Friday, December 25, 2009

To let you all know...

...that on Tuesday the 22nd of December our beautiful daughter Evangeline Flora was born unexpectedly at home at 11.30am. Evie was 3.75 kg at birth and is completely gorgeous.

Am working on birth story of our dramatic little girl now. Hope to post it within the next few days.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

39 weeks

Today I am 39 weeks pregnant. I remarked to DH this morning that that means there is an actual big baby inside me right now, bigger than Abi when she was born. It's a bit of a weird thought; there's my baby and I don't even know him/her yet. But there he/she is, right there under my skin only centremetres away.

I still feel okay. My pelvic instability is still hanging around and has kind of moved to the front now so it is making rolling over in bed, not to mention heaving myself off Abi's futon, really difficult. I'm sure I've got the old pregnant waddle too and I think maybe the baby has dropped, although not engaged as I can feel the head moving around if I push gently on it. I've become pretty good at the old belly 'palps' since one of the midwives showed me how to find the head during an appointment.

Yesterday was a big day for Abi and I. First we went to my work Christmas party in the morning which was a very nice way to finish the year. Then Abi fell asleep for 10 minutes in the car on the way home and I couldn't transfer her into bed without her waking up, so that was it in the nap department. Bit of a problem because we had our meeting with her kinder teacher yesterday and I wanted her to be in good form.

As it turned out, it was fine. She didn't do anything crazy like talk to her new teacher, but she did make eye contact, wave goodbye and look extremely interested in all the wonderful Montessori activities displayed on the shelves. I know this teacher and school well and I have complete faith in both of them. Very, very sound philosophically and she has been teaching at the same school for 15 years. The school itself is a renovated original little primary school, so it is really charming with lots of light and lovely wooden floors.

DH came too and he loved the centre which I was glad about as he hadn't been there before. We both think she'll do really well there once she settles in, which may take a while. She definitely finds it harder to separate from me than DH, which is something I'm sure I've created - sometimes I think I've built a bit of a negative dynamic between us. DH was shocked when I said that and he thinks it's just that she prefers me to any other person, so if the option's there... Don't know if I entirely agree, but it was lovely of him to reassure me.

I have had quite a few worries about her separating from me at kinder and I spoke to her teacher about it all who reminded me that most separation anxiety stuff will be coming from me, not her. Of course, I totally know that when it's about other people's children, but not mine, obviously! My child is a delicate and unique flower and cannot be treated like other children, dammnit!

So the teacher said that I had to feel completely comfortable and trusting of her and to know that she would take care of Abi, and that Abi would be absolutely fine. I felt so much better after this talk and going to the centre and seeing how quickly Abi relaxed there. I'm sure I"ll still struggle a bit, but I need to trust my girl and know that it is a safe and wonderful place for her in my heart as well as my head.

Anyway, she's not starting until the end of February, so we've got a couple of months yet. I'm really going to miss her, sniff. She'll only be staying for half an hour for the first week anyway and gradually working up to the five full mornings, so I guess the baby and I will just be going for a quick walk around the block or something before going to pick her up. I won't have too much time to pine.

She was very thrilled that she got to pick out a special kinder hat. I was surprised, she picked the one that I thought was the most boring - a navy blue legionnaires cap with the kinder logo on the front. She looks extremely adorable in it though; a real kinder girl. She wanted to wear it today but I told her it was special for kinder, and we hung it up on the hook together.

My house is messy. I should be cleaning it up. I miss my cleaner.

I am also sending love and healing vibes to my beautiful internet friend Averil who just had a baby under less-than-optimal circumstances. Kisses to you and your gorgeous new little one, sweetie.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's Term

Here I am at 37 weeks! 37 weeks and 2 days to be exact which is when Abi was born so since 1.33pm today I am more pregnant than I have ever been. We are trekking into the unknown here folks. Who knows how far we'll get?

I am luxuriating in not having to cook dinner or even think about what we're going to have tonight. My lovely Mum and Dad came up to visit today for the first time since Mum got home from China bearing four different yummy dinners plus chocolate chip biccies and zucchini and cheese muffins. I was thinking they were for after the baby was born and after gloating over my deliciously filled freezer, said to Mum that I hoped I'd be able to resist eating them before the birth when I didn't want to cook which is always these days. Mum looked shocked and said, "Oh no, they're for now! I'm going to make lots of other meals for after the baby." Love love love my mum

And love her lasagne, which is what we're hoe-ing into tonight.

