September 2011

Monday is number one day…

…it’s the first day of the week!

Eer, what? Sorry, I’ve got The Wiggles in my head – or more specifically, the (dreaded) Wiggly Waffles on ABC (here’s hoping my fellow Australian mums know what I’m ranting about).

Apart from the fact that Monday is my day to fold the (ever mounting pile of) laundry, Monday is actually one of my favourite days of the week.

For one thing, the boys and I don’t have anything on on a Monday. Which means we don’t have to go out. Which means I don’t have to think about the two hats, six nappies, two bottles of formula, one bottle of milk, two bottles of water, two dummies, two dummy clips, one bib, two bananas, half a dozen Kruskits and a million sultanas that I normally have to contend with before we head out the door. (Did I say a million? I meant a billion.)

I also don’t have to get dressed. For a very, very long time. As long as possible in fact. What’s that, honey? People are coming over after dinner? Fine, I’ll brush my teeth and get out of my sweatpants. (Only kidding – we’re all about oral hygiene here at Casa Mason.)

But more importantly, Angus and I get some precious one-on-one time together while the two younger boys do their morning naps. Some days we read. Some days we watch Postman Pat together. Some days we build entire cities out of wooden blocks. Some days we play hide and seek in my wardrobe (that’s him hiding and me lying on the bed – not falling asleep of course). Some days he even helps me fold the laundry.

So in the spirit of this ‘number one’ day, let me ask you this: When do you fold your laundry?

(Or the question behind the question: How long between folding and putting away?)

Don’t be fooled.

This photo has nothing to do with my culinary skills. These were in fact some mussels I enjoyed during our holidays. Not cooked by me.

Yesterday I tried to chop an onion.

I wanted to get those beautiful onion rings to add to my, ahem, pre-made supermarket salad.

Sadly, for me, cutting up an onion has not yet made it to my list of skills. Even though I am thirty-one years old.

This became obvious yesterday when I massacred an entire onion without producing any said onion rings. For something like five to ten minutes, tears streamed down my face as I wrestled with the frigging stubborn onion.

My high-pitched cries of distress and frustration must’ve echoed all the way to the studio, where Rick was quietly working from home.

Thankfully, my husband is a compassionate and non-judgmental kind of guy.

Graciously, he came out to inspect my onion and said matter-of-factly, “Yes, you have massacred the onion.” With no hint of who-is-this-person-whom-I-have-married whatsoever.
(I am a blessed woman.)

Gently, he told me to save the massacred onion for dinner, brought out a second onion and proceeded to show the idiot me how you actually chop an onion. Properly.

My mother-in-law should be so proud.

Happy weekend everyone!

Rendezvous

Even though it was almost a month ago, I still remember our holiday with much fondness. In fact, I’m quite certain life has been that little bit better since our break.

I just loved lazing around with the boys and Rick. Doing nothing is not usually my forte to say the least, but I thought I did good during our week away in August. I don’t think I’d felt that calm or peaceful all year.

Rendezvous was the place where we stayed. It was absolutely beautiful. If you are ever visiting Sydney and fancy a short stay on the South Coast, I highly recommend this amazing house. Seriously, you will leave feeling like a different person!

Angus loved it so much that he still talks about “the different house” and asks us why we can’t live there. (Though the big screen television may have something to do with that.)

One thing I did manage to achieve during that week was to get to bed before eleven. And in the interest of re-creating that holiday feeling just for one night, I bid you farewell so that I may adjourn to my humble boudoir.

Nighty night.

A ball at the ball

We had a ball at the Stillbirth Foundation Australia ball last night.

Not only was money raised for much needed research into the causes of stillbirth, but it was the most amazing way for us to end this week of remembering Cameron and of celebrating his precious life. My very dear friends Salina, Agnes and Kitty came along too, and I’m so incredibly grateful to them for their support. I love you guys.

A ‘Stillbirth in Australia’ booklet was launched at the ball: it is the first of its kind in our country, and it will be distributed to maternity wards so that parents can have solid and tangible information available to them when they lose their baby.

I had the honour and privilege of designing this booklet, and as I was doing so, I was reminded again of the haunting statistics: Over 2,000 babies are stillborn in Australia every year. Worldwide, 3 million families worldwide will experience a stillbirth every year, with 2.65 million stillbirths occurring in late pregnancy. These figures are shocking to say the least.

Thinking back, I was so naive and so underinformed during my pregnancy with Cameron. I had heard of stillbirth, but I hadn’t known anything about it. To be sure, I didn’t think there was any possibility of it happening to me – especially not once Cameron was full term. I just assumed that after the first trimester, all would be well. If only I had known more.

