Sunday, 25 March 2012

84/366 - Does this make them kissing cousins?

Pickle and I went to Bondi Beach today to visit Aunty Sharni & Uncle Steven.  We also got to meet their adopted fur-baby Maggie Beard.  She is gorgeous, and had Pickle in fits of laughter chasing a bouncing tennis ball.  I'd honestly never heard him laugh so much and it was adorable.  Maggie was as good as gold with him too.

84/366 - 24 March 2012

So since Steven is my brother-from-another-mother, and Maggie is his baby... this makes them cousins of sorts, right?

Cheers, KangaRue :)

83/366 - Sad Farewells

Today we said goodbye to Bubbah and Grandpa in Hervey Bay.  I really think Pickle is going to miss them (and I will too) and I know they will him (and maybe me a little!).

83/366 - 23 March 2012

Big hugs and kisses.

Oh, and while I wanted to say an incredulous "Really?!!" to the Virgin Australia flight attendant who asked me "how are you today" when I was clearly in floods of tears, my blubbering got in the way.  But she came up to see how I was later in the flight and shamelessly allowed Pickle to flirt with her, so all is forgiven.

Cheers, KangaRue :)

82/366 - Wet & Wild

Today was a hot and muggy day with 93% humidity in Hervey Bay, so we had to cool down.  I'd been meaning to check out the Wetside Water Education Park.  It's a great place for kids to let off steam and there is a separate area for under-5's... Pickle was a little unsure to start, then took great delight watching the fountain sprays move around, change heights and help him cool off - he had a great time.  I can't believe it's free too!

82/366 - 22 March 2012

I wonder if there's anywhere like this in London (or nearby) for those days that it's hot enough?

Cheers, KangaRue :)

Update:  This is my favourite photo for the week - though Kissing Cousins was a close second.  In this shot Pickle just looks like he's having so much fun - he was really fascinated by the water moving around him.  Take a look at all my other Project365 posts.  Each Sunday you can link up to the weekly favourites at TheBoyandMe's blog by clicking on this button below:  

TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

81/366 - Morning Cuddles

The photo I took before this one had Grandpa kissing Pickle on the head, which is also a lovely shot, but I love that in this photo Pickle is hugging his Grandpa's arm in response to that kiss.

81/366 - 21 March 2012

I think Pickle is going to be missed by his Grandpa and Bubbah - what do you think?

Cheers, KangaRue :)

PS.  We had a lovely lunch out today, and I dressed Pickle in a shirt and long pants for the occasion - but do you think I remembered to take a photo of him before he covered himself in food?!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

80/366 - Lilliana's on the Bay

I took my parents out for brunch today.  We'd heard that Liliana's on the Bay served the best coffee in the area, so took a departure from our usual Enzo's on the Beach (even if the coffee at Enzo's has certainly improved since my last visit).

The latest trend in Aussie cafes has them roasting their own beans, which means fresh, tasty and unique cups of coffee.  I'm pleased to say that Liliana's has taken up this fashion.  We arrived at the welcoming and airy cafe to the delicious smell of roasting beans.  And our beautifully presented coffees arrived shortly after our order, from friendly and helpful staff.  Not only were they a larger size than expected, it is honestly the best cup of coffee I have had in a long time.  In fact, initially I forgot to add sugar, it was that smooth and creamy.

80/366 - 20 March 2012

The breakfasts were also beautifully presented and enormous.  Eggs "Benedict" came with ham or smoked salmon (Royale) and were both served with spinach and a perfect hollandaise.  Unfortunately the poached eggs were slightly over cooked, so were no longer runny and my ham turned out to be bacon - while delicious bacon, it wasn't what I was expecting.  I'll forgive this seeing as it was served on perfect sourdough toast.  The big brekkie came with eggs poached, scrambled or fried, plus all the usual trimmings: bacon, sausage, beans, tomato, mushrooms and hash-browns!

So while you can't top Enzo's for the spectacular view, for taste and value for money, I'll definitely be returning (I even got a second cup to go).

Cheers, KangaRue :)

79/366 - Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi, Oi, Oi!

Today Pickle officially became an Australian!  In true Aussie style he LOVES the title chant and has been in fits of giggles this afternoon as Grandpa and I have called it out.

