Thursday, 24 May 2007

Summer 2006/2007

Hitting the wall
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01/12/2006, 06:33 PM
I am craving sleep at the moment. I have reached the point where my tiredness is making me feel physically ill. We had a spectacularly bad night last night with the babes tag teaming such that there were 4 of us uncomfortably squished into bed. Then, once I'd managed to drift off with heads in both armpits, the cat decided to have a tantrum. I could have cried.Today was punctuated by me trying to get the new car out of the garage and putting a lovely paint transfer over the front bumper due to misjudging the turn. Some days are glorious, and no sleep means nothing. And then there are others like today where I don't just hit the wall, I go squidging down it, like a fat bug on a windscreen. I feel hungoevr today, without the lovely intoxicated night beforehand. But in some ways I still actually *feel* drunk as well. My vision is that teensy bit blurry, my balance is off, and I just want to get in bed with my husband (admittedly just to sleep). It has actually got to the point where I dream about sleep. Literally. Before I got woken this morning I was dreaming that I was sleeping. Going to bed at 8:30 tonight - just as soon as I've watched Better Homes and Gardens

O Tannenbaum (edited to add photo)
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03/12/2006, 10:43 PM
Well, being as it has finaly clicked over to December I have been able to unleash the Christmas Elf within and bedeck the halls. So the "mantlepiece" is hung with tinsel, with our nativity scene taking pride of place, flanked by the girls' Willowtree angels and a Royal Doulton Santa Claus. And the girls' stockings hang gaily from the cabinet doors, waiting to be filled by the man in the crimson velvet. But as bright (and yes well, possibly tacky) as the mantlepiece may be, it compares not to my beautiful, if somewhat slender (some might say anorexic) Christmas tree. I love putting up our Christmas tree - the ropes of carefully untangled lights, the red glass baubles in every size, but best of all, the quirky unique decorations collected over many years. It makes our tree unique and special. So last night, after decorating the tree, with Christmas songs drifting through the muggy air DH and I wrapped all our lovingly chosen gifts. And now they crowd the base of our lovely tree, hidden in silver and gold wrapping with bows of festive red, green or gold. So now that that is done, I have to focus my Christmas spirit elsewhere, so tonight I cut out the pattern for The Grot's Christmas dress. I haven't sewn *anything* since Grade 8 home-ec (more than 10 years ago now) so it should be interesting to see how it goes!And then once that's done, there is a Christmas pudding or 3 to make, rum balls to roll and cherries to preserve in sweet vodka. Mmmmm Christmas!

Tell me
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07/12/2006, 09:03 PM
When I clicked on the diaries section tonight, I was full of the daily bustling news that I wanted to record... how grown up my little Grot, who has somehow morphed into a Princess looked at gymnastics, and her pride in receiving her trophy at the Christmas party today; how sweet it was to sit in the library with my little pigtailed princess and my bright eyed little monkey and to read "You're All My Favourites"; how watching my Princess run around with her best friend at her daycare Christmas party took me straight back to my childhood, and how a wistful pang barbed my heart, as I realised, perhaps finally, that I am no longer a child - I am a mother OF a child. But that was overshadowed by the phonecall that brought tears to my eyes, and the diary post from someone whose sheer delight in life and its adornments I've always envied. Grief at Christmas time seems so cruel. The stark dichotomy between bonhomie and gaudy, effervescent cheer, and the personal pain and isolation of grief. When I started my diary, I didn't know how personal I was going to be. I intended to be light and fluffy, and to only post that which I would normally reveal to others, which, truth be told, is not a lot. But I had forgotten the catharsis of writing, of laying bare your soul in type. And though I continue to edit myself, when I feel like the line between that which is mine, and that which I'm prepared to share with the world is blurred, I have often struggled with *what* that elusive line might be. As someone who has always kept things hidden, the contradiction of this diary has always appealed to me, and reading other's diaries on this site, I have always felt privileged to be able to read their stories, especially the unedited. I have no idea who reads my diary, aside from approximately 3 people who have PMed me in the past with questions or comments. I doubt though, that those same 3 have been responsible for 4000 clicks! Mostly I am not curious, as much as I am somewhat vainly pleased that there are people who are following my story - I write this for me, not for them/you. But at other times, I wonder what they think of *me*. These nameless people who keep my view count ticking over. Do they think I am as whiny as I am in my posts? As needy? As dull So a challenge if you will, for the nameless ones. Not a pistol duel at dusk, as fun as that may be, but please let me know if you read my diary. And tell me what you think - especially if you have an opinion on it I want to know why you read. What interests you, what bores you. How you feel about reading my diary. How you feel about me. What you hope happens to the heroine (ie me ) in this dramatic saga of sleepless nights and Santa photos. I'll start the ball rolling...I'm Jenn. I'm 25 years old and married to the love of my life. We have two children together, both girls - a Grot/Princess and a Monkey. My username (currently) on EB is Elemental which reflects the beautiful balance of my family, which is made up of an air, fire, earth and water sign. When I am not home full time bemoaning lack of sleep and playdoh in carpets, I am a full time uni student. I am studying medicine. Not because it's prestigious, or exclusive or elite, but because it's what I enjoy and what I'm good at (and what is guaranteed to get me a job to pay off my HECS debt at the end ). In general I love life, and in particular MY life, which is useful being as it is the only one that I have. I have a tendency to vagueness, and my diary posts reflect that in that I will often lose attention half way through a post and then add the next half almost as an after thought. My interests, aside from my beautiful and perfectly balanced family are related primarily to people. I love watching people. How they interact with eachother. The beauty of people, the beauty in nature. I am always seeing things of great beauty, and they stop me in my tracks, render me mute, and send that tingling warmth of molten gold through my veins. A dew drop at dawn, the texture of gouache, the curve of an infant's cheek, an elderly couple's entwined hands, the slope of my husband's shoulders, my daughter's golden curls, the Monkey's musty smell. But enough about me, all we've heard about is me. I want to know about YOU.

Get Ready... to Wiggle
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11/12/2006, 11:16 AM
Well it's just after 10am which means that the Wiggles should be on stage, and somewhere out in the audience, a tiny little girl with golden curls should be Wiggling away with them! We bought these tickets for the Grot (who is now far too grown up and beautiful to be called Grot and shall henceforth be known as the Elfling) back when I was still spewing and fat "with child" on the premise that it would be lovely for her to have something special that was completely unrelated to the Monkey. So today her Daddy has the day off work and she got all dressed up to "go on the train". We decided that it would be heaps more fun for her if she didn't know that she was going to see them and for her, going on the train is a huge treat in and of itself.I am so jealous of DH at this point. I want to be there to see the look on her face when she realises that it is the WIGGLES up there on stage! I want to see her beside herself with excitement that D O R O T H Y Dorofy the Dinosauuuuuuur is dancing. To hear her sing and point her fingers while doing the twist. The last week or so has seen a huge change in the Elfling's behaviour, as well as my tolerance to it. She has started tidying up without being prompted, will sit still for nominated periods of time, will do as she is asked (most of the time) and is just generally being even more lovable. It's the week for break-ups this week, and there are plenty of them on the cards. It is the last week of swimming and gymnastics, and the second last week for daycare (and as such, possibly the second last week with her best friend). Ever since the Elfling started in the babies room at her daycare centre, she has been one of the very few children that actually did "full days" 5 days a week. Because of my study and DHs work, she was always either one of the first to be dropped off or the last to be picked up. When she was in the babies room, only one other child was still there every time we picked her up. A gorgeous cherub of a child with huge dark eyes, black curly hair and the most beautiful dark brown skin. Which seemed to make the Elfling's lily white skin and pale green/blue eyes even more striking. Even as babies, they would interact with eachother, but in that alongside way that children under 12 months usually do. By the time the Elfling was 15 months however, and her friend 18 months, they were inseparable. They did not "parallel play" as children their age are expected, they played with eachother. They would hold tea parties, they woudl take it in runs to push eachother on the trikes and push cars (though to be fair, my bossy little Miss ended up being pushed far more than she did the pushing). Every day they would each take one of their fluffy little friends and take turns looking after them. They painted together, sat together, ate together, read together, dug in the sand together. And even though the Elfling has dropped down to only two days daycare a week, they are still completely inseparable. But our daycare centre only caters for under 3s, so her gorgeous little Prince is moving on next year, to a centre where we don't have a place, and are highly unlikely to score one. The new centre is fantastic, with a proper kinder program, and almost all staff holding a minimum Bachelor's degree. I am hoping against hope that we will be able to sneak her in somehow, but it looks bleak, at least in the near future. We are all lookign forward to Christmas, and the Elfling adores having her advent calendar chocolates every morning and evening (being as the Monkey is not allowed to eat hers). Things are not as nice as the season warrants though, as DHs grandmother is gravely ill and appears to be on the final journey. We visited on Saturday, and while I am sure that seeing her beautiful great grandchildren was lovely, DH found it very hard, and was very introspective on the way home, telling me about childhood memories of mountains of fudge and Christmas baking. Having been down this path twice myself, it's not easy, and this time of year is not exactly kind to those who are not festive or cheerful.The line between respectful and cheerful is difficult to ascertain as well. I want the girls, the Elfling in particular to have a wonderful, special, joyful Christmas this year, but I don't want to be insensitive and ignore the sadness of others either. Last year was difficult as well, as I didn't want to be rubbing it in to my SIL that I had a baby to be joyful over and that she was still dealing with terrific loss. I probably handled it badly, but I really hope that this year Christmas can be a celebration and the start of many new family traditions.

