Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Our weekend in Dunedin Part 2


So here's part 2 from the first post which you can read about HERE.

Now where was I? Ah yes, since we were lovingly woken up by L at 5am I was straight into action!
She had her feed, nappy change and a play while I used the time to have breakfast and get ready.
The wedding didn't start till 10 but having a small child makes getting ready in a certain time frame a huge mission, so I was kinda glad to be up at 5.

Here was my look..

I went for a simple/natural look with a light golden eye to bring out the hazel colour and a natural lip.
I used Benefit and M.A.C makeup to achieve this look.
And here are some pics taken of me, L and Andrei...

I wore my green ASOS maternity dress, a gold necklace and little gold earrings. 

It was a really gorgeous day, it really was!
The bride look beautiful, the groom very dashing (as did Andrei if I do say so myself) and everything was done to perfection!
The ceremony was a traditional Catholic setting, very heartfelt, and a lot of family input.
The reception was held at the gorgeous Glenfalloch Restaurants and the whole place is surrounded by beautiful gardens! I went for a few nice strolls with L, but she was sound asleep pretty much all day if not waking up for feeds and a bit of play time.
The reception was a wee bit noisy so I tried to stay in one spot the whole time, which made me feel bad for not socialising with the guests. I felt like a snob but I was trying to do best by my baby.
Otherwise it was a fantastic day! The food was great as well as the atmosphere and I'd be lying if I said that I didn't tear up because I so did! I've only been to one wedding before this one and I got there late, it was literally the end of the ceremony, so I didn't feel the celebration as much as I would've liked to so I was very happy to have been part of this one.
The bride and groom are so very much in love and I wish them the best :-)

The next two days after were very full on! Plenty of socialising and getting out and about around Dunedin.
There was one place I'd be dying to visit again since last time was Rob Roys Dairy!

Here's why...

I am a HUGE ice cream/dessert fanatic and there ice creams fit my appetite perfectly!
I think this two scoop serve only cost $3 but I can't remember :-(
Oh well, guess I'll have to make another trip to find out...and maybe buy another one...
Sad part about this pic is that the ice cream fell off while we were walking back to the hotel! But Drei was kind enough to give me his, I'm so lucky :-)

That day we had lunch at the Speights Ale House, said our good byes to guests and family, did touristy things like go see the Train Station, The First Church of Otago and before we knew it the day was over!

My dinner at the Ale House. Lamb shanks and in season veges mmmmm
On our last day L, Drei, my mother-in-law and Drei's aunt travelled out to Larnach Castle.
Due to it being summer I packed a dress and a light denim jacket thinking it'll be as warm in the South Island as it would be in the North.
It was freezing outside as it was in.

It wasn't a dress kinda day...

The castle was beautiful, if not a little creepy.
It has a very sad history and you could feel it in the place.
I've had my fair share of spooks in the past (trying not to sound crazy here) and I could definitely feel eyes watching me around the place!
The castle was made beautifully though, very intricate and pieces that had taken years to design, the gardens from what I saw looked incredible but it was too cold for me to have a look around!

After our tour we had lunch in the castles cafe and headed back to the hotel to get ready to go home.

The flight home was good, Luka was completely over the trip and Andrei and I were pretty exhausted ourselves.
Overall it was worth it, it was a lot of fun and we got to see faces that we hadn't seen in years.

I can't wait to go back to Dunedin, and who knows, maybe the next wedding invites to be sent will be from me and Andrei......
Until next time!


Monday, 28 April 2014

Luka Anya - 4 months old

I am in huge denial of how fast this year is going already.
How can it be that my wee babe is 4 months old already!

And this last month has brought plenty of milestones for her, I am so amazed and blessed to have such a 'go-getter' baby :-)
Last night she rolled over for the first time! I was so lucky to have seen and so lucky that Andrei was there to tell me she was about to roll over.
I literally left her on her tummy during her playtime so I could go and charge my phone, then I come back into the room and she's on her side about to roll!
Seriously the one time I didn't have my phone capturing everything, luckily I ran back to get my phone and caught her rolling over just in time :-)
We placed her back on her tummy and she did it again! AMAZING!
I honestly can't brag enough of how proud I am of her, you can view the short version of Luka rolling over on my Instagram account (@loveshaleya).