79/366 - 19 Mar 2012

Cheers, KangaRue :)

Sunday, 18 March 2012

78/366 - Mummies Day!

Today is Mother's Day in the UK.  I am in Australia.  It is my first Mother's Day.  So I do feel I've missed out a little bit being away from BoyWonder, and with Pickle a little too small to make a fuss!  So I was delighted when this was delivered...

78/366 - 18 Mar 2012

Some of my favourite flowers - scented lilies, orange roses, irises and lisianthus!  Along with a card that read:

Dear Mummy,
Look what I organised while you were sleeping...
Lots of Love, 
(PS the cats say "hi, we miss you too")  

*melt*  So Happy Mother's Day to me and all the Mummies out there, and big hugs to those of you who are no longer able to give your Mummy or babies hugs anymore.

PS.  Since Mother's Day in Australia isn't until May, and I'll be back in London by then, don't you think I should get spoiled then too?  (Take Note: BoyWonder!)

Cheers, KangaRue :)

77/366 - Friendship

A couple of years ago, I heard that an old school friend was coming to the UK to see her family.  She had some time to catch up in London, so for the first time in 22 years I got to see Gail and find out about her life since she left Queenwood (and Australia) in Year 10.

Fast forward a couple of years, to my trip home to introduce Pickle to his family in Australia.  Gail now lives in Brisbane, a mere (the Brits will balk) 4-hours drive from Hervey Bay... and she was not only able, but also willing, to come and visit.  So she packed hubby, Adrian and kids, Jessica and Alex into their car and made the journey north this weekend.

Unfortunately the weather wasn't so pleasant (it rained the majority of the time), but we had lovely cups of tea and coffee and a great dinner to get to know each other's family (sans BoyWonder) and my Mum got to feed them lunch which made her happy.

There was a lull in the rain, so Pickle got some more swing time in and Jess & Alex got to play on the beach.  Don't they play beautifully together?

77/366 - 17 Mar 2012

Cheers, KangaRue :)

76/366 - This is NOT Pornography

There seems to be a round of controversy in the media at the moment, from  Facebook photo rules, to dubious-quality daytime talk shows and individual Twitter posts, that equate breastfeeding a baby with pornography.

As a Mummy who breastfeeds, I take offense at these ignorant comments.  The first and foremost purpose of breasts is to feed a child - they are called mammary glands for a reason.  So I have posted this photo of Pickle feeding to show what a beautiful thing it is to me when my darling boy looks into my eyes as I'm feeding him.  It is an incredible feeling of trust and nurturing.

76/366 - 16 Mar 2012

Now I've had numerous friends who have either been unable to breastfeed their babies for whatever reason, and I'm not criticising bottle-feeding babies in any way.  Mummies have to do what is best for them and their babies.  Full stop.

What I object to is people telling me that I shouldn't leave the house, or that I should express and then bottle feed (yes, someone actually said this to me on Twitter).  Obviously they've never expressed, as it's not the most pleasant sensation, takes far longer than breastfeeding, and it's not like I've got oodles of time to spare.  Besides, it's a natural part of life!  If you stare at someone breastfeeding long enough, you're bound to see some nipple; my advice if it offends you is: don't look or get over it.

While I love this picture of Pickle, and I do try to be discreet when breastfeeding, I still feel this photo may be a little subtle, so no doubt there will be some future posts.

Cheers, KangaRue :)

Friday, 16 March 2012

75/366 - Yellow Fever (or My Eyes, My Eyes!)

I was at a bit of a loss what to call this post at first.  There I was, driving along the beachfront Esplanade, when out of nowhere this monstrosity didn't so much as catch my eye, as burned it's image into my retinas!  Please note, I haven't boosted the colour in this photo in any way.

75/366 - 15 Mar 2012

I had to pull over to read the sign of protest, which somehow is lawful under local planning permissions (I'm betting Hervey Bay council is regretting this colour option!).  The sign read:

FOR SALE $5,000,000 
This privately owned property is lawful. A memorial to inept Queensland politicians and our council who refuse to protect (as other States do) adjoining properties from illegal damage caused by development construction, especially below ground car parks, thus leaving adjoining property owners exposed to expensive litigation in an often futile attempt at justice.

