Monday, November 19, 2012

An update!

I have 7 weeks left (if I go to full term this time) of being pregnant and I CAN'T WAIT to meet this little boy. Seriously, I can not wait to have this baby out of me! I am so hot & uncomfortable in so many ways every single day and it's really getting to me. I hope he comes on the 1st of January, that's only a week earlier than his due date. I don't feel as prepared as I should be at 33 weeks, I haven't looked to see what boys clothes I have, we haven't even got a carseat for him. Considering I had Gemma at 37 weeks I feel like I need to hurry up and pack my hospital bag and make some meals for the freezer and get the carseat bought and installed.. but I am just SO tired and it is SO hot during the day and I don't have a car to go anywhere and the thought of catching a bus ... no way. Thankfully we are able to spend time in the pool & in aircon at home if need be, that is a huge blessing. Mum & Aunty live just around the corner and are always ready to come & help at any moment, they are angels. Love them!

On a brighter note, Gemma is SO smart! Of course I'm going to say that I'm her Mum :) but seriously she is a very clever little girl and I feel very proud (I must be doing something right!). She is 14 months now. She is walking more confidently each day, she will dance, try to jump, bend & stretch & do actions to songs like popcorn popping, twinkle twinkle little star, dingle dangle scarecrow & others. She has seen the chorister at church and now waves her arms around whenever hymns are being sung or we sing at home. She folds her arms for prayer before meals and at bedtime and is sometimes the first one to do so which is great as it reminds us. She has even started to whisper and copy as we are saying the prayer and she tries very hard to say amen but still needs some practice. She follows me into the kitchen and likes to help me stir food & will get her own bowl and spoon out of the drawer and pretend to mix and then feed it to me. She'll pull dish cloths out of the drawer and wipe down the floor, walls & any surface as though she's cleaning. She LOVES reading books, she will sit & have me read books with her for as long as I'll let her, no kidding, she could sit & read for an hour or more I'm sure of it. It's always me who gets up to do something else and she'll pick up a book and bring it to me and throw it at my feet or on my lap and look at me as if to say "Come on Mum! read this one!" :) I think all this reading aloud to her has really had a positive affect because she talks a lot - yes, mostly toddler talk (aside from the few words she can say like 'Mum, Dad, upstairs, num nums, dum dum & a few others), but she understands A LOT! She has a ton of books and in any one of them we can ask her to point to the cow, elephant, baby, chameleon, zebra, pillow, tv, bath, car, aeroplane, penguin, blueberries, buttons - really whatever is on the page and she will point to that thing. She knows SO many words it amazes me. She will see a picture of a refrigerator or microwave and then point to ours in the kitchen or she will see a picture of an ice-block and then point to the garage because that's where the freezer is. She'll see a picture of a child on a playground and then point to her stroller & outside because she knows that when we go for a walk she gets to go down the slide at the park. She is making animals noises now for snake, dog, elephant, monkey, cat, crow - oh & actions :) She knows just about every single body part & she is starting to pick up on colours, so far she knows pink & green. I love her cuddles & giggles & the faces she pulls. I love her spontaneous kisses and the way she looks at me & is always excited to see me. Perhaps other 14month olds are doing the same things or even more incredible things but to me she is amazing! She is my sunshine, I love her immensely.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A little about Gemma

Our Gemma is very clever :) She has learnt a lot in her first year. I can not believe that it will be her 1st Birthday on Friday. The time has flown by. I also can't believe that in 3 months she will no longer be an only child but will be big Sister to her little Brother. I think she will make a great big Sister. I wanted to record some milestones, funny, cute things that she does so I don't forget.

2 months  - smiled, talked, laughed
3 months - eat toes
4 months - says mama dada yaya
5 months - start to sit with help
6 months - sitting, touching everything, headbanging, dancing, clicking tongue
7 months - feed herself rice puffs & other finger foods, talking lots - mama dada baba gaga, drinking from cup, blowing raspberries
8 months - baby led weaning, starting to move forward on bottom, clap hands & point
9-10 months - crawling (scooting on bottom) climb stairs, recognize songs, animals, dancing 
11 months - folds arms for prayer when put in highchair, give kisses & cuddles, pulls self up on furniture
12 months - will make noise & actions to the words dog, monkey & elephant :) LOVES books & can point to correct picture when we say the word, enjoys playing outside, splashing in water, feeding herself yogurt, takes two naps a day and sleeps from 7pm til 5.30am. only breastfed in the morning, loves spaghetti, blueberries, smoothies & almond milk, moves along furniture with ease, can stand unassisted for a few seconds, loves to chase and be chased around the house & likes to check the mailbox. starting to throw tiny tantrums if she doesn't get her way (grits teeth, shakes head & bites her hand!) also loves trips on the bus & to the park and watching, playing with other children.