I can't believe we are so close to the end. I am getting really excited about meeting this little one, every time I do my relaxation/visualisation I start getting these happy excited butterflies in my stomach. I was worried that this was counterproductive, but I saw my Calmbirth instructor yesterday at an ABA thing and she said no it was wonderful that I was so excited. She said that's very different hormonally from fear or anxiety, so I was reassured. Come on my butterfly baby! I just cannot wait to see your beautiful little face and smell your soft, soft skin.

Abi is extremely interested in all things New Baby. Last weekend we went to one of the (three) lovely toy shops up here in the hills and she chose a pair of yellow ducky pom-pom socks and a wrist rattle as her big sister present for the baby. She knows the new baby has a present for her (a soft toy dog in a toy carrier with a vet medical set) but I think she's a bit confused; we also let her choose a little toy wand for herself and she seems to think that's the present for her. She insisted on packing it into the baby's hospital bag so it's sitting in there with all the tiny clothes.

I loved packing that bag. I have an oatmeal striped little short-sleeved onsie with a matching hat and a choice of two hand-knitted cardies for the trip home from hospital. Big-sister-present socks will also be worn. My own bags are getting there too; on Tuesday Mum is coming shopping with me to buy some new toiletries etc, and I still need to finalise the labour bag. So stuff is getting crossed off my list.

I just want us all here and safe and tucked up together in the birth centre room. DH said the other night that it will be so so sweet to see Abi giving her presents and cuddling her new brother/sister. He watches her at music with the baby brother of a friend who she just loves. She is so gentle and kind with him, it is beautiful to watch.

My lovely friend Mama Cass asked if we'd taken any cheesy/cute photos of Abi kissing the bump and I realised we hadn't, so to remedy that ...

No actual kiss ones, we couldn't get the kiss to last for long enough for the camera to catch up. Ah well, still pretty adorable I think.

Must go and help bathe my child.

Oooh! All laboury type vibes going to gorgeous Averil! Can't wait for news...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Let's head down to Georgia, la la la

Yes our baby has turned! At least, he/she had at the last check up 2 weeks ago, I have another one tomorrow and was going to leave updating until then to make sure but I can't sleep this morning and have a rare, toddler-free hour or so. Let's all hope there have been no flipping shenanigans between then and now. I don't think so, due to where the movements are, but still a bit paranoid.

Nearly 36 weeks now so really at the tail end. In fact, tomorrow will mark the exact stage in this pregnancy that my waters broke in my last one. On Valentines Day. Ahh Abi, spoiling Mummy and Daddy's time alone right from the beginning...

I wonder how I'll go if I go right to 40+ weeks with this one. I've always felt I avoided those super-uncomfortable, last stages of pregnancy last time. I never really felt that huge, never couldn't shave my legs or cut my toenails, never got any stretchmarks, never needed help getting off the couch etc etc. This pregnancy though has definitely been more uncomfortable with the pelvic instability and I feel more pressure and discomfort when walking. I've pretty much given up my big walks, although if I didn't have to push a pram with a 2.9 year old I could probably still manage them.

Speaking of pelvic instability I went for craniosacral therapy and it was miraculous. It really made a huge difference to how uncomfortable I was feeling as well as making me feel really positive generally and as though I was getting everything into tip top shape for a nice, easy birth. I'm hoping that, along with the Calmbirth course and practice I've done/am doing that I will be able to birth this baby with no intervention. The main thing is that I avoid another induction.

I'm on maternity leave now which is glorious, glorious and have a looong to-do list that I am slowly ticking off. I am having trouble about Christmas though, as I love Christmas; doing all the planning and thinking about how the day will go. Thing is, I don't know whether I'll still be pregnant, have a teeny newborn, or, best fun of all, be actually in labour. Right now the plan is that everyone will come up to our place for lunch on Christmas Eve, but I don't have to actually do anything. I might make something if I'm still pregnant though. I saw this yummy desert called Eton Mess which looks easy, summery and delicious so I think that'll be the go.

We are mostly organised here presents-wise. Abi's presents are all bought and I might start wrapping them tonight. Still need to get some family ones, but several are done, including my hard-to-buy-for, world-travelling brother. DH and I don't do big Christmas presents as our anniversary is very soon after and we do special themed anniversary ones instead.

I think I'm still in a bit of denial that soon I will be the mother of TWO children. Abi is very excited in theory and full of love for "our new baby", with lots of pats, kisses and professions of eternal love. She has many plans about what she will do with the baby including sharing baths, sharing her favourite ice cream (which she has had ONCE, boy did it make an impression), carrying him/her in the hugabub and other charming unrealities. However, she objects strongly whenever she sees me with my hands on my belly and moves them away firmly saying, "Mummy no touch our new baby." Not sure that's such a good sign.

