My Heart, Your Home: 2012   

Monday, 31 December 2012

Onwards and Upwards

2012 was quite a year and one that I am actually rather glad to see the back of. Mainly, because it was a tough year and I am craving the new slate of a new year and being able to put it all behind me. There is nothing quite as refreshing as starting a New Year, with new hopes and new beginnings in mind. I always find that it helps you to move past the things that you have been holding on to and letting go of any hurt, anger or pain you might have been carrying.

So, 2012, I say Goodbye to you and I put those bad memories to rest. I take hold of the good moments and the great days and I place them safely within my heart. Armoured with positivity and happy memories I am ready to take my first step into 2013 and start my new beginnings. I look forwards in anticipation and readiness and I am ready to tackle the new year with a new breath of gusto.

I have set myself out many resolutions this year, which is very unusual for me. But this year I want to make all about me and my perfect family. With a new baby only moments away and family bond I only want to strengthen it is time to put us first, and everyone else second. I have found over the last year that even amongst all of my own stress I was putting myself aside and trying to do and say as everyone else needed. This year, I am going to turn my phone off more, say no more, do what I want more and avoid negative situations and conversations more. 

I have spent too much time focusing on the bad moments in life, the disappointments and the regrets. So this year, I am going to spend less time talking about the negatives and more time focusing and talking about the positives, the moments that take your breath away. The moments  that, all to often, are drowned by the negatives. I will not drown my happiness!

This last year I have felt like I was letting myself disappear into my role as a Mum and was losing my self identity. So, this year, I want to go back to University. I want to finish my degree. I want to be someone that my children look up to, aspire to, are proud of. I want to be proud of myself and my accomplishments. So it is time to get back to doing something other than being a Mummy and putting some energy into my own well being.

I want to find my fire again. My creativity. Wether it be by putting more energy into this blog and finding inspiration in words, or wether it be drawing and painting, or maybe even a course in photography. Its time I find some inspiration from my life and an outlet.

And last but not least, I am going to sit down tomorrow and write a budget and I am going to make sure we actually live by that budget. I am going to get this family ahead in anyway I can, because I am tired of always falling behind. 

2013 is going to be a year of love, of happiness, of family, or self worth and of saving and I think it is going to be a fantastic year.

From my family and I, to you and yours I wish you every success in the new year and I truly cannot wait to share it all with you. I thank you, again, for helping me create this community here, this village, and for giving me something that my life was lacking previously. Your words and your support and your encouragement has been like no other and I hope that we can continue into 2013 as a positive and supportive community. 

Happy New Year, friends xx

Friday, 28 December 2012

Have a baby when you want to

Today I was walking through a homeware store and I found a little book that was full of small things that a Father wanted to say to his children, things that he wished that someone had told him 20 odd years ago. It had many little sayings such as don't roll your eyes or never get a tattoo before you are 30. But there was one little saying, that was aimed at his Daughter, that really made an impact on me. 

It simply says... have a baby when you want to.

I was 23 years old when I fell pregnant with Evelyn and I was so totally ready to be a Mum. My body ached to have a child, I wanted it. My partner was 38 years old when I fell pregnant. Yes, that means we have a 15 year age gap between us. But that has never been an issue between he and I. It has never even been a second thought. Our souls were made to be together. His soul, however, had a journey that needed to be followed before my soul found its way to earth. Our age difference, 15 years, does not mean anything to our relationship or our lives. Our souls know no age, they know each other and they know that they are where they are meant to be, with each other.

Lately I have been feeling a lot of heat from people outside of our relationship. I feel as though my age is an issue, it is an issue for our relationship and my ability to Mother my child. I am treated like I am immature. Like all my decisions are made without research or thought, made on a whim. Each decision I do make is under fire, it is picked apart and analysed. Suggestions are made, are pushed, always looking for something that I haven't already thought of so that these people can feel as though they have been able to prove that I am in-fact incapable. 

I was 14 years old when I fell pregnant for the first time, I was 15 when I made a decision on my own to abort that pregnancy. I was 23 years old when I fell pregnant with Evelyn. I was 24 when Evelyn was born. I was 25 when I fell pregnant with Jelly, after having a miscarriage and I will be 26 years old when Jelly is born. I am old enough to fall pregnant and make a decision about what I want to do with that pregnancy, I am old enough to bring a child into the world and I am old enough to care for that child.

