Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Boy, It's a Responsibility!

 Elliot's morning job list. Archie also gets in and gets his jobs done too!

As the Mum of boys, I have an awareness of my responsibility to raise them to be good men. Men that treat women well, men that will make good partners and husbands, men that pull their weight around the house. While that is all years and years away I strongly believe in planting the seeds of this responsibility early. Children are much more capable than many people give them credit for. If you scaffold and guide them, if you make it possible for them to succeed then they will generally rise to the challenge.

 El's self-made bed, complete with pj's under his pillow and baby asleep and tucked in.

A few months before Kindy was due to start this year I started to talk to Elliot about jobs that he needed to do in the mornings to get ready to go out. Together we came up with a list. At first he needed help with everything on the list. Luckily for me he's a lover of a routine so it took him oh, about a day to remember everything on the list! Over time the list has been added to, amended and changed to suit our changing circumstances. Elliot has also changed in that he now completes the list independently (apart from cleaning his teeth, I have a turn after he's had a turn). He even makes his bed and Archie's bed, usually as part of a surprise for me which also involves choosing clothes and getting himself dressed.

Archie's bed after Elliot has made it. Sideways quilt, rumpled blankets and all!

Sure, he often has his clothes inside out, back to front or completely mismatching. The beds are always rumpled and lumpy but I wouldn't have it any other way. He's showing me he's capable and responsible. He's proud of his success in doing these 'grown up' tasks.

Monday, June 20, 2011

In the Kitchen this Week

As we will be moving in a few short weeks we're eating from the freezer and pantry. We're planning on putting everything in storage and staying with my parent's until we find a new place in Brisbane. So we need empty fridges, freezers and pantries.

Along with eating from the freezer and pantry, we've had lots of friends drop meals around to help us out with new baby Oliver. We've been so spoilt, having yummy homemade meals delivered, soups, stews, pies even cassava cake and ice cream! Yum!

But, by me, nothing exciting is cooking, nothing exciting is being planned, no cookbooks are being consulted.

Every morning I've been standing at an open pantry or freezer and surveying the offerings. We've been eating lots of pasta, lots of tinned lentils in soup or sauces, usually with tinned tomatoes too!
Hopefully soon I'll be able to be back in the kitchen, planning and cooking up a storm!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Just Something I Love

Some pretty flowers, a surprise from the boys when they went shopping with Daddy. 
A couple of cross stitches by my Mum. 

One of the clocks we received as a wedding present. 
Some op-shopped canisters. 
A teapot given to Matt by his late Grandma.

I love this wall in my kitchen.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Oliver's Arrival

So our dear wee Oliver has made his grand entrance into the world. Settle in for a read, you may want to get a cuppa now. I do have a tendancy to waffle!

You may remember that I had been hoping his birth would be a Maternally Assisted Caesarean (MAC) as I'm a huge natural birth advocate, but have only had caesars! A Maternally Assisted Caesarean was going to be the closest thing I'd get to being involved in his birth but alas and alack, he had different plans!

After much negotiation with my Doctor we'd agreed on what would and wouldn't happen, how things would go, who would be involved in terms of aneathestists, paediatricians, midwives etc. As his arrival was going to be a planned c-section, we knew who all these people were going to be and so my Doctor had been talking with them in advance. The delivery was booked for a Monday morning, the day after my due date.

The Wednesday before my due date was my Mum's birthday and she mentioned a few times throughout the day that if he decided to come today then she wouldn't mind sharing her birthday with him at all. My response was to roll my eyes and exclaim "He's so not coming early, I feel fine!!!" Ha! Just goes to show what I know!

That evening while making dinner I felt a tightening and made a comment to Mum that I may have just had a contraction. That was about 5:30pm and was followed by another tightening about 15 minutes later. At this time Matt was on the bus on his way home so I sent him a quick text message letting him know that something may be happening but I wasn't 100% sure. I got on with dinner but didn't have anything myself, I was feeling a bit funny in the tummy, plus if it was labour I didn't want to eat anything as you are supposed to be nil by mouth for 7 hours prior to surgery.

Matt got the boys bathed and into bed while Dad cleaned the kitchen and Mum and I started watching the tele and then bam, at 7:30pm a really strong, long contraction followed by another 10 minutes later, and then another and another! By 8pm I knew that this was the real deal so rang the hospital and the midwife said to come in. Matt was back after getting the boys settled so we finished packing the bag (I thought I had a few more days to get things ready!) and headed off leaving the boys in the safe hands of a very excited Nan and Pop! On the drive to the hospital the contractions were stronger and closer together but very typically they slowed down once we got the hospital. Luckily the midwives believed me that I was actually having strong contractions and after being hooked up to the monitor for a while she called the Doctor.

Unfortunately though, not my Doctor. It was her night off so one of her colleagues was called in. At that point I knew that my plans for an MAC were out the window as the birth would officially be classed as an "emergency" as I'd gone into spontaneous labour and MAC's are only considered for elective caesars. Plus, all the people that my Dr had been talking to were not on that night.

So Oliver's arrival was your traditional caesar. The Doctor and midwife delivered him, lowering the screen so Matt and I could get our first glimpse of our little man. Then he was taken over to the table where the paediatrician checked him over and gave him the OK, he was weighed and measured (2.9kg, 52cm). He was brought over to me all wrapped up for a quick cuddle before heading to recovery with Matt. They waited there while the Doctor delivered the placenta and finished up the procedure.

It really, aside from not being an MAC, was my ideal situation. I wanted the baby to choose his own birthday. I wanted to at least labour for a little bit (it was almost 6hrs from the first funny feeling to when he was born) so that the baby and I would both benefit from some of those wonderful labour hormones. I wanted him to be ready to come into the world instead of being told "you're coming now!"

Our wee babe entered the world pink and screaming and ready to feed! Just perfect!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

He's Here!!!

Just a quick one to let you know that our third baby boy, Oliver, has arrived! He's now 10 days old and is just divine. Feeding brilliantly, sleeping well, just being an adorable newborn really. The big boys are loving him, showering him with kisses and cuddles.

I'll be back soon to share his birth story. :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chicken Tractor Update

I've posted before here about our chicken tractor and how fabulous it is, and it is. But there are also a couple of design flaws.

The first (and biggest in my opinion) is that the nesting box is on top of the roosts. You can see it in the picture in the above link. Now, not being all that knowledgeble in chicken husbandry even I knew that this was not the way things should be. Chickens like to roost in the highest possible place which means that all 6 of ours girls cram into the nesting box, jostling for a comfy place to sleep. This means that they generally are laying on the floor of the tractor, usually under the nesting box. This leads to design flaw #2.

Design flaw #2 is that when the girls lay on the floor they can't be reached from the top opening (over the nesting box) so the only way to get them is to crawl through the teeny tiny door, dodging the hanging water and feeder, and reaching through the roosts to get it. This is nigh-on impossible when in the last stages of pregnancy!!! Luckily I've got children to do the leg work for me, but this brings it's own problems. Elliot is good at manouvering through the cage and climbing through the roosts, but doesn't like getting the poo on him, and was completely freaked out when one egg had a really big bit of poo and muck on it. Archie on the other hand doesn't mind the poo, but is not so good at the manouvering and him going in usually ends up with him falling, tripping and doing other such clutzy things that mean he comes out covered in poo, straw, kitchen scraps and chicken food.

We certainly do things the hard way in our house!