29 November 2011

Quote #7

"A real friend is someone who walks in when the rest of the world walks out."

- St. Francis of Assisi

28 November 2011

Quote #6

"All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle."

- St. Francis of Assisi

Run ... walk

Last night I had my first attempt at a jog since having MissyMoo3. I'd been feeling a bit bleh all day & wanted to go out for a walk, so Hubby put the MissyMoos to bed while I had some "me" time.

I started off walking. I wasn't sure what my body would be capable of 2 months after giving birth and my fitness had obviously taken a dive since my pre-pregnancy days. Now, I like brisk walking for a purpose, for example getting the shopping done quickly. But I find brisk walking for exercise rather annoying to do. It's awkward and I figure, if I want to go that fast I might as well jog, if not, I can walk at a comfortable pace.

It wasn't yet dark but the evening air was fresh and invigorating. I decided to try a bit of a jog, just to see if I could. I paced myself but started to tire after a couple of minutes so it was back to a walk. I alternated jogging and walking, a couple of minutes each, and arrived back home after about half an hour feeling pretty tired but energised at the same time. A nice bit of exercise in the fresh air by the lake was just what I needed!

27 November 2011

Newest addition to the family

Because life wasn't busy enough with a newborn baby (!), we have acquired a new family member - for the purposes of the blog, we'll call her The Fat Cat.

She seems to have settled in well so far...

MissyMoo1 (5) and MissyMoo2 (2) love her - especially MissyMoo1. MissyMoo3 (2 months) is off limits though!

MissyMoo1 the birthday girl!

My big girl is 5!

Five years ago, we went through one of the worst experiences of our lives, with ultimately the best outcome imaginable. Hubby and I became parents for the first time to a beautiful and, within a few days, healthy baby girl. I always get a bit teary around her birthday each year, thinking about the experience of getting her into the world, and always feeling guilty that I couldn't be there with her in those first difficult hours which I barely remember because of what my body was going through at the time. I always hug her a little tighter when I think about it.

I'm so proud of my big girl. Happy birthday sweety.

25 November 2011

Creepy crawly pets

It has become abundantly clear recently that we are in need of a pet.

Getting a pet is something we have been thinking about for a while - last December we almost got goldfish - but have put off with MissyMoo3's entrance to the family being foremost in our minds.

MissyMoo1 (4) has become quite attached to "animals". MissyMoo1 and MissyMoo2 (2) enjoy patting cats, dogs, lambs, rabbits, ducks etc any chance they get. MissyMoo1 has also recently taken to adopting little crawlers she has found in the garden. There's been a few.

You've met Holly the lizard. After Holly, there was a cricket (I think her name was Jessica) but she hopped away far too easily to be kept for very long. Then there was a snail (I forget the name), whose lack of a speedy getaway made for a much better "pet" for a night in an icecream container with holes poked in the lid and filled with grass and leaves.

Then there was a ladybug called Lizzy:

About 2 seconds after this photo was taken, she dropped through the gap in the floorboards - it didn't end well.

That afternoon, Hubby caught another lizard for MissyMoo1 which we kept overnight and then released. This is where it lived:

Then last week at playgroup, a butterfly/pretty moth was found and crawled all over MissyMoo1's arm over and over. She let her friends have a go too and they were playing with the insect for over half an hour. It was going so well. I even convinced MissyMoo1 to let it go at the end of playgroup so it could go back to its family and friends (and not fly around in my car!). She, very maturely and without tears, took it back to where she had found it accompanied by a few of her friends. Unfortunately the insect came to an untimely end at the hand (or I should say, foot) of another little girl - completely innocently, mind you, no malice. But MissyMoo1 and another kid bawled their little eyes out crying "she killed it!" and the poor little girl got so upset and cried too. Tears everywhere, not good.

I hope that when we do actually get a proper pet, things go a bit better...

24 November 2011

Quiet afternoon

The size of an achievement is a relative thing. Today my major achievement was having all three children asleep at the same time for half an hour or so. I don't know how I did it - I'm guessing it was more chance than anything else - but I'll count it as an achievement nonetheless.

It was so quiet and I got so much done. I enjoyed it while it lasted! Now it's back to the usual madness!!

21 November 2011

Cool Stuff I Get To Do Because I Have Kids: Make New Friends

I've made some wonderful friends in my life - in the schoolyard, at parties and in the workplace. Having children has also given me many opportunities to meet wonderful people.

It began at ante-natal classes when we got along with another couple there. We kept in contact and 5 years on we are still friends. Since MissyMoo1 (4) was two I have been going to one playgroup or another in my local area and through those groups I have met some wonderful people. Never mind that the kids enjoyed themselves, it was something that I enjoyed and really needed, particularly at a time when none of my friends from other circles had children yet. It was great to hear their stories, get advice and share experiences with other people who knew what you were on about when you were expressing frustration with potty training or tiredness from night feeds. And through some of those great people, I have met other great people too.

