Wednesday, 23 April 2014

the outlet of, well, anything but a thesis...

So I have neglected this space for months and months and months now in the hopes of creating room in my life. Hmmm. While something had to give, I am not 100% that the decision to put a halt to my wee blog was the wisest one. So here we are, having come full circle I am back.

Much has happened in our world. Teddy is no longer so tiny and has turned 2. Not sure when my baby became my little boy, it has seemingly happened overnight and yet it feels that he has always been this capable and big and well, 'boy'-like! Come August he will graduate from only child to big brother, a change I am becoming less anxious about as each day passes and he seems to mature before our eyes.

I am getting fatter (ok, more pregnant looking...) by the day, waddling here and there. Trying to avoid straining an uncomfortable and unstable pelvis/lower back situation. Easy to do having been through one pregnancy, as I am more aware of the stress of certain movements. Less easy to do, as I run and jump and carry about a growing toddler!

I have become accustomed to the idea of not finishing my thesis before this baby is born, I have even applied for maternity leave. I was a bit sad (and horribly disappointed) to have my somewhat delusional bubble burst a week or so ago. Such is life. I will submit the 2 papers I need to and will complete the 3rd sometime after I return. This doctorate is, it seems, an on-going saga and I have accepted that it is my choice to have it be this way. I wouldn't have chosen to have Teddy years later nor delay this baby. The PhD will (hopefully) keep, my babies won't. They will grow and get capable of things I only dreamed about.

Besides, let's face it. I quite like mothering. I'm quite good at it, most of the time. I like learning about it and facing the new parenting questions that pop up as Ted-bear grows. I like learning about child development and different styles of education and the likes. It's fun.

So here we are. To this space, and to the creative outlet it lends me. Not sure what I will write about, but I imagine that as long as it has not much to do with the subject of my thesis or is academic in any sense this online outlet will be exactly that.

Much love
Audrey xox

Monday, 7 April 2014

No longer a FIFO family!

I will keep this short and sweet - FIFO is no longer a part of our lives. I shan't miss it - as grateful as I am for the opportunities this lifestyle has afforded us.

Much love
Audrey xox

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Hi, my name's Mummy & I'm a Superhero.

So tiny Teddy went down for his nap this afternoon. I made some phone calls and noticed he was still pottering around his room, not asleep as he should have been. After a few moments, he began a little cry. Curious as to the reason behind his sadness (it wasn't a "why am I in bed - I should be playing?!" protest, rather a whimpering of despair), I knocked gently on his door and went in.

I found a little boy standing at the foot of his bed with a bunch of something in his hand, sadness on his face and a Hairy McClary book on the bed in front of him. This is favourite, most read story of the moment. The something in his hand? Bunched up shreds of a page from the book.

Instantly understanding the sadness, I wiped the beginnings of a frown from my face (Superhero Moment #1) and took the pieces of his favourite book from his hand. "Oh dear" I say, keeping my tone gentle (Superhero Moment #2, I really do want to scold - a firm "what were you thinking?!" was playing in my head) - "this isn't very good is it?"

He looks up at me with tears in his eyes and the dejection of a toddler who thinks he just ruined his favourite book. "It is ok darling heart, Mummy can fix it." He attempts a small smile, obviously not sure of my abilities.

Then, Superhero Moment #3. Turn this into a learning opportunity about the importance of naps...

Mummy: "Do you think you got a bit angry because you are tired and that is why the book ripped?"
Tiny Teddy: Looks at me, thoughtful. A tiny, blink-and-you'll-miss-it nod.
Mummy: "Do you think you should have your nap while Mummy fixes the book?"
Tiny Teddy: Intently gazing into my eyes.
Mummy: "I think you should have a sleep and then we can read the story when you get up."
Tiny Teddy: Climbs onto his bed, gets tucked in and closes his eyes as I leave the room, shreds in hand.

Lastly, something only a Mummy can do. Repair a page of a favourite story by lovingly turning 10+ little balls of picture into a complete page once more. Yes, much sticky tape was used!

So, yeah. I'm kinda feeling like Super Mummy at the moment...





Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Top tips for weaning a breastmilk addict - You & Baby Guest Post

I'm back! (ish...)

