What happens once you get to Adulthood?

Today I have found myself thinking about my future and what my life might look like over the next 12 months and beyond… it’s a question that for as long as I can remember, I have always had an answer to… but right now I don’t…

To be honest, my life has run a pretty standard course in terms of life stages… but I think I might be in a gap… and the control freak in me is not sure how to do a long stage that doesn’t have a whole heap of direction…

Let me explain… When I was in primary school, the next step was high school, from there I went to uni, when I finished uni I got a job… then next on the list was moving out of home, then getting married, then traveling and then having a baby… which brings me to now… I think the next logical step in my life plan is retirement… which as much as I would love to tick of right now… would be a fairly miserable way to live, given my working carrier has not been that extensive and my ‘nest egg’ is pretty small…

I am guessing that for the next little bit Isaac’s goals will become my own… I will help him move through his stages of life… but right now, looking at just my life… I have hit a big chapter… where I can say I have reached it… but it will be a long time before it is complete.

It’s such a strange feeling… not really know where to aim, not knowing what I need to do, or how I will know when this bit is done… usually I would find a situation such as this stressful and unnerving, but I am hopeful… this ‘adulthood with kids’ stage will be long and I am sure as I start to journey through it, it will have its own goals, but it is also a blank canvas. Previously I have always been pushing myself forward… willing myself to be older and to tick all the boxes, so I had never stopped to think about what this bit would look like, what I would do, who I would be… I was just in a rush to get here (which in hindsight seems silly, because the chapters that came before were just as important and also very fun).  Yet, despite my lack of planning… here we are, with so much ahead… and it’s exciting.

Maybe I’m the only one that looks at parenthood and thinks like this… I am sure I am not… but over the past 5 months I haven’t had a heap of time to plan and dream for what it might look like, and I am sure once Dave goes back to work later this week, I will be totally focused on getting through one day at a time… but right now… in this moment, where my head is above water and I have the energy to swim… it’s exciting to dream about my ‘mum’ life and all that it will bring.

Our Curious Life: Week 3

 

 

 

This third week of 2018 has continued to be filled with friends, family and the good things about summer… and just like last week it has also been another good week for the list.  This week also brought the return of appointments for Isaac and one last effort to get things done before Dave goes back to work.

I am still getting the hang of how to write these blogs without them sounding like a lame diary entry… so this time I think we will start with the list items that were achieved… This week we managed to cross another 3 things off… but only one of them has photos ready to go…  We had some family photos taken (no. 6) which I actually wore non-maternity jeans for, which is technically crossing no. 20 off as well, but they were only on for the photos and I am definitely not committed to making it a regular thing… maybe in winter, so we will leave it on there for now.  I wore something other than a black t-shirt for the whole week… yep… I did (no. 98).  And most excitingly, this week we finished Isaac’s room (no. 63) and I am really happy with how it turned out.

When Isaac was born, Dave and I were very unprepared… because Joshua was only 24 weeks old when he was born we were desperate to make it to 26 weeks with Isaac.  At 24 weeks mums and dads have to make lots of really hard decisions, decisions about treatments, resuscitation, viability and quality of life… things that no one ever really thinks about when starting a family, and decisions that they are not really emotionally prepared to handle when they are asked at such an awful time… when you realise things are not going as you planned…  At 26 weeks, the babies are what the doctors term viable… that means they are more likely to live than die… it still doesn’t factor in quality of life… but because they can live, the choices are usually made by the doctors, rather than the panicked mum and dad…  So 26 weeks became our goal… but given our recent experiences, I was not willing to plan for him or make room for him in our house until after the 26week mark because I didn’t want to have to pack it away if we also lost him.  So… when Isaac decided 26weeks exactly was his cue… we had nothing… well not nothing, nothing, we had some clothes and nappies that we had been given or brought in preparation for Josh… but we had limited ‘big ticket items’, and the ones we had purchased were still in boxes in the garage.  We had a flat packed chest of draws and a chair… we had no cot, no change table, no car seat, no pram… nothing we actually needed when coming home from the hospital… Isaac’s room was still full of stuff… the overflow of our house… and I had not yet removed the old wall decal from the previous home owners or painted over the green and purple walls… we were not ready, because we thought we would either have no time… or lots more time.