We still love our old friends dearly, but we don't live conveniently close to them so we don't have chance meetings at the shops and catching up can be tricky to organise sometimes. It's really thanks to the MissyMoos that Hubby and I have been able to form a network in our local area and I now count some of the people I have met through my children to be among my closest friends.

20 November 2011

Cool Stuff I Get To Do Because I Have Kids: Build Sandcastles

I like going to the beach. I like wading around in the water (as long as it's not too cold - I'm not so brave!). I like being in the sun and getting a bit of a tan, however politically incorrect it might be to say so these days.

Being at the beach with the MissyMoos just adds that extra dimension. Watching them take pleasure in creating something from the sand (or just getting sludge all over themselves) is great fun. Even better is getting into it with them. Piling up sand, digging holes, getting sand everywhere - what fun!!

18 November 2011

Nativity scene project: part 4

We've done a bit of work on the nativity scene including painting it this afternoon. (It probably looked better without the paint, but the MissyMoos had fun doing it.) Once the paint dries, it will be ready for the figurines to move in!
Making the star
MissyMoo1 gluing bits of the star together
MissyMoo1 colouring in the star

Star is on

Painting the shrubs

All painted - MissyMoo1 did the left, MissyMoo2 did the right

We're out of bread

We needed to buy some bread this morning.

Sounds simple enough, doesn't it?

All you mothers out there know what I'm talking about though, don't you? You know why it's not as simple as ducking out to pick up some bread, why I need to get into the habit of ordering extra bread in my online grocery shop and freezing it, why daily bakery-fresh bread is a luxury unattainable to a person in my position in life.

Today we had no choice. Despite my constant attempts at being organised and efficient, I found myself needing to go to the shops for bread and nothing else. And so it began.

MissyMoo1 (4) went downstairs by herself at which point MissyMoo3 (7 weeks) started crying in her bassinet. So instead of the usual slow but safe escorting of MissyMoo2 (2) holding her hand, I picked her up and took her down, then went back for MissyMoo3. I put MissyMoo3 in the car then went back for MissyMoo2. I carried her, as her shoes were in the car from the day before and I didn't want her walking on the wet concrete in her socks. Second seatbelt done and then it was time for MissyMoo1's which, due to the ... er ... snug configuration of child restraints in the back, requires a Houdini-like hand to click in the sash seatbelt beside the seat.

All in and MissyMoo3 was crying again. MissyMoo1 tried the dummy while I started the car.

Once the car was parked the unloading began. First the pram's frame, then the bassinet which sits on top. MissyMoo1 got out under strict instructions to stay touching the car (to keep out of the way of moving vehicles). I got MissyMoo3 out of the middle & put her in the pram. Then it was over to MissyMoo2's side of the car. I opened the door to find that MissyMoo2 had taken off her shoes and socks. Put footwear back on and got MissyMoo2 out of the car. Put backpack (nappy bag) on & locked car. Held pram with one hand, MissyMoo2's hand with the other and MissyMoo1 "helped" to push the pram.

Arrived at bakery and all through waiting to be served and being served the exchange between MissyMoo1 and I went something like this:
MissyMoo1: "Mum, can I have a balloon?"
Me: "No."
MissyMoo1: "Oh please."
Me: "No."
MissyMoo1: "Oh please, oh please, oh pleeeeaase."
You get the picture.

Bread purchased then back to the car to put everyone back in, see above description.

I understand why some parents leave their kids alone in the car to go shopping. I don't condone it ... but I get it.

15 November 2011

Pregnancy - postscript

MissyMoo3 is now 7 weeks old, so all my post-pregnancy testing and prodding has taken place.

Today I received the results of my GTT from last week: the diabetes has gone! Aside from the sleep deprivation, I'm feeling a lot more like the real "me" again - so much more than I did when I was pregnant. Ahh, back to some semblance of normality...

09 November 2011

Nativity scene project: part 3

We finally made a start on the nativity scene today. MissyMoo1 (4) enjoyed it and was a great help. MissyMoo2 (2) got her very own pile of paddle pop sticks to draw on with textas. MissyMoo3 (6 weeks) slept. Here are some progress shots.

The base (upside down) and some of the sides:

Partly up:

All put together:

There are still some things left to do but we'll leave them for another day!

08 November 2011

Mums, we're doing ok!

I read this article the other day and finally, something written about motherhood which is balanced, reasonable and which I agree with!


07 November 2011

Nativity scene project: part 2

Paddle pop sticks purchased!

