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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Time for (a) bed?


Corey and I are in the process of talking about whether we should think about moving Alexis from a cot to a "big girl" bed.  Like all big decisions to make there are pros and cons. Like all stages of Alexis' development I am both excited and nervous at the same time. As per tradition around here Alexis is, on paper, perhaps a little young, but in practice I think the time is nearly upon us. Here are some factors we are discussing.

(The "bun in the oven" factor: baby needs her room)
Baby number #2 is due to arrive in late October. Due to the layout of our house, Alexis will be required to move to the room further down our labyrinth of hallway so we can have newbies room closer us. Newbie will be in a bassinet in the master bedroom with us for as long as possible, but we don't know how long that will be because Alexis outgrew the bassinet so quickly. 

(Timing)
We don't want to juggle the disruption of sleep due to a newborn with the disruption of sleep due to changing Alexis' room. We also want to avoid any possible psychological effects of her feeling "replaced" by the new baby, or resenting baby using her stuff, so we want her comfortable in her new room long before the baby arrives. 

(We need the cot)
Buying a second cot seems dumb financially in our situation when Alexis will need a bed in the not so distant future anyway. Her cot does convert into a toddler bed but it seems a little futile to change rooms, then change her to the toddler bed, then move her to a real bed in a year anyway.

(Efficiency/laziness) 
It seems better to get all the moving done at once, both to minimise the amount of work for us in setting up the new room and to minimise wear and tear on our cot.

(The night and day possibility)
By starting early and leaving her current nursery set up as it is we have the ability to do what we did when we transitioned from bassinet to cot. We kept Alexis in our room in the bassinet at night but put her in the cot in her new room for day sleeps. Corey and I did this purely for our own benefit of course. We wanted to know we could trust the cot and that she wouldn't spontaneously evaporate being "so far" (in our old house she was on the other side of our bedroom wall) from us.

Similarly I can trial her in the bed and the further bedroom during the day while I'm awake to "run to her" if there's any dramas while still sleeping soundly knowing my princess is contained at night. Eventually she will ask us to put her in the bed at night by going to that room. That's the theory.  I'm so optimistic at 4am, lol.     

(The "shiny new things" bribe)
Of course our main concern is Alexis. We feel that based on her personality if we offered her the same furniture in a new room she would miss her old room and get confused. We are hoping that we can woo her with brand new "big girl" furniture and she can view the transition as exciting, new, special... Her reward for being a "big girl).

Speaking of big.. 

(The size factor/she is ready)
As I mentioned earlier, Alexis outgrew the bassinet very early. She would wake herself up by hitting the walls. She learned to roll over quickly. She learned to pull herself up to sitting using both sides for leverage very early. We worried she would tip it over. Alexis (and we) slept so much better once we moved her from bassinet to cot.  We've seen this pattern of cramping before.

Alexis moves around in her sleep. Now she is waking herself up whacking into the sides of the cot. So often I find her little legs stuck hanging out the sides of the cot, searching for freedom. She bangs her head on the top of the cot at least once a night too. Some friends of ours suggested a cot bumper. I was weary because of the risk of suffocation/smothering. Corey is not a fan for other reasons: he thinks she would use it to climb out of the cot. This is the same reason why we don't give her any toys in her cot. (I know we're mean, but she is an enthusiastic climber. She climbed onto the coffee table...).    

(She hates her cot)
Alexis doesn't like the cot. She doesn't like to feel trapped (gets that from her mumma). On the numerous occasions we have tried to introduce her to self-settling she has not responded well. She stands there screaming, banging (hands, feet, head.. she doesn't discriminate), bashing, trying to get out, and lately she's discovered she's the perfect height to rest her chin on the rail and mock decapitating herself. Charming hey.  Mummy's little angel has mummy's little fuse, unfortunately, but I suspect she legitimately doesn't like it. Even when asleep she seems to tense when we put her in a cot.

We are hoping that a bed will be easier. We can teach her how to slide out safely like she already does off our queen bed. We hope once she gets through the initial buzz of being able to get up and play whenever she wants she will settle down and sleep well.  We should only have a few nights of raging parties right? (Naive much?)  I'd rather she is up playing than up at the sides of the cot screaming for me!     

(Safety)
The main reason parents keep toddlers in cots is they are afraid they will fall out of a bed. Yes it is true that toddlers move around a lot in their sleep. The risk of falling out of bed is a real concern. This is the main reason I am reluctant to move her to a bed so young (she's 14 months at the moment).  HOWEVER, we feel that the possibility of Alexis trying to climb out of her cot and having an accident is also very real.  She has already shown signs. If she falls clumsily off the top rail of the cot the damage will be worse than if she rolls off the side of a bed.

We are hoping to minimise potential incidents by purchasing a bed that is not too high off the ground, doesn't have sharp corners, is wooden not metal, has no gaps she could get stuck in, and supports a toddler safety rail.  I haven't done any research into the use of safety rails yet, so if you have and want to share your experience please do. Corey's mother used them with him and recommends them. Apparently he was in a bed by his first birthday because he was a monster in the cot but loved the bed.

(The Karlee is fat and unco and it's only going to get worse factor)
As I progress into the pregnancy, lifting Alexis into and out of the cot is going to become a difficult task. A bed will be more convenient for me (apart from the fact she can run away). I am looking forward to being able to snuggle up beside her and read her stories in bed rather than her sitting on my lap (which more often she climbs up my gut or it puts much pressure on my pathetic bladder...). I'm also strongly hoping, call it blind optimism, that she will fall asleep like that instead of me feeding her to sleep in a chair then transporting her to her cage, I mean cot, I mean bed. 

So there's lots of pros with only a few cons. Yes letting a 14 month old loose to get up and walk around at night is playing with fire. We think we will block her doorway off with a safety gate so she's at least confined to her room. Also we have to combine the study and spare room to make a room for Alexis (no we don't want her using Corey's king single bed because it won't fit in the room we want for her and the room it's in is not suitable for a small child) and that is daunting. There's also a possibility that she will fall out of bed and get hurt, but I hope that ouchy wouldn't be as bad as her falling awkwardly trying to climb out of the cot.

Apart from this there's a sale on at a furniture shop and from looking online there's some gorgeous stuff there. I love furniture shopping! It's all very exciting.

What do you think? What's your experience with moving your kids from cot to bed?

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Versatile bloggers award

Hey guys and gals
I'm not normally one to go for these "spam your blog and other people's blogs" award things. But seeing as I've recently been awarded one I thought I'd better play fair and follow the 'rules' of this "award". ;-)

My award comes from the lovely Simone at Meltdown, Chaos and Asperges (see her original award post here) Simone keeps a refreshingly honest blog about her life with not one, but two children on the autism spectrum. By reading her blog you can tell that she loves her incredibly brilliant children very much but her life is definitely quite challenging at times. It reminds me not to take the little things for granted, such as being able to wash my daughter's hair

OK, I only had to give her one link and I gave her three, coz she's awesome, so check it out if you get time.