Luka's also smiling more and is slowly starting laugh which is so so cute, I can't wait to hear it in full blast. As well as laughing she's talking, a lot. She just babbles away to herself and to Andrei, my mum and I and talks herself to sleep most of the time which is great as that's her way I guess of 'self soothing'.

Daddy and daughter time. She's a big Daddy's girl :-)
It's honestly like looking at a mirror, she's so much like him.

Loves her play time
Dress// Pumpkin Patch // NZD$21.90 from $42.90
Baby Bloomers // Charlie & Me // Brought in early pregnancy, can't remember price
Cable Knit stockings (can't see them) // Pumpkin Patch // NZD$12.99
Lace cuff socks (two in a pack, pink and white) // Pumpkin Patch // NZD$4.49 from $8.99
Long Sleeve Top // Gift

Weight: Luka has grown tremendously in the last month and is now weighing in at 5..24kgs! Length is now 58.5cm and head circumference is the same at 38.8cm. She's still a tiny little bub and a lot of people think she's still a newborn!
she's now fitting size 000's to 00 clothing and is in infant nappies, we like to use the Huggies brand as they're a lot softer on her skin, I have reusable nappies on the way to me so that'll be good in regards to saving money.

Sleep: She has a good sleep pattern during the day, a wake period of an hour to two hours then a nap for 30-45mins. Night time she goes down about 7:30 and either wakes at around 9-10 or 1am for a feed then back to sleep. But she's waking more frequently now so after the 1am feed she'll wake again at 3am, then 5am then 6am.
I'm thinking this may be due to her teething (you heard right) and that she'll settle more as she gets older. Oh sleep, how I miss thee...

Diet: She's still on breast milk and we've slowly started introducing solids, we give her half to a full teaspoon of solids at a time. We're using Watties Stage 1 puréed baby food like rice and carrots, carrots and pumpkin, apple and prune juice. She's really enjoying it but I haven't been giving her as much lately as I'm getting her weaned back onto the bottle.
She's doing well, today is the 4th day and she is quite irritable, yesterday she took two ounces, she would've taken more but I didn't have my pump on me and we weren't home, it was awesome.
My routine with that is to start at 9 or 10am and give her the bottle for 5mins, then she plays and mucks about for an hour then another 5min feed then sleep; and when she wakes its the same thing then her next wake period she gets the breast for the rest of the day.
I'll increase the time and the amount of milk as she gets used to it, it's been hard and a lot of tough love but who said parentings easy right?

Routine: A normal daily routine for us is that she's up at or around 6am, I give a feed, cuddles a nappy change then she goes on her play mat for playtime, I use that time to get myself breakfast and when that's all over it's time for her first nap of the day, she then wakes 45mins later and it's the same thing really but without a nappy change and no breakfast and the rest of the goes on and by 4-5pm it's the dreaded 'witching hour' when Luka doesn't want to nap at all, she's just a crying whining grumpy mess so around that time, or by 6pm if I can help it, she either has a bath or a shower with me and then goes down for her nap.

Social: I'm hoping in the next month or so I can get Luka into daycare so she can start to socialize, at the moment it's only me, Andrei, my mum, Andrei's dad and his partner so I'm leaning on that plus getting out more so Luka gets used to being around people.

Likes: Luka loves her playtime and has started grabbing toys! She also likes it when it's time for her nappy change as I leave her half naked for a bit, she also loves going for walks and loves it when I tip her upside down (holding her head and body of course) and sucking at her chin, she giggles, it's adorable :-)

Milestones: Luka's doing so much and so quickly! She started teething after her 3rd month which I thought was a bit strange giving her age so I did my research (good ol' Google) and found out that babies can start teething from as early as 2 months and that teeth should start coming in at around 5 months onwards.
She's taking it quite well, not fussing too much, and we use Bonjela to help ease whatever she's feeling.
Of course her smiling a lot more and starting to laugh is another huge one as well as talking heaps :-)
She's grabbing her toys more too and taking plenty of interest in them, even taking them to her mouth! But I think that could be her teething.
She's bringing her hands together as well :-)
Rolling over has lately been the biggest and she's been doing great with getting herself to sleep.
My lovely mother-in-law also brought Luka a new pram as our other one was a bit rickety and uncomfortable for her. We upgraded from a Capella 4 wheeler to a Jolly Jumper Elite 3 wheeler. Luka, Andrei and I are really enjoying it, it's comfortable for Luka and the storage tray is so much easier to get to as the Capella stroller had this tray that was hooked under the pram and you had to unhook it to get to things, very impractical but it served it's purpose.

