move + spark + retire

27. move
Is 2014 a year for more walking or more running?
A little bit of both! I don't want to get ahead of myself, since it's only January - but so far, it's been a cracker of a January. I've done 11 runs in January. I've completed four weeks of the Couch 2 5K program. I've run a 5k on the treadmill. I've MOVED. It's been a wonderful beginning to the year. That said, I don't want the year to run away from me too quickly; the last 10 months have already disappeared WAY too fast. I'm more than happy to walk through some of it, so that I don't miss a single moment of Georgia growing up!
28. spark
What creative thing do you do that lights a spark in your soul? How will you create more sparks in 2014?
This little girl is the spark in our lives. Everything we do, we do for her. {Sing that to the tune of Bryan Adams, if you like.} Watching her learn new skills is such a treasure. This afternoon I was playing with her on the floor - hitting a few keys on her xylophone toy. She grabbed the stick from me & smashed out a few notes of her own, to which I clapped & cheered; the grin she gave me was priceless. She was so pleased with herself! We'll keep doing fun things, letting her experience new events, and introducing her to new places this year, which will be great fun.
29. retire
What will you retire from your life in 2014?
I'm trying to retire my old bad habits - being lazy! But really, I'm trying to focus on the year ahead & not worry so much about the years gone by. The future is more important than the past. Bring it on! :)

Ten Months

Double digits - ermagerd! This is nuts, man. Georgia is 10 months old & is cruising towards her first birthday.

Goofing off with her daddy.
This month Georgia has:
  • Grown! At her last weigh-in, she clocked in at 8.8kg (65%) and 72cm tall (73%) - meaning my little shorty is officially getting longer than she is heavy. We always had the opposite until now. I noticed that her legs and arms looked like they'd grown in the last few weeks - and they most certainly have.
  • Cut her top two teeth - bringing them to a grand total of 4 now. She's also started grinding her teeth together in the last few weeks, which is a noise that I will be happy to NEVER hear again. It's awful!
  • Taken off! Nope, no crawling yet - but the girl can cross a room quick smart! She does a combination of roly polies, dragging, butt shuffling & pulling. We lost her behind the lounge & in the kitchen the other day; can you tell we're still not dealing with a crawling baby full time yet? :)
  • Gotten LOUD. Seriously, is 10 months a loud stage? We are constantly yelling - happy yelling, cranky yelling, shouting & babbling at the top of her lungs. This place is super noisy.
  • Begun eating finger foods each lunch time in her big girl high chair. She's still not too sure about this whole feeding herself nonsense though; half the time she spends her lunches mashing the food into the tray, and the other half of the time she's cramming EVERYTHING in her mouth all at once.
  • Started to wave to people - we make a habit of telling her HI! or BYE! with a big exaggerated wave of the arm, and she's starting to copy it. It's a little bit cute.
  • Been sitting up really well, and getting down onto her tummy by herself.
  • Saying mum, mama, dad, dada & beginning to say 'hey' & what I swear sounded like 'cat'. 
  • Been busy smooching up to her little baby friends. Lots of fun play dates this month!
You can see all of Georgia's week by week pictures by clicking here.

dare + cull + transfer

24. dare
What will you dare to do in 2014?
I'm daring to hope. Hope that the future is going to be bright; hope that we can continue to raise Georgia to be a happy & healthy little girl; hope that the year brings us some lovely surprises. Hey, a girl can dare to dream, right?
25. cull
What items are sitting on your to-do list? When will you do them?
My to-do list this year was to focus on my hopes & dreams {in lieu of resolutions for 2014} - and I'm working on them! 6 books in 2014, move more & blog more, and get cooking! Things are already in motion & I'm really chuffed. So far, I'm trying to do them already - the real task is going to be keeping them going throughout the year.
26. transfer
Think about everyone in your life - what do you want them to have this year?
I want them to have HAPPY moments. It's going to be an amazing year for a lot of my friends and family members - 1st birthdays (Georgia + her baby friends), 30th birthdays (me!), 50th birthdays (mum!) & we all deserve to enjoy every moment that's ahead of us. I still can't believe that January is almost over; 2014 is going to fly!

