Thursday, March 26, 2009

First day at home

... and already little Nina is fitting right in! Seen here in her sling while Dad enjoys his morning toast.
What an incredible feeling to be able to bring Nina, aka Sprout, into the family. She and I came home from hospital on Monday, and every day has been an adventure, a learning experience, and a total cornucopia of delight.
There aren't really the right words to describe the emotions of all this. There's so much wonder in every little detail, from her long legs and big feet (go Phil's tall genes!), to the silky hair on her head, her blue-grey eyes, which will no doubt change colour, to her tiny little fingernails. There's also wonder in how such a small creature can consume so much milk. I'd wonder where it all went if it weren't for the fact that I see the end products in her nappies.
And yep, she cries, lots, and sleeps lots except when we want her to but usually we work it out in the end.
Ooops, I hear a cry that says "where's my milk!!!" so this is a shortened blog post, but we're loving it, even the mucky freaky bits.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Girls

Well here you go! Please welcome Nina to the world.
She is lovely. A bit of crying and lots of sleeping :)
Bianca is recovering well but is very tired.
Stats: time of birth:10:13am; weight:3.37kg; poo:yes; cute:absolutely; date of birth:
We are looking forward to sharing our new life with you!
Mobile network is crap at the hospital but you can phone the hospital to have a chat...maybe tomorrow afternoon onwards.
Dad is now tired and is going to bed after holding my new girl for hours and hours =)
Very happy

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sofa gets a makeover

Phil's incredible sofa is one of the things that people really remember about our house. It's huge (Phil can stretch out fully on it), it's as welcoming and comfortable as a grandma's hug and a bowl of warm porridge, and it moulds itself to your body like a glove. So many of our friends when they come to our house go straight to the sofa, settle in and don't move for the rest of the day. Some even fall asleep there (miss g!!).
After a very good life, the sofa was starting to get a bit dog-eared, stained and was shedding feathers like a sick rooster, so the time had come for it to get a new lease on life.
A trip to Warwick fabrics later, and thanks to the fine efforts of Springwood Upholstery Services, we now have a new look sofa that is even comfier than the old one. It's replumped and lights up the room like a sunset.
p.s this will probably be the last non-baby-related post for a while as we're off to hospital tomorrow, so enjoy it! We will try not to overwhelm this blog with baby stuff, but can't promise anything!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rant of impotent fury

(Be warned: this is the cumulation of several months worth of frustration and rage, so it's going to be somewhat incoherent and indiscriminate!)

I must write all this down or I swear by the hormonal powers-that-be that the top of my head will burst open and this fury will vent forth with a power that will put Vesuvius to shame. In no particular order, here are the causes of my current state of impotent rage, along with a description of the sin that has earned them a position on this distinguished list of Companies That Bianca Now Has A Vendetta Against.

1. Integral Energy. It's a bright sunny day, and yet I have the overwhelming urge to kick Integral Energy in the balls. Why? Because they are currently cutting down the pine trees on the block of land up the hill from us (good because they block the sun) but while cutting down the tree closest to the top of our block, have decided it's perfectly acceptable to dump the branches and lengths of heavy pine log on the top of our block, RIGHT on top of my precious vege patch. RIP one blackcurrant bush and several raspberry canes. And to add insult to injury, when I strode up there fired with righteous anger and attempted to communicate with the neaderthal wielding the chainsaw and ask him if he was aware that there was in fact a vegetable patch under his pile of dumpings, he simply shrugged at me.

