Thursday, 27 October 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Wombat!

Wow, I can't get over the fact that my baby turns 1 today. It really doesn't seem like it was that long ago that I was meeting him for the very first time. I remember looking at Wombat for the first time and thinking of how different he looked to Seagull at birth. Obviously, I didn't expect him to be a carbon copy of Seagull, but I suppose I expected Wombat to look more similar to Seagull than he did.

I really savoured the first four days that Wombat and I spent in the maternity ward at the local hospital. All the staff were really surprised at how quiet it was on the baby front, given the time of year. They were in no hurry to get rid of us and I was in no hurry to go home. I knew that I would not get as much one-on-one time with Wombat once we got home, so I made the most of the time we had in hospital just to marvel in the sight of him and to get to know him.

Getting home was interesting. I went from having had a really good routine in place to get Seagull and myself ready of a morning and only taking 30 minutes to get both of us ready to suddenly taking 2 hours to get all three of us ready. I put it down to feeling so smashed after the birth.

Seagull seemed to like his little brother from the beginning. I had spent a lot of my time while pregnant telling him that there was a bubby inside of Mummy. He used to like to lift my top up to expose my belly, then rub it to feel Wombat inside of me and say "Bubby". When he was done, he'd pull my top down and toddle away. Seagull did it soon after Wombat was born, while I had him in my arms. I explained to him that Bubby wasn't inside of Mummy anymore and that this is Bubby in Mummy's arms. Even now, he still calls Wombat "Bubby" as often as he calls him by his actual name.

Anyway, I was going to put up a couple of photos of Wombat from my phone, but I have just discovered that attempting to sync my phone with Samsung Kies on Sunday night has corrupted all of the images on my phone. If anyone knows how I can fix it, please leave a comment.

Edit: Don't worry, I just figured out that when I synched my phone on Sunday that instead of downloading all of my photos into Kies, it uploaded a heap of random images on my phone. The original pictures are still there and I am now deleting over 3300 of crap images off my phone. #mothermoment.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Painting the house

Thunder Maker and I bought the house we live in about a year prior to conceiving Seagull. It's a pretty big house and someone who had lived here previously had painted the walls in all the public areas a lovely shade of off-brown. Given that sarcasm is not immediately apparent in the written word, let me assure you that the shade of the paint leaves a lot to be desired. My main issue with it is that it makes the place seem dark and dingy.

After about a year, we decided that we couldn't live with the horrible colour and decided to repaint it. We spent a considerable amount of time at the paint counter of our local hardware store debating what colours we wanted to use. The lady at the paint counter thought that the way we argued debated over different colours was hilarious. In the end we bought some green paint and got to work on a feature wall in our dining area.

The feature wall looks gorgeous. We picked the particular shade of green that we used to compliment a painting that hangs on the wall and we were very pleased with our efforts. About a week later, I found out that I was pregnant with Seagull. Not one to let pregnancy get in the way of a project, we went back to the hardware shop and bought more paint to do the other walls.

 The green wall

Our intention had been to get to work on the remainder of the walls the following weekend, but I started feeling incredibly sick and couldn't stand for more than a few minutes without feeling faint so the painting was temporarily put on hold. By the time I started feeling better again in the second trimester, painting was fairly low down my priority list. To be honest, I think Thunder Maker may have had something to do with convincing me that painting whilst pregnant might not be the smartest move.

The 10 litre tin of paint has been sitting in my laundry since we first bought it. Seeing as we are moving in about 8 weeks time, I've put a rocket up Thunder Maker and told him that it needs to be done, especially as he wants to rent the house out. Today I got the tin of paint out and took it down to the hardware shop. The lady at the paint counter told me that she wasn't game to put it in the paint mixer because it was looking a bit rusted and she didn't feel like having to clean up 10L of paint if it exploded. I took it home and spent 30 minutes mixing it with a big stick.

Thunder Maker and I figured that we could probably get the longest wall done while the boys were asleep. Except they didn't stay asleep for very long. They must have used that sixth sense that kids seem to have for when you are doing something you don't want them involved in to know when to wake up. It was a nice day, so I turfed them both out in the back yard. Don't worry, we could see and hear them from where we were working.

The wall we decided to tackle today runs continuously for nearly the length of our entire house, starting in the dining room, going past the kitchen and finishing on the other end of the lounge room. We figured out pretty quickly that I am crap at operating a roller and that Thunder Maker isn't the greatest at cutting in the edges, so we swapped jobs. Thunder Maker still has to cut in the edges up higher because the wall meets the highest edge of the cathedral style roof and I am too short to reach up that high, even on a ladder. I'm telling you, cathedral ceilings suck big time. I would never buy a house with cathedral ceilings again.

 The corner of the cathedral ceiling. The whitish wall has just had its first coat of paint.

Between interruptions, I got all the cutting in done that I could reach and Thunder Maker got about 2/3 of the rolling done of the first coat of paint. Already the areas that have been done look a lot better. I was keen to get it finished, but Thunder Maker had had enough. I'm hoping that he decides to finish it off tomorrow while the boys are having their afternoon nap. Thunder Maker said that he is going to have a go at getting all the other walls done on Wednesday and Thursday while Seagull is at childcare and he only has one child to worry about.

