Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Oh man, I started thinking about this while I was doing the washing up and it became an entire Susan Jeffers-esque 'I'm thankful for EVERYTHING right now' style of thing.

But honestly, here's what I'm feeling warm and fuzzie'd by this week.

  • I'm thankful for my surgeon Aisha, who safely delivered Pippa whilst simultaneously cracking jokes with me over the dividing curtain and stitching me up beautifully. She made a potentially scary situation, well, not as scary.
  • For friends who drive insanely long distances just to say hi and kick back on the deck. My friend Beck sent me a text last week saying 'Can I come over? I've got the kids, but I just want to say hi for five minutes.' No sooner had I replied that she pulled into my driveway. It turns out that she was coming and that was that. She ignored the bomb site lounge room, pulled out two giant frozen meals for us, brought us cakes for morning tea and sat with me whilst I fed Lady Pippa. Today my friend Mel and her hubby A2 came for a visit, and whilst their son O played with M, A2 made sausage rolls in my kitchen, gave us some for afternoon tea and put a dozen more in the freezer. Then he did the dishes and tidied the kitchen whilst us ladies gasbagged and swapped around our Bellaboxes. Awesome friends indeed.
  • Our family daycarer, who will go out of her way to drop Millie home on one of her allotted daycare days, and not charge us for the other allotted day as I can't drive Millie to care. She sends home magazines for me to read and is a part of our family down here. We love her lots.
  • For the confidence that being a second time Mum brings. I don't panic (as much) when Lady Pippa hollers the house down, I just turn the TV on and get comfy with her on my chest. It's more stressful when Millie's also hollering the house down... I remember Veggie Mama telling me the most difficult thing she'd found so far was choosing which screaming child to tend to first. Oh, I get it now Stacey.
  • For friends who I can carry on a textual conversation with over an entire day without seeming stalker-like. Ros and Sarah, thank you.
  • I'm thankful for friends that keep sending me LOVELY packages in the post. You make me feel so special and you spoil my little family so very much.
  • On that note, Millie was sent a bracelet by her friend Maggie, and it's so special to her that it requires losing the use of said bracelet arm, just to make sure it stays on. She just made me take it off her arm so she could use both hands for another task.
  • And always, for the insanely wonderful Mr S. He changes nappies at night, he makes me smile when both kiddlywinks are hollering, he does the shopping and buys me a block of chocolate without fail, he goes to work full time so I don't have to, he bolsters my confidence in the middle of the night feedings, and he makes me a cup of tea in bed every morning. Every morning. He's a keeper.
  • Lastly, I'm thankful for Lady Pippa, who is such a mystery, but had stolen my heart from the word go. I didn't think it was possible to have enough love after Millie, but your heart just seems to grow and expand in ways I couldn't imagine.
Linking up for Thankful Thursday at We {Heart} Life.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Peach.

Dear Dad,
Ever stylin'

It's your birthday again. Again? Really? Time is flying by at the moment.

There's Pippa, you see. She's suddenly three and a bit weeks old and life is a bit crazy. In a good way. She's got this way of just looking at you, and you're certain that she's got it all figured out already, at only three weeks old. She smells divine and is such a delicious mystery. Millie is ever gorgeous, looking more and more like me as a baby (hence the ever gorgeous, y'know?) and turning into a Toddler Lady before our very eyes. I'm pretty sure you'd think she was the best thing since Vanilla Slices.

I'm not sure that you ever imagined yourself surrounded by grandchildren, but Dad, if you were here, you would be. Sally and I would also be leaving the room at opportune moments... leaving you to change dirty nappies. Hey - you always wanted to be a grandfather! Ha!

You're never far from my thoughts. Millie's stunning blue eyes are your eyes. My nose, your nose. (thanks a bunch, by the way.) Your four brothers? Identical to you. My brother Ben? Sounds just like you on the phone. It's freaky.