Now I apparently have to tell you 7 things about myself. I will try not to double up with my "50 random things" post

1) I spent my 22nd birthday curled up in bed with a bucket by my side watching an entire season of Gilmore Girls on DVD. Yes, it was the beginning of morning sickness when I was pregnant with Alexis

2) I generally don't like to throw things away but I am in the process of cleaning out the study and spare room to combine them into one room somehow so we have a room for Alexis so we can have the nursery for baby #2

3) I still have school books from grade 1. I have no idea why my parents kept them so long and why I then have kept them so long. Probably because "we've kept them this long why throw them out now?" I must admit some of them are incredibly cute.

4) I cheat in the kitchen. Bottled sauce all the way. It's cheaper and easier and quicker. So sue me. :p

5) At least I cook vegetables fresh. Right?

6)I'm doing this on Easter Sunday because we're in quarantine and my husband and daughter are asleep.

7) I don't like cheesecake.


OK, now it's time to pay it forward by awarding 15 "newly discovered" blogs with the "versatile blogger award". I don't know about newly discovered, but here are 15 of my favourite blogs at the moment anyway.

1. Pink Dryer Lint - a Christian mummy with 3 beautiful young girls
2. CRAP Mamma - CRAP is an acronym. Check it out. Warning, this blog is hilarious. You have to promise to still read mine.
3. Euro-adventure - a dude I went to school with and a chick I used to work with now married and living in Switzerland. Some amazing photos.
4. My ramblings - My friend Kristy documenting her life with a 15 month old and a newborn
5. Off to the park
6. one john chapter 3 - single mummy with 2 adorable kids
7. The diary of Joni and Anya - Anya has spina bifida
8. Where's my glow? - Another incredibly funny mummy blog
9. Woo Gundi - a new blog from an old school mate
10. Planning with kids - a professional mummy blog with some good tips
11. Three Little Princesses - funny
12. Smiles are like - cute doodles and sketches
13. Gullible new parent - "less guilt, more sanity". A working mum in Darwin.
14. A funnier side to life - my husband's blog. Somewhat neglected. I keep him too busy running around after me :p
15. From highlights to housework - a bit quiet lately, she's just had baby girl #3!

Thank you.
(at least its a nice change from the "my daughter is sick" or "yay God" posts, right? ;))

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

A blistery Easter

Easter Saturday

We had an alarm set for 8 am to remind us to call the doctors to make an  appointment for all three of us. That's what they told us to do when we were there Thursday night. When Corey rang they said they were full. He pulled the whole "my wife is pregnant and she and our young daughter are sick" card and it worked on the receptionist. It usually does.    

Initially (Thursday night) the idea was that Alexis and I were likely to be on the mend and we had to check if Corey was likely to be contagious or not. All being well we could still do the family Easter Sunday.  That was the plan until we spotted little blister-like spots on Alexis' feet last night. So we wanted an appointment make sure it wasn't Hand, Foot and Mouth disease (Coxsakie virus). I have cuts on the inside of my mouth which could be the same thing but maybe I did have Strep but the antibiotics weren't working.  We aren't doctors. So we went to see the pro.

The doctor was only 10 mins late, amazing! The doctor on duty was our normal doctor. Our medication-is-last-resort keep-an-eye-on-her doctor.  When we went in I showed her Alexis' feet."Could this be Hand Foot n Mouth?" I asked. The doctor said yes it looked like it. HFMD is a virus, antibiotics don't help. All they do is give babies a belly ache and runny poo which doesn't help when HFMD can also cause bad nappy rash. I asked if she had even had tonsilitis at all and she said she didn't know. Basically her instructions were to take her home and "observe how she goes". All we can really do is give her panadol and nurofen for the pain. Her digestive system is so mucked up we are only giving her nurofen when we have to. She said to stick with the antibiotics for a few more days to avoid antibiotic resistance (of any nasty bacteria that have been exposed to the drugs but not killed yet) then stop. 

I asked what was up with Corey and I then and she said "it looks viral" but apparently not HFMD. More "just rest and see how you go". I would have thought it would be more likely we all had the same pathogen as eachother but apparently not. Not that it really matters when there's little treatment options if its viral but it would be nice to know what we're up against.  Alexis' foot sores are very mild at this stage they aren't weepy. They could be insect or grass allergies from playing outside. I'm allergic to grass. Maybe we're quarantining ourselves for nothing. 

Why do doctors not order appropriate diagnostic tests these days? When I go in with a real problem they either prescribe antibiotics willy-nilly or say go home and rest. According to Wikipedia (hehe) there's a rapid Streprococcal antigen test doctors can do in five minutes. If doc #1 had done that Thursday evening that might have saved a lot of trouble. Or he could have sent me for a bloodtest or swab. No tests are offered. Yet they spam me with "why have you not had your 12 week nuchal translucency ultrasound or blood tests for chromosomal abnormalities?". I explain that I will be having this baby even if there is some "deformity", "disorder", "syndrome" or something like that so I don't require their tests. Yet they won't find out what is infecting my young toddler or my pregnant self. I would have thought ensuring it wasn't harmful to my unborn child would be a priority. I don't understand doctors these days, I really don't.            

Was the first doctor wrong or was the second doctor or did Alexis have both but the Strep was healed? I guess we'll never know. All I know is that our little girl is sick and in pain and there's not a thing I can really do. It cuts like a knife.  It hurts more than these sores in my throat.

Has this messed up my Easter. No. It gives me an opportunity to see it through new eyes.  I can't stand watching my little one have blisters and an ouchy mouth. How, pray tell, did Mary and Joseph watch what happened to Jesus on that dreadful day all those years ago. How did God watch His Son go through all that without intervening. I have no choice but to watch Alexis suffer, I can't solve anything. God, on the other hand, could have stopped what was happening to Jesus with a single breath, but He didn't. So could have Jesus but He obeyed. See they had a plan to save the world from sin and He knew Jesus would be victorious and rise again. He has the victory over sin, pain, suffering, death, darkness, evil. He did it for everyday sinners. He did it for you. He did it for Alexis. He did it for me. 

"By His wounds we are healed".

"How deep the Father's love for us" indeed.     

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A pick and choose Easter


One of the coolest and most exciting and yet most difficult things about growing up and getting married and having kids is that you are no longer bound by the traditons  and beliefs of your parents but instead have the opportunity and responsibility to form your own way of doing things with your new little family. That is a mammoth sentence that I should have separated into a few, but I think that's the best way I can word it.

It's at times of religious and other holidays that we mummies and daddies come to this realisation: we can set the rules now! We can let go of the hangups of generations before us or we can make them our own. We have the freedom to teach our kids what we want and to be as liberal or as strict as we feel is right. We also have the responsibility to shape the young minds entrusted to us. We have to decide what is appropriate to tell them and when, what activities it is appropriate for them to participate in and when.

