August 27, 2012


As if looking after a newborn and two rambunctious toddlers wasn't enough, we've suddenly decided to act on our decision to redecorate the house.  Not renovate, just redecorate.  Painting mainly, with a bit of serious spring cleaning and sprucing thrown in.  We figured a room a weekend is achievable and so far, we've managed to stick to that ambition.  We have a freshly painted bedroom and dining room, including all the trim, doors, nooks and crannies.  The difference is spectacular, and only in actually undertaking the task have we realised how much the house really does need a freshen up.  We've been here almost six years and it must be at least ten since it was renovated.

It always seems simpler than it really is, and I am writing this while trying not to stress about the piles of crap lying in our bedroom/living area and focussing instead on the fact that we got it done.  We moved our mattress into the lounge and lived like the bedridden grandparents of Charlie Bucket for the weekend, which I have to admit was good fun.  Who doesn't like eating ice-cream while sitting in bed in front of the tv?

So this week, I'm going to restore our bedroom to sanctuary status, sort through piles of clothes, get stuff dry cleaned and thoughtfully place nice things here and there so it feels good to walk in there after a day of chaos.  And then, even though it wasn't the easiest thing to do with the kids wanting to get involved and a 6 week old baby stuck to me like a (very cute) limpet, we'll do the next room, and the next, until it's all done and dusted.  Just in time for summer.

August 14, 2012

one month

He's got big, brown eyes, a mesmerising gaze, a voice that means business, the softest of skin and hair, and he loves to be snug.  He's started offering smiles, though they are still few and far between; I'll do anything to see that little face light up.  It already feels like I'm spoiling him, though of course he's only a little baby, so it's not really possible, but if Ollie's my pride and Max is my joy, surely Hugo, with his hairy little back and fuzzy ears is the apple of my eye.

Last night, Will said something to Hugo that made my heart cry a little.  "You're looking big, Hugo, not like a newborn baby anymore."  He's right, of course and I agreed with him straight away before realising how time is escaping us.  While I've been dwelling on the tiredness, the boys' behaviour and Hugo's insistence on being carried around all day, life goes on, and Hugo is one whole month old.  Today.  At this rate, the Christmas I'm so excited about will be here before we know it.

August 12, 2012

move over salvador

Lately, I haven't felt like saying or doing much.  The lack of sleep and resultant difficulty finding the energy to connect with the boys (husband included) has meant I feel a little withdrawn and I'm back at that place where I'm doubting my ability to do this parenting thing.  It's that same place fraught with uncertainty over the future, the homesickness and the feeling that I am bearing the weight of the world on my shoulders.  I know I'm not, it just feels that way.

Still.  I managed to sit down and do some silly collaging with Ollie and Max the other day, and it was something we all enjoyed.  Max especially loved getting sticky and messy, and it was so sweet to connect with him in the fug that has been concentrating on bonding with Hugo.  The boys' creations now take pride of place in the frame of this Dali print that let's face it, pales in comparison to what they made.

Our house continues to become their house, with their belongings taking over what was once a grown up space, their noise permeating every inch of this little wooden home we live in and their artwork taking centre stage over the paintings and prints that used to adorn our walls.  Our house.  Really, it's their house and we are but lucky to live in it.

August 1, 2012

and that was the week that was...

not good.

Will picked up hand, foot and mouth.  He couldn't cuddle or help at all with Hugo, and while he's been helping as much as possible with the boys, there were a couple of days there where it all felt way too much.  I was left feeling rather lonely after a week of no physical contact with Will, not so easy when you are still sleeping next to each other, and definitely not easy when you are feeling very hormonally challenged and just want a cuddle.

Max had diarrhoea, and still has somewhat, and the doc thinks it's probably his way of dealing with the hand, foot and mouth.  Either way, middle of the night wake ups to sloppy poops from your two year old are not fun.

Despite the lack of contact, it was inevitable that I'd be ill too, and I had a fever and sore throat over the weekend, making night feeding extremely difficult, and day feeding for that matter.  Again, it's probably how I've dealt with the family lurgy, Ollie and Max too had fevers about a week ago and the theory is they had the bug then and just didn't show any more symptoms.  Doesn't make it easy to manage.

This winter, it feels as though we have been battling colds, sinusitis,  coughs and other bugs almost all the time.  It's a given when your kids are in day care that they will bring home germs, and it is winter after all.  But it's such a worry when you have a teeny tiny little baby in the house, and yes, I know, worrying won't help anyone or anything (something I have learned from my ever positive sister who's mantra is to relax, everything will be ok!), but it's my way.

Winter is different here.  The houses in Queensland aren't easily heated the way they are in England.  There's no central heating, the mornings are very cold, and while the winter sun is lush, the nights are cold and dry.  In England, it's cosy inside.  It's nice to go out knowing when you get back indoors it will be toasty warm as you put the kettle on for that welcoming cup of coffee.  The days are short there, but we have Christmas and the holiday season to look forward to.  Here, winter seems so... dull.  And it makes me yearn for the holiday season and we all know what I think about Christmas in the heat of the summer.

So the upshot of it all is that I am looking forward to spring (not necessarily summer) when there'll be a little more life around, a little more heat in the mornings and we won't be telling the boys they can't enjoy water play because it's too chilly to be running around in wet clothes.  The doors and windows will be open again and surely there will be less illness in our lives?  And maybe with spring might come the promise of a trip back home, because I don't know that I can make it through a fourth year without seeing the faces I love, being in the countryside I so adore and experiencing that unmistakeable atmosphere of home.  Home.
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