To the baby that we have not yet met

Some may try and tell you, you are the forgotten one. The one who just had to go along with the older ones, the one who had to fit in, but I am here to tell you you will never be forgotten.
I felt you before I felt either your brother or sister, and because of those little flutters, the truth is that I will know you the longest.

You may not get the time that your brother got, just us parents and you, something I worried greatly about before your sister was born but I am here to tell you, you wont get that time, but what you will get is so much more.

You have a brother who is telling everyone you are coming. He is so excited, he kisses my belly goodnight every night before he goes to bed. He is kind, he is sweet and he loves his sister more than anything, yes he wants you to be a brother, but I am sure if you are not that will be OK too.

You have a sister who loves babies, something I think she has inherited that from me. She doesn’t have too many words yet but she so clearly says baby when she rocks her toys against her chest. She is so loving, she is our little social butterfly, she may not realise that you are coming but when she meets you I know she will never want to let you go.

You have a Dad who loves being a Dad. He is the reason you will be so used to squeals and laughter coming from your brother and sister. My time with you so far has not been easy but he is the one who has looked after us, you will quickly learn he is good at that, looking after us. He will be the calm when you need it, he will get burps out of you that I just can’t seem to get out, and he will probably get your first smile.

We still have a little while to go just you and I.
You in your peaceful little home and me with your secret little kicks just for me. Our time is passing quickly and you are growing quicker than I remember either of your siblings growing. The sickness that you gave me is slowing, for that I am so grateful, and I am quickly beginning to remember why I love being pregnant so much. I love this feeling, knowing that you are always with me, wondering who you will be, dreaming big dreams for you and imagining how you are going to complete our little family puzzle.

So my little Baby, no, you may not get those one on one moments that your brother was so lucky to have. Your feeds will be interrupted, you will cop a few bumps here and there from your over excited siblings, and you will have to learn to nap with the background hum of toddlers playing, but instead of just two people waiting to meet you, you now have four and for that you are so lucky.

So just keep giving those kicks Baby, I am sure you will hear your brother’s excitement when he finally feels one. Enjoy the peace while you can, we will keep watching you grow and wait with anticipation for the big day of our meeting, even if it is still a long way off, the excitement for you is palpable and you are already so loved.

xx

Big News

We found out we were having a baby on the day after Duncan had completed his last day of uni. As one chapter ended, another one was just beginning. Our life as a family of five.

 

I am lucky enough to have done this whole pregnancy thing before.
I remember the day before I took the pregnancy test going to bed at 7.45pm, after being exhausted all day, I joked to Duncan that I must be pregnant because I wasn’t sick.
We both laughed saying what a miracle that would be.
Turns out a wonderful miracle it was.

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Pregnancy with two children and moving house is interesting to say the least.
The last two months I have discovered that my spirit animal is now a sloth who seems to be suffering an incurable hangover.
I have cried over Leo saying that ‘Mummy doesn’t want to play with him or look after him anymore’ when the truth is I physically couldn’t.
I have told Maisie to go away when she comes for a cuddle, breaking her little heart, while I have been curled around the toilet.
I have realized how time can go slowly but so quickly at the same time.

I am so grateful for Duncan. He has been nothing short of amazing. This pregnancy has really knocked me, when I was too sick to be anywhere but the bathroom Duncan was getting the kids ready, when I couldn’t get out of bed in the night or early in the morning Duncan got up. When I was getting frustrated with all the noise he would tell me to go and have a rest, when I was falling asleep on the couch Duncan would entertain the kids and let me be.
Pregnancy doesn’t only make a Mother it makes Father’s too (and even though Dunc is already a father this still rings true).
Being a good husband isn’t about what dates they take you on or the gifts they buy you, it’s the support they give, the doing it all when you simply can’t, the never complaining, the understanding even when it must be so hard to understand what you are feeling.
I have moved away from my family but the support I have is amazing and once again the only word I can think of is Lucky. I know this will embarrass Duncan immensely, but he is wonderful and we are all so thankful that he chose us.

I have a feeling this third pregnancy will be a blink and I’ll miss it type thing.
I am busy with two other little people, one of which is dropping his afternoon sleeps so there are no breaks.
So, if the first three months are anything to go by, the baby will be here before we know it. We are so excited, we know what a blessing it is to have this wonderful gift and we just can’t wait to meet our next little (or if history repeats itself, not so little) bundle of joy.

 

The year that was. 2016.

