March 10, 2014

Today we do sleep school.

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Over the last seven months, Frankie has generally not slept well, at all.  Actually, sometimes she’s not even slept at all.  Mostly though, it’s been hourly to two hourly resettling & feeding overnight.  And yep, people will say, “don’t.feed.her.back.to.sleep!”.  But the thing is, those people aren’t in the thick of hourly to two hourly waking & resettling screamy, shouty babies.  So yes, feeding her back to sleep probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to a well rested person.  But we’re not well rested, we’re in survival mode.  And feeding Frankie back to sleep is quick, fast, effective, wakes Max a whole lot less, makes the whole ordeal end that little bit sooner, … & so that’s what we’ve been doing.  As a result, I’ve basically gone & put myself on a newbie newborn-like feeding schedule for the last 5-6’ish months, & …

I’m ducking exhausted, actually.

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1 // I love nothing more than a beautifully made bed.  I … can’t quite remember the last time I hopped into a beautifully made bed.

2 // Baby led weaning.  Messy, messy shit.

3 // It’s when the sun starts to go down & my front door becomes the brightest pink, that I start to watch the door & chant internally, “come the flip home David.  Come on.  Come home”.  

4 // Plunging necklines, & the most glorious baby cleavage.  That about sums up Frankie Jean.

5 // You are gentle.  You are kind.  You are quiet.  You are sensitive.  You are my very best friend in this world.

I’m joining in with former colleague + friend Em from The Beetle Shack in her weekly stills collection, because, … well because I just don’t take enough photos in all honesty!

{ 10 comments }

March 5, 2014

Date night.

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I turned 31 the other week.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t feel like celebrating anything, & I’m honestly normally such a birthday person.  I love everything about them, especially other people’s birthdays.  I like making the cake.  I like picking out the perfect card.  I like thinking long & hard about the right words that I’ll put into that card, & I just like making someone feel y’know, … spesh’.

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Sigh.

… these photos.

I knew they were going to be special.  They were taken the day before we baptised Frankie, so my Dad was in town to help us celebrate such a special occasion.  And y’know? I really could just sit back & enjoy watching my children enjoying their beloved Pa for the rest o’ my days, … & it still wouldn’t be long enough.  He just has this way with children, with people, … & then Lecinda just has this knack for capturing connections + relationships exactly as they are.

These photos? They’re completely special to me, because they’re a beautiful documentation of our family life, exactly as it is now.  I like my alabaster skin, courtesy of the way that I really did cocoon myself whilst navigating the newborn cave + beyond with Frankie over the Summer just gone.  I like the dark circles under Dave & I’s eyes, to remind me of just how plain exhausted we are right now.  I like that Lecinda snapped Dave & I arguing in Max’s room over which cardigan he should wear, because one day I’ll look back on that snap + laugh about the ridiculousness of our fights when we’re running on a couple of hours sleep per night.  Every night.  I like the way my children light up around their Pa.  I like the way he lights up around them.  I like that my children are both a little bit o’ their Mama, & a little bit o’ their Papa, all rolled into one.  I like how freakishly alike I am to my beloved Dad, because I like looking like him.  I like that despite all of the obvious exhaustion, all of our eyes still manage to sparkle in every photograph.  Because no matter what this family goes through, there is always still an abundance of love + laughter within these four walls.

And I love that Lecinda celebrated all of this.  Edited it.  Put it all on to a USB with her new business logo printed onto it. Wrapped it up in a cute little eco friendly box, … & then drove over to my house & gave it to me.

Photographers really, truly are my favourite artists.

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All photography by Lecinda Ward Photography

You can also follow her on Facebook here.

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This is not a sponsored post.

We were paying (very happy!) customers.

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Wearing

Me // Sportsgirl leopard sweat, Sportsgirl Stevie jeans, Valleygirl shoes.

Dave // Whatever he decided to throw on at the last minute, which is one of the things I love most about him.

Max // hand-me-downs formerly worn by Harrington from my kind-hearted, generous, beautiful manager Tess!

Frankie // Fox & Finch romper.

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Last week I lost my shit.

Really lost it.  Lost it so much, it really scared me, & Dave. 

When it comes to parenting, I’m the gentle one.  I very rarely raise my voice, & I hope this doesn’t sound smug (not my intention at all), but I very rarely have to.  Max really just is the most incredible kid.  There’s not a lot that he does that will even warrant my needing to raise my voice.  I know this’ll change, sure.  But for now? I just count my blessings for having the kind of kid who allows me to be exactly the kind of parent I always wanted to be.

Gentle.  And sure, yes, firm when I need to be, but for the most part, … gentle.

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It just actually really comes down to the fact that I am not sleeping.  And Dave is not sleeping.  Because Frankie is not sleeping.  And her non sleeping is waking Max, so … we’re all not sleeping.  And you’d think I’d be completely well equipped to do ‘non sleeping’ because not sleeping was such a way of life for me way back when I was night shift working in nursing, & raising a non day napping toddler the next day, but no, … apparently I need sleep now.

