Monday, 10 December 2012

There ain't no party like a Birthday Party!

Sophia turned 1!! Can you believe it? I can't! (I am sure seeing as you don't know her you won't find it an overly shocking revelation!). I had so much fun (as well as stress) planning it! I was going to do a huge blog post on it, but I realised that I didn't photograph a lot of the food or anything like that! 

Her party was the day after her actual birthday (which we spent at the zoo) and we held it somewhere other than our home because it was not big enough. I was planning to go all out with this party because I knew Sophia I would love it. Lets face it, the first birthday is not really about the child. Sure they get the gifts and the cute outfit, but the glory is all ours! We are   celebrating her birthday  basking in the glory we made it through the first year with no major injuries! 

I decided to loosely base her birthday around a rainbow theme and went from there, I did not capture many pictures but here are some ones we did manage to snap!
The Birthday Girl!
Blowing out the candle

The awesome cake (if I do say so myself)
Happy after dad let me try some frosting!

Fun with the bubbles

Baby race! I made Sophia a rainbow tutu and all her wee
 friends one to match! But only Sophia had the hairband!

Throwing balloons about!

Such fun!

PLaying with my friend Addison

Yummy party food!

Party is over, giving my friends their goody bags!
We had such a fun time, I wish we had taken more pictured of her party food and decorations but we were far too busy having fun!

What is your best birthday memory?
Do you have any fun traditions?

Let me know if you want to see a post about our day out on her actual birthday!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Baby Name Tag!

This is originally a video tag, but as I don't have the face for videos I am going to do it here on my blog! This tag was created by ObbsandLala and you can check out her video here. I am in no way pregnant but I love thinking about names and baby names! 

Here are the questions and my answer to the questions:

1.List your favourite and least favourite names from the SSA 2011  Baby Name List. (Why you like or dislike them and would you use a nickname)

Ok, well for a girl my favourite is fairly obvious. Sophia is my daughters name so that is my favourite girls name (but it is not quite as popular over here in New Zealand). My favourite boys name, I think out of that selection it would have to be William or Noah, they are probably tied. I once would have said Alexander but for some reason (not really sure why) I am not as fond of this name any more. The nicknames for those two would be, Loaf or Lulu for Sophia (which is what we call my daughter, long long story but that is what has stuck!) and Willie for William. 

Right, dislikes. Now if you have any of these names then I am sorry if I pick yours, I don't really dislike any of these but I have to pick one. For the girls it would have to be Emma. It is just a bit plain Jane, run of the mill stock standard name for me. I don't really have anything against the name but just not my favourite! Boys boys boys, I would probably have to pick Jayden. I am not sure why, I think its because it sounds harsh when you say it and doesn't run of the tongue well. It also really doesn't go with my last name! 

2.If you had twins what would you name them? (G/G, B/B, B/G)

Ooo this is hard. Really hard. I am going to TRY to come up with different names every time. Two girls, I really like the name Rose, so on that note I think I would pair that with Poppy, both flower names which I think is cute, but they are different enough from each other. Two boys, I ALWAYS have trouble with boys names, I am not a fan of starting with the same letter so will steer clear of that! I think I like Samuel and Lucas. Finally a boy name combination, Joshua and Emily. I think you can tell that I quite like traditional names! 

3. If you could change your name to anything what would it be?

It would be Sam, not Samantha, Sam. This is what my mum wanted to call me, after her own father who sadly passed away before any of us got to meet him. My father and grandmother both put their foot down and said it was not appropriate. I would love to have that name, the one that meant so much to my mother. 

4. You have 4 children. Any Gender. Their first names have to all start with the same letter. What would their names be? 

Well I already have Sophia so I will keep going along that line. Sophia, Sadie, Samuel, Sonny. 

5. Favourite animal inspired name.

My Friend named his son Drake, I quite like that. 

6. Favourite colour inspired name. 

Mauve, I love that name! 

7. Top three boy names.

Thomas, Isaac and Max.

8. Top three girls names. 

Sophia, Olive and Madeline.

9. Favourite Celebrity baby names. 

I really like the name Sadie or Hattie. If I had to choose a boy, maybe Flynn? I always find boys names so much harder to choose! 

10. Ultimate guilty pleasure name. 

Oooo this is hard. Being such a traditional girl it would probably be Sadie, I love that name but I don't think I would ever use it! 

11. Most hated baby names. 

I think ones that I consider made up, or too different. I am a traditional girl. I also really hate weird spelling, my cousin called her child Wryan (Ryan) and I just think the W is unnecessary, but each to their own.

