One of those days..

Yesterday was one of those days. No, not one of those ‘bad’ days. One of those, life is so wonderful I think I may just explode from bliss days ❤ .

The day went something like this..

5.30am – Sylar wakes up asking for booby and bubbles. Breastfeed in bed and he dozes back of for a little while.

6.30am – Trystan comes in wanting to go back to sleep with us. Sy climbs all over us asking for bubbles.. we all get up and have breakfast. Clean kitchen while boys eat, play and watch some TV. Random books read in between.

8.00am – Rob gets up and Sy spends the next 30mins asking to go “wimming!”.

8.30am – Rob and Sy leave the house for swimming lessons. Trystan and I get dressed and he helps me hang washing on the clothes airers (never sure if it’s going to rain or not down here in spring) and then races around picking up toys while I start vacuuming. He’s not always so willing to help, so today is a nice easy change 🙂 .

~ sounds pretty boring thus far, right? Lots of talking (questions!) and quality (rare) one-on-one time happening as well *smile* ~

10.15am – Rob and Sy get home and we finish getting ready then swap children – Rob and Trystan head off to a 4th birthday party and Sy and I set off for Ben & Jo’s to celebrate Ostara (Spring Equinox). Ostara is usually celebrated around the same time Christians celebrate Easter, but given we live in the Southern Hemisphere it falls at the opposite end of the year for us with Spring in September.

11.00am – We arrive at Ben and Jo’s (salad and worm juice in hand) to be greeted by their ever smiling faces, balloons and a paper-chain archway created by Ben and Lucy that am, and 5th birthday balloons in joint celebration of Jo and Lucy’s birthing anniversary. We’re the first to arrive but other friends, old and new, start trickling in (or rumbling on motorcycles lol) shortly after.

We spend the next few hours in the warm embrace of our friends.. an egg/rabbit hunt in honour of Ostara, an opportunity for the children of exchanging their new bounty for something new, and committing our intentions and desires to the earth (that which we wanted to grow and flourish was written on paper and planted beneath vegetable seedlings in our host’s new garden). In between their was an azure butterfly cake in honour of Lucy, children each taking a turn to blow out candles on their own pieces of cake, jumping on the trampoline and stroking the pile of kittens (Sylar), crafting on the couch and vegan and unschooling discussions with some of the most inspiring women I’ve ever known.

2.30pm – we floated back out to the car, tired but full to the brim with love and headed back home.

3.00pm – Sy finally gave in to sleep so we both headed to bed for a lonnnng and obviously much needed nap..

5.30pm – woke up *happy sigh* . Snap decision to grab some take-out and head to the drive-in as Trystan had been asking to see the ‘smurfs’ which both Rob and I recall loving as small children.. feed the furbabies and back in the car.

6.30pm – Dinner and a movie in the car with our babies – I LOVE how we can climb around and talk without disturbing anyone else.

8-8.30pm – Trystan snuggles into Rob and goes to sleep just as the movie is finishing. Back home again and Sy and I head back to bed – singing, talking and booby until we both fall asleep.

One of those easy, relaxing days filled with loved ones. Bliss.

Challenge day 5… and a sneak peak at our bellybabe

Not going particularly fabulously. No issues whatsoever with giving up the meat side of things (as I ate so little, being the odd bit of chicken or fish anyway), and eggs have been easier than I thought too.. but milk, which I *thought* would be easy (another thing I have so little of), is proving to be quite the challenge!  We ran out of bread earlier this week (I’d been having toast with nut-spread or avocado, yummo!), and since I haven’t been feeling well I wasn’t about to go racing to the shops for more, so I was left with limited cereal options none of which went nicely with the type of soymilk I had on hand. Porridge and vanilla soy with strawberry jam is divine, weetbix with light original soy is not. Urgh, dilemma!

 

Fortunately this lurgy is on it’s way out of my body now, and I’m planning a big grocery shop tomorrow morn, so once the fridge and pantry is stocked with lots of vegan goodness it should be much easier. I still think I may end up relenting a little though.. Vegetarian, absolutely. Vegan, I don’t know..

 

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In more exciting news, I had my one and only ultrasound this pregnancy yesterday. I’ve had an awful time sleeping the last few nights (not just from my cold or normal pregnancy insomnia), and it finally clicked as I was lying in bed at 5am yesterday morning that I was nervous. For the first time, I was worried that they’d find something wrong with our baby and the cascade of difficult decisions would start.. I hate how a little ‘routine’ scan could make me feel so vulnerable! Up until this point I had *known* our baby was fine. I had also known, that even if bellybabe wasn’t okay it wouldn’t change anything.. even a baby ‘incompatible with life’ would be held safe in my womb as long as s/he needed. So, I’m not sure why I was so nervous and restless.. walking though the hospital doors was even triggering for me (this is not the hospital I had Trystan at, so I’m not sure why).

