Saturday, April 28, 2012

#^$%@^%! We'll Take That Epidural To Go!

Nothing happened overnight on the 1 mg of Prostaglandin they had given me the evening before.  "I have really slow labours." I reassured everyone. 

"1 - 2 cm."  the midwife said.  "Just what I expected."  I said.  "My births are quick and easy but my labours usually take hours."

I was an old pro at this, you see.

So that, after 2 more mgs of Prostaglandin at 10 AM, Damon and I ate a huge breakfast and went for a walk outside.  Been there, done that.  No need to spend the day in the room. 

We were going for a second breakfast of sugary muffins when I realised that the pains were not only fairly intense (not expecting them, I hadn't noticed!) but also, Damon informed me, fairly regular at 4 minutes and lasting over 30 seconds.

The last thing I clearly remember is walking past all the construction workers on break at the cafe and trying not to look like I was in too too much labour.

And then trying to convince the midwife on the ward, Julie, that I really was going into labour quickly. 

"You're still smiling," she reassured me.  "We know to start worrying when you stop smiling."

I believe I stopped smiling fairly quickly after that.

I also believe that Julie stopped worrying about giving my roommate morphine for her mild pre-labour pains and concentrated on finding me a birth suite.

My waters broke on the ward.  ("Oh, my waters never break on their own," I remember telling them the night before.  Really, my labours never progress without a little artificial intervention.")

Julie tried to get me some pain meds.  Which was easier than finding a doctor.

"Would you like some paracetamol and codeine?" she asked me. 

Really?  My roommate's getting morphine for mild back pains and I get paracetamol for labour?

"What I'd LIKE is an epidural, but if I have to play the game, I'll start with the codeine."  I replied.

"We just can't find a doctor to write up a prescription for the morphine."  Julie answered in sympathy.

Really, I'm cool with skipping straight to the epidural, I reminded her.

But she was off trying to convince a doctor I needed a birth suite.

I started swearing soon after that. 

"Fuck these really really hurt.  FUck/  Fuck/  FUcking fuck fuck."   With a few Jesus fuck fucks thrown in.

I was starting to scare my roommate.

I remember Damon answering his mobile phone in the middle of all this and informing me that he just needed to run out for a moment to drop the car off at the dealership.


"You walk out of this room now and you don't need to come back."  I told him.

Turns out it was more than a threat.  He would have missed it.

Something about a wheelchair and zooming down the hall and the doctor on the phone turning around to see that I really was in labour.  And possibly delivering.

A freight elevator.

An empty room.

"Can you get out of the wheelchair, love?"

"Not happening."

"How about now?"

"Nope.  Not happening."

The contractions came so fast that I just hunkered down into a deep dark space inside myself and decided not to move.

"YOu're a woman.  YOu can DO this."  she insisted.

ANd so I somehow made it onto the bed.

I don't recall a lot.

I do recall that the midwife Julie handed me off to looked like she was about 16.

I have enough of a sense of humour to appreciate this even as I feel like I am dying.

The look I shot Damon was one of resignation.

I do remember that that much vaunted nitrous oxide everyone went on about doesn't do a thing once you're in full-blown labour.  Suck on this my ass!  (Although I believe the phrase was actually "take a deep breath and relax, love, not suck on this.)

I sucked though.  Except it was harder than you would think.  My brain was going, this is SO not going to help at all.  My brain was also going, WHIPPETS, do the drugs sweetheart, drugs are your friends.  But my brain had also decided just to shut itself up into the deep primal space and not move.

"Not happening." 

"Can you?...."


I felt like I was thrashing in agony in the pits of hell, making a scene, not cooperating at all.

Damon says I was actually stone cold still and barely responsive, having retreated inside myself.

I tried, I really did.

I knew I had to follow instructions to get this done with.

I was the happiest catatonic person alive when the midwife announced - somewhat surprised - that I was only 3 cm dilated.

Arm out.  Here's the vein.  WHere the hell is that anesthetist?  Epidural please so that I can actually ENJOY the rest of this delivery thank you very much.

SO psyched for the epidural.  SO psyched for the epidural.

Not moving fast enough people.  Not moving fast enough.

Why does noone believe me when I tell them I am in labour?

