Wednesday, May 31, 2006

You're a...

This is the next LO in my series of pregnancy layouts in For Keeps Issue 42.

Journaling: From very early on in the pregnancy we decided that we'd find out your sex - whether you're a boy or a girl.
Your 19 week ultrasound. I was so excited to see pictures of you again. It was so good to see your little image up there on the screen. I can't believe how fast you're growing. According to the lady who was doing the scan you have a very healthy little heart. Everything else looks very healthy too. She checked you over thoroughly, Bunny, and you look just perfect. We have a video of you moving around and waving your little arms and legs. This is my favourite photo of you so far. I am so in love with your sweet little profile already. We asked to find out your sex and she told us you're a...
The stenographer's advice was confirmed by the amniocentesis results. Amniocentesis - it struck fear into me - my fear of needles; my fear of putting your little life at risk. Your Dad and I thought long and hard about it. In the end, we decided to have the test done. On the day I was very nervous, but happy that we'd decided to have the test. I held your Dad's hand tightly all the way through the procedure and just tried to enjoy seeing you on the TV screen once again. I was very brave. I tell you what, Bunny, you're in a nice bath in there, little fella! I held the vials of amniotic fluid while I was in the process of checking all the details on their labels. They were warm! You should be very content in that warm bath! Once the test was complete we had to wait a very long 10 days for the results. Finally, the doctor's office rang. It was late on the Friday afternoon. "Everything's normal" they said. I was very happy to hear that and sent a text message to your Dad straight away. It was only then that I realised that I'd forgotten to ask if you were a boy or a girl. I could have kicked myself! Now we had to wait until the ultrasound in another week's time (19 weeks). In hindsight, I don't know why I didn't just ring the doctor back!. Anyway, that week dragged. I was so impatient. I wanted to know; to be able to visualise you as a boy or a girl. Well, I just had to wait, didn't I? And finally the day of the ultrasound was here and the answer was revealed. And the result confirmed by amniocentesis. You are a boy. A little boy! You have an x chromosome and a y chromosome. A boy.

Ya know, when I saw that ultrasound picture again in the magazine, with that beautiful little profile, I got all choked up. Because now I can look at that little profile and "know" it. It's Jamie's beautiful little face. Ah, enough soppiness, lol!

That's it for today. I haven't been on the computer much in the last few days. So, sorry if I haven't cruised past your blog lately or answered my emails. I just haven't had a chance. Jamie's teething again and has been so "unsettled". (That word just cracks me up - it just does not describe a grizzling baby who refuses to be put down and cries with discomfort for most of the day, and for an hour at a time during the night.) Do teething babies swallow lots of wind? I guess they must. He has had so much wind pain. And, here I was thinking that the days of colic were behind us. Thank goodness for Infants Friend and Gripe Water. I managed to get a half hour nap this morning when he had a quick sleep. I feel a bit better. I might try to get another nap when he has a sleep at 12.30pm. Pity he only sleeps for 40 minutes at a time. By the time the church behind us rings its bells for a couple of minutes (twice) and the phone rings, I don't get much sleep - yes, that was this morning. Hopefully I'll get more this afternoon. Otherwise I'm going to be one very grumpy mummy.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Word recognition

I noticed it the other night. I said something to Jamie about Jak, the dog, and as I said "Jak", I noticed Jamie turn to watch him. Like he made the connection between "Jak" and that white fluffy thing that licks him all the time. It was the first time I'd seen him show any glimmer of understanding that the gibberish that comes out of my mouth all day long actually has any meaning. (Well, sometimes it does. Although I notice that I have picked up a habit of talking in goos and gaas, which I hope I grow out of as Jamie does. Or it could be embarrassing.)

Anyway, today Jamie confirmed it for me. I was doing the usual "can you say Daddy, Jamie?", "can you say Mummy, Jamie?". All rhetorical questions of course, cuz all he can actually say is "bababa", "heh" and "googa", but it's fun to pretend. And when I got to the "can you say Jak, Jamie?", he gave me his huge grin and turned to look at the dog.

I guess it's only fitting, seeing as the dog is his one most favourite toy at the moment. By far.

On a totally different note, I see that Issue 43 of For Keeps has hit the newagents, which means that I might load up my pregnancy layouts that were in Issue 42. Can you stand another lot of pregnancy layouts though? I'll do one at a time over the next week. So, if you're tired of hearing about my fat belly, lol, you can stay away for the next week and not be subjected to it.

OK, here's the first one. A relatively simple one for me. I took a photo of the pregnancy-test stick and cut the image out, so I just had that strip. That then set the scene for the strips of paper and ribbon that make up the rest of the LO. The circle of coloured brads marks the spot!