So I'm guessing the owners weren't happy with their neighbours and got back at them the only way they could.  I pity their other neighbours.

Cheers, KangaRue :)

74/366 - Coming to get you!

Pickle started crawling a few days ago.  He's been wriggling forward and rolling towards what he wants for a while, but now he's properly on all fours.  Here you can see him lunging for some hot cross bun... and believe me he's getting into everything he's not supposed to - there's no stopping him now!

74/366 - 14 Mar 2012

Cheers, KangaRue :)

73/366 - Hitting the Books

Trying to fit in study time being a new mum is, shall we say, somewhat challenging.  With Pickle being a baby that fights going to sleep, it can be hard to schedule study sessions and I sometimes end up studying late at night.  Tonight he didn't got to sleep until 9:30pm, so I was studying until just past midnight, and feel like I'm a little behind this week (guess what I'll be doing once this post is up!).

73/366 - 13 Mar 2012
This term I'm studying Mental Health Issues, so it's quite heavy going, but very interesting.  I always find it really interesting when I can relate aspects of what I'm learning to people I know in real life - the academics then become so much more meaningful, though sometimes painful and challenging.

Cheers, KangaRue :)

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Bibetta Roll 'n' Go Changing Mat

No doubt regular blog followers will have spotted the fab changing mat I've been using while on holiday with Pickle in Australia.  Photos are dotted around the Project 365 posts, but I've included a couple here (not least so you can gush over my cute little beach bum!).

The Bibetta Roll 'n' Go Changing Mat is made from neoprene (wetsuit material), in a funky blue design and it rolls up with a little velcro tab to keep it together, so it's perfect to keep in the swim bag, then wrap up his wet swim nappy and sun protection top before bunging it all in the washing machine when we get home.  There is also a pink version for the little girl beach bums out there and both are available from VUP Baby for a mere £9.40.

It's been invaluable for use on the beach for Pickle to sit on so he doesn't get covered in sand, on picnic tables to change him in and out of his swim gear, and I can't wait to get him back home and use it when we take him for swimming lessons at the pool, as it will keep him so much warmer and drier than a towel that we've just dried him off with.

Cheers, KangaRue :)

Disclosure:  While I received the changing mat for the purposes of conducting a review, the views above are purely my own; I think you can see from the photos that Pickle is in full agreement.

72/366 - Beach Bum II

Here's a true beach shot of Pickle, after our daily walk and before our swim.  This photo was taken mid morning, and this is how busy the beach in Hervey Bay usually gets... if you peer really closely in the background you can see someone walking!  It's an 8km stretch of beach, and we hang out at the popular spot, though I've rarely seen more than a couple of dozen people dotted along it at any one time.

72/366 - 12 Mar 2012

Pickle just looks so carefree and happy (I think he knows he's about to go for his swim).

This is definitely going to be my favourite photo for the week, so I already know I'm going to link this up, so the button is already below!  Take a look at all my other Project365 posts.  Each Sunday you can link up to the weekly favourites at TheBoyandMe's blog by clicking on this button below:  

TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky

Cheers, KangaRue :)

71/366 - Mucky Pup

Pickle is learning that I wipe his hands and face after every meal.  While he only had - his first - hot cross bun for afternoon tea (sultanas removed of course), it did go everywhere, so when he got fed up with me cleaning him up, he decided to do it himself.

71/366 - 11 Mar 2012

Cheers, KangaRue :)

70/366 - Completely Batty

Another day, another beach walk - it's a hard life!  We went a bit further today, and I heard them before I saw them (and apparently it was a good thing we were upwind).  The threes were full of bats, and by full, I mean the below picture is about 10% of the line of trees covered in the bats.

70/366 - 10 Mar 2012

Cheers, KangaRue :)

69/366 - Flaming Galah

I do miss the Australian wildlife as well as the trees, gum trees, bottle brush and banksia in particular.  (Though we now have a bottle brush at home, the bumble bees love it, and it's surprisingly hardy under London snow in winter).

On our daily beach walk, Pickle, Mum and I happened upon a tree filled with 17 pink and grey galahs - I'd forgotten about them...

69/366 - 9 Mar 2012

While I've seen a couple of kookaburras, and heard more of them, I haven't taken a photos yet (not to self for a future Project 365 post!).  I've also seen Cockies (yellow crested Cockatoos) but I've not seen any Rainbow Lorikeets yet.

