Friday, 31 May 2013

Crochet a toddler cowl- beginner

Now let me start off by saying, I do not use crochet patterns often, well actually, at all! I own crochet books and use them for ideas or inspiration etc, but I can never follow a pattern without deviating. And I can't stay with a project for long, my hands get sore and my mind gets bored and counting with distractions doesn't work great! So this isn't a traditional crochet pattern which is why I think it works for beginners! 
I used what i think is 4ply, and used two stands of wool as one, i just pulled the middle end out and the outer end of wool and used them as if it were one piece. it gave the cowl a bit more chunky-ness which i like! and i used a 3.5ml hook because i couldn't find anything bigger.
For juju, who has a head circumference of 52cm I started with 51 chains, this is the top of your cowl, if you have your child handy you can try it on them once you slip join your chain to make sure it's large enough to fit over their head but only stretched, not too loose. (Or it will end up like Roos cowl-see pics below- i didn't have him handy to measure so i used the same sizes as Jujus which didn't work) My second round is single stitches into each chain link without increases. Rows 3-9 are treble stitches, with increases (an extra stitch) every 5th stitch, or whatever works for you! My 10th row (bottom) is single stitch, I ended up with 65 stitches. (Told you I don't count well with distractions- I had my kiddies watching a movie-back to the future 3-  and they have to ask questions about what's happening the entire time) 
What you will end up with is 10 rows, the top being smaller- small enough to not be too lose around their neck but not too tight that it can't fit over their heads! And it flares out slightly to sit out onto shoulders. It really is a forgiving piece, miss a stitch or add a stitch and it won't change too much of the overall piece. As long as you get the initial chain size right and you arent crocheting too tight you are good to go!  Of course you can make this larger for older ones, Tehy helped me crochet her one also... She got sick of the movie half way through and then got sick of crocheting half way through also, she got to the fifth row and gave up, so she has called it a head band rather then a cowl which she is happy with! The only thing you will need to change is the initial chain stitch- which will be longer to fit larger heads and you will have more rows to cover their longer neck and wider shoulders. You could use two different balls of wool to add some interest, or you could use a larger ply size or just use a single stand of the smaller ply if you wanted a thinner cowl if you want it for say- spring/summer rather then autumn/winter here! Good luck, I hope you make some sense of it, if you need any extra info, have questions or want to show your finished work leave me a comment and let me know how you go! :) 
Have to add a pic of the dread head rasta style beanie I made hubby also!

It's been a while!!

It's been a while since I last blogged, after I completed kcw and my sewing machine decided it needed a service that was it! It's been in the shop since and I finally get to pick it up this afternoon! YAY! I misjudged how much I would miss sewing these last couple weeks. I strived to put my energy into something else like cleaning or cooking, the cleaning? ha not that it helped at all, the house
Looks the same as it usually does! And cooking? It actually went well! The boys have been on a gluten and lactose free diet for the last 6 months, and I'm finally actually cooking most of it from scratch!

I've successfully made rainbow bread, sultana bread, (and they taste like normal bread- oh but more delicious!) chocolate cakes, sausage rolls and pies! In the past I have done a little here and there and since the boys were born I haven't cooked many family meals! Afternoons are routines, we play outside, we come inside for dinner bats an bed, there isn't time of day to cook in that with 4 kiddies! So, mum (and sometimes my hubby) do most of it! I'm so greatful for my mum who lives downstairs! She works at Ellarys school and does the school morning routines and comes home with the kiddies and then makes us all dinner (except the boys dinner which I do because of the special dietary needs) speaking of special diets, we had blood tests a few weeks ago, did I mention that? I'm not sure, oh well. The tests came back and we went to see the doctor, he was not for coming with the test results and told me there was no magic pill to 'fix' my kids! Gah! He rattled off some numbers saying allergies will show higher than a 1000 counters in an igA! I did some research and it wasn't the right numbers for the boys age group which made me really question it further, the doctor (who isn't our usual gp) shut down the test result pages just as quick as he opened them but I got to see Roos count was at an 8. I'm not a doctor but from my research his count was below normal range and if at their age they had got a count of 1000 it would basically mean they were allergic to absolutely everything edible and probably everything not! Long story short we need a new doctor! Yesterday Juju had an episode of horrible reactions, the chemist and nurse confirmed it was a reaction that caused his stomachs acids not to break down and he ended up (TMI) pooing acids and had an acid burn rash which is apparently common with gluten and lactose allergies! His face the came up in hives
and he got the shock shakes and passed out! It wasn't very nice :/ so cooking is a must in our house now, although the boys would live on rice noodles, crackers, bananas, grapes and gf spaghetti from a can if I let them! They do need variety and to attempt new things as their texture preference allows!
