Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Small Musical Note

I can't sing. At all. For some reason when I was younger I thought I could but by 13 it was clear I had absolutely no musical talent. At all. I don't think I'm completely tone deaf - I can tell when something sounds aweful but I have to get my husband to confirm if something is amazing or just average. I know I sound terrible and for the life of me I just can't get my voice to do what I want it to. I simply don't understand how people can sing!?!? I also have trouble picking out different instruments in songs. If I can see the musician and see what they are playing I can pick it up eventually but otherwise I'm lost. What bass line?

Actually, I have sung in tune twice in my life and I can distinctly remember both moments. It was like the sky parted and for a few seconds I didn't recognise my own voice. There I was, just singing along to a song, one of the was a spice girls song, and all of a sudden some other sound came out of me and I knew that I was doing it!! As soon as it came, it was gone. Where? I don't know. But it certainly didn't happen because of anything I did. It came out of no where. Graeme stopped both times and went "WHOA!!! YOU DID IT!!!" Apparently one time I harmonised. Yep.

Well, my husband is the opposite. With some time and googling he could probably play any instrument. I don't really know if his talent is like every other person and anyone can do that or not but I find it amazing that he can listen to a song and sing in tune or know what key or chord or whatever they are playing.

I love it when he sings. I'm biased and proud, I think his voice is beautiful. Unfortunately whenever I make a big deal out of it he wont sing or he will stop. I have to quietly realise he's singing and just sit back and enjoy it :)

Well, this morning he bought a new singstar game for our PS3 - a Disney channel one. All of the greats! Especially High School Musical, our fav. He's singing along right now trying out all the songs and its wonderful. Best purchase ever.

I just wanted you to know that. Peoples musical talents amaze me. Some times I wish I could sing but I've come to accept it. Now, I am blessed by other peoples skill.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Antenatal #5

I love antenatal classes. There. I said it. 

I've heard some bad reviews about them from a range of people for a range of different reasons but for myself and Graeme, we love them.

I feel as if I have a lot of knowledge on the baby making process. I have read a lot of books, a lot of articles, blogs, DVDs and talked to a lot of Mamas. For me, antenatal classes were never really about learning things but reinforcing them. Its always great to learn in different formats and it has been hugely beneficial to hear other people speak about different issues, do activities, play games and get to know other parents-to-be.

It has also been seriously beneficial to have Graeme in the classes too. He's really into them, will talk about them before and after, tell me what he has learnt and how he feels on certain topics. I never wanted to have to "educate" Graeme on babies because I think then it would seem as if I had the answers and the partner is always trying to keep up. Rather, it should be mutual knowledge and understanding. It has been really great to have someone teach us both rather than me trying to fill Graeme's head with everything I have learnt. 

This weeks class was all about newborn care and changes that take place after a birth. Mostly, changes to relationships and lifestyles and changes in a baby. 

Changes will happen and some will be drastic, other things probably wont even change, but thats all a part of life, right? Really, in the long run, the benefits far outweigh everything else. I have never heard of a parent [so far] [and I hope I don't] who has said that it isn't worth it. 

Sorry this post is so lame. I haven't been feeling the greatest these last few days. My brain feels like its full of wrackspurt. I'm finding it hard to remember what happened on Wednesday [but I do remember Wednesday was awesome] and all I want to do is go to sleep. 

Our next class is an informal one on a Sunday at the instructors house (commitment huh!!) because we missed out one of the nights. There, we will see a baby being bathed, learn about nappies, clothing, bedding - all the practical safety stuff.

Much love to you all x

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dear Baby, 34 Week Update

I'm so close now. We have been given a list of things to gather for our intended homebirth. Hosing, sieves, buckets, towels. The procrastinator in me thinks a hospital birth would be far more convenient, but really its just a little extra effort and forward planning for a whole list of benefits. Must get onto that list. 

I now officially feel as if we have everything we need for our daughter to arrive. She has all of the new born - 6 month old clothes she could possibly need. We have a small stack of nappies but the supermarket isn't too far away. We have a bassinet on the way, but really she could sleep in our bed or in the washing basket if she needed to and we didn't get it in time. We have sheets, blankets and shawls. We have a few toys for her, but our faces will be all the entertainment she'll need for the first while. We still have a list of things "to get" on our pin-board but mostly they are unessential. A child can survive off milk, love and nappies. Anything extra is just more convenient for us. So, Baby Girl, we are ready.

Speaking of Baby Girl, I have discovered I have entered into a new phase of peoples comments; the "what if...'s"

What if she is really a he? What if you don't have a home birth? What if there's an emergency? What if she's huge? What if you aren't growing enough? What if she has red hair? What if she comes early? What if she comes really late? What if you can't breastfeed?