The Sign
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12/12/2006, 09:55 PM
I am and always have been an impulsive person. Sometimes, I will be meandering along, daydreaming about nothing in particular, when I will see something that changes the whole course of my day. Today was one such day, and the thing that I saw was nothign more impressive than the sign near the lift of a suburban shopping centre. I have been going to this self-same shopping centre for at least 7 years. We buy all our groceries there because there is an excellent fruit store and butcher and bakery. There is also a fantastic deli, with shelves full of scrumptious cheeses and hand made sauces and fetta stuffed olives and other good things where DH and I have been known to singe the credit card with tiny packages of stinky cheese (after getting the Elfling's approval of course lol). But I digress.Today, in an attempt to escape the heat, the Monkey and I headed to the shopping centre to "browse". And being as I have already finished my Christmas shopping I was not tempted to buy a thing. So we just meandered through the department stores. After a few hours of this, the Monkey was hungry and presumably wet (difficult to tell in her fabulous Honeyboy AIO because unlike a disposable it doesn't sag and it doesn't stink!! I never realised before just how bad disposables smell - sometimes in the morning I nearly dry retch just from the chemical-y pong). So off we trotted to the very nice parents room at this particular centre, to sink into the comfy leather lounges and feed my very impatient Monkey. As I came out of the room, I noticed the sign. It was not a particularly interesting sign. It was on plain A4 paper and had obviously been there some time. There were no graphics on it, just simple type and a logo, instructing people to go to the second floor. I noticed the sign of course, but I didn't act on my interest at that point. I decided instead to keep wandering around the department stores. But after a while of this, I realised the sign was still bouncing around in my brain. For such a dull sign it was getting far too much attention from my normally scatterbrained self. "How about I just go take a look " I thought to myself. It could do no harm. Plus, I was curious. Exactly where was this place hiding, this place that had been indicated by the sign? So we got in the lift, hit the button for the floor number that had been written on the sign and waited for the heavy doors to close. As the musak played through the speakers I was thinking to myself - I'll just have a look. No harm in loooooking. Of course once I got there, there was a chirpy receptionist at the front door, who was having none of my feigned interest in the pamphlets on the wall. "Can I help you" she asked pleasantly, in an upbeat, funky voice, completely apt for her surrounds. I instantly felt about 10 years older, and also the overwhelming need to see the inside of this place. "Um, yes", I stuttered, "um *picking up the Monkey as she starts to protest the pram coming to a halt - she's a speed demon, hates it when the car decelerates/stops as well* um, just wondering if you have any info on um prices and stuff"? I am so sophisticated it's just not funny "Of course", chirped the receptionist, "please just fill out this form, and I'll get one of our membership consultants to come out to you" (all of this must be pictured as being said by the smiley-est person you've ever met). So while holding the Monkey on one hip, and ignoring the clientele as they sauntered past me with their designer clothing and casually (but oh so carefully) tousled hair, I filled in my details in the form. As soon as I did this I knew I was goign to sign up, but first I had to do the "let's show you how great this place is first" waltz, when all I wanted was the "well this is the sort of deal we can do for you" Paso Doble. The music was pumping, the machines were gleaming, and the bodies were too, with just that perfect sheen of cultured sweat and nary a whiff of BO. 15 minutes later I signed on the dotted line, and I am now a card holding member of Fitness First (again) and the possessor of 3 paid up torture sessions (aka Personal Training sessions). The Monkey let her thoughts known by doing a monster poo and I walked away with a bunch of receipts and a cheesy backpack, BUT I am so excited. Ever since the Monkey was born, I've been feeling like me, but not me. Me inside some suit that jiggles where there was no jiggling before, a suit that also doesn't work *quite* as well as it used to. The very nice membership consultant looked me up and down and accurately surmised that I'm not really overweight, but as I said, it's not even the weight thing that bothers me the most. Weight is but a number on a scale, and when you're within your healthy weight range, it means even less. So I thought (being as it was covered VERY thoroughly by the poor consultant) that here, at the beginning of my fitness journey, that I should try and outline what my goals are, because achieving them makes it all worthwhile. I am very goal driven, and I need to start applying that to me and my body instead of the rest of my life. So, here's a brief list of things I want to get out of this.
I want to learn how to run, so that I can jog (not sprint) without stopping, for at least 10 minutes
I want to be able to do a full Body Pump class with more than 5kg on my bar lol
I want to be able to do a full yoga class with all of the advanced and none of the beginner stances
I want to have at least ONE part of my body that feels sleek and firm instead of "cuddly" and "squishy"
I want to lose *ideally* 20kg, but realistically (and healthily) about 10-15kg
I want to be able to walk into any clothing store, and be able to try things on, and choose clothing based only on whether it looks nice as opposed to being relieved that it fit
I want to not *feel* fat
I want more stamina
I want more confidence
I want to get rid of these damn *jiggly bits*!!And they're my goals in a nice orderly list. I am really happy at the moment. Even with my staple 5 hours a night sleep, and everything, I'm really happy with my life and even with myself. I just want to feel strong and fit and healthier. Also, I am going to disclose my weight on here so that I can't lie to myself. Today, I weighed 76kg (though my weight can fluctuate by up to 2kg in a day, especially when it's hot). I plan on weighing myself on Monday morning as I think Mondays are a good day to start any resolution, and I am going to use that as my official *start weight*. But assuming today's weight is about average, I am hoping, that by the end of the year I can get to below 75kg. That is my first goal. Once I come back from my travels over Christmas, I am going to try and stick to a plan that will hopefully average a weightloss of about 3kg per month, which would mean that it will take about 6 months for me to get to my ideal place. I think that's a realistic, and healthy goal. Also, by aiming that slowly, a) I shouldn't get discouraged and B) it shouldn't d*ck with my milk supply which is what happened when I did this after the Elfling (went in too hard, lost nearly 10kg, felt wrecked and um, gave up).So it begins!

Desperate and Dateless
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15/12/2006, 07:58 PM
Yep, that pretty much sums up how I feel today. This has been a looooooooong week. Very long. Excrutiatingly long. One of those weeks in which the minutiae of daily life become exaggerated until all you can focus on is that mark on the wall that you CANNOT GET OFF. Today fairly crawled by - I swear the clocks all ticked backwards. It started off painful (literally!!) with the Elfling tipping out both of my boxes of sewing pins (approx 250 pins worth) onto the carpet, necessitating me being on all fours, periodically jabbing myself with them. Of course, the Elfling didn't get pricked once, and couldn't understand why Mummy was so upset. It's so hot and humid today that it feels like I'm breathing under water. Even a shower only brings short term relief because the second that you get out of the shower, you're again ensconced in that film of sweat. Once I've trussed myself back into my maternity bra and other clothing it just becomes stifling again. To top it off, the house is a dump and MIL and SIL are visiting tomorrow morning at oh, about 8am. And did I mention DH is out tonight playing poker? So my night tonight, in the sweltering heat and the trapped humidity shall include such fun fun fun as folding washing, cleaning the kitchen, cleaning the lounge, vacuuming the lounge, trying to get the weird stains out of the carpet and for extra sh*ts and giggles, putting washing through the dryer (the house of course needs some heating at the moment) because it's goign to rain all weekend. Ah 'tis a glamorous life. I love my babies, and right now they are snuggled up in their tiny beds in their airconditioned room, being generally adorable (as only sleeping babes can be) but oh what I would give to just chuck on some nice goign out clothes and meet some friends at the pub for a few cold drinks and some raucous games of pool while listening to the house band in the background.This is sheer fantasy of course, as most of my friends are either pregnant, away for the Christmas holidays, or spending time with their significant others. Not to mention that most of the pubs are overrated and I am highly unlikely to be scoring free drinks these days lol. But sitting here, on my own on a Friday night during the silly season watchign Better Homes and Gardens while doing housework just isn't cutting it. Bleh, I'll be better when the rain hits. I love the rain and I think this suspenseful sauna like prequel is messing with my head.

Proof of my own brilliance
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18/12/2006, 11:13 AM
Well if you look closely it is proof of my own impatience, uncoordination and inability to follow very simple instructions, but STILL I am so very proud of myself. Because yes, and wiht considerably less cursing than I remember my Mum using when she was doing the same, I have made a Christmas dress!!! The stitching is the wonkiest I have ever seen in my LIFE and there are a couple of other little errors. BUT! I made a Christmas dress!It has a zip up the back, and tie backs to make a pretty bow and the bodice is fully lined (this is where much swearing was needed) and is yet to be hemmed. BUT I made a Christmas dress. Add it to my yummy rum balls and rocky road and the rich Christmas pudding that I am going to make this afternoon and I'm practically Martha Stewart!! (Without all the insider trading and jail time etc)Sorry about the abuse of exclamation marks, but I am so excited. I haven't made or sewn anything in a lot of years (about 10 if I'm honest). When I told DH he looked at me with that expression reserved for any and all of my hairbrained schemes. It was not a look that filled me with confidence. But I am stubborn (and I had already spent a small fortune on all the material and bits and pieces) so I was doomed to make it. Last night, sitting hunched over the sewing machine that I had only just learned to thread, trying to work out the buttons and gizmos, I was very highly doubting myself. My first attempts at sewing a straight line with evenly spaced stitches (on a sample piece of material) were abysmal. But aside from a debacle with trying to turn the bodice inside out so that it looked seamless (I had sewn a seam that made that impossible), having to rip out and resew the same seam 3 times (the material underneath started to look particularly ratty by this stage). I have still made it. And as imperfect as it is, I love it, because I made it. And here it is to be admired (but never criticised, because I am having none of that )
It is beginnign to feel a lot like Christmas. Well for me and the girls it is (or more accurately the Elfling and I, the Monkey couldn't care less). DH's grandmother is still gravely ill, and all medications and fluids have now been stopped. It is a matter of waiting for the inevitable now. I am very sad, and my heart aches for DH who is taking it very hard. But it is different to when it was my own grandparents. I have known and loved Grandma for more than 6 years now, but as I came onto the scene late in her life, it is not so unexpected and having been through it 3 times now, not quite as traumatic.It is hard to know where the line is, where one remains respectful and decorous, and most importantly, empathetic to those around me, and being festive and merry. That sounds awful in type, like I am upset that this is ruining the cheer of Christmas, or completely indifferent to the sadness of the situation, which I am not. It is just that while terribly saddened, this is not flattening me as it is my husband and his side of the family. Also, one thing that I did learn from goign through it myself with my grandmother, was that I had to remember and find joy in the things that made life what it is - a wonderful gift. Christmas is still etched into my memory as an amazing time, spent with all the family and especially my grandmother. She would be proud of me for making this dress (though would probably insist on seeing the seams and shaking her head at my impatience). She loved Christmas and the bustle and cheer and the joyful squeals of children. Carrying on that tradition keeps her alive for me. Aside from that is the anticipation of the Elfling. The concept of Santa, of opening presents, of opening each door on the Advent Calendar, of new swishy dresses that Mummy has made for her is so new and exciting for her. I cannot wait until Christmas morning, to hear her squeals when she realises that Santa has come! Santa has filled her stocking and the Monkey's too! When she can open each and every gift under the tree that has her name on it. So while maintaining a sense of decorum and respect
Deck the halls with boughs of hollyFa la la la la la la la laTis the season to be jollyFa la la la la la la la laDon we now our gay apparel (!!!)Fa la la la la la la la laTroll the ancient Yuletide carolFa la la la la la la la la

Torture Session One
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19/12/2006, 09:40 PM
Well I survived it, so I had best record it. Last night was my first personal training session. In happy news I was expecting it to be much more painful than it was. In UNhappy news, it was much more painful emotionally than I thought it would be. I am used to making light of things. Of seeing the funny side. Of making wry asides and taking the p*ss out of myself. But standing on the scales in the middle of the gym and looking at the number in front of me just curdled up my insides. I weigh 78kg. I am so grateful that I'm still under 80, but that seems cold comfort. As I was standing there, I remembered vividly a memory from when I was about 17 and standing naked in front of the mirror on top of a set of scales. On that day, 8 years or so ago, my weight was 55kg and I was crying because I felt hideous. Huge and ugly and revolting. Last night, weighing more than 20kg more than I did then, I felt pretty much the same. Hopeless and hideous and revolting. In my size 14 clothes that don't fit properly over my distorted shape, I felt paradoxically incredibly small. I am so furious with myself. So angry that I have let myself go so much. I try so hard to get all the other areas of my life right, but when it has come to me I've just ignored it. The Monkey is 3 months old soon. And I've actually put on weight since she was born. That is just unasseptable as SuperNanny would say. I need a plan of attack for this, and I can't fail in it. I can't always be the mumsy fat chick. I want to be able to run and jump and laugh without anything jiggling. I don't want to be a supermodel (and hey no amount of lipo and facial surgery woudl ever get me there either rofl) but I do want to be healthy and comfortable in my skin. Enough about me and my issewes. In other news I have finished "the dress" complete with fully hand stitched hemming (the one thing that actually looks "right" about the whole dress hehe). It looks gorgeous though. I'm so happy that I bothered with it. Am inspired to make more actually. Obviously my festive rum balls are affecting my brain.Edited to add measurements in the interests of full disclosureAge 25.2Height 170cmWeight 78 kgCurrent BMI 27 (overweight)Waist Measurement 89cmHip Measurement 110/115cm (#1 at level of iliac spine/#2 at iliac crest)Arm Circumference 32cmLeg Circumference 59cmBust Measurement 118cmFirst Goal = weight to reduce to <72kg (which will bring me into the healthy BMI range)

