Strawberry Fields family fun day

Today we went strawberry picking, and it was so much fun!!

The local farm had a family fun day, so on top of the usual fruit picking they also had a ton of activities and food/drinks to enjoy, including:

  • Jumping Castle
  • Rock climbing
  • Face painting (huuuuuge line)
  • Little electric jeeps
  • Soft play area
  • Swings and cubby house

They had a ton of food there. The hubby and son both enjoyed strawberry ice cream today, while I had a chocolate covered strawberry. So good.

I didn’t capture a lot of the activities because there were kids, and well, filming around kids doesn’t go down well. But take a look at the video – we’ll definitely be back next year! [...]  read more

Life’s short – be in all the photos

Last week we celebrated my parent’s 70th birthday. It was really fun; my sister, sister-in-law, husband and I had joined forces to organise it as a gift for Mum and Dad. We had invited a lot of their friends and family, and for those who couldn’t make they recorded video messages we surprised my parents with later.

I had been tasked with creating a photo slide to play on rotation on the big screen. I had raided my mother’s photo collection and spent nearly 48 hours in front of the computer and scanner. Together with photos emailed to me from the family we had over 400 images.

As I scanned I reflected on what I saw.

I saw photos from many different decades, countries and seasons. There were photos with their friends, each other, and their own parents. There were photos from when they travelled Europe in an old VW Combi van. Photos from the beach, and trips overseas with my grandparents. Unfortunately my grandparents have passed on now, but it brought me so much joy to see photos of them again. I actually cried a little bit.

That’s when it hit me. At some point I’m going to have my own photo slideshow.

The thing is, it’s a whole different ball game these days compared to when my parents first started taking photos. Cameras are built into most devices. It doesn’t cost us anything. We don’t have a limit of how many photos we can take before we have to make a trip down to a processing centre to have them developed. We can take 50 shots and choose only the best one.

Let me say that again.

We can take 50 shots and choose only the “best” one.

Obviously there’s the whole “put your best foot forward to avoid being judged” thing going on, but have you ever looked at a photo of yourself years later and had a whole different emotion to when the image was first taken? I have. I remember posing for a photo one morning before we did a workout at the beach. I felt fat and was not excited to have a photo taken. Years later I looked at that exact same photo and thought “oh my god, look how healthy and fit I look, and how wonderful to be at the beach with a large group of people doing something exciting!’. It was the complete opposite emotion. I didn’t think I was fat at all. I was so proud of how I looked. I realised how unnecessarily negative and vain I had been.

When you take photos how do you know what’s the best one? What’s the best now might not actually be the best later.

When you refuse to be in a photo, how do you know you’re not going to regret it later? How many photo opportunities are you missing out on because you don’t feel pretty, or you’re not dressed correctly, or hundreds of other reasons you can try and justify not getting in front of the camera.

If my parents had been like that back then I would have missed out on the opportunity to share those photos with their friends and family decades later. We might not have had as many wonderful memories that we did.

I learned a lot from the simple act of putting these photos together for their party.

  • Get in every photo you can. You will never be able to repeat the moment.

  • Get everyone around you in the photo. You’ll never know when you won’t have the chance to see them again.

  • Forget what you think you look like. Our bodies change, grow bigger, grow smaller. It’s part of your story.

I told my mother I want to be in more photos with her. I want photos with everyone. I want to be able to remember everything, even when my memory is gone. I want to remember when I was fat, when I was fit, when I was playing on the swings with my baby boy, looking like rat shit in tracksuit pants. I want photos of my husband and I cuddling and being in love. I want my son to be able to see all the moments forty years later. I want my grandchildren to see them, and my friends to point to them and say “that was us, I remember that!”

Life’s short. Be in it. Gather your friends and family. Take photos. Share them. Love each other.

And make your collection organised – the person going through it in the future will thank you for it.

Nice things I love since having a baby

Nice things I love since giving birth

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Yesterday  I wrote about gross things I now love since giving birth, which as you can tell by the title, discusses some pretty gross things. In order to not scare anyone off child birth, I wanted to share some of the nice things I love since having a baby. After all, it’s not all bad! Let’s just not talk about the whole “going into labour” thing – otherwise I will scare people off.

Let’s get into the good stuff.

Developing a whole new love for my husband

I was pretty loved up before we had a child, but this just took it to a new level. When my hormones were raging, I cried over how much I loved him. Looking at our wedding photo made me break down. The thing is that it’s not just that my heart melts when I watch him holding our child. It’s more than that.

We had a hard start to the week when we came home from the hospital, with some pretty crazy sleep deprivation. Since then we’ve also had to navigate our way through many other situations. Each time, we’ve worked through it together.  There hasn’t been a moment yet when I haven’t felt supported by him.  

To be honest we still get frustrated with each other, and I’m sure I can be super annoying. We both have opposing views on some things (I’m for swaddling, he’s not), yet when that happens we discuss it together and determine a way forward. We have each other’s back.

Yesterday afternoon I was mentally exhausted. Bub had been feeding for most of the afternoon and didn’t want to be put down to take a nap. I hadn’t been able to move for hours, and felt chained to the couch. The tears came and I felt overwhelmed. I asked my husband if he wouldn’t mind taking the baby just so I could take a few minutes to myself. Without any complaint, Mario took our bub and I got the rest I needed. I was so grateful.

