Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday....Serenity NOW!

Miss 3 has already totally trashed the playroom I spent all weekend cleaning

I broke a nail cleaning it up again

Something has died in my fridge (and it's not last night's lasagne) so guess what else I have to clean today?

But it's all ok because I'm escaping outside for a while to drink this.

I'm linking up with Trish at My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.  Her pic today is totally awesome and would go so well with my coffee right now.  Make sure you head on over to see all the other fabulous pics this week.

My Little Drummer Boys

Blogs I'm loving right now

I'm a massive fan of reading other people's blogs. I just can't get enough of them. I thought I'd share some of my favourites with you in celebration of Nuffnang's Blog Day - which is today :).

Anything, Everything & Inbetween
Lovely Mummy-blog xx

Carly Webber - My Life in Colour
Beautiful photography

Whoa Mumma!
A mummy-blogger who makes me laugh every day xx

My Big Nutshell
Another mum who makes me laugh but is great for the serious convo too

Kate Says Stuff
She says the stuff that I'm always thinking xx

Check them out!!  And make sure you check out the Nuffnang link: Nuffnang celebrates Blog Day August 31st 2011 for some other great blogs being celebrated.

Want to share some blogs you love?  Leave them in my comments so I can check them out too!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A letter to my Dad....

Dear Dad

So it's Fathers Day this Sunday and I thought I'd take this opportunity to pay a bit of a tribute to you. Not that you'll ever see this, but I'd like to get it down on paper, so to speak.

Dad, I'd be lying if I said our relationship wasn't a sometimes rocky one.  We go from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows.  Something to do with the fact that we're so damn similar in personalities - we either get on great, or fight like mad.  It's our stubborn streak that proves our undoing.

I remember you, when I was a kid, as someone to be loved but I was also sometimes scared of you.  But I don't hold any ill-will over that. You were just doing the best you could - like we all do.

We used to have some great times together. Like when I would help you work on our cars handing you spanners and sockets when you needed them. You taught me so much about cars and how they work, stuff that I still know today and has proved invaluable.  You also passed on your love of Holdens to me and I love that we can sit together and watch Bathurst together every year and bag Fords out to our heart's content (much to The Husband's dismay who sadly, is a Ford fan).

I used to love going to work with you during my school holidays. You were a delivery driver and would start your days at 4am delivering crumpets to supermarkets. We'd sit in the van together and sing along to the radio.  Then we'd stop at a park for morning tea where you'd crack open your thermos to have a cuppa and I'd eat the lollypop you'd just bought me as a treat.  Those were really good times.

I remember how you used to pick me up from primary school in a royal blue tracksuit with the white stripes on the side - the jacket and the pants - and I used to think you were so daggy. I used to wish you wouldn't come to the gate to collect me because I felt embarrassed. Especially if you were still wearing your slippers too.

Dad, you've always been a really good speaker and people often asked you to do speeches at weddings and different functions.  You were always really nervous and you'd have a few drinks (or more) to settle your nerves, but you always came good and did an awesome job (even if you were wearing a bad tie).

One thing I've always loved about you Dad, is how you always make two cups of coffee for yourself at the one time so you don't have to get up to make another one when the first one runs out. And yes, it's cold, but you drink it anyway.  Maybe that's where I got my laziness from.  But you're one heck of an ideas man Dad.

We had a doozy of a fight once, in the car, when you picked me up one day in my final year of high school. I'd had my shirt signed by all my friends and you hit the roof. Even though I was never going to wear the shirt again you went on and on about how it was defacing something that wasn't mine....I still don't get your point Dad, but I remember how bad the fight was. That wasn't a good day - and something I think neither of us are that proud of.

I also remember how you dyed your hair and MOUSTACHE brown to go to my school formal because you wanted to hide the grey hairs.  OMG, you looked hilarious. I have a photo of it somewhere, but be darned if I could find it.  I wish I could - you would laugh so much at how silly you looked.  But I love how you did that for me - you wanted to look good for me in front of my friends.

