Wednesday, December 14, 2011

More Pics

All gathered round

Our complete little family

Monday, December 12, 2011


We'd been playing the waiting game for a week or two. You know.... when you know someone is ready to pop, you have that "any day now feeling" our family had been there with MB for a few weeks leading up to last Friday.

I was woken to a loud moan from our en suite, I lept out of bed and found MB singing her way through a contraction. When it resided I asked if we were in business, she said we were.

It was GAME ON.

Between contractions MB gradually made herself a little nest beside our bed that I had moved aside allowing more room.

Miss H was soon awoken by the sounds of birth song coming from our bathroom, I raced downstairs and woke Mr B gave him a USB key full of movies and told home to sit in the lounge with Miss H.
MB asked me to call her mother to come over and watch the children, up until this date she wasn't sure who she wanted to have in her birth space apart from yours truly. The children have all been present at the past three home birth but for this our final MB had been feeling more like it would just be the two of us. I set her up with plenty of towls and a glass of ice for her to crunch on between contractions.

A few more contractions had passed and from outside the en-suite I heard her waters broke, I knew by her sounds deepening that it wasn't far away. There isn't a lot for me to do while MB births her giant babies. I speak only when spoken to I don't touch her I just wait, she becomes almost hypnotised and her eyes glaze over, totally in the zone focusing only on what she has to do.

As the pains got closer and her sounds deepened to open roars she moved to beside the bed and got on all fours. I say beside her having the occasional peak downstairs in search of any action.

What seemed like perhaps not even 3 of four contractions later I could see something crowning, it looked wrinkled and at first I panicked thinking it was the placenta but kept quite and watched in awe.

As the head began to crown I could see the squished face, black hair and quite a bit of vernix.

Once the head was out there was a pause that seemed to last ages, MB calmed herself regained composure and as I watched bubs turned for the final push I held my hand out carefully making sure I didn't touch MB or the baby.

Out plopped the messiest baby I had ever seen, vernix everywhere, both eyes were plugged solid with it, it was thick down my forearms. I glanced down to see the sex just as MB asked "Is it a boy or a girl" I began to cry and laugh at the same time and replied "Its a GIRL!!!!"

Within minutes I helped pass bubs through to MB so she could rest on the floor, we both stared in awe at this beautiful mess that had just came into the world.

Within minutes Mr B came in to tell us MB's mum had arrived so I told him to tell her she had another grand daughter and to wake his brothers and sisters. We announced Miss M to her siblings.

All the children gathered round in semi-shock at this strange looking thing that their parents were crying with joy over. MB passed the placenta so I handled it into a bowl and gave it & the ball of vernix to MB's mum so I could help MB onto the bed and get some rest.
Weighing the squishy bub
Back to mamma bare
My queen
Nanna cut the cord, not something most mums get to do, she was stoked to be part of this special day.

It was all too much for miss H who was the first child to rise and the first to crash, she doesn't have day time naps, on this day she had 2 2.5 hour snoozes, too much hard work I think.
I can't recall all the measurements but she was a 5 kilo bub, 11 pounds in the old speak. She was hands down the filthiest (in a good way) baby I have ever seen. within a few hours nskin to skin with mum all the vernix was soaked in to reveal beautiful olive skin.

While they all look the same to me at birth MB thinks she is very similar to Mr B our eldest in looks and feeding.

I have more pics of the whole fam having a hold, stay tuned for those

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Its been a while since I last updated, there are a few reasons.........

The first is that I've been online less and less.

The second is that its been a fairly shite few months with little blog-worthy excitement to note

The third is that priorities have been elsewhere

In a series of kicks received lately the first was the loss of my licence. This (while entirely my fault) was a real pain in the proverbial. I had received a few speeding fines on my motorcycle and amassed 12 demerit points inside 3 years meaning I could either lose my license for 3 months or last a year with no demerit points and keep my license. Given all my indiscretions were on 2 wheels I was confident that I could last out 12 months restricting my motorcycle use and opting for the car more. I last 10 months and unfortunately as turned out ended up being my car.......on the way to get my vasectomy. I was speeding, I was nervous, I explained to the cop where I was going but they didn't seem to phased so I copped a fine and about 2 months later had the pleasure of handing in my license. Its been ok, better than I thought I'm lucky that where we live is a short walk from a bus stop. Had I been living on our land I'd be screwed (it is 8km from the nearest bus stop). I don't mind catching a bus then a train into work, or a train home however the bus home is a little testing, there isn't a lot of leg room for people over 6'6 nor are some of the passengers the most civil. My commute has gone from 75-90 minutes to usually just over 2 hours, this sucks, it means I get home later, have to get up earlier and arrive home more tired than I normally would be.

