The Touch of a Word!

I love decorating! We’ve been in our house for almost 10 years now and decorating our home never gets old. I’m currently redecorating the kid’s toy room, hopefully it’s only a couple of weeks away from finishing, so keep a look out for my toy room reveal blog! Anyway the point of this blog is to express my new found love of decorative words! It’s amazing how something so simple, rather plain and so reasonably priced can add a new dimension to a room!

I have three decorative words currently scattered throughout the house and they are:

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My ‘home’ word resides in the kid’s new toy room. It fits perfectly in a room where the kid’s can play and feel happy, safe and secure in their home! My second word ‘family’ has recently been repositioned and now lives in our lounge room which is the perfect place as we spend a lot of time as a family chilling in this room. My final word ‘love’ occupies our bedroom. Along with photos of our children and ourselves on our wedding day which depicts all the love that we have shared and do share!

I think walking into a room with these words present really adds meaning to a room and symbolises what the room is all about:

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I’m on a mission now to find the word ‘laugh’! I think this would finish off my house of words and balance it out nicely! The meaning behind all of this would be….Through ‘love’ and ‘laughter’ we have created a beautiful ‘home’ for our precious ‘family’….something so powerful can be summed up simply with a touch of a word and in this case decorative ones!

These words were purchased at Choice Kuraby for $7.99!

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A Month of Personal Bests!

After starting winter on a downer from catching every germ going around, it took a while then for me to pick myself up! The nasty gastro bug I caught got me the most! I was left feeling drained, tired and energy-less all the time. I lost too much weight and all I wanted to do was eat rubbish! But I never lost sight of what my main agenda is for myself and that is to be a good mum and wife, eat healthy, keep fit and be happy!

Before all of this I was at the peak of my fitness. I was running really well and achieving my goals and then a crack appeared in my path. I was determined not to let any of the hard work I’d done for a long time to be wasted so I battled through it! I’ve kept up with my running but some days have been a struggle! The power of the mind has had a huge impact on me continuing my successful running path and if my mind wasn’t in a good place I wouldn’t be running the times I am now!

About a month ago I thought there was seriously something wrong with me! I was keeping up my exercise but still feeling tired all the time and not having the spring in my step I’d found since exercising! Each run I did hurt like it was my first and I was beginning to think I needed to go to the doctors! But then I reassessed things. I was starting to eat more rubbish than normal, I had a constant head cold and I was still trying to exercise on my work days! A reality check allowed me to make some adjustments which I’m so glad I’ve done!

I now only exercise on my non work days, treat myself once a day rather than binge eat and force myself to rest when I feel I need it! Since doing this I feel great again!! I don’t feel exhausted anymore, my spring is back in my step, life isn’t as overwhelming and I’m running as good as ever!!!! Even though through all of this I’ve maintained my goal weight, I contribute my running PBs to my healthy eating that I’ve regained! It’s ok to eat a bit of rubbish here and there and keep up your exercise as one really cancels the other out! But eating a well balanced diet really plays a huge part in feeling great, therefore exercising well!

An over abundance of bad food, whilst at the time may taste delicious, really ends in our bodies feeling sluggish and tired! I noticed a huge difference from when my diet went off track and now I’m back on track things are looking up again!!! I’m finally, in the last few weeks, back to my peak with my running! This last week has been a huge week for achieving personal bests! It’s amazing how good eating, a good mind set, a good pair of running shoes (new pair) and comfy pants set you up for running your best! It’s also helped that the weather is starting to warm up, so I’m hoping things will only keep getting better!

My PBs now are:
2km – 9.40 mins
3km – 14.54 mins
4km – 19.55 mins
5km – 25.15 mins
7.5kms – 40 mins

My next goal is to complete a 10km run under an hour!

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Spring is in the Air!

I write this blog with a ‘spring’ in my step (I know pretty cheesy lol) because winter is almost over and spring is in the air baby!!!! Thank goodness!!! I dislike winter – except for the fashion of course! Freezing cold winds, layers of clothes, shorter days, runny noses, coughs and colds. Nothing in that sentence appeals to me at all! I get to autumn and look forward to wearing my jackets, scarves and jeans again, but the thrill of that is overcome by the cabin fever that can sometimes exist during the winter season. Thank goodness we live in Queensland and some of our winter days can be just sensational!!!

