31 December 2011

New Year Resolutions 2012

What would new year's be without a resolution or three?

This year I have decided to make some, but to make them slightly realistic in the hope that I might be able to keep them for a good portion of the year. For example, I will not be resolving to exercise more or eat less sweets.

Below, in no particular order, are my resolutions for next year:

1. De-stress. This will involve not putting myself into situations for which the stress involved is not worth the benefit gained from the activity. It will also involve doing things which I know to keep me calm and sane!

2. Learn to say "no" sometimes. This will assist with point 1 above.

3. Enjoy my family. Watch them, engage with them, play with them, show them how much I love them.

4. Spend less time on the Internet. This means only once or twice per day and putting the iPhone down! Maybe also an Internet-free day once a month or so. This will assist with point 3 above.

5. Listen to music a bit each day (not the nursery rhyme variety).

6. Smile.

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to add, subtract or otherwise amend said resolutions on a whim and without prior notice. Non-fulfillment of resolutions by the end of 2012 is not actionable by any person in any way.


28 December 2011

Friendly chat

There's nothing like a good chat with a friend.

This morning I caught up with an old friend from high school whose parents moved nearby a little while ago. Because of that, I get to see her more often than I used to.

In recent years our lives have followed similar paths with our second children and third children born at around the same time. It was great to relax and chat while the various children played and fed. It was so nice to compare notes about life and have a laugh and a little whinge with someone who's going through the same things as I am. I didn't want to leave, but the kids were getting restless. The good thing about good friendships is that you can just pick up from where you left off next time :-)

26 December 2011

5000 page views!!

I've just seen that my blog has reached 5000 all time page views ... and 1000 of them have been in the past month!

Thank you so much for reading. Sometimes I don't look at the page views, content that the blog is recording aspects of my life to help me to remember in years to come. It might not be everybody's cup of tea, but it's mine - a place where I can express myself and be myself. But I do find the statistics very interesting. It is heartening to see that people read my blog and it keeps me writing. 5000 page views and 24 countries is inspiring!

So thanks so much for reading and feel free to comment on my posts - they make me smile too :-)

Christmas 2011

We've had a lovely couple of days.

Christmas Eve morning we went to a friend's place for breakfast. It was great to catch up with my friend, her husband, her parents, brother and some of their family friends. It was a gorgeous day and very nice to be able to look out over the lake from their balcony. It felt like MissyMoo3 (12 weeks) needed to be fed or held constantly but that is just what she's like most days at the moment.

Christmas Eve Mass was wonderful. Getting there that little bit earlier to get a seat took a bit of organising but once we were there it was all good. There's something so uplifting about a full church at Mass. There were heaps of young families there and so many children participated in various ways. MissyMoo1 (5) asked if she could join in and I said that she could next year, which she was chuffed about. Outside the church afterwards, Hubby and I were able to catch up with our friends while the two big MissyMoos ran around playing with the other kids. MissyMoo3 slept in my arms the whole time!

When we got home, we put reindeer food out on the front lawn and then bikkies and port out for Santa. I didn't really expect MissyMoo2 (2) to know what was happening or be excited but she really was!

Christmas morning, MissyMoo1 was first up at a quarter to six, but thankfully she agreed to hop into bed with us until MissyMoo2 got up. We had a nice easy morning at home unwrapping presents then packed the car to head over to Nonna Par's for lunch!

We ate so much food I seriously felt like I was going to burst by Christmas night. We had some great family time hanging out with Nonna and Par and the big two MissyMoos enjoyed some beach time as well as bike and scooter riding.

There were also tantrums and associated angst due to excitement, late nights and sugar, but I guess that's all part of it!

As for MissyMoo3, well she likes home. She was quite unsettled all weekend, needing to be fed or held (by yours truly) most of the time. So unfortunately I did not get to the beach and it felt like I missed out a bit on stuff with MissyMoo1 and MissyMoo2. But now that we're back home, she's much happier, thank goodness.

It turns out The Fat Cat likes home too. We were a bit worried she'd get hurt or run away as it was the first time we'd gone away overnight since we got her and we left her outside (normally we put her in the laundry at night). But when we arrived home, there she was waiting for us and wanting pats!

And it's not over yet - Hubby is still off work for one more day! Yay for family time!

Merry Christmas everyone xx

25 December 2011

Christmas bib for MissyMoo3

This one's a keeper!

24 December 2011

Biscuits for Santa

MissyMoo1 (5) and MissyMoo2 (2) had fun helping me with the icing.

Some were for Santa ... and the rest were for me!

23 December 2011

MissyMoo2's first haircut

The other day I cut a fringe for MissyMoo2 (2).

MissyMoo1 (5) had a fringe at that age and I had been adamant that MissyMoo2 wouldn't have one, as it had been a bit of a pain keeping MissyMoo1's trim and she eventually grew it out.

The other day though I noticed some wisps of new hair growing and falling over MissyMoo2's forehead. It looked a bit like a fringe and it looked lovely. So the decision was made without much fuss.

Out onto the back deck we went. My positivity caught on and MissyMoo2 was happy ... until she saw the scissors. The poor thing was convinced that cutting her hair was going to hurt and she would not believe MissyMoo2 and I telling her otherwise. She wriggled a bit and kept moving her head which made it a bit difficult to cut her hair. But, given her fear, she was actually really good.

Just after I cut it, I had a "what have I done?" moment, as I tried to determine if I had cut it evenly or too short. But it didn't last long.

MissyMoo2 loves her fringe and doesn't need to push hair out of her face all the time. I love it too - it somehow makes her look older and super cute all at once!

22 December 2011

MissyMoo3 at 12 weeks

I figured it was about time I posted another update on MissyMoo3 generally, for me to look back at and remember as well as for you to read, as I know from past experience that when looking back on this stage of a baby's life, a lot of it is a blur.

12 weeks is that magical age when things should start getting easier - routines begin to appear if they haven't already and newborn problems like colic are grown out of.

We have some semblance of a routine emerging. There's usually a morning nap of some sort, although it can be quite short. All her day naps are short but somewhere between 7:30pm and 9pm, MissyMoo3 goes to sleep for the night. Last week, she slept through the night most nights, but for the past three nights she has woken for a 2am feeds. I'm hoping we go back to sleeping through - that was brilliant!

Feeding is well and truly established and a lot of the trouble MissyMoo3 had with wind in the early days has settled down.

MissyMoo3 does a lot more with her awake time now. When we're home she likes to sit in her bouncer and tap at her toys. She follows people with her eyes and smiles a lot. It's awkward holding her in the harness so she prefers to sort of "sit" on people's laps facing out for some people watching.

She is putting on weight and her features are constantly changing. She still looks a lot like MissyMoo1 (5) did as a baby, but not as much as she used to. And her hair is falling out. She still has quite a bit at the back and on top (well, more than her sisters did!) but she has little bald and thin patches on the sides.

I'm really happy that she is past that really newborn stage now. I've always found the year comprising pregnancy and the first three months of baby's life to be quite difficult. This is the time when baby begins giving back and there is more immediate reward for all the love and energy that has been put in so far - the smiles, googoo gaga noises, the development of bub's personality. It's exciting!

19 December 2011

Pavlik harness

Here is a diagram of what it looks like, if you're wondering.

Photo obtained from hipdysplasia.org

17 December 2011

Little fish

MissyMoo1 (5) and MissyMoo2 (2) have been doing swimming lessons again this term after a break during the winter months. MissyMoo1 picked up from where she left off and has progressed really well.

MissyMoo2 still has a parent in the pool with her for her lessons. She started the term being very scared of the water and clinging to Hubby like a little koala. She got a bit better each week but firmly refused to put her eyes in the water.

