40 weeks plus two

Thursday, June 27, 2013
It has been so quiet around these parts. I've been wanting to write, but then haven't found the motivation or the inspiration. Right now, I can only think about one thing. Yep, baby GET OUT!! I didn't want to bombard my blog with multiple posts about the fact that I am still waiting, I didn't want to bore you all with the non-events that have been going on around here. So I just haven't written. I've been trying to fill up my days, and not sit around waiting all the time. This week I crocheted my first ever granny square thanks again to YouTube tutorials, and made some awesome play-dough which was a massive hit with Ezra!!

Today I am 40 weeks and 2 days.
The last two days had me thinking that it was all on. I started having 'contractions' on both days, only to have them stop in the wee hours of the morning. Last night I really, really thought it was all going to ramp up and I even finished packing everything into the hospital bag. But here we are, still here, still waiting. I have to go to the hospital every two days from now on so that they can monitor the baby's heart beat. I have an Induction date, they are going to let me go 13 days over my due date. Which is awesome, really, because last time I was induced, and I do not want to go through that again. So I've got myself an extra week for it all to happen naturally from what I thought I had. YAY! Lets just hope this baby doesn't grow too HUGE!! eeek!

I'm so glad for all the support in my life right now. Joel has been awesome, and his work thankfully is kind of flexible and allows him to do some work from home if needed. My Mum has been helping to look after Ezra and making dinners and doing all the domestic duties I just don't feel up for. So really I have it pretty good.

So, hopefully I will have a better update for you soon!

Karen xx


No Maternity Style: 39 Weeks

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Well, on Tuesday I waddled ungracefully into my 39th week of pregnancy. As I know I've alluded to previously, I was hoping I wouldn't make it to the 39th week of pregnancy, and I've been dreading going over the 40th week like I did the first time. Each of those 11 days that I went over were excruciatingly long and frustrating, and hanging over me was the looming fear of the impending induction. Which did end up eventuating, meaning no water birth for me.

Everyday I am still waiting in anticipation, but I'm trying desperately not to stress or get as frustrated as last time about it. I'm trying to relax and enjoy my quieter days and trust that my body and my baby will find a time that is optimal for us both, that delivers the least amount of stress on my body and a healthy baby ready to make her appearance to the world.

I've officially been kicked out of our bed, and I've moved into the spare bedroom. Apparently I make too much noise when I roll over, and I take up too much room. I'm not complaining because I really like the spare bed, and when Ezra gets up early in the morning it isn't me he starts jumping on, so I'm getting a bit more of a sleep in!! Which I desperately need because I'm often up eating oatmeal at midnight and unable to sleep.
A really grainy bathroom shot! You're welcome!
There isn't a real maternity style post this week because, well lets be honest there isn't very much style going on at the moment. My style basically consists of the comfiest PJ pants ever, the QANTAS business class PJ pants that my Dad gets on his work trips and hands them around, I think almost my whole family wears them, seriously they are amazing! If you weren't aware, people who travel business class get changed into complimentary pyjamas on long flights, well wouldn't that be nice!! I've never had that opportunity. A black tank top that is almost too short and whatever cardigan I can find rounds out my daily wardrobe.

So, what methods do you swear by to get that baby out? I've heard great things about acupuncture. I've heard that castor oil works, but I'm not sure I want to deal with the explosive diarreah that accompanies it.

Karen xx

If you want to see my actual maternity style posts here they are below!

