Thursday, April 28, 2011

Are you **bleeping** serious???

I wanted to write the heading using the "real" word, but my parents and parents-in-law sometimes read this blog, so I must pretend I'm ladylike.

I know that I'm very lucky to be receiving any money for being on maternity leave. Millions do not get any money at all, women throughout history were not paid to have babies. But I live in a society that does, I am lucky enough to get paid maternity leave both from my employer and the government, so I'm allowed to complain about my "FIRST WORLD PROBLEM"

I get 13 weeks of paid maternity leave at full time rates from my employer, I've chosen to take this as 26 weeks at half pay, I've been on that for two months now.

My paid parental leave from the government came into my bank account today. If you actually go to the website, it says:

The Paid Parental Leave scheme:

  • is government funded
  • is for eligible working parents
  • can be transferred to the other parent
  • is paid at the National Minimum Wage - currently $570 a week before tax*
  • is for up to 18 weeks, and
  • can be taken any time within the first year after birth or adoption.
Do you see the dollar amount, $520 (yes it does say before tax).

So what the freaking hell is my tax bracket. I got $302 into my bank account. Which says to me, they have withheld $218 in tax... that is bloody lot of tax if you ask me.


She then calls Centrelink to check. Its my quarterly Childcare Rebate. So its all good. They haven't finalised the Paid Parental Leave stuff yet.

I'm such an idiot.

Especially as I've burned three cupcakes due to writing this rant.

Monday, April 25, 2011


This year... I'm wondering what happened to Easter. Due to Easter being incredibly late this year, it has coincided with ANZAC Day. So we (those of us who actually work) get a 5 day long weekend, instead of the usual 4 day one. School holidays are completely fruitcaked up, almost 3 weeks off, seriously why didn't they start a week later and finish this Friday. The kids have had two full weeks, and now don't go back until Thursday! Cranky x 100.

On Sunday mornings, I listened begrudgingly to a radio program called Australia All Over, hosted by Ian McNamara (Macca), I've been listening to this on and off for the past 16 years, and I still don't know the talk back number, he says is sooo fast. He says " call 8 triple 3 1020 and 02's the code - hello this is Macca" but its all in one breath and super super fast. I'm not particularly a fan of the show, but we have the radio in our room playing 24/7 on the ABC and so it just comes on on Sunday mornings, due to the fact that I think Macca is a bit rude and most of the people calling in are trying to raise money for something, "I'm riding across Australia to raise money for people with amputated feet" and they talk about weather and birds. Annoying.

ANYWAY.... yesterday was Easter Sunday, the day that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, a pretty big day in history. All people who rang in wanted to talk about was chocolate or the Easter Bunny or something to do with ANZAC day. I feel that ANZAC Day has completely overshadowed the Easter message. Yes its very important to remember the soldiers who died fighting for this country, but some acknowledgement of Jesus dying on the cross for us should be in their too.

I've never been to a dawn service, and to be honest, I don't think I'll ever go to one. I feel its a bit wrong, as my dad was in the army (only as a peacekeeper thank goodness), Jamie's dad is a Vietnam veteran, I believe my grandfather was in WW2, but we don't do anything to commemorate it. I watched part of the dawn service in Gallipoli today, it moved me to tears. I love the way the Turkish people have allowed Gallipoli to be part of Australia (and NZ), they lost many tens of thousands more soldiers than the ANZAC troops, yet they consider it to be joint land. A lovely sentiment.

I remember a couple of years ago (I think whilst pregnant with Ryan), Mark and I went to the war memorial in Canberra. I looked at the war memorial in such a different way that day, thinking at much the same time 100 years previous women in my situation with young 11-12 year old boys would be soon sending them off to war. In four years time it will be the 100 year anniversary of the Landing at Gallipoli - in four years time Mark will be 16 almost 17 years old. If we went back 100 years in the past, Mark could have been one of those boys who lied about their age to head off to the "Great War", and it might be the last time I saw him. Sitting in the War Memorial, I thought if I was one of those mothers... how hard it must have been for them. Those boys were YOUNG, and so many of them died, on both sides of the war. All of those boys were the son's of someone.

So that is my thoughts on Easter (sorry I didn't get to church, but its hard to go with tiny ones when its not your norm, and it isn't supported by your husband) and ANZAC Day (much different to when I was younger)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Boring, tearful but in the end a good day.

Up early with the little boys. I think they are setting each other off. If Ben cries, Ryan wakes up too. Its challenging, especially as Ryan is a "bad waker-upper" at the moment and wants to cuddle, but if you also have a starving 3 week old that only I can feed... well challenging is the word I'm using.

