Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas 2007

What a magical time of the year, and sharing it with a s and a half year old made it even more special.

Ellyse is at quite a strange age as far as understanding Christmas is concerned. She knows and loves Santa and got the idea to ask him for gifts, but didn't really get the idea of waiting until Christmas night.

When we visited Santa at Myer, she asked him for a baby (she had been asking to take babies home from the shops and I had explained to her a number of times that Santa may bring her one for Christmas and suggested that she asked him for one). When Santa gave her the little gift bag she gave it back and said "no thank you I would like a baby please". It was very cute but also a little embarassing too.

Ellyse left a note for Santa along with a glass of milk and some rum balls. She loved 'writing' the note with daddy.

Both our little darlings woke at 7 Christmas morning, we had to remind Ellyse that Santa had been, she still didn't really get it. We took her out to show her the swing set he had left for her, she put one toe on the grass and discovered it was wet and decided to go back inside. She had a great time opening her other gifts, a giant floor puzzle, a Gracie Lou DVD and her stocking which included hair ties, books and jelly beans.

Then it was off to my parent's house, they live just around the corner making life easy! We opened gifts there, ate ham and runny eggs. It was very quiet at mum and dad's as neither of my sisters made the trip home this year. Very different to last year where we had everyone here for my sister's wedding. We put Ashton to bed and got ourselves ready for lunch at Keiran's parent's house. We had a lovely lunch and the gourmet nibbles and potato salad I made went down a treat. Ellyse and Ashton were both spoilt to bits and Ellyse was so pleased to recieve a baby with a dummy and a bottle from her Aunty. Kris Kringle was fun, my SIL ended up with the bag I made, I found it hard to tell if she liked it or not???

We came home at about 4:30, all very tired and ready for a sleep. We had a great day and look forward to next year when Ellyse should really be enchanted by it all.

Here are some of my favourite photos of Christmas 2007.

Enjoying the carols

Christmas lights

Christmas morning

Ashton enjoying the presents, well the wrapping anyway

Ellyse in her cousin's make up!

Some wonderful homemade gifts from a friend

I hope you all had a magical Christmas with your loved ones.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Jack's quilt

At Millipede's request I will show a photo of this baby quilt I made for a friend's new little baby. I am glad the photo is at a distance as the sewing isn't that great. You would think I I would have learnt from Ellyse's quilt that pins are the key when quilting! I think I will be investing in a walking foot very soon.

This is for a little boy and the idea is for it to be used as a play mat rather than a quilt for bed.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Suddenly so sad, where do I fit in??

I apologise in advance for the emotional ramblings this post will contain. I am not thinking carefully about what I am writing or how I am writing I just need to clear my head.

July 22nd 2007, I was 10 days over due with our much wanted second child. My waters broke at about 5 am and I started having contractions at about 7. Things progressed quickly and by 9 am I could barely walk to the car. We got to the hospital at about 9:35, I couldn't walk and had the shakes very badly. The midwife routinely checked the baby's heartbeat, and that is where the comotion began.
I think that firstly she called another midwife and I was yelling "what is wrong? Cut me open, get the baby out!" They told me that heart rate was really slow but everything would be alright. I was having gas and must have been suckinghard, the midwife had her hand on my tummy and told me not to suck when I wasn't having a contraction - I said "but I am having a contraction", I think it was then that they realised I was in serious pain that wasn't caused by contractions. The doctor came and checked for the chord, I was 10 cm dialated at this time. One of the last things I remember is the doctor calling code 1 caesar (which I now know if 10 minutes for the baby to be born), I was asked to move to a different bed, I mustered up all of my strength just to lift my legs and bottom. The last thing I remember is the gas mask going on and being put under.
I don't remember waking up, I don't remember being told I had a little boy, I don't remember Keiran there with me. I do remember being shown a photo of him in special care nursery and not really being concerned (was still very groggy), I remember going to see him and having to turn around and go back because I thought I was going to vomit. I remember Keiran telling me that he may have to be transferred to another hospital - but it just didn't really register. I also remember being told that my placenta had completely abrupted from my uterus and that Ashton had no blood supply meaning no oxygen. They couldn't tell me how long he was without oxygen for, or why it happened, just bad luck apperantly.
The next day it hit me big time and I cried and cried. Everyone said to me (and still continue to say) just be thankful you have him, but this was, and isn't ever enough, I had been through a huge ordeal.
The recovery from the caesar was difficult, no complications, just so hard to get out of bed, turn, cuddle Ellyse and pick up my precious newborn. I wasn't too concerned though, I had my little boy and I didn't really care how he arrived. The doctor told me that a natural birth would have resulted in Ashton dieing or being brain damaged, so I am not complaining at all about how he was born.
I really found the first 6 weeks tough. The first 2 were wonderful, plenty of visitors, lots of home cooked meals being delivered for us. Then Keiran went back to work, my mum went overseas for 6 weeks and I was alone all day with a baby and a toddler who wasn't used to sharing mummy. The logisitics of 2 kids was fine, I could feed them, dress them, get them organised, it was more the reaction Ellyse had that upset me. I knew to expect it but I didn't know how I would feel about it. All in all she coped quite well, there were just times when she was so nasty to Ashton and it just wasn't in her nature. I really grieved for the life we had before Ashton. I am such a structure and routine person and newborns just aren't like that. Ashton started having 45 minute sleeps and was grumpy and some days were really long. There were many times where I wondered why on earth we had complicated our lives with another baby. I didn't ever resent Ashton, or not want him in our family, it was, and is, plain hard work! I have been completely spoilt with a loving, happy 2 year old who rarely threw a tanty before Ashton was born, so to have her change behaviours so suddenly caught me by suprise.
When Ashton was about 5 weeks old I had some counselling, I didn't find it that helpful as she told me that I had already dealt with a lot of issues and time would heal - gee thanks. I had identified what I was sad about but really needed strategies to deal with that.
Well here we are 5 months down the track and I saw an old neighbour at the shops on Saturday. I was telling her about Ashton when suddenly I burst into tears and couldn't stop crying. I was just so suddenly sad and I have been ever since. I think there are a few reasons for this. Firstly as Ashton grows and changes and is developing a personality I am more aware of what I could have lost. I look at him laughing and smiling and am just so in love and realise that he was so nearly not here. Secondly, the next baby in mother's group was born last week and when I went to see them in hospital the mum was up, walking around, squating on the ground, all the things I couldn't do. She had lots of photos from the birth, again something I missed out on and have no idea about. I was on the phone to her this morning and she was telling me how much love she feels for the little one, how she has bonded so well and she just loves having 2 kids. It hit me that I was just so down and negative at that time in Ashton's life that I didn't feel like that towards him, that just makes me so sad.
I know I have reasons to be sad, but I haven't lost anything, I was able to bring my baby home where so many others can't. Do I have a right to be sad? It is just so hard to put my finger on my feelings. Crying helps, and listening to my wonderful husband's supportive words, but at the end of the day I still feel that I have complely missed his newborn stage. I was stressing about Ellyse, about his sleep and just trying to deal with myself physically. The caesar meant I couldn't start exercising for a while, my tummy just seemed so much bigger and it hung over that scar, a constant reminder of what I had been through.
As big an experience that this all was, it is still so small in the scheme of my life and Ashton's life. I know the pain will fade, but it will always be there.
I hope that I haven't offended anyone with my feelings. If you got this far thank you so much for reading. I have tears falling down my face, but I do feel a big weight off my shoulders just getting it off my chest.

