Monday, January 31, 2011

Mixed Emotions

I'm feeling pretty flat this evening. Tired. Drained. Exhausted. Today we had Angus' orientation morning for preschool. I have heard plenty of stories and been pre-warned by numerous Mum's and Dad's, about 'the drop-off'. That it is often hard. Gut wrenching. Horrendous. Our drop-off this morning lived up to every bit of dread I have repeatedly anticipated. It was as difficult as I imagined it would be. Maybe even more difficult. 

Angus cried. and screamed. and cried. and held onto to my arms. legs. neck. He pleaded with me "I want to come with Mummy"... "I don't want to stay here"... "Take me with you Mama". It was enough to break. my. heart. I think it very nearly did. Then my waterworks turned on and I could not control them. Kind of tricky when I was trying, with every inch of my being, to remain upbeat and happy, for his sake. The poor teachers, they must also dread these mornings. Hysterical children. Anxious parents. What a nightmare.

Angus' tears also seemed to invoke a chain reaction in a handful of other littlies. Who also started to fret. and whimper. and cry. Which made my heart crumble all the more. I honestly could not think straight. All I did know for sure is I wanted to pick him up, turn around and walk straight back out those doors to the car. Take him with me. Stop his pain. Forget the whole idea of preschool. In hindsight and with rational thought on my side, I now realise the longer I lingered, the more intense his suffering became. Then naturally, the less inclined I was to leave him at all.

Something made me bite the bullet though, I can't remember what it was, the whole half an hour is a wishy washy blur. But next thing I knew, I was back in the car bawling and on the phone with Scott. He handled my emotion, in a cool, calm, sensible manner. He listened sympathetically and reminded me how it will always be hard to let go. Whether it is now or a year down the track. I felt slightly better. I drove to the beach with Felix, got out of the car and started walking. Up and down the coastline, in the blazing heat. Just walking. Thinking. Breathing. Relaxing.

I was champing at the bit to get back to Angus. It was two hours in total. My goodness, this was just an orientation morning. I had almost forgotten today wasn't the real deal. I guess that's why they call it orientation, as it's all about adjustment. To my utter joy and solace, he seemed ok when I arrived. Busily partaking in some water play. He looked so cute. So small. My three year old boy. My first baby. When he came bounding up to me all lively and cheerful, it made my heart sing again. Unlike two hours prior, I was also happy again. Emotional roller-caoster? That is us.

We will be heading back tomorrow morning, for a supplementary orientation morning, before the official start day on Thursday. It was offered and suggested, so um... yes please, why not! If nothing else, it might arm us both with a tad more confidence and familiarity as we venture into our new reality. It is sure to be a learning curve for all of us. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Great Outdoors

I started off today feeling sluggish. I had plenty of sleep last night, almost seven hours to be exact... most days I exist on five or six. So it wasn't due to lack of sleep. I ate a nice, substantial breakfast of muesli & yoghurt, raisin toast with butter. So it wasn't hunger. It could have been the dodgy tooth... upper left side of my mouth... which has been niggling at me for weeks. Or it might have been my repeated failure to squeeze into a pile of my favourite 'pre-pregnancy' clothes. But whatever it was, from the neck up I felt dull and fuzzy and everything seemed just a little too... hard

By the time it reached 9am, I weighed up my options. Either I would succumb to the mood, write the day off and set about cleaning the house (which was in serious need of a good go over) OR I get my sad and sorry backside out the door and into the world, for some carefree time with my boys. Thankfully, I opted for the latter.

Centennial Park, in my opinion, is one of the most exquisite locations in Sydney. It posseses a tranquility all of it's own. Geographically convenient, being nestled among energetic suburbs, main roads and the bustling city. It's almost incredible to fathom how a park like this can thrive in such surroundings. Generating it's own adaptable ecosystem of wildlife, vast open spaces and awe inspiring trees and plant life.

For us, it is an important sanctuary. A place we go to play. To picnic. A place for celebrations and parties. To think. To dream. Somewhere to meet up with friends, feed the ducks and laze in the sun or shade. Whatever the season, it always holds something for us. 

