Wednesday, October 31, 2012

what's in my bag.

One of the more frequently asked questions I have gotten as my due date approaches has been, "So, do you have your bags all packed?" I found this question a bit hard to answer for two very specific reasons.

1. I couldn't really "pack my bag" completely because I have very few things that still fit me and if I were to pack them all, I would be running around naked (which no one would appreciate right now- TRUST ME!!).

2. I wasn't exactly sure what to actually pack...

Our hospital gave us a short packing list in one of our birth classes, and according to them I should bring with me a scrunchie. Yes- a SCRUNCHIE!

The paperwork I got from the birthing class suggests I bring a scrunchie in my hospital bag... Hello 1990! I think they need to update their information :)

Really- are we back in 1992?? That being said, my very fashion forward friend Alyce assured me that scrunchies are, in fact, making a very strong comeback these days. It is just too bad no one told me to preserve my extensive scrunchie collection from the 90's for the birth of my first child. Damn!

Needless to say, before running out in search of the perfect labour scrunchie, I decided to do a little bit of a Pinterest search on other things people recommend one pack in their hospital bag. I found lots and lots of ideas and think I can finally answer the "So, do you have your bags all packed?" question with confidence!

Yes! Our bags are officially packed and ready to go!

So what did I end up packing you ask??

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OiOi Messenger Bag  (TIP-  if you are going to buy this AUSTRALIAN made bag, it is actually cheaper to buy it from the USA and pay to ship it to Australia. Seriously, what is wrong the retail world here!?!).

Inside the bag...

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These are the things I decided to pack for Lachlan...

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Hospital Outfits: I went with a few different hospital outfits in both the newborn and 3 month size because I have no idea how big he will be. Since Byron was born the size of a toddler (okay, slight exaggeration) Max is convinced Lachlan will also be a big baby so I thought I better bring along a few different sizes. It is also moving in to summer here and I wasn't sure if the little guy would be hot or cold... or somewhere in between. All that being said, the hospital does provide clothes for Lachlan while he is in their care so I am not even sure we will need any of this in the end, but what new mom can resist carrying around little tiny clothes!

Diapers and Wipes: the hospital does provide us with some of these items, but they also ask you to bring along some as well. I just packed a few newborn size diapers in hopes that he will not be too big for those!

Blankets / Swaddlers: Again, the hospital will have these, but I just threw in a light weight muslin wrap, a small cotton blanket and a swaddler wrap my sister sent me from when my baby nephew Jack was, well, a baby :)

Passie / Dummie: I am still not sure if we will use these but thought I should bring them along just in case...

Special Blanket / Quilt: Lachlan's Great Grandma made this quilt for him and I just had to bring it along. I know we probably won't use it in the hospital, but it will be like having a little piece of her there with us! Thanks Grama!!!! We love it :)

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Going Home Outfit: Lachlan's Aunt Ginny sent us this little outfit and I thought it to be very appropriate as this will technically be his first (of MANY) road trips with us.

And that is all I packed for Lachlan. I know there are about a million other things I could bring, but honestly, the hospital will have all of that (creams, clippers, powder, etc). Also, if you are planning on bottle feeding, I would definitely say you should be sure to include bottles and formula.

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Now, on to Mamma's bag... Keeping in mind, the hospital where we are delivering keeps both Lachlan and I for four days (a long time right?!) and so that is what I was trying to pack for. Your hospital stay might be much shorter or longer and therefore you would want to adjust the amount of each of these items you pack based on that. Plus, I am an over packer so be sure to keep that in mind as well!

Jammies: Everyone keeps telling me how...umm... messy birth can be, so I decided to pack three pairs of jammies (just incase). I packed loose fitting, light weight pants and comfy shirts.

Daytime Clothes: When I first read this I thought- hello, isn't that what jammies are for?!?! I mean, I just pushed out a baby for goodness sake. Can't I wear my jammies all day?? However, I decided to throw in a a pair of leggings and yoga pants, as well as a few maternity and nursing tops for my "daytime wear" just incase I found myself to be the only new mom walking around in pyjamas all day.



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Going Home Outfit: Again- JAMMIES... but just incase, I included a tube top dress because it would be super easy, comfortable and easy access for nursing.


