Category Archives: Non-IF Stuff

Interior Designing

I’m supposed to be studying, which of course means I’ve been hanging out on Pinterest and Polyvore far too much.

We’ve started working on ideas for Will’s room once we transition some of the baby items out for his sibling, and of course I’ve been thinking about the baby’s room too!

I have come up with a few hastily thrown together mood boards which I thought I’d share, with the aim that eventually I’ll post before and after pics.

Will's Big Boy Room

Will has a couple of beautiful, colourful handmade quilts that I really want to show off on his new bed. I’ve also been searching high and low for navy and white striped bed sheets but to no avail.

A few items have already been decided on or purchased (like the bed and the posters) and some others are still a work in progress. I’m not sure about the bunting – I need to something on the wall or ceiling above his bed to replace the baby mobile which has already come down, but I’m just not sure if bunting feels right. I plan to recover the chair in his room (which has been yellow since I recovered it for his nursery) in either navy blue or kelly green, or a combination.

The quilts contain lots of colours so really any colour will go in the room, but I want to focus on the slightly more grown up navy and dark green that you can see in this board.

 

Baby girl nurseryBaby boy nursery

The new babe will be inheriting Will’s cot and changing table, and the Ikea chair which is the partner to the chair in Will’s room and is currently packed away in storage. There really aren’t any furniture decision to be made, so these boards focus on the colour schemes I’m currently contemplating. Nothing will get purchased until we find out the baby’s sex in a week or so – but then I might go online shopping crazy!

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Filed under Baby Making, Round 2, Baby Stuff, Non-IF Stuff

The Big T-W-O

Despite being cold and wet the day before, the day of Will’s second birthday party was perfect outdoor barbecue weather.¬† We kept it small, with three of Will’s friends and their parents, plus my in-laws who were staying with us for a week. It was a great afternoon.

Fairy bread. With the exception of two slices, Will ate the entire plate of it before we realised what was happening. This was the last slice, disappearing down the hatch!

Will’s face lit up when he saw the cake. Not sure whether it was the digger or the chocolate but he sure was happy!

Yes, this happened. And yes, like any good mother I grabbed the camera and took a picture rather than take the not-empty bottle of wine off my two-year old.

It’s all about priorities.

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Filed under Family, Non-IF Stuff, Photos

Gettin’ My Craft On

It’s T-7 days until Will’s (very small and simple) birthday barbecue so I have been getting busy making a few small things to personalise the event.

I’m still waiting for some stuff that I’ve ordered to arrive (please get here on time, please) but I’m keeping it pretty simple so hopefully there won’t be a last minute panic to get things done. Because, you know, I just don’t do last minute panic ūüėČ

Will loves all things vehicular, particularly construction vehicles, so there’s a very loose theme based around construction vehicles and the colours navy, orange, white and grey.

Invitation

Party bag tags

And I’m going to attempt a cake inspired by this, but with a blue digger on top (if it arrives in time, that is).

I’m going to throw a whole stack of kids toys in one end of the courtyard, and a bucket ‘o beer at the other for the adults. There are going to be lots of balloons¬† because, well, they’re easy, cheap and effective, and I’m lazy. Everybody pray for good weather because I can’t imagine how we’ll fit everyone in our small living area if it rains.

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Polyvore Love

Dana over at House*Tweaking recently introduced me to Polyvore.

An unhealthy addiction has since been formed ūüôā

LIVING ROOM

Living Room

MASTER BED

Master Bedroom

A little bit of hypothetical interior design is way more important that study, right?

Has anybody else jumped on the Polyvore bandwagon?

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Filed under Non-IF Stuff, Photos, Uncategorized

The Two Week Wait

No, not that two week wait.

Tomorrow marks two weeks until my exams start. And this TWW is going to be oh-so-painful. I’ve been studying since February and a few weeks ago I ran out of steam. I just don’t want to do it anymore, but there is so much still to learn.

I don’t think I’m going to pass. Which isn’t the end of the world – I can sit again in April (you know, once I pay another $3,000 for the privilege) – but it still doesn’t feel good. I know my colleagues and supervisors are expecting me to pass. My family are expecting me to pass. I’ve never not passed anything in my life.

The problem with not passing is that I will have to sacrifice another 6 months to intensive study. Six months I’d rather spend reconnecting up with all my long-neglected friends, devoting some time to my relationship, trying to get better at my job. Six months during which I’d rather spend more of my time with this fellow:

Image

I miss this kid.

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Filed under Non-IF Stuff, Working Mother

Change – Part I

Next year everything changes.