Naturally, I wore Cameron’s locket to the ball, which was a present from Kitty in the early months after he died. I love being able to carry his photo close to my heart. Angus knows that it’s my special locket, and as Rick and I were leaving for the ball, he had a quick peek inside and pointed out that “That’s Cameron and mummy!” I wish he could’ve met his older brother. God-willing, one day he will.

Thanks to everyone for their thoughtful messages and kind words this week. I have truly appreciated every single one.

And last but not least, here are some happy snaps of yours truly with my beautiful friends…

A heartfelt message

Happy fourth birthday Cam.

Wish you were here.

Love always,
Mum xoxo

Today…

20110915-100126.jpg

There are no words.

We miss him. We love him. We are remembering him.

The other way around

Spring is once again upon us, and with it, warmer air and bluer skies.

The tree outside the boys’ bedroom is awash with tiny yellow flowers: every time I pull up the blinds, it’s the first thing I see. It reminds me of the cherry blossom tree outside the room that was meant to be Cameron’s – it too had been in full bloom back then, during the last days of my pregnancy.

I guess the truth is that I have been avoiding spring.

I have not allowed myself to revel in its beauty and its warmth.

To accept that spring is here means accepting that four years has now past since we lost our Cameron. Four years. Four years.

Four years ago yesterday was the last time we heard his heartbeat.

Four years ago today I was frantically preparing for his birth and arrival.

Four years ago tomorrow was the last whole day we had with him.

Four years ago Thursday was the day that we lost him.

Four years ago Friday was the day we finally met him.

And the last time we ever saw him.

Spring is here.

But Cameron is not.

And though I know it cannot be, I wish with all my heart it was the other way around.

(This post was originally written for Life Without Cameron.)

Deja vu

Last year when Pete was still a baby, Angus would hurry to the door of the nursery whenever he could hear Pete crying. Not even a year later, I now watch Pete rush to the very same door whenever Jamie’s crying can be heard (which is often).

Is that deja vu or what? But deja vu of the sweetest kind, for sure.

I do apologise for the long breaks between updates recently. My (very legitimate) excuse is that I’m in the final throes of clearing my bigger-than-everest backlog of scrapbooking and photobooking and I’m determined to wrap it up this week. Just two days ago, I cut up a thousand little photos and have finger blisters to show for it. Please insert that into your dictionary as the new definition of determination (or insanity).

Anyway, today is the Chinese mid-autumn festival and as a result, I am craving moon cake in a very bad way (lest you forget I am actually Chinese deep down inside). Are semi-diabetic people allowed to eat moon cake? I say yes. My husband and endocrinologist say no.

Insert frustrated face here: >_<

Secret garden

Amidst stretches of farmland in the Southern Highlands, we stumbled upon this little oasis during our week away: the Sturt Gardens in Mittagong. I’d found it via Google on my iPhone (what did people do before smartphones?), and the boys couldn’t be more pleased. Not only were they finally able to stretch their legs after a long day’s drive, but they had the most outrageous fun walking up and down the ramp next to the Sturt Cottage. I wish I could be as easily amused! The gardens were beautiful in a wild, rambling way, and I loved how they hid the cottage and the cafe from view from the road. I was very much reminded of The Secret Garden, one of my favourite books from my childhood…

(Linking up with 52 Photos Project today.)

Inside or out?

Given a choice, Rick will always elect to sit outside at a cafe. And so we did. Every single time we visited the Sea Vista Cafe at Gerringong during our week away, we sat outside.

I wasn’t that happy about it the first time: being a wimp and all, I’m just not that big a fan of strong winds by the sea. Sad, I know, but true.

But by the time the weekend rolled around, I’d toughened up a bit (just a bit) and so when the waitress asked us whether we wanted to sit inside or outside, it was me who replied – of my own free will and accord – that we would sit outside, thank you. And would all the customers inside the cafe mind moving their chairs out of the way because our pram is just that big, yes it is.

It was a good brunch, that one. We munched on delicious seafood tapas, we avoided disturbing the other people outside (and by that I mean, none left upon seeing us and our big fat pram emerge on the patio), Jamie managed to fall asleep in his pram and Pete actually stayed sitting happily in the high chair. Talk about breakthroughs and milestones all round.

That’s Pete hiding behind the menu, playing peekaboo with Rick. Either that or he’s licking the menu. And it wouldn’t be the first time…

Sea Vista Cafe
Phone (02) 4234 0551
Shop 2, 1 Noble Street, Gerringong NSW 2534
Open 7 days, 8.30-5.00pm