Snapshots

This girl - honestly. The cuteness is just TOO MUCH. That is all. :)

Happy Tuesday, folks! :)

read + guide + discover

21. read
What do you want to read about this year?
I just want to read, in general. ;) I'm working on it! But honestly - I'd like to read about more success stories. I want to read tweets/blog posts/emails from my long-term TTC/IF friends with good news. I still read along the forum posts from my fertility clinic, to follow along with those who have graduated, but also those who are still there. Hopefully we can have more positive stories to read about this year; everyone deserves the chance to be a parent.
22. guide
Do you have a quote/motto/saying for 2014?
Move. Just move. Even if it's a little bit. Move! And if you can go a little bit further - even better! I'm trying so hard to work with this - and guess what? This morning, I ran my first 5km. 5km! This coming from the person who, 25 days ago, was barely exercising at all. Move, move, move. I can totally do this!
23. discover
What was something new you discovered in 2013 from a friend? What do you want to share with others this year?
I discovered the joy of solid foods - thankfully, I have some amazing mama friends who were my gurus. Talking me through purees, mixes, snack foods & combinations to start Georgia on - it was so welcomed, because I was a nervous wreck before starting, particularly when it came to finger foods. {Choking, gagging, ERMAGERD.} I'd like to share any parenting advice or helpful tidbits that I learn over the year with other folks, to pay it forward.

secure + build + believe

18. secure
Are you happy with who you are today, compared to who you were a year ago?
It's so cheesy, but I LOVE who I am today. I love being a Mum, I love having time to focus on home & family. I feel like I'm the same person, but different. I don't have the energy for time wasting, and I feel like life has thrown a few curve balls at us for a reason - to shape the years to come, perhaps? Either way, I'm happy. Happy is good!
19. build
You get to build something this year - what is it?
I'd like to build a strong routine; and I'm getting there. Mon/Wed/Fri are exercise days - just for me. Monday nights are our family nights. We have a great little morning routine that we've built, and I love. Those things are really important to me. But physically? I'd like to build a washing line outside. We never bothered with one before, since Spencer was a destructive puppy & would have probably yanked all of our clothes off the line. I do all our washing and hanging indoors, which is fine - but it means our front room has turned into a laundry room. My poor visitors are greeted with hanging knickers as they walk in the door! ;) It's fine for us now, but as time progresses, it's getting harder to fit all of our + baby's washing there, so that's a goal for us this year.
20. believe
It's 2014: what do you believe in?
I believe in science. I believe that without it, we wouldn't have our little girl. I believe that she is worth every cent of the money we 'spent' to help bring her into our family. I believe that she's a special one, this kid; totally meant for us. I believe that when the time comes to attempt trying for #2 {& if we're lucky} she'll be an amazing big sister. I believe that she's one of the funniest, cutest babies on the planet - but then, I'm slightly biased there!! :) 

watch + breathe

16. watch
What movie(s) did you see in 2013 that you would recommend to a friend?
Probably 'The Hobbit'. I love, love, LOVED the Lord of the Rings trilogy - I'd read the books and really enjoyed them. But as for the novel of 'The Hobbit', I just couldn't get into it. When hubby wanted to see the first movie, I wasn't too keen. I was about 30 weeks pregnant at the time, and didn't think my bladder would last the full session, let alone actually enjoy it! I was pleasantly surprised. We also saw the second Hobbit film at the end of the year, which was just as good. I'm keen on attempting the book again, just to see if it's a little less difficult this time around. Definitely worth seeing, if it's your thing.
17. breathe
How did you make space + peace for yourself in 2013? How will you increase that in 2014?
Taking a bath! I love our spa in the en suite, but it's a luxury I didn't make much use of while TTC or Pregnant - and then didn't have TIME for with a newborn! I've taken to having one at nights once Georgia is in bed, and it's been glorious. Never underestimate the power of bubbles. Lots of bubbles.

Mid-January Update

Taking a break from my #weverb-ing for a Georgia update! My little lady is 42 weeks old.. soon I'll stop counting in weeks & start focusing on months. Just 10 weeks until we celebrate her first birthday. How crazy is that?