12. Choose a name based on food/drink.

A girl, Olive. I adore that name and I wanted to call Sophia that. 
A boy, Barlett. Which is a type of pear and I don't think sounds like food at all!

13. Choose a baby name based on a month. 

I think that I would call a girl April. I kinda like that. 

14. Choose a baby name from Twilight. 

Oh dear, I have never read these books or watched the movies (well not sober, I watched it when I was drunk one time but only the first one.) I think I will need to consult google for this one. 

Ok, there was a Charlotte, which we were considering for Sopiha, with the nickname Charlie (which also happens to be in the book *bonus points*). For a boy there is Harry, I like the name Harrison, so I guess I could use that as a nickname! I think I may be the only female ever that has not read twilight! 

15. Choose a baby name that is already in your family. 

Easy, Olive was my Great Aunts name and for a boy, Liam, which is a cousin-in-law? Do you even say that?!?

Ok that tag took FOREVER to type out and think of! I love so many baby names and I bet that I will think of many names once I have published it to the world! Those are just some of the names that I love, hard to pick just one or two sometimes! 

I would love if you did this tag, either on youtube or on your blog. 
If you do, please put it down below so I can have a looksy!
Or if you can't be bothered with that, just comment below with your favourite girl and boy names! 

p.s If you like what you read, maybe you could follow my blog? I try to write about twice a week.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Fitness fakeout!

Ok, according to my BMI I am obese. I am not going to sit here and pretend like that is shocking, I do have a little a lot of extra junk in my trunk, and you know what I would love to blame it on having a baby, but the truth is I did not put on ANY weight with my pregnancy, not one kilo or measly pound. I stayed exactly as I was before I had baby. Although I will not stop people from assuming that it was due to having a baby, assume away people! 

I would love to lose weight, but I have two problems. 1, I hate working out. 2, I love food, I love good food and bad food. All food is good to me. So you can see my dilemma  Although one evening while you tubing I thought I would look up easy home work outs. Now I am not going to tell you I do these every day because that would be lying. However, if I eat that last chocolate biscuit and feel guilty this is what I do to ease my guilt. 

Firstly when my podgy tummy is getting the better of my I do this quick but what seems effective (makes my abs hurt a little) workout. It is 5 minutes and it relieves a little bit of guilt or makes me think that I will be a Slim Jim by tomorrow. 

If I am feeling extra enthusiastic then I add in a little cardio, and by a little I mean a little! I think this video only ends up being about 6 minutes, just enough to get my heart rate up but to probably not be overly effective. It makes me feel better and my theory is that any exercise is better than none right? 

It totals to being less than 15 minutes workout, and less than 20 minutes video all up! For a lazy exerciser busy mother like myself it is perfect. I try to do them as often as I can, and I can just watch them whenever I feel the urge. So that is my fake-out workout, although it does get my heart pumping so its better than nothing right?

What do you do to workout?
Comment below if you are a fitness bunny or a fitness fakeout like me!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Got Milk?

Disclaimer: What I am going to talk about it a very sensitive subject for people. This post is about my personal experiences, my thoughts and my opinions. What I do may not work for anyone else. I am in no way judging the choices you make. 

Before I had Sophia, I was thinking I would probably breastfeed. I was not adamant,  I knew it was something I wanted to do, but I also didn't want too much pressure put on me after she was born. I had told all my friends and family that asked "I plan to breastfeed but if it isn't working out for us then I am not worried if she has to be on formula."

That statement is only partly true. I really did want to breastfeed and did not want to use formula. I knew that breast milk was best for my baby (not to mention free, and I love a bargain!). However, I did not want to be at home at 2 O'clock in the morning, Sophia and I both crying and being miserable because I had put all this pressure on myself. Even though I was willing to entertain the idea of using formula I did not buy any bottles or formula 'just in case'. I thought it would be too tempting to give up that way.

After Sophia was born she latched right away. I was ecstatic  This breastfeeding thing was going to be a breeze! Right? Wrong. In the hospital it was fine, I had midwives that came at the touch of a buzzer to help Sophia latch. I had meals bought to me and nothing else to focus on except my baby. My milk came in a couple of days into my hospital stay (I think the Friday, and Sophia was born on the Wednesday) and that is when the trouble started. It turns out I am a really good cow. Like too good. My breasts we HUGE! Like woah mama they are giant knockers and if I jump I might give myself a black eye big! Not only that, they were rock hard and Sophia started having trouble latching.