Cheers, KangaRue :)

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

68/366 - Guess What!

Pickle isn't a great sleeper, but wakes up a happy little chappy every morning.  Bright and early.  So at around 6:30am, I got up and changed his nappy.  I though I'd pop in back into the cot so he could play with some toys and I could sneak another ten minutes shut eye.

I snuggled back down under the sheet and could hear him giggling away to himself.  I turned over to catch what I thought would be a glimpse of him playing with a favourite toy of the day... when lo and behold, THIS is what I found...

68/366 - 8 Mar 2012

He had pulled himself up to standing!  He's only 6 months old and has only just started crawling.  Sure, I've heard the story of how BoyWonder started walking at 7 months old, but I still wasn't prepared for the sight of him grinning over the cot bars at me.  I just had enough sense to lunge and grab the camera to get a few shots.  Needless to say, I didn't dare get any more sleep.

Cheers, KangaRue :)

67/366 - Swinging II

Another walk by the beach today, and after his morning nap, Pickle hit the swings.  There were two things that struck me since Pickle's last swinging photo a little over a month ago.  The first was that he has way less clothes on, a vest and shorts as opposed to vest, long sleeved top, jumper, jeans, jacket, socks and shoes.  The second is that he appears a little chubbier!  He has put on 435g (15oz) in the first three weeks that we've been away - baby-led weaning is definitely agreeing with him.

67/366 - 7 Mar 2012

Cheers, KangaRue :)

66/366 - I want to ride my bicycle

I've been missing cycling, so have been looking forward to Pickle being big enough to join me in a baby seat on the back of my bike.  While we're on holiday, I thought it would be the perfect time to introduce him, but wasn't sure if we'd be able to hire a bike.  But lo and behold, since our last trip, my parents had met The Bike Man (further details below).  So strapped in, helmet on, off we went.

66/366 - 6 Mar 2012

Doesn't he look adorable!  I can't say that he loved the helmet, but safety is not an option.  It seemed to push forward on the back of the chair, so I'm trying to work out a solution to this when I get back to look at options of seats and helmets.

Luke, The Bike Man, is a mobile service with a van and trailer to drop bikes off to homes, motels and caravan parks - basically wherever you stay in Hervey Bay.  Baby seats, chariots, trailer bikes and scooters are all available for younger children and helmets, locks and baskets are included, along with free delivery and pick-up 7 days a week.  To organise your own bike, just call The Bike Man on +61-(0)400-666-488.

Do you have any recommendations for baby bike seats and helmets please?

Cheers, KangaRue :)

Disclaimer:  While I got "mates rates" for the bike hire, The Bike Man doesn't even know I write a blog, let alone the post, so all views are my own.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

65/366 - Tootsies

Believe it or not, I can't believe how big Pickle's feet have gotten!  Here we are standing at the beach as the waves lapped over our feet.

65/366 - 5 Mar 2012

Cheers, KangaRue :)

64/366 - Ribbit

There I was washing up, listening to the gecko's click - and believe me, they are loud - when THUMP.  Just above head height on the window right in front of me was this...

64/366 - 4 Mar 2012

A bright green tree frog, obviously after a gecko for his supper.  They are plentiful in Hervey Bay, thankfully more so than the ugly cane toads.  Though a few years back, my Mum didn't think so, she awoke in the early hours with a heavy feeling on her chest... only to find a frog laying across her.  A frog had swum up the en-suite toilet and across the bedroom.  Cue lots of running around & arm waving no doubt!  Needless to say, all toilet seats are now kept closed when not in use.

Cheers, KangaRue :)

63/366 - This Little Piggy

While studying in a chair next to the cot during Pickle's afternoon nap, I looked up and spotted this little tootsie poking out between the cot slats.  It looked so cute, and I could just nibble those toes!

63/366 - 3 Mar 2012

Cheers, KangaRue :)

62/366 - Bubbah with her Bubbelah II

Another photo of my Mum cuddling Pickle.  After I take him for his swim, Mum has a cuddle so I can have a proper swim.  They looked so serene against the colours of the beach, Aussie sky and the gum tree (I miss gum trees).

