30 things before 31

Somehow it is my birthday again tomorrow… a whole year has apparently gone by since I last wrote a post like this.  But this birthday feels different and I am not really sure why… usually I start my birthday blogs talking about how I don’t really feel ready to switch over to the next age… but this year I just don’t really feel that fussed about it, which is really strange.  It is super odd… since I was 17, I have had a love hate relationship with birthdays, but now as I turn 31… it suddenly doesn’t feel like such a big deal.  Maybe I have finally grown up? Maybe I am still in denial about being 30 at all… but either way its nice not to be upset about it.

Each year I like to take just a minute (although it seems to be getting longer as I add more and more years) to stop and reflect on how the past year has shaped who I am now.  Things that I have loved, learned or just lived during year 30… 30 of them, before 30 becomes 31 tomorrow.

  1. 30 wasn’t so bad… it happened and the sky didn’t fall, I didn’t fall apart… in fact it was kinda nice
  2. I finally feel like an adult… I know I have been one for a long time now, but I feel like I am actually living an adult life now… trying to save money, considering my long term health, fixing things at home and being more comfortable in my skin.
  3. My body is my body… it’s far from perfect, but it’s done some pretty great things, it may never be the body I want, but it’s the body I am most comfortable in.
  4. Sometimes the things you fear the most, aren’t the things you should have been worried about
  5. It turns out my boys like to come fast and very very early… neither traits they get from me
  6. We live in a country that is incredibly blessed with amazing health care and hospitals
  7. There is a place for coffee in my life, and after years of being an exclusive tea drinker… I am now partial to the latte… I would imagine it’s the sleep deprivation.
  8. Even when you think you have had all you can take… there is usually more, and you learn you are stronger still.
  9. God is good, all the time… and his plans are better, even when you think yours a pretty great.
  10. Isaac is the toughest kid I have ever met
  11. I will do anything to hear a baby giggle, especially if it is my baby
  12. Best laid plans are now a pie in the sky kind of goal… yet I continue to make them anyway
  13. I like making improvements on my house… but the greatest home improvements are when everything has a place in the room in which it belongs… it turns out I am a house micro manager
  14. Banana bread is from heaven
  15. Babies are hard to take selfies with
  16. Motherhood means getting to join a gang of incredible women who you can talk to about anything even if you’ve never met before
  17. You can sit in the same chair all day every day for months if it is with the ones you love
  18. Babies grow fast, sometimes they only wear clothes once, although you can get so much joy from putting a child in a seasonal costume.
  19. Tiny face-washers save many things at many times
  20. Life goes fast… you should always celebrate the small things
  21. Turkish delight milkshakes and pink donuts will forever be sacred
  22. People are good more often they are not, and we are surrounded by so many people who love us and truely do want us to thrive and succeed
  23. Being a mum is better than I could have ever comprehended, although it comes with its own bag of guilt and expectations that I am continually trying to work through and balance
  24. Breastmilk is magic… not just for the baby, but for the mum who can offer nothing else to a baby in NICU… even long after they have left… although not pumping today for the first time in 8 and bit months was acutally really nice.
  25. I am married to the most patient, servant hearted man I have ever met… he has kept us going, kept us fed and kept the house functional… he is also an epic dad and has actually been doing the majority (like at least 85%) of the overnight feeds solo.
  26. I can’t stop crying… everything pulls at my heart strings.  This week I cry at every happy story at the commonwealth games… so many tears it is embarrassing… and don’t you dare show my a picture of a baby in hospital, I will not cope.
  27. I am looking forward to a year of not being pregnant and eating all of the foods (in moderation of course)
  28. I am pretty sure I am addicted to my phone and social media… maybe 31 is the year to get this under control because real life is definitely more satisfying.
  29. Hail does a lot more damage than I had realised….
  30. Even though I am further away from a lot of the goals I had over the last couple of years, I feel like I am simplifying and making way for other goals which somehow now seem more significant, even though they wouldn’t have previously made the cut… I think this is another sign that maybe I have just started growing up.

Thanks 30, you have certainly been another challenging year, but you have also brought a lot of joy and wonder, lets hope 31 is just as joyful, but less dramatic… I feel like my 30s could be my best years yet.

Our Curious Life: Week 7

 

 

 

You won’t believe this, but I might actually get week 7’s blog out on time… it only finished yesterday, which means I am actually sitting down to write it on time… Isaac is mastering his new skill of hitting the toys hanging above his play-mat… and I am typing!  What is this life?