"I'm only three centimetres dilated and I need an epidural because I feel the need to push." I told them.  Honestly ladies, this hurts.

So I pushed out of spite.

And Ian's head popped out 18 minutes after they'd told me I was only 3 cm.

SO much for that friggin' epidural then.  (Damon really did tell Julie on the way home that we'd take that epidural to go!)

I was pretty pissed but also pretty resigned by then.  I wasn't getting the drugs and so I might as well get it over with.

ANd the contractions had stopped.  Blessed relief.

"Now stop pushing, love, rest a bit and wait for the contractions to start again."

Are you KIDDING me?  I was having none of that contraction shit again.

ANd so I pushed anyway.  WIthout a contraction.  BEFORE another one would come.  Baby out.  Pain stops.  It was fairly easy to work out.

There was a lot of commotion down there, but I was up away from it all.  The pain had stopped.  I was safe.  I would love to  be able to say that I entered that primal state and fought for my life and for the life of my baby.  I did not.  I fought for a relief from the pain. 

They threw him on my chest with the chord still attached. 

He looked wrong. 

I felt a finger up my anus and yelled at whoever had the nerve to be doing that.

Are you KIDDING me? AFter all that you need to stick a finger up my butt too?  Have you ANY idea what you are doing down there?!

What they were doing down there, it turns out, was trying to stop the hemorrhaging.  They couldn't find a vein and so they inserted a suppository.  Fine.  Whatever.  Just so you people know what you are up to.

I thought of Grandma and of how she had hemorrhaged after the twins.  I wasn't worried about dying.  I saw the blood bags rolled in and found it all vaguely fascinating, from a distant vantage point.

THe midwife gave a shriek, grabbed the baby and ran from the room. 

He wasn't breathing.

Calmly I thought of how we would deal with a mentally challenged baby.

We heard a cry. 

I eventually stopped bleeding.

I shook uncontrollably.  Post stress response they told me.  Happens in these quick deliveries.  You did fine.

I did not care if I did fine.

I did wish I had handled it all with a little more dignity and grace, done some yoga breaths, anything cool.  Damon told me the thrashing had been all in my mind.  I hadn't moved, I was catatonic. 

We delivered Ian from my side, one midwife holding my legs since we hadn't had time to set up the room with stirrups.

"Can you roll onto your back now?'  they asked.

"Not happening," I replied.

My ward midwife Julie told me that if I hadn't been in the hospital anyway I would have had Ian at home.  She knew it was all over the minute my waters broke because she had had an 18 minute home birth herself with her last child.   And she had me in a wheelchair and down the corridor without permission and without promise of a birth suite because she knew that baby was coming.

And she apparently gets in trouble if one of her patients delivers on the ward!

I don't know, I still wish I could have handled it  better.

I was not prepared for that speed.

On the other hand I got to spend some extra time in hospital while they did bloodwork to make sure my kidneys hadn't failed.   In rare cases you can develop pregnancy toxemia AFTER the birth.  Since there is no way to correct it, like delivering the baby, this is not good.   I looked up all the alternative diagnoses online and made sure Damon had kept up my life insurance policy.

Turns out the high blood pressure was probably just due to all that blood loss but they just wanted to be sure.

In the meantime Ian latched on and took to life as a baby as though he had done this whole life thing before.

I think I was meant to have this kid, and this kid in particular, for some reason.

All of which is a very good thing.

Because I am NOT going through THAT again!

Friday, April 27, 2012

&$^#*@(! (Famous Last Words!)

Of course, I had it all down with delivery number four and child number five.

"I can't believe you are on the way to the hospital." said my friend Gabby, as Damon and I stopped by her shop for a quick hello.  "Aren't you scared?"

Scared?  I was being induced (at 39 weeks for a possibly large baby that ended up weighing in at a healthy and reasonable 3.7 kgs / 8 lbs 3 oz after all).  That meant plenty of time for an epidural, didn't it?  I was actually looking forward to 5 to 10 hours of relatively comfortable labour - I'm one of those dumb-asses who really DOES forget the pain! - on this, my day, probably the last day to be mine for quite a while.

