Monday, 28 February 2011

A poem

Thunder Maker wrote me a really sweet poem last week. I asked him if he minded me posting it on my blog for those of you who read it to have a look at and he said he didn't mind, so without further ado, here it is.

A number of years ago, you bought me a card
Which we both thought was rather cool. It said,
'Whenever I think of you - Stuff tingles".
We both thought that was great fun. Now when I look at you,
I love the smile which lights up your whole face when
You cuddle our son as you lie in bed or on the couch.
I love the sweet, faraway, 'lost in the moment' look in your eyes
As you caress his hair.
I love the tenderness in your beautiful face as you
Kiss his brow gently and hold him to you.
I love the deep contentment which
Radiates from you as you read him a story.
Or kneel down to play with him and his favourite toy.
A deep warmth oozes right through my tummy
And makes my heart skip a beat,
And takes my breath away.

I love to look at you. And yes,
whenever I think of you,
Stuff still tingles!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Saturday Ramblings

I am so sore today. I am so sore that I can barely move. Picking up Wombat and putting him down is interesting as my quads are so sore that I can't bend my knees. I'm a tiny bit stiff in my back, but it must be more used to me picking up heavy things. Such as Wombat.

I had Wombat weighed and measured yesterday. He is now 8.7kg and 65.5cm long. Did I mention that he is four months old? Apparently he is now in the 90th percentile for height and is off the chart for weight. His Daddy actually has a slight build when he's not sporting a keg, but he is also 193cm tall. I'd say that Wombat is going to take after his Daddy in the height department a lot more so than Seagull. I come from a family where most of us suffer from Duck's Disease and I've started to resign myself to the fact that Seagull, barring some miracle upon reaching puberty, is probably going to be another member to that club. Seagull already looks like my side of the family, whereas Wombat looks a lot more like his Dad.

Anyway, back to me being in pain. I woke up this morning, flexed a few muscles and realised that I was going to be really feeling it today. Sure enough, I've been alternating between trying to walk normally in the hope that it would loosen my muscles a bit and waddling around like a duck. My only respites have been taking Seagull for his weekly swimming lesson and falling asleep on my bed this afternoon whilst feeding Wombat.

Seagull has been going to swimming lessons since he was six months old. My Mum was never one for taking me to the pool and the first swimming lessons I ever had were when I was in year 2 at school, so I would have been about 8. My swimming style is pretty haphazard to this day and I really don't like being in any body of water where I can't touch the bottom with my feet while my head is out of the water. I always swore that when I had kids that they would be going to swimming lessons as soon as they are able to. I hold no aspirations for them to become Olympic swimmers, I just want them to be able to swim and be able to enjoy being in the water in a way that I've never been able. I keep thinking of other activities that Seagull would enjoy, but they all cost money and more importantly, he is only 2. I figure that he already goes to childcare twice a week, Rhyme Time at the library once a week when we actually make it (more about Rhyme Time in another post) and swimming lessons on a Saturday. If Seagull did any more organised, structured stuff, it would cut into his time to just be a kid and do his own thing. If he wants to do other stuff as he gets older, that's fine but I'm not going to push him into doing more stuff now.

Getting down the steps into the pool today was fun. Seagull wanted to take off in front of me and there was no way I was letting him walk down the steps before me. A slight wobbly was thrown until he realised what I was trying to do, then he was very happy to cooperate. I've been so chuffed with my little Seagull's swimming efforts of late. We didn't do anywhere near as much swimming as we had anticipated over the summer holidays as we thought we would and I was a bit worried about Seagull forgetting some of the stuff he'd learned in his lessons last year. Having that break seems to have worked quite well for him in that he has only just started to do things that he was trying to do at the end of last year, but hadn't quite worked out yet. Seagull can now put his mouth under the water and blow bubbles. He doesn't put his whole face under yet, but he will eventually. He is also kicking nearly all the time while moving around in the water, although he doesn't paddle his arms much. The most exciting thing though is that Seagull can now keep himself floating in the water when he has an O ring type floaty on. Yay Seagull! Obviously, I still stay within grabbing distance so I can yank his head back above the water if his mouth and nose go under, but I was able to proudly lift both hands up and wave to Daddy and Wombat while Seagull was kicking madly and floating in the pool. Seagull loves his swimming lessons. I love them too because he conks out as soon as we get home. He must have been really knackered today because he slept for 3.5 hours. He normally sleeps for about 2 hours during the day.

