Friday, January 30, 2009

Random thoughts from a heat addled brain

Wilted, I think, best describes us at the moment.

I got up at 5am to hang out the washing because I knew it would be too hot to do anything by 8am. I hung out four loads, folded the pile that was waiting for me then went back to bed by 6:30am and went back to sleep. I figure whatever happens now, I have achieved SOMETHING with the day.

The big kids want to go swimming at the pool, but I am not setting foot outside until at least 5pm when it starts to cool down a bit.

Beloved came home early yesterday because the power was out at work (kinda hard to do drafting and data management without computers these days!) and he joined us for swimming yesterday. The kids loved going in the "big" pool rather than having to stay near me and the babies in the wading pool. Billy rode on Daddy's back as he swum around and is taking to water like a little fish, Erin is a little more apprehensive but is getting there.

Billy is now going to the door looking for Daddy every few hours in the hope that he will come home early again!

I am very glad not to be carrying the huge belly at the moment, but a grumpy baby who dislikes being hot is very difficult to comfort - holding her only makes her hotter! Just making sure she keeps getting plenty of fluids and doesn't overheat is a big enough job.

The sun lizards (little skinks) are all coming inside to escape the heat too. I have seen 12 so far this morning!

I laughed at Beloved a few years ago when he bought the evaporative cooler - we live in Tasmania! We are as close to Antarctica as you can get and still be in Australia! It isn't supposed to get hot here. I'm not laughing now, I'm too hot.

If the TV tells me again that this is a record breaking heat wave I am going to throw something at it. They just make up these records to make people feel better about being hot I'm sure! And it doesn't work for me.

I feel so sorry for all the little ones going off to their first week at school in 40+Centigrade heat! Another reason we home school!

People keep posting snow pictures and pictures of ice storms on their American blogs to taunt me. It isn't very nice!

Things I can't do because it is too hot: Bake, knit, gardening, extensive cleaning (what?? It's HOT!), move overmuch!

What we are filling our time with instead: Puzzles, drawing, reading, blogging, impromptu arm chair naps, whining about the heat!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Some photos...

Mama Hen at Ship Full O'Pirates is having a home made Thursday where people link in to show off what they have made. My home made stuff is fairly limited at the moment (I am planning on making cookies sometime soon though!) but I thought these may count!

My three oldest, made 'em myself! Kinda.

Beloved and Christopher - do you know how rare this is!!!

Billy painted up as a Tiger at the community Christmas celebration.

Erin cooking her little sister's birthday cake - yes, my kitchen does look like that.
I expect to have kitchen cupboards some time in the next ten years.

Stay tuned for more photos of Anna. As soon as I can get Beloved to show me how to get the photos from the camera into his lap top!

So there ya go Mama Hen, I kinda-sorta-little-bit made 'em myself - honest!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Thought for today...

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff Life is made of.

Benjamin Franklin


I got stung by a bee on the foot yesterday while I was hanging out the washing. Bees like clover flowers, there is clover all over the place here and a honey factory over the back fence!

has Billy's cough and runny nose. She was devastated not to be sick enough to warrant going to the doctor with the boys and I yesterday!

is grumpy, moody, grizzly, whiny and no longer coughing. I think the bad attitude may just be something that needs addressing with some training! His stamina is still down though and I am working on getting the weight back on him after the tummy bug.

now has some steroid cream for his eczema. It is a very mild cream and seeing as the itch has been waking him up at night I think it was warranted. It is already starting to make a difference. He has also walked 3-4 steps in a row on different occasions, he just forgets he doesn't walk yet and does!

has a real belly button! I am not ready for this yet. She is feeding wonderfully in spite of the fact that I have enough milk for triplets and regularly try and drown the poor child. She is my most windy, colic prone bub, I suspect she has some acid reflux, but it is very manageable still and I am enjoying every minute of her.

The house:
is surprisingly well maintained given that we have a ten day old baby in the house. I can actually move around pain free at the moment and finding it much easier to cope with the heat now that Anna is on the outside! I am watching the sun lizards wander around the house at the moment. They come in and snack on scraps that Christopher drops under the high chair (peanut butter and chocolate crackles seem to be favourites!). We don't have to go on a nature walk, we just look under the table at breakfast time!


preview image

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

More newborn tips....

It's all comming back to me now! I figured I should blog some of it so I remember for next time.

If you have a habit of being overdue, have a pump action bottle of almond oil or a good quality lotion (QV lotion is what I'm using right now) sitting on the change table. Put a little on their dry hands and feet at each change to prevent them cracking from being so dry.

Unless you are into co-sleeping (we aren't, we just don't sleep so well with babies in our bed) DON'T feed the baby in bed. Not even sitting up. You end up very uncomfortable a few hours later!

A good quality feeding pillow like a zoo pillow is great to help save your back and shoulders

Have all your slings and baby carriers located (I seem to have misplaced one of mine!) clean and ready to use.

Be prepared to spend lots of time just gazing at the baby trying to soak in every moment because - by number four - you begin to realise just how fleeting these precious moments are!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Things only a Mummy can understand....

Starting to doze off in a public place then jolting awake to do a quick head count of children, momentarily forgetting exactly what number of children you have in the fog of not-quite-awake-ness!

Enjoying a sloppy kiss that involved teeth given by a giggling toddler.

