Monday, August 19, 2013

little bean's baby shower

WARNING: This post WILL be picture heavy :)

As usual, it's going to be very hard to limit all the awesome pictures I have from this day, but I'm going to try and do this recap in one post!

We had our Baby Shower on the 27th of July (almost 3 years to the day since I threw one for my sister and nephew on the 24/07/2010!) at my parents' home. It was hosted by my sister and my mum, but my wonderful girlfriends all helped out with various roles and assisted my sister with set up (and photography haha - thanks MoH and Amy!) on the day.

my gorgeous sister, responsible for all the gorgeousness, and I...I realised I didn't get a photo with my mum though!!

We had an absolutely fantastic day - the afternoon flew by and I hope everyone had as great a time as I did! I was so exhausted by the time I got home, but completely overwhelmed with the love and joy from our family and friends.

We started off the afternoon with some mingling and checking out all the awesome decorations my sister and mum had organised -

After mingling for a bit and munching on some yummy food (we had so many lovely friends bring along scrumptious food! Oh my!) we got started on that typical baby shower past time (but my sister found some not so typical ones!) - games.

First up was Baby Shower Charades -

1. giving birth and baby landing on the floor! -- 2. trying to breastfeed while swatting away flies

3. trying to shop while the kids keep adding things to the trolley! (this lady has PLENTY of practice with this, with 5 kiddies under 5!!) -- 4. i believe this one was possibly trying to use the bathroom while the kids keep annoying you...i spared her the embarrassing picture we have!

5. actually my aunt's 2nd turn up, but I'll just use one - trying to give birth while your husband is driving you crazy!

Next we moved onto a Baby Shower Find-A-Word and a list of Baby-related words that were jumbled up and had to be unscrambled. It was harder than it sounds, particularly since it was an American version so there were words like "diaper" and "pacifier" which were throwing all us Aussies off! ("nappy" and "dummy" are the common terms here, for those wondering!)

some lovely ladies (all teachers!) trying to work out the puzzles!

While everyone was working on their sheets, another game was started - a race to see who could dress and swaddle a baby doll the fastest...while blind folded! My sister-in-law and a family friend took part in this race - our family friend won! I don't know that I'll be letting either of them dress Little Bean any time soon though...hehe...

Then everyone was asked to draw what they thought Little Bean was going to look like...there was some cute, some hilarious and some downright strange drawings (here's looking at YOU MoH!) but one thing they all had in common? Dimples!

drawings were posted on the wall near the present table for everyone to look at! winner was chosen by my dad as I was busy opening presents!

The other game that was going on throughout the say was the typical "don't say" game - guests weren't allowed to say "Baby", "Amanda", "Graham" or our last name. You can see in some of the pictures that guests had necklaces on. Each necklace had a blue and pink dummy on it. Normally, in this game whoever ends up with the most necklaces (or pegs, or whatever is used...) by the end of the Shower, wins. My mum and sister did things a little differently though - every dummy on every necklace had a number on the back of it. After the cake was cut, I was asked to choose a number between 1 and 100 and whoever had that number on a dummy won! (so the more you had, the better your chances...but someone with just one necklace could win! Sort of Baby lotto if you will :) ) Since my little niece had collected the most necklaces though, and didn't win via the number selection, we gave her a prize as well.

i had to add this picture, not only because it has one little niece in it - but two! see that gorgeous bump my sister-in-law is sporting? in there is my gorgeous new niece, Kimberly! she was originally approx 6 weeks ahead of myself during pregnancy, but she was induced 9 days early and little Kimberly was born on the 6th of August, 2013 at 1pm! we took a few bump pictures together throughout our pregnancies, the last one just days before she was induced. i can't wait for our little one to join the family and for the two of them to grow up together!

speaking of bumps - this is my sister pulling a "fake" bump pic with me....except little did everyone know, this was not a fake bump! my little sister is also preggers and due Valentines Day next year! my Little Bean is going to have a cousin close in age on BOTH sides of the family! (and my sister was wearing this hoodie to try and cover her bump, as they weren't ready to share the news just yet!)

