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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Homemade yoghurt pops - too cute to eat?





Happy Wordless Wednesday, playing along with My Little Drummer Boys

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Flashback: Two Pink Lines!!!

I remember the moment that Corey and I found out we were going to be parents as if it was yesterday. I can still feel the excitement, the nervous energy, the joy, the expectation, the honour, the love. So much love. Love for our amazing Creator who placed that little bundle of life in me, love for the little "thing" living inside of me, love for my husband who helped put it there. I cannot actually remember a time when I ever felt more in love with Corey than that very moment. That's a pretty big call considering we'd already had five incredible years together that included a proposal, a wedding, a honeymoon, and some very romantic surprises here and there. I'm serious though. I looked at him that day in a whole new way. We weren't kids anymore. We had made a kid. We were going to be parents. I was scared as all heck but I was so incredibly excited and so incredibly in awe. So was he. We couldn't stop looking at each other and giggling and going "oh my gosh oh my gosh" and we couldn't keep our hands off each other.

It's pretty funny that when faced with such an amazing responsibility we had such a child-like response, but that's Corey and I to a tee. My heart raced faster than I thought was humanly possible. The nausea and dizziness that had plagued me all day didn't bother me anymore. I kept running back to look at the stick and check that the second line was still there. it was incredibly faint, but it was there. Eventually we went to the doctors and the doctor confirmed what we already knew. It was very early though so we couldn't tell anyone yet and we shouldn't get too excited until the blood test confirmed it and time made sure the pregnancy was viable. It was too late though, we were already excited. It was the end of the world as we knew it, and we felt great.

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I'm participating in a project at Seven Cherubs called "Cherish Your Cherubs". This week's project was to remember a time in our cherubs' lives that stands out. Many people will do their birth story. The closest thing I have is a post called big head.) Many will pick cute moments that they have shared with their kids (I love this post I wrote about breastfeeding called magic moments). Alexis and I have many little traditions that are worth remembering (such as spontaneous dance break). The moment that stuck the firmest in my mind though is the moment I have just described, the two little pink lines and the immense pride that came with them. I know I didn't even know Alexis yet, but she was there with us and it was a very real moment for us. I am quite serious when I say that when I think back I can place myself in that room and feel the very things I felt as if I am standing there right now. I can't do that with the labour, probably a mixture of self-preservation and the laughing gas. I remember when we found out we were expecting Baby Wormy too. For some reason they're just really big moments for me. I will go into a bit more detail now, for the people who like details. Feel free to read along, but I put the actual moment up the top of the post because that's my favourite bit. :)
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PREGNANCY 1

It was Wednesday 3rd June 2009. Corey and I had plans to join my mother, sister and brother in law at mum n dads to watch the state of origin.

It was about 1pm. I was at work (as a medical laboratory scientist). It was a horrible shift. It was during the swine flu panic but there was also a whooping cough outbreak. Life was very difficult. I was working long hours, not sleeping properly and like my colleagues I was under a lot of pressure to work quickly. I wanted to get out on time and I was very stressed, there's no doubt about it, but I also wasn't feeling well. I was really not feeling well. I was dizzy, vague, nauseous, weak, tired. I wasn't sure if I was going to vomit or faint. I burst into tears.

My colleagues probably initially thought I was faking a sicky, but when the pathologist saw me while she was passing through she was genuinely concerned.  I was sent to the sickbay for a while. I was meant to calm down and come back out but I just felt worse. I had a terrible headache as well. After an hour or so I got the guts to tell my boss I was going home. I was shakey and dizzy and did not want to be playing with the kind of samples I was meant to be analysing while I was in that state. I didn't have the energy to explain to him how I was feeling. I just squeezed out in between tears "I feel gross". He asked me if I was just stressed about finishing the shift I said no it felt like my head was actually gonna explode and I was worried about stabbing myself on something coz I kept going dizzy. I had spent a fair bit of time in the freezer that morning and said maybe that had messed me around. He wasn't real impressed but he knew I wasn't gonna be any use at work and he let me go, on the proviso that I didn't drive.

I rang Corey to come pick me up. On the way home we stopped to buy a pregnancy test. We both knew. We rushed in the door. I peed on the stick and he set up the timer. It was the longest 2 minutes ever. At the last moment a second pink line appeared, we were going to have a baby!!!

We celebrated for hours (as above) then we thought we should go to the doctor. Then we grabbed some HJs and drove to mums.

It was impossible to concentrate on the football. Mum guessed something was up and so we told her but not the others as dad wasn't home and we didn't have blood test results yet.

At work the next day everyone was worried about me. I was still rather out of it, and I found it difficult to be on my feet all day and couldn't keep up with the pace. Pretty much everyone knew by Friday. I couldn't keep it a secret.

PREGNANCY 2

Corey and I pretty much knew that we were expecting baby Wormy right from the start. My body went straight into pregnancy mode and I had felt it all before. I had to wait for him to come home from a business trip before taking a test. Finding out I was pregnant with Alexis was the coolest thing we ever shared and so I did not want to do it without him.

His arrived home quite late. I insisted we take the test even though we were tired because I couldn't wait any longer. The second pink line came up within seconds this time. We were incredibly excited and crazy in love like we were when we found out were pregnant with Alexis.

After a while though Corey wanted to go to sleep, but my brain started wanting to plan everything. "We will need a bigger car," "we will need a bigger house or to cope without a study," which room will we move Alexis to," "will we move her straight to a bed?" "Do I have to wean Alexis?" I was driving Corey (and myself) nuts with questions. Questions that should have waited til morning.

I feel a little guilty that I didn't enjoy the moment longer. It definitely wasn't quite the same as the first time around. It was still very special, it just didn't last as long. I felt an incredible love for my unborn child and so blessed to be having a second child. I felt so close to Corey. There also wasn't the "am I going to be a terrible mother" question in the back of my mind the second time around. Fussing over the house was really my way of being excited. I still laid awake for hours that night praying for the baby and thanking God, I just had a little detour first. 

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I'm glad I have only happy stories to tell about finding out I was pregnant. If all I have to regret is being concerned about car seats and furniture rearranging rather than staring at my tummy for hours then I am truly blessed. For many people finding out they were pregnant was not a joyful moment. It's my personal belief that every child is a gift from God regardless of the circumstances in which he or she was conceived but I'm very grateful that I've never had to personally test that theory. Don't beat yourself up if you weren't happy with the news when you discovered two pink lines (or equivalent), that doesn't make you a bad parent. All that matters is that you love your children now. For me though, both my kids have brought me joy right from the first moment I knew they existed. These memories have stuck in my memory. For that I am so grateful.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Me and YOU Monday - Week 4 - taming the tongue continued

Last week on Me and YOU Monday I promised to try to stop swearing. As per usual I started off so well, I think, kind of. It's so easy during the day because there's no-one to talk to. It gets a little more complicated when hubby gets home. Weekends are hard because there's lots of conversation. Something I've noticed is that I use swear words when I can't think of what I want to say, like when I forget the word for an object and I'm embarrassed or I can't think of the way to describe what I'm feeling. Tonight I called the door frame of the car "that f-ing thing" when I hit my head on it because I couldn't remember that is was called a door frame. Help me. Baby brain is hitting hard.

I will keep trying and I will do better this week. Not that it excuses me, but I've had a massive week (you can read about it in Fat Lady at shops with Screaming Child if you so desire). I've come to the conclusion, though, that I've had a "massive week" pretty much every week for as long as I can remember. I'm a stay at home mum, my weeks should't be that massive, should they? Anyway, I've noticed lots of progress with not stressing out over little things, which was my initial goal. I have been breathless and easily stirred up about a few things recently, but it turns out that could be blamed on my apparent iron deficiency. Both the stressing and the swearing come out mostly when I'm overtired, feeling overworked, or feeling overlooked. They seem to be just another symptom of B.I.T.C&H. Now, this is a little post I've had in my head since Sunday evening, and I didn't want to post it because it was swearing and I'm trying not to swear, but yet it's funny (I hope), and maybe insightful. Possibly. Argh. So I'm going to post it. You can check it out if you like. Then I go back to trying not to swear, and trying not to let my B.I.T.C&H-ness effect our lives too much throughout the week by adding an extra challenge of not only monitoring my words but also the way in which I speak them. Oh no, now I'm really going to need some supernatural intervention ;).

