Sunday, January 31, 2010

Not until 2...

I have come to realise that its really not until you have 2 children of your own, same mumma same dadda, that you realise just how different 2 little people can be.

Now I have harped on in the past about the personality differences between my 2 children, drama queen Vs serial killer (kidding, he is just but as Stella grows from being a baby, to a toddler, the difference in the 2 amazes me each and every day.

It was clear from the outset that Xave was an early talker. No surprises really, considering he is the child of a SAHM who has verbal diarrhea and is an on leave English teacher. He was saying mum-mum and da-da at 4.5 months, and by 1 had a good 15-20 words under his belt plus a catalogue of animal noises. By the time his sister was born at 16 months, he was putting 2-3 word sentences together and by 2 he could recite 12 books, sing numerous nursery rhymes, count to 20 and negotiate sleep, biscuits or icy poles like a pro. Mumma often is heard chanting, "I will not negotiate with terrorists".... yet she continues to do so...

Stella on the other hand, same genes, same SAHM mum who still has verbal diarrhea, plus a brother who suffers the same fate, barely says boo in comparison. We get mum-mum and daddeeee, cat, dog, va-va (Xavier) and that's about it. Now don't get me wrong, I completely understand that compared to averages she is doing pretty well. But compared to what I guess I'm used to, she seems, well quiet. Although I must say in the last week we have been hearing much more babble that sounds like she is really trying to tell me something very very interesting.

Comparing the physical development though is the complete opposite. Xave was a late sitter, sitting unsupported at 9 months. An average crawler, starting commando at 7 months and hands and knees at 11 months. A very late walker, taking his first unassisted steps 4 days shy of 16 months, despite cruising furniture from about 10 months and climbing like a monkey not long after.

Stella however, sat unassisted at about 5 months, crawled, her crazy little crab crawl at 10 months and by 11.5 months has worked out getting herself to standing without support. This is the newest trick, and I recall Xave took those first steps with a week or two of mastering the solo stand. But not getting hopes of an early walker up, as I know understand just how different two kids can be.

There are some other things that I have noticed that surprise and amaze me. Stella at 10 months started doing hand actions to songs, Xave has only started doing this since starting music half way through 2009. When I pointed out the Adam just how clever I thought this made Stella, he pointed out that perhaps I just never showed Xave as I assumed a baby that young couldn't learn to do it. This could also be a good argument for teaching Stella some baby sign language, she isn't talking much but she seems to get hand actions... hmmm food for thought.

In all honesty, I knew my kids would be different. Really it goes without saying. But that doesn't mean that I'm still not surprised each and every day by just how different they really are. But then I get a look from one and see the other looking back at me, or hear someone laugh from the other room and don't know which one it is, and I know that while they are different they really are both the same in ways too.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Sign of things to come? I hope not...

Today has been one of those tough ones with the kids.. actually lets be honest, its been a tough week children wise.

Xave's aggression towards Stella has returned.. and the drama queen is of course in full swing about it.

I'm sure it all stems from his love of her, really it does. But she does not like being picked up by her head while having her eye sockets used as hand holds, she does not love cuddles so tight that she cannot breathe and she does not like being pushed into doors and windows...and you know what, I don't blame her. I just wish that sometimes she would wait for him to actually do these things BEFORE she starts screaming about it. She has got to the point that he just comes near her and she starts.

With her being more mobile now, this often means that the screaming begins in another area of the house, so I have to drop what I'm doing to go running to ascertain if she is being a drama queen or if he is in fact hurting her. So I'm claiming all that running back and forth as my daily exercise, add to that the constant squatting to pick her up from her tormentors grasp and lugging her around on my hip while I try and get things done.

But it has me pondering... is my son always going to be violent to those he loves so dearly? and is my daughter going to be a victim of domestic violence at the hands of a man who claims to love her? Sheesh, I hope not.

Then I get thinking, is is bad parenting that I really want to see her just thump him back. She has always been such a determined, headstrong little person, that I am really quite shocked that she takes this from him. Only to scream in my lap until he does something that looks amusing and off she goes again after him.

I guess I know the answer. My son is not a woman beater (although all the pushing he has been doing of his female friends of late is annoying) and my daughter will not allow herself to be pushed around by a man or anyone else. But on days like today, gee its hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Missing me?

I realise I have been a bit AWOL of late, after my enthusiastic start to blogging, in the last week I have become more than a little slack. But I have a good reason.. OK, maybe not so much a reason than an excuse.

I hear you questioning, what could be more important that my loyal stalkers, sorry, followers. Is it the kids, is one of them sick. No.

What about Adam? Is he OK? Yep.

The pets? No they are fine too.

Rather I have a Vampire issue. A friend sent us season 2 of True Blood and every night once the kids are in bed, Adam and I are watching 1 or 2 episodes... *blush* not only have I become hooked on this, but I have hooked my poor husband in too.

So I'm sorry that I have been somewhat absent, but there is a reason. And take heart, that we are up to episode 8 of 12 tonight, so only a few more nights before I will be back, all yours again.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

mmmm babies babies everywhere...

...and before anyone gets excited I have not conceived the messiah... my tubes are tied, I am done with babies, but I am loving being at that age where all my friends are still reproducing.

Today I went with a good friend (E) to visit another good friend (J) and her first born son. He is just lovely. All small and squishy and delicious. She informed us that we arrived just as she had completed cleaning up an explosive poo, vomit and wee... gotta love little boys, so we were greeted with a lovely clean happy bubba.

The best bit for me, apart from the lovely cuddles, was seeing J actually looking very much at ease with a newborn. J is quite well known for her personal space issues, I didn't dare kiss or hug her on my arrival, I was too scared after being told she would thump me if I touched her pregnant belly. But to see her looking so much at ease with this little man was beautiful. J who really isn't all that into babies, has been bitten by the baby bug, by her own little precious baby bug and it was divine.

I was also just a little bit chuffed that I was able to help her get him attached without pain. He had done a bit of damage to her poor nipples but by talking her through baby led attachment and chanting at her chest to chest, chin to breast, she got him on and was comfortable. I recall those early days of feeding pain, until the wonderful LC came and sorted Stella and I out quick smart. I will be forever grateful to her.

Then later this afternoon I got a text message announcing the very early arrival at 28 weeks of another friends twin girls. Mum is naturally in shock, but the girls are in NICU and doing well as far as I can gather. Its going to be a long road for them and I wish there was something I could do. I really do feel helpless. I am not religious, so I do not pray, but if any of you do, please pray for 2 very special little girls and their family, who are religious. I will instead keep them in my thoughts and try to find something I can do to help.

For the record, I also have a cousin, sister-in-law to be and 2 close friends expecting this year... I'm tipping I will be adding to that 2 more rainbow crew who are trying to pro create, and a friend who has been trying for years, surely its her time in 2010.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

So I discovered I got an award...

From my good friend Sazz...there is a badge but it wont load for some reason

The rules are to share 10 honest facts about myself then give the award to 7 other bloggers who inspire me.

