Free events around Sydney!

CLIMB HIGHThere are a few websites floating around that have lists of free events for kids around Sydney. When I started Growing a Bebé, I wanted to make it a point to post about good free events for other mums however trying to cover all the different websites was a bit hard. Below are my top picks for September for ages beginning roughly at 3. On a side note- I would recommend clicking on the clicks to make sure you don’t need to register in advance for the event!

September 2016

Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
        01 02 03
       
Storytime– Ultimo
Rock ‘n’ Rhyme– Glebe
 
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Lego Free Play– Waterloo
 
Kids Makerspace– Surry Hills
Storytime– Ultimo
Rock ‘n’ Rhyme– Glebe
Smooth Festival of Chocolate– The Rocks
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Smooth Festival of Chocolate– The Rocks
Festival of the winds (Kite festival)– Waverley

 

Mum and Bub- Exercise your mood week begins- Redfern
Lego Free Play– Waterloo
 
Storytime– Ultimo
Rock ‘n’ Rhyme– Glebe 
 
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Lego Free Play– Waterloo
 
Storytime– Ultimo
Rock ‘n’ Rhyme– Glebe
The essential Baby and Toddler Show– Moore Park
The essential Baby and Toddler Show– Moore Park
Family Fun Day and Outdoor Movie– Double Bay 
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 The essential Baby and Toddler Show– Moore Park
Convoy for Kids- Truckies care for kids– Sydney Olympic Park
Circus Solarus Dinosaur Dig begins- Sydney Olympic Park
Lego Free Play– Waterloo
Create a giant Peach mobile– Stanmore
 
 
Create a giant Peach mobile– Dulwich Hill

Special Mentions

Father’s Day!

Ava was born just in time for Greg to experience his first Father’s Day! He has seamlessly transitioned into fatherhood (of an 11 day old..haha) and has been so supportive- he truly has astounded me. What kind of guy will wake up every 4 hours during the night just to sit and chat so you don’t have to be awake feeding by yourself!

I’ve been stockpiling a few printable’s for Father’s Day with the hope of using them next year- these past 2 weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind with Ava! Below is a roundup of cheap and easy gifts/printable’s and outfits that I am loving!

Beach Resort Travel Photo Collage

One- Rad like dad bib (Cotton on) // Two- Best Dad Ever t-shirt (Cotton on) // Three- Daddy is the best onesie (Target) // Four- Dad Keyring (Pearlie Girl) // Five- Dear Dad Free Printable (Cool Mom Picks) // Six- Dad’s mug (afewhometruths)

10 days on..

Leaves and Lemons Border Vintage Baby Shower PosterAva has been in our lives for 10 days now. What an incredible 10 days it has been. It’s amazing to think that this little person didn’t exist 9 months ago and yet here she is on the outside- feeding and sleeping like a champion! All those scans and pin pricks, the check ups and the preparation- everything for those 9 months led us to today. Looking down at my daughter I can’t help but get emotional as to how amazing God truly is.

Ava has been growing well. Because I received an early discharge from hospital (we were going stir crazy) we’ve had a few follow-up visits from a midwife at home. Everything has checked out fine a week on- Ava’s almost back to her birth weight which is great. A little Vitamin D deficient (which is quite common)- we went for a big walk yesterday in the sun to try and naturally help that (I think she got a little sun burnt- oops!!!) Reminder #1- buy some baby sunscreen!

We were prepared for parenthood in that we had nappies (diapers), bottles, a cot- all the material things you need to have a baby at home but nothing prepared me for the weight of responsibility I would feel after bringing our daughter home. People warned me of the 3 day cry- apparently your hormones drop off after birth around day 3 and lots of tears can ensue- let’s just say I’ve had the tears on day 3, day 5, day 7, day 8…

I’m sure there are various contributing factors to the tears:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Being mummy 24/7 for the past 10 days
  • Not going into work and having that social interaction

It has been a massive learning curve which I know will continue for the rest of her life- I’m comforted by the thought that she won’t be this little forever though! Of course we don’t want time to go too fast but at the moment I want to seriously bubble wrap her.

She had her first and second vomit yesterday- we think it may have been the amount of orange juice I drank- I bawled like a baby when she threw up. I have seriously turned into that parent… Did I mention that Greg and I stayed up looking at a video of her farting once she went to sleep earlier this week? We promised ourselves that we wouldn’t become those people.. We hang our heads in shame..

