Sunday, December 21, 2008

happy days

The camera cord has just appeared, so more pics from recent times at the ranch: Ivy frolics on her new trampoline, eats cake mix, makes a reading nest for Warm Tiger, has a first bath with Ted and settles in to watch Thomas with him afterwards.







country cousins

Some pics from a recent trip to Canowindra. Sam was busy gestating the amazing Zoe, and Mum and I tried to fill the freezer, but Ivy and Isabelle had other plans, so we hopped like bunnies, flew like baby birds and ring -a -ringed the rosie instead.






in which the tantrum fairy appears and teddy aims at the weet-bix

Ivy has entered a new phase of adorability, which is what happens after she pushes us to the edge of madness. Prior to the new, improved Ivy who appeared in the last week, we had a three week visit from the Tantrum Fairy, who morphed Ivy into a fire-breathing, wobbly-throwing changeling who only said 'No!' or 'Mummy do it'; in a whinging pitch especially toned for maximum mind-melting.

I had a few really bad days where I had to keep reminding myself that the kid is all Id: she can't edit behaviour or manage emotion yet and she's really not doing it on purpose. Whatever crosses her mind she says, or does, with no thought of what it might mean, or who it might hurt, or whether the stain of it will ever come off the couch. My friend Amanda told me that living with a toddler is like being with your best friend - who's drunk all the time.

This week she's had a language explosion, where she’s talking in sentences, having real conversations and even reading her books. The flowering of a personality is an incredible thing to watch. She’s been building nests with blankets and pillows and climbing in to read to her stuffed animals, performing songs and dances on her little mat, and holding and patting Teddy’s hand.

Yesterday Ivy was having breakfast with Keith when she suddenly burst into tears, pointed and wailed ‘Ladybird! Ladybird!’ It took Keith a while to clock the giant huntsman spider on the floor. As Keith left for work last week, she said to him ‘Mummy and Ivy love you, Daddy.’ And when trying to dress her after a bath, she escaped and ran naked down the hall, laughing and shouting ‘Naughtybuttons! Naughtybuttons!’

Teddy is 4 months old now and as full of yummy goodness as ever. If DOCS didn’t frown on the eating of babies I would have gobbled him up by now. All he does is smile, giggle, sleep, shit and feed. In fact, the only time he has cried for more than ten minutes we panicked, packed both kids in the car and were on our way to the hospital when he fell asleep in the back seat.

Our neighbours still haven’t let us live that one down.

Ivy still demands most of the air-time, but Teddy gets his own back in subtle ways. Yesterday he pissed onto the breakfast table, and missed her Weet-Bix by an inch. Be warned sister, he was clearly indicating. I’ve got a weapon you don’t.

Ivy eats-a Donald's

Ivy’s Nanna takes a certain age-old pleasure in finding small ways to torment her son-in-law. On a recent 6-hour car trip we stopped at McDonalds to break the drive. Nanna was delighted to teach Ivy how to say ‘Donald’s!’ to Daddy when she got home.

Imagine his joy to find his firstborn had been indoctrinated into the cult of Ronald.

Last week I had to drive both puppies across town in a heat wave, for an hour, at dinner time. There was only one place to stop. I was desperately careful never to tell Ivy where we were. There was a window, some chips came through it, and away we went. Ivy happily chomped away in the back seat.

‘Ivy’s a-eating chips!’ she cried happily in her Italian accent.

‘Yummy!’ I said. ‘Just some chips! Nothing special!’

A while later, Ivy started inspecting the box. ‘That’s a-Donald,’ I heard her murmur.

Shit.

‘Ivy’s a-eating chips. That’s a-Donald. Ivy’s a-eating chips.’

Pause.

‘Ivy’s a-eating Donald’s! Ivy’s a-eating Donald’s!’

Sprung consorting with evil multi-nationals again. Keith will give me that look. The one that says he isn't angry. Just disappointed.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

PiFartys

My spine is not what it could be, after two spinal fusion operations, one fractured vertebrae and a couple of pregnancies. Carrying around one tiny person and one chunky one is taking its toll. I’m trying Pilates to get my body in shape for the physical marathon that is motherhood.

Pilates works to strengthen the core muscles of the trunk. Now I’m getting a little more use to it, but for my first session I think my internal organs got a serious massage. I got gassier and gassier as the hour rolled on. While Tony, the earnest, camp instructor crouched with his head at my belly to see if I was getting the stomach breathing right, sweat beaded my forehead as I tried desperately not to fart.

