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Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Tis The Season To Be Thankful.

As the sleeps to Christmas grow less and we count down the days on our advent calenders I cant help but notice the importance society puts on gifts. Is it not a big enough gift that we are happy and healthy with a wonderful place to call home? So many have so much less... As I watch the trolley loads of gifts roll by my office window and I listen to the children screaming at their parents it saddens me that my favourite time of year seems to be losing its magical charm. I wouldn't say we are a religious family, most Sundays the three of us can be found in the back yard or down the beach but I feel it is important to educate our children that there is more to Christmas then just the gifts you find under the tree! Christmas has always seemed so magical to me because it is a day where my family come from near and far to share a meal (more then a few drinks) and celebrate. I have so many wonderful memories of my cousins, brothers and I around the table and I cherish that now our children will share those same memories. But how do we ensure they do cherish these times and not just remember unwrapping the gifts? Luke and I decided this year to purchase a wooden nativity scene on line for Audrey and we do our best to tell her the story of the Christmas Miracle. We will be attending Christmas Mass as a family and we will be giving thanks before we sit down to our beautiful Christmas meal. These things may be small but I can only hope if we start now and remind ourselves to be thankful it will rub off on our little girl...

Here are a few things I am thankful for:

* My husband, my best friend and the love of my life.
* My daughter who has stolen my heart and makes me smile each and every day.
* My family (The Fosters, Ramplings, Keanes, Ferns, Di Pietros, Bests and Goos) both near and far who love and support Luke, Audrey and I.
* My friends, new and old, this year would not have been as fun if we did not have them to share it with.
* My colleagues, most of who I consider my friends, except for the ones who let me drink way too much at the Christmas party!! I am so lucky to work with such a fantastic group of people.

Love, Elle. x x x

Ps Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.

Sunday, 18 November 2012


You may or may not have noticed I have been missing from the blog world for a while, the last few months have been action packed. There have been colds, there have been flus, there have been rashes, there have been celebrations and there have been many, many parties! Two of us have celebrated birthdays, one of us celebrated over 10 years in the police force and we raised our glasses to two years of marriage! This little family has certainly been on the go but tonight I am taking time out to say hello and update you on our little girl..

Audrey is growing and developing in leaps and bounds! She crawls, she sings, she waves and kisses goodbye, she says "mumma", "daddy",  "nanna", "hello", "ta", 'jazz" and "Audrey"! She loves to eat whatever we are and especially enjoys fish and fruit but I would have to say one of her favourite things is my grilled halloumi salad! Her personality is really starting to show, she is going to be a very funny little girl full of giggles and laughter and you can see see will enjoy all things musical. We get lots of kisses and cuddles and so do her dolls, she is a very loving and caring little girl...

Promise it wont be so long between posts next time!

Love, Elle. x x x

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Mother Of The Year.

Well, lets just say if there was a mother of the year award I would not be winning it this week! It certainly has been a week of ups and downs in The Rampling home and some days I have felt as though I was always one step behind...

This week I managed to forget to pack formula in Audrey's school bag, didn't pack myself any dry clothes for after swimming lessons, let her sleep in our bed twice, accidentally broke her favourite toy, forgot to buy formula (and only realised at bed time so had to call Luke while he was at work and ask him to bring us some), let her eat way too many baby num num biscuits and watch way too much TV and just before I sat down to write this I managed to break her new drink bottle!

Do you ever have those weeks where your confidence as a Mumma gets shaken? I know the toy picnic basket and drink bottle can easily be replaced and I have learnt to always have a back up tin of formula and double check all bags before leaving the house. But I do worry that letting us slip into bad habits such as having a cheeky sleep in our bed or letting her eat too many sweet biscuits will affect her development. Audrey isn't crawling yet but over the last few days she has started "bum scooting", saying "ta" and pulling herself up on the furniture. I do try not to over stress about her crawling as I am a firm believer that babies will achieve their milestones in their own time, but is my parenting hindering her? Most weeks her diet is perfect, she sleeps regularly and in her own bed and I am not running around like a chook with its head cut off. But every now and then things just crumble and nothing goes to plan and these are the weeks where I am left feeling like a horrible Mumma. I have often wondered am I alone in feeling this way?? I would love to hear some of your stories of "less then perfect" parenting, if for nothing else, to make me feel better about a week of bad parenting in our house!

Love, Elle.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012


Don't worry guys it is Wednesday not Sunday but I just had to share something with you all....

