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Friday, September 30, 2011

10 things you didn't need to know about me

I've been tagged by Erin from Eat, Play, Bond in this bloggy version of a chain later thing I guess. All I have to do is put 10 random things about me up here, so hey why not. I'll try not to double up with anything written in my 50 random things post from March. (If you're a "random things" junky, click the link and knock yourself out.)

  1. I can twist my arms spackily so that the inside of my elbow is very almost aligned with the outside of my wrist/middle finger knuckle. I'm pretty sure that's not normal. 
  2. I've been trying to give up perfectionistic tendencies for years but I haven't quite got it right yet. 
  3. I am the second author on a scientific article that was actually published in a real scientific journal before I even finished undergrad.  I didn't write it but I did a huge chunk of the prac work. 
  4. Now my biggest experiment is "If I feed her this will it result in a hyperactive toddler, a grumpy girl with a tummy ache or will she be OK". 
  5. I've been waiting for someone to tag me in the "10 things" thing but now someone has I can't think what to write. 
  6. I absolutely hate any type of gastro/morning sickness/food poisoning etc. My pain threshold isn't too bad but I cannot tolerate nausea. 
  7. I have already given birth to a big baby (Alexis was 4.49 kg, 53 cm, 37cm head circumference), with relatively little fuss, but I'm still scared of doing it again. 
  8. I still have trouble remembering not to chew my nails. Even after 3 years in science pracs and 2 years in a path lab and 19 months of changing pooey nappies. Maybe this is why I'm always sick.
  9. I only discovered that blogger had a "compose" mode for posts about a month ago (I've been blogging since December). 
  10. My hubby quickly knocked up this pic to test if the custom header would work and I decided it's kind of cute so I've put it up for a while. (Even though he's quite embarrassed about it.) 

Now I'm supposed to tag some other bloggers to do this. Here's the people I'm going to tag for now. Play along if you want, don't if you don't want, easy. :) These are good parenting blogs by the way, if you're looking for some new ones to read outside of the twitter circle.

  1. Kristy from my ramblings
  2. Rhianna from a parenting life
  3. Caroline from gullible new parent
  4. Julie from off to the park
  5. Robyn from pink dryer lint

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Is it ok to whinge for a little while?

I know my posts lately have been a bit "woe is me". I try not to post negative things. I try to be positive and fun because I'm trying to avoid scaring people off having kids and I'm trying to avoid people thinking, "argh, you sook, get over yourself". I'm also trying to avoid offending people who are having trouble falling pregnant or those who've tragically lost a baby (I can't even begin to imagine their grief). Pregnancy and raising children will always be sensitive subjects.

The last thing I want to do is upset people, but this blog is my release and I want to be as authentic as I can with it. The bitter truth is sometimes pregnancy is really hard, both physically and emotionally, and I think pregnant women need opportunities to talk about it. I need to get it out anyway, so read on if you dare.

I'm really having a hard time at the moment. My family is helping as much as they can, but I'm still overwhelmed. I'm barely coping now and I'm terrified of when my parents go back to work soon. I'm trying not to feel like a failure for "dropping the bundle".

I'm physically exhausted. My "morning sickness" is back so bad that I am physically ill from whenever I wake during the night (1am? 4am?) for many many hours (eg its 10:30 now and I still can't keep anything down). The nausea never stops. I can't sleep properly but neither do I want to be awake.  I'm fatigued so much that stringing a sentence together is incredibly difficult.

Bending over is torture. I have to sit on the toilet and sick up into a bucket because I can't properly aim into the toilet bowl (and because my firstborn destroyed my pelvic floor...). I only pick Alexis up when I have to, and although we have a friend coming over soon the contents of the pad packet Alexis has distributed across the floor can stay there because I'm not bending to pick them up.

My legs are jelly most of the time. My arms tingle. My back hurts. My boobs hurt. My neck hurts. My shoulders hurt (pre-existing issues there). My hips hurt. My backside hurts. My tummy hurts.

Oh boy does my tummy hurt. There is not a lot of room in my abdominal cavity. Alexis was 9 pound 14 (4.49 kg) at birth and I fear that my little man is no small fry either. When he moves around it physically hurts me. I don't want him to not move but I wish it didn't hurt so much. It seriously brings me to tears at times.

It doesn't take much to make me cry at the moment though. My emotions are pretty intense. Hormones, nausea, fatigue and pain will do that. I'm also scared silly about labour and childbirth and that's not helping. I'm scared that because I've been so sick I won't have what it takes but I guess adrenaline will kick in, or if I end up needing a cesarian I guess its not the end of the world.

I know I've been through it all before but it's different this time. When I was pregnant with Alexis I had a very strong nesting instinct. I had far more energy. I had things to do to keep me busy. People are generally a little more supportive with the first pregnancy too, which is a bit of a shame because I think its harder on the body the second time around.

I also didn't have a toddler to care for. As much as Alexis brings sunshine and joy to the bad days, having the constant shadow is exhausting. I would like to be sick without an audience or hearing her cry for me. Nappy changes are torture. I'm afraid to leave the house alone with her because at times I can't catch her. When I just get comfy and she decides she needs something it's a real battle to get up. I don't have a lot of patience for her sooking at the moment and I hate myself for it.

I also don't have a lot of patience for my husband. I know he is trying but I'm not convinced he fully understands. He is the sort of person who needs a lot of sleep. Alexis has been waking early and this is taking its toll on us all. I've been really sick in the mornings so I've needed him to take care of her. He has, but I don't think he is very happy about it.

I know he's tired, but I don't have the capacity to care about it too much. I'm trying to be a good wife but I am fully aware of how much I need him. I'm a burden and there's nothing I can do about it.        

Last pregnancy he would wait on me hand and foot, do most of the chores, sit with me while I cried, hold my hair for me when I was sick, take me to my appointments, Google my symptoms, help me roll over in the middle of the night, massage me, run me baths, help me out of the bath, talk to my belly for hours and give me enough compliments to keep my self esteem intact.

This time he is torn. He wants to do those things but he also must look after Alexis. We moved further away from his work so he spends more time travelling each day. The extra hour or so he isn't home makes a big impact.

We have a spare room now so he often sleeps in there so I can spread out. We also figured there's no point me waking him up when I go to the toilet every few hours, and this way he doesn't worry that his snoring might keep me awake. I like the space but I miss being able to cuddle into him when I'm sad and sore.  

When he is home he is busy with nappies and bath time and stories and bottles and  dummies. He has less time and more to do. I don't envy his position, but I still think I have it harder. Then again I can sort of imagine how much it would hurt him to see me so miserable and not be able to do much about it. I don't want a quick fix, I want compassion, but that's a hard concept for men to grasp at times.

He tries to support emotionally but if he tells me to "call the hospital" one more time I think I might lose it. I have called the hospital. They don't care. It's my second pregnancy and the first one was complication-free. Baby is still moving therefore they aren't worried for his safety therefore they don't care.  It's just the way it is.

I know I know I need to harden up and get over it. I'm very blessed to be within weeks of welcoming the second child to our little family. It's such an honour to even be pregnant. I know I am very lucky to have a loving husband and a loving daughter. I know that all this pain and sickness will be forgotten when I fall head over heals in love with my little man.

For NOW though, I AM in pain, I AM feeling overwhelmed, I DO feel useless, I AM exhausted, I DO have trouble picking things up off the floor, I DO feel like I'm ripping Alexis off, I DO wish I could eat and/or drink and not be sick, and there ARE times when all I wanna do is cry.

Sometimes I don't want to be told to cheer up. Sometimes I just want to know its ok to feel this way. Sometimes I just want him to hold me close and say, "you're doing the best you can. Don't worry, it's all gonna be ok. I'm here with you. You're not alone." 

Now if we could have this conversation without Alexis climbing me or sooking and without the Wiggles blaring in the background that'd be ideal, but I mustn't expect too much now should I. ;-)


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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Testing out her new sandals

Last Friday afternoon the smoke finally cleared and Alexis and I were finally well enough to go outside and play. She insisted she wear the sandals she had chosen on her date with nanna and grandad on Thursday.