Camel by the water

There was a festival thingy near our local playground on the weekend. I thought this looked kind of funny.

Nativity scene project: part 1

When I was a kid we used to visit my nonni interstate most Christmases, staying for two or three weeks at a time.

My Nonna once made a big nativity scene which she put on display every year. It was made from plaster of Paris laid out over a wire frame and painted. It had caves and mountains, the star and heaps of figurines: the Holy Family, three wise men, the donkey, a cow, some sheep and shepherds. It would sit on a table in the living room and my sister and I used to enjoy looking at it and moving the figurines around. I wish I had a photo of it to show you.

I've been thinking for the past couple of years about making my own nativity scene. We have a tiny one which we got from Target a couple of years ago but I really like the idea of making our own.

So this year we're going to do it! (Well, that's the plan anyway!)

Having never worked with plaster of Paris before, I gave my daydreams a reality check and decided to construct it from materials much more suited to my level of craft expertise: paddle pop sticks! I figure there's plenty of time to learn about plaster of Paris another year if I want to copy my Nonna's idea. But it's already November and I have a newborn baby so I need to be a bit more realistic. I also fully intend to enlist the help of my craft-crazy MissyMoo1 (4)!

I've had a bit of trouble finding the figurines I want. I have looked on eBay and Amazon but the few I have found which I am interested in don't ship to Australia. I might see if any of my relatives in Italy can track some down for me next year, but due to time constraints, this year we'll be swiping the figurines from the Target nativity scene as well as sheep from the MissyMoos' farm toy set. The sheep will have to fend for themselves though, as we don't have any shepherds!


Last week MissyMoo3 (5 weeks) was fitted with a harness for her hips.

I was expecting it to happen. With both of her sisters having had issues with their hips, it came as no surprise to me. It was still really disappointing though. It was a huge feeling of deja vu. We even had the same physiotherapist as with MissyMoo1 (4) nearly 5 years ago.

It was a hard day. Poor MissyMoo3 screamed during the ultrasound, the doctor's examination and the whole time the physiotherapist was fitting the harness. We had almost an hour between appointments to wait, so I sat in a waiting area where a volunteer was playing a piano so beautifully. The music combined with some feeding and cuddles calmed her (and me!) down immensely. Music really is powerful.

Having the harness on does make things more difficult. MissyMoo3 is restricted in her movement - the worst thing is that she can't kick her legs around when she has wind pains. We have to hold her differently which makes it more difficult to settle and feed her. She brings up more milk than before. She has to wear 00 clothes now to fit over the harness and keep her legs splayed out. And she can't be bathed in it. So once a week for the next 6 weeks at least, we must go to the hospital 40 minutes away to have the physios take off the harness, bathe & weigh her, and then refit it for another week.

MissyMoo3's hips weren't even that clicky or loose. They were stable. But given the problems her sisters had had & advice we received from a specialist in Sydney, we insisted on an early ultrasound, which has shown that at this stage her hips are far from normally formed.

Although that day was all about MissyMoo3 & I felt bad for her, I also felt terribly sad for MissyMoo2 (2). Like MissyMoo3, her physical checks were fine (and she had heaps of them by heaps of different medical professionals because of MissyMoo1 having been in a harness) but because she didn't have an early ultrasound her problems weren't picked up. As hard as it is with the harness on, I just want to rewind two and a half years and get a newborn MissyMoo2 into one too...

06 November 2011

Baby brain strikes again

I'm so annoyed at myself. Baptism meeting tonight 7pm, highlighted in my diary, written on the wall calendar & my attendance organised during the week with a number of phone calls.

I clean forgot.

The plan had been to have dinner, then get ready and go with MissyMoo3 (5 weeks) while Hubby put the other MissyMoos to bed. What actually happened is this: I sat on the couch feeding MissyMoo3 for most of the late afternoon because of the heat. Then we had tea & the big MissyMoos had a bath while I fed MissyMoo3 some more. Then there was a yucky accident to clean up, followed by MissyMoo3 crying and MissyMoo2 (2) whinging at the same time. Then suddenly a lightbulb moment ... The realisation that I should have been somewhere else. At 7:30pm. The meeting started at 7. It's not like it's trivial thing that could easily slip your mind like forgetting to pack a hat in a backpack or a spare dummy. It was an entire outing ... for MissyMoo3's baptism, no less...

Hopefully by next month's meeting I'll have re-grown my brain so I can manage to make it.

Quote #5

"Let no one ever come to you without feeling better and happier."

- Mother Theresa

Long lost letters

My parents have for years been wanting me to clean out some of my old stuff from their place. When Hubby and I first got married, we were renting so I said it could wait until we bought a house. Well, that was 5 years ago and I still have heaps of crap in my old room at my parents' house.