Maternity Style: 37 Weeks Black, White & neon
Maternity Style: 30 Weeks Studs and Sandals

Their life seems so perfect

Friday, June 14, 2013
Have you ever had someone, or a few someones in your life that you think have such a perfect life? I often find myself (especially now with so much social media) looking at some of my friends 'glamourous' or 'rich' lives and being envious of what they have, wishing that I could have those things too. There are just those people, who seem to have everything. They have the great house, the perfect family, the exciting and adventurous life, the awesome job,  and here I am at home with a toddler, and almost a newborn struggling to get up the stairs, dried snot covering my jeans, and they are out tripping the life fantastic. They seem so confident, so put together, so in control and loving life. 
It is so easy to find yourself thinking your life is boring, and no where near as glamourous. It can then cause you to start doubting that what you have is enough, and you spend too much time pining for the things you can't have, and feeling a bit ripped off by life. 
And then. 
Well then, you get the opportunity to catch up with them again.
And then you really start talking. 
And you realise that things are not as they seem on the outside. 
Things are rarely as they seem on the outside. 
You realise that they aren't completely put together, that they still have the same insecurities and struggles as you do. 
They reveal to you that their marriage isn't as perfect as it seems, or someone they care for is battling a serious illness, or they are in credit card debt up to their eyeballs, or they are dealing with depression or a number of things that I never would of imagined they were going through. 
And again you start to see them as the real person that they are, and not the facade of a person that you see in photo's or status updates. The person that you care about and not the person that you are jealous of. You start feeling a little silly for wanting everything that they have, and not enjoying the things that you have, that funnily enough, often they are envious of. 
For me, it is something that I have to remind myself of often. It is so, so easy to look in from the outside and think someone has everything, when very rarely people actually do have everything. Sure, there are people who will be richer (a whole lot of people), who are prettier, who are smarter and who have more friends or who have a better social life than me. But, that doesn't mean that their lives are anywhere near perfect. Of course, it is ok and beneficial to want to improve things in your own life, but I have to remind myself that people often put on their best faces and you don't always know what is really going on, you hear about all the good, but not as often about the bad. When you do get those precious opportunities to have a deeper glimpse into what is really happening in their lives, to be there for people and to support them, you realise that nobody has EVERYTHING, and most of us have people or things that we are envious of. 
It is such a good lesson and reminder for me not to take the good things I have for granted, to not take everything on social media, or things you've heard through the grapevine for face value, and to remember the importance of being real and vulnerable with people. It is what makes real lasting friendships and a good supportive community. 

"The person you envy the most is certain to feel their life is incomplete in a hundred ways"
- Alain de Botton

Do you ever feel like this too? 
Karen xx 

I'd love for you to follow me on FACEBOOK or TWITTER or INSTAGRAM or PINTEREST or SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWSLETTER (or everything)

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DIY Crochet Chevron Baby Blanket

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

So I mentioned in a couple of previous posts about how I was trying to teach myself to crochet. I really wanted to crochet a baby blanket. I love hand made crochet blankets, there is something so warm, fuzzy and homely about them, I guess you just can feel the effort than has gone into making it. I saw this blanket pattern whilst perusing Pinterest, and decided it's exactly what I wanted to try to for my first crochet project.  I am so excited that it actually turned out like I'd imagined it, I really love it so much, I think I might make another one. You know sometimes you have these grand plans for craft projects and then they are a massive fail!! It is so disappointing and discouraging... it happens to me, often. Originally I wanted to make it with a natural coloured wool and neon pink, but I couldn't find the exact colours I wanted, so I think that will be my next one!

With the help of some good left-handed instructional crochet You Tube videos and searching on google about how to read crochet patterns, I managed to figure out the chain stitch and single crochet stitch and make this blanket. It was time consuming, mostly because I was so slow at first, but it really wasn't that difficult to pick up. This blanket is pretty simple, and really repetitive, so even if you are a total novice like me, I think you could make this too. All you need is a crochet hook (I used a 5mm one) and the wool colours that you want to use.

HERE is the link to the pattern I used.

I'm linking with Jess for #IBOT because it is Tuesday after all.

