Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Choosing schools ... already.

How does a parent choose the school in which their child will attend as soon as they are born? Do you choose because that is the suburb you live in? Because that is the school their Dad went to? Or because that is what you can afford?

I was raised as a practicing Catholic. Yes, when I turned 16 I stopped attending Church. I still held onto my beliefs, yes OK some of my values went out the window as my teenage-self experienced the life of a teenager but my upbringing and my faith was always in the back of my mind.

My parents enrolled me into a Catholic Primary School in which all of my older siblings had attended. Unfortunately when I was in year 2, my sister who was in year 4 was bullied so my Mum pulled us both out and moved us to the other Catholic Primary School in the area, only for me to then be bullied at our new school.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

When it came time for us to attend high school, my parents made the decision to send us to a public school. This decision was made as my parents had paid for my 3 older siblings to attend Catholic high schools and believed that my sister and I would still be on the receiving end of a good education and the religious side of things, we would be taught enough by them at home and through Church each Sunday.

I loved my school; well I loved my friends at this school. The socialising aspect was wonderful. I did really well until I ended up in a serious relationship in year 11. All of a sudden I wasn’t doing so well. I scraped through a few of my exams to then make the decision I would leave school without graduating from year 12.

I believe that if I had have attended an all-girls school I would have excelled.

There is that hindsight again.

Now that I am a Mother, I get to make that all important decision of where Sophie should be educated.

How are you supposed to know what school will best suit her when she is only 3 months old?

Rob and I have decided to enrol her into the local Catholic Primary School. I like the idea of Sophie learning the same values that I did. I know that we will try to instil as many good qualities as possible but having a school assisting with our upbringing is reassuring.

As for high school, there are so many things to consider. Will she cope better in an all girls school, will she gain more confidence and life skills from mixing with boys during these years, will she strive to succeed if the teachers have a more relaxed approach.

These are all things that cannot be answered whilst Sophie is only 3 months of age. 

At the moment we are basing our decision off our own personal high school experiences and our budget.

Rob was fortunate enough to attend an elite all boys private school, unfortunately he doesn’t see it like that. Rob suffers from dyslexia and believes that he wasn’t given the support that he should have been given from his teachers. He was even laughed at by a teacher in front of his class for his writing.

I on the other hand attended a public school, I wasn’t provided the discipline and attention that my personality should have been given.

Budget is a whole other consideration. The school that Rob attended 18 years ago now costs $22,000 per year to attend. $22,000 … definitely not an amount that we are willing to pay especially when you add a second child into the mix.

At present we are leaning towards a Catholic co-ed high school. One can only hope that we are making the right choice.

Are you sending your children to a private school because that’s where you attended? Have you found a school within your area that has a good feel?

Is this not the hardest decision that we as Mothers will have to make?

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

3 Months



As you drift off to sleep, your lips curl up and you smile to yourself … I love to think of all the amazing things you must be dreaming about.

You love being outside … if you are unsettled, as soon as you are taken out into the garden, you are calm and content. We love this about you.

The same goes with water … shower or bath, you love it!

Play time – when you are bored with being held, we put you on your play mat and a toy from IKEA sits over you … you talk non-stop to the coloured wooden pieces hanging over you, getting so excited each time you spot a different component. Your little legs do bicycle movements.

You are slowly getting better at tummy time, Mummy now uses a rolled up towel to help you and this has definitely helped.

The smile that appears on your face when Mummy or Daddy goes into your room once you have woken is the most beautiful thing … it certainly brightens my day!

You love to talk … clearly taking after Mummy already.

Mummy took you to Church for the first time yesterday. I want to be able to instil the same values and traditions that I grew up with. You were so well behaved and you received your first blessing from the priest.

You have found your hands, the moment that I spotted you staring at them with this confused look on your face, you brought them closer to your face then pushed them out again in absolute awe of what you were witnessing. Lately you are choosing your hands over your dummy, they are getting sucked on time and time again.

Daddy does break beats and makes dance music noises to you which you find absolutely hilarious. We both want you to appreciate all types of music just like we do.

You are starting to get a bald patch on the sides of your head where you lie the most but you still have a great amount of your gorgeous red hair at the base of your little head.

Your eyes are still blue … I wonder if they will change.

You love your food, you have started to use your hand almost like you are helping me put the bottle into your mouth, it actually gets in the way of me getting the teat properly in but it is super cute watching you try.

You only sleep for either 40 mins or an hour for your day naps but you sleep through the night .. Mummy LOVES your 6am wake ups, I’ll take short day naps over broken night sleep any day.

The past 3 months have gone by so quickly … I can’t wait to watch you grow over the next 3 months.

Love Mummy
xoxo

Friday, 16 March 2012

Adoption


Adoption is a topic in which I hold closely to my heart.

The strength in which women must have, to endure 9 months of bonding with their unborn child to then give it up either willingly or otherwise is staggering.

