29 November 2008

Pics from my camera


Watching the rain

Favourite spot

Safe co-sleeping?

The only recent photo of Mr T on the camera... his foot with some loo paper.

24 November 2008

The gate, the kitchen and the dare

Here ya go Sif!  Isn't it beautiful?




And because I couldn't be stuffed tidying up the kitchen before I took the photo, I'll treat you with and additional annotated pic of our kitchen mess.



Clockwise(ish) from left:
  • A mostly chewed (by Little V) grape on a crummy plate, as in a plate with crumbs on it, probably from someone's breakfast, sitting next to a plastic bag containing the stalk of the grapes and a few grape dregs
  • An opened packet of biscuits and 2 dirty tea mugs from when my Dad came over a couple of hours ago
  • The deep fryer.  I have no idea why it's sitting there
  • A used glass and plate (probably from my lunch) and a bottle of dishwashing liquid
  • A very grubby gas cooker with some very grubby dishes on it
  • Knives, jug and cleaning spray (no, I don't Enjo)
  • The sink with more dirty dishes, wine glasses etc...
  • Very brown cupboards
  • Some vases, a dirty tissue and a coffee machine we've borrowed from my inlaws
  • A plastic bag full of something on the floor
  • The dishwasher (full of clean dishes because I haven't emptied it yet), microwave and dirty teatowel
  • The fridge, which is looking quite uncluttered except for a funky magnet my friend gave me a couple of weeks ago that says "she was the life of the tupperware party", some family photos and magnets to stick them up, a few other magnets (gotta have a Darth Vader magnet on yr fridge!), the kitchen timer and a laminated Little C with removable/posable arms and legs from the "pin the limbs on the C" game we played at his birthday party.
Do you dare to show off your as-is kitchen pics too? Yes, you do!
Is this a lame-o attempt at a meme? Yes, it is!
So if you're reading this, take a picture of your kitchen as it is right now and post it on your blog. Surely I'm not the only person with a bit o' kitchen mess.

...okay I'm going to clean it now before ANM gets home from work...

23 November 2008

The excitement of fensage and gateness

So here I am drinking my second glass of wine for the evening.  Top qual cask wine too I might add. Yeah, I know, breastfeeding, but... meh.


I tripped over our kitchen fence yesterday.  We've had the kitchen fenced off from the rest of the house since Little C started to crawl because it's horrible and dangerous and we haven't got around to renovating it to appropriate kid safety standards yet. The fence was just one of those octagonal plastic playpens opened out and wedged up against the entrance to the kitchen.  The fence didn't have a gate so for the last three and a half years we've been leaping over it to get in and out of the kitchen. 

Yesterday morning I was carrying Little V and misjudged the height of the fence as we were coming out of the kitchen and managed to snap it in about a gzillion places and send a chair that it was wedged up against it flying across the room. Some helpful god must've been watching over me because I somehow managed to stay upright and avoid major injury to myself and the wee one. Little V barely batted an eyelid. The fence was cactus.

So off to the shops to buy a new fencey thing. ToysRUs had a heap of different kinds but not many that would fit our wide kitchen entry opening.  In the end we went nuts and bought a $200 (totally out of our pre-agreed budget) configurable fence/playpen with a gate in it. OMG OMG talk about luxury. A gate. A gate. It has a gate. For 3.5 years I've had to hurdle in and out of my own kitchen.  I now have A Gate! Ah, the small things...

Not so lucky was my poor, poor mother-in-law who yesterday tripped down a step (yes, one step) in her own home and broke her ankle in two places. Wishing you a speedy (and hopefully not too painful) recovery, A. *mwah*

10 November 2008

Jazzing up twenny bucks

Mr T has been to a few birthday parties lately and it seems the done thing within nerdy 13 year old boy circles is to give money on such occasions.  This is absolutely fine by me.  I'm happy to avoid the stress of trying to find a perfect yet affordable gift for a kid I barely know.  


Simply giving $20 in a card is a little boring though, so this is what I came up with for the most recent birthday boy:


For those of you who aren't familiar with Australian coinage the coin is five cents.  The idea was for the birthday boy to think Mr T was giving him 5c for his birthday then as he pulled the coin out of the pocket, voila! he found $20 stuck to the back.

All the kids at the party thought it was hilarious!

I'm such a dag... but a creative one, huh?

09 November 2008

10 months old today

...and it walks!




Nerd post - web host joys

Well, it's been a crazy ol' week for sure.


In between Nappy Fabric Mountaining, Great Cloth Diaper Hunting, some fairly irritating web hosting dramas, looking after the kiddies, and all my usual weekly stuff, I haven't had oodles of time to myself this week.

I'm currently multitasking, or at least my computer is, deleting all the ibreastfed.com files from my 2nd host and then re-uploading them from a backup.  At least I'm really hoping I'm deleting the files from the right host. Eeek.  Yes, I am.  The joys...

I have 3 hosts for the same website at the moment.  

The first host I've been with on and off for years.  They are Australian, therefore they are expensive.  I am on their cheapest plan, which wasn't going to cut it for the Diaper Hunt, and all their other plans involved paying for a year in advance, which I didn't feel like doing for one month's worth of extra traffic.

So I found I nice eco-friendly WAHM-run host in the US that offered what I needed for a similar price to what I'm paying the first host, so I signed up.  They very kindly offered to move my site for me but it didn't work.  Well, it worked in that they moved my site, but it was somehow a version from early September, including an extra database and a whole bunch of files I had deleted before signing up with them... weird.  After they eventually believed me about the September thing, they sorta kinda fixed it, then I fixed it some more.  It looked fine from a user's point of view but it was very much cobbled together and the Wordpress admin area wasn't working properly which meant I couldn't change anything or add new content very easily.  

Ugh, so I had my site running perfectly on my first host but was a couple of days into the month and about to exceed my monthly bandwidth allowance, and I had the 2nd host which looked fine for users and had a generous bandwidth allowance but had major problems with it's admin interface. What to do, what to do...

Host 3: I found a really cheap (and huge) US host and copied all my files and database over to them.  It worked almost perfectly.  There was one teeny glitch with the DB transfer that I fixed very easily. So ibreastfed.com is now running through them. I have no idea why the 2nd host hadn't been able to transfer my site properly.  I guess I'll find out soon enough if it doesn't work for me this time... 

Anyway, that's the short version.  Exciting huh?

31 October 2008

Exhaustion and bubbles

I'm so tired.  I'm sitting here typing one-handed (as usual) while Little V nods off.  My sale over at Nappy Fabric Mountain has been going nuts, which is great, but between finding and measuring and listing and unlisting fabric for sale I haven't had time for much else, besides looking after the Littles of course.


Mr T had his best mate Mr B over for a play this afternoon.  Do you still play when you're 13? I can't remember.  They arrived home and watched the end of Narnia with Little C while I made them a snack, then Mr T read some of his new book to Mr B. They're both into sci-fi/fantasy stuff and the new book is something to do with dragons... I think. Then they played Myst (Myst III, can't remember the proper name of it right now) for half an hour on the computer. I usually only let them do computer stuff for half an hour or so coz I'm so mean. They'd both sit on there all day if they could. They played with the Littles for a while and then we all went outside and blew bubbles!!! One is never too old to enjoy the bliss of bubble-blowing.

It appears Little V is now asleep.  He's snoring in my arms.  I think I'll go and put him in bed.

29 October 2008

Want cheap nappy fabric?

Go and check out yet another me at Nappy Fabric Mountain.


I'm selling off my post-WAHM nappy fabric stash at ridiculously low prices.

28 October 2008

Pathologising the nerd - a brief rant

Autism spectrum disorders (including Asperger syndrome and autism) are very real and often debilitating conditions. I am getting a little tired of uninformed people labelling anyone who is intelligent with slightly dodgy social skills as "autistic" or "an aspie". Just because someone is a nerd does does not mean they have Asperger syndrome or autism.

Mmmkay?

26 October 2008

Birthday!

Saturday was Little C's 4th birthday. He was SO excited when he woke in the morning.  We'd put streamers up the night before and the look on his face when he saw them was... ahhh. :D Presents were opened and then I took the Littles to the shops to buy croissants (or secronts according to Little C) for breakfast, came home and ate our secronts and did the mad scramble of last minute party preparations.