Hubby and I have shared going in the water with MissyMoo2 and I was with her today. Her progress over the last three or four weeks has been remarkable. At that point she asked to wear her goggles but was still worried about putting her face in the water. Today, she was like a different kid. She did heaps of kicking and paddling, and she put her face under water every time without swallowing any!!

It's so rewarding to see her progress. I'm a proud mamma!

16 December 2011

Chocolate crackles

Can you believe that until recently I had never made chocolate crackles?

I got the recipe from a cereal box aaaages ago and the recipe looks pretty simple. A few times I had considered making them, looked at the recipe, thought "What on earth is copha?", then walked away.

A few days ago, with online grocery shopping as my friend, I typed "copha" into the search box and lo and behold it appeared!

MissyMoo1 (5) loves to help in the kitchen, but because I'm often in a rush to cook things before the next time MissyMoo2 (11 weeks) needs me, I don't ask her to join me very often. This time was different though. We stood at the kitchen bench, MissyMoo1 on a stool and MissyMoo2 (2) on a chair, and the big MissyMoos took turns at putting the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl. I put in the melted copha and mixed it up, then the MissyMoos had fun putting the mixture into little cupcake patties (and MissyMoo2 also put a fair amount of it into her mouth).

They don't look as chocolatey as they could. Most of the chocolate is at the bottom - I think the copha was still too warm when we mixed it in. Rookie mistake!

4 cups Rice Bubbles
1 cup icing sugar
1 cup dessicated coconut
3 tbsps cocoa
250g copha

1. Put Rice Bubbles, icing sugar, coconut and cocoa into a large mixing bowl.
2. Slowly melt copha in a saucepan on low heat, then allow to cool slightly.
3. Pour copha into mixing bowl, then stir until combined.
4. Spoon mixture into patties and refrigerate until set.

Hip humbug

Well MissyMoo3 (11 weeks) has been in the Pavlik hip harness for 6 weeks now, which meant it was time for her to have an ultrasound and a check-up with the doctor to see if it could come off.

At first I had it in my head that she'd only be in it for the 6 weeks, as MissyMoo1 had only been in it for 5 weeks when she was a baby. But a couple of weeks ago, MissyMoo3's physiotherapist told me to be prepared for it to stay on for a further 6 weeks, because that was a trend they had been seeing lately, particularly with our doctor's patients.

I'm so glad she told me that.

From that point on I didn't even allow myself to entertain the notion that it might come off after 6 weeks. I thought of the check-up as an interim measure to assess progress, knowing that if I allowed myself even a glimmer of hope of the harness coming off, I would be disappointed if it had to stay on.

It stayed on.

There has been improvement. The hip's angles need to be 60 degrees to be normal. Before the harness, MissyMoo3's were 47 and now they're 53 - getting there.

It is disappointing, there's no doubt about it. It feels a bit like we're missing out on the good newborn stuff - the snuggly cuddles - it's so awkward to hold her. Those few minutes per week when she's in the bath without her harness on are precious - it feels like I have my baby back. But I also know that I prefer this scenario to worrying myself sick about potential surgery as is the case with MissyMoo2 (2). I also realise that we are actually very lucky - I see that every week at the physio department with other kids much worse off than MissyMoo3. I know it also from medical issues that friends and extended family have. So I'm trying not to complain.

I'm pleased that I was able to condition myself to getting through the day by lowering my expectations over the past couple of weeks. It meant that I was able to have a conversation with the doctor without bursting into tears. It meant that I was able to matter-of-factly arrange MissyMoo3's physio appointments for the next five weeks. It meant that I was able to spend some quality time with the big MissyMoos when I returned home from the hospital - painting toenails and making chocolate crackles - without falling into a blubbering mess.

Yes, she'll have the harness on over Christmas - bah humbug. But at least we're having an unseasonably cold summer. If that keeps up she won't be too uncomfortable.


13 December 2011

Vegetable experiment

My recent attempt at making vegetables more interesting for the MissyMoos:

Didn't work.

Christmas lights ... unlit

Christmas lights must be just another of those traditions which originated in the northern hemisphere.

We don't really do Christmas lights at our place. We have a set of indoor lights which you can see from our front window, but that's it. It's quite pathetic really.

What we do like to do though is drive around and look at other people's lights. So last night we put the kids in their pjs and started driving around while listening to a Hi 5 Christmas cd to get into the mood. It was before half past 7 at night so it was still light and not many people had turned their lights on. I suppose this wouldn't be an issue where it's winter right now. After about 15mins in the car the MissyMoos were all asleep and it was left to Hubby and I to do some lights spotting.

Maybe it was because it gets dark so late in summer, maybe it was because all those people with solar powered Christmas lights couldn't use them as we've barely seen the sun in 2 weeks, whatever the reason, there wasn't much happening.

The saving grace was a street near ours, which can always be relied on to look magical at this time of year. There are lots of lights and displays there but they're still tasteful and not over the top. We drove by on our way home at 8pm and it was getting dark. The lights were on and it looked lovely.

Maybe when the kids are older, we can go a bit later. In the meantime, it's a good way to get them to sleep!

12 December 2011

Sleeping baby

Last night MissyMoo3 (11 weeks) slept for 9 hours!! 8:30pm until 5:30am. The night before she slept from 8:45pm until 4:15am. Please keep it up MissyMoo3!

11 December 2011

Mummy me time

Our big weekend last weekend was immediately followed my me (and MissyMoo3 [10 weeks]) getting a cold. Add into the mix an evening pre-school Christmas concert on Tuesday, out-of-sorts children and a variety of hip harness induced stresses, and you'll understand why over the past few days I've been feeling a little cRaZy.

My wonderful Hubby recognised this and offered to take care of all three MissyMoos so I could have some time-out and a civilised late lunch at my favourite local cafe.

It started well. I got a car park right out the front and didn't have to wait in line to order. The service was fantastic too - I had barely sat down before my coffee - well, decaf - was brought to me at my outdoor table opposite the beautiful lake. I began to relax; take in my surroundings instead of trying to monitor five different things happening at once.

But then I overheard the conversation of the people at table behind me - two parents, an adult daughter and the grandma. Dad was speaking rather tersely to mum at which point daughter began telling dad off and grandma wanted to leave. Voices weren't raised; they didn't need to be. You could have cut the tension with a knife.

I could feel my shoulders tightening at the angst that was being circulated through the air. I didn't turn around. Because I knew that if I did it could have been like a spark in a room with a gas leak. I would have said something. Something like: "I HAVE ONE HOUR, JUST ONE HOUR ON MY OWN, ONE HOUR WITH NO WHINGING, NO CRYING, NO SHOUTING, NO ARGUING. ONE HOUR JUST FOR ME AND I HAVE TO LISTEN TO THIS?!"

Thankfully, just as I was contemplating moving tables to avoid an explosion of that nature, they left.

And I exhaled.

The rest of the outing was wonderful. I had Camembert and Feta for the first time in about a year and I tried dukkah for the first time - oh wow it tasted amazing! The only thing missing was wine ;-)

I ate my antipasto and gazed out at the lake. And I again began to feel a bit like a person in my own right.

iPhone app

Today I discovered that blogger now has an iPhone app. Woohoo, I can now blog while I'm breastfeeding!

10 December 2011

Karaoke dreaming

A friend of mine posted something on her facebook status today about going out to karaoke tonight and it got me thinking...

I love karaoke and I used to do it all the time before the MissyMoos came along. Have I done it since? To my amazement I realised that, aside from playstation sing star in a couple of living rooms, it's been 6 years since I have done karaoke! No way!

I began reminiscing about the weekly (and sometimes twice-weekly) karaoke sessions in my uni days at the pub down the road from where I lived. After that phase of life was over, karaoke stayed with me when, as a junior lawyer in the city, I would go with fellow graduate friends to a nearby bar after work and win drink vouchers for us in the karaoke competition.