The feeling of relief that goes with a burp, fart or nappy fill by a grumpy baby.

Feeling a little weepy when the baby's umbilical stump falls off because they aren't a "real" newborn anymore!

Instantly checking what the kid's are doing when there is a strange noise or silence

Frantically looking for the dummy (pacifier for my US readers!), only to realise you are holding it by the handle in you TEETH!


I have a new motto - Sir Edmund Hilary wasn't thinking of the blisters as he climbed the summit.

I love hiking. I haven't done it in ages, not properly, but there is something about walking through the wilderness with a pack that makes me happy. When I have blisters the size of golf balls on the soles of my feet, my old shoulder injury is nagging and the pack is weighing a ton, I stop and look around. The vista reminds me of why I am doing what I am doing and suddenly I have the energy to go on.

When I am exhausted, still in my PJ's at noon, the kids are being 'challenging' (read: being bratty) and I am feeling a little like running away from home, I catch a glimpse of the view. Sometimes it is a close up thing that boosts me - a wisp of Erin's blond hair catching the light, Christopher planting a kiss on Anna's nose, an impromptu bouquet of lawn daises from Billy, Anna making a noise like a squeaky toy when she hiccups. Sometimes it is the wider view that lifts me. I see a hardworking man in the little boy who loves stacking wood, a potential medical missionary in the little girl ministering with her plastic doctor's kit, a strong, gentle man in the tender, sloppy, toddler kiss, a world of possibilities in the newborn's eyes.

Take a moment to enjoy the view, you won't notice the blisters nearly as much!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

funny clip

This was on ship full o' pirates and it made me giggle

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Billy: Has Jesus put another baby in your tummy yet?

Anna isn't a week old yet!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Anna's Birth Story

*long and contains detail of bodily function! if you're queezy, skip it!

I KNEW she was ready to be born, the fact that my feet turned a little blue every time I had a BH contraction because her head was so far down confirmed that to me! The heat waves and my very sore pelvis were contributing to me turning into one of "those" pregnant women. You know, the ones who complain all the time about their discomfort rather than being thankful for a healthy baby and normal pregnancy. Anyway, I remembered that when I was pregnant with Christopher (who was two weeks overdue) labour didn't kick in until I was away from home with the kids well cared for and relaxed, so I suggested a date night to Beloved.

You know you're a Mum when preparation for a date night includes treating the family for a potential head lice infestation and putting the labour bag and baby seat in the car just in case. I was semi-hopeful something would happen, Beloved was fairly sure bub would stay put until Sunday (my brother's birthday) and Mum split the difference and said I'd have bub on the way home!

So we went into town and ran a few errands (an appointment with my midwife, haircut for Beloved etc.) and then went out to eat. We had planned to go to a food hall, but Beloved ended up taking me to my favourite restaurant where I hadn't been for four years and buy me a VERY yummy steak dinner! Looking back now, the frequent loo visits during this time should have told me something, but when you are overdue (especially when you went two weeks overdue last time) you studiously ignore all signs of labour until things get a bit obvious, otherwise you go insane. Especially if you have pre-labour for a week or more!

After our very nice meal we went for a bit of a walk, went to a service station to use the ladies (again) and headed home at about 10. As we drove up the outlet I felt a painless but firm contraction which I all but ignored because I'd been having them for a week or more at this stage. I noticed that they were coming about every five minutes as we drove along and debated the wisdom of saying something. I didn't want to go back and have nothing happen. I mentioned it to Beloved and we pulled over about half way home to discuss it. I called my midwife and we decided to head back to the Birth Centre just in case. I phoned Mum and let her know that she MAY have been right and I MAY be going into labour half way home, but not to get too excited because I wasn't sure yet. And I didn't get ANY more contractions. Not one the whole way back to Launceston! Exasperated, we decided to stay at the Birth Centre for the night anyway and just make it an extension of Date Night. Beloved went in to town and grabbed some milk and things for breakfast while I chatted with Anna about this and that. When he got back, Anna went home to get some sleep and I had a shower before climbing into the queen size four poster bed fully expecting to wake up and go home in the morning and trying to work out the logistics of how to get everyone dressed and ready to be at the church camp meeting in the morning. When Beloved came to bed after his shower (at about 1:20am by this stage) I opened one eye and said "I have had two real contractions since you got in the shower - I'm going to sleep" and he climbed into bed next to me and promptly fell asleep too.

I think you are a little more relaxed about labour by the fourth bub!

Contractions kept coming and I dozed and prayed in bed for about an hour. I prayed that I would have no fear, that God's hand would be over my labour and birth and that I'd draw on His strength when things got tough. After a while it got to the point where I was finding it difficult to relax during a contractions and I didn't want to wake Beloved quite yet so I went into the bathroom, put a pillow on top of the cistern and sat backwards on the loo with my head resting on the pillow. This was a really good position for me because my pelvis, which had been very sore for about three months at this stage, was fully supported and I could just relax. I sang softly and meditated on scripture and prayed for a while. When it got to the point that I started feeling like making noise through the contractions, I got up and made Beloved a coffee and woke him up. He asked if I wanted him with me or if I was OK just me. I was enjoying the solitude though so I told him not to stress about getting up yet, I just wanted to let him know I was calling Anna. I called Anna (by this time it was 3:20am) and let her know what was happening and went back to the bathroom.

