Friday, 30 July 2010

Happy Birthday Noah

Well it's over again for another year and although I have breathed a sigh of relief I can't help but start thinking about next year.  I absolutely adore coming up with a theme (or stealing a good idea from someone else) and although it is a lot of hard work - it's so much fun that one birthday per year is simply not enough.

Soooo that's why we had 2 parties this year.  The plan was to have one party for family and another for our friends and their children.  It soon became clear that idea wouldn't work as the family wanted a chance to see Noah playing and interacting with his friends - I secretly think they just wanted to play pass the parcel!!

Noah's current favourite animals seem to be owls and turtles so we decided to use these as themes.  I am so totally in love with Etsy (an online shop) and managed to find party packs for both owls and turtles.  It's so cool because clever people will either design for you (or you can buy an existing design) and then sell you a PDF of all the goodies - invites, cupcake toppers, banners, treat bag toppers etc etc.  So I just print it all off and do a lot of cutting out and constructing and voila - gorgeous personalised party goods for $20 - $30 and a bit of time and effort.

Anyhow for the owl party we ended up having a lovely intimate afternoon with my two school friends and their husbands and their children.  It was such a great fun time with just 6 adults and 4 kids we were able to do a few extra touches.  Rob and I even made our own pinata and it turned out soooo much better than we imagined it would.

The second party was of course 'the big one' but we still aimed to keep it as small as possible.  Our immediate family alone numbers about 15 then we only invited a couple of friends - in particular those with kids that Noah has a personal relationship with.  We have so many friends with little kids but with a winter birthday the risk is always that the party might have to be moved inside so we had to keep that in mind.

In the end we got a glorious sunny winter day and lots of 'turtlin' fun was had by all.  The kids all played together beautifully and Noah of course was spoiled with loads of pressies.  Rob's 'fishing' game was a huge hit and wonderful in it's simplicity.

The most important thing is we got to celebrate how lucky we are to have this wonderful boy in our lives.  We ate, we drank and we laughed and we can't wait till the next party.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

A Confession

I have an obsessive personality - I like things to be a certain way.  It drives my husband nuts.  Sometimes I'll start looking for something around the house and I literally cannot put it out of my mind until it's located.  Sometimes that can last for days or god forbid weeks.

It also works in positive ways.  I have a system for everything.  Everything has a home. It doesn't mean I don't make a mess - those of you who have seen my study/sewing/craft room would know that better than anyone. In fact in a way it contributes to the mess because until I have a storage system in place for particular items they just hang around waiting for a burst of organisation to take place.

My current true love is zip lock bags.  I remember when I was a kid some kids brought their lunch to school in zip lock bags but my parents would never buy them - they must have been considered expensive.

I have them in every size and I think they're great value for all manner of storage.  In the non mainstream brands you can get about 100 of the small ones for only a few dollars and about 15 or 20 of the really big ones for about the same price.

I'm in the middle of sorting out all the paraphernalia from Noah's 2 (yes 2) birthday parties and I love to keep lots of bits for him to look back on when he's older.  (This also drives my husband craaaaaazy).  Anyway in each zip lock bag are his birthday cards, a copy of the invitation, a couple of the cupcake toppers,a party hat,  the Happy Birthday banner I made, a few printed photos, a sample of the treat bag that we gave to the guests and a copy of the thank you card we're posting this week.  It really doesn't take up much space so I'll probably fill one IKEA storage box (like this) for 6 or 7 years.  Hopefully he'll enjoy having it all as much as I enjoy making it and keeping it for him.

Next post I'll share all the details of the parties in their excessive glory.

P.S. The photo is of the treat bags from Noah's Turtle Party.  My sister and I made about 50 of these and I'm totally in love with bag toppers for ziplock bags (another great use)  so much cheaper and more fun than conventional treat bags and you can customize it to suit any kind of party or gift.  Noah handed some out with home-made M&M cookies for his friends at music on his actual birthday and then all the kids at the party took one of these ones home. (it says 25th not 23rd because that was the date of the party)

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Word of the Week

I'm stealing this idea from Megan at Writing Out loud  who has had me giggling over her daughter Abbey's vocabulary.  So when I was talking to a friend recently sharing some of Noah's latest chitchat and she asked if I was writing them down - it inspired me to do just that.

