Friday, 24 June 2016

3 years young!

To my sweet boy,

Happy 3rd birthday darling boy.

Thank you for making me such an incredibly proud Mumma.  Your love and affection warm my heart.

You have a knack for making people feel incredibly special.  I must say, it isn't easy to win you over, but once you have, you are loyal and loving.

Your bond with your sister brings so much joy to my life.  Watching the two of you grow up together, protect each other, be kind to each other and develop a life long friendship is something which I never take for granted.

Just this morning she said to you "James, tell Mumma to be nice to me.  She keeps yelling at me and she's nice to you because it's your birthday".  You marched right up to me, hands on hips and aggressively told me "be nicer to sissy Mumma".  I just looked at the serious experssion on your face, your big brown eyes staring up at me and responded "Ok my darling".

I can't fight with you, I can't argue with you and I struggle to be angry at you.

You are a terrible sleeper.  We've had help, it worked, then it didn't.  You wake up countless times a night suffering nightmares and you constantly cry for Mumma.  You need me to sleep right next to you so you can settle.  I can feel your breath on my face, your arms are wrapped around my neck and your legs are tucked under mine, for most of the night I get minimal sleep.  Most days this causes me to be grumpy and impatient, yet I just can't be angry at you.

Your smile and laugh really can light up a room.  I do feel everyone says this, yet for you, it truly is the case.  You work the room as your eyes sparkle, and you win people over with your charm wherever we go.  Yet as soon as you receive some attention you hide behind Mumma's leg.

You are shy, yet loud.  You are sweet, yet strong.  You personality can be a complete contradiction, however, one thing is for sure, it is yours.  You are your own unique person.

Thank you for being mine.  I am extremely blessed the day God sent you to me.  You entered the world and changed my life forever.

I look forward to experiencing many more birthday's with you and watching you grow and develop into a beautiful little boy.

I will love you forever my darling boy.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Happy Birthday to my hero!

He is my hero, my world, my friend and my Papa Bear.  Happy Birthday.

The love shared between a father and daughter truly is one that can never be broken. He will forever hold a special place in my heart.  His support and guidance, his gentle nature yet strong values all provide me with the support and guidance I need.

I am blessed enough to have met and married a man who has become best friends with my Papa.  The bond they share is special and unique.  Their wit and their humour and the soft side they both hide.  Alike in so many ways, enough for me to feel a sense of comfort and familiarity when I watch my husband father our daughter.  Knowing she will grow up with the love and support that I experienced brings me joy.

A man of few words, yet when he speaks you want to listen.  You will be left in a tummy aching laugh or in ore of his knowledge.  So humble for a man who has achieved so much.  Through trying times he still stood strong and held his family together with determination and courage.

Watching him be an amazingly loving Poppy to my children gives me butterflies.  Their love and admiration for their Poppy is evident when you see the sparkle in their eyes as they run into his arms.  His gentle nature is sure to win them over every single time.

Celebrating my Papa's 70th is so special to me.  I wish him a nothing but health and happiness as he is surrounded by the people who love him most. 

Happy Birthday and we hope to celebrate many more with you.

Love BuB x

Sunday, 15 May 2016

What exactly is normal?

Just because one person thinks a certain behaviour, routine or habit is normal, it doesn't mean we will all agree.  My normal and your normal might be two completely different ends of the spectrum.

When it comes to raising children, I think we tend to judge, analysis, criticise and dismiss other peoples parenting style when it is different to our own.  What I pride myself on is being non-judgemental.  Yes I have an opinion on things, I think we're all entitled to an opinion.  However, I really do try and not project my opinion onto other people.  What works for one family may be completely different to the next.

So what is one of the biggest parenting debates? To co-sleep or not to co-sleep.  Unfortunately, it is a topic which really should not effect anyone other than the people living in that given household.  So why do we all get so worked up about other peoples sleeping habits?

I did this, I was judgemental.  When I first had Sophia I followed a strict routine and from 10-weeks old the little darling slept 10 hours straight, self settled and to be honest, was an absolute breeze.  So when I heard about people rocking their babies to sleep, feeding their babies to sleep or heaven forbid sleeping with their babies, I thought it was just plain wrong.  Why on Earth would you create a baby to be so dependant on you?

