A sick Biz

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I tell you what, this little girl has one of the weakest compositions known to man. That has actually been said about me by a workmate so I know where she gets it but hell, if there’s sickness around, the Biz will get it. She has asthma and has been on puffers and steroids on and off for the last year. 9 times out of 10 when she gets a virus it will end in an ear infection.

She has had 8 this winter (I think last winter was worse pushing on 10). We looked into grommets being put in her ears but the ENT seemed to think she would grow out of it. Well that went swimmingly didn’t it! Speaking of swimming we have been wanting to get her into swimming lessons again but every time we try, she gets yet another sickness.

And I know full well that it’s probably because she goes to Childcare. As much as you keep your kids away when they are sick, sometimes the contagious period is before you even know something’s wrong. I’m definitely not blaming other mums, or kids. It’s just a fact of life. I’m sure sometimes it’s been her that’s passed around the bugs

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This time it’s bronchitis, and it’s taken down me, her cousins and Big Sis too. All of us on antibiotics. Last night she coughed so much she vomited all through her bed and the rest of the night I had that “mum sick feeling” for the rest of the night. Listening to the coughs, feeling so bad for her not being able to settle. Wishing there was something I could do to ease her pain. Sick to the stomach with compassion for my poor little girl. [just had to stop mid post to cuddle her through a coughing fit which ended in me being covered in a fresh phlegm vomit]. And the sick feeling hasn’t stopped, listening to her struggle all day.

It’s funny, the doctor was asking about me being sick, had I tried my puffer, had I taken Panadol, had I tried anything. And I realized that I completely didn’t even fathom doing anything to fix myself, all I’ve been thinking of is poor Biz and what I can do for her.

I love that mother love, that you will always put your kids needs before yours. I would do anything I can for this little girl and I know PB would too.

So even though our house is filled with coughing sounds and a poor grumpy little girl and a very tired mummy and daddy, there is a ray of light. That knowing how much love we have for her and for the rest of our lives it will always be about trying to do everything we can for her.

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The Update…

Well I think it’s quite obvious that I lost my blogging mojo back there for a while! But it’s back for now so here’s my long awaited (by no-one ha ha) update.

The house/home

The house finally sold and settled (many months later) and holy hell was that a weight off my shoulders. We have no mortgage which is a great feeling, but we are saving for the next place as we have specific ideas of what we want next. We are in a rental, oh dear god I could write a whole post already about the pitfalls of rental, but there are definite pluses. The location of our rental is AMAZING, one street back from the esplanade and has changed our lifestyle positively already (more active, more outdoors). There are many things I would like to do to make this place more bearable and you will get updates of those as I go along. The first I think will be the computer/study ‘area’. I think thats why I lost my will to blog because this was what I was sitting at. Inspiring? I think not!

The Biz

The Biz is no longer my little baby, sadface. She is almost 2! She decided last weekend she wanted to sleep in a “big girl bed”. She talks in short sentences now. She is about to move up to the toddler room at childcare. It has happened so fast. She is a constant source of laughter in our house, both hers and ours at the crazy things she does. She is still an avid tantrum thrower and has learnt to hit me where it hurts “go away mummy”. But she also cuddles more than ever before and says “love you mummy” too. Her absolute obsession is Thomas the Tank engine, yes the least girly thing possible. She asks for Thomas as soon as she wakes up, steals my phone to play the Thomas game, only drinks out of her thomas water bottle and can tell you most of the engines, oh dear.

PB

PB is going strong! He is loving living walking distance to the surf. He has started running and bike riding and even pushing us to eat healthier. It’s amazing what can happen when your mindset is not 100% taken up by stress. This move and life change has definitely been a good thing for PB and he is a constant support for his tired weary preggo wife.

Pregnancy Number 2

Wow this one is flying. I am 28 weeks on Saturday. We have a probable girl, but find out next week (!!!!) for sure. I am so excited this time because I am not scared to the bone about taking care of a baby. I am very very aware and worried about the craziness of 2 children and what is looming but I am so excited to meet this little one I forget about it most of the time. PB and I spend many nights wondering what she/he will look like, act like and turn out like. How different will this one be to the Biz? I guess as different as I am to my sisters (which can sometimes be not much but other times vastly). I am about 100 times more tired this time and can feel that my body is not as forgiving being that little bit older. We are pretty sure this will be the last time I get pregnant so I’m trying to savour every moment.

