Celebrations & Traditions

Our Christmas Traditions

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In 2012, we decided that it was important to begin to implement a set of Christmas traditions and ideas that we can celebrate every year as a family over the holiday season. Brian and I discussed it and we decided that we wanted our Christmas celebrations to focus on 3 particulars areas:

  • Spending quality time together as a family and within our wider circle of family, friends and community
  • Remembering to be grateful for what we have and giving to those in need
  • Learning about and sharing in various ways to celebrate Christmas around the world to promote multiculturalism and understanding about how different Christmas celebrations have evolved over the years

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    We decided to  achieve this through creating an advent calendar that begins on December 1st each year. I browse through local Christmas events and add the ones our family enjoys to the calender. Last year we particularly enjoyed the Lighting of the big Christmas tree in the city, the Christmas Carols and watching the free Christmas movies at Southbank, so we will be attending those once again. These events really help us to make time for each other and be present with each other in the hectic-ness that is this holiday season. It also gets us out into the community and when family or friends come along with us it helps us celebrate the holidays with them as well!

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We decided that we wanted to focus on the act of giving and and sharing gifts with others and in particular, using this time of year to highight the plight of those less fortunate than ourselves. We do this through donating to charities and by asking the children to participate in the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal which they very thoughtfully enjoyed doing last Christmas. This year we will also be adding another giving tradition of encouraging the children to buy/create sibling gifts for each other which we are really looking forward to seeing evolve.

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We are a multi-cultural family, so it was important to us to share with our children the fact that every family celebrates Christmas in a unique way – some with more of a religious focus, some more with a Santa related focus and that some don’t celebrate the day at all – plus that every country has their own special Christmas traditions that can be fun to explore. This is an area we only touched on last year, but we will expand on this in the next few years as they grow and their understanding grows too.

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I also add in other Christmas events and activites into the advent calender like our yearly tradition of celebrating St Nicholas day just like my family did when I was a child, and fun craft activities like the Christmas sensroy box. We always drive around to see the big Christmas lights displays and I’ve been collecting Christmas books for a couple of years now (most of them bought from op-shops or on sale after Christmas is over) to read every second day and get into the Christmas spirit. It’s a big month yes, but a month we look forward to with great anticipation every year. We are so excited to share it with the children again and I know their faces of delight will make all the organisation totally worth it.

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Dearest Blake – Happy 3rd Birthday!

Dearest Blake,

Baby boy, you are three! Happy Birthday!!!

You have been such a blessing and light in our lives Blake. In the depths of your newborn months it was hard for me to imagine that clingy, demanding little baby ever turning into an independant, secure little boy… but here we are! You are such a fun, friendly and accepting child and we couldn’t be prouder of you.

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In the last year we have seen so much more of your personality develop. You are our little comedian making us laugh with your funny faces and silly dances at every opportunity. You never mind being front and centre and love playing with other children in groups big and small. More and more we are seeing your affectionate nature come through.

Since the birth of your sister I have noticed you are extremely tactile and you love holding her hand, touching her soft hair and giving her kisses. I cannot get over just how much you adore her! I hope that bond continues to be strengthened through the years to come. You also have a lovely little habit of touching your eyelashes to help yourself back into sleep when you wake at night. And since we moved into our new home in June you have happily been sleeping in your own bed (in our room) all night.  I missed you so much at first, it was strange seeing you dreaming away without me next to you.

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This has been your year of increasing independance and growth. You rarely let anything phase you, you’re always open to new experiences and opportunities happily going with whatever we have planned. Even during the hospital trip when your finger was bitten by the dog next door, you barely even cried and your trademark smile was everpresent.

You inspire me with your fearlessness. You really live in the present moment, and that is a great place to be my friend. You are such a gorgeous, spontaneous, cheeky and loving little boy and we are all mesmorised by you. Just keep being you Blake, don’t ever change.

I love you,

Love, Mama xx

Hannah’s 5th Birthday Tea Party

Hannah turned 5 on August 31st and to celebrate this special birthday milestone we planned a sweet little tea party with just a few of her closest girl-friends. I love planning parties for my little people but I knew that this year with a brand new baby things would need to be kept low-key. So instead of the focus being on the party we kept the focus on Hannah turning 5 and what a special even that was. I typed up a little countdown to her birthday and Hannah loved getting to cross off each 31 days of anticpation.