How about you? How was your week? Have you noticed any areas that you would like to tackle in your life? I look forward to seeing how everyone is going. Last week we had two bloggers add their links, welcome Jess and Gemma. If you've been thinking of joining up Me and YOU Monday for a while now why not play along? It's not that scary!(?)

Here's the "rules" again:
- Please don't just use this to promote your blog. It's better if you actually want to change (or want to WANT to change)
- Please visit again the next week to let us know how you go. If you want to keep playing the week after write a post about a new goal or commit to continue persevering with the existing goal. When you don't want to play anymore that's fine, let us know how you went but don't add a new goal.
- Please visit at least one other persons site (assuming people play along) and leave an encouraging comment. It would be great if you could pray for them or think positively for them at least once during the week.
- Please do not make fun of anyone in the link up (this goes without saying though really).
- A link to this post would be awesome but is not compulsory

Good luck and thanks for your support



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B.I.T.C&H

I know I'm not meant to be using any swear words but I've had this in my head and I can't get it out. Sometimes I am delusional and think people need to read this stuff just have to let my creative side out.

This is a public health announcement of a current epidemic wreaking havoc in families across Australia. It can infect anyone at anytime but it seems to prey on pregnant women and young mothers. Symptoms include indecisiveness, yelling, apathy, rudeness, being easily offended and sudden mood swings. It can either go unnoticed for some time or can be easily identified. It is most often referred to using its acronym, BITCH. Being Incredibly Tired Cranky and Hormonal.

The only cure for BITCH seems to be sleep. Sleep works best in conjunction with Compassion, Understanding, Grace, and Forgiveness. BITCH symptoms are exacerbated by environmental stress, so they clear up faster when combined with a reduction in housework, but only if the housework is performed by somebody else. If people suffering from a BITCH disorder are expected to drop household tasks but no one can pick up the slack it tends to lead to Stress, Helplessness, Irritability and Tension.

The biggest mistake people make when interacting with people suffering from Being Incredibly Tired Cranky and Hormonal is to treat them as though they were just being Beligerent Incompetent Tyranical Controlling and Hostile. There is some speculation that the latter disorder comes from long term suffering of undiagnosed Being Incredibly Tired Cranky and Hormonal but scientific research remains inconclusive. It is increasingly apparent, however, that ignoring or mistreating symptoms of Being Incredibly Tired Cranky and Hormonal and lead to a chronic state of B.I.T.C.H.I.N.E.S.S, which is Being Incredibly Tired Cranky and Hormonal In a Never Ending Snappy State.

If someone you love is displaying the tendency to B.I.T.C.H encourage them to seek help now, before it's too late.


This is all completely bogus of course and I'm not medically trained, but if you found it slightly amusing you might want to read about the "ailment" I "discovered" in January, called Comparison

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fat lady at shops with screaming child

Next time you see a fat lady at the shopping centre with a screaming child, have a little compassion. That fat lady might just be me. Today it was. Or one day, that lady with the screaming kid might be you.

I worked in retail for five years. I had my fair share of moments of "argh, get that kid out of here" muttered under my breath. I now know how horrible that was for me to think that. I learned that lesson the hard away seven months ago when Alexis chucked her first public toddler tantrum. (It's worth circling back to that link when you're done here, I think). Today I got a fresh reminder. Of course it was my fault. I did take Alexis shopping when she should have been home having her sleep, and she did only play up because she was tired. I did tempt fate. What I never realised as a judgemental 17 year old though, is that we don't know the circumstances leading up to that point that drives a desperate mother to persevere with the shopping with a toddler screaming in the trolley. The fact is that we don't know what someone else is thinking or feeling, or what their day has been like, or what their week has been like. We don't know, so we should just keep out of it. The bible says, "Judge not, that ye be not judged (Matt 7:1)", which I think is good for us to remember.

One of my long-term goals with this blog is to provide insight into the life of a parent for those who don't yet have kids. Here's a prime opportunity. Maybe my story might stop you rolling your eyes next time you see that fat lady at the shops with the screaming kids.

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A few days' history
On the weekend we just had I was pretty much a couch potato. I just was not feeling well. I did barely any housework, and I'm very thankful my friend came over for dinner Saturday night because I pretty much relied on her to watch Alexis while Corey was at a bucks night. I wasn't sure what was wrong with me I just didn't feel right. On Monday I was OK during the day but by the time Corey got home I was exhausted and cranky. I fell asleep while I was supposed to be watching Alexis while he finished getting dinner ready and I didn't even notice she was scratching a chunk of paint out of the wall (of our rental house). Lets just say that didn't go down too well.

On Tuesday I had a routine midwife appointment and the midwife told me my routine blood tests a few weeks ago showed low iron levels. That's something that would have been nice to know a few weeks ago, considering I was finding it hard to breathe, was lethargic, cranky, dizzy, and had mega headaches. It serves me right for not calling up to get my results. They had said they would call me if anything was really wrong, so I didn't worry. My levels were in range, hence why they didn't call, but on the low side of in range. Considering all the other symptoms I've had, the midwife said to start taking iron tablets. I agreed. I did biochemistry at uni as well as immunology, so I know full well that iron is necessary for haemoglobin (a key component of red blood cells, which transfer oxygen and carbon dioxide around your body) and a healthy immune system. Throughout my pregnancy I have always made sure I eat food high in iron and I've also taken a pregnancy multivitamin every day. Apparently I just wasn't getting enough though. This is most likely because my pregnancies were pretty close together and I was still feeding Alexis for the first three months or so of this pregnancy, so my iron reserves were next to nothing. I left the appointment relieved to know what was wrong, and that it was something relatively easy to fix.

After the appointment on Tuesday I went grocery shopping and bought lots of meat and veg, because, well, any excuse to buy lamb right? It bucketed down rain when I was loading the car, so Alexis and I got saturated. We then had to go to the chemist (which meant we had to go to a different shopping complex) to buy iron tablets. We eventually got home and put the groceries away, and then my dad came over. THANKS DAD! He amused Alexis for a few hours while I took my tablet, showered, dried my hair, and rested. I felt a little queasy but didn't think much of it. Whilst I was still tired Tuesday night I felt better than I had in weeks.

Yesterday (Wednesday) morning was going well, until I took my iron tablet and had some food. They recommend to take it with orange juice but I didn't have any (forgot to get some with the groceries on Tuesday, oops), so I had it with a mandarin. I felt queasy so I had some potato chips as they usually help settle my tummy. A bit later I got a headache and realised I hadn't had any caffiene so scoffed a tim-tam (or maybe two). A bit later I was feeling really really dodgy, so sat down. Alexis brought a few of her favourite books up to me to read. Suddenly I had to be sick and I had absolutely NO warning. I sicked up all over my shirt, my pants, my socks, the floor, Alexis' books, the wall, and yes, even my own daughter. Words cannot describe how horrible I felt. Alexis thought it was funny (of course), and ran around spreading the damage as I scrambled to clean up the vast majority of the sick before she could get to it. I'm actually quite proud of how well I coped with the situation, cleaning up, showering Alexis and I, and then driving her around to put her to sleep because I just did not have the energy to deal with a huge sleep time routine. I asked my facebook friends for advice and they said take the tablets with orange juice next time. OK.

I organised for Corey to get some OJ and a few other things on his way home from work, but by the time that came around I was exhausted so I called him and said, "please just come straight home. Alexis and I will go shopping in the morning". That was the plan, to buy myself some orange juice mid-morning and then come home and put Alexis to sleep before taking my tablet, so if I sicked up again at least she would be out of harms way. It was a good plan, but children like to mess with plans.

Shopping day, before going to the shops
Alexis wet the bed this morning. Which is no mean feat considering she's in nappies. She weed through the nappy, through her PJs, through the sheets, and onto the woolen underlay and also through the doona cover onto the doona. What a champion effort. Corey kicked the first load off for me (thanks honey) before he left. All I had to do was hang the doona and underlay on the line and do the second load of sheets and doona cover. Easy. It was even a bright sunny morning. Alexis and I made the most of the sunshine and played outside between hanging the first and second load out. (I've learned to put the second load on BEFORE I go outside to hang the first load, it is so much more efficient). I took the opportunity to hose off her messy mat. She found the garden hose and started playing with it. I knew I had turned the tap off so I wasn't worried, but what I forgot was that there's a reserve in the hose. Our trigger nozzle stops water coming out when you take your hand off, but if you squeeze it again or shake it in a certain way, a lot of water gushes out quite quickly. Alexis drenched us both. It was fun though, and it was warm enough, so I filled up her little bucket and watering can and we had some water play for the first time in ages. Then we played play doh. Then the other load finished and we hung it out, but I ran out of room of the clothesline so I had to transfer some to the dryer. I changed Alexis and fed her morning tea. Once the dryer finished I put some sheets on her bed because I expected her to fall asleep on the way home from shopping.

