Saturday, June 25, 2011


On Saturday morning I awoke to find Heath giggling in what appeared to be his sleep.  Never one to sleep-talk or giggle in his dreams - I was intrigued.  After a little nudge and a 'Whats so funny' question....he opened one eye and said 'Macie is out of her cot'....he laughed....I laughed..and then he realised he wasn't dreaming.  We both bolted upright in bed to find Macie at our door with a cheeky smile and a teddy bear tucked under her arm.  "Hello"....she said through her dummy in her mouth as her eyes twinkled with mischief.  Our little acrobat had managed to escape her sleeping bag (which is admittedly an old trick), scaled her cot without so much as a rattle or a bump to wake us....and then proceeded to greet us 'Hello'. 

Over the past few weeks, every single thing 'Baby' that Macie did has been slowly disappearing.  She no longer needs us to feed her, she now drinks out of a cup, she now wants to sit at the table with us for dinner instead of her 'trusty-buckle-you-in-and-you-can't-escape' highchair, and she is even starting to give us some indicators that she is ready to be toilet-trained.  I knew the day was coming to get her a 'big-girls' bed....but I suppose I was just hanging onto that little bit of hope that my little girl was still a baby.  Clearly Macie had other ideas.....

So off we went to town to find the bed and all the paraphernalia that goes with it.  I had full intentions of gawking about how expensive a kids bed is and declaring that I was going to travel 400km to IKEA to grab a bargain.  I am never one to bargain shop but with my trusty mother-in-law Larni by my side - our little country town delivered one to my feet.  I managed to get two matching beds for the price of a rustic entertainment unit....all for $300.  Yep....add Bargain Hunter to my list of talents.   Then add another few hours of Heath cursing and screaming at the creators of flat packs and voila.....we have our little girl a bed with a little cheap 'It'll-do-for-now' doona cover....until I get the time to make her one in my her favourite colours. 

Never one to be sentimental....I found myself thinking 'It's starting' and declared this to Heath with the usual eye-roll as a response.  My little girl in growing up.  I cried when we placed her in her cot from her bassinet when she was 6 months old....and I cried again last night when we tucked her up in her bed - with her own little doona and her own little pillow.   It has happened....she is a big girl longer needing the barriers to hold her back.  The world is her oyster.....and the little dance on the bed after the lights were turned out just proved to me that she is most definitely satisfied with the arrangement!! 

How do we know she did a little dance?  Well just imagine Heath and I on either side of the doorway peeking in to watch her.....proud parents much??

Soon she will be old enough and we will be having friends over for sleep-overs, having cheeky giggles about the cute little boy on the bus and in no time, she will be telling me that "I have NO idea" about anything.  Little will she know that when she becomes a mum....she will be horrified but just how much I did know. 

I am going to savour the little moments.  Like when she still wants to hold my hand when we are walking through the paddocks.  Or when she falls asleep on my chest even after I pick her up from her cot after her day nap and I spend the next hour on the couch memorising her little lips and her beautiful long eyelashes.  Or when she finds my singing abilities amazing....and most importantly, that she doesn't find me embarrassing.   Yep - I am totally soaking all these moments up.....

For this little human being is growing far too quickly.....and not even my tears are going to slow the time down. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Macie Grace: A Birth Story

Not a day goes by where I don't think about the day I became a mother.  The day where my life changed forever and I fell head over heels in love with the tiniest little girl, with her dark brown hair, deep blue eyes and with the loudest snort cry on the labour ward.

38 weeks pregnant and I made the trek upto my parents place, 2 hours from the farm where I would stay until Macie was born.  I spent the next two weeks enjoying my days as me....and enjoying my days being pregnant.  Every single person whether a stranger or not was telling me to soak it I did - enjoying time with my mama, my sister and with me.   I shopped, celebrated my baby shower, went to the movies, shopped some more and slept. 

I loved being pregnant.  I would sing to her, read to her and make Heath tell her funny stories through my belly.  Pregnancy is purely magical and a true testament to what our bodies can do.  Although I did have some rough times throughout my pregnancy with morning sickness and Bells Palsy, I would have it back in an instant. 

On my due-date, 20th October 2009, it was declared by my obsetrician that it was time to get this baby movin'.  She had stopped kicking me senseless and that was concerning to my doctor....and perhaps a little bit to me aswell.  He gave me the cut-off date...I had four days to go into labour or I had to have the dreaded 'induction'.  I hated the thought of induction - the invasive procedures, the drugs....and the loss of control to have an active labour. 