You can read about our recent weaning experience, plus my tips on how to successfully - & gently - wean when the time is right for You & Baby here.

Enjoy!

Much love
Audrey xox

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

stepping away / simplifying life

This is a bit of a sad post for me to write, but it is a necessary one. I do not like to admit defeat and am quite determined to see this 'goodbye for now' as a positive step towards the simplification of my life.

It hit me this morning as I pegged out the washing, loving the beautiful weather and warmth of the sun on my face...blogging had begun to weigh on me as something I felt guilty for not doing. Uh-oh, as my darling Teddy would say. Alarm bells started tinkling in my mind. When did my release become my burden? How awfully awful! So...

It turns out this idea of stepping away for a while from this online outlet has been mulled over in my subconscious for a while. Inspired by the lovely Jodi to begin practicing simplicity, I have been keen to live my life mindfully, something I occasionally struggle with.

In keeping with this, something has to give for a time - between the demands of a blossoming 16 month old, being a FIFO family and my desire to complete my PhD sometime within the next 1000 years - I have realised that I cannot have it all, all the time. And that is more than ok.

So, goodbye for now...

Monday, 8 July 2013

recently

So Papa has been home for the last fortnight and to put it simply…bliss. Here is a tiny snapshot of our life at the moment…

Market mornings - rapidly becoming a weekly ritual. The Brisbane markets on a Saturday is our haunt, as Papa fills up on Turkish bread covered in toppings and almond croissants; Teddy on strawberries and bananas; myself on the best coffee I've had in a while. We wander up and down the long, crowded rows of carts. Butchers and fishmongers shouting out specials and Teddy happily singing through a Teddy-sized apple. I search for the bread cart I like and stock up on our preferred brand of gluten-free/dairy-free bread. We rediscover the man with the massive jumbo eggs and buy 2 dozen. We weave through the people to look at the flowers…Teddy gets out of his stroller and toddles about merrily.

Walking - in the morning, after lunch or in the afternoon. If we are home together and it isn't raining, you'll find us wandering around our 'loop'…down the road, over the creek and around the fields. On our way we'll stop for a swing and a slide, for Teddy to pick up pebbles and wind his way through the grass…following any bird that happens to be hopping along the way.

Friends - we catch up for impromptu drinks at the neighbour's place. Teddy learns to bounce on the trampoline and holds his own playing soccer with the big kids (that is, he toddles after the swarm racing to the ball, quickly changing direction when they race past him…a little boy caught in the crowd!). He hovers at the food table, busily stuffing his cheeks with the corn chips and strawberries whilst I try to offer him apples and pears and steer him from any gluten-laden snacks!

Discovering new places - new parks, new playgrounds and new adventures. Sherwood Arboretum is an amazingly beautiful spot that I can't believe I hadn't known existed…what have I been doing this past year if not heading to every awesome park in the South East?!

DIY & Bunnings - Papa has the reno bug (it has only taken me 7 years to get him interested - now he is a DIY fiend!). He has been staining the new deck, putting in the lights here there and everywhere (as a sparky this is not DIY - if we can't have cool lights, who can?!) and painting the interior. I shortlisted a couple of 'big boy' room colours for Teddy's new bedroom that we are slowly turning into a toddler room for him over the next few months. Thinking a mint green with white trim…or a blue feature wall with off-white elsewhere…or perhaps neither…

I take advantage of Papa being home to relieve the nanny and do the pick-up from daycare by working longer days on campus and catching up on office happenings - I am so grateful for this opportunity as I hone my new, improved PhD plan; meet with my supervisor and grieve for the loss of a friend P's wife to cancer. This time to bury myself in work surrounded by those who are in pain for P along with me is comforting. We go to the funeral and the next day have many coffees as P returns to work. Although I had never met Mrs P, through P I feel as though I knew her - a magnificent woman loved by so many.

Papa leaves tomorrow afternoon for another 3 weeks and so these moments are treasured…he won't be back for more than a week until November. And then perhaps Christmas. Longer breaks are treasured and memories made. Tomorrow evening Teddy and I start our life anew as just the two of us…again. I struggle to feel sad, instead just happy and content with having Papa home for now.