Wedding Anniversary

Today is our 2nd anniversary. I seriously can’t believe that it has been 2 years since we said I Do! It only feels like yesterday that I was arguing with my mother about the type of wedding cake I wanted or what colour bridesmaid dresses we would have.

But then I think back about all the things that we have done since then and think, oh yeah, it really must have been two years ago!

Since getting married:

  • Husband changed jobs (into a better one!)
  • I have freelanced and gone back to being an employee
  • I convinced hubby to let me keep a kitten I was fostering
  • We rebuilt our deck and rendered our house
  • We were adventurous (and that’s all I am saying about that!)
  • We made new friends
  •  Learnt how to make pies
  • Watched a lot of our friends have babies
  • Watched even more get married
  • Went on a 3 week holiday around the United States
  • Drove a Lamborghini
  • Went snorkeling in Haiti
  • Went zip-lining in Jamaica
  • Got pregnant and found out we are having a boy!!
  • And we have learnt that we need to be happy and not just always making other people happy.

That last one was the hardest for me. With me just trying to make myself happy first, as long as it hasn’t effected (affected?)other people in a negative way. It has caused drama within my family because they feel that I have abandoned them, rather than seeing it as me spreading my wings and living my own life.

Hubby coped much better with this than I did, as he was already pretty independent of his family due to how he was brought up. He taught me how to put me first. Just let in an airplane, when the oxygen masks fall down, you need to put your own on first before you can help others.

I guess I just need to find a balance. ‘Suffer’ through a few family functions and then spend the rest of my time doing what I want, but I don’t have much of that time left, not with the baby due late June!!

I am so grateful for the past 2 years, and for the 5 years of dating before that, and the 2 years of friendship before that. My husband is my best friend, my lover and my rock. I can’t wait to celebrate the rest of our lives together.

Always & Forever,

Mrs T xxx

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Good is not normal

The other day I was listening to someone give another person advice about good and bad moments in that persons life. This lead me to thinking about times in my life that I had deemed ‘good’ or ‘bad’. But what about just normal? When is life just normal?

According to Google, ‘normal’ as an adjective means:

1. conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.
“it’s quite normal for puppies to bolt their food”

Usual, typical, everyday, regular. These are all words that make a person feel a little less than enthusiastic or even hum-drum about themselves. But really, these words don’t mean that a persons life is boring or typical. What it means is that, at this particular point in a persons life, everything has been going along consistently without any bumps or disruptions. Again, this still doesn’t sound fun.

But think of it this way: If a person is currently running at the top of their game at work, in their love life, socially, whatever, and it has been this way for a while, sooner or later it will become normal. So when they go home at the end of the day, and they are talking to their partner or their weekly phone call to their mother, and get asked “How was your day?” and they say “It was fine, normal, just like yesterday.”, it isn’t that they are saying their day was boring, good, or bad. They are saying that it was just a typical day, but not actually rating it on a scale of 1 to 10.

It does work in the opposite direction as well. If someone has been living through a time in their life which has been difficult, if this goes for a prolonged period of time, it can just become ‘normal’. In either case, difficult or top of your game, this is a rut. You are doing the same thing over and over again.

So, lets assume that you are currently living a ‘normal’ life, regardless of whether you are at the top of your game or not. You are getting out of bed, eating breakfast, dealing with your day, and going to bed at the end of the day as best you can. Normal. Typical. Standard. Then a MOMENT happens. It doesn’t matter whether or not it is good or bad. What it does is upset the status quo. It is out of routine and will break the ‘normal’. Whether or not this is just a bump that effects the ‘normal’ temporarily or something that is completely life changing, it was just a moment in time.

Then I started thinking about the over-the-top reactions people can have to moments that others might perceive as minor. If I am currently living at the top of my game, my normal is GREAT, and then I get critiqued at work, creating a bad moment, is this moment exponentially worse for me because the gap between GREAT and bad is so big? Would being critiqued at work or by a family member or friend, be as bad if that was a state that had become my normal? But I think that is a question got another day.