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Other items not pictured: I also packed a short, light weight, black, cotton robe and a light weight hoodie.


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Pretty self explanatory... just the stuff you would pack if you were going away for the weekend.

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I have been told to bring lots of maternity pads. Again, apparently birth is pretty messy...

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You might also want your laptop, flip flops and hair products...

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So that is it my friends. Too much?? Not enough?? Have I forgotten anything that is absolutely vital?? For any other soon-to-be new moms out there, I come back and add anything that I found I was missing so that you can be sure to include it in your bag.

And now... we wait.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

seven days.

SEVEN DAYS PEOPLE!!!!

In just seven days (plus or minus seven of course) we will finally get to meet our sweet little boy. Can you believe it?!?!?! Ahhhh- I'm just so excited!!

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More on my last minute thoughts and feelings to come... but for now I just wanted to share a few of my favourite maternity pictures from our photo shoot with my wonderful friend, Alyce at Finer Details Photography.

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Thank you so much Ryan and Alyce for capturing Max and I and our little bump so perfectly :)

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SEVEN DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

lisa's faq.

Hi friends- more specifically, Lisa :)

So, I know there are a few of you out there that have been seeking some tips on using photoshop to create things like digital scrapbook pages, invitations, collages, adding text to your images, etc.

For about 2.5 seconds I actually thought about doing a step-by-step guide to how I create pages like this one....

IPPL Takes on NYC

20 January 2012- IPPL1

or this one.... IPPL Takes on NYC

20 January 2012- IPPL2

But then I realised that so much of what I do is trial and error that I wasn't sure my step-by-step guide would actually be any help to you AT ALL!

That being said, I do have a few links to share that might help you learn some tips and tricks for creating collages, scrapbook pages, invitations, etc that I have found helpful.

First of all, I follow the Shabby Shoppe Blog that has tons of good tips, free page layouts and templates, step-by-step tutorials for beginners and lots of FREE digital kits. Being the cheap person that I am, you might notice that almost all of the paper and images I use are from here because they were free... and super cute as well! I would highly recommend starting with these free kits if you aren't sure you are really interested in making your own pages (because it is very time consuming!) and then buying other kits as you get more interested.

Two other things I did when I first started was:

A) search for photoshop elements tutorials on YouTube. I would search for photography editing tips as well as layering and scrapbooking tips. Once you learn the basics it is pretty easy to create all different kinds of things. I also found watching videos to be more helpful than reading tutorials. Just my preference of course!

B) purchase a "Photoshop Elements for Dummies" book. While I did use this a bit at the beginning, I never really look at it anymore because most everything you will never want to know can be found for free just by simply searching on Google. However, it is good to use a reference for those things you just need a quick reminder on...

And on that note, here are a few other pages I have created over the last few weeks- in no particular order at all.

Aaron's Surprise 40th

24 March 2012- Aaron1


24 March 2012- Aaron2

Ryan and Ciara's Beach Wedding

14 January 2012- R&C Wedding

International Women's Day

11 March 2012- IWD1


11 March 2012- IWD2

The Great Shed Clean Out of 2012

7 January 2012- shed clean1


7 January 2012- shed clean2

and Emma's Greatest Shave!

17 March 2012- Emma1


17 March 2012- Emma2

Well- I am not sure if any of this was actually helpful... but I hope it has at least given you some inspiration and links to places where you can find some free stuff :)

xoxo,
Michelle

Thursday, October 25, 2012

spring has sprung.

Well my friends, it is that time of year again when two of my favourite things start happening!

BLOOMING JACARANDA'S and MANGO SEASON!!!!

Fresh mango. I am in heaven!!


I spied my first mango just over a week ago and have eaten at least one every day since then! I know- they are full of sugar... blah, blah... but I just don't care. They are only around for a such a short time that I just feel like I need to get in as many as I can. They even seem to be cheaper this year, which both my husband and wallet are thankful for :)

I always know just when the mangos are about to appear in the shops because the entire city turns purple with blooming Jacarandas. Max reminded me that I was probably the only person in the world to relate these two things (mangos and flowers blooming) but my theory is full proof and has not failed me yet.

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Purple flowers blooming everywhere you look! Aren't they beautiful?!?