Then Ange worked on my pelvic floor, the muscle that means you don’t wet your pants every time somebody tells a good joke. Ange wears cats-eye glasses and has the twitchy demeanour of a school librarian who hasn’t quite got the dosage of her medication right. Beside me on her hands and knees, Ann leaned in and stage-whispered ‘You must work HARD on this muscle for SEXUAL reasons; it will improve the FEEL of you for your partner and really STRENGTHEN your orgasm.’ Ew! Ew! Worse, then her partner arrived, a weaselley little man with a Hitler moustache. I just kept picturing Ann and him having sex and him complimenting her pelvic floor as she smiled proudly.

I hate gyms. The vibe of the room is always wierd, and you sort of have to pretend you're really happy to be there, rather than watching the clock, planning dinner and not farting. The trainers constantly laugh at ordinary conversation, while any attempt at actual funny sinks like a stone.

Tony, for example: Feeling cranky tonight. Must have missed my coffee!
The room at large: Ah HA HA! Ah ha ha HA HA!

Or this:

Tony: Keep your feet in place there. We really don’t want any broken bones in here!
The room: Ooh! HA! Ha ha ha! Oh, Trevor.

But when a ball I was holding between my feet fell to the floor and Tony picked it up:

Me: Hey, I think my balls just dropped.
Tony: Now, that’s because you lost pressure between your feet. Let’s try again.

At least I didn’t wet myself, or audibly break wind. I’m counting that as a social success. And hey - my stomach muscles might not get any tighter with Pilates, but my sphincter could snap a pencil.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

another beautiful niece!



Oh happy day!

Zoe Madeline Doorey has arrived, small and perfect, ready to play shopping, watch Thomas and do jumping with her sister Isabelle and cuzzies Zu-Zu, Ivy and Teddy.

Congratulations on a job well done to Sammy and Chris.

Hi Zoe!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

a losing battle

Ivy made a terrible discovery today... that if she just lies down in the street, there's nothing I can do. The classic Toddler Goes Limp manouvre. When you're desperately trying to keep a grip on a baby, a handbag and the final shreds of sanity/dignity, picking a sack of potatoes up off the floor is no mean feat. The bandage on my wrist tonight will attest to that.

It took us 40 minutes to make it 2 blocks through town today; what with the rolling on the grass, the pacing of the stairs, the inspecting of the bins and the street-reclining. It was like walking a dog you're not allowed to kick. Miserable, miserable. I finally had to give in and carry them both to the carpark. When we finally made it back to the car, I saw I'd left the back door open and my heart sank. 'If that battery is dead,' I said to Ivy, 'Mummy is going to cry.' Luckily it wasn't. But Ivy chanted 'Mummy's a-donna cry' for the next three hours, as she subtly wore away my will to live.

The drama actually started at 6.30 this morning, when Ivy drove me out of bed with the force of her whinging. Then she spent an hour shouting 'No!' at every suggestion I made....and the day contined in that vein until I finally got her to bed tonight. All day she has begged to watch 'The Lady' - a YouTube video she has developed an obsession with. 'Please, Mummy, play-a lady...on-a puter, please Mummy, please a-lady...' We have to discuss, re-enact and watch it several times a day. Here it is:



As I tried to convince her to eat her dinner with a running commentary of how nice it was, Ivy looked at me with disdain and said 'Blah, blah, blah.' Her final power play took place in my greatest place of solace: the bath, where she laid a turd the size of a small dog. I stand defeated.

Friday, November 21, 2008

the housewife blues

I'm having a day.

Keith went off to town for an interesting meeting this morning, showered and shaved, wearing real clothes. Me, I'm sporting this seasons Vomit and Wee collection, chosen by many of the citys most fashionable derros and lunatics.

The housework faces me accusingly in all directions. The washing-up is breeding and I just went to bring in the laundry to find that little flying ants have chosen it as their summer nesting place. That explains the little bites on Teddy's face.

Ivy has a cold and is really ratty. She threw a cup of water high into the air in frustration yesterday and made me sleep with a dummy in when I brought her into bed with me. If I took it out she screamed and pushed it back in quite violently, then stared into my face to make sure I didn't remove it again. On the other hand, she sat so quietly over her lunch that I asked what was on her mind. She thoughtfully replied 'Penis'. So life still holds some amusements.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

adrian's party

Brother and uncle extraordinaire Adrian turned 40 recently and we had a blast in Centennial Park. That's the man of the moment down the bottom wearing the hat and the big smile. Keith's Uncle Roly took these great pictures.

