An ‘enchanted forest’ 3rd Birthday Party

Somehow, just somehow, our little girl turns 3 today.


Clichéd as it may sound, it seems like it was only yesterday that we welcomed her into the world. Yet here we now are – 3 years later – with a spirited and adventurous daughter who make us laugh every single day.


For months now, Charlotte has been telling me that she wants a ‘Ben and Holly’ party. So I ran with the fairy and elf theme, and before long we had ourselves quite the ‘enchanted forest’ soiree.


Despite all appearances, we kept the food relatively simple (and appropriately sugar-laden!).


The gorgeous toadstool cupcakes were courtesy of Little Miss Cupcake (my fondant skills still being in their ‘developmental phase’) while most of the other goodies (jelly, fairy bread etc) could be made in advance…

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As for the cake – well I must admit that I cheated a little. While I made the green ‘grassy’ base using chocolate cake and fondant – the castle itself was actually a cardboard cutout!


The little Miss was still super excited when she saw the finished product – so I’m calling it a mama win – cheats and all!


Fortunately we were also blessed with a beautiful sunny day – meaning we could set up the backyard for the kids to run amok.


The little toadstool set was hired from a local party company – while Mr BBB got creative and adapted a regular trestle table into “kids” size (we figured we’ve got plenty more kids parties ahead of us!!). As for entertainment, we had a lovely fairy entertainer drop by and read stories,  play games and ‘glitter-fy’ the kids.  The trampoline was also a hit, as always, and there was no shortage of snacks and dressups.


Overall – it was so very wonderful to celebrate this milestone with our nearest and dearest. For decorations and cakes aside, it was having all her family together that really brought a smile to the birthday girl’s face!


Wishing you a very happy 3rd Birthday my beautiful girl. May the year ahead be filled with wonder and adventure! — Oh – and just because I can’t help but take a trip down memory lane…

party Where did our baby girl go???

2 years today

Today, my little girl turns two. IMG_7546 Gone is my squishy little newborn, and in her place I find an energetic and fiercely independent toddler. IMG_7345 Who doesn’t walk, but runs. Usually at full speed and with a mischievous glint in her eye. IMG_6466 Who loves being outdoors, and exploring new places, particularly if they involve water, animals or paint! IMG_6406IMG_7385IMG_6799 Who is a rather quirky individual, and makes me laugh no less than twenty times a day. Be it pulling a goofy face, bossing me around the house, or being just plain silly. I love it all so much! IMG_6143IMG_5786IMG_5690 IMG_5493 It is not uncommon for C to point and order me to “sit down mama” or demand “come here mama”, with a stern and serious look on her face. IMG_7659 (I’m not sure where she gets the bossiness from hehe?) Her sense of independence also sees her striding confidently through the shops, waving to people, introducing herself and regaling them with stories from the day. The downside being that I can’t take my eyes off her for a second because she will undoubtedly disappear! IMG_6260IMG_7340 But the tantrums. Oh the tantrums. For a sense of independence apparently brings with it a little bit of diva, and she is sure to let us know if she is not happy. IMG_6317 Although it is rarely long before she is back to being her cheeky self. IMG_7508IMG_5219 And this girl is a chatterbox – constantly talking and bossing, and pretending to talk on the phone! IMG_7597 It has actually been rather wonderful to be able to engage with her in a communicative sense, and hear all her little stories from the day. Although she did tell me that there is a rat at Nanna’s house, which I’m yet to figure out? I wouldn’t necessarily call her a ‘girly girl’, for she  prefers Thomas the Tank Engine to princesses, and loves helping her daddy with tasks around the home. IMG_5361IMG_5325 But there are, of course,  moments where she most certainly is a little girl – with dance classes being a weekly favourite! IMG_7114 On the food front, her appetite varies. She’s not necessarily fussy – just a bit hit and miss when it comes to eating. Some days she wants little more than her beloved yoghurt and cheese, while other days I can’t seem to fill her up? IMG_6607IMG_6880 Some recent favourites? Roast duck and camembert cheese. Yup this little is a foodie in the making apparently? One thing that is a constant – is her love for water – as evidenced by the multiple bottles littered throughout our house, the care, my bags… IMG_6477 A habit I am most certainly encouraging  though – and could probably learn from myself. While I am a little sad that she is growing up so fast, I love that C is still at an age where ‘magic mama kisses’ can make everything better. So much so, that she will now offer to “kiss better” if she accidentally bumps into me or I stub my toe. IMG_5540 She has beautiful manners, full of please and thankyous – and will even say “sorry” to herself if she bumps into something. Cuteness overload. She is also showing a great fondness for books, and reads with her daddy every evening and at other times throughout the day. IMG_7450 IMG_7638 Speaking of which, she is almost certainly a Daddy’s girl, and what a great Daddy he is. Every day C will wait at the window for him to get home from work – squealing with glee when his car or bike pulls up. IMG_7458 IMG_7652 In sum, the past two years have been nothing short of wonderful, and I think Mr BBB and I have learned more about ourselves than we ever thought possible. Seeing “life” through the eyes of our spunky toddler has been truly amazing – and I’ve loved every moment spent together as a family. IMG_7343 So to my beautiful daughter on your second birthday, thankyou for bringing so much love and laughter into our lives. We feel truly blessed to be your parents, and to have watched you grow over the last 2 years. IMG_5960 You have us all enamoured, and wrapped around your little finger. But if its ok with you, can you please slow down on the whole growing up thing lol IMG_5548 Now let’s go eat cake!