Last Easter Alexis was so young that she didn't even really get a look in.  We did our normal family Easter of the years before. Well sort of. Good Friday was my sisters birthday so we celebrated her birthday as well. We didn't head to church, we just all had a lunch at my parents house. Dad was away, he was at some brass band competition.

Dad has been at one of those for Easter for as long as I can remember. If it was in Brisbane we would go and watch. On Good Friday they would only play hymns. I loved listening to the old hymns played by a brass band as intended and the music would bring to life the message of Gods majesty and power and love far better than any church service with all the modern gadgets. In my opinion. Probably because its what I grew up with. 

On the years that dad was away we had extra traditions: we would sneak Easter eggs into his suitcase before he left, and we would keep the phone near us waiting for news on if his band won or not. They usually did. The competition spread until Sunday, sometimes Monday, but there was a winner at the end of each day for that day's pieces. Easter with just mum and us girls was usually fairly quiet.

Sometimes mum would take us to church with our grandparents. Whether we enjoyed it or not depended on what particular church they went to at the time. They tended to move around a bit. Some years were inspiring. Some years were creepy. One particular Good Friday service we weren't allowed to speak from the moment we got there until we were in the car on the way home. We had to be solemn and reflective and stare at this huge gigantic cross erected in the church ground. We weren't even allowed to sing, which disappointed my sister and I because singing was pretty much the only part of church we liked. We cracked up laughing as soon as we got in the car. We couldn't help it!

My family had a few traditions with regards to food. We would only eat hot cross buns on and after Good Friday, not before. The shops stop selling them on the Thursday before Easter, so mum would freeze multiple bags. She would heat them on the grill and we would eat them with jam and cream. Yum! We would never think of getting anything other than the traditional fruit buns. I don't know if it was a religious thing or just that they were just really expensive and mum and dad were really busy up until Good Friday so they didn't have time to grill them. In my mind the traditional fruit hot cross buns grilled are the yummiest.

Easter Sunday usually involved bacon and eggs, church, and exchange of gifts. We would not be given our Easter eggs before Easter Sunday. We didn't, to the best of my knowledge, eat chocolate at all on Friday or Saturday. Mum and dad bought my sister and I a Humpty Dumpty and a Red Tulip Elegant Bunny every year including last year, but this year we all decided they let us grow up and spoil the kids instead. We would savour our Easter eggs, sharing one at a time with the whole family. We could make them last a few weeks, even though we had a relatively modest haul. All in all my family's Easters were conservative, structured, and about the man on the cross.   


My first Easter with my in-laws nearly killed me. :p

I knew they did things differently. They ate hot cross buns from whenever the shops started selling them. They didn't get fruit buns, they got CHOCOLATE hot cross buns. They heated them in the microwave. They ate their own goodies, there was no sharing. Corey had already told me this. Then they informed me I was going on a four day holiday with them for Easter. Do you have any idea how hard it was for me to get Easter Saturday off considering I was the recovery girl from the chocolate  section at Big W? They threatened to fire me over it! It was for a reason though, a family Christening, and they wanted to show me off to the family. It was a real honour, in a way. 

I didn't want to leave my family. I needed the money from working too. I surrendered. Corey gave me the talk about how his family rarely asked me to do anything and how it would mean so much to him to have me there supporting him and how I'd love meeting his baby cousin. It was fun, sort of. It had very fun moments, but it was the biggest culture shock of my life.

Back before Corey and I were even engaged, his family (still in one piece at the time), his sister's boyfriend of the time and I  spent Easter in a two bedroom beach house in Northern New South Wales. Six very different people, two bedrooms, one bathroom. Help. There was nowhere for me to go and sit quietly. I tried to get a glass of water and sit quietly one night when we'd gone to bed for the night and got in trouble for walking around. Fortunately there were two cars so the trip down wasn't cramped.

We left on Thursday night after I had worked a horrendous Thursday night shift in the Easter egg section of Big W. I was screwed from the start. The 600 km car trip was interesting. I was meant to sleep but Corey's dad kept waking me to point out land marks on the way."If you look to your right you would normally see banana trees and hills etc", (under my breath) "but its pitch black because its 2am in the morning you crazy fool".

We got McDonald's drive through breakfast and they wouldn't stop to eat it because it would "take too long". I wasn't allowed a bacon n egg muffin or something easy to eat because "we don't eat meat on Good Friday." I remember thinking, "What the heck? These people aren't religious. They're people who think church is only good for weddings (apparently attendance at those is optional *cough cough*), funerals and christenings." "We are catholic". (Under my breath) "ok that explains a bit".  That was my first and last experience with eating hotcakes in the backseat of a car doing over 100km on the national highway.     

When we got there we had fish for lunch (apparently fish is not meat. Catholics.) then they cracked out the booze. "I don't drink on Good Friday," I said in response to them offering to walk me to the shop to buy my own. They looked at me like I was weird.  I couldn't help but laugh. I was going to need a drink to get through this, "ok, let's go."  

I loosened up and allowed myself to have fun. The rest of the weekend we were either at the beach (a beautiful quiet beach but it rained the whole time), watching dvds, eating (mostly chocolate), drinking, or playing games except for two occasions: Corey's cousin's christening (which was fun, it was in a catholic church which was kind of boring but at least there was singing) and an interesting conversation I had with Corey's little sister.    
         
She asked me what Easter was actually about so I had an incredible opportunity to explain what I believe: that Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins, He was burried, and that three days later He came back to life.  I said that Christians believe we get to heaven through trusting in what Jesus did for us.  She was very polite and didn't even laugh at me. We have never spoken about it again though, which is sad.         

It was really fun having Easter at the beach. That part of the in-laws family Easter experience is something Corey and I would like to repeat with our kids. The slower pace was nice too. Sure they did a few things different to my family but it was ok. It felt weird to me, but it was nice.    

This year dad is not playing in band so no waiting by the phone.  We had hoped to see him tomorrow. Good Friday fell on my sister-in-law's 21st bday. We regret not being able to attend her party (seafood at the beach of course) due to our illnesses. We had a little picnic of our own in our backyard. Whoppers from hungry jacks. Aren't we terrible! It's what I was craving. I need lots of iron to feed the babies! That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

The thing is though, that we can eat meat if we want to eat meat and we don't have to feel guilty because we are parents now we make our own rules for our little family. We also have been eating hot cross buns for quite a few weeks. We bought traditional, but we've been heating them in the microwave. There's a chocolate bunny from Corey's mum in the fridge whose head accidentally came off while we were transporting it home today. (It got crushed. Accidentally. More info on today to come another time). We haven't eaten any yet but I have a feeling we will get into it tonight. It will be the first bit of Easter chocolate for me. I am looking forward to it. It's been fun picking the best bits of both family traditions and forming our own.