1. I hated my name until I was about 22. I wanted to change it to Mary-Jane because that was the MOST boring name I could think of. I actually used this as my pub name when I was younger.. boys: "hi, whats you're name?"me: "mary-jane" lol Now I LOVE it and would love nothing more than someone I know to use it for their daughter..

2. I am very much scared of cows. They completely freak me out. When I lived at home on 10 acres, if the cows were in the driveway, I would call mum and make her walk down to open the gate because I was too scared. If she wasn't home, I would go back out.

3. I used to work at McDonalds and i freaking loved it. We had so much fun, all the time. Despite the shitty hours, doing a close was always my favourite shift.

4. I did the nestle boycott for the week, but haven't bought Milo since or eaten any nestle chocolate. I cannot believe I have done so well. Well I haven't knowingly eaten it.

5. I used to be in baby shows all the time as a child. Before I became a big sister at 5, I had a whole room filled with shelves for all my trophies and sashes.

6. I cried at my last baby show, and thus won princess of the day. I was 4, almost 5.

7. I once put Xave in a baby show, and he won nothing. I wanted to cry. Seems I am one of 'those' parents who thinks her kid is beautiful but they really aren't. Now I am too scared to take Stella, because I KNOW she is beautiful and I'm scared they will ruin that illusion for me too.

8. I don't eat green food. Actually I don't eat many vegetables at all, I eat potato, corn, mushrooms and sweet potato.

9. I find blowing my nose in the shower satisfying.

10. I once told a class of year 7 boys that if they masturbated their penis's would fall off. some believed me. I did correct them before they left the class, but I did enjoy watching them squirm and worry for an entire lesson.

So the blogs I am going to pass this award along to, in no particular order are;

1. Holly and I have never met, although I do hope to play with her when I am in Sydney. She is one of my BabyCenter gang. I love reading her blog, she is clever and witty and warm. Plus she says really nice stuff about me all the time.

2. Ebony who is another BC girl from way back. She is brave, strong and upfront. You always know where you stand with Ebz, and her recent good news is just awesome. She is our latest Urban Legend.

3. Emma another BC girl. Em is responsible for bringing out the inner hippy in me. It is because of Emma that I use cloth nappies and breastfeed. She leads me down her path therefore I am her clone.

4. Leesa is a new friend of mine. Its amazing how the new people who have come into my life have done nothing but make me happy and bring new people into my life.

5. Nat one more BC girl who just blows my mind. If you have ever felt like your TTC journey has been hard, check out Nat's story. How she find it to keep going back for more never ceases to amaze me. Any child brought into that home by whatever means will be so blessed and loved.

6. Sarah is one of the happiest, friendliest people I know. She is so warm and welcoming and just a joy to be near. Let's hope she can teach me to be as clever as her at some point.

7. Jen is amazing. Another of my new friends from 2009 and someone I am so lucky to know. I watch Jen and wish I could be more like her. Her warmth, gentleness and compassion shine through.

Little bit proud...

...of what I hear you wonder? Because I know you are all super interested in my life....lmao!

Well firstly I should update that the BEC went well (coz you were all just hanging out to know how that went weren't you?). Sazz and I rocked it, we had a few technical hitches, such as no white board (improvised using the back on laminated posters stuck to the wall) and the DVD wouldn't work (we had to suck this one up) but all in all it was a good first BEC. Room for improvement, always is, but a good base to start from.

However, I digress, that is not what I'm particularly a little bit proud of right now.

I am proud of myself for venturing out into an open space with both kids alone. OK, OK so I had friends there, and wonderful friends too, who all kind of watch each others kids, but it was a first for me. We often go out as a family to open spaces, but the thought of baby girl needing me while Xave bolts in the opposite direction terrifies me. It doesn't help that my son has absolutely no fear and a natural attraction to water. And well, there is my general contempt for the great outdoors and all things associated with it.

Jen & Jack and Sazz & Harriet, who we hung out with!

But yesterday I piled the kids in the car and headed off to the Frankston Children's Day at the Botanic Gardens. I decided to risk it and let the big boy walk from the car to the gardens while baby girl, (who had fallen asleep just as we parked the car), was in the pram, wide awake by this time as the car stopped. Xave does a good job staying close to me in shopping centers(chanting as he walks, "stay close to mum, stay close to mum, stay close to mum"), but this walk included crossing roads, walking past driveways and people's gardens. I was just a little nervous, but he was fantastic. He stayed close, he touched flowers, he said "hi" to a lovely old lady whose garden he picked a flower from and he happily held my hand as we crossed roads.

We quickly found our friends and scabbed a spot on their picnic rug. Ours was in Adam's car. Not long after we arrived a kid's band started playing, Xave loves music and dancing, so he had a ball doing the actions, clapping, jumping, flapping... and Stels was also happily kicking her legs in the pram. They both ate their boring vegemite sandwiches I packed for them, and shared some watermelon that our friends had. Xave also wandered over to the picnic rug behind us and helped himself when he saw they had chips. At least he said chips please and thank you, he might be a scabby seagull, but he is a seagull with manners.

The kids band was followed by African Drumming, again he enjoyed all the dancing that was encouraged with that. He did some tree climbing with his friends, Stella joined if for a photo op before we packed up and headed home.

He was happy to hold his friend, Harriet's hand, as we left. Harri, was in 7th heaven with this. She is a very tactile little girl who love hand holding and hugs, but her best friend Iris isn't so keen on this invasion of her personal space, so Harri was thrilled that Xavier was so happy to walk holding her hand. Harri's mumma, Sazz, and I have been planning our children's wedding and the beautiful grandbabies we are going to have, for a while now. We did turn our backs for a second to get cameras out and lo and behold the 2 of them were nicking off into the bushes.. going to have to watch those 2 as they get older.

Xave and Harri planning their great escape

The kids had eaten but the parents were ready for lunch. I knew my 2 cherubs, despite being so amazingly behaved at the festival, were not going to last much longer. So I suggested we all come back to our house so my 2 could have a sleep (yeah right!) It was great, watching the kids all play together, Xave refused to wear pants once he was in the comfort of his own home, but they all had a ball.

It was a great day. I learnt that my son can be trusted to stay close even with roads nearby, I learnt that I can go out in open space alone and that when its not stinking hot and a little bit overcast I can enjoy the great out doors, despite my favourite cardigan ending up covered in pine needles...

Monday, January 18, 2010

My return to the a sense...

...not as a student but as a teacher of sorts.

For those who don't know, in my past life, before children, I was a high school teacher. I taught English and Literature, and I loved it.

But tonight I am trying something new and exciting. I will be assisting with a Breastfeeding Education Class (BEC) that is being run by my ABA region. The BEC's are aimed at pregnant couples and cover a range of information I wish I had known before I had Xavier. I attended one while I was pregnant with Stella, and thoroughly recommend them for everyone expecting.

Last year I put my hand up to be the BEC coordinator for our region. This doesn't mean that I do it all, but it does mean that I am the point of contact and ensure that there are people there to run the session successfully. And tonight is our first BEC of 2010.

