Warrior Wednesday

Dear Zy,

My thoughts of you are slowly changing shape and form.
They are beginning to appear less conventional,
Less expected,
Less commonly accepted.

They are beginning to bring me joy,
In place of sadness.

They are still shaky,
And I'm not quite ready to defend them.
Or even to articulate them.

But I am enjoying their obscurity.

And oh boy, am I admiring your wings.

Love always.

Warrior Wednesday

Warrior Wednesday this week is posted at Always Kewl. This is a private blog, and due to some things from the Kewl blog being taken out of context in the past, I wanted a safer place to post this week's Warrior Wednesday.

If you don't have access to Always Kewl, but would like to, please let me know you email so I can send you the invite.

I Learned Something

So, we are a home learning family. I always planned to give the girls the option of home learning, and when I could no longer find a day care option I was happy with, we simply made home learning an option a little earlier than I had planned.
Now, the girls are happy, and I'm happy, we have loads of fun and the girls are not getting less intelligent, so we remain a proud home learning family.
As such, we are seen as slightly unconventional (which suits me fine!), and as slightly unconventional and unschooled children, you would expect their favourite pass times to be similarly unconventional, yes?

Er, not so.
The Kewl girls' favourite game at present, is "Schools". (Yes that's right - My unschooled children love playing schools. So what?!)

This morning, Miss J was being teacher. Her class of three (me included) sat before her and she gave her good morning speech....

Miss J, "Good morning class..." [expectant pause] "You've got to say good morning back!"

Miss F, Miss V and myself, "Good morning Miss J."

Miss J, "Good. I mean OK. Umm... Today we are going to learn about farts! I will demonstrate!"

[insert demonstration]

And this, I believe, is where Miss J took her unconventional badge and stuck it proudly on her forehead....

Miss V, "Eww! Miss J you farted!"

Miss J, "Na ah - I learned something!"

Class dismissed!!!

A Bag of Laughs

Originally posted at One Second.

Well, the latest One Second installation happened last night, and I must say it went absolutely nothing like I had imagined!

The aim of the installation - like always - was to provoke One Second of new thought in people that will spring to the front of their minds when it comes time for them to make their One Second count. The method this time involved a steel hospital table and a body bag, and asking people whether they trusted their friends enough to let them zip them up in the body bag - for just One Second.

We arrived at a popular Surf Club shortly after 6pm and decided to bring the table through the back entrance so as not to scare children out with their families. People looked on with interest as we set up the table and the body bag in the bar area.
By 7pm the club slowly started to fill with people, and an invisible barrier began to form around the table. People were hesitant to go near the body bag. Most were intrigued, but kept their interest for quick glances from a safe distance away.

As 8pm came around - with a few drinks under their belts - people started coming forward and allowing their friends to zip them up in a body bag. There was a lot of nervous laughter and most people made their friends promise, over and over again, that they would unzip them. People were nervous and many spent more than just One Second deciding whether or not they would get in the bag.

By 9pm, an abundance of liquid courage saw a constant stream of people being zipped and unzipped in the body bag. There was much laughing and joking and many profanities were exclaimed as people experienced laying on a hard steel table and having a body bag zipped closed around them.
As the evening progressed, the experience appeared to become more novel than thought provoking. People started requesting to be zipped up together, some pretended to fall asleep inside the bag, others wanted to know if they could borrow it to play a prank on someone, and I started to doubt the effectiveness of the installation.

Then a little before 10pm, someone went too far - They zipped up their friend and would not let them out.
At first, the persons muffled protests and awkward movements from inside the bag made people laugh. This laughter, mixed with a large amount of alcohol, spurred on the person responsible for keeping his friend in the body bag, and he continued to hold the zip closed.

Then his friend started to panic.

People stopped laughing and began telling the man to let his friend out, but the man seemed oblivious to the turn his prank was taking.

With all eyes on the body bag, the man finally released his friend, who emerged pale and shaky.
Breathing heavily, the friend's terror was replaced by rage and he unleashed a scathing attack on his 'friend', which ended with, "You can't screw with people's lives like that - It's not f***ing funny!"