Then the sky turned dark. I rushed out and grabbed the doona and underlay off the line and draped them over the couch (they're probably covered in all matter of nasties now) and chucked the "do not tumble dry" doona cover in the dryer. Ooh, I haven't checked it's still ok yet.... meh. I locked up the house, chucked Alexis in the car ("no sweetheart, you're too young to drive, get in your carseat please"), and we were on our way. As I said, it looked like it was going to rain, so I drove the extra 10 minutes or so to the shopping centre with the under cover carpark instead of going to our local one. I stuck her wiggles CD on so she wouldn't fall asleep on the way.

At the shops
Once I had found a carpark, done my hair, found my handbag and wallet etc etc, I let Alexis out of the car and guided her towards the entrance. I endured the tears over not letting her ride in the first $2 ride we passed. I was busting to pee (of course) but we didn't have the pram so we had to walk to woolies to find a trolley so I could put her in it. I didn't want to walk back to the parents room so I headed to the disabled toilet/baby change station. Past the $2 big red car ride. More tears. There was a queue for the disabled toilet, and I couldn't wait, so I scooped Alexis out of the trolley and used the ladies. She just had to stand on the floor and wait. Good thing I'd put her in shoes today. Then I had to get her back in the trolley, poor kid. Back past the big red car ride towards woolworths. Of course I have no coins. Full fledged tantrum by now. Now I am officially the lady in the shopping centre with the screaming child.

So I did what all desperate mothers do, and bribed her with food. In all honesty I was hungry myself, and I wanted to make sure I ate BEFORE I took my iron tablet, so that if I sicked up after taking it atleast I would have something in my tummy. Plus I didn't want to eat much after I took my tablet (remember yesterday!). I had no cash, and there were no atms, so we head off to maccas. I had been wanting to try the McFeast anyway. I ordered a McFeast meal for me and some nuggets for Alexis. Subconsciously I could feel peoples eyes burning into my skull, "what's that fatty need maccas for and what's she feeding that kid maccas for". If they realised I was pregnant (I do look pregnant, coz I am, but I wear loose clothes so it's not always obvious) then they would have known I was drinking coke (so shoot me) because they were out of discrete maccas cups and it had to be in a clear plastic one didn't it. I then broke convention of "pay us then stand aside and wait while we serve seven other people so you can stand here and wait for your food together" while I bought a pop top water for Alexis because I had forgot to before. Finally some lady came out, shoved a paper bag at me, and walked off. So I took the trolley with Alexis, my bag, and my flimsy leaky cup over to a table. There were no nuggets in the bag. So I walked back over, waited for somebody to acknowledge my existence, and said, "you forgot the nuggets". Expecting, "sorry", or "we'll bring there's out to you," I just got a rude gruff, "there's a wait on nuggets".

Now I'm the rude impatient cow at maccas with the screaming kid
"Well thanks for letting me know," I said, "that would have been real helpful."
I then apologised to the customer next to me and said, "it's been one of those days, and she's starving." Alexis is screaming her head off by now, partly because she's tired, partly because she's hungry, and partly because mummy is getting cranky. He smiled and nodded. I then stood, at the counter, eating my McFeast, because I'm an impatient cow being pregnant means I need to eat my food while it's hot, for the safety of the baby. I offered Alexis some, and she ate it, lettuce and all (she's never had lettuce before although we've offered it multiple times). So we shared my meal at the counter then they finally brought her nuggets out and we sat down and shared those.

In the grocery store itself I'm the negligent mother who's child pulls things off and throws them on the floor
Alexis actually wasn't too bad at woolworths, thankfully, because she had some food in her belly and a water bottle to play with. I was, however, one of those mothers who let the child pull things off the shelves and didn't put them back properly. I had a fair bit of stuff to get (the Tuesday shop was at a place that has cheap meat and veg but I don't buy anything else there coz you'll pay the earth for it, so yes I'm one of those tight-arses frugal mums who buys different things from different shops). I also let Alexis play with freezer bags (terrible mother!) and let her bite the toothbrush packet (yuck, germs!). Anything to keep her quiet and not have the sooking start up again. We did everything as quickly as possible, got to the car (with another burst of tears for me not letting her go on the initial $2 ride as we passed it again), and loaded the groceries into the car.

Why do people have to park right next to the pregnant lady trying to get into the car when the carpark is virtually empty?
Then some lady in a 4WD missed my car by centimeters as she insisted on parking right next to me even though there were a zillion other parking spaces to choose from. I somehow squeezed myself into the drivers seat without hitting my car door on hers, but man it was tempting. Please, people, please. If you see a whale pregnant lady is loading her car, could you possibly choose somewhere else to park instead of right beside her? PLEASE!?

After the fact
I'm a terrible mother who drove around an extra few minutes so my child fell asleep in the car so I didn't have to deal with her while putting the groceries away. When I picked her limp sleeping body up out of the carseat and realised her pants were soaked from the water bottle I'd let her play with at the supermarket, I put her in bed anyway. Yes, onto the nice clean sheets. Why? Because I just could not deal with her crying while I put the groceries away and took my tablet. With orange juice. The orange juice that broke through the bag and banged onto the garage floor as I got it out of the car, of course. Fortunately the bottle did not break, it is only a little dented, and is still quite fit to drink. I took my tablet, with juice, and feel fine. Can I get an "amen?". If that bottle had broken I think I would have lost it. Then I would have been

One of those silly pregnant ladies who cries over the stupidest little things.
Judge not, remember. Stupid little things are almost never stupid little things to those crying over them. :)



HOW WAS YOUR DAY?




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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cherish your cherubs - record

I have seen a few mummy bloggers doing this now, and I thought that seeing as it's 3am, baby Wormy has the hiccups, I have a tummy ache, and I am not that sleepy after an epic arvo nap, I will join in too. It seems like great fun. What I'm talking about is the latest project from Seven Cherubs called "Cherish Your Cherubs". This week's task is to record details about our kids (cherubs). I am going to include Wormy because he is very much a part of our family already, although his record won't be as detailed as Alexis' obviously.

ALEXIS

Alexis is tall for her age and has a big head with lots of gorgeous blonde hair. It's very soft hair and tends to fly everywhere a bit like Einstein. She has her father's eyes, meaning that they change colour several times a day. It's kinda trippy, but very cute. She has my mother's soft skin, and has my "high" feet (I don't know how to explain it, her feet aren't that long or wide but high, making it difficult to find shoes). She has always been a skinny-mini but has recently taken to sticking her belly out copying my pregnant belly.

She has many interests and favourite things to do, including: reading stories, knocking down block towers, kissing her baby brother in my tummy, exploring, "drawing", making people laugh, playing peekaboo and "driving". She absolultely adores food. Her favourite food is banana, but her eyes also light up at the sight of strawberries, chocolate, cake, apple, peanut butter, cashews, cheese and juice. She is slightly obsessed with The Wiggles, and does the wiggles finger roll and says "Wiggles" when she wants to watch them, which would be always if we didn't work so hard at distracting her. She doesn't sit idly watching though, she practices the dances. She knows the actions to "Bear's Now Asleep" off by heart, does a great job at "Point your fingers and do the twist", and "Fruit Salad", and does the animal noises to "Do the Monkey".


She is adverse to sitting still for long so trying to confine her to the pram is a nightmare, not impossible but very difficult. The highchair is OK but only if there is food. Often during the day she sits up at the big table now, as long as what she's eating is not too messy. She doesn't take well to being told "no", and is developing quite the ability to chuck a tanty. She is not a fan of going to sleep but once she finally falls asleep she sleeps deeply.

She is developing a fairly good vocabulary but if she wants something she still prefers to point and sook over using her words. Some words she says a lot are "OK", "car," "Dor-Dor" (Dorothy), "bubba", "baby", "cake", "bot", "mumma", "daddy", "go", "juice", "doll", "book", "blue" (yeah very clever I know!), "ball", "yes", and of course "no! no! no! NO! NO!".