We're still not mobile, but I'm trying not to worry about that. When she's on the floor, Georgia is constantly rolling and pulling & working things out - but so far that hasn't involved getting on hands and knees simultaneously! She can get to toys she wants, and things she's not supposed to have {remote controls, iPhones} so she's happy enough. :)

She's started putting her hands up for you to grab her when you tell her 'up' & is babbling away as per normal. I swear she said 'cat' the other day, but it was a one-off - I'll believe it if she does it again! She also says 'hi' on the odd occasion. Her waves are the cutest thing, and she is now doing this silly grin with her teeth mashed together.

We've been plugging away at her sleeping routines, and she'd been kicking butt recently - until the last few days. We've gone backwards in the day sleeps; I'm blaming teeth, even though I can't see any new ones yet. There's a tiny lump near one of her top front teeth, but it's nowhere near ready to pop through yet. I hope it is just teeth, because I'd hate for our hard work to be stuffed again. Nights are still good though, thank goodness.

As for me, I've been busy too. Still reading, spending time with Georgia, cooking loads, and started moving more by beginning the Couch 2 5K program. Tomorrow starts Week 3, and I'm enjoying it so far. The scales aren't budging, but I've managed three-four workouts in the last few weeks, so I'm deeming that a victory!

How's your January looking so far?

cultivate + share + emulate

13. cultivate
What creativity or talent did you cultivate in 2013? What do you want to enhance this year?
I didn't feel particularly creative this past year - really, I probably only got my design pants on when it came to picking how I wanted Georgia's nursery to pan out. I am really happy with how it ended up, and I STILL love going in there now. We have a few additional canvases to put up on the walls, but otherwise, it's stayed quite the same - and I think it will for a while yet. This year, I'm trying to write more - not always here, but in journals too. I'm really hoping to foster my talent of super-fast-book-reading too, but having a baby has really changed that! Instead, I'm sticking to my goal of trying for 6 books this year. I'm still plugging away through #1...
14. share
You've been asked to give a 2-minute presentation on 'my biggest lesson of 2013' to a group of friends/colleagues/family members. Share!
The biggest lesson of 2013 was about patience. I could give a million spiels about how becoming a parent has changed my life, but everybody knows that by now! When you're trying to fall pregnant, patience is your worst enemy. When you're working with a known infertility cause {like PCOS and/or male factors} getting in to see a specialist and working out a plan of action can take forever. And then even MORE trying, and waiting, and disappointment - ugh. Patience is just... crap. It may be a virtue, but it's crap. I'm just saying. ;) In 2013, we waited for the baby to arrive - but this time, I was patient. She could come when she was ready to come. All that said, this time it was HER that was impatient, since she decided to surprise us early over the Easter weekend! Good things did come to those who wait{ed} - and so now, we wait for the next challenges, like Georgia's milestones - all we need is a little bit of patience - she'll crawl when she's good & ready to crawl. ;)
15. emulate
Is there someone you want to emulate in 2014? Why and how?
When I grow up, I want to be like my Nanna. She was always really kind and cheerful; she tried seeing positives in most things. I tend to get into worst-case scenario mode & I'm NOT the most delightfully happy person all of the time, but I'm working on it. Having Georgia has helped there! I miss my Nanna so much, it makes me smile to remember her. While I'm thrilled she held on to meet the baby, I'm sad that Georgia won't get to know her in person like we did. I hope that by trying to be more positive and SMILEY like she was, she'll get a little bit of Nan through us.