Today, as Angus and I strolled the long circular path in the centre of the park, Felix snoozing in his pram, I honestly felt that fuzziness, that dull ache consuming my head, gradually lifting and fading into thin air. By the time we reached the playground, it had vanished completely. I felt... myself again. The hours to follow were spent lapping up the golden sunshine and having some genuine quality time with my big boy.

As it turns out, the housework is now completed too! Washing? Done. Vacuuming? Done. Bathroom? Sparkling clean. It never ceases to amaze me, what time spent in the great outdoors can do for me. These shots are a vibrant reminder of this fact and I shall refer to them on future mornings like today, when it all seems too hard.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Story Time

We love books around here. Even before Angus was born, he had a supply of beautiful books waiting for him. Some new. Some pre-loved from my very own childhood collection. The love affair with books has continued for over three years now. There are so many books in our house, like an embarrassment of riches. Each birthday or Christmas or sometimes just because, new and fantastic books are welcomed into our tiny home with open arms. We will always make some extra space to accommodate this form of entertainment.

From the abundance of titles available at our finger tips, there is a particular series of which we have read again and again and AGAIN. No amount of repetition is going to dull our passion for these books. The affair began way back when Angus was just a year old. His Nana, my gorgeous Mama, gave him a hard cover copy of Hairy MacLary Scattercat. He often reads books with his Nana and has done so since he was a bub. So with each and every giggle or smile or new word uttered from his mouth, Nana would feel compelled to go and purchase yet another book. She most definitely created this addiction we all share.

So these days, from the myriad of beloved Hairy MacLary (and friends) books we own, Angus has narrowed his selection down to seven all time favourites. First thing in the morning and I mean first thing. Before I've even set foot out of bed, we have story time. It more or less took on this shape a few months back. During the cooler months, it was just nice to snuggle in bed for that little bit longer, whilst reading something fun. Nowadays, it's an institution, as we faithfully read each of the seven stories. Angus can practically recite every line verbatim. Occasionally Felix joins us, but most mornings, it's just Angus, myself and the colourful characters from Donaldson's Dairy. 

Lynley Dodd is one super talented children's author. The names. The rhymes. The illustrations. The tales. The whole bit comes together so beautifully on the page, it genuinely sweeps the reader (and listeners) into the adventurous scenes she composes. Even when my boys are too old and too cool to be reading about the likes of Hairy MacLary, Slinky Malinki or Zachary Quack, I will be holding these treasures close and keeping them safe. Just as my Mama did with my all time favourites.

Australia Day

We decided to tackle our Australia Day celebrations head on and early today. Hitting the warm sands of Coogee Beach, with a few thousand fellow revellers and an eerily beautiful wee mist. I cannot recall ever seeing a mist quite so thick engulfing the beach. It thickened with intensity the whole time we were on the sand, until it was surrounding us completely with it's cool embrace. Mysterious and breath taking. 

As with many other special occasions, Scott & I have spent many a happy Australia Day on and around Coogee Beach. Our child free days always had a bit of a beach to bar flavour. These days, with two tiddly winks in tow, it's more a case of if we survive the beach part... well and good. But dare not push our luck much further. Today was definitely a prime example of this. 

Both Scott and I did accomplish a divine dip in the ocean. Each taking turns at watching the boys, while the other enjoyed their own little piece of serenity, way out past the seaweed and (reported) blue bottles. That water temperature was just too darn enticing, to be dissuaded by a mass of sea plants or a couple of stingers. Angus had a bee in his bonnet from the get go however. He wasn't keen on going in the water. Needed to pee as soon as we sat down. Flicked sand here, there and everywhere. Wanted to "go home". "go home now!" It was tiring at best.

Thankfully, the good souls of Randwick Council provided a bit of family entertainment down by the beach. Just perfect for the littlies. Or at least my little three year old bundle of energy. With a bunch of supervised gross motor activities, it seemed to keep the kids on their tippy toes and having... a... blast. Angus' favourite of the games by far... a giant beach ball. It was so captivating to watch him enjoying every second of play with that giant ball. It also gave us some sweet relief, after the previous hour of melancholy.

Then to top the day off nicely... a tasty freebie from Streets, who were plugging their new Splice iceblock range. Putting their fittest and most personable representatives forward it appeared, to bring about a touch of honest to goodness generosity to anyone in sight. It never ceases to amaze me the sheer volume of attention a product giveaway can generate. Something about getting anything for free. Maybe!?

