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not only but also
9th-Feb-2014 07:45 pm
tacomonkey and I are very happy to announce that Jess is just shy of thirteen weeks pregnant. She's due mid-August, and according to the scan on Saturday, not having a puppy or a lizard or twins.

And now, a brief, pre-emptive FAQ. Or, at least the answers.

1) No, Liz and I have not broken up. This year is our 20th anniversary. We are all in the same house. It is pretty nice.

2) Yes, it was planned, over about 18 months

3) Jess has felt a bit sick, and randomly fallen asleep, and cannot remember how many fingers people have and once left her glasses in the fridge and the cheese in the vegetable crisper. Other than that, things have gone pretty ok.

4) the baby appears to be, as almost all of them are, impersonating Alfred Hitchcock. It has the right number of organs and limbsand such for a baby this old.

5) Liz is excited.

6) Hamish is excited. Even after we explained that not all babies go on the UV grill.

7) Kieran would like someone to read the hungry caterpillar, or put on some more Ben and Holly.

8) Tim has not threatened to murder us.

9) I am neither charismatic nor a cult leader.

10) We do not yet know what sex the baby is, but we will find out.

11) Sorry Donna about the timing with handbooks :)

12) Jess thinks "Radio Danger" or "Alison Wonderland" are good names. Damien thinks he will steal the forms when she is in a postbirth daze.
1st-May-2013 01:40 pm - Book review: "You're all animals"
I was going to send this right to randomhouse, because I thought the feedback might be welcome, but they have no way of contacting them without signing up or giving them your facebook creditials or something, so...

So, Hamish scored this book :
aaaaand I have now taken it away.

I am sure that the author had the best of intentions when he wrote it. Something like show how you can be friends with someone even if they are different - if you can't see their differences you can grow to be friends on the basis that they have lots in common with you. Unfortunately that is not how any adult I've shown it to has read it. It reads instead like "My First Passive Xenophobia, with bonus 'I know one different person so I am not a racist' ending"

The main character moves to a new school, and everyone is different. He spurns them because they smell or they have weird arms in PE or eat weird food or just look strange. When he complains to his dad, his dad say to find someone like him on the internet, wherein he meets Frank, another kid. Each night he chats to Frank a bit more. Frank and him have lots in common, and so after a few days of talking, he meets Frank in real life. Frank turns out to be a mouse! But they are still friends, so its all ok.

"I'm not prejeudiced, I'm friends with Frank!"

At no point does any adult figure in the book say "That's really uncool, stop freaking out about people being different." Seriously. Stop it. In fact the adult's response is to turn to the internet to find a friend that isn't weird. No implicit approval of your xenophobia there, no sir!

If it had been a different kid each night on the internet, and he'd got over the whole deal of caring about difference it'd be fine. But at the end, you're still left with "oh I'm friends with frank, but not those *others*" And then you turn to the front cover again, and the whole "You're all animals" starts to take on a whole different connotation.
Conquest (Melbourne's Easter Games Convention) now has its online rego available. There's only a couple of weeks until Easter, so take a squiz at their site and then sign up for events. Pre-registered entries get a $1 discount on the price of each session - sign up now and get in early :)


(posted on behalf of conquest orgs)
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Slowly catching up on photos - December with Hamish, and only a few of Kieran. I believe I have approximately 600 unsorted photos from the last two months to go...
We're all home now, despite some reservations on the part of the midwife at special care on how Kieran was going to go. We've got to make sure he stays warm and that he gets some food through him. Its the latter that is proving difficult - he doesn't want to drink all the milk that he's meant to have according to the arcane formula we've been given. The first 50% disappears in five minutes, and then he drops back to sleep, and we spend 40 minutes trying to shove the rest down his throat and not his lungs.

The schedule is that we have to feed him every 3 or 4 hours, so until he shrugs off the jaundice and outgrows the premness, we're going to be a bit wrecked I think. I tried taking Hamish to playgroup and then to lunch, which was a bit of an overextend. I suspect I'll be at the "one thing per day" stage for a while.

Other than that, nothing exciting going on. At some point, I'll go through the 1000 odd photos that remain unsorted in the last 2 months.
goldengrove indeed came home Monday afternoon, leaving Kieran in the hand of Box Hill's Special Care Nursery. They were a bit worried we'd be upset, but frankly Hamish was therefor 8 days, and tho he was a couple of days earlier, its no real surprise that Kieran is going through the same sort of process.

goldengrove is expressing milk and running it to the hospital one or two times a day, feeding him at the time if the chance comes up, but otherwise being the milk delivery service. Hopefully that won't go for too long, because the car drive is pants. Between people doing insane things, 40 zones everywhere, having to zig zag a bit and trying to find somewhere to park, its not an enjoyable drive.