Shopping with Target Australia ~ Baby

I love hitting the shops - and it's something I've had to scale back a bit since becoming a SAHM with Georgia, what with one income and all.
I was recently approached and asked to join the Target Australia Blog Hub team, and was thrilled to find out that January's area of interest was BABY. What a perfect opportunity for Breathe Gently! 
I had a few ideas on what I wanted to focus on while I was shopping in-store, but I also wanted to see if inspiration struck me while I was wandering the aisles. I came away from today's challenge feeling chuffed at my finds.
Without further ado, let me highlight some of the goodies purchased from my local Target store during today's shopping adventures. :)
I'm pretty sure hubby was expecting me to come home armed to the teeth with baby outfits - he already gives me grief about the size of Georgia's wardrobe. In actual fact, I did well & only splurged on a sweet summer outfit {in a larger size} to put away for next season. Aren't the polka dots divine? I also found a classic pair of shoes for Georgia - My First Volleys! Nearly everyone I know grew up with a pair of good ol' Dunlops, so I just couldn't resist.
My First Volley pre-walker shoes & Summer Fiesta Story outfit
The baby department is one of my first places to hit when I shop at Target these days. Georgia spent her first three months wearing little other than wondersuits & footed onesies from there! The first thing I discovered while wandering the aisles was a lonely little elephant plush toy - it was so cute, but looked a little out of place just sitting on a shelf on its own. I took it to a price check scanner & discovered that it was part of a set, so off I went, on a mission to find the other half. There was a whole wall of these beauties - as well as the elephant toy, the bundle contains a quilted reversible play-mat. There is also an owl & a fox option, but what can I say? The elephant caught my eye! In similar colours, the waffle knit blankets are great when we're out and about, so I popped those in the trolley too.
Reversible Cot Quilt/Playmat With Plush - Elephant & 2-pack waffle wraps
Another random find was in with the developmental toys & looked like it would be right up Georgia's alley. The O-ball roller is lightweight and nice and tactile - and best of all, can be used either a rolling walker, or as an individual ball. Since we don't have the space for a full sized walker on wheels, this will come in handy when baby girl decides to get her walk on. For now, Georgia was fascinated with the ball, shaking it & rolling it across the ground. It's a hit!
Oball Roller toy
We have a pretty strict bedtime routine with Georgia, which works most days that we're at home. After dinner and a last play, hubby is in charge of bath time! They both love this ritual, so I thought I might try and find a few things from the baby care department to help spice it up a little bit. She is sitting up on her own in the bath quite a bit, so the Safety 1st bath spout guard {aka the cute whale} was exactly what I was looking for. The foam letters and numbers are bright & colourful and will be great fun; perfect for her as she grows older. Bath time for babies is fun.
Safety 1st Whale & Baby Spout Guard & Munchkin Bath Letters & Numbers
And finally, a somewhat related baby purchase that caught my eye as I was headed for the check-outs. You might be wondering why these paper dinnerware sets feature in this post, but I'm planning ahead. You see, Georgia is turning 1 in a few short months - and the loose 'theme' we've decided to go with is BRIGHT rainbow colours! Since it'll likely be a backyard bbq party, these paper sets will do the job well! Loving these cheerful patterns.
Target 109 piece paper dinnerware set
All in all, I'd say this was a pretty productive shopping trip - Georgia's a very lucky girl & I'm a very happy mama.

What have you been shopping for lately?

Disclosure: This post is part of a collaboration between Target Australia & Breathe Gently. I have been provided vouchers to purchase goods & have been compensated for my time spent on the project. If you're interested in finding out more, or would like to partner with Breathe Gently in the future, please email me.

Fortify + Savour

11. fortify
What personal strengths will you use this year that you developed in 2013?
I carried a baby for almost 37 weeks. I gave birth, mostly of my own accord, and brought my daughter into the world. I fought for her when she was in special care, and fought for her during the early weeks of breastfeeding. Being her mum has taken more strength than I thought I had - and I've loved every second of it. Every time we battle through a learning curve, a cranky baby, a new experience, it's taught me to be stronger. 2014 is going to be about taking care of myself, so that I can be the best mum for her; that means getting healthy! :)
12. savour
What was your favourite food item/ingredient in 2013? What do you want to eat more or less of in 2014?
While I was pregnant last year, I drank a LOT of milk. I was always looking for quick snacks, and dairy products seemed to do the trick. While I was parenting a newborn, non-sleeping baby, food kind of became a lesser priority; so I developed bad habits of skipping meals & snacking a whole lot. This year, I'd like to eat MORE - more regularly, more quality foods & more veggies. That's a big stretch for me, since I'm a notoriously fussy eater, but I'm trying!

