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How to remember Eva

fantasticmrst:

Rest in peace, dear Eva xx

Originally posted on The one in a million baby:

I just wanted to pop in here quickly and say thank you. Since my last post, and Eva’s death, I have received a huge amount of support from old readers and new. I have seen tributes to Eva pop up all over the place and each of them fills me with pride that Eva touched so many lives.

Some other friends have done some fairly amazing things in Eva’s memory and I just wanted to share these too, in case anyone was interested in taking part.

I had asked for people to consider donating to the CHARGE Foundation in lieu of sending flowers, and an online friend set this up through the CHARGE Foundation website. This allows you to donate to the CHARGE Foundation in Eva’s name. The page has already raised over $1000 and it makes me so happy that Eva’s life could help other little babies and…

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I have no words

I signed in here last night to write another blog post. Something along the lines of most of mine – lighthearted, honest and probably a bit funny about one or more of my three kids.

And then I was met with the deeply saddening news that a young baby named Eva had passed away. Eva’s amazing mother has blogged about their journey together in her blog, The one in a million baby. And suddenly everything was thrown into perspective.

Here I was, sitting on my couch with my laptop on my knee, cup of tea at the ready, with tears streaming down my face in pain for this special little girl and her family, and the pain they will be experiencing. The loss, the heartache. My heart ached for them.

That’s the thing with blogging. I don’t know the people I follow, not in person, and yet I do know them, so very well. Through her mother Tessa’s honest and transparent words, I have grown with Baby Eva. I feel like I shared all the milestones, all the fun times and the scary. I talked about Tessa as though she were my friend. All of my (in real life) friends know of her, simply from my nattering and blog-sharing.

And I really have no words. I can’t begin to fathom the level of angst. So all I can say is, please spare a kind thought or a prayer for this incredible woman, and for her beautiful angel Eva.

And hug your own kids a little tighter. Today and always.

Kia kaha Tessa. And thank you for letting us share Eva with you xx

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A Shout Out To My Person

I came to the realisation the other day that it has been TWENTY YEARS since I first started High School. Now, this brought forward to revelations –

1. I am FAR too young to have been doing anthing for 20 years. Ludicrous.

2. I’ve been friends with my bestie, my person, my bff, my buddy-o-pal, for 20 years.

And, because she is my person, when I informed her of my revelations, her reply was simply, “No. We are too young for that carry on”.

It was third form. The very first day at high school. I was a nerdy and awkwardly tall girl. She was a nerdy, rather short girl. Both of our middle names started with L, so, really, it was meant to be. We became fast friends, we had a shared love of drama (which, naturally, caused issues later on in our teen years!) and we just fitted. We fought, oh lordy did we fight. As only teenage girls do, really.

Such was our closeness that one day we arrived at school dressed completely identically. People scoffed and laughed and teased us for “planning it together”. The ironic thing was that we had zero discussion – it really was entirely coincidental! Needless to say, we started to plan our outfits to avoid that happening again!

After high school, I moved to another city to pursue my short lived career as an actress (learning very early in the year that it was not the life for me!). Friend visited me frequently, eventually also moving to the same city.

At some point in the years after school, we drifted apart. There were 8 or 9 long months where we had no contact. We just fell apart. We were growing up, we had differing outlooks on life, and we had our own lives.

And then we drifted back together again. This time our friendship was different – we were no longer friends because of having been friends for so long. We were friends because we were two adults who just kind of liked each other, liked hanging out.

In our mid-20s, Friend worked hard to save for her O.E. (Overseas Experience). And then, she went. All the way to the UK. We kept in touch through occasional emails – this was, of course, before Facebook was as common as it is now, so email was the “old fashioned way” we contacted each other.

Another good friend found out she was pregnant a few years later. I messaged Friend about it, and our conversation looked like this:

Me: Oh my gosh, funny story – I’m pregnant!

Friend: Oh my gosh shut up. ME TOO!

On opposite sides of the world, we were not only both pregnant, but due within days of each other.

Friend’s son Big is three days older than Princess. Again, people joked and scoffed about “planned pregnancy conspiracies” but, just like that matching outfit all those years earlier, we would have had more luck planning not to match.

I went on and had two more kids, Friend went on to have one more.

We are both married.

And here is the thing. Friend and I have known each other for twenty years, we live on opposite sides of the world. And we talk every day.

Thanks to the wonders of technology, we talk at least once a day. We compare parenting styles, we talk about the mundane (grocery shopping, eyebrow shaping, etc) and the very not-mundane (health problems, stresses and worries). When it is my morning, it is her nighttime, and vice versa.

After being friends for twenty years, we have drifted and fought, we’ve cried and laughed. We started being friends because we both had middle names starting with L. We remained friends through the wonder of having children and learning to survive in the world as a mother.

If I have a problem, an upset, a funny story or a dress I like the look of, I tell her. And I like to think she does the same thing. And, more than that, she is one of my most valuable assets when it comes to parenting advice, opinions and support. Because she is in the exact same position. Neither of us really know what we are doing!