Roly Poly
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20/12/2006, 05:35 PM
The Monkey can roll!!!This mornign she had great fun rolling from front to back, and then back to side before getting stuck with her arm underneath her and flailing about like a fish on a line. She is 3 months old today. THREE MONTHS!!! Holy Moley where has the time disappeared. It was obviously a bit much for the Monkey as well - she celebrated by having a 2 hour morning nap, then a midday nap and then an afternoon nap. She is practically an angelic child!! She is also the smileyest little baby. She smiles all the time, especially if she "loses" me and then "finds" me again. Her bottom lip is still a stunner. When upset it protrudes almost a full centimetre out from her perfect little chin and starts to wobble dangerously. If she is not appeased quickly then it goes from wobbling to full tremor and tears in seconds. Her hair is coming through as a definitive dark red and is beautiful, but odd. We have no idea where the red came from. It can join the Grot's height and pale green-blue eyes in the genetic throwback pile.I am excited because her pupils are now ringed with the first tinges of brown, and you can see that the olivey colour of the rest of her iris is now changing. I'm so happy she's going to have big brown eyes.She is stubborn to a fault, and has continued resisting being a floppy baby. Although she adores being carried and held, she will not snuggle in to you but will actually use her surprisingly strong little arms to brace herself away from you, determined to look out and about at the world, safe and secure in our arms.She will go in the pram now, and likes looking at all the chaos. When tired though she's not interested in anything but cuddles and boob. Dummmies are still around but are barely used. She prefers her fists and will suck and munch away on her fingers with a look of absolute delight when she manages to get them in. She has also started biting me during feeds which hurts a lot and scares me as I wonder if there are maybe some little teeth coming through. Developmentally she seems to have worked out that her hands belong to her and that she can control them. When you put a rattle on her wrist or put a jingly toy within reach it's hilarious to watch her expression as she realises that she's the one controlling the jingly noise and bashing joyfully away. She's so bright and beautiful and clever. I'm in love :)She weighs less than 5.5kg and is about 60cm long at the moment.

Goodbye Grandma
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20/12/2006, 09:11 PM
Goodnight sweetheart, well it's time to go,Goodnight sweetheart, well it's time to go,I hate to leave you but I really must say,Goodnight sweetheart, goodnight.Goodnight sweetheart, well it's time to go,Goodnight sweetheart, well it's time to go,I hate to leave you but I really must say,Goodnight sweetheart, goodnight.Well it's three o'clock in the morningBaby I just can't git right??Well I hate to leave you baby,Don't mean maybe,Because I love you so.Goodnight sweetheart, well it's time to go,Goodnight sweetheart, well it's time to go,I hate to leave you but I really must say,Oh goodnight sweetheart, goodnight.Mother, and your fatherDon't like it if I stay here too longOne kiss in the dark,And I'll be going,You know I hate to go.Goodnight sweetheart, well it's time to go,Goodnight sweetheart, well it's time to go,I hate to leave you but I really must say,Oh goodnight sweetheart, goodnight.You know it's coming. You know what's going to happen. You've watched the wandering baseline on the ECG and know what it means. You've looked at the medications and know what they mean. You rapidly assess the visible signs and you understand. You've been here before and watched the same thing happen. But you still get kicked in the gut.Goodbye Grandma we loved you.

Full Circle
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23/12/2006, 10:08 PM
Today was hectic and crammed full. There is no other way to describe it. Well, there probably is, but my brain is so fried at the moment that the words won't come. This morning started bright and early (well at 3am to be precise) with the Monkey refusing yet again to sleep unless my boob was in her mouth. As long as we were lying belly to belly, and she could suckle, she would fall asleep. But the second it dropped from her mouth, or I tried to roll over a millimetre at a time so that I could lie with my poor back flat, the rooting and flailing and steadily more panicky grunts would start. So we fed constantly until 6:30 am when my poor tired body could not take it any more. This has been the pattern for the last 3 nights and I REALLY hope that it is just in response to a growth spurt, because if it's a sign of things to come I'm going to cry. After dragging ourselves out of bed, DH and I threw together a bag for the Elfling so that she could spend the day with Nana and Grandad at the beach, while getting ourselves looking respectable enough to pay our last respects to Grandma. Anticipating a nightmare run up the coast on this, the first day of the "Christmas weekend" we had left earlier than strictly needed, but got a blinder of a run, arriving early to be with DH's family. The funeral service was lovely and simple, and for me, an outsider to the family, very moving, and exactly what I think Grandma would have wanted. Without fuss, or bother, but with those simple touches that make things right. I cried a bit, but then I always cry. Saying goodbye is not something that I do easily. It's just so final. I loved hearing stories that had been so integral to DHs childhood though, and for myself, I quietly remembered how Grandma had welcomed me to the family. How it was she (and not DH - whole 'nother story) who had introduced me to the family. How she had come to visit my little Elfling in hospital, and the joy on her face when we took the Monkey to see her a few weeks ago. It just felt unbearably sad. But it was in no way awful or terrible like Nana's funeral was. It was just a loving, moving tribute.Afterwards tehre was a "wake" of sorts which, as with the service, was nice, simple and somehow very fitting. It was nice to see family members we had not seen in a while, and it seemed to close the chapter, quietly and respectfully. My only issue was that as it was the first time that many people had seen the Monkey, she was passed around a lot, and being a teensy bit of a Mummy's girl, and at the very least somewhat tired and disorientated, she didn't take overly well to being shunted around.After a decorous period at the wake, we drove back the hour and a half home to change into suitable Christmas party clothes, to find that we had forgotten to take a front door key with us, and had nothing but our sweltering formal clothing to wear. SO we made the impulsive decision to drive to the local shopping mall at LUNCH TIME to go and buy new clothes and swimwear. Somehow we managed to get a park, and within half an hour we were back in the car, each in possession of new clothes and swimsuits. Off to my Dad's family Christmas party we then trotted. Dad's family is of the boisterous, nothing is sacred, loud, infectiously raucous type. So Christmas with them has always been in the same vein. This afternoon was no different, but in some ways it was. DH and I were firmly cemented into the adult's group instead of the children's group, and secondly some family reshuffles made it feel "not quite the same". My Dad's two brothers have both finally separated from their wives this year (at the wives' instigation) and had brought their new partners. Who although nice, and sweet, and friendly enough just felt incongruous to me. They are lovely ladies, but they were so coiffed, and so made up, that they felt foreign to me. They were also not my Aunts, who had been there at every Christmas that I could remember, and it felt odd. One thing that hit me though, was how my Mum seemed a bit lost. She was the only "wife" that is left. She is beautiful and loving and wonderful and my Mum, but she is not the tanned, platinum and manicured type. As I heard Dad ribbing his brothers about their new (and attractive) lady friends, I winced for Mum. She just looked like she didn't know where she belonged any more. I thought she looked lovely today, but she seemed so self conscious as well. I know that she has put on a little weight (she is still smaller than me) but she seemed to be wearing her clothes self consciously today. I just wanted to hug her. Maybe I'm reading stuff into it that wasn't there, and she was just tired from a day with the Elfling. But there was just an undercurrent there, a tension that is not normally palpable with Mum.The Monkey did not have a fabulous time, as she was, for the second time in one day, passed from person to person, who all smelt funny and kept getting in her face and touching her personal body. As soon as I bundled her back in her arms and gave her her favourite comforter (ie my voluptous bosom) she settled right back down again, and seemed to sigh as if to say, "Mummy I missed you".The Elfling was incredibly tired, but had had a fantastic day at the beach with Nana and Grandad - and came home in the same undies as she had gone out with that morning (*score*!). She was spoiled with Christmas presents from the relatives, and was very good while the presents were being handed out. The hardest thing though was that Mum and Dad handed out their presents first, and being as they will be giving the Elfling her presents on Monday, she received none of the first lot. Although she said nothing, her tiny little face looked so forlorn until she was handed her first present, at which point it lighted up like a Christmas tree and she excitedly tore at the festive paper. I cannot wait until Monday morning when she discovers that Santa has been and left his bounty and that there are so many tiny parcels for her to discover, unwrap and enjoy.As soon as we got home tonight we dressed our gorgeous girls for bed and after a "princess story" from her new book (I had promised her one, and she remembered even though she was dead tired) they both went down to sleep, where they have been ever since HUZZAH! The only downside is that the Elfling's minor sniffle from this morning has turned into a full blown head cold tonight, with snot and sore throat and probable headache which I hope beyond hope will resolve once she's had a good night's sleep. DH and I are exhausted, but happy. There is something about a full day with extended family but getting to travel home in your own car, filled with your own precious gifts, then lying their sleepy bodies in bed, that just makes life so full and rosy and good. It was almost like things had come full circle today - from celebrating a life that was full and happy and sincere, to creating lives that we hope match that. As we lay on our bed tonight, with the gentle Summer breeze cooling us, I just felt so blessed. So happy, and grateful and blessed.

