Thursday, October 21, 2010

What's In a Name

Aaron and I have approximately 10 weeks to go until the new addition to the family arrives. That means there’s only 10 weeks left for us to come up with names that we both like.

Sounds easy doesn’t it.

It isn’t.

We’ve recently settled into a ritual, usually just before we go to sleep, where I run a bunch of names by him and he says no, no, no. Then he suggests a few back to me, usually something silly and to do with fishing like Snapper or Trout, at which point I say no and then I get told to be quiet and go to sleep.

Are you starting to get the picture?

These are just some of the names Aaron has said no to:

Girls                                                     Boys
Bethany                                               William
Grace                                                   James
Sophie                                                  Liam
Amelia                                                  Connor
Heather                                                Thomas
Fiona                                                    Duncan
Ava                                                     Lucas
Raewyn                                                Mathew
Marae                                                  Buster
Elisabeth                                              Angus
Stella                                                   Edward
Claire                                                   Harry
Olivia                                                   Joshua
Mackenzie                                            Riley
Abbey                                                 Finley or Finn
Gabrielle                                              Austin
Piper                                                   Bailey

I wouldn't mind all the 'no's' if I was given an alternative or even a short list of a few names but so far he hasn't come up with any girls names and the only boys name he likes is Freddie (or is it Freddy???)

Not Frederick, not Fred, just Freddie.

And he won't budge. 

Of course he we made the mistake of telling people Freddie is on our shortlist of boys names and the usual response is: 'You're not serious are you?' or 'You can't do that to a child'.

And still he won't budge. In fact he's now referring to the bump as Freddie.

As for girls names we don't even have a shortlist. Nothing, Nada, none.... zip, zero, zilch!!!

Name suggestions please as I've run out of ideas???

Thursday, October 14, 2010

He Was Here; and He Was Loved

Last Friday I attended the funeral of baby Stefan, the two-week old son of my friend Jane. In the past 4 years I have been to 3 children's funeral's, my niece Isabelle who died after a low-impact car accident, my cousin Natasha who had leukaemia and now Stefan, who suffered complications during his birth but eventually succumbed to pneumonia.

You never get used to seeing the small coffin.

Nobody enjoys funerals but when the person is older and has had the chance to live a good life their funeral, while sad, can also be a celebration of their life and the things they achieved. The same can't be said for a child.

Losing a child isn't just the loss of the physical form, it's the loss of the  life you envisaged, all the things you planned/hoped to do together. Parents always wonder what their children will be like when they grow up, will they marry, have children, be studious or sporty... when you lose a child you also lose that dream.

It's an awful feeling looking into the face of a grief stricken parent knowing that nothing you say can bring them comfort - there are no magic words that can erase their pain.

My beautiful friend Jane somehow composed herself enough to read out the following poem, which she adapted for Stefan's funeral.

Beloveds, now we know that we know nothing
Now that our bright and shining star can slip away from our fingertips
Like a puff of summer wind

Without notice, our dear love can escape our doting embrace,
Sing our songs among the stars and walk our dances across the face of the moon

In the instant we learn, that Stefan is gone we know nothing
No clocks can tell our time and no oceans can rush our tides
With the abrupt absence of our treasure

Though we are many, each of us is achingly alone
Piercingly alone
Only when we confess our confusion can we remember that he was a gift to us
and we did have him

He came to us from the Creator, love from his parents in abundance
Despite the suffering of his life he was sheathed in parental love, and family love

We looked forward to his arrival with passion, compassion and humour
and never took him for granted
We had him

Whether we knew who he was or did not know, he was ours and we were his
We had him

Beautiful, delighting our eyes
He suffered and he fought so very, very hard....
And he was stronger than anyone we’ve ever known

We were enchanted with him because he held nothing
He gave us all he had been given

Today we are missing our beautiful boy, Stefan Andreas Charles

But we do know that we had him
And we are the world.

Four years on and we are still grieving the loss of Isabelle so I know Jane and Colin have a long dark road ahead of them.  There is a difference between moving on and moving forward and I hope Jane and Colin find the strength to move forward while always keeping Stefan in their hearts.

And I sincerely hope I never have to attend the funeral of another child.

Ever again

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Blue Mountains

A few months ago I decided we needed a long weekend away, or a mini-break as I like to call it.

We'd had a few hectic months what with birthdays, Blessings and baby showers and seeing as we have another baby due at the end of the year we decided we should have a weekend away while we still can!

My sister in law Danielle was due to have her baby in mid-September so we booked our 4 day break for the first weekend in September, giving us plenty of time to be back in time for the birth (the due date was mid-September) - or so we thought!

Aaron and I were initially undecided as to where to spend the weekend and we were leaning towards a resort called Bannisters, which is down the coast, mostly because we discovered English chef Rick Stein has a restaurant there (thanks to pay-TV we have seen every episode of every series more than once).

In the end we decided to spend the weekend in the mountains rather than by the sea and so a booking at a gorgeous place called 'Secret Garden Cottage' was made.

Finally our weekend rolled around and our early morning departure was greeted with heavy rain, things were not looking good.  My lovely Dad took us to the train station so we didn't get soaked and thankfully it was only sprinkling at the other end so we arrived at the cottage nice and dry.

Once we had a look around we understood why the cottage was called 'Secret Garden', there were so many nooks and crannies to investigate with seating areas and fish ponds nestled away amongst the greenery.

Aaron lit the fire, which Annabelle thought was fantastic, and we settled in for the night. The following morning we explored the Blue Mountains, despite the strong winds, and finished up at the Three Sisters - which was just as impressive as I remembered from my childhood.

Day 1 - we had rain.

Day 2 - we had gale force winds.

Day 3 - we had glorious sunshine but we didn't get much of a chance to enjoy it as we had to leave a day early as my sister in law had baby Matilda two weeks earlier than her due date!

On our first night Aaron lit a fire, which enthralled Annabelle

The stunning back garden

A beautiful spot to have breakfast

Annabelle & Daddy

Mummy, Annabelle & the Baby Bump

The stunning Blue Mountains

The Three Sisters

Afternoon tea at the Three Sisters

I loved the old fashioned high chair - it works better than our modern one!

Miss Annabelle enjoying the train ride home.

The reason for our early departure, the very gorgeous Matilda Louise

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Oh When the Saints Go Marching In

More Australian Wordless Wednesday here

(For those outside of New South Wales & Queensland our Rugby league team - St George Illawarra Dragons - won the Grand Final on Sunday for the first time in 31 years.) 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tagging Tuesday - Handmade by Haylz

I ordered some things for Miss Matilda and Miss Annabelle from handmade by haylz which have now been shipped to me so here they are:

This is a gorgeous throw for Annabelle to have in her pram - I love the bird fabric.

This is a cuddle blanket for Matilda

 This is Annabelle's cuddle blanket

Some very funky burp cloths for Matilda - much prettier than using cloth nappies!