Friday, 31 January 2014

Pooped! (As in "tired" ok?!)

Pooped. In the truest sense of the word I am POOPED! Everyday. Everyday I screech in to the evening and on to the sofa achey and brain buzzing. In the region of 472627393 people told me I was "going to have your hands full" when I was pregnant and they were all right. Not that I doubted it but nothing really prepared me for the reality of the fact. 

Don't get me wrong it's a wonderful kind of busy and my hands are full with wonderful things, but it's a lot. I buzz through everyday trying to think 3 steps ahead to the next meal, nappy, feed, toddler singing class... I rattle everything through my head in bed every night and it's a good job I'm that tired  or I'd never sleep. 

Blogging and taking photographs is proving to be a good anchor. It reminds me of when we got married and the best advice I ever got was to keep checking the time on our wedding day to make us stop and take it all in, stop the time running away. Blogging is a bit like that. Like checking the clock. 

Time check...

My favourite photo in a long time... 

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Birth... It Wounds and Heals...

The other day I read a post on a blog (sorry I can't remember where to link) about what an awful time a lady had in labour. It's usually the third or fourth question we ask after what gender the baby is, what weight and is everyone ok... We ask "did it go ok?" It being labour. Well I probably never asked that before I had babies, but now I am desperate for the birth story. All of it. Every gory detail. There's some kind of Mummy solidarity in sharing a birth story. I almost always manage to get a very detailed birth story out of mummies who come for newborn photographs... Perks of the job and all.

It's important to me, not just because I love all things baby related, but also because I know how I felt when it's a bumpy ride. I wouldn't call my labour and birth with Euna "bad" because I'm far too grateful that eventually we had a happy ending, but it was hard. It was so hard and at times very scary  and I wasn't ok with that for a while. I cried quite often and had a lot of feelings related to failure and disappointment and a few thoughts of "what if there hadn't of been a happy ending". When I talked about my birth I needed my friends and family to know how scared I'd been and how hard it was. In all honesty I felt like I deserved a medal for surviving it.

But then I had a "good" time of it. Relative to Euna, having Bow was breeeeeeze. I don't expect it would be the stuff of YouTube's finest plinky plonky hypnobirthing birth videos because it flipping hurt and I swore like a sailor, however it was fine and mercifully short. 

What do I know for experiencing two pretty far apart marks on the spectrum? Well I know a "bad" labour and birth can hurt long after you have your joyous bundle in your arms. It can even scar. Fortunately I also got to find out that a "good" labour and birth can heal your "bad" labour and birth wounds. It can heal your faith in your body and your womanhood. It can heal your confidence and give you better perspective on what caused those old wounds.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Baby on the Bed...

He's giggling now. I hold his hands and jiggle him to "boogie boogie boooooogieeee" and he giggles.  He still hates noise. Loves a cuddle. He's like me with tea in the morning, he needs two feeds to really get him going. He loves Euna, I can tell. He's long, with skinny arms. Still so calm and laid back. A total telly addict. Oh... And his eyes are so blue. 

I knooooow I said I would stop it with the white... But I'm a sucker for it! All too aware that before I can blink he will be a toddler and any white will be smeared and stained with jam and mud... TILL THEN...!

Bow-Bow... <3

Friday, 24 January 2014

Toy Box Crafting...

So I wholly recognise this is a pretty laaaaame toddler crafting session and barely worth a blog post... But we're trapped indoors with another hideous dose of mastitis which means 3 things... 

1. I can't get to acquire better crafting materials than an old wine box 
2. I am having to improvise with such rubbish material as a wine box.
3. I am having to sit here feeding ALOT to ease the dodgy knocker and so have lots of time to upload pics.

And on a serious note I do really need smaller toy containers to start separating out her toys so they're a bit easier for her to play with and I really need to cover up the "Rioja" text. Three birds with one poorly boob... That's the saying right? ;)

Here we go... Wine box, paint...

 Paper, PVA...


If I spent another fortnight indoors toy sorting I may well be somewhere towards organising the lingering Christmas chaos... 

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Bow in the Nursery...

I am by no means a neat freak but I do enjoy, whilst the rest of the house is under constant attack from my toddler and her toy bombs, that Bow's nursery remains mercifully untouched and pristine. I slink in there at nap time to tidy tiny baby clothes away and enjoy the fruits of my prenatal DIY and crafty labours

Baby joys...

Monday, 20 January 2014

Self-Worth without a Salary...

You know an argument I hear a lot? "My bloody taxes shouldn't be spent on criminals in prisons, so we should bring in capital punishment"...

I don't agree with this statement but it never particularly offended me until now, when I started thinking about the core belief of this statement being that human life has to be validated by a monetary value.

At this present moment in time I produce no income. In fact for two whole years now, save a brief spell of paid photography and blog work, I haven't really brought home any money at all. Now I realise the people making the aforementioned statement don't want to hurl me into gas chamber but they are informing me, my children and my society (if we wanna get big with this) that the decision to be a SAHM (stay at home Mum) has somehow cheapened my self-worth! Hmmm... That neither feels good nor rings true.

