Friday, 30 December 2011

I have this little boy Lachlan Pt 4

I have this little boy Lachlan ... he is small and very funny :)

And at 27 months he is keeping Mr B and I more than entertained with laughter, challenges, cuddles, kisses, tantrums, and just plain fun!

"Mr Independent" is certainly starting to know his own mind, and, I'm afraid, is quickly developing what can only be Mummy's bossy streak.

Our little mimic is saying more and more words, and trying his hardest to convey what he means or wants. It is more than frustrating for all of us when he can't, but we get there slowly slowly.

Apparently a sheep says "baa", a lion says "raa", and an elephant makes a trumpeting noise with its trunk in the air, as is often displayed by LL throwing his arm up in action.

Balls are still extremely popular and at times very hazardous as we must always be prepared to have them thrown at us at any opportunity. He is definitely keeping us on our toes.

And he is still crazy about household chores - ironing is a new favourite!!

And he is enjoying these wonderful things in Australia called Playgrounds ...

Mummy has also been enjoying the playground as I've had to venture down the windy slippery dip on more than one occassion, baby bump and all :)

And he thinks he's the next Mozart on Nanna's keyboard ...

(Crazy thing is he's worked out how to do all these things on there that no one else can seem to work out how to do!!)

And he's still LOVING swimming in the pool.

Yep my boy is not afraid to put his head under, especially if it involves a ball (in this case a golf ball is on the step there somewhere).

Gotta love this parenting gig :)

Baby Bump Week 31

So much for me taking regular pics of the bump as I declared I would back here!

I guess some is better than none though, right?!

Here's me at 31 weeks, just after what felt like a rather big growth spurt, but could possibly have just been a lot of food over Christmas HA :)

We've been asking LL where the baby is - he either points to his own belly with a big smile on his face or comes barrelling over to me and either head butts my bump or gives it a nice, big, (what I'm sure is meant to be) loving, smack! Hopefully that is not a tell tale sign of things to come.

So at 31 weeks I'm feeling pretty good - fit and healthy with a fair bit of energy still. The aches and pains are slowly starting to creep in though and sleeping is becoming slightly uncomfortable.

The baby is still moving heaps and I'm getting sharp jabs every now and then from what must be a foot or an arm.

All in all I'm feeling pretty lucky with what has been a pretty carefree pregnancy. Here's hoping the next 9 weeks continue the same way.

And in the mean time we need to start seriously thinking about baby names (I've got my ideas, it's just a matter of convincing Mr B), and possibly do a bit of reading up on natural childbirth. My OB is keen for us to try a VBAC and so am I. So far everything is ok for this to happen, I just need to mentally prepare myself (and Mr B!). Is that possible though??

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Ways in Which I Amuse My Toddler - Yoghurt Painting

As most Mums know amusing a toddler can often be hard work. They need constant activities, play, and stimulation to keep them busy and entertained.

I think LL was around 16 months when I soon realised I needed to get creative and plan some regular activities to stimulate him, amuse him, and keep us busy. In a town where I haven't really been able to fall back on the fail safe trip to the playground, and where organised activities for pre-school children are not available, I have had to do things for myself.

The internet has obviously been invaluable for this. And to tell you the truth, I've had lots of fun searching for things, planning them, and doing them with LL.

The first "activity" we tried was yoghurt painting! It was a definite hit, and we came back to it many times.

As the name suggests all you need is some plain yoghurt (you could use flavoured too), some food colouring, and just let them go for it ....

Even Daddy got in on the action ...

Such a serious concentrator, my boy!!!

But what a cheap, easy, and fun thing to do! Plus the bonus of doing it outside, I just got the hose and squirted everything off, including LL :)

Happy Days! x

Why I love being a Mum ..

On Tuesday I read this great story on Mamamia, and I feel the need to share.

It was a timely read as Mr B and I are gearing up to welcome our second baby in the next few months.

I find it so easy sometimes to get bogged down in the everyday mundaneness that can be parenting. To focus on the things that often bother me - fussy eating, terrible sleeping, tantrums, etc etc - these things can, at times, really take the fun and joy out of being a parent, and the ability to enjoy your child.

But I LOVE being a Mum. And I know Mr B LOVES being a Dad.

And I agree with every point that Mia makes in her post, so I have to share them, because sometimes I need to remind myself:

1. I love that I’m not the centre of the universe. After 25 years of that, I was ready to look more than 2cm in front of my face and care more about someone else’s wellbeing than my own. (it took me and Mr B a little longer - 29 years!)

2. I love that my heart skips a beat when I think about seeing my children after being apart from them, sometimes even if it’s been a few hours. My eyes can literally be hungry to see their faces and drink them in. (Gosh this is so true!!!)