While going for a walk today - Ivy in Keith's backpack, Teddy in my front-sling - Ivy looked at the baby and said 'Teddy happy. Ivy happy. Daddy happy. And Mummy happy too.' And a day or two ago, some poo escaped Ivy's nappy and as I picked it up with a baby wipe she said brightly 'Eat it, Mummy?'

Gifted, I'm telling you.

... somehow another picture of Barack Obama has got on here. Now how did that happen? (I found it on Joannas blog.)











Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Beautiful Beaker




Little Teddy is two months old and takes out the title of Mellowest Baby in The Universe. Will his life always be shadowed by his firecracker of a big sister? I think so - in the best possible way, I hope.

Teddy is so good-tempered, quiet and calm that it brings a tear to my eye just thinking of his sweet nature. (Of course, that could be hormones.) Today, for example: Ivy; jumping madly in circles around him as he lay on the rug, missed a step and sat down heavily on his belly. Keith and I both jumped in panic, Ivy burst into tears, and needed comforting, and Teddy gazed serenely at us all and smiled.

We call him Beaker, because he spends a lot of time peering around curiously, enormous blue eyes peeping over his big nose. That's when he's not intently inspecting his own hands; admiring and turning them in wonder like an acid casualty. He smiles, giggles, practices his kicking and occasionally lets out sudden loud yelps: 'Glerp!' he'll shout from the corner. 'What was that?' Keith and I will gasp, looking up from our attempts to remove Vegemite from Ivy's ears, or Ivy's leg from the Vegemite jar or the Vegemite jar from the toilet... and then we remember that we have another child lying quietly in the corner.

He really is one of those mythical babies that doesn't cry. I had heard of such wondrous animals but never dreamed that we would bear one. I am amazed by his equanimity, and sure that with his mellow vibe and his blonde hair, he's our little stompie wompie surfer boy. Train him up on the guitar and he can be Coledale's answer to Jack Johnson. And then I'll give Ivy some scarves and she can burn off all that dramatic energy doing interpretive dances to Teddy's soulful folk numbers. They'll never pay off their mortgage but man, will we have some entertaining Christmas parties.

Of course, he might turn out to be a dentist, and Ivy an accountant, and they'll break their mothers heart.

Naughty Buttons Turns Two




A couple of weeks ago Ivy turned two. I feel the baby in her slipping away as she turns into a little girl. I still spend so much time with her that I know almost every thought that crosses her mind – I’m familiar with her whole world, her every friend, her every reference. I know what she means when she begs 'Havitapoon, Mummy!' (I want to eat this cheese with a spoon) or 'Singa flippy hat, shake it, Mummy'' ( Pretend you are a dancing scarecrow). Part of me wants it to always stay this way. But as she starts spending time at day-care, and I don’t see everything that she experiences, she grows more and more into her own person, and away from Mummy.

It’s so beautiful, but it breaks my heart a little bit. Is it wrong that I am desperate for her to go to bed at the end of the day, and yet would like to carry her around in my handbag for the rest of my life?

At two, Ivy is fascinating to watch. It’s all about ‘no’ these days, as she learns about her own power. Asking any question: ‘Can you put on your shoes?’ or ‘Are you ready for lunch?’ is an invitation for her to respond in the negative. To be Not-Mummy. Her only real power is to thwart her parents – and she loves to use it.

At two, Ivy’s dramatic flair is growing, and so is her love of comedy. These days she likes to pretend to be sleeping when you try to eject her from her car seat, put her clothes wackily on the wrong appendages, hide things behind her back, and try on the fake crying voice she uses when she imitates the baby: ‘Waah, waah’: to get sympathy. She knows a good gag when she’s pulled one - she tries to hide the smile of delight at her own wit, and can’t quite manage it.

