Baby's first beach day!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

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The beach was a big part of my life growing up. My mum loved the beach & took my brother & I any chance she had. I love the feet of the sand in my toes and bobbing up and down in the waves. The ocean has that way of making you feel really small. It immediately commands your respect and attention and you have to work with it to make sure you stay safe. I'd been  looking forward to introducing Lulu to the beach. I want her to have the same love and respect for the ocean that mum & I do. 

As expected she was a little hesitant at first, but over the past weekend two other little girls (both 2 years old) were staying with us and seeing them play and enjoy the water made Lulu realise that it wasn't scary and that she did really want to be wading her feet & running in & out of the shallow water like they were. The running she can't do but wading her feet, we can certainly help her with that! 

Beach, beers and tents

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

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A bunch of friends joined us at the house over the weekend. Nick's family beach house has tree bedrooms, but this weekend we needed a few more, so our mates brought tents & created a little campground in the front yard.  We passed the time with trips to the beach, drinks, BBQs and lots of catching up. Sunday we took a trip up the hill to Forrest where they have a cute micro brewery and delicious food. Monday we had more time for wading feet and ice cream before the last of our guests went home. This week we're hanging out at the house and having a bit of downtime before more guests arrive next weekend. It's holiday fun time. 

Hottest 100 Day

Saturday, January 26, 2013

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It's that time of year again, Triple J Hottest 100 time and just like all good elections, you can't complain about the outcome if you didn't vote. As usual we left it to the last minute & Nick and I voted together using the internet on my mobile in the car on the way to Apollo Bay. So the list above is a combined list from the two of us. It will be fun to see if any make it into the top 10 today.  

What were your favourite songs or album of 2012? The songs don't necessarily have to have been released in 2012, just anything that really resonated with you this year. I have to say that Frank Turner gave us the soundtrack to 2012. My friend made me a mixed CD of some classic Frank Turner songs before we saw him at Wide Open Space and I have to say, that CD has been on repeat ever since. Also the Flaming Lips, who sang Lulu to sleep for the first 6 months of her little life (Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots was our album of choice). And you?

Clouds, sand and sea

Thursday, January 24, 2013

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With temperatures over 40C since New Years, it's a refreshing change to be in Apollo Bay. Yesterday was cloudy and cool, today is warmer but still 20C cooler than Alice Springs. Delightful. Our days have been filled with coffee, tea, sand, sea, playgrounds, the paper (there's time for the paper!!) and exercise. All the things holidays should be about. I'll be blogging every few days or so over our holiday, so be sure to check back in. 

Roadtripping with a baby

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

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Last Thursday we headed off for our annual trip to Apollo Bay. We had decided to drive, mainly because Apollo Bay is a 2.5hr trip from Melbourne & if we flew we'd have to hire a car to get here from the airport anyway. However, Apollo Bay happens to be a 3 day car trip from Alice Springs and I think Lulu must have sensed that she'd be trapped in a car for 3 days, so she threw up before we even left the house and then 3 more times before we reached the Finke Start/Finish line, which is about 15km from Alice Springs. 

Since we were still in mobile phone range I looked at the cost of a flight to Adelaide for Lulu & I. Fights were less than $250 and with the possibility that Lulu would continue to be sick during the day when we're 300km from no where (not an exaggeration), we turned back and took the flight. Nick, the hero, met us in Adelaide the next day with the car. We spent two nights with my parents before continuing the journey to Apollo Bay. Lulu wasn't sick over the weekend & only threw up twice during what became an over 10hr car trip. 

It's normally about a 7hr trip to the Bay, but when you're travelling with a baby you need to make a lot of stops and the stops aren't just running to use the loo or buy a drink. You've got the nappy change, a feed (and yes, she'll suck that bottle down as slowly as possible), stretching her little legs, playing on the swings. The old 'she'll just fall asleep because it's so boring' did not apply. She slept for maybe three hours in total! My tips for roadtripping with an 11 month old? 