'Twas the night before Christmas
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24/12/2006, 10:42 PM
And all through the house, not a creature was stirring except Oscar the cat. It's 10:30pm and I'm sitting in front of the Christmas Carols singing along loudly with the Christmas tree lights twinking and the glass balls glinting and the tinsel draped living room sparkling. In front og the "hearth" 2 stockings are hanging, overflowing with cheerfully wrapped gifts and shiny ribbon. and before them is the gorgeous tricycle that DH and I assembled together tonight and the bright and busy activity mat. The house is clean and is perfumed with the strong, spicy perfume of nutmeg and cinnamon and rum and brandy from my Christmas pudding that bubbled away on the stove for 5 hours today. I can't wait for tomorrow morning, to see my Elfling;s face when she sees that Santa has been. I don't want anything much for myself for Christmas, except to see my gorgeous little girls in festive clothing surrounded by shiny discarded wrapping paper and squealing with excitement. But now it's late, Santa has been and gone, and DH is waiting for me to come to bed so from my family to yours
We wish you a Merry Christmas; We wish you a Merry Christmas; We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Good tidings we bring to you and your kin; Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year

06 Wrap Up
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02/01/2007, 04:56 PM
Finally home from the family "holiday" and back in our own little abode. Mmmmm home. No matter how tiny this place is, and how much we fantasise about moving into our own little house, it is still lovely to come back to the home which is waiting for you. Have plenty of updates and news for this entry (for a change). Firstly, Christmas.Christmas Day was wonderful and exciting (and the girls enjoyed it too ). It started with a delicious sleep in until 7am where we actually woke up before the Elfling!! No greater gift could we have received than to actually wake instead of be woken. The four of us then crept downstairs to see whether the jolly man in red had decided that we were good enough to receive this year. And obviously the two little ones must have been well behaved because their stockings were overflowing. The Monkey was completely nonplussed but the Elfling, after a little disappointment realising that Santa had already left (but had left behind PRESENTS) enjoyed herself immensely. The tricycle was a big hit, as was Mr Potato Head. She made the most hilarious OOOooooh and Aaaahhhhh noises as each present was wrenched from her stocking with a dramatic flourish. She also opened the Monkey's gifts for her, and enthusiastically Oooohhhhed and AaAAaaaahed over them as well before explaining in careful detail to the Monkey what they all were and what she shoudl do with them. The playmat for the Monkey is a huge hit however, and I'm so glad that I bought the one that I did - it is complete sensory overload, but in that stimulatory way that (nontired) babies love. We then exchanged gifts with each other and I was thoroughly spoiled, receiving not only a new personal organiser, pyjamas and attractive salt and pepper grinder set, but a new chest of drawers for our room whihc are beautiful. There was not a lot of time for playing and admiring gifts though as we headed to SILs for brunch. More gifts were exchanged (we're going to a Goldclass Movie session woohoo!) and seasonal fruit and pancakes with almond & ricotta paste were consumed. We then headed off to Toowoomba for lunch with my Mum's family, where we received even more gifts and ate even more food. Full to busting we then headed to Mum and Dad's place so that we could (in some cases) exchange even more gifts, sleep off the morning, and in others, prepare more food. I made my traditional uniquely decorated pavlova (In my view one of my best yet) and my Christmas Pudding was mostly consumed. It was a full, lovely, crowded, cheerful day where the girls were thoroughly spoiled and had fun. The only things that marred the day were the Elfling's cold and also, the serious burn she gave herself by touching her spent sparkler (DH just couldn't react fast enough). Driving home that night, on the dark and empty highway, I felt so happy (but simlutaneously absolutely exhausted!) Boxing Day was spent cleaning up and packing for our fmaily "holiday" to FNQ. I was very sensible in our packing and we managed to fit all our clothes and baby paraphernalia into our 2 suitcases and 2 smart little onboard cases and the nappy bag (I love our suitcases, they were a wedding present and look so smart in their matching and understated navy blue). Off to the airport we then trotted the next morning and flew to Townsville. We flew Qantas for the first time in years and I swear I am NEVER EVER going back to Virgin. The service was exemplary, the staff curteous and helpful (they even brought me a pillow when they saw I was feeding the Monkey to make it more comfortable), the seats larger and more comfortable, the the food and drinks timely, the inflight entertainment and the activity pack for the Elfling diverting. I cannot praise them enough. It made what could have been a painful experience pass quickly and easily. We arrived into the tropical heat, barely ruffled.The afternoon though was protracted, and the nearly 3 hour drive to our destination felt longer. After being squashed in a restricted space for a few hours on a plane, sitting in the car for so long was not fun for either us or the munchkins. They were mostly beautifully behaved but the Monkey woke 45 minutes before our destination, and the Elfling's patience and enthusiasm for modified Eye Spy and renditions of ABCD and Baa Baa Black Sheep were severly curtailed. Lagging spirits were lifted though, when 10 minutes from our destination, we saw not one, but 2 wild cassowaries by the side of the road. I have done that drive quite a few times before, but that was the first time I had ever seen one there. They are such majestic looking birds and the Elfling was enthralled. To be sure, she called them "blue emus", but mustering any excitement after such a long day was admirable. The Monkey did not get particularly het up - as she had not long been topped up, she was happy as Larry with her newest and greatest toy (her fingers - which were munched with delight all week). We finally arrived (at PILs house) and set up camp for the week. The house, which has been built and moved into since our last visit over 2 years ago is gorgeous. It is wonderfully architecturally designed to make full use of the spectacular view of the ocean and Dunk Island and also to capture as much natural light and ocean breezes as possible. It is lovely, cool, and finished beautifully. I am terribly envious of what must be such a lovely place to come home to. Best of all, it still has plenty of "projects" left, so that it doesn't become boring. SIL#1 and her husband and son were joining us for the holiday, and it was lovely to see them. They live in WA so we usually see them once a year at most. Their son, The Hurricane, is about 18 months younger than the Elfling and is gorgeous. It is amazing though, looking at him and the Elfling, and noticing just how much she has grown and changed in such a very short period of time. He is a man of few words (and sharp teeth when tired or upset) but mostly he and The Elfling behaved themselves and got along well together. I'm sure next Christmas when they see eachother the age gap will be less noticeable. The Elfling thoroughly enjoyed being spoiled by her Grandma, Grandad, Aunty, Uncle and various ringins and spent the whole week in a whirl of fun and activities before collapsing in bed every night. Her cold caused some problems (her sleeping quality wasn't fantastic and she was more prone to emotional outbursts) but otherwise she did very well. There was some jealousy between her and The Hurricane over grandparents time and attention, but she had great fun digging in the sand, swimming, watching new DVDs, reading new books, helping Grandad in the garden and showing off her ever expanding vocabulary. She also spent almost all her time in undies, and aside from one horror day where she had many accidents and insisted on weeing on the grass standing up (people had been encouraging the Hurricane to pee on the grass) she did very well, and often now tells us when she needs to go, instead of having to be toilet timed. The Monkey did very well, aside from the fact that she managed to get the Hurricane's cold, conjunctivitis and a growth spurt all in one. I have not weighed her yet, but as she was feeding 2hrly or less for all but the last day, and she also appears to have some new delicious creamy folds, I suspect that there was a bit of growing going on. In spite of all that, she was for the most part, a delightful, smiling, happy baby all week who went to almost every one and charmed all that met her with big dopey grins and her bizarre little giggle that sounds like a squarking magpie. When I related that she had started rolling, the news was met with lighthearted ribbing that I was exaggerating my little red headed Monkey's many talents, but although she never allowed me to capture it on film (and I sat there poised for MANY minutes) she rolled for her doubting audience many times. She even got up on all fours for one triumphant minute, before nose diving into the floor. She is and always has been very very strong, and her likeness to her sister continues to grow. She has however maintained the most beautiful shock of flame red hair that is showing no signs of falling out, so I am excited (and bemused) by the fact that we seem to have yet another ancient gene cropping up in our little brood.Today was the trip home, and it was long and very very painful. The car drive to Townsville was OK (as good as any early mornign trip with a little girl who has had a full night sleep and a Monkey who hasn't is going to be) but the plane flight dragged as the Elfling becacme tired and bored with being incarcerated in a confined space for a prolonged period of time. The kicker came when we got to the airport and unloaded our 4 lovely pieces of matching luggage and the carseat into the terminal and considered our options for coming home. Option one was a taxi, pros: leave instantly, home quickly; cons: unlikely to find one with a baby capsule, expensive, not that much faster than the train. Option two was the train, which although not cheap, was the safer option, so we went that way. The Elfling, after so long cooped up in firstly the car and then the plane, would not sit still, in fact, she seemed incapable of restraining herself. She sang and she jumped up and down and she attempted many times to run down the aisle or press the buttons (including the disabled bay assistance bell). We were, in short, THAT family, who when they finally leave the confines of the carriage, allows everyone else to breathe a sigh of relief. I had not the heart to discipline her too harshly though, as it was our fault as much as hers for not organising the home trip better. In our defense though, our flight time was changed (to 3 hours earlier) and our driver whom we had organised to pick us up, had gone into spontaneous labour 4 days earlier and was unable to fulfil her duties in that role So as a segue from our fun adventures on planes, trains and automobiles, I am now an aunty again! To a divine looking creature who I will get to meet tomorrow. Just looking at the grainy pictures that SIL#2 had sent us up at the Beach made my currently out of action reproductive bits start to ache in anticipation of doing all that again. For yes, I am afraid, that even after a hectic week (whihc even included an hour where I slunk off from everyone else and cried in a quiet corner for a moment) with very little sleep and two thoroughly over excited and overstimulated babies, I want another one. I'm not done. It's now 2007, and though it's a bit late, I thought I should also draw up some resolutions for this year.
Don't get pregnant
Lose weight - would LOVE to lose 20kg, but will settle for 10
Spend more time with Darling Husband - I've always thought that the "DH" thing was very naff, and slightly wanky, but I do love mine very much
Enjoy my babies
Stay on the Deans Honours List for Medicine
Look after MYSELF
Remember that life is so wonderfully goodToo tired to write any more but just wanted to update before the new year gets a decent foot hold. SO good to be home.

Ow Ow Ow
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04/01/2007, 08:41 AM
Poor me. In a fit of new years resolution madness I went to the gym last night for a reintroduction to health and fitness before my next personal training session. Feeling relatively good, I decided to do a circuit of cycling, rowing, walking/running and light weights for 2 hours. I went pretty well and according to the electronic indicators on the machines, I burned at least 600 calories (around 2400 kJ I think?). I drove home feeling good and virtuous and ate my black muscatel grapes with abandon, feeling smug in the knowledge that if I kept up a routine like that in between my 10 or so breastfeeds a day then the weight should soon start to drop off. Then at 2am last night when the Monkey cried for her feed, I couldn't move. Moving equalled PAIN. My hips were sore and I involuntarily yelped as I flexed. By this time the Monkey had started ramping up from her "eh eh eh" to her strident Maaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrmmmmmmm which is the cue for "if you do not attend to my wishes promptly, I shall become inconsolable and your position may be terminated". Grimacing like someone three times my age, I hobbled into her room and carried her back to bed before collapsing beside her and undoing the complicated series of lifting clothes, pulling down clothes and undoing clips so she could feed. I then lay as still as was humanly possible just to avert the pain. The blinding bliinding PAIN. This morning it is much better, though I am still feeling a little stiff - but the best is yet to come. I have my next PT session tonight, where I will properly get put through my paces! Ouch and furthermore Oweeeeeeeeeeeeee...