So between hospital visits we brought the items we needed, cleared out the room, painted and then started putting it together… and then he came home from hospital… and it still wasn’t quite done… He has now been home for 66 days… and we have finally added the finishing touches, his shelves and the wall decal… and it is now my favourite room in the house.  I often just wonder in and look at it…  It makes the whole house feel more complete and in a small way, having this finished, feels like the proper end to waiting to bring home our baby chapter… that we can now really embrace life with him… because he is here and he isn’t going anywhere.

My favourite bit of the room is his bookshelf… I don’t know why I love it so much… but I really really do…

This week we also had to say goodbye to K as she headed back to London… we always hate doing this.  But we did get to spend some more time with our NZ fam before they head back this week… so this weeks been bitter sweet.

Oh and in Isaac news, this week we continued slowly weaning his oxygen yay!… but had to go and buy some bigger clothes, because he has a new accessory for a little while… a hip harness… but to make him (and by him I mean mummy) feel better, we extended our Disney book library…

Yesterday we finished our week with a garden engagement party for my little brother Jake and his fiancé Amy-Ruth… which is a pretty nice way to end a week. They had the garden looking magical… and what is not to love about love?

So there you go… week 3…

Our Curious Life: Week 2

Week 2 has been a week of friends, family and the good things about summer… It has also been another good week for the list.  In fact, even Isaac was able to cross something his first list.

We started this week with great food, beautiful sunshine and good friends as we learnt how to barefoot bowl at my sister in law’s Hen’s… and despite having a few family members that are quite good at bowling… my skills left a lot to be desired.  We then continued to celebrate Ness and our new skills (even if they remained poor) at a roof top bar with delicious tapas.  And… seeing as Dave was a Bridesman, our whole family was able to spend the afternoon together… it was a pretty great way to start a week.  Learning a new game also meant that we crossed no. 39. Play a Game of some kind, off the list.

I fully embraced the fact that my bestie has been home for Christmas, so we made the most of her presence with walks, dinners and a delicious brunch at our favourite local Half Half.   At brunch Isaac got to cross his first thing off the list as he hung out with his ladies and loved every minute.  He also got to wear his new jeans which match his Aunty K’s.  (I also got to brunch with my besties and given that one of them is hard to brunch with living in London… we both got to cross this off on the same day, so Isaac’s picture is with K).

We won a donut wall to use to celebrate Isaac’s birthday later in the year… so keep an eye out for that…

We hung out with family for take out, afternoon tea and post holiday catch ups, making the most of the pre-wedding celebrations and hanging out with family that have flown across the ditch from NZ.

We finished the week off with Ness’ wedding.  The wedding was the perfect nod to her and her partner… now husband, relaxed, fun and a little bit surprising.  There is no one else I know that could have embraced a torrential downpour through your whole wedding as well as these guys did.  Not only did they just go with it, but the enjoyed it and helped us to enjoy it to… because who would have a thought that a wedding in the middle of January could be quite that wet.

We also made he most of the glorious… although occasionally way to hot weather, with lots of family walks… the fit pig is back… but I think I need to do a few more walks before I can actually cross it off the list.  So there you go week 2… a little bit like a primary school diary entry… but I will get better at it.

Our Curious Life: Week 1

Ok… a new year means a fresh start and a good opportunity to try something new… so this year on the blog I thought I would try a new method of weekly blogging, one that I saw on one of favourite bloggers, Shutterbean, and it seems super simple… although that’s usually a cue for me to totally over complicate it.

Anyway, it’s just a recap of sorts of the week that’s been… somewhere I could write about our listing adventures, share some pictures, and quickly recap. I am a little worried mine will start to read a little like a grade 5 diary entry… but hey, when it really all comes down to it, this is here for me… and if you love it too, excellent.

So the plan is at the end of each week… probably Sunday (which is technically the start of the next week) I will write this… which will help my regular blogging, help me to record some fun things… and maybe the not fun things, and give me a little “me goal”… which I already have way to many of… but maybe a “me goal” that I might actually achieve.

So here we go:

January is a funny time… a new year brings lots of potential… a little associated pressure and some really really big plans.  It fills me with hope, but also stress that this is the year that I have to fix/complete/try/achieve x y & z… some of which I bring on myself with a little thing I like to call the list but also for those things that don’t make it on to the official list.  The lists in my head, the lists on our bench, and the lists I didn’t even know I was keeping.