  • ensure you can reach from the front to give the baby a bottle in the back - my arms are way too short for this to be comfortable
  • Interactive book/s - Lulu loves books where she can feel different elements ie sandpaper, fluffy, bumpy. One of these books can keep her entertained for ages.
  • Hanging toys - hang different toys from the handle above the door.
  • Snacks - I lost count of how many rice crackers Lulu ate. Many ended up on the floor but they all kept her occupied for a while
  • Sesame Street - At some point it's all just going to get to be too much. This is when you crack out the sesame street on the ipad. Yes, I was someone who said my kid wouldn't watch tv in the car but when confronted with a crying 11 month old who just wants out though we stopped 10 mins ago? TV wins. 

Have you done a big road trip with your baby? Any tips for our trip back? We are contemplating another flight!

Golden Globes 2013 - My favourite Frocks

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

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If you've seen any of my frockin' up posts, you'll know I'm partial to wearing black, so of course, many of my favourite dresses from this years Golden Globes are black. 

I love the simplicity of Stacy Keiber's dress (is she known for anything other than being George Clooney's girlfriend?). The deep v-neck on Kirsten Wigg's dress is fantastic, it's also not a halter if you see pics of the back, which I also like. Halters end up hurting my neck, so I'm generally not a fan. The sparkle on Salma Hayek's dress is great. I do hate the bow, it probably could have done without it. 

Isla Fisher's jewelled gown is stunning, as is Kate Hudson's dress. The belt on it reminds me of 80s big belts. Olivia Munn's  bodice and black skirt combo also rate a mention, I love the colour and how it's just that little bit different. 

What were your favourite frocks from this years Golden Globes? While I haven't included a picture, I did like Amy Poehler's tuxdeo jacket and ankle trousers suit by Stella McCartney. Great to see something a little different on the red carpet. 

Flowers, rest and play

Monday, January 14, 2013

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The weekend started off with a bang, having to take Lulu to the hospital after being unable to get a GP appointment in town. She vomited at daycare on Thursday and was sent home. While the vomiting had stopped by Friday morning, her temp was still up and she was a little dehydrated. At the emergency department the doctors did some tests and she was given IV fluids. The poor baby refused to sleep anywhere but on me all day and anytime the slightest noise happened or I reached for something she'd wake up crying. It really was quite worrying. 

Despite my worry, the doctors weren't too worried about her. 'Nothing serious' was a quote from one of the student doctors and early evening we were able to come home so she could get a good night sleep in her own bed. She slept restlessly from 6, then a deep sleep from 9 until I heard her coughing just after 4am. She stayed asleep though the coughing and I dream fed her a bottle which she guzzled down & I knew then that she was on the mend. 

Saturday was spent quietly at home, recuperating from the worry of the previous day and a half. Lulu played a little but mainly slept lots. I drank tea and caught up on blogs. Nick finished building his new mountain bike. A friend cooked dinner for us & dropped it over, which is pretty much the nicest thing that could have happened. 

Sunday I went into work for a few hours to make up for leaving early on Thursday, while Lulu slept at home & Nick watched DVDs, then I stopped by a friend's baby's first birthday party. I can't believe the babies are turning 1 already. Thursday afternoon Lulu curled up next to me with her head in my lap while she slept, just like a big kid. It's too soon. 

Music to go with your coffee

Saturday, January 12, 2013

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After the worry & stress of the hospital yesterday* I spent this morning chilling out on the couch, reading blogs, pinning and finding new (to me) folk bands on Bandcamp while Lulu slept.   

I ended up purchasing albums from Geometric Shapes, Shakey Graves and Mayeux and Broussard and am loving the new sweet tunes that are filling our home with calm.

*More info on our hospital visit here

PS. You must check out Julie's beautiful new cook book Seasoned. It was released this week and makes me pine of the winter weather.

Frockin' up - work wear

Friday, January 11, 2013

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As an Anthropologist you don't really need any corporate work wear, pretty much jeans, boots and a shirt will do. The day you wear nice dress shoes to work, you are pretty much guaranteed that you're going to have to climb a hill or hike a 1km through buffel grass. However, my new role at work requires a lot more office time & a lot less fieldwork time, so I took the chance to purchase a new 'office wear' dress in the post-christmas sales at Target. These kind of dresses almost never fit as they're made for gals without hips, but this one had a little more room and I love the metal detailing, which means I don't have to wear a necklace in the heat. Perfect.

Tex-Mex is the best

Thursday, January 10, 2013

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Two of my girlfriends make the best mexican food. I'm talking about the real stuff you'll find away from the resorts in Mexico. They make tortillas from scratch, cook mole, you name it they can do it. 

