To celebrate three years of our Theo Bear we decided to travel down to northern NSW to one of our favourite places, Hastings Point. Being outdoors makes Theo come alive so we were happy to give him three days of bare sandy feet and sun on his cheeks.
It rained heavily the morning of his birthday and reminded me of the rain relaxation tapes I listened to so often while he grew in my stomach. The heavy droplets hitting our tent while his now-so-grown body rested beside me transported me back to when he twisted and turned in the safety of my belly and I didn’t even know his name. Love is a mysterious thing – to think how much I loved and wanted him even then and think about how little I knew of the boy he would be. He’s changed us and like the new us so much better. The parents to a wild, unruly and tender-hearted son who teaches us we really don’t know anything at all.
Last year (when we saw it on sale) we’d bought Theo a small balance bike and gave it to him on his birthday morning. He rides it in the spitting rain and tells me “Dis bike is for boys. Big boys”. We go for breakfast on the beach and play in the rock pools until it’s time to go.
We take him bowling for the first time for his birthday treat and I forget to take any photos because we’re having too much fun laughing at how terrible we all are. Theo wins and not because we ‘let’ him.
And just like that; he’s three. I keep marking the stages of his babyhood gone by and pine for that little chubby boy who used to nurse at my breast all day long. And yet; this little boy – I think I like him even more. At three Theo, you are funny, bright and fill our hearts with joy (and some worry, haha). Baby you was oh so lovely and I might always miss him – but seeing you grow up is the greatest treasure of all.
(I got a lot of emails about our new Tula carrier when I posted a photo of it on facebook so here’s a direct link for anyone wanting a carrier made specifically for toddlers. Now that Theo is three this is a lot more comfortable for him and I am so glad I finally gave in and got one!).
I’ve been very naughty and haven’t blogged much of my client work lately, so I thought I should share some recent work with you. In 2013 I am only taking limited clients while I grow our third baby so I was happy one of these could be working with Ergobaby. For those of you who have been following my blog for a while you would know I have a long love affair with our Ergo carrier so it is lovely to see that relationship blossom into a situation where I can work for a brand that has given us so much joy. I would never have gotten into babywearing without the Ergobaby and it has opened a wonderful words of hands free parenting for us.
Here are some of the many images we had fun shooting. Babies make me happy!
You know what else makes me happy? This loco man I married. He takes modelling very seriously.
We’re already at the end of our first month of our commitment to live more simply and not buy anything beyond essentials for 2013. As promised each month I will be stopping in here to check in and report back on our progress.
A number of people have asked me about our announcement that we are expecting a baby and how this fits with our committment. I want to write a post all about expecting a baby in regards to this project and I will focus on that next month. For now I wanted to talk about starting this and how we’ve navigated our first month (and a bit) of not buying anything.
To clarify ‘anything’ is anything beyond those things which we feel are our ‘essentials’ for living. In my first blog post I specified these as being food, petrol and cleaning items (for our bodies and home). In the first month I extended this category to include learning supplies for Priya. I absolutely believe a child can be educated well without any of those supplies but I do not want Priya to be disadvantaged because she is educated at home rather than in a school setting where she would have access to paints, papers, study books and other educational supplies. I set aside a sum for the year which is to be used for her (and Theo’s) home learning. We already spent part of this setting up a learning space for Priya (I will post about this in another post).
So with that in mind we set out into our first month of not buying ‘things’ that we did not truly need and it’s been an interesting journey for me so far. We are in a good position to do this challenge as I have carefully bought/stored and saved clothes for our children in several sizes too big so they can easily be well dressed for the year. I think as a parent seeing my child do without is the most difficult aspect for me. I could only feel comfortable committing knowing they would have clothes and shoes to last the year.
To give you an example of some of the things that tempted me to buy them:
Sometime in our first week of not buying things I was down at the shops when I remembered I’ve been running low on hair bands and would like to grab some more. I don’t consider hair bands essentials for living so I was very torn when I remembered my committment. I only have one small pack of hairbands that my mum gave me for Christmas. Could I really make a year with only those 12 bands? With the amount of hair I have? At the rate I lose hairbands? Well. I would have to. The thought of not being able to buy more definitely started to make me think twice about taking my hairband out and leaving it absentmindedly wherever I happened to be.
Now the next item I wanted to buy is the one that has really tempted me and I’ve told myself it IS essential. A soft maternity bra. I am talking one of those seamless ‘ah-bra’ type things that are apparently a signal you’ve given up on your sex life. Well, yeah, I want one. Knowing I was pregnant before we started the challenge I thought I would pop down to the shops and buy myself a couple so I would be in good stead to have the lady’s comfy as they grow. I told myself I was being a bit silly as I have two nursing singlets AND two crop tops that have no seams I could use. So I did not head down to the shops and buy some before 2013 dawned. Well, I did not factor that I am significantly more chubby than when I wore those last and they are all tight and uncomfortable. And this is where my predicament really set in. I had two options short of breaking my committment and buying the bra. #1 wear the singlets/crop tops I have and feel a little on the tight side. or #2 wear nothing and deal with the fact that in quite a few of my outfits it will be obvious I am wearing no bra (60% of the time I am a no bra kinda girl but some days, like when you’re meeting a client, life requires one). Both of these options made me feel uncomfortable.
This troubled me. I raged an inner dialogue with myself. “You can’t be uncomfortable! You are pregnant! You have to buy them! You can’t be uncomfortable”. I am serious when I say it was a very urgent voice in my head. You cannot be uncomfortable. You cannot be uncomfortable. You cannot be uncomfortable. And maybe this situation is just a mirror of deeper issues in my life, that I’ve grown afraid of being uncomfortable. So this inner dialogue ran on inside me for several days and I am embarrassed to admit, I was actually really torn over it. I kept coming back to the point “but I shouldn’t be uncomfortable”. I even began giving myself scientific reasons “My mammory glands will start producing milk soon… I can’t have them cramped!”. “My breasts are growing and need to be supported” back and forth I went trying to fight my way out of being uncomfortable. There really isn’t anything stopping me going out right now and buying a bra and being perfectly comfortable for the rest of the year.
This – I think – is the first lesson (and maybe the main lesson) that I am learning in our year of not buying things. It’s okay to be uncomfortable. It’s okay to do without. After a few weeks of worrying and stressing and trying to convince myself I should head out and buy the bra an acceptance settled in and I woke up suddenly it didn’t seem to matter any more. After 6 weeks of not buying non-essentials I am repeating my mantra – it’s okay to be uncomfortable and it’s okay to do without. I am of a generation where those two concepts are very foreign so I have to repeat it a lot