29 March 2010

Soon I can play with my brother

Martin has been paying very close attention to Lana and Zach.
He has a great time playing with his older sisters, but he has decided that he needs a younger brother with whom he can get into more boy-like mischief.
So, he has figured it is never too late to start the training regime.
Here he is showing Zach the approved method for holding a toy gun.
Considering that Zach is still at the stage of accidently discovering that the things at the end of his arms are actually under his control, this training may be a bit premature.

Zach update

It's been about 4 weeks since Zach arrived and all is well.
At this stage of the game his job is to:
1. eat,
2. sleep and
3. get fatter.

So far, he has earned 3 out of 3.
Here he is doing his practical exam of task 2.

The area he needs to work on is burping.  When he gets older we will tell him "Excuse me" when he passes wind or burps, but at the moment it is cheers all round!

All I want for my birthday

Clare has just celebrated her 9th birthday recently.  All she really wanted to celebrate her birthday was to work in the shop, "... so I can wash the dishes and collect the plates from the customers.  That will be fun!"
So we let her have her birthday wish.  Clare did a very good job and enjoyed being a useful part of the operations on a busy Saturday morning.
At the recent country show, Eric once more won first prize for his scones.
So, naturally, we have added scones to the store's menu. Award winning scones with Raspberry jam and cream.
On the first weekend we offered this treat a group of about 30 bike riders visited us and finished off the batch we had just made.  Their response?  "Mmmmmm, any more?"

24 March 2010

The Latest Carnival of Homeschooling

The latest Carnival of Homeschooling is up with lots of interesting links to posts.
Our post regarding the DIY Business College is included.


18 March 2010

DIY Business College

When we purchased the Shop we wanted to make it more than just a quiet little job. One of our aims was to provide the young people working there with valuable training and experience.
Part of this is ensuring all the staff are familiar with the many aspects of the shop from Coffee, Cooking, Post Office, Newsagency, DVD rentals, Groceries and more. I wanted them to have something on their resume when they moved on.
Ariel, Eric and a local girl are all working on an official apprenticeship with an Employment Training organisation. They are doing a course in Business Management - Ariel doing a Level 4 certificate, and Eric and the girl doing Level 3 this year, and the level 4 certificate next year.
This course is college equivalent training and will help if they ever want to continue on to a University level degree later.
We have seen their service levels and knowledge grow quickly as they apply the training to their work at the Shop.
For Eric this is a great homeschooling alternative to the typical year 11 and 12 studies.  Not only is he getting invaluable experience with business and getting paid, but he obtains credits that can be applied to a university (college) degree in a few years' time.  As he is only 16, this works out very well.
This is also a great test of how we have done in preparing the children.  We have homeschooled them from the beginning, so this is the first real external means we have had to confirm our methods.  The reaction from the external trainer is very positive.  Woo hoo!
We were told at every stage by friends and strangers, "Just you wait until X is Y years old!  Then you will be in trouble."  Well, so far we have enjoyed every stage of each child and continue to enjoy living and working with the older ones too.

Depaganisation done!

Zach is now part of a much broader family than just ours.  On Sunday he was baptised during the Mass we regularly attend in our parish.  If you have a closer look at the photo Lana's Dad helpfully captured, you will see many smiling faces.  My Dad is grinning, as is Lana's Mum and then all the congregation in view are also grinning. That was a pretty amazing capture of the joy we all felt on this most opportune Sunday in Lent.
The 4th Sunday in Lent is known as Laetare Sunday. This day is set aside as a "break" from the penitential Lenten season, allow us all to pause, reflect on how we have done so far and prepare to finish off Lent in fighting form.  The normal Lenten Purple vestments are replaced with Rose coloured vestments.  As our priest explained, this is half way between Lenten purple and Easter white so we can all get the appropriate visual cues.
Meanwhile, here is our Rose looking the wrong direction. Again.
The priest asked us why we didn't wait until the Easter Vigil Mass to have Zach's baptism.  That would be awesome, as it was when Clare was baptised what seems so long ago, but we wanted Zach baptised reasonably promptly and we had to arrange a time when my parents were able to visit from Melbourne.  So we picked the next best day in Lent, Laetare Sunday.

8 March 2010

We want Mum back

Lana has had to stay in hospital for another night.  *Sigh*
This makes it an 8 night stay.
The doctors are just making sure Lana is spot on so neither Lana or Zach will have to return.  The stitches are out and Zach is in fine form.
So tonight we visited and brought our protest signs.

I told Lana we were performing some corporal works of mercy - visiting the sick and prisoners.

We are told that tomorrow is looking good for a release date.

5 March 2010

Do you want to meet your siblings?

I visited Lana in hospital today with the 5 youngest children.  Naturally they all wanted to have a hold of Zach in their own hands.
Here you can see Zach giving a big yawn before he is handed across.  You may also note Martin's hands already in position.

