Happy 3rd Birthday Violy!

Dear Violet,

Happy 3rd Birthday Baby Girl! I guess I’m going to have to stop calling you that now, because you are far from a baby these days! I find it hard to believe you are 3 today…but when I think about how much you’ve grown since your last birthday, It’s crazy what a big girl you’ve grown into!

Since your 2nd birthday a lot has changed! For one thing, you became a big sister! Ivy was born almost born 3 months and 4 days after you last birthday, and the two of you have been as thick as thieves since then! You love to kiss her head, and pat her bottom, and are constantly making her laugh. The two of you chat and giggle together constantly, and you affectionately refer to her as ‘Googie’. When Ivy wakes from a nap, you’ll put on your high-pitched Mama voice and say “Good Morning Googie! Hello Googie! Awwww Googie!!!” You’ll then announce to me from across the room ‘MAMAAAA! IVY AWAKE!!!!’ It’s pretty darn cute and I never get sick of hearing it.

As well as getting a new sister, you also got a new house! Mummy & Daddy finally got their act together and bought your ‘forever home’ at the beach. It took a little while for you to understand that we’d left the only home you’d ever known in Brisbane and moved to the Gold Coast, but your love for the sun, sand and sea quickly won you over and you regularly tell me you love this house, which makes us so happy.

And as if all of that wasn’t enough, you also started going to daycare for the first time. I realised that you were too smart and busy to be hanging out at home with me everyday, and with Ivy coming along that became even more apparent! At first we weren’t sure how you’d go, but you handled it like a pro and 6 months in you’re still smiling when we wave goodbye to you. Today you helped me make cupcakes with sprinkles on them to take into Kindy to celebrate your birthday with your friends. You got to sit with your besties Edith & Neve while you wore the Birthday hat and everyone sang happy birthday to you.

This year you’re having a big birthday party at home too! It will be Circus themed (cos you love the circus) and all of your family, cousins and friends will be there! We’ve also got a clown coming and lots of yummy food including popcorn cupcakes, dagwood dogs and toffee apples which I know you’ll love.

img_8225_zpsvpjw6wsl

Getting ready for your party

img_8219_zps71qjceqq

Getting ready for your party

img_8282_zps6he2u7c1

Popcorn cupcakes 🙂

You’ve grown up into such a sweet, funny smart little girl and you are always surprising us. You love to help Mummy cook and clean and you love to help Daddy build things or just play games with him. You have a wicked sense of humour and you also have a strong stubborn streak that as difficult as it makes my life now, I know it will hold you in good stead when you’re a high profile lawyer or something equally important when you’re an adult!

Here’s a little snippet of Violet the 3 year old:

  • You still love your food, but your fave is Sushi! It’s your go-to treat. You also love burgers.
  • Every day you ask to dress like a ballerina…you love ballerina dresses/skirts/shoes and insist on pig tails in your hair.
  • You love to dance! you also love to colour-in, play with play-doh, and will spend hours a day playing with your dolls, Shopkins, your pretend kitchen and your farm animals.
  • You love picnics, and puppy dogs, and koala’s.
  • You adore Emma from the Wiggles (cos she’s a ballerina)
  • Your best friends are Edith & Neve, as well as your Sissy.

Happy Birthday Violet Mae, I hope you enjoy your special day and know how much we all love you!

xo Mama

My little Ivy is 5 Months Old

Ivy is 5 Months old!

Dear Ivy,

Hey Baby Girl! Today you are 5 months old…WHAAAAT?! I can’t really believe it! You’re growing up so fast so I thought it was time we sat down and told you how special you are.

Today was the first day you tried solid food.  I gave you the most beautiful avocado to try, it cost me $3.50 so it’d wanna be a good one too! You seemed more excited by the spoon than the avo to be honest, but you gave it a good crack and seemed to have fun so we’ll have another go tomorrow!

You are still a very easy-going baby, and you never whinge or ask for anything other than a feed or a cuddle.  Sometimes you cry because your big sister likes to lay on top of you, and you’re not a big fan of that manoeuvre but you will generally tolerate it for a little while because you love having your sister close to you. She also puts her feet in your face and is constantly waking you up from your sleep, but you know that if you pull her hair hard enough she’ll leave you alone.

You always smile whenever your big Sis comes near you.  She’s very funny and likes to make you laugh.  She’s dubbed you ‘Doo-Doo’ and likes to talk to you in a high pitched voice just like Mama does. She tells me that you’re her best friend and I have no doubt that as the two of you grow that won’t change as you already have a strong bond with your Sissy. Just a few nights ago we were trying to get Violet to go to sleep in her big girl bed and she was crying wouldn’t stop.  Even though you very rarely cry, you could here Violy in the next room and every time she cried, you cried too. We couldn’t do anything to settle or comfort you, but when Violy eventually calmed down, so did you!

Ivy Drink Bottle

You are the most beautiful baby, and whilst you look a lot like your sister in many ways (especially when you smile) you are very much your own person. You like to be involved in whatever is going around you, and you smile at anyone and everyone. When you get really excited, you make a loud screeching sound. It’s such a shocking and unexpected from such a sweet little baby, however it always makes us laugh and can only be likened to the sound that a Pterodactyl might make!

