Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Riding the Roller Coaster

Yesterday was a roller coaster of emotion.

The day started out when Gracie woke up, still no better than the day before and if anything a little worse (if at all possible). So I made an appointment with the local GP for that afternoon, the earliest I could get in. Her cough had changed and I was starting to get really worried about it.

But this worry had to wait (yeah right)... at least until after 12 pm. Today was the big day. Our all important 20 week scan, where we make sure that all is "normal" and healthy with our ever growing baby number 2.

We also get to find out if it is a BOY or a GIRL!

Jonathan and I left the house and a screaming Gracie with Aunty Rachel just before 12. "MUMMY!!!" It was so hard to leave. But I knew she was in good hands and would stop crying minutes after we left. And she did.

We arrived at Ultrasound North and had barely sat down in the waiting room for more than 2 minutes when we were called. Talk about efficiency. These sort of places you normally have to wait for hours (or what feels like it). I laid down on the bed and the nurse started the ultrasound. She was so quick and it still boggles me how they know exactly where to find each of the body parts with such efficiency and speed. But then I suppose they do hundreds of these scans every week. I almost wanted her to slow down so I could take in this moment and give this baby the thought and appreciation it deserved (I'd been feeling guilty that I hadn't even taken a single belly shot until yesterday!)

The nurse found the head. Measurement all good. Big. Great. The nurse then turns and says, "So you definitely want to know the sex?". We had barely been in there 5 minutes and I hadn't quite mentally prepared myself yet. It all happened to fast.

"It's a BOY!!"

I looked at Jonathan and smiled, as a few tears rolled down my face, and saw he was grinning like a Cheshire Cat. I was just overwhelmed at that point. For us, it was important to find out if this baby was a boy or a girl. It was moment of greater connection between us and the baby. That moment no one else knew except us. I know everyone has differing opinions, but for us finding out now was incredibly special. I now know that inside me is growing a baby boy whom God has destined to be our son and an integral part of our family. I just can't wait to meet him now.

The rest of the scan was a bit of a blur after that. But the main thing I got from it was that he is healthy and growing strong... and big but that's a whole other factor we will deal with later (Gracie was 4.2kg so not surprising!).

We were done so quickly with the scan that Jonathan had a bit of time before he needed to be at work, so we went and grabbed some lunch and spent an hour debriefing. I'm so glad we did.

Jonathan went off to work and I came home and as the afternoon went on Gracie was definitely looking no better. Off to the GP and after waiting at the surgery for half an hour, we saw the doctor. Sure enough Gracie has a Chest infection, Ear infection AND conjunctivitis. Plus her temp at that point was over 39 degrees. Poor little thing. This virus has hit her body hard. I was so upset but held it together. I had to. After a trip to the chemist to fill the script for eye drops and antibiotics, we went home. I could not have been more relieved but to see Jonathan's parents in the driveway. Ruth took Gracie and put her in the bath while I got her medicine and more panadol ready. Once Gracie was dressed, Ruth had sat down on the couch for less than 2 minutes and Gracie was asleep. It was 5.30. We put her straight to bed. It's almost 8am this morning and she is still asleep.

Talk about riding the roller coaster of emotion. Today I am completely drained, mentally and emotionally. I'm kinda glad it's pouring with rain outside. The sound is soothing. But I'm just reminded to take each day as it comes. God has Gracie's frail little body in His hands and she will recover. One day at a time. But in the meantime, look at our little miracle...

Sunday, 17 June 2012

How does your garden grow?

The house is quiet. Completely silent.

We have a very sick little girl in the house at the moment and she is finally asleep on her "big girl bed" (which she has refused to sleep in for the past 2 weeks) next to her daddy, who is also asleep. I spent the entire morning curled up on the couch with her listening to music and watching Masterchef while she cuddled, occasionally sobbed after a fierce coughing fit and dozed. Poor thing. She said to me this morning, as tears filled her eyes, after an uncontrollable coughing fit, "Mummy, Gracie is sad." Breaks a mummy's heart.

So while the house is quiet and I have a moment to myself, I took the opportunity to step outside and spend some time in the garden. Today is the first day in about a week that it hasn't been pooring with rain, so I was wondering just what the veges and fruit trees had been up to whilst they were enjoying all this beautiful rain. Well, they have been busy!

