March 2011

For years now, I’ve been hanging my thick woollen scarves on a single clothes hanger.

While this was adequate as a means of keeping my scarves off the floor of our wardrobe, it was hardly what I would call a proper ‘storage solution.’ My scarves would always be tangled and I could never grab one in a hurry (which is often, since I tend to be running late 90% of the time).

So during my pre-James nesting stage, I was quite keen to sort out my winter scarves.

I tried the IKEA Komplement multi-hanger first, but soon realised that it was better suited to my thinner scarves – the holes just weren’t big enough for my chunky knit scarves.

Then one day as I sat on the end of my bed staring at my wardrobe (as you do), it dawned on me: a shoe hanger! It wouldn’t take up much space width-wise and each compartment would offer just the right amount of space for one or two of my chunky scarves.

I couldn’t understand why I hadn’t thought of it before.

The above is the result, and I have to say, my scarves and I are all pretty stoked.

(Incidentally, I picked up a wider shoe hanger than the one above from IKEA and I’ve since installed it in our shoe cupboard and have used it to organise the boys’ shoes. Very happy with that one too.)

Brand new

So here he is. Our brand new baby. Fourth child. Beloved little boy.

Our little James.

He arrived a week ago from today on Monday 21st of March at exactly 3.41pm, weighing exactly 3.41kg! (He has a sense of humour, this little guy.)

Labour was thankfully quick and smooth (though sadly no less painful than I last remembered it to be), and my new MacBook Air was put to good use in terms of making live Facebook updates (my idea) and recording video blogs throughout the labour (Rick’s idea).

The subsequent hotel hospital stay was fantastic, and in fact, I am certain I’m suffering withdrawal symptoms from not having tea and cake brought to me every two hours. I absolutely cherished the one-on-one time I got to spend with James and being able to just focus on him entirely for four whole days.

He is such a precious little man – I already can’t imagine life without him!

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers for us.

Plan to write more later but for now, I sleep.

So this is it

Only fourteen and a half hours to go before I once again enter the birthing suite to push another baby out.

I cannot believe the time has once again come upon me.

To say that I’m not anxious about labouring again would be a lie. A huge lie in fact.

You would think after you’ve done it a few times, you kind of get used to the concept.

But nooooo…..

My brain and I are both having a bit of a freak out. Something along the lines of: “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, breathe, breathe, breathe, breathe….” And all this before contractions have even begun.

At least my hospital bag is all packed and ready to go though.

Yes, I say ‘bag’ because this time it’s singular.

That’s right, somehow I’ve managed to squeeze everything for both bub and me into one (albeit not tiny) luggage case. No small feat, considering the ridiculously long list of items I’d packed for my previous maternity hospital stays. (No, Rick, there’s no need for you to elaborate on this.)

For example, this time I’ve decided that I probably don’t need to pack my A4 folder full of parenting brochures and reference material about looking after a newborn. After all, I can easily just ask random people in the hospital corridors for hints and tips, and if worse comes to worst, I can always ‘Google it’ on my iPhone, e.g. “How do I look after my newborn?”

Another thing that I’ve ditched is the birth plan. I’ve finally come to realise that we never end up showing it to the mid wives anyway and if I had my way, my birth plan would just read: PAIN FREE.

But seeing as that’s not completely possible, I’ll just stick to the bare basics of: HAVE A BABY. I’m sure I can remember that without actually having to print it out on my laser printer and making five copies of it to distribute.

To help take my mind off James’ impending birth, I enjoyed a most lovely ‘pre birthing’ treat with my friend Cathie yesterday: our friend Alana from Little Rock Photography had us over at her gorgeous home and took beautiful shots of both our pregnant bellies and afterwards even served us muffins and coffee! How’s that for an uber wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning? (Especially the Saturday morning before D day.)

Anyway, here are a couple ‘sneak peeks’ of the photo shoot that Alana has shared with me – aren’t they just lovely?

The next time you see me, I should hopefully be a little smaller than this.

Hopefully.

A few people have been asking me about the ‘Love the Lord’ poster in the boys’ room and have even shown interest in purchasing one for themselves!

In actual fact, I designed the poster myself – having been inspired by beautiful prints and designs on Etsy (I’m sorry if I’ve just corrupted you by telling you about Etsy…).

If you would like a copy of this poster for your own home, I’ve set up my very own little print store where you can purchase the artwork file for just $10. You can then take the file to your local printer and ask them to print it for you (I used Snap Printing because, in my opinion, their digital printing quality is comparable to offset printing.)

I would recommend printing the poster on at least 150gsm stock. I asked for a glossy stock, as this seems to bring out the colour more, but you can always opt for matt stock or satin stock (which has a semi-sheen).

I think the poster would look fantastic framed, but if you’re renting like us and are limited by the number of picture hooks in your home, then I would suggest purchasing foam core board (A1 size would be perfect) from your local art store.

Mount the poster onto the board (I simply used photo dots) and then use 3M mounting strips to attach the artwork to your wall. Because foam core is so light-weight, there is zero to 0.0001% chance of the board falling off (in fact, mine is right above our boys’ changing area).

Anyway, all proceeds from the sale of this poster will be donated to the Stillbirth Foundation of Australia.

Who knows, over time, I might actually add more designs to my little print store, but for now, I have to go pack my hospital bag…

New big car

Daddy finally has a new big car.

Or so Angus will tell you.

It’s true though, we finally have replaced “the big car” with a new one. And not a moment too soon, considering James is popping out of me in ten days time and we actually need a bigger car so that the boys can fit in the back.