Me, however, I love to cook tex-mex style. If it comes from Old El Paso, I'll have made it. I do make a number of variations on your standard box recipe that are very simple. Nick & I cooked this recipe Saturday night when it was way too hot to be heating food indoors. It is so easy to make this meal and your oven can stay off. It's win win.

Meat
Cut a steak into strips.
Cut up some mushrooms
Cut some onions. 
Mix some Old El Paso taco sauce and a few shakes of mexican chilli powder in a jug with 100mls or so of water.
Cook the meat, mushrooms and onion on the BBQ hotplate, when about done add the sauce and mix it through.

Salsa
Add some chopped red onion, spring onion, 2 green chilli balls, coriander, juice of 2 limes, a spoon full of capers and a little bit of olive oil to your blender or food processor (I just got one of those stick blenders with the chopper attachment - it has changed my world) and process for a few seconds. Instant salsa. 

Guacamole
Finely chop some coriander and red onion. Mash the avacado. Then add the coriander and red onion to the avocado with a little lime juice and a lot of salt and papper. 

Sides
Chop some onion, chop some lettuce and grate some cheese.

Tortillas
Warm these on the BBQ - you will not regret it.

Drinks
Lazy gals sangria - just mix 2/3 red wine with 1/3 lemonade & a few squeezes of lime juice. Add lots of ice and you got some sangria!

Easy tex-mex sorted - there ain't nothing wrong with a little Old El Paso in your life.

Tiny teeth

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

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Lulu's 8th tooth has broken through the surface & while it didn't give her as much trouble as the first few teeth, teething still has terrible side effects for her. I know that most of the literature swears that teething does not have side effects, however, anecdotally, teething certainly does & my baby has followed the anecdotes to the t. With Lulu it seems to be that for about a week before a tooth comes her poos get looser & more frequent, she starts chewing on her fingers, she gets a nappy rash & she wakes more frequently in the night. 

The nappy rash has been no where near as bad with the first few teeth as with this latest one and I don't think the extreme heat here has helped much. Her poor little bottom has been so sore she's cried everytime we changed her nappy. 

To help relieve her discomfort we:
- put her in the bath quickly each time she'd done a poo, so as not to wipe her
- lots of nappy free time (which meant most of my day was spent cleaning up wee & poo)
- Sudocrem 
- a bit of canesten before the sudocream

Have you experienced anything like this when your baby was teething? I hadn't ever seen her bottom so red, it really was heartbreaking. That cry every time she was put on the change table....The rash has slowly gotten better on it's own since the tooth broke through. Teeth, nothing but trouble.

Weekend Adventures

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

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Temperatures stayed above 40C all weekend and what else can you do when it's so hot but stay indoors? Nick managed a early morning bike ride with some mates on Sunday that ended with a dip in the pool, but otherwise our weekend was spent trying to stay cool inside, with a few late afternoon swims. How was your weekend? Hopefully a little cooler than ours!

Exercise Stats - Week 7 12wbt

Sunday, January 6, 2013

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This past week I fared a little better with exercise. New Years Eve and New Years day were out for me (a little too much champagne may have been had New Years Eve, but that is what the holiday is all about, isn't it?) but I pulled it together and managed to workout a total of 4 days this week. 

Sunday - 12wbt strength and toning video workout, full 50mins

Monday & Tuesday - nothing

Wednesday - Week 3 30 Day Shred DVD

Thursday - First day back at work after two weeks off. I had planned to work out once Nick got home but we had a small accident. Lulu loves standing and walking (while we hold her) & Thursday arvo she was holding onto a chair while standing & she fell & knocked her nose on  the chair on the way down. One nostril bled a lot & after 15 mins (Nick had arrived home in this time) it hadn't stopped so we all jumped in the car and raced to the ER. By the time we got there her little nose had stopped bleeding. We waited a few minutes in the waiting room without presenting at the counter & in that time a friend who is a doctor there spotted us & came over. He said she looked fine, no teeth were broken & that as her nose had stopped bleeding & as there is no history of clotting problems in our families we could go. Poor baby took quite a while to go to sleep that night, but is all better now. Needless to say there was no exercising & pizza was ordered for dinner.

