Friday, August 31, 2012

Is it really only 2 weeks?

With Seb still in hospital we have fallen into a bit of a temporary routine. The girls are already more relaxed and enjoying a slower pace in the morning. Lolly seems to love eating breakfast with her big sister instead of at daycare, and Maddy is one of life's natural dawdlers, so having a whole hour (at least) at home to get ready for school suits her just fine.
Even though I am out of the house and at the hospital for 8 hours a day, life still feels more relaxed than when I am working full time. When the time rocks around again to go back to work, I am going to have to do some serious thinking about how I can keep this balance for my kids.
Its not easy on the budget though - we bottomed out the bank account this week for the first time in a long time, and when I sat down to work out where the money had gone I recoiled in shock to realise that we have spent $250 on takeaway since Seb was born 2 weeks ago. Whoops. Time to put my stingy pants back on.
I made up sandwiches from home to take to the hospital today. And they were yummy. Not as yummy as the sausage rolls I have been enjoying way too often, but still good. And there's some satisfaction in knowing that I have not reached for my wallet at all today. Seeing as how we actually have full cupboards and don't specially need anything, that should be such a rare occurrence lately, but for some reason I have fallen into bad habits.
The frantic rush to get out of the house, the commute, and the long days at work seem like something from a long time ago already. It doesn't seem possible that I have only been in this new routine for 2 weeks, but that's all it is. I can't wait to have Seb home, our family life will expand and absorb him in as quickly and easily as we have absorbed the extra time together in the mornings. I can't wait to see how he settles in, and how the girls will interact with him, but that's probably a few weeks away yet.
In the meantime, I need to pull my finger out and think about a fathers day present for Husband! I need to make sure the day is extra special for the girls as well as Husband without neglecting my little man in the hospital.
Do you have big plans for Sunday?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

10 Fingers, 10 Toes.....but a little early

My last 9 days have been an even bigger whirlwind than the last 6 months. And every day I feel even more blessed to have the family I have.

9 days ago, after 3 days of agony that I dismissed as a continuation of a challenging and painful pregnancy I gave birth early to a purple, scrunchy, wrinkled little man. At 33 weeks gestation Sebastian decided that my pregnancy had been hard enough and he would put an end to it.

At no point in the last 9 days has anyone given me any reason to believe that my son is in any danger, or that he wouldn't be just fine with a little more time to cook. I feel blessed that I am not one of the women sobbing helplessly as scary news is broken to them.

Dads first cuddle. I love that he
blushes when he's emotional
I was devastated when he was taken from me almost immediately and taken to another hospital where he could get better care. I was away from him for almost 2 days, and I sat and sulked jealously that my husband could be with Seb at the other hospital, caring for him and I couldn't. I met a woman today whos husband died 10 weeks ago, and whos baby was born at 33 weeks this week. I can't imagine going through this on my own. I feel blessed that I have my husband who will drop anything to be with his kids or me, wherever he is needed most.

I have self righteously been a 'trooper' this week. Travelling in every day to be with my boy, and staying at the hospital for 8 hours each day. Its been a hard week, I am still feeling like a truck wreck from the c-section and frankly would love a lie down each day. There are dozens of women with babies in the intensive care unit who are 6, 8, 12 hours drive away from home who stay in the modest accommodations that the hospital is able to provide. These women are away from their other kids, their support networks, and many of them are in as much pain as me. I feel blessed that even after moving hospitals, Seb is only 25 minutes from home. I have no right to sook about being tired or in pain, my boy is where I can get at him quickly, and still be an active parent to my girls at home. (Won't stop me being a sook though).

I'm hardly attached to anything
anymore! I'll be home soon
My budget is shot - I am spending a fortune on takeaway at the moment, mostly for me since the MIL is providing lunch and dinners for Husband and the girls. (She would for me too, but I am enjoying the junk to be honest). She also drives the girls to school and daycare every day, and drops me at the hospital. All this while juggling a self employed husband and kids still living at home herself. I can't even begin to cover off how blessed I feel to have a MIL as supportive as she is, and a relationship that allows me the comfort to let that support in my life. The hard part is that we can't offer the gratification that she (and all relatives!) would love, we don't want anyone else holding Seb at the moment and most people don't understand this.

My boy will need to be in hospital for a little while longer. And I will commute to be with him every day till he is home where he is supposed to be. He'll be home soon enough but for now he is where he needs to be. 

As premmie stories go, mine is tame. It has been an emotional week and a bit, but I know how much worse it could have been. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - My Emotional Week

There's a story, but it can wait.

Welcome Sebastian - 33 weeks gestation

So groggy, but so relieved to see him out and OK
Meet the family
I need more help. I'm going to have to go to a different hospital

Getting ready to get on the road to my new home

The good wishes and love keep rolling in

Yesterday - first cuddle. Very very emotional.

 I'll share soon. My story is not as traumatic as that of millions of other babies (thank God), and its obviously not finished yet. Baby steps.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sunday Morning Memories - Toblerone Dip and Pancakes

I have these great memories of huge Sunday breakfasts every second weekend at Dads. It was his thing on our visiting weekends. Big greasy fryups of bacon, eggs, tomato's, toast, smothered in Worcestershire sauce, and so much of it that you couldn't clear your plate. I'd spend the morning reading comics from the middle of Dads newspaper, and later on we'd wash his car.
These are strong memories for me. They kind of wipe out the years that came before that Dad forgot us more weekends than not, and the years since where he has become combination homeless derelict and surly absentee grandfather.
Anyway, bygones. This is not a post about Dad. This is about my great memory and how it has translated into my adult life. Every Sunday is special breakfast day in my home. Most days are just cereal or toast days, but on Sunday we try to make a bit more effort. Some Sundays get more effort than others though, depending on what we have on. I love that my 11 year old will prowl through our cupboards dissecting the available options. Sometimes she just wants baked beans jaffles, often we do scrambled eggs, french toast, or the sausage and egg fryup. No matter what, its always hot, and its always a chance for us to breakfast together properly.
Le Finished Result
I made the mistake back in March of taking us all to Max Brenners for Sunday brunch. Ever since, Maddy has been asking to go back every Sunday for special Sunday breakfast. Much as I love Max Brenners as a treat, its just too expensive to be eating out often, so last Sunday I dragged my fat pregnant body out of bed nice and early and got cooking my own home version of a yummy chocolate breakfast.
Considering how thrilled she was, I think I succeeded. And feeding my family of 4 only cost $15 instead of the $50+ we would have spent if we went out. I probably could have done it cheaper if I planned ahead and waited till the Toblerones were on sale, since they are the expensive part of the meal.
For those of you that are interested in replicating this for your family, I don't claim to be a spectacular chef. Any pancake shakeamix recipe will do, fresh fruit, x2 regular Toblerones, thickened cream, ice cream, and a little icing sugar sprinkled over the end result.

Both girls got stuck into theirs - Lolly didn't give me a chance to get a photo before wolfing down her pancakes and fruit, but Maddy at least gave me a big photo before following her sisters example.

If you make your pancakes from scratch instead of using the lazy chefs solution shakeamix the whole thing could be even cheaper or serve a larger group.

For the chocolate sauce, just melt the Toblerones down in the microwave, then stir through a cup of thickened cream once the chocolate is completely runny. Pop back in the microwave for another 25 seconds to make it warm again, and serve in a pot with your pancakes.

 Do you do special weekend breakfasts? Or do you produce a yummy hot breakfast every day of the week?