Four days came and went.....and I tried every single trick in the book. Reflexology, Accupressure, Herbal teas, pineapple, hot curries, hot baths, Evening Primose name it, I tried it. I dragged my Dad around town to find special potions at Nature Stores and we would laugh about the amount of shop assistants giving us the second my dad was my Sugar Daddy and I was carrying his Million-Dollar-Baby. Needless to say, I went shopping on my own after one too many stares with my hormones going into overdrive!!

The ball was out of my court and in my doctors. Heath was called and we were ordered to be at the hospital by 8pm on the 22nd October. It was by far the most scared we have ever been as a couple - and Heath's shaking hands showed just how close those nerves were bubbling to the surface. We would walk in those hospital doors as a couple - just Heath and Han....and would walk out of those doors as a family. It was pretty big stuff.

Next thing we know, we are told to relax, try to sleep and we would be awoken when it was time to be induced....easy peasy.

10pm....came and went.....midnight.....came and went.....and then 2am was the magical time.  Let's go!


6am....waters broken with a side of contractions that were serious enough to stop me from cracking a joke with Heath.  After 8 hours of walking the Labour Ward, I decided to jump in the bath......and declared it was heaven. 
I.was.never.getting.out....end of discussion....

But my doc decided to pull rank....and dragged me out of the bath to check how progressed I was.  It was there in that very moment that my love/hate relationship with my doc blossomed.....but I admired his guts to fight with a pregnant woman in labour.  He was brave....or stupid. 

Only 5cm dilated after nearly 8 hours of was time to start with the drip....and after many tears of being so disappointed of not having the active birth I wanted - I had the drip, epidural, and every other monitor on or in me.  I wasn't going anywhere.

2 hours passed where Heath breathed with me and watched me in pain (even with the epidural) and the midwives told me it was all normal.  It sure as hell didn't feel normal but hey - they are the professionals....we will trust them, right?  Then after one too many calls out to the midwives they decided to check me......and the room went silent with the realisation that Macie was coming....and she was coming NOW!

10 pushes later with Heath and the midwives (the doc missed the birth) and I was holding the most beautiful, perfect and pink little baby girl on my chest.  She had her Daddy's dark hair and her Mummy's blue eyes.  I cried....and cried and cried.  She was simply the most perfect thing I had seen.  It was there I fell in love....she stole my heart when she locked her eyes on mine and just lay in my arms - happy and content.  She was scoping me out....checking that I was infact her Mum that had sung, read and talked to for the past 9 months. 

We named her Macie Grace McNulty....she was ours.

Heath was totally amazed by the whole experience.  His protectiveness for his girls became fierce and I could see him change the instant he held her....I could see him transform into a father....and I watched as Macie magically wrapped herself around her Daddy's little finger.  He fell in love, there and then in that labour ward....and became the best Daddy ever.  I always knew he would love his children unconditionally....but it made me cry to see him standing there with his little girl in his arms.....proud as punch.  I fell more in love with him on this day....I didn't think it was possible....but I did.  He has seriously stolen my heart. 

It was during the next 5 days during our stay at hospital where we had the neonatal hearing test - mandatory in Queensland for all infants to determine their level of hearing and whether they require a referral for further testing.  As I am hearing impaired myself and wear hearing aids in both ears, I knew that the chances of Macie having the same loss were quite high.  I suppose that little bit of me was hanging on that little bit of hope that Heath's genes would dominate like his black hair and she would pass with flying colours.  Instead, we were given a referral and I just sat there and cried while kissing Macie's perfect little face and telling her I was "Sorry".  Seems so ridiculous now....hearing aids have never stood in my way - so why would they stand in hers......but I cried and cried.  I shut the doors, I drew the curtains and I cried on Heath's shoulder.  All while Heath held Macie and told her she was perfect - with the perfect Mum.   Remember how I told you that I didn't think I could love him anymore.....well scrap that....this man is unbelievable.  How are Macie and I so lucky to have him? 

Six weeks later and we were having more neurological tests to determine the severity of Macie's hearing loss.  We were diagnosed with a mild/moderate loss (like I was) and sent on the mad race of getting fitted with hearing aids.  She took everything in her stride - the long trips to Brisbane to woo the audiologists and receive her first pair of little pink hearing aids.  She wasn't letting anything, especially hearing aids, get in her Mama like daughter.   
Twenty months ago I held her for the first time - fell in love and memorised her little face.  I never ever imagined that when I signed up to be a mother, that it would be the most exhilarating, exhausting and rewarding job I would ever experience.  That I would laugh with her, cry with her and love her with all my hearts content.  That this tiny little human being would introduce a new element in our marriage - something that has stuck us together like glue.  That she would be the happiness in our lives that made everyone smile.

