A little swim

Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Remember the days as a kid that you just didn't care how cold the water was, you just wanted to be in it. A time when we weren't so sensible, and just did want we thought would be fun. 
I thought maybe he would just walk around in the water, I wasn't expecting that he would sit. 
But he Loved every minute of it.

Linking up with Trish at My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday, and Bree at Twinkle in the Eye & Sakura Haruka

Sunday Trading in Perth

Saturday, August 25, 2012

This weekend Perth is being dragged, kicking and screaming (it seems), into the 21st century.
And boy am I excited.

You may take it for granted.
I did when I lived in NSW, and then in the USA, where many grocery stores are open 24/7 and most shops until at least 8pm at night including weekends.
When we moved back to sleepy old Perth I kept getting caught out. Oh yeah, most of the shops are closed on Sundays.

But not anymore, this weekend marks a new era for our city, Sunday trading (not all day Sunday, but from 11-5, we will take what we can get). Cue the fireworks, this is something to get excited about, or not, depending on your point of view.

Most of the news I have been hearing lately has been pretty negative, especially if you listen to talk radio. It seems that the sky is falling and small business owners especially seem to despise the idea. Claims are being thrown around that people don't want to SHOP on Sundays, no only browse. Hmmmm, I wonder if this is research based? Have you been to Fremantle on a Sunday? Due to weird tourism zoning regulations Fremantle is allowed Sunday trading, and it is always packed. I am pretty sure I may have seen a couple of people with shopping bags as well that potentially could have some purchases in them, just saying. I hear Joondalup (NOR) is pretty busy too, but that is so far away from me that I consider it to be a different city. The city also has had shopping from 1pm Sundays, but we rarely make the journey because I don't feel like paying a million dollars for parking!

 But then again trying to find a Perth shop with online shopping or even their products listed online is a bit of a challenge (I mean c'mon get with the program, it is 2012 people, you NEED a website). I guess I was just spoilt for choice in the US, where you can look up every product under the sun and know which store stocks it and how many it has, and that was over five years ago now.

Don't get me wrong, I love my city, but this is something that has bugged me for a long time. I don't understand what has taken so long.  I would think that it would make sense to be open on a day that most of the population is not at work? Especially for dual income families that don't want to fight the hordes of people at the shops for our one night a week where shops are open past 5.30pm, Thursday night shopping.

Years ago, we even had a referendum about it, and it was voted against. Yep, apparently the  Sunday trading debate is a big, big deal to people here.

 If I go to a big shopping centre on a Sunday and a bunch of the shops are closed, well then that is just annoying, and of course people wont want to shop on Sundays if they are unsure if the store they want to go to will actually be open.

So, if you have never been to Perth, maybe this will entice you, we have shops, that are open half-days on Sundays, pretty awesome right!

Karen xx

The Truth About Kids and Dogs

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I find that life with a toddler and a dog, is sort of like having two children. Before Ez came along, Angus was my baby. I worried about leaving him alone too long, I bought him treats when I went to the farmers market, I felt guilty doing any exercise without including him. Now Angus has moved down the food chain. He was never a cuddly, needy, attention seeking dog, he is a little more aloof. So Thankfully he wasn't bothered about a baby entering the house, he was interested, but not much more than that.

Soon enough the baby started to move, and developed a very, very keen interest in this black dog whose tail points straight up and waves like a flag begging to be grabbed and pulled. The dog still wasn't interested, until he realised that the baby was a goldmine of manna thrown from heaven (otherwise known as a highchair), and he was bought off, and now they have teamed up against me.

My day in the morning usually sounds like this:

Me: "Ezra, be gentle. Angus NO. Ezra NO, Angus get back here, Ezra let go of his tail, Angus drop it, Ezra no that is gross, it was just in the dogs mouth,  Ezra be careful,  Ezra don't give that to Angus, Angus NO that isn't yours, Ezra NO, let go of his tail, Angus settle down, Ezra NO that is Angus's food, Ezra No don't give that to Angus. Angus, do you want to go outside?

Sit down. Breathe.

These two are double trouble when they join forces of destruction. Angus is generally a pretty easy going dog. Except when we go on walks, then he acts like he has some crazy desperate mission of sniffing every blade of long grass he possibly can. When the people in the house are calm and relaxed the dog is calm and relaxed.