I had to express a little off before every feed and because she was trying really hard to latch but was having difficulty I got cracked nipples (and that REALLY hurts!). But I carried on, the hospital where Sophia was born really pushes breastfeeding and is very reluctant to give formula, they even make you sign a piece of paper stating that they tried to help you breastfeed and you still chose to use formula!

I carried on breastfeeding though, and I was pretty determined to carry on a home as well, the hospital gave me nipple shield to use while my cracked nipple healed and that was a godsend. I am not sure I could have just fed through the pain like some brave mamas do! Also before I went home the midwife hooked me up to an electric pump (and yes, I felt like a cow) to help relieve some of the pressure. I am not sure how successful this was, after I was done I had nearly 200ml of expressed milk (which is a lot for someone whose milk has just come in) and my breasts had not softened one bit!

At home it got a little worse, I had great trouble latching Sophia and also had overly helpful mothers and mother-in-laws asking if I needed some help, all I wanted was peace and quiet to concentrate on what I had to do. People checking on me just distracted myself and Sophia and we had to start all over again. To be honest sometimes when I heard them coming I would put Sophia close to my breast and pretended like she was already latched so I would be left alone. 

Although it was hard at first, I feel like breastfeeding came pretty naturally to Sophia and it was me that had to learn about it. She was such a good baby, if she wasn't latched properly she would stop sucking and wait for me to realise and re-latch her. It probably took a week before we both had it down pat and my nipple was on its way to being healed. After that we had pretty much smooth sailing. 

We are still breastfeeding today, and Sophia is a year in just 10 short days! I am not sure how much longer my breastfeeding with last, I am not sure I am ready to give it up and 'lose' my baby. I actually really enjoy breastfeeding most of the time, and I know it has lots of nutrients that she needs and that she really enjoys it too, it is great when we are out and about, I can feed her and I don't have to worry about taking bottles and formula. 

I know feeding has become a real comfort thing for Sophia now, and although I am introducing cows milk after her birthday I am worried about how I am going to get her to give up nursing. Although I am not wanting her to give up instantly, I am starting to feel like I want my body back. I have a breast pump but I can count on one hand the amount of times I have used it. I am always there when Sophia needs a feed, or I am not far away. Nick and I have not had a proper night out since she was born (but that is partly due to not having family where we live and me being an over protective mother).

My top tips? Don't put too much pressure on yourself. Ask for help (from professionals). Allow friends and family to help out round the house so you can focus on you and baby. If they get sore, get them out in the sun, sunshine, lanolin cream and your own breast milk really helps heal any ouchies. If it really isn't working after a week go get your baby checked for a tongue tie (a piece of skin under the tongue that can prevent them from latching properly). 

So that is my breastfeeding story so far, its not over, and I am not sure when it will be. 
What was your experience? I would love to hear it, comment below!

P.S I hate posts without pictures but I was unsure I had any appropriate ones that related to the topic!

Monday, 19 November 2012

TAG: $200 Santa Wish list

Sam Schuerman did a blog post about what you would wish for if you had $200 for Christmas. I already know, and I have already been onto my partner about getting it for me. I want this bad boy here:

Oooo Camera sexiness!

Now I have a camera. But it is TERRIBLE. Well that is a lie, it is kinda cool. It is blue, that's nice. It is waterproof which is a really cool feature, but I have no need to take it underwater... It just doesn't take very nice everyday photos. Nick has an amazing DSLR camera, however, I am soo hopeless with it. I just want a snazzy point and shoot that is easy for me to handle. 

My old point and shoot was a Sony and it was AMAZING! I had it for years, it went around the world twice, took some breathtaking photos and then one night out it met a watery grave... the toilet in fact. NO, I was NOT taking a photo, I was in a bar and didn't want to put my bag on the floor and there was shelf behind the toilet but my bag wasn't steady, my bag fell over, and my camera fell in. Gross? Yes! But I had flushed and the barkeep kindly gave me a ziplock bag so no further contamination, just a few (wine assisted) tears!

Technically I am cheating at this tag. Twice. The limit is $200, but the tag I saw was by someone in the US, so I thought 'Well that means I can spend 200 US dollars right?' Fair enough, so I went over to the Sony website to find my baby I have been salivating over. Its $229.99. I am just going to assume that somewhere else has it cheaper or will do before Christmas. 

So Santa, I have been extra good this year. I hope I am on your nice list!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

To crunch or not to crunch... the tale of the soggy cracker.