The licence situ has also led me to deciding to sell my Ducati, while I find the hypermotard the most fun bike I've ever ridden I do need to settle down a little, I had decided to get a more cruiser oriented bike when I turned 40 but now i'm content to sell the hyper then get a harley of some form as more of a project, While I love riding bikes I also love wrenching on bikes just as much so a project will keep me occupied for a while.

On the home front this pregnancy has hit MB for 6. Her energy levels and health were very low for the early months of the pregnancy and as the months went by she didn't seem to improve, actually I started to see her go backwards, no energy, very snappy at first I think we both put it down to pregnancy hormones but certain key indicators raised alarms we suspected that she was suffering antenatal depression. She is now taking medication and speaking with a PANDA specialised psych and has been improving with every week. I've been trying my best to make sure that the house is in order with washing and folding and cleaning kept on top of. I don't want to go into any more detail and probably won't mention it any further but I thought it worthwhile to mention it as it doesn't receive the same recognition as postnatal depression. I do hope after bubs has arrived and we start regaining some normality around the house MB can too.

I've been without full use of my left hand for almost 2 months now. I was breaking up pine kindling for the fire a while back and went to snap a piece by hand, the wood didn't snap but it hurt my hand, I stopped breaking wood thought nothing of it. A day later my had started to get more sore the more I used it another day later I couldn't move my thumb and by the next day I couldn't even do up the buttons on my shirt. I knew something wasn't good so a trip to the ER and although nothing was broken I still required plaster to treat a torn thumb ligament. I was stuck in plaster for a few weeks then saw a surgeon who decided that it was only a partial tear of the thumb UCL and didn't require surgery, but would need to be braced for 4-6 weeks. I have my 4 week review next Friday so here is hoping its all good, its (my thumb) still numb in places and gives me a twinge if I overdo it but all in all has improved especially this last week.

On the NEVUS front....... (sorry I don't post about it enough I realise quite a bit of my traffic hits orginate from google searches regarding NEVUS). We had a bit of a scare last week, Mr C developed a strange lump on his ear, it was probably about 10mm X 3mm X 5mm and sort of resembled a blood blister but was blue in colour. It seemed to come from nowhere, neither MB nor myself had spotted it the previous day. C didn't recall hurting his ear or catching it in the garden or any other activity It really scared me, I spent hours googling images of melanoma finding things that looked identical or totally different and everything in between. MB snapped a few shots and emaild them to C's dermatologist who was very quick to call back and explained that the likelyhood of it being melanoma was very low given the speed in which it developed. Five days later and its now reduced in size and appears to be healing up. We are still taking regular photos and will continue to monitor it but it was certainly an unwanted extra stress. C is still on wait at teh RCH for his next nip/tuck job for his eyebrow, this has perhaps been the longest we have waited for any of his surgeries, which is fine but I can't help but worry it will happen right about the time bubs #7 arrives (just because we don't do anything by halves).

Perhaps the biggest surprise is that Mr B, Mr T, Miss L & Mr C are all attending school next year. We have enroled them in a nice country school just down the road from where the new house will be. It's small, about 70 students in total. We met the principle about a month ago. Mr C has already done one prep orientation day as have the other children in their prospective classes. B will be going into grade 6, T will be going into Grade 4 and Miss L Grade 2. As with most small country schools all classes are composite and we really got a sense of closeness and community from the place, the boys know some other students through their basketball and the plan is for all the children to attend when C has his prep orientation days. I won't go into the events and thinking behind this move just yet, i'll save that for another day.

That is about all I have, til next time......

Monday, September 26, 2011

Quick Stint Down The Coast

Some peeps we party with (him & her) from time to time have visited us twice in the last 18 months so it was high time we made the return journey.

I had arranged to take the Friday off work, the original plan was to leave for the coast Friday morning however in a last minute (well the monday before) I suggested to MB we make the journey from CBD to Geelong on Thursday afternoon then do the remaining drive on Friday getting us to sunny Warrnambool several hours earlier on Friday

MB picked me up from work at 3 and within 2 hours we were settled into our accom, we enjoyed pizzas for dinner (all the children moaned saying they preferred my home made pizzas). I was up early so I had all the tribe showered and dressed so we could make the 10am check out before doing a spot of shopping) and finally hit the road just before lunch time. We decided to step away from the usual style of accommodation in warny and opted for a house that we had let for the 3 days, it had everything we needed, slept 8 and was soooo much better than any onsite cabin alternative. Surprisingly we were there bang on 2pm for check in. We settled in, gave the beds a test run, watched some commercial TV (how I have not missed it whatsoever) and then headed out for the meet point.