I think of you every Saturday night when there's nothing on television but freakin' Star Trek: Next Generation. Don't get me wrong, I love Picard with the best of them, but EVERY Saturday night? You'd bloody love it.

You would have been 64 today. Instead, you'll always be 58. Which is far too young for you to be missing from our lives, and I live in hope that by the time I'm 58 no one will needlessly die of cancer. I hope that by the time Millie and Pippa are 58, cancer is just a dirty word.

Love always,


Friday, November 23, 2012

FFS Friday... we're back!

Hello there FFS Friday. I've enoyed reading everyone else's gripes, but I haven't really missed writing it. I know. There's something wrong with me. But today I appear to have cracked the hormonal sads so what an opportunity to get things off my ample property-of-Pippa chest.

  • Contrary to my experiences last time, I'm not hating breastfeeding. It's easy and SO much easier than dealing with sterilising bottles. It's hard enough to keep up with sterilising dummies because Child A keeps stealing Child B's dummy... I'll let you guess who is who... FFS.
  • I got this month's Bellabox, and I'm suitably unimpressed again. I contacted them last month in the height of pregnancy Angry because no matter what my profile says they keep sending me makeup, and my friends who actually WEAR makeup keep getting sent nail products. I have a deal going with Mel from Honey You Baked, where we compare our boxes and swap what we don't want. So far she's a perfect match for me, and me her. FFS.
  • I'd forgotten a newborn's ability to awaken the moment food is present. Suffice to say Pippa is often covered in crumbs. FFS.
  • Millie was a pooer. We were prepared for that this time around. There's one small problem here... Pippa is a chucker. Actually, make that a POWERSPEWER. Like, 80's style rock and roll spewer. Most feeds. And she's quiet about it, too. We're currently doing two or three loads of washing per day to keep up with the towel/bedding/Mummy clothing quota. FFS.
  • That said, she is the best thing since sliced bread and coffee, so it's okay...
  • Millie has launched into terrible twos with gusto. Everything, repeat, EVERYTHING is the end of the world. I heard some terrible screaming from the bathroom the other night complete with throwing-self-on-ground sounds and 'NO NO NO NO NO NO NO'. Turns out Mr S was drying her hair gently with a towel. She's not even two. Help. FFS.
  • I made the mistake of opening the credit card statement, instead of giving to Mr S unopened as I usually do. FFS.
  • I am three weeks in to my six week confinement, where I cannot drive, pick things up off the floor (but I have been, often without realising until I'm stuck on the floor and my shitty blood pressure prevents me from getting up easily), cannot pick up Millie (this is breaking both our hearts), cannot change Millie's nappy (involves lifting her, not heartbroken about this one at all), lift heavy things etc etc. It's safe to say it's driving me crackers. I am quite deft at picking things up with my feet, but seriously? This sucks. FFS.
  • I know I need to slow down because there's one stitch hole that just won't heal. Or, it does until I bend down. FFS.
  • I've had a headache for three weeks now. It's not a spinal headache, and thankfully the migraines I had every day in hospital have gone away, but most days there comes a point where I literally can't see straight. Also driving me crackers. FFS.
  • Sitting at my desk makes it worse. I'll never blog regularly again at this rate. FFS.
  • The amount of painkillers I'm taking should be knocking that bad boy on the head. FFS.
  • Mr S goes back to work on Tuesday. BOOOOOOOOO.

Shiny Things Friday


Our first lunch date, Pippa was a week old.

Millie had a great time with her GrandMarg. Pigtails and babycinos...

Millie shows Pippa how it's done.

I keep finding Millie selfies on my phone.

Millie cow-watches next door...

My two loves.

She's totally awesome, right?

Millie helps me take my shoes off.

Aaand takes them 'to the front door'...
I found them on the couch. Almost at the front door.

Pippa was given this beautiful hanging from Jane at Life on Planet Baby.
She has an Etsy shop here.

I found these on my phone...

Pippa and I at Lymington beach this week, soaking up the sun.

Speaking of Lady Pippa.