Odds and Ends
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05/01/2007, 08:01 PM
Personal Training Session #2 was as painful as anticipated though mercifully short. It had the dubious honour of being humiliating as well as painful though - lets just say that if I was 60 odd then I'd be kicking up my heels at how healthy I am My main downfall is my Cardio fitness. Something I was alredy aware of and had been studiously avoiding. Being as it's Cardio that impacts most strongly on my heart (who woulda thunk it?) it's time to remove head from sand. And off to my first RPM class tomorrow. I've heard that the pain is exquisite - somehow I was looking forward to childbirth more. Other stuff, the Monkey is rolling back to front now (though with her arm usually caught frustratingly underneath her little -ish- body). She is also reaching and grabbing at things - her playmat is her favourite place to be and there is one specific hanging toy (supposedly a "windchime") that she will repeatedly reach for, grab or bat for half an hour at least. She is still very smily and will give gummy grins at the drop of a hat, hiccoughs (mine) are also apparently hilarious. She is very vocal, and makes a lot of sounds. The Elfling didn't do this at all (well until she was over 12 months) so this is very new and exciting for us. She coos and mimics and babbles all day long. When she's tired or upset though, she says Maaaaaahhhhhhmmm over and over again. The delight in her saying something approximating Mum is much overshadowed though by the tone. Her hair is growing and is still russet. It is the exact same colour of copper wire and I love it so much. It is so unique and so hers that it just makes me feel that flash of joy.The Elfling is gorgeous. I cannot believe that this slim tall little maiden is only 2 years old. We finally took her new bike to the park today and she learned within a minute how to manoeuvre the pedals to make it work. So around and around the park we went. I was looking at her knobbly knees and her long slim arms and wondering when the hell that happened. When did my delicate, but round and smooth little baby turn into a running, gorgeous girl? We had lunch together today, just the two of us in a cafe (high tea for her, dull all day breakfast for me) and as she chattered away, I was just struck by how incredible she really is. How clever she is. How beautiful she is. She talks in complicated full sentences. She wears butterfly clips in her long tangled ringlety hair. She has my long eyelashes, but somehow on her clear green-blue eyes they look longer and darker. These holidays she has acquired a smattering of tiny pin point freckles across the bridge of her nose and fanning gently onto her cheeks. She is no longer a baby by any description - she is a cheeky adorable little girl. One day soon she will be walking out the door with keys jangling to drive home to her own house. Waaaaaaahhhhhh.Oh and I forgot. She now tells us when she needs to use the toilet. We have had 3 accident free days in a row including car trips, shopping trips, home days etc. I don't care if this jinxes it - she finally seems to have "clicked" what is going on!I am going OK. Well not brilliant but OK. I think I will be thankful when these "holidays" are truly over. DH is getting on my nerves and today we had a stupid argument that made me want to see my Mum and just get out. A week of being cloistered at the inlaws (much as I love them) on top of seeing DH every minute of every day is just too much. Everything just seems "close" at the moment. I'm eating chocolate bavarian to get myself through the day - way to undo my pain from yesterday night ROFL! But I'll do pennance in the RPM class tomorrow. Stay tuned to see whether I can walk home!

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08/01/2007, 09:48 PM
Well lets just say that chicken Jenn (and also overscheduled, social butterfly Jenn) has not been back through the gym doors - even after I wrote a whole little (and it was hardly extensive) timetable in my diary and EVERYTHING. So yes bwuuuckI DO have my next personal training session tomorrow night though, so that's my excuse for not going tonight (not goign to do 2 big nights in a row like last week - how that excuses a bowl of icecream PLUS rhubarb and apple reduction as well...). It should be easier to stick to a routine as of tomorrow though, as that is when everything goes back to *normal* pretty much. The Elfling at daycare, DH at work and the Monkey and I with our little routines. Looking forward to settling back into it, life's easier when it's predictable sadly. Off to bed soon - once I find my clippers that is lol

Torture Session #3
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10/01/2007, 10:47 PM
Was actually much *much* better than anticipated. Sure it pushed me, and yes I am feeling a little quivery today, but I feel GOOD as well. Like I have actually achieved something. A teensy (and it is microscopic) notch on my path to good health. Life is feeling really lovely at the moment. I love my babies, who increase in their adorability (yes I made that word up - shuddup) each and every day. I'm feeling good and strong. I'm just feeling really really well. I have moments, that sometimes stretch to longer than that, but mostly I am feeling in control of myself at the moment. That sounds very wanky, but it's important. I have a really bad tendency to overanalyse things, to get very uptight about life in general, to feel swamped by things as small as getting through the day. I am so hypercritical of myself at all times, that being able to sit back and say to myself "hey everythign is going well at the moment" is a big step. I think the major influence on that is just setting myself little goals small, insignificant achievable goals, like goign to the library with the girls and reading them books. The health and fitness stuff is so important to me because I want to feel in control of my physical self again. Looking in the mirror (just to check my hair or clothes) is still really really hard at the moment. I am trying to be objective, but it's not yet working. I still have days wehre I cry. Where I don't eat anything (even though I'm still BFing 10-14 times a day) then feel guilty because I'm depriving the Monkey and try and eat really well, but hate myself with every mouthful even though it's only a spinach leaf. Going to the gym is a bizarre form of self mutilation in a way - looking at all the hard, toned bodies is both inspiring to work hard and also inspiration to run back home and eat a bowl of icecream through tears. I have always done things to myself that aren't great aesthetically - everythign from the tame childish biting of nails until they bled (always until that point where the flash of pain brings tears to your eyes), to slicing my palms and wrists (along the natural creases so it would never leave a visible scar) and now the way I've just "let go". Mentally, I am in the best place that I have ever been in. I am happy, healthy, secure, loved and in love, with both my husband and my superlative daughters. I just need to take this final step, to stop sabotaging myself. To find a new way to enjoy hating myself

Attack of the Exploding Bosoms
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12/01/2007, 08:41 AM
I woke up this morning groggily wondering what had woken me - was it the Monkey? No, the monitor was not even giving out static. Was it some other noise? No, quiet all through the house. I went to roll back over and go to sleep when I winced. "Ow" I thought absent mindedly - "boobs are a bit sore this morning", gingerly I poked at one of them and nearly fell out of bed - they were rock hard! Waking up a bit more I actually took a look and PHWOAR now I understand how others feel when their milk "comes in". It looked like I was trying to smuggle a couple of rockmelons under my pyjamas. They were throbbing too - not in a Mills and Boon way, but in a vesuvian "I will erupt any minute" fashion.Waking up properly now I tried to work out how long it had been since the last feed? Well the Monkey had been put to bed at about 6:30pm last night, and then I went to bed at 10:30 so I guess it was that feed then. But hang on a minute! I didn't feed her before I went to bed last night? And she's not in bed with me now so she hasn't been fed since WHAT TIME IS IT??? At this moment I noticed that it was actually light enough for me to see my watch. OH MY GOD I thought - it's 4:30am!! The Monkey has slept 10 hours!!! TEN HOURS!!! No wonder I looked like a Pamela Anderson body double! (though with the degree of engorgement I doubt there would have been much baywatch bounce). I had actually had 6 hours sleep IN A ROW!!! (Yes there are a lot of exclamation marks in this post but they are ALL warranted). I was almost angry with myself for not going to bed earlier to make full use of this situation.Then panic set in as I tried to hear her through the monitor - obviously she could not have slept that long. Something must be wrong! I have to go and check on her! As quietly as I could I tiptoed into the girls room and popped my head over the side of the cot - to see the Monkey smiling as she sucked on her fingers. Cheeky Monkey I brought her back to bed in an attempt to get operation deflation underway and she seemed happy enough (surely her poor tiny body was ravenous!) but as my milk let down in a monsoonal downpour she struggled to hang on - gripping my clothes and eyes opening very wide as she tried to swallow fast enough. The relief for me was instant though the other side was very impatient and figuring the other side had let down it would too - drenching my pyjamas. The MOnkey then stopped sucking and started smiling, cooing and looking elsewhere. One boob was still largely untapped and the first was still feeling pretty damn full but I could not interest her at all. So now it's 8:30am and I've expressed off a whole bunch of milk, she's had TWO more feeds and I still am feeling very tender (just full not hot or otherwise ouchy). I have always wondered what engorgement felt like and now I can experience it in all it's bizarre glory!But the most exciting fact is that the Monkey slept 10 hours. TEN! I know it's probably a once off, but it's still exciting

Lazy Days
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14/01/2007, 02:01 PM
It's a hot gravid, Sunday afternoon, with even the birds too lazy to put much enthusiasm into chirping as they loll in the shadiest branches. This weekend has been lovely. Long, languid, almost liquid as it's lazily oozed from one day to the next. The house being relatively clean for a change meant that the usual repertoire of chores needn't be studiously ignored and we've spent our time batting jingly toys for the little one and playing tea parties with the big one. I've even managed to start and finish reading too deliciously fat books.Not books that one boasts about, or sits around in a circle pulling apart the cleverly crafted plot and subplot, just chocolate-for-the-brain books. Books that taste good, but don't have much nutritional value or sustenance and leave you feeling vaguely guilty for having consumed. Unashamed chicklit with gaudy covers and identikit blurbs, a mere step up from Mills and Boon. But oh so delicious. And perfect for a lazy Sunday morning while the Monkey bats at her windchime and The Elfling is accompanying her Daddy to the movies. Things seem to have crunched down a gear here. Our days are unrushed and lazy yet I seem to be far more on top of them than I was. THe housework is largely done (to my standards anyway!) without fuss or bother. Dinner has been regular and nutritious, and everyone seems calmer, less tense, and happy (even me). We have an identifiable routine for our day now, and knowing what's going to happen makes it so much easier. From wakign at dawn to the Monkey singing to feeding in the cool darkness at night while the Elfling sleeps, her pale skin luminous in the small amount of light that enters the room. The Monkey is 4 months on Saturday - it has been nearly 6 months since I drove away from the hospital on my last day of work for a year, and I am here at teh halfway point of my leave. I'm so much more ambivalent than I thought I would be. On the one hand I love being with the Monkey and the Elfling. I love waking up in the morning to see the Monkey's big bright eys and her easy gummy grin. To have the Elfling burst through the door and jump up and down on the bed yelling "wake up WAKE UP" as we pretend to still be asleep. It is easy to love this lifestyle - the slow moving, honey warm taste of it. To wish it could extend forever. To read about lottery wins and feel wildly envious that if we did win we could be at home, lazy and warm and enjoying our time with the babes. But we never enter lotteries (except for the occasional ticket for the end of year mega draw). In this heat my ambition is stagnant, obscured by little girl giggles and planning healthy meals on our new stove. But once the weather cools, and the pace of life picks up just to maintain warmth, it's hard again. My brain, long dormant over the hot still summer months wakes again like a testy bear fresh from its long hibernation. Reminds me how much I want to learn and discover and be. But for now in the hot summer sun, where the buzz of bees and the fluttering of butterflies on the caramel breeze is all that stands between me and a snooze on the sofa, it's hard to remember that she (that determined, ambitious, frenetic she) is in there.

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15/01/2007, 03:41 PM
I am going to my first RPM class tonight. I have it written in my diary. It is then underlined, twice. rpm. Three little innocuous letters but I'm afraid. Scarily afraid considering all it is is sitting on a bike and pedalling. Can't be too hard surely? Surely? (Can you hear the pathetic whining in my voice from there???)I used to ride a fair bit. Not having your license makes alternative transport much more appealing. I should really resurrect the baby seat on my bike and take the Monkey out on our special days together. Want to go visit SIL and see her baby again. Have become bizarrely obsessed with babies again how little they are. How cute they are. The Monkey and her delicious chunky thighs was never that small. Never I tells ya. *sigh* most definitely don't want another one though. Shall try and update tonight after torture on a bike.

Blood sweat and tears
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15/01/2007, 09:24 PM
I didn't vomit and I didn't cry. But I bet I will tomorrow. Yoga should be fun to say the least - I wonder if you can do Yoga without legs?