But so far so good… it’s summer and lets face it everything feels better in summer.   So this week, I was glad I posted the new list… but a little disappointed that I never quite managed to finish my recap of last years list, blog thanks to my computer breaking down… I will finish it, but it turns out there is even less time to blog now that Isaac is at home.  But we did manage to cross a few things off the new list…

97. Fix my computer – completed: 02/01/2018
My computer had a moment on new years eve… and after a few hours on the phone to apple support it seems to be back… although it’s probably time I really start saving for a new one… I think it could be on borrowed time.

89. Update some photo wall photos – completed: 03/01/2018
There are still a couple more that need updating, and it is unlikely that this is the only time I change some of the pictures, but we have updated 3, and I figure that’s enough to cross this off.

92. See coco – completed: 06/01/2018
Yep, but I didn’t take the baby… I finally have a valid reason to indulge my love of Disney… but I left him at home with his Dad and went with some of my besties instead.  And unsurprisingly I cried like a little baby.

We started the new year at the beach, and I got my first real dose of fomo… (fear of missing out, for all of those who are playing at home, who unlike me have embraced their age and don’t try to keep up with the cool kids).  It turns out, that even though I knew life would be different with a baby, I hadn’t really thought about what that looked like on holidays.  It turns out going to the beach and spending hours in the ocean without a care in the world will probably never happen again… we may be able to spend hours in the ocean… but we need a few years and a few hundred swimming lessons… and I will probably always be worried about Isaac.  So this summer we just walked near the beach… because our pram does not like sand and neither does oxygen tanks or tiny nose prongs.

When went for a few late night family walks…

Swam in the pool at my Dad’s place for the first time in year… why I have I not been doing this more often?

And Isaac turned 5months old… far out… how did that happen?   So we celebrated with two little photoshoots.  One on the actual day, and one a few days later, because I forgot to take the milestone card to the beach with me.  But at 5months, he is super smiley, starting to coo and getting bigger everyday… right on track for being 8weeks corrected.

So there you go… week one.

 

Hello 2018, it’s time for your list

Oh Hello 2018, it’s nice to meet you!  I have big plans for you.

This year is going to be a great year for team George, a year of love, fun and family.  A year that is hopefully hospital admission free and a chance for us to find our feet as a family of 3.  But it wouldn’t be complete without a new list and… this year’s list has a good feeling about it, just like last years.  Although unlike last year I am not planning on getting pregnant so that will hopefully mean there is a good chance I will actually be able to cross everything off.

This year’s list is list no. 10… 10… taking my list items attempted up to 1000…  What a crazy thought. (Like always you can check out all the old lists by clicking the year they were attempted here: 2006, 20072010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.) This years list has a few self improvement tasks, some fun tasks, some things I just have to do and lots of baby friendly things… because that is our life now… which is great… but very very foreign.  But mostly 2018’s list feels like an achievable list.

Excitingly, this year Isaac has a list of his very own… because a family that lists together, stays together!  Plus I thought it might be a fun way to document some of his achievements and some of the fun we get up to.  His list only has 25 things on it… because he is only little and he needs help with everything… including his list.

Once again I am also hoping (like every other year) that 2018 will be the year that I get more consistent with blogging, about both of our lists and life in general.  I have a few things planned to help make it happen, but we will see.  Anyway… here are the lists….

My list:

