Going on holidays with kids

Last weekend we went on a weekend holiday up to the Sunshine Coast with Renee’s family. It was the first “holiday” we’ve had with two kids. I say “holiday”, because what holiday.

You know those posts you see on Facebook that pop up every now and again because one of your Facebook friends has thrown it a like. You know the ones. Where it has two photos side by side, on the left it says ‘before kids’ and the right it says ‘with kids’. Well they’re all true. Every single one of them! Holidays… date nights… meals… you name it. If there is a meme out there with a before and after photo and it shows what a couple does before kids and with kids. It’s 100% accurate.

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And this “holiday” certainly did open our eyes to what life is now like when we are on holidays with kids.

Our weekend holidays up or down the coast would usually go something like this:

Pick a destination, anywhere will do. Book. Pack a bag for the weekend. Drive there. Relax in or by the pool. Have a few drinks on the balcony. Go out for lunch and dinner. More drinks on the balcony. More relaxing by the pool. Game of mini golf. Relaxing in bed. Late night champagne with a movie. Go out for breakfast. Anywhere will do. More relaxing by the pool. Maybe we could go to the beach. More drinks on the balcony. Go out lunch and dinner. More relaxing. More relaxing. More relaxing.

Our holidays no longer look like this. Because kids… So now, a simple weekend away, looks more like this:

Pick a destination, but somewhere that close to amenities or is kid friendly. Pack your bag for the weekend. Pack the kids bags. Pack toys for the kids. Triple check you haven’t forgotten anything, especially nappies or wipes. Pack the car. Get the kids dressed. Get the kids in the car. Hope the 6 month old doesn’t have a tantrum in the car the whole way there. When you get to the hotel, make 3 trips up and down from the apartment to the car because of all the stuff you now need. Put ABC Kids on the television to keep kids occupied for 5mins while you plan your attack on the weekend. Order dinner to eat in the room because the kids won’t deal with a restaurant environment while they’re this tired. Try and find a kid friendly restaurant for lunch the next day. Hope they don’t throw tantrums or run amok while eating lunch. Go to pool. Change kids into swimming nappies. Try and get sunscreen on them. Run after them so they don’t slip and break an arm or don’t slip into the pool and drown. Generally run around after the kids when they need you. Pack the car back up on last day. Drive home. Unpack everything. Put kids to bed for the night. Fall in a heap on the lounge and realise you haven’t actually had a holiday at all.

And that is only just scratching the surface!

But with that said, it really was a fun weekend away. Hectic fun. But fun none the less.

Holidays are just different for us now. But we wouldn’t change that for the world.

Jesse

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The Dead of Night

His eyes opened.

The sound of crying rang out through the dead of night. It was loud. Too loud to be coming from the opposite end of the house. But then again, everything seemed louder in the dead of night.

Save for the light coming up through the hallway, it was almost pitch black. The dull light barely enough to make out the shape of her in bed next to him. He could feel her there however. Safe and warm with the duvet pulled up to her chin no doubt. Her knees tucked up and her hands finding warmth between her thighs as she slept.

He felt her begin to rouse.

He didn’t often wake during the night. Even when the baby was crying. So he figured he must have just been sleeping lightly tonight. His senses more aware of his surroundings than they usually are. And as she began to roll out of bed, he shut his eyes again. As he knew this was just going to be like any other night. The baby was hungry he thought. She would feed the baby. The baby would stop crying. She would come back to bed.

And with his eyes closed he listened as she left the room and fumbled her way down the hallway. He listened as the crying stopped. All that was left was the sound of his breathing. His chest rising and falling gently with each breath. He drifted back to sleep.

His eyes opened.

The sound of crying rand out through the dead of night. It was loud. Too loud to be coming from the opposite end of the house. But then again, everything seemed louder in the dead of night.

Save for the light coming up through the hallway, it was almost pitch black. The dull light barely enough to make out that she wasn’t in bed next to him.

He sat up and hit the home button on his phone which was laying on the side table next to his side of the bed. The screen came to life. The brightness both illuminating the room and momentarily blinding him at the same time. The numbers of the clock glowed. It was 2:09am.

He looked around the room. He was alone. As the glow from his phone began to fade back to black, he thought that she must already be down in the room trying to settle the baby once more. He lay back down and closed his eyes, trying to ignore the cries that continued to ring out.

