Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Week 12: Gotta Love eBay!

This week is all about watching.. watching... and bidding! With Micah approaching the next few milestones in the next few months (which will no doubt go very quickly) we find that we will soon need a few things: 

1. A bigger Baby Carseat

 
Micah is currently travelling in a baby capsule that he will obviously very quickly outgrow! I now have my eye on the Safe-N-Sound Royale Convertible Baby Carseat and its Retail Price is over $400! On eBay, there are a few of these carseats all looks like it's still in good condition. Some are starting at $5 with 4-6 days to go, others are already up to $45 with only 1-2 days to go. We shall see! Anything below $100 sounds good to me. It doesn't bother me at all that it is second hand (after all Micah's existing capsule has been used by multiple nephews / nieces!) as long as it is clean, in good working condition and from a smoke free family. 
 
This carseat is designed to be converted from rearward facing to forward facing, can recline or be upright, is suitable for newborn up to 4 years old, or up to 18kg. I know Micah will quickly get to 18kg at the rate he is going but at least this seat will fit him much better for at least another year or two! And if we get a good deal off eBay it will totally worth it. Why buy NEW when you can save hundreds of dollars??

2. An Armchair for the Nursery
 
 
The current plan is to move Micah from our bedroom into his nursery by the time he is 6 months old. This may happen sooner if he settles into a good sleep routine as the weather cools down and as daylight savings ends. So I am now in the market for an armchair to go in the nursery for breastfeeding. We don't have much room in the nursery, so the armchair needs to be small, practical and comfortable. I might get a separate ottoman / footrest that also works as a storage box to maximise the usage of space in the nursery. Definitely watching a few armchairs on eBay at the moment and fingers crossed hoping to snap a bargain!

3. A High Chair


Again in a few months time, Micah will be starting solids and sitting up to eat and we will need a high chair! Nothing too fancy, just a simple IKEA High Chair which is practical and easy to clean. I just went to the IKEA website to check its Retail Price to compare against the current second hand high chairs on eBay and IKEA's brand new ones are currently on sale! Only $30 for the high chair and additional $10 for the tray. Ooohhhh... that's 50% off its original price! I think I will have to just go to IKEA and get a brand new one and not worry about the ones on eBay if they are that cheap!


Friday, February 24, 2012

Week 11: A Very Eventful Week!

This week has probably been one of the busier weeks I've had since Micah was born - by choice of course. I could've easily not have scheduled too many things to do and places to go all cramped in one week, but it wasn't that bad really.

We had Monday to just chill at home.

Tuesday afternoon we went to our first New Mums Group session at Gwendoline MCH. It was lots of fun meeting other new mums and listening to each others' stories and watching the babies sort of play together. This is a 6-Week Mums Group term so really looking forward to the next 5 Tuesday afternoons as we explore a new topic each week e.g. Sleep Routine, Baby Massage, Starting Solids, Teething, etc.

Tuesday Night we went to the Pancake Tuesday at our church followed by our regular Alpha course. Hubby and I are both doing the Alpha course this year with our Growth Group as well as a few other friends. It's been great so far! The only thing is by the time we get home, Micah is soooo tired so when we put him to bed at 10pm he doesn't wake up until 4am for a feed. In a way, that's great! But it does take a bit of effort to make sure he doesn't get too grumpy while we're at Alpha.

Wednesday morning I had a Mobile Hairdresser come over to cut my hair! My friend Cat and her kids Ellie and Caleb came over too - so she can watch the kids while I get my hair cut, and I can watch the kids when it's her turn. It worked out really well! Micah seemed to enjoy his playdate with Caleb :)


After we had our haircuts, we went to Golden Orient for a much deserved Yum Cha lunch. It's my first time back at Yum Cha ever since Micah was born! It was soooo good and relaxing (Micah slept the whole time at lunch!) and good to really catch up and have a chat to Cat too.

After lunch, Micah and I went home for a quick feed and change. Micah was still asleep by the time I took him out of the capsule.. so I took this photo while he was sleeping on my chest...


Then, off we went again to Coles for our weekly grocery shop! By the time we got home and I finished unloading and packing away all the groceries - I was absolutely exhausted! It was quite a hot day too and the heat really got to me. Felt pretty good to just be able to relax after that. Thankful Micah slept OK that night too.