I remember how tickled pink you were when I met The Husband and how you thought he was completely normal and a great guy and you both liked the same things and all that.  I think you would have married him if you could.  Now, he wasn't as normal as you might have thought (but he is totally great) but you both got on famously - and still do.  It's true what they say, that girls pick guys just like their dads.  Well, it's true for me anyway.

I don't think I've ever seen you look as proud as you did the day The Husband and I got married. And you looked so dapper in your suit.

In 2002 when you had your stroke, my God, that was one of the scariest times of my life. And when you had surgery to clear a blockage in your carotid artery and I saw you afterwards in ICU with tubes coming out of you everywhere....I cried and cried. I so didn't want to lose you. And I didn't. You came good and were home soon after.  You still show everyone the scar on your neck - like it's something to be proud of. In a way it is. It's because of that stroke and subsequent surgery that you quit smoking. Something I thought you'd never do. I'm so proud of you for doing that - and doing it so easily.

I thought I was going to lose you again when you were diagnosed with kidney cancer a few years later.  But you had more surgery to remove most of the dodgy kidney and this year you were given the all clear.  My relief was huge.

But your true shining moments have been when you're with my kids. Your grandchildren.  When Master 8 was born, you couldn't get the smile off your face. And you've been an amazing Grandad to them all.  You used to look after Master 8 every day when I went back to work - not many Grandads would be happy to do that on their own every day, but you did. And you rocked it.

The kids love and adore you and you know what?  So do I - to have you be such an awesome Grandad to them means the world to me.

I love you, Dad xxx

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cherish Your Cherubs - "Remember"

Today for the first time, I'm linking up with Naomi from Seven Cherubs for her Cherish Your Cherubs Project.  This week's theme is "Remember".

Master 8:  My first baby and what a learning curve he was (and still is)!  He is our little pioneer, the trailblazer, setting the way for his brothers and sisters.  The Husband and I sometimes refer to him as our practice child LOL.

I remember the big cone-head he had when he was born. I thought he was going to be a freak, but it settled after a week or so.  I remember that as a very new newborn he had a night where he cried and cried and cried. And I couldn't handle it.  The Husband had to call my Mum around to save the day and of course he was an angel for her.

I remember how much he adored his Grandad (my Dad) and they would play together all day as Dad looked after him while I went back to work. He was always such an inquisitive little fella.

I remember how he embraced going to daycare at 18 months old with gusto....he adored being there and always had such a fun time.

Master 8's graduation photo from daycare in 2007

I remember how excited he was about starting big school and how he couldn't wait to make some new friends.  I was a blubbering mess, of course. But he looked so cute in his uniform, I couldn't stop taking pictures, and he didn't like that so much LOL.

I remember the time he snuck off with my camera early one morning while I was still in bed and took some photos of himself. I laughed so much when I saw them later....he's a sneaky devil.

And I especially remember how thrilled he was to be playing football. He loves it sooo much. Even though all his friends play rugby league, he only wanted to play AFL - "cause they kick the ball heaps, Mum and I love kicking a footy". So AFL it was.  And I was so super proud when he got a Coaches Award last year and even more so when he kicked his first ever goal in the last game of the season.  This year has been ever better and it's been an absolute pleasure to see him improve and enjoy every minute of it.

But what I remember most is how he is a fantastic big brother. Always happy to play with them and help take care of them.  So very kind-hearted and such a beautiful soul.

Miss 3:  I remember how she interrupted my most favourite day of the whole year - the Bathurst 1000 - by gracing us with her presence (she was a week early).  Now, Ford won that day which was awful, but her arrival made the day sooo much better.

I remember how she was a very easy going baby.  Happy to go along with the flow, very placid and easily pleased.  Oh my, how things have changed LOL.

I remember how she was growing into the most beautiful little girl with hair the same colour as mine.  And then, for some strange reason, she started to pull it out.  All of it.  I was so scared and broken-hearted because we couldn't stop it.  It got to the stage where she really had not much hair left at all.