We haven't been able to go to church due to Alexis being diseased (again more info on that later). Also I'm not sure how much about the crucifixion is appropriate to share with a child. It's a pretty morbid subject for a child. What do you share? We also cannot go see Corey's dad or my family for the same reasons. It's a bit sucky. I'm disappointed. But its not the end of the world. We have each other and we have story books and we have DVDs and TV. All going well we will have 2 beautiful healthy children to enjoy Easter with next year.

How's your Easter going so far?  

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Not JUST morning sickness

Written Wednesday 20/4
So I've been fairly sick for the last week or so. I thought it was just a mixture of morning sickness and sleep deprivation. I was sick for the first five months of my first pregnancy, and I've had trouble sleeping, so it"s a fair assumption.

Alexis has been extra grizzly for a while too. I didn't think much of it because she is cutting new teeth, it's been raining, and I've been reducing the number of breastfeeds. She's had major trouble sleeping and she's had a sore mouth, but I just assumed she was teething. That's not a totally stupid assumption either.

This afternoon I was feeding Alexis and I noticed she was very warm. I checked her temperature, it was 37.6. I wasn't too worried. Half an hour later I checked her again, it was 38.6. I rang the doctors surgery and they said to bring her straight down as it was closing time.

I rushed there, only taking the time to put a bra on and lock the back door. I didn't bother with the pram or the nappy bag or anything except wallet and keys.

I got held up at the entrance to the shopping centre car park by some baffoon in a yellow shirt directing traffic while some other knob did a 17-point-turn to back his truck and trailer down the wrong side of the road I wanted to turn down.  When I finally got there I grabbed my thongs (which I conveniently leave in the car for days like this) and Alexis and ran in.

The doctors made us wait for 45 minutes. 

It was too hard to restrain Alexis. She ran around the waiting room looking as though there was nothing wrong with her. It was embarrassing because 15 minutes earlier I had been on the phone asking for advice. I almost gave up and went home.

Then the doc saw us. Her temp was 39.6 degrees and she has puss on her right tonsil and inflammation of her left tonsil. "Good call," he said, "she has tonsilitis. She will need antibiotics."  

I asked what caused it, he said probably Streptococcus. I told him I am pregnant and asked if it could harm the baby. His answer was "if you get a sore throat come and see us." I asked very nicely if he could check me while I was there. He did.

"Woah you have a fever too.  And fluid on this ear. And this ear too. Say aah, oh Woah yeah you have tonsilitis too, and blisters in your mouth. Yep you will need antibiotics too."

Continued writing on Thursday 21/4 still about Wednesday.

With regards to the baby he said, "hopefully this won't effect your pregnancy" which I'm going to choose to take as good news. I mean, logically it shouldn't hurt the baby as long as I take care of myself.  Right? With a sick toddler. Yep. Help.

Corey had met us there by the time I got out but the doc wouldn't see him and they couldn't fit him in today or tomorrow. He's convinced he's got it too, which he probably does, which is not helpful because I kinda need him to pick up the slack around the house. Corey is not a gracious patient, so I really pray his superior immune system kicks in and spares us, I mean him, the grief.      

We then had the difficult task of finding a pharmacy still open at 6pm because it was that late by the time the receptionist took my money and sent us on our way. Corey drove us around while I was on yellow pages on his iPhone. They can be handy those silly phones. I had to call a few places to find one open and then I had to call back to ask for directions because of roadworks. By the time we grabbed drugs and dinner and got home we were all pretty whacked. Alexis sprung to life with some food and medicine in her belly. It's amazing how resilient kids can be, unlike us adults! 

My dad was nice enough to come pick Corey up and take him to retrieve his car. Thanks dad! Corey returned armed with strepsils. I can't take them during pregnancy but it might work well for him.

Then we had the difficult task of getting Alexis to sleep. She was feeling better and didn't want to stop playing. I'd prefer that to her being miserable and in pain if I wasn't so desperate to sleep myself. We all decided it was easiest if Corey stayed in the end room and I had Alexis in with me. That would give Corey a good chance of recovering quickly and I wouldn't have to get up to go to Alexis, because she would be right here.

About 1:30 Alexis woke but wouldn't resettle. She was in pain, I think, so I got Corey to help me shove some panadol down her throat.  By 2am Alexis, still awake, decided it was playtime. I kept her on the bed and wouldn't let her go even though she was quite cross with me. Eventually she surrendered to the thought of going back to sleep and by about 3:30 she was sleeping again. We snoozed on and off til 7 but it was not a good quality of sleep. She was very unsettled and I woke frequently to stop her rolling off the bed or to move her off my arm because it had gone dead.   

She is, despite everything, quite happy this morning. She ate her breakfast and tolerated her antibiotics relatively well. I'm a bit dizzy (ear infections) so we're  cuddling up watching wiggles for a bit while I rest. I should get up and do something with her soon but I feel like a dogs breakfast.

It's tricky juggling the two babies already and the second isn't even close to being born yet. Alexis has obvious needs because she's here beside me in three dimensions and she's quite vocal when she needs me and she has basically had me to herself since she was born.  I need to look after myself too though, both for the baby and coz I'm still feeding Alexis (and we pretty much fed all night).

Anyway blogging isn't really helping anyone so I need to stop for now. I just wanted to warn you though, to not think "its just morning sickness" or "it's just teething".  If something really doesn't feel right then maybe it's not. I didn't think I needed to take Alexis to the doctor, and I was embarrassed to think I'd over-reacted but I'm glad I did. I should have taken myself in sooner. 

Fortunately we are coming up to Easter and Anzac Day so Corey has five days off starting tomorrow. Hopefully he can spend some quality time with Alexis and I can catch some sleep. I had plans to start on Alexis' new room (we will need to turf her out of the nursery once baby's born so I wanted to start getting the place ready so we could introduce her to her new room nice and early) but there will be another opportunity. Hopefully we can all get better before he has to go back to work. To my Christian friends, if you could pray for us that'd be great.      

Karlee

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Where was Karlee?

Just in case anyone has been wanting to know, the answer to the multiple choice question (where's Karlee?) was in fact e) all of the above. If you guessed it, yay, give yourself a pat on the back. Now for an elaboration of my excuses.

A) Alexis has been teething. She has had two bottom teeth (the two beside the front two) and her two front teeth come through all in the last few weeks. The poor little darling has handled it fairly well but has been in a lot of pain. It has caused sleep deprivation for all of us, but mostly me because I have been doing what I can to make sure she still slept as much as possible, even if it was sitting up holding her or "co-sleeping" (letting her in my bed and just getting to sleep as she winces again or helps herself to another feed).