If you sit still for longer than five seconds then Alexis is likely to come up to you with a book and sit in your lap, as she adores reading stories. If you protest she is prone to hitting you with the book until you give in. We should probably squash this habit as she's getting quite strong. Once you read her one story she's likely to bring you about a dozen stories, one after the other. She loves anything from the Spot collection, "Muddypaws", "Where or Where is Huggle Buggle Bear?", "What is Prayer?", "Where is the Green Sheep", "My first book of songs and rhymes", and "Teach me to sing and pray". She absolutely loves being sung to. While her music of choice is Wiggles, Playschool, and nursery rhymes, she can be caught rocking out to pop and rock in her car seat.

At this stage her best friends are her Dolly and her big plush Dorothy the Dinosaur, although she'll give Elmo, Puppy, Scout, "baby" (a different doll) and "Bear" a good run too. She is starting to make some little (human) friends at playgroup, but she's more interested in the slide and crayons than the kids. Her best human friend is probably her baby cousin Isabella (Bubba Bella).


Isabella is now old enough and strong enough to hold her own with Alexis, (as opposed to a few months ago one of Alexis' favourite games was cuddling Izy from behind and knocking her over) and anything Alexis can do Izy can probably do better, or at least give it a very good try ;). The other day Alexis climbed up a slide, so Isabella (14 months) did it too. Even though they sometimes find it hard to share Nanna and Grandad's attention they get on really well, and if we haven't seen my sis and niece for a while Alexis will start asking for them.


WORMY


"Baby Wormy" is currently in utero at 31 weeks gestational age. His current activities include storing fat, wriggling around, displacing my ribs and taking all the good stuff out of my food. He has a real name, which we use and he responds to, but it's not going on the blog until he's born. He is a very active baby, and prone to getting hiccups (poor darling). He plays with whatever toys he can find, namely his own hands, his umbilical cord, my internal organs (ouch!)... He does enjoy listening to us read stories though (well he kicks a lot. Either he enjoys it or he is saying "be quiet I'm trying to sleep and GET OFF ME!. Nah, I'm pretty sure he likes it), and I'm pretty sure he recognises Wiggles music when he hears it (poor kid doesn't get a chance). He wriggles up to Corey and/or Alexis when they kiss my belly or touch my belly. All he gets to eat at the moment is amniotic fluid. I haven't had many cravings with Wormy, unlike with his sister, but one thing I do crave a lot is chocolate. Maybe that's why he's so active (you think?). He will kick a LOT if I stay in the one place for very long.

We had a 3D/4D ultrasound of Wormy done a few weeks ago and it was so amazing to see him moving around in real-time on the TV screen. He looks like he has a rather cheeky personality, almost appearing to be smiling. He thrashed around a lot in the car on the way there so he was pretty tired by the time we got to the ultrasound, so we saw him chilling out, head in his hands, having a rest. The sonographer tried to wake him by tapping on my belly. Eventually he begrudgingly moved his hands so we could see his beautiful face. He has the dimples that most people in my family have (but Alexis missed). We got Alexis to sit up on the bed with me and "talk" to him and he responded by moving around a bit. He knows his big sister already and I'm sure he'll love her to bits. He loves his daddy very much and kicks around like crazy when I lie down at night if Corey has forgotten to say goodnight to him. Wormy knows if I am happy or sad, and gets distressed when I'm stressed, so I try to stay as calm as I can for his sake. We can hardly wait to meet him.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Me and YOU Monday - week 3 - Monday's suck

So it turns out that Monday is a terrible day for a blog link-up. If your house is anything like mine you wake up Monday morning to the old familiar smell of dishes that should not have been left, a mountain of washing, and that dreadful feeling that you will spend most of the day dealing with not doing housework on the weekend.

Unfortunately this is but a third of the pile I had this morning, maybe even a quarter. The good news is that I've already dealt with most of it, so that's something. (Well, the dishwasher is on and there's a pile of handwashing only soaking in the sink and the rubbish is gone. So yay me!)


Those with school age children, well, good luck getting them to school on time with everything they need etc etc.

I know that Monday is not a great day to blog, but let me remind you that you can write your post anytime during the week, just link up to it on Monday. You can either do a post linking to the main content and link that or just link your post where you talk about the stuff you said you wanted to work on throughout the week. It's up to you really.

My week, well I was still working on "Taming the Stress Monster Within". As per last week I've noticed some small victories but I've also had some pretty epic fails. This weekend just gone was fairly huge and I didn't handle it overly well. It was a horrid rainy weekend and I had plans. Even though on Thursday I was thankful for rain I was well and truly over it by Sunday. Does anyone else get mopey when it rains? All in all I THINK I'm moving forward though, time will tell.

On Friday night I wrote this post: trying not to stress while mentally preparing for baby number 2. It sums up my week fairly well. Thanks to some lovely comments I am less worried about how I'll juggle two babies.

I'm still going to have to work on managing stress, reducing stress, etc etc, but I'm going to break my own rule and add another goal, because otherwise I fear I might be "dealing with stress" for the rest of the year. So, here goes nothing, I'm going to attempt to tackle... the words that come out of my mouth . Oh no, I said it! This is something that has been on my 'to-do-list' since, um, 2005? I got a fresh proverbial kick up the backside from this verse during the week.
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. (James 1:26 NIV)
So, I'm not going to avoid it any longer. This is going to be interesting...

What about you? How did your week go?

Oh, by the way, the lovely Gemma from My Big Nutshell has special permission to link up a post that is kind of "part 2" because she wanted to link part 1 last week but was insanely busy and couldn't get linked up in time. She told me about it, and she's cool, so I said go ahead link up the part 2. :) I love Gemma's part 1, so I'm sure part 2 will be great.

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If you would like to join in, simply write a post on your blog and link to it here. You can write it today or it can be a post you have previously written, as long as you want to focus on that area this week.

Here's the "rules" again:
- Please don't just use this to promote your blog. It's better if you actually want to change (or want to WANT to change)
- Please visit again the next week to let us know how you go. If you want to keep playing the week after write a post about a new goal or commit to continue persevering with the existing goal. When you don't want to play anymore that's fine, let us know how you went but don't add a new goal.
- Please visit at least one other persons site (assuming people play along) and leave an encouraging comment. It would be great if you could pray for them or think positively for them at least once during the week.
- Please do not make fun of anyone in the link up (this goes without saying though really).
- A link to this post would be awesome but is not compulsory

Good luck and thanks for your support



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Friday, August 19, 2011

Trying not to stress while mentally preparing for Baby number 2

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6-7 NIV)

This is what I'm meant to be telling myself whenever I notice I'm stressing out. My goal for my "Me and YOU Monday" project is to tame the stress monster within me. I've been working fairly solidly at it for over a week and a half, and I'm getting somewhere but I'm not there yet. I'm no longer stressing about how much I stress, so that has to be a good thing right? ;)

My initial goal was to not stress about stupid little things I have no control over. I'm getting there. I made a batch of muffins today and they didn't cook through properly. They were burned on the outside and mushy on the inside. In the past I would have collapsed in a heap over it, but today I just went "oh well, they didn't work", and chucked them in the fridge anyway in case we can nuke the life out of them and eat them anyway with lots of cream. I'm having a friend over for dinner tomorrow night and instead of stressing over what to cook I just bought a supermarket lasagna that I just have to chuck in the oven. This is a big deal for me because I often feel like because I'm a stay at home mum people expect me to be a "housewife", a "floral apron", you know, someone who cooks and cleans constantly, whose house is immaculate and whose cuisine is second to none. Realistically I am an ex-scientist who would rather spend my time playing with my daughter and only does the bare essentials to survive. I am coming to terms with the fact that I am not naturally talented in "domestic duties", and as I allow myself to fail I allow myself to experiment more and am actually producing some good results occasionally. When I have a friend over though I don't want to experiment in the kitchen, I wanna sit on the couch, have a chat, have a giggle, and let the oven cook my store-bought goodies for me.

So sometimes I am beating the stress monster. Hurray!

I have definitely noticed though, some sort of underlying stress, a hidden tension just beneath the surface. This has been causing the mini-meltdowns over failed culinary attempts or being late to playgroup (who isn't), or running out of milk, etc etc. Now I'm learning to control the small stuff I'm starting to think about what it is that's causing me to teeter on the edge of losing it. I'm worried, concerned, apprehensive, whatever you want to call it, about bub number 2 coming along, and what this will mean for our little family.

