A ROARING good xmas

 
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So, this is the first year we've done a proper christmas tree (I know, I've been such a slacker up till now). But living in small apartments and then overseas meant that I... well, I just didn't bother with the whole thing. But now we have the space, and a toddler who is SUPER excited for Christmas I knew it was time to bite the bullet and get on the festive wagon!

And number one on our list was to make dinosaur christmas tree decorations! We found quite a few blogs online that had done similar things which gave us a great starting point and then we tweaked a few things along the way to make it suit us :)

The materials we used: cheap plastic dinosaurs, small screw hooks, white paint, gold spray paint and gold string.

The materials we used: cheap plastic dinosaurs, small screw hooks, white paint, gold spray paint and gold string.

First thing we did was find some cheap plastic dinosaurs at the local $2 shop. Then we did 2 coats of white paint as a base. 

First thing we did was find some cheap plastic dinosaurs at the local $2 shop. Then we did 2 coats of white paint as a base. 

Next step was to spray them gold. Having the white under as a base worked so well with gold, giving a bit of contrast and helping the shimmer to POP a bit more. (I also sprayed a heap of other things gold - yes I got a bit excited with the spraypaint lol - you can just see in frame some nuts and twigs I used to decorate presents).

Next step was to spray them gold. Having the white under as a base worked so well with gold, giving a bit of contrast and helping the shimmer to POP a bit more. (I also sprayed a heap of other things gold - yes I got a bit excited with the spraypaint lol - you can just see in frame some nuts and twigs I used to decorate presents).

So most of the blogs I read suggested using a drill to drill a hole in the dinosaur for the screw. And in our (not so handy) household using a drill seemed like a bit of a task. If this isn't you, go ahead and drill away! Instead hubby just used the screw to poke a little hole in the dinosaur and screw it in. A lot easier for us than using a drill (when we would have no idea what we are doing!)

So most of the blogs I read suggested using a drill to drill a hole in the dinosaur for the screw. And in our (not so handy) household using a drill seemed like a bit of a task. If this isn't you, go ahead and drill away! Instead hubby just used the screw to poke a little hole in the dinosaur and screw it in. A lot easier for us than using a drill (when we would have no idea what we are doing!)

Then all we did was add a gold string and voila - dinosaur decorations!

Then all we did was add a gold string and voila - dinosaur decorations!

gold dinosaur dino christmas decoration
dinosaur christmas tree decoration DIY
DIY gold dinosaur christmas tree decoration

All up it did take a bit of time to do all of the different stages to create the dinosaur christmas decorations BUT it was a lot of fun and Austin really enjoyed the process. We did quite a few other DIY decorations too (because who wants to spend a fortune when you have little hands ready to tug and pull at the tree?). I wouldn't say they are quite as fabulous as the dinosaurs but they fill the tree for now, and then my plan is to slowly add some more sentimental and special decorations each year (remember, I'm just a Christmas tree novice, ok? Gimme a bit of time). 

We purchased this wooden garland from BIG W then cut it apart to make indiviual decoartions with each of the pieces. 

We purchased this wooden garland from BIG W then cut it apart to make indiviual decoartions with each of the pieces. 

Here you can see a gold star (yep, more gold spray paint!). This is one of the pieces from the BIG W garland. Comes up alright, doesn't it? And we also got some rolls of ribbon and went nuts with tying bows all over the tree. Easy peasy!

Here you can see a gold star (yep, more gold spray paint!). This is one of the pieces from the BIG W garland. Comes up alright, doesn't it? And we also got some rolls of ribbon and went nuts with tying bows all over the tree. Easy peasy!

And here is one of the pretty gold bows.

And here is one of the pretty gold bows.

Pretty happy with our first proper christmas tree! And even the more special because we all helped to create most of the decorations :) 

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Fresh summer hair - oh yeah!

 
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Silly faces toddler and mum
Wearing:  Dress  by  Tobi , belt from  Zimmerman  - similar  here ,  Jord watch ,  Mimco  bag - similar  here  ,  Sachi  shoes - similar  here  and  Clinique Pop Glaze lipstick in fireball

Wearing: Dress by Tobi, belt from Zimmerman - similar here, Jord watch, Mimco bag - similar here , Sachi shoes - similar here and Clinique Pop Glaze lipstick in fireball

Sooo, as you all know I'm just a littttle bit (ALOT) excited for Christmas! Austin and I just had our fresh summer hair cuts (WOOP - first hairdresser visit in 6 months for me). He looks SO grown up with his hair all chopped off and we are all ready for our first CHRISTMAS PARTY of the year!

