Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Six months {Austin Mitchell}

No, no, no - how is our little baby Austin half a year old already?!?! Well, technically not until tomorrow (the 11th) but seeing as we lose a day flying to Australia and will be somewhere over the pacific ocean at that time, I decided to celebrate his half birthday a day early.

Austin doesn't have his 6 month checkup until after we return from Australia, so I'm not sure on his weight/length. He's filling out size 9 month clothing however and size 3 nappies.

We have TEETH! Two little pearly whites appeared within days of each other last month (finally - teething has been hard work) on the bottom gums which you can kind of see in this photo.

He's rolling all over the place and flapping around like a fish out of water on his tummy to try and go get toys, but not crawling. Given Ollie didn't start army crawling until 9 months, I'm not expecting movement in a hurry. He's still not a true sitter yet either, but he's working on his gorilla pose.

I feel like the older my kids get, the worse their sleeping gets. Ollie was a fantastic sleeper until he hit 4 months (he then didn't sleep through again until 18 months) and I feel like Austin is starting to follow in his footsteps. This month has been tough. We've gone from practically sleeping through the night to 45 min wakeups from midnight on. I don't know if it's from teething, a wonder week, or what the go is, but this mama is exhausted. Bedtime has become harder also, he's really struggling to self settle nowadays.

Same old, same old during the day - 8am, 12 noon, 4pm & 7.30pm. We've added in overnights now though - I couldn't even say how many, but it's usually a quick comfort feed to settle him. Not much else seems to work nowadays, he just wants the comfort of mama close & milk. He unofficially started solids a couple of days ago - using the laid back, fun baby led weaning approach that we took with Oliver. So far, so good but more to come on that in another post!

Best moment...
Hearing Ollie refer to Austin as 'little fella'. It just sounds so Aussie and makes me smile - these boys really are sweet together, Austin is always looking to see where Ollie is and and Ollie is forever trying to 'play' with his baby brother. Only a couple of days ago they were playing a game of peekaboo where Austin was lifting the burp cloth up and down and grinning at Ollie at the appropriate moment while Ollie added in the sound effects. Seeing them interact together so nicely makes me one happy mama.

Worst moment...
When Mitch was away last week, the boys were excellent during the day. Bedtime/overnights however left a lot to be desired and Austin in particular was really struggling to go down at night. One night it took me 2 hours to get him to sleep - he'd scream his little lungs out whenever I left the room, but start laughing when I came back in. Like, really truly laughing. Frustrating, much? As bad as his sleep has been lately, I'm trying to just be laid back about it given we are about to go to Australia and mess up his routine with the change in time zone etc. When we get home at the end of the month however, we've got some sleep issues to work through and I feel it might be time for Austin to *gulp* move into his own room. As a co-sleeping family, this will be a HUGE change but he's a very light/restless sleeper unlike Oliver as a baby, so I think it might be the right move. We'll see how it goes though; it certainly isn't practical right now with overnight feedings.

At 6 months old, Austin's favourite things are: (1) Big brother Ollie (2) Mama milk (3) Daddy snuggles (4) Bathtime!

Having us walk out of the room. Seeing Ollie upset. Bathtime ending!

Happy half birthday, sweet baby Austin. At only 6 months old, you've already brought so much joy to our lives. You truly do light up the room - you have this sweet smile that stretches from ear to ear with the biggest dimples. A smile that you love to flash at your family, friends and even complete strangers, making them melt; you are social little guy and love the attention! You are our little ray of sunshine, Austin Mitchell. We love you and can't wait to introduce you to your extended family in just a matter of hours!

Austin at 1 month2 months3 months4 months & 5 months...

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Second time mama

Some days, I feel like Supermum. Nothing can phase me. I have it all under control. But other days, I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water.

Some days, my house is clean. The groceries have been shopped for. My big boy is playing quietly by himself. The baby is sleeping peacefully. I'm wearing something remotely coordinated that doesn't belong in a gym. But most days, the TV is blaring. My big boy thinks my little boy is something to practice high jumping over. The littlest insists that the only place he is happy to sleep is on my chest. The washing basket is overflowing. And I'm covered in regurgitated milk. Not that I realise it of course until we've made it to Target and the three year old gleefully lets me and the rest of the store know at the top of his sweet little voice that there is a trail of milk curds running down the side of my yoga pants.

This mothering gig is so rewarding, but can be ever so frustrating at the same time. Having two kids feels like the new normal and has done for awhile; I feel like Austin has always been a part of our family. He's a real sweetheart and I'd be kidding myself if I thought he's a difficult baby, but still - learning how to juggle both boys has most definitely been a learning curve. They are at completely different stages but both still have quite immediate needs to be met. I love the age gap we have between the boys, but Oliver was only 2.5 when Austin was born; in the grand scheme of things, he's still so little. Some days can be rough. The sweet moments make up for all the difficult ones, but the transition from one to two has been exhaustingly eye opening.

But at the end of the day; 6 months into my updated role as mama of two littles, life is sweet. The most important thing I've learnt? Every. Single. Day is different. Each morning is a fresh start. We have bad days. But we also have really good ones. And those sweet moments sure do remind me that being a stay at home Mum is the best career move I've ever made.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

A first.

Although he's growing and changing into a real little boy these days, it feels like it's been a long time since we've experienced a real first with Oliver. Being our firstborn, every milestone with him felt like such a huge achievement - first tooth, first words, first steps. It was all documented and proudly recorded in his baby book. Then a couple of years went by without anything huge happening - developing all the same, but no groundbreaking milestones.