Very awake, very alert, and smiles a lot.

Finally, I was given this by my lovely friend Annette. I feel very
spoiled as I have a cup each day. It's important to spoil new mamas, I've decided.

Linking up with my favourite Sarah at Dear Baby G.
Dear Baby G

Friday, November 16, 2012

What I've Learned in the Past 14 Days

This post could also be entitled 'Things I'd Forgotten About Having a Newborn'.

Bogan Baby Fist Pump for Bogan Baby Ugg Boots.
  1. You will be tired. You will sleep more soundly and in larger blocks than when you were pregnant, but you will be significantly more tired. This is known as the Unfair Effect.
  2. The poo. You know it's been a good nappy change when you find yourself soaping up to your elbows. There will never be any pictures of newborn poo on this blog or anywhere I'm involved. Take heart.
  3. You will relax your rules about screen time and start handing M the iPad whenever she points at it and says hopefully 'Ipa?'. This is partially because you find it cute (and concerning) that she's learned how to say iPad, but also it means you can lie in bed and she will sit with you and you both watch Play School.
  4. You will also find yourself continuing to watch Play School long after she's left the room.
  5. Breastfeeding can hurt. But the difference is that this time, so far, it seems to be a lot easier. Aside from...
  6. Mastitis. I started getting mastitis the day before I was planning to come home. Thankfully due to my history of getting Mastitis I was on a course of antibiotics before I could blink and feeling MUCH better within half an hour.
  7. Appetite. I have never eaten so many meals that I've proclaimed to be 'Best. Food. Ever.' and I go to bed with a 1L water bottle, a box of crackers, a banana and muesli bar. Most gone by daybreak. At this rate I will never lose my pregnancy weight.
  8. You will feel vindicated about how bloody huge you were at the end of your pregnancy. That is because there was a bloody huge baby occupying your stomach space.
  9. People will question your birth choice, regardless of your birth choice. Although, I don't imagine many people have to answer the question 'Why did you have a vaginal birth?' as opposed to the amount of times I've been asked 'Why did you have a C-Section?'. The majority of people mean no malice behind their question, but I've certainly felt judged.
  10. You still look pregnant. When we leave the house I like to hold Pippa, it makes me feel less like someone will ask when I'm due.
  11. The newborn cry will melt your face off. Not in the 'I'm melting from the cuteness' but the 'Oh god, it sounds like everything bad in the world.' It's okay, they're meant to sound like that.
  12. Some days everything is too hard. It's okay to hide in the bedroom with the blinds closed, but you will feel much better if you take your newborn, a cup of coffee and go and sit in the sun.
  13. This is the glorious time when caffeine does not mess with your ability to sleep. Fed the baby? CUP OF TEA. I've FINALLY finished a cup of tea I made at 3.45pm, and remade at 4.30pm. And I will still sleep soundly. Hurruh!
  14. My babies have an supersonic sensor for food. Perhaps it's universal, but your soundly sleeping baby will sense the spoon being raised to your mouth and wake up, immediately hungry themselves. Every meal.
  15. Nobody is reasonable at 3am. It took us a month or so to figure it out when Millie was a newborn, but Mr S and I have realised that we are both highly unreasonable in the middle of the night, so we take care to be kind to each other. I find this difficult when Mr S cannot wake up to change a nappy, despite him saying he's about to get up, but I try my best.
  16. You will be tired. I know, I already said this, but it's true.
  17. Newborns smell delicious, and their cheeks feel like tasty tasty steaks.
  18. When in hospital, your street grade narcotic painkillers will make you feel like superwoman. Then you will come home without the Tramadol, and the Panadeine Forte will run out. The days when this happens suck, but the next day is better. Soon you'll be pain and painkiller free.
  19. The TV is your friend. It doesn't care if you have baby spew on your shirt, haven't put socks on in weeks (can't reach down there!) and always has something to watch. Even if you've downloaded it or are renting multiple movies on Apple TV. 
  20. The time you spent stashing meals in the freezer and making a Freezeventory, then sounding like a meanie and not letting extended family raid your freezer? Time well spent. Pat self on back. Everyone has gone home now and no one in your family (i.e You and Mr S) feels like cooking. The day Pip was born I made my mother a list of things to do, and asked her to make two banana cakes. One for now, and one cut up for the freezer. This was also a winning idea of mine, and a winning action of Mothership's.
  21. Babies have wind pain. And they sometimes cry, a lot. I also have wind pain. Pippa's is from guzzling at the milk bar, mine is from a surgeon rummaging around my insides. It certainly gives me empathy for Pippa's wind pain.
  22. A Good Partner is worth their weight in gold. Mr S spent my time in hospital treating me like a princess, bringing proscuitto, brie and dips to my hospital tray, wine with my lunch (mixed with painkillers, natch), running to the shops for trashy magazines, and now we're home, running to shops for Lady Things, painkillers, snack food and generally Taking Care of Business. I'd be lost without him. He says he'd be lost without me. Go Team Us! He also changes nappies in the night. No, you can't have him.
  23. Breastfeeding Hormones are Ace. I didn't experience this with Millie at all, but one feed with Pip and I'm all 'Oh man, I love you guys!' and Pip's all 'Oh man, I jus' wanna say, wait, wait, I jus' have to tell you... I loveyouguyzzzzzzz.' It's lovely and makes feeding feel a bit better and less 'Open your mouth wider, wider, big mouth now, milk's going everywhere...'
  24. Being a second time parent rocks. It's hard work, but we feel like we've got a tiny idea of what's going on this time. I feel so much more confident with Pip. My midwives in the hospital kept remarking 'You're such a confident mother!' and I kept wanting to look behind me to see who they were talking to, but I couldn't move because of all the effing pain, so I assumed they were talking to me.

