Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What Birth Classes Taught Me

When lufflump was born we had NO idea about babies or birth. We'd kind of read a book and I'd read a few baby and kids magazines but that was it. I hadn't held a baby since my cousin, when I was about eight years old. I'd never fed or dressed a baby or changed a nappy. The mister has younger siblings who he used to help look after so he was a bit more experienced. Because we were late booking into the hospital we missed the free birthing classes and we weren't going to pay for something that would happen naturally.

How naive were we?! Stubborn and like two teenagers in the sense that we thought we knew better. We'd never even been in a birthing room before I gave birth in one. Lufflump's birth was relatively easy with the only complications being him coming out kind of sideways, getting a bit stuck and me having an episiotomy. It wasn't a fun experience, I felt completely out of control and the mister is still traumatised by his inability to help me.

Had we had birthing classes beforehand the birth may have been a bit better. Maybe I wouldn't have spent most of the time on the toilet thinking I was going to shit myself. Maybe I wouldn't have felt so out of control. Maybe the mister wouldn't have felt so helpless.

Maybe. What if.

The outcome was damn good anyway so I don't regret not having the classes. I am glad, however, that we decided to do them this time around. Although we've experienced birth before we learned a lot and lufflump's birth made a lot more sense. 

Here is what I learned from birth classes;
Stages of Labour
I thought there were three stages of labour - stage one, active labour and stage three. Stage one being the pain of labour but not quite ready to push, active the pushing and birthing stage and stage three when the placenta is born. We had no idea about the transition stage or the fact that I was pretty much in it from the time we got into the hospital until when lufflump flew out. I think when the transition stage hits this time it will be calming knowing that it's just a part of it.

Watching birth videos makes me cry
We were fortunate enough to watch the below video of a water birth which happened at the birth centre. If you can watch this without crying I take my hat off to you.
The mister and I are on the same page
We had an exercise which split the rooms into two, men in one and women in the other. Both groups had to say what they expected the support partner to do. The mister and I had the same contribution - 'don't leave the room'. When I was giving birth to lufflump the poor guy was thirsty and needed a bit of a break so left for about five minutes thinking I wouldn't notice. Oh but I did. He'll never live it down. We also were going to both write 'don't hog the gas' but didn't know how it would be received.

All bellies are different and beautiful
Self explanatory.

Ping pong balls aren't just for drinking games or strippers
The funnest exercise during the classes involved a balloon and ping pong ball. I'm sure everyone's mind went straight into a Thai brothel when the ping pong balls came out but it wasn't quite like that. Sure it still involved vaginas, kind of. We had to use the balloon and ping pong to show the baby coming through the cervix. It was fun and a tad scary at the same time.

The epidural doesn't look as scary as I thought it would
A needle in the back sounds scary, VERY scary. Especially one that they leave in while you give birth. It actually isn't this big scary looking contraption. It looks quite boring really.

Formula doesn't exist
I'm all for advocating breastfeeding and I'm so glad midwives see it as what it is; the best for you and your baby. What I'm not happy about is the pressure this puts on mothers. When the midwives were asked about sterilising bottles for expressing, their response was 'we advocate breastfeeding not expressing'. At the end of the day if your baby is being fed, you are both happy then who cares whether you're feeding your baby by breastfeeding, expressing or formula? I would have been ecstatic to hear 'Breastfeeding is the best option for your baby but if you have tried every avenue and it's not working for you, that's ok'. 

The bitch midwife at the Mater lied
When I got to the hospital I was eight centimetres already, apparently too late for any pain medication or so they told us. According to the birth centre midwives that is bullshit. We had two wonderful midwives at the Mater but we also had a horrible, stressed out bitch. The mister asked a couple of times if there was any pain relief I could have, she replied by telling him that if he couldn't handle it he could leave. If I hadn't had a contraction at that moment she would have heard the following 'no bitch, if anyone is leaving here it'll be you. You may have been through this before but we haven't.' Can you tell I'm still pissed off about this?

Second time parents are different
We know that birth plans don't always go to plan and that's ok as long as the outcome is a healthy baby and mother.
We know not to ask or expect too much from our support partner as they aren't exactly having a party either.
We know that co-sleeping will most likely occur especially if you want to sleep.
We know that napping becomes a luxury that should be taken advantage of, if you don't you'll regret it when they start dropping the naps.
We know that feeling of being on top of the universe when the baby is born. 
What did you learn from birth classes?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Simplify Your Life Week Four #syl12

This week it's all about assessing your life and values balance. So how you are balancing your values, what needs working on and what needs to stay consistent. Deb included the Wheel of Life exercise which was a great way to see just how your values are being achieved or not.

