Friday, 27 June 2008

5 months young

Sweet baby, today you are 5 months young. A cliche (or several) is perfect here, time has flown by! You have grown so much and our family has loved every moment.

You are adored by your older siblings, sometimes a little too much by the little ones, as they lean on you to kiss your cheek. I want to jump in and save you but I wait a second as you seem to know what they are doing and don't mind, amazingly.

You were born in water in our loungeroom. A family birth, welcomed by your very excited siblings. I love that they were able to see how normal birth is. How important it is for baby to be with Mummy from birth and then to stay as close as possible for the 4th trimester. Being in the wrap was perfect for this.
You have recently discovered how loud and high you can pitch your voice. Wow! This is hilarious to watch. You kick your little legs as fast as they can go and squeal, very loud. However at 1am, not so hilarious.
You sleep in bed with Daddy and I which you and I both love. I love it as I get so much more sleep and you love being close to mummy and of course booby milk. I read on another blog about how first babies pave the way for future siblings. This is very true for our family. Your eldest brother is often called our guinea pig baby. We learnt many lessons with him, made mistakes as well as success's. The biggest lesson was to listen to my heart and not those of others who gave, whether asked or not, advice.
'Rod for your own back' was always the reasoning behind their advice. I soon learnt it was all based on their opinion and not baby friendly at all. "It's just what you do" they would say. For not reason or thought, just because.
Babies do not 'need' to exercise their lungs. Last I checked lungs were not a muscle, and cries where a babe's way of telling us they needed something. Nappy change, elimination, booby, a cuddle,maybe a bit of wind, etc
With each baby our confidence grew and we relaxed more, even though each baby has been very different. After 5 babies I can say with confidence no two babies are alike, and to treat them the same is not fair. They are all individuals. They all have different personalities.
You our sweet 5th baby are quite chilled and very happy most of the time. This may change over time or may not. I never assume to know or judge what my children are like. As this leaves no room for them to change as they grow.
At the moment you are squealing at your older sister, Miss 3 going on 30, sings and giggles with you. She adores you so much and tells you how when you are older you, her and mummy will go shopping and dancing.

You love attention and faces, especially smiles. When Daddy gets home he will smile at you and say "Hello" and your eyes light up, legs start kicking and cue the squeeealing! Again like Mummy, he is not too keen on this at 1 in the morning. But we don't mind as too soon the time will pass and you will be in your own bed and we will be saying how much we miss having a babe in the bed with us.

One of my favourite times with you is when I carry you in the wrap. If you are tired you will fall asleep in a matter of minutes. We get lots of attention when we are out in the wrap. Lots of other mums and mums to be want to know all about the wrap, where to get one, how it works.
They all mention how comfy and warm you look next to Mummy, which I nod and smile at thinking "well of course she is."

Here you are asleep on me. Awwwww, so snug.

I have said it with each new baby, but it is true. It is as though you were always there, just waiting for your turn to join us. With each babe I forget what it was like before they were here. They all fit in perfectly, adding their own touch to our growing family.

You have added such love, tenderness and laughter. Your biggest fan is your eldest brother. He can hear you before anyone else, except me. He is tuned into you and ready to pick you up when you need. He will say to you "It's ok, big brother is here. Do you want some mummy's milk?"

Happy 5 months baby girl.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

'When' Wednesday

Yes, it is Thursday. But, I thought of this idea on the weekend and then forgot to do it yesterday. I could wait until next Wednesday but I already have an idea for then.

So here is the first 'When' Wednesday

"When children dress themselves'

Her father is cringing right now. She was also wearing shorts and a tee shirt, in Winter. I left the designer footwear, but talked her into some pants and a jacket.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

It's the little things...

Others I know tell me I am hard to shop for. This surprises me as I could easily go into many shops right now and buy a list of things I'd love.
However, call me old fashioned but I still prefer someone to treat me nicely and be a great friend, rather than give me a present.

I never imagined that one of my favourite moments would be a simple hug from my children.
My 2 year old just walked up to me, arms up for me to pick him up, so of course I did, who can resist? He squeezed me tight and made that squueeee noise and than wriggle to hop down and went on his merry way.

I hope one day he understands just how much that fills my heart, when his child does the same to him.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Buying something for me!! I know, exciting!

Back when Huz and I were both working (in jobs that paid money. I need to make that point as I am still working, just not getting paid) and had no children, our extra money was for us to do whatever we wanted. Clothes, little trips away, night out, shoes! The list goes on.
Since having children we have more more careful with money and only purchased items for ourselves that were really needed.

