February Babies!

OMG!!!! What a massive month February will be for the rest of my life! I’ve been quite quiet on the blog of late as I have just finished celebrating my daughter’s 2nd birthday last week and my son’s 7th birthday yesterday!! When I think back now, it surely wasn’t good planning on our behalf! And what is more ironic is that both Bailey and Mia, who are my eldest and youngest babies, were both suppose to be March babies but were born at 38 weeks…so February it is!

In the past two weeks I’ve baked 5 birthday cakes, 60 cupcakes, a batch of biscuits, pikelets, pancakes, wrapped several presents, decorated and sang happy birthday a number of times…and as much as I’m lying here quite exhausted today, I just love making my babies birthdays special!
20130227-133550.jpg20130227-133559.jpg20130227-133609.jpg20130227-133616.jpg
20130227-133748.jpg20130227-133758.jpg
I’ve had so much fun cake decorating this month:)

It all started with Mia’s birthday on Sunday the 17th. We were hoping to spend the day at the beach swimming and soaking up the beautiful sun rays, but it hasn’t stopped raining this month so we were forced to stay indoors! But that didn’t stop my precious little one from having a fabulous day! We had family come over for dinner and cake and Mia loved all the attention….
20130227-134215.jpg20130227-134242.jpg20130227-134256.jpg
20130227-134730.jpg20130227-134738.jpg20130227-134744.jpg20130227-134752.jpg20130227-134758.jpg20130227-134803.jpg20130227-134811.jpg20130227-134818.jpg20130227-134826.jpg20130227-134832.jpg20130227-134841.jpg20130227-134846.jpg20130227-134854.jpg
And that was just on her birthday!

Mia had a big 1st birthday party with lots of friends, so we decided to have a quiet low key ‘polka dot theme’ morning tea with a few little friends this year at her regular hang out – The Runcorn Pool!
20130227-135105.jpg20130227-135117.jpg20130227-135131.jpg20130227-135145.jpg20130227-135158.jpg20130227-135208.jpg20130227-135231.jpg20130227-135242.jpg20130227-135249.jpg20130227-135303.jpg20130227-135314.jpg
Another year of celebrating my precious little angel’s birthday…I still can’t believe my youngest is 2 already;(

Next cab off the rank was Bailey! With his birthday on a Tuesday (which is footy training night) this year, we decided to have our family celebrations on Sunday night at his favorite Kuraby Hotel. He chose everything. The venue, cake, his meal…Mr organised – so not like his father lol! It was a great night and was more relaxed being on a weekend rather than a week day.
20130227-135858.jpg20130227-135908.jpg20130227-135920.jpg20130227-135931.jpg20130227-135940.jpg

Bailey’s actual birthday was yesterday. It was one of the first birthdays that I haven’t been with one of my children on;( between school and work I saw him briefly in the morning and for a couple of hours once I got home. I hated it:( 7 years ago and every year since then we’d spent the day together. I felt like I’d lost a part of me yesterday. But once kids go to school that’s what happens I guess! Bay still had a great day though. I made cupcakes for him to take to school and he had his request of Hungry Jacks for dinner. He received such wonderful gifts that he loves and is very excited to have over $100 to go shopping with!
20130227-140445.jpg20130227-140457.jpg20130227-140540.jpg20130227-140558.jpg20130227-140609.jpg20130227-140620.jpg20130227-140634.jpg20130227-140648.jpg20130227-140704.jpg20130227-140721.jpg20130227-140732.jpg20130227-140739.jpg20130227-140745.jpg20130227-140805.jpg
The note I left in Bay’s lunch box with money for an ice block;)

Bay had a party last year with his school friends so this year he has decided he just wants to have a sleep over with a few mates. So this Friday night we’ll have four 7 year olds under our roof and then they are heading to The Runcorn Pool the next morning…this is a daddy job as this mumma is stuffed lol!

To my February babies,
Your birthday will always be a day where I celebrate the best days of my life. I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. The moment you took your first breath, let out that first cry for milk and the instant bond we formed when our eyes found each other. As I close my eyes I can still feel your soft baby skin that I kissed (and still kiss) a billion times over and those first precious moments of cuddling we shared are times I’ll always cherish. I’m so blessed to be your mumma and love you more than words can express. It’s uncanny that the first time I became a mum was in February and the last time as well. You are both so alike with your fearful ways, bossy personality, funny sense of humour and your need to be cuddled and nurtured! I love how much you both adore each other and I know you will share this special bond for the rest of your lives. Happy birthday my February babies…am looking forward to another year of growth and development!
Love your mumma!

20130227-160121.jpg

20130227-160126.jpg

Advertisements

It’s a Juggling Act!

