Thursday, October 18, 2012

Somehow he made it to 5!

I'm not sure how he did it, but somehow Xavier made it to 5. There were several moments where we questioned quite seriously if we may sell him or leave him out for hard rubbish, but in the end we kept him. in a nutshell, 4 was bloody hard work!

Some random facts about Xavier;
  • he still loves purple and after our trip to England last year, he has a heap of purple clothes and shoes to wear, finding purple boys clothes in Australia is next to impossible. He is having a bedroom makeover soon, and has requested that his feature wall be purple... I have found a fantastic purple, silver and cream wallpaper.
  • His sister is still his best friend, unless she annoys him or wont be bossed around when he tells her that she is no longer his best friend and she comes to me hysterical. He also lists Bella, Lara, Liam, Olivia and Oliver J high on his list.
  • He still love dancing, and has started Rock Band classes. He got a guitar for his birthday (purple of course) and lovingly named it Bella Lara.
  • He has moved on a little from playing with dinosaurs, now its all about lego. Which of course daddy and grandad are loving (i am not loving picking it up and stepping on it quite so much).
  • His favouite foods are mac and cheese and he loves making home made pizza.
  • When he grows up he wants to fly aeroplanes, have 5 babies and a purple car. Apparently he will start with a purple ute, but once he has babies he will buy a bigger car with more seats for them, but it will still be purple.
Oh Xavier, Xavier, Xavier what a ride this last year has been. You have said things that have broken my heart, you have done things that have broken your sisters heart, and you have even made your father completely lose the plot at you on a number of occasions, not an easy feat.

BUT you are clever and funny and inquisitive and can be so filled with love and compassion for others it makes my heart hurt. You shine while dancing, and the sly grin after Rock Band is too cute for words. That curly hair of yours continues to grow out of control and I'm not even close to being ready to let anyone convince me to cut it off (not even daddy). Next year you become a big school boy and I can see just how ready you are. You need to be busy, you need to have things to do, you need to be around people, even if you don't want to speak to any of them, I hope that school will be exactly what you need. I hope you love being around others, learning, playing, laughing.

so far my boy, your odd number years have been wonderful, 2 and 4 were pretty sucky, so I'm looking forward to blowing this 5 year old business out of the water.

Love your guts my button pusher.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday Stella

Today the baby girl turned 3. Its been a big last 12 months. Stella has weaned from breastfeeding, traveled overseas, had tantrums at some of the most famous sites in London and Paris, started 3 year old kinder and started daycare for the first time.

Besides the tantrums, she has approached it all with gusto and confidence. The baby who slept in our bed, breastfed constantly and needed to be held to not be screaming, the child who I was making numerous rods for my own back with, is the most outgoing, self assured, clever little girl ever.

Stella on this your 3rd birthday know that I think you are amazing. I love nothing more than being in your presence. You make me laugh and smile and scream. You are so ready to be a big girl, but always seems to know when I need you to stop and take up residence in that spot on my lap that you just curl up into perfectly.

I look forward to the coming year as you find your feet without your mumma hovering nearby. What a ride its going to be.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Just a quickie..

Yes I am well aware that I still owe blogs from our time in Paris. The fact that I still haven't done them, may give you an inkling of how I felt about the city of love.....

Anywho, this is a quick blog post to direct any of you who may be interested over to my newest blog Granny Chic where I will be blogging about my 365 (366 due to a leap year) challenge of making a granny square a day.

If you have an interest in my crafting, it might be worth a read.

Also you will find the link to my friend Nessa's blog. Nessa will be doing a weekly yarn bomb for this year... she had completed 2 already and I got a sneak peek at week 3 while she was at my house today...

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking back on 2011

Last year I posted looking back on 2010 and reading it again made me want to reflect on how 2011 has panned out.