18 months

I did my last Charlotte “update” when she turned 1 year old, and somehow half a year has passed since then. For yesterday, she turned 18 months. And I still can’t quite figure out where the time has gone, and how this milestone arrived on our doorstep so quickly. 6 months ago, she was only just starting to stand and walk around with the help of the furniture, yet these days I have trouble keeping up with her as she runs around the house! IMG_1218 Her hair was always quite long, but now it is even longer, and she  has  sprouted 16 teeth!!! Quite the little dinosaur really. IMG_3606 One thing that hasn’t changed, only grown, is her sense of adventure and curiosity. She loves being around people, preferably as the centre of attention (which she usually is), and is quite obviously happier when there are other children around than when she is at home with just me. I cannot begin to tell you just how much pride I have to see her kind and friendly nature, and I am constantly smiling in awe when I see her interact so gently with those around her. IMG_1659 She is also, however, a bona-fide mischief maker, and will always be my “cheeky monkey” I think. Opening drawers, unpacking cupboards and scattering things around the house, wearing laundry on her head….you get the idea… IMG_9701IMG_0388IMG_3052IMG_2538 I don’t get the impression she is a ‘girly girl’ – she will run straight to the trucks and cars when I drop her at crèche. Although she does love to walk around the house with a basket from time to time, collecting items along the way. IMG_3852IMG_3179 Her real happiness is when she is playing and exploring outdoors, for which I am grateful that the warmer months have finally arrived. Rocks, leaves, grass – all bring with them curious exploration and big smiles. IMG_1530IMG_2212 Her love of animals is ever present, particularly puppies, and it is not unusual for her to squeal with complete glee whenever we come across one at the shops. IMG_0768IMG_3495 Her latest love also includes books, and she will grab them from her bookshelf frequently throughout the day – “Baa Baa” being her usual request. And I have no doubt that her all time favourite time of the day is the 15 minutes before her bed time that her daddy reads and sings nursery rhymes to her. IMG_0275 - Copy She still loves kisses and cuddles, although the afternoons spent snuggled on the couch together are pretty much gone (unless she is over tired or unwell). SAM_0109IMG_1295IMG_1430 Food is still a bit hit and miss, whereby she will barely eat anything one day, and not stop eating the next. She loves to feed herself, and her favourite foods at the moment include lasagne, yum cha (!), prawns, fruit, yoghurt and biscuits. Her water cup is rarely out of reach, and she will happily return to it throughout the day whenever she is thirsty. IMG_3785 One thing that I have also noticed over the last few months, is just how much of a chatterbox Charlotte is. She is constantly talking to herself, and us, in her little language, and we are picking up more and more words each day. “Puppa (puppy), hanku (thankyou), plssss (please), “no”, “ta”, “mama”, “daddy”, “nanny”, “nanna”, “bye”, “hi”…. just to name a few. IMG_2451 And although she is a smiley child, mostly, she certainly has her cranky moments too as she tests the boundaries (and our resolve!) particularly when she is asked to stop doing something (picking her nose, jumping on the bed, banging on the window…you know….the important things…) IMG_0074IMG_2849IMG_2454 But generally they are crocodile tears, passionate crocodile tears, and it isn’t too long until she is back to her smiley, cheeky, dancing little self. IMG_2456IMG_2853IMG_2770 And dance she does – any time she hears music she will bop and spin around the house! So to my beautiful little 18 month old, let me say just this… I hope you never lose your sense of adventure, or your love and loyalty to your family and friends. May your smile shine ever so brightly, knowing that we are smiling right along beside you, and that you have made your parents two of the most happiest people in the world. IMG_3865 Happy 18 month birthday my beautiful baby girl.