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Oh, I always feel so guilty when someone e-mails me & says, “um.  Where are you? Is everything ok?”.

Bless.

Well, I’m here.  I’m just … not really here.  I am so tired.  Like, right down to my bones tired.  There are all of these things I want to say, but … when it gets to the end of each day, & all of the child raising is done, & all of the work-from-home is done, & all of the cooking & cleaning is done, well, … I’m done.

And if it’s a choice between sitting here & tapping out tales of Motherhood or crawling into bed, you can rest assured my bed wins every time.

Every single time.

I’ve seen other bloggers have babies, & go on to continue to blog daily, but I’ve gotta be honest, I just think to myself, “how even?!”.  Like, go to sleep! Nobody is going to care, & really … what silly little words about Mothering are more important than sleep when you’ve got a tiny little {potentially} sleep thieving baby in the house?!    

Zilch.

I have so much to say about so much that has happened; work, relationships, friendships, significant marital strain, non sleeping Frankie, small business plans, how completely in love I am with our new suburb, new friends, amazing Mother’s groups, Max starting three year old kindergarten, toilet training, breastfeeding, post partum weight loss, non sleeping Frankie, non sleeping Frankie, non sleeping Frankie!

Because y’know when your baby is not sleeping, & it is literally all you can think about?!?!)

And so I come here, often actually, & I bring up a blank screen, & I stare at it for a little while.  And then I think to myself, Frankie is going to wake soon, we’ll be up all night, I should seize the day & sleep while she’s sleeping.

… and so that’s what I do.

So I am here.  I’m just not really here.  And when I blog, it’s in little stolen pockets of time.  And if I don’t find those little pockets? Well, I dream instead about all the things I’m going to be able to talk about when that time comes around again; i.e children begin sleeping through the night, & I find my Mama groove again.

Because at the moment? There is no groove.  It’s just crazy, hazy, chaotic, autopilot-like survival.

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February 3, 2014

Who wears short shorts.

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I did something I haven’t done in a really long time the other day.

I wore shorts. 

Short shorts too.  Well, short shorts for me anyway, so for those playing at home? Roughly mid thigh kinda short shorts.  And this is big, because I don’t do shorts.  I’ve never done shorts.  I hate my legs.  I have mostly always hated my legs, & so even on the hottest of hot days, you will not see me in short shorts.  Because that’s just where my self-esteem is at, & that’s where I imagine my self-esteem will always be at.

But y’see the thing is, it’s flipping hot.  So much heat wave, so little air con.  And the other thing is, I’m quite frankly sick of putting this self imposed ban on things I deem as things I’m just not allowed to wear because I go & put them into the ‘I’m too big to be able to pull those off’ category.  And the other thing is, so what if I even don’t pull them off?

It’s flipping hot.  And I simply can not with another pair of jeans on another high 30’s/low 40’s day.  I just can not.  And the funny thing is, I’m about as unhappy with my weight as I have ever been in my life at present, & yet there I was teetering off to a friend’s daughter’s second birthday in my short shorts & my ‘I don’t give a flip what anyone thinks’ attitude.    

Truth is though, I gave every kind of flip.  I felt embarrassed walking in.  I felt apologetic.  Like, … I’d have loved to have just issued the disclaimer something along the lines of, ‘look, you know, & I know that I am not pulling off these short shorts.  But it’s hot.  So cut a pasty skinned, dimply thigh’d girl some slack.  Yea?’.  And hey, then we could all move on from the fact that I was a pasty skinned, dimply thigh’d girl wearing short shorts on a hot day.  And not pulling them off.  But not giving a flip about that fact either?

The thing is, I keep waiting to be a better looking version of me to do the things I want to do, & wear the things I want to wear that I convince myself I can’t wear because I quite simply don’t have the figure for it.  Stupid things, really stupid things like always sitting on the sidelines at Max’s swimming lessons while Dave gets to go in with him.  Why? Because I do my typical ‘oh … I can’t afford to pay for everyone’s psychology sessions post seeing me in swimmers’ bullsh*t style of humour thing, & guess what?

It’s not funny any more. 

Actually, it’s growing less & less funny.  No actually, it’s beginning to become completely unacceptable that I’ll continuously hide behind my naturally self-deprecating style of humour when it comes to explaining why I feel I don’t deserve to wear bathers to my son’s swimming lessons, or short shorts on a flippin’ hot day.

Look, the truth is, I’m never going to be the ‘hot Mum’, I’m not even genetically predisposed to ‘hotness’.  But, … I’m not a pig either.  And I should be able to wear bathers to my children’s swimming lessons if I want to, or shorts on a hot day.  And the only person stopping me from even doing any of that, is … me?!

It’s got to stop.

I have children to raise.

Happy memories to foster.

Self-esteem within my own children that needs to be developed.