She is still going through a very sensitive and emotional stage, although it is less intense than it was a couple of weeks ago. She even had her very first toddler melt-down a week or so ago, DH was flabbergasted and I was surprised myself. It was over nothing really, she wanted a drink of water but also wanted to push it away - I ended up just sitting on the floor with her and cuddling for about half-an-hour. Hasn't happened again thankfully.

BUT, and I can't believe I haven't mentioned this before now, she has finally, FINALLY, started reliably sleeping through the night. I think I had just stopped hoping for this to ever happen as it actually took a few nights in a row before I really took it in. She had a little while where she'd wake up and need me to lay her back down again, but now she mostly just sleeps straight through with the odd restless moment. I, on the other hand, still wake up two or three times a night for no reason, sigh.

I know she'll probably go through periods of wakefulness again, but at least I now know she can do it. And all our co-sleeping, gentle parenting nonsense hasn't created a child who can't put herself back to sleep, so take that Tizzie Hall. She still needs me to help her fall asleep initially, but we don't feed to sleep, just cuddle and I tell her one story and sing her one song. The stories change at her request but are mostly at the moment revolving around going to buy ice cream together. It's funny, she never requests actual ice-cream when we are out. She probably hasn't worked out you can just go and get it whenever you want, that there's not just one magical place which only comes to the top of the tree every six months or so.

We were going to go to the pool today as forecast is 36 degrees, yuk yuk yuk, but it is looking very windy and unpleasant. We'll see how we go.

I promised a belly shot and am determined to take one today. In the meantime...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Once more unto the breech, dear friends

My title messes with Ol' Bill Shakespeare, and also gives the information that my second-unborn is currently sitting wrong (or right, depending on your perspective) way up.

Yes, I have a breech presenting baby at 33 weeks, a situation only 15% of mothers have, according to Dr Google. Fortunately; a) he/she is not wedged down in my pelvis; b) there is still plenty of time for him/her to turn; and c) this baby seems extremely wriggly and active which is probably why we have this problem in the first place.

So what are we doing to rectify this situation? Well, I am currently typing with two carefully positioned Chinese medicine moxibustion sticks heating up the outside of each little toe. It seems mad and like witchcraft, but apparently this therapy has a 75% success rate when it comes to turning babies, as shown in clinical trials. I'm also going to have some cranio-sacral therapy on Monday to sort out my dodgy pelvis, which could be another reason for this bum-down baby. At least, I'm assuming it's bum down, could be feet first at this stage.

It's funny, about a week before my 32 week midwife appointment I said to DH "If this baby ends up breech we have to decide what to do as I'd still want to try for a vaginal birth and not many practitioners do that now." He basically told me not to borrow trouble, but HA! Who was right? When the midwife made a concerned face and said "this baby's presenting breech" I wasn't even really surprised as I'd been feeling an awful lot of kicky movement in the bladder region for the previous week, which is what inspired my breech remark to DH in the first place.

If he/she is still breech at 36 weeks I get sent for an external cephalic version, where an OB tries to turn him/her around. By all accounts, this is safe for the baby but pretty horrifically uncomfortable for the mother, so keen to avoid that if possible.

Then, if no turn around, we decide what to do. My mind shuts down when I think about a Caesarian, I would do almost anything to avoid one. We do have private health cover if we can find an obstetrician who attends breech births to take me on at such a late stage and there is also an obstetrician working at the public hospital I'm booked in at who attends them.

No birth centre, obviously though and from what I've read and been told by those in the know, the actual safest way for a breech baby to be born is at home with an experienced breech midwife as the absolute most important thing is that You Do Nothing. No fiddling with the cord, no 'helping' the baby out, no tugging or pulling. Do Nothing. Allow the baby to descend totally under its own steam. This is difficult in a hospital setting, as hands-off tends to be the exception rather than the rule.

But we're not there yet. Turn, baby, turn (disco inferno)!

One nice thing was as soon as the grandfatherly Vietnamese TCM practitioner took my pulse he said "Oh, very healthy baby. Yes, very healthy" And his guess, for those playing at home, is that this one is a boy. Probably why it's causing trouble already.

Coming soon: Belly shot! Be afraid...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Me me me

Ooooh! Tagged by the lovely Averil!

Which language do you want to learn?
. Japanese.

What do you love most about where you currently live? I love the mountains, our gorgeous view, our house, my darling favourite cafe and all the lovely people I've met.

What is your favourite colour? Purple. And red.