After hooking up with our compadres at the local lake/play area we killed off several hours of flying foxes, monkey bars slides and roundabouts with the odd kick of the soccer ball to boot (did you see what I did there? with the Pun??).

Friday Dinner was at one of the local pub/clubs for a bit of a steak and pasta bar feast, of the many rounds completed was Mr T who went for 5 return servings from the ice-cream bar (can you tell we don't have ice cream at home) I watched J-man slowly progress from sober to typsy to stammering over the course of evening and we bid each others good evening and retired to our houses. I sat up with MB and enjoyed the other luxury, a big screen TV as we watched butterfly effect.

Saturday we had planned to spend the day out amongst the cows with a lunch/dinner play day with our friends so we headed off with supplies and enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of laughs and children getting zapped on electric fences washed down with fish n chips.

Sunday was home day but as promised all the children had been asking to go swimming at the beach for 3 straight days so we opted for the scenic route via the great ocean rd with a stop at one of the many sandy coves for swimming. I don't understand children and how temperature doesn't deter them when it comes to swimming. The pics speak for themselves.

Dodgy Bridge
Foxy Mr C
Foxy Miss P
Scaring Ducks
Big Foxy

You can hardly tell it was freakin cold
My foot print compared to Miss H
I was cold

Didn't seem to phase them
Ok Mr C looks a little chilled
Miss H and her first time at the beach
She loved it
They all did

Tuckered out

Until Next time - thanks to our hosts it was a blast.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Another Good Day

I had an awesome fathers day, one of the best in years. I was up fairly early along with miss L & Mr B who presented me with my mass of home made cards filled with color and motorcycles and basketballs.

We had MB's parents meeting us for lunch so after I enjoyed my eggs on toast that were made for me we whipped the house into shape before our guests arrived.

We all loaded up to the bus and headed to our favorite local drinking spot for an outstanding lunch, I had my stalwart dish, the sweet chilli chicken parma. The rest of the fam had a mix or parmas, roasts seafood all sensationally good. Washed down with a few pints and many laughs 2 hours had passed by the time we left.

A quick stop at home to switch into shorts and grab a few supplies and we headed up to the aqua-duct trail, which is a 30km stretch of trail that runs along the side of the mountain range, it used to be a working aqua-duct that fed water to the hydro generator at the wheatbix factory, its an awesome walk. We did a few km with the children on their bikes until MB needed to take a break so we headed home. I like to do this walk regularly, we see evidence of many different types of wildlife, today we spotted a wedge tailed eagle, hands down my favorite animal which was a real treat for me.

I'll let the pics say the rest

Fallen Tree

Miss P is the pose striker
MB & her mother, fathers day is just as much about mothers.
The Dads
The Fam

Until next time...........

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Thar She Blows!

Tomorrow hopefully marks the closing of party in my pants known as "Vasectomy 2011"

As I said on my last vasectomy related post I had to have 20 ejacs racked up before I could do a sperm test. I reached the 20 mark back in mid July so I'm guessing I'm probably at double the requirement now.

Keeping tabs on my count down (or up depending how you look at it) was easily managed with a yellow highlighter and my desktop calendar at work. What I did find funny was the amount of times things happened after midnight "Do I put that down as yesterday....or today?"

MB also got in on the gag often double checking that I had scored the previous nights activities.

The doc did say that most gents blow zero (I'm sorry for the RBT reference but it fits well here) after the 20, in some cases they do not and have to go away and be tested after another 20.

Man I hope its worked and I don't have to get sliced again.

Ahhh the 12th of June was a great day

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Acer Tablet - 1 month on

Its been at least a month now since I bit the bullet on my Android tablet - the acer iconia tab. I thought I'd post a bit of a review to share my thoughts.

The design is slightly more bulky than the ipad2 and with the case i'm currently using I'd place it somewhere near the original ipad in terms of thickness and weight. This doesn't detract from its use at all, as a rule I only use it sitting down and find it a pleasure in either the landscape or portrait position. I wouldn't risk standing with one handed operation on a moving train though (as some ipad users do). I have large hands and prefer a little heft which translates to a firmer grip. The screen is more than bright enough, I would guess the majority of my use with screen set to auto brightness keeps it in the lowest 1/4 of the scroll bar meaning at its dimmest it's plenty bright. The touch accurateness is also excellent, at certain angles in the sunlight you can see the sensors of the touch screen but this is rare and only prior to turning on. Sound is as good as you'd hope for from such little speakers,but I can happily watch youtube vids or hear my mail chime.

