Sunday, 31 October 2010

I'm gonna need coffee today...

I think I am going to need to have a serious talk with John... If I am disturbed between 2am and 6am I can NOT go back to sleep. So if he want's to "cuddle" when he wakes up at 4am that's all very nice and sweet.. but that is IT for sleep for me...

Just saying...

Friday, 29 October 2010

Birth Plan..

I am still working on this... I know there is more, especially if I end up being transferred to hospital (hope not), but it's a start. I am going to write a letter to my mum to let her know what I expect from her at the birth. For some reason this is stuck on bold, underlined and italic.. oh well.. :)

Birth Plan...

Section one of this birth plan assumes that I am birthing at home with no complications or legitimate reasons for interventions of any kind. I am aware that things do not always go to plan and I am prepared to be flexible should the need arise. Section two will outline specific wishes should the need to transfer to hospital and also my wishes surrounding caesarian section.

Birth Place: Home
Back up hospital arrangements: The Royal Women's Hospital

Birth team: Midwife- Joy Johnston, student midwife- Melanie Tully, Husband- John, Mother- Annette

Other helpers: My daughter Molly will visit with her Aunty, Uncle and Cousins for the labour and birth

Section One:

Beginning labour
I would like my labour to begin spontaneously. If I am still pregnant at 42 weeks I am prepared to have monitoring to ensure both my baby and myself are healthy and wait for labour to start spontaneously. If there is an indication that either one of us are not well I will seek advice from my Midwife and take the steps that feel appropriate at that time. I would like to telephone Joy and Mel as soon as I feel I am in labour to give them plenty of time to get to my home.

During Labour:
I would like to take it as it comes. There will be several comfortable places around the house for me to spend time labouring. I would like to have a birth pool set up as an option but also know that it may not feel right at the time. I would like John to set up the pool and mum to take responsibility for keeping the pool at the right temperature during the labour so John can be with me.

I would like all my birth team to offer me sips of water and mouthfuls of high energy food at regular intervals through the labour. I would also like to be reminded to use the toilet regularly.

If I need massage/silence/talking/music/solitude/company/anything I will ask.

Please do not mention hospital/drugs/intervention etc. I understand that I may need to transfer at some point if any complictions arise and Joy may need to broach the subject with me. This is fine.. I just don't want any hospital banter or jokes.

If Mum or John feel fearful at any time, please try to hide this from me. Be brave, it's ok. Look to Joy and see how she is reacting. If she thinks I'm fine, I'm probably fine. If you can't hide it, please leave the room until you can come and be strong with me.

The birth:
I will birth in the position that feels best. If there is any reason for me to move to another position for the wellbeing of the baby (ie. Shoulder dystocia) Joy will be firm with me and I will do as she suggests. If I want any compress on my perineum I will ask. I will most likely just want to be left alone to birth my baby. If I am in a position where I feel I can, I would like to bring my baby out with my own hands, if I am not in a position where I can, I would like the baby passed straight onto my bare chest.
If my baby needs any help breathing, I would like this to be done with the cord still intact where possible.

I would like a physiologial third stage. Joy will assess my blood loss to see if any extra intervention is required.

The cord will be left intact until it stops pulsating. There is no rush to cut the cord. I would like to wait until I birth the placenta and our baby has all the blood from the cord. John can cut the cord if he wants to.

After the placenta is out and cord cut we will have a bite to eat and go to bed or wherever feels right at the time. If mum could do some cleaning up at this point that would be great. Joy and Mel will do what they need to do, check me, weigh baby, etc before packing up and leaving.

I am still undecided as yet.

Section 2

If I need to be transferred to hospital I would like my birth team with me.

I would like to be consulted on every intervention that may be performed. I do not automatically consent to any intervention but acknowledge that if there is a genuine emergency medical staff may need to make the call at the time.

If I require the drip I would like to start at the lowest dose possible and not to be increased if contractions are effective. When I birth my baby I want immediate skin to skin contact and I would like to wait until the cord has stopped pulsating before cutting the cord unless I have had the injection for third stage. I would like to avoid a managed third stage however I understand that interventions in labour can lead to a higher chance of bleeding.

If my baby needs help breathing I would like Joy to be with my baby and John to stay with me. I would prefer that my baby is close to me while this happens.

