Monday, 29 October 2012

This very day 6 years ago......

Today my little dude turns 6!  I still remember the day he was born like it was yesterday.  It was a Sunday and around mid morning after a lovely lie in (don't think I've had one of those since that very day). I was sat at my dressing table blow-drying my hair when my waters started to leak!  I was mortified as I thought I had just wet myself.  It wasn't the great, big tidal wave of waters I had been expecting and as I wasn't quite yet 36 weeks I wasn't anywhere near prepared for the birth! (you'd think I would have learnt by now not to leave things to the last minute). When it happened (the leak) again a few minites later, it then dawned on me that this might really be it!  I wasn't in any pain yet and was actually quite excited as we so desperately wanted to meet our little man.  I called the hospital just to check that this was the real deal and they assured me that it certainly sounded like it, but the early stages could take hours or days, so I was to just carry on as I was until something more substantial happened.

So off we went to the shops! My priorities were to go to Marks and Spencer to get some clothes to wear in the hospital - you know the pj's that button up the front so that I wouldn't have to strip naked during labour (another one of my first time worries).  Mr D's priorities were to get to Tesco for supplies - if it was going to be a long labour, he needed food!!  Oh we really didn't have a clue!!  Quite funny to look back on it all now after having three babies.  Whilst in the fitting room in M&S my waters really went!!!   Well what was left of them anyway.  I was too embarrassed to tell anyone (goodness knows why as I think it was quite obvious I was heavily pregnant), so I mopped the water up with my jumper and signaled for Mr D!!  It took about 10 attempts and some frantic waving and yelling to get his attention - honestly you'd think he'd be paying more attention!!  I decided then I wanted to get home as some mild cramping had started.  This was it I thought - we had better start making some phone calls.
Hello baby boy!
I called my dad about a 100 times, but he was out on the ocean, sailing!  Great!!  Next was mum - who was actually out of the country visiting my grandparents.  It took a few attempts too, but eventually I was able to get her.  I don't know who felt worse - me needing her to come home or her not being able to get home!!  My sister was at university, but said she'd do her best to get down to me and my brother was with mum in South Africa.  So who was left?????  

I was now in quite a bit of pain and sat in the car outside Tesco, on the phone to my now late Nan.  "Nan, the baby is coming!" "What???" she says.  "The baby is coming Nan.  Now!!"  "OH, Robyn", she says "I though you were Leigh-Anne (my cousin and next on my phone call list)".  "Yes, Nan, it's Robyn and the BABY IS COMING!!!"  "DOn't worry I know about about the clocks" she says - "they go back today!  I did mine already."  Oh god, this is impossible.  I don't know whether to laugh or cry!!  "THE BABY! NAN" I yell "IT'S COMING!!!" "Oh that's lovely" she says "Have your told your father?"  "Yes!" I reply "Not wanting to risk another misunderstanding.  

He got to meet his great Nanna
I then tried to walk into Tesco to find Mr D, who was shopping for 'supplies'.  Anyone would have though we were going on a camping trip -  not having a baby!  MY contractions were starting to come in fairly fast now and I was finding it difficult to walk.  I couldn't find Mr D anywhere and was starting to panic!  I kept getting his voicemail every time I tried to call. (I won't repeat the kind of messaged that were left behind).  Little did I know, Nan had called Leigh-Anne who had straight away called Mr D.  They were having a jolly old chat about what was happing down the drinks isle at Tesco whilst I had flung myself over an ice-cream fridge in the frozen isle trying to help a contraction pass.  (That moment will always stick with me forever as I will never forget the shock on some poor man's face as he tried to help me).  I eventually found Mr D (and would probably have hit him over the head with something frozen if I wasn't in mid labour) and told him that we had to go NOW!!  We still had to stand in the queue and pay for his 'supplies' would you believe!!