Cute and functional, but don't stop her feet getting filthy!

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

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tips for toddler-wrangling with weary legs

One of the hardest things about the later stages of pregnancy is being tired. I don't mean any kind of tired, I mean "oh my gosh it feels like my legs are going to drop off" kind of tired. A woman's first pregnancy is difficult, don't get me wrong. For many women the first pregnancy is so much harder than they bargained for. Which is why, if they're smart/lucky (depends on your vantage point) they take a month off before baby is due to rest those weary legs and prepare for the new arrival.

The second pregnancy is also hard. In many ways it's easier because you know what to expect. In many ways knowing what to expect makes things harder too. There's also the little factor of every baby being different and thus every pregnancy being different so even if you think you know what to expect you can never be fully prepared.

I'm now 36 weeks pregnant. At this stage of my first pregnancy I stopped work, settled down in the air conditioning and scrapbooked wedding photos, for a month. Sure, people dragged me to the shops or out for lunch, I cooked dinner for my husband, I moved things around the house a bit, and I read about how to care for a baby, but mostly my time was my own. This time, I'm a mum already. I'm a full-time stay at home mum to a gorgeous but very busy little girl, my 18 month old Alexis.

Now there are times when I call for back-up and get somebody else to tire Alexis out and let me rest my weary legs. There are also times when I rely on a few close friends of ours: Anthony, Murray, Jeff, and Sam (who sometimes is actually Greg). The vast majority of the time though, it is me and my little angel, on our own (with Wormy too I know but it's not the same).

I LOVE playing with Alexis. I love everything about her most of the time. She is fun. She is kind. She is cute. She has the greatest laugh. She is compassionate and usually she goes easy on me because she seems to sense what is going on. Sometimes though I do not think I can stand up anymore. Sometimes even sitting is a chore. Sometimes I have to lie down. Sometimes I can't even be bothered getting up to put a movie on for her in order to do that. Sometimes there's no way in God's green earth she's going to have a sleep or sit and read a story.

These moments don't have to suck. They don't have to be filled with Alexis crying and me feeling guilty. They can actually be the funnest moments of the day. We had such a moment on Monday afternoon and it was such a bonding experience. It is so refreshing, every now and then, to get back to basics, to simplify life, and simply spend time together. Here are some tips that I've worked out as we've gone along. I must say though, this is only possible because Alexis knows not to jump on my belly or be rough with me/"the baby" in any way. If I couldn't trust her to be gentle I wouldn't attempt to lie down where she can reach me.

  • Pick a good spot to base yourself - somewhere comfortable and safe with plenty of room for your toddler to explore but also with room for your toddler to cuddle up to you. It's best if toys are handy but as long as it's safe (because if you have to go to damage control then there's no point). 
    •  We have a mattress on the floor of Alexis' room (so if she falls off the bed it doesn't hurt but also because it's convenient). 
    • It's somewhere where I can lie down while she amuses herself if she wants to. 
    • She has a bookshelf full of books, a toy box full of dolls and bears and various stuffed animals (things that don't hurt if she whacks me with them!) and a chest of drawers of clothes we can dress the toys in if she wants to. 
    • She seems to have fun emptying her drawers of all her clothes, which I don't mind as long as they go back in when we're done.
    • She often has fun exploring the wardrobe which is fine because it is clean and safe for her and the sliding doors don't jam her fingers (it's a special wardrobe, it's pretty awesome actually).
  • Read stories - Alexis is more than capable of bringing me a book to read her.
  • Sing - I sung songs she knew and liked. Some wiggles, some nursery rhymes, some play school. Her favourite of the day was "I'll take you riding in my car". The horn first went "beep beep" gently on her nose but then it went "BEEP BEEP" very loud and low on her tummy. She thought it was hilarious. 
  • Tickle - Never underestimate the power of a good tickle fight!
  • "This little piggy" 
  • "Round and round the garden"
  • Odd noises and sound effects - I'm so glad she's young enough to still think I'm funny. Things like fake burps and fake sirens and high pitched squeals and random shouting are still humorous to her. It's very convenient. 
  • Make the most of the fact that repetition is funny - the coolest thing about Alexis still being quite young is that repetition is funny. This is an invaluable tool. If something gets a chuckle the first time it will get an uproar of laughter by the fourth or fifth time. It can be annoying for me at times (like when she wants to play "Row row row your boat" five hundred times in a row) but there's times when it saves my bacon. On Monday arvo Alexis brought over a toy aeroplane. She spent a huge amount of time giggling her little head off at the plane "bump bump bump"ing in to bop her on the nose. 
  • Just hold her close - Physical contact is undervalued in this day and age. So is saying, "I love you". Alexis loves cuddles from her mummy. She loves to be told she is loved. She loves to be held, kissed, massaged. She won't sit still for very long, but if you sneak in some cuddle time in between random outbursts of giggles it slows things down nicely and is precious for all involved. 
  • Laugh, even when you don't feel like it - Alexis is a very clever girl but she's still a toddler. I think it's pretty much universal for toddlers to laugh when someone is laughing even if they don't understand the joke themselves. Likewise, her laugh is so infectious that when she finds something amusing anyone within earshot can't help but laugh too. The best way to cheer myself up when I'm feeling down or worn out is to look at her and laugh and watch and listen to her laugh back. It does not take long before we're both legitimately laughing. 
  • "Help me up" - We have a game where Alexis tries to pull me up. She isn't really strong enough to pull me up but she doesn't really know that. It's fun and it usually buys me a bit of extra down time. 
  • Peekaboo - I didn't need peekaboo this time around but it's a very valuable tool to have up your sleeve for emergencies. I have no idea why young kids find peekaboo so amusing but gee it's convenient. She doesn't fall for behind your hands peekaboo anymore, but there's always an opportunity for a variation, such as through the bed rails or around a wall or her personal favourite is when she does it herself with whatever she can get her hands on or peeps out from the wardrobe. 
Basically if you're prepared and you have a safe environment to have a lie down, there's nothing wrong with having a rest while your little one plays around you, but if your little one is a little clingy like mine, then it's not impossible to slow them down just long enough to catch a break for those aching legs. If you're like me, then you might surprise yourself just how much fun it can be for all involved. 

Do you blog on Tuesdays? Want something to read? Click the button to visit Jess at Diary of a SAHM and add your link or see what others are posting today.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Me and YOU Monday week 8 - the "meh" edition

Yes yes yes, it's Monday again! Mondays do tend to sneak up on us don't they. :)

My goal for last week was to rest up. Plain and simple. Usually I start off finding my goals difficult but do OK by the end of the week. This time was different. I was ill with gastro from the time I posted goal, so I had no choice but to rest. You can read all about it in my post from Thursday: Calling for back-up.

By Friday I was feeling well again, and the smoke had cleared (finally!) so Alexis and I played outside for hours. By Saturday I was restless so managed to convince Corey to take us grocery shopping. (Sad much?) Yesterday we went to church and then after a rest did some work in the garden. Now I'm tired again. The garden looks great though. Well actually that's a bit of a lie. We tried to weed the front yard and after hours we managed a piece of yard about the width of a car. The weeds grow up tough around here. Oh, when I say "we", I mean Corey, with Alexis pulling a few little leaves off now and then (mega proud of herself of course) and me out there for moral support. "We" did what we could, and will have to hit it little by little until it's done. It was quite fun.

I'm over the gastro now, thankfully, but I'm still pregnant and vague, and it's taking my body a while to recoup from the lack of vitamins for those few days. I'm not sure where to go from here. I'm torn between trying to get as much done as humanly possible around the house to prepare for baby's arrival; spending as much fun 1 on 1 time with Alexis as possible; running all those odd jobs and errands I've been putting off while I still can; pouring a bit of time into my blog while I can; or catching up with all those people who I've meaning to catch up with for so long but never get around to catching up with. I just don't know.

I'm a bit "meh" and "blah" at the moment. I don't even have a goal. I guess, for want of a better goal, I would say to stop trying to please people and "earn my stripes" but just enjoy life and be comfortable enough with my own decisions. If someone asks me to do something and I don't want to because I'm not up to it I want to be able to say, "thanks but no thanks" and leave it at that and not feel guilty.

