Sunday, 30 September 2012


I always wanted to have twins. It runs in our family and the urban legend was that it skips a generation. My dad and his brother are twins and my mum has twin brothers. Since MY brother and I aren't twins, we thought the legend could be true and my brother and I could have twins in our families, but neither of us did.

I always thought having twins would be the best way to get my family. I only ever wanted two kids, and if you got that through one pregnancy then awesome. But, I had such great pregnancies that it was never that much of a loss for me.

As it turns out, I think I could pass my two cherubs off as twins ath the age they are now... to those who don't know them, of course.

They are similar in size and are alike enough to pass as fraternal twins. We often get people saying "Oh, they're twins- a boy and a girl!". We used to got through the spiel of saying "No, she is 18 months older, but she's just little." but now we don't bother. We just give an ambiguous smile and walk away.

So for now (until Alex overtakes Megan), I have my twin family and the urban legend can be called true... sort of...

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Alex's arrival...

I feel that to document the kids well, I should have started at the start. So I thought that I'd write about Alex's birth... mainly so that I don't forget the details later on (I've already forgotten some parts!)

Alex was due on December 17th, 2009. After Megan arrived one week late, I was convinced we would have a Christmas baby and I did everything I could to get him to come earlier. We fiddled with dates during scans, I even tried to adjust the due date on my pregnancy card to trick the nurses into scheduling my induction (if it came to that) early. Didn't work :(

His due date came and went and as Christmas loomed closer I got sadder. I didn't want my little boy to have to share his birthday with everyone else on the 25th. That wasn't fair. I guess that was the first "Life isn't fair" lesson for Alex!

We arrived at the hospital at 6am ish on the 24th, ready to be induced. I'd never reached this point with Megan, she came of her own accord. But as I've come to know Alex in the following years, he rarely does anything unless forced to!

Waiting for the doctor, in the lovely NEW birthing suite, which would be our room for the whole time.
The doctor came to do his checks at about 8am (so why did we have to get there at 6??). His internal examination REALLY hurt and I even saw the nurses wince at my reaction. He put the drug drip in my hand in such a funny position that I could not get my hand and arm comfortable for the rest of the day. I'd never had a drip before so I didn't know what to expect.

Then we waited..... and waited.... and waited..... The nurses kept popping in to check on me and they could clearly tell by my face that nothing was happening. So each time they came in, they upped the dose of the oxytocin (I think that was it). My arm felt funny but I attributed that to the stupid position of the canula and I had no other drip experience to compare it to.

This continued for hours.... the nurses would come in, I'd tell them my arm felt funny, they'd up the dose of the drugs, we'd chat for a bit, then they'd leave.

Eventually one of the nurses really looked closely at my arm and realised that it had puffed right up. I thought I might have been allergic to the canula or the drugs but the nurse worked out that my arm had been filling with the oxytocin and it was going into the tissue rather than the vein...hence no labour.

They decided that it would take too long to get the doctor to come back to reinsert the canula, and I really didn't want Dr.-Rough-&-Can't-Put-A-Bloody-Drip-In-Properly to come back so I was happy for the nurse to fix it all.

Then everything happened VERY QUICKLY after that. I'm not sure if the drugs stored in my arms finally soaked in or the massively high dose of drugs still pouring in from the drip got things started. But something was working and the contractions hit with a vengence.

I asked for pain killers again but after the nurse checked me out, she said I was ready to push and the drugs wouldn't kick in in time.

HANG ON  A MINUTE....READY TO PUSH??? Megan's labour lasted for 12 hours. The drugs had only just started to work, how could I be ready to push already????? And then I felt the urge to push and ignored everything else!

Alex was born reletively quickly after that. No tearing or episiotomy needed this time round, which is surprising considering I didn't have as much time to stretch and get ready for his birth.

He arrived at 3:20pm on Friday, December 24th, 2009. He was 7lbs 4oz (3.28kg) and 50cm long. His labour officially lasted 2 hours.

A few hours later I had a funny feeling inside and went to the loo. Out came a HUGE blood clot and I freaked out. I thought it was part of the placenta that had got left behind...surely that's not good??? I got Mike to call the nurse in and she reassured me, just a clot of blood. Perhaps the huge dose of oxytocin cleaned out my uterus in one go rather than slowly over a few days like normal.

So we spent the whole Christmas period in hopsital, from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day.We were lucky enough to get Christmas lunch the next day and actually spending Christmas in hospital was rather nice and relaxed! Santa even visited at some point during the night and left Alex a little present...not sure how the nurses knew how many gifts to buy!

Alex's labour and birth was a bit more dramatic than I would have hoped, but it's a good story to tell!