12 months – growing up so fast

And just like that, my squishy little newborn is now a big, beautiful one year old. IMG_8900 And I am left wondering just where the last 12 months have gone!? IMG_7931 - Copy IMG_8064 - Copy IMG_8272 - Copy IMG_9113 - Copy Charlotte Watching our baby turn into a little girl has been nothing short of fascinating! IMG_8579
Charlotte is an outgoing girl, who loves to be around people, and play with other babies. It is not unusual for her to wave and smile at people when we go shopping, or just basically stare at them smiling until they smile back, and it makes my heart melt every single time.
She still loves the kitties, and taking herself off on little adventures. She also loves giving people big wet kisses on demand, and sitting on my back and bouncing up and down like she is riding a horse! IMG_8149
Charlotte is not yet walking independently, but will happily walk her way around furniture (or people) while holding on. I have often found her standing at the microwave (banging on the door) or walking behind her little bike and walker too. IMG_8243IMG_7997 IMG_8005
One thing I have noticed over the last month is that C will get into anything and everything. If it can be moved from one side of the room to the other, C is there. If it can be unpacked and spread around, C is there! IMG_9045IMG_9073
And another recent party trick? Poking her tongue out on demand. Cheeky? yes. but also very cute IMG_8857
She currently has four teeth on the top, four on the bottom, and a big molar on the bottom right. I suspect the matching molar on the other side is not too far away either?! A snapshot: IMG_7974 Loves: crawling, swimming classes, the kitties, kisses, bouncing, poking her tongue out, waving. unpacking, going for rides on her new bike. Loathes: having her face cleaned, being told “no”. Feeding Since last month, I dropped from two nursing sessions a day, to one. And, from her first birthday, to none. IMG_7814
That’s right, after a year of exclusively breastfeeding, Charlotte is now fully weaned. She has 3 meals a day, with snacks in between, and although I offer her cows milk and formula in place of the nursing sessions, she is not really all that interested. So I have been sure to give her lots of other dairy as part of her meals (yoghurt and cheese in particular) and lots of water. IMG_8090 Favourite foods? Cheese, yoghurt, peaches, nectarines. Her latest trick, which is a tad annoying, is taking bites of things then spitting them out or throwing them on the floor. Something we are trying to discourage, with limited success. IMG_8823
One thing she loves, however, is sharing her Daddy’s breakfast. Even if I have fed her her whole breakfast, she loves to sit on his knee and take mouthfuls of his weetbix. So much so that if he is not quick enough she will throw quite the tanty! IMG_8745 Sleep For so many months, I dreaded writing this part of her monthly update. For she was not the best of sleepers and was waking a lot throughout the evenings. IMG_8865 Since we weaned her from the overnight nursing   a few month back, though, she has turned into quite the wonderful sleeper. She still takes 2 naps a day (an hour at 9am, and close to 2 hours at 1pm) and will then sleep overnight from around 7pm to 6.30am. Achievements and Milestones Crawling, smiling, standing, eating, we are definitely moving into toddler-time! IMG_8100 We had quite a big month, with our first road trip to Melbourne, lots of parties and, of course, Charlotte’s first birthday. I really do think that she loved the attention, remaining in great spirits (mostly) even through the busiest times. She simply adores her grandparents, cousins, aunties and uncle, and will break into a big toothy smile whenever they are near. IMG_8946
Not so fun were the 12 month immunisations, but C surprised me by not shedding one single tear even though she needed to have 3 shots! My brave little girl :)  Me – the physical and emotional As I come to what will be my last monthly update for Charlotte, I cannot help but feel happy, sad, reflective, nostalgic, grateful and blessed. All at the same time. The hardest thing for me over the last month, emotionally, has been weaning Charlotte from breastfeeding. I had heard that stopping breastfeeding can bring with it a whole range of emotions, but I was still surprised at how sad it has made me feel. Truthfully, I actually rather miss it. IMG_8605 But I know that the timing was right, and hopefully we will have other babies in the future and I will be able to share that special time with them also. Clichéd as it may sound, it is hard to remember what life was like before this little girl turned our marriage into a "family" 1 year ago. All I know is that the last 12 months have brought with them many challenges, many ups, some downs, and a whole lotta life lessons.
Becoming a Mum has challenged me in ways I never expected, given me a few more grey hairs, seen me in tears and in fits of self doubt. But, more importantly, it has seen me smile wider, laugh louder and love deeper than I ever thought possible. The pride I have for the beautiful girl of ours is immeasurable, and my heart has been close to bursting on so many occasions when I watch my husband become a truly wonderful father. IMG_8504