I have raised a perfect, happy, well behaved almost two year old daughter. I have taught her how to walk, how to talk, how to sleep well and how to eat right. I have taught her about right and wrong, please and thank you. I have raised her. Making decisions, on my own, the whole way along. I have given her a good life and I will continue to. I love her, I care for her, I protect her and I make sure that she is happy. I do that. All on my own. Without any direction, influence or advice. It is something that comes naturally to me, because... I am her Mother. And I was born to be a Mother, and I am a really good Mother!

My age, wether it is young in anyones eyes, is completely irrelevant to my ability to be a Mother to my children, or my ability to be a partner to Anthony. My age, is a number. Just like any other number. I may only have lived this life for 26 years but I have seen and experienced things that some 50 years never had, as they have experienced and seen things that I havent yet. I am a good person, I am loyal, I am honest and I am brave. I am committed and dedicated, I am proud of who I am and the Mother I have become. 

My ability to parent my own children should never be under fire or critiqued as I am my biggest critic. I will not make a rash decision in regards to my Daughter. I do not knee jerk. I read, I ask for advice, I research, I compare. I ensure that I armed with all the knowledge that I need to be able to make the right choice for my children. 

Have a baby when you want to. Because when you want to, is when you will be ready to. Have a baby when you want to, because it is no choice for anyone else to make. Have a baby when you want to, because you are the parent and you know best. Do not let anyone else make you feel incompetent. Do not let anyone else make you feel like you are less than you are. I am learning that the thoughts and opinions of these outsiders are of no importance to me. What is important is that I do what I need to do to be the best damn Mum I can possibly be! 

And so... At 26 years old I will have my second child... because I want to and because I am good at it!

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Thursday, 27 December 2012

Merry Christmas

In the lead up to Christmas, through out Christmas and even in the two days since Christmas I really haven't had the moment to come here and to express my gratitude to you. So today, as I sit on the balcony over looking Avoca lake, I am taking that moment. 

I have been running this blog for just over four months and in that time I have "met" some truly wonderful woman... fellow bloggers and beautiful readers. People whom I actually considered to be friends. Yes, I may not know them "in real life", but the thing is, this blog and the world that has been created from it is... my real life. 

You have supported me through my pregnancy so far and I am sure you will support through to the birth. You have celebrated my successes with me and held my hand through all of my failures. At every moment that I have needed support or a cuddle or a kind word, you have been there. When I am proud, you are proud with me. When I am uncertain, you reassure me. When I have been sad, you have made me happy. You have given me an unknown support, one that just hasn't existed in my life before you. And so you see... you are about as real as you can get. The way you make me feel, is about as real as any other feeling. 

So, from the absolute bottom of my heart, I thank you. For every kind word, for every piece of advice, for every smile and for every cuddle. I thank you for the friendships and the conversations and I thank you for every single second of the last four months... it really has meant the world to me. This place has become my home and you have become my family.

From my family to yours I wish you all the happiness and joy in the world. I will celebrate your successes with you into the new year and I will always hold your hand through your sadnesses. There are no words strong enough or elaborate enough that can even begin to explain how blown away I am by YOU... you make me strive to be more, be greater, be me... and for that, I will forever try and give you the same in return.

Merry Christmas everyone, I cant wait to start the New Year with you!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Dear Santy Claus...

The very lovely Sophie, over at Modern Day Mummying, asked me to create a Christmas wish list two weeks ago and every day since I have been pushing this task aside. With December being the month of my Birthday, come Christmas time there is actually very little left for me to desire and so trying to give my family hints about a Christmas gift has been difficult enough. But over the weekend I had a moment that made it all clear to me... and now I know, exactly what it is that I want...

Dear Santy Claus!

Every year my life proves to be one that is full of blessings and privileges. It is full of family and friends, love and support. Every year, at Christmas time, I look at my life and I know that it is abundantly full and I am never left wanting or needing for anything more. At the end of the year, when my partner is at home and our families all come together I like to take the time to look back on what has been and be thankful for it all... even if some of the time it has been trialling, because I know, that I am truly blessed.

