Tag Archives: Easter

Family Holiday and Poop in the Tub

Contrary to popular belief there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. There is also, of course, too much of a bad thing. This weekend was filled with both. I am happy to tell you though, it was much more the former.

We had a lovely four day weekend, filled with family visiting from Sydney, copious amounts of wine and chocolate, and way too much poop in the bath tub. I’ll get to that last part in a minute. Let’s start from the top.

I am very lucky to have married into a tight knit family who visit each other often. Lucas’ brother came down to Canberra with his four girls- his wife, two daughters, and the family dog, Rosie. I suppose it’s his lot in life to be surrounded by beautiful women. Tough gig.

As with any of our family get togethers we tend to cram as much food and wine into our bodies as humanly possible. I’m not sure why we do this but it sure is fun when you’re having a picnic Easter lunch on a hillside instead of any of the flat surfaces available in the park. It’s even more fun when an entire bottle of Pinot Gris gets shared with your sister-in-law who just so happens to be wearing black suede stilettos. Yes, you read that right, half drunk, on a hill, in a park, in heels. She did borrow her daughter’s “runners” (Aussie speak for running shoes), when it was time to visit “Grandma Jones” (CJ speak for the toilet). I am not above admitting that I also had on some fabulous footwear and while my boots were black and heeled, they were not stilettos, perhaps I’m just not that brave. Matter of fact, there was quite a bit of borrowing going on, I never felt as old nor as cool as I did when my 13 year-old niece borrowed my jeans.

Aside from our hillside shenanigans, we had much more fun. Like decorating Easter baskets, which my sister-in-law and I somehow ended up doing by ourselves when the kids ditched us. It was also rib-stitchingly good when we were out for a coffee in the city and a runner “stacked it” (Aussie speak for crash or fall down). It was the “stack that kept on stacking” according to Lucas. This poor woman was just out for a run, in a Phoebe from Friends fashion I might add, when she brought us to tears. Just as she turned to take the sidewalk in front of our little cafe area, the curb jumped up and tripped her. Her feet shot out like duck paddles and she was horizontal for at least three slaps of the asphalt. It was like she was training for the next Matrix movie and had to nail the scene where the bullets come at your back but you can’t touch the ground with your hands. When she finally recovered she gave a thumbs up to another table and kept running, yet again nearly stacking in on a newly installed rail lining the path. We were dying of laughter. Almost as much laughter as when it was footy pyjama time!

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My niece and I rocking the onesie look.

As with every holiday I try to inject some of my own family traditions, it keeps me from feeling too homesick. This holiday for me is always marked by fruit pizza, which is my stepmom’s specialty. I’ll post the recipe in the Tasties section of the blog. Check it out, it is so yum.

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I’d say the highlight for me during the whole weekend was when we all jumped in our cars and drove down the road to the new Cajun restaurant. An American guy (I’m sold just on that), is from New Orleans and has opened a few restaurants around Australia, along with being a celebrity chef. He’s a big personality and I’ve seen him a few times at the markets peddling his chicken wings. Had I known then how unbelievably delicious these wings are, I would’ve been partaking in them for a much longer period of time. But, I was hesitant to buy wings from a sidewalk vendor. We have been stalking his restaurant for weeks now, waiting for it to open and fortunately, we called, learned he finally opened and we made a booking for Saturday night. Why on earth we thought it was a good idea to take Charlie to a restaurant I have no idea. We’re optimists I guess! We even packed her high chair in the car and trucked it in the restaurant with us as we learned they didn’t have high chairs there. She didn’t even sit in it once. An overstimulated baby just won’t nap and then they fall asleep on uncle Simon at the dinner table.

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I hungrily jammed as much ribs, jambalaya, shrimp creole, gumbo, chicken wings, and cornbread in my face as I could before Charlie had a full on meltdown. That kid had great timing because I am now addicted to the Soulfood Kitchen in Erindale thanks to her mini nap. I wanted to tell the people looking at the menu on the door as I exited with a crying baby that it was awesome and they should totally stay but I think Charlie would've nullified any uptalk I could give the place.

