12.3.13

changes

I feel like I've been absent from this space for so long. I know I've popped in occasionally, but I haven't shared much about what's going on with us. There's a lot going on. There's been so many changes that this life of mine seems suddenly unfamiliar.

My ability to write coherently has escaped me these last few months, so I'm just going to rattle off some randomness in point form and hope that you can follow along.

:: I weaned Lalie early in the new year. She was down to only one morning feed so the process was rather painless. After feeding her for the last time, I told her that I would not be making any more 'bop-bop'. She replied with "Bop-bop finish? We put it in da bin?". Looking down at my worse-for-wear breasts, I couldn't help but think that after two years of feeding, I may as bloody well.

:: Lalie started kindy two days a week. It was also painless. Before we got out of the car on her second day, she looked at me very seriously and requested that "Mummy stay in car and me go in tindy by myself." (I'm anticipating by late primary school this will morph into "Muuuum, drop me off around the corner and I'll walk. And whatever you do, don't kiss me!"). Needless to say, I had to bribe her with ice cream for the first two weeks to come home with me. I also felt the need to reassure the carers that, despite appearances, she has a very good home life. Meanwile, my sister in law assures me that I should be proud that she feels confident and secure, and not take the slightest bit of offense. Hmmm...

:: It seemed only natural that Lalie progress from sleeping in my cot to sleeping in my childhood bed. We pulled it out of storage and dusted it off. A good sand and a lick of paint later it was in her room ready for the first big-girl sleep. She loves it. The transition has been seamless, and I wish I had done it months ago. I really enjoy cuddling up together at story time, and that bed-time resistance is all but a fading memory. She will happily lay in bed for 45 minutes reading to herself before I finally insist on lights out.

:: As you are already aware to some degree, Paddy spends a lot of time away at work. His strict roster means that he is away for a two week stint, and then home for 6 days. This brutal cycle repeats itself - for how long we're not really sure. At this rate, we spend less than one third of the year together. There are other families out there who spend a lot less time together and I have utmost respect for them. In the last few weeks I have gone from barely coping to simply not coping. We definitely need a new plan of attack.

:: I recently flew to Sydney to photograph my first wedding (actually, it was a beautiful vow renewal and reception for a lovely couple who had previously eloped). Paddy was away at the time and after weeks of agonising over what to do with Lalie, I finally decided to leave her here in Townsville with my Mum. It was the first time that I'd spent a night away from her, and three nights felt like a really big deal. Lalie was a trooper, as everyone knew she would be. I held it together until I got on the plane, when it suddenly became very clear that the blonde woman sitting in aisle 16C had some serious emotional issues. Once I got to Sydney, I was fine... actually, it was great. I think it was something I really needed to do.

:: My brother and sister-in-law have moved to Townsville with their two-month-old baby boy. It's surreal having them here, as my brother moved interstate when I was only five and hasn't been back since, apart from occasional Christmases and other short visits. I thought they were the eternal big-city types... but having babies does funny things to us, doesn't it? It's very sweet to see Lalie interact with her baby cousin... it's just a real treat having them here, and the new dose of family has been distracting me from the little void that my sister left when she moved to London.

:: The developmental changes in Lalie have been enormous these last couple of months.
- Her language has exploded and she natters away in rather sophisticated sentences all day long. People comment often on her language and the clarity of her speech.  
-She's suddenly become much more determined in asserting her own will; tantrums and meltdowns are ferocious and frequent. For both of us. 
- Her desire to be completely independent is admirable yet often frustrating. She won't let me do anything; she attempts to dress herself, puts her shoes on and off, pours her own drinks, puts on her own sunscreen, goes to the toilet (I'm not allowed in there with her), climbs into her car seat... simple daily tasks now take quadruple time, but who am I to take that desire for independence away from her?
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Recently I've been wondering whether or not to continue our story here on this blog. Is it just something else to add to the list? Do I need the added pressure? Is it in Lalie's best interest? Or mine or Paddy's for that matter?

Last night I spent half an hour flicking through my own archives. Sad, I know... but it made me smile.  I was reminded of the simple and beautiful everyday moments that, unless documented and celebrated, can so easily get caught up and lost in the messiness of life.

I'm not ready to let go of that reminder just yet.

42 comments :

  1. I would be SO SAD if you stopped blogging!!!!! Because it's my only way to keep up with you :) But you should do what's best for yourself and your family.

    (Selfishly I hope that it's not to quit blogging :)

    You are a wonderful lady, Claire! :)

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  2. Hi Claire, I don't often leave comments but I want you to know that I always read and enjoy your story and I love your beautiful photographs. I know how hard the part time single parenting gig can be and how badly you can miss your husband when he is away working...it sucks...BIG time. Hopefully it won't be forever and it is all worthwhile and perhaps a new window of opportunity will open soon. Thinking of you (and really hoping you don't leave this wonderful space you've created). Much love. X

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  3. no way is it sad that you looked back! that's one of the best things about having a blog; no matter what anyone else gets from this space, you get your memories to keep. lalie sounds like such a character, does she get her independent streak from you?