The mushy stuff about him and our child is just a bonus on top. Watching him interact with our son just melts my heart fifty times over. The joy and love on his face when he looks at our son is just beautiful. I cherish each moment I get to witness it. Mario would do anything for this child, and he’s a completely hands-on father. He changes nappies, baths our bub, helps me as much as possible with feeds, etc etc etc. The list goes on. I’m so glad he’s my husband, my son’s father, and who I get to spend the rest of my life with. He’s an amazing father.

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Baby cuddles are awesome

In the past when people would hand me their babies I would hold it out in front of me, dangling, and ask “what do I do now?”

Thankfully I’ve figured out the answer to that question now that I have my own child, otherwise that could have been awkward. Although I would have had some awesome shoulder muscles – holding that much weight out permanently would certainly become taxing.

Our bub loves to fall asleep while feeding – he’s a supreme expert of it. Generally we have to wait a bit before moving him, otherwise he will wake right up (unless we want him to wake up so he feeds more of course). When we’re trying to burp him, if we put him up on our shoulder he snuggles in for cuddles. Likewise when he’s laying on our chest. And holy cow, the feels!

When he snuggles in it kick starts this whole warm fuzzy feeling that is totally foreign to me. Is it cluckiness? General love for a baby? Something else? Whatever it is, it’s awesome – I can feel myself totally just chill out and relax. That is, unless I need to pee, in which case I think “awww, loving the cuddles buddy but I NEED TO FREAKING PEE!”

If you don’t have a child yet, and someone hands you a baby, don’t dangle the child in front of you. Get that child all in on your neck/chest and cuddle that thing tight. It’s awesome.

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Appreciating sleep…when we get it

I wrote in the past about the first few nights being sheer hell with sleep. I’m probably going to massively jinx this by writing about how it’s not been so bad since. Especially since he’s slept a lot today, so we might be in for a rough night.

Excluding the first few night,s our bub has been quite generous to us with sleep.

He’s worked out day and night, and now we’re averaging 5 – 7 hours of sleep overnight. It’s broken up with feeds and nappy changes in the middle, but every little bit adds up. Normally he’s asleep anywhere between 8 – 10pm, with the first sleep lasting 3 – 4 hours before he’s ready for a feed. Half an hour or so later he’s fed and goes down again for another 3 hours or so. Some nights he only wakes once, other nights might be two or three times.

I am so grateful for bub letting us get half decent amounts. I’ve been able to function.

In saying that, I’ve just jinxed it. Better have a nap before bed tonight so I’m prepared for a shitty night, just in case. I’ve got some expressed breast milk as backup too, so if needed I can take one shift and Mario can take the next. Gotta have a backup plan!

The response from our loved ones

Watching my friends and family meet our bub for the first time and seeing the joy on their faces is fantastic. At the moment we’re a bit hardcore on who can hold him. He’s not yet 6 weeks old, which means he hasn’t had his vaccinations. We don’t want him getting sick, so unless the person has recently had vaccinations (the whooping cough in particular) then we’ve asked them to stay away until after the 6 weeks.

Everyone has mostly supported this, which has been greatly appreciated. I can’t wait to be able to pass bub around for cuddles, particularly while he’s in this small newborn phase. I’ve felt a little bit of an underlying resentment from a couple of people, but I’ve ignored it for the most part. I stand by our decision, and hubby has been very vocal on this point as well. The health of our child comes first.

So i’m extremely grateful and love that our immediately family got shots so they could come earlier, and that others have held off out of respect for our wishes.

I love you guys!

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Doing housework

This sounds wanky, but whenever I get a chance to do housework it’s like I’m hitting a reset button my level of sanity.

Doing housework feels normal to me, and it’s something I enjoy. Vacuuming the floors, unpacking the dishwasher, putting clothes on to wash….it feels like a normal life again. Pre-birth I had a morning routine: wake, put on washing, breakfast, unpack dishwasher, clean kitchen, hang out clothes, vacuum, shower, get ready for work, leave. Pre-pregnancy that also included a 30-60min workout (we got up quite early).

Right now that routine is just not possible. I’m feeding bub whenever he needs it, and sleeping in as late as he lets us. With the recovery from a c section I’ve had to take it easy, which includes not doing housework. Mario has been doing it all while I rest on the couch and feed baby.

However in the last few days I’ve started to feel better, and I’ve been able to get bub down for daytime naps. As we have been getting decent sleep overnight I’ve been able to pick at little bits of housework here and there, and it means I’m contributing!

I’m not someone who does well with a lack of independence and physical activity, so for every little bit I can get it feels so good.

Honourable mentions:

  • Dressing baby in cool little fun outfits and getting epic pictures as a result

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  • Giving baby a bath/shower and watching him soak in the water with a serene look on his face
  • Making it through another day having not totally f**ked up yet
  •  [...]  read more

    June update on the 2016 52’s list

    52 in 52 for 2016

    It is a wet, wet, wet day on the Sunshine Coast today. We’ve had a lot of rain overnight, and today they’re predicting more combined with the possibility of some severe storrms this afternoon. Needless to say, today I’m staying home.

    So why not write a blog about how my 52’s are tracking?

    Done:

    Talk to my estranged sister

    This one was incredibly tough for me. My sister and I had quite a dramatic falling out when I was a teenager, and for nearly 15 years I’ve barely said two words to her. I wouldn’t say I’ve been rude to her when I’ve seen her, I’ve just chosen to stay away or just say hi and that’s it.

    This year, being the year that I’m getting married, I decided to try and make a conscious effort to bury it a bit. Well, I’ve done it, reached out and we’ve had dinner. Baby steps…