Back to sewing- I have many things cut and ready to go- you didn't think I could leave my sewing room completely alone did you!? Gosh no! I have a hand stamped t shirt, a cot tidy and a party dress all cut ready to go, and a few fix it jobs that are piling up- who likes them anyway! ha.
(my new fabric challenge bundle!)
So, sorry I have been absent and sorry for my rant on allergies and doctors lol, I will be back with some more sewing projects soon, and a couple of tutorials and patterns too :) next post will be up tomorrow with a crochet project- tutorial/pattern for a toddlers cowl scarf! Sneak peak- Roo was gardening - he likes the mint :) 

Monday, 6 May 2013

a mothers heart; mine.

Two days and my third attempt of writing something that feels right, the words just didn't want to come out! and then I sat here wondering if I should publish it or not. disclosure, this is my story, from my perspective. Being Mother's Day soon I wanted to share my story/ies. I have shared bits here and there but never have I shared the entirety. Warning, this is long. I'll save the nitty gritty of birth stories and give an overview of my journey as a mother. Be warned, it's not a la-di-da skip through fairy tale. I will distance myself from the emotion in order to write this so it may come across very blunt, in which case tissues may not be required. Anyway.
2004, Z (now hubby) and I were dating, only a couple of months when we found out we were expecting, I was 16 and he 17. We had spoken of marriage and how wonderful it would be to be married on our anniversary, and we had talked about having kids and this was it, sooner than expected but welcomed non the less. The pregnancy was uneventful and smooth until 23 weeks when I went into threatened prem labour, they gave me drugs to stop it progressing and at 2 cm dilated they weren't holding hope that I would go to term, I was out on bed rest and given minimum activities. The next month I was doing groceries when the tight pain started and had to leave them at the register to go home and rest. This happened each month, my body wasn't sure what was going on, and it seems when my period was due my body released hormones and my irritable uterus would try to expel my baby. Thankfully it was easily controlled by resting. All this while we planned our wedding, we were adamant to be married on our anniversary, even being that it was a Friday and very close to my due date. So, we married on the Friday! I was heavily pregnant with a mere 2.5 weeks until due date. We had joked about my waters breaking while I walked up the isle for weeks prior but I was adamant that if baby was there or not I was getting married, an if baby came early she would be in a pretty dress and in my arms as I promised to love her father forever. I walked down the isle fine, no broken waters haha. In fact the entire ceremony I was crossing my legs and holding my breathe (not literally) but it all went great. Saving the details, I gave birth to a healthy baby girl on the Monday! 6pound 7 oz. Only 10 days before her due date- full term! She had great apgar scores and was alert and fed like a pro. We went home that afternoon just 6 hours later and started settled into married life and parenting, a week later as I went to feed Ellary and she went white as a ghost and floppy in my arms, her lips went purple and blue and I knew there was something very wrong with my baby. We went to the hospital and the nurses treated me like a new parent with no knowledge, they suspected I wasn't coping. They held us in the nursery to watch Ellary feed when they noticed I had mastitis and decided to admit me to have antibiotics. Ellary didn't have another episode for a day or two. Just as I was told I could go home the next morning and Z and mumma left for the night, a doctor came to check us, he checked ellarys pulse and couldn't count it, it was too fast, they didn't tell me any of thier concerns until they put sticky dots on her to monitor. A few minutes later the ward was a flurry, I was sitting feeding Ellary and dream feed, she was asleep and content feeding. A nurse came to inform me that a normal screaming baby's heart rate is 120bpm, Ellary in a sleeping content state was upwards of 300bpm, which could kill her. My heart broke. They had an ambulance on its way to transfer us to a bigger hospital. I called hubby and my mum an they arrived just as we were leaving, I was a mess. Upon reaching the bigger hospital I was in shock, I couldn't take anything in, they took Ellary into the nursery and proceeded to stab her 13 times, before telling me they would have to try her soft spot for the iv if they weren't successful this time, they got it on the 14th attempt and a central line was in. She was covered in cords and dots and monitors went crazy, while she was a tiny screaming baby amongst the mess. The doctor, a specialist neonatal doctor was on the phone and doing video conferences to doctors from all over the country trying to work out what was going on, why, and how to manage it. I was handed a stack of papers outlining SVT ( super ventricular techicardia), a heart condition. I wasn't allowed to feed my baby until