He is here!

When I woke at 3am Thursday morning I immediately saw a message from my sister asking if I was awake – fast forward several text messages and a phone call later – and we had determined she was in labour.  After a long day of updates, a quick trip to the hospital to drop off a phone charger (because how could she not be without her phone during this big occasion!), handsome little Flynn arrived early in the evening, weighing a health 3.16kg and just shy of 38 weeks gestation.

I feel incredibly blessed that I was able to visit with both little Flynn and my sister just a couple of hours after he was born.  I also reminded again how incredibly lucky we are to live in a country where such excellent health care is available. I am also incredibly happy that I was able to introduce my two happy and healthy boys to their special cousin this morning and I cannot wait to enjoy watching them all grow up together xx

Our boys meeting for the first time xxx

Our boys meeting for the first time xxx

Our two baby boys - just 18 weeks apart x

Our two baby boys – just 18 weeks apart x

The week that was….

Well week 2 of baby watch has concluded with STILL NO BABY!  The positive news is that although she is now in hospital until bub arrives, Tiff is now officially full term (a milestone I seem to fall short of!)

37 + 1 week belly!

37 + 1 week belly!

Last Sunday Tiff and I took the boys to Echuca for the morning.  It bought back a lot of memories, we used to spend EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND their as kids visiting our grandparents.  I was planning to take Liam on a paddle steamer ride, but decided an hour long cruise was just TOO long for an on the go toddler.  Instead we went on a horse and carriage ride which he LOVED….

Liam loved our carriage ride

Liam loved our carriage ride

We also went back to Little People’s Art and did some more painting.  Liam chose to paint a Lion this time (when I say chose I was showing him what he could paint and he roared when I said Lion), although he got distracted playing with the trains and I ended up painting most of it, he added the final touches to our masterpiece!

 

Liam is being very affectionate to his little brother at the moment – he can sometimes be a little too enthusiastic though…

Cuddles x

Cuddles x

 

Love x

Love x

We’ve had a lovely time catching up with friends this week.  I’m very lucky to have a great group of friends, some of which I’ve known for 20 + years and although we haven’t seen each other since we were last home 10 months ago, when we catch up it’s like no time has passed.  Catching up with everyone is also a great excuse to have a lot of coffee dates!

Mmmm Coffee...

Mmmm Coffee…

 

On Friday Aiden was Four Months old!  Our little man has come so far, doubling his birthweight already and really interacting with us now.  Luckily I packed the Milestone Cards from Little me Little you.  I love them and just wish I had discovered them earlier and could have used them for Liam as well.

Four Months old

Four Months old

I’m pleased to say I’ve completed my 3/4 year resolutions this week.  This morning I was able to run 2.8km before I had to stop in case I passed out.  Super excited about this achievement, as I’ve never been much of a runner.  My goal is to be able to run the 5k Mothers Day Classic next year.

It’s been over 9 years since I moved to Queensland and i think I’d forgotten how seriously Victorians take their football. Aiden and I went into the shops earlier this afternoon and it was like a ghost town with everyone watching the footy. There were even a heap of stores that had closed early so their staff could watch the footy.

 

I hope you have all had a great week xx

 

My 3/4 Year Resolutions

There are just 14 weeks left until the end of 2013…. FOURTEEN WEEKS!  That’s just over a quarter of the year left to go and only 13 weeks until Christmas (you can thank me later for that reminder).

Rather than waiting for the new year to make resolutions, I’ve decided to make a few promises to myself – starting now.

  • Stop and enjoy the moment. Whether it be playing with the boys, reading stories or just having a quiet coffee whilst they are both asleep, rather than thinking about what I need to do next, or worrying about the mess being made/what we should be doing instead I am going to just STOP and enjoy as I will never have this time back.
  • Having time to myself regularly is non negotiable.  Since I have an abundance of babysitters whilst we are visiting, it has made me realise even just getting out by myself for 45 minutes to go for a walk in the mornings makes me happier and more relaxed, which in turn makes me a better Mum.  A quick catch up with a friend for an hour without the boys reminds me that I can have a conversation which doesn’t revolve around the kids.
  • Make the most of everyday.  We have been lucky enough to have some gorgeous weather the past few days. Instead of sitting around, I’ve been making an effort to get out and about, whether it be down to the park for a play or a day trip. We are having new experiences and creating new memories
  • Take more photos of myself with the boys. Each week I vow to have one photo of myself with either both or one of the boys.

 

What are you going to do to see out 2013 on a high?

 

Me time...

Enjoying some ‘me’ time…

Baby Celebration Cake

Since my babies like to arrive earlier than expected, I’ve never had a baby shower.  I jinxed myself during my last pregnancy by having a morning tea to celebrate 31 weeks (the longest I have ever been pregnant!) – I was then admitted to hospital 5 days later and Aiden arrived a few days after that!

When my sister said she didn’t want a baby shower, I was a little disappointed, but respected her decision.  I did still want to do something special for her.  She has been amazing over the past couple of years, dropping everything to fly up and help us out when I’ve been pregnant/in hospital, and I was looking forward to having an opportunity to repay some of the massive debt we owe her.  It’s quite likely her little bub will be arriving a few weeks earlier than expected, so we took the opportunity to arrange a surprise family lunch for her this weekend.

As with any kind of celebration, it’s not complete without a cake and I was keen to try something new.  I’ve always thought rainbow cakes look impressive, and to go with the baby theme I thought pink and blue layers (she hasn’t found out what she is having – much to my frustration!) would look good.

Baby Shower Celebration Cake

I was really happy with how the cake turned out. I was a little worried about how I was going to put it together, but it was surprisingly easy.  I kept the decorations simple and just used smarties (only needed 2 bags to get enough pink and blue ones), but you could jazz this up as much as you want.