My lifeplan had always assumed babies somewhere. Children's laughter; the smell and feel of a newborn baby; children's parties; the Easter Bunny; family times. Then, in my early thirties I was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries. I didn't ovulate. I was told that if I wanted children I should not leave it too late - not past 35 if possible - as I may have difficulties conceiving. But events were not to allow for that timeframe. By the time that Phil and I met, I was already thinking that it may be too late. I tried to tell myself that I was destined to be childless and that was OK. My life was full. There was more to life than having children. I tried not to imagine life as a mother as that made the reality easier to live with. But the truth was that I longed for children. Most people just assumed that I was an "independent career woman". That it was my choice. I didn't confide my longing to many people. But it was there. So, here I was, a few months shy of my fortieth birthday, sitting on the floor in our hotel room in Darwin, watching a little stick intently. I had wondered for a week now, if I might be pregnant. But Phil was interstate on business and I didn't want to find out without him. I wanted him there when I found out, whatever the outcome. I had put off doing a pregnancy test until I joined him in Darwin for the weekend. And as each day had passed, my hopes had increased. Until I just *had* to know. I was starting to imagine baby scenarios; starting to dream. As soon as I got off the plane in Darwin, Phil drove us to a chemist where we bought a test. And here I was. I could see the fluid drawing up the wick towards the little test site. Waiting.... Waiting... Please, please let me be pregnant. Slowly, ever so slowly, one faint purple line appeared. I found that I was holding my breath. Would there be two? And... there it was! A huge smile spread across my face. My eyes filled with tears. I hadn't dared hope until now. But there it was - the evidence I was seeking. I was pregnant.

(What the journaling doesn't say is that immediately after my elation, came all the doubts and fears, lol. Was I too old? Would I carry the baby to term? Would the baby be healthy? How would life change? Was I ready for my life to change? Would I make a good mother? etc etc etc. Funny how we work, isn't it?)

More tomorrow.

Friday, May 26, 2006

A night out

Seriously, I need more hours in the day! I haven't updateD my blog for almost a week! A combination of us having colds, of me trying to encourage Jamie to move from his bassinette to a cot (ugh!), and of me madly scrapping up some pages for a challenge for Scrapbooking Memories and an article for For Keeps.

Well, the big news this week is that Phil and I finally had a night out. By ourselves. Woohoo! We were invited to a movie night to see the Da Vinci Code. A sign of the times: it started at 5.45pm and I had to start getting ready at 1pm, lol. By the time I got Jamie fed, changed, his bag packed with expressed milk, bottles, nappies, pyjamas etc etc, got us both in the car, drove the half hour to my parents' (who were babysitting), had a chat, gave Jamie another feed, drove home, got myself ready... You get the picture! But it was so worth it!

As I left Mum and Dad's I cranked up the volume on the car radio and remembered who I used to be. It's been six months since I've been able to drive in the car with the radio up loud. And if you knew me pre-baby, you'd know that's what I did. Loved my music with the bass pumping. Phil used to say that I was the only person in our street he could hear coming from the main road.

I think Phil thought I was slightly nuts, because I was quite hyperactive all night, lol. And the movie wasn't too bad. I don't know why it got such bad reviews. Mind you, I am no film connisieur (and no French speaker either, lol!). And probably I would have enjoyed any ol' film they chose to throw on the screen. After all, it was free :). And I haven't been out for six months.

And it won't be the last time, because Phil's work is shouting us a movie/dinner deal. Because Phil has been working so damned hard these last six months. Yeah, great timing. His work goes nuts, just as we have a baby. He's been putting in sixty+ hours a week. Basically he gets home from work at about 7pm, we eat and then he works through til midnight. Crazy. He was cooking tea, but this week we agreed that I would start cooking again as his work is just too much at the moment. Plus he spends all weekend renovating our house. He's starting to burn himself out.

So, we get to go out again. Soon! Mind you, Phil told them that he'd much rather the support person that they promised him over a year ago, than a night out. Hmmmm.

Well that was our big week, lol
See ya

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Happy Birthday Mum!

A big happy birthday to the best Mum!

Jamie picked out a pair of fluffy blue slippers for her, which were a hit, just in time for winter. He was quite taken with them in the shop. There were lots of others with little sparkly bits that I thought he'd go for, but he preferred the quality fluffy ones. A discerning shopper, even at this early age ;)

As I was looking for a photo of Mum and me, I realised that I only have three photos of just the two of us, from the time I was born until when I was ten. And the one above is the only one where her face is showing. How many of us would find the same if we looked through the photo albums of our kids? It makes me all the more determined to make sure I get other people to take photos of Jamie and I. So that, God forbid, if anything ever happened to me, he could look back through the photos and see what I looked like and how much I loved him.

And something else struck me as I was looking at these photos. My son looks like me! Check this out.

OK, that's a photo of me with Mum, when I was just a few months old. Now, have a look at this photo of Jamie, aged 4 months.

Well? Apart from the fact that Jamie has a cute little smirk happening on his face, can you see a similarity?

See you

Friday, May 19, 2006

Photo restoration

It's Friday night, Phil has gone to the pub with some mates for tea, Jamie is asleep and I am home with the heater on. Yum. I have been fixing up a photo for my parents. It's of my Dad and his brothers and some friends and it was quite damaged. But I've managed to clean it up quite well. I just love old photos!

It's amazing what you can do with Photoshop and some patience :) My Dad is third from the left at the back. This is the first photo of my Dad that I've ever seen where I can see that I look like him.

I just had a look at my counter. 500 posts in 2 weeks. Wow!! Thanks for dropping in on us :). I love having visitors and hearing from everyone - old friends and new. And I have met some great people since starting blogging.

