Thursday, 27 September 2012

Coming Down

We are now back home from our holiday and are in desperate need of another holiday to get over it! The baby did get a fever and ended up with tonsillitis, which meant another trip to the doctor. I'm sure most people don't even know where the doctor is on Hamilton Island but for us he was fast becoming our local GP!

Needless to say there wasn't much sleep or relaxation after that and now we are back everyone seems to have completely forgotten how to go to sleep - the children that is, certainly not us. But we're all finding it hard to come down after our week away. My husband keeps saying, 'This time last week, we were...' [Insert either 'swimming in the pool', 'having a drink by the pool,' or 'in the buggy on the way to the pool.] In fact what he should probably put into that sentence is a choice of 'taking our daughter's temperature', 'giving our daughter panadol' or 'in the buggy on the way to the doctor's'.

Still holidays are important and I'm so glad we went - even if it means it has taken me an hour to settle the baby today for her sleep when she has gone down like a dream for the past year. And our four-year- old is so exhausted at the moment she has the attitude of a teenager - and usually in the middle of the night.

The baby has just started crying again and I am about to do a phone interview. This is not normal for her, she usually sleeps for three hours in the middle of the day. And I like order in my children - not chopping and changing around, especially when it comes to sleep.

Still we change things to suit us - like going on a holiday. The routine goes out the window, we don't worry about sleeps, balanced meals, bath times - even having baths at all! 'Its' good for them,' we say as we relax a little longer by the pool or go out for dinner a little later than we normally would eat. Then we go home at the end of the week and jump straight back into the normal everyday and expect out kids to comprehend and immediately adapt.

Not really fair probably. Ok, I'd better go pick up the baby. I guess this is not the week to start controlled crying.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

A Kid Friendly Holiday (or so I thought)

This week we have gone to Hamilton Island for a much needed holiday. I know everyone is probably in need of a holiday but it has really been a while for us. We've taken little trips - central coast, Canberra, Melbourne - but the last time we took a plane somewhere warm was our honeymoon. And since then we've had a baby, bought a house, had three miscarriages, done a law degree (my husband, not me) and finally had a second baby (me, not my husband). We got in the taxi on Saturday morning and the driver needed directions to get to the airport and after exclaiming, "You don't know how to get to the airport!!!" (not that I was that shocked as I always find myself having to direct taxi drivers), I suddenly realised  that I didn't know how to get to the airport from our place either. Then we told him the wrong way and he had to do a U-turn and go back. Definitely time for a break.

So here we are. And it's great. Although holidaying with kids is unpredictable to say the least. Or rather predictable in its unpredictability. Everything I feared has happened. And not just not being able to get to the airport.

Firstly I was worried that someone would get a high temperature. Then I was worried that someone would fall down one of the many steps in the apartment where we are staying.

Day one, we were all so excited after arriving on the island that we made sandcastles, paddled in water and went to the pool way after everyone else had gone home for showers before heading out to dinner. And we forgot warm clothes to put on after. So my four year old went home nude on the buggy, wrapped only in a towel. Needless to say that night she got a fever, together with a nasty cough and a runny nose. Had to happen I guess.

Day three, in a split second when we weren't looking, the baby climbed up the one step between the open plan kitchen/dining area and lounge and fell back onto the floorboards. Which was fine. Except her nose started bleeding and after a bit of googling (which you should never do!) we went straight to the Hamilton Island medical centre. There a lovely, non judgemental doctor (we were feeling neglectful parents) examined her and luckily she seemed to be ok. We went home for a rest and bought her back for a review in the afternoon and she was fine. Thank goodness!

So that's it, no more. This morning I gave my daughters strict instructions that there was to be no more drama and my four year old immediatey got her hand caught under the lid of the buggy's boot. But a quick ice pack later and she was fine.

Now I realise that you can't be worried. Stuff happens - and always when you don't want it to. You just have to get on and try to have a good holiday.

So right now I am sitting with my laptop beside the pool, alone! My husband gave me the afternoon off. He's back at the apartment with the girls and I've had a swim, read my book and now doing some writing. I'd like to say I'm having a cocktail but I wouldn't be able to drive the buggy safely up the hill. So I've settled for a mineral water. But anything that can be enjoyed slowly rather than gulped down because someone needs something is a treat in itself.

Short lived! My husband just called to say the baby has woken up with a fever! Oh well, I'd better go...

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

A Big Day For Who?