20130221-191840.jpg

Life is just one big roller coaster – it has its ups and downs and a lot of stuff in between. Being a mum is awesome! The best job I’ve ever done. But from one child to two children and in my case three children, throw in work, a husband who works 12 hour days, kid’s sport, family, my exercise and the like, life simply becomes a juggling act!

I remember (very vaguely) life when all I had to worry about was me, myself and I! When I look back now at how simple life was compared to now, I ponder at what I did with all my spare time? How I enjoyed eating three meals a day in peace and quiet and without getting indigestion. Sleep…how well I slept and how much of it I had! How I had so many choices laid out in front of me each day as to where to go and who to see! The intimate outings with my husband and the thousands of movies we use to go see! How we use to be able to finish a conversation without taking half an hour to get to the punch line!!!

Now, life is filled with lots of love, happiness, laughter and achievement. But I’m not going to lie, life now is a whole heap harder than it ever use to be! It now requires a super amount of planning and organisation to keep things running as smooth as they can. I now appreciate any sleep I’m able to get and I eat most of the time on the run. Where I would only have to think of two people to cook dinner for, my meals now need to cater for 5! EVERYTHING has been increased from washing, to cleaning, to cooking and grocery shopping! Bills are greater and an overwhelming feeling of not being able to get everything done fades in and out like a big black cloud ready to pour on you! Add to all of this the mammoth job of parenting and you have yourself a very busy lifestyle!

This week I returned to work after having 9 weeks of holidays/long service leave. Being off for that long was pure bliss! Stress was less as everything was always done at a reasonable hour and not having to work allowed time to potter around the house rather than feeling like a raving lunatic trying to get stuff done on my days off! The time I spent with my family was quality as well as quantity and far more enjoyable than usual. But now two days a week are hectic! Getting us all organised for school/work by 7.45am, having dinner planned, relaying messages to my mum for the day, organising Bay for footy training, spending all day teaching special needs students, coming home to then having to cook dinner (usually holding a 2 year old or whinging at my feet), check homework, do the dishes, bath the kids and then get organised for my second day of work! But the beautiful homecoming I get of a shower of hugs and kisses is why I know I’m the lucky one!

I look at what I do during my two work days and appreciate that I only have to do this twice a week. Even though I’d love to be a full time stay at home mum, working two days isn’t so bad and gives a nice balance in order for me to keep up my teaching skills, contribute to our household bills and be able to stay home five out of seven days with the kids! And with my husband working such long days, me working two days a week is sufficient! I know I am very lucky to be able to have the lifestyle I do and appreciate everyday how hard my husband works for us and the huge support my family is as well!

How do I manage this juggling act? I’m always thinking, planning, organising. Having a plan for the month, week, day is how I juggle it all! I use to be a ‘list’ kinda girl. But my list always felt so long and when I got halfway through it, I would start a new one that was double in length. So now I live day to day. Where I have long term goals for the month or week, I narrow each day down now and set myself daily tasks. Since doing this, I feel things are getting done more easily and efficiently! I don’t feel as stressed as I use to and the running of the house is due to a routine that everyone can cope with! But then someone gets sick and everything goes out the window and you play battle of the survival…or in my case I have the best mother to help!

Being a mum, wife, daughter, granddaughter, sister, aunty, teacher and friend is a hard act to juggle. I almost feel like I only scratch the surface of each act when really I love each act as much as the other! But at this stage of my life, my main act is being the best mother and wife I can be. Eventually in many years to come my life will be juggled in a different direction, but I’m certainly not wishing these years away as I believe they are the best a mum can live!

20130221-191005.jpg

Highs and Lows!

Last week I published a piece about my little preppie and separation anxiety. I’m ecstatic to announce that we have SUCCESS with no more tears and nothing but a confident happy little bunny! I feel like I can finally breathe! After starting the week terribly last week, by Thursday her tears when saying bye to me were very minimal and it was her first day at school where she didn’t shed a tear. Friday was our break through day with NO tears at all! I can’t express enough how overjoyed I am feeling right now…it took two weeks, but I have my beautiful cheerful daughter back again!!

Sienna is like a different child since the anxiety from the pit of her belly has left her precious soul. She is awesome at getting ready in the mornings now and she is relying on me less and less when doing her morning jobs at school. She is happily completing tasks at school now and as her teacher said to me “she is working like a trooper!” To say I’m proud is an understatement!!! I went into the weekend feeling completely the opposite of what I was feeling the week before and what a fabulous weekend we had! I expected the cycle to possibly start again on Monday (not at the extreme) as it was after the weekend, but she was as happy, settled and content as she was where she left off last Friday! We made it Sie Sie girl…we never gave up!

Which brings me to why I’m writing this blog. Prep is such a trying year in our little people’s lives. They have gone from going to preschool 2-3 days a week and being in the comforts of their home for the rest of the time, possibly even having a day sleep, to 6 hours a day, 5 days a week where they are learning several different curriculum areas and being asked to sit still, listen and pay attention more than they ever have in their lives! NO WONDER THEY COME HOME NEAR DELIRIOUS!