I would love to be a crunchy mama. I would love to follow all that is crunchy and be the most crunchilicious mama out there. I am not. I am more like an old cracker that got left in the bottom of the packet, there is still a little crunch there but it is nothing like the other crackers. I am OK with being that cracker. I do not feel the need to be overly crunchy. I like my crunch, even if it is a little soggy.

Right, if you don't know what a "Crunchy" mama is then read this is what Urban Dictionary defines it as a

Mother who supports homebirth, breastfeeding,babywearing,
cloth diapering, co-sleeping, gentle discipline, etc. 
One who questions medical authroity; tends to me vegetariean
 and/or prepares all-organic foods.

I think that pigeon holes the "Crunchy Movement" (if you want to call it that?) too much. I think it is about parents who follow their instinct and try to do the best by their children using the most gentle and natural way possible. 

I do some things with 'crunch'. I use cloth nappys (or diapers to you lovely Americans), I try to only feed my girl healthy fruit and veges and no processed foods. I  baby wear (the Ergo is my carrier of choice, but I LOVED the Moby until Sophia was about 4-5 months old). I kind of co-sleep, Sophias cot is in our bedroom and she starts the night in her own bed, and I try to settle her and put her back in there whenever she wakes, but more often than not she will spend half the night in with us. I am still breastfeeding and she is almost a year old, I am going to introduce other milks after her first birthday but I am not sure when I will wean her from the breast. I try to use all natural things on her skin, and I am a gentle parent and I try to never raise my voice or be harsh towards her. 

Now here is where my crunch gets a little stale. I don't buy organic food. In New Zealand organic is expensive! We are a single income household and if I want to continue to stay home with Sophia then I have to make some sacrifices. Organic food is one, I know that many people would not compromise that, but it is just too expensive for our limited budget! We buy plastic toys! I use disposable nappys overnight and also a lot of the time while we are out! I use a pram (stroller), a lot, Sophia likes it and it works for us. I have vaccinated Sophia and will vaccinate all my other children. I know this is a HIGHLY debated topic, now it is not that I am trying to start a debate. I am doing what I think is right for MY child and am in no way judging what people this is right for their child. Every family is different! 

These are just a few wee things. I am proud of the mother I am. I think I am a great mother, and I do what works for me and Sophia. She is loved and happy. I am not someone who thinks about the environment all the time but I like to try and do my bit. I like to be natural, and not eat too many processed foods, however I am not a health nut. I bake brownie. Regularly. (I may also eat half the pan... regularly). I just know that my baby is happy and healthy. Everyday I see her learn and grow, it is then I know that I am O.K. with being that soggy forgotten about cracker.

What kind of mama are you? 
What makes you proud to be the mama you are?

Friday, 2 November 2012

What we did for Halloween!

I wanted to do something small for Halloween as a part of my bucket list. I guess I achieved it, as it was super small! We had a fun day though!

Where I live Halloween is not a big deal. In fact it is almost non 
existent. All the 'young'ns' use it as an excuse for a party and to drink but the general public doesn't get overly into it. When I was a kid I went trick or treating with a friend. We were literally the ONLY children out trick or treating, in fact so many people were not prepared that we got more cash than candy!

For my bucket list I said I wanted to do something really small for Halloween. It turned out that Halloween was such a beautiful day (it is spring here) that we spent the day with my neighbour. She had her paddling pool out for her daughter and the kids just played in the water and ran around (well Sophia crawled) nudie for the afternoon. I do have pictures of that but I am sure you can understand why they are not being put on the internet. So really the most scary thing about our Halloween was the chance of sunburn (not really though because we used sunscreen!).

I didn't put Sophia in a costume as such, however we did give out candy to the 3 or 4 groups of children that came to our door. I did make Sophia wear these for most of the day though!

I tried to teach her to say RAAAH when I opened the door but she was not having a bar of it. I know compared to Americans that this will look a little lame! However, at least Sophia was happy to keep those ears on for most of the day!

What did you do for Halloween?
Comment or leave a link to your blog post below..

Spookiness and Sunshine

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Overdosing on Love

CAUTION CAUTION CAUTION: This post is a little mushy, I have been thinking a lot about being a mother lately, and this has got me all emotional over the fact, so I have poured my wee heart out xx

Are you a mother? Or a father for that matter? 

Before I became a mother I never really understood the whole parental love. I thought I did. Oh I really thought I knew what unconditional love was and just how much love I had to give. Then I had Sophia. Now don't get me wrong, I was not one of those instantly 'head over heals' in love with my baby people. It took time for me. Sure, I loved her from the beginning, but I feel like that my love has grown beyond what I ever imagined I was capable of.

