Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

It was a busy weekend for me just gone, beginning with an early start on Saturday morning to pick up my sis and head to Mudgeeraba State Primary to meet dad and campaign for LNP candidate Ros Bates. Lucky for us, the weather was perfect (so much so we ended up with sunburnt arms and legs by 10:30am) and people were in a great mood, excited to have their say in the change of Government. We wanted to help Ros' campaign first off as she is one of the LNP's hardest working representatives and is also my sister's State member.

We had already heard that the ALP would not be putting any people or resources into campaigning for seats they didn't already hold but it was still surprising to arrive and see a sea of blue and yellow shirts, balloons, banners, signs and tents versus 2 ALP reps without any signage or identifying markers. There was also one Greens rep, one Katter party rep and two from Family First. Despite Ros being a relatively safe incumbent, LNP party supporters turned out in force and I think there were at least 10-12 of us at any given time waving the flag.

We finished up around 11am and called in to the most amazing local bakery in Mudgeeraba for a quick lunch - founded in 1925, the bakery still has an original brick oven to bake bread and the pies and sausage rolls were amazing! No pics sorry as I was too busy scoffing the food down.

It was then off to Southport High to get campaigning with the Young Libs for Rob Molhoek, a new LNP candidate running against a long serving ALP stalwart incumbent. Rob Molhoek had been working extremely hard on his campaign for at least the past 14 months and had proven to be an excellent candidate so it was exciting to be there working to support him. There were a few more ALP reps on the ground here including the actual candidate but there was still only 4-5 of them to 15+ young libs in their blue uniform backed by huge signage and banners.

I finished up the campaigning around 3:30pm, completely exhausted and sunburnt but happy that I had done everything I could to make a difference - I think its not good enough to say you want change but fail to back it up with action. If you feel strongly the about something then get out there and do something about it. Anyway, let me climb off my soapbox and continue with the rest of my update... so on the way home, I had to pass the Gold Coast's other Trade Secret (one of my fave shops at the moment if you have been following) that I haven't gotten to for some time. I admit, I didn't have the willpower to drive past it, I had to stop.

I came away with more Bonds gear - I know, I'm getting a little dull and predictable but their basics are just so comfortable and well priced for maternity wear:

A Tribeca Cape - $39.95

Bumps Bamboo Black dress - $34.95

and some Stretchies jumpsuits for bubba - about $15 each

I spent a bit too much time browsing here and ended up in a rush to get home and get ready for dinner with S parents. We were meeting them for dinner at an African restaurant Sun'e'Side they had discovered ... I was a little apprehensive to be honest being a fussy eater and pregnant. The restaurant was conveniently located only 10 minutes from us (in fairness, there are over 100 restaurants within 10 minutes of us so it wasn't surprising we hadn't found this one) and turned out to be an absolute gem. 

Styled in the theme of a game lodge, there was balcony or indoor seating available with dim lighting that was bright enough to see the menus, your companions and food easily without being glaring. The menu was well set out in sections of chicken, beef, seafood etc and had a good variety of choice. I went with the Spotted Giraffe... a skewer of rump, marinated in bay leaves & garlic served with traditional rice and chakkalaka dipping sauce. The service was attentive, the prices reasonable and the food was delicious - the staff were also very accommodating of me, ensuring the meat was cooked appropriately etc. S and I will definitely be dining here again.

Luckily the in-laws eat early so we were home by 8pm and I was more than ready for bed but desperate for results of the election. I switched on Sky News and despite expecting and being confident of an LNP win, was utterly shocked at the total annihilation of the ALP. The people clearly had wanted change, that was obvious from my day spent at the polling booths, but I really didn't expect such a bloodbath. I would have happily sat glued to Sky watching every inch of coverage but S was having none of it and wanted to watch a Jonah Hill movie he had .. The Sitter. Fairly crude but very funny, there were some thoughtful moments throughout where The Sitter actually did some good - you know, apart from taking young kids to a druglord's home, a bar and an adults' party, using them to thieve from a Bar Mitzvah, a break and enter on his father's jewellery store ... you get the idea.

