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Date added: 11/05/2012 Week 18 - Photo of the week

Whoops, nearly forgot about this week's photo, sorry :(

This is easily my fave from the past week - all three girls swinging on the BIG swing (as they call it!) at a local park...

We hadn't been to this particular park for a while, and they had replaced the base of the swing from a rope style one to a fully enclosed base. Actually, the last time we went to it was 3 days before Ruby was born... and my husband just happened to snap this pic then.

Amazing how life changes isn't it? It doesn't seem that long ago that there were only two little munchkins, but now we have three and life is PERFECT!

Enjoy,

Kate x

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Date added: 02/05/2012 Week 17 - Photo of the week

With all the excitement of the Joycie skirt giveaway I almost forgot about my photo of the week!

Well, this week was an easy one. It was my birthday and my gorgeous family gave me a bunch of bright pink lillies...

They actually gave them to me the day before my birthday, which was even more exciting and unexpected! How can anyone not love a surprise bunch of flowers?!? I've had a wonderful birthday and have been made to feel truly special by my family.

Enjoy,

Kate x

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Date added: 01/05/2012 Joycie skirt 'Dandelions' giveaway

Thanks to everyone who entered our little giveaway which celebrated Whale Spout being in operation for 6 months!

The prize is this Joycie skirt:

 

The winner has been drawn by www.random.org...

Due to Facebook regulations I am unable to announce the winner on the Whale Spout page, however I can here on the blog...

Congratulations go to Loretta Hart - there is an email in your inbox waiting for you!

Thanks again to everyone for entering, be sure to keep checking our Facebook page for new designs, ranges and maybe even another little comp soon!

Thanks again,

Kate x

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Date added: 24/04/2012 Week 16 - Photo of the Week

I had a 'first' last week. It was my first school sports day as a parent. It was a glorious day - sunshine, blue skies, perfect autumn weather. However, it the pit of my stomach I was so concerned for my daughter. You see, I was never very good at athletics. In fact, I hated it. I'm still not good at athletics and hate running! And the problem is that I am worried that my 5 year old has taken after me!

Thankfully, Molly is in Prep, and they don't take the Preppies too seriously at school sports day. They give them low hurdles to jump over, a soft shot put ball to throw, and a plastic javelin pole. It wasn't so much those events that I was worried about - it was the running. I can clearly remember coming last in running events... year after year. I hated it, but my pride was stronger than my hatred and I refused to slow down and walk, or stop. I always ran (or more politely, jogged) to the finish line. But my self esteem took a battering.

So, at the end of the day when the Preps were lining up for their 100 metre sprints in front of the entire school community of student, teachers and parents, I held my breath. My heart started beating louder than the kids were screaming for their colours. Of course, Molly was in the last group and I was restless. Finally, her race started...

And, wouldn't you know it... Molly came third.

I was amazed. I was thrilled. I was ecstatic. She had a smile on her face from ear to ear, she was just so happy to have run her first race. When I went up to her to congratulate her she asked me what number she came (she couldn't read her ribbon upside down) - she didn't even know how well she had done and she was happy.

Once again, a child of mine had proven me wrong. She didn't even care where she came in the race. She was just happy to have a ribbon, and all the competitors received one.

I was so proud of my daughter, and I still am!

Enjoy,

Kate x

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Date added: 19/04/2012 Week 15 - Photo of the Week

In the second week of the school holidays the kids and I were invited to a friend's place for lunch. No, we were invited to a farm, for lunch. And we had a ball!

We live in a country town. We have a dog and a cat. We grow a lot of our own vegetables. My children know as much about farm animals from driving past them regularly, as they do from books. But to actually take them to a farm was such a fabulous experience!

We met Buzz the dog, Gilbert and Whiskas (the cats), Roger the Rogers and his harem of chooks, and most excitedly, we met Zorro the black Arab stallion, and Jelly Baby, the pony. My girls were absolutely bursting at the seams with excitement - real chickens they could chase and look for eggs with, and a beautiful, stunning stallion that spent most of the afternoon doing real neighing (no sound books required!)! But without a doubt, the highlight of the day was Jelly Baby.