If you are a parent, then you know. They smile - you melt. They laugh - you melt. They cry - your heart breaks for them. They fart - you think its cute. They say 'mum' (or dad) - your heart overfills and starts filling you with love from your toes (it needs to start here because there is sooo much love coming your way).

Recently Sophia has become so interactive and I just know she loves me as much as I love her. She has started crawling over and putting her wee arms up when she wants up. She randomly gives me cuddles and kisses when sitting on my knee. And one of my favourite ones, is when we sing the Barney song.. 

I love you, You love me

We're a happy family
With a great big hug
And a kiss from me to you
Won't you say you love me too. 

Yes that nightmare song that I had to listen to many times as a tween because my little brother was obsessed with Barney. The cute bit isn't just me singing it. The cutest part is that when I sing 'with a great big hug' I get a REALLY big cuddle from Sophia, she comes up and flops her head onto my chest! Also with the 'and a kiss from me to you' I get one of those super adorable open-mouthed slobbery kisses that most under ones love to done on you. 

Now if that isn't enough, she is just all round adorable. I know I am probably a little biased, but she is just too darn cute. I will let you form your own opinion... 


Argh, I just love that little face soo much!

Mushy mama out

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Wooo Hooo!

I am not sure everyone would celebrate this, but for me, it is pretty exciting!

I have reached ... 500 VIEWS!!!!!

I know that many bloggers have their views in the hundreds of thousands, but it makes me chuffed that people have gone to the trouble of viewing my blog 500 times! It is not even fully formed and is a bit sporadic and over the place, but still people are reading. Not many, but there are some! I was super excited when I got 100 views and since then it just seems to have sky rocketed!

So thank you for taking the time to have a look!

It makes my heart warm and fuzzy and gave me the biggest grin!

Grins and giggles 

I dream a dream....

I was inspired by Louise at sprinkle of glitter and her post about "Mummy Dreams" she talked about all the wonderful things that she was looking forward to doing with her little girl as she grows up, and it made me think. What am I looking forward to? Sophia is only 11 months, so it is what I am looking forward to from this point onwards...
  • Watching her play dress up in my things and pretending to be me.
  • Baking with her on rainy afternoons.
  • Walking along the beach by our house, and waiting patiently as she tries to pick every little thing up or look at everything along the way.
  • Making her pancake breakfast every birthday (my decision for our birthday tradition)
  • Watching her twirl in the mirror when trying on outfits in a store.
  • When she can say "I love you Mummy"
  • When she finally kisses with her tongue in and her mouth closed (although I adore her spontaneous slobbery kisses too!)
  • Setting out milk and a snack for Santa on Christmas eve. 
  • Getting her to help in the kitchen and teaching her my love for cooking. 
  • Watching her at sports games/ dance recitals and seeing how proud of herself she is. 
  • Hearing the pitter patter of her feet down the hallway as she tries to sneak into mum and dads bed. 
  • Watching her be a big sister (one day...) 
  • Listening to her "knock knock" jokes and laughing with her (or at how funny she finds them)
  • Watching all the little 'shows' that children love to put on
  • Sharing some of my favourite books that I have kept since my childhood
  • Taking her to where I grew up, showing her the places that I loved to be
  • Writing her a letter every year on the eve of her birthday, and then watching her read them on her 21st birthday
  • Singing as loudly to the radio in the car, getting many words wrong and being completely off key (well I will be)
Louise was much more poetic and eloquent when writing her post, but it really got me thinking. Of course I am looking forward to the big milestones like her first steps and starting school, but there are so many little things. I love pretend play and dress ups and can't wait to share in these things with her. Being silly is my thing, and already I get a great kick out of being silly and making her giggle. I want her to have the same sense of fun in her life, a carefree attitude. 

Nick once challenged me to walk home from the supermarket in a thrusting action, I didn't make it all the way home, but I did go for about 3 blocks. I think he was more embarrassed than I was, but we were laughing and having a good time, and what was the likelihood of me ever meeting the people that saw me? Probably never. In fact, no one has come up to me yet saying "I saw you walking home laughing hard and walking like a weirdo" and even if they did, WHO CARES!

Right enough rambling, this started out lovely and nice and ended up with me talking about thrusting while walking (which by the way, I must add, is VERY difficult to do).

What dreams do you have for your children? What are you looking forward to?

Leave me a comment below, I am sure you will be more eloquent that I was and wont revert to talking about being a weirdo!

Much love and thrusting

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Autumn Bucket list, Southern Style!

