Wednesday, August 31, 2011

While you were sleeping

While Mr Oliver is sleeping peacefully...


Mitch and I should probably be doing more of this ourselves...


But instead, it's just so much more fun to snap photos of our little man in his dreamy state....






I could just stare at his sweet little face all day long - Oliver John, you have us wrapped around your cute little finger already :-)


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Welcome to the world Oliver

Introducing our precious little man - Oliver John...


Born 16 August 2011 at 8.25pm, weighing 3.78kg - he made his entrance into the world a whopping 68 hours after my waters broke...



Mitch and I are just so thrilled to finally have our little Stroopy here - 1 week old today and he already has us both wrapped around his cute little finger...



Thanks to all our family & friends for your thoughts & prayers - it was a tough start to the week with both Oliver and I being unwell but we are doing so much better now and happy to be settling in at home... More to come :-)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Your chariot awaits...

Guess what arrived on our doorstep earlier this week?!?! I had been expecting it for weeks mind you (the shop I ordered through was terrible with delivery!!!) but it was still a nice surprise to have it arrive before baby - not that I'm expecting to be back on my bike in a hurry!

Mitch pulled it out of the box and assembled it in the lounge room...


The finished product!!! Looks nice and cosy - if it didn't have a 40kg weight limit, I'd so be making Mitch tow me round for a practice ride!!!!


After putting it together, we discovered that it's so wide it can't actually fit through any of our doorways. So it had to be put back down again and away in storage until we're ready to take the little boef for a spin. The next goal is to figure out how to put the Maxi Cosi in it - this is apparently how you can use the fietskar for a baby, the capsule just straps in and away you go.

We are so looking forward to our first family ride - I have a feeling though that the Stroopy towing might be up to Mitch for awhile... The fietskar weighs nearly as much as my (heavy) bike and once we put the car seat and bubba in there, it's going to require some serious leg muscles to tow it!!!

C'mon Stroopy, we are so keen to meet you - your chariot awaits...

Monday, August 8, 2011

La petite bump - 38 weeks

I would LOVE if this were my last bump post but I have to say, I'm not feeling too hopeful. I think our little boef is feeling quite comfy in there and will be staying put til the very last minute possible. Again, the last 2 weeks have flown by but the days are tending to drag on a bit.

The bump isn't looking so petite anymore - I do feel like I'm hiding an oversized basket ball (gym ball perhaps?) under my shirt and it's resulted in quite a waddle, or so I'm told hehe. Surprisingly though, it is feeling lighter then what it was a few weeks ago. According to the midwife, little Stroopy (or not so little?!?! Only time will tell!) is head down and ready to go... And so are we - it's a real waiting game at the moment.


As I've mentioned before, part of the maternity services provided in the Netherlands includes the kraamzorg; the baby nurse who will come into our home after the birth and assist with both household duties and looking after baby. When we had our intake interview a couple of months ago, we were left with a massive list of things we needed to buy for baby (the uitzetlijst - most of which we had already purchased) and also the list of things we need for either a home birth, hospital birth by choice with our midwife, or medically required hospital birth. There was also a big green booklet of workplace health and safety related things - right down to the number of buckets, type of cleaning products and length of vacuum hose for the kraamzorg to be able to clean the house safely. The list of things for the home vs hospital birth was interesting to read - it was all in Dutch but the intake lady went through and explained it all to us. Again, it was pretty detailed (even specifying the wattage of light globe to have in our bedrooom) and we decided to be prepared for any situation - if baby comes in a hurry, we want to have everything we need. Most of these items are provided by our insurance company in the kraampakket - or what I'm terming as the DIY birth box. We received this kit back in May and it was an eye opening experience going through the contents (I quicked dubbed it the 'scary box'). Again, it's just so different to how things get done in Australia!



