Category Archives: Family Life

Stories of Me: Keeping Warm…

When I think about “Keeping Warm” I automatically think of wearing Handy Hubby’s track suit on a cold winters day, sitting in front of a heater with the boys around me and steaming mug of coffee in hand. The rain is pelting on the windows, its cold and miserable outside but inside it’s toasty, cosy and home. We’re all snuggled up on the lounge, under a blanket and rugged up.

Or laying in bed, snuggled up to Handy Hubby having a cuddle, the house is quiet and dark and we’re under the doona all toasty and warm. He’s my hot water bottle.

My mind goes back to all those weekends I braved the winter weather, wrapped up in multiple layers watching Handy Hubby play soccer. Im sitting on the side lines freezing, wearing a beanie, scarf, jumper, his jacket and wrapped in a blanket. I think about the morning we watched the Olympic Torch run by. We woke up at 4 am to make sure we got the best spot. It was freezing! Again I had multiple layers on, but what I remember most is him, cuddling me so that I’d stay warm.

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I think about all the family get togethers where we’re all sitting around, multiple conversations running at the same time and over the top of each other. My father in the corner, telling his latest dirty joke, mum in the kitchen and I’m surrounded by family and friends. Handy Hubby sitting beside me and I’m warm.

I eventually realise, it’s not actual physical heat that’s keeping me warm, it’s him. It’s them. My little family that we’ve created, our extended family, our friends. They are my warmth. They are my heat. They defrost me from my chilliest of moods, they bring me light and heat, they make a bad day non-existent.

And it’s on those cold, blustery, miserable days when I’m at my lowest that I remember what’s at home, the fire in my life, keeping warm.

Linking up with Fi from My Mummy Daze for Stories of Me and Grace from With Some Grace for Flog Your Blog Friday

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Wordless Wednesday: Walks to School

Two days a week we walk to Hurricane Boy’s (pre) school. I find it wears Mr Giggles out just enough so that going down for his morning nap isn’t as much as a screaming match as normal. Hurricane Boy enjoys the walk as well. It’s quite literally 2 streets away, so nice and close for this excercise-phobic mummy 🙂

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Ready for School

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Mr Giggles and mummy ready to go

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There are some lovely front yards on the way

Linking up with Trish from My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday

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Baking Days

I’ve recently unpacked our last “kitchen” box. We’ve only been living in this house for the past 6 months but you know, I’m sure something more important than unpacking came up. Can you tell I hate unpacking?!

We’ve managed to make due with the pans we had in our “kitchen essentials” box. But since I’ve gone back to work, baked goods are becoming a necessity and 1 silicone Bundt cake mould, baking tray and square cake tin are no longer going to cut it.

For the past 4 months I’ve been nagging asking Handy Hubby to find the “baking” box so I can get my bake on. He finally found it! I’m now all panned up, I just need to find more room!

I’ve been scanning Pinterest for lots of great recipes and I’ve found a few I want to try out, so stay tuned peeps! Lots of baked goods coming!

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Cheats Reece’s Pieces!

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Almond Cheesecake Brownies

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Mini Bacon Egg Cups

Yummo!!!!

Nursey Mum
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Linking up With Some Grace for FYBF

Thankful Thursdays

I wasn’t going to post today but I’ve been thinking about what I’m thankful for and how my life has been changed over the past couple of years. Cue vomit inducing mushiness…

1: My Boys
They are my Joy and they remind me everyday how lucky I am to be a part of their lives and they amaze me on a daily basis.

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2: Coffee
Gets me going in the mornings after a bad night, good night or no night. It might only be a jar out of woolies but it hits the spot.

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3: My Job
I’ve been a Registered Nurse for 8 years and for the most part, loved it. I’m thankful that I’ve been able to do it, and do it well (at least I think I do).