3. They’re bloody hilarious. When they can speak and even when they can’t, nobody tells you how FUNNY your children will be, how much they’ll make you laugh. (We are constantly laughing here!)

4. I learn so much from their view of the world – it is like seeing things from a fresh, small, authentic perspective. Whether it’s death or politics, relationships or fashion….children are able to cut through the crap and tell it like it is. Without even trying. (And they remind you of the smallness of things, the simplicity of the everyday, like a rock, or a bird, or just the joy of playing catch with a ball).

5. The physicality of it. The cuddles, the way their hair smells, their sweet breath, the way they sing and dance so unselfconsciously…..having children is a full-on sensory experience 24/7. (Gotta love that after bath smell and the morning cuddles in bed)

6. The love. It’s impossible to describe. The biggness of it. The way it gets into every one of your cells. And just when you think you can’t ever love anyone quite as much? You have another baby and it doubles. (And this is what we will hopefully be experiencing very very soon)

So what's the best thing about being a parent for you? What do you love the most?

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas in Australia

On Christmas Day I kept thinking how glad I was we were back in Australia with our families to celebrate. Christmas in Bots, and in particular Francistown would have been a rather lonely affair. So much so, that we would have had to make a plan and head off somewhere else for a week or so just to escape the monotony.

All our friends had left town you see. So it would have just been the three of us. I'm sure it would have been fine, really. But Christmas in Bots, is just not the Christmas I know. So I was happy we are here in Australia with our families, and friends close by.

And we got to enjoy all this ...

Helping Grammy decorate the tree

Posing for Mum

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Enjoying a ridiculously good feast on Christmas Eve ..... nom nom nom :)
(Mr B and I were in absolute seafood heaven!!)

LL enjoyed homemade chicken nuggets instead

Our wonderful "homegrown" Christmas tree

LL waiting patiently with Daddy Christmas morning for present time!

Harmonica playing (thanks Uncle Malc!)

And wow LL's very own fire truck!

Just in need of Daddy to put it together...

TA DA!!!

Our lovely Christmas table
(Sadly I didn't take any pics of the feast Mr B's Mum put together for us all - turkey, glazed ham, home made stuffing, lots of yummy veges, Maggie Beer's Christmas pudding, toblerone cheesecake, and trifle!)

My parents joined us too ... it was great to have all LL's grandparents together to share him on the day

Our last Christmas as a family of three ...

Hope your day, wherever and however you celebrated, was as lovely as ours :) x

Monday, 26 December 2011

Flying solo with a toddler .... We made it!

So as I alluded in a previous post, LL and I have landed in Australia. We have actually been here for two weeks (almost 3!) but I've been flat out with Christmas preparations, doctors appointments, hair appointments, trips to the library (more on this later), catching up with friends and dealing with a little boy with tonsilitis and jet lag.

Anywho let me tell you about our journey....

It was an epic 3 flights, over 24 hours of travel, several hours spent in airports, tiring but very exciting, adventure for one preggo Mummy and her two year old little man. The best bit though??? I survived!! Hurrah!

I completely underestimated my little man, who was such a good boy the entire trip. Sure there was a melt down here or there, and quite a few "no's" thrown in for good measure, but who could blame the kid?
He was overexcited about being on, and seeing, his beloved "waynes" (planes), he was tired, he was without his Daddy, and he was suffering from tonsilitis.

That's right folks, the boy goes the whole year or more without so much as a sniffle, and 3 days before we leave, he comes down with tonsilitis. I was worried to say the least, and very very VERY nervous about how this sick little man would travel. A visit to the doctor, 24 hours of shoving anti-biotics down his throat (quite literally as this little guy absolutely REFUSES to take medicine - cue lots of raspberries being blown, lock jaw, spitting in Daddy's face, and a very stressed and over it Mummy and Daddy), lots and lots of vicks vapa-rub, nose drops and paracetemol suppositories, and he appeared to be holding his own come Tuesday morning when we left for the airport.

LL is a born traveller. He has done so many flights now that he seems to know the drill. After a quick acknowledging bye to Daddy, he very impatiently waited to board our first flight - Air Botswana from Francistown to Jo'burg. His soundtrack was on repeat - "mummy, wayne, mummy, wayne, mummy, wayne .... ". I managed to distract him briefly while we waited, with a biscuit and two playmates in the form of a friends' kids who were also enroute to Oz.

Before I knew it, there was no turning back and we were walking out to the plane and boarding. LL was squealing and giggling with delight the whole way. As he is over two we had to buy him a seat, which was fine as he normally wants to sit on one. As luck would have it we were sitting right next to one of the propellors and engine, and when they started up LL got a bit of a fright and refused to sit on his seat for the whole hour and a half flight. On any other flight I wouldn't have minded that much, but on Air Bots where the air-con isn't exactly cranking, and me already acting like an incubator, I was drenched by the time we arrived in Jo'burg. Not to worry - the little guy was happy the whole flight and that's what mattered. We enjoyed playing with puzzles and unwrapping two very thoughtful presents from LL's little playmate Jess - toy binoculars and a mini wind up car - two perfectly thoughtful gifts for a little boy travelling on a plane, particularly the binoculars!

