Reflections on Death

It’s hard to think about death without thinking about life.

The sky seems bluer. Trees seem greener.
And the air seems fresher… somehow.
Maybe I’m just more aware that I’m alive today.

I take a moment to stand in my garden.
Trying to find a sense of stillness in my heart.

My plants seem to radiate a certain superiority about life.
“We do this life-death thing all the time” they seem to say.

I forget I’m part of a bigger world sometimes.

Hon Hiew

I got a phone call on Saturday morning. I was eating breakfast. A good friend of mine had passed away earlier that morning. He died in hospital from a heart condition. He was 29. He was with his family. It was sudden.

I was very upset.

Friend. Designer. Creative, good hearted, warm, funny person. Always told corny jokes. Always had a witty, snappy comeback. We shared a love of chinese food, designer geekness and daily messenger banter.

That night, I took a deep breath and clicked to his blog.
I procrastinated that moment all evening.

I had to look away for a few moments.
It was too….. something. Dunno. Too…. him?
Full of his daily thoughts, his humour, his pictures, his adventures with his mates, his cat and his geek toys.
I spent the next few hours taking snapshots of his site.
I was surprised at how much I cried.

Now, a few days later, I still feel numb.
My soul seems to lack feeling. Nothing, just heaviness.
A weight of sadness.
It doesn’t seem real.
I can’t believe he’s gone.
I miss him heaps.

Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

I was a bit concerned about getting stretch marks during pregnancy.

I wasn’t overly neurotic about it. But I figured there was no harm in being a bit proactive.

The literature on stretch marks was not helpful. They said there’s no guaranteed prevention for stretch marks. There are only things you can do to reduce the likelihood of them appearing.

Moisturise!
When I was 3 months pregnant, I used cocoa butter cream 3 times a day. Morning. After a shower. And just before I slept. I LOVED the smell of cocoa butter. It was like rubbing chocolate all over your body. It was a yummy, calming, night time ritual.

I used The Body Shop Cocoa Butter Stick. Then I switched to Palmer’s Massage Cream for Stretch Marks.

Skin Flexibility!
I did a bit of yoga. I didn’t do classes. I bought a book and did it in my lounge room.

I drunk 2L of water per day. By the end of the pregnancy, my baby was pushing against my bladder that I had to pee every 15 minutes. It was ridiculous. So I had to reduce the amount of water I took.

As well as those special multi-vitamins for pregnant women, I took vitamin E and salmon oil. Apparently they are good for your skin.

I didn’t take any caffeine throughout my whole pregnancy! I was so proud of myself. They say too much caffeine is bad for your skin. They also say too much sugar is bad for your skin, but I wasn’t giving up my chocolate for anyone.

Eat Healthy! Be Healthy!
I ate healthy, balanced meals each day. My appetite increased, but I don’t think I OVER ate. And I was always within the average weight gain range.

I didn’t do any rigorous daily exercise, but I walked for an hour each day.

I bought myself non-underwire bras. And made sure I wore not-so-tight jeans.

In The End
For the whole 36 weeks I was stretch mark free. I thought I was home free.
The following week, either I put on weight suddenly or the baby dropped. My whole tummy, under my belly button was blazing with dark, purple, angry stretch marks.

I actually thought I’d be more upset about it, but I just shrugged and thought, “Ah shit. Oh well.”
A few days later, I had the baby. Baby was 2 weeks early. I weighed 60kgs (from my 47kgs).

Months following the birth, I used Bio Oil. 3 times a day.
I did tummy exercises and mild physio.

It took about 6-8 months for the stretch marks to fade. And even now, they’re not gone. I’m not exactly Miss Wash Board Tummy Swimsuit Model, but I guess things could have been worse. I still shrug and think, Oh well.

Accident Prone

Owwie-owwwwww. I’m such a klutz!!
I walked out the front door to get the mail
I tripped over my shoelaces
flew down the small flight of steps
and landed on my knees!

UGH. Now I have these awful purple bruises and scabby skin grazes on both knees. But what’s EVEN MORE terrible is…
I can’t wear a skirt this weekend! Grrr!

Life as a first time mum

I had lunch with a girlfriend in some groovy cafe in the city.
I ate a delicious spinach quiche and salad.
My 6 month Callum entertained himself with a metal teaspoon.
We talked about french manicures, brazillian waxes, children’s tv, swearing in front of babies and change-room etiquettes.
I also managed to squeeze in a bit of shoe shopping.

Then we went to visit my mum and dad.
My dad entertained Callum with an array of musical instruments : a guitar, piano, organ, harmonica, and a tin can.
Callum and I watched Shrek on DVD. He certainly didn’t understand any of it. We just zoned out and rested for a bit.

Then we chased the chickens around the backyard.
And spied on a family of ducks paddling in the pool.
We caught bugs.
We watered my mother’s orchids.
And we both had an hour nap.

After all that, we drove home – stopping to buy some rice.
Andrew was home early!
We drove to the river for a nice stroll in the evening.

We got home just in time to feed, bath and put Callum to bed.
I made baked crumbed fish fillets and a salad for dinner.
*I felt so healthy*
I watched TV.
Andrew did some work on the computer.

It was a very satisfying day.