At two, she spends a lot of energy ordering and making sense of her world. She uses her own name constantly. ‘Up, Ivy.’ ‘Please, cheese, Ivy.’ ‘Please, Ivy, pants off, Ivy.’ Her ‘friends’ (stuffed animals Dodo, TJ, Warm Tiger, Mousie and Norah) play a changing cast of characters in the ongoing play of her life. She uses them to act out everything that happens and everything she thinks about. Her friends get into trouble for disobeying Mummy, tipping water or biting each other and get sent to the corner. They fall over, hit their heads and have a cuddle. They get stung by bees and tread on bindies. They sit on the potty, breastfeed like Teddy, somersault like Daddy and play naughty games like jumping on the bed.

Ivy’s passions are many: jumping, laughing, Thomas the Tank Engine, books, motorbikes, tipping, underpants, cake mix, the beach, somersaults, blueberries, olives, The Wheels on The Bus, her grandmothers, big girls, any kind of straps, and drawing eyes, ears and silly men. She is charming, funny, affectionate, curious and has a whim of iron.

'Ivy do it' is her favourite phrase.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

sam and dave










Just a couple of pics of my lovely sister and brother with their offspring, the cuzzies Isabelle and Azura.

i've got a crush...

Friday, October 10, 2008

the pox

We're all sick as dogs here with a rich and streamy cold virus. Except I don't have the freedom to circle my bed three times, climb into it and stay there for days. Mummies aren't allowed to get sick - and that means Mummies don't get better; because the little one sneezes and coughs on me, and the tiny one needs to feed all the time because he's too snotty to get enough milk at one time...and when he does sleep, he sounds so choked up that I can't rest. (Checking him constantly means he can't die. It's the same hoo-doo algebra that says that that gripping your planes elbow rest keeps the bird in the air).

Scary having a tiny sick one, but the doctor says he's OK (the local GP, as well as my phone-tag medical team (Lucy the med student buddy, Sam the nurse sister and Helen the GP next door.) So far Keith has escaped the lurgy.

I would crawl into a corner and weep if Ivy's her new favourite game wasn't to follow me around and pull my pants down.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

lions and tigers and bears, oh my





Or rather: meerkats and monkeys and marmosets. That's the way we roll in the Illawarra.

We took the bubbas to the local zoo and had a great day; despite the heatwave. It reminded me of proper zoo trips from childhood, where I always remember it as stinking summer; with steamy poo smells in the air and no shade; and all the animals asleep in corners.

I still have trouble getting my head around the idea that we're not the kids, but in charge of them now.

Friday, October 3, 2008

oh, that it should come to this


My name is Rachael, and I am a chocaholic.

(Hi Rachael.)

I blame my mother for the gene, but I blame Teddy for forcing me to take the first step and admit I have a problem. I attach a picture of both culprits here.

Teddy grunts like a demon all through the night, when he's not feeding. He wakes me hungry, every 2.5 hours, night and day. I can hold him off with dummies and pleas to Allah for about 15 minutes before I force myself awake to feed, but then he grunts and squeaks for half an hour or more - gas, we think.

'Remember, Sam had that problem with Isabelle,' Keith mentions casually.

'That's right!' I remember. I'm happy we might get a solution here. 'What did she do again?'

Keith has a funny look on his face. Sort of apprehensive.

'She gave up chocolate.' he says.

The bastard.

Anyway, it's been two days off the brown cocaine, and I'm realising I have a bit of a problem. Several times a day the thought 'have a bit of chocolate' floats across my frontal lobe and when I realise I can't, a feeling close to panic sets in. I'm not yet dreaming about Mars Bar canoes on chocolate rivers, but it can't be far off.

I'm giving it until the weekend and if things don't change, I'm having a Cherry Ripe - king size. Until then...pass the f#%@king dates. And stay out of my way.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

missing the arms of morpheus
















God, I miss you Sleep, my darling, my beloved. I don't think I appreciated you enough. You've forced me to start an affair with Coffee Pot, and although things are going well,I'd dump him in a second to have you back.

Luckily Teddy is as cute as a button.

Ivy has taken to waking up at 6am and moaning until we get her out of bed. The other morning she said her longest sentence yet. 'Wake up, Mummy and Daddy!' This morning we were all up early negotiating the day ahead after we made all her stuffed toys perform 'New York, New York'. (Anything to escape 'The Wheels on The Bus'.) It's a complicated system... OK, so you'll take the kids for an hour while I have a bath, then I'll take them while you go for a surf, then I'll take them while you do the tax, then you'll take them while I do the kitchen, then we'll all hang out this afternoon.