Its our big family Xmas do on my dads side and Austin is going to have sooo much fun. There are 14 great-grandkids (of my nana!) going, and at least over 40 people all up. Its going to be EPIC but alot of fun. 

Here's to some very tired kiddies tonight ;)

The Kid Can Run

 
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Tobi dress with kids and roses
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Pink Tobi playsuit dress
Tobi playsuit with pink roses and toddler
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Wearing:  Romper  by  Tobi ,  Seed PomPom Earrings  ,  Karen Walker  Sunglasses - similar  here  ,  Swarovski  bracelet - similar  here  and  Clinique   Chubby lipstick  in Roomiest Rose

Wearing: Romper by Tobi, Seed PomPom Earrings , Karen Walker Sunglasses - similar here , Swarovski bracelet - similar here and Clinique Chubby lipstick in Roomiest Rose

Just because you take your kids to the best rose garden in Victoria doesn't mean they'll loooove it as much as you do. The Victorian State Rose Garden was CHOCK full of roses, of pretty much every colour. They really did take my breath away. But well Austin.... he wasn't so in to the roses. He was, however, in to running through all of the tracks, and also through the grass and really enjoyed running noisily past all the granny's taking an interest in the roses (sorrrry). He liked getting (too) close to all of the bees hovering around. And also managed to make a little friend to run around with. Geez, the kid sure can run!

He did at least have fun though. And was totally exhausted after. Winning!

The Rose Garden is located in The Werribee Park Precinct, so there is heaps to do in the area - you could pack a picnic then visit The Werribee Zoo or historic Mansion. Yay, for days out!

It's party time... for at least half an hour

 
Wearing:  Tobi Dress  ,  Seed Earrings  ,  Marcus B  shoes -  similar here  , Serra hat -  similar here  , Karen Walker  sunglasses  , Burt's Bees  Lipstick  in 'Sunset Cruise' , Vintage Ipes bag -  similar here  and Swarovski bracelet - similar  here

Wearing: Tobi Dress , Seed Earrings , Marcus B shoes - similar here , Serra hat - similar here , Karen Walker sunglasses , Burt's Bees Lipstick in 'Sunset Cruise' , Vintage Ipes bag - similar here and Swarovski bracelet - similar here

Tobi party dress with hat
Tobi off shoulder dress
Tobi party dress family photo
Tobi dress with balloons and toddler
Before my  Tobi  dress got completely covered in kiddie mess

Before my Tobi dress got completely covered in kiddie mess

Walking to the party like a BOSS because you are OH, SO ORGANISED today. Got the kids, check. The balloons, check. On time? Oh yeah, you know we are! Baby food? Yep! Toddler food? All ready. Spare clothes are sorted and packed. Sunscreen and hats are in the bag. Toys for the kids are aplenty. 

We are the first to arrive and feeling good. So we sit down to a beautiful glass of rose. But we totally forgot the first rule of parenting - don't ever get too comfortable. Too cocky. Too.... much like you are just NAILING the situation. Because inevitably...

The toddler tries to run away. The balloons get knocked off in the process. See ya later balloons. You realise you have got the start time of the birthday lunch an HOUR WRONG. The kids manage to get dirt and/or food all over their clothes (I mean, really, who knows what it is??). By the time everyone arrives you are hot and bothered,  balloonless, with two messy little kids and everyone has missed the DAMN first thirty minutes of when you actually had your shit together. 

Well, we almost got it completely right. Let's just say NEXT TIME it will go perfectly. 

Christmas is...

 
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Christmas with kids is sneaking presents in to the house and wrapping them in the dark of night. Coz you just KNOW they will hunt down that one cupboard at the back of the wardrobe where the stash is.

Christmas is having your toddler be forever traumatised from the one time his daddy dressed up as Santa at playgroup. Come on, when will he ever forget this moment?! 

Christmas with a six month old is being so excited to watch him get sooo close to crawling, but then also hoping he holds off until after the big day to save the Christmas tree from destruction. Fingers crossed!

