Thursday, 27 August 2015

Pregnancy 2.0: the Second Trimester

The beginning of the second trimester for me, meant bye-bye exhaustion, hello teeniest of bumps!

Ready to work out... no photo is complete without a Maui photobomb

I think a lot of women enjoy their second trimester the most cos generally the nausea and exhaustion is gone by this stage and you're not uncomfortably huge yet. Also, you get to feel the baby's movements for the first time (closer to 20 week mark). Not to mention, you finally get to announce to every Tom, Dick and Harry that you're expecting! 

AND if you're finding out the gender at the anatomy scan, you can start buying more gender-specific stuff... I dunno, there's just so much to be excited about in this trimester!! 

I continued to go to dance fitness once a week and the only weird craving I had was for fresh sandwiches; lots of mesclun, tomatoes, onions, carrots, cucumbers, gherkins... so weird for such a junk-foodie like me! But I'm sure the baby appreciated it :) (Especially after pretty much only demo-ing sugar and carbs in the first trimester...)


The only major differences I've had in this pregnancy is back pain during my first trimester (none last time), very minimal acne this time (vs craters on my face, chest and back last time, esp once I hit half way), cramping in my feet and calves on the odd occasion (none at all last time) and no swelling this time (I had swollen ankles one evening last time lol). 

I grew a lot faster than I did last time but I still have a small bump overall - I think baby likes to be right up in my ribs. It makes sitting for more than 20 minutes at a time very uncomfortable - often at the end of the day, I can't stand to be sitting up at all and need to be lying down on the couch and I try to lengthen my body as much as humanly possible!

At our 20 week scan we found out we were having another boy! Yep, I was disappointed initially cos we want to stop at 2, but since then I've done a complete 180 and now I can't imagine how disappointed I'd be if I gave birth and a girl popped out lmao. Hormones man.

Now the bump progression!

Still not much at 17 weeks

18 weeks - the little plastic doll is apparently how long the baby is at this stage, almost 14cm :)

19 weeks

20 weeks - half way!

22 weeks

Front on, you can't really make out the 22 week bump!

23 weeks

24 weeks

26 weeks

Next up is the final trimester... we are so close to the end now I can feel it! (Or is just the beginning?? ;P )

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Pregnancy 2.0: the First Trimester...

This post takes me waaay back to the end of last year, beginning of this year. That's not that long ago right? WRONG. It's August now - I have to keep reminding myself! No, it's not May or June, it's freakin' August yo.

Anywho. So we found out we were expecting 2.0 just after Christmas - I had a weeeird feeling, but I wasn't keeping track, nor were we making any 'proper' concerted effort to conceive... I didn't think I was technically 'late' but took a test anyway.

Well shet.

It wasn't all that hard to keep the pregnancy a secret from friends and extended family as we were away on holiday and by the time we had settled back into our usual schedule, I was about 10 weeks anyway and I wasn't feeling too precious about keeping it a secret anymore.

I had an additional scan at 10 weeks to confirm my dates. Then I was back again at 12-13 weeks for our first proper scan. Wow what a difference 2 weeks makes! Baby went from being a tiny little bean with a heartbeat and wee stubs as limbs, floating in a massive bubble, to an actual human baby with toes and fingers and everything!

10 weeks vs 13 weeks

Symptoms-wise, there was no morning sickness or nausea, but extreme exhaustion set in at around the 7 or 8 week mark til I hit around week 14 - so much like my last pregnancy! This time round was obviously harder cos I had my toddler to run around after, but I did my best to catch as much couch time as possible.

For a couple months before getting pregnant, I was running twice a week and doing dance fitness twice a week but the moment that tiredness hit, I cut it back to only going to dance fitness just once a week. 

Running every other day while on holiday in the North Island - when you're on the beach, it's hard not to enjoy the run!

