December 2014 Highlights

What a month December has been! Not only has Nick started going to speech therapy, but we have taken our dog to the dermatologist to see why he is always so itchy. First step is a exclusion diet, so he can only have meat and about 4 different vegetables for the next 6 weeks. If it’s not food that he is reacting to, then the next step will be to give him a skin test.

We spent a good portion of our month going around and picking out things like tiles and organising all the electrical plans for our new house, so we are all really excited. We are hoping that the building will start in January.

Our current house sale has now gone through settlement and we are officially renting our place. Our new landlord has installed fans and the air conditioning is going to be put in next week. This is so amazing, because it has been HOT! To give you an idea, I’m writing this at 9:30 at night and the temperature has only come down to 28°C (82°F) and the humidity is around 75%. Needless to say, we are all ready to have air conditioning.

Dispite this heat (and a week before Christmas – crazy talk) I started getting serious about eating healthier and exercising. Two weeks later and I’m still going pretty strong, though I did let have a few (but limited) indulgences on Christmas, Boxing Day, My husband’s birthday and New Years Eve. I’m really starting to get into a good routine with exercise and I’ve been showing restraint on eating baked goods (didn’t even know I had restraint when it came to baked goods).

We had a great Christmas time, and even got to go to a Christmas tree/carols event with Nick’s playgroup friends. Santa was there and there was lots of food, fun and music. Nick had such a great time, we are definitely going back next year.

Hope every one had a great Christmas and New Year, and lets have a great 2015.

Videos

Nothing Makes me smile more than babies laughing:

Remember, ice cream is important:

As someone who has long hair, all I can say is YES:

How many of these thought have you done?

Language Delay

So one of the things we have been looking at in the past few weeks is Nick’s language skills. Now that he is nearing two, he is quite behind the average.  Nick’s non-verbal communication is great, and I am starting to notice his comprehension really take off, but he doesn’t really have many words. We are not so concerned if he is developing late, but if he does have any issues/problems, his life will be immensely easier if they are picked up now.

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Off to the GP we went and the GP was also concerned about Nick’s development. After trying some activities to see if Nick would hear him, he was also worried about his hearing. So our first port of call was to get Nick a hearing test. He passed with flying colours and can definitely hear. Back to the GP and we got a referral for speech therapy.

We have just finished our first session, they did a bit of filming so they can review it and work out a program and goals for him. In the meantime, we are forgetting about words and have been trying to make lots of sounds in hopes Nick will start mimicking us. I have noticed he has had a couple of goes at mimicking, but not a lot (though we are in early days).

Has anyone had any experience with speech therapy or language delays? I would love to hear your experiences.

Tis the Season

I really love Christmas. Not that you can tell, as our Christmas tree currently looks like this:

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This is after we have worked on it for two nights. Deplorable Christmas tree skills aside, I really do love Christmas. However, with all the stuff going on in our lives, it kind of sneaked up on me this year.

I think it’s because the temperature is quite cool, but it doesn’t feel like Christmas (it needs to be consistent blistering hot days). In an attempt to make it feel like Christmas we are starting all our Christmas traditions. We really wanted Nick to have so traditions to look forward to each year so here is our list of traditions.

  • Advent calendars – I have loved advent calendars since I was a kid, and they don’t always need to be store bought with cheap chocolate. Modest Mum, Caroline, is wrapping up books for her families advent calendars. Check out buzzfeed for some awesome home-made calendar ideas. My personal favourite is Coffee Cups and Crayon’s Random Acts of Kindness Calendar.
  • Decorating – We just do our Christmas tree (not even that this year), but I do love seeing people go all out with the decorations. Whether it is wreaths and candles inside or a blitz of Christmas lights outside. I do love seeing everything starting to get christmas-y.
  • Christmas Carols – I love Christmas Carols and over December I have them on high rotation. I personally go for the more traditional carols but there is never a shortage on different carols to choose from.
  • Christmas Movies – There a certain Christmas movies I look forward to every year. If you are looking for some to get you into the spirit try checking out some of these.
  • Baking – I love baking, so it’s no surprise that it’s in this list. Especially the cookies for Santa. When Nick is older, I’ll also let him decorate them all.
  • Giving – We are wanting to start a tradition of giving to those in need on Christmas. It’s really important to us to make Christmas to be less of receiving gifts and more about giving and helping others.

We try to do all of these together as for us we want Christmas to be about family. Have I missed any good traditions? What are your traditions?

October and November Highlights 2014

I’m back! Things have been a bit crazy around here so I took a quick break. I really missed catching up with you all on my blog, and I really missed stopping in at everyone’s blogs and spending 5 minutes in your worlds.

We also decided in October that we were going to sell our house immediately. We were going to wait until we moved into our new house but we decided we didn’t want the extra stress. Toward the end of October we realised that we really needed to get our house on the market ASAP so we didn’t get caught up in the Christmas lull. So we set about getting our house done up and ready to go in two weeks. We managed to get it up and ready and have managed to sell it after a couple of weeks on the market. Not only that, but we sold to investors so we will be able to stay in the same place and rent it until our new house is ready.