Our cheeky monkey first birthday party


Last weekend, we were lucky enough to have all our closest family and friends in town to celebrate Miss C turning 1. We were also blessed with a warm Canberra day, perfect for an indoor / outdoor celebration, followed by a casual BBQ dinner.


And while I am sure there will be lots of pink and princesses in future parties, we decided on a slightly different theme and colour scheme for C’s first birthday – a cheeky monkey party!


I had a lot of fun putting together the dessert table for the party – using yellow and aqua as the main colours. Featuring – rocky road, lemon meringue pies, bananas, blue jelly beans, lolly pops and Miss C’s favourite – banana milkshakes!


As for the cake – I was inspired by the Martha Stewart monkey cake (link here), and the idea grew from there. This ended up being a HUGE cake, but was a lot of fun to put together.


I also made a smaller monkey to use as a “smash cake”, although he ended up being a little haphazard….


When decorating the rest of the house, we kept things relatively simple. Some bunches of yellow and aqua balloons scattered around the house, along with fresh yellow lilies and colourful lanterns lining our deck.


So how did the party go??? Food was eaten, the bubbly was flowing, songs were sung, cake was smashed, presents were opened and many cuddles were had.

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And we were again reminded how very blessed we are to have such a close and loving family Smile

1 year ago today…

1 year ago today, we welcomed the most amazing girl into our lives. IMG_5403 Each and every day since then has been a grand adventure, as we watch her learn and grow, and change from a little baby into a happy go-lucky 1 year old. IMG_8463 I have so much to say about the weekend we have just had, and the milestone that is turning 1… IMG_8780 But for now, let me just wish this beautiful girl of ours a very happy 1st birthday! IMG_8634 You are so loved my little Smidge xx


For those of you that have been reading my blog for a while, I think you would know that I love to throw parties. And I tend to go a little overboard with the details. But I really do enjoy the planning and decorating side of things, and we all need to go a little overboard every now and then right?! So I guess it will come as no surprise that I’ve decided to go all out for Charlotte’s first birthday party this weekend. From the cake, to the decorations, to the food….yep it’s all planned. IMG_8276 And Mr BBB has certainly been rolling his eyes quite a bit lately as the piles of party goodies begin to appear! IMG_8275 But balloons, cakes and candles aside, with C’s first birthday fast approaching, I can’t help but feel nostalgic and reflective. And grateful. And blessed. Blessed to be able to celebrate this wonderful occasion with our nearest and dearest. For two years ago I was going through what I can only describe as chaos – with 2 pregnancy losses and a barrage of fertility tests. Yet here we are, now, blessed with a beautiful almost-1-year old baby girl that lights up my life every single day. IMG_1153 And that, my friends, is most certainly cause for a wonderful celebration indeed! So let’s get this party started!! (well, on Saturday, at least….) All to be revealed next week Smile

