First Birthday Party!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

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For Lulu's birthday we decided to have a bit of a celebration to mark the occasion of making it through the first year. We started the party in the early evening and it went well into the late evening. While they say that 1 year olds birthday parties aren't really about the one year old, Lulu certainly had a great time crawling around with the other babies and chasing the toddlers. I barely saw her all night! She partied until 8pm when my parents nicely offered to put her to bed for us. 

Unlike our Christmas Party, this one was much more relaxing. We both had time to catch-up with friends and enjoy ourselves. We did a lot of party prep before hand so the evening ran smoothly. Plus our parents were there to help out too. As for the little details....

The Cake
As all good Aussie mothers who have gone before me, I baked a cake from the Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book. As a kid each birthday we could pick a cake that mum would make us from this book. The book has the best cakes and they are pretty easy to make. Mine, however, looked nothing like the picture in the book, but the whole thing was eaten which is what counts. I look forward to Lulu being able to choose her own cake, just like Nick and I did as kids. 

The crafty decorations:
Wall confetti - made from this cool idea of Beci Orpin's, as seen on the Sunday Collector blog.

Pompom Garland - While we were driving back from holiday I sewed pompoms bought from the newsagency (up close the pompoms are super uggly, you've probably seen them before & passed them by) onto a big line of thick string. We then cut the sting to length on the day to make the pompom garland.

Tissue paper garland - recycled from the Christmas party with new colours added. 

The Toys
The Alice Springs Toy Library my friends. I can't say enough good things about the toy library. After paying a yearly membership, you can pick four free toys and keep them for two weeks. On top of that you can hire larger toys (like the slide above) for as little as $6 a fortnight! AMAZING! 

The clothes:
Me - top Bardot, Jeans Lee, Hair clip Seed Baby
Nick - shirt Yoshi Jones, Jeans Levi
Lulu - top Rock Your Baby, pants Target

The longest year of our lives

Monday, February 25, 2013

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Everyone says the baby's first year goes too quickly, but when you think about it, this past year has been the longest year that we have ever lived through. Since Lulu was born one year ago, we have spent more hours of each day awake than we ever have before. 

Pre-baby we would go to bed between 10 & 11pm or after 11 each night & on a week day we'd be up at 7am or as close to work start time as we could get. Then on weekends we'd NEVER be up before 10am. 

Post-baby we try (well I do, Nick for the most part still cannot fathom going to bed before 11) to be in bed by 10pm. This isn't that different to pre-baby, however we're now woken up at 6am at the latest, even on weekends! Some days she'll sleep in a little later, but generally only the days we have to be up before 7 (how do they know?!). 

Then there's the minutes (hours) we're awake BETWEEN 11pm and 6am! Even if you're asleep by 10, chances are you'll be woken up for a feed or a re-assurance cuddle an hour or so after you've fallen asleep. If you aren't woken before midnight then you'll probably be woken around 4am for a small while. If you count all the hours we have spent awake, this year sure has been the longest, but on the other hand, if you consider the number of hours spent in a sleep deprived haze, then I guess it has gone quickly!

We are now falling into a nice routine, back to work and daycare and it feels like things are falling into place. We're not in this state of newborn inertia where each day revolves around feeding and changing a helpless baby & maybe you'll get a shower if you're lucky, instead we are now three fully functioning people with outside lives and family life. It's a great place to be.

PS Stay tuned Wednesday for details of the first birthday/we made it through the first year party!

Parties, Gardens & Doctors

Monday, February 18, 2013

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Our weekend ended up being jam packed with goings on. Friday night we had the first of a number of first birthdays to attend. Lulu then fell ill later on that night & Nick & I spend a very sleepless night up with her. 

Saturday Nick worked in the morning, while I took Lulu to the doctors and then had a nap while she was napping. Saturday afternoon one of the mums from my mums group came over and cut & coloured my hair, foils and everything. Saturday night we went to a friend's 1920s themed 30th & engagement party while Lulu was babysat by her Grandma. It was so much fun getting dressed up and letting loose after the stressful night before. 

Sunday we had an easy morning & before we knew it, it was lunch & we'd done none of the jobs on our list, so we got stuck into the gardening out the front, clearing away most of the overgrown path. Now the guy on the motorised wheelchair can make it down our footpath without having to detour onto the grass! Lulu may have watched a one or two episodes of Doc McStuffins in the late afternoon before we headed off to Nick's mum's for dinner. Few! Weekend over & back to just Lulu & me on Monday. How was your weekend?   

Pit stop on the Feb '13 roadtrip - Coober Pedy

Sunday, February 17, 2013

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Coober Pedy lies roughly 800km south of Alice Springs and about 800km north of Adelaide. If you're driving to & from Alice Springs to Adelaide, there is no way to avoid it. The town is surrounded by, well, nothing at all, above the ground that is. The main industry is opal mining. Opal was discovered there in 1915 and many return soldiers moved to town to mine it after World War 1. 