We now officially own our new block of land and our house plans are still progressing through. We are hoping that building will start some time in the next month or two.

G20 came to town and Brisbane shut down for the weekend. We decided to stay well away from the city during this time, but I have been enjoying G20 videos such as this:

Other than working really hard we also got to go away for a weeks holiday. We went to a beach house in Noosa and spent the week on the beach or in the pool. It also wasn’t a patrolled beach and it was dog friendly so there wasn’t too many people. It was like having a beach to ourselves.

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View from our balcony

Guest Post

A big thanks to Jenivere for letting me guest post this month. It up at Attached 2 Parenting for you to check it out.

From the Web

I love this article from kid spot about an autistic child learning to communicate through siri.

Also I loved the post Wonder from Slightly off Kilter.

Videos

This baby’s reaction just made me laugh so much:

This is so true. I did the drop and commando crawl out of the room all the time:

The Hardest Thing

As many have before me, I was a little nervous about becoming a mum. I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle the lack of sleep. I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle it if I didn’t know how to stop him crying. I wasn’t sure if I could handle anything whether it be wrapping him up for bed or breastfeed or the hundreds of other things you do for your child.

After most things came naturally and others were learnt, I started to find my confidence. However, now I realise the hardest thing for me is trying to not help Nick. I’m not talking about neglect here, and I still try and stop major injuries from happening. But little knocks are required to learn. For instance, to learn how to walk he needs to fall and to learn how to use a spoon he needs to make a mess (repeatedly).

I’ve gotten a lot better with just letting Nick try things his own way and not helping him by “showing him the right way”. Nick is now at the age that he can let me know if he wants help. Nonetheless, I still struggle with not being there to catch him every time he nearly falls. But I know to do so will stop him learning how to stop himself from falling. Even now when he is more stable with his walking, every time he falls/nearly falls, I give a loud gasp and lurch forward. Doesn’t even matter if he is on carpet with nothing around him.

Turns out the hardest thing for me, wasn’t what I’m able to do, but what I’m able to not do.

Unexpected Mum Changes

When we finally conceived Nick, I was so excited. I really, really wanted to be the best mum EVER! I went straight into over thinking/organising mode, and spent nine months telling myself all the things I should start or stop doing once Nick had arrived. Of course, I did about none of them and transitioned into motherhood quite smoothly. Just as my plans to change were wrong, I found myself changing naturally in ways that I didn’t plan.

Clothing and Beauty

It was one of the things on my list actually. I was thinking I needed a whole new wardrobe of mumsy looking clothes, because I didn’t want to be that mum who embarrasses her kids at playgroup or school drop-offs. That totally didn’t happen, but I have found myself drawn to more practical routines.

I stopped wearing the long dangly earrings (didn’t want one pulled out of my ear), stopped wearing a ridiculous amounts of bracelets at once (dug into Nick when I was holding or feeding him) and stopped wearing a ring on pretty much every finger (so I don’t have to clean them all when they get covered in gross stuff).

My clothes haven’t gotten more mumsy (I don’t think) but they have gotten darker. Seriously, I feel like I only owned white, tan and beige clothing. Not the most practical when you are getting dirty. Also I switched to flats when I was pregnant and never went back. I now no longer know how to walk when wearing heels.

Less superficial

I was quite a bit of a shopaholic pre baby and afterwards, I’m just not. I still don’t mind a bit of retail therapy, but who has the time to waste. I am apparently harder to buy presents for now as well.

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Healthier Eater

It took Nick to make me realise what I wasn’t doing for myself. Things like not drinking enough water and not wearing sunscreen. One of those things was how much sugary foods I was eating. I cut things out because I didn’t want Nick to see me consuming them and want them as well. While trying to instil healthy eating habits into Nick, I have become healthier myself. And now, I have found my taste buds have adapted. I actually bought an ice cream cone the other day, and it seriously didn’t taste as good as I remember.

Learning New Skills

I have always been a bit of a baker, but that’s the only real “homemaker” skill I had. I’m finding now that I want to learn how to sew and garden. I have caught myself on a Pinterest loop finding out new and greener house cleaning methods.

I have even started re-teaching myself piano. Nick and I both love music and while I play on my keyboard, Nick plays on his little toy one <3.

More Clucky

I did not used to be clucky. I loved children but when people bought their little kids into the office, I never went gooey eyed and started some inane chatter about how perfect their baby skin is. Now, I can’t go passed a kid without giving a big smile and a wave. I sometimes even notice how perfect their baby skin is.

Did any of your preferences change after having a child? Either for practicality or just because it did?

 

How Much TV is Too Much?

We have always tried to limit how much TV Nick watches. I prefer he spend most of his day playing. However, each day we generally let him watch Bubble Guppies (his favourite show), and a little bit of telly just before dinner is ready. How much there is of pre-dinner watching depends on how tired/grumpy he is in the afternoon.

We have, however, just bought a tablet so he can have something that will interest him while we have more adult appointments (like signing the house contract). Occasionally we also put the TV on if he is getting really cranky while doing things like getting dressed.

