Friday, December 30, 2011

A Few Christmas Photos

Well, Christmas has come and gone for another whole year and it’s hard to believe it’s almost 2012. We had a fun (albeit exhausting) time in our little household with Grace really being able to understand the whole gift giving concept and enjoying all the festivities that come along with this season. She was very disappointed though to discover that her Advent calendar had finished!

Our morning was spent with the four of us checking to see whether Santa and his reindeers had been, exchanging gifts and playing with new toys. Grace was very excited to see that the beer and biscuits we left out had been enjoyed by Father Christmas and that the broccoli we left for the reindeers had been devoured (I had a piece of broccoli due to be thrown out so I figured, why waste it?)

Late morning, my Mum and sister came over to help get lunch on and open more presents and then Paul’s Mum joined us for our lunchtime meal. We kept things simple with turkey, ham, salad and potato bake followed by the most delicious lime cheesecake which my sister made. I was very grateful to my Mum, mother-in-law and sister for organising all the food for me.

At night, we went to Paul’s cousin’s house where we spent the evening with his aunts, uncles and cousins.

Here’s a few family photos…

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Christmas I'd Planned To Have…

Image via weheartit

Entertaining guests and decorating when it comes to parties is something I love doing. So when we decided to have Christmas lunch at our place this year (to make things easier with Sophie as we’ll be going out at night) I was excited at the prospect of the pretty table and traditional Christmas lunch I’d be able to plan and prepare. With only six of us, I thought doing so would be easy.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case when you throw a newborn into the mix and a stay in hospital for Mummy and bub two weeks before Christmas. I’ve been very disappointed that unfortunately I haven’t the time or energy to do all that I was hoping to do this year. Wrapping my presents prettily and baking things like Christmas biscuits hasn’t happened. However, I've now accepted our position this year and know in my heart that the important thing is that we’ll be spending Christmas with our family. I also can't wait to share in all the excitement of Grace really being able to appreciate this time of year and all the fun that goes with it.

I hope you and your loved ones all have a wonderful Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

We've Been In Hospital...

After persisting with a frequently unsettled Sophie since we brought her home from hospital and attempting to find a solution through various reflux medications when the situation became worse as the weeks passed, I reached the end of my tether on Wednesday night. Sophie had been in pain after her feeds as usual but after screaming uncontrollably for hours (at a whole new scale) and with none of the usual tricks like a warm bath or a feeding at least comforting her a bit, I was concerned something may have been physically wrong and so took her to the children's hospital emergency department. From there we were transferred to a children's ward in another hospital for her to be monitored.

Nothing conclusive has been discovered yet and we're assuming her issues are stemming from our little piggy overfilling her belly with my fast flowing milk as opposed to it being reflux as her medication appeared to be making things worse. Also, she had put on double the expected weight since her birth and jumped from the 75th percentile to the 95th! So today we're back at home and trying shorter feeds to see if that makes a difference at all before a follow up appointment on Monday. I'll keep you all posted...

P.S Will draw the winner of my giveaway soon I promise!

Friday, December 9, 2011

My Current 'Lifesavers'

Over the past few weeks, there have been lots of things that have helped life at home with a newborn. I thought I’d share some of my ‘lifesavers’ with you…

Brownie mix – I love baking but life at the moment makes it extremely hard to do so as often as I’d like. It’s hard enough preparing tea let alone baking a batch of biscuits (I haven’t made any since the Nutella ones). I do like something sweet out of the oven though so my saviour has been a packet mix I was put onto by a cousin – Betty Crocker’s Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix. All you do is add two eggs, water and oil, stir it with a wooden spoon and bake it for just under half an hour. They are delicious, so moist and just as good as my usual brownie recipe. I keep one in the pantry on ‘stand-by’.

Laptop – buying our laptop back in September was one of the best things we’ve ever done. Having the flexibility of using the computer anywhere has been really handy, especially the other day when I was making a salad and needed to check on some ingredients of an online recipe.

