ANZAC Day 2012

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
from Laurence Binyon’s – For the Fallen

In 2001 Andrew and I attended the dawn service at Gallipoli. It was chilling to hear the waves lapping the cove below as the bugle played The Last Post.

We then attended the remembrance services at Lone Pine where we sat amongst the graves of the Australian soldiers whose bodies were found and identified.

Lone Pine on ANZAC Day and the following day
Photos by Andrew

The next day we returned to tour the sites of significance with less crowds than the day before.  That was when we saw ANZAC cove with it’s steep cliffs to be climbed from the beach where the troops landed at dawn laden with equipment.

Photo by Andrew

It was an experience that we won’t forget.

Today we stayed inside warm, dry and toasty while the weather outside was miserable.  We played games, looked at old photos and made ANZAC biscuits.  We wore badges and watched the football.  It was a good day.  Maybe next year we will make it to a remembrance service.

Lovely Charlotte

This is the lovely Charlotte.  She is a fighter.  She arrived at 29 weeks and 4 days gestation after Andrea’s water’s broke at 19 weeks and 6 days.  Charlotte is the second daughter of Andrew’s cousin Todd and his wife Andrea.

As you can see Charlotte needs to wear oxygen tubing 24 hours a day.  You can imagine how much fun this is for a 5 month old, especially with a 2-year-old sister around too!  Just picture 10 metres of oxygen tubing around your house.  And add a portable oxygen bottle to the pile of stuff that little people need to leave the house.

On Wednesday 25th Charlotte will go into hospital for an overnight sleep study to assess her oxygen needs.

Today I ask for your prayers for the next few days for Charlotte and her family.  They would love for Charlotte’s body is strong enough to be without oxygen.  That is the news they want to hear Thursday morning.

Thank you for praying for this gorgeous girl.

You can read updates from Charlotte’s mummy Andrea here.

I want what he’s got

I know it’s just human nature but why is it that whatever Hugo has is just what Eva needs.  It is driving me crazy.

This week Hugo is really finding his feet and is loving pushing and climbing on anything.

Lately I can leave Eva and Hugo playing in the backyard and head to the kitchen with full view of them to get short tasks done.  Hugo has taken a liking to this 3-wheel bike.  I picked it up a while ago from a hard refuse collection and Eva never really used it much.


However she has taken a keen interest in it since Hugo has.  There is no fewer than 5 other wheeled toys in the backyard for her to play with, most of them unsuitable for Hugo, but she insists upon stealing his.

I'm not doing anything Mummy

I’m all for learning about sharing and turn taking but when my food preparation is interrupted by Hugo’s screaming as Eva has yet again taken possession of the bike in question causing Hugo to fall to the ground I am feeling a little frustrated.

Seemingly nice sharing at this stage

The same goes for the roller coasters.  Currently we have TWO roller coasters in our backyard from the toy library.  Hugo merrily climbs all over them and really enjoys himself.  This evening I heard him scream and found Eva had ridden the car down the one that he was climbing up!

Using one each!

There’s TWO why does she have to torture him!  Oh the privilege of being a big sibling, torture!

I realise that even as adults we lust after what others have and think that we need it and that it is just a phase but it’s just so tiring to rinse and repeat myself so many times a day.  What breaks me most is that some days it takes a lot just to get Hugo to play happily without sight of me so to have that peace interrupted is just so challenging.

Next week there will be something else to torment him with and this bike will be forgotten.

I think to myself “Just wait until he’s bigger than you!”.  I also realise that soon he will wander around without anything to push!

Baby Boy’s Not Happy

Since Easter Sunday night when Hugo spiked a fever he hasn’t been happy.  Needing Mummy ALL THE TIME.  This was tolerable when visiting with mum and dad where there were other people to prepare food, entertain the pre-schooler, hang out washing etc.  But back home on my own it’s not fun!  However today a rash appeared on his torso so now I think that the virus has broken and it will be all better tomorrow.  Wishful thinking helps right?

