Sunday, June 22, 2014

Life lately

Although there haven't been any 'big' happenings lately, we've been keeping busy with little things here & there. I'm finding that getting out and about helps keep me sane with Ollie & Austin; we definitely need our down time, but I do like to keep busy. We are headed down to Palm Springs & San Diego this week for a little summer getaway, so before the inevitable influx of holiday photos in this space, I thought I'd play catch up on the past few weeks via the iPhone - the only way I seem to get photos these days.

A few weeks back, we discovered a local food truck gathering. The trucks change weekly and after having now been three Thursday nights in a row, I'm thinking I'm liking this new summer tradition. Not having to cook once a week is fine by me, even if some of the food choices have been heart attack worthy (read: waffle, bacon, fried chicken, egg, honey, waffle aka a waffle sandwich).

The weather has been particularly summery (although a lot of the time the temps here are the same as they are in Qld. Where it's currently winter) so we've done a couple of beach trips, including my first alone - well, with a friend but without our husbands - beach day with both boys. Hoping to make this a weekly summer activity as there are so many beautiful beaches within an hours drive.

We've enjoyed backyard picnics - some on our own, some with friends...

We ended up having use of a friends firepit after a girls night in here (and have since purchased our own - Happy Father's Day, Mitch!) and have had fun making s'mores - not to mention sitting by the fire with a glass of red after the kiddos are in bed...

We've also enjoyed an afternoon by the pool - baby Austin's first swim!

I made it through my first week alone with the boys while Mitch was in Finland. There was a particularly hard night where I thought we were going to end up in the ER, but otherwise we survived. Done it once, now I'm more prepared for next time. We were all pretty happy when this guy got home though!

We bought a membership to Happy Hollow, our local park & zoo earlier this year so I've been trying to make the most of that. Ollie LOVES rides, but you'd never know by his serious face!

We finally got Austin's social security number, applied for his birth certificate (it took MONTHS before all of this happened, it's not at all efficient here like in Holland) and put in his passport application a couple of weeks ago. American passport first, then we'll deal with getting his Australian citizenship & finally his Aussie passport. Trying to get a photo where his eyes were open and he WASN'T smiling turned out to be a difficult task!

Life lately. It's kinda crazy with two boys underfoot, but fun. Every day is different. I think this photo best sums up my life right now though - the constant blur of the energetic almost three year old and the content little chunkster.

They sure do keep me on my toes, but I love these boys so much I could burst :-)

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Friday, June 20, 2014

le blog

I've been in a bit of a blogging slump this year. Writing has always been my escape; my me time - not to mention this ol' blog being a way to keep our friends & family afar up to date on our happenings. I feel like I lost momentum towards the end of my pregnancy in this space however - I was so big, uncomfortable (and just plain miserable) that I could never seem to manage to sit down and finish a decent post. I just went through my draft folder recently and was surprised at just how many posts were started and never finished! Watching trashy TV on Netflix and eating ice cream while wondering if and when my cankles would disappear was about all I could manage during naptime for a while there.

And then of course, adding a new member to our family has been an adjustment and time spent at the computer nowadays is even more limited. From the moment Austin was placed in my arms, it felt like he had always been a part of our family - but, going from one to two has changed our world. Our routine was thrown upside down and we've had to figure out a new one. Three months in however, having two kids is feeling like the new normal. It feels like things have fallen into place and I'm keeping my head above water - most days, anyway.

In the past few weeks, I've been starting to miss the blogging world. Missing reading my favourite blogs. Missing writing. I want to feel inspired again. I've been feeling that tug to sit down, and spend some of that precious me time at the keyboard. Write about whatever, just because I enjoy it. It's a work in progress. The summer has already had a busy start with visitors and Mitch traveling for work, soon to be followed by our summer holiday in Southern California, two more rounds of Aussie visitors, Disneyland AND Oliver turning three. The summer is going to be over before we know it and I intend to make the most of the beautiful weather!

Long story short, I'm still here. My presence may be more sporadic nowadays, but after sticking with this blogging thing for 4.5 years now - la petite lulu is here to stay :-)

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Three months {Austin Mitchell}

Our gorgeous little chunkster is one quarter of a year old already!

At 3 months old, Austin weighs approximately 16 lbs / 7.3 kg (I say approximately because this is just based off my dodgy scales at home - he's not due for another weigh & check up until 4 months). He's in size 2 nappies and 6 month clothing. He's actually wearing some of the same clothes that Oliver wore when we moved here (he was 7 months old at the time). It's crazy. He's our big, gorgeous boy!

