Monday, 31 March 2008

What's to eat ...

Every night ...unless I do my Menu plan Monday I have to think about what will we eat ?
to cover the palates of two toddlers (one very fussy and the other an average eater who likes his vegetables) , a bottomless pit teen and also what will satisfy the desires my sex starved love slave and his concubine (oops that would be me and that's another post)

Today I got this link Mealopedia that might help ...
Rising food prices starting to take more out of your pocket? Tired of wandering aimlessly around the supermarket?
I can see you are nodding your head too ... did you read my shopping experiences with twins

Mealopedia helps you to achieve affordable and painless grocery shopping by creating your weekly menu & a shopping list that only contains the required amounts of ingredients you'll need. No more repeat supermarket trips to pick up forgotten items and no more half-baked meals.
They even have this nifty recipe finder
Have an ingredient in the fridge or cupboard but don't know what to do with it? Got a craving for something special? Try our new Recipe Finder to find recipes that match your needs!

Or better yet ...The Planning Queen has some awesome planning and menu ideas - you can even print off a shopping list.

I also can't wait to hear how Marita @ Stuff with thing does 4 weeks worth of shopping in one hit.I am so jealous.

Last night we had a traditional lamb and beef roast except we cooked the meat in the hooded BBQ and it was mmmmmmm. My family were here and they even brought the meat.

This morning I baked these awesome (well I think so) chocolate pecan chunk cookies .We had left over Easter eggs ( I know that is breaking all the chocolate rules) but Aldis chocolate is not as good as Cadbury and the darn teen hates it plus it got melted on the way out to the farm in my Niece's car and foil was hard to peel.

Oops I almost forgot menu plan

Tonight: who knows ? I feel like Old Mother Hubbard my cupboards and fridge are bare. I am going shopping when DH gets home to save dragging the Brothers or the grumbling teen about.

Tuesday : BBQ Satay Marinated Chicken and vegetable sticks in Satay Sauce and Jasmine Rice, steamed beans & peas (for J)

Wednesday: Spaghetti Bolognaise - the family's favorite meal - everyone eats this (complete with home grown basil , hidden grated carrots/home grown zucchini and red Lentils -I am really sneaky.)

Thursday:Chicken Schnitzel, creamy potato mash and vegetable (plus rice side dish and peas for J - he likes peas)

Friday:Beef Strognoff and rice

Saturday: I might try making my own pizza dough now I bought some yeast

Sunday : Roast ? & gravy , roast potatoes/pumpkin and lots of steamed vegetables .Another family dinner with my brother, his family and my Mother !

what's for dinner at your place ?

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Weekly Winners

March 23rd -29th
Where did the week go ... I can't believe it is Sunday already (actually almost Monday). Weekly winners is hosted by Lotus aka Sarcastic Mom.

We spent Easter on Grandpa's Farm and Friday we had another play date at the local indoor play centre .The Brothers love it and so do I because they can't escape can roam free .It was hard to chose my Weekly Winners.

The Early Bird catches the worm (no we didn't steal his feather -he is moulting)
Old meets New
Wow-when he saw the Tractor movingMy biggest fan

Sun down

Full Moon's Up
Inside the old Shearing shed

who's keeping score ?( sheep numbers I think)

Help let us out ! (we need one of these at home)
Eggs anyone ?
I only got one !

Balls of Fun
Operator ?
Brroommm ...
Ready set go ...

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Smiley Saturday

Another pink edition of Smiley Saturday hosted by Lightening. It was a week of highs and lows as my other little darling has been unwell this week with high temperatures up to 41 degrees. Still not 100% but he is okay.

I actually received my swap surprise before Easter but because we went away I never got to finish posting what I received

Thanks Jeanie ... I can't wait to make some gingerbread 'people', use my pumpkin oil melt (I hope it smells like pumpkin pie) - my heels will be soon be smooth and grateful (LOL how did you guess I am run off my feet) and the little hearts are divine. The little drawers will be very useful too. I was tickled pink.