But of course that all stopped once I was pregnant with MissyMoo1. I stopped going out, I stopped drinking, and I pretty much stopped singing.

I don't miss the hangovers or the pub scene, but when all three MissyMoos are screaming for one reason or another and my achievement for the day is having managed to prepare dinner (but not eat it with everyone else as MissyMoo3 felt the need to have her feed at the same time), it's not hard to glimpse some green grass on the "other" side. I might just have to go for a drive around the block one night after the MissyMoos have gone to bed so I can belt out a tune without them being in the car with me!

07 December 2011

'Tis the season!

I love putting up the Christmas tree. It's now becoming a tradition in our little family each year to put it up together as a family to the sound of Christmas carols playing in the background. This year MissyMoo1 (5) was really helpful,MissyMoo2 (2) had a great time pulling the tinsel out of the box and MissyMoo3 (10 weeks) watched from the safety and comfort of her bouncer.

Mmm chocolate

A couple of weeks ago, Uncle J (Hubby's brother) came to visit bearing gifts from his recent trip to the U.S.

Let's just say they didn't last very long in the house of a chocaholic mamma who has bred chocaholic daughters!!

No bowl choc bit slice

I made a slice for when some friends came over to visit on Saturday. I have been making it for years, as a friend's Mum used to make it way back in our high school years when a bunch of us would go over to her house. We all thought it was her special recipe at the time but it turns out she got it from the Australian Women's Weekly! It's really easy to make and delicious too!

Anyway, our guests loved the slice and one of them asked me for the recipe, so I thought I'd also put it on the blog.

90g butter, melted (I use un salted butter)
1 cup (125g) sweet biscuit crumbs (Arnotts Nice are good)
1 1/2 cups (185g) choc bits
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped mixed nuts
400g can sweetened condensed milk

Grease a 23cm square slab pan, cover base with baking paper, grease paper. Pour butter into prepared pan, sprinkle evenly with biscuits, choc bits, coconut and nuts. Drizzle with condensed milk. Bake in moderate oven for about 30 mins. Cool in pan before cutting. Store in fridge. Keeps about a week.

Our HUGE Weekend

It's Wedneday and we're still recovering from the hangover of a massive weekend of family outings. Now I'm not afraid of a little outing or two, but last weekend was jam packed. Thankfully this sort of thing only happens with us at this time of year. I don't know how some people live like that all the time - they have more energy than me!

First stop was playgroup. Given the day ahead (see below) I would have just not showed up that day but for a couple of things I had to do there. I had to pick up some Avon stuff I'd bought from a friend (needed my new lippies for the weekend!) but also, very importantly, I asked a good friend to be a Godmother to MissyMoo3 (10 weeks).

We lasted about half an hour at playgroup and then had go to our next engagement. The afternoon before, MissyMoo3 had had somewhat of an explosion from the rear end and as a result her hip harness was soiled. So next up it was an extra trip to the hospital so the physio could fit a clean harness.

Well that was our morning gone. MissyMoo1 (5) and MissyMoo2 (2) ate their packed lunches in the waiting room of the paediatric physiotherapy department while I fed MissyMoo3. Then it was a 40 minute drive home for some down time, baths and an important phone call to another friend asking her to also be a Godmother to MissyMoo3.

Next up was Hubby's work kids Christmas party. We were there from just before 5pm until 6pm. We had a sausage sizzle, the kids got awesome presents, MissyMoo1 had a go on the jumping castle and MissyMoo2 sat on Santa's lap.

Then it was off to MissyMoo1's pre-school disco 5 minutes drive up the road. MissyMoo1 had a great time dancing with her friends, MissyMoo2 adopted underneath a table as a cubby house and MissyMoo3 fed and tried to sleep, which was difficult. With two older sisters, MissyMoo3 is used to noise. The music wasn't so much of a problem as the intermittent high pitched a screaming of a toddler at the table next to us.

We left the disco at 8:30pm - 1 hour after the MissyMoos' bed time.

Morning : swimming lessons for MissyMoo1 and MissyMoo2.

Afternoon: friends came over to visit. The boys went downstairs, drank beer and watched cricket. The big girls stayed upstairs, fed their babies , chatted and watched the little girls play. It was a really good afternoon and went really quicky, as good times tend to do.

My work kids Christmas party. It was at a farm about an hour's drive from our place (the one we nearly went to for MissyMoo2's 2nd birthday). We left home at 9:30am and got home at about 3:30pm. It was a great day out - lots of animals to play with and bottle-feed, awesome presents for the kids and a visit from Santa. It was a gorgeous sunny beginning-of-summer day until about ten minutes before we left when a storm hit; we had to make a run for the car and, thanks to great teamwork, Hubby & I managed to get the three MissyMoos, pram and presents into the car in record time. We still got a bit wet though :-(

Then at 7pm, MissyMoo3 and I went out to the baptism meeting (yes, I remembered, unlike last month!)

By the drive home Sunday night I was feeling the beginnings of a sore throat...

It was a great fun-filled weekend! But the after-effects of full days and late nights are tired, grumpy children (and parents). Right now I'm appreciating a bit of much-needed down time.

01 December 2011

Nativity scene project: moving in

The nativity scene is complete with "hay" i.e. grass from outside, thanks Hubby for the suggestion.

So now all the figurines have moved in. They look pretty good even if I say so myself. Unfortunately the proper figurines aren't plastic like the sheep we have borrowed from the farm playset, so we've already had to have words to MissyMoo2 (2) not to bash them against the top of the shelf. I hope they last through the Christmas season!

29 November 2011

Quote #7

"A real friend is someone who walks in when the rest of the world walks out."

- St. Francis of Assisi

28 November 2011

Quote #6

"All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle."

- St. Francis of Assisi

Run ... walk

Last night I had my first attempt at a jog since having MissyMoo3. I'd been feeling a bit bleh all day & wanted to go out for a walk, so Hubby put the MissyMoos to bed while I had some "me" time.

I started off walking. I wasn't sure what my body would be capable of 2 months after giving birth and my fitness had obviously taken a dive since my pre-pregnancy days. Now, I like brisk walking for a purpose, for example getting the shopping done quickly. But I find brisk walking for exercise rather annoying to do. It's awkward and I figure, if I want to go that fast I might as well jog, if not, I can walk at a comfortable pace.

It wasn't yet dark but the evening air was fresh and invigorating. I decided to try a bit of a jog, just to see if I could. I paced myself but started to tire after a couple of minutes so it was back to a walk. I alternated jogging and walking, a couple of minutes each, and arrived back home after about half an hour feeling pretty tired but energised at the same time. A nice bit of exercise in the fresh air by the lake was just what I needed!

27 November 2011

Newest addition to the family

Because life wasn't busy enough with a newborn baby (!), we have acquired a new family member - for the purposes of the blog, we'll call her The Fat Cat.

She seems to have settled in well so far...

MissyMoo1 (5) and MissyMoo2 (2) love her - especially MissyMoo1. MissyMoo3 (2 months) is off limits though!

MissyMoo1 the birthday girl!

My big girl is 5!

Five years ago, we went through one of the worst experiences of our lives, with ultimately the best outcome imaginable. Hubby and I became parents for the first time to a beautiful and, within a few days, healthy baby girl. I always get a bit teary around her birthday each year, thinking about the experience of getting her into the world, and always feeling guilty that I couldn't be there with her in those first difficult hours which I barely remember because of what my body was going through at the time. I always hug her a little tighter when I think about it.

I'm so proud of my big girl. Happy birthday sweety.

25 November 2011

Creepy crawly pets

It has become abundantly clear recently that we are in need of a pet.

Getting a pet is something we have been thinking about for a while - last December we almost got goldfish - but have put off with MissyMoo3's entrance to the family being foremost in our minds.