I am so proud to be her mum.  I may not be doing the perfect job as per the parenting guides....but I am doing it and I am loving it. 

And judging by these is she...

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Over the weekend I packed up the car, rugged up Macie and headed for my parent's place.  I hadn't been home in six long weeks and was itching to rub my darling sister's pregnant belly and spend hours catching up with my parents.  Six weeks is usually the longest I can go without going home and soaking up the goodness....and this weekend was no different.

Toasty fires, lingering cuddles with my mum (I can never be too old for cuddles), warm fluffy doonas and more importantly, seeing that twinkle in Macie's eyes when she realised where we were.  As soon as I turned into home and she realised....she punched her hands in the air and said "MIMI and POPPYS!!!!".  Now that is just enough to make me want to visit every weekend....

It was cold, with a wind that would make your bones shiver and your lips turn dry. The kind where you wonder if 5 layers is excessive....and if Macie will punish me for dressing her like an eskimo. But it was....home....and I needed it more than I realised. 

For the week just gone, some of my closest friends have endured the worst things imaginable.  Broken bones, ill relatives, loosing their close ones, unwanted test results and just general bad luck.  I have found myself feeling completely useless - wanting to make it all better for them, wanting a cure for cancer and wanting to have that special wand where I can give them more time....for that is what everyone wants. 

All I could do was cook, bake, clean and lend my shoulders for support.  For that is friendship...and I will continue cooking, baking, cleaning and supporting for as long as they need it.

It is times like these where I really take a step back and be thankful.  Thankful for my quiet life that is sometimes mundane....sometimes crazy.....and sometimes hectic. Even if it means that my crazy yet beautiful daughter eats the playdough and draws on her pants and Milly the puppy can climb like a cat.  I am thankful....


For life can be so cruel to the best of people....especially to my beautiful friends. 

So in the words of the famous Sir Winston Churchill..... "If you are going through hell, keep going."

and I promise to be there by your side.  X

Monday, June 13, 2011


Long weekends are meant to be filled with exciting destinations....arent they?

Not for us....we had the weekend at home nursing our head colds, and living in our trusty tracksuit pants and double layers of socks....with the occasional dress-up to head to town.  To say it was freezing this weekend was an understatement.....even the clouds looked cold and angry. 

I lost count of the amount of times I said 'We should have planned something'....'We should have gone away'.....but then tonight at the end of the weekend....I found myself thankful that we didn't.  We had the quality time that I crave....and I bathed in all it's glory. 
We slept in, had lazy mornings reading books and magazines in our PJs.  We laughed, I sewed, Macie & Daddy played and we were all happy....what more could you want?  After a week of seeing my darling friends so sad with their own turmoils....I decided to live in the moment, embrace it, treasure the small things and even asked Heath to get behind the camera to capture it.

  family makeup, a $4 beanie and my untamed mane!  

I soaked up the shrieks of laughter from Macie as her daddy chased her around the cottage, and the yells from Heath as he steps on Macie's toys.  Or the little love/hate relationship between Milly the Puppy & Moo.  I loved our family rides all rugged up like eskimos and the afternoon drinks we had with our great friends.  Moo is at that beautiful age where we can bend the rules and stretch the bedtimes - instead of being a strict "7pm Mama - no exceptions"....I'm now a "lets go to bed when we are ready" Mama ......because she loves it....and do I. 

She is just growing up so quickly.  She is independent beyond her years and is coming up with new sentences and words daily.  She has a serious fascination with Apples and would be blissfully happy if she was allowed to eat them all day - every day. 

I am waiting for the paddock talk to rub off on her and for her to let rip a 'colourful' word.....but instead she learns from her Daddy to tell me 'HURRY UP MUUUUUM' after I walk out of a shop....and I can do nothing but laugh as I see the twinkle in her eye as she soaks up her Daddy/Moo time. 

Heath teaching Moo Life Lesson #10 - all about 'finding' the right ute.  PS  Notice the apple??

