Wednesday, October 30, 2013

At 2 years and 2 months...

Poor Mr Oliver. He turned two way back in August and I feel like he's since been a little forgotten about on this little old blog. Although I no longer think of his age as x months - he'll be 'just turned two' until he's 'two and a half' and then we'll hit three and start all over again - he's still changing rapidly and learning so much, I don't want to miss documenting his early years as life gets busier with a new little one joining our family.

At 2 years and 2 months, Mr Oliver...

... gave us his first hint of an American accent: he says zEEbra, not zEBra :-( At least he is still calling me mUmmy, but still - I know the American accent is inevitable and it's scaring me!

... loves to watch Playschool (only the best Aussie kids show, hands down). We only have 2 DVDs that don't work in our US player (ugh) so he only gets to watch them on roadtrips on the portable player. Instead, he gets to watch episodes of old school Playschool on youtube. Like, the stuff that I used to watch as a kid!!! He only watches a little TV after nap every day but he already knows the intro song and will go around randomly singing it during the day.

... has a new found obsession: dinosaurs. When we were camping, he hoarded a bunch of little plastic dinosaurs that a friend brought to share. He hid them all in his bed and they haven't left his side since. He regularly likes to sneak up on me with one and loudly exclaim ROAR!, followed by 'hehe scared Mummy'.

... loves to count. Sometimes he surprises us and can count to sixteen without missing a beat, but usually it sounds more like onetwofreesixsevenweventwelvesixteenfiveteen hehehe.

... is quite the little backseat driver. When he sees a green light (even if it's an arrow, not for me) he will yell GREEN LIGHT GO MUMMY!

... won't go to sleep until he has emptied every piece off his train table onto his pillow (tracks excluded). And when he drops a piece onto the floor, he is apparently incapable of picking it up himself and screams until we go in and get it for him. It's becoming ridiculous. We're trying to limit him to 2 or 3 pieces, but the kid is determined.

... has been experiencing a bit of separation anxiety again. It's been ages since we've dealt with this, and although it could be worse - it still breaks my heart to hear when he's having a rough time being away from me in the nursery. He has a little mantra 'mummy gone, mummy always comes back' which he apparently repeats again and again and practically starts shaking with excitement when I pick him up.

... has finally conquered the fork. And spoon. We did baby led solids, so he has always eaten appropriate finger foods and fed himself from the word go, but from around 18 months onwards he refused to use cutlery. We just let him use his hands and/or fed him ourselves, but one day recently he just picked up his fork and went for it. He hasn't looked back since - it's been awesome, although cereal scooping can get a little messy. We also changed his Stokke into the big boy chair and got rid of the table top, so I think he's feeling like a big boy nowadays.

... is really starting to use his imagination. He makes his toys talk to each other and loves playing doctor - apparently his curious George needs to go to hospital a lot and his trains often need their wheels or engines fixed by the train doctor.

... loves to say grace. He also loves just saying A-MEN! Sometimes we'll hear him in his room at night shouting it with glee.

... talks about baby brother all. the. time. He loves to pat my tummy and say 'baby brother moving around' (even when he can't feel it), although he has once patted my tummy in public and proudly exclaimed 'Mummy had lots food'. Thank you child, thank you.

... speaking of talking - he never stops. He's a lot more quiet in public mind you, but at home he's a real little chatterbox. He talks in sentences and finally has started to use you/me/my/I correctly. The talking isn't always cute though. Lets just say there was a day there last week where he refused to nap, instead shouting out MUMMY TAKE WALLEY TO HOSPITAL again and again. For over an hour. Whenever I asked him why, he proudly exclaimed SPLINTER IN FOOT! (there was no splinter). Yes - we've got to toughen this cutie up!

I have to admit, the couple of months since Ollie turned 2 have been rough. From 12-18 months, it was the full blown tantrums that had to be seen to be believed. Then it was the biting. Then it was the head banging on the floor/wall/furniture. And at 2 - the aggression started. It's hard and frustrating, but we're getting there - step by step. I do wonder though what it is going to be next? But at the end of each day, no matter how rough it is - I love this kid so much I could burst :-)

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Weekend goodness: what does the fox say???

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of last October/November is busy. It's certainly been the case again this year, and this past weekend the Halloween craziness began! Halloween is a new holiday for me - despite most people being shocked when I tell them we don't celebrate it in Europe or Australia (although from what I hear, it's starting to become a little more popular down under), I had never actually experienced it until last year when we took part in a Halloween party, Trunk or Treat and of course, trick or treating. There's a lot of things I really don't like about Halloween - but the non-gory, fun kiddie stuff is great!

This year I decided to simplify with just one costume for Oliver - a store bought fox. Little did I know it would be perfect timing with this whole fox song craze! On Saturday he tested it out at a friends Halloween party...

Then yesterday we got to enjoy our church trunk or treat!

Mr Oliver was a super serious, but super cute fox - can't wait to see him dressed up again for the 31st!

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Saturday, October 26, 2013


"A picture of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013"

Oliver: He didn't want to ride the real pony at the pumpkin patch earlier this week, but he happily rocked away on the wooden version! (snapped on my iPhone)

Linking up with Che and Fidel as part of the 52 Project.

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Friday, October 25, 2013

la petite bump {20 weeks}

How many weeks? 20 weeks - half way!!!

Baby's size and weight? 6.46 inches / 10.58 ounces (16.4cm / 300g)

Pink or blue? Most definitely a BOY!!! We had it re-confirmed at the ultrasound last week. Little mister is not shy!!!

Weight gain? 7.4 kg / 16lbs. I wish I knew how much I had gained by this point in my pregnancy with Oliver, but I just wasn't tracking it. I gained 17kg total (37.5 lbs) last time, so I'm very curious to see how this bump will compare!