A very proud grandpa who rushed all the way home from Southampton (after a frantic voicemail from me) to make the birth (just).
We arrived home and I went upstairs to frantically try and pack my bag and get changed into something more comfortable, whilst Mr D tackled the car seat (which we hadn't even taken out the box yet).  A few minutes later Leigh-Anne arrived bringing her new boyfriend with her.  We can have a good giggle about it now but I still remember being half undressed, doubled over in pain and this poor guy (who I'd only met once before) stood in the bedroom doorway looking as white as a sheet and not knowing what to say or do!

The drive to the hospital was only about 10 minutes but it felt like the longest car ride in history.  I almost crawled out the car and into the hospital when we finally arrived.  As we entered the labour ward I flung myself over the desk and said "HELP, I think I'm dying!".  The midwife on duty looked up from her 'Hello!' magazine and said, "No, honey, you're having a baby!"  Master J was born a couple of hours later and granddad made it just in time!!

Six years on and our parenting skills (and labour day skills) are much more streamlined, but we wouldn't change a single minute of any of it!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Six very special reasons ......

1. He makes me proud every single day

2. He is not afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve and his love for those he cares about is not only  instinctive but so real.

3. He has taught me more in the last six years about life and love than I ever thought I could know.

4. He has the most amazing smile.

5. He always makes me laugh just when I need to most

6. He is mine

Happy 6th Birthday Master J.  We love you x

The moment he arrived

LOVE xxx
Always a super hero!

LIttle dude!
Happy 6th Birthday darling!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

A new week in pictures. Love Instagram

I don't feel like I have very much to show for this week.  I have been doing my Mummy role to it's very best! Miss H had both me and Mr D awake most of Sunday night as she couldn't sleep and just wasn't herself.  Experience told me that I was heading for long week and how right I was!!  Poor little mouse woke up on Monday morning with a body temperature topping 40 degrees and by mid-morning I had been vomited on 3 times! (By the end of the day I'd had three showers too!!)
Tucked in on the sofa with her beloved 'raggy-tag'
The next few days were spent cleaning up vomit, washing, trying to keep germs from spreading from one child to the next, lots of cuddling and tlc, washing, reading stories and LOTS of 'Dora' on the telly and oh did I mention - more washing!!

I left Miss L in her bumbo seat watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse whilst I was checking on a poorly Miss H upstairs.  I came back down again to find her slumped over and fast asleep!!  It was so cute I couldn't help but chuckle and take this picture before transferring her to her cot.
Just as things started to improve and Miss H was starting to get that little spring back in her step, drama number two started!  I was hanging the washing outside when she skipped over and told me "Mummy I just ate a magnet!"  "What do you mean you ate a magnet??"  I asked (surely she wouldn't have?? Surely!).  "I put it on my tongue like this" (she demonstrated with another one of Master J's magnets) "and then it went in my foot and then in my eye and then under my chin (like this - demonstrating again) and now it's in my tummy!!  She was very matter of fact about it too!  "Did you really???" I asked again, desperately trying to get a serious answer (never knowing whether to believe all their stories) "Mummy won't be cross!" I coaxed her.  "Yes!" She said!  "But why did you do that H??" I said - "what a silly thing to do!!"  "Because I was hungry" she told me, before disappearing back inside.
Can you spot the magnet??
Beautiful bubba.  Passed out on the bed while I was folding washing
She can literally sleep anywhere!!  Must be third child syndrome
A family of elves!! (Master J's new favourite thing to do is play with the photo-booth on our iMac!  Aren't Apple clever?) 
6:30 am high tide!  I still managed to squeeze in some 'me' time this week with a couple of beach training sessions
 Next week Master J turns six!!  Wow, can you believe I've been a mummy for six years!!!!!!!

