Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ho Ho Humbug

I used to love Christmas. I'd go to the Christmas shop that was only open from October-December and delight in the fairy wonderland of lights, earthy colours, beautiful decorations and model trains. A Classy Christmas, if you will.

The first year I started to Humbug was the last Christmas my Dad was alive. He'd just had lymphatic surgery and was being spoiled by my family from the comfort of his bed. I wasn't there. I was here in Hobart having a Very Smythy Christmas. But we thought Dad was ok.

The next Christmas Dad wasn't alive. I think we spent it without our families at our new house in Hobart. A quiet affair, punctuated with Mr S and I playing epic marathon games of Worms on our games PC.

Then we moved to our Huon Valley abode and we couldn't afford to go anywhere for Christmas for a few years, and truthfully, I was glad. There was a giant Peach-Pie sized hole in my Christmas heart and I was happy to spend Christmas with my main Mr S, and a giant Christmas ham. I refused to put decorations up, but my friend rocked up and got it all out and insisted. Then I was pregnant with Millie, and too big fat and tired to do it, but Mr S insisted, and the house looked lovely. Last year, Millie was 7 months old and waking up every 40 minutes overnight and got her two front teeth on Christmas day and my mother's raging flu the next, so it's safe to say that we got through Christmas. Enjoyed? Well... Got through? Yes.

This year is a bit different. Lady Pippa is tiny, but Millie is SUPER excited about the Christmas Tree and is trying to open all the presents already. Her daycarer has a tree and decorations and lights and I think they talk about Christmas a fair bit, so she's picked up a fair bit of Christmas Spirit there.

I'm still Bah Humbug'ing a little bit. I like putting the decos up. I LOATHE taking them down, but I do organise my decorations in zip lock bags so they're easy to find next year. And the lights are wound carefully or put into bunches of ten with twist ties for easy unravelling.

Buuut, I've dragged my Christmas heels long enough. We've been listening to Christmas radio, Mr S has procured a live tree and last night I declared It Was Time to Decorate.

Pip was screaming, Millie was LOUD, I had a raging headache (now known as the Beginning of a ManCold), but I put the Christmas radio on and declared that WE WOULD HAVE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT GODDAMNIT through gritted teeth.

The tree is decorated (and looks like I just let Millie go to town, but the reality is I'm very crap at decorating trees) and there's some more lights up. We're getting there. I've been doing some Christmas Crappy Craft with Millie too, so there's some handmade decorations to put up this week.

I present you with a picture that sums up our Christmas Mood last night...

To the tune of an unhappy newborn, a loud toddler & Pandora indie Christmas radio, I declared WE WILL HAVE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT.

Have you got your Handmade Christmas Pinterest Glory on, or are you just like me?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

When is enough, enough?

Is my grammar wrong in the heading? Most probably. Or should that be most, prob-ably?

Today I deleted the Facebook and Twitter apps on my beloved third child iPhone. Why? Because I couldn't take reading update after update about mass school shootings and I don't have the self control to leave the apps there and just not open them. Instead, I'd just read update after update about school shootings and soldier's wives sleeping by their dead husband's caskets, and I'd just cry and cry. Ah, hormones. You heighten everything.

I'm lucky that my kids are tiny and not asking about the senselessness behind the events of this week. Parents and carers of those who are, my heart goes out to you. It's one thing for us to explain about how Lucy thought Millie might take away her toy and that's why she got scared and angry... but I don't know how I'd explain that the mental health system in the USA needs an overhaul and don't even get me started on gun control.

I know it's not the age that we live in, but I wonder if perhaps a bit of a media blackout is a good thing. When I was struggling with some anxiety issues I made a point of only surrounding myself with lovely things. A gratitude journal, a beautiful bunch of flowers, positive affirmations. And I didn't read the newspaper. The first day I decided not to read the paper I glanced over at it, and the page was printed in black ink, with the words 'TERROR IN THE FACE OF THE GFC'. See my point?

I'm well aware of the events that have occured, and it's terrifying and heartbreaking to think of so many families without their children. My heart can't take it. My heart also can't take the news being rehashed again and again and arguments about gun control and statistics about gun control and someone retweeting a pro-gun lobbyist. It's like a thousand brick being slammed down again and again. Once was enough to make me cry and find my children and my husband and hold them all so very tightly.

How do you deal with the bad news in our media?

Friday, December 14, 2012

FFS Friday - tax problems and Play School songs.

I just tried to type Frofsu - which is Friday with my fingers on the wrong keys. That should be a good key indicator of how I'm feeling...even more accurate is that most of this is actually LAST week's FFS that never got to see the light of day because I didn't finish it.

UPDATE: It's actually Last LAST week's one.. with more additions. I'm so brain dead I just typed editions, and didn't spell it correctly. (FFS).

