Friday, April 4, 2014

One, two, three...

My heart is a wee bit heavy today.

After considering many, many things we have come to the conclusion that a second child may not be in our future.

Thoughts of money, job prospects, mortgages, space, and emotional fragility (mainly mine) have tornadoed around in my head for the last few days.

I cannot possibly see how we could afford another child.

"You'll just make it work," I can hear coming from my Mum's mouth. But things are very different to when she was having babies. Mortgage to income ratios are astronomical, and we have not, by any means bought big. We "own" a modest unit in a modest suburb. We rent it to people who pay on time and haven't trashed the joint, while we rent across the road in a falling down Queenslander that has character peeling from its rusted roof down into its jungle of a backyard.

We love living here but would have to move if we had another baby. Probably while I was pregnant. We did that last time and it was not ideal. I was fat, emotional and over it. At one point we thought we'd lost the cat and I made everyone stop and look for her around the neighbourhood while I cried. Turned out she was in a kitchen cupboard. Also moving is expensive. There is bond to cover, strong men to organise, and - oh god - the packing and unpacking. A bigger place means more rent. It means moving further out. It means Damien would have to drive further to work.

Other considerations like school fees, uniforms, food, clothes, books, entertainment etc go without saying. Kids are expensive. Day care for two children would ruin us. We have no familial support nearby. I envy those people with grandparents close at hand.

We're wiped out after the IVF. Physically and mentally and financially. It stripped us bare in many ways. Can I go through that again? I don't know. Am I prepared for another potentially traumatic labour, followed by the sleepless nights, the difficulty feeding, the return trip to hospital with an infection etc etc? I am stuck on an emotional pendulum, swinging from "Oh lots of people do it and they just cope" to "Why would you put yourself through that again?".

Of course then there is the argument about the only child syndrome. Would a child without siblings be lonely? Would they learn to share, and play nicely? Would they be selfish?

My heart wants another child in many ways, but I doubt my strength to cope emotionally with two. Infertility robs you of confidence. I don't want to spend my life scratching to make ends meet.

I know many IVF couples never ever even get the chance to have a conversation about the possibility of a second child. I understand this. I am grateful, eternally, for Elliot. He is a blessing. He is a joyous, sunshiny little boy who makes our existence richer. He is a clown. A social butterfly who is still learning to use his wings. And my husband is right when he says our lives will forever be better because we have him.

Seriously. Look at him. He is awesome.

I feel utterly lost about what to do. I know there is still some time to make a decision (and in honesty the decision may be taken out of our hands if we do not succeed again with IVF). Elliot is not yet eight months old. But infertility also robs you of time very quickly, And I know we need to at least be thinking about what we want to do.

Until then, I must take a deep breath, find joy in what I have already, and trust the universe to reveal the right path.

Monday, March 31, 2014


The sun is out, but I am still dreaming of rain.

Clouds in Rainbow Drops Poster by Seal and Friends

Serving Bowl Set by Belinism

Raindrop Sterling Silver Necklace by Kimono Reincarnate

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Where I'm At - 001

Making : Easter and Mothers' Day Eye Pillows
Cooking : Sour Pork Curry from the Women's Weekly Slow Cooker recipe book (love this book)
Drinking : Real ginger tea
Reading: Louie Theroux's article about Fred Phelps
Wanting: A pineapple tea cosy
Deciding: When to go to Lismore to see my mum
Waiting: For Damien to get home from Melbourne... again
Loving: Indisposable Concept (Created by a Brisbane guy!)
Watching: The final episode of Girls, Season 3. Cannot get enough of this show.
Needing: To stop eating so much crap
Smelling: Freshly picked mint
Wearing: Old jeans - hello autumn. Note to self: buy new jeans.
Following: Little Lambs on etsy
Thinking: About the Science of Thinking through UQ.
Sorting: Through recipes
Buying: A roof rack awning for the Pajero so we have shade on Moreton Island at Easter wherever we go
Bookmarking: The Guardian's Oz website.
Disliking: Tony Abbott. For reasons.
Opening: Bills. Electricity over $550 for this quarter. Thankfully summer and the need for aircon is nearly over.
Giggling: Andy Samberg's speech at Harvard
Hearing: Badly Drawn Boy and thinking about Manchester

Go to Meet me at Mikes for Pip's much more comprehensive list of stuff.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A country show in big sky country

There's nothing quite like an Australian country show.

