Wednesday, June 20, 2007

why i love mr t

last night as i was looking at my 'stuff i like'm my other half(who now will be known as 'mr t') he asked me why i had the domo-kun widget on my blog.

"because it's a clock" (although it's an hour behind australian time) "and it's cute".
"what is a domo anyway?" he says in that sneery kind of voice

so I clicked on the widget and transported him to the domomode.

Half an hour later after cracking eggs and communing with his inner domo-kun, he was hooked.

"that's so cool!" he enthused.

god/(dess) bless him. he always does this.

when i suggest anything "let's go white water rafting/to fiji/to russia/skiing/to sydney/motorbike riding/for a picnic/sea kayaking/have a baby (etc etc etc)" he always says "why?" (as in 'why would we bother') and then as soon as we do it or have done it he goes "that was so cooool! let's do it again!"

I do occasionally get the feeling that if i left it up to him we would never go anywhere or do anything. I'm like the house tour manager. But the ggod thing is that by far and away all the things i like doing, so does he... after I have convinced him it's a fun thing to do.

(apologies for the slack punctuation, spelling and lack of capitalisation but i'm writing this with one hand whilst i jiggle patrick on the other side. All of our happiness credits are now expired and we have to go...)

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Know what luxury is?

King sized feather doona on a double mattress. And having it all to yourself.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

too much introspection is a bad thing...

I’m still having some reservations about the whole motherhood thing. It can be so rewarding but also so taxing. The social worker who runs our mad mummies group says it’s ok to have some negative feelings about motherhood. I piped up and opined that why was it ok to say that you hated your teenagers or unruly toddler, but not ok to say you hated your newborn? She said that hate was a very strong word, but you know what I mean. What is it exactly? I mean, you still love them and would lay down your life for them, but when they have been screaming in your ear for a hour and a half (I have new- onset tinnutis. Really) what exactly is it that you are feeling? A love/not like very much sometimes relationship? A love/hate the behaviour not the child relationship? A love/frustration relationship? The fact is, this job is hard. Really hard. I used to secretively think that people who said “This is the hardest thing I have ever done” just hadn’t done some of the things I have, like, you know, brain surgery or rocket science. But it is harder than those things. Emotionally and physically- not intellectually, obviously, but harder overall. Yes, harder than the freaking exam. Because you don’t get a break. And you are just so emotionally involved.

Patrick was awake for two hours last night. Not two hours in total, two consecutive hours.

Now all you parents of newborns can stop sniggering right now- I’ve done the newborn thing. And for a little guy who demands a feed every 90 minutes during the day and sleeps- make that catnaps- for maybe 45 minutes after a scream fest of at least a similar stretch, we deserve a little shut-eye at night. To add insult to injury, four weeks ago he was sleeping up to 13 hours overnight, so this night waking seems a little rude.

Anyway, it was probably my own fault. I have this private theory that it doesn’t matter what you do to put a baby to sleep, they’ll probably fall asleep in the same time anyway if you just let them to it. Wronggggg. As he was feeding, his lids were getting nice and droopy, so I thought that I’d just let him sleep where he lay, in our bed (T is on night shift at the moment, so there is plenty of room). He was going along fine, but then at about the 8 minute mark, opened his eyes wide. And continued sucking. That’s fine, I thought, he’ll drop off to sleep any minute. Any minute now. Annny minute… 40 minutes later he pushed off the boob, opened his eyes wide and smiled at me. Uh oh, this is playtime. But he was happy, so I thought I’d just turn off the light and see if he got the message. Wrong again. An hour and three quarters after he first woke up he was till awake, and starting to get unhappy. I caved in, gave him the other side and… ahhhh. Sleeeeeeep

I have to say, night feeds are a whole lot less uncomfortable since I swallowed my prejudices and got a dressing gown. I used to consider dressing gowns as tools of the middle-class suburban hell I so despised- along with knee-high beige stockings, pink clothes, coffee tables, Corollas, marriage, co-ordinated sheet sets and mothers groups that met for lattes at Merewether beach. I now, of course have/do all of these- except the Corolla- I drive a Prius (can you hear my tone of self-righteousness? Feel free to throw something at the computer. I know, I know, it’s a sure sign of middle class guilt. By the way, did I say we have two Priuses? One for each of us? Ner ner ner ner, we’re so good, we’re so good… actually it’s almost kind of embarrassing, it’s like we’re trying too hard. Let’s face it, if we wanted to be really good, we’d have no cars and use public transport or bicycles, so it’s just a make ourselves feel better exercise. Well, that’s our excuse and I’m sticking to it) (oh, and the knee highs. –shudder-)(and I only wear the pink cardi to work. Mostly. Well it is cashmere-soooft- and Trelise Cooper)

Sorry, what was I saying? That’s right, dressing gowns.