I don’t know about anyone else, but I find the first 6 months of prep the toughest. Going through prep for the second time around you’d think I’d be use to it, but I’d forgotten what the school day does to their young minds. It drains them, zaps them of all sensibility and hinders them from making rational choices! First time prep mums if you are questioning their behaviour at the moment…I promise you it does get better!!! But like everything we have to ride with the highs and lows and allow time for it to even itself out.

I describe early days prep behaviour very animal like…I mean this with absolute love when I say this! It’s like they are on the prowl just waiting for a moment of time where they can annoy someone or explode like a time bomb when things don’t go their own way. Sienna is either a weeping mess at EVERYTHING or a hyperactive hyena! Self-control is difficult at this age anyway, but at present its as worse as ever! I thought boys were bad, but geesh, god help me when Sienna goes through puberty!!!

What to do mummas?? We need to be more consistent than ever! It’s very easy for us to keep saying “but they are so tired, they just started prep!” yes, yes they did, BUT like any phase they will come out the other end and if we don’t act on their inappropriate behaviour they will store that one in their little brain files and remember that forever. I think the biggest thing at the moment is to keep life simple.
*Limit after school activities and just allow them plenty of down time.
*Bring everything forward half an hour…earlier dinner means earlier bed time.
*Allow time on the weekend for a nap in the day to help catch up on sleep.
*Stick to a strict routine…especially in the mornings and at bedtime.
*Praise, praise, praise when things are going great!
*Follow through and be consistent when things aren’t so great!
*Remember you have to be cruel to be kind!

You will feel like you are on a rollercoaster with many highs and lows over the next wee while, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. They do get use to going to school everyday and their little minds adapt to all the fabulous learning they are being exposed to. But it is up to us to be a bit flexible at the moment and provide some changes to cope with an ever-changing preppie. If we allow the things I mentioned above to happen, it will eliminate us from wanting to be put in a padded room with several bottles of wine lol!….On that note I’m off to pick up the kids from school…mmmm I wonder what mood I will strike this afternoon?:/!

To answer that question…we were an angry and grumpy little girl yesterday…today quite happy but at times hypo! I use three strikes and your out system. Three strikes and it’s bed for the night! Yesterday was 5.30 and thankfully she slept until 6am this morning! Today we only made it to strike one and her normal bedtime of 7pm…I’m sure tomorrow will be different again!

Keep strong mummas…remember we have the power to give our babies great things and the power to take great things away, now if only they would remember that!

20130212-131000.jpg

It’s Lovely to be Loved!

20130206-141826.jpg

It’s been a week now since school resumed and a new cohort of preppies begun their journey into education! How’s your little preppie going? Loving it? Hating it? Upset? Mine…not as good as I’d hope:/

I always knew in the back of my mind that Sienna may get a little upset when leaving me. 12 months ago when she started preschool (which was the first time she’d gone anywhere) she suffered terribly from separation anxiety! Like prep, she is always happy to go, but the thought of mummy leaving her cuts to her core! But I thought she was going to settle ok. She has come so far since the first day she started preschool. She was so excited when we were buying her uniforms and essentials for prep and wanted to try it all on everyday in the week leading up to school starting. She told everyone we saw “I’m going to prep…finally I’m going to big school like Bailey!!!” This was making me confident and at ease…but I still had a feeling!

I was waiting and watching for signs in the days leading up to starting prep. But there was nothing other then positive talk and excitement…I actually started believing that maybe she was going to be ok! The first morning of school she was super excited and organised! She was up and dressed by 6.30 lol! There was no sign of distress or anxiety. We got to the school and still ok. But then between the gate and me taking Bailey to class she lost sight of me for a second and that’s when it started. The tears started to flow and “I don’t want you to leave me mummy” was what she kept telling me!

My heart sunk. I was a little surprised, but apart of me knew it was possible. But then something came over her. Once she walked into her prep room (which is like home as my nephews and Bailey were in the same class) she put on her big happy smile and was so relaxed. We did puzzles together and she waited patiently for Mrs Hollier’s instructions. But I was waiting for it…and it never came. She was fine. I left with her smiling and waving “bye mummy!” what a relief…I was so proud of her!!! When I arrived to pick her up, I asked her teacher how her day went and she said there were a few times where she was teary but not too bad… Phew! I was relieved!