With a life like mine, there are no items, objects or possessions that could bring me a happiness that even measures to the happiness I feel when I watch the people I love... live. Christmas time is a time for joy, for magic and for so much love and on Friday night as I took my little girl around the suburbs, stopping to 'oooh' and 'ahhhh' at all the magical lights that adorned the beautiful houses, I stood back and I cried. Because in that moment there I knew that I was giving my Daughter a blessed and privileged life too. Because I knew that I was creating magic for her. Because I knew, that she would never be left to need or want and in that moment, I knew what it was that I wished for, for Christmas. 

1. Love like mine

As I watched my Daughter dance to the sounds of the Christmas Carols and jump up and down pointing at the lights my heart was overwhelmed. Before I held my own Daughter I was never truly aware of how much love I was capable of having. I never knew that love could feel so good that it bubbles up from inside of you and it spills out of you in the form of tears in your eyes, goosebumps on your skin and an intense need to just hug the person you love the most. But now, I know what love is. My Daughter has filled my life with magic, not just at Christmas time. She has filled it with bubbles and fairies, rainbows and lollies. It is intense, it is overwhelming, it is overbearing and it is my single, most favourite feeling in the world. 

I want for everyone to know a love like this. To feel it towards another person, to show another person. I want everyone to feel this love back and to be shown. I want love like mine to fill the world and to make the world a magical place, all year round. I want for all parents to be able to hold their babies tight every night, for them not to be taken away from them. I want for those babies to know that they are being held so tight because they are so passionately and desperately loved. I want for all babies to have someone, to love them. Wether it is their parents, or someone in place of their parents. I want all children to be safe and protected. I want a love like mine to over rule the world. If we all felt a love like mine, then there would be no room for evil.

2. Equality in love

I have always loved Anthony, to the umpth degree, but until Evelyn was born, that degree was far lower than it is now. Now I love him way past that degree and back again. And I am allowed to. We are not married, but when and if we chose to be, we will be. There is no barriers standing in our way. We can walk down the street and hold hands, we can even stop and kiss each other passionately if we so desire, and we are allowed to. There is no judgement from bystanders, there is no disgust or outrage. Anthony and I can love each other in any form that we like, we can be who and what we want to be, where ever we want to be and that is a privilege that we often take for granted, not even giving it a second thought.

What I want, is for everyone to be able to love their person in the way that I do. I want for their to be freedom in Australia to marry the person you love, male or female. I want for my Daughter to be able to kiss her girlfriend in the street in the same way that should would kiss her boyfriend, if ever she wanted to. I want for two girls to be able to hold hands and profess their love for each other in front of their family and friends and I want it to be normal. I want for two men to be able to do the same. I want for my Daughter to grow up in a world the understands that you do not love the external, you love the person, who ever is inside. Because that is what I will be teaching her and I never want for someone to tell her that is not normal, or not okay, or not acceptable. I want equality in love, because everyone deserves to love someone.

3. The lost to be found

When I was young I spent some time living out of home, in places that I shouldn't have been living. I wont call the experience dreadful because the experience bought me knowledge and wisdom, it bought me power. I met people who lived, full time, on the streets and they were fabulous. They were always judged, treated poorly, by the common people. Everyone thinking they are just a drunk, drinking away their families, home and money. But that is not always the case. The homeless are people too, they have lives, they had families, they have parents, siblings and often children. They are just lost.

What I want, is for them to be found. By their loved ones, by a new loved one, by anyone who is willing to give them a chance. I want for the homeless to be provided with the opportunity to no longer be homeless. I want for the common person to no longer judged them for what they see, for their scraggy clothes and bad smell, for the cardboard bed and unwashed feet. I want the common person to look behind the dirt and see the man, I want them to see the sadness in their eyes and their lost and wounded hearts and I want them to reach out a hand. I want for the homeless to become people again, not just a sore sight. Because they are so much more than that.

4. World Care

I have not travelled too far around the world, but I dont need to travel to know that there are countries around the world that need our help. The help of the blessed and privileged. There are countries stricken by poverty and grief. My dream growing up was always to travel to Africa and to donate my time and ability and heart to the welfare of the country. To the people who have suffered, to the people who are suffering. I have not made it there yet but I have not given up on my dream. One day I will walk fly into that country and I will do what ever I can to make a difference, if only to the life of one, one life improved is better than one life lost.