So another Australia Day done and dusted. Today, like so many years gone by, I did stop and take a moment to think about just how fortunate I am to live in this great country. To be born and raised here. How lucky I am to now be raising my own children here. A beautiful land, filled with amazing people and incredible places. I heart Australia.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Puree all round

With Felix now on solids (funny how we call it that when it's consistency tends to be anything but solid), I am well and truly back into the swing of buying, prepping and storing the freshest of frrresh fruit and vegies. I chose not to feed Angus any pre-packaged baby food, be it in jars, boxes or pouches. I once tried to feed him on Rafferty's organic something or other, but he vehemently rejected it. Worked out very well really, as I'm significantly turned off by the look and smell of the goop that comes out of those pouches. Bleeeugh. 

The fresh is best theme is back for Felix. The only exception being (as with Angus), I do use the good old Farex baby rice cereal. Angus only lasted on plain rice cereal for a week or so. Felix, not even a week. But this time around I am using the rice cereal for a little longer, more as a thickener to the fruit & veg concoctions.

Which brings me to my FAVOURITE utensil in the kitchen at the moment. The Mouli Baby by Moulinex! (or 'baby mule' as Angus calls it). Sounds quite fancy. Though fancy it certainly isn't. It is oh so clever. Yet an amazingly simple invention (I mean I probably wouldn't have thought of it, but I'm sure glad someone did). 

I was so very lucky to inherit this practical piece of brilliance from my thoughtful sister-in-law (mother of three herself) when Angus was a wee bub. Originally purchased when my niece was starting on solids, coming up to twenty... one... years ago. Which is why I think there is almost a retro influence to it. Not to mention a little piece of family tradition being formed as it is passed down the line. This trusty work horse has definitely stood the test of time and is serving us well in our busy household.

So for the next couple of months I'll be blending up a puree storm of pumpkin, carrot, zucchini, sweet potato, banana, pear, blueberries and the like. All while having myself a grand old time using the Mouli Baby... yeah! Who knew fruit and vegies could be so much fun?!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Nana Nap

This afternoon I hit a wall. I think it was around 3pm. Might have been a little earlier. I'm not even 100% sure. All I know is that my body reached it's threshold of endurance, slowed, then hit the snooze button on itself. Literally.

It's been some time since I had a real day nap. A proper sleep induced malaise. Approximately six months from memory. I have mentioned before, how I would religiously nap each and every afternoon while I was pregnant with Felix. Angus by my side. Long, relaxing, naps. I may have had the odd ten minute power nap during the day since Felix was born. But they never last longer than ten minutes, as a particular three year old (who I like to call the culprit behind today's much needed nana nap) without fail, always bellows "don't go to sleep Mama" or "stop closing your eyes", just as I'm drifting off. But not today!

Angus has been going through a restless bout of late. Which just happens to be between the hours of midnight and 5am. Ahhh, the cruelest of hours to be restless. He doesn't cry. Doesn't scream. Isn't yelling out from his bed (thank heavens, as Felix is but centimetres from him in his cot). Instead he just appears in our room. It must be instinct or something such, as Scott and I are guaranteed to always wake as soon as his presence graces the room. Sometimes even before he's sauntered in. 

It is such a manufactured process now. I'm like a programmed robot working a production line. Pick up my pillow, check. Stumble out of bed, check. March Angus (and myself) back to his room, check. Curl up like a faithful, old dog at the end of his bed, with my pillow, check (note: much easier to sleep towards the end for a more direct escape path once he's fallen back to sleep). Wake again. Dazed and confused. Sometimes twenty minutes later, sometimes two hours later, check. Retrace footsteps back to comfortable indentation in the spacious queen bed I share with my lovely husband. CHECK!

Even writing this process feels nauseating. So it's no wonder by 3pm-ish this afternoon, I hit the wall. At force. The whole hour I managed to nap for however, was pure bliss (incidentally, it was nicely positioned during Felix's afternoon nap time). I was able to regain some composure. Restore some much needed feeling to the mind, body and soul. Even kick the thumping drum that had been banging around in my head since first thing this morning.