62/366 - 2 Mar 2012

Cheers, KangaRue :)

Monday, 12 March 2012

61/366 - Bubbah with her Bubbelah

When I told my parents I was pregnant, I asked my Mum what she'd like to be called.  At first she said Nanna, which surprised me... "Don't you want to be Bubbah?" I asked.  She gushed (just a wee bit) "Oh that would be lovely!".  Bubbah (or Bubbe) is the Yiddish word for Grandmother, and her little Bubbelah (or pancake) is enjoying his cuddles.

61/366 - 1 Mar 2012

What are grandparents known as in your family?

Cheers, KangaRue :)

60/366 - Intensity

I've been asked before if Pickle was lethargic (if you can handle a rant, feel free to read more), and that's the one word that can't be used to describe him.  Even during his afternoon nap he has an intense look of concentration!

60/366 - 29 Feb 2012

Cheers, KangaRue :)

59/366 - Beach Bum

After our daily walk, I've been taking Pickle for a swim.  Here he is mid-change into his swimming gear - I think he's looking forward to it, don't you?

59/366 - 28 Feb 2012

Cheers, KangaRue :)

58/366 - Aussie Kids are Weet-Bix Kids

So after Pickle's debacle with cow's milk, we're now trying rice milk.  My lovely friend, chef Chaz, has been trying to get me to try it for years, but I hate soya milk, and thought it would be the same sort of thing so avoided it.  But after Pickle's reaction, trying something different wasn't an option, so this morning he had Weet-Bix with rice milk and he loved it (and the surprising SilverLining is I like the rice milk too!).

Baby-led weaning is, shall we say, a little messy - but he was using the spoon and his hands and wolfed it down.  Sure, a fair amount ended up over his face, up his arms, in his ears etc etc, but it makes a good photo!!

58/366 - 27 Feb 2012

Aussie kids are Weet-Bix kids after all!

Cheers, KangaRue :)

57/366 - Allergic Reaction?

Pickle is a breast-fed baby, so we've not had a lot of contact with formula, and when we did it wasn't particularly successful (rant warning!).  A week or so ago he had Weetbix mixed with formula.  We're doing baby-led weaning, which means he feeds himself the majority of the time, and some foods do tend to go every where.  Wherever it came into contact with his skin turned red within a couple of minutes after contact.  It didn't seem to disturb him particularly, and he hasn't seemed to have any gastro-intestinal issues, but I couldn't get him into the bath quick enough.  I wasn't sure if it was the wheat or the milk and was reluctant to try either again.

57/366 - 26 Feb 2012
So today we tried the teeny pots of fromage frais that seem to be loved by babies, and while he seemed to enjoy it well enough, again within a couple of minutes his skin turned very red.  Unfortunately it also got into his eyes (he rubbed his hands into them), so I rushed him into the bath.  The below photo is after his bath, and the red in the photo doesn't show up as bright as it did in real life.  It soon settled down, but until we get home to the UK and can try to get him some allergy testing we're avoiding milk.  I'd love to hear if anyone has had a similar experience?

Cheers, KangaRue :)

56/366 - Sleepy Time? I don't think so!

We had a nice routine going for Pickle's sleep time back home, and while we've continued with the routine on holiday, some days have been a bit hit and miss.  Today was one of those days.  We've bathed, had a story, been sung to "sleep", but it didn't work.  Daddy's secret touch is obviously missing.

56/366 - 25 Feb 2012

Sleep isn't one of Pickle's strong points - he fights it every step of the way.  I have it on good word from my Mother=in-Law that BoyWonder was far worse, so at least I know where he gets it from!  The Baby Whisperer refers to Ethan's style as Spirited, meaning that he's a tricky one that doesn't respond to many of the other techniques that work for the other styles... so any hints and tips are appreciated!

Cheers, KangaRue :)

55/366 - Hello Big Fella

Grandpa bought Pickle a teddy bear.  A rather large teddy bear.  Bubbah was worried that he would be afraid of the bear, seeing as it's so large... I don't think we have to be worried do you?!

55/366 - 24 Feb 2012

Mind you, I have a bone to pick with them - I was 16 before I got my first real teddy bear!  And I've no idea how (if?) we'll be able to get it back on the next three plane journeys!