 

Anyway, bellybabe is fine. As we knew. Also burrowing down into the safe warmth of my womb and refusing to move in a show of baby defiance that made this mama proud *laugh* . I didn’t want to find out the gender of our baby this time.. it didn’t feel right for me. However, Rob was adamant that he ‘needed’ to know, and since we were having the scan he also ‘needed’ to reassure his own mind we decided that we may as well find out so he could prepare for that in his own way too. I realised that we all prepare for the birth of a new child differently, and this two things are a major part of that for Rob. I did find it quite comical when bellybabe spent the entire time, right up until the very end with legs crossed and the cord between the legs.. I wasn’t going to be returning for another scan just to determine the gender so if bellybabe didn’t want to share that suited me just fine *wink* .

 

At the end however, bellybabe did roll over (after a few comical tumble turns from me – what a sight!) which enabled a better look at the heart and profile… and between the legs. I missed it on the screen, but a tactless conversation between the operator and trainee who obviously presumed I had zero intelligence, revealed that we had an xx baby. “So, we’re definitely having a girl?” “We can never be definite, only 90%” “so, we’re 90% sure it’s a girl??” “Yes”. Oh my. Lucky we did want to know then! Wishing she had of told us more nicely, perhaps even with a little fanfare, as it’s hard to kick the feeling that I’ve been duped and really shouldn’t know anyway.. but there you go. We’re having a perfectly formed baby girl *smile* .

 

Trystan has been quite adamant from the start that he was getting a baby sister, so I’m pleased we don’t have to have ‘that’ conversation and the inevitable tears! His chosen name however, he will need to get over. And I need to work on Rob some more.. I mentioned a name to Rob only a few nights ago that he agreed was lovely. With each passing day, I feel more and more that this is HER name. It’s not a name I’ve ever considered before.. actually I think I posted about this conversation at the start of the week! So yes, this is her name. I feel she’s telling me.. Rob, naturally last night decided perhaps he doesn’t love it and threw a few suggestions back. No, her name is not Amelia or Julie. Heavens! This is her name.. I *know* it. Ah well, we have a few more months to bring him around.. and he didn’t veto it..

Day 2 – vegan challenge

Urgh, I’ve woken up with Sy’s cold. Amazing how fast I can go from feeling middle-trimester-great to just-wanna-curl-up-on-couch-crappy.. On the positive side, we all know how bad dairy affects you when sick (congestion, etc), so at least the challenge will be a lil easier in that regard.

Breakfast: toast with soy marg and peanut butter, fair trade coffee and light soy milk (won’t bother even attempting to make this at home anymore until coffee machine is fixed, plunger coffee just doesn’t cut it!).
Morning tea: oranges (and banana’s and strawberries which the babe refused to share!), hot lemon & honey drink and LOTS of water. Dinosaur eggs aka Yoshino rice crackers (again, mostly eaten by the babes.. the 2 I swiped were yummy!). “Milk cookies” (http://vegsoc.org.au/recipe_details.asp?RecipeID=415) .
Lunch: Avocado on toast
Afternoon tea: raw carrot sticks with hummus, cut apples.
Dinner: lentil, cauliflower (& broccoli) soup with home-baked bread (http://www.bestrecipes.com.au/recipe/Lentil-and-Cauliflower-Soup-L9607.html). Rob hates soup so will probably have cheese toasties *rolleyes*