Accept + Laugh + Support

8. accept
What imperfection did you come to accept in your life in 2013? How will you embrace it more in 2014?
I've always been a bit of a stickler when it comes to having things make sense, or be in order. It stresses me out when things are messy or when things don't work when {or how} they're supposed to.  2013 was the year of motherhood - aka - absolutely nothing going as planned. Georgia has taught me how to go with the flow, and I'm already feeling more relaxed about things leading into the new year. Let's hope it continues! :)
9. laugh
Tell us about your biggest belly laugh in 2013!
Oh, we have had so many. So, so many. Watching Georgia, the queen of crazy faces, experience new foods across the year; that definitely takes the cake. I just have to share this little collage, because honestly, this kid is HILARIOUS. {If you want to see the whole thing, plus hear the sound - click on the image & you'll be taken to the full collage.}
10. support
How did you volunteer your help last year? What will you do this year?
The support I have received from the infertility community has been priceless - and I'd like to think that I was also able to volunteer some help/love/advice to those around me during that time too. This year, I'm going to continue with this, but also think locally too - donating to local charity shops, offering help for new mums I've met with little ones, and being a good listener to those who need it.

Retiring the Breast Pump

As of tonight, I am officially done with expressing. The pump has been put away, the bottles are currently drying after their last official sterilising - and I have at least a free half hour this evening all to myself.

It's a funny feeling. On one hand, I'm thrilled to be done - no more feeling like a dairy cow, no more sitting around with my boobs out {except for nursing}, no more being disappointed with spending lal that time and energy only to get a measly 20, 30, 40ml of milk. But at the same time, it feels really strange. 
While I've worked my arse off to be able to breastfeed Georgia, and I'm happy about that, I have the pump to thank for that. For the first few months of her life, I pumped after every feed - to boost supply, but also to give to her in the form of top up bottles. I gradually scaled it back to two a day; once in the morning, once at night. As she got stronger and more efficient at the breast, I dropped the morning pump, but continued to express at nights - at first to store in the freezer for emergencies, and afterwards to use for her solid food breakfasts. It's become such a habit, and without the pump, my breastfeeding experience would have ended a long time ago.
But for now, we're done. I still have some frozen expressed milk in the freezer that I'll gradually use over the coming weeks - mainly for cereals in the morning, and the odd bottle if we're out. I suppose I'd better get used to all the emotions that come with moving on from things; she's moving further away from the baby stage & dipping her toes into the little person category. I wish time would slow down just a little bit.

Capture + Send

6. capture
Share your favourite memory captured from 2013. What's your plan to capture 2014?
I think this one pretty much sums it up:
This was the image that Jason took {and yes, that's his hand} that we first shared with the world after Georgia's birth. Because she was breathing too fast, she was whisked away to special care after I held for several seconds, and I didn't see her again for several hours after that. I relied on Jason to go with her, stay with her, and PLEASE bring me back photos - I had barely memorised her face before she disappeared. This image of her in the oxygen headbox, {or buzz lightyear helmet!} was one of the first I saw of her, and her gripping on to her daddy's finger is just priceless. It both makes me smile & breaks my heart at the same time.
In 2014, my aim is to keep on capturing candid moments of Georgia as she continues to grow. We're not good with poses around here - we're in a phase of refusing to smile when the camera is out, and in a constant state of motion. That means the photos may not be clear, or award winning, but they're fun!
7. send
What was the best thing you sent to someone in 2013? What will you send this year?
I'm part of several IVF groups that I've met over the years - most started on forums or blogs, but have turned into Facebook groups over time. One batch of ladies in particular have struggled along with me, and I was the first to receive a positive pregnancy test - so they supported me through early pregnancy all the while battling through their own struggles. I'm happy to say that since our lucky cycle, we have a whole herd of new babies now, with some on the way, and only a few beautiful women still waiting for their miracle. Sending gifts to their new little ones, and tokens of support to those who are still waiting {so they know they are not left behind} has been wonderful - particularly because we are all spread out over Australia. I'm hoping 2014 will see nobody left behind.

