{Five Years of You….}


And just like that, you are 5!  Our first born, our eldest, our daughter. I still remember the day I ran down the steps of our apartment building in Los Angeles to tell your daddy I was pregnant. It had all happened so quickly! I spent most of your pregnancy vomiting and though I tried for over 60 hours, you just wouldn’t come out the chute and so, on that Sunday night in July, they brought you into the world via the sun roof. You were huge, nearly 4.5kg and 56cm long. It seems both so long ago and also just like yesterday.

For two and a half years you had us to yourself and I am so grateful for that time with you. You won’t remember those times but I always will. How you loved Disneyland and your weekly music class but hated pureed food. How you couldn’t get enough of the pool at swimming and how determined you were to do everything by yourself, even if it meant you scared us half to death.

Addison, I am sorry that you sometimes had me at my worst. New to mothering, I flailed around trying to navigate this brave new world I’d entered. I was so inexperienced despite so much experience with kids. Like everyone, I thought I knew and I truly had no idea of the impact of a brand new life on me and my old life. I’m sorry I fumbled through different tactics and routines and that sometimes I just wanted you to step back so I could breathe. I wasn’t prepared for the massive need that a baby possesses and I know it took me some time to adjust.  I’m sorry that I spent so much time stressed out over your sleep; to the point where we both sat crying as I couldn’t understand why you wouldn’t do what the book said and you couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t just pick you up and feed you off to sleep. The truth is, like you learning to live, we had to learn how to parent. Daddy and I, Addison, we are still learning. I know we sometimes don’t get things right and I know we sometimes expect too much of you. This is our problem to resolve and I’m trying little girl; I’m trying so hard to help you navigate this world without stepping on your toes or dimming your glow.

I’m sorry that I put you through 2 extremely difficult pregnancies. That I spent so much time away from you in the hospital and in my head. I’m sorry that when your world shifted with the arrival of Phoenix, I was too tired to provide as much support as I should have. I’m sorry it took me time to maneuver myself into the role of a mother of 3 and that sometimes I yelled at you and expected you to do more than you were capable of doing. Addison, thank you for loving your brothers so fiercely like you do. They are so lucky to have you as their big sister.

Addison, I know you have some challenges ahead of you. I know your sometimes unpredictable focus and constant chatter will cause concern for you as you enter big school next year. I promise I will do everything I can to assist you in this next step. I wish I could just lay down a smooth path for you as you navigate this crazy world. That I could shield you from the not so nice aspects of being alive. Instead I promise to advocate for you and support you as much as I can.

Addison, you are a smart, caring and sensitive soul. You have so much potential and so much goodness to give this world. You are funny and irreverent and assertive to the point of insanity. Today and every day, we wish you nothing but joy, laughter and love. Thank you for choosing us and for making us parents.

Addison, thank you for making me a Mother. It may be your birthday, but it was me who was given the bestest gift of all; you.

Happy Birthday Smushy, we love you.


{12 Seconds..}


I’m in the pantry.

1,2,3…breathe, breathe, breathe.

The toddler has dumped an entire tub of yoghurt on the baby. It’s everywhere. Everywhere. They are dragging themselves through it. Joyfully spreading their fingers out, further pushing the white gunk around. Addison is standing at the door begging for the iPad. But each channel gleefully splashed the story last night of how bad screen time is for kids. How badly Australian parents are handling their children’s usage. Shame, parents, shame. But maybe just now, to stop the screaming. Just for a moment.

4,5,6….stop, stop, stop.

The boys are screaming now. All morning, screaming. At each other, at me, at nothing; and everything. We went out. I missed my Gym class and Phoenix broke free of my grip; hurtling towards a BMW in the car park. Stopped only by a nice lady who took pity on my toddler son and decided he should live another day. I apologise profusely, thanking her. “It gets easier.” she tells me. I nod. My smile is tight. Today is not the day it gets easier. We are home. The house is trashed; the washing lays waiting, staring at me, demanding I keep up. Why can’t you keep up? The washing, the house…appearances? I have a list of things to do, errands to run. Nothing gets done. The kids need me. “What do you do all day?” That’s what they ask. Lazy Mums who stay at home.

