Our “little” 2 week old

Our little Darby is 2 weeks old today. Except he’s not that little. He is our biggest baby, and the way he is feeding, he’s going to be off the charts just like Chanbe was in his first 12 months. But he’s still our little guy for the time being.

I think the period where they’re under 2 months has the biggest “aaawwww” factor. You can still refer to their age in weeks without sounding pretentious, they still have that newborn look, and they don’t mind being handed around for cuddles. Which means I have another 6 or so weeks of this:

Aaaaawwww 🙂

No 2 days are the same

It’s tough being only days old, navigating life on the outside. Darby is doing his best to be a typical newborn, which means he’s sleeping most of the day and being awake, having nice long feeds during the night. Thankfully, with Mum here and Hubs still off work, I’m able to go back to bed once the kids get up, and generally manage to sleep til about 11 before Darby needs another feed. And by this time, Quindy is ready to go down for her sleep, and the house is quite peaceful for a couple of hours. I’ve been using this time to potter about, and have started culling clothes and kitchen stuff for the upcoming move.

I overheard Mum telling her friend on the phone tonight, every day is different, and at this stage, that is certainly true. Yesterday Darby had quite a bit of awake time during the day, so I got a two and a three hour block of sleep overnight. Today, however, he has pretty much been asleep since 9am, only waking here and there for feeds, so we could have a restless night coming up. It’s really hard to say.

Hubs has been pilfering mangoes off various public trees around town, so he has been making delicious mango lassi (basically a smoothie) at least once a day for us to enjoy. For those of you who know me very well, I know you’re thinking “but Renae hates mango!” and it’s true. I don’t like mango on its own, but I have come to appreciate it in certain things like smoothies and daiquiris!

Our very good friends, and Darby’s recently appointment Godparents, Sonia and Felix, come to visit most days which is just lovely. I really love having friends who just pop in and know they can help themselves to a drink and immediately engage with our kids. They have definitely made our time up here much more enjoyable than it would have been otherwise. We will certainly miss having them around next year.

Other than that, we are just trying to keep Chanbe and Quindy entertained during the hot days, and trying to make sure Mum doesn’t burn out from all the work of looking after them a lot of the time! We took Darby to Hubs’ Christmas party at the pub last night and of course he was a big hit. We don’t have a lot planned in the lead up to Christmas, but the countdown til we leave is on.

And of course now that I can hardly keep my eyes open, Darby is wide awake. Aaaah the joys.


The difference a few days can make

Darby Jacob. What a guy and what a name.

Hubs and I had settled on a girl’s name a few months ago, and it’s a corker. I’m going to infuriate you by not sharing it here, as it’s still number 1 on our list if we happen to have another girl. Boy’s names on the other hand don’t come so easily to us, and a week before Darby was born, ie his due date, we had settled on a name but it just didn’t pop for us the way the names “Chance” and “Quinn” did.

And we still hadn’t decided on a middle name. Hubs isn’t a fan of middle names in general – probably because he doesn’t have one – and wanted to leave this baby middlename-less. l was not convinced and in fact was quite adamant that I wanted to use another family name.

So I emailed my wonderful mother in law (I think this was 4 days before Darby was actually born) and asked her to share all of the male family names on her side.

Jacob immediately stood out to me and I had it semi approved by Hubs. Now. If you want me to tell you where the name Darby came from, I wouldn’t have an answer for you. It literally popped into my head on Friday the 5th of December and so I added it to my names list on my phone. And do you know when I suggested it to Hubs? About half an hour after our little man was born. While we were trying out other pre-discussed names on him.

Hubs is very hard to please when it comes to names, but he loved it. Well I think he liked it and it grew on him very quickly. It was just one of those names that popped for us and even though I’ve never much bought into a name “suiting” someone, it’s very easy to call him Darby and it just fits.

The point of this little story? If Darby was born on time or even just 4 days earlier, he would have a completely different name and that’s kinda weird for me.

Does he look like a Darby?


Welcome to the world

Please meet our son, Darby Jacob. He finally decided to grace us with his presence at 12.45am, today the 7th of December. He was born a very healthy weight – 4.32kg (9 pound 8 oz) and is already feeding nicely.


I know I’m completely biased but he is just so beautiful. I’m catching up on sleep today and will go home to start our life as a family of 5 tomorrow. Hubs has time off until Christmas day so we get to hang out a lot over the next few weeks.

Chanbe and Quindy met him this morning. Chance is quite besotted, asking for lots of cuddles and wanting to know when the baby can come home. Quinn was a little unsure about the whole thing but is already walking around saying his name.

For the last couple of weeks, Chanbe has been asking on a daily basis “is it the baby’s birthday today Mama?” It’s so nice to be able to answer him “yes”.

Happy 4th Birthday Chanbe

4 years (and 3 days) ago, Chanbe came into our lives and changed our world. There have been sleepless nights; tears of joy and triumph, as well as frustration; many a milestone; countless kisses and cuddles; and everything else in between you can possibly imagine.

