Friday, September 28, 2012

Grateful For...Great Expectations

Expectations.
Friend or foe???

Here I sit with expectations.
Great ones even.

Nothing grand or momentous - just the blueprint of a wonderful weekend awaiting us.

Am I setting myself (and the three others in this home) up for a fall?
Will I have to eat my words instead of the tasty treats and happy times I am preparing for?

Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”
― Alexander Pope


Well, Mr Pope. you do have a point.
But today I choose to anticipate, to be expectant and excited.

A long weekend stretches before us here.

Beeeeautiful weather is forecast.
Fantastic friends are booked in.
Plans have been made.
A bonus day is ours.

I choose to subscribe to my friend Sarah here instead...

“Today expect something good to happen to you no matter what occurred yesterday.
  A simply abundant world awaits.
― Sarah Breathnach, Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy

I'm grateful today for the prospect of simple pleasures and promise of the few days ahead.
The sun, the socialising, the 'samily' time.
(The sleep, hey Missi??!!)

Bring on the weekend.
What could possibly go awry?

Linking with Maxabella Loves' 52 Weeks of Grateful

Shar :-)

P.S. I'm asking for it, aren't I?!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Um, Me?

Today Mrs Woog posed a 'Big Brother' related question.
Specifically, she asked - "Who watches that crap?"

Unfortunately, my response to that one is "me!"

But w-w-w-ait!
I have a justifiable reason for watching this 'car crash tv'.
(You know - where you don't want to look, but you can't help yourself.)

With the newborn, well, being a newborn twenty four hours a day I need to get my head onto the pillow as early in the evening as possible.

Once Magoo is happily tucked up in his bed and Missi is settled, I try to trot off to bed too.

Ordinarily, I'm not a big sleeper and I don't usually drift off easily.
I wouldn't normally go to bed until after 10pm and would often read many chapters before nodding off.
At the moment, I also don't have the luxury (or physical capability) of hours of exercise to wear me out.

Soooo I need a bit of a fast forward function on my wind down process these days.
Enter 'Big Brother'.

The mind numbing, inane rubbish that spews forth from the television between 7 and 8pm is the perfect tranquiliser to place me in good stead for some zzzzz.


The quality Big Bro in my life.

Forget camomile tea, warm milk or counting sheep.
Josh, Angie, Layla, Ava and the gang are a natural sedative for this Mama.
 Not to mention Sonia and her wisecracks.

So, maybe I'm not alone.
Maybe it's mums of bubs keeping this show on the air.

But then, who (apart from Estelle's Mum) is sms-ing all those votes to save?
I'm certainly not stupid enough to pay for my goodnight drivel.

BB's watching.
Are you?

Shar :-)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

School Daze

Schooling ...

Public?
Private?
Catholic?
Anglican?
Uniting?
Montessori?
Alternative?
Non denominational?
Local?
Out of catchment?

It's a mine field - and that's before you begin interacting with teachers, students and families!

But, there was only one choice for me (or mine).

Since joining the staff at my school seven years ago, I've been blown away by the amazing community and the educational practices of the place.

I've experienced first hand the commitment, dedication and (at times ridiculously) high standards expected of the staff.

I've enjoyed the generosity and unrivalled spirit that permeates the whole school.

I can hardly believe it's been over four years since I tried to complete & submit the enrolment forms prior to Magoo's birth.
Apparently, you need to actually exist out of utero to be enrolled.
Beauraucracy hey.

We had our 'admission interview' at the campus near our home a couple of months ago now.

And, by jobes, the boy is in.
(I would have to be slightly insulted if my own colleagues rejected my flesh and blood though!)

A spot of busking, perhaps?

Today we received our information pack, book list, uniform pricing and are booked in an orientation group.

Hubby has started attending the parent education program - and is enjoying bringing me up to speed on concepts like phonological awareness and auditory discrimination.
(Never mind that I created and presented similar presentations for this very school myself!)

Now we just have to find the fundage to match our enthusiasm.
(Bye bye new car. Bye bye holidays that don't involve the words 'tent site'.)

Magoo may be young, but I'm sure he could manage "would you like fries with that?" a couple of afternoons a week, no?