Lately when I give Audrey her toys or some (much loved) food I have been holding the item in front of her and saying "taaaaaaaaa" "taaaaaaaaaaaa" "taaa Audrey" and normally she just stares at me with a quizzical look. Tonight whilst enjoying our nightly ritual of a bubble bath she decided she just had to have her green frog who was bopping up and down behind me. I retrieved the floating frog and placed it in front of her "taaaaaa" "taaaaaaaaa". Audrey reached up, grabbed her frog, looked me in the eye and said the tiniest little "ta", my mouth hit the water!! Surely not?? So I found her favourite pink duck and showed it to her "taaaaaa" "taaaaaaa", Audrey reached up again and the same little "ta" was whispered out her gorgeous little mouth. I was so proud I yelled out to Luke to tell him about our polite and clever bubba.

I know it is only something small but I am just amazed and delighted by every new skill my beautiful daughter learns...

Love, Elle.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Working Nine to Five, What a Way to Make a Living.

Excuse the title of this post but whilst writing it all I could hear was Dolly Parton's "Nine to Five" in my head...

As some of you may know I have returned to work, I couldn't believe how quickly the time came for Luke and I to swap roles! I returned after having nine months off and Luke became a stay at home dad. Going back brought with it a mixture of emotions; guilt to be leaving Audrey, excitement to be seeing the great group of people I work with (well most of them), sadness that my time as a stay at home mum was over, and most of all confusion. For years my role was easily defined by a position description and business card but then came a new role for me, I became Mumma! I couldn't quite figure out how I was going to be both Elesha the career girl and Mumma. I felt I had become a completely different person at home to work and wasn't sure how to merge the two. As a worker I was goal driven, hard and often hot headed. As Mumma I am a complete softy, I enjoy craft and mess and the only goal I set for myself most days is to get out of my pj's by 10am...

It took me a little while but I soon realised I had nothing to worry about, I could be both Elesha and Mumma and better yet my softness from mumma-hood rubbed off on my attitude at work and some of my organisation worked its way into our home life. I settled into work doing the basic teller duties three days a week, I enjoyed having some "Elesha" time and my mind felt like it was starting to come out of its 9 month hibernation. Then a few weeks in, an opportunity presented itself. My regional manager called to see if I would be interested in a role in our lending department. It is a role I have always enjoyed and found interesting but could I really take on the added responsibility and the additional day? Could I leave Audrey in the care of someone else for another day? Would I remember how to do the job considering I hadn't been in the role for over a year? So many questions floated around my head but I knew the real reason I was feeling uneasy... I actually really wanted the job but I felt guilty, shouldn't I want to be at work less not more?? After talking with Luke I soon realised there is nothing wrong with wanting to achieve at work, I could still have a career and be a great Mumma. I accepted the job and i am happy to report after my first week in my new role I am a little tired (that extra day was a killer) but feel great about my decision.

Love, Elle.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Ten Things...

I have been Mumma to Audrey for nine months now and this is a list of my top ten MUST haves for making life a little easier....

1. A Good Camera - to capture all those special moments, especially having family far away.

2. Muslin Wraps - as a new born they are great for the obvious as they have a natural "stretch" but now if we are out and Audrey falls asleep they are the perfect, light cover for her pram.

3. A Dryer - I know its horrible for the environment and our electricity bill but it has saved our life on many occasion when I have forgotten to wash uniforms and only remembered at 11pm the night before!

4. Nappi San - for all those 'accidents' and food mishaps.

5. An Emergency Stash of Dummies (or chu chu's as they are called in our house) - Audrey is a dummy girl and I have decided they are like socks, they just disappear..

6. The Bumbo Chair - from an early age Audrey wanted to sit up (probably due to her projectile reflux) and not only was our bumbo used at feeding times but it also encouraged her to learn to sit unassisted. Plus it is easy to chuck in the car and travel with.

7. A Magic Bullet - we did have a steam and blend machine but I have found the magic bullet is actually better as you can change the consistency of their veges etc as they grow older (not to mention they take up a lot less room in the kitchen).

8. A Comfy Feeding Chair - we spent a lot of time in our feeding chair (especially at night when she was a newborn) and our big, comfy chair provided the perfect space for cuddling and bonding time while feeding.

9. A Spare Bib - Audrey is a puker so one bib is never enough!

And most importantly...

10. A "Take Each Day As It Comes" Attitude - cause you just never know what you are going to get!

Love, Elle.

Sunday, 15 July 2012


Trying To Conceive... Three little words that can strike fear in the heart of any couple. Did you know that 1 in 10 Australian couples will have trouble getting pregnant despite 12 months of trying? How about the fact that a healthy 30 year old woman, whose partner is also healthy, has about a 20% chance of conceiving during any given month? It seems for some the process of falling pregnant is simple while for others it can be a long and emotional journey. I always thought I would be in the later group....