All this existential thinking and attempting to write it down has really helped me to appreciate all the great authors and their eloquent vocabularies.

To summarise:

  • Life is normal
  • Moments happen during life that can upset your normal
  • They are called a moment because they are temporary, you do not need to get stuck inside of them. Getting stuck in them is your choice.
  • You can turn a moment into normal.
  • Sometimes you need to make your own moments.

 

Always & Forever

Mrs T xxx

 

Family grievances.

Over the weekend, I had a massive fight with my family. My parents, my brother and my sister, all had something to tell me about myself that they didn’t like. It was as if, because one had started, that they felt it was okay for them to all pile it on.

Their list of grievances were:

  • I say things without thinking, and don’t even realise I have upset them. They said it was like I hit them with a semi-trailer and then just kept driving. Apparently its not all the time, once every few months or so, but it still hurts.
  • When we moved 25 minutes north of them to be closer to work and university, I isolated myself from them. My mother has never forgiven me for this. It has been 3 years, and she still hates it. My isolation has then:
    • Made my 15 year old sister feel like we have grown apart
    • Made me disconnect from my family, because I only go back to their house once a month
    • And to the above point, lose touch with who my family are so I don’t understand when I have hurt them with something I have said.

I could go on with a long list of reasons for justifying myself, a list of all the things they have done to wrong me. But those are just excuses. I don’t want to sink to their level, and point out all of their flaws, to justify my horribleness.

All I have done is alternate between crying, being angry and trying not to think about it. I am sick to my stomach. All I was trying to do, was be true to myself. To make my own happiness. But apparently all I have done is make them upset with me.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if I can get over this. I don’t know if I want to get over this. I don’t know if I want to ever see them again. This was too much for me right now.

I am damaged and I feel broken on the inside.

Always & forever,

Mrs T xxx

Spoiler Alert – Gender revealed inside!

Last weekend, we invited our closest family and friends over to find out the gender of our baby. Now, I am the sort of person who 1. does not want to step on other people’s toes and 2. likes to do things in my own unique way. This is what led to my method of gender reveal.

Several months ago (July I think), we went to our friends gender reveal. Their reveal moment was the cutting of a cake, with the inside of the cake being the ‘colour’ of the gender, so pink for a girl, blue for a boy (it was pink). She is also the kind of person who would have gone on through life thinking that I had copied her, if I had of used the cake method. Toes would have been crushed, and I would have been the worst friend ever.

Another set of friends, released balloons from a box during a photo shoot and then posted the photos onto social media (they were blue). I really liked this idea, but I wanted to do something of my own.

So since deciding that we were going to find out, I have been thinking about ideas to make things come out of things in a symbolic manner to represent the gender of my baby. Then one day it just came to me. We are going to pop a giant balloon, and tiny little balloons are going to come out!!

I rang around to balloon companies in my area, and found one that totally understood what I was looking for. They ordered in a special, giant black balloon, that had zero transparency (even when getting the sun to shine on it, we tried!), and then waited for us to come around with a little piece of paper so they could fill it for us.

Directly after our ultrasound, we went straight to the balloon place, and gave them the folded up post-it note, which the balloon artist read, folded back up and gave to me. I then had to carry this little, folded up, begging-me-to-open, piece of paper for the next three hours. I would have periods of time were I would totally forget I had it because I was so busy with last minute organisations, and then go, Oh the paper is in my bag! and then look like a crazy person in the shopping center who can’t decide what they are doing. Every time making the right decision not to sneak a peak.

We get home, do all the last minute tidying and food prep. Family arrive half an hour early to help (really to make me pop the balloon early), and issue threats like, if your friends aren’t here on time we are popping the balloon, too bad for them! Like it’s their decision when we popped the balloon. Anyways…

Just before we popped the balloon, we let everyone have a guess at the gender to drum up some excitement. And then we did it, we popped the balloon!

Baby-Gender-Balloons

We are very excited! I can’t wait for the little guy to arrive. Hubby is getting his little soccer/football/basketball/golf player. Only 19 more weeks to go!!