If I require a caesarian section I would like John and Joy with me. I would like baby brought straight to me. I do not want Endone as pain relief after the operation. Please discuss all decisions with me and ensure I am well informed about the benefits and risks of all suggestions. I would like to attempt breastfeeding as soon as possible.

If my baby needs special care I would like to be with my baby as much as possible.

Breastfeeding is very important to me and to my baby. Every effort will be made to ensure a positive start to our breastfeeding relationship and I expect all hospital staff to support and encourage this.

No formula is to be given to my baby. If my baby requires breastmilk please bring him/her to me and I will breastfeed or express some colostrum to be given to baby with a teaspoon. No bottles please. If there are any problems feeding I wish to make the decision with my family and midwife. If there are any issues I will use donor breastmilk from a family member if there is any reason the baby cannot have my milk.

Please save the placenta for us to take home.

I am still undecided as yet.

If our baby is stillborn we would like to be left alone for as long as we need to spend time with our baby.  

Thursday, 28 October 2010

What's growing??

Cutting lettuce for lunch
Rocket which had gone to seed very quickly.  I have needed to keep cutting off the stems and flowers  to keep the bottoms thick.
Tommy Toe organic heirloom tomatoes from CERES
Tigarella organic heirloom tomatoes from CERES
mmm minty!
Roly-poly carrots
We are going to have a bumper crop of apricots this year!! Time to get the bird nets!!
Nasturtium grown from seeds and a parsley hedge in the making

The Vietnamese mint is going great guns! A great Ikea purchase!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Much brighter today!

Thank you for the couple of lovely kind comments after my down-in-the-mouth post last night.

Yes, I was feeling extremely sorry for myself, but I was completely right in guessing it was due to lack of sleep, too much wheat and salt, and not enough water... Oh, and the lack of sunshine yesterday. I swear I have S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) as my mood is thoroughly governed by what the weather wants to do. It's hard to live with!

Today has been much better... I ensured it would start on the right foot by getting enough sleep. I did have a couple of hours awake from about 2am to 4am, but I used the time to work on my hypnobirthing meditation and before I knew it, it was morning and I was feeling somewhat human! I slept in until about 9am, and John brought be breakfast in bed of home made wholemeal spelt toast with scrambled eggs with coriander. He also brewed me a delicious coffee.

After breakfast our little family went for a walk around a local park. It's a great park with a track all the way around and resistence equipment stations at several spots along the way. We had fun trying all the machines. The sun was shining, there were loads of other families out enjoying the space, and we were all feeling really relaxed and happy. John dropped me at work after this and I was really hungry for lunch by this stage so I popped half a sweet potato in the microwave and served it with some tinned salmon (Safcol premium skinless and boneless is my fave) and low fat mayo. I also munched on a few rice thins while I was waiting for the potato to cook. It was a quick, easy and satisfying lunch.

I had a client this afternoon who wanted to do some cooking so we decided to make wholemeal date scones. They turned out great! Because we used a recipe that had minimal fat and sugar I ate two with a cup of tea. I am now feeling that I shouldn't have had that much wheat but I am no where near as uncomfortable as I was yesterday. Here is the link for the recipe I changed it by substituting the SR flour with wholemeal SR flour, dropping the sugar all together, adding 1 cup chopped dried dates and using low fat cream and sugar free lemonade. They worked really well with all these modifications. Next time I will try them with spelt flour as it's a bit easier on my belly.

So now here I am and it's only an hour till knock off. I have a couple of things to do before I pack up but all in all it's been a much more positive day. I am planning for this week to be full of activity and to get out in the sunshine whenever we have a chance.

Now tell me, what is your favourite healthy snack recipe??
Please hit me up in the comments and I will publish them!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

22 weeks and feeling massive!!

I've been feeling a little low today... I think it's tiredness mixed with a day alone in the office.. and the rain. 

I have just felt so BIG today.. I understand that I am only going to get bigger in the belly area (and probably elsewhere) and I need to just deal with it but today I really felt like I was stretching.. My belly felt so tight and I started thinking "if I feel like this now, how will I be feeling in another 18 or so weeks!!?".. I have done it before and I will do it again. I know my belly will grow to accommodate Baby X (Molly has taken to calling the baby this, it's very cute!) and I will work to regain my pre-pregnancy body when the time is right.

