Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The First Birthday

On January 18th 2013 our little, or not so little, guy turned one!

A big milestone for him but seemingly an even bigger one for us.
We made it. Done. Complete. Our very first year as parents. We feel we did ok. He is still here and he is thriving so we must be doing something right!

It's possibly the most exhilarating year of our lives so far. So many changes in such a short amount of time! Changes in us as people, changes in our relationship and the biggest changes came in the form of our boy. He changes on the weekly. I find it hard to keep up sometimes!
I just get over the excitement of him doing a "first" only to be followed in quick succession for his next "first".

So the first birthday party was a big affair, although we didn't go all out and hire entertainment such as clowns, jumping castles and the like! Whats the point? He wouldn't remember it anyway and there is plenty of years to come for that sort of thing.
(Sidebar to this - it is amazing what some parents will do to have "the best" first birthday!!)

So we planned a BBQ lunch in our local playground within our estate. It is a very cool playground, with a big pirate ship/fort. We invited people who had been in our lives for the past year and who had be integral parts of Malachi's life so far. We had 45 adults and 20 children in attendance.
I made the Lion cake from a kids cake recipe book that mum had when I was a child. It took me hours! But I was rather proud of my efforts in the end. The Lion worked well into the Jungle theme we had gone with.

It went off quite well. A couple of hitches at the start - a dirty BBQ and not being quite ready before guests arrived, but nothing really goes smoothly or to plan with a 1 year old. A hitch later on in the day where we ran out of beer! Eeek! You would be mistaken in thinking this party was for an adult or something!

All in all a great time was had by all, especially the birthday boy, who was well and truly spoiled!

As time goes by...

For Jona and Nancy -

It's hard to believe that this time last year I was at home, most likely sitting on the couch, awaiting the arrival of our precious bundle.
Fast forward 12 months. I am now a working mother. Wow! I have never said that before "I'm a working mum".
Times have definitely changed since the days of my childhood and how my mother was able to be a stay at home mum. I am envious of those days. In saying that, I could make the choice to stay home, but there would be no fun "extra-curricular" activities, such as; holidays abroad, weekends away and spending money on the house.

I started back at work the week before the Christmas break. People kind of laughed at me, but it actually worked out quite nicely for me. A nice way to ease into work, to ease Malachi into child care and to ease into the new routine which will take some time to get used to.
Do not get me wrong, there is nothing I would want more than to be at home with my baby boy and being the good wife, but it's just better to be back at work for everybody.
It gives me a life outside the confinement of the house (although I was preeetty good at getting out and about!), it gives me adult conversation and gets the brain cells working again. It gives Malachi time to become used to being away from me, to make new friends, to have experiences that I perhaps could not have necessarily given him at home e.g. getting sand all over the house or doing paintings, things that I may not like happening in the house especially after spending so much time cleaning it!
It benefits Derek because we will be able to make the trip home to Ireland this year to see his family and introduce Malachi to his heritage and to the extended family he has not yet met.
So all in all I just needed to suck it up and get over it.

The first day was bittersweet really. It was hard to say goodbye to Malachi in the morning and I was very very anxious about coming back to the office, especially seeing as I had a new role now and the temp I had left in my role had kept that role. It is a very strange feeling to see someone sitting in your chair, with your stuff, doing your job (even if the role had changed greatly in the time I had gone). I had not slept very well either, so felt tired and rushed in the morning. The sweet part came when I arrived at my NEW desk and my friend Jess had put up loads of photos of us, the gals, and of Malachi so that I could feel more at home in my new spot. I got all teary again, she was so sweet to be so thoughtful of how I would be feeling when arriving in. Another bit of sweetness was a colleague, Sam, had come into the office instead of working from home that day just to make sure I was ok and settling in nicely. Too sweet and unexpected from my end.
I have to say coming back into a different role has been a breath of fresh air. I now report into Jo, who is also a close friend and confidente. She has been a big part of my life since starting at Dairy Australia. So it has been a relief in knowing that I can work with her even more directly than before.
It is a newly created role, so we can work together developing it as we go and it will be MY role not someone else's before me. Certainly a nice feeling.

I am doing 2.5 days, which leaves a nice work-life balance. Best of all I get a mid-week weekend!
Malachi is in child care for 2 days and then spends one day with Mum (Nanny). I love that he gets this opportunity to be with his Nanny and wish I had had more time with mine when I was young. Grandparents are so important in the development of children and I fully believe that a whole family should raise a child, kind of like that tribal type mentality I suppose.

Malachi has been doing o.k at childcare. The first three mornings he was  upset when Derek dropped him, but the ladies told me he was all smiles not long after that. He seems to really enjoy his day there and is exhausted by the time we get home and have dinner.

We have been spending some time in between work and other commitments visiting an old friend in the beach town of Rye on the Mornington Peninsula. It was lovely to spend time with Nancy as we do not get to see each other much now that she lives in Sydney. I stayed over night with my Aunt and Uncle down there so Nance and I could have some great conversations about the present, our futures and laughs about the past. She also got to spend some time getting to know Malachi and playing with him which was lovely for me to watch. I also got to catch up with her Dad, Brother and Sister which was great. It had been some time since I had seen them all.

It is so great to have friends that you can not see for a certain amount of time, only to be reunited and have the feeling that time has stood still and it was only yesterday that we had last spent the time together.

These types of friends are few and far between so we have to hold on tight to them.