Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Back after a long break

It has been so long since I last wrote (the last post was in summer, and is now decidedly chilly!) that I feel a bit awkward about starting again, but better late than never. Somehow ordinary life with the two boys just got a bit too busy. I've been job hunting too and have just started a new job part time. So far it is hectic but really rewarding.

Sadly I haven't even got lots of creative things to show for the break, although it was very satisfying to have the book I was working on last year finally published and launched:

At the moment there is a national consultation going on about whether Australia should adopt a legislative bill of rights, and our book aims to give some background to this and examines the bills of rights now operating in the ACT and Victoria. There is still time to have your say in the national process if you are interested - the website is here. It probably won't surprise anyone to learn that I am in favour of greater protection of human rights, although more along the lines of the UK Human Rights Act rather than the American bill of rights.

Anyway, enough of work already! Thomas and Owen are doing very well. Here are some recent photos. As you can see Thomas' train obsession continues unabated and Owen's cheeks are as chubby as ever. I'll sign off now so I can go and catch up on all my favourite blogs. I promise to post again soon and to have a bit more to show and tell. Cheerio!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hot Summer days

I have been having fun dabbling with making glass tile pendants. My lovely husband bought me the materials for Christmas (with a bit of prompting), and these are my first attempts. Super easy and effective, especially with beautiful washi paper. There is a great tutorial here and lots of suppliers of glass tiles, aanraku bails and diamond glaze on Etsy.

Lucky that these are so quick to make, as the boys are pretty demanding at the moment. It has been incredibly hot here, which is wearing all of us out, but there have been lots of lovely moments, and we have been enjoying simple outings like going to the pool or the park. I love this picture of Thomas in the park on Australia day.

Owen has now started smiling and cooing which is such a joy - it is quite beautiful to see his happy little personality emerging, and our relationship with him changing to a two-way interaction. He certainly loves feeding and is right on the edge of the chart for all his measurements, those cheeks just keep getting bigger!

Thomas is currently obsessed with Thomas the tank engine - here are both boys mesmerised by our sole dvd which is getting a workout lately. Thomas got two small wooden trains for Christmas, which came with a catalogue of all the others - very clever marketing. Thomas is constantly poring over it and has memorised the names and details of all the trains. He even wakes up talking about them and listing the ones he has yet to collect. I always thought I would try to resist this type of wanton consumerism with my kids, but it is quite insidious, and I confess I have been spending many of those precious quiet moments scouring ebay for second-hand trains, when I'm not setting up the tracks again, ready to be destroyed in the next play session!

I keep thinking how much Owen reminds me of Thomas at the same age, and I was looking through the old photos - this is Owen on the left and Thomas on the right, sharing the same suit. Pretty similar huh!
I'm off to bed now to get a couple of hours sleep before the next feed. I've really been missing reading all my favourite blogs - sorry I've been missing in action. Fingers crossed we might get some nap time tomorrow.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year!

I can hardly believe it is 2009 already! This year has flown by. Christmas arrived much quicker than expected (as always!) and I only managed one creative present, a patchwork name for a friend's new little girl and a matching one for her older sister.

I enjoyed thinking it up and seeing it through to completion - I've hardly made anything lately and had almost forgotten how satisfying it is. I appliqued letters using fusible webbing, sewed the centre to a patchwork border, added batting behind it and covered a basic photo frame with it (removing the glass), with the raw edges tucked inside behind the backing board, so it is ready to hang.

I liked the patchwork so much as I was making it for the borders that it was hard to cut it up, but I still have a strip left, which I might use in a cushion.

Thomas and I also made tons of Christmas biscuits, much to his delight. I did the icing and he applied the decorations, although he ate a lot more than ended up on the biscuits!

We had a lovely Christmas with the boys and our family. Now that Thomas is old enough to have some idea about what is going on, it adds a lot of joy and excitement to the day.

He was so thrilled to recieve this cute rocking horse handmade by his wonderful uncle. Little wooden trains were also a huge hit, and he is still playing with them endlessly.

Owen had no idea what this Christmas malarky was all about, but loved all the cuddles and put up with this shameless exploitation with pretty good grace!