Shar :-)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Make My Day

Pre-parenthood some pretty simple pleasures could make my day -
the weekend papers in the sun, a running PB, pretty shoes or a fantastic laugh with friends.

I'd still take any of the above in a heartbeat.
But now, as a parent, there are different ways to put a smile on this dial.

This fairly ordinary Monday of grocery shopping, washing, cleaning and caring for kids
 has been made pretty extraordinary by the little people around here.

Today I have enjoyed multiple big mouthed, right-back-at-ya-Mum smiles
from my (almost) four week old angel.

Today I have cheered and beamed as my (just) four year old champ
mastered the big-boy-look-Mum-no- trainer-wheels bike in approximately 2.8 seconds flat.
Thank you Missi & Magoo for makin' my day.

What little triumphs can turn your day around?

Shar :-)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Point + Shoot : Shooshee Shop

Saturday - midday

While I was busy a-baking my precious little lady,
there was something almost equally as exciting happening not too far from home.
A cute, squishy sushi train establishment has been conceived, nurtured and anticipated over the last few months.
The gestation period for this sweet beauty was remarkably well timed as it debuted
just before our lovely Missi came on the scene.

This weekend, the two newbies met - and it was love at first sight.
I mean, just look at the excitement.


Rest assured, the rest of the family compensated for Missi's nonchalance
with plenty of enthusiastic 'shooshee' shovelling. 

Linking with Lou's homecoming Point + Shoot
point + shoot
Shar :-)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

From The Minds Of Babes

One of the things I love about kids is their curious, intricate little minds
- and their ability to stump us with the big questions that these minds ponder.

Magoo is constantly challenging my perception of the world - and making me challenge my own explanations.

The boy is still dissatisfied with my response to how "God gotted the seed of Missi into Mummy's tummy" and has returned to contemplating that one again this week.
Might be time to man up on that one.
Oh Daddy-oh? 

A couple of nights ago one of my beautiful godsons rang me to ask me "some questions about God and one question not about God - it's about helicopters."

I was delighted to hear from him - and honoured to be the 'fount of knowledge' he referred to.
Until I heard the questions.
This 'fount' was kinda dry - and at best, quite muddy.

So, help me out here.
Have you got slightly more more educated answers to some of the doozies these little men pose?

So where did you say she came from?

Why DO we have chins?
Why DO things get dead?
Where DID God get borned from?
How DO we all fit into heaven?
How big IS the sky?
Why DOES Jeff always fall asleep?
Which side of the boat IS better?
Why IS that man so fat?

Shar :-)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Grateful For...'Witching Hour'

'Witching hour', 'Arsenic hour', '(Un)happy hour', 'Feral o'clock'... whatever you choose to call it.
That time of the day when little people are over tired and not so little people are just plain over it.

Four years ago, the evening period of the day used to send my heart rate soaring and nerves fraying.
My gorgeous tiny Magoo was anything but in the late afternoons 
- crying, fussing and screaming continuously no matter what I did.

Flash forward four years and the evening period of the day is sending my heart into a state again
- a state of euphoria!!

Oh, believe me, I know this will not be long lived.
Hence the gratitude.

Right now, our evenings around here are just lovely.
These days, because Magoo's bedtime is now closely followed by mine, we eat dinner as soon as Hubby arrives home and I start winding down from about then.
We play a game or catch up on our days, both kids (gee, I loved typing that!) have their bath, a story is read - usually while Missi is having a bottle and 'samily cuddles' are had.


There is no late in the day crying, fussing or screaming - from any of us -  at this stage.
(Remembering - my children can't actually argue and fight yet!)

For now, while this endures, I am just loving it.
And ever so grateful.
How did I get so lucky?

Linking with Maxabella Loves' 52 Weeks of Grateful

Shar :-)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Guilt. Always The Damn Guilt.

I promised myself that I was going to be kinder to myself this time around.
And I am.
I really am.
Soo much kinder.

But, nonetheless, there's always the guilt.

This 'mother guilt' that is a staple item in our Mummy wardrobes.

I figure, biologically, it keeps us accountable -this guilt - and therefore it serves a purpose.
You know, stops Mumma bears from simply abandoning her cubs or certain women from leaving their children in the car park at the casino... for too long anyway.