I don't even know if I can be bothered keeping going with this Me and YOU Monday thing. There's never many people linking up. I probably just need a good nap and I'll cheer up a bit, but really, how much time will I have once baby's born? So many questions.... If you have been wanting to play but haven't got involved yet, here's your chance.

How did your week go?

Do you have a small area of your life you'd like to change? Would you like our little online community to support you with it? If so, why not join in Me and YOU Monday? Your goal can be anything at all: playing more, doing the dishes, not yelling, not staying up too late, not having that extra coffee, whatever you like. Nothing is too small, and if it seems huge break it into smaller bits. If you would like to add your link, then 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.
    • You can write the follow-up post anytime during the week if it's easier, but link it up on Monday
    • 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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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Calling for back-up

Well I couldn't have chosen a better week to declare as my week of rest.

A) I've been sick. Really sick. Gastro sick. Lying in bed (in between rushing to the bathroom) crying "everything hurts" and wondering if I'm going into early labour kind of sick. Corey has it too, you can imagine how much fun it is around here.  

B) there's been a lot of smoke in the air from bushfires so we've been staying inside in the air con.

C) it's school holidays.

I know, last school holidays I couldn't wait for them to end, (see this post to find out why) but this time my neighbours haven't driven me nuts, and I've been making the most of my parents (teachers) having some time on their hands. I am so thankful my parents are on holidays this week. It is perfect timing.

On Tuesday they came and amused Alexis while somehow cleaning up my house while I rested, made a list of what to pack in my hospital bag, napped, then packed the silly hospital bag, before going down for another nap (this time with Alexis in tow). Yes, that's how wiped out I've been.

Yesterday my gorgeous aunty (also a teacher on holidays) came and spent a few hours with Alexis. It was great to see her as we don't get to see her anywhere near as often as I would like. She even came bearing milk and bananas, so she was an instant favourite in Alexis' eyes.;-)
While I'm writing this my parents are looking after Alexis again. They picked her up this morning and took her out for the day. I went back to bed for close to 2 hours. Then I did a few dishes, put some photos on Facebook, and now I'm blogging. I'm only up because it hurts to lie down for too long. I'm still feeling really dodgy and this is about all I can handle. I'm so thankful they understand.

I absolutely hate being sick. I'm a terrible patient. There is no worse feeling I've ever encountered than Alexis asking me to pick her up and me having to say "sorry, mummy can't." It breaks my heart. At least I know that today my little girl is being well looked after and so I can sit on my backside and not feel guilty that I'm not looking after her properly.

I love my little girl with all my heart and I enjoy being with her and I feel like a piece of me is missing when she's not around, but every now and then she needs more than I can give her. It's times like this I'm thankful for back up. I'm thankful for being able to say, "yes, please take her for a while and tire her out for me". I'm thankful for my mummy and daddy. Hehe.    

Are you thankful today? Head on over to Katesaysstuff for Thankful Thursday and share the gratitude.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I'll do it MY way

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

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Me and YOU Monday, week 7: a week to recover

Hi everyone, welcome to another Monday.

My goal for last week was to declutter the kitchen bench and table. I failed. Not only did I not remove the original piles but the whole bench is pretty much covered in stuff now. I can honestly say that it doesn't really bother me though. I have had an absolutely huge week. I have not been feeling well and its been really difficult. Although I didn't get much done, I did the best I could.

Corey was away for the week due to work commitments. I knew this when I set the goal. My reasoning was that without having him contributing to the mess I could clean up easier. I also thought I would be lonely at night so having a cleaning goal would give me something to keep me busy. I had forgotten a few key factors though: I am pregnant; Alexis is a toddler; and Corey usually does a huge chunk of the housework.

Having to cope without him was really tough. Alexis missed him so much that she would hardly let me out of her sight. She stayed up late, and more often than not I gave in to her sleeping in my bed because it was easier than getting up to her. I couldn't ask Corey to pick Alexis up for me or change her nappy for me or to help me get up when my legs cramped up.

Corey helped in whatever ways he could even while away. Alexis is starting to understand how Skype works now, which is awesome. One night I cooked dinner while Alexis was strapped into the highchair playing Peekaboo with her daddy via Skype. It was pretty cool. Still, having to be "on call" all the time was draining for me, and Alexis missed the rough housing that she can do with daddy but not boring old mummy.

To attempt to compensate for this we ran a lot of errands and had a fun social week. I didn't achieve my housework goal but because being social doesn't come naturally to me, I'm proud of the week I had.

I would be happier if I wasn't exhausted. I had at least one thing on every day to try to stimulate Alexis enough to sleep well but it seemed to tire me out much more than her. She loved the time she had with her grandparents, her friends at playgroup, her aunty, her cousin, and the random story telling lady at the library, but its like she has a certain amount of mummy time she needs to satisfy her. When we'd get home she'd still want special time just with me.

My pregnancy discomfort kicked up a gear too, which could partly be because I over did it but I think also it was just about time. My little man has grown, my belly has ballooned, my legs have swollen and my nausea has returned. Sleep is fleeting at best. I've perfected the waddle now too. Corey was shocked at just how much "more pregnant" I was when he returned. 

To top things off Alexis developed a huge bout of diarhoea on Thursday night. I thought it was just a reaction to a new food so I still took the car for a service on Friday. While we were killing time I managed to get my haircut which I desperately needed. Alexis is still unwell and uncomfortable though. Maybe I should have kept her home on Friday so she could rest, but really she was resting sitting in the stroller anyway, its me who had to do all the walking.

Corey and I had a wedding to attend on Saturday that we really wanted to go to (and couldn't miss because Corey had a key role) so Alexis had to stay with my parents. They did a great job with her and I tried not to feel guilty for leaving her while she was sick.  

The wedding was amazing, beautiful, fun, and wonderful. It was an honour to watch our very dear friend marry the girl of his dreams and it was lovely to get dressed up and play grown ups for a night. It was very taxing on my dodgy body though. I guess I should have obeyed my husband when he told me to sit down when I was mingling for awhile. Then again, sitting still and upright isn't that much different to standing, and it's not like there was anywhere I could lie down.

We all spent yesterday afternoon  recouperating. Alexis was tired and feeling yucky from her illness, Corey was tired from his trip and I was tired and sore from lots of standing and walking at the wedding (and having too much sugar). Corey ran around after Alexis and I quite well but between nappy changes and having to help me up to go to the toilet (I was seriously unable to stand up by myself at times) he was pretty busy. This morning as I'm editing this and adding the link code etc I'm fairly convinced I've caught whatever bug Alexis had, seeing as I was up  most of the night with tummy issues. Then again that's "pregnancy" too, isn't it. 

So our house is trashed but I don't care. We had a good week, despite the circumstances. The late stage pregnancy symptoms have snuck up on me and Alexis has kicked the clingy-factor up a notch because she somehow knows she'll have to share mummy and daddy's attention soon.

This is why I'm abandoning the decluttering goal. I need to rest, recoup, and recover, because lets face it I really could go in to labour any day now. On paper I still have 5 weeks, but I don't want to be caught unaware and exhausted.

This is my 7th week of "My and YOU Monday", so I'm gonna have a "Sabbath" week, a time of rest. (The bible has lots of "Sabbaths" in it - the Sabbath day, the Sabbath year, etc etc, so why not a Sabbath week?) I'll read all your posts but I'm not gonna set myself a challenge as such. That said though, because resting is difficult for me I'm going to make resting my 'goal'.

I do have a few things that need to be done: I need to pack my hospital bag, I need to care for Alexis, I need to do the bare minimum housework so I don't go insane here. What I really need though, is to recognise my own limits, and to allow myself to not feel like a failure for not getting much done. I am incubating a small human being inside my body, that's a pretty huge task, and right now it has to be a top priority.

How did your week go?