This is how I remember it all happening. I'm sure parts are wrong and I've probably missed bits too. As my memory fills in the blanks, I'll come back and update/edit this story!

How she arrived...

I feel that to document the kids well, I should have started at the start. So I thought that I'd write about Megan's birth... mainly so that I don't forget the details later on (I've already forgotten some parts!)

Megan was due on June 20th, 2008. My work made us take 6 weeks of maternity leave before the due date, but I had varicose veins in my right leg (still do) and was a bit over working, so I got the doctor to write a letter stating that I needed to finish a week early. In hindsight I should have stuck it out, because I didn't realise how bored I'd get at home.

My due date came and went, despite trying all the home remedies to kick start labour from 38 weeks onwards. The doctor would not even discuss induction until the due date and would book it in any earlier than 7 days over.

GRRR, grumble, whinge, whine... I was sick of being pregnant, I wanted my baby out... yesterday!!

We continued with trying to get labour started at home and thought we had succeeded on the Wednesday night, a day and a half before the sceduled induction. Pains and pressure had me convinced labour had started, but it kept stopping and starting at irregular intevals. We called the hospital but since everything was irregular, I was told to stay home.

By Thursday night, things had started to be a bit more regular so we made another call to the hospital. They told us to come in and they'd check me out. So the moment we'd been waiting for had arrived...or so we thought!!

The nurses did all of their contraction labour checks with the belt-y thingy, but apparently I was in false labour. Since my induction was booked in for the following morning, they gave us the option of going home or staying the night and giving me a sleeping tablet so I was rested for the following day. Mike and I decided to stay.

The pain started at what I have worked out to be about 4am. Painful enough to get me out of bed and walk around a bit, but then the sleeping tablet must have still been in my system, coz I went back to sleep straight away. I think this happend twice again... the details are fuzzy already and the sleeping tablet worked really well!

The nurses came to wake me at about 6am to get started for the induction. I told them about the pain and they did their checks and told me I was already 4cm dilated. The doctor decided not to give me the induction drugs, but still broke my waters. This was supposed to get things moving... but it didn't much :(

My labour progressed very slowly. I had regular contractions that increased in intensity but everything moved at a snails' pace. I was exhausted and it hurt so I asked for an epidural. I really hadn't wanted one previously, but I was just so tired and so over being pregnant that I thought feeling nothing was a great idea!

The nurses convenced me to have the gas first. This helped for a while before I needed to move onto the pethedine injection. I honestly don't think this did anything apart from making me space out and feel super sleepy between contractions. The nurses told Mike to go and have a break at one point and I was so angry... why did he deserve a rest... I didn't get one?

I remember the transition phase, I needed the blinds closed and wanted everyone to SHUT THE HELL UP! I didn't know it at the time, but the nurses explained all the phases afterwards :) When it was time to push, I made loads of noise that I'm sure was completely unnecessary. Pushing lasted an hour and a half. Mike saw Megan's head crowning. This really surprised me coz I thought that would gross him out (I don't think I could look...eeewwww).

When Megan was born, the doctor said her umbilical cord was quite short. I'm convinced she was bungy jumping her way out which is why everything took so long- she'd get half way then bounce right back! I still remember the smell of her, all bloody and covered in gunk! If any of the kids hurt themselves now and there is lots of blood, I'm instantly transported back 4 years to that hospital room.

Megan arrived on Friday, the 27th June 2008 at 4:15pm, 1 week overdue. She was 6lbs 14oz (3.11kg) and about 48cm long. He labour was officially 12 hours long.

Note the blue hands and feet... I thought she'd have bad circulation like me, but luckily not.

I needed a few stitches coz I had an episiotomy to get the bouncy child out. Apart from super soreness and total exhaustion, I was great! Mike left to call and text everyone and I hung around in the grotty, bloody room with my new baby on my chest.

Mike took so long and I really needed a shower, so I had to leave my hours old baby with the nurses while I cleaned up. I felt so much better aftetr that shower. When I came out, the nurses had moved all our stuff out of the birthing room and into our ward room, Megan included! I was a bit unnerved to come out of the shower and find my baby gone already! But when they showed me to the room, Mike was there with her, so I didn't totally freak out.

Visitors piled in over the next few days. Mike stayed for the whole time on a horrible fold out couch. I was happy to have the nurses take Megan to the nursery so I could sleep, but always felt lost without her and went to get her after a few hours. We stayed in hospital for 3 days and part of me wanted to stay in the security of the hospital, with nurses only a button push away.

But eventually we went home and then whirlwind of having a new baby begun...

This is how I remember it all happening. I'm sure parts are wrong and I've probably missed bits too. As my memory fills in the blanks, I'll come back and update/edit this story!