  1. Learn how to fold a fitted sheet
  2. Learn how to make 3 different balloon animals
  3. Watch the never ending story
  4. Watch some ER… maybe a season or two
  5. Spend a weekend in country vic
  6. Have some family photos taken
  7. Go to a wedding
  8. Get a full nights sleep
  9. Go down to Inverloch
  10. Go camping
  11. Remember to take Isaac’s milestone pictures
  12. Get back to running
  13. Take Isaac to parkrun at least 5times
  14. Go swimming
  15. Go to the zoo
  16. Have a play date
  17. Check out a mums and bubs session
  18. Check out the local library
  19. Have a picnic
  20. Wear some non maternity jeans
  21. Go without games on my phone for at least 2 months
  22. Work on my mornings
  23. Cook dinner regularly
  24. Keep getting closer
  25. Work on my steps game
  26. Embrace life with the oxygen
  27. Try weekly blogging
  28. Keep the family in good supply of Isaac updates
  29. Have a date night once a month
  30. Give Dave some time back
  31. Embrace my independence
  32. Go without TV for a week
  33. Actually wash my car regularly
  34. Get the blue Kia repaired
  35. Take Dex and Isaac on a walk, solo
  36. Walk to my MCH appointments
  37. Thank the hospital
  38. Do a fun run/walk
  39. Play a game of some kind
  40. Let something go
  41. Remember Joshua
  42. Celebrate the small things
  43. Live oxygen free
  44. Walk and have a mid week brunch date with Isaac at half half
  45. Join a mother’s group
  46. Drink a bottle of water everyday
  47. Keep track of the things I am supposed to be doing
  48. Plan at night
  49. Take a photo everyday
  50. Visit a museum / gallery
  51. Sort out my photo storage
  52. Scan the photos in
  53. Recycle the VHS tapes
  54. Read 6 books – novels… not picture books
  55. Cross at least one thing off the list each month
  56. Be deliberate about filling the house with good thinks like flowers and music
  57. Edit and finalise Isaac’s logs and maybe publish them
  58. Make a photo book of Isaac’s 1st year
  59. Return of the fit pig
  60. Through things out / recycle / donate
  61. Clean out the garage
  62. Finish the scrap books
  63. Finish Isaac’s room
  64. Wear a real bra
  65. Figure out how to be a working mum
  66. Go somewhere with out Isaac – embrace the baby sitter
  67. Make a cake for Isaac’s first birthday
  68. Go overseas
  69. Make a Lolly cake
  70. Keep the pantry and fridge under control
  71. Watch a Disney movie with Isaac
  72. Add Isaac’s pendant to my necklace
  73. Organise the casts we had done for Isaac
  74. Use the go-pro more
  75. Make my language child friendly
  76. Check out ArtVo
  77. Finish the bible reading plan I started last year
  78. Exercise weekly… hopefully more, but at least weekly
  79. Make a key lime pie
  80. Purée some food
  81. Have a spend nothing day once a month
  82. Make the most of our delivery saver
  83. Get a mani/pedi and get a colour you’ve never had before
  84. Get a massage
  85. Do a Mums and bubs exercise class
  86. Get some kind of routine
  87. Contribute
  88. Hang up the pump
  89. Update some photo wall photos
  90. Get the pictures framed
  91. Hang out with my besties
  92. See Coco
  93. Have a meal with all of our parents and siblings (separately)
  94. Have an ice coffee at 3 different places
  95. Touch the ocean
  96. Have a fun fight
  97. Fix my computer
  98. Wear something other than a black T-shirt for a whole week
  99. Keep our bedroom tidy
  100. Save some money

Isaac’s List:

  1. Try some food
  2. Ditch my oxygen
  3. Sit up by myself
  4. Suck on my toes
  5. Go to the park
  6. Pat Dex
  7. Have a party
  8. Visit my friends at Monash Children’s
  9. Go on a fun run/Walk in my pram
  10. Get around on my own
  11. Go for a swim
  12. Try story time at the library
  13. Make some baby friends
  14. Go on an adventure with Dad
  15. Sleep through the night
  16. Get some teeth
  17. Watch a Disney movie with Mum
  18. Have brunch with my ladies
  19. Go to the beach
  20. Learn a word
  21. Cuddle all of my grandparents and great grandparents
  22. Make a keepsake
  23. Go on a plane
  24. Try my jolly jumper
  25. Grow

Ok… there it is… if you need us, we will be listing.

Our Pram is Full

I have learnt a heck of a lot in the last 3 and a half months… I have learnt that babies are resilient as hell, NICU mums are a special bread of lady, that you can get addicted to monitors, that life is precious, that a change in rooms can mean more than just a different view and that gigil cafe at Monash Children’s Hospital can sustain you for 3 and a half months. I have learnt that Dave and I are a better team than we have ever been before, I have learnt that I have a voice and I can speak up, I can advocate and I can do more than I realised… and I have learnt that as much as I wish it was, my experience is not unique.

This week Dave and I are Participating in the Mercy Pram Jam. An event that is designed to raise awareness and much needed funds for research to prevent stillbirth and complications from premature birth. Even though our experiences have been at the Monash medical centre and the Monash children’s hospital, the pram jam is unique in its purpose… and being one of the 4 level 6 NICUs in Victoria, the knowledge gained by them through their research has the potential to impact the whole state… and any research that prevents the heart ache of still birth and the roller coaster of premature birth is a cause worth championing.

