Mummy is at school #1: Preparation

After a chat with Tim and a quick check of the USQ student centre site, I am set to start study! Now comes the fun part of preparing for the semester. Time to unleash the stationery addict within! If only I wasn’t a SAHM with a small budget. Most of my budget (on my payment I receive a supplement of $60 per fortnight to help with study) went on getting a laptop. I’ll be sharing it with Tim so I don’t feel so bad about such a large cost. Especially when my textbooks are going to cost me a fair bit as well.

Ethan off to kindy

Ethan ready for kindy…a day early

We have Ethan going 3 days a week from this week so I will have more time to study. Tim will be home some of those days so he can help me with Lilah as well. She tends to know when I’m even thinking about studying. Ethan loves going to school so I don’t feel bad about sending him, despite the fact that I am actually home all day.

I love spreadsheets. I have one for my degree, outlining my course plan.

schedule

Colour coded into core, major, and electives

I have another with the semester study plan but that is still a WIP.

There was a mix up with my laptop and it was sent to Springfield WA instead of QLD. The shop site glitched and used the wrong postcode. But, AustPost quickly fixed it up and my laptop arrived on Monday.
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Being second year subjects the course load is higher than my first year subjects. The amount of course readings I have has grown substantially ! It’s a good thing my degree is about stuff that interests me.
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Lilah has a feed at 4.30-5am so there is a window for me to get in some study each morning. I can access my lecture recordings via my Google Drive so I can watch them during nap time. I find I study better in chunks rather than a long session. So, having it broken up through the week may help me retain it better. I want to keep, or even improve on, my 6.0 GPA (we have a 0-7 system here)

Wish me luck!

What is truly important to me

A commercial plane full of people was shot down by surface-to-air missiles. Children were killed in bombings. War and destruction. It’s breaking down my view of the world; chipping away at my belief that people and the world are at their core, good. This isn’t the world I want for my babies. I find myself grieving for nearly 300 people I’ve never knew. And, I grieve for the sense of stability and security I felt. I live in Australia, 12,983 km away from the Ukraine. I don’t hold a passport and have no immediate plans to travel. But, even from so far away this tragedy affects me. The images and reports of war. Fellow Aussies losing their lives. It scares me.

But, it’s also helped me realise what is important. I cannot shield my babies from this forever. But, I can give them happy memories to counter the fear. Reminders that there is good amongst the bad. How much of these times will my almost 2 year old remember? Probably not much. So, let what he does remember be positive. I’m writing this as both my children sleep soundly: Ethan on his sofa and Lilah on my chest. I’m putting down my phone (well weaning off it…change is hard) and being a more present parent.

Ethan, Lilah, and I off for a walk

Ethan, Lilah, and I off for a walk

I’ve stopped making excuses about why we can’t go to the park. Although, yesterday was so windy it wasn’t even safe to walk there. We did try but ended up turning back and curling up in front of the telly and watched movies.

Enjoying my kids

Enjoying my kids

I’ve stopped looking at being a SAHM as a job but rather many opportunities to make memories. Mess and all.

Cake making

 

Life with two under two

Monday! AKA Kindy day here. Lilah is having a sleep and Ethan is off having loads of fun so I have some time to blog.

Lately, the chaos of adjusting to a new baby while looking after a toddler has meant my needs dropped lower and lower on the list. I found myself below “keeping the house tidy”. I became too busy for morning and afternoon tea and needing to feed Lilah while Ethan was having lunch. Food was pushed further back. And for someone with a history like mine, that’s not a good thing. As my meals dwindled down, the voice got louder and louder.
“See, I don’t need to eat”
“If I keep this up until X kg I wont have to worry about dieting any more”
“Losing weight will make me a better parent”.

It was that last thought that got its hooks in. It provided justification for the behaviours. It latched on to the one thing most important to me. But it was a lie. Prolonged caloric restriction can reduce your milk supply. I’m not against formula feeding but I was risking Lilah’s health with it all. And, Ethan’s as well. I managed to hide it from Tim but there were some days where it took it’s toll and I’d be barely able to look after Ethan.