Happy Birthday Online Diary!!
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17/01/2007, 03:57 PM
One year ago today I drove to the chemist with the sole intention of buying a pregnancy test. My boobs hurt and they'd NEVER done that before. I felt squiggly, but it was stinking hot. The only reason I was buying the test was to "reassure" myself. I bought it, and took it home in its immediately suspicious looking brown paper bag. It was a 2 test HPT. I came home, followed the instructions and popped the tester on the sink while I washed my hands preparing to wait the 5 minutes as directed on the pack. Glancing over though as I squirted the hand soap into my hands, there were already two bright pink lines jumping off the stick. They may as well have said "ner ner ner - you're up The DUFF!". From that initial shock I've tracked almost my entire pregnancy, from the woes of vomiting almost every day for 8 months to the tiredness and then the distinctly "over it" feeling of the third trimester. I've recorded the most awe inspiring moment of my life and the birth of my gorgeous Monkey. The joy that she has brought to our lives and the tired rantings of a woman deprived of sleep. When I started this diary I was determined to keep it going, but sure that I would let it dwindle away. I'm so glad that I've kept it up (even if it has been mostly whiny lol). It's so priceless to have a record there, to be able to read back and remember what was happening. So much of it is already forgotten, or locked away into inaccessible dusty recesses in my brain, but this diary acts as the key somehow. I've had lovely PMs and comments from people who read, and over 5000 clicks of probably lost and confused persons, but hopefully some who've read my journey and got a teensy bit excited with me, or followed the adventures of the Grot and the Crab.When I started, I had the intention of stopping after a year. But now that I'm hooked I'm in it for the long run. So Happy Birthday little online Diary - it's been a fabulous year!

Cloth Fixation
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19/01/2007, 08:57 PM
I have finally delved into the world of cloth night nappies! ALl very exciting. The Monkey is wearing her brand new yellow Huggle to bed with a bamboo booster just in case with her new longies on top Her bottom is so huge and pattable - as I was feeding her before bed I couldn't help but pat her bottom the longies are just gorgeous and so soft. The Huggle is GINORMOUS because it's made of Egyptian cotton and not hemp or bamboo but it looks and feel just so snuggly. My only big issue is tha tobviously the ensemble doesn't go under her Bonds wondersuits. Which brings me to a tragic point - the Monkey is now too big for her 000 pink wondersuits *sob*. I refuse to believe she's big enough for 00s already so the longies are working a treat . I had her weighed and measured this week and my Cheeky Monkey has somehow managed to get to 62cm and 5.8kg (about 12lb 8oz)! She is becoming more and more adorable every day. Her face has filled out so she looks significantly less like Yoda and more Anne Geddes. SHe has the most adorable knee dimples. Every time I stick my finger into them it makes me grin. Her gloriously plumped out pale skin is like clotted cream. Add some strawberries and she coudl be served as dessert. The strawberries would probably clash terribly with her ginger locks though!She is obsessed with her jangly toys now and is very clever - everything that is grabbed at is now promptly delivered to her mouth where she gums away with glee. Every afternoon before her bath/boob/books/bed routine (how nicely alliterative lol) when she starts getting cranky, I lay a towel down in front of the fan and strip the Monkey off so she can experience the joy of being au naturel. She knows what's about to happen and as soon as I lay her down to remove her nappy, no matter how whingy she may have been in the preceding minute, she breaks out into the sunniest grin. She adores being naked. She rolls around on the towel making glorious little chattering noises, rolling from front to back and periodically breaking into some weird song. Love her to bits. As we sat in the big bath together tonight, liberally daubed with rosehip scented bubbles, pale pink feet splashing away, I remembered when I fell pregnant how I had been scared that I wouldn't be able to love a new baby as much as my gorgeous Elfling, that my love was somehow finite. But watching the Monkey's big slate-coloured eyes light up as she accidently squirted a bath toy I realised how silly I'd been. Love them both more than 80% cocoa mass bitter dark chocolate

It worked!
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20/01/2007, 08:50 PM
Even with all of skepticism the nappy with its "newfangled" woollen longies (ie what our greandparents used to use lol) worked last night! Aaaaaand, even better, the Monkey slept from a feed at 8pm to 6:30am this morning!! WheeeeTonight we are experimenting with a BBB/2 BBB booster combo (no liner as I haven't got round to making any ) with longies and we;ll see if that works as well. I am not as confident with this combination as I have a sneaking suspicion that the lack of liner will not be conducive to sleep. But we shall see.Have been out tonight at a friend's 30th. Was very nice, got to see a few of my old uni comrades which was lovely. Love darling husband to bits but was teensy bit annoyed that although it was "my" friend's party I had to do most of the babysitting/running/checking. Very sad though as we had to leave before 8pm. Children definitely put a dampner on my "partying" lifestyle lol. Couldn;t even have a glass of special birthday wine as hadn't fed the Monkey hmph. So much looking forard to being able to go out at night *properly* again. Love my babies, love being a Mum, but sometimes it's lovely to just get out and be irresponsible.

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21/01/2007, 06:26 PM
Shhhhhh don't tell anyone but the Monkey slept through again this morning!I woke up at 6am from a dream where I was swimming to find that I was literally swimming in a pool of my own milk. 10+ hours of sleep for me meant that I was doing my Pammy impressions again. Am LOVING my cloth (well the MOnkey's cloth but you knew what I meant ). The BBB last night worked even better than the Huggle so I think I will buy a wool wrap for the Huggles and use the gorgeous longies with the BBB and hopefully the Monkey will continue on with her sleeping habits which are also including decent naps throughout the day. Today because DH needed a sleep - the poor dear has been working very hard and toddlers jumping up and down on him in the wee sma's yelling "wake up WAKE UPPP!!" so I decided to drive the 90 minutes to Mum and Dad's house. Lovely drive (the Monkey slept) while the Elfling and I chatted about the different types of signs and she practised her new favourite word - "WHY".I have been waiting for why. The Elfing is VERY talkative these days (ie does not shut up) and gives a constant running commentary throughout the day on whatever I am doing, from "Mummy's getting dressed, Mummy's wearing jeans and a pink bra and a blue shirt, Mummy is brushing her hair" through to "Mummy is sitting on the toilet, did you do a wee Mama? Mama? DId you do big wees? Good girl Mama". "What's that" has had a very long run as her favourite phrase so "why" could only be a matter of time. And it has hit with a vengeance "but why Mum?" was every second phrase in the car. In between telling me to turn around so we can look at the emus again and having a discussion on why emus are different to cassowaries. Was lovely to spend the day with Mum and Dad and to just enjoy the freedom and the power of driving a car. Love driving. Helps me unwind so much and not only that but driving takes you places. Love it love it love it. Can't believe I stayed on my learners for 6 years!

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03/02/2007, 02:29 PM
Hmm have got slack again. Think this is the longest I've gone between postings since I started this up. In truth I just haven't felt like writing. I don't know why? I've been busy, and we've had another whirl of inlaw visits that have kept me away. But on top of that has been no real desire to write at all.The Monkey is the most delightful baby that ever lived. She is happy, flirtatious, and joyful. She'll smile for anyone and everyone and seems to have just realised how exciting and lovely the world is. Her firetruck red hair is growing and her eyes are about 40% brown now. She doesn't stop rolling and is currently trying to crawl. It is bizarre watching her - her whole bottom half "crawls" but she doesn't lift her head or chest - just plows the front half of her body. The fact that she is growing so fast and is so strong scares me and thrills me at the same time. I love discovering her latest tricks, and watching her develop, but there is that tiny pang with every milestone that I will never see that for the first time ever again. The Elfling is also growing and developing fast. It is only when she is tired and has a complete meltdown that we remember that she is still only 2 years old. I feel guilty because we spend so much of our time frustrated with her. But when she is *behaving* she is just adorable. She loves learning and "why" has become her staple word. (Beats "NO" any day!). Swimming and gymnastics have started again and we've also enrolled her in her new daycare centre where she will spend the next 2 years. I am going OK, ie being at home is fine and I especially love the days that it is just the Monkey and I when we can be lazy or busy without stressing about where the Elfling has run away to. Some days I think I could be a SAHM forever and love everything that it involves. Other days I cannot wait til this year is over. Relationship wise, being at home is not great. THere is something inherent about the balance when only one person has an income for me that just doesn't work. That's not to say that things are dreadful, just that on that front I am glad that this is a temporary situation. Other than that I can think of nothign else to write. I'm sure there is lots of other stuff, and hopefully I will write more in the coming weeks.

End of an era
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07/02/2007, 01:57 PM
Yesterday was the Elfling's last day at her daycare centre. This lovely, tiny, community run centre was the first place that I ever entrusted to look after my precious little baby when I went back to study in early 2005. The Elfling was 11 months old and already a sociable, cheerful little girl, who loved nothign more than playing with other children. Just being in their proximity seemed to light her up. Those first few days, as I sat sobbing in the car after I'd dropped her off, I would call to see how she was going, and *always* the response was, "she's fine, very happy". And that was how it continued. Never for us one of those screaming children at the doors, tears streaming down their faces as they plaintively call out for Mummy. No, my little Grot was the one who arrived with a huge grin and couldn't wait to get away from us so she could play with the toys. I would be the one trailing after her, looking sad and inconsolable. The fact that she fitted in so well, and loved it so much made life that little bit easier. In fact the only major issue aside from the astronomical cost (which was worth EVERY penny) was that come home time, often we would have to sit and wait until close time at the centre before she had had enough playing. She learned to walk there, talk there, run, climb and jump. She made best friends and brought home bright pain splattered "pictures" for us to hang on the walls. DH is on the parents' committee and we have both been to every working bee to pitch in and tidy up the centre we love. And now, more than 2 years later it's all finished for the Elfling. She waved by last night, while I cried as I remembered what that centre had meant to us. What the staff had meant to us. How lucky we were to be in that elite group where the care provided for their children is so fantastic, that the days that your child misses you wonder faintly if you can make up at home. Where everyone cares. Where you can read studies about children in long day care, and when they talk about those proportion of children that are stressed and unhappy and to know that it is not *your* child - your thriving, happy, joyful, clever baby.Trying to find a place for her in a centre that can anyway match up to our tiny little haven has been near impossible. She starts next week at a place that while lovely, and cheerful and exciting, just did not *feel* right to me. We had our name down at another place and was told without a doubt that there was *no* way that she woudl get a place. But today, as we rocked up, we were told that there was actually a place available in a few weeks time. So we've grabbed hold of that, and the Elfling will start at the new place next week for 2 days and then in a few weeks will try the other 3 days a week. Depending on how she feels, will determine the next step. Realistically we would prefer the Elfling to only be in the one centre, but until we can ascertain the pros and cons of each place, we're keeping our options open. Then in 4 weeks time the Monkey will start at the Elfling's old centre. How strange will that be, to have a new series of memories interwoven in a place currently stamped all over with the mark of our gregarious first born? I am really not looking forward to putting the Monkey into care though, as fantastic as that care may be. I am loving having her all to myself. But with both of them necessarily being in care in August, it is good to transition her slowly rather than abruptly. Plus with a free day on my hands I am considering looking for some part time work.Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Gym Junkie
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12/02/2007, 09:10 PM
Weeeeeeell that may be a slight exaggeration, but I like the title so I'll take it. For the past few weeks I've managed, in between the many and varied excuses that I could come up with, to go to various classes at the gym, and even better to use the various machines at the gym, and use them properly so that I'm getting a really good workout (whereas before my efforts could be described as token at best). But something in the last week or so seems to have flicked a switch. When I come home, instead of moping, I'm feeling fabulous. Sweaty and smelly and revolting - BUT also that delicious soreness that comes when you get a good workout. Those endorphins rushing when I get home, making me feel positive and happy and strong. I feel very virtuous at the moment and it's addictive. I love feeling good about myself. I haven't weighed in yet, because after the indulgence of Christmas and the festivities that were January, I am giving myself til the end of the month to get back into it, and then I will post my full stats again (and hopefully they will be much less embarrassing than before). In Elfling and Monkey news, they are both still adorable. The Elfling is being relieved of her boredom thankfully now that all her classes are back on again, and is gaining a bit more confidence. For some reason the Christmas break seems to have knocked her normally sky high confidence around other peopel around a little bit. It worries me, especially as we're starting new daycare this week. The Monkey is still the most gorgeous baby in the world. She is now able to roll around even when wrapped at night (she is a contortionist in the making) which means that we will need to drop the cot base soon. She is still doing her weird "plough crawl" though occasionally she will use her elbows and commando crawl. Her latest thing is to stick her tongue out - she thinks it's hilarious. The most gorgeous thing though is watching her watch the Elfling. They adore each other. I remember peopel telling me that watching siblings together could melt the ice caps, but it is just so incredibly magic to watch. Anyway, it's late, and I"m looking for a well deserved treat (yes I may be a gym junkie but I'm not denying myself compleeeetely lol). Happy happy happy.