Tonight Bubs and I went to a shopping centre. We needed some groceries anyway, and a nappy bucket, so I thought it would be nice to look at stores on our own. Bubs was in the wrap so getting around is sooo easy!

We went in a few stores and as usual bubs received lots of attention, she is totally gorgeous and loves smiling at everyone. In one of the shoe stores I noticed a lovely pair of boots. Something I would have grabbed without thinking years ago. I noticed the tag, hmmm, 30 dollars off.
So I asked the shop assistant for my size and tried them on. Oooh so comfy!
Yes, I bought them. And yes, I forgot the nappy bucket.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

I found a wonderful site all about breasts and feeding

It is called 007breasts and I am loving it!! Lots of pictures of breasts and babies feeding, which I am hoping you have heard about, is 'normal' Yes! Breastfeeding is the normal way of feeding infants. Mammals all over the world are feeding their babies right now. Have a look at these gorgeous pictures.

I find it both interesting and frustrating when people tell you when you 'should' wean a baby/child from the breast.
Why do assume that the child does not know themselves? Why do they insist on saying babies must be weaned? Could it be because of their own insecurities and comfort levels? I highly suspect so. Of course being raised in a society that views women breasts as sexual does not help at all.

Maybe if we had pictures and billboards all over the country of babies and children breastfeeding society would start to see the normality of it. It is how we and other mammals survive.

I love this paragraph from the OO7 Breasts website, in regards to breasts being sexual.
"Well, we do have a peculiar obsession with breasts in this culture. A lot of
people think it's just the human nature to be fascinated with breasts but in
many cultures, breasts aren't sexual at all. I interviewed a young
anthropologist working with women in Mali, in a country in Africa where women go
around with bare breasts. They're always feeding their babies. And when she told
them that in our culture men are fascinated with breasts there was an instant of
shock. The women burst out laughing. They laughed so hard, they fell on the
floor. They said, "You mean, men act like babies?"
Carolyn Latteier, the
author of Breasts, The Women's Perspective on an American Obsession, in a
TV program "All about breasts". (see

Saturday, 14 June 2008

She of only 4 months, entertainer to many

Bubs is 4 months old. Why does time insist on flying by so quickly, and why do babies and children also insist on growing even faster.
The older children just adore her, she can do no wrong. I remember when the oldest boys felt the same about their other sister and brother. I guess younger siblings are easier to like when they are not pulling your lego masterpiece apart. A construction that took hours to put together.
Or pulling all the clothes out of drawers, pulling your hair and squealing in your ear.

Bubs loves people looking at her, talking to her, showing her toys and amusing her in general. She can laugh, cry and then laugh again in the 5 seconds it takes you to grab a nappy from the wardrobe. Constant eye contact she demands!
Which is perfect as the older children don't seem to get bored of her laughter and happy squeals. Huz and I love to record this behaviour, so we can show them in a few years when they are coming to us in exasperation as she pulls apart another toy, or trashes their room.

For now, though, we look on with pride as our children come together lovingly to be with their baby sister.

Friday, 13 June 2008

On the mend

I am feeling so much better today, thank you for your well wishes. Due largely to my wonderful husband who stayed home from work. He was able to keep the children occupied while I did little more than sleep and feed bubs. He also cleaned, did the washing and cooked tea, followed by the dishes of course. Yes, he is wonderful, no you can't have him.

Conversation heard at our house today ~

Me - C'mon kids time to clean up
Son - Why, is someone coming over?

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Breasts, Mastitis and Ouch, oh my!!

Day 3 of the breast/nipple/pain thing. This morning a bit of uncomfy-ness (yes, it's a word) turned into Mastitis. Stop reading here if the word nipple makes you red faced. I will be saying it a lot!
Firstly, to those who think I am 'lucky' to be able to breastfeed, ah, no. It is not luck. It is pure perseverance and will power to carry on struggling to the light at the end of Booby Tunnel.

My first babe knew as much about breastfeeding as I did. So, pretty much nothing. Don't get me wrong I was given lots of 'advice' and read a shitty parenting book or two about the matter. But still, without the experience I knew nada.

The pain and agony are still fresh in my mind of those first few weeks. Several of the staff and the hospital told me 'It shouldn't hurt, he must not be latched on correctly" To which I would show them my nipple, a perfect read ring around it glaring back at them. Thankfully I was able to have a Lactation Consultant come in and she was great. Explained that yes, breastfeeding can and does happen to a lot of mamma's, especially first time mamma's.
She sat and talked with me about feeding for almost an hour. Finally some advice and facts from someone who knew what they are talking about.