B) I've been otherwise engaged in a strange, extremely long facebook debate with some people from church and their various acquaintances about money, robots, Jesus, cartoons, and "sticking it to the man". This is actually true. Someone put up a status about whether passive income was a disease or not and the comments have hit well over the 900 mark. I don't really have an opinion on it, but added my little tidbit of "is there such thing as true passive income, don't you have to work hard originally to set it up?" and followed the discussion from there. I got into a sub-debate about what a particular parable may or may not mean and a few other bits and pieces along the way.

C) my husband has been away for work so I've been time sitting on my own skyping him as opposed to sitting next to him as we ignore eachother. This is true too. We like to have time every now and then when Corey plays games on his laptop and I blog. It's chill time. It's healthy. We sit in the same room blowing kisses at each other occasionally. It's possibly juvenile but we like it. We did start dating at 16 after all.

D) I have been blogging, but just not here. This is true too. Corey and I have been keeping a secret from you all. It was hard to blog and not give it away! I started an additional blog to write a few bits and pieces I just had to get down. You can see what I've written at
"a baby and a Bump" or click the new page (Pregnancy 2.0) on this blog for an explanation.

EDITED SAT 13/8 I've merged my other blogs, so the posts from "a Baby and a Bump" are in this blog here now.

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Can I blab yet?

I'm thirteen weeks tomorrow. My morning sickness seems to be getting worse, not stopping. Still it's not too bad this time around. For my first pregnancy I was physically sick multiple times a day for the first five months, even with anti-sickness meds. It was so bad I used to say I was never going to go through pregnancy again. Well here we are, thirteen weeks into second pregnancy and no major issues so far. Of course my husband would probably disagree, saying that constant tiredness and the emotional capacity of a teaspoon are major issues. Sure they are unpleasant but not as much as a permanent date with the porcelain throne.

Being thirteen weeks into pregnancy we have now told in person most people we have been in contact with lately. It's nice to not have to keep our little secret any more. Very soon our exciting news is going to be plastered on Facebook. Also I will be "going public" with the news on my main blog. I'm not sure yet whether I will keep this blog going or not. This blog was to give me an outlet to express the things I wanted to put on my main blog but couldn't without giving the secret away. I have grown quite fond of this little blog so I'm not going to delete it but I've done so much work on my other blog it's most likely I'll just focus on that. Still keep checking from time to time or "follow" if you like. :)

You can check out my main blog at the mother experiment.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lost in it all

I have been awake for three hours (four now). I'm so used to Alexis not sleeping well that once I got her back to sleep (easily) at 2:30, I could not get back to sleep myself.

Rather than lie there feeling sorry for myself and disturbing Corey I decided to get up and go to the spare room to "spend some time with God".  I'm somewhat reluctant to blog about "God stuff" in case it offends some readers, however, its a part of who I am and how I'm trying to be a good mum, so its definitely a part of my journey so it would not be right for me to leave it out. This post is not preachy though, I promise, so stay with me. It's more about how being a stay at home mum has effected what I think about.    

So I got up and went to spend some time with God, which is just Christian-speak for sit or lie somewhere quiet and pray and read the bible (or a book about some aspect of Christianity), whatever really, just "alone time" but we believe God is with us. For me personally I almost always write out what is on my heart and mind at the start, what I learn, and then how I can apply it. The aim is to take what's bothering me (half the time I have to work that out too), let it go, and move on stronger and with new direction.  Most often I go from "argh God I'm so confused/scared/worn out/overwhelmed/lost" and find peace, meaning, purpose. Sometimes it can also take me from "God I'm so annoyed with something/someone" to "ok, sorry I was wrong". When Corey has irritated me for a while over a disagreement I am likely to get to the point of "I'm not wrong but there's no point pushing the issue. If he doesn't agree with me I can't change his mind anyway so help me be ok with his decision." (It's uncanny how he sometimes ends up seeing things my way once I  reach that point.)

Tonight I didn't really know that anything was bothering me. I just couldn't sleep, so I said, "ok God, I'm here, what do you want?" In the spare room I sighed at a pile of dirty Corey clothes, a pile of dirty tissues, an old, opened, but barely drunk water bottle."Gosh he is a pig".  In finding my journal and a pen and a bible I noticed how messy, cluttered, unorganised and disgusting our study is.

The housewife in me wanted to tidy up the house. It was hard to ignore the urge.  Especially because we have visitors coming this afternoon. I am ashamed of the state of my house. I knew I needed to spend some time with God though.
             
I got my journal and started writing.  It was clear to me how much trouble I had getting focussed. I just wrote what I was thinking about. I was really fighting the urge to go clean.

From the writing, thinking, praying, reading etc, I came up with this. I feel like because I don't work outside the home everyone expects me to have the house perfect. Corey doesn't expect any such thing, he just wants clean clothes, a happy wife and a happy daughter. Far too often I'm upset by what I haven't done that I fail to deliver the "happy wife" he has requested. I don't know where this pressure has come from. Our house is always "busy", it's messy, and  sometimes it is a little sticky, but apart from the toilets its never actually dirty. It's dusty in parts, yes, but it's not dangerous. It is a home that is lived in. I don't know why but sometimes I feel like a failure because I can't get it perfect. I can't stay on top of the housework, whenever I make progress somewhere I realise I've let some other area lapse. Like that time months ago when I got the whole house close to spotless but realised I had not washed any clothes to wear to my niece's dedication.   

I read some of a book that I noticed Alexis has pulled three quarters of the way out of the bookshelf and it was just hanging there. It was about renewing our relationship with God, keeping it fresh. It's something we should do daily. We shouldn't get so caught up in the day to day that we forget to spend time with God, to make sure He is still with us, to make sure we are still following Him.  Otherwise we can try all we want but be ineffective.  We can lose sight of what's important. When God gently reminds us we are wrong we have to act on that and get rid of what hinders us.

I need to get rid of wrongfully thinking that I have to be perfect, that I have to get everything right. Then I can stop feeling the need to excuse the mess. I can rest when I need to. I can play happily with Alexis and Corey without feeling guilty, and knowing me if there is less pressure I'll start doing housework better because I want to not because "argh I have to get this done or I'm a loser".  

Even if you don't believe in God you can learn something from this. It's important to take time out of our busy schedules to  re-evaluate our goals, refresh our bodies, renew our minds and regain our passion. We need time to relax.  After this we can refocus our energy on what's really important.    

It's really easy as a stay at home mum to get lost in it all, to get caught up in the day to day grind. To let little things bother us. To get stuck in a rut. To start believing that our value is judged by how good we are at housework or how well our kids behave in public.  To start treating our beloved husbands as inconveniences because, lets face it, they seem to add to our workload rather than decrease it. 

We all need something that encourages us and challenges us. At times we all need to look outside ourselves, outside the confines of our homes, and realise that there are others far worse off, that we are blessed. For me, its my faith in God. When I am willing to meet him in a quiet, still place, He is there waiting. Maybe He is waiting for you?