She is my person, and I am hers.

And I only hope my kids are lucky enough to have a person in their lives too, when they look back and realise they have known someone for 20 years.

Which won’t happen for ages. I’m far too young for that carry on

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BoyChild Turns FOUR!!

My little baby boy is getting bigger. He’s not really a little baby boy anymore, is he? Sigh.

Saturday was Valentines Day. What romantic plans did Mr T and I have on this such romantic evening? We were putting together a Lego railway station. I know, right? Slow down there. Get a room! But seriously, I said to dear hubby, this is probably our Valentines Days for the next 14ish years. That’ll learn us for having a baby the day after! And then, one day, I’ll be all prepped to help get ready for BoyChild’s birthday and he will turn to me and say, “Mum. I don’t want anything this year”. And I will cry. True story.

As mentioned in my last post, BoyChild was particularly excited about his birthday this year, because he had chosen and invited his own friends to his party. So, I planned the ideal party for him – a picnic at the local park, including a nice swim in the paddling pool, then a play in the playground. Great plan, Mrs T. Great plan.

Except for one minor issue.

February is the thick of summer here. So why, on that particular day, it decided to be freezing cold and raining, I have no idea. But COME ON.

We went down to the park anyway, hoping and praying that the rain would suddenly disappear. And, as soon as we arrived, BoyChild stripped off his clothes and ran to the playground, happily giggling about his party. And that was that. I said to Mr T, there is no way we can go home now, even if we wanted to!

BoyChild wasn’t interested in wearing his clothes (despite the chilly temperature) but he relented and let me put his togs on him.

And, you know what? The party was perfect. I was worried beforehand about not having anything planned for this kids – I needn’t have worried. Because of the weather, no one else was there so we had the entire playground to ourselves. And, unbeknownst to me, they had put in a new playground just that week. We barely saw BoyChild the entire time, he loved it that much.

For food, I ordered five scoops of hot chips. They went so quickly, my darling mother went back to the chip shop for another 5 scoops! Which also went equally as fast. We had lemonade, juice and cake.

Such a simple party, and one very, very happy big dude.

And, believe it or not, the rain held off, only really raining literally as we were loading the cars to come home. BoyChild and his sisters and cousins even managed an (albeit brief) swim in the pool before coming home.

Happy Birthday to my special monkey man xx love you, dude!

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My Blue Orange

Our boy BoyChild turns 4 in a few weeks. Now, you don’t hear much about him on this blog – Princess is an assertive, colourful creature and always has been, and BoyChild, with his calm, quiet personality, happily sits in the background, getting on with life.

Here’s the thing with BoyChild. He’s different to other kids. He’s not intellectually disabled and he doesn’t have autism, but he is, quite simply put, different to other kids. Let me stress at this point, this isn’t an issue for us. It just is what he is like. He is a sweet, loving, kind and considerate little dude. He’s funny, he is sensitive and he loves a good, long cuddle with his Mummy and Daddy.

BoyChild is, in particular, very different to his big sister. And this in itself made people look at him with perhaps more analysis than he would have gotten had he been an only child. Princess spoke very early, and very well. BoyChild still struggles with a lot of his words and pronunciations. Princess has hit every milestone with gusto, all the while making sure that everyone around her notices. BoyChild contently sails through. Princess did a lot of talking for BoyChild when he was little (and still does!) so he relied on her a lot for his communication. Princess needs approval from everyone, BoyChild doesn’t care.

When BoyChild was younger, people suggested he might be autistic. Because of this, we look at him through a finer-toothed comb than perhaps we ordinarily would have. And this can be a very dangerous thing. Because, we came to realise we were missing the milestones that he was hitting due to the fact we were looking for other milestones that he wasn’t hitting. No matter what you think of something, if you are told enough times that it is something else, you begin to doubt your own beliefs. Imagine you have an orange. You know the orange is orange coloured. Of course it is. You are 100% certain. But then everyone around you starts telling you the orange is, in fact, blue. At first you stand your ground, because you know it isn’t what they say it is. But then, as more and more people start to treat your orange as though it were blue, your own doubt starts to creep in. Maybe your orange is blue, and you just can’t see it? And then you start to treat your orange differently, because, apparently, it’s blue.

BoyChild goes to an amazing preschool, and anyone who has known him over the years can attest to the fact that he has come miles in the year that he has been there. He was referred to a speech therapist when he first started and we are now told he may no longer qualify, such is his level of speech now.

Here in New Zealand, all preschool children undertake a B4 School Check just after their fourth birthday. This is to check all sorts of things – their speech, their ability to count, identify shapes, jump, stand on one leg etc, as well as their vision, hearing and other physical things. The purpose is to identify any potential issues with plenty of time for them to be addressed before beginning school at age 5.

BoyChild’s B4 School Check is in three weeks, and Mr T and I are nervous about it. And that upsets me. Why are we, his parents, nervous about what will be said? Are we nervous that he will fail the tests? That we will be told that, in fact, there is something neurologically wrong with him? Absolutely. But that doesn’t upset me – goodness, we will deal with whatever they say and love him no less than the immeasurable amount we already do.