After a while I hopped in the bath and directed the hand held shower onto my abdomen. When Beloved came in I gave it to him to put on my back and knelt at the end of the bath on a towel with my arms resting on another pile of towels. This was very nice, but I felt that it was almost too nice and was slowing things down a bit, plus I had a feeling for some reason that this baby was meant to be born on dry land (the boys were both born in the bath) and knew it was going to be hard to convince myself to move out of the bath. So Anna laid out the birth pad and sheet in the lounge room next to the coffee table and we put some pillows on top of the coffee table for me to lean on. Anna heated a wheat bag and Beloved put it on my back for me. I stayed like this for a while just gently working through each contraction as it came, meditating on scripture with some quiet instrumental hymns going in the background. Every now and then Anna would sing along to one of the hymns or I would and Beloved just sat quietly being there for me. I asked him to sit back on the couch and flopped kneeling on the floor draping (as much as you can drape at 41 weeks pregnant!) across his lap while he held the heat pack on my back and rubbed me between contractions. The wheat pack wasn't cutting it so Anna started heating wet towels to put over my back at the peak of each contraction and this was HEAVEN! I was feeling very tired at this stage and just wanted to curl up and go to sleep.

After a while I got up and went back to the loo on my own where I promptly vomited what was left of my dinner which annoyed me because it was such a nice dinner, but it made me feel better. Memories of time and sequence get a bit blurry about here, but I know I ended up back on the loo backwards with the pillow and then I fell asleep, waking only at the peak of each contraction. Contractions were still a bit erratic, lasting different lengths and spaced unevenly so I thought I had ages to go yet. So I dozed, meditated on scripture and songs as each contraction came While I was sleeping Anna bought in a candle, the music continued to play and it was very peaceful.

I was making a bit of noise at the peak of each contraction. Suddenly I had a contraction which ramped it up a notch and I made a lot more noise with that one including a POP that could be heard in the next room as my waters broke. Beloved appeared at the door and asked what he could do for me, I told him to tell Anna my waters broke and get me a bowl to throw up in. I had a little vomit and sort of woke up at that point. While I didn't have a strong urge to push yet, there was definite pressure, but seeing as my contractions were still about five minutes apart and a bit erratic I thought I still had a fair way to go yet. I started stressing out about that then caught myself and started singing "He makes all things beautiful in His time". I asked for more hot towels on the next contraction and asked for one to go on my belly. When I was having a contraction I tried to put the hot towel on my tummy but my stretch marks were sensitive to the heat and my belly was up against the toilet seat so it was difficult to position the towel but I wanted the towel on there and it was all too CONFUSING! So I just sat holding my hot towel softly crying into my pillow. Anna and Beloved asked what I wanted and I sobbed "I don't know!!"

I decided to get up and move into the lounge room again and was surprised to see the sky turning pink. I looked at it and thought of a scripture in Isaiah chapter 44 (a chapter I had been drawn to repeatedly as I prepared for labour) which says something about our sins being burned up like the morning mist. That thought was very comforting, whatever discomfort I was facing right now was temporary, I have a reassurance that my sins were burned up as the morning mist and I was pure, clean and fresh as the morning in God's eyes. I remember starting to feel a bit more bright and chirpy and talking to Beloved about the sun coming up and such between contractions. Hot towels kept coming at the peak of each contraction and I was kneeling on one knee beside the coffee table again. Between contractions I asked Beloved if he thought we had a boy or a girl. We both agreed that we didn't know, but if we had to pick we thought it was a girl. Anna joked that it had to be a girl because she was being so gentle with me! I asked what time it was at about ten to six and told Jon that it'd probably be a good idea to call Mum in about an hour and let her know I really was in labour.

Then I had a contraction that felt a bit pushy, followed by two that didn't feel pushy at all then one where I pushed and felt a little head rush down! I put my hand down and a small head slipped into my hand much to the surprise of us all! I remember thinking that the head felt so tiny but then I was distracted by bub moving around inside me which really was not comfortable against my poor old pelvis. Once her shoulders were free, bub literally fell out of me into Anna's hands. I held bub close to me as I knelt up and called out to Beloved "We were right! Erin will be SO pleased!" (my oldest daughter Erin had prayed for a sister since before I was pregnant). I kept repeating "Erin will be SO pleased! Oh thank you God!" We exclaimed over how small she was. My next youngest was ten pound one at birth so she seemed very small in comparison at eight pound nine! She was very pale and her eye lids were puffy but she was dainty and beautiful all the same. I cuddled her close and Beloved got the camera to take a few photos. I remember turning to Anna our midwife (who, after being with us through three pregnancies and births in three years, seems like one of the family!) and introducing her to Anna Francesca, our little girl. I delivered the placenta, and Anna did her first poo all over me (ewww) and we waved a bit of oxygen at her to help her pink up a bit. We cuddled and weighed and measured our little girl and I cleaned up a bit and called home to let the three older kids know they had a sister. Erin was "thrilled about my new sister!" Billy was a little confused as to who exactly he was talking to and what was going on and Christopher didn't say much at all. After we rang our parents and I had something to eat, Anna (the midwife) checked me out and headed home. Beloved and I tucked into bed and went back to sleep for a while with our newest baby, our precious Anna Francesca!

I'm on my own now!