Pretty bad, but the worst was still to come.

I remember how she finally outgrew that habit and her beautiful hair started to grow back. I was so happy!  At the same time, she really started to develop a real Little Miss personality.  She knows how to try our patience but she makes my heart melt too with her kindness and love.

I remember how much you loved going to Grandma and Grandad's each week for a visit, especially when the Easter Bunny had been and left eggs for you to find in their garden.

I remember how excited she was when I was pregnant with Miss 5mths. She would always talk about the baby in my tummy and how there was a baby in her tummy too. And then, when Miss 5mths arrived, she was so excited to have a baby sister!

She always helps out with looking after Miss 5mths - she has an amazing mother-instinct in her already. She's going to be a great mummy some day.

Master 22mths:  I remember that he arrived in a real hurry and made his presence known as soon as he was born.  But he was an awesome newborn and started sleeping through quite quickly.  He has always been, and still is, a Mummy's Boy. He just loves being with me, which is great, because I just love being with him too.

I remember that he was always such a happy little guy, always laughing, usually at his big brother, Master 8.  But he could find fun and laughter in anything and everything.

I remember that he would love to sit outside and watch everyone play. You'd think with all the action going on he would join in...but he was my slowest walker so far. But that was ok, he was content just to sit and observe.

I remember how much he loved his first taste of cake on his First Birthday.  He loved smooshing it up and getting the blue icing all over himself. So much so that he had to have a bath before he could open his presents.

I remember how when his little sister arrived he wasn't too sure what was going on and was always pointing at her and asking "wassat? wassat?"  But over time he's grown to adore her and loves laying next to her on her playmat and playing with her.  I hope they get to be great friends as they grow up together.

Miss 5mths:  Obviously she hasn't been with us for long but she is a great baby.  She made me wait until the day before my due date to arrive (my longest baked baby) but she ended up being my smallest baby ever at 2900g.

I remember that she slotted into our family perfectly. We all adored her and it was pretty clear that she adored us too.

I remember that when she found her voice, she never stopped using it and would tell us big stories all the time.  She's a typical girl :).

I remember that she loves to play with her toys and to grace us with her beautiful smiles.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Things I know - A peek into 1986

Inspired by a friend's recent blog post 1986, I've decided to give you all a peek into my 1986....

I know that in 1986 I turned 9 years old.

I know that my parents didn't buy me one of these, no matter how much I begged.

I know that I lived in a suburb of this council area

I know that I lived right next door to a park that had this in the middle of it. My friends from next door and I would sit in there all the time and look at all the rude words and penis pictures that were scratched into the wooden benches and we would giggle soooo much.

I know that my Mum used to drive me around in this, it was even the same colour

I know that I loved this girl's music a whole lot, much to my mother's displeasure

I know that I went to school here. And when I drove past it recently on a little nostalgia trip I now know that it looks NOTHING like it used to.

I know that I was at that awkward stage of my life where my front teeth would have looked better in a rabbit's mouth than mine.

I know that I had a crappy costume for Book Week but I got a certificate anyway. And I loved it because it was so pretty.

I know that I went on a trip with my Mum and people from my school's parish church to see this guy celebrate Mass at Randwick Racecourse.

I also know that I was becoming painfully aware that I wasn't like the other people I went to school with. They had "money" (maybe not quite Mosman money, but money nonetheless).  We didn't have money and it was starting to feel really awkward when my friends had the best of everything; great toys, two storey houses, birthday parties every year.

I didn't have those things.

But I KNOW I don't regret that. My parents did their absolute best to give me the best childhood they could.  And they succeeded.