Loving the layers

Loving the layers

baby shower cake 4 copy

Butter Cake – The below recipe makes one cake.  You will need two of these for a four layered cake as pictured- recipe is from Donna Hay Modern Classics 2.

125g butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup cater sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups plain flour – sifted

1/2 teaspoon baking powder – sifted

1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda – sifted

1/2 cup milk

Pink and Blue food dye

  • Preheat over to 150 degrees
  • Place all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on low speed until combined
  • Add a few drops of food dye until you have desired colour
  • Increase the speed to high and beat until just smooth

IMG_7521

  • Grease a 20cm round tin and line with non stick baking paper, spoon mixture into tin and bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes then turn onto a wire rack

Buttercream

500g butter – softened (I use Lurpak butter, it’s a bit pricer but the colour is much better)

6 1/2 cups of icing sugar – sifted

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

  • Beat butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until smooth and creamy
  • Add vanilla to butter mixture and beat well
  • Gradually add sifted icing sugar, and beat until well combined
  • Slice cakes in half once completely cooled.
  • Place one layer on serving plate, add even layer of buttercream, repeat until all layers of cake are stacked together – I find it easiest to use a pallet knife to do this
  • Spread remaining buttercream around outside and on top of cake
  • Decorate as desired

 

baby shower cake 2 copy

Linking up with The Multitasking Mummy for Mummy Mondays

 

 

The week that was….

We’ve been back in Victoria for a week now… and STILL NO BABY!!  I shouldn’t complain, Tiff was only 36 weeks yesterday, so hopefully bub stays put for another week or so.

A beautiful bump x

A beautiful bump x

 

The boys have been fantastic, Liam in particular is having a ball with so many new things to look at and do.  He is fascinated watching the cars and trucks driving past Nan’s house.  He also loves saying ‘truck’ and ‘beep beep’. It would be nice if he pronounces the ‘T’ a bit clearer, as it can be confused with another word…..  He is also loving spending time with his Nanas and Poppy and also his Aunty and Uncle.  We are all missing Daddy, Liam loves talking to him on the phone.

Liam LOVES watching the trucks

Liam LOVES watching the trucks

Story time with Nan

Story time with Nan

 

Aiden is also having lots of special cuddles – he has been going through a growth spurt the past week and we are now officially in 000s!!!

Special time with Nan

Special time with Nan

 

The weather hasn’t been too bad.  It’s certainly much cooler than back home, but we’ve at least had a few days of sunshine.

IMG_7511

The highlight of the week was our lunch today to celebrate the upcoming arrival of Tiff’s new bub.  Living interstate we often miss out on a lot of family events, so it’s really special when we can be involved too.

baby shower cake 2 copy

How has your week been?

Two boys, a plane and me…

Traveling is stressful.  Traveling with a toddler and baby can be very stressful…  It’s not only the stress of getting yourselves to the airport and settled on the plane, but it is also the stress that strangers can put on you.

If you have travelled with kids beofre, you know all about the look…   You know the one where they stare at you with two kids and grimace, hoping you will not be sitting anyway near them. Then there are the eye rolls and stares you get if one of your kids dare to grizzle or make a sound.  When you are getting these looks BEFORE you even get onto the plane, and you actually overhear people commenting how they are hoping you are not sitting near them it’s a little off putting to say the least!

My little traveller

My little traveller

Over the weekend I had the pleasure (not sure if that is the right word?) of flying to Melbourne with both of my boys for the first time.  Liam was a frequent flyer when he was younger, but hasn’t flown since he started walking and it was Aiden’s first trip.  I wasn’t too worried about Aiden, how I was going to occupy Liam and keep him happy was my big worry. Talking to others who have flown with toddlers I was given a lot of advice from feeding them lollies and giving them an iPad to play with to giving them phenergan so they sleep. Whilst a sleeping toddler sounded enticing, I decided against ‘drugging’ Liam and came up with a plan to keep him happy and occupied for the 2 1/2 hour flight.

My top tips are:

  • Be super nice to the check in staff and ask if you can be seated in a row with a spare seat. If you are flexible about where you sit, this can be easier to accommodate
  • Keep calm and be flexible – a bit tricky when you are a bit of a control freak! It’s tough when your toddler is having a ball tipping their strawberries out onto the spare seat and then putting them back into the container – but if it is keeping them amused and its not hurting anyone, go with it (this was really tough). You can then make a game out of cleaning up with wipes (another 10 minutes is then gone)
  • Make it an adventure, we talked about going on the plane, looked at pictures of planes and at the airport we bought a toy plane he chose… this was a winner, he loved it and spent a large part of the flight playing with it….  the best $14.95 I have ever spent!
  • Pack their favourite toys, books and foods.  Liam LOVES strawberries, so we had a whole punnet cut up. He also chose 4 of his cars to take and we also had a few of his favourite books.
  • It sounds obvious but be organised!  I was packed and our bags were in the car the night before. I then had a list of last minute items I needed to pack before we left in the morning.  It made me calmer which in turn kept the boys calm.

I’m pleased to say the trip went well. The boys were fantastic with Aiden sleeping for most of the trip and Liam keeping himself amused until he fell asleep as we began to descend into Melbourne.  When getting off, I admit I gave a few smug looks to the couple I had overheard talking about us at the airport!

We are heading back home in a couple of weeks, and I’m hoping to have another smooth trip – what are your traveling tips?

The BEST $14.95 I have ever spent

The BEST $14.95 I have ever spent

Linking up with the Multitasking Mummy for Mummy Mondays