Hasten + Rebuild + Sing

3: hasten
What new trick or shortcut did you learn in 2013? What do you want to speed up in 2014?
I learned how to change a nappy quickly and efficiently - and with minimal leakage. That, my friends, was a life saving skill, let me tell you. I also learned {on my feet, mind you} how to change a nappy in the most awkward and interesting of places.  In 2014, I'd like to speed up my efficiency during Georgia's nap times. I spend way too many naps having me-time, instead of organising or tidying or working out, so it's time to step it up.
4: Rebuild
What do you plan to pick up or rebuild this year?
Cliché, but I want to rebuild my fitness. I'm currently hovering around my IVF weight, and that was high to start with - so I'd really like to work on that. It's not so much about the number on the scale as me finding the time and prioritising exercise. I didn't want to make resolutions this year, because I always feel so guilty when I don't stick to them, but my hope is that I'll be able to rebuild a bit of a fitness schedule over the coming weeks. Like I mentioned above, Georgia's morning nap {which goes from 1-1.5 hours usually} is the perfect time to utilise, so 30 minutes on a treadmill a few days a week will be a good place to start.
5: Sing
What song or lyrics will be forever tied to 2013 in your mind? What songs are you excited to keep with you through 2014?
2013: Don't You Worry Child - Swedish House Mafia. The song that Georgia bopped her way through during the last months of my pregnancy, and then the song that calmed a cranky newborn down as we bopped together around the living room. Who would've thought that dance music would have done the trick?
2014: I'm hooked on the new Smooth channel on Foxtel here - I'm showing my age here, but I'm loving the easy listening stuff. It's handy to have on in the background when I'm with the baby or pottering around the place.

Needless Worrying

I hate baby milestones.

There, I said it.
Since Georgia was born, I've unsubscribed from every mailing list and baby development email I was receiving. They were nice to have as a guide, but then they started making me nervous. By Month X, your baby will likely be doing this, this & this! That's all well & good if they are, but what if they're not? The needless worrying begins.
Georgia isn't crawling yet, despite being over 9 months. I wasn't too worried at first, as she's doing plenty of other things - sitting completely on her own, rolling both ways and flipping over and over to get to things, spinning in circles and reaching for toys on her own. She has a good grip of objects & can pass things between her hands. She talks like there's no tomorrow, in her own baby babble. But no crawling, and no pulling up on things or interest in standing. It was only when I realised that nearly every other baby her age, and some younger than her, were mobile already, that I began to panic.
'Don't worry!' they say. 'She'll get it when she's ready!' they say. 'My baby didn't crawl until they were close to a year old!' they say. And most patronising of all, 'Enjoy it! It's so hard when they're on the move!'
Listen, friends. I get it. Logically, I get it - and I KNOW babies develop skills at their own pace. But please, please don't tell me to enjoy it, even though I know you mean well. I'm not enjoying watching her peers, many younger than her, crawling around rooms and pulling up to stand. I'm not enjoying feeling like she's behind, even though I know deep down she's perfectly fine. I'm not enjoying feeling like I should be helping her learn this skill, even though I don't know how to do that. It's the equivalent of telling someone who is TTC to 'just relax!' It just doesn't help, even though they mean well.
So for now, I grit my teeth, keep on playing and encouraging Georgia to do what she wants to do, and try to ignore the worry. I've already blinked & lost 9 months of her life {seriously, how do I have a 9 month old baby already?} - I'm determined not to miss the little moments now, because I'm so caught up in worrying about her milestones.

Compose + Remember

I mentioned earlier that one of my goals this year was to blog more - and what better way to kick things off than by participating in a prompt challenge? Let's get started! I've decided to join project #weverb for January!
1: compose
Write a haiku for 2013 and one for 2014
For 2013:

Baby came early
Wanted to meet her Great Nan
Was a dream come true

And for 2014:
Family of three
And the fur babies as well
I have all I need


2: remember
What did you do in 2013 that you will remember the details of forever?
This is a pretty obvious topic choice for me - and of course it revolves around the baby. I will never forget 2013. 
I can look at photos I've taken of Georgia and can tell you exactly when and where each one was taken, even the details of what she is wearing and who we were with. I can vividly recall her birth experience & the crazy newborn weeks that followed, as though it happened yesterday - even though we're almost a year on from that point. I remember being so desperately sad that breastfeeding wasn't working out, sending hubby out to the shops to buy bottles and a pump, only to plug away and manage to exclusively feed her for the entirety of 2013. 
I may forget simple things like where my keys are, or where I put important documents {baby brain!} but learning how to be a mama, to be HER mama, is an experience I'll never forget.