My beautiful bub slept pretty spectacularly last night.
(I won't record the details here for fear of retribution or hate mail from sleep deprived Mamas.)
I feel guilty that I have a newborn and managed a decent snooze.
Or I would have if I didn't keep checking on her and marveling that she was still slumbering!
???
Go figure.
I know an element of that guilt is grounded in the fact that I'm not breastfeeding the lovely Missi.
(Formula and sleep do seem to have an interesting relationship - no matter what the literature might say.)

Then because I just wasn't feeling quite guilty enough today, I took the plunge, made the call  - and  upped Magoo from one day of a pre-kindy & daycare combo to two days each week.
The. boy. is. bored.
Even when I can drive again, his little social butterfly wings will be clipped by his baby sister's needs.
He's one excited little man at the prospect of seeing his 'kindy friends' twice a week.
I'm here crying into my sesame snaps (thank you for these by the way, Erin!) because I feel guilty.
Guilty that I'm not giving Magoo enough stimulation here at home, guilty that I've chosen an easy option to 'entertain' him - you know, instead of standing on my head, cartwheeling and pulling craft activities out of my butt every five minutes.
Guilty because I looked forward to maternity leave so I could have this extra time with Magoo.
Guilty because the baby is three weeks old and I've hand balled the poor little guy already.

Aaahhh.
Guilt, glorious guilt.
What are you feeling like the world's worst mother about today?

Shar :-)
(P.S. NOT actually the world's worst mother, for the record. I have NEVER done the casino car park thing.)
(P.P.S. Thank you JJ for some lovely playground therapy / comforting guilt sharing this afternoon!)

Reduced To Clear...


When I consider this excess 'baby weight' that I would dearly like to shift...

(Heeeey, wouldn't it be terrific if it were that simple
- like offloading rugs in one of those great SALE SAAALE SAAAAALEs.
10% off - everything must go, go goooo!!!)

Do I factor in that my heart is now bursting to capacity and twice the size it was a few months ago?

Or that my shoulders will now need to be twice as wide to carry
the responsibility of two little people dependent on me?

Or that I'll be needing extra muscle mass to be twice as strong in a crisis?
If so, maybe I could do with these few kilos after all.
Pass the Tims Tams please.

Shar :-)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Rebellion

I'm living on the edge here in my bubble of bubby bliss this week.

Breaking more of 'the rules' and not giving a ....

I love how having real live actual children of my own has made me completely reassess
 my (often haughty, taughty, idealistic, unrealistic) ideas about parenthood.
I love that I break my own preconceived 'rules' on a regular basis.

The teacher component of me truly believes that it is not that difficult to fashion
a home made costume depicting a genuine character from a decent book.
You know, a literary gem by Mem Fox, Pamela Allen, Eric Carle or another recognised author.
This teacher doesn't see the need for commercial costumes or commercial characters.
This teacher thinks parents cop out buying costumes or allowing television characters
to be substituted for the real deal during Book Week celebrations.

~

This parent put the finishing touches on Magoo's costume for his pre kindy dress-up day on the weekend.
On Thursday, Magoo will be wearing my crapola mummy-made version of 'Murray'.
You know, from 'The Wiggles'.
That wonderful piece of literary genius - from the media/television!!

Despite an overflowing dress up box, bulging bookshelves and many firm favourites that I strongly approve of
-  the boy keeps coming back to Murray and his silly guitar!

Oh well.
He's four.
It's pre-kindy.

Maybe if I take the cute baby in for show and tell all will be forgiven?!
The Book Week bandit prepares to strike
See Teach - there IS a book to use as a pitiful excuse refer to!

Are you a hypocrite too?
Does your professional opinion contrdict your parental opinion?

Shar :-)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Point + Shoot : A+ Weekend

Sunday morning brekky for four (okay, three technically!) and a stroll


This weekend ticked all the boxes for me...
Family - check
Friends - check
Feasting - check

With an abundance of sunshine and a splash of summer cider - it really had it all.

Did your weekend make the grade?

Linking with Lou's Point + Shoot
point + shoot
Shar :-)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Grateful for... Sisterhood And All That Jazz


Women are a pretty influential bunch.