Yes, I'd agreed to have a birthday party for Little C. He'd been planning it for months... I on the other hand had been desperately trying to pretend it wasn't happening.

So 10am arrived and it was party time. Amazingly, everything worked out beautifully and the only thing I managed to forget were the party hats, but I don't think anyone noticed. The kids seemed to have a fab time and there were only a few moments of slight disagreement between small people. A couple of families hung around for ages after the party finished so I guess we must have done something right. We rarely entertain and I always feel like such a gumby when we do. Luckily ANM has inherited his mum's good host genes and managed to remember to get everyone drinks, etc.

When the kiddy party finished we had a couple more hours to get organised before the grands and greats arrived at 3:30. Little V finally zonked out just before they arrived and slept for aaages so I had to wake him up so the olds could get their fix of ubercuteness. We were exhausted by the time they left, but a good time was had by all.

After a busy day Little C usually crashes in front of the telly straight after (or sometimes before) dinner but 8:30 came and went and he was still up playing with his new hoard of toys. We'd made a few gentle attempts to get him to go to bed but he wanted to keep playing... and playing, even though he was obviously really tired. It was getting late and ANM and I were exhausted and wanted to go to bed so we started to be a bit more directional in our suggestions and eventually Little C burst into woeful tears and sobbed that he didn't want to go to bed because he didn't want the toys to disappear. Poor little guy had thought that his new toys were just for the day of his birthday. Once I'd explained that they'd still be there in the morning he happily popped into bed and fell deeply asleep.

Photos? You want photos?

Opening the long-awaited Speed Racer helmet he's been drooling over in the shops all year.


Modelling ze helmet


Speed Racer cake


23 October 2008

Graduating to the big potty - elimination communication update

We've been practising elimination communication (EC) part time with Little V since birth and have been using a potty bowl from when he was a few days old. Since he's developed into a strong 9 month old wriggletot we decided it was time to move to something that he can't sproing off mid-wee, quite so easily. 


It's been a week now since Little V graduated to using the Big White Potty. Initially he wasn't too happy about the change and I'm not sure that he even realised the BWP was a potty for the first day, but he did eventually work out what he was supposed to do with it and is now happy to use it for its intended purpose.





For those who care, the one on the left (the BWP) is a Baby Bjorn no-spill potty which I don't think you can buy any more, and the one on the right is the potty bowl from The Potty Shop. There's a pic of Little V on the bowl in this old post.

I can't believe I'm blogging about potties...

Fun with noodles

A couple of days ago the small boys were wanting lunch as they tend to do around the middle of the day, and I was feeling kitchen-creativity-challenged so made them some plain two minute noodles. Much fun was had, especially by Little V, who'd never had more than a taste of noodles before.



For me the fun really started when it was time to clean up and I realised how sticky cold noodles can be so I hatched a (ahem) brilliant plan. I took Little V (who as you can see was covered in the stuff) outside in the sun. I thought surely the warm sun would dry up the noodles nice and fast so I could simply pick them off him. I failed to take into account that a child plastered with cold sticky noodles crawling around in the dirt would probably attract dirt... and I ended up with a baby plastered in cold, sticky, dirty noodles. By this time I too was covered in noodles, so we both jumped in the shower. Little C wanted to join us of course, so a noisy and crowded shower was had by all and water somehow ended up all over the bathroom.  

The water dried up eventually.

I'm still picking noodles out of the carpet, but I don't mind.

16 October 2008

Food co-op score

Yesterday morning I went with my friend A to check out a new playgroup we've been talking about for a while because our usual Thursday morning gig has become a tad crazy and overcrowded. The new one was lovely. Nice bunch of parents, great toys, lots of breastfeeding a-happening and the Littles had a ball.

The big and rather unexpected bonus of this playgroup is that the church that hosts the playgroup also runs a food co-op that as playgroup members we're eligible to join.  The food is mostly normal supermarket food at ridiculously low prices.  The only catch (if you want to call it a catch) is you can buy only one of each item to make it fair for the people who don't happen to get in first.

So this is what I got for $6.20:



Not bad, eh?  I wouldn't normally buy some of the more junky stuff but as I was taken by surprise by the fact that the co-op even existed plus was holding a squirming boy in one arm and a big cardboard box in the other while trying to write down my order list and put items in the box as I went, I don't think I did too badly.  I'll be much more organised next week. 

15 October 2008

3K?

What would you do if your government suddenly decided you give you $3000, for um, happening to have 3 kids?  It's something to do with the global financial meltdown and I don't even pretend to understand why giving us this money will help with the crisis, but anyway, yes, we're getting 3K before Christmas, for real!  Ethics aside, I'm excited.  This means we'll finally be able to enclose our front courtyard and carport so the Littles can play safely while I hang out the washing and do other exciting outsidey type things. Squeee!!

14 October 2008

The things that lead people here

I have a slight obsession with Statcounter.  I check the stats on all my websites daily and I love having a leetle peek into what brings people to my lair.  I especially love checking out what people have Googled in order to land here.   At least a third of my Google hits involve the term "swollen eye" or similar and I can't help having a little giggle but but at the same time feeling a smidge sorry for all the people that end up at this post when they are looking for real help with a swollen eye. 

The unassisted birth (freebirth) of Little V - not for the faint-hearted

I've posted this on a couple of fora and even in a real life hold-in-your-hand magazine in various states of editedness but for some reason never on here, so here goes... 


The Prologue

Throughout my pregnancy with Little V I felt torn between giving birth at our local birth centre where Little C had been born (thus risking unwanted intervention) and freebirthing: having the baby at home in my own space without medical assistance with the small risk of something going wrong. The uncomplicated births of both my big boys (Mr T at a private hospital and Little C at the public birth centre) had been marred by some unnecessary interference by medical people and I did not want the same to happen this time.

I booked into our local birth centre again and received one-on-one antenatal care from a very caring midwife there, much nicer than the one I'd had for Little C. We hired a doula and I saturated myself in information about birth, concentrating on positive rather than negative stories, but also informing myself about things that could go wrong and what I could do to fix them if possible.

I was reasonably confident in my ability to safely birth my baby, or at least know if something was not right, and I knew that even if something did go wrong at home we were fortunate enough to live only 5 minutes from an ambulance depot, 10 minutes from the closest maternity hospital and 20 minutes from the birth centre. Towards the final stages of my pregnancy I decided to not make any decisions about where the baby would be born until I was actually in labour. In the end Little V made the decision for me.

The Arrival (written a couple of weeks after Little V's birth but tidied up later for clarity)

It was 2 days past my due date  and I was feeling a little crampy at bedtime but no more so than most evenings for the previous 2 or 3 weeks. I’d had a bad day and felt like I was getting a migraine. I went to bed at about 11:30pm after scoffing some chocolate. Chocolate usually gives me a migraine but I figured I was getting one anyway, so what the hey…

I woke up at about 1:30am with a full-blown migraine and still feeling crampy in my belly. I lay in bed for a while but knew I wasn’t going to be able to get back to sleep. I’d had bad insomnia most nights for a few weeks and my head was hurting too much to sleep anyway. I got up and had to go to the loo for a poop, which was weird... I never poop at night. I had some Panadol and a drink. I was annoyed that we’d run out of Panadeine.

I decided to watch another episode of The West Wing on the downstairs DVD player. I went and found the disc in the upstairs DVD player and went back downstairs to put it on. No batteries in the remote, grrr, so back upstairs to get the other remote. (We have 2 DVD players the same). Back downstairs again and the remote still didn’t work. Double grrr. Remembered that we actually have two different DVD players now. Found the right DVD player remote and it still didn’t work. Broke the battery cover trying to open it. No batteries inside and the thing took AAAs not AAs like all our other ones so couldn’t swap them. By this time I was feeling like I was in some bizarre comedy skit so I gave up on the remote and used the buttons on the front of the DVD player. 

I was feeling more crampy as this was going on so heated myself a wheat bag for my belly (not the first time I’d done this over the previous few weeks) and finally sat down to watch The West Wing. I had trouble concentrating because my head was throbbing and my belly was aching. I persevered with The West Wing for maybe 15 mins then got up and paced around. My head hurt so much.

