Christmas Stockings

The inspiration for this project started last Christmas when Flynn had an array of tiny, cute, Christmas outfits and I fell in love with his “gingerbread boy” onesie.   As a parent, it’s difficult not to save every little piece of your son’s childhood and I’d already decided on the outfit that I would save so saving yet another would start me down that hoarding path.

In order to keep my little gingerbread boy around for years to come, I knew I’d have to do something functional with the outfit.  When I was little a favourite Aunt made my family Christmas stockings and whenever I see it I’m instantly transported back to my childhood; waking up on Christmas morning with it sitting stuffed full of toys at the foot of my bed.

I wanted to recreate those same feelings for my family.

My initial idea was to create a stocking for Flynn entirely out of his outfit, but it was quite small and Danni was still using a store bought stocking so my plans quickly evolved.   The only problem now what that I had no idea how to sew.  Fortunately, Grandma was coming to visit Flynn for his first birthday and I knew I could tap into her wealth of sewing knowledge to help me along.

It took quite a few late nights and a fair bit of trial and error, but the end results looked so much better than I was anticipating (in my head, these would probably not look out of place on Frankenstein’s Monster’s feet).  The only problem was that once I was finished, it was unanimously decided that I needed a matching stocking as well so I had to repeat the process a third time.

I think it was well worth it, even if it means my old stocking is now retired to the Christmas box in the loft. 

If you’d like to see what a 40+ year old man learning to sew looks like, have I got a video for you!

In my defense, this was the tricky, curved seam connecting the heel to the sock.

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Flynn’s First Birthday

It’s hard to believe it, but a full year has come and gone since our little man has entered our lives.  The past 12 months have been a blur of sleepless nights, exciting milestones, diaper changes and sheer joy and I know I speak for both of us when I say it’s been one of the best, toughest years of our lives.  Particularly for Danni as she has had to make some drastic changes in her day-to-day life in order to adjust to the demands of being a stay at home mum in addition to trying to run her own business.

We held a fun day for Flynn and his friends on Sunday prior to his birthday and then had a quiet event at home on the day.  I took the day off of work and Grandma was visiting from Canada so we decorated the house and had a family celebration of Flynn’s first year.

Our little man looked dashing in the outfit PoPo bought for him and he was happy to pose for several photos with mum & dad as well as during his gift opening.  He was a big fan of tearing the paper on his presents and also enjoyed his first taste of chocolate in the form of a baby chocolate biscuit.  

Unfortunately, the biscuit didn’t sit well with him and his big day wound up with him being rather sick, but it passed quickly and he was back to his old self in no time!

The expression in that last photo really illustrates how he was feeling post-chocolate biscuit.  Poor guy!

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Flynn’s First Birthday Party

Prior to Flynn’s big day on Nov. 7th we held a birthday party for him and a bunch of his little friends at a local soft play venue.  The whole event was organised by Danni and it was a smashing success across the board.

Our first hour was spent in their fantastic soft play area where the kids played on the bouncy castle and climbed over the various padded obstacles provided. Flynn was a deft hand at the push cars with some assistance from Grandma, and he also enjoyed the freedom of being able to crawl wherever he wanted.  A far cry from his usual confined play area at home.

After the soft play ended, we were whisked away to a dance studio that had been transformed into a lunch room for the kids replete with festive birthday decor.  There was plenty of finger food for the little ones as well as cake & drinks for all.  The afternoon then wound quickly down with most of the kids deciding to do laps around the dining area, making excellent use of the space provided.

We had intended on opening the gifts Flynn received at the venue, but time was too short so we packed up and headed home to do that in a more intimate setting.  I’m not sure how many more years we’ll be able to put off the present opening, so we’re getting that in while we can.

Thanks again to everyone who came out for Flynn’s big day.  It means a lot to us and we’re glad that everyone enjoyed themselves!

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Introducing solid food to Flynn

Flynn has been showing interest in whatever we have been eating for some time now. He would make adorable little “ooh” sounds as he watches us eat and over the past few days he’s been trying to grab my fork, plate or even my biscuit!

Initially I was going to wait for his 6 month mark to make a formal introduction to solid foods. But today, after he watched intently while I was having my lunch and aggressively grabbed a handful off from my plate, I sat him down and went: that’s it then, young man! Today is the day, let’s embark on this wonderful journey to the real world together!

Like any other important milestones, I have a perfect scenario rehearsals in my head every now and then. In my mind it should go like this: he would sit there happily with a great expectation– but not too great, otherwise he’d become unmanageable. I then would carefully and calmly prepare his first bowl of baby rice to a perfect ratio and consistency. He sees the food coming, eyes glistening, mouth wide open and I gently slide the spoon in while using the other hand to hold a camera, having this exciting moment recorded. Hooray! Baby Flynn likes the rice cereal! He smiles at me and leaves no mess around his mouth, chin, chest or his little tray. I pat him on his head, and proudly announce: what a golden boy we have here!!