Thursday morning I went to my friend Leah's place to help plan some of her Baby Shower stuff. Got there at around 11am and then we went and had lunch at Chadstone with some of my workmates and ex-workmates. Lunch was awesome! My favorite summer lunch - sushi & sashimi - and because we ate at "Nudle" I also ordered Salted Pepper Chicken Ribs as a snack. Yummy! Great to catch up with people from work too. It has been a while since I've had a social lunch! Micah was OK in the pram.. he starting fussing when Leah and I went shopping after lunch, so I had to go and feed him. Thankfully Chadstone had great Parents Room facilities fully equipped with a Change Area, as well as little "suites" where you can go in there, sit on a comfy armchair and breastfeed in the comfort and privacy of one of these suites with the curtain drawn! The Parents Room even had a microwave for people who are feeding their kids with formula. Amazing! I've never really noticed the amount of prams roaming around Chadstone but now that I'm a mum myself, I start noticing more and more things that are children related.. and Chadstone has mums shopping with their bubs in prams EVERYWHERE!!

Micah sleeping in his pram while Leah and I were happily shopping :)
Leah and I did some great shopping. I got the toys I wanted to buy for my niece's 1st birthday.. but I couldn't find the AFX slot cars I wanted to get for my nephew's belated birthday. We also shopped for clothes and went home with bags full of Kmart clothes, hehe.

Friday! Phew I am tired just writing all this, lol. We went and had lunch at my sister in law's - and then got home, fed and changed Micah again, put him down and while he's having a snooze I cooked a Tuna Pasta Bake and made a Rocket, Feta, Cherry Tomato & Beetroot salad for my friend Natalie who has just had a baby girl. We drove approx. 25 minutes to Garfield to visit her and stayed for about an hour. Her baby girl is sooooo cute and sooooo tiny! So so little. I cannot remember Micah being that little ever. Although technically he WAS that little the first week! Aaawwww... I kinda miss having Micah that little, but also glad that he is at this age, and also looking forward to when he is older and more interactive and can do more things. Kids grow up too quickly!!

So by the time I got home it was already 6pm. Cooked dinner, gave Micah a bath (I just take him into the shower with me these days, it's nice and easy!), fed him, and put him to bed. Micah was sooooo tired it took almost no effort to put him to sleep! Then I quickly did the dishes and folded the laundry and here I am now 9.15pm writing this blog post.

Tomorrow we're going to our niece's 1st birthday party so another eventful day for us.

Aaaahhhhhh.... SO TIRED!! I think I will go to bed once I'm done with this blog post.

GOODNIGHT!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Decking Project (Part 2)


Huge progress since my last update - but I have a feeling things will "seem" a lot slower from this point onwards. You see, although it looks like he is definitely getting close e.g. all the posts are in and surely you just keep laying the wood used as the foundation until the decking is ready to be put in, yeah? Apparently not. One dreaded word:

DRAINAGE

Drainage is going to slow down hubby's amazing progress so far. He really needs a lot of help from his mates.. but he is either too lazy to send text messages out to his friends, or just can't be bothered, or perhaps it's part of his little male ego thing of not asking people for help. I'm sure his friends would be more than happy if they're free / able to come and help for a few hours in exchange for cold beer and food. Plus it's an excuse for guys to get together and do "manly" stuff and hang out. Basically the next few steps will involve a lot of digging for the purpose of drainage. That alone would take an entire weekend if hubby does it himself. He's also been doing a couple of hours each day after work during the week whenever we're actually home and have no social obligations to go to.

The next thing that also needs to be done is to coat the wood with some kind of wood gloss thing (don't quote me on anything, I have no idea what things are called!). Basically the coating is to protect the wood from rotting when it rains and moisture accumulates around the wood. We don't need to coat the actual decking wood because hubby spent a little bit more to buy the "Ekodeck" which doesn't require any painting, oiling, staining and sealing - it's good to go! But if we want to prevent the wood used as the foundation of the deck from rotting, it needs to be sealed.

So that's about it for now. He has done an incredible job so far and I really hope he doesn't get demotivated by the next few tasks that are more tedious and doesn't actually show more tangible "progress"...


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Week 10: Mums & Bubs Catch Up

Micah and I just got back from Casey Hospital where we had a Mums and Bubs Catch Up with the amazing midwives who birthed our children. It was great to see everyone again, especially their babies! When one of the midwives said we were going to take this very special photo of the babies, I was so wishing I had my "proper" DSLR camera with me. I didn't, so this very beautiful photo below was taken with my phone. Oh well, phone photo is better than no photo!

Isn't this the most precious photo?! All the other proud mums went crazy with their phone cameras too, lol.
 I also received a wonderful letter from the Australian government today - advising me that my Paid Parental Leave has been granted for Micah. I have just received my first payment last week which was a big one because it was calculated from the day he was born (so it's 9 weeks worth of payment) and then I will keep receiving fortnightly payments until 13th April 2012. That's 18 weeks of free money without having to work! The total of the payments I will receive by the end of 18 weeks is just over $9,000... woohoo!!!

So I suppose in some ways, Micah is paying for our Decking Project hehe.