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe? Probably the black, stretchy, slightly Art Deco looking dress that I don't think I've worn since before I was pregnant with Abi. Sigh, my life needs more glamour.

Describe your personal style? I try for elegant with a touch of funk.

If you had $300 now, what would you spend it on? Maternity bras. Pretty Hot Milk ones with matching undies.

What are you going to do after this? Clean up the kitchen. Wahoo.

What are your favourite films? I can never answer this question.

Uuummmm, Dead Man Walking, Dances With Wolves, Trust, Truly Madly Deeply, Baz Luhrmans' Romeo and Juliet, Chasing Amy. Just off the top of my head.

Do you collect anything? Not really. I do have a lot of books, but I'm too careless with them to think of them as a Collection.

What makes you follow a blog? Nosiness. It is so much more satisfying reading about real life and there are some fabulous funny and wise women out there in the blogoverse.

Do you like to comment on blogs or just lurk? I try to comment as much as I can but I have so little time and often it has all been said better before I arrive. I'm always so happy to get comments on my own stuff though, I should make more effort.

What’s one thing you dream of doing? Speaking at an international Montessori conference. Hey, dare to dream, right?

What is your biggest regret? Taking so long to work out what I wanted to do and wasting so much time studying and not finishing degrees.

What is your favourite thing to do on a rainy day? Sit in a comfy chair with a book and a cup of tea watching the rain on the mountains.

Do you have a tattoo? No. And I'm glad I didn't get one in my mid-20s when I was seriously thinking about it.

What are you favourite books? Wuthering Heights, Emma, The Bonesetter's Daughter, Brightness Falls, A Suitable Boy, In the Empire of Dreams, Raymond Carver's short story collections, Wild Swans, Daughter of China.

Describe your ideal holiday... Tokyo! With unlimited funds and time. And a side trip to Nikko to stay at this gorgeous Ryokan DH and I stayed at over the New Year in 2001.

I tag Mama Cass

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My baby

My littlest one, that is.

I am really trying to enjoy and appreciate properly all the parts of this pregnancy, as it will be my last, all going to plan. Luckily for me, little baby no. 2 is an active little thing and we have many fun games when he/she kicks, I poke back and then more kicks! DH thinks I am imagining things, much like his mum and her psychic cat, but I'm not! We really are playing.

I never really did that with Abi. I must say, it is different being pregnant for the second time. I have a much stronger sense that there is an actual baby in there wriggling around and I definitely feel much more closely bonded to him/her. I'm hoping that will make things easier after the birth as it took at least five or six weeks for me to truly feel as though I loved Abi and that she was mine. It was more like she was a baby I was just looking after for someone else, and I remember distinctly feeling that if someone who would look after her would just come and take her away so I could have my old life back, that would be just fine with me.

Looking back now I wonder if I had a touch of PND. I certainly had some of the symptoms, such as feeling numb about both Abi and DH for quite a while. DH especially, that lasted for ages, on and off. I felt so so alone too and it made me realise how much I need contact with people to be happy.

I don't think the same feelings will resurface after this one is born for lots of reasons. I have mostly made the adjustment to motherhood I think and DH and I are very close again, although not in quite the same way. In lots of ways I think we filled the role of beloved child for each other and when Abi was born she knocked us both out of top spot with the other. As we say to each other now, it's a hard time but we're getting through it together and managing to have some fun along the way, not always entirely child-focussed. Maybe we had too long together on our own before Abi, or maybe most couples go through something similar no matter how long they have been in love.

This was going to be about my little one but is mostly about me...Sorry Precious, better luck next time.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

18 week belly shot, birthday fun, scans and more

I ha
ve been meaning to do this entry for a-a-a-ages and if I don't do something soon, it will spiral even further out of control.

First up: 18 week belly shot 2 weeks late

It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago, 37 (eek). I had a lovely time though, in spite of my advanced age. My DDH did a marvelous present-buying task; I received a computer game I love which has just come out, gorgeous Hot Milk maternity/breastfeeding pyjamas and a new iPod to replace the one I drove the car over! All total surprises and all so so welcome. I also got two new pairs of maternity pants and a top from my lovely parents. They are also helping us to buy plane tickets to visit my grandparents on the Gold Coast in October. My friend gave me a beautiful scarf she knitted herself and which magically complements every garment I own. It is some kind of Magic Scarf and I love it.

DH made me my favourite dinner which included yummy chocolate mousse and I also had a day without child in the city. And the fun's not over yet! We had to postpone my family celebration lunch at a fantastic chinese restaurant specialising in dumplings due to illness (Abi's and DH's) so I still have that to look forward to on Saturday the 15th.