He lay there for what felt like an eternity. The crying continued. It seemed to be getting louder and louder and louder. He sat up and clicked his phone back on. 2:09am. He stared at the clock with confusion. He was sure that the time should have changed. Something just didn’t quite feel right. The time. The fact that she wasn’t there when he woke up.

He slid his hand under the sheets where she would normally be sleeping. It was cold. It was as if she hadn’t been sleeping there most of the night. He swung his legs out of bed. The hair on his legs stood up as the cool air hit his bare skin. A shiver ran down his spine. The hair on the nape of his neck bristled.

He made his way to the bedroom door and looked down the hall at the door to the nursery at the other end of the house. It was sitting ajar. The dull light from the room sneaking through the crack and sailing up the hall to meet him.

“Is everything okay down there babe?” he called.

Nothing.

“Is everything okay? Can you hear me?”

Again, nothing.

He slowly made his way down the hallway to the nursery. As he placed his hand on the doorknob to open the door, the crying stopped. The house fell completely silent. He stood there. Not sure what to do. Not sure what had happened. His heart was beating faster and faster with each breath. He wasn’t sure if this was because he was scared of disturbing the baby, or if because he wasn’t sure what exactly had happened. He decided to proceed, if only to check on them both.

He pushed the door open. It lightly creaked. The dull light began to seep through more as the door opened wider and wider. He could make out the furniture in the room. The cot. The dresser. The change table. With the door open, he stepped into the nursery.

It was empty.

There was no sign of the baby, or his wife. He looked around both confused and at the same time wondering if this was all just a dream.

As he stood there, staring down at the empty cot, the sound of crying rang out through the dead of night again. Only this time, it was coming from their bedroom.

He slowly turned around and looked back at the room from which he just came. There was a dull light coming from the room. It was just enough light to be able to make out moving shadows as the crying continued.

He took a step forward. The light at the other end of the house went out and the crying stopped yet again. Another step. This time the light in the nursery cut out. It was now pitch black. In the house.

He stood there, frozen from fear. Halfway between the cot and the nurseries door. Suddenly, the crying started again. This time, it was coming from the cot behind him.

He slowly started to turn around toward the cot. His eyes struggling to adjust to the darkness that had engulfed the house.

The crying continued.

Still frozen with fear, he finally managed to whisper out… “Hello?”

At that very moment the door to the nursery slammed shut. At the other end of the house, the phones screen once again came to life. It illuminated the empty bedroom. The numbers of the clock glowed. The time finally clicking over.

It was 2:10am.

Love is Love

Simply Kim over at 28 Blog Street wrote the following powerful little message about marriage equality.

“To our LGBTI friends… or as I like to call you… ‘friends’…

Get married. Get divorced. Live in sin. Raise families. Stay single. Love who you want. I don’t care.

What I do care about, passionately… Is that you live your life, your way. Everyone has that right.

I do not support the Australian Government spending my money to make you feel less than who you are. I want them to spend that money to put food on the table of the needy and to build schools for our children and to give homes to the homeless. I do not support the Australian Government wasting years debating an issue that has an inevitable outcome. The time to reform the Marriage Act is now.

I want the Australian Government to spend no more money. To spend no more time. To just get it done.

Love is love. Love conquers all.

The Australian people stand with you.”

After reading this, the one and only thought I had was, I couldn’t have said it better myself! But then I start asking myself, why is marriage equality, in 2017, still an issue here in Australia? Why has this not been resolved yet? Why are our politicians so damn scared to change this outdated, archaic, exclusive law?

We have published a post about marriage equality before. A post called Close To My Heart which was published on July 1, 2015. A post that was published more than 2 years ago… 2 YEARS!!! Which means Australia has been debating this issue for the past 2 years, wish still no resolution in sight.

Australia… the time for change is now! The time for equality is now! JUST CHANGE THE GODDAMNED LAW AND LET LGBTI PEOPLE GET MARRIED!!! Seriously, what do we think is going to happen if the law changes? The apocalypse?

If you “don’t like gay marriage” like our former Prime Minister Mr Tony Abbott (who in all honesty should be ashamed of himself given the fact he has a gay sister)… then don’t attend gay weddings! SIMPLE!

Come on Australia… Just get it done. Let’s get the law changed to allow for marriage equality!

Love is love! Love wins!

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Footage Friday: Festival of Lights

Last weekend we decided to take the kids to the Festival of Lights at Westfield Chermside.

And they absolutely loved it!!!