I vaguely remember being nervous when I was pregnant with Alexis. I wasn't sure if I'd be a good mum or how Corey would cope with sharing me or how I'd go not working after going straight from school to uni to full-time work and never slowing down before. I wasn't sure if I'd bond with the baby. I wasn't sure if I'd be strong enough, physically, emotionally. When I think about it I can remember. I had forgotten though. I wasn't sure if I would be able to love the baby as much as I had to. It seems silly now, now I am madly in love with Alexis and I know how much she loves me too, but at the time the fear was real.

I guess it's similar this time around. I'm still scared about labour too, because I was induced with Alexis so I had laughing gas on tap from very early on and within five hours of them breaking my water I was holding a beautiful baby. That five hour labour in the controlled environment was scary enough. I don't know what will happen this time. I was pretty sore and sorry for myself after the birth too,(if you're game check out my post "Big Head") and I'm not looking forward to that again. There's more to it than that though. There seems more to think about this time around. There's an extra person to think about this time around.

I guess what I'm most concerned about is how am I going to juggle both kids? I know people do it all the time. People have babies 10 months apart for crying out loud. I can deal with a newborn and a 20 month old, I will have to, I will enjoy it, I will do it well. But I don't know how. I can't see it yet. I just have to have faith. Is there anything I can do to prepare though?

With approximately 2 months until Baby Wormy is due, I'm starting to evaluate my relationship with Alexis and wondering if I need to start taking steps to make things easier when bub is born. It scares me, because Alexis is my little shadow. During the day she wants to know where I am at all times. Where I am she wants to be, wherever that is. She has had my undivided attention her whole little life. When the baby is born she will have to share me. I am realising that I won't be able to spend half an hour reading her stories and half an hour cuddling up in her bed just to get her to sleep of a day and of a night. I am realising that sitting on the couch watching playschool and playing soccer in the backyard for half an hour and playing peekaboo through the mailbox for an hour (I kid you not) are luxuries that I probably won't be able to do very often. She is going to need to be more independent. Have I spoiled her and enabled her to become too dependent? Or is this OK because she is only young? The thing is I enjoy spending time with her. I enjoy almost every minute spent with her. Sometimes I feel like I'm wasting my time but only rarely. Lately I've been cherishing the time we have left. Part of me wants to get as much one-on-one time with her as I can before bub's born, but in the back of my mind I feel I should slowly be distancing myself so she isn't all of a sudden pushed aside when bub is born.

I don't want her to feel replaced when the baby is born. I know deep down that my baby boy won't replace Alexis, not at all, but I also am aware of how much care and attention newborns can need. Corey says that babies sleep a lot, and that's true in most cases, but some babies are very difficult, are windy, have colic, have allergies, have witching hours, or just don't want to be put down. For our own convenience and his own good I want to teach him to self-settle (something we still haven't mastered with Alexis) as early as possible, but will I actually have the strength to put him down awake and let him cry himself to sleep? I'm not convinced. Will his crying upset Alexis? It doesn't seem fair to expect him to self-settle when I remember cuddling Alexis to sleep, feeding her on demand, holding her for hours while she slept on me, days where I spent hours just staring at her in amazement. I want to give my son as much attention as I gave my daughter. That's not really going to be possible though is it?

So I'm worried about how to cut down the time I spend with Alexis without making it obvious, and not feeling guilty about not being able to spend as much one-on-one time with the new baby as I did when Alexis was a newby. I guess the most logical solution is to fob Alexis off to relatives when we first bring Baby Wormy home, that way she gets attention from others and her little brother gets time with Corey and I, but I am going to have missed Alexis like crazy while in hospital and I'm not sure I want to be aware from her any more than I have to. I like my daughter's company. I'll be exhausted though? Argh, this is too much to think about two months in advance.

I'm starting to think about it because I have to be responsible and make sure Alexis is well cared for when I am unable to be there for her. Well mainly because people are asking me whether I want them to take time off work or not. I just don't know yet! It's hard when we don't know exactly when baby will be born (could be early, could be on time, could be late) and I don't know how labour and birth will go and if Wormy and I will be well. Corey is quite capable of looking after Alexis without me, but I want to free him up to spend as much time as he can with his son in the early days. Fortunately, we will not have a problem finding someone to care for Alexis. We are very blessed to have the opposite problem, everyone seems to want a piece of Alexis. My gut reaction is that my parents should have her, because they see her so regularly and she is so comfortable with them, and they live the closest to us and the hospital, but then again if I have a difficult labour or baby Wormy has trouble adjusting to life "on the outside" then they are the very people I am going to want available to be with me and bub. I just don't know yet, and I won't know until we get there. How do you make these kind of decisions?

Don't get me wrong, I am already falling madly in love with this little boy "in ma belly". I look at his ultrasound pics and my heart skips a beat. I feel him kicking me and I can see him squirming around (well I can see my belly moving and bulging up and falling back down again). I love him dearly and I know that everything will be fine. I know that Alexis is a kind and compassionate soul, and that she will love her little brother very much. I can see her sitting with her dollies mimicking me feeding and changing and bathing. I can see her kissing him and cuddling him. (Then again I can also see me saying "don't sit on his face" and grabbing her lest she love him to death.) I know that things will turn out great. I just need to not stress about it now. Dear God, help me stop stressing, I need your peace.


That said though, I do want to be as prepared as I can be, so if you have any good advice or can recommend any good books to read, or would like to share your story I would love to hear from you. Be gentle with me though!







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Thursday, August 18, 2011

grandparents, coins, rain, aloe vera and a giant slide

Linking up to Thankful Thursday at Katesaysstuff, but also just a general update of the last 6 days or so.

It's been yet another big week for us. It's been a good week, but a big week nonetheless.

On Saturday night Alexis stayed over at her nanna's (Corey's mum) house. Corey and I were thankful for some time out and Alexis and her nanna had a great time.They played shopping, watched wiggles, went out for dinner, went to the park, and read story after story. Alexis slept through the night in her very own queen bed (spoilt much?). She enjoyed being showed off to all nanna's friends. I am thankful that she looked after Alexis so well and that Alexis was so well behaved.

It tired me out though because I didn't get a nap on Saturday (packing Alexis' stuff) or Sunday (going to pick her up). Of course Corey and I stayed up too late Saturday night and I couldn't sleep in Sunday morning no matter how hard I tried. It was very nice to have a rest though. I am thankful for bubble bath, nintendo, and fast food.

We stayed for a late arvo lunch on Sunday while we were there picking Alexis up and it was fun until one random guest lit up a cigarette at the table right next to me and exhaled smoke right in my face. Corey excused us while I was hurling my guts up in the bathroom, and we left shortly after. I was really embarrassed but, like, who blows smoke in the face of a woman who is 30 weeks pregnant? Alexis was right across from her too which upset me even more. You don't smoke near babies, period. I am thankful my husband took care of apologising for me.

I then spent Sunday night, Monday, and Monday night wheezing and gasping for breath, which seems like a ridiculous over reaction but unfortunately that is what happens to me when I am exposed to just a little bit of smoke. So I am incredibly thankful that Corey had Monday off and was able to look after us. It was a terrible waste of his public holiday, poor thing.

I am very thankful that my sister and niece came to playgroup with Alexis and I on Tuesday because a few times I had to "swap" with Amanda and get her to run around after a boisterous excited Alexis. Of course I'll take almost any excuse for extra cuddles with the beautiful, well behaved and lighter miss Isabella.:)

Yesterday I took Alexis to a local version of the ekka at a shopping centre. I am thankful it was free. My sister and niece and our parents joined us too. I am thankful for their energy and attention and excitement they were able to give to the girls. Mum and dad came prepared with bag of coins ready to spoil their granddaughters with rides on those supermarket rides (the ones that are usually "broken") and hired a two seater fire engine to push the girls around in instead of needing two prams. They played feed the clowns and patted the baby animals. We had a delicious lunch at a real restaurant (here's a free plug for the coffee club, they were so acomodating of us, our messy toddlers, and the big red fire engine). Then Alexis managed to convince her grandad to take her down the massive slide, twice. I am thankful she has her father's adventurous spirit rather than being afraid of heights like her nanna, aunty and I. It was a great day.