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One of the reasons it works so well is because it grabs all his attention and he becomes so compliant. He dances, sings and interacts with Dora the Explorer and Bubble Guppies but the rest he just sits and zones in on. It’s kind of scary how much he slips into a kind of trance. One day our schedule was a little out and I let him watch his Bubble Guppies over morning tea. I had to repeatedly remind him to eat, and Nick loves food.

I believe that pretty much everything is fine so long as it is in moderation, but where is the line drawn? How much TV is too much?

September Highlights 2014

After spending August playing nurse to my three boys (the dog makes three), it didn’t surprise me that September started off with me getting sick. What did surprise me was, when I was soldering on through my cold, I injured my back while getting stuff out of the car. I had to call Glen to come home from work and after Nick was out of the car, I heroically hobbled back out to the car to bring in and hide Glen’s father’s day present. As I was immobile, Glen took as much time off as he could to take care of Nick, and my mum filled in the gaps. I slowly worked my way back into my normal day and once I was pretty much healed, Glen passed on the cold that he picked up while I was immobile.

Birthdays

Through all the injuries and colds, my nephew and I each had our birthdays. I was banned from making my own birthday cake but I did make a ninja cake for my nephew. There is quite a few flaws with this one but I was still in quite a lot of back pain at the time, so with taking that into consideration, I’m pretty happy with the results.

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Allergies

So we are still working on what Glen is allergic to. At this point we know he can’t have too much lactose, but there is something else that is mildly affecting him. We just have no idea what it is. We are also doing a complete diet overhaul and are looking to eat a lot more healthy high fibre foods.

New House

Just because we didn’t have enough going on in September, we also signed a contract for our new house to be built and is now going for council approval. We are so excited about this new house, there was so many practical details we missed when we built our current house, all those years ago.

Guest Posts

This month I had my very first guest post ever! It’s up at Window on the World and thanks Teressa for letting me post over there :)

Providing for Myself

Let me start by saying, that I have no problem providing for Nick. No matter what we are doing or where we are I have more than enough to cover his needs. What I struggle with is making sure my own needs are covered.

I made this realisation one day when I decided that Nick and I would walk to the shops to pick up a few things we needed. I started getting ready and packing the nappy bag. I made a quick decision not to put sunscreen on and went off to put sunscreen on Nick. I was halfway there when I realised that there was no chance I was EVER going to let Nick go out into the sun without sunscreen on. So why was I allowing myself? After 29 years in Queensland Australia, you think I would know better. I thought I knew better. I quickly put sunscreen on myself as well and we set off.

On the way back home it was starting to heat up and when walking up a rather steep hill, I was dreaming of a nice glass of water. Of course, I hadn’t actually packed myself any. Luckily, Nick didn’t mind me drinking a little of his. Well, didn’t mind that much. Again, I was hit with the absurdity, that I didn’t do something for myself that I wouldn’t even give a second thought to if it was for Nick. I never leave the house without water…for Nick, that is.

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Now I can’t help but to notice how many other ways I overlook taking care of myself. I spent years putting up with eczema and having dry, cracked and occasionally bleeding hands and lips. It took Nick to have it, before I started looking for the best way to sooth the dry skin.

As a family we are trying to start cleaning up our diets, and I am taking that opportunely to also clean up my act and take care of myself. I am making sure I don’t sneak those unhealthy snacks that Nick would only ever get at a special event. I’m making sure that I have a glass of water every time I tell Nick he needs to have some more water. Sunscreen goes on the both of us before we leave the house. I have even got myself a water bottle for when we go out. And I use it… most of the time. What can I say, its a work in progress.

What do you forget to do for yourself, while taking care of everything else?

Included at The Modest Mom Blog

 

A Birthday Wish

Have you ever met someone who was so amazing and inspirational? Have you ever met someone with who you just click with and become instant best friends? Back in 2010, I met someone who was both. We loved the same, movies, shows, music, clothes, and we shared the same sense of humour. We went to so many concerts, shows, markets and dinners. She was the one who fostered my love of tea. Finally, I had someone else, who would bake an extraordinarily large about of food with me just so we could sit and watch Disney movies all day in our pyjamas.

Our food

Our food loot for Disney movie marathon!

A week ago was her 25th birthday, or at least it would have been. 2 1/2 years ago, she lost a 9 month battle with melanoma. And it’s this time of year that I miss her even more than usual. She was such an amazing gal that she still gets people posting on her Facebook page to say happy birthday and I’ll miss you.

She handled her diagnosis and illness with such dignity and class, even though it came right after finishing her honours at University and before she got a chance to start living her life. Though I still wish that we would have more time, and I wish she could have met Nicholas, the time I got to spend with her was so special and I will always hold it close to my heart. She made use of the 9 months she had left, and it was a privilege to be able to spend some of it with her.

So everyone, please get your skin checked regularly. If a doctor said it’s fine but something still doesn’t feel right, get a second opinion.

And to Jess, Happy Birthday, I will always miss you. Words can’t express what you mean to me.