So yes, we could have gone away, caught up with family, gone to the zoo and spent all our money.....but none of that would have given me the treasured time with my beautiful husbo and baby girl.  They are my entertainment - my life - my loves.....and when I opened the curtains this afternoon to see this in my backyard......

it just proves to me that there is a pot of gold at the end of every matter how long.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Down on the farm....

I write this through a dusty haze.....the long-awaited sorghum crop in front of the cottage is finally being harvested.  Imagine a volcano in your backyard and add an "Ash Shower"....and that is what I call harvest folks.  No complaints here though....a crop is a crop....and just me saying that is such a transformation from three years ago - when I first moved to the cottage.

Being a 'city-girl' I had such illusions about how life would be on the farm.  I was blind to the serious operations of a farm and would comment on how I liked the wheat crop better as it was 'pretty' and the sorghum was too big and bulky....yep - I was green to the country life....I had NO clue.  I wore gumboots even inside in fear that I may just be bitten by a snake and if you mentioned the words auger, row-grow, max-i-merge or field bin....I would have just stared at you with a blank. 

Little did I know the time, science, precision and just hard work that went into just one paddock of crop.  The relentless weeds in Summer time and the constant battle against bugs, mice, birds and trespassers.  The heavy-duty machinery and complex additions that were required to spray the weeds or the ratios of chemicals that would send any mathlete into a frenzy.  That they would sit on a tractor for 18 plus hours a day to get a crop in before the rain....hanging on the hope that the weather man was right this time.  I totally underestimated it. 

In the 3 or so years since I have moved to the farm - I have slowly learnt the logistics, the operations and the demands of working a farm.  I respect the physical labour but also the mental hardships as they place their lives in the hands of Mother Nature.  I look at Heath's parents in a different light - and see hard-work, loyalty and blood, sweat and tears.  I respect them for surviving the hardships - the droughts and the flooding rains. 

I also understimated how much happiness this farm would bring me.  The majestic sunsets that I "oooh" and "aahh" over each night (much to Heath's amusement), the endless room, the wildlife (except for rodents and reptiles) and just the must be the water, the air and the atmosphere.   

Who would have thought that the lifestyle would transform me....but I am proud to say I live in the country....and I hope I do for many more years to come. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

If the shoe fits....

They say that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree....and Miss Moo's latest fascination with shoes just proves the theory.  It doesn't matter if it's a pair of thongs, sky-high wedges or Daddy's boots....if the shoe fits (well not really), she will be walking around in them.  If she can't work out how to get them on, then she comes over to me - grabs my hand and patiently walks me over to the shoes.  It's then that I find myself smiling....she may look like her Daddy but she shares her Mummy's passion.....for shoes. 

When I say that shoes are my passion...I am telling you that I realllllly love shoes.  I dream of having a walk-in wardrobe.  One portion for clothes.....the rest for shoes.  High heels, wedges, pumps, boots, sandals.....every colour of the rainbow....and of course, the belts and handbags to match.  My theory is all you need is a great pain of jeans and a fantastic pair of shoes....and you.are.set! 

Since becoming a Mummy I have happily hung up the heels and opted for the practical and reliable.  No longer having the indispensable bank account - the kind where shoes were more important than food - I now happily wear my trusty footwear.  It's only for the good occasions that I pull out the beauties and feel like a superstar!

Don't get me wrong....on more occasions than one you will find me in front of my shoe collection - in my PJs - trying on my shoes. You may also find me wearing a pair of sky-high black peep-toes while taking photos of my gives me the extra height and my little shoe-fix.

I see it as the fair for family....and a dog that has a little fetish too. 

It's just like how we have traded long late nights drinking at the pub for early nights with Macie all tucked in bed as we snuggle the night away on the couch watching Crocodile Dundee re-runs. 

Or spending our Saturday mornings in Toy Shops dreaming of all the toys we could buy Moo - instead of shopping up a storm of clothes, shoes and all the rest of it.  Kids and puppies are all we need...

Or quickly scoffing down our lunch while at a resturant once we realise that our darling daughter has turned into the Incredible "Smiling" Hulk....I suppose that happens when you give her a green felt pen and colouring-in book and go about to eat your thing you know she has coloured in her face and it aint coming off with a standard baby wipe.  Classy. 

Or that your biggest meeting of the week is infact a Playdate at the Park with your beautiful friends...instead of high-pressured meeting with a high-flying client with a kazillion-dollars to his name.  Playdates are the event of my week....I would jump rivers and climb moutains to see Miss Moo play with her friends and hear their giggles.  Best.Sound.Ever. 