7,8,9….Knock, knock, knock.

I’m just so tired. The baby woke every couple of hours. I wish I could sleep. Maybe in here, just for a second. You have to come out of here eventually. They need you. They all need you. And they’re yours. You should be out there managing this. This is your job. Why aren’t you doing your job? Why aren’t you thankful for this moment? For every moment. Live in the moment. Not this one, I can’t. I just need another second to breathe. To realise we need groceries. And I haven’t finished planning Smushy’s party. And you haven’t been to the shops for presents yet Merrill. And at some point you have to get out of this space and back into theirs. Addison is knocking louder now; the sound reverberates in my head, pushing the thoughts aside. She is jostling for space in my mind, in my moment.

10, 11, 12….breathe, breathe, breathe.

They are all at the door now, waiting. Quiet. They have fallen silent as they realise I am not there. You are their world and they need you. You can do this. You are not alone, you are fallible, it’s OK and so are you. One more second. Open the door. I am here, here I am. I love you. I love you. I love you. I am sorry. You need me. I am here.

“I missed you Mummy.”

12 seconds.

“I missed you too baby.”

Close the door. I am ok. We are ok.

Tomorrow is a new day. And this is a new moment.


{Year One…}

Dearest Baby Hendrix or Hegga as Phoenix calls you,

On the eve of your first birthday I have so many feelings. Shocked at the time gone so quickly, overwhelmingly happy that you chose us to be yours, exhausted from the madness of my life and maybe a little surprised knowing that we made it through one whole year with 3 kids under 5 and came out the other side still standing and honestly, stronger. (I’m also grappling with my love/hate relationship for Tom Cruise as Risky Business plays in the background. So charming yet so insanely manic. Dude looks like he’s about to eat you when he smiles but then he’s in so many great 80’s movies. It’s a difficult situation and really adding to my emotional state.)

You weren’t planned but you arrived anyway. A faint but ever present second pink line on the tests I took one after the other. Though I knew I wanted 3, I certainly never thought I’d have 2 boys with only 18 months between them. The guilt over what Phoenix may miss out on crept in early; encircling my thoughts and keeping me awake as I promised myself he wouldn’t be lost in between the bookends of his big sister and you. (And of course, he hasn’t. Such is his nature, that he wouldn’t allow you to forget he’s there.)  It wasn’t an easy pregnancy and I’m still working through some of the emotions attached to the HG and what it did to my body and soul. Again with the guilt as I folded into myself; the ever present nausea and violent vomiting sucking the life out of me. But Hendrix, I’d do it all over again, just for you. And then suddenly you were here and you were so tiny and you looked just like your daddy. We all loved you straight away. Your big sister and brother claimed you as one of their own and you just slotted right into our world.  And as time passed, it would seem you had been here before; such was the way you looked straight into our hearts and souls. Everyone calls you an old soul and I have to agree; you are so calm and knowing. But seriously, how did you end up with blue eyes and blonde hair?

I’m sorry that you didn’t always get tummy time and that I couldn’t read you stories for hours like I did with Smushy. I’m sorry that I had to sometimes rush you through the day as we catered to the needs and activities of your sister and brother. I’m sorry that you didn’t get to nap uninterrupted in your cot and that Phoenix sometimes sat on your head. I’m sorry that some days were so chaotic and loud and I lost my shit and cried. But know this; you are so loved and we wouldn’t have it any other way. You are our sunshine, little friend and we adore you.

I never understood before, why my parents and sisters still refer to me as the baby. And I hated it, oh how I hated it. But I know why now. Because even though you are one, I still think you are actually only a newborn. I was just pregnant and you were just born…right?  You are and forever will be my baby. And I know you’ll get to about 14 and hate it. You’ll twist and turn and try to thrash your way out of that position and I promise I’ll do my best to step back and let you be. But I can’t promise I wont still try to sniff you hair and kiss your cheeks; the same way I do to all 3 of you now.

So Hendrix, my littlest love, I wish for you a lifetime of happiness, laughter and love.

Happy Birthday; here’s to many, many more.