Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Those Tables Have Turned

When Hubby and I began our relationship I was (affectionately, right guys?) known to my friends as LMI - Little Miss Independent.

I lived on my own, I took care of myself.
I did the dirty jobs and the braved the creep crawlies.
My family all lived overseas.
I didn't need anyone.

I was highly social, loved my job, kept my own hours and was in control of pretty much everything in my life.

When I met my Hubby, I was fresh from a toxic relationship and reluctant to get invoIved with anyone.
I resisted committing and wouldn't even use the word 'boyfriend' for ages!

When we were dating, Hubby (to be) would usually arrive at my place earlier than we had arranged - often getting there before me. The sweetheart would be waiting to open the garage door for me and start enquiring about my day immediately.
So sweet.
So suffocating to someone like me.

I can remember one evening that he arrived at my place and casually popped his lunch for work the following day in my fridge.
I had a mild panic attack as I hadn't invited him to stay at mine.
If I recall correctly, he sensed my uncomfortable 'moment', we had words and he left!
So innocently done.
So suffocating.

When we finally moved in together, Hubby was a part time shift worker.
He would often race out to the car like an excited puppy when I returned from work and carry my bags in.
So cute.
So suffocating.

Fast forward a few years and a couple of babies.
Cue about 5 pm on a weekday.
I'm haaaaanging for Hubby to get home.
I can't wait to have him to talk to, to laugh with, to share the load.
I'm that puppy dog waiting impatiently for him, tongue just about hanging on the floor.
By 5.30pm I'm texting "How far???? xxx"
So pathetically needy.
So suffocating - for poor Hubby.

Around the time that my uterus became viable real estate, I lost that LMI tag.
All of a sudden, Hubby's travel-heavy job wasn't so tolerable anymore.
All of a sudden, Hubby's paddling and training time seemed to go forever.
All of a sudden, I felt that I not just wanted, but needed someone.

When Magoo was a few weeks old, I actually literally begged Hubby not to go away for a couple of weeks.
I pleaded, I cried, I threatened divorce...
He went anyway and I fell apart behind closed doors.

Four years later, baby number two is on the scene and again I dread the thought of him being away for more than a night.

Even typing that makes my eyes well with self hate.

I mourn the loss of Little MIss Independent sometimes.

Until I remember that she has been replaced with Mrs Strong
- because even though I adore having my Hubby around and depend on him more than ever,
I have accomplished and withstood things that I didn't think possible in the last four years.
Back in the good 'ol days - pre needy!
 That woman checking the driveway like a lunatic from 5.30pm everyday is still capable and competent.
She still takes care of herself - but also three others.
Now she's a wife and mother. Dependant and depended upon.

Do babies make you vulnerable too?
Do you hang for 'Hubby home time'?

Shar :-)

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Good Baby?

Since having Missi, I've noticed that many, many people like to ask
 "is she a good baby?"

Do they mean is she settled? Happy? Healthy?
Or are they asking if she is generous, loving, accepting, supporting various charities and in favour of equal opportunity?

What exactly do 'good' babies do?
Humanitarian work?

And are they 'good' babies - as opposed to 'bad' babies?

'Bad' babies then - are they nasty, vindictive, selfish, conniving little ones
- plotting our demise from their cots?
I think not.

I know that people don't mean anything with their innocent question.
My defensiveness on this one actually comes from years ago and not from my experiences with Missi.
She is what people would term one of those 'good' babies
- she's generally chilled, has few health issues and is sleeping relatively well for her age.

I good girl!! :-)

Magoo, on the other hand, was not.
Any of these things.

Magoo was a sick little man, in pain a lot of the time.
He cried. A lot.
He had colic, reflux, a hernia, a floppy larynx, oversized adenoids, sleep apnoea, a dairy allergy....
I guess that made him a 'bad' baby and I guess that why my mummy feathers get ruffled by such a simple question.
Bad boy, bad boy - whatcha gonna do?
I'm the first to admit that Magoo and I travelled a bumpy path in those first few months of his life.
A path that led to far too many waiting rooms, specialists suites and hospitals.
But, I can't stand having him labelled as a 'bad' baby.
Tears spring at the thought.