At 2:30am I decided to wake ANM to give me a back/shoulder/neck massage which sometimes helps when I have a migraine. I told him I was having contractions but they weren’t very strong and they’d probably fizzle out again. He gave me a massage then came downstairs with me. I was having regular surges, rather than just an achey, crampy feeling but still wasn’t convinced it was the real thing. I paced around the house. I ended up upstairs again at some stage and asked ANM to rub my neck again. He started and I told him to stop because I couldn’t concentrate on making the contractions not painful. Up until then I’d been forcing each contraction to feel orgasmic rather than painful. Chrissy Amphlett was singing “It’s a fine line between pleasure and pain…”  in my head. 

Around then I asked ANM to remind me why I was doing this again. I then thought “These are transition thoughts. I can’t be in transition. It hasn't been long enough and it hasn't hurt enough yet.” I was really hot and took my top off. For the next contraction I felt the need to kneel down on the floor next to the bed and my waters went pop. ANM wasn't in the room at the time so when he came back in I asked him to get the plastic-backed picnic rug out of the car so I didn’t make a mess of the carpet. He rushed out to get the rug (maybe 10 steps from our bedroom) and brought it back in and I knelt down on it after we got my wet jarmies off. Around this time I realised I was probably in real labour rather than prelabour and we should work out whether we were going to wake the kids and make the trek to the birth centre.

ANM went back out to close the boot of the car and heard me roaring. He rushed back in to find the baby’s head was out. I’d had a very sudden urge to push. I was supporting the baby’s head with my hand and panting to catch my breath, waiting for the next burst of energy. ANM and I both supported him as his shoulders made their way out, the rest of his body slithering out behind them.

Little V was on the floor between my legs, looking very pink and healthy but not crying. I realised he had the cord around his neck twice, so I untangled it and he had a big cry. His cry was gurgly so I faced him slightly downwards to help drain the gloop out of him. I asked ANM to get a blanket to keep him warm, although it was a hot summer night, and we wrapped it partly around him, but still with his skin against mine. After a couple of minutes I remembered to look at the clock. It was just after 3:30am.

ANM and I were both shocked that Little V was born so suddenly, and so happy and relieved that he was fine. ANM took some video and a few photos and I asked him to go and wake Mr T, who then came in to meet his little bro.

I was paying close attention to on my blood loss because I’d come close to haemorrhaging after the birth of Little C so was a little concerned about it happening again. I was still kneeling on the rug and I was feeling big gushes of blood. I knew that if I could get the placenta to come out I could eat a bit of it and the bleeding would most probably subside fairly quickly. I tried encouraging Little V onto my breast but he was still wild from his birth journey and not yet ready for a feed. I hadn’t felt any placenta-expelling contractions but tried pushing gently a few times to see if it would come. It didn’t. 

I was concerned, but not at all panicky, about the blood loss. I said to ANM that he should probably call an ambulance because I felt I was losing too much. He called 000 and they were quick to arrive. I was feeling okay when they came in. My blood pressure was good but I was still kneeling on the picnic rug and my legs had gone numb. They had a quick look at Little V and confirmed that he was fine. They asked ANM to call my birth centre midwife to let her know what had happened and then they talked to her and she talked to me, saying that I really should transfer in to the birth centre as I was bleeding and the placenta wasn’t coming away. It must have been about 4:00 by then because they were talking half hour placenta deadlines (birth centre policy is to give syntocinon if the placenta has not emerged within 30 mins but the ambos don't carry synto). I wasn’t too keen on transferring if I didn’t need to but I was starting to feel very weak so I didn’t take too much convincing. 

I’m not really sure what happened next so some of this might be in the wrong order. I think the ambos helped me get my very numb legs out from under me and as soon as they did I started to feel sick and dizzy and revolting. They lay me down on the floor and asked me if ANM could hold Little V. They took my BP again and it had dropped enough for them to start looking stressed and moving quickly. ANM took Little V and sat on the bed next to where I was lying. At some stage they asked if they could cut our cord, and that they would leave it long and I agreed. I vaguely remember ANM cutting it. They inserted a cannula in my hand (the most painful part of the night) hooked me up to an IV and pumped fluids into me for a while. After I started to feel better they helped me onto the trolley. I tried pushing the placenta out one more time before getting on the trolley but it didn’t want to budge. ANM passed Little V back to me and we headed out to the ambulance. I was so relieved they let Little V come with me. I know some ambos here insist the baby travels separately. ANM stayed home, woke Little C and he and the boys drove over to meet me at the birth centre.

It was 4:30 by the time I made it into the ambulance, about an hour since the baby had been born. In the ambulance one of the guys suggested I gently palpate my belly to see where the placenta was. They didn’t want to interfere with it, which was good. It was still highish up and to the right. They got me to try giving another gentle push, which I did but it still wouldn’t budge.

When we arrived at the birth centre, my midwife was there to meet us. The ambos helped me to the bed, had a chat with the midwife, said goodbye, and disappeared out of the room. The midwife checked me out and asked if I’d had any more contractions just as I started to have one, and out popped the placenta. I hadn’t had any syntocinon. She checked me for tears and said I just had a bit of a graze, so nothing worth worrying about. She hooked up another bag of fluid and let that do its thing. I had 2L in total. The midwife cut up some placenta for me to eat. It tasted like blood.

ANM and the boys had arrived and we took photos. Little C was a freaked out by all the drama but calmed down after a while and started singing lullabies to his new little bro. 

We phoned our parents to tell them our news and I SMSed my doula to tell her what she’d missed. I had some toast and a shower and at about 8:00am our family of 5 headed home with the placenta.

The Epilogue

I am really happy with Little V's birth including the transfer, which was in no way traumatic. The ambulance guys and midwife were incredibly respectful towards us. 

ANM was awesome through the whole thing, with not a hint of panic. He has made a point of correcting all the rellies when they call him a hero for delivering the baby.  I love him so much.  *mwah*

As for my new little creature… well, he’s just so perfectly wonderfully perfect. 

The Post-Epilogue 

Having now had 9 months to digest Little V's birth I am still really happy with it, and glad he was born at home.

I was so surprised that the labour and birth had been almost painless and so very, very different to the births of Mr T and Little C. I’d heard of painless birth but thought it was one of those things that happened to other people, not me. Perhaps it was because I was so mentally prepared for it this time after all my reading and talking to my doula and midwife, or because I was at home in my own space with no strangers peering at me. I don’t know, but Little V's freebirth was an awesome, liberating, empowering experience, transfer and all.

In hindsight there are a couple of things I could have done differently to possibly avoid the transfer. Firstly, I could have organised myself some herbs and homeopathic stuff to take in the event of haemorrhage, especially as it had been one of my concerns. Secondly, I could have used visualisation/meditation/self-hypnosis or whatever you want to call it to encourage my uterus to clamp down and release the placenta after Little V was born. After my super-quick and almost painless labour I am totally sold on the power of the mind and its ability to positively (and negatively) affect the physical body. No idea if it would have worked for a haemorrhage of course, but it would have been worth a try.

Oh, and remember how I said they let Little V come with me in the ambulance. Well, they also billed both of us for the ride. Very glad I had insurance.

13 October 2008

Cooking with the Force again - White choc chip banana muffins

So, ANM is away at his Meshuggah concert and I'm here with the three boys. The Littles went to sleep without drama. Mr T had some belated computer time and toddled off to bed at 8:30ish as is his routine. I had a sugar craving but tonight was one of those nights where a spoonful of golden syrup just wasn't going to cut it. I needed substance.