My first job was to form a BEC working committee, we have renamed ourselves the BEC'eisteddfod committee (a throwback to my time running rock eisteddfods while I was teaching) and make some decisions about how the BEC's are best to be run. The main thing was that instead of running 4 BEC's a year, we felt that we needed to run them monthly, so this is our first of monthly BEC's for 2010 and we have 6 couples booked in.

I am lucky to have some very experienced BEC'sters attending tonight, as well as the wonder Sazz who has been practicing her section on Baby Led Attachment all day. I am hoping in the next few weeks to have a meeting to work out our very own BEC handbook for those in our region to have on hand, this will be based on the BEC handbook issues by ABA.

I went this arvo to buy tea, coffee (regular and decaf) and hot choc for the expectant parents and am looking forward to tonight being a huge success.

There will be plenty of rubber boobs to pass around, dolls to practice positioning on and a real life breastfeeding demo.

I will update as to how the night went later.. but wish us luck..

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Waterfront Festival...

Today I put on my volunteer hat and womaned the ABA feed and change tent at the Frankston Waterfront Festival. It was a lovely 31 degrees with a cool breeze. We had a constant stream of mums popping in to pop our their boobs and feed, was lovely being able to chat to these women.

I helped at the ABA tent for a few hours, then after they had a sleep Adam bought the kids down to check it all out. So check it out we did.

There was live bands, rides and a baby animal farm for the kiddies. There was beach volleyball going on (Adam was a bit disappointed that it was the men's when we went down to have a look) as well as some AMAZING food stalls, I had Indian for lunch, yummo, then I had my first crepe, a banana and nutella one...noice.

The baby animal farm had the cutest little black piglet there, I swear he was the size of a kitten and just beautiful (although I just realised I didn't get a pic of him). I did feel sorry for him though, when he was picked up by the lady running the farm and he started nuzzling in the crook of her elbow the way Stella did as a newborn searching for boobie. Poor little piggy wanted his mumma's boobies too. When I said "oh look, he wants boobies" to Xavier, the lady said, yes, but we are out of goats milk ...ummm but he's a PIG not a goat? Seems we aren't the only species to drink the milk of another....

Xavier and Stella were both rather taken with the rabbits, yah! Because I would love to have a pet rabbit once they get older, and once our cat and dog pass over, neither would be good with a pet bunny. I had one as a kid and loved him. His name was Bugs (original) we got him as a 6 week old baby and he was house trained (he used kitty litter). He was HUGE, white and lovely.

We also had some ice cream. And now that Stella is eating real people food, she felt it was only fair that she had some ice cream too. She loved it, I ended up handing over the end of mine to her just to stop the tantrum that was brewing.

Yvette was missing her own children (who are grown and who were meeting her later in the day) so reminded me instead that I would get burnt if I didn't put some sunscreen on. Luckily she had some on her (always the mum... mine was in the nappy bag, just to clarify I'm not some neglectful non sun screening mother) But Yvette was right I did get burnt. Nothing too serious, but there is some pink on my arm and chest, and I have super cool sunglasses marks.... lovely.

I had a lovely day, talking to breastfeeding mums, handing out information to pregnant mums and spending time down the foreshore with the kids and Adam. And even he enjoyed himself too!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hard to find...

Its hard to find pics of me that I actually like. They are few and far between... but they do exist.. so I thought I would share some pics of me that I like...

This is me and my cousin's baby, Caleb. It was Christmas 2004, they had come down from QLD for our wedding. He was the smallest baby I had ever held. In this pic he was about 8 weeks old.

This is the only one of our wedding pics that I like. Out of about a million photos, this is the one I am happy with. My sister did a great job of my makeup and its such a lovely pic of my nan's necklace, which was left to me. I also wore it for my Deb and to her funeral. It has been in the family for over 100 years now.

This is the morning that I had Xavier. I was 37 weeks pregnant... I thought I was huge, I was sooo much bigger with Stella. I love being pregnant. Being pregnant with Xavier was a joy. For someone who was so sick she has to be hospitalised, I felt amazing. Pregnant with Xave gave me great skin and freaking amazing hair. Note the blow

This is in theatre before I had Stella. Its just so typical of me to pull stupid faces. I know why I do it too, its so if the photo is horrible I can claim that that's the look I was going for. Being pregnant with Stella really brought out the spattering of freckles I have.

This is one of the first pics of Stella and I. Before she was named Stella, that didn't come for a few hours. In this photo, I just get the feeling I was telling her some amazing secret. My lips look like they are telling her something important, maybe how happy I am that she is here.

Note in all of these pics, double chin is concealed. good planning.

There are some features of me that I do like though. I adore my nose. Its small and cute, and I'm oh so glad that Stella has it. Its my favourite personal feature. I like that I have good straight teeth. Although after smoking as a youngin', and drinking waaaay too much coffee as a teacher they really could be whiter. And I love how my lips look with gloss on them. But who has time for gloss anymore. Maybe I should make time, might make this run down old mumma feel a bit more spesh.

So it's not all doom and gloom, I may have a fat arse but I have great (and very clever boobs) and a cute nose.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Do you pop?

Pop? Huh? WTF is she rambling about now?

Do you just pop in to visit people?

Personally, I love it when someone pops in to visit me. Well, as long as they don't expect a spotless house, but honestly, I adore the pop in. I don't care if you call or text first, or if you were just in the area, decided to drive on past, saw my car in the driveway so popped in. I love it all.

The irony of the situation is that I never do the pop in. I rarely invite myself places, its just not in my nature, I feel rude intruding without an invite, but then feel all left out when I know friends have caught up and not invited me. And wonder if I should have invited myself?

By the way, this is not coming from any event in particular. So, all my real life friends can relax, this is not a subtle dig at anyone. It's also not an attempt to make you feel like you have to invite me to everything you do.

Why do I even have this on my mind I hear you ask. Every year around this time I get all weird about friends. Don't ask me why, because I really don't know. I think its the whole, Christmas, New Years thing. By nature I am a social person. I like to talk (well, no shit says anyone who knows me IRL), in fact I often suffer severe verbal diarrhea. But I find myself, as I age, getting less and less social.

Part of it obviously is the kids. Unlike some, I don't have kids that cope well without sleep, they don't sleep just anywhere, and when they are tired they are feral to the max. So any social engagements need to be carefully planned around them.

Part of it is that I married a wonderful man, who is very shy and introverted. Seemed like a good idea at the time, he lets me talk all I but he doesn't enjoy being in big social settings where he doesn't know people. Actually, he doesn't enjoy being in small social settings either. He is a lovely guy, he is funny (he can be hilarious) and genuine, but he is shy and often that comes across as disinterest in those around him. So taking him out to somewhere I know he is going to be uncomfortable, just means that I'm going to be worried about how he is coping and not really enjoying myself. So I say no to lots of invites because I know it will make him feel uncomfortable. This is not an attack on him, its not his fault. He often tell me to go alone, and sometimes I do, but then I feel bad for leaving him home alone, or stuck with the kids and I don't have a good time anyway.

Part of it is my self consciousness about how I look. It just occurred to me the fatter I get, the less social I get. Interesting, *lock that gem away to be psychoanalysed at another time*.