I got out of the house on Tuesday night which was amazing! Ava stayed home with daddy.. He did well until it was time to  burp her- after a few failed attempts he texted and let me know that he would just hold her until I got home, accompanied by this photo (we’ve come up with some great captions it..):

IMG_1128 It was quite funny.. Of course she eventually fell asleep 2 minutes before I walked in the door. It was nice going into Church and playing the piano again (I haven’t touched a piano in 2 weeks)!

Overall the beginnings of motherhood have been full of high’s and low’s- I can’t believe we’re already 10 days in and at the same time I can’t believe we’re only 10 days in!

We are so grateful for family and friends who have surrounded us with so much love and support- we couldn’t have done it without them!

Ava, my baby girl- you are so loved..

..and so the journey continues.

Introducing Ava!

IMG_1074It all began on Monday, the 22nd of August. We were at my grandma’s celebrating her 77th birthday..  I think it was mid cronut that I experienced, what I now know to be a contraction. I complained that my stomach hurt really bad- my mum quickly started arranging pillows on the couch so I could lay down, but just as fast as the pain came it went away.. It didn’t cross my mind that what I had experienced was a contraction. We all had a good laugh and kept eating dessert.

Fast forward a few minutes- I went to the bathroom where I had a bloody show however there was a lot of red fresh blood. We freaked out.. It’s one thing to see pale pink blood but another thing to see fresh red blood at 39/40 weeks pregnant.

We called the hospital who advised us to come in within the hour. If you know my husband, you know that he mentally began keeping track of the time. We quickly packed up our things and headed home- we needed to drop off the groceries I had bought just that morning and grab our toiletries in case we were having a baby that night!

About 10min out from the hospital we started feeling the car pulling to the right and a sound which resembled the beginnings of a flat tyre! We couldn’t believe it! We quickly pulled over (my mum had been following in her car) and began checking the tyre’s- It was slightly raining and I remember telling Greg that he should reverse and drive a little so I could look at the tyre’s.. I was having mild contractions. We couldn’t see any flat so we figured that there was a nail in one of the tyres. The stress level of my husband was beginning to sky rocket- remember his mental countdown of an hour? We were now at about 50 of the 60 minutes..

Praying we would be able to make it to the hospital without getting a flat tyre we quickly pulled back out onto the highway – after parking I had another contraction but it wasn’t long or super hard however I do remember having to breath through it.
We made our way in to the hospital- they gave me a gown and began the process of checking me. I was 3.5cm. Generally, they would send you home until you were dilated 4cm but because I was bleeding and had gestational diabetes they kept me at hospital.

They check you every 4 hours, but from 9:30pm Monday night till approx. 5:30am on Tuesday morning I had only progressed to 4cm and my waters hadn’t broken. At 7:45am (my next check) I was at 6cm and they decided to break my waters. Up until this stage the pain had been manageable- Greg was laying in the bed beside me, and as a coping mechanism I would grab his shirt and breath into it while shaking my leg. It sounds kind of ridiculous but it was helping me get through the pain quite effectively!

Around 10am the pain was becoming unbearable so I asked for the gas- I was bouncing on an exercise ball and sucking gas every time a contraction came around. The gas made me super queasy, and made the room spin, but it was taking the edge off of the contractions.

When I hit 7cm I decided to get into the bath- I wanted a water birth so I figured this would help progress things- big mistake. As soon as I got into the water and had my first contraction the pain was unbearable- there was nothing for me to push against or bounce up and down on- I think I had 3 contractions in the tub and decided that there was no way I could have the baby in the bath. I hit the wall of pain. I was desperate for an epidural.

Thank God the anaesthetist was on the floor- It felt like he appeared within minutes of me asking for the epidural. After telling me all the side effects that could happen as a result of getting an epidural we started getting situated to get the needle. All I kept telling myself was not to move. I had 3 contractions while he was trying to get the epidural in- I believe God helped me to barely feel them because I knew they were coming but I was able to block out the pain and sit like a rock. After hitting additional cartilage the first time, he found the right area the second time.

I was given a low block which took the pain but still allowed me to move my legs. Almost as soon as I got the epidural I started shaking- the shakes continued right up until I was pushing. This was probably one of the most traumatic parts for my mum. She coped really well (from what I remember) except seeing me shake and in so much pain.

Another thing I experienced was intense pressure every contraction. The epidural was fantastic but the pressure from her head was almost as painful as contractions so I was sucking the gas even though I had an epidural.

Fast forward to around 4:30pm and I was finally 10cm so I could begin pushing.

I can’t even describe the intense pain and pressure I felt.

The hour and a half of pushing was the most traumatic part of my labour. Between intense contractions I don’t remember much- my mum tells me that she would call my name because it was as if I lost consciousness between contractions. Once I felt a contraction coming I would “wake up” to a spinning room and push.