Mum has headed back to the mainland to take care of my ailing big brother now that I am sailing smooth. Clearly a mother's work is never done, in the last 3 weeks she has dropped my younger brother at the airport and waved him off to his 'round the world trip, come down here to take care of my family while staying in touch via phone with my big brother who has a prolapsed disk and a marriage break-up to deal with! We have all left home but I know we occupy her thoughts and prayers daily, and for this I am thankful.

Anyway, once Jon is off to work this morning I am flying solo with all four kids for the first time. Since my laundry is all up to date and my kitchen is clean (thanks Mum!) I am not too worried.

Check back in a fortnight though!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Some photos

A minutes old Anna with Daddy
(she did a great snow white impression for the first few moments!)

Any regular readers will forgive the stunning background of BOXES.
Here are a couple of photos of the family

Erin, Billy, Me, Anna and Christopher all chatting together for the first time

Billy, Nana Julie and Anna!

Two sisters amid the chaos - where they are pretty much destined to be!

These photos are completely untouched and not professionally taken at all, can you tell?
But they show the loves of my life, so I just thought I'd share!


What a week!

is THRILLED about having a little sister. Beloved has called Erin "Squeek" since she was tiny so Erin has started calling Anna "Squark" to match. She and Billy put in an order for another boy next time LOL. The medical side of having a new baby is fascinating Erin (of course!) with her showing great interest in nappy contents, umbilical cords etc.

has surprised me with just how much interest he is showing in Anna. He held her for ages yesterday just kissing and patting and cuddling and chatting with her. He loves being a big, BIG, brother. He's had a few crash and burn moments when he has been just too tired and overwhelmed and his stamina still isn't back from the bout of gastro.

has been the MOST surprising with Anna. Get this, he is being GENTLE! I didn't think the boy had it in him! A priceless moment when he kissed Anna on the nose last night just melted me completely and I am yet to recover. It is wonderful to be able to carry him around (relatively) easily again. He has started "helping" me in the kitchen now, carrying things to put them away while sitting on my hip. He will find that a lot easier when he is walking though!

Our beautiful girl is here! I will write that birth story some time in the next few weeks - but suffice to say I could do it again quite happily - especially given the result. Anna was a bit of a lazy feeder initially and became a bit jaundiced but I expressed a little (less than 10 ml) and drip fed it to her, lay her in the sun for a bit and that seems to have knocked the worst of it on the head. She had a nasty bout of wind last night and is still working out the whole day and night thing (which you'd expect, she is only 4 days old!) but over all each moment with her has been a delight.

The house:
is puttering along thanks to my cleaner and my Mum. Whenever I get worried about spending the money on the cleaner I look around and realise that it is the best $30 per week I spend! Beloved has installed a new toilet complete with my little squirt which makes rinsing nappies MUCH easier.

how many calories does giving birth burn? Anyone? I have visions of getting into shape before the next baby. I am contemplating major plans to get the abs somewhere near toned.

preview image

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Guess what I did this morning?


Anna Francesca was born this morning at 6:10am after the easiest labour imaginable!

At 8 pound 9 ounces she is by far my smallest baby. She is 56.5cm long (tall and skinny like Billy!) with a head circ. of 32cm. She also has HAIR!

Erin is thrilled to bits that Jesus answered her prayer for a sister.

Anna: Gracious God
Francesca: Free Woman

Anna Francesca: Free woman of a gracious God

I will write a birth story some time soon. We are all thrilled with our new daughter and sister. She is sleeping peacefully at the moment and I just can't believe how beautiful she is!


We can do no great things - only small things with great love.
Mother Teresa

Friday, January 16, 2009

A link

Kendra from Preschoolers and Peace wrote a brilliant blog entry this week entitled "Can we really discover joy in the journey?" Pop over and take a look!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

There is just something about cute animal pics....

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Look what I got!!

Isn't it pretty? I recieved this award from Mama Hen of Ship Full O' Pirates. She must have known something because this morning I lay in bed and thought "this is probably the most comfortable I am going to feel today" and promptly burst into tears! Yes, I love being pregnant. Being 5 days overdue in a heat wave CAN be a bit of a challenge though.

Counting my blessings, I would rather be five days overdue with a perfectly healthy baby and a perfectly normal pregnancy during a heat wave than face some of the hardships and complications that I see people around me dealing with every day (i.e. chronic illness, premature and seriously ill children, permenant injury, complicated pregnancies). Hang, I live in Paradise (otherwise known as Tasmania) with few fears for my safety and an insanely generous dose of support from family, friends and community - I have nothing to complain about. AND I get pretty, pretty Blog awards!

Just in case you are wondering though Lord, the fact that this baby's head is pressing so hard on my pelvis that my feet sometimes turn a bit blue, I'm not particularly fond of that.

Moving on.

I was tempted to pass this award back to Mama Hen, but she already has one. So I am going to pass it on to Ann Voskamp at Holy Experience because the visual artistry, writing and clear message often speak to my heart just when I need it. I'd also like to pass it on to Kendra at Preschoolers and Peace because her practical insight, humor and "real-ness" often encourage me to a higher standard of mothering


And another!!The Lemonade Award: For blogs with great attitude and/or gratitude

I feel very special that someone thinks my blog fits into this category! Thanks Momma Bug!