Sunday demanded a sleep in (like it usually does) and then S and I headed to the shops for lunch/afternoon tea and a walk around. I think we stopped at every store selling baby goods to browse and ended up buying bubba some Christmas outfits on sale at Myer - they were $4 each down from $25 and S just couldn't resist.

We had afternoon tea at Donut King - its been forever since I have had donuts and the smell was too good to walk past - then met C and baby S at the playground for a catchup.

All in all, a great but very tiring weekend for me. What did you get up to?  

In other news, I almost forgot to mention, my sis also gave me a copy of the baby shower invites she has ordered for me. We are going for a Golden Book theme and in keeping with it, K got these from etsy.com:

Inspired by Reezy from the blog Peanut Butter & Honey's, idea to request Golden Books instead of cards from guests, K also found a poem explaining this and designed an insert to go with the invite. I think the invites are absolutely gorgeous and am touched by the effort my sister has gone to to source, design and create them.

My shower is still over 6 weeks away but we have my sis in law's to organise along with my dad's local council campaign we are running and a few other things going on so we thought it best to sort what we could early.

So far...

This week so far I have ...

enrolled S & I in a one day First Time Parents antenatal class - we are enrolled in Calmbirth classes also to help with techniques for the labour but this class will cover the basics of parenting and tour of the hospital birthing facilities

joined the Australian Breastfeeding Association at my mother's recommendation and enrolled in a breastfeeding education class that goes through normal infant behaviour, community resources and a focus on the early weeks after birth - I figure all help prior could assist in achieving the best possible outcome (which in my case would be established breastfeeding)

put together some of bubba's furniture - well S did and I just watched and made up the bassinet for fun (sheets still have to be washed obviously and the furniture is not in any arrangement as yet)

hit the 27 week mark with bub which is also the beginning of my third trimester - poor S though is not coping... he feels  like I have been in the twenties forever and wants it to be the thirties already ha ha (this week's bump pic)

received a parcel from my beautiful aunt which included some cardis she knitted for bubba including these two and a little blue one - they are just gorgeous and so precious to me as my grandmothers would both have loved to knit for the baby if they were still with us

dragged S to Masters in my search for organiser storage boxes to go under the change table for all of bubba's bits and bobs - we had success with these fabric options that were the right colour scheme, fit well in the space and come in two sizes

removed my wedder and e-ring from my finger to a chain around my neck - normally they have a little bit of room on my finger but I have noticed them tightening in the past weeks and was worried if I didn't remove them now they may end up stuck...I hate not wearing them though and feel naked without them on my finger

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Polarising my nearest & dearest with some wants for bubba thrown in

So it turns out that baby showers have some aspects that can be pretty polarising to the masses ... or maybe just my nearest and dearest. I know, who knew?

It all started with some well meaning comments from some good friends who after seeing bubba's stockpile of gear and knowing the extent of my mother's shopping (peeps, she puts me to utter shame), queried me in dismay asking what was even left for them to buy me/bubba for the baby shower. Despite my reassurance that gifts are completely unnecessary, my friends have all been quite specific that they would like to buy me/bubba something special. Their dismay has actually left me feeling a little guilty about my and my mothers' shopping however my friends have also assured me they understand my need to shop given it is S and my first born and that it just makes their job a little harder.

I discussed this with my sister and here is where things started to go pear shaped. She suggested a baby shower registry might be in order to help my friends out.  My sister is quite a logical and practical person by nature... she is also blunt, to the point and loves to be organised even more than I do. She is also in charge of organising my shower. We discussed the registry and I mentioned that I felt a little uncomfortable about it as I would hate for guests to interpret it as a demand for gifts. K pointed out that my guests are all close friends and know me well enough to know that is not the case at all. She also pointed out that a registry at somewhere reasonable had been well received by guests at other baby showers she had attended recently and I should consider it.

