May 27, 2016

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Building Memories

Over the weekend, it rained and then it rained some more. New Zealand can be tough in winter and we're not winning awards for indoor entertainment.

But, there is no shortage of beaches here; black sand, white sand, big swell, tide pools, caves - you name, we've got diversity in our coastline and I was desperate for some fresh air, space and salt so off to the beach we went.

We headed to the rugged west coast, Bethells Beach is about an hour West of Auckland but feels like I've been transported to another universe. On this day it was windy and the black fine sand danced along the vast, empty landscape. My boys decided to race ahead and it got me thinking about the memories we build for ourselves and for generations to come.

Webster dictionary defines memorial as, 'something designed to preserve the memory of a person...'. For me, pictures are a key memory holder and lately they bring up lots of questions, particularly from my eldest son. With all the channels and collection of images, I wonder how they will be used in the future to tell our stories?

Over the past year, I've put together rough scrapbooks which will never be Pinterest worthy but I hope will serve as memory boxes for my children. I wonder where they will be in 20 years? So much change in the world today but also yearning for the way things used to be.

Have a thoughtful Memorial weekend.

September 28, 2015

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Where the Magic Happens

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
-Neale Donald Walsch

For me, the ultimate comfort is My-T-Fine pudding, a tradition that spans my earliest memories. And now, every year I bring that tradition back to our home in New Zealand so that my children can also enjoy this delicious treat.  

But if chocolate pudding is an analogy to my life's comfort, what does that say about my world?  It is complex, for sure. Well over a decade ago, my husband (then partner) and I opted for a journey that included non-traditional choices, such as living overseas many thousands of miles away from our support structures. Each year we make the trek back to the States to spend time with our much missed loved ones. We frolic in the attention and energy that comes with a large family and network of friends. 

The logistics of living out of suitcases, sleeping in guest rooms and sterile hotels can wreak havoc on sleep schedules which is why always get a tinge of worry about whether we will feel rested while travelling. I'm not sure if it's the constant emotional and physical stimuli, but I always seem to achieve deep sleep because I awake feeling rested and alive. The same goes for my boys, (times 10) which is also why I need a cold pressed coffee in the AM so I can rev up to their speed. 

Now we are back in the sanctuary and solitude of New Zealand, a very different vibe to America. I love it here too, but I can't help missing my creature comforts from a former life.  Until next time.

Julie

 
August 24, 2015

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Blame it on sleep deprivation

At first I thought I was reading The Onion but oh no, it's a real study that concluded having a baby is the equivalent of walking around with a black cloud hanging over your head.  Like even worse than divorce, losing a job, the death of a spouse, wait what???  

This can't be true.  

But it is. Check it out: 
Blame It on Lack of Sleep Study

A few things to point out; the study only looked at first-time parents aka those that have fantasized about how perfect their child will be. How baby will effortlessly latch on to your breast, sleep for 3 hours at a time and progress to 6-8 hour stretches by 12 months. How baby will sleep in a front back during shopping, and you will nap when baby naps.  

Another observation, researchers followed parents for up to two years after their first child’s birth. During those first two years baby is going through a series of monumental developmental milestones that are often disruptive to any semblance of order. Of course, this can be a frustrating time for new parents.

And when baby arrives, life can be difficult.  At times parenting may feel like a ton of brick sitting on your chest because baby only falls asleep in your arms, and you're afraid to put baby down, afraid to move a muscle because you need this child to sleep. 

Sleep deprivation, self-doubt, the immense responsibility of parenthood can be a massive challenge but, these findings are overdramatic and lack perspective.  Our advice, try and get some rest when you can, if you can, maybe even get your baby a Hushamok.

July 22, 2015

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The Pressures of Modern Parenting

Like it or not, we are venturing into an unknown parental territory. Even more daunting is modern parenting, an age where we work for our kids. We all modern parent in varying degrees thanks to child labor laws that now make it illegal for our kids to work for us.  And with modern parenting comes a high-value investment that may include a pricey education, extracurricular activities, cultural enrichment, the list goes on and on. And if you ask parents whey they investment so much, both financially and emotionally into their children, without exception, parents agree that they want their kids to be happy.  It's all any parent wants;  happiness for themselves but especially for their children.  

I just listened (again) to this fantastic TedTalk on NPR  http://www.npr.org/player/embed/418904241/419151300  exploring the ideas of why we are the way we are. The Podcast got me thinking about how will I try and enrich my children with experiences that will help them develop into creative, confident and loving individuals. And yes, while I still want them to be happy, I think happiness is a by-product and not the actual goal.