I think it goes without saying 2016 has been a big one for us.
Settling in with a new baby, adjusting to life as a family of four.
Duncan’s uni causing random schedules, him going away for placement, him being home for placement, him trying to find he time for study after the children have settled and gone to bed for the evening, him trying to find that ever illusive “balance” between work/life/family/study/self. Myself also always trying to find that balance, trying to be ever present for my kids as well as starting a new business and a new job, this year has been a juggle to say the least.

But we made it, Duncan’s uni is now over, he has a job that we will know when and where he is working week by week (something that we have not had for four years) and we will have a constant, solid income, we are finally there.

In many ways 2016 was the year we wished away. Something that I feel terrible saying because it was so wonderful for us in so many ways, the first year of my sweet little Maisie’s life and the year Leo became a little boy.
But 2016 held so much for us, it was the year we calculated towards, the year that we were hanging on to, the light at the end of the ‘life as university students’ tunnel.

So in my last post for the year I thought I would reflect a little bit on the year that was, yes posts have been few and far between this year (as I said, always trying to find the balance) but it has been a year of so many highs, despite having had this big cloud over the final year of uni, now that it is all over I can’t help but feel slightly sentimental about the year was, the year that I constantly just wanted to be over and done with.

It was the year we learned to function as a four. And wondered how we were ever just a three or a two.

It was the year we learned what tired really was. And how you can function regardless. This year taught me about routines and how they work with my children, something that, despite my random days of flexibility, I am grateful for learning.

It was the year we saw who Leo was going to be. The change that happens to your child between the ages of two and three is enormous, out of nowhere they are a little person, the toddler disappears and all of a sudden they have this attitude, this imagination, this ability to communicate with you and it would have to be one the funnest part of my parenting career so far.

It was the year we learnt not all babies are the same. Even if they are cut from the same cloth. Maisie is cheeky, she is tough, she loves animals and babies and absolutely idolizes her brother.
Although he was what some would say an “easy baby” Leo was timid and shy, he took time to assess the situation before getting involved, where Maisie just dives right in.
Second child vs First I suppose. You don’t think there will be a difference but in our case there definitely was.

It was the year that we learnt that we cannot do it all, and that is OK. After one too many  breakdowns and frantic moments of trying to squeeze everything in, things that we probably shouldn’t have committed to in the first place, we have finally learnt the importance of sometimes just saying ‘no’ and prioritizing our selves and our family time.

And finally, It was the year we decided to take a leap. Despite the fact that it is scary and probably initially surprising to most who know us, we decided to try something new and move our little family to a completely new place. Daunting, yes. But if life has taught me anything it is that moments pass too quickly, and if you don’t take opportunities when they arise then you will miss out.

This year was huge for us.
We have made a life changing decision, we have accomplished things that we once thought were too hard or too scary and we made so many wonderful memories. I am so thankful for all the beautiful people we get to share our lives with, our wonderful families and friends and our two gorgeous children, although there are moments where they severely test my patience, they are nothing short of perfection and I am so lucky to be their Mum.

So here’s to 2016, the year of so many exciting times for our little family, thanks for the memories, but as we roll into another year something is telling me the best is yet to come.

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julyJULY

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How to move house with children.

In one word. Don’t.
The house you live in now should be the house you stay in forever.
I say this in jest of course, but seriously our recent moving experience has been nothing short of a nightmare.

We have only ever move short distances, either across the road or to a town an hour and a half away, so of course moving somewhere that is eight hours from where you currently live is always going to take a little bit more organization but never did I imagine it would be like this.

So let me tell you a story.
The story of how we moved house.

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Some details I will skip, the booking of the truck, the constant hunt for boxes, the sorting, the chucking, the endless rolls of tape we went through, blah blah blah.