I decided to poll a few friends and get their thoughts on a baby shower registry. I actually took a broad range of samples from a big demographic including some of S' friends wives, my MiL (a stickler for etiquette) and SiL, my mother and some of her friends, some girls I work with and of course my best friend M. To my absolute surprise, every single lady I spoke to bar one was in favour of a registry and commented on how easy it would make their shopping in addition to buying something I actually needed for bubba and not doubling up on gifts which they all told me would be embarrassing for them.  M was completely and vehemently against registering saying that it was a little presumptuous of me and we discussed my reasons at length and we ended up agreeing to disagree.

Based on the feedback around me, I ended up registering at Toys R Us ... and let me tell you, what a lengthy and involved process. The staff were very helpful and a scanner was provided but it took my sis and I a good 90 minutes to walk the store, scan and register the said items. As I already have bought so much, we had to go through things carefully to ensure we didn't double up. I also wanted a really broad range of options for people who choose to use the registry as a guide so include lots of bits and bobs like Bonds suits and pram/cot toys by Brights Starts and Lamaze. I only had two big items on the list (a Baby Bjorn carrier and a F & P Jumperoo) as I know some friends might like to band together and chip in but overall I kept the list to items around or well under $30 to show people we don't need much and I don't want or expect them to go to a lot of expense.

My sis is under strict instructions to ensure guests they don't need to a) bring a gift at all b) consult the registry at all if they choose and/or c) they can use the registry as a guide only and feel free to purchase whatever from wherever.

I am pretty satisfied with my decision to register as I know the people I am inviting know me well enough to know it is a guide for their convenience only and not an expectation or presumption on my part in any way. It is something I would be happy to consult for a baby shower and Toys R Us is a pretty reasonable option and location for most people.

Did you have a registry for your baby shower or have you been to a shower with a registry?

On another note, here are some new things on my list for bubba...

Moo Goo products - http://moogoo.com.au/

I found out they do a range of baby products last night after an impromptu chemist visit to get a prescription for the husband filled (he has a severe ear ache unfortunately and makes a miserable patient). 
Anyway, after some googling and what not, the products sound ideal for newborn skin and they even offer a mother & baby gift pack with all the essentials: 

The Mum and Baby Gift Boxes includes:
  • The Scalp Cream is a beautiful moisturizer for babies that will also take care of any Cradle Cap.
  • Nappy Balm: a balm for red bottoms using natural oils not petroleum based or synthetic chemicals
  • Anti-Ageing Cream (for Mum) is great for dry skin, and the Ascorbyl Tetraisapalmitate (a stable form of Vitamin C), and Resveratrol, the latest breakthrough compound found in red grapes that reduces Melanin production which helps with the pigmentation that can follow pregnancy.
  • The Milk Wash is already a favourite with many Mums. The Glucose based cleansers were originally designed for baby wipes, and have the same skin irritation score as water. Much gentler for the baby any other cleanser available.
  • Skin Milk is a lighter moisturising lotion. It easily penetrates the skin with healing ingredients and without an oil film on the surface of the skin; and
  • Cow Lick Lip Balm: an edible balm to keep lips moist and healthy. Lots of Mum’s also find it helps to soothe when sore from breastfeeding.

I just think this is a gorgeous and very practical teddy bear for bubba. They feel so soft and plush in real life and I love that they are not too big and are flat so make the ideal sleeping companion with bubba when he is a bit older and able to/wanting to sleep with teddies.

Soft, cuddly and flat, the FLATOUTbear is made of 100% pure Australian sheepskin shaped like a teddy bear. They are just gorgeous. They're natural, plush and luxurious - perfect for babies, kids, grannies... What can we say, everyone loves FLATOUTbears.

It is no wonder the FLATOUTbear has a star studded fan base including Princess Mary of Denmark, Brooke Shields and Hugh Jackman. Sarah Jessica Parker termed the FLATOUTbear "charming and adorable", Tom Cruise had it on his baby wish-list, Jennifer Garner "loves it". The FLATOUTbear is now seen around the world.

