November 19, 2013

Life lately.

 Max&Frankie2

I really do wish it was never so long between posts here, but I have a toddler, & I have a semi’ish newborn, & I have a husband, & I have a work from home schedule, & they all demand {& they also all deserve} my attention.  And so by the time I’ve done my best to tick all of the daily boxes, juggle all of the daily balls, & give everyone the attention they deserve, well … it’s midnight {or beyond!}, & I’m crawling into bed praying that tonight’ll be the night sweet Frankie Jean pulls one of her famous big stretches of sleep again.

For the record, it’s been over a month since she’s pulled one of those stretches & slept through the night.  And so it’s obvious really, isn’t it? I went & flipping jinxed myself by bragging about our “incredible sleeper!”.  Because that’s what happens when you can’t believe you’ve hit the baby jackpot, doesn’t it? They go & hit 4’ish months old, & they do that whole four month sleep regression thing, & that’s when it dawns on you, … ‘oh.  That’s right! The four month sleep regression thing.  Yea.  Forgot about that”.

And so that’s where we’re at.

And I’m cool with where we’re at.  Because me & sleep deprivation? Well, we go way back.  And I really am at peace with the fact that Dave & I just appear to breed babies who … don’t sleep.  And so for however long it is that they choose not to sleep, Dave is just basically going to have to tolerate my temporary drop in IQ/tolerance for bullshit, & all round ‘usually nice wifey’ status.  Because for now, it would appear I’m more of the low IQ/‘don’t flip with me Mother flipper’ breed of wife.  And so yes, … it would appear that I also apparently swear when I’m not sleeping too.

Because y’know, I’m just a classy little minx like that sometimes.  And I don’t even beat myself up about it any more, because guess what? Nobody is classy when they’re not sleeping, nobody. 

But hey, enough about how we are not sleeping, because that’s only really interesting to the people who aren’t sleeping, ain’t it? And when you’re not getting it, it really truly is the only thing you can really think about.

Today I just wanted to talk about life lately.  In dot point, which is usually a style of blogging I prefer to avoid, but … there is beauty in dot point when you’re time poor.

Frankie.

She got sick.  Really sick.  And I’ve been battling with an incredibly guilty conscience since, because there were so many warning signs, & I missed them all.  Worse than missing all of those warning signs is that my employment background is nursing, so there were clinical signs that I should have noticed, but didn’t.  And I’ll be honest, I spent her entire hospital stay beating myself up about all of this.

She’s ok now.  But I’ll never take my children’s health for granted again.

Max.

Max will be three in less than two weeks.  Three.  And he is just this amazing little nearly three year old.  He has grown so much both physically & developmentally since Frankie arrived in his world, & if I can just be a completely biased slash bordering on arrogant parent for a moment? The changes in my nearly three year old kinda blow me away.

He is confident, so much more confident.  He is smart.  He is kind.  He is well mannered.  And yet, his tantrums would rival that of any ultimate diva.  His vocabularly has exploded, & so have the accompanying hundreds of questions per day.  He is loving, & he tells everyone around him that he loves them.  Just this morning he said, ‘Mummy.  I just really love you.  Ok?’.  And it’s the first time he’s told me that he loves me without my having prompted him to do so, & it felt good. 

Three is beautiful, & terrifying.  Three fries my brain by 3 o’clock, daily.  Three also makes me excited about the future, very excited.

Bring on the ‘threenage’ years, right?

Dave.

We’ve been arguing a lot, a lot.  And it’s weird, because as far as life is concerned, life is about as good as it’s ever been for the both of us.  And yet, here we are … arguing?! I’m not panicking though, because I’m putting it down to our aforementioned good friend sleep deprivation.  Because we all know it wreaks havoc on even the best relationships, & there have been nights where our sleep has been that little bit less broken, & so guess what? Happy families, happy days.

Coincidence, no?

Christmas.

If you follow my work with Down That Little Lane, particularly via our instagram account, you’ll realise I’m one of those frustrating bastards who starts waxing lyrical about Christmas in November.

November?! 

I can’t help it.  Christmas just really is my ultimate.  It’s all about celebrating the year that was, it’s family coming together, it’s children who are just starting to get Christmas getting excited about it, it’s good food, it’s a sneaky wine between an otherwise sometimes exhausting breastfeeding schedule, it’s my played-to-death Kate Ceberano Christmas CD, it’s just … all of it, really.