Cheers, KangaRue :)

54/366 - Farewell Phoebe

Before the unstoppable and slightly loony Lulu & Hermes, was the adorable Phoebe.  I was lucky enough to be her Mummy before coming to London - my parents agreed to look after her for the "12 months" I was going to be away for... so she has been their cat for far longer than she was mine.  I only saw her a little over a year ago, when she was looking quite fat, and though you can't tell from this photo as she's all curled up, she had become really, really thin.

54/366 - 23 Feb 2012

She'd stopped eating, was only drinking a little water, but it was when she didn't come in for her morning cuddle that my parents realised she would need to be euthanised.  I think she was waiting around to meet Pickle, so it was lovely to have a final cuddle and pat with her.  She was a truly lovely cat, and she had a good run at 16 and a half years (about 115 by human standards), but today was nonetheless, a sad day.  She is now resting under a gardenia plant in the back garden.  Rest in peace, Phoebe  :'(

Cheers, KangaRue :)

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Doing a Demi

I've been meaning to write for a while about the incredible experience I had doing both Bump and Baby photography sessions with Harriet of Buckingham Photography.  A few of the photos are already posted around the blog, but I've done a collage of them here.  Harriet and I both had an absolute blast and a lot of giggles.  She's produced some really fabulous (and flattering) shots.  Even BoyWonder, who hates having his photo taken, admitted that our family shoot "wasn't that bad" - and believe me, that is high praise indeed.

I was enthusiastic about doing a Demi-style shoot - you know the one Annie Lebowitz did of her naked for the cover of Time Magazine.  I've always loved that photo, and I honestly felt beautiful while I was pregnant - I was doing what my body was made for.  Harriet had never done a nude shoot before, so it was a first for both of us, but was in no way awkward.  I was initially hesitant about whether I should share it or not, but figure it's on the Buckingham Photography website, so is already out there in the interwebs... so here goes:

You can win your own sitting and one 10x8 photo with Harriet in her Orpington studio (or give it as a Mother's Day present!), just use the form below to enter.

53/366 - Whiskers

Pickle finds his Grandpa's beard endlessly fascinating...

53/366 - 22 Feb 2012

Cheers, KangaRue :)

52/366 - Cool Dude

First day in Hervey Bay, so we had to head straight to the beach.  Sitting outside Enzo's on the Beach is the best spot in town.  Pickle is rocking his sunnies mid change from clothes into his swimming gear before we head for his first real swim in the sea!

52/366 - 21 Feb 2012

Cheers, KangaRue :)

51/366 - On The Wallaby Track

Today Pickle and I visited the Art Gallery of NSW.  This used to be one of my regular haunts, and I later found out that my darling friend Sharni used to curate here.

I love the Post Impressionist works, particularly Tom Roberts.  However, one of my favourite pieces is On The Wallaby Track by Frederick McCubbin, hence today's picture.

51/366 - 20 Feb 2012

Aussie children of the 80s would likely remember it from the Kit Kat ad which somewhat immortalised it:

Cheers, KangaRue :)

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

50/366 - Aunty Sharni & Uncle Steven

Sharni and Steven are two of my closest friends, who I consider family.  I met Steven when he came to crash on my floor in London - he'd met Joe travelling in New Zealand.  We hit it off, while he struggled to keep up with my tour of the London sights - I was on crutches on the time and he's over 6 foot tall.  I still consider him my baby brother though.  I met the lovely Sharni through a London flatmate, we hit it off immediately and have been fast friends ever since.  I tried introducing these two in London, but they say timing is everything.  On an later trip to Oz, when I was staying with my parents, they both came to visit - their trips only overlapped a couple of days, but the sparks were flying within minutes.  I was thrilled when they became a couple and eventually married, two of my favourite people in the world together.  So Sharni is not only my best friend, but my Sister-in-Law by adoption I suppose!

Needless to say, I was excited about introducing them to Pickle.  I think he likes them too, what do you think?

50/366 - 19 Feb 2012

I adore this picture!

Cheers, KangaRue :)

This is my favourite picture this week because Pickle just looks so cute and is also fascinated by Steven.  Take a look at all my other Project365 posts.  Each Sunday you can link up to the weekly favourites at TheBoyandMe's blog by clicking on this button below:  

TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky