Tag Archive | family

Nuffin much!

Remember Thumper the rabbit from the Movie “Bambi” he stamps his little foot and says “Mumma always says if you can’t say nuffin nice you shouldn’t say nuffin at all” well personally l like that statement because once the words are spoken you can’t take them back. We ALL say things in anger, at that moment you feel justified to say it and get it out there but later on you might feel like “taking it back” just like life there are no re-dos! I’ve been guilty of not saying the words because I am basically a chicken when it comes to confrontation, but l go away and stew on things and then think of how l “coulda, woulda, shoulda,” handled it and then l write it all down! Once l wrote it in a letter to someone who used to be close to me ok, she was my sister. Seeing how much pain that caused her, now l just write it in my journals! A therapist once told me “Write the person a letter and get it all out of your system and then burn it or rip it up and be done with it” another person suggested writing it and burning it and burying it to get rid of the left over anger, so far l’ve written it and burnt it l’ve also used some of those ashes in a painting so therefore turning ugly into pretty, and l’ve written horrible things on canvas and painted over it and made it beautiful but l knew what was under that pretty so l stabbed it smashed it and threw it away… maybe not what the therapist had in mind but it helped me!

Some artists speak of that judgemental inner critic that is never happy with their art, one art teacher said we should name them and then reply to them in positive ways, one of my favourites was l was painting a mermaid with pink hair and the “Evil Inner Critic” started up with “Pink hair? How stupid! Whoever has pink hair! I’ve never seen a mermaid with pink hair” l calmly replied “Really? When did you last see a mermaid? Oh and By the way Mother! Pink hair comes from a bottle also known as hair dye!” Yes my “Evil Inner Critic” wears my Mother’s voice. It wears my Mother’s voice because that’s what l’ve heard for a good chunk of my life.

How l Mother my children is directly in line with how l was mothered, EXACTLY the opposite. I praise my children if l like something they’ve cooked l ask for the recipe, if they wear something l like l ask for the details. If they have a skill l don’t well l want to learn it or support them in their hobby. I show interest in their lives, maybe Star Son thinks l show too much interest and says “Why do you need to know?” My reply “Because l’m your Mother and l care!”

Over the years l’ve done loads of journaling with different prompts to try and work through this “Mother Issue” l have- and in all the thousands of words l’ve written l honestly can not recall a time when she made a positive remark. I cannot recall a time she said “Oh good job” or “l like the way you did that!” Instead, upon meeting my brother for the first time, who she gave up for adoption she said “Oh and this is your sister Kim she’s the bitch of the family” this was over 25 years ago now but l hear that all the time it’s on constant replay. Did this stranger to our family need to know that immediately? Did he also need to know every other misdemeanour l’d made in my first 25 years of life? But her and her daughters proceeded to tell him every.little.thing! And l wanted the floor to open up and swallow me. I still cringe when l recall that day!

That is why l mother the exact opposite l don’t want the “Evil inner Critic” that my own daughters might have to be floating around with MY voice!

So now they know they can come to me and vent to me and ask me advice if they want it l’ll give them my thoughts if not that’s ok too lm a good listener and l never repeat it because it ends here. Maybe they won’t make my mistakes of writing or worse saying things to someone they can’t take back. Sometimes if we rearrange the words we want to say they go from being harsh and critical to honest and thoughtful it might have a different outcome l understand that now l didn’t then.

I guess in someways l should thank my Evil Inner Critic for her behaviour because now as an artist l paint what l like, how l like and l can shut her up. As a Mother l should thank her for teaching me what not to do and only take the good bits from her lessons, like how to make delicious vegetable soup. Once my Son in Law told my daughter “Oh you sounded just like your Mother” but it wasn’t a criticism and so that made me happy but never once will l ever say that saying “I opened my mouth and my Mothers voice and out” never ever!

It’s been a week!!

Monday we brought home our precious bundle! and her Aunty and cousins came over for a visit. Then later on another Aunty came to visit.

On the way home from Hospital first car ride

Tuesday we managed a nice quiet day at home, walking the dog was that days greatest effort

On Wednesday l spent the morning watching Aria and Harvey, at the same time my husband had his pre op assessment for his hip replacement in June, and later on Wednesday the midwife Ash, who delivered her came for her first at home check up and she had gained 80 grams back from the 100 grans she’d lost at birth. So that was exciting news.

First midwife appointment
Violet with her Sister as a doll! They’re both beautiful dolls!

Thursday my Bloke took me on a date day into Melbourne we caught the train and a tram, he spoilt me with a walk through the laneways full of Art! And then took me to an exhibition called “She oaks and sunlight” Australian impressionist at the National Gallery of Victoria, l hadn’t been there yet so that was a lovely surprise! After the gallery we walked along South Bank and ended up at Crown Casino for Chinese lunch. Then some more art down alleyways. With a stop at Young and Jackson’s Pub, famous in Melbourne. Had a beer and a cider in the roof top bar, checked out the famous art the nude- Chloe on display in the lounge! We ended up walking 17 kms during the day! My poor feet!

Breakfast in bed with a side cuddle of Miss Violet!

Friday- Violet is one week old, sheesh, where did that week go??!

I love the thumbs up symbolism in this photo. “One week old” or “It’s all good”

Today we went to Castlemaine to visit our eldest son Kit and grandom Rafiki who is not feeling very well, but he was happy to see us! The best bit about Autumn is the coloured leaves and so we enjoyed those around Castlemaine. I got a few blog posts done this week and maintained my weeks worth of art for #bloomingmarvellousmay it’s been a week and frankly lm tired!

I had one job!