Ben is a great sleeper, if he's not sleeping, he's having his milk. He squarks a bit, but not too much. He had a bath tonight, in the big bath with Ryan. Ryan babbles away at him and wants to pat him. I think that will be my regular way to bath little Ben, save on water a bit and set up habits for the future. They can have their bath together. Anyway Ben loves the bath, only hated his first one, and that was probably because I was SO stressed.

Jamie went to the Central Coast to play golf this morning, got home just after 1pm and has pretty much slept all afternoon. Not sure what his issue is.

I spoke with mum this morning and bawled my eyes out. I know I'm doing well, that isn't what the problem is. I'm being awfully short with Mark - he deserves it on some level - but not all the time. He still loves me, that is certain. I'm a bit "over" the push push push push and then "sorry mum" of his behaviour. He's bored shitless needs a friend nearby to play/run/wrestle with. He went off with Daniel today, but that was for less than half an hour, not enough to burn off any energy.

Tomorrow is back to the Central Coast to go the Australian Reptile park. Really looking forward to that. I hope that Mark doesn't make too bad a face when I feed Ben. I've tried to be very sensitive to him and not do it in public. I personally do not care at all.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale

Hmmm.... I just scored myself at 15, beyondblue suggest if you score greater than 10 you should consult your health care practitioner.

So should I???

I don't feel I'm going to harm anyone, I just feel overwhelmed. I have Mark at home and as a teenager he is challenging (seriously doesn't listen to me), I'm stressed about the state of the house, I don't feel I'm getting adequate support. Not sure who to call, or what I'm supposed to do. I'm trying to do the right thing by Ryan but his lack of eating is starting to worry me. I feel I'm doing the right thing by Ben...

I know I'm not happy, I'm tired, I cry a lot, I eat too much sugar. Now I'm particularly worried.

I wish Mum was here.

Today (this afternoon) is the start of the Easter long weekend which this year incorporates ANZAC Day as well, so its 5 days with Jamie home... might let him know about this.


Today was an experience.

Grocery shopping with three children. I had Ben in the "pouch", Ryan in the trolley and Mark was my assistant. I don't think I'd like to tackle it without Mark, he was amazingly helpful.

I had several lookers - ohhh he's so tiny.

Forgot to mention that today is Maundy Thursday (ie the day before Good Friday) and people go nuts when the shops are shutting for a day. Yes I know that I'm the pot calling the kettle black as I was shopping too, but I needed to go, I hadn't been to the shops since about a week before.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A fever

Yes I'm getting a fever...


How tragic is that? I'm quite desperate to throw a Royal Wedding Party of like minded people to watch it with me. I almost bought a commemorative tin of biscuits yesterday, but I held myself back. Maybe I should put it out there, I want a party too (but my FB friend Penni is having a party and I don't want to look like I'm copying - but I am - oh to be so conflicted)

Monday, April 18, 2011

A favourite thing to do

I'm completely loving going to bed.

Well that's not too unusual is it? But I love the walk to bed.

First stop is Ryan's room - what strange position will I find him in, tonight it was feel at the window end, back against the side of the cot, dummy OUT of his mouth. Quite often he'll be bum up in the air, or sideways or goodness knows what.

Second stop is Mark's room - I'm looking for the familiar glow of the iPhone, is he still awake? Can I turn his fan off... despite being mid April and the weather has changed, he's still addicted to his ceiling fan on full pelt and the pleas before going to bed "Mum, don't turn it off" of course I do, I'm not allowing such a wicked waste of money. His room is lots safer since its been tidied up, feel ok walking in there now.

Third stop is Ben's new room. Only set it up yesterday, so its still a little disorganised, still has the queen sized mattress leaning against one wall. Well the tiniest of my children is now in his actual cot, looking especially tiny as I'm completely following the SIDS guidelines. He's so adorable all wrapped up in his muslin then tucked in tight under a sheet and a blankie. The furniture in his room is all white so it looks lovely and fresh.

Final step is my bed. I'm loving this new phase of being able to sleep, not fearing my bed, but totally loving it.

Completely exhausted now, been essentially awake since about 4am.
4am feed with Ben
4.30 Jamie's alarm went off
4.45am tucked Ben back in and back to bed. alarm
5.15 finally convinced Jamie to get up.
5.30 Jamie leaves
6am Ryan woke up
7am breakfast
7.30 sent Ryan back to bed
7.30 Connie rang - so had a nice chat, in that time Mark woke up and popped in, Ryan called out so came into my bed too and he had a HUGE chat to Connie and Toby.
Then the day kept going...


