Tuesday, May 28, 2013

21...

Time just keeps escaping me at the moment - I started this post a couple of weeks ago, but it's taken me until the end of the month to finish it! I feel like I blink and my not-so-baby boy is suddenly a month older. At 21 months, Mr Oliver...

... likes to pretend Mummy is a kidnapper. He didn't want to sit in his stroller at Target the other week and instead of having a full blown tantrum, he tried a new tactic - yelling out help! help! help! at the top of his sweet little voice. A poor young guy working in the store stopped me and (kindly) informed me that 'he doesn't want to be in there'. Um. You think?!?!

... has a slight obsession with tunnels. He likes for us to build them for him out of pillows and if he sees anyones leg (or arms, or any body part for that matter) positioned in a way that looks even slightly tunnel-ish, he cries out 'tumbell' and crawls through at a frightening speed.

... has unfortunately hit the stage where he likes to put strange objects in body orifices, for the fun of it. Lets just say the other day he not only decided to dig out an old sock of mine and pick all the lint off it, he then balled up all the lint and stuck it in his ear before proudly showing it to me *ugh*.

... is quickly becoming a backseat driver. One day we were following a fire truck (just driving along, no lights on or anything) and he excitedly piped up with 'mama! ree-aw ree-aw truck! chase! chase truck mama!'. He wasn't too impressed when I didn't fulfill his request...

... LOVES to tickle and chase. To the point that he chased a complete stranger down at the zoo the other day with his best tickle hands, crying out 'tickle tickle chase'!!! (we did manage to catch him before he grabbed the poor unsuspecting woman).

... is getting pretty darn good with his manners. He knows that when he wants something, he needs to say please and 9/10 times will respond with a sweet little 'tank uuuu'. Sometimes though he hands us stuff saying thank you - I'm telling myself it's just his Dutch heritage :P I'm trying very hard to teach him alstublieft :)

... discovered the joys of a 5* hotel. All the trips we've taken since Oliver has been born have been sightseeing/road trips - where the point of the holiday is the scenery, NOT the hotels... This was his first 'luxury' experience and lets just say he was pretty impressed with the turn down service - he slept on a pull out sofa and was beyond excited when we'd get back to the hotel at night and there would be a chocolate on his bed!!!


Cuteness aside, I have to admit that it's been a challenging month. We have had some of the sweetest moments and also some of the most challenging. Oliver was positively angelic on our Mexico trip - he smiled, flirted, slept brilliantly and played happily the entire time. We got to relax wayyyy more then expected and it was honestly the best holiday we've had in a long time...

... until the day we flew out. Ollie woke up on the wrong side of bed and it took him an entire week to snap out of it. It was AWFUL. Heck, even the plane trip was so bad that the person sitting behind us offered us cough syrup (which I politely declined, despite wanting to let loose!). After we got back from Mexico, Mitch would get home from work every day and I'd hand Ollie over and either walk out the door or lock myself in the craft room. My usually sweet boy was just really angry and frustrated all the time - the kicking, screaming, head banging, tantrum throwing was at it's finest. He'd bite me so hard it broke the skin, and then exclaim 'trouble. naughty. corner'. That just added to my frustration - what do you do with a kid that ASKS to be put in a time out?!?! I won't lie - it was a TOUGH week. I was really nervous because Mitch was going away for work the following Monday and I didn't know how I'd get through a whole week without being able to hand him over at the end of the day (I really have to take my hat off to all the mamas I know whose husbands work away! That must be seriously hard work!). Well, he must have sensed my nerves because he woke up on the day Mitch flew out as his happy, normal self again. THANK GOODNESS!!! Toddlers huh... It's all fun and games!

Happy 21 months big boy!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

21/52


"A photo of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013"

Oliver: the second he hears me opening the bathroom cupboard in the morning, he comes racing in crying out makeup! makeup! It's becoming our new favourite morning tradition - he hands me things, stacks them, drops them, picks them up, re-stacks them - and loves to brush his hair with a blush brush :-)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

20/52


"A photo of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013"

Oliver: This kid is a Dadda's boy, through and through. As much as he loves his Mumma time, he has really missed Mitch this week - his little face lights up the second Dadda appears on Skype!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Currently {16.05.13}

Loving: Starting to take control of my health a little more. I know I've mentioned before that I've been feeling off for a while now, for months actually. I'm just so sick of feeling bloated and exhausted. So I'm trialling the Wheat Belly diet for a month to see if it helps my overall health. I've been gluten free for a little over a week now and although I haven't noticed any huge differences, I did notice the ill effects of going on a wheat binge last weekend. Saturday was date night and although I went out intending to stick to the diet, it all went down the drain the second the bread hit the table. I paid for it Sunday morning though :(

Reading: Other then Wheat Belly, I read a bunch of mindless thrillers while we were on holidays. Nothing spectacular, just some new James Patterson novels. I also just started The Sanctuary by Ted Dekker - I've never read any of his books before. It hasn't really grabbed me yet, but I'm not very far through.