I was just reading Nic's blog. Awwww. Her little guy is two days younger than Jamie and she's just written on her blog a letter to Isaac. It's so beautiful. I got goosebumps reading it, because it just says exactly how I've been feeling these last six months too.

And thanks so much to those people who've emailed me to congratulate me on being a runner-up in this year's Scrapbooking Memories People's Choice Awards. I was stoked to hear the news! The layout that I won with was such a fun layout to do. It's of my mum as a teeny little girl at the beach.

That envelope at the bottom of the RHS page contains 6 pages of my Mum's journaling. Too much even to put on my blog. I think. Unless you particularly wanted to hear about a trip to the beach in 1947. Perhaps just a few of my fav paragraphs? OK:

"...Of course Grandma would always have her obligatory Cornish Pasty wrapped in tea-towel, newspaper & hand-towel to keep it warm until lunchtime, & a delicious Jam and Coconut Pasty (made with the Pastry leftover from the Cornish Pasty). I cannot ever remember Grandpa joining us. As it was summer, & many people still had an ‘ice-chest’ for keeping perishable foods cold, it is quite possible he was either delivering ice on his ’ice & wood round’, or resting after his early morning start.

...In the shop windows all the items required to make your Day at the Beach were displayed, including tents, shades, beach umbrellas, Deck-chairs & Steamer-chairs. In addition to the cost of the equipment, one needed to keep in mind how near your selected ‘spot on the sand’ was to the shop when purchasing these items.

Once the accommodation had been decided upon, other shops attracted my attention. These were the shops where I could inspect the latest styles in bathers. More ‘daring’ one-piece swimsuits had replaced the older neck-to-knee style of bathers that were worn when public bathing was first permitted on the beaches from around 1910. We had now advanced to the woollen bathers – generally pink in colour & of a style similar to a leotard today. Very ‘daring and revealing’ were the tut-tut comments from the older women of the day, which meant very little to this 6 year old. My concern alternated between the itchiness of the dry wool against my hot skin when first put on, & the uncomfortable rub of sand trapped between my skin and the woollen fabric after a ‘dip’ in the water.

This young would be ‘beach babe’ was attracted to the fashionable shirred cotton fabric bathers. Repeated rows of fine shirring elastic was stitched at 10cm intervals from the midriff to the hip line, creating a bloomer effect into the elasticised leg at the top of the thigh. The top was usually finished with either a tie around the neck (Halter style) or straps tied at each shoulder. This type of bather was not long wearing, as the elastic would perish with the sun and salt water, but the benefits of a smooth fabric against my skin was a major plus.
My ‘fit-out’ was not complete without a selection from the ‘water wings’ display. These were similar to ‘floaties’ that young children wear today. I seem to remember that it was necessary to position them on the upper arm, before they were inflated. This meant standing and waiting for an obliging and capable adult with strong lungs to perform the ‘operation’. I do not remember these ‘water-wings’ being very successful in the buoyancy department, but they made me feel like ‘a million dollars’...."

I love being able to record stories that might otherwise be forgotten. And I love recording them in other people's voices.

Aussie Scrap Source and Xyron, both of whom sponsored the competition, were so generous. I almost put my back out lifting the box of goodies when it arrived. I needed a sac-truck!! Now that I've unpacked it all, I have more BasicGrey papers and tags than I can poke a stick at, not to mention a boxful of Xyron products. Expect to see lots of BG layouts!

See ya

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A half-birthday

Jamie is six months old today! Wow. I can't believe it. Where has the time gone? Well, I could answer that, lol. Rocking the bassinette, pacing the floors with him in my arms, changing nappies, bathing, breastfeeding, mushing up fruit and vegetables, tickling, playing with and generally gazing at my little man.

He's teething again. Poor little guy is so unsettled. He cried for 2.5 hours straight yesterday. You can see little white bits on his gums where his teeth are coming close to the surface. I think I should invest in some teething gel.

I love these little chubby hands :).


Monday, May 15, 2006


Phil arrived home from doing his assignment yesterday afternoon with a big bunch of flowers for me, and he then went straight to the kitchen and started preparing a roast for dinner. We had my parents over for tea. So, yes! I got spoilt. In the nicest way. And I got a beautiful mothers day card "to my wife" (lol, having only been married 2 years, I still get a kick out of cards that say that!) that said I was a great mum (or words to that effect). I was a happy girl. And, man, it was nice to get all that washing out of the way. I had so much of it, the washing line was chockerblock and I ran out of pegs. So it was a necessary evil.

Jamie has learnt to splash in the bath. Yikes! I need a raincoat in order to bathe him now. He has developed such strong little legs! And he just loves to stand on them - gets that gorgeous huge grin that takes up half his face, and you can tell that he just thinks he's oh so clever :). Anyway, I'm thinking that it's almost time to put him into the big bath so I don't get wet. It's just that... he looks so damn cute in his little blue baby bath!


Sunday, May 14, 2006

First Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day! Phil asked me what I wanted to do for my first Mothers Day and I told him that I didn’t want to do anything special. Just being here with them both is enough for me, soaking up the fact that I finally am a Mum. I was going to get breakfast in bed, I'm told, but it's all too difficult when you have to get up at the crack of dawn anyway to breastfeed a baby. Besides, Phil burnt his crumpets this morning, so I think it was good that I made my own breakfast ;).