Karen xx

I'd love for you to follow me on FACEBOOK or TWITTER or INSTAGRAM or PINTEREST or SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWSLETTER (or everything)

Maternity Style: 37 Weeks black,white and neon

Monday, June 10, 2013

So we're officially considered full term and I'm so ready to have this baby ( I think I say that every week, ha)!! I really dont want to go over my due date again, my body is already struggling, I wake up in the morning and feel like a Grandma, I'm aching everywhere and I hobble down the stairs and hope to loosen up my muscles a little more. I know I skipped last weeks Maternity Style post, I put it down to being hit by a huge lack of motivation last week, and a tad bit of exhaustion. Right now nothing really feels like it looks 'good', and my face has definitely changed and is way more puffy, I spend lot of time just wearing my PJ pants because they are so comfortable (not when I go out, I havent plunged that far yet), but I'm going to embrace it and go with it because I have a really great excuse!!

My parents have been away for the last two weeks, so I've been hoping she waits until they get back, which is tonight YAY! It is nice just to have the peace of mind that Ezra will be able to stay here with them so easily, one less thing to worry about. Plus I know that my Mum especially would be so upset if she knew the baby arrived and she was so far away!

Cardigan: Coincidence and Chance (from Urban Outfitters)
Jeans: ASOS Maternity
Top: Spicey Sugar

Here are some of my previous Maternity Style Posts:

Maternity Style: 32 Weeks A bit of Neon
Maternity Style: 33 Weeks Acid Wash
Maternity Style: 34 Weeks Party Dress
Maternity Style: 35 Weeks Floral Fun

Pregnancy: It's so different the second time round

Friday, June 7, 2013

My second pregnancy has been very different from my first. The motions and physical changes and feelings that my body has gone through has been pretty much the same for both, it's just that my circumstances have changed and well, me in general, because now I'm already a Mum. 

I remember my first pregnancy was spent pouring over pregnancy books and apps, I spent a lot of time googling every little twinge or niggle worried about what it could mean. I was paranoid about every food that I thought was somewhat suspicious. I had lists of baby stuff to buy and I spent hours looking at baby nursery designs and cute decor. I was working, but only part time, and I was studying as well. Even with that on my plate I still had plenty of time to put my feet up, to watch some movies, to sleep in, to take day time naps, to write my birth plan, to read books and just to enjoy the last of the me time. Joel was always worried about me, if I was lifting too much or standing too long and was always offering cups of teas, running out to the shops to pick up my latest cravings and foot massages. We had deep discussions about our philosophies on raising kids and wondered what life would be like with a baby. 

Ohhh how the times have changed.

I'm no longer freaking out (as much) about the labour and birth, I've done it once, I can do it again right. I rarely check my pregnancy apps, I have no idea what fruit size my baby is at right now. I haven't even picked up a pregnancy book and I have not once googled some strange rare pregnancy disorder that I am paranoid that I might have. Sleeping at nights seems to elude me, and then there is a little boy up sometimes in the middle of the night wanting cuddles, he is then always ready to chit chat at 6.00am. Day naps have become pretty much non-existent, for me, and then Ezra has decided that 45 minutes is long enough for him. My birth plan consists of saying, lets get this baby out as quickly and naturally as possible (and as painlessly of course). 

This pregnancy I run, not by choice, but I chase down a runaway toddler. I lift, about 11 kilos of toddler, and lug him up and down the stairs. When I have cravings for chocolate I eat it whilst hiding in the confines of the pantry to keep away from tiny prying eyes and little hands signalling they want to share, no Mummy needs this chocolate...all of it. Taking the time to stop and talk and prepare for the new addition is challenging, once all the parenting duties are done, we just are too exhausted. I have to ask for cups of teas these days, there is no time for personal cravings and I'm not sure when I last had a foot rub. 

