Thursday, April 26, 2012

Just quickly

Saturday my sister K and I hosted our sister in law's baby shower for our soon to arrive niece. We themed it to match the gorgeous nursery our sis in law had set up therefore we used pink, purple and butterflies to decorate. We (my mum, sis and I) baked and prepped all morning to provide a buffet style afternoon spread to be enjoyed with champagne (and agrum for the pregnant guests - of which there were at least 5). We played all the usual games ... guess the baby food, guess the belly size, match the celebrity babies with their parents, guess the number of lollies in the baby bottle and 'don't say baby'. My little niece got very spoilt with gifts from the guests and we enjoyed a lovely afternoon celebrating and whiling away the hours as only a large group of women can. K and I gifted the Oroton baby bag, a Bubba Blue pink velour blanket, a Bonds jumpsuit, some Roxy swimmers and some pink Bright Starts rattles - all the essentials in our books ha ha. Our sis in law had a really wonderful afternoon and even sent K and I flowers to say thank you! Completely unnecessary but appreciated nonetheless.



Sunday we tried for pancakes for brekky again - S has wised up and took me out instead of trying to masterchef them again. We went to Pancakes on the Rocks which has opened at Mermaid Beach on the Gold Coast Highway. I suspect it is part of the Sydney chain. The service was friendly and efficient, the prices very reasonable and the fit out of booths were very comfortable. I ordered the Strawberry Patch which is just the right amount of sweetness - only the ice cream adds sweet with the strawberries and coulis and cream and pancakes all unsweetened. I only got through 1 and a half pancakes before giving up and letting S tackle the remaining half. I would definitely go back here for pancakes!


After dropping S home I headed to Brisbane for lunch with M at Southbank followed by a visit to the Queensland museum for the newly opened Mummy Exhibition. We had lunch and a long overdue catchup at Cactus Republic - a fresh tex mex restaurant that did a killer nachos - before heading over to the Queensland Museum for our booking. It was a sold out session having only opened last Thursday and of course no photography was allowed in the exhibit but if you get the chance, make sure you check it out. They had several mummies on display along with lots of artefacts from BC times. Its hard to comprehend that some of the mummies have been so well preserved, there is still actual flesh on the skeleton despite it being 3000-4000 years old. The level of detail and skill put into the artefacts is also amazing considering the lack of technology and tools BC.


Yesterday I stuck with tradition and made it along to the ANZAC dawn service with my fam. There is something so special about the atmosphere at a dawn service and this year's opening tale was a recount of the battle of the Western Front. What our fellow Australians (and NZers) suffered is nothing short of horrifying and I remain forever grateful to our servicemen both past and those serving presently for continuing to protect the freedom we so often take for granted. I have to admit though, the 4am start really took it out of me and after family breakfast, I headed back home for bed. How did you commemorate the day?



Excitingly, we also welcomed a new arrival since my last update - the precious little Isabella. Daughter to my dear friend N. N and her husband are much more patient than S and I and opted to keep this bubba's sex a surprise as they did with their first born so we have all played the guessing game for the past 9 months. I had predicted a girl but was hoping for a boy so that my little bubba would have a male playmate seeing as how both sister in law's are having girls and also given that N and I have grown up together and remain very close 30 years later, we hoped for our children to do the same (they still can of course I know). We finally got to visit last night and have a hold of the newest princess and she was an angel ... slept through everyone's chatter (all 8 of us) and being passed around with only a few tiny squeaks. N was the first of us due this year in our circle and it has all started with her bub being born... my niece is now only 4 weeks away from her due date, then our friend L's bub is due 2 weeks after that then me 2 weeks after L and then my other sis in law 12 weeks after me! Christmas is going to be a crazy time with lots of little munchkins under foot!


The majority of my time these past few weeks has been taken up with helping my sis manage the final stages of our father's campaign for Council (its been a huge job but fingers crossed we get the winning result we have been striving for ) but that's all over come Saturday and I will be able to get back to regular blogging (between the Calmbirth and antenatal classes starting next week).

Here is a bump pic of me a 31 weeks for good measure - its finally apparent I can no longer keep up wearing heels for 8-9 hours a day and this week marks the start of my flats wearing period. Unfortunately my wardrobe is seriously lacking in flats although I seem to have an abundance of thongs - Havis and dressy ones - so flats have been added to my weekend shopping list out of necessity.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What I am ... loving, pondering, look like & doing

I've been leading such a busy but dull life lately I thought it best to spare you the details. Hopefully I will have some more exciting posts coming up including all the details of my sister in law's baby shower that my sister and I are throwing for her this weekend!

In the meantime, here are all the major topics covered to tide you over:

What I am loving
The Voice: how great is this show (statement not question in case you were wondering)! I admit, I was completely uninterested in this show in the lead up just as I am with every other reality talent show out there but Sunday night we were at my parents for dad's birthday dinner and my sister really wanted to watch it. Three days later and I haven't missed an episode and have even dragged S onboard as a fan! Love the 'blind' concept, the beautiful talent and especially the judges. The show and judges are so far coming across as all very nice but also very honest with their feedback. Keith is just an absolute doll - completely lovely and so so encouraging, Joel is so passionate and inspiring, Seal is the smoothest of smooth talkers that could convince anyone he could take them anywhere and Delta is lovely although lacks the passionate conviction of the others when she is trying to sway them to her team. All in all, I'm really enjoying the show's format (as you can no doubt tell by the million tweets I send while viewing each night) and will continue to watch avidly in coming weeks no doubt.