Today l had one job, to watch Aria and Harvey while my daughter Jasmin went to school to help on Chase’s schools Mother’s Day Stall. The Bloke had a pre op appointment before he gets his hip replacement in June so he dropped me at Jasmin’s house at 8:00am.

I had one job to watch these small people while Jasmin went to school with Chase for a few hours. Put Harvey down for his nap at 11:00am and that was all- easy really.

So we did our usual cuddles and watching their shows, each had a favourite show for me to watch and then we decided to do silly photos!

Grandma and Aria rocking a bouffant
Harvey’s bouffant
Cheese says Aria!!

So Harvey wanted to get into the spirit because we were laughing he wanted to play the clown and so up onto the coffee table and he was dancing.

My Clown boy!

Before l even had time to tell him to get down he fell! Straight into the window, l’ve never run so fast or scaled a coffee table so quickly as l did today. Telling him “Stay still Harvey!” He was so good he just stayed still till l could make sure he wasn’t injured and oh my gosh hugged his little being till l almost crushed him!

All he was worried about was his Mummy would be mad! But l reassured him “Mummy will only be mad at Grandma not Harvey!” l checked him over so thoroughly and made sure he was all in one piece, then l issued Aria orders.. “Where does Mummy keep the vacuum cleaner? Watch the kitten doesn’t go bear the glass, stay over there right away” She was so good showing me where the vacuum was and then showing me how to work it 🤷🏼‍♀️ in the meantime she’s reassuring Harvey “It’s ok Harvey you’re not in trouble” turned my back for a second the kittens trying to get through the hole, luckily Dookie the dog was on the other side keeping her in. For about 10 minutes it was bedlam! And Jasmin had been gone less than an hour!!

Oops broken window
My Soul Sister was on duty today as Guardian angel.

My “Clown boy” suddenly became Grandma’s cuddle bunny. Aria was keeping watch on the clock to make sure Harvey was on time for his nap, she had a vested interest she could have her iPad time when he went to bed.

As he snuggled down he asked for his Mummy l said “When you wake up Mummy will be home” he nodded and said “Mummy mad!” No l told him not with my Harvey boy, kissed him and told him “I love you” he grins “Luff you too

As l made coffee and lunch for Aria it hit me just how badly that might have ended and l told myself “You had just one job!” And l’d messed it up! I also thanked my Soul Sister in spirit for catching him and not letting him be damaged. Luckily my Bloke got home and patched the hole with some MDF panels until we can get a glazier in but then l had to break the news to Jasmin, and pray she wouldn’t yell too loudly!

As soon as Jasmin got home l explained and thankfully none of us got into trouble but l will pay for the glass because they’ve only been in their new home two months and l’ve already let a window get broken!! “You had one job Grandma!”

On other subjects… Baby Violet had her home visit from the midwifery team today and it was Ash who delivered her. When Vi was released from hospital she’d lost 100 grams that was Monday, today is Wednesday and she’s up 80 grams! Yay Violet!! She’s a good baby so far!

My renewed creativity is going well and this months art prompt is “blooming marvellous May,” each day of the month you do a floral piece. I did Violet first so l decided to do each of my seven grandchildren, Chase wasn’t a flower so l did his name and added some Climbing Jasmine to his letter C! Today ironically was Harvey’s day, no flowers or plants called Harvey, so l wrote his name and gave him a floral hibiscus border!!

Harvey and hibiscus!!

I wonder if l’ll be invited back to baby sit again!

A new week begins…

For some of us it’s a sad week because we lost a loved one, my Soul Sister is on the other side with her spirit guide a blue heron! And l cried a lot that day, just all of a sudden a tear would fall, then that night at 7:46pm loads of tears fell and l thanked my Soul Sister for helping Violet enter the world safely. I haven’t cried at any other birth but l kept thinking about what was told to me when my Dad died “One soul leaves the world one soul enters” and back then l didn’t appreciate it but l’ve read ALOT since then and so l start off this new week minus my friend but with this precious little girl.

I’ve been busy documenting her life, photos with her Mum, photos with her Dad, amazing beautiful photos of her with her big sister, with Grandpa and Uncle Will, with Aunty Jasmin and Aunty Bree, with all her Sunbury Cousins. None with Grandma. But Grandma kept a detailed journal listing about everything because Grandma is the keeper of our stories.

Welcoming a new life means decluttering and cleaning and making things perfect. So this morning the Bloke and l re arranged the living room added a cradle, made half Scarlett’s “Home school desk” a change table and added subdued light. Swept away cobwebs and floors and mopped, scrubbed and cleaned and organised until Amber rang and said “We can come home!”

I brought a box of chocolates and a cream cake for the midwifery team l told them “Afternoon tea is on us!” and wrote them a card thanking them for their care of not only Amber and Violet but of me too! I know it’s their job but I imagine it’s not always pleasant. I wanted them to know we appreciated their care and support. Violet was my fifth Grandchild born there, l couldn’t imagine now going to a different hospital.

At home Grandpa gave her the first feed, he’s always been hands on with the Grandchildren. We walked to school to pick up Scarlett who almost burst out of her skin to see her Mum and Baby Sister there! She showed Violet off to all the children and her teacher!

After school Jasmin came with Chase, Aria and Harvey who all had a cuddle of her. Then “Big Unca” Will, came home and immediately took charge and he fed her the next bottle. I managed to get some of her bath done! And the bottles washed! Next feed went to Aunty Bree who came to meet Violet and so more photos and still none with Grandma!

This week is going to be hectic. I just need to go camping!

I’m going to try…

I say that so many times for so many reasons. I’m going to try and restart that exercise program (after hurting my back in Jan!) I’m going to try and incorporate more vegetarian/vegan meals in to