Raising Will


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Today, parenting is hard…

Every day I watch the boys grow before my eyes.

Will is on his imaginary mobile phone having an imaginary conversation with the imaginary man that is selling him imaginary fuel for his imaginary tractor. Xavier toddles along like he wants to master this walking thing before the month is out. And I just try and give them the best environment for them to flourish and grow in.

Today is hard. But even when I find myself despairing at their ungrateful temper tantrums, they still grow.

There’s only limited time in life. I can’t afford to dwell on their button pushing. They’re so big already.

Growing up

Growing up

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Announcing the Arrival of…

Well, it’s been a whirlwind 4 weeks and I’ve finally been able to find some time to sit down at the computer! On Aug 1 at 12.06am, we welcomed our #2 ball of love into the world via Caesarean Section after 19 hours of posterior labour.

Hubby and I are very pleased to announce the arrival of…

Xavier Thomas
3692 grams (8″ 2′)
Length: 52cm
Head Circumference: 38cm

Introducing Xavier

Xavier Thomas – Cuddles With Mum

I will one day write a post about his not so awesome entry into the world, but it’s all still a bit too raw for me to write about yet – so that will come later down the track.

Xav is an angel baby and is feeding like a dream – and if you remember reading about Will’s breastfeeding complications you will know how much of a luxury it is for me to have a baby that just latches and away he goes! He is thriving and at his 4 week check it became apparent that his giant head (which I totally blame for the caesarean) was even GIANTER again! The equivalent of the average 4 month old boy to be exact!

Brothers - Will and Xavier

Brothers – Will and Xavier

I’m very slowly adjusting to life with two little boys (and one big boy) – it’s a hard slog full of complete chaos and unpredictability – but it gets better every day, just as I get better every day as I recover from the c-section.

Anyway – I look forward to sharing Xav’s milestones here as he grows alongside his big brother Will (who is proudly sporting a ripping case of the terrible twos!).

And hopefully, blogging becomes a bigger part of my life again in the very near future – Lord knows I miss the therapy! Ha!


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Raising Will’s Happy Days in May: inspired by the beautiful Seven Cherubs

Seven Cherubs 'Happy Days in May' Project

There are many bloggers floating around on the interwebs inspiring me every day with their awesome-ness. The gorgeous Naomi from Seven Cherubs is one of these beautiful souls that sings to my heart every time she writes.

When Naomi posted about her Happy Days in May Project back in April, I was so in! I thought to myself ‘There is no way I’m going to be able to keep that up for a month, but I’ll give it a red-hot go!’

So I pulled out a gorgeous little journal that was begging for some thoughts to be written in. My little brother bought it for me last year and I swear it’s been waiting for this very purpose. And write in it I did.

But something happened in the first week of May while I sat up in bed at some un-godly hour jotting down the happy moments from my day. I had just completed the crappest day in history. You know, the one where nothing gets done, your child has turned into a gremlin, there’s a billion other things that need doing, your hubby comes home late from work, you break several nails and you have pregnancy heartburn to rival Krakatoa. How do you write about a happy moment on a day like that!? I panicked. I wasn’t even a week in and I’d ballsed it up.

My Fabulous Journal

My Fabulous Journal

Then I remembered a small glimmer from very early that morning, where Will had just about leapt of his change table to give me the squeeziest hug.

And I felt so much better about my WHOLE day. One moment of happiness rewrote that entire day for me. I went to sleep that night knowing my son loved me very much and that I was his favourite mum. It didn’t matter that the kitchen would look like a bomb in the morning or that my nails looked like I’d tried to trim them with the grater. I had love where some have none and that is always something to be happy about.

So without further ado, here are my moments of Happiness for May:

Tues May 1:  My little Will yabbered with much excitement at all the strange and wonderful people at the supermarket today, oblivious to the fact that his face was covered in chocolate tiny teddies. 