2. Katoomba Post Office and Australia Post. Went in there yesterday to use their Justice of the Peace service to certify 10 copies of our marriage certificate so I can change my name on important things like health insurance. Post office is empty but for one person in a queue. I join the queue, wait to be called (about 5 minutes later), go to the desk and nicely ask if they could certify the copies. Unbeknownst to me, in the time I was waiting, about 10 people had come into the post office after me, so there was a queue behind me. Sour-faced cow behind the desk rolls her eyes and sotto voce, mutters "you could have picked a better time". BAD move. I ask when would be a better time... no response. So she starts stamping and signing the copies. "Why do you need so many", she says grumpily. I think: "none of your f@#%ing business" but restrain myself and explain calmly I am changing my name. So she labours through 3 copies, taking a grand total of about 1 minute, then tells me I should go and get the rest done at the NRMA because there's a big queue. I point out that I am extremely pregnant and due to give birth this week, hoping she'll realise that this may be one of my last excursions in public for several weeks and really am not in any state to be traipsing around Katoomba, but she refuses to look at me or look me in the eye and adopts the pose most commonly seen by small cringing things in the wild - bow head, keep still and hope the problem goes away. Unfortunately, I did and have been stewing about it ever since. It would have taken a grand total of 5 minutes to do the job - about the same amount of time your average little old lady would take to count out enough coins to pay for her weekly stamp allowance, so I can only presume that as my request would make no money for Australia Post, that whole smiley "we're here to serve you" charade got flushed well and truly down the toilet.

3. Computershare. Computershare owes me $1300 from the sale of some shares that happened more than a YEAR ago. Since October last year, I have been trying to get them to reissue the cheque to my new address. Sounds like a simple procedure? WRONG! To cut a long and painful saga short, it has taken at least 8 phone calls, numerous documents being sent, faxed, certified, sent again, faxed again, lost, rediscovered, request for documents made then retracted, and still no sign of my moolah. Every single person I have spoken to each time has assured me this is definitely the last thing I need to do before they can reissue me with the cheque, and each time, no cheque arrives, or I get another letter requesting yet another piece of documentation that they already have on file but have somehow overlooked. Last phone call was this morning, and now I have to get certified copies of three different documents sent to them. Which will be great fun after Rant 2 above. Might get to deal with po-face again.

4. Netgear. Working from home means internet connection is rather important. So when a router dies, panic ensues. In this case, the VoIP component of our netgear router gave up the ghost. Thankfully, Netgear said they would replace it (big tick) so we send off the broken router and await arrival of the replacement. Replacement arrives very swiftly, we connect it up only to discover that this particular router is locked to a particular VoIP service provider (not the one we use) so we can't adjust the VoIP settings. Ring Netear, explain the problem, they are apologetic and say they will send out another replacement, no need for us to send back the first replacement first. How nice of them, as it means we at least have internet access, just no internet telephone. Second replacement router arrives a few days later and lo, it is also locked to another VoIP provider. So, we now have two replacement routers, both unusable for VoIP. Ring Netgear again, this time somewhat pissed off, and explain they have made the same mistake twice. Refrain from adding "you blithering idiots" to the end of every sentence. Technician again apologetic and says a third replacement router will be sent out. I ask about what the heck I'm supposed to do with all these bloody routers clogging up my office. Turns out I'm supposed to send them back at my own expense. I suggest this is the shittiest thing since Fat Bob fell in the pit loo, only to be warned that should I refuse to send back the replacement routers I will go on some dire blacklist that will no doubt see Netgear heavies knocking at the door and attempting to repossess our first born. I demand to talk to managers, but it seems they're all on smoko, so I'm reassured they will ring me back to discuss the matter further. No response, oh well. Must be a big spliff they're working on.
In due course, third replacement router arrives and GUESS WHAT!! It's another locked router. To quote my lovely sister "where's my surprised face?". By this stage I have gone out the other side of rage and into mild hysteria, so I ring again, and finally get a technician who obviously graduated from primary school who realises that none of the previous technicians actually recorded the request for a non-locked router. Thankfully, he now sends a corrected request to their warehouse, and we are now waiting for our fourth replacement router, which is apparently delayed due to lack of stock. Watch this space (well, actually, that's not going to be much fun for you so maybe don't).