Selfie with an Ethan photobomb

Anorexia for me isn’t about looks

For me, it was the busyness of my day that triggered these thoughts and behaviours. And it will be busyness of a different kind that will get me out. I was planning on taking this semester off but I think I still need that mental stimulation. It gives my mind something non-food to focus on. Turns out I had already enrolled in semester 2; I guess pregnant Keira knew something ;) I’m enrolled in two subjects: Intro to software engineering and Software development tools. I still have time to change my enrolment. If we can get Ethan into kindy for more than 1 day a week I think I might go for it.

 

Welcome to the world Lilah!

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My second little dovahkiin was born on Tuesday, 20 May 2014 at 4pm. 

My stubborn little princess was breech from about 35 weeks and refused to go the right way. So, we decided it was best to book a c-section. It was such a different experience to Ethan’s birth, which was filled with first time parent panic. It was a very calm and happy experience for me. I had a laugh with the anesthetists as they numbed me up for surgery. As they lowered the sheet so I could see my baby she wasn’t crying. She got distracted by the surgery lights and just looked up in awe. What a beautiful way to greet the world. She refused to cry; there wasn’t anything wrong…although I did hold my breath for a bit in anticipation. 

I feel like we made the right decision opting for a c-section over trying for a “normal” breech birth. I don’t feel guilty or cheated. I have a beautiful daughter and that’s all that matters to me. 

I spent 4 days in hospital with Lilah. She had some complications from my medications so needed extra monitoring. Thankfully, she was over the worst of it when she was 2 days old. 

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Ethan has adapted wonderfully to his new role as big brother. He brings her dummies, food, clothes, and other random objects to soothe her when she’s crying. He wants to give her kisses all the time, even if she’s not in the mood. We are trying to make sure Ethan gets individual time with each of us. Today we had lots of Mummy-Ethan fun :) Drawing, playing Mario kart, and just having cuddles. Tim and Ethan hang out outside and have more rough-and-tumble play. 

My family feels complete now. I don’t have any lingering urge to be pregnant again. I’m hoping Tim feels the same. I couldn’t imagine my life without the three of them. They bring so much joy to my heart.

The nerd is strong in this one

Still pregnant. I’m 36 weeks today.

This was last week...I'm too gross and sick to take a pic today

This was last week…I’m too gross and sick to take a pic today

I have a cold that wont go away. So naturally, instead of catching up on 3 weeks worth of study I’m posting a blog. Might just put on one of my lectures so I can multitask. Today’s blog will be written to the soundtrack of: Sets and Relations (discrete maths). My brain is weird that it needs to do two things to study. Usually, I have to listen to a TV show to maximise my study. I do not recommend this as a study tip unless your brain is like mine. I’ve been watching One Born Every Minute or Mythbusters while I study. Last semester it was Sherlock and Supernatural. I love maths. I was that odd psychology student who preferred the statistics subjects. Except at 8am on a Monday morning, nobody wants to do stats that early.

I follow a few Girl Gamer and Geek girl pages on Facebook and a lot of times they will talk about the “OMG FAKE GEEK”, “GET ME A SANDWICH, B*TCH”, etc type hatred towards girls with a nerdy inclinations. Am I nerdy and geeky because I want to snag a ahem, charming gamer partner? No. I am married to a geek – socially awkward, full of lore, and a little obsessed with his favourite games. But, I don’t think he’d be game enough to demand a sandwich…Partly, because he’s a decent man and knows how to treat people with respect. And partly because…I’m smarter when it comes to networking and general computer nerd stuff. Yeah, don’t piss off the person in control of the Internet connection.

I’ve been a nerd for a long time now. And it’s never been about getting male attention. It started with books for me. They were my gateway to the wonderful world of nerd. My mum told us about the many times I’d run off to the book section of the supermarket, plonk myself down, and read. The whole time my mum’s frantically trying to find me. My sister was still a bub so I would have been about 4-5 years old. At that age I believed boys had cooties.

Well, I should get back to my logic laws and sets. Wish me luck

Stay at Home Study Parent

Remember when I said I would never study while pregnant again…

I’m in my third trimester and studying Discrete Mathematics for Computing (Shh… as my husband says when I mention uni. Get it, discreet…yeah) with an 18 month old. I’m only in week 2 but it hasn’t been as chaotic as I thought it would be. Well, my home life hasn’t impacted as much as I thought. My lecturer isn’t as on the ball as my other coordinators have been. It’s less like studying externally and more like being a student who doesn’t go to classes. I think, any other time and I would be fine going week by week and having to wait until all the on campus classes have finished to get a recording of the lecture. But, I really need to try and be ahead. In Week 11 I’m due to have a baby. Not, that babies necessarily follow a schedule.