Phil had to go off to work this morning to do an assignment for the leadership course his company has put him on (bad timing when we've just had a baby) - he got a promotion and earmarked for the leadership program. And we're trying to renovate too. Aargh! Anyway, so I'm here with Jamie. Just the two of us. And I don't know that I intended my Mothers Day to be *quite* so mundane. So far, I've mopped the floors in two rooms, dusted and tidied another room, done a load of dishes (and about to do a second), done four loads of washing, brought another two loads in and folded and sorted them, breastfed three times and taken Jamie for a walk. Such are my days...

After Jamie's lunch this afternoon I had a cuddle with him on the lounge and told him how much I loved him and how much I loved being his Mummy. He cooed at me, as he does, and patted my face. Ahhh...

And talking of breastfeeding, here's a relatively new layout - about the challenges of breastfeeding. The typing on the LHS is the schedule I talked about here, and underneath it is hidden journaling.

Last night I was in agony trying to feed you. Breastfeeding you has not come naturally. I fed you for 3 weeks, not realising that the discomfort I was feeling was not normal. After a while, I started dreading breastfeeding. I would hear you start to cry with hunger and my stomach would clench because I knew it was going to hurt. Finally, with cracked nipples, I broke down in the early hours of the morning. It hurts so much. I attach you and it hurts. So, I detach you and try again. And it still hurts. So, I try again. And again, After an hour, both of us are in tears. You, through hunger and frustration. Me, through guilt and frustration. Guilt because each time I would pull you from my breast you'd screw up your little face and cry. Frustration that I just can't get it right. Why can't I do this? You Dad organised hire of a breastpump so that I can express milk for you. We picked it up this morning. They let me express some milk there and loaned us a bottle and teat. I didn't realise how big the hole in the teat was! I lay you back in my arms and tipped the bottle into your mouth and the milk just poured out. Your eyes got really big and round and your little cheeks went in and out as you gulped down mouthful after mouthful of milk, I think we need to buy a new teat!

I'm so glad that I perservered with it.

We’ve had an unsettled few days this week, hence not writing much. Jamie cried all day Wed, Thurs and Fri. At first I put it down to the injections he had on Tuesday, but it carried on for too long. I have concluded that it must have been the zucchini I was feeding him. You see, duh, I forgot to peel it. Who peels zucchini?! I just cooked it up and pureed it and was feeding it to him. I think it gave him such a pain in his tummy. He has the *most* sensitive stomach. He's now on to eating pears. Pears and cereal for breakfast. And he's much happier.

Yesterday we went to visit a girlfriend who has a little dog just like ours - in fact it's Jak's sister. Well... Jamie thought it was pretty amazing. I’m sure at first he thought he was seeing double. Doggie heaven. He looked at them with wide eyed wonder and shrieked and giggled as they played together. He loves Jak so much and having two Jaks was almost too much delight for him to bear.

See ya

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Why did I teach him raspberries?

Thanks for your comments on my last post. I have always loved writing. I did it heaps in my last two jobs, but writing this kinda thing is so much more fun than writing policies and speeches!! I'd never thought about writing a book - even though a few people have suggested it to me before - I wouldn't know where to start. But thanks! :)

Jamie is now making the cutest little raspberry noises, with a cute little grin to match. He thinks he's so clever with his new trick. Except his raspberries are more like little blows. "Ahbwoooooh", as the air whistles past my ears. He's also learnt to hit his rattle against his body and make a sound. Clever guy!

We went and had his four month vaccinations this morning (seeing as he'll be six months next week... yes, next week!). Brave boy. Just wailed for 2 secs with the third injection. And even with that, I had tears in my eyes. I am such a wimp about needles!!!!!

In honour of his six months coming up rapidly, I thought I should get a hurry on with my "letter to Jamie at 5 months". I do one of these each month. Just a big 12x12 illustrated letter really. Love them. No design considerations as I adopt pretty much the same format each time.They will be the chapter headings in his album - each one will have a tag at the top and will separate the months off. So, here's the five month one.

The journaling goes something like this (from my journal, but I don't think that it all fit on the page, so it might be slightly abridged on the layout!):

