Saturday, 20 October 2012

Wombat has grommets! And no adenoids.

It appears that my body has finally adjusted to waking up at 5:40am during the week. So much so, that I can't sleep in much past that time on the weekend. Unless I deliberately push myself to stay up late, and if I do that, I pay for it the next week.

As I was snuggling in bed next to my Wombat, it occurred to me that I hadn't yet gotten around to blogging about his surgery, so I figure I may as well do it now while the day is quiet and all my boys are still sleeping.

Wombat had grommets put into both of his ear drums and also had his adenoids removed. We had to be at the hospital at 7:30am for admission and Seagull had to be dropped off at childcare on the way. It takes about 30 minutes to drive from the childcare centre to the hospital Wombat had his operation at, and the childcare centre opens at 6:45am, so the timing was always going to be tight. Fortunately, Seagull woke up early by himself on Thursday morning and after the most brief of power struggles, he chose to dress himself rather than have me do it for him.

We managed to make it to the hospital right on 7:30am and found out where we had to go. Wombat was the first surgical patient for the day. There was a few forms I had to sign, then we went to a waiting area where I was provided with a gown, head, and shoe coverings, then the anaesthetist came to discuss his role with us.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Wombat playing with Thunder Maker's phone pre-surgery

Soon afterwards, a nurse came to collect Wombat and I to take us to the operating theatre. Once we were there, she asked me to hold Wombat in my lap so that he was facing to my right. The anaesthetist then came to put the mask over Wombat's face. He didn't like it and really struggled, but myself and the nurse held his hands out of the way. He was crying, but after a few seconds I could see that the gas was starting to work. After a few more seconds Wombat stopped crying and went all limp. I helped the anaesthetist and the nurse get Wombat onto the table, then I gave him a kiss and said goodbye, and went to wait with Thunder Maker in the waiting area.

After about 45 minutes, a nurse came to get me. He took me to the post operative recovery area. As I walked into the room, I could see that Wombat was crying and he was being held by the Nursing Unit Manager (NUM). Once I got to them, the NUM handed Wombat over to me. As soon as I gave Wombat a cuddle, he stopped crying. I was provided with a comfy chair, so I sat on it and continued to give Wombat cuddles.

Wombat seemed to be really fidgety and was rolling his face back and forth over my chest. The NUM explained that the anaesthetic can make the nose itchy, so Wombat was just trying to scratch it. She explained that Wombat was getting paracetamol through his IV line, but asked if I thought he needed something else, as she had a stronger pain killer drawn up that she could put into his line. I felt that he looked like he could do with it, so the NUM found an access point in the line near Wombat's foot (which is where it had been inserted) and gave him the medication.

Wombat seemed to settle down after that and went to sleep on me. Until I needed to get up to go to the toilet about an hour later. I thought it would be safe to transfer the sleeping Wombat onto the bed. I was wrong. He woke up and started howling. When I got back, the male nurse (who shall remain anonymous) who worked in the post-op recovery area was cuddling Wombat. Apparently he had thrashed around so much, they needed to get the male nurse to hold Wombat as he was the only one with enough strength to hold him.

It was about the time I got back that Wombat discovered the IV line in his foot. He then spent the next 20 minutes trying to get it out with the nurses and myself trying just as hard to stop him. Wombat and I got moved to an area around the corner where there was a TV. The nurse put on ABC 4 Kids for Wombat and went to get him some green jelly.

Once Wombat ate all of the jelly, the NUM came to take the IV line out of Wombat's foot. Once that was done, we got to move to another recovery area where Thunder Maker was able to join us and I was able to de-gown. We got to sit on reclining chairs in front of a TV, and Wombat was given ice cream and more green jelly. After about 45 minutes, we were allowed to go home.

Wombat fell asleep in the car on the way home, and we were able to move him into bed without waking him, where he slept for another couple of hours.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Sleepy Wombat. His sticker says 'Star Patient'. Wombat likes stars.

We have to make sure that we keep Wombat's ears dry, so I went and bought some ear putty that afternoon. We will be getting custom made earplugs made for him, but the lady who makes them in our area is on holidays and won't be back until late next week. In the meantime, I figure that ear putty will do the job just fine. I had bought Wombat a silicon swimming cap from the centre where the boys have their swimming lessons, and I decided to put it on Wombat as another layer of water protection in the bath.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
As you can see, Wombat is really thrilled about his swimming cap.

About 30 seconds after this photo was taken, Wombat ripped the swimming cap off. As he didn't seem to be too worried about the ear putty, I just made sure he didn't get his head wet and let him stay in the bath.

We have this weekend off swimming lessons as neither of the boys are allowed to swim. Seagull's reason for not being allowed to swim is a whole other post for another day.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Wombat is getting grommets!

So much has been happening since I last blogged. Now that uni is more or less finished for the year (hopefully I my application for deferrment for the exam I missed due to gastro gets approved), I have a bit more time to myself and I plan to use it to blog more often.

My big news is that Wombat got bumped up the list to visit the ENT surgeon. Our initial appointment was for mid-November, but I got a phone call on Friday 5 Sep asking if I could bring Wombat in on Monday. Um, hell yes!