I'd like to pass this one on to:
Anna at Pleasant View Schoolhouse who can cheer up my day with a photo of a milk glass vase!
Amy at Amy's Humble Musing who more often than not makes me laugh out loud and think at the same time.
And Kim at Large Family Logistics whose attitude, practicality and sense of priorities always encourage me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


We are all still here!

is spinning out a bit with the excitement of anticipating the new baby's arrival after a string of visitors and Christmas. It must be over a month since we were 'in routine' properly. It is unlikely that this will change very soon with the imminent arrival of bub! Her whole being is crying out for attention with various small trespasses simply to seek out some time from Mum and Dad. Providing this time in abundance only feeds the monster with this one! So she will get the same regular time she always gets, with a little more to reward her when she is behaving well, and the rest of the time it will be close boundaries and training. Something that does take energy and time but isn't rewarding poor behaviour. We discipline because we love! It is paying dividends already though and she is showing some signs of calming down.

is feeling much better after his bout of gastro, but he has lost a bit of weight and his stamina isn't what it should be. He also broke out in hives when we gave him some icy poles to keep him hydrated. We usually have only fruit juice ones but for some reason we had some artificial everything ones. It took me about 48 hours to work out the source too so the poor kid was COVERED in them. He has also developed a bit of a cough and a wheeze which I am watching closely with the family history of asthma. In himself he is mostly chirpy and happy and he loves having Nana Julie here to read to him and work in the garden with.

is also feeling much, much better. In fact, there were no southern explosions today at all and he hasn't vomited in over a week. He is teetering on the edge of walking, standing on his own and taking the odd step. We are all watching him eagerly. It is lovely to have the twin expectations of Christopher's walking and bub's arrival! So much to celebrate. His conversation grows ever more animated and broad - still with few words but meaning is made very clear! He makes me giggle. If ever he is grumpy, I just pass him to Beloved and they watch 4WD videos on you-tube together. He is a true rev-head just like his Daddy and loves anything with wheels.

New Bub:
cannot get any lower without coming out! Happy, healthy and huge is my guess, just like the older siblings. I cleared a space for the bassinet next to the kitchen bench today. I like to have a spot for new ones to sleep out in the living areas, it makes it much easier to check on them and the noise rarely bothers them when they are so little. It is only when they are bigger and want to join in that it becomes an issue! Billy and Erin ask a thousand times a day when the baby is coming! I am finding the heat difficult to deal with. It makes me tired and short tempered and I know I have given my family cause to exercise patience with me! I am still walking most days, I jumped on the trampoline with the kids on Friday evening (Mum has the photographs as proof!) and I try and keep moving through the day in effort to keep things mobile and perhaps get things moving. I would like bub to come now or hold off until after the weekend so Beloved can go to a big car thing on the weekend and I would like to spend some time at the church camp over the weekend as well. We will see how we go though, I think this is DEFINITELY one time that Bub can take center stage!

The house:
is looking great under the hands of Mum! The amazing feeling of getting up to clean the kitchen, walking in and finding it CLEAN! Not just clean, but CLEAN! As only my Mum can :) This has freed up my time so I have got all the outgrown and out of season clothes sorted, consolidated and packed away in boxes. All the boxes are now safely stashed in Beloved's workshop. All the laundry is sorted and up to date (have I mentioned I love my Mum?). I am cleaning in a nesting kind of way. There is very little plaster dust now and I have new sheets for the bassinet. So we are ready to go!

The garden:
has also benefited from Mum's presence with her and Billy doing some weed pulling. There has also been the odd strawberry from the wild strawberries.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Baby in the house

I am racking my brain to remember what I do when there is a new baby in the house - you'd think I'd remember seeing as it is only 14 months since there WAS one! If you have any other ideas please add to the comments!

Here are my tips:
  • have a stash of baby pillowcases in your bedside drawer for quick changes when baby has a little "possit" in bed. Christopher was a power chucker until he was a few months old and this saved me a lot of changed sheets.
  • A nappy change area with wipes/washers, nappies, a few changes of clothes etc. is very handy - although having a pre-schooler or toddler handy to fetch things is also invaluable!
  • Clean cloth nappies for shoulders, a stack of books to read aloud to older children, a small box of toys to amuse the younger-older kids and a bottle of water for Mum by the feeding spot. It gets full near my feeding chair!
  • I haven't practised what I am preaching here this time, but a freezer full of food is a great thing to bring a new baby home to!
  • A Birth Day cake in the freezer and some balloons is becoming tradition in our house. I'm not sure if Billy is more excited about the baby or the cake!
  • Lots and lots and lots and lots of love! With the ability to keep a sense of humor and roll with the punches a bit.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday Mythbuster: DIY makes you a better mother/wife/person

It was a big thing for me to get a cleaner. Huge in fact. It meant admitting to myself and those around me that I CAN'T keep up with it all like I would like to. In some ways it was an admission that I fail at Super Mum.

I look back over the past fortnight and the number of times I have received help from others. Friends helping out with washing etc. when the boys were sick, Mum taking over so many chores while she is here, my wonderful cleaner tackling the plaster dust that spread so insidiously through the house. If I hadn't had the help, we would have muddled through sure, but life was so much easier with the help.