I have suffered with endometriosis, ovarian cysts and dysmenorrhea for as long as I can remember and was told by numerous physicians that the road to being a mumma was going to be a long one. Luke and I knew we wanted little Rampling's but had decided we would travel before starting a family. On a regular check up with my GP the topic of family came up and I was told due to my age and "issues" we should start trying soon or accept we may not have children. I remember leaving the appointment filled with overwhelming guilt that I was the reason we were going to have to reassess our plans, scared I wouldn't be able to fall pregnant and angry that my body might not work the way it should. Fast forward a few months and imagine our surprise when we fell after our first month of trying! I remember the morning I discovered I was pregnant like it was yesterday. Luke and I had been at Bunnings the day before and I was so nauseous I nearly vomited my mandatory Bunnings sausage sizzle all over the paint desk (surely I couldn't be pregnant). I did the test first thing the next morning but I was so sure I wouldn't be pregnant I actually forgot to check it. It wasn't till I went to throw it in the bin before going to work that I saw it, the double line!!! No, surely not, it must be a mistake. I proceeded to take three more tests all of which show the same impossible result... Positive! I still didn't believe I was pregnant until we were in my GPs office with the results of my blood test, and to say the three of us were in shock is an understatement! Instantly all the guilt, fear and anger that I had felt the last time I was sitting in that chair was replaced with pure joy and excitement.

I would love to hear your story.... How long were you trying before you to fell pregnant? Did you need assistance? How did you feel when you found out you were expecting?

Love, Elle.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

One Of Those Mornings...

I did have a different topic in mind to talk about today but something happened this morning and it got me thinking. I hope I am not alone when I tell you about our morning, I am picturing all the organised mummas shaking their head "tisk tisk" as I write this.

So this morning Audrey and I had planned to meet our dear friend for a coffee, something I had been looking forward to for weeks. Tash is one of those friends you can spend five minutes or five hours with and the catch up never seems long enough. We can talk of life, love, food, wine and bounce ideas of the world off one another. Anyway, when you have a child, getting out the door changes from pottering about the house listening to music to total chaos. And our morning went a little something like this....

Audrey woke up late (not that I am complaining), but that meant she had her morning nap late which put us behind. I text Tash "Can we make it 11am not 10.30am?". As I dress her I reach for a white all-in-one to put under her outfit and remember I forgot to hang them on the line, they are still in the washing machine from yesterday afternoon. I make do and grab a 00 praying I can squeeze her ever growing body into it. Success!! Now where are her gold shoes, I know she wore them on Wednesday but where are they? I finish dressing her and feed her some veges before having a shower (which I should have done while she was having a nap but I opted to have a cheeky little kip myself). As I run around trying to get myself ready I realise I haven't used the baby bag in a while (cr@p)! Nappies - check. Wipes - check. Nappy bags - check. Chu chu - check. Bibs - check. Snacks - check. Change of clothes - check. Extra jumper - check. Toys - check. Bottle (mmmm when did she last have a bottle?) throw one in just in case - check. I proceed to get ready and go to put my fave new t-shirt on only to find a spew stain on the sleeve, how did that get there? No worries, I grab my back up but it needs to be ironed. We manage to get out the door and as I turn to lock it I see my house resembles the local tip, meh I'll deal with it when we get back. We make our way down to Shellharbour, the day is beautiful so I open the windows and pump a bit of Triple J, I turn to see Audrey smiling in the back and the chaos of the morning is forgotten. As I am getting out of the car I pop the boot and go to get the pram, where is the pram?? I can picture it sitting in our living room, oh well looks like Audrey will be sitting on my lap!

Please tell me you all have days like these? I wish I was one of those mummas whose house was perfect and everything in its place. I wish my clothes were always ironed and ready to go, I wish I had the mind to pre-pack bags and get things ready the night before. I really wish I remembered necessary items like a pram, but then I guess life wouldn't be as fun....

Love,  Elle.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Slow Down Mumma...

Something for all us Mummas to think about:

slow down mummy, there is no need to rush,
slow down mummy, what is all the fuss?
slow down mummy, make yourself a cup tea.
slow down mummy, come spend some time with me.
slow down mummy, let’s pull boots on for a walk,
let’s kick at piles of leaves, and smile and laugh and talk.
slow down mummy, you look ever so tired,
come sit and snuggle under the duvet, and rest with me a while.
slow down mummy, those dirty dishes can wait,
slow down mummy, let’s have some fun - bake a cake!
slow down mummy, I know you work a lot,
but sometimes mummy, it’s nice when you just stop.
sit with us a minute,
and listen to our day,
spend a cherished moment,
because our childhood won’t stay!

-R. Knight

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Birth Choices?