Christmas as a mum is gifting yourself an awesome present… because there is no guarantee someone else will get it (no matter how hard you hint at it). Hello, an awesome wood watch from Jord. Wooden, unique and all mine. Let's just pop it under the tree and say it’s from Santa, shall we?

Christmas as a family is so damn infectious. How can you not get hyped up when your toddler asks every single day if he can open the presents under the Christmas tree? I’m just hanging out to see all the excitement on their little faces on the big day.

Yep, Christmas sure is for early starts and late nights. For huge shiny trees covered in baubles and sparkly lights. But mostly it's for the looks on their darling little faces and squeals of delight. To know as a parent you must be doing something right.

First Christmas as a family of four, here we go!

If you want to gift yourself or someone you love one of these unique wooden watches Jord is offering my readers 25% off for the holiday season, just jump here to receive your special code. Also, I've linked Jords women’s watches, men's watches and also mine here. You can thank me later when you get to cross some presents off your list! :)

 

Baby you're late

 
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I just want the world to know that I am a mother.... And because of this I will not be on time. Now, don't get me wrong, I love punctuality. I thrive on being organised. I am basically a big fat dork who likes to get to a party ten minutes before it has even started.

But that has all gone. Completely. Out. The. Window. And not even by choice! My precision planning has been rendered useless. My in-depth lists completely pointless. And years honing my OCD grade organisation is oh so laughable in its current state.

And I blame it on the kids! Pooplosions. Vomit. Extremely urgent need for raisins in the middle of nowhere. Milk stop. Pit stop. Oops forgot to stop, and go to the toilet. Pant changes. Nappy changes. Vomit all over my clothes changes. Toddlers falling asleep in the car. Or babies not falling asleep, no matter where they are. Out of routine. Out of sorts. Lack of sleep. Too much sleep. (HAHA, kidding, that one never happens). High fever. High energy. The toddler high-fiving every single person in the party. And quite simply, I did not think it would take fifteen minutes to get from the kitchen to the car. Ugh.

I would say now that we have realised this we are going to plan ahead. But I think we are just best to accept the inevitable. We'll be there, for sure, but don't ever expect it to be on time. 

 

The baby will sleep

 
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So we've been pretty lucky with Remy so far. Thank F he sleeps like a champ, and pwetty please, knock on wood, let's hope it continues. But having a little baby back in the house reminds me of all the things we did to get Austin to sleep, and also with Remy too (though no where near as much work) and then all of the things people do and say when you’re trying to get your baby to sleep. This time round, I can see the humour in it. But um.... it wasn't so funny when baby number one refused to sleep. I'm sure there are a heap more, but here are my top eight things people say and do when you're trying your damn best to get the baby to sleep (and to stay asleep): 

1.     “Oh he looks so tired” most often said in a high pitched voice right in the baby's face

2.     “Oh he's eyes are still open.” Mmm hmm, they will be if you keep staring at him like that

3.     “He made a sound, he must be awake!” person runs quickly over to the baby to stare, prod, and try to pick it up. Yep, effectively making sure the baby will neverrrrr fall asleep.  

4.     *person starts singing baby a song *song is doing the opposite of getting baby to sleep 

5.     “He's not tired, he just slept” 

6.     “I don't think he's happy to go to sleep” Ok, he made just one teensy weensy sound. I'm preeeety sure he will survive.

7.     Random person on the street “oh looooook a sleeping baby!!!!”  Argh. Not any more. Thanks a lot stranger.

8.     And the biggest culprit of all meeeeee, dropping all the heavy things, walking into walls and making all the loud noises while trying to be SOOO quiet. Why am I always the most clumsy when trying to be all stealth around the house?

 

When we said kids wouldn't change our lives

 
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Yes, we actually had this conversation. I mean, most people do before kids right? Looking back we said a lot of hilarious things. These are some of my favourites:

- I won't be one of those parents who is always talking about their kids. Always sharing pictures of them. Saying how gorgeous, talented, and advanced they are. Hmmm, sharing a couple photos each and every day ins't considered over sharing, right?

- We'll get the kids to fit into our lives, not the other way around. This is actually the best one. If only the pre-baby me could see all of the countless hours sitting in the car while the baby sleeps, whispering in dark rooms while doing absolutely nothing to get the kids down, and waking up at all sorts of odd hours for night time feeds, cuddles and sick children. 