Not much in the kitchen except the usual staples and a couple of bananas so banana muffins sounded pretty good. Could I find a recipe? I could not. Google to the rescue, although it took a bit of searching to find one with the right vibe. I wanted a quick and easy recipe, like muffin mix in a box easy, not something where you had to do fancy things with baking soda. I eventually happened upon a not-too-complicated recipe and modified it a smidge, using the Force occasionally along the way.
  • 60g butter (I used about a quarter of a cup of canola oil instead because I was planning on doing dairy free)
  • 2 cups of self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup of caster sugar (I used sugar that was white, not sure if it was caster)
  • 1/2 cup of milk (I used rice milk)
  • 1 egg (I used 1 teasp of egg replacer - we don't eat eggs very often)
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1 cup of choc bits
I wasn't planning on doing the choc bits but found an extremely old packet of white choc bits in the fridge that smelled okay so chucked them in with the mix, after which I realised the muffins would no longer be dairy free. Ooops. I mixed it all up with a wooden spoon and it wasn't sloppy enough so I added some regular cow milk (no idea how much) seeing as I'd accidentally abandoned the dairy freeness anyway. Combined it all to a beautiful consistency and divided it into 12 holes in a muffin tray that I'd sprayed with olive oil after I'd wiped off the dust. Popped them in a preheated oven at around 200 degrees although the marks on the temperature gauge on my oven have worn off so I don't really know... a bit lower than full anyway.

Not long after I put them in the oven Mr T mysteriously emerged from his bed with a random whinge about his Medicalert bracelet annoying him. Erm, yeah right! Instead of being the mean mother I usually am I let him stay up until they were cooked (20mins-ish - I'd forgotten to look at the timer). Mmmmmm, they looked good. They smelled good. We both agreed they tasted good. Hopefully the ancient choc bits don't make us sick.

12 October 2008

Ahhh, that feels better

Black and white.  Noice!  I'm feeling all refreshed and bloggy again now.


So what's been a-happening...

I've been busy getting ibreastfed.com ready for the Great Cloth Diaper Hunt in November.  I had so much fun hunting in the Great Cloth Nappy Hunt last month (even though it sent me slightly battier than usual) that I thought it would be a blast to sponsor the Diaper Hunt this round.  Getting a little nervous now though... I'll be creating a mini-hunt so have to find that fine line between it being boringly unmemorable and infuriatingly difficult.  I'm hoping that a few women may even return and post some breastfeeding stories when their brains have had enough hunting.

Planning for Little C's 4th birthday party is underway.   Less than 2 weeks to go and I haven't done anything except post a few invitations.  I was going to invite a huge bunch of kids but playgroup politics are too difficult (read I don't want to offend any of the mums by inviting some kids and not others and am so not up to inviting the whole lot) so it will just be Little C and 4 other non-playgroup kiddies.  And that's about as far as I've got with the planning... 

Mr T is back at school tomorrow after a two week holiday and I'm sure he's looking forward to a break from his evil nagging mother, poor child.  Playgroups also start up again this week, woohooooo! ANM is off to a Meshuggah concert in Sydney tomorrow night and I am starting yoga in a few weeks.  Ha ha... yoga... me... yoga... ha ha.  Think giant stick insect tying itself in knots.  Should be interesting.

Anyway, enough fluff from me for one night.

Great websites for preschoolers

This used to be a bunch of links on my sidebar but I think it deserves a post of its very own.


Cool websites for toddlers and preschool age children that Little C (almost 4) loves to visit: 

  • Poisson Rouge (my favourite)

  • Boohbah

  • Pingu

  • Starfall

  • The Playground

  • This is Daniel Cook

  • This is Emily Yeung

  • Thomas and Friends

  • Spam me with your favourite websites for small people.

    06 October 2008

    Reorganising

    Hello, Slacker here!  I feel like a change so am going to be re-organising things a smidge over the next few days.  I need more white space in my life.  

    13 September 2008

    T-shirt weather

    I wore a t-shirt today.  All day.  It's 8:30pm and I'm still not wearing a jumper.  All the clothes dried on the washing line.  We went to a BBQ with friends and family and the all kids played outside in the water.  Bliss!


    It wasn't until my dark period of antenatal depression last year that I realised just how much the weather affects my mood.  Give me a warm, sunny day and you'll get a warm, sunny personality (bwahaha).  If it's cold, wet and gloomy outside I have a much harder time being happy.  I don't think I could handle a winter living somewhere in the world where cold and dark last for months. 

    Done the GDUNH?

    The Great Down Under Nappy Hunt is on again this month. It's a huge online treasure hunt with some fabbo cloth nappy related (mostly) prizes. After two days and 80 icons I've gone slightly batty but have qualified for the grand prize. I might return and try to qualify for the extreme prizes later in the month, but 80 will do for now methinks. My brain is sore.

    The WAHMs who have sponsored the hunt run some amazing stores with gorgeous products. Many are offering discounts to hunters during hunt month so if you are pregnant, have small kiddies or are in the market for cloth menstrual pads, etc, it's well worth signing up (you get a special discount code when you register) and having a browse. There is some great stuff out there. A couple of my lovely Rollicking Rascals WAHMs are sponsoring the hunt so go check it out and have some fun.

    09 September 2008

    Biofart online

    Yesterday ANM mentioned something specific about Mr T's bio father that I was sure I hadn't told him because it was news to me.  Seeing as none of us have had any contact with Biofart for over a year I asked him how he knew.  ANM said he Googled him.  Cool, fine, okay!  So, being a curious lass, I set Google to work this morning to see what I could see.  It didn't take long.  I found a couple of blogs and a bunch of photos and a few other bits and pieces.  Nothing mindblowingly interesting, but it was kind of weird seeing photos of Mr T's little half brother who he's never met.  

    Anyway, it occurred to me that maybe what I was doing fell within the definition of stalking.  As much as I felt like replying to some of his ridiculous blog posts, I would never actually do it, so I guess he'll never know I peeked into his life, except if he has already stalked me of course, and is reading this right now.  I think I feel a bit ick for having looked into his life.  I have no desire to read any more.

    *shudder*

    02 September 2008

    Poor little tooth grower

    Little V (almost 8 months old) is getting his top front teeth. They are at that painful-looking almost ready to break through the skin of his gum stage and he has been miserable for the last three days and nights. His first bottom tooth came through when he was five months old and he was miserable then too, with high temps and much drama. The second one was the same deal a few weeks later. I don't remember teething being such a huge event for Mr T and Little C. I know Little C was uncomfortable for a short while when his first teeth popped through but I barely noticed the eruption of any of the others.

    Poor little bub. Hurry up teeth!

    28 August 2008

    Breastfeeding photos

    Check out the new look ---> www.ibreastfed.com

    Photos make pretty! If you'd like your cute breastfeeding photos to appear on ibreastfed.com simply upload them via this form. Easy!

    27 August 2008

    Sconal experiment

    Question:
    If one has the desire to make savoury scones, will Sister Suffragette's scone recipe still work if soda water is used instead of lemonade?

    Answer:
    Yes! Still just as moist and fluffy and delicious. Mmmmmm



    The weird shape is due to the foot-shaped cookie cutter I used. You might just be able to see the little toes, teehee.

    25 August 2008

    Anzac

    While I was a-browsing the USPS website, as you do when you should be cleaning the kitchen/doing washing/playing with the kids I happened across the list of items which cannot be mailed to Australia. It was all fairly obvious stuff like precious stones, firearms silencers, etc, but this jumped out at me:

    Goods bearing the name “Anzac.”


    Off to Google I went and discovered that

    Various restrictions on the use of the word 'Anzac' have been in place since 1 July 1916 and the importation of goods bearing this word have been prohibited by regulation since 1934. (ref here)


    In 2002 the regulations were amended to allow for

    the personal importation of goods bearing the word 'Anzac'. The importation of such goods that are for commercial use or otherwise significant must have a permit and will be examined to ascertain whether the goods are appropriate and do not offend against the Anzac spirit. (ref here)


    Wow! I knew the word Anzac was highly significant in Australian history but I had no idea there were regulations governing its usage.

    24 August 2008

    Sunday night summary, embarrassment and scones

    Apparently poo is doing some fan-hitting at ANM's work tonight, so he's been called in. I have no idea when he'll be home... today... tomorrow... who knows... At least the Littles are sleeping. Mr T is not because he's just watched "the scariest Doctor Who episode ever made" so is lying in his bed freaking out about goodness knows what. I was sensible and very deliberately didn't watch it. I should probably have advised him to do likewise but he would not have listened anyway, because he is 13 and therefore knows everything.