Not that I hadn't had to work for this day.  At 10:30 AM, as we were getting all the kids into the already packed van to head to the shops for some last minute shoe shopping and groceries, before having lunch and delivering the kids to Tracey and Neil's for the night, the car battery died.

No kidding.

So we packed the kids, illegally, into our other car and went shopping anyway.  Meanwhile the car dealer, knowing we were expecting to deliver that day and expecting child number five himself, sent someone over to replace the battery.

At 1 PM, shoes and groceries bought, lunch (McDonald's takeaway eaten out back) eaten, the children ready for their sleepover, I called the hospital to make sure they weren't too busy to receive me at 3PM.

Knowing Brisbane Royal as I do now, I have to laugh at my innocence. 

"We're awfully busy at the moment, love.  Be a dear and call us back at 4:30."

Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital continued to be awfully busy for the following week, with 16 birthing suites in continous rotation, 36 discharges per day, and 60 infants in the NICU.  My ward had 60 beds, mostly filled and there was at least one other maternity ward, also with 60 beds.  Filled as well.  Supposedly this had something to do with it being spring, with it being exactly nine months after the floods that left us without power (The Flood Babies, they are calling them, and preparing for an explosion in Prep School entries in five years!), and with the health care system not growing fast enough to meet the needs of a relatively young, and reproducing, population in the Brisbane area.

There were other hospitals.  But not for someone with my growing list of "high risk" pregnancy symptoms.    "What do you have to do to get some attention around here?" my roommate and I would joke over the following days.  She had gestational diabetes, gestational cholestasis (the reason for HER induction at 37 weeks) and, while in hospital, developed what we both thought was severely high blood pressure (150/90).  This last caused neither of us much concern as we figured this meant they would just get that baby out with a C-section and end the agony of her prolonged induction. 

Unfortunately this list was not top-priority enough for RBWH.  "We've got a pill for that, love."  And the induction continued - or didn't, as the case may be.

I tried a little humour as the medical students reviewed our cases.  "The only thing she doesn't have yet is a blood clot.  But I've got one of those in my history, if you need to round out your education. "  She and I thought I should come in with a song and dance about "Factor V Leiden /APLS (Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome)", both clotting things on MY list, whenever I felt I was being overshadowed by her cholestasis.  (We both had mild gestational diabetes controlled by diet and I developed high blood pressure AFTER delivery, so we were neck and neck on those!)

As it turned out our conditions, which would have been considered extremely worrisome in any other hospital, were nothing at RBWH.  I figured it out later, wandering the halls late at night with Ian in my arms.  We had relatively well-managed conditions.  We had full-term babies.  And, hearing the new mother next door ask how her 1.9 kg baby was doing in NICU, or the dad on the phone updating his relatives about both his babies on ventilators, I realised how lucky we really were.

But this is still 1PM on Tuesday, September 27, and I'm still feeling quite high priority.  And bummed that the kids are going to bounce off the walls if we don't deliver them to their promised sleepover soon.

Fortunately my friend Tracey has five children herself (which is why she didn't flinch at offering to add my four to the mayhem for a night - or, as it turned out, two).  Damon dumped our four off and I looked up movie listings.

Which is how I got to see "Abduction" with Taylor Lautner, a movie I would never have seen otherwise, which was okay in parts, and terribly lacking in others, while waiting for my delivery to start.

But scared?  I wasn't scared.  Just anxious for the whole thing to start.

Which is why I was also pissed when Damon discovered a huge bolt in the front tire on our way out of the theatre.  "Maybe we should get this taken care of." he said.

Get this taken care of?  GET THIS TAKEN CARE OF?  ON OUR WAY TO THE HOSPITAL?  THIS IS MY DAY!  Honestly, if you can't be the focus of attention on the friggin' day of your delivery.

Needless to say, Damon drove to hospital with the bolt still in the tire.  (Rest assured the bolt makes a reappearance later.)

Sitting in the waiting room for three hours, I had a chance to make some notes in my writing pad.

At one point I thought the Braxton Hicks contractions I'd been having every evening for the past week might actually be turning into something.  I thought about going out to reception and informing them that I might be going into labour while waiting for the induction. 

But didn't know if it might be interpreted as sarcasm.

Damon looked extremely uncomfortable when we were joined by a woman clearly in labour.  "It'd serve them right if she popped it out right here in the waiting room."  I whispered.  (How little did I know then how close to the truth I was!) 