Also, I somewhat pulled my back at the start of December and it went it away for a few weeks but when I first found out I was pregnant it got mega sore again and didn't disappear til I reached my 2nd trimester. Even driving for more than 10 minutes at a time would aggravate it. For a while there I was concerned that it was just gonna hang around til the very end of my pregnancy and leave with a bang (like back labour again) but thankfully it just went away quietly at the end of the first trimester!

Bump-wise, nothing really happened but my pants did start feeling a teeny bit snug towards the end and I felt rather bloated, but nothing majorly noticeable... 

The beginnings of a baby bump or just pizza? (12 weeks)

A few items I bought from the Sleep Store - you know, in case the Master isn't keen on sharing his swaddles...

Kept up with drinking healthy juices all summer long - to health!

No weird cravings, no weird dreams, nothing really to report at all! 

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Extreme Nesting

Turns out I'm shit at blogging. I believe it's been around a year since I last checked in. 

So straight back into it, I'm about 35 weeks preggo at the mo with no.2 and this is a photodump of everything I've prepared for wee man's arrival. Hold onto your butts. 

Where do we begin? With the hospital bags I guess. 

The baby's things
While we know we're having a boy, I just love monochrome/neutral clothing for newborns! I've got 2 different sizes going on here: prem and Newborn. First time round, our boy was swimming in his newborn clothes for a good week or so and me being the nitpicker that I am, I found myself twitching at the sight of the folded legs/arms and the baggy fit... I want to blame it on hormones but I know it's just my usual flavour of crazy :) 

My DIY-ed burp cloths (tutorial here) that I made last time are making another appearance - they were barely used last time cos the wee man never spat up. There's one of the Aden & Anais bamboo swaddles as well as an organic cotton one from John n Tree. And yes, the lovie is a tiny Jellycat Bashful Bunny !!!!

Close-up of the baby's toiletries: just some pawpaw ointment for potential nappy rash (also makes for a good nipple cream), baby brush, nail files and baby lotion - it all fits into the wee Kikki.K leather pouch

Oh my! Tiny mittens, tiny socks, tiny booties <3

All fits into a Kathmandu medium packing cell

In one of the many pockets of the baby bag
Some newborn nappies, organic cotton cloth wipes from John n Tree, Water Wipes, poopoo bags - side note: yes, we have a dog, but these doggy poo bags that you can buy from any bargain dollar store are the best things for also throwing away baby nappies (or snack wrappers/tissues etc.). I have a roll in every single handbag, car, drawer... they litter my house :) 

My going-home outfit. Nothing fancy; just a loose fitting and 'easy-access' maxi dress from ASOS and a denim jacket

Glass newborn bottle from Evenflo in case we have BF-ing issues again
The bottles they provide at the hospital have bottle teats that flow wayyyyy too fast for a newborn. These have an appropriate teat on them and they also heat faster and evenly cos they're made of glass. Cheap as chips from Baby Factory but I think they've discontinued now :( 

Not for me; for the hubsy should this take longer than anticipated. He hated what was on offer from the vending machines and the cafeteria only had sausage rolls and pies... Really, all he wanted was a sandwich but ya know. It's all about me buddy.

Coins for parking and/or the vending machine plus some headphones

The headphones are for the hubsy should his not be working on the day or he forgets his or whatever... He's been instructed to be quiet while I'm labouring so he's going to watch movies on his phone. We are likening this to a long-haul flight for him: do not disturb the wifey. 

All of the above fits into the hot pink Marc Jacobs baby bag - it's looking a little worse for wear now that it's about 4 years old and it's been through Europe and a baby/toddler... but it's still functional. Hurrah for a million pockets!

