Monday, May 31

Some Sleepy Sweetness...

Some Sleepy Sweetness

10 days old and doesn't she look sooo sweet? Photographing my lovely newborn girl turned out to be quite a experience... I've discovered it's quite hard work to get those lovely sleepy newborn photos... In between the sleepiness, there was quite a lot of awake/alertness... And of course a poo occured as well (lucky she was wearing a nappy at the time)... and when I cleaned her up, of course, she woke up! I don't know if she's an extra alert baby or if I'm just crap at handling babies and wake them up! Anyway, I got some cute shots, so stay tuned for those, but I'll be trying to do another shoot soon... I haven't got my newborn baby photography urges out of my system yet! :)

We also took Catherine to get weighed today. We left hospital at 2.95kg and today she weighed in at 3.07kg, so she's putting on weight and the jaundice is slowly fading as well... so I'm happy with how we're going... She's still feeding every 3-4 hours to flush out the jaundice (although the other night we got a 5 hour stretch from 2am - 7am)... Catherine is a great little feeder... She's caught onto the whole breastfeeding thing a lot faster than her sister... but that may also be related to the fact my milk started coming in on day 2 compared to day 6 with Elizabeth... I had a few days of severely uncomfortable engorgement (to the point that I was having trouble sleeping because of the pain! Thank God for cabbage leaves is all I can say!), but the milk has settled down and all is good now. Catherine is a great sleeper during the day

Elizabeth has also been much, much more affectionate towards Catherine... to the point that today she said to me... "Mum, I need to look at Catherine... I like Catherine."... She loves looking at her and holding her hand and last night she held Catherine (with some assistance from me) for the first time... She also keeps trying to show her things (like her paintings, her toys, her freshly painted fingernails courtesy of Bac Bao Anh)... it's so endearing to see...

Sunday, May 30

A One-Eyed Hello...

One Eyed Hello...

Catherine loves to look at us and world through one eye... it's so hilarious and cute... and she can even alternate which eye she uses to examine the world...

Thursday, May 27

Our Special Delivery

I've been waiting a *loooong* time for the opportunity to do some newborn baby photos... I had 2 takes at doing a shoot with our Miss Catherine today... the first one this morning was rather disasterous... she's wasn't remotely sleepy after I'd given her a feed and putting her in the basket just made her really cranky and turned her a great shade of beetroot red! The second attempt was not so bad... although, she only stayed asleep for about 5 minutes... but she at least was happy to lie in the basket awake for about 10 or so minutes while I attempted a few other shots... I'm going to say now that newborns are pretty darn hard work to photograph!Will be endeavouring to do a few more shoots over the next couple of days as they say the optimal time for newborn photos is 7-10 days... so stay tuned...

Tuesday, May 25

The Arrival of Catherine

Well, there I was cruising along in my pregnancy last Thursday night, thinking I had plenty of time (officially 3 weeks, but I was predicting about 2 weeks) until the baby joined our family... However, as midnight ticked over to Friday, I discovered our little baby had other plans and just couldn't wait to meet us!