Inside of me there is still the stubborn two year old that declares defiantly "I can do it MYSELF!". There is the derisive school-marm that sniffs and reminds me that once women my age had 9+ kids, no electricity, no car, no other fancy gadgets and THEY managed! There is the self-conscious shrinking violet who wonders what everyone will think of me if I can't manage perfectly myself. There is the prosecutor who accuses me of cheating my family by having "so many children, so close together when CLEARLY I can't cope!".

It gets very loud in my head sometimes.

Then when I silence all these voices, I realise there is nobody out side of me saying these things, nobody whose opinions really matter anyway! Rather than railing against receiving help, perhaps I simply need to humble myself and accept it. Perhaps I need to recognise this blessing from God and use what He has given me to HIS glory. Perhaps I need to use the 'free time' it gives me to minister more to my family, perhaps I need to minister to the people who minister to me, perhaps I need to stop listening to these myths and embrace HIS truth!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

She crept to the bedroom door this morning and whispered the all important question "Is it the new baby's birthday today?"

He opens his big blue eyes and exclaims to the ladies at church "We have a CAKE at home for the new baby's BIRTHDAY! Baby will come out soon, it is having a rest now"

I enfold myself into my home preparing, completing the never-ending list of last-minute jobs.

As I put the bag of balloons in the top of the cupboard memories of Christopher - less than 24 hours old - laying asleep in my arms, a sparkly party hat perched on his head - wash over me. It was just a moment ago.

Memories of Erin exploring the newborn Billy, wide eyed with surprise that such a creature exists, erupt within me. It was just a minute ago.

Memories of the newborn girl on my belly looking up at me, smacking her lips in anticipation of a feed and looking not the least startled. It was barely a second ago.

Part of me can't wait for the birth of this baby. Thrills that words don't come close to discribing are in store for me.

Part of me has learned that after that moment, my ability to protect them diminishes, and continues to diminish as they grow.

I place this child in your hands.
Pour out your blessing on my offspring, my baby.
Watch over this child all their days.
Hold their hands when my hands are too busy.
Watch over them when my eyes are elsewhere.
Speak to their hearts words of direction when words fail me.
Hold them when my arms are too full.
Strengthen them when they and I are exhausted.
Help them to fly when we lack the ability to crawl.
Counsel them to good choices when my own mind is so full of confusion
that I have no words of wisdom to offer.

Let not this world fracture them.
Guard their purity.
Break the hands of evil people who reach out to harm them.
Grind their fingers to dust if they seek to hurt my baby.
Stand before them, Lion of Judah, and let your mighty roar scatter all those with ill intent.
May this child stand and say "The Lord has Protected me all the days of my life"
May this child sing "You made me trust in you even at my mother's breast"
May this child testify of your love.
May this child glorify your name.
May this child say "The Lord answered the prayers of my mother and He has done wonders in my life."


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Beware the Google-sperts!

What is a Google-spert?

A Google-spert is a new variety of a creature that has been around for a long time.

Google-sperts can be identified by their constant quoting of what they read "somewhere online" and their inability to believe anything that hasn't been presented to them by glowing pixels.

Someone who has spent 25 years working in a given field, refining skills and knowledge through research and experimentation, is no match for the average Google-spert who can expound at length on any topic given 20 minutes access to the Internet. All information will become instant, indisputable, fact at the hands of the average Google-spert regardless of the actual authority of the source.

Google-sperts are closely related to several older species such as the "someone-once-said-sperts", "I-read-once-sperts" and "In-my-opinion-sperts".

As a genus, these creatures are unable to maintain conversation with their dialogue limited to lectures and the odd soliloquy. These creatures may appear to have perfect hearing, but on testing their hearing is found to be flawed. They seem to have developed an invisible filter around their eardrum which filters out everything they don't want to hear or alters the words of others significantly, sometimes completely.

Those in the "-sperts" genus are not to be scorned though, rather recognised for the pitiful creatures they are.

However, be vigilant! Danger does lurk among the Google-sperts! If you spend a lot of time with these creatures it can be easy to slowly start to become like them, even to become one of them. Signs that this may be happening to you include:

Speaking as an authority on subjects of which you have limited or no personal experience

Quoting the Internet more than once in a given conversation

Coming to the end of a conversation and realising you don't remember anything the other person said, in fact, you aren't really sure if they said anything.

Finding yourself interrupting others often to 'correct' them. This is especially significant if they have 20+ years personal experience in a the area and your only source is "this blog I'm reading"

Perhaps the most SERIOUS sign that you are becoming a Google-spert is you begin to loose the ability to test information and think for yourself, relying instead on the glowing pixels of your computer monitor to do the thinking for you.

Signs you are NOT a Google-spert include:

Asking questions and genuinely listening to the answers

Experiencing the phenomena of "the more I learn about this, the more I realise I DON'T know!"

Calling around and asking advice of actual people as well as posting on Internet forums etc.

Please be careful to guard yourself against becoming a google-spert. How? Well, I am reluctant to speak as an authority on the subject BUT, try examining these scriptures (for a start) and see what YOU think YOU should do.

When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. Proverbs 10:19

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16

Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Proverbs 19:20

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1

A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue. Proverbs 11:12

It is better to heed a wise man's rebuke than to listen to the song of fools. Ecclesiasties 7:5

Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue. Proverbs 17:28

If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. James 1:26

He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity. Proverbs 21:23

A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Proverbs 25:11

Oh, and yes, I am tickled by the irony of the fact that I blogged this!! Hehe

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I love elephants

Funny Animals

They are such expressive animals!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Tips for tummy bugs

Why not continue the recent theme?