What I am pondering
Cord blood banking: I read a little about it at the beginning of my pregnancy and dismissed it as something to come back to. I received an email today from Cell Care Australia about a review in their pricing and offerings and my interest has been reignited. You can either donate the cord blood to a public bank or you can privately bank with an organisation like Cell Care. Now, the private banking  is expensive and I know you can't put a price on your child's health but at several thousand a year to set up and in excess of $1,000 a year to maintain for 18 years (not viable after this), it is something that obviously needs consideration.                                                                                             Here is a good explanation of what banking is: http://www.cellcareaustralia.com/why-bank-cord-blood/what-is-cord-blood-banking.aspx                                                                                         
Now S and I don't have any strong family history of disease, bubba is to all intenst and purposes very healthy and we are not of ethnic minority meaning it will be difficult to find a matched donor in future if required so we would be banking purely as an insurance policy for bub's future health - and it goes without saying this is a good enough reason alone but that said, we like all Australian's have free access to the public bank so are we best off just donating the cord blood publicly?.                                                                                Did you bank your baby's cord blood or know anybody who did? I don't know anyone who has had any experience with this so would love to hear from someone who does.


What I look like
I hit 30 weeks this week much to S' joy - if you recall, he was a bit sick of the twenties as it felt like they took forever! Bump is growing but nothing else is at this point which I'm pretty happy about - I am looking the same all over apart from my tummy. I also still have my 'innie' belly button which is another source of joy (lame I know) but not really surprising given how ridiculously deep my belly button is - it must have been at least 1.5cm in before I was pregnant.





What I have been doing
Trying to get bubba into a position with his head down amongst other things! If you follow me on twitter, you may have read some tweets this week about bubba giving me some pain in the obliques. This is because my little darling was/is/can lay in the transverse position which means he was laying sideways across my abdomen with his lower torso/legs  kicking one oblique and his head pressing into the other - not fun at all peeps!                                                                                                
see diagram:    
                                                                                                                               
Its not a great position for any bub to be in by third trimester as if they decide its a comfortable one for them and won't budge, chances are very high you will need a C-Section because bub can't deliver from transverse and you can risk a prolapsed cord.                                                                     
Monday night, I couldn't move for almost 3 hours it was hurting that much which of course sent S into a tailspin of whether or not we needed to go to hospital. This then led to him worrying that we don't even have a bag/bags packed yet and what were we going to do. After reassuring him that I was definitely not in labour, I promised that I would start throwing a bag/bags together if it would make him feel better. My darling husband calmed down and once reassured, fussed like a mother hen arranging pillows, checking room temperature, getting refreshments ... so very sweet and reminded me how lucky I am to have him sharing this journey with me.                                                                  
The latest news on this after an Ob checkup and scan today is that it looks like bubba is turning towards head down again - thank goodness as I wasn't a fan of some of the suggested ways to 'spin' baby.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mothers...

I nominated my beautiful mother this year for the Barnados Mother of the Year 2012. While it doesn't look like she was a finalist, she is already the winner in my eyes.

Here is the nomination I submitted for her...


My mum in short, was born to be a mum. She is a one of those special one of a kind people who come along once in a lifetime to mother children be it her own or others. Her love, compassion & understanding are endless and given to all who need it. It was not unusual growing up for my siblings & I to share our bedrooms with other children in need due to their home life disruptions or similar & mum would mother them exactly as she would us. 
Firmly subscribing to the theory of ‘mean mothers have the best children’ (poem), mum has always provided us & others with unconditional love & firm guidance. She has always set clear & fair boundaries we were expected to adhere to but has always been there to pick us up when we fall or shout our praises in success. She never missed a sports carnival, school fete, presentation or musical and I know for a fact that while we were growing up, she went without much to ensure that we didn’t. The stability & security my mother has provided & continues to provide, has enabled me to achieve anything I set my mind to. Facing motherhood now myself, my mum remains my rock & is the person I most hope to emulate for my children.

There is a 1000 word limit which is probably lucky or I could have written a novel detailing the amazing attributes of my mother.

One of the special parts of my pregnancy has been sharing the milestones, appointments and scans with my mother. She hasn't wanted to overstep my and S' time in experiencing these moments despite being beside herself at the prospect of becoming a grandmother but the great part is, S and I have both wanted to include and share much of the experience with her. Its also been nice to have her come along to appointments with me when S hasn't been able to come due to work and I have enjoyed the opportunity to question her on her pregnancies and experiences with 4 of us. My mum has not been one to push advice or her own experiences in this case, she waits to be asked for her input so I am constantly questioning her about pregnancy, labour, birth and newborns. Its also nice for me that S particularly rates her advice pretty high as in his words 'she raised 4 healthy well adjusted children who are now all successful so she must know what she's doing.'