The final part is fear. Fear that Adam and I are turning into his parents. Who are lovely people, don't get me wrong, but they are not social at all. For as long as I've known them (over 12 years), they have never had friends over or gone to visit friends. Sheesh, they only visit family at Christmas. They don't go out for dinner and they don't go to work functions. They don't actually have friends. And becoming that scares the bejeebus out of me.

So each year at this time I promise that I am going to become more social than the year before. And in 2009 I made some progress. I started music classes with the kids, we all love it. I started going to ABA and met some awesome people there, I even managed to find reasons to hang out with some of them outside of ABA. I have made an effort to catch up with a few old school friends, and always have a great time. But my mothers group that I loved so much has all but disbanded. I miss that, I miss it for me and I miss it for the kids.

This year we are starting swimming and tumble gym with the kids. I am looking forward to the kids getting out more as well as myself.

But I would really like to make the effort to have regular catch ups with friends. I'm an organiser, I love the idea that the first Monday night of every month i see friend 1, and the last weekend of the month we all go out with the friend 2 family, etc, etc. I crave spending time as a family with other families. While we have friends with kids similar age, we don't do stuff together. But I need it for me, I want it for my children and I think Adam would benefit too.

So to finish this post, I offer this to my friends... please feel free to pop in whenever you like. If I am here, you are welcome here. Please don't wait to be invited, I assume that you are busy having a life and if you wanted to play you would ask (while that's not something I do myself, hypocrite right), if you, like me, crave time with others and would like to be my regular catch upin my life of schedule... let me know. Please save me from becoming my in-laws.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Real food starts now...

Stella was 11 months yesterday... and was still eating that rubbish puree crap. And not even home made puree crap, oh no, lazy mumma here... jar puree crap.

I'm not sure how we got to that point. I had plans of baby led solids, she was going to eat family food from day 1, and well.. she did kind of. Her first food was a sandwich she thieved from Adam's mouth while he was holding her at 5.5 months. She chowed down on fruit, bread, and other goodies.

But at some point we reverted back to jars. I guess we were eating stuff that wasn't really appropriate for her, and well, lazy mumma strikes again, couldn't be bothered cooking 2 meals. So of late she has been having weetbix and fruit for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and a jar of something for tea. She doesn't have the really pureed stuff, she has the 10-15 months one that has small chunks, but in all honestly is far to mush for my liking. And it reflects in her nappies. That stuff comes out looking just like it does going in.. not a good sign. She also has morning and afternoon tea and pretty much shares whatever Xave is having... as I have mentioned previously, he likes to share with her.

I had tried to get her onto real food a while back, and she did OK for a few days, then started teething and completely refused to eat. She does not cope well with teething, you know being a drama queen and all. So back to mush we went.

But after her completely defacing another of my lovely new petite cloth nappies (which if you want some buy from me) I decided that enough was enough. Tonight, Stella was eating real food. No more jars, she is going to eat what we eat. If its good enough for us, its good enough for her. So tonight we had noodles, egg noodles with chicken and some other bits and pieces.. and she inhaled it. She ate more than Xavier did, then as a special treat, she got to have peaches and custard with her brother and Daddy.

A very cute monkey in her petite nappies..

I figure her breakfast and lunch is OK, its just dinner we needed to work on. So lets hope we can keep it going. And lets hope, her nappies reflect positively her change in diet.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Breastfeeding Xavier...or not...

So after the story of his conception and arrival I thought I would share our breastfeeding story. Most people know that I am pro breastfeeding, and for some reason, I feel that I need to clarify that because I am pro breast feeding that does not mean that I am anti bottle feeding. I do have friends that are anti bottle feeding and at times that has put me in a difficult place, but I also like that I have living proof that bottle fed babies are OK too and these friends can see this for themselves.

I had always planned to breast feed. It was not because I thought it was better than formula, it was not because I was breastfed myself and it was not because I was surrounded by breast feeders. It was none of these reasons. It was because I just assumed that was what you did. I suppose somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that human milk was for human babies. I went into motherhood, with a clear plan. I would try breastfeeding, and if it worked great, if it didn't that was fine too. I thought at the time I was being very fair on myself, I realise now I was in a sense setting myself up for failure from the outset.

After his somewhat dramatic entrance to the world, OK well my dramatic recovery from his entrance into the world, Xavier was not put to the breast for well over 4 hours. He was an early baby, some 37 weekers behave like full term babies, mine behaved like a preemie. He was sleepy, quite and jaundice. I ended up buzzing a midwife and had to ask 'how' to feed him. I had never fed a baby before, and really all the classes in the world don't prepare you for having a real live babe in your arms. All I recall of that first feed was lots of pushing, shoving and groping. Actually that's all I really recall of the early days of our breastfeeding relationship. Sadly, I don't look back at our short breastfeeding relationship with a moment of awww... I have no photos of us feeding, as far as all evidence, I may well never have done it at all.

By day 3, Xavier had lost over 10% (close to 20%) of his birth weight and his jaundice was quite bad. The midwife suggested some formula top up, just until my milk came in. I do recall asking at this point if I could have another 24 hours of exclusive breastfeeding in order to try and get him back on track. She said she would ask the Dr. The Paed came in and in no uncertain terms told me that my options were to give him formula myself OR he would be taken to the special care nursery and tube fed formula. I signed the consent forms for him to be given formula top ups after every breast feed. Which I was told to do 3-4 hourly. At no point was demand feeding suggested, or even allowing him to have open access to the milk bar.

He gained enough weight over the next few days and we were allowed home on day 5. He was still having formula top ups, and I didn't really feel that my milk was in. But after spending so many weeks in hospital during pregnancy, I didn't want to stay there a second longer than I had to. We stopped to hire a breast pump on the way home and the next few days were a blur of feeding, expressing and topping up. At most I could express 20ml in 20 minutes. It seemed so pointless. He was spending less time at the breast, he was just too tired to suck well and was spending more time on the bottle. Although he was that sleepy that to get a bottle into him took up to an hour too. The midwives visited daily to watch his weight. I asked if maybe I didn't have enough milk and if there was anything I could do to increase my supply. The advice I was given was to drink more and express more. I was drinking in excess of 5lt a day and expressing for 20 min every 1.5 hours.

By day 13 it was just all too much. My supply was not increasing, he was happier on the bottle and everyone around me was telling me that I had tried my best and that it was OK to give up breastfeeding. I agreed, but I still remember standing at the sink washing bottles and bursting into tears at the thought that I was sending the breast pump back. It was a sign that our breastfeeding relationship was over. Adam kindly suggested that perhaps I could keep it for an extra week, just in case I changed my mind. I didn't, but it was a lovely gesture from a husband who was as clueless as I was, just trying to support his wife in the best way he knew how.

Once Xavier was on formula full time the troubles began. First it was constipation. A change of formula fixed that problem. Then the huge amounts of vomit started. More formula changes, which all helped for a while, then it would start again. Solids at 4 months didn't help, as promised by the GP, nor did sitting up. At 6 months we discovered that Xavier was cows milk protein intolerant. Well, I discovered he was CMPI, thanks to the help of RISA the reflux association. The Dr's kept telling me I just had a happy chucker. This diagnosis resulted in prescription formula for Xavier, that smelt horrid, tasted worse, but did the trick. But the spew stopped. I should add that Xave our grew his intolerance around 16 months and now consumes dairy likes its going out of fashion.

