Our Rainbow

I have sat down countless times over the past two weeks trying to write this post.  There have even been a couple of times when I have felt I had nearly nailed it, then after a further read it just hasn’t sounded right.
This weekend, our big boy, our ‘rainbow baby’ turns two.
What I wanted to write about was the journey that led us to his arrival.  The utter devastation we experienced when his big brother was born sleeping and his big sister passed away in my arms.  The anxious journey we then went on during his pregnancy, the countless hospital admissions, scans and tests, each of which seemed to bring more bad news – further complications and bigger hurdles we would have to jump, in the hope of bringing him home.  Then there was the journey we experienced during his six week NICU stay and the challenges we faced bringing a premature baby home.
I wanted to talk about how hard it was to bond with him whilst I was pregnant, and then when he was born as I’d spent my whole pregnancy convincing myself I would again be burying our child – even to the point we did not order the headstone for our twins grave, just in case we needed to add another name.
I wrote about how I struggled with anxiety for the better part of his first year, constantly worrying he was not reaching milestones, not gaining weight, looking for any potential health problems because of his prematurity and the fear he would fall ill and return to hospital.
I tried to put into words the emotions that ran through my head (and still do) every time someone would ask ‘Is he your first?’
I attempted to write about the expectations I felt others now had of me – I now had a baby, I should be ‘fine’ and no longer grieving the babies we had lost.
When I tried to tell this story, the way it deserves to be told, it just didn’t sound right.  So instead:
Happy 2nd Birthday to our precious, special man.  You will never know the love and light you have bought to us, or how much you are truly treasured.  Your rainbow continues to grow and shine brighter each day.
We love you xx
***A rainbow baby is a baby born after experiencing the death of a child/loss of a pregnancy.  It can mean many things to different people, I like to think of it as an acknowledgment that the beauty of a rainbow doesn’t erase the damage of a storm a family has experienced and continues to deal with, instead it means that something beautiful and full of light and happiness has emerged from amongst the darkness of the clouds.  The storm clouds may still linger, but the beauty of the rainbow provides light and hope to help counterbalance the darkness.

2014 – One Word

After weeks of pondering, deliberating and having strange arguments in my head (I’m positive I wasn’t talking out loud) as to what my word for the year would be, the inspiration came to me during a simple ordinary moment.

Simple.

That’s it.. That’s my word for 2014.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about surviving being my word for 2013.  I have been faced with many challenges over the past year, and have achieved both positive and not so positive results.  One of the biggest lessons I have learnt is to enjoy and cherish  the simple, everyday moments of my life.

My husband constantly  occasionally reminds me I can overcomplicate things. As much as it pains me to say this (and this will be good test to see if he actually reads my blog as he claims!), he is right.  Over the past few years, all too often I find myself over analysing every single thing…. everything from a passing comment by a stranger, to a routine test/scan, would have me looking for hidden meanings/worst case scenarios and how I would manage them.

This is why in 2014 I’m keeping it simple.

*  I will live more in the moment. I will soak up every special moment I share with my precious boys – my husband included!

*  I will stop worrying so much about what I think people are thinking and expecting of me.

* I will stop looking for hidden meanings in EVERYTHING!

*  I will slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of life such as feeling the grass beneath my feet, and the sunshine on my face as we play outside in this beautiful Queensland weather.

* I will do more of the things that I enjoy – reading, writing and of course baking!

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Do you have a word for 2014?

I look forward to sharing my journey with you this year, and thank you all again for your support xx

I’m linking up today with Maxabellaloves Happy New Year everyone!

Good bye 2013

This is it, the final day of 2013 is upon us.  For many it’s a time to reflect on what has been, and think about what we want to achieve in the coming year.  Personally I have been thinking about these things for the past couple of months, and have started implementing strategies to help me achieve my goals in the new year.

I am pleased to say good bye to 2013, not because it has been a terrible year, it has been an important year of personal growth for me. Sitting here typing away, while all of my boys are asleep (daddy included) I feel content.  I am in awe of the special little family my husband and I have created – with a lot of help from some incredibly talented and lovely Doctors!  I am content with my life right now.  Yes, there are challenges which lay ahead of us, and goals we are working towards, but right now sitting here having my second cup of coffee for the day (hey I’m allowed, it’s 5.15am!) and watching the sky lighten as a new day unfolds, I am content with my life.