Postpartum: Since the stroller upgrade I've been out with Luka a lot more, she doesn't fuss too much in the stroller like she did in the old one so I find it better to go for walks with her and most importantly RUN!
I've been doing a lot of running with the Jolly Jumper and it has been fantastic. My fitness levels still aren't what they used to be but that's just something I have to work on.
I weighed myself for the first time in months the other day and clocked in at 68kgs, I've lost a total of 4kgs since giving birth which isn't bad and this will give me a good indicator of my goal of 58kgs which I'm giving myself a year to get to.
With weaning bub back onto the bottle it gives me hope that I'll be back at the gym again soon as well as work so I'm going to continue to focus on that.
It may sound a bit narcissistic but going to the gym is really makes me feel good about myself physically and mentally.
Just recently I created a stroller group for mothers with children on Facebook, I tried to look around online for groups like that but I didn't find anything so I created one called Mammaz and Strollaz!
It's a once a month get together group at the Auckland Domain (I made it there cause I have friends that live all around Auckland and made it kinda easy for us all to get to. I don't have a car just yet and catch the train there, so if I can do it anyone can!) and after, say an hour of walking, running and stretching we go get a healthy lunch and gossip. Sounds good eh?
Plus it's good to get out of the house, I start to get a bit of cabin fever after a while and need some 'adult' conversation. Don't get me wrong, I love baby babbling with Luk but you gotta do something for yourself too.

That's pretty much it at the moment, I can't wait to see what this next month will bring!


Monday, 21 April 2014

My week in photos!

Mmmm chocolate bunnies!
Last week was a mix of busy and crazy!

There was so much going on I'm not at all surprised it went right past me 😱

At the start of the week Luka and I had a small catch up with the women from our antenatal classes and their new babies.
It was a lot of fun and great to talk to each other about our birthing and parenting experiences plus get the kids socialising which I think was more beneficial for Luka and melody as they were the oldest ones.
Sooo cute though!

Luka having a bit of 'nappy free' time. She loves being naked, I'm sure she'll be one of those babies that love to streak!
We'll be catching up again in a few weeks to go to a special 'mums with bubs' movie session. You can take you're baby with you into a movie and not have to worry about them screaming, win win right there!

The next day I took Luka to a local pre school that's literally around the corner from where I live. Due to her getting bored quite easily and being very hyperactive I finally decided to take a walk up to the pre school and get the 101 on the place.
So far I'm impressed! It's very education, tidy, clean, hygienic, lovely hands on staff and plenty of constructive stimulation for the kids!
Luka was so me mesmerised by everything that she fell asleep very quickly after spending an hour there.
I'm still having a look around though, and I still haven't gotten Luka back on the bottle yet, so I'm giving myself a month or two to get this underway.
I think this will be very beneficial for Luka, she needs stimulation and more social activity, I think more than anything she CRAVES it!
And as for me, I can have some time out ( i do at least 3 walks a day with her!) and focus on getting back to work and help to provide a good life for me and my family :-)

One of my fave shots of her this week. She's so beautiful!
By the middle of the week everything calmed down and was cruisy.
Friday night my mum and I went Easter egg shopping!
The department store we went to, The Warehouse, was packed! Luka didn't know where to look, and that tired her out so she had a little nap in the baby seat on out trolley while mum and I had a browse.

All wrapped up in mummy's jacket

Playing with the bunnies!
Saturday was a quick trip out with Andrei and finally Sunday was Easter!
Unfortunately Luka didn't get any chocolate this year but she will next time.
I want to be quite strict with what she consumes in her first year as it's the most vital year for her growth so I want no processed foods to be consumed.
I think it's fair and she gets a good wholesome diet and a good view on food, hopefully.