Part of the to-do list set out by the kraamzorg company is to raise our bed to a certain height. You have to do this regardless of whether you have a home or hospital birth - it's so the midwife doesn't have to strain his or her back attending to you during the birth and likewise for the kraamzorg in the days following the birth. I'd been told about this by a Dutch friend before and how difficult it makes it to get in and out of bed in the last few weeks of pregnancy - and the Dutch are tall by comparison! It was a requirement to have the bed raised from 37 weeks between 75-90cm mattress height. It doesn't sound like much, but raising our bed to the bare minimum height - just scraping in at 75cm and I'm struggling to get in and out of it already. Usually they recommend hiring klossen from the pharmacy to raise your bed - or even just using beer crates. However, because of our particular bed frame, neither of these methods were going to securely raise our bed to the required height so Mitch had to get inventive. After a quick trip to Gamma (the Dutch version of Bunnings) and some time spent sawing up pieces of wood, he invented a new way to raise the bed height using blocks of wood and snap ties under the slats. It worked a treat although I must say, I am SO looking forward to lowering the height again already!



For the past few weeks, we had both been wanting to get outside into the countryside and get some nice outdoors maternity shots. However, the weather in recent weeks (or months really) has been incredibly sour and it has rained every single weekend. We haven't really had a summer at all this year and it's been kinda depressing - I miss the warmth and sunshine, even a Brisbane winter is more pleasant then what we've been experiencing. But anyway - on Saturday we just decided to ignore the gloomy weather and head out to some nearby lakes for an afternoon stroll. Our stroll turned into a 4km walk - not bad for being 38 weeks pregnant I must say! Along the way, Mitch snapped a few photos of the growing bump... *fingers crossed* it will be some of the last photos of Stroopy on the inside...







I've also come to the conclusion recently that the last weeks of pregnancy are much like the first. At the moment, we are anxiously watching every little twinge and wondering if it is the real deal or not (obviously so far, it hasn't been - braxton hicks are called 'practice' contractions for a reason), not unlike those early days when we were analyzing every little symptom to see if it was a sign that I was pregnant. It feels like an age ago that we found out our little boef was on the way, yet the past 9 months have flown by. Having traveled through Holland, Switzerland, France, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina over my pregnancy, you could say that Stroopy is one well traveled baby - before he/she is even born. We are so looking forward to taking our little boef along with us on our adventures... Although I think it'll be a while before we venture out of the country again!

38 weeks down, hopefully only 2 more to go!!!! So excited about meeting this little bubba :-)

Monday, August 1, 2011

It's the little things...

With less then 3 weeks to go til our little bubba is officially due, it feels like life is a bit of a waiting game at the moment. The weeks are going by surprisingly quickly, but at the same time the days drag on. With a slower pace of life, it's the little things that tend to make my day....

Not surprisingly, these little things often tend to be food related. Last week (after an amazing pregnancy massage - why oh why, did I wait til 37 weeks to go to a day spa?!?!) I discovered HEINZ baked beans at our local supermarket. Now, I love baked beans - and I have been searching for Heinz for months (ever since finding them in Switzerland earlier this year) but with no luck up here. The only baked beans are these weird looking ones in glass jars that after months of sitting on the shelf, tend to look a bit foul - I prefer mine in a can where I can't see how gross they actually look :P I'm yet to taste them but they certainly look like Heinz baked beans - fingers crossed!!!!


Then last weekend, I made an even more exciting discovery. We had some friends visiting before they headed back to Australia and so we decided to go visit Utrecht for the day. I've walked past it on previous visits but I'd never really paid any attention to this particular store in the city centre until on Saturday, I saw a sign advertising TIM TAMS!!!!! It was an American food store but for some reason, they stocked my favourite Aussie biscuit!!!! They were a bit on the pricey side at 3,90 euros a packet, but seeing as my rations are down to 1 packet until my sister arrives, I naturally had to buy some :-)


As well as some of my other favourite treats that I have never seen over here before - Nerds, Gobstoppers and Reeces peanut butter cups... Yummmmmmm!!!! It's amazing how these little things can make a bored pregnant lady's day :-)

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