Let me retrace my steps to Thursday night... it was a relaxed night... Phan had just switched over his phone to the Telstra network (for work purposes) and as a result I had inherited his iphone... we had been setting up some basic things on it for me and then come 11:30pm, we went to bed... Phan went to sleep in Beth's room because she had totally insisted that he come to keep her company and sleep in her room that night... In hindsight, I do think that Elizabeth had some kind of sense that something was going to happen and that was why she was sooo insistent that Phan sleep in her room. I lay down in bed... tossed and turned for about 1/2 an hour as I usually do (it's hard to get comfy when you have a huge belly!) and then around midnight, I felt a small "gush" of water... I got out of bed, went to the toilet and had a really strange feeling that this leakage might be my hind waters leaking... I was also getting a very frequent urge to pee... (and when I say frequent, I mean like every 5 mins... and then sometimes I'd pee, stand up and sit down again and pee again... it was *really* weird!) This went on for about 1/2 an hour and then I started getting some small pains which felt suspiciously like contractions... So about 1am, I got out of bed and hopped on the computer and started googling my symptoms to try and figure if I was really in labour or if it was a false alarm. Phan got up to go to the toilet at around this time and came out and saw me on the computer and said "What on earth are you doing?"... and I said "I think my waters partially broke and I'm getting something that feels a bit like contractions... Go back to bed, I'll tell you if anything happens..." So he went back to bed... and I was left with Dr Google looking up symptoms... About 2am, I thought I'd lie down and at least try and get some rest since all I'd had was a 1 hour nap during the day... but after an hour, I got up... the contractions were coming regularly and lying down was not the most comfortable position to deal with them... So I got up... and decided I better pack my hospital bag! It was actually quite ironic, because as Phan was going to bed that night I had said to him "I guess I better pack my hospital bag ... I haven't done that yet"... LOL... It is soooo unlike me to not be organised... so to be packing my hospital bag whilst having contractions was really strange... (as evidenced by the fact, I'd forgotten a heap of things and didn't pack enough clothes, so Phan was bringing stuff up for me every day!)

Anyway... around 3pm the contractions started getting stronger, so I rang the hospital to give them a heads up that I would probably be in sometime in the morning (I was thinking around 7am)... Around 4am the contractions were getting closer together (like 4 minutes apart)... and then at 4:30am I had a show with some light pink blood in it... It was at this moment that I realised I was really in labour (yeah yeah... I was in denial about it mostly until this point... I was in denial for half my labour with Beth too...) I rang the hospital again to tell them what happened and they said I should head on in... So I woke up Phan and said to him "I think it's time." and he was like in shock and said "Wow... really?"... followed by "Do you think I have time for a shower?"... and I said... "No, I don't think so."... but then 5 minutes later, I said to him "Nah, I think you have time for a quick shower"... so off he went and had a quick shower, while quickly packed a bag of stuff for Beth... and even though the contractions were getting painful, I didn't think it was anything I couldn't handle and it felt like we were just moseying along.

We had our dear friend Vicky lined up to look after Beth... and I felt really bad about having to wake her at some ungodly hour, so I held out until 5am when I rang her and arranged to drop Elizabeth over at their place... We woke Beth up, who was surprisingly fine with the whole idea... We just told her Daddy had to take Mummy to the hospital to have the baby and that we were going to take her to Vicky's place to play with Claire and she said "Ok"... and that was it... We dropped Elizabeth off at their place at 5:20am... and then at 5:30am we were at the hospital. And this is where it all went a bit crazy...

The contractions started getting a lot stronger and coming closer together (had to stop twice walking to the maternity ward)... Then once I was actually in the labour room I had a contraction and I started feeling the pressure building which from previous experience I knew meant the pushing phase was close!

I could hardly lie on my back during a contraction while the midwife put a monitory thing on me (standard procedure at the hospital is they monitor for the first 20 mins)... The poor midwife also had a hard time trying to find a moment to take my blood pressure because I kept shifting positions (Hands and knees was the best position for dealing with the pain for some reason). I swear this period of time felt short and long at the same time... Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew things were happening in a fast manner, but during it all it felt like it was taking *FOREVER*... When the midwife finally did an internal, I was already at 8-9cm! She kept saying "It's not going to be long" and I was thinking "How long is not long... seriously, this feels like it's loooooong!"... Also at some point Phan started saying "I don't think we've decided on a girl's name" to which I said to him between contractions... "Catherine."... Ha... there's no arguing with a labouring woman on that... :) I also remember saying a number of times "I don't think I can do this..." which Phan says he thought was a bit funny 'cos there was no going back at that point!

Apparently my obstetrician walked in just as I was starting to push (I didn't even realise he was there)... and he only had time to pull on one glove before he had to catch our little baby girl as I pushed her out! And there she was... our perfect little girl came into our world at 6:23am... less than an hour after we arrived at the hospital! Ha... seriously, we were pretty lucky we didn't leave it any later to leave... we probably timed the whole process perfectly! So all in all, it was a 6.5 hour labour (less than half the length of my labour with Beth)... of which I spent most of that without any pain relief, except for gas in the last 30-45 mins... (and by that stage, that gas was doing jack all.. it was really just something to distract me and something I could bite on!!!

