: 06/09/2013 Market day this Sunday!

I am so looking forward to our market this Sunday at Geelong's premier children's market, Three Little Birds.

We are also super excited to launch our newest product at this market, Harem Pants. These will be available in sizes 3-10. Here is a sneak peek...

We hope to see you there!

Enjoy,

Kate x

More...

Date added: 30/10/2012 Week 41, 42 and 43 - Photo of the Week

Wow! What a month October has been. In the space of 2 weeks we celebrated 2 birthdays within the family, and about 6 parties outside the family. Whale Spout has been preparing for our run of 7 markets in 7 weeks, as well as finalising the design for the launch of our boys range (excitement plus!).

In amongst this busy time, these are my favourite photos...

Week 41

My sweet hearted, kind and smart eldest daughter Molly turned 6. This has been a huge year for Molly, with her first year of primary school, and more recently losing her first teeth!! We are so incredibly proud of her and I just love this photo, taken on the morning of her birthday, as she sat in our bed opening her presents. Just love her to bits!

Week 42

Our 2 year old, Ruby, is almost ready to start toilet traiing. So much so, that when she needs a nappy change she now goes into her room and brings back her change mat and wipes for us! This photo was taken one afternoon just after lunch, as Ruby was getting ready for her lunchtime nap. Both my husband and I were initially busy went she came out of her room with her change mat, but Grace was ready and willing to help!

Ruby lay down on the change mat and Grace (with just a little help from Daddy) successfully managed to change Ruby's nappy. Ruby thought it was hilarious, and Grace was absolutely thrilled with herself! I can certainly see the benefits in having your children's ages spaced out!!

 

Week 43

After a huge weekend, where I was mostly absent with a market and a daytrip to the Melbourne Craft and Sewing Show, I finally got to catch up with my girls at a BBQ at my parents house. As a little gift, I gave them each a strawberry lollipop as an after dinner treat. I just love the way they each posed with their lollipops, so had had to include all three pics this week!

And by the way, the girls sucked on these for about 3 minutes before we said it was bath time. The lollipops have been wrapped up in the fridge for 3 days now and none of the girls have asked for them since!! Starting to wonder about how nice they actually were...

    

Enjoy,

Kate x

 

More...

Date added: 10/10/2012 Week 38, 39 and 40 - Photo of the week!

Oh my, where is time going? The school holidays have really messed me up! But, they gave me some great times with the girls, and a chance to catch up with two dear friends who have recently had babies... ahhh!

Week 38

We made the most of the delightful Spring weather and took the girls down to our local beach for a photo shoot for some of Whale Spout's Spring/Summer dresses (these will be released on the website very soon :)).

After taking more than 480 photos on our camera, the batteries decided to die. So, it was onto our trusty iPhones for the remainder of the shoot. Amazingly, the iPhones resulted in some of the better pics!

This one was taken at Barwon Heads, in front of what was known as Diver Dan's shack (any fans of the ABC's 'Seachange' TV show??). How could they not be smiling?

Week 39

It was a special week this week - not only was it the first week of the school holidays, it was also a week in which my baby, Ruby, turned 2!! I no longer have a baby in the house, which is both sad and exciting! We had a wonderful day, and Ruby especially loved her Iggle Piggle cake, made my by Mum (thanks Shizzie!).

Ruby just adores Iggle Piggle, but thankfully has hardly seen the TV show 'The Night Garden' so we just stick to her little stuffed toys and many, many Iggle Piggle books!

How is that for a smile? I Love it!!

Week 40

Ahh, second week of the school holidays and Mother Nature kindly shared a glimpse of summer with us. So, on a lovely 29 degree day we headed down to our beach for a play (actually, this is the river beach that we go to which is fabulous for the kids, and has a playground and toilet block too - so important!!).

It was certainly a taste of the summer to come as Ruby spent most of her time running from the sandcastles, down to the water's edge and back again. She just couldn't decide where she wanted to be! Molly solved the problem by digging a big hole for her and then filling it with water. Ruby was absolutely cackling with joy!

We had a wonderful time but I must admit, that it is nice to be back into routine this week with school and kinder.