At this point, I am choosing not to focus on the nana nap my sprightly three year old also indulged in this afternoon. Whilst also very out of character for him these days, I feel his midnight to 5am exploits leave him a little worse for wear in the daytime, so it was kind of warranted. With a little bit of luck, the extra energy he has stored from this won't come around to bite me at approximately 2.15 tomorrow morning. Or thereabouts. An uninterrupted night's sleep, now that is something we could all do with tonight. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Beachin' It

What a divine weekend. Plenty of glorious sunshine. A splash of cloud here and there, to subtly break up the brilliant blue sky. Just the right amount of breeze to cool sun kissed brows. It was love.

Both Saturday and Sunday mornings, we hit the beach early (by early, I mean after 9, but before 10, so our kind of early). Saturday it was just my (baby) boys and I for our beach outing. With Scott rendering me a golf widow almost every Saturday of the year, we're quite used to being sans Daddy/hubby.

Clovelly Beach has to be one of the best beaches around for babes and small tots. Which makes it not half bad for the adults responsible for those kidlets. It is more of an inlet, than a beach, but it still has a good stretch of sand, plenty of rocks and naturally, a huge body of ocean water. My favourite type of water. Give me sea water over chlorine infused water any day. 

Another appealing feature (well usually) is the lack of waves. It is definitely not a surf beach. Most days it has smooth calm water, gently lapping the shore. Saturday was a smidgen more choppy than normal. Angus discovering this first hand when he was literally bowled over like a ten pin, by an over zealous wave. It was actually quite hilarious to witness and I so wouldn't have laughed if I thought he had been hurt or frightened. But given that he was neither of these things. I chuckled. Long. and. Hard. He chuckled too. Which took the pressure of me from looking like a really, really mean mama. Sometimes those incidents are just plain funny.

Felix was a prize baby, choosing to sleep peacefully in the pram on the steel boardwalk (yet another ideal aspect for parents with prams) right next to where we were playing on the sand. In fact, beach and slumber seemed to be the theme for Felix this weekend. Must be all that crisp, salty air.

Our beach trip today led us to another of our favourite local beaches. A little larger and more unpredictable for the littlies. But a beauty nonetheless. So family of four headed off, early once again, but not quite early enough to beat the nippers to it. Coogee Beach during the summer months radiates, especially on weekends. It is brimming with tourists, nippers and tonnes of locals. Scott and I have been going to Coogee Beach together for almost ten years. Scott proposed to me smack bang in the middle of it, on bended knee, under the moonlight. We were married, overlooking the south end of the beach and had our first photographs as husband & wife on the golden sands. So many wonderful memories shared on that beautiful beach. It is so heart warming to be making more as parents with our two boys.

Poor Angus copped his second dumping for the weekend. This time, Scott was in charge. So I didn't witness this one. Which, I am kind of glad I didn't. Scott reported that it was pretty bad. The little man himself, could not. stop. talking. about how the wave "smashed him". He surprises me at times, with how brave he can be, for just a little tacker. Felix continued his restful theme, while I caught a few rays. What a good old fashioned way to spend a summer's weekend.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Simple Things

If there is anything that being a Mama has taught me, it's that the simple things are often the best. Long before I became a Mama, mother's I knew would state with exasperation, "I don't know why we bother with the expensive gift inside, they'd much rather play with the paper it's wrapped in" or "give them a couple of saucepans and a wooden spoon and it'll keep them amused for hours". Surely not?? I would think to myself.

Now, on a daily basis, the joy of simple things is reinforced in our home, twofold. My imaginative three year old has a knack for taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary. At least to him it is extraordinary. When you're three, that's all that matters. When you're thirty two, well, it just opens your eyes that little bit wider to how important it is to let the simple things play out.

So the tasks I consider to be rather mundane, like washing up the dishes. Drying up those very dishes. Vacuuming. Cleaning the bathroom. Wiping up spills with Pine-O-Cleen and floor rag. Running a load of washing through the machine. Taking out the rubbish AND sorting the recycling. Dusting, dusting and dusting some more (what is it about dust and it's failure to just take the hint and MOVE ON?!) It is ALL so exceedingly wondrous under the gaze of his big baby blues.