It has been both the good and not so good experiences this year which have shaped me, and this morning I’d like to share some of my highlights of this year…..

* Sharing the pregnancy journey with my sister – albeit for a short time!

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* Welcoming another precious little boy into our family

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* Watching Liam master new skills…. and work on others!

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* Having the privilege of spending the final weeks of my sister’s pregnancy with her, and meeting her precious little man shortly after his birth

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* Finally taking the plunge and starting my blog! It’s also been a wonderful excuse to justify all of my baking!

Vanilla cupcakes

* Getting out and about with my boys

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* Being a Wife, Mum, Sister, Daughter…..

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* And being me…

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Finally, below is one of my first blog posts – remembering my Nan on what would have been her 106th birthday.  It was my early experiences sitting in her kitchen all those years ago, that ignited my passion for baking and cooking.

Happy Birthday Nan

My new 'Nana Bowl' and one of her recipe books

Thank you for all of your support over the past few months and I wish you all a happy and safe new year and all the best for a wonderful 2014 xx

Linking up today with Essentially Jess for the final #IBOT of the year

My Words…

It’s approaching that time of the year when we stop and reflect on the year that was (or at least feel like we are meant to!) and set ourselves new challenges for the upcoming 12 months.

I have heard quite a few people discussing what their ‘word’ or ‘words’ for 2014 will be, and I have also been trying to think about my own.  I’ve also been thinking a lot about a word which best sums up my year, and I’m going to go with – surviving.

It was surviving through the often conflicting roles of being a Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and Friend…. not to mention, just being me.

The first five months of the year I was attempting to survive the emotional turmoil of yet another high risk pregnancy.

For the first month after Aiden’s early arrival, it was all about surviving each day (and night!) trying to spend time with both Aiden and Liam, as well as have food in the fridge, clean clothes, the ENDLESS expressing and the recovery following my second caesarean in 16 months (seriously they should have just put a zipper in there!).

It was then all about surviving life with a newborn and a toddler. Trying to give them both the attention they need and deserve, and battling with lack of sleep and the unrealistic expectations I put on myself in those early days.

This year was about surviving the mother’s guilt which drops into my thoughts a little too often for my liking.

It was surviving through the rest of my crazy hormonal thoughts and emotions.

Now that I am almost at the end of this year.  I am happy to change my word for 2013 to survived.

Yes, there may still be a couple of weeks until the official end of 2013, but I’m calling it – I have survived…. and in pretty good shape too I think!

As for what my word/words for 2014 will be…. well we have a looong road trip down south ahead of us which will give me plenty of time to ponder this.

 

What is your word/words for 2013?  Are they different now to what they were at the start of the year?

To my big boy

Mothers Guilt…. We’ve all experienced it – in many cases it can even start before the baby has arrived!  I simply love being a Mum to my two little boys, watching them growing up and helping them to discover their world is the most amazing and fulfilling job I have ever had.  My Mother’s guilt is always lurking in the background though – I will feel guilty when frustrated about having to read Dear Zoo for the 15th time, when Liam has toast for lunch if it’s one of those days, for either spending too much time with one of them when the other also wants my attention, or wishing I could spend more quality time with them one on one.

I had been feeling particularly guilty lately for not spending as much ‘fun’ time with Liam as I used to.  In between trying to get him to sleep in his own room through the night, our half hearted attempt at toilet training and the day to day trials of having a toddler and a baby it’s been tough.  To try and ease my guilt, I decided we’d go along to Rhyme Time at our local Library, confident that Liam would enjoy himself and we would have a fun morning out together. This is a letter I wrote to him after our day.

Dear Liam,

I know this year has been hard on you.  You didn’t understand why Mum couldn’t play with you as much when I pregnant with your little brother, or why I had to stay in hospital and leave you at home.  After your brother was born,  you barely saw us for the first four weeks as you were shipped around between different babysitters. Then this tiny little person came to live with us, someone you weren’t allowed to touch or play with, and were always being told to stay away from.