At the appointment, the ENT surgeon said that as Wombat had been suffering from a runny nose for 12 months and his hearing has been affected for so long, she wasn't going to stuff around with prescribing a month long course of antibiotics, and recommended bilateral grommets and an adenoidectomy. I'm paraphrasing here, and more was said, but that was the essence of the discussion.

The ENT surgeon said we could more or less choose our own date, but the soonest she could fit us in was 18 Oct. I immediately booked Wombat in for 18 Oct. It was such a relief to have my suspicions confirmed and to have a definite date to have Wombat fixed up.

The eve of Wombat's surgery is now upon us. I got an SMS from the hospital this afternoon to advise that Wombat is scheduled for admission at 7:30am. I'm mostly excited and just a little nervous. I'm really looking forward to having two children who can hear properly.

I'll keep you posted about Wombat's progress after the surgery.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Wombat's hearing test

So, you want to take a guess at why I've been MIA lately? Yep, uni. I can't promise it won't happen again between now and mid-October when I'll have finished my exams and my second (!) year of uni. Doing three subjects a term while working full time and looking after two young children doesn't leave me with much spare time for blogging.

In saying that, I do still check my RSS feed every day and read all my favourite blogs. I was reading a post by Tara at Our Whirlwind Adventures last week about how Master S had hearing difficulties, and it made me think a lot about our own situation with Wombat.

I mentioned back in March that we had taken Wombat to a speech pathologist because he wasn't talking much. We did the exercises with Wombat that the speech pathologist had recommended. For a while, he seemed to be making more of an effort to talk. When the speech pathologist rang after a month to see how we were going, I told her that I felt that we were making some progress. We organised for her to call again and check up on us in three months time.

Fast forward to three months later, and I mentioned in the follow-up call that Wombat was speaking more, but he still wasn't speaking as much as I thought he should be for his age. We organised a review appointment, which took place a few weeks ago.

As Wombat and Seagull were both in child care, Thunder Maker and I picked both of them up to take to the appointment. Seagull tried to take over and make it all about him. Wombat started majorly beating the shit out of Seagull. Seagull and Thunder Maker were ejected from the building so the speech pathologist could interact with Wombat uninterrupted. We agreed that as useful as it was for her to see the interaction between the two of them, Seagull would be kept well away from any further appointments.

It was mentioned at our initial appointment back in March that it would be worth getting Wombat's hearing checked, just to make sure it was OK. We were a bit short on funds at the time and Thunder Maker said that we didn't need to have Wombat's hearing checked, as he responds to us asking him to do things all the time. Me explaining that a child with glue ear still has some level of hearing fell on deaf ears. Yeah, I went there.

Anyway, after our last speech pathology appointment, I put my foot down and said that we really needed to get Wombat's hearing checked. I went ahead and made the appointment. Wombat had that appointment this afternoon.

Thunder Maker took Wombat to the appointment. When I got home from work, Thunder Maker said that Wombat's test had revealed that he has significant hearing loss. They weren't able to complete the pressure test, as Wombat wouldn't hold his head still, but the audiologists said that the fact that Wombat has been a mobile snot factory since he was about 8 months old probably means that he has quite a bit of fluid in his ears.

The audiologists are apparently going to forward the report to our GP, so we need to make an appointment with her to get a referral to an ENT specialist.

I know this sounds horrible, but I'm glad Wombat has something wrong with his hearing. At least now we have a reason for why he doesn't talk much, and we can get it fixed.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Just keep running, running, running

I've been doing quite a bit of running lately. It started around the time that I had to stop going to my fitness classes because I could no longer afford the fees.

I had been thinking that I needed to find the motivation to do something by myself and kept telling myself that I would go out for a run of an evening. Then the evening would roll around and I didn't want to do anything other than get comfy, watch TV and go to bed.

One evening after dinner I was about to go and get a glass of red when I realised that I'd been telling myself all day that I would go for a run that evening. I realised that if I had a glass of wine that there is no way I'd be able to run afterward, so I dragged my arse off the lounge, got changed, grabbed my iPhone, stuck it in my arm band holder and got running. I wasn't starting completely from scratch fitness-wise, but it's been a while since I've run any sort of distance and I was feeling a bit apprehensive.

I had no real plan in mind, I just decided to run and see where it took me. I know my general area well enough to know what direction I need to get back home, so I just cruised along and followed my nose. When I felt like I'd been out for long enough, I started to head back home. I decided to have that glass of red when I got back home.

Going for a run felt so good that I've been doing it most nights since except for the week I spent on night shift at work. I enjoy the feeling of being out of an evening getting very little some speed up, getting my heart rate up, and most importantly, it's the only 30-45 minutes of my entire day that I get all to myself. It's the having a small amount of time all to myself that I enjoy the most.

On the nights I don't run, either because I've done PT at work that day, or I'm having a rest day, I really miss it. I know I do need to have rest days, but I still feel guilty that I'm not out doing something.

I've been finding that I'm able to run faster and further even just in the few weeks that I've been running regularly. It's a wonderful feeling. I find that listening to music while I run is a great way to keep myself going as I tend to listen to music that is reasonably fast and has a good beat to it.