Ok so week 7 started in a panic… last Sunday night our power went out for the first time since we brought Isaac home… which meant no oxygen concentrator for him and the freezers containing all the liquid gold breastmilk were slowly warming up… I wasn’t super fussed about the oxygen because we had tanks Isaac could use to sleep, but the idea of just going to bed not knowing if the breastmilk would survive the night was certainly anxiety inducing.  For a while I just sat on the couch in the dark with Isaac thinking about all the time I would have wasted if we lost that milk… all the things I could have done instead… all the anxiety about washing them well enough for his tiny little body… all the water we would have wasted washing the darn things… and the reality of the fact that my supply was slowing, so there was no way I could replace it, even if I really really wanted to.  So much of my life has been expressing milk during the last 6 months… not just a little bit… but hours of my day… so after some panicked tears I rang my dad, woke him up, and asked for some freezer space… because even though my quick google search told me the freezer would be fine until morning, I couldn’t fathom risking it.  Thankfully, dad was very gracious and understood my desperation… even if it was a little irrational, and just told us to come on over… on the way to his place we realised we had access to a bigger freezer at our church… but when we got there to unload it all for the night, we learned that our power was back on… so we just turned around and went home with it… A lot of panic for nothing in the end… but it made for an eventful start to the week.

The rest of the week turned out to be the week of the Grandma’s and air tests… it started with a lunch date with Grandma Meg on Monday and Finished with Nana Shirl coming to story time with my sister in law and nephew… oh and we had brunch with Auntie Grace on Tuesday and dinner with Auntie Ness on Wednesday between school and Dave’s Music Interest Night… Isaac and I stayed to take some pictures and then checked out the Eastlink track on a little walk.

This week we also marked some pretty massive milestones… Isaac tried some food for the first time, which is very exciting… although I feel like I had just got the hang of milk feeds… but I guess that’s the reality of parenting… as soon as you get comfortable they change the rules.  And… (here is where the air tests come in) we got the ok to stop using the oxygen at night as well… Isaac had two tests in room air (just good old regular air) overnight, one Monday and then a follow up test on Wednesday just to confirm the results.  The initial results from Monday were great, so we are good to live oxygen free, unless they see something in the test from Wednesday that makes them change their mind… but so far so good and we haven’t turned on the concentrator, or plugged in a tank since Wednesday…  which is terrifying, but a huge moment for us… We aren’t living ‘oxygen free’ just yet, as I still feel the need for a safety canister when we go out, his room still has a supply of tanks and the living room is still home of the giant concentrator… but we are getting much closer.  I think once they have collected all the oxygen equipment I will really believe we are done with it and that he can actually do it all by himself.

This is the first week all year that we haven’t crossed anything off the list… but that’s ok… we have been spending a lot of time watching the Winter Olympics instead… which are flipping amazing… I think I have decided that I enjoy them even more than the Summer Olympics and I think it is just the risk of death or injury that sucks me in… These athletes are so incredibly brace… maybe a little nuts… but incredible all the same.  Isaac seems to like them too.

So there you go… week 7 was pretty big even without the list.

Our Curious Life: Week 6

 

 

 

Wow… week 6, what the heck? How did we get here? To be honest as I sit down to type this I can’t remember what we did this week… maybe we can work it out together.

This week was also filled with friends, we had lunch with my work bestie and her partner and super cute little girl, we caught up with some of my high school besties and we caught up with my mum and avoided the heat with a day at the shops.  We walked a lot, including a return to parkrun yesterday… which felt much earlier than I remembered, but it was good to be back nevertheless. and we had a lot of appointments.

On Monday night I went back to choir… which in the craziness of 2017 never got mentioned.  It’s a choir that was formed out of  a one off performance I was part of to celebrate a teacher at my high school.  Since then it has become a legit thing and I was attending weekly until I ended up in hospital before Isaac was born.  So going back this week feels pretty great.  Plus it fills me with all the school nerd feels!  At choir I also received a copy of some family photos we had taken by the lovely Georgia from Allegro Photography. Which means no. 6 can now be officially crossed off the list.  The photos turned out so beautifully… thanks Georgia.

This week Isaac also got good reports from the physio, dietitian and the respiratory team… so good in fact we are off day time oxygen!  AMAZING!!!  It is so strange not to have him attached to the tank and I think it is going to take some adjusting on my part to trust him without it.  Dave and I have done a few little outings to help me get used to the idea… but it has been 6 months of life with oxygen… it will take time.  It is so fun though being able to walk away from the pram, the bassinet, the car… everything without having to worry about where the cord is.  He is free… well at least during the day.  Seriously… yesterday we left the pram in the car while we attended a first birthday party… we just had us, Isaac and the nappy bag… so so so strange.

We also re-attempted story time, although we went to a different library and with some buddies and it was so much better… library story time is back on the list of things we like to do… as long as we have a buddy and a coffee date booked for after.

Turns out week 6 was quite eventful… bring on week 7.

Our Curious Life: Week 5

Far out week 5, you have been busy… seriously busy!  This week has been full of people… which if you ask me is a great way to spend any week.  We started with the Thrive BBQ on Sunday, where we survived the crazy hot weather with 30ish other Thrivers swimming, eating and watching the tennis and we finished the week celebrating a beautiful bride to be. During week 5 we brunched and lunched with Mum, Lorraine, Clare, Jess, Dave and some of my work mates on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday… I love brunchy lunches the most, if my waist line and my hip pocket would allow all of my weeks would look like this. Oh and all that brunching meant no. 94 is off the list because I also love an iced coffee.