Believe me, I've thought of all the scenarios. You don't need to ask them.

34 week belly in the snow! +  super warm knitted sweater from my Mama. My hands disappear in snow!!

Dearest Camilla,

In life you will be given many titles. You might feel as if they define who you are, but they don't. You could be a Miss. Mrs. or Ms. An accountant, astronaunt, politician, vetenarian, artist, musician, scientist. People will ask what you 'do' and when you go through highschool you will spend hours pondering the 'doing' that needs to be done.

I wish you all the success in life and I will be praying that whatever path of 'doing' you are on it is one you are passionate about and love and I will be so proud of you. The world really is your oyster. 

I can't teach you what you want to do. That is something you have to find on your own but it is not the fulfilment in life. I will be mostly praying of who you will 'be'. I hope that your father and I can teach you and your siblings to be caring, passionate, loving, thoughtful, decisive, talented, intuitive, generous, joyful, peaceful and faithful, amongst other attributes.

Being is far more important than doing. This world is a beautiful place and your father and I hope to teach you and your siblings about living in it and enjoying life and being great citizens. We hope that whatever you 'do' you will do your best at, and whoever you will 'be' will define who you are. I will be so proud.

Love, Ma x 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Our Family Moon

A few months ago my Dad pitched us an offer I couldn't refuse. He said he was going to Hanmer Springs and would be hiring a holiday home. "Do you want to come and have free accomodation?" he asked. HECK YES WE DO!!! I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to take a second BabyMoon (We went to Australia for our "official" one). Basically, a BabyMoon is an opportunity to take a mini break away while its just the two of you to connect, love and make memories together before your little one arrives and makes a very busy and stressful life for you both. Essentially, its a time to fill each others love banks. A weekend in Hanmer ought to do it!

Infact, it was included in last weeks Huggies pregnancy update. I figured it was meant to be!

Lesson #1 - Be extremely upfront about your expectations with yourself and your partner. 

Subconciously in my head I had dreams of candles, romantic dinners, swimming in thermal pools, building snowmen and light hikes to geocache. Although I had these pictures swimming around my head I never actually vocalised them. 

Lesson #2 - Be adaptable.

Last week I found out some of our family would be attending this Hanmer trip. I have a big family. There was 12 of us staying in this one house. 12 People + a feotus makes for a lot of adapting. 

Lesson #3 - Go with the flow and have a ridiculous amount of fun.

We almost didn't make it there. Our beloved car, Max, started to give up on us and wouldn't change gear. We soaked up half the petrol in a very short distance and considered calling for a tow. While away for the weekend we had to breathe out and not let it worry us. We topped up the transmission fluid and made it back but will need to be replacing our transmission and finding a new car verrry soon. This could have dampened our weekend, but we both prayed about it and decided to not let it get us down. 

I seriously love my big family. Most of the time they are crazy and most of the time I have so much fun with them. I'm the youngest of my brothers and sisters and I'm finding that as I get older I'm realising they are pretty cool too! I actually enjoy their company. It's a wonderful thing. 

I'm glad that Graeme and I got to spend time with them all before Camilla arrives. I don't see them nearly enough as I should and we probably wont have another chance to before her arrival so It was really great to have quality time with them before hand. 

There was no romantic dinner, instead there were joint lunches and dinners. No candles but lots of dancing, two trips to the thermal pools and Graeme got to hydroslide with our nephews while I watched and laughed. No geocaching but lots of games of cards, and no snow men but an extremely excited household when the snow did fall. And one extremely romantic moment being in the hot pools and having snow flakes land on our heads. Bliss!!

I love family holidays and I am super thankful that my family is really really good at doing quality time together. That's something Graeme and I both want to be good at installing in our family too. 

I had such a good weekend that this was the only photo I took as a few of us were entering the pools. 

What a good time! It wasn't really a BabyMoon, more of a FamilyMoon. Stoked on it. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

30 Days Of Living - Introduction

Last year on my Wordpress blog I ran a personal social experiment called "30 Days To Live". The idea was that I would spend 30 days living as if they were my last on Earth. At the beginning I made a few goals of things that I wanted to achieve but overall I discovered quickly it was more about a state of being rather than achieving - Which is definitely a state of living that I want to be in.

Honestly, this exercise was so helpful to me in ways I could never completely express here. I learnt so much about myself and others in this time, I learnt not to take somethings too seriously, to try my hardest and to wake up with an attitude of thankfulness and joy. With the right attitude I discovered that new opportunities came my way and I was able to spend time smelling the roses, so to speak. Sure, I got a few things done on my list, but mostly life became about experiencing and loving.

Last August was pivotal for me and I want to have that again. This year life is exceptionally more challenging to "live" being at home most of the day without a career purpose and reliant on my ever generous and patient husband. With that, most of my independence feels as if it is snuffed out so I need to learn to live within my new means. Time for an overhaul.