Always & Forever,

Mrs T xxx

Maternity Leave – You’re coming back when?!

This week I put in my application for maternity leave from work. I have always been a career driven person, but most people would describe me as caring and nurturing (pats self on back). So when people find out how much time I am taking off after the birth of the baby, the reactions are quite interesting.

In Australia, the government offers the primary carer of a newborn approximately 18 weeks of pay, at minimum wage. Pretty great right? Most businesses take advantage of this offer, and do not offer a corporate maternity package. I work for a non-profit, which definitely utilises the government’s offer. Also, in Australia, businesses must hold the primary carers position for them for 12 months. Now you might be thinking, but there are 52 weeks in a year, what does that mean for the 34 remaining weeks of the 12 months?

You go without pay. If you have a partner, you are down to one salary with an extra mouth to feed and all the extra baby things. If you do not have a partner, you are up the creek without a paddle, unless you have a fairy godmother.

So, you decide that you will go back to work after the 18 weeks, and if you have timed it all correctly and the labor fairy was in time with your timeline, then you have gotten to spend a wonderful 4 months with your newborn before you ship the child off to relatives, family or childcare. Queue the sounds of mothers whipping themselves for leaving their children so young.

This is the position I am in. Hubby and I worked out several different budgets to see if we could extend my time off, even if it meant one salary for a few months. We found a couple of options which would leave us very tight financially, but do-able. However due to the timing of the birth, it will mean we only have one salary over Christmas, which is not ideal when we have 3 sets of parents between us, a brother, sisters, a niece, and all the brand new offspring of all of our friends.

I then spoke to someone at work, who I look up to, and she told me that at the time of her maternity leave, she was in the same position as us. They simply couldn’t afford it. So she came back full time after the 18 weeks, and seriously regretted it. She made comments of “just two more weeks and it would have been easier” and “easing myself back in with part time work”. I listened to these comments and took them to heart.

Hubby really wants me to stay off until the end of January and then go back full time. However, after talking to even more return-to-work mothers, whether they are 4 months, 6 months, or 12 months, it is HARD to leave them. So, after some soul searching I have decided to go back to work after the 18 weeks, part time until Christmas and then full time again in the New Year.

For the past few weeks, people have been asking me about my plans for maternity leave, and when I told them, the majority of people were shocked, some even horrified. “You can’t leave your baby!” or “It will be so small, who is going to look after it?”, and various other ‘bad-mother’ hidden comments. At first I was a bit worried, but then I started telling myself that I am doing the right thing for my family, but ensuring that we have two salaries to utilise. I am ensuring that I do not suffer extreme regret by easing myself back into work, and ultimately looking after my mental and emotional health.

For me and my family, this may not be the best decision, but I feel it is the right decision for us.

Always & Forever,

Mrs T xxx

 

Are you going to find out the sex?

Lately, I have been getting asked “How far along are you?” and I reply with “XX weeks” (18 for those playing at home), this is then invariably followed up with “Oh that’s nice. Are you going to find out the sex?” or some variation.

I personally don’t mind people asking. My problem is with my answer “Yes we are finding out”. It has nothing to do with their response, but with mine. I do not want to find out. I have zero preference for the sex of my child. I just want the baby to be born with 10 fingers, 10 toes and all of the rights bits in all of the right places. And for me not to need a million stitches. I literally do not care if it is a boy or a girl. Hence, why I don’t want to find out. When I tell people this, they look at me strangely and can’t comprehend why I wouldn’t want to know. “Don’t you want to be ready?”, well yes of course, but what does colour coordination have to do with being ready?

However, I have family members who “need” to find out. Not because they want to know, they are also happy for a surprise, but for people like my own mother who lovingly hand make baby items, and need to colour coordinate. This I can completely understand. The things that my mother will make for me and the baby are the most gorgeous items, and will be treasured for life. Hand stitched shawls, knitted baby clothes, newborn props for photos, and the list goes on. I do want all of that to be the right colours and to make that happen, she needs to know because they can take her several months to finish.