So there we have the story of the arrival of our beautiful little girl... Her formal stats... she weighed in at 3.17kg (7lbs in the old scale) and 51cm long. She's got a lovely head of hair and there are a lot of similarities between her and her older sister. She was awake and alert within the first half hour of coming into the world...

Fresh out of the oven...

Later that morning Vicky took our family photo...

Family Photo

And that afternoon our little miss caught up on a bit of this -

Sleeping Beauty

and woke up looking like this

And now I'm awake

And I had an idea for a cute photo moment, but ended up with this hilarious one instead -

I don't like that bear!

The only major thing to happen while we were in hospital was that Catherine developed jaundice... It was horrible having the heel prick test done so they could test for it... she's not a bleeder, so she got pricked in both heels and only just got the minimal amount of blood!!! So on Saturday afternoon, we had to put her on this special uv light bed to try and bring her SBR levels down...

On the light bed

She hated the light bed because she couldn't be wrapped and kept jerking and waking herself up... The only way to keep her settled was to sit there and physically hold her arms and legs down... we tried wedging her between 2 towels to stop her from moving, which worked for a little bit, but then wore off... So in the end at 1am, a lovely midwife came in and asked if I wanted her to be taken to the nursery so I could get a bit of rest and they brought her in to me for a feed when she needed it. I felt guilty sending her to the nursery, but in the end, I'm glad I did, because the only way the nurse could get her to settle was to get her to sleep on her tummy... which although this is against SIDS guidelines, because there was a nurse there watching her the whole time, it was ok and I wouldn't have been able to stay up all night and do that. She's definitely a baby that needs to be wrapped!

She had another blood test early on Sunday morning to check her levels and unfortunately, despite being on the light bed all night, the levels had jumped up... so in a bid to try and get us home on Monday (I really wanted to go home on Monday) the paed had her into the special care nursery under double lights and I was feeding her every 3 hours and then expressing after each feed just to get more fluids into her to try and flush out the jaundice.

I tell you, I have the utmost respect for parents who have to have their babies in special care for a long time... we only had to have Catherine in there for less than 24 hours and I found it really hard being apart from her and not being able to cuddle her when she wanted to be cuddled. On the whole, she was quite settled under the lights when she was on her tummy.

Here's what she looked like in her isolette under the lights... She looks a bit like a little sunbather huh?

Under Double Lights

After all of that, a blood test early on Monday morning came back and indicated that her levels were within a normal range and we were allowed to come home! Hoooray! So after a whole rigmarole of paper work to get Catherine discharged from the SCN and me discharged from the maternity ward, we finally got to go home at around 1:30pm.

First ride in the car -

In the baby capsule

And our backseat is full -

Our backseat is full...

So that's the story in a nutshell... it's so good to be home again and to be with Phan and Elizabeth... Elizabeth is finding it a bit hard adjusting to being a big sister... when we told her Mummy was coming home she was really happy, but when she realised Catherine was coming too she kept saying "I don't like it..." "it", being Catherine... Since we've actually been at home though, she's warming up slowly to Catherine... Elizabeth actually came over and watched me breastfeeding this afternoon and when I was trying to wake up Catherine to take the other breast, she started making some funny litttle newborn sounds and Elizabeth started laughing and thinking Catherine was very funny... and she even started talking to her and saying "Wake up Catherine!"... Slowly, slowly... we'll take little steps at a time. Elizabeth's also harbouring a bit of a chesty cough at the moment which is making her tired and irritable, so hopefully when she gets over that things will get better.

For now, I'm enjoying the start of what I'm sure is going to be a rewarding journey... I'm sure there are going to be ups and downs, giggles, smiles and laughter and also sleepless nights and fatigue... ... but it's all going to be part of the fun...

Introducing Catherine...

Tuesday, May 18

Playing Doctors...