Practically, my daughter is due at the end of the month (Sept. 3rd to be exact). That will change life in a whole new way again. There is nothing that I feel as if I have missed out on and cannot do because of her. Like I said, this is a way to live life in a new way. Because of that I have changed the name to 30 Days Of Living rather than "to live" because I dont want to give you the impression that I feel as if I will have no life after Camilla. Infact, the opposite is true. I know life will just start to begin after her arrival. She will transform our lives. In the mean time I want to get into the habit of appreciating each day as it comes and making the most of it.

Here's where you come in: I will be posting most days. I don't expect you to read them, although I found last year my readership sky rocketed (by probably a million percent... okay maybe not. But it at least quadroulpiled) and I had many many people want to discuss different issues that came up in more detail. I thought this year I would be far more organised and offer you the chance to get in on it too. I have banners, side bars and other thingys designed, and I would really LOVE for you to link me to your posts so I can read about the transformation in your own life. Have a think about it and then flick me an email on

I'll be starting on August 1st and doing a concluding post on August 31st. I can't guarantee that I will manage to get everyday on its proper day, but you will see them all eventually :)

**EDIT** So that I don't spam you all, I think I may just do a few bulk posts with the days in them, rather than each individual day.

Thanks for reading!

Good Intentions Tuesday - Round 3

This week my Good Intentions, as inspired by Miriam from Make It Give It, resulted in -another- scarf, which wasn't on my to do list. But once that hook and yarn are connected its really hard to stop, right?

This little pile of collectables has been sitting on our bookshelf for the best part of a year. Generally I am inspired by a piece of stationary and then create something from it. Anyway, last year when I was working at church the kids church were donated boxes and boxes of these cardboard rectangles. To do what with? Well, thats where imagination comes in. Generally if people have things to throw out, rather than taking it to the dump they take it to a church. Some times this is helpful, other times its not. I don't know if the kids church ever used these but out of the hundreds of them I managed to put 4 of them to use.

My intention was to make a concertina to display some of our wedding photos since I still haven't gotten around to making a wedding album or putting up any nice photos in frames. This was supposed to be a temporary measure while I did the others... But I still haven't. Opps.

I really wanted the concertina to have our ribbons and things left over from our wedding and for it to be pretty... But once I got the photos on (I just used photos I happened to have already printed and made do) there wasn't any spare room for ribbons or flowers. The paint job is also totally amateur. But if you dont look too closely you might not be able to tell, which is also why its placed on the bottom of the shelf rather than in full view at the top.

TA-DAAA!!! What have you done this week?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Snow Day


Graeme is home from work and we have fresh snow! It's as good as a sick day, minus the sickness and plus prettyness to look at out the window :)

Friday, July 22, 2011


This week C3 Church delivered us a hamper full of deliciousness and pamperness!! :)

Considering the last hampers we did I was organising - so it was a super surprise and great to be on the receiving end of something. I know that sounds selfish (?) but it was a real blessing to be surprised with a gift like that and we really appreciated it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Good Intentions - Scarf

Last weeks good intentions resulted in this:

Turning into this:

Hehe, well, not really! I did start the mustard ball in this cowl pattern but quickly ran out (who knew scarves took up so much wool!!) As I was on a crocheting roll I got out some yarn I had in greater quantities and made this baby! 

However, I own a bazillion scarves and have no use for this one, so if you would like to buy it (its actually really awesome) you can see more of it on Stitch Africa and donate money to a church in Uganda while you're at it :)

I will still make the mustard cowl as I really want to give it to a particular person, but alas, having no job and no income means spending money is very tight (non-existant). (thankfully though, we have set aside enough to go to Hanmer this weekend on a Babymoon!! Woo!!!) So you should buy this scarf, and then I will have money to purchase more wool to finish off my mustard one ;) haha

So really, I guess this mustard cowl neck is still on my good intentions list just in a different form. It is 1/8th of a scarf instead of a ball of wool. Progress!?!?

Antenatal #4

We missed last weeks class due to the instructor being sick so it was pushed back to this week:

Breastfeeding 101

That's right, last night was all about the breasts, often referred to as "The Girls" by our instructor. You should probably know that breastfeeding is crazy endorsed by "them" (midwives, doctors, hospitals, the public health system and society). Some women who are unable to breastfeed (a small percentage) and women who choose not to (a larger percentage) and other women who "give up" (a greater percentage) have all probably had a time when they have been scorned for it. When you are raising a child the rest of society seems to feel like they can voice their opinion about the job you are doing. I heard someone say the other day "If you are trying, you are doing great!", I'm probably going to carry that motto with me for the next few years. Whatever you do, if you are trying to do your best then you are doing great!