We stayed with my parents in Sydney afterwards for a few days, and Owen met lots of friends and relatives. Luckily he only projectile vomited once (this is a particular talent of his), and only on me.

Thomas enjoyed meeting up with old and new friends, and all the love and attention showered on him by his doting grandparents.

We then had a few days in the Southern Highlands, a beautiful relaxing time which ended far too soon. Here is Thomas on the Illawarra Treetop walk. He keeps asking when we can go back to Bowral.
Hopefully I'll manage another post before Christmas comes around again. Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break and best wishes for a brilliant 2009.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Another wonderful surprise in the mail

Look what arrived in the mail for us today - such a beautiful little outfit for Owen from the talented Lily. A gorgeous set of handmade pants and appliqued onesie with the cutest robots on lovely linen fabric. Here is our chunky little lad modeling it.

A perfect fit (and some room for his stubby little legs to grow!) Thanks so much Lily, it made our day!

Thomas and I made baby cupcakes this afternoon, and a lot disappeared into his mouth in the process of icing them. It was good to spend some one on one time with him while Owen slept. Thomas is still being very good about the total upheaval of his little world, although sometimes he can be too enthusiastic in his appreciation of Owen, so we have to keep a close eye on their interaction.
I am still in that hazy baby-bubble time of constant breastfeeding and sleep deprivation, with Owen insatiably hungry and waking for a feed at least every two hours through the night. He often takes an hour to feed, then naps for an hour or less (often sleeping on me on the couch because I don't have the energy to persevere with settling him back in the cot) before it starts all over again. We have resorted to topping him up with the occasional bottle of formula to try and lengthen the sleeps, and so that Warren can share the load. I feel guilty about it, because I know exclusive breast feeding is best, and it is not like he is fading away (just check out those cheeks!), but it does seem to help him sleep, which is all that matters at 4am when things can feel pretty desperate and lonely. I know we went through all this with Thomas, and am looking forward to it settling down into some kind of reasonable routine soon. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Then there were two

The first three weeks have just flown by with the two boys keeping us all very busy. Thomas is still being very good and wants to do everything with Owen. I think they will be great playmates when Owen gets bigger.

This has been the first week when I've been home alone with the boys now that Warren is back at work and my parents have gone back to Sydney. Thomas is still going to childcare three days a week, so those days are quite calm, and it has been good to have a chance to get to bond a bit more with Owen. Having the two of them together on the other days is pretty hectic - I'm hoping that they might fall into a routine of sleeping at the same time, but that may be wishful thinking!

Owen has just woken again, so I think that is the end of blogging for the evening.

Back soon!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The most beautiful present

Sorry it has taken me so long to post this - I was just so thrilled to recieve this gorgeous vest for Owen from the wonderful Aimee at Mamie Knits Bits.

It is so beautifully made, and the yarn is incredibly soft - I wish I could wear it! I love the card too, and all the love and care that went into knitting this - we will really treasure it.

Owen seemed to enjoy modelling it, which is amazing as he usually hates getting dressed. It is a little roomy on him now of course, but will be just perfect as the weather gets cooler.

Thanks so much Ames, you're the best!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Introducing Owen

Our little one Owen arrived on 29th October at 4.45pm, weighing 3.985kgs or 8 pounds 13 ounces. It wasn't possible to proceed with an induction, so he was born by caesarian section, but it was a very different experience from Thomas as Owen was able to have a cuddle with me straight away and was breastfeeding an hour later, which was just wonderful.

Thomas loves his new baby brother and is very proud. We have just got home from the hospital. Lots more to say very soon. The most absolutely gorgeous present from Aimee has just arrived and I can't wait to show everyone, but need to get some sleep now!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Only two days to go!

We have been scheduled for an induction this Wednesday morning, at 38 weeks. It has all happened pretty suddenly, but the obstetrician is worried about the increasing risk of another abruption. So Wednesday it is! I think there is quite a strong chance it may end up as a caesarian again, as they can only induce if my body is getting ready, and they may have difficulty monitoring the bub's heartbeat, which is still irregular, but we'll just have to see how it goes. I am excited and anxious (well terrified actually!) not knowing what to expect, but so looking forward to meeting our next little one. It would be wonderful if labor started naturally in the next day or so, but all the wise mums I meet keep telling me that I look like I'm still 'carrying very high' so I think it is unlikely.