    It's difficult to not let the anxiety I felt when M was born creep back in, where every newborn scream made me feel like I'd NEVER work it out and she'd NEVER stop crying. As Mr S keeps telling me 'We got this.'
Yep. We got this.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Enola Fall & Why You Should Support Their Kickstarter

As all indie musicians know, money can be scarce and it's hard to fund professional quality recordings upfront off your own bat. Enter Kickstarter.

Enola Fall are recording a new record, and really need your help. Head over here, and be as generous with your cash as you can afford to be. I cannot wait to see how the new record turns out, and I really hope they can make their target. It ends in approximately 22 hours, so you'll need to be speedy.

Hobart's a pretty small place, and the music industry in Hobart is even smaller. Over the course of playing shows in Hobart I met and got to know Joe Nuttall of Enola Fall and his fabulousness excellency of awesome partner, Lesley* quite well. I've played support spots for them, and Joe's played support spots for me and we've all played on the same bill more than once. One time, we both played at a corporate event where I sang in front a 30 metre QANTAS sign and Joe walked through the crowd playing his banjo. Strange.

Now, Joe has written what is quite possibly my favourite song in the whole world, 'We Become Wolves'. He's also written a LOT of very awesome songs since 'We Become Wolves', but it remains my absolute favourite.


When you get to see Enola Fall perform live, the room stops. And stares. And dances.

Go and have a listen to their back catalogue here.

Joe works supremely hard at his craft, and as he becomes steadily more successful I am unable to think of any musician I know that is more deserving of such success. He tours Enola Fall a lot and this entails spending both a lot of time away from home and a lot of hard earned cash.

So again, check out their Kickstarter and help support local (or perhaps not local) independent musicians.

Need more proof that they're ace?

Enola Fall website
Listen to 'I Don't Drive'
Listen to 'Capture the Flag'

You will excuse my lack of writing finesse here. I've been meaning to write this post for ages, and the Kickstarter ends tonight and the baby is sleeping and I'm half asleep too...

*Lesley and I work together and she is responsible for the Best Maternity Leave Card Ever.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tea is very important, AKA my Hospital List.