Enter Toddler.
Never calm and relaxed, always running around doing his best to hype up the dog.
They feed off of each others energy, and before I know it they are both running around the house like crazy, often the toddler being dragged around, refusing to let go of the dogs tail. They watch each other, one grabs something to play with, the other has to have it. Good thing Angus is a gentle beast, who carefully steals food and toys from the child. They love all the same things. Angus pretends he is annoyed with Ezra, and yet, he doesn't leave, he keeps coming back. They play this game all day. Ezra cannot help himself, he has to torment Angus. He holds on to his tail and doesn't let go for anything. He  tackles him whenever Angus is lying down relaxing. He pulls his legs out from underneath him as he walks by.

But, when Ezra is crying, Angus is there. He comes and finds me, he is worried about his friend. The neighbours say Angus is way more protective now than ever before. They have an older brother, little brother type of relationship, and it is really sweet (yet somewhat annoying for me). I remember what it was like having a dog as a child, and the bond you form with them is really one of the most special things in life. It is really amazing to witness it develop between these two.

What is life like in your house? Do animals and kids combine to wreak havoc on the adults?

In case you are wondering, Angus is a Shar-Pei, with a facelift to prove it!
Karen xx

Toddler Lunch: Quesadilla

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A favourite in our house. Even Ez stuffs them in his mouth!
Whole Tortilla, Cheese, Spinach, Tomato, Pickles and Avocado in this one, served with Yoghurt. 
Often I will use sliced turkey breast if we have some or beans work as well. 
Simply place the ingredients on one half of the tortilla, fold it in half.
Put a bit of oil in a pan on medium heat and lightly toast each side until the cheese is melted.
Cut in slices and serve with Sour cream/Yohgurt/Guacamole 

And Enjoy. It is a good lunch for adults too! 

Linking up with Trish at My Little Drummer Boys

Dropping the morning Breastfeed

Monday, August 20, 2012

This past week I dropped Ezra's morning breastfeed. This is the one that would usually happen before breakfast at around 7am (if I could calm him for long enough, otherwise I gave in earlier). Which means we are only down to one per day,  the breastfeed right before bed. I thought that weaning him off the first breastfeed of the day would be pretty difficult, because usually he is desperate for milk the second he wakes up. But, surprisingly he doesn't seem to really miss it at all.

Last weekend I started giving him his cereal before milk. So when he would get up we just marched into the kitchen and started getting breakfast ready, he was grizzly mainly because he was hungry, but he was perfectly happy to sit in his high chair with a piece of banana. For the first two days he came looking for milk about an hour after breakfast, and so I fed him. I just used the don't offer don't refuse strategy.

After those two days he just wasn't really bothered about it, so it gave me encouragement that he is ready for it. He also eats sooo much food (he ate 3 Salmon Patties for dinner the other week), and is such a great eater I am not really worried about him not getting enough nutrition during the day. I gave him some full fat cows milk to drink from a sippy cup before his morning nap just incase he was a little hungry, and he has been more than happy to drink that and eat a little snack.

By the end of the first day I felt like I was about to explode, and my milk is taking its sweet time adjusting to the new schedule. It reminded me of the new born days where there was just too much and nowhere to go.

After breastfeeding first thing in the morning pretty much as soon as I wake up every day for a year it is so weird to not be doing it anymore. I think it is more of an adjustment for me than it is for him.

I would love to hear about your weaning experience, I have no idea how I am going to drop the before bedtime feed it seems to be the one he's always been the most attached to.  I think baby led weaning is an awesome thing, as is long term breastfeeding. For me I have some post birth personal medical problems (nothing serious) and I have been told that there is a good chance it will improve when I stop breastfeeding. Also because we don't want to wait too long before baby #2 I need to give my body a chance to recover, hence why I am weaning now.

Karen xx 

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My first year as a SAHM

Friday, August 17, 2012
Why yes, I always look like this when I am making dinner. Don't you? 
I've just reached the end of my first year as a Stay at Home Mum. I think I was probably more adjusted to staying at home that most new Mums because for two years previous to becoming a Mum I worked from home, and have been studying externally from home too. So I am used to the solitude, what I was not used to, was having my day dictated to me by a very demanding, occasionally overbearing, but extremely cute and energetic little boss man.