After our Happy Easter it was the first official Geelong Cats game of the year. To say Lucas is a fan would be an understatement. He's a fanatic. This morning, he woke up and told me he was nervous about the game. You'd think he was playing his debut game for the Cats. I have to say, he comes by it honestly, his dad and brothers are all huge Cats fans. Biting their nails, pacing nervously, and making Corona (the best beer available in Oz) disappear at rapid rates is all normal behaviour to be expected from the Copeland male during a game. I am happy to report they won, and none of us women have to deal with sulky males. Phew!

Following the game, the Sydney Copeland Clan headed back north and we began to settle in for the evening which is where poop in the bath tub comes in. Charlie has her dinner, followed by her bath, and then goes to bed almost every night. This routine of ours helps the little miss settle down and drift off to leave mommy and daddy in peace until we are too tired to keep our own eyes open. This evening we had a first. Charlie actually pooed in the the tub. It's not the first instance in which there was poo and Charlie in a tub at once as I did neglect to check her diaper before yanking it off and dunking her in the tub. But it was the first time she actually added floaties to the water. She was making her "poo face" and I thought she was acting funny but it wasn't until I saw the friendly fire that I grabbed her up out of the water and Lucas made a mad dash for reconnaissance materials. We almost made it a whole year. Here's hoping we make it to the next visit by the Easter bunny before we deal with any more pootastraphies.

xx OHM

p.s. I know teenage Charlie is mortified I wrote this.

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Good Friday? How about Best Friday Ever.

Sorry y’all, this isn’t a post about religion or the recognition of any Christian holiday. It’s about the day, or more like, really early morning that changed this little world of mine forever.

I haven’t shared Charlie’s birth story in writing, just verbal recounts of the massive event. It seems fitting to write it all down now that it’s nearly a year later and Good Friday will forever be an extra, extra special day in my book.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to share any disgusting details, or take you on a journey of incense and chanting. I’m an all American girl who gave birth in a foreign country, buckle your seat belts.

Let me start with the visit to the hospital a couple of months before D-Day. We had no choice but to go to the private hospital here as I am not an Australian citizen, nor do I have permanent residency. Yet. And we also had no choice, as I refused to share a room in the public hospital. I mean, who SHARES rooms anymore? This is something that baffles me with Australian healthcare. All in all, I had pretty standard expectations of this hospital as my nephew spent a night in the surgical wing after having his tonsils removed. I found his accommodation to be pleasant and up to date. Boy was I in for a surprise when we walked into the maternity ward.

Lucas and I waddled into the reception area, well Lucas didn’t really waddle so much, and we were greeted by plastic covered sofas and chairs in the waiting area that looked like they were from the 1980s. I wasn’t put off by this immediately as I was distracted by the competition. The other preggos. Who was going to deliver first in this group? I’m positive this morbid curiosity is only present in the warped minds of first time moms who have yet to embark on the highly anticipated journey of child birth.

As we collectively waddled and shuffled around the maternity ward, and shoved women who were much bigger than their real size and their husbands into little hospital rooms and delivery suites it became apparent to me this whole ward was out of date. When we were told that the husbands, “are only allowed to stay one night during your stay.” I realized the mentality was also a little out of date. Perhaps it just wasn’t what I expected but, I’ll be damned if I will be left alone with a new baby, in a hospital that has furniture older than the American Constitution while my husband chews his fingernails at home. In one room that we crammed our sweaty, pregnant selves into, I saw a television that I kid you not, was on a metal arm that pulled away from the wall. Where the hell is the plasma screen tv and double bed?! I kept pent up my concerns as I didn’t want to seem like the arrogant, loud American, who nothing was good enough for. Thankfully a little distraction came when a woman who brought her husband and toddler on a leash asked if she could stay longer than the maximum of six nights. Six nights?! And she wants to stay longer in this time capsule? I nearly laughed out loud. At the end of the tour, I couldn’t exit that building fast enough. The fear of the general unknown and difference of my expectations and what we were met with nearly proved too much for me. I soothed myself with the knowledge that aforementioned nephew had been born there and I was absolutely checking out after one or two nights. No exceptions.

It also didn’t hurt that my mother came to Australia the week before Charlie was born. We spent the next six days touring Canberra a little bit, as much as my hippo self could get around. On the Wednesday before Charlie was born I took mom and Dave to the Botanic Gardens. We walked through the rainforest exhibit as it was shady and cool, really nice for my giant swollen feet, and well, everything else.