  • use matress protectors
  • put a towel under or over the pillow of the sick bub/kid if possible. As a sideline, I have my bedside table drawer full of pillowcases for the bassinette to put under bub's head. Both my boys were chuckers and it was much easier just to change the pillowcase under their head after each nap than to try and keep up with washing sheets!
  • Keep a nice smelling anti-bacterial spray on hand.
  • Shove anything with vomit on it straight in the washing machine and set it going when it is full. Add a bit of vinager to the rinse if it is very smelly!
  • Have cloth nappies and face washers in containers (ice cream containers work well!) around the house.
  • Dry crackers, icy poles, jelly and dry toast with promite or vegemite are good starter foods
  • Clean the toilet regularly, a few times a day if you need to. Nothing says "I love you" like a shiny toilet to throw up in!
Thanks to my friend Bek for some of these tips. She not long ago survived gastro ripping through her family - she is pregnant with two under three!

for more practical tips visit

Check out the post by Distinctly Different for some more great tips for combatting illness!

A *proper* update

Mum arrived last night and Bek and Shane left with the kids. We are missing having Bek and Shane around already but loving having Mum here. My kitchen looks fabulous after only having Mum here for about 24 hours!

got a little toy mobile phone with lollies in it as a special treat because she's been helping nurse all the sickies. The quote of today comes from her though. She got a new doctor's kit from Nana Julie and was playing with it in the lounge room. The phrase we overheard that REALLY cracked us up was "Trust me...I'm a doctor."

is still unwell, he threw up all over the dinner table last night (nobody wanted dessert after that - except Erin who performed a detailed examination of her brother's vomit! If that girl doesn't do something medical I will eat my hat.). He is getting better though with no vomit or "southern explosions" today. He has, however, been bitten by mosquitoes all over his head and arms and has reacted quite badly. His face, one ear and large patches of his arms are swollen and red. Still, through it all he is quite stoic. Nana Julie has plans of taking him to the wildlife park as a special treat when he feels better.

isn't feeling too well either. Quite a few "southern explosions" today the poor love. He still manages to spend so much of his time HAPPY though. I wonder how he will cope when the new bub comes. He took a few individual steps today too. His poor little legs are covered in a rash because I let him play outside in just a nappy and he reacted to the grass. Both my poor boys are sick, swollen and red! It doesn't seem to bother him at all though with only the tummy pains and runs seeming to cause him any distress. He is loving extra cuddles from Nana Julie.

New Bub:
is sitting VERY low but seems to be quite happy in situ. I am looking forward to meeting this bub, even though we have so many things I'd like to get done. Jon has bought Bub's special bear. We have a special family tradition where Jon chooses a teddy bear for each new baby we have. This comes from the bear that he still has that his Dad bought for him when his Mum was pregnant. Erin has Brown Bear, Billy has Red Bear, Christopher has Bikkie Bear and Bub now has Ginger Bear.

The house:
looks pretty good all things considered! Thanks to the mighty efforts of Bek, the washing was kept up with. We have even aired out things covered by the plaster dust. Sarah had a fantastic go at the plaster dust still remaining so I am not stressed about filling bub's lungs with it anymore. Mum has given my kitchen a bit of a go over and organise which is brilliant. I have mopped most of the ceilings to get rid of the plaster dust (and cobwebs!) and washed down most of the walls. There is just a bit more organising I'd like to do, some sheets I want to sew and a few other 'loose end' tasks before I will feel totally ready for Bub's arrival. The front room is now "noggined out" (ooohh, look at me using fancy builders jargon!!) and it won't be long until we (that is Jon and someone who is probably not me) put up plaster board.

The Garden:
has provided hot pink roses and lavender for Mum's caravan. The guys ripped up some shrubs etc. that I didn't want in the front garden so that they could take out the fence and back the trailer in next to the front window, making it easier to throw out the plaster etc they were ripping down


Prayer requests:
I'd just like to ask for ongoing prayer for our family health. Jon is a whole lot better and the boys are recovering. We have received GREAT mercy and so far we have gotten off lightly. There is so much to praise God for amid all the nasties of sickness. My Big brother is still on a cocktail of drugs to control his pain and will be getting back surgery sooner rather than later. My baby brother is off travelling the world! He is in South America right now. The Lockwood Family also need prayers and encouragement as they try and settle in away from home and await the arrival of their newest bub amid many, many concerns for the little man's welfare, not to mention the Mama's!


Monday, January 05, 2009

Monday Mythbusters

All Pregnant women enjoy comments like:

WOW! You're HUGE!

Are you SURE it's not twins?

You know how that happens, right?

Gosh, you look about ready to pop!

Haven't you had that baby yet?

You look awfully uncomfortable.

Can I just say not ALL pregnant women enjoy these comments. Especially huge, hot, uncomfortable or overdue ones! Just letting you know in advance ;)

Billy's Bedtime Prayers

Dear Jesus,

Please tell Mummy I don't need to go to bed.


That boy cracks me up

Define Friends

WARNING: I will not be held responsible for any covetous feelings inspired by this post. I'm just blessed is all.