Marie Bitsandclips has set up a bucket list for Autumn or Fall. I am going to do it southern style, southern hemisphere that is! Oh yeah, mixing it up with my Spring bucket list! Here is the bucket list that Marie set up, I will be doing all the same things but with a spring theme! 

So for the first one, Meal. When I think of spring, I think of lemony freshness flavours. Light and delicious salads and pastas. I think that I will find a few wee dishes that I want to prepare.
First off, in one of my magazine subscriptions I saw a delicious Salmon pasta, and although it seems a little heavy as it is made with cream I think the lightness of the capers and salmon will balance this. Plus it is still a little chilly in spring so can totally get away with a yummy pasta!
I will also find at least one other 'spring meal' and do it, but I have not found it yet, but it will be a recipe that I haven't tried.
All the rest I will post as I get around to them (and I hope I do, I have about a month and a half to get through them). However I wanted to add a few of my own in there.
  • Go on a family walk somewhere we have never been before.
  • Bake something new that adheres to the 'freshness' of spring
  • Buy at least one lot of fresh flowers (something I NEVER indulge in)
  • Do a little spring cleaning (but only a little) 
  • See the tulips at the botanical gardens ( we already done this because of a warm winter they bloomed early and I forgot to take a photo.. opps!) 
  • Go to the park, numerous times! 
  • Go to a school fair or some other outdoor community event! 
  • Do something a little halloweeny (its not very big here in NZ, so will just do a little something)
  • Spring snaps - photos of things that I think are spring!
OK, so there are a few things to get me started, as well as what Marie has prescribed on the list I will do a few extras. Spring is not as fun as autumn, I love the leaves changing and things like that, but I also love the new flowers and the sun shining more.

Lets see how my bucket list goes! 

Side note - when you are sitting on the computer or watching TV do you ever see something out of the corner of you eye and you think it is a spider or some other gross thing crawling on your chair. It happens to me ALL THE FREAKING TIME and it is just my crazy crazy mind! 

Thursday, 18 October 2012

A pintrest interest

I am thinking about starting a you tube channel. I think I would like to record myself doing some of the cool ideas that I see on pintrest and see how they turn out. Maybe people can request them too. It is just an idea in the making, but I see all these cool ideas and think that sometimes people would like to see how long they take or how they can be done and also what the result it like.

Let me know below if this is something that you would like to see.. 
I would try to do one or two a week, from crafts to cooking.. and we would start out easy ;) 

What do you think?

Bargain Vintage Books!

I am a book lover. Not just any books but children's books. Being an early childhood teacher by trade I just love a good children's book. Especially the ones that I read as a child. I often look around my local charity shops to find some really cheap treasures. Seeing as Miss S is only 10 months I don't see the point in spending $10-20 on a book when at this age it goes in the mouth and occasionally a wee accident happens and it gets ripped. I can pick up books anywhere from $0.50 - $3.00 and recently I have picked up some really good'uns. 

I just thought this book was too gorgeous not to get!

Look at the illustrations! 

A childhood favourite!

I never read "The naughtiest girl" series but I LOVE Enid Blyton so I thought I would pick it up!

Can't go wrong with a little bit of Noddy!

Love the illustrations!

OK. Can you tell who my favourite childhood author was?
 I just think all of her books were filled with mystery,
magic and imagination.

I think the most expensive book here was $2.00! I really want Sophia to grow up and read some of the books that I loved as a child. I love  these old books, for example, the far away tree book still has the original names, Jo, Fanny, Bessie and Connie. I think they changed them to Jo, Frannie, Beth and I am unsure whether they changed Connie. I used to giggle at the name Fanny, (and Dick which is in another of her books) and that is what gave them a little of their charm. So I refuse to buy the new 'updated' versions. Give me Fanny and Bessie I say! 

Comment below with some of your childhood favourite books? 
Or what bargains do you find in charity stores? (We actually call them op shops here!)

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Becoming a Mother

Sitting watching One born every minute made me realise that I had quite a unique childbirth experience. Before I went into labour I had no expectations. When asked by my midwife what my labour plan was I was a bit vague. The conversation went a little like this:
"What is your birth plan?"
"To get the baby here safely, whatever it takes"
"What about pain relief?"
"I would like to try to go it without pain relief, but I am not sure how much it will hurt so I might need it, I just want to go with the flow"

That was all that was said about it really, I trusted in my midwife and her judgement completely. The other thing was that I knew I didn't want a water birth. Other than that I was pretty easy going. I just wasn't sure how you could plan for something when you had no idea what it was going to be like. 

