Category Archives: Love

Dearest Hannah – Happy 6th Birthday!

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To my dearest, darling Hannah,

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The cold days of Winter have come to an end and with them so has your birthday. My winter blossom, already 6 and growing up magically before my eyes, blooming into a young girl with her own ideas, thoughts, questions and wonderings. You are creating your own story Hannah darling, and I am so grateful to be on this path with you. Even though you rarely reach for my hand anymore, I hope you always know I am here for you today, and every day, forever.

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You’ve matured so much this year. There have been many changes and adjustments to make, from welcoming a new sibling, to moving house and you have accepted it all with an understanding and wisdom far beyond your years. You have been helpful, considerate, patient, kind, loving and thoughtful when I needed you most. Being the eldest is not the easiest of roles Hannah – believe me! – but just as I know you chose your birth order, I know that you have the ability to make the most of this time, even when it is challenging. So thank you, for being my most devoted assistant and responsible leader of the pack with Blake and Daisy. I hope in the future, these character traits will serve you abundantly.

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This year, we walked the talk and committed to unschooling. We went against the grain – as we’re prone to do – and you have flourished. Watching you learning every day, delighting in all the wonders of life, humbles me. Your dedication to yourself, to your own learning adventure is inspiring and seeing you confidently attempt and succeed in all manner of tasks is pure joy to your Daddy and I. We love seeing you so comfortable and free. Free to be yourself, to make choices, to take risks, and to begin to navigate this journey of life.

I thought I’d add a list of things you’ve been interested in and/or learned to do this past year for you to look back on. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, you do this and much more every day but these stood out –
learning to blow up a balloon; teaching yourself to hula-hoop;  horse-riding; taking a term of gymnastics classes; learning about countries and flags and general geography; teaching yourself to tie knots; choosing to have your ears pierced; so many home science and art projects; learning circus skills; attempting crochet; a deep interest in evolutionary theory, what happens when people die and the wonders of the universe; gardening; your ever growing interest in the human body; you lost your first tooth; your passion for writing has only increased and your mathematical skills are growing ever sharper; you participated in a television commercial and you spent more time immersed in nature than ever before.  You’ve covered this and more and wow, we’ve had a lot of fun along the way.

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Your star shines bright Hannah. It’s obvious to me that your purpose here is beyond anything I could have imagined, guiding us to think about our lives differently than what we did before. You inspire me with your passionate nature, your willingness to jump in and give everything a go and even though I try to think of words that perfectly describe who you are, I just can’t. You can’t be put into a box or a category, you’re above that. My whole world changed during my pregnancy with you and the last 6 years have spun me 180 degrees. Life is different for us because of you and we wouldn’t have it any other way. You’re truly a beautiful soul and I can’t wait to get to know you even better in the coming year, and hear more of your thoughts on this wonderful world we live in.

Hannah. I love you. I hope your 6th year is just as amazing as you.

Love Always,
Mama xx

January Photo A Day Grateful Project – Day 3

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These are my husbands hands and I am infinitely gratful for them. They have held my hand since the first days of our relationship, they have cuddled each of our children and they have worked hard even on days like today. Brian was generous enough to help my Dad fix his broken car in time for them to leave for their weekend away this afternoon. We abandoned our plans to celebrate his birthday in order for these hands to work their magic, to impart their skill and knowledge and be used for what they were made to do. For 29 years these hands have been working and holding and they need to be celebrated and appreciated.

Brian, I hope you know how proud we are of you. Happy Birthday my love xx

Our Christmas Traditions

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Last year I decided that it was important to me to begin to implement a set of Christmas traditions and ideas that we can celebrate every year as a family over the holiday season. I discussed it with Brian and we decided that we wanted our Christmas celebrations to focus on 3 particulars areas:

  • Spending quality time together as a family and within our wider circle of family, friends and community
  • Remembering to be grateful for what we have and giving to those in need
  • Learning about and sharing in various ways to celebrate Christmas around the world to promote multi-culturality (is that even a word?!!)
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We decided to  achieve this through creating an advent calender that begins on December 1st each year. I browsed through local Christmas events and added the ones our family enjoys to the calender. Last year we particularly enjoyed the Lighting of the big Christmas tree in the city, the Christmas Carols and watching the free Christmas movies at Southbank so we will be attending those once again. These events really help us to make time for each other and be present with each other in the hectic-ness that is this holiday season. It also gets us out into the community and when family or friends come along with us it helps us celebrate the holidays with them as well!
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We decided that we wanted to focus on the act of giving and and sharing gifts with others and in particular, using this time of year to highight the plight of those less fortunate than ourselves. We do this through donating to charities and by asking the children to participate in the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal which they very thoughtfully enjoyed doing last Christmas. This year we will also be adding another giving tradition of encouraging the children to buy/create sibling gifts for each other which we are really looking forward to seeing evolve.
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Finally, we are a multi-cultural family, so it was important to us to share with our children the fact that every family celebrates Christmas in a unique way – some with more of a religious focus, some more with a Santa related focus and that some don’t celebrate the day at all – plus that every country has their own special Christmas traditions that can be fun to explore. This is an area we only touched on last year, but we will expand on this in the next few years as they grow and their understanding grows too.

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I also add in other Christmas events and activites into the advent calender like our yearly tradition of celebrating St Nicholas day just like my family did when I was a child, and fun craft activities like the Christmas sensroy box. We always drive around to see the big Christmas lights displays and I’ve been collecting Christmas books for a couple of years now (most of them bought from op-shops or on sale after Christmas is over) to read every second day and get into the Christmas spirit. It’s a big month yes, but a month we look forward to with great anticipation every year. We are so excited to share it with the children again and I know their faces of delight will make all the organisation totally worth it.