I caught the end of ‘Adoption’ tonight, a show on foxtel. The majority of the cases portrayed on this show are families seeking adoption through orphanages. Tonight’s episode showed a young couple who had two biological children of their own, a 3 year old and a 5 month old who went on to adopt two Russian babies, both only 12 months of age and not siblings themselves.

They became parents to 4 children under the age of 3.

I admire them.

To know that there are people within this world that want nothing more than to be a parent and to be a parent to children who really need them, who want nothing more than love is a beautiful thing.

There are an estimated 163,000,000 orphans worldwide (www.worldorphans.org).

163,000,000. That number is mind blowing.

I tear up when I watch shows like ‘Adoption’, knowing that there are young defenceless children throughout the world living in orphanages who don’t know any different just breaks my heart.

I like to think that they will all find a loving home one day, that they will receive the childhood they deserve, that they will be shown love like no other.

Wishful thinking in some cases I think.

I was in the city today and whilst waiting for my boost juice, I witnessed a young family standing near-by, they had 4 children who all looked to be under the age of 6. The way in which their Mother spoke to them, unfortunately didn’t shock me but it hurt me.

Minutes later I wound up in the same shop as this family, I was waiting to be served and whilst doing so, the two eldest children stood beside me and were smiling away at Sophie in the pram who was smiling back at them, these children had the most beautiful smiles, the eldest happily spoke to me and told his siblings not to touch anything in the store. I thought to myself, I wonder what kind of life these children will have; do they hear words of discouragement along with harsh tones from their parents constantly?!

I understand that I only witnessed a 5 minute interaction between Mother and Child and it may not necessarily always be this way but I definitely sensed a vibe and it was certainly not a positive one.

After bringing Sophie into this world, after longing for her prior to falling pregnant, after experiencing the pain of child birth and having her lifted onto my chest after the emotional pushing phase wanting so desperately to meet this new little person which I helped create and which I got to feel grow inside me, I cannot think of hurting her with negativity, hurting her with threats (OK, so maybe tiny white lie threats to use as bribery may have to come into play at some point) and I definitely cannot think of putting her down in public or in the privacy of our own home.

I want to be able to be the Mother to Sophie that my Mother was to me, the caring, supportive & loving Mother I know that I can be.

My Mother was meant to be a Mum, so much so that after experiencing 3 miscarriages, she and my Dad were told they would never have a biological child of their own.

This was 40 years ago …

40 years ago with this information in hand, they applied to adopt.

40 years ago, at two weeks of age, my brother Justin was picked up at the hospital by my parents.

40 years ago, my parents began their journey of parenthood.

This is why adoption is a topic in which I hold closely to my heart.

I have never seen my brother as anything else, but that, my brother.

Both Rob and I have experienced adoption within our immediate families but from opposite sides.

I have a brother who is not my biological brother; he does not know any information about his biological family.

Rob on the other hand, his Mum gave birth to a boy when she was very young and actually adopted him out. When Rob was a teenager, this boy, now a man searched for his biological Mother and was successful. Rob now had 2 brothers, a full brother from his parents and now a half-brother.

My MIL is a very strong-willed, independent and loving woman. The strength she must have had to do what she did 51 years ago is admirable. She wanted him to have an upbringing which she wasn’t able to provide at the time.  

Through adoption my Mum was able to start the family she had dreamt of having. Through adoption my MIL was able to bring her son into this world and offer him a life she wished she could have given him.

If I could adopt even just 5 of the 163,000,000 orphans, I would.

I give thanks every day that I was able to bring a baby of my own into this world. I give thanks every day that my family is happy and healthy.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Randomness

After just posting a status on FB to say that I wasn’t sure when my next post would be … I felt a sudden urge to have a little share. Here a few things that have happened, will happen and happening!
 :: Rob and I celebrated 3 years of wedded bliss last week. I'm not trying to sugar coat it but I definitely feel a deeper connection and love for Rob since Sophie came along. It truly is an amazing thing to share a child with someone.

As for our 3 year celebrations, we went to Kings Park for a picnic, we have actually had a picnic each year for our anniversary. Rob’s birthday is only 3 days prior so we tend to go out for a nice dinner for his birthday and keep it simple for our anniversary. We don’t do presents either … although after reading a blog post from Mrs Woog, I have just ordered a delayed pressie for Rob. I am very excited.



:: Sophie went for her first swim in a pool on Saturday. We were at my parents house and as Perth weather continues to roll out the stinkin' hot days, we went for a dip. She loved it.