For the moment 32gb onboard has been ample, I used a 32gb micro sd from my phone for the first few weeks bringing total storage up to 64gb but prefer my phone for music/radio use so I switched it back. I'll get another microsd 32gb is around $70 at the moment so perhaps maybe in a month or two when larger ones will be more readily available for around the same money. I do want to keep a copy of all my images on the tablet so 100GB + will be a must.

Mobile & WIFI Use:
On my daily commute with Telstra sim i've found the reception to be excellent, no complaints at all. Likewise at home wireless use has been excellent, youtube streams well (when I don't have another PC running p2p)

Android Honeycomb:
This is by far one of the best interfaces i've used, I love the layout, how customisable everything is, active wallpapers, widgets etc etc. I especially liked that I was able to link my accounts and access all images uploaded to my various blogs from within the gallery. I wont go into the apps I use in details but I will say that I do have the following covered happily:
- Remote access and control of my home pc
- File management
- GPS navigation
- Ample Games
- eBook reading (text & PDF)
- IM/Video chat

I've on average charged the Acer every 2-3 days depending on use

By far the best addition for a tablet is the full USB port support.... well whatever but for me the keyboard option is awesome. Its so handy to be able to wack in a keyboard and bang out a few paragraphs. A perfect example was yesterday at work when my PC wouldn't connect to the network, I was able to run up my lotus notes via citrix on the tab plug in my keyboard and use it at almost PC speed. I have a blue tooth mouse at home somewhere that I must also try.

There is only one to be honest & that's not the tablet, its the cheap and crappy charger that came with it, not only did it need some assistance to work out of the box (pin was out of alignment) the cord is way to short. A cost cutting exercise that really reflects poorly on the whole, but hey as I'm only charging it once every few days its not much of a worry to me. I intend to get the dock/charger so I can have one in my bag at all times and easily dock to charge the device at home.

All in all I'd give it 9 out of 10 (detracting 1 point for such a poor quality power supply)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Not my bag baby

I've really struggled to find a bag that meets my needs, I liked my little crumpler but it was a touch too small (read tiny) and didn't fit my tablet. I then upgraded to the maxpedition sitka gear slinger which is a fraction more tactical or tacticool than the crumpler.

Its a quality sling bag (One strap worn like a backpack) that features the sort of organisational design I like combined with a nice compartment that my tablet fits in (albeit for CCW). Unfortunately I don't like the sling style carrier for work travel, wearing it with business shirts and riding on crowded trains I quickly new I should have opted for a shoulder bag. The Sitka will be awesome on a motorcycle or mountain bike bag because its design allows you to access all compartments without removing your helmet so I will keep it and still get plenty of use.

Why am I so fussy about bags? Its in part about being organised but also its about preparedness, I live a LONG way away from my work in the city and am dependent on services and systems outside my control to get to and from the CBD.

My bag needs to meet my every day needs as well as serve as a "get home bag" if need be. There are any one of a number of reasons for someone to need to get home on foot be it widespread power outage stopping the trains, a gas leak closing the highway or even a zombie apocalypse (2 of the 3 have happened in the last 6 months, I'll let you guess which ones).

From work to my home is just under 80km door to door, not a stroll in the park by any means and while my commute is split in half between rail and road I like to feel confident that if I needed to bail I could get home on foot.

Daily Items:
- Headphones
- Tablet
- USB Drive & Cables
- Sunglasses
- Reading Glasses
- Lense Cleaning kit
- Lunch/Snacks (occasionally)
- Leatherman Wave
- Ventolin & Other meds
- Keys & Security Cards
- Led Light

Get Home/Preparedness Items:
- Poncho
- Paracord
- Fire Kit
- Water Kit
- Knife
- Small FAK

These lists seem like a lot but most pack down into next to nothing, the only tricky item is my tablet and how to address carrying water. At work I typically refill my 750ml bottle 6-8 times a day so I'm tempted to replace it with another 1L Sigg (I have one at home also) so if I need to I have bottles with me but don't necessarily carry them daily. Another option would be a wide mouth bottle (like the nalgene or camelback styles) and use it to store some of the listed items.