I can’t remember most of the pushing experience- I do remember lying to the midwife though when she asked me if a contraction was still there for a 4th push (we were doing sets of 3 pushes) and I lied saying no.. Of course she knew it was there- her hand was on my tummy..haha..You can’t just change the rules like that!

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After Ava was born and we checked if she was indeed a girl- we did skin to skin and started the recovery process.

Due to the intense pushing I broke blood vessels in my eyes and face. My eyes, 8 days on, have started clearing up but my face has pretty much gone back to normal.

Physically- I feel great considering I gave birth a week ago and I’m back in my pre-pregnancy clothes with only a little baby bump.

Birthing Ava was the most traumatic and difficult thing I have ever experienced but it was worth it!

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Swaddles and Blankets

Swaddles are some of my favourite items to look at in stores and find online! There are so many beautiful designs and fabric choices. I would love to create a range of swaddles to sell locally here in Sydney- maybe one day that dream will become a reality! Below are some of my current favourites!

Beach Resort Travel Photo Collage

Beach Resort Travel Photo Collage

One- Watercolour Rose swaddle (Little Unicorn) // Two- I love you most blanket (Noah & Bowie) // Three- Jack Plaid swaddle (Little Unicorn) Four- Bison swaddle (Little Unicorn) // Five- Rose swaddle (Milkmaid Goods) // Six- Lightweight Marl Bears wrap (Noah & Bowie) // Seven- Our greatest adventure swaddle (How Joyful) // Eight- Wildflowers swaddle (Oh so Vera) // Nine- DIY Wrapped in love swaddle (Delia Creates) // Ten- Royal Blue Heart blanket (Yarning made) // Eleven- Teal tartan pom pom blanket (Kip and Co) // Twelve- Bible verse swaddle (Modern Burlap)

Cling to what is good!

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What a week it has been for the pregnancy book! Because of the gestational diabetes I’ve had to have scans of baby girl every 2-3 weeks for the past 3 months to measure her growth. With GD babies they can either not grow, or grow too big- we’re blessed that she has grown and seems to be growing right on track (she’s in the 86th percentile on weight!). While the re-occurring scans have been an amazing experience- the second last scan we had indicated that her legs were measuring smaller than they should have. Our midwife confirmed the results but also re-assured us that the scans were just estimations and that everything could be fine. Having a baby growing inside of you but not being able to do anything about results such as “everything is growing fine except her legs” was very difficult. I spent the drive to work praying that everything would grow and catch-up over the next few weeks and that I would have peace so as to not worry about Ava every waking minute!

Thankfully, from the results we received this week it showed her legs were back on track (unlike the results on her last scan) and she is weighing in at nearly 8 pounds! I can’t explain the relief I have felt!

With the car seat installed and our bags packed its only right that we would have a little scare this week as well! We thought my waters had broken and spent the better half of a day being monitored and checked. While it was exhilarating to think that my waters may have broken, contractions hadn’t started an hour after losing the fluid, so in my heart of hearts I knew this wasn’t it.. They connected us to an ECG monitor for half an hour and did a few internal exams. After a number of hours we were allowed to go home with the results to follow the following day. Everything is looking fine and baby girl is still cooking away!

We are so grateful to have made it to 37/38 weeks! We can’t wait to meet our little baby girl..seriously…we’ve been googling how to bring on labour!!

Beautiful Head Pieces

Personally, I don’t look very good in headbands or beanie’s (I think it’s the large Assyrian/Maltese forehead)- but most babies look absolutely adorable- I have probably pinned hundreds of photos of different pieces.

I have started buying a few different head bands and crocheting one or two here and there for baby Ava- I’ll share the crocheted ones in a few days.

Below are a few of my favourite’s I have found (or own!):

Baking and Cooking Photo Collage

one- baby turban // two- floral crown // three- fairy bow headband // four- ballet headband // five- queenie crown

We actually used a baby headband for our announcement that it was a baby girl!

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Nursery Design!

For the nursery we decided to get rid of our study/2nd guest room. It wasn’t a very hard decision as we hardly ever used the room- however we did decide to keep the large double bed futon in there- in helps when we have guests and they have kids. The only problem that caused though was that we didn’t have much room to work with (which I guess is okay when your baby is super small)- check back with us once she turns 2 or 3!

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Below are most of the exact items we purchased (with a few similar products for those that have been discontinued). I went with mainly neutral items (that we already had) and soft touches of pink and coral (I’m not a hot pink kind of gal).