What upsets me, is the fact that I was not nervous when Princess had her B4 School Check. Because she is just like every other kid. But, when I compare what BoyChild can do, compared to Princess at the same age, the differences are staggering in BoyChild’s favour! Princess could count to 13, BoyChild can count to 50 and beyond. Princess couldn’t jump on one leg, BoyChild has been doing that since he was 18 months old! Yet when you are told that your orange is different, you become accustomed to being surprised when they do things they “should”.

BoyChild is having a birthday party next weekend, and I am so excited. This is the first year that he has his very own friends to invite. He has picked them from the kids he plays with at preschool. This is his chance to shine, his time in the spotlight. I got a phone call last night from the mother of one of his friends, saying that her son would be delighted to come to the party. And I got off the phone, and nearly cried. Mr T asked me why I was sad, and I said I wasn’t. I was overwhelmingly happy, because no matter how much of a blue orange he appears to adults, to kids, he is just a regular, awesome little kid. With real friends. He has friends.

Because, the last thing a parent wants to see in their child, is being left out and alone. Well, that’s the last thing I want to see. Because that hurts, and I don’t want my children to hurt.

So there it is. We don’t know what the future holds for BoyChild, but right now, he is such a great little guy with so much potential and fascination with the world around him. A world that, I’m sure, he sees differently to us. We see a door, he sees the inner mechanisms of that door. We see a kid at the park, he sees a friend.

I don’t care if he is an orange orange, or our own Blue Orange. One of the greatest lessons in parenting that we have learned in his four years, is that different does not have to be a negative thing. He is happy and healthy and compassionate and intelligent and caring and fun and adores his sisters.

What more could we ask for?

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Sounds you do NOT want to hear as a parent

These are sounds you know, as a parent, can never be a good thing.

1. A faint yet desperate cry out. This means your child is likely stuck in a cupboard (or, in our house’s case, a wardrobe that the kids keep forgetting cannot be opened from the inside).

2. A crash. Especially involving glass. There are few sounds that will send me running. This is one of them. Mirrors. Pictures off the wall. Windows. Glass ornaments. They all sound the same when smashed.

3. A solid thud. Nothing is worse than the clear sound of a child hitting the ground at force. Even worse is when it is not immediately followed up by a scream.

4. Muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum. Mum. Mum. Mum. Mum. Mum. Mum. People tell my BabyGirl is adorable. Butter wouldn’t melt on her (ironic since she is allergic to dairy ha ha ha). But, to be quite honest, even the cutest poppet gets very annoying, very fast, when following me around repeating “mum”. Constantly. For hours.

5. “Uh-oh”. Followed by, “shhhhhhhhhh”. They think they are being sneaky. They forget we have eyes everywhere. That, and often the evidence is all over them.

6. *cough* *cough* *vomit*. No matter where you are, you run towards the kid. FAST. I’ve caught vomit in my hands before, true story. I’ve also pointed the child towards the floor and let the floor catch it. True story.

7. *cough* *cough* *vomit* – in the middle of the night. Six million times worse because you know you have a whole task force ahead of you. Clean child. Clean bedding. Clean bed. Change bedding. Change pjs. Comfort child. Sigh.

8. “Mum?”. In the middle of the night. You can guarantee you have been having the best dream ever. You are at a day spa. Eating magical calorie-free-yet-so-delicious chocolate. While Channing Tatum rubs your feet. And just as he leans in, and you know he is going to say the words every woman wants to hear – “Do you want some cheese with that chocolate?” – “MUM? I CANT SLEEP”. Or, just a simple wail. Sigh.

9. Any appliance clanking. Washing machine, dishwasher, car. No matter what, clanking always means $$$$$$$.

10. “Hello. 111 emergency. What is your emergency?”. This has happened only once in our house, *touch wood*. BoyChild was playing with my cellphone and I heard it ringing someone, followed by this answer. I dashed across the room so fast, grabbed the phone, said, “I’m-so-sorry-my-two-year-old-was-playing-with-my-phone-we-are-fine-ok-bye”, hung up, and waiting nervously for the police to come and arrest me for wasting emergency time. They didn’t.

11. A random toy singing. When no one is in the room. Mr T is convinced our ride-on zebra is possessed. I won’t lie, I’ve jumped out of my skin more than once when this happens.

12. “You are the worst Mum ever”. This hasn’t happened to me yet but it’s inevitable. It happened to a friend and I saw the pain in her eyes. I’m desperately sorry, Mum, if I EVER said it to you. I will cry when it’s said to me.

13. Screaming. Yelling. Blindly SQUEALING. I won’t lie, I have, on many occasions, yelled at my kids to PLEASE STOP YELLING. I know, the irony was not lost on me.

14. Nothing. The sound of silence. Because we know that can never be a good thing when you have a house full of young kids.

 

And, of course, there are the sounds we do love to hear.

The snoring when they are asleep.

Their laughter.

“I love you”.

And so, so many more I couldn’t even begin to list them all!