If you have a FLATOUTbear already, read no further because you know how fabulous they are:

  • Hand made from 100% Australian sheepskin
  • 30cm x 25cm or 12" x 10" (this may vary slightly as each bear is hand cut)
  • 5cm or 2" flat
  • Easy care - warm hand wash and dry in shade
  • Baby Safe Eyes and Nose - meets Australian and International toy safety Standards.
  •   tested
  • Colours available - milk, honey, latte, licorice, chocolate, koala grey and rosie.
  • A "please phone home" stitched in label with room for your phone number.
FLATOUTbear is a unique product used as a baby's toy and comforter. Saying that, we know lots of adults that won't leave home without one! The ultimate luxury teddy bear. We believe every child deserves a FLATOUTbear.

We also bought the Fisher Price Precious Planets portacot on sale from Toys R Us for just $99.95 - it was half price! We were originally going to just use a friend's one but then for the price, thought it worth investing in our own given we hope to have another bub after this one or if not, I can always pass it on to my sis when she has a baby.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Wrap Up

A photo heavy post of my days in review since Saturday :)
  I went along to the football on Saturday as moral support for my sis and supported my brother in law while he played in the rain for his new team. Turns out his new home ground is in a valley at the back of Tweed which is a bit of a change from the modern and central Burleigh club but actually very pretty scenery and nice for a change. Our friend N and her daughter Miss T joined us to watch and we spent the afternoon being entertained off the field by the precocious and oh so clever Miss T. Brother in law's team won the game too which is always nice.

Miss T - isn't she a cutie :)

Got home that afternoon in time to feed a family of ducks off our back deck - they were swimming in the canal and made a beeline for our sandy beach as soon as I stepped out on to the deck.

We then had S' boss and his wife who are also long time friends of S' join us for dinner and let me say, I do not love champagne risotto! Surprising as I love champagne and make a near perfect risotto but the flavours just didn't do it for me. I served it as a side with rolled roast beef and a rocket and sundried tomato and pine nut salad both of which were a big hit but the risotto was a miss with all of us. Oh well, I don't mind experimenting in the kitchen and you live, you learn.

I went to a baby shower on Sunday with my mum, sis and sis in law for a very dear friend (N as mentioned earlier) whose bub is due in 4 weeks. It was a lemon and white theme as unlike me, she has patience and is having a surprise. It was a lovely afternoon with family and close friends at a restaurant called Point Break located on Burleigh Hill - a special venue for us as my sis had her wedding reception there two years ago.

The mummy to be N & her sisters, C & M
We also booked tickets to the Socceroos World Cup qualifier against Japan on Monday! So excited for this as we love the Japanese team (even though they beat us in the Asia Cup) and the last game we went to in Brisbane was the Socceroo qualifying match against Iraq for the previous World Cup. The only small concern is that the game is just 2 weeks prior to my due date so fingers crossed bub doesn't decide to come too early or I am not so uncomfortable by then that I won't be able to go.

We (I really mean S here) also cleared out the spare room of bed, shelves, chest of drawers, bedside table etc so we can get to work on putting up bubba's cot, bassinet, change table and other bits.

We found this pic in the Babies R Us catalogue of our soft furnishings set and it sums up how we hope our nursery will look. We have bought  white furniture from Tasman Eco and have this exact green rug already in our living room so are going to transfer it to the nursery.
Preparing the nursery has made us realise just how soon our son is going to be here - I'm 26 weeks today so only 14 weeks left if bub comes on his due date or less if he makes an early arrival. Here are some bump pics from the past 4 weeks or so (the navy dress is the most recent - yesterday):

Monday night S and I went to the movies last night to see Margin Call. Interesting movie and well put together in my opinion. It was a hard story to tell and covered a 24 hour period in an investment firm around the time that the GFC hit. It is apparently based on Lehmann Brothers and basically shows how they screwed over pretty much every other firm and accelerated the fallout to save their own necks when a serious problem came to light. Not to everyone's taste and a little bit documentary style.

