You magnify the way I think about myself, before you came I rarely thought about myself

28 Feb

Asher Mae,

You’re sick, and it feels terrible not to be able to help you. As I sat here at the kitchen table and listened to your sobs as you tried to go to sleep with a blocked nose and sore throat, I read this line in a very wise woman’s blog (thanks Chantelle!)

“At that same very moment, I became vulnerable. To forever more have my heart walking outside my body.”

The words perfectly described how I feel now. I’m afraid because you are my heart. I feel your pain as much as I hope you feel my love.

Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air (8 months)

15 Feb

My darling girl, over 8 months have gone since that amazing moment when I first met you. How both of our lives have changed.

This month you started daycare, got a lot of teeth and are pulling yourself up on everything. You have been grumpy, and clingy and I’ve been wondering if this phase will ever end.

Daycare has been such an amazing experience for you. My little social butterfly, you have blossomed and taken it all into your stride. Not once have you cried when I have left you, and everytime I sneak back to peer through the window, you’re happily investigating the toys or watching and interacting with the other children. Your teachers have nicknamed you ‘Sunshine’, and really it is appropriate. You laugh, you smile, and really you love life. Sadly the last couple of weeks have been a little more fraught, not sleeping at daycare (too much stimulation!) and getting 5 teeth at once have taken their toll and your demeanor has been a little less than sunny, although not altogether bad. It breaks my heart though to know that you’re going through pain, and that I’m not there to help you through it. This month has been the first time that I questioned and felt sick about going back to work full time.

Since starting daycare you’ve learnt to wave, and really pull yourself up on things. The waving is adorable. You wave when you see me through the car window after I buckle you in, which is possibly my favourite thing in the world. Please keep doing that always.

Getting teeth has made you sad, but being able to eat more interesting food has made you happy! Now you can eat cruskits and fruit with so much more ease! But you’re getting angry, and grumpy and clingy and GOD FORBID WE’RE OUT OF SIGHT FOR 2 SECONDS.

On Monday you got sent home from daycare with a suspected tummy bug, and were therefore excluded for 24 hours from going back. I was annoyed! Another day I had to take off work after an ongoing period of sickness in our house! How was I going to get any work done at home! I’m so glad you were ‘excluded’. It was the most enjoyable day I think I have ever spent with you (in 8 months!). We giggled together, we played together, we hung up washing and went to the shops and you slept some wonderful naps so that I could get work done in between.

I’m learning to love this phase; you cuddle me, and sometimes you like your distance as long as I’m in the room! You play with and explore EVERYTHING and you’re finally learning what it means when I say no.  At the same time I am so eager to live out the next few years of our life; to see you as a little girl, walking, talking and one day (in a while!) being a big sister.

I love you more everyday Big Ash x

Talking ’bout my girl (at 6 months)

20 Dec

Dear Asher,

So I’m two weeks late, but the cliche stands that time is flying by.  I can’t believe that you’re actually 6 months and 20 days old? Slow on the ‘6 month update’ uptake.

You’ve been trying to crawl for about a month now. I was sure it would happen by the 6 month mark but it didn’t, and you continued to get more and more annoyed by it, to the point that I couldn’t face leaving you on the ground as your frustration was so annoying. And then a week ago you became mobile. You started dragging yourself slowly to things, and this week you gained speed. On Monday at Wizzy World (hell) with Anna and Amber you were after everything you wanted; coloured balls, other children, big cushy toys. The play pen is going back up at home, I have found you with my laptop cord in your mouth a few too many times…

You cut your first 2 teeth in the week of the 10th of October at 4 months old. I didn’t even notice, but your uncle Michael spotted something white on your gum, the second one popped through a day later. S0 for over 2 months we’ve been waiting for your top chompers, and after weeks of fussy behaviour, this morning one of them finally appeared.

So far I’ve heard you say the words ‘mama’, ‘dada’, ‘woof woof’, ‘opa’ and ‘hi’. None of them have been in context, and I know that to you they’re just sounds that you’re repeating, but so many words for a proud mama!