Hopefully we don't get all sidetracked this time and actually get it done before we move. Hopefully we get it all done by next weekend. Wombat's birthday is on Thursday and we are having some friends over on the weekend for his birthday. I've told Thunder Maker that it has to be done by then because I'm not inviting people into our house with half-painted rooms.

Friday, 21 October 2011

My house smells like fresh cooking

I have a confession to make. I really don't like cooking. It's time consuming, it's messy and my food never comes out looking anything like the pretty pictures alongside the recipes. I've been known to go for weeks at a time ordering take away meals just to avoid cooking. When I say take away, I mean things like Mexican, Chinese or Indian, not junk food.

Thunder Maker doesn't have the greatest skills in the kitchen either. You'd think I could pick out a life partner who could actually cook, hey? I must admit though, I was rather caught up in the emotion of things when we first met rather than thinking with my stomach. Thunder Maker makes a pretty mean stir-fry but if I left all the cooking up to him, I'd be eating stir-fry three times a week. Thanks, but no thanks. I don't love stir-fry that much.

Quite by chance, I heard about a fantastic kitchen gadget called a Thermomix. It cooks, it chops, it does a heap of other stuff and I wanted one. Given that you don't get much change out of $2000 for one, I thought it would be hard to convince Thunder Maker, but he was surprisingly open to it. I organised to have an in-home demo and the rest is history.

I received my Thermomix nearly two weeks ago and I have used it at least once a day every day since. The very first thing I made in it was mango sorbet. I started making fresh bread earlier this week, using the Thermomix to mix/knead the bread. I made chocolate brownies earlier and I have bolognaise sauce cooking in it as I type.

I think what I like so much about it is that I only have one item to clean when I finish cooking. That and I have never owned a decent food processer before. Only a crappy one that cost me $70 and have barely used because it is so messy to use and really painful to clean.

I'm also enjoying being more inventive about what I cook. The recipe book that comes with the Thermomix has a good range of things to get started and I've also discovered the Recipe Thermomix forum. I now make a lot of things from scratch that I would never have attempted before such as my own vegetable stock concentrate (I have a big container of it sitting in the fridge) and grinding spices for curries.

Anyway, the Thermomix has just finished cooking my dinner, so I'm going to go serve up now, then have brownies for desert. :)

*I have not been paid or compensated in any way for this post. I'm just a very happy customer bragging spreading the love about something that has made cooking fun for me.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

I hate toilet training

Toilet training sucks balls. I can't begin to tell you how over it I am.

I've had my MIL asking since just before Seagull's first birthday when I was going to start toilet training him. Thankfully she lives too far away at the moment to be too much of a nuisance about it.

I've been wanting to toilet train Seagull since about March or April this year. I decided one day that I was just going to do it. After a whole Saturday spent going back and forth between the toilet and constantly cleaning up puddles that had been made two minutes after a toilet trip, I decided that Seagull wasn't quite ready to toilet train yet.

On the upside, Seagull got the whole toileting routine down pat. He loves to sit on the toilet. We have a special toilet seat with a step ladder attached to it and Seagull knows how to put it on the toilet. He is really good at pulling his undies down and climbing up onto the seat. He is really good at using toilet paper. Perhaps a little too good. We go through a lot of toilet paper when Seagull goes to the toilet. He's even got flushing the toilet and washing his hands afterwards down pat. He just won't urinate in the @#$%* toilet!

To be fair, we did have a couple of occasions the other week where Seagull seemed to be making a genuine effort and managed to squeeze out a few drops. Since then though, it's been more of the not going in the toilet, then wetting himself later on.

It's at this point that I wish I was at home with Seagull so that I could make a concerted effort to toilet train him. Thunder Maker, bless his cotton socks, is not very persistant or consistent with his toilet training efforts. I think the problem is that he is not very patient with poor Seagull and he gets very impatient with Seagull when he seems to want to use the toilet every 10 minutes, only to do nothing.

We have a potty for Seagull, but he point blank refuses to use it. I think it's because he knows we use the big toilet, so he wants to use it too.

I'm really feeling like we need to get this show on the road. We are moving in 8 weeks time and Seagull is due to start pre-school at the end of January. However, he can't start if he isn't toilet trained. I really want to get it all happening so that we aren't trying to toilet train Seagull during the move or at the very last minute while we are trying to unpack everything at the other end.

Tell me people, how the hell do I get a child to urinate in the toilet? He knows how to go through the toileting routine, he just doesn't seem to have worked out how to wee in the damn thing.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Am I really finished?

I have only ever wanted to have two children. Preferably of the same sex. I have all of that now. I found pregnancy really hard both times and was so glad to have it over and done with after Wombat. Yet now that Wombat is nearly a year old (less than two weeks to go!), I find myself wanting another baby.

