Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Madness!

Ok, so I thought I would share with you, my day today.

I have been searching for two dresses for the girls for weeks now.  Nothing I could find was what I was after.  Lucy is now in size 7, which has bumped her into the "big girls" section.

Can we just pause there for a moment.  When on earth did my "little" girl decide to grow?  Seriously.  Not impressed!!!

And on that note:  Who decided that SEVEN year olds are in the same category of teenagers?  This is where my problem started.  Going into the "big girls" section means that I can no longer find cute "little girl" dresses for my LITTLE girl!

After searching through my local shopping centre - which only homes Target, Kmart and the only "specialty" kids clothing shop, Pumpkin Patch - and also scouring the internet for something "just right", I decided I would need to venture to the "Big Shops".

I woke this morning, mission in my head.  I dropped the big Reasons off at school and drove 30 mins down the highway to the biggest shopping centre within 50kms of us.  Robina Town Centre is just that - a town.  It has it's own zip code!  It houses - Myer, DJ's, Target, Kmart, Pumpkin Patch, Cotton On Kids, Big W, and a HUGE amount of specialty stores.

Surely I would find them a dress!

I arrived at 930am and the carpark was already filling... FAST!  I walked into David Jones, and straight into the children's clothing section.  I immediately grabbed and assistant and told her my requests.

She found the PERFECT dress - but alas, it only went to size 6.  It was a Fred Bare and gorgeous.  She handed me the "matching" one for the "big girls".  As gorgeous as it was, it was too grown up for my little girl!  It was almost backless with a lace insert on the back.


Not for a few years yet anyway.

I handed it back to the lady and asked her to hold the baby girls dress.  I told her I would be back... maybe. If I couldn't find two dresses somewhere else, maybe I could find a dress for Lucy that would match this little dress.

I walked out of DJ's and headed up to my favourite little coffee shop.  My mum had arrived for a business meeting, but had an hour to kill.  As we sat at our table, drinking coffee, the little boys played on mums iPad and my iPhone.

I ordered the little boys a milkshake each.  We laughed when they brought out the HUGE silver milkshake containers.  You know... the ones they MAKE the milkshake in.  And not only that - they were filled to the BRIM.

If only my boys drank the same flavour - they could have shared one.  But Joshua loves his strawberry, and Oliver his Banana.

As we were about to leave, mum suggested I asked for a take-away container for the left over milkshake.  I had visions of carrying around these milkshakes and them being spilt  - so I said no.  It doesn't matter.  She proceeded to tell Oliver to have two more mouthfuls before we leave.

In the process - Oliver tipped a 3/4 FULL container of banana milkshake ALL OVER HIMSELF!


Seriously, CRAP!

As mum and I jumped up, Camille got the fright of her life and started screaming.  Oliver was in tears as well.

I calmly stripped him down to his underwear and used Camille's bib to wipe him clean.  I bagged his clothes in a nappy sack and as onlookers watched, I calmly said "It isn't the end of the world... it could be worse".

We headed to the bathroom and washed his shoes - thankfully he was wearing his crocs.  I placed him in the pram, carried Camille, and headed straight to Cotton-On Kids, and purchase him a new outfit.

My boy in his new clothes.
He was soooo excited that he now has YELLOW shorts.  His favourite colour!
He insisted that he wasn't moving until I took a photo of him and Thomas.

With that out of the way, I said goodbye to mum and headed to Big W.  I had a few people tell me that is where I would find a dress - but alas... nothing.

I then headed to Target to return some items that didn't fit my growing girl - and on the way passed Country Road.  I hesitantly entered, thinking... I am wasting more time - I am not going to find anything in here.

I found the PERFECT dress!  Fell in love, wanted to marry, perfect dress.  But... they didn't have the sizes I wanted.  I asked the sales assistant if this was their only stock, and she said she would look out the back.  She came back with one in Lucy's size  - but none in Camille's size.

Back to square one.  Then I found another gorgeous dress AND they had Lucy's size.  I asked again if they had one in Camille's size....  looking.... looking... BINGO!

The whole time, Oliver was being a cheeky brat, hiding in clothes, and running his tongue up and down the mirror.

The sales assistant chatted to me about how she was thinking about going for #3.  I explained that I actually had FIVE and handed her my blog card.

Can't hurt to network... right?!

As I paid for the dresses and left the store, I was elated that I had finally found the dresses.

I headed to Target and returned my items and picked up a couple of pairs of shoes for the boys.  I tried them on Oliver - who's feet are growing at an alarming rate at the moment - and in the process LEFT my handbag under a shoe rack.  I am unsure why, but I had my wallet in my pocket, so I didn't even notice when I paid and left Target.