Do you have a small area of your life you'd like to change? Would you like our little online community to support you with it? If so, why not join in Me and YOU Monday? Your goal can be anything at all: playing more, doing the dishes, not yelling, not staying up too late, not having that extra coffee, whatever you like. Nothing is too small, and if it seems huge break it into smaller bits. If you would like to add your link, then 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.
    • You can write the follow-up post anytime during the week if it's easier, but link it up on Monday
    • 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, September 17, 2011

A pregnant mamma's guide to leg shaving

1) find where you have hidden your razor from your toddler
2) find where your toddler has hidden the soap
3) remove clothing
4) squeeze into shower and turn water on
5) find legs
6)... hang on.... don't rush me...I know I have a pair of legs here somewhere.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Big and small

Things I Know: Big and Small

When I'm trying to restrain Alexis against her will she is so big and strong.
When she comes up for a comforting cuddle she is so small and vulnerable.
When she falls asleep in my bed she is so big.
When she lets out a little sob in the middle of the night she is so small.
When she plays independently she is so big and confident.
When she is in pain she is so small, so dependent.
When she does something clever and new she is so big and confident and excited.
When she has a day of diarrhea and won't eat I worry about her so much because she really is so very small.

Right now as baby Wormy is kicking my ribs and rolling around he is so big.
When I hold him in my arms for the first time he will be so very small.

Joining Shae at Yay for Home for Things I Know

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Oh that's right, I'm pregnant

I'm really feeling pregnant now.

I have known I am pregnant since baby Wormy had only been there a few short weeks, and I've felt him moving since I was only 12 week and I've had random aches and pains for months, and I've been looking pregnant for quite some time, but now I really feel pregnant.

Everything hurts. Everywhere hurts. I'm tired. I mean REALLY tired.

At almost 35 weeks pregnant I am allowed to be tired and I'm supposed to feel pregnant. I've been through this before, with my firstborn Alexis, but I forgot the extent of what it felt like. It will be so worth it in a matter of weeks when I first meet my little man face to face, but for now, there's all levels of pain to endure.

This is a part of pregnancy that nobody warns anybody about before they fall pregnant. Nobody really warns anybody about it until they get to that stage and then someone might say, "oh yes, I remember that, it's normal". I guess it's secret women's code not to share the secrets with our childless friends, because, well, if people knew how awkward they would be then the human race might die out. No, it's not that bad! It's not very pleasant though.

I had Alexis in bed with me last night because she's been particularly sooky. We've had a massively huge couple of days. She's either coming down with the flu or she's teething or she's just overwhelmed from a big week, or maybe she knows bubby is on his way soon and she wants to squeeze as much mummy time in as she can. Possibly it's a combination of all of those factors. I've heard from so many different sources that young kids are incredibly perceptive and they somehow intrinsically know that once the new baby arrives they will get less of mummy's time. I'm flattered she likes being near me. I'm flattered she loves me so much. I would love to spread out at night time though, so I have some chance of my legs not being jelly when I wake up!

It's only 7:30 in the morning. Alexis has gone back to sleep at my side. It's a fitfull sleep, interupted by sobs and tears. I am awake because one of those sobs woke me about half an hour ago and I heard the garbage truck on its way. I took the opportunity to take a few bits and pieces of rubbish from last night out to the bin. I was gathering nappies and tissues and scraps from dinner (I was too tired to clean up once I finally got Alexis to sleep about 9pm last night) and it occurred to me, "slow down stupid, you're pregnant".

There I was rushing around but hobbling in pain at the same time. My legs were jelly, my hips were stiff, and my pelvis was just not coping. My feet and hands were still slightly tingly. My back wasn't overly happy and my neck thought it'd throw a whinge or two in there for good measure. I noticed I was officially doing the pregnancy waddle. Yes, it's official, I really am pregnant, and I feel pregnant now.

For all my recent talk of slowing down and limiting activities, this week has been incredibly taxing so far. It's been fun, and social, and I've enjoyed giving Alexis some fun outings while I was still up to it, but I think I've just hit that proverbial brick wall. When I think back over the week I can't believe how much I tried to shove in. I'm the sort of person that normally limits things to one outing every two days, but for some reason this week I was feeling well and so decided to make the most of it. Oops?

On Monday night Alexis and I stayed at my parents house trialing out the new bed they'd just bought especially for her. Her cousin got one too (my folks are great like that) so I was meant to sleep in the other room in my niece's bed, but Alexis had other ideas and I ended up squished up in a single bed with Alexis the entire night. You don't need to tell me that wasn't a smart idea, I kind of worked that out already. ;)

On Tuesday we had playgroup (which is always epic although incredibly fun) and then I had a routine midwife appointment right in the middle of nap time, so the rest of the afternoon was interesting. I should have gone straight home to rest but I needed to buy milk for Alexis. Alexis wouldn't walk beside me (she wanted to run off) at the shops so I had to get a trolley so I decided to do a grocery shop. I decided to buy the ingredients for the cookie recipe I've been wanting to try. So I spent money we didn't really have on stuff we didn't really need to bake cookies we didn't really want. That afternoon I decided it would be a fun activity for Alexis and I to bake said cookies, as I was excited. The cookies are delicious, thankfully, but she had a fair bit of cookie dough to eat in the process, so, then she was hyped up and her night-time routine went out the window. I do like making things difficult for myself don't I.

Yesterday Alexis and I went to a movie with my sister and niece. It was a special session for mums with young kids. It was great fun, it really was. The place was packed full of mums with crying/whinging/sooking/giggling/roaming/stair-climbing children, so we weren't stressing out about if our two were upsetting anyone. Well not mostly. The girls were, for the most part, incredibly well behaved, although they were definitely toddlers, if you know what I mean. We chased them up and down the stairs several times and we crawled around the bottom of the theatre for a while. We refereed a fight over a water bottle. We tried to explain to them that the babies lying on the floor weren't there for them to touch. (No thanks to the mothers who left their babies lying on the floor and expected a 35 week pregnant lady to restrain a toddler instead of them picking their own baby up. Seriously!?)

It was so funny at one stage a car came on the screen and Alexis pointed and shouted at the top of her lungs, "CAR!" We had half the cinema population in hysterics when the girls (very excitedly) played peekaboo with each other for 10 minutes or so. I don't think anyone was particularly upset by us. If they were, tough, Amanda and I did the best we can to keep these two little energetic munchkins as quiet as we could. The movie itself looked really interesting and I'm amazed to say we stayed the whole time, although I missed vital parts of the storyline and wouldn't mind seeing it again sans Alexis.

As fun as it was, however, it was a big day. We left home at 8:30 for a 9:30 morning tea (it was free) for a 10:30 movie (which the girls snacked through the whole thing of course. Thanks sis for being organised), which went for 2.5 hours, then we got lunch (which Alexis didn't eat because she'd eaten for the last three hours), then I squeezed into the car (somebody always parks too close, it's inevitable), then drove home for an hour. So it was 3pm before we got home. I am so thankful Alexis curled up with me for a nap then, but of course that meant that she was up really late last night. Wow its no wonder she's unsettled.

This morning we were meant to be going to an R U OK event to meet some bloggers and have a chat but I cancelled. Alexis needs a morning at home. I need a morning at home. You should see how feral my house is. It's absolutely disgusting. My one goal this week was to declutter. I am not going to achieve that, and that's ok. When I set that goal I had no plans for the week. We've had fun so I don't mind. Judging by the way I feel this morning our outings were just in time. A change of pace is on the cards. When I was this pregnant with Alexis I was still working full time on my feet all day, but after my 8 hour shift I could collapse in a heap. This time I'm never really off the clock so its only natural that I should be slowing down. Today I can barely move.

Oh and at my appointment Tuesday my midwife said I really must start packing my hospital bag. Oh yeah, I guess that might be a good idea. I should probably start washing Wormy's clothes and things too. Oh my goodness, not only am I really pregnant but its only 6 weeks or so until I am really going to have a baby.

Oh my.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wipe your butt, not the forests

This post is part of Product Talk by Nuffnang.