I think mostly females are pretty clued up as to how their bodies work. Perhaps thats due to menstruating and the like, you sort of have to know whats going on. Scientifically I think we do pretty well. Infact its said that we do so well, when we come to be intimate with a partner we have trouble "letting go" and feeling passion because we have so much knowledge on how that works. The point is, I feel as if I know a bit about breasts. Milk ducts, tissue, nipples and the like.

Once again, they amaze me at how purposeful they are. Just like everything else in the human body (except perhaps the appendix (which once did serve a purpose)) it has a purpose and a reason for being there and works in with everything else. Ahhh, the body; so complex and so amazing.

What did surprise me is that when the baby starts feeding milk is "let down". In other words, it is "contracted out". Literally pushed out and into the babies mouth. I had never heard that before and it really surprised me!

We were given helpful techniques to help us remember to breastfeed correctly when the time comes and then practised with plastic dolls and our partners. I found that exercise to be really hard. Like, it made me feel so rubbish afterwards. If we weren't doing it correctly the guys were supposed to be instructing us and helping out. Graeme thought that I didn't have my doll positioned correctly (I didn't) but for the life of me I just couldn't get it right. Perhaps it was the fact that I had a hard plastic doll who didn't bend or flex, or that I had a big belly in the way, but I couldn't seem to lift the doll upwards towards me. I looked over at the people next to us and couldn't see the difference in what I was doing to them and then I realised I was already comparing myself to other people (and didn't even know if her technique was good or not) and then got even more annoyed at myself. So. Frustrating. 

So Mums, nows your chance - leave a comment with any tips or anything you think I might find helpful.

Thanks :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The House That Jesus Builds

Yesterday I read an article on why an author does not go to "church", although professes to be a Christian. He has many reasons, all of which I have heard before but none that I think are legitimate. You can read the article here if you really have some time to kill. Over the years I have seen many people used in churches in the wrong ways, just as people are used in businesses or in families. It is a sad sad story when a business man or leader tries to build a Church. It does happen and when it does I can understand why people feel used and tired. Some people do actually need to find a new church, others have inner issues (perhaps a fear of commitment or vulnerability) and probably just need to be planted where they are and grow. Each individual is different. Above all, I have the very firm conviction and belief that you will not flourish or survive as a Christian without a body to belong to.

However, Jesus says that he will build His Church. Through that statement I believe that a church should reflect the characteristics of Jesus and be flowing with gifts of the Holy Spirit.

I found a Church to grow in, one that loves me, uses my gifts (often not enough), and builds me up in faith and the Word of God. I know our Senior Pastors and consider them great mentors and friends and I truly value their leadership. They are both so wise and have a complete love for people. I know our pastoral leadership team (and am on it) and I have faith in everyones ability to love God and love others. For me, going to Church on Sunday is a joy. Attending midweek leadership meetings are an honour. I dont consider these things to be a burdon or feel as if I am guilted into them. I receive so much from being a part of a church.

Perhaps thats the difference between myself and the person who wrote that article? I am a part of a Church, whereas he just attended a church and got bored. If you show up late, sit in the same seat, clap your hands when you are told, say your Amens at the right time and then leave as soon as the preacher puts down the microphone I can guarantee that you will not grow.

Like the article said, Church is people. However, it is not just me and not just you. It is all of us, fellowshipping, swapping stories, doing good deeds, receiving and participating in ministry, encouraging one another and swapping cellphone numbers. Then, through the week you contact each other. They become part of your life. You care for each other.

The Church is a beautiful thing and I am thankful that I belong to a great one. I hope you do too.

This week our Church funded 9 Midwinter Dinners to happen all across Christchurch and hosted by different members of our pastoral team. We hosted ours last night and it was truly wonderful. I dont want to sound like a lunatic, but it really warmed my heart and cemeted in my heart what I have stated above. The essence of Church is doing life together and I am grateful that we can do that. Most of the dinners are for 10-25 people however they are hosting a community wide one tonight which everyone is welcome to. They have a pig on a spit and everything. I hope you can get down there and socialise and connect with a few people.

These photos are of our dinner and I know each midwinter dinner will be different depending on who goes and who hosts. That's the beauty of connecting in smaller groups - personalities can shine through and you can get to know each other.

I would like to thank our Church for displaying the characteristics of Jesus - Love, generosity, a heart for the poor and broken, community, fellowship and giftings. Thank you for funding our dinner last night too. It was a real treasure being able to serve people from our community and I am thankful that it is one of your highest priorities!