I ended up conking out this afternoon too. Wombat was after a feed and in true laziness convenience, I lay down on the bed to feed him. We both fell asleep and woke up about 3 hours later. It meant that I put dinner on about an hour later than I meant to, but Thunder Maker didn't mind. We'd had a late lunch and he knew that I needed the sleep so he left me to it. Of course, my legs were twice as stiff as they were before when I woke up. According to the program I've started using on the Wii, today was meant to be an exercise day. That program can kiss my aching backside because there is no way I'm going to be doing that again while I'm this sore. Tomorrow is meant to be my rest day, but I'll give it a go if I'm feeling less sore. If not, it can wait until Monday.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Wii-ing it up!

I've been moaning for a while that I need to lose the extra 10kg or so of baby weight and Thunder Maker has been telling me to stop moaning about it and do some exercise. I happen to own a Nintendo Wii and some exercise programs that have been collecting dust since I fell pregnant with Wombat and I've been wanting to give those a go again. There was just one small problem. Or two big problems, to be exact. They go by the name G cup and there is no way I can exercise without those babies in a good sports bra. I had bought a good one just over a year ago, when I first got the exercise programs for my Wii. Could I find it? Of course not. In any case, I've gone up about two cup sizes since I bought the bra so I gave up hunting for it and went online.

Now this is not a paid plug, just that I have had dealings with this particular retailer before. The ladies at Storm in a D Cup are awesome. They don't sell bras in any cup size smaller than a D and they are all ample busted ladies themselves, so they know what it is like to be big breasted, they know what looks good, what works and how to fit bras. They are based in Sydney, but also retail online, so I jumped onto the website to see what they had. I ended up being a little confused by it all and dropped them a line with my questions. They got back to me very promptly with a suggestion of a bra that would work for me. I placed an order first thing on Wednesday, selected the express post option and proceeded to wait.

As I live outside of the Express Post nextwork, it took two days for my new bra to arrive rather than one. I was very excited when it arrived. Unfortunately, errands outside of the house took me away from my new sports bra and it had to wait until later.

Later that day, with both of the kids tucked up safely having their afternoon nap, the sports bra went on, I disconnected the RGB cable from the DVD player, connected the Wii RGB cables up to the TV and away I went. I've been using a program called EA Active. It comes with a resistance band and a leg strap to tuck the nunchuck into when it's not being used. It has a "personal trainer" that shows you how to do the exercises and who gives you encouragement/tells you off when you slack off. I figured that I'd be right using the medium workout intensity setting. Oh, how wrong I was. The first few activities were a warm up run, warm up squats and a set of side lunges. My legs were wobbly after doing those three activities. I honestly hadn't realised how much strength I'd lost in my legs over the last year or so. I somehow managed to stumble my way through a whole workout (about 25 minutes) before wobbling over to the lounge and collapsing in a heap. By this stage, both boys were awake and Wombat wanted a feed. I have never been so relieved in my life to just be able to sit there and feed a baby.

I think I'm going to be changing the setting back to easy tomorrow. I can work my way back up to medium. Oh, and the sports bra was really good. It held everything in place nicely so that I wasn't concussed by my boobs jumping up and hitting me in the face.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Metabolism Woes

I did have a post about Wombat in the works, but it's going to have to wait

I've been feeling really tired lately, but not able to sleep. I've also been urinating excessively for the amount I've been drinking, so I figured that a trip to the doctor for some blood tests would be in order. I have to mention right here that I <3 my doctor - he is awesome. Anyway, we got to chatting and he told me that I'm probably just a bit stressed out about things like my mother-in-law being sick at the moment, the fact that we were involved in a car accident the other week when someone pulled out of a servo exit right in front of us, etc, but he said that he'd organise some blood tests anyway, just to be on the safe side. A couple of days later, I got a phone call from the receptionist asking me to come in for an appointment as the doctor wanted to discuss the results with me. For some strange reason, I thought that maybe my cholesterol was the issue.