11 months – fun and frolics

It’s hard to believe that this time one year ago, I was just about to commence maternity leave while awaiting the arrival of our precious little girl. IMG_7765 - Copy (2) For yesterday, she turned 11 months old. IMG_5377 IMG_7157 - Copy IMG_7432 - CopyIMG_7650 - Copy  IMG_7765 - Copy And these weekly photos are getting harder and harder each week with a wriggly bub that won’t lie still! Charlotte Another month passed us by, and what a month it was. Filled with adventures, milestones and fun. IMG_6754 Our cheeky monkey continues to be just that. Cheeky! Full of mischief, of smiles and of personality. IMG_6848IMG_6887 She loves to take herself off on little adventures around the house, usually with something in either hand. IMG_6861 Over things, through things, under things, ON things….you name it. IMG_6952IMG_6958 Nothing is too much of an obstacle! She is constantly on the move – crawling and standing – and starting to walk around the furniture. IMG_7035IMG_7039 But perhaps C’s most favourite thing to do is to “unpack”. Be it a basket, a box, a bag……she will turn it from full to empty in a matter of minutes – reaching in, picking up items and then generally throwing them over her shoulder! IMG_7733IMG_7735IMG_7449 Now if only I could teach her to pack things up – then I would have quite the little helper on my hands! A snapshot: Loves: crawling, the kitties, adventures, banana, kisses, adventures, waving. IMG_7590 Loathes: having her face cleaned, being told “no”, not being allowed to stand up in the bath?! IMG_7365 Feeding A lot has changed in the feeding department over the past month. I successfully dropped Charlotte’s overnight feed, as well as her lunchtime nursing session, so we are now just on 2 a day (morning and night). IMG_7258 Food wise, she is happy to try anything! Breakfast is usually cereal, yoghurt and fruit, and lunch is a puree, vegetables or a sandwich. Dinner is generally whatever we are having, plus a puree, yoghurt and fruit (and snacks in between if needed). IMG_7264 Her favourite foods of late have been watermelon and banana, and she even ate a whole peach the other day after she had already eaten all her dinner! She still has some days where she doesn’t seem to be all that hungry, but I just noticed what I think is a molar starting to poke through so I suspect that is the culprit. Sleep My oh my – how things in the sleep department have also changed over the last month. I wrote more about it here – but basically since the last monthly update, she has gone from waking 5 to 6 times overnight to……none. IMG_7099 That’s right. She now, mostly, sleeps through from 7pm to 6.30am or so. She also no longer requires any rocking or sshhhh-ing to sleep. I just put her down awake, and after 5 minutes of protest, she will roll over and go to sleep, as a general rule. It was a long road to get to this point, but I am so grateful that we are here. Charlotte seems more rested, and has more interest in food. I too am starting to feel more ‘human’ after 10 months of limited sleep.  IMG_7109 Way to go little one! Achievements and Milestones Crawling, smiling, standing, eating – our little girl continues to amaze me every single day. IMG_7612 This month saw us take a girls’ trip to Melbourne, which was our first flight together (just the two of us). We went out for high tea, and Charlotte met her Great Grandfather again. There was lots of playing in the park, we went to a birthday party and even a food festival. IMG_7318 Me – the physical and emotional Another ‘milestone’ this month was that Charlotte started in daycare, one day a week (another reason we decided to drop the lunch milk feed). I feel completely silly saying this, but that first day I dropped her off, I was a mess. I went into work, and tried to keep busy. But all I could think about was my little girl and how she was faring. It struck me that it was the longest we had ever been apart in the last 11 months! IMG_7289 Well, I made it until 2.30pm before I couldn’t help myself, and went to collect her early. And you know what…..she was perfectly fine. She had had 2 naps, eaten all her meals and was happily eating her afternoon tea  when I arrived.  I think next week will be a little easier on me, although ‘separation anxiety’ is no joke! And I’m not talking about Charlotte’s!! Now that Charlotte is in day-care one day a week, I am upping my work hours a little more in the next few weeks. I am still hoping to work part time (4 days per week), combining some days in the office and some at home. Truthfully, the older Charlotte gets the harder it is to find time to fit everything in, but we are managing. If I know I have a busy day, I will try and get up a few hours before she does (and then fit in other work while she sleeps). I am also lucky enough to have Mr BBB’s family living nearby who are only more than happy to help out with babysitting as required – which allows me to get into the office (sometimes on short notice) another half day per week. The added bonus being that Charlotte gets to spend more time with her extended family which I know she just loves. IMG_0996 So where am I 11 months into this magical journey that is parenthood? My fitness is slowly but surely returning, and I am trying to fit in 3 runs per week plus lots of walks. I have been pretty lucky that my body has returned to something akin to its pre-pregnancy form (albeit a different shape), which I think has a lot to do with being able to breastfeed for 11 months. I have, however, noticed that since reducing the nursing sessions my body is starting to ‘cling’ onto a little weight so I suspect it will go up a bit as Charlotte starts to wean. I’d be lying if I said that didn’t bother me, but at the end of the day, a happy healthy mama is what my baby girl needs. And with only 1 month until my little girl is ONE (holy hell how did that happen?!?!?!), we have a lot more fun things planned. Another trip to Melbourne (this time a road trip), 3 birthday parties to attend, a whole garden to plant AND a certain someone’s birthday party to plan….can’t wait!

