Sunday, November 27, 2011

The story of us

13 years ago today I started 'going out' with an amazing man. The years have passed by so quickly and it's hard to believe that Chris and I have been together for so long. I feel blessed everyday to have married such an amazing man and such a wonderful father. I can't imagine life without him.

I thought I'd share the story of how we met. We've actually known each other for longer than 13 years as we first met when I was in year 8 and Chris was in year 7. High School 'sweethearts' I guess you could say! We were both learning instruments at the time (Chris the clarinet and saxophone and me the flute and clarinet). Our music teacher decided to start a band and my friend and I joined up.

And so the story begins. I developed a bit of a crush on Chris but it wasn't until I was in year 10 that I decided to ask him out (for the first time as Chris likes to remind me!) I don't think Chris was really that fussed about 'going out' with me. He's told me many times before that he only said yes because I'd asked him. Little did he know what he was getting into ;) Our 'dates' consisted of me inviting him to my church youth group activities and of Saturday night family dinners at his place or mine (yep, we were real party goers!!)

Anyway, after a few months of 'going out' I decided I'd had enough and 'dumped' him (ahhh, the dramas of the teenager!) We stayed friends over the remaining years at high school and still saw each other frequently at band activities.

We lost touch briefly when I finished school in 1997 and went to university and Chris was doing year 12. But later that year I got in touch with him again when I wanted to borrow his clarinet to show the prep kids on teaching rounds. I still found that I had feelings for him and while returning the clarinet we ended up holding hands. I remember Chris getting dizzy and having to sit down. Nothing more happened then though and I went home without us even talking about what had happened (as you do!)

A few weeks later, I went along to Chris' Queen's Scout Presentation as he'd invited me to come. I don't remember much about the actual night, I just remember driving him home and sitting outside his gates talking for ages. I also remember that we kissed for the first time that night. It was such an amazing moment. Even though our wedding anniversary is the 22nd of November I have more of an emotional tie to the 27th of November and always remember that date as being the day we got together.

At first, I wasn't sure where our relationship was going. I hadn't rekindled our friendship with any motives in mind. But it wasn't long before I knew that Chris and I would be together for a long time. It was such a blissful start to our relationship. Chris was working late shifts on the weekend at the petrol station and I was working over the road at Franklins (as it was known then!) so I used to go over and spend my breaks with him and often after my shift had finished as well so I could drive him home when he finished (until he got his license at least!)

I never realised at the time just how much happiness one person could bring to my life. Chris is the complete opposite to me in many ways which makes us the perfect couple. He makes me laugh when I am sad. Comforts me when I am upset. Calms me down when I am having one of my many stress attacks. Gives me confidence in myself. Fixes things when I get frustrated with something. Puts up with my horrible temper. He tells me everyday that he loves me and that I am beautiful and even though I roll my eyes every time he says that it does actually means a lot to me.

Since having kids I have seen him in a different light too. He is the most amazing, caring father to our three children. Always happy to play with them, to hold them, to do things with them, to give them so much love. He is happy to do most of the night time parenting and to stay up with an awake child because he knows that I don't cope very well with sleep deprivation! Being an amazing Father who is present in his children's life is what makes a true man.

I know I often take take him for granted, but I am so appreciative and thankful for the amazing man I have in my life. You make my life worth living, Chris! I love you!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A box of Mushrooms

We've been growing our own mushrooms lately. We've tried before but haven't had much success (probably because we bought the box from our local hardware store and it had been sitting there for a while). Chris disovered that they were selling mushroom boxes at our local Farmer's Market so he grabbed one when he was there one week. We've had great success with these ones. We are currently on our third crop of mushrooms and they have been growing beautifully. We keep them under our sink and spray them with water every day - easy really! And there really is nothing yummier than eating mushrooms freshly picked!

If anybody has a super yummy mushroom recipe please feel free to share too!

Esme's $2 dress

I have written before about how I enjoy using upcycled material from the op shop to create new items. This dress for Esme that I recently created has been made using a pillowcase I found at the op-shop for 75 cents recently. I made up a pattern using an old dress of Esme's and simply added some bias binding as edging and for the straps. There was already a pretty ruffle around the pillowcase which made a nice edging for the bottom of the dress without needing any additional sewing.

The completed dress

Esme was pretty impressed by it too!

Total cost of the dress was $2.33! Not a bad price really and it really was so simple to sew!

Elimination Communication: cues and optimum timing for the young baby

We have been cruising along really well with Elimination Communication at the moment. We are having lots of catches these days (it's rare that we have to clean a pooey nappy now!), lots of dry nappies even when Gideon has been wearing one for a while and we've even been out for short trips without nappies. It seems that Gideon is really 'getting' this EC thing and he will hang on until we offer him the potty these days.

So, I thought it's time to talk about some of the cues that Gideon shows when he needs to go to the potty. We've found that timing plays an important role in EC'ing, as well as reading cues. It's all about understand when baby is most likely to need to 'go'. These are some of the times when we find we're most likely to get a catch (when you are first starting out with EC it's really helpful to try offering the potty at these times):

  • First thing in the morning when Gideon wakes up (we need to take his nappy off and offer him the potty as soon as he wakes up generally, otherwisewe we miss that one!)
  • After a day sleep.
  • After a breastfeed (this is the time he's most likely to need to poo!)
  • Before we put a nappy on (generally Gideon will wear a nappy when he sleeps but if we offer him the potty before a sleep this will usually mean a dry nappy when he wakes!)
  • When a nappy is dry (yep, it does happen often - it usually means that we catch a big wee!)
  • Before and after a car trip.
  • We have found that after a breastfeed (particularly a big one!) that we need to offer Gideon the potty more frequently

When Gideon was a newborn we spent a lot of time watching him when he had nappy free time and getting to know his cues. It took a while for us to get started with EC with him as he would get upset when we tried him on the potty and we didn't want to push it. I'm glad we had this time though as we were well aware of his cues when he did start to want to use the potty. Here are some of the main cues we have seen that Gideon needs to 'go':

  • Fussing and getting on and off the breast when he is feeding (usually this means he needs to do a poo!)
  • Becoming more wriggly and squirmy.
  • Crying and becoming upset.
  • My own instinct - sometimes I will just get a feeling that Gideon needs to 'go' (usually if I ignore that feeling I end up with wee on me!)
  • Cold shivers (I have noticed that Gideon will give a little shudder when he does a wee these days)

Of course, we still have our misses but that's part of the fun of Elimination Communication! Gideon will have days when he just doesn't want to use the potty and days when he waits to use it every time he needs to 'go'. It's not about catching every wee or poo with EC, it's about the journey of getting to know your baby better and I'm definitely enjoying that journey with Gideon!
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