Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Brave Mummy

It turns out that my blogging is sporadic at best and is not one of the talents I thought I would have as a mother. Turns out, there is too much other stuff to do.  Who knew? I have a very full on toddler at the moment that I love spending time with, so I make no apologies for the lack of blogging.

Just as I did with my diary when I was 14 years old, I write when I feel I have something worth writing about.  Back then it was boys. Now it’s one boy, one very cute little boy!  Some things never change I guess. 

Life ticks along as it does, and time seems to go by so quickly.  Aiden is growing at such a rapid rate I have to remind myself to stop what I’m busy doing and enjoy sometimes. 

Worth writing about for me at the moment is bravery. I thought I was the meaning of the word ‘brave’ for a few months there.  Everyone would say ‘oh my goodness, you’re moving all that way, how BRAVE'!’. 
Yes, I guess it was brave in a way, but over the past few weeks I have watched a friend who I now know to be the true meaning of BRAVE deal with an event in her life that would surely make me fall to a million pieces.

On facebook on a random Thursday I read my friend Marika’s status update:

“Charlotte needs your thoughts and prayers please. She has leukemia”.
Charlotte is her daughter, she is two years old.

As a mother, I fell to pieces on the spot.  I just can not imagine that happening to my baby.  It really shook me and I didn’t get much sleep that night.

Gorgeous little Charlie, diagnosed just two weeks before her 2nd Birthday.  She has been through a lot in a month – as have her parents and family. 
She has started chemo, had a bone marrow sampling operation, a blood transfusion and many hours spent at Starship (I’m sure my list doesn’t cover it).  Thankfully, Charlie was diagnosed with the ALL variety, which gives her a 90% chance of fully recovery.  I found myself staying up late a few nights researching and learning about what it all meant, hoping that I could then somehow relate or help.  I know that people go through this every day, they live it and fight all kinds of diseases, but this was a first for me. Someone in my circle with a sick child.

From that first post on Facebook, Marika has been this incredible tower of strength. Now I don’t doubt that she has her moments and has crumbled more than once, but the positivity and sheer determination of this woman has really left me absolutely floored (you have really inspired me Marika, honestly). I read her comments and they make me smile, because I really believe the best weapon that Charlie has is her Brave Mummy.  
Please note that Daddy JJ has also been kicking some serious leukemia ass!

The gorgeous Marika & Charlie

If I ever need faith in the human race, I’ll just go visit Marika’s facebook page. From videos of her sister at the hospital trying to keep up with Charlie and her IV drip (that’s my favourite), to the newsletter her Mum has been doing, and the COUNTLESS posts and outpouring of love from all her family & friends.  You can’t help but feel the positive in a bad situation. 
I feel like part of the cheerleading squad that is standing behind you and helping you to fight this for your little girl.  In an odd way, it’s a real sense of community in an unexpected place, showing that facebook is a powerful tool.

Charlie at Starship Hospital, still smiling.

Marika - It’s going to be a long road, no doubt, but one that is lined with people ready to support you the next time you’re not feeling so brave.  You and JJ are doing a really great job, you can see that in Charlie, she’s such a sweet kid! 

To anyone reading this who can -  GIVE BLOOD.  You never know when you or your loved ones will need it.

And lastly, hug your kids. Play with them, love them, keep them as safe as you can and don’t sweat the small stuff.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Good Life

We did it!  We took the plunge and did what many thought was crazy - moved 5 hours away from our safety net to beautiful Taranaki.  So far I have to say there are no regrets. 

We have been in our new home for a grand total of 21 days.  I know it’s 21 days exactly because the cows told me.  No, I haven’t gone completely mad.  The day we moved in there was a healthy heard of cows in the paddock right beside our property (which provided no end of entertainment for Aiden).  Later that day, Fred the farmer next door, popped by on his bike to introduce himself and welcome us to the community.  I thanked him for putting the cows next to us that day and he told us to enjoy it as they wouldn’t be back for another 21 days. 
I scored brownie points by using my limited farming knowledge, saying ‘so you’re on a 21 day pasture rotation are you?’.  And just like that, I was in.  Fred honks his horn on his honda every time he scoots across the paddock.