Right now there is a team of about 15-20 Aucklanders in our city who are here specifically to serve you. One of them took me grocery shopping yesterday because I cant lift anything without pulling my stomach muscles. These 3 helpful guys turned up last night to finish off the dinner I cooked and to serve everyone and do the dishes afterwards. These people have been walking around our neighbourhood handing out gift baskets filled with goodies and are preparing tonights huge community dinner. 

Feel loved, Christchurch. There are some very generous people around who have not forgotten you.

[Footnote: I felt as if these two posts went hand in hand with each other and I wanted to share them with you. I hope you can see where I am coming from :) Also, I'm more annoyed than you that some of the photos are blury - the lighting wasn't the greatest)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dear Baby, Week 33 Update

Braxton Hicks Contractions: Zero

Times I have Thrown Up: Zero (so super thankful for this)

Thoughts This Week: My baby girl is getting very very big!! She'll be gaining up to 500gms a week (half a Kg) her lungs still need a little bit of extra work so she would probably need help breathing if she was born now but aside from that she's pretty much good to go! My uterus is right up to my sternum now and under my ribs. This means everything that used to be in my abdomen is now squished up inside my rib cage and I can especially feel this in my stomach (acid gets pushed up my throat easily) and my lungs (easily get out of breath) and my heart (is it just me or is beating faster?). Baby can also kick my ribs which always makes me gasp in surprise. I've been in the Third Trimester for a while now but I feel like its just hit me - I feel like a whale, I waddle everywhere, I take three times as long to put on socks and I have been having a few afternoon naps. This is serious babymaking time and its also making me feel great (weird huh?). My skin feels soft, my hair is growing like crazy and feels healthy and I just generally feel very beautiful. I love to look at my bare tummy and I know I'll miss it when its gone.

LJ was born this week - he's a stunner! This is your Dad holding him for the first time.  I know for sure you will melt his heart when he meets you, he's a big softie and tissues will be needed! :) 
Lucy, LJ and you will be great friends! 

Dearest Baby Girl,

You continue to melt my heart and we haven't even met yet! I have never felt unconditional love like this before and I imagine its only a small picture of what God must feel for us as his children. 

I hope you grow up to be a strong young woman and are sure of yourself in God. Know that you are beautiful and you have a purpose. I can't wait to see you grow and flourish!

Love, Your Mama x

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Birth Stories

I read a lot of blogs every day. Some of them are junk and are a waste of my time, others are inspiring, encouraging, insightful and teach me a lot.

One blog that fits the latter senario is Birth Stories. It's a New Zealand blog run by two women and they post encouraging birth stories from around the world.

If you're new to blogging or if you only really read my blog via facebook it might come as a surprise that people would write their birth stories and post them online. Infact, its super common in the blogopshere (I cant believe I just used that term). So common in fact that I would expect to find a bloggers birth story on their page somewhere and if I didn't I would be disappointed.

I've been reading birth stories since before conception. During pregnancy women suddenly open up to you and like to dish all of their gory details. They like to tell you how horrible their births are, how little sleep you will get and how you could tear your vagina in half. I know. Not particularly encouraging and helpful is it? Throughout the course of my pregnancy I have heard many fear-mongering stories. I call them that because that is exactly what they are. They may have been that women's reality, but it is not necessarily mine. Hearing stories like that plants fear inside you that doesn't need to be there. I've become pretty good and shutting down some people mid-story. No thank you ma'am! If you are pregnant or are going to be at all in the future, learn this now, these women are not telling you their secrets because they love you, they are telling you them to make themselves feel better and you don't have to sit there and listen. You can thank me later :)

Anyway, as I was saying, I came across this great website last week that is FULL of positive and encouraging birth stories. They are a joy to read and show how strong women are, how we were created, and how natural processes work. I have been reading a few birth stories every night and it is such a joy. Through this website everyday I am building myself up more and more, knowing what is possible but trusting for the best.

Please check it out, and while you're doing so and you are of the praying type, it would be appreciated if you would join Graeme and I in praying away fear and praying for good blessings for labour, birth and newborns! We so appreciate your support and all that you've offered us so far. We are thankful that we have a loving "village" to raise our children in.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Good Intentions Tuesday

A week ago Miriam blogged about all of her "good intentions". She made a list, and this week she has been able to tick things off her list!

You know those good intentions... The things that sit on the to do list foreverrr, or that pile of things in the corner that need to be mended. Well, I have a bazillion of those and some how I just never manage to get around to doing them. "But you don't work! You stay home all day without kids!" I hear you screaming at me. This is true, and I'm not really sure where the time goes. I always manage to do things during the day but the things on my good intentions list never get done. They are boring jobs that require something of me. Something I need to purchase or pre plan. Gah. Therefore, they sit in the corner and wait. Some times late at night they whisper my name.

I want to get everything on my list completed within the next 8 weeks (before my due date) so I am on a mission! Stop back in on Tuesdays to see how I am going.

