July 29, 2013

Our 2012 Family Album

Our family's 2012 photo album/scrapbook arrived in the mail today (cue fangirl excitement about seeing my scrapbooking layouts in print!)


Yep, 96 pages of scrapbooking layouts from our family's adventures during 2012.  I'm really happy with how it turned out, especially as I tried a couple of different things with this book.

I used the inside front cover pages to introduce the book. An inner title page, short bio on us as a family and our ages (something fun to look back on in years to come) and a summary of major events that happened to us during 2012. I printed on slightly thicker pages (and glossy) as I like the feel of both when looking at the book in person. It gives it a real 'coffee table' feel. :)

I didn't do a huge amount of double-page layouts for this album, but those I did complete look really nice (especially Rowan's party layout, which seemed a bit 'busy' when I finished it after his 1st birthday last year). Printed at 12x12", even the little details look fabulous and the font size is perfect. In fact, on layouts such as the Aqaurium one above, the font looks almost a bit TOO large when printed. This is something I'll make a note of for printing this year's book.

I like the way single layouts look too. Notice the white edging around each page? This was deliberate, as when I printed my pregnancy album, I had a bit cut off on each edge when it was printed, due to the guttering. The easy way around this was to make a template using the Blurb software that had the image slightly smaller than the page itself and applying it to each page before dragging and dropping each layout in.

The colours came up crisp and clear, and it inspires me to get even more of our pictures and stories off the computer. Growing up, I loved looking through our family albums, and I want to be able to do the same for our family too. 

The details: I design my layouts in Photoshop CS3, using a variety of digital scrapbooking kits and temples (I get most of mine here). I printed this book at Blurb.com in 12x12" (30x30cm) and used Premium Glossy paper. There were 96 pages and this book cost me $109 after applying a 20% off coupon. You can see the full book here.This entry isn't an advertisement, just wanted to answer the FAQ that I often get about my scrapbooking layouts and photobooks.

I have been a digital scrapbooker since 2009, but didn't get more heavily into projects until 2010 when pregnant with Rowan and wanted to teach myself a variety of techniques in order to create a pregnancy album.

July 27, 2013

Menstrual Cycle Changes

So I find out later this week whether I'm losing my job or not. I'm not holding out a lot of hope on this one, the preschool that I teach at is going to be closing down (possibly at the end of the year) after a long community history. I've worked there for nine years, which is no small feat in itself.

It kind of throws a few things into disarray, namely our plans to move out of this apartment we've made home for the past four years, and future family plans. We're living as if this aforementioned news may not exist, and holding out hope that I can find another teaching position elsewhere if that is what happens. 

In other news, my body is taking a hormonal beating over the last few months, most likely being triggered by a reduction in breastfeeding. Rowan (27 months old) was previously feeding three times per day and he's tapered off to once a day now. This is mainly my doing - to be honest - and it's something that's surprised me as I consider myself an advocate for full-term (ie, self-weaning) breastfeeding. Why have my views changed? I don't know. The interesting part is that dropping Rowan's feeds weren't a struggle on his side, he has breakfast instead of a milk feed, and a cup of milk before his nap. Easy peasy, I thought the pre-nap feed would be the most difficult for him to give up, but it was the easiest one. The feed before bed at night? I'm not quite sure how we'll change that nighttime routine when the time comes (not any time soon, unless Rowan shows signs of being disinterested).

My body has been doing strange things as a result, with longer menstrual bleeding (ie, 7-10 days), more cramping and three weeks between cycles. Hardly promising on the fertility front (although perhaps I'm producing more lining now?), but hopefully it all settles itself again soon as my body gets used to its 'new normal' once more. 

July 7, 2013

Rowan at 2.25 Years Old

Rowan, our little Pickle - today you are two-and-a-quarter years old. You are so cheeky, vivacious and energetic, and love to dance, sing and you are learning to jump at the moment.

Car trips have become big adventures in recent months as you give us a running commentary of everything that you see: "Look Mummy, a digger!" "I see two tractor!" "Wow... a big bus. And look, a tram too!" "It nighttime, the cars have lights on" "The car have a 'P' on it. Where the 'B' for bunny??"

Are you sensing a theme here? You absolutely adore vehicles at the moment and are happiest when playing "car parks", or with "Hannah, Dan and the caravan" (a game you made up with toys from the toy library). You will line up your cars, send them down ramps, take them on trips around the house (mainly to Coles, shopping centres, Aldi or the petrol station at the moment; all places that you have been to close to home).

It was as if the moment you turned two, you figured out that you could sing. You have a remarkable memory for songs, and sing loudly an confidently! Some of your favourites are The Wheels on the Bus, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (and the Daddy Drives a Motor Car version), Three Cheeky Monkeys Jumping on the Bed and Bananas in Pyjamas

You go to childcare on Mondays and Tuesdays, and these are very big days for you. I drop you off at 7.45am and pick you up at 5pm. I would much rather we spend our days home together but you really love childcare and talk about your teachers often (mainly Kacey and Jackie). I ask you about the things you do at childcare, and I hear all about the sandpit, playdough, nap time, food times and your Bunny. You also spend Fridays with Nana (my Mum) and one of your routines is to go out for coffee (babycino) and a muffin together for morning tea.

Speaking of Bunny, you are still lovingly attached to your bunnies (you have 4 now!) and they must ALL come to bed with you at night. You make loud 'cuddle' sounds (which sound a bit like "ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh cuddlecuddle") and occasionally share them with us too. You are starting to learn about possession and if someone picks up one of the bunnies to put them away you say "that's MY Bunny!". In fact, we all hear a lot about "that's my...." at the moment.

Your two year-old molars are just starting to come through, and besides lots of saliva, chewing objects and a red cheek you're coping well with them so far. We play a game together where we look at each other's "new teeth" and you enjoy looking in our mouths (and we get to see inside yours too).

You are 93cm tall (36.5") and weigh 13.6kg (30lb).

You were quite sick in June, which started with a cold that didn't get better. You ended up with bronchitis, a chest infection and ear infection, which resulted in your first course of antibiotics ever (I'm proud that you didn't need any until you were two year old).

Getting an x-ray to rule out pneumonia (you were very brave!)

Your favourite foods at the moment are dried cranberries, "warm milk" (cow's milk), bread, honey, macaroni-shaped pasta, apple and country cheese biscuits. You have a big appetite and often surprise us with how much you eat (especially when you go through a growth spurt, as you are at the moment). 

You currently have two breastfeeds per day - one first thing in the morning before breakfast, and one before bed at night. You cut out the feed before nap in the last month (Mummy helped with this one), as you were getting distracted from growing sleepy. It has surprised us with how quickly you got used to your new routine of watching an episode of Peppa Pig on the tablet, having a cup of warm milk and going into your cot. I could see you learning to give up your other feeds too, but there isn't really any need to right now so I think they'll remain for the time being while you're still interested in them.

You are very interested in asking questions, and you constantly ask "what's that noise" or "where Daddy/Mummy going?". You are highly inquisitive and notice minute details of things that as adults we tend to miss. You also like to exert your independence and tell us you'd like to walk instead of being carried, what books you'd like read to you, foods you do or don't want to eat, or what you want to do at any given moment!

You have grown up so much in the past three months and it will be amazing to see what you're interested in in another three months time.

Love Mummy and Daddy.

July 1, 2013


It may be a long road to pregnancy like the first time, but I'm confident that we'll get there in the end. Exciting (and nerve-wracking!) times to follow. ;)