As I get closer to being a mother with each week passing, I am reassured by the fact that I have my beautiful mother to call on if I need to but also that I can do this, I can be a mother because I had the very best teacher.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bag preparation

Okay, so we know by now I'm a Type A personality that must have everything thoroughly researched and prepared well in advance therefore it should come as no surprise to anyone who reads this blog regularly that I am already prepping my hospital bags - yep, that's right, another pregnancy post so feel free to skip it if you're over them already... I won't be at all offended and assure you I am trying to come up with some better material.

Now I have confirmed from several popular sites that the easiest way to do this is to have 3 separate bags - I know, sounds like overkill but it really does make sense once I explain.

Bag 1 is the 'Labour Bag' and so far my inclusions read:

  • tennis ball (apparently a great massage resource to give hubby's hands a break if things go far awhile)
  • Glasshouse Bora Bora candle (good chance it won't make it out of the bag but nice to have options IMO)
  • panadol for S (apparently some hospitals are touchy about giving partners medication as they are not patients)
  • change of clothes & boardshorts for S (in case he ends up in the shower apparently)
  • snacks and drinks (mainly for S so he has no excuse to leave my side but apparently also for me for after when it is near impossible to track down food according to friends)
  • ipod and dock (again may not make it out of the bag or could drive me crazy in reality but nice to have options)
  • lip balm (very important according to experienced gf's)
  • water bottle with straw (the straw is key)
  • lollies for energy
  • ipad with assorted movies, books, tv shows (obviously for distraction)
  • ph charger (hoping things won't go long enough that our batteries will be worn out)
  • wrap dress (again, it possibly wont last long but at least I can enter with some dignity)
  • Camera (obviously for pics of bub but I have made it very clear we are not filming the proceedings and S is in agreement - not that he has much say on this)
Bag 2 being my hospital stay bag with clothes and toiletries and number 3 of course is for bub's things.

Seems like a lot I know but after much discussion with experienced girlfriends', they tell me its a pretty practical list that will cover our needs well unless of course it all goes out the window and I end up having a super quick labour or a c-section upon which the bag will be lucky to get opened :)

Any recs, suggestions or feedback from those in the know? 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sunday breakfast... a tale of woe

Well in big news, my Essie polish FINALLY arrived from Ozsale - I know, seems I have the slowest postie in all of Australia - and I must say, the reality of some of the colours surprised me a little. I have a long weekend ahead though to play with them and see what I think.

Speaking of long weekends, S is surprisingly going to be around for much of this one ... other than Saturday. This is a big surprise as he is usually working and its up to me to find (or make) my own entertainment. Finding or making entertainment - other than shopping - was going to be trickier than usual this year given I am not really in the mood (or condition) for afternoon drinking sessions and my fam including my sis are away in Woolgoolga the whole time.

One plan I have locked in to our long weekend schedule is breakfast at the newly opened Pancakes on the Rocks in Mermaid Beach - used to be Hooters till it burnt down in case you were wondering. This breakfast is particularly important in making up for our Sunday morning disaster - peeps, it was so bad I couldn't even take photos. I had bought a pancake shaker mix thinking we could have pancakes for brekky on Sunday morning. S being a sweetheart decided to let me sleep in and as does happen when he gets bored and food is involved, he decided to google pancakes and see how he could improve on the basics. For S, the more complicated and foreign when it comes to recipes, the better. Bonus points if it has ingredients he has never heard of. So I wake up to...
'do we have brown sugar?'
'yes, why?'
'do we have oatmeal'
'ummmm we have porridge sachets, why what are you doing?'
'what about vanilla essence'
'of course we do, what are you up to?'
'we're going to have banana pancakes and oh, I just found some choc chips here, maybe I should add those too'
'hang on, banana? I don't even like bananas, you know that'
So S decided to remove a cup of the dry mix from the pancake shaker to use in his gourmet pancakes and make plain ones for me. Good in theory but the shaker instructions say fill water to the line, not how much water required. Too save on arguments, I decided to go shower and leave S to it.

I took my time and emerged to the smell of burnt batter and him dumping a plate in to the bin. Turns out he forgot to oil the pan before adding the mixture. Trying not to laugh I sat down rather than interfere until he called me over to check out my 'pancakes'. Basically the mixture had thinned out so badly it was crepe mix and to try and make them fluffier he folded them as they cooked. Bizarre and misshapen, they weren't pancakes.

I suggested giving up on mine, I would be happy with crumpets and he should concentrate on his - an interesting mix sitting in the blender with a strange consistency. I assumed everyone knew how to cook pancakes until I watched S in action... he poured the first and stood there watching with me... the surface was fully bubbled but he made no move to turn it so I suggested he do so or it will burn. He told me it hadn't been long enough and when I insisted, he turned it grudgingly. That's right, the cooked side was blackened. 3 more attempts of this and S had to give up and have coffee for brekky as we had somewhere to be and his little experiment had set us behind schedule.

Poor S, he was so apologetic for wrecking my brekky and so disappointed in not getting the banana pancakes he was craving ... so this is when I promised him that this weekend we would go and have proper pancakes at Pancakes on the Rocks.