Saturday, March 19, 2016

Oahu, Hawaii

Late last year we took advantage of a Hawaiian Airlines sale, and booked ourselves a little family getaway before baby girl arrives (and, before Austin turned two), aka the babymoon. Our last holiday where we can get away with only buying three plane tickets and our final holiday as a family of four. This was our second visit to Hawaii, after spending a week in Maui in April of last year and honestly, my expectations of this new island (Oahu) were quite low. Honolulu has never rated highly on my travel list, however I've always wanted to visit Pearl Harbor - so Oahu it was!


I'm pleased to report I was pleasantly surprised by the island as a whole, although Honolulu itself was honestly an ugly hole. Highrises upon highrises are not my cup of tea, but our resort (Hilton Hawaiian Village - I can't recommend it enough!) was on a beautiful wide stretch of Waikiki Beach. With six pools, waterslides, animals galore, shopping, 20 restaurants and a pretty spectacular view of the beach from our room in Ali'i Tower, it was a great large resort experience.







We only had 5 nights/6 days so it was a short trip, but we made the most of our time. Mornings spent exploring this beautiful island and afternoons spent by the pool/Waikiki beach & lagoon. No naps were had by the littlest so we had a few dinner time meltdowns, but even so - it was a great week.





















Oahu is a totally different experience to Maui. The north shore of Oahu reminded me a lot of Maui - much more laid back, food trucks, big surf... But I will say, there was one beach in particular (Waimanalo) not far from Honolulu that for me, was far more beautiful than any of the beaches we visited in Maui. The water was an amazing shade of blue & crystal clear, with white sand and a long stretch of beach with palm trees in one direction and a large, lush mountain (like Lost territory) in the other. If we had more time, I would've gone back here in a heartbeat.



And to top off a fantastic, switched off week - did I mention we got a free upgrade to Mustang convertible?!?! Every time we hire a car Mitch asks if there's any chance of a free upgrade. Only once before in the 11 years we've been traveling (when we were upgraded from a Toyota Yaris to a Mercedes on our first trip to France) has this been granted, so it was a pretty nice surprise when they told Mitch it was his lucky day! All three of my boys thought it was pretty fun ;-) (although this heavily pregnant mama struggled getting in and out of those bucket seats!).



Hawaii, you were good to us. Now if only we could make another trip happen with baby girl while we are living in California - Kauai is next on my wish list!

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

And now he is TWO! {Austin Mitchell}

It really doesn't feel like that long ago I was hugely pregnant and overdue, eagerly awaiting the arrival of our sweet baby Austin, our second son. Yet just like that, our littlest love - our sweet little Californian bear turned TWO last Friday, March 11th.





Oh, baby Austin. I guess I've only got another 8ish weeks to call you the baby, huh? What a delightful addition you are to our family.

In the past few months, your impish side has been coming through as has your sometimes never ending emotional meltdowns, but really sweet boy - we couldn't have asked for a more fun, easy going kiddo.

You're not as verbal as your big brother was at this age (and we see how frustrated you get when you just can't verbalize what you want) but you have the sweetest manners and love to play parrot with Ollie.

You love bubbles and bouncy balls and dogs and trains. Your favourite book up until about a month ago was Goodnight Gorilla (you just love naming all the animals and pointing out that red balloon on every page) but now you are obsessed with Thomas Look and Find. You point to each item and give a little high pitched inhale/shriek when you find it on the page.

You sleep in a big boy bed, on the bottom bunk in a shared room now with your big brother and love being in there together.

You insist of filling your bed with books at naptime and bedtime and love to lay and read to yourself as you fall asleep.

Your favourite toy is 'sheepie', a well loved sleep sheep now minus the musical sounds, who you lovingly carry by the ear and rub its ear to soothe yourself, and 'doggie' a giant stuffed bulldog from Ikea - after you fall asleep at night, you're usually sprawled over doggie like a pillow and holding sheepie's ear obsessively.

You love your dummy and weaning you off it is proving to be a nightmare. You think it's hilarious to try and shove it in mama's mouth when I'm least expecting it (ugh).

You've been a real mama's boy for most of your life, but in the past few months have decided mama no longer exists when Daddy is at home.

You love to snuggle and pat my growing belly. The baby sister bump makes the perfect pillow.

You're tough as nails and sometimes I wonder if you've actually got any nerve endings - when you fall over or hurt yourself in any way, you either (a) don't cry, just move on and get back to playing or (b) run over to mama for a 1 second hug and then get right back to it.