I don't enjoy being a patient in hospital. I enjoy hot lunches in hospital because
  • Someone else cooks the meal
  • Someone else brings me the meal
  • Someone else takes the dirty dishes away and does them

Those things and the mechanical bed aside, I'd rather be at home. But I thought hard about it this time and here's what I've got with me this time to make hospital feel a little bit more like home.

My own mug, loose leaf tea and tea bags

My public hospital supplies either paper cups or plastic mugs with meals. Tea out of a plastic cup? Mrs Smyth Snr drank one today without dying, but I think she was blinded by the delicious Pippa.

My iPhone alarm clock dock.

Hospitals are NOISY, man. I'm in a private room this time but it's right next to reception. Mr S and I can tell you all sorts of gossip we've overheard. I'm also a hefty iDevice user, so having the dock means my phone is always charged, we can listen to music to drown out the bogans hospital noise, and I know what time it is.

My own pillow

I hate being away from home, so my boomerang pillow is a must for me here. Smells like home, comfy like home.

All Manner Of Food And Drink

As I look at my bedside table and tray table I can see:
  • Grandmarg's Banana Cake (Best Ever, recipe to come!) Gone. I ate this in record time yesterday.
  • A box of Cadbury Roses chocolate thanks to Melina
  • A bottle of Coca-Cola
  • Jug of water and glass
  • Peppermint loose leaf tea and infuser
  • An apple
  • A banana
  • A box of Oreos
  • A box of LadurĂ©e French tea a friend brought in for me yesterday.

There's also another bag of fruit on the floor, a box of Oreos in the cupboard and a packet of Ritz crackers in the cupboard. I'm hungry now.

My iPad, charger and stand

Enough said, really.

Hair Ties

Man, these are such a necessity for me. I get around with a ponytail most of the time, and having been stuck in bed for a couple of days, my messy hair has been getting the better of me. I even brought my hair dryer this time. A good fringe gives me faith to face the day.

Toilet Paper

Standard issue toilet paper doth not a happy woman make. Ok?

Garnier BB cream and Garnier Dark Spot Corrector

Not a sponsored post! But it could be, I love it so very much. The corrector has come with me, only because I like a light moisturiser under my BB cream. I cannot gush about the BB cream enough. After a night where I had 90 minutes sleep total, broken into three sleeps (!), I still had compliments on how well baby must be sleeping because I looked so rested.

Notebook and Pen

So useful. Keeping track of feeds, writing down handy hints from the best night midwife ever (Terri, the homebirth midwife for those in Hobart following along) and making notes about my artillery of heavy drugs. As Mr S isn't staying in hospital with me this has really helped me feel more relaxed and less worried about forgetting anything.

So there you have my very simple hospital survival list. It doesn't state the basics, such as enough maternity pads to create your own padded cell or breast pads, but this is what has helped make my life more comfortable so far.

What's your additions?

And oh yes, this.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

40 weeks...

Yesterday when I woke up this is how I looked.
Meet Pippa Jane Smyth. She came into our lives at 9.15am yesterday morning, 2nd November 2012.
She required an exit via the sunroof, and at 4.7kg... Let's just say I'm quite relieved that she was a Sunroof Entry into the world. It's been decided that Mama Smyth don't make no small babies.
Pippa smells delicious and has Mr S and I wrapped around her little tiny fingers and toes. She is so far the identical image of newborn Millie, resplendent in her rosebud mouth and chubby chubby chins.
Millie is exceptionally taken with her little sister and is enjoying all the spoiling that comes with having Nanny and Poppy Smyth AND GrandMarg in the house. When they came to visit yesterday, Millie chased her banana cake (GrandMarg) with 3 Oreo cookies that she spotted on my tray table and I heard there was some treats from Nanny Smyth as well. Sugar, Toddler be thy name.
I'm off to PippaWatch and have another cup of tea. Zzzzzzzzzz.


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