Friends: People who choose to spend part of their holiday living in a tent in the back yard with two toddlers and a pregnant belly while helping you renovate, voluntarily ripping down old horsehair plaster. People who choose to stay around when the vomiting starts even though it is only about two or three weeks since their own Gastric Nightmare because they want to help out. People who continue to renovate, hang out washing, run various errands, drive Beloved to hospital to be put on a drip because he is so ill etc. when they are meant to be on HOLIDAY. People who only leave when they know help will arrive that night in the form of my dear Mama!

Thanks guys!

Beloved spent a few hours getting saline and drugs at hospital yesterday. He wasn't actually admitted but it was well worth him going because the bug hit him pretty badly.

No vomit from the boys but lots of "south end action" and Christopher brings new meaning to the word "clingy". Christopher was/is attached to me when not sleeping meaning I must sit here and blog *sigh* the sacrifices we mothers make!

Erin is just a bit (lot) jelous of the attention the sickies are getting and is a little miffed she isn't getting icy poles in bed!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Jess' Kitchen Tips

Here are a few bits of kitchen wisdom I have picked up:

Beans can be used to stretch almost any meal. I haddn't realised how much I used this until a long term houseguest mentioned it. I had fed them beans every day! It can have an 'interesting' effect on digestive systems not used to it LOL

Food nibbled on while you're cooking does not count toward calories as you are burning it off while you cook. So feel free to nibble on that bit of carrot, slice of cheese.....the left over fruitcake in the fridge. This is my story and I'm sticking to it!

If you put something green on the plate, it is a healthy meal. So add a few bits of broccoli to the lasagne, some peas to the lamb chops... some green jelly beans to the top of the chocolate cake the kids cooked.

Fetta cheese makes it gormet cooking. So next time you clean out the fridge, put anything that can't run fast enough to get away in a large frypan with some fetta cheese and serve it up with some parsley (to make it healthy of course) and everyone will think you're a brilliant cook!

These bits of wisdom I picked up without even trying, I hope you will benefit from the wisdom I have chosen to share LOL

On a more serious note, please go and visit Large Family Mothering and read her post Broken, Not Crushed. I found it a timely and beautiful reminder!
You know how I said that Billy's bug was a 24 hour bug? I was wrong, very wrong. He was fine all morning then power chucked as I got him out of the bath. Followed by the worst case of the runs I have ever seen - all over the couch. Christopher spent most of the day laying across my chest and Beloved started vomiting at about 4am. Pray for us please!

Dear Lord,

Please keep me well enough to watch over my family. If I must succumb to this bug, I pray that it will NOT kick start labour. If it must, I pray that I get it LAST. I pray also that Beloved's dose will be mild, not like the last tummy bug he got that lasted over a year in its effects. Thank you for the family and friends who are chipping in to take care of us. Thank you that this is happening BEFORE Bub is born. Thank you for Your strength, wisdom and compassion. And Lord - HELP! Thank you that with your help, I can laugh at the days to come, even when they potentially hold so many challenges. Bring healing to my family Lord.


Also, can you please remember my Big Brother in your prayers? He got hauled off to Hospital on Saturday with SEVERE back pain. He is also amidst some personal "stuff" that doesn't make things easier!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Thought for today....

"The Bible calls debt a curse and children a blessing;
but in our culture, we apply for a curse and reject blessings.
Something is wrong with this picture."
~ Doug Phillips

tummy bugs and mops

Has anyone else noticed a strong vomit theme to this Blog lately?

Billy's bug lasted about 24 hours with most of that spent flat out on the couch either asleep or watching TV (good wholesome TV - what did people do with sick kids before TV?). He is a little tired and washed out today but no throwing up.

Christopher has got it now! He is sleeping at the moment.

By some miracle, I have been able to spend the last two days "laughing at the day's to come"! It has helped having our friends here and beloved home but we have spent the last few days laughing and joking around amid the chaos.

I am also fighting the urge to mop the ceiling - nesting anyone???

Friday, January 02, 2009

Of visitors, plaster dust, toddlers and - well - vomit!

A stolen moment for a quick update! No baby yet but I am in disgustingly good health at the moment - YAY! I even had a little jump on the trampoline with the kids the other day which probably scared the neighbours. We had some very good friends come to stay on Monday. They have 2 children, a girl 6 weeks older than Billy and a boy 8 weeks older than Christopher and they are expecting their third in May. Shane, the Daddy of the family, has known Beloved since they were 4, they have been each other's best men and our youngest sons are named Christopher SHANE and Stephen JON after each other. They live on the mainland so it is fairly rare to catch up. We have been staying up WAY too late talking (2am!) most nights.

We have also taken full advantage of the fact that Shane is a handy man and he and Beloved are working madly on the front room. Of course that means that everything that was in the front hall blocking that door is now spread out in my recently organised lounge room, but this isn't so bad. The PLASTER DUST that coats EVERYTHING is a little harder to deal with! I had forgotten how awful plaster dust is. Luckily they have finished ripping down the plaster now and today they will be starting to put things back together. So we have 5 children under 5, 2 pregnant women, a disorganised house - what could add to this wonderful mix? Well add to I don't know, but Billy started throwing up yesterday and woke gagging this morning so please pray that gastro WILL NOT add to this mix LOL. I wouldn't mind if Bub stayed put also, just for another week or two to let me get organised! I had better head back to the fray, but if things remain quiet for a bit don't worry, there is just a big REAL WORLD focus in this house at the moment!