We can have the power to make one another feel like utter rubbish 
- sometimes with as little as a look or a flippant comment.

We also have the potential to make one another feel loved, supported, understood and/or accepted just as easily.

This week I've enjoyed a couple of perfectly timed chance encounters with
other women that have left me feeling so positive and uplifted.

I've also literally had goosebumps hearing Mums encouraging each other through
parenting challenges instead of laying blame or getting on their high horse.

I love seeing/hearing/feeling that comraderie, openness
and acceptance between women.
It's just plain good for the soul.

I've been comforted and reassured by so many women in my life lately -
and it's just a bit lovely, really.

Thank you ladies.

Linking with the gallivanting Maxabella Loves' 52 Week's of Grateful @ Kidspot.

Shar :-)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Thiiiings...

Whilst I'm still helium-filled and floating up here,
I do have some (albeit limited) head space for practicalities at the moment.

Superficial, materialistic, commercial practicalities.

Right now, I'm lovin'...


The Flip Bike
(reviewed here)

Missi gifted this little beauty to Magoo for his birthday.
So she's cute and clever - honestly!

Thanks to this nifty balance bike that weighs less than the baby and folds up to almost as small, we have been able to venture to the park and local shops each day with minimal 'training wheels' stress on this Mum.

Something about the rickety, noisy nature of those damn trainer wheels on a bike unnerves me - always has.
We'll go back to the real bike riding when Mummy's more mobile or Daddy's around.

Or not!

 



The Borrowed Bassinet
This gorgeous contraption has been loaned to us by a dear friend - and is quite the business.
From it's beautiful, simple shape and timber (which happens to match our decor nicely!) to it's generous size and safety - it's a winner.
Missi is out in the action with us during the day and is then hot-wheeled in beside my bed at night.
She tells me it's the best bassinet she's ever had.
And I'm inclined to believe her.



Pumpkin Patch Wraps
Do not underestimate the wrap.
I'm rather fussy 'bout me wraps!
I have some preferences - and will be loyal to my favourites if they fit the bill.
The Baby Patch 100% cotton jersey type wraps do just that.
They're closer to square than rectangular in shape and are the perfect size.
They are an ideal 'weight' and warmth.
They have a degree of elasticity that allow Houdini bubs to wriggle around without bringing the whole swaddle to it's knees.
Oh - and they're pretty too.



Thickened Formula
Is it possible to make a happy baby even happier?
Apparently so.
Missi was a cheery regurgitator.
From birth, I could hear her struggling to keep her milk down and spent a good few nights listening to her sweet refluxy, hiccupy symphony. (Vastly different from her brother's screamo version of reflux - but still preventing her from sleeping.)

Within a few days of breastfeeding leaving the building, I tried Missi on a thickened version of her formula.  Heellooo guzzler! It's safe to say this thirsty little girl is pretty satisfied with the change.



The Cleaner
With Hubby having only two days off work since Missi's birth, holding a birthday bash here at home and a caesarean delivery .. I have enlisted a little extra help.
I treated myself to a couple of weeks of my hairdresser's lovely Enjo-friendly cleaner.
She came and worked her magic around here yesterday and will be welcomed with open arms next Wednesday too.
I may just shed a tiny tear when she leaves next week.
A little luxury goes a long way.


And of course, The Childrens.
I had imagined how beautiful it would be to see my children loving on each other - but sometimes reality can outshine even our greatest fantasies.


Anything floating your boat this week?

Shar :-)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

So...

So...

today I am determined to post about something other than
children / babies / childbirth / parenting.
(Or these suspicious little spots on a certain four year old's torso.)

I'm striving to throw off this boring new Mum cardigan made of 'look at my sweet baby'
and pull something fabulous, funky and current out of the closet.

So...

Lovely weather we're having then, isn't it?!

Shar :-) :-) :-)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

52 Week Project : Wk 52 - It's A Wrap!



Made it!

52 weeks, 52 snaps of oneself, 52 cringes as I hit publish.

To channel Eddie McGuire... 
and what a year it has been!