But back to the story at hand! Next up was cake cutting and speeches...since we all apparently pull *terrible* faces while speaking, I'll spare you those pictures. Instead, here's some cake cutting ones...

my cake was amazing. my sister has been excited about this cake from the day she asked to host our baby shower and i must say, it turned out amazing! it was yummy too!
the middle of the cake was pink and blue swirls, since we don't know whether Little Bean is a boy or a girl! it looked great! (and yes, i cut the way was I going for the belly - still too close to the end of Game of Thrones for me!)
some of the gorgeous ladies at our shower!
ahhhhh....loved this!

After cake, we moved inside to open all of the amazing pressies that Little Bean was spoiled with. I cannot even express how grateful we are to our amazing friends and family for all the love they piled upon us and all the wonderful gifts that they bought Baby!! I know it's not terribly exciting to see gift pictures, but here are a few (I'll try and keep them down!) -

my cousin's little boy decided to be my helper for the evening...he got a little over-enthusiastic sometimes, bless him!

Every time I use something someone has bought us, I will be reminded of the amazing love that they expressed for this little baby they haven't even met yet...Now, if only I could memorize who bought what outfit because I would love to show them all when Baby is in it!

Finally, this lovely lady was responsible for the favours for the party, and sent all our guests home with one of these:

They were PERFECT and I may or may not have teared up the first time I saw them. I am so blessed to have such amazing friends and family who know me so well. Guests actually thought that I had made the Shower Invites by hand, they were so perfectly something I would have chosen! But I didn't see them til everyone else did, and they were the work of the lovely Romana! I have just realised however that I do not have a photo of them...I will share with you soon, because they were gorgeous. One is tucked into Baby's album already :)

Oh, and yep - here's another baby bump!

This lovely lady and her hubby are expecting their SECOND bubba, at New Years! I'm so excited about how many wonderful people in my life are having babies so close to us - our Little Bean can add a faux cousin to the list as well!

Overall, I cannot express just how thankful we are for the entire day, for all our wonderful family and friends, and for all the love we have felt as a family. I can't wait til Little Bean gets to meet all the amazing people who care so much for them already.

We are truly blessed!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

34 weeks!

11.08.2013 - 17.08.2013

How far along? 34 weeks!

Baby Size: Baby is now the size of a honeydew!

Total weight gain: Haven’t really put anything on since last fortnight, however I have a feeling that’s drastically going to change in the next few weeks!

Bump measurement: Still at 102 cm (40 inches)! I’m surprised by this as (particularly today!) Baby is really pushing out and I feel bigger. Fundal height is more though, measuring at 35!

Maternity clothes? Yep – a mix of maternity and non-maternity but I still love my over-the-bump maternity jeans and tights. Weather has started warming up, despite still being winter, so I’ve been able to break out some maxi dresses! (as seen in this weeks picture!)

Stretch marks? Nope! But still oiling up every morning and night – skin is so soft on the belly :) My physio commented on how well my skin has held up so far the other day…*shucks* I’m expecting them all to pop out a week before Baby arrives haha

Sleep: So-so! Sometimes amazing, but the last 2 nights my hips have been really hurting again…think it’s Baby getting bigger!

Best moment this week: Finally having furniture in Baby’s Nursery! I was so excited when it arrived and seeing (and helping…slightly…) it get put together. Also, I had my 34 week anti-D shot and a midwife appointment and we couldn’t help but laugh – our midwife was feeling around, curling her hands around Baby to try and work out what way they were laying and as SOON as she stopped, they stretched their legs out (I swear it was as far as they possibly could in there!) in protest. My whole side was sticking out crazily! It hurt but it was so funny…unfortunately they kept up the crazy protest movement for the rest of the day while I did 10 hours at work – ouch!
Special mention to our Calm Birth Course, which we completed at 33 weeks…but it got a post all of it’s own :)

Miss Anything? Nice, gentle movements. Baby is getting rough!