I am still smiling because of this joke I got by email -I know I posted it yesterday but just in case you missed it...
One day my mother was out and my dad was in charge of me.

I was maybe 2 1/2 years old and had just recovered from an accident.

Someone had given me a little 'tea set' as a get-well gift and it was one of my favorite toys.

Daddy was in the living room engrossed in the evening news when I brought Daddy a little cup of 'tea', which was just water. After several cups of tea and lots of praise for such yummy tea, my Mum came home.

My Dad made her wait in the living room to watch me bring him a cup of tea, because it was 'just the cutest thing!' My Mum waited, and sure enough, here I come down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy and she watches him drink it up.

Then she says, (as only a mother would know... :)

'Did it ever occur to you that the only place she can reach to get water is the toilet?'
Kids gotta love them can't tie them to a tree....though reading this post by Jen @ Amazing trips I am in awe of how she does it (-opps no she doesn't tie them to a tree) with a smile even. I smile laugh, shake my head and cry with her and nod and feel so blessed I only have twins.

Can you please keep clicking here to make my friend Tiff smile and cause doesn't that sweet little doggie make you smile ...give him a pat with your mouse.

see below why !

Friday, 28 March 2008

52 blessings ...Grateful Friday

... I grateful for my Friends - today I had a play date with some friends (who I met, after my daughter died, at a pregnancy loss support group) - we have all lost babies and gone through subsequent pregnancies with little ones today from 6 months to 2 yrs ... and one lady B has three weeks to go with her surprise bundle.

The Brothers love the play centre we went to. It was lovely to cuddle a sweet little girl and have her munch on my fingers and raisin toast.

Two of my oldest (though younger than me) and dearest school friends emailed me to say they had been thinking about me and wanted to catch up - it made my day.

I am also grateful that a very precious little girl Ivy is on the mend after being very ill the last few days. I have known this baby girl since she was a line on pee stick and she melts my heart every time.

Lastly ... this joke my friend Z sent it to me - we met randomly on the Internet and she also lost her firstborn son in 2004 - we have since met in real life twice though she lives over 1000km away in Queensland. She cracks me up and we catch up on MSN quite a bit. She has a precious little girl 16 months old and is cooking another right now. She sends me wicked jokes

A little touch of family joy with a young child ...

One day my mother was out and my dad was in charge of me.

I was maybe 2 1/2 years old and had just recovered from an accident.

Someone had given me a little 'tea set' as a get-well gift and it was one of my favorite toys.

Daddy was in the living room engrossed in the evening news when I brought Daddy a little cup of 'tea', which was just water. After several cups of tea and lots of praise for such yummy tea, my Mum came home.

My Dad made her wait in the living room to watch me bring him a cup of tea, because it was 'just the cutest thing!' My Mum waited, and sure enough, here I come down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy and she watches him drink it up.

Then she says, (as only a mother would know... :)

'Did it ever occur to you that the only place she can reach to get water is the toilet?'

A favour for Tiff

My dear friend Tiff from Three Ring circus is on Top Momma - her little girl,Ivy, has been very sick in hospital the last two days . Tiff's 'picture' is the puppy with the binky/pacifier/dummy.
She needs some cyber loving so please click the button below or the cute dog & binky and keep her on Top Momma. I know you haven't got anything else better to do so ... click click

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Thursday Thirteen - Brilliant Insults 101 ...

I came across this gem the other day @ Psychoprogs -
Things you would like to say at work, but can't !

It is brilliant !!!

Some of them would be useful anywhere, anytime ... you want to get your teeth kicked in ! to get your point across to some ass hat as nicely as possible without resorting to violence.

These are my favourite thirteen but because I don't work in an office at the moment ,the Brothers won't understand and my husband ignores anything rude I say I really am a nice person I won't get to use them much ...