I didn't really think that what I was choosing were my core values or in our family mission statement but it appears they are.
Using the above values I created my Wheel of Life;
Had to take a photo as I don't have Word on my laptop
As you can see from the above photo Personal Development, Friends, Spirituality and Environment aren't faring as well as I would like it to.
To me personal development is growing, learning and enhancing as a person. I believe that I have grown but I still need to learn from experiences and I have a lot of enhancing to do to become the person I would like to be. To do that I feel I need to be mindful daily and sit back when situations get tough, think about why and what I can do and learn from it. 
I love my friends, they are amazing and I hate that I don't see them as often as I used to or should. I'm a social person and I've let anxiety stop me from being my social self. It sucks, I want to change it but at the moment I'm struggling just keeping up with the housework let alone getting out and being social. That doesn't mean I don't love my friends or appreciate them, I do.
This is on par with personal development to me. To grow and be mindful I feel I need to also enhance my spirituality in the form of Buddhism. What appeals to me most about Buddhism is the emphasis on self enhancement and growth rather than a God being. You can be the higher power but until then look to those who have reached or are reaching their enlightenment - that's what I want for myself and family.
I like the environment and I think it's important to nourish it for our future generations. Having kids has definitely emphasised this need. Unfortunately I've been lazy with helping the environment. Sure we recycle, reuse and are careful with our electricity use but I'd love to also have a vegetable/fruit garden, turn off stand-by items and stop using the dryer so often.
I'm more satisfied with the following, but only just;
We have done a lot of work culling, organising and sorting our home. It's nowhere near where I would like it to be. In fact we need to spend a couple of days just cleaning the whole place (this week). The mister is also feeling a bit cramped by the minimal space we have and is over living so close to our shitty neighbours. We are actually on the look out (again this week) for a house to rent further from the city but still close enough that he can ride to his workplaces and I can easily catch public transport.
How I wish this was higher! The mister and lufflump's health is quite good at the moment. The mister is getting fitter everyday from riding to and from work plus eating well. Lufflump hasn't been badly sick in a while, thank goodness. My health, however, is a different story. I have low blood pressure, low iron and thanks to being pregnant suffering from lack of sleep. I'm sure the former two are impacting on my energy levels to the point where I'm always tired and while I'm trying to get their levels back up I'm not sure it's being successful. Mentally, the mister and I are both struggling from lack of sleep making us edgy at times. Other than that my anxiety is the lowest it's been in a LONG time which I'm loving.
I'm not 100% satisfied with any of my values and I think it would be scary to say so. I don't believe that 100% is a number I'll ever be with my values as self, relationships, love and life changes which would influence the change in values. However, I am almost satisfied with the following;
I love my family, they make me want to be a better person. I believe that working on my personal development, spirituality and health & wellbeing will benefit my family immensely which is what they deserve. Lufflump deserves a good, happy family life that will enrich his self. So does sesame, the mister and myself.
The mister will most likely disagree with me on the level I put finances on. To me we aren't struggling financially. Sure there are a lot of stuff (note STUFF) we can't afford but we are extremely fortunate in the choices our financial stability and level allow us to have. We are able to live comfortably and we don't go without quite often. We have luxuries others didn't have, our children have luxuries our parents weren't able to afford. I am able to stay at home, lufflump is able to attend the daycare we have chosen for him (not the cheapest) and our bills are always paid on time. Very fortunate.
This exercise has opened my eyes somewhat. I already knew what I felt I need to work on but looking at it like this, I'm also more grateful to what we do have and what I have achieved. That's the first step isn't it; identifying what needs change?

Happy Monday

"View life as a continuous learning experience."
Denis Waitley

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Piquing My Pinterest Rainbow Homewares Edition

Lately on Pinterest I've been drawn to anything rainbow, bright or pastel. I thought I'd share some of my favourite rainbow pieces for the home. I'd be more than happy to have any of this in my house.
1. This is a hand woven rainbow hammock from Etsy that I'm thinking of buying for the mister's birthday present. Hammocks are so relaxing and he deserves to relax. Plus it'll brighten up outside and make me smile.
2. This Agate rug is made from NZ wool. How beautiful and so interesting. I'm in LOVE. I've sussed out prices which the mister thinks is relatively reasonable so fingers crossed it'll be taking prime place in our lounge room. Maybe when we have a bigger place...
3. Patchwork furniture holds a very special place in my heart. It makes me want to be crafty. So bright and happy, but I'd have to have the most organised house so it wouldn't look cluttered. I'd do it for any of these pieces of furniture.
4. Never mind how close this deck is to the beach, check out the amazing cushions. Mismatched perfection. The birdcage too. Divine!
5. I adore this swing. Imagine curling up in there with a good book. Cup holders would complete it, a good book and a perfect cup of coffee. Time out luxury!