This past month, Austin started laughing! It's the sweetest thing - a funny little shriek laugh, just like Ollie had at the same age. He's very ticklish and will giggle when you tickle him, or just laugh for no reason at all... Or, laugh at his crazy, energetic big bro!

Even with those big chubby cheeks, he can support his own head now & sit in the bumbo for short periods, although I still tend to put a soft cover book behind him for extra support like we did Ollie at the same age. He's doing better with tummy time too - he seems to like the different view and looks around at everything happily.

We couldn't have asked for a better sleeper - he's still on the same overnight schedule as last month. He goes to bed by 8pm, wakes around 4am for a feed and then straight back to sleep until 7am. He does have the occasional bad night, but at 3 months I can honestly count them all on one hand. His daytime naps are still a little all over the place, but I'll take a full nights sleep over naps any day. He has slept right through the night a few times too, but yet to make it a regular habit. I know we'll go through periods where he won't sleep well (teething, ugh - I am already dreading that stage, and if he's anything like Ollie, teeth will only be another month or so away!) but I am so very thankful for such a great start.

He's fallen into his own routine now - he feeds at 8am, noon, 4pm, 7.30pm and 4am. Much like his big brother, he's a great little feeder and other than a few issues with oversupply, breastfeeding has also come easily this time. I nursed Ollie until 16 months and I'm really hoping to at least make the one year point with Austin too, if not further.

Best moment...
This morning Ollie was blowing raspberries on Austin's tummy and Austin was just cracking up - it was so sweet to see them having fun together already!

Worst moment...
We were having a rough night with Ollie (who's struggling with night terrors, poor kiddo) when Austin decided to join in the fun, staying awake from 2am until 5am. He was wriggling and cooing and happy as anything, but believe me - mama was a grump.

Austin loves having his nappy changed - he stretches out on the change table and smiles up at the ceiling. He also loves waking up - from a nap, in the night or first thing in the morning, this boy wakes up so happy. He starts wriggling and cooing and as soon as he sees a face, he's all ear to ear grins. I don't think he's woken up crying yet. He also loves laying under the activity gym - the octopus is his favourite toy. He has little 'conversations' with it and often laughs at it. But most of all, Austin loves a snuggle... This boy is happiest when he's being held.

Red. lights. He's a pretty good traveler generally; so long as the car is moving. He feels the car slowing for a red light however and he gets a little hysterical.

Oh, this boy. This sweet, sweet boy. He truly is a little ray of sunshine. He's got such a mellow, happy little personality, bringing so much joy to our lives every day. We love you Austin Mitchell!

Austin at 1 month & 2 months...

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014


This past week we've had some of our oldest and dearest friends in town, all the way from the land down under. It had been almost 2.5 years since I'd last seen these guys - back when Oliver was just a little bubba and we pulled off a pretty special Christmas surprise.

As well as just spending time catching up and reminiscing on adventures past, some sightseeing was in order. Over the Memorial Day weekend, we did a big drive around some of the San Francisco landmarks - checking out the view from Twin Peaks, driving down Lombard Street, a picnic with a view at Crissy Field, a drive around the Marin Headlands & of course, a walk through the giant redwoods at Muir Woods.

I wouldn't change our decision to live here for anything, but boy - having these guys here made me homesick. Skype is a pretty fantastic creation, (and one of the reasons I think Oliver was instantly so comfortable with our friends; normally it takes him a little time to warm up to overnight guests, but not with these guys), but it sure doesn't compare to spending time together in person. I'm so thankful for friends like these; friends that no matter how far apart you live or how much your lives have changed or the time lapsed between visits, the moment you are in the same room, you are instantly at ease & can just pick up where you left off. I've been blessed with a handful of these people in my life and for that I'll be forever thankful.

And with more good friends from the land down under flying over in June & July, 2014 is looking to be the year of the Aussie visitor... I couldn't be more excited :-)

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Monday, June 2, 2014

Pismo Beach, California

A couple of weeks ago we took a spontaneous getaway to Pismo Beach, a little seaside town a few hours south of us along Highway 1. With a busy work schedule and just the general craziness that is adding another little person to our family, we had both been feeling overwhelmed & tired, so a little getaway to the coast was much needed. Mitch left his laptop behind. I switched off my phone. We had no distractions - just family time in this beautiful beachside location.

Being by the water always refreshes me; it's my happy place... I'm already counting down the sleeps until our next little coastal getaway :-)

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