Friday, 11 July 2008

A life changing event

We are pregnant again! After the business in February, we waited a couple of cycles and then got back on the horse (so to speak :).

I said to the Geege that we had thought of all the reasons why having our three kids close together was a great idea, so we should “leave it in the lap of the gods”. My feeling was that it would never be as “bad” as it was going to be – the boys are only getting older and the gap wider.

Somehow it still surprises me how fertile was actually are! After all those years of pathetic irregular menstrual cycles all my life, I really didn’t think that I could just “get pregnant”. Even after we have had three unplanned pregnancies (trailor trash), I still had a fear that we might not be able to conceive.

I was worried that the miscarriage might have caused some problems (the list of possible risks they run through when they prep you for the D and C is very scary!).

Anyway, I need not have had any concerns because we got pregnant straight away.

We waited until 8 weeks before I went to see the doctor. That was a funny event in itself because I had to take the boys and because we had to wait for awhile, they were pretty feral when we finally got in to see the doctor. They were quite a handful!

My doctor was excited (but quietly horrified) when I told her I had done a home pregnancy test and we were pregnant again! I think she thinks I am a sucker for punishment. She arranged all the usual blood tests and ultrasound referrals.

I asked her if she thought I should have an early ultrasound because of the miscarriage, but she didn’t think it was necessary. But “what if I am having twins or something”, I asked. She said, “what will you do differently if you find out now or at 12 weeks?”. I said “it might give me more time to arrange my trip to the nuthouse!”. She laughed and said to come in to see her if I have any strange symptoms.

I didn’t need to go in to see her. I went to the ultrasound with the Geege on 9th July, 2008. I was feeling very nervous about it. The last ultrasound that I had been to was most unpleasant and I was just hoping that there was something there. Something with a heart beat and appropriate structure for a 12 week old foetus.

We walked in to the ultrasound room after a long wait (I hadn’t even been able to hold in the 2 glasses of water I had to have!). The lady introduced herself, slapped some gel on my abdomen and the ultrasound wand, and put the ultrasound to my belly. Up popped an image I will never forget.

Not one, but TWO, little foetuses were clear to see up on the screen. We are having twins! The Geege and I laughed hysterically for a bit. I cried I had laughed so much. Then a brief feeling of panic overcame me. Then fear that they would be okay (both passed the nuccal translucency test with flying colours). And now the adventure really begins… four children under four!

And then there were four takes on a whole new meaning…

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Money Matters #6 - Saving at the Supermarket

Another inspiration from the Money Magazine. This month I borrow some of the 'Reader's Tips' on Saving at the Supermarket. With a family of four, every dollar counts! I don't know what the copyright laws are (I am sure I break them regularly, unintentionally of course) but I should at least acknowledge Fiona, Colette, Judy, Amelia and Jennie for these tips (whoever they are).

  • Shop at Aldi - much cheaper for staples
  • Use a 'confectionary free' checkout if you shop with kids to avoid temptation. Better still, leave the kids at home. Supermarkets are filled with an endless array of attractions, distractions, toys and lollies that kids love to hassle Mum and Dad about. 
  • Avoid using 'convenience stores' regularly because they are more expensive
  • Don't forget your green bags (we all pay for those plastic bags, you know)
  • Use your shopping dockets for fuel discounts
  • Bake your own cakes and bikkies with the kids rather than buying them at the store - they will be fresher, tastier, not full of additives and a fun activity too
  • Buy home brand where possible
  • Don't shop on an empty stomach
  • Look for in-store reductions on foods that need to be used in the next couple of days. Freeze them or use them.
  • Shop in the last few trading hours of the day as this is when perishables are greatly marked down
  • Buy products on the high or low shelves because companies pay a premium to have their products at eye level
  • Look at the specials in catalogues and buy items that you usually use at discounted prices
  • If an brand you use is not on special, look for an alternative that is
  • Buy in bulk where possible (especially meat) - check unit pricing where available. Freeze meat in meal-size portions so you can reduce the time needed to thaw it.
  • Use the deli - Pre-packaged chicken is $2 dearer than the same product at the deli counter. Same is true for cold meats
  • Join a fruit and veg co-operative or shop for fruit and veg at local grower's markets. It might not be as pretty as the supermarket produce, but it'll be fresher and kinder on the hip pocket.
  • Don't buy a new "trigger pack". Buy a refill instead and re-use the trigger mechanism from the previous packaging. The same goes for laundry detergent.
  • Check out discount stores like Crazy Clarks. They often have a limited supply of grocery items substantially discounted. It may mean shopping in two stores to complete your shop but the savings may be worth it.
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