Thursday, 30 August 2012

It takes a village...

The old saying goes…”It takes a village to raise a child” and I wholeheartedly agree. The idea that kids need more than just a Mum and a Dad to become a happy, well-rounded person really appeals to me.

I believe that children need the role models of more than just 2 people. They need to know the personalities and values of others to help form their own personalities and values. They need to understand that there are rules in different places and situations and they have to learn and follow those particular rules. They need to love and trust a range of people, and understand that there are varying degrees of love and friendship.

I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t live in a village for it to help raise my kids, until I realised that I kind of did. Suburban sprall, iPads and Kindergym…a far cry from traditional villages and old-time upbringings.

But despite the modern spin on it, we still live in a village-ish way. There are a variety of people who look after my children. People who feed, discipline, teach and love my two ratbags. None of them live next door, or even live in the same street. Those people range from grandparents, aunties and uncles, to childcare workers and friends.

I trust each of them to be fair but firm with my kids. I have no trouble with them disciplining my children, even if I am around. Their house=their rules. Megan and Alex know what they are and aren’t allowed to get away with and I think that is fine.

I am not a hunter/gatherer of yesteryear, leaving my youngun’ with the village elders while I catch today’s dinner. But I am a working mum and I can call on these people at short notice to help me to care for my brood. And I’m sure they know I would do the same for them.

So…I’m going to change the old saying just a smidge, to suit today’s world and our lifestyle…

“It’s take a suburban cohort of age-varied people, to fairly and firmly raise today’s young people”

Nah…doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it? Let’s stick with…

“It takes a village to raise a child”!!!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

That Love Drug......

Love is a strange thing. It comes in all shapes and sizes...and degrees.

I wasn't prepared for the love I feel for my kids. I love my husband, my parents and family, my friends. But that love does not even come close how I feel about my children.

The love tends to swell and surge when I get cuddles, kisses or out of the blue "I love you"s. Despite it sometimes driving me nuts, I do love that they need me to give comfort when they are upset and no one else. It's like a drug that I just can't get enough of.

I remember when my the first of my friends became a mum and said the cliched "I'd walk in front of a bus to save my baby!" At the time, I thought 'ok, you probably would'. When Megan was first born I got a taste of what she was talking about. I loved my baby and would do anything to protect her. Same when Alex came along.

But it wasn't until they got a bit older, developed delightful personalities, that I realized that not only would I walk in front of a bus for them, I'd do it deliberately and decisively! Now they are older, I feel the world would be a much sadder, darker place without them in it, so I'd need to do something to stop that.

I thought this was important to document, the way I feel about my children, they way I can't get enough of their smiles and giggles. I'm sure in 10-12 years when I'll be traveling those fraughtful teen years that I will want to look back on the toddler/preschooler days with a bit of nostalgia.

Sunday, 19 August 2012


Tonight I watched a TV report on premature babies, and the fight and struggle that they and their families face. To say I was crying was an understatement!

The strength of these parents was incredible, and the heartache I felt for them was indescribable. To be called in to hospital to say goodbye to your tiny baby is something no parent should ever have to do.

I was lucky enough to only have healthy, full-term babies and both have been free from any major medical dramas, despite Alex trying to give himself head injuries at every opportunity! 

But I know parents that haven't been as fortunate, families that have had to deal with the possibility of losing their tiny baby; giving birth at 34, 30 and 28weeks. Some babies have flourished, some have had more of a struggle but pulled through. They still face challenges that being born prematurely brings.

Watching this TV segment, and thinking about those babies made me SO thankful for my healthy children, asleep in their beds. Thankful that they haven't had to fight for anything other than toys. Thankful that the only heart troubles they have suffered is being heartbroken at being told "No!". Thankful that every breath they have taken has been easy and unaided. 

I am also thankful that I don't need to be as strong as the families of premmie babies. I am in awe of their strength, but certainly not envious of it.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Photo journalling...

Here is what has been going on for us in the last few weeks... told in in pictures!

We went to the Icehouse in Docklands a few weeks ago.
The kids had a ball and we were itching to get skates on. We will be back!!

Megan's hair is very slow growing, so we are impressed by the length at the moment

Gymnastics is the flavour of the month at the moment- spurred on more by the Olympics.
So we joined Kindergym and the kids are loving it.

Megan's drawings are getting more and more recognisable

No amount of alpahbet pasta is convincing either of them to eat dinner

When mum is too slow to get out of bed on the weekend, Alex is happy to get his own!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

My "little" girl...

For those who don't know Megan...she is little. Petite, people always tell me. I was worried about this fact for such a long time... and it has taken me a long time to accept that this is the proportions of my girl.

Here is a bit of her back-story.