Bag insert – earlier in the year, I won a nappy bag giveaway on Bloesem Kids and knew it would be perfect come October. Along with the bag that arrived was an insert with dividers and pockets which you can take out of the nappy bag and put into a normal bag. It means I don’t have to lug around nappies and wipes and things if I just need to pop to the shops by myself and don’t forget any essential items I do need.

Good toys – One of the toughest things about having a newborn AND a young toddler is trying to keep the older one occupied when breastfeeding or changing nappies. Having new or interesting activities is a must. Grace has all of a sudden taken a great liking to play dough and will sit for at least an hour at her little table making all sorts of creations. Another winning toy has been a floor puzzle. Grace spreads all the pieces out on the rug and puts it together as I breastfeed Sophie on the lounge and help from the side lines by giving her instructions.

What is your current 'lifesaver' making things that little bit easier for you at the moment?

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Plan For This Week

Image above via Pinterest

Sometimes, I go through a bit of a blogging block where I don’t quite know what to type or I haven’t taken photos to accompany something I’d like to write about. Other times, I feel as though my head is over-flowing with ideas and inspiration and I can’t post quick enough to share everything with you all. This week is one of those weeks. Unfortunately, with things a bit all over the place here at the moment, it may take me longer to write those posts than I’d like.

After a weekend I’d rather forget, I’m all set to start the week fresh. Thankfully we don’t have a lot planned besides a Child Health Nurse check-up for Sophie tomorrow so this week I’m hoping to:

• do some online gift shopping
• buy all our Christmas presents in one hit at the shops
• try some new reflux medication for Sophie
• catch up on blog posts and reply to long overdue emails
• place a big bulk Coles online shopping order to last the next few weeks
• plant the new herbs I bought (when it cools down later in the week)
• sort through Grace’s toy boxes

What do you hope to cross off your ‘to do list’ this week?

Also, if you missed my last post, I'm having a little giveaway... Enjoy your Monday everyone!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Giveaway Time!

Back in October, amidst my days of playing the ‘waiting game’ in anticipation of Sophie's arrival, I missed the little blogging milestone of Homely One’s two year anniversary. Quite a few years ago now, the first blog I ever discovered was sfgirlbybay. I visited a link to it which I’d found in a Real Living magazine and through it, discovered decor8 which in turn led to blog after blog after blog. It became a new hobby and I soon had quite a list I visited regularly for inspiration and ideas. I can still remember sitting in our study, rocking Grace who was only a few months old to sleep in my arms as I read through posts.

One day I decided to bite the bullet and start my own blog in order to create a space where I could share house projects and renovations we did as well as decorating ideas I came across online. Over time, my blog has evolved and changed direction a bit and these days, Homely One has become a bit more personalised and focused on all the happenings in our little household. While I still do read lots of ‘big name’ blogs, it is the smaller ones I prefer these days, bloggers who I have connected with and formed friendships with. I never could have imagined how much I would gain through blogging – I have ‘met’ so many lovely fellow bloggers whose kindness, compassion and thoughtfulness never cease to amaze me.

So, as a thank you to all those who stop by and leave comments and make my blogging all the more enjoyable and to give back a little of the joy I receive through this hobby of mine, I have put together a little pre-Christmas giveaway. It is a package of things I use or have bought recently myself and contains a set of cute herb markers, a butterfly cookie cutter, a CD I often play as background music around our home or when entertaining called ‘Paris Café’, some blue and white cupcake cases, two Cath Kidston guest soaps and a set of Cath Kidston paper napkins.

To enter, all you need to do is be a follower of Homely One and leave me a comment so I know you’d like to be entered into my draw. If you do not have a blog yourself, please leave your email address with your comment so I can contact you should you be the lucky winner. My giveaway will be open until 5.00pm (Perth time) on Monday 12th December.

Good luck and have a wonderful weekend!