I will start with how I was organised, how I had booked a truck, organised our children to go to the in-laws for two days, how we had it all packed and ready to go.
DAY ONE
The truck was delayed. No worries, its coming first thing tomorrow.
DAY TWO
First thing tomorrow turned in to mid to late afternoon, which when at 5pm when there was still no truck I was beginning to get nervous. So I contacted the truck, still three hours away, they will be here tonight. Great…how to keep two tired children up until 8.30 with no major meltdowns, no toys, no kitchen, nothing.
Anyway we managed, we waited for the truck until 9.45. 9.45 PM with a three year old who hadn’t had a nap and a one year old who usually goes to bed at 7.00. Not good.
It was at about 9.48pm that the guy with the truck told us that he didn’t think he would have enough room. Ummm what?! How is this even possible? Anyway too tired to fuss, just take what you can and we will meet you at the new place tomorrow. Off we go to Melbourne.
DAY THREE
Starting at about 12.30am, the time we finally arrived in Melbourne, time to transfer the children without fuss, easy for some, not for us. Maisie decided to wake from 1-4am so Duncan drew the short straw and I got to sleep.
By 8am Duncan and I have said goodbye to our little’s and are on the road, we should be at the new place by about 4.00, giving us heaps of time before the truck is due to arrive between 6 and 8pm.
About 3.30 we get a phone call saying they haven’t left yet, they will be delayed, but good news all they couldn’t fit was the big dining table and the old BBQ. Great, bit delayed but at least they have our stuff right? Hmmm Wrong.
We go out for dinner, we come home watch a full movie, pack up and wait (we were told ETA of 10.30 so we better be ready), I fall asleep on the floor.
DAY FOUR
12.45AM truck arrives. Time to help unpack.
Head to bed around 3.30am grateful that we didn’t have the children with us for obvious reasons.
After a “parents sleep in” of 8.30am (curse you body clock), we get up and start the big job of starting to unpack and set up what we can in one day. With each box and the garage clearing out we are listing off things that have been left behind.
Where is our small dining table?
Where are the chairs?
Where is our lawnmower?
Where is your bike?
Where is the lamp from Leo’s room?
…The list goes on.
So they left more than just the BBQ and big dining table. Great.
DAY FIVE
Head home because we miss the children and are over all the unpacking.
In between strategizing how we will get the rest of our stuff up there, re-listening to Season One of Serial and the anticipation of seeing our children, the trip goes surprisingly fast.

So that was the mess that was Part One.
We are currently in the middle of Part Two.
The initial plan was head back to Bendigo, clean the house a bit, pack up the rest and head to my parents for a few days before Christmas.
Now, instead, Duncan needed to do an extra trip up to the new place with the trailer full of our left overs, after dropping myself and the children at my Mum and Dad’s, he would then go up to the new place, then back to Bendigo, get what we need for Christmas and meet us here.
Such. A. Pain.

So here I sit at Mum and Dad’s waiting to hear from him, telling me the house is cleared out and presentable, telling me he is on his way and that we can finally get into some Christmas cheer. It is stinking hot, he will be exhausted and in dire need for a beer, which I will have ready.

Our experience with moving interstate has been chaotic and messy to say the least. I should change the title of this post to ‘How to not to move interstate’ as moving with children has nothing to do with this. The children were beautiful, they have coped so well with the mess and the boxes and the change in their surroundings (probably something to do with all the cafe stops and babychinos but I’ll overlook that point).

One day this will all be a story we can look back on and laugh about, but for now it is just a hectic end to a busy year.
Thankfully I am not superstitious or I may have taken the whole moving saga as a sign, but instead I am telling myself that the only way from here is up and looking forward to creating many happy and wonderful memories in the new house.

And in an act of perfect timing, Duncan has just messaged to say he is on his way and Christmas time can begin, so from my family to yours, I hope you have a wonderful weekend to come and Merry Christmas xx.

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Easy Choc Chip Cookies

It is going to be a hot one today, so we are spending the day indoors, air con on and curtains closed. Leo has suggested we bake something and while I scramble to find some random ingredients that might be able to be thrown together to resemble some form of cake or loaf, in the words of many TV chef’s around the world, here is something I prepared earlier… our go-to.
Quick, easy, delish and for the most part, fail safe. Leo loves them, they are definitely not sugar free, gluten free or even healthy but they are comforting and scrumptious and everything is OK in portioned moderation right?

Anyway enough jabbering here they are..

Easy Peasy Choc Chip Cookies

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225g Brown Sugar
115g Unsalted Butter – softened
1 Egg
2 tablespoons Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Peanut Butter – I like to use crunchy
280g Plain Flour – sifted
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
Choc chips, I don’t have a measurement for this one because it is generally measured by a hungry three year old and we end up putting in heaps! 

1. Line a baking tray and preheat oven to 190 degrees fan forced.
2. In a mixer beat butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until pale and creamy.
3. Add Peanut Butter and Milk and beat until mixed through.
sifting
4. Get little helper to sift in flour and baking powder, be prepared to lose some of the flour on the bench!
5. Mix flour through and add Choc Chips. Mix.
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6. Roll mixture into balls and spread a few centremetres apart on baking tray (I like to use teaspoons to measure size of cookies and flatten out rounds once rolled out… Leo on the other hand likes to roll mix in to sausage shapes.)
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7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, it may even be quicker than that, we like ours a bit chewy so slightly blonde on the cookies is always good.
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8. Cool on tray and then transfer to wire rack.
9. Enjoy and try stopping at one!

*Side note these can be done leaving the peanut butter out of course, I just add it because it gives them a nice hint of nuttiness. Bon Apetit!