20/52

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Mummalove 52-20-1 nicholas: We had fun playing with bubbles in the garden and I do love your squeals of delight. Oh kiddo, when you hunch up your shoulders and give that coy smile? Pretty sure it’s so cute, it’s practically illegal ;) You are such a great little helper, putting away dishes from the dishwasher or taking a little pile of folded clothes to your room. I love seeing glimpses of the big independent boy you are becoming. 

Mummalove 52-20-5charlie: I’m very pleased to report that we seem to have had a breakthrough with our before-school routine and the past week of mornings have been so much more calm and pleasant. Hallelujah. You deserved a special afternoon tea treat for keeping on track.

Joining in the 52 Project at Practising Simplicity ~ a portrait of my youngest boys every week in 2015.

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19/52 {mother’s day}

Mummalove 52-19-4So lucky to be the mother of these three beautiful boys, as tough as that job can be sometimes.

Mummalove 52-19-6 Mummalove 52-19-5 So grateful for the love of a beautiful and gracious mother, and a wonderfully supportive mother-in-law, as well as an amazing array of sisters, sisters-in-law and friends to share in this journey of motherhood with.

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My heart is with the warrior mothers who find it difficult to celebrate today. My friends, you are so loved and never forgotten.

As I mentioned last year, I try to get a photo with the boys each year on Mother’s Day. And what is a family photo without rabbit ears. Cheeky rabbits ;)

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Sending much love to all the beautiful women I know on this Mother’s Day.

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18/52 {offering it up}

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Nicholas tries to convince Sam to turn the Wiggles music on on Mum’s phone. Complete with shoulder taps and looking Sam straight in the eye on occasion, I think it’s fairly clear he’s saying, “And hurry up about it.”

This week has involved far more vomit, sleep deprivation and washing in our household than is ever considered pleasant. And very heavy rain, there’s been lots of that too. A fair portion of which is still seeping into our downstairs flooring.

But, while not all sunshine and roses around here, it’s far from terrible and I know that it’s a blip on the parenthood radar that everyone goes through from time to time. This too shall pass.

For some people, though, the week that has passed has been truly devastating.

Thousands of people have lost loved ones in the earthquake in Nepal.

Two families, in particular, lost their boys. Boys who made a terrible mistake ten years ago and paid for it with their lives this week. For all our imperfections and mistakes in life, I’d like to think we are all worthy of redemption and mercy. My heart is heavy, but I am sure it’s nothing in comparison to what the Chan and Sukamaran families are feeling right now. I can only hope that they are comforted in some way by the stories of those Andrew and Myuran helped during their time in prison, and by the community of Australians who rallied to try and save them.

Lives have been lost in sudden and torrential downpours in our own city this week.

One wonderful mother in our local Down syndrome community is currently watching her son endure excruciating pain after the most recent of many surgeries, and just wants her gorgeous boy to be well again.

Refugee families searching for peace and freedom are held in horrendous living conditions in our own country.

Locally and internationally, there is so much suffering.

I know that none of the tragedies other people are experiencing make my life any easier, or make putting on yet another load of vomit-soaked sheets any more fun, but they certainly put my transient hardship into perspective.

Whenever I complained about anything as a child, my Mum would say “offer it up”. (Admittedly, Mum, it was kinda annoying at the time when I just wanted to complain about something. But I know where you were coming from).

My thoughts and prayers are with those doing it especially tough right now. I’m offering it up.

Mummalove 52-18-2 Mummalove 52-18-1nicholas: I love the way you hook your feet together when you’re sitting on a chair, reading a book or playing on the iPad. While the clear words are few and far between, you have been attempting so many more sounds lately (as long as I don’t ask you to say anything, which prompts immediate refusal to say anything ;)) I laughed when you refused to let me read a new book to you, but instead “read” it out loud to me, complete with all the animal noises.

Mummalove 52-18-4 Mummalove 52-18-3charlie: The photo above is a little blurry, but I love your smile in that naturally joyful state. You are keeping me on my toes at the moment, kiddo, but your cheeky grin, sparkly eyes and boundless imagination never fail to make my heart sing.

Joining in the 52 Project at Practising Simplicity ~ a portrait of my youngest boys every week in 2015.