I got terribly sunburned, so last night I was thankful for aloe vera after sun gel and my hubby's gentle hands. I'm also incredibly thankful he found a shop open early this morning to buy me some more before he went to work. I'm extra specially thankful he took Alexis with him so I could shower.

Today I am most thankful for a lazy rainy morning because after the week we've had I needed it.  It was so nice to stay home just Alexis and I (and baby Wormy kicking every now and then). We read stories, we dressed some dolls and teddies and elmo, we had a yummy morning tea, we had a tickle fight, we watched some telly, etc. Rainy days with a small child can be annoying but every now and then they come at just the right time. I know my shoulders are thankful for a day out of the sun. Ouch. Might be time for some more aloe vera spray. 

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I found her like this...


Happy Wordless Wednesday. Playing along with My Little Drummer Boys and Faith, Hope and a Whole Lotta Love

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

getting creative - When you're gone

I recently merged my pregnancy blog and creative writing blog with this one because they were just sitting idly. So some poems and posts about pregnancy might start being recommended by linkwithin. While I'm letting my "creative side" out for a little while, here is a little something I wrote last time my hubby was away.

When you're gone

When you're gone I have my pick of the toilets. When you're gone I don't have to hide the chocolate lest it be eaten in one sitting. When you're gone I stay up as late as I like. When you're gone I spend less on groceries. When you're gone I don't have to cook as much, clean as much, wash as much or talk as much. When you're gone I don't have to pretend I understand what you do at work. When you're gone I don't have to smell your farts. When you're gone I have a queen bed to myself and I can't hear you snoring. When you're gone I make a conscious effort to talk to you over Skype instead of just instructing you on what housework I need you to do and handing you the toddler. When you're gone my parents come and help around the house and entertain Alexis. In many ways my life is easier when you're not here.

But

When you're gone my life is incomplete. When you're gone I miss your snoring. When you're gone I miss you telling me I really should try to sleep. When you're gone I miss hurried morning routines. When you're gone I miss forcing you to eat breakfast. When you're gone I miss watching Alexis wave goodbye of a morning. When you're gone I miss Alexis running to you of an evening. When you're gone I miss your confusing tales about your day. When you're gone I miss secretly watching you cuddling up with our daughter reading her stories while I'm pretending to be on the toilet. When you're gone I miss nagging you to put things back where you got them from. When you're gone I miss you talking to our son in my womb and the way he wriggles closer to you. When you're gone I miss your happy face, your cheeky face, heck I even miss your "what'd you wake me up for?" face. When you're gone I miss your cuddles. When you're gone I miss your kisses. When you're gone I miss your touch upon my face. When you're gone I miss running my fingers through your hair. When you're gone I miss the way my heart melts when you hold my hand.

When you're gone I can't wait for you to come home.

I miss you.

Joining up with I Blog on Tuesdays with Jess at http://diaryofastay-at-home-mum.blogspot.com/

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Me and YOU Monday - Week 2

Hi everyone

Welcome back to "Me and YOU Monday". (OK so at the time of posting this it's Sunday night, because tomorrow is a public holiday for us, so I have plans. Sorry.) If you missed last week's post then you can see it by clicking here. It explains what I'm trying to do and why but basically I started a link-up for us mummy-bloggers (or anyone with a blog) to support each other. Those who want to join pick one thing about ourselves (an annoying habit, an area for improvement, or something like that) that we want to try to tackle throughout the week. Five awesomely brave ladies linked up to my post last week. Thanks again for being willing to start on the first attempt! I'm still a little unsure of how this will work, but I'm hoping that those who link up one week will link up to a follow-up post the following week. So, Rhiana, Sharon, Nobashake, and Kristy, I'd love to hear from you this week if you have the time. Daisy, I'd love to hear how you're going, but I don't expect you to as I know you have your hands full with little Oscar. I hope he is doing well and that you are somehow managing to keep stress at bay while you wait for him to recover. This is when I wish we lived close to each other so I could help practically! I will continue to pray for your little champion, you, your hubby, and Oscar's brother and sister who I bet can't wait for you both to come home. (If you want to pray for little Oscar too you can read what's happening at Daisy's blog).


My goal from last week can be seen in detail by reading my post "Taming the Stress Monster Within". Basically I was hoping to tackle my tendency to stress out over stupid little things. I was going to do this by deep breathing and saying a bible verse ("do not be anxious..") every time I noticed myself stressing out. It was, of course, harder than I expected at times, yet at other times it was easier than expected.

I have had a huge week. I have actually had many many opportunities to practice dealing with stress this week. I can honestly say there are times that I handled things very well, and then there are times when I forgot to de-stress, freaked out totally, or just plain wanted to have a bit of a worry for a little while. All in all I am proud of my efforts but I'm going to focus on this for another week instead of adding another goal because I still need to work on it.

In the interest of getting personal, here are some of the things I stressed about:
- apparently someone has a "making goals Monday" link-up and I didn't know until after I started this. I was stressing they would think I ripped them off
- I was worried people would think I was crazy/stupid/weird/etc for starting this
- I stressed about getting to a 6:30pm dinner somewhere that was an hour away when we weren't able to leave til 6 and everyone knew that. Actually everyone knew we were going to be late but I stressed about my husband stressing about wanting to still get there in time. I tried and tried and tried to get Alexis ready to leave earlier, but as with toddlers, the harder you try the more they do a big disgusting poo just as you think you're on track ;)

Here's some things that I somehow managed to not stress about anywhere as much as I normally would have:
- Money, money, money (need I elaborate there or can we all identify with that one?)
- I totally forgot to start cooking dinner one night. I called Corey on his way home and he laughed and we had maccas for a night and it was all good. :)
- Alexis plain refusing to sleep from 1am-5am one night due to teething issues. (I didn't handle this amazingly well, but I wasn't quite as inconsolable as I once would have been so I'm claiming it as progress. hehe.)
- My little girl Alexis staying over at her nanna's (Corey's mum's) for the first time. I like my mother-in-law, but Alexis had only spent one night away from me since she was born, and that was six months ago with a different set of grandparents. I really didn't know how it would go. I also wasn't entirely sure how I'd go without Alexis (it was weird 6 months ago)

For the bigger issues, such as the money thing (crazy interest rate jump on the credit card... Thank God for balance transfers :p) and preparing myself for Alexis to have a sleep over with her nanna, I had to "hand it over to God". That means I basically just said, "God I am worried about this, but I don't want to be. I know that me stressing over it won't do anything productive so I'm trusting you to take care of it." It works, but it's something I have to remind myself of continually rather than it being a once off thing. Oh, by the way, Alexis had a fantastic time at her nanna's and was an absolute angel. She went to sleep without a fuss for her, slept through the night, had a great time playing, she was "a pleasure" apparently. Although it was weird for me without Alexis around, Corey and I had a great time. I even managed to scab a bubble bath this morning! :)

So, it was a mixed bag of a week. Doing this has helped me realise, more than ever, how much it is in my nature to stress automatically whenever something new comes up, and how destructive it can be. So as I said earlier, I'll spend another week on this, and I will keep recommitting to it until trying to calm down becomes second nature. :)


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If you would like to join in, simply write a post on your blog and link to it here. You can write it today or it can be a post you have previously written, as long as you want to focus on that area this week.

Here's the "rules" again:
- Please don't just use this to promote your blog. It's better if you actually want to change (or want to WANT to change)
- Please visit again the next week to let us know how you go. If you want to keep playing the week after write a post about a new goal or commit to continue persevering with the existing goal. When you don't want to play anymore that's fine, let us know how you went but don't add a new goal.
- Please visit at least one other persons site (assuming people play along) and leave an encouraging comment. It would be great if you could pray for them or think positively for them at least once during the week.
- Please do not make fun of anyone in the link up (this goes without saying though really).
- A link to this post would be awesome but is not compulsory

Good luck and thanks for your support













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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Dear ants

Dear ants

I do not wish to kill you. I know that you are hard working, strong, and driven to succeed. As even you are one of God's creatures I am happy to peacefully coexist with you, as long as you play by the rules. If you leave me alone I will leave you alone. It's that simple.

All I ask of you is that you

a) don't bite me when I'm in bed. Particularly when I'm napping after a very difficult night with Alexis. I do not appreciate you waking me up.

b) stay out of my daughter's room. I definitely don't take kindly to you biting her in her bed and waking her up.

c) stay out of the tissue boxes. seriously, a tissue fettish? Are you on crack?