Yesterday was the day of my appointment. I was wrong, it wasn't my cholesterol. It was my thyroid. Mucking around, I said to the doctor "Well, that explains why I'm still fat then", as having an under active thyroid can be somewhat common after having a baby. His response was that no it doesn't, because my thyroid is mildly over active. The normal course of treatment is to give medication to settle it down, but apparently the commonly given medication isn't recommended for use with breastfeeding women, so he has referred me on to see an endocrinologist. I also have to have more blood tests done and a thyroid ultrasound. Apparently it is normal to test thyroid function by being injected with radioactive dye then scanned, but that test is out because of me breastfeeding. Oh, and there were no results on any of the other tests the doctor had ordered because an abnormally functioning thyroid skews the results for things such as blood sugar and lipids (cholesterol).

The receptionist rang the offices of the endocrinologist that I had been referred to and the short version is that I would have to wait for four months to get in to see him. I feel like I've been turned into a road pizza now - I can't live like this for another four months! The receptionist (bless his soul), said that he'd have a chat to the doctor and call me back if he had anything new to tell me.

Later that afternoon, I got a call from the receptionist. He had spoken to the doctor who had suggested another endocrinologist, who had just happened to have a cancellation for next Tuesday! Yay! Of course, my thyroid ultrasound had been booked in for Wednesday, but one quick phone call got that changed to Monday.

I also rang my local Australian Breastfeeding Association's (ABA) group leader. I remembered her once mentioning someone, somewhere who was really up to speed with what medications are safe for breastfeeding women to take and who gives really good advice. With information in hand, I made a phone call. He assured me that due to Wombat being four months old as opposed to being a newborn and that my thyroid is only mildly overactive, that the normally prescribed medication should be safe in small doses. He did suggest that the endocrinologist would probably want to monitor the effect on Wombat by testing his blood, but he said that if it was affecting Wombat that I would notice anyway. If he was being affected by it he would become very lethargic and sleepy and that's when I would need to have a discussion with the endocrinologist about what to do with my medication. I was feeling a lot better about everything after that conversation.

Now, the internet can be a wonderful thing, but it can also be a bad thing. Once I started trying to read up on more information about my condition and the treatments for it, I started coming across all sorts of things that were getting me all stressed out. Things like thyroid cancer, for example. I know that I'm being irrational, but then I started wondering "what if". The treatment for thyroid cancer involves chemo with radioactive iodine, which would mean that I would have no choice but to wean. For someone who normally has an oversupply of milk and who would feel very ethically conflicted about feeding my child something that has to be heavily modified to come anywhere close to being an "acceptable" nutritional substitute for human breast milk, not to mention the unethical marketing behaviour that formula manufacturers partake in, it would be a hard thing to face. In the end, I decided that it's not worth worrying about. My doctor hasn't even mentioned cancer as a possibility and there's no point in getting worked up over a "what if".

Now my immediate concern is trying to find someone to look after Seagull for the day so I can drive to Melbourne for the appointment. Because our main car is out of action as a result of the accident, we only have my little butter box of a car to get around in. I can't fit the double pram in it, which means that I have nowhere to strap Seagull in when he decides that he's going to run around/get into shiny things/is tired. So far I've lucked out with all the people I've asked and even Seagull's childcare centre (he normally goes two days a week) can't take him that day because of staff:child ratios.

Do you want to know what sucks most of all about the situation? I'm breastfeeding, have an overactive thyroid, and I'm STILL fat!*

* In all honesty, I'm only about 10kg above my goal weight at the moment. I was about 5kg above my goal weight when I fell pregnant with Wombat and put on about 25kg through the pregnancy, so to have lost 15kg in four months is actually pretty good.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Why did I do it?

This post is going to involve a fair bit of back story, so please bear with me.

The real beginnings of this story go back to the mists of time, otherwise known as the year 2000. Through my involvement with the Australian Air Force Cadets (known as the Air Training Corps at the time), I happened to meet a boy that I quite liked. For a number of reasons, nothing happened of it, namely that he had a girlfriend at the time and I was still getting over my first boyfriend who broke my heart by dumping me on ICQ (sort of like MSN messenger or a text-based version of Skype), instead of having the balls to come dump me in person or at least by picking up the phone. Also, the fact that he lived in Sydney and I was living near Canberra at the time was somewhat of a consideration, given that we were both 16 at the time.