Parenting, in whatever form is hard work. Parenting today is a never-ending emotional journey on top of buckets of hard work. So far, I think I'm enjoying the ride.

Julie 

 

 

 

June 09, 2015

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Spring Forward: Sanity-saving tips for Daylight Savings Time

Spring has arrived and with a new season comes the sweet act of turning your clock ahead one hour. This can wreak havoc on a newborn’s schedule so we wanted to offer a few tips that can make this chore a whole lot easier for the entire family.

Ease on in. Try to prevent problems before they start by putting baby to sleep 10 minutes earlier each night for a week before the clock moves. This incremental change can help make the transition smoother.

 A darkened room can work miracles to create a night time environment even when it’s sunny and light outside. Blackout blinds or heavy curtains can work wonders to help those wee ones who take issue with sleep when it’s still light outside.

And although it may seem logical we don’t recommend keeping your baby up longer than usual in the afternoon in a bid to get him to bed earlier - overtired babies usually struggle to get to sleep so you may just find that you have a cranky baby on your hands who falls asleep later than he would normally. Exactly what you don't want!

May 28, 2015

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SOS: Tired of Advice, send Sleep.

 

"People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one."  - Leo J. Burke

We love this quote.  For all the advice, some unsolicited, the tips, top 10 lists that instruct you to 'do this or don't do that, frankly, it's exhausting.  Navigating the terrain of so-called 'expert sleep advice' we find on bookshelves, the web and spoken words from medical professionals, family and friends, just thinking about it makes me tired.

And in Hushamok land, where the fairies live, we are also reminded of the fragility of parenthood with desperate pleas from new parents seeking answers. We are reminded that just as no two snowflakes are alike, the same applies to babies. What we do know is that a parent's intuition is the most magical tool in your kit and you should lean on it and use it to understand not just what baby needs but consider the needs of the whole family (yes, you too).

Be educated, informed and safe but also be willing to trust yourself. Also, know that time passes quickly and as it often happens in life, just when you think you understand, the rug gets pulled out underneath your feet again. But know it's ok and we're always here if you need us.

 

April 27, 2015

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A BIG Celebration

Yes!

Spring has finally arrived and with that comes an exciting calendar of events including our absolute F-A-V-O-R-I-T-E, Mother's Day!

What we know is babies and families alike love Hushamok for all the natural benefits it offers newborns. Whether it's the motion that helps babies sleep longer or the natural and unique design we at Hushamok want to offer your family a very special gift this season.

This Mother's Day we are offering one family the opportunity to enjoy Hushamok by gifting a package worth $750 that includes our Hushamok Hammock, Okoa Stand, Sheets, Mattress and Storage Bag.  To enter click here: http://hushamok.com/pages/be-in-to-win-a-hushamok-okoa-baby-bassinet-this-april

Happy Spring and enjoy the sunshine.  

April 07, 2015

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Spring...A Gift Just for You.

Spring has arrived, finally.  It's been a very long hibernation and thankfully flowers are blooming and the fresh air is bountiful.

Spring is seen as a time of growth, renewal of new life for both plants and humans being born.  To celebrate its arrival, Hushamok is announcing a fantastic new giveaway. Details can be found here http://hushamok.com/pages/be-in-to-win-a-hushamok-okoa-baby-bassinet-this-april

And with Spring there is love, so we leave you with this little poem -

"sweet spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love"

E.E. Cummings

March 18, 2015

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What Mothers Say...And Dads Too!

It feels good to know where you stand.  Feedback makes us better at what we do which is why we love it when Hushamok Parents share their experience.
We always encourage users to share their stories so that we can understand how Hushamok works for families, so whether through pictures or words we love it when you share.

 

 Have a peek at our newly launched tab on Hushamok.com entitled 'Reviews'.  We hope this creates a sense of community and provides you with helpful and insightful information. 

And if you want to share your own Hushamok experience feel free to post on our FB page or direclty on Hushamok.com

Thanks for sharing! X

February 03, 2015

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The Results Are In! A Roundup of the Most Useful & Useless Baby Items

When you have 5 seconds to spare, don't you just love a little Buzzfeed for yourself?

Well, we spotted this very cool list on Buzzfeed Life where 1300 parents took part in a poll about their baby items; those that are necessities and those that belong on the clearance shelf.

We at Hushamok endorse this list and do not think you need to spend money OR time on the Baby Care Timer App...

OR a Pee-Pee-Teepee (self-explanatory)...

What we loved about this 130,000 participant poll is that parents named the baby carrier and the baby swing as the most useful items.  And you know how we feel about being close to your baby and how much they love motion.  So it's probably no surprise that we stand behind this poll and Buzzfeed!

Follow the Buzzfeed article here.