Hopes & Dreams

I'm not making any resolutions this year. Resolutions come with too much pressure, and I never seem to succeed.
Instead, I'm going for hopes & dreams.  Hopes and dreams are guilt-free. I'll just take them as they come. :)

  • Georgia ~ I don't want to miss a thing. Yes, that means obscene amounts of photographs, but I make no apologies for wanting to capture every minute! She's coming up to some major milestones soon, and I can't wait to see her growing up.

  • Family ~ Spend as much time with them as possible. Everyone has really come together this year, and I love it. Hubby & I have a few date nights planned, so we'll get to spend some quality time together. Plus, the grandparents might just find themselves on babysitting duty - so it's a win/win for everyone!

  • Blog ~ Post more frequently! I've definitely slacked off this year, and mostly have written about Georgia {of course!} so the plan is to just keep busy. I'm hoping to get involved in monthly projects or prompts every now and again, potentially starting off with #weVerb14.

  • Read ~ I have at least a dozen books I want to read on my Kindle - it's just finding the time to sit down and get on with them! This year, I'm going to set a goal of at least 6 books. It doesn't seem like a lot, but I barely read a thing last year, and I'm trying to be realistic about what I can start and finish.

  • Move ~ I'd like to start up on my treadmill again. I'm not even going to pretend that joining a gym is viable for me right now, but the treadmill is in the garage - it's set up, it's ready to go. All I need to do is get some tunes on my iPod, drag a fan in & DO IT. Hopefully Georgia will keep to her two nap schedule {she's doing really well at the moment!} and I can get on this every few days.

  • Organise ~ I have a tonne of baby clothes to sort/store/give away, and the house is a complete mess more often than not. This year I'd like to start tackling things, bit by bit. I've already started printing out photos of Georgia's first year - I decided a while back that I'd like old school prints/photo albums until her first birthday. I'm up to month 6... so I'll tackle the next block soon.

  • Cook ~ Doesn't worry me if they're old favourites or new experiments, but the goal is to keep saving money & cook up a storm this year. If not a storm, maybe just a drizzle. But cooking, all the same. :)

  • TTC ~ Georgia is coming up to her first birthday in just a few months {how did that happen?} so it's natural to start thinking about what happens next. Hopefully we can tackle this & come up with a plan that fits us both, since natural babymakin' just isn't on the cards for us - but this is certainly a hope and a dream. I can think of nothing more awesome than a sibling for Georgia.
How about you - any hopes or dreams for this year? Feel free to share them in the comments.

2013: The Year That Was

It's safe to say that 2013 has been the most amazing year. To follow tradition, it's time to get busy re-capping, just like in years gone by: 2006200720082009, 2010, 2011 & 2012I love that I'm still blogging, even if things have been a little quieter around these parts since March - and just a little baby focused!

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before? Had a baby! Being somebody's mum is incredible.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I wanted to be the best parent I could be, and I would like to think I'm well on my way & learning as I go.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? I did! And many of my lovely new mum friends.
4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes, we lost my beautiful Nanna in May this year. Every time I think about how she held on to meet Georgia, I get emotional - she would love to see her now, so interactive and funny and smart. I'd like to think she'd be proud of us. I miss her so, so much, and I know my family does too.

5. What countries did you visit? Just Australia, this year.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013? It sounds cheesy, but I really do think I have everything I need right now. I'd like to have better time management skills, which is tough with a baby.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? March 30, when Georgia made her surprise early entrance to the world. April 7, the day we left special care & got to bring her home. April 8, when Nanna met Georgia. May 7, when we had to say goodbye. September 1, when Georgia was christened. December 25, when we celebrated our first Christmas as a family of three!


8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I'm actually really proud of the way I've handled mamahood so far. From the unexpected birth, to dealing with the scary start of a short special care stay, to single parenting for many, many weeks while Jason worked overseas & interstate - I think I did pretty darned good.

9. What was your biggest failure? Being too honest. Not that I have any regrets about that, but it does have consequences.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Other than the odd bouts of colds, I had just a few lurgies this year: de Quervain's tendinitis - developed in the months after Georgia's birth and an overnight hospital stay after a nasty bout of gastro & dehydration.