If you think I'm talking smack (ie think religion is for idiots), thanks for sticking with this post anyway. That is very big of you. If you don't mind, I'd like to ask, what is it that keeps you going through hard times and gives you peace when nothing makes sense and helps you forgive those who hurt you? It's something I'm curious about and I'd love to hear some honest answers.  :)  

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Where's Karlee?

Yes I've been slack again and neglected my blog for a while. Let's play a game. Guess the correct excuse out of the following options:
a) my daughter is teething so I'm not getting much sleep and my brain is foggy
b) I've been otherwise engaged in a strange, extremely long facebook debate with some people from church and their various acquaintances about money, robots, Jesus, cartoons, and "sticking it to the man"
c) my husband has been away for work so I've been time sitting on my own skyping him as opposed to sitting next to him as we ignore eachother
d) I have been blogging, but just not here
e) all of the above.

Fancy a guess?

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wiggly baby

I can feel my baby moving inside me already. I have for about a week or so but I second guessed myself because it is so early in the pregnancy. I am only 12 weeks, and the "experts" say you can't feel the baby til about 18 weeks. I am absolutely certain though that what I'm feeling is indeed my little cherub moving around.

I forgot how awesome this feels.

I'm having one of those golden moments at the moment. I'm feeding my daughter and she has just fallen asleep. She is snuggling up to me, her head resting gently in the crook of my arm. Her little brother or sister is moving around as if they are trying to say hello. It's precious.

My daughter slept in this morning and the baby was incredibly active inside me, as if trying to say "come on mummy wake sissy up its time to play". Baby also responds well to storytime and grooves along to the wiggles. According to the experts baby's ears don't work yet, but it certainly seems as if they do. Maybe baby picks up on my excitement? Or maybe the experts are wrong? Or maybe the experts are usually right but my baby is special just like his/her big sister, who is also quite advanced. Their daddy is pretty clever, so they just might be.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

unexpected pain

A certain amount of pain in pregnancy is to be expected. A certain amount of pain in labour is unavoidable unless one has an elective caesarian, in which case the pain happens in recovery. We are used to the idea that carrying and delivering and raising babies is going to hurt at times.

Let me tell you about a kind of unexpected pain I experienced today. I had bad morning sickness with my first pregnancy, but have been, overall, lucky this time around. Until today. Tomorrow I am officially twelve weeks. That's when morning sickness is meant to stop, apparently. Well today I was not feeling well but tried to force myself to eat anyway, as it usually works.

I thought I was familiar with pain. But I have a new theory, you don't know the meaning of pain until you have vomited a hot cup of tea and a hot cross bun and a multivitamin with such gusto that half of it comes out your nose. "It burns" just doesn't seem to cut it.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

my hormonal 13 month old

I'm still breastfeeding my 13 month old, partly because she is a booby fiend, partly because trying to wean her was exhausting and frustrating. If I'm honest with myself a part of me is just not ready to stop feeding even though my doctor is telling me I have to.

One thing I did not anticipate is the change in my daughter's behaviour. She is normally fairly stable, kind, affectionate, loving, independent and adventurous. Lately she has been clingy, sooky, whingy, whiny, lethargic and ravenous. Every so often her mood changes back to her normal cheery self. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy extra cuddles with my little girl, but I wonder, is this my fault? Are my hormones passing through the breastmilk, upsetting her and making her moody. Or is it my less than stable mood she is picking up through observing my less than perfect behaviour. Or is it that my milk is drying up and she is upset about that. Perhaps all of the above.

She is teething, so maybe that's the only reason. She would be in pain coz her teeth are huge. The thing is when she is teething she wants more boob feeds. So I can't really take the boob away from her now, its her main source of comfort. Hmmm, this is tricky.

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food glorious food

From Sunday lunch..

Pregnancy: making your husband stop at McDonalds on your way to sizzler, and getting away with it. I also ate a box of sultanas on the way home.

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

pimples

Pimples

I forgot how much I hate these little lumps of puss. pregnancy hormones are so annoying. It is bad enough that I'm waking at 3 am and not being able to get back to sleep, but now I have headaches for a different reason. I have pimples all through my hairline and they really hurt. It's embarrassing but it is the physical discomfort that upsets me the most. I don't know if it is safe to use skin products in pregnancy so I haven't. I hope they go away soon.

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Funny things kids do #2, poo in random places

Funny things kids do #2: poo in random places

So I've decided to do a series on funny things kids do. The first one is on Alexis sleeping in funny places. This post is about the charming places she has decided to poo. Warning, it is gross.

Now, babies where nappies, yes, so fortunately the list of pooey places is relatively limited. Once bub gets over the newborn meconium poops that just go everywhere out the sides of the nappy and up the back, mishaps are limited. That's until bub learns to undo her nappy. Fortunately Alexis doesn't do this yet. My niece (4 months younger)can open hers, so I'm told. I wonder why Alexis hasn't learnt this skill but I'm not in any hurry either.

There was this one time that an accidental mishap occurred.  We three were sitting on the couch watching stargate dvds cuddled up in a blanket. Alexis was only wearing a nappy and a singlet, which is usually does around the house, as it saves on laundry. (It's not lazy, it's efficient.) Alexis got up and slid off the couch and started running away which usually indicates she has done a poo.  She avoids us when she is smelly so we don't notice or can't catch her to change her nappy.  I don't know why but she HATES getting her nappy changed, or her face and hands wiped, or her nose wiped. She doesn't like being cleaned at all. I think its universal.

Anyway, she went to escape but as she was squeezing between Corey's legs and the coffee table I noticed, much to my horror, that one of the sticky tabs from her nappy was caught on the blanket. My fears were confirmed, she had pooped, and it was a doozey. She tried to squirm away, which of course, only made things worse. Corey dealt with the baby and I scrubbed the blanket. Fortunately it was a fleece blanket not one of our nice hand crocheted woolen ones. The poo smears came straight out. Judging by the sounds from the other room Corey was having a harder time cleaning up Alexis. She can be a real stinker at times. (Can I hear a ba-doom-ching?)

We all had a good laugh about it. There's nothing else you can do in that situation other than laugh or be horrified. I personally found it hilarious. I couldn't stop giggling like a little school girl. It was, afterall, an accident.

It is a bit different when Alexis poos in her clam pool, in the bath or in the shower. I accidentally laugh. I can't help myself, but its not behavior we want to encourage.  Now fortunately Alexis never poos in public pools or family pools. We have special swim nappies for her anyway but she doesn't poo in them. In the buff though is a different story.

The first time Alexis pood in her clam pool in the backyard was kinda funny. She didn't act as if she'd done a poo and by the time I noticed it I had no idea how long it'd been there. It served me right for letting her in naked. But kids need a bit of nudy time. It didn't really bother me, I just scooped it into the wheelie bin with an old cup (threw the cup out) and tipped the water out. End of swim. Alexis then got a bath, which she thought was great.