Before we knew it the hour and half flight was over - we had landed, were disembarking the plane, and making our way to the bus, the main terminal, and to wait for our next flight - Jo'burg to Sydney with Qantas.

My original plan was to try and go through international transfers, rather than out through passport control, wander aimlessly through the main terminal for a few hours before checking in. I had thought maybe, just maybe, as it was a codeshare flight with South African Airways, I could approach the SAA desk and see if they would check us in. My bags were already checked all the way through so I didn't have to worry about pushing a heavy trolley around with a 2 year old, back pack and pram. I am so thankful I did that because my optimism about the SAA desk was very shortlived. The answer from the man behind the counter was a definite no and I would need to wait 2 hours for the Qantas desk to open.... in a waiting area with no food, no drinks, and nothing to entertain LL .... Um.... I don't think so! So I hightailed it out of international transfers, went back to passport control, (which thankfully was now empty), and straight out into the main terminal.

It was lunch time. LL was hungry, I was hungry. So we went to Wimpy and enjoyed some toasted sandwiches, while I enjoyed the attention the waitresses showered on LL. Colouring in sheets and crayons were brought to the table for him to enjoy, and not one, but two balloons were bestowed on him, much to his delight. Plus lots of attention. It was very appreciated.

Once we had finished enjoying the delights of the ever-kiddie friendly Wimpy I thought I'd try my luck and see if the Qantas check in was now open. Back in the pram with LL (thankfully I had not listened to Mr B and had brought the pram with me - it was a lifesaver!) as we hiked from one end of the terminal to the other. Thankfully, this time, check in was now open. Once checked in, we quickly progressed through security and immigration. LL was starting to get a little over it by this stage, long past due for a nap. My little man does not nod off easily though when there's lots to look at, and stairs and rooms to explore, so I quickly did the bit of shopping I needed to do (check out this brand for cute African style kiddie clothes), before moving on to the Qantas lounge to enjoy another drink, snack and a bit of a rest on some comfy couches.

What a bonus flying business class turned out to be. The lounge was such a great way to entertain LL while we waited for our flight. Easily accessible snacks and drinks, he was able to roam somewhat freely without disturbing too many people, and our friends who were also travelling to Australia decided to join us, so the kids happily played together for a few hours. We set ourselves up in a corner of the lounge where the kids could pull some toys out, wander around a bit, and not get in others' way. We were also able to give the three kids a quick shower, and dress them in their pjs before boarding. This made things much easier for me later on as a two year old and a pregnant Mummy don't fit that comfortably in the onboard toilets.

As we taxied out to the runway LL prompty fell asleep on my lap and stayed that way for the next 7 or so hours. What were the chances?? .... As soon as the seat belt sign was off the hostess came and asked if she could help me by setting up LL's skybed. I was so grateful as I had been sitting there during take off wondering how the skybeds worked and how I was going to get his flat to then transfer him onto it without waking him up.

I have to say the stewards and hostess I had looking after us were sensational. They were so friendly, and so helpful. Their care and attention definitely made the trip very enjoyable.

LL enjoying his business class skybed and all the kiddie tv shows :)

The 12 hour flight was pretty pain free. LL slept for the majoirty of it, I managed to get a little rest, the food was yum, there was kiddie tv to entertain LL when he woke up, and surprisingly he even went back to sleep for the last 45 mins or so of the flight as we descended into Sydney. Plus I was able to enjoy not one but two inflight movies while LL slept. And eat my meals without juggling him with his. I never would have thought I would be THAT lucky!!

Once we'd arrived in Sydney, collected our bags, and found an almost lost pram, we said a quick goodbye to our friends, and then went to find our third and final flight.

The weather in Sydney was awful and unfortunately for us the majority of flights coming in and out of Sydney were delayed, including ours. About two hours later than our original flight time we boarded our final flight and made our way to Adelaide. I was so relieved to board that plane and even happier when LL proceeded to fall asleep on my lap during take off again. How lucky could I be??? He slept the ENTIRE flight!!!!

Waiting in Sydney for our last flight ... "that's our plane Mummy!"

Finally onboard our last flight :)

It was a very tired two-some that were greeted by Grammy and Grampy in Adelaide. I was so happy that the journey had gone so well. And after a two hour drive (half of it with LL having a meltdown - the poor little guy was OVER IT!!!) we reached our final destination and collapsed into bed.

