on breastfeeding

Friday, April 24, 2015

Dear Olive,
We had a great afternoon at the pub a few weeks ago - one of those impromptu times where we met a friend for a swim, got a phone call from another, and the next thing we knew, we were at the pub cheersing beer with a bunch of mates. Of course, all too quickly it got to a certain time of the evening, and I headed home to put to bed two tired kids on my own. Later, after the house was quiet, I sat on the lounge and couldn't help but feel the deep unfairness of it all. Shane was out, kicking up his heels and having interesting and fun adult conversations, while I was home alone, sober, at the ready to breastfeed Clancy at a moments whimper. 
But then I realised that if Clancy breastfeeds for as long as you did, then we're almost halfway there already - and wow, has that almost first half gone by in the blink of an eye. All of a sudden, instead of resentment, I felt an overwhelming sadness about it all ending. Almost inexplicably, I began to will my little boy to wake up so I could feed him. Such is the irony of this life, I suppose. I can feel tired of something I wouldn't change for the world.
I need to remember; this time is my sacrifice, and this time is my privilege. It's beautiful, it's extraordinary, it's exhausting. And it has an end. It's all going to be over in a damn flash.
PS The best article I've read on motherhood in a long time.
PPS The extended info on the photos below tells me CC was just a week old when they were taken. (And he's wearing my all time favourite woollen pants from Paul and Paula, Typically Red pixie hat, a cardi hand knitted by my friends Mum, and Marimekko socks.)


one full trip around the sun

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Dear Olive,
He's the love of all our lives. Your Boo, Dads Clancy-man, and my CC. He turned one on the weekend. 
(And for the first time, I truly feel the bittersweet sting of my youngest child beginning to grow up.)


school holidays

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dear Olive,
The school holidays are on, and boy are they lovely! I knew you'd love the change in routine, but I wasn't expecting to be completely taken over by that holiday feeling myself - that was a lovely surprise. The school hours aren't at all hard when there's no work to negotiate, but it's so refreshing not to have to be anywhere in the morning. We've kept it super low key - I'm so conscious that what you need is anti-regimen. And all that time away at school has given you renewed enthusiasm for playing in your room with the door closed - so called "secret games", often only coming out if you hear me and remember you need to ask for more food. 

- lego is everywhere
- I'm frisbeeing out the snack plates like nobodies business (I can't stop pondering: what is it about holidays that makes you so insatiably hungry?)
- easiest healthy-ish comfort food lunch if you have leftover rice (we usually soak ours overnight and then cook it in broth) - fry onion, garlic, sausage, corn, plus any green veggies or a few herbs from the garden, and toss through olive oil and a pinch of salt (can you tell on this day we had no green veggies?!)
- you and I, in the ladies
- you and C have played so much, you read him books and he pulls your hair: it's definitely love


portrait of a friend

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Dear Olive,
An Autumn afternoon. A random chair at the park. The sweetest of little friends.


just because

Monday, April 13, 2015

Dear Olive,
Just because I want to put these somewhere, so I may as well put them here: a collection of random images from the last month or two.
The seasons have shifted, as they do. The kids are growing, as they do. Shane and I are keeping on, as we do. Sometimes I wonder why I'm hanging onto this space, where there's so many other things that need to do done. (One of them being the study I've started, I'll save that story for another post.) But somehow I keep coming back.
Next weekend we'll be celebrating one full trip around the sun of our little man. Can you believe it?


noc noc

Friday, March 27, 2015

Dear Olive,
I found this on the floor of your room when I was tidying up this morning.
Needless to say, we are on a slow limp towards the end of term.


after school

Monday, March 9, 2015

Dear Olive,
School. Far out, it's been quite shocking to me to see how full of regimen and rules and lining up and concentration it is. 
But then, after school, there's this (there must be this): freedom.



Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dear Olive,
Roll upon roll upon roll.


CC food

Monday, February 23, 2015

Dear Olive,
I was clearly a little rash on my post suggesting it was going to be a slow process for CC to take to eating. Within days, he was on three square meals a day, opening up his little mouth to everything and anything, and quite a lot of it. Nothing, thus far, has proven offensive to his palate (even cat kibbles). 
I have a far deeper knowledge of nutrition these days, and I think I've done a better job with his food than I did with you - which could suggest something about how he took to it. Either way, he has reduced his breastfeeds (astounding!) because he's eating so much nutrient dense* food. His favourites - and pretty much everyday staples - are egg yolk, avocado, bone broth, pumpkin, broccoli, pear, coconut milk yoghurt, and all meat and fish. He'll even happily eat lacto-fermented veggies.
To cut down on how many meals I'm cooking, I usually give him a version of what we're having. Tonight, we'll all eat the same roast chicken and veggies - his chicken will just be shredded up tiny and the pumpkin mashed up a bit, the broccoli he can eat by himself.  
I seize any leftovers and freeze them so there is usually at least one ready to go meal when time is scarce, and I've found the refillable squeezie pouches to be so handy if we're going out. (We use Little Mashies.) Pre-cooked frozen meatballs (grain free, and loaded with greens) have been working a treat as a quick meal for Clancy (and in your lunchbox) too.
I still haven't given him any grains yet, because babies lack the enzyme to properly digest them, and, rather sadly, he seems to not tolerant dairy (he gets sniffly and vomity whenever I eat any so I've been off it for months now).
My great friend Charlotte wrote a super piece about feeding babies here. (She's got lots of amazing recipes on her blog. And stand by for her book, coming out soon!)
*Ain't that the buzz word du jour.