In the leather weekender we have all my boring stuff:

For (en)during labour
There's a bikini top and home-made modesty wrap (should I be lucky enough to water birth), hot/cold compress, shower cap (if I'm drenching myself in the shower), hair ties/hair clips, lip balm, jandals and the merino hat I'd like my boy to wear once he's out... last time they chucked on this weird-coloured one (yay hospital freebie). I mean, I framed it and all cos it was the first hat he ever wore but... just kinda wish it looked a bit nicer. Not hormonal, just crazy :) 

Microfibre towel, wet bag for dirty laundry, unmentionables (!!), washable nursing pads in carry bag that has wet/dry compartments, cosmetics bag and separate toiletries bag

In the toiletries bag
There's my toothbrush, toothpaste, mini razor, mini tweezers, coconut oil (to use as make up remover), body lotion, mini comb, mini Moroccanoil, mini shampoo, shower gel/cleanser/moisturiser samples (that way I can throw out when I'm leaving) and a ridiculous body mitt for the shower. 

For prettifying  
There's dry shampoo, BB cream, concealer, highlighter (be gone, eyebags!), mascara, brown eyeshadow, eyeliner, eyebrow pencil, curler, lip balm and eyeshadow brush. It's all in a separate bag so I can keep it next to the hospital bed in case we have guests popping in and I need to quickly hide my eye bags. So you know, super crucial stuff.

Another packing cell 
It's got a couple of robes (easy access!), nursing poncho for if I need to BF in front of guests, nursing cami's, grundies (high waisted and black - you can buy a cheap 3 pack of these from Kmart), black (MUST BE BLACK) yoga pants, bed socks with non-slip grippy things on the soles and a Solly wrap, naturally.

The luxury item
The sweetest hand-knitted 8-ply merino wool baby shawl. My mum made this specifically for wee man no.2. It took her forever to make, it's super delicate and we'll only use this every now and again cos it's just so freaking delicate (dangit mother, you should've used cotton lol) but it's so special I feel the need the wrap the baby in this STAT.

For whoever is watching the Master at home, I've prepared for the zombie apocalypse just in case.

A shoe box of some fun things: 2 colouring books, felt pens, coloured pencils, sidewalk chalk, iPad and Leap Pad and respective chargers

Snacks to sate the little beastie

His special plates, bowls, milk cup, water/juice cup and cutlery - he's very specific. 

Snap-lock bag of spare clothes and PJs

The outfit I want the hubs to dress him in for when he comes to visit his baby bro - I don't trust other people to dress him. Last time I did, his onesie was done up over his pants like Superman. 

We've got the carseat ready, nursery is ready (though that won't be used for the first couple of months), bassinet all set up in the Master bedroom, but let me fill you in in what I'm MOST excited about :D:D

So on Pinterest I saw some parents get their older kids presents 'from' the newest addition. One mother actually threw her daughter a wee little party in the hospital room and I thought that would be the most fun thing ever. Of course, I just have to do that but TO THE NEXT LEVEL. 

This container sits in the car boot, ready to be taken up to the hospital room with me. (The JellyCat on the right is for the Master to bring with him as his gift to the wee fella).

What's inside? Tissue pompoms from the Master's 1st birthday party! There's also a JellyCat Bashful Bunny so the two bro's can match :)

And underneath? Sparkling juice for the grown-ups, juice boxes for the wee man, plastic champagne flutes. The big box is a Lego Duplo toy, the little box is a Sylvanian Family figurine - the Master is getting spoilt rotten man. 

Party for the Master

There's also a table centrepiece and a 'Happy Big Brother Day!' sign to stick onto it. There's some wooden cutlery, paper plates, serviettes and I'm sending my mother to get either donuts or cakes or cupcakes - it's no party unless there's cake right? In the envelope is fabric bunting I'm gonna stick up somewhere and there's also a small vase for flowers - last time I was given flowers but had nowhere to put them except for an old drink bottle! 

To round off this epic long post, photos of the nursery and newborn set up. You know, just in case you haven't been put to sleep yet, this oughta do it. 

In the master bedroom
This set up worked for us last time so we're repeating it. The ottoman becomes a temporary change table for those late night changes. I bought some Kmart placemats to use as washable change mats ;) one purpose only, don't worry. 