The life

Well as I said, the move has done wonders for us. We are less stressed, more active, more adventurous and more happy. We are actually positive about the future and are damn keen on working hard to make sure we make the right decisions and set ourselves up well for the future. Which means no more stupid financial decisions. One of which we recently avoided by deciding not to get a car loan for a new car, yay we might actually be learning from our mistakes. There are things that shit us to tears about this rental but it’s knowing that it is a step towards a better life for us that helps us get through. We are so much closer to family and that has also made a huge difference. Being able to ‘pop in’ to people rather than making a proper trip, is such an awesome thing.

So in general to quote an electrical goods manufacturer, life’s good. Congratulations if you have made it to the end of my ramblings.

Now that the update is done be ready for more random posts about anything that pops into my head at the time!

Heidi

And so the adventure begins….

So something amazing happened this week. Our house sold! Yes, our house in Aldinga where there is exactly 1 billion properties for sale. Yes, our house in a house selling market that is becoming worse and worse with every day. Yes, our house that has been on the market since Christmas!!! And yes, our house that had 2 failed contracts already. We have a contract, we have real buyers and they have unconditional approval from their bank. Thank god for that. I kind of knew it would happen because here’s what happened the week before…20120603-195539.jpg

PB, the Biz and I were outside. The Biz was playing in her cubby. I was mucking around with my veggie patch and PB was walking around pulling out weeds. We got to talking about how nice it actually was in the garden. How quiet it was. How much space there was. And a funny thing happened because we kind of started saying hmmm maybe we do like it here. Maybe if we just saved up and put in a shed. Maybe if we built the brick pizza oven we have always talked about. So we came to a decision. If the house didn’t sell at the up and coming open, then we would take it off the market and stay. I did joke to PB and say now that we’ve made that decision, it will sell. And it did!!!

So as decisions go in our house we are easy come easy go. Even though we had made the decision to stay if it didn’t sell, we were still so amazingly happy and excited that it did sell! And so our next adventure begins…..20120603-195556.jpg

And can I say we are absolutely so excited. We have been looking at houses to buy the whole time our house has been on the market and haven’t quite found ‘the one’ yet. We did have a contract on one place (which we lost) which is still for sale but something has told us it is not the one. Most of the ones we love are more than we can afford (or want to afford). So we have made a decision to rent for at least a year. We will have a relax without the pressure of a humongous mortgage. We will save. We will focus on our coming bubba. We will hopefully come out the end in a better position, able to buy into a higher price bracket without having to have a big mortgage.

So our next challenge is to find and successfully get a rental! I never realised it was so hard. We have always rented off of good ol’ mum and dad and have never had to apply! Just demanded. But both their properties are occupied with great tennants so they aren’t willing to turf them!

So get ready to follow along while things change, hopefully get easier (but knowing us likely harder) and while we begin our path towards our reno home!!!!

 

 

This Amazing Man

Well it has been quite some time since I last posted. For those of you who don’t know I am pregnant again and have had some very severe morning sickness. Needless to say, I have had no motivation to post. I’m not out of the woods yet but I have some medication which is giving me a least a little bit of a life back.

Anyway, the main thing that has gotten me through the past 9 weeks is This Amazing Man. I want to tell you about him.

Now as you know, I hate sugar coating things so this post is not about saying PB is a perfect angel. We still butt heads, he does get the grumps on at the drop of a hat and he can be known to be a bit of a shit sometimes. BUT holy shit does this man know how to pull out all the stops when shit hits the fan! Oh yes he does. And this post is about that, celebrating the amazing things he has done for me!

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I have an amazing man, his name is PB. For the past 9 weeks …

He has done all washing and cleaning in the house.

He has cooked dinner 98% of the nights. And still tries to find food that I will feel like eating.

He has done the majority of the Biz entertaining, disciplining, changing, bathing and putting to bed.

He has prepared the Biz’ bag every night so I don’t have to do it in the morning when I feel sick.

He has learnt to do the food shopping (something he’s never known how to do) even when i haven’t been able to talk about food to explain to him what to get. And takes the Biz with him so I can rest.

He has taken care of our finances, paying bills, making sure money is in the accounts (something that is usually my domain).

Most importantly though….

He has gotten out of bed in the middle of the night to rub my back while I vomit.

He tells me everyday is one more day I never have to feel this sick again.

He reminds me that this is the last time I have to do this.

He comes in to the bathroom when he can sense I’m not coping and he calms me down till I can breathe again.

He tells me I’m the strongest person he knows.

He tells me he can’t imagine anyone getting through this and still being able to smile.

He tells me he’s proud of me.