While some of the fruit trees are dropping their leaves and finishing up for the autumn, others are still yet to drop their leaves like the apricot which looked just beautiful as the late afternoon sun shone through it's leaves. We picked the last of the apples last week and I made the most scrumptious apple and peach crumble. Yum!

The Kumquat is full of fruit and I love to go out and snack on this sweet and sour fruit. Chris, I'll bring you some next time I see you! Underneath lies the Nasturtium, which I recently found out is one of natures greatest immune boosters. Now if only I could get Gracie to eat some of these peppery leaves. HA! Good luck!

Check this out! I should really have taken a photo of the whole passion fruit vine, which is slowly taking over our 3 metre high wall at the back of our yard. It is covered in fruit waiting to ripen. But look at the size of this one! And I can tell you it's not alone. I can't wait until they are ready for picking. I can feel a passion fruit pavlova coming on (there is also no shortage of eggs from our 3 happy little hens these days either!)

Clarice and Henrietta, two of our happy little hens.

The edible Viola has started to bloom and I feel a Masterchef urge every time I see them. I love the idea of flowers as food. The baby peas are also sprouting and I'll have to get the stakes out soon.

Baby beetroot

 This is the last of the Butternut pumpkins waiting to be picked. I've picked 5 already. Not bad considering I didn't plant it! It just popped up out of the compost we planted under the potatoes!
 Speaking of potatoes...

Broccoli sprouting its first flower.

Eggplant, such a slow growing plant and it is FINALLY fruiting!

 Leeks, Celery and Fennel all looking lush and healthy.

 Mint and Basil, a few of my favourite herbs! Jamie Oliver would be proud!

 In the nursery, we have baby radishes sprouting on the left and rocket and baby spinach on the right.

 I love being the garden in Winter. Just when rains have really started and trees are losing their leaves and others are going dormant, other parts of the garden come alive. It gives me so much joy and fulfilment to see things I have planted and nurtured, grow strong and be fruitful and give back. I love being somewhat self sufficient and being able to forage in the garden and come back with a bucket full of organic, nutritious vegetables and eggs to feed my family.

So tell me, how does your garden grow?

Monday, 11 June 2012

Jonathan's 30th Birthday Skydive

On Saturday Jonathan and his sister Rachel took the big plunge, from 14000 feet out of a teeny tiny plane. If you ask me, they're mad! But this was something Jonathan has wanted to do for a very long time and so I figured what better way to enter your 30's than with a death defying leap! It was originally supposed to be a surprise, but after Jonathan almost signed up to do it himself, I had to stop him and let him in on the secret plans that had already been made.

Saturday finally arrived and the whole family plus our good friend Chris, took the lovely 1.5 hour drive to the historic town of York. Jonathan and his sister went early for the registration while Gracie, Jonathan's parents and myself headed out a bit later ready to watch them jump. There was however a bit of a miscommunication and we almost missed the big leap! We arrived at Skydive Express with simply minutes to spare. Jonathan and Rachel were up in the plane and we walked around the building to see Chris watching the sky. The loud speaker announced that Jonathan and Rachel would be jumping in 4 minutes! Phew! We made it... just!

It was so exciting (and a little bit nerve wracking) watching as these tiny specks leaped from the plane and we waited the very long few seconds before the parachutes opened. They gracefully floated down to earth and when Jonathan hit the ground he could not contain his excitement and came rushing over to us and almost bowled me over with a kiss. He just kept repeating, "Do it again! Do it again!". He absolutely loved it. You could not wipe the smile from his face!

Happy 30th Birthday Jonathan! I'm so pleased that our not so surprising, surprise was still everything you wanted!

Watching the plane high up in the sky.

Rachel was the first one down. Coming in to land.

Safely back with her feet on the ground.

 You couldn't miss Jonathan's bright yellow paracute.

 Gracie very happy to have her Daddy back.

The teeny tiny plane that carried them to 14000 feet.

 3 regular solo jumpers packing up their parachutes after their 2nd jump for the day. It's quite the methodical process to pack each chute away back into the tiny backpack. It reminded me very much of packing sleeping bags back into the tiny bag after camp!

 We stopped for lunch at the York Pub, the oldest pub in Western Australia. Built as you can see in 1853.

When I saw T-Bone steak on the menu, I just had to have it. Haven't had one since I lived at home and Dad used to cook them up for us, fresh beef from the family farm.

Like a kid in a candy shop!