Loving: The weather - it's hot and surprisingly humid. Just a little, not as bad as a Qld summer but it feels SO much more like home to me right now. Usually it cools off in the evening really quickly here but lately it's been lovely and warm at night. Just last night Mr Oliver was running around without a shirt on, filling his dump trucks with water and tipping them out so he could splash in the puddles - it hit me that summer has finally arrived! Reading: Well, I finished the last 2 books in the Delirium trilogy - within 24 hours of getting them in the post, eeek (I was sick in bed though, so didn't have much else to do but read!). They were EXCELLENT! Best books I've read in ages. I've now moved onto A Clash of Kings by George R.R Martin. It's slow going, but so far so good. Watching: All our usual shows have finished, and I've been doing a lot more reading and sewing then TV watching lately. We watched the first 3 seasons of Arrested Development, got 2 episodes into the 4th season and nearly fell asleep. So boring. It felt more like a drama then a quick moving comedy. We decided to pretend the show ended at season 3 and move on. Any suggestions for other shows to start watching? Creating:Lots! My post here gave a bit of a summary of what I've been creating for the shop - I'm currently working on stocking the shop with more busy bags and also making a few gifts for newly arrived babies :-) Thinking about: Pregnancy. It's in the air. I can't escape it. Seriously - half the people I know here are either pregnant or popping out little ones. Not to mention every second blog I read is posting bump dates. I'm not complaining - it's really exciting (and I have *gulp* turned into one of those people that can talk pregnancy & babies all day long), but it's hard at the same time. Especially as Ollie is at an age where complete strangers in the supermarket will ask me when I'm having another one. It's just been a rough month and as soon as I think I'm done with all my emotions, something triggers the tears again. We're moving on though, step by step and I know that our time will come, at the right time. Once again, I am learning to be patient and patience is not an easy lesson. Making me happy: PLANE TICKETS!!! Finally! We booked tickets a couple of weeks ago for Australia! Our next trip had been up in the air for some time because I wasn't sure if/when I would be able to fly, but now we've locked in Christmas. We leave just before Thanksgiving and come home NYE. Almost 5 whole weeks... I can't wait! Mitch doesn't have the holidays, but thankfully he is able to work from abroad. There are few perks to being a researcher but flexibility of work location is something I am so thankful for. Looking forward to: A public holiday next week!!! They are so few and far between here (and unlike AUS/NL, not everyone gets them - it all depends on what your work decides you can take off) so we are going to make the most of it and do a mini road trip through Oregon & the northern Californian coast. Road trip time - bring it on!
And don't forget - Google Reader is on it's way out shortly!!! You can follow la petite lulu on bloglovin' here. Happy Thursday all :-)
This post has been a long time coming - last month we took Mr Oliver on his first real zoo trip! I'd heard good things about nearby Oakland Zoo and although it wasn't as big as I had been imagining, it was still a fun day out. We saw lots of different animals - monkeys and giraffes, elephants and alligators, snakes and frogs...
Oliver was very serious - just absorbing it all. In typical toddler fashion, the animal he got most excited over was... a stray cat. Yep. In the middle of the bear enclosure. With his reaction, you would've thought he'd seen some rare endangered animal, but there you go - apparently he really likes cats!
Next time I think we will try the San Francisco Zoo for something different!
This time last year we were taking these photos in preparation for Oliver's first birthday party invite - he has grown so much in just one short year but one thing hasn't changed: that gorgeous smile! This month, Mr Oliver...
... has been very clingy to Mumma. The extra cuddles have been nice though, and he's been super affectionate - when I was having a particularly rough day, he came up to me (I was laying on the couch) and said "little sleep mum, rest" and gave me a kiss on the cheek.
... is starting to get into imaginative play - during bathtime, he likes to put a plastic koala on a tupperware container, tell us it's a potty then read the koala a bath book - just like what we do when he's on the potty! He then made sure the bath water was flushed down the toilet.
... isn't very good at sharing. I know it's just an age thing and I just have to keep teaching him, but it gets kinda frustrating when he thinks that the entire playground structure is his and tries to hit any other kid that even looks like they might touch it. He's also not been too good with kids smaller then him - very pushy. It's all a learning curve.
... is loving his 'special bed'! We've been having a little more success since moving everything out of his room - he's napping and sleeping in there overnight no worries now, phew!
