Finding The Happy

Looking for joy in all the right places



Atticus is 8 months old!

Poor second child. Sporadic monthly photos, even fewer videos, hardly any blog posts waxing lyrical about the tiniest milestone or developmental leap. So sorry, son.

Atticus drooling by the window
Poor Second Child

So what can I tell you. He drools a lot. We were wondering where on earth the next tooth was, when it suddenly popped up beside his other two on the bottom front. He’s got a third tooth! And he loves gnawing on anything – fingers, bibs, telephone cords if he gets a chance, wool rugs, table legs… ANYTHING.

For the longest time, Atticus had been perfectly content to lie on his playmat and contemplate the ceiling. Attitude adopted for the previous 7 months had strongly been along the lines of, “I could roll over I suppose… but I really can’t be bothered.” Couldn’t even sit on his tushy without keeling over and face-planting from lack of effort. If he did roll over to his front, his modus operandi had been to sob pitifully into the carpet until his sister hollered at me to do something.

In the last two weeks, however, he’s suddenly decided that life outside the playmat is pretty grand. He’s finally getting mobile! Leave the room, and I might return to find him under the coffee table. Or commando-squirming towards my ankles while I’m preparing dinner. All with the sheer delight and gungho of a baby with oodles of determination and muscles, generously padded by adorable baby fat.

Atticus looking out of window
The world out there is huge! I gotta have me some.

Most of all, he’s got a great temperament and just loves to laugh. He is the quintessential Happy Bubba, determined to spread the love. Time and time again, I’ve watched him stare up into the faces of perfect strangers from his pram, just willing them to glance at him. And as soon as they do, he flashes his biggest and brightest goofy grin. And about 8 out of 10 times, said stranger turns into putty.

Atticus smiling widely

He tries the same things in the middle of the night but at 2.30am and completely sleep addled, I remain rather impervious to his charms. It helps to sit with him in the dark and not make eye contact.

But the one person who consistently cracks him up at least once a day is none other than his sister. He coos and chuckles at his daddy and me but when his sister enters the room, he turns into a fan boy.

Atticus laughing
I look like an emoticon. This one :-D

Arddun, aged 3 years 8 months

It’s been a while since I’ve done a monthversary post for Arddun. But if having Atticus has taught me anything thus far, it’s how quickly you forget the details.

And so here’s my snapshot in time. I’ve decided to try an interview, because I think she’s finally old enough to understand most of the questions. Even so, be warned. These answers pertain to the here and now. They might change in the next 30 seconds. ;-)

Arddun with pink handmade crown
Up Close and Personal with Miss Arddun
  1. What is your favourite colour?
  2. What is your favourite toy?
    Big Kitty (And has been for over 2 years now.)
  3. What is your favourite fruit?
    Tomato! (Which is a laugh, because she’s intolerant to it. I think she likes the idea of tomato.)
  4. What is your favourite TV show?
    Playschool (Most probably because she watched it this morning.)
  5. What is your favourite thing to eat for lunch?
    Green eggs and ham! Like in the story! (Proceeds to make loud chewing noises.)
  6. What is your favourite outfit?
    Elsa Dress!

    Arddun dressed as Elsa colouring at table
    Queen Elsa, hard at work
  7. What is your favourite game?
    Computer (I think she means my iPad. Either way, she hasn’t quite answered the question, has she.)
  8. What is your favourite snack?
  9. What is your favourite animal?
  10. What is your favourite song?
    Let It Go from Frozen! (Proceeds to sing first verse, just in case I wasn’t sure before.)
  11. What is your favourite book?
    Cat in the Hat (An unfair question, really. It’s like asking a mother to choose her favourite child.)
  12. Who is your best friend?
    Leila, Giselle, and Emily Woods (Again with the analogy above.)
  13. What is your favourite dinner?
    Pasta and chicken and peas (I’m VERY surprised she mentioned the peas.)
  14. What is your favourite thing to do outside?
    Blowing bubbles
    Arddun blowing bubbles with her eyes closed
  15. What is your favourite drink?
    Chocolate milkshake!
  16. Where is your favourite place to go?
    Play school
  17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?
    Big Kitty
  18. What is your favourite thing to eat for breakfast?
    Strawberries! (She doesn’t have strawberries for breakfast. But now I know.)
  19. What do you want on your birthday?
    A Peppa Pig birthday cake! 
  20. What do you want to be when you grow up?
    Nothing. Excuse me, I need to do a poo.

#End interview#

Atticus is two months old

So what’s the boy been up to?

Gimme my milk, and no one gets hurt.

He’s been sloooowly shifting his body clock and sleeping/fighting sleep more predictably. That 7-hour inconsolable crying has been reduced to a 3 to 4-hour stint every evening, which is HEAPS more tolerable. And he’s figured out that his fists are somewhat attached to his body and that he might be able to control them. Most of the time, he jams a fist into his mouth and munches thoughtfully as a loud indication of his growing hunger for actual food.

It’s yet another one of those tiny details that catches me by surprise, because it’s different from what Arddun used to do. I know cerebrally that no two babies are alike, but it’s not until I spot the differences that I realise what individuals these kids are. You mean not all babies treat their fists like raspberry-flavoured Chupa Chups? Huh! Arddun took at least an hour per feed, while Atticus is done in 15 minutes flat. He absolutely loathes the bottle, while you could almost hear the sigh of relief when you handed one to Arddun.



But they both love malling. Just drops them right off to sleep. Nothing like getting wheeled around a shopping mall with central heating/cooling while Mummy shops. Oooohhh yeah.

I’ve already given away most of his 0000 clothes (had to keep a few pieces for sentimental reasons), and even some of his 000s are tight – although I think that’s more about the cutting than anything else. At 7.5 weeks, he weighed 6.575kg – heavier than what Arddun weighed when she was 4 months old.