I'm joining up with Tina and a bunch of other Pinterest addicted bloggers. Check them out here.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


In the last few weeks I've received some amazing love from bloggers. Two of them gave me the Liebster award. Those wonderful ladies are Gillian from Tessie Girl and Lisa from Mrs BC's House of Chaos

Gillian has an amazing business where she makes all sorts of awesome stuff! She's also my soul sister, so alike it's scaringly wonderful!
Lisa is just so lovely and supportive, not to mention an awesome Brisbanite! She's so authentic too, honest and fun!
I'm so honoured, thank you ladies!

So down to business...
What is a Liebster Award?
"Liebster is a German word, meaning dearest or beloved, but it can also mean favourite.  The idea behind the Liebster Blog Award is that it is given to bloggers who have less than 200 followers in order to create new connections and bring attention to these wonderful blogs."

Here's the to-do list of any Liebster award recipient:
1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Post the award on your blog. (
Right click on the award image and save it to your hard-drive and then upload it to your blog).
4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the Internet – other bloggers.
5. And best of all – have fun and spread the karma!

So my five picks for the Liebster Award are;
Even if you think these awards are silly (and that's ok) please check out the above blogs. The ladies who write them are amazing!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sesame - Week Thirty-Four

We had an antenatal check up on Monday which was interesting. 

Not only is my blood pressure still low but now I'm also measuring two weeks small when I wasn't before. I have another appointment in two weeks time where I'll be measured again. If I'm measuring smaller than two weeks then I'll have to have a scan to make sure sesame is thriving adequately. I had the same problem with lufflump, measuring small, but the midwife is concerned because at twenty-eight weeks I was measuring normal. I'm trying not to stress about it but I honestly don't want to be induced, not in two weeks anyway.

My iron levels will be checked at the next appointment too. I'm taking Spate which is WAY better than any iron tablets. Rather than upsetting my stomach and causing me to be hold up in the bathroom or bed, I actually have energy. I'm not sleeping as much, I'm getting more stuff done in and out of the house, on the net and with the family. It's wonderful feeling more alive.

I am still peeing every half hour to hour even during the middle of the night. Sleeping is very hard when you're getting up to go to the toilet constantly or have a toddler still waking during the night. Add strange dreams into the mix as well and you've got my night. If it's humid, like last night, lufflump's bed looks fine to sleep in until I need to pee again. It's a cycle. One that I'm not enjoying.

Our birth classes have finished and I learned so much that a blog post is necessary. The last labour makes more sense now and hopefully this labour will make sense from what we've learnt.

One thing I need to stop doing is reading anything scary especially zombie stories before bed. The nightmares are horrific and feel so real. From now on I'll be reading light romance or Buddhist books before I drift off. Anything to help me sleep a little bit better.
Australia Day
Last photo I saw the size of my ass, not impressed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Girls = Frills

All clothes from Target
Want to play? Join in the fun - My Little Drummer Boys.

Style Challenge Update - Pregnancy Style

Wow it's been quite a while since I last posted about the $5 Style Challenge. What a fail on my behalf.

Here's the lowdown. I have failed the $5 Challenge. When we found out I was pregnant I bought clothes. Shirts, pants, bras, undies, dresses and shoes. I love a bargain so still tried to keep the prices down to a minimum but sometimes when buying specially labelled maternity clothes that can be tricky. We did dig out the clothes I wore last time I was pregnant so that helped challenge wise.

Here's a collection of some of what I've worn since July. On another note I definitely need to start making the bed before taking photos. Goes to show the wonderful housewife I am not.
Awesome t-shirts
I love t-shirts and will wear them with anything. We love shopping at Threadless which usually have sales on with each shirt averaging $10. 

The Jim Morrison t-shirt is actually a men's t-shirt from Jeans West (on sale for $10!). It fits so well and I love having Mr Mojo Rising so close to me. The swan note singlet was from Threadless for $5 so that fit in with the challenge nicely! Zombie at Tiffany's was on sale from Threadless for $10 but is now back up to $20. The stripe tee was from Big W's new Emerson range for something like $12. So comfy!
I pulled a lot of skirts out of storage to wear during my pregnancy. They are all either wrap around or elastic waisted meaning I can wear them from start to finish and then after pregnancy. 

