Wednesday, December 17, 2014

stay-at-home-mum...

When I found out I was pregnant, and starting getting everything organised, the prospect of going on maternity leave was kind of alien to me.

I have always worked, in some capacity, ever since I was old enough. Since I was 13 years old and worked one afternoon a week at my piano school teaching the little kids their scales and theory. Waitress, sales assistant, dental nurse, library staffer, law clerk - part time whilst studying, usually, up until I finished my degree, but always something.

The thought of doing nothing, no structured work day, of not earning a salary especially, was really difficult to contemplate. A huge part of my identity is "Solicitor" - I love what I do (most days!) and was honestly worried I would feel like a nobody without my job. That my brain would atrophy from lack of use!

Almost 18 months on, and as I contemplate my return to work next month, I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to stay at home with our little girl for an extended period.

I have found parenthood to be, on the whole, a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I have been blessed with an easygoing and happy little girl who is a joy to parent, and a delight to spend time with. I can honestly say, I am rarely bored - and I would take her at her most challenging over a narky partner, aggressive client or supercilious Judge any day of the week!

I definitely could not do this ongoing - much as I know I will miss her, like a part of me is missing, I am so looking forward to getting back into it. Giving the old grey matter a workout, challenging myself, heck, adult conversation! Two days per week will hopefully be a good balance for us, an easing back into it for me, and some time apart which I believe is healthy for both parent and child.

V turned to me last night and said, "Evie really is such a relaxed and happy kid, she's really thriving - you do an amazing job with her." Aside from making my day, that gave me such a feeling of accomplishment - I've been doing not much else but raising her for the past year and a bit, so knowing I've done a good job is just lovely.


Here's to finding the right balance, to making choices that work for you and your family, and damn what anyone else thinks.

xoxo

Monday, December 15, 2014

lighting a candle tonight...

because the lights have gone out in Martin Place, and I can't sleep thinking of how dark it must be in there


xoxo

Friday, December 12, 2014

fabulous friday...


Started the day off in the best possible fashion! (although the little angel did wake me half an hour early at 6:30!) 


Brekky at lee&me with my sister...


Seriously obsessed with their new menu! The Weekenda is insanely good, pesto-topped coddled egg with toast soldiers, and a serve of yoghurt/Bircher/fruit yum!

Then off I trotted to get my hair cut and coloured. My gorgeous hairdresser has sold her salon and is heading off to London in 2015 - I will admit to shedding a wee tear, not just for my hair's sake but because she is now a good friend and I will miss her.

I was dubious about the new owner - a man! hahahaha - but my fears were swiftly and completed allayed.


Utterly thrilled with the outcome! Short and bouncy for summer

Here's cheers to the weekend!
xoxo

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

o christmas tree...

We decided on a mini tree this year - less temptation for the tiny one, less carnage if it does go over ��

Can you tell I have been shopping up a storm at Kikki_k???


I think it's looking a tad sparse - on the other hand, I fear that adding more decorations may just prove too much for tiny, eager hands! Maybe a few mini candy canes?


Presents! Love how V always gets me gifts that come gift-wrapped, saving him the trouble!

We have recently invested in a mini table and chairs for the mini human. I use the term "invested" in the loosest possible sense as we picked it up from Officeworks for a song hahaha


Styled by Evie - that tea set is certainly getting a good workout!

Had a moment of actual, honest-to-god panic this week when I was unable to track down frozen cranberries anywhere! I mean really, it just wouldn't be Christmas without homemade cranberry sauce! 


Thankfully the gorgeous Kelly at my local Coles put aside a box of them for me when the evening shipment came in. I am pleased to have 4 packets worth stored in my freezer. Just in case I have the same drama next year ��

Went out for coffee with my mum and brother this afternoon...


Accompanied by this little pixie


The owl looks rather suss - I think he has the munchies ahahaha

I am supposed to be wrapping a few final presents right now, but I have run out of sellotape! Domage


Isn't this weather just something else?! I can seriously hear the wind whistling around our windows right now

Nobody does relaxed quite like these two...


Have you guys got your Christmas trees up yet? How are the parents coping with mobile kiddies and all that shiny, shiny temptation?
xoxo

feeding le bebe...

I have had several questions about what we feed the kiddo, what she likes to eat, etc. So here goes!

Evie has been an amazing eater from day one. There isn't much she won't eat! We started her on solids at around 5 months of age, on rice cereal made with expressed milk, the odd piece of fruit in a muslin bag, and progressed to puréed vegetables and fruits, always made on their own to start with. She was eating three meals per day by around 10 months of age.

It's not very fashionable these days to spoon-feed your baby purées, the done thing seems to be a more organic, hands-on approach. But what can I say, I'm a traditionalist - if it was good enough for my parents, then it's good enough for me! Plus let's face it, there is no way I would be able to relax enough to let my baby loose at a plate of spaghetti, with the resultant mess ��

I am pleased and proud to report that, despite the doom-and-gloom pronouncements we were met with by many, the kiddo has been independently feeding herself with a spoon since the age of 12 months, and very competently I might add! She eats pretty much everything she is given, with no food aversions or fussiness. So don't feel that, just because you aren't doing it the trendy way, that you are condemning your kid to a lifetime of bad eating habits! Moving on...

Breakfast is always cereal (porridge, or lately we have been having Vita-wheats with warm milk) with some stewed fruit, followed by toast...


Bear came to breakfast the other day - and was fed some porridge!