We had a little BBQ dinner for our big 4 year old on his actual birthday (Thursday) and were so pleased that everyone we invited was able to come. Quite impressive for a Thursday afternoon/evening party. He and his little friends ran amok while us adults chatted and drank and ate around them. As happened last year, a thunderstorm rolled in and the 10 minute downpour cooled things off for the evening which was delightful. Hubs cooked delicious lamb to have of souvas, and as per Chanbe’s request, I made a train cake.


My biggest goal for the day was not to give birth, so after achieving that, I felt like it had been an absolute success! I was on my feet all day, so I crashed a bit on Friday and have been pretty exhausted since, but it was such a wonderful afternoon that it was totally worth it.

Well my not-so-little guy, you continue to delight and entertain us with your smile, cheekiness, and energy. You are inquisitive and ask very interesting questions – you get that from your Dadda – and that will take you far in life. Although a bit overly enthusiastic at times, you are fiercely protective of your little sister, and you can’t wait to be a big brother again soon.

We love you and can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

A decision has been made

We are heading back to Mount Isa this Saturday. And now that the decision has been made, and the flights booked, I have something to focus on and work towards. There is a lot to do, but we are just going to do a bit each day and know that things will happen as they should. Mum is flying up with us as well, so that will certainly make the flight easier, as well as once we arrive back.

I’ll have been here for 6 weeks by the time we leave. Certainly a much longer stay that I initially planned, and the time has really sped by, but it has been absolutely amazing, and I have had such a great break and relaxing time. I feel energised for the hectic months to come, and am already getting somewhat prepared, contacting real estate agents in Rockhampton, so we can find somewhere asap in the new year.

But there’s heaps happening before then, so just one day at a time thanks!

A Rocky Road

Gosh, where do I begin with this one? It started about 2 months ago, a couple of days after I returned from my last trip to Brisbane. Our friend in Mount Isa who works with Hubs, emailed through a position in Rockhampton, beginning 4 or so weeks later. It’s a job in Orthopeadics. which is where Hubs thinks he wants to specialise, so I said GO FOR IT! I was pretty excited by the idea or leaving Mount Isa early, and getting set up in a new house, in a new place before the baby was due.

Of course, it had its down sides too, in that we would have to pay back some of the “benefits” we had received, with Hubs ending his contract in Isa early, but we decided it was worth it for the right job.

Let me just say here, that if you had told me a few years ago that I’d be excited about moving to Rocky, I would have told you you were crazy. But, things change, and for the right opportunity at the right time, I was keen as mustard.

Hubs applied for the job which was to start “ASAP” and a week later, was told his interview was in a week’s time. Not exactly “ASAP” kind of action in our opinion, but we were excited. The interview was on a Thursday, it went well, and he was offered the position the following day, to commence 4 weeks later. To say we were excited is a complete understatement, and being the person I am, I told everyone. Texts were sent and phone calls were made. I even lined up a removalist. It was happening. The only thing I didn’t do was announce it on the blog. I knew that the contract had to be signed before I did that.

Unfortunately, the following Tuesday, things changed. The hospital informed us that, for various reasons, the contract was to begin on the 2nd of February next year, instead of ASAP. I was absolutely devastated. I had built my hopes up so much on an early departure, and then it all changed. Tears were shed and frustrations vented, but at the end of the day, it was still a great job that Hubs was excited about, and he accepted, with the revised commencement date. It took me a few days to get over the disappointment, and Hubs and I thought of some positives about staying; more time with good friends we had met; having the baby in Mount Isa, close to those friends; and a bit more time to plan the move.

So yes, it was certainly an emotional week or two around that time, but we are looking forward to the move and hoping that everything works out so that we can stay for 2-3 years. Oh, and I just found out that someone else I know is moving there next year as well, so there’s another positive!

In other news, I have just over 6 weeks to go until I’m due. It’s certainly nice to be in a cooler city for the time being!


Wednesdays are hands down my most favourite day up here, for a few reasons. First of all, my cleaner comes on a Wednesday morning. She does about 2 hours, and even though I really only hired her for the floors and bathrooms, she always does a bit more, like unpacking the dishwasher and cleaning the sink; clearing off the dining room table (as much as she can!); and she even hangs out any washing that might be in the machine.

In short, she just makes my life easier. It means that on Tuesdays, we do a good tidy up of the house, so I know that at least once a week, the house is clean and tidy. It’s nice to come home after playgroup to a beautifully clean home.

Which brings me to reason number 2. Wednesday playgroup. We go to 3 different playgroups each week, but Wednesday’s Mainly Music at the Baptist Church is my favourite. It feels as though, by chance, all the loveliest, most kind, welcoming, generous mums all ended up at this group. That’s not to say the mums at the other playgroups aren’t lovely, but there’s just something about this particular mix of women that makes me feel like I’m surrounded by old friends, and that’s a great feeling. Oh, and the morning teas are rather lovely too!

So after a great playgroup, coming home to a lovely clean, tidy house, I usually get to sit down to a cup of coffee while Quindy sleeps and Chanbe watches Octonauts for the bazillianth time. And depending on my mood and Hubs work schedule, the afternoon might consist of a swim or a trip to the hospital to take Hubs his lunch, or maybe a visit with a friend. Or maybe just an afternoon in.