10 months – On the move

I’m a  tad behind with this post, but on Saturday our little girl turned 10 months old. IMG_6722 - Copy And although I knew the last month was going to be a busy one, I’m still surprised at just how much changed over the last 4 weeks. IMG_5373 - Copy IMG_5374 - Copy IMG_5375 IMG_5376 Charlotte I think the most noticeable changes over the last month relate to movement. Charlotte is now very proficient in crawling, and can cross from one side of the room to the other with speed and gusto. IMG_6546 Long gone are the days when I could put her down, turn away, and she would be in the same spot when I turned back. No, now that she can, this girl is constantly on the move! This makes attempting to get my weekly photo of her on her back very interesting – and near impossible! IMG_6754 In keeping with the movement theme (and I suspect the independence that it brings her) C loves the little bike she got for Christmas, as well as her walker. She will quite happily wander up and down the hall exploring – bumping into the walls and cupboards along the way?! IMG_5946 In addition to crawling, C has now worked out how to pull herself up to a standing position. Legs, tables, chairs… name it, she will try to climb on it. IMG_5580IMG_6737 IMG_6471 I still continue to describe Charlotte as my cheeky monkey. She is constantly pulling faces, blowing raspberries, playing hide and seek, and….eating her feet?! IMG_6640 IMG_6644 I love that it doesn’t take much for her to flash a toothy grin (still 8 and counting….), and when she does, it is impossible not to smile back. IMG_6670IMG_5407IMG_6699 She has started to wave and clap when prompted and, most recently, will plant a big open-mouthed sloppy kiss on your face when asked to! IMG_6584 Yup – too adorable!!!! A snapshot: Loves: her DADDY!, the swings, baths, her walker, kisses, water, climbing and crawling, cheese, watermelon, eating out at restaurants and cafes, kissing the baby in the mirror. IMG_6564IMG_6162 Loathes: having her face cleaned,  wearing a hat, being restrained in the bumbo when she wants to grab at things around her, nap times, having her nappy changed. Feeding 10 months in, and I am still nursing Charlotte 3 times during the day, and once or twice at night. She continues to show a a growing interest in food though, and will generally try anything we serve her. IMG_6236 Actually, even when I make her her own lunch, she would much prefer to eat whatever I’m eating (even if it is the same…). So much so, that it is not unusual for her to take big bites of my sandwich instead of eating hers. IMG_6081 As for nursing, we are going to attempt to ‘sleep train’ Charlotte next weekend (see below) and as part of that, I hope to drop the night feeds. This will be a little sad for both of us, I think, but I only need to take one look at her chubby cheeks and adorable baby thighs to know that she is thriving. Sleeping Again, Charlotte is nowhere near sleeping through the night. Rather, most recently, she seems to have regressed in the sleep department and it is not unusual for her to now wake up 6+ times overnight. Ugh. IMG_6618 So while I have been reluctant to engage in any formal ‘sleep training’ or cry it out routines up to this point, I think the time has come to encourage and hopefully teach her to sleep a bit better overnight – without resorting to the usual ‘nursing’ solution. So next weekend it is! I will be sure to keep you posted. Achievements and Milestones Crawling, smiling, standing, eating – our little girl continues to amaze me. IMG_6547 We had a big month this month, with Charlotte’s first Christmas, a visit from her Nanny and Uncle, a day trip to Kiama, lots of BBQs / picnics, lots of swims, and our first family beach holiday to Merimbula. IMG_6324 And, to be honest, she took these new adventures all in her stride. She really does seem to love being out and about, and being around people in particular. She loved the water, and showed no hesitation at all during our beach holiday. Me – the physical and emotional It has been so nice having Mr BBB on holidays over the last 3 weeks, and I think it will be quite a shock to the system when he goes back to work this week and it is just Charlotte and I during the day! IMG_6186 Mostly it has been wonderful being able to share the daily milestones with him, particularly given they have been coming rather quickly lately. Sleep (and lack thereof) has probably been my biggest challenge this past month – although being on holidays has meant that I have been able to take naps when Charlotte naps and try to keep enough in the reserves. Hopefully this is an area that improves over the next month or so, as I think having a more active and interactive baby will certainly make my working from home regime a little more challenging. IMG_5755 Work aside – Charlotte and I are heading off to Melbourne later this month. I’m excited (but also a little nervous) about our first flight with just the two of us – but fingers crossed it will be fine. The hardest part will be keeping my little wriggler still for the hour! Did someone say “girl’s trip”!!?!