  1. I don’t know what your problem is, but I’ll bet it’s hard to pronounce.

  2. How about never? Is never good for you?

  3. I’m really easy to get along with once you people learn to see it my way.

  4. I’ll try being nicer if you’ll try being smarter.

  5. I’m out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message.

  6. It sounds like English, but I can’t understand a word you’re saying.

  7. Ahhh…I see the screw-up fairy has visited us again.

  8. I have plenty of talent and vision. I just don’t give a damn.

  9. I’m already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

  10. Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental.

  11. It’s a thankless job, but I’ve got a lot of Karma to burn off.

  12. Can I trade this job for what’s behind door #1?

  13. Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it?

  14. Chaos, panic, and disorder — my work here is done.

  15. How do I set a laser printer to stun?

oh well I just can't help'll have to check the rest out yourself -here

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Wordless Wednesday - what do you see ?

More than likely you said, 'A bird in the bush,'! and. ....... if this IS what YOU said,
then you failed to see that the word THE is repeated twice!
Sorry, look again.

You may not see it at first, but the white spaces read the word optical, the blue landscape reads the word illusion. Look again! Can you see why this painting is called an optical illusion?
What do you see here?

In black you can read the word GOOD, in white the word EVIL (inside each black letter is a white letter). It's all very physiological too, because it visualize the concept that good can't exist without evil (or the absence of good is evil).Now, what do you see?

This one is quite tricky! The word TEACH reflects as LEARN.

Last one. What do you see?

You probably read the word ME in brown, but.......
when you look through ME you will see YOU!

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Twin birth ...

My first birth was sadly induced after my precious little girl died in utero @26weeks.Bittersweet heartache and tears - I wrote her story but not her actual 'birthing' story. That is for another day.

I wrote this over 18 months ago after S & J were born.Birth for me did not go to plan either time.

1st August was the official due date ~40wks. Due to 'twins' and breech my caesarean section was booked for 14th July . It couldn’t come quick enough.
my cousin about 30 weeks -me @ 34 weeks
During 35th - 36th week I was feeling very uncomfortable. I wasn’t sleeping much and was very tired. It was also the first week I hadn’t worked. My SIL had come down from Queensland to work for us (as her missionary mission’). It was good timing.

I was feeling a little itchy at times and in the back of my mind I remembered reading a few posts about it on a forum. I mentioned it to the Registrar at the High risk antenatal clinic when I went for my appointment on 29th June. I never asked him directly about Obstetric Cholestasis though.

The Professor (OB) was away overseas so I never saw him. The week before Twin 1’s fluid level was in the lower range and there was a slight concern. So I had an extra scan on 29th June. The scan showed Twin 1’s fluid levels were normal again.

The Registrar just said it was common for increased itchiness due to twin pregnancy stretching the skin more and dryness etc and I was close to term. I accepted what he said because it wasn’t too bad.

Friday 30th June I was very tired and exhausted. I got up had breakfast and fell asleep in a recliner chair which we had borrowed. I found it hard to get comfortable elsewhere. I had some lunch and feel asleep again. I woke up and was so itchy all over. I was scratching myself so much and applying cold cloths and took a non drowsy antihistamine Claritine (after I checked on Internet it was safe). I knew it wasn’t right the way I was feeling. My DH came home and I very uncomfortable and irritable.

Not sure of what I did exactly when but -I checked the Internet forum for the thread again about itchiness; I rang the hospital and was put through to delivery suite and checked my pregnancy books again. I was sure it was obstetric cholestatis (OC).The risk of stillbirth was all I could think about. I couldn’t bear it having had my precious Charlotte born still 22months before. Though her death had nothing to do with OC.

The Midwife said 'come in' .

I had a feeling I wouldn’t be coming home again before their birth so I quickly grabbed a few things. I hadn’t packed my labour bag- all week I meant to but I was so exhausted I never got around to it but they were all pretty much laid out in one room.