As I started leaving the house more and more and talking to other mothers, I realised that there were more options I could have tried to help breastfeed Xavier longer. There was medication, there were herbs, there was the ABA helpline. The worst bit was, I was an ABA member the entire time, yet never thought to call. I trusted the midwives who were coming to my home. I felt guilty for not trying hard enough, but most of all I felt sad. It wasn't until it was taken away from me that I realised how much I had wanted to breastfeed. I feel sad that there is no evidence of our breastfeeding relationship. There are no photos, there are no wonderful warm fuzzy memories... there is just loss and sadness.

The follow up story of my success with breastfeeding Stella is for another time. But while I still regret the choices I made for Xavier, and probably always will, I have chosen to use the experience to move myself forwards. Had mine and Xavier's breastfeeding relationship been an easy and successful one, I doubt I would be the person I am today. It was this experience that led me to educating myself about the mechanics of breastfeeding, that led me to the support and friendships of my local ABA group, that led me to start training as an ABA breastfeeding counsellor. And I hope, will lead me to help others have successful breastfeeding relationships with their own children.

I finish with the acknowledgement that I have a happy and healthy 2 year old. He is a joy (most of the time) he is tall for his age, and lean (like his daddy) he is crazy smart, fearless and the entertainer of the family. He is, and always has been a wonderful sleeper (bar the first few months in a big bed) Being bottle fed has to this point done him no harm. We have a wonderful, warm, loving relationship, we bonded well from the outset.

I cannot go back and change the past, but I can, and have, learnt from it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I admire you...

Writing the story of Xavier tonight made me realise that while my journey to motherhood wasn't as easy as some others people's are... mine is nothing compared to friends I have who have been through so much more.

Through my work with babycenter, I have come to know all kinds on amazing women who want nothing more than motherhood.

There are women who react well to IVF and fall pregnant quickly using the technology available, despite having a long road to even get the the point of IVF. There are others who take several months to fall pregnant, even with the technology. And there are those, that despite the technology, still aren't holding a baby in their arms.

My heart goes out to these women. You are so deserving of a child. You are all warm, kind, caring and loving. Yet I know that hearing this doesn't make your struggle any less. I hope each day that this month will be your month. I share your anger at the government making access to IVF harder and harder, through police checks as well as lowering medicare rebates for treatment.

I admit, sometimes ashamedly, that I don't love every moment of motherhood. Its not always cupcakes and roses, but whenever I think of you I know I am doubly blessed.. not because I have 2 wonderful children, but because I have children as well as having you in my life.

I also have friends who are struggling to conceive their second child. While I complain about how hard 2 kids are at times, I hope that my words never cause you pain. You are wonderful mothers, the fact that people ask when you are having another is testament to that... surely if you were doing a crap job people wouldn't be suggesting you should have more. Besides, my baby is growing up all to fast... and I'm starting to cluck.. so if some of my girls could organise to pop out some babies that would be awesome...

I truly hope that mother natures finally sees fit to bestow beautiful bouncing babes on you all this coming year.

and always remember, Kintara is an AWESOME name... lol

The road to 1...this is gonna be long...

Adam and I were married on the 29th December 2004 and started trying for a baby not long after. The funny bit is that I was never all that keen on having kids, but something happened the day the engagement ring met my finger, suddenly I was keen to have a baby.

I had the contraceptive implant taken out in April and it was on. We were happy to share with people that we were trying when they asked, because I mean, after all, we were young and we had spent the previous 7 years using the pill AND condoms to make sure we didn't get pregnant. Surely it wouldn't take all that long for us to find ourselves ' in the family way'.

After 6 months of trying with no success, I went to the Dr to see if there was anything we should know. He explained that it took most healthy fertile couples 12 months to conceive, and sent me on my way.

After 12 months of trying, with still no success, I went back. He ran the usual blood tests, all normal, ultrasounds, all normal, sperm analysis, all normal, well quite a bit better than normal... his advice keep trying. So we did.

On cycle 18 finally, we had a BFP... for those who dont frequent parenting/pregnancy forums, BFP is a BIG FAT POSITIVE on a HPT or home pregnancy test. We were both stoked. Finally, all our hard work had paid off. Hard work? Yes, anyone who has taken more than 5 minutes to conceive will understand that trying for a baby really can become just like hard work. You become consumed by timing, mucous, positions, temperatures, argh argh argh...

On the day before I was to see the Dr for blood tests to confirm I was in fact pregnant, I started spotting. My heart sank. I know, bleeding in pregnancy is normal for some women, but in my heart I just knew it wasn't normal for me. I knew our dream was over before it began. When Adam walked in the door, I just remember falling into his arms in tears. And he held me. We both knew, our much wanted baby was gone. They had come, stayed for a few weeks, but then had to leave.

A series of blood tests and an ultrasound confirmed what I already knew. We were not having a baby anymore.

But on the bright side, after starting to doubt all the tests that were telling us we were normal and fertile, finally we believed them. We had been able to get pregnant and surely that was a start. Yes, I would have liked to still be pregnant with that baby, but it was not that soul's time. Our little soul would come to us when it was ready.

'THEY' (you know the 'they' who know everything) said that often the month after a miscarriage is the time you are most fertile. So we were back at with hope in our hearts. But alas, no baby for us that month. Nor any of the following months it seemed.

Our baby would have been due on the 3rd March 2007, Adam would be a daddy before his 30th Birthday. It was a day I was getting more and more stressed about as it approached. I had coped well with the miscarriage, I had my cry and really felt as if I had processed it well. But I was not sure how I was going to cope with that date if I wasn't at least pregnant again. In my mind, that's what I needed. I needed to be pregnant with our little soul by that date to be able to cope.

In November 2006 the Dr finally wrote a referral to see a fertility specialist at an IVF center. Our appointment was for late February 2007. In February, we decided that our IVF appointment was so close that why bother trying, we were broken, while we could possibly get pregnant, we clearly sucked at it, and science could just fix us. I did however, try for the first time taking a herb called vitex. I had friends who swore by it, and I figured what harm is a $15 bottle of herbs going to do, who knows it might save us a few thousand dollars on IVF treatment.

And low and behold it did. It was the 22nd February. It was swimming sports day at school. I was talking with a good friend, (who was pregnant also thanks to vitex) that my period was due that day and I had cramping and could feel it coming. But alas, it didn't. The next morning I POAS (pee'd on a stick, stick being a HPT) and 2 lines came up. It was just the cat and I there. It was cycle 26 and we were pregnant. I called Adam who was excited but nervous, after last time, as was I. I made urgent Dr's appointments, I wanted to be sure it was all fine before I cancelled the IVF appointment. Those appointments are had to come by and if I didn't need it and could cancel, it would give someone else the opportunity to have that appointment and realise their dream instead.

I had an early scan and seeing that little heart beat pumping away was amazing.

