Five books you and your toddler will love to read together
They say that reading to your children helps development in a number of ways. In babies, it helps them become familiar with sounds, words, language and images. While they may not be able to respond, eventually, your babies will really appreciate the value and joy that reading a good book brings. If they’re anything like my two-year-old, reading will soon become their favourite pastime. My husband and I love reading to our little one, and he loves looking at all of the pictures and trying to read the books himself. Sometimes we find him on the floor of his bedroom flicking through his books on his own. And there are definitely some books out there that you’ll love reading together. Here are our top five. Read more.
Mama needs a break
Here’s the thing. Parents are not bad people or parents because they hand their children over to others. While care may be necessary due to work commitments, it’s a-okay to find someone to look after your child or children while you take a little break. Read more.
They say life doesn’t come with a manual. It comes with a mother.
But what happens if you lose your mum before you become one? What manual do you have then? There’s no instruction book on how to raise a child. And even children who are related will still be raised differently. Read more.
Transitioning to parenthood
Motherhood: happiness, rainbows, smiles and love. Right? Wrong. I’ll freely admit that the first few months of my son’s life were tough. At times, I found myself sitting on the chair in his room sobbing my eyes out while he screamed. I’ll raise my hand and say, at 19 months, it still happens! Read more.
A mother’s letter
My beautiful, energetic, fun-loving son. You’re almost 18 months old now. What a whirlwind it’s been. As I’ve taught you to walk and talk, you’ve taught me how to be a mum. But it’s so much more than that. Read more.
Stop telling us to get over our mum guilt
When my son was 11 months old, he fell down a flight of stairs. And I’m not talking one or two steps, it was a full 15-stair flight. The worst part about the whole thing: I was checking an email at the time. Read more.
A wise man once said, “a human being will exit your wife, she has done enough”. Any guesses of who this incredible father is? Yep! Ryan Reynolds. I think I got a good one in my husband too. Read more.
Helping a loved one through a miscarriage
I’ve never had a miscarriage. Although, statistically speaking, I would be exceptionally lucky if I don’t have one. Especially as I’m not finished having children. While I’ve never had a miscarriage, people around me have. And it can sometimes be hard to figure out what to say. Read more.
Learning to live off one salary
Maternity leave … some of us are fortunate to get some cash flowing in, some of us aren’t, and some of us are extra lucky to be paid by our employer and the government. Being self-employed, no work equals no money. When I went on maternity leave, my husband and I were living off one salary until the government pay kicked in. With a baby, and all the accompanying expenses, on the way. Read more.
Becoming a mum after losing my own
When you lose a loved one, you spend the rest of your life grieving. No, you’re not sad all the time. But you will grieve for the moments you’ve lost and you’ll grieve for the moments you’ll never have. You grieve for the questions that will go unanswered. You grieve for the memories you can’t make. Read more.
Today I had a distraction. I had two beautiful distractions this morning actually. Your two little grandsons. The third arrived in the afternoon, oblivious to how tough the day was. Bounding in and tackling his little brother, who himself, just hours before had been tackling his little cousin to the floor. Oh, what fun we’re going to have with the three of them. Already they’re shaping up to be a pretty formidable and absolutely hilarious little trio, who despite being so young still, have each other’s backs. Read more.
Birth story: How I coped when my ‘birth plans’ went awry
My first pregnancy was classified as ‘high risk’, with elevated blood pressure and gestational diabetes. Still, the majority of my pregnancy was relatively straightforward and uneventful. That was, until week 37. Read more.
Fed is best
I’ve never been that comfortable with my body. When my friends would be changing in the open locker room for sports classes, I would be hiding in the bathroom stall. This didn’t change when my now husband and I started dating. Being comfortable around him changed, of course, when I had our baby. There’s something about recovering from a c-section and not being able to even dry yourself after a shower (among other things) that throws all modesty out the window. Read more.
Today, my mum would have turned 60.
Today, is also two months since my son was born.
It’s been a bittersweet two months… moments of pure joy tinged with moments of pure heartache.
While I clearly remember the 24 hours before my son arrived, I don’t remember much about the hours after the birth.