We had planned to purchase Hannah a new bicycle for her gift so when Daisy was born and Brian had time off, we took the kids to the pathways around our home several days in a row and Hannah learned to ride without training wheels in just 2 days! This was such an exciting moment for her and made the gift of a new bike even more special.

Because her birthday was on a Saturday we held a little morning tea party for her friends. They dressed up as princesses and fairies and enjoyed personalised star-wand decorating, strawberry milkshakes, yummy cupcakes to decorate and swirly rainbow cake to eat. It was a very nice morning. Simple and sweet.

The next day, family came around and we celebrated again with more cake and more presents. And lots of photos.

Happy 5th Birthday dearest girl. You are amazing xx

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Profile of a 5 year old!

Happy 5th Birthday Hannah Kate!!!

Favourite Colour? – Purple AND pink.

Favourite Letter? – H.

Favourite Number? – 5.

Favourite Book? – Maisy Books and Sleeping Beauty.

Favourite Song? – Gangnam Style by Psy.

Favourite TV show? – Peppa Pig.

What do you want to be when you grow up? – A fairy.

What is your favourite animal? – Cat.

What is your favourite food? – Curly Pasta.

Who is your best friend? – Priya.

Where is your favourite place to go? – To the beach.

What is your favouite thing to do? – Playing on the trampoline.

What is your favourite thing to do with Daddy? – Doing jumping tricks on the trampoline.

What is your favourite thing to do with Mama? – Playing a game with mummy.

What is your favourite thing to do with Blake? – Read books, playing together, and making Daisy happy.

What is your favourite thing to do with Daisy? Read her books and change her nappy.

What is your favourite toy? – Fairy doll.

What birthday present did you love the most? – New bike and sewing kit.

What makes you happy? – Being tickled.

What makes you sad? – When Grandma and Grandpa went on their holiday overseas.

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Funny Things You’ve Said Over the Past Year

B: Wat’s dat?
H: It’s a mermaid. She takes her clothes off and goes swimming. That’s what a mermaid does. (06/09/12)

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Me to Blake: Are you a boy?
Blake: No!
Me: Are you a girl?
Blake: Yeah, I a girl!
Hannah: You’re not a girl Blake! You don’t have long hair! (16/11/12)

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Hannah (while watching Playschool): “Wow, that was impressive!” (21/11/12)

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Hannah –”But Mama, dancers don’t have to pick their tissues up.” 11/01/13

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Hannah: How long does it take for the baby to grow and be ready to come out?

Me: Well, it takes 9 months altogether. The baby is nearly 4 months so we still have 5 months to go.

Hannah: Are you kidding mummy?!! (24/02/13)

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Hannah while unwrapping a party gift – “I cannot wait to see what is inside, I think it is something so special. It’s a bunting, Blake, look a bunting for a celebration! We can have lots of special celebrations with our bunting!” (18/06/13)

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H – “Can someone get me some tomato sauce?’ (looking straight at me, eyebrows raised)
Me – “You can get it”
H – “GOODNESS ME!” (hops of her chair, rolling her eyes) (09/07/13)

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H: Mum my feet are salty.
Me: Salty?!!
H: (Getting distressed) They’re sprinkley, really SPRINKLEY MUM!
Me: Do you mean wrinkley? Why what’s happened?
H: I was sitting on my knees colouring and now my feet are salty and sprinkley and wrinkley mama.
Me: Oh you have pins and needles in your feet from sitting on your knees….” (12/07/13)

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Me: When you’re sleeping at night do you have dreams?
H: Oh yes, I have lots of dreams all the time.
Me: What do you dream about?
H: I dream about fairies and princesses and that I am a princess and I have long hair for the prince to climb up and find me and kiss me and we get married. And I dream of a fairy coming and leaving me a coin when I lose my tooth. (01/08/13)

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Dearest Hannah, on your 5th birthday…

Dearest Hannah,

My girl.

