Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Bag Packed For Birthing

Thanks again all for your lovely comments and condolences xx It really means so much to me.

Chrissy had a great suggestion for me to show what's in my bag packed for the hospital. I've had the bag packed for a couple of weeks now (way too eager..) but I keep adding to it now and then. Poor Shane will need a trolley to wheel it from the car soon Lol :-) I think it's just about done now.

Here's the red bag packed

The contents are -

5 all-in-one warm baby suits sizes 0000 and 000

Baby accessories- singlets, booties, mittens, and hats

"Bunny rugs" or baby wraps

Underwear (that can be thrown afterwards) and maternity bra's

Cloth nappies, covers, snappi's and nappy bag

Disposable newborn nappies

2 packs of maternity pads

Face cloths (maybe for Peanut or maybe for me!)

Bathroom bag

Including toothbrush + toothpaste, moisturiser, deodorant, lip balm, nipple balm (although I have been advised by ladies from the ABA that these creams aren't always helpful) concealer, powder + lip gloss (for photos :-))

Large, comfortable loose nighties given to me by Mum

A beautiful white nighty from Mum I can change into for photos :)

Slippers + socks

Ice cream container in case I am sick in the car, and a plastic bag for dirty nappies and soiled clothing

Spare clothes for Shane, including swimming shorts if we use the bath

Old towel and shower curtain for me to sit on, in case my waters break in the car

A list of our birth preferences,  laminated. I have a place in the Birth Centre and the lovely midwives there all share my natural/ drugfree birthing aims, so this list isn't really for them.  I typed up this list in case I am transferred to the normal delivery suite and in case I come across any staff who don't share our philosophies. My midwife from the Birth Centre will come with us if I am transferred, and she will stick up for me and what Shane and I have chosen (such as low lighting, and a physiological third stage). I realise some staff wouldn't be happy to do everything I have listed here, but apparently if I have someone who doesn't agree I can request for them to be replaced (they will realise I am not the "backing down" type). Of course I am hoping it wouldn't come to that- but I like to be prepared :-) The list continues on the back, with breast feeding preferences such as wanting to allow Peanut to self-attach instead of someone pushing his head onto my breast (which friends have told me does sometimes happen). Also things like wanting him to be placed tummy down on the scales instead of on his back, and that I don't want him or my chest to be washed on the first day to enhance bonding.

Here is my freezer so far- 3 types of soup made and a risotto. If we don't have anything good in the fridge at the time we are heading to the Birth Centre, Shane can grab one of these frozen meals. He will also get my fruit flavoured ice blocks from the freezer for during the birthing. I have been advised to take a fair amount of our own food for after the birth.

Here's also a list I have put up by Shane's desk of things for him to grab on the day, like the phones and camera. I will check out the shower stool they have in the B. Centre to see if it is as good as mine and if so we won't bring ours (also would be awkward for Shane to be carrying the bag, the stool and holding my hand :-/)

I've also thrown in some photos of our favourite camping spot, waves and lotus flowers opening so I have nice images which will help me with the relaxation and visualisations.

I am still to get some more little things, I have a shopping list for tomorrow to get some soft cheeses and a small bottle of champagne for us to have a (tiny) celebratory sip after the first breast feed! My friend recommended this and I loved the idea. I haven't really missed alcohol but I have certainly missed blue cheese! :) I also have to get breast pads, boiled lollies to suck on during the birthing (I did the 40hr famine when I was younger so I know I can live on barley sugar for at least 40 hours :-)), and sports drinks such as powerade. Of course these aren't necessities but more nice-eties :)

I feel pretty prepared but maybe I've forgotten something- let me know if you can think of anything I've missed :-)

In Loving Memory

In loving memory of my Grandma Joye who passed away peacefully in her sleep with family close by, on Sunday 26th June.

Grandma and I in 2001

Thank you all for your thoughts at this time, I know you will be thinking of my family and I.
Xxo Sarndra

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I'm grateful for..

Inspired by Lusi and  Maxabella, I am thinking of things I am grateful for, during these last couple of weeks of my pregnancy.
  • First and foremost, my amazingly supportive, endlessly patient, loving and back-rubbing husband Shane
Shane when he was little. Sooo cute!
  • Both of my families- for amazing help with cars and for constant loving support; 
  • My Calmbirth course and relaxation CD's which keep me sane;

  • My Peacebaby CD, also keeping me sane;

  • Lovely skin cream and oil which so far (fingers crossed) have prevented stretch marks; 

  • Shower stool so I can sit down (we don't have a bath) from Aldi (best thing I've bought this year!);

Eww look at the mould- seriously need to get the Oil of Cloves out

  • Super soft organic cotton undies from Target in super large sizes ;
  • Ant-acid which unfortunately is a regular part of my diet (cold milk no longer cuts it);

  • Small hand made cushion I can fit in my bag and necessary for sore pregnancy back;

  • Lovely visitors and blog readers who don't mind that my house and my blog have nothing whatsoever to do with organisation lately (I will blame it on Baby Brain and the fact that I had my "Nesting" early on in the pregnancy and for some reason am totally fine living in disorganisation at the moment :-))

Thanks for still reading despite my lack of writing on organising! I'm sure it will eventually come back to me...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mobile for Peanut

Thank you so much everyone for your thoughtful, heartfelt comments yesterday. Mum has been in touch and told me that Grandma is peaceful, they have given her some pain killers so she isn't in pain. That's a relief. I'm not sure what the next few days will bring.