"It's not that." responded Damon.  Her husband's the guy who I hurt my hand on a few weeks ago."  Huh?  Oh, the guy with the friend who supposedly stole his cigarettes and then started a major brawl at Gilhooley's, prompting a police call, a vaulting bar-tender, and some serious bruises; how Damon's hand got hurt flew past in the fight details.

And now they're sitting in a small room together with their heavily pregnant wives, one of whom is about to deliver on the floor, trying not to make eye contact!

"This might just be the funniest labour and delivery yet."  I wrote on my notepad.

Famous last words.

Then the wagon train of pregnant women and their partners paraded past.  About thirty of them.  On the bi-weekly tour of the birthing area.  This alone should have alerted me to the size of the place, to how busy they really are, and to the relative importance MY full-term birth was going to have in the general scheme of things.  (Maybe I should have taken that hospital tour?)

So that September 27 passed eventfully, but without the major event we had been counting on.  And I slept peacefully, knocked out with sleeping pills (does Valium - or a derivative thereof - cross the placenta?  I never got to ask.) and some mild pain meds, totally unnecessary in my case but reassuring me that, if they gave paracetamol and codeine BEFORE the contractions even started, surely the Aussie response to the REAL DEAL would be a fast and well-placed epidural.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

ANZAC Day Without War

Proud new patriots at last year's ANZAC parade

I held back tears at least year's ANZAC parade.  Mostly because I had been here only half a year and I was embarrassed to be so worked up about a country that hadn't even granted me permanent residency yet.  (I spent that first year unable to make it through the national anthem at Friday's weekly school parade without tears too.  Might have been the pregnancy hormones.  But mostly I think it was the intense relief and gratitude I felt the moment our plane touched down in Brisbane.)

Sometimes the most loyal patriot is a new patriot.

In any case, people were scared to sit next to me at assembly last year.

This year, it always stuns me when people ask where I am from.  "Uh, Strathpine, north of Brisbane."  Until they then ask where the ACCENT is from and I remember that I had a life before Australia. 

TWINE!  Tomato, potato and water as well.  (Although when I recently pronounced potato correctly - in the middle of my American accent - it brought just as many laughs.  Apparently I sounded English, not Australian.  You people are very hard to please sometimes.  KARTOFFEL!  So there.)
Lawnton State School students at this year's ANZAC Day Parade

I love having my kids march proudly on ANZAC day. 

Veterans Day in the USA always held associations with Vietnam and probably now with Iraq and with whether we should have been there or not.  There was a lot of ambiguity over whether we should be proud or not.  And there were definite sides - the far right which felt we HAD to be proud or else we were traitors to the American flag - and the far left which felt that the soldiers sent to Vietnam were criminals.  It's mellowed some with Iraq; even those against the war itself had learned enough from the divisiveness of the Vietnam era to respect the soldiers being sent over to fight while at the same time protesting the fact that they were being sent over there.

You see what I mean?  Blah blah.   The Americans can't march without sides being drawn.

Matthew and Andrew at the War Memorial in Kallangur last year

The Germans don't march at all.  (Which makes the rest of Europe breathe a sigh of relief any day!  Ha ha. Sorry I couldn't resist that one.)

There is a Day of Remembrance for victims of WWII but it is a quiet day off, not a celebration. 

It came to me today that if Germany could acknowledge their collective guilt and move forward, they would be my heroes for owning up to what happens when everyday people make very bad choices.

(An Aussie friend of mine went to Germany on holiday recently and toured a concentation camp while she was there.  After seeing the piles of human hair and the shoes and the other horrors that the German guide had no problems showing them she asked if the Germans had apologised for what they had done.  Ah, the innocence of Australians always surprises and pleases me!  "It was war."  she was told.  "You don't apologize for war."  Ah, maybe you might want to consider it, mate.

Matthew watching from the sidelines at this year's parade with a 102.5F (39.4C) fever

It would be in very bad form to honour a military that, according to Valkyrie (the movie with Tom Cruise) anyway, had more than one chance to do the right thing - get rid of Hitler - and continually chose not to. 

Of course that doesn't stop me from mourning the 12 year old boys they sent into battle at the end.