Monday, 22 October 2012

The modern doctor

Last week I had the most interesting of experiences at the doctors.  I had been feeling below par for a few days but unfortunately there is no such thing as a 'sick' day for Nanny Mummy.  By mid week I had a headache that felt like a someone was sitting right on top of my head and I had to really concentrate to keep my eyes open.  Not from tiredness (thats a pretty normal, everyday feeling for me) but more like there were little lead weights attached to my eyelids pulling them down.  My throat was also red raw and I felt like I was swallowing razor blades!!  So I decided I'd book myself a doctors appointment.

I dropped the kids off at school and Kindy and gave the surgery a call.  My usual doctor was fully booked but receptionist suggested I see another doctor who was free at 11am.  "Perfect" I thought!  If I didn't take that appointment I knew I wouldn't get another chance.  At 11am on the dot, a very 'hippy' looking lady called me into her room and introduced herself with a heavy German accent.  I explained to her that I wasn't feeling great and that I had a particularly sore throat.  She peered at me over the top of her glasses and I suddenly felt very silly.  Perhaps I was being a bit of a hypochondriac, I suddenly thought!!!

She had a good look down my throat with a rather large torch, felt the glands in my neck and then began to tell me that I did in fact have a viral infection.  "Phew!  I thought - thank god it's something!!".  I felt much happier and waited patiently for her to write me a prescription for a miracle cure so I could go and do the groceries without feeling like death.

I had to take a picture of her "prescription" and send it to Mr D as he didn't believe me when I told him about the sock!!
This is what she gave me!  I read it.  Read it again! and then looked up at her slightly bewildered.   Without even batting an eyelid she said "Zee tissue in zee throat is very swollen!!"  "You must get zee pillowcase.  It must be cotton and soak it in zee cold water!  Wring it out, wrap it around zee neck and fasten with zee nappy pin.  Then you must wrap with zee woollen sock.  It must be woollen otherwise it will not trap zee heat.  Then you must sleep like this all night."  I could actually feel myself starting to giggle, but she was so deadly serious that I had to bite my botton lip in restraint so not to appear rude.

She then proceeded to tell me to make sure I kept myself extra warm and to double wrap a scarf around my neck all day to keep the area hot as heat helps to fight infection!  Had she been outside today I was 34 degrees!!!!  If I was to wear a double scarf around my neck all day people would think I was mad!!  At least I'd have no problem keeping warm.

Last on the list was to not eat sugar for a week as apparently sugar will feed the bacteria making the infection worse (I thought she said it was viral??, I wondered)  I daren't ask though as I didn't want her to give me any more weird advice!  Anyway, the no sugar part was ok as that would just compliment my diet, so I could stick to that one!

So that was it!!!!!!!!  No real medicine - nothing!!  She just sent me on my way - but not before I paid $50 for the pleasure!!  Thank goodness I have private medical insurance!

Later that day I bumped into a friend and told her of my strange experience and she just laughed out loud and said "Oh bad luck, you got the Greenie!!

Now I'm all for alternative therapies, but this was just a bit much for me!  I think I'll stick to my normal GP next time, but I'm pretty sure both my mum and mother-in-law would LOVE this Greenie!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

My week in pictures. Love Instagram

A busy busy week in the de Beer house is nothing new but this week has been a particularly loooong one for me!  I can't quite put my finger on why, but by the time I got to Wednesday, I could have sworn it was Friday!!  Don't you hate that??  It never seems to happen the other way around.  I also seemed to have picked up some kind of virus this week, so have not been feeling on top of my game (which doesn't help.)

Master J's favourite thing to do at the beach is throw himself off the top of the sand dunes and 'fly'!!
With spring in full swing, the weather this week has been absolutely spectacular and day light saving has meant that we've been able to enjoy the beach in the early evenings.  The kids always moan "nooo, not the beach!!!" when I drag them down there after school, but once we get there they just love it!!  It's a win win, as I get to sit and stare at the ocean - something which also seems to restore my inner peace after a hectic day and they could spent hours jumping off the sand dunes!!

My little fairy trying to copy her big brother

The naked chef!!  Who needs clothes for making chocolate cake??  (less washing for me!)