But night feeds were getting kind of cold, so I went out and scoured the shops for a suitable garment. I had no idea dressing gowns were so expensive! And so twee! I am not ‘wuvable’ and hope never to be. Neither do I want to wear anything made of pink polar fleece sporting ‘cute wittle wuv hearts’. But I did cave…I am now wearing it- it’s so comfy and warm. I couldn’t find any black ones so it’s bright red, from Target- (anyone who is interested they have 30% off this week…). It’s cold here now (all you southerners can stop rotfl) it’s 6.5 outside and 9.7 in my living room where I am. And I’m going swimming.

Saturday, June 09, 2007


This tree used to be in the neighbours' front yard. At about 2am on Saturday morning, we had woken up because of the noise from the storm, and all of a sudden we heard the sound of splintering wood. We leaped out of bed and onto the floor: we also have a massive gum tree about three metres from our bed, in the front yard. Luckily the wind was blowing from the north at that stage or we would have been a goner. When we looked outside, the trunk of our tree was swaying alarmingly- the tree trunk is probably 40-50 cm in diameter, and it was moving about 10cm each time the wind blew- at head height (ie not the top of the tree, the whole trunk). We moved our mattress into a room not directly in the path of the tree, and prayed.

Saturday day time, as it cleared slightly, we heard that the winds were about to pick up again, this time coming south to south easterly. Knowing that our tree looked like it might go over, we decided to evacuate whilst we could: we thought- if the tree doesn't come down, we've lost nothing. If it does and we're in the house, it would be much harder to get out with power lines down and in the middle of the storm. So we headed off to the disaster victims' shelter, where we were given a nice 'counter tea' and the lovely people found us a hotel room to spend the night.

This morning, we called home to find it intact, the power still on and a very relieved brown cat. Literally. She had relieved herself on the floor (too wet to go outside).

Currently there is still quite a large tree bough (about 20cm diameter) that has it's proximal (tree end) part caught in a 'v' of the tree and the distal end suspended by the power cable to our house. If the power cable comes down we will lose power and the bough will maybe take out the front verandah. We have logged the problem with the electricity company, but considering that last night there were some 200 000 people (yes, that's two hundred thousand) without electricity, it will be a low priority.

Realistically, we have got off very lightly. Our suburb was one of the most affected by floodwaters on Friday night as it is low-lying and fairly flat. However, our part of the street is probably the highest- not by much, half a metre to a metre perhaps, but enough that we were spared many peoples' fate of flooding: not a hundred metres away, cars were floating down the street; 3 or 4 blocks away there was someone using a jetski to rescue people from their cars. A jetski. In the street.

Consider also that we have many trees on our property: two jacarandas, two Robinias, the large gum tree, a silky oak (the top 3 metres blew off and landed in our neighbours'yard), several orange-scented whatsies and two other nameless but quite large trees. Oh and a magnolia. And two lime trees (the previous owners must have loved their mojitos), so the fact that we still have power is quite awesome. None of our windows were hit by debris, and we can't see any damage to the house.

Of course, Patrick is blissfully unaware of the whole drama. He slept right through the tree coming down and the storm itself. The Red Cross ladies at the shelter all pinched his cheeks and cooed (one came marching up to me as we entered and said "I better give mum a break" and took him off around the room where he was adored by all the pensioners and other refugees). Right now, I can see some blue sky out the window. The worst is over for us. T is meant to be working in Maitland tomorrow, but, considering half of Maitland has been evacuated because of rising floodwaters, I somehow doubt he will get there, although being a health worker he may be a priority. I don't want him to go anyway, so I'll do my level best to talk him out of it!
the water lapping our front steps Friday night.

many photos of the chaos

notice something odd about this photo of Nobby's beach?
That's right, the dirty great big coal ship parked in a metre of water!
The "street" outside our front door Friday evening
The flooded Coles car park diagonally opposite our house

When the storm hit on Friday afternoon and there was hail, my mum suggested I put the car in this underground car park to avoid hail damage. Damn glad I didn't take her advice!