:: One of my cousins who lives in New Zealand flew in last week and had her little boy Christened on Sunday, it was so nice to see her and to meet her adorable little man. Samuel was born 8 weeks prem, he is now 6 months old and is utterly scrumptious. Samuel is my Aunty & Uncles 19th grandchild with 2 more on the way. Being the youngest of 5 I have always dreamt of having at least 3 or 4 children of my own. Rob has always said only 2, he actually said he would be happy with 1 but we compromised and came to an agreement of 2. I unfortunately can’t stop thinking about only having 2, even more so after reading Kate’s post this week about the same thing. Rob’s reasons are financial which I completely understand but how boring will it be when we are grey and old with only 2 children sitting at the dinner table, imagine if they both decide to move away then we will have no one. Being the youngest of 5 is fantastic, one of my sisters lives up north, one brother lives down south and my other brother splits his time between Bali, the mines & Perth, leaving only one sister and myself in Perth full time. Having lots of kids allows for some of them to move away. When we are all together, it is super loud, super fun and in no way boring.

Hhmmmm I wonder if he will ever change his mind.

:: Being at Samuel’s Christening on Sunday emphasised how lazy I have been with organising Sophie’s – I must get on with that.

:: Sophie has turned over a new leaf as far as sleeping goes lately. She sleeps 10 hours during the night and for the past 3 days has done over 2 hours for one of her day sleeps … normally I only get 40 mins to an hour max, this has been super exciting.

:: I have been really tired this week (I know it is only Tuesday). Yesterday I had a really good sleep but woke up feeling as though I hadn’t slept at all. It is the worst feeling ever (my heart goes out to you Beth, I can only imagine what days upon days without sleep feels like) today hasn’t been much better. I think I need to cut back on the amount of wine & cider I have been consuming. After stopping breastfeeding it is as though I have given myself the green light to consume as much alcohol as possible to catch up on the 12 months that I missed out on.

MUST CHANGE THIS HABIT !! But seriously how good is Rekorderlig cider....


:: Our house has been taken over by little baby flies and the odd big Mumma fly. Goodness knows where they are coming from but after spraying a tiny bit of Morteine this morning I picked up 16 little dead baby flies and an hour later I picked up another TWENTY. TWENTY GOD DAMN DEAD FLIES ON MY KITCHEN FLOOR. Anyone know how I can rid my house of these pesky things?

I had to take this - after cleaning up 36 of them, I now have another 24 ...


:: I ordered a photo book for my sister & her new hubby with all of their wedding photos as they couldn’t afford to do their own album. It arrives tomorrow; I can’t wait to see what it looks like. Hopefully they both love it.

How beautiful did she look … so elegant … so perfect !


:: My brother, SIL and two adorable nephews, Brodie & Cooper are coming up to Perth this weekend, they live 2.5 hrs away. I haven’t seen my brother & Cooper since Christmas and my SIL & Brodie since mid-Jan. I can’t wait to spend the day with them.

:: I am slightly obsessed with Instagram … anyone who follows me will know this. 

:: I went and looked at some specs today … unfortunately none caught my eye, pardon the pun.

:: I tried a new dessert last night, Rob’s Mum & his Aunty came over for dinner. His Aunty lives in California and is over here on holiday, she is the sweetest woman, was so nice for her to meet Sophie. I did a Caramelised Crispy Wonton Stack with Strawberry Connoisseur ice-cream! One word – YUM!


:: I have got another girls night this Saturday!! Look out Perth – the Mums are hitting the town !!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Just call me Monica ... Gellar that is!

I love to entertain, I love to prepare food and I love to have all of our friends together.

It was Rob’s birthday on Sunday and with Monday being a public holiday over here in the West we invited our close friends and their beautiful kiddies over to help celebrate.

Between all of us we have 10 kids ranging from 5 to 11 weeks. It is so nice to watch them interact with each other and they are all super gorgeous.
Jesse & Sophie – the youngest of the group, Jesse 13 weeks and Sophie 11


Beautiful Annabel

Tyson giving Soph kisses … too cute


Noah, Jake & Tyson helping Rob blow out his candles
The birthday boy himself making another jug of mojitos … YUMM!


James & Rob with Annabel & Sophie, the only girls of the group

Zane & Annabel getting to know each other


Kelsie having cuddles … she has the magic touch


Big thanks goes to Sonia from Life, Love & Hiccups for the awesome cake idea … everyone LOVED it

-

Dakota was super well behaved ... well apart from licking all the kids


I did a few platters of finger food and I am so disappointed I didn’t take a photo of one particular platter. I made prosciutto wrapped asparagus, it was the first time I had made it and they were delicious. It looked so good, a row of tiny little spears wrapped in goodness with shaved parmesan, cracked black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. YUMM!
I would go as far to say that mine looked even better than these

The house had been spotless prior to all my food preparations and I am not one to go to bed with it still in such a state so I got stuck into it straight away. All of the dishes were done, empties placed in the recycling and floors were re-mopped. I was then able to sit down with a mojito in hand and relax.

The past year has gone by so fast, I still can’t believe that it has been 12 months since Rob and I looked like this …


Rob turned 35 last year and his dream of having an ‘International Beer Festival’ party came to life.
Dress ups are super fun when everyone makes the effort and effort is what our friends went to.
We had Mexico, China, India, Scotland & Australia just to name a few …