Friday, 28 September 2012

Girlie time...

This week, I got to take Megan to the movies for the first time. We have held off until now coz I really didn't think she'd sit still well enough for even a kids film. But with only one seat change, and minimal talking, she did really well.

There were lots of questions and loads of preparing from me...lots of seats, have to be quiet, big screen, loud noises/music, etc. I've found that giving the kids a heads up in these new situations means they know what to expect to some extent.

We went to see the latest Tinkerbell movie, which I LOVED!! (I have a bit of a soft spot for Tink!) Megan loves Tink too, but I think the big winner for her was the snacks. She requested popcorn...where she got the idea from I don't know, TV I suppose.

And when she saw the size of the box she was over the moon. A "special drink" (lemonade) to top it all off and she was sold on the whole experience!!

Not sure if Alex would be as co-operative, but Megan and I will be back to the cinemas again...soon I hope!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Speech worries... UPDATED

I've thought that being a mum has made me a better teacher and being a teacher has made me a better mum. But lately I've had to question this.

We think Alex is developing a stutter. He really struggles to say the first word of almost all sentences, regardless of what sound/letter it is. He gets frustrated with himself and has started whispering when he can't get the words out. Usually this helps but he can't go through life whispering to everyone!

My wonderful Maternal-Child Health Nurse put us onto the local medical centre that has speech pathology, but Alex wont be seen until at least January- where he will be screened, and if he needs therapy, another wait until June-ish.

Being a teacher, I know the early signs of lots of different problems, and recently working with special needs children has given me access to Speech Pathologists and Psychologists and knowing some of the signs they look out for. I know that early intevention is the best senario for almost all difficulties in children, but am I seeing things that aren't really there? Are we jumping to conclusions? Do I know too much about the area and making things bigger than what they are?

I'm not sure I am. And since my mum and the staff at his Day Care have noticed his struggles as well, it makes me think I'm not making it up.

My other worry is that if there is a problem that can be helped with therapy, do I really want to wait until June (9ish months away) to begin working on it?

We have a list of private Speech Pathologists as well, but our health insurance doesn't cover Speech Therapy. So this option will be pricey, and money is not free-flowing at the moment...if ever!! But if it will help Alex in the long term, then I'm all for doing it.

All I really want is an assessment and for a professional in the field to say "Yes, we need to do something about this" or "No, wait to see if he will grow out of it".

And of course, the private Speechies are all busy and I had to leave messages and wait for them to return my calls. So for now...we wait.....

...I think I've said in previous posts....I'm not good at waiting.......

I spoke to a Speech Pathologist yesterday who put my mind at ease. She said due to Alex's age it's best to wait a few months to see what happens. Apparently if he is going to grow out of the stutter, then it's best to wait and see if he does. This suits the timeline we were given in the public system, so we might stay there. And trying to get an almost 3yr old to sit still for an assessment and then therapy is not realistic.

They don't know why some kids grow out of it and some don't, but it is commonly girls who do. This doesn't surprise me, when everything you hear says girls have better language skills earlier than boys.

She said that if we are super worried about it, we can still start earlier. I think if we did go privately, I'd definately see this Speech Pathologist. She was prepared to talk to me for 10minutes about it all and convince me NOT to pay $120 for her assessment. That to me says she's there for the interest of the child, not her business.

So we wait.....

Sunday, 23 September 2012

It's holidays.....

I love school holidays because....

  • Even though the kids still get up at 6:30am EVERY MORNING, we don't have to get dressed or eat brekkie in a hurry coz we probably aren't going anywhere.
  • When they do get up at 6:30am EVERY MORNING and ask to turn the TV on, it means a sleep in for us.
  • When Megan asks where are we going today, I usually get to answer "nowhere" and that's a good thing.
  • We can have picnics outside on weekdays, just coz.
  • Our enormous list of things to do, actually gets done! Well...mostly...
  • The kids get to be kids and play outside (only really true for these and occasionally the Easter holidays...the others are usually too wet or too hot)
  • Megan calls these days Family Time days :)
  • I get to appreciate time with my family
  • and by the end of the holidays....I get to appreciate my job!!!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Water safety...

Megan and Alex have had swimming lesson since they were babies. I love swimming so I thought it important to pass this love as early as I could, as well as the essential need for water safey as well.

We have changed swimming centers along the way, and are now thinking about changing again.

Currently they go to a centre that soley deals with swimming lessons. The instructors are great but I still have misgivings.

Firstly, the lessons are about $15 each for a half hour session. $30-ish for 30 mins in a lot when you work it out over the year. $300 per term, more then $1200 for 20 hours of lessons over the year.