I had a chat with Thunder Maker about it the other day and he got rather excited. He has never made any secret of the fact that he would love to have three children, but he was happy enough to stop because that was what I wanted.

I think part of my desire to have another baby stems from the fact that Wombat is now at the age that Seagull was when we first decided that we would start trying for another baby sooner rather than later. We ended up waiting another couple of months so that I wouldn't be pregnant at my sister-in-law's wedding. I suppose it just feels natural to me to be considering having another baby at this point in time.

I know that now is really not a good time to seriously be considering adding to my family. We are moving in about 8 weeks time, I am doing three subjects over summer term so that I can continue to study part time and still finish second year in one year. For that matter, I have to finish uni, full stop. Then there is the practical consideration of not having a car that is capable of holding three car seats and not being able to afford to buy one that does. I drive a hatchback and Thunder Maker drives a dual cab ute.

Even if all of that wasn't an issue, Wombat still breastfeeds at night and I have lactation induced amenorrhoea. That means I don't ovulate. I'll just back quietly away now before you all have a chance to sharpen your pitchforks and aim them in my direction. Anyway, even if I was really keen to have another baby right now, I can't.

To be honest, with all of my long term plans, I'm not really sure where I would find time to fit having another baby into the scheme. That's probably not the best way of expressing it, but the way I see it, I already have two beautiful healthy children. I will hopefully finish uni by the end of 2013, then I want to start putting my degree to good use, so I will need to be working for at least a year to qualify for maternity leave.

I wonder if leaving it that long would be a good idea, given that Seagull and Wombat would be 6 and 4 respectively before we even started trying again. Also, Thunder Maker is 12 years older than me which would make him 43. I wonder if that is asking too much of him.

Anyway, Thunder Maker and I came to the conclusion that we are open to the idea of having another baby, but we are not going to actively consider or pursue it at any point in the foreseeable future.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Have you missed me?

Hi, missed me? I know there's been a lot of tumbleweed gathering in this little corner of the blogosphere lately. What can I say, life got in the way. Between being back at work, looking after my family, studying three subjects for uni this sememster, going to residential school for uni, and organising our move for the end of the year, things have been very hectic. On the upside, I have now done two of my uni exams and my last one is on Monday morning. So long first year! Don't let the door hit your backside on the way out!

Of course, never being one to do things by halves, I decided to check the uni handbook just on the off-chance they'd be offering any of my second year subjects over the summer term. They are! I have enrolled to do three subjects over summer term. This way I can finish second year in the same amount of time as a full time student. Mind you, I realised that the handbook for next year has been released and upon checking it discovered that one of the subjects I've enrolled in is now down as a third year subject instead of a second year subject. Meh. No biggie.

I like the look of the newer subject offerings for my course, but I really wish CQU would just leave it alone for a while and stop changing my subject offerings every single year. On the plus side, at least they are striving to improve their courses. On the minus side, it makes it harder for me to keep up and work out what I actually need to do.

The kids are doing really well at the moment. Wombat started walking the other week. Bang on 11 months. Seagull didn't start walking until he was about 14 months and while I was expecting Wombat to walk earlier than Seagull did, I wasn't expecting it quite so soon. In saying that, Wombat absolutely adores Seagull (and it is very much reciprocated) and just wants to be able to follow him around. He always has the biggest smile on his face whenever he staggers around the lounge room.

Seagull is being a typical two (and 3/4) year old. He's always been fairly headstrong and he is at that age where it has been intensified 100-fold. He is getting better as his language skills develop but I am so over the constant squealing, yelling and whinging. Seagull does come out with some pearlers though. Last night I was getting the boys ready for bed and went to look for Seagull's pyjamas. He yelled out after me "No jamies, Mummy! I want chocolate!"

Thunder Maker is enjoying being at home with the boys. It has been great to see the bond between him and the boys become a closer one. I come home on most days at lunchtime to breastfeed Wombat. His little face lights up when he sees me and he bobs up and down on the spot, huffing and puffing until I pick him up, take him to the lounge and offer him a feed.

A few weeks ago I talked Thunder Maker into going out for lunch on a Saturday. I'm really glad I pushed the issue, because someone who knew him from when he was in the RAAF approached him and asked him what he was doing with himself at the moment. When Thunder Maker said that he is a stay-at-home Dad, he asked him if he would be interested in doing some training development work for a company that he is starting up. Thunder Maker was very keen on the idea. The bloke got back to him on Thursday afternoon and asked if he was still interested and organised a meeting for yesterday.

Thunder Maker went to the meeting yesterday and was very happy with what was offered. He is going to be able to work from home and he doesn't even need to be living in our current location, so will be able to work from home for this bloke's company when we move at the end of the year. We're still not sure what the work load is going to be like, as it is going to be on a contract basis, but Thunder Maker is feeling very optimistic about it. Even if it isn't a full time load, hopefully Thunder Maker will be able to pick up other contracts that enable him to work from home.

Anyway, that's a snapshot of what has been happening in my life over the last few months. I hope to be bringing you more tales of shenannigans and Seagull Gold quotes on a more regular basis.