Keith and I know where our pecking order is in this chickenhouse. Yesterday while I made the bed Ivy sat in the middle and demanded juice. 'OK, shall we go and get it?' I said. She looked at me implacably. 'Do you want to come and get it, or shall Mummy just be your servant?' I asked. 'Servant,' she said decisively.

Teddy feeds often, grunts for hours and also does this wierd trick where he soaks the back of his clothes...but not his nappy. I can only think he's throwing up at some bizarre angle. I try and figure it out as I change his clothes in the middle of the night, but my brain isn't capable of thinking in more than one-syllable. I'm lucky I can get it together to attach him to my nipple and not my earlobe.

Speaking of nipples, we all went to get hot chips last night and while in the shop, Ivy looked down Keiths top, commented 'Nipples..' and then suddenly tried to breastfeed. I guess she thinks Teddy just bites Mummy for a while because she just about took a chunk out of Keiths nipple. Poor Keith was really in pain and I just managed to say 'Don't bite Daddy, Ivy,' before I had to turn my head away to hide the tears of laughter. I am a bad person.

Monday, September 22, 2008

two wondersuits good, two wondersuits bad








'May you live in interesting times', goes the Chinese curse. OK, I'm cursed. Life gets more interesting by the minute.

Let me tell you a tale of two days this week.

Teddy slept most of Sunday, waking up only to feed and be cute in short bursts. Ivy was full of fun; playing her favourite games like 'Does This Go On My Head?', 'Go to Sleep, Dodo' and 'Did Somebody Say Rubbies?' Sometime I'll outline the rules of these - lets just say they all crack her up sideways and never get old.

In the morning we went to the shops where I bought pretty clothes and strangers admired our offspring. At lunch we read the paper and all slept, then Keith and I sorted the house out, doing bad little dances to Amy Winehouse and the Keating soundtrack. I made Ivy some yoghurt paint. She ate most of it and then helped bake banana bread. Keith stained his bookshelves out on the sunny front deck.

Happy happiness!

In the night, a sneaky demon came in through the window and subtly buggered our biorhythms, altered our ectoplasm and messed with our mojo.

Things began to go wrong early on Monday, and spiralled downwards until the afternoon ended like this:

The evil demon suggested to me that today was a good day to clean and sort out the pantry. Little Ted was ratty and Ivy was only happy when I sang 'The Wheels on The Bus' in an endless, mind-melting loop. Eventually I set her up on the kitchen floor with some bowls, spoons, cups and a big container of Puffed Wheat. She played away merrily , and I felt pretty pleased with my fine Montessori self. Then Teddy began to wail. He just wanted to be held (again - great day to clean out the pantry, non?)

I went to give him cuddles. 'Milk?' asked Ivy. 'Of course, little one,' I said. 'Have a big cup. What a good job you're doing there.'

As I changed the baby's nappy on the floor, Ivy pressed a brimming spoon to my lips. 'Eat?' she insisted. I wondered why there was milk in the spoon when the penny dropped.

The kitchen floor was a soggy, squelchy cereal river. Damn you, Maria Montessori, and damn your fancy ways.

It might give you some idea of how the afternoon progressed from there if I tell you that the floor didn't get cleaned up for another two hours. Two hours of a screaming toddler, a baby who would only lie on my neck and every inch of kitchen counter covered with old wheatgerm boxes and out-of-date packs of gummi bears.

Tuesday better, Wednesday great, Thursday magic.

Roll on Friday.

Friday, September 19, 2008

nipples and negotiations





Things are busy. Teddy is a beautiful child and Ivy gets funnier with every day, but nothing much gets done. I'm feeding every three hours and the house is strewn from bumhole to breakfast-time with toys, books, unfolded washing, things the baby has thrown up on and whatever pieces of food Ivy is saving for later. Life has a whole new kind of magic as we get used to the new shape of our family.

Yesterday morning Ivy woke early so Keith got her out of her cot and delivered her into the big bed, where Teddy was tucked next to me. We all tried to get back to sleep while Ivy muttered and sighed to herself. (A sample conversation: 'Igglepiggle. Pants. Down. Flying! Boys, park, cheese, dummy. Row row, baa baa, one, two, eight. Cool, man.' She leaned over my shoulder and breathed into my face: 'Teddy. Sleeping.' 'Yes, sleeping,' I said. 'Shhh. You go to sleep too.' She lay back down for a moment then popped up next to my ear again. 'Nipple,' she whispered gravely.