5. Water tank people. Who shall for the moment remain nameless as there is a chance they may yet redeem themselves. After 2 years of effort, we recently finally got our water tank installed and plumbed into the house. The water tank went in before Christmas, so had plenty of time to fill up, and was finally plumbed into the whole house about 3 weeks ago. The munchkins who plumbed it in obviously didn't read the instructions because initially, they set up the system so the switch that decides between mains and water tank would never actually pick the water tank because the entire system was driven by the mains. Phil, god bless his clever cranium, spotted the error, so they had to come back a week later and completely replumb the system. After that, pump makes satisfyingly busy noises when turned on and we rejoice in the knowledge we are now completely independent of mains water (until the drought really bites). Cue guilt-free baths, wanton watering of the vege patch, stoking of green egos etc. Until I start to wonder why the level of the water tank isn't going down at all. Yesterday, as a little experiment, we check the counter on our water mains box and it turns out that we are still drawing from the mains. What the?!? We examine the layout of the plumbing and can't work out why the pump, which draws directly from the water tank, is going on if we're still drawing mains water. Sleep on the problem, Phil wakes up having solved it in his sleep (he does this a lot!) - the outlet valve from the water tank to the pump is actually shut. So the rainbank switch which controls the flow of water from mains or tank has been switching the pump on whenever we turn the tap on, but no water has been coming from the tank (because the valve is closed) so it then draws from the mains (while keeping the pump running). So our new pump has been running dry for nearly 2 weeks, which I'm sure, even with my limited plumbing knowledge, qualifies as a bad thing. We have now turned on the tank valve (hearing much gurgling as water starts flowing through pipes) but we're still drawing from the mains, which leads us to believe that either the pump is stuffed, the pump wasn't primed by the plumbers (you blithering idiots), or there's another problem we haven't thought of (given track record so far, highly likely).

Phew ... I think that's it. I don't know if it's just bad timing that this crap is raining down on my hormonal, pregnant head now, or if I'm just noticing because I'm hormonal and pregnant, but either way, I've got Warpath Exhaustion.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Sprout at 37 weeks

"Here's lookin' at you, kid"
Yep, this is the face of Sprout, snapped just a week ago, looking quite comfortable.
Typical of a child of mine, it's facing 180 degrees in the wrong direction (head up instead of head down), which has given us a few headaches in terms of deciding what to do about birth choices. Breech deliveries aren't very common these days because they're a bit more complex than the usual delivery, so we're currently staring down the barrel of a caesarean section. It's a bit disconcerting to contemplate surgery, especially given my enthusiasm for a 'natural labour' (I wrote about this recently for The Weekend Australian newspaper, which you can read here).
Sprout has so far resisted all efforts to turn it the right way around, which have included regular swims, spending 20 mins a day on all fours with my backside in the air, and even a medical procedure in which the doctor tries to turn it around from the outside.
This last procedure was done last week and our obstetrician seemed a little put out that Sprout just refused to budge an inch! While we were disappointed that it didn't work, there was a small twinge of pride in our stubborn little offspring!
And the good news is Sprout is otherwise very healthy, normal size and weight, and wriggling like an octopus most hours of the day.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Got my motorbike fixed!!

glow worm tunnel


Along with a couple of trips down to Sydney I also managed to get in an off road trip for a walk and a look at a local glow worm tunnel that I hadn’t been to for years.

I’d forgotten how tiring dirt roads are on a motorbike. Your hands go numb with the corrugation of the dirt road and you have to really focus on the road surface for holes and slippery stuff. Lots of the time you are kinda half standing as you use your legs as a shock absorber. The next day my muscles ached. It was only 70km and I had big memories of doing over 500km of the Birdsville track in just one day...I was sooooo

The glow worm tunnel was brill, just as I remembered it. Luckily I remembered to take a torch as the middle of the tunnel is pitch black. The glow worms have a small blue’ish light and cluster like star constellations. The tree ferns outside were lush with the recent rains and I love the very big eucalypts around there.