Baby Leo

Baby Leo

Baby Leo – aka Leo David Grundy, born on the 19th May 2017, some time after 11 o’clock in the morning, weighing 2910g or 6lb 7oz.

Currently learning to put up with constant adoration and cuddles from Lewis, unintended (I think…) physical harm from Ezra, and being referred to as the cutest baby ever by Rose.  Needless to say, he’s very loved and will never be lonely! (more…)

Winter flus and a visit to The Farm

Winter flus and a visit to The Farm

We’ve had about a month of illness in our family.  A whole month of wiping snotty noses, dealing out doses of Panadol (and secretly hoping that it will encourage less waking and more sleeping), and very little sewing or anything else really.  I’m choosing to look at it positively and see the beginning of school life as an immunity-building exercise.  My mum said the sicknesses will slow down the further into school life we get, as we develop some resistance to all the horrible school-related bugs that are out there.  I’m praying this is the case because I don’t cherish the thought of spending months cooped up inside caring for up to five sick persons (myself included).

A trip out was definitely what the doctor ordered, and I didn’t take much convincing to head down to The Farm at Byron Bay for a catch up with my dear friend Sarah of Ric-Rac & Retro.  It was so enjoyable.  The fresh air, the delicious food – pork and fennel sausage rolls washed down with delicious kombucha, followed by house-baked cinnamony, sugary doughnuts and a Portuguese tart (which Sarah and I shared!) – and the company was most definitely a panacea for all the ills I had been experiencing.

A visit to The Farm at Byron Bay

A visit to The Farm at Byron Bay

A visit to The Farm at Byron Bay

A visit to The Farm at Byron Bay

A visit to The Farm at Byron Bay

Lewis was determined/busting to see the animals and would have been happy (as a pig in mud!) to stay and watch them all day.  Alas, the school run beckoned and our enjoyment was cut short.  If nothing else, I was reminded of the need to get out and do things more often, for this little boy’s sake, if not my own.  Another trip to The Farm is definitely in order, and I need to do some research on other activities for little boys in the Gold Coast area.

Yours truly

Yours truly

It’s Mother’s Day tomorrow.  I always find it’s a strange day.  One where I prompt the husband to make sure he’s organised.  For the sake of the kids.  Of course 😉  Which makes it feel very contrived and like I’m big-noting myself, because I’m totally rocking this mothering job.

But with 2016 heralding the start of a very long season (only eighteen years to go) of school runs, homework (or, home ‘fun’ as we call it), assessments, head lice and worms (yes, already) I have felt a little less like SuperMum and a lot more like curling into the foetal position and banging my head against a wall.  Repeatedly.  Like, over and over.

However, while sitting down with my husband this morning to pray, I realised, after a day at home yesterday that consisted of chunky coughs and snotty noses being dragged down my thighs, but also catch-ups with much loved and very dear friends, that I mustn’t get caught up in the busy-ness of the school life and just ‘doing stuff’, and forget about my own friendships.  And without barking on about how I’m a person too and I need this and I need that… well, I am.  And I think I sometimes forget that ‘my’ person needs to be nourished and refreshed in order to keep going at the break-neck speed that motherhood occurs at, and nourish the little souls I have with me each day.

Now, I’m not talking about taking time out, or ‘me time’ consisting of a day at a health spa, or spending a handful o’ fitties getting some retail therapy.  Although they sound like fantastic things to do and I’m totally in if anyone wants to shout me.  I’m just talking about having a cuppa and conversation with another adult who doesn’t feel the need to discuss the colour of their poo with me, OR why there’s chunks in it.  (This also includes, much to my dismay, going to bed early.  Earlier.  Not midnight.)

Because, as much as my personality likes to think life is all about achieving things and ticking boxes, it’s not.  It’s about relationship, and friendship, and spending time, not money.  It’s about giving yourself.  And as Rosie says, it’s about being a bucket filler, not a bucket dipper.

So, although I reminded husband that tomorrow is Mother’s Day (not that I needed to, he had it covered!), and then proceeded to purchase a dress that will tonight be wrapped up and given to me tomorrow morning, at which point I will feign shock and surprise at the amazing choice the children made, I want you to know that I do not feel like I deserve any great accolade on this day.  In fact, I feel like I only just made it.  Hence, the very tongue-in-cheek ‘Dear Mummy’ phrases I created for this post.  But I couldn’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be.  This is what I chose, and I wouldn’t give it away for anything.  Presents will always be appreciated however.  I love presents.

Finally, I would like to apologise to my own dear Mummy for saying this to you after Evangeline was born.  I now also own a water bed.

Life is grand in Babyland!

Life is grand in Babyland!

Those of you who follow me on Instagram and Facebook will already know that this little fella joined our family almost three months ago.