Give me sneakers, haviannas or scruffy RM boots any day over sky-high heels and stinky pubs.....if it means that I have the honourary job of raising my beautiful girl and being her Mama.  If it means that I may wear the deadly combination of joggers and jeans on more than one occasion....all to hear her get excited about Bananas in Pyjamas coming on television.......but I wouldn't change it for the world.

If the shoe fits....then wear it....treasure it....savour it....smell it....and memorise it. 

Because, before long, this darling little girl will be wearing her own sky-high heels, attending her own high-profile meetings and experiencing her own fair share of stinky pubs.....

but for now....she's all mine.  X 


The other day, I went to call Heath as I knew he was heading into town to pick up some parts.  As usual, we needed bread and milk and I was doing my regular call to ask him to pick up the Dalli Cottage staples.  The thing is....he wasn't on his way to town.  He was on the side of the highway helping an old couple who had broken down due to their trailer A-Frame snapping.  They were half-way through their big move to the Gold Coast from Victoria when they had broken down on the side of the highway. 

Numerous cars had just driven by....too busy....on a mission....running late.....but not my husbo - the beautiful kind-hearted man - he stopped and asked if they needed help. 

Without hesitation Heath stopped to help them.  He then realised that the trailor needed to be welded back together and jumped back in the ute to drive back to the farm to retrieve all the tools he required.  I probably don't need to explain the rest....but he then proceeded to weld and fix the trailor by the side of highway to help this darling old couple out.

They begged for him to be compensated.  He refused....(although they managed to sneek him a fifty)!.

He didn't want to be compensated.  All he said was that he hoped that someone would help him one day when he needs it.

It all comes back to of life's biggest lessons.  Be kind to others....and the universe will be kind to you. 

They sent him a card with scratchies....and he won all of $3.00....

But I truly know that he will be rewarded for his kind heart one day....and no doubt - the reward will be huge. 

I am so proud to call this man my husband, my friend and my soul mate....I love you Heath - today, tomorrow, forever.  X

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Keeping it real....

After a beautiful day catching up with family and hearing Macie's giggles fill the house - the house is now quiet as Macie sleeps the afternoon away and I sit to ponder and reflect on the beautiful life that we lead.  

It comes as a refreshing change of pace in the Dalli Cottage after weeks of long hard hours for the husbo and quiet Winter days for Macie and I.  The kind where we start to get sick of the same games, same routine....and I swear that Macie whispers to herself "I'm sick of you Mummy" when we have a long stint at home without visitors or playdates! 

I often get asked the question of "How do you do it all?" and fear that I am portraying the wrong image.  Life at the Cottage is as real as it gets.  As much as we love each other, respect each other and care....sometimes we keep on travelling along the same highway day in and day out.... sometimes we just loose our direction. 

Sometimes we get so caught up in the mundane every-day jobs and routine that we forget to just sit and play....or we forget to sit down for dinner as a family.....or we even forget to kiss each other hello as we walk into the door.  It's usually the days and nights where I have been sewing like a mad-woman, passing Heath in the hallways and not spending as much quality time with Moo.  It's those kind of days where I find that ABC kids has been playing on the television all day, Macie has eaten one too many chocolate biscuits - its those days where we have eggs on toast for dinner....but it's OK.

There are times where I realise that Macie hasn't had her hearing aids in for days....but it's OK.

Or times when I loose my marbles....stomp my feet, have a tantrum and let the world know how I am feeling....but it's OK.

Or times when I go to wear my favourite jeans....nope can't do....they are in the overflowing washing basket....but it's OK.

It's OK....It's Normal.....and it's Real.  Life here is as real as it gets.....overflowing washing baskets, running out of milk and bread because I forgot to grab some in town, disorganised house, mouldy food in the fridge (much to my sister's disgust), empty vege garden, and eggs on toast for dinner on more occasions than one.

What happens when Mummy sews....and Macie plays.....dear god.
I'm human....I'm disorganised....but I am real. 

Instead of being worried about it....I embrace it....and that's how I do it.  I embrace life with both hands on the steering wheel and let that highway lead me wherever it pleases....and today it lead me to a beautiful afternoon with family laughing, smiling and adoring Macie. 

So next time you look at me and wonder 'How I do it'.....just remember that just because I am a wifey, Mama, mumpreneur, cook, cleaner, blogger, friend, sister and daughter....I am still real....and as real as they come.