Yesterday, we hit another first. First day of preschool. It crept up on me so quickly. We enrolled Oliver for 2 mornings a week in the 3 year old program at a small Christian school shortly after Austin was born. We've been talking to him about it a lot since and he was super excited. Still, I found myself full of nerves when we walked into his classroom, hand in hand, yesterday morning. He had his shy face on but it didn't take long before he started chatting to his teacher about Lego and then ran off happily to play. He didn't even blink an eyelid when I said goodbye.

Other than Sunday School & the childcare at my Thursday morning mothers group, Oliver has never been out of my care on a regular basis. It was a strange experience, dropping him off and leaving the premises. I found myself pointing out construction vehicles to him on the drive home, only to realise that it was just Austin back there who currently couldn't care less about such things. It felt odd, not having my big boy by my side. I'm sure I'll get used to it though, and the one on one time with Austin will be fun.

His first day of preschool was a success and he's already asked when he can go back. But the best part? Seeing these two reunited. Ollie's face lit up when he saw Austin and once we were home, he wanted a cuddle with his baby brother.

It's crazy to think that in less than 2 years, he'll be starting actual SCHOOL. They really don't stay babies for long!

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Let the countdown begin

So, a couple of months ago I did something crazy. I booked 2 seats (and an infant lap ticket) on a plane to take a 2 week trip to Australia. Just me. And the kiddos. It seemed like a brilliant idea at the time given that Mitch will be in Singapore for work, but now that my first solo international flight with a toddler AND baby is only a week away, I'm terrified. Like, every time I think about the logistics of how on earth I'm gonna pee for those 16 hours of flight time (each direction!), I feel queasy. And given that I'm solo parenting the week before my flight with Mitch on another trip that cropped up after I booked my non refundable, non changeable tickets, I know I'm going to go into it already feeling exhausted. I'm really trying to psych myself up for the journey but honestly, I'm nervous. I've flown alone long haul with Ollie when he was 13 months (and spent the night in Auckland International after our plane literally broke down on the runway) but me + baby + toddler flying alone is uncharted territory.

A few people have called me brave taking this trip, but now that my trip is looming, I feel more like a crazy person than a brave one. Yes, it's going to be worth it. SO worth it. With the exception of my eldest sister, none of my family have met Austin before. Heck, they've only met Ollie a small handful of times. I can't wait to be in the motherland and spend some quality time with the people I miss, but I just wish it didn't have to be such a marathon effort to get there.

So, if you're thinking of me anytime between the 10th-12th September (I lose an entire day - Austin's half birthday - traveling to the land down under), say a little prayer. That the big boy is well behaved. That there are no crazy lines for the airplane toilets when he finally decides he desperately needs to go pee. That I don't lose him at the airport (seriously - he nearly escaped us coming through security at Christmas time. That was with 2 adults. I had to ditch my belongings and chase him, bare foot, through the airport while Mitch was still in the security line). That Austin charm every single passenger around us with his sweet smiles and doesn't react badly (ie scream for 16 hours) to the air pressure. That we breeze through customs lines and security and baggage claim (particularly on the way home through LAX, where I will clear customs, collect our bags and somehow get them and us to the domestic airport to re-check our bags and board our final flight). Oh, and most importantly... And that the air hostesses in our part of the plane actually LIKE KIDS.

Thanks, everyone. The countdown has officially begun... Australia, HERE WE COME!

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Weekend goodness - glamping, round 2

This past weekend we headed down south to Santa Cruz for another glamping experience. Last year we took the same trip with these friends from my mothers group/church, and I'm thinking it should be an annual trip.

The adults got to hang out, the kids had a blast playing non stop - with a giant bouncy pillow, sandpit, mini golf, pool, playground & train, the KOA is a kids dream.

On our second night, we enjoyed a potluck feast. The spread was pretty amazing!

And we finally got some cute group pictures of our kiddos. Last year we tried to make this happen and it was disastrous.

Love these kiddos, and their parents too - I'm so thankful for our little village.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

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

Quotes I don't want to forget - Mr Oliver at 3 years old...

When I called him baby: no, Mummy. I not a baby. I'm a man!

Talking about future sleeping arrangements: when I grow bigger, I can have a bunk bed. And Daddy can build it. And Austin can sleep on the top. And I will sleep on the bottom.

Whenever he 'baby talks' to Austin, right in his face: babybabybaby. babyaustin. babyaustin. babybabybaby.

When a street sweeper drove down our street: the street sweeper is making our street clean! Now wois anne and hudson can drive their big truck down our street.

Making grand plans for him & Austin: look Mummy! He's growing really really bigger already! Now he can play with me. We can play trains together. And cars!

Whenever he puts a toy anywhere near Austin: look Mummy! I'M SHARING!

When some Noonday arrived in the mail: oooooh, dat's so cool. It's MY special necklace.

Every time Austin falls asleep in the car: BABYAUSTIN! It's WAKE UP TIME!!! RAWWWWWRRRRRR!!!

When his trampoline was half constructed and I asked him if he knew what it was: it's a tent shade.

When he's being gassy and won't say pardon me: heheh. Dat was Austin's bottom! Poooooey!

And my all time favourite...

When leaning in to give me a hug: you smell like grown up.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

RAWR! Mr Oliver is 3!!!

This past weekend, our big boy turned THREE! He was super excited about his birthday this year, starting the day at 6.15am asking for presents ;-) Just like last year, we hid his presents over the house. He had fun looking for them - and once he was finished, he told Mitch and I to go find our presents now... Funny boy :-)

I had been undecided for months as to what to do for his party this year. I started planning out another big party, but honestly - the thought of so many people, the decorating, all the preparation was stressing me out. What I really wanted was just to do a small family party, but seeing as our family is on the other side of the globe, we got together with some of our surrogate family instead. It was perfect. Just a handful of Ollie's closest buddies, a BBQ dinner, pinata & cake; low key & not too overwhelming for the birthday boy.

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