Enjoy,

Kate x

More...

Date added: 16/09/2012 Week 35, 36 and 37 - Photo of the week

It's catch up time... things have been very busy at Whale Spout HQ so I have a few weeks to catch up on...

 

Week 35

OK, so I couldn't choose between these two photos - but how could I? At the fabulous Three Little Birds market (which was wonderful, by the way!) Molly and Grace had their faces painted - and didn't they look amazing!! Molly chose to have a whale, with a whale spout (yes, she is my most loyal fan!!) that happened to have it's mouth on Molly's mouth. It was quite entertaining when she was eating!!

Grace's face painting turned her into a gorgeous 'rainbow fairy' - isn't it cute!

Face painting has sure come a long way over the years...

      

And yes, they are both sporting their Whale Spout dresses :)

 

Week 36

Spring is finally here and we are finally enjoying some lovely Spring weather. We recently spent the afternoon at the beach, enjoying the sunshine and having fun on the sand. I captured this shot on my phone of little Ruby having some fun... I think she's going to enjoy this summer!!

 

Week 37

It was a monumental week in the Whale Spout house last week. Miss Molly lost her first ever tooth! It was a very exciting time for everyone, and Molly (and Grace, who share a bedroom) went to bed very excited on Monday night, waiting for the Tooth Fairy to arrive! Lucky for Molly, the Tooth Fairy did pay her a visit and even left a small smount of money for her. Both girls were wide awake extra early on the Tuesday morning and excitedly came in to tell us that the Tooth Fairy had been.

We thought the excitement might be over for a while, until Molly came home from school on Tuesday with a second 'wobbly' tooth! Now we have three more loose teeth... I hope the Tooth Fairy has lost of $2 coins in her handbag :)

 

Enjoy,

Kate x

 

More...

Date added: 08/09/2012 iPad Giveaway!

 

Whale Spout are thrilled to announce that we are

sponsoring a giveaway over at

Mindful Parenting Magazine and the lucky winner

will receive an iPad worth $539!!

 

 

The giveaway is happening over at http://www.mindfulparentingmag.com/ipad-spring-giveaway/

NOW and ends on Saturday 29th September. QUICK! Pop over there now to enter!

 

Good luck, Kate x

http://www.mindfulparentingmag.com/ipad-spring-giveaway/

More...

Date added: 30/08/2012 Week 33 and 34 - Photo of the week

Oh, it's been a busy time here at Whale Spout HQ in the lead up to the very first Three Little Birds market in Geelong this Saturday, 1st September. Finally, with just two sleeps until the big even I'm feeling under control (relatively...).

Week 33's photo is a typical toddler, and typical third child. The older girls were drawing with textas while their little sister slept. Once Ruby was awake I asked the girls to pack away the textas - a 23 month old and big colourful textas not being the best of combinations! Needless to say, the girls didn't pack up quickly enough and Ruby managed to steal one - the black one!! Here is the result...

Amazingly, Ruby didn't manage to get any texta on the walls and it washed off quite easily (finally, a packet of 'washable markers' that is actually washable!!). Do you think she was pretty proud of herself?? I think Molly was quite impressed by Ruby's artistic skills too!!

Week 34 - Last week was National Book Week so of course Molly's school had the obligatory dress-up day. Thankfully, Molly's teacher reminded me of this the day BEFORE dress up day, so I had a whole 24 hours to work out a costume (I had read it in the newsletter, but really must learn to write these things on the calendar!!). Molly had originally wanted to go as Little Red Riding Hood and I was going to make her a big cape. However, with less than 24 hours to organise and a market for me to prepare for as well, we took an easier option - Pippi Longstocking!

Despite Molly not really understanding who Pippi Longstocking is or even pronouncing her surname correctly (she told people she was Pippi Longstopping!!), I think we pulled it off pretty well! Thankfully one of my long boot socks fitted over Molly's tights to give that typical Pippi look!

I also loved that while Molly had eye liner freckles drawn on her face, she told everyone that she did have 'real' freckles under them! The day was a hit, the book parade was incredible, and I have vowed to go to more effort next year!

Enjoy,

Kate x

 

More...