You have the longest arms and you like to swing them about which is seriously cute. You’re also our ‘tall’ baby and I expect it won’t be long before you pass your big sister in the height department as she’s at the bottom of the scale and you’re at the top! You look a lot like your Mama, and you have your great-grandfather’s eye shape just like your sister.  You have the most stunning beautiful blue eyes and people constantly stop us to comment on how lovely you are. When you smile, you look just like your Dadda so you’re a beautiful genetic mix that’s for sure!

You’ve slotted into our little family so easily and you are a true joy to be around. I cannot believe you are already trying to sit up and crawl and that my little baby is not so little anymore! Luckily you’re still small enough to want your Mama’s cuddles and can’t tell me to stop kissing your face yet.

Thank you for being such an easy, low maintenance baby, and for making us all so happy! I dare say that you’re sweet nature and good temperament will be enough for Mama to convince Daddy that we should eventually have a third! (Good Girl!)

Ivy 5 Months old

Happy 5 Months Ivy Merle: Beautiful girl!

We love you times infinity.

x Mama

Welcome to the world, Ivy Merle!

Dear Ivy Merle,

Welcome to the world sweet girl! I can’t believe you’re really here! I feel like I was pregnant with you for the shortest time, and now you’re actually here with us on the ‘outside’ it just feels so surreal!

You were due on the 18th of September, but decided you’d wait a couple of days and make sure we were ready for you, and I gotta say after two nights in a row of contractions and labour pains, and not to mention zero sleep…your Dad and I could not have been more keen to finally meet you!

 photo 12031450_10153070621556957_2250700915800029853_o_zpsuwcaqk7s.jpg

You started to make your presence known at midnight the night before you arrived, but because we’d had a few false starts the previous night I just didn’t believe that you were really coming, so I tried my best to just sleep and ignore the niggles and pain. Eventually though, it all got a bit too much and your poor Daddy was at his wits end as to what to do….so he told me to get in the shower.  As soon as I did, I had this overwhelming feeling that despite not having regular, strong contractions that you were COMING! I got out of the shower, called Megan our lovely midwife, and she told us she’d meet us at the hospital.

At 4:30am, your Daddy and I drove to the hospital, and I remember thinking I mustn’t really be in labour as I felt so lucid and ‘normal’, making a point of warning your Dad about the speed camera as we entered the highway. The trip to the hospital was uneventful, and as we parked and then entered the hospital foyer I remember thinking how different I felt the last time I was there….I could barely walk and was having contractions every few steps. Poor Daddy had a look of terror like I was going to give birth right there in reception.  This time though, I was chatting to the admissions staff and trying to look more ‘in labour’ than I felt as I was too tired to go home and start the whole process again!

That said, I was given a quick once over by the midwives upon arrival and was told that we were good to go, and I could ‘start pushing if I wanted too’. WHAT?!?!?! That was a surprise but I was SO excited that you’d be with us in a matter of hours! In the end, we were only in the birth suite for 2 hours and at 6:28am you had
arrived!!!

I remember them handing you to me, and me marvelling at your dark hair! I also commented on how tiny you were, but that comment was met with laughter because you were 9lb 1 oz, which is hardly tiny! (But it was in comparison to you big sis!). You had a little blue face (a little bruised that’s all) and you hollered from the moment you arrived until you were able to have your first feed. I was instantly smitten, and so was your Daddy!

Because you were so efficient and healthy, we were excited to be heading home from the hospital before lunch time that same day, and then it was time for you to meet your sister! She seemed happy that you were here, but was more excited about the Wiggles book that you’d bought her and her doll’s new blankets and baby carrier! Sisters snuggling in bed ? photo 12019811_10153066774806957_829042767081768347_n_zpsc1hpy16w.jpg

Your Granny came and helped look after you for the first week you were at home as Daddy had to go back to work.  We quickly learned that you’re a cuddler like your sister, and that you liked to feed but for the first few nights decided to throw up every bit of milk I could muster! Despite that, you fit in to the family easily and without fuss, and we were all so happy to have you here finally!

As I write this, you are now 9 days old but it feels as if you’ve been with us forever. Here’s what we know about you already:

  • You love your food, and the only time you cry is when you’re hungry!
  • You are a happy baby! You already smile several times a day and its the sweetest thing EVER!
  • You look like your sister, but are also different in a lot of ways. Your hair is darker and you seem to have the european bloodlines because your skin is darker too!
  • Yo
    u have a good constitution – Just as soon as I change your nappy, I’m needing to change it again!
  • You are low-maintenance, which I didn’t think was possible because your sister was the same, and we were warned we wouldn’t get two ‘good ones’ but it seems we lucked out because you’ve been an angel so far!

Despite it being early days, I just know that you are going to make the most beautiful addition to our family, and that your big sister Violet is going to be your bestest friend! She already insists on holding you all the time “I hold it, Mummy?” and she will plant a kiss on you any chance she gets. Your cousins are equally smitten by you and you’ve had no shortage of attention and cuddles from family and friends!