I have a confession to make. I'm not the most environmentally savvy mummy out there. I try to be environmentally conscious where possible, but convenience and cost tend to have a bigger impact on my decision making. I use disposable nappies because the thought of cloth nappies kind of makes my stomach churn. I try to use the clothes line whenever possible, but if I need something in a hurry I'm not against using the dryer. I don't specifically buy eco-friendly cleaning products, but I clean what I can with only water and a cloth and a bit of elbow grease. These things could be attributed to me being budget-conscious rather than caring about the environment though.

As someone who has chosen to give up a fairly decent career to be a full time stay at home mother, I made a commitment to scrimp and save whenever I can, well, almost. There is one thing I will not sacrifice, and that is...decent toilet paper...

My husband once said, "dunny roll is dunny roll. You wipe your butt with it and you throw it out. What's the big deal?" He then got an hour long lecture about how it's different for women then men because we don't just wipe our bottoms with it. He's never argued with me about it again.

We use a lot of toilet paper around here. Other than it being good to wipe yourself with, it's also used to blow your nose with, and in cases of unexpected visitors sometimes clean the bathroom with. It's also fun to design wedding dresses with at bridal showers.

Our daughter Alexis has fun pulling squares of toilet paper off the roll. It's really hard to stop her running off with the toilet paper. She loves nothing more than to leave a trail of toilet paper in her wake. (That's why I personally don't bother with long roll!)

Seriously though, anyone who's ever had bad gastro for a long period of time or temporarily had their private parts destroyed by bringing a beautiful child into this world will totally agree that nice toilet paper is not a luxury, but a necessity. I wish I had taken a stash of decent toilet paper with me when we went for a 600km drive and back one weekend within weeks of my daughter being born. It's an experience I don't think I'll ever forget no matter how hard I want to.

So, in our house, we always buy good toilet paper. I've never had an allegiance to a particular brand though. I tended to buy whatever is on special at the time out of the more luxurious brands. I have always felt like saving those few dollars made me a bargain shopper and like I was being responsible with our finances. We use so much toilet paper here (especially with me being pregnant) so cost is important. Trying to use less is not really an option. I do sometimes feel guilty for the amount of waste and the amount of trees that have to die to wipe my behind.

When I saw the opportunity to review "Kleenex Cottonelle FSC approved toilet paper" as part of product talk I jumped at the chance. I initially thought that Kleenex was bringing out a new environmentally friendly type of toilet paper. I assumed they'd bring it out but keep the old line and charge more for the environmentally friendly stuff. I'm so glad I was wrong.

I did some research online and in supermarkets and this is what I found out...
  • Kleenex Cottonelle is just the name for Kleenex toilet paper
  • It's the same high quality toilet paper we know and trust, but now it is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) 
  • This happened because Kleenex (as part of Kimberley-Clark) is committed to responsibly managing forests to ensure sustainability and protect natural habitats
  • From now on every roll of Kleenex Cottonelle is FSC certified (which means they promise that every roll of Kleenex Cottonelle comes from sustainable forest or plantations)
  • Kleenex Cottonelle is the only FSC certified toilet tissue at this stage
  • Kleenex also has a strong environmental policy for reducing their carbon footprint
  • They work with WWF (World Wildlife Fund) which is why they now have the cute WWF panda icon on the packaging.
  • Kleenex Cottonelle is biodegradable 
  • It is safe for septic tank systems 
  • Kleenex are still working with Guide Dogs Australia

As for my personal opinion on the quality of Kleenex Cottonelle (thanks to the sample I received in exchange for my review):

  • It feels really nice to use
  • It is soft
  • It is strong
  • It is thick
  • because it is good quality you don't need to use as much as you would with 'cheap' toilet paper
  • The cardboard roll in the center is slightly scented, which initially I didn't like but after a little while I started to really like it

In all honesty I can't notice much difference in terms of function between Kleenex Cottonelle and a well-known competitor that we currently had in circulation, but I only received my sample of Kleenex Cottonelle on Friday. I don't know whether it would be gentler on sensitive skin or preferable for long term use. I can tell you though that my mother swears by Kleenex and will only buy Kleenex Cottonelle and has done so for many many years.

At least by buying Kleenex Cottonelle I can know that I am doing somethingu good for the environment with very little effort on my part. To be honest I never pay full price for toilet paper, but it wouldn't be hard to stock up on Kleenex when I can instead of grabbing whatever is cheapest when we're down to the last roll. It's possible to be a busy, frugal, pregnant mum and still care about the environment, if I just chuck an extra packet of Kleenex Cottonelle in the trolley next time it's on special.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Homemade yoghurt pops - the story behind the pics

A fortnight ago I posted a wordless Wednesday post: Homemade yoghurt pops - too cute to eat? I received a fair bit of feedback on that post, so, as promised, here's the story behind it.

I got the idea from a Wiggles activity book that my parents got Alexis many months ago. I think it was $2 with a token in the courier mail. Alexis is Wiggles obsessed, so before she was interested in colouring in or drawing or cooking, she still loved the book. She would frequently bring it to us to get us to read it to her. We weren't allowed to skip a page, so I would quite literally read out "to make a fruity yoghurt pop, take..." and read out the recipe.

I never made the recipe from the booklet. From memory it's 400g light yoghurt, a cup of fresh berries, and a mango. Mix, put into moulds, then freeze. I've always wanted to try it, but it's not mango season.

Why I made the yoghurt pops is because I had a tub of yoghurt that was approaching it's expiration date. It was full fat yoghurt (natural yoghurt I think) that Alexis wouldn't eat because it was not the nicest taste. Toddler yoghurt is full fat too, but hers come in pretty tubs (and probably have some sort of sugar in them but I haven't exactly checked). I had some strawberries about to die too, so, I chopped the strawberries up and mixed them through the yoghurt.

It still was very bitter to taste, so I searched the pantry for something sweet and found honey. Jackpot. I squeezed in a generous amount of honey. The mixture tasted pretty good just as is, and I had some for afternoon tea. I froze the rest. I used my tupperware kids iceblock moulds, but any sort of iceblock mould would probably work fine.

The end result:

They were very pretty. I took Alexis and I outside so she could feed herself one and make a mess. Alexis loved looking at them and playing with them. She enjoyed taking the plastic cover off and putting it back on again. She didn't want to eat it though. She cried when I took a bite. She took it back off me and ran down to the back fence with them. When I wrangled one back off her later (because I actually like them) she then chewed on the stick quite happily.

I won't be too offended that Alexis didn't like them. She's a toddler, she has fickle tastes. She liked them a week later. Corey won't eat them but he doesn't eat yoghurt. I tried to explain to him that they weren't that healthy so it wouldn't hurt him to eat them, but he really doesn't like yoghurt apparently. Each to their own.

I'll probably try them again next time I have yoghurt going dodgy in the fridge. Until then though I might stick to freezing juice or cordial, it's cheaper, it's easier, and I'd rather eat fruit in its fresh form.

Do you blog on Tuesdays? Want something to read? Click the button to visit Jess at Diary of a SAHM and add your link or see what others are posting today.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Me and YOU Monday: Week 6: Clutter

Hi everyone. Welcome to another fine Monday morning. Well it's lovely weather here anyway.

Last week I set a next to impossible goal for myself but it was a goal that was possible with God. He has been really good to me and I do feel He has begun changing my heart. You can read all about it in my post: From head to heart continued: God is good. I have written it in a separate post so as to not clutter up this link-up post, which is fitting because my new goal is to tackle the clutter piles in my house and stop them piling up again.

Do you have a small area of your life you'd like to change? Would you like our little online community to support you with it? If so, why not join in Me and YOU Monday? Your goal can be anything at all: playing more, doing the dishes, not yelling, not staying up too late, not having that extra coffee, whatever you like. Nothing is too small, and if it seems huge break it into smaller bits. If you would like to add your link, then 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.
    • You can write the follow-up post anytime during the week if it's easier, but link it up on Monday
    • 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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From head to heart continued: God is good

This post is my Me and YOU Monday post for week 6. It explains how I went with week 5's goal of taking what I'd learnt already in my head and allowing God to place it on my heart. The plan was that instead of trying really hard to not stress, not swear, and not speak in a harsh way, I'd ask God to change my heart so that I don't want to do those things anymore. You know what? I really can say in all honesty that God has done what I asked Him to and changed my heart.