For now, all I can do is donate my money and my prayers and keep hoping that one day these countries will be freed by the shackles of their poverty. For now, all I want is for you, oh blessed one, to also donate your money and prayers. Because we do live a blessed life and they do not. Because we do have the power to make a difference in a life that they cannot improve. Because that coffee that you will buy for yourself tomorrow morning, and the next, could give them water for a week. Because that coffee could mean their life and isn't a life worth saving?

5. Good Health

Four years ago, my Mum lost her husband to Cancer, I lost my Step Father. Nine years ago, my Dad lost his wife to Cancer and my step brothers lost their Mother as young boys. Before that we lost family friends to Cancer. And today I watch another family friend suffer through her 4th hit of Cancer. Cancer has been a part of my life, I have watched it steal away the strength, the humour, the light from people that I love. I have then watched it take them away completely. I have watched their bodies break and give in to the pain. I have survived the pain of losing them. Cancer is an awful disease that is running rampant throughout the lives of many and I hate it. Cancer makes my blood boil.

I want for it to be gone and if not gone, I want for there to be cure. I do not want to see another person in my life lose their person to that hideous disease. I do not want to watch that life sucking disease steal away any more light from our world. I am asking you, dear Santa, to please not bring anymore Cancer into my life, or into the lives of any other. Because it is heart breaking, to watch, to suffer, to survive, to live with and to die with. No one deserves such an end. 

Santa... I dont want for much. I do not need for a single object or possession. All I ask from you, is these 5 simple things. Please help me to make this world a better place. Please help me to raise my Daughter in a world full of love, of equality, of compassion and of good health. 

I will bake you cookies every night for the rest of my life if you could deliver me these tomorrow morning. 

Forever your believer...

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The Bump ~ 27 Weeks

Last week was a very emotional week, as my mind was full of fears that Jelly would be born way before their time. Ever since that day, I have been focusing my time on moving past that and accepting that we are safe, well and healthy. But in reality, I still fear that something is going to go wrong. I have this constant niggling thought at the back of mind that makes me think we are not going to make it to full term. I cant explain why or how I have come to feel this way but the thought is there and it is very real.

Tomorrow we have a check up with the midwives and I will be expressing my concerns to her. Hopefully hearing Jelly's heart beat and seeing that my vitals are well will reassure me, if only for another four weeks. I also receive the results of my glucose test tomorrow, this time around I am very nervous about this test and the results. 

This week, Anthony and I have been trying to come up with a list of names for Jelly but I am finding it increasingly difficult. He does not have much to suggest and crosses off the small amount of names that I am considering rather quickly. It would not be suprising if Jelly was born and nameless for a few days before we were able to settle on something that suits. My anxiety doesnt cope with this thought too well, but my heart is ok with it. Because I know that once I see Jelly's little face, I will know exactly what they should be named.

I have been thinking a lot about our coming labour over the last few days also. Who will take care of my baby, while I bring my new baby into the world. How we will settle our new baby into our current life, my Evelyn bonding with her new baby brother or sister. How long the labour will last, how long to stay in hospital afterwards. The emotional roller coaster that follows the birth of a child, the breast feeding journey. The sleeping, or lack of, once we are home. There are so many thoughts running through my mind, so much excitement, some concern and worry, a little fear. 

It has been a busy week for me, full of a lot of thoughts. I have been trying to prepare myself in the best way for the day that we are to welcome this baby of mine into our lives. But, there is only so much preparation you can do, the rest will just fall into place. I need to keep reminding myself of that.

Jelly, I cant wait to meet you but please prove me wrong and stay in there until the very end. You need all the time you can get in there to be able to tackle this world and this life with full strength and speed. I want you to have the best possible life you can have and in order for you to have that, we need to nourish your growth. My heart needs to beat next to yours, for just a little while longer. 

Its you and me babe, in such a short time, your hand will forever be in mine

Saturday, 15 December 2012

What Christmas Means to Me

Christmas is a time of year that can often be swept away by stress and pressure, responsibilities and expectations, presents and things. It is a time of year that the traditions of the holiday can become so important to keep and repeat that we forget to actually live them. It is a time when everyone's desire to have the perfect Christmas, the perfect gift and the perfect decorations can often lead to people forgetting what Christmas is truly all about.