Don’t panic it’s not a bad rash, Dr Marnie determined this through Dr Google this morning.  I have diagnosed Roseola, all the symptoms match and he’s not that unwell just really cranky if I dare to separate him from me.

Thank goodness for breast feeding and baby carriers.  He has been attached to me in either form for most of today.

Thank goodness also for potatoes, it’s all he’s eaten for about 4 days (despite us offering other yummy food too).  Sadly in the middle of all this he has discovered the talent for moving his arm to the side of the high chair and dropping the food that he doesn’t want.  He doesn’t even care to look at the food to see where it lands, just looks straight ahead.  Maybe when he feels better this trick will disappear!

Poor Hugo is so miserable.  Somehow it seems more real when there is a physical sign like a rash rather than just general crankiness.  He’ll be better tomorrow and we’ll have a fun day in the sun, I hope.

Homecoming Anniversary

Today Hugo was in his car seat for a big journey.  It was the drive home to Melbourne after a holiday in Canberra.

This date last year was also a big journey.  It was the drive home from the hospital to live with his family for the first time at 20 days of age.

It was his first taste of the air outside the hospital.

The first time sleeping in close proximity to his family.

The first time he heard the sounds of our home.

It was a wonderful day and one which we were delighted came so soon (relatively) after his birth.

What a journey it has been filled with the usual challenges of a baby but lacking any significant concerns related to his early arrival.  We are thankful for the joys of parenthood that he has brought us.

Happy Homecoming Anniversary Hugo!

Happy Easter – Jesus is Risen

We had a fabulous Easter Sunday yesterday.

Eva woke up to discover that Jesus had risen from the tomb and the angels had arrived.  On Good Friday Eva had nailed Jesus to the cross and then later placed him in the tomb.  Although she doesn’t understand the meaning of it all, Eva grasps a little of the Easter story. (Thanks to this printable Resurrection Scene)

Eva also woke up to some eggs which she enjoyed smashing apart and snacking on.

It was a lovely day here in Canberra with a late afternoon church service with Grandma and a yummy roast dinner shared with family.

Eva’s last two weeks at pre-school they had an activity with chickens being incubated, hatched and reared in their classroom.  Eva got to watch some chicks pick through the eggs and see them all cute and fluffy the week after.

In preparation for Easter we did some Easter craft.  I always find these ideas and think that it will be so much fun, I am a sucker for hand print art.  Then I am in the middle of the activity and I question my sanity!  I am always delighted with the end result however.

You'll have to imagine the donkey's head on the right hand side!

We hope that you have had a wonderful time with family as you celebrate the joy of God’s love for us.

Birth Day Reflections

I feel like I have come out of the fog of March.  I was happier on Hugo’s birthday than I had anticipated.   I guess that having social events with both sets of grandparents helped to keep me distracted.

As I was getting ready in the morning I was conscious that exactly a year before I was being prepared for a major operation.  The saddest memory of Hugo’s birth day is that neither Andrew or I were the first people to meet him or were able to find out first hand that we had a son.  Other people held him and knew that we had made a boy before we did.  Of course he still seems very attached to us even though we didn’t meet him first, luckily.

In fact I found out that I had a son by spotting the blue name card  on his crib as I was wheeled toward him on my bed.  Andrew did introduce me to Hugo and I was able to touch him through the portholes in the crib.

Also not being able to hold my newborn baby on his birth day was sad but that was something that I was more prepared for as I knew that he wouldn’t be stable enough at 33+4 weeks.  Holding him the next day was magical and even more special that he was stable enough to have no breathing assistance and attempt to breastfeed.

The hardest part of this March was the lead up to his birthday where I was constantly aware of the timing of the days compared to my hospital stay last year.  The ultrasound that confirmed the placenta previa, the 6am bleed and hospital admission, the visits from Andrew and Eva, the dinner eaten sat next to window of the hospital room when I graduated from strict bed rest, the search for some inspirational verses and words to focus on, the Thai takeaway that Andrew and I shared and the phone calls from family and friends concerned about this twist of events.

