Blake’s 2nd Birthday Monkey Party

I had orginally decided that I wanted to throw a Sock Monkey themed party for Blake’s 2nd Birthday after seeing some gorgeous parties pinned on Pintrest. But upon searching around I realised that Australia is not as fascinated with these adorable monkeys as the USA is. I could have spent a lot of money ordering items from the US but our budget does not stretch that far so I toned it down to a monkey theme, with a few sock monkey additions and lots of banana themed food. Enjoy the photos!!

Happy 2nd Birthday Blake!

Dearest Blake,

Happy 2nd Birthday my dear son.

Two years have passed in the blink of an eye. We have photos hanging on our wall from the newborn photo-shoot we did when you were just 6 days old. I look at those photographs every day and then I look at you – so tall, so grown – and I marvel at the fact that you were ever that tiny.

Your first year of life was a rollercoaster ride. You were an intense and challenging newborn. There was not a day that passed that you didn’t scream your little lungs out for one reason or another. I barely let you go from my arms for your first three months. We developed a strong bond but I did struggle with finding the balance between a newborn that couldn’t be put down and a two year old who needed me just as much as before you were born. Not to mention tryng to take care of myself as well as being a wife! It was a time that I look back on and I wish it could have been more peaceful and more relaxed but it is what it is. You certainly took us on a journey!

Babywearing – using the Sleepy Wrap at first and then moving onto the Ergo – saved my parenting. I couldn’t have raised two small children without either one of these items. It felt so natural and so right to have you almost womb like wrapped against my body. I wish you were small enough to fit in the wrap again, I miss that feeling so much. I just loved carrying you close to my heart and watching you fall asleep content and happy made my heart sing. Using the carriers also meant that I was more available to Hannah as my hands were free and I am sure she was just as grateful for the carriers as I was!

One thing I did not anitcipate before your birth was how well our breasfeeding relationship would grow. I am thrilled, proud and even a little suprised to say I am still breastfeeding you at 2 years of age. And it’s not just once in a while either, it is still very much an everyday part of our lives. Although you have slowed down a little over the last few months, I cannot see you completely weaning for a little while to come. I never expected to be feeding you for so long only because of how completely stressful I found breastfeeding to be with your sister. But having women around me this time that viewed breastfeeding in the healthy and respecful way it should be considered and my own research and preparation allowed me to follow my instincts and let our breastfeeding relationship take its own individual path. It has been beautiful.

At the beginning of September I decided I was ready to actively night-wean you. I had been waiting for what I felt would be the right time and although there were a few tears, we are now both sleeping all night long and it is wonderful. I won’t say that I wish I had done it earlier because it is not true. I never had any expectations – even before Hannah was born – that I would regain sleep the way it used to be before I had children. I knew that ‘sleeping through’ was never going to be an expectation I would have of my children at an early age, and I wanted to give you an opprotunity to show me whether you were going to slow down the night feedings yourself. You didn’t so I knew I was ready to lead the way with this decision after a few months of thought and discussion. And even though 4+ years of broken sleep sure is tiring I have managed, and knowing I was doing something that felt right for me and my family helped me function in a ‘new normal’.

Since you suprised us with your sex at birth, I didn’t have any time during prenancy to consider parenting a baby boy. But really it was not so different to parenting Hannah for the first year. The only novelty was being pee’d on for the first few weeks of nappy changes if we weren’t paying enough attention! However, your second year has been a slightly different story. In the last 6 months you have amazed and shocked us with your fearless and physical pursuits. I think having an older sister to copy is partly the reason for this, but the biggest is that testosterone that simmers inside little boys. There is definately a cheeky, wild streak inside you and you are not afraid to share it with the world. The bumps, bruises and scratches you have amassed are proof of that! Somedays I just have to shake my head at your antics and take a deep breath – I don’t know how you do it but you sure know how to push my buttons! And then, at other more peaceful times, you will snuggle and cuddle me and remind me how very sweet you really are. You are incredibly charming and that cheeky smile of yours will get you everything – and you seem to know it! I hope you never lose that part of yourself and I hope I can find the strength and patience to guide you into expressing it in safe and thoughtful ways.

I have been in denial of this birthday approaching Blake. I don’t think I am ready to let go of your little baby stage. Oh, I know, it has already gone along with the chubby dimples in your little hands and feet. I just breastfed you for the last time as a 1 year old and my heart grew heavy. You will now be a fully fledged toddler. I almost feel like a mama bird watching her little one begin their first flight outside the nest. I know you may stumble and fall, but I will always be here in the nest waiting for you and keeping you safe. I know I will miss your sweet babyness, but time marches on whether I like it or not so I will dry my tears tonight and smile at you in the morning, welcoming the age of 2 with open arms. I know the journey you take me on will be amazing.

Sweet baby boy, I adore you. You are my sunshine and I am forever grateful that you are in our family.

Happy Birthday.

Love Always,

Mama xx

Father’s Day 2012

Father’s Day.

A day to recognise the special men in our life who do such an amazing job being amazing fathers.

Brian is such a devoted father. It fills him with joy to have Hannah and Blake around to shower with love and affection. He looks forward to coming home from work in the afternoons to them greeting him at the gate.

His smiles and their smiles light me up inside.

I am always grateful to have this strong, kind man standing beside me during this parenting journey, but even more so on Father’s Day.