... has taken to referring to himself in the third person. As 'Walley'?!?!
... is talking in sentences. Short ones, but he's putting words together and speaks quite clearly - he's pretty quiet in public, but once you get him one on one, he doesn't stop talking. I have to admit, I'm pretty darn proud of all his words!
... loves to say 'pardon me'. Mitch has been teaching him that whenever he burps or passes gas, he needs to say it - and now he loves saying it so much that he strains til a noise comes out and happily shouts out PARN ME! He also likes to just say BURP! PARN ME!
... wakes up some days with the most amazing head of fuzz, and other days with the most perfect ringlet perched atop his head... Love my little blondie!
I just love mini breaks - and we recently took a little one over Fathers Day weekend to Walley's hot springs resort in Genoa, Nevada. Although we've been to Lake Tahoe a couple of times (and loved it), we'd never ventured over the other side of the mountains into the Carson valley. Friends of ours had been here a few times before and I'm glad they introduced us to it; it was a much needed, refreshing break. I think I might have found my new love: hot springs resorts with views like this - perfection!
We explored the tiny town of Genoa (complete with the oldest saloon in Nevada which was kinda cool)...
The kiddos had some really sweet moments...
And being so close to Lake Tahoe, guess where we spent Fathers Day?!?!
la petite lulu softies has been expanding lately - and seeing as I can't remember the last time I gave any kind of proper shop update on here, here's a little sample of some of the new goodies I've been creating...
I've always made bibs & burp cloths in the past for baby shower or new baby gifts so figured why not add them to the shop! A variety of different styles & options are available including bandana bibs, coordinating bib and burp cloth sets and 3 piece bib, burp cloth and appliqued onesie gift sets. These all make unique baby shower gifts!
Tooth fairy pillows
One of my nephews lost his first tooth in recent months and it got me thinking - and creating! These lightly filled pillows can be hung from a doorknob or bedpost and have a little pocket on either the front or rear of the pillow for the child to leave their tooth in - and Mum or Dad to sneakily swap it out with a little surprise from the tooth fairy :-) These can be easily personalised with the childs name or favourite colours.
A few new designs have graced the shop recently, including a hippo, elephant and koala!
I made one of these for Mr Oliver a few months back and it has been a lifesaver on flights, long car trips and while eating out. These busy bags/activity caddy are perfect for busy little people - there's space for 10 crayons, paper/notepads and stickers (or whatever you'd like to put in there really!). They make a sweet older sibling gift at a baby shower! These come complete with crayons, a notepad and two sticker sheets but there is also the option to purchase empty - just convo me before buying and I'll amend the listing.
And as always - all my creations are made primarily using repurposed (aka recycled/upcycled) materials. I source my fabrics from local thrift stores, a monthly fabric meet, donations from friends & family and of course, the vintage section of Etsy itself. This not only helps keep fabrics out of landfill, but means you get one of a kind creations as my fabrics generally aren't the run of the mill craft store variety.
I also LOVE custom orders so if you ever see anything you like but would prefer a different style, fabric or item combination (or have an entirely new request altogether), please feel free to convo me on Etsy or pop me an email at luana[at]lapetitelulu.com and I will happily put something together for you :-)
And if you want to keep updated when new items are added to the store, don't forget to follow along on Facebook here! Thanks & happy shopping!
Loving: Oliver's latest game - he makes me lay on the floor in the middle of the living room rug and runs around me shouting circles, randomly stopping every lap or two to give me a kiss. He's been super snuggly and full of love for Mumma lately and (although I could live without a bit of the clinginess) I'm lapping it up as he's usually a Dadda's boy!
Reading: Last night I started Delirium by Lauren Oliver and I woke up early this morning to finish it... It was THAT addictive. I've only had a few hours sleep and it's all the books fault! It's the first of a trilogy and reminds me of The Hunger Games. I was buying something else on Amazon and needed to get over the limit for free shipping, this was suggested so after reading the blurb I added it on but didn't expect it to be so good! Now I'm (impatiently) waiting for the next 2 to arrive.
Watching: Like always with tv shows, we're a little late to the game but we just started watching Arrested Development. And... I'm hooked. We both are!