Edit Wednesday 15/2/2012: We booked our flights to Malaysia today! Air Asia is currently having a BIG Sale so I logged on nice and early this morning (7am Melbourne which meant most Malaysians were still fast asleep at 4am so the website is less congested) and booked flights for hubby, bubby and me. We are booked to fly to Kuala Lumpur on the 15th January 2013 and return on the 28th of January. We haven't booked connecting flights to Kuching yet as those flights are always cheap anyway so no rush! There is a possibility Micah and I might extend our stay by another couple of weeks so we can be around for Chinese New Year 2013. We shall see. It will mostly depend on the cost difference as CNY flights are ALWAYS the most expensive... also it depends on whether I can tolerate the heat in Malaysia for one whole month!! Micah may not like it too! We may be house bound in the air conditioning the whole time we're there, lol.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Decking Project (Part 1)

We've been wanting to renovate our backyard ever since we moved into our house back in 2008. I suppose now that we have a kid who will soon want to be able to run around and play outside, hubby has finally been motivated to get started. He did get started in the past with the drainage and piping work, etc.. and started digging, but I suppose those preparation work aren't tangible results and therefore it's like nothing was really done. Also, there wasn't much pressure or motivation to finish the job.

This week, my Parental Leave payment finally came through so we have some extra money to use on hiring equipment and buying supplies. Hubby and a couple of mates have been working hard this weekend, and I am SO proud of him.
 
I'm just so glad the project has finally REALLY started and has progressed well this weekend alone. My dream is that in the next few weeks (or months) we will have a functioning decking area for entertainment, and eventually have a play area set up with some play equipment for Micah, and maybe convert our floor to ceiling windows in the lounge room into a sliding door so we can have an alternate access to the outdoor area and garage.

Here are some Work in Progress photos from yesterday and today:

"Before" pic - where we plan to set up a decking area near the back door
"Before" pic - our backyard needs to be leveled out and have some new and nice grass. We also have weeds growing in between the grass at the moment.
Delivery of supplies - all purchased from Bunnings Warehouse
Commencement of the digging process
Holes for the posts
Progress so far..



To Be Continued!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Week 9: Our First Family Roadtrip

Over the weekend Hubby, Micah and I drove our way up to Wollongong, NSW for 3 nights to visit hubby's grandparents whom we haven't seen for more than 5 years. Well, we did see Nana Peterson about a year ago when she came down to Melbourne... but otherwise we haven't been up to see them since our first roadtrip to NSW when I first arrived in Australia in 2006, before we were married.


The trip from Berwick, VIC to Wollongong, NSW is approximately 887km and takes about 9 hours. So, on Saturday morning we got up nice and early (3am) and got ready and finished packing. I gave little Micah a feed before we left and finally left the house at 4.30am. We always say a prayer before we leave for a big trip, for God's protection and a safe trip.

At the Submarine Museum Park, Holbrook
Micah is a great traveller. He is so easy going. He sleeps in his little capsule while we're on the road and we make regular stops every hour and a half to feed, change and stretch. We mostly stopped at Service Centres on the highway for convenience, but occasionally we drive into a town to quickly check out some interesting sights and scenes.

Giant windmills on the Hume Highway
"Big Merino" in Goulburn, NSW
We arrived at our accommodation in Wollongong at 3.30pm. That's a total of 11 hours on the roads including breaks. It wasn't too bad actually. We made a good decision to leave nice and early so by the time we've arrived, we feel like we still have the rest of the day to enjoy and it's not just one whole day of just driving and sitting in the car.

We stayed at the Belmore All Suites Hotel on Smith Street. It was quite a good accommodation place considering its location (walking distance from the Town Centre and Street Mall, also very close to the Beach / Harbour) and it's quite reasonably priced. We paid $139 per night for a One Bedroom apartment. It's not the most modern accommodation but the rooms are quite spacious and had all the facilities we needed.

Belmore All Suites Hotel @ Smith St, Wollongong
Our One Bedroom Apartment
Full kitchen facilities
Our bedroom
Micah's bedroom / play area
Micah absolutely loved sleeping in his little portacot (with bassinet attachment). It's like a hammock that can swing slightly so we usually "rock" him to sleep and he's off to dreamland within minutes!
Every night while we were there we went and had dinner at Nana's. It was great to spend time with her and have dinner with family, as we also caught up with one of hubby's uncles on the first night. My sister in law and her family also made the trip up from Melbourne the same time as us. It was great that not only was this our first trip away as a family with Micah, but we also got to travel with my sister in law's family.

On Sunday, hubby and I decided to order some Room Service for breakfast because we didn't manage to go to the shops to pick up some breakfast. The "Big Breakfast" was enough to feed the both of us!