This year is also the first year in yonks that Dave & I are actually in a position to be able to afford to give each other gifts.  Every year prior has just smashed us financially right until its bitter end, & so by December? We’ve literally been down to our last dollars, or dollar … singular.  We’ve always scraped through, but we’ve also always said, ‘let’s not worry about anything for each other this year’.  And we’ve always vowed that next year would be the gift giving year, & then that year has rolled out & left us with nothing by December again.

Not this year. 

Look, we’re not rolling in it, … but we’re not struggling either.

Finances.

And so that brings me to my next point, finances. 

I think we’re ok.  I don’t think we’ll ever be flying, but I also don’t think we’ll ever be like we were in 2010/11 either.

I’m working, Dave’s working, we’re not struggling on one income, we’re not in the kind of debt we used to be in, we no longer own a credit card {& never will again}, we’re about to sell our second car because we just don’t need it, & lately … I’ve found myself checking out my groceries at the supermarket without any associated anxiety as to whether or not my card will be declined.

It’s a good feeling, let me tell you!

Dave took some risks & went into some investments with his brothers, & because I am not a risk taker, I was in no way supportive of these ventures.  When it comes to money though, Dave is smart, & I am not, & so I put my faith in his smarts & guess what? He was right, & I was wrong, & so those good investments are helping us to breathe a little easier too.

Family.

I’ve reconnected with my Melbournian based Aunty, my Dad’s sister.  I’m not going to go into any details out of respect for both her & I, but we stopped talking around the time that I married Dave in 2010 due to a silly bullshit issue that I remember thinking was entirely important back then.

Guess what’s more important? Family.  And the importance of that slapped me hard in the face when I became a Mother myself, & realised just how much family I don’t have here in Melbourne.  Still, I maintained my grudge with her, because my personality is stubborn & unforgiving like that.

Somewhere along the way, I realised family was more important than a silly wedding based feud, & I relented, & she relented, & now I have a relationship with her again.

It’s good, really good. 

Life lately.  

Life has been good lately.  And so it should be, because we had a rough 2010/11, & so it’s about time that things started looking up for us, really looking up.

There are days where I struggle with the demands of two children & all of the other tidbits, & then there are days where I feel like I just nail it.  Thankfully, it’s a healthy balance between feeling like I’m completely flunking & completely winning.  And on the days where I’m flunking? Well, I take solace in the fact that I’ll never flunk quite as epically as my own Mother did.

Christ, I couldn’t even come close.  And so that’s somethin’!

Life’s good.  Motherhood is challenging, but good.  Raising two little people is challenging, but good.  Working Motherhood is challenging, but good.  And marriage is challenging, but good.

And so that’s life lately.  In a nutshell.  Or dot point.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Mother Down Under November 19, 2013 at 2:15 pm

I hear you about the sick baby mother guilt.
When Toddler C had septic arthritis as a baby it took me a long time to get over the fact that I didn’t pick up on any of the signs that he was sick.
Or I suppose I should say that I did…but I chalked them up to teething or to being generally cranky because he was not sleeping because he was teething.
It wasn’t until his leg collapsed under him that I realised something was wrong! And of course by then, it was very wrong! Poor little sausage!
Anyway, I am over it now…and so glad that he can finally talk and tell me if something is sore or hurting!

I am glad all is going well for you!

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Raising Master Max November 20, 2013 at 9:35 am

Oh Caitlin,

NEVER beat yourself up. Unfortunately with really little ones, so many things present like so many “typical” baby things. Truth be told, I honestly thought we were just going down the reflux path again with Frankie. And selfishly, I thought, well flipping hell … this is just GREAT!

When they can’t talk, it is just so hard!

And this is why I stay away from paediatric nursing. Because I just can’t stand seeing little ones suffer!

I’m so glad little C is his happy & healthy little self now. I can’t even imagine what you went through!

x

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Claire Lenton November 19, 2013 at 2:32 pm

“”Life’s good. Motherhood is challenging, but good. Raising two little people is challenging, but good. Working Motherhood is challenging, but good. And marriage is challenging, but good.”" – that statement is so simple yet so so true.

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Raising Master Max November 20, 2013 at 9:36 am

It really is, isn’t it Claire?

It’s just that really. Challenging, but good. And the challenging feels so flipping CHALLENGING sometimes, but … the good always outweighs ;)

And that’s what I hold on to (with a vice-like grip!) :)

x

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Rachel Callus November 19, 2013 at 3:01 pm

You would have to try really, really hard to flunk as epically as your mother.
I’m glad you’ve reconnected with your Aunty!