Why does Jamie have to use a telephone?

He talks so incredibly loud that the person on the other end of the phone doesn't actually need to use the phone, they can hear him.

And he walks whilst talking.

Now fast forward a generation.

Little Ryan holds a telephone to his ear, walks around and and babbles LOUDLY into the phone.

A repeat of his father - yes.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Just a little personal

But as the topic of the last couple of posts was about childbirth, I'm sure this is pretty tame!

I hate my maternity bras. They just aren't doing the job well enough. Yes they are pretty, but I'm not being "put" where I'm supposed to be.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Almost 13 years, 16.5 months and 13 days

Yep, that's my boys. Can't believe how quickly the past 13 days have gone. How much has changed in that time. To be honest, I think Ryan is having the hardest time adjusting. Why does my mummy not pick me up? Who is that little creature?
The hardest part is if I'm changing Ben on the change table and Ryan comes up behind me and is desperate to be picked up, its just awful, makes me feel so bad. He has stood on his nappy bag and climbed up the back of my legs.

Ryan is also waking up from his afternoon nap in an hysterical mood. He screams for about 15 minutes and is unable to be calmed. Just awful. Yesterday was football practice, so I was home with the little ones. Thankfully Ben was asleep, so when the hysterical Ryan woke up and screamed I could help him. I'm not sure why, maybe he's teething, but I think its sort of a new habit, hopefully a short one. I don't like it one bit. I can't help him, he climbs and stomps and pinches and is inconsolable.

Ben is just delightful. All he's doing is sleeping, eating and pooing. I feel he's starting to focus a little bit. He is not awake for really any length of time, so interaction is at a minimum. Next wake up, I might play with him first, rather than feed him or else he just falls asleep again.

Mark is being his usual self. Demanding. He tidied his room beautifully when mum was here, now its covered in Lego again. He is desperate for a new set of Lego, and I don't want to get it for him. I don't see why he should get a new Lego. All he's done in the house is just his normal chores, yes he's doing it without whining, but nothting extraordinary. He's in my face every hour saying "can we go shopping". But then last night, he was so rude in the way he spoke to me. I just reminded him that he needed a shower and he growled "I KNOW" it was so aggressive and mean the way he spoke. That boy makes me feel so used and stupid. That is not the way a 13 year old should be towards his mother - or is it?

Had some other issues, but if you want to know, call me! Some things are just not right to be put on the internet for eternity.

Feeling a little down, still quite sore and achy (I have a cold as well) and starting on Monday, have no adult help. Nothing went the way I wanted it to... oh well.. seems like my lot in life, don't have enough say.

Friday, April 15, 2011



Born on the 3rd of April 2011 at 9.22am
Weighing in at 7lb 10oz,
51cm long (or is that tall)

Just to let you know, its Ben, not Benjamin. Arthur is my maternal grandfathers name, a man I never met, but one I have been told was very gentlemanly, a trait one would wish on your youngest son.

First meeting with big brother Mark

First meeting with big brother Ryan (and Mum & Dad)

Instant love was in the room. Ryan is quite gentle with him, wants to kiss and pat him all the time. Mark is a little more standoffish at the moment, "he's too light", but as Ben becomes bigger and stronger, I'm sure the wrestling will begin.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Ben's Birth Story

This is the information post.

Whilst its all fresh in my memory, here is Ben Arthur Storer's birth story.

As mentioned in previous posts, I'd been having Braxton-Hicks contractions for the previous two weeks, quite painful at night. Saturday (2nd April) morning I was having my shower and "lost my mucus plug" this is quite gross, THICK, sticky mucus.

So I was feeling that the birth was imminent. So stayed pretty mellow, except for going to the Becks for lunch and then down to the park for umpire training... maybe not so mellow after all. Just hung out and chatted with Margie, possibly watched telly at night (can't remember). Anyway overnight felt odd.... nothing was happening still some practice contractions but very uninteresting.

5am - I had a contraction, it was quite painful, but manageable. I went back to bed with Jamie and tried to cuddle him, I squeezed his hand through the next two contractions, I told him I thought my labour had started, he snored at me!

Went to the lounge room and called the hospital, telling them I thought my labour had started, having quite painful contractions about 5ish minutes apart lasting around a minute in length. The midwife said to come in, not to rush, have some breakfast.