Daisy – One Month Update

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Dear Daisy,

It has already been one month since you entered our world sweet Daisy. And my, how our world has changed. Our house is full of nappies, spewed-on baby clothes, bunny rugs and… love. More love than I thought possible. More love than I could have imagined or hoped for. You’ve made out family a perfect five person circle and we couldn’t adore you more.

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Hannah and Blake witnessed your birth and I am so glad we made that choice. Although the birth was fast and slightly overwhelming I know they have adjusted faster to your arrival because we prepared so much for it and for the days that followed. There was never any seperation from your pregnancy to your birth and to your welcome home, all five of us were there every step of the way. You are being loved and cuddled by your big brother and sister every day, every spare minute. They are simply besotted with your tiny face, and hands and hair. Blake sings and miaows to you like a little kitten and loves to rub his face next to yours. He is so affectionate and so gentle and I just adore seeing him with you. It makes my heart burst with happiness. Hannah is not the cuddly type but she gives you at least a few kisses and hugs every day. It’s probably good that she isn’t, you would be getting smothered otherwise! She shows you her love through her words and her actions. She is amazingly helpful and caring and seems to understand you as a baby better than I would ever have expected from a recently turned 5 year old. Together, your brother and sister have outdone themselves in how they have welcomed you into our family and I couldn’t be any prouder of them.

You, my darling girl, have grown and changed in the last month, just as you should. You weighed 3.510g at birth and were just over 4kg at 2 weeks old. Now you’ve outgrown your 0000 jumpsuits so I know you’ve put on more weight but I haven’t weighed you since then. You’re currently going through a wonder week, your first developmental leap. I am expecting to see your first social smile any day now. I have captured a few sneaky ones with my camera over the last couple of weeks, but you haven’t started properly smiling just yet. This current growth spurt has left you a bit grizzly and needing much more holding but up until this week you were quite happy to be left to kick on your own after a feed and just look around (and receive lots of love from Blake!) which was so helpful. You’re generally only really unhappy when passing wind which seems to be very difficult and painful for you. Other than that you’re a mostly calm and settled baby and that has been a breath of fresh air for me, especially with 2 older children to look after!

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Thankfully, apart from the intial pain of engorgement and blocked ducts, breastfeeding has come easily once again. You feed much less than your brother did and that is a surprise to me. You also don’t enjoy falling asleep at the breast or actually drinking the let down, you almost always pull off. I realised I have an oversupply and a fast let down that you obviously dislike coping with so after some research and some wise suggestions I now try to fully recline while feeding you so gravity slows the let down and also block feeding you so that you get as much of that fatty hind milk as possible. These two tips have improved things slightly, you don’t poop at every feed like you used to and you don’t spew or pass wind as much as before but it hasn’t completely fixed the issue and some days are worse than others. We have also been taking you to a chiro since you were 12 days old to give your little body the best support possible. I know your digestive system is still so immature so I am guessing that things will remain this way for another couple of months until you grow a bit bigger.

Of-course apart from feedng and pooping, the other thing you do a lot of is sleep. And you’re pretty good at it! During the day there is still no predictable pattern which is fine and you just fall asleep when you’re ready. Sometimes it is after a feed but other times you just need a bit of walking and jiggling to get you to sleep. Amazingly, I can even put you in the swing or your moses basket and you will stay asleep for a couple of hours, generally in the afternoon. Blake and Hannah both rarely did that as babies. You do seem to have created a little pattern for night times though. For almost 3 weeks now you have been going to sleep for the night around 9pm (sometimes a tad earlier or later) and staying asleep for a minimum of 4 hours, even up to 6 and a half!!! Yes, that does deserve three exclaimation points! Sadly, I still can’t get my head around you sleeping that long – especially since you’re in your moses basket and not even next to me – and I keep waking every hour or so to check on you so I rarely get any deep sleep. I bet that once I do become accustomed to it, your little routine will change and I will get even less sleep than before!

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After 4 weeks of settling into our new life we returned to our ‘normal’ life of mothers group and play dates and outings and although it takes me much longer to get out of the house than before, we have done it. There has been tears and a few moments of desperately wanting to crawl back into bed, a few emotional outbursts and a few really challenging days but overall it has been amazing. I never feared whether my heart had enough love for three children, I always knew it would, but I didn’t expect it to feel this good! I have really been savouring this time with you Daisy, but it is still going far too fast for my liking. I know every month that follows will bring new delights and discoveries but this first month was so, so precious, so thank you my dear Daisy. I love you.

Love Always,
Mama

P.S. The little onsie you’re wearing in the photos was worn by both your older brother and sister, so it’s very sentimental to me. xx

It’s a…

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Brian, Hannah, Blake and I are thrilled to announce we are expecting another sweet baby GIRL!

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We are truly excited. We have felt this little girl has been a long time coming into our family. Those of you who know Blake’s story know that we were told that he was a girl at our morphology scan. I can happily say that I am confident that this time it really is a girl we are expecting, and the sonographer was fantastic in double and triple checking for us several times!

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Hannah adored meeting her newest sibling through the ultrasound and was more than excited to have her suspicions confirmed that the baby was a girl! She is very interested in watching 3D animations of babies in the womb and is patiently awaiting to feel the baby kick for the first time.

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This was Blake’s contribution to our photoshoot… letting go of our pink balloon! He is not quite sure what is happening and seems adamant that when someone mentions a baby girl that they are in fact calling him a girl which he opposes with a loud, “I a big boy, not a girl!” A few friends of ours have had newborns recently and his behaviour has been very curious and gentle so we have no doubt he will be full of exctitement once this baby is born.