The kids are in a group together, which makes things easier for us, but the group has 4 kids in in. So for the 30 minute session, they only get about 5-7minutes of one-on-one time with the teacher.

The teacher is great and the kids love her, but I don't see huge improvements in their skills to be worth the money, apart from them both being confident (too confident at times) in the water by themselves.

So our idea is to go to the local swimming pool and teach the kids ourselves. We would pay the entry fee and then we can stay for hours. The entry fee for all 4 of us to swim all day is considerably cheaper than their current lesson fees. 

The skills that were being taught during their lessons had almost no equipment, so we could manage that ourselves. Even though there are loads of things both kids can now do, I don't feel that they would be able to save themselves if they were in trouble in the water. That would be a huge focus for me.

Two big questions remain....would the kids be as co-operative for us as they are with their current teacher, and would we actually go each week when we aren't committed to already paid fees?

No Second-Hand Shame...

When I first found out I was pregnant, a huge shopping expedition was planned. We chose all our baby furniture and accessories. We didn't think twice about buying it all new. 

We didn't spend thousands on a bedroom suite like others I knew, but it was all new. The only thing  that we borrowed was the bassinette, mainly because it was the one my mum used for me and it had sentimental value. I would never have considered going to a second hand shop for anything for my baby.

Even second time around with Alex, most of his baby clothes and wraps were new because the boy stuff was just differnt from girls and so cute!

I don't know when the shift happened. I don't know where or how my views on second hand stuff changed. But changed it has.

As I have said in previous posts, Megan is smaller than one of her Mother's Group friends and gets some beautiful clothes and shoes passed on to her. Alex also gets clothes, jackets, and runners passed along from the older boys in our group, and they both get bits and pieces passed along from their older cousins.

The clothes aren't always the style or colour I would usually choose, but since they are free and the kids need them, I'm not complaining! Kids clothes are expensive and they grow out of them so quickly, the clothes are usually in great condition.

Some I pass right along to younger boys or girls in the group or even to the Salvos, but since the kids need clothes to play and get messy in for crèche, even the most loved clothes usually go straight into the cupboard.

I'm thankful for the time and money that's been saved from getting things second hand. We usually package a size or season of clothes up and pass them on to each other during our weekly Mother's Groups, so it is usually delivered to our door!

It's like a mini-Christmas opening the bags up...wondering what I will find this time!

And it is so lovely to see the clothes I have bought, sadly packaged up when my kids outgrew it and
passed on, getting another life on the younger kids.
I'm glad my pride has allowed us to

Friday, 14 September 2012

I hate playing...

I hate playing...I wont win mother if the year award now, my secret is out.

I realise this is a bad thing...I'm a terrible mother. I know how important imaginative play is. I encourage my kids to do it long as I don't have to join in!

I can't sit for longer than a few minutes building towers or saying "brmm, bmm" as I drive a car along a felt road. My attention span for puppet shows is about 60 seconds and I cringe at being the shopkeeper. I am happy to eat the pretend cake, but ask me to help cook it and I'm outta there!

Don't get me wrong, I love hanging out with my kids. I could WATCH them doing all those things for hours. I'll make suggestions and "ohh and ahh" in all the right places, taste creative culinary delights and watch when my attention is demanded...I just don't want to join in.

I'm not all bad...I don't think. There are great things I do with and for the kids. We sing all the time, I collect cereal boxes and bottle tops for constructions, I push swings, read books and even ocassionally (very occasionally) I'll jump on the trampoline. I know the things they'll need for when they start school so I introduce those things slowly.

I'm a great facilitator, not a great participant. Guess I need to work on that to put Mother Of The Year back in my sights!

Saturday, 1 September 2012


I happily waved goodbye to Winter yesterday, and welcome Spring with open arms today. I didn't have high hopes for the warm weather, but was pleasantly surprised.

With sunshine and warm days, I can legitamately kick the kids outside and say "Stay out there and get fresh air."

They happily potter around, pull out EVERY outside toy from the toy box and then play with the same 2 or 3 they always do. Then of course, they leave all those toys scattered around the garden, to be sneakily carried away by our plastic-loving dogs to quietly chew and ruin under a bush!

Sunshine also lends itself to picnics and lazing around, both of which I suggest at every glimpse of blue sky. Today was no exception :)

Here are some selfies (self-portraits) we took at lunchtime today, under the lovely Spring sky.

Look at that Sun glare...Proof!!!

Except this time the glare chopped my head off!

Got him!!!!!!!

So beautiful...

Always a character....that rubber face should get him into Showbiz!
Mucking around :)

Really like this one....

What are the chances of another day like this for Father's Day tomorrow???!!!??!!?!?!?!?!

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