Mostly, I remember holding my dad’s hand as I lay in bed, a bit spaced out from the drugs and hormones.
But I also remember looking around and noticing that while my baby boy was surrounded by aunts, uncles and grandparents, there was a very special person missing. And she should have been holding my other hand at that moment. Read more.
Today, almost to the minute in fact, is two years since you passed away. Two years since I last heard your voice. Two years since I last kissed you, hugged you. Two years… Read more.
The manifestation of grief
Last week, I learnt something new. That for the rest of my life, grief can creep up on you, no matter what day or time. Something as small as the realisation that you won’t have access to a car for a weekend, while hours away from home, can send you into a tailspin.
Halfway through my panic attack, as I slowly understood why the tears were falling, I realised that no matter how old I get, there will always be a first time that I experience something that mum will miss. There will always be something that will make you remember, that will made you sad. Something you had no idea would affect you. Read more.
It seemed fitting to me that one of the first books I read after my mum passed away was one by Jodi Picoult. Mum and I always shared a love of Jodi’s books and would often debrief following a read – ‘did you pick the twist?’ ‘Did you expect that to happen?’
I didn’t read the blurb about Leaving Time before downloading it. Turns out it’s about a daughter searching for her mother after she disappears under mysterious circumstances. It’s also about the way elephants grieve. Read more.
Facing mother’s day
I know you’re looking forward to Mother’s Day. If you’re a mother yourself, I know this day is doubly as important.
But when you’re talking and planning and sharing, please spare a thought for little old me – the girl who’s lost her mum. Read more.
I am so lucky to be surrounded by so many wonderful women in my family. Yes, they are grandmothers and aunts, but to me, they are so much more than that. In my eyes, I have several mothers, as each woman has treated me like her very own daughter.
Two weeks ago, I lost another mother …
My beautiful nana Margaret. Read more.
Today I embark on a new journey. I spoke to my mother a lot about taking control of my life. It was something she supported vehemently. It was something I believe she wanted to see. But I waited too long. Read more.
We recently returned from our first family holiday without my mum.
Coming back to what will come to be known as our normal life was exceptionally difficult.
Here, at home, while she is constantly in my thoughts, there are a myriad of things to distract me from what my reality now is, a myriad of things tearing me away from dark thoughts. On the ship, cruising in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do but think, read, sleep and eat, my thoughts were always with her, every minute, every hour, every day. Read more.
Today is mum’s 58th birthday. Normally, I’d get up and go to work, call her first thing and sing away. I’d probably call her four or five more times during the day and after I’d finished work for the day, head to her house to smother her in kisses. We’d head out for a family dinner and then on the weekend, she’d have her friends around to celebrate.
This year, we have to do it all without her. Read more.
Purple our world
November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.
Until March last year, I had very little understanding about pancreatic cancer. I even remember asking where the pancreas is and what it does. Since then, my family and I have been living and breathing everything pancreas.
In August this year, we lost my beautiful mother. She fought a very brave and very long battle against this horrible disease. So, we’ve decided it’s time to turn our world purple and hopefully make a difference! Read more.
There are so many things I’m yet to accomplish in life. And I’m going to have to do it all without her.
There are so many things we planned to share together. There are so many things that are yet to happen – exciting things that I planned to share with my mum. So many things that I thought I would be able to lean on her for.
Now I have to go it without mum. And that hurt, that heartache, that horror will never go away.
August 2 … same day, different years.
A day of unconditional love, laughter and happiness. And a day of heartbreak and pain.
Both a day of family.
A day of absolute contrasts, a day of remarkable similarities…
My mum was always always always the life of every party, radiating light, happiness and above all joy and laughter. She would ensure that every birthday, every anniversary and every celebration was marked, with a party if possible.
There’s no question that my mother was a fighter. She had strength and resilience like you wouldn’t believe. But she was also unbelievably scared of everything she was going to miss. Read more.
Just say yes
For me, a proposal should always always always be about the couple. No point in going extravagant if it doesn’t speak to you as a couple. That’s why mine was the perfect proposal – at home, with my family upstairs (unaware of what was happening downstairs) and just my husband and I.