But anyway I managed to get some cute snaps of her with an Easter egg with the help of Andrei distracting her and getting some of her beautiful smiles!

Hope you had a great week everyone and happy resurrection of our saviour Jesus Christ!


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Our weekend in Dunedin Part 1

The last time I went to Dunedin was almost two years ago on April 20th 2012 and that was for a getaway out of Auckland and out of the North Island, obviously.

This time around our trip was for a very very special occasion, Andrei's sisters wedding!
It was such a beautiful ceremony and everything was organised perfectly.
I really have to do this post in two parts as I have A LOT of pictures.

Luka was only 6weeks old when we made the trip and she was amazing the whole time!
She slept most of the time but was such an amazing little traveller, apart from the journey home but by that time we were all pretty tired and grumpy it was a full 4 days that we had!

The first day we arrived we headed to our hotel called Park Regis, we were given the master suite due to having Luka with us. It was a gorgeous room!!!
It was also used for some of the wedding photo's. you can keep an eye for a post about the wedding on Olesya's blog 'Hung Up On Makeup' .

Just two of the many silly photo's we took on the plane ride there. We were quite bored and Luka slept through the whole thing!

The lounge of our hotel room
Our room, Luka was also provided a port-a-cot

After getting settled in at the hotel we headed down to the hotels bar and I indulged in my fave beverage, Speights Apple Cider!
You can get it up in Auckland, but because it's made in Dunedin it tastes just that little bit better, more crisp and bubbly mmmmm :-)

After that Andrei, Luka and I headed out for a bite to eat and we ended up finding this cool Mexican Restaurant down a street of the main strip called Del Sol, and it is a funky place!
You have sombrero's at the table!!!

Couples selfie!

You can't see it properly but there is a bar in the middle of the restaurant
The place was packed and full of amazing energy, the food was pretty damn good too!
I ordered pulled pork tostadas, I can't remember what Drei ordered but I do remember trying it and it was pretty good too!

After that we went back to the hotel room, Luka woke up during our meal, so she could have a bit of play and then back for a nap then we went and saw Drei's dad, came back to the hotel again and saw Olesya one last time before her wedding the next day.

Luka was very unsettled after all the travelling we did that day and didn't go to sleep till about 12 or 1am!
No matter, we got some sleep eventually and then it was all go again at 5am and the day of the wedding :-)

I will update you on that next time...


Thursday, 3 April 2014

Luka Anya - 3 months old

Really sorry this has taken me longer than expected!
I'm going to either {A} have to write these in advance, or {B} do them in the early hours if the morning...which is what I'm doing right now.
It's 3:43am, that's OK :P

A sad moment a few weeks ago, I went through all of Luka's clothes and had to store away a few things as she's gotten too big for them :-(
They were some of my faves on her too, she's gone from fitting size 0000's to fitting 000's and almost 00's comfortably :-)
Soooo heartbreaking!!! But also a huge milestone for her as she hasn't gone through any growth spurts lately.

This last month I've seen Luka take shape and starting to mold into her own little person.
It's crazy beautiful but very bitter sweet.
You want more than anything for you're child to grow and be independent but I think back to the womb and how we were so 'connected'.
I want to continue a strong relationship with Luka, we have such a strong bond even now and have our own little language only a mother and child can have.

I've had my share of lows with Luka, frustrations, anxiety, desperation, depression you name it!
But when I get into a funk I think of little smiles, our little rituals together and all the bad fades and the magic is back :-)

This photo was taken in February on our trip to Dunedin. Will post on that later...

Weight: Luka was last weighed about 2-3weeks ago at 4.5kg. She's getting so big and has the most scrummy thigh rolls! She'll be weighed again in a few weeks so I'll put that through on her next update :-) 

Sleep: Her sleep patterns during the day are pretty irregular ranging from 20mins to an hour with every 1hour to 2hour awake period. Night time she sleeps amazingly! Shes goes to bed on or before 8:30pm and wakes at around 9 or 10 for her 'dream feed' which put her back to sleep. She may wake once during the night for some milk but otherwise she sleeps through till about 6am :-)

Diet:  Shes still on the breast but I'm going to slowly start transitioning her onto formula so she's 50/50 but not completely on formula just incase if I'm to get really sick or something comes up and I can't feed her she'll be confident on the bottle.
Which is another thing, I didn't keep up with using the bottle so now I'm having to retrain her to use that as well as the breast. It's getting easier but it's had it's challenges!