And speaking of blooming- LOOK HOW BIG MY BELLY IS!!

38 weeks

Anywho... that's all for now. There is a fresh, cold mango sitting in my fridge that is calling my name.

Have a happy Thursday!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

birthday balloon surprise.

Surprise your kids with a birthday balloon explosion on their birthday!

22 October 2012- birthday balloons

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Happy 16th Birthday Byron!

happy birthday byron

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

sixteen.

To celebrate the 16th birthday of a very, VERY special teenager, Max and Byron spent the entire weekend doing different Father/Son adventures together. It started on Saturday with a day at the Gold Coast 600 in a corporate box watching the V8 Supercars followed by a day of 4-wheel driving (4WD) at Woodford with friends.

While they reported back to me every few hours, I am neither a father nor a son so I wasn't part of the  adventures this weekend (not to mention I really like to give them time alone together when I can). Having a 9.5 month pregnant stepmom/wife hanging around isn't exactly the most exciting thing either.

That being said, since I wasn't there I wasn't able to get any pictures of Byron's birthday adventures (frown). However, late Sunday afternoon Max rang me and asked me to come meet them down at the local creek where they were hanging out. I jumped at the opportunity to get out of the house and drove down there to meet them.

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After a full day in the hot, dusty forest the boys were looking for a cool place to cool off- enter Youngs Crossing on North Pine River!

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We aren't exactly sure if you are technically allowed to swim down here but it doesn't seem to stop anyone.

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There were about 40 other people there enjoying the cold water and hot sunshine. This little girl was the cutest!

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I even spotted an almost extinct creature... we call him "the teenager!"

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The water felt so good that I decided bathing suit or not- I was going for a swim too!

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Every night for the past month I have been coming home from work telling Max how much I wish I had somewhere I could go and just float...

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So that is what I did! I floated for a good 20 minutes in the fresh, cold water... and if felt sooooo good!

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Father and son :)

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Byron's friend, Troy.

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And I even managed to capture a SMILE!!!  A genuine smile!!! And if you can remember back to your teen years- those genuine smiles are hard to come by these days!

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Me in all my soaking wet, 37 weeks and 5 days pregnant glory. Yikes!!

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And from what I have been told, the boys had a wonderful weekend hanging out together, celebrating a very special birthday for a very special son.

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And now if you will excuse me, I have some brownies to bake, birthday dinner to cook and teenager to celebrate :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

my tunes, itunes.

I have known for a long time that I have a pretty addictive personality. I am truly, truly, TRULY addicted to drinking Coke. Often times I will find something or make something to eat and then eat it for every single meal for 6 meals straight. Breakfast, lunch or dinner- it doesn't matter! I always say how happy I am that I never tried smoking because I am sure I would have been one of those people who was hooked from my second puff. This is also the main reason why I have NEVER tried coffee. Yep- that's right! I don't drink coffee and I never have.
 
That being said, I do the same thing with music. I will find a song that I just love and listen to it over and over and over... and over again. I will put it on repeat and listen to it for a week straight on my drive to and from work until I know every single word. I know. I'm weird. I also still pay for all of my music on itunes. I would like to say it is because I am just a good person and like to do the right thing, but it is really more about convenience to serve my addiction. I hear a song, decide I NEED to hear it again and am able to download it right then, right there.
 
Speaking of music, here are a few songs I have been listening to lately. All main stream type stuff... but still good (in my opinion).  
 
1. Loving the lyrics of Fun's, Carry on from their Some Nights album.

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If you're lost and alone
Or you're sinking like a stone
Carry on
May your past be the sound
Of your feet upon the ground
Carry on....
 
 2. I also really like We Are Young by Fun as well.

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3. Ed Sheeran, Lego House
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4. Ed Sheeran- The A Team

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5. And have you heard Birdy sing?? She is AMAZING and she is only 16!!!

Loving this song right now.

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6. I also like to throw in some old school stuff and have listened to this many, many times recently. Arfica by Toto.

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6. And finally, You Are the Best Thing by Ray LaMontagne. This song reminds me of my nephew and I play it to Lachlan every morning while I am getting ready for work :)

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What songs are you addicted to at the moment?? Old. New. Unusual. Strange. And does anyone else still pay for their music on itunes???
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