Each week the pain lessened just a teeny amount. By 2 months I could feed my baby without clenching my teeth, curling my toes and swearing like a sailor. This is what they spoke about. The moment you feed your baby and can smile. We are talking averages here of course. Each mother and babe are very different, and the length of time it takes to feel confident and pain free with breastfeeding varies from a few days to a few months.

Yes, it hurt like razor blades shooting from my nipple, yes I thought it would never end, yes I had my husband buy me formula and bottles, make them up and sit them in the fridge.
What changed my mind? Several things. The main one sticking in my mind is looking at the bottles, the yellow 'milk' in them. I looked at my husband and said 'I can't do it. I can't give him that stuff. It will get better, I have to keep going'
So I sat back in my rocking chair, held my breath and put my tiny baby to my breast. It hurt and I clenched myself again.

With each baby since my first I have experiences tenderness, and a small amount of pain for about a week after they were born.

3 Days ago, and still now I am reminded of the pain of those first weeks with my first born. I have mastitis, and wow, does it hurt. I am taking Belladonna, massaging, using Dr Newman's nipple ointment and reading his fact sheet again, hot/cold compress and practicing biting my tongue so as not to swear in front of the children.

I am on the mend and getting better. This is what helps, I know I will get better and feeding will be enjoyable again. Perseverance is needed in many aspects of parenting.
For anyone pregnant, wanting to know more about breastfeeding, and those who in those first weeks and experiencing pain, it does get better! You can do it! I have a list of resources on the right side, have a look, and learn as much as you can. Join your local breastfeeding organisation, and chat with other mum's who have been through it.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Basket ball for the Littles

To the kids, keep having fun and enjoying the time you spend together playing basket ball. Do your best to block out the noise on the side line.

To the parents, please, I am begging you, stay seated, smile and clap as though you are watching English Cricket and enjoying your high tea. The children are 6, 7 years old. They are having fun, learning the rules, smiling and joking around with each other. It is lovely to watch.
This is not the grand final of baby basket ball with a million dollar prize pool.

I know it is exciting watching your child. But please, golf claps are much easier to deal with than you screaming at your child to thrash the other team, grab the ball off him or her, and one that really surprised me, get a goal or you won't go to McDonald's!!!!

That's all I have to say about that right now.

Monday, 9 June 2008

This time 8 years ago...

I was lying in a hospital bed with mixed emotions. I had given birth several hours earlier. Pain is the first emotion that comes to mind. The pain of labour, birth, after birth, trying to breast feed.

I remember with my first more so than my other births how my body looked and felt after bubs was born. wobbly, squishy and empty. The baby was born and my tummy was still big but there was no baby snug inside anymore.

I couldn't sit and so I struggled to learn to feed lying in bed on my side. So much 'advice' about how, when and where to feed. We were learning together, both of us with our first time. Why had no one told me breastfeeding was hard work that took time to learn? Why did it come so naturally for others yet took us months to get there?

Others were so excited and clucky over the new baby to join the family. I was happy also, but in shock still at what just happened. If THAT is how women give birth every time I am not doing it again.
As you can see in my profile I am a very proud mamma to 5 beautiful children. What changed my mind? Determination and a yearning for better.
The time came that I wanted more children and I was certain things would be different. I popped the "inside the box thinking" bubble and broadened my learning and education into all things labour, birth and baby. Starting with a search online for the best positions for labour and birth. I was not going to tear again or have stitches! (for those interested I stayed upright in my next labour and birth and no tears or stitches!! Repeat for bubs 3, 4 and 5!)

My first experience with birth, as hard as it was in many ways was my first step onto the journey that brought me to where I am now.
While I have not and never will forget what I went through, I am now at a place of forgiveness for myself and the treatment I received. Everything that my baby and I went through was the beginning of something more powerful and bigger than I could ever imagine.
I am now a very proud homebirther. While at times I may envy others who have their first babes at home, I do not wish away the path that lay behind me.

Happy Birthday my sweet son. Together we have stumbled along the way and I know we shall continue to stumbled as we head into more firsts for both of us.
Thank you for choosing me to be your mother, thank you for making me a Mummy.