    Am I the only person in the world who is a nitpickety nanna about other people's spelling and grammar and such things, but is totally incapable of writing a coherent sentence that doesn't contain at least one instance of Chinglish? Tonight I wrote an email to a friend, proof read it I don't know how many times, hit send, reread it and realised I'd left out half a sentence, which made me sound like a wee bit of an eediot. So what did I do? I sent an oops email with the correction, so the first email would make sense, but I forgot to read over the second email before I hit send and on rereading the second one I discovered a major typo which totally changed the meaning of what I'd written. So, you guessed it, I wrote a third email correcting the mistyped word, except again, I didn't check it before I hit send and it turns out I misspelled the same word again, but in a different way. I was swearing profusely by this stage. I think email number four made sense as I did proof read it approximately 467 times before I hit send. Let us hope so, and let us also hope that my friend does not disown me for my idiocy.

    The domestic goddess in me reared her pretty little housewifey head briefly this weekend and baked two (2) batches of the most awesome scones. I don't often bake tasty extras like scones or biscuits because they are usually too fiddly or messy for me to enjoy cooking but these scones were so quick and easy that they were actually a pleasure to create. I don't have photos because they were also very much a pleasure to eat and there are precisely zero (0) remaining.

    18 August 2008

    Forgotten anniversary

    Bad, bad husband, you might be thinking, but no, it was me... again! My brain doesn't appear to have the capacity to remember the date we got hitched. I know we were married in August a few years ago, but ask me the exact date or year and you'll more often than not get an embarrassed mumble.

    Anyway, it turns out that yesterday was our five year wedding anniversary. ANM didn't actually remember until this morning, so I don't feel quite so bad, but I probably should make an effort to remember such things, or at least put them on the calendar. I suppose the forgetting sums up my feelings towards our legal union. Yes, we wanted to make our relationship formal, but the actual legal marriage thing didn't change anything in our relationship, and wasn't a huge event with dresses and bridesmaids and all that stuff, so the date doesn't seem to want to stick in my head.

    But our first date... that one I remember! May 19, 2001... Ah, memries. :)

    16 August 2008

    Phone fandanglings

    My mobile phone has been dodgy and unreliable for over six months so I've finally bitten the bullet and bought a new one. Not exactly bought I guess as I haven't handed over any money for it, but I'll be paying it off over the next two years. Not super happy about starting another two year plan seeing as we've only just paid off and chopped up all our credit cards but with all the free calls we can make to each other now (ANM got one too) it should work out cheaper than our old plan... I hope. Yeah, we even got the same phone... again! Our wedding rings match too except his is bigger and manlier of course. Awww, how dorkishly sweet.

    I bought my first mobile close to ten years ago, back in the days when phones were for making and receiving calls. Then there was this fancy text messaging thing that came along, which was pretty cool. Now, oh my goodness... My new phone has a 5mpx digital camera, shoots video, has a GPS receiver, a barcode scanner (uh, yeah) and of course an mp3/4 player, bluetooth, email and internet stuff, calendar that synchronises with my computer and has about a gzillion other features that I doubt I'll ever get around to working out how to use. And it's just a cheapie, with nowhere near the wowness of an iphone. I'm not even sure I know what's so spesh about the iphone, except that everyone seems to want one because it does everything. I'm not sure how much more everything there could possibly be...

    15 August 2008

    The boy has weaned... I think

    After 3 years and 9 months I think Little C has weaned. Of his own accord his breastfeeds have become less and less frequent over recent months. His last gap between breastfeeds was 6 weeks and he tells me he's a big boy now... so I think we're done.

    This was his first feed, still slimy from birth:


    and this was his 2nd last feed... in June this year:


    And while I'm all teary and reminiscing I thought I'd post this little thing I wrote on Alternative Baby back on Little C's 1st birthday:

    And the winner is...

    Wooohooo, Little C turned 1 today and still boobing happily many times a day
    (and night). :D :D :D

    I've made it this far. Things were looking bad at around 5 months when my misinformed doctors were trying to convince me to wean him because of his numerous allergies and intolerances. They made me feel guilty for wanting to continue to breastfeed him (I was the cause of his pain).

    In true Arias fashion, I have a few thank yous:

    To Dr Jack Newman, breastfeeding guru extraordinaire. 'Twas Dr Jack who in the end convinced me that breastmilk really is best for my baby and gave me the scientific evidence to back it up (and shove under the noses of my unsupportive docs, much to their disgust, hehe). Thanks Dr Jack. You are a legend.

    To my lovely naturopath, Georgie, who not only cured Little C's reflux within 3 days of first seeing him, but has put so much effort into sorting out my not-very-well system and helping me come to terms with some fairly full-on emotional issues from my past. Thanks so much Georgie.

    To my darling husband, who has supported me 100% percent through all the hellish stuff.

    To my mum, who refused to believe that any formula would be better for Little C than my breastmilk, and kept telling me so.

    And a HUMUNGOUS thank you to all on AB who were so supportive at my lowest times. I really appreciate all the encouragement I have received here. This is the only safe place I have found on the net where I don't have to apologise for wanting to breastfeed my baby or parent my children gently. You are all ace. :D :D :D


    Thanks again to you all, and thanks also to Little V for being a fabbo tandem feeder for the last 7 months.

    And of course, cuddles and kisses always for my Little C, who is now so big and strong and healthy and wonderful.

    10 August 2008

    Grandad and the medium

    Still buzzing...

    Tonight I was at a gathering of spiritual folk, including a few mediums. As part of this event one of the mediums stood up the front of the room to bring through a couple of passed spirits, John Edward style. Now, I've been to such gatherings before and have always been fascinated by the mediumship but had come to the conclusion that I was unlikely ever to be picked out as I've really only ever been close to one person who has died, and well, I didn't think our relationship had any loose ends to be tied, and there would always be other people in the room much more in need of closure than I was, etc, etc.

    So tonight I was sitting there listening to the medium when bang-bang-bang-bang: "Old man, very tall (the medium was a shorty), injured leg, sore back, very fond of his garden, grandfather figure, the name T... (he said Mr T's name), end of April (Mr T's birthday is at the end of April)". My heart was pounding like crazy but the medium seemed drawn to a person two seats in front of me. When she vehemently denied that this spirit had anything to do with her I raised my hand. The medium confirmed a few other things with me to make sure I was the person the spirit wanted to connect with, being careful as always not to fish for info, and then passed on a message to me from Grandad (which I shall keep to myself for now, hehe).

    How flippin awesome, and so nice to know he's out there watching over his grandkiddies (and great grandkiddies).

    Once upon a time in Arkansas

    It's a song. I don't know if that's the name of the song and I don't even remember all the words but it was the song I sang at my audition for the Sydney Children's Choir in about 1987. Yes, I used to be able to sing in tune but my hearing is too crappola these days... It wasn't called the Sydney Children's Choir in 1987, but the 2MBSFM Choir but I was still around for the launch of the new-look SCC in 1989 (yay me!) and spent a another couple of years singing with them until I was too adultish to get away with it any more.

    ...which brings me to Facebook. How cool is it that I can type in Sydney Children's Choir in the FB search and come up with a group chock full of all my old choirmates? And old schoolmates too (different group of course). I didn't get the point of FB when I first joined but am now really appreciating the social networking side of things. I love getting in contact with people from my past, who back even 5 years ago I wouldn't have had a hope of finding.

    I've found a heap of old friends from my favourite high school (I went to 3) and have caught up with one who happens to live not far from me. Talk about a blast from the past! It's so cool to see the paths people's lives have taken over the 15-20 years since I last knew them.

    Okay, got off my bum and googled the song. (I lie. I sat on my bum the entire time). Here's a random Youtube chick fiddling at the tune that she liked to hear, captured with some truly ace camera work:



    and here are the lerrks (lifted from http://ingeb.org/songs/ohonceup.html):

    The Arkansas Traveler

    Oh once upon a time in Arkansas
    An old man sat in his little cabin door,
    And fiddled at a tune that he liked to hear,
    A jolly old tune that he played by ear.

    It was raining hard but the fiddler didn't care
    He sawed away at the popular air,
    Though his roof tree leaked like a water fall
    That didn't seem to bother that man at all

    A traveler was riding by that day,
    And stopped to hear him a-practicing away
    The cabin was afloat and his feet were wet,
    But still the old man didn't seem to fret.