Taking the two of them out at once is a complex logistical exercise, the successful completion of which is still beyond me. I tried to 'pop down' to the post office yesterday. It took me an hour to get out of the house (feed the baby, pack bags, slings, Ivys leash, box of nice for the car, change babys spew-strewn top, change mine too, find Ivys shoes, calm a tantrum, liberate the keys from where Ivy has helped them 'hide', pack everything into the car, stop, breathe deeply, imagine a cool, flowing river.)

Once at the post office, Ivy wanted to play a game where she opened the fridge door, touched all the milk and shut it again. When I suggested she stop, she threw herself on the floor and wailed with abandon, before trying to run out the door and being stopped abruptly by her leash, just like a wilful puppy on a choke chain. Unfortunately this sent her sideways where her head stopped the momentum by connecting with the lolly counter.

So that left me crouched on the floor, Teddy in one arm, trying to comfort her with the other while she wept 'Head! Bang! Up? Up?' "Mummy can't lift you up at the minute,' I repeated weakly, until finally, I crumbled. 'But would you like some chocolate?'

Immediately the crying stopped.

'Chokit?' she gulped, through the tears. All was well. She's definitely her mothers daughter.

Monday, September 15, 2008

foxy baby

After a month of debate, Keith and I have settled on a middle name for the little man. It's Fox. Short for Fantastic Mr Fox, the Roald Dahl character.

We're going to give all the babies literary middle names. Characters with traits, ambitions and qualities to think about, if not aspire to. Hippy-liberal pretentiouness? Maybe... But hey - at least we're not cursing the kid with a name like Tallulah does The Hula in Hawaii, like a recent couple in NZ. (Really.) And it could be worse - we're not spelling it Pho'x.

The Fantastic Mr Fox is a wily creature who outwits and outsmarts the nasty farmers on his tail. He's a sharp, enterprising family man with style. And he knows how to throw a party.

Ivy's middle name is Scout after the female protaganist of the classic To Kill a Mockingbird. She's curious and questing, feisty and fearless, lovable and loving. She seeks social justice, questions authority and stands up to the boys.

Fox and Scout.

Thems our babies.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

introducing theodore










Well, it's been nearly three weeks and I feel like I'm just emerging from the fog.

Early parenthood is a blur - it has to be, or you'd never do it again. Little Theo aka Teddy aka Banana was born weighing 3 kilos on August 14th. He's a blond grommet, with big navy blue eyes and dimples. Cute as a nughty button. Right now he's asleep on my lap as I type one-handed. He looks like Yoda with his little-old-man wrinkles and his grumpy sleep face.

Keith is having a great time on paternity leave, spending his time playing with Ivy and lookingt after me , Theo and the house. Ivy, as you can imagine, is in heaven. All Daddy, all the time. She's not been at all jealous of the baby and likes to give him kisses, pat him on the head and help change his nappy. She has learned to say 'balls' and 'nipples'.In fact, she's been just beautiful.

We're working our way through all the meals in the freezer, doing crosswords and watching a super-glam seris called Mad Men, set in 1960's New York. I enjoy critiquing the ultra-glam hair and fashion as I sit on the lounge, topless, hooked up to a breast pump and blowing my nose on a spare nappy.

I had a rough time recovering from the caesarean this time around and also managed to score the evil midwife shift at the private hospital where I had to spend a week. There were a lot of tears. I thought after breastfeeding Ivy for eight months that my body would jump back on that bike with no problems but was sorely wrong there - sore being the operative word. For two weeks my nipples were cracked, blistered, and even bleeding. Allow me to indulge in self-pity for a moment here - imagine a tiny chef using a cheese grater on your delicates every three hours around the clock...and then add post-operative pain, massive hormonal shifts and an aching back. It's not the picture they paint in the Kleenex commercials.

All is improving thjough - I'm wearing clothesand Teddy and I even went out alone yesterday on a mission to the library and the coffee shop. Luckily, Theo is a very easy baby. He's squirted a mustard poo-bomb at me at high velocity, and thats about the naughtiest trick he's managed. He's been really quiet, but is starting to perk up more - at night he grunts and sqeuaks loudly for an hour after every feed. Its like sharing the bedrroom with a tiny drunk wombat.

Heres a few pictures of the new family setup and the little man himself.

Thanks to everybody for your cards, calls and packages. It's your support, and the tiny violins, that get me through the nights.