  • Life with a toddler and a newborn is challenging. One screaming newborn seems to trigger one screaming toddler. A screaming toddler does not trigger a screaming newborn. FFS.
  • We seem to be all waking at 5.45am. M goes to bed at 7pm, and no matter what time I start getting ready for bed, it's usually about 10pm, then 1-2am, then 4-5am then god knows what time. I think my eyes are starting to bleed. FFS.
  • I will never be alone again. I have just realised this. FFS.
  • It was 34.9 degrees celcius on the deck last week at 5pm. What gives, Tasmania? This is precisely the reason I moved away from NSW. At 6am it was 21 in the coldest room of the house. This temperature does not bode well for either my headache or my kiddlywinks' moods for the rest of the day. FFS.
  • I have spent more time in hospitals and seeing Doctors and taking antibiotics in the last few weeks than I care to count. Thankfully, all is on the up and up and I hope that this trend continues.
  • My Paid Parental Leave pay was taxed incorrectly for the first back payment, with the reasoning 'I noticed something was wrong, but effectively it's more than you'd get paid anyway, so I didn't worry.' Not the point. Thankfully this has been rectified and I can pay my bills again.
  • Bogan Neighbour's dog barked for four hours last week. FFS.
  • Bogan Neighbour has been revving his car for hours each day again. It's good because then Millie and I can talk about cars and the noises they make, it's bad because he keeps revving his car for hours. Then they started whipper snipping at the same time. It made me whippy snippy. FFS.
  • I wake up singing nursery rhymes and songs from Play School. 'What do you think my name is? I wonder if you know? My name is JOHN! Hello! Hello! Hello! Hello! Hello!' FF-Bloody Hello-S.
  • I keep having MotherGuilt (TM) - poor second child gets popped in her cot/on my bed/on the couch whilst I wash my hands/help M with a task. Then I mean to go straight back to her... but she's not howling, so I do as much as I possibly can. Often I go back... and she's asleep, or very close to it. Who is this child? I thought I only bred newborn howlers? Does she feel neglected because I don't hold her all day? In fact, she often goes to sleep more easily if I pop her in bed and leave her to it. So strange.
  • I cannot wait to be able to drive again, and take my troops on afternoon drives. I'm also terrified of taking two kids out by myself in the car. FFS.
  • After my CSec I didn't cough for 10 days or sneeze for 18 days. Since my first sneeze I haven't been able to stop sneezing (hayfever! Yo!) and I know I'm alive when I forget to brace my scar. FFS.
  • I keep forgetting to take my painkillers. FFS.
  • I'm getting soft in my post baby hormonal high. I feel bad for FFS'ing because there's been so many delightful things happening as well!
  • Still have an intermittent headache. I've worked out it's related to breastfeeding and the way I hold myself whilst feeding, and how I look down. Unfortunately I quite like to look at my baby... so I foresee a headache until I stop feeding. FFS.
  • I'm as forgetful as ever. I'm sure I had a point here, but I can't remember it. FFS.
  • I do an insane amount of clothes washing for two big people and two small people. It's not double the washing with two kids, it seems to be triple. I can't have more than two kids, I'd have to get a laundry service. FFS.
Shiny Things Friday
M clutching her favourite things that day... three unripe greengage plums.

Temperature in the shade on the deck last week. WHY?

My brother, Uncle Kenny with Millie & Pip.

M was at daycare, P was asleep and I had an espresso. SO EFFICIENT RIGHT NOW.

Then Pip woke up and started screaming for 4 hours...
Cake was needed.

But really... look at that smoodgy...

Linking up with Sarah at Dear Baby G for FFS Friday.

Dear Baby G

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Updates from the coalface...

Pippa loves Millie

My lovely friend John has been a font of parental advice. When I fell pregnant with Millie, he told us in all honesty 'The first three months were utter crap for us. Everyone tells you the first six weeks are hard, but they lie. It's the first three months.' And he was right. At 3am when I'd be trying to feed Millie and it was hard and it was cold and I thought the world was ending, Mr S would say 'Remember what John said? The first three months. And we're halfway there. Hang in there. Here, have a sandwich.'

We met up with them again in March this year, when I was newly pregnant with Pippa, constantly seasick but not saying a word yet, he commented that having two kids was not doubly harder than one, it was harder again. 'You can get one off to sleep and the other wakes up. You spend the time when they're asleep thinking you should be sleeping, or relaxing or doing something for YOU, but the reality is you're resetting the house for the other kid to wake up and trash it.' It's true.

We are at the six week mark now. It's gone so quickly, I can't quite believe it. I've settled into some sort of routine for the day, which saves my sanity to no end. I've also set my standards for what gets done in a day quite low, and my priorities have shifted. I have sewn two seams since Week 39 of pregnancy - and I felt like I'd run a marathon. I baked a batch of cupcakes yesterday and I needed a lie down. I'm not quite sure what's going on there, I imagine it's quite taxing for my addled brain to switch between full on parenting mode to other pursuits right now. What do you think?