Each time I saw our little bean on the screen my heart swelled just that little bit more. Although, anyone who has experienced a loss knows that you never really enjoy a pregnancy until you have that babe safe in your arms. To calm myself, and to try and enjoy the pregnancy, each morning on the drive to work I would recite the following poem to our little bean... begging it to stay with us.

I know that you can hear me
I know you feel my love

I know that in my heart of hearts

That's sometimes not enough

But little child, please hear me

Listen to my pleas

Although god needs his angels

I know that you need me

And heaven knows I need you too

This time stay safe inside

Grow stronger with each passing hour

As day by day I bide

Until the hours upon you
To come into my care

Please hear this plea my precious child

My loves beyond compare

I found this on a parenting forum I use and it just struck a chord with me. It made me feel at peace. I knew the baby could hear me, and I hoped they liked what they heard.

I had a good pregnancy. No morning sickness to speak of, well if you don't include that one spew the morning of the 12 week scan when I was convinced it was all going to be over because I felt so good....nerves will do strange thing to people. I didn't gain a lot of weight, the fact that I have a fair bit in reserve probably helped there. It was an easy, stress free pregnancy. My obs described me as so relaxed about it all I was bordering being in a coma.

At 30 weeks I got a bad head cold so took the day off work as I felt like death. I went into mums work (she works in pharmacy) to see if there were any drugs I could take as I felt so bad. There wasn't.

But mum did ask why I was wearing thongs in the middle of winter. They were the only shoes that fitted me, I was a bit more than slightly puffy. Mum made me sit down then and there to check my blood pressure.. it was high, really high. Having suffered pre eclampsia herself, she knew the signs and knew that what my blood pressure was doing was not good. She insisted that I call my obs right then and ask what he wanted me to do. Thank god I had done some shopping for the baby shower before I went to see her. The obs insisted I come in right away. So I did. I called Adam on the way there to let him know what was going on. He said if he needed to come home, he would be there soon. I said that I'm sure it was going to be fine and I would see him later that day.

The obs agreed that my blood pressure was high, I assumed he would send me for blood work to check my liver function and get me to do a 24 hour urine collection. I was right. However, what I did not expect was that I would be doing those things in hospital. When he said he was calling the hospital to see if they had a bed for me, the exact words that came out of my mouth were "you're shitting me, right?".. shitting me, he was not. He suggested I get my mum to drive me home, umm I drove myself here... he was shocked I could even see clearly my blood pressure was so high. He said I could drive home, but to call him when I got there so he knew I was safe, and then to get someone else to drive me to the hospital, they were expecting me.

I called Adam, laughing. I was still in denial that I needed to go to hospital. He said he would meet me at home. So off to hospital we went. I was admitted, blood was taken, urine was collected, steroids given in case bub needed to be delivered quickly. There was talk of me transferring to a bigger hospital that was able to deal with babies born before 34 weeks. There was talk that if a bigger hospital didn't have beds for both of us we may be separated. There was me, cool as a cucumber, knowing that it was all going to be ok.

I was kept in for 4 days that visit. I had to call work to tell them that I wouldn't be in as I was in hospital maybe having a baby, but maybe not. When the Dr said I could go home with checks every 2 days, I asked if that meant I could go back to work. He laughed out loud. Literally, he laughed in my face and asked Adam if I was serious. Adam confirmed that I was.

So not only was I not allowed to work, I was not allowed to drive, I was not allowed to shower if I was home alone, I was on house arrest, on bed/couch rest. Adam even took my car keys because he didn't trust that I wouldn't just nick out somewhere... and you know what, I sooo would have too. I had family and friends driving me into the hospital every second day for blood tests, urine samples and CTG monitors on bubs. The home time didn't last long however, by 32 weeks I was back in hospital. Blood pressure was out of control, and I was on maximum doses of 2 different medications. It was not safe for me to be alone apparently. I was told I would be staying there until bubs was delivered.

That almost happened at 34 weeks. Blood pressure was crazy, nothing was bringing it down. Seeing as bub was breech, a cesarean was booked for first thing the following morning. Adam called work to say he wouldn't be in. We told our parents. We checked out the special care nursery, as it was highly likely bubs would be going in there. We signed consent forms and checked off arm and ankle bands for our baby. Morning came, change of Dr's and my delivery was cancelled.

While I knew bubs staying inside was the best thing, after weeks being stuck in hospital, I was tired and emotional. I just wanted this child out and to go home. I was angry, I was bored, I was not sick. I just wanted to go home. I struggled. I didn't know who I was anymore. I was no longer a teacher, my classes were being taken by someone else. I was not yet a mother, where was my child. I was a nothing, a big, fat, pregnant, nothing and I hated it.

At 36 weeks, things hadn't improved, but they hadn't gotten worse. The Dr's decided that we would deliver at 37 weeks, technically full term, and that in the meantime I could go home IF I came in for daily checks. DEAL!

The day I had him...

On the 10th October 2007 @ 37 weeks gestation, Xavier Ellis Thomas Phillips was born by cesarean section @ 12:09pm. He came out limp and blue. He didn't breathe alone, he didn't breathe for almost 5 minutes. But he was perfect. When he started, he let out a little cry, but from day 1 he was a relaxed baby.

Our first sight of our baby boy...

He was perfect, he was here, and he was ours. The love was instant.

First mummy cuddles...

I had a hard time after the delivery. My blood pressure spiked again, so severely that they were injecting me with medication to bring it down. I heard the midwife ask if this would impact on breastfeeding, and then heard the nurse tell her that I was a high risk of a stroke and that if that happened there would be no breastfeeding by me at all, ever. Adam returned to our room with Xavier, I was kept in recovery for almost 4 hours. Not that it felt like that long. I'm not sure if I slept or what happened, but before I knew it i was back with my precious little man.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My son.. the hair stylist...

This morning Xave found what he thinks is the best hair styling product ever.... I don't agree mind you. But he was rather chuffed with his efforts...

So what is it I hear you ask... well as some of you know we are currently toilet training Mr Xavier in this house (you are starting to see where this is going aren't you?) and while still sitting on the potty after a big...wee.. he decided to put his hand it in and rub it through his hair. NOICE.

Not only was he so impressed with himself and his new product, he also thought it was fitting that his sister (who is all but bald) needed some product too... ewwwww. Its one thing to put your own wee in your own hair.. but in someone else's.... gross.

Off to the shower for the kids for some hair washing was in order.

But while we are talking about toilet training. Lets explore how that's going in this house.

The first few days we had lots of accidents, he was wearing jocks (with trains mind you) and we were putting him on the potty every half hour. But in the afternoon of day 2, we were almost out of dry jocks and were sick of fighting with him about sitting on the potty. Internally I was screaming at Adam, he's just not ready, he's still a baby, I don't mind changing nappies. But the reality was I did. I had got myself so in the toilet training zone, that I was determined to get him out of nappies while Adam was on holidays and the thought of months and months of more of his hideous pooey nappies was too much to bear. We decided to let him just run around jockless... and voila... he started using the potty all by himself.

Since that happened, i think we have had 2 accidents, and both times they were when we tried putting jocks back on him. Granted he is still sleeping in a nappy, which is fine. We have also had some spills as our efficient little monkey tries to take the potty to the toilet himself so that he can 'flush the wees faaaaar awaaaaaay'.