From the first week of jumping into Fi's project 
when I took a quick snap in the mirror as I headed out the door to work -
to a year later sitting here on my couch with wet hair and my TWO children.

(Yep, I had a tear typing that.)

Who'd have thought, hey?

Well, I definitely had hoped.

In week 6 , when I posted a pic of my tattoo
- and bared my stomach in the process, kind people were so complimentary.
Praising that flat stomach - the one that I hated.
The flat stomach that meant - nuh - I wasn't 'in the family way' as I wished to be.

And then a few months later - I was.
And I got my growing belly back in front of the camera in week 24 to prove it!

I sure got more than I bargained for at many times through this project.
I learnt 'stuff' about myself and articulated 'stuff' I didn't think I could share publicly.
I'm pretty sure I shared 'stuff' publicly that people wish I hadn't!

In week 9,  I dared to bare all - revealing that I, in fact, have no eyebrows.
In week 11,  I admitted that I still struggle against the scales - daily.
In week 43, I even subjected you to a shot of a heavily pregnant woman (who shall remain nameless) in bathers.

It was very cool to have a bit of a visual pregnancy diary here in this space.
I thank you for indulging me and enduring all those belly shots.

When the going got tough and there was no way my red, sore eyes could face the camera, I improvised.
As I reflect, I can tell the weeks where my self image was a-struggling.
You saw sneaky peek-a-boo pics or shots of my legs, shoes or scalp feature at these times!

Thank you for riding the roller coaster of life ~ via pics ~ for the past 52 weeks.
Thank you Fi for the inspiration and push.

I'll keep my mug off the blog for a while now, hey?!

Shar :-)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Point + Shoot : Super Crazy?



Magoo is four!!

You know what good friends do?
They see you making a decision they disagree with - and try to talk you out of it.

You know what great friends do?
They see you make a decision that they deem pretty nutty - and prepare to support/catch you if you fall.

Months ago, I made the choice to throw a 4th birthday party here at home for Magoo on Saturday
 - knowing full well that I would have a newborn baby on my hands at the same time.

I wasn't prepared to let this year (the year of the baby sister!!)
be the one where I stop going overboard on the birthday celebration front for Magoo.

I planny plan planned my heart out in the weeks leading up to Missi's birth and
had the Superhero themed bash super organised to within an inch of it's life.

I know that friends opened their invitations and shook their heads.
I also know that many of those friends laughed and resisted the urge to shake some sense into me.
Instead, they offered to prepare extra food, wrangle children, pick up supplies,
 pray to the weather man and hold babies.

So, thank you great friends.
It's safe to say I got lucky - and my crazy lady decision turned out just brilliantly.

Magoo and his little buddies had a ball.
Mummy didn't have a nervous breakdown or even a single kitten.
Missi isn't responsible for ruining anyone's life around here - just yet.

Can't ask for more than that.

Did you have a super weekend?

Linknig with Lou's Point + Shoot - if she's not too Bali-blissed out.
point + shoot

Shar :-)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Grateful For...Hmmmm???


Okay, so if I state the obvious and declare my gratitude for the
boodiful bubby with the cutest button nose and pouty little lips
-  are you going to close the page, roll your eyes and never return??

(Or smile an evil smile, knowing this delirium can't last much longer!)

Thought so.

How about  - refreshment - then?

I'm so ridiculously grateful for how 'refreshing' the past ten days have been.

Contrary to every expectation I had prior (tut tut)
- Missi's birth and early days have proved seriously and surprisingly uplifting.

Before now, I (guiltily) felt that the newborn stage was something to be endured out of love,
so that I could have the joy that is children.

Luckily for Hubby, I didn't catch onto how incredibly and completely beautiful this stage can be until now.
We simply don't have the time to have ten more now!

Seeing and feeling our family foursome take on this new dynamic
has had a lovely combined sedative/euphoric effect on me.

People would part with some serious dosh for a hit of what I'm having right now.

The absence of all that self doubt, negative self talk, fear of failure and
the pressure to prove my worth as a Mum has been an absolute joy these last weeks.

And of course, catching a few zzzzzs somewhere in the mix has also been a welcome refreshment too.

I guess the question is - in such a relaxed, blissful state of mind - will I ever get the urge to run again???