All these outfits were already in my wardrobe so no new purchases here! All skirts apart from the middle floral skirt are from Tree of Life. The middle skirt was from City Beach back in 2008. The shirts are from Big W, Threadless and Tree of Life.
The easiest way to dress up or down is with dresses. I love maxi's, although the mister just informed me a few weeks ago that he HATES maxi's. Too bad for him as I love them!

The first dress was from Tree of Life for $5! Perfect for the challenge and such a comfy dress. The top dress was from Cotton On for $10 (discount thanks to my cousin). It no longer fits me at this stage during my pregnancy as it's too tight around the boobs. Not complaining! Middle dress is a wonderful wrap dress sent to me by Witjuti for a review for Kidspot. Bottom dress is an old dress from Cotton On that is definitely too short now!
Casual pants and shirts
As much as I love funky t-shirts, I love comfy funky pants even more! Harem pants are my type of pants and I live in them. 

The stripe pants were from the Southbank markets for $10. Maybe I should have made the challenge a $10 one as that would have been so much easier! Here I've paired them with a Supre singlet. Their basics are a must. Top photo is another Supre singlet, a vest I 'borrowed' from mum and black skinny maternity jeans from Target. They were definitely over the price allowed for the challenge but a necessity. Middle photo is a white Supre shirt, black Supre singlet and black Target maternity jeans. Both tops were already in my wardrobe. Bottom photo is my black harem pants and a light t-shirt from Tree of Life. The shirt was new at 2 for $30.
More dresses! The red muumuu is an old purchase from the Valley markets and the tan shoes are from Sportsgirl that my MIL bought me. So both fit in the challenge. The bottom dress is an old dress from Tree of Life (damn I love that store!). The top dress, however, was on sale for $60 from Jeans West. It's comfy and such a good purchase though.
I'm not a runner/walker/exerciser of any sort BUT we did walk to the park one day so this is my exercise outfit. The top is from Bonds and so comfy. This is a size 14 (I'm usually a 8-10) and is tight. It was a lot more than $5 but worth it. The shorts are old as are the Nike runners which KILL my feet and I hate wearing them.
I'm a singlet and pants casual kind of girl. The first photo is a Supre tank, harems from the West End markets that I love! The pants were $20 so over my Challenge budget. I wear them everywhere though so they've definitely been worth it! Second photo was Christmas Day, a Kmart singlet for $5 (yay!) and pants I bought from City Beach years ago. That one made the challenge, yay! The third photo is a bamboo yoga singlet and pants from Witjuti that, again, were sent to me for a review. So comfy and highly recommended.

So I didn't completely fail the $5 challenge but I didn't exactly get an A either. After pregnancy, hopefully, I'll be back on track. I've, hopefully, got all the maternity/feeding bras I need so I shouldn't need to fork out that expense. I think I'll continue to take photos and be aware of the price I am paying for clothes but not beat myself up over buying new things.

Do you recommend any awesome shops or designers?
Sorry for the super long post. I was going to break it up into two but I'm so swamped with blog ideas that I just don't know when I would post the second half. Also, I bought all clothes myself (or the mister did) apart from the Witjuti clothes which I have stated I was sent for a review outside of this blog. No company has asked me to blog about their products. I just like to share my good finds.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Simplify Your Life Week Three #syl12

The last time I wrote a mission statement was back in 2006 when I was studying my diploma. I hated it then as much as I do now, however important I know it is. For the Simplify Your Life challenge this week the mister and I sat down and discussed what our mission statement/s for our family would be. Sort of. He watched a movie with lufflump while I rattled off a series of questions. Most of the time I only got a reaction after I started answering them myself. Still, I got some good answers out of him, enough for a mission statement or a few.
Daily Dinosaur Attack
We identified our family values quite easily and with input from both of us. Our family values family, happiness, laughter, acceptance, loyalty and supporting each other.

Again, identifying what we want from and in relationships with each other, family, friends, neighbours and our communities was quite easy as we both have similar values and desires. We would like caring, open-minded, happy, fair and honest relationships throughout our lives for our family.

The mister and I believe that we (try to) treat each other and other people as we ant or expect to be treated. We also have fun and speak, react and treat others with a sense of humour. The mister and I are always joking around, mock fighting and laughing together. We have fun.
Sydney 2010
I'm sure the mister and I had had a rough night sleeping based on the next few answers. We'd like to change the sleeping arrangements we currently have. Ideally we'd like lufflump sleeping in his own bed and us in ours. Also, I'll add that I'd like to not have my/our sleep interrupted by weird dreams or the constant need to pee. As a family we all work better when we sleep well and worst when we don't. Sleep deprivation usually means the cranky pants are put on at least for part of the day, tempers are short and we're all easily irritating and irritated.