We'd made it - 3 flights, over 24 hours of travel, no Daddy, one pregnant Mumma and a two year old. After all that, dealing with the jet lag should be a piece of cake right ??? ....

Friday, 16 December 2011

Meet our next addition ....

At 29 weeks I finally got to "meet" our second baby.
I just had to share some happy snaps ....

Side profile

Two feet

A hand

And another hand :)

I had my first Aussie ultrasound this week. Mum came with me as she's always wanted to see one and this was probably going to be her last chance. She was amazed!!

The pictures were so much clearer than what we had with LL. It's amazing really when you think about it; being able to see all that definition of the various limbs, plus the heart and umbilical cord pumping blood backwards and forwards.

And the best bit .... everything was A-OK! Baby was fine, my low placenta was now all fine, and I've been given the all clear by my OB to try for a VBAC. Really really happy about this, but if I'm honest also a tad nervous. Not that I want another c-section, but I know how that works. A "normal" delivery is a whole different thing.

I am determined to keep an open mind this time though and let whatever happens, happen.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Grateful for ... Choices :)

Apologies for what is probably going to be a somewhat incoherent post. I am still suffering the effects of what is either jetlag or pregnancy insomnia. Either way, I'm knackered to say the least and have typically been hitting a very hard wall come 4:30pm. I try and stay up until a more "normal" bedtime of 9pm but by then I'm wide awake again and ready to start the next day. It's tiring to say the least.

But I wanted to quickly link up again this week for another grateful post ... I've got lots to be grateful for this week. Primarily, choices! Having the ability to choose, and being financially able to follow through on that choice.

I am so so so SO grateful that Mr B and I made the choice to return to Australia to have our second child. It is something we deliberated long and hard over, second guessing ourselves and the practicality of all the logistics. We could have stayed in Bots, and followed the same path we chose with LL. This wouldn't have been a completely terrible decision. I know more now. I'm wiser to the world of motherhood and babies, the needs and requirements of both. I think I am also more assertive than I was when I had LL, and I could demand the support I know I need, the support I didn't receive with LL, if we had chosen this path again. But something about this idea didn't sit quite right with me. There was a niggling worry that I would have regretted this decision and that life wouldn't have been as "easy" for us as a family, and for me as the mother, that I know it will be here in Australia.

We almost decided to venture to the big smoke this time; to Johannesburg. I had even gone as far as getting names of OBs that my babygroup friends had used and were happy with, and contacting potential accommodation for our stay. I am sure that if we had chosen this path our experience would have been a positive one. But the idea of spending more than a month in Jo'burg appealed to neither Mr B or I. To be stuck in a hotel, or small apartment, with first LL, while we awaited the birth, and then also a newborn, while we awaited paperwork and passports enabling us to return to Bots, was not something that Mr B or I could look forward to. It just seemed like a situation that we should avoid being in.

The lure of 3-4 months back in Australia, the closeness of family and friends and the assistance of grandparents, was all just too big a drawcard to ignore. How could we not return? How could we not enable LL some serious quality time with our families? How could we turn down the idea of having more resources and support available to us to make this birth an experience that it should be?

I know now after meeting with my new OB, visiting with some midwives, touring the hospital, and hearing of all the services and resources that are locally available to assist mothers, that I am where I need to be to ensure that I am happy, that Mr B is happy, and that LL is happy.

And that, to me, is what is most important.

I am grateful that we were able to make this choice .... linking up with Maxabella's

Saturday, 3 December 2011

I have this little boy Lachlan Pt 3

He is small and very funny ....

And is currently obsessed with balls - plastic, tennis, golf, beach, spongy, soft, you name it, he'll throw it to you (or steal!!) ....

Cheekily stealing the ball from Jack and Loic
"Stealing" another one :)
This ball must always, always come with us to the pool

And is recently starting to say two word sentences and holding "real" conversations with Mr B and I ....

- Mummy, ball, Mummy, ball, Mummy, ball
- Mummy, cac (catch), Mummy cac, Mummy, cac

Words of the moment are:

- "ucky" (or "yucky", which is said typically in reference to tortoise poo, and my cooking),
- teevee
- deeveedee
- dink (drink)
- naanee (banana)
- rog (frog)
- stuck/locked (mainly in reference to him still being in his highchair when he would rather be out)
- loon (balloon)
- and of course .... no (said in a somewhat Irish accent), which is often said at the same time as nodding his head yes.

And is still in love with planes (waynes!) ... Mr B and LL got creative and made one out of a cardboard box; he loved it!

And is enthralled with reading the little books that come inside kiddie dvds. Mr B reckons he's studying up what he wants Mummy to buy him next ...

And has been enjoying some interesting headware lately (we can't quite get him to sit on it, on the toilet yet though) ...

And only seems to like the black crayon ...

And he makes our lives happier and more interesting every single day :) xx
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