My dearest, darling daughter.

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How blessed I am to be your mama.

I always felt that I would enjoy parenting you during this age and I was right. I love your independance, your capacity for speech and story-telling, your seriously strong desire to learn and constantly improve, and your keen interest in the world around us. You impress me and make me smile each and every day. You really are something special.

You are turning 5 Hannah. Oh how has it been 5 years already since you slipped into the world? You are growing up. Faster than I could have imagined you are growing into the girl you were always meant to be. You are thoughtful, helpful, caring, affectionate, indpendent, compassionate, clever, sweet, friendly and such a joy to be around. I am so proud of you all the time, there is nothing more that you could do to make me happier to be travelling alongside this journey with you.

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Since your baby sister was born it has taken me back in time five years to when you were a newborn. It’s made me ache to hold your little body in my arms one more time and see your sweet baby smiles. There is just something so magic about that time because it is so fleeting. If you have the chance to hold your own child in your arms one day, memorise that early time. Imprint it in your brain with a fierceness no time can erase. They really will be some of the most precious memories you make.

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I wish you could remember that time. It was just you and I most days, at home alone together. I used to walk around with you singing to you… ‘You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy, when skies are grey…’. As each day and month and year passed, you were always brightening my day, guiding me forward, making me into a mother and changing me with your love.

The last 5 years with you have been amazing Hannah. But sometimes I have days where I feel I did nothing and I achieved nothing, and yet when that day is over my sentimental heart aches to begin again, to make sure I include at least one extra kiss, one extra cuddle, one extra I Love You. I am forever grateful for having you in my life my darling daughter so I want you to remember that even though it might not feel like it in every moment, it is always, always true – my heart will never stop loving you…

Love Always,
Mama xx

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Mother’s Day 2013

Dearest Hannah, Blake and Baby Girl,

How could I have known what being a mother meant until I became one? I had no idea that your lives would change mine in ways I could never have expected.

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This is my 6th Mother’s Day as a mama. For me it is an anniversary and celebration of babies in my belly, in my arms and in my heart. Mother’s Day means holding the space for all of these special ones within me everyday and never forgetting the blessings I have been given. Events that at the time seemed too difficult, too painful and too miserable to ever be viewed in a positive light, I can now see were just preparations for my mothering journey. They allowed me to walk a new path and become a new person. And the moments I have experienced of pure joy, happiness and bliss since then have only served to compound that understanding for me.

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I could never have imagined that choosing to become a mother would mean that I would be instead making a decision to change myself. Things I believed in so strongly before are now not important and things I had no idea existed have become my life mantra. I have allowed myself to surrender into the beauty and the sacrifice of motherhood and I am a better person for it.

There is nothing I feel deserves my time more than to spend it with you – my children. There is nowhere I would rather be, no regrets about my choices, and no changes that I want to make in how I choose to live my life right now. I am grateful beyond measure that I am blessed with you – each of you – and it is only through becoming your mama that I know the true meaning of that word.

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Thank you for your shining smiles. I am thankful that I have the pleasure of seeing them every day.

Love Always,
Mama

 

It’s a…

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Brian, Hannah, Blake and I are thrilled to announce we are expecting another sweet baby GIRL!

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We are truly excited. We have felt this little girl has been a long time coming into our family. Those of you who know Blake’s story know that we were told that he was a girl at our morphology scan. I can happily say that I am confident that this time it really is a girl we are expecting, and the sonographer was fantastic in double and triple checking for us several times!

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Hannah adored meeting her newest sibling through the ultrasound and was more than excited to have her suspicions confirmed that the baby was a girl! She is very interested in watching 3D animations of babies in the womb and is patiently awaiting to feel the baby kick for the first time.

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This was Blake’s contribution to our photoshoot… letting go of our pink balloon! He is not quite sure what is happening and seems adamant that when someone mentions a baby girl that they are in fact calling him a girl which he opposes with a loud, “I a big boy, not a girl!” A few friends of ours have had newborns recently and his behaviour has been very curious and gentle so we have no doubt he will be full of exctitement once this baby is born.