Megan was a good size when she was born- 6lbs 14oz (or just over 3kg) and 48cm long. Not really anything to suggest that she would take after her 6ft+ dad but that wasn't a huge concern!

My friend had told me not to buy many size 0000 clothes because the babies grew out of them too quickly. I had bought a couple just in case and was glad of it...they were too big! Hubby had to dash out soon after Megan was born to grab a few 00000 clothes, just so her early photos weren't always of her hiding amongst jumpsuits! It's funny to look back on those 00000 clothes now and marvel at how tiny they are.

She started breastfeeding well, and all seemed lovely. But she did not put weight on fast and I was always worried about my milk supply. I had 2 people in my life who had had serious issues with breastfeeding and undernourished babies, so I was always panicky about Megan's feeding.

My mum and many women around me were of the pro-choice-for-baby-feeding persuasion, so I had no pressure to continue breastfeeding, except from myself. I wasn't gung-ho about it, but wanted to give it a good go. Alas, after 6 weeks of slow weight gain, and almost no milk ever able to be expressed, Megan went onto formula.

It was such a relief to have made that decision- I was stressing myself out over her size and my suply constantly. Our mother's group consisted of about 8 mums and bubs all born within a few weeks of each other, and Megan was one of the smallest. I had always thought it was to do with my low milk supply, but despite moving to formula, Megan's size didn't dramatically change. Had I made the wrong decision and my supply was fine after all? We'll never know, I guess.

She was always on the lowest percentile of all the growth charts, but the nurses assured me this was fine, because she was in proportion and her growth was steady.

So after finally realising that Megan will always just be small (perhaps taking after my grandmother who is only about 5ft 3), I got used to buying clothes that SHOULD be a size too small for her. When she turned 2, she was in size 1 clothes, and so on. The other mother's group kids were the opposite- 3 years old, buying size 4 and 5 clothes.

She is still about half a head shorter than the kids in mother's group and she gets clothes passed down from one of her BFF's who is only 6 weeks older. It's always been a bit of a joke how different the sizes of the kids are, some are VERY tall and then there's Megan! She and Alex often get mistaken for twins because he is almost the same height. I can't be bothered explaining it anymore...I just smile and walk away!

So you can imagine my surprise, after 4 years of automatically grabbing a size smaller than her age, today I had to keep grabbing bigger sizes of singlets. 4s were too small!! AMAZING!

She will never be on the Australian Olympic basketball team....perhaps a gymnast instead??

**For those interested, I had the same worry about milk supply when feeding Alex. He was always just SOOO hungry and never slept, that we moved him to formula much earlier. He is about average in his growth, not the same small frame of his sister. Perhaps it was because we moved him to formula sooner. Again...we will never know.

Saturday, 4 August 2012


Inspiration struck after reading this blog about Slime from Picklebums. Its seemed easy enough, fun and messy...the kids would love it!!

Lux soap flakes, hot water, a bucket, and a whisk....really easy. Let it sit for an hour and then viola!!

Hubby and I even had fun with it. I have to admit, I really begrudged cleaning my hands to run and grab the camera!

The soapy slime get everywhere, and as the clever Kate from Picklebums says- throw it straight in the wash, no soap required! That didn't stop them going back to play again though :)

So now I have a naked and semi-naked kid playing outside in the Winter sunshine with slime and having a blast!!!!!


There are two times of the day where I can (almost) guarantee the kids can play together nicely....first thing in the morning and bedtime.

First thing in the morning- straight after getting up, before breakfast, before getting dressed, mainly before mum and dad get up. Perhaps they feel fully rested after a good night's sleep. Perhaps they missed each other overnight. Perhaps they liike having the house to themselves to do whatever and play with whatever they like. Either way, for my kids, the imaginiative, co-operative play comes second to none first thing in the morning.

Bedtime is another calm, friendly playtime. Perhaps a bath does have calming effects after all (I always thought the kids seemed more revved up after fun and splashing in the bath!). Perhaps they realise that they are about to spend 12 hours in their own rooms away from each other. Perhaps they know that if they play nicely, they might get to stay up a little longer!

Who knows? All I know is that I aprecieate those NICE playtimes....proof that they CAN play without fighting!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

The dawn of a new era....

It's begun!! And I'm a bit excited about it, too! Tonight was the first time that we got out the Leggo. Yippee!!

Megan wanted to make a city out of a large cardboard box that she found. The first suggestion was to use blocks... but of course we needed trees for our city. What to do?

Hubby remembered the big stash of Leggo in the cupboard from when he was a kid.  The kids were intrigued and both hubby and I were happy to dive in and start building. 

There's nothing like that clink and crunch of Leggo and you dig for a piece!!!!!!!


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