Wed May 2:  Happiness today was having hubster home all day and Will discovering my jewellery on the bedside table, after which I found my ‘lost’ earring sitting in the crook of his ear. We all laughed so much.

Thurs May 3:  Child-free today and loved being able to sit down with a HOT cup of coffee and a biscuit without being interrupted or grappled over or whinged at for the ‘big half’ of said biscuit.

Fri May 4:  Happy about being pounced on for cuddles all day today, and Will and I ate dinner at the table together tonight and he ate MOST of his plate for a change. Think he actually LIKED my cooking today.

Sat May 5:  Will almost leapt off the change-table this morning to give me a great big hug – remembering this moment turned my day from drab to FAB!

Sun May 6:  Happiness was sharing breakfast at the table together as a family and watching Will’s odd way of dancing to Yo Gabba Gabba – must’ve learnt those moves from his father…

Mon May 7:  Watching a tiny honey-eater flit about on the tree outside while I washed the dishes; listening to two girls sublimely sing Adele’s ‘ Turning Tables’ on The Voice tonight; bringing the week’s grocery shop in under $130 – all little moments of joy for me today.

Tiny Teddies Drive Tiny Tractors!

Tiny Teddies Drive Tiny Tractors!

Tues May 8:  Will giggling and walking towards me saying “tedeee tedeee”, then proceeding to show me his Tiny Teddy driving one of his little tractor toys.

Wed May 9:  Such a nice feeling to finish off my latest article for happychild.com on how friendships can help children manage stress. Also, flying through my MYOB course at TAFE. I like to be on top of things.

Thurs May 10: Watching Will demolish a bowl of two-minute noodles almost brought tears of laughter to my eyes today – so very funny. And the house smells of the divine Butter Chicken we had for dinner. Food is awesome!

Fri May 11:  We finally came to a decision on which bed to buy for Will and he was so very polite and well-behaved at the shops today, I could’ve eaten him. Also loving connecting with new peeps on Twitter lately.

Sat May 12:  Happiness today was seeing a flash of my own mischievous self in Will – example: him sprinting over to the off-limits freezer dial after peering into my face and deciding mum was ‘asleep’ on the couch (just had my eyes closed).

Sun May 13:  Mothers Day today and how could I not be happy with a mini-sleep-in, a lovely handmade card from Will and Hubster, beautiful tulips, cuppas with family and finally making a start on moving our office out of the nursery-to-be.

Mothers Day 2012

Mothers Day 2012: Tulips and Cuddles

Mon May 14:  When Will’s face lights up when his Nan appears at our door to watch him for the afternoon, I feel so grateful to have loving family support just around the corner.

Tues May 15:  I am floored every day by Will’s development. How quickly he adopts new words lately – ‘im-mim-mim’ could be heard when Will wanted a mandarin today. I’m sure one day I’ll want him to stop talking, but that day is definitely not here yet.

Wed May 16:  Appreciated a very tasty cappuccino and foccacia today while out shopping sans-child, but then loved returning to Will’s cheeky little face at his Nan’s place – melts my heart that boy.

Thurs May 17:  Soaking up knowledge from a local forum on early childhood brain development – feels like my own brain developed a little bit. I look forward to checking out lots of new authors now.

Fri May 18:  My sister-in-law and her kiddies came over for morning tea today and the house was full of laughter, smartie biscuits and ride-on tractors, bugs and cows. Time spent with family is time well spent.

Sat May 19:  A visit to the Toy Library today brought much joy to our house. It delights me to no end seeing how much Will loves playing with all the farm related toys and we picked up a Duplo barn to play with for the next few weeks.

Sun May 20:  So very lovely to cuddle up with Will on the couch before bed and read his new “Gobble Gobble Moooo Tractor Book”. Story-time would have to be one of my favourite moments of every day.