But then, the Harry Hypocrite that I am now tells Mr. Magoo that he is a 'good' kid, a 'good' boy, a 'good' sort constantly!

Did you have 'good' or 'bad' bubs?
Why do we love labels so much??

Shar :-)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Point + Shoot : Lifestyles Of The Young & Blameless

Oh to be four!

The highlights of this weekend for me were in seeing Magoo  live it up.

Whilst most of my time was spent 'behind the scenes' or juggling the rest of the family's needs
- grocery shopping, cleaning, feeding the troops, preparing, planning and parenting mostly solo
- his was spent in the moment.

With swimming lessons,  a trip to the beach, midday naps,
a neighbourhood progressive dinner, a school fete and an afternoon under the sprinklers
- this boy's weekend was a beauty, if you ask me.

It's so satisfying to reflect and take stock of just how enjoyable his childhood is.

I may not be a 'Supermum', a glamour queen or a domestic goddess  -
but I like to think that I shine at putting my heart into making simple 'Magoo memories'.

He isn't indulged and I'm (apparently too) strict -
but I want nothing more than for Magoo (and Missi) to look back on his (her) childhood with so much to smile about.

In fact, I want that for every child.

What age would you choose to be?

Linking with Lou's Point + Shoot
point + shoot

Shar :-)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Grateful For... Abundance

So, you know you're pretty damn fortunate when you can't put together a grateful post.
I'm struggling this week - not because of a lack of material, but because I don't know where to begin.

This week has brought about a lot of clarity for me.
It's as though I can see so clearly how blessed I am right now.
I'm so grateful for so many elements in my life and lifestyle.

Despite the lack of sleep, painful wrists or that stupid pool leak - I have no complaints.
I really don't.

Many people would give anything to be up in the night, needed by their own beautiful child.
People would give their right hand to have my hormonally stuffed and inflamed, baby holding dodgy right hand.
There are people who dream of having a place to call home and maintenance issues to roll their eyes over.

I could whack up a grateful post or 50 today - with so many different aspects of each day to be grateful for.

Our life is busy - in all the best ways -  and is filled with beautiful people.

Magoo is constantly amazing me with his gorgeous nature and the way he has embraced big brotherhood.
I am literally bursting with pride and love - and feel I can't convey to him enough just how appreciated he is.

That little girl of mine  - and her light up my day (or night) smile - is just a gift.
A sweet, warm gift of bliss!!

Hubby and I are in a good place 
- uniting in our parenting and slowly managing to push our relationship higher up on the priorities list around here.

I look around (deliberately ignoring the state of the floors) and marvel at how I arrived at this point
- how lucky I am to be the 'Mum' and the 'wife' in this family.

But I really should get this 'Mum' and 'wife' backside behind that vacuum
- unfortunately the privilege comes with responsibilities too!

What are you feeling all lucky punk about today?

Linking with Maxabella Loves' 52 Weeks of Grateful - 'cause I can.
Shar :-)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I Heart My Body 2012

I have a million plus reasons not to tip tap this post - to ignore today.


The timing's wrong.
I've just had a baby.
I'm carrying extra weight.
I have a fresh scar below the Missi belly there.
My breasts weren't best - again.
Right now, I need to wee pretty much permanently.
My wrist is in a splint.
My eyes are carrying excess baggage....

Hubby looooves this 'lingerie' - honest!! :-)
I could go on, but is there really anything more boring than us women banging on
about how ugly/fat/useless/dysfunctional/ _____ / _____ our bodies are??

Instead, I want to celebrate this here bod-ay.
This body that has carried and given life to two gorgeous children.
This body that my Hubby doesn't judge or criticise - but literally embraces.
This body that can run, baby.

It's only been two weeks since I resumed a running program
- and if I may say so - I'm damn pleased with the way my body has responded.

I finally believe that I am a runner.
I must be.
That first run felt natural and refreshing.
I managed over 4km non stop fairly easily - and only stopped out of caution.