I am worried about how Thomas will cope with me being away in hospital - I've never had a night apart from him since he came home, and he is quite clingy at the moment, but Warren and my dad will be here to spoil him, and will bring him in every day. Sadly my mum will still be overseas, but will be back about a week after the bub arrives. We have been trying to prepare Thomas for the arrival of his little sibling, but it is hard to know how much he is taking in. He has been talking a lot about the baby, and showing interest in all the nesting I've been doing, getting those tiny baby clothes washed and ready.

We have had a nice weekend giving him lots of attention, and went to the airport open day today, where he got to sit in a small plane, and walk around big planes, and watch an aerial display by an F11 hornet. He was very good about putting in earplugs because it was so noisy, and has been talking about the air show all afternoon.
I like this photo - Warren looks like he has a pregnancy belly in sympathy. Of course he is really as fit and lean as ever, while I am eating enough chocolate for all of us!
Fingers crossed my next post will be all about the happy arrival.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday Thomas!

We had a little birthday party for Thomas at a local park on the weekend. My mum and dad came from Sydney which made it very special, and we had some of his little friends from mother's group.

We didn't manage to get much of a video, but these few seconds are very cute.

Here is the cake - it was a bit dodgy, but Thomas was thrilled with it, which was very gratifying.

His present from us was a toy oven, as he loves the ones at childcare. Warren and my dad did a fabulous job of assembling it, many hours in the garage, but he has been playing with it ever since. I'm hoping we have a little chef in the making.

We also made some cupcakes to share with his friends at childcare - I think Thomas will start expecting cakes and singing every day now!

Finally just a shot from floriade, which is always a lovely event in Canberra. Here is Thomas with some of his little friends.

On the pregnancy front, we had another scan this week and the heartbeat is still a bit irregular. The baby is getting very big, they estimate already 3.5kgs, but I've heard that they can get this wrong, so am trying not to get too alarmed. The doctors are recommending an early induction though, probably at 37 weeks, which is only a couple of weeks away - of course we are still nowhere near ready! I've got another appointment next week, so hopefully we will know more then.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A close call

We had a scary day yesterday - it started out normally, with a home visit from my lovely midwife. Everything was normal until we got to the doppler ultrasound of the heartbeat, which was very unusual, out of rhythm - a strange irregular three beat sound rather than the normal two beats I'd heard so many times before.

The midwife still wasn't too worried, but suggested that I go into the hospital to have it checked out, so Thomas and I drove in there, and we went into one of the delivery suites to be strapped up to the heart monitor. From there things got scary very quickly, the baby's heartbeat was reading as being very slow, something called brachycardia, and the registrar came in and suddenly I was being prepared for an emergency caesar. This was awfully familiar, as it was also week 34 when I had the caesar with Thomas after an abruption, so I knew all the routine of putting in canulas and drips, the gown and strange socks and signing the consent forms etc.

Poor Thomas had no idea what was going on but was extremely good, and just played quietly while all this was happening until Warren arrived.

Anyway, just when we thought it was all happening, they decided to confirm the problem with the more sophisticated ultrasound in the fetal medicine unit, which showed that the baby's heartbeat was arrhythmic but not as slow as it was reading upstairs. All very confusing to me. So all of a sudden everyone relaxed, and said we could go home, just come back for a scan next week.

Very strange indeed to come so close to another emergency premmie delivery, being treated like an invalid, and then to be getting dressed and driving home again minutes later! Of course we were hugely relieved not to be having the baby early, knowing how stressful it is to have a baby struggling in those early days in the NICU.

So now we're back home, just keeping an anxious eye on those foetal movements, but hoping everything will get back to normal and it will go to term.

So back to life as usual - it is Thomas' second birthday this weekend, so I am now madly planning a bananas in pyjamas cake, food and decorations. Hoping for some more good weather - it has been lovely here lately. Here is Thomas at the animal nursery at Floriade - we got there late in the afternoon and had it almost all to ourselves.

Thanks for the very helpful comments about the courses, I'm still pondering, but will have to make a decision before the end of October.