Clean out my craft cupboard - as you can see from the photos it is an absolute shambles.

Finish Camillas room and gather all of the things we need to take good care of her :) What you can see in the photos I have done in the last day, along with washing half of her clothes so its a great start so far!

Finish my Ripple Blanket, hopefully in time for my next midwife appointment. Every fortnight she asks me if I've finished it yet and every fortnight I have to admit that I haven't done any since I last saw her. My midwife is cool - she knits squares to be made into quilts for women in africa!

Crochet a sweet cowl neck scarf for myself

I have just started a scrap book for little Camilla and all of the letters I have written to her so far. I'm no scrapbooker so it is all very plain and simple but I thought this was best anyway. In 21 years scrapbooking will probably be "totally oldschool".

Finish the few books on my reading list. I wanted to collect all of the hard cover Narnia Chronicles before we had a child (and now we will soon!) After a few years of Graeme buying them for me on super special occasions (I got this last one for my last birthday and I still haven't finished it!) I only have 4 of them.

This has been a good intention for the past year. Use my wedding left overs (from 2.5 years ago) to make a concertina display for our shelf. I've had these ribbons and card sitting on our bookshelf for a year - it's time I did something with it!

In our move I found my old Ministry School exercise books with a few uncompleted assignments in them. I'd like to go back and do them just for fun and so I can finally put them away without them haunting me.

Finish my other cushion that is cut and ready to be sewn (still haven't purchased new needles to try out)

Also, I would like to make my own dishwash powder and laundry powder that is safe for my reusable nappies

Make some pretty pretty bunting for the little ones room with pretty pretty fabric that I have from Sew Pretty

Well there you have it, my dark closet has been opened to you. If you're doing this, link me up so I can read about your progress and hopefully you will inspire me!! :)

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    Dear Baby, 32 Week Update

    [warning] This post contains so many collective thoughts. I don't blame you if you have no idea what I'm getting at. I'm not even really sure.

    Braxton Hicks Contractions: One, although in the last few weeks I've had a couple of nights of very bad lower abdominal cramping - My midwife seems to think they're just serious Braxtons, however they have felt nothing like my experience with Braxtons so far. One of lifes mysteries I suppose. Praying they come to nothing and don't put me in early labour :) No need to feel concerned - I'm not.

    Times I have vomited: A big. Fat. Zero!

    Thoughts this week: Every emotion you have ever experienced I probably go through every single day. Life is a roller coaster but on the whole it is a positive one.  I am trying to get ready for whats ahead and have realised I have very little time left. Technically, 5 weeks until she is considered "full term" and then another few weeks until the "due date" however I am setting very little expectation on that date. She could be "ready" any time within those 4 weeks and I want to be ready when she does come. As little stress as possible - that's my aim. I want to be ready, food in the freezer, all my jobs and bits and bobs tidied and complete so I can sit back and play with some wool until she is ready.

    A lot of people ask me if I'm big enough - yes, I am. All my measurements (fluid, womb size etc) are all hitting the mark in terms of my height and weight. She does however feel very very big inside me. Maybe this is that "uncomfortable stage" they say that is the third trimester. Perhaps it is catching up to me. My baby feels like she is ready. Some times she sticks right out the side of me if I am leaning forwards slightly and I can actually cup her in my hands. Its too hard to put socks on, or to do up my shoe zips. Its hard to get off the couch, and if i'm lying on the floor I need Graeme to lift me up. Some days its very very hard to put on proper pants. I wish pj's were fully acceptable in all public areas.

    Last night I dreamt I gave birth to a toddler. She was huge.

    Despite all of this, I still think I would rather be a pregnant woman that having to be a supportive man. He tells me I'm not, but I always feel like I'm complaining to Graeme. There is always something hurting, or uncomfortable, or something that I fear and want to talk about. There is always "something". Thankfully, Graeme is super patient and doesn't let on any frustration whatsoever (if he does have any). I also think I would rather go through the labour than have to watch it and feel helpless. There does seem to be very little a support person can do for a labouring person (other than encouragement and practical things like massage). A few months ago Graeme had to get one of his teeth broken and extracted at the dentist. I was in the room with them because it was late at night and it was just us in the surgery. I held Graemes hands as he squeezed them with pain. Blood was spraying from his mouth and hitting is glasses and I could hear the tooth being smacked and pulled. A single tear escaped the corner of his eye. It was aweful. I felt sick to my stomach and I really didn't want to be there but I was compelled to stay to support Graeme. Afterwards I even said that I didn't expect him to be at the labour after I had endured that and not been able to help. Support people have it tough and I am often aware of how kind and good Graeme is to me.