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Nobody wanted to get in the body bag after that. Suddenly, putting themselves in the hands of their friends - after their friends had had more than a few drinks - didn't seem so funny.

They didn't trust their friends with something as simple as unzipping a bag, and I can only hope they valued their lives as much when it came time to getting home.


"This is mummy's horse and his name is Wisdom!"

"Yeah, but he's not very wise sometimes...... Sorry - But he's not."

True, he's not the cleverest, but he is certainly beautiful, and he has the most magical kind of wisdom I've ever experienced -

Horse wisdom.

Posted for Photo Challenge Friday, over at Mountaingirls.

Warrior Wednesday

Dear Zy,

I've been getting distracted by thoughts of you this week. This time last year, we had just announced your presence to the wider community. I'd been pretty sick with 24/7 vomiting and tensions and emotions had been running high - but the BBQ for Baby was the most spectacular day I could have imagined. Finally being able to share you with everyone somehow made everything that much more exciting. Your mum, your dad and I had been family for over a decade, and now we were welcoming the second generation, together, as a family.

So it didn't matter how sick I felt, or how cranky and tired and emotional we got....

We were pregnant.

You were our reality.

And that made everything seem right with the world.

This week - just one year later - I find myself once again feeling tired, and cranky, and emotional.

This week, I am grieving for the baby we announced, but no longer have to share with the world.

This week, I am grieving for the family that created you, but that is no longer together to love or remember you.

This week, I am not pregnant.

You are no longer living in my reality.

And that made everything seem a little darker in the world.

This afternoon, my thoughts had been hammering away at my happiness all day, and I no longer had the kind of perspective needed to create a joyful afternoon routine with your 3 big sisters - So I went outside and stole a sad moment.
I sat on the steps and cried and cried and cried, for everything that seemed wrong with the world.

When I was finally able to look out from my dark place, into the amazing place in the world that I call home, this is what I saw...

... And in that moment, I know I saw your smile in the sun.

Thank you, Baby Warrior, for reminding me that you will always be in my reality.
My world will always be brighter for knowing you.

Love me.

Come out, come out, wherever you are!

As a solo mum of 3 children, I am outnumbered, 3:1. Usually this is not an issue, as the Kewl girls are usually quite delightful, as far as 4 and 3 year olds go...... Yes..... Usually being the operative word there!
Sometimes, all 3 delightful Kewl girls throw themselves unto simultaneous meltdowns - and it's at these times that the 3:1 ratio does not work so well. So, instead of attempting to wrangle 3 screaming banshees children into a state of calm all at once, I have been know to - on occasion - wrangle my own 'calm' into a separate room and leave them to scream it out. It's really quite amazing how effective removing yourself from the situation can be sometimes!

Tonight was one of those nights where no amount of positive persuasion was going to result in the Kewl girls taking themselves delightfully off to bed. When it got to the point where Miss J was screaming, "I will NOT brush my teeth EVER... AGAIN!!! They will all fall out and then I WON'T HAVE ANY TO BRUSH!!! And YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!!!" ......
And her equally delightful twin was trying to fart on her delightfully unimpressed smaller sister......
Who was proclaiming rather loudly that she was, "Never going to bed, EVER AGAIN!" ......

Well - I decided to take a 5 minute 'calm' break.

Four and a half minutes into my calm break, relative quiet had settled over the banshees children and I was considering my reappearance, when smallest child piped up again....

"Mummy... I know you're in there... You have to come out eventually you know. [Pause] Mummy... You can't hide forever. [Pause] Muuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmyyyyy."

Now, just to be clear, if ever one of my children started to panic or worry, even for a milisecond, I would never stay removed from them - but Miss V was not at all concerned. In fact, her tone was bordering on taunting!

She changed her tactic and continued....

"Mummy... I know you're in there mummy. You might as well just come out now..... Mummy, you will fart eventually and then I will SMELL you out... Is that what you choose mum? The smelly choice?"

Classy little lady, yes?

Classy and impatient, it seems....

