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.


26 October 2008


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


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


    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.  

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