I try to understand your behaviour but quite frankly I find you very odd. Is the tray of wheetbix remnants I left in the dining room not adequate for you? I thought you'd be tickled pink devouring the tray of leftover pasta, cheese, peas and tomato sauce that my husband lovingly transferred from the highchair to hanging precariously across the kitchen sink this morning. I left these things here for your convenience, I had hoped you would accept my peace offering and leave us alone.

There is no gentle way to say this, dear ants, but your friends are now dead. Any of you foolish enough to venture into the bedrooms will also perish. You are minuscule, it is not difficult for humans to squish ants between two fingers. If you do not cease to send spies into the bedrooms then I shall have to declare war on the entire ant population of this dwelling, regardless of the location you choose to attack.

Consider this your final warning.

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Friday, August 12, 2011

I know I should have learned something from this

This is my first time linking up to yay for home's things I know.

- I know that staying up too late chatting to the girls on twitter is really fun but it always comes back to bite me because
- Alexis seems to know the nights I stay up too late and wakes up not long after I decided to go to sleep
- I know that although she has mostly slept through for months I should never take it for granted
- I know that 12-1:30, 5:30am-6am and 6:45-7:30 is not enough sleep for me
- I know that toddlers wake up happy and boisterous regardless of how mummy is feeling
- I know that it's often easier to not wake hubby up asking for help (because Alexis sees her father and thinks it's play time. at 2am. Argh)
- I know that if hubby mistakes "please change nappy" for "give her a bottle" and gives our toddler a bottle it's better not to take it off her. She will dig her heals in and stay up for four hours til we give it back (oops).
- I know that by the smell of her nappy about 9am this morning it's any wonder she slept at all
- I now know that no matter how much Alexis pesters me for it, letting her share my chocolate brownie is a bad idea, even at lunch time like I did yesterday. It's just too rich for her little belly.
- I know that I should have learned a valuable lesson here but I'll probably do it all again in a month or so, because I know that I've had multiple opportunities to learn this lesson before.


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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My beautiful baby boy's first pics






Happy Wordless Wednesday. Playing along with My Little Drummer Boys and Faith, Hope and a Whole Lotta Love

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Me and YOU Monday (link up opportunity)

Hi everyone. I have wanted to start this for a long time now but have allowed myself to be talked out of it. Last night though I stumbled across this beautiful, heart-wrenching post full of honesty from the beautiful Daisy at Daisy, Roo and Two called Confessions of a Foghorn. You should check out the post for yourself, but basically it drew my attention to the fact that so many of us mummy bloggers have things we do that drive us nuts and we want to stop but don't really know how.

So my inspiration to start this blog link up has come back with gusto. What I am proposing we do is that we get real with each other and share the things that we want to work on in our lives. Now, I am the first to admit that I have a list of about 50 bad habits I need to change about myself, and it's incredibly overwhelming. So rather than an, "oh I suck" fiesta, what I would love to do is to pick one thing that we are committed to focusing one week at a time. I want to provide this opportunity to link up our posts because, as a stay at home mum, I feel like my "real life" social circle is somewhat limited, but we do have access to a very supportive online community. I'm going to do it, even if no-one joins me, but I'm inviting you to.

My "plan" is that on Mondays I will either post a new post or post a link to a post that explains one area of life that I will plan to gain some ground in for the week. It can be anything from not yelling at the kids and/or husband, to getting more exercise, to playing more, to being more diligent with the housework, to not having that extra chocolate, to going to bed earlier. Then the next Monday I want to do a brief summary of how I went with my goal, and if I did well introduce a new goal and if I don't, to fess up and commit to persevering for another week. You can join in wherever, whenever. You can just do one thing for one week, or you can keep playing along. The goal is to have a few people playing along who read each others post and encourage each other on the journey, but I know that even admitting we want to change and taking the time to write it out can be helpful in itself, so if no-one joins I'll still do it. The posts can be written anytime but the linky will go up on Mondays.

My first me and YOU Monday post can be seen by clicking here.

OK, So if you want to link up here are the rules:
- Please don't just use this to promote your blog. It's better if you actually want to change (or want to WANT to change)
- Please visit again the next week to let us know how you go
- Please visit at least one other persons site (assuming people play along) and leave an encouraging comment. It would be great if you could pray for them or think positively for them at least once during the week.
- Please do not make fun of anyone in the link up (this goes without saying though really).

That's it. I'm easy. A link to this post or my blog would be awesome but you're under no obligation to. This isn't a marketing thing, I legitimately just want us to work together and support each other.



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My goals for week 1: taming the stress monster within

As part of my "Me and you Monday" project, this post details my goals for this week.

This week I need to work on not using my phone all the time, being on facebook all the time etc etc. I don't really have a choice though, because my phone is dead, cactus, caput, deceased, etc etc. I need to take it in to the shop, which is freaking me out because at the moment I'm stressing about everything new. So, my goal for this week is to not stress out over silly things .




This has come about by a very stressful weekend that didn't need to be stressful at all. I was stressing about going to a bridal shower where I didn't know anyone (I'm friends of the groom). I really wanted to go and have fun, but I worried about it all weekend. When I got there I had a missed call from Corey. When I went to call him back to see if Alexis was OK that's when my phone died. Instead of trusting that Corey would be OK without me I totally freaked out and left. I cried the whole way home because I hadn't made an effort to stick around and meet new people. I used the phone as an excuse because I was so stressed over how to cope in a group of strangers. Hey, don't judge, I'm a stay at home mum, remember. I don't get out much. I don't remember how to converse with those over the age of 1.5 unless it's about said baby. I will attempt to tackle this at some stage, but for now, the stress issue.

How I plan to deal with this is that when I feel myself starting to get stressed I am going to do some deep breathing exercises and also to say to myself this bible verse:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" (Philippians 4:6)
. I'm going to use the bible verse because I'm a Christian so I believe that God's word is powerful.

I have chosen to start here because I feel that I do the other annoying things I do because I can't handle my stress. Also I will need to be able to calm my nerves before I can tackle some of the other issues.

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Housework all done? In your dreams!

This morning I had a very productive morning, well so I thought.

In the early hours while the sun was still down and the rest of the household was still sleeping soundly I decided to get some housework done. It was amazing how much I could do so quickly without little feet (or giant feet) getting in under my feet and "helping" me. In a few short hours I folded and put away several baskets of clean laundry. I de-cluttered the bedroom, kitchen, and dining room and tidied the lounge room. I dealt with a few unsavoury emails. I even managed to get the bathroom done without waking the others. My jobs for the day were done (apart from cooking and cleaning up the day's mess). All I had left to do was relax. It was a a wonderful feeling.

BUT THEN MY DAUGHTER WOKE UP AND EVERYTHING CHANGED

She shattered my happy, house-proud feelings of achievement within seconds.

You see, when my daughter woke up, she cried, and she woke me up too. As I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and tried to fathom getting my walrus-like pregnant body out of bed I realised that it was only 6am and my day was just beginning. I hadn't done anything yet. The whole day lay ahead of me.

I had been having THE most realistic (yet totally boring) dream ever. At least I had gotten some decent sleep!

I snuggled in with Alexis and tried to convince her to go back to sleep. I lay there and closed my eyes. If I fell back to sleep maybe I could effortlessly clean the toilets too, I'd forgotten to do those in my previous dream. ;)


Do you have life-like dreams? I do fairly regularly actually. At least this one was pleasant, usually they're pretty scary, like giving birth or being held-up at the bank or finding out I'm pregnant (which is hilarious when I am 7 months pregnant!). At uni I used to miss my exams in my dreams all the time. I don't normally dream about laundry though. Do you?

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: multitasking


Happy Wordless Wednesday. Playing along with My Little Drummer Boys and Faith, Hope and a Whole Lotta Love

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

funny things kids do #3: bring random "treasures" to the toilet

It's time for a light-hearted post. I have a few posts with "funny things kids do" in the tags, but this is the third one actually titled "funny things kids do". The first one is sleep in random places and the second is poo in random places. This third one has been in the making for quite some time.