Noah's word of the week is......

Naughty adjective
Pronunciation: naw-nee

I didn't think this was a word that we used a great deal so was surprised to hear it come out of Noah's mouth when he proclaimed 'DJ naw-nee'  He has gone on to declare the pets to be naw-nee several times a day.  The most exciting thing is he seems to be using it appropriately.  Unfortunately Daddy was also on the receiving end during a heated discussion with Mummy - good to see Noah knows that disagreeing with mummy is naw-nee!!!!

This is a picture from February but doesn't he look like just the kind of cheeky monkey that would go around telling everyone off in just the most gorgeous way.

I Heart Faces - Over My Head Photo Challenge

This is my first time entering a photo challenge on 'I heart faces' but when I saw the theme I just knew I had to enter.

Although this is by no means a perfect photo it is one of my favourites of my boys.  Noah's favourite place to be on any outing is over Rob's head and why not show his gratitude with an impromptu smooch.

If you love great photography check out the other entries at Photo Challenge Week 29

Sunday, 18 July 2010

A Sneak Peek

We had some family photos taken on Saturday - we haven't seen them all yet but here's a quick one the photographer sent us to give us an idea how the session went.  Can't wait to get the disc and see them all - sooo much fun.

Friday, 16 July 2010


Three years ago today we farewelled our first precious child.  Our beautiful boy Banjo was born still at only 26 weeks on the 9th of July.

It was a heart wrenching time for Rob and I and all of our family and close friends.  We had already been through so much.  I had undergone 3 surgeries to get us ready for IVF but we had been lucky to fall pregnant on our first cycle.

Losing a child is so unexpected you cannot possibly be prepared.  We felt such a range of emotions.  I felt that my body had failed me.  We wondered if we would ever be able to have a child of our own.

Today 3 years on we are one week away from celebrating Noah’s 2nd birthday.  We were so blessed to fall pregnant again on our second cycle of IVF and Noah arrived exactly 54 weeks after the day I had given birth to Banjo.

We have not tended to dwell on what happened with Banjo – we count our blessings to have Noah and know that had circumstances been different this amazing, funny, kind, loving child that we have now may never have been born.  Of course Banjo would have been all of these things too but Noah is special – there’s something about him that draws people to him and we are just the luckiest parents in the world.

We are currently facing a new challenge in our parenting journey as we attempt to come to terms with the very real fact that we never have another child.  Since September last year we have been undergoing IVF – 5 rounds in all – including 2 more surgeries for me. 

There are no medical explanations for why I could fall pregnant so easily twice before but now 4 years on – NOTHING.  My wonderful doctor has advised us to take a long break.  Give my body a chance to be in a state of ‘normal’ and think about if we would like to try again next year.

We do not know what the future holds but right now we are trying to come to a place of acceptance that it will just be the 3 of us.  We need to think that way for our own sanity.  The last 10 months has been full of so much hope and expectation and the letdown each month wreaks havoc with your emotions. 

I think we’ll be OK.  Some days are harder than others.  Our family and friends continue to announce pregnancies or give birth to beautiful pink new babies and we are thrilled for them – but it hurts – it really hurts. 

So today we remember Banjo, we revel in the joy of Noah and we hope with all our hearts we will be blessed again.  

Hold your children close today - they are such a treat.

*** This beautiful picture was taken by Carly Marie from and  She is a mum who lost a baby a wanted to make a difference for other parents who were suffering the loss of a child.  Please read about her - she's amazing.  Most importantly for me she takes the pictures at our local beach - the beach where my husband and I spent our childhoods.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Test Post

I'm learning to use HTML and spice up my blog - isn't this signature so pretty.  Don't you think it makes it seem more personal - like I'm writing a letter just for you.

Happy Tuesday

Friday, 9 July 2010

Hormonal or Patriotic

It's true I am hormonal at the moment but I don't know if I can blame the hormones this time or if I was struck by a dose of good old fashioned patriotism.