We walked all the way around to DJ's as I had promised the boys a visit to Santa.  When we got there - we discovered that he doesn't arrive there until tomorrow.  WT?

I then noticed my bag missing.

Panic set in.  

I grabbed the boys and put them on the pram skateboard.  Both of them.

I bolted out of DJ's and back down to target.  Thankfully, because I had pushed it under a shoe rack, it was still there.  Out of target... again... and we headed to Myer.  Maybe their Santa had arrived.  After walking straight past him - TWICE, we finally had our visit with Santa.  Camille didn't scream this time. Bonus.

I looked down at my watch - almost time for school pick up!  Heck - how did that happen?

As we walked out of the shopping centre doors into the carpark - a lady looked at my 3 Little Reasons, and then at me and said "Oh, you have your hands full!"

Seriously?  I rolled my eyes and kept walking.  I didn't have the energy to tell her that 2 more were missing!

We loaded up the car and the 3 Little Reasons fell asleep before we hit the highway.

I am exhausted - BUT excited because I finally have the finishing touches for our Five Little Reasons Family Tradition on Friday.

I can't wait to tell you all about it...

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

The little things.

I took on a Christmas job a couple of weeks ago.  Something fun.  Something easy.  Something made. for. me.  Taking Santa photos at our local shopping centre.

I am only working when Brett is home, which means that our weekends together have stopped.

But it is only for 6 weeks, and is helping immensely with our Christmas budget.

When I walk in the door after work, I am greeted by 6 gorgeous faces.  I miss them so very much.

It makes me stop and enjoy the little things.  More than usual.

This face is saying "Mama, you aren't pushing me high enough!"


Gosh I love them.

Looking exactly like Lucy at this age.  14 months.
Working away from home has made me appreciate my family more.  I realise how tired Brett must be when he walks in the door.  I realise that I have to take in more of the little things.

I am grateful for being able to be a Stay-at-home mama.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

All I want for Christmas... My Top 5.

Natalie over at Mummy Smiles tagged me in a game with some fellow bloggers to "Show Us What You Want For Christmas".

This was not an easy task.  I NEVER think about what I would like.  I spend months thoroughly researching and handpicking items for our family and close friends, but I never think about myself.  

So, after much deliberation... here is my Top 5 Wish List.

Seriously.  Oh. Em. Gee.  Totally in love!  A girl can never have too many shoes. 

Simple, elegant, gorgeous.  

Hayden was born pre-digital.  We bought our first digital camera when he was 6 months old.  It was a middle range Nikon 4mp point and shoot - which set us back almost $1000.  
How times have changed!

Anyway, all of Hayden's baby photos are all on negatives and 4x6 prints in a massive box.  I NEED to get them onto my computer.  One of these would do the trick. 

This one is also compatible with my iMac!  Yeah!

Now, if you were to have asked me  6 months ago if I wanted one of these, I would have said no way.  But the more my blog grows and the more, as a family, we are diving deeper into technology, the more I have to keep up.  I think this will help me blog more, and make skyping the family a lot easier.   I have my iMac, and Brett has his Macbook, but this would be more mobile.

I don't bake enough to warrant a table top mixer.  My hand-beater has seen better days, and this one would suit me just fine.

Thank you so much for the tag Natalie.  
So, in the spirit of sharing, I am delighted to tag the following gorgeous bloggers:

Melissa at Suger Coat It
Naomi at Seven Cherubs

So, what is Number 1 on your list?

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Suger Coat It: Sexy. Errr, yup!

Check these girls out!


I say Volvo should give them their very own car... don't you think?!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The 5th Little Reason - A Birth Story.

After having my 2nd caesarian {4th baby},  I knew that I didn't want to go through one ever again.  I did lots of research and asked a lot of questions.  There was no need for my 2nd caesarian.  Obviously Joshua's emergency c/s meant that we are both alive, but Oliver's planned forced c/s was unnecessary.

When we finally decided to have a 5th baby, I knew I was going to have a VBAC {Vaginal Birth After Caesarian}.  In my case, a VBA2C.

After the 12 week scan came back with low risk of problems, I gave up all private cover and booked into The Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital - knowing full well that my private OBGYN and the hospital were not pro VBAC let alone VBA2C.