But he rallies bravely!

Being a pacifist does not stop me from being grateful to soldiers who had to fight to protect the freedoms that we have today. 

As the spitfire flies overhead at the end of the parade I think back on our trip to Dresden and how horrendous it must have been to hear that sound in Europe and know that bombs were on their way.

I remind my kids as we walk to the march that war is an evil that kills indiscriminately.

I talk to them about the other purposes a military could be used for: building roads and schools and hospitals, immunizing children, providing clean water and  teaching about proper sanitation.    Helping people help themselves.

As the spitfire flies overhead I think of the young soldiers today - Australian, American and other, who come home from Afghanistan today and drop to the floor trembling if someone drops a bag of groceries in the supermarket.

Or of Damon's uncle who still suffers from night terrors since he returned from Vietnam 4o years ago.

ANZAC Day is a day to be proud of our country - sorry Cara, countries! - and of our soldiers.

Honouring soldiers of past wars

And future soldiers I hope never have to go to war

It is a relief and a joy to be in a country always seen as the good blokes, the mates, the ones who come to aid, but not the ones who start anything.  Free of moral ambiguity and political implications.
(Compared to the Americans and Germans anyway!)

But for me any commemoration of our soldiers will also be a day to remember the horrors that war brings. 
Who ARE these people.  Ryan a year ago, sitting on a pregnant Mommy to hide her belly!

And to hope that someday soon, when I am at the parade watching my grandkids march perhaps, we will be honouring soldiers who haven't had to fight a war at all.

I'm going to need a little help on the spiritual upbringing here.

Because the kids know Jesus.  He's the son of God, the guy who had the good fortune to be born on Christmas and the bad fortune to get on the wrong side of the Romans.

 "Were the Romans the bad guys, Mom?"

 "Mom, I really hate the Romans."

Jesus is also the guy in our kitchen cupboard, but that's another story and another blog I should probably wait until after Christmas to post.

"So who is God, Mom?"

Good Lord!  (Pun intended.)  I was much better equipped to handle.  "Mom, what's a virgin?"

"Well the Christians believe...." just doesn't bring it home.  Neither does "well, I believe in balance and in a great universal consciousness struggling towards equilibrium."


So that the discussion turns to whether God would have access to a wand for his creation of the universe.  Or at least a magic sword.

And whether he would beat Hercules.  (Conclusion: probably, since Hercules is only half a god.)

But if God killed Hercules, would Zeus then be able to kill God in revenge?

Depends on who had access to a light saber, we've decided.

"Love one another as I have loved you."  Jesus.

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  Also Jesus.

"With great power comes great responsibility."  Peter Parker's uncle.

Would Spiderman be able to beat Harry Potter?  Who would win, Darth Vader or Voldemort?

I'm going to need a little help here, guys.  But at least I have 'em thinking!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Closet Christian

Jesus shares a space in my kitchen cupboard with the flour and sugar.  Sometimes the cinnamon hits him in the eye.

When the spices are particulary unorderly it resembles a voudou altar.

At the very least I can be accused of idolatry.

So what?

I had nowhere else to put him after the Mormon missionaries gave him to me for safekeeping.  I couldn't bring myself to pitch him in the trash.  Briefly considered recyling.  And didn't particulary want him on my wall.

The cutlery drawer was running out of room.

So that he ended up tucked away in my kitchen cupboard, supposedly out of the way.

And now I see him every day.  Regularly.  Often even.

He is very reassuring.  The peaceful, pretty, glowing, blonde Jesus that my Catholic grandmother introduced me to.

And, although I don't speak to him, he gives me a feeling of calm when I reach past him for the flour.

He's my little secret, tucked away for me.

So that I don't need to be saved by that guy demanding I come up to the altar and publicy profess my faith.   That guy who lured me in there, with my five kids, with a snazzy Hip-Hop version of the Christmas story and then proceeded to call me a sinner and imply that those of us who didn't follow his rules for following Jesus weren't as cool as those who did. 

As if I need to join a church that reminds me of highschool. 

(The Hip-Hop story was great, by the way, thanks.)