Stormy Weather
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14/02/2007, 08:51 AM
I was trying to think of a good poetic title for this post that encompassed the lovely cool, foggy, wet weather we've been having lately but all the references I can think of are gloomy. I love this type of weather - the way a dark stormy day makes inside so cozy and comfortable. How exciting it is to go out in the dark and reckless weather when everyone else is trapped inside, to feel the pull of nature. How waking in the ghostly stillness of a misty gravid dawn is so eerily beautiful.Every time of the year is my favourite, but storm season and the last hurrah of Summer before we head into glorious Autumn has always been my favourite. I remember being pregnant with the Elfling, feeling the electricity in the air and waiting waiting waiting for the storm to hit. Wait as the very air built in intensity, stronger and harder. That strange stillness before the storm hits and that amazing smell of impending rain that gives just enough notice to get the washing off the line. I love the moods of a storm. Most connotations to the word "stormy" are harsh and angry. But I like words like powerful better. I lay in bed this morning, snuggled into the doona watching the rain drops trickle down the window pane and I felt so alive. So energised. When I was younger I used to love wet weekends, and staying in bed, reading books about people and places. I don't read so much any more, I use time as an excuse (and it's a valid one) but mostly it's that I don't have that selfish ability to just shut myself out from the world and enjoy the magic of text much any more. I just can't read when I'm going to be interrupted. It breaks the spell.Ah well. Nothing interesting in this post.

When I Grow Up
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16/02/2007, 10:52 AM
What do you want to be when you grow up? It's one of those innocuous questions that we ask children. Sometimes the answers are hilarious, always cute, and usually delivered in that very serious way that children have. The Elfling wants to be a teacher. "I'm going to be a teacher Mummy, and you're going to be a doctor". I don't know where the teaching thing came into it, but that's apparently what she wants to be. And at under 3, she has more certainty than I. She's right that I'm going to be a doctor (*touch wood*) but the question is, what type of doctor? The average layperson seems to have not a lot of knowledge about post graduation training programs for doctors, so I"m always asked "What type of doctor are you going to be? Specialist or GP?". THe thing is, that GPs are actually specialist doctors. Once you graduate with your impressive sounding MBBBS. You are not really a doctor. You become an intern. The much maligned (apparently white coated) bumbling fools of many a medical drama. You get to use the title doctor, but you have no provider number, so you are trapped in the machine. But then you finish your internship year (which you have to pass) and you become a resident. A "real" doctor. But a doctor that can do nothing besides work in a hospital under the guidance/surveillance of registrars and consultants. So somewhere, in the euphoria of actually earning some money, I have to choose what I'm going to be (doctor-wise). Do I want to be a Surgeon? A Physician? General Practitioner? Anaesthetist? Obstetrician? Paediatrician? Ophthalmologist? Then there are the sub-specialties of all of those. It makes my mind spin. When I started medicine I wanted to be a Paediatric Cardiologist and didn't want to be anywhere near Oncology. By the end of my first year, heavy and pregnant, I wanted to be a Neurosurgeon. When I came back for second year with my own baby, I did not want to touch paediatrics with a 10 foot barge pole but recognised that the reality of a training program for surgery might be beyond me. These days I waiver so much. Things that were on my NEVER EVER list (such as Obstetrics) have been pushing their heads up. I honestly don't know what I want to do. I still love the idea of Neurosurgery. It is my favourite organ, combined with surgery which is so fascinating, and I think surgery would have me always interested. But surgery leaves so very little time for patient contact. Most of the interaction will be while the patient is completely anaesthetised. And interacting with patients and getting their stories is my forte. So that makes me think that physician training could be my best bet. It's a wide ranging college with many different specialties, and for BONUS points, I could potentially make a lot of money. But am I boffinesque enough to fool people into thinking I could be a physician?Last night while watching Saving Babies, I was in awe of the impact that neonatologists, obstetricians and paediatricians can have. Not to mention maternal-foetal medicine specialists. The reality of modern medicine is that the significant majority of patients are elderly. People who have often lived full and wonderful lives. They come to hospitals because at the end of their lives, there are medical conditions that are impacting on the quality of their remaining years. Helping those people with their ailments is a wonderful thing. Allowing families (potentially) decades of new memories without significant disability and pain is the miracle of modern medicine. It is important, worthy and meaningful work. But saving babies. Saving potential. Giving a whole person a life. What magic is that? Paediatrics and it's related fields (Obstetrics, Maternal Foetal Medicine, Neonatology and paediatric subspecialties) have always frightened me. Having such bright, beautiful and above all healthy children, I worry about my capacity to see children on that precipice between health and not and be able to be rational with my own babies. It is a field of medicine that has the highest of the very highs, but also the very lowest depths of hell. I watched spellbound last night, upping the speed on the treadmill as I watched so that the pain and effort of running would stop me bawling in the middle of a crowded gym; I felt inspired again. The show is biased, it doesn't show all those children whose Goliath like efforts still don't save them. But the ability to give someone back their family. To be a part of that...Maybe I need to widen my net again.

Having a *feeling*
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19/02/2007, 03:11 PM
As a "science-y" type person, I"m usually one who asks for evidence. For hardcore (preferably peer-reviewed published) proof of something before I commit. When it comes to feeding the Monkey for example, she will not be getting solids before 6 months, and even though she's decided that she needs ot feed every 90 minutes day and night, there is *nothing* wrong with my supply and she's just having a growth spurt. A well recognised and well researched phenomenon. This is a good example of where, even though intuitively I think that if I gave her some solid-y food she might sleep more, I think empirical evidence suggests that the short term gains would not be worth it. But sometimes, having a *feeling*, or an intuitition about something trumps any logical evidence in front of me. Prima facie evidence of this was enrolling the Grot in her new daycare centre. Even though she expressed excitement about going, and happily dug in the sandpit while we were there for orientation last week, and the staff were lovely when I chatted to them; Even though it was highly recommended; today I called to cancel the enrolment. I can't give a reason why. There are tiny little niggles which when I try and explain my voice sort of trails off as I realise that they sound pretty silly. But the strongest reason is that intuitively I just don't feel right. Luckily I have the luxury of not being desperate for care at the moment, and could call today and cancel without too much hassle (except for the guilt of wasting the director's time). I am one of those people who has had their children in daycare since they were under 12 months old (albeit barely) and who believes that their children have not been harmed (and in some ways enriched) by the experience. But I am not so pig-headed as to believe that daycare fullstop especially for young children is necessarily a fantastic idea. I do it because of circumstance. I need to finish my degree, and unlike many degrees it cannot be deferred indefinitely. I also have a lot of difficulty staying at home. It messes with my mental health. I am able to be a much better mother when I am not at home fulltime. I envy those who are able to be good, happy and productive SAHPs as I honestly believe that this is the ideal environment for children. In my situation, me being at home after a certain point is not ideal. And so we have chosen the best scenario for our family. The only way that it can be the ideal scenario though is if the care that is being provided for our children is expemplary. I cannot have a smidgen of doubt, because if I do, then mental health be damned, me being at home with them is definitely better. The kinder that DD will be attending in a month's time, is so far giving me the right "vibe". I feel right when I walk in the gate. I know intuitively that DD will be happy there. The fact that many of her friends from her old centre are there only sweetens the deal. Often daycare/WOHMvsSAHM battles on this website get very heated. And in the past I have heatedly taken part. But I step back now, and can see where many are coming from. We don't raise children in Utopia, so we take our own situation, and we look at the things that we deem important, and we weigh them all up so that we make sacrifices for those truly important things, and the things that we find important but just can't incorporate, we compensate for as much as is possible. I am not defensive about what we do any more. What we are doing is trying to raise happy, healthy, secure children with options that we consider necessary (plasma TVs and latest *mod cons* are not a feature).

Merry Go Round
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20/02/2007, 08:21 AM
Have no idea what is up with the Monkey but she has decided that at night, she needs to be fed every 60-90 minutes. ie, Every. Single. Hour. But only once I've gone to bed, being quite happy to sleep from 6pm-9/10pm. (Leaving me just enough time to go to the gym, completely wreck my body and need a good night's sleep). It's so hard. All night up and down like a yo yo, trying to feel warm and fuzzy about feeding her sleepy warm self, but instead trying not to cry because my nipples are raw from the assault of the last week or so. Then waking for the 6am feed and knowing that even if I can put her back in bed, that the Elfling will be awake any minute and that there is NO chance of even sitting on the couch when she's awake. Oh how lovely it would be to wake as full of beans as she does each and every morning.It's hard to complain, when you love them so much and everythign else in your life is going so dandy at present, but lack of sleep turns me into a raving loony. In spite of the looniness, I am feeling very high lately. I have been going to the gym regularly and I know my cardio fitness is improving (from nil - that of about an 80 year old ). I'm just feeling fitter and stronger, and also quite good about myself, irrespective of saddlebags and saggy bits. The girls are adorable (sleep issues notwithstanding) and I'm really enjoying being home with them. I love baking, and having the house tidy. I've also started sewing again. I'm making the Elfling a flower spangled pink birthday dress and the Monkey a little green swirly sunsuit. Not particularly ambitious, but hopefully giving me more and better skills as I go.Anyway, the Elfling has finished her cereal, the Monkey is trying to abseil off my lap and my jasmine tea has gone cold so I have to go.