    Thats you with Baby Bruce. He is ready to meet us at any moment! Whenever people ask me if you two will date I say you aren't allowed to date until you are 30. Don't worry, I'm only kidding though, I'm just trying to keep your options open! ;)

    Dear Camilla,

    Not long now and we will meet! Its a strange feeling really, I feel as if I already know you and yet there is so much more to learn. 

    I hope you like family adventures! Your Dad and I love to go geocaching - you may not know what that is, but it takes us on regular adventures where we hunt down little things hidden all over the world. It sounds so silly to say it like that but most of our favourite memories are out and about exploring. When you arrive we can go on family holidays, trips to the beach, play backyard cricket, go skiing on the mountains and biking through the forests. The world is our adventuring oyster!

    The country we live in is so so beautiful. We are so lucky to live here and although this past year our city has fallen in big earthquakes I still love it. It is home for us and when you are older it will be rebuilt and it will probably look completely different to what it does now. I hope to teach you about all the hard work that went into building our city. People joint together, they were strong and brave and persevered when they had so many reasons to pack up and leave. Through all of our adventuring we hope to teach you about this amazing country we live in and how lucky we are. 

    Can't wait to show you around!

    Love, Mum x

    Saturday, July 9, 2011

    "New Family" Friend Shower

    On Friday night we had a small group of friends over for dessert to celebrate the impending arrival of Camilla. Much like our Family Shower held last sunday, it was a casual affair with little agenda and lots of good food.

    I spent all of Friday afternoon baking treats and doing my best with what little decorations I had. It was fun to put out Camillas pretty things and show them off to the girls who used their high voices to express their excitement! :)

     I was thinking the other night about the practicality of having a child raised by a village and what that would look like. I thought it would mean the children would always get the best out of their caregivers (who ever they might be). There would always be something to do and always something to learn. A wealth of knowledge and experience could be taught to them from a whole range of people.

    One of the main advantages of going to a good church is the ability to "do life together". You hear that phrase thrown around a lot and basically it means that you do more than just attend a service on a sunday - you make friends, develop mentors, teach others and get involved. Church go'ers become home go'ers and soon they are apart of your everyday life not just your Sunday life. I think our church is great at doing that and I love and adore all of the friends we have made through the years. I consider our church to be an extension of our families and am thankful for every person just the same.

    Camilla will be raised in that family too. She will get the best of everyone. She will learn and be involved with a whole range of people. She will always have interesting conversations and learn from such different people.

    I consider it a real privilege to be involved in a "village" like this and I know that as much as we are excited about meeting her, we also have so many family members and extended family members excited too. I wanted her to know this when she is older so I asked our friends at our little party to write her a letter or a prayer that she will be given when she's older amongst the scrap book we are making her. They took this so seriously and wrote such beautiful things. All of them had me shedding tears. Afterwards I was so pleased I asked them to do this. Camilla is well loved.

    As I was taking photos Sophia thought it would be a great idea to do a "Brady Bunch" pose... It took me ten photos to get this. Mostly I just love Perrys face in this (Front Left)

    We were telling them about the Buggy we purchased this week and Graeme quickly seized the opportunity to pull it out - complete with demonstrations of undoing it (with one hand) and off roading sound effects down the hall way. They said he should sell tupperware he was so enthusiastic and convincing.

    I had to take this last photo as my camera was running out of batteries. Graeme loves to be in the center of everything going on. I noticed he was the only one sitting on the floor in the middle, surrounded by people and holding 3 simultaneous conversations at once. Typical.

    It was a fun time and once again my happy cup was over flowing. We love our friends and family and are super stoked that Camilla gets to grow up around such amazing and caring people :)

    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    Antenatal #3

    Last night was our third night of free antenatal classes held at Burwood Hospital. All the couples were there and it was a great time (for us, anyway). I always imagined antenatal classes to be a very serious and awkward business but its really not at all. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that Graeme is my husband and has the ability to turn any situation around or maybe its just the dynamic of the group. I don't know.

    Last night we focussed on the third stage of labour (pushing, birth and placenta). We also went early to watch an optional birth video and then went through all the pain management options available to us.

    The birth video was so easy to watch. Honestly. You couldn't see anything, and the focus of it was more on the managing of labour - positions, massage, encouragement etc. It was nothing like the video they force you to watch in 4th form science - where you had a direct view up the ladies legs and could see the head coming out, then the whole body slithered out covered in blood. Shock factor 5000! 90% of the class probably swore off sex in that moment. They should replay it again in 6th and 7th form ;)

    Anyway. After that we watched a video of a baby making its way up the mums chest to find her breast. It was frustrating to watch a baby having to work for its food, but also completely amazing and mind blowing to see that a brand new baby has such instinctive reflexed and can find and work towards its own food. Even though its never breastfed before, it knows exactly what it wants and needs. Seriously. Amazing stuff!! Even now my mind feels like exploding from the thought of it. Can you tell?