I'm linking up with Shae at Yay for Home for Things I Know. Head on over to check out what everyone knows this week :).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

This is, quite possibly, the smartest thing I've ever done.....or the stupidest

With a family of 4 kids and 2 adults, I'm sure you can imagine just how much laundry we have each weekday, hour.  Especially when:

  • Master 8 changes his clothes, on average, 3 times a day - even when he's not at school.
  • Miss 3 still has the odd toileting accident so you can say at least 2 changes a day.
  • Master 21mths wets through his nappies every night so everything is soaked by morning.
  • Miss 5mths has pooplosions or upchucks requiring a full outfit change several times a day.
  • The Husband has work clothes from hell, he has no beliefs in "rags" and uses his pants to wipe EVERYTHING off his hands and he changes his socks a few times each day thanks to his ranky feet (I still love ya hun xx)
  • Me - I'm normal.

The washing is NEVERENDING and I hate it with a passion. Actually, I don't mind the washing part since I have a machine that does it for me.  But hanging it out - blah. So I don't - I use my dryer. And yeah I know, I'm killing the earth and all that, but I'm a lazy shit and it's just not going to change any time soon.

But the absolute worst part is putting everything away.  I'd pull the clean, dry clothes out of the dryer and pile them up on the laundry floor until I had a Mount Foldmore that even Sir Edmund Hillary wouldn't have been able to conquer. Take THAT Everest!!!

Yes I know it's blurry, that's because I was in the process of fainting from the shock of looking at it.

That there is a week's worth of washing. Sickening, isn't it?

So every day I'd battle the pile trying to find a school sock or pair of undies and I'd swear my head off when I couldn't find anything and then the pile would fall over and I'd swear some more as I'd stack it all back up again in some sort of precarious lump that would threaten to topple again at any moment.

And then I had a brainwave.  And it was fucking brilliant.


Everyone's clothes are sorted into the applicable for Master 8 and Miss 3, one for Master 21mths and Miss 5mths, one for me and one for The Husband. And what's the best thing?  When Master 8 used to say "I can't find my jacket" - NO MORE!!!  He knows exactly which basket he needs to look in. Miss 3 can find her own undies and clean pants when she has an accident....this fulfils my lazy-ass tendencies perfectly!!!  And then every couple of weeks, I lug the overflowing basket into their bedroom and put it all away.


But the stupid part?

I paid $100 on new laundry baskets.  100 DOLLARS!!!  I cannot believe I preferred to spend $100 on baskets over getting off my fat ass and putting clothes away every day.  I didn't tell The Husband I spent $100 on these baskets - I told him they were $10 each.  He thought my idea and tight-assed-ness was fantastic. I think he'd drop dead if I told him they were actually $25 each.

And when I bought them, I didn't even blink an eye - just loaded them up in my trolley and went up to the checkout.

So, am I the most smartest person ever - or still just a lazy shit?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday....It's the simple things

There's nothing cuter than baby feet

The kids favourite game this week

It's a beautiful day but she still won't take the ratty old gumboots off

Was eating breakfast but just wouldn't let go of the beach ball

Footy season is over so Master 8 thinks it's fine to leave his $100 boots outside.....grrrrr

I'm playing along with Trish at My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.  Head on over to check out some other beautiful photos (not that mine are beautiful, but there are some amazing shots this week that have been submitted).

My Little Drummer Boys

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Birth Stories - Master 8's arrival

Over the next few weeks I plan to share with you the stories of my kids births.

Today is my first bub - Master 8 :)

The Husband and I decided after 2 years of marriage that it was time to start trying for a family and thankfully for us, it only took us 3 months to fall pregnant.  I took a home pregnancy test on 5th July 2002 and couldn’t believe I was seeing two lines on the stick.  The Husband couldn’t believe it either and was already starting to panic!  I went to the local medical centre the next day where they confirmed I was pregnant and our baby was due on 8th March 2003.

The pregnancy was very easy going and non-eventful and I spent most of my days stuffing myself silly on chocolate milk and mashed potato. We didn’t even find out what our baby was at our ultrasound as we wanted the ultimate surprise.

But then, I woke about 6am on Sunday 23rd February with a strange achy feeling in my lower belly. I didn’t think too much of it at the time. I went to the bathroom before going back to bed.  I got up later at about 9am to have breakfast and get organised as I was going out at lunchtime to pick up my Mum so we could go to a friend’s Kitchen Tea.