On Friday night when I got back from my run, I decided to jump on Facebook. One of my friends had posted up a link about early bird entry for the City 2 Surf and it ended at midnight. On a whim, I decided to enter. I figure it gives me something to aim toward and gives me another reason to keep pushing myself to run faster and further. I'm crapping myself slightly at the thought of Heartbreak Hill though.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

The unwelcome visitor

Normally I like visitors. Not this one though. This particular visitor stopped coming just over four years ago and to say I was glad is an understatement.

However, I started noticing signs a couple of weeks ago that this particular visitor was probably going to be paying me a visit again soon - the mucus, the constant foul mood, a buttload of bloating and constipation.

This afternoon, I discovered that my feeling had been correct. Aunty Flow has returned. Three shifts in a seven week period was probably enough to throw Wombat's breastfeeding pattern out of whack enough that Mama Progesterone was able to get a foothold and get Sister Ovulation started again. Or, you know, maybe it was just my time. Whatever.

Right now I am trying to get the hang of using a menstrual cup and trying to figure out what the hell I can take for period pain that is compatible with breastfeeding. I've always had heavy, painful periods and being on the pill largely stopped that. However, I'm not overly keen on going on any form of the pill while breastfeeding as I don't want the hormones passing through my milk to Wombat.

After four years without a period, it all feels a bit new to me. I suppose I'll figure it out as I go along though. This menstrual cup had better bloody work properly.

What do you take for period pain? Did you find your periods changed after having children?

Thursday, 3 May 2012

25 things you may or may not know about me

So, seeing as I have been all sharing and unveiling myself-like lately, I figured that it was only fair that I share some more. Below is a list of things that you may or may not know about me. Probably not, though.

1. My favourite fruit is watermelon. There's something about sitting on the back lawn on a Summer's afternoon with a massive wedge of watermelon and a knife to cut chunks off and flick the seeds out with that I have always loved.

2. I've always believed that you have to love yourself and be comfortable in your own sking before anyone else is able to love you.

3. My favourite colour is green. It tends to be hard to find green clothing, but I always have my eye out for it.

4. I'm very much into wearing jeans. It is rare to see me wearing anything other than jeans on the lower half of my body in the cooler months. Even in Summer, I often wear denim shorts.

5. I hate the colour pink. Blech!

6. I find red hair attractive.

7. The only electronic game I have ever finished in it's entirity is Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4 on my iPad. Oh, and Cosmo Part 1. I was never able to find parts 2 and 3.

8. I used to wear my hair in a French roll to school nearly every day in year 10. Then I cut it short for the first time at the end of the year after the formal.

9. The first cassette I ever owned was ABBA Gold.

10. The first and only record I ever owned was a Chipmunks record. I'm pretty sure my Dad still has it somewhere.

11. I loved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a child. Donatello was my favourite turtle. It took me years to figure out that Krang was meant to be a brain. I always thought he was just some pink blobby thing. Oh, and the new version of it sucks. April is meant to be a reporter, not a scientist, damnit!

12. I have not had a period in over 4 years. Pregnancy and lactation inducced amenorhea FTW!

13. My Dad picked my first name after his favourite character off some poxy 80's cop show. He wanted to name one of my sisters Britney after Britney Spears. Thankfully, I talked him out of that one.

14. I wear glasses because I am long-sighted. I'm currently going through my 'nerd glasses' phase.

15. I used to play netball. My position was WD, although I played GK for one season when my team lost all but 3 of our players to another team and all of our new players played attack positions. We always smashed the team with all of the deserters in it whenever we played them.

16. I don't wear silver. Except for my Pandora bracelet, but that's only because I really wanted one and can't afford the $$$ for a gold one. Otherwise, I'm strictly a yellow/rose gold girl.

17. My all-time favourite song is 'Kryptonite' by 3 Doors Down.

18. I like to make my own clothes. Unfortunately, I don't get the time to sew much these days.

19. I'm currently studying Medical Science with a Nutrition major. I eventually want to specialise in paediatric nutrition and become a lactation consultant. I have no interest in working with middle aged people with chronic lifestyle diseases.

20. I had my ears pierced when I was 3. Mum was friends with the jeweller and he was always asking if he could do it. Instead of saying 'no' like she always did, Mum told him one day to ask me. The rest, as they say, is history.

21. I can't stand having my navel touched. Ever since I had a laparoscopy when I was 19, even touching it myself makes my skin crawl.

22. I have (more or less) perfectly straight teeth and have never worn braces. I have also never had a filling. The only dental work I've ever had done was having my wisdom teeth out.

23. I have really small hands and feet.

24. I'd love a tattoo symbolising my boys, but I'm worried that if I got one, I'd end up hating it.

25. I tend to swear in conversation. For some reason though, I can't bring myself to do it when writing. I feel like it will come across as being forced. I suppose I take myself a lot more seriously in written form than I otherwise would.

So there you have it. A list of stuff that you probably didn't know about me. Or really need to know for that matter, but meh, this is my blog and I'll write what I damn well want to write on it.

Is there anything interesting about yourself that you feel like sharing while you're here?

Monday, 30 April 2012

My weight loss project - the start

I’ve been reading Tina’s blog for a while and have been eagerly following her weight loss journey. I am so inspired that she is making an active effort to change her lifestyle, sticking with it and seeing some impressive results. Tina still has a way to go to reach her end goal, but she is not giving up and that’s what I find particularly inspiring.