Movement: As mentioned above, Little Bean is clearly running out of room and getting stronger because OUCH, some of their movements are rough and they hurt! Particularly when they hit an internal organ… Felt them once or twice just under my ribs but thankfully it’s only when I’m in a certain position and it’s very rare.

Food cravings: Not really having any anymore! Is this common towards the end?

Anything making you queasy or sick: This has remained the same though – still don’t like BBQs or stir fries and hate the smell of cigarettes…

Gender: Less than 6 weeks to go til we know! (AND my sister has her gender scan the day after our due date, so we may be finding out our babies genders at the same time!)

Symptoms: Getting tired a lot more easily…heart burn is still around, so is my hip pain (although is still a million times better then it was before I saw the physio!). Loads of movement, rougher and sharper, and I’ve started getting “shocks” when baby’s head bounces in and out of my pelvis. Gee, that one is fun! Also, in the last 2 days I’ve started to notice a lot more pressure in my pelvis and my Braxton Hicks are starting to get stronger and feel more like actual contraction type movement, instead of just my tummy tightening and relaxing a while later. Sometimes they seem to have a peak now. Baby is not engaged, however their head is *right there* and with all these sensations I’m hoping it won’t be long until they are engaged! (hubs finds this hilarious and keeps reminding Little Bean this is the only time they are allowed to be engaged until they are 30)

Belly Button in or out? In – SUPER stretched though. Uncomfortably so! I don’t know whether it will actually poke out, or just keep on stretching sideways…hubs thinks it looks like a sad face!

Wedding rings on or off? On – with indents haha

Mood: Feeling “nesty”. I’ve always been a “nester” as such, always doing things around the house and making To-Do lists, but even I am surprised that I could actually get worse. I’ve gotten a LOT done since the nursery furniture arrived though and I’m starting to feel content…less anxious about the long “To-Do”s.

Looking forward to: The decorating in Little Bean’s room coming together…and finishing work at the end of 36 weeks! Yay!

Friday, August 16, 2013

friday's letters

Dear CPH,
You've been so good this whole pregnancy (well, relatively!) - don't spoil it now please! 

Dear Friday,
Thank you so very much for going so fast! As I type I have an hour left of my 10 hour shift and I could not be happier that today didn't drag...

Dear Baby,
I'm very, very sorry that you didn't like getting prodded by the midwife today and while I was entertained by your big leg stretch immediately afterwards (almost like a "well if you're going to push me in I'm going to push right back out!"), I would really appreciate it if you calmed down and stopped using my organs as a punching bag now! 

Dear Nursery Furniture,
I'm so glad you arrived when you were supposed to! It's been so fun getting organised all week...

Dear Nursery,
While it's been fun getting organised this week, I truly can't wait to start decorating you!

Dear Weekend,
I'm looking forward to another nice, quiet one with the hubs. Hurrah. :)

Dear Ashley and Jonathan,

Saturday, August 10, 2013

calm birth course

I'm so excited to be able to start on Baby's nursery today, but I'm waiting for the hubs to get up and ready to start putting together in between washing snuggly blankets, pretty wraps and little clothes, I thought I would do a brief recap of last weekend - our Calmbirth Course.

Many of you may not be too interested in this post, particularly since I don't want to use it to explain in a lot of detail what Calmbirth is, but our birthing course over the weekend is part of our journey towards becoming parents and I really wanted to record our thoughts and feelings on it, before it all fades away a little...

For those who haven't heard of Calmbirth, it's a course created by an Australian, Peter Jackson (the hubs was giggling about this when we first arrived at the course and it took me the majority of the day to click why - doh!), who had a background in Hypnobirthing (which American readers might be more familiar with?). The website describes the course as "a simple yet effective childbirth education programme which acknowledges the amazing ability of a mother’s body to work as one with her unborn child to give birth. Calmbirth empowers the mother and her partner to experience birth with wonder and joy."