What are you grinning and grateful for this fine Friday?

Linknig with Maxabella Loves' 52 Weeks of Grateful.

Shar :-)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I'm Doing It Wrong... And Loving It

Caution - baby talk ahead. You may want to click away.

Alternative titles :
 'Confessions Of A Second Time Mum'
or
'Feel Free To Judge'

With only two children under my belt (literally - I've the scars to prove it!)
 I'm no expert.
But, I have read, listened to and tolerated many an expert in the last four years.
(Hey, I may even have thought I was one in my pre children years.)

According to many of the experts on childbirth and motherhood,
I am doing all the 'wrong' things this time round.

For some reason though... I feel freaking fan.tas.tic.
For some reason though ... my beautiful girl is feeling fan.tas.tic.

My Magoo is a godsend and such a joy in my life - but our 'beginnings' were tough.
(Tough, not tragic. I am most grateful for that.)
Until last week, I didn't truly realise just how tough.

I delivered Magoo naturally - and suffered some, ahem, serious repercussions as a result.
For quite some time.
(The delivery and the repercussions.)

I persistently breastfed Magoo through incompetent nipples, ridiculously low supply, his infant reflux, oversized adenoids, a throat condition and an allergy to cow's milk protein.
Neither of us enjoyed the experience.
But I agonised when it was recommended that Magoo be put on a prescription formula.

I let well meaning (I assume?) advice from left, right and centre
drown out my own instincts when Magoo was unhappy and unhealthy for months.

I was treated like the anxious, neurotic mother that I very nearly became 
 - until I finally met the right specialists and a simple surgery changed our lives.

I suffered on through pain, splints, OT and repeated cortisone injections in both wrists brought about because my baby needed constant comforting and settling.

Blah, blah, blahdey, blah.

I wouldn't change the history and incredible bond Magoo and I share for the world
- but I won't let the expectations of others dictate the decisions I make for my family any more.


My Missi was delivered via caesarean on the advice of my ob - and to my relief.
It was a fabulous, moving occasion for Hubby, myself- and evidently Missi.

I had hoped that breastfeeding would be different (and just a smidgen successful) for us this time around
- but it has taken a nosedive.
A blistered, excruciating nosedive.
Despite the gorgeous olive complexion and dark hair - my Irish genes are shining through.
Sister can drink...and drink...and drink.
The milk bar here couldn't meet the demand and has outsourced supplies.
Missi is drinking formula.
We are both enjoying the experience. Immensely.

I refuse to be brow beaten by the 'right' way of doing things and am intuitively finding my way.
I am in awe of the intense, comfortable connection I feel to my little girl
and am brought to tears by how beautiful these early days have been for us.

 
At this stage, it appears all the wrong ways - are the right ways for my family and I right now.

Apologies for any offence caused. None intended.

Shar :-)

Monday, September 3, 2012

52 Week Project : Wk 51

Lately, I seem to have lost touch with an old, familiar friend of mine.
We were fairly constant companians over the years, this friend and I.

Despite having little contact with each other in recent weeks, 
I was positively certainly absolutely sure she would come crawling out of
the woodwork once my beautiful Missi was born.

But she's keeping her distance.
She didn't visit us in the hospital and hasn't surfaced since I arrived home on the weekend.
She knows Hubby is returning work tomorrow and isn't interested.
Unusual.
Unexpected.
Home Sweet Home Missi

Anxiety, my old pal;
If I have offended you, driven you away or made you feel unwelcome here
...

brilliant.

Adios.

There's far more breathing space around here without you.

Shar :-)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Point + Shoot : Smile + Weep

I am an annoying happy snapper who has sometimes fallen into the trap of believing that every moment worth remembering or celebrating also needs to be recorded.
Occasionally living life through the lens instead of in the moment.


But then, there are some moments in life that need no assistance 
to be etched into our memories forever more.


Life altering moments in time that replay themselves over and over
until every detail is completely embedded.


Although, having the precious snaps to tear up over isn't all that bad either.

Linking with Lou's Point + Shoot
point + shoot
Technically, these snaps are not from the weekend - but as I can barely distinguish the days of the week at the moment, let's let that slide.

Shar :-)