And just this morning he tells me when this is over I’m going to buy you a huge present for all you’ve been through

Thank you PB, you are the first thing I’m thankful for in my prayers and the last thing I think about when I fall asleep. You really are
This. Amazing. Man.

The Biz and her first surfing experience

We had a long weekend in Adelaide this week and it was gorgeous weather to top it off. PB of course wanted to get a surf in so the Biz and I came along. PB decided it was high time the Biz had her first experience on the board.

It was such a beautiful thing watching the two of them sharing something I have so many amazing memories of with my dad.

The strongest memory that comes up is dad taking me out in 6 foot waves at age 13 and me being so shit scared I could barely paddle for a wave. I’d like to say that the Biz won’t have that but I’m almost 100% sure PB will take her out in bigger surf at an earlier age while I sit on the beach having kittens!

I always loved it though and felt so special having something that both Dad and me loved. Anyway, the Biz got her official initiation into our surfing family and it was a joy to watch. Made my day!

Fancying it up a little

Woohoo food porn on a Sunday!

Today’s theme is fancying up something that’s not really fancy.

We have had a fair whack of stress going on here in the Jak family lately with a whole heap of wheeling and dealing going on. Nothing solid to report yet but I can tell ya what, if all falls into place things will get a whole lot more interesting on here!

So anyway, I watched Jamie’s 30 minute meals yesterday (I’ve had the cook book for ages but forgot about it) and got to thinking about how his meals aren’t all that hard or out of the ordinary, just normal meals fancied up a bit.

My mum-in-law is a big fancy-uperer. Family dinner can never be boring, there always needs to be something fancy. Even today when I asked for a glass of water she put ice cubes and a slice of lemon in it. Talk about fancy!

So I decided to do an experiment to see if fancying up one of our regular meals would make a difference.
Normally it’s chicken schnitzel with mash and salad. Fancied up however it is herb crumbed chicken with sour cream dressing with smashed potato, buttered corn and salad.

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Okay recipe
Make some chicken schnitzels as usual but add some chopped parsley to the breadcrumbs. If I could really be bothered I would have chucked some bread in the kitchen whiz for the crumbs but I couldn’t be bothered.
My hot tip from mum-in-law is put the flour and breadcrumbs in plastic bags so then you can just chuck them in the bin no mess!

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Put your potatoes in the saucepan with some water and put it on max. While you are at it start heating up your oven.
Peel your corn and cut it up and put it in your steamer basket ready for once the potatoes are done.
Chop some more parsley and put it in the sour cream tub and then put a squirt of coleslaw dressing or mayo (something sweet) and mix it in the tub.
In an oven dish put some herbs, sea salt and oil. Then put your potatoes in and swill them around to cover. Get a potato masher and gently smash the potatoes. Whack them in your oven. Put the corn on the potato water.
Cook your schnitties.
To serve, put everything in some nice dishes, put some butter or marg on the corn and serve!! I’m figuring you don’t need a recipe for a green salad??

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Happy days, happy PB

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The Biz loved her corn

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And yes, I felt a wee bit fancy!!!

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Being the Biz’ mum – the real deal

Hi all and especially mums out there today,

I have been prompted recently to give a full, non-airbrushed, un-sugar coated account on what it is to be a mum, in particular the Biz’ mum. I’m not saying this is every mums account of being a mum, just mine. Sometimes I will sound bitter, but that is real for me because some of the time in the last 15 months of my life I have been bitter. For me this is a post about being real and being imperfect and saying it like it is. I love the Biz more than I could ever have imagined but that doesn’t mean the road was easy.

Big Sis and I have always wanted to write a book which I want to call “Shit people wont tell you about being pregnant/childbirth/being a mum”. This post is basically the theme of what the book would be about ha ha. I was lucky enough to have been told or seen most of this first hand from Big Sis before I had the Biz. Big Sis had one heck of a tough baby for her first and while it was heart breaking to see her struggle, it was a good preparation for me. I still could never have imagined just how tough it would be until it happened.

A bit of a note: I wanted to use swear words to emphasis some points but it kept highlighting them so I don’t want to get in trouble in blog land (not yet sure if you can use profanities). So there are tamed down swear words. You are warned. You are also warned this is a very long post. Sorry but it’s a therapeutic exercise for me so deal with it, HA.