I want to lose weight to reduce my risk of developing chronic diseases. My maternal grandmother is overweight and has cardiovascular problems and has developed type 2 diabetes that no longer responds to diet, so she is on insulin. My mother is also overweight and has been diagnosed as being pre-diabetic. Mum has also had problems with high blood pressure. If I don’t lose some weight, that will be me in another 20 – 40 years.

I also want to set a good example for Seagull and Wombat. I want them to know that exercise and eating healthy nutrient-rich, low energy foods are important to living a healthy life.

In addition to the above, I’m studying Nutrition at uni. I would like to work as a Nutritionist once I finish uni. How much credibility do you think a fat Nutritionist has?

I have decided to blog weekly to document my weight loss and to keep myself accountable. In addition to weighing myself, I will be taking waist and hip measurements. I’ve decided not to measure my bust because I am breastfeeding and my bust measurement can vary a lot depending on when Wombat last breastfed.

My goals are to get down to 60kg and to get my waist measurement down to 75cm.

My starting measurements are:

Starting weight

Weight: 69.3kg
Waist: 85cm
Hips: 101cm

Between not feeling very well lately and working 17 days out of the last 21, 14 of them being either a late or early shift, I've been making up plenty of excuses not to exercise. I've been going to Step Into Life outdoor group personal training sessions since April last year.

With this week off work, I decided that I would go to a few extra Step Into Life sessions, starting with the 6:15am Monday boxercise class. When I woke up just after 5am this morning, I started coming up with every excuse in the book not to go. I was exhausted after coming off shift, I needed the sleep, the glands in my neck were coming up, Wombat wanted a feed and I probably wouldn’t make it out the door in time.

Then I thought to myself “I’d bet that Tina wouldn’t give up so easily”. That did it, I kicked Wombat off the breast (who promptly went back to sleep) when my alarm went off at 5:20am, weighed myself, got dressed, grabbed my gear and got out the door.

In the end, I was really glad I went. There's something deeply satisfying about exercising whilst the sun is coming up. The glands in my neck still feel sore, but at least I'm getting back on the wagon.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

This is me

I've been thinking a lot about my blog over the last few weeks and wondering if blogging anonomously is really what I want to be doing.

I have had my reasons for wanting to keep my identity a secret, but suddenly they don't seem so important anymore.

I love reading and commenting on other people's blogs, but I feel that it is hard for me to make a connection with other people while I am holding something of myself back. Sure, I blog and comment on other blogs honestly and from the heart, but people like to know who they are conversing with.

To that end, I have decided to reveal myself. Hi everyone, my name is Mel and this is me.

ANZAC Day 2009

This photo is a few years old now, but it's one of my favourites. I was on maternity leave at the time, hence I wasn't marching, but Thunder Maker was still in the RAAF back then and was the catafaulque party commander for the service in one of the towns we were living near at the time. Seagull is "wearing" his hat.

Jan 2012
This is a more recent photo and was taken just after we moved into the house we are living in now.

There you have it. This is me. Feel free to delurk and say hi. :)

Monday, 23 April 2012

Funny stuff Seagull says and does

Seagull says and does some really funny things. That's probably a good thing because there are times where he really pushes my buttons.

Over the last few weeks, Seagull's comments and actions have included:

"No, Daddy, 3 minutes!"
Said when Thunder Maker put Seagull on the 'time out' chair and told him to stay there for 2 minutes. He knows that 'time out' lasts for 3 minutes.

"I'm a boy and Wombat's a chub chub!"

Instigating a raspberry blowing competition with Wombat on my stomach. Wombat performed admirably, but Seagull won because his sounded the most like farts.

"Hello! I'm eating marshmallows".
To some random stranger at a cafe.

Thunder Maker had to have a conversation with me because Seagull had been exploring his body. By giving himself an anal probe with the stylus from his magnetic drawing board.

The teachers at Seagull's pre school pulled out some hot pink nail polish to do some nail painting. Seagull rushed to be the first in line.

Me: "Boys have a penis and girls have a vagina".
Seagull: "Pyjanamals!"

"Mummy, can you read 'Stinky Malinki' to me?"

Picking up Seagull from pre school one day:
Me: "What did you do today?"
Seagull: "I go see girls".
He gave me a cute smile and batted his insanely long eyelashes as he said it too.

"Oh, shit!"
Seagull's reaction to Thunder Maker nearly cleaning up a P plater who tried to cut us off.

"I'm a pirate!"
He was wearing a pair of Thunder Maker's boxers as a neckwarmer at the time and jumping up and down on my bed.

"Wombat, we do not bite! Keep your mouth to yourself!"

"Look Mummy! Spider-ants!"
Despite me telling Seagull that they are ants, not spider-ants on countless occasions, he still insists on calling them spider-ants.

Like I said before, it's a good thing he's funny...

Saturday, 21 April 2012


As usual, when I take a break from blogging, it's not because it's planned or because I wanted to. I've just been drowning in a sea of overload.