The pain was still there but I noticed that every now and then it would change to a cramp – not unlike period pain. I let myself for a minute think – “I wonder if this is it?” but quickly wrote it off as wishful thinking.

I got ready to go out and was waiting for The Husband to come back with my car as he had just popped down to the shops.  I was pacing the loungeroom floor and getting really cranky as he was taking ages and I was late leaving for Mum’s. The cramps were feeling a fair bit stronger – I even had to sit down for one of them.

The Husband finally got back and I left.  I still felt crampy for the 20 minute drive. When I got to Mum’s she asked how I was and I said I wasn’t sure and went on to explain to her what had been going on that morning. She said it could be the start or it might just be strong Braxton Hicks contractions.  We sat down for a while and had a cup of coffee.  I was keeping an eye on the clock to try and time the cramps (I still didn’t believe they were contractions!).  They were coming on every 5 minutes and lasting for about 30-45 seconds. I checked it for half an hour and let Mum know when each one started.  She suggested I call the midwives at the hospital to see what they thought.  I did, and they said the same sort of thing that Mum did earlier. She asked if I could talk through the pain, which I could, so she suggested that I could have a shower, maybe some panadol if I was in pain and to try and eat and drink for some energy.

Mum rang my friend who was holding the Kitchen Tea to let her know what was going on and that we wouldn’t be coming.  I sat around for a little longer before saying to Mum, “I think I should go home. If this is really happening, I think I better go now while I can still drive”.  Mum agreed and followed me home in her car.
When we got back The Husband was surprised to see me.  I told him what was happening (I hadn’t mentioned that I had any pains at all that morning). He got a little freaked out but sort of excited too.  We sat for a while longer but the pain was getting really strong. I had a hot shower which helped and Mum kept timing the contractions which were now every 3-5 minutes apart and lasting approximately 1.5 minutes. I rang the midwife again and explained to her how I was progressing.  She said I could probably stay at home a little longer but I could come in if I wanted to.  She then went on to say that I needed to be prepared for being sent home again if I hadn’t progressed very far. I hung up, not sure what to do.  About 15 minutes later I said to Mum that I think we should go.  We grabbed my bag and drove to the hospital. We got there at 5.30pm.
I remember saying to The Husband when we got there that they should put delivery closer to the entrance because I felt like I was walking forever!

I was in the examination room and the midwife came in. She put the CTG monitor on my belly and the contractions were still about 3-5 minutes apart with the same duration as before.  She then did an internal but reminded be again that if I wasn’t dilated or not dilated much, she would be sending me home. When she finished, she said, seeming quite surprised herself, that I was 5cm dilated. I was so relieved - I was dreading to have to go home with the pain I was feeling which was really intense! I was already hanging out for the epidural that I was going to have. I went and had another shower while they got a delivery room ready for me.
As soon as I got in there I asked about the epidural. I had to wait half an hour while the anesthetist was with someone else, so they offered me the gas or pethidine.  I opted for the gas and sucked on it gladly while I waited.  It didn’t make me feel sick but nicely light headed and dulling the pain enough to make it a little more bearable.

The anesthetist came to put the epidural in which wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be.  It was working in about 10 minutes. It was wonderful! I was so glad I had it!  The next 2 hours were an absolute dream. The contractions didn’t slow down too much or in intensity. They were about every 1-2 minutes but were relatively mild. My midwife did another internal (at about 9.30-10pm) and discovered I was fully dilated. My waters hadn’t broken yet so she did that then as well to try and move things along a little. She was a little concerned that the contractions weren’t quite strong enough although she was surprised that they got me as far as they did as quickly as they did.

If they were “mild” ones and they were that painful I’d hate to think what “strong” ones are like!

The contractions picked up a little in intensity after she broke my waters. She said she would let the epidural wear off rather than top it up to see if I would get the urge to push. It wore off about 10.30ish and I was quickly sucking on the gas again as the pain was getting quite severe.