I can’t believe how much you’ve grown up this month, Jamie. You have become such a little personality. You experiment with your voice every day. Little coos and chirps when you’re happy. Whoops and squeals when you’re excited. Squawks when you’re tired. You laugh, you giggle. You even have a fake “a-hah!” laugh. When I rock you to sleep, you coo to yourself. When I hold you on my shoulder you coo to me, and try to see my face. You reach out for my face and hold it in your hands, examining my nose, my mouth and my hair. You giggle and gaze at me with love. I love you Rabbit!
In the mornings you just lie in your cot, cooing to yourself and examining your hands. Your hands are amazing things, aren’t they? I see you looking at them, working out how they operate. I see you look at them as you’re reaching for something, honing your hand to eye coordination skills. You’ve almost mastered the skills of reaching and hanging on to things, but you’re still a bit uncoordinated. It takes much concentration, along with a pursing of your mouth and much tongue movement. If by chance, you knock your favourite toy out of reach you become frustrated and whinge until I come and move it back.
Strangely enough, you now seem almost more comfortable on your tummy than on your back. You lie happily in your donut, reading your book or playing with your clown. At those times, when you’re lounging on your donut, reading or watching TV, I see a glimpse of the future – of you lying on a beanbag as a teenager watching TV or just hanging out. And my heart swells.
You think feeding time is such fun. You’ve turned it into somewhat of a game lately. Towards the end of your feed, you have taken to looking up at me and grinning. Sometimes you even reach out for my face. Then, obviously reassured that I am there, you happily go back to eating for another minute or so. Until the game starts again. Feeding became a bit of a problem early this month as you cut your first two teeth. Yes, teeth already! Two little bottom teeth. You look so cute when you smile with those two little teeth! Anyway, you took to biting me while you were feeding. We had to put a quick stop to that. Yeow! You have stopped sleeping through the night now and I think that’s a sign that you are going to be needing some solid foods soon. You also feed quite a lot in the evening. It’s like you can’t fill up enough.
You still love your baths, and this month you learnt to splash out with your legs. Last night you had a big tummy ache so I put you in your bath. As I lowered you into the warm, deep water, you looked up at me with relief and smiled a big, big smile. I put the warm, wet flannel over your tummy and you love to suck on it. The night before last you also decided that you wanted to drink the bath water and kept turning your head to the side and scooping up water in your mouth.
You have started to like massages now too. You look at me with huge blue eyes as I massage you and smile at me in wonderment. You love kisses around your chin and neck and across your tummy. That is a sure fire way to get a huge giggle out of you. You also love bouncing up and down on Daddy’s knee and flying like an aeroplane. Your grin grows so big, it seems like it takes up all of your face.
Your grin fades when we’re out though. There’s so much to see and you become solemn and serious. A frown decorates your brow. You are wary of strangers now. If they are lucky enough to be granted a smile, it’s usually a quick one before you hide your face into my shoulder. Even the boy in the mirror gets the same treatment. And you seem amazed that whenever you look back, he’s still looking at you. You haven’t realized that it’s you yet!
By far though, your favourite thing is still Jak. You watch him whenever he’s near. When he comes within licking distance you reach out your hand to him, inviting him to lick it. If he does, you think it is the neatest thing ever and just lie there with your huge grin. Yesterday the three of us were sitting in the armchair together. Jak had finished licking your hand and, as dogs do, gave a huge yawn. You were delighted. You giggled and chortled as if it was the funniest thing you had seen.

We spent the morning at Mum and Dad's yesterday as we were having the stone on our front verandah repointed, right below Jamie's bedroom window. Mum took the *best* series of photos of him. Here's three of them:

I love the last one :). He's laughed and made a sudden lunge for Mum, so the focus hasn't been able to capture him. But that's babies for ya!

That's it for today.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Out in the West Texas town of El Paso...

Yesterday Jamie and I went up to my parents' house for the day. To let Phil get stuck into the renovations without having to worry about Jamie's sleep times or making too much noise and startling the baby.

Mum and Dad have lived in the same house all their married life. I grew up in that house. (Just a bit of background.) So, anyway, there I was, sitting on their lounge, feeding Jamie. I was in that drowsy state you get to when you're breastfeeding (something to do with the hormones, they tell me). Mum and Dad had gone out to do some shopping, so it was lovely and quiet. The pot-belly stove was going and it was cosy warm. And the cd player in the corner was playing softly. On a random shuffle of Mum and Dad's cd selection. A song came on. A Marty Robbins song. I have no idea of the title but it starts off:

"Out in the West Texas town of El Paso
I fell in love with a Mexican girl..."

Do you know it, lol? (Yes, I grew up on country music - oh, that's right, you already know about my upbringing on Johnny Cash from an earlier post, don't you?)

Well, anyway, as I sat there daydreaming, the leather l0unge transformed into a retro cream vinyl couch with berber cushions, the cd player morphed into a record player and I was transported back 30 years. I was kneeling in the loungeroom, in front of the record player, listening to records. I could even smell the smell - a plastic-y, cardboard-y smell. What was that smell? Was it the smell of the album covers? Was it the smell of the LPs? I don't know. I can still smell it. The smell of my childhood.

And as I sat there listening, in my childhood home with my own child now cuddled up against me, I felt a peaceful sense of contentment settle over me. Unspeakable contentment. Going up to Mum and Dad's always has that effect on me. I was blessed with two absolutely loving parents who would do anything for my sister and me. Thanks Mum and Dad!


Friday, May 05, 2006

Trains and a garbage truck

We hit the jackpot on our walk this afternoon. Two trains and two garbage trucks (well, I think it was the same one that we saw twice, but we'll call it two for arguments sake). And I couldn't help thinking, since when did I get so into trains and trucks? Because each time we saw one, I'd act like an idiot: "Look Jamie, a TRAAAAIN!!!!!! Wow!!!!! Look at that TRAAAAIN!!!! Did you see that? A TRAAAAIN!!!!!" Like it was the best thing that had ever happened to us. And I thought, so this is the start of stereotyping. If I had a girl, do you think I'd be jumping around like one of the Wiggles on speed over a garbage truck? No.

Thanks to everyone who's commented on my layouts. Yes, I am grateful that I discovered scrapbooking *before* I became pregnant and had Jamie. I am grateful that I have learnt to take lots of photos and to keep a journal. Because they grow up so quickly.