MissyMoo1 (4) has become quite attached to "animals". MissyMoo1 and MissyMoo2 (2) enjoy patting cats, dogs, lambs, rabbits, ducks etc any chance they get. MissyMoo1 has also recently taken to adopting little crawlers she has found in the garden. There's been a few.

You've met Holly the lizard. After Holly, there was a cricket (I think her name was Jessica) but she hopped away far too easily to be kept for very long. Then there was a snail (I forget the name), whose lack of a speedy getaway made for a much better "pet" for a night in an icecream container with holes poked in the lid and filled with grass and leaves.

Then there was a ladybug called Lizzy:

About 2 seconds after this photo was taken, she dropped through the gap in the floorboards - it didn't end well.

That afternoon, Hubby caught another lizard for MissyMoo1 which we kept overnight and then released. This is where it lived:

Then last week at playgroup, a butterfly/pretty moth was found and crawled all over MissyMoo1's arm over and over. She let her friends have a go too and they were playing with the insect for over half an hour. It was going so well. I even convinced MissyMoo1 to let it go at the end of playgroup so it could go back to its family and friends (and not fly around in my car!). She, very maturely and without tears, took it back to where she had found it accompanied by a few of her friends. Unfortunately the insect came to an untimely end at the hand (or I should say, foot) of another little girl - completely innocently, mind you, no malice. But MissyMoo1 and another kid bawled their little eyes out crying "she killed it!" and the poor little girl got so upset and cried too. Tears everywhere, not good.

I hope that when we do actually get a proper pet, things go a bit better...

24 November 2011

Quiet afternoon

The size of an achievement is a relative thing. Today my major achievement was having all three children asleep at the same time for half an hour or so. I don't know how I did it - I'm guessing it was more chance than anything else - but I'll count it as an achievement nonetheless.

It was so quiet and I got so much done. I enjoyed it while it lasted! Now it's back to the usual madness!!

21 November 2011

Cool Stuff I Get To Do Because I Have Kids: Make New Friends

I've made some wonderful friends in my life - in the schoolyard, at parties and in the workplace. Having children has also given me many opportunities to meet wonderful people.

It began at ante-natal classes when we got along with another couple there. We kept in contact and 5 years on we are still friends. Since MissyMoo1 (4) was two I have been going to one playgroup or another in my local area and through those groups I have met some wonderful people. Never mind that the kids enjoyed themselves, it was something that I enjoyed and really needed, particularly at a time when none of my friends from other circles had children yet. It was great to hear their stories, get advice and share experiences with other people who knew what you were on about when you were expressing frustration with potty training or tiredness from night feeds. And through some of those great people, I have met other great people too.

We still love our old friends dearly, but we don't live conveniently close to them so we don't have chance meetings at the shops and catching up can be tricky to organise sometimes. It's really thanks to the MissyMoos that Hubby and I have been able to form a network in our local area and I now count some of the people I have met through my children to be among my closest friends.

20 November 2011

Cool Stuff I Get To Do Because I Have Kids: Build Sandcastles

I like going to the beach. I like wading around in the water (as long as it's not too cold - I'm not so brave!). I like being in the sun and getting a bit of a tan, however politically incorrect it might be to say so these days.

Being at the beach with the MissyMoos just adds that extra dimension. Watching them take pleasure in creating something from the sand (or just getting sludge all over themselves) is great fun. Even better is getting into it with them. Piling up sand, digging holes, getting sand everywhere - what fun!!

18 November 2011

Nativity scene project: part 4

We've done a bit of work on the nativity scene including painting it this afternoon. (It probably looked better without the paint, but the MissyMoos had fun doing it.) Once the paint dries, it will be ready for the figurines to move in!
Making the star
MissyMoo1 gluing bits of the star together
MissyMoo1 colouring in the star

Star is on

Painting the shrubs

All painted - MissyMoo1 did the left, MissyMoo2 did the right

We're out of bread

We needed to buy some bread this morning.

Sounds simple enough, doesn't it?

All you mothers out there know what I'm talking about though, don't you? You know why it's not as simple as ducking out to pick up some bread, why I need to get into the habit of ordering extra bread in my online grocery shop and freezing it, why daily bakery-fresh bread is a luxury unattainable to a person in my position in life.

Today we had no choice. Despite my constant attempts at being organised and efficient, I found myself needing to go to the shops for bread and nothing else. And so it began.

MissyMoo1 (4) went downstairs by herself at which point MissyMoo3 (7 weeks) started crying in her bassinet. So instead of the usual slow but safe escorting of MissyMoo2 (2) holding her hand, I picked her up and took her down, then went back for MissyMoo3. I put MissyMoo3 in the car then went back for MissyMoo2. I carried her, as her shoes were in the car from the day before and I didn't want her walking on the wet concrete in her socks. Second seatbelt done and then it was time for MissyMoo1's which, due to the ... er ... snug configuration of child restraints in the back, requires a Houdini-like hand to click in the sash seatbelt beside the seat.

All in and MissyMoo3 was crying again. MissyMoo1 tried the dummy while I started the car.

Once the car was parked the unloading began. First the pram's frame, then the bassinet which sits on top. MissyMoo1 got out under strict instructions to stay touching the car (to keep out of the way of moving vehicles). I got MissyMoo3 out of the middle & put her in the pram. Then it was over to MissyMoo2's side of the car. I opened the door to find that MissyMoo2 had taken off her shoes and socks. Put footwear back on and got MissyMoo2 out of the car. Put backpack (nappy bag) on & locked car. Held pram with one hand, MissyMoo2's hand with the other and MissyMoo1 "helped" to push the pram.

Arrived at bakery and all through waiting to be served and being served the exchange between MissyMoo1 and I went something like this:
MissyMoo1: "Mum, can I have a balloon?"
Me: "No."
MissyMoo1: "Oh please."
Me: "No."
MissyMoo1: "Oh please, oh please, oh pleeeeaase."
You get the picture.

Bread purchased then back to the car to put everyone back in, see above description.

I understand why some parents leave their kids alone in the car to go shopping. I don't condone it ... but I get it.

15 November 2011

Pregnancy - postscript

MissyMoo3 is now 7 weeks old, so all my post-pregnancy testing and prodding has taken place.

Today I received the results of my GTT from last week: the diabetes has gone! Aside from the sleep deprivation, I'm feeling a lot more like the real "me" again - so much more than I did when I was pregnant. Ahh, back to some semblance of normality...

09 November 2011

Nativity scene project: part 3

We finally made a start on the nativity scene today. MissyMoo1 (4) enjoyed it and was a great help. MissyMoo2 (2) got her very own pile of paddle pop sticks to draw on with textas. MissyMoo3 (6 weeks) slept. Here are some progress shots.

The base (upside down) and some of the sides:

Partly up:

All put together:

There are still some things left to do but we'll leave them for another day!

08 November 2011

Mums, we're doing ok!

I read this article the other day and finally, something written about motherhood which is balanced, reasonable and which I agree with!


07 November 2011

Nativity scene project: part 2

Paddle pop sticks purchased!

Camel by the water

There was a festival thingy near our local playground on the weekend. I thought this looked kind of funny.

Nativity scene project: part 1

When I was a kid we used to visit my nonni interstate most Christmases, staying for two or three weeks at a time.

My Nonna once made a big nativity scene which she put on display every year. It was made from plaster of Paris laid out over a wire frame and painted. It had caves and mountains, the star and heaps of figurines: the Holy Family, three wise men, the donkey, a cow, some sheep and shepherds. It would sit on a table in the living room and my sister and I used to enjoy looking at it and moving the figurines around. I wish I had a photo of it to show you.

I've been thinking for the past couple of years about making my own nativity scene. We have a tiny one which we got from Target a couple of years ago but I really like the idea of making our own.