I haven’t really written about my plans for next year, partly because I find it hard to carve out time to sit down and write a post (as opposed to tweeting which can be done on-the-go from my phone) and partly because I’ve been struggling with some pretty serious ambivalence about what 2012 will mean for me and my family.

In summary: a new house in a new suburb, a new job, new childcare arrangements, new study commitments… all of which leaves me feeling a like there’ll be very little left in my life from the last 14 wonderful months.

In the middle of this year I applied for a job – a very competitive and sought after training position at a hospital on the other side of town. I applied partly because I felt like I should – not a good reason, I’ll grant you (and it would take too many paragraphs to explain why I feel that way, if I even could) – but also because I do truly want to take this step in my career. This is where the ambivalence kicks in – I want the job, but I don’t want what it will mean for my life for the next five years (which is the length of the training program – at a minimum).

To be honest, I didn’t think I’d get the job. During my interview the director of training was pretty blunt about the difficulties of the role when I had a child at home (this was the first question they asked me – yes, I know they technically aren’t allowed to discriminate) and about the relative mediocrity of my previous academic record (average to above average grades, although in a very competitive field). I left the interview sure I would not gain the position.

When they called me the following day to offer me the job I was forced to abruptly face the realities of the situation: turn down the job knowing I would almost certainly never be offered the role again, or accept the job and say goodbye to so many of the things I love about my life.

I hesitated for a fraction of a second and then accepted the job.

On an intellectual level it’s a no-brainer. It’s a position on the training program that I’ve always wanted to be on; in 5 years time (if I make it!) I will leave the program with a fantastic career, one that has the potential to be both lucrative and family-friendly. This is the job that will enable me to send Will to private school, to take annual overseas trips, to provide him with opportunities he might otherwise miss out on. Out of the diverse career field I am in this is the job that I think I am best suited to and will most enjoy.

But.

This job will mean a 40 to 50 hour working week. It will mean major study commitments with some pretty serious exams – the first set in September next year. It means moving in order to be closer to my base hospital. It means overtime, nightshift, and weeks rostered to out-of-town locations.

How the hell do I do that and still manage to maintain any semblance of the close relationship I currently share with Will? Where will I find the energy to continue nurturing my marriage? When will I have time for any self-care activities like yoga? How do we care for Will when both of us have jobs that involve working odd or extended hours?

And.

How the hell are we ever going to have another kid?

That’s the big one for me. The reality that this fertility-impaired girl might have to wait until she’s 36 to try for more kids. I can’t ignore what 5 more years is going to do to my fertility. It’s that uncertainty coupled with the knowledge that I will only be able to spend a fraction of the time I currently do with my son that makes me feel almost sick every time I think about it. I haven’t even returned my contract because that would just make it seem too real, too final.

Holy crap, what have I gotten myself in for?

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Filed under Fear, Non-IF Stuff, Working Mother

Fathers’ Non-Day and the Pinterest Challenge

Tomorrow is Fathers’ Day in this corner of the world.

Unfortunately H is working all weekend, so it will sort of be a non-day in this household. To be honest I think I’m more upset about it than he is, but I still wish we could do something special as a family. However, we will make of it what we can. H has conveniently already bought himself a (rather expensive!) present to mark the occasion, which doesn’t leave me with much to do. I’m going to make him a yummy lunch with all his favourite things and drop it off to him at work, but I also wanted him to have a little present he could open.

I was inspired by Christina‘s pin and have made a photo montage for H, but instead of framing it I had it printed on a mug for H to use at work. Conveniently, this little project can double as my entry in the Pinterest Challenge!

Step 1: Bought chunky cardboard letters to spell out D-A-D, and some spray paint.

Step 2: Painted them! This was so much easier and less messy than I anticipated. (I also painted some other items for a different project.)

Step 3: Set up a little ‘mini-studio’ in Will’s room using a black back-drop, gave Will one letter at a time and started snapping!

Step 4: Chose the best shots (this was the hardest part because Will wasn’t having a particularly smiley day!) and used GIMP to merge the photos. (Check out the ‘A’ photo – how could I not love that cheeky little monkey?)

Step 5: Got online at harvernorman.com.au and ordered the mug! Simple!

In retrospect I would have made the photo smaller – and perhaps put one on each side of the mug – so that the entire word DAD could be read from one angle. But! I’m still happy with the outcome. I hope H will be too. It’s a little corny… but then isn’t that what Fathers’ Day is all about?

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A Working Mother

My wee man is¬†almost four months old. In¬†4 days¬†I go back to work, and I’m dreading it. It’s only one 10-hour shift a week, but I’m dreading it.

I’m going back to a job that I don’t love, because I worked too bloody hard and spent too many years at university to give it away now. If I keep my foot in the door going back to full-time work in 2012 will be so much easier. Perhaps not a good reason, but somehow I feel it’s what I should do.