Creating: I just uploaded a bunch of items to the shop this week including bibs, burp cloths, softies and a new line: tooth fairy cushions. It's been awhile since I've done a proper shop update so I'll have a little more info on this next week :-)
Thinking about: Everything & nothing. My heart is still grieving, my mind wants to move on. My body is exhausted. I'm pushing through, but I'm still feeling really tired these days. We're getting there though, slowly slowly.
Making me happy: It's 2pm and I am hearing sounds of silence from Oliver's room... Please please please let him be sleeping in there! If you follow along on Instagram you would've seen how yesterdays 'naptime' ended. The house still smells medicinal. I still keep finding little smears of sudocrem everywhere. The most frustrating part - it was our last tub and you can't buy it here!!!
Looking forward to: TOMORROW!!! We are going on a long weekend away with friends to a little hot springs resort in Nevada - not too far from one of our favourite places, Lake Tahoe... The first time we went to the lake was almost a year ago now - I can't believe just how much Oliver has changed in only a year!
Last weekend Mr Oliver made a big transition: he said goodbye to his cot and moved into a big boy bed! I wanted to delay the toddler bed for as long as possible, but with him outgrowing his cot (European crib = a lot smaller then the standard size) we felt it was finally time to make the change.
We headed off to Ikea after church on Sunday where he was pretty excited to choose out a doona cover (cars, of course) and a 'special bed', as he likes to call it. After naptime he helped Dadda put it together...
Only to realise we had left the slatted base at Ikea... Woops! While the Dadda made the trip back to Ikea, Ollie helped me make the bed...
Apparently it was exhausting work!
And when bedtime came...
Well he was pretty excited to climb in! The nights have gone down without a hitch - he goes to sleep no worries, doesn't climb out (as far as we know), fall out or wake up overnight. The first naptime however - ugh... Don't get me started! It took 3hrs 15mins to get him to sleep (there was a lot of lego playing going on), every time I'd go in there to tell him to go back to bed he'd run and jump into his bed and give me the cheekiest grin... Argh!
Has your little one made the transition to a big kid bed? Any tips are much appreciated!
"A photo of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013"
Oliver: There's a reason why the camera lens often has teeny tiny fingerprints on it...
On a side note: thank you all for your kind words after my last post - whether it was on here, facebook, email, whatever - thank you, thank you. I haven't gotten around to responding to everyone yet but please know that I appreciate your thoughts & prayers x
Life has been a bit of a blur lately. This little ol' blog has been a bit neglected. But, as it always is with me - writing is my therapy. I find I need to wipe away my tears, return to my keyboard and type out my mind, to help process my emotions. Writing this; publishing this is a bit like pulling off a band-aid - it hurts, but I need to do it to move forward.
The past couple of weeks have been the toughest I can remember. Right now, I should be whining to my husband about morning sickness and first trimester exhaustion. Instead, I'm mourning the loss of a life that never will be. A baby that was not meant to be born into this world. I wish I didn't become a 1 in 4 statistic, but it happened and I can't hide behind the stigma of talking about it because otherwise I can’t move on - I had a miscarriage.
And it hurts. It hurts so bad. I'm full of so many questions, most of which will never be answered and I'm just having to cling to my belief that everything happens for a reason because I don't know why this happened. It seems like a cruel joke - to experience the joy of expecting again, only to have that dream end all too soon. The worst part is, I know just what I'm missing out on. I've had a healthy pregnancy and delivered the most precious little boy into this world. I know my chances of conceiving again are really good and blah blah blah, but it hurts to think about what we're not going to experience with this baby.
But in the midst of the grief, I'm beginning to see the light. I'm trying to think about the positives because all I want right now is to go back to feeling normal again. I have a beautiful, healthy little boy. I am married to my best friend. I have the most amazing support network, a real community. I am able to feel the love from my family, even from abroad. I am able to get pregnant, something I will never, ever take for granted.
And... I'm learning about patience. A lot about it actually. You know, I had been praying for more of this quality in my life. Only, I didn't expect that it would take going through this drawn out experience for me to really learn what that word means.
I'm ok. We’re ok. I’m starting to feel more like myself again. Drained, exhausted – but me. And for once in my life, I'm not thinking too far into the future. Part of me wants to jump right back into trying again, part of me wants to hide under a rock and cry for the next year.
We're taking it one day at a time.
"but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint" Isaiah 40:31