I can't say that it's happened to the extent that I was hoping:
I don't want to enforce a set of rules on myself but instead be transformed in the way I think and feel and thus act and react so that instead of instinctively having a habit of stressing I have a habit of trusting God, so that instead of swearing and cutting others down with my words I have a habit of speaking positively and truthfully and nicely. I want to see others as God sees them (valuable, worthy, loved, precious) and to do that I need to see myself as God sees me (yes, I am those things too, in His eyes). 
I've still been accused of being selfish by my biggest critics at times. Family are the hardest people to convince because they see the worst of me, but at the same time they're the most gracious and forgiving because they really love me. :)

I can honestly say though that God has begun the transformation process and I've changed enough that I've noticed the change. Corey has noticed the change too, which is really important to me and feels great.

Here's a few examples:

  •  Yesterday was the first time I haven't had a minor "panic attack" (for want of a better word) before going to church. I didn't stress out and Corey and I didn't fight. We weren't tempted to go back to sleep. I didn't even get upset when I noticed my shirt had a big gross stain across the chest, I just changed my shirt. This might not seem like a big deal, but those who know me personally know that this is a pretty huge deal after all.  
    • Alexis went off to Sunday school after worship and I didn't even worry about her. I trusted the leaders to look after her and I trusted her to behave. 
      • She stayed there the entire time and Corey and I were able to listen to and enjoy the sermon. It was so great!
    • After church I was lining up to make a coffee for the pastor who was busy with her kids. I had already been away from Alexis for some time and she was missing me so I wanted to be done as soon as possible. I was almost at the front of the line when the pastor's sister pushed in front of me.  Instead of getting upset about it I just thought, "she's been here from early in the morning for music practice, she probably really needs that coffee" and waited patiently.
  • Corey flew to and from Sydney on Wednesday and it's the first time I haven't worried about him while he's been on the plane. I didn't have to tell myself not to worry, I just didn't!
  • I've been noticing the work Corey does around the house to help and thanking him for it. Mostly. I still fail at this at times, but when I have focused on the negative (aka what he forgot to do) instead of the positive I've realised fairly quickly and felt bad about it. 
  • I've felt easier letting Corey know when I'm tired and worn out instead of trying to persevere and burning out. 
  • Corey promised to mop the floor on the weekend (it's really hard for me to do) and when I noticed at 8pm that we'd forgotten to do it, instead of swearing at him or saying "you promised and you haven't done it", I just said, "hey babe, is it possible you could please mop the floor before bed?" 
These things might not seem like a big deal, but to me they really are. What I'm most happy with is that I didn't even have to tell myself not to stress or not to get upset, I just genuinely felt easier about the situation. To me that signifies God has been working on my heart. 

I'm confident enough that God will keep growing me in these areas, so I no longer need to have them as my Me and YOU Monday goals. I will keep you posted for interests sake, but now it's time to add a new goal. 

Housework. *cringe*. 

I am really bad at keeping on top of the housework. I am really good at coming up with excuses for not keeping on top of the housework but I've been thinking that if I spend less time coming up with excuses and more time actually doing it, then life around here will be easier for everyone. 

I'm not going to have a goal as broad as "keeping on top of the housework" because I know I'm not going to be able to achieve that. So, I'm trying to prioritise what the most important area is. I'm already good with doing the washing and the dishes. I'm normally good with cooking nutritious food (although last night I realised I had not cooked a meal since Monday, which is disgusting and horrible but a rarity). I'm not so good at putting the laundry away. I'm really bad with filing and organising the bills etc. I'm reeeeally bad with keeping the floor clean but at 34 weeks pregnant that IS too hard. 

I think what upsets me the most around the home is the general clutter that piles up on the kitchen table, kitchen bench and in our bedroom. Once a pile of clutter is already there things get thrown on top of it and it grows and grows and grows. So, my goal for this week is to find a home for all the things in the piles of clutter around the house (or throw them out) and not let them pile up again. 

It's simple, right? ;) Time will tell. 

Head on over to Me and YOU Monday Week 6 to link your post or see what the others are working on. 

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Animals according to Alexis (18 months)

This is my third week participating in Cherish Your Cherubs project run by Seven Cherubs. So far I have recorded what my cherubs are like and remembered when I found out I was pregnant. This week's task was to interview.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the interviews of some of the other bloggers (mostly with older kids) and wanted to give it a go. I can't really ask Alexis the depth of questions that some of the others have been asking, as she is only 18 months old. So I asked her some questions that she was capable of answering, so she wouldn't get confused and frustrated.

I was amazed at how well she did. This whole interview was in one sitting (well one standing, walking around, playing play doh, but in one go) and we didn't use any visual aids. I'm so proud of my clever little angel but most importantly we had a lot of fun. I wish I had recorded this on video, but even if I did I wouldn't post it anyway (Corey and I don't want videos of our kids on the internet at such a young age. It took me several months to get the guts to put a photo up.) So I'm sorry you'll have to use your imagination. I'll do the best I can to describe it. Hopefully the transcript will still be fun to read.

Me: Alexis, what does a puppy say?
Alexis: *makes panting noises*

Me: What does a kitty say?
Alexis: miaow miaow. Hisssss.

Me: What does an owl say?
Alexis: hoo hoo.

Me: What does a sheep say?
Alexis: maaaa

Me: What does a cow say?
Alexis: BOOOO!

I giggle hysterically for a small amount of time.

Me: What does a duck say?
Alexis: doing the quacking action Cack cack

Me: What does a rooster say?
Alexis: puts one hand on head like a comb cockacoo

Me: and what does a cow say again?
Alexis: Boooo!

Yep, it's still funny to me.

Me: What does a lion say?
Alexis: ahhh.

Me: What does a tiger say?
Alexis: raaahh.

Me: What does a monkey say?
Alexis: "uh uh uh".

Me: What does an elephant say?
Alexis: brings arm up and down like a trunk brrrr

I start getting serious now.

Me: Am I good mummy?
Alexis: puts arms out for hug "aahhhhhhhhhh" (like an awww cuddle noise, not roaring like a lion!)

Me: How much do u love me?
Alexis: puckers up for a kiss .

I'll take that. Thanks Alexis. Mummy loves you very much too.

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Just can't do it again. (R U OK?)

I have written a post for the "R U OK?" campaign many many times over the last month or so. Last night I finally settled on a post I was mostly happy with. I was doing a few minor edits and accidentally wiped the whole thing. No matter how hard I tried to get it back it was gone. I cried. Mostly I cried because I had put so much time and effort into it, but it's more than that.

I cried because when I first wrote the post and then again when I was editing it, I wasn't just writing any old post. In my heart and mind I wasn't sitting up at my computer writing a post, I was back in the moments that hurt the most. I was feeling the pain again. All of it. When I lost the post it felt like all my hard work and the pain of writing it was for nothing.

I have a rough draft saved in an email. I could edit it, if I really wanted to. It was a good post, according to a fellow blogger who I asked to check it. I don't know, though, if I can bare the hurt of going through it again. When I write I put myself back in the moment. My memory is, well, without wanting to sound conceited, pretty special. It's  a gift from God and I should use it for good, yet sometimes it feels like a curse. 

When I was writing and editing that post I wasn't here at the computer. I was at that doctors surgery seeking help and being rejected. I was back in that hospital emergency room being told I wasn't that bad so go home, rest, grow up and go back to work. I was at church looking for support but instead being told to shut my crying baby up.

I was the one feeling alone in the crowd. I was the one unsure what to do with my baby, who I loved so much but felt totally out of my league with. I was the one feeling like a failure as a woman because cooking, cleaning and nurturing did not come easily to me. I was the one in tears asking my husband to stop trying to "fix" me but to just let me be upset for a little while.

As I write this I'm in several places at once as I relive being the young woman confused by my own feelings, ashamed of the pain I held inside. I know, full well, because I can feel it, the agony of wanting to ask for help but not knowing where to go or who to trust.