I was stunned to see Jamie start to push himself off his stomach with his arms today. To dothat lovely little yoga stretch. He can nearly sit without support too, he just topples forwards still. And this morning I saw him examining the Cookie Monster on his play gym intently. Holding it with both hands, moving it from side to side, swivelling it around to examine the back. Really looking. Not just batting it with a paw any longer. They grow up so quickly.

See ya

Thursday, May 04, 2006

And a few more

Random observation:
My mother thinks it's amusing that the first solid food I choose to feed the son I nick-name bunnyrabbit is carrots. Bwahahahaha, I didn't even think about it. Tomorrow we start with potatoes.

Now, continuing my journey through my pregnancy with Jamie... at 26 weeks pregnancy, Phil just happened to catch this photo of me with Jak. I was worried about how the dog would react to a baby.

I read somewhere that animals sense pregnancy. Do you know that a baby is on its way, Jak? I'm 26 weeks pregnant. Do you sense that? You used to be content lying next to me with your head on my thigh. Since I've been pregnant though, you've taken to lying on my lap, wrapped around my tummy. You put your little head on my belly and stare up at me. Do you know there's a baby in there? Can you feel him? Can you hear him? Soon you'll have a new playmate. I worry about how you'll react. You've been my spoilt little doggie for so long, I'm worried you'll be jealous. That you'll misbehave. I guess we just have to give you lots of attention still.

And the next one was another one where I just messed around.

Thoughts at 34 weeks. I wish I could hold you already. I hope you are healthy. I pray for a trouble free labour. I hope my back and pelvis last the distance. I wish you were here.

And, finally, one done 2 weeks before Jamie was born. Phil and I had gone to the beach with his cousins, who had been staying with us for the week, on a trip out here from Germany. It was a gorgeous day and we got the best photo of us together. It's not often that we get a shot of both of us. I love that top I'm wearing. It features in a lot of my pregnancy photos :).

The envelopes are supposed to contain letters from us, to our son. Phil's envelope is still empty. Shame. I can't remember what I wrote in mine. Heaps. As usual ;). Prob'ly soppy as. As usual :). One day I'll get it out and read it to him. He'll probably just go "Aww Mu-um!".

It's only three weeks until you're due, our little fella. We are so excited.

Well that's the end of my pregnancy layouts. For now. There's another 7 in this month's For Keeps!

And, finally on a totally different subject, I found this today. Man, this woman can write. She's taken my thoughts and captured them totally perfectly. That's why she's a writer and I'm not. She captures the words that I struggle with. If you go back through her archives a bit, she has another post where she describes the birth of her son. It made the hairs on my neck stand on end. I wanted to give birth all over again, just to re-live the feelings she described. Well, not really, lol! With an epidural this time, maybe ;).


Pregnancy layouts ctd.

Continuing my journey through my pregnancy. The next layout was done when I was 19 weeks pregnant. I still can't believe that I was pregnant, looking at that photo! I had fun with this one. It was the first time I had journaled in anything but boring straight lines:

More energy now. Feeling good. Still don't really look pregnant - just fatter! Amnio results were good. I've gained 5kg. Trying to eat well - lots of protein, calcium, fruit and veg. Wearing mostly maternity clothes now. Loving the little flutters in my stomach. .... happy, contented, amazed, excited...

I think I caught the bug then, because this next one is full of wild journaling. Messy, but I still sorta like it.

Dreaming of a Little Boy. When I was 19 weeks pregnant, we had an amniocentesis test done. And we found out that you're a boy! Now I find myself daydreaming about you. Who will you be? Will you look like your Daddy? What will you do?

And this one I love. It was a LO I did when I was on the design team for Blue Cardigan Designs and it is probably my favourite layout that I ever did using their papers.

I am enamoured of a hope. Madly in love with a someday thing, an early dream. I hear your voice in the morning gurgles of someone else's child. With great care, I build you in my mind; His cheeks, My skin, His hands, My eyes. I bathe you, dress you, hold you in my empty arms. I sing you private lullabies, songs too tender to belong to anyone but you. And God how I love you, my baby yet-to-be. Clutching your eventuality to my heart I name you Soon.
Victoria S.

That's all for today

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Mel's tagged me

My friend Mel ;) has tagged me:

In my Fridge
Home-made pork schnitzels for tea tonight
Pureed carrots (ewck!) for Jamie
Expressed breastmilk (also for Jamie, but that goes without saying, doesn’t it!)
Rice milk (for me)
My fav lemon and lime marmelade

In my Closet
The yummy new boots my parents bought me for my birthday
A pair of new jeans that I have to remember to take the cuff up on
Tracky dacks
A few skirts that I used to wear to work, that I figure I can wear casual with the new boots

In my handbag
You mean my suitcase?
Nappies, baby wipes, nappy cream, chuck cloth, bib, spare set of baby clothes, change mat, teething ring, toy, purse, sunglasses, zip drive (lol, never leave home without it!), mobile phone, lip balm.

In my car
Baby seat
CDs – Faithless, Tricky, Endorphin, Massive Attack
Flyer of the house we just bought

On my DVD / Video player
Birth – we watched it on the weekend – I didn’t think the bath scene was all that shocking
Spicks and Specks, Glasshouse taped from last week
Last episode of Lost
Legally Blonde II – which I started watching and thought was crap. Must delete it.