It’s funny how everything seems to go into hibernation during winter and as the temperatures start to increase and the sun starts to become warmer and warmer, the birds are visible, plants look more vibrant and people’s status updates on Facebook are evident that it is a much more happier time of year! From now, after the school pick up, you’ll find us outside playing, eating and soaking up this beautiful weather. The kids just love it. They already seem so much happier! Which means happy kids = happy mumma = household runs smoothly!

Spring is my favourite season of the year! The weather is usually perfect – not too hot and not too cold! It’s the lead up to the festive season and the start of beach trips, catch ups and swimming! And of course it is the best time of year to exercise:) no more breathing in cold air on my morning runs, more time in the day to go for a run and getting up in the cold of winter is no where near as appealing as during the warmer months! This afternoon I took a few snap shots of what life will be like for quite a few months ahead:

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Fruit is there to munch on between playing!

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Trampoline is one of the favourite things the kids love to do!

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Footy never gets old…even though it’s the off season now!

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Mia loves being able to see her feet again and run around in lighter clothing.

Today was a beautiful day! I opened every window in the house, gave the house a really good clean and am now enjoying watching my munchkins laughing and playing nicely (as nice as it gets here lol) together in our backyard with the dog as happy as ever! So I encourage you all to embrace this weather while it’s here, as for a little while longer we will still have a bit of cold here and there…..It’s now time to shave your legs ladies and paint your toenails because spring is in the air and the season for thongs and sandals is fast approaching!

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Legs are shaved and toenails painted….My Havaianas live on my feet during the warmer months!!

“Yes I’m a mum of three children!!”

It’s been 10 months now since I started my journey to regain my pre-baby body back. I choose to do this for myself, nobody else!! One thing I’ve noticed more now since losing my weight and getting fit is the surprised look on people’s faces when I tell them I have 3 children!!! “You have three children?!” “And you look like that!” is what I hear a lot! As flattering as it can be, it also makes me feel a little uncomfortable! It got me thinking….Why does it have to be a shock? And how does what I look like depict whether I fit the ‘motherly’ role or not?! Isn’t it a good thing that I’m promoting health and fitness to my children. Yes I’m a mum but that doesn’t mean I should give up on myself!!! Society creates stereotypes of specific people and roles and it’s becoming just so frustrating! If we spent more time worrying about the type of mother, father, teacher or doctor people are rather than how they look, the world would be a far more friendly place to live in!

I am a firm believer of the phrase ‘each to their own!’ Like I stated above, I look the way I do for myself, nobody else and being the shape and size I am doesn’t define me as a mother. The love in my heart for my children, the sacrifices I make and the way I parent is what defines me! I don’t for one minute expect other mothers to exercise how I do or eat what I eat, everyone is their own person and makes their own decisions in life! Ok so I agree not all of us but a lot of us put weight on during pregnancy. Some of us find it easy to lose it after our babies are born and some of us don’t! Some of us find the motivation easily and some of us need more encouragement and some of us are just happy as is! But why can’t that be good enough? You lose weight you’re questioned. You don’t lose weight you’re questioned. And it’s not just the weight issue, it’s the age you are when you first become a mum, how you discipline, if you breast feed, where your baby sleeps, arrrrrrr feels like you just can’t win!!!!!!!

I feel mums are stereotyped more than dads are too! If a dad is fit, slim and healthy no one questions them. It seems to be dads can just be as they are and not many people question them at all! It’s not enough that just being a mum is such a busy 24/7 job, but we are always made to feel like we have to live to these high expectations all the time! Not for me anymore! Society is creating a selfish and nasty place out there now and it really disappoints me that people behave the way they do. I’m happy to say that I’m a mum because I want to be and I take my mum job seriously. I’ve seen such a huge shift in mums over the past 6 years of being a mum. When my first was born, I use to go to play groups and Gymboree and met some lovely mums along the way. We would talk about our babies but mostly we would just talk. Now when I go to playgrounds or play groups you over hear a lot of conversations about those high expectations I was talking about! Why are some mums so competitive, judgemental and spend more time worrying about what others think?!