We found our replacement in Tasmania. Rick’s dad and sister actually flew down on the weekend and drove it up for us. This is what Masons do. Big cars. And road trips. (And motorbikes – but that’s another post.)

And so Angus came to compose his longest sentence ever:

“Pa, Sue pick up daddy new big car.”

That’s eight words, my friends. Eight.

Prior to that, the record had been four words: “Daddy big car down.” And to think we’d been worried our boy would never say more than just – “car”.

There is no denying it: this inexplicable love for big cars (read: Land Rovers) runs deep in our children’s blood – so much so that it actually empowers them to speak!

Even James starts bouncing around like a ball whenever I’m in the new car. Unfortunately for me, this causes undeniable contractions of my uterus and major concern on my part that I will end up delivering in the back of a Land Rover vehicle.

Anyway, in lieu of a photo of the real thing, the above is a model that Angus built to represent daddy’s new big car.

As you can see, the model has all that Angus considers as essentials: a spare wheel on the back (a “wheel back” – Angus), a big blue bar at the front, and a DVD player as represented by the orange Clippo in the centre of the car…

Drum roll please…

And the winner of my very first proper blog giveaway is Cath from Squiggle Mum – handpicked by the very useful random generator from random.org.

Congratulations Cath, I hope you and the bag have a great time at the Australian Blogging Conference!

I’ll be in touch soon to get your details.

Apologies to the rest of the ladies. I still have four similar leather handbags that I’m selling on eBay, so if you’re seriously on the lookout for a great quality leather bag (at a great price), please feel free to check out my auctions.

If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I am not good at relaxing.

It was not something I was ever taught as a child, teenager or young adult. Indeed, it’s not exactly something that Chinese culture promotes: working your behind off – yes, that’s good and proper; relaxing – ahem, what is that?

So here I am at The Loft Cafe with a hot mug of (my usual quarter-strength) latte and a blueberry bagel (good thing that’s not my endocrinologist at the next table) all by myself after physio on our day off, and instead of “relaxing,” I am mentally trying to work out what I can accomplish with my notebook and pen since I have neither my laptop nor my iPad with me.

Instead of putting my head down on the table for a hard-earnt nap (without drooling, thank you very much), I’m sitting here stressing about not doing anything productive.

Instead of relaxing, I’m composing a blog post about not relaxing!

Does life get anymore ironic than this?

(At least I’m not browsing Kikki K – oh so tempting as it is – to pick out a notebook so that I can use it to write about how hard it is to not spend money on gorgeous looking stationery…)

Anyway, today is the last day of our gorgeous handbag giveaway! If you’re looking for a new leather handbag, be sure to enter. Do it. Now.

And they’re in

Guess what, you guys, we’ve done it.

Angus and Pete are finally in the same room.

I kept putting it off and putting it off (and putting it off some more, as Rick will tell you) but on Saturday, we finally did it.

At first, it seemed to go really well. In fact, when we put the boys into their PJs and popped them together into Pete’s cot, their excitement was almost palpable.

At about 7.30pm, we managed to get them both down without too much rigmarole, and they seemed to sleep just fine.

Until 1.00am in the morning.

That’s when the wheels came off for little Pete. Poor Rick was up for at least 90 minutes trying to settle him, going back and forth between the boys’ room and ours, without much success.

At about 2.45am, he gave up.

He left Pete in his cot standing up and crying, closed all the doors between their room and ours and hopped back into bed with me.

When we surfaced some time between 6am and 7am, the house was silent. We assume that at some point, the little guy must’ve fallen asleep – standing up or otherwise.

Since then, it’s been a bit of a trial and error with unpredictable amounts of crying (them), deep breathing (us), screaming (them) and praying (us). Tonight so far is going well and we’re both desperately hoping (and praying) that the peace and quiet might continue till at least sunrise.

The room itself has turned out really beautifully, despite the limited space. I followed my mood board almost to a tee and I have to say that I’m quite happy with the result. The room feels bright and cheerful, and I’ve managed to re-arrange the storage so that everything the boys need still fits inside the room despite the removal of the large wardrobe.

Even more exciting is the fact that Rick likes the room too!

Naturally, he would love to see a Land Rover poster (or two) on the walls somewhere but for now he is content that I didn’t make the room too girly.

Two nights ago, both Angus and Pete slept through for the entire night. That would’ve – and should’ve – warranted a celebration in the sleep stakes.

Except that a mozzie managed to break into our bedroom that very night and thereafter spent at least four to six hours feasting on my left leg and some of my right arm. I woke up to at least half a dozen huge bites on my left thigh and a renewed ‘Woe is me!’ attitude to life.

The next night, Rick made sure he sprayed our entire sleeping area with Raid and I was further reassured by the fact that mozzies usually only live for 24 hours.

I know now this is not true.

If they’re out to get you, they will push past their proven life expectancy so that they can feast on you two nights in a row. I woke up in the middle of that second night to find red bites all over my right leg and left arm. Not only was this nemesis of mine relentless, it was methodical too.

I’ve done an official count:

Left arm – 9 bites
Left leg – 9 bites
Right arm – 3 bites
Right leg – 19 bites

If you’re half good at maths, you would be correct to conclude that that’s 40 bites in total. Which basically means I look like I have the pox.

Rick, on the other hand, has come away completely unscathed. Not a single bite. I mean – what is that?

My only consolation is that I must have sweet and juicy blood. But I just can’t work out how that will ever play to my advantage in life. (In fact, it can only be a bad thing: e.g. If vampires were to take over the world, I would probably be first on their list of prey. Yay me!)

So there you go: a whole post about being bitten by a mozzie. Just when you thought my blog couldn’t get any more mundane.