I’ve been in contact with my SRO (Student Relationship Officer) to find out what supports are available for pregnant women. I can’t really go through disability services as it’s not an impairment, it’s a temporary condition that then becomes a personal issue, e.g. post-partum recovery, adjusting to new routines, newborn stuff.

Ethan has been surprisingly helpful so far. When he wants to study, aka draw pictures and colour in my notes, he will get up in the high chair and yell “Chair. Sit. Mum mum!” or throw things at me if I’m not fast enough.

Time to study mummy

Time to study mummy

He’s having a nap now so I’m getting everything uploaded to my Google Drive account. That way I don’t have to deal with being in the study while he is awake. I can just read my lecture slides from my tablet or mobile phone.

We’ve also enrolled him in day care on Mondays so I have a whole day dedicated to study (and rest). From what the ladies at his day care said, he loves it there. We had to keep him home this week due to a rather nasty cold. So I am a little behind this week.

I’m still new to this whole stay at home study mum deal. But these would be my top tips:

  • See if your toddler/child will sit and draw or read while you study
  • Make sure you can always access your materials for micro study sessions
    e.g. when Play School is on, nap time, or when they decide to ignore you
  • Look into having them baby sat one day a week
  • Consider using a tablet or other mobile device to access material
    • I personally use Google Drive and save all my lecture recordings and pdfs/ppts there so I can study while Ethan naps on top of me
    • Sometimes I watch it through my Xbox and make Ethan endure a 2hr lecture on Programming

That’s how I’m doing it so far. I’m sure this list will change when I have a newborn and a toddler…in about 10 weeks time

2014: Year of Connections

I have seen a few blogs talking about picking a word to represent their goals for the year. Mine would have to be ‘CONNECTIONS’.

With an ongoing battle with depression this pregnancy, I felt I had lost some of the closeness I had with my son and husband. And, with myself.

So, I have been making an effort to have more quality time and fun.
– we took a trip to Southbank and chased the birds.
– we went shopping for swimmers. We were stuck in the centre due to a storm so had a big play in the playcentre
– we stayed in and drew on his water doodle mat, cooked some food, and played dress ups. ..with the dirty laundry of course

Today we are off to the park for a picnic and a play!

Farewell 2013 and Hello 2014

new years resolution

Tim’s been bugging me about my NY Resolutions so here are mine for 2014:

  • Take better care of myself
    • Healthily lose the baby weight in the 2nd half of the year
  • Spend less time on my phone/Facebook/Tumblr
  • Spend more quality time with the kids + go out more
  • Enjoy more couple time with Tim

I really haven’t been as kind to my body as I should be. Not enough fruit, veggies, and exercise and possibly too much take away and sweets. And, lets not even start on how crap I am at keeping hydrated. I can feel that my body is not liking how I treat it. I have fatigue issues as it is and the crappy foods and sedentary lifestyle is compounding it. The baby weight is something that will improve my health. I am sitting above what is healthy for me and I’m feeling it in my joints.

I’ve fallen into a routine of just scrolling up and down Facebook and Tumblr feeds. Half the time I’m not actually paying attention, just mindlessly scrolling. I do it in the morning, while Ethan’s playing quietly, when he’s taking a nap. I spend a lot of my day mindlessly looking at the screen. It’s getting to the point where Ethan actually takes my phone and puts it on the floor to get my attention. I’m a little ashamed that it’s come to that. I really want to break that pattern. Plus it will give me more time to tackle my last two resolutions.

We spend most days indoors. Partly because it’s summer and Ethan’s already got a tan. But secondly, because it feels like such an effort to go out anywhere. Tim works hard so I don’t want to bug him about outings on his days off. And, I’ve lost a little confidence in myself about taking Ethan on an outing solo. The only time we go out together is shopping or my doctors’ appointments. We’ve been to the park twice in his life. I know he’ll love seeing new things and I think it will have a positive effect for me too.