Each run since, I have run faster, longer and stronger.
When I am running, I forget all the flaws and failings of my body.
I feel powerful and proud.
And so damn fortunate.

Go on, love your body.
Not for how it looks but for what it manages to accomplish.
The one you have today - not the one you want 'someday'.
I give you permission.

Shar :-)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What's With People?

For two days on the trot now,
I have been subjected to people on my doorstep because of this here blog.

I've been the victim of yet another facet to this business
- the business of putting it out there on the world wide web.

When I began writing my rubbish in this space,
I didn't anticipate that I would fall prey to this kind of response
- but I guess it's the risk you take when you click 'publish'.

Now I'm paying the price.

I like to call them not 'trolls',
but 'skags'  - Super Kind And Generous Souls.

Two ridiculously generous, completely unexpected and thoughtful parcels in two days
- from two amazing women that I have met and befriended out here in cyberspace.

The trauma of it all.

On Monday, Jane of Life On Planet Baby  surprised me with a beautiful parcel filled with clothing
handed down from her gorgeous India to my Missi and a lovely handmade piece too.

Julie from Mama Of 2 Boys then continued to floor me when I received yet another parcel today.
Hers bearing a selection of her beautiful creations
- handmade with my children (and Irish heritage) in mind.

I'm delighted to share that both of these fabulous bloggers have recently
taken the leap and started their own businesses.
I'm embarrassed to share that both their sites are bookmarked on my computer 
and were awaiting that moment in time when I could peruse and purchase without distraction.

Jane's Etsy shop 'Planet Joy' can be found here

Julie's Made It venture 'Button Tots' can be found here.

The mushy tears of gratitude and disbelief can be found here  - on my cheeks.
As I responded to Jane yesterday - people like her and Julie make me want to be a better person.

Thank you beautiful Skags - from the bottom of my heart.
Have you been targeted by Skags of the blogosphere too?
Shar xx

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Point + Shoot : Weekend Wins

After a week of feeling like I was on a bit of a losing streak
(boo hoo - poor me - suck it up Mrs!!!),
this weekend was the perfect win.

I didn't come into a large sum of cash - or even a tiny one.
I didn't cross any finish lines triumphant - or even exhausted.
But this weekend let me have some nice little wins that have refreshed body, mind and soul.

It doesn't take much to turn things around...

A return to smoother night feeds (and cuddles) with the bub.
A run. Or two.
Less tears and more smiles - from all of us.
Time to actually talk to my Hubby.
A long awaited swim school accomplishment for Magoo.
Extra cute Missi smiles.
My new favourite sleeping bag on sale.
Drinks with neighbours and friends.
The freshest turkish bread ebber from our local bakery.
Finally washing that poor smelly dog.
Genuine belly laughs.
Welcoming another new bubby into the family.
Both children napping at the same time during the day. Twice.
An afternoon in sunny wine country with friends...

Thank you weekend.
I look forward to when we next meet again.

How was yours?

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

Friday, October 19, 2012

Grateful For... Support & Sexy Beasts

Physical support in the form of this sexy beast...
My old faithful (even uglier, if you can believe it) wrist splint cracked in half this week
 - just when I had started to rely on it.
I was grateful to Hubby and his dazzling electrical tape that night.
Honestly - 'motherhood' and 'dignity' have no business being in the same sentence around here!

But, I was super grateful to our local physio who ordered me a replacement of sorts 
- and on the double!

Emotional support in the form of many sexy beasts that I'm lucky enough to call friends...
Just hearing other women voicing their frustrations/challenges and experiences
has such a soothing effect on me.
Whilst I wish that motherhood was smooth sailing for all of us,
in reality it's not - so it's comforting to have others to ride the waves with.

Linknig with Maxabella Loves' 52 Weeks of Grateful

Happy weekend.
I hope you get to spend it with the ones you love - and smothered in support of all kinds.

Shar :-)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Who Am I?

I don't know who I am anymore.
The baby fog is obscuring my vision and making me do nutty things.

I just ordered (yes, ordered not made) these personalised Santa Sacks
 for my kids (still loving saying kids) online.