In other news, I am still waiting on my Essie Ozsale order and my Country Road order which is frustrating but they have apparently been shipped.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Today's lemmings & purchases

Will probably purchase: onesies from Country Road for bubba.
Acting out of habit, I forgot to check the children's section for sale items and had to go back in after completing my order  so am now considering just calling instore on the way home for these. 

BOUGHT: Country Road twist front jersey skirt - $44.96 onsale with member discount
I have been eyeing this off for a while so am glad I didn't buy it at full price like I was going to.
I have a similar version of this skirt now and have found it perfect for work with a black singlet and blazer.

BOUGHT: Country Road stripe tunic - $29.96 onsale with member discount
I have been eyeing this off also for a while and hope it will work with leggings as a maternity outfit in coming cooler months

LEMMING: this gorgeous clutch from Oroton.
With 50% off for members this would be about $200 but I just cant justify the expense right now :(

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Whats going on

I've been a bit slack with regular posting lately but I have had a lot on my mind and wasn't sure whether to post about it here or not but in the interests of keeping calm and getting things off my chest, I decided its probably in my best interests to put it all down on paper so to speak.

So to warn you before getting started, this is another pregnancy related post (I know, I really have to get more interesting I hear you say) but not about shopping or wishlists. Its about the medical side of pregnancy and more specifically, a complication.

To give you some background, I am now 25 weeks pregnant - to me that time has flown and its hard to believe we are past the 6 month mark but if you ask S, he says it feels like I have been 20 odd weeks pregnant forever (he is prone to the dramatics though). Part of my regular GP and obstetrician checkups involve having my blood pressure checked and prior to pregnancy I have always recorded VERY low readings - as in worryingly low to the doctors - so I assumed this may be a risk in pregnancy or at the very least my blood pressure would rise to normal levels. 

Imagine my surprise when at around 11 weeks, the obstetrician checks and gets a reading of 170 over 90... I probably would have fallen over if I wasn't lying down already. He waited half an hour and took it again recording 140 over 90. Since then, I have recorded regular readings of 150 over 90 with a few 130 or 140s over 70 or 90 but generally nothing lower.

Up until now, my OB hasn't been terribly concerned given I am still fairly early in (plus his bedside manner seems to be one of calm quiet confidence and I really cant see him getting in a flap about anything) but as the weeks creep by, he is definitely monitoring me more closely for pre eclampsia. Prior to pregnancy and even in my early stages, pre eclampsia is not a condition I had ever heard of and I have to say thats probably not a bad thing because it seems to be a pretty scary condition. When my OB mentioned PE, I of course googled the term immediately to find out all I could - in hindsight, it probably wasn't the best idea as it landed me in tears and too scared to voice the fears or even discuss the possibilities with anyone.

From wikipedia:
Pre-eclampsia or preeclampsia is a medical condition in which hypertension arises in pregnancy (pregnancy-induced hypertension) in association with significant amounts of protein in the urine.
Pre-eclampsia refers to a set of symptoms rather than any causative factor, and there are many different causes for the condition. It appears likely that there are substances from the placenta that can cause endothelial dysfunction in the maternal blood vessels of susceptible women.[1] While blood pressure elevation is the most visible sign of the disease, it involves generalized damage to the maternal endotheliumkidneys, and liver, with the release of vasoconstrictive factors being secondary to the original damage.
Pre-eclampsia may develop from 20 weeks gestation (it is considered early onset before 32 weeks, which is associated with increased morbidity). Its progress differs among patients; most cases are diagnosed pre-term. Pre-eclampsia may also occur up to six weeks post-partum. Apart from Caesarean section or induction of labor (and therefore delivery of the placenta), there is no known cure. It is the most common of the dangerous pregnancy complications; it may affect both the mother and the unborn child

After my little breakdown, I put it to the back of my mind as I figured the doctors were on to it and stressing about it wouldn't do me any favours and would potentially have an affect on my blood pressure. 