We organised our DS and dropped him at a friend’s place. I was so upset and uncomfortable I couldn’t eat anything (big mistake). It was about 6.30 pm when we got to delivery suite and we went straight in. After a short while a MW came and asked a few questions, did some obs and said she would put CTG on me.

I knew the babies were moving okay but at the same time I was worried things could change in a matter of minutes. I just wanted to know they were okay. The CTG was fine she said. Then they came and took blood after 8pm.By this stage we were starving and there wasn’t anywhere open for food. I was wondering how long it was going to take and if I would be staying overnight or having the babies at all. A MW came and said sorry they were still waiting for blood results at about 9pm. At 10pm they came and said results were back and not right and they were waiting for another Dr to review them.

DH & I joked about making it to 1st July (when the Australian Govt baby bonus would rise from $3000 to $4000 for each baby) I didn’t care about the money I just wanted living babies. I remember wishing we hadn't forgotten the camera.

Finally after about 11pm the Dr came and said I would be having the babies tomorrow morning by C/S (they were still breech), classed as emergency. They had to call the team in by two.

Part of me didn’t want to have my babies @35wks4days - I was so scared of having babies but worse about not having them. I knew they would be okay at this gestation. I was relieved in a way...every day with them was a blessing.

Around midnight they took me to antenatal ward. I was weighed /temp /BP check / Obs/urine test etc ,questions and settled into bed. DH went home.

They did another quick check with CTG machine but only to listen to heartbeats, I then had to wait for Dr to come and put IV cannula in-about 1.30am.The MW said I was a bit dehydrated I said I haven’t eaten or had much to drink. I barely slept -The lady (also heavily pg) beside me had constipation issues so was up/down and I had so many things going through my mind. I wanted to keep feeling babies move to know they were okay. I watched the clock tick away to pass time.

I was up early for a shower/ shave by MW - all my plans to wax / trim and shave my legs and? - gone. Then I had to wait as they had two real emergency c/s. My Mum came in to wait and worry with us. Finally I was taken to OT at about 12.15pm.
Nervous you bet I was -but no tears yet.

After I was wheeled into what I think was some kind of waiting bay DH was taken away to get changed. A few staff introduced themselves. As soon as I saw two midwives come in with bassinets I started to cry- it had taken me about 14yrs to get this far. I couldn’t imagine my babies in them. They said not long now -just getting everything ready.

I was wheeled into the OT - there was so much equipment. Things were explained to me and I was positioned for the spinal block. It was so awkward with my huge belly but when they injected the local into my back I hardly felt a thing.I was so nervous waiting for the needle to be inserted into the spinal area but more anxious of what was to follow.

I was laid flat with the bed tilted slightly then they started preparing me -I could feel them sloshing me with solution.I couldn’t see anything (1. a huge screen (1m high in front) .2. I couldn’t see anything anyway without my contacts or glasses). The registrar joked with me – “now you’ll $10,000” (it was only $8000 actually ;) )

They tested sensation with ice cubes - I had cold water dripping into my ears and finally I couldn’t feel anything - except embarrassment especially when they spread my legs for catheter. I felt like a beached whale with huge elephant legs.

Waiting...waiting - I the felt a tugging and stinging sensation .I didn’t know what was going on really. I was in a daze. Maybe I had been given something else.

It happened so quickly next - I heard that beautiful cry I waited for so long to hear what I missed with Charlotte. Samuel was born 12.51pm and whisked away to be seen to suctioned and given O2- he was not even to be shown to us. Then a minute later (though it seemed longer) Joel was born 12.52pm. Another wondrous cry .He was also taken away to be suctioned and seen to. There was a flurry of activity and even the anaesthetist left me and went to where the boys where.

My DH told me later they called a code blue for Samuel to resuscitate him because he almost or did stop breathing. The anaesthetist came back and told me all was okay. They said they were taking the boys to NICU and some said 'we had better show mum before they go'. I saw them for maybe 10 secs and they were so wrapped up I barely saw them but gave them a quick hello and a little kiss.