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4: Handy Hubby
We’ve been together for 13 years this April and Married for 6 this November. I’m thankful everyday that I haven’t killed him yet, I’m thankful that he stuck around despite my craziness, I’m thankful everyday for our 2 gorgeous boys he’s given me and our lives as a family.

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Hopefully it hasn’t been too nausea inducing. 🙂
Nursey Mum
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Linking up with Leigh from Six by the Bay

A morning of fun!

Yesterday we headed out to a local indoor playland. Now I don’t normally take the kidlets to things like these as I’m not a fan of having to pay for my child to play but none the less, off we went. I thought it might be a nice treat for Hurricane Boy, with all this horrible wet weather we’ve been having he’s we’ve become a little house bound.

Off we toddle to Rainbow Playland and Kids Club. My mother had mentioned it to me a while back and I thought today was a fabulous opportunity to get the boys out of the house! It’s set back from the road and the signage isn’t the best as I drove straight past it and had to turn around. It’s set in an industrial type business park and there is only one sign mentioning the potential for children.

From the outside, it looks like its been a warehouse of sorts and they’ve converted it, there is child safe fencing and a ramp to accommodate prams. It’s bright, child focused exterior makes it hard to mistake it for something other than a child play centre. The massive sign out the front helps with that as well :).

Once in, you walk into a “cafe” style seating area with a small play area designed for under 1’s at one end and a craft room guarded by a gate at the other. Through the big brick archway adorned with animal print curtains and you walk into a large carpeted play area that is littered with kids toys. Like most other playland type places they had a range of miniature cars, prams and dolls. They also provided a jumping castle, a selection of comfy chairs and cushions, ball-room and cubby house.

Unfortunately, the play area is not fenced and the children have the run of the entire complex. That is, the can run past the counter where food and beverages are served. A potential hazard if hot beverages are involved. In the case of Hurricane Boy, I found him “disappearing” quite often as he took off exploring. While I was assured that he couldn’t get into anything, this did nothing to allay my fears. The tables and chairs are removed from the play area behind brick walls and don’t provide for any parental supervision. I found myself standing in the archway caught between watching Hurricane Boy run around and Mr Giggles sitting in his pram.

Entry was $5 per person with Mr Giggles free. The coffee was cheap and hit the spot. There was a reasonably priced, although limited menu but there was at least something for everyone.

Hurricane Boy had a ball, he was every where and in to everything. He loved the jumping castle and the cars. Despite my initial safety concerns, it was a good morning. Reasonably priced, good coffee and a range of equipment for the kidlets. We’ll be heading out there again!

Nursey Mum
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This is not a sponsored post and I have not received any compensation from Rainbow Playland and Kids Club

Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT

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The day my perspective changed – Part 2

Second time around, induced labour was no better. Just as painful as the first time and, I’m told, more intense than a natural labour. I’ll spare you the gory details and just say that it was quicker than the first, I used the gas only and the midwives were angels.

After 7 1/2 hours of labour, three pushes and a lot of profanities my angel made his way into the world. After a little whimper and a little bit of stimulation Mr Giggles had arrived. We had waited for this moment for 9 months. We were relieved, we were worn out, we were ecstatic, we were in love.

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Minutes old

I remember now, having the slightest suspicion that something was wrong while we were having “skin to skin” time immediately after he was born. I was attempting to breast feed and he just wouldn’t “latch on”. I ignored my suspicion and just put it down to the fact that we both had to learn how to do it.

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It wasn’t until later that night when his baby check was being performed that the Midwife found it. I had just had my shower and was getting back into bed when she said “He’s got a Cleft Palate. Did you know?”.

My entire world went into a spin. As a nurse, I had the knowledge behind me to understand the potential effects of this condition on my little baby. More importantly, I too had been born with a Cleft Palate. I knew from personal experience what lay ahead of us. For my darling newborn son, for his older brother and for us, his parents.