Now, that might sound a little wishy washy and you might be thinking, "Well, that's all wonderful and all, but giving birth isn't always sunshine and rainbows". Well no, it's not. But not only does the course provide you with knowledge around WHY it's so important to relax, breath, and work with your body (there was a lot of scientific/medical background information to back up any theories presented) the idea of the course, and what I liked most about it, was that it was designed to provide you with tools to try and keep your body calm and relaxed, and to allow you to trust in your body - no matter what course your birth may take. The tools provided should be able to help you to deal with any situation that may arise. While of course it is encouraged to attempt a natural, vaginal birth, the course readily acknowledges that many people require pain relief, intervention and sometimes caesareans. And that you will need to be able to relax and yes, enjoy your baby's birth story, no matter what it is.

The approach that the breathing and relaxation tools learnt throughout the course can be used to keep you as calm and relaxed about your birthing process as possible, no matter what the outcome, is what appealed to me the most - I have a phobia of medical intervention, in any part of my life, let alone birth! So I really felt like I needed something in my court to try and help me remain calm and focused on my baby, should the need arise for any kind of medical intervention. And I actually walked away from the course feeling positive about our birthing experience, instead of apprehensive and fearful of what *might* go wrong. Having known a number of friends with quite traumatic birth experiences, I have also seen first hand that your attitude towards the experience, good or bad, definitely shapes your ability to deal with and accept what is out of your control. I have friends who had a terribly traumatic birth, who still acknowledge how beautiful it was, and others who simply find it difficult to move past the way their baby entered into the world. I'd really like to be in the former group, so anything to help me get in the right mindset is welcomed with open arms!!

We participated in the course with another 4 couples, all of whom were also first time parents, and the practitioner we choose to go through runs her course up in the beautiful Blue Mountains. We got to go for a drive both days, just to the end of the road, and sit and have lunch at an amazing lookout.

seriously, this was our view for lunch each day! and this picture doesn't do the view justice!
The course involved a lot of relaxation exercises, to  help us learn the breathing techniques used in the course, and I must say - for relaxation you really end up tired by the end of the day! The first day very much focused on the medical/scientific background of the theory, as well as learning the breathing and relaxation techniques, and the second day focused on the actual birth, what to expect (while acknowledging that things will go as they will - not to a laid out plan!) and what we might want out of our experience (birth *intentions*, not plan).

I loved how much the hubs got involved in the course, and how much he is willing to help me work on exercises, etc. now - he is extremely calm about the birth of our baby and feels that everything will go the way it should, so he was definitely doing the course to help me put my mind at ease, however we both loved the techniques that we were shown that actually gave him practical ways to assist me during the birth...and just how bonded we felt after the weekend. It truly was an amazing experience for us and we definitely walked away feeling closer...and like Little Bean's birth is only going to bond us even more.

For anyone in Australia looking for a great birthing course - I'd highly recommend Calmbirth. In fact, if you are in a different country and interested, do some research! Because as far as I'm aware, it is starting to be practiced overseas as well and there just might be a registered practitioner in your area.

If anyone would like any more information, the Calmbirth Australia website has some birth stories, etc. from people who have used Calmbirth, although it's not the same reading it vs. experiencing the course.

I'd love to hear though - what courses have people used or plan to use to prepare for the birth of your little ones?

Friday, August 09, 2013

friday's letters

Dear Friday,
I am SO glad you're here. I still have to get through 10 hrs of work but I'm exhausted and looking forward to this weekend! 

Dear Work,
3 more weeks. I can't wait to see the back of you for a year! #sorrynotsorry!

Dear Readers,
Those posts I promised are coming! I've been busy nesting this week apparently... for now, here's one of our maternity photos to tide you over!

Dear Calm Birth Course,
You rocked! But you made me suddenly focus on Baby's birth and now I can't go back to just going with the flow - but it so much harder counting down! 