Ezra Mac is a much loved member of our family, and as is always the way, it is hard to remember what life was like before he was with us.  I have vague recollections of more than 4 hours of sleep at a time, but life is definitely richer, albeit much tireder.

His arrival was well planned (third c-section style) and I have to say I really didn’t like the planned part.  It all felt very clinical and I felt really nervous, despite having been through it all before twice (although both times before I was almost incoherent from exhaustion).  And though the process of it was vastly different to a natural labour, the magic of childbirth showed itself the moment they lifted him out of my cavernous belly and I heard his squeaky cry.  Needless to say, there were tears.

My newborn has already disappeared, and the baby I hold now is smiling and starting to coo and laugh.  These are precious precious moments that pass all too quickly, and I really am trying to soak them up, just in case this is the last time I get to experience this baby stage.

Rosie is loving being a big sister, and Lewis is too – yes, you read that right.  He is adamant he is a big sister.  And he is definitely no longer a baby, so be sure not to call him one, ok!  It is pretty funny to see Lewis, not THAT much older than the baby he’s referring to, saying “Oh, he’s sooo tyooot!”.

Settling on a name was a journey this time.  Both times before we had one favourite, and although we didn’t formally name them until we’d met them, we were pretty sure they were going to be Rose and Lewis.  This time however, I really struggled.  Initial discussions were about calling him Mac, after my Dad.  But when it came to the crunch I just didn’t feel like I could do that.  It didn’t feel right.  Then we talked about Jonah, and although we liked the name, the bible story of Jonah left us both feeling a little underwhelmed.  Ezra was a name that we both liked and the meaning, helper or God helps, felt right.  We’d love him to be a help to those he’s with – what a lovely meaning to live up to.

And so, life as five is plodding racing tearing along.  At breakneck speed.  I feel like each day has suddenly lost a few hours, and everything I have to do takes me ten times longer.  For example, the vacuuming, which would normally take me a half an hour now takes me… *jokes* I don’t have time to vacuum!

They say life gets simpler the more kids you have, but I think it’s more to do with the fact that your expectations get lower the more kids you have.  If you can manage to wash and dry your hair once a week, well then that’s a good week, and hairy legs are the reason God created long pants.


April | Caesarean Awareness Month

April | Caesarean Awareness Month

Did you know that April is Caesarean Awareness Month?  I didn’t until tonight – in fact, I’m still not even sure if this is just an American thing… Anyway, while my kids were tearing around the McDonalds playground (don’t judge me) and I was making use of the free wifi I stumbled across a post on the website Cordmama called ‘Three Truths about C-section Mamas‘, and being a so-called ‘C-section Mama’ I was intrigued – what were these truths this person knew about me, which they supposedly knew just because I didn’t birth my children ‘the way nature intended’?

I don’t really have much to say about the three truths the author mentions.  Am I brave?  I know I was so terrified at the thought of having an epidural that my husband struggled to hold my sobbing, rocking body still so the poor anaesthetist could get the needle in safely.  How about strong?  Well, my poor husband also had to get up through the night to pass me the baby for the first few weeks after having my first ceasarean because I was so sore, and then he had to go to work for 12 hours each day.  Ok, let’s try beautiful?  Love, ain’t nobody’s beautiful after being 10 days overdue, followed by 39 hours of labour and a c-section!

I don’t know why I couldn’t birth my children naturally.  I don’t know why my body took so long to progress.  I’ve wracked my brain trying to find the one reason that will let me put this to rest once and for all.  That one elusive reason that will finally be the death of that darn undermining question that pops into my head every now and then (mostly when I’m pregnant, which just happens to be now).

Maybe it was that their round little heads just didn’t fit my hips… Maybe the relaxin in my body wasn’t enough to make my tendons stretch enough… Maybe I didn’t do enough yoga beforehand… Maybe I should have read that birthing book just one more time…  Maybe it was this.  Maybe it was that.

All I know for sure is that sometimes God has other plans…

With my first, complications arose towards the end of the pregnancy.  My fluid levels were low due to a failing and calcifying placenta and my baby’s growth rate was declining instead of the usual growth explosion they go through just before birth.  So, fully aware that things might not go as hoped during labour my Obstetrician decided he didn’t want me to go more than four days over, and as first babies don’t often come on time, I was induced.  After 18 hours, with many of those spent attached to a drip pumping me full of what is commonly called Syntocinon (but which I have henceforth renamed ‘the torture drug’), my baby’s heart rate dropped.  I have never seen nurses move so fast (except when I fainted post-caesarean, boy did that nurse move fast!).  There was no mucking around.  The decision was made.  Emergency caesarean.