There are times when it's not so adorable. When I'm stressed, in a hurry or just plain tired. When I'd like nothing more than to just get. the. job. done. When it's been a looooong day and I really hit my patience peak back at the argument over who gets to put daddy's socks in the drawer. Yes, there are just never enough simple things to tire my little man out or even just weaken his interest for a short while. 

So for now, I'm choosing to embrace this amazing time we're going through. I'm determined not to get frustrated. Let him take control (within reason - letting a three year old handle ajax & mould remover may not quite get me a parent of the year nomination... and oh! he does try). Not be so disturbed that he'd rather help me refill the soap dispenser than play with the scores of trucks, cars & games he has at his disposal. But most of all, sit back and marvel at a little boy's enchantment with the simple things. As I get the feeling, this time will be fleeting.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I love catch-up's. With or without kids. Three course meal or simple snack. With or without a cocktail. During daylight hours or after dark. With friends or family. I have to say, I am partial to a good old fashioned catch-up. 

My catch-up today went a little something like this: 

With kids (four tiny tots)
Simple snack (homemade sandwiches)
Without a cocktail (unfortunately)
During daylight hours (lunchtime)
With friends (two fabulous gals, Manda & Ursh)
...and one very inquisitive King Charles Spaniel called Zoe.

The three of us all gave birth to babes in 2010. Therefore poor Angus was a little out of his element, but he still managed to command a sufficient chunk of limelight. Never the shy violet my boy. We had Bailey, the eldest of the babes, at eight months old. Felix, six months. Then beautiful baby Olivia, just 12 weeks. What a little lady she is. So petite. So gentle. So thoughtful.

Then, there are the boys. Boisterous, loud, physical. Boys. I know, they are only babies. I also know that they will surely become even rougher & tougher as they get older (I only have to look at Angus to realise that). Even now, they're exhausting. I have noticed Felix is gradually taking on a more active, even aggressive, demeanor while at play. Hmm, thank you Angus! At least it is still in the innocently curious stage of baby slaps and grapples. However, I am keeping a close watch on my generously proportioned six month old, as he already has the mischievous twinkle in his eye. A twinkle I have seen before, in a certain three year old I know. 

So while the boys slugged it out on the floor. Rolling, Crying, Giggling. We nattered, listened and shared the latest, in a good old fashioned catch-up.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cruel To Be Kind

For a saying I'm not particularly fond of, it seems I repeat it to myself ad nauseum, when it comes to preparing for the task I had today. It was that time again, it seems to roll around in the blink of an eye. Immunisation time. As Felix is now six months, he was up for his fourth set of routine injections. 

I am becoming better at tackling the ordeal these days. With Angus, it would make me feel sick with worry leading up to, during and after the jabs. Until I realised (or accepted) it had virtually no impact on him whatsoever. Sure there were a few cries and a couple of tears shed, but when I stood back and surveyed the situation, they were mainly my cries and tears. 

It is glaringly obvious to me how essential immunisation is for my boys. Whilst I understand opinion is somewhat divided on this topic. Personally, I feel it is almost my obligation to do everything in my power to protect them, our family and society in general. The alternatives are too devastating to comprehend. Dare I say it, sometimes we have to be cruel to be kind. Alright. I said it.

As it turns out, Felix is made of the same hardy stuff his big bro is made from. There were No tears. No cries. Plenty of smiles. Oodles of charm. And a massive sense of relief for his mama when it was all over. Add to the productive visit, his somewhat impressive six month vital stats. Little-big-man now weighs 11.5kg and measures 76cm in length (no wonder those size 1's are fitting him like a glove!) He is hands down off the chart of "averages" in weight, height and head circumference. Our doctor's only concern... my back. Apparently it shows I have good core strength to be carrying such a heavy load of baby around. Who knew?!

This evening has proved a tad more challenging, with a slight fever and a couple of unsettled outbursts... from Felix, not me, this time. Nothing a drop of panadol and some TLC from Mama hasn't been able to cure though.

So, immunisation is complete, at least for another six months. In the meantime, I'll be working on a new line of thought to help calm the nerves next time round (I kind of stole this one from my Dad, who mentioned it the other day in relation to a matter he has been dealing with and well, I like it). 
Anticipation is often greater than realization. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Party Season

Late December/early January is a significantly hectic period for us on the party calendar... kid's parties that is. Let's face it, they are the little socialites afterall. They are the ones who receive multiple invites (sometimes for the same day and just last weekend same day AND time!) But we (long suffering parents) are the ones who graciously put in the hard yards. 