This week also brought some new ‘mum’ things for us… I went to my first mothers group (no.45), which I actually loved.  I had been so nervous about attending, because despite being fairly out going, I find new situations, especially new social situations quite unnerving.  I had also pinned a few local community hopes on having a good mum’s group.  When Dave and I moved house we moved to a suburb where we didn’t know that many people, and despite some intentional effort we have found that most of our life still exists back in blackburn… we have made some more local friends through Dave’s work, but this was my chance to find some more local community, which meant that mother’s group had a lot of pressure on it.  It had always been something coming… and now that it was here, I was really feeling it… it also didn’t help that they had given me the wrong date so I was joining on week 2… but now that it is done I am hopeful, it was good… and I think it will just get better.  My fellow mums were super lovely, and very understanding.  They were interested in how Isaac and I were going and hearing about his journey without making me feel different.  It was just really nice.

We also tried story time at the library this week, which after my mothers group experience was the total opposite… we didn’t love it, which was super disappointing because I had really been looking forward to it.  I think that there were a couple of reasons we were disappointed…

1. Our expectations were really high… probably too high, it was probably unfair to expect them to be met.

2. I don’t think I had really thought about what would happen at story time and the fact that I wouldn’t be able to explain the fact that Isaac is well and actually really good… instead people would just see me and a baby with oxygen prongs and a tank… People meant well, but there were lots of looks of pity, which we don’t need… we are smashing this…

3. I didn’t have a buddy… I should not have gone alone… also something that I didn’t think about… but at the end when all the other mums found their friends and went and got coffee… the fact that we weren’t the same was really just confirmed… we were outsiders… sure I was probably being a little sensitive, but it was pretty lonely… next week we will story time with some buddies

4. It was also the first time we went into a group where people hadn’t journeyed with us, they didn’t know our story, where we had come from, what had happened… they just saw Isaac’s bonus attachments and filled in the blanks.  We have been so blessed to have so so many wonderful people surround us over the past 2 years, who have just taken us as we are, loved us through the good, the bad and the really hard and who haven’t pitied us, or made comments or made us feel different… so I guess I just assumed story time would be the same… especially after being so pleasantly surprised by mothers group… but I guess the saying is true… you should never assume.

So… we are not riding story time off just yet… but we will make some adjustments and try again… hopefully we will have weaned down the oxygen enough that we can leave it behind… we will find some story time buddies… and really even though it wasn’t quite what we had hoped it still crossed no. 12 off Isaac’s list and no. 18 and I think no. 26 off my list, as we did all of our outings this week with a tank attached (and we got an early delivery of tanks so I had to swap the regulator over before we left the house)… but I only have two pictures to show.. because Isaac and I have the same photo for no. 12 and no. 18.

In happier week 5 news… we survived a whole week with Dave at work and we started a new month which means January is over, here is what it looked like in pictures:

And… Isaac is now 6moths old… check him out… At 6 months he loves to smile and kick his legs.  He loves bath time and splashing with Daddy and he is slowly weaning down off his Oxygen and tolerating his hip brace like a superstar!  What a champion!

Thanks week 5

Our Curious Life: Week 4

 

 

 

Ok… so I am slowly getting the hang of this weekly blogging thing… I am still a little behind in terms of publishing, but so far I am really enjoying it.  So how did week four pan out… well let me tell you.

Week four started with some goodbyes… our NZ fam headed back across the ditch.  It has been so nice being able to catch up with them over the last couple of weeks.  They remind me why family is family, we can go years without seeing each other, with just phone calls, emails and of course good old facebook, but when we do catch up it is easy and lovely… it’s the way it should be.  It’s been really nice to watch them with Isaac… the beginning of the next generation of George… and it has shown me that there is a heck of a lot of George in him…seriously… just check out these four…

On Tuesday Dave went back to work and I got to re-try being at home with out him… and I am pretty proud of how we managed… yep it has only been three days because Friday was a public holiday… but it feels very different from the end of term four last year.  There have been no phone calls in tears wanting him to come home, Isaac has been feed and changed and I have pumped, showered and eaten successfully all three days which feels like a win to me.  Of course it also helps that he is a little more interactive this time, and I had 6 weeks over summer with an extra pair of hands to help me get used to it and build up some confidence.  But I am not as terrified about this coming week as I was this time last week.

We got spoilt on Thursday with the worlds cutest vans, delicious bakery treats, flowers and cuddles and good chats with our friend Pheebs… she is a winner and a half.

And on Friday I didn’t struggle with Australia day as much as I usually do… I still feel the same about it and we should definitely change the date… but I think the fact that I didn’t have the day ‘off” as a holiday, it didn’t feel any different from other days, so I could let my self relax as I wasn’t ‘celebrating’.  We did use the day to swim in the pool at dad’s again… and this time I remembered to take a photo, so I was able to officially cross it off the list!

Oh and this week I also added Isaac’s hand and foot prints to my necklace… no. 72 on the list.

So there you go, week 4 over and out.

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.