Tiredness and fluid retention... those are my two problems right now and both are easily fixable... sleep and water/clean eating- avoiding wheat, salt and processed foods. Sounds easy doesn't it?? Yeah, well it should be.

I've exercised 3 days this week.. which is 2 less than I would like but 3 more than none, so that's good right?? 


Food has been hit and miss.. all main meals are excellent but it's the in between stuff that trips me up..

Sorry for the down-in-the-dumps post...

I think I need to go to bed.


Lets get this thing done!! 30 Day Meme

Day 16– Your celebrity crush.

Hmm, I'm not much of a "celeb" girl but I do like Dr. Chris from Offspring

Day 17– A photo of you and your family.
I will do this one from home as I have a particular photo in mind and I can't access it at work.. apologies!

Day 18– Something you crave a lot.

My most recent craving has been for radishes... before that it was apple cider vinegar in hot water with honey...
Day 19– Another picture of yourself.

This photo was taken in 2008 by Molly... I had a fringe for the first time ever and I thought it was cute... :)

Day 20– The meaning behind your blog name.
Umm.. I guess, mine really just reflects the kind of person I want to be.. Someone who is a loving mama to her babies but also has a go-get-em attitude when it comes to other areas of her life.

Day 21– A photo of something that makes you happy.
(this damn computer has stopped letting me upload my fave pic... Go visit it here
Right now, birth and woman art are making me really happy. Reminding me of the power of the female body and why we need to grow and change (physically and otherwise) in order to bring children into the world. I am becoming more curvy and round each day- much more than I feel comfortable with and birth/woman art helps me to remember that I am beautiful, strong and powerful however my body looks.

Day 22– A letter to someone who has hurt you recently.
I am very blessed to be able to say that there is no one in my life right now who has hurt me enough to warrant a letter. Very blessed...

Day 23– 15 facts about you.
1. I don't like brushing my teeth but still do it twice a day
2. I have worn clothes in every size from 10 to 24
3. I am a social worker
4. I don't like lamb... hate it!
5. ... or roo
6. I love mangoes
7. When I was a kid I wanted to be a vet
8. I have a polycystic ovary
9. I dislike can openers. So much so that i bought an electric one.
10. I love being in the garden
11. I am not good at finishing projects
12. I have only slept with one man- my husband
13. I am a Jesus follower... I say it this way because I no longer feel comfortable with the term "Christian" and all the baggage...
14. I love lifting weights (even though I haven't done so in quite a while)
15. I am trying to love my body.. really I am

Day 24– A photo of something that means a lot to you.
Damn computer... photos still not working... so I am going to just say it.. Something that means a lot to me: Love... not romanic love... that's nice and all, but I mean real LOVE. Compassion, justice, equality, heart.. real love- self sacrificing, gut wrenching, painful love. That means a lot to me

Day 25– What’s in your purse?
A whole bunch of crap (papers and what have you) plus my purse, phone, keys, moisturiser, lip balm and work keytag...

Day 26– A photo of somewhere you’ve been to. Here is the link for the music festival we went to last weekend. My hubby played some music there. It was wonderful.. and we stayed here: Glenarron Dairy Farm... It was bloody brilliant!

Day 27– A picture of you last year and now and how have you changed since then?
Will do this at home with pics...

Day 28– Your favourite movie.
Fave stupid movie?? Yeah why not.... Anchorman... (what can I say, I'm a goof-ball at heart)

Day 29– Something you could never get tired of doing.
Smelling newborn babies..

Day 30– A photograph of yourself today + three good things that have happened in the past 30 days
Will post the pic later... but 3 good things to have happened in the past 30 days are: 1. My beautiful niece Clarabelle was born 2. Receiving news that we don't owe money to Centrelink 3. We had a lovely family trip as mentioned above...

Hey!! I just finished something I started... not in the conventional way, But I did it!!


Thursday, 21 October 2010

Doula story

It has taken me a while to have the emotional energy to sit down and write this... it's all good, it was just tiring and so I have needed a couple of weeks to be able to process everything.