Oldest and youngest. You call her 'My girl' and dote on her in such a lovely, tender way. She smiles, laughs and giggles at you and it melts my heart.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Apples take two and a first

Today we popped over to our little fruit and veggie place. Fresher AND cheaper than the supermarket. This week I only purchased 10 kg of potatoes and another box of apples. Lets see how long this box lasts! Hopefully longer than 4 and a bit days.
Huz has moved them up high so the littles can't grab them. They take one and have a few bites then leave them somewhere then go get another, repeat for mentioned scenario.

My 'first' for this past week was trying on clothes with bubs in her gorgeous Storch wrap. It is red and I looooove it. Anyhoo, I went shopping with Miss 3 in the stroller and bubs.
I was lured in the store with huge 70% off posters. This lead me to the jeans, which I am need for as I am in the 'between' phase of not long having a bub and still getting motivated enough to lose the last kilo or 15.
So I did the test, putting the jeans against my waste seeing if they would sort of fit, but I needed to try them. Off to the change room we go. The salesperson smiling as I walked into the Change room.

Bubs happily smiled and laughed at herself in the huge, bright not-so-flattering mirror while Miss 3 happily flung the curtain open for all to see.
When I put them on the counter to buy the sales person smiled again and asked how I went. Thus started a conversation about wraps and how fantastic they are. I love spreading the word. I think what helps is the wrap is such a gorgeous colour, it draws people in.

Now, I just need to get motivated and figure out how those Tim Tams keep appearing in the cupboard.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

World Environment Day 2008

In what ways are you helping to heal our planet? For our family we try hard to use the car as little as possible.
We have a clothes line outside. This cuts down the use of the dryer which uses more energy than most people realise.
Putting a bucket in the shower catches a lot of water. You can then use the water to put on the garden.
Another smaller bucket in the kitchen sink for the drips, as well as catching the cold water that comes out first when you turn the hot water tap on. Instead of it going down the drain you catch it in the bucket, then on to the garden or veggie patch it goes!
Compost. Great for veggie leftovers and then the compost is perfect for the garden or veggie patch.
Clothes are handed down as much as possible. Those that are too worn out or torn make great rags for cleaning windows or ledges etc.

World Environment Day, commemorated each year on 5 June, is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action.
The World Environment Day slogan for 2008 is Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy. Recognising that climate change is becoming the defining issue of our era, UNEP is asking countries, companies and communities to focus on greenhouse gas emissions and how to reduce them. The World Environment Day will highlight resources and initiatives that promote low carbon economies and life-styles, such as improved energy efficiency, alternative energy sources, forest conservation and eco-friendly consumption.
The main international celebrations of World Environment Day 2008 will be held in New Zealand. UNEP is honoured that the city of Wellington will be hosting this United Nations day (read the press release).
The day's agenda is to give a human face to environmental issues; empower people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development; promote an understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues; and advocate partnership, which will ensure all nations and peoples enjoy a safer and more prosperous future.

United Nations Association of Australia offers you the opportunity to be involved in the wide range of issues that confront the United Nations and Australia: from human rights to peacekeeping, from greenhouse gases to clean water. Not only is Australia an active member of the United Nations, but this country's Federal, State and Territory laws are, in many cases, part of Australia's international obligations. UNAA gives you a chance to be heard.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Children 'helping'

I'll be honest. My children helping with chores, cooking or cleaning is like nails down a black board for me. I know it is wonderful and such a learning experience for them to help. After all that is how we learn, by practising.

I do try my best to smile as clothes are crinkled as they 'help' me fold, or how half the mixture ends up on themselves, the bench, me and the floor as they whisk or stir.

But I endure it as I know one day they will be able to make dinner for the family. Although if the trend continues, by the time they are actually old enough and capable of doing so, they won't want to!

Here is my daughter 'whiksing' as she calls it, the pancake batter. Such a momentous occasion always deserves a picture.

This weekend we will be making muffins. Send me lots of happy, smiling, teeth clenching vibes.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Room cleaning record..

Today is day 3 of cleaning the older boys bedroom. I should clarify 'they' are cleaning the room, not me.
I did help a little bit with their wardrobe, which took all of 3 minutes. I then showed them how quickly it can be done but continue they did at a snails pace.
At least we can now see the floor, now that the millions of lego pieces have been put back in their tub. Lego that I am sure multiply in the dark of night, gleefully laughing about the times I step on them and scream.

As of this week we are also looking at what language to learn for our LOTE KLA.( For the non teachers that is Language Other Than English Key Learning Area) At the moment it is looking like French. I said to Huz we can go to France. He said let's start with Sydney first, then work out way out.
Please feel free to tell me your success and horror stories about learning a language.