"Mummy! You please come out of there right now!!!! You have to come out!!!! MUM!!!! Come out now!!!! MUUUUUUM!!!!! COME OUT NOW OR I WON'T EVEN SAY PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

By this stage you might be wondering why I didn't just come out - my 'calm' place was obviously no longer proving very effective and going out would probably have stopped the situation from escalating - but alas, I was not coming out and Miss V was left to continue her shouting assaults....

"Mummy! You are not making me very happy right now mum! Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease come out mummy......... Puh-leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease..... Mummy!!!! I SAID PLEASE!!! NOW COME OUT!!!!!"

OK, so this is verging on ridiculous now, right? What do I think I'm playing at, leaving my youngest daughter screaming desperately for her mother to come out!

This has gone too far, right?

Yep, I agree. At first it was funny, then a bit annoying, but now it's down right insulting...

"I am right here, Miss V, but you'll need to turn around to see me, because no matter how hard you scream - I am not going to come out of the dog kennel."

Zy's cat

Dear Zy,

I'm so sorry.

I rang your dad today and asked him to take your cat back.

And I am so sorry.

This morning your cat stood at the door and began meowing to be let in. Instantly I felt a maternal tugging of my heart strings, and my boobs started leaking again. I let your cat in and went to get changed, but I had no clean clothes left. So of course, I burst into tears.
When I calmed down a little, I realised that I hadn't just run out of clothes - I'd run out of energy.

I can't keep leaking milky tears for you and be OK with it. I can't keep feeling that maternal tug and not be pulled back into immense grief for you. I can't hear you cry, and not be able to hold you.

I just can't do it any more.

And I am so sorry.

Juxtaposed Fence (sort of!)

Another Friday, another photo challenge! This week we could choose from to themes, juxtaposition or fence. We started of on juxtaposition because we love adding new words to our vocabulary, then we took on the fence challenge as well, because the Kewl girls don't like to miss out on anything!

I think we did pretty well! Not so much because we got a spectacular looking photo, but because the girls all understood the meaning of juxtaposition and were able to explain it in relation to this photo...

Miss J "One side is wet and rainy, but the other side is dry!"

Miss V, "It's a juxtaposed miracle!"

Miss F, "No, it's juxt-a-roof..... And a fence! Mum! We did it!"

Warrior Wednesday

Dear Zy,

When you died and it came time to leave the hospital without you, I got stuck. I got very stuck. I knew, on some level, that you were not in the hospital any more - that I was not really leaving you, because you had already left your body - but somehow in my mind I still managed to attach you to the hospital, and I could not leave. Maybe I thought that once I left, it was definitely over. No more pregnancy. No more baby. No more you. And no where to hide.

People moved around me, packing my things into my bag and doing what they could to get me ready. I spoke to a beautiful soul who told me everything I needed to hear and more. I held photos of my precious children, Miss J, Miss F, Miss V and you.

I just couldn't make myself leave that room.

I had been sitting on the bed for hours, bags packed, everything in order, ready - yet at the same time anything but ready - to leave. Just as another wave of grief threatened to drown me, the door opened and I heard the most beautiful, sweet and vulnerable cry in the world.
A tiny kitten, just 8 weeks old and missing his mum, was placed in my lap. I looked down at the fragile little being and felt the most intense kind of love rush through me - maternal love.
I held the kitten to my chest and he immediately began to purr. Without thinking I stood and moved to the door. The people around me - my incredible friends - recognised my cue to leave and came to form a guard around me. Around us.
That tiny little kitten, held close to my heart, stopped my soul from tearing in two as I walked out those doors without you.

From the moment he came to the hospital, he was known as "Zy's kitten", and in the days and weeks that followed, he never strayed more than a few meters from me. There was only one other person your kitten would seek out, and that was your dad. As time passed and plans were made for the future, your kitten started spending more and more time beside your father. The plans that were being made were for your surrogate sisters and myself to travel with our circus family, but your dad had decided to stay where he was. The gaping hole in his heart as he grieved for you was almost visible, and your kitten was the only one he would allow close to him.
When it came time for me to leave, it seemed as though your kitten staying with your dad was the only decision that could be made.