Today the cows are back… 21 days later. You aren’t in Kansas anymore Dorothy.

The house and property really are lovely.  We feel there is magic in the air here at Kitford Cottage (note to self: where does the name kitford come from?)  We are very fortunate to have been blessed with clear blue sky days pretty much since arrival, so maybe that has something to do with it. Everything looks better in sunshine.  I love being able to see the mountain every day from the house, and while we’re out and about. It is such a perfect mountain and great landmark.  I must say I have become slightly obsessed with it and find that I seek it out wherever I am. 

We’re enjoying veges from our garden, apples and lemons from the trees and strawberries from the strawberry patch.  We really are living the good life.  All helped by the fact that Bill is not working yet, so he gets to be at home during the day and potter around doing things when he's not job hunting.  I think maybe Aiden is the happiest of all though.  He has taken to carrying his gumboots to the back door in the mornings and tapping on the door.  Once outside he giggles and laughs as he runs around the backyard kicking his favourite soccor ball. Make sure you have a look at the album at the top of this entry to see him in all his glory.  He is quite the explorer and likes roaming around independently, waving 'bye bye' as he wonders off to investigate some corner of the yard.   It makes us so happy to watch him here, to see him enjoying the life we wanted so much for him. 

The move has been a big adventure, but life is now settling back to normal. A new normal. Some things don't change of course, I still have work, there are bills to pay and we're a single income family for now - so life is not without it's stresses.  I am starting to miss my weekly visits from my sister and niece Jami, and the regular contact and get togethers with the coffee group mummy’s and babies. I miss you guys.  I would be a lucky girl indeed if I found another group as good as you!  One can hope.

For now I am happy getting back into routine after my time off, hanging with my boys and exploring our new home.  Work is also very busy with  new projects and interesting things at present, so that helps. 

My next priority will be making friends for both Aiden & I. Bill has already met almost all the residents of Norfolk Road, but I’m a bit slower. We are going to playcentre on Monday though, so wish us luck! 

kitford cottage

Our house & Mt Egmont

Thursday, January 19, 2012



Change can be a very scary thing. It can also be a very exciting.  How you handle it depends on the type of person you are I guess.

For the most part, change excites me and I like to think I am the kind of girl that can go with the flow.  Roll with the punches, be relaxed, calm, easygoing…

Anyone who knows me well knows I’m not really like that, not most of the time anyway.  I have OCD tendencies. I can admit it.  Sure I can be relaxed & easygoing sometimes, like when I’m sleeping. 
For the most part, I like routine. I like control and I like having roots.   
Having said that – I have driven big changes in my life before, and am not afraid to do it again if it means the right thing for my family. I think your focus in life changes when you have a child. We (Bill & I) have always been very family focused, but now we have our own little family of three (+ Lola the cat) it has changed slightly again. 

Bill & I have always dreamt of having a property with a little bit of land, some nice views, a willow tree by a creek and a lovely house settled in the middle to call home.  Somewhere to raise our children where they could have a little bit of what we had – space to roam & hopefully an animal or two to feed.  FREEDOM. Unfortunately for us, those things are not available to us where we currently live. Well they are, but they are simply unaffordable for us.  Seeing as it doesn’t look like I am going to win lotto anytime soon, something has to give. 

The older you get, the more you realise that the dream is becoming unobtainable.  You either need to settle for what you have (and we have a lot to be thankful for) or you need to get your ass into gear in order to achieve it.  That is where we are at right now – asses into gear.  I call it a crossroads, others may call it crazyness.  We’ve decided to jump head first into a new city & community, 4 hrs from home.  It is exciting, but it’s also hard to be excited around those you are leaving – who may not share your enthusiasm.  I don’t want to be misconstrued,we are excited about our prospects for the future, we are not excited about leaving our family and friends.  We LOVE where we live right now and the people we are surrounded by, but it’s time to move on.