On the 29th of November 2011 (my due date was the 23rd)  is when I first started getting signs of labour. I started loosing bits of my 'plug' throughout the day, it didn't come out all at once. So I wasn't entirely sure of what it was. I was out visiting a friend at her work and I  got a wee pain, nothing to bad and once again I brushed it off. My partner and I decided to go for a romantic drive, we drove out to the beach and watched the sunset together. It was so picturesque and the perfect way to spend our last evening as just the two of us (not that we knew it was our last evening!). I got another pain around 11, so I figured that labour was on its way, but they were so irregular and far apart I thought it could be days before I had the baby.

I tried to sleep that night. I really tried. But a mixture of fear and anticipation kept me awake. Just was I was dozing off I got another pain (it was 1.28am) then I woke a little while later to another pain (the clock said 1.38am). Finally on the third pain at 1.48am I realised that the last three had been ten minutes apart. I got up quietly as my partner was still asleep. I wasn't really quite sure what to do with myself, do I get up and wait for the next one? Do I try and rest? I did get back into bed to try and rest but every contraction I got out of bed to 'move' through it as rocking and walking really helped with the pain. Around 2.30 Nick woke up and it was then he started timing my contractions and recording how far apart they were.

We laboured quietly in my room as not to wake the rest of the house (we were staying at my mothers house at this stage). Nick was timing and I was pacing. In fact Nick got so good at timing that he would tell me when I should be having my next contraction. Around 4.10am my contractions were about 4 minutes apart and after a trip to the bathroom I discovered a little blood, being my first baby I was unsure if it was normal. I woke my mum to ask her and she was also unsure. I tentatively rung my midwife (she had told me not to call her until my contractions were 3 minutes apart) i told her my contractions were 4 minutes apart and that I had a little blood. She assured me this was all normal and to call her back when my contractions were a wee bit closer together.

I decided to jump into the shower to help with the pain and Nick sat on the toilet telling me when my next contraction should be! Within 20 minutes (4.30am) my contractions were 2 minutes apart. I rung my midwife and she arranged to meet me at my local hospital at 5.00am. Nick and I made sure we had everything in my hospital bag and made our way to the hospital. We got there before my midwife, and while we waited for her I fretted that I would only be 3-4cm dilated and that I would have got her out of bed for nothing. She arrived just after 5.00am and checked me about 5.15am. I was in a wee bit of pain but I thought it would get a whole heap worse, so I was considering pain relief.

When she checked me I was 9CM DILATED! I had stayed home until I was 9cm!! There was no time for pain relief for me! She broke my waters and put me into the birthing tub. She gave me the gas tube and told me to push down every time I had a contraction. Then she left me to it. She checked on me occasionally but pretty much I was left to it.

I couldn't work the gas right, I had been breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth at home and that was what I continued to do, so I doubt I got any gas. Nick was sitting on a stool with a cup of water and would give me a sip when I opened my mouth, but other than that he was quiet (which is what I wanted). From here I pretty much when into myself, just doing what I was there to do. I really felt like nothing was working and I voiced that to my midwife. Of course I was pushing the baby down (slowly, because if I am honest I wasn't really trying my hardest when pushing, it was like I was conserving my energy).

From here I lose track of time, I know I went into the tub about 5.30am and that I got out at some stage and went onto the bed. The midwife checked me again and told me that the baby was stuck on my cervix a little bit and she just had to help her shift. While she was doing this I was politely saying "Please stop. I do not like it. It really hurts I would like it if you would stop that now" haha! Then after what felt like about 15 minutes of hard pushing (it was probably much longer) Sophia Catherine was born at 7.32am! To which I said "Oh that wasn't as bad as what I thought it would have been!"

Baby Sophia minutes after birth
From there more was a blur, I held Sophia right up under my chin (where the skin was) so I hadn't really had much of a chance to see what she looked like. She didn't cry and all I could hear was her breathing. I had to get two stitches, that weren't essential but I had a wee graze and my midwife said it would just help it heal faster. Then while they were giving Sophia a good look over and measuring her I took a shower. It was all a bit surreal I got dressed in my pajamas and then WALKED around to my room. By this stage my mum was here and my brother and Nick's mum caught up with us as we were walking to my room.