I went to my first appointment at the hospital and was determined from the get go.  I was really surprised when I was accepted into the midwifery care program... one down from the "Birthing Centre" program.  I was looked after by 3 lovely midwives throughout the pregnancy.  I saw an OBGYN twice... once at 25 weeks for a check up, and one at 36 weeks to sign all the forms - mainly a VBA2C "attempt" form.

I was told if baby hadn't arrived by 12 days over, I would be admitted for a c/s.   I was told I had to have a canular inserted on arrival to the hospital - this was "in case" I needed a c/s.  I was told I would be monitored A LOT throughout the labour.  I was told I wouldn't be allowed to push for longer than 1 hour.

I was ok with all of their "demands".  In my head, I didn't care... I just didn't want to be cut open.

Brett and I went to a VBAC antenatal class, which was great as the midwife running it, gave us little pointers on how to respond to the hospital "demands".

32 weeks.

At my 39 week appointment, I asked the midwife to do an internal and a stretch and sweep.  I was 1cm dialated.

7 more days past, and at my 40 week appointment, I was over being pregnant.  I had NEVER made a due date before, so I was really discouraged.  I knew baby would come when it was ready, but the 5th pregnancy was taking it's toll on my body.    The midwife did another stretch and sweep - this time, I was 2cm and she was fairly rough.  I prayed it would work.

41 weeks came and went.  It was now just a waiting game.  I went to my Friday appointment, and was booked in for a c/s for the following Friday. I would be 12 days overdue.

That night, I started having contractions.  Finally.  I sat on the couch and timed them for 3 hours.  They fluctuated from 10-15 mins apart.  I decided to go to bed to try and get some sleep.  I would need the energy for the birth the next day.  WRONG.  I woke the next morning to nothing.  Bump still there and contractions gone.  We went for a long walk, up and down gutters, to try and restart the contractions.

After dinner Saturday night, they started again.  They were painful enough to stop me in my tracks.  I spent the night bouncing on the fit ball and Brett gave me a massage and foot rub.  I again went to bed hoping to be woken with the real deal.

I woke Sunday morning and burst into tears.  NOTHING.  NADA.  GONE... AGAIN!!!  Brett decided to take my mind off it, so we headed into Surfers and had breakfast by the beach.  I was so uncomfortable.  Baby was very low and every move hurt.  I couldn't sit, I couldn't stand, I couldn't walk.  I sat at the table on the edge of the seat with my bum twisted to the side.  The only comfortable spot I could find.

Sunday night, I went to bed and was woken to contractions every 15-20 mins throughout the night.  They were so painful, I would jump out of bed and lean up on the bathroom doorframe.  I would have to breath and rock through them.  They were increasing in pain with each time.

I woke Monday morning by a contraction.  I was sceptical and wouldn't believe it was "happening".  We had a parent-teacher interview with Lucy's teacher at 8am, so after dropping Joshua off at kindy, and having a contraction in the carpark, we headed to school.  I had another contraction as I was getting out of the car.  20 mins later, another one walking out of the interview.

We decided to head to our local shops to get some last minute things for my hospital bag and to get a coffee at Zarraffas.   As I got out of the car at the shops, I had a really strong contractions.. again 20 mins since the last one.  I still didn't think this was it.   I had another contraction at the checkout at woolies, and I think it finally hit me that I think this was it.

We headed home and rang my mum to come over to look after Oliver.  She would also have to pick up the 2 big kids from school and Joshua from kindy.  I organised dinner and rang the hospital.  I had a shower and packed some last minute things in my bag.

Finally at 2pm, we hit the road.  I was not looking forward to the 40 minute drive to the hospital.

About to leave for the hospital!

I was right - it was HELL.  Sitting was my least favourite position and every tiny bump in the road and every corner was excruciating.  The contractions were now 5-7 minutes apart.  We arrived at the hospital and as I was leaning on the car having another contraction, Brett got our bags out of the car. A nurse who had just finished a shift, was getting into her car beside us.  She said "I will get a wheelchair for you dear" to which I shouted "No!  I will walk!  This baby is coming OUT!"  I couldn't sit and was so scared that if I did, the contractions would stop.

I had another contraction on the carpark staircase, and another one leaning up against a lightpole at the hospital entrance.  I am sure onlookers thought it was a great show!

We arrived at the admissions desk and were lead into the examination room.  The midwife came in and said she was going to see if I was in labour enough to be admited.  I asked what was "enough".  She said 4cms means I would be going home with a baby... under 4cms and I would be sent away to labour at home for longer.

4.5cms - HORAY!  It finally hit me that I was going to have this baby TODAY and I burst into tears.