9 months – our cheeky monkey

Holy moly – 9 months. IMG_5230 - Copy Where did you sneak up from? IMG_4201 - Copy IMG_4420 - Copy IMG_4844 - Copy IMG_5170 - Copy Charlotte Charlotte is 9 months old today, and she has officially almost been “out” of my tummy for as long as she was “in” my tummy (reminding me just how long pregnancy really is!) IMG_4259 I know I say this every month, but I feel as is so much has changed over the last 4 weeks. IMG_4485 It’s strange really – we seem to go through cycles. Cycles where not a lot changes in a couple weeks, then BAM, so much will change in only a couple of days. It’s like a light bulb goes off in C’s head – and these developmental milestones that come out of nowhere never cease to amaze me. IMG_4131 One word I have used to describe C a lot over the last month is “cheeky monkey”. For it seems that she has quite a cheeky personality these days, getting up to mischief, pulling funny faces, and certainly keeping us on our toes. IMG_5106IMG_4995IMG_4557 She is a social bub, and is generally not wary of strangers. Rather, she is more than willing to flash a toothy grin at anyone who stops to say hello.  At a party recently – she was more than happy to be passed around for cuddles and play – and didn’t seem to mind that I was nowhere in sight. IMG_5114 She is such a nosey-parker too – straining to see where someone is going if they leave the room, and just generally wanting to be apart of the action! IMG_4978 At the end of last month, C had just begun to pull herself along the floor. This has only picked in speed and intensity, and she can now get from one side of the room to the other in no time at all. IMG_4860 She is a strong little girl, and will push herself up from her tummy, into a seated position with ease, then head back down on her tummy again when she wants to move somewhere else. IMG_4330 She also (finally) realised that she can roll from back to tummy, and will do it anytime we put her down on her back. This has made for a rather comical daily clothing change – where she rolls and wriggles so much that I literally have to wrestle her to get her dressed, nappy changed etc. C’s ‘chatter’ also continues, with lots of noises, sounds and yells (?). Her excited ‘yell’ whenever the cats come close is too adorable for words, although I don’t think the cats really appreciate it. IMG_4636 My personal favourite ‘development’ this month are baby kisses! On cue, Charlotte will nuzzle into my cheek or mouth and plant the wettest baby kiss, simultaneously melting my heart when she does. IMG_4179 Another favourite are the baby ‘claps’ that she will do when prompted – too adorable! IMG_5104 In other news, at the end of last month, C had 7 teeth. And at the end of this month, the 8th has finally started to poke through. It has been giving her a fair bit of grief for weeks now – causing her to rub and hit her mouth, face and ears, so I am relieved that it has finally cut through. Almost instantly she seems to be brighter and happier, so here’s hoping she now has some relief. Smiles, giggles and kisses aside, I think Charlotte has quite a sensitive soul too. She most certainly does not like to be told no, and will burst into tears if she hears the dreaded “n” word. If she is pulling my hair, for example, and I give her a stern ‘no’, I will be met with her bottom lip coming out, quivering, and lots and lots of tears. IMG_4889 She has actually also burst into tears on a couple occasions when I have been telling off the cat (who has brought not one, but two, mice home for in recent weeks) – resulting in a mouse-carrying cat, freaked out mama, and crying baby. A rather