Sunday, December 27, 2009

Annabelle's first Christmas!

We had a lovely first Christmas with Annabelle, which was shared with members of my family. This year Christmas lunch was held at my place but I was fortunate that everyone chipped in and brought along at least one meal so the workload was shared by everyone. I do have a few new recipes that I tried this year which were quite successful so I'll post them later.

The weather was cooler than the previous days had been although we still needed the air conditioning on to keep us cool!

Annabelle was very spoilt by family and friends, including special friends overseas, so we're glad we resisted the urge to go crazy and only bought her one big present and three little ones.

Daddy bought Annabelle Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls

Annabelle's presents!

Annabelle's present from Mummy and Daddy!

Our pretty girl!

I hope everyone had a Christmas as lovely as ours was.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Our first ever Santa photo! We couldn't get a smile out of her but at least there were no tears!

I can't believe Annabelle is four months already! Soon I'll have to start thinking about returning to work and I hate the idea of leaving her - even part time! For now I'm just enjoying watching her develop, from her first smile to baby-talk, it's all wonderful.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cicada Season

The drone of cicadas is one of our most recognisable sounds of summer as they are the loudest insect in the world. We've noticed that the backyard is full of their discarded skins - they're stuck to all our trees, some plants, even one of the garbage bins! Everyday we wake to find more of them.

My mother tells me that when I was a child I used to collect them and at one stage I had a suitcase full so they obviously didn't scare me! Nowadays I find the adult cicada much more attractive, especially when they're fresh out of their skin and their vein-filled translucent wings are shimmering.

So far we've only seen one adult but it's early days yet - and we can certainly hear them at dusk so I'm sure we'll be seeing more over the coming weeks.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Boys and their toys!

We had a tree in our backyard that was slowly dying so we decided the best option was to remove it now and replace it with something else.

I asked Aaron to leave part of the stump rather than grind it out so that I could put either a bird bath or a bird feeder on top - an easy request I'd have thought seeing as he is a tree lopper.

A few seconds after this photo was taken I walked away as I heard Annabelle crying through the baby monitor. After I'd finished feeding the baby I came back to find this:

Apparently it's a 'sculpture', which is funny as I'm sure all I asked for was a level stump to put something on top of! Once Aaron got the chain saw in his hands he couldn't stop himself and now I have this ugly lump of wood in my back garden... all it needs is a figurine to finish it off!

You can't get much cheesier than a garden gnome - and this one is holding a chain saw! I wonder what Aaron will say when he gets home from work and discovers it!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

12 weeks today!

At exactly this time 12 weeks ago our lovely Annabelle was born! I can't believe how quickly the time has passed.

Annabelle has just started to give us real smiles, which is lovely, particularly at 4am in the morning when she is awake for a feed and she looks up at me from her cot and smiles - it makes getting out of bed a little bit easier!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Blessing Oliver

Today was my nephew Oliver's Blessing at the Nan Tien Temple. Last year Mason had his blessing at the temple so I was really looking forward to going there again.

The weather this week has been cold and wet but when I woke up this morning 
the rain had gone and we ended up with a beautiful sunny day!


Maddy, Mason, Danielle, Oliver & Noel

Maddy & I in pink!

I really like the philosophy behind the  blessing, despite the fact that we're not Buddhists, which is a wish for the child to grow up to be a good person.  Aaron and I are thinking of having Annabelle blessed next year.

All the babies who were blessed today

Aaron, Annabelle & myself

3 Generations; my Mum, myself & Annabelle

with my Dad & his wife

Annabelle looking very cute!

After the blessing we went to a friend of Noel & Danielle's 
for afternoon tea and a swim in their pool for the children. 
Luckily it was a hot day as they'd have been disappointed if it had been too cold to swim.

The speech

The cake that Maddy decorated (with a little help)

An outfit change when it got cooler

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Isabelle Regulation

Today, the NSW government announced new safety rules - dubbed Isabelle's regulations - that mean children aged up to seven will have to be strapped into car restraints.