A week ago I suffered from blurred/bright impaired vision along with traveling pins & needles in my right side which of course gave me a fright and landed me at the OBs office followed by the GPs for a check up. They can't pinpoint at the moment if I am suffering from aural migraines which are sometimes accompanied by nausea or if it is entirely BP related. Its pretty scary when the vision impairment, pins and needles, nausea starts though and all I can do is rest through it - it happened again last night and led me to spending today in bed so hopefully that has had the desired effect and I will be back on top of things tomorrow. 

I don't like to complain as bub and I are both doing great overall but the OB has confirmed I am definitely hypertensive and there is now talk of managing my BP with medication. I'm of course open to anything that will help me deliver bub as close to his due date as possible and am trying not to let it all get to me at the risk of affecting my BP further. 

Has anyone had any experiences of pre-eclampsia they can share?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

First World Problems

So its that time of year where I am due to upgrade my mobile handset and oh, the dilemmas this is causing me.

Honestly though, if this is not a first world problem then lord knows what is!

So I currently have an iPhone 4 and let me tell you, I hate that piece of metal and glass more than anything else... it has come so close countless times to getting thrown against a wall or in our canal.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a total iPhone person but this handset is prone to dropping out at will or switching from my service provider to 'searching' to 'sos calls only' randomly regardless of area and coverage - my home apparently is the equivalent to the Congo jungle and service can only be obtained outside on my back patio in one particular spot. This is definitely the handset as my sim in any other phone does not experience these faults or cause me as much drama.

So I have the following options:

  1. Upgrade to an iPhone 4s
  2. Wait (read suffer) it out for a few months and see if Apple is going to release another handset this year as per the online rumours - if you have any input on this it would be appreciated
  3. Go for a new handset altogether - a Samsung or a Blackberry or ??? i'm open to suggestions here
Can you offer me any help or advice based on your own experiences and undoubtedly vastly superior knowledge?

EDIT: Thanks for the comment Angela - HTC Incredible S is actually one I am considering and it comes with a free PS3 at the moment also. Is it as easy to use as the iphone?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Things that are interesting me right now

1. French Children Don't Throw Food by Pamela Druckerman

This book is getting mentioned in a lot of places (Sydney Morning Herald and the Today show to name a few) and has a lot of my friends talking. I first came across it here in an article by Amity Dry (remember, from the very first The Block?) http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/life-style/nutrition-and-wellbeing/why-the-french-are-better-parents-20120209-1rlfu.html

Anyway, the premise is that French children are generally better behaved in public, more inclined to do what their parents tell them (i.e. eat their vegetables) and require less 'hands on' parenting as the French don't subscribe to the 'King Child' epidemic spreading Western countries and they tend to parent their first children as though they are second, third or fourth children. The author explains that on a park outing, a French child is provided with a ball only and will play until its told to stop. Her (the author's) half British half American children require a carload of stimulation (bikes, balls, toys etc) for a park outing. She also explains that French children are served breakfast at home, morning tea and lunch and afternoon tea at school and then no further snacking till dinner time when an entree of vegetables is served. French children eat their vegetables because if they don't, no main meal will be served to them.

I have simplified and glossed over the above and there is much more to it than that but without boring you, you get the idea I hope.

The book raises some interesting points on parenting and while I may not agree with all of the author's points, I think its an interesting read with some merit as a first time parent - indeed, some of it is very similar to how I was parented and I have no complaints.

2. Greys Anatomy - specifically season 6

So I think most of the East coast of Australia enjoyed a pretty rainy weekend and we were no exception. M was due to come down from Brisbane Saturday night for a catch up and rather than head out, we decided to have a Grey's Anatomy marathon much to S' disgust. We both love Greys but hadn't seen a season consistently through since season 5 so we got pizza for dinner and settled in to watch season 6.

We only got through the first two discs but I have to say, those episodes have reignited ,y absolute love for this series! Seriously, could the writers get any better. S interrupted us a few times to find out what the hell was going on as he kept hearing laughter, sad and angry noises coming from us and couldn't understand how a show was causing them.