    So the stranger said: "Now the way it seems to me,
    You'd better mend your roof," said he.
    But the old man said, as he played away:
    "I couldn't mend it now, it's a rainy day."

    The traveler replied: "That's all quite true,
    But this, I think, is the thing for you to do;
    Get busy on a day that is fair and bright,
    Then pitch the old roof till it's good and tight."

    But the old man kept on a-playing at his reel,
    And tapped the ground with his leathery heel:
    "Get along," said he, "for you give me a pain;
    My cabin never leaks when it doesn't rain."

    09 August 2008

    Woohooo, feeling better today

    Mr T had a new friend over today. Well, not a really a new friend, but a kid I hadn't met before. He seemed really nice, was very sociable and was kind to and inclusive of Little C. Turns out he has 2 younger sisters aged 7 and 1, so that may have had something to do with it. Thinking about it, Ted does seem to have an unusual number of friends who have much younger sibs and his bestie has two younger brothers aged 3 and almost 2... I wonder if this is a new trend in kid spacings due to the higher divorce rate and people having a 2nd marriage and 2nd batch of kids well within their childbearing years, or just a random happening exclusive to Ted's friends. Hmmm.

    Anyway, I'm feeling better. I even cooked muffins OMG OMG! There is one left. It's supposed to be Little C's but I think I might scoff it, or perhaps share it with ANM if I'm feeling generous, although I bought him a beer tonight. Choc chip muffins and beer don't really mix... do they?

    08 August 2008

    Frustration and anxiety

    These two feelings have been overwhelming me this week and I'm sickofitsickofitsickofit. I've been seriously questioning my character, integrity and niceness. Friends are annoying the crap outta me and I've been hibernating instead of doing all my usual social stuff, but even at home I've just been sitting around doing nothing in particular except looking after the kids' basic needs and sitting on my bum wasting time until ANM gets home from work, when I suddenly feel the need to apologise for not having done any housework. Ugh! I used to feel like this all the time, when I had antenatal and postnatal depression, but I've been feeling great for months now, so it's really hit me hard.

    Ughness be gone!!

    29 July 2008

    Ever wondered what happens when a disposable nappy makes it into the wash?

    It ain't pretty. Little balls of that liquid absorby stuff everywhere. Ugh!

    28 July 2008

    Shameless plug: ibreastfed.com

    The reason I haven't been around much for the last few weeks is, yup, my new website:



    Please check it out and if you have an inspirational breastfeeding story to tell please use ibreastfed.com to share it with the world. Here's what it's all about:

    I feel terribly sad for the many women out there who so dearly want to breastfeed their babies but don’t find the support they need when the odds are stacked against them. I created ibreastfed.com as a celebration for those of us who have battled through seemingly insurmountable breastfeeding problems and made it out the other side, and as a source of inspiration for those of us who are doing it tough right now.

    Breastfeeding in special circumstances requires great dedication and perseverance. Unfortunately, we sometimes find it difficult to share positive breastfeeding stories within our parenting communities. There is often so much misinformation and guilt surrounding breastfeeding that is easier simply not to discuss it than to risk causing great offence by *bragging* about our own achievements, no matter how difficult they were to attain. The result is that many positive and moving stories of successful breastfeeding against the odds remain untold, when those exact stories are the ones that can encourage and inspire if heard by open ears.

    ibreastfed.com aims to provide a safe but accessible place for women to share their breastfeeding success stories. As the collection grows, the stories on this website will include mothers’ experiences of breastfeeding babies who are small, sick, weak, sleepy, and who are unable to suck properly, digest effectively, and appear to be allergic to their mothers’ milk. I expect to include the experiences of mothers who have physical disabilities or conditions which have made correct positioning and attachment a challenge, who have had emotional/psychological/psychiatric hurdles to overcome, and who have breastfed through their own chronic or serious illnesses. I will have stories from mothers who have breastfed multiples, breastfed after breast surgery, breastfed despite never having quite enough milk, weaned then successfully relactated, breastfed adopted babies, and overcome many other challenging situations.


    If you have an inspirational breastfeeding story to tell, please consider submitting it to ibreastfed.com. There are a few stories there already, but I need more of your stories in order to make ibreastfed the hub of breastfeeding inspiration that I hope it will become.

    20 July 2008

    "Eating Disorder Mentality" Part 2 (at last)

    continued from Part 1

    I continued drinking the foul formula for a couple of months while I was building up my food intake again. It was a slow process. I was often really hungry and depressed and every few days would go on a bad-food binge, then react, then regret, then be good or a few days, then binge, react, regret. etc. I was not in a good headspace, and my attitude towards food remained screwed up for a long time, the binge cycle continuing.

    At around 7 months a naturopath recommended some treatments which helped Little C’s reflux and gut but he still had painful eczema. He started solids at around 10 months. I was too paranoid about food to start earlier than that and I knew that the elemental formula (which I chose to see as more of a vitamin supplement than a food) would provide him with any extra nutrients that for some reason may not have been available in my breastmilk.

    We started very slowly with Little C’s food… mainly stewed (or tinned) fruit and oat and rice-based stuff. He appeared to react strongly to dairy (although didn’t show a positive RAST test) and a few other things.

    By 18 months he was eating a decent amount of food, although not much variety. Corn, oats and rice, beef, lamb, chicken, sweet potato, apple and pear… I think that was about it. I took him for a follow-up allergy test and the immunologist told me I needed to wean him off the elemental formula and breastmilk onto cow milk. He tried to convince me that there was no benefit to breastfeeding Little C beyond 6 months and that cow milk would be better. What??? I still don’t understand why milk made for herbivorous ruminant babies would be more beneficial to my child (or any human child) than human breastmilk…

    Anyway, I didn’t take the immunologist’s advice on the cow milk but did walk away with a referral to see his dietitian-buddy. He and I thought perhaps she could help me with some ideas on foods for Little C and me. My diet was still far from normal and by that stage I loathed even thinking about food, let alone cooking, and I just had no idea about what to try next with Little C.

    The dietitian appointment might have been okay if the woman hadn’t been totally incapable of comprehending how much I hated thinking about food, and why I was still in this bizarre binge cycle that I couldn’t seem to get myself out of. She told me I had an eating disorder mentality and sent me away with some recipes. I never even looked at the recipes when I got home. I already had a shelf full of recipe books that also didn’t get looked at. Why? BECAUSE I HATED FOOD, silly woman! In hindsight, she should have referred me to a psychologist… or someone. Gosh, I hate to think of this woman treating someone with a life-threatening eating disorder like anorexia nervosa. “Here, these recipes will solve everything!” So, on I continued with my bad eating habits and wonky attitude to food.

    As of late last year Little C (at age 3) has been eating an almost entirely normal diet (minus sesame and nuts, and with limited egg). His skin and gut are fine. He has behavioural issues after eating junky foods, but I don’t think that’s unusual in his age group.

    As for me, I’ve had a really hard time not attributing every rash or vomit or weird poo of Little V’s to something I have eaten. I still fall into an obsessive frame of mind about it every now and then, but I mostly eat quite normally. I even ate nuts a couple of week ago!! *shock* It’s really only in the last few months that I’m starting to feel okay about food again and am slowly getting back into meal planning and cooking. Poor ANM has not only been the sole money-earner but also the primary family cook for a long time. Ah, he is so patient with me, lovely man.

    So what were the triggers for the beginning of my attitude shift, besides Little C finally being able to eat most stuff without the sky caving in? Two big things…

    1. In February this year I went and saw a psychic, which is not something I’d ever done before. Without going into any details which might make you think I’m even more of a loon that you already do, she attributed my weird love/hate food thing to some past life stuff and told me I could let it go, because it wasn’t relevant to this life. Whether or not this is true, it’s something that I can direct myself to think about when I’m feeling overwhelmed with foody stuff, and it tends to calm me down.

    2. I discovered and was brave enough to read the lovely blog, You’ll Eat It And Like It, where Chrissy so beautifully describes the intertwinedness (probably not a word, I know) of her love for food, cooking and her family. It gave me a whole new perspective on food and meals and cooking, and it made me realise that food prepared with love is infused with love and will not do the same harm as food that has been infused with hate or other negative emotions.