Patterned Rudolph (Spot On)
NOT my child's name, by the way!

Pretty sure that makes me a bit of a sad sack - or some other sack.

It's October.
Next I'll be getting all excited about the free Christmas bunting that comes with each bag.

Oh Missi - please let Mummy get some more sleep.
She's becoming a tad delirious.

Now, I wonder what my Mum has done with that ridiculous all singing,
 bell ringing toy Santa Claus we kids always ridiculed her about.

You getting festive yet?
Only ten weeks to go!!!

Shar :-)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The C Word

No, I'm not talking about that one.
No political aspirations here.
(Although, being Irish - the foul term does take on a different tone in my native brogue.)

C is for Caeser.
I'm not talking about the salad either.

Caesarean section.
During my first pregnancy, those two words sent me into a tailspin.
I absolutely, definitely, under no circumstances, over my dead body wanted a c section delivery.

(Okay, slight exaggeration. I subscribed to the "as long as bub arrives safely" political correctness in public - but really was soooo very petrified of the caesarean option.)

I'm a big wuss.
Not a fan of surgery.
Particularly of the elective variety.
Something about those silly, gaping gowns has me all a puddle of tears and nerves.

(Hence why I am destined to wear these poor excuses for breasts for the remainder of my natural life.)

I was also naively (and vainly) terrified of the six week recovery period.
I mean, I was going to be out running as soon as possible post delivery.
You know, while that first baby adapted to my lifestyle and all that (codswallop).

(Let's not fixate on the fact that Magoo's natural delivery left me physically unable to run for a lot longer than six weeks anyway!!)

So, second time around and a much more sheepish Shar willingly agreed that a caesarean section would actually be the safest, healthiest, least traumatic option for everyone involved.

(Plus, my ob was absolutely, definitely, under no circumstances, over her dead body willing to assist me with another natural delivery.)

Seven Weeks Post Caesar...

It seems I'm quite the fan of elective surgeries after all!
(Now, just to find the thousands of bucks to renovate the rack!)

Missi's caesarean birth was just beautiful.
Once you get past the super large needle directed at my spine part, it was a calm and positive experience for Hubby and I.

The post op period that I was most apprehensive about was just perfect.
I was completely lucid and pain free.
Missi was in my arms face for a kiss immediately after her birth and in my arms from the time she was checked over and dressed by Hubby.

During my hospital stay, I managed my pain with Panadol and anti-inflammatories quite easily. I was up, showering and walking by the morning after the surgery and doing laps of the ward with Missi's cradle looking for an escape route by day 5.

The only time I struggled with mobility and tenderness was on the second night.
Hubby has gone home with Magoo, so I was up and down to Missi a fair bit.
In retrospect I should have avoided the bed and spent the night in the feeding chair - or asked Hubby to stay a second night.

Once home from hospital, I was mobile - but sensible.(Apart from that 4th birthday party at home thing!)

I organised for my hairdresser's lovely cleaner to come and clean my house twice in the weeks after being home. Win.
Hubby was introduced to Mr Dyson and the Enjo mop. Win # 2.
(He now understand why both were worth every cent I paid for them.)

I began taking short, slow walks with the pram + Magoo within nine days of Missi's birth and built up the distance and speed each day.

I drove Magoo to daycare after three weeks and then began driving regularly a week later.

Now, I'm walking briskly again and feel pretty 'normal' in most ways.
My wound looks great (or so the professionals tell me!) and doesn't feel tender at all.
I still change the dressing weekly - to reduce scarring, the nurses said.
Wouldn't want my bikini modelling career to go to pot, would we??!

Unfortunately, hanging out the washing doesn't pose a problem anymore.
(But sssshh - don't tell Hubby just yet.)

Happy feet indeed.

On the weekend, I ran.
Ta da!!!

Twice even.
Woo to the hoo.
(Okay, was probably more of a jogging pace, but that's a-okay.)

It felt pretty fantastic to be back on the road and I'm convinced I found a little piece of me out there.