Watching: Same old, same old - we're still enjoying Call the Midwife and The Amazing Race. While Mitch has been away I've also caught up on a couple of episodes of Grey's Anatomy - and quickly realised that I haven't missed anything much. I used to LOVE that show but I wish they axed it a few seasons ago while it was still good.

Creating: Oh my! Where do I start. I have really been feeling creative again this past week. I had been wanting to expand la petite lulu for awhile but needed some motivation to kick it off. After chatting Etsy stuff with a friend last week, I got all fired up and made a bunch of coordinating bibs, burp cloths and even a couple of decorated onesies which have now hit the shop. I'm loving it! I'm still using repurposed fabrics, just like my softies. I'm happily taking custom orders on these ones too - I can do any combination of bibs, burp cloths and onesies to make a great baby shower gift :-)

Thinking about: When / where to next take a holiday (as always). We are going away for a long weekend in June to a place near Lake Tahoe, but have also been thinking about possibly going to New York before Ollie turns two - making the most of a free ticket while we can. I don't know where to start though - it could only be another short trip because of Mitch's limited holiday allowance. Decisions, decisions!

Making me happy: Oliver has started saying love you - except it comes out more like nanu. He gives us hugs and says nanu Dadda, nanu Mumma. After we put him to bed one night, I even heard him saying nanu dog to his musical dog he takes to bed each night - sweet :)

Looking forward to: Having Mitch home again tomorrow (he's been in Washington DC all week) and having a quiet weekend at home together! The last couple of weeks have been generally a little busy. I can't wait to fire up the BBQ and kick back in the backyard with Mitch while our boy plays... Perhaps watch a movie. Eat some chocolate. Read a book!


Happy Thursday all!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hola!!!

A recent mini break at the gorgeous Casa Dorada in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico gave us all the much needed rest I had been craving...


Even with an almost 2 year old, it was surprisingly relaxing. If we weren't snacking...


... we were enjoying the sunshine & water,


Walking along the beach...


Kicking back with a cocktail...


Experiencing beachside dining...


Admiring the view...


Playing in the sand...


And finally getting a family photo that wasn't too blurry (isn't it fun relying on strangers to take your family photo all the time!)... 


... although it took a bit of tickling to get the kiddo to smile!


I'm thinking Cabo could become a yearly vacation... We LOVED it!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Because everyone has a bad angle...

Now, before I bombard you with photos from our Mexican getaway, I need to put it out there.... EVERYONE HAS A BAD ANGLE!!!

I feel like as a blogger, I'm forever checking and re-checking the photos I share in this space. Making sure the pooch is disguised and only one chin is visible. Choosing the smiley photos of my kiddo, not the scowls. Photographing the days I'm in cute dresses and not ugly tracky dacks (translation: sweats :-) ). But lets face it - that's not always my reality. I have a bad angle. A lot of them actually. And my kid might smile a lot but he unfortunately inherited my double chin. And he does scowl!

So in the effort of keeping it 'real'...





... everyone has a bad angle :-)


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Being Mum

It feels like an eternity ago that I wrote this post for my first Mothers Day. I look back and can't believe just how much not only Mr Oliver, but also me as a Mum have grown and changed in just a year. It's certainly been another full on year, making the transition from baby to toddler. I honestly don't know how to describe toddlerhood. It's crazy. One minute it's snuggles and sharing, the next it's head banging tantrums and biting my arms. Oliver is such a sweet boy, he really is - but I feel like it's a toddlers sole purpose in life to learn what the boundaries are and push them. Constantly...

Raising a toddler is hard work. I've never really been a huge baby person so I was extremely thankful (relieved) that we were blessed with a super easy newborn. He just ate, snuggled and slept. Even through the night -  he might have been a rubbish sleeper from 4-18 months, but in those first few months it was smooth sailing. I feel like God gave us such an easy going little bubba because he knew we would need it - being especially inexperienced but also having living overseas, without having our families around to provide that hands on support that new parents need.

Raising a toddler however? It's been even more of a learning curve. Figuring out how to feed and change nappies and swaddle and decipher cries is one thing, but trying to understand what goes through the mind of a one and a half year old - I won't lie, I find it challenging. I do love a challenge, but some days when 5.30pm rolls around and Mitch walks in the door, I feel like handing the kiddo over and heading out myself (which sometimes I do, or I lock myself in my craft room for a little while to unwind). If I thought I was ill equipped for infancy - well, I'm absolutely clueless when it comes to toddlerhood. Sure, I read parenting books and I ask friends & family for advice but half the time it's all just trial and error til we figure out how to make things work. And being someone who likes to be in control and know what I'm doing and how it's going to work all the time - it can be frustrating.

I honestly feel like Oliver is teaching me as much as I'm teaching him. While I'm helping him learn his colours or numbers or even just showing him how to maneuver a staircase, he's teaching me patience. Respect. The importance of prayer. "Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work": a friend shared this quote recently and it really spoke to my heart. Being a Mum is the most challenging job I've ever had in my life. It's also the most important. It can be overwhelming at times but it's also so very rewarding - it's hard to type it out exactly, but I know a fellow parent can understand what I'm talking about. Being a Mum is such a privilege, it's something I wouldn't change for the world. At the end of the day, I'm just so thankful for this sweet little boy who made me a Mum :-)

All that being said... Happy (belated) Mothers Day! We had an exhausting, but nice day. It had a bit of a rocky start with a mischievous Ollie and slightly under the weather Mumma, but there's nothing like some fresh air, a beach picnic and a random dolphin performance to change the course of a day... :-)






I hope all the lovely mamas I know had a wonderful day!