So this year we're going to do it! (Well, that's the plan anyway!)

Having never worked with plaster of Paris before, I gave my daydreams a reality check and decided to construct it from materials much more suited to my level of craft expertise: paddle pop sticks! I figure there's plenty of time to learn about plaster of Paris another year if I want to copy my Nonna's idea. But it's already November and I have a newborn baby so I need to be a bit more realistic. I also fully intend to enlist the help of my craft-crazy MissyMoo1 (4)!

I've had a bit of trouble finding the figurines I want. I have looked on eBay and Amazon but the few I have found which I am interested in don't ship to Australia. I might see if any of my relatives in Italy can track some down for me next year, but due to time constraints, this year we'll be swiping the figurines from the Target nativity scene as well as sheep from the MissyMoos' farm toy set. The sheep will have to fend for themselves though, as we don't have any shepherds!


Last week MissyMoo3 (5 weeks) was fitted with a harness for her hips.

I was expecting it to happen. With both of her sisters having had issues with their hips, it came as no surprise to me. It was still really disappointing though. It was a huge feeling of deja vu. We even had the same physiotherapist as with MissyMoo1 (4) nearly 5 years ago.

It was a hard day. Poor MissyMoo3 screamed during the ultrasound, the doctor's examination and the whole time the physiotherapist was fitting the harness. We had almost an hour between appointments to wait, so I sat in a waiting area where a volunteer was playing a piano so beautifully. The music combined with some feeding and cuddles calmed her (and me!) down immensely. Music really is powerful.

Having the harness on does make things more difficult. MissyMoo3 is restricted in her movement - the worst thing is that she can't kick her legs around when she has wind pains. We have to hold her differently which makes it more difficult to settle and feed her. She brings up more milk than before. She has to wear 00 clothes now to fit over the harness and keep her legs splayed out. And she can't be bathed in it. So once a week for the next 6 weeks at least, we must go to the hospital 40 minutes away to have the physios take off the harness, bathe & weigh her, and then refit it for another week.

MissyMoo3's hips weren't even that clicky or loose. They were stable. But given the problems her sisters had had & advice we received from a specialist in Sydney, we insisted on an early ultrasound, which has shown that at this stage her hips are far from normally formed.

Although that day was all about MissyMoo3 & I felt bad for her, I also felt terribly sad for MissyMoo2 (2). Like MissyMoo3, her physical checks were fine (and she had heaps of them by heaps of different medical professionals because of MissyMoo1 having been in a harness) but because she didn't have an early ultrasound her problems weren't picked up. As hard as it is with the harness on, I just want to rewind two and a half years and get a newborn MissyMoo2 into one too...

06 November 2011

Baby brain strikes again

I'm so annoyed at myself. Baptism meeting tonight 7pm, highlighted in my diary, written on the wall calendar & my attendance organised during the week with a number of phone calls.

I clean forgot.

The plan had been to have dinner, then get ready and go with MissyMoo3 (5 weeks) while Hubby put the other MissyMoos to bed. What actually happened is this: I sat on the couch feeding MissyMoo3 for most of the late afternoon because of the heat. Then we had tea & the big MissyMoos had a bath while I fed MissyMoo3 some more. Then there was a yucky accident to clean up, followed by MissyMoo3 crying and MissyMoo2 (2) whinging at the same time. Then suddenly a lightbulb moment ... The realisation that I should have been somewhere else. At 7:30pm. The meeting started at 7. It's not like it's trivial thing that could easily slip your mind like forgetting to pack a hat in a backpack or a spare dummy. It was an entire outing ... for MissyMoo3's baptism, no less...

Hopefully by next month's meeting I'll have re-grown my brain so I can manage to make it.

Quote #5

"Let no one ever come to you without feeling better and happier."

- Mother Theresa

Long lost letters

My parents have for years been wanting me to clean out some of my old stuff from their place. When Hubby and I first got married, we were renting so I said it could wait until we bought a house. Well, that was 5 years ago and I still have heaps of crap in my old room at my parents' house.

So the other week while we were visiting on a rainy day, MissyMoo1 (4) and MissyMoo2 (2) were amused and MissyMoo3 (then 4 weeks) was sleeping, so I had a rare opportunity to go through my cupboards.

I am such a hoarder!!!

I had some major culling to do - there wasn't room at my place to keep it all!

One of the things I found was a pile of old letters from late high school and early uni. My friends and I were prolific letter-writers, in high school particularly. I seriously can't believe that after spending all day together, then having long telephone conversations after school, we still had enough material to write pages and pages of letters to each other! I remember that then we would deliver them the next morning at school and read them in reading/roll-call session before first period.

And how did we fit in homework amongst it all?!

They say kids of today spend heaps of time on smart-phones and Facebook. A few people had the Internet at home in my last years of high school, but not many, and we didn't communicate by email. We probably spent just as much time on distractions then, just those of the non-electronic variety.

It was great to see all that stuff again and get an insight into how we thought as teenagers - it makes me realise that although I still don't feel like an adult sometimes, I really have grown and changed.

Oh and I found the Zebra book! High school people, you know what I'm talking about!

05 November 2011

Quote #4

Life is what you make of it!

Making the most of it

A few weeks ago during a night feed (which now doubles as my contemplative time), I was thinking about how big MissyMoo1 (4) is getting, how I'll miss her when she goes to school next year and how little time there is left of having my girls all home together.

I decided that I didn't want to spend the next couple of months making excuses not to do things because of tiredness or anything generally to do with MissyMoo3 (5 weeks), as we just won't get this time again. So I thought that I would make an effort to, one day each week, go on an outing or do something different with the MissyMoos; create some fun memories together.

The following week we went to my parents' place - not a huge "different" thing - we visit them often - but something we don't do a lot of during the week. When I see Nonna during the week, she usually visits me to see the MissyMoos but also to help me out a bit at home (I'm very lucky!). My parents live near the beach and the weather had been pretty good in the lead-up to the day so I had told the girls that, weather permitting, we could go for a play in the sand at the beach.

Well, wouldn't you know it but the day of our visit it was grey, rainy ... and cold! In late October! Stupid weather. So the MissyMoos ended up playing inside and watching DVDs. Oh well, at least we had a change of scene.

The next week we went over on Melbourne Cup Day. Again, the weather had been good in previous days, and again was gloomy that day. When we arrived, there were still pockets of sunshine, so rather than unload the car of everyone and everything, I picked Nonna up and we headed straight for the beach.


MissyMoo1 and MissyMoo2 (2) managed about two minutes of running around playfully on the sand before the dark clouds closed in and it started to rain. But, we got to go to the beach!

Outings are going to be more difficult now with a busy month ahead of doctor's appointments and school preparation. But lately I've very much been subscribing to the theory that life is what you make of it. Sometimes it's hard when I'm tired but I'm trying to make the most of here and now instead of wishing for an unattainable perfect, worry-free life in the future.

The other day after a big jump on the trampoline, MissyMoo1 said: "Mum, home is so much fun, I love it." Cool, we can stay at home sometimes too!

02 November 2011

Melbourne Cup

A couple of years ago on Melbourne Cup Day when I wasn't in the workforce, Nonna, the MissyMoos and I got dressed up together for the occasion. This year we took advantage of my stay-at-home mum status and did it again.

This time our little party was held at my parents' house. After lunch, my mamma, MissyMoo1 (4), MissyMoo2 (2) and I dressed up in nice clothes ate nibblies and put the TV on to watch the coverage of "the race that stops a nation". MissyMoo3 (5 weeks) slept through the whole thing but not to worry, I'm sure she'll have many more opportunities to dress up! The grown-ups drank soft drink in champagne glasses and we all had a lovely time together.

Sometimes it's nice to do something a little special together!