The second morning was just as great. Sienna was happy to return, settled beautifully again with her smile and “see you this afternoon mummy!” Only once during the day she was emotional. I was so stoked! I actually Was letting myself relax and believe that thank god two out of two children have settled into prep with no major dramas. Then day three hit. She didn’t want to eat breakfast, getting dressed in her school uniform wasn’t as exciting and although she had another excellent drop off with no tears, she cried on and off all day;(

After lots of chatting and reassuring, I was certain Friday, her last day of her first week was going to be successful, but it was worse;( For the first time she cried when I had to leave, she cried on and off all day to the point her eye was so red when she came to greet me in the afternoon and she hardly ate all day;( I started my weekend feeling quite distressed about it all….and so different when I’m usually on the other end:/…being the teacher in this situation is so much easier I tell you!

We went away for the weekend and I let her have heaps of time where we didn’t talk about school…I just wanted to see her relaxed. Her belly must have been churning so much during the week that I felt it was important to just leave the issue alone. When I did ask her why she cried all the time, her response wasn’t because she had no friends or because she didn’t like school or her teachers, her response was “because I missed you all day!”…god bless her cotton socks! And it is just that, because every afternoon when she sees me I get the biggest kiss and cuddle and she spends the first 5-10 minutes gazing at me and is as happy as pig in mud…it really is lovely to be loved!!

Now we are in the second week, she is no better, in fact worse in some ways. Monday morning was the hardest of all. She had to be pulled from me screaming “mummy I want you, I don’t want you to go:(!…just one more kiss mummy;(!” It literally broke my heart. I shed some silent tears, but my little darling girl will never know this! It’s so important as the parent to put on our brave face, breathe deeply and walk away, even though you just want to hug them tight and sit with them until they stop crying! I was so grateful that the school rang to tell me that she had settled nicely and was having a good day…what a relief! There is nothing worse than knowing your child is away from you and feeling upset…one of the hardest parts of parenting!

Three days into the second week and she has cried every morning, but her days are becoming more and more settled. As much as it sucks that the drop off isn’t pleasant like it was with my son, I’m content that she is settling and participating socially and academically during her school day…and eating her lunch! My aim now is to not let it get to me, I will give myself a nervous break down if I think it about it too much. So now I go and do her jobs and a puzzle with her and give her one kiss and cuddle and make a quick exit…it’s the quick exit that makes the teacher’s job a lot easier! I know she is in good hands and I just have to trust that. I know she is starting to improve, at least this week she is eating her breakfast without complaining she has a belly ache:/!

Ahhh separation anxiety. It really isn’t fun for anyone involved. It’s quite common in little ones and when you think about it it’s not a bad thing, all they are doing is missing their mummy and daddy! I know exactly how Sienna feels as I suffered it as well and even now I don’t like being far from the ones I love the most! There is nothing more we can do mummas other than keep positive, encourage them to be brave and reassure, reassure, reassure. Time is the essence in this situation and they will eventually settle and learn to be ok with saying goodbye.

Everyday Sienna tells me she missed me and although I can’t wait for the day she is super excited to be at school from the minute the first bell rings, for now I will take comfort in that at least I know she loves me and it is always so lovely to be loved!

Keep strong mummas who are also going through the same situation…we can do this and it WILL get easier and one day we will look back on this as just a memory with lessons learnt:) our little ones will settle with time!

20130206-141718.jpg

An Inspirational Year!

20130203-135601.jpg

It’s been almost a year since I put myself out there to the blogging world. As a wife and mum of three who works two days a week as a special education teacher and has a love of running, cake decorating and craft, I started blogging to not only capture the significant moments in my life, but to also hopefully help other mums out there, to debrief about the same issues that my life is faced with. I’ve written over 100 blogs now which touch on parenting issues, fashion findings, home decorating and my running progression!

I’m not only surprised how many people have read my pieces, but am quite humbled that I regularly have people message me to thank me for helping them to start their journey into getting fit, thanking me for a good suggestion or letting me know they are “glad I’m not the only one:)!” As my blog’s caption is ‘life is about learning’, I feel that this is happening from some people who take the time to read my posts. I believe we all have something to learn from one another and I’m quite happy that I’m teaching someone something from the comforts of my own home!

I love to hear about people’s goals and achievements! It’s nice to bounce ideas off each other as hundreds of heads are always better than one! Just this weekend I received a message from a Facebook friend who I met at primary school updating me on how she is going with her running and thanking me for my words of wisdom and encouragement…how lovely is that! Being told that I’m someone’s inspiration…well you guys are mine! It’s positive feedback which allows me to stay focussed on my goals and inspires me to keep writing!

So I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful people who have followed my life’s journey over the past 12 months. I have received so many beautiful, heart-felt comments on so many of my blogs and I truly appreciate every kind word anyone has ever taken the time out to write. As I venture into my second year I can only hope that I am able to help more and more people along the way!

A BIG thank you from ME to YOU….I hope we can keep on inspiring each other;)!

20130203-135427.jpg

Don’t forget to enter the my personal planner competition….only 24 hours left until the competition closers and the winner is announced…good luck!
Click here to enter