And that’s not going to happen if I keep waiting to be better looking before I wear bathers, or shorts, or whatever the flip I want to really?! So, I have the Pearl Jam concert coming up soon, … I’m going to wear shorts to it.  And Max’s swimming lessons kick off again soon, … I’m going to get in the water with him, … in bathers no less.

I turn 31 in a few weeks.  The self loathing just kinda needs to end.  I can’t even remember when it began, or why? But … it just feels like it’s been too long.  And y’know look, let’s be realistic, I doubt I’ll ever reach a point where there’s any element of self-love, but hey, I’d just be grateful if I can squeeze my pot belly & my dimply thighs into some bathers, & not feel guilty about who has to be subjected to the view at our local pool.

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You are six months old today.

You are the happiest child I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, & raising.  Truly, your older brother screamed his way through his first seven months, courtesy of old mate reflux.  But the thing is, because he was my first baby, & because I had absolutely nothing to compare to, I began to think an all screamin’ baby was just my new reality.  And the norm.  And yes, I’ll admit, the first seven months with Max were … well, the truth is I don’t even have the words to describe the first seven months with Max.

But this isn’t about Max.  This is about Frankie.

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January 26, 2014

Me time.

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This is a sponsored post for Target.

I’ve never done a sponsored post on this blog, but then I’ve never been offered a big ol’ gift voucher to spend on anything of my choosing, & wouldn’t you know it? Smack bang in the middle of a parenting week where I just needed to get out of the house, away from my children, free to wander the aisles of a department store on my own.

Thanks Target.  That alone, was perfection. 

I expressed during the day, counted down the hours & then minutes until Davey Boy would walk through that front door, handed him the shouty nearly six month old Frankie, handballed Max’s dinner/bath/milk/bed routine, & then I even made sure I most definitely did not make it home for Frankie’s bed/shout/resettle/shout/resettle/shout/resettle/shout/resettle/shout, shout, shout routine.

Thanks Target.  That alone, was the highlight of my night. 

I threw on my favourite pair of ‘post partum leggings-as-pants’, chucked my hair into the greasiest of buns, prayed to every God that nobody I knew would see me out & about in my current state, hopped into the car, & blasted music.  Actually, I blasted the radio, because in my rush to get the flip out of my home, I neglected to pack my music.  This worked out well for me though, because this song came on, & at precisely 1 minute & 17 seconds into it, I fist pumped the living bejeebuz out of it.  And … I continued to fist pump the entire way to Target.  Aaaaaand … I didn’t even care who was driving next to me, nor did I care about what they thought of my fist pumping & Katy Perry’ing.

God, it was good.

I arrived at Target with my list, because I had a sleeping baby, & roughly 70mls of EBM to buy me but just a very short while, so I knew I needed to be in & out! I started off in kidswear, because I’m a sucker for kids clothes.  I bought Frankie this, this, this & these.  And I bought Max this, & these.  Crossed over to the baby section & got these for my swaddle lovin’ baby, & this sheet set for her new big girl cot.  Loaded up on some nappies, God knows I’m elbow deep in them.  Got Max some new sheet sets, one of my favourite childhood books ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’, & some Play Doh, because he is addicted to the stuff!

But my best purchase? The very best purchase? These Very Hungry Caterpillar play mats! Eight dollars! My favourite childhood book! And now my lady baby plays happily on these mats, & I just can’t even articulate how in love with them my literature lovin’ self really is.  Eight dollars?!  

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Starting on January 30th Target are having an Everything For Baby Sale where all their beautiful baby apparel and nursery items will be reduced.  I’ll be honest, I always make sure I stock up on baby Bonds during a Target sale! I go online, spend $50′ish, score myself some free delivery, & then smile courtesy of not having had to even leave my home with the 3 year old + the 5 month old.

Win.

I’ve got a $50 voucher to give away to one lucky person to knock themselves out with in Target’s ‘Everything for Baby’ sale. Simply leave a comment below telling me what you’d love to buy (pop over to their online store , have a look, and then come back here and let me know!).

Open to Australian residents only.
One entry per person.
Competition closes February 1st, 11:59pm.

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January 22, 2014

Nil mojo.

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It would appear I’ve lost my mojo.  All of the mojos.  The cooking mojo, the cleaning mojo, the bloggy mojo, the wifey mojo, Christ … even the last mojo I ever expected to lose … my parenting mojo.  Really.  Truly.  It’s like I just don’t even want to be a parent.  Not forever.  Just … one day.  It’s like I just want someone to take my children for one day.  And if they did, I’d just crawl into bed & I’d sleep, & that’s all I would do.  I wouldn’t cook.  I wouldn’t clean.  I wouldn’t work.  I wouldn’t write to do lists in my head.  And I wouldn’t even feel guilty about all of the things I wouldn’t do.  I’d just legitimately shut down.  And if I woke? It’d only be so that I could stare at the ceiling in some kind of … parenting induced coma?!

Honestly? It’s like I just can’t at the moment.  With everything.  It’s like I’m a two year old tantrum, & I’m all Iiiiiii-doooooon’t-waaaaaaaaanna’ing to … well, everything. 

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