We are so happy to finally have you here with us little Ivy Merle and we look forward to watching you grow and change as the days, weeks and months fly by.

We love you!

xoxo Your Mama

My ‘Scatter Love’ Story: When Marns met Pam

Scatter Love Postcards

Scatter Love! image: Fat Mum Slim & Emma Kate Creative

I want to tell you guys a little story that I’ve been meaning to share with you since I first started this blog.  

The story is about my friend Pam.  Pam is my 70-something year old neighbour, who is full of sass, old-school attitude, and a heart as big the ocean. Pam and I have now been friends for about a year and I thought it was timely to tell you our story, since it all began with the original Scatter Love project that was dreamed up by two very talented ladies Chantelle Ellem aka blogger Fat Mum Slim & artist extraordinaire Emma Kate.

Now that the latest range of Scatter Love postcards are available {and cos it’s nearly Christmas and I love me a feel-good story at this time of year} I thought I’d share with you the original story of how Pam and I went from being slightly hostile neighbours, to the best of friends!

Here goes:

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Scatter Love project, its basically a pack of 10, beautifully designed post cards intended to be popped in the mailbox, sending messages of kindness and love to your friends, family, or even a stranger. This small act then ‘scatters love’ across the world, and good things happen!

Back in January when the first Scatter Love postcards were released, I bought some online andonce they arrived, I got thinking.  Who would really benefit from receiving one of these? I sent one to my Sister,  I sent one to my Husband, cos well, I even sent one to Violet, who was only 6 months old at the time.  I sent one out for each of the Grandparents and signed them from Violet because I fondly remembered sending letters to my own grandparents when we were kids.  After that, I sent a couple more to my  girlfriends, but ended up with one postcard left over. It was the one with the polka dots and a big cheery ‘hello’ on the front.

Eventually, I decided to do something a little bit out-there {crazy even?} and send one to our cranky old neighbour that lived over the back.  This lady had lived there long before we moved in 7 or so years ago.  She’d always been kinda rude, constantly sitting out on her back porch smoking. If she glanced our way she just stared at us. No wave, no hello, nothing! Her house was a high-set home, and it overlooked our back yard.  Anytime we were in the yard we kinda felt like we were being watched, so we didn’t spend a whole lotta time out there.  Unlike most sweet ol’ ladies, this lady just seemed a little bitter at the world.  I know that when we’d first moved in that there was another lady who was living there with her, however we hadn’t seen her in the last few years, so I’d assumed she’d either gone into a home or passed away.

Hello! Scatter Love Postcard

This is the Scatter Love postcard from the original series that I sent to Pam. Hello! image: Fat Mum Slim

So despite knowing nothing of our neighbour except what I’ve just told you, I wrote her a postcard.  I told her who we were, where we lived and drew a little stick-figure drawing of myself, Trav Violet and Minty. I told her that we often saw her sitting on her back porch and that if she felt like waving to us, we’d wave right back.  I sent it, and immediately kinda regretted (How awkward if she got it and STILL ignored us?). Too late! It was done, and I’d just have to wait to see what happened.

Imagine my surprise when a few days later I came home to find Pam at my front door! Yep, Scatter Love had worked its magic…

You can read the full story on the original Fat Mum Slim blog post here.

Eventually, I wrote to the lovely Chantelle to thank her for giving me the courage to do such a bold thing, and to show her that the project was really working in our little neighbourhood!  She responded almost immediately and asked if she post my story on her blog, which I of course agreed to (however f I’d know she was going to post my email verbatim  I’d have probably made more effort to fix any spelling and grammar mistakes) Once the story was published I received so many lovely messages and couldn’t believe how a simple post card could cause so much joy amongst so many people!

Pam and Violet up to no good!

Pam and Violet up to no good. As usual!

Chantelle also recounted our Scatter Love story at the recent Pro Blogger conference at the Gold Coast, and reported back that so many people were moved by our story. I was chuffed, but also kind of amazed at how a simple act of kindness could cause such ripples! Keeping in mind that I’m not some Mother Theresa type who set out to become life-long pals with my cranky old neighbour, I was just hoping to make it a little less awkward for us to spend time in our own backyard! Just goes to show how a small act can create big ripples though, huh?

If you guys haven’t bought some of the latest range of Scatter Love postcards, I highly recommend it! Not only are the gorgeous to look at (I’ve kept the Pineapple one to frame) but they are kinda life-changing as well! If you’d like to get your hands on a set you can buy them here.

So there you go! theres still some good in the world and it doesn’t take much to make it happen!

Disclaimer: There are still quite a few rubbish neighbours in the world that will never be your friends! For example one set of our neighbours allow their dog to regularly relieve itself on our front lawn…but let’s not go there and ruin the moment shall we?

Ps – Now that I’ve introduced Pam to you all, you can expect lots more blog posts with her as the topic, I think you guys are going to love her as much as I do!

xo Marns