I've been stupidly busy over the last couple of months. I've finally realised that taking on three subjects at uni while settling into a new unit, a new location, a new house and having two small children to look after is too much. Unfortunately, it is way too late in the term to do anything about it now except get my assignments done, cram for the one subject that has an exam and take the hint to slow down more seriously next term.

In the meantime, I've found I've been dropping the ball in all areas of my life. Working a 7 day late shift at work in the same week as I had two assignments due, one of which I'd actually stuffed up on the submission date and was fortunately given an extra week to do it, doesn't help. To be fair, late shift consists of clicking a few buttons if/when things fail and is otherwise a buttload of boring, so I used the time to get my assignments done.

Now that I've got the assignments done and handed in, and I have recovered from last week's late shift, I'm finally feeling like I'm getting on top of it all. I still have some online multiple choice quizzes to do for one of my subjects, weekly e-Journal submissions to do for the second subject and I also have a group assignment and some more multiple choice quizzes to do for the third subject. Wow, you realise your life is messed up when what I have left to do for the term doesn't sound like much at all.

Next week I scored someone else's 7 day early shift at work. On the plus side, I get a whole week off work afterward. Actually I get two weeks because I have to go to residential school for uni. However, my first week off is what I'm really hanging out for.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Wombat the chatterbox

The other week I was blogging about how I didn't feel like I had as much of a connection with Wombat as I would like, among other things. In that post I mentioned that Wombat doesn't talk much and that I was going to make an appointment to see a speech pathologist. Well, last week we went to see one.

We had to swing by Seagull's pre-school, which is on base to drop him off first. As we were leaving the base, Wombat had a really confused look on his face. I suppose he was wondering why we weren't dropping him off at childcare.

I wasn't too sure what to expect. The speech pathologist had a few toys and books set up on her table. Wombat was interested and was given a toy train to play with while Thunder Maker and I had a chat with the speech pathologist.

Wombat went back to the table, but all of the toys were out of his reach. The speech pathologist grabbed the toy that Wombat wanted and sat down on the floor to play with him. Over the hour of our appointment, they played with several toys. Wombat also came over to me at one point and was getting a bit whingy, so I started jigging him up and down on my knee and singing a song that he likes. It goes:

Giddy up, giddy up, giddy up horsey!
Giddy up, giddy up, GO GO GO!
Giddy up, giddy up, giddy up horsey!
Giddy up, giddy up, WHOA!

By the way, you know you've been singing that song way too much when you catch yourself singing it while on weekend shift at work. At least there was no one else around to hear it. Anyway.

The speech pathologist suggested that I don't start singing the song until Wombat indicates that he wants me to. At the moment, his approximation of "giddy up" is "g g g" while he jigs up and down on my knee. It's pretty cute. I also have to stop just before the "GO GO GO" bit until Wombat says it to me. Again, all I get is "g g g", but the speech pathologist says that's OK. At least he is trying.

After a few more pieces of advice, we headed back to the base to drop Wombat off at childcare. We got there right as lunch was being served up so he was a very happy little boy.

Since the appointment, something seems to have clicked with Wombat and he is trying to communicate so much more. He's started going through the stage of handing me things and saying "Ta". He is generally coming up to me much more to initiate play.

However, I've also realised that whenever we sit down to play, Seagull is butting in and sort of taking over. Obviously, he is not doing it for any other reason than he wants to be involved, but it means that Wombat doesn't get as much of an opportunity to practice his speech. Right now I am trying to figure out how I can play more with Wombat in a way that is going to improve his speech without Seagull butting in. All I have been able to come up with is to tell Seagull that he needs to be quiet and let Wombat have a turn.

One unexpected consequence of Wombat's efforts to communicate is that I feel like we are bonding really well with each other. It feels like we are on the same wavelength without any interferrence for once. I've spent so much time watching Wombat sleeping lately just marvelling at how cute and peaceful he looks.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Why I don't have to change nappies

Until Thursday, this was taking up prime real estate on the dorsal surface back of my wrist:

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Ganglion cyst, a.k.a. "big ugly lump"

It first took up residence a few weeks after Wombat was born. I freaked out at first, not knowing what the hell it was. Fortunately, I had an appointment with my doctor about something else the day after I noticed it.

The doctor told me that it was a ganglion cyst and that if I wanted it gone, that I would need to have surgery. He also told me that they can come back after surgery and that if it wasn't hurting me that I should just leave it alone. It was hurting to get Wombat in and out of his car seat at the time, but he was only a few weeks old and I didn't want to have to manage the logistics of breastfeeding and general anaesthesia, so I decided to leave it alone.

A couple of months later, it went away. Then it came back again later that day.

I left it alone for over a year, but I eventually found that I was losing strength in my wrist. I decided to go see a doctor about it once I started work at my new posting location.

I was referred to an osteosurgeon who specialises in upper limb surgery and he booked me in to have it removed. Thursday just gone was that day.

On the way to my appointment, I told Seagull that I was going to have the big ugly lump removed from the back of my hand. Seagull said "big u- lump". It was pretty cute.