Close up!
There's another placemat on the side table - that one's vinyl so we can wipe it down easily. We made formula feeds there and no matter how careful you are, it just gets messy! Milk rings on wood are no fun (P.S. bit of mayo gets it off somewhat). A basket underneath the side table contains nappies, sleepbags, swaddles, singlets and socks. There's nappy balm, baby lotion, hand sanitiser, talcum powder and rubbish bags in the wee containers flanking the wipes box. 

And here's the nursery:

That statement wall was a nightmare. It took 3 weeks longer than it should've but turns out, measuring and doing maths is not my forte. I used a black paint pen from Bunnings to do this.

Another view
I did the canvas art last time for the boy but with Crayola washable markers (cos the hubs was paranoid about toxins or something crazy) but I just painted over it with acrylic a couple of weeks ago - it had faded in the sunlight. The vinyl wall sticker's from The Warehouse. I made the playmat using this tutorial. 

I made the crib skirt last time as well

Block out blinds this time round. They're ugly as fffffffff but they're practical. Sure beats taping up block out fabric! 

The door on the right leads out to the never-used balcony. Redundant. Lets in tonnes of light though! 

Hope you could take something away from this super long post! Whether it be, 'Oh that's a good idea!' or 'Wow, that woman is crazy! I'd better not be like that when I'm pregnant!' hope it was a fun learning experience either way :D xo

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Singapore/Korea Holiday - Singapore Part I, the basics

Yikes! I'm still catching my breath after our three-weeker away. The purpose of the trip was to show off the Master to family still residing in our respective Mother Lands. We discussed doing this trip about a year ago and finally got round to booking it at the start of this year. It was a bit tricky trying to predict what the Master's needs would be at the 20 month mark and the only regret I have is not staying in Korea longer!

We have more family in Singapore so figured a longer stay there was necessary, whereas in Korea, it's just my mum's immediate family and my dad's uncle - also, it's much more densely populated in Seoul, Korea and thought because it's more on the overwhelming side, better to keep it short and sweet at 5 days? Seriously. It was jam-packed. Wish I'd thought that bit out more carefully lol (especially seeing as commuting anywhere is like minimum 20-30 minutes by subway+walking).

Anyway, I'll get to Korea in due time. First up, Singapore!

Getting There and Staying Where

It was around a 10 hour day-flight there and Christchurch has a direct flight (like once a week I think?) that leaves at 11am - which means, fun times trying to amuse a toddler all day in cramped seats!! Since he's under 2, he could fly for free on my lap. We requested a bassinet which ensured we got front row of economy, but more importantly, meant more leg room! And we were incredibly lucky that out of 4 flights, only 1 unlucky passenger ever had to sit in our row; so actually it was like we got a free seat thrown in and we definitely made use of it! 

Be prepared...

We actually didn't use the bassinet on either of our day flights 'cause the Master fell asleep in my arms watching Elmo on the iPad. We were so worried he'd be fretful and screaming on all of the flights that I packed a small baggy of individually-bagged ear plugs to give out to unfortunate fellow passengers - we were so fortunate we didn't need them at all! He slept, watched Elmo and ate his meals happily with no qualms; so much so, we had other passengers complimenting him on his good behaviour! One man even said, "He looks like the sorta kid you can take anywhere!" HAHA. That's right. That tantrum in the middle of Ballantynes neeeeever happened :)

"What happens to the Maui?"

We packed our Phil&Ted's portacot into a large suitcase (along with the hubs's gear) and we carried on our Mountain Buggy Nano stroller in its travel case - no problems fitting into the overhead compartment! Though we did have every single travel desk and gate person question us ("No, we don't want to check it in," "It's a carry-on; it's small," "Yes, it's airline-approved," "This is the travel bag it fits into; it's tiny," grumblegrumble). I bought the small fart a Trunki just prior to leaving (last-minute addition!) and I'm torn between whether it's a blessing or curse; yes, he enjoyed pushing it around and riding it, but maybe a little TOO much - he got mad when it was taken away from him (eg. xray machines).