You would think a room full of mums and their children would be such a lovely place to be, but in truth it can be the opposite sometimes! I love meeting new people and being a mum is such a popular thing to have in common with someone, therefore should be easy to strike up a conversation or relate to each other, but it doesn’t always seem to be! The sad thing is, mums can be hard work! Being a teacher, I meet and see so many different mothers and some are so easy to communicate with and relay information to and others not so much! As a mum we are our children’s advocates I get that well and truly, but sometimes some mums go a bit too far! Is it because so much pressure is put on us to create perfection? The sad thing is while parents are trying to mould this ‘perfect’ child, the real basic and important fundamentals that should be taught are being missed.

Life just seems so full of high expectations, ideal ways and competitiveness and while some of this is important at times, I think we need to go back to some of the old fashioned ways of living life for yourself and not how other people perceive you should! My Party of 5 is the most important thing to me! Being a mum and wife is the most important role in life. What I do I do for myself and my children not for anyone else! I have opinions but know when to state them appropriately. With each child I’ve learnt to chill out as a mum and not get caught up in the controversial issues that come with being a mum. I will continue to be myself for myself and no stereotypical way of being a mum will stop me from looking the way I do! So to answer the question I’ve been asked so frequently lately….”yes I’m a mum of three and I’m very proud of it!” No matter who you are, being your own person is far easy than being someone that everyone else thinks you should be!

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80 Blessed Years!

80 years ago today a beautiful lady was born into this world, and blessed this world is to have her! This lady is my dear nana Gloria! In her 80 years of life so far, she has experienced many great loves which have formed her family, but has also faced tragedies with the loss of a child, grandchild and parent. She has always been a devoted wife, mother and grandmother who would give you the jumper off her back or her last dollar if she had too!

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Yesterday we celebrated nana’s 80th birthday just how she likes…being surrounded by family! My wonderful mother did a fabulous job organising such a fantastic day for everyone to enjoy! It was so lovely having most of nana’s grandchildren and great grandchildren present for such a huge milestone. And of course in true style we were able to capture many cherished moments…..

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Nana and grandad with their children!

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Nana and grandad with their grandchildren!

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Nana and grandad with their great grandchildren!

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My party of 5 with our dear Nana!

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Nana’s cake I made for her:)

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Aerial shot of the cake!

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Mum put together a collection of things that my very talented nana made over the years…some of it is almost 40 years old!!!!

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Nana and I….my fondest childhood memories included nana a lot!

As I was having a lovely chit chat with nan this arvo, it reminded me of all the wonderful girly chit chats we’ve had over the years! It makes me so upset at the thought of how Parkinson’s Disease has taken over my precious nana’s body and once where she was an active vibrant women who was very intelligent, now struggles with the day to day normal living of life. But in true Gloria form she never complains and always has time to give you a smile. As I kissed her soft forehead this arvo, I told her that she was the best and that she wasn’t going anywhere that we couldn’t survive without her….she replied with a beautiful smile and said “someone would replace me”, I replied with “never!” Because Gloria Holpen, the lady known to many of us as Nana Holpen, is simply irreplaceable!!!!

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Happy 80th birthday Nana….I’m so glad you’ve had a wonderful weekend of celebrations!!!!!

18 Months Ago…….

Exactly 18 months ago a beautiful little chubby baby girl was placed in my arms. She was our miracle, a true angel who literally saved my life! We’ve had many ups and downs with our Mia bear, from silent reflux, a turned eye, glue ear, chronic middle ear infections to croup! But despite all of this, she is growing into a funny, affectionate, playful little lady who we absolutely adore the ground she walks on!

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It blows me away how fast time has gone and that my youngest born is already 18 months old! This age can be so trying at times and for our spirited child as we call her, a lot of the time lol, but it’s also a beautiful age. They are still so pure and innocent with really not a care in the world! They laugh at themselves and don’t care what they look like or wear. All they want is your undivided attention and affection and they are as happy as a pig in mud!