In the meantime, we will be at home a bit more, and hopefully get a chance to catch up on a bit of rest before Kieran arrives fully.
Sooo, Kieran is back in the Special Care Nursery and back into the baby oven. His jaundice came back fairly strongly, and the billibed just wasn't going to cut it. This is a bit annoying, but its almost certainly just because he's prem so we just have to wait it out and keep trying to stuff the carefully calculated four hourly feeds into his resistant gob. There is something funny about a week old baby pursing his lips tight to stop you getting a bottle in his mouth.

goldengrove, on the other hand, is too jack of being in the hospital and is agitating to come tomorrow. This means she might be home for a few days, and driving back and forth to Box Hill to deliver milk. Hopefully it won't go much longer than Wednesday (funnily enough, day 8, same length of time Hamish was in there), but we'll have to wait and see.

Some of the urge to come home is being driven by wanting to be here on Tuesday when Hamish sets off to 3 year old kinder for the first time. I'm thoroughly expecting to have to dynamite him out of the place, but the call of going and visiting the hospital might be enough.
Kieran is now off the billybed (the baby grill) and happily wriggling around a normal cot. He'd only lost 150g from birth as of yesterday and today he's had four-hourly feeds forced into him (no, not four feeds on the hour). He wakes up, eats 20ml and goes back to sleep. This is not acceptable, so we then spend 45 mins coaxing him into finishing off the meal of 60ml or so. He's not fighting it, he'd just rather be sleeping.

I'd forgotten how tricky it is to change someone who can't help, or at least knows that he'll get in trouble if he actively resists. Having stuff on various limbs makes it harder too, but its been 3.5years and I just have lost some of the knacks. I'll get lots of practice I guess, so it should come back.

Hoping that tomorrow will be the last day at Box Hill. Kinda over the trip, and definitely over having to park over a kilometer away on a hot day. goldengrove wants to come home too, getting a bit of cabinfever. Step #1 in the morning, thusly, is to put the babyseat in the car. Hopefully I remember how it goes.

Hamish went off to visit his cousins this morning, leaving the fabulous tacomonkey some down time (hopefully). He is crashed unconscious. Now I must also.
Huzzah, Kieran is clear on infection, and has had the drip and bung removed. The difficulties breathing may just have been from being a bit prem and having his lungs full of goo. MISSION GOO. Also, in other good news, he is now out of the Special Care Nursery and on the ward with goldengrove. This is extra goodish because he is not going to go home til at least Saturday, and if he is not in SCN, then someone - lets call her 'Liz' - has to stay with him while he is on the ward. Ideally, this leads to the two of them coming home on the same day.

He's continuing to guzzle food and suck the skin clean off any bit of human flesh presented to him as long as its not a boob. Being able to be fed is another requirement for heading back home, so that is generally a good thing. goldengrove is back into the dairy and he's being fed much of the results until he works out how to cut out the middle man.

Hamish has joined the rebel ranks and refuses to refer to him as 'Kieran', sticking to the old moniker of 'Mr Wriggly'. Apparently he doesn't think its a good name, but given that his preferred option is currently 'tungggg' his opinion is not really being given much weight. He was far more accepting of the possibility today that Kieran will not be able to come and play totem tennis the second he gets home. Tomorrow the fabulous tacomonkey is being given a bit of time off for good behaviour while Hamish is sent off to hang out with some of his cousins.

And now, sleep. Sleeeeeeeeeep.
1st-Feb-2012 10:31 pm - The further adventures of Mr Wriggly
After extensive high-level negotiations, Mr Wriggly is now more officially Kieran Alastair Martin Drake :-)

His breathing has come good, either with some time in the humidicrib (or baby oven), or because of the IV antibiotics. He's now on the UV bed (or baby grill) because he was showing some signs of developing jaundice and it was easier just to stave it off than wait for it to get bad enough to need it.

He's also on a glucose drip because, well, because he was on IV antibiotics, and they didn't want him disturbed by learning to breastfeed at the same time. But he's pretty insistent about wanting food too, which is good. He'll try and suck the skin clean off your finger, but he's a bit small to get a good latch on for breastfeeding. That'll probably come good in the next week or so, but in the meantime goldengrove is using a pump and he's getting some expressed breast milk. All good.

goldengrove is still a bit dazed (so am I, tho the glass of honey mead I drank while writing this helped that) and sleepy. There were some noises about discharging her on tomorrow (the normal amount of time for a birth admittance) but both of us would rather she stayed there as long as Kieran will be there, which will at least be Saturday. Its still a bit unclear, but they might have enough space to allow for it til then. We'll have a better idea tomorrow. If she does get discharged, it'll be a few days of sitting about in the canteen to express milk every three hours until he's allowed to go home. The major time limitation on that according to the midwives is that he needs to learn to latch on and feed on either a bottle or a nipple, so the former is being given a go tonight while we keep practicing with the latter.