It was Jesse’s first time seeing fireworks… but, he didn’t get frightened, and in fact, he didn’t know where to look there was so much happening.

Jasper was also a little trooper, not even flinching when the fireworks started up!

We will definitely have to do something like this with the kids again!

Marvel Monday

If there are any Marvel fans in the house, put your hands up!!!

*raises hands*

Yesterday, I finally made it into Brisbane and the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) to check out the Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe exhibit…

And wow… it was AWESOME!!!

According to the GOMA website:
“Drawing on Marvel’s extensive archive of original comic books, spectacular concept art, props and costumes, as well as private collections, the exhibition features over 500 unique objects including Thor’s hammer, Iron Man’s suit of armour, Captain America’s shield, and never-before-seen set pieces from the highly anticipated Thor: Ragnarok 2017, including the majestic Asgardian throne room.”

I have never seen so many awesome superhero things in place before. It was just amazing!

And as photography was welcomed, and I just happened to have my trustee Olympus mirror-less with me, I managed to get enough footage to put this short video together.

If you don’t end up getting to the exhibit first hand, I hope you enjoy this video instead!

Photo Friday: 3 Months Old Already

We can hardly believe it but our bouncing baby boy is three months old!

He is such a delight and has fit into our family like a perfect piece of our puzzle. 

His dimply grin, those chubby cheeks and his chilled out personality have us absolutely smitten. 

He is hinting at giggles and we just can’t wait to hear it in full. He loves watching his big brother Jesse play. And Jesse loves to kiss Jasper’s head and do ‘this little piggy’ with his toes. 

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Before we know it, we will be writing a post and celebrating the fact that he has just turned 6 months old… oh how time flies!!!

Again… those cheeks though!!! 😍

Our Birth Story Volume II: A Dad’s Perspective

Last year, both Renee and I wrote blog posts called ‘Our Birth Story: A Mum’s/Dad’s Perspective. It was our way of both celebrating and remembering our journey through to the birth of Jesse.

Well, Baby Barton #2 has since arrived on the scene in the form of a chubby little boy named Jasper who at 12 weeks old, is bigger than Jesse was at 12 months old (this might be a slight exaggeration, but I’m not kidding when I say that he is a MONSTER).

So, as we did for Jesse, we thought it might be good to share our own perspectives on Jasper’s birth story as he clocks in for his 3 Month Milestone. Because if these is one thing we do know for sure, it’s that this time around, the birth story is a lot different!

The last weeks

The last weeks were a lot different from when we were waiting on the arrival of Jesse. The biggest change being that Renee actually went full term this time around. And when I say full term, I mean she had Jasper smack bang right on the due date! With Jesse, she went into labour just over a week early.

In those last few weeks though, Renee was getting more and more uncomfortable… and more and more miserable. Hahaha… nah, she was okay. I mean, there were definitely moments of complete and utter despair at the fact that she was becoming less and less mobile, but it certainly didn’t stop her from getting on with things.


Conveniently, I had started my leave early due to the fact there was a good chance that Baby Barton #2 would be born early like Jesse was. That meant that we got to spend some quality time at home as a family of three, before the new addition decided to grace us with it’s presence. Throughout this time at home though, I was persistent at letting Renee know that she should hurry up and go into labour and have the baby already, because I didn’t want to waste all of my leave sitting around waiting for the baby to come. I did eventually learn to cut it out with the joking however, because for some reason, a certain someone who was almost 40 weeks pregnant wasn’t really in the mood for my jokes most of the time.

So the countdown continued, as we slowly (and in Renee’s case, time appeared to stop altogether) got closer and closer to the due date of Baby Barton #2.

The day before

I actually don’t remember much of what we did the day before. I remember that we were constantly talking about how funny it would be if Baby Barton #2 came on the due date. But we never really expected it to happen given how unlikely that is (I think it’s something like 4% of babies are born on their due date).

What I do remember however, is that Renee had been experiencing some pretty heavy contractions on and off for a few days. So much so that there were a few touch and go situation where we thought it might be necessary to call the hospital to tell them we were coming in. But then, the contractions would slow back down, and it would seem like we were back to playing the waiting game.

We did put Renee’s parents on notice however, as they were going to take Jesse home with them for the night when they got the call that we were heading to the hospital. Little did we know it would be the next day that we called them to come and pick Jesse up.