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    1. Thanks for the reminder, Bron. I think sometimes I'm far too aware of this growing audience and I start to over-think everything. Sometimes I lose sight of why I started this blog. x

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  4. The independance of our little people sure is bitter sweet..and very often SO frustrating! Parenting is such a huge job, doing it solo for the most part has got to take it's toll, but it certainly looks like you're bringing up a very happy well adjusted and gorgeous little being, lovely mumma. I was recently thinking of finishing up with the blog too, but then I realised how much I enjoy it, especially the looking back, it's a special keepsake..x

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  5. I love looking back at old blog posts...I often shudder at the photography...but I am so glad that I have written all those thoughts down...the memories are wonderful and make me feel so warm.

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  6. i love your blogs dont leave me!! Your blogs are what i love to read about during my mummy time (when both kids (2 yrs & 4 months) decide they will sleep)your inspiring & make me want to start a blog of my family :)

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  7. Hi Claire,

    It's so nice to see a Post from you and your little one certainly looks more grown up and well on her way in that shot.

    Lots happening in your world and I really feel where you are with things. Just my 2 cents on the blogging thing - If my blog was exactly the way I wanted it to be then I dare say I never would have started one! Because in my ideal world my blog would be beautiful, I would have time to take lots of photos and make them perfect, add a bit of styling even, I'd have time to dress the kids nicely, I'd have time to gather my thoughts and there would not be a single typo in any of my posts. But I have 5 children and I simply don't have the time for any of that. It's frustrating but it's better than not having any written record at all of this crazy little life of ours. My point is, if you enjoy blogging (and it shouldn't be a chore if its a personal blog) then you could just scale it back a bit and pop in like you have today - I really liked THIS post. And when you look back you'll think "oh goodness, remember that crazy time when Paddy was away so much and things were just so busy on the home front..."

    Take care,

    Mel x

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  8. you not alone...i am in and out of blogland too wondering if the end of my blogging journey is near. x

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  9. I always love to see your blog pop up in my feed. I can completely understand the overwhelmed feeling especially with Paddy away 2/3of the time,it gets lonely when you're on your own.
    I hope things get easier for you.

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  10. Such a lovely catch-up, Claire. I hope you keep blogging as this is a beautiful record of your beautiful life, treasured by many of us. The great thing about blogging is that just as there are no boundaries (the daunting bit), there are no rules either. You blog as you wish and there it is.

    Very impressed with Lalie's confidence and maturity, BTW. Your sister in law is absolutely correct if you ask me!

    x

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  11. It was lovely to rea a little catch up on what is happenig with you and your little family, some of it sounds tough, and other parts just lovely. I too like to have a peek back thru my archives, its the reason I blog, to be reminded of the things we do and live.
    Rhi x

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  12. Glad you decided to give it a chance. All these changes sound healthy and well adjusted. Youmare definitely are doing things perfectly.

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  13. aahhh some Claire air.

    Loved every second of this update cabbage. It's that bloody tsunami called life but it looks to me like you've got some kind of surfboard under your arm (oh okay, such a dorky thing for me to say, but whatevs).

    Lalie is growing up perfectly. Nothing like a child with a strong will to keep a mumma on her broken toes and tears in her exhausted eyes. Rewards will come.

    Keep blogging, make it private if you feel the need but words and images work for you. One day, Lalie will be grateful and proud of your honesty. She has a strong mother and she will be a strong mother. fact.

    essay over

    xx

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  14. The little slice of the blog world that I like to devour would certainly not be as delicious without your beautiful pictures and words in it.

    That rapid transition from dependent baby to independent toddler sort of sneaks up and takes you by surprise doesn't it? I think in some ways after all of these big two year old milestones are met you get a little more space of your own (along with a few new challenges of course!).

    Hang in there love. It's a roller-coaster of highs and lows that's for sure!

    rachel xo

    rachel ox

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  15. Claire your blog is one of my most treasured. Your words and images are from the heart and sincere... I have loved watchig Lailie grow and your journey together. I don't think it matters how often you blog, as long as you still enjoy doing it. Please don't stop... I still want to hear from you. xxx

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  16. Don't stop blogging, please! I would miss you terribly xx PS I get you on the toddler independence thing. Frustrating and beautiful (and oh, so messy!) xx

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  17. I found your blog via Pia Jane Bijkerk's recommendation in Country Style mag. You're my number one Australian blogger! True, Australian, and always original.

    P.S. I would love to see how Eulalie's room has evolved with her big girl bed. Her nursery was (is) breathtaking and just the sweetest little room I ever did see :)

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    1. Thank you... I am working on changing her room around and I'll be sharing a room tour in the coming months. I think it's going to come together very nicely... but I feel a bit of pressure after the overwhelming feedback of her nursery! ;) x

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  18. I also hope you don't decide to give up letting us peek into your lives as I have only just found you!
    I do hope your family can find its equilibrium with your husbands job or find 'another way' soon.

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  19. So lovely to get all your news Claire. I hope that if blogging isn't right for you that we'll get to see you online in some form - let us know! x

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  20. loved reading all your 'changes'.....