I am one of those people, I forget. I worry so much about what I want it to be, that it comes and goes and it was not at all what I was dreaming of. Growing up, Christmas was often surrounded by sadness and disappointment. My Mum was a single Mother of three children and come Christmas time, she grieved the life that she always wanted. It was a hard time for her and I remember it being so. My Dad was surrounded by a new family whom he celebrated with each year and by the time we made it down to him, Christmas was over. Each year, Christmas was not celebrated to its full potential and I have carried those memories with me into my adulthood, finding it difficult to celebrate Christmas for what I want it to be.

Christmas to me is about love. Not only for ourselves and our families, but for the world. It is about giving, not just gifts and food, but support and thanks. Christmas is a time to be grateful for the year that has passed and to look forward to the year that is to come. It is not a time to dwell on what was not, or what could have been, relationships lost, dreams not met. It is a time to look up, look forward and to be happy. It is about giving, to those who need it more than you, wether it be your time, a smile, a friendly hand, food or a gift. It is about helping to make someone else's day a little happier than before. It is about community. 
Christmas is not just about my family, it is about all families. It is not just about my children, but about all the children. It is not just about my world and what is important to me, it is about using my world to help the worlds of others. Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be able to do something at Christmas time that was for the good of others, to help those who cannot help themselves, and every year what is important to me, becomes more important. But this year, I want that to be different. 

At a time of the year where most celebrate their good fortune and each other with food and good wine, with chilled beer and cheer, there are families out there who may not be able to be together. There are children who do not have parents. There parents who cannot provide for their children. There sick people and their families praying for good health. I cannot heal the hearts of all of those people, I cannot give them what they need or pray for, I cannot change their future or their pasts. But I can help to make their day just a little bit brighter. Christmas is about giving, to others, selflessly.

This year, in the week leading up to Christmas, my family and I will be baking and creating care packages full of Christmas treats. And on Christmas morning, before we open our presents, Anthony, Evelyn and I will be heading to the hospital and we will give out small boxes of cheer to the patients on the children's and intensive care wards. 

This may not be selfless, because to give in a way such as this, lifts your spirits in a way like no other. It will not be selfless because starting this tradition this year will teach my Daughter that Christmas is not about what is beneath the tree, it is about what is within our hearts. It is definitely not selfless because the feeling that this brings to me, to be able to do something for someone else on Christmas Day, is far greater than the feeling that any food or gift could ever bring to those people. One day, I will find a way to commit a true selfless act on Christmas Day, but for this year I am just thrilled to be able to do anything at all.

Being able to do something as small as this, for unknowing people, serves as a reminder to myself (and Anthony) that the world is so much bigger than us. I need to remind myself that I lead a privileged life and it is my responsibility to use my privilege to help others. This is a reminder to myself to slow down this Christmas, to think about others, to be kind and thoughtful, to care and to share. 

The world needs more kindness...

My heartfelt thoughts go out to all of those who are in a situation less fortunate than me and especially to the families and loved ones affected by the Connecticut tragedy today

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Bump ~ 26 Weeks

This last week has been a roller coaster ride, of health and of emotions, and I am finding it very difficult to sit down here today and write any words. In fact, I have been finding it difficult to write for several days now. But I do not want to miss a week in this little series, for the sake of Jelly and the day that I give these writings to them to be read. 

The week started out fine but it progressively became more and more stressful and I became more and more emotional. I have felt like my time has been torn between the people I love and I don't have much left of it for myself. I am finding it difficult to find the strength to say no to invites and requests and have been heading out of the house more often than I would like to do things that I don't so much want to. My mind is busy, my body is aching and all I really want to do is spend my days at home preparing for Christmas or at the beach enjoying the sunshine (which seems to be on hold for the meantime).

Come December, I try to have all of my Christmas shopping done so that I can spend the month firstly, by enjoying by birthday, and then secondly, by preparing for Christmas. With christmas crafting and baking, tree trimming and wrapping. I have done all of my shopping this year but I am still finding that my time is not free to do with as I please. 

My Birthday has been and gone and my mind was so busy that my emotions were out of control and unbearable. I found myself to be upset and not enjoying my weekend at all. Then, come the end of the weekend, I come down with a gastro bug. It was as though my body and the universe were telling me, enough is enough. Stay home, look after yourself and be gentle. So that is what I have done. I have been at home. I have moved slowly. I started my Christmas wrapping and written my shopping list and I am trying to reset my emotions and my mind. There are two weeks to go until Christmas and I want to take these next two weeks slowly. I want them to be about me and my family.