The second pregnancy isn't bad, it is just really different. It definitely has its more challenging aspects when you have another child, especially a young toddler. Your time is no longer your own. You just do what needs to be done, and often surprise myself with what I can accomplish. Other days, I resign to the fact that I need to rest, and battle with 'Mothers guilt' of letting my child watch too much Shaun The Sheep. I have to remind myself that I am already the Mother of two, and I need to make sure I'm taking care of myself and considering the needs of both of my children, not just the one who is making the most noise. With those challenges also comes the confidence of being experienced in being pregnant. I have a greater understanding of the capacity of my own body and I know the signs that I need to listen to. The thought of breastfeeding is no longer a weird foreign concept, I've been through the wars with it, and I won. I have learnt to appreciate every quiet and peaceful moment, because I know what having a newborn means. 

I'm so excited about adding another member to our family. I can't wait to kiss her little cheeks. But, she does not occupy my thoughts every moment like her brother did. She will be loved, but she won't be the centre, the focus the only one. She will have to share. Somedays it is hard to imagine how we will have the time and energy to pour into both of our children, but I'm sure we can work it out. 

Does this sound like your first and second pregnancies? 

Who is in charge this time round? 
Karen xx 

Riding on a Steam Train: Hotham Valley Railway

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

 I had such a great weekend this past weekend, and as an added bonus it was a long weekend (for WA day). It was full of friends both old and new and just some funny and silly family time with my boys, which we all were in need of. I really cherished this weekend, because I know that soon enough there is going to be a little bit more chaos thrown into the mix, and it was so nice just to really take advantage of not having a newborn just yet.

On Monday Joel convinced me to take a train ride. It really wasn't for us, it was for Ezra (maybe it was for Joel a little bit). He is a pretty big fan, like most boys his age, of trains, and it isn't that common to have the opportunity to go for a ride in a classic steam engine. His face lit up when we first spotted the train and he was desperate to get on board the carriage. He loved running up and down the carriages and looking out the windows. He was amazed when we stopped and he got to watch the train changing to the other end of the carriages. All of my lack of enthusiasm went out the window when I saw just how excited my little boy was, it makes all the effort worthwhile. 

It was a two hour round trip, mostly because the train does not move that fast, and there is a 20 minute break in between to turn around. It may have been just a tad bit long for a boy who does not like to sit still. I had a really relaxing time, just sitting and enjoying the passing nature. Joel spent most of the ride chasing a toddler up and down the train. We forked out and bought him a mini train, that was worth the $5 price tag just to have him sit in his seat and play with it for 15 minutes. He also had to take the train to bed with him that night, so, so cute! 

If you live in Perth and you have thought about heading out to check out the Hotham Valley Railway in Dwellingup, it is definitely worth the trip. If you don't want to pay the money to ride the train, you can watch it leave, or come back, which is pretty exciting for kids on its own. I also noticed they have a dinner train, for the adults of course, with a 5 course meal. Sounds rather old timey and romantic to me! 

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Love To Dream inVENTA Sleep Bag: Review & Giveaway

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

{I was sent a free Love To inVENTA Sleep Bag to review, but all opinions are my own}

I have a child that hates blankets! I know I am not the only one right? I try to get him all bundled up on the couch with a blanket to watch a movie, and he screams and cries and kicks the blanket off. I don’t know what it is, but blankets are just not his thing! Our solution since he was a few months old (because, surprise, surprise he also hated swaddles) was a sleeping bag. Because apparently even though blankets are from the devil, sleeping bags are perfectly acceptable, and even desired, and now without one he doesn’t really understand that it is bed time, it’s like his comforter. It’s also really nice to know that he can’t kick it off in the middle of the night, so I don’t have to keep checking on his blanket situation in the hope that he doesn’t wake up freezing at 5am. Like most parents, I’ll do just about anything to avoid those 5am wake ups.

Recently, I was hunting around for a good deal on a new sleeping bag for him, because he has outgrown his old one, when I was contacted by Love To Dream about trying out their new Love To inVENTA Sleep Bag. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Ahhh yes please!!!

I opted for a 1.0 tog, gender neutral taupe sleeping bag with an owl on the front, which Ezra likes to point out to me every time I put it on him, it is then followed by the customary hoot, hoot (thanks to ABC2).

