Whoops. I didn't mean to take a week to get back here! Truth is, I have spent most of my computer time making digital scrapbook pages. I don't have the space here to get out my scrapbooking gear, so I have had to find another outlet!!
Anyway, back to my story. Over the next few weeks, Samara was a bit up and down with her feeding. For over a week we even managed without the tube. I really had my hopes up there, but then she started to get all sleepy and hard to wake up again. So that one didn't last. At least one good thing with me changing the tubes though - we got to take some pictures without it!
She has it in, in this photo, but after all the photos of first cuddles with her sisters, this was one of the first pics of her at home. Here she is in Mahalia's dolls pram!
Christmas Day was really surreal. We had always spent Christmas with a ton of family, and were rushing around everywhere. Our first Christmas in Australia wasn't so bad, because we had just been down to my brothers place in Young, where my sister was staying also. And then Christmas Day we spent with friends. But this Christmas was different. It was just us. It didn't really feel like Christmas. We went down to the Lagoon, and found a tiny spot of shade under the only tree left in the place! It was packed out!! And even then, to find that tiny place to sit, we had to go out on one of the pieces jutting out into the water - you should have seen us try and get the pram out there! I didn't go in the water, but the girls had a good time. Here is Sara giving Samara a hug after we had stripped her down to her nappy to try and cool her off a bit.
One of the best things about Christmas, was Mahalia's ability to make us feel like it was really appreciated. I was really happy to have gotten this picture of her opening one of her presents...
Isn't that totally awesome?! She had absolutely no idea what it was! I asked her why she was so excited then, and she said "cos it's a Littlest Pet Shop something-or-other!" - Out of the mouths of babes!
I also got a cute picture of Samara wearing a Christmas singlet that my friend Jo gave her. And look - No Tube!! That was during her good week where she was taking all her feeds from me or the bottle.
We didn't do an awful lot over the next few weeks. I wasn't too keen on exposing Samara to everyone's bugs and things. It was hard though. I wanted to take her out and show her off to the world! Let's face it, the world was missing out by not getting to see how gorgeous she is!
In January we went to Val Stares place for a family Above Rubies Camp. Val is the Australian Co-ordinator for Above Rubies, and she has a farm that she opens up to everyone a few times a year. This was our second time going. The first time, our tent got flooded when there was a torrential downpour while we were setting it up. (We were new to Australia then, and really had no idea about the weather patterns here - as the ad says it's 'the kind of weather only Queensland can throw at you'.) Well, not to out-do ourselves, but this year, we got to camp only to discover that our tent inner wasn't there - only the fly!! I don't think we were cut out for camping!! Anyway, the next day we had to drive to the Gold Coast and buy a couple of smaller (cheaper!) tents to last us the week! Both times we spent the first night sleeping in the 'lodge' which is a shed on the property. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy myself as much as last time. It was hard having to express with a hand pump, sitting in the HOT tent, away from everyone. Also, sad to say, but there was that feeling of not being the same now that we had a disabled child. It was probably all me, to be honest. But I suddenly felt not as good as everyone else - like I was being punished for something. Like I said, it was really just my own sense of grief and coming to terms with it all, no-one did anything to make me feel that way. But it did put a damper on the whole week. I guess the trick is, to use the experience to help me grow, and not dwell on it in a negative way. There is a women's camp coming up this weekend, and if I could afford it I would go. But that's not going to happen:( Here is a picture I took of Bryanna when she didn't know I had the camera trained on her. She is watching an impromptu cricket game at the camp.
The camp ended on my 39th birthday. Only one year short of being 'old' by Bryanna's standards. Uh-Oh!
The next few weeks were much of the same as the weeks before camp. But, they were spent in major anticipation. On 11 February, we took off for our first trip back to New Zealand....