As always, the reality was far from perfection. Flynn indeed sat there while I was preparing the rice: 1 spoon of rice to 10 spoons of milk. When I got to the fourth or fifth spoonful, “waaah…waaa” his patience had ran out, back arched hands in the air feet kicking… I had to wrap up quickly, lost count of how many more spoonful should be added, stirred the mixture frantically and comforted myself:” it doesn’t matter even it’s not to textbook ratio, it’d only be two spoonfuls he’s taking for the first time anyway…” I brought the bowl to his table, mind you, we got this superb “baby-led” feeding bowl which has a strong suction cup at the bottom that is supposed to stick the bowl to his feeding tray like glue. But no. Flynn instantly grabbed and lifted a corner of the bowl, tried to move it to his mouth as if he were having a bowl of miso soup and drink it. No, young Flynn! I’m not going to have you ruin my first solid food feeding experience to my baby boy! I begged him to let me feed him, one hand still holding the camera, one hand had no other choice but to push his head back… In the end I managed to take the bowl from his hands and put down on the floor, calmed him and scooped a spoonful rice cereal out. In order to not give him a chance to mess about, I shoved into his mouth like lightning… he seemed like it, Great! let’s have another go then. Only there was a slight problem– he bit down the spoon and wouldn’t let it go… He took charge of that spoon, using both of his hands: left right right front, like he was changing gears in his mouth, totally used it as a teething toy. Finally he was fed up with it and dropped it. I quickly got another spoonful of the cereal, hoping he could just have it and let me pack it up, call it a day. But no not this time. Flynn was like a little hungry wolf, helped himself with the spoon, guiding my hands with it till it went into his mouth– only to use as a teething device again! Food dribbling down from his mouth, on his chin, hands, everywhere… The finale was a even louder “waaaaaah” and some real tears when I took the spoon away to stop him from shoving it further in his mouth…

So there you go, a real life “first solid food experience” for Flynn the supposed golden boy. I doubt if he had a chance to really taste what this new variety of food was like. I guess only time and practice, perhaps with a little tactic will tell.
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Tummy Time

So the little man has been getting progressively stronger and can hold his head up on his own for the most part now.  He still loses control every now and then but apart from the occasional, unintentional headbutt his neck muscles are now strong enough for any position he can get himself into.

Nowhere is this more obvious (and adorable) than during his tummy time.  He’s able to hold himself up and look around the room without any issues now…won’t be long before he’s crawling around and getting into all sorts of trouble!

While I do like the fact that he currently stays in one place, we’re both really looking forward to seeing him scoot about on his own.

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Play Date With Lawrence

Today was the first day that Flynn got to meet a new friend.  I had hopes of the two of them babbling away together comparing colourful toys and best drooling practices, but instead Flynn decided to sleep for the duration of the visit.  He missed out though, because his buddy-to-be Lawrence was a little star!

We got to meet Lawrence earlier in the year when he was but a week old and my has he grown!  At ~5 months he dwarfs our little Flynn and it’s hard to imagine we’ll ever have a boy that size. Lawrence is definitely a little charmer, just look at those big, blue eyes!

Thanks again to mom and dad (Kate & Adam) for bringing him over, for joining us for tea and for the lovely gift. We look forward to watching Flynn learn about his hands and feet with the lovely wrist/sock rattles!

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First Outing

While it’s true that Flynn has been out of the house a couple of times so far for trips to the hospital or for 2am drives to calm him down, but today was the first time he was outside for any real length of time.

We had to take him to the nearby clinic to get him weighed to make sure he was still gaining weight along the prescribed path (he is) so we thought we’d walk over and try out his shiny new pram.  He looked adorable in his fluffy polar bear snow suit!

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We tried to give little Flynn his first (sponge) bath and it didn’t go as smoothly as planned.  We’d set up his wee baby-tub on the changing table with a couple of inches of warm water in it with the intention of setting him in while one of us held him and the other sponged him down.

The room heater was working overtime to keep the room warm, we had the lights low and even some “twinkle twinkle little star” music playing.  By all accounts it was the perfect setup for a nice, relaxing bath.Everything was in place, but our execution of it all was off from the get-go.  

We placed him on some warm blankets on our bed and had a large, plastic bandage to cover his newly cord-stump-free bellybutton.  I placed it too low initially and when we removed it, it caused him no small amount of discomfort.  We later learned that if removed when wet, it comes off painlessly…

While we were messing about with the pre-bath routine the warm air combined with his newfound nakedness triggered the waterworks to start at the foot of our bed.  I can now say that trying to catch pee with cupped hands is ineffectual at best.  When he’s finished all you’re left with is a handful of pee that leaks out all down the hall as you try to race it to the bathroom.

Once we got him into the bath, the soothing of the warm water did not have the intended effect.  Instead, it raised the volume of Flynn’s protestations by a few decibels and we managed to make about 3 passes with the sponge before we decided to throw in the literal towel, give up and dry the little man off.

There was some post-bathing lotions to apply which didn’t make things any better, but it did give me some free hands to take this video that I’m sure he’ll love one day.

Caution: turn your volume down before playing this.

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