A Cleft Palate occurs at around 6-8 weeks of pregnancy when the roof of the babies mouth is starting to fuse together and can involve the gum line or lip. It can also encompass all three; Lip, Gum and Palate. There are different reasons why Cleft lips and Palates form but unfortunately we haven’t been able to find the reason why Mr Giggles developed one. Despite the fact that not a lot is known about why, it’s one of the most common birth defects around with 1 in 700 babies born with some form of cleft.

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Image Source

As I began to process this new information, I was reliving my childhood. Days spent at the kids hospital attending Cleft Clinic appointments, yearly photos to track my progress, speech pathology appointments, multiple sets of Grommets and 11 years of Orthodontic work. Not to mention the surgeries to repair the defect. Was this what was ahead of us?

In that instant, as the realisation began to set in, I was devastated. I was angry. I was grieving. I grieved for the loss of my “perfect baby”. I was devastated as I began to realise that I was not going to be able to breast feed my baby. I had put in so much preparation to make it work this time around and I was angry. I wanted to know why it had to be him, why it had to be us.

But I had to be strong. There was a 2 year old toddler at home that was depending on me to make him feel good about his little brother. I had a husband who was looking at me to take the lead on this one and I had to be a Mum to this gorgeous little baby who knew no different than what he was born into. He didn’t know that not being able to suck wasn’t normal. He didn’t know that being syringe fed mummy’s colostrum wasn’t normal. He didn’t know what was ahead of him.

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All the doctors and nurses were amazing. We were referred to the Cleft clinic at Westmead Children’s Hospital. The Cleft Palate Nurse based at the clinic rang us the day after he was born, just to touch base. We would have an appointment when he was 2 weeks old. It seems like we were seen by every person in the hospital. There were visits by the Neonatologist, the Speech Therapist, his Plastic Surgeon, a Lactation Specialist… Our heads were spinning. Not only did we have to learn how to use the special bottles but there was all the follow up appointments we had to keep track of.

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We were discharged home after 4 days with a handful of appointments, referrals and feeding equipment. Those first few weeks were tiring, to say the least. Mr Giggles was so slow to feed and putting on weight, we were taking about an hour to get 60 mL into him and he was burning up the calories before he could even absorb them.

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Our first clinic appointment was full on. There were different people to go and see and lots of waiting around. We met with his plastic surgeon, the same surgeon who had repaired my Cleft Palate 28 years prior, who advised us that unlike other Cleft Palate babies, Mr Giggles would have to wait until he was 15 months old before he could have his palate repaired. They are generally repaired around 9-10 months. But because his Cleft was so extensive we would have to wait until he was a little bit bigger. The Cleft Nurse is a wealth of knowledge and provides us with a lot of support and refers us to a support service.

Mr Giggles’ first 6 weeks of life seemed to be filled with screaming and micro-naps. All he seemed to do was cry, I couldn’t put him down. He lived in the papoose, every time I laid him down he would just cry. As I hadn’t been able to produce much milk, we had moved to formula very early on and it seemed we swapped formulas every couple of days. Until finally, we found one that worked. The effect was almost instantaneous. He was finally sleeping! Sure he was a “windy” baby but my eldest had also suffered with wind, so we knew how to cope.

Eight months on and we are going well. Mr Giggles is meeting all his milestones and some, earlier than his brother did. All those feeding issues we had in the early days seem to have disappeared and he is now thriving. He was seen by an Opthamologist, Audiologist, Cardiologist and ENT specialist in the early days and given the all clear so far. He might need surgery to insert a set of Grommets later but we will cross that bridge when we come to it. So far we’ve only had 2 ear infections and hopefully there won’t be any more.

It would have been very easy for me to wallow in self pity, but with all that has been thrown at us, it’s only made us stronger. Yes, Mr Giggles has a Cleft Palate but YES it can be fixed. There are so many other families out there that aren’t as lucky as us. We already had 1 gorgeous boy at home waiting for us, we were so lucky that Mr Giggles’ condition wasn’t any worse.

And that’s when my perspective changed.

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