As mums, so much of the time we feel like we need to be perfect. We feel the pressure to sugar coat everything and make it sound like we are super mums. Every question people ask you about your child makes you feel like you need to measure up to some sort of perfect standard. Does she sleep through the night? (No actually she wakes 6 f-ing times a night thank you). Does she say mum yet? (No she says everything else but mum, thanks for kicking me while I’m down). Is she crawling yet? (No she can’t lift her bloody weight off the floor let alone crawl). I felt all this, and still do but I think there needs to be more mums out there telling the truth. What it is actually like to do this because hell people, we deserve the recognition.

In the beginning. It is safe to say that in the real beginning I don’t really remember much. After a troublesome birth (and quite a hectic cocktail of drugs being needed to be given to me) I was pretty much baked for the first day and a half. My ears were ringing, I was itching all over like a junkie and there were people coming in and out and all I wanted to do was go to sleep. I think the first night the Biz slept as normal waking for feeds when she needed them. I don’t remember sleeping but I’m sure I got snatches in there.

When the drugs started wearing off, I started becoming more aware of what was going on. It was about now I started feeling fear creeping in. I loved the Biz with all my heart but I had the horrible feeling that I didn’t know what I was doing. I had an absolute gripping fear of “what would I do if  I couldn’t get her to sleep?”. It made me sick to the stomach thinking of what people would think if I couldn’t get my own baby to sleep. I don’t know why the sleep was such a big deal to me but I guess I fell into the trap of caring what people thought and that was the only question they would ask, does she sleep well.

This fear was realised on the second night when despite all that we tried to do, The Biz would not stop screaming. Give her a full feed they said. She had just had one. Wrap her tightly they said. She was wrapped so tight even Houdini couldn’t escape. Rock her back and forth they said. We had been doing it for about half an hour. The most experienced midwife came in to help. She was the sleep master. Babies would fall asleep under her iron hand. She came in and watched me give her another full feed. The she wrapped her tight. Then she rocked her. The screaming remained. She bought in a sound machine. Like absolute heaven it worked, we all sighed a breath of relief. And then the screaming started again. “This baby isn’t going to sleep” she said and commanded me to go to sleep (I hadn’t had a proper sleep in three days) while she took her into their sleeping room. She said they would bring her back in for a feed in three hours. I gave PB a huge hug, we settled into our beds (his on the floor of the hospital room) and I turned over and cried silent tears. My first test as a mum and I had failed miserably. I was her mum, I was meant to be what would comfort her to sleep and I wasn’t able to do it. What was wrong with me.

I got my first kick in the guts when they bought her back into my room 6 hours later (she was a big baby so I don’t think they were concerned about her feeding regularly). They told me she went to sleep in one of their bouncy hammocks and slept soundly there the whole time. Lovely, she didn’t need her mum, she needed a bouncy hammock.

At home – I would love to say that when we got home The Biz’ sleep improved but it didn’t. She was a screamer and did not like being put in her bassinette or pram or any other sleep inducing device. I began to dread her sleep time like I used to dread exams. I would start getting edgy when I knew it was getting near. I would feel absolutely sick to the stomach. What would I do, what would work this time, how long would she scream before she fell asleep and most importantly what was wrong with me. Why didn’t I know exactly what she needed. I would lie in bed at night just waiting for her to wake up. I couldn’t relax because I knew it was inevitable. I remember one night pushing her basinette up and down the house of the bumps in the tiles and getting to my absolute wits end and having no idea what to do. For some reason Jack Johnson came into my head. I put Angel (our wedding song) on my iPhone and placed it next to her tiny little head. Immediate silence. I sat down on the couch and sobbed.

Somewhere in there I was admitted into hospital with a wound breakdown. I think it was stress induced, I don’t think my body could cope with healing, while I was permanently living in fear.

Looking back now, I think that she had reflux or colic I just wouldn’t admit it at the time. Being a dietitian I kind of thought that colic was a bit of a touchy feely excuse for cranky babies. Now I know that it is definitely real! There were so many things that we would discover would get her to sleep and we would be so relieved but they would all only last for a week maximum before she would decide it wasn’t for her. I felt really bad because I was becoming “one of those bitter mums”. People would say “aren’t you just loving being a mum” or “isn’t this just the best job in the world” and my answers most of the time would be “no actually it’s absolute hell”. Then I would feel bad because it sounded like I didn’t love the Biz. I did. So much it hurt sometimes. But every day I felt like I wasn’t good enough for her, I wasn’t doing the right things and I didn’t know what she needed.