Pulling myself back to reality I can tell you now that I'm happy, healthy (apart from the flu) and content. I know the love of my daughter, my husband, and my God, and I can love them in return. I can also tell you that it wasn't always this way.

I couldn't tell anyone. I didn't know how. I was afraid. More than anything I wanted someone to understand, to look beyond the "I don't care, leave me alone," smokescreen. I wanted someone to see beyond the bad behaviour and the dodgy self-defensive aggression. To push past the shyness. I wanted someone to SEE ME and to simply ask,

"Are you OK?"

R U OK day is Thursday 15th September. Ask those close to you if they are ok. Its also so important to ask those you've always been afraid to ask. "Difficult people" are often difficult for a reason.  If you can, ask them if they're OK and stick around for the answer. Your simple question might mean more to them than you could ever imagine.

Finally, my dear readers, are YOU OK?

Helpful information:

To help spread awareness of R U OK? Day, bloggers around Australia are uniting as one. The links below are all posts written for R U OK? Some are incredibly personal and moving stories, some are motivating, some are shocking, but all are written with a heart to support the cause.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Things I know: saying NO

Here's some things I know:
  • I love being pregnant but it is hard
  • Having a toddler and being pregnant at the same time is really hard 
  • Iron tablets are disgusting, and the side effects are not pretty, but they're better than iron deficiency (which totally sucks)
  • Support of family is so important 
  • Cutting back on activities is inevitable and necessary to survive
  • Some people will be upset and feel pushed aside when I can't do much with them
  • Trying to defend myself and explain my situation only seems to make it worse
    • I think they think I'm making excuses or patronising them or suggesting my situation and needs are more important than theirs. This isn't my intention
  • It is important to be mindful of others feelings and I am trying hard but sometimes I just have to say "no sorry I cant" and leave it at that
  • It is OK to say no 
  • There's no point bashing myself up over my own limitations. Adding guilt to the stuff I'm already struggling with is not going to help anyone 
  • I can't make people understand how tired and sore I feel at times, so all I can do is cut them some slack and try not to feel offended that they are offended, if you know what I mean
What I would like to know is, do you have any tips on subtly and tactfully explaining to people that I don't hate them I just need to be a little selective with my time and energy at the moment? I'm more than happy to visit people at home or somewhere where Alexis can run around safely, but I don't want to stay out too long and I'm happy for people to come over but I need to guard Alexis' nap schedule because I NEED that break myself. I also need to save time and energy to do the housework. *cough cough*. I hope I'm not the only one like this. It's normal, right? Did you have to cut back your social life a little bit when you were pregnant?

Joining Shae at Yay for Home for Things I Know

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thankful for blogging and YOU

Linking up to Katesaysstuff for Thankful Thursday. Visit her post to see what others are thankful for today.

There are so many things I'm thankful for this week. I won't remember all of them but this list will be long enough anyway! I am:

  • Thankful for my "me and YOU monday" link-up. Although it's not very popular it has encouraged me to keep persevering and I've seen great progress in a couple of fellow bloggers' goals. They are awesome people who would have done these things anyway but atleast this way I get to witness it. 
  • Thankful for my own domain name thanks to being in the right place at the right time. I won a giveaway comp on twitter thanks to little hero hosting. I won 3 months hosting too but I decided that at this stage of pregnancy it's best for everyone if I stick with blogger (it's been good to me) and don't try to learn any new technical things. Their stuff looks great but I'm just don't have the time or mental capacity to swap my blog over right now. 
  • Thankful for a giveaway I won through Seven Cherubs where I won a $30 voucher from Romantic Flair Original. I am so excited about this, I love personalised gifts and Corey's birthday is not too far away! Or I might wait until our son is born and invest in a commemorative plate or something.
  • Thankful for the support and online community that comes from fellow mummy bloggers. I love how we can all encourage each other, laugh with each other, celebrate with each other and even cry with each other when appropriate. Thank you all.  
  • Thankful for my husband and daughter who make sacrifices (ie a clean house and my undivided attention) to allow me to pursue blogging. 
  • Thankful for all my followers and likers. 
    • I want to check out the blogs of all who follow me and/or like my facebook page. It's hard because some of you don't have public profiles, so I don't know how to find your site. If you follow me and I haven't visited your site then I might not be aware that you follow me or I don't know how to find your site. It's a pretty slim chance I don't like your blog, so don't be shy, leave me a comment letting me know where to go or email me at 
  • Thankful for your comments!
    • Comments make it all worthwhile. Every hour I spend slaving away at the computer (or every minute avoiding housework) is worth it when I read comments like the ones I've been reading lately. Thank you so much for making blogging such a rewarding experience. 

The people who gave me stuff didn't ask me to post links or even mention them, I just wanted to anyway.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Read us a story grandad

My dad with my daughter Alexis and niece Isabella reading Spot. The perfect end to fathers day.

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

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Five big falls in 6 hours

Watch her fall, pick her up, comfort her, dust her off, and watch her fall again. This seems to be the story of my life today. Alexis is growing in stature and in independence. She is tackling new obstacles regularly as her confidence and physical abilities increase. As her mother I both watch with pride and yet cringe with dread at the same time. I hope against hope that she doesn't fall. Some obstacles I forbid her to climb, but whenever possible I let her experiment. It's my job to keep her safe yet I have to let her learn too. Human beings learn through trying and failing and trying again. It's in our nature. Perseverance is an admirable quality and so is an adventurous spirit. I don't want Alexis to fear new things and I know I can't wrap her in cotton wool. I still feel like a failure when she falls though. I hate when she is hurting and I can't take the pain away. It's especially horrifying when I see it happen but I can't catch her in time.

This morning at playgroup she climbed up the ladder on the play fort and sat on the ledge. She turned around to shimmy back down as there was no slide, just a tiny ledge. As she was preparing to slide down the ladder a smaller child came up the ladder. Alexis backed up to get out of the way and fell backwards from a sitting position onto her back. She thumped her head on the ground. I saw it happening but I wasn't fast enough to stop her. All I could do was pick her up, cuddle her, kiss her, pat her on the back and dust off the grass. She wriggled from my arms back to the ground, where she proceeded to have another turn. She was successful this time, thankfully.

A few minutes later she was playing in a toy house with a few other kids while I was talking to some mums. I hear a bang crash noise and I glance over to see the house fall apart and tip over. A familiar startled cry cemented my fears. The child underneath the house was my little Alexis. It had knocked her over in its path and it landed on top of her. Fortunately it's only a plastic house and not heavy, but it was an awkward fall and she clutched her arm for several minutes while I held her, trying to comfort her and stop the tears.

I was concerned she may have severely hurt herself but the more experienced mummies assured me she was just frightened. I don't blame her for being frightened, it was her second big fall in a matter of minutes. I felt like a terrible mum, but what's the alternative to letting her play? I can't keep Alexis inside all day everyday watching TV doing nothing in fear she might hurt herself. Even if I tried she would just bounce around on the couch until she fell off (this may or may not have happened a few times before).

It didn't take long for Alexis to ask to be let down and run off to play again. She was having an altercation with a small child about whose turn it was to play with a particular toy so I led her by the hand in search of something else to play with. I thought the seesaw would be safe. I requested the help of a three year old little darling on the other side. It was a fairly dodgy ball-style seesaw. I had to physically pick Alexis' side up and push it down again. Alexis and her little friend giggled and giggled and giggled. All was great until Alexis let go and when I tried (unsuccessfully) to catch her the seesaw tipped over and her little friend hit the dirt too. I felt terrible but they both hopped back on. Sure enough, after a few minutes of giggles, it happened again. I suggested we play with another toy.

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful until later this aftenoon when Alexis found a chocolate on the table and I thought, sure, let her eat it, why not. Fool! She was sitting on a chair as she does all the time. I have tried to discourage her many times but she keeps climbing back up so I gave up days ago. So she was happily eating this choccy when the washing machine finished and I quickly ducked away to swap it to the dryer. I wasn't gone long but my heart came up to my throat as I heard a drop, a sook, and then a bang and then a scream. She had dropped her chocolate, bent down trying to pick it up, and fallen. She bumped her mouth, with a huge mouthful of chocolate, and scared herself silly.