Symptoms? Still throwing up, although it's probably only once or twice a week now which is bearable. Nausea is mostly gone too!!! I've been getting lots of headaches though - probably from a lack of sleep - and still feeling generally tired. This past week I've been feeling particularly run down - Ollie and I were both sick, and he has his 2 year molars coming through so none of us have been sleeping well.

Movement? All day, every day. It seems this little guy doesn't know how to sit still... Eeeek! He wasn't cooperating for the 20 week ultrasound either, he was constantly jumping around or sticking his hands in the way!

The best thing? Reaching the mid way point and getting the all clear on last weeks ultrasound. I feel more relaxed as each week goes by. Both Mitch and I couldn't believe just how detailed the scan was - WAY more than in the Netherlands. Here they checked every bone, every joint, the arteries, blood flow, kidney function. We even got close ups of his teeny tiny baby feet! After the scan though, I'm not really 100% sure on my due date - I've been told 2 different dates so far and then the baby was measuring different to both of those, so we're just planning for anytime in the first half of March! My waters broke with Oliver at 39 weeks so it'll be interesting to see if I go early again this time around.

The most difficult thing? October 17th was Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Seeing posts coming up on social media brought back a lot of memories that are still raw. Writing is my therapy though and working through my post earlier this week really helped me to deal with a lot of emotions.

Appointments? I don't see my ob-gyn again until the week before we leave for Australia. I need to find out what this means in terms of potential appointments while we're away, as we'll be gone until the new year and from what I've been told, I need to get the glucose test done in this time.

Looking forward to? I am really excited about all the preparations for our new little mister. Although he will get to the use clothes that we kept from Oliver, I can't wait to shop for his own special little outfits and DECORATE THE NURSERY!!! I am so very excited over this one. I never really got to decorate a nursery with Oliver as he didn't have his own room in our little 1 bedroom Dutch apartment. Although bubba will room with us for the first 6 months (I bought a co-sleeper recently that attaches to the bed), I still want him to have his own special space.

Bump comparison? 20 weeks pregnant with Oliver on the left vs the half way point with this new little guy on the right! Someone told me the other day that I look tiny... I feel huge, but I have to say - I am in a much better place with body image right now. I felt so bloated and enormous in every single place for the first few months, but I finally feel 'good' again now.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Wandering Wednesday - Agios Ioannis, Greece

It's been a while since I've done a Wandering Wednesday post: life has been busy and blogging has been at the back of my mind. Now that I'm starting (well, trying) to slow down a little, I want to wander on back to some of my favourite places. Because lets face it: reading about it, writing about it and traveling itself just makes me happy.

At the end of the summer in 2010, two of my sisters, brother-in-law and niece/nephews came over to visit us in Holland. We all took a holiday together to Greece; a country I've only been to once but have dreamed of re-visiting ever since that trip. My sisters and I are big Mamma Mia fans, in fact - even the kids love it too. So it was no surprise that we included a stay on the lesser known Greek island of Skopelos during our trip, aka the Mamma Mia island.

Skopelos has a much different landscape to that of the more famous Greek islands: it's green and lush. One of the highlights of our time here was hiring a car and driving around the island to see some of the filming locations, including Agios Ioannis - the church featured in the wedding scene. It was a dark and stormy day, but the scenery was still impressive.

After climbing up the somewhat narrow steps to the church at the top of the cliff, I decided that Meryl Streep must have had a body double for this bit... It was hard work walking, let alone at a run!!! And yes, there may have been a bit of orange scarf flying and singing The Winner Takes It All in this location... :-)

The church itself was small and deserted, fairly nondescript. From memory, the wedding scene wasn't even filmed in this particular church.

But the views...

After watching the movie countless times and seeing the theater production in London's West End, a visit to the Mamma Mia island and this cliff top church just made our trip to Greece that little bit more perfect :-)

Are you also a Mamma Mia fan? I feel like it's one of those things where you either love it or hate it!

Happy wanderings :-)

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My happy place: Lake Tahoe, California

Wherever we have lived in the world, I always have a happy place. Somewhere where I've been multiple times and can go back in a heartbeat. In Australia, it's Noosa. When we lived in the Netherlands, it was a little pub in a small town just over the border in Germany. In California, it's Lake Tahoe. It's a 4 hour drive from home, but when you consider just how big this state/country is - it's practically in our backyard.

We've been here a few times now, in both summer and winter and I was really bummed when we couldn't go with our Dutch friends in August to camp by the lake. I was utterly exhausted and sick and could barely get through dinner upright, let alone camping for a weekend. So, instead we took Mitch's parents and brother to the lake a couple of weekends ago and can I just say - fall at Lake Tahoe is awesome.

The weather is crisp - cool enough during the day to wear leggings & uggs without sweltering, but not so cold that you need a coat. The water is still from the lack of swimmers and boaters, and crystal clear as always. The mountains were surprisingly not yet snow capped, although it did snow just a few days after we left. And the trees....

Well, the autumn colours by the lake were spectacular. We only had one night, but I'd love to go back to this south lake resort for a longer period. It wasn't super fancy, but the suites were self contained and roomy and there were a couple of pools + hot tubs and a private beach - perfect for watching the sun set from...

Although it was only a short break, I felt refreshed. We ate at our favourite pizza joint (Base Camp Pizza - love!), enjoyed the scenery and tried not to get frustrated by the closures. Being the first weekend in October, I think it was more likely the government shutdown rather than seasonal closure that meant the beaches, lookouts and TOILETS were all locked up. Not the best news for a pregnant lady who has a baby boy that likes to bounce on her bladder all day long, but we coped.

I love my Californian happy place... Can't wait to go back in the snow!

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