When we go out, he is wearing a pull up and has so far had no wees in them, and a few wees on those little toilets they have in some baby change rooms. But for the time being, I have a butt naked little man running around the house. The funny thing is, with the weather being as hot as it has, the whole idea is rather appealing.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

SO... who are you?

I must admit that when I started this blogging business I really thought that Sazz and Jen were probably going to be the only people who read what I was rambling, and that it would be really crap and I would lose interest very quickly.

But I have been surprised and a bit chuffed to see that I have 18 followers already... not to mention my darling husband has been reading to see whats going he has also started reading some of the other blogs that I follow, so be warned girls...

But I will admit that I do see some names on my followers list that well.. I'm not 100% sure who you are... so this blog is asking all my loyal followers... bahahahaa.. to comment just to let me know who you are and how I know you.. if in fact I do... coz that would be super cool... having people follow me that I don't actually know...

I do get so excited when people leave me comments... maybe those of you who know me could share something in your comment about how we met, just for fun and to entertain me.. .

Friday, January 8, 2010

I hate being hot..

I know, I know beauty is such a curse... but alas, this time I'm not lamenting my stunning good looks oh no, its the heat. Literally. I hate summer. And last summer when I was enormously pregnant on those 40 plus days... I really really hated it.

Yes we have air con, yes its pumping, but I'm still hot. And short of running around in the razz,which isn't an unheard of idea in this house... I'm just going to have to suck it up.

What annoys me even more is that hubby and the kids love being outdoors and hell of all hells they love the beach. In one sense we are lucky that we are a mere 1o minute drive from a pretty good beach, but with me hating it the way I do,Ii don't see the luck there at all.

Adam has already decided that tonight once it cools down a bit we are going to head down for the kids to have a splash, if its not too windy (*kint prays for wind to pick up*) and well, lets be honest, I'm not excited about the idea myself.

There are many reasons i hate the beach.

1. SAND. I hate the stuff. It gets into places you didn't even know you had, the kids eat it, ewwww, dogs shit in it (then the kids eat,double ewwww) and well, its hot and hard to walk on.

2. SEAWEED. That stuff is just wrong. I don't touch it, I certainly don't want it touching me and I definitely don't want to eat it.

3. I'M FAT! There I said it. Its probably the main reason I hate the beach so very much. And why I enjoy being pregnant so much, I have an excuse. Although thinking back to days long gone when I was a skinny bitch (yes I was, when I was young..ahhh reminisce) I still hated the beach. Maybe because even at a teeny size 8 I still thought I was indeed fat. Oh to be THAT fat again.

The last time I went to the beach before that was BC (before children) to walk the dog at Adam's instance, and I was shocked, hurt and rather pissed off when someone commented direct to my face that "whales belong out there, not up here on the sand!" Adam never heard it, as he was running along the waters edge with the dog, and I have never before even shared that with anyone else. But each time i go to the beach, or in a pool, or even NEAR either of these things, i just wait for the comments.

But as I'm a good wife (most of the time) and a wonderful mother, I have recently sucked it up and gone. The last time we went was OK. The kids had a ball.. Xave walked all the way to the Pier and back (a huge walk for a little dude) and Stella crawled around eating sand. I also got some great pics of the kids that day...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Please STOP sharing...

HUH? Aren't we as parents supposed to encourage our children to share with each other. Well, yes, generally we are.. but what to do when one party (the smaller one at that) clearly doesn't want what her brother is trying to share?

This is the dilemma taking place in our house at the moment. Xavier has finally become a wonderful big brother. I wish I could say he was always a wonderful big brother, but I'm not prone to flat out lying; the occasional exaggeration, sure.. but not a flat out lie. As a newborn he had ZERO interest in her. Didn't want to kiss or hold her, didn't want to talk to her, in fact as far as he was concerned she just didn't exist. Which in hindsight was probably pretty handy. There was no worry about him smothering her or hurting her or trying to pick her up or anything like that. He wasn't even that concerned when she took up so much of my time feeding her, he was just happy to do his own thing and let us do ours.

As she began sitting up and engaging with the world a little more, his intrest in her grew. Not in a loving, gentle kind of way either. Oh no! Suddenly there was someone he could push around, sit on, stand on, snatch from and just generally annoy! And boy-oh-boy did she let everyone know about it. For those who don't know out daughter is slightly prone to being what some term a DRAMA QUEEN! It got to the point where as soon as he looked at her she would scream and I started wondering if i was raising a serial killer as well as a drama queen. No, seriously, I was really truly concerned with him.

Then Stella worked out this crawling business.. and WOW all of a sudden the violent attacks on her stopped dead. Rather they were replaced with squeals of laughter and screams of "come on Stels, I'm here, come on!" from Xavier. People were right, he wasn't a serial killer in the making, he just wanted her to come play... *sigh of relief*

So for a few weeks we were very pleased with this new great big brother he was becoming. He would make sure she knew where he was at all times and she would follow diligently. If he was playing trains, he always made sure she had a train too (lovely sharing i hear you sigh) and just generally playing really nicely together. I was in heaven. They even started conspiring together, seems both my children love the great outdoors with a similar gusto to the gusto I hate it with. Xave is a master Houdini, and opens the sliding door for them both to escape out onto our deck to play in the cubby house and on the mini trampoline. *mental note, baby proof the stairs there*

However, this week he has ramped up his love of her a little to much for her liking. Stella, as well as being a drama queen has some minor personal space issues. Which is odd for a child who likes to be worn in a sling and adores co-sleeping, but I liken her to a cat, when she wants to be snugly you'd better be in the mood too coz she ain't going anywhere, but if she wants her space, god help the person who tries to get in it.

Of late, that person has been her big brother. He wants to share his drinks with her (no, honey, bubba has booby milk not fridge milk, as he calls his milk), food (no honey, bubba doesn't eat nutrigrain/chips/chocolate). While he also is loving that she follows him around the house like a loyal puppy, at times she just doesn't move fast enough for his liking... Xavier's solution to that.. pick her up!!!! ARGH!!!! That's when the drama queen ramps it up a notch.. I'm sure if she could form full sentences there would be expletives, pleas to leave her alone and some small dose of manners.

Yes, its lovely that he now loves her so much and wants to share, but if only 2 year olds were able to read the social cues that are screaming at him... get outta my face, NOW!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Heart Melt Moments...

with children these happen every so often. Had you asked me a month or so ago, i may have disagreed, but since miss has become mobile, her and her big brother are getting along much better.

anywho, i digress... i have decided that i am going to 'try' to find a moment to share each day that just melts your heart.. well maybe not yours, but certainly melts mine.. i mean they are my children so i guess im a bit more attached to them than the general public.

so yesterday's heart melt moment...

sitting at the dinner table, Xave in his seat and Stels in the high chair, Xave tells us quite emphatically that Stella is a princess and Xavier is a Rock Star! awesome....

well i thought it was cute...

Thanks...but no thanks!