I worry that I’m not going to be terribly committed to my work (hell, I wasn’t that committed even before wee man came along) and the control freak part of me is anxious about someone else looking after my guy for 10 hours straight. I felt more comfortable with the idea when H was going to be looking after Will, but a recent change in job situation means he will only be able to do that for the first two weeks or so.¬† Finding a place in a child care centre on this short notice is impossible (Will is on a waiting list that is about a year long). Finding a private nanny who was happy with only one day of work seemed daunting – and while I’m comfortable having Will cared for by friends or family I don’t like the idea of stranger looking after my guy. We have no family here, so unfortunately there isn’t a grandmother available to care for him while I’m at work. ¬†We’re lucky that a family friend with three teenage children was considering returning to work one day a week. She loves Will and was thrilled when I asked if she would like to care for him. But to be totally honest I¬†still don’t love the idea.

I don’t NEED to go back. My pay will only cover child care and some pocket-money (now that we will be paying for childcare the financial benefit of returning to work is almost nil). For some reason though, I feel like people will be disappointed in me if I choose to be 100% a SAHM. And part of me wonders if I might not enjoy that day of adulthood… but I get teary just thinking about it.

I have to admit, I’m a little stressed about this transition – there just seem to be so many unknowns. I’m comfortable in my current situation; Will and I have our routine and we cope really well and have a great time (mostly!). Ten hours is a long time to be away from my precious fellow – how will I cope? I’m worried that there might be an impact on my breast milk supply. I’m not sure how I am going to¬†fit three pumping session into my work day – and I have no idea where I’m going to do it. I’m worried that my performance at work will be sub-par, and the effect this would have on my career aspirations. I worry that the change in routine might adversely effect Will’s behaviour. How will he cope with someone else putting him down for naps, for example?

I know that the likelihood is that in a few weeks we will have settled into a new routine and going to work will not seem such a big deal. But until then I reserve the right to be anxious!

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Filed under Baby Stuff, Fear, Non-IF Stuff, Uncategorized

The Case of the Disappearing Doctor

Well, H and I both survived our hectic weekend.¬†Unfortunately¬†we were both so exhausted that we did have somewhat short fuses, and there was a little bickering at times, which isn’t ideal when the MIL is visiting! Luckily we didn’t let ourselves get too carried away.

The Labour/Birth and Postnatal classes on Saturday went well – although we both found that we were having trouble concentrating by the end of the day – but I think they were worthwhile. Most of what we were learnt wasn’t new to me, but there were a couple of new things I picked up and it was good to get a refresher on the rest. Even H felt like he knew a lot of what was covered but I certainly feel more comfortable knowing that we’ve been to the classes. Now there’s just the Breastfeeding class at the end of the month, and we’ll be fully accredited parents, ha!

On Sunday we spent the whole afternoon baby shopping with H’s mum. I think this irritated H a little – he likes to be in-and-out when it comes to shopping. He’s very goal-oriented and hates to browse. He started to get a little ‘titchy’ when his mother or I made suggestions or if he didn’t think we were paying enough attention to his suggestions. He just didn’t understand that a giant baby shop is like fantasy-land to a pregnant lady and a soon-to-be-grandmother. Part of the reason we were there was to enjoy this fantasy, even if we knew that all our hypothesising and grand plans were unrealistic. I mean really, did he think I was actually going to buy the $1,900¬†cot?¬†

H’s mother¬†was undergoing treatment for bowel cancer while we were planning our wedding, and was taking a lot of pain medications during the wedding itself and she told me that some of the evening is very vague to her. For that reason it was terribly important to her that she be able to be actively involved in planning for this baby. Once I explained that to H he loosened up a little and let us wander around ohh-ing and ahh-ing at baby clothes. The good news is that we now have our cot – still in its packaging and currently living underneath our sofa bed. This was a gift from H’s parents and I know his mother will love knowing that her grandchild is sleeping safely in a cot that she helped choose. We also bought a changing mat and a swivel changing base to go on top of the baby’s dresser. I love it so much! We’re still waiting for this to arrive but once it does I’ll set it up and take a picture for you.

Today we had our 28 week check-up. It started badly. First, H had an important event on at work. His plan was to try to be there for the appointment but he couldn’t guarantee it. This would have been fine – except that it rained today. All morning. And Melburnians do NOT know how to drive in the rain. I forgot to take this in to account and ended up running late to the appointment. If my darling H had been driving he would have got us there in time – he’s pretty impressive behind the wheel.

