Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Nine months {Austin Mitchell}

Hello, nine month old!

At nine months old, Austin is in size 3 nappies, 9-12 month clothing and size 3/4 shoes. Unsure on height/weight as I haven't measured him...

No hands & knees crawling yet, but plenty of rocking like he wants to go, backwards army crawling and bottom scooting! He gets one leg behind him and one tucked in and pulls along on his bottom. Slowly, but he's able to get what he wants finally even if it takes him a long time.

He's really wanting to stand all the time too, he can pull up on my legs if I'm sitting down beside him but mostly falls over when he pulls up on taller things like the exersaucer (and just swings underneath). He's starting to walk along a little when you hold his hands - he just loves being upright!

He's a noisy little chatterbox too - he's started this very loud shouting that sounds a lot like his big bro... He says mama, bubba and even said dada for the first time last week.

It's been so-so. Definitely nowhere near as bad as it was from 6-8 months, but not brilliant. He's just been a bit more unsettled, taking longer to settle at bedtime and waking up 2 or 3 times a night on average, with a really bad night probably once a week. We're just rolling with it though; he's still little and teething just seems so constant that I'm not expecting a full nights sleep anytime soon.

He's still taking 2 naps a day - around 9/9.30am and 1/2pm. The morning one is usually short and the afternoon longer. Some days though he thinks naptime is over at 2pm and will not resettle; those days make for looooong, frustrating afternoons. But in general, the naptime routine is still working well.

The 4pm feed has pretty much been ditched. Some days if he's fussy (ie when naps end early) he'll take it, but most of the time he's lost interest. At 9 months old, he's nursing 3 x day (8am, 1pm, 7pm) and once overnight. It does feel like solids are starting to take over a little more and although he's not quite as adventurous as Ollie at this age (Oliver would practically inhale whatever was placed in front of him no matter the consistency and wouldn't let you assist him; Austin actually likes to be spoon fed things like porridge and tends to play a little more with certain foods, rather than eat them), he's still a great little eater. He's working on his pincer grip; with eating things like peas and corn he's almost got it down pat.

Best moment...
Mitch was away for work last week and this usually means a chaotic dinner/bedtime. I had Austin in the Stokke (and fussing), his serving of soup on the table and was finishing serving up Ollie's and mine when the crying stopped. Ollie was sitting in my seat beside Austin, proudly slopping spoonfuls of soup into his baby brother's mouth: 'it's ok Mummy, I'm feeding him'. Austin was lapping up the attention from his bro; it really was a sweet moment and I'm SO proud of my big helper :-)

Worst moment...
Last weekend Austin went on a breastfeeding strike. It was our first breastfeeding hiccup; he'd never done this before and neither had Ollie, so it was completely new territory and totally stressed me out. I mean, isn't breastfeeding meant to be easy by this point? From 9am one morning until bedtime the following day, he refused to breastfeed. I kept him hydrated with water and he was eating normally, but wasn't particularly keen on a bottle either. You have no idea how relieved I am that he's back to nursing normally again now. We *think* it was maybe teeth causing him pain, but who knows - I was even worried he was starting to self wean, and I'm just not ready to walk that path just yet. I really want to make it to at least a year!

Sitting in front of his big basket of toys on its side and just playing quietly to his hearts content --- Watching Ollie jump --- His dummy (he has a love-hate relationship with that thing. One week he refuses it, the next he won't let it out of his sight) --- Biting mama --- Wiggling his head frantically and watching for a reaction --- Blowing bubbles --- Drinking water out of a regular cup --- Smiling :-)

Bedtime --- Seeing Ollie cry --- Getting in the car (although he's ok once we're moving) --- Having his nappy changed ---

Happy nine months, sweet bubba boy - or baby babe as Ollie loves to call you. Your cheeky side has really shone this past month; you love having all eyes on you and have worked out all the sly little expressions and head shakes to get people looking at you before you break out in that winning smile. You're forever winning over complete strangers in checkout lines with your sunny personality. You truly are a relaxed, laid back little man - although truth be told, you aren't always smiling...

Just most of the time ;-)

We love you, sweet baby babe Austin!

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Miniature ice skater

Oh gosh. Until a couple of weekends ago, it had been a looooong time since I had ice skated - in fact, not since 2012 when our local ponds froze over. Of course, my ice skates made the move with us from Holland to the USA but as I discovered when I tried to put them back on, my feet have grown yet again with Austin's pregnancy and it was almost painful to squeeze them on. Ollie however fit into them no worries... ;-)

Despite growing up in hot Queensland, I love ice skating. There was a large indoor rink in the city where we lived and (random fact) as an adult, a friend and I decided to learn how to figure skate. Yes, 2 grown women in a rink with a bunch of little kids BUT it was so much fun - not to mention a great workout. We took lessons twice weekly and learned to skate backwards, turn, spin, lunge, mohawk, jump... And a bunch of other terms I've already forgotten the name of, let alone how to do.

On the Sunday before last, I felt like skating again so we made plans to meet up with friends at a nearby outdoor rink. I have been wanting to take Ollie skating and although it was kinda exhausting keeping him upright, it was fun!

Perhaps we'll try again in New York?

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Weekend goodness - the Christmas tree farm

Cutting down a real Christmas tree has been on my to do list forever. I had thought we would do it when we lived in the Netherlands, but nope - we settled for a lovely tree from a lot instead! This year we grabbed a Groupon for Summit Christmas tree farm and on a particularly soggy weekend, we braved the weather and headed out to the mountains for our first tree cutting experience!