No bells and whistles… just us. Read more.
Surround yourself with loving people who really, truly want the best for you. Surround yourself with people who want to help you, want you to be happy and want you to feel loved. Because at the end of the day, they’re the ones you’re going to be spending the lead up to your special day with.
They’re the ones who are going to be with you when you wake up, get dressed and walk down that aisle. Read more.
When I was young, my aunty beat breast cancer. A few years ago, my great uncle passed away from prostate cancer. Right now, my mum is fighting pancreatic cancer.
So I understand what it’s like to go through the ‘good’ cancers and the ‘bad’ cancers. Everyone’s right – there is no such thing as a ‘good’ cancer. There’s no such thing as a ‘good’ illness. But when it comes to pancreatic cancer, the numbers speak for themselves. Between 2006 and 2010, the survival rate for pancreatic cancer was 5.2 per cent. For breast cancer it was 89.4. Read more.
Popping your own question
While I popped the question to my bridesmaids a while ago, I’ve been trawling through Pintrest as of late to finalise my ideas for the decor of the wedding and there seems to be a myriad of ways to ask your bridal party to be part of your special day.
So here are the top five that I’ve stumbled across. Read more.
Lately we’ve been talking wedding photos.
There are a lot of things that come into play when it comes to choosing the location of wedding photos if you’re not having them at the ceremony or reception venue.
So let’s break it down. Read more.
Home sweet (expensive) home
Along with our wedding, we’re also house hunting. Whether you’re looking to rent or buy finding a home can become a very stressful process. But only if you make it one.
As your weekends become filled with open houses, measuring tapes and deciding whether the couch you love so very much will fit in the corner of the living room, slowly slowly you begin to realise how much there is to actually think about when it comes to choosing a home together.
If you’ve found the home, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Read more.
Guess who’s back
With my own wedding less than three months away, a question I was frequently asked was whether I was making notes as I attended the four other beautiful celebrations.
Truth is, most of my wedding is already organised. While I am exceptionally anal when it comes to organisation, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to stay ahead of the game.
That’s not to say I didn’t learn a thing or two. Read more.
I don’t like cricket … I love it?
I’ve grown up in a cricket household. Despite my dad having two daughters, he got lucky with my older sister. While I was at dance recitals and music lessons, she was at the cricket with my dad. The Sydney Test was daddy-daughter time. Eight years ago, when her husband came onto the scene, he joined them. And seven years ago, when my fiancee joined the family, it suddenly became a four-person excursion.
I hate to say it… but the only way to beat them, is join them. Read more.
With four weddings coming up over new year and my own impending nuptials in just over three months, it’s hard not to think weddings all day.
So of course, the majority of blogs I’ve been reading revolve around weddings. Hair prep, make-up trials, dresses, table decorations. There’s so much to think about that it’s very easy to get swept up and become that dreaded B word. Yep, I’m talking bridezilla. Read more.
I love the feel of paper between my fingers as I’m turning the pages, fully engrossed in the words. The idea of pressing a button to turn a page just doesn’t sit too well with me.
People often tell me to move into the digital age. Print is dead! It’s so much easier to carry! Soon you won’t be able to buy books!
Truth is, print isn’t dead. It’s just people tend to ignore it a little bit. Read more.
As I was painting away in my pseudo-studio, I realised how therapeutic the activity really was. A lot of issues have been thrown my way over the past year and despite the thousands of thoughts running through my mind, at that present moment, everything seemed to melt away and all I could think about were the brush strokes and making sure the letters were perfect.
It actually made me consider taking up painting as a hobby. When people are stressed, some turn to exercise (I wish! I’d be stick thin by now), some turn to eating, some turn to friends … and some turn to art. Read more.
Capture the moment
I’ve always been fascinated with photography. That ability to capture one, single moment in a ‘forever’ image astounds me.
My sister recently gave birth to a little boy. He’s about to turn one and I can’t believe how time has flown by. So much has happened in the past year that it’s astonishing to think that December is already around the corner and our little boy is growing up so quickly. Read more.