Unfortunately, when I did arrive at the hospital (already 15 minutes late) I was greeted by a big fat CAR PARK FULL sign and an attendant who wouldn’t let me in. I was forced to drive around and around (in heavy traffic) looking for a parking space. There were none. In the end I parked in a 15 minutes loading zone and hoped for the best, while running through the rain towards the hospital.

And what did I see when I arrived at my doctor’s office? H’s big, beautiful blue eyes looking up at me from the waiting room couch. Bliss!! It was kinda funny though… H wears a suit to work, but his job requires him to carry a gun. Because he was technically ‘at work’ he came to the appointment ‘fully loaded’, so to say! I’d never even seen a real gun until the first day I saw him all kitted out with his holster, so to be sitting 2 inches away from a gun while in my obstetrician’s office was a little odd. Good on our doc though, he didn’t even bat an eyelid!

Most of the news at the check up was good. Bert’s heartbeat sounded as perfect as ever, my fundus is measuring appropriately, and the OB could tell that Bert has his head down, his back up my left side, his bum under my left ribs (that explains the ache) and his feet under my right ribs. My blood test results are not so great. There’s nothing too serious going on, and he confirmed that I did pass my GTT (whew!). Unfortunately my iron stores are low (my Ferritin is only 6 – yikes!) and although my haemoglobin is in the acceptable range for pregnancy, it’s lower than it’s ever been for me in the past. And… my prolactin has doubled since it was last tested (at about 20 weeks). We knew that my prolactin would increase in pregnancy, but the hard part is deciding how high is too high. There are no “normal” ranges for a woman with a prolactinoma in pregnancy.

In terms of the prolactin, my OB wants me to go back to see my Endocrinologist again. He thinks that I should at least get my visual fields formally tested to make sure there hasn’t been growth of the tumour causing it to affect the optic nerve. The serious downside to this is that if my Endocrinologist does think I need to start treatment (which would happen after the baby is born) it would make it absolutely impossible to breastfeed. Sigh.

The last time I saw my Endocrinologist he mentioned that his office was moving. Yesterday when I tried to call him all the numbers were changed or disconnected. I called the hospital were he was based and they too had an old number for him. I can’t find him listed online at all. So…¬† how on earth do I get in touch with him?

The upshot of¬†my iron deficiency is that I have to start eating more red meat (I’m not much of a meat eater) and if that doesn’t work I’ll need to¬†start iron supplements. H was quite excited about the prospect of red meat every day! When I discussed this with my dad (because he likes to be kept in the loop after every OB appointment) he was quite concerned and thought that with a Ferritin of 6 I should have been starting the iron tabs straight away. Apparently a baby born low in ferritin has twice the likelihood of needing to be admitted to hospital in the first 12 months of life with infective illness than one born with adequate stores. In the end we agreed that I’ll try to improve my dietary intake, get retested at 34 weeks, and start the tablets then if I need to.

And after my appointment yesterday I came home and made myself a steak sandwich for lunch. What an obediant girl I am!

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Filed under Baby Stuff, Doctors, Family, Non-IF Stuff, Pituitary Adenoma

Deliveries

Over the last 24 hours, we have had three deliveries.

1) The little organic cotton leggings I bought for the baby to wear with the cardigan my mother knitted on the trip home from the hospital.

2) The pram! The Mountain Buggy Swift. It is awesome, plus it is a NZ company which, being a patriotic Kiwi, I love. In this picture I have it with the carry cot in place (as we will initially use it) but it is modular and has a regular seat configuration too.

3) A seat liner for the pram from Mini Happy Me on Ebay. Black with white polka dots (just like the moses basket).

I have also recently ordered some cot bedding from Melissa’s Boutique on Etsy. She was so helpful and patient as I made-up and then¬†changed my mind many times. I have ordered two fitted sheets, a stuffed teddy bear, and a changing pad cover all in yellow with white polka dots. In the end I decided not to get a bumper because we wouldn’t¬†use it¬†early on and it would be one more item needing to be stored in our already quite full cupboards. It’s not like me to be quite so sensible!

 

I will, of course, put some pictures up once the bedding arrives (and we’ve bought the cot to put it on!).

I was originally inspired by this yellow and white Nurseryworks bedding, and was terribly disappointed to find that it had been discontinued.

 

I would have paid a fortune in shipping to have it sent to Australia if I have been able to find it in the US.¬†A few online shops still have it in orange (which I loved) but as we have already purchased a few yellow items, such as a side lamp, I decided to stick with the yellow and white idea. I have literally spent weeks looking for canary yellow and white baby bedding and there just isn’t any, so I went for the simple polka dot fabric I found on Ebay. It will be easy to coordinate with other more gender-specific colours in the future.

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