Just some of the conversations Beth and I had today whilst pretending to play doctors -

Elizabeth - "Hello Mum! What can I do for you today?"
Me - "I've got a bit of a cough today" *insert coughing here*
Elizabeth - *grabs a fairy wand and waves it in the air* - "Abracadabra, hey presto! Your cough is gone now!"
Me - *laughing*

Elizabeth - "I need to use the stethescope"... *lifts up my top and puts it on my tummy*... "I'm listening to the baby..."
(I love it when she does this... it's such an "awwww" moment)

Me - "Hello Elizabeth. What's wrong with you today?"
Elizabeth - "I'm feeling a bit hot"
Me - *putting themometer under her arm*... let me see... oh yes, you are a bit hot.
Elizabeth - "I need an injection"
Me - "Okay, here we go... this will just hurt just a little bit"... *pretending to inject her*... "You're such a brave girl!"
Elizabeth - "I feel better now! Mum, now I need a massage..."
Me - *thinking "what the?", when did massages become part playing doctors!*

We also role reversed that last conversation a few times (sans massage) and Beth goes "This will hurt for just one second"... followed by "You're such a brave girl Mum"... LOL

She is so cute... of course... this game does lose it's novelty when you've played it a few hundred times (like we have)... but I thought I better make a note of it before I forget about it!

And just so this post isn't naked, here's a photo of the girl licking out the bowl after we'd made a chocolate cake for Daddy's birthday -

Mmmm... chocolate cake...

Saturday, May 15

A Few Random Photos From The Last Week

I was nesting earlier in the week and cleaning the cupboards and Beth was playing by herself when she suddently comes up to me and says "Look Mum! I'm a clown!"... OMG, I laughed so hard... I got her to help me clean the cupboards after that so I could keep an eye on her!

Mum, I'm a Clown

At Mother's Day Lunch last week... perusing the menu intently... with "Snuckaluckagus" looking on.

Perusing the Menu

Being silly with Dad

Daddy's Girl

What happens when Dad gives her vegemite on toast, followed by Nutella on toast...

Nutella & Vegemite

And a photo from this morning... she came into my bed for a snuggle after Phan had left for work and we ended up falling back asleep (which is unusual, she normally never falls asleep in my bed!)... I got up at 8:15am... She didn't wake up until 9am!!!! What a huge sleep-in for her! She looked so comfy all spread out in the bed though... but she's such a bed hog... how much room does a 3.5 year old need?!

How much room does a 3.5 year old need?

Thursday, May 13

Love My Baby Bump

Exactly 4 weeks to go today... *oh my*! I'm wearing the new Peter Alexander pajamas that Phan and Elizabeth got me for mother's day in this photo... aren't they cute? :)

Love My Baby Bump

Sunday, May 9

A Day For Mummies...

I hope all the mummies out there have had a wonderful day ... Becoming a mother has changed me in so many ways... and I'm expecting that it's going to change me even more when our baby joins us and I'm a mother to two children...

Today, I have just enjoyed being with my beautiful little family... Mother's Day started with a 4am wake up call from Beth who had unusually accidentally wet the bed in her sleep (thank goodness for brolly sheets!)... She's only wet the bed a handful of times, and I find it only happens on days when she's really tired... we obviously had too much fun yesterday when we went out to high tea with our Vicky and Claire. It wasn't a big deal... a quick change of the brolly sheet (she managed to keep her quilt and toys all dry), change of pajama bottoms and tucked back into bed in 10 minutes and she was back to sleep... However it took forever for me to drop off back to sleep... But we got a nice sleep in until 8am... when we heard Beth hop out of bed and go to the toilet by herself... ah, she's growing up.. :)

Phan jumped out of bed when he heard her and I could hear whispering and talking as they got my mother's day present and brought it in for me... I was wonderfully spoilt... a got a new Van Chi nappy bag (which I had picked out a couple of months ago) and inside there were some gorgeous soft pink maternity Peter Alexander pajamas, a voucher to Winkbar where I've been going to get my eyebrows done ever since I discovered "eyebrow threading"... if you've never tried eyebrow threading, I highly recommend it, so much better than waxing! Also hiding in the nappy bag was John Mayer's latest CD Battle Studies (which I'm loving!) and a card that Beth had made with me at Playtime earlier in the week (I was going to take a photo of the card, but Beth really likes the card and has made off with it and I don't know where she's put it!)