Poor second baby deserves more than this lightening recap of his/her 20 week scan, but I guess that's what you get for coming second. We had the scan yesterday and of course I was nervous, especially as it is the first and only one we'll have. But I am pleased and proud to say that everything looks great and normal and spot on for where we should be.

I must admit that I was desperate to find out the sex of this one, but it was not to be. Stubborn little baby kept his/her legs crossed the whole time and the umbilical cord firmly between them. So we are having a surprise, like it or not.

I forgave all though when I saw the adorable 4D part of the scan when he/she put his/her hand in her mouth and then smiled. Really, truly smiled. I'm so in love. We didn't get a 4D section with Abi and I had always poo-poohed them a bit, but now I am a convert.

Must go and make dinner for my whiny child.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Family fun times

We have just been enjoying 10 days of Family Fun Time as DH took some well-earned and much needed time off from work. It didn't all run completely smoothly but the good definitely outweighed the bad.
First: the bad (or less-good). We had planned to spend the weekend down at Red Hill while my parents were overseas but the forecast was for four days of solid rain and 13 degree temperatures. Red Hill is always colder and wetter than Melbourne, so it was not looking good. I imagined trying to entertain a toddler away from most of her toys, books and out of reach of interesting indoor activities and was afraid, very afraid. So we changed our plans and tried to think of nice things to do around our (warmer) house.

We went out for morning tea and looked in the toyshop, went to the library and did lots of playdough and cooking. Then it was time for our big indoor trip to the Children's Museum. Yay, I thought. Plenty of room to run around and lots of things to do. Well worth the 40 minute drive and having to pay for parking.

Off we went and alarm bells started to ring when the museum car park was full. Oh well, we thought, maybe everyone is at Imax for the school holidays. We went to the overflow carpark via a quick detour through the city (aaargh, hook turns! Haven't done one of those in years) to get money to pay for parking. Got out, walked over to the museum, failed to really process that there sure were a lot of people hanging around under those big Pompeii exhibition banners...

There must have been three hundred people in the queue for entrance tickets. Seriously, three hundred. And no line for people who just wanted to go to the Museum, Goddamnit. If we'd known it would be so busy we could have bought tickets online, but we didn't, so we hadn't.

Abi was already starting to flag and after it was clear that it would be at least a forty-five minute wait in the queue, we decided to cut our losses and go to the pretty cool adventure playground next door. It is a good playground, but I don't know that it's worth driving 40 minutes for and then paying 12 bucks for parking. Although we were glad of our parking space when it started to pour with rain again and we retreated to our warm cosy car to eat the packed lunches I had made with such optimism that morning.

Abi had fun though. See?

The following Wednesday was a beautiful sunny day so we decided to visit Chesterfield Farm, a children's farm near our house. We had often seen it while driving and talked about visiting but had never been. Abi was keen to see the guinea pigs, which are always her favourite things so off we went.

We saw a cow being milked:

And then tried to find the guinea pigs. Sadly it turned out that although their were guinea pigs on the farm they were free range ones and in spite of DH's most concentrated efforts, we couldn't catch one. Adorable baby rabbits were an acceptable alternative:

We bought some food to feed the bigger animals, but I really didn't think Abi would be brave enough to do it. I was totally wrong though, look at my confident girl! So, so proud of her.

Over the weekend we went to stay with my parents who had just come back from their Europe trip. It was lovely lovely lovely to see them and Abi was so excited. Mummy was definitely fourth man on the totem pole with adoring Nanny, Dranpa and Daddy around. Except, obviously, if she fell over or woke up in the middle of the night. Lucky Mummy gets all the best jobs.

On Saturday we went to the zoo and had such a great time, even though it was very cold and windy. There was plenty to see including the gorgeous butterflies, elephants and some adorable gibbons which obligingly sat right up near the viewing window for us. It was a family group including a little baby which swung and jumped and cuddled its mother in a way that was almost calculatedly cute. Abi was especially delighted because it had 'mi' with its Mummy several times.

We looked at animals for about an hour and a half and then went to have delicious yum cha at a new zoo restaurant which was having its very first day the day we were there. Risky? Possibly, but we were glad we took the risk as it was delicious. Expensive, but worth it, and beat hot chips and battered savs effortlessly.