That is my birth story. I was nothing like I expected. I expected so horrific, long drawn out, unbearably painful experience and I think I got the opposite. I know that everyone births differently and that some people find it very hard, but I feel often all we hear is the bad experiences, and not the good. I think I had a wonderful experience and it didn't put me off one bit. Although it was painful, don't get me wrong, it hurt like heck! I didn't have the choice of pain relief so I just had to deal with that.
I really think the key was moving, walking around and swaying during my contractions. I had one contraction during the car ride to the hospital (we lived really close!) and I was sitting down and that one was HORRIBLE! The same when I was being checked and I had to sit still, it was much worse. When I was in the water I swayed and pushed and I think that really helped with the pain. 

I hope my positive story helps someone else who is pregnant. It is nice to know that people can have natural, pain relief free (even if it was by accident) births. I have one piece of advice. Be prepared to change your plans, birth plans are a guideline and if you don't have a really set ideal then you can't be too disappointed. Also, expect the worst. Then, like me, you might be pleasantly surprised. 

Daddy and daughter
Catching up on sleep after a tiring night!
(Excuse my skin, pregnancy wasn't kind to me!)

Now I know that was a novel! But that was my story.
What was your birthing story, please share below or post a link to your blog post about it.
I love hearing about different people's experiences. Also feel free to ask any questions :)

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Full-time Freakout

I have made a decision to apply for a full time job. The position is somewhere I really want to work. Although I didn't want to go back to work until after the holiday period, I haven't seen a position come up here before. So I feel as though I should apply now in case there isn't an opportunity when I am ready to return to work.

I would love to stay at home with my baby until she starts school. Unfortunately that is not plausible for my family. My partner is just starting his career and although he can earn enough for us to live, it is not enough to save to buy a house or anything like that. So return to work I must. I am hoping I only have to for a few years, until we have our next child (which is probably 3 or 4 years away) and then I can stay home with the next child for at least a year.

I know that many mothers return to work, but I can not help but feel guilty. I always thought that I would be a stay at home mother until all of my children were at school. I do not think that will be the case. Although I would love to stay home with my children, for my family I need to work, so we can get ahead. Maybe in a few years I can reduce my hours to part time? I don't know. I am both excited and freaking out. I want this job. I do. I also want to stay home with my baby girl and never miss any thing she does. I am so TORN.

I will keep you updated, until then I shall silently freak out.
Feel free to tell me how it works in your household, or a simple, everything will be alright!

31 Oct 2012 - Update
I decided not to apply for the job, I just got incredibly sad about the whole ordeal. I love being home with Sophia and she is at an age that I really don't want to leave. She is so interactive and has a great wee personality that is beginning to shine! She plays games, sings and gives me spontaneous kisses and cuddles. Who could leave that? I might re-evaluate the situation after the holiday period.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Bargain Baby!

Today I went shopping with my mother in law. Of course we were shopping for Baby S (well it wasn't supposed to be, but that is how it ended up). We went to three different shops Pumpkin PatchCotton on Kids and JK Kids. We were just killing time but happened to stumble across some bargains that we just couldn't pass up. Baby S is 10 months old, and when she was born we were pretty much set for the first year of clothes. I have been pretty lucky and haven't had to buy her many clothes. But from the age of 1 we are pretty much starting over and that is (eeeeeeeek) 2 months away!

Anyway, onto the haul!

From Pumpkin Patch we got this cute wee cardi, its nice and light and perfect for those cooler spring and summer days (which was a bargain at $15.00 down from $32.99)

We also got this cream and red spotty top (for a tidy $12.99 down from $22.99)

From JK Kids we got these tights, which I think can go with so much because of the colours in them, plus great to wear until we really get into summer and they were only $4.20 down from $13.99

As well as this cute tea party long sleeved top which was discounted to $8.00 down from $15.99

Finally our last stop was cotton on kids, this is where i got the BEST bargain. My oh my, I loooove this wee coat, I fell in love with it and I wasn't sure we would get it, because its coming into summer and it was a size one, but at $10 (down from $54.95!!!) I just couldn't leave it behind and I am hoping desperately that she still fits it next winter, or at the very least autumn. *Crosses fingers for the next 6 months* Here is the coat, don't you just love the inside?

We also got these 2 pairs of leggings, which will be great for summer as they are thin. I particularly like the green ones, but then I have a fetish for pastels and floral patterns. These were two for $20 (usually $12.95 each).


Finally, we picked up another of these cute hoodies. She already has one of these are they are so so soft. They aren't too heavy for spring/summer and there are so many cute colours and patterns. This was a cool $10 down from $24.95.

I love shopping for wee ones, there clothes are always a much better bargain and sooo much cuter, plus they don't have to worry about whether their 'body shape' will suit it. 

What has been your best bargain of late? (Mine was definitely that coat! Squeee!)