And finally, most of my interactions with Tim are as an awkward-confused parenting duo. We rarely do things together as husband and wife. I think it’s a normal thing to happen in a marriage when the kidlets come along. Our focus and priorities changed. We have this little person who needs us and everything else gets pushed down a rung. I can’t speak for Tim, but I am not worried about the state of our marriage and relationship. I still love him as much as I did the say we said “I do”. But that doesn’t mean we can’t improve on it and add more special memories. We only had a month of married life before Ethan joined us. And, most of that time was me sleeping on the couch because my pregnant body was uncomfortable.

So, I say farewell to 2013…a year with highs and lows, new ventures, family health scares, milestones, and many memories. And, I welcome a new year filled with possibility and memories to come :)

Happy New Year to you all!

Oh yeah, I was doing the blog thing

It has been way too long between posts. I’d completely forgotten all about it until WordPress charged my PayPal.

A lot has been happening but I’ll start with the big news…

17 weeks

1. Our little clan is growing! I will be giving birth to our second child in late May 2014. I’ll have 2 little Dovahs to keep me on my toes. Tim and I are really excited and terrified about adding to our nerdy family. As this will be my last pregnancy, I’m already looking at some geek-tastic maternity shirts. We have affectionately named my little one Stormageddon or Stormy for short.

stormageddon

2. I finished my first semester of uni!
I was in my first trimester during exams so I was very pleased to find out I got an A for both subjects. FYI: An A is equivalent to a 6, or a Distinction. I’ve decided to take semester 3 (now) off as well as the first semester of next year. Depending on how I am coping with two kids, I’ll be back for the second semester next year. Even with the missed semesters I should still be right to graduate on time. I may just need to take some courses over the summer. I’ve missed being at uni but also grateful for the break while pregnant. I’m not my “normal” self so it makes study a real struggle.

3. Ethan turned one!
My little guy is growing up. He’s walking and talking. And often being a cheeky little kid. He’s outsmarted my childproofing efforts and has shown amazing ingenuity. We’ve even moved him out of our bed and into his very own ‘Big Brother’ bed (aka a double mattress on the floor). I still end up in there through the night but it’s progress.

Ethan trying his luck

Ethan trying his luck

4. Next-gen consoles came out!
Tim and I got neither of them. We really can’t justify the cost when we have piles of games we are yet to complete. Not to mention the fact that little dovahs + gaming is a difficult thing to juggle. How much of GTA V do I want my little one to see? And, do I really know how much he’s taking in? I did get a very pretty blue 3DS XL for Christmas so it’s kind of next-gen, right?

Maybe I should make regular posting a resolution for 2014.

Study study study

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Study overload

Again, I’ve been mighty slack with regular updates here. I’ve been busy both studying and procrastinating about studying.

I’m in my 9th week of my first semester in Info Tech. In that time I have completed:

  • 3 JavaScript programs;
  • 2 boring PowerPoint Presentations, and;
  • 1 big-ass Access Database.

Not to mention the weekly quizzes, readings, practical workshops/units, and lecture watching. It’s been over a year since I was last in uni and back then I didn’t have a one year old who likes to pull out the computer power plug and eat my pens. I had intended on making a post about my awesome organisational skills. But instead its more like this.

Image I’ve had a few panicked moments when I’ve forgotten to check if I have another PPT due or if I’ve completed the quiz for the week. I started off the semester so well, too! I sat down with my study schedules and combined them into one Excel file and I have a colour coded system for the items due:

  • Green – completed
  • Yellow – started, but not yet completed
  • Red – overdue

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As you can see, I probably should be studying rather than writing this blog post. I’ve had to rearrange my study times because my former night-owl tendencies have disappeared. More than once, I have fallen asleep in my books. It’s proving an interesting challenge as Ethan-face can hear my typing and will bang and cry at the door until I say hi. I have to sneak in here while he’s outside with Tim. 

It’s difficult too because I want to be playing outside with Tim and Ethan. Most times outside time is daddy-son time, according to Ethan. But, it does make me sad when I can hear them giggling and I am in here reading up on functions and HTML elements. Right now, Ethan is having his afternoon nap with dad-dad, while Tim gets some Defiance game-play in. 

I guess in those sombre moments I just need to remember that after this degree I will have a better chance at working in the industry that I love. And, that I genuinely love studying…and it is good to have something in my life for me.