The next time she did it she was kinda proud of herself, which did not impress me.

She pooped in the shower with me in there once. Not cool, but I did find it funny. Woops.

The funniest story is one day we were having a nice lazy rainy Sunday. Corey wanted a bath to loosen up a bit. I wanted to go buy nice fresh bread to make sandwiches for lunch. I didn't want to take Alexis with me in the rain. The logical solution was for Alexis to jump in the nice warm bubble bath with her daddy.

I was gone for all of twenty minutes. I returned to utter chaos. Corey was absolutely mortified. He threw a nappy-clad Alexis at me. "This belongs to you. I'm having a shower."

When he had calmed down he filled me in on what had happened. Alexis had pooed in the bath, with him in it. So he got her out and shoved her in the shower and she pooed in the shower.  Being a man, Corey totally freaked out. He had pretty much drowned the bathroom in pine-o-clean. The smell was terrible, but hey at least he cleaned up. I am still impressed he didn't just leave it for me to deal with. He must have been tempted to! I couldn't believe how much had unraveled while I was gone though, I was only gone for twenty minutes!

I thought it was hilarious. I laughed at his reaction and how flustered he got. I hate changing dirty nappies, but somehow I wasn't repulsed by his story. Probably because it didn't happen to me.

Unfortunately, our little  princess now thinks that pooing in the bath is funny. The other day I was bathing her because she made a mess of herself eating her lunch (spaghetti). I'd cleaned her up and was just letting her play, keeping an eye on her while I cleaned up the highchair. Yes I took the highchair into the bathroom. It's called time efficiency. The toilet is in a separate room so its just the bath, shower and basin.

Alexis, thinking she was oh so very clever, stood up (purely so I could see) and did a wee and a poo simultaneously. She jabbered on as if to say, "see that mummy, aren't I clever!"

I TRIED not to laugh. I turned away and had a chuckle. I pulled her out and put her in the shower. I don't want encourage this behavior, so I tried to keep my game face on. "Alexis, pooing in the bath is wrong."  Inside I was giggling like a little school girl.

Maybe if she knows she is pooing I should try her with a potty. It's too early isn't it? I tried to sit her on one a while ago, because she was showing interest. She (nappy-free) climbed off and squatted in the corner of the room. Sure enough, she pooped on the floor. That was probably the beginning of all of this. Shame on me.

Pooing in inappropriate places, it's just one of those funny things kids do. Where have your little cherubs left you presents?

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Friday, April 1, 2011

What do you miss most?

This follows directly on from my last post (when being the mum just sucks).

My little princess is still asleep. It is nearly 9am. A wonderful sleep in, if we weren't up from 1am until 5am. I might get to be asleep too, if she wasn't smack bang in the middle of my queen size bed. So, the rest of the story, for those interested.

I don't know what it was that was upsetting her, but eventually she gave in and went to sleep, but not without a fight. At around 3:30am or so she fell asleep in my arms through a mixture of feeding, patting, dummy sucking and "please for the love of God just go to sleep"-ing. She woke every time I put her down. She was miserable and I still don't know why. I cuddled her for another half hour or so and she finally went down into the cot without a fight. She looked so beautiful and so peaceful. The loving warm feelings came back. I breathed a sigh of relief and headed to bed. I sat down to grab a drink of water, "waaaaah". She woke again. I was no longer angry or woe is me, just concerned that something was really wrong with my princess. Whatever it was, she was comforted by my holding her and by feeding, so at 4am we both went into the big bed.

I felt terrible disturbing Corey but at the same time I'd just had enough of being up. I was buggered. I thought Alexis would just cuddle in and go to sleep. She decided she'd climb over me to get to daddy. So at about 4:30 we kicked Corey out to the spare room. (I couldn't go there with Alexis, it's only a single bed and she's fascinated by the drumkit.) Eventually, probably about 5, she went to sleep, still with her head resting on my arm. I carefully substituted my boob for her dummy.

The next thing I knew it was 6am. I gathered some clothes and took them to Corey's room so he wouldn't disturb us in the morning. To his credit he didn't wake us up! Thank you so much sweetheart! I then slept until 7:30. I was all like "oh wow a wonderful sleep-in", eventhough I knew I was still tired, and have not been able to get back to sleep. That said though I'm not as shattered as I thought I'd be. Every so often Alexis would wake and cuddle back into me to get herself off to sleep again. I just lay there because I didn't want to disturb her. I started writing this next bit of blog, and I wrote a really nice big piece on my phone's notepad app but then accidentally hit "cancel" and lost the note. So here's my attempt of rehashing it on my laptop. Wish me luck.

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In the light of the morning, I worry some will see it as a terrible thing I did, letting my offspring entertain herself at 3am while I blogged.  Also, is it acceptable to openly whinge about the fact that Alexis was keeping me awake against my will? Is it ok to label being a mum as sucky? In my defense, I did only say that it sucks some of the time.


What's happening is we have dinner with a certain in-law tonight. No big event as such, except that we are going to a "fancy" restaurant because I just can't be bothered cooking because a) he never eats anything I cook and b) I don't want to clean up because my dishwasher died. He can, at times, also be very chatty, which when I'm tired is not exactly high on my priority list. Also we can't see him if we're sick (medical reasons, I won't go into them here), so I have to be sure that Alexis is teething, not infectious. I am almost always snuffly (I think it's allergies) so it seems like we never get a chance to see him, but I'm well at the moment and I do not want to cancel last minute. I'm pretty sure Alexis is just teething, so I'm confident dinner can go ahead, but last night I was worried. It felt like she was getting sick just because I needed her to be well.

The fact of the matter is that I am definitely not alone in this. I'm sure every mother has the occasional moment of feeling hard done by. If they won't admit to "why me?", then they will definitely at least admit to "why now?". Children are wonderful blessings but they can be very inconvenient. They have bad timing. At times it seems like they are difficult just to spite us. It can feel, to a young mother, like our identity is lost, our freedom is lost, and our ability to plan things in advance is lost.  It can feel like we can no longer do anything nice for ourselves without being punished.

We know deep down that this isn't true, but in the midst of sleep deprivation or disappointment it can really feel that way.   Why DO our children wait to get sick until major events we are really looking forward to, such as birthday parties, or visiting a friend's newborn (which you can't do because of germs). Why DO they have disturbed sleep the nights when we are so worn out from massive days and/or try to do something nice for ourselves and/or have a big day or night ahead? Why ARE they suddenly clingy when we have a tummy ache or a sore back?