You love food, and will eat anything we give you. This week we introduced vegemite toast and I think you would be happy to sit in your high chair all day, gnawing on toast fingers. Skipper sits vigil under the chair and eats the soggy scraps that get dropped. He has become your best mate. You want to be near the dogs at all time, and if I could train either one of them to change a nappy and make up a bottle, I’m sure they would be the best babysitters in the world. Now that you’re more mobile, you go to them as soon as you spot them.

We have a big couple of weeks of firsts ahead of us – first Christmas, first plane ride, first new year. Every minute of every day is an adventure being your mum.

I love you my big (little) girl, and love seeing head-strong way that you’re already taking in this big world.

 

You can count on me like one, two, three I’ll be there and I know when I need it I can count on you

24 Nov

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Everyday I can’t believe how much I love you. Your feminine face, your screechy excitement, your gummy smile and deep bellied chuckle. I am so lucky and can’t wait to replicate the relationship I have with my mum, with you. Despite knowing that I can have such an amazing relationship with you, having a daughter has always scared me. The thought of the feral teenager phase, the talking back, the doing stupid things, has petrified me to the point that I would have risked not replicating the amazing relationship I have with my mum because of who I was when I was a teenager.

So how do I help you be the best that you can be, how do I let you find yourself and not have you get lost in the process? I don’t know the answers, but I sure do think about it a lot. Is what school you go to going to make a difference? Can I at least partially measure the kids you hang around with by sending you to a certain school? Should I give you all the options of sport and music so that you may become so dedicated to one thing that distractions fall to the wayside? I have such high hopes for you yet I have no picture of my mind of who you might be. Only who you are now, and I love that you.

My mum always stood by me, by my crazy decisions, by my dedication to a million different things and my ever changing mind. Our moods and minds clashed, but we always got through it, and now I miss her if I don’t talk to her every day. I love her for how she raised me, and I hope one day you can say the same for me.

Despite my discrepancies and a teenager, I was always a good person and think that I have a pretty good perspective on the world. That is the best thing I can hope for you.

Be a good person Asher Mae, and people will be good to you.

Love Mum xx

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Don’t wake me I plan on sleeping in

22 Nov

People are quick to judge, especially mothers. I’ve come to learn that the best approach to discussions about baby developments with other mothers is to keep one’s mouth shut, unfortunately I’m not very good at it. I’m especially not good at it when people as me about my baby’s sleep. “Is your baby sleeping?” is a question I get regularly, and I love the fact that I can say that she has been sleeping through since she was 3 weeks old. Yes yes, gloaty-mc-gloaty. I however can’t take the credit for this miracle, I credit it all to the routines in ‘Save our sleep’.

Rountines are a big discussion point for parents. Do you push your newborn into a routine or do you let them set the pace and eventually find their own rhythm? I for one was upset that I didn’t read the book earlier. I am a control freak and happy to admit it, and the fact there is no general guideline or manual for raising a baby almost drove me bonkers in the first few weeks. When do I feed her? When should she sleep? How much sleep should she be getting? I read the book, followed the books advice to a ‘T’ for 3 days and it worked. Not only was my baby sleeping through the night, but I had also regained my sanity in that I had guidelines for my day that I could work around.

I would never advocate taking advice only from one source, I think one needs to choose the parts that work for them and make it work for the baby. ‘Save our sleep’ has a no dummy rule, which we don’t follow, but essentially Asher doesn’t need a dummy and will happily go to sleep without one, which I do credit to the fact that we use the routine. I also don’t stress to much if I’m out and about during her sleep time, as long we she can catch up on it at some point during the day.

The fact that Asher does sleep is the reason I can cope with full time work, 2 dogs, a house and part time uni, and even then I struggle to get through the day without caffeine. I am ever grateful for both sleep and caffeine.

nb. I do fully realise that routines do not work for everyone, this is solely my experience and opinion!

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Yes I get by with a little help from my friends

17 Nov

It is an interesting concept; a group of women who have nothing in common except the fact that they have had a baby. We’re all different ages, are at different points in our lives and have different interests, yet somehow sitting at the dinner table with those 8 amazing women last night felt so comfortable and so right.