Audrey May Rampling was born at 3.57am on Saturday 5th November 2011. My labour was, in my mind, perfect. My waters broke while in hospital just after midnight and before my husband could arrive from our house 20 minutes away I was already in established labour. My midwife, who had been with us on our journey for the last nine months, knew of my hopes for a natural water birth and quickly prepared the bath. The room was dim, there was soothing music in the background and for the most of it, it was just Luke and I. When it was time a mere four pushes later my beautiful daughter was in my arms. I know I am lucky, I had the birth most women dream of and I am forever thankful.

I guess my question is why was I so blessed? Why did I get to experience the labour I 'chose' while others are not so lucky? When you are pregnant regardless of your decision to go with an obstretician, midwife or shared care you are asked about your birth plan. It is discussed at length on more than one appointment. Would you like pain relief? Who would you like to be in the room with you? Will you labour at home and at what stage would you like to make your way to hospital? Will you elect to have a scheduled caesarian??? But what if you don't get a say? After talking to many mothers after the birth of my daughter I started to think, when it comes to labour do we really have a choice or has it already been made for us? A dear (and very brave) friend of mine once described her birthing experience as writing her birth plan then someone getting it confused and thinking it was everything she didn't want. Another friend described her labour as the most horrific experience of her life. Both of these women love their children and are amazing mothers but what made their experience so different to mine? As mentioned in a previous post I am a planner and my labour was no different. I pictured my waters breaking, the excited drive to hospital, getting into my 'birthing clothes' and using all the techniques I had learnt to work with my body and deliver my baby naturally. Now apart from the birthing outfit that was thrown into a corner 15 minutes in, the rest was pretty much as I imagined and to be honest I don't know how I would have coped had it not.

So my advice to anyone who is pregnant... Know what you are comfortable with, talk to your partner about it and express this to your carer but try not to 'expect' or over plan. However your baby comes into this world one thing can almost be guaranteed, the second they are placed in your arms it all disappears and all that matters is the little person who has just joined your family.

Love, Elle.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

In a Tizzie....

One of the first things I did after my husband and I decided we were going to start trying for a baby was go to my nearest book shop and stock up on maternity and baby books. I am fairly sure I bought every book that had baby written somewhere on the front page! I could not wait to learn all about what was going to happen as this amazing life grew within me. So I read and I read and I googled and I studied and I was so happy and confident that I was fully equipped for our journey. I worked out it should go a little something like this...

We would try for a few months (or possibly longer given my reproductive history), I would fall pregnant, I would be tired and suffer morning sickness for the first 12 weeks and then I would get my mummy glow until I hit my last trimester where I would nest. My baby would be born hopefully via natural delivery, I could expect baby blues around day 2 or 3, once home we would settle into a routine with designated sleep, feeding and "mumma time" which would mean everything else should just fall into place...

Mmmmmmmmm, not exactly.

I fell pregnant after our first month of trying. Morning sickness? Try all day sickness for a solid 39 weeks! If there was a glow I certainly did not feel it nor did I see it. I suffered two burst ovarian cysts and high blood pressure. I didn't nest I just got frustrated that my hubby wasn't 'nesting' for me. My baby was born in the most amazing, natural, water birth and instantly the my entire heart embraced her. The baby blues came but unfortunately they never left me (more to come in a later post) and I found not only was there no "mumma time" there was no sleep or feed time either!! Where did I go wrong?? I had read everything, I had planned, I had even made notes. I was constantly running to my books and internet to find a solution for my daughters needs but everything they said to try failed. Most days consisted of tears from both Audrey and I and I couldn't manage to get out of my pj's let alone go to the coffee shop for the outing I had planned! My house was a mess and there was nothing I could find in any of my books to help me...

Then one day amongst the mess and the tears (whilst in my pj's) something clicked. I put down my books, I closed my laptop and for the first time since my daughter was born I took a BIG deep breath. In that moment things started to become a little clearer and I did something that wasn't written in any of my books or on any of the forums I had found online... I decided to just believe in myself and in my ability as a mother. I listened to my daughter, I watched her, I started to learn her cues and after a bit of trial and error she slept and she fed! My house became cleaner, I was out of my pj's before lunch and we ventured out of the house. I began to realise sometimes there is nothing she needs but a good old fashion cuddle...

Don't get me wrong I know of so many people who have had great success with these books and online forums, they just didn't work for my family. As for my books they are still around, they are a wealth of knowledge for first time mums if you want to know what to dress bub in on a hot night or what their temp should be. There are still sleepless nights, some days the dishes are left in the sink and I am still in my pj's when Luke gets home from work but the difference in it all is that I am relaxed and not "looking for answers". I spend my days enjoying my time with my beautiful daughter and not stressing about it.

Love, Elle.