Plus - those runs = almost 50 mins of time aloooone over the weekend.
Not to be underestimated.

It did hurt.
But it hurt in the way it hurts to step up to an exercise you haven't attempted in 9 and a half months.

It didn't hurt in the 'wearing my uterus on the outside' fashion some people have described after starting back too early.

So, (second) bottom line -  I'm a caesar convert.

Do not fear the big C, people.

Shar :-)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Super Survivor

You know, some days I  feel like (barely) 'Surviving-Mum' and other days I'm all 'Super-Mum' on this parenting/housewife-ing gig.
The reality is, most days I'm probably 'Somewhere In Between-Mum'.

It doesn't take much to swing between survival mode and super mode either.

For me, at the moment, the amount of sleep I manage each night has a big influence.
Biiiig influence!

At other times in my 'Mumming' career it has hung on how many public tantrums Magoo had subjected me (and the general playground/shopping centre/zoo population) to.
Or whether I'd found the time, energy or inclination to do as much cleaning as I'd planned.
Or whether yet another playgroup Mum had looked and said "is he still not crawling?"
Or whether I'd steely ignored Magoo's crying in an effort to help him 'self settle' 
- only to find that his poor little arm was stuck in the cot bars.
you get the idea.

It's a roller coaster we ride.
For me, the emotional investment in this incredibly rewarding 'job' has my self image swinging all over the shop sometimes.

Today - after a hairy night with Missi and a couple of seriously aching wrists -  
I'm thankful for Beth's Salmon One Pot Wonder recipe and a lovely trip to the zoo with friends.

As swiftly as those gorgeous gibbons this morning, I've swung from sleepy survivor to somewhere higher up the vine in my mind  - all thanks to a simple (but showy) dinner in the oven and a content couple of kidlets snoozing away behind me here.

How are you faring in your job today?

Shar :-)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Point + Shoot : Nuthin' Special

The weekend here was nuthin' special.
But special in it's nuthin'-ness.

We enjoyed some time around the house
- just hanging out, catching up on chores and making that gorgeous baby smile at us.

We walked, scooted, shopped, bbq-ed with my cousin and played with the neighbours.

We took our time and took the mickey.
Hubby and I might not be sharing the same bed at the moment,
but it's comforting to know that we still share the same sense of humour
- which often seems to be at the expense of our children.
Luckily, they're a never ending source of material!

How was your weekend?

And Magoo would like to know why we can't have those three day weekends every weekend.
why can't we?
An extra day would have gone down a treat with me.

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

Friday, October 12, 2012

Grateful For...Self Medication

This week I wrote my own prescription and referral...

When feeling sleep deprivation or anxiety creeping in :

Vitamin D x lots 
Endorphins x aplenty

Take daily. Twice daily if required.

Make an appointment to see friends.
Particularly those who specialise in comfort and humour.

I've been a good patient and dosed up on each of the above this week.
Often in one hit - a walk with Magoo or a friend followed by a hot chocolate and a chat.

I am also a tad grateful for the doc who wrote a genuine prescription
for anti inflammatories and cortisone injections.
Damn these dodgy wrists!

How's your week been?
What has you feeling all dosed up on gratitude?

Linking with Maxabella Loves' 52 Weeks of Grateful

Shar :-)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

But Who's Been Sleeping In MY Bed?

So, you know how before you have children you spout rubbish like
'the baby will just have to fit into our lifestyle'
'it won't change us that much'
'hey please shoot me if I crap on about my son/daughter all day long'

Ha ha ha!!
How things change hey?!

Even the most determined of parents seem to have their world turned upside down and inside out in more ways than they anticipated.

Right now, in our household Missi has taken our (my!) quite routine and settled nocturnal a-bedspace-for-everyone-and-everyone-for-a-bedspace style and flipped it every which way.

Magoo has always slept in his room and in his own bed. I'm a lucky duck, I know.
Hubby and I have always slept in our room and our own bed - never even swapping sides!

These nights - it's anybody's guess where Hubby and I will end up.
(And that's not in an adventurous, risque sense I'm afraid!!)