I love you so very much Gemma it is difficult to articulate (especially without tearing up), but it's like my heart is filled to bursting, it is so overwhelming and consuming and I would & will do everything that I possibly can to protect & care for you and make you feel loved for the rest of your life. You bring me so much happiness, joy that I would never know without you. You are such a sweet little girl and there is only one of you so I feel very, very blessed that you were sent to me. I love you unconditionally and without end & can't imagine life without you. I love you Gemma Kay! & Happy First Birthday! - love Mummy xo

Sunday, April 15, 2012


I've been drinking lots of smoothies lately, almost daily. Early in the morning, after our workouts, they are a great refreshing, energizing, healthy start to my day. Here is a recipe for one of my favourites:

Serves 2.
500mls orange juice
1 banana
handful frozen pineapple
2 handfuls frozen raspberries
huge handful of fresh baby spinach


Breakfast Burrito's!

Step 1. Cook chorizo, bacon, eggs & potatoes separately. Combine & season with S&P & whatever you like. I use Tony Chacheres.

Step 2. Organize all your components ready to roll!

Step 3. Make burrito, like so..

Step 4. Put on tray and flash freeze for 30min

Step 5. Wrap individual burrito's in gladwrap and place in large ziplock bag & freeze!

Step 6. To eat - take out of gladwrap, microwave on high for 2mins or until warmed through - to keep burrito from drying out wrap in damp paper towel when microwaving or put a small dish of water in the microwave as you heat.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

This years money saving solutions.

I manage the finances for our family (pay the bills, keep the budget, etc), mostly because I have worked for a financial advisor for the last 5 years and so am skilled in this area and I like to be organized and know what is going on with our income. This year I have a goal to add $10,000 to our current savings. To do this I have made some changes, not only for the purpose of saving dollars, but also to become more self-sufficient, frugal, safe & smart. Here are the things I am now doing to accomplish this goal:
  • Started using cloth diapers & wipes - to my surprise & delight - very easy and extremely cost effective. I haven't bought disposable diapers in weeks! :) I already use reusable cotton breast pads and haven't had to buy any disposables since Gemma was 2 months old.
  • Eating in - we usually eat in anyway but are making an extra special effort to make all meals at home instead of going out for pizza or something. Eating in means it costs much less and almost always tastes better!
  • Making weekly snacks - instead of buying muesli bars or other packaged snacks I dedicate some time each Thursday to making a healthy snack to last us a week. It's usually a protein/energy bar of some sort incorporating puffed brown rice, oats, LSA, flaxseed, chia, craisins, toasted coconut, almond butter, coconut oil, honey & protein powder. Really yummy and full of good stuff! :) 
  • I now make my own household cleaning products & laundry powder - it is INCREDIBLY cost effective AND in my experience work much better than bought cleaning products AND safer for using around baby AND very satisfying. I make my own spray & wipe, toilet cleaner, floor cleaner and laundry powder. They cost next to nothing compared to the shop bought stuff. My clothes smell and feel cleaner and don't have any sticky soapy residue on them, the laundry powder is great on the dirty diapers & for the price of one container of laundry liquid I used to buy I can make 12 times as much! It's amazing! The floor cleaner I used to use always left sticky streaks on my tiles, the first time I used my homemade floor cleaner I couldn't believe my eyes - NO STREAKS! No stickiness and brilliantly cleaned tiles! Yay! 
  • I make all Gemma's baby food from scratch. Dirt cheap and far healthier. I spend some time steaming and pureeing fruit & veggies, freeze it in cubes, once frozen I turn out into a big zip-lock bag that stays in the freezer and I get out what I need each day. I can't even work out how few cents each serving costs it is that cheap! Think, a jar of baby food costs about $1, a kilo bag of carrots from the fruit shop costs 69c and makes at least 20+ servings of food.
  • I walk everywhere, where possible. Instead of waiting for Marshall to get home with the car I walk to the grocery store with Gemma in the stroller almost daily, burning calories & saving money at the same time :)
  • Recently started washing dishes instead of using the dishwasher- now I'm not 100% sure about this one yet, but my recent electricity bill was higher than I had anticipated and my neighbors bill was lower and she said that she always washes her dishes so I thought just maybe this may factor in, so as long as I wash the dishes immediately and not let them pile up it is pretty easy work. In fact, I have enjoyed washing them early each morning when it is nice and cool, looking out the window, it is quite therapeutic and there is a feeling of satisfaction after having washed them.
  • We quit the gym and now exercise at home. We used to spend $120 a month on gym memberships for the both of us. At the time it was great as I would go every day, but since having Gemma, being without a car, breastfeeding etc.. I just can't get there like I used to. SO, we canceled our memberships and bought a couple of benches, a bar & a heap of free weights & dumbbells. Essentially we now have an at home gym in the garage. Also our complex has a small gym including bike, elliptical & treadmill & all in one weights station and we have a lap pool so there is really no excuse :) We workout together in the morning before Marshall leaves for work and then I walk 3.5km with Gemma each morning and do a workout in the afternoon. It's great! I'm in shape and we're saving $120 a month :)
  • Cooking in bulk and freezing meals - I am trying to utilize the space in our big freezer in the garage by making meals I can freeze. It makes it easier especially when I don't feel like cooking or if we have run out of oatmeal or something for breakfast, previously Marshall has bought breakfast on the way to work but now we will always have something at home. I love making a bulk lot of healthy wholewheat & oat buttermilk pancakes and freezing them, then we just pull a couple out as we need them, heat them up and enjoy! This week I'm making a heap of breakfast burritos to freeze, tortillas filled with egg, potato, bacon & chorizo. Yum!
Well, that's about all I could think of for now. I'm sure there are many more things I could do but I'm just taking it one day at a time. I'm feeling good about all these changes and excited to watch our savings increase!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Catch up post - Texas Trip