I'm very happy with the quality of my maxped sitka and think something that fallsunder "Tactical"will have the quality I'm after. The 1000+ denier nylon doesn't wear or show up the dirt and look manky after the crumpler did from a few months use

Here are some of the options i've looked at:

Maxpedition Mongo Versipack - This was my original favorite, Its pretty exxy. In my opinion you pay more for maxped for their rep. I like that there are ample colors to choose from, dedicated water bottle storage and any maxped ad on would be interchangeable with my sitka I also like the pouch on top for eye wear.

5.11 Tactical Push Pack - This bag seems to offer the same as the mongo just on a smaller scale (and half the price). The downside for me is both of the side compartments are both water storage & it wouldn't hold my tablet securely but it does share the glasses pouch on to with the mongo.

5.11 Tactical Bail Out Bag - This bag moves away from the versipack style of the mongo and push and serves as an active shooter meaning there are ample pockets on the outside for magazines. Not being a shooter or purveyor of firearms in any form this bag looses out for me because 3 of the external pockets are not sealed. It does have a plus being that there is easy external access to glasses and all little bits and pieces, there is no dedicated spot for my tab though meaning i'd have to rig up some velcro retaining straps on the inside loop field to secure it. Internal molle webbing for adding pouches is an added bonus.

5.11 Tactical Rush Delivery Messenger bag - If this bag was a hair smaller it would be perfect, I don't have a need to carry a 15 inch laptop let alone a 17inch so size wise its overkill I do however like the design and internal organisation.

Plat-a-Tac taxi Bag - I'm so so on this bag given it includes a belt system that isn't removeable or stow able (which I don't need) however it is cheaper than the maxped and I can source it locally and it seems to have a few compartments that I can store my tab separately EDIT - I went and tried this bag on, one added bonus was the shoulder strap was more than long enough however they bag itself just didn't feel stiff enough on me also the waist belt was not removable/stowable.

Plat-a-Tac Modular Snatch Bag $195 I really like the fact that this bag is entirely customisable, you have ample MOLLE webbing to attache internal pouches and compartments, I could easily rig up a securing system for my tab too. There are 2 downsides one being that its freakin expensive (especially when you add in a few more $$ for pouches) and also its design is to drop out making all the internals available for access. I'm not sure how secure 2 press studs and a zipper would be holding the bag together. EDIT - I went and tried out this bag and the dimensions were not as I expected. I expected similar dimensions to the taxi bag however the bag itself was much larger and the shoulder strap was too short.

Plat-a-Tac Snatch Bag - This bag shares the features of the modular without being expandable, it also looses out on molle webbing and you get standard elastic internal loops. Price is better too. EDIT- They didn't have this one on display so I couldn't sus it out

So drawing on learnings from my usage of the maxpedition sitka over the past 2 months I opted for the Maxpedition Mongo Versipack for a number of reasons:
- Maxped Quality
- Superior Organisation options (loop field everywhere)
- Glasses access on top
- Fits my tablet
- Can carry a laptop

I think perhaps the key comment I saw on one of the many Mongo reviews comparing the two styles of bag (gear slinger vs versipack) was that the Sitka was more of a bag that you pack before your journey and access/unpack when you reach your destination. The Mongo is a bag you can access during your journey which really suited my needs.

I decided on foliage green over black, I really don't know why.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

From The Photo Shoot...

As mentioned here and also here
I'm told you can expect to see them in boating and camping stores and there shopuld be some super big versions in shopping centres, more on that to come.

Pure Bronze (Plated)

When I was in pre-school I made a plate. Well... I didn't make the plate, I drew a design on a special piece of paper and it was sent away and transferred onto a plate. From memory the image was of me and had my name. I can't recall the specifics only that I it lasted over 1o years of daily use and dishwasher cleaning.

Earlier this year I discussed "The Plate" with MB and how I thought it would be a great craft project for each of the children & all things going well last a long time. (we tend to hammer our crockery)

I scoured the internet trying to find companies that did "The plate" I couldn't remember the brand only that the plates were made from Pyrex?? and the template was a large sheet of paper with a circle and all sorts of instructions. My internet searches unfortunately didn't yield any success (I guess i suck @ computers) MB however found something that matched my description. She showed the website & products to me and I knew instantly it was exactly what I was after.

An order was sent off and shortly after a large flat package arrived complete with ample sheets and an array of colored textas.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves....

As you can see some of the children (like myself) went freehand others Like C & P wanted specific pictures so with a little help from dad they had tracings of what they wanted. MB decided to go with some symbols of meaning to her. I went with a freehand picture of MB and I, a love heart representing each child.

I'll post more pics when the finished products arrive...