Magoo, bless his sleepy little heart, is the only consistent one around here at the moment.
He still sleeps in his own bed all night, every night.

When Missi arrived home, I placed her in her bassinet in my room beside my bed.
Hubby made the wise decision to take the rather comfy 'front couch' and enjoy full, uninterrupted nights of sleep while MIssi and I are enjoying nocturnal adventures.
I even converted his side of the bed into a makeshift night time change station for Missi!
(Quite the marital arrangement, I know!!)
Now, this arrangement could work nicely for Hubby and I! :-)
But, for the last few nights I have demoted Hubby from the front couch to the 'back couch'. 

After 6 weeks of Missi's night noises, I'm feeling the pinch.
I don't want to move MIssi to the pretty bedroom that I so lovingly prepared for her yet as it's beside her  brother's room - and I don't want to disturb his sleep.
I also like having MIssi in our bedroom at night as the breathing monitor is plugged in there at the moment and it gives me some peace of mind having it on.

I'm now sleeping on the front couch - only metres from Missi's bassinet - but enough to muffle the shuffling, snuffling, kerfuffling, snorting and grunting a tad.
Hubby is on the back couch, snoring to his heart's content.

I'm pretty confident (hopeful?) that this is a temporary arrangement - but for now our very comfortable (and fairly expensive) queen bed is currently unoccupied and that tiny MIssi has the entire master suite to herself between feeds!!
'The baby won't change anything.'

How do your children 'rule the roost'?

Shar :-)

Monday, October 8, 2012

I Get It

I don't necessarily feel that you need to suffer in order to empathise with the suffering of others.
However, with every life experience - career,  mortgage, marriage, motherhood ... - I understand my own parents more and more.

Yesterday was my birthday.
Today is my older sister's birthday.
We were born 364 days apart.

My sister passed away before she reached her second birthday.
My parents were twenty years old.
With a six month old me.

Today is not a day of celebration in my family.
It has always been a quiet day of private sadness, watching my parents grieve.

For me, it is a day of questioning.
And some shame when I recall childhood memories.

When I was young, I just didn't get it.

I had questions -
What was she like?
Did we play?
Would my sister and I have shared a room?
Would we have looked alike?
Would we have shared clothes and toys?
Would we have still moved to Australia if she had lived?
Would I still have a younger sister and brother too?

I didn't understand why parents didn't want to answer my questions.

I didn't understand why my parents would have left me to stay with my grandparents when I was such a young baby. Why they didn't want me at that time in their lives.

I didn't understand the level of grief for a baby who I had never truly known.
A baby who had never spoken or played.
A baby whom we didn't even have any photographs of.

I didn't understand the scars that don't heal.

I felt so disappointed each year that my Mum went to bed crying on my birthday, my day.

Spoilt brat.

I still have those questions and more -
Would my sister and I be close now?
Would we live near each other?
Would our kids be playing together?

But now I certainly understand why my parents find these and so many more questions difficult and painful to contemplate, let alone answer.

When Magoo was eighteen months (the age at which my sister died) - I was king hit with the enormity of what my parents lived through.

I was finally aware of how intensely you love your child from the very moment you meet them and how embedded they are in your heart even before their birth - never mind by eighteen months of age.

Last night, after a beautiful birthday and with my own heart brimming with contentment - when the 8th of October arrived - I went to bed crying.

I get it, Mum.
And I'm sorry.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Point + Shoot : Thirty Again

I'm a big fan of turning 30.
This year was my fifth time doing so - and it was fabulous - again.

The first time I hit the big 3-0, I had an adorable little newborn boy in my arms.
For keeps.
The best present ever.

Until this year's 30th.
Now, I have two gorgeous babes - and an even greater appreciation of what a gift that is.

I was truly spoilt today in so many ways...

A smooth night with little Missi.
Birthday 'treats' from my Magoo and Hubby.
Lovely gifts.
Some sweet family time.
A beautiful afternoon.
Fantastic company.
A little nibble.
A little tipple.

Just perfect.
Thank you my people.
I'm one very happy thirty year old this evening.

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