half an hour after the medication had entered her system otherwise the medication would be void of affect. We spent a week in hospital getting my mastitis under control and her medication amounts right to control her episodes. We travelled to another hospital for a heart scan and it was confirmed Ellary had an extra nerve in her heart, when her brain sent to signal to pulse, it pulsed, the second nerve told it to also, meaning each time it should have pumped once, it was going double time. Thankfully it wasn't happening every time, and with the medication management, the nerve died off. 9 months of 12 hourly medication, half hour of screaming each time, it was a long hard time but the extra nerve died off and we didn't need the laser surgery! Ellary was again a healthy child, she had more then her fair share of allergies but she was happy and healthy! When she was 18 months old she weaned off breast feeding, my cycle returned and we were ready to have more! It seemed I was highly fertile, I fell pregnant the next month. We were excited and a little wary, we had our 12 week scan and asked them to check bubbas heart a few times but everything was showing up fine. Our twenty week scan, we were excited to find out if this bubba was a baby brother or sister for Ellary, it wasn't the excitement it was meant to be, the sonographer took a couple of measurements and walked out, I panicked, my tears threatened to fall. She returned with another doctor and with a few more
Measurements they informed us that our baby had not fluid and huge kidneys, I knew it wasn't something easily fixed or managed by their shaky voices and painfully spoken words. We were sent to the bigger hospital again, for a tertiary scan, it was confirmed our son (yes we did find out) had potters syndrome, polycyclic kidney disease. A fatal genetic disease that meant our child wouldn't live. We were offered an abortion so many times and it killed me every time they suggested it. There was no way! We named our son Ziha, I held onto my hope that they were wrong, that maybe my son would be the first to survive this fatal disease, we met with a team of doctors who proceeded to tell us that Ziha would live for an hour if we were lucky, he had less then 1% chance of survival, if they did everything possible to try to save him, they explained that given there was no fluid for Ziha to breathe, his lungs were hard, if they attempt to intubate they would likely puncture his lungs and he would endure much pain. That would only be the first step, if that was successful they would have to put him on a dialysis machine and wait for a donor kidney, which could possibly never happen, and then operate. Our other option was to hold him, hug, kiss and love him for that short time until he passed, he wouldn't be in pain, he would slip into a comma from his lack of oxygen and he would sleep. I argued with myself so much in the coming weeks and months, I screamed, yelled, cried and bargained with God to let me keep my son. I shut off from Ellary to hide
My tears, I shut off from Zeb to hold in my pain, because when I let it out, it felt like I would explode. We had a scan every fortnight in Brisbane, 4 hours from home. We held our breathe to hear the good news that he was miraculously healed, that news didn't come. We headed home after the 35 week scan, and after I cried myself to sleep once again and I slept in. I woke in pain and checked my clock, it was 10am, my antenatal app was at 10! I rushed to get dressed and to get Ellary ready while Z did the same. By the time we arrived they were doing clinics, everyone was waiting with a number. The court yard was full of expectant mums and toddlers, I was angry that chances were, they would get to keep their babies, and I wouldn't! I sat for half an hour in silence before leaning over to Z and saying 'I think I'm in labour' the midwife called me in and I told her also. She took me to another room and put me on monitors. I wasn't ready! I was in labour, my son wanted out, out of this place that was his life line! The clinic was cleared out and after a dose of pills to stop the labour I was taken out on the stretcher to an ambulance, and taken to the big hospital. I called my mum in tears, she was 1400km away in the next state, I begged and cried until she said she could get a flight to Brisbane that night. I was fearful she wouldn't make it. After doing the Brisbane trip the day before, our car was empty, we had no fuel and no money to fill it. My bags were packed but at home. While I was taken to the hospital and prepared to fly to Brisbane, Z was calling family and friends asking for help. He found help and finances. I later found out that he had driven recklessly through roadworks that had block offs and at 160 kmh, the normal 4 hour trip, took 2! God surely sent angels to carry the car! Thankfully they arrived safely just after I did, and at the same time my mum did also. The drugs to stop labour finally kicked in and my contractions that were merely 2 minutes apart suddenly all but stopped. At 11pm my mum took Ellary to a nearby friends house to sleep while we were taken up to a ward room. I woke at 2 