I have never done so much washing in my life. Pippa is super colicky and super vomit-y, so I'm washing towels, linens and clothes daily. This morning she coughed and wiped out herself, two towels, my outfit, two pillows and our bedsheets & underlay. She's since then wiped out another two Wrap Me Up swaddles & two towels. Crazy, huh?

My days literally consist of putting washing on, dishes, washing out, washing on, feeding everyone, washing in, washing away, dinner on, dishes, Mr S home, we eat & bathe the kids & bed. I'm typing this with one hand, Pippa in my arms, Millie asleep.

Mr S asked me how I was feeling about being a full time Mum. I love it. There are hours of the day when I really want all kids to stop crying (5pm anyone?) so I can curl up in a ball... or immerse myself into a vat of wine, but I really love it. I love being busy & I love being able to spend this time with my girls.

This weekend, I'll pick up the car keys and try driving again. I'm also petrified of taking two small kids out of the house by myself... wish me luck!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What I've Learned This Week

In lieu of regular, in-depth blog posts for which I have no mental capacity nor can I manage to prioritise any time for, I give you my learnings for the week...

I've learned to pick my battles... and I was pleasantly surprised.
She was stoked that she could drink from a big glass, and I was stoked that she didn't
spill any of it nor smash the glass.

  • Blue crayon will come off the iPad screen using, funnily enough, iDevice screen cleaner. No toddler lives were lost in this ordeal.
  • I am exceptionally happy that I am a rule follower for iDevices and have screen protector film on all devices.
  • There are several books in my collection that I can no longer loan to anyone, after a tiny newborn made us all proud with projectile p-... you get the picture. The books are clean, but I'd still never loan them lest anyone comment on the colour of some of the pages.
  • A toddler wearing crocs and repeatedly climbing on you and sliding off not only hurts, but wears one's patience very quickly.
  • Doing endless loads of washing is not as tedious as I imagined. It turns out I quite enjoy hanging it out, bringing it in and folding it. Putting it away is not as fun, but I can get through it.
  • I still hate choosing what we're going to eat for dinner.
  • Pip's talent for awakening due to starvation as I pick up a utensil to eat remains uncanny and quite impressive.
  • If Millie doesn't eat her dinner, she goes to bed without dinner. She still sleeps through the night. Amazing.
  • If I do not eat, I do not feel hungry. Instead I feel depressed and teary. It took me a few days of "OH MY GOD I FEEL DEPRESSED AGAIN OH MY GOD." and then eating something and feeling sunny again. Rock on ridiculous blood sugar, rock on.
  • I can't wait for my iPad keyboard to arrive. I've written four draft posts and haven't got the energy to sit up at my desk and finish them. At least with the iPad keyboard I can finish them in bed, or on the couch, or on the deck. This is why my blog will never be as good as those who actually take the time and prioritise the blog above other things. Right now, priorities go Baby #2 and Baby #1, food, water, sleep, housework, The West Wing, sewing, blogging, returning phone calls. Oh man. Sorry, blogging, it's not you, it's me.
  • ABC2 is my friend. Scratch that, you're more than that. Without you, ABC2, I'd be lost.
  • Our deck is THE BUSINESS. We spend most sunny days out there, and it's totally childproof. No longer do I fear my children running on to the highway. Mr S has worked his cute bottom off and our yard is safe. Hoorah!
  • To pick my battles. Millie, you want to wear your swimmers in the lounge room at 6pm? Sure thing. Want to pick the unripe plums and play with them in the birdbath? Ok. Shall we make a pillow fort? Groovy. Want me to wrap you up swaddle style so you're not jealous of Pippa? Great, go get a blankie. (FYI, a toddler wrapped, burrito-style in a giant polar fleece Dora blanket is pretty darn cute. The Dora blanket is not cute, but that's another story.
  • I've learned that cloth nappying two kids isn't harder than one, so far. I've only used cloth with Pip a handful of times, and Millie is in cloth during the day aside from a certain time of the day, and at nighttimes. I'm doing 'nappy' loads every day anyway of Pippa towels and washers, so having nappies in as well is easy. 
  • I've just realised I can touch type this post with my eyes closed. Wonderful.
  • I'm trying to feel ok with the fact that Pippa will not usually go to sleep if you hold her. She'll doze then pop a sneaky eyelid open. But, pop that kid in her bed and walk away... she's sleeping before you reach the door. Weirdo.
  • The biggest thing I'm learning is that I'm ok. I'm doing ok. I've been keeping an eagle eye out for signs of anxiety, and so far, nothing out of the ordinary. I've been proactive this time and I have lists of things we can do, including Millie craft activities (by the way, most fun ever!) and friends to ring and chat to, places we can go once I'm driving again, meals we can eat. I also keep a standard daily routine of really basic stuff, like having a shower, washing on, breakfast, washing out, cutting up fruit for our snacks and veg for our dinner, etc etc. Inane, but it gets me through. At the close of the day, everyone is clothed, bathed, fed and watered. Job well done.

What have you learned this week?


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