Someone else had our camera so only a few photos were taken. My husband would not have been able to take any of the c/s - or else they would have been picking him off the floor.

I was then stitched up and taken to recovery. I had terrible pain despite a Patient controlled analgesia IV and I needed a few bolus doses it still didn’t help. I also just wanted to see my little babies and hold them first.

I stayed in recovery for about 1.5hrs then was taken back to antenatal ward. The only thing on my mind was seeing my boys again to make sure they were okay. My DH came and saw me and told me they were perfect and beautiful. Finally at about 8pm I was wheeled down still in my bed to NICU to finally hold and see my precious sons. I was amazed and thankful they took the bed into the NICU.I could not have walked in.

They were perfect in very way - my heart melted.I was overwhelmed with love and relief. I was in awe of their tiny features.So many emotions.I hated the feeding tubes but knew they had a purpose.I couldn’t believe I had carried both of them – over 11lb (5kgs) between them plus placenta ‘baggage’ and fluid.
They spent 4 days in NICU, though they were quite well at one month premature. It was mainly for temperature control and feeding . Then we were transferred to our local hospital special care nursery. That same day I was so ill I thought I was dying - I had a massive headache and was vomiting. It was raining too and I was so worried about everything.I vomited the whole time we were being transported in the car with nurse escort in back seat asking me if I was alright.

We arrived after 25 mins and I was put to bed after I saw them settled in... together again in twin crib. I was given anti-nausea injection and left to sleep. I was so relieved to wake up alive ... seriously.

We had two weeks there before they finally let us go home.I had just started breastfeeding S and was expressing still for J.

The day we walked out of the main entrance carrying S & J was surreal ... never in my (our) wildest dreams had we imagined 22 months before we would walk out those same doors carrying not one but two precious babies... 22 months before all we carrying were broken dreams and hearts.

PS .They kept us in for so long because they said Sam wasn't feeding well ...lazy suck they said.I was instructed to continue top up bottle feeds of EBM ... yeh right! He has never had another bottle because he only wanted to breastfeed.

thanks to Lotus for hosting this birth story carnival.

I try not to dwell too much on my twin birth experience because all that mattered to me was they arrived alive after losing my first born. Part of me wishes things were different and they could never have left my side,that I didn't have to be discharged without them, but I know none of that matters now. I can't imagine my life without them ...chaos and all.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Easter 2008

Phew - Easter flew by in flash and boy did I miss my Internet connection (but my DH didn't)
On the upside I read 2 books, one a 440 page on an Aussie outback mystery drama and the other a Patricia Cornwall horror mystery(no more leaving the windows open)

We travelled 390 kms to Dubbo - Grandpa's 1100 acre farm

with grazing cattle and a few bulls.

Very small by comparison to the large outback ones I read about in my book of 100,000 acres.
A little family reunion becoming a tradition with 16 of our clan and a ringin' DS's friend. Plus a few day visitors one day.My sister in law, nephew and niece traveled from Queensland for Easter.

Our trip there was a good run ... the Sydney SIL & BIL were supposed to follow us because the farm is hard to find in the dark. Then he decided not to wait for us - they left 20 mins ahead of us ....

They don't remember what it is like to pack with toddlers tugging at your leg and unpacking everything as you pack.
Still they got caught in the traffic snarl heading out of town and with our local knowledge we almost caught up to them.

We all met up in Lithgow and after a scout for the best tucker choice we had a hasty non too tasty, dinner at one of the fast food joints and off we went. Next a brief pit stop in Mudgee for a driver reviver break and a b00b stop for the Brothers.
The skies were dark but light, and the night clear (full moon rising), the roads long and only a little windy.The few cars we passed were well behaved but the semi's were passing too close. Suddenly we noticed some erratic behaviour blinkers flashed left and right, we were overtaken by our 'unnamed' BIL ... more flashing blinkers but there was no where to pull over. DH thought it must be one the bikes or the trailer... after a few kms we found a grassy shoulder to pull off the road.