He’s also had his two-month jabs done. I had brought Tony along for Arddun’s so I could pass her to him before quietly slipping outside the room as the nurse slid the needle into her sweet, skinny thigh. But I did Atticus’s solo, and the needles had more to work with because his thighs are so cute and chubby. Still made him yell till he turned purple, however. That part is never fun.



He spent a lot of Month Two getting to know his grandparents – pictures to come in another post.

As for the smiles? The gurgles? The coos? They melt the heart, now that I know he’s properly communicating through them. There was always a stinkin’ suspicion in Month One that his smile might just be an involuntary facial twinge as a fluff made its way out his diaper. This time, you know he’s talking. You know he’s happy.


Atticus is one month old

Yes, it’s gone by pretty quick – mostly because we’ve had three lots of family come through (Brisbane, Singapore and a surprise one from Adelaide/Brunei). And then there was the Christmas week. And then just like that, the little man is a whole new moon bigger.

But to be very honest, our days have lengthened of late. Sometimes, I count the hours, the minutes, and they pass all too slowly. We’ve hit that awful phase of endless crying for no good reason – or rather, the stretches in which Atticus refuses to be comforted or settled are getting longer and longer. It feels like the crying:sleeping ratio is about 3:1, with some eating, weeing, pooing, burping, and fluffing in between.

At least with Arddun, she slept lots during the day because she was so terribly jaundiced and groggy. Atticus isn’t orange. But he isn’t sleeping.

The mind knows that this is normal; newborns are all over the place. Their body clocks are erratic, and there seems to be a developmental milestone that goes hand in hand with yelling till their little heads turn purple with fury. But emotionally, mentally, spiritually… we are feeling our age. The idea of accidentally falling pregnant with a third is starting to terrify me enough to want to run out and tie tubes.

But he can also be such a cute kid.

So let me start with the honest portrait. This is Atticus for majority of the day, at present:

Atticus yelling his head off
He doesn’t have a piddly cry either. He’s LOUD, make no mistake of that.

But then he can also look at me like this:

Atticus one month picture smiling
“Oh hello, it’s you! You’re a sight for sore eyes!”

And he also smells so, soooo good. I’m convinced it’s God’s way of building in self preservation for the poor tykes.



Those pouty lips are definitely his father’s. I think the flat nose is, regrettably, mine.
There’s no sweeter baby than a peacefully sleeping baby. Especially after 5 hours of fussing.

Our baby girl is 2!

It’s quite mind-boggling to us, her parents, that on this date 2 years ago, we welcomed our munchkin and she looked like this:

Arddun just born
Bright light! Bright light!

And her first mutual scrutiny of family ties with Tony looked like this:

Brand new Arddun with daddy
“I am your father” moment

And then last year, on her first birthday, she looked like this:

Arddun with the chickens
Duck and chickens

And then – whooshka! She turned 2, weighs a hefty 14.6kg, and stands about 90cm++. And she is more entertaining than ever.

Arddun and mummy with cheese
Taking the whole “say Cheese to the camera” thing a little too literally
Arddun and Tony ring a ringa rosies
What started out as a prayer for lunch soon turned in Ring-a-ring-a-roses.
Arddun in purple coat holding banana
Purple fashionista
Arddun at Big Kids table
Guest of Honour at the Big Kids table this evening
Waiting to blow out candles
Suddenly Shy during Happy Birthday song, after rehearsing about eleventeen times on the way over… (Also, sorry I chopped off her friends’ heads.) 
Arddun's second birthday cake
Happy Birthday, Irresistible You

Daddy-Daughter Birthday Bash

Because Arddun’s birthday falls on the 18th of June and Tony’s birthday weekend also happened to be 18th May, we decided to put together a combined birthday celebration.

4-picture montage of Arddun at second birthday party
Birthday girl
Tony and Velle at 2nd birthday party
Birthday Boy and me
Tony and Arddun's birthday party guests montage 7 pictures
Some of our birthday guests
Cupcake-making station photo montage
Cupcake-decorating station
Party games photo montage
Games for one and all
Birthday cake photo montage
Labour of love by the talented and generous Audrey
Tony and Arddun's combined birthday door gifts in flower pots
Door gifts
Opening presents photo montage
Party loot (and I’m wondering how to ship it all back!)
Arddun fake sleeping
All tired out after a fabulous party!

2 anniversaries in 1

Happy Wedding Anniversary to Us! It’s been eight years, after a quick check at what year I’m in, and actually counting on my fingers. We didn’t celebrate officially today, because we thought we’d lump it together with our upcoming long weekend that starts this Thursday and goes on until 2 January.

The best long weekend, ever.

So yes, it’s been pretty low key. Arddun and I did normal things. We had breakfast. We built towers with wooden blocks that Arddun delighted in destroying. We read lots of books. I cooked and cleaned and prepared for a work meeting. Arddun drew pictures on the floor while lying on her front and singing a smooshed version of Baa Baa Back Shee and A-B-C-D, with some occasional jazz tangent I don’t hope to understand.

Arddun lying on floor and drawing with crayons on mat.
If she could whistle, I believe she would have.

The highlight of the day… well, there were 2.

Or rather, 2 dozen:

Roses from Roses Only
Surprise! A beautifully wrapped bouquet of 2 dozen long-stemmed roses.

Also, Arddun made 2 really successful voluntary deposits in the White Seat of Poetry and Prose. It’s tragic, but true: it actually made our day as parents. It was the highlight of my day, after the roses. I am not kidding. I wish I was. Fantastic way to mark her 18th month, I thought.

Even if she did stand up straight after, looked at what she left behind, and with a half-shake of her head, said “Oh no! Oh dear. Oh no.”

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