I have mentioned before how it is difficult for a mother to find the time to go to the toilet by herself (see 'nothing is sacred'). Before they are mobile, babies cry for mummy when a new mum tries desperately to go to the bathroom in peace. Once bub starts walking, then you have four options: one, leave bub strapped into the highchair with a biscuit watching TV; two, close the door and hope for the best; three, take bub with you; or four, sneak off while bub is happily doing something else and try to make it quick, knowing he or she will find you if he or she needs anything. I generally choose option four because options one and two too often end in annoying crying and, well, option three is a little ridiculous and trying to intentionally pry Alexis away from whatever she is engrossed in at the time doesn't usually work well. So, too much information, but I usually say "mummy's going to do wee-wees" and walk off, leaving her to play.

Almost always she finds me within a matter of seconds. If she doesn't find me she goes to the other bathroom (we have two and they are at opposite ends of the house) and cries because I'm not there. When she does find me she is almost never empty handed. She almost always has some random "treasure" that she has found along the way. As weird and gross as it may be, it is better than her coming to the bathroom empty handed and leaving with the toilet paper (which she does with ninja-like stealth without me even noticing). It's funny how she never brings toilet paper when I need it. No amount of trying to teach her that has worked, yet. She does bring a variety of things to keep us, um, entertained (?) though.

Here is a list of some of the stuff Alexis has brought me while I was on the toilet (yes, I've been sad enough to keep a vague record for such a time as I actually got around to posting this):

- Toys (duplo, stuffed toys, dolls, blocks, shape-o, plastic spade and rake, parts of her tree house toy thing, etc)

- Videos
- DVDs
- CDs
- Cassettes
- The insert of a CD case (playschool if you needed to know)

- Shoes (many shoes many many times. rarely a pair but interestingly almost always a left and a right. Usually her shoes but also my slippers and her father's good wedding shoes (COREY!))
- Clean clothes, scarves, belts, hats, handbags

- Chocolate cake (to read the story click here)

- Raw pasta (this was hilarious. She had gotten into the pantry, helped herself to three handfuls of raw pasta, and brought them to the bathroom. Each hand was full of pasta, the other handful was in her mouth. When I said "spit it out" she did so I said "good girl". She then brought me another batch of pasta. I guess I have to be careful what I praise her for.)

- A broom (a full size kitchen broom. Unfortunately not in the same occasion as the pasta or chocolate cake)

- An ottoman

- Too many books to count, sometimes hers sometimes mine (one time she had a textbook so heavy that I myself can hardly lift it. That was kinda cute)

- Dirty towels out of the laundry hamper
- Laundry baskets

- Bubble bath, body wash, shampoo etc. (she apparently can reach the bathroom sinks too now)
- Toothpaste
- Soap
- Deoderant
- Tissue box

- Cardboard boxes (a shipping box and nappy boxes a few times, she proceeds to sit in those)

- A glass of water (yes a GLASS and it was full. I'll blame the glass being there on hubby but I should have been paying more attention. Fortunately she did not break it)

- and just tonight she brought me the laundry hamper lids. Apparently they are comfortable to sit on while she "reads" herself a story. At least she wasn't trying to paint the wall with the toilet brush.


Alexis, sweetheart, darling girl who lights up my life, mummy loves you so so much. You're very clever and very funny, but sometimes mummy just wants a few minutes to go to the toilet in peace. One day you'll have your own kid and you'll understand.

Do your kids do things like this? Please tell me I'm not alone!


Toilet time is just beginning to get even more interesting. Stay tuned for more toilet humour in the near future

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so it turns out the mummy blogging market is huge

I started this blog as an outlet to better understand and deal with what was going through my head. When I started it I couldn't care who read it. Bit by bit I shared certain posts with my family and facebook friends and bit by bit I started receiving lovely comments. Little by little I visited other blogs and slowly but surely some of the ladies from the blogs I followed started following my blog too and leaving the occasional nice comment. It felt good to know that people were enjoying what I wrote. It was slightly strange to know that strangers were reading things about my little family, but at the same time it was cool to know that some people out there found me interesting, encouraging, entertaining, or informative. Little by little I've started to realise that the world of mummy and daddy bloggers is not small. Here I was naively thinking I'd come up with an idea that would be a little something different. It turns out not only was I wrong, I was wrong of epic proportions, but that's ok.

Through visiting a few blogging link ups, signing up to the digital parents website (back when it was aussie mummy bloggers), and recently through starting twitter, I've realised that the mummy blogging world is absolutely massive. So many mummies blog. It seems like every mummy blogs, but I know that's not true. Still, there's a lot of us. This scared me a little. If there's that many of us blogging about the same things, then why would anyone want to read my little blog? Some blogs out there are professional blogs, and they have thousands or at least hundreds of readers. Companies give them awesome stuff to use so they'll say "this is cool" on their blogs and all their readers will read it. It's a cool marketing technique. If there's already all these awesome blogs out there I'm probably never going to make it big-time in the blogging world. I'm realising this. Does it bother me?

Over the last few days I've been pondering an answer to that question. Does it matter if my blog never "goes anywhere", never "makes it", never earns me any money or gets me any cool freebies? NO, I don't think it does. Sometimes it's nice to think that something big might come along because of this but it really doesn't matter. It's not my ultimate goal and at the end of the day it's not a big deal. In so many ways this blog has already had a much bigger impact than I initially imagined.

At the point of writing this I have 48 followers on blogger alone. Then there's my 41 followers on twitter (themotherexp). Some are legitimate, some not so much. Then there's the 40 "likers" on facebook (mother experiment facebook fan page). There is some overlap there, but not as much as you might think. Many of my original followers from blogger only use blogger, not facebook or twitter. Many of my facebook likers are personal friends or friends of friends who don't use blogger or twitter. Twitter, well, it seems like there's an infinite number of people whorring themselves out 'following' everyone and anyone on twitter because it's easy, but I know that there's at least a few people who keep track of my posts from there. Do any of these numbers mean that much? Well, not really no. It's huge to me, but they're very small compared to some other blogs. Again though, I don't want to compare this to other blogs.

I'm not really sure what my target niche is. "Mums" is too broad. "Christian mums" is too exclusive. "Mums who don't normally read blogs" was fun for a while, but including my blog in link-ups and things like that with other mummy bloggers is great for boosting my blogs profile and exposure (which, considering I haven't given up hope of a few perks here and there is a good thing). Mummy bloggers are also more likely to comment, thus I know I'm not talking to myself. :) I love the fact that this is read by so many people who aren't mums. I guess this could be what sets me apart a little, the fact that it's not exclusive. There does seem to be a little bit of everything in here. Does it matter if I don't have a target audience? No, not really, not to me . I am just gonna keep being me and writing what I want and not thinking an overly large amount about it, and see what happens.

I think it is kind of important to have some sort of vision though, lest I start floundering, stagnating, getting bored with it or wasting time chasing opportunities that I don't really want. So, what is significant to me? What are my goals for this blog? Why do I keep going? Here are my attempts at answers.

1. I enjoy writing. For no other reason I would keep going.
2. My family and friends enjoy reading about the developments Alexis is making.
3. It is helping me deal with some of the random junk that goes through my head. Slowing down my thinking so I can write it out helps me deal with life's fears, uncertainties, challenges and disappointments. I frequently don't publish posts that I have written because they seem a little too personal, but at least writing them out helps me.
4. I enjoy reading back on how far Alexis and Corey and Wormy and I have come.
5. I've "met" some remarkable women through other blogs and discovered old friends via them stumbling across my blog or being recommended it by a friend.
6. I want to continue being a blog that doesn't use too much "mummy jargon" so that it's understandable by my friends who don't yet have kids. I am proud that I can provide a glimpse of what life with kids might be like, and that at times I can help the childless understand why their baby-wrangling friends suddenly change and become weirdos emotional and/or boring don't go out as much.
7. I like being able to empathise with and encourage those who are struggling.
8. It gives me an opportunity to mention my little family's faith in God, and how He is working in our lives. I don't want to push my religion on to people or to appear a "bible basher" because I know that I'm far from perfect and that nobody wants to be bible bashed. I do mention it occasionally though, because it is a big part of who I am. While this blog is not intended to be an evangelism site, it is an avenue for me to share small bits of what I believe. My hope is that occasionally it encourages people to think about God and Jesus and spiritual things. If one single person takes a step closer to discovering God (or at least being open to the possibility that He might exist), then every single second I pour into this blog is worth it.


Edited 4pm Sorry I forgot to add the URL to the link up that I'm putting this post in (irony much?). Check out other blog posts written on a Tuesday (blog slump day apparently) at Diary of a SAHM's "I blog on Tuesdays"

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