With my second, I went into labour spontaneously, which is what I had hoped for.  I woke up at 6am on a Wednesday morning feeling uncomfortable and achey (remembering I didn’t experience spontaneous labour for the first one, this was all knew to me!).  After a couple of hours of timing contractions, I called the hospital to see what they thought and after speaking with my Obstetrician the midwife told me to come straight in.  As I was attempting a VBAC there were certain precautions that needed to be taken, so off I waddled to the hospital where I spent the next 35 or so hours working very hard to have a natural birth.

The week leading up to the birth my daughter had been quite ill with a virus, and I remember lying in bed one night holding a feverish child and wondering what would happen if I got sick during labour.  Little did I know, I was about to find out.

The morning of the second day of labour I knew I didn’t feel right.  I hadn’t eaten properly for a while because I’d been vomiting (not unusual during labour), but I also felt fluey.  And then, after taking my temperature, my Obstetrician started to quiz me on whether I felt ok because my temperature was up.  Determined to have the baby naturally, I told him I felt fine (I do not recommend doing this by the way – labour makes you do stupid things).  By about 1pm that afternoon I asked for an epidural because I was completely spent.  I felt absolutely horrendous.  But being as stubborn as I am, I was still keen to keep trying, so once the epidural was in, the midwife turned the Syntocinon up to ‘Ludicrous Speed’ and I slept, letting the drugs do their thing.  At about 5pm that night I attempted to push, until it was decided I needed another hour or so to be really ready.  Halfway through that hour I told my Obstetrician I couldn’t do anymore.  I had had enough.  There was nothing left in me.  I felt so, so sick and I knew there was no way I was going to be able to find the strength to push this baby out.  So, it was another caesarean.  Not emergency, but definitely not elective.  Unfortunately, this was only the start of a two month stint in hospital with a very, very ill baby that I never ever want to repeat again.  But that’s another story.

At times, when I have thought back to my second labour I have questioned my decision to end it.  Did I give up too quickly? (If you can call 39 hours too quick!) Maybe I could have pushed him out if I’d only given it another half hour…?  Because that would mean that I’d be able to have another natural birth this time, instead of bizarrely knowing already when I will most likely be meeting this new member of our family.  In the end though, I just have to trust the decision that past Xanthe made (that Xanthe knew fully what was going on back then, unlike present Xanthe who struggles to remember).  I also have to trust that wonderful, knowledgeable and very experienced midwife (whose name escapes me right now!) who was there at the end, and who, when asked if I’d made the right decision, told me very matter-of-factly and without a flicker of doubt that there was no way I was going to push that baby out.  And finally, I have to trust my Obstetrician (who I do still trust implicitly, by the way!), who could obviously see how sick I was, because he didn’t try to talk me into giving it a bit more time.

And I’m realising more and more that it just doesn’t matter.  It is what it is.

I have two healthy kids and another on the way.  Hallelujah!  Just because they didn’t leave my body the way its been done for thousands of years doesn’t mean anything.  In fact, thank God I had the choice.  Thank God me and my children didn’t become statistics of death in childbirth.  And thank God I had a wonderful and attentive Obstetrician and team of midwives who were with me the whole time, were completely on the ball and didn’t let anything slip.  For this I am forever thankful and eternally grateful.

(Gold Coast mums-to-be, if you want to know the name of a great obstetrician and private hospital, send me an email!).

Bedroom Do-over

Bedroom Do-over

I’ve been doing a bit of work on Rosie’s bedroom.

I realised the other day I had created a monster. I had this vision, you see. This vision of vintage, thrown together with a bit of modern, a splash of colour here and there, nothing too ‘planned’, but rather a mish-mash of things that just happened to look good together. Like all those styled bedrooms you see on Pinterest that the stylist has spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars on and many many hours working really hard to make it look like they didn’t… That was my vision. Without the hard work.

But instead, I created pink.  And pretty.  And vintage.  And more vintage.  And no modern.  Nope, not a scrape.

So I started again.

Well, I actually just bought some decals from Jacki at Wall Effect.  My friend Sarah of Ric-Rac and Retro convinced me to go with black, which wouldn’t have been my first choice, but now that I’ve got them, BAM!  It works, baby!  Sarah saw my vision, and she nailed it.  Even my husband loves the dots.  And so does Lewis – ‘pots’ he says whenever he seems them.  But most importantly, Rosie loves them.

I love how the dots take the vintage look to a whole new level.  Vintage, with a bit of modern thrown in. Why, one might even call it ‘modern vintage’.

I also threw together a brightly coloured pom-pom tassel (or pong-pongs, as Rosie calls them) to hang by the window.

And, I’ve got a ‘You’ve Got Mail’ Wall Pocket (from Ayumi Mills’ book Patchwork Please!) in the works to hang at the end of the bed.

And I feel like its on the way again…


Wife-made Strudel Quilt Pattern

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