The first thing I noticed about the Love To inVENTA Sleep Bag when I pulled it out of the box was the softness and the quality of the material, the lining is 100% natural hypoallergenic bamboo and feels so nice, it made me wish they made one in adult size, I could totally sleep in that! It has some other pretty great features that I haven’t seen in other sleeping bags, but they make a lot of sense to me.

  • It has an unique cooling system consisting of two zippers that open to mesh ventilation, they are easily accessible so you can open or close them depending on the change in temperature to help regulate your baby’s body temp, without waking them! It seems so practical to me, I leave them open at the moment for daytime naps because it is still pretty warm around these parts, but then zip them closed for the night, and I don’t need two separate sleeping bags.
  • It has studs at the bottom to shorten the sleeping-bag, meaning you can use the one bag for a longer amount of time because it can grow with your child.
  • The side zipper is a bonus for me, having a child that likes to try to undo zippers!
  • It includes a travel slot, we have found these really handy if you go out somewhere at night and want to either transfer them from a porta-cot into the car, or get them dressed for bed before putting them in the car. Then you don’t have to wake them to put the sleeping bag on when you get home!

Note the blanket pushed to the side! 
I really can’t fault this sleeping-bag, to me it seems both clever and really cute!! It has great features that give me less things to worry about as a Mum, and it seems like a lot of time and thought has gone into making them really practical, so I’m sold on them. The only thing I wish it could do is perform miracles and stop my child from climbing out of his cot, but I think I would need a straight jacket to see that happen!

As you may have realised from the title, I'm really excited that Thanks to the lovely folk at Love To Dream I also have one of these gorgeous Love To inVENTA Sleep Bags to giveaway.

I really wish that I could give one to everybody. But, if you want to check them out yourselves, here is their website www.lovetodream.com.au
To enter in the draw to win just follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter application below.

The competition will close on: Tuesday 18th June

The cheeky boy wouldn't sit still for a picture, but this is still pretty cute!

Karen xx

Nesting and Crafty Project Inspiration

Sunday, June 2, 2013
I haven't posted since last Sunday. If you were wondering if I suddenly went into labour, I'm afraid I didn't. Although I'm not quite yet 37 weeks, I would have no problem having this baby sooner rather than later. I have been busy, and tired and just getting to those stages where everything, including sitting at a computer screen and typing is a MASSIVE effort!! I forgot how much this last stage takes out of you, and how I just want to sleep or rest basically all the time. On Thursday night and Friday this baby must have been lodged somewhere near my left hip making it almost impossible to walk, which is really not fun when you have an almost two year old to look after. The pain seems to have subsided, thankfully, meaning I have actually been enjoying the weekend. 
As you might know, because we are currently temporary lodgers with my parents I haven't really able to do the whole 'nesting' thing properly, my nesting instinct is still in full swing, but it has been redirected into dreaming, and doing some crafty projects. I thought I would share some of the projects I have spotted that have inspired me, they look really fun and actually pretty easy. 

Up until I spotted these, I thought friendship bracelets were fairly lame.
But these actually look pretty awesome and make me want to run out and buy neon thread and start weaving them like back in my primary school days, it also makes me wish I had a child old enough to appreciate the project! 
You can find the really detailed tutorial HERE 

I really want to make one of these rugs. It is made from t.shirt material yarn, and you can find it in Australia from a company called Hoooked Zpagetti . It also doesn't seem too difficult, but they would be so gorgeous for a kids room (or kitchen, laundry, living room, basically anywhere!!) 
You can find the tutorial for the pictured rug HERE

And seeing I have recently started to crochet, my first project is still in progress and it is a baby blanket. I am really keen to make more things, I thought these booties are really gorgeous, and seeing we are heading into winter. (HERE) The possibilities of crocheting stuff are really endless!

Have you been inspired by any craft projects lately? I would love to know which ones you have seen and loved or tried, or even invented!! 

Karen xx 

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