Child seatbelt laws overhauled in NSW

4/11/2009 2:56:00 PM
Child seatbelt laws in NSW are set to be overhauled from early next year in a bid to reduce the number of children injured and killed on the state's roads.

As revealed in the Mercury today, State Cabinet has approved new vehicle restraint laws affecting children up to the age of seven.

At present, only children up to 12 months old must be restrained in an approved seat in NSW.

But NSW Premier Nathan Rees and NSW Transport Minister David Campbell today revealed that, from March, children between six months and four years will have to be secured in a rear-or forward-facing restraint.
Those aged four to seven will have to sit in a forward-facing child restraint.
Other changes include:

  • Children younger than four years cannot travel in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows

  • Children between the ages of four and seven cannot travel in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows, unless all other back seats are occupied by children younger than seven years in a child restraint or booster seat.

    NSW Premier Nathan Rees said the changes were about saving children's lives.
    "We can always do more to reduce the road toll, to reduce the tragedy and the impact on loved ones that comes from those deaths on the roads," Mr Rees said.
    Under the national guidelines, a rear-facing capsule is required for babies aged up to at least six months, a child restraint seat with an inbuilt harness for those between six months and up to at least four years of age, and a booster seat for children aged between four and seven.

    It is understood there will be a period of grace until fines for non-compliance are imposed and a minimum age may be set for children sitting in the front seat.
    Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria have already said they will apply the national standards.

    In March 2008 then Roads Minister Eric Roozendaal indicated he would toughen laws in NSW, but neither he nor subsequent minister Michael Daley succeeded in doing so.
    In Australia, 500 children up to the age of 10 are killed or seriously injured every year in car accidents, with 2300 sustaining minor injuries.

    Some medical studies have suggested the premature graduation of children into adult seat belts increases the risk of injury or death in an accident.

    Mt St Thomas parents Noel and Danielle Broadhead, whose three-year-old daughter Isabelle died due to seatbelt injuries sustained in a low-speed car accident in 2006 at Mt Kembla, have been prominent campaigners for the law changes.

    They were unhappy with the State Government's progress.

    But when contacted by the Mercury yesterday, Mr Broadhead praised the swift action of Mr Campbell, Minister for the Illawarra and Minister for Transport, who took added responsibility for roads in September.

    Mr Broadhead believes Isabelle would have survived the accident had she been in a seat with an inbuilt harness.

    "In all likelihood she would not have suffered such serious injury because the force would have been spread across the seat," he said.
    "She probably would have walked away like her sister."
    Mr Broadhead said he and his wife, Danielle, had pushed for new state legislation to honour their daughter's memory.
    Seats can be bought for about $90, which Mr Broadhead said was a small price for saving a life.

    "We don't want to be the parents who find out someone else has died for the same reason as Isabelle," Mr Broadhead said.

    "We know how it feels and we wouldn't want anybody else to feel it."

    Illawarra Mercury

  • Sunday, November 1, 2009

    Happy Halloween

    This afternoon Annabelle went to her first Halloween party!! Wearing orange and black was as close as I got to dressing up but Annabelle was dressed as a butterfly fairy (thanks to her Aunty Danielle)!

    Halloween isn't traditionally celebrated in Australia but over the past few years it has started to become more popular so Danielle thought Madeleine would enjoy having a party - it's better than knocking on strangers doors as you're guaranteed to take home a bag full of lollies!

    Of course at a Halloween party you have to play games like wrap the Mummy, apple bobbing, egg toss (one of the eggs was not boiled first) and a gooey game where you stick your hand in a bowl of spaghetti and pull out spiders and other creepy crawlies!

    Mason had a ball running around amongst all those girls, about 18 of them, and they were all really good with him and let him stick around.

    Over the last few days I have noticed Annabelle has started to settle more during the day and she doesn't seem to be suffering from colic as much as she was a few weeks ago, which is fantastic but it also means she slept through most of the party!

    borrowing Oliver's pumpkin-head! 