I love my little boy so much, my how he has grown!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My Secret Santa gifts for Kerry and her family

Kerry is a very busy lady with 6 gorgeous kids and one on the way, I was so happy to have her as my secret santa.
I am sure Kerry won't mind me sharing what I made for her.
Firstly I made her some Christmas bunting, it seems that was a very popular choice this year. I made it reversable so that it can be used for the girls' birthdays or just to hang in one of their rooms. I had plenty of pink scraps so this was not a problem!!

Then I decided to make these advent pockets, wow were they time consuming, but I loved every relaxing minute sitting down stitching those numbers on, all the time thinking of the wonderful things Kerry and her family would be doing together at Christmas. On the dangles were little tasks that the family could complete together in the lead up to Christmas. In her package were some craft sheets to help, glitter and bags for the reindeer food, candy canes, hooks to hang things up with, popcorn to have while watching a Christmas movie and a recipe for candy cane cookies.

Sorry for the dodgy photos, it was a last minute thought to take them.

Merry Christmas Kerry and family!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Secret Santa has arrived

I was so excited to recieve a big parcel at my door on Monday, I had to look at it for 2 days without opening it, but today is opening day and boy were we all spoilt!

Suz made us the most beautiful table runner which is just perfect. It shows how small our table is though! She also sent Keiran a gift, a toy for Ashton and some buttons. Oh I forgot to mention the little teddy decoration for our tree, Ellyse just loves that!

Thanks again Suz.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Christmas outfit 2007

I finally got the motivation to make Ellyse a little Christmas outfit, I made this in one hour flat yeterday morning after Keiran announced that we were infact going to a Christams party that I thought we weren't going to.

I took Suz's and Kylie's advice and made it a little longer than the pattern, I didn't make it any less twirly, but am thinking of maybe reducing it a little. The top is too small, but was the only white shirt I had, will have to get another one tomorrow.

She just thought she was so special in her boofitul skirt......and she kept telling everyone!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas

For as long as I can remember my Mum has made rum balls at Christmas time. Gifts for teachers, family and friends, making the rum balls has always been a family occassion. We would all sit around the table and mix and roll until we were all done. With my mother's organisational skills, this was usually late at night before they were required as gifts! Really I should add that my Mum always worked really hard and it is commendable that she took the time to make hand made presesnts.

This morning I got all of my ingredients ready and started making my first batch of rum balls for this season, as soon as I smelt that rum mix with the condensed milk it all came back to me and suddenly it felt like Christmas time.
Ellyse had a wonderful time putting the Christmas tree up over the weekend, I am really enjoying this time with her, she really understands Christmas and what is going on. Only 20 more nights of "Is Santa coming tonight Mummy?" We are off to look at some Christmas lights this week and I just can't wait to capture the excitment.

And just for fun, Keiran and I hadn't put our stockings up yet, and we came out to find Ellyse 'dressed' in them, it was just so cute. I was going to post a pic but decided not too.