with full on labour again, we went back down to the birth room. We called mum at 5am when labour was intense, Ellary and Mumma got there around 6, when I felt the urge to push Mumma took Ellary for a walk. With a dry labour it took a long time, my cervix didn't fold back and Ziha was stuck, the nurses tore my cervix. At 7 Ziha was born! He had a bruise on his forehead where he had been pressed against my left hip, I had felt his hiccups vibrate through my hip bone for months. The little man I had loved for so long was finally here, it was bitter sweet, I had wished to hold onto him for longer seeing as it was only my body that held him, his placenta was his life support and on the outside he wasn't given a chance. But he was here, and perfect! He had a hoarse breath, with each in and out was a moan, he tried to cry but only came out with a couple of squeaks, Mumma and tehya returned and met thier brother and grandson, mum was tears, Ellary, then 2, was amazed, she was ecstatic as wanted to hold him and touch him, Zeb was emotionally guarded, I was smiling, it wasn't painful yet, I had a little fighter who was going to get the best I could give in the short time he had. We sat and snuggled and kissed him, we talked to him, we told him how hard it would be to let him go but that whenever God called him, he should listen, and go. We took photos on a disposable camera, I have him a bath and clothes him, and cuddle some more, he tried to nuzzle for a feed and I tried to give him one but he didn't have the energy, I expressed a little onto his lips and he licked it up. The nurse gave me a couple of ml of formula in a syringe after I had nothing left. Ziha was called home to heaven at 1:15pm. 6 hours and 15 minutes, a lifetime! Much more then we were told to expect, he fought for us, and we gave him a lifetime with us, and it hurt! It hurt to let go, it hurt so bad to go back to our ward room and hear all the other ladies up with thier crying newborns all night knowing I wouldn't hear mine. And finally I cried. The next day we left the hospital, I was absolutely not physically ready to go but emotionally I couldn't stay, I blacked out on the way to the car multiple times, in the car park I lost my hearing an sight and sat with the shakes until they returned and I could walk a few more steps. We drove in silence for most of the 4 hours drive home. When we got home we planned a funeral, I threw myself into that and nothing else. I'm fuzzy on a lot of it but I'm not sure how much I ate or drank or looked after Ellary that week. The night before the funeral I went to dress Ziha. I took a stamp pad and stamped his hands and feet on a piece of paper, and cried as I tried to wipe the ink of his skin. The funeral, I didn't cry, I stood in front of friends and family and strangers and spoke of Zihas' short life and the connection we had forged through the pregnancy. There wasn't anyone not crying, I remember spotting my cousins girlfriend whom I hadn't met, she was a mess, she didn't know us yet she was emotional as if she did. Yet I couldn't cry. I talked to people, I smiled, I joked at how I hadn't seen some since the last family funeral. Everyone wanted to hug me and cry on me, like they were hoping to encourage my tears to flow. The few months that followed were a blur, I held my tears in during the day and spent the nights screaming anger and pain into my tear drenched pillow, saving Ellary from seeing my every tear.(deleted too personal grief period) over a year later we decided to try for another baby, we had been given 25% chance of any following child having the same disease and outcome but I reasoned that if I had 75% chance of winning lotto I would enter every time! And hey, screw the doctors ratios, my God is bigger! It was 18 months after we had had Ziha when we fell pregnant again, and after the scary scans every fortnight we were assured and sure that everything was fine. This pregnancy was relaxed, naturally easier I guess. Tehy was born 7 pound 7oz, 10 days before her due date also, labour was only 3 hours, from waking up, packing the last things into the hospital bag, dropping Ellary at mummas' and arriving at the hospital at 6 to delivering at 7am. she pooed during birth so we were kept for 24 hours to keep an eye on her but she was fine. After everything we had been through I spent months trying to find something wrong with her, surely I didn't have healthy pregnancies or babies! But she was. It was so different! Z said that's it, we won lotto, quit while we are on top! I breastfed for 16-17 months before she started biting each time I tried to take her off, and wouldn't settle to sleep. She had a few sickness' here and there but she has been healthy! I fell pregnant again when I stopped breastfeeding, my dating scan was done at 7 weeks and showed a haematoma next to baby, the doctor thought it may just dissolve away without affect but that wasn't to be, I started bleeding the next week and went for another scan, baby was still ok but the haematoma was bigger. I was put on bed rest but a week later I had cramps along with the bleeding and bubba was gone. We had already told the girls we were expecting, they were confused and asked whether baby was a boy or girl and what bubbas name was, to give them and I some closure we gave it some thought and decided Koa Angel fit nicely, we don't know if Koa was a brother or a sister but Koa was here briefly before leaving us to play with Ziha. We decided to keep trying, each month I got disappointed, why suddenly couldn't I fall pregnant? With every other child I had fallen almost instantly, within 2/3 months! I was worried, anxious and finally I poured out to God, I wrote my prayers in my diary to make them more concrete, I prayed for twins. Correction, I begged, pleaded and bargained for twins! I walked with faith and waited. I don't often remember dreaming, but this one I remember so vividly,