As if that wasn't enough, Phan also took us out all for a surprise lunch at the Norman Hotel... I had an awesome pepper steak! And we ordered a steak for Beth, which she had a few bites of but decided she liked the chips and plain bread roll a lot better... LOL... she's normally such a protein fiend and today she goes and carbos it up!

And after that wonderful lunch... we went back home and I had a nice afternoon nap... *sigh*... now seriously, isn't that just the best day ever? I'm so nice and chilled now... and there's no need to cook dinner 'cos we're all still full! Phan and Elizabeth have done a great job of spoiling me and making me feel special today!

And here are 2 photos taken while we were waiting for our lunch:

Mother's Day 2010

Yes, that would be heart stickers on our face... I had them in my bag to entertain Beth as we waited for our lunch to be served, and Beth decided we had to wear them on our faces...

And here's a special mother's day kiss for me from girl...

A Kiss for Mummy

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 7

35 weeks + 1 day

35 weeks + 1 day

5 weeks to go... I'm looking and feeling *HUGE*! I'm moving slower and stuff like getting up from the couch and rolling over in bed is becoming a bit of an effort... but other than that, I'm still feeling really good and I'm still enjoying being pregnant... Had an obs apptment last Tuesday... everything still good and uneventful ... baby is head down in my pelvis (I think it's been in that position for most of this pregnancy) and it's loving to kick and move around on my right side a lot (pretty sure what I'm feeling are little feet and knees!)... especially around 11pm at night... Not long to go now...

Photography note - My remote trigger needs a new battery (which I discovered just as I was about to take the photos!) and of course, it takes some weird non-standard sized lithium battery and I wasn't about to go traipsing around to the shops looking for one... so I decided to play with the 10 second self-timer... my goodness... painful! I won't be doing that again anytime soon! Rushing in front on the camera before the timer triggers is not a lot of fun when you can't move fast with a big belly!

Monday, May 3

The Homemade Girly Skirt

She Loves This Skirt...

Well, I've been itching to sew Beth a skirt for sometime now... I go through these phases where I have to be creative and need to make something crafty or sew something or digi-scrapbook something... It's just an outlet that I need to satisfy... and I was determined to have a go and make one before the baby arrives... So on Saturday afternoon, I sat down and had a go, using the market skirt pattern... It's a great pattern/tutorial and the instructions/photo are clear and easy to understand (which was very important considering what a beginner I am in the sewing department) and I have to say it was a success! I was so pleased with how it turned out... and Beth absolutely adores it... It took me about 5 hours... Well, that did include stopping to make dinner and eat it and giving Beth a bath and entertaining her every now and then... So it really did take a lot less time than that.. probably 3 hours. For a first attempt I "only" made 3 mistakes that required unpicking stitches... (I always manage to stuff things up when I'm sewing... I have this love/hate relationship with sewing!). Beth was impatiently waiting for me to finish it that night... and I didn't want to rush it, so I told her that it would be finished in the morning and she would get to wear it then... And wouldn't you believe it... Sunday morning at 7:30am, she wakes up and potters out of her room and into my room and the very first thing she asks is "Mum... can I wear my skirt?" How could I say no? And well, I really wanted to see her wear it too... so I put it on her, but I had made the elastic too loose around her waist and it kept falling down... so 15 minutes later, after unpicking the waistband and readjusting the elastic, it was perfect... She wore it to church and twirled in it to the music... She wore it all day and said to me "I like my skirt 'cos Mummy made it for me."... ah, well that just made my day!... Then come bathtime, Phan gave her a bath and she didn't want to put the skirt in the laundry basket and insisted on wearing it to bed! (Thus why in the photo she is wearing a pajama top and the skirt!)