    Ah, I feel like I'm finally over the big hump now. Not absolutely, totally okay yet, but well on the way at least.

    Glad I finally got that out!

    09 July 2008

    Hmmm

    I was sure I already posted this note but ye olde memory must be playing tricks on me...

    Aaaanyway, I promise the rest of the story is coming, and in a brand new somethingorother, which will be revealed very, very soon...

    23 June 2008

    Thought of the day

    I am always in the right place at the right time.


    22 June 2008

    "Eating Disorder Mentality" Part 1

    That's what the dietitian said was wrong with me.

    Rewind...

    When Little C (now 3.5) was very young, around 3 or 4 weeks old he developed a nasty rash on his face. Yeah, I know lots of babies get the hormonal rash thing around that age and it goes away, but Little C's didn't go away. It just got worse and worse. Around the same time he developed nasty reflux and I quickly became a human advertisement for baby vomit-scented clothing.

    So being the good mum I am, I thought I'd try giving up a few foods to see if that helped him at all. I started by getting rid of dairy and wheat, then removed egg, and then gradually got rid of almost everything from my diet until I was eating only chicken and rice and drinking water. Little C improved a bit, but not much, and I lost around 30kg in 4 months. Woohoo, you might think, but it was not a healthy or fun way to lose weight.

    Now the logical thing at this point would be to say "Stuff it, this isn't working. I'm going to start eating again". Unfortunately, every time I tried to reintroduce foods back into my diet Little C and I would both have bad reactions. It seemed as though excluding foods had actually made us more sensitive.

    After many tears on the phone to the allergy clinic they eventually decided they could fit us in, so off we toddled expecting at least a plan of action to get us back on track and to stop me from losing any more weight. After five and a half hours of tests and lectures they sent us home with two tins of elemental (protein-free) formula. I cried and cried and cried. I had breastfed Mr T until he was nearly four and was a former NMAA (ABA) Counsellor for goodness sake. How could I give up on Little C at only five months?

    So I weaned Little C... then I unweaned him the following day. I drank the revolting elemental formula myself, and continued on with my chicken and rice, gradually introducing a few other things along the way. If you've never tried elemental formula it tastes absolutely disgusting but is also bizarrely filling. I continued to give Little C a small bottle of formula every day or so. The allergy clinic people and some online *friends* had scared me enough with stories of kids who couldn't eat anything but refused to drink elemental formula because of the taste, so had to be tube fed. Ugh. Anyway, that's why I continued with the one bottle a day thing for Little C. I preferred for him to have a bit of the formula so that he would cope with the taste later if he was unable to tolerate solid food.

    Stay tuned for Part 2.

    Good stuff

    It's Sunday so I thought I'd take a moment to take note of some good stuff that's happened in the last week.

    I finally got around to cutting Little C's hair. It had grown to the length where people had begun assuming he was a girl... not that there's anything wrong with girls... I was one once.

    Until now Little C has be terrified of having his hair cut so I've been cutting it in his sleep, which as you can imagine gets a little messy. This time ANM somehow managed to bribe him with some time on the Playstation, so there Little C sat while we cut his hair. ANM started the haircut, probably because he knew I'd never get around to it, and I finished it off. It's very short and looks a bit raggedy and moth-eaten, but not too bad for a couple of parents who have no clue about haircutting.

    I saved a slater out of the bathroom sink rather than just swooshing it down the drain and didn't insist on the removal of a baby huntsman spider that has taken up residence in our hallway.

    I have huntsman-phobia, which I'm attempting to overcome. It all began one day when I was a kid, probably around ten years old, as I was running my bath. Just for something a bit different on this particular day I decided to get undressed, then hop in the bath and then turn on the water. The only problem with my plan was that unbeknown to my small self there was a huntsman spider as big as a dinner plate hiding up inside the tap. Okay, perhaps I exaggerate but it certainly seemed like that big as it jumped all over my naked body after the massive fright it got when I turned on the tap.

    *shudder*

    I cooked a few nice meals for my family and actually enjoyed it. The cooking I mean. For the last few years I have detested even thinking about food, so this is a big thing for me. Must remember to blog about my "eating disorder mentality" sometime.

    I babysat a friend's 2 year old daughter so she could go to an exercise class. It's been ages since I've looked after small kids other than my own. Her mum was so worried that she'd be all tantrummy and difficult for me but she was fine. She's such a sweet little girl.

    I tidied the study, which for the last few months has been rather overwhelmed
    with junk. We can now see the floor, and possibly even swing a cat.

    Little V grew his first fang.

    I'm sure there are lots of other things but I really must... extract... fingers... from... keyboard...

    21 June 2008

    Flickr Friday - Trees



    1. Carpeted path, 2. Lemons, 3. Canopy, 4. little bit paranoic, 5. Palm trees San Pedro Belize, 6. kaleidoscope, 7. metamorphosis, 8. Redbud leaves, 9. Ghost

    A day late. Oh well. I'm a bit slow. It was most enjoyable!

    Find out what Flickr Friday is all about over at Lazy Cow Designs.

    20 June 2008

    Get a job

    That's what Little C just said to me. Actually, it was more like "Get a jahb" with an American accent. I think he watches too much telly. Perhaps I should do something about that.

    19 June 2008

    Dollhouse

    I think this is my all time favourite Sesame Street clip. Such pure, innocent, screen-free fun. When my sister and I were littles we had a really cool dollhouse that I think my dad made and mum decked out with curtains and things. We definitely had teeny little plates and spoons like in this video. I don't remember having any actual little dolls, but maybe we did... The plates and spoons stick in my head more than anything else. Erm, not literally of course.



    I love the cats. I love the laughter. I love how the destruction is all part of the fun.

    18 June 2008

    Preferred pumpkin

    For Sister Suffragette...

    These galeux d'eysines pumpkins are so funky. Warty and weird on the outside, but beautifully bright orange inside and wonderfully easy to peel and cut. They taste pretty darn good too!





    Kudos to Dab for growing this little rippa!

    17 June 2008

    Passion riddle

    I've managed to reinvent my blog and get rid of the bizarro formatting problem... for now... I think... so I'm back. (Ya think I used enough of those dots?)

    While I've been absent I've been contemplating the randomness of my blog, thinking perhaps it should have a theme. I look at Sherrin's crafty, creative blog and Sister Suffragette's delicious, foody blog and Dawn's wet-pants-laughing parenting blog and and and I wonder what my passion is, or even what I'm good at.

    It bothers me sometimes that I can't think of anything that I'm truly passionate about. There are things I like, things that are important to me and things I enjoy dabbling in, but passion is something I don't seem to have. Does that mean I'm really boring and unfocused? I guess I'm someone who knows a little bit about a lot of things, not a lot about a select few things. Is that bad? Does it mean I'll float along in life doing nothing particularly worthwhile or interesting because I can't be bothered putting in the effort to be passionate about anything? Aaargh, I've gone all angsty again. Okay, enough! *SLAP*

    So, I've decided my task in the next few weeks is to explore a possible hobby. I have something in mind.

    Anyone want to play a guessing game? Here's a liddle riddle to start you off.

    Eighteen forty-two was the year of my birth
    New system so simple and cheap
    Light is the key
    Russian with a P
    Under shade, I am bright
    In developing excitement
    The inverse is true
    Blue herrings splash in the lake
    Perhaps...

    For those of you who read my blog but haven't yet got around to commenting, c'mon!

    13 June 2008

    Blogging hiatus

    I've been a smidge grumpy with blogger for changing the formatting of my posts, which is why I haven't posted for a week or so. Pathetic excuse, huh? And while I'm at it, why am I such a doofus at getting photos to be nicely formatted? Ugh.

    03 June 2008

    Rain, rain, don't go away... but

    it's been so long I've forgotten how to deal with you. How does Mr T walk to school in the rain? How do I walk to playgroup on the rain? How on earth do I use an umbrella with a stroller? Do little kids use umbrellas or should Little C have some waterproof gear? Do I even own an umbrella?

    I'm sure rain was no big deal when Mr T was small and we didn't have a car but I can't remember what we used to do... Where has my rain brain gone?

    01 June 2008

    3 year old + swollen eyelid

    Me: "What happened to your eye?"
    Him: "It nippled and jiggled and hurt and hurt a lot and a lot and a lot."