Most of the time my resolve to stay at home and focus on my family is concrete (for me, my situation and my family I stress). Occasionally, usually triggered by some other body-image crisis, social boo-boo or bad-day related event, that concrete cracks and I let the "salary/job title = worth/importance of my role" logic seep in. When it does it's serious poison. SAHM kryptonite. And I literally have to get some fresh air and pep-talk myself back to sunnier thoughts about myself.

Enough. I've had this argument with myself for too long. Judged myself, my purpose, my self-worth, and my self-confidence against monetary scales for too long. I don't want a cash sum on my tombstone, so why is the thought of living to a cash sum taking up so much of my headspace?!

So how should I be valuing myself? I came up with a list of questions to ask myself when mid-concrete-cracking in the hope different thoughts and feelings seep in... If I can answer "yes" to a few of these then surely my efforts are going in right direction...

Was I challenged emotionally today?

Do I have standards for my role at home and did I try to meet them today?

Have my children played today?

Do I have a creative outlet and do I practice it regularly?

Am I in some kind of learning curve of any variety (intellectual, physical, emotional...)?

Have my chidden had a learning opportunity today?

Am I proud of something my children did today, no matter how small or even if I've seen it ten times before?

Did I have to problem solve today?

Do I have aspirations for my home and my family and for my role within it?

Did I do the majority of everything today with the best intentions?

Have I made decisions with a wider view of my community in mind today?

Did I want to do my job today?

Were there moments of joy in my role today?

Basically I am asking if I am fulfilled. But "am I fulfilled?" is a far to broad question and anticipating answering that as an unequivocal 100% YES everyday is unrealistic. So I'm going for answering yes to some/most of these. If I wanted to give myself some numbers to target let's say I want to answer 30% of these yes on an ok day, 50% yes on a good day and 75%+... Well I'm high-fiving myself and pouring a glass of performance related bonus juice in the evening!

A little bit about last week in pictures...

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Baby Girl Isla Paige...

Here's me trying to work with a little colour... I'm pleased! Eager to try more!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Thinking 30...

I really REALLY wanted to start and finish 2014 priding myself in the fact that I had no melt downs related to turning 30. I was hell bent on solely celebrating this milestone. Not grieving my 20's or beating myself up too horribly for failing to find a cure for the common cold or win a nobel peace prize. I'm 30, I'm healthy, I'm married with 2 beautiful children... Smug smug smug, sipping champagne and far too fabulous to have a turning-30-wobble was how I wanted to ring in my thirties.

Turns out I am not as immune from a third-life crisis as I'd hoped and on Saturday night I had this horrible panic I hadn't done enough with myself to warrant 30 years well spent. A feeling that I haven't done the best I could do. I used to pride myself in being a bit of a jack of all trades (master of nothing)... But now it's bothering me and I don't feel ok about it. And genuinely very uncomfortably not good.

I suspect it's something to do with having two babies, this feeling of what a weighted responsibility that is and what a time constraint that will always be from here on in. I rarely do my weekly supermarket shop in person in favour of online shopping... How on earth will I ever squeeze a career in?!

Part of me is happy for the "hunger" for it but yeurgh... Until I figure out how I'm going to direct it it's not that welcome. Why now too? I never had a second of missing work before now... Why now with a 9 week old newborn and toddler too young for preschool? I do this a lot, like I never officially go on a diet because just the word itself has me instantly jonesing for a bar of Green & Blacks finest.

Hmmm... Thinking and planning ahead...

And what's better for thinking and planning than our new clean living regime... Walking and green food ahoy!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Bow @ 2 Months

I am promising myself that the very next baby photo shoot I do is going to be way more experimental. I need to push boundaries a little more. The thing is I really do love babies against white, on white, wearing white... Mainly because babies don't need anything else. But I will try... Next time. 

So Bow is 2 months. I cried in bed last night because it's all going too fast. I have nothing new to say here... If you're a parent you know what I mean, if you're not (patronising tone incoming) and you're anything like me then you won't really get it. But... Urgh. I hate it. It seriously makes me hideously morbid and I think about how short life is and how fast it's all going and how it doesn't seem to matter how many pictures I take because nothing slows it down.

Well regardless of my feelings here we are arriving at 2 months at lightening speed. He smiles, he laughs, he holds his head for small periods of time, he's just about stopped crying in the bath, hates the car seat, loves lying face down on the middle seat on our sofa, hates loud noises, loves it in his carrier, has just started to really watch Euna and he is giving me a very easy time of it by sleeping through already! HOORAH! 

Monday, 13 January 2014

Baby Girl Erin...

It's baby fever here! So here's one of the new additions... Baby girl Erin wrapped up snug in her Great Grandma's shawl... <3


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