I was booked in to go into surgery at 5pm, but predictably, I didn't go in until 6pm. Given that the surgery took place at a place that was nearly an hour from home, Thunder Maker had to bring the boys with him. There was a Hungry Jacks just down the road so the plan was for Thunder Maker to take them there for dinner and let them play on the play equipment there for as long as they would stay amused on it. The play equipment turned out to be designed for larger/older children than Seagull and Wombat, so the visit was short-lived.

I remember the anaesthetist taking a while to find a vein in the back of my hand and telling him that he may struggle to find anything. Then he slipped the needle into the back of my hand. I then had a little conversation with him and the anaesthetist nurse about how I hate anything involving needles at work because the RAAF medics always struggle to find my veins and I end up walking out with 5 puncture sites after having to have blood taken.

I remember being told that normally they wouldn't run saline through a patient having my procedure done, but because I'm breastfeeding and I'd been fasting for the last 8 hours that they would put one through me so that my milk supply wouldn't be too badly affected. I was also told to pump and dump the first lot of milk so that Wombat wouldn't be drugged out by it, but that he would be fine to breastfeed after that.

It was at about this point that I realised the anaesthetic was starting to kick in. Next thing I knew, I was in recovery trying to see what time it was. My wrist was bandaged up and feeling sore and cold. I snuggled it in under the blanket. The nurse was really nice and noticed that I was cold. It was time to move me into the post recovery area, so the nurse grabbed me a warmed blanket and swapped it over as she was getting me settled into a nice comfy chair.

Once I'd had a sandwich and a cup of tea, the nurse helped me to get dressed. I was really grateful to have someone to do up my bra because that wasn't going to happen if I'd had to do it myself.

When I was dressed, the nurse brought Thunder Maker and the boys in to give us the post-op information. After that, we were free to go.

Fortunately it really hasn't been that sore. Especially given that I'm allergic to all the good painkillers like Panadeine and Panadeine Forte.

Yesterday I was getting my breakfast when I looked at what I can actually see of the back of my hand. My reaction was WTF?!

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Note the blue/purple bruising. Not that you can see it, but it is really swollen too.
I started popping neurofen in an effort to get the swelling down. I'm not too sure that it's really worked because this is what I woke up to this morning:

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Swollen and blue up to my knuckles. Trust me, the real thing looks more impressive than this picture.
I decided it was time to take my rings off. By the way, the only reason I'm not grossing you all out with pictures of my stitches is because my stupid bandage has to stay on until I go back to have the stitches out. I'm suspecting the bandage is going to look pretty manky by the Monday after next.

The best thing about all of this is having a legitimate excuse for not having to change nappies.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

A room a day - Seagull and Wombat's bedroom

I really hate cleaning. I do the absolute bare minimum as far as cleaning goes. Most of my efforts involve making sure that everyone's clothes are washed regularly so that we all have clean stuff to wear and rinsing cooking equipment/plates off so that they are easier for Thunder Maker to wash.

I've largely left the unpacking of boxes to Thunder Maker. My rationale is that most of the stuff in the boxes is his crap that he has to sort through and throw most of it out anyway, so why bother getting involved. This has meant that the boy's bedroom has been crammed with boxes and no one has been able to get in there. They have been snuggling with us overnight, which is no different to before we moved, but Thunder Maker has been complaining about the lack of room in our bed lately.

The straw that really broke the camel's back though was going to visit some of our friends last week. They were posted at the same base as me until the end of last year and they got posted to the same base this year that I am now at. Their daughter and Seagull are really good friends, so we were excited that they were coming up here too. For reasons that I'm not going to go into here, they had a lot of trouble finding a house, so they moved up here about a month after us.

When we went to visit them last week, there was not a box anywhere in their house to be seen. It made me really ashamed that we are nowhere near fully unpacked and that our house is not in a fit state to invite guests into. It made me want to get our house fully sorted so that we are able to invite people over. It also made me realise that I've only got a few weeks to go until an old mate of mine from school comes to visit us and the guest room is so full of boxes that no one is even able to walk past the door way of the room.

I resolved that I was going to concentrate on one room a day until the house is presentable. Some rooms are going to take me more than one day to sort but I will stick to that one room until it is sorted.

I was woken up by Wombat wanting a breastfeed this morning. It was 7:20am by the time Wombat rolled off and went back to sleep. I was wide awake, so I decided to get up and do some study for the coming uni term. Then I changed my mind and decided to clean up the boy's room instead.

The room actually wasn't too cluttered, it's just a really small room. We have moved from a four bedroom house with a study to a three bedroom house, so we decided to put the boys together in the smallest room and use the third bedroom as a guest room.

Anyway, the first thing I had to do was move a box marked 'lounge', two suitcases and the bassinette out of the room. The bassinette got shoved into the third room and the rest was left in the hallway. Then I had to unpack two boxes of clothes (most of which are too small for the boys and are now in bags to go to the Salvo's) and a box of toys.

Seagull woke up when I had one box left to go, so the floor was clear and he was able to get in. When I told him that Mummy was cleaning up his room, Seagull's face lit up. He stayed around for a while to watch before going to find his Dad so he could seagull some breakfast.

Once I had the boxes and their contents cleared off Seagull's bed, I was able to make it up. I knew where the sheets were, but realised that the doona is still in a box somewhere. Not that it really matters, because it isn't dropping below 18 degrees at night at the moment. You might be able to tell from the below picture that Wombat's bed hasn't yet been made up. That's because the sheets are on the clothes line.