Marmite on rye toast is a real winner in our house! Peanut butter is another favorite, thankfully we don't seem to have any allergies to contend with *touch wood*

Lunch can be a bit more tricky - the kiddo isn't a sandwich fan, to my great disgust. They are so easy and portable! But unless it's toasted cheese, which she pulls apart to eat, she just doesn't seem to grasp the concept. The solution for us is cooked "finger foods", primarily vege-based (she's not the biggest meat eater yet).


This is what a typical lunch looks like lately - homemade zucchini frittata muffin, blueberries and a "yoghurt squeeze". (The muffin recipe is adapted from MamaG Made if you want to go check out her blog for the recipe!)

The tiny one is OBSESSED with these 5am plain yoghurt packets! It basically tastes like a mild Greek yoghurt. We have been giving Evie Greek yoghurt since she was around 6 months old, I've never given her any flavored varieties (I'm a bit of an ogre when it comes to added sugar), so my delight knew no bounds when I discovered these. The only ingredients are milk, milk solids and love cultures. Super portable and easy, and she loves them. Win!


Dinner last night involved some home made chicken breast "nuggets" - just small chunks of breast dipped in egg, then homemade herb breadcrumbs, and baked in the oven. 

Tonight, we are having some home-made mini meatballs - just lean beef mince, breadcrumbs, herbs and Parmesan.
She always has a bowl of steamed veges first - doesn't consider it a proper meal unless there is a vegetable component it seems! 

On Fridays (daycare days) I tend to do a vegetarian tea for her, as they often have meat for lunch and I don't like her having it twice a day.

Salmon with vegetables and brown rice is another favourite, and very quick and easy to throw together. I only give her John West wild Alaskan red salmon - we don't eat commercial farmed salmon, not since I visited a salmon farm when I was younger *vomit* Plus I'm a weirdo and try to buy sustainably caught seafood, and let's just say salmon is not a good choice, environmentally speaking.

We always do "dessert" of an evening - usually steamed fruit, sometimes with a bit of Greek yoghurt added, or some fresh fruit. I grew up having fruit after dinner, I think it's a nice end to the meal.

Morning and afternoon tea might be rye cruskits with avocado, a mini pack of sultanas and a drink of milk (often in babychino form hahaha) 
Evie no longer breastfeeds (stopped a few weeks ago, waaah!), she still has a bottle before bed and we are in no hurry to phase that out.

So that's the kiddo's day on a plate! I'm happy to share more recipes, although they aren't particularly exciting
xoxo

Saturday, December 6, 2014

life lately...

Has been pretty darn good!

Apologies for the extended radio silence! V has had the week off work, yew! And I do tend to go a bit MIA when he's around, spending as much time with him as possible, naturally. I'll tell you what, having an extra set of hands for baby/house related stuff is such a luxury! Helps that he is damn good company too...


The new breakfast menu at Diggies has proven a real winner! The "English bagel" with ham and mushy peas is fab!

We had a lovely meal out last week at the newly-opened Rookie, while my brother babysat Evie. What a champ that guy. No photos sadly!

The food was pretty fantastic, and we had a great night. The service was very sweet and attentive but not quite "there", I think they need to try and poach someone with good front-of-house experience to really kick it up a notch. Oh, and paper napkins? They belong in a beach cafe, not a nice restaurant (and at that price point). Little quibbles though, we were pretty impressed overall.

Basically, I have been living each day to the fullest, sucking the marrow from it hahaha I start back at work, in my new job, in a little over a month, and I am anticipating being a lot more busy! Pretty much cannot wait though. Especially as my new colleagues are a pretty kick-ass bunch of people. Hello, adult conversation! hahahaha


I even managed to squeeze in a pre-Christmas mani/pedi. Living the dream, people.


My mum sings in a local choir, and I always try to make their concerts - the Christmas one is a bit of a tradition. V spent a nice afternoon with Evie (we figured she was a bit too young to sit through it). Good performance this year! The soprano soloist was particularly lovely. Makes me want to get back into singing. Maybe I should join a vocal group...


Oh my goodness, this girl and her tea set! She pours endless cups of tea for all her stuffed animals (and me if I'm lucky!), stirs them, then makes us all "drink" them. Beyond cute, seriously there are no words. I'm ashamed to admit that, before I had a baby, I had honestly assumed they were kind of non-interactive blobby things for at least the first few years of life, and then they became a lot more fun. Happy to put my hand up and admit how wrong I was! The level of interaction, her imagination, her understanding - blows me away. And it only gets more fun every day.


Coming out from my shower every morning to find the tea set unpacked and ready in the living room? Priceless.

xoxo

Monday, December 1, 2014

happy first of...

Happy December! My favourite time of year!


The daycare artwork had started taking a distinctly seasonal tone!


Made a Kikki_k wreath, wrapped some gifts...


And baked several dozen Christmas cookies for various people!


Invested in a herb and a lettuce planter - not exactly Christmassy, but extremely exciting! Between Evie eating the mint and Jasper eating the chives, I predict I will be cleared out in no time.


Took some quiet time out and a much needed debrief with Evie and my mum, over a cuppa - 3 generations at the one table is always rather sweet. We have had various minor health issues in the family this past month - nothing life threatening, thankfully. Top prize goes to my poor little bro who appears to have sliced through the tendon in one of his fingers, just months before he is due to start his internship at a major Sydney hospital. I could seriously cry for him. Fingers crossed (pardon the pun) that it can be fixed.

In somewhat more banal news, my cheeky child got hold of my phone and did something and all of my Aps have moved! I swear she is more tech savvy than me - maybe I should ask her to fix it ��

Are you all ready for Christmas? We have some overseas family members coming this year, plus some Danish friends whom we haven't seen in 6 years, so very very excited about that! 
xoxo