what's in the box

Friday, February 13, 2015

Dear Olive,
Rather pathetically, having to put together the lunchbox every morning was one of the things I was anxious about before you started school. But with a tiny bit of pre-thought, it's actually been no trouble, and - dare I say it - enjoyable! (And let's face it, I'm at home at the moment anyway, so I've got it far easier than many.) 
I'm sure I'll laugh at my rookie enthusiasm in months (weeks?) to come, but for now I'll go with it.

| carrot sticks, avocado loaded on ancient grain sourdough, boiled egg, date, strawberries, chocolate chia seed pudding |

| leftover roast chicken, cherry tomato, dates, natural yoghurt with honey, grapes, boiled egg |

| strawberries, grain free buttered pikelets, grapes, cherry tomato, zucchini frittata muffins |

| grapes, strawberries, boiled egg, steamed broccoli, carrot sticks, mini meatballs, avocado on ancient grain sourdough |

..... and repeat!


week one

Friday, February 6, 2015

Dear Olive,
After a slightly rocky* first morning, you sailed through your first week of school. You love it! (As I suspected you might.)
But we miss you, CC and I. Before this week we filled our days with play dates and activities all revolving around you and it's been a quiet old week for the two of us**. 
I'm really looking forward to the weekend, I said yesterday. You looked at me and said I'm not. I'm looking forward to Monday.
*You sobbed. It took me completely by surprise and I couldn't help but shed a tear as well.
**Although, to be honest, Clancy has been enjoying the unfettered access to your room.



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Dear Olive,
It is twelve years yesterday since my Mum died. It's a long time. It was before you or Clancy were born; before I met Shane; before I worked in film; before, in a sense, I really became an adult. A lifetime ago. And (sadly) most of the time it feels like a lifetime ago. But then there are other times, the memory will be so clear, the pain and love so sharp, that it could have been only days.

I don't know if I believe in an afterlife; I tend to think we're all just matter - us, nature, and the universe. One and the same. But on occasion, and only ever by the sea, the clouds have parted and the light has shone through, and I thought I could feel her with me.


endings and beginnings

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Dear Olive,
There were tears all round when we dropped you off at school for the first time. It took me completely by surprise, and I felt forlorn and worried for the rest of the day. But, of course, you were all smiles when I picked you up - you were even awarded a sticker for great behaviour, and are (apparently) looking forward to going back tomorrow. Wait, tomorrow? It was such a big build up to today, it half feels like it's 'over' and not at all that we have to get back up and do it again tomorrow ... and then the day after that, and the day after that ... I think I'll need some time to adjust - and most likely you will, too. Because while today marks an exciting new and momentous beginning, it feels like something important has also ended. 
Education is a gift, and I'm so excited to see what you do with yours.


off to sleep, I love you

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Dear Olive,
You were really tricky to get to sleep when you were little - sometimes I'd spend an hour and a half getting you down only to have you sleep for half that time. But when you were about 5 months old, I found this sweet little routine where I sang to you and then put you down awake, and you happily self settled from that first day on. I thought I had it down pat - a baby who put herself to sleep! Without crying! I was secretly high fiving myself. But of course, each baby is so different, and when sleepy little Clancy came along, it was quick and convenient to just feed him off to sleep; so that's what I did. As time has gone on, it's gotten harder and harder, and takes longer and longer. But you know what, as time consuming and annoying as it can be to lie with my boy and wait for sleep to come to him, it really is the most marvellous privilege to get to see him fall asleep - like I'm being allowed to enter a beautiful, secret world. Each time, before I put him in his cot, I make sure I stop, and take him in; my sleeping beauty. 
Off to sleep, I love you I whisper.



Sunday, January 25, 2015

Dear Olive,
There's so very much to catch up on. And seeing as I can barely remember what I did last weekend, let alone last year, I'll let these photos do the talking.

CC learnt to crawl. (Although that would have been back in November? He was only six months old. This past week he's been taking a few steps!) 

Apropos the crawling, his knees got a lot dirtier.

You "graduated" preschool. It was pretty emotional - for both of us. (CC learnt to clap just in time, each time about two minutes after everyone else had stopped.)

We put a Christmas tree up - our first ever. It was so exciting for you - you were at bursting point for days. The day after we put it up, you and Shane and I were in the bedroom and heard the sound of hundreds of baubles bouncing and smashing, and the sound of crying ... we ran out to find CC stuck in a tangled mess of branches, ornaments and christmas lights. He'd pulled the entire tree down on top of himself. It was a Christmas disaster scene! He was fine, although he got such a fright he learnt his lesson and didn't do it again. Plus, Shane got to dress the tree again and it looked better the second time round, so really the whole thing worked out for everyone.

We travelled up to my Dads for Christmas with my family. It was the first Christmas that you've been really and truly into it - you could barely get to sleep on christmas eve and then you were up before the crack of dawn on christmas morning to see if Santa had been. He had!

Papa, and all his Grandkids.

Our first Christmas as a family of four. The kids just love it when we get our photo taken and Mum and Dad kiss.

I would love to be able to include photos from a super fun getaway with a bunch of mates over New Years, but both Shane and I got sick and we had to stay on at my Dads for an extra week. It was the most miserable way to welcome in a new year; with matching fevers. (And I most sincerely hope it is not at all indicative of our year to come.)

And that's about it, I think .... hopefully that brings us back to regular programming from now on, folks!

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