NAH ... Their fuel light was flashing ominously - * empty * hey did you forget something genius .Fortunately we had jerry cans of unleaded petrol for the motorbikes and perilously close to the passing traffic at 10.30pm we poured petrol in ... d'oh ! DH joked it was $2 a litre ... it was almost at $1.48 .

Finally, we arrived and found our room - after much 30 mins of cursing, sweating and crying toddlers plus Grandpa getting uptight at all the ruckus and furniture shifting - moving and swapping one single bed from outside our room to swap with nephew, swap mattresses with nephew, so single bed was same height, remove the bedhead (that the Brothers might topple over) balanced on bedside tables, change queen bed from left to right, move two bedside table to fit the two beds side by side, make the beds, find Pj's and peg the curtains together rearranging we were able to head to bed.

Day 1 - we cooked ,we ate, we washed up, we drank tea, we ate lunch, we ate muffins, we ate snacks, we ate dinner, we drank wine, we sang happy birthday to my SIL - whose 50th birthday was in February. I chased the Brothers and ate most of the day ... the big boys rode motorbikes and drove the paddock bashers, just turning up to eat.That night while movies played I retreated to my room with the Brothers and my book. I missed my blog *sigh*
Day 2 - I caught up on more sleep ... I still dreamed about blogging but
It was the same old ... wash the dishes rinse the dishes dry the dishes and repeat ... eat , eat and eat !
We had a quick run to Dubbo for supplies but the others didn't wait again so we just filled up our tanks we are not as stupid as others bought a few supplies and came back to the farm. The Brothers loved the tractors. I finally ventured away from the food out of my comfort zone and explored the farm with the Brothers and Daddy.They loved the shiny tractor and the old ones too.
Day3 - More of day 1 & 2 . ... with added chocolate.
Plus mending a fence taken down by a branch and checking out a stray bull.
My niece spent the weekend testing out a lot of the recipes given to her for the kitchen tea surprise. Her choc chips cookies were heavenly and her muffins divine.

Someone decided we DH should tow drag the old tractor in the top paddock back to the house paddock.
It had been there goodness know how long (maybe 20-30yrs). Mind you DH a bl00dy legendhad to drive the tractor in reverse about 2-3kms at 5 kms per hour over a rough grassy track, down the hill ... while I sweated it out... heart in my throat and prayed

Then Dh found a few extra props ... a rusty old piece of farm machinery and an old windmill very mangled ? unknown mishap.

Day 4 - repacking especially the mess the Brothers had made took me a few hours while Dh went searching for a missing bull with his Dad . We ate lunch and then it was time to head home back to my beloved computer and blog.... unpack and cook chuck in preheated oven some shop bought but fresh pizza, eat ... settle down with my faithful friends.

Ps. I did pause briefly in memory of 4 yrs ago when I first realised I might be pregnant but was too far from anywhere to buy a test. I didn't know then how it would all end ...

Three years ago at Easter ... I was very depressed. Going there, although another farm, was a very painful the reminder of what should have been. My husband's cousin's partner had also just had a new baby and that was all everyone could talk about ... nothing was mentioned about my baby. I went for a lot of long solitary walks to shed tears.

Two years ago at Easter I was 23 weeks pregnant with the Brothers and I refused to go anywhere away from my OB and hospital.I also started having strong braxton hicks contractions- my DH had thankfully stayed home with me and I got very nervous counting them but it settled down by Monday. I remember being terrified it was too early to save my twins so I did nothing.
We still sent our eldest son who went to the farm with my SIL... I wanted a little peace and he was desperate to go. I was terrified of mishaps and gave my DH a long list of don'ts to tell his sister ( they probably ignored them) - but DS came home in one piece.

This year I am so thankful for my two little boys that I shared Easter all the chocolate with this year but I just realised I forgot to put on their Easter Bunny rocks T shirts over the weekend D'oh ! .