The nursery is one of the most beautiful rooms in our home- we can’t wait to fill it with a little baby!!

While I know it’s not 100% finished, I wanted to give a little peak into this special room..

Nursery

 

one-Ikea dresser // two- Bible verse printable // three- adhesive watercolour polka dots*

four- I love you forever printable // five- Ours was the Karlstad (similar one)

six- Ours was a bright yellow lamp, painted white (similar one) // seven – Ottoman

eight- Ikea cot // nine- Ikea cot skirt // ten- Faux fur // eleven- Peonies

* You can purchase in Sydney from Rose Furniture

Not tagged:

Kmart Stockholm side table

Kmart frame (for large image)

Kmart frame (for smaller print)

Burrow & Be Muslin wrap hanging on cot

Our nursery:

Baby Boy You’ve been on my mind..

It’s no secret that I (along with most of my female family) were hoping for a baby boy! Alas we were blessed with another little girl making her appearance in August!

I couldn’t help but pick out a cute outfit for this imaginary baby boy! (I somewhat ignored some of the prices however a few items are on sale at the moment!)

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one – otis baby blunny

two – baby boy denim knit shirt

three – baby boys fleetwood vest

four – baby boys linen harem pant

five – rock star cap

six – kooky socks

 

Tell your heart to beat again..

On the 15th of October I took a pregnancy test- we were trying to have a baby but felt that this month our chance had come and gone. So I took the test- there was a faint positive! Immediately I called a friend of mine to ask whether that meant I was pregnant even if it was faint.. Yep! You’re pregnant she almost yelled (as I scrambled to txt her a photo of the test). When we have news to tell we go big.. I pulled out a onesie I had bought for Greg which said “I’m awesome like dad” and placed the pregnancy test in the little pocket.

We had some washing on an indoor clothes horse so I pegged the little onesie to it and set up the laptop to record Greg’s response..

Fast forward- Greg was helping me take the clothes off the line when he started taking ALL the clothing off the line around the onesie but not the onesie- at this stage I was pretty much ticking so I pointed the onesie out to him to which he replied- “Yeah? Did you wash some of the baby stuff we had?” (someone had gifted us some baby clothes already) and then it all clicked when he saw the test hanging out the side. He was so shocked and excited! We made a plan to go over to my mums house and give her a mug we had made which said “I’m going to be an Oma again.” We were going out-of-town the following morning for a church trip so we wanted to tell her before we left.

There were lots of tears and congratulations- I ended up taking 3 tests- all of which were faint but still positives. It was something I will never forget!

Fast forward that weekend- it became a blur of church services, telling my best friend and taking more pregnancy tests. The problem was- the pregnancy test results were getting more faint rather than stronger- we thought it could be the time I was taking them or maybe I was super early which is why it wasn’t getting any stronger overnight.

I went to the doctor’s the day after we got home- they expedited the results so we could have confirmation of the pregnancy that afternoon. I sat in the waiting room for what felt like hours after work (but was only about 40min)- when the results came in it wasn’t good news. We had lost the pregnancy. I’ll spare you all the yuck details of everything else but it was such a devastating time in our lives.

In Australia, 1 in 4 women suffer a miscarriage. Not much is said on the subject- normally it’s in the first trimester (too early to share with friends) so you grieve in silence- your family may know, your spouse or partner, but the community is unaware. The people you do life with are in the dark so you’re torn between hating them for not caring or showing support and then realising you are crazy because they don’t know. I remember praying that through some jedi-mind trick someone would just know and say all the right things to me..

An ocean of tears were shed between Greg and I- questions of why and how –  I can only assume it would be more devastating actually hearing a heart beat and seeing your sweet baby on the ultrasound and then watching it pass from this world to the next.

We decided we wanted to try again as soon as we were able. It came with it’s own mental battles this time around- trying not to think of what had happened or feeling worry at the possible thought that we couldn’t get pregnant…but thankfully- not long after this we were pregnant again!

We have watched God fashion her limbs and her heart. We’ve seen her tiny fingers and her beautiful nose.

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We have watched as my belly has gone from somewhat of a burger belly (for the first 4 months) to a full baby belly (and is still continuing to grow).

At my doctors appointments they always start the conversation off by saying- so this is your first pregnancy, to which I always reply- no- second pregnancy but first baby.

To quote a comment I read last week from a band called Phillips, Craig and Dean “There’s so many  people who have experienced so much brokenness to their heart. And even though God the great surgeon has saved us and repaired us, covered us with His grace, sometimes it takes you and me to tell our own heart “beat again, love again, hope again.”