Some of you who stalk me on Facebook probably know that while Adam has been on holidays we have been doing a MASSIVE clean up of our house. We started at the back and worked forwards. And we were ruthless, if it hadn't been worn, used, looked at in 12 months it went in the bin. I have a new theory that there is nothing in this house that if we chucked would send us broke to replace it if in 6 months we decided we needed one again. So out stuff went.

For this task we developed a system. Basically we pulled EVERYTHING out and only put back what we were keeping. Then we created 3 piles... tip, op shop and eBay. simple.

On Monday Adam and Xave headed off to the tip with the trailer FULL of junk. excellent one load down.

I have a small pile of stuff stacked neatly behind the couch waiting for me to learn exactly how to sell stuff on eBay. As well as 6 boxes of baby clothes in the roof. This doesn't include the 2 or so boxes of Xave's stuff my sister has.

And yesterday, we loaded up the car and headed off to the salvos nearest us. Feeling rather proud of ourselves for being kind and giving (and well too damn lazy to organise a garage sale).

However, we arrived at the salvos to be asked (very politely mind you) if we could take our stuff elsewhere. :0 What the? Thanks for being so generous, but bugger off!

They did suggest a nearby store that was much newer and didn't get as many donations. So off we headed to there. Hoping someone would appreciate our generosity. They did.

So operation clean up is almost complete... since purchasing our new dishwasher this week, there is some packaging and an old dishwasher that need to go to the tip. but all in all its done! everything has a place, there are even some gaps to be filled.

but please people, if you feel the need to buy us gifts for birthdays, Christmas, or just because you love us... no more glasses, plates, platters, bowls, mugs or toys... we have ENOUGH!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Poo Poo and Lady Bugs...

is how i have spent my day today... odd combination i hear you ponder but that is the life of a mother.

Xavier is currently toilet training. Suprisingly he is getting the idea rather quicker that i expected. We have had minimal wee accidents, but several poos in jocks/nappies/pull ups. Today however, he was playing with trains (as is the norm in this house) and he wandered over to the potty to poo. Granted he didnt' get it 'in' the potty as such, he was sitting too far back on the seat, but the sentiment was there. So now that he seems to understand the concept of weeing and pooing on the potty we need to work out how to get him to understand that one cannot run around in the nude all day everyday in order to have unlimited toileting access. As soon as we put something on him he assumes its a nappy and just goes in it... but small steps... this too shall pass. Im sure before i know it i will have only 1 child in nappies. Which is kind of sad when you have a cloth nappy addiction developing nicely the way mine is.
Xavier getting around in his new jocks...what a cute bum...gets it from his daddy

Then while the kiddies were napping, i finally pulled my finger out and started on Stella's 1st birthday invites. I cannot belive that in just over a month my baby girl will be 1. I decided the night before i had her that i just had to have the lady bug bedroom set i spotted (get it, ladybugs, spotted... *groan*) in the junk mail i was reading... and the obsession for all things lady bug for Stella stemed from there. So naturally her party will be ladybug themed and her invites are the cutest ladybugs. I spent a small forture on ebay last week (not really honey, i was rather restrained, promise) sourcing all kinds of goodies for the lolly bags, ladybug of course and cant wait for it all to arrive.. but now i have to start planning the menu for the party. We are doing morning tea, for a few reasons, the first and main one being that we have to attend the lovely Harriet's Owl themed (in honor of her being a WHO baby) 2nd birthday party later that day but also becuase madame (and mr for that matter) dont really cope all that well in the afternoons. Sleep time in this house is from midday to 3pm ish so an arvo party was only going to end in tears for a little ladybug on her special day.

Tonight i am venturing out with an old girlfriend, she isn't old as such, but we have known each other since high school, but didn't really become friends until we started working together. We are planning a night of food and film. Bliss.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I should probably add...

That I am also a wife... to a wonderful man (most of the time)

we met at the local petrol station when i was 16 and he was 18... i thought he was cute.. so my mum told him i thought so..mature much...

fast forward 2 years and the flirting began...well from me, he was clueless! i eventually asked him out and he said yes...and the rest they say is history.

on the 2nd December 2009 we celebrated 12 years together and on the 29th December we celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary.

he would love for me to talk up his virility and prowess in the bedroom and while i have no complaints, i would prefer for you all to know that he is a wonderful husband, the most amazing father (not to forget he contributed to some freaking cute kids)and my much loved clean freak.

im sure he wishes i was a bit more of a clean freak, and that i was more patient with the kids during aresnic hour and that i would take better care of my health (he claims he wants me around for a while) but im pretty certain he loves me just the way i am...

Just who do you think i am?

I am Kintara.

I am a mother of two mostly wonderful kids. Xavier is 26 months and a master at pushing my buttons one minute and having me crying with laughter the next. Stella is 10 months old and as demanding as she is adorable. That’s right do the math, 16 months apart, and before you ask, yes I am completely insane.I have had a long road to motherhood as well as a pleasant surprise. I have bottle-fed and now am a passionate breastfeeding advocate. I swore I would never use cloth nappies, baby wear or co-sleep, needless to say my kids are both in cloth, Stella is worn more than she is pushed and sometimes co-sleeping is the only way anyone sleeps in this house.

It’s these contradictions in my own parenting decisions that leave me pondering where I fit. Then pondering further why it even matters?

My mother’s group with Xavier were what I guess you would call fairly mainstream parents. Some breastfed, others didn’t. Some had good sleepers others resorted to controlled crying to try and get some sleep. We talked about sleep and solids and pram envy. OK so it was just one mum who was envious of my Phil and Teds pram. I felt like I fitted in with these other mothers. Even though I didn’t always agree 100%.

Then as my pregnancy with Stella progressed I became more determined to succeed with breastfeeding in a way I didn’t with Xavier. I became active within the ABA and made some new friends. Some regular mainstream mums, others who were fascinating. They home birthed and were going to home school. They co slept and didn’t own prams, rather they wore their babies in pouch slings and ring slings and stretchy wraps. They supported extended breastfeeding and even tandem feeding. It was a whole new world.

Even though I was a double elective caesarean mum, I felt like I fitted with these parents. The idea of baby wearing and breastfeeding was one that was appealing. I also had a baby who was not only an avid sling fan; she was also a very keen co-sleeper, much to my displeasure.

So now as a mother to a 2 year old who was bottle fed, rode in a pram and slept alone in his cot from day one and a 10 month old who is still breastfeeding, often worn and co sleeps frequently I was intrigued by this 180 degree turn in my parenting.

It wasn’t until I went out to dinner with my old mothers group that I realised how alternative I have become. They were horrified at the thought of cloth nappies (even the one who used cloth for a short time) and even more so that I have friends who use cloth menstrual pads. They asked if I was going to be one of ‘those’ women who breastfed a toddler? I replied with my usual, “I’m sure she will wean before high school” response. While they bragged about their newest pram, I gushed over my newest baby carrier (I will have 5 once Sazz finished my mei tai). Until that night, I thought I was just a mum doing what was working for my kids, but it seems that my home birthing, breastfeeding, baby wearing, co-sleeping friends are having more impact that I ever imagined.

And you know what? That’s just fine with me.