Other than our visit, today was the day we prepared the bedroom for Zach's cot, and the car for the child seat.
The cot is placed next to Lana's side of the bed with the side next to the bed removed.  This allows for us to have the whole bed and when Zach needs a feed, Lana just has to reach across.  When he is finished, Lana moves him over.  It's all very civilised.

4 March 2010

Cuteness is a state of being

Zach has decided to have a good start on a try for a Cute Baby award.  Here is his first attempt on Day 1 and he is not even trying.
Naturally, I am an unbiased, impartial judge.
I have been visiting Lana with various sub sets of the children over the last few days.  During the day I take the younger ones and in the evening the older ones after the shop closes.
Yesterday I was visiting Lana with Clare, Rose and Martin when the doctor came in to check Lana's progress.
As this is a training hospital he is always accompanied by a collection of trainee doctors or nurses.
"Look at this lady, " he says with a smile, "No wonder she has so many children, they are all so wonderful!"
Lana should be coming home soon.  The whole family is out of sorts without Mum not being around.  Soon we will be back as one unit - of 10 people!

2 March 2010

I have a list

I visited Lana and Zach this morning with the four younger children.  (Tonight I will go with the older ones)
The doctor visited the room while we were there and excitedly showed the children how the baby came out. The children were very interested. They had already seen the photos I had taken of the delivery room which helped to give them some background.  These photos showed what happened but did not include any of the graphic bits.
Afterwards the doctor was standing next to Peter and asked him what he wanted to do when he grew up.  Would he want to be a doctor?
"Well," said Peter seriously, "I have a list and it is growing shorter."
"Is medicine on the list?" asked our doctor with interest.
"Yes." replied Peter.
The doctor smiled and waving his finger in the air to emphasise his point, said, "20 years from now."

Also visiting was a trainee Doctor who had an interesting path to medicine.  He had initially completed his HSC and started a commerce degree at University.  But he realised this wasn't for him and left after 6 months, starting work at a company packing boxes.  2 years later he had a calling to join the Ambulance service and did a 4 year ambulance course.  Still enjoying medicine, he began a full time medicine course and 4 years on is doing his final year, assisting at hospitals and the birth of Zach.  I really appreciated hearing this story because it shows that you can d what you want if you really have the calling.

I also wanted to post to show you a fresh photo of Lana and Zach.  He is a bit cute.  I suppose we'll keep him. :-)

Introducing Zach Henri

Here is Zach Henri.
The latest in a series.
While Lana was recovering, I was minding Zach, watching over him getting weighed (3.955kg or 8pd 11.5 oz).  When Martin was born he had been pretty stressed by the whole thing so was crying most of the 2 hours we waited.
Zach, on the other hand, hadn't been stressed much at all so was quite calm for the time which made it all a lot easier.  It is not as if I could feed him, even if I wanted to!  Although he did suck the blanket very well.

When Lana was wheeled out to our room she had only just woken up from the general anaesthetic.  So I continued to hold Zach while I chatted to Lana and told how well Zach was doing.
Being such a little baby (for us) we think him exceptionally cute.  Lana knew that he would have a good head of hair considering the indigestion she experienced throughout the pregnancy.
Naturally the children are all pretty excited.  In fact the whole village is interested in the news as not only have we had a baby, but our neighbour also had their baby at the same time in the same hospital.
It's baby time in our little village.

I'm getting out one way or another ...

It is amazing how many people are involved in a Caesarian operation, all gathered together on very short notice.  Let's count the people that were assembled within 15 minutes to ensure Lana and the baby's safe delivery.
Primary Surgeon (our doctor), assisting doctor, trainee doctor, theatre nurse, theatre nurse assistant, Anaesthetist, Anaesthetist assistant nurse, Paediatrician, ward nurse, and dopey dad watching everything (me).
Our doctor had seen some of the photos I had take of the children and told to me bring my camera and take lots of photographs.  So I did, which was very helpful in explaining to the children what happened to Lana.
In a very short time, the latest Bruggie Baby arrived.
He is the star of the next post.

'Twas a dark and stormy night

The night was stormy.  Power was down.  Lana was resigned to being due a week late.
So, naturally Lana's waters broke at 4am.
That was something new.  So by the light of an iPhone torch we gathered some towels and plastic bags and went to the hospital after telling Ariel what was happening.  The car had been packed for a week or two already so departure was relatively simple.
 Lana prayed quite a few Hail Mary's not to have the baby in the car, and without speeding we arrived at Hospital just before 5am.
Contractions began shortly later but were sporadic.
With a drip attached, contractions increased but were still sporadic.
The contractions grew stronger, but by about 15 hours after the waters broke, Lana had only gotten to 3 cm dilation. (The baby needs 10 cm to escape)
It wasn't going to happen naturally.  It was time for a Caesarian section.  At least this time it wasn't the same mega rush of Martin's birth, but it was still very quick.
Continued in next post ...