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17/52 {stretched}

In this parenthood gig, I think it’s easy to fall into the ‘not doing enough’ mentality. I constantly feel as though there aren’t enough hours in the day, that I haven’t been as productive as I wanted to be, that there are always things left on the to-do lists. Some weeks I feel like I have my stuff together, that things are flowing. This does not appear to have been one of those weeks.

Juggling hospital visits and dealing with serious illnesses and diagnoses? Oh, I seem to be all over that like a rash. Big stuff I can do with my eyes closed. But getting my child to leave the house with his uniform on, and managing iPad time effectively, and ensuring dinner is cooked, and homework is finished? That’s proving a little more difficult.

Maybe it comes down to knowing “what is mine to do“, or perhaps some weeks “it’s just supposed to be hard“. Perhaps I just need to breathe and be still and wait for the flow to return. It usually does, I know.

The boys have found a little spot not far from our house that is a perfect location for throwing stones in the water. Or, in Charlie’s case, a perfect underground lair for doing ninja moves in.

Perhaps it’s also a good spot in which for me to breathe and watch boys being boys, and let go of the mother guilt surrounding the million things I never seem to achieve. At least for an hour.

PS. Just for the record, Charlie is not dancing in the below shots – he would like this point made very clear. I would also like it known that he dressed himself and I, in no way, take responsibility for the dubious attire ;)

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nicholas: Thanks for being my low maintenance child. You rock.

charlie: Your motto this week has been “let’s drive Mum crazy” and I’m pretty sure it’s working. I love you, so let’s call a truce, huh? 

Joining in the 52 Project at Practising Simplicity ~ a portrait of my youngest boys every week in 2015.

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16/52 {intentions}

Mummalove 52-16-6Tomorrow the second school term commences and the big boys go back to school. And while I’ve enjoyed the break almost as much as the boys have, I have to admit that I am looking forward to having a little more breathing space to achieve a few things while they’re at school.

I’m also looking forward to starting over and doing things better this term. Like getting some strategies in place to encourage Charlie to get himself dressed in the morning, which he is very capable of, instead of it ending in a) a yelling match b) him getting dressed in the school footpath or carpark (yes, this has happened) (more than once), or c) me giving up and doing it for him. We also need to get on track with the boys doing jobs around the house, and maybe even sort out a pocket money scheme.

These are not unachievable tasks, but I am often guilty of waiting for the perfect opportunity to arise before making things happen. You know, like I’ll be SO much more organised when I have a renovated kitchen, or the moon falls into the second quarter, or I have more time, or something along those lines. But the truth is that I’ll probably never have more time and there’s no better moment than right now to begin, so it is my intention to use the snippets of opportunity more wisely and just do it.

And, just for the record, the lunches are all made and ready for tomorrow and the uniforms are laid out, so at least I’m on track for the first day of being organised for Term 2 ;)

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Ben and I were very honoured to be asked to be the Godparents of our youngest niece, Polly, and we loved celebrating this very special occasion with our family today. I thought this was a beautiful snapshot, captured by Uncle John, of Nicholas reaching out to his favourite baby. It certainly does take a village to raise a child, and I’m so glad we are part of this amazing village.

Mummalove 52-16-2nicholas: It has been a while since we played in the sandpit. Between the mosquitoes and the rain, pulling the lid off the sandpit really didn’t seem that appealing to your mumma, but when we decided to make a sandpit volcano (similar to this one) over the holidays, you relished the opportunity to spend ages playing in the sand and water. You had some very important jobs to do in there, apparently. 

Mummalove 52-16-4charlie: The beautiful cake for Polly and Mia’s Baptism was apparently also quite delicious. Love your cheeky, cake-eating grin. You have loved every minute of freedom over your first official school holidays and relished the break from routine. While you’ve declared you’re not returning to school tomorrow, I’m predicting that you’ll love being back amongst your friends and all the fun of Prep as soon as we arrive.

Joining in the 52 Project at Practising Simplicity ~ a portrait of my youngest boys every week in 2015.

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15/52 {loving}

Mummalove 52-15-13 Mummalove 52-15-12Loving fresh basil on the windowsill, and my new cup from LTCO, a present to myself on leaving Byron Bay and reminder of a beautiful week away with my family.