There are some days that I think having someone else deal with nap time and teething during the daylight hours would be preferable (if I am throwing out ideas lets say the night time hours would be amazing too). There are some days where I feel like wearing heels and going to the toilet alone (lets try to see how many people and animals we can fit into the small toilet cubical shall we, that sounds like a fun game). There are some days where I long for conversation that doesn't include the word 'dad dad dad dad dad' repeated to me at least a million times a day. There are a lot of days where I loathe doing any more housework that seems to mysteriously undo itself by mid afternoon. Occasionally I get bored, there is only so much vacuuming a person can handle in a week. Some days the pajamas stay on, the shower is a distant memory and my hair is a grease ball. Sometimes I feel out of touch with the 'real' world, wait, so neon is fashionable again? Dang it, I should have kept my clothes from the early 90's.

As many of my new Mummy friends are starting to head back into the workforce it has caused me to do some reflecting on my status as a stay at home Mum. It is definitely easy to think that I should be doing something more, contributing more, helping to pay the bills, getting ourselves ahead, earning more money.

Then I remember how much I really love being at home with my little man.

 I think of how very lucky I am, so many people would love to have the option to be at home, but just can't. My life isn't really glamorous, most of the time the opposite of that. When I look into those big bright blue eyes and think, I don't care about any of the other stuff, I am just glad you call me Mum (occasionally, most of the time you call me dadadadadada).
Here are some things that have helped me to Survive and Thrive as a full time SAHM Mum.

- Joining a Mothers Group
- If your having a hard day (i.e.baby won't nap, screaming, won't let you change a nappy without smearing poop all over you and the floor): go outside. The sun and fresh air does wonders for cranky babies and Mummies.
- Exercise, it does wonders for my head space
- Get involved in the community. Lots of places have things for babies/toddlers and parents. Like library baby rhyme time, toddler gym. Even most of the indoor play centers near us are free for under 1's.
- Have a hobby: For me blogging has actually been a great outward release of my energy and something else to focus on and I really enjoy it. I think that it helps to have something for 'you' that you enjoy and look forward to. 
- Ask for help. I was just talking to a friend about this today. You don't have to be superwoman, and you don't have to do it all yourself, it is ok to admit that it is hard and your struggling. 

Also side note! I think it is important if you have the means to, then do whatever it is that works for your family, I stay at home, and I love it, some people hate it, so no judgement here, nobody wins when Mum is miserable. 

Karen xx 


Wordless Wednesday: Toddler Snacks

Wednesday, August 15, 2012
I was inspired (and got the recipe) to make these muffins by another Mum at my Mothers group, our 1 year olds were going to town on them. I love finding new healthy recipes for snacks and lunches for my now toddler. These muffins have zucchini, capsicum, ham, mushroom, parsley and mozzarella cheese, and were delicious!
This is the original recipe HERE

Linking this week with Trish at My Little Drummer Boys

A Football 1st Birthday Party

Tuesday, August 14, 2012
This weekend we celebrated a very, very special birthday. 
I can't believe my baby just turned 1. This year has really flown by. It has been such a wild ride, like all new parents we thought we knew what we were getting ourselves into, but it is hard to mentally prepare to be a Mum or Dad. There has been some tough, stressful and frustrating  times, but they are massively out weighed by the joy that our little man has brought into our lives. It is hard to imagine life without him. He is just such a happy, sweet little boy and before this year I did not understand the depth of love you feel for your own child, it truly is amazing. 

I think he loved his birthday party, he was like the energiser bunny, he just kept going and going even though I could see he was exhausted. It seemed like he knew the day was all about him, because that is how he was acting (wait, he's a toddler, I guess they always act like that). He was just cruising around loving the attention from everyone and having a blast playing with his new toys. 

Because one of his favourite things to do is play with the football, I decided to go all out with the American Football themed party. Joel is a big Washington Redskins (NFL) supporter, so we went with their colours. We even made mini field goals, but unfortunately it was so cold and rainy outside we weren't able to play with them. I really loved doing all the little bits and pieces and decorating for his party. The only thing I was worried about was the cake, I rarely bake, and I do not remember the last time I baked a cake. I was just thrilled when it came out whole out of the pan!

I've added HEAPS of pictures, mostly of the decorations, which I bought from Amanda's Parties to go on Etsy, she did a brilliant job customising them and sent me the files to print off. Too easy! 
Opening presents with Poppy!
My friend Tia made these AMAZING apple and cinnamon cupcakes, I have eaten three of them so far!
Here is the football cake, made by yours truly. Just so glad it turned out, but I was up until midnight decorating it. 