    3 year old + camera






























































































    30 May 2008

    Musings on studies and career

    I'm in my 30s and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

    When I was small I wanted to be a doctor, then more specifically a surgeon. I remember gluing myself to a British TV show in the 80s (when I was in primary school) called Your Life in Their Hands which depicted surgery in all it's wonderful gory glory. I loved it and so wanted to be one of those doctors.

    Sometime during high school I think I realised that I would need really high marks to become a doctor, which wouldn't have been a problem except that the closer I got to the end of Year 12 the lazier I became. I decided that I couldn't be bothered busting my brain to get into medicine at uni. I somehow still fluked an okay mark at the end of the year, and toddled off to do a science degree instead, having no idea where it was going to take me. I just knew I liked sciencey stuff.

    Fast forward a couple of years. I had a teeny kid (Mr T) and was muddling along doing my science degree part time but didn't know if I really wanted to be a scientist. So much study, so little money... I seriously contemplated applying for mature age entry into medicine but decided the hours wouldn't be doable with a small person in tow.

    After seven long years of part time uni I finally finished my basic science degree and lined up a supervisor for my honours year. Then a huge wave of I'm-so-sick-of-having-no-money hit and I went and studied IT instead. I ended up being offered an awesome IT job before I'd even finished the course and worked in IT for three and a half years, after which I was totally burnt out and swore I never wanted to see another computer ever again.

    But that was 2 years ago and I've had time to digest my experiences. I do still love science and I do still love IT. I can't see myself ever working in a science research or lab environment but it's something that really interests me. I can see myself working in IT again but not in a direct user support role. I've been slack while I've been on this extended maternity leave and haven't done much to keep up to date with the one niche area I think I have a good chance of getting a job in. I really should get onto that before my skills become embarrassingly obsolete.

    As for what I really want to do... I have absolutely no idea. I wonder if it will suddenly come to me one day, or if I'll have a slow realisation, or if I'll never find it and just plod along in random jobs until I retire. Maybe it doesn't really matter at all... although it would be nice to have a job I could enjoy.

    Ah, that's enough angst for this month. I'm off to numb my brain with Hyperdrive.

    All Gone

    I'm sure I sat down here with a full packet of biscuits only a mintute ago. Now there's just an empty packet on my desk. Ooops. No wonder those last few pregnancy kilos are being particularly stubborn.

    28 May 2008

    Relief

    ANM had to start work at 8 this morning so I used the driving-him-to-work opportunity to go to the shops early to see if the mag was there yet. I went into Coles but they still had the last issue on the shelves, so I headed over to the newsagent and IT WAS THERE. The teaser on the cover read:

    "My baby used a potty from birth" Meet Australia's true Earth Mother (complete with capital E and capital M)

    So I started giggling... but managed to almost hold myself together while I paid for it. I think the poor girl behind the counter wondered what was wrong with me.

    Anyway, they used my words (albeit cut/edited... which was needed) and gave me the writing credit. I'm happy with it.

    Now to wait for the reactions!!

    27 May 2008

    Last minute nerves

    The mag we are in comes out tomorrow. I hope I don't come across as too much of a fruitcake. I hope the photos are nice. I hope my family isn't embarrassed.

    I wonder what time the newsagent opens...

    24 May 2008

    Haphazard thoughts

    I've been sitting here trying to assemble a random bunch of thoughts into a coherent and well-flowing post. It ain't a-happening.

    1. Namecalling

    Little C heard his cousin calling me Mary a few months ago and decided he would do it too, although I'm still Mum if he's tired or hurt. I don't think I mind, but some people think I should...

    2. Who needs toys when you have doorstops?














    "Heeheeeheeeeee, look at me!"















    "I'm a Dalek"

















    Erm, moving right along...

    3. Fun with glass

    Mr T and his friend went to the new Canberra Glassworks for an Off the Street kiln forming session. They started off with a postcard-sized piece of plain clear glass, added bits and pieces of other glass stuff, melted it all together in the kiln, and ended up with these! Cool, huh? They had much fun. Thanks Auntie S!













    4. Flight of the Conchords

    is my new favourite thing to watch on the telly.

    Standing in the sitting room, totally skint
    And your favourite jersey is covered in lint
    You want to sit down, but you sold your chair
    So you just stand there
    You just stand there
    You just stand there


    (ch 10 after Rove on Sundays)

    5. I wonder...

    if there are good viruses, like there are good bacteria.


    Okeydokes, that's enough of a glimpse into my mind for now.

    23 May 2008

    The weak week

    A coldy, virussy bug thing
    +
    Not much sleep
    =
    Neglected blog

    20 May 2008

    Cooking with the Force

    I eat porridge for breakfast every morning, winter and summer (and autumn and spring) and have done so for aaages. I usually use quick oats, which as far as I can tell are just crushed up rolled oats, and water. ANM was watching me make my porridge this morning and commented on the fact that I don't measure anything. I just flick a pile of oats into a bowl, stick the bowl under the tap for a sshhhhlllpppp of water and bung it in the microwave for one and a half to two minutes, depending on my mood. Now, the weird thing it it almost always turns out perfectly. Not too sloppy and not too dry. Why is it that I have this uncanny ability to make perfect porridge? It must be the Force.












    May the Force be with you too!

    17 May 2008

    Blank

    Do you ever think of super-interesting stuff to write on your blog, think "I'll remember that" then later sit down at the computer and have total brain-freezure?

    15 May 2008

    The Jumblies by Edward Lear

    This one of my favourite childhood poems. Reading it as an adult I can now see so much more in it than a simple nonsense rhyme. I love the rhythm of it too. The whole thing gives me tingles.

    The Jumblies

    They went to sea in a Sieve, they did,
         In a Sieve they went to sea:
    In spite of all their friends could say,
    On a winter's morn, on a stormy day,
         In a Sieve they went to sea!
    And when the Sieve turned round and round,
    And every one cried, "You'll all be drowned!"
    They called aloud, "Our Sieve ain't big,
    But we don't care a button! we don't care a fig!
         In a Sieve we'll go to sea!"
    Far and few, far and few,
    Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
    Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
         And they went to sea in a Sieve.

    They sailed away in a Sieve, they did,
         In a Sieve they sailed so fast,
    With only a beautiful pea-green veil
    Tied with a riband by way of a sail,
         To a small tobacco-pipe mast;
    And every one said, who saw them go,
    "O won't they be soon upset, you know!
    For the sky is dark, and the voyage is long,
    And happen what may, it's extremely wrong
         In a Sieve to sail so fast!"

    The water it soon came in, it did,
         The water it soon came in;
    So to keep them dry, they wrapped their feet
    In a pinky paper all folded neat,
         And they fastened it down with a pin.
    And they passed the night in a crockery-jar,
    And each of them said, "How wise we are!
    Though the sky be dark, and the voyage be long,
    Yet we never can think we were rash or wrong,
         While round in our Sieve we spin!"

    And all night long they sailed away;
         And when the sun went down,
    They whistled and warbled a moony song
    To the echoing sound of a coppery gong,
         In the shade of the mountains brown.
    "O Timballo! How happy we are,
    When we live in a Sieve and a crockery-jar,
    And all night long in the moonlight pale,
    We sail away with a pea-green sail,
         In the shade of the mountains brown!"

    They sailed to the Western Sea, they did,
         To a land all covered with trees,
    And they bought an Owl, and a useful Cart,
    And a pound of Rice, and a Cranberry Tart,
         And a hive of Silvery Bees.
    And they bought a Pig, and some green Jack-daws,
    And a lovely Monkey with lollipop paws,
    And forty bottles of Ring-Bo-Ree,
         And no end of Stilton Cheese.

    And in twenty years they all came back,
         In twenty years or more,
    And every one said, "How tall they've grown!
    For they've been to the Lakes, and the Torrible Zone,
         And the hills of the Chankly Bore!"
    And they drank their health, and gave them a feast
    Of dumplings made of beautiful yeast;
    And every one said, "If we only live,
    We too will go to sea in a Sieve,---
         To the hills of the Chankly Bore!"
    Far and few, far and few,
    Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
    Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
         And they went to sea in a Sieve.

     
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