On Monday night, Anthony and I worried that I was in labour and I found myself in the hospital for a few hours being monitored. This gastro has really taken its toll on my body and on Jelly. My whole tummy was tensing and I was in horrible pain but according to the machine these were not contractions, just bad tummy pains. My mind raced about having a baby at 26 weeks old, the survival rate, the dangers, the risks. I was terrified and it has taken me a few days to be able to regather myself and find the strength to believe that everything is ok. 

I still do not have the words to be able to write this post as I would have liked but we are now closing in on another week and before I know it would be 27 weeks so I just had to get something out. I did not have the time to take photos this week as on the day I normally would do so, I was being monitored. 

So, Jelly, I give you this. A stressed and emotional dribble of words. I apologise that it isnt more but know that it is what it is because I love you and the thought of losing you or bringing you into the world before your time, introducing you to pain, freaks me out. It is unimaginable. So bear with me. Next week, I will be calm again. But for now, I am just a Mama worried about her baby... about you. My baby.

Its you and me babe... together we will conquer all

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Goodnight Baby

Last night as I was laying you down to sleep I realised just how precious these moments are and that they will slip by us in no time at all. I had to stop myself from feeling sad at the thought that this won't last forever and remind myself to remember that very moment. Before I gave you your final goodnight kiss I dashed out to get the camera so that I could capture you forever, at 20 months old, with your bed buddies and your smile and your sleepy eyes. 

Bedtime is one of my favourite parts of the day, not because you are going to sleep (by my bedtime I actually miss you and always come and see you for a quick cuddle and kiss), but because of the time we share and the bonding we do and the love that we show. You are at your most affectionate right before bed and in those moments I can see the love pouring out of you. It is in the way that you look at me and in the way you hold yourself close. It is in the kisses you give and it lines your sleepy little smile. Your love is so pure, unvarnished from the world. It is unconditional and I know it is forever mine.

Each night before you go to bed, we change in the lounge room and watch you try to put yourself inside your sleepy suit. We collect your bed buddies - Mr. Rabby, Bunny, Giraffe, Owl the music, little ted, piggy and your pink fluffy blanket. Then you take us by the hand and we all walk down the hallway to your room where we throw your buddies into bed, one by one, and giggle at the way they land. You put your hands in the air and say up.

Last night Daddy picked you up and you placed your wee little head on his shoulder and wrapped your arms around his neck and patted him on the bed. You then reached your little arm out to me and pulled me in close, put one arm around my neck and the other around your Daddy's and placed your head between ours. My family, having a family cuddle, requested by you. My heart skipped a beat! I stood there and melted. 

You pulled back and gave me a kiss. Your Dad a kiss. Me again. Dad again. Then you laughed at how silly you were being and so we all laughed with you. Daddy passed you to me to lay you in bed, we kissed each one of your bed buddies goodnight and put them in place.

You said 'bauble please', I gave it to you and began to drink waving goodnight to your Daddy and I. 

I stopped at the door to look at you just a minute longer because I know this phase will soon pass and I want to remember these moments for as long as I can. You are the most precious little baby and I love watching you grow but I will miss seeing you so small too.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Dear 20 Month Old You...

On Monday this week you were 20 months old... 20 months feels like such a huge milestone. No longer a baby but not yet a two year old. I cannot believe my eyes, watching you grow, learn and develop. Every day you amaze me with a new word or capability and every day I bust with pride that you are mine and that I am lucky enough to be raising you.

You are such a beautiful soul, I say it every month but every month you show me just how kind and gentle and caring you really are. It is my role as your Mother to nourish and encourage that characteristic in you, making sure that you never lose your heart and soul. At such a young age it not a concern of mine but I do worry that as you grow your desire to love the world and everyone in it may falter. I am trying to find a way to keep that trust live within you while teaching you about personal safety. I do not ever want you to lose your faith in people and the world, it is a beautiful faith to have and watching it shine within you reminds me to look for my own again.

You were born a true girl, so petite and soft and gentle. Your natural instinct is to play with the dolls, patting them on the back and placing them in their cots. You hold your friends hands and brush their hair when they are sad. You cuddle and kiss everyone you meet. I can already see that maternal instinct in you and I just know you will become the most beautiful big Sister and, in many years to come, the most wonderful Mother.