Ezra's first taste of cake, and he ate the entire piece! And loved every minute of it.

Karen xx 

A week in Snapshots

Friday, August 10, 2012
It has been a busy week. Here are some snapshots of our week. I am having a hard time believing that my baby is turning 1 tomorrow. But we have been busy getting organised for his Birthday, and doing lots of gardening, which I loathe, but I appreciate what it looks like in the end. We took Ez to his fourth football game, the Western Derby (Eagles v Dockers), he loved all the excitement, and the fact that his team won. 

View of the Swan River looking south. Beautiful day!

Now hope I can keep these Mandarin trees alive and bearing fruit!

Teeny Tiny Baby Snail on the path

Purple Haze! Heading to the Western Derby, can you guess what team we support?

There ain't no better toy than a cardboard box, especially when your Daddy plays with it too. 

Gentle Angus, carefully removing the food from Ezra's hand. Ezra is bribing him so he won't mind if he hangs onto his tail for the rest of the day. 

Heart attack moment, when you spot your not yet 1 year old is standing on a skateboard, all on his own. 

It is a certain little mans birthday this weekend, I have been getting the decorations ready! So FUN!

About to hit the playground. Mummy Vans and Baby Vans. 

Linking up here!
life rearranged

Tales of an Ex-Music Lover

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I almost started this post with "in my younger years" until I realised that made me sound really old and boring, I'm not even 30 yet. So I decided I can't start it like that, because I am not old and boring. Or at least I don't want to be.

So, that said. I used to be a music fanatic, I remember waiting patiently to record my favourite songs off of the radio, or ordering punk rock cd's through my favourite mail order catalogue then sit on my bed reading the lyrics from the little booklet that came with them. I spent many Saturdays at 78 records in Perth scouring the shelves and then heading over to their listening stations with an arm full of CD's. I would save my money and go to as many concerts as I could, the very first being Silverchair at the tender age of 13, back when Daniel Johns was the heart throb of every teenage girl in Australia. I listened to music all the time, doing my homework, falling asleep, I would even read books and listen to music, which I could never do now.

Since becoming a Mum  I don't listen to as much music as I used to, which I assume is pretty common. I find myself listening to the same thing over and over again because I don't have the time to search for something new, my son isn't at the 'I want to listen to my music age' yet, but I do often stick some Yo Gabba Gabba on, because I don't mind it, and it beats the Wiggles!

This week, I made a conscious effort to listen to more music, and new music.

Wow, I remembered how relaxing it is to have music in the background while I am cooking dinner, or doing the dishes, it just makes the mundane a little more entertaining. Ezra loves music, so some days we have just been rocking out together having fun and a laugh, music is definitely my stress release.

Here are some of my favourites from this week.

Kid's Birthday Party Printable Themes

Saturday, August 4, 2012
I finally get to plan a child's birthday party! Yay, I am so excited about Ezra's 1st Birthday. But I am realising that it is in just over a week and I have barely organised anything,  it is not going to be a very big party, so I don't have that much to do, but for me the biggest job as always is cleaning the house! I have loved looking for 1st Birthday party themes!

In my search for lovely party themed things I have come across so many amazing printables on Etsy.

For almost every theme imaginable! How great is that, I no longer have to scrounge around the expensive party stores to find a specific themed item, only to be sorely disappointed when they don't have what I am looking for. Basically they are packs of Invitations, banners, cupcake papers, food labels, party favour bags and a whole lot more that are all matching a theme. So many of them customise them for you as well, like putting your child's name on them or the colours you want. I actually don't even have to leave the house, although I may have to run down and buy a pack of nice white card to print my party printables onto!

Here are some of the gorgeous items I have found in my Etsy searching!

If you follow me on Instagram you may already have guessed what my theme is!

Have a wonderful weekend.
Karen xx

1. Pirate Theme by BeeAndDaisy
2. Vintage Carnival by 2PartyPrintables
3. Airplane Biplane Party by Dimple Prints
4. Nautical Party by SpaceShipsLaserBeams
5. Sock Monkey Party by BelvaJune
6. Mickey Mouse Club House by Amanda's Parties to go