The ferrying back and forth to each venue. The gift purchasing (never an easy task to find something cool, yet original). The hyped up, over tired, grubby little child-of-lucifer at the end of every party. Our reward? We get to take them home! Of course.

I am, however, so very fortunate to be a part of a network of fabulous Mum's, otherwise known as my mother's group. It's amazing, how almost three years ago, eighteen complete strangers, with the only thing in common being a six week old newborn babe (and being first time Mama's) were randomly thrown together by the nurses at the local baby health care clinic. And wow, do I feel privileged that we have this kind of support available to new mama's. Although at first it felt as though they had proceeded to 'throw us in the deep end and let us sink or swim'. Three years on, we have experienced some of the most gratifying, enduring, hysterical and occasionally psychotic moments possible, as a mother. Which is why I will add, it is so much more than a mother's group nowadays. More an outlet. A mutual admiration society. Friendship. 

Of course, we are not the voluminous group we were in the beginning. Over time, we've seen some dwindle into obscurity; the odd one decide the group wasn't for them; a few lost to circumstance, ie. have relocated to other areas or states (happy to say we do still keep in touch across the miles). Even so, there are still eight from our original group who catch up regularly. Hence the considerable amount of '3 year old' party hopping we have managed over the last 2-3 weeks. 

So, Angus had a tremendous time over the weekend, attending two fun filled parties for his little friends, Finn and Maya. There was plenty of cake. Lots of giggles. A great deal of sweat (yes, 98% humidity is always a treat at a kids party). A pleasant goss session (ahem, for the mama's). AND most of all, loads of magical memories shared.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cluck-Cluck Mother Hen

I am finding myself in a very precarious position of late. I feel vulnerable. Need protection even. In my wildest dreams I didn't think this would happen. I had not envisaged even coming close to wanting what I want right now.

At this very point in time, I'd LOVE another baby! All of a sudden the protection I'm requiring is of a very contraceptive kind. Although that is not exactly what I am referring to here.

More importantly, I need to get myself through the current adorably delicious chubby bubby phase I'm blissfully sailing through with Felix. I recall this 'danger' period with Angus. When Angus was aged from around 6 to 12 months, I was convinced we needed another baby. The glorious smiles & laughter. The sweet dulcit tones. The heart warming baby cuddles. They would surely last forever. yeah? yeah?? Well, kind of, but this time with one toddler under the belt and a hell of alot more hindsight, I have no excuse. It does get tough again... just around the corner. Hello Terrible 2's!

I recall a good friend asking me on Angus' 1st birthday about our plans for another bub. Bearing in mind, this friend has produced three beautiful babies, in as many years. Clearly NOT a good example for someone with my cluck cluck clucky genes. I digress. Anyway, she told me that the longer I waited, the potentially harder and less likely it would be for me to want another child. She wasn't half wrong. As if almost like I had been programmed to shut down the desire for another bub, soon after Angus turned 1, I went cold on the idea of expanding the brood. Well, something must have gone haywire with the programming, as I regained the desire to conceive Felix some months later.

Unfortunately, I'm not grossed out by nappies, I kind of enjoy breast feeding and I have an overwhelming urge for challenges. Oh. I'm in danger alright. 

Therefore, the next few months I MUST remain stoic. I need to focus on the 10 months (yes 10 months!) of back-breaking, leg swelling, nausea inducing pregnancy. The zombie state that consumes me as soon as that newborn greets our world. The ridiculous jealousy we have to endure from the other sibling/s. 

I CANNOT be swayed by the cheeky baby coo's. The roll upon roll of chub spilling out of every singlet, jumpsuit or pair of shorts. The cuddles, snuggles and smooches. I must keep my head down and aim for the 12 month line. A place I know once I get to, will keep me safe. For at least a period of time, from which I might be comfortable in heading down the baby path again. Who honestly knows? 