Once we got home, Ollie was SUPER excited to get out the Christmas decorations. The last time we decorated a tree together, he was only little and didn't really understand what was going on. This age is fun - I love seeing his excitement and hearing all his ooohs and aaahs as each decoration was unwrapped.

Of course, it wouldn't be right to decorate the Christmas tree without some mulled wine... Mitch's speciality. He's spent years perfecting his recipe and I have to say, I think this years brew was the best yet! We even had a grape juice version for Ollie.

My favourite thing about our Christmas tree? It's unique. Like I mentioned on Instagram, it's eclectic. Nothing matches; it's a jumbled mess of memories and I absolutely ♥️ it. Every year since 2004, when we got married, we've each bought a new decoration to hang on the tree. The collection has slowly grown over the years & we've added in extras with our travels, vintage beauties rummaged at European Christmas op shops & Christmas markets. Every decoration has a story behind it. A memory... Our first married Christmas as uni students living in our tiny Brisbane apartment. The year we went to Noosa and feasted by the beach. The one when we lived in France and spent weekends scouring local festive markets for the perfect ornament. The Christmas we found out we were going to become a family of 3... And this year, Oliver was thrilled to choose his own decoration for the first time. Just a hanging snow globe from Target, but he hung it with pride and care.

I'm so excited my favourite season is here. It still feels a little surreal that it's December already, but we are loving it all the same!

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Out of the mouth of babes {Oliver, 3 years 3 months}

A few random quotes I don't want to forget - Mr Oliver at 3 years, 3 months...

When told we were going to his friend Emeline & Kate's new house: did they take their old house back to the shop?

Correcting my Aussie-ness when I told him to throw something in the 'rubbish': no, Mummy. I throw it in the trash can.

His opinion on expanding our family: baby Austin is getting really really bigger. We need another baby. 2 babies. Then they can talk to each other. Mummy, can you have another baby in your belly?

Evening prayer on a Thursday (mothers group day): dear God. Thank you for mothers together. Thank you for park. Thank you for my friends. Amen!

Oh, this boy. This big boy. Every day he is seeming more and more kid and less like a toddler. He's a real little chatterbox, but only in one on one or small group situations. Put him in a crowd and he's quiet and shy.

He's fiercely protective of his baby brother - he stands guard over the stroller and won't let any of his friends get close to Austin, exclaiming that's MY baby. He wants to play with Austin constantly and is always chatting to him and trying to involve him in play; it's super sweet. He has all these grand plans for him & Austin in the future.

He likes to keep busy and asks what the full plan is for the day every morning. He loves playing with his friends - especially at the park - and at home loves playing Legos or doing craft. He's craft obsessed actually - every afternoon while Austin is napping, we create something together at his request.

He started swimming lessons in October and is progressing really well. I wasn't sure how he'd go given I'm not in there with him - instead watching from behind a glass wall, but there have been no tears and he looks forward to his lessons. He's gone from zero water skills to now being able to paddle a short distance, float on his back by himself, dive to the bottom of the pool to retrieve rings... I'm proud!

He goes to preschool 2 mornings a week now and is doing really well. He doesn't like to sing or dance (takes after his mama, much?) but loves stories, playtime and craft time. Oh, and snack. This boy is a bottomless pit! His favourite food is apples. He likes them whole and would happily munch a whole bag in a sitting if he was allowed.

His accent is developing. We've really noticed a change since he started school - it's a definite mix of Aussie and American nowadays and I can see him trying out different ways to say words. Some days it's zeeeebra, other days it's zeb-rah. Particular words (anything ending with an R sound) are full on American sounding though and while it's strange hearing that accent come out of my little Dutch-Aussie kiddo, we love it all the same.

I like this age. The twos were pretty challenging with our Oliver, but three has been a super sweet age so far. It's fun; he's my real little buddy. We love you, our sweet Oliver John!

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Life lately

It's hard to believe it's very nearly December! Christmas is by far my favourite season and with a holiday in NYC coming up, I'm excited about what this next month has in store. Life lately via the iPhone...

I took a big step this month - leaving BOTH boys overnight for the first time to go on a girls weekend in Napa! With a limo tour, lots of tasty wine, good food & great company, it was a really refreshing getaway.

I've only ever left Ollie 4 times since he was born (for Vegas, a girls weekend at the beach, an overnight with Mitch for our anniversary and then Austin's birth) and had never spent a night away from Austin. Given he actually takes a bottle, I knew it was a possibility but still was a little nervous leaving my clingy little guy. Mitch is a champ though! While I was off enjoying the weekend in Napa with friends, he had everything under control. They played mini golf with friends, went to the park, the car wash... I came home to a happy household :-)

I had a blast but it was so nice to come home to my crazy, sweet boys. Getting breaks here & there - whether it's a MNO, a pedicure, a trip alone to Target or even something bigger like a girls weekend away really helps me switch off and recharge. I love being a stay at home Mum more than I had ever imagined, but still so appreciate these little breaks when they come up.

This past weekend has been a long one for Thanksgiving - four whole days off! We decided not to make any plans and just enjoy time at home; given whenever Mitch takes holidays we go away somewhere, it was nice to just have a mini staycation :-) Ollie had best friend day at preschool on Wednesday, and was thrilled to have Dadda come in for snack & a mini performance.

We were all sick for Thanksgiving, but enjoyed a belated friendsgiving a few days later...

... and baby Austin sure was excited about his first Thanksgiving feast!

See you later November - bring on December and all the Christmas fun!

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