We moved home from Canada to be close to my family.  Taking Aiden away from that is very difficult.  But sometimes you have to be brave and make the jump.  No guts no glory.  I also strongly believe that you get out what you put in – staying in touch is important, making effort is important. You can’t live far away from your family without being willing to spend time ensuring your kids don’t miss out.

I have a fridge magnet on my fridge that reads ‘As long as we’re together, the rest will fall into place’.  That is going to become my mantra over the next few months as we take on this huge change in our lives. 

Here we come Taranaki, I hope you’re ready!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Years Resolution


I am very disappointed with myself for not keeping up with my blog.  I had the best intentions to write each week about all our adventures, ups, downs, and views on parenting.  I got three blogs in and life just got too busy. I got sidetracked with all those adventures, ups and downs, work, coffee groups, walks, more coffee, cleaning, cooking… oh, and being a wife. But that’s life right?  Whether you’re a Mum or not, life get’s busy.  Best intentions are something we all have, but things don’t always work out the way we planned.  For a planner like myself this is sometimes hard to accept, but it is a good lesson for me that I can’t control everything in this world.  Parenting is sure teaching me that more than anything!

It is such a juggling act, being a Mum.  Some days I feel like a real pro; all the balls are in the air, I’m juggling with grace, Aiden is happy, I’m happy – life is organised and things go to plan.  Other days I feel like there are too many balls to juggle, I get overwhelmed and they all fall to the floor.  I have always had trouble concentrating on more than one major thing at a time. It is a blessing and a curse.  I get really tunnel vision and focused on things, which usually leaves little time or thought for anything else.  If something big is going on in my life – I focus on it and it’s like nothing else exists. Bill says it’s amazing to watch as I have amazing determination when I get fixated on a project.  Naturally, Aiden has been my project since he was born (even before that, if we’re being honest).  This last year has been a big challenge for me because there are other things outside of being a Mum that I have needed to focus on as well.  Things that I have taken such pride in in the past, like my friendships, relationships in my family and work.  When you first have a baby, you don’t have any time for much outside of baby anymore, so I worried that these things I had worked so hard to establish would fall by the wayside.  Thankfully they didn’t, because people understand.   Maybe not all people, but the people in my life do. 

It is such a cliché to say, but it’s all about balance. I think we all get so excited about reaching that 1 year milestone because that entire first year of parenting is about figuring stuff out and finding the balance that works for your family.  Whilst it is an amazing adventure and more fun with each month, it’s bloody hard work too and such a MASSIVE change to your life.  It’s no wonder we all shout out “WE MADE IT!" when the babies turn One.  
I guess there are more and more challenges with each year… I look at some of my friends with 3 or 4 children and wonder how on earth they do it.  I’m such an amateur juggler, they are the pro’s in a full ring circus.

I’m not the only one juggling and learning.  Aiden is a constant source of amazement and entertainment with his development.  Considering he didn’t know he had hands & feet 10 months ago, it’s pretty cool what he can do with them these days. 

He had decided that the best way to get around is ‘commando’ crawling at 7 months. If you’ve not seen this before, I highly recommend it. It’s hilarious.  He moves like an army cadet under a net.  More recently he’s started the traditional style of crawling, and I must admit, I miss the old way.  He’s also taken to standing up and cruising along furniture and getting into everything within our reach (and sometimes out of it).  His favourite activities over the past few weeks have been playing with balls (which ties in nicely with my juggling theme, thanks Aiden) or anything with wheels, sorting shapes and stalking the cat.  Stalking the cat never gets old… will it ever? 

Not unexpectedly, he is a bit of a chatterbox (go figure).  His vocabulary includes Mum, Mumma, Dad, Dadadadadad, bub, yes, up, ta and dodo (which we think is doodle – typical male).  A word that resembles NO comes out every now and again too, but I am choosing to ignore that one for now.

It’s time for this chatterbox to finish up this post with my New Years' Resolution – I will be better at my blog, I will!