Singapore - if you're unfamiliar - is EXTREMELY hot. Pack shorts and tank tops and jandals. That is all you can afford to wear in the humidity. Walking out of the airport is like walking straight into a sauna. Walk slowly. Accept the temperature and move sloooowly.

Wear very little

I also had no idea the Master would fare terribly in the extreme heat. I'm told we went at the best time of year and while we were there, the locals all said it was at its most bearable level of hotness. Yet still, the smallest amount of exertion caused the wee one to sweat like crazy. He was very cranky in the heat and we had to make sure he was drinking plenty of water.

We stayed at Raffles Town Club on Plymouth Avenue. It's primary function is as a club for members but it does have a few rooms available to members or members' guests (alternatively, you can stay there if you're a member of a reciprocal club). We chose to stay at this particular place and not closer to say, Orchard Road (where all the fun shopping is!) because we wanted to be as close to family as possible, seeing as that was the reason for us going there in the first place. And luckily for us, this place was a less-than-10-minute walk to the hubs's aunt's house (where his mum was also staying while she was holidaying).

Raffles Town Club

Pretty much everyday started the same way: the Master would awake around 5-6, we'd watch Elmo in bed for a bit, then the hubs would take the wee one in the stroller and walk to his aunt's house. I'd sleep-in, play on my phone, order room service and eat in silence while reading the news. They'd return at around 11 for the Master's minimum-2-hour nap. And let me tell ya; THAT made my holiday. I didn't care what I did for the rest of the day, it always started out awesome lol. Any other mother would agree that that's a dream holiday right there hahaha. I'm just completely ignoring the couple of days where the time-difference took a while getting used to eg. having the Master wake at 3.30am, 4am etc. (we just stayed firm with the 7-8pm bedtime and midday naps and we eventually came right). 

Brushin' teeth at the crack of dawn
A happy morning with room service and no one to disturb me ;)

After the fabulous morning, we'd either go for a swim or go out shopping (my only requirement being 'somewhere air-conditioned') and for dinner we'd either go to the aunt's house or go to a food court.

A bit more about the hotel part of Raffles: we booked the Straits Suite (large floor area is now a prerequisite to any accommodation for us after a particularly stressful stay in a small hotel room half a year ago). They have a couple of different rooms available and overall, we were super pleased with our room. It was spacious and kept cool by the AC; the decor was a little old-fashioned but I think that's intentional and a huge part of the charm. The maids were incredibly friendly and accommodating - I felt bad because I hardly ever left the room so often their window of opportunity to turn down our room was like... two hours tops just after lunch lol. 

The bathroom

The bedroom
View of the bathroom from the bedroom
View of the bathroom from the entrance - commode is separated!

Wee living area
View of living area from entrance
Where the Master slumbered - door separating us from him was KEY. 

I only ate at the restaurant for breakfast a handful of times; the servers are friendly and helpful. But I much preferred lazing in bed on my own once the boys had left and then eating on my own too hehehe. 

'American Breakfast'
Mee Goreng
Nasi Lamak
Roti Prata (and chicken curry)
Kaya Toast (and soft boiled eggs)
Croissants and Muesli

The pools are lovely - there's a more grown-up pool area with gazebo's and loungers etc. but further down there's a kiddie pool (shallowest point is around 58cm deep) with two little hydro-slides. There's a height restriction for the slides (1.5m tops) but I went down it anyway with the little munch and it was awesome fun hahaha. No lifeguards so I unleashed my inner rebel :P

Spying on my boys from our room

There's also another middle pool that has jets/bubbles you can turn on (I never figured out where from) but the wee one much preferred the kiddie area or the really shallow bit near the bridge. 

There's a bowling lane on the other side of Raffles and a mini-arcade. We went bowling last time we were here but not this time cos... hahaha can you imagine with a toddler!? Sliding down the gutters?? We also used the gym there last time but again, it wasn't really the sort of thing on our agenda with the Master about! 

Next post will have a few more details about what we actually got up to while we were away.

::breathes out::