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The boys' little bedroom. With added toybox and change table.

What I am really excited about is that the bookcase we bought for Seagull while I was pregnant with him has been reclaimed from Thunder Maker (he decided that having somewhere to house his magazine collection was more important than Seagull having somewhere to keep his books and toys) and is now housing the boys' books and some of their toys.

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Bookcase being used for its intended purpose.
At last.

Anyway, both boys seem to be really happy at having their own little area. They both keep wandering in to check it all out. They even had their afternoon nap snuggled up together on Seagull's bed. I really wish I had taken a photo of them so I could add it to this post.

The next room I'm going to tackle is the master bedroom. I think I may have to take a leaf out of Parental Parody's book and just attempt to bag and donate any clothing of Thunder Maker's that I don't like to the Salvo's. Honestly, there is so much of his crap crammed into our massive bedroom closet that there is no room for me to hang anything of mine up. I should really save it for the next post, so I will stop there for now.

Yeah. Giddiup!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Housekeeping and a D&M

So, I've been avoiding my blog for a while. Part of it is purely because I couldn't be stuffed. Part of it is because I've been doing early shifts for the last couple of weeks while simultaneously trying to fight off a really bad cold/lung infection combo. After two weeks straight of coughing to the point of causing the lining of my throat to bleed, I think I am finally turning the corner.

I got my uni grades for the summer term yesterday - a pass, a credit and a distinction. The subject I got a pass for, I failed the assignment for the subject and it was worth 50% of my mark, so I'm just glad to have passed at all. I suppose that's what happens when you realise 10 minutes before the cutoff time for submission that you are meant to have 10 references for an assignment that is a case study on a 'patient'.

The funny thing about the subject that I got a distinction for is that I got a credit plus on the assignment worth 50% of the mark. The assignment that I waited a week before the due date to start collecting references for and only started to put it together on the day it was due. Meanwhile, there were a heap of people bleating on the course forum after the marks came out, saying that they had busted their humps all term working on the assignment and that they couldn't understand where they had gone wrong. I was thinking to myself that if I was able to get the mark I got by 'phoning it in' at the last minute, where the hell had these people gone wrong? Meh, not my problem, I got a distinction! Man, that makes me sound like a real bitch...

Now that the housekeeping is out of the way, onto the D&M stuff. I've been pondering this one for a while and have finally gotten around to putting fingers to keyboard.

In some ways, I feel a little sad for Wombat.

I feel like he misses out on so much of me, being the second child. Seagull had me all to himself for his first 11 months, and even then, I only went back to work for three days a week until he was about 18 months old. Wombat has never had my undivided attention and I went back to work full time when he was 9 months old.

When I finish work, I feel so wrecked that all I am often capable of is cooking dinner (the last couple of weeks I haven't even been up to that), flaking out in front of the TV and going to bed. I feel guilty that my children spend so much time in front of the TV. I don't read to either of them anywhere near as much as I used to.

I've hardly ever read books to Wombat at all. I've realised in the last couple of days that the only words Wombat says are 'Dad' (often) and 'Mum' (occasionally). Now I'm wondering if my lack of reading to Wombat has resulted in language development delays. I'm going to be contacting a speech pathologist on Monday to make an appointment.

What makes it all even worse is that I feel like I connect better with Seagull on an emotional level. Seagull is outgoing, feisty and fiercely independent. I can relate to that. Wombat on the other hand, is more reserved, quiet and just wants lots of cuddles. As much as I love cuddling Wombat, sometimes I feel smothered by his strong need for physical affection. Then I feel guilty for it.

All in all, I'm feeling like a pretty crappy parent at the moment.

The one thing that makes me feel slightly better about it all is that I am still breastfeeding Wombat. He is 16 months old now and I get some funny looks and offputting comments from some people when they realise that Wombat is still breastfeeding. To be honest, it is one of the few things that I feel like I'm doing right at the moment and as Wombat shows no signs of wanting to give it up, I'm not going to force it.

Even though I tend to find physical contact stiffling, I find the physical closeness of breastfeeding comforting. Except for the times when Wombat decides that he'd rather perfect his gymnastic repertiore whilst attached instead of just laying still. Overall though, it's an experience I find hugely rewarding.

Parenting is certainly not easy. I suppose all anyone can do is their absolute best with the knowledge and resources they have at their disposal. It still doesn't stop me from feeling like crap at times.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

New beginnings

There's something to be said for moving into a new house. Yes, it was sad to move away from the wonderful friends we had made during the last six years and it was especially hard to leave the house we had bought and turned into our home. The home that we had brought two newborn babies home to. As hard a decision it was to make, I definitely feel it was the right one.

The decision to move was a lot easier for me than it was for Thunder Maker. Thunder Maker does not respond well to change. He was happy in his own corner of the world, in his own house. He had made friends, formed attachments and joined a band. Whilst it was hard for me, especially knowing Thunder Maker's feelings on the subject, the predominant emotion I experienced prior to the move was excitement.

