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I finished my psychology degree shortly after McBean was born (he was a few weeks old when I did my final exam).  Another setback came about when the laws of registration for mediators changed to make compulsory a 12 month graduate diploma.  So instead of looking for work when McBean was about six months old as we had planned (so Lazyboo could take a turn being mostly SAHP, and we could increase our income just in time for the new federal laws),  I started this new course when he was about 3 months old.  I finished that in the last couple of months secure in the knowledge that this right for me, and starting looked for a job – this was an urgent thing given the dire state of our finances.  In about 3 months, only 3 roles were advertised.  I got no reply from one, an interview and positive feedback from the second, and I got the third.

So today, 5 years and 8 months to the day after I resigned, my career is finally getting started again.  And this time it will be different.  I will never again work as hard as I once did to the detriment of my now bigger family and to my health.

Our lifestyle in the time since McBean’s birth has been wonderful but increasingly hard to sustain. We made the choice after his birth that I would stay at home full time at least until he was six to eight months old, and that Lazyboo would restructure her job until I could start work.  So after a month at home after his birth, she changed her working hours to fit a (mostly) full time load into three days.  So since December last year, she has worked three days a week from 8 till 8.  [We were fortunate enough that her employer allowed this and still considered and paid her as full time]. This has been lovely in that she has been home with McBean 4/7 days his whole life (and allowed me to study and do internships on the extra 2 weekdays).  I attribute McBean’s equal bonding with both of us to that choice.  To him, we are interchangeable, either will do.  But the price of this has been long long days for her at work, and 3 days a week where she has barely seen the kids, if at all.  Most of the time she has left when they are not up yet, and come home after their bedtimes.  It has also been hard on me to be fully responsible for everything on those days.  It has been exhausting, especially the time from 5pm to bedtime.

My new role is 4 days a week, and includes one late day so I’ll have an extra morning at home.  And now I have Lazyboo.  I can happily go to work knowing that my children are home (every day except one) with their Baba.  FenFox will never again have to spend more time in care than with a parent, and McBean will never know that life.  This is incredibly important to me, and I am so very grateful to have a partner who values this as well.  I feel so very fortunate to be able to recommence the pursuit of my career while keeping the needs of my family in balance.  There is no doubt that life will be very different for us all from tomorrow, but I am feeling very positive and optimistic about it.  At the very least, we can now eat both breakfast and dinner together every day (except dinner on Tuesday), and nobody has to be fully responsible for everything on any one day.

Another huge positive to these new changes is the space that it will give Lazyboo.  I am hoping that taking over the breadwinner role from her will ease the pressure and allow her to relax and enjoy being with the children, and give her the opportunity to consider what she wants to do next.  Just like she has done for me for the past 5 years and 8  months.  I can never thank her enough for that.

There is no doubt that it will be very strange to relinquish my role as SAHP, and to largely give over those responsibilities.  It will be hard to have to say goodbye every morning, and to miss out on the slow lazy days of being with McBean.  It is sad that I will only have the joyful experience of seeing FenFox scooting through the gate and breezing through the door chatting about her day once a week.  Playdates and mother’s groups, both straight and queer, will no longer be the focus of my days.  I will miss spending long hours just being with my children, being with other mothers. But this is the right step for me.  The right step for the whole family.  It’s time to allow Lazyboo to experience more of those simple joys, and time for me to fulfill other needs.

It’s going to be interesting.

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Craft pictures

I am posting a photo of the project I made for Turkey‘s birthday, as I said I would.  Try to ignore the flash glare, I couldn’t seem to remove it with picasa.

Also, here is a photo of what I have done so far of the project for McBean’s nursery.  It’s come out quite well so far but has a while to go yet.  I’d estimate it’s around 2/3 done at this stage.

There’s one modification I’d like to make but am not sure if I can due to the stitches being on the fabric so long already.  In the lower right corner the letters are PQRS from the alphabet.  If I’d been on the ball I would have changed them to SPQR, as a nice little reference to the Roman origins of McBean’s name.  It would barely have been noticeable really, unless you studied it.  I’m going to see how it turns out, unpick one of the letter and see if the fabric is not too marked.