Friday - I went for an early morning run, using interval trainer app. The outdoors smelt so fresh & it was cool (26 degrees). Loved it. Wondered why I hadn't gone running in the early morning in a while, but remembered that we had been staying up too late. 

Saturday - 12wbt Earn Your Burn cardio video - I struggled with this today, don't think I worked out to my full potential, but glad I did it.

How did you go with exercise this week? 

Frockin' up - Summer lovin'

Friday, January 4, 2013

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The temperature in Alice Springs look like it'll be hovering around 41C plus degrees (that's over 105F!) for at least the next week so it's time to crack out the summer clothing options. I think the outfit above just might be my uniform for the next week. Baggy top and shorts with an elastic waist. You can't go wrong with that, hey? 

Resolutions for 2013

Thursday, January 3, 2013

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Each year my sister-in-law asks us what our New Years Resolutions are & I never really have any. I've tended to think that resolutions are something you say New Years Eve, but never remember when you wake the next day. However, after reading this post from Briana on how she did with her 2012 resolutions, I decided that it was time to make some. Here are my resolutions for 2013:

1. Cleaning Schedule - Maintain this cleaning schedule (via Emily at A Denver Home Companion) so cleaning the house does not become the half day ordeal that it sometimes has been. I've saved the schedule to the front page of my ipad so I can easily check what the job for that day is.

2. Exercise - Carve out some time each day to exercise. Exercise gives me time to think & time just for me. I like it & I need to do more of it. Getting up a little earlier or at least when the alarm goes off will be the key to this. 

3. Time for Nick - Make sure Nick gets this time each day too. Am thinking more of our before/after work trade off will have to happen.

4. Quality Time - Ensure that I spend some quality time playing with Lulu each day. It is so rewarding teaching her new things & although this generally happens each day, it is so easy to get distracted by a text message or getting a cup of coffee & find the time sucked away. 

5. Greening up - It's time for our little family to get a little greener. Recycling takes a little more thought in Alice Springs, what with no curbside recycling. But there are places to drop bottles, we just need to get a little more organised with our collecting of old bottles. Composting for the garden is also something we want to get into, including making use of our coffee grounds.  

Writing the resolutions down has certainly helped solidify them in my mind. I'll be sure to let you know how I go. Have you made any new years resolutions? Please write them in the comments below or add a link to your blog if you have made any resolutions, I'd love to read them. 

Happy New Year

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

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Happy New Year!! We rang in the new year at a friend's home. A small bunch of people, kids running round, dancing and more than a few glasses of bubbly. It was delightful. The little miss snoozed in her pram for a few hours, then partied for a bit, ringing in the new year with us. She's a party animal that gal. We took the photo above about half an hour before midnight. I know I should have gotten her back to sleep as soon as she stirred but it sure was nice having her awake to celebrate with us. 

How did you spend new years? To be honest I would have loved to be on the couch watching tv while the baby slept, but it was special spending new years with friends.    
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Pretty fairy lights surrounding the granny flat at the back of our friend's place

2012 the year that was

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

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Baby Girl - In February we became parents. It's been scary & rewarding & wonderful. She lights up our lives. That giggle, my goodness. I think I would have been a little lost this year on our new journey with our baby girl without the help & support of fellow bloggers & my awesome blog readers. Each time I had a question you guys were there with answers. Thanks so much. 
Family Adventures - We loved travelling with her this year. Seeing eyes light up at new sights & the joy she brings to others, it's wonderful.
Back into Exercise - I have throughly enjoyed getting back into exercise this year. Exercise makes me feel good about myself. I love it.
New House - Not only did we become parents, but we also bought a house together. A grown-up house with a yard and a garden. Gardening has become a new weekend hobby. 
Blogshop - After nine months of baby focus, I was able to have a break for a weekend & attend blogshop. I learnt so much. I missed my husband and baby, they would have loved the adventure. 
Alice Springs - I have thoroughly enjoyed being back in Alice Springs this year. We've made a home here, made new friends, firmed up old friendships. I've found part-time Anthro work, Nick's carved a new work path. The beauty of this place gets me every day. We are so lucky to live here. Alice has been good to us. 

On a slightly different note, but it deserves a mention as 2012 has not been all sunshine & rainbows. Cancer has hit a few friends and family in 2012 and I want to say here's to 2013 being the year of recovery. 
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