funny sight if I ever did see one! A snapshot: Loves: her DADDY!, blowing raspberries and kisses, clapping her hands, smiling at strangers, heading outdoors for a walk, the kitty cats, cheese, blueberries and yogurt, the drain on our bathroom floor (?), chatting to the ‘baby in the mirror’. Loathes: having her face cleaned / nose wiped, drinking from anything that is not her Mum, nap times, being told “no” > yep the same as last month! Feeding 9 months in, and I am still nursing Charlotte 3 times during the day, and once or twice at night. Ever so slowly she is showing more interest in foods, and will generally try anything we serve. IMG_4671 We went out for yum cha a couple times this month, and she loved the sticky rice and noodles. She also wolfed down some garlic rice from a local Phillipino restaurant, as well as some omelette, but her real love is cheese (just like her mama!). IMG_4666 Sleeping As at the last monthly update, Charlotte was nowhere near sleeping through. Yet merely days after that update, she only woke up once overnight– and that trend has pretty much continued for the most part. She now generally wakes around 11pm, and then will sleep through to 5am or so. I say ‘generally’, however, as we still have the ‘crazy’ nights every now and then, which I think have had a lot to do with the hot weather we have had this month. IMG_4931 Sleep duration aside, gone are the days when I put Charlotte to bed on her back, and come in to find her still asleep on her back. No, my friends, this girl can move and will now generally sleep on her side or tummy, and it is normal for me to find her sitting or kneeling in her cot after her nap (which we rather quickly lowered when we discovered this!). Achievements and Milestones Scooting, rolling, sitting, chatting, dancing. Our little girl sure is growing up. Charlotte met Santa for the first time this month, and was an absolute treasure the whole time. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting her to be too worried or upset, given how much she LOVES smiling at strangers whenever we are out. C ended up sitting on Santa’s lap for over 5 minutes as the camera broke – and not one tear was shed – just smiles! xmas She also joined us for a Santa fun run… IMG_4368 And attended her first concert – the Wiggles! PC050004 Ahhh the social life of a baby Winking smile Me – the physical and emotional 9 months in – and I am constantly asking myself where the time has gone. Someone said to me that with babies / children – “the days are long, but the years are short” and I don’t think that truer words have ever been spoken. IMG_4391 For all too often I find myself at Friday, wondering where the week has gone. Yet in the middle of the day, when nap strikes are in full force and food refusal is on order, the evenings can’t come around quick enough. I’d hoped to get more consistent with training this last month, and I didn’t do too badly. I generally fit in 2 runs a week, ideally 3, but with lots of walking in between I think I am keeping relatively fit. IMG_4561 Emotionally I have days where I feel that I could do more to be a ‘better’ Mum – but I think that is a common sentiment for us new Mums. Luckily these days are generally fleeting, and I only have to get one toothy grin from my little girl to know that all is well. She really is the light of our lives, and I am so proud of the bright little cheeky monkey that she has become. IMG_4660 So there you have it – our 9 month update! Next month is sure to be a big one – with Christmas (duh) and our first family holiday to the beach. 7 days of sunshine, sand and surf = sounds like heaven to me.