I am tagging:

There you go!
More layouts tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Thanks Mardi!

I opened up the Scrapboxx forum this morning to find this post by the lovely Mardi. How thrilled was I? My first article in For Keeps, featuring my pregnancy layouts. Now, these layouts were really special to me, as you'd imagine and bring back wonderful memories of being pregnant. While I can't post the ones from the mag here just yet, I thought I'd share some of my other pregnancy layouts over the next week or so.

This is the first one I did.

The photo mat lifts up to reveal what my secret is (if you were a mad keen scrapper, you'd already know from the KI Memories Baby paper :) ) and the following journaling:

I have a secret. A really, really big secret. I secret that I never thought I’d be in a position to spill. And its wonderful. We are expecting a baby! I am 8 weeks pregnant. We aren’t telling people for another month yet. In the meantime, I carry this secret around with me. Literally. I feel like I could explode with the happiness of it. You see, I didn’t really think I would ever fall pregnant. For a start, Phil and I didn’t meet until I was 35. On top of that though, in my mid thirties I was told that I had polycystic ovaries and might never conceive.
Its funny, looking back. In my twenties, I was too busy with University and starting my career to want a family. In my grand plan I decided that I would be married at 28, and have my first child at 32. Well, 28 came and went. I was decidedly single. The years passed by. I turned 30, 32, 34…
I never worried about it though. Not that I can recall anyway. It wasn’t until someone told me that I might not be able to have a baby. Suddenly, overnight, I wanted children. Like someone flicked a switch. My lifeplan had always assumed babies somewhere. Children. Adolescents. Fun, family Christmas times. Easter bunnies. Birthday parties with balloons and fairy bread. Children laughing in the backyard. Oh, I know, I see it all with rose tinted glasses in my mind. In a few years time, I will probably look back on these romantic thoughts with a wry smile!
My mid thirties passed by and the big four-o was looming in the near future. I grew increasingly despondent that I would ever be given the chance for children. I told myself that it would not happen. That was my protection. And so, with every friend who announced her new arrival, I smiled and congratulated her and never let on that my own heart was aching to be in the same position.
And, so, here I am. Well, here we are. Pregnant. A little baby. A beautiful little baby. I have been reading about our baby’s development. This week, our baby’s face is beginning to take shape and its fingers and toes are forming. Who do you look like, little baby? I love you so much already.

This next one was after our 8 week ultrasound. It was actually done as a challenge to scraplift the talented aussie scrapper, Lisa. This was one of those layouts where I challenged myself to use up lots of scraps.

This was our first glimpse of you. 8 weeks post conception. I couldn't believe that you were real. After all this time. Lying there, curled up in my belly. I just looked at the ultrasound screen with a big lump in my throat. I wanted to cry with happiness. This was you. Hello you!
At this stage you look more like a little bunny rabbit than a baby, but I think you are the most beautiful creature in the world. A true miracle. When I call you a bunny when you're older, you'll know that it is indeed a term of endearment. For I'll always be thinking of this moment, the first moment I saw you. My beautiful baby.

And this next layout came about after I went maternity clothes shopping for the first time. All the labels are from my new clothes. The photo of me was taken at 16 weeks pregnancy.

At 16 weeks of pregnancy I finally admitted defeat with the majority of the waistbands in my wardrobe and went maternity clothes shopping. I’m at that awkward in-between stage. I don’t look pregnant yet. But I’m definitely thicker around the waist. Over the last two weeks, one by one, my business suits have become too tight and uncomfortable. At times like this, I wish that I was more of a fan of elasticized waistbands, but alas, the majority of my clothes tend to be figure hugging. I haven’t told anyone at work our news yet, so I don’t want to suddenly appear in flowing maternity tops. My quest was to find some slightly larger clothes that had room for growth. I have been dreading this. I dislike clothes shopping at the best of times. With all the shops in the town, I still end up trying on around 20-30 pairs of trousers before I find ones that fit. Once I find them, I wear my clothes until the seams fall apart. Well, I’m pleased to report that, after an hour and a half of trying on outfits in the maternity store, I was surprised. I actually enjoyed it. I found a pair of great jeans that don’t look that much different to what I wear now; except they will grow with me. Great for weekends and for teaching scrapping in the scrapbook shop. And I found two skirts for work. Whilst I think I can get away with my tops for just a little while longer yet, I did buy a nice tailored shirt. Shirts are wonderful at covering up my little baby bulge at the moment. Now I feel set for the weeks ahead. And, what’s more, I found a couple of gorgeous tops for next time.

More next time


Monday, May 01, 2006

Our day today - a comparison

I thought that I'd keep track of our day today. To compare it to life five months ago.

5.30am: Jamie wakes up for a feed
6.00am: we both go back to bed
7.00am: Jamie's awake again! yawn! I bring him back to our bed, to see if he'll settle. He plays with my face and gurgles and coos until I get up
7.15am: I eat my breakfast while he plays

7.20am: Nappy change, dress and breastfeed
7.45am: I mix up some cereal and feed Jamie. Yummy!
8.00am: We play
8.20am: I have my shower while J sits and chews on his toys
8.45am: Settle J for sleep; he falls asleep cooing to himself
9.00am: Housework, read emails
10.00am: Jamie wakes up crying after an hour, I try to settle him but he wants to get up
10.05am: He's wet his nappy and it’s gone right through his clothes; change.
10.15am; Feed Jamie
10.45am: Jamie plays under the play-gym while I puree up some vegetables and freeze them.