That’s why this morning was important. It was an opportunity for us to enjoy some time together, just like we used to. You love to read, sing and dance.  I wanted to have some fun with you, I don’t want to always be telling you off, or rushing around. For this half hour I want to be able to enjoy having fun and being silly with my big boy.

Once we arrive, you know where to go – straight up the back where all the other little kids are.  You are so excited, there are books everywhere! And you are allowed to pick them up, look at them and I even tell you we can take some home with us!  All by yourself, you pick a book about your favourite things – trucks…. As soon as I see it I smile, you really are too clever.

We find a spot, and even though your friends are there, you still want to sit on my knee.  You are so excited to have found your truck book you are loudly pointing out all the different trucks you can see. Aiden senses that we need this time, just the two of us.  He happily watches us from the pram, all smiles.

As they are getting ready to start, you glance up to see what all the fuss is about.  The music starts, and you pause from your book to see what is going on. The singing starts and you see the other children stand up and start dancing about.

You clap your hands, a huge smile spreading across your face.

You join in the actions, all the while still clutching at your book.

You are so happy, you are having fun

You look back at me to make sure I’m still there.

Watching you wriggle around dancing makes my heart melt.

Afterwards, you run around having fun with your friends, looking at more books – all the while with a big smile on your face.  These are the moments I will remember when I’m getting cranky or frustrated, these are the moments that remind me why I love being your Mum.

xx

music man

Just the two of us

Last night we had an adults only night out (and not in the x-rated way that sentence sounds)!   It was the first time since Aiden was born, and only the second time this year we have been out without the kids.

Party Time!

Party Time!

Since all of our family is interstate, we don’t have the luxury of going out by ourselves very often – to be honest, not at all!  We were very fortunate that Scott’s Christmas party coincided with a visit from my Mum – who was more than happy to look after the boys.

Luckily there were no tears (from either the boys or myself) when it was time for us to leave, and we were even able to get a couple of happy snaps of the four of us before we left.

Scott and I both enjoyed ourselves, it was nice to be out and not having to worry about Liam racing off or getting bored, or finding a quiet spot for Aiden to be fed and have asleep, but we both agreed that we missed them.  We enjoy taking them out with us, whether it be going out for dinner, or going somewhere for an adventure.

Yes it’s nice to have Mum and Dad time, to focus on our relationship, and to remember that there is more to us than being parents.  At the same time though, spending time together as a family of four is something we both truly cherish and enjoy.

Just the two of us!

Just the two of us!

How often do you have a night out without your kids?  Do you spend most of the night checking in to see how they are going?

Monkey See Monkey Do

With our little man racing towards his second birthday, it seems as though every day he is amazing us with new words and tricks he has discovered.  What has really been an eyeopener over the past couple of months is the role we are playing in teaching him these new skills.  This was made quite obvious over the weekend, when Liam started running around yelling ‘shoo fly’ when I picked up the can of fly spray to hunt down the couple of flies buzzing around (I have a bit of a ‘thing’ having flies buzzing around the house – Scott calls it an obsession).

It’s really only now sinking in (yes, I know I should have realised this earlier), the massive role we as parents play in shaping our kids into the people they will become.  It’s not only what we say and how we say it, but also our everyday behaviours which they observe and act out.

I'm not complaining about this!

I’m not complaining about this!

This topic came up during a conversation with friends over the weekend, and we all could relate to stories about our toddlers knowing their way around our smartphones/ipads etc. It was only last week, that I caught Liam proudly sitting up at the bench, chatting away on my phone whilst typing on the computer.  Whilst this all seems like harmless fun, it has made me much more aware of the time I spend on these devices, and trying to limit their use.

Oh dear!

Oh dear!

Fortunately (I think), he has also picked up on some of our less glamourous behaviours, and is super keen to help pack/unpack the dishwasher, vacuum and has a bizarre fascination wiping surfaces with cloths.

We have been mindful for quite some time about the language we use, to the point where I now play audiobooks and kids CDs in the car, as some of the words he started to repeat from the radio were a little disturbing – however if I hear the Wonky Donkey one more time, I will not be held responsible……..

What is the strangest behaviours/words your child has picked up from you?

Linking up with the amazing Essentially Jess for IBOT