You love the routine of picking Ollie up from school twice a week. You run straight into his class and join in on circle time, going up to Ollie's teacher for your sticker. It makes everyone smile!

You think you are a big kid like Oliver, you mostly play with older kids and only have two little friends your age (Nolan and Adele) who you love to play with. Your favourite kiddo - after your big bro - is Eyyyyya (aka Ella), you get SO excited when she turns up and it was the first friend name you said.




We all love you SO much baby Austin, it's hard to explain just how much joy you bring to our lives. Happy Birthday kiddo! I can't wait to see how you grow and develop over the next year.

Newborn - 1 year - 2 years old



Austin at 1 month2 months3 months4 months5 months6 months7 months8 months9 months, 10 months11 months & 12 months...

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

la petite bump @ 32 weeks

Hooray for the third trimester! And I will say, after hitting the 32 week mark and spending a few hours in labor & delivery Sunday night, things are starting to feel real. Less than 8 weeks until baby girl is due!


After failing my 1 hour and then 3 hour glucose test, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes at 28 weeks - it came as a bit of a surprise given I didn't have this issue for my pregnancies with the boys. After a crazy busy day the day before we flew out for Hawaii, I completed my 4hr diabetes 'class' and left with instructions that we had a week to get numbers under control, otherwise medication it is. Talk about freaking a girl out - I knew we were going to be eating out for every meal for the next week, and eating out is notoriously difficult with GD. It's been easy enough to get my post meal readings under the limit (and in Hawaii, I just went for a nice long stroll along Waikiki Beach after every meal - it's a hard life) but it took some trial and error with my bedtime snack to get my fasting reading to an acceptable level. I *think* I finally have it figured out now, and the diabetes nurse (who calls at the same time every week to get my readings and see how things are going) is happy with my numbers.

I will say, for someone who loves a sweet treat - this has been torture. I know it's only short term, and the health of baby girl is worth every single finger prick (4 x day, much to Ollie's amusement) but still, it's annoying. We've had Mitch's birthday at the start of the month (I baked him a triple layer dark chocolate Guinness cake with salted caramel buttercream and whipped bittersweet chocolate ganache topped with crushed Butterfingers - aka simply cruel to bake and not eat!), Austin's birthday last week, Easter and my birthday are coming up in a couple of weeks followed by my baby shower (the one day of being allowed to indulge). I'm gonna be packing brownies in my hospital bag!

Otherwise though, everything else has been going great and I'm very thankful for a complication free pregnancy. I've had no ongoing high blood pressure problems yet like my previous pregnancies, baby girl has been active, I've actually lost weight since my 28 week appointment (thanks, GD diet - this is all ok and normal according to the dr) and other than this past weekend, I've been feeling pretty good. My little trip into the hospital - well, I'd been having a lot of cramping & lower back pain, combined with regular braxton hicks. I'd tried resting on my side, drinking lots of water but they just weren't going away so L&D said to come in for a check because of the risk of preterm labor. I'm so very thankful for a good friend being able to drop everything and come hang out with the boys so Mitch and I could go in. Thankfully, the contractions weren't causing any dilation but the doctor said that being my 3rd baby, I could just keep experiencing this until she's born as my body is preparing itself early. Great. But, baby girl was happy and dancing around, however my blood pressure was elevated (duh, stress) so I had to stay a little longer and wait for blood test results, but all was well. Gave me a bit of a scare and made everything all feel quite real, especially as the nurse admitting me was the same one who helped deliver Austin! Although baby girl's room is practically ready, I think it's time I start thinking about my hospital bag and all that fun stuff.

And finally, a little bump comparison just for the fun of it - 32 weeks with Oliver vs Austin vs baby girl!


8 weeks to go baby girl. We are getting a little bit anxious to meet you and start calling you by name!

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

This is winter in California

Winter in California - ok, so we have had a fairly wet winter this year BUT last month we had some absolutely glorious weather. 25 degrees (celsius) and that gorgeous, California sunshine. We decided to celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary with a family day at the beach - Bean Hollow State Beach, just one of many pretty beaches along our stretch of Highway 1.













These boys just love being out and about and running off some of their endless energy at the beach. Although the beach here can be a bit of a tease (it's never warm enough to go swimming, even in summer), it's still my happy place. Kicking back with this growing baby girl bump, watching our boys play together... There is something so refreshing about being at the ocean. And when we were leaving, an older couple approached us - the wife just wanted to just say how lovely our boys are, how much they enjoyed watching them interact and playing together so nicely and that we should be proud. That just made this mamas heart so full - and topped off a perfect family day :-)

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