Crunchy Apple Crumble

Crunchy Apple Crumble

Mon May 21: Thanks to inspiration from the gorgeous Mummy Smiles, I cleaned the house entrance and our kitchen window today. It’s amazing what a clean window can do for your outlook on the day. Also enjoyed a deliciously crunchy apple crumble for dessert.

Tues May 22: After being told last week that my current Obstetrician was suddenly leaving at the end of the month, I finally found a new one today and just happened to run into an old friend in the process. It was lovely to see them again.

Wed May 23:  Feeling very chuffed for completing my MYOB course at TAFE today. Also had the house spotless at the end of the day – woohoo! I look forward to waking up to no mess – always a good way to start the day de-stressed.

Thurs May 24:  Browsed through the most beautiful shop today in Shepparton, it was like I’d walked straight into Paris. Now I lie here listening to a rare drop of rain; loving the smell and the sound.

Fri May 25:  Hubster and I managed to get Will’s big boy bed all set up today and the office completely shifted out of the spare room and the nursery furniture shifted in. Such a big day and an unexpected dinner provided at my parents-in-law’s place was very delicious and very much appreciated.

Will in his new big bed!

Will in his new big bed!

Sat May 26:  After a bit of a disaster day yesterday sleep-wise for Will, I was so happy that he took to his bed with not a problem in the world today. I also had a visit from a friend who I haven’t spoken to in ages. It was so great to be able to sit and chat like it was only yesterday that we last saw each other.

Sun May 27:  I put on a ‘face’ this morning and did my hair all lovely. Loved getting made up and not just pottering around the house in my everyday-ness.

Mon May 28:  Will and I went shopping at the Supermarket today, something we haven’t done for a few weeks because online shopping is finally available here now. Will LOVED it, and I love the way he puts smiles on people’s faces – it makes my day that I get to share his happiness with the world.

Tues May 29:  The smell of freshly dried, clean washing never fails to make me feel good and packing baby clothes for hospital today got me so lovey-dovey. Can’t believe we’ll have another tiny bundle of happiness soon.

Wed May 30:  A special birthday in our family today. I get so much joy out of giving gifts and making people smile with the thought put into them…

Thurs May 31: Small moments always bring the most joy for me – a walk in the Autumn sunshine with Will being curious at every little rock and leaf. I love that he is so interested in the world around him.

And those, my friends, were my Happy Days in May. I think I’ll continue this evening reflection. It brought me so much calm just before going to bed – almost like a sense of closure that I had done/seen/experienced something awesome every day. No more was my stay-at-home life feeling dull – every day is special and I can’t belive that something as simple as writing a positive, happy sentence a day helped me realise that fact.

Naomi, you are such a very clever lady.


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A hello, a baby, and a great big wheel-barrow…

Why hello there!

It is me! I have returned!…… again.

So much has happened since I last blogged. And it’s been happening everywhere – my home, my neighbourhood, my friends, my mind and not least of all MY BODY! For those out of the loop, this should explain a few things:

Bump #2 at 12 Weeks

Bump #2 at 12 Weeks

Yes, that’s a baby bump you see. Our three is due to become four in early August. Here’s hoping it’s a little less fast-paced than Will’s entry into the world, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

I’ve really been feeling the pregnancy this time around. Where it was a breeze with Will, this little one has been nothing but trouble (which I’m hoping is not a sign of things to come). And not trouble as in stuff-wrong-with-the-baby trouble, just trouble as in I-think-I-might-be-having-every-bad-pregnancy-symptom-under-the-sun trouble. The first three months were so icky-sicky that I struggled to do anything and Will was lucky he was bathed and fed most of the time. Poor little ferret – but he’s taken it all in his stride and is still as rambunctious as ever.

A rambunctious little toddler...

A rambunctious little toddler...

Onto my head though… It’s beginning to clear from the pregnancy fog, but (and you know I love metaphors) have any of you just found yourself piling so much stuff into your barrow that you begin to realise it’s tipping over? What do you take out? What should you replace? Do you really need that in there? Anyone want to help me push? Oh Bugger! The wheel fell off! That’s pretty much my head at the moment.