Unfortunately just as we were getting ready to go, my thoroughly over-excited 2 year old tripped while running and whacked her forehead on the concrete ground. We got ice onto it straight away but decided to take her to the Children's Hospital to be checked just in case. I was imagining observation and x-rays and cat scans and all manner of horrors, but by the time we got to the hospital (just five minutes from the zoo thankfully) she seemed completely fine and her chatty, bouncy self. The triage nurse sent us to the after-hours GP clinic after checking her pupils etc and she was soon given a clean bill of health by the GP there. We didn't even have to wait that long, and our most difficult task was keeping her from climbing on all the furniture and from coming to close to a little boy who looked like he had some kind of fungal infection.

Not a great ending to our first zoo outing, but we concentrated on all the lovely parts:

Then when we got back to Mum and Dad's she burnt her fingers on a light globe. Sigh. 10 minutes under the cold tap stopped any blisters though, but I was exhausted by the end of the day.

Mammoth post, but before I go, I have to record that my littlest baby is quite the dancer! I first started feeling little pokes about three weeks ago, but now I can feel him/her bouncing around from the inside and out. I love it so so much and I must appreciate every little poke, prod and roll of this, my last, my treasured, my darling baby. Mummy already loves you so much, precious one.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

15 weeks, 4 days in pictures

15 weeks

This is the first actual belly shot I've ever taken. I'm really not sure why I didn't take any when I was pregnant with Abi. I thought about it, but somehow never got around to it. I don't think I was self-conscious but obviously there was something going on. I kind of wish I had now so I could compare them but oh well, at least I'll have a few from this pregnancy.

It's the same with breastfeeding pictures, for all the hours I spent/spend breastfeeding I have very few photos. Maybe it's at least partly because I'm the person who takes photos in our family, DH never seems to think of it, so unless I specifically suggest taking a photo it doesn't get taken. I think I'll try to be a bit more pro-active with our next baby as there are actually very few photos of Abi and I together. Bit sad really, we did take some at her second birthday party but she was sick and looks sad and ready for bed in all of them. Our pink dresses are nice though.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dear Abigail Pearl (the beautiful girl),

Now that we are not writing monthly letters to you I am worried all the adorable things you do will be lost. So here is a letter to you aged 28 months, nearly two and a half!

Mostly what you do now is talk. Talk talk talk to Daddy and I, telling us all kinds of interesting things about everything that is happening around you. You love to commentate on what your friends are doing, especially when you go to music class with Freya; when I ask you what happened at music you say "My friend Freya run, run, run. Freya mummy chase Freya, Freya fall down!" Freya loves having such an appreciative audience. You still love your friends Hamish ('Oooh') and Dylan ('Diya') too and you refer to your other playgroup friends as "other people", but I think you like them a little bit at least.

It is especially lovely when you talk about how much you love Mummy and Daddy. You often say to mummy, "I love my mummy, very much. Mummy loves her Abi very much." Of course, it sounds a bit more like "I uv my mummy ve'hy mu." but I always know what you mean. You like to remark on the fact that you are my daughter now too, and you often have loving things to say about Harry.

Sometimes you talk about things you did last night or yesterday, which I think is very clever. One of the things you often talk about doing is jumping on the bed ("Abi do ittle bit jumping. Abi do ittle bit jumping las' nigh').

Another game you enjoy is the funny name game. You like to say "my name Abororo" or something similar and we all laugh and laugh. Then you say that Mummy's name is "Vrororo" or "Ababoabo". After a little while though you look a bit concerned and remind us that really my name is your Mummy.

This term you started doing Mini Maestros on a Wednesday with Daddy when Mummy is at work and you love going every week. You are getting very good at clapping and shaking instruments in a rhythm and last week you got the chance to play with the big colourful parachute, which was great fun. You loved going to music from the very first lesson and I know Daddy loves taking you and watching you have so much fun. I haven't been able to see your music lesson yet, but I am hoping to one day.

We took your little trolley to the supermarket the other day and you were very proud to be pushing it around collecting up groceries. It was a big help and everyone who saw you smiled adoringly at you because you looked so serious and sweet. Every fortnight you and Mummy go to the supermarket together and we have a very nice time. I think now we will be taking your trolley with us each visit, I just wish the shelves weren't so high.

I will say goodbye now my darling one. You are my treasure and my joy, I watch you with amazement as you grow and change.

Lots of love


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Things that wail "mi" in the night

So we have bitten the night weaning bullet around here over the last couple of weeks. A quick background: Abi has slept through the night once since she was born and usually wakes up every couple of hours or so. She has/will occasionally do a four, five or even six hour stretch when she first goes to sleep, but after that first wake up (anywhere between 11pm and 3am) she will be awake every two hours.