Here is the list of what I was looking forward to in 2011, lets see how much of it has come to fruition.
What I'm looking forward to...
  • Xavier going off to kinder next year. he is so very ready and needs more than I can give him at home. it has meant the world to me that i have been able to stay at home and be his sole carer for over 3 years (besides grandma) but he is ready to move away from me and gain a small amount of independence. I cannot wait to see him shine. It's funny this one, as despite me thinking he would settle into kinder life quickly, it actually took him a good 7 months before he actually spoke to either of the teachers. He has become firm friends with a few of the girls in the class and tells me he enjoys going there, however, compared to how energetic and talkative he is at home, he is still like a mouse at kinder. I wonder if being there 3 full days in 2012 will help him feel more at home in the surroundings?
  • trying to get away with the DH and kids for a short break. I don't work all these extra jobs for no reason. Well not a short break so to speak, but a really long 5 week overseas adventure. 
  • finishing ABA training and starting to really help women who want to breastfeed. they say being able to breastfeed your child is the worlds greatest joy, helping another women to breastfeed her child is the second greatest joy. After heading to Sydney to get this finished, I absolutely love my time both on helpline and in the office helping mothers with breastfeeding issues.
  • finding some me time and believing that I'm actually worth it and deserve it. This could be the tricky one...I really think I have started to get there this year. I no longer feel guilty at going to craft night, or to the movies with friends, or even asking my mother in law to mind to kids so that Adam and I can have some time out together. 
So now for 2011 in review. 

  • Qualifying as a Breastfeeding Counsellor and being able to help mums in an official capacity.  I love my work in the office, I love working with Yvette she is not only knowledgeable but also so supportive of me and others. We feed and bounce off each other so well. Not only am I learning about the practical breastfeeding stuff, but also the history and workings of the association. 
  • Finally getting to Tasmania to spend time with Emma blessing the way for the birth of Isla. It was lovely to get away kid free and even lovlier to be so welcomed into Emma's home. Now to get back there to meet Miss Isla in the flesh.
  • Watching the amazing relationship between Xavier and Stella grow. They still fight, a lot, but the adore each other, miss each other when they are apart and spend more time giggling and causing havoc then fighting now. 
  • Squirrels in London. These little buggers are seriously the cutest things in the universe. 
  • Rock of Ages in London. To be honest, I think this show would have been amazing wherever I had seen it. Definately my favourite show so far. Would happily see it again.

  • Stella weaning. It was bittersweet. She breastfed for almost 2.5 years, it was a slow and gentle weaning process, exactly what I wanted it to be, but still the reality of knowing that I will never breastfeed again is still a sad one. 
  • Running out of time while overseas and just not making it to Italy. Oh well, guess it means we will have to come back again to see everything we missed this time.  
  • Paris. I was so looking forward to going to the city of love. But it was dirty, crowded, I constantly felt unsafe and uncertain. I'm glad that I went, but would I go again. No. 

What I'm looking forward to in 2012;
  • Stella going off to kinder next year. She is so ready that its not even funny. Although I do suspect there will be several accident report forms to be signed for my little miss clutz.
  • More one on one time with the kids. With Xavier being at kinder 3 days and Stella there 1 day, it will mean a lot more time one on one with them. Having 2 kids so close together has both its perks and challenges. Despite the fact that they adore each other, they also feed off each other, so if one is happy, both are happy. But if 1 is being a pest, they both completely lose the plot, and its exhausting. One on one however, they are perfection. So I'm looking forward to having more awesome time with each of them and really making the most of the few short years before they are both at school and I return to working more hours. 
  • Even though travel hasn't been all roses with the kids, I fear we may have been bitten by the bug, so I do look forward in getting away somewhere for a short getaway. 
  • Finally getting around to doing our ensuite. Its been 9 years since we moved into the house. When we bought it we said that we needed to redo the bathrooms and kitchen. We did the main bathroom early on, but the apricot and black ensuite is still as ugly as ever. We were going to do it this year, but the trip to England has sucked all our finances. So back to saving and hoping to get a new ensuite before the end of 2012.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sunday 25th December

Merry Christmas. 

*Can I just preface this post with saying that neither Adam or I can believe that we took barely any photos today. I'm hoping that the family managed to get some good ones I can pinch later, as Stella looked oh so cute in her Christmas skirt I made her*

Stella woke around 3:30am mumbling something about biscuits and Santa, then drifted back off until about 6:30am when she came into our bed for a chat. She chatted on and on about Santa and biscuits and presents. Adam tried his best to convince her to go downstairs to check if Santa had been, but she was certain that she had not yet heard reindeer's on the roof so there is no way that Santa could have been yet.

Eventually Adam offered to go down with her to see, and a little voice from the other room piped up with 'Can I come down too'. This was it, the kids were both up and we were ready to rock and roll.