I do not know that I am Christian.  I do not accept Christianity's view that there is only one path to salvation and I am not entirely comfortable with the intense missionary zeal of Christianity, this need to make others believe the same way we do.  (I DO admire the immense work accomplished by missionaries and their devotion.  It was this guy on the pulpit recently telling me I was no good unless I signed up for his particular brand of Christianity that really pissed me off.)

And so I keep my Jesus in my closet. He reminds me that we are all brothers and sisters.   He reminds me to love.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Working Out The Workout Schedule

Getting out of bed at 5 AM is not a problem.

At all.

Ian eats from 4 AM on anyway.  And then tosses and turns the rest of the time.

I might as well get up and get it over with.

The boxing class is far less painful than tormenting myself by even trying to get anymore sleep.

The key to all this was a nap in the morning when Ian goes down though.

Around mid-day.  Which is 8:30 AM to 10 AM for Ian.  On a good day.

Day one, Friday, however, Ryan had a 9:30 AM appointment to get her thyroid checked at Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane.  One hour sitting in traffic at that hour.

Ian got a nap.

I didn't.

Two hours in the waiting room and back to school at 11:30.

Ian snoozed again in the car.

I didn't.

Noon shopping and lunch.

Back to school for some quick unfinished P and C business.

I left Ian sleeping in the car and ran up to the office.

3 PM pickup.

4 - 6 PM P and C get together.

Ian fairly exhausted from a day in the car.

And you've seen my Saturday schedule.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

You really learn how much your friends love you when you invite them to a cleaning products party and they show up. 

Nicole twins' mum Nicole at MY twins birthday party last July. 

We had all three Nicoles there; Nicole the twins' mum Nicole and Nicole Monique's mum Nicole as well as Nicole Mat's Nicole from Damon's previous employment. Tracey came with two of her five kids in between soccer matches, Miranda brought scones and cream, Karina brie and crackers.  Nicole twins' mom Nicole brought her mother-in-law, Lorna, who bravely rallied along.

Kids who weren't being carted around to sporting events and birthday parties by husbands were turfed downstairs where Damon ran a free creche service for the duration.  It was a bit loud at first but then I remembered to turn off the baby monitor.

You think maybe Bobbi Jo didn't turn up because she thought we'd stick her at the kids' table again?
I'd been trying to convince everyone that this really would be fun - especially with the wild gang that did come - but I know they only came for me.

And it was fun.  These girls have a wicked sense of humour, every single one of them, and it was a fun mix to have. 

Nicole twin's mom Nicole had been rolling her eyes at me for weeks every time I mentioned my cool Norwex cleaning products - safe for the environment, better for your kids, saves you money blah blah blah..... 

She was only expressing what everyone else was thinking too.

"We'd all heard the 'I spilled pear juice in the fridge and my Norwex kitchen cloth picked it up in 5 minutes' story." said  Miranda.

Miranda and Jesse with a brand-new baby Ian

And the 'I can clean the bathroom sink in 2 minutes' story.

Not to mention the "I borrowed Tracey's mop after Ryan's pool party and cleaned the entire downstairs floor in 7 minutes " story.

Yes, I am a joy to run into!

I'd love to say I was using the products because I care about my kids' health or want to cut down on cleaning detergents and paper towels.

I'm just using them to save time.

But I haven't bought any paper towels in over 4 months. 

I basked in the joy that I had friends who loved me - or at least liked me enough to show up and watch someone clean my house - and felt lucky to be surrounded by all the good cheer and laughter, the eye rolling and teasing too. 

That was really enough for me.

Tracey and Neil looking so cute until I realised she was just going for his wallet!

It was even more fun to see people get into the products the same way I had. 

Hah.  Laugh at my ' I can mop up the kids' drinks spills with one cloth and never use any paper towels anymore' story now.  (In fact, Andrew knocked over a water glass right after everyone left and ran straight for the Norwex cloth before I could get overly upset about it.  Good boy.  Nice to see that he is partially house-broken!)

The sink was clean in less than 2 minutes.

I saw through one of my living room windows again.

And one rung of my oven is sparkling clean.

The shower product worked so well Damon looked through the glass door when I showed it to him and was remarkable unimpressed.  Until he realised that the door was there. 

He'd thought it was open.