Friday, June 08, 2007


It's 3 am, and we're awake because of the severe storms. Earlier today the water in our street was knee high and flowing very quickly: luckily our house is on nice high sandstone piers so we haven't (yet) been flooded. We have three backpacks packed and are ready to leave if we have to, and have moved to another room which is the furthest away from the trees. A tree came down in our front yard: we were in bed and if the wind had blown from the south at that moment it would have been goodbye to you all. Another tree is wobbling dangerously and if it goes down it will take our power lines with it. We are very lucky to still have power: most of the city is blacked out. I just heard on the radio that 100,000 homes are without power, so I am going to enjoy it! Patrick is snuggled up in bed, blissfully unaware. His Gro-B@g arrived today- just in the nick of time.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

aaand finally for today

Being Wednesday, I met the other doctor mummies for breakfast at the beach. On our walk from one beach to the other, E called her baby "Little squirrel" (well, she *is* a pom). G called K a "blossom". Paddy is either a "little monkey" or a "possum". My nephew was "little fish" until they named him (three weeks later). I note mermaidgrrrl has a "froglet".

What other animals are out there?

disturbing new trends

1. sucks thumb. This was good until he discovered you can put the thumb in there and cry at the same time. Also, he tries to suck the thumb and the boobie at the same time and gets upset when I pull the thumb out. Because he's upset, he puts the thumb back in. repeat ad nauseum.

2. Uses left hand (predominantly) to reach and grab things. Sinister- heh heh

3. Is waking up again at night for feeds. Sigh- 8 weeks of sleeping through. It was too good to last.

4. Dribbles incessantly. Is getting a 'dribble rash'

5. Hates bathtime. Howls. It seems that 'enjoys bath' is a developmental milestone at 3 months. Not this little brown monkey. I can get around it by getting into the bath with him and then feeding him and gradually lowering him into the water whilst he suckles, and just now we had a shower together, which although he wasn't chuckling, neither was he howling. Alternatively we can use the howling and tears to use to tire him out for bed but this just seems cruel.

6. Mammoth explosive poo. He used to poo every time he had a feed. This was somewhat inconvenient, but manageable. He now seems to save the poo up for one or two monster poos a day: up the back, out the sides and over the top (the 'clear the blast zone' picture has nothing on these). When he's feeling really clever, he can not only cover every item of clothing he has on, but also mummy and the car seat/pram/sling/bed/couch/rocker/cat/cot/etc.

7. Enjoys poetry. Ok it's not disturbing as such, just odd. Today to entertain him whilst I was doing the washing up, I recited "Custard the Dragon" for him (I loved that poem when I was a kid, and know it by rote) and he chuckled and smiled and hooted.

well that was easy

the easiest mum thing I've had to do so far...

I armed myself with knowledge of the Hospital's 'family friendly' policy, and the state award for registrars, rung up our roster queen and said "I'd like an extra two weeks to give Paddy his full 6 months of breastfeeding".

"Yup, ok, so you'll be coming back to work on... the 27th August. I'll just put it on the calendar"

And that was it!

It is nice to have administrators in my department who not only talk about 'family friendly' but believe it, too.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

La la laaaaa!

Patrick isn't rolling yet. I know it's not a competition, but my friend G whose baby (K) is three weeks older than Paddy told me K has been rolling for about 5 weeks now. This is probably because Patrick hates tummy time, so he never spends any time there to roll.

But Paddy has a far better skill.

On Saturday, I had just finished feeding him and had i-tunes going on the laptop next to me. Paul Kelly's "From Little Things" came on and so I started singing along. I don't have a great voice, but I love to sing. I'm one of those strange people you see in their cars singing away to their heart's content, oblivious to the world around them. So Patrick has been exposed to singing for all of his life both in- and ex-utero.

It shouldn't have suprised me then that he started singing too. I know what you're thinking, he was just babbling. Noooo. These were long, breath-long vowel sounds: "Aaaaaaah, ooooooooh" and the like. Not his usual "Hah, heh, ho, burlap". And when I stopped singing, so did he. When I started again, so did he. Yes, of course he was just imitating me, but that's an imitation of me singing.

And that's far better than rolling, in my book.

T and I regularly say that we don't care what he does in the future (as long as he doesn't join the army), and if it comes down to a choice, I'd rather have him intellegent than sporty (although, I should know that the two are not mutually exclusive- despite writing poetry about gloom and doom like any good goth in my youth I was also a state champion sportsperson. I just joined teams that had black uniforms. Or at least I wished I could).

On a different front, I am happy- no, I am overjoyed to report that the magical bonding has happened. He's my baby. He grew in my womb. I'm no longer waiting for someone to knock on the front door and collect him (although sometimes I wish they would). I can't believe how much and how deeply I love him. We were out for a walk the other day and came to a railway crossing; I knew there was no question if a train came I would save him and not myself. It's astounding (in a good way).

Bonding. It doesn't happen overnight, but it does happen.