Then came James…… Well we had two issues here didn't we? We had James, the terrible sleeper.  However, we also had in the mix Sophia, the toddler who all of a sudden decided to develop a sleeping issue.  She was not yet two when James was born and when he was around 2-months old she decided that the only way she would be going to bed was with her Mumma.

Fast forward three years, throw in a visit to Tresillian, a visit from a sleep consultant and our fair share of rough nights and well things aren't much better.  My little man who is almost three puts himself to sleep every single night like an angel.  However, when he wakes (not if, when), he will only re-settle with Mumma or Dadda.  So what do we do? We re-settle him.

You see after three years of broken sleep (there was actually a 12-month period in there where the sleep consultant worked miracles, however, James regressed and we got lazy) one thing we have learnt is you just do what you gotta do.

Sophia on the other hand, well when she's out for the night, she's OUT! It's getting her to that point that is the challenge.  To be fair she is a lot easier these days and for the most part we have found our groove.  Yet there is no way in this world she would fall asleep on her own.  She needs Mumma by her side until she dozes off.

This is my family, this is our sleep deprived story, so why do so many feel the need to judge.  Not just strangers, I'm talking friends, colleagues, family, everyone really.

We have become so use to our routine that most nights I don't really think about it as being wrong, I don't see an issue.  It can be challenging and at times I definitely loose my patience.  I do feel though, this would be the same in most households when it comes to bed time routine.  Even those miracle children I hear about who go to bed with no drama, surely that isn't EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT?

I'm not her to debate pro co-sleeping.  I am here though, to debate "mind your own business".

Over the years, I have learned to love sleeping with my girl.  To be able to hear if she's having a bad dream and immediately calm her, to feel her soft hand wrap over me in the middle of the night, the moment in the early hours of a chilly morning when she slides her feet under my legs to warm herself.

The feeling of having my sweet baby girl in bed next to me is a blessing I will cherish, until the day she decides she is too old.  That day will come and it will be me missing her presence as she finds her independence in her big bed.

When I wake up every single morning to her asking me if it's day time yet, then we call in James and Dadda (who are always awake before us), the four of us cuddle in the big bed and talk about our plans for the day.  These are the special moments which will live within me forever.

Our arrangements aren't perfect, they could do with some tweaking, yet they are our arrangements.  This is our journey and we are fumbling our way through, easing our children into independence at their own pace.

So when people so kindly give me their opinion on my home, my marriage and my sleeping arrangements I simply say……. We're happy, at times tired, but happy.  Chris and I are married and love sharing a bed, however, we decided to have two beautiful children.  Our commitment at this point is to them and our family as an entire family unit.  Our children won't be in our beds, or our homes for that matter, forever.  There will be a time for us as a married couple, for now, it's about family.

My advice to any Mothers (especially those with newborns) is, don't co-sleep simply because it's on trend, don't kick them out of your bed and partake in controlled crying techniques simply because you read it in some book.  Find what suits your family.  Listen to advice from those with experience and decide for yourself what your journey will look like.

Surround yourself with people who are supportive and encouraging.  I have a handful of friends who I can moan and complain to about our sleeping arrangements, yet these gorgeous friend would never suggest I change anything.  They listen, they let me vent and they understand that this is my choice, yet I am allowed to be frustrated at times.

Finally, always remember, they're not little for long.  When it's late at night and you're getting kicked in the face by a tiny little foot feel blessed God gave you the opportunity to have that tiny little person in your life.  It is a gift never to be taken for granted.

Waking up to this every morning can only put a smile on my face!

Monday, 11 April 2016

A letter to my girl: Slow down time!

My darling girl,

I made a promise to myself at the beginning of this year.  I promised I would slow down and cherish my last year with you.  Spend more time at home and enjoying our time together, as next year you will be starting big school.

So far, I have lived up to my promise.  I have not only spent time playing with you, being with you and embracing your childhood, I have appreciated every moment.

What I have realised is, I may slow down my lifestyle, however, I can not slow down time.  As much as I wish there was a slow motion button or even a pause button, it just keeps speeding by at a rate my mind sometimes struggles to keep up with.

Already one quarter of our last year together has passed.  I have been able to find joy in each and every day yet feel cheated that it's moving by so quickly.