 {I was in a panic, I went to my kitchen window and called out to my best friend who's house was close enough to mine that she, standing at her kitchen window could hear me, I called out to her saying " you have to take me shopping, I have twin boys and I'm not ready!". }
In real life she doesn't live that close by but she is a very close friend, I text her the next day telling her of my dream. Koas' due date came and i felt empty, The next month I was late, I took a test, it was faint and I wasn't convinced, I guess fear told me that I would miscarry over night or something, but when I woke the next morning and took another test it was undeniable, there was 2 lines. I ran to tell Z, I felt the weight of his angst upon my joy and struggled to hold onto it. We decided it was best to keep it under wraps until it was 'safe' we went for a dating scan a few weeks later and expected to be around 8 weeks, the sonographer pushed on my very full bladder while I concentrated on not wetting myself. I don't remember what exactly went down but this dialogue I do!
Lady "Ok so there are... 2... you are having twins?"
Hubby "that's not funny"
Lady "I wasn't joking..?"
Hubby "still, not funny!"
I lay there with a smile on my face I just couldn't remove, and Lord knows I tried, I tried to have the same reaction but honestly I just couldn't. Turned out we were 7 weeks. I walked out smiling and I don't think that smile came off for quite some time! When we got to the car hubby looked at me funny, like he was questioning my calmness and the Cheshire Cat grin! "I knew already!" I said, he had a freak out, "how did you know? What are we going to do with 2? How will we fit 2?" Like I said, a freak out! Upon arriving home I met my mum at the door as she ushered the kids inside and held her there waiting until little ears were out of range and whispered "there's 2" and put up 2 fingers and went to walk inside as to not raise suspicion from the kids, she pulled me back and said "what?!" I replied "two; twins!" And walked in. She stayed outside with her hand clasped to her open mouth in shock. She laughed a nervous excited laugh and composed herself a little before following inside to make afternoon tea. I texted my friend and told her that my dream was real, she didn't get it so I had to visit her and show her the scans. I just knew in my heart that I had been promised these twins for which I had prayed, and they were mine, they weren't destined to leave me any time soon. That being said I still had anxiety going for the tertiary scans in brisbane each fortnight. I still waited to hear that things Weren't right, but I had faith that I would walk out of the hospital with my babies! We were told the babies shared a placenta and an outter sac but there was a divided inner sac. Mono chorionic Di amniotic twins, identical. Sharing a placenta is high risk and we were monitored closely, carrying multiples is high risk for Premature birth also so that was another fear. we told the rest of our friends and family after our 12 week tertiary scan when we knew things looked ok. The doctors told us that the plan was to make it to atleast 34 weeks and if we made it to 36 that would be delivery, as twins sharing a placenta don't do so well after 36 weeks. At our 30 week scan it was noticed that twin b wasn't growing as expected, that scan lasted 45 minutes. We returned for our 32 week scan and they measured everything multiple times, they cross referenced all the scans and after an hour and a half they concluded that twin b had indeed stopped growing and that we were to come back in two days to check again, if the blood flow was ok at that next scan on the friday we would deliver on the Monday, if the blood flow was in any way compromised we would be having an emergency Caesar on the Friday. We travelled home late that (Wednesday) night and started packing. Thursday was a rush of organizing time off school and work and a trip to the local hospital for a steroid shot. Thursday night we did a pregnancy photo with the girls painting my tummy. Early Friday morning we headed back to Brisbane, we booked into Ronald macdonald house and went for the scan, this is about the time I started panicking. They gave me a Caesar form to sign and told me the blood flow was fine and I was booked in for Monday, and we needed to show up at 6am. My mum took time off work also and my younger sisters off school too, so