You are surrounded by little boyfriends so as much as you are a girl, you are also a tom boy. Kicking balls, playing rough and tumble, digging in the dirt. You will give anything a try and have no fear of being hurt or failing. I love watching that within you, because that is what Mummy was as a child. I am learning to encourage both sides of your gender. Trying to nurture the girl in you while encouraging the inner tom boy to come out and play. I imagine a life full of fairies and pink, balls and scraped knees and that is a life I couldn't even dream of.

You are my little beach baby, on any day, in any mood, being on the beach will instantly bring a smile to your face and your bad mood will disappear. Covered in sand and wet clothes you will run the length of the beach chasing the waves and digging holes. You are always happiest by the sea. Mummy is always happiest by the sea too. And I am so very happy that you and I can connect over something so precious and important to me. Your Daddy could not be any more proud and is dreaming of the day he can put you on a surf board. 

You are becoming bossy, dragging Mummy and Daddy and any of your friends from one place to another by the hand. You love to share your games and books and adventures with all of us and we love to join in and play with you too. 

You are becoming more and more vocal, learning new words every day and it is such a thrill! But, there is no sound I love more, than when you call my name... Mama... my heart truly melts and I often find myself with tears in my eyes and goosebumps on my skin. It is the most beautiful sound in the world. 

Being your Mama is the most precious gift I have ever been given and I will cherish it each and every day. We will have our moments, some of them will be bad and I will let you down, but just know that I loved you before you were born and I will love you until the very end. Nothing will ever take that away from us and there is nothing you can ever do that will question the strength of my love. I want you to know that you will always be my baby girl and there will always be a place for you in my heart. I spend my days now fighting to be the best possible version of myself so that I can give you the best possible Mother. 

You are my world Evelyn... and in return for all that you have given me I want to give you the world

I love you

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The Bump ~ 25 Weeks

This last week has felt like two weeks in one, time has really moved by so very slowly. All through the week I was being prepared for a heat wave that was due to hit on the very day we were to set up for our very first camping trip and I was stressed to say the very least! The idea of being 25 weeks pregnant with a toddler in 42 degree heat and in a tent, was not at ALL appealing. So my emotions and stress levels were running at all time high.

My mind was completely full of 'how on earth am I going to survive this' that I just did not have the time to focus on anything other. We went along to the camping trip and all in all, it was relatively successful. But that is a story for another time.

We decided to come home a day early and spend our last day together at our local beach and enjoy the beautiful day that we were delivered. There was not a wave in the ocean and barely a cloud in the sky and we were all just so happy to be home and together.

As I lay on the beach watching Anthony and Evelyn building sandcastles together, Jelly gave me a great reminder that they are with us and already a part of our family. Baby started moving and kicking my tummy so hard that we all stopped to watched. It was such a beautiful moment to be able to share with my family. Surrounded by the beauty of our home and the love of our family, our baby to be showed us that they are already an integral part to our family.

With my birthday coming up at the end of the week and Christmas just around the corner I am so truly excited to be in the place that I am in with the people I am with. My family are my all. They give me all the love and happiness that my dreams are made of and I am just so very proud that we have created us.

Jelly we all love you already and cant wait until you are more than a movement within my tummy. Only 15 weeks to go... I cannot believe it!

Its you and me babe, in time we will be building sandcastles together too

Friday, 30 November 2012

How to make your own ~ Personalised Christmas Baubles

Growing up we never truly had a Christmas tradition. Each year was spent somewhere new, wether it require a 4 hour drive or wether it be around the corner. Always with other people and never at our own home. Some years we would wake up else where and other years we would wake up at home. But we did have one thing that we did every year, we waited until after my Birthday (Dec 7th) much to the dismay of my siblings, to decorate our home. And when we did decorate we would play the Christmas Carols and we would spend all night topping the tree of baubles and tinsel, hanging garlands around the house, emptying our Christmas box of magic to be strewn through out the bedrooms. Yesterday I mention a very special Christmas job that I had every year, today I want to tell you about the family baubles that we each hang.

We would wait for everything else to be complete and then we would each select our own baubles with our own names on them from the special box and place them on the tree. All fighting for the prime position!

Ever since I owned my own tree I have been looking for a place that would recreate those personalised baubles but have found anywhere that is quite as nice. So... I decided to tackle this one on my own!