Speaking of McBean, the poor little tacker beaned his head again, this time slipping over while escaping from the bathroom while wet, and landing on the back of his head on the tiles.  Clark said it was an awful cracking sound, then he screamed really high pitched and cried and cried and cried.  He’s got an enormous purple egg on the back of his noggin, which we are led to believe is not such a bad thing as swelling is better outside the skull than inside.  Clark kept him awake until I got home about an hour later, and he was in good spirits, running around madly if unsteadily.  A little manic because he was over tired.  He drank his bottle fine, so we figured he was okay and put him to bed.

I suspect that he will rattle his brains many many times in his life to be honest, as he tends to lead with his head.

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Hot

It’s too hot for anything much right now.  Some of our loveliest moments of the last few days have been spent on the trampoline, which appears to be McBean’s new favourite thing.  Here’s the boy and his Baba hanging out:

trampoline 10-nov-09A trampoline 10-nov-09B trampoline 10-nov-09C

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Jabbers

McBean had his 12 month checkup today.  Clark and I both sighed when we saw that the nurse was going to be Irma – last time we had a different (if new) nurse who appeared to be living in this century and very competent.  Irma is a little bit stuck in the dark ages.  Disappointing, as you don’t get any useful answers to the questions you want to ask.

So McBean is nudging just under the 90th percentile in height, and just under the 50th percentile in weight.  Irma commented that he’d always been like a long piece of spaghetti.

Thankfully his weight gain since the 8 month appointment was spot on – both Clark and I were worried that since we’ve had him on cows milk he’s been going backwards, but he’s put on about 1.5 kgs, and that apparently is fine in that period.

A few things came out of the appointment.  Irma was slightly concerned that his legs are a little bowed, so we need to keep an eye on that for the next 3 months and then see a doctor if it doesn’t improve or gets worse.  We also should be aware of his vitamin D levels.  We’re considering getting some calcium / D supplements for both children, as it’s often said in our house that FenFox doesn’t get enough dairy (difficult when you can’t have cows milk and don’t like soy) and therefore possibly not enough calcium.  And as she generally prefers to cloister herself away reading, she may be missing out on incidental sun exposure to top up the vitamin D.  So supplements are a distinct possibility.

One of the things that we were concerned about and actually got a reasonable answer to was the fact that McBean poops a lot – on average at least 4 to 5 times per day.  Clark and I have been wondering if it’s something to do with his fruit consumption, as most of the pooping happens in the earlier part of the day, which is when we’re more likely to be giving him fruit.  Irma asked about how much he’s eating and drinking, and we said a lot to both, and she said, very sensibly (for once) that given his large intake of food and copious amounts of liquid it makes sense that a lot comes out the other end, and is soft.  Which is true.  Something else to keep an eye on though, the fruit thing is still sitting in the back of my mind, ticking over.  You’d think the obvious answer would be the wheat and dairy, but it actually hasn’t changed since then.  But that ticks over too – it doesn’t sit right with me that he’s eating so much wheat and dairy.  That’s possibly  my inner coeliac rebelling though – I happen to suspect lots of people would be better off avoiding wheat and limiting dairy, but it’s easier all round if the boy can have them both.

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While I was gone

Last week I attended a FDR course.  It was every day from 9 to 4:30, so I had to be gone from 8 until almost 6 every day.  Thankfully, Lazyboo was able to be home with McBean and FenFox, so I was not at all worried about them… just me!  It was the first time I had been away from McBean for any length of time and I didn’t know how I’d cope.  I didn’t leave FenFox for more than a couple of hours at a time until she was nearly 2!

Lazyboo knew how anxious I was about the whole thing, so she sent me a steady stream of photos to make me feel better:

There’s also a couple in there that I took before I left.

For the record, the course was amazing.  It’s exactly what I want to be doing and it was fantastic to be engaged and learning again.  There’s five more days of the course over the next two weeks, then 10 more in August, and placements in between.  I’m really looking forward to it all, despite having to leave my family!  And it’s well possible that I’ll get a job out of this at the end!  Woo Hoo!

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Affirmations

I am a good mother.

My son needs me.

I can and do have  close bond with my son.

Last breastfeed last night.  Milk practically gone.  McBean no longer interested.  Surprisingly, the affirmations appear to be working.  After some increased sadness during the night, the sadness of the last few days seems to be abating.  Pride March is this afternoon.  We’re vacillating on whether to go or not.  We want to go, but there’s so much to do here.  First day of school tomorrow.

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