My sister in law and I have been best friends since 1999.. I was such a part of the family that I married her brother!

Anyway, SIL asked me to be there to support her during the birth of her baby and of course I was more than happy to oblige!

After waiting and waiting for labour to start spontaneously, an induction was booked in for the Monday. She really wanted to avoid induction as she had experienced the drip with her last birth and it was not a nice experience. She had needed an epidural to cope with the intense contractions and didn't want to repeat this experience.

There were a few signs that labour was not far away- she had a bloody show, had a amniotic "leak" (as opposed to a gush of fluids) and had been experiencing contractions on and off for the previous couple of weeks. So we were all feeling positive that the drip would not be needed- but we also couldn't be sure.

Time ticked on and before we knew it, it was Monday morning- induction day!

I was asked to stay home until labour had started properly so that I would be fresh and might bring some renewed energy to a potentially tired mama and papa. We were looking after their little boy (Master 4) and it was lovely to spend the morning with him and to help him process what was happening. John recorded a video of our day and it really does show what a wonderful time we had together doing some normal things (like taking Molly to kinder) and some special things (like making a birthday cake for Master 4's new sister)...

I received a call at about 2pm to say that I would be needed at 3pm as the midwife was going to artificially rupture SIL's membranes and things were expected to kick up a notch from there. So we picked Molly up from kinder and I grabbed my "doula bag" before heading to The Royal Women's Hospital.

When I arrived SIL was working through a contraction and I was very pleased to see our friend (and student midwife) smiling- it was a kind of knowing smile that set my mind at ease about whether the drip would be necessary. SIL had been officially "in labour" since 1pm and the midwife was in the room preparing to rupture her membranes. At this point I must admit that I was wondering why they needed to do the ARM- it seemed to my untrained eye that labour was progressing nicely.. hospital protocol probably. SIL was fine with it though and was ready for the next, more intense phase to happen.

There was SO much fluid! I was out of the room when the midwife did the ARM however they reported later that the bed was soaked through and the sheets needed to be changed. The waters were clear so there was no meconium passed by the baby-  common sign that the baby has been in distress at some point (apparently it is quite uncommon for them to be perfect with a 42 week baby). As soon as the membranes were ruptured, the sensations definitely did intensify and it wasn't long before SIL was needing to vocalise through them. She asked for me, her hubby and the support midwife to keep on chatting through her contractions as she was enjoying the distraction of listening to us. She did not want us to talk to her, but also did not want silence.

At one point SIL apologised that we were not needed rubbing her back and tending to her. This seemed like a very funny and ridiculous thing for a labouring woman to be thinking about however I think she had in her mind a kind of picture of what it was going to be like, how intense, what we would all be doing etc. She was happy to stand in the one spot and knowing we were there was enough. In fact, that's how it remained for the next three hours... Us sitting chatting, her standing in the one spot and swaying and vocalising and the midwife coming in to monitor the baby every now and then.

At some point, about 6pm I think, the feeling in the room changed and without SIL needing to say anything I got up and began rubbing her back and using cold facewashers on her neck and her hubby held her hand. SIL was leaning over one side of the bed and her hubby was leaning over the other side with his head very close to hers speaking gentle words of encouragement into her ear. It was beautiful to watch. I stood right at her side and she pressed her body into mine with each contraction.

Then came the words that many a midwife would hear during most births "I can't do it!!".. "I can't do this for another eight hours"... I smiled at the midwives as we all knew that this meant that we were all very close to meeting baby. Very shortly after that, SIL began to let out a grunty, pushy noise at the end of each contraction and reported that she wanted to wee or poo or something and she seemed distressed and confused about what to do next. In the space of about a minute, she went from this confused state to one of purpose and determination. Her body wanted this baby out and she went with what her body was telling her instead of resisting the feeling. She pushed for about 15 minutes and needed her hubby and me to support her on each side as her legs were very tired after all the standing. Baby's head appeared quickly however it became obvious to the midwife that the shoulders were not going to come out while SIL was in that position so they asked her to get on hands and knees with her bottom high in the air. The shoulders required a little coaxing from the midwife and then out she came!