During the week I headed into the city with Noah (nearly 2) and his cousin Abbey (9).  Firstly can I just say again how great I think train travel is for the kids.  Noah absolutely loves a ride on the train and for $9 a family can travel all day (on buses and ferries too).  For me it saves driving and parking but for Noah it's part of the whole adventure of a day out.  One of the problems with the train can be parking at the station but to avoid that we head to Joondalup because the station is right next to the shopping centre where there is plenty of parking.

So off we went not sure exactly what we would find - maybe the museum or the art gallery.  The city was so alive with parents and kids and we soon discovered there were loads of free (or very cheap) activities for the kids.

Eventually we ended up in the marquee in Forrest Place for the 'City Outback Adventure'. The event was free but we had to collect passes earlier so they can limit the numbers for each show

I wasn't really sure what to expect - the blurb said "The audience will be taken on a bush journey and experience a taste of life on the land. The show includes sheep dogs, whipcracking, sheep shearing, bush poetry and country sing-alongs which will transport kids from the urban city centre to the heart of our iconic rural farmlands. Led by the renowned horseman Syd ‘The Stockman’ Davey and his trusty kelpies"

When we headed into the marquee it was dark and cosy and smelt just like a farm (in a good way).  There was an arena in the middle surrounded by Aussie flags.  We took our seats right at the front and waited.  It started with some pretty cheesy dancing but when the stockman came out on the horse - I started to well up.  I was a bit shocked I mean here I am watching some free kids entertainment.

It was really lovely - he showed off his beautiful horses and did a few cute tricks with his dog on the horse.  Noah loved it - he really joined in and shouted out in excitement as each animal came out.

There was some lovely parts talking about the Aussie soldiers who rode horses in WW1 and about Banjo Patterson and the beauty of the land we live in.  It made me really emotional and especially made me want to pack up and head to live on a farm.

Maybe it was the hormones or maybe it's because it was only a few days before my Banjo's 3rd birthday was approaching but to be honest I think there is just something deeply moving about our country and especially the lifestyle of those that live on the land.  Either way it's a real treat for city kids to take some time in the hustle and bustle of school holidays to enjoy a different lifestyle - even if it's only for half an hour.  

Movies and Mayhem

This morning myself and 5 other brave parents and grandparents all trotted our children (ages nearly 2 - 5) off to see Toy Story 3.  Noah and I had already seen it with Daddy on a Thursday night a couple of weeks ago and it was quite a successful outing.

Today the theatre was packed full of kids and parents and it was pretty crazy.  On the whole our group of kids were well behaved and didn't fidget too much.

Now one would think that we had survived the movie - we would count our blessings and head home for naps - right?? WRONG!!  My friend Danni and I decided a 'quick' trip to the shops was needed.  OK that wasn't too bad I got my things she did her banking - home - right??  WRONG AGAIN.

In our insanity we decided we would try and sit with our 2 year old boys and have lunch.  Hahaha I can hear you all laughing from here.  So by now its about 12.30 and Noah's usual nap time is say 10.30ish.  We squeezed ourselves into a cafe full of pensioners and some older children all sitting nicely eating their lunch.  Our boys proceeded to empty all the sugar sachets onto the table and the floor (not just on our table but another empty one nearby.  Then they insisted on drinking their water from 'big boy' cups with straws and Noah poured it all down his front.  They were both constantly in and out of their seats and Noah even rammed a few customers with his pram. Obviously we were not letting all this happen - Dan and I were trying desperately to eat our lunch so we could leave and at the same time control the children "Noah sit down' 'Rex put the sugar back' Stop hitting each other - say sorry'  You get the idea.

Now I've been in some places where other customers and staff look like they really wish you would leave - and I totally understand.  Never have I seen a staff member (possibly the owner or manager) act so rudely towards parents struggling with misbehaving children.

In the middle of our lunch this guy walks up throws two of the chairs out the way and starts cleaning up the kids mess under the table in a very angry and aggressive manner.  I was dumbstruck - we were eating our sandwiches and their's a man under our table.  I mean no matter how annoying it might be can't it wait till we leave.  In fact we would have done it ourselves before we left.  I have never left my kids mess for someone else to clean up.

Have you ever been treated rudely in a cafe or restaurant??  How did you handle it??  Do your kids sit nicely when you take them out??


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