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Raising Master Max November 20, 2013 at 9:37 am

Thanks Rachel!

… a trained monkey could do a better job at raising children than my Mother.

But that’s a whole other story :)

x

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Reannon November 19, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Life sounds great Cherie & how lovely that you can sit back & see all the good that surrounds you.
I’m hearing you on the no sleep thing. Man, Blake is 7 months old this week & I’m still up every single flipping night!! I’m no longer telling anyone if we’ve had a good night or two ( a good night for us is only being up once ) because you can bet your arse that night I’ll be up aaaaaaalllllll night with him. I’m kind of ok with it but I just really really want him sleeping better by the time he’s one because we have another baby due the month after his birthday! Fingers crossed!!
And yep marriage most defiantly has it’s not so fun moments but you’re right it’s good, actually it’s great!
I honestly don’t know how your managing working from home & wrangling two kids! Well done lady x

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Raising Master Max November 20, 2013 at 9:38 am

Reannon,

All I can take from this is;

1. I am just SO happy for you! I nearly fell off my chair! and,
2. Blakey boy, you need to pull a nice, big stretch of sleep soon for your sweet weary Mama!

I hope you’re going very easy on yourself!

x

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Reannon November 20, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Haha I almost fell off the toilet when the pregnancy test came up positive! But its all good now that we have got our heads around it ( four kids! shit!). Twelve week scans came back perfect ( thank god cause if I had to go through that stuff again I may well have lost my mind) & now we just wait for the little one to arrive :) And Chez, I never go easy on myself, its just not my way but I have started throwing the biggest kids school uniforms in the dryer so I don’t have to iron them- does that count ;)

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Tessa - Down that Little Lane November 19, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Life has so many bitter sweet moments and it would be nice to only ever have the sweet but then it would be so bland too..
I am glad you and your family are in a better place, you deserve to be there x

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Raising Master Max November 20, 2013 at 9:39 am

Thanks so much Tess,

It’s funny, in 2010/11 … when you’re in the thick of the bitter (as opposed to the sweet), you think, holy flipping shiz, it is just ALWAYS going to be this bad.

2013? What a magnificent year. No bad. Just good. So much good :)

And we couldn’t be happier,

x

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Mez November 19, 2013 at 9:24 pm

I loved reading your post! I too seem to breed non sleepers! I now have an 8 year old (who does now sleep) and a 5 year old who finds her way into my bed at some stage every night! (but I am actually just enjoying it now because she won’t want to do it forever and she’s my baby!) It does get easier! : )

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Raising Master Max November 20, 2013 at 9:41 am

Thanks Mez,

I hold on to this inspiring glimmer of hope that one day too, I will sleep through the night. Albeit, with a little person sharing my bed I have no doubt, but … I WILL sleep through the night, ha! :)

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Deb @ Home life simplified November 21, 2013 at 10:56 am

So glad to read your updates that things are going fab this year! The health scare / issue was a blip and you know what? even doctors miss things all the time – and that is ON the job, not with family where they can be too close to things to see clearly. You are human – never forget that beautiful lady xx

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Jennine November 21, 2013 at 3:39 pm

I recently found your blog not that long after your bubba girl was born, but I don’t think I have commented yet (I’m in Melbourne too.) My third baby girl was born around the same time as Frankie (she was 29th July)so it’s nice to relate to the same baby milestones. I am so glad Frankie is ok now, how scary for you. My bub has Bronchiolitis at the moment and I too, am kicking myself for not getting her to the Dr and treating it sooner. I just thought she had the same virus as her sisters. Motherhood is just one big guilt trip really isn’t it?!

I love your honestly in your blog. You can tell you love your children fiercely and it’s beautiful!

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Tara November 21, 2013 at 4:07 pm

It’s been a while since I’ve had time to be around these parts… so glad I’ve had this chance to catch up!

This line…

“Life’s good. Motherhood is challenging, but good. Raising two little people is challenging, but good. Working Motherhood is challenging, but good. And marriage is challenging, but good.”

…BEST!!!

So happy for you sweets… its all deserved…well not the sleep deprivation and the arguments because of said sleep dep… but I’m sure you understand what I mean.

Stay happy!
AND FABULOUS!
Big Love x

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