I don't want to spoil anyone that hasn't seen the season (although you must have been under the same rock as me if you haven't) but the funeral in the beginning is just tragic and the way the grief manifests on all the characters is heartbreaking, particularly Bailey. Can I also just say, HOW AWESOME IS BAILEY! What a beautifully written and amazingly acted character. I also do love Sandra Oh as Yang, she just gets me laughing with her complete lack of tact or sensitivity and I'm even a fan of Callie in this season. Probably the most annoying person for me is Izzie without doubt and I just feel sorry for Karev having to put up with her. That little cow Reed (the Mercy West docs) is also irritating the heck out of me and M and I were both hating on her smug little face.

I'm looking forward to watching the rest of the season this week and seeing how all the story lines play out. I expect I will be spending the coming weekend viewing season 7 if the weather keeps up like this (I've already roped my little sis in as a viewing partner).

3. Bubba

He's always interesting me of course but he has started kicking and noticeably moving about now which is pretty amazing. I used to ask my pregnant friends to describe how bub kicking felt to them and could never get a satisfactory answer. Well, now I'm in the same boat trying to explain to S and to M and to my sis K exactly what that feeling is like. Kourtney Kardashian tweeted a few days ago 'Ahh baby kicks! One of the best feelings in the world,' and she is exactly right. The magic for me of feeling bubba kick is unlike anything else ... its also very reassuring to feel the movements that include hiccups, turning, kicking and punching. S was pretty awestruck when he first felt the movements too and we now have a little ritual each night before we go to sleep where we talk to bubba and feel him move as we've noticed he is most active right before bedtime - as soon as I lie down, he starts wriggling.

4. Etsy

I've always liked etsy but bubba seems to have given me an addiction to it. I found and have bookmarked these adorable items so far (along with many more):

My sis loved this of course

The sweetest announcement cards by Whimsical Creations
More gorgeous announcement cards by Tiny Prints

A definite print for bubba's room - I just love the sentiment (Design by Maya)

Another definite print for bubba's room - again, love the sentiment (Design by Maya)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tokyo part 3 - we're almost at the end

I'm not sure if I ever posted pics of our first and only dinner in Tokyo from our first trip.
Our friend Victor took us to a very special restaurant in Shinjuku for sake and traditional Japanese food the day after the earthquake in March. It was a wonderful dining experience with the food amazing and the sake selection superior - made all the more so as we were able to forget that night about how scared we were and just have a lovely time for a few hours.
We asked Victor about this restaurant when we caught up with him in Osaka at the beginning of this trip and he was unable to remember the actual name of the restaurant or to provide with directions we would understand to find it - if you've been to Shinjuku, you will understand this completely.
So every night in Shinjuku this trip, we wandered around looking for restaurants and hoping we would find find the special one again. We had pretty much given up on ever finding the restaurant again when on our last night in Tokyo, we ended up down a side street in Shinjuku that we both thought looked familiar.
As you can imagine, we were pretty giddy with our own brilliance and couldn't believe our luck in finding it.
That turned out to be the easy part... the restaurant is definitely not for tourists or visitors (they'd never find it) - there is no English menu, no one speaks English (including fellow customers) and there is no plastic food or pictures to help with the ordering process.
Luckily we had pics on our camera from our previous trip and I was able to show them to the Master and he ordered for us from them - he got very animated on seeing the photos and that we had been there before.

Thanking the master for his service and delicious food - I think he understood despite him not speaking english and us not speaking Japanese.

The sashimi plate was again a work of art - too pretty to eat in my opinion but enormously enjoyed by S

Sake sampling - you order in lots of 3 and you each is from a different region and distillery with a little card (in Japanese of course) indicating where it is from

Special sake - 3 different types from 3 different regions

Not a word of english - luckily we were just able to order the same as we enjoyed last time using photos from last time ... tempura vegetable, sashimi plate, the most amazing duck breast

Appetiser - I'm not a seafood or 'unidentified foods' person so left this to S who seemed enjoyed it

We followed this meal with hours and hours of karaoke - I convinced S to hire a private room and we got so caught up I think we spent about 3 hours or more there :)