Not a bad effort 🙂

Pledge to be vegan for 30 days

Something happened on the weekend.. something that had been stirring inside me for the last 10 years since I took the ill advice of a naturopath and gave in to peer pressure. Maybe it was sparked by our farm visit, I can’t be sure, but inside my head I saw (actually saw!) a line up of all of the animals that have died, probably horrifically, due to me. As I started preparing our dinner, using a bought BBQ chicken that was dripping in solidified fat, I felt physically ill. What was I doing??! How could I keep ignoring my inner voice that was shouting ‘NO!’? How could I continue doing something purely for convenience sake, when it meant DEATH? I still feel sick just thinking about it. So, on Sunday night, I finished turning that poor chicken into a gratin for my family (I believe if you’re going to eat meat you should respect it and nothing would be lower than throwing that poor bird in the trash like ‘rubbish’), and then served myself up the left over quiche I’d made on Friday night. Yes, it had eggs in it, and I feel awful about that too, but that brings me back to my problem with treating animals like rubbish.. So, it was the lesser of two evils I guess? Actually, maybe it wasn’t the farm.. if I look back over our meals of late, at least 2/3rds have been vegetarian (not vegan).. Maybe it’s bellybabe? I know I’m going to come up against resistance. From my husband because he likes his meat (although the only way he’s ever got red meat is buy BBQing it himself or in a restaurant as I’ve never been able to tolerate the smell), and will argue the point that our small children need it. From my mother, because I’m pregnant. And probably just from random friends and strangers when I ‘inconvenience’ them.. Thus, I’ve decided to make myself accountable. To PeTA, by signing up to their 30-day challenge, and to you and myself, here. Perhaps by including my meal plans and recipes’ I’ll even inspire you?.. Day One. Breakfast: Weetbix and milk (I slipped up here, but it will be soy milk from tomorrow). Plus an orange once I got to work. Morning tea: Fairtrade latte with soymilk and irish cream.. how did I not try this earlier?? Divine! I also had a blueberry muffin that probably had dairy of some sort in it, so I’ll need to have a bake-up at home and be more prepared. Lunch: The rest of the leftover quiche Dinner: I haven’t quite decided but we’ll probably have pesto. So… vegan fail, but vegetarian pass. Maybe I’ll start day one again tomorrow..

Update on bellybabe

I felt bellybabe move from the outside for the first time last night.. S/he is so so quiet during the day, but my gosh is it a party come bed time! The kicks and rolls were so strong I wonder if bellybabe has had a lil growth spurt or if I’ve just been sleeping through all the excitement.. either way it feels wonderful *bliss*.

Another first for last night.. Rob actually liked a girls name I suggested! He was veto-ing everything so I’d given up on the name hunt for a while, but last week I decided to make a little list and just randomly ask what he thinks over time. Perhaps not originally my absolute favourite name, but as soon as I said it and he agreed that it was a lovely name, it just felt ‘right’. I think this is HER name.. if bellybabe is a girl anyway.. which I have a feeling she is *smile* .

Farm life

I’ve been going a lil stir-crazy over winter, so even though it was yet another cold overcast day with rain predicted I decided to get us all out of the house on Saturday for some much needed family time. Trystan and Sylar have been asking lots of questions about animals, so we headed to Myuna Farm in the South Eastern suburbs to visit the cows, goats, sheep, pigs and ducks.. and then some. We last took Trystan when Sy was just a wee newborn and some friends were visiting from Adelaide, but he was extremely cautious of the large farm animals, so we hadn’t been back thinking that Sylar would be the same… what followed was another example of how different they are! Sylar is a few months younger than Trystan was at his first visit, and yet he absolutely adored the massive pigs, friendly cows and noisy geese. He wanted to feed them all, regardless of size, and had his first pony ride (it was Trystan’s first ride too)! Trystan wanted to know all about why the chickens and ducks had pink legs and he told Rob that the Turkey was beautiful when Rob was saying how ugly it was – I LOVE that he could see the bird’s inner beauty *melt* . They both had cuddles with the fluffy rabbits and asked why the lizard’s tongue was blue. We were even blessed to see a wee joey peeking out of his mama’s pouch.. whenever she stopped pushing him back in *laugh*. We took a quick ride on the train that tours up past the lake and ducks and then had a quick play before heading home to greet our guests (and have a nap!). I love how visiting real life animals tickles their curiosity and starts conversations like no book can. Trystan’s heading to the Zoo with family soon and I can’t wait to hear all he learns on his adventure into the jungle!

The importance of community

It doesn’t matter how many books or blogs I read, or how many discussions I have with other mama’s online, the most important (and grounding) resource in my parenting toolkit is community. Living away from family, I am so very blessed and thankful everyday of the village I have found amongst my sisters of the south east (and their wee families). Whether it’s banding together to craft and donate mamapads overseas, to craft for our own children, or just a simple play in the sunshine, the inevitable conversations is what enriches my soul the most. Hearing first hand from a mama who has been in your situation before, and admits the struggle but still manages to parent unconditionally from the heart, is invaluable in my world. To know that it’s okay for your 4 year old to still need validation during toileting. To embrace regression as  it usually signals a developmental leap forward and your child is needing reassurance that they are safe and loved. To cease lessons when your child resists. To know that whilst these things are okay, it’s also okay to feel frustration and confusion. To debrief with another mama so that I can feel lighter and free once more to give my babies the unconditional love and support that they need. I have my village to thank for these things and many, many more.

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