Loving finding selfies of my loves when I download photos off the memory card.

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Loving having so many wonderful women in my life. Happy birthday to two of my bestest friends, who both had birthdays last week.

Loving opportunities to hang out with my littlest niece. She is a living doll.

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Loving school holidays and the opportunity to just hang out with my boys. But we still have another week to go, so don’t quote me ;)

Loving that we’ve now reached a half-way point in Sam’s treatment. 19 months down and 19 months to go. Definitely worth celebrating.

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Loving finally feeling a touch of cooler Autumn weather and needing to pull out the winter pyjamas. Who doesn’t love a toddler in a Bonds Wondersuit.

What are you loving at the moment?

Mummalove 52-15-2nicholas: When I see you in this photograph, it’s hard to deny you are evolving into a three year old and no longer a baby. Still a mini version, but definitely a boy now. Just like your brother, mumma, uncle and Grandad before you, the different pigmentation in your skin is becoming more obvious as you get older and spend more time in the sun. We are connected in more ways than one, you and I.

Mummalove 52-15-10charlie: When baby Polly came to visit, I was interested to see your nurturing side come out. You brought her toys and snuggled her with a blanket, and even put on a show for her. We have seen the theatrical Charlie come out so many times lately and wonder whether you’re destined for a life on the stage.

Joining in the 52 Project at Practising Simplicity ~ a portrait of my youngest boys every week in 2015.

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14/52 {happy Easter}

DSC_6006DSC_5998About a year ago, after seeing all the write-ups about the Byron Bay Bluesfest, my beloved Ben told me that going to this music festival had been on his bucket list for a really long time. I responded with a vague, “great, let’s go one day“, visualising us rocking out in our 50s with no children in tow. Meanwhile, I’m pretty sure Ben was booking tickets and accommodation for 2015’s festival within the next few days. Got to love a man who makes things happen.

And here we are. Happy Easter from the beautiful, colourful and eclectic Byron Bay.

Going to a (very wet and muddy) five day music festival with three young children is no mean feat and is made far easier with the involvement of wonderful grandparents. It also involves the realisation that we are no longer 20-somethings with not a care in the world, so we are enjoying the festival experience balanced with having a holiday with our gorgeous boys. While impressed by the parents out there in the thick of things with their littles in baby carriers wearing earmuffs (and we did take the boys out on Friday to soak in some of the festival atmosphere), turns out we are just not that hard core. So we have been indulging in swims and beach time and scrabble and movies and reading and naps, but also sneaking out in gum boots to listen to great music into the wee hours.

We are grateful to spend this Easter weekend with our favourite people, ticking off a long-held dream in such a beautiful and festive part of the world. We are lucky.

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Charlie. Looking stoked about being at Bluesfest.

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Frank Yamma

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Nikki Hill

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Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

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Jake Shimabukuro

Mummalove-52-14-5  sam: {A bonus Easter Sam shot ;)} You love being in control, so were happier to run the Easter egg hunt than be part of it. I love when you nurture your younger brothers, whether it be lifting Nicholas out of bed when you hear him call out or coaching the boys on how to find the Easter eggs. It makes me giggle when I hear you teaching Charlie about how the world works – I love seeing things through your eyes. Some days I think you seem so grown up, and then I catch a glimpse of your beautiful chubby cheeks and soft skin and remember that six isn’t so big after all. 

Mummalove-52-14-6nicholas: With ready access to Mum, Dad, Grandma and Grandpa and your favourite brothers, you are in heaven on holidays. While the pool is rather chilly and takes your breath away, you love being in the water and jumping (falling?) in to us from the edge. Turns out, you’re not that keen on loud music, but you are at home on the beach and throwing sand into the waves, not worrying about your sandy, wet clothes or the dogs who stop to say hi.

Mummalove-52-14-7charlie: You have been battling an addiction to Minecraft this week, happily creating your own little world but struggling when that timer goes off and it’s time to put the iPad away. You see, when you’re inside your Minecraft world, I miss seeing your imagination in action in the real world. I love your drawings and lists and all the stories you tell us. You are my dreamer.

Joining in the 52 Project at Practising Simplicity ~ a portrait of my youngest boys every week in 2015.

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