Instead of a coffee today though, I’m having a green smoothie. Don’t worry, I’m not going to turn into some kind of hippie. I just wanted to find a way to get a huge dose of greens, so I experimented with a few combos and came up with a few frozen strawberries, half a frozen banana, some milk, some yoghurt, and a few huge handfuls of baby spinach.

green smoothie 2

And blend

green smoothie

Looks delicious, right? I know I know. It’s not pretty, but it doesn’t taste like spinach! So I’m happy. Now I think it might be time for a wee nap before my afternoon begins.

One of those shopping trips

You know the one. The 3-going-on-4-year-old wanting everything he sees and throwing a massive tantrum in the middle of the 5pm rush; the 18-month-old voicing her displeasure over the load in her nappy the size of Texas; the looks of pity and acknowledgment and “ah yes I’ve been there” from fellow parents and onlookers.

Yesterday I did not have that shopping trip. Yesterday I was grateful, for so many things.

It was just after 4pm when I put Quindy into the pram and set off to pick Chanbe up from kindy. I planned to pop to the dodgy Woolies which is just around the corner from where we live after picking Chanbe up, to get a few necessities, depending on how long the kids remained happy once we arrived. It was a lovely walk to the shop – about 1km – and the kids were happily chatting away.

We went through the shopping rules again, as we always do, and as I heard Chanbe say “no asking for food, no asking for drinks, no asking for toys” I praised him, only to be told “no Mama, I’m telling Quinny.” More praise.

We arrived and Chanbe immediately wanted to get out of the pram and help me shop. I took a breath and decided that this could work. He put his shoes on (no kid of mine is going to be walking around the Bronx Woolies barefoot) and we put the basket in his seat. The next 20 or so minutes were bliss. I would point to the item on the shelf, he would pick it up, give it to Quindy, and instruct her to put it in the basket. I ended up doing a slightly bigger shop than I had planned, simply because it went so well.

When we went to the checkouts, Chanbe wanted to show me the toy section. Here we go, I thought. But I said to him that it would be lovely for him to show me and then we would have to go and pay for our shopping. He pointed out a few things and that was it. Another sigh of relief and more praise for good choices.

I pushed our ginormous pram through the checkouts, paid for the shopping, gave the kids an apple each, and we were on our way.

This is how $60 of shopping fits nicely in the pram:

On the walk home, I thought about how grateful I was to have had such a positive experience. Parenting is hard work sometimes, and I know that I can get overwhelmed and bogged down by the monotony and challenges that this job brings. But yesterday, I chose to be grateful.

I’m grateful that I have 2 wonderful, healthy children who make me smile and make me proud.

I’m grateful for our awesome pram that I was a bit hesitant about buying initially, but that I haven’t regretted once. We get comments on it every time we go out which makes me love it more.

I’m grateful for this beautiful weather we are having. I struggled a lot with the summer months up here, but the last couple of weeks we’ve had lovely cool nights and beautiful days. The sun isn’t too hot, and there has been a nice stiff breeze to keep the flies away.

I’m grateful that I never have to worry about money to buy food and to pay for living costs.

I’m grateful for my fully-functioning, albeit slightly slow and sluggish body.

I’m grateful that even though I’m experiencing some not so fun ligament pain, I can get out and exercise which is so good for me at the moment.

I’m grateful that I have a loving husband who has a good job that enables me to be at home with the kids.

I could go on, but you get the idea. How can I not be grateful when I have all of this;

… and more:
Wifey: 26 weeks with #3

Happy Birthday Hubs

On Hubs’ birthday last year, we found ourselves at a cocktail party, drinking far too much and finding out our friend Sonia had decided to apply to go to Mount Isa in 2014, mainly because of all the extra financial incentives. Hubs and I told her she was crazy and that was that. Or so I thought. We then started joking about how funny it would be if we considered Mount Isa. Then we looked into it. Then Hubs applied. And the rest, as they say, was a disaster… ha ha. I mean history… We still joke about that night with Sonia and now that we have made it halfway through, we are feeling like we have achieved something that we found quite challenging at the beginning.

So what does this all have to do with Hubs’ birthday? Well, since his birthday falls in the middle of the year, and since we move every year, we have usually established some new friends who make up the guests at Hubs’ birthday gathering. And as I looked around at the 10 adults and 5 kids that made up our little group, I couldn’t help but feel very blessed that even though we haven’t had the best of years, we have still managed to befriend some wonderful people who were excited to be a part of the celebrations.
Although Hubs had to work the night shift that night, he still had a lovely time and I know he appreciated our new friends making the effort on a Monday night. Chanbe had already told me that we had to make a green dinosaur cake for Dadda, so I had to oblige. Certainly not one of my most skillful efforts, but with Chanbe decorating with the smarties, it turned out pretty cute. And it was this recipe which is my current chocolate cake go-to. So delicious!
Just happy.

Happy birthday Hubs. It’s been an interesting year, that’s for sure. I love how you still say and do things that surprise me and keep me guessing. You are such a good egg and I love that so many people get to find that out for themselves. You show them the real you and that’s who they get to know and love, just as I have and continue to do.