I have so many things floating around in my brain-space right now and I find myself getting to this barrow-about-to-floweth-over stage; that’s when big changes in my life happen. The last time my barrow nearly tipped over, we moved 250km to a new house; a new town; a new outlook. Looking back at some ‘barrow moments’ in my life, I’m beginning to realise that this might be how my head chooses its way. I pile all of these potential paths into my barrow and when it tips, the one that I manage to grab first seems to be the one true path that I was looking for and end up pursuing whole-heartedly. Kind of like the first thing you’d save if your house was on fire.

What’s in my barrow at the moment I hear you ask:

1. Knowledge is what I crave. Should I go back to Uni? Would Psychology be beyond me? How on earth do you muddle through the application process without your High School Career Advisor pulling out the stops? Could I handle a study workload with a toddler and a newborn?

2. Writing is my passion. Why have I stopped? Will all (yes, the whole handful of you) my blog followers still remember who I am if I came back to blogging? Do I really want to grow my blog into a business? I should really go to a conference/networking event and get my bloggy-mojo flowing (reading all the tweets about Digital Parents Conference 2012 is sending me greener and greener as I type). I’m craving some article-writing for happychild and I really should email the gorgeous publisher, Yvette. Must make time must make time must make time!!!!!

3. Creativity is happiness.  I think I officially have 1 million creative projects on the go. I really need to catch up on Project Life, do some sewing for our new arrival, and stay away from creative inspiration for a few weeks so I can be inspired to finish the stuff I’ve already been inspired to start!

4. Community is filling a gap I never knew existed. I’m throwing myself into roles in my local community and it’s a good feeling to be making our area just that little bit more awesome. Have I bitten off more than I can chew with a Project that I am developing through a Leadership Course being run by our local shire? Is it really as good-of-an-idea as it sounds in my head? Am I even really qualified to be considering this?

5. Life is hard. The house always needs attention. There are people to be fed and watered. There are not enough hours in the day, dollars in the bank or chocolate bars in the fridge. I should spend more quality time with my husband. There are too many loads of washing. Fuel and groceries are ridiculous and I should really make more of an effort to save money. 

Ranty brain-dump over. The worst part about running around with a giant, metaphorical wheel-barrow all the time is that you get tired. I really need to work out a different way of fielding my needs, wants, hopes and dreams. This barrow is getting too heavy to push at 5 months pregnant.

Do you cart around a ‘barrow’? How do you sort out what’s really important to your happiness?

Happiness

*Image source: Happy To Inspire*


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Putting Down New Roots…

OH MY! I may have dropped off the side of a cliff for a few months….. BUT I’M BACK!

And so much has changed.

The biggest change is we’ve moved – no longer in sunny Bendigo are we, but following a wish for our kids to grow up on a farm just as we did. We are renting a place about forty minutes north of Shepparton in rural Victoria. And I must say, I’m certainly enjoing the change of pace, although it did take me a while to adjust and I went through a nasty period of isolation.

Charing Cross - Bendigo

Seeya later beautiful Bendigo...
*Photo courtesy of bendigotourism.com

I never thought I’d be the Post Natal Depression type… A whole 13 months after little Will was born, this is where I found myself, staring into the precipice. And I had a choice – I could turn and walk away from that deep dark chasm, or I could jump right on in. And at that point, jumping in seemed like all I wanted to do. I’d moved away from my home of nine years, left all my friends behind, my job, my support, my hairdresser, my local knowledge, my Doctor, my favourite coffee place. I’d arrived at my new life with my family. I slowly realised that they were not going to be enough to ground me and my new roots, and now I had no idea where I stood.