Today was a big day for my four year old (and her parents!) as it was her first orientation session for kindergarten at big school, which she'll start next year. Things didn't get off to a good start especially when I told her that she couldn't wear her crown, she couldn't wear all the jewellery from her treasure box and she most certainly could not take her rhythmical gymnastic stick (a throwback from the recent Olympics and my own school days). So we had tears before we left the house. Once we got there things didn't improve as she refused to wear her name tag and wouldn't say hello to her teacher. I started to panic. I thought it would all go like clockwork. But just before we both got too emotional, we found the drawing table and her teacher wondered of she could possibly write her name on her sheet which is like asking Dora the Explorer if she speaks Spanish. I left her in Kindy Red a happy girl and my husband and I went off to the hall where everything was explained regarding the coming year.

I suddenly realised it was me who needed a bit of orientation. I felt like it was my first day at school and was looking around at the other parents wondering who might be my friend. Forget my daughter! Will I find any new friends?

And I hadn't given much thought to how I might feel when school finally starts. I always imagined I would probably drop her off with a skip in my step. But today when the 2012 kindies got up and sang a couple of songs as part of the morning's entertainment, the tears were welling my eyes - and my child wasn't even one of them! What am I going to be like come February?

After the information session was over, we collected out children and had a delicious morning tea. There was no need for any worry, my daughter had a great time and was very enthusiastic. I'm sure we'll get there. Everyone does. There are two more transition sessions coming up - unfortunately not for the parents, we are on our own from here on in. As long as I can get my daughter to leave half the contents of her bedroom at home, we'll be fine. Although she has already announced that she absolutely will not be wearing any school uniform! I guess we will cross that bridge when we get to it...

Friday, 7 September 2012

Acting Up

This week I had an audition. I love audition days although now they're very different from the ones pre-kids, let me tell you.

I had to be out the door by 8am to drop the 4 year-old to daycare, cross town in peak hour traffic to drop the baby to my parents, back across town for the audition, back to the baby to give her lunch and put her down for her three hour (bless her) sleep while I wrote an article for a house magazine, then it was off to the supermarket before picking up the 4 year old and home for dinner, bath and bed!

As I was throwing on a bit of make-up at 7.55am while cleaning the 4 year-old's teeth and trying to stop the baby from putting holes in my pantyhose, I had a brief moment of reflection of the days before children. The days when I would wake up after a full night's sleep, maybe have an invigorating jog around the block, shower, do hair and make-up in peace, have a relaxing breakfast and coffee while I went over my script and then headed off to my audition with plenty of time to prepare, check lippy etc etc......sounds like bliss but frankly I had too much time on my hands...

Ironically this week's audition was for the role of a 40s something career woman with no kids. Bit of a stretch but nice to visit for a moment. Not that I would change my life for anything but that's the great thing about acting, you get to pretend to be a completely different person with a very different life. A bit like a holiday - an exciting change but always great to come home!

Fingers crossed it goes my way

Saturday, 1 September 2012

You're Not Old!

Amount of dishes I've washed since starting this blog (12 days) :    1269

I've actually counted and I have to say it has helped me get through. Plus I finally bought washing-up gloves which are proving successful. (Yes, I admit you were right Mum!) Not only am I sparing my hands from being constantly under water, I also save up the dishes and do one big wash a couple of times a day as opposed to washing up every five minutes.

Life does not get better than that!

Especially as we have just made our way out of our baby's first year. I may not have thought I'd be without a dishwasher at 43 but I certainly didn't think I'd have a newborn. That wasn't part of the plan at all.

But there you go. My husband and I met late in life. We had daughter No. 1 when I was 37 and then after three heart-breaking miscarriages we were lucky enough to have daughter No. 2. I was 42 when she was born. And although it has been an exhausting year, I think I'd be tired out, whatever I was doing at this age so why not be tired having a baby!

In last week's Sunday Life was an article on the beautiful Collette Dinnigan who is pregnant at 46 which is fantastic. Although it makes me feel absolutely exhausted just thinking about it but that's because I have my second already. If I hadn't, as hard as it has been, I'd probably still be trying to get there. I wouldn't advise it over 40 but I wouldn't stop anyone from giving it a go.

I certainly had my fair share of opposition from doctors because of my old age and was told such things as 'Well, it's a bit like a 60 year old man with a triple bypass trying to climb a mountain, we have the technology but...'

...but I didn't really listen and thanks to blind faith and a few disgusting Chinese herbs, things fell into place. And I have to say although it feels like I've run a marathon, it has been a truly wonderful year.
But that's it for me. No more. When I was going to the hospital for my check-ups last year, my lovely midwife kept asking if I was planning on another and I would revert back to those doctors with their bad advice. 'Do you know how old I am?' I would say to her. 'Do you know what I've been through to get here?'

'You're not old,' she would say to me - I told you she was lovely.

And I'm not. Just a bit tired but extremely thankful for the opportunity to run the race.