This week your surrogate sisters and I went to visit your dad and your kitten. It had been five months since I'd seen your kitten, and he has grown into the most beautiful cat I've ever seen. The moment I saw him I picked him up and held him close, and he rubbed his head against my chest, purring so loudly he made your surrogate sisters giggle.

Later that day, we were sitting in the kitchen when I heard your kitten meow for the first time since leaving him with your dad. I was instantly thrown back to the very first time I heard him meow in the hospital, and all the times that beautiful, sweet cry had bought me comfort in the weeks after losing you.
Your kitten meowed again, and I felt the tears spring from my eyes and fall freely down my cheeks. A moment later, I realised my eyes weren't the only things that had sprung a leak.

Even though my milk had dried up months ago, when I heard your kitten crying again, milky tears began seeping from my breasts.

I've been with your kitten for almost a week now, and still, every time he meows, my breasts cry for you.

Darling Zy, I guess what I want to tell you today is that I hear you. No matter who created you, or who's child you were supposed to be, or who was supposed to be your mother - I hear you.
And I always will.

Love me.

One Second for Twitter

Thanks to the suggestion from Trish, One Second has joined the world of Twitter! It's quite new to me and I must admit, I don't think I've quite wrapped my head around it yet, but I'm told it is a fast growing form of social media and communication, and anything that gets people thinking - even for One Second - is a great thing as far as I'm concerned!

You can see the One Second Twitter profile here.

And the One Second blog here.

A big thank you to Trish for getting behind One Second and helping spread the thought wave!

(Technorati fiddling, please ignore!)

Warrior Wednesday

Dear Zy,

I've been thinking about your biological parents a lot lately, and I want to apologise to you right now, because my thoughts haven't always been nice ones.

Just recently I got a call from the hospital where you were born. More specifically, I got a call from someone in the accounts department. It appears there is money outstanding, and as I was the patient I am the one they called.
The laws around surrogacy in Australia are pretty shaky, to say the least. In the early days we went through an IVF clinic that supports surrogacy, but a lot of the legalities were left to us to sort out (with the help of solicitors). Part of our agreement was that as the pregnancy was really your biological parent's, and just happened to include me as an incubator, your biological parents would be responsible for everything associated with the pregnancy that was physically possible. Including the financial responsibility.

At six months into your growing, the first lot of 'complications' popped their head up. Too much amniotic fluid led to the discovery of a lump in your throat and a quirky esophagus that didn't quite go where it was meant to. At this point, your bio mother had just scared the crap out of herself by googling causes of polyhydramnios and was somewhat relieved when the news was nowhere near as bad as it could have been. Your dad, on the other hand, had a bit of a freak out and took of surfing.
For a week.
Without telling anyone.

Your bio mum and I were furious.

But we were furious together.

And he came back when it counted.

The day after your bio mum and I went to the big hospital to get results of the amniocentesis, your dad returned. The results told us that you had Cri-du-Chat syndrome. We all cried a lot, but your bio mum - she was crushed.
She was so crushed, that when we all went to speak to the specialist together, your bio mum asked me to leave the room so that she could ask the doctor about a medical termination and what that involved.

This time I was furious.

And we weren't in it together.

From that point on I no longer felt like I was just your incubator.
My maternal instincts kicked in - or rather, I let them kick in - and I felt like the person who was carrying you, and giving you life, and protecting you, and loving you.

I felt like your mother.

I gave birth to you. I stood by you and fought with you. I loved you with all of my heart and soul.

I felt the hairs on the back of my neck prickle when your bio mother finally entered the room for the first time - hours after you were born. I resisted the primal urge to growl and bare my teeth at her as she stood in the corner, refusing to look at you.

I held you to my heart and rocked you gently, as you died in my arms.

I cried a river of tears for you, and I let the river carry your ashes into the ocean, so you could be free.

I will cry many more tears for you, so that the rivers will keep flowing and can take you wherever you want to go.

I will love you, with all of my heart and soul, for all of eternity.

And I will pay the hospital account.

Because I cannot bare the thought of your parents not taking responsibility for you.

Love me.