    The pain medication and management I had heard all before. You can read about any of that stuff in books, and they make it very clear that the less you have to have, the better off you are. Obviously emergencies are a different story and you will do whatever you can to save you and your baby.

    I'm still thankful for our choice to homebirth and I am super thankful that Graeme is also 100% behind our decision and even encourages it when he talks to people about it.

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Our "New Family" Family Shower

    This weekend all of our family were in town. My Mum had just returned from visiting our sister in England, and our brother and his fiance were in town from the Westcoast. It was a unique time, so we threw a "New Family" shower for our family!

    It was a baby shower, but it wasn't. There were no bottle drinking games, or eat the "baby poo" out of the nappy challenges. It was just both of our families together, a huge (and delicious) lunch and lots of laughs (and gifts!)

    We didn't get any photos of the occasion (doh) and I had planned on asking my family to write a letter to Camilla for her scrap book just like I have been doing, but I also forgot this as well. (Double doh).

    Although it was a short while together afterwards my happy cup was overflowing. I felt very well loved by our families and supported. I am so thankful Camilla has a ridiculously huge and crazy family to grow up in. There was never a dull moment in my childhood and I am hoping the same will be true for her. Lots of love and adventures to be had!!

    My Mum did manage to take this photo of Graeme and I before everyone came around. I also later found a beautiful little letter that my Mum had written to Camilla using all the paper and pens I had laid out for that very task. Mum was the only one who knew about it and did it. When I found it the day later and after Mum had left it brought me to tears. So beautiful!!

    Good friends of ours are "due" this week with their little boy. Wishing them lots of love and happiness and praying their happy cup overflows this week too! Much love to you guys xxx

    We are planning another "New Family" shower this weekend too for a few friends. Remind me to take photos and get you to write Milla a little letter! :)

    Camillas New Buggy

    We bought Camillas buggy this week! A 3 wheel Jolly Jumper one in a fashionable black and red to match Graemes work uniform! 

    Graeme was hooning down the hall way with it last night (with sound effects) and then got sad and confessed he wanted to ride in it. We smartly decided it was built for babies and would not take our weight. *sigh*

    Saturday, July 2, 2011

    Dear Baby, 31 Week Update & Video

    Braxton Hicks Contactions: Zero

    Times I Have Vomited: Zero

    Thoughts: The main question I receive these days is people asking if they can touch my belly (depends) and then followed by "what does it feel like having a baby inside you?". The person then usually goes on to suggest something they might be able to relate to. For example, guys usually say "Is it like needing to do a big poo?" and girls usually say "Is it like having an alien inside you?" Both are correct, sort of.

    The weird part is that the baby moves on its own accord. Some times you can prompt it by pushing in certain places, or applying heat or light or by laying down. Other times she will move where she wants when she wants. Space is starting to run out now so I notice almost every single move and it usually (still) takes me by surprise.

    When she rolls over (as you'll see in the video I will be posting below) the closest I can similie it to would be going over big bumps in the road (Cantabrians, think of the Bell Moral Straight) that make your tummy squirm. Some times they make you feel queasy.

    When she kicks, it literally feels like some one is kicking your insides with tiny rugby boots. You can feel it on the inside and you can also feel your skin stretch with it. It's so unusual!

    When she hiccups it is like a rhymic ticking inside, usually deep down in my waist line and if thats the case it will vibrate the rest of my belly (and body).

    Some times she sits really awkwardly and you can feel their body parts (head, shoulders, bum, knees) sticking out. Usually that hurts and stretches my skin too much so I lightly push her back in with my hands and she'll reposition herself.

    Camilla kicks mostly at night when I lay down and first thing in the morning. She will wake up almost as soon as myself or Graeme talks and start to reposition herself.

    I took this video tonight on my digital camera. It's not the greatest quality but I wanted to share it. When most people want to touch my belly they dont really know what they are hoping for. They are usually very surprised if they get a good kick, but most dont.

    Babies are strong and I think this proves it.

    Music: "The Only One I See" by Evermore

    I threw this together tonight - I'm sure my husband could have done a much better editing job, but alas, he is out with the boys and I am home in bed with a cup of tea and chocolate :) Also, I've never done this before so I hope it works! Please leave me a comment if it doesn't for you. [[I especially like her dance moves from 20 seconds. It may look like I'm breathing, rolling my tummy or moving the camera - I'm not, I dont know how to and i'm not]]

    Dearest Camilla,

    Everyday you are becoming so much more real to me. We have begun to really pray for your future. We are praying most of all that you would be filled with faith, hope and love.

    Stay strong.

    Love, Mama xxx
    Pin It button on image hover