It took a minute or so to get her breathing and there were a few anxious bodies in the room at that point. I had a great vie from where I was of the table where the midwife was working  to get her breathing and I could reassure SIL that her baby was pink and just needed a little help getting her airways clear. Very quickly, baby let out a cry and was brought to have skin to skin with mama while she birthed the placenta. This part made me a little squirmy as a student midwife seemed to be very rough pulling it out- one reason why I don't feel comfortable about a managed third stage (SIL had some retained placenta and heavy bleeding the next day, for the record).

I was privileged enough to be the one to hold the fresh baby while SIL was helped onto the bed. I breathed that birth smell deep into my nostrils in an attempt to etch it into my memory. I love that smell. So womanly, so real..

Baby spent time on mama's naked chest and within about ten minutes had found her way to the breast and attached herself. I captured this whole process in photos- truly amazing. That new little being knowing just what to do.

Baby was nearly 10lbs... and my petite SIL pushed her out of her vagina.. She needed no forceps, no caesarian....Babies are meant to come out of their mama's body.

All is well with the new family,

SIL is pretty much fully recovered only two weeks later and baby is feeding like a champ!

Welcome to our crazy clan baby!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


I'm shocked...

Had a call from C/Link today and it seems that they had communicated some information to us wrong and it turns out there is no record in the system of any debt that we owe. I don't have a clue how this has worked out but I'll take it! There's no debt!!

I feel like we can move forward now but are in a much more organised place and will be walking a better path. What a blessing!

I'm so thankful to God for helping us out of what was looking like a pretty sticky situation.

I do not take it for granted and am totally committed to our renewed enthusiasm for living frugally.

Belly 20 & 21 weeks

Monday, 11 October 2010

Getting comfortable...

Struggling to get comfortable already... 

My couch is an art deco style (very low). It makes me recline too much and all I can think about is how often I reclined in my last pregnancy and how Molly just would not budge from a LOP position (which I feel was a part of the problem with my labour)... It also gives me a really sore back and I would prefer to sit on the floor honestly.

Here is my current fave position for computer time... I balance the MacBook on the foot stool in front of me and lean over the ball...

Do you have info on foetal positioning??

Picture sourced here

I am wondering if anyone can tell me when I should start putting effort into positioning this baby for a smooth transition from the womb?

I understand that sometimes baby will just get comfy and find a position that may not be the most optimal (ie. posterior, breech etc) however I want to do everything I can to TRY..

Any information would be much appreciated!!

There is a great deal of info HERE but nothing about when to begin...

I am guessing the answer is to start as soon as possible to get in good habits but if anyone has any more info please share!

Budgeting... Old school!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Wisdom from Owlet & Gloria Lemay- what to do for a new mother...

A lovely post over here at Owlet today...

Included was this wonderful list written by Gloria Lemay:

1. Buy us toilet paper, milk and beautiful whole grain bread.

2. Buy us a new garbage can with a swing top lid and 6 pairs of black cotton underpants (women’s size____).

3. Make us a big supper salad with feta cheese, black Kalamata olives, toasted almonds, organic green crispy things and a nice homemade dressing on the side. Drop it off and leave right away. Or, buy us frozen lasagna, garlic bread, a bag of salad, a big jug of juice, and maybe some cookies to have for dessert. Drop it off and leave right away.

4. Come over about 2 in the afternoon, hold the baby while I have a hot shower, put me to bed with the baby and then fold all the piles of laundry that have been dumped on the couch, beds or in the room corners. If there’s no laundry to fold yet, do some.

5. Come over at l0 a.m., make me eggs, toast and a 1/2 grapefruit. Clean my fridge and throw out everything you are in doubt about. Don’t ask me about anything; just use your best judgment.

6. Put a sign on my door saying “Dear Friends and Family, Mom and baby need extra rest right now. Please come back in 7 days but phone first. All donations of casserole dinners would be most welcome. Thank you for caring about this family.”

7. Come over in your work clothes and vacuum and dust my house and then leave quietly. It’s tiring for me to chat and have tea with visitors but it will renew my soul to get some rest knowing I will wake up to clean, organized space.

8. Take my older kids for a really fun-filled afternoon to a park, zoo or Science World and feed them healthy food.

9. Come over and give my husband a two hour break so he can go to a coffee shop, pub, hockey rink or some other r & r that will delight him. Fold more laundry.