I am trying to staying positive and happy for our little Peanut. I have finished the mobile for his room, I wanted to share it with you. Now I will have to get back to the baby blanket which I am disappointed to admit hasn't progressed as much as I would've liked. Perhaps it will be ready for winter next year instead :)

The glass beads make a nice tapping noise which adds interest.

I think it is hung a little too high, I will probably move it to over the cot in our bedroom anyway.

Shane is flying north on Sunday to pick up our new (2nd hand) car. We've had the 2 seat Nissan Ute (tray back) so it'll be great to have the new little family car just in time for Peanut. I'll be a teensy bit anxious while he is so far away but it's only for 1 day and my lovely friend Valerie will be visiting me, which is perfect timing in case I need a lift to the hospital! Of course I am not expecting him to come this early. I hope you all have a gorgeous weekend.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Change Is Coming

This morning I hope you don't mind if I share with you some personal thoughts about this current time of change in my life. I am in the midst of the circle of life- with my impending first baby's birth and also the sad news that my Grandma may not have much time left. My head is spinning with all the emotions, it is such a happy and sad time and I really feel the need to write my feelings and memories here and share them with you. 

I am now close to 38 weeks pregnant, and I may be wrong, but I feel like Peanut is getting ready to meet us. The aches and pains are changing and the Braxton Hicks are coming on stronger and more frequently especially through the night. While uncommon its not unheard of for a first-time mother to go a little early. I am so excited, nervous, apprehensive and just cant wait until the first sign comes; I will be thinking "Is this it??"

Sadly, my dear Mum has had to fly over to New Zealand as my Grandma is fading and they don't think she has much time left. Mum left yesterday at very short notice, she was lucky to get a flight last minute because of all the drama with the volcanic ash cancelling flights. Mum felt terrible to be leaving me at this late stage in my pregnancy, and doesn't know when she will return, it will depend on Grandma's condition. I assured her that it would be alright and that I doubt the baby will arrive in the next few days.

My much beloved Grandma Joye is 92 years old, and has been unwell for the last couple of years. She has had various health problems and is also often confused and forgetful; but we have seen at times brief moments of recognition and we've been thankful to be able to have a little quality time with her. I just hope my Mum gets one of these precious moments, and is able to spend some quality time with her. I hope that Grandma is aware of how many people love and admire her. She has lived through two husbands, my Mum's dearly loved dad Bill who passed when Mum was a young adult, and my Grandad Arthur who was a prisoner of war. My most fondest memories of Grandma and Grandad are from their visits to us on our farm near Yeppoon, central Qld. They were such gentle and loving grandparents and always had a kind and encouraging word. They would sit in the sun on the verandah having cups of tea and toast- it surprised me as a child to watch Grandad wave his toast in the air until it was stone cold.

Grandad passed away years ago and Grandma continued to visit us every few years, right up until her last visit in 2005 for my sister Cinnamon's wedding. Shane and I made it over to NZ just before our wedding, 2 years ago. I am so thankful that we made this trip and that I got to have quality time with Grandma. She wasn't always sure who I was, but when I showed her a photo of our family and went through name by name, I saw that she knew each and every one of us and she called me Sarndy, her pet name for me. She just loved Shane- she told me peering at him over the top of her reading glasses, in her cute accent "Oooh He's just Lovely!" She was still living with my Aunty Julie then, soon afterwards she moved into a beautiful home for the elderly in Palmerston North. The Julia Wallace Retirement Home is a fairly new establishment, staffed by wonderful people who you can tell genuinely care for the residents. There is a big warm general area where the residents can sit and socialise in comfortable armchairs, and are often sharing a birthday cake or listening to piano music. It is surrounded by beautifully kept gardens and immaculate lawns; Grandma has enjoyed many hours out in these gardens with the help of someone to assist her in a wheelchair. It has been a relief to know she has been so well cared for in her last few years, and has had a beautiful corner room up a few stories with a lovely view overlooking the gardens. A few of her precious things are in  her bedroom- photos of her family, her jewellery hanging inside her cupboard door, a few ornaments and many letters and cards she has nearby in a basket. My Mum faithfully writes to Grandma nearly every week- and has done so for many years. The rest of us would send cards on birthdays and Christmas, just as Grandma did for all of her Grandchildren. It was a sad time when we stopped receiving her beautifully hand written cards when she became too elderly. She just loves to read and it has been such a blessing that she has kept enough of her eyesight to be able to continue reading.