Miss H loves baking and luckily for me she still thinks her mummy is a fabulous cook!  She also loves being naked and doesn't seem anywhere near growing out of that phase yet!

The school sponsored walkathon
It happened to be the most swelteringly HOT day for the walkathon and while I sweated my way round the field pushing Miss L in the pram, the kids just whizzed by in a flash.  I don't think they quite got the "walk' athon bit - it was more like a 'run' althon for them!!

Who needs babysitters when you have a class full of six year old girls!

This picture was taken on Tuesday eve just before my training session started.  It was a stunning evening and weight training didn't seem so bad with a family of whales splashing straight ahead to watch. 

Lunch with a good friend in her beautiful back garden
passed out!  So cute I could eat her!!

Master J was so excited to show me how he had made it on to the "super writers' wall in his classroom!

Saturday morning sunrise - SO worth getting up at 6am!

The first nippers of the season

My little beach butterfly
Couldn't resist this one!  Playing with my new iphone app "insta-story"
Miss L and Miss Y were born just 5 days apart! (I definitely have a little cubba bubba).  With their big brothers in the same class at school, they see so much of each other.  It's so cute to see them just starting to interact with each other.

Me and Miss L - using the reverse camera on the iphone!  Not something I have a habit of doing as I hate having my picture taken - I much prefer to be behind the lens.

Monday, 15 October 2012

The day the Thermomix visited my kitchen

A good friend of mine has recently become a Thermomix consultant.  Not so long ago I had never heard of it and when I did, I really didn't think too much of it.  A kitchen appliance that can do EVERYTHING.  Really??!??!!??  After I saw it in action I was not only converted, I was in LOVE!!  It really is a kitchen princess (rightfully named by my friend's three year old).  So when Noleen asked me if I could hold one of her first demo's in my kitchen I jumped at the chance.

Doesn't she look pretty on my bench top?
My instructions were to invite a few friends for lunch.  All I had to do was provide a kitchen, a few trays of ice, a couple of eggs, some crackers and a small jug of milk and she would do the rest.  Easy!!  She was going to cook us a five course lunch in two hours.  How wonderful.  Mr D was on babysitting duties to make sure the kiddies were kept entertained but I think he was also quite intrigued to see how the kitchen princess would perform (especially after I have been going on and on at him about how amazing it is and how it really really IS going to change my life). pressure them!

Noleen started off by telling us a little about the Thermomix.  It's German made, (of course, all good machines are German made)! It cooks, chops, pummels, cuts, slices, grinds, crushes, mixes and whips!  Impressive so far (especially to me who is not naturally gifted in the kitchen).  At it's highest speed it has enough power to fly a small aircraft but only uses the same amount of power as a hairdryer!  In fact is uses four times less power at it's highest temperature than a single hob on an oven top.  "Did you hear that Mr D?" I call from the kitchen (must put that down as reason no. 1 to purchase Thermomix - saves power, which saves money!!).  I must take note of all these facts as I know Mr D will make me give him a full presentation (with a bit of begging thrown in).

First course was a strawberry, lime and mint sorbet.  Yum.  Firstly, Noleen threw some raw sugar in the bowl (no need to measure as the kitchen princess does it for you).  She then pressed a button and in less than 10 seconds the sugar had been converted to icing sugar!  Just like that!!!  Well, I was amazed anyway.  She then threw in a handful of fresh strawberries, a little fresh lime and some mint leaves along with a couple of trays of ice.  Again one little button the sorbet was ready in about a few minutes (could even have been less).  The smell of the crushed mint and lime coming from the top of the Thermomix alone was devine!  It tasted absolutely delicious.  You see, I need one!!  Imagine being able to say to the kids, "if you eat your dinner, I'll whip you up some ice cream by the time you count to 20!"