For me, this move feels like I've travelled full circle. I was born up this way, lived in the area until I was about 4. My Dad, who I never got to see much of when I was growing up now lives a 40 minute drive away. I finally get to see more of my little sisters. My only regret is not being able to move up here when they were younger. Now they are on the cusp of puberty and I find myself not knowing how to connect with them.

I feel a much greater emotional attachment to where I'm living now than in our own house in Victoria. In honour of our move, I have started to grow some seedlings. I'm usually pretty crap at growing things - I usually either under water or over water things, either way ending up with dead plants or seeds that have failed to germinate.

However, I found myself wanting to try to grow something again. I usually prefer (to attempt) to grow plants that are useful, rather than ornamental plants. Mostly, I have stuck to growing edible plants this time, but I am also growing something especially for Thunder Maker. First up, I have planted some mini cucumber seeds. This is the result so far:

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Freshly transplanted mini cucumber plants

I transplanted the seedlings from the seed container I started them in to the pot this afternoon. I snapped the roots off the one in the middle as I was trying to get it out of the original container, so I stuck it in the pot just in case it grows some new roots. I know it's not going to happen, but I figure there's no harm in trying anyway.

Last weekend I planted some herb seeds. Specifically basil, chives and flat leaf parsley. A couple of days ago, I was rewarded with this:

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Basil and chive seedlings. Still waiting for the parsely.
The basil seedlings are to the left and the top of the left centre row. The rest of that row and the right centre row are chive seedlings. The parsley hasn't sprouted yet, but the packet the seeds came in leads me to believe that it takes longer for them to germinate than basil or chives.

Finally, I'm having yet another crack at growing a bonsai. I've tried a few times, both from seed and seedlings. In the case of seedlings, I have managed to kill them and the seeds I have planted have failed to germinate.

I actually bought a bonsai seed kit from National Geographic last year. However, I found out when I went to grow my seeds last June that my seeds are best grown when overnight temperatures are consistently above 15 degrees Celsius. So I put the kit away and waited. I decided a fortnight ago when I found the seed kit that we were now good to go.

I wasn't holding my breath, but a couple of days ago, I was pleasently surprised to find this:

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Hooray! Green stuff!
There appears to be at least another two plants that are growing, but they haven't grown shoots tall enough to break the surface of the growing medium yet.

I am attempting to grow Thunder Maker a bonsai Jacaranda tree. They are his absolute favourite tree and he has always wanted one. About 18 months after we had bought and moved into our house in Victoria, we discovered when it flowered, that the spindly looking tree that the previous owners had planted smack up on the house in a garden bed was in fact a Jacaranda.

Thunder Maker was elated, but we had to move the tree out into the yard because it was going to end up causing massive problems if we left it where it was. My grandparents helped us move it just before Wombat was born and we all crossed our fingers and prayed that it would survive.

Fortunately, it did and it was looking very healthy when we moved out of the house. Moving away from his Jacaranda was just one more thing that Thunder Maker was upset about, so I'm hoping that I don't totally botch growing a bonsai. If I can actually pull this off, Thunder Maker will always have a Jacaranda, no matter where we go.

So yeah, if anyone has any tips on how not to kill my seedlings, especially the bonsai ones, feel free to share.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Mother Moment at the pie shop

I've been busting my hump over the last few days to get an assignment done for uni that I was given a week's extension on due to moving state, not having internet access during that time, etc. Of course, the extension happened to coincide with a trip to Sydney that Thunder Maker had planned so that we could visit his Mum. Way to make effective use of the time I was given for the extension. Not.

It was a productive trip in other ways though. When we weren't spending time with the MIL, I was spending money on new bras (apparently I measure as a 12 on my torso under my boobs now rather than a 10), exercise clothing, new sandals, new runners and a new iPhone.

Yes, I convinced Thunder Maker to take on my old phone which still has a year to go on its contract and went to the local Apple store to get me a new iPhone. I'm of the opinion that Siri is gimped in Australia by virtue of the fact that you can't use it to get directions, but it's pretty cool to just be able to tell Siri who you want to call and have it happen. Yes, I am that lazy that I tell my phone who to call rather than press a few buttons.

Anyway, enough about my iPhone. I had a doozy of a mother moment today. We had been to our initial appointment with our new chiropractor. Whilst what she did is very effective, she manhandles us all a lot more than our old chiropractor did. Still, she's nice, she explained what she was doing in great detail and the kids love her.

We decided to go out for lunch because we could and because I was procrastinating mulling over the direction I wanted to go in with my assignment. There is an awesome pie shop sort of near us, but it's too far away from home to go there just to get a pie. It happens to be about 5 minutes away from our new chiropractor though, so we decided to take advantage of it.

After we had finished our pies, I asked Thunder Maker if we should get some of the shop's take away pies. He was keen, so I got back in line to order. I left Seagull and Wombat with Thunder Maker at the table. A couple of seconds after I stood in the line, I noticed the shape of a small random child in my peripherary. I was wondering who this small child belonged to and why was he standing so close to me. I tried to move away a bit and he moved in sync with me, still at the edge of my peripheral vision. At this point I wondered why the small child wasn't going to go away.

It was only at this point that I thought to look down. The small random child was actually Seagull.

Oh, and Seagull found a $2 coin on the ground at the pie shop too.