AND if I can just keep my busy fingers off the camera for a while and STOP taking delightful photos like these, I might help my cause. Even if just a fraction.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Little GEM

Boy, do we have a GEM (aka Green Eyed Monster) around here. Mostly, one can never be too sure just when this little beast will rear it's scornful head. But there are a handful of standard occasions, when it does and at these times, one better watch out.

I am so perplexed with this child raising stuff. I mean, I've read alot about babies/toddlers/children. Their moods, habits, traits. I've also talked alot... and to many... about such matters. However, when you're knee deep in the moment, all the good advice and best ideas in the world just don't seem to cut it.

So, I'm thinking it was kind of naive of me to think that the sibling jealousy had vanished completely. Or maybe it was just that I didn't think the little monster with the green eyes would be back so soon. He only just went away for pity's sake!

As we have moved on from the delightful "stop kissing boobie Felix" stage, I thought the transition from bottle only feeds, to solid food, might be rather simple. Smooth, if you like. Ah. Not so. Felix has just started solids in the last week, as he is now over six months (SIX MONTHS already! this is another shocking scenario entirely) and after a couple of days on bland baby gruel, he was yearning for something a little...tastier. Thank you Mama! So, he graduated! He has now tried pumpkin AND banana. He is doing smashingly, might I add (much in the same way his big bro... the 'GEM'... took to solids when he was a wee babe).

I only have to reach for the freezer door and even before I've laid a finger on one of the little frozen fresh portions of pumpkin goodness, Mr Green Eyes has shot to my side, hurling a swag of three year old abuse. "Don't feed him Mama". "Felix doesn't need food". "Feed me some pumpkin, I like pumpkin".

And so it starts. For the approximately 5, or so, minutes Felix is trying to enjoy his first tastes ever, we have a little monster in our midst. Trying to lean in, push aside, strategically manoeuvre himself between me... the spoon... and Felix. When this gets old, he fetches his own spoon, in a desperate attempt to muscle in on the meal time and eat his fill of pureed pumpkin, just so Felix doesn't. This monster really is something.

I know, as with the breast feeding, this new found disgust with Felix eating solids, will pass. Almost every stage children go through is transient. Thank sweet baby Jesus for that. So maybe next time the GEM comes knocking, I won't be so surprised. Pfft. Yeah. Wishful thinking.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Terrific Three's

My eldest baby boy has just celebrated his third birthday. Wow! How these last three years have flown. When I think about how he has developed. How I have developed. How our family has developed. It's enough to fill me with immense and long lasting joy and satisfaction.

This. Right here. Motherhood. Is what I have always wanted to do. Although there are days, in which I question, in fact, what the hell I am doing and I do have fears about what I will be doing when my babies are babies no more. For now, I am content to ride this wave of love, smiles and tears all the way to shore.

Watching my big three year old boy celebrate with his little friends and some of our family last weekend, I experienced the full gamut of emotions mentioned above.

We were lucky. Oh my goodness, we were lucky. The weather forecast was anything but promising. The clouds above testament to the forecast. And even as I shakily constructed not one, not two, not three, but FOUR text message updates to our party guests, on whether or not the party would go ahead. In the end, it did. (reading over that last sentence, I am struck with how incredibly nutty I sound... I'll revisit that one some other time).

The sun literally decided to shine, minutes before our 11am start time and blessed us with it's spectacular glow for the duration of Angus' party. I lost track of how many people said how lucky we were and this summer, with all it's erratic fury, we were in fact, lucky.

Lucky. That we had 12 beautiful, fun loving children running, screaming, playing in our gorgeous local park... not 10 seconds walk from our front door.

Lucky. That those 12 spirited kiddies (and parents) were outside in the breeze and sunshine... not crammed in to our 3.3 metre wide terrace home... yes, it would have been interesting finding a piece of floor space for everyone, let alone somewhere for all of them to sit.

Lucky. That I'd organised a delightful young lady from a company called Face Fiction to entertain and amuse the kidlets. She wowed them all with her incredible balloon sculpting skills, for a whole hour in the middle of the party. Heaven for the adults!

Lucky. That The Women's Weekly provide the BEST party cake ideas under the sun... so that even an amateur like myself can pull off a half decent looking kid's cake.

And lucky MOST of all, to have a little man named Angus for all of this to be in honour of. He had himself the happiest of birthdays. So did we.