The night before Hugo was delivered was long and tiring, possibly more so for Andrew who sat and watched the monitors and me to see that the contractions and bleeding weren’t slowing and knowing that at daybreak we were going to meet our baby. The midwife looking after us on delivery suite was fantastic sneaking me a champagne glass filled with ice chips once an hour when she came to do her observations.

Of course I am grateful that Hugo arrived safe and healthy at 33 weeks and 4 days.  I just hoped to get past 32 weeks and we did that.

Hugo’s First Birthday has been and we look forward to a year of fun ahead as he learns all there is that a one-year-old needs to know.

Hugo’s First Birthday

Our beautiful boy enjoyed lots of attention and was joyful for his first birthday on March 21st.  It was a fun day.

Taken at 9.34am, exactly a year old

There was a gorgeous sunrise to start the day, so fitting for our gorgeous boy.  Hugo also showed me his funny face so that I could capture it finally.

Nanny and Grandpa were staying here so after dropping Eva to preschool we took Hugo for a swing at the park and a birthday morning tea at a cafe.

We had a special birthday lunch of sausage rolls and cupcakes.  Hugo enjoyed practicing his pincer grip with cupcake crumbs.

After taking Nanny and Grandpa to the airport for their return to Canberra we had a fun afternoon playing in the backyard.

Gran and Pop joined us for a take-away pizza dinner (bad mummy didn’t even give Hugo a home-cooked meal for turning one) which Hugo devoured.  And of course another round of singing “Happy Birthday” with cupcakes.

Unfortunately Andrew had to be in Tasmania for work so he missed out on the fun which everyone was sad about.  Next year will have to be extra special.

Hugo was very loved on his first birthday and we all enjoyed celebrating such a wonderful milestone with him.

And Today We Wore Green

Hugo 33+4 weeker, now 1. Eva 25 weeker, now 3.

Today was “Wear Green for Premmies Day“.  Oh what fun to dress up in green to show our support for premature babies and to thank people for their support as well.

In our hallway we have canvas prints of both Eva and Hugo on Day 2 of their life.  Obviously they were both in hospital and had attachments on them.  We walk past these reminders every day, a great way to demonstrate to us the blessings that they are in our life.

Thank you to everyone who wore green today and took a moment to remember our very special cherubs and of course all other premmies.  Each life is precious and sometimes each breathe is part of a memory that will never fade.

Right now our two earlybirds are calmly sleeping and we thank God that we are able to share each and every day with them.  The journey to this point hasn’t always been easy but that’s the case for all parents.

Our bundles of joy were so anxious to meet us and we are thankful for the lessons that they have taught us.

We enjoy much support from Life’s Little Treasures.  Please head their site to visit them and offer support to them if you are able.

Thank you for wearing green today and spending a moment to pray and reflect upon these special little people especially those still in hospital.

Hugo’s Dedication

Last month we celebrated Hugo’s dedication at our church.  A dedication is part of the church service where family, friends and congregation members pray for and offer support for the parents of the child.

The Church of Christ believe that when people are old enough to understand what it means to put their faith and trust in Jesus  they should have the opportunity to make that choice for themselves.

Instead ONE Community Church, where we worship, offers the parents prayer and support to guide their child to a decision of baptism in the future.  There is a more eloquent explanation here.

We were overwhelmed when Rod, the minister, asked people to come and surround us and pray with him for the strength and guidance that we will need to raise Hugo to be Christlike.  So many people came and showed us their support with their presence.  We are truly blessed as are Eva and Hugo.

After the service we had lunch to celebrate Hugo’s dedication.  We squeezed in a First Birthday Cake too while we had lots of people to serenade Hugo.

Thanks to all who celebrated Hugo’s precious life with us.  Special thanks to Rod for supporting and encouraging us and Darren for capturing the moment for us.