    Oliver looking as cute as ever!

    My first attempt at putting the wings and antennae on Annabelle

    My butterfly fairy; munching on her fairy wand!

    Wednesday, October 21, 2009

    Mr Mum

    I was recently out of action for a few days, due to a stomach bug, so Aaron was left with the job of looking after Annabelle.

    As lovely as our girl is she doesn't sleep very much due to a combination of colic and reflux - and she spends a lot of the day crying. The paediatrician has just put Annabelle on medication for the reflux and the colic should pass within the next few months so I know there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    For Aaron it was baptism of fire as he's never had to do a night feed before - and Annabelle is on a 3-hourly cycle - and he'd only ever changed one or two nappies! There were several times that Aaron brought Annabelle in to me complaining that he couldn't get her to sleep or that she wouldn't stop crying (and he was so tired).

    At one point I heard the volume of the TV getting louder and louder and I realised Aaron was turning it up as he couldn't hear his fishing show over the sound of the baby. There were times that I really wanted to take Annabelle off him, just to give her a cuddle or try and comfort her, but I didn't want her to get my bug as she's so tiny she would have ended up in hospital.

    Despite being exhausted after his 2 days of being Mr Mum he actually looked forward to returning to work, he said manual labour was easier than looking after a baby. 

    I have to say it was really difficult to stay away from my own baby, especially when she was in the same house as me but Aaron did a pretty good job - he even changed all the dirty nappies without complaining! 

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009


    When Annabelle was born we were advised to have her vaccinated for whooping cough when she was 6 weeks old.

    Whooping cough is a highly contagious but preventable disease which has claimed the lives of three children this year, including one infant in NSW. Since the epidemic was identified early this year, the NSW Government has committed $8.25 million to provide 330,000 free doses of whooping cough vaccine for infants, parents, grandparents and carers of infants under 12 months. Aaron and I have had the booster and my parents have as well.

    In the past 12 months said the number of people infected nationwide has increased threefold to 27,000, up from 7,500 the previous 12 months.

    Aaron and I didn't think twice about whether Annabelle would have the vaccination, as her parents we will do anything we can to protect her. It surprised me to learn the reason whooping cough has returned is due to the large numbers of people not vaccinating their children, mostly due to unsubstantiated research.

    In Britain in the 70s parents with brain damaged children reported that their children were diagnosed close to the time they received the whooping cough vaccine. Despite studies showing this to be false whooping cough vaccination rates fell below 50 per cent as parents saw footage of the brain damaged children on TV, leading to over 20,000 cases and several deaths.

    Another debacle was the result of research suggesting the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine - particularly the measles component - was responsible for autism. Again this was refuted by several studies but measles vaccination rates fell. This was followed by the expected response of a major measles outbreak, with many children hospitalised with severe infections.

    In New South Wales whooping cough is on the rise, in Queensland it is measles.

    Newborns are helpless and it takes so little to affect them.

    Vaccination is a social responsibility. You can be healthy and do things will help to increase the health of your child. They will not stop them getting the diseases which vaccines prevent. They might recover from a cold more quickly. They won't recover from death.

    Please vaccinate your child.

    Wednesday, September 30, 2009

    Annabelle's Arrival

    I did say several weeks ago that when I had the chance I would post some pictures of the day Annabelle arrived - finally here they are!

    Me & Maddy - just before I went into hospital

    the fetal monitor

    Tired already - and there's still a long way to go!

    Some people laboured easier than others!

    A reassuring sight - gown and nappy laid out ready

    Here she is - with a nice 'bun' on her head
    courtesy of the vacuum extraction!

    cutting the cord

    being weighed

    Our first family photo

    A very proud Daddy!

    Our birthing 'coach' - Aunty Danielle & Annabelle

    Maddy meeting her cousin for the first time!

    Maddy, Annabelle & Oliver - when I look at this picture I can see
    just how much the jaundice affected Annabelle's colouring!

    Day 8, our last day in hospital

    Packed up & ready to go home!

    Home at last!