So yes it is now March and 2019 was some time ago, but I’ve done some kind of review every year for a while now and it’s worth it to look back on! This was a big, family-focused year for me with some big highs and lows.
Sprucing up our home – I was in serious nesting mode for the second half of my pregnancy, so spent the first few months of the year decluttering, rearranging, and improving. I particularly love our outdoor area now it looks more inviting to sit in. It’s a lot harder to do this stuff with a tiny human running around, so I’m glad I had some time to do it before he arrived.
Getting our money in order – I tried out a Barefoot Investor inspired setup with our accounts, but it was way too complicated (I needed to draw a diagram to explain it all). At the start of 2019 I simplified and automated as much as possible, and it made keeping track of things much easier.
Being a mum – yes there are a lot of tough parts (see the lows below), but being a mum has been so full of joy and wonder overall. There’s so many firsts and so much to discover in a baby’s first year – first smile, first laugh, first time eating solid food, starting to move around and show the early signs of the person they’ll become. There’s also new friends and new ways to connect to old ones. It’s really exciting! Some favourite parts: walking with Felix in our baby carrier and feeling the weight of his head on my chest as he falls asleep. The first time he laughed, it was so cute that I cried (also I was very very tired). Catchups with friends with babies the same age, sharing stories and tips and clothes. Family cuddles in bed in the morning. Sharing a meal, once he could sit and eat.
DIY photo shoots – I finally figured out how to control my camera using my phone, and took some pretty nice self-portraits whilst super pregnant and on my first Mother’s Day. It felt a bit silly and vain at the time, but it’s nice to have decent photos of myself for once! I’ve also been taking milestone photos of Felix for his first year, well worth the effort of trying to get a wriggly baby to sit still.
Alphabet animal series– I had next to zero time/energy for creative things, but did manage to squeeze this in! I lost a bunch of Instagram followers who probably got sick of the monotony, but it felt good to complete something and see it as a whole.
During a Perth heatwave in December we escaped for a short trip down south, where it was slightly less hot and far less crowded at the beach!
This was our second road trip south with both Felix and Jasper, and we’ve gotten a lot better at travelling with a dog and a baby. This time our strategy mostly involved sticking to beaches and picnics, but we still managed to squeeze in some wineries and breweries as well.
We stayed at a dog-friendly AirBnB studio in Gnarabup, which had a separate room for Felix to sleep in uninterrupted. He spent a lot of time commando crawling around, wiping the floors with his belly. Having accommodation with a cot, high chair and bath provided made packing the car so much easier, definitely something for us to keep in mind next time.
Places we went:
Gnarabup Beach – lovely quiet beach close to our accommodation, with some dog-friendly stretches, near White Elephant Cafe.
Dunsborough foreshore – I love the still, shallow waters here. Very baby (and scaredy-dog) friendly!
Cafes & Bakeries
White Elephant Cafe – an old favourite by the beach; we got our morning coffee here everyday since it was near where we were staying.
Berry Farm – another old favourite, we go for the (huge) scones and the friendly blue fairy wrens.
Margaret River Woodfired Baker – fantastic bread, hot from the oven from 3pm. Kind of a strange unassuming place in an industrial area, but the huge pile of firewood gives them away.
Margaret River Bakery – we grabbed a few things and some coffee for a picnic. Fantastic bread of course, but the extremely loaded salad I got was also somehow amazing. I would go back for that salad.
Yallingup Gugelhupf – delicious traditional cakes baked in ceramic moulds, and a convenient park to picnic in across the street (this trip was full of picnics). I want to go back to try all the other flavours.
Wineries, breweries & pubs
Stormflower Vineyard – this lovely organic winery has a cellar door that actually allows dogs inside! We had the place to ourselves when we visited, and were shown to some comfy armchairs to taste their excellent wines, whilst Felix crawled around. Definitely one to visit again.
Stella Bella Wines – another excellent winery that welcomes dogs at the cellar door! The last time we visited Jasper was a tiny puppy.
Cape Mentelle – we’d already reached our wine tasting limit by the time we got here, so just had our picnic outside whilst I wistfully admired their wine list. So I can’t comment on the wine, but as a picnic spot it was stunning (and they let you bring your tasting glasses outside if you have a dog). Definitely need to come back here for the cellar door.
Clancy’s Fish Pub – not sure how we’ve managed to have never visited the Dunsborough Clancy’s until now? The place is beautiful and huge, with a great view of the flying foxes from the ropes course next door. I had some delicious prawn tacos.
Wild Hop Brewing Co – great beer and gorgeous outdoor area. Also a big fan of popcorn as beer snacks.
I read a lot of birth stories during my pregnancy, something that I’d been avoiding until then. They always feel deeply personal and I didn’t think that I’d want to publish my own experience, even though reading the experiences of others really helped and encouraged me. But I figured no one really reads this blog anyway, so I might as well!
This isn’t a negative story although things didn’t quite go according to plan, so if you are reading this whilst pregnant and can’t handle that right now, or just don’t want TMI (although seriously don’t read birth stories if that’s the case) feel free to just scroll through to the cute newborn pics. (more…)