And as we went to bed that night, we again joked about how it would be funny if Baby Barton #2 came tomorrow… On its due date…

D-Day

It’s D-Day, but neither of us knew for certain it was actually going to be D-Day at first. Although we both had an inkling that it was going to be.

Throughout the course of the morning, Renee was regularly getting contractions. However, there was no consistency to them and as such, we were still in two minds about ringing the hospital. From early on in the pregnancy, it’s drilled into you to not call the hospital until contractions are 3 minutes apart. And Renee was all over the shop, with some falling 2 minutes apart, but others falling 6, 7, 8 minutes apart.

In the end, we decided it was best to check in with the hospital, just to be on the safe side.

First, we touched base with Renee’s parents and had them come to pick Jesse up just in case. I think we both kind of knew that Jesse had a feeling that something was up. He wasn’t quite himself. I believe from memory, he was also hesitant about leaving us to go with Nanny and Poppy for a sleepover… and he never hesitates when Nanny and Poppy offer to take him for a sleepover! In fact, in some cases, Nanny can’t even get all the way through the door and into our kitchen before Jesse has taken her hand, grabbed his bag and is heading to the front door to leave!

But not too long after Jesse left with Nanny and Poppy, we made the call. The birthing suite answered, and right in the middle of the discussion, Renee stopped as another wave of contractions hit her. “Yea, but the sounds of how much pain you’re in, I think it’s probably best to come on in so we can check you out…” the voice at the other end of the line said. “We can always just send you home again if it’s too early…” she said. We hung up the phone and laughed at the prospect of being sent home, as we both knew now, that things were ramping up.

Then the interesting part of this whole day came. And that was the car ride to the hospital. It was the one thing that Renee was not looking forward to after the memories of the trip to the hospital for Jesse’s birth. Apparently car rides are excruciatingly painful when you’re 40 weeks pregnant and are experiencing contractions… who knew right?!?! And as I drove (as quickly but as lawfully as I could) to the hospital, all I could do was keep reassuring Renee that we were almost there. Not long to go. You’re doing great. But geez she looked like she was in a lot of pain!

In the birthing suite

So that takes us through to our arrival at the hospital, and our entry into the birthing suite. Well, this is a story all on its own, because let me tell you this… we almost didn’t make it into the birthing suite!

After a very slow walk through the hospital carpark (also surprisingly, when your 40 weeks pregnant and pretty much in the throes of labour, walking is apparently very difficult), we finally managed to make our way up to level 2 of the hospital, and through the doors to the reception area of the birthing suite. And once we got to the reception area, we were met with the news that there was currently no available birthing suites! However, the good news was, that one was just being cleaned and should be ready any minute.

Oh no… that was not the news that Renee wanted to hear. So here we were, in all our glory, waiting in the halls at the reception area. Me surrounded by all the bags we had to bring, Renee starting to get louder and louder as she was bent over a railing in labour. Renee also screaming at me to call her mum and sister to get to the hospital ASAP. The midwifes trying to calm Renee and reassure her that the birthing suite is almost ready to go. And I felt like laughing. Because surely this only happens in the movies? I mean, it was touch and go there for a while… we honestly thought there was a good possibility that Renee was going to have Baby Barton #2 in the hallway!

What did actually end up only being minutes later (although it must have felt like an eternity for Renee) we were finally let into the newly cleaned birthing suite. Shortly after, Renee’s mum and sister arrived… and shortly after that, Jasper Barton arrived.


Like, literally, I think from memory we arrived at the hospital sometime after 12pm, by 1:30pm, Jasper was born! How quick was that labour!!! I mean the labour for Jesse’s birth wasn’t extremely long either, but this was super quick. That said, we think Renee had officially been in labour from the day before, but you know… it still seemed quick to us.

After Jasper was born, we did take a little longer to name him than we did with Jesse. We had some names picked out, but we still weren’t 100% decided on a name. We thought about it for a little while longer, and eventually came to decision to name him Jasper James Barton. One of our choicies, and the choice that definitely seemed to fit this new little bundle of joy we had in our arms.

Wow, what an experience birth number two was. I actually can’t believe how different it was to the first time. So much so that it was like the first time all over again!

And even though we realized at the time when we named him, the funny thing is we ended up with two boys, both of whom have the initials J.J.B., and both of whom were born on a Wednesday. Like seriously, that can’t happen… can it?!?!

Happy 3 Month Milestone Jasper!!! You chubby little monster you…