Dear Hubby,
I love you. Last weekend made my heart swell with how lucky I am you will be by my side and just how bonding what we are going to go through will be :)

Dear Baby Furniture,
Finally, FINALLY you are being delivered this afternoon. Oh how I wish I could be home. This weekend, you are getting put together! 

Dear Nursery,
Watch out. You are about to get an overhaul! 


Sunday, August 04, 2013

more freebies for Breastfeeding Week!

Ok guys so remember this post from a few days ago? Well, I found out today that there are a bunch of freebie deals going at Nursing Pillows sister sites as well! All you need to use is code "WTE" to get these bad boys for free as well: a sling from Seven Slings (or their gift set discounted), a breastfeeding cover from Udder Cover (or a discounted gift set), reusable Nursing Pads from Udder Cover (note: if you want both a cover and the pads you need to put through two separate orders to get each for shipping price only, otherwise you get one discounted and the other full price) or the previously mentioned Pillow from Nursing Pillows.

I should also note that when you order any of these using the "WTE" code, you will actually receive further codes for other free products on your invoice - for example, you will received a code for a free Carseat Cover on one of your invoices, as well as a few other items that may come check your invoices!!

Below is what I ordered so far (you'll notice I choose the gift pack option in some cases because I felt it was better value!) - it's been so much fun getting things I had planned to buy anyway, for cheaper! Yay for Breastfeeding! I plan to order the reusable nursing pads as well...Can't wait til all these goodies start arriving in my mailbox! 

again, I am in no way affiliated with any of these companies, nor is this a sponsored post, I merely want to share with other Mummas!

Nursing Pillow - "Hush"

Nursing Cover - "Grace" (set includes cover, 2 nursing pads and a breastfeeding band to keep track of which side you are up to!

Sling - "Cyrus" (set includes sling, baby tights and a nappy wallet)

Saturday, August 03, 2013

32 weeks!

28.07.2013 - 03.08.2013

How far along? 32 weeks!

Baby Size: Baby is still the size of a winter squash

Total weight gain: About a kilo more than last update (fortnight ago)

Bump measurement: 102 cm (40 inches)

Maternity clothes? Yep – a mix of maternity and non-maternity but I still love my over-the-bump maternity jeans and tights.

Stretch marks? Nope! But still oiling up every morning and night – skin is so soft on the belly :)

Sleep: Slightly better. Still getting up around 4am to use the bathroom. Foam underlay helped a little and the physio has done wonders, but I undid some of the good work at our Baby Shower on the weekend – been sore pretty much since.

Best moment this week: Our Baby Shower!! Post coming soon, promise. Oh my, it went so fast but it was a fantastic day and we felt so loved! Also loved getting our maternity photos in the mail :) (also another post on its way!)

Miss Anything? Being able to move at my regular pace…I am slooooowing down!

Movement: Crazy, crazy movement! Including waking up one morning with what looked like a tent pitched on the left side of my stomach – it was so strange! (Baby obviously didn’t like the way I was lying on my right side and moved completely into the left side, presumably with their bum in the air!)

Food cravings: They all seemed to have died down for a bit…although I did really feel like some watermelon and strawberries the other night!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Same as before. Nothing new to report. Still not a fan of BBQs, stir-fries with meats or cigarette smoke

Gender: Not long til we find out!

Symptoms: Heartburn is back, smaller meals are a must! Nose bleeds followed by headaches are a new thing this week (but my blood pressure is fine, thankfully!) A lot of visible movement and some occasional pressure in my pelvis – like Baby is head butting me! Also started getting a sore lower back if I stand/walk for too long

Belly Button in or out? In – just stretched!

Wedding rings on or off? On – with indents haha

Mood: Feeling a little more relaxed. I now know what we need to buy Baby and have started getting our hospital bags packed and picking up items we need, being organised makes me feel better.

Looking forward to: Starting our Calm Birth Course! And Baby’s furniture arriving (PLEASE be this week!)

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