Got Jamie up, he turned the coffee machine on, and grumbled at me that my timing was shitty. Sunday was the first round of the footy season, Jamie is the coach of the U10s and was umpiring the U14 match. I was freaking out, and really wanted to leave to go to the hospital. Margie got Ryan up, I couldn't hold him, gave him a kiss goodbye and kissed Mark. I got cross and told Jamie not to make a bloody coffee and lets get going.

Arrived at the hospital quite stressed and in a lot of pain. Made my way up to the delivery suite just before 7am (all the change over of staff were arriving at the same time) were led towards our room and I got diarrhoea (quite normal) and was extremely tense. By extremely tense I mean, completely tense, the midwife said it looked like I was in a full body cast and to relax my shoulders.

The new daytime midwife arrived about 7:30am and came with the night girl and a shot of morphine! She wanted to check how dilated I was before calling the anaesthetist (for my promised epidural). I was 3cm and therefore was a good time for an epidural. She then gave me the gas to breathe in. The contractions were not at all nice, they are fast and frequent. Where was the damned anaesthetist???

Jamie kept giving me looks of "you're not getting the epidural".

Fairly soon after the midwife checked my dilation, she got a doctor. She later said she "felt something" that could be a cyst on my cervix, or it could be the umbilical cord, she didn't want to freak me out, so didn't tell me until the doc had arrived. Doc checked, it wasn't the cord. If it was the cord, emergency C-section like straight away. But no, I continued on my painful journey. Each time the door of my room opened and it was a midwife (a person dressed in purple) I started to cry, not my epidural.

Finally the anaesthetist arrived - about 9am. Despite my HEAPS clinic appointment which went through all the pros and cons, this doc insisted on telling me, and it was to give Maggie the midwife time to check my dilation factor. As she popped her fingers in, my waters broke and she announced I was about 9cm dilated and it looked like the baby was crowning. Anaesthetist wished me luck and left the room.

I wailed for a bit about "this is not what I had planned".

Anyway, I somehow flipped myself onto my side, lifted my right leg into the air and pushed, out popped his little head! Shocked the bejesus out of me. Surely its harder to birth a head than that? I announced to Jamie "We're having a baby" gee I'm smart. Maggie asked if I wanted to feel his head, so I did, smooth and warm. Then I pushed out the rest of him and onto my chest he was placed. He stayed there for about two hours, just cuddling and kissing. He had a little feed about half an hour after he was born and then went to sleep - they called it a hibernation sleep.

Ben Arthur was very very red, not much vernix and nice and toasty warm. It was delightful lying there with him.

Eventually pushed out the placenta and then was stitched up again.

From whoa to go the whole thing took 4 hours. In hindsight it was great. I'm able to lift Ryan, able to drive, no big scars.... quite proud of myself actually :)

Saturday, April 02, 2011

What a week.

Still hanging out, this week I've been hanging out with Margie and we've talked so much. Quite amazing that we still have stuff to talk about.

I've had my niggly pains all week. They are strong in the evening and then go away. Hurts most going from sitting to standing, means I'm not standing up too straight.

I have seriously thought it would happen during this week, quite annoying that it hasn't. I really don't want to be induced, I'm not looking forward to ringing the delivery suite tomorrow, I feel they will try to talk me out of it. They ALWAYS try to talk me out of it. Quite sick of that really.

Had an emotional breakdown the other night, sobbed and sobbed. All just nerves and anxiety of the unknown. Worried about how to parent two little kids and my almost teenager.

Oh that is some good news, phoned the school to ask how Mark was going as I can't make it to the parent/teacher interview night which is on Monday (the year level adviser said I had a pretty good excuse), so I spoke with Mr Dibley who said that Mark was a bright, polite, respectful boy and his name hadn't come up at any of the meetings - which is a great thing as they really only discuss the troublemakers - so I'm a very happy mum! He said he has been nominated for some academic awards that will be presented at the assembly in the second week back in term two! Doesn't mean he'll get them, but the nomination itself is pretty damned brilliant! My son - an academic award - the two just don't quite go together. But as I have mentioned previously, he did well in his science assignment, has passed the practical part of music, is doing fantastic in PE (well duh, totally the opposite of his mum there), is great at maths, after a serious almost fail on an early test where he got 50%.

Our lives are slowly being engulfed by football. It seems to be the main topic of conversation either between Jamie and I, and of course most of our friends. Its going really well and I do (sort of) hope I can be there for the first game. I get to watch two of my boys play tomorrow (Mark as a player and Jamie as the umpire!!!) so actually its all three of them, because Ryan is a little goer and chases the ball down at every opportunity.