Christmas 2012

In previous years - especially since having kids we have found Christmas to be pretty stressy, especially since my husband has had major deadlines at work around the same time. So this last festive season in 2012 consisted of us trying to keep it simple whilst trying to stick with the things we love to do.

We like to get a real tree, shop for the kids gifts together, attend carols for children on Christmas Eve, make a few decorations, bake ginger bread with friends and eat some cherries and other summer fruit (we are in Sydney after all). With kids you tend to do lots of fun things, for example we do Christmas craft at a friends house and playgroup Christmas party complete with farm animals!

It was fun to visit the Christmas windows in the city and visit the Swarovski Crystal tree at the Queen Victoria Building. It is totally magical!

We ended up with 17 people in the house on Christmas night and yep, I was cooking. I tried to keep it simple and prepare ahead of time so I could enjoy the day as well.

Mad Hatter's Tea Party

For my daughters second birthday we had a Mad Hatter's Tea Party. The kid loves hats so it just came to me one day, we had to have a Mad Hatter's Tea Party!

I nade a bunny cake (complete with coconut fur). We borrowed extra kids chairs from our neighbours, so we had lots of mismatched chairs which looked kind of mad. The kids decorated their own party hats with stickers. For food we had fruit, gingerbread hearts, cucumber and egg sandwiches, fairy bread and my husband likes to make rainbow jelly cups.

I see the light!

We have lived in this house for a few years now. We knew from the beginning that we wanted to do something different with the dark and gloomy middle room... It took us a little while to work out what it was that we wanted to do with it. Finally we had an epiphany; found a good builder's draftsperson and a great builder.
Ta-Da!! Natural light and open plan living space.

There is still a lot more to do, but we are getting somewhere. So that is nice.

Beach Holiday

Just spent 10 days on a traditional Lloyd summer holiday with extended in-law family; around 30 of us in total this year. By traditional, see patched up beach umbrella which has seen its fair share of beach holidays. The break was much needed after December craziness... Bah humbug (Honestly dislike pre-Christmas more and more each year). Came back home a few days ago feeling refreshed and invigorated, ready to start 2012 with renewed enthuisiasm. Again vowing to think of ways to create a stress free Christmas this year.

Dear Cat - 3 years 4 months

You have recently been very sick with Bronchialitis. We have never seen you so sick. Generally when you are sick it doesn't slow you down, you just keep going at normal. But this time you slept for 3 1/2 days and had a temperature around 39 degrees celcius which hardly went down with paracetamol. Normally you like medicine, but we had trouble giving you anything and you wanted lights off, curtains closed, TV off and you just slept. I slept with you at night to make sure you were ok and keeping hydrated. Now you are much better but clingier than usual, you want more hugs and affection.

Your most annoying habit at the moment is to pick a time when I am really busy and attach yourself to me so I can't move. You know the exact way to make yourself really heavy and hindering. I can't wait until you get over this stage.

You are not sure about your sister "the monster". I think you are afraid of her when she cries or makes loud unintelligible sounds. But we have fun playing together with her sometimes. Today we rolled a ball around with her, we had a lovely time. She just adores you and thinks you are hilarious and also cries if you leave the room if I am not there.

At the moment you favourite thing is space rockets and planets. You love to watch the rocket launch on Apollo 13 (the movie) and also read your books on space rockets and planets. Your first word was star and we have to sing "twinkle, twinkle" every night before you go to sleep as part of your routine.

You like to help me cook cakes, muffins and biscuits and also recently you have taken an interest in watching me cook dinner. Your new habit is to get a stool to peer in my pot to see what I am making. I would not be surprised if you turn out to be a cook yourself.

You like to pretend you are different animals, one day you are a dog, the next a bird, then a cat or a bunny. We nicknamed you Cat because you love your little Kitty Cat toy. It is your best friend.

You are growing up quickly, you have just lost your baby look and you are starting to look like a boy. You are acting more grown up too. You will often help me with things when I ask you to.

You have been doing great at swimming, starting to follow instructions really well, wearing your goggles and kicking and blowing bubbles. We decided to take you out of swimming over winter because you kept getting sick. You might take up soccer in July with your friend Torren.

You are clever and pick most things up very quickly, I showed you how to use scissors today. We cut up some tissue paper for a craft activity. You said "mummy show the cat how to use the scissors" (meaning you kitty cat toy sitting beside you) and I showed you and you started cutting like a pro right away.

You can not stay still, you are not easy to cuddle because you are always jerking around. You are just full of beans. It is hard to get a photo of you that isn't in a blur, it doesn't help that you want to see the photo before it has even been taken!

Thank you sweet little man for being my son.


Dear little Monster - 8 1/2 months

Just a little note to remember you at this stage in your life. You like to bounce. Earlier we used to put you in a Jolly Jumper, you don't need a Jolly Jumper, you can bounce quite well un-aided. You will bounce sitting on my knee or while being held, or held standing. This will be something about you I think I will remember overall about you as a baby. You have exuberance and joy. You love people - at a distance.

You are definitely Mummy's girl at the moment. You cry bitterly if I leave the room or if someone else holds you... this is flattering but frustrating at the same time.

You have three teeth now, the day you got your last two teeth you were chewing on my fingers like a Tassie devil.

Food You love your Mandarins, they are in season right now. When I am at the shops and you are in my sling you grab for Mandarins while I pick them of the shelf. Your eye's light up when I start peeling one for you and you love to grab and squeeze segments between your fingers. I peel the skin off the segments and tear the segments in two, removing the seeds for you. Otherwise you will eat pretty much anything, but you are not a huge fan of rich creamy things such as avocado or ricotta cheese.

SleepYou sleep well now. At night you will sleep from about 7pm (or when I get you to bed) until about 5.30 - 6am. I am so thankful for this because I value my sleep, I call you my dream baby. By day you prefer to sleep in bed and rarely nap if we are out and about, there is too much to look at and you wouldn't want to miss anything!

Your hair sticks up a lot. I love this, I like to imagine it is a mohawk. My hair was like that too at your age.

You adore your big brother. You will often stop crying if he is around or stop feeding if he is nearby. You follow his every move. You also love to watch Dad when he is home and you bounce in excitement when he is around. You like to "talk", saying "Ahhh" a lot and sometimes "mumumum", "bababab", "dadada", "yeah" stuff like that.

When you were a newborn you would scream if we put you in the bath. Sometimes you were ok with it if we put a warm wet washer on your belly. Now you love it! You kick you legs and splash with you hands and tease your brother. You don't mind to much if the Cat(bro) splashes you. You still enjoy a washer on your belly though.

You are great at sitting up, you can't quite lift yourself up from lying yet but you are very close. You are physically strong but not in a hurry to go anywhere just yet. This is A-ok with me right now. You'll do stuff in your own time. Today I think you waved back at me, but I couldn't be sure.


Autumn flow

This Autumn we have been busy. We kicked some goals with the home renovations. We agree that the house feels more ours now and more homely too. We finally have a back fence which is an amazing feeling, privacy from the neighbours (lovely as they are), safety for the children and we can now plant some plants and make other changes to the backyard.

We went camping with the kids for the first time, it turned out well and the kids enjoyed it a lot, especially our oldest who had a ball.

I have been sick with a cold for over a month and the kids for several weeks. E is so sick now with Bronchialitis poor little man. He has been quite clingy. It makes me realize how much comfort I give him as his mum, which is a nice feeling.

I have also been making a lot of baby food. I love making it, I find it relaxing but haven't had as much time as I'd like to try different recipes. The William Bartlett pears have been amazing, but most of them go into baby food.