10. Make me a giant pot of vegetable soup and clean the kitchen completely afterwards. Take a big garbage bag and empty every trash basket in the house and reline with fresh bags.

Mmm.. fooood!

I spent the first few months of my pregnancy feeling generally hung over most of the time. So sleepy and oh so nauseous! The smell of cooking eggs, freshly ground coffee, fat, bacon, meat, broccoli.. basically anything other than bland cereal and fruit, turned my stomach and sent me running for the bathroom. (I never did actually throw up, I just felt like I was going to all the time!)

It is quite a relief to be out the other side of it and feeling somewhat like my old self again. I can happily say that my eating is back on track and I am no longer restricted to my previously bland diet. I am now diving into salads, rice and veggie dishes, eggs for breakfast, curries, soups, delicious seasonal fruit and lots of vietnamese inspired foods (I have a thing for fish sauce, rice wine vinegar and sweet chilli sauce.. mmm).

In saying that, I am trying to keep to a basic structure with my food (variations of course happen);

Breakfast: Usually raw oats with cereal topper*, 1/2 a grated apple and some soy/rice/a2 milk or a sweet potato and herb omelette

Snack: A piece of fruit and often a weak skim latte, or some home made muesli slice

Lunch: 2 slices of bread (always good quality made with rye/spelt/sourdough/quinoa), ABC butter (almond, cashew, brazil nut), with fresh lettuce from the garden and other salad if we have any. Or leftovers from the night before

Snack: Fruit and a handful of raw nuts, or some salmon, some raw carrots with hommus

Dinner: As I have said above; curries, brown rice with veg & chicken, rice paper rolls, asian soups, spelt/rice/amaranth pasta with tomato based sauces and chicken or lean beef, salads with grilled chicken or fish... lots of variety with dinner!

After dinner: Sometimes a scoop or 2 of low fat ice cream, or fresh fruit (more often than not), or some home made muesli slice, or sometimes some dark chocolate.

* Cereal topper is made with flax, buckwheat, sesame seeds, almonds, pepitas and dried cranberries- I have about 2 tablespoons

Again, I was going to include a whole bunch of really gorgeous photos of all the delicious and healthy food I have been devouring, but alas, silly work computer has other ideas!!

No Sugar Sweetie Pie: Addictive Chocolate Date Brownies

No Sugar Sweetie Pie: Addictive Chocolate Date Brownies: "A few weeks ago my husband decided to make chocolate brownies. Unfortunatly though, he made them with cane sugar so i was not able to have ..."

No sugar sweetie pie!

My beautiful sister-in-law Taz has just started blogging!! Please go and make her feel loved by leaving a comment on one of her wonderful sugar-free recipe posts..

Believe me, these are really super delicious recipes and you wont even notice that they are free of cane sugar!

I was going to put a gorgeous cute photo of Taz here however my work computer is being silly and won't let me. So you have to go over to her blog and see for yourself!

A word from Taz:
Hi everyone, i love cooking, eating and everything else to do with food! Anything sweet i will happily devour...i often spend afternoons just paging through dessert books for my enjoyment. I have however recently decided to give up all things cane sugar. So..its quite the challenge..but i love it! I have been baking food, some succesful and some not..and this blog will be full of what i think is the yummiest sugar free food that i have made. Everything is sweetened with only natural alternatives! Hope it helps you on your sugar free journey.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

I know everything will work out in the end, but.......


Some of you (who follow me on Twitter) might already know that I have had a very full-on week... To cut a long story short, we have been overpaid by CL (for those of you playing along overseas- social security) for two years (!!) and now owe them a LOT of money...

This happened for two reasons:

1. J may have ticked a wrong box on his original form when applying for austudy and not realised he needed to report my income fortnightly, the forms are extremely confusing but an honest mistake was made- how this has gone unnoticed for two whole years is beyond me!? The strange thing about this error is that he has actually applied fot austudy online twice and both times was approved. Sound odd?? Yeah, I think so too. How could they not notice??! Is the "report partner's income" area that hard to find??! Maybe... I am going to try and complete the online for myself (without sending it off of course) and see where he could have gone wrong. He is an intelligent person and I just don't understand how this could happen twice.