At 4pm, we were escorted to our labour room.  On arrival I was hooked up to the monitor and a nurse tried to put the canular in my hand.  30 seconds later, I had a horrible pain in my hand, and as I looked down, the back of my hand was swollen with fluid.  The nurse had missed my vein.  She tried again in a different spot.  Missed again.  Hospital procedure says that after missing twice, someone else has to have a go.  So another midwife tried for the 3rd time on my other hand. Bingo.  I had bruises on my hands for days afterwards.

It is funny how some of my "little" things were thrown out the window during the labour.  Throughout the pregnancy, I had put together a selection of rock and roll, pop and inspirational music on my ipod.  But at this stage during the labour... all I wanted was silence.

The midwives turned the lights off - all except one where she worked at her little desk in the corner.  Brett and I sat in silence.  Breathing though the contractions that came harder and faster.

Finally at 8pm, I said I felt "pressure".  The midwife checked and said the head was still high, but  was fully dialated.   She said that when I was ready, I could push.

Brett put the head of the bed into the maximum vertical position, and I rolled over and knelt with my head buried into my pillow.  I was determined to be in the most natural position possible.

I pushed, and pushed and pushed.


We watched the head come down a little more each time.

After 1 hour, the midwife whispered.  "I need you to give us the best push you can."  I rolled onto my back.  I was exhausted. "It has been over 1 hour of pushing, and if you don't get this baby out soon, I am going to have to call the on duty OBGYN" she said.

Brett says he remembers seeing my demenor change dramatically.  There was no WAY I was going to have an OBGYN walk into my room.

I gave 3 more mighty pushes - screaming with all my might.  The head popped out and two beautiful blue eyes looked up at me.

WTF?  Why is she looking at me?  The midwife looked at me and said "Well, it all makes sense now!  This baby is Direct Occiput Posterior Presentation.  She is facing the wrong way!"

Not only was she "Sunny Side Up" but she didn't rotate her head to the left or right - making it even harder.  The midwives were amazed.   No wonder I had to push for so long!  No wonder the end of my pregnancy was so painful.  No wonder I had stop/start labour for 4 days!

Finally, at 9.15pm, Monday September 13th, 2010, Camille was born.  7lbs 10oz.  I reached down and grabbed my baby girl.  Every thought disappeared.  Brett and I stared at her for what seemed like eternity.  She was the most beautiful creature we had ever seen.   We called the 4 Little Reasons who were anxiously waiting for the news.   They were over the moon!

I was unaware that I was haemorrhaging.  The midwives quickly called an OBGYN.  I was given a local and was blissfully unaware of what was going on... down there.

As I sat naked with my baby girl on my chest, the doctor stitched me up.  I had a slight graze on my perineum, however I had 3rd degree tears right through my vaginal walls.

After an hour and a half of enjoying our new baby girl,  Brett went home to the other munchkins.   The plan was that he would come back in the morning with them, and take us home.   I had a shower in the birth suite and we were taken up to our room at about midnight.

I slept all night with my baby girl on my chest.  I wasn't letting her go.

Brett arrived about lunch time the next day and we took our 5th little reason home.

For the first time in my life, I felt 100% totally complete.  I knew this was our family.

3 days new.

And that was the beginning of Five Little Reasons.

Hayden 7 years,    Joshua 4 years,    Oliver 22mths,    Camille 2 weeks,    Lucy 6 years.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

It is no secret that I love Christmas.  We celebrate it BIG in the Five Little Reasons house.

Christmas tree is up and some of our Christmas traditions have begun.

My cue for the start of the season is when Santa arrives at the big shopping centres.

Christmas lasts 6 weeks in our house.

Tree goes up around the 2nd week of November.  Christmas books and toys come out and Christmas dress-ups are worn day after day.

I am looking forward to sharing many of our traditions and decorations in the following weeks, but I thought I would start with our Christmas Tree Tradition.

I spend 2 days putting our 7.5 foot tree up.  One afternoon putting the tree together with the lights, and the next day all the decorations.

My Little Helper!

 Our front door wreath!

The Reasons take turns each year to put the star on the top.  This year... The Reasons nominated Joshua.  He was delighted!

The Reasons then get full reign of their own "little" (but still big) tree that goes in the family room.  They put it together, fluff it out and decorate it all on their own.  This is also the tree where all the crap gorgeous decorations that they have made over the years goes on.

I put the Christmas books away in January and only bring them out at Christmas.  The kids LOVE reading through all of the books and we have a nice growing collection.  We have one special Christmas Novel, that we read every Christmas.  Every night for 6 weeks, we read a chapter.  We also read a verse from our "Christmas Bible" at dinner time and discuss the "real" reasons we celebrate.