11. What was the best thing you bought? I know, I know, baby related - but our rainforest jumperoo. Best. Invention. Ever.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration? Like last year, I have to say my lovely, fantastic husband - he has proved to be the most amazing dad, like I knew he would be. He's also worked his butt off supporting us & letting me stay at home with the baby - it was something that was really important to us, and we'd never have been able to do it otherwise. I'm so proud of him. He's been an amazing partner, this year especially.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? I don't know about appalled or depressed, but I was disappointed with several friendships this year - everything happens for a reason, but it doesn't make it any easier.

14. Where did most of your money go? BAYYYBEEEEEEEEEEE. (That's good money spending, though!) Other than that, we've been plugging away at saving & paying off the mortgage.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? My little girl. :)


16. What song will always remind you of 2013? Don't You Worry Child, by Swedish House Mafia. Every single time Georgia heard this song while she was in my belly, she'd kick up a storm. When she was a newborn, we spent many days bopping around the lounge room to the music channel.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

(a) Happier or Sadder? Happier. So much happier.
(b) Thinner or Fatter? Well, thinner than this time last year, but still far from where I'd like to be.
(c) Richer or Poorer? Poorer. But happier. :)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Spending time with my family, which I definitely improved on this year. Since Georgia was born, we have had a mostly standing Monday night dinner with my parents & brother/SIL - it started to help out with newborn Georgia, but has continued on. I love seeing them each week.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? I wish I hadn't put energy into things that didn't pay off in the end.

20. How did you spend Christmas in 2013? A few little Christmas catch ups in December with friends and new baby-mums, Christmas Eve here at home with my family, Christmas morning with just the 3 of us, Christmas lunch with the inlaws, and Christmas night with my extended family. Was fantastic but yep, busy again.

21. Did you fall in love in 2013? My heart exploded this year. I'm so in love with my daughter, I can't even describe it. And having a baby has brought hubby & I even closer - he really has been an incredible support system. Not forgetting the fur babies - I watch them interact with Georgia & am so proud of them. I'm a very lucky girl.


22. How many one-night stands? Plenty of late night rendezvous -- in my rocking chair with a tired baby in my arms.

23. What was your favorite TV program? Game of Thrones, Homeland, Sister Wives & Offspring.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? No.

25. What was the best book you read? I've barely read a book since March - I wonder why? I did start re-reading the George R.R. Martin series though, so probably 'A Game of Thrones'.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? I listened to a lot of older music this year, soothing things for Georgia's sake - jazz, easy listening, etc. Showing my age. :)

27. What did you want and get? A take home baby!

28. What did you want and not get? This is the first year I can honestly say that I feel like I have everything I need. Maybe a bigger car? That's one of our goals for next year.

29. What was your favourite film of this year? Catching Fire.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 29 this year, and spent it with family. It was nice and quiet.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I wish time had slowed down a little, so I could spend more time staring at my teeny, tiny little girl. This year has flown.


32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013? Skirts, sandals & nursing-friendly clothing.

33. What kept you sane? Georgia. Hubby. Family. New mum friends. Online baby support groups.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? None, really. 

35. What political issue stirred you the most? Look at our government right now: need I say more?

36. Who did you miss? I missed old friends, and the way things were. 

37. Who was the best new person you met? Mum friends! One of these ladies is amazing; a twin mum who is so organised, kind & funny - and lives 5 minutes away. We've caught up many times, and she seems to enjoy watching Georgia grow up as much as I do with her lovely boys. She's been nothing but supportive of some of our struggles with sleep & is my 'solids guru' - I'm so thankful to have met her & her hubby this year.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013. Family is everything.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. “Other arms reach out to me, other eyes smile tenderly; Still in peaceful dreams I see, the road leads back to you."

40. What are your resolutions for 2014? I have many, which I'll put into a new post soon. But in summary? I want to continue experiencing new things with Georgia & taking as many pictures as I can. I want to keep up regular catch ups with friends. I want to spend quality time with hubby & with my family - hopefully keep up those Monday night dinners! I want to blog more, and better. I want to find time for reading again! Keep your eyes peeled on this space.

Happy New Year, everyone! Thanks for sticking with me this year, even though reading on the blog has been light. I value you guys so very much, and hope to keep plugging away in the new year! :)







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