He gets scared by the food-processor and refuses to play anymore.
I sit him outside (never fails to soothe a crying baby) while I put on a load of washing
11.15am: we go for a walk in the pale autumn sunshine
12noon: Jamie's ready for a nap. It takes a while for him to fall asleep
12.10am: scrapbooking time :)
1.00pm: Jamie wakes; feed
1.30pm: I do the dishes and by then Jamie's grouchy, so we go outside.

He sits in his chair and chews his toy while I hang out the washing.
1.45pm: My lunch - eaten on the verandah with J
2.00pm: vacuuming while J's happy outside
2.45pm: Scrap while J sits in his bouncer playing furiously with the toys hanging from it

3.00pm: Try to put J to bed; he takes ages to fall asleep.
3.15pm: wash the floors
3.45pm: J's awake again! Half an hour! Is that all? I feed him some Gripe Water because he seems unsettled with a gurgly tummy. Maybe it was the chocolate Mummy ate last night? He loves this new Gripe Water and grabs the spoon because I obviously cannot get it into his mouth fast enough. Gobble gobble. It’s quite a change from the old stuff that he hated.
3.50pm: Feed Jamie
4.15pm: J sits in the bouncer while I vacuum the lounge-room. Today, he decides that he doesn't like the noise and cries.
4.30pm: J won't settle down again so we go and sit outside and watch the clouds and play “this little piggy”.
5.00pm: He keeps crying. I rock him, I walk with him, I massage his belly. We read a book together, between wind pains.

5.30pm: He goes back to bed and quickly falls asleep
7.15pm: Finally! A good sleep. I start feeding J just as Phil arrives home. Phil cooks tea while I bathe Jamie.
7.45pm: Phil and I eat tea.

8.15pm: I come back in to the loungeroom after hanging out the washing to find J and Phil playing with Jak. J is soaring through the air like an aeroplane towards the dog. The dog is yapping and barking and running in frenzied circles. J is giggling so hard, the kind of baby burbles that make you smile too. His big smile swallows up his face and he looks just adorable.
8.30pm: Feed Jamie
8.45pm: Jamie in bed. I watch Cold Case. Phil reads some work stuff.
9.30pm: I puree some carrots and pears for Jamie; tidy up kitchen
10.30pm: I quickly catch up on my emails and blogs
11.30pm: Bed.

There! The boring life of a domestic goddess-not ;). But it would seem that Jamie is slowly moving to three hourly feeds, which is great news. And he is getting at least one good sleep during the day now too. Yay for solids!


Daytime phone calls

Aaargh! It's driving me nuts! It's almost enough to disconnect the 'phone. Having worked fulltime all these years, I had *no* idea how many telemarketing calls you get during the day. I'm stunned. Every 2-3 days I would have someone ring me, trying to flog something, trying to collect money for something, trying to make me change to their service. I'm sick of it, people!

Invariably it occurs as I've just put Jamie to bed. In fact, now that I think about it, that was one of the deciding factors behind starting this blog - when I'd just had J, I was going back to bed during the day quite a lot and was sick and tired of just falling back to sleep, only to be awoken by someone with an Indian accent trying to sell me something. One even hung up on me, when I politely suggested that no, I didn't want to speak with her manager. Get this: she rings me, tells me that she is from Company X and that her manager would like to speak to me. I say, no I don't have time at the moment to talk to anyone. She says that it will just take a minute. I say, really, no I don't have time and I don't want to talk to your manager. She hung up in my ear. Really! I could have hung up in her ear to start with, in fact nothing would have given me greater joy, but I was being polite. Needless to say, Company X heard my wroth that day. They have taken me off their list of people to harangue :).

Anyway, I digressed. I started the blog because I started taking the phone off the hook during the day just so Jamie and I could get some sleep. And so anyone wanting to see how we were going kept getting the answering machine. With a blog, everyone won. Friends could log onto the internet for the cost of a phone call and see exactly how we were going.

So, here we are, six months down the track and I am seriously thinking of taking the phone off the hook again. Where's that damn list that's supposed to start up where we can demand our name be removed from telemarketing call-lists!

And don't get me started on the renovations that are happening to the church in the street behind us. What a racket! Jamie and I walked past today and I swear, there must have been 50 men standing on the roof of the church. The entire congregation, from the looks. They looked like ants, swarming over the top of the building. And, geez, they make a lot of noise. In a language I can't understand. I always thought churches were quiet places where you went to contemplate and do devotion and stuff. Now I know better. They are loud! LOUD! At least, this one is.

Thank goodness we move in six months' time. Do you think the telemarketers will take a while to find us?


By the way, I've been trying to work out how to load thumbnails on blogger. You know, the type that when you run your cursor over the pic, a little hand appears and then when you click on the pic a new screen appears with a you-beaut big picture? Am I dumb? I can't work it out! Can anyone help? Ta!