I don't like to spend much time on the computer these days, I like to spend as much time as possible playing with Gemma, she is such a fun baby :) Hence why I have not posted on my blog in 3 months. I am spending every waking moment with my beautiful baby girl, who is 7 months today!

I have a lot to catch up on. Firstly, our 3 week trip to Texas. It was fantastic! We really had a great time visiting our friends and family, especially Dad. Gemma was absolutely perfect on every flight, in fact many people commented afterward saying that they didn't even know there was a baby on the plane, she didn't make a peep! She is such a joy :) Everybody loved meeting her and she was very good, I don't remember her being very fussy at all even as she was passed from person to person. Pee-Paw Hoozer was able to feed her some rice cereal for the very first time and we spent a lot of our trip with him in and around Lampasas. He was his usual witty self - seemingly recovering well enough from his accident, full of life and jokes :) We had some of the best food we've ever eaten in Texas, visited the house where the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre was filmed, made the traditional stop in at Buc-ees for jerky & fudge, shopped at one of the best shopping destinations in the world in San Marcos, ate at an amazing Mexican restaurant in Houston (twice), visited Walmart countless times, made a trip to Fredricksberg with Pee-Paw, ate at Torchy's and brought home a stroller (best buy of the trip) and WAY too much luggage (mostly clothes for Gemma). We had a wonderful, fun time seeing friends & family and we were sad to have to leave. Here are a couple of shots from the trip. The rest are on FB.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

10 things I love about Gemma.

Gemma is 15 weeks old today :) Time sure does fly and she has grown so much in such a short amount of time. I absolutely LOVE that I get to spend my days at home with Gemma, she is such a good baby & becoming more FUN every day! She is full of smiles & giggles & is developing into such a lovely little girl (a mumma's girl too). I want to keep a record of some of the things she does that make me so happy :)

1. I love looking into her cot in the morning & seeing her whole face light up when she notices me :)    She smiles real big & starts kicking her little legs!
2. She is such an energetic little kicker! On her play mat & in the bath or swimming pool, she gets this real serious face, clenches her fists & then kicks super fast & hard - it's pretty funny to watch :)
3. I love her little laugh :) I love making her laugh :)
4. I love how when I am just about to feed her she starts breathing really fast through her nose, like she can't wait a second longer!
5. I love how she goes to bed at 7pm and doesn't wake up til 4am & then goes back to sleep until 7.30am
6. I love how she coo's & baby talks to me & her Daddy (and squeals!) especially first thing in the morning
7. I love all her little facial expressions, she is a very expressive little baby
8. For the moment, I really love how much she relies on me :) I love that she sometimes gets sad and pouts & cries if Mummy isn't holding her & how sometimes I am the only one who can console her, it makes me feel needed
9. I love how she always has to be holding onto my shirt/necklace or hand in my top when she is feeding
10. I love that she will take a bottle really easily from just about anyone, real handy when having a wisdom tooth pulled!

I love every moment of every day I get to spend with her & there is not room enough to record every special moment I share with her. I love her so much & I'm pretty sure she loves me :) We're best buds.