Here is my how to guide!

What you will need:
1 bauble per family member 
(I chose mine from bed, bath and table for $5.99 each)
Glitter of your choice
(I used silver and metallic white)
PVC glue
A skewer
String to hang the baubles
(mine came with them)

How to make:
Lay a towel over your workspace to collect all the fallen glitter dust
Fill a bowl with your glitter
Squeeze some PVC glue out on to a mat for easy dipping and dip your skewer into the glue, begin to write your name, quite thickly so that you can get a good coverage of glitter
Once you have finished writing your names put your bauble in the bowl and cover the glue with the glitter
Let the glue dry for 24 hours

**I made these at home alone so was unable to take any photos of the process***

Thursday, 29 November 2012

How to make your own ~ Fabric Christmas Wreath

Growing up one of my very clear memories of preparing for Christmas was that each and every year I had my own special job. I was the one who hung the Christmas wreath on the front door. This was my very special job because the very special Christmas wreath was made by me in preschool. It was made with white plastic shopping bags and a coat hanger with some cheap decorations hanging on it. It was nothing beautiful or spectacular, but it was made by my very young hands. It was something I delighted in hanging every year... even as a late teenager. 

There is nothing more rewarding than being able to hang something in your own home that was made by you (or your husband or children). Handmade really is the best kind of made there it is. Always original, always full of love and always evokes pride. 

So this year, I have been delighting in creating Christmas decorations that I can hang in my own home, each and every year. That I can tell Evelyn I made and she helped choose the resources. That I can tell Jelly that I made while they kicked away in my tummy. Then next year, I can create craft activities for Evelyn to make and I will hang those with pride in my home too. Because, you see, I love things that are full of love and made especially with me in mind.

Last night I started and finished my very own adult version of that very special Christmas wreath and I hang it on my wall and I swelled with pride and memories and love. So in the spirit of Christmas, and sharing, and my crafty posts I decided to share this here with you too! I apologise for the quality of photos and lack of steps, I was so wrapped up in getting the job done that I actually forgot to photograph it along the way. You know, living in the moment and all that!

What you will need:

1 x metal ring ~ Spotlight $2
A range of Christmas fabric ~ Spotlight $28

I bought 30 cms of four different fabrics and then a pack of "fat quarters" which were mixed red fabrics. I had way too much fabric! I dont think I even used half of it!

How to make:

Cut your fabric in strips - 1/2" x 5"
Tie in a simple knot onto the ring, making sure to alternate fabrics
Once ring is full - Hang with pride

It is as simple as that!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Bump ~ 24 Weeks

Sometimes I actually cannot believe that I am pregnant again. That in as little as 16 weeks (or less, or more) I will be holding another child. Another creation of Anthony and I. That our family will have grown but just one small number, but one huge addition! Sometimes I just cannot believe I could be so lucky.

I also cannot believe that I am 24 weeks pregnant... that I have less time to come than time that has passed. It seems to be going by so quickly, without me having a chance to notice. I am so glad that we have taken the time to do these photo's every week because I truly believe that without them, I would forget to take the time to enjoy this pregnancy. Life with a toddler just slips by and before you know it, the toddler is almost 20 months old and you are past halfway pregnant. 

This week, on a whole, has been relatively uneventful. If you ignore the agonising pain that seems to be increasing between my legs and the multiple times I have collapsed in the hall way and had to crawl my way to bed. I have never felt a pain quite like this and I am yet to find the words to describe it to you. My midwives are not concerned at this point but if I continue to have to walk in this way I will be raising my own concerns. 

Speaking of midwives, during our appointment on thursday last week we had the most beautiful moment. Evelyn just shows me each and every day how capable and beautiful she is going to be as a big Sister. As I laid on the table with the midwife searching for Jelly's heartbeat, Evelyn sat on Daddy's lap and watched with concern. Until Jelly's heart beat began to sing through the doppler and Evelyn smiles and dances along with her little baby sibling to be. It was one of the most beautiful moments I have had in my Mothering journey so far. My two babies, bonding already, one sleeping safely within my womb and the other playing by my feet.

I never knew I could feel a love like this. I never knew I could want some one so desperately. My body aches to hold yours Jelly. My heart races at the thought of your beautiful face. My arms are waiting for you. Soon we will all be together, as one.

Its you and me babe, together we will complete this family