At 11.30pm the midwife said “I think it’s time to get this baby out” so up went the legs into the most uncomfortable position imaginable, knees up around my ears and I’m pushing with all my might.  After about half an hour I changed position to being on all fours leaning on the back of the bed. This helped a bit but baby was still sitting in there.  Baby didn’t seem to want to budge and I was in so much pain as the midwife didn’t want me having any more gas.  I went back onto my back and pushed a few more times.

After an hour she said that she needed to get the doctor as it’s the hospital’s procedure that after an hour the doctor must be called if there’s no improvement on the position of the baby.  The doctor came in and checked me out – now that hurt! Having a head stuck in there and then someone’s hand trying to get in there too was all a bit too much. She kept a couple of fingers in to help widen the opening as I pushed and it was then that I discovered that I’m a screamer. I always said I hoped I wouldn’t be a screamer but I am because this hurt so much! 

After about half an hour of this, the head was right at the opening but just wouldn’t come out.  The doctor said that she’ll probably have to do an episiotomy which I overheard and said through my tears that I didn’t want to – I was scared of the pain. But I went through with it anyway. Once they did that, as per The Husband, she snipped, I pushed and the head went pop! Apparently I heaved a huge sigh of relief as straight after that the shoulders came out. All I remember is feeling this huge release of pressure.  I had one more little push and baby was out and pulled up onto my chest.

I could barely see through my tears.  I looked over at The Husband and my Mum who were both crying too.  The Husband had the job of cutting the cord, which he did gladly.  It was after that that the midwife asked “what do you have there?” and I realised that I hadn’t even looked!  The midwife opened the legs a little and I saw.  I cried out, “IT’S A BOY!!!” I was so happy as The Husband and I were really keen on having a boy.

Master 8 was born at 1.20am on 24th February weighing 3155g and a picture of absolute perfection – even with his squished up cone-head.

Soon after the placenta arrived and The Husband looked on in absolute fascination as the midwife was checking it over.

Another doctor came in a little while later to stitch me up.  The midwife told me that I also had a second degree tear as well as the episiotomy. “No biggy” I thought and quite happily sat through having the locals, which were a little ouchy, but after what I went through I didn’t care!

I have to say, it was sort of what I expected and it sort of wasn’t. I had a pretty easy pregnancy with no complaints other than some heartburn and swollen feet. I always thought that because the pregnancy was so easy, the labour would be really bad.  But it wasn’t. I was worried that the labour would be long and painful and that I wouldn’t be able to stand hours and hours of pain, but it wasn’t like that at all – time sure flies when you’re having fun!  Well, maybe not fun but I was glad it all went really well.

This story was written a couple of weeks after Master 8's birth.  Looking back there are things I wished I had done differently but I don't "regret", as such, the choices that I made (or were made for me) but they did make me think about how I would like my future births to go.

Master 8 at one day old

Master 8 today :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Accidental Pube Exposure

My mum got a digital camera nearly two years ago.  It took her all this time to FINALLY download all those photos off the camera and on to her computer. All four hundred and something of them.  Since the majority of them are of my kids I asked for a copy of them.

So I put them all on my flash drive yesterday and went through them all last night.

Included amongst all the cute kiddy pics are some shots of my last bubby's birth in March this year.  I'm ever so grateful that Mum took those photos because at the time, the last thing I'm thinking of, or The Husband is thinking of, is getting the camera out.  I love them :).

There's a great shot of my little Miss having her umbilical cord cut by The Husband. It made my heart leap when I saw it.....until I looked at the bottom left-hand corner.


My pubes are showing!!! WAHHHHH!!!!

Here I was, thinking, I've got to share this photo with everyone and now I can't because of the accidental pube exposure.

So I was thinking I could alter the picture?

Something like this?

Or maybe with a warning label?

Or should it be simple and understated?

Have you ever had to hold back on any of your birth photos because of a similar problem?
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