That's as far as we got question wise but a general picture is formed. With what we came up with as a family, I sat down and wrote the following mission statements.

I'm happy with our mission statements (no surprise really as I wrote them). They really do represent our family. I plan on sitting down with the mister soon and going through it all again. After revising them I plan on printing them out to put on our fridge. 

This challenge has been easy and hard at the same time in different areas. I think if the mister and I had sat down and put more effort into it it would have been easier. It has resonated the fact that the mister and I have similar values, goals and desires for ourselves and our family. 

Happy Monday

"Live out your imagination, not your history."
Stephen Covey

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Piquing My Pinterest Awesome Nail Edition

I love funky nails. I wish I could afford or was talented enough to have them. There's just something about having nice nails that makes me feel a million dollars. Here's just a few I have pinned. If you want to see more check out my Nail Board.
I'm joining up with Tina and a bunch of other Pinterest addicted bloggers. Check them out here.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Visiting Suger

This morning I'm not here. I'm over visiting the wonderful Melissa from Suger Coat It. Don't know her blog? Lame. She's an amazing blogger and so nice in real life too. Yes, I've met her. Yes, I'm bragging. She also did the last blog design for Tutu Ames which I just LOVED! So fun, just like her actually.

Anyway, I'm over at her blog being a friend of Suger and showing off my (lack of) style HERE. She's also recently made the jump (I'm too scared to make) over to Wordpress. I'm loving her new look and she's having so much fun changing it up which I'm also enjoying. 

Please go say HI and check out the awesomeness that is Suger.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sesame - Week Thirty-Three

I'm slack. This will be a collective post of week thirty-two and thirty-three.

Last week we started birthing classes, two down one to go. That's a whole different post though, they're that interesting!

Last week also saw me retake the glucose test (GTT). Thankfully I didn't spew this time and I had a reading of normal. A huge thank you to Troy from Maternity Outpatients Pathology at the Royal Brisbane. He gave me confidence, remained positive when I struggled and allowed me to lay down between needles.

I've tried to cut down on sugar as I definitely do have a high sugar diet. So far that's meant having Coke Zero and the mister confiscating my Nutella stash (lesson learned - hide it better). Neither of which I've enjoyed. I am eating better though, more nuts, juice, yoghurt, salads and meat. My new favourite breakfast is toast with Philly cheese, avocado and either fresh or sundried tomatoes. Yummy, healthy and so simple.
Added coffee
Tomorrow I'm starting liquid iron supplements and raspberry leaf tablets. Hopefully I'll have more energy and feel more comfortable.

This week the sleeping troubles really began. Not only do I now have to pee every two hours at least I also have had to deal with a foot firmly in between my ribs. Apparently this is the time when my abdomen begins to stretch as well. Great timing, sesame. I tried sleeping every which way even with bum in the air - nothing worked. I stretched sitting down, laying down, standing up, leaning against stuff and on all fours. Nothing. Then yesterday morning it felt like she'd rolled around so now I'm a lot more comfortable. Thank goodness too as I was over being bedridden again as I'm sure the boys were too.
Bedridden with my little angel
I'm feeling massive as well. I'm sure I was close to being this big when lufflump was born. My tummy is so tight, it's uncomfy. When we've gone to the birthing classes I feel small and silly for complaining about my size as there are some ladies who look a lot more uncomfy than me! A lady at the Wedding Expo said I was carrying like a boy. It's true, I carried similar to lufflump but I know I've put more weight on other areas this time around. Here I am busting another old wives tale! I feel like a witch ;)

Today the mister and I went shopping at the Target baby sale. I love sales, especially baby and kids sales. So much adorableness! We bought a small electric swing, baby clothes, a gorgeous soft pram blanket, muslin wraps, dummies, bibs and maternity stuff (bras and belly belt). Mostly pink! Also snagged some cheap undies that can be thrown away and pjs for the hospital bag.

I have no idea what to pack for the hospital bag! I'm sure I saw a list in the Birth Centre book somewhere. I do know that nappies and maternity pads are a definite must as I ran out of both last time. It's so odd to be packing a bag for just a few hours. I'll be over packing for sure! 
Thirty-three weeks
What were your hospital bag essentials?


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