The kids loved it so much they had 3 helpings - I even froze the leftovers and made ice pops!
Next was the bread demonstration.  Not only did the Thermomix mill the wheat to make flour in seconds, it also kneaded the mixture to make a perfect dough, all at the press of a button and quicker than you could ever do it by hand! And the best part - NO MESS!!  She even self cleans!!!
The bread was PERFECT and just like 'Blue Peter', Noleen had some delicious "here's some I made earlier" butter that the kitchen princess had whipped up from a carton of cream.  Good bye preservatives (Another point to put on my list for Mr D)
Next on the menu was some homemade hummus -to go with my crackers!  Even Mr D had to admit that it was amazing.  A can of chick peas, some drizzled lemon, a glove of garlic (perfectly chopped by the Thermomix in 2 seconds), some tahini, lemon zest and olive oil and just a couple of minutes later we were eating it!

Yummy!  The smell of garlic as it was whizzing up was just amazing
For lunch Noleen then made us the most  delicious, creamy mushroom risotto that was cooked to perfection in (yes, you guessed it) the Thermomix.  It even sautéed the onions after weighing and chopping them.  We ate it with our warm, freshly baked bread.  She also made the most incredibly easy and delicious raw salad.  It consisted of an apple, a carrot, a couple of peeled beetroots, half an onion and some coriander leaves.  Nothing was cored, peeled or chopped - just thrown right in, Now, I'm not a fan of beetroot but this salad was seriously good.  I just can't get over how quick and easy really good food is to make, and the fact that you have total control over the ingredients is just fantastic - especially for a healthy growing family (with limited time and an mummy who is not the greatest chef).

Add a bit of feta to this and it's AMAZING

Finally the kitchen princess made us a delicious, creamy and oh so yummy lemon custard, that again was whizzed and cooked in just a few minutes.

The demo was so much fun and it was a fabulous girly afternoon.  I'm totally converted and in my humble opinion I don't think the Thermomix needs much selling as she really does sell herself.

I have set up a fund to save up to have my very own kitchen princess - feel free to contribute :)))

If anyone living on Sydney's Northern Beaches would like to have their own Thermomix demo, you can contact Noleen Lance at

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Goodbye BIG belly

My younger sister is expecting her first baby next year and I'm just sooo excited for her.  I only wish we lived closer so that I can share the experience of the 'big bump' with her.  Although she is probably going to grow the most perfect little bump and then be one of those lucky few that just spring right back into their pre pregnancy clothes!  Unfortunately that did not happen to me, but that's a whole new story.

She's about half way though her pregnancy now and yesterday I decided to put together all my own maternity clothes in a little package to send back to her.  Some of my clothes were new for Miss L's bump but some of them I've had since my very first bump which was almost six years ago now (can you believe???).  Laying them all out on the bed ready to pack away brought so many lovely memories flooding back.  I have to be totally honest and say that I really did not enjoy any of my pregnancies at the time but it's amazing how the mind distorts things and leaves you with just the good memories.  Fortunately the same goes for labour too - so don't worry sis, you'll be just fine!

I worked out just from my clothes (and a few photos) that my three big belly's visited London, South Africa, Dubai, Las Vegas, France, New York, Sydney and Los Angeles!!

relaxing with my very first baby bump
I had to search through my photo library to try and find some of my bump photos and this one reminded of just how much time I had to rest and put my feet up when I was pregnant with Master J.  There is something so very special about your first pregnancy and I really wish someone had told me to appreciate it more at the time.  (I'm sure my mum did and I probably didn't believe her).  It's the only time you really get to take note of every little change your body goes through and every emotion that you're feeling, and most importantly it's the very last time you get to REST!!  Being pregnant with a toddler is a whole different ball game.  Trying to breastfeed at the same time as wiping a botton or negotiating your way through a temper tantrum is just not the same as having a pedicure and an afternoon nap!!!

I also remember how it just seemed to take FOREVER for my bump to appear first time around and then on the second and third pregnancies it popped out before I even had a chance to get my head around it!!