In this day and age, we are exposed to a culture which teaches us to put ourselves first, to "look out for number one", and to "take what's yours". It can be quite difficult once we become parents to realise that number one is not us. It was a real culture shock for me to get used to putting Alexis first. Instinctively I always knew she was the most important and I always wanted what was best for her, but the way I was wired was crying out sometimes "this sucks". I wanted to eat when I wanted to eat. I wanted to sleep when I wanted to sleep. I wanted to maintain a social life. I wanted to make plans and keep them. When things went wrong I took it really personally. I am trying to get over this selfish way of thinking, but it doesn't happen easily.

I think though there is a difference between being selfless and being a doormat. There is a fine line between putting others ahead of ourselves and suppressing our own feelings and needs. Where do we draw that line? I don't know the answers, but I do have a theory that as mothers we all have moments where we wish we "weren't the one with the boobs". Most of us feel guilty for thinking like this and we definitely don't like talking about it. Are we concerned that if we admit we don't enjoy every second of motherhood that our friends will reject us? Most of us know people who are struggling to conceive. It seems incredibly insensitive to whinge about our children when some are so desperately yearning to be parents. It is not prudent to question God for making us women either. BUT, (and post pregnancy it's a big butt), is it healthy to suffer in silence? Does suppressing these temporary feelings help us or does it just allow it to grow into bitterness and resentment? It seems incredibly rude to suggest we'd resent our children for messing up our lives, of course I don't, I love my daughter and my husband more than anything in this world, but I also think it's kind of healthy to have a small whinge every now and then before it gets to that point.

The truth is that having kids changes our lives, for the better mostly, but we also have to give up creature comforts. We all miss something we had before we had babies. What is it for you? Intelligent conversation? Perky breasts? Your perfect figure (not I!)? Freedom? Money? Time? Independence? Brain power? Energy? Hubby's undivided affection? Attention? Naked romp weekends? Alcohol? Smokes (not I!)? Sleep? Control? Being able to leave scrapbooking materials lying around? M-rated movies? TV shows? A clean car and/or house? Knowing that people came to visit YOU not your child? ;)It doesn't matter how silly you feel, somebody else will probably feel the same.

So I challenge you, be brave, let it out. Have your say, then move on. What do you miss most about life before kids? For me it's: being able to find something in the same place I left it; having plans and knowing with relative certainty they will not be changed; intelligent conversation; being able to stay up late and sleep in; and speeding down the highway with angry music on screaming at the top of my lungs (it's fun, but I'd never do it with Alexis in the car, nor without her in the car really coz now I have to be responsible).

Please leave a comment, the more the merrier. It will be more fun if we all get involved. :) You can comment anonymously if you don't want to use your name. Don't be scared of the word verification thing, the page will reload after you submit your comment and you'll have to type the little word and submit again. Be patient, it can be a little slow. Dad's are welcome to comment too. And people without kids, what are you most afraid of losing?

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When being the mum just sucks

Sometimes being a mum is amazing. Sometimes I am filled with such overwhelming feelings of love and happiness as I gaze upon my miniature version of myself.  Sometimes she hugs me so tight and smells so good and feels so warm and I feel like I'm simply going to burst. Sometimes I watch Alexis and Corey playing happily together and think to myself, "it doesn't get any better than this".

Now I have buttered you up with pleasant images of me being a loving, kind, doting mother, and fill those expecting children with warm fuzzy feelings, I can brutally snap you back to reality.

Sometimes being the mum sucks.  

There, I said it. That wasn't so hard was it?

Don't get me wrong, I love my darling daughter whole-heartedly, and the last thing I want to do is be labelled a bad, whingy, ungrateful mother, but if we are all honest with ourselves we know it to be true.

Sometimes being a mum just plain sucks. At least that's how it feels in the middle of it. In the middle of an, "oh that's right, it's not about me," moment, being the woman, and thus the mother, seems one of nature's cruelest curses. "Why oh why must I be the one with the boobs," is something that has crossed my mind far too often.

This only happens when Alexis interupts something I was really enjoying, such as a sleep, a meal, a deep conversation with a friend, or (dare I be crude) a  good poop, and will not settle down (stop squawking) without a feed.

Admittedly it's not so bad now she's older. When she was a newborn it hit me very hard. Any mother of a newborn will tell you the same thing, babies JUST KNOW when you are about to sit down for a meal and they do not like it. They wake from the deepest sleep demanding a feed. You have no choice but to drop everything and feed your little gift from God. Well meaning relatives frequently offer to hold the baby while you eat, but its better, in my opinion, to reheat your food later than to gulp it down as quickly as possible feeling guilty the whole time and give yourself horrible indigestion. Ah the fond memories.

Now Alexis is older and on solids, meals aren't a problem. We eat together and I give her stuff she can pick up with her fingers so my hands are free to feed myself.  It makes a mess to clean up later but messes are always easier to deal with than being hungry.

Now the main thing that irritates me to the point of distraction is lack of sleep. Night wakings and night feeds don't bother me as such. What bothers me is those nights, like tonight, when I've been up with her for two hours and she just won't sleep.  Not because she is naughty but because she is in pain. Whether it's teething, nappy rash, a cold, or indigestion, there's not really a lot I can do other than hold her, feed her, and try to comfort her as best as I can. The times I know she is my responsibility because I am the mum.  Corey needs to sleep coz he needs to drive, work, and function in the outside world.  I know this, but sometimes it sucks. I'd like to be nice and say that I'm most concerned that she isn't well and I can't make it better, and ofcourse that is true, to a certain extent. It does really suck though that I have to be awake when I'm so tired. I have so much trouble sleeping as it is, so its really hard for me to get back to sleep once I finally get her back down.

Then there's the nights like tonight when she quickly turns from being a helpless victim of pain to being a naughty little so and so.

Since I've started writing this I took a break to wake Corey up coz I desperately needed to go to the toilet and she was too distraut to leave on her own. She kicked up such a stink so I instructed he put her on the floor and ignore her if she was going to chuck a wobbly anyway. She scampered off, found a teddy bear, and started playing happily. I asked Corey to give her some water and some panadol and then go back to bed. There's no point us all being miserable tomorrow. 


Now she is walking around banging on things, shouting, and just being belligerent. I'm going to wait until she shows signs she admits she is tired because there is no point trying to get her to sleep when she is like this. I also suspect she is working on a rather disgusting poo. Why did I send Corey back to bed? I doubt he is asleep but I dare not go in there disturbing him again. A tired Corey is worse than a hungry Karlee.

He will probably be tired in the morning anyway. He has to leave early to put the car in for a service. He will probably whinge he is so tired he feels sick coz he was woken at 1 (he changes the nappies if she wakes in the night)  and 2:30. "I couldn't sleep then coz she was making so much noise".  Which may or may not be true. At this ungodly hour 10 minutes seems like a month. He will have a right to be tired, but I will tell him to suck it up because atleast he got more sleep than me. He will say I'm being a cow and he will go to work. I will be stuck at home with a whingy whiny baby. That's just the way it is.

Sometimes it just sucks to be the mum.  

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