Jelly Baby is a very small pony (just 9 hands, if you know that that means!) and she's very kid-friendly. So after a lesson on how to groom a horse from my friend, Lana, the kids took turns to ride her... all three of them! Molly went first and the smile was almost as big as Jelly Baby's! She even had a quick trot, which Molly loved - her first ever horse ride.

Next up was Grace. Even though Grace is very much my 'bulldozer' child, she can be shy and I was expecting her to be coy and say no to a horse ride. Boy, was I wrong! Grace jumped into the saddle and had a brilliant time - check out her smile at the end:

The biggest surprise of the day came last - Ruby walked on over to Jelly Baby and started pulling at her stirrup 'me, me, me'! No! My 18 month old riding a horse? Well, a 9 hand pony?!? Still, it is a horse! Lana promised she wouldn't let her go, so we strapped the helmet on little Ruby and up she went into the saddle. I think Molly and Grace loved seeing Ruby ride a horse as much as Ruby did!

It was a glorious day and I had three exhausted but oh-so-excited little girls. We didn't head out to the farm that day imagining that all three would ride their first horse, but what an experience!

Thank you Lana, Charlie and Zoe - we had a ball!

Enjoy :)

Kate x

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Date added: 11/04/2012 Week 14 - Photo of the week

What a wonderful Easter we had! It was relaxing, quiet, relatively stress-free and mostly great weather - can't complain about that. Easter Bunny paid us a visit sometime Saturday night and the girls woke up to find a Humpty Dumpty Easter Egg each, and then we headed outside to do our Easter Egg hunt. 

We weren't quite sure if our 18 month old, Ruby, would understand what was going on but once she saw her first Easter Egg she absolutely understood! Ruby had dragged her doll's pram outside with her so that became the girls impromptu Easter Egg basket. Less than 5 minutes later, all 3 girls had found a decent number off Easter Eggs and started munching into them... isn't that a standard Easter Sunday breakfast?!?

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter break too :)

Enjoy,

Kate x

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Date added: 04/04/2012 Why I'm wearing green today

I'm dressed in green today. Why, you may ask? Because today is a very special day, a day that is very close to my heart. Today is 'Wear Green for Premmies' day.

Nearly 5 and half years ago, I had just started my maternity leave and was looking forward to a restful 5 or so weeks before our first baby arrived. However, Miss Molly had other ideas. At 35 weeks gestation, my waters broke and I went straight into labour. Just 8 hours later, our little Molly arrived... and I went into shock! She was the teeniest, tiniest little baby I had ever laid eyes on (let alone HELD!), weighing just 2494 grams (5lb 8oz).

I only got to hold Molly for about 2 minutes before she was taken by the pediatrician to be examined - little did I understand at the time that I wouldn't get to hold her again for 7 heart-wrenching days. Soon after the above photo was taken, she was moved into an isolette in the Special Care Nursery. This was our first family photo, and we wouldn't get another of us holding our daughter for another 14 days.

 

The above photo was taken just after Molly was placed in the isolette, and she had removed her arms from covering her eyes - this new world she was in was way too bright for her! The medical staff were concerned as she had one under-developed lung, so she was put on oxygen and a nasal-gastric tube was inserted for her feeding. They didn't have huge concerns about her health, but with premature babies things can change very quickly, so we were constantly on edge.

So, our introduction to parenthood was nothing like we had imagined - our only interaction with our baby was through the little portholes in the isolette. We patted her and held her hands as much as we could, and even changed her nappies through the portholes (and as first time parents, this was quite challenging!). As you can see in the above photo, my husband's hand was could cover her entire back and head - she was just so precious. 

It wasn't until after this experience that I learnt about 'kangaroo cuddles' and skin on skin contact, and I'm disappointed that I wasn't offered to opportunity to try this with Molly. I'm quite sure that if we had have tried it we would have seen improvement with her - she always has, and still does, love her cuddles!

After 5 days I was discharged and sent home, and our little baby stayed at the hospital - it broke our hearts to leave her there and returning home from hospital without a baby was not what we had expected at all. Setting my alarm to wake up in the middle of the night to attach the breast pump was not part of the plan either - it is so much easier to pull yourself out of bed when there is a screaming baby to attend to!