After the tearing out of hair and trying multitudes of different strategies over her first 18 months I just admitted defeat and tried not to think about it too much. Nothing we did or didn't do made any difference and I have always been adamant that I will never leave her to cry or put her in a cot. So the traditional methods don't work for our family and I knew there was no point going to a sleep school. We co-sleep as part of our parenting philosophy and it is not something I am willing to compromise.

That's not to say I haven't often fallen into despair during the early hours of the morning, especially during those times, now mercifully behind us, when she would wake up and stay awake for anything up to an hour and a half. The only thing that comforted me during those times was the thought that "Thank God I don't have a newborn as well"...hang on, guess I won't be able to use that one for much longer.

So to night weaning. It's time, she's nearly two and a half, I'm still available for cuddles, songs etc, I know she's not insecure, we're just turning off the boob tap between midnight and six. I got this idea from a gentle parenting site written by an American paediatrician who points out that it is those six hours which are the most important for adults.

It hasn't gone too badly really. We started two weeks ago and have certainly had some bad times where she would wail "Mi, mummy more mi" over and over again, interspersed with screams of rage and flingings of bodies on beds. For a while I sported a nice shiner on my left eye from a back-of-head-meets-cheekbone contact during one of these sessions. At some point though each night she would subside into pathetic sobs and say "Abi tu'ool [cuddle] mummy" and I would know we were through the worst of it.

This is still going on to some extent and we have had a bout of gastro in the middle that hasn't helped, but generally I am standing firm and getting more solid blocks of sleep than I have had since she was born. I am cautiously confident that we will at least be down to one wake up per night by the time baby number two arrives, and hopeful we might be down to none, or at least no feeds.

I wanted to post a belly shot, but our camera has mysteriously disappeared. I will do so as soon as it turns up.

Monday, June 8, 2009

First trimester - Zap!

Well nearly, anyway. On Friday I'll be 13 weeks which is officially the end of the first trimester, but I think I'll count it now anyway. We've started telling people now but I have to tell my grandparents before the news goes up on Facebook so I'll call them tomorrow. One of my grandmothers is a bit deaf, so I'm anticipating a bit of "Hey Gran, I'm, no-one's indignant..." and so on. I know they'll all be excited, especially my Dad's parents who only have Abi so far in their Great Grandchild quiver.

I'm hoping we can go up to visit them in the September holidays as they don't really fly anymore and I don't know how many more chances I'll have, seeing as they are both in their 80s although very fit and healthy. I want to ask my grandmother more about her father, who I remember quite well - Dad was telling me that he enlisted in WWII at the age of 39 as he couldn't just stand by and watch all the young men from his work go off to fight. I knew he fought in the war, but none of the details and I don't want all this history to be lost. I shall appoint myself as the Family Archivist - a fitting position for the eldest child of the eldest child.

Just a quick one today as my girl is getting out of the bath and requires my presence. Or at least the presence of my boobs.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Just a nice Friday

Today I decided we would have a low-key day, as I have been feeling lately that I do way too much rushing of my girl. Even just to do fun stuff like meeting friends at the park still means I'm chivvying her into her shoes and organising snacks etc. So today we had no plans and I could let her meander along however she wanted.

So we got up at a civilised 7.45, had a nice relaxed breakfast and then pottered around doing laundry chores (me) and playing with various toys (her). We also put some bread on to bake in our fabulous new breadmaker which Abi always enjoys.

She started saying she wanted to "Ee my Vreya" (trans: see my friend Freya) so I texted her mum but sadly they were on the train to the city. Abi was philosophical and accepted a walk to find treasures culminating in a babycino and muffin with Mummy instead. We had a lovely walk and I was reminded how lucky I was to have this amazing child trotting along next to me commenting on everything, making agreeing noises when I talked and finding all kinds of interesting things to put into her special purple bag. She is such a joy, I am totally entranced by her.

Our favourite raspberry and white chocolate muffin was on offer at our local cafe, so we tucked in to one to share, although I almost wished I'd bought two as I had to move fast to get any of the delicious chocolate and raspberry bits. Then home for a delicious cuddly nap and up for a quick lunch before heading outside to play chase chase chase with bath baby. She recently got a new bath baby as the old one could no longer go in the bath, and she was very torn as to which baby would do the chasing. She tried various configurations; her holding old bath baby and running while I chased her with the new one; swapping babies; me holding both and making them run along the deck (oh my back...), but none really satisfied her. So I chased her for a while and then we went to check out the stones under the washing line.