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21/02/2007, 08:03 AM
Last night was another every hour feedathon. But to make it worse, both sides just did not satisfy her. She wanted to suck/feed (which I'm not sure) all night. I was in tears because a) I was so tired I wanted to just put her in bed and go to sleep for a million years, and b) because she had obviously drained both breasts she was getting very aggravated and biting down hard followed by the yank. It all came to a head at 3:30am. I was so tired I was getting angry and at one stage I even yelled at her to just shut up and sleep (so lovely and calming don't you think???). We were at a complete impasse, but when you have a tiny warm being in your arms completely wracked with sobs no-one with a heart could "win". So we got back into bed, and I cuddled her close, chucked a (poor painful throbbing) nipple into her mouth and we both collapsed exhausted. Even "going to bed" was crap last night. Normally in her routine, after her feed she just dozily watches her mobile and drifts off to sleep. Last night the cot was apparently lined with nails. Even walking towards it incited wails of protest which only intensified if we dared lower her towards it. She eventually went to sleep in my arms in front of All Saints some 4 hours later. Don't know what's wrong. She's not sick, she's not unhappy (aside from whne I try and make her do inhuman horrible things like SLEEP) and up until a week ago, she was sleeping beautifully (though still waking 3-4 times a night for a feed). I had her weighed yesterday at exactly 5 months and she's now 65cm and 6.04kg. Growing beautifully, but not exactly spurting either. So where is it all going? Or am I not making enough milk. See this is what happened last time when I began to doubt myself and felt that formula and food were necessary. BLAH.To add insult to injury she woke this mornign with a big gummy grin on her face, and has just gone to sleep sweet as pie in her own bed without even a murmur. Asleep for 92 minutes and counting. I feel like I've been out-manoeuvred by a BABY

J'ai dormi sous l'eau
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22/02/2007, 08:55 AM
The Monkey slept from 6:30-10pm, 10pm-2am, 2am-6am last night. Normality reigns supreme and her mother is feeling slightly human again. Last night I was so angry and tired and exhausted and emotional and irrational that I could barely sit up. So I lay on the couch for a while and bawled. Sooking away like a big baby, but it felt so good. So cathartic. Big drippy tears rolling down my cheeks while I watched bad BAD telelvision and didn't go to the gym like I ought.Most of the time with this whole parenting gig I'm fine. You have a crap day, but the girls go to bed and DH and I laugh about it later. Sometimes it is spectacularly bad and I need a foot rub or a cuddle or more and then we sleep and tomorrow is a new day. But sometimes it is so bad that everything just implodes and I need to be completely away from everyone and everything just so my thoughts can be my own again instead of being jumbled messes of dryer's finished need to get washing out of machine crap forgot to rinse nappies better do that haven't unpacked the dishwasher OH MY LORD what is that on the carpet and is it moving should express but where is the handle doover crap I forgot to call daycare to organise the washing machine is beeping again ALREADY so tired so tired so tired...Crying though is representative that the last vestige of sanity has been breached. Oh I will cry about babies on TV, or at the sad bits in books, or when someone gets a BFP after years etc. But my own situation? Nah, no tears here. Crying for me is something I don't like doing. It's so pathetic and useless. Plus it feels like I've got past the point of no return. What's left after crying? It also doesn't achieve anything at all. I'm feeling semi-normal today already though. And after a few more cups of jasmine tea I will be my usual optimistic self. Off to gymnastics in a short while, and then Soptlight to buy some supplies. rahahahahha

Une vie moins ordinaire
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23/02/2007, 03:04 PM
My cave and I are getting well acquainted again. I don't know when I'll come out, but hopefully the sun will be shining.

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25/02/2007, 08:16 PM
What do you do when you feel yourself slipping and fall asleep crying with fatigue and more? Well... options in the past have included not talking to anyone and sleeping for a week (sadly impossible); going to the gym and working out past the pain point (sadly also ruled out as my lovely lovely workouts were affecting my milk supply dammit); reading a million books (I only managed 3 so that doesn't count) other random things that either involved a lot of mental activity or those that clouded mental activity. So yesterday I decided to try something new - I decided to teach myself how to knit. I went to the library and took out a book called "Basic Knitting" which has lots of diagrams and pictures and started at "casting on" and went through to "binding off" with a few different stitches and patterns in the middle. And now, with variable tension and questionable looking edges I am knitting a soaker for the Monkey's bum. A lovely dark rose wool soaker that will look very home made (perhaps I could call it "cottage") which I intend to embroider all over to cover the flaws and dodgy stitches. Knitting is a bizarre hobby to take up (and it has nothign to do with it being "trendy" or whatever right now). My reasoning was mostly just because I am in love with the MOnkey's woollies, and because I was feeling sad the other day that I don't have a grandparent who can make me lovely longies. My grandmother would certainly have made them for me and it sucks that she can't be here any more. She would certainly give my dodgy soaker a serve lol. The Grot and the Monkey would surely be decked out in the best that she had to offer. It's another, silly, materialistic reason why I miss her so much. The last couple of weeks I've been just down. Flat. Unable to muster enthusiasm about much in life. Just so hard to come up with reasons to be happy. Intellectually knowing that life is good while wanting to hide under the bed and cry for no definable reason. So I sat there, totally engrossed in this knitting book, with its daggy blue sweater on the front cover and it's grandmotherly instructions. And being able to focus all of my random energy and thoughts and just sit there knotting wool. For some reason it worked. Knit one purl one, knit one purl one. Wordlessly count stitches. *click click click*. It's so soothing, therapeutic. And after all the effort and energy of therapy, I get something to show for it. Something tangible. There - all that focus = 40 rows of 70 stitches. That out of control spinning feeling has gone. I just feel OK again. Knitting is the answer lol.

Back to our regular programming...
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27/02/2007, 11:13 AM
Who was that miserable interloper that took over my life last week? That sad and flat and tediously boring usurper? How dare she come into my lovely lovely life and pretend that things are not swimmingly well??My self has come back, and I am feeling utterly refreshed after a week of self pity, tedium and embarrassing-ly too many terrible romance novels. (Look, I've already pointed out that I was not myself so please don't hold it against me - I've had a week full of the exploits of Rancher and Stone and Wood and other ridiculous names, be kind...). I am blaming first and foremost, the Sleep Stealer. Sleep and I are very good friends. We have always had a lovely relationship, even as a toddler (according to my lovely Mum) I was one of those angelic children that quite happily went off for a nap when it was required. So disagreements between Sleep and I have been few and far between. Last week we had icy silence between the two of us as we avoided each other and I became more and more grumpy and generally un-Jenn-like. This week though, with glorious abandon and trashy novel-like cliches, we have forgiven one another and are again hopelessly in love. I again can walk around with a dopey grin on my face because The Monkey is not only getting up on all 4s and rocking, but she is also getting better at sitting up as well. You should see how cheeky and excited she looks sitting up and banging her toys! Her cheeky brown eyes crinkle at the corners and her gorgeous chipmunk-y cheeks pop right out. She knows that she is incredibly clever as well - you can almost see the thoughts in her enormous eyes. The Monkey is just so incredibly adorable. I love playing with her, watching her, feeding her, dressing her, letting her romp around naked (though one should ALWAYS supervise this ). She adores people, and jingly/rattly toys. Pop her in her swing with her Lamaze elephant and she will quite happily bash away for half an hour, gumming away at the rings. She is still very very flirtatious, and there are not many people at the shops who can resist her sudden crinkly eyed smile. It is a slow building smile, starting at the corners of her mouth and encompassing even her adoable ears which move when she is smiling. It is a smile that you cannot help but smile back at, because it just makes you feel warmer inside. I love my cheeky little monkey, she makes life so joyful just because she is a part of it. The Elfling is similarly adorable but awfully tiring these days. One needs the best of themselves to truly harness her spirit and liveliness, and that shadow of myself that appropriated my body last week could not control her. Part of the problem is that I am unable to provide a daycare/kindy environment for long periods of time at home, and my little Evenstar is missing the interaction with her friends, the ability to paint and run around with abandon. I try and provide as much as possible but we cannot allow her unfettered access to paint and playdoh at home, our house just is not set up for it! (Let alone yours truly who ends up spending her nights picking playdoh out of plush carpet and sponging out paint). Luckily it is only another 2 weeks until she starts at her lovely new kindy, and she's very excited to be going. Her week will be very busy again, and more importantly, back into the structure which used to define her. She is like me, she loves and needs to be busy, to harness all of the energy in her so as not to descend into naughtiness, slovenliness and general apathy. It is her birthday on Friday. I cannot believe that it has been 3 years since the day that I became a mother. That it has been nearly 4 years now since I watched the line on the stick turn that pale unsure shade of mauve. That I have watched my tiny (but never helpless) newborn gain a personality, to learn to smile, to sit, to crawl, to walk, to run, to utter single words, to string words together... until I somehow have this tousle haired, fairy skirt wearing, steadfast, obstinate, argumentative little girl standing in front of me. I watch her, watch that stubborn glint in her blue green eyes and wonder Who are you? This little person who wants to help me make cake (or at least lick the bowl), or ride her bike at the park, or swim at the pool, or put butterfly clips in her hair (the sparkly ones, not the glittery ones).I love them both fiercely, and somehow I cna't believe that they're mine. I'm so lucky. And now that I am myself again, I'm just so happy.

White Pointer ahoy
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28/02/2007, 08:43 AM
My baby is growing up This morningn I was swapping sides for the Monkey to guzzle down food (she was ravenous from her whole 4 hours without food ), when I felt something sharp. It felt like one of her razor like fingernails, so I put it down to that (she's been grabbing handfuls of breast lately while she feeds which is ooweeeeeEEE) but just out of curiosity, after I fed her the other side I let her grab my finger and guide it into her mouth... and there it was - like the fin of a white pointer breaking her squidgy gums. A little glass shard that she used to promptly bite down on my finger - OUCH. My little Monkey is growing up! It is her bottom right incisor and is through all the way across the tooth (not just one corner). I have to say that as far as teething goes it was remarkably painless!To herald this change, and also to help with constipation and growth curve plateaux that are "concerning" doctors, I have cut up and stewed some organic pear this morning and will be letting the monkey try a bit of the slightly more viscous than water double strained purée. I know that I said I was waiting until 6 months, but I have carefully looked into it. (I'm sure everyone has said that). At 5 and a half months the Monkey is clearly interested in food, she has lost the tongue thrust reflex, she shows no signs of being disinterested in boob feeds, she can sit with support (has been able to hold her head up since birth) and she has no family history of allergies except for penicillin/shellfish in her Dad (neither of which she is going to be allowed until age 4). We're starting her on fortified rice cereal and pear which are the least allergenic foods known. And um. Yeah.It is kind of sad the idea of introducing solids, especially with the enthusiasm that she's showing. I've really enjoyed the fact that it has, for the last 14 months, been me who has provided all of her needs. She hasn't needed anything or anyone besides me. Now she will be getting little things that aren't from me. So I'm overcompensating by stewing organic pears myself and trying to find organic non GM rice cereal (verrrry tricky) which all gets mixed in with my milk anyway. The other downside of all this is after several months pump free I need to start expressing again and I am NOT enthused. The Monkey starts at daycare next week though, so I have to get used to pumping again. Why do they have to grow up so fast??Edit - second tooth came through this morning TWO TEETH

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