Mia has never been a fan of the camera, which is sad really because she is the most adorable thing and has a smile that makes your heart melt! But the photos I do capture of her, really depict the little lady she is becoming!

The Funny Mia:
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The Adventurous Mia:
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The Serious Mia:
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The Cheeky Mia:
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The Affectionate Mia:
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The Cranky Mia:
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The Peaceful Mia:
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The Mischievous Mia:
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The Drifter Mia:
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The Adorable Mia:
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These photos really depict a day in the life of our little Miss Mia (aka Mimi). She displays each and every one of these emotions on a daily basis, which makes the day very interesting for us! She really has left her baby days behind her and is in full steam toddler mode. Her talking is so cute and new words are added to her collection of vocab everyday….my favourite “ove you!” She is just one of the kids now and what they do she must do or at least have a go! She really lights up our lives and just like 18 months ago, at the end of the day she still needs to borrow her head on my chest to feel happy, warm, loved and comforted!

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Mia Natalie Trew….18 months today!

Quality Time….One at a time!

It’s been over 6 years since I was pregnant with my first born baby. That pregnancy was my favourite. Not only was it my easiest, but I had the time to relish in everything that comes with being pregnant. I could put my feet up and lie down whenever I wanted to, sit and enjoy the movements of my growing baby, shop in peace for baby items, enjoy time with my husband and sleep as much as I wanted to!!!! Then after my first baby was born it was so lovely spending all my time bonding with my little man. He went everywhere with me and it was just beautiful being able to share this time together and me be there for every waking moment and milestone that he achieved! I would take a billion photos of him everyday and had his first year scrapbooking album completed by the time his first birthday rolled around. First children are the lucky ones really because they not only get a large quantity of time that is purely revolved around them, they certainly get the most quality time spent with them!

Since having my first baby I have gone onto having two more children and nothing is like having your first baby. Now you can’t only dedicate your time and effort into one child, you have to share yourself around. Although one child is easy, it’s nice to have more than one. Giving my first born a sibling/(s) was so important to me as I grew up with two sisters and I couldn’t imagine life without them. Even though once you have more than one child you give up that one on one time with your children, you then get to enjoy watching your children interact and form a sibling relationship. Things change, but I think for the better. I love being a mum of three. It’s certainly fair from a walk in the park, but I love a challenge….apparently lol! One thing I make sure though, is that each of my children get to spend one on one time with my husband or myself. It was our choice to have children and to keep adding to our family, so I believe that every child deserves some individual attention every now and again.

We spend most of our time together as a family of 5, but there are times when we do things with one child at a time depending on the activity. Recently our eldest learnt how to ride his bike without training wheels, so once or twice a week Bailey and I go for a bike ride. We have so much fun and I can focus on just him and his new found love of bike riding. Bailey also plays football and my husband is the assistant coach, so going to training twice a week with dad on his own without his little sisters has been cool for him. In the past I would take him to swimming lessons at 5pm while my husband had the girls at home and when Bailey achieves something special, one of us take him out for ice-cream or to the shops to buy him a little something!

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I keep a closer eye on my middle child. I’ve already written a blog about middle child syndrome and that it does exist in our house. We have been blessed with a fairly easy going middle child in Sienna, but being a four year old she can be emotional at times and feels the pinch of having an older brother who is always achieving and a baby sister who is a toddler therefore needs lots of attention! I feel the worst for Sienna. She will miss out on the most quantity of time with me. She has had me to herself for a whole big total of 5 weeks! Bailey got me for 2 and a half years and my baby will have me for 3 years to herself after this year. I feel I have a lot to make up to Sienna. Like with Bailey we take her out and treat her if she achieves something special. Her time with us on her own is when Mia has a day sleep and Bailey is at school. Often we’ll just cuddle on the lounge or read a book together. On the weekend I took her out to dinner and ice-cream as Bailey had spent all day with his best friend and we missed out on going to the Ekka as my husband had to work all day. Not once did that little girl complain and taking her out was so worth the happiness that covered her beautiful little face!