I went back home for a visit and as I turned the car and left sunny Bendigo once again, thats when all my feelings came to a head. My worry, my heart-ache, my home-sickness. I cried. A lot. I realised that I’d been feeling negative for a few weeks now, unmotivated, ill, tired, going through the motions only to stop my little guy from crying because it hurt my head. I cried because I realised that I was losing parts of myself. I got home eventually and spoke to my husband about how I was feeling. I am so grateful that I can bounce my ideas off him. I made an appointment to see a local GP and from there had some tests done to make sure nothing physical was wrong. All A-ok. So it was starting to look suspiciously depression-like. I’d now had some time to come to terms with the fact that jumping into this abyss WAS NOT what I wanted to do. I did not want to be that person any longer.

I made a simple appointment to see my new Maternal Child Health Nurse. And that was all it took. She took my hand – albeit in a her own odd way – and showed me away from that precipice. I’m sure she had NO IDEA what she had done, but those sheets of paper I was sent away with saved me. I joined a playgroup. I joined the gym. I joined the Toy Library. I enrolled in swimming classes for Will. I had put down those new roots and they were far far far away from that ominous cliff.

Before this whole saga had settled in and whilst my moving adrenalin was still flowing, I’d ripped up a piece of our lawn, hoping to plant some new grass for Will to play on. During my time at the precipice, the soil had laid bare and dry. As I admired my own new roots… I knew it was time to get grass planting. Now long and luscious, I look at the patch of grass as representing my journey. Looking closer – I see a little surprise. I can’t wait to find more…

Putting Down New Roots

Putting Down New Roots.... Can you see my little surprise?

 
 


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Foto Friday #7

It’s that time of week again but this time it’s with a difference! Thought I’d share some photos with you all of our trip to Tassie. Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend and I’ll catch you Monday with a tasty meal plan. Enjoy the piccies!

First Day - checking out Waratah

First Day - checking out Waratah

Ready Set Go! Off to walk the Dove Lake Circuit at Cradle Mountain

Ready Set Go! Off to walk the Dove Lake Circuit at Cradle Mountain

Sleepy Will...

Sleepy Will...

The Majestic Cradle Mountain

The Majestic Cradle Mountain

Will getting rugged up to walk to Russell Falls

Will getting rugged up to walk to Russell Falls

Russell Falls - amazing!

Russell Falls - amazing!

Will and Jarrod check out the scenery - how's the serenity!

Will and Jarrod check out the scenery - how's the serenity!

Will squealing at everyone in the Port Arthur Coffee Shop

Will squealing at everyone in the Port Arthur Coffee Shop

The sculptural bench at the lookout to Wineglass Bay. I have no explanation for my antics...

The sculptural bench at the lookout to Wineglass Bay. I have no explanation for my antics...

Will and his Dad - good times!

Will and his Dad - good times!

Liffey Falls on our last day...

Liffey Falls on our last day...

Devonport Lighthouse: Staring across the sea to see what we could see...

Devonport Lighthouse: Staring across the sea to see what we could see...

What a fantastic holiday!

What a fantastic holiday!


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One of those days…

The last 24 hours has been one of those days. It’s been a day of little sleep for me and haphazard sleep for Will. It’s been a day with a hurty head for me and hurty teeth for Will. It’s been a day of rising temperatures and of rising crankiness. It’s been a day mostly without a shower and completely without coffee. It’s been a day of rain drops falling outside and tear drops falling inside. It’s been a day of next-to-no housework and definitely no exercise. Really. It’s been one of those days.

But it’s also been a day of little brothers kicking butt at work and little Will kicking butt at pulling up. It’s also been a day of almost too much chocolate and not one telemarketing phone call. It’s also been a day where I eventually had a shower without having to listen for crying babies (thanks hubby). It’s also been a day that I’ve been inspired by so many creative women and am thankful to have such gorgeous friends. It’s also been a day where I’ve relished being the person Will crawls to in need of comfort when he’s unhappy and I’ve been grateful for delicious cup of tea that my husband has just made me. 

Yes, it’s been one of those days. How lucky am I?

How lucky am I?

How lucky am I?