And she's been wearing it *ALL DAY* today as well! I'm hoping she will wear proper pajamas tonight and let me put it in the wash otherwise I think we're going to be having some issues!

I whipped up 2 other skirts for her this morning (I cut out the pattern last night and it only took me 1.5 hours per skirt to sew now that I've figured out what I'm doing)... but she won't wear these other skirts as she still loves the first skirt the most... I think because I put a little lace ruffle at the bottom of it.

So here we have it... the three skirts I've made in the last couple of days... my creative/sewing urge has been satisfied for the moment:

Skirts I've Made

Dodgem Cars @ MovieWorld

This footage taken the 2nd time we went to Movie World... This was Beth's 3rd time on the cars and (She'd been on the cars twice the previous weekend), so by this time, she'd finally figured out the concept of pressing down the pedal and turning the steering wheel at the same time to make the car move... Although her steering does leave a little bit to be desired!

(*warning*, large download... the clip is 100MB+ 'cos it was taken on my G10... you might want to use Youtube Downloader or equivalent Firefox plugin to save a copy to your harddrive using youtube downloader if you want to load it faster or plan on watching it multiple times...)

Sunday, May 2

The Movie World Merry-Go-Round

So we went to Movie World twice over 2 weekends (once with Chu Phi... and then dropped in again after our visit to Wet'n'Wild when we got too cold from swimming)... So some genuine happy snaps of our girl enjoying herself... A little background on why she's so happy riding the Bugs Bunny in the first couple of photos... She had actually been on the merry-go-round once previously, but had wanted to ride Bugs Bunny, but all the Bugs Bunnies were taken, so she had to ride Daffy Duck and was sad about that... (She came off the ride saying "There was no Bunny..."... really quite sad and funny at the same time) so Chu Phi took her again and made sure they got a Bugs Bunny and she was sooo much happier and excited...





And some video footage of the merry-go-round in action...

Trying to catchup on the backlog...

Yeah, yeah... I know, the blog has been severely neglected over the last few weeks... We've just been busy and had stuff on... so in a nutshell, the last month or so can be summed up with the following -

- We've had some busy weekends visiting Sea World, Movie World & Wet'n'Wild (we did one theme park each weekend for 3 weekends in a row! Oh and Chu Phi came visited us for a week sometime in the middle of that)...

- Phan and I have got the nursery ready... the cot is put together, the change table, which had been harbouring a rather insane amount of Beth's paintings and crafty bits and pieces has been, has been cleared out, we have a set of ikea drawers housing freshly washed gender neutral baby clothing, sorted out in sizes from 0000 - 1... and the curtains are up. (My dodgy, dodgy curtains... I cringe everytime I look at them... I don't know if I shared this on my blog, but I mentioned it on Facebook, but I made the curtains 20cm too short... doh! So I had to salvage them by sewing a white border to the bottom of them... they look terrible, but they'll do the job!)

- We visited the hospital where I'll be having the baby last weekend... thought I had better find out where I need to go and stuff, and I'm happy with what I saw...

- Beth and I have become addicted to a Facebook game called "Treasure Isle"... She loves watching me play and seeing what treasures we dig up and adding new things to our island. We are about to run out of maps to dig up though, so that obsession may fast be coming to hiatus soon.

- I've also finished two sewing projects that I have been intent on completing before the baby arrived... so I'll share some photos of that later...

- I think my nesting phase is starting to come to a bit of a slow down now... 6 weeks to go... and I've almost done everything on my list... the last bit to do is to give the kitchen a big clean out and organisation and to do some freezer cooking so we have some meals to eat for the first couple of months when I'm likely to be sleep deprived and not feel like cooking dinner. I've made my dinner plan, so in the next couple of weeks I'll start cooking and freezing things like bolognaise/thit kho/ga om...

I've got quite a few photos and random video snippets to share... so I thought I'd better start sharing them slowly... Here's a series of photos that I think is so funny... taken at Sea World... Beth had a ball!

Fun With Waterspouts

I'll be back with some more photos later!