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This is what pre-labor looks like. If I had only known!

Perhaps it was all the walking, or maybe just the fact that I had been cooking that little turkey long enough that the timer went off. We picked up Lucas from work that evening for dinner and a movie. He will tell you that I was a whole new shade of white and very quiet. At dinner, I started having the biggest Braxton Hicks contractions, and my stomach was like a rock. I felt a bit off but not like I was in labor certainly. After dinner we headed up to the movie theater to catch a showing of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Luckily for me it was sold out. All I wanted to do was go home and eat a Popsicle. All that evening the fun times started to roll. I couldn’t get comfortable to save my life and at 4:30am I shot upright in bed with a real, big girl, call your momma, the big show is a startin’ contraction. Game on.

13 hours, one breakfast burrito, one deli sandwich, a dozen soaks in the tub, and one of Dave’s (my soon to be stepdad- yay!) spicy burritos, I felt it was time to go time traveling. Now, at the ante-natal classes (Aussie speak for pre-natal) they told us to call the hospital before we came so they could gauge by the sound of my voice the gravity of the situation. Apparently, nurse midwives have a sixth sense and it is the ability to hear a woman’s voice and determine how soon a baby will come out of said woman. Apparently. I did as I was told, called the hospital and in normal OHM fashion, I made light of the situation.

“Hello, labor and delivery, how can I help you?” super nurse asks,
“Yes, hello. My name is CJ, my doctor is blah blah and I am in labor.” I tell the nurse.
“Oh ok, how are you feeling?”
“Well, haha. I feel like my baby is trying to escape my body.”
“Ok then, you can come in anytime but you might want to wait a few more hours.”
“Yeah ok.”
We left five minutes later. Just because a girl can joke about it doesn’t mean it’s not happening!

When we arrived we were escorted to a delivery suite and discovered that there was ONE nurse on staff. Another woman was already in heavy labor and going to deliver soon. The nurse called me “Petal” about 89 times and I was in too much pain to tell her that I didn’t know why she insisted on calling me part of a flower, or a car accelerator as I suppose it could’ve been either, but that she could stop. I donned my ever so flash hospital gown and proceeded to labor away. Every Ingrid Michaelson song ever recorded played in shuffle mode on my iPod and i couldn’t have pre-planned a better playlist for the time. About an hour later the nurse came back and asked if she could check the baby’s heart rate, and told me I’d have to get on the bed. I obeyed and she said she was concerned about the heart rate and wanted to continue to monitor it. Then she left.

Holy back labor.

Can I get an epidural now? Can we turn on the gas? Can I have ANY drugs?

Hello? Anybody?

My dear husband was such a trooper, he kept hunting down the lone nurse and begging her to call the anaesthesiologist for us. My in-laws arrived from Singapore before the anaesthesiologist showed up.

While waiting for the $1000 doctor to arrive and relieve my agony, I did use the F word. I am proud to say it only happened once the whole time and it was mid-contraction when I thought the flood gates had opened and both my mother and Lucas decided it would be a great time to let go of my death grip hands and take a little look. “What the F are you doing!?!?” I growled. They both promptly dropped the covers and resumed their posts.

After the drugs, and two and a half hours of pushing, some suction cup action, and some full on dragging my baby out the doctor proudly proclaimed, “Oh look! They’re shaking my hand! Look! look!” To which I replied, “I don’t have time to look! Just Get It Out!” Turns out, little Charlie was pushing back every time I pushed and she needed some extra assistance to make her debut. When her little face was visible my third birth partner and sister-in-law, let us all know, “It’s a girl!” Even though the “girl bits” weren’t even showing yet. Apparently my child was born with a very feminine face. Awwwwww.

At 3:58 on Good Friday morning, as “The Chain” played in the background, our sweet baby Charlotte Josephine was born. It was unlike I expected, and a little as I thought it might be. 24 hours of actual labor was quite enough for me and I am so grateful we had a perfect little girl. It was a flood of relief and joy like I had never known. Each day has been a steep learning curve but we are getting the hang of this thing. I venture to say we might have parenthood figured out in about 18 years. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had, being this little girl’s mom. Happy sort of birthday my darling girl. Good Friday indeed.

20130329-225057.jpg She’s named after my grandmother, Estella Josephine, aka Granny Jo.

xx OHM

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