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Mia being the youngest and our baby, has lots of moments in time where she gets to have one of us all to herself! Often I’ll take her out with me while Kane has the older two or vice versa. And while she is 18 months now, she was breast fed for 15 months, therefore she had lots of me to herself and those moments were the most precious! Just recently I had a week off work while she was sick and was able to spend two whole days with her while Bay and Sie were at school….we had a ball together and was an insight into how life will be once Sienna starts prep next year!

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I love going on family outings all of us together. They are the moments I live for during the week, when you’re not having the best week, you know the weekend will make up for it…spending time as a family. But I also think that it’s vital that each of our children can have our full undivided attention every once in a while. I’d hate to think that one of them or all of them felt like they were never being heard or fussed over. I try my hardest as a mother to make sure when we are altogether that my attention is evenly shared, but there are days when I feel like its not enough, which is why I feel so much more content when I’m able to spend quality time, one at a time with each of my precious babies!

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Taking The Good With The Bad!

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I write this blog now as the Olympics are almost coming to a close. I love the Olympics. I’ve watched it religiously since I was a little girl and yes I will admit that I always imagined standing up on the podium receiving a gold medal and singing proudly to our National Anthem lol! Who didn’t….most children who love sport dream this! It is such a massive achievement to make an Olympic team and compete against the world’s best athletes.

But imagine being on an absolute high, training day in and day out for four years, putting your body through grueling sessions to be prepared for your event. You compete, you try your hardest and it doesn’t pay off. You may not have made the final or you did and you didn’t win a medal or you may have won a silver or bronze! But instead of giving our athletes the recognition they deserve for making it to the Olympics, let alone a final or a medal, the media asks stupid questions like you must be disappointed – when you’ve won a medal??? I can only speak of the Australian media, but it has been so disappointing how negative they have been at times during these games! I agree there are times when our athletes or sporting teams cross a line and do inappropriate things, but when they’ve tried their hardest and don’t get the recognition they deserve it makes me so sad for them.

From criticising swimmers about their weight to making our athletes who win silver or bronze feeling bad they didn’t win gold! I have to ask the question why? Why can’t we embrace a world class event for what it is? I would be so grateful and thrilled that I was good enough to make an Olympic team, a medal would be the icing on the cake. So we’ve not had the best Olympics, in fact as a 32 year old women, this is the least amount of golds I remember us winning in all the Olympics I’ve ever witnessed, but instead of getting behind our athletes we are doing the opposite!

We may not have won a heap of gold medals or were pipped at the line several times for a gold, silver or bronze, but we still did well! We managed an Australian athlete in most finals, came a place in so many events and we have won several golds! Even if we came last in a final, in the whole scheme of things we still did well. I’d love to tell people I made the Olympic final in the 400m running…that would mean I was the 8th best 400m runner in the world…now that’s not bad at all!!! But do we celebrate this enough….I don’t think we do! Too much focus is always spent on finding that story of the person who wins, as much as that is wonderful, it’s nice to hear from athletes who have managed a PB and the excitement and joy they get from that!

Seeing the emotion on Sprenger’s face when he won silver for the 100m breaststroke brought a tear to my eye and channel nine hardly made any fuss over it! Our mens 400m relay team sadly missed the final and instead of giving words of encouragement, a commentator was asking one of our runners are you ready for the criticism you are going to get now you haven’t performed your best? What the? It’s bad enough some of our athletes put so much pressure on themselves, the media doesn’t need to add salt to their wounds!

As a proud Aussie I’d like to stand up and say well done to our Australian Olympic team! You did us proud and we know you will learn from these Olympics and come back stronger than ever in four years time! We can’t be world beaters all the time in our pet events, and we certainly weren’t far off it anyway! But like anything you have to take the good with the bad and as a nation we need to support and congratulate our athletes for representing our country with great pride and dignity…..well most of them anyway:)!!

Aussie Aussie Aussie!!!!!!

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Polish Queen:)

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I miss seeing my toes in winter! Like I’ve stated several times, I love winter fashion and am obsessed with ballet flats, but one thing I miss while wearing enclosed shoes is sporting my polished toes because I am the toe nail polish queen! I don’t know about you, but I can’t live without having my toe nails painted! It may sound silly, but I almost feel naked or my outfit seems incomplete without them done. I’m exactly the same with lipgloss and mascara and deodorant for that matter lol! Now that spring is around the corner, it’s time to stock up on nail polish for the upcoming seasons of thongs and sandles. And what better way to start with all the sales that are around!