Kieran is chubbier and less lanky than Hamish, but they look pretty similar for the most part. I'll get some photos up when I have a brain and less mead. :)

Incoming messages are being read, if not replied to - we're both a bit bushed at the moment, and normal human interaction is a bit beyond us. More interactiveness soon :)
5.50am, 3.5kg, 48cm long after about a 3 hour labour. Still "Mr Wriggly". Currently in Special Care Nursery because he was having some breathing... um... not hassles, struggles? anyway, he was spending more effort to breathe than the pediatricians liked. Mum hopefully sleeping in maternity ward.

Photos to come when I am not too tired to plug the camera in, or when I find old photos of Hamish and just lie.

(ps: sorry about massive social media spam :))
So, we're now two weeks out from the time that Hamish was born. Its gone from 24 weeks where goldengrove was showing some to ten weeks later in bursts - 2 weeks would rush past then a day would crawl. Now it could be ANY MOMENT NOW. We've decided to be ready from the 26th of January onward so as not to be caught by surprise this time. But Christmas and all being what it is, "ready" is turning out to take longer than we expected. The baby room is still full of guff, clothes are in a cupboard we can't get to, the pram is packed away.... but we have lists.

goldengrove is, well, unhappy really. Mr Wriggly is taking up a large amount of space that she was previously using for organs and personal space, making it hard to breathe or move around the house. The floor is something she visits only with some preplanning, and everything that she'd normally do close up is now done at arm's length.

Hamish is pretty interested in the baby in mum's belly and having a little brother, but less keen on the idea that pretty soon the baby will live with us and scream and sleep a lot of the time. While he's had some experience with younger kids at playgroup, I have a suspicion that he's expecting a baby somewhat more akin to a 6 month old to show up. He has suggested that we name the baby "General", "Wun Chew" and "Fanny". Some of them names we're considering were run past him, and so far he's declared them all too silly or not real names.

Mr Wriggly himself is doing fine. The 32 week scan that we were asked to have to check for low birth weigh turned out to be just fine - which didn't really come as a shock. He was about 2.1kg at 32 weeks; add 250g odd grams a week and that puts him at about 4kg when (if) he goes to 40 weeks (and about 3kg if its 36. For comparison, Hamish was 3.2kg). He has a good heartbeat, good brain blood flow and a kick like an enraged mule.
4th-Dec-2011 08:09 pm - Yes I brought my party pants
Photos from Jess' sparkle party in October
Mr Wriggly is already past the theoretical half way point. He's definitely wriggling and jiggling around inside goldengrove, and you can kinda feel it on the outside too.

We had a 20 week scan... well, actually, we had two 20 week scans, because on the first one he wouldn't stop playing with his toes. Its a little hard to get an accurate count of toes and fingers when he kept tangling them together. So between that and not being keen on rolling over so we could get a look on the far side, we ended up having to come back a couple of days later for the supplementary bits.

The good news is that everything seemed to be ok, despite the ghost skull visuals you get when using ultrasound. Brain was there, and on the inside, heart was hammering away, all the arms and legs were the appropriate size, profile was suitable Alfred-Hitchcock-like.

The slightly concerning news is that "PAPP A" levels were a bit low in the blood test around the twelve week mark, which is what led to the higher than expected possibility of downs. Its associated with a few other potential issues as well, so we've got another scan to book for 32 weeks, just to check for things like low birth weight. That'll be just after New Years' Eve.

goldengrove is clearly showing now, and finding that her belly is a bit sensitive as Mr Wriggly expands to fill all the available space. Hamish also decided that he had a baby in his tummy and that we weren't to squish him. Hamish's other current contribution is to insist that the baby's name should be "pnar" or "squiggy".

Photos, photos, photos - but not all of them as some are apparently still on cameras or otherwise not yet available. Plus bonus youtube video as I struggle with new technology.

25th-Aug-2011 02:04 pm - Now arriving, platform one...
goldengrove and myself are looking forward to sprogling #2. goldengrove is due next year about February 25, and is currently at 13.5 weeks of gestation and about 8 weeks of morning sickness. (My bet is either January 26, going by Hamish's effort, or February 29, for maximum complications).

Some folks are aware that it hasn't been the smoothest process at trying to get Hamish a little sibling, and this one has been a bit of a trial as well. Everything was going well until we got a combined test for downs that rated our chances a little bit too high, so we opted for the invasive CVS test to confirm what the situation was. The test carries a chance of miscarriage as a result of taking a sample of the placenta, but the chance was about the same as having a downs baby so it seemed the better option.

The good news, obviously, is that everything is fine, and goldengrove is out of the immediate danger period for the cvs test, with no significant side effects.

As a side effect of checking out the bump's chromosomes for trisomies, we also already know that we're going to have a boy :)
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