I think I was only about 20 weeks when this picture was taken and I thought I was ENORMOUS!
My middle bump with Master J's cubby little hands.  
This was taken only a few days before Miss H was born and I think my face says it all.  I was almost two weeks overdue and totally OVER IT!!
The very best part of being pregnant is feeling your baby move.  As cliched as it sounds, it really is the most incredibly special feeling - right from those first little tiny flutterby's to the great big kicks.  It's something that only mummy can feel and I loved it.  Even if it woke me up at 3am in the morning!!  I couldn't help but smile and whisper a little 'hello darling' to that tiny little creature wriggling around inside me.

My third pregnancy was in Australia and it was quite hard being a mummy of two little ones and being so far away from my family.  However, I was very fortunate the go through the whole experience privately with my very own doctor and some pretty amazing 3D scans.  I was given so much extra care and we were very spoilt!

Now that's a bump!!!!!  This is a my third bump and was by far the biggest of them all.

This was just before Miss L arrived.  Sisterly love already.  Such a precious photo x

Each big belly has brought me three of the most incredible little people I could every wish for.  They have changed my life in ways I could never even imagine.  So it's with a big smile and a happy heart that I can finally say "good bye big belly and thank you'.

My week in pictures. Love Instagram!

This week has bee the first week back to school after the holidays and I've been thrown head first back into routine!!  It's been SO busy that by the time I reached Friday night I felt a bit dizzy.  We almost missed the first day of school too as every other term this year the kids have gone back on a Tuesday - but this term it was Monday!!!  Just to throw me out when I finally thought I had cracked the school calendar.  Luckily we made it in on Monday morning after the craziest rush of washing, ironing and packing the uniforms on Sunday night.  That will teach me for leaving everything to the last minute!!  God help me when I have to get three of them ready for a school day.  
Last weekend I went to 'Manly Wines' for a girls lunch/baby shower.  It was a perfect spring day for sipping champagne, watching the Ocean out the window and catching up on girly gossip.
Such a great bar for a lazy Sunday  lunch.  Click here to visit their website: Manly Wine
Caught my girls having a little 'chat' together.  SO CUTE!!  I hope this is a sign that they're going to be best friends as well as sisters.
What's this you say??  A spoon???
 I decided that this was the week that I was going to start introducing Miss L to solids.  She's 21 weeks now and I weaned the other two around 20 weeks, so it's time.  I must say third time round and I'm no where near as stressed or organised about it as I was before.  I thought about getting the book out to do a little 'reading up' on the subject, but decided I had more urgent things to do with my very limited time.  So we're just going to 'wing it' this time round.  On Monday I did a big cook up of apples, pears, carrots and sweet potatoes and froze them all up in ice cube trays all ready to start!  We'll start with lunch and dinner for now - there is no way I'm ready to fit feeding her into my already chaotic breakfast routine!

As you can see - she LOVED it!!

Weather is really starting to warm up now.  Hope it means a hot summer is on it's way.  Well, not too hot please! (Manly Beach)
Such a dude!  
Great ad for "Ben & Jerry's"!  I know I'm biased but LOOK AT THOSE EYES!!
A package arrived in the post this week from England.  The kids just LOVE getting post and were so excited by all the choccie goodies that arrived.  Miss L got this beautiful outfit from my lovely friend Shaney.  Doesn't she look adorable?
Master J has moved up to the "Turtle" class at swim school and is doing so well.  Very proud mummy I was to see him swimming 25m by himself!!
These two little monkeys stole some highlighter pens from the office cupboard and decided to decorate themselves!  Luckily they were caught before anything else got decorated.
My little helper
This week I have also started to get Candy Bows organised for the upcoming Christmas Markets.  Lots to do, but very exciting!!  I will hopefully be featuring at a few Northern Beaches Markets this festive season, including Mona Vale and Palm Beach.  Don't worry I'll keep you all updated!