    I always love reading your posts and seeing your beautiful images. I sometimes wonder the same thing (re: blogging). Find a balance that works for you, as some "me" time is so important with young children.

    x

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  21. So much going on, you should feel proud of yourself for just getting you and Lalie dressed and fed each day I think :)

    In terms of whether or not to keep blogging... I think you just need to make sure you're doing it for yourself rather than anyone else. I love having my blog and the main reason is that it makes me appreciate the little things more often and stop and take notice of things going on with my girls and in my world that I would otherwise miss. I love when people comment/engage with it but at the end of the day I feel like it's mainly for me so any pressure I feel is pressure I'm putting on myself rather than feeling pressure from readers that I need to update more often! Sorry that was a bit of dribble, I'm incoherent at this time of night!

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  22. Oh, you would be (and have been) missed. but i understand, whether it be lack of time, privacy, waning interest, what-have-you. Isn't it funny how we change, so imperceptible at times. I like what em said, make it private if need be. Photos strung together with words suit you.

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  23. But then come back to Instagram!? Please. I need my daily oneclaireday fix. :)

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  24. I'm so glad to see you back & posting again. I can totally relate to how you're feeling, regarding what to do with your blog and what not. I recently just went through the same thoughts. In fact, I DID close mine down for a few months but am back at it again. I missed documenting our life and having an archive to flip back through.

    I hope all is well.

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  25. This made me so happy. It always brightens my day when you post, and even more so when I feel like I'm getting to know you better. You have been through so much lately and I'm hoping you get lots of rest and snuggly tea-time with maybe a few bubble baths thrown into the mix ;)

    I do hope you continue to blog. This has always been one of my most treasured places to visit x

    Lots of love to you!

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  26. So many people love you Claire - you can't stop blogging :) xx

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  27. Dear Claire, two to three is a hard bit, on one hand filled with the most precious and funny moments ever that you will look back upon lovingly. But also so much negotiating and choosing of battles! You are managing this without your partner there a good chunk of the time and that is tough at this tender age. But it will pass, children do grow fast and you will look back at this time and be stronger for it. xx

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  28. I can imagine feeling the 'need' to blog could be overwhelming. At the same time though, it's such a lovely record. Could you maybe password protect some posts - the ones you want to write about Lalie that you're worried infringe her privacy? I wish my mum had of blogged when I was young, if only to look back and appreciate her as a person and not just my mum, to understand what her dreams, desires, worries, stresss and passions were at the same time. x

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  29. I really love your blog. I actually just discovered it last week but your photography and writing style is so clean and beautiful. I'm just stopping over to tell you I nominated you for a Liebster award today on my blog. Yours and a few others that I wanted to share since they've been my blogging inspiration this month. You can check out my post to see what the heck I'm talking about :) (http://hennablossom.com/?p=701)

    Hope you'll have fun being part of it!

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  30. Hi Claire

    It must feel very strange sometimes to pout your heart out online in the way you do...

    I have been following your blog for over a year though and although I don't know you I find your blog incredibly inspiring. You always find beauty in the small everyday moments and constantly remind me to stop and smell the roses. I think that your blog is incredibly courageous and I admire you very much. So please don't stop blogging! You spread so much joy and happiness - to so many people - even strangers like myself. And that is a rare and precious thing in today's world.

    I think that Lalie will look back on this one day and be very proud of you.

    And although I don't have children yet, and can only begin to imagine the difficulties you are currently experiencing, I am confident it will all work out for you soon. In the meantime just look at all these comments! You have a lot of people sending their prayers and best wishes your way.

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    1. This is such a gorgeous comment - thank you! x

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  32. I love visiting you here Claire, please don't leave us.

    xo j

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  33. Hi Claire, I love reading your blog and looking at all your stunning photos. Eulalie seems like the most gorgeous little girl and I love hearing about her adventures. Your blog is the only one I routinely look up... Do what feels right to you. But I would hate you do not blog anymore! Your blog is pure beauty <3

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  34. I for one hope you continue this blog - I love seeing your beautiful photos.

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  35. Hi Claire, for what it is worth, I love reading your blog and would miss all your wonderful photos and writing. My little girl is less than two months apart from Lalie and so I especially love seeing what you guys are up to.

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  36. I don't know how I missed this one when it came out .... but, really, don't go., DON'T. GO. Blogging is a funny old caper, and of course it's an extra thing to add to your ever-demanding list, but giving it up would hardly be fair to me and all your other fans, now would it? Kellie xx

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  37. I am glad you have decided to continue blogging, your blog is wonderful and I love visiting. I know how you feel, I struggle with too many pressures sometimes as I am being a single Mum of two and have often thought the same thing and even had little breaks here and there when I've needed to. Importantly my blog gives me so much joy and like you, I love looking back through it and I resent giving up things that are important to me. So keep going, do it when it makes you happy and ease back when you've had enough. I think you are an amazing person and I love what you do, best wishes, Ainslie.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - it really means so much. I will try to reply where I can! xx