And the Christmas toys are already a big hit.  Again, we put them away every year and bring them out only for the 6 weeks.

Some bunting that I bought to use elsewhere...
but have decided it goes perfectly with my Christmas decorations!

Our Santa that scales our downpipe every year!

Just in case he forgets!  

So tell me... have your Christmas decorations gone up yet?  Do you have special tree decorating traditions?


Stay tuned for more posts on our Christmas Traditions.  But for now - here are a couple of my organising tips:

Firstly, when New Years comes and you pack away the tree, I know in the exhaustion of the end of season, you will want to chuck the tree away as fast as you can.  I can tell you, you will kick yourself next christmas.  Take the time to put your decorations away in suitable storage.  I use these cool cheap bags.  You can use the inserts for your baubles etc, or without -  like I do with one of them, put all the extras inside - Santa sacks, books, bunting, toys etc.  They also make a round one which is perfect for the wreath - and big enough to also include the outside decorations.

Secondly, put your tree away SLOWLY and in ORDER!  My tree came in a fantastic box.  I have kept the instructions (a must), and I make sure I put each branch away in the correct order - back into the original box.

Thirdly, if you want a brilliantly illuminated tree - which in my opinion is a must - follow my very cool directions.  I use 600pc LED set on my 7.5foot tree.   Do each layer as you go.  Every branch has a string of lights!

Merry Christmas!

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

5 Little Reasons Get In2Cricket!

My memories of cricket as a child were standing, bored, out field, waiting for a ball to come my way.  I don't remember bowling or bating much... just the hot sun for long periods of time. Therefore, when Louisa from Brand Meets Blog invited us to attend the launch of the 2011 Summer Series In2Cricket, I was a little reluctant.

So far, our Five Little Reasons are not big into sport.  I mean, they do sport at school, and Hayden plays Ice Hockey during the winter, but they haven't got a passion for sport.  And that is ok.  However, I still think it is important for the reasons to get involved.  Chloe Maxwell hit the nail on the head "Sport is a great way to helping kids form healthy habits to lead a healthy life".  I also believe that being involved in a team sport teaches children to play fairly, respect others and become a "good sport".  Not to mention developing their motor skills, core skills and social skills.   

Hayden (red shirt) and Lucy (pink leggings) playing outfield.
Lucy having a bat.  Run, Lucy, Run!

Joshua doing some drills with Eli & Sam from Seven Cherubs.
Hayden's turn to bat.

Awesome photo thanks to Hannah Millerick Photography.

Joshua showing off his swing.

Camille watching the planes fly by.
Even Oliver had a little go!
When choosing extra curricular activities, especially in a large family, we try to choose activities that are local and cheap.  Short term programs appeal to me because of the fact that my kids are not into sports.  I am reluctant to sign up for a long term program, knowing that my children will more than likely have lost interest after 8 weeks or so.   If we can find one that the whole family enjoys and can do together, that is a dream.

The Five Little Reasons had a BLAST playing cricket games at the launch.  I was so surprised... I really thought they wouldn't be into it and would sit on the sidelines watching.  There was one game, where there was 4 wickets (in a circle), 4 batters and one bowler.  The Bowler would stand in the middle of the 4 wickets and throw the ball randomly to a batter.  After hitting it as hard as they could, they had to run run run around the circle of wickets.  I found this great as it was quick, and more kids got a turn.  After a few overs (is that what they are called?), they would swap.  

After talking to Alan Border, Chloe Maxwell and QLD Cricket's Game Development Manager, Mark McLatchey, about the new formats that are part of a national kids cricket program, we are now keen on getting the Five Little Reasons into the In2Cricket summer program.

Allan Border was so good with the Reasons!

Awesome photo thanks to Hannah Millerick Photography.
 L-R - Allan Border, Naomi - Seven Cherubs, Me, Catherine - Squigglemum, Chloe Maxwell, Louisa - Everything is Edible, Larissa - My Pigeon Pair, Kate - Puddles and Gumboots, Bronnie - Maid in Australia and Jackie - CrapMumma.

I won't tell you too much more as you can find all the information on the website.

Our afternoon was finished off with a gormet sasusage sizzle with fruit platters for the kids and a yummy yummy dinner for Brett & I.  

And then they surprised the Five Little Reasons with their own In2Cricket pack!  Score!

Awesome photo thanks to Hannah Millerick Photography.

Thanks for the invitation Brand Meets Blog!

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