Dave and I first heard about Pram Jam in November last year when a Facebook friend of mine posted about her Pram Jam efforts. At the time, we had just lost Joshua, our beautiful first born son. The idea of raising pushing a pram to raise awareness was something that I really liked the idea of. It ticked all the boxes for me… a fun idea, a list worthy item and a good cause. But last year it was too soon… this year we found ourselves with a new baby boy also born way to soon, a tiny warrior with a huge fight on his hands and when we saw an opportunity to raise some money but more importantly awareness, we knew that this year we would be pram jamming. At the beginning of October when Dave and I decided to sign up, I thought we would have had weeks at home with Isaac already… well maybe a week… but there was no doubt in my mind that he would be home for it. As November got closer and closer I realised that there was a very real possibility that we would be pram jamming with an empty pram… not a problem, but not how I had pictured it… but today we are starting, and after 107 days he is home… and I am learning to drive the pram… which it turns out isn’t always as easy as it looks.

We are jamming for Josh and for Isaac, but we are also jamming for those mothers with whom I shared a knowing nod, for the mothers who weren’t as lucky as me and didn’t get to take their baby home. We are jamming for the babies that we left in the hospital who we hope will go home soon… but we are also jamming for the babies who will not. We are jamming with hope that the money we raise will make a difference, that discoveries will be made and that other families won’t have to travel the same path we have. We are jamming because even though I felt alone in my experience, I am not… We are jamming for the mums of the one baby in every 130 pregnancies that ends in still birth in Australia… We are jamming for all the families who lose their babies to the biggest killer of children under five worldwide, being born too soon… We are jamming to make it stop.

So how can you help? Well, just getting this far is a good start… but if you would like to support our Pram Jam fundraising you can also do that by clicking this link… https://pramjam2017.everydayhero.com/au/emma

I am not good at asking for money, in fact, it is something that I really don’t like doing… but this cause is bigger than me. It is something that 2 years ago I would have never thought about, but something that now makes me who I am, a mum of 2, raiser of 1.

This week Dave and I will be walking 20kms across the week… it may not sound like much, but given my novice pram status, our ‘new to us’ baby at home, the fact that I haven’t exercised well in almost 2 years and the very real possibility that my pelvic or abdominal muscles may not make it… it is quite the task and we are only 2kms in… but the goal is good and the cause is better… come pram jam with us.

Dear Isaac

Dear Isaac,

Today is the day we had planned to meet you… well on paper anyway. It was the day we were hoping for, the day that would have meant we had made it to full term this time round… but today you are 98 days old… 14 weeks… or 40 weeks corrected.

There are so many things that I want you to know, but the most important is that I love you and I am so super proud of you. Even though this isn’t the path we would have chosen, I wouldn’t give any of my 14 bonus weeks back. You are strong, brave and very clever and there is nothing that you can not overcome. You are a little warrior.

It has been hard to watch you fight these battles, but I have done it with confidence knowing how determined and stubborn you are and that you are fearfully and wonderfully made by someone who loves you even more than I do. I have also not done it alone… your dad is pretty amazing… and more tolerant than I ever gave him credit for. You have held us together when we thought our world was falling apart again.

Watching you grow has blown my mind… you are so great… I have never been more excited about someone gaining weight or pooping… but I guess that’s an unspoken joy of parenthood. I love watching you learn, get stronger and develop knew skills… I also really like the in built stuff… like hand holding and the best burps I have ever heard.

I love holding you, chatting to you and singing to you… and even though I though I had quite the repertoire, I have learnt that humming works just as well when the lyrics slip from your brain.

I love your little personality, your dramatic throat clearing, your extreme strain face, your skeptical looks, your sneaky peeks, your super wide eyes and your excellent wind smiles… I love it all.

Actually it turns out I am so glad that I didn’t have to wait until today, I am glad we have already spent three months together! I can’t wait to take you home, show you off and just be able to hang out with you all the time… I can’t not wait until I don’t have to leave you behind each night… but I know it will be soon enough, because you are such a mini champion that you will be out of there in no time.

Happy due date buddy! You are a superstar! Thanks for my bonus three months!

I love you,

Love Mummy