For the next week I would spend all day at the hospital, developing a love/hate relationship with the electric breast pump - not really what I had expected breastfeeding to be like! My husband would drop in to the hospital after work, we'd spend more time with Molly, and then head home for sleep. I had never felt so helpless in all of my life, but I had to be patient and allow Molly to grow strong enough so we could bring her home. 

Eventually, Molly was moved out of the isolette and into a normal hospital bassinette (a huge milestone for a premmie), and her nasal gastric tube was removed once she had developed her sucking reflex and could successfully drink a bottle of my expressed milk. The most exciting part of her being moved into the bassinette was that we could now hold her whenever we wanted. Needless to say, I held her for hours. Molly was slowly getting stronger and every day we hoped to be told that we could take her home.  After a very long 10 days, I finally got to experience my first breastfeed - it was a very long time to wait for a very anxious first-time Mum!

Finally, when Molly was 13 days old, we were finally given the all clear and allowed to take her home. Finally, we were able to be parents to our child without a nurse or doctor looking over our shoulder. Finally, we could hear those sweet baby noises in our home. Finally, we could be a family!

Our experience with the premature birth of Molly was difficult, stressful and full of anxiety. However, we were lucky. Molly only spent 13 days in hospital and even though she was small to us (finding baby clothes in size 00000 to fit was near-impossible!), she was actually quite a large premmie! Within 12 months, Molly had well and truly caught up to the developmental stages of babies her age. Thankfully, she hasn't had any health issues since and is today a very happy and healthy girl in her first year of primary school.

Other families are not so lucky, their premmies can spend weeks and months in NICU units and the Special Care Nursery before they are taken home - if, they are to go home at all. Unlike us, many families live hours from the hospital. In these cases the Mum has to live away from home to be with her baby, in a strange place, often without support, until the baby is well enough to be relocated to a local hospital or go home. 

We were lucky, we know it, and we are grateful every day.

To support 'Wear Green for Premmies', visit the official event page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/104529679668364/

Kate x

 

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Date added: 03/04/2012 Week 13 - Photo of the week

Last week was the last week of Term 1 here in Victoria, and as is tradition, on Friday afternoon Molly's school had their annual Easter Egg raffle. After weeks of the school's family's donating Easter Eggs, the school Parents & Friends Association had wrapped up almost 30 prizes to be raffled.

At kinder last year, there was a similar raffle and I mistakenly told Molly that I had bought her and her sisters lots of raffle tickets, so to listen out in case their names were called. Unfortunately, none of the girls won a prize and this resulted in tears for the rest of the Easter BBQ! I had learnt my lesson, and this year I didn't mention anything about a raffle to Molly!

So, as you can imagine, Molly actually won a prize this year - and thankfully it wasn't 1st, 2nd or 3rd prize as I think it would take a family of 10 at least a month to get through all the chocolate in those prizes! My little 5 year old was over the moon with her win, and you couldn't wipe the smile off her face. 

Thankfully, her teacher told her that she wasn't allowed to eat any of the Easter Eggs until Easter Sunday (and Molly will do ANYTHING her teacher tells her!), so they have been sitting on the kitchen table patiently waiting... for another 5 sleeps!

Happy Easter :)

Kate x

 

 

Date added: 27/03/2012 Week 12 - Photo of the week

Week 12 already - where is the year going?!?

This week my photo of the week is a cheeky shot I took of little miss Ruby one night after dinner, when my parents were over. We were all enjoying ice-creams on a balmy autumn evening, with Ruby sharing my Mum's ice-cream. Mum ultimately gave up after Ruby's crankiness every time Mum had a bite so Mum gave in and handed Ruby the ice-cream - the smile and look of accomplishment on Ruby's face was one to behold!

As you can see, this was a very well enjoyed ice-cream! And the mess was quite amazing too...

Enjoy,

Kate x

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Date added: 21/03/2012 Week 11 - Photo of the week

This week's photo of the week was a very easy decision for me - it was when my husband and I were enjoying a celebratory champagne after he accepted his new job. It was so nice to enjoy this together, after the turmoil of the previous 10 days or so (see my previous blog: http://whalespout.com.au/an-emotional-rollercoaster.html for why it was full of turmoil!).

Ahhhh :)

Kate x

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