Come sit on Elmo

Hubby and I have decided that the time has come to introduce MissyMoo2 (2) to toilet training. She knows what and where the toilet is, but is yet to grasp the notion that its use is more than just a novelty.

I'll make it clear that MissyMoo2 is nowhere near ready to ditch the nappies. But since beginning the abovementioned "training" she is at least starting to tell me when she has done a #2 in her nappy. Good start!

I'm being much more laid back about things this time around; I was much too anxious about it all when MissyMoo1 (4) was at this stage. My "strategy" so far involves using Pull-Ups, inviting her to use the potty or toilet and putting her there first thing in the morning. We have a special seat for her for the loo which has Sesame Street characters on it. MissyMoo2 is usually relectant to go first thing in the morning, so I say: "Come on, come and sit on Elmo." She replies: "No mum, I sit on Cookie Monster" and on she goes! The things we do... So cute!

27 October 2011

Newborn haze

Where have the last few weeks gone? MissyMoo3 is already a month old. It feels like the time has gone so quickly, but I'm also reaching the point of not remembering what it was like before she was born. Before another month goes by, I thought I would jot down a quick summary of how things are going. Even if nobody else reads it, it will be something for me to look at and remember later rather than trying to recollect things through the fog of sleeplessness!

MissyMoo3 (1 month) is doing really well. She is over one kilo heavier than her birth weight and she has grown 3 1/2 cm in length since birth. She is feeding well in the sense that she drinks a lot, but she doesn't get a proper seal around the breast so she makes a kind of slurping noise and sucks in air. She gets windy tummy pains as a result, especially during "arsenic hour", and it can be hard to settle her while she's working it through. We had the same problem with MissyMoo2 (2) and Infacol helped. I bought some yesterday while I was at the pharmacy seeing the baby health nurse, so I will start her on it next feed. The nurse said not to be preoccupied with it, MissyMoo3 is doing really well and if the worst thing we have to worry about is wind, that's not a major drama.

Hubby is wonderful. He's at work all day, then amuses the big kids or tries to settle MissyMoo3 in the evenings. On the weekends he's always spending time with the girls or doing stuff around the house - yard stuff outside, or housework inside. We make a great team.

MissyMoo1 (4) and MissyMoo2 each have their own things happening in their lives, which I hope to write about later. They love their baby sister dearly. They love holding her, kissing her and watching her. They fight over which one of them MissyMoo3 is looking at or who gets to hold her next. They have been arguing a lot, probably because they're doing their own adjusting and because they have been left to their own devices a lot more - early parent intervention in arguments is a rare occurrence these days so they're having to figure things out for themselves. They have tried my patience a bit over the past few weeks but they are (slowly) getting better with one another and learning to play together a bit more.

And as for me? Well, I'm doing pretty well. Although I haven't checked the scales in the past couple of weeks, I am happily back in non-maternity clothes. I am absolutely loving not being pregnant. I am tired, but I still feel like I have so much more energy than I did when I was pregnant and not being restricted physically in what I can do is a great feeling. I'm adjusting to looking after three kids - taking that much longer to go anywhere or do anything. Sometimes it's frustrating to not be able to get any time to myself or to spend with Hubby, but we both know that it will only last for a short time to this extent and things will get easier. I've learnt a lot of new things or remembered things I'd learnt when the other MissyMoos were babies and had since forgotten, such as all the things I can manage to do with bub in a Baby Bjorn, or how to pick up a myriad of items off the floor with my toes! I'm feeling a little foggy with the broken sleep - the newborn haze is setting in so I'm having to write lots of lists so that I don't forget things (even more so than when I was pregnant!). Nothing is ever finished and there's always something to do, even more so than before, so that is taking some getting used to. But we're managing outings and other commitments, so I think we're doing pretty well.

I'd better go. I have to do, uh, something...

Big School Orientation

MissyMoo1 (4) had orientation for big school this morning. She met her Year 5 buddy and had a wonderful time. She has been telling me that she can't wait for school to start next year!

While she was having a great time with her new friend, MissyMoo2 (2), MissyMoo3 (1 month) and I were in the school library getting heaps of information about the place from different teachers giving presentations. My little girls were so well behaved - 2 hours and no tantrums.MissyMoo2 was quietly and contentedly eating her morning tea and sitting on my knee for some of the time. MissyMoo3 slept and fed and only cried a couple of times. I was a little anxious about how they would be for such a long stretch of time but I'm such a lucky mummy!

Afterwards, they P&F put on a morning tea for us and I bought some of MissyMoo1's sports uniform for next year. It's all getting closer... (!!!)

16 October 2011

Holly the Lizard

The MissyMoos have been enjoying the spring weather this weekend. Yesterday, while I was pottering in the garden, MissyMoo1 (4) found a lizard. She named it Holly and it was her pet for about half an hour, until it was time to come inside and she had to let it go (she wasn't allowed to bring it in the house).

Balloons and Flowers

We got so many beautiful balloons and bunches of flowers when MissyMoo3 (2 weeks) was born. Whenever I receive flowers, I always like to take photos of them so I can remember them long after they've died off.

MissyMoo1 (4) chose this dolphin

MissyMoo1 chose this one too

MissyMoo2 (2) chose this one

This bunch is from Hubby, MissyMoo1 and MissyMoo2

The bunch at the top of the photo is from my parents (Nonna and Par)

This is from Hubby's brother (Uncle J)

These are from Mr Hubby's parents (Gran and Soot)

These are from my work.

These are from Hubby's work (not the Lansinoh - that's mine!)

These are from the lovely mums at playgroup.

12 October 2011

2 week weigh-in

This morning, at age 2 weeks and 2 days I took MissyMoo3 for her first visit to the child health nurse at our local pharmacy. I had a couple of home visits from a hospital midwife in my first week home, which was great. I was also supposed to get a home visit from a community health nurse, but when they told me they wouldn't be able to visit me for a month, I told them not to bother coming.

The visit went well. I had been to this nurse with MissyMoos 1 & 2 when they were babies too and loved seeing her - she had so much practical advice to offer and not judgmental at all like so many people can be. She remembered me too - she still had the older MissyMoos' cards on file with her!

I've been feeding MissyMoo3 on demand and it appears to have had an impact - she has put on more than half a kilo in two weeks! She has also grown in length to the point where I'm already having to shelve the Bonds 0000 Wondersuits. Aww, my little baby is growing up!

06 October 2011

St. Gerard Majella - In Thanks for a Safe Delivery

I truly believe that in MissyMoo3's birth, my prayers and those of my friends and family were answered. Things could have turned out so much worse, but didn't. This is the prayer I now need to pray, big time!

"Good St. Gerard, patron of mothers, assist me in thanking God for the great gift of motherhood. During the months of my waiting, I learned to call upon you and placed the safety of my child and myself under your powerful protection. The great lesson of your trust in God sustained me; your slogan 'God will provide,' became my hope and consolation. I thank God for a healthy and normal baby and my own good health. Help me to prize the great treasure of motherhood and obtain for me the grace to raise my child as a child of God.

In gratitude, I will continue to call upon you and will tell other mother about their special patron and friend. Amen."

St. Gerard Majella - Prayer for Expectant Mothers

Last year, well before hubby and I were thinking about or planning MissyMoo3, my mother-in-law gave me a prayer leaflet containing some prayers seeking St. Gerard Majella's intercession for various family/motherhood related intentions.

Once I got pregnant with MissyMoo3 I said the prayer "For Expectant Mothers" most days.

"Almighty and everlasting God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, you prepared the body and soul of the Virgin Mary to be a worthy dwelling place of your divine Son. You sanctified St. John the Baptist, which still in his mother's womb. Listen now to my prayer. Through the intercession of St. Gerard, watch over my child and me; protect us at the time of delivery. May my child receive the saving graces of Baptism, lead a Christian life, and, together with all the members of our family, attain everlasting happiness in heaven. Amen."