Most of the town lies underground, which makes for a fairly deserted streetscape. It was the return soldiers who introduced the underground living, similar to the dougouts they lived in in the trenches of France. I had thought the underground houses were just to escape the heat! As I had never stayed in one of the underground hotels we took this return trip from Apollo Bay as the perfect opportunity. It was quite strange without natural light and silent, so silent. If you like to fall asleep in a quiet, dark room, The Desert Cave Hotel is the place for you. 

We arrived early afternoon & set out on a little walking adventure, before having a beer at one of the pubs and an early pizza dinner. I love the fruit on the roof of John's Pizza Bar & Restaurant. Everyone from Alice Springs who has been to Coober Pedy says you have to have dinner at Tom & Mary's Greek Restaurant, but we think the pizza at John's is the bomb. After dinner it was a quick sink bath for Lulu and then early to bed for all of us to rest up for the last day of our three day trip home.

Valentines Day Traditions

Thursday, February 14, 2013

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Happy Valentines Day! Valentines day is not really a big deal in Australia and is mainly celebrated once you have a partner, but as a kid I went to school in Texas for 6 months and I was a little surprised to find out how much of a big deal it was even amongst 4th Graders. My class had a party and everyone gave valentines to each classmate. I had thought that you only gave valentines to the boy you liked, not everyone, and as I didn’t like any of the boys in my class I didn’t gave a Valentine to anyone. I remember being a little embarrassed that day that I didn’t know how much of a big deal it was. I received many lovely Valentines (these are smallish cards that you can buy in a pack to give out at school) from my classmates and it really is a nice way for kids to show their appreciation for others.

Do you have any Valentines traditions? This morning on instagram Jools Oliver showed a picture of a decorated Valentines breakfast table she’d set for her kids. I think this is a lovely way for a family to celebrate Valentines Day. Cute heartshape pancakes, decorations and love for each other. Then the parents can have a romantic dinner in the evening. I know the old excuse that you shouldn’t need a ‘Hallmark Holiday’ to buy some flowers for your partner or to have a nice dinner together, but you know what? Sometimes you do need a Hallmark reminder to stop for a second and take some time out to be together.

PS. Lulu made me a Valentine at daycare today - too cute. I may have cried a little!

12WBT Wrap Up

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

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The 12wbt has come to an end. I feel much better for doing it, but I feel that I could have done better. 

I have found that I loved the exercise portion of the 12wbt. Pushing myself to better my times or do the next level on a workout dvd has been challenging and fantastic. I taught myself to run along the beach, starting with just one interval of running & building up to the whole run (my tracks are on the beach above). I can do 6 more push-ups in a minute than before, I can do 19 extra seconds on a wall sit & I shaved 12 seconds off my 1km run time. But I can do better. I never did 6 days straight of workouts as required, nor did I do at least an hour for each session. 

I also haven't been able to stick very closely to the food part of the 12wbt. We don't, in general, eat that differently to the meal plan, but it has been Christmas/New Years/Holidays and things have been a little lapse. I've still managed to loose 39.5cm in total, but no kilos. Considering that my goal was to not put on weight over Christmas, then I have achieved that, but I do want to shed a few kilos so I have signed up again for Round 1 of 12WBT 2013. This time I'm going to stick closely to the meal plans as well as doing the exercise, all of the exercise this round. 

And of course I'll continue to update you as I go along.

Running the Great Ocean Walk

Monday, February 11, 2013

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On one of my morning runs I found this section of the Great Ocean Walk. The track follows the top of the cliffs, dipping onto sections of beach in different stages, then rising up again along the cliffs. The track goes for a whopping 94km. I only took in about 4km of it. It was such a treat running along the track while being able to enjoy such beautiful scenery. The days I took this track were overcast and one day it was even a little drizzly. Such a lovely change from Alice Springs heat. 

Speaking of Alice Springs heat. We arrived home yesterday and it was overcast and raining, but not only that, we woke up this morning and it is still raining! Extremely unusual. Looks like we brought the cooler weather back with us.  

Rainy days on Holidays

Thursday, February 7, 2013

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The second week of our holiday was much cooler than the first, with a few rainy days thrown in too. Since we don't have many rainy days in Alice Springs, the rain was a treat. An excuse to curl up on the couch and watch a movie while Lulu napped. We saw Moonrise Kingdom, which also featured rainstorms. That movie is just so cute. I loved it. 

Also this happened... I turned around to find Lulu standing up at the window all by herself! She scared herself & couldn't work out how to get down, though if she pulls herself up on something she can work out how to sit back down, but I think the window was just so far out of what she knew she just got a little stuck! In the past few weeks she's become more and more active, climbing over everything & she learnt how to climb down from the couch. It's been so much fun to see her develop over this holiday. 
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