Now please don’t think that I was all alone in this.  I’m not that tough. I have wonderful, amazing support. PB was an absolute hero in my life. He was the calming force in the house and would make everything better every time. Big Sis is a seasoned mum and the most supportive, best advice giving person I had (and my sanity constantly reminding me that I would get through it). Mum is also a midwife and a wealth of knowledge (most times and as long as it doesn’t concern nutrition ha ha). I have a huge network of mummy friends too, good friends, cousins, cousin’s wives, and PB’s cousins. All of which have given me support, help and advice throughout this time. Unfortunately (and I know this sounds so very weak and selfish) despite all this support, I felt like I was struggling to keep my head above water.

Sanity came by way of the Baby Bjorn. From about 2 months onwards Issy lived in it. I started to feel like I was regaining control and that I could start to get small parts of my life back. The Biz would drop off to sleep in it while I was doing housework and would stay asleep for a whole 45 minutes. I was in heaven. The downside was that I was constantly standing. By the end of each day I was wrecked.

The Biz was a mummies girl (finally) from then onwards. She would scream if given to other people (save for PB). She would last about a minute with close family and would never have a bar of mother-in-law and especially not Oma (poor thing). Certain people wouldn’t believe me, that she would only stay happy in the Bjorn. I would happily hand her over, watch their smug faces when she was quiet and then apply a smug look to my own face when 30 seconds later she would scream louder and louder until she was given back to me and put back into the Bjorn. PB loved getting his Bjorn on and having Biz cuddle up and sleep on him while he went around the house doing housework (I was crashed out on the couch of course).

If there was one thing going for the Biz it was that she was an amazing feeder. We had difficulty with her latching on as I had super-amazing amounts of milk (Big Sis and mum had many a joke about me donating to a milk bank) but after working out I just needed to express before latching her on (and expressing after too, dear god!!) we had no troubles. I on the other hand would end up covered in milk due to huge flow but we started feeding with a flannel tucked in everywhere and that also got easier. I seemed to produce full cream milk (no seriously it was that full of fat) and the Biz put on weight at a rate of knots. I lost weight fast. The stress, constant feeding, the fat content of my milk, the fact that I was carrying the Biz around 24-7 and that I couldn’t fathom feeding myself meant that I ended up lighter than before I became pregnant. Not trying to brag, just trying to get across the craziness of life at that point.

Things got easier but I still wanted to scratch the eyes out of friends who has kids who just dropped off to sleep un-aided and slept all night. The Biz was bounced to sleep in our arms on a fit ball from about 6 months till about 1-year-old and was still waking a few times a night. Both mine and PBs backs started giving up and I wasn’t coping with being awake all night and being back at work. Something had to give. We decided to give controlled crying a go. I was extremely apprehensive. Mum was flat-out opposed and I felt again like such a failure and a selfish b$#ch resorting to it. Prepped for a tough time with the first go I sent PB out (he wouldn’t cope with her crying to sleep and I couldn’t stand to have him think I was cruel by sticking through her crying so we decided it was best I did it on my own). Much to my absolute relief the Biz only cried for 5 mins the first time when I was allowed to go in, then another 5 and dropped off to sleep. Since then she grizzles most times, cries for a few minutes sometimes and blissfully sometimes goes to sleep without a peep.

The sleeping improved but then as she has gotten older, the Biz has opened a whole new can of worms. Princess bossy-boots is what I’m calling this latest stage and I get worried all the time that things we have done as parents have caused her to not share, chuck tanties and hit. No is her favourite word of course. She also had a whole winter of ear infections which hasn’t helped her mood either.

Big Sis, the lovely workers at her childcare and every other mum I talk to say this is just a stage and just what kids this age do but I constantly get sucked into wondering. I wonder if I was at home with her full-time would she still do this or I wonder if the controlled crying has hardened her into a bitter little girl? I guess thats what being a mum is all about, second-guessing yourself and always feeling guilty! 95% of the time these days I know I’m doing a good job which is much better than the flip side it felt like earlier on.

So thats the end of my blog-horrea. I have emptied my thoughts on this one. The Biz is the most amazing miracle to have ever graced our lives. While the road has been tougher than I could ever have imagined, she is also way more hilarious, gorgeous and loving than I could have imagined. The good far outweighs the bad, that’s for sure, but just thought that if I had have read a post like this back when I was in struggle-town it would have made me feel like I wasn’t the only one and that someone else was scared and self doubting too. If you’ve gotten this far you must be a mum, or wanting to be a mum (or did want to until you read this post).

Comment back if you have your own struggle story, or non-struggle story. Being a mum is different for everyone and different with each new child. Would love to hear your experiences….

Heidi