Then I experience fleeting moments where I am reminded of your innocence and youngness and those are the moments I hold onto.  A reminder to me that you are still at such a tender age and of course, reminded that you still are my little girl.

At times it doesn't feel fair that life can possibly pass us by this quickly.  If only there were more minutes in the hour and hours in the day!

Then I stop focusing on the speed of time and instead realise how blessed we really are.  Blessed that we can wake up each day and experience another day in this crazy thing called life.  We are able to add one more day to our beautiful lives.

So tonight as I laid with you to sleep and watched as your sweet eyes drifted off into your slumber, I promised you that we would not only enjoy our last year together, but that I would never take my time with you for granted.

I kissed your sweet face and once again thanked God for blessing me the day he made me your Mumma.

Thank you my girl, thank you for being mine.

Mumma x

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Week 11: The 52 Project - Holiday Life

Blissfully unaware of reality.  A week to escape our normal existence and live in pure paradise.

Week 10 - The 52 Project: Holiday time

The boy:

Very proud with his carry on luggage packed and ready to head to the airport.  Showing such confidence and maturity even since our last trip to Fiji 5-months ago.

He is growing up so quickly and in the blink of an eye his mumbled words are turning into hilarious and entertaining conversations.

The girl:

Just like her brother she is growing up faster than my mind is willing to accept.  I watched as she so confidently strutted around the resort.  A sense of familiarity as she passionately explained to everyone it was her 4th trip to Fiji.

Morning one she pranced up to the desk and fearlessly requested the towels for the family.  Her extreme sense of confidence mixed with a growing attitude make for an interesting yet slightly challenging time for my parenting journey.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Week 9 - The 52 Project: Mother & Son vs Father & Daughter

This week was an pleasantly relaxing week……... and then the weekend hit.  It was an extremely hectic weekend with a family birthday, wedding and a Sunday night dinner with my sister thrown in for good measure.

I'm now relaxing at home almost ready to pack it in for the night.  I'm feeling equally satisfied,  exhausted and blessed that I live a life with such chaos and fun.

The girl:  their bond, their love, the affection and respect they show each other is so heart warming.  A father and daughter share such a special bond.  He protects her, he is her hero, he is her world.

Her soft sweetness is such a beautiful contrast to his stern mannerisms.  They are the perfect balance and their personalities compliment each other.  

He can be highly stressed and at times anxious.  He is the man of the house.  His responsibilities are so extensive and relentless.  When he arrives home from work his mind is consumed with the pressure of his obligations as an employee, a father, a husband, a son.

When she hears the door open she runs with such excitement, she jumps into his open arms and immediately I can see a small part of him relax.  A tiny component of his mind shuts down and lets go.  She is his happy place.

I'm so honoured and grateful that this beautiful photo of these two was featured tonight on UniteinMotherhood on Instagram.  Wow, to have my photos be recognised like this makes me extremely proud.

The boy: we decided to head down to the beach this morning for a stroll and a spot of shell collecting.  I felt we could both use the fresh air and change of scenery.  

His behaviour has been on the difficult side the last few days (possibly weeks) and it is exhausting maintaining a calm and positive approach to parenting when you are tired and run down.  I've had to dig deep to stop myself from over yelling or letting my emotions get out of control.  

So this morning gave me the opportunity to enjoy just strolling with him along the sand.  The soft breeze and the crashing of the waves is cleansing and refreshing.  It allows me to clear my mind, rid any of the negativity I have built up over issues or frustrations circulating my thoughts.

As we walk along the sand he looks up to me for guidance, reassurance, familiarity and acknowledgement.  He ever so proudly shows me his shell collection, he points out how he has managed to get his shorts wet as he runs in and out of the waves breaking in the sand. He waits for my response to his actions, he looks on in anticipation for my approval (or not).  When I laugh, smile and tell him how proud I am he beams.  His face lights up with pride.

I call him my cuddle monster, he wants to be held and carried all day long.  I negotiate with him and we walk along the sand hand in hand.  He constantly checks his other hand to ensure he hasn't somewhere along the way dropped his beloved shell.  His mind is consumed by innocence and purity.  If only I could have his thoughts for the day, what a simple and precious life we would live.