I was so scared. I didn't think I'd get away with the fifth fall in 6 hours. I brushed aside the "I'm a terrible mother what a useless failure" guilt trip to calm her down and assess the damage. There was no damage, thank the Lord, just one frightened toddler and an even more frightened mamma. I dropped to the floor, held her close and sung "Jesus loves me" until she stopped crying. I then gave her a dummy and she stopped zooming entirely. I desperately had to go to the toilet (of course) so she started up crying again, but once I finished she asked to brush her teeth and then she was fine. She sat and watched a TV show for a few minutes while I cleaned up the chocolate explosion. Before I knew it she was climbing up onto the chair again, giggling her little heart out.

Thank God that someone watches over my child. I feel useless when I'm too slow and awkward to get to her in time but at least she is not seriously hurt. I do fear though that one day I might not be so lucky and a trip to emergency will be on the cards. If that ever happens I guess I'll deal with it when it happens. I can't watch her 24/7. I can't stop her trying to grow up. I guess kids get hurt, it's a part of life. All we can do is be there to pick them up, comfort them, and dust them off, ready to fall again.

That said though, I might start double checking the dining chairs are pushed right up against the table. Ah who am I kidding? She can drag the chairs out anyway, she does it all the time.

Do you have boisterous toddlers? How do you cope with them?

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Why pregnant woman are like toddlers

This pregnancy has helped me identify with my 18 month old daughter Alexis in a whole new way. My husband has jokingly said that I act like a toddler at times, and, well, when you look at the facts it's not surprising really, is it? Here are some of the similarities I've noticed between my daughter and I at this stage of our lives.
  • We need to go pee pee a lot, and when we do we don't always get a lot of warning. (Actually Alexis can hold it longer than I can. How sad is that.)  
  • Do we really have to wear shoes? 
  • We tire out easily.
    • It is not wise to let us get overtired. 
  • We tend to not realise we are tired til we are exhausted. 
    • But if you tell us we're tired we think you're a monster. 
  • Falling asleep is quite difficult.
    • We fight sleep every step of the way. 
  • Some days we are ravenous (very hungry), other days we barely eat a thing. 
    • It is not wise to let us get over-hungry. 
  • We have the urge to do it all but sometimes our bodies can't keep up with our ambition.
    • We don't take this very well. 
  • We are quite cute, although slightly out of proportion
  • We have extreme emotions:
    • when we're happy we are on top of the world 
    • but when we are sad we are very sad.
    • When we are angry you will know it. 
    • We are NOT MOODY!!!
  • Some days we want to be cuddled and held, some days we don't want to be touched.
    • It is your job to know what day it is. 
  • We get cross with you if you can't read our minds.
  • We are growing fast.
  • Our sense of identity can be a little shaky, so we want to be told we are precious and pretty and clever and loved. 
    • But we don't want to be patronised. 
  • Spew happens.
  • Poo happens, eventually, but sometimes it can take a bit of effort. (If you value your life don't rush us when we are trying to poop, OK? )
  • When we cry you might think we're being silly but our problems are very real to us. (At least for the next five minutes.)
  • You can't possibly understand our frustration at times.
  • We just want to be understood and taken seriously even if we don't always understand ourselves.
  •  9 months is a very long time.

    Do you blog on Tuesdays? Why not join Jess at Diary of a SAHM.

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    Sunday, September 4, 2011

    Me and YOU Monday - week 5 - from head to heart

    Welcome to week five of Me and YOU Monday. I'm sorry it's actually Sunday night, but it's after 11pm, I want to go to bed, and I don't want to wake up early to post this but if I don't post before Alexis wakes up it's not likely to go up before 10am, so in the interest of our morning readers getting to have a looksie, it's going up now :).

    If you aren't familiar with how Me and YOU Monday works, each week for the last five weeks I have posted about a specific goal I've wanted to achieve for myself throughout the week and then summarised how I went in the next week's post. I then said whether I had achieved my goal or whether I needed to continue. A few brave ladies have joined in with me and added links to their posts on their blogs using the linky at the bottom of the page. You can join in playing if you like, there's just a few simple 'rules' down the bottom of the post.

    For those playing along with your own goals (whether publicly or privately) I hope you are doing well and seeing improvement. Even if you think you haven't done well, don't get discouraged, because you haven't failed you just might not have finished yet. Well that's how I'm feeling anyway. I've posted goals that have been very real, very important, and very difficult. I did this deliberately, because they've been areas of my life that I've really wanted to change and I thought keeping myself accountable on such a massive scale would be a good way to motivate myself to change. I have made good progress with all my goals but I can't say that any of them are done and dusted. All my goals were to change bad habits slowly formed over a life-time. It will take a long time to ever say I'm "done" working on those areas, but, although I still slip up at times, I am noticing great progress, and I'm allowing myself to be happy with that. If you are wondering what my goals were, they were:
    week 1: To tame my inner stress monster
    Week 2: To persevere with stress management techniques
    Week 3: To tame my tongue (stop swearing)
    Week 4: To control how I speak to people (try to be nicer in general)and try not to let my B.I.T.C.H.I.N.E.S.S. ruin our lives.

    So over the last week I've worked really hard at watching what I say and why I say it. I've said the wrong things and spoken harshly at times but I've worked hard to think about why and to apologise as quickly as possible. I've realised I spack out when I'm feeling stressed, exhausted, overwhelmed, useless, hard done by, or jealous. So instead of condemning myself (which is useless and achieves nothing) I've had sub goals of getting a bit more me time and asking for help. These have been great, because when I'm feeling better about myself I am generally nicer to those around me. Corey has been great, helping me lots with Alexis and around the house. I haven't been feeling well due to my body adjusting to the iron tablets and their horrible side effects. We've had some dramas with Alexis' sleeping habits (just for something different) which haven't helped either. That said though, admitting we don't know what to do but trying to support eachother the best we can has been great for us as a couple. I've also consciously tried to focus on and praise Corey for the good things he does and the things I admire in him and to not draw attention to the little things that irritate me. We also have been freeing up time for Corey, Alexis and I to just play as a family and relax. These changes have helped heaps, and are habits I want to continue for the rest of my life. When my days are about nappy changes and food and sleep schedules, it's so easy to get caught up on the negative, but I love taking time out to appreciate our little family and just hang out.

    I had a post planned about prioritising keeping the main bedroom clean and tidy (by keeping Alexis out) but I'm not sure if I really want to keep her out of our room or not just yet. I've nutted out a few drafts about starting self-settling and stricter bedtimes with Alexis, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to go there just yet either. I know we have time restraints, with not an awful amount of weeks until Wormy's due, but I'm still uneasy about the idea and I don't want to make a goal that I am not convinced I want to keep. So, in short, my goal for this week is to persevere with my previous goals of not stressing, not swearing, and treating others well. I want to try to change, not out of stubborn willpower or obligation, but I want to internalise the changes, to allow God to change my heart. I don't want to enforce a set of rules on myself but instead be transformed in the way I think and feel and thus act and react so that instead of instinctively having a habit of stressing I have a habit of trusting God, so that instead of swearing and cutting others down with my words I have a habit of speaking positively and truthfully and nicely. I want to see others as God sees them (valuable, worthy, loved, precious) and to do that I need to see myself as God sees me (yes, I am those things too, in His eyes).

    I hope I have not made you uncomfortable by getting spiritual here, but I think it's about time I openly admit that I cannot do these things in my own strength. They are incredibly important so I'm not going to skip over them. I'm going to openly put myself out there and say I'm trusting God to come through with this. I promise to be real next week and not sugar coat anything or be misleading. This is kind of petrifying for me but I trust God to work wonders in me. He's already started after all, so the best thing I can do is step out of the way and let him work. If this confuses you, don't worry, I'll try to explain more next week.

    Anyway I've rambled long enough. Would you like to join in Me and YOU Monday? Your goal can be anything at all: playing more, doing the dishes, not yelling, not staying up too late, not having that extra coffee, whatever you like. Nothing is too small, and if it seems huge break it into smaller bits. If you would like to add your link, then 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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