they could babysit the girls in Ronald macdonald house while hubby joined me in hospital. After a long morning waiting and waiting I finally was wheeled into theatre and given a spinal and epidural, it was uneven and only numbing one side of my body so they kept upping the dosage. I made the mistake while in there, of watching them make the incision in the reflection of the huge alien looking halogen lights above me. At 12:10 the sliced through my uterus and burst twin bs waters in the same slice, and Roo popped out. I felt him be lifted out of me and they showed me over the screen before taking him to a warming table. At 12:11 Juju was delivered, I seen him briefly over the screen also before he was taken too. They were checked and wrapped and brought to me, I took a look at Roo on my left shoulder and panicked, he was tiny, 1.4kg, 3pound4. Juju 1.9kg, 4pound3, was put across my chest, and whisked away too quick to even get a photo. And both were taken to the special care nursery for their weigh ins and to be put in the humidy cribs. Neither needed any assistance breathing thankfully! I didn't see them again until that night. The nurses took a photo of them each and wrote their details on the back to bring up to me in the recovery room. These were the longest times in my life. I spent the night in a dark room unable to move, while my sons where two stories down, and my husband and daughters were a black away. Those first few days were rough. I had to try to express milk for the boysies and it just wasn't happening. The second night I managed to get 5ml into a syringe and then spilt it, I was hysterical. (Never cry over spilled milk- unless you a mum of a prem/sick baby) ! I spent most of the day and night in and out of the nursery visiting my boys with hubby and the girls. my milk didn't make another appearance for a few days, nothing,nada,zip, zero,zilch more tears flowed. When I was discharged I joined the girls and hubby back and Ronald macdonald house. We stayed a further 2 weeks, the boys gained and lost and gained some more, and at a 15 minute warning we were told they had a plane ready to transfer them back to our local hospital. I didn't have time to pack the unit up and it was a mess. I grabbed my nappy bag and ran to the hospital. The boys were put together again, they shared a humidy crib for the trip! It was a lot of firsts, first time reunited since being born, first time Roo wore clothes,first time outside in the world and first time in a plane! Z and the girls packed up the unit and loaded the car. They left just as I got to the local hospital. He was going straight home. And after I settled the boys in and gave them a cuddle good night I left them to go home also. It was the best sleep I had in weeks, my own bed! Ellary went back to school the next day and we headed to the hospital half hour away. This routine was the one that lasted a further week before I roomed in. Finally at almost 4 weeks old and weighing 2.1 and 1.9 kg both boys were able to come home! We were finally walking out of the hospital with my promised twins. Of course those weeks in special care were hard but that wasn't the end of the hard. Twins weren't as hard as we imagined, or had been lead to believe from other twin parents but it was still hard. We struggled to breastfed, before mastitis knocked me flat on my back, literally. I couldn't sit up or stand or pick up the boys and was delirious from huge temps. Once the antibiotics knocked that one I was ok for a couple of weeks before I managed to get mastitis on both sides. And after another lot of antibiotics my milk was all but gone. We substituted formula feeds and then stopped breastfeeding. We have had and continue to have issues with feeding and food allergies, intolerance and avoidance. But they are big boys, 18 months old, 11 & 12 kg at last weigh in last month. We still have many doctors trips, with reactive airways (similar to asthma) needing oxygen and Low immune system means we catch EVERYTHING within what feels like a 100 mile radius! But this is my family, the course of almost 9 years of motherhood. Sometimes it's been downright exhausting and horrific but it has always been a blessing! I have 4 of my babies on earth while my 2 babies in heaven are waiting or us to join them one day. Motherhood isn't a story or a journey or the past or future, it's the present, it's the now that makes it what it is, the past is what makes us who we are, while future awaits who we will become but the present in which we dwell is the place we need to be present in, and no, it's not smooth and joyous every moment but in every moment I am a mother, and that in itself is joyous! We still have sleepless nights and we still have snot and tear drenched pillows, more often then not from the children who seek slumber in our arms at some dark odd hour, whilst we would love to be dreaming. But somewhere in the now, I find the joy and breathe in the sweet smell of life and savour the hugs and kisses. I am a mother, and forever more I shall be. Happy mother day, to all the mothers out there, including to those who hold children in their hearts rather than their arms. xo