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I bought a beautiful shade on the weekend at Cotton On for $3!!!!! Recently I have also purchased quite a few lovely shades at Woolies for the same price! I wear mostly pink and red tones and I love my new favourite colour coral. I mostly paint just my toes, but occasionally I’ll paint my finger nails. The problem I have with my finger nails is that it chips too easily and once it chips I can’t stand it! At least with your toes if it chips it’s further away to the eye so less noticeable! I’ve purchased a few pairs of open toe ballet flats recently, which is a nice balance to wear a reasonably enclosed shoe but still able to show off painted toe nails and will be great for spring!

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I’m also loving that my eldest daughter has taken to loving having her toes polished as well:) I have to disclose that my son loved it when he was little lol and I have to say no now otherwise he would still want them done lol! Painting your nails and having girly time is a lovely bonding session to spend with your daughter, I can’t wait for when my girls are older so we can go and have manicures and pedicures together!

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Sleep is for Wimps!

Sleep….what’s that? Or should I say what’s a full night uninterrupted sleep feel like? Pre-children I loved my sleep. I needed my sleep to survive each day and without it I would slowly turn into a crazy lady by the end of the day. I was one of the lucky ones while I was pregnant I slept and slept and slept. Then I was blessed with my first baby as he only woke for one feed a night and slept through at 8 weeks old!  Even with all of his ear infections he would only wake up every now and again! He is still our best sleeper to this day! Then our first daughter came along!!!!!

I was expecting her to sleep like her brother but for the first couple of weeks was having two night feeds….what’s up with that?? I thought Lol. She settled nicely into one night feed before long and at 6 weeks old slept through! I was feeling so blessed. That was short lived though. By three months old and still waking every night I started to get a little frustrated – why can’t every baby sleep through at 8 weeks old?? Anyway she finally slept through at 5 months old which is when she started sucking her thumb!

I was feeling fantastic again. It’s amazing how getting great night sleeps contribute to a huge part of your life in terms of happiness, self-esteem, energy and patience!!! We were blessed for two months and then our sleeping life took a turn for the worst! From 7 months old until around 3 years old, Sienna slept terribly! Between her bad ears and allergies it took its toll on her sleep at night which meant there were many a day where I felt like I was surviving on nothing! Those days were tough. Everyone use to say sleep when they are sleeping…it was a bit hard when I was working a couple of days a week and running around after a toddler and baby, plus making sure our house chores were done! But somehow I managed. I had to, I didn’t have any other choice!

By the time Sienna finally settled Mia was a few months old (who was our worst sleeping newborn baby, day and night) and we just went from one awake child to another! And of course the more children you have the greater the chance someone will wake up! It’s only happened a handful of times, but when all three wake up, you get to the point where you think why am I even bothering to sleep! Mia finally slept through at about 11 months old and by this stage I worked out I’d had about almost 4 years of broken sleep! But in all of this, we do expect as parents that for a number of years our ‘good’ sleep will be stolen from us. And you do get use to it! You have days where you cope and days where the exhaustion gets the better of you, but I keep telling myself, it won’t be like this forever!

Like anything it’s all about mind over matter. I only get about 3-4 good night sleeps a month at the moment and when I do I embrace those moments and relish in every bit of energy I get out of that. I make sure I go to bed at a reasonable hour at night and I very rarely sleep in the day, but I do make sure I sit down for a half hour to an hour while Mia is having a day sleep. When I’ve had a bad night now, I try and think happy thoughts or thoughts that I have had a good night, otherwise if you dwell on how much sleep you didn’t get, you make yourself feel worse! Exercising has definitely helped me overcome that real exhaustion and gives me the energy I need to survive on at 5pm when you feel like you could collapse! But the biggest thing I say to myself now is “sleep is for wimps!” lol. The more you talk to yourself in your head, the better you will feel….as long as it’s positive talk:)!

A peaceful sleeping baby or child is like gold for a parent:)

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