And then there is also the baby shower. My estimated guest list is 62 women. Do I really want 62 people’s worth of presents in pale greens and yellows? No, no I do not. The babies room and furniture are all neutral colours, so I want all the toys and presents to be bright and colourful. Not pale green and yellow.

But then, I have people like my mother-in-law and my grandfather who have both stated that they don’t want to find out. My grandfather even went so far as to say “If anyone tells me the sex I will knock their heads off”. Lovely right? I thought it was my decision (and hubby’s) if we found out.

This is all compounded by the fact that hubby wants to find out. He is a planner and needs to know what is coming so that he can do things a certain way. I don’t think the baby is going to care if something is done in blue rather than pink or vice versa, but it seems to matter to him. It’s his way of being a part of the pregnancy because he doesn’t really get to participate in the growing pains, sore boobs, stretched skin, heartburn, insomnia, the bladder the size of a 1 cent coin or any of the other pleasant sensations I have experienced thus far.

Anyways, long story short, logically I understand all of the pros and cons to this whole thing, so we are finding out the sex (YAY!) and doing a balloon pop gender reveal (YAY!), if I have to find out, then I want to find out with a bang (pun intended haha). I am still lacking in the excitement department about this, however hopefully in two weeks time it will have arrived.

Always & Forever

Mrs T xxx

There is a small human growing inside of me.

Again, I have been a terrible blogger and 3 months have gone by since my last blog. So firstly, yes I am still pregnant! We made it through the first trimester and all of our scans and tests have been great so far. We are currently 17 weeks along and up to the stage of deciding whether or not we want to find out the sex. But I will leave that for another blog post.

What I want to talk about today is this feeling that I get every now and then. It’s hard to describe, somewhat elusive, and it sneaks up on me every now and then. Like it did this morning, when I was lying in bed after Mr T had left for work.

Am I really pregnant? Is there really a baby inside of me? I don’t feel pregnant. I don’t feel like I have changed. Is this all a dream? Is it all a big fat lie? Am I going crazy like Queen Mary, so desperate for a child that I am imaging it all?

Then I calm down. Yes I really am pregnant – I have four pregnancy tests that show positive. Yes there really is a baby growing inside of me – I have several ultrasounds that show me it’s little arms and legs. No this is not all a dream or a big fat lie, and no I am not going crazy. I have changed my diet to be more accommodating of a baby, eating a much better ratio of junk to health food. Our house is experiencing furniture movement and is about to have all the new baby furniture that you need. I get regular tests and have regular doctors appointments. I am definitely pregnant.

But, I don’t feel pregnant.

I guess what I mean is that, I thought I would feel different, internal organ-wise. Now I know that is a strange thing to say, it’s not like you can feel your kidney sitting here and your liver sitting there. But I did expect to feel my uterus pushing things out of the way, to feel like there was something “extra” inside of me. To my dismay, I do not feel that.

Every now and then, I forget I am pregnant. I will be reading my book, cooking dinner, having a shower, and then suddenly look down and see my belly, and think “Oh, that’s right, there’s a small human growing inside of me”. Every time I go to the bathroom, I still check to see if my period has started. Not exactly believing that it has actually been 4 months since my last period.

I am not sure if this is normal. I haven’t really asked anyone, but surely I am not the only person on the planet to be in disbelief? My friends tell me that it doesn’t feel real until about a week after they have been born. Then one day something inside of you just clicks and you think “I have an actual baby” and from then on everything is real. I am really looking forward to that feeling.

And then I feel it move. The bubbles started last week, and now they feel a bit more solid, the pressure lasts longer than a split second. And it’s usually after a frozen dessert or a really hot meal. I love this baby, and I would be completely devastated if something happened. But everyday there is a minute here and a minute there where I suffer moments of disbelief.

Hopefully once I am as big as a tent, I will “feel” pregnant, haha.

Always & Forever,

Mrs T xxx