A friend of mine from high school also put me onto a novena to St. Gerard Majella and we prayed it "together" (at the same time hundreds of kms apart!) in the lead-up to MissyMoo3's birth. If anyone is interested, it can be found at: http://www.saintgerard.com/nineday.html.

03 October 2011

MissyMoo3's Ambulance Arrival

Here is the long awaited story about how MissyMoo3 came into the world.

WARNING: This is a BIRTH STORY. There will be references to blood, medical procedures and parts of the female anatomy which would not normally be discussed in polite company. If you get squeamish, don't blame me - I warned you!

On a Spring Monday in September 2011 at 9:56pm, MissyMoo3 made her dramatic arrival to the world in the back of an ambulance, just up the road from where we live. This is how the day unfolded:

I got up to my alarm and went for a shower. We were booked in for induction that day and had to ring the hospital at 6am to find out what time we should go in. I had had a little trouble sleeping in the previous hour because I was so excited that this would be the day we would meet our new baby!

I rang the hospital delivery suite. They told me to have breakfast and come straight in. So I promptly ate my Weet-Bix and got the MissyMoos dressed while Hubby packed the car with all our bags. We drove around to my parents' house about half an hour's drive away to drop off the MissyMoos and then Hubby and I made our way to hospital.

We arrived at the hospital and made our way to the delivery suite. A midwife took us to one of the rooms there and started taking my blood pressure and filling in forms for which I had to just about relate my entire obstetric history (as I had had to do in almost every ante-natal clinic when I had seen a different midwife). I changed into a hospital gown, excited and a little anxious. A monitoring device was strapped to my belly and I was monitored for a while to check MissyMoo3's heart beat, which was all great.

Then a doctor came in to examine me. He looked quite young (Hubby reckons he took one look at my history - see MissyMoo1's birth story at Missy Moo 1's First Journey - and decided he didn't want to deal with me on his shift). He told me that he wanted to go and speak with someone more senior before deciding whether it would be appropriate to induce me that day. Ironically, he also said that if I was induced that day, they would give me syntocin straight away to ensure I delivered the baby earlier in the day when there were a lot of specialists around in case of complications.

Aaaaages later a different young doctor came in to speak with me. She said that although my cervix was already 3cm dilated, it was not soft enough and the baby wasn't low enough. She said that inducing that morning might risk cord prolapse and that with the harder cervix, baby might have difficulty getting through and get tired and distressed.

Cervidil, a prostaglandin strip, was inserted near my cervix with the intention to make my cervix softer. The plan was to keep it in for 24 hours and return at 10:30 the next morning to have it taken out and reassess. I was re-booked in for induction for Wednesday morning. The midwife told me not to take the strip out myself, that they would take it out the next morning. She also said that a side effect, which was very rare, might be regular contractions and that I could take Panadol if they got painful. I was told that if I had bleeding I should come back to hospital. I was then monitored again for half an hour and everything looked fine.

We were told to go home and return at 10:30 the next morning. We were feeling so deflated and disappointed. We thought we were having our baby only to be told now to wait two more days. Also, there would have to be so much more running around and disruption for the Missy Moos, getting my parents to look after them over the next two days while the interventions continued. And if I was to give birth on Wednesday, just how would we be able to get MissyMoo1 to her friend's 5th birthday party on Thursday morning? She would be so disappointed at not being able to go...

We left hospital.

Had KFC for lunch on the way to picking up the MissyMoos from their non-sleepover at their Nonna and Par's house. Stuff the diabetes.

Picked up the MissyMoos. Hubby had to drag MissyMoo1 kicking, screaming and crying to the car, as she wanted to stay at Nonna Par's house for her sleepover. We told her she'd have her sleepover in a couple of days.

Pains start in the car on the way home, morphing into contractions 2 - 3 minutes apart. Not painful though.

I rang the hospital delivery suite as I was still having regular contractions. The midwife I spoke to said not to worry and that it was just a side-effect of the Cervidil and that it was the Cervidil having the effect on my body it was supposed to - doing its job. She said that if they got too painful to manage or if my waters broke, that I could come back to hospital.

I didn't really feel like eating dinner but Hubby made me some toast which I ate, because we both knew how tired I would be if I kept being woken up by contractions through the night (as that had been the experience of my early labour with MissyMoo1 after my waters had broken).

The contractions were starting to become a little painful so I took one Panadol and went to bed. I managed to distract myself by singing hymns in my head and wriggling around during them. Hubby put the Missy Moos to bed and went downstairs to watch the Brownlow Medal count on TV.

I called out to hubby to get me another Panadol, as the pain was getting bad and I didn't feel up to getting it myself.

I called the hospital delivery suite again and was on hold for 12 minutes. During that time my contractions were very painful and only 2 minutes apart. I was also quite worried and upset because I hadn't felt MissyMoo3 move for at least half an hour and that was usually her most active time of day.

While I was on hold to the hospital on the iPhone, Hubby called my parents from the home phone and asked them to come over straight away.

Hubby called our friend Gina who lives down the road and asked her to come over to mind the girls in the meantime, as it would take my parents at least half an hour to arrive.

At that time I also finally got to talk to a midwife. I explained that it was my third pregnancy, I'd had Cervidil, described the contractions. Her response: "So you think it's time to come in then." "Yes!" I screamed. I was on hold for 12 minutes for that? I wanted her to tell me that it was labour, or if it was still Cervidil "doing its job", what I should do etc. I just hung up.

Saw blood in my pad. Lay on the bed. Hubby got some towels.

Hubby called the ambulance. Lots of blood. Lucky we had the towels. Contractions were now only about 1 minute apart.

Gina arrived directly from the shower in her pjs and dressing gown, God bless her. Rather than be there in case the kids woke up, Gina went straight into good friend and nurse mode, and took over the duties of holding my hand and helping me breathe through contractions while Hubby was on the phone to the ambulance.

Ambulance arrived (Ken and Gary).

Ambulance officers arrived upstairs in my bedroom. They didn't seem to be in a hurry to move me, so I screamed out in frustration (and pain) "Take me to hospital!"

After the ambos got the stretcher ready at our front door and we waited for the small window of opportunity between contractions, I got down the stairs and onto the stretcher ... just in time before the next contraction hit. At this stage I was feeling a really strong urge to push but was being told just to keep breathing. My waters still hadn't broken yet.

I was wheeled into the back of the ambulance. I immediately felt more at ease in a "medical" setting. If I'd wanted a home birth I would have planned it that way.

Made it up the road and onto the main street. Gary pulled over as the ambos realised the birth was imminent. Turns out my parents drove past in the other direction on the way to our place and saw the ambulance.

Waters broke ("exploded" as Hubby says).

At the next contraction I felt a huge urge to push which I just couldn't fight. Ken encouraged me to push (not that I needed it). MissyMoo3 was born then and there, pushed out in one contraction and caught by Ken.

Hubby cut the cord. I asked Ken whether I would deliver the placenta or if it would be taken out by the hospital. He said that it could take 20 to 30 minutes to come so we might make it to hospital before it came out.

Placenta came out.
The rest of the ride to hospital was quite calm as Hubby, Ken and I chatted in the back while I cuddled MissyMoo3 on my chest and kept her warm.

I am quite annoyed and upset by the poor advice and lack of attention I received by the hospital, from delaying induction and advising that Cervidil would not put me into labour to the responses I received to my calls that afternoon and night (a midwife who visited me at home the other day said that in giving me Cervidil with my third baby, I should not have been sent home).