Saturday, May 11, 2013

19/52


"A photo of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013"

Oliver: It takes a lot of concentration to put on Mummy's gumboot when you're only one and a half...

Friday, May 10, 2013

April Cara Box reveal

This post is a little late in coming due to holidays and all - but this past month I was excited to take part in the Cara Box exchange again!


With April 22nd being Earth Day, this months theme was go green! I sent my box to Gayle and received a sweet box from Abby at The Secret Life Coach of DC. I meant to take some proper photos, but it arrived in the midst of packing the day before we left for Mexico and when we got back... Well - the husband enjoyed the lollies and the little boy enjoyed RIPPING apart the box of tea before I got a chance to snap some pics. Fun. I was really touched by all the fabric scraps to use for my softies - practical, cute and 'green'!


Thursday, May 9, 2013

18/52


"A photo of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013"

Oliver: Besties :-)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

So... why do I do this?

Lets face it - blogging is a lot of work. Don't get me wrong - I love it, but writing posts and uploading photos (and trying to decide what photos to upload) and scheduling posts and link ups and responding to comments AND reading my favourite blogs... Well, it's time consuming. So why do I do it?

Hooah and Hiccups

I started blogging in January 2010 right around when Mitch and I found out we were moving to the Netherlands. We had 8 weeks notice and although the move wasn't entirely unexpected, packing up our lives and saying goodbye to our family and friends was a little overwhelming. Blogging was something  I could do regularly that felt normal and I wanted to use it to keep everyone back in Australia updated on our whereabouts. It kinda transitioned into a bit of a travel diary and then when I announced we were expecting our first baby (in a foreign country no less!) it became a way to also keep everyone updated on the pregnancy.

Then when Oliver was born and I was (and still am) figuring out this crazy thing called motherhood, it became a therapy of sorts. A way to get out not just what's going on in our day to day lives, but process my feelings. Because it has been a CRAZY few years - 2 international moves, becoming parents, new jobs, new friends and countless travels... A crazy few years I wouldn't change for the world however :-)

When I first started blogging, I had no idea that a blogging community even existed let alone how to find other like minded blogs. I wrote mostly for myself but also for friends & family. In fact, I think in my first 2.5 years of writing, the only people that read my blog were family, friends and a small number of fellow expats. When I re-opened my Etsy store in October last year, I decided my blog could be a platform to help kick that off and started actively trying to grow my blog.

What I didn't realise at the time was just what that would mean. And I'm not talking numbers - as I've mentioned before, one thing I've discovered over the years is that readers are more important then followers. Over the past 6 months or so, I feel like I've 'met' and gotten to know a small handful of really lovely ladies through blogging. Sure, like anything there are cliques and unfortunately you do see some nastiness flying around online from time to time. But I am just so very thankful that I stepped out of my comfort zone and started exploring the world of blogging because the benefits definitely outweigh any negatives.

When it all comes down to it, I started blogging for me and I'll continue doing it for me - blogging has become one of my favourite pastimes. It's my me time while the kiddo is napping and although I definitely feel like I go through phases where my mind is just bursting with ideas for potential blog posts while sometimes I just can't face sitting down at the computer, la petite lulu is here to stay :-)


And on a side note... We are back from Mexico!!! I don't know where to start and need to sift through more photos, but lets just say I am feeling refreshed - that much needed period of rest was definitely achieved :-)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Rest

Can I be honest? I don't want to sound whiney, but I'm tired. Not just physically, but mentally too. I feel bad complaining, because I really don't have a good reason to be feeling this way - although I guess some level of tiredness is part and parcel of being a Mum, right? My brain has just been SO busy lately - I'm finding it hard to switch off and even with a (lovely) night away last week, I'm craving rest...

Rest - it just sounds so appealing right now. I'm not someone who is very good at sitting still. I'm big on naptimes being 'me' time, but during those couple of hours I have been tending to throw myself into a million sewing projects or bake a zillion things I saw on Pinterest or blog or respond to emails... When I should probably just spend a naptime here or there just laying down and resting my mind. Because this mothering gig - it's a real privilege, but some days it can just be downright exhausting.

Mexico couldn't have come at a better time. We leave tomorrow and I can't wait. It's not the location that's getting me so excited, it's really just the idea of being away with my boys. Being away from the distractions of every day life, the constant flow of washing and groceries and running errands. Being switched off from social media - my phone is getting turned off for the flight and won't be switched back on until we hit US soil again. It's only a really short trip, but the idea of not having an itinerary for a few days is sounding really good right now. No to do lists, no alarm clock... Well, except the built in one that comes in the form of a rather cute 20 month old of course :-)

Rest. Bring it on I say - see you on the other side... :-)


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