My beautiful Grandma Joye at my sister's wedding in 2005

Even though I know and accept that we all pass away is it still hard to think of a time when she isn't around. I haven't had many experiences with death thankfully and I also haven't had many babies in my life until the last few years. I am still coming to terms with the realities of life; I know that it is my time to be taught these valuable lessons.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Don't Wait 'Til Tomorrow...

I haven't always been an organised person, and I'm still not always entirely on top of things. But I am learning slowly as I get older little systems that keep me organised. One of the things I have had to learn to fight is laziness. Or if not laziness, the desire to "do it later". I try to follow the good old rule- No Time Like The Present.

To keep on top of the housework or life in general, I have had to force myself to slow down and do things properly, right now, instead of putting it off for another time when I might "feel like it". It really helps me in life when I keep up with tasks by doing what I can, right now. I find this way of thinking and acting really enables me to stay fairly organised, especially around the house.

I enjoy some aspects of housekeeping, but I've always had this sense of impatience with things like ironing and putting away the clean washing. A few years ago I'd have brought in the clean washing off the line and dumped it on the couch, and it would have stayed there for a few days or never be put away at all. Or things needing ironing would stay in the basket for weeks. These days I force myself to slow down and finish the job properly, before they turn into enormous jobs. I fold the washing straight off the line into the basket. Once indoors I sort the washing into piles and put the piles away, immediately. If I didn't do this straight away clothes could lie around the place for days. I don't find it harder to do things this way, and I'm not sure why I used to leave jobs unfinished, but again, it probably came down to being lazy or procrastinating.

It only takes a couple of minutes to finish a job completely, and for me to make sure things are put back where they came from. If I need tools for some handywork I always make sure I spend that last minute putting the tools back away. It's not hard, it just takes discipline and a mindful attitude. I think about a job from beginning to end, and this helps me to keep on top of the housework. Tidying up is alot easier and quicker when I don't have all these little half-finished jobs to do, as well as the usual cleaning and tidying.

Of course there's always those times when I leave things out that I'm still working on, such as sewing projects. In these cases I need to decide if I am actually going to keep working on the project the next day or sometime in the near future. If that sewing project is still unfinished the following week, and I know for sure I have no intention of getting it completed in the near future, I put it away. Sometimes I need things to go away so I can bring them out again another time with a fresh outlook.

This is a bird mobile for Peanut's room I am working on. It's been here on my sewing table for a couple of days, but I know I will have completed it by the end of the week.

I think when Peanut is old enough to understand, we will try to teach him the value in finishing things from beginning to end. As soon as play time is over, we will pack the toys back into the toy box. As soon as the meal is finished, the plates will go to the sink and be washed. My parents brought me up this way, and even though this way of thinking and acting may not have sunk in til I was in my mid 20's; -it eventually did. And I'm glad I finally got there.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Storing Food Containers

Hi there! It's been a while since I posted; we've had a week of Internet Drama. Don't you just love those weeks?? ;-)

Today I opened my cupboard to find a container to put the left-over chicken in, and this is what my "containers basket" looked like. Eeek..

Close-up of the mess-

I keep my "tupperware" or containers for food, in this basket which I LOVE. It has handles so I can easily bring the whole thing out to look for what I need. I also use one of these for my "baking things"-

Anyway- back to the food containers, and the disorder. Aargh!! I hate this! Especially when I'm in a hurry, it's a nightmare. And this isn't even that many containers- I am using quite a few in the fridge at the moment.

I do try to keep on top of keeping my food containers organised, but it's definitely one of those never-ending jobs that needs a little constant attention.

SO- time to organise the containers basket.

One way I do this is to sort out shapes- "like with like". So round ones together, rectangle ones together.

Then stack.

I then put all the lids together into another container (this one is missing a lid so it's not very handy otherwise).

It's pretty obvious that I have more lids than containers- but I can't bear to throw them away in case the containers turn up one day (and Murphy's Law suggests that this would happen should I throw them). The spare lids are also handy for when I'm painting or doing crafty things.

I like this system when I have a lot of containers, because I can still fit them into the basket neatly by stacking matching shapes and "like with like".

Another system I use when I don't have a lot of containers, or I have extra shelf/drawer space, is storing the containers with the lid ON. I really like this system because it cuts out searching for the matching lid! It's not very space-efficient but BOY is it handy.

Here is my basket organised this way, with the lids on the containers.

If I won the lottery and if I didn't care about cutting down on plastics for environmental reasons, I would start afresh with food containers. I would use this wonderful system I heard about from a very organised lady I know. The colour of the lid is specific to the size and shape of the container. BRILLIANT. So for e.g. all small round containers have red lids; all large square containers have blue lids, and so on. Wouldn't that be wonderful- instead of searching through all the lids for the right fit- to be able to quickly pick out the right one by colour?? Love it. But alas, I cannot afford and I doubt our environment can afford, for me to start this system by scratch. I very rarely buy any new containers these days, I just recycle the ones that food comes in or Shane brings a few used ones home from work. And of course from the odd occasion we get an Indian Take-away, I always keep those.

How do you store your food containers? Do you have way more than me and how do you keep on top of it all?