We did however, keep in occasional contact on ICQ as all the cool kids did back then. A few months later he told me that he'd broken up with his girlfriend a while ago and was rather interested in me. As my interest was very much reciprocated, we decided that we would be pursuing a long distance relationship. To facilitate this, I decided that I needed a mobile phone. As this was a few years before pre-paid phones took off, I had to convince my mum put her name on the contract. With that organised, we trundled off to Optus where I got my very first mobile phone. Optus was the carrier that all the teenage kids were using because they had a 20 minute free call period. The done thing was to ring someone for 19 minutes, hand up and ring back again for another 19 minutes. You could talk for hours this way without racking up a big phone bill.

The relationship didn't last for more than a few months, but getting my first mobile phone lead to a 10 year "love affair" with the same brand of phones. That is until about 2 years ago when I got my last phone of that particular brand. I started to feel that I needed to try something different. I had been thinking of getting an iPhone, but my stepfather talked me out of it and suggested getting a Samsung Galaxy S instead. I acquired one just before Christmas and fell in love with it instantly.

With the back story out of the way, we get to the reason for this post. I've been playing around with my new phone and downloading all sorts of apps and widgets to try. Prior to this point, Seagull was not in the least bit interested in my new phone. Until that fateful day where I downloaded a live aquarium wallpaper. Forgetting in one of my mother moments that Seagull is attracted to shiny things, I casually said "Hey!, look at the fishies on Mummy's phone!" Well, he thought the fishies were pretty cool, as I expected.

What I wasn't expecting, which in hindsight I really should have, was his complete fascination with the fishies. Now, every time he sees my phone he starts wailing "Fishies!" at the top of his voice. I don't mind him looking at the fish as such, but he tends to touch things on the screen. So far he has managed to call the cattery we have boarded the cats at in the past, his podiatrist and his Granny. Also, every time my phone rings he starts going on about the bloody fishies as I'm trying to answer it, which results in much noise and tears on his part and apologies for the noise to the person I'm trying to talk to on my part.

Why did I do it?

Friday, 18 February 2011

Where did my train go?

You know how when you're pregnant it seems to be a common occurrence to lose your train of thought in mid-sentence? Well, I'm sorry to say that two children later, it's still a common occurrence for me. I am constantly being sidetracked by goodness-knows-what in my subconscious that seems to think that it's a pretty neat thing to interrupt me in mid-sentence or even mid-thought. It's what I affectionately refer to as "mother moments". After all, you really can't blame it on baby brain when it's been 3 months since you gave birth, can you?

I know that there has been fairly recent research mentioned in the media that says that brain capacity is increased after having a baby and that loss of memory is just a figment of one's imagination. I would agree with that in that I have found it a lot easier to get myself organised and my time management is a lot better than it ever was before I had children. In saying that, I find that I get sidetracked by my thoughts a lot more often now than I used to. I suppose you have to be a lot more organised when you have two children as well as yourself to get ready every morning and there's going to be a trade-off for that somewhere in your thought processes.

Anyway, I guess I'd better explain how I found myself in the midst of having these mother moments. Just over two years ago, NYE 08 to be exact (yes, I have a NYE baby), I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. For the purposes of this blog, he shall henceforth be referred to as Seagull. Seagull, because he likes to beg for things - be they food, shiny objects or other miscellaneous stuff that myself or my husband may or may not currently have in our possession. Another addition to our family was born in Oct 10, another beautiful boy who I shall refer to as Wombat because he is very solid and oh-so-cuddly looking. I wouldn't be game to try and cuddle a real wombat, but I can assure you that my little boy is wonderfully cuddly.

I first occurred to me that my mother moments were here to stay when Seagull was about 12 weeks old. I was attending a university residential (yes, I am crazy enough to be studying AND having a young family) and I completely forgot the question I was wanting to ask my chemistry lecturer in mid-sentence. Fortunately, he was able to make a bit of a joke of it and told me that I was too young to be having senior's moments. It was at that moment that I coined the phrase "mother moments". I'm sure I'm not the first to have thought of it, but it seemed to be an appropriate name for what I was experiencing. It's still happening two years and two children later, so I guess my mother moments are here to stay.

P.S. Please bear with me while I try to figure out how to set up this blog. It's my first attempt at blogging and it's all a bit full-on to figure out in one go. :)