How is it that a group of 9 women are so connected through the fact that we have children the same age? It’s pretty simple, it’s because we need each other. For some of us it’s the companionship and advice. For others it’s because we don’t have other friends with children the same age as ours, or friends who live locally. It could also be the desire for our children to have friends their own age before they head to daycare, pre-school and school. Whatever it is, it works, and we have become friends who probably share more with each other than we do with our nearest and dearest.

How do mothers who don’t gel with their mothers group function without such a varied sounding board? I know that some mum’s don’t have a good outcome from their mothers group, and I feel so blessed that ours has turned out as well as it has.

Asher, I hope that at the time of reading this, your list of friends will still include Zach, Grace, Gabrielle, Sienna, Ayla, Claire, Peter and Matilda, and that I will still be enjoying Thai food and white wine with their mothers.

Do most mothers have positive experiences with their mothers groups? Or are we just exceptionally lucky?

Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens…

2 Nov

I hate to think about how much time I have spent in the last month doing uni work and stressing about work instead of spending it with my gorgeous Asher and amazing husband…. so I’m compiling a list of things I love right now:

  • Watching Asher sleep – really, I always laughed at people who raved about how they spend hours watching babies sleep, but now I understand it. There is something so peaceful about a sleeping baby, Asher is so active when she’s awake, I find it gives me the opportunity to actually look at her. I wait until she’s properly asleep, creep in and sit on the couch next to her bed. It’s one of the rare moments that I feel at peace, and can fully comprehend the enormity of the fact that I’m a mother, and marvel in how awesome it really is. Creepy much? ha!
  • Walking the dogs in the early morning, before most people have gotten out of bed, before the sun is properly up. There is something peaceful about being one of only a few people out and about, hearing your sneakers pounding the footpath, and being able to even walk down the middle of the road. I hate the getting out of bed part, but always feel so much better for the day once I’m outside and moving.
  • Having things to look forward to. Tom and I haven’t been out much as a couple without Ash. Which is fine, great to have a baby we can take anywhere, but I miss having “adult” time. We have several parties to look forward to in the coming weeks, and weddings in January. But I think what I’m looking forward to the most is my long summer holiday. A benefit of going back to work when Asher was 10 weeks old is the fact that I get the summer holidays without having to stress too much about money; I can see long days at the beach, picking Tom up from work at 4 and meeting friends at the beach for early dinner, introducing Asher to “Hotspur Sundays” on the boat.
  • Beautiful stationary. There is nothing more fun than receiving a beautiful envelope in the post, and opening it to reveal a gorgeous invite with the promise of a fun party to come. I keep lovely things on my fridge; it’s so nice to be able to look at gorgeous postcards, invites, thank you’s in a room where I’m normally slaving away over something or other!
  • Dressing a baby. I loved dressing my dolls as a little girl, and was always spoilt for choice of clothes as my mum and Grandma used to make me clothes for all of my dolls. I now have my own live baby to dress, and I love it. I love thinking about the day ahead, checking the weather and planning the perfect outfit for Asher to wear. Be it a day at Grandmas, or a birthday party. I love the little onesies with cute printed elephants, the little spotty shorts and the little pink hooded jacket. The t-shirt dress with little girls on it carrying teacups on their heads is a personal favourite. There is something fun about dressing a little girl – you can get away with the slighly ridiculously cute things that an adult should never attempt. Me laying out her clothes for Tom to dress her isn’t me being a control freak… it’s me having fun! Really!
  • Being a working mum. Yes I’m time poor, yes I can be stressed, but I can also be proud of my achievements. It’s a great pat on the back when something BIG you have pushed gets approved by the powers that be. I can provide great things for my daughter, spend 18 weeks a year of holidays with her and do a job I love. Yep, it stresses me out, but in reality I love it.
  • Lucky last, and most importantly, I love the little family that Tom and I have created.

I feel better for writing this. Today will be a good day.

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