Then, we made our way to Wollongong Harbour in the morning to check out the views. It was a beautiful day with clear blue skies so my photos below turned out alright:


Then, we went off to Crossroads Christian Community aka Fairy Meadow Anglican Church for their 10am church service. Hubby knew some people at the church so it was good to visit their church. It was a nice and simple church service - and Micah and I got to sit in the baby "cry room" so he wouldn't disrupt the service with his baby noises.

Part of the Creche especially for younger babies and mums at the church
After the church service, we made our way down to Nan Tien Temple at Berkeley approx. 15 minutes away for lunch and some sightseeing. The Nan Tien Temple is apparently the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere and attracts quite a number of tourists and visitors each year.

Nan Tien Temple - front entrance
When we arrived, I was actually quite impressed with the size of it. It was also the Chinese New Year festival at the temple, so there were lots of people and some special prayers happening in the temple. There were also a few rooms with special displays of ornaments and calligraphy, as well as a Museum, but we weren't allowed Photography in those areas.

The courtyard / garden
Tree of Prosperity
Entrance to the Main Worship Area
The Lotus Pond @ Nan Tien Temple
The Pagoda
We had lunch at the Dew Drop Inn Tea House at Nan Tien Temple, where they only serve Vegetarian dishes. To read about the Tea House, please head over to my Food Blog at www.kimbaskitchen.com for a full food review.

After we were done walking around the temple, we went back to the hotel for a rest and then dinner at Nana's. The next day, we picked up Nana at 11am and went to visit Granddad Peterson at the Nursing Home. That was a special moment especially for hubby and my sister in law, and I know they are both very glad they got to see him and very glad we made this trip.

After the visit, we took Nana out to lunch at a Cafe on Bulli Beach. It was just nice to relax and have lunch with beautiful views of the beach.

The Cafe at Bulli Beach
View from the Cafe - some kids are having swimming lessons and it was freezing cold!!
Free clean up, lol.
Classic Fish and Chips
Salt and Pepper Squid
After lunch, we went back to the hotel again to put the little man to sleep. Then, we had our last night of dinner at Nana's and took some family photos. We went to bed nice and early that night, as we were up at 3am again the next day and left Wollongong at 4am and arrived in Berwick at 3pm. It's great that we managed to arrive back nice and early so at least we got to have a rest before going to the first night of the Alpha Course at church that same night. Today, I am absolutely exhausted but it was a wonderful trip with some great memories and I am so proud of my little man for not just surviving the trip, but did so very well at just being relaxed wherever we take him. In fact, Micah had his LONGEST SLEEP EVER whilst we were in Wollongong! On Sunday night, he slept from 10pm to 4am.. that's 6 Hours straight and a new record for him! Unfortunately he hasn't done that again, but at least hubby and I got to have one of our best sleeps then ever since he was born!

So proud of you buddy! *HUGS*

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Week 8: Growth Update, Smiles & Bowel Motions

The weather was absolutely beautiful this morning - sunny and 20 degrees, so I put Micah in his pram and walked to the Gwendoline Childrens' Centre for his 8 Weeks Check Up. The centre is conveniently located 10 minutes walk from home so it would be good if he ended up going there for kindergarten as well. We had a great check up today - apparently his growth rate is OFF THE CHARTS and beyond the 97th percentile! He's a big boy, lol. To summarize his growth progress:


0 Weeks 2 Weeks 4 Weeks 8 Weeks
Weight (kg) 3.97 4.46 5.52 7.04
Height (cm) 53.5 55.2 57.4 61.0


Micah started actively giving eye contact and smiling at about 6 weeks - but whenever I point the camera at him, he gives me this weird frown or even raises his eyebrows! Isn't he a funny boy, lol. FINALLY, this week I got him to smile while playing on his mat - and when I went and grabbed my camera he is STILL smiling so yay a decent photo at last.


Earlier this week, Micah finally did a poo (a massive one I must add!) after 11 DAYS of not pooing. Then, the next day he did one again! Hubby and I were starting to get worried leading up to the day when he finally went, but apparently it is perfectly normal for a breastfed baby to only do a poo once every so often. "Every so often" can be up to one or two weeks (!) according to Baby Love by Robin Barker. Apparently breastmilk is very easily digestible so there is hardly ever waste. Also, we cannot compare a breastfed baby's bowel motions to an adult's. As long as his poo doesn't come out dry and hard, he is not constipated. How awesome is that! I really dreaded changing his nappies when he was a younger newborn (0 - 6 weeks) because of the regular, few times per day poo. Especially in his first few weeks every nappy change had poo! Now if I only have to change a pooey nappy on average maybe only once or twice a week, I cannot complain!