So the other week while we were visiting on a rainy day, MissyMoo1 (4) and MissyMoo2 (2) were amused and MissyMoo3 (then 4 weeks) was sleeping, so I had a rare opportunity to go through my cupboards.

I am such a hoarder!!!

I had some major culling to do - there wasn't room at my place to keep it all!

One of the things I found was a pile of old letters from late high school and early uni. My friends and I were prolific letter-writers, in high school particularly. I seriously can't believe that after spending all day together, then having long telephone conversations after school, we still had enough material to write pages and pages of letters to each other! I remember that then we would deliver them the next morning at school and read them in reading/roll-call session before first period.

And how did we fit in homework amongst it all?!

They say kids of today spend heaps of time on smart-phones and Facebook. A few people had the Internet at home in my last years of high school, but not many, and we didn't communicate by email. We probably spent just as much time on distractions then, just those of the non-electronic variety.

It was great to see all that stuff again and get an insight into how we thought as teenagers - it makes me realise that although I still don't feel like an adult sometimes, I really have grown and changed.

Oh and I found the Zebra book! High school people, you know what I'm talking about!

05 November 2011

Quote #4

Life is what you make of it!

Making the most of it

A few weeks ago during a night feed (which now doubles as my contemplative time), I was thinking about how big MissyMoo1 (4) is getting, how I'll miss her when she goes to school next year and how little time there is left of having my girls all home together.

I decided that I didn't want to spend the next couple of months making excuses not to do things because of tiredness or anything generally to do with MissyMoo3 (5 weeks), as we just won't get this time again. So I thought that I would make an effort to, one day each week, go on an outing or do something different with the MissyMoos; create some fun memories together.

The following week we went to my parents' place - not a huge "different" thing - we visit them often - but something we don't do a lot of during the week. When I see Nonna during the week, she usually visits me to see the MissyMoos but also to help me out a bit at home (I'm very lucky!). My parents live near the beach and the weather had been pretty good in the lead-up to the day so I had told the girls that, weather permitting, we could go for a play in the sand at the beach.

Well, wouldn't you know it but the day of our visit it was grey, rainy ... and cold! In late October! Stupid weather. So the MissyMoos ended up playing inside and watching DVDs. Oh well, at least we had a change of scene.

The next week we went over on Melbourne Cup Day. Again, the weather had been good in previous days, and again was gloomy that day. When we arrived, there were still pockets of sunshine, so rather than unload the car of everyone and everything, I picked Nonna up and we headed straight for the beach.


MissyMoo1 and MissyMoo2 (2) managed about two minutes of running around playfully on the sand before the dark clouds closed in and it started to rain. But, we got to go to the beach!

Outings are going to be more difficult now with a busy month ahead of doctor's appointments and school preparation. But lately I've very much been subscribing to the theory that life is what you make of it. Sometimes it's hard when I'm tired but I'm trying to make the most of here and now instead of wishing for an unattainable perfect, worry-free life in the future.

The other day after a big jump on the trampoline, MissyMoo1 said: "Mum, home is so much fun, I love it." Cool, we can stay at home sometimes too!

02 November 2011

Melbourne Cup

A couple of years ago on Melbourne Cup Day when I wasn't in the workforce, Nonna, the MissyMoos and I got dressed up together for the occasion. This year we took advantage of my stay-at-home mum status and did it again.

This time our little party was held at my parents' house. After lunch, my mamma, MissyMoo1 (4), MissyMoo2 (2) and I dressed up in nice clothes ate nibblies and put the TV on to watch the coverage of "the race that stops a nation". MissyMoo3 (5 weeks) slept through the whole thing but not to worry, I'm sure she'll have many more opportunities to dress up! The grown-ups drank soft drink in champagne glasses and we all had a lovely time together.

Sometimes it's nice to do something a little special together!

Come sit on Elmo

Hubby and I have decided that the time has come to introduce MissyMoo2 (2) to toilet training. She knows what and where the toilet is, but is yet to grasp the notion that its use is more than just a novelty.

I'll make it clear that MissyMoo2 is nowhere near ready to ditch the nappies. But since beginning the abovementioned "training" she is at least starting to tell me when she has done a #2 in her nappy. Good start!

I'm being much more laid back about things this time around; I was much too anxious about it all when MissyMoo1 (4) was at this stage. My "strategy" so far involves using Pull-Ups, inviting her to use the potty or toilet and putting her there first thing in the morning. We have a special seat for her for the loo which has Sesame Street characters on it. MissyMoo2 is usually relectant to go first thing in the morning, so I say: "Come on, come and sit on Elmo." She replies: "No mum, I sit on Cookie Monster" and on she goes! The things we do... So cute!
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