But, we had the right people with us at the right time and things turned out for the best. Hubby was just amazing, as were Gina, Ken and Gary. All our prayers and the prayers of family and friends were answered. Thankfully, despite the panic and the drama, our beautiful baby girl was born safe and healthy.


01 October 2011

Introducing MissyMoo3

Welcome to the world MissyMoo3! She had a ripper of a birth story. Stay tuned and I will write about it when I get a chance.

23 September 2011

Hometown Hopes

A couple of weeks ago a friend at work was telling me about her recent trip to her hometown. She said that while it was nice to be home, it wasn't the same now that she had been away for a few years.

It got me thinking about my hometown and my daydreams in the past few years. Hubby and I are both from the country (different places) and we've often toyed with the idea of moving back to a smaller town or city, but life just hasn't taken us down that path.

As a teenager I couldn't wait to get out of my hometown so that I could meet new people and see new things. Now as a mother of young children, I often reflect on what a great place it would be to raise a family. I have in the past daydreamed about moving back there, even though my parents don't live there any more. I haven't been back in about 6 years - now that I don't have family or really close friends there, there just doesn't seem to be much reason to make the trip - although I would like to get back there someday.

Lately though, I think as a reflection of how settled I now am here, the daydream about going back to my hometown hasn't quite seemed so rosy or easy. The thought of actually moving away makes me realise how much I would miss my family, new friends, community, parish and soon to be school, and my job. The MissyMoos have only ever known this place. I've finally gotten to the point now of running into people I know when I walk down the street at my local shops and just being able to stop for a chat - something I haven't experienced since living in my hometown so many years ago.

I realise that something I have longed for in recent years - the familiarity of my hometown - is something we're recreating as a family right now for our children. We're making our own little hometown right here :-)

38 weeks

It has been an interesting week!

This has been my first full week off work. It was great to spend those extra couple of days with the MissyMoos at the start of this week.

There have been no new notable ailments this week, but there has been an increase in the pains / cramping, which I've read is called pre-labour...

On Wednesday I had another ante-natal appointment as, at this stage of the pregnancy, the appointments are weekly. This was the big one I was looking forward to, as it was when the obstetrician would examine me and tell me when or whether I could be induced at 39 weeks as he had indicated would be the plan at my appointment a week earlier. Well, the check-up went very well. The doctor said that I was already 3cm dilated (which means those pains I've been having have actually been doing something)! That really surprised me, as MissyMoo1 was born 9 days overdue, and that didn't happen before I was induced with MissyMoo2. I didn't expect my body to be preparing for labour before 38 weeks.

So, thanks to my body already doing a bit of the prep work, the induction has been booked in for next week (unless I go into labour earlier)!! I won't tell you which day, just to keep a bit of mystery around it all. Let's just say that there won't be any blog post entitled "39 weeks"!

So, this time next week, MissyMoo3 will be here. I still can't quite believe it. Part of me is nervous about having a new baby - after all, I'm used to being pregnant, but it's been a couple of years since I had a newborn baby. But I know that I've done it before, a couple of times, so Hubby, the MissyMoos and I will all get by together.

All of me is nervous about the birth...

So keep me in your thoughts. If you're that way inclined, say a few prayers - I sure have been and will be. Things may be slow on the blog front over the next few weeks but I'll update on everything when I'm home from hospital and have the opportunity to spend a block of time on the computer.


18 September 2011

37 weeks

On Friday MissyMoo  reached 37 weeks gestation. According to my pregnancy books and my weekly email update from http://www.birth.com.au/, MissyMoo3 is a full term baby from this point on. So the bun in the oven is cooked! Now we wait...

This past week hasn't been at all bad with ailments, just some Braxton Hicks and a general feeling of heaviness.

This past week also saw me finishing up at work. It doesn't quite feel like I'm on maternity leave yet, mainly because my part-time days allow me to be at home at the end of the week anyway. I think come Monday it will sink in though when I don't have to rush out the door with MissyMoo1 (4) for an early pre-school drop-off and a trip to work.

I had an ante-natal check up during the week which went really well. Things are still very much on track with MissyMoo3's size and the gestational diabetes. I still haven't had to increase my dose of medication (thank goodness) and now I'm in the home straight. We discussed "birth plan" and thankfully the midwife was very practical about my wanting an epidural, as I've had them in the past. (I thought she was going to be all "natural birth" on me and I'd have to argue my case). So now it's written in. Let's hope that the midwives on duty are that agreeable when I'm actually in labour!

12 September 2011

Lunch Break

I took this photo on a stroll in my lunch break last week.
It's a pretty decent view to be greeted with on a work day!

09 September 2011

36 weeks

This past week it has really felt like I'm in the last part of the pregnancy, mainly because of the many notable ailments which have appeared (or reappeared), namely:

  • Braxton Hicks - those painless tightenings which are supposed to be signs of the body preparing for labour (which can begin many weeks before the real deal - I know that from experience!);
  • Dull tummy pains, like period pains;
  • Swollen feet - this happened a couple of times during the week when the weather was warm and I'd been on my feet a lot during the day;
  • Leg cramps - I had a fun one at 3:30am Tuesday. I had to get up and walk from my bedroom to the lounge room and back three times to get rid of it; and
  • Stretched abdominal muscles - yes it is possible to pull a muscle by merely getting up from the couch. I've managed to do it twice today, once on each side at the base of my belly.
To top that all off I've been fighting a cold for the past couple of days. But the MissyMoos were so good yesterday and played without arguing while I had a lie down for a couple of hours. I didn't sleep but the rest was just what I needed to stave off the sickness. Gorgeous MissyMoo1 (4) kept coming in to check on me - she was my little nurse.

Today I went for another ultrasound to check on the baby's size. Last night I had a dream that I was told I was having twins, but I didn't let the dream worry me too much. It was to be my sixth ultrasound this pregnancy so I figured they would have picked up something like that by now! I was, however, a tad nervous about how big MissyMoo3 would be.

MissyMoos 1 & 2 came along too as they love the cool playroom in the waiting room. It has a slippery dip, books and lego. The were quite disappointed that we didn't have to wait too long until I was called in for the scan. They came in with me and were both in awe of what they were seeing on the big screen. Well, MissyMoo1 spent a lot of time looking at the screen; MissyMoo2 (2) was quite excited by the goop on my belly.

Thankfully, the scan didn't take too long and the MissyMoos behaved (all except MissyMoo3 who wouldn't show us her face on the 3D scan). The sonographer confirmed once again that MissyMoo3 is a girl. And the best bit of the day was that MissyMoo3's measurements were all bang on the 50th percentile line. I was so relieved. Lets hope she can keep up the good work for the next four (or less!) weeks and be an average-sized bubba for her Mamma :-)

07 September 2011

Big School - The First Step

MissyMoo1 had her first foray into the world of big school this morning. She will be starting school next year, but this morning her school had a two hour screening session - a morning where next year's kindergarten gather in small groups and do activities to give the teachers a snapshot of what they're like and what stage of development they are up to.

MissyMoo1 was a little nervous this morning. She has been saying for ages that she is really excited about big school next year, but I think that when it came to actually going there this morning she was a little overwhelmed.

When we arrived at the school we immediately saw some friends which seemed to relax her, but she still seemed very shy (which she usually is outside the home anyway). We made our way over to the meeting place in the schoolyard and sat down while we waited for things to get underway. She sat close to me but she was pretty happy. We sat through most of the children being called until her name was called for the last group. She happily got up and made her way to the teacher, smiled and waved at me and didn't look back when they walked off to the classroom.

I was fine. It was just like dropping her off at pre-school. I think it will be different next year though when I am sleep-deprived, emotional and she's running off in a school uniform...

When I picked her up two hours later, when she saw me her face lit up and she ran to me. I asked: "How was your morning?" and she replied: "I love school!"

This was one of the handouts she had from her morning:

That just about sums it up!
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