Abi soon got involved in a game she invented herself where she scooped up the stones on a spade, carefully climbed the steps and walked across the deck to the bird bath before tipping the stones into the water. Then she would run back, carefully climb down the stairs and collect some more stones. This kept her busy for about 15 minutes and I was able to hang out the washing without needing to be involved at all. It reminded me of a story my mum tells about me at around the same age - we were down at Phillip Island and I spent 20 minutes scooping up sand in my spade and walking down to the water to drop it in. Mum said it was fantastic, she could sit and read her book, while glancing up to see me happy and occupied.

At one stage Abi fell on the stairs and said "Abi fall down, my rocks fall down" in a very sad voice. We had a cuddle and I was thinking how far her language has progressed over the last month or so. She uses 'my' all the time now so often her sentences are gramatically totally correct, like when she says "Where my drink of water?" Okay, she misses the is, but still a great sentence. I love chatting to her and I can understand everything she says now, which wasn't the case a couple of months ago.

Pregnancy is still going well. No real morning sickness, same as with Abi, but I do get hungrier and I can see a bit of a bump now too when I turn sideways. When I lie on my back I can feel the fundus too, that started at about 9 weeks. I don't have another appointment until July and as I'm only planning on one ultrasound, we've got a way to go before we see this little one. I don't really have any sense about whether it's a boy or girl; with Abi I thought she was a girl from the very beginning although I started to second guess myself towards the end. I don't think I can tap into the intuition properly this time because I'd really love a little boy especially as I'm pretty sure two is it for us. So I think that will influence any feelings I may have.

It's not a strong preference at all as I'd also love Abi to have a sister, so boy or girl is fine. I just want everything to be okay.

I feel right about stopping at two children. I'm so happy to be pregnant, but I don't really want to do it again, especially all the thinking about timing etc. I always thought I wanted three children, but I realised that what I really wanted was three grown-up children. As I would never want less than a three year gap having three would just mean the baby part would drag on for so long, really longer than I want to deal with. I'd like to go back to full-time Montessori teaching one day as well as do some further study and God knows I'm not getting any younger (37 in July).

So two is good. Two is perfect. Two for joy.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I know, I know...

...I'm hopeless. I know. I'm sure no-one comes here to this Site of Slackness anymore but just in case there are a couple of loyal souls left who do I thought I'd drop in with a bit of news.

Oooh, I feel all coy now. I don't quite know how to start...hmm, no real way to ease in to this:

I'm pregnant. Yep, 10 weeks, as a matter of fact. So all going well, our second baby will be born sometime in December and forever after whine about having a birthday so close to Christmas so that no-one ever comes to his/her parties etc etc.

Unlike my last monster conception journey, this one slipped in almost without my noticing it. DH and I did do our three month preparation which mostly involved no caffeine for me and no bacon for him and then the very first actual sex month we hit the baby jackpot. Weird.

DH laughed and laughed when I told him, which I did in a very creative way. It was Easter Sunday so I made up a bag with his Easter presents of six enormous pieces of fudge and ginger chocolates. To these treats I added two cans of Kilkenny beer and a packet of bacon. I also slipped in my positive pregnancy test.

I thought he'd twig as soon as he saw the beer, but I had to dig around in the bag and fish out the test before he got with the programme. And then, as I said, he laughed and laughed, hugged me and laughed a bit more. It did seem a bit ridiculous after all the carry-on last time.

So far all seems to be going well, although I am still feeling very cautious after the sad, sad experience of my lovely friend Mama Cass. I have lots more to say but have a two year old demanding a tea party, so must go.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Oh it's been such a long long time! I did start a draft about Abi's birthday party last month, but can't find it anywhere. I'm such a computer whiz. I was going to put photos of her cake and everything. Right now though I don't have all our photos due to tedious computer changing which seems to have been going on for about six months. I even use a Mac operating system now which is mostly the same, but sometimes has some unexpected differences, so I am still a bit suspicious.

Anyway I just can't be bothered trying to catch up, so I'll start with today. Today we went to play at a friend's house and the kids had lots of fun. Abi took her usual 30/45 minutes to warm up but then was dashing around with the other two having a great time. She is always very keen to report back to me about what ever happens, so there was a lot of "Mummy? Ryan noise! Vreya jump bed! Baby fall down, aaahHAHhahah, baby dry, baby have mi Abi." Not a real baby, I hasten to add, just another in the long line of babies that Abi feels she must take care of. Then as we were leaving "Mummy tie shoes, Abi tuddle Mummy" Dear little voice, how I love it.

Holidays, holidays la la laaa. I have already eaten too much chocolate, so I hope no-one else gives me easter eggs. Abi enjoyed her first easter egg hunt at my work, I took an hilarious series of photos which I will also add when I can. That's all I can write right now as Abi is awake again after a late nap and needs my attention.