Crying: Her crying is persisting when she's had enough of playtime, feeding, sleeping, getting changed or if she just has a bit of wind or reflux or she's due for a nap.
I absolutely hate her cry with a passion, I have to be honest, and I think every mother can relate!
Her cry is AWFUL! You have to really be around it all day to understand what I mean, it's generally high pitched and ear piercing no matter what and it does drive me crazy, especially when I can't settle her, so lately I've just had to leave her in her bed and walk away for a few minutes as I have reached my breaking point a few times.
It doesn't mean I love Luka less, but being with it 24/7 tends to get a bit much and very isolating, sorry but I'm not going to sugar coat anything it's just how it is, fortunately it will get better as she gets older.

Social: Since Luka's eyesight has developed she can see people more better and does interact by smiling and looking. Next week I'm going to check out some local playgroups to get her interacting with babies and children so that when I decided to put her into daycare it's not such a shock to her.
She does tend to get quite bored at home so I try to go out with her as much as I can to stimulate her and tire her out otherwise she's just frustrated. She's very active so play groups will be very good for her :-)

  • Talking! Luka's started having small baby conversations, it's so cute I can't help but grin ear to ear which also makes Luka smile so were both smiling and having a great time which makes her talk even more :-)
  • Movement. She can move! When I'm carrying her or when she's laying on the floor she squirms and jerks her legs and arms around it's so funny and adorable! I even grab her legs and move them around how she does and she gets the biggest smiles on her face :-) I called her 'Irish Dancing' hehe. Oh and during playtime she's starting to hold her head up tremendously and is trying to roll herself over.
  • Sleep. She sleeps through the night now, if not a few wake periods here and there but the don't last very long and she's back to sleep.
  • Travelling. Luka used to hate being in her pram but now she's settled into a bit more thank goodness! If she does get fussy being in there I put her in the front carrier so she can have a look around at everything, works like a charm and it also gives people a good look at her too. We get a lot of smiles and"'oh she is soo cute!!!" when were out :-)
  • Grabbing. Luka's hands are starting to strengthen and she's grabbing things and fulfilling her curiosity a lot more :-)
Postpartum: I've had a lot of ups and downs this last month with my hormones regulating, getting my period again (sorry TMI) and then not getting which freaked me out but then realising that I'm breast feeding, trying to remain patient etc etc and that it has overwhelmed me quite a bit and caused a bit of depression but I'm getting through it day by day.
I think lack of exercise is making me feel a bit down too, I loved going to the gym and miss it terribly but now I just don't have the time or that discipline to carry on working out outside of the gym anymore.
I go for walks and runs but that's every two weeks or when i can be bothered, I also have a gym ball and kettle bell at home but when Lukas sleeping I'm either chilling out, doing thing around the house or eating. I think about it all the time, but for the time being it'll be in the 'too hard' box until I can be bothered again.
I haven't noticed any weight gain though, my clothes have gotten a bit looser but I'm just lacking in muscle tone.
I've had a few breakouts too but that's been easily fixed with breast milk! It's liquid gold and the milk that dribbles down bubs face i scoop it up and dab it around my eyes and blemishes, it's worked a treat!
I've also got into thinking of returning back to work. With getting bub used to the bottle again I'll be able to do late nights and maybe a day in the weekend at work {gotta love retail} while Andrei takes care of her. I miss my work mates, the shoes and the money and no doubt I'll have withdrawals from being away from Luka but I'll feel like I'm doing good by her as I'll be earning again and be able to give her more, plus be able to start her in daycare.
I've started pumping milk again, I aim for 3times a day to get a good supply up plus using it to help Luka on the bottle, she's already good with formula I use S-26 Newborn she had a reaction to Karicare, my supply has risen so I'm looking toward to pumping around 3ounces within 30mins rather than 1.5ounces!

So that's Lukas 3rd month in a nutshell, her 4th month is just around the corner so I'll update in that pretty soon and plus some.

Until next time!