Nicole twins' mum Nicole ended up liking the products so much she is hosting a party herself in June.
Coady and Connor twins all in a heap.
Something I can now roll MY eyes at every time I see her.

A few people bought more products than I have myself and I felt a strange momentary twinge of envy.  Which was really funny since the whole point had been to show everyone how great this stuff was and how much time it would save them.  Oh yeah and money and health and the environment and all that.

How lame is it that I think it is going to be really fun listening to people's stories once they start using their mops and sponges and stuff?   Now Cara and the entire P and C are going to have to hear it from Nicole too!  And hey, she's the pres!

I'm so excited I get some new stuff now too.  I really am.  Thanks guys.

"My mother says I'm brilliant but I'm having a little trouble finding my mouth here!"

But I'm way more excited that I have such a great group of friends.  We've only been here 18 months.  That I've stumbled upon such a sisterhood is truly remarkable.  It makes me feel that I am truly meant to be here, that this is exactly where I am supposed to be and that I have finally, after a lifetime of searching, truly found home.

Bonus is that I've also got the Norwex products to clean it with!!!!

In Hindsight...

So questioning this last sport Andrew has gotten into!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Merry Go Round Out of Control

Has it only been a week since school started?

I'm exhausted. 

This might be worse than having the kids home.

Tomorrow's schedule:

Andrew has a 9 AM soccer game.

Aidan and Matthew have a 9 AM soccer game.  (Be there at 8:15)

Fortunately at the same field (this time!) since I also decided to host a Norwex party 2 months ago.

Has it been two months already? 10 -12 Norwex then.

Aidan and Matthew then have a 12 - 3 PM birthday party. (Can I schedule in time to wrap the presents?)

While Andrew has Philippino language class from 2 - 4 PM.

Someone has to drive Ryan riding at 1:30.

And pick her up again at 8 PM since she is staying for the evening meeting.  (Remember to give her money to buy pizza so she doesn't starve.)

Sunday she goes back up again at 6 AM until 1 PM to help at a dressage event.  (Make sure she eats.)

Aidan and Matthew have a costume party from 2 - 4 .  (Will I run out of wrapping paper by then since I forgot to pick some up while I was out today?!)

I'm just sure I'm forgetting something.

Or that I'll forget some kid somewhere at some point.

It's a good thing Ian is squawking at this stage!  (For the record, he is doing the Norwex party and the riding activities!)

My friend Tash, planning her 7 AM to 7 PM day tomorrow from swimming to rugby to karate and back to swimming again has been questioning all this running around.

Fit?  To heck with it all.  Why don't we just stick our kids in front of Saturday cartoons and gp back to bed.

I'll probably pass you on Gympie Road at some point Tash.

Monday, April 16, 2012


The kids went back to school today.

Doo da doo da.

Trip to Christ Church.  Awesome.  The twins made two collages of our trip when they were home with impetigo the following week.

The following week.  Horrendous.   When the news came on Wednesday that Grandma had died all I could think of  was "well of course she did!."  That kind of a week.

Five kids at home for two weeks of Easter Break.  Highlights included a camping and boating weekend for Andrew's birthday, Easter Sunday board surfing at Dicky Beach on the Sunshine Coast (where we learned what 'dumping waves' were!),  April 10 at Wet -n- Wild on the Gold Coast and April 13th at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary (where a few of the kangaroos actually deigned to get up for us, and one even hopped!).

I got my veterinary license for Queensland the same day Damon got his raise.

Andrew got a motorbike.

I got my first Asian massage and now totally love all Asian men.  Plus my husband for getting it for me.

Aidan and Matthew played their first game of league soccer.

Ian is crawling a bit, mostly in an attempt to stand and play soccer. 

And I managed to figure out the manual 4*4 loaner vehicle in time to race Ryan to her riding lesson.  Turns out driving manual on the right side of the car is exactly the same as driving it on the left side.  Which I learned only after barreling out of the garage in reverse and almost hitting a post (with all five kids in the car, of course!) before taking a guess that the brake was the OTHER pedal.

It's been a heck of a four weeks.

I keep thinking of John Lennon 'watching the wheels go round and round.'  My merry-go-round spins faster and faster.  I love it.  Mostly.

Goal now is to find my way to the middle and just watch a bit myself.