2. CL systems are not linked. I have been faithfully updating my yearly income estimate and completed my tax return at the end of both financial years. CL actually have all my information in the system as we get a family payment. But because the systems are not linked, my updates were not noticed and J was getting the full amount of austudy. That particular part of the system didn't think our family had any income. Hmm... technology?!

So... we have a lot of sorting out to do! Of course I don't want to argue that we should keep the money. If we are not entitled to it we should not have it. However, it is a very large amount of money and it will completely clear out our savings if we pay it back in a lump. However, if we choose a payment plan, that gives us much less (read: not enough) to live on from week to week. I would like to try and work out what actually went wrong and why it took so long to pick up the problem. A friend has suggested legal aid however I do not want to dispute whether or not we should have to pay back the money. I know we should, it's not ours to have. The decision can be appealed, but all I really want is an apology.


We need to change our lives a lot now just to get by.

So this blog is going to change a bit... It's still going to be following my pregnancy but I also plan to document this whole thing and include our plan of action (ie. how we are going to make our lives work now on such a meagre wage- my weekend work and a little family payment)... I have written a budget and we are going back to an old-school cash in envelopes type of arrangement. Money comes in, it's divided up into envelopes and jars and we spend no more than what is in the allocated jar/envelope.
A few changes that we are making to begin with include:
  • No eating out unless there is an occasion- even sushi and gyoza (cry!)
  • Walking/cycling more places and leaving the car at home (I have seen quite a few preggie women cycling around and I think I'd be comfortable doing this for a while at least- on the footpath)
  • No coffee out (cry!)- we will use our keep cups and make our own
  • My gym membership is going (I have budgeted in yoga but may ask family to purchase some classes for me for my birthday. I really feel that I need something to help me get ready physically for the birth and to help me cope with the stress in my life (which is a lot right now)). The cycling and walking should do for my cardio.
  • Having a budget and sticking to said budget- The homebirth is included as I just cannot sacrifice this.. (Contributions welcome! See sidebar! lol cheeky, I know)
  • I have reduced my mobile phone plan to the minimum and dropped the insurance *gulp*. I had considered ditching the mobile all together as we have reliable internet at home now however I am on a plan and we can't afford to pay out my contract.
  • No more random op-shopping adventures (double cry!). We are to shop only when we actually need something.
  • Grow lots of our own salad greens and anything else easy that we wont kill
  • Get our eggs from Mama
  • Make two loaves of home made bread per week. No more shop bought bread. I always choose the expensive breads with alternative grains and I just can't  justify spending $7 on a loaf of bread any more (not that I really could before, but I just can't eat the supermarket crap). This will involve sourcing some good quality bulk alternative flours. Please tell me if you know any great suppliers.
After writing all this down, I can quite confidently say that this is how I want to live anyway (!!) (aside from the no cafe' coffee & gyoza thing) and I think this crappy thing that has happened to us may actually improve our quality of life. Wow! I just blew my own mind!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

I have not been very good at this 30 day meme!!

I've been a little busy as my gorgeous sister-in-law (and best bud from way back) has just given birth to a little girl! It was amazing to be there while she birthed... I will do a proper post about that soon. 

But first, here's a few days worth of meme...

Day 11– What’s in your makeup bag?
  • Natio mineral foundation
  • Natio bronzer & brush
  • Natio eyeshadow
  • Tweezers
  • Dove tinted moisturiser (for when I can't be bothered with the mineral powder
  • Innoxa eye define stick
  • Massive (or something) mascara
  • Lip gloss (I'm not a lipstick kind of gal)

Day 12– A photograph of the town you live in.

Footscray Park

Our local (awesome!!) library/neighborhood house (I think this may just be the concept visual thing from before it was built.. but it's pretty much the same!)

Day 13– Your favourite musician and why?

There are so many I love!! Right now though, I am rekindling my love for The Smiths.. I think the melancholy vibe offsets my general perkiness nicely.. :) 

Day 14– A TV show you’re currently addicted to.

Embarrassingly I am loving Offspring! I didn't think I would.. and the main character Nina drives me crazy with her OTT awkwardness.. but I do love Dr. Chris!

Day 15– Something you don’t leave the house without.

My iPhone! I feel absolutely naked without it!!
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