The sleek, muscular cattle, the well-groomed horses trotting the ring, the smell of fried dagwood dogs, hot chips and sausage sizzles, the shining glint of the tacky prizes hanging from the games in sideshow alley, and the call of the carney.

We did a trip last weekend to visit Damien's family at Jandowae, west of Dalby. It was a long drive, given we had to make multiple stops to feed ourselves and Elliot. But overall it was nice to be on the road with my little family, and Elliot spoiled us by actually sleeping part of each way and not screaming constantly in the car like he used to when he was younger. Apparently he never read the part of the baby manual that said kids love cars and often drop off to sleep in them. Not my boy. We went through a stage from about 2-4 months where he would unleash all hell for even short trips to the shops. I would grit my teeth, turn the radio up LOUD and press down on the accelerator just a wee bit harder.

But we made it to the country unscathed. It's big sky country out there. Dalby and Jandowae are incredibly flat - the only hill Damien could use to practice hill-starts when learning to drive was man-made - and the oceans of fields stretch to the horizon, which shimmers in the heat before exploding into the pale hammered sky. A lot of crops were ready for harvest so we passed thousands of acres of rusty coloured sorghum and fluffy cotton.

The best, of course, was sent in to the show...

... along with heaps of other produce and plants. Question: How does one judge, say, sorghum? They all looked the same to me... Obviously I don't know much about grain.

Big pumpkins... the winner was 80kg. I wanted to sit E on it for a pic but thought some of the hardcore competition peeps might get a bit annoyed, especially if he decided to use his new teeth to take a chunk out of it.

He also adored the baby animal nursery.

But one of my fave parts of any show, big or small, is the arts and craft section. The Jandowae Show did not disappoint.

It was classic, it was country, it was kitsch and it was creative genius all rolled up into one.

My fave was the pet rock display, but the lego was quite incredible too, given the age of some of these kids.

I guess that's the beauty of these shows. Once a year the whole community comes together to celebrate individual and collective talents. To race pigs. To sit in the dust and eat dripping hamburgers while watching fireworks. To admire the jam drops. To ride on the whizzer. To agonise over which crappy show bag to take home. To meet friends and chat over a cuppa (lots to talk about in country towns - everyone knows EVERYONE else's business). But mainly to forget about the day-to-day trials of life and enjoy simple things like fresh air and community spirit. And pinwheels, obviously.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The rain washes it away

I love rain. Nothing is more sweet than the smell in the air after a downpour. The atmosphere is cleansed, the plants nourished, and the earth breathes a heavy sigh as it soaks up the streams that pour from the sky.

The sun has broken through the clouds in Brisbane, but everything still has a gloss. The ponds are full. The fish are happy. And so am I.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mum's the word - $20 eye pillow special

Mothers' Day is almost upon us.

I'm working on some special eye pillows for you to give to the woman who held your hand when crossing the road, put band-aids on skinned knees, kept you fed and taxied you to music and sport, and created fabulous last-minute school projects in the middle of the night with just some toilet rolls, sticky tape and glitter.

littlechrissy eye pillows are usually $28 plus postage, but because mums are so rad, I'm doing a special deal with all of these limited edition Mothers' Day pillows just $20 plus postage.

If your Mum has a favourite colour, I can create a special eye pillow (in lavender, rosemary or citrus scent) just for her. Just drop me a line in the comments, or contact me through my etsy store.

Good job mums.

It's been a while...

Good grief has it really been nearly 18 months since I posted? I've been a bit distracted.

This is the reason.

His name is Elliot. He is 7 months old.

He enjoys playing with tags on pillows, eating stewed fruit, squealing excitedly at the cats and cockatiel, playing the maracas and going for walks in the carrier.

He dislikes riding in the car, riding in the pram, when balloons waft out of his reach, and when the stewed fruit does not appear in his mouth quickly enough.

All in all he's a comical clown and a pretty chilled little guy, especially now he has learned to sleep. Why don't they come with that skill pre-programmed? Seems like a pretty big design flaw.

Some of you may know he was conceived through IVF, which is both an amazing and horrendous process. It leaves you quite drained - both physically and emotionally - and of course there is no guarantee it will work. We got lucky on the second try. And Elliot is the result.

It blows my mind to think that he is here by both design and chance. He came about through a very strict scientific process, but also through the pure luck that he was the embryo chosen by the doc for implantation. I understand now why people who go through IVF find it very difficult to decide what to do with leftover embryos... what little people reside in these primordial clusters of cells?

We feel very blessed to have him. He is joy embodied.
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