- We won't let kids age us. Oh, no. We will be different to all the people who told us it is inevitable. (HAHAHA)

- We'll definitely keep our social life post kids (and by social I don't mean drinking a glass of wine while watching netflix). 

- My kids won't eat anything out of a packet. (This is basically just a variation of 'we'll be the best parents', like duh, of course we will. Other ones in this realm include: our kids won't be naughty in public, they'll all eat all the fabulous healthy foods, and sleep like the precious gems they are).

My gawd, could we have been any more wrong about everything? Our lives did change. SO dramatically. But it turns out it was one of the best changes possible.

Feedwear - the definitive* list

 
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When I had Austin I found it SO hard to find clothes to wear when going out, or staying in, or you know, doing damn anything. I was already so stressed with a newborn child to look after, I just wanted something to put on that made me feel good and I could breastfeed with (God knows a woman’s already been through enough by the time she's popped that little bubba out!). Something as small as feeling good about a new top, or confident that you can rip the boob out quick enough for your little babe is all the confidence a gal needs!

So, I’m not sure if things have changed over the last three years, or I’ve just chanced upon a SHIP load of awesome brands over the last few months…. BUT there is a HEAP of options out there (if you know where to look!)

So… my gift to you is sharing all of these fabulous brands in the 'Feedwear Directory' so that all you mamas out there can avoid all of the hell annoying ground work I did (countless google searches for button down shirts, ‘chic’ nursing clothes, or anything with a zip!). 

You can click on each brand below to be taken directly to their website. Happy shopping mama's there is some awesome clothes awaiting you! 

 

The Feedwear Directory

 

The Purists (feedwear all the way)

FEED Life

Stylefeed 

Hello Monday Active

Max and Mee

 

Ripe Maternity  Knit  and  Jeans

Ripe Maternity Knit and Jeans

The Staples (oh yeah, you know these goodies!)

Ripe Maternity 

Queen Bee 

 

 

*…when I say ‘definitive’ I mean ‘this is the info I have so far’ so if you know of any other fab nursing wear brands drop them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to keep this little baby updated. 

To every woman I scared with the story of my first labour – I'm sorry

 

And the good news is the second one wasn’t nearly as bad. And maybe the first one wasn’t so bad either? 

 

After the birth of Austin, I saw my birth story like a war badge that I was proud to display. Something horrible, but amazing. Something I endured. 

But the thing is, Austin’s birth wasn’t that bad. There was no ‘emergency’ situation. No one was at risk at any point. A healthy little baby was born at the end, and apart from being a bit knocked around I was totally fine. 

Yes, this was the most intense pain I’ve ever felt (beyond this world bad). Yes, the baby had moved posterior creating horrible back pain. Yes, I was induced which (depending on who you talk to) makes the pain so much more intense. And oh boy, a big yes, I was NOT coping with the pain at all.

But it’s taken me until after the birth of baby number two to think, maybe it wasn’t so bad?

Things went a lot more smoothly with baby number two. Yes there was pain (a lot), and it was uncomfortable and at times your body is doing some really gross (but equally amazing) things. But really I think the big difference was me.  Being prepared for the pain and being proactive in managing it. With birth number one, I remember laying there just waiting for the pain to wash over me.  Birth number two I just thought there is no way I can do it in the same way. Sitting and waiting for pain. So I needed to do something different. So I looked into pain management techniques, tried to get in to a really good positive mind frame and created a plan that involved Pat (aka the best #instagramhusband going around) so we would be in it together. Of course, labour is a totally unpredictable beast, and anything could have happened which would have totally changed all of these plans. But things went pretty well (amazingly so), hello, did you see the cute little button we produced?

So I just wanted to say, to all the women out there (especially the ones I told the story of me screaming down The Freemasons hospital, with the nurses trying to get me to shut the hell up) it’s not so bad, your body was built for this and you can do it!

Well, there’s my bit.

And if you’re interested in some of the pain management techniques I used during labour get your hands on “Birth Skills” by Juju Sundin (thanks to my darling friend Hayley for the suggestion, what would I have done without this?!!). I don’t think it’s ground breaking material, and it may not work for everyone but if anything you can walk (or scream) in to your birth with some skills (and confidence) up your sleeve.