They got lots of little gifts from us as we knew we were going to have to take it all home with us, (as well as all the shopping I may have already done here and we haven't even been to Paris yet). Stella was rather taken with her Tinkerbell doll but the hands down winner of the morning were their Zhu Zhu pets. I have never really seen the appeal of these before, but watching them scoot around the house, crashing into stuff before backing up and racing off in the opposite direction and the accompanied squeals of laughter from the kids, I now get it.

Asking the kids to get naked for a shower/bath wasn't a big deal, as it rarely is. Asking them to get dressed so that we could go out for lunch however, was rather traumatic. Finally after some pretty intense meltdowns, everyone had clothes on and we headed out the door to a pub lunch.

Grandma & Grandad were very restrained in their Christmas gifts for the kids, knowing we had limited space to bring things home. Stella got a my little pony and Xavier some new matchbox cars (I do hear rumours however, there are more gifts at home for them though). Uncle David & Aunty Teresa were also rather restrained with a skirt and top and a lipgloss/nail polish kit for Stella and this awesome glow drawing board thingy and a dinosaur quicksand kit for Xavier. Aunty Sarah however, went a bit nuts. Luckily for her she had prearranged with Grandma & Grandad to take some of the presents she had for the kids back with them, meaning that we may just get away without having to pay excess baggage to fit it all in.

The pub we had lunch at was on the river Thames so after lunch we collected up the bread we didn't eat and went out to let the kids feed the ducks. The Thames is a tidal river, which really doesn't mean that much to me, but I worked out quick smart what that meant yesterday. When the kids began feeding the ducks the water was about 5cm below the stone bank. within 10-15 minutes, the entire road between the river and pub was flooded and the locals confirmed that during a really high tide you actually get stuck in the pub waiting for the waters to recede. It was insane. I have never seen anything like it before. And this happens every day. I'm not taking slightly wet feet either, I'm taking knee high waters outside the pub. Still now, I cannot believe just how fast the water came up.

We were dropped home and the kids happily played with their toys (minus Stella's Zhu Zhu which she somehow left at the pub) while Adam and I got to tidying up and packing up all the things we didn't need to take to Paris with us. David is going to collect what we aren't taking tomorrow and store it at his house while we are away. We will collect it from him new years day before we fly home.

Later in the afternoon David, Teresa and Sarah dropped back in and hyped the kids up no end. We had to let them just wind down for a good hour before even considering bed once they left.

I burnt pizza we were planning for dinner, so I had leftover pasta from the night before and Adam had soup. We stayed up too late organising bags and waiting for clothes to wash so we could attempt to get them dry before David collects our bags tomorrow.

Saturday 24th December

Adam headed off early to get into Leicester Square in the hope of picking up 4 half price tickets to Rock of Ages. We had heard that sometimes there were big lines but when he got there it was only him and 1 other person. He managed to secure us 4 tickets in the 5th row of the stalls for almost half the price of regular tickets.

The funny bit is, last night he had looked online to see if there were seats available, and it offered us the exact same seats for 69 pound each, we got them for 39 pound each.

It was FREAKING AMAZING! I love going to the theatre, I have seen a fair bit. Had we not had the kids with us on this trip, I would have been at the theatre every second night catching up on everything I have ever wanted to see. Which is almost possible here as there is just so much showing all the time.

The lead guy who played Drew was HOT! And I will admit I rather enjoyed the scantily clad women also. At the start of the show one of the hot women came and sat in the empty seat next to David, but he was scared and refused to suck her icypole. I would have, she was hot too.

It was funny, laugh out loud funny. We sang, we rocked, we got covered in glitter. I adore live theatre. There is something about seeing someone so close that is awesome. I love it when someone tells a joke that is so funny they cant help but laugh at themselves and almost completely lose it. I love it when stuff happens that no one, including the cast, are not expecting. During our show, Lonny (the narrator) dressed Drew as a Christmas elf, which had everyone in hysterics.

During interval I said to Adam, this is the best, when can we go again?
My charming husband groping my boob after the show
I purchased a new suggest work uniform for myself
Yvette isn't keen as it doesn't come in purple
We were able to head out to the theatre only because Aunty Sarah was willing and able to come and sit with the children. They did baking, making cupcakes and decorated biscuits for Santa. She even convinced them to tidy up as well as eat dinner. Stella was in bed when we got home, not asleep, but in bed, which is quite the feat.

Naturally we sat up until some insane hour to wrap presents for the kids and organise the letter from Santa letting the kids know that he had left some of the bigger presents at home for them, a trampoline and scooters.

Friday 23rd December

Today we headed off to the Tower of London. We had saved up our Grandparents babysitting options in order to not take the kids to the tower with us. Its a long day there and in all honestly its just not interesting to 2 small children. While they have done their best to be wheelchair accessible (aka pram friendly) its an ancient castle with cobbled roads and lots of stairs and narrow halls. Sadly, Grandma called around 7am (waking us up) to tell us that Grandad wasn't feeling well so they wouldn't be able to have the kids. I will admit I did entertain the thought of telling Adam to go to the tower alone with his sister as the kids were just going to ruin the day for us anyway, but I wanted to see the Crown Jewels too.

Having to pack for the kids for the day at short notice meant that we were a bit later than expected not to mention the stairs that Adam had to carry the pram up and down from trains. It was surprisingly busy there, its the first time we have had to actually line up to buy tickets to anywhere. A free tour with a Beef Eater is included in the entry price, however, there were about 40+ people on each tour and the kids were just going to be noisy and disruptive so we decided we would just wander at our leisure.

The kids were whiney, as expected and Adam spent a great deal of the day like this;
Daddy is a pack horse
Stella was rather interested in the guard with the machine gun who was guarding the door to the jewels, so we headed over to have a look at him. Clearly not only does my daughter have a calling to spin around every single pole she sees (she is in her element on all the trains here) but now she also has a fascination for men who carry weapons *sigh*
I cannot begin to imagine how boring and annoying that job must be
The crown jewels are pretty much the only place you cant take photos at the Tower. But I will admit I did roll my eyes when on the train Adam came out with "Are you going to enjoy checking out the diamonds in the crown jewels? Some are the size of your ball sack." charming hey? The hilarious bit is that he wasn't wrong. There are some freaking HUGE diamonds in those crowns.

The ravens at the Tower are huge. There is the belief that if the ravens ever leave the tower then the monarchy will collapse. It appears that feeding them fresh meat, including the odd rabbit, isn't enough to ensure they stay. They also clip their wings so that they cant fly away. I also read that raven's mate for life. I always get a little kick out of animals that seem to fall in love and hang together forever.

There is the massive central building at the site, that was once a palace but there are also areas all around that look like your general suburban street. We discovered that they actually are regular houses where the Beefeater's and their families live. Pretty cool I think. I wonder what their addresses are. 13 Offwithherhead lane, Tower of London? The Beefeater's are actually pretty cool. I expected them to be more like the guards, just wandering around being all stern and serious, but they are really great at chatting to the kids, stopping for photos and one tried his best to humour Stella out of a foul mood. It didn't work.
The White Tour (original palace)
Xavier was slightly interested in the canons, so we talked a bit about how they worked (thank god for his knowledge of the result of a bouncy ball into a lego house which made it all much easier) and he really seemed to enjoy the armour. He made everyone around him laugh when he asked in that bumpy bit was to protect the man's doodle (it was a pretty over exaggerated cod piece to be honest).
Xavier was rather taken with this dragon
Adam wanted to do the walk around the top of the outer walls, it was starting to rain, it was cold and the kids were driving me nuts. I suggested that Adam take a child with him and I would take the other one to have a coffee. Naturally, as soon as they were separated, they were both the picture of perfection. Stella and I had a hot chocolate each and despite me buying a muffin to share, Stella pretty much inhaled the entire thing.
Adam took a photo from the top wall of Stella & I sharing coffee.
By the time we were ready to go the rain really started to pick up. We took refuge in the gift shop and bought a few small items then made a run for it to an undercover area. Adam commented on facebook that it was pouring with rain in the following photo, and a friend commented that he had imagined that it was raining in all our photos. However, it was the first real rain we have had since we have been here. There have been patches of light rain for 10 min at a time, and even this rain was all over and done with within half an hour.
Photo by Xavier
Pouring with rain
I have no doubt that Adam really enjoyed the Tower and had we been kid free, he would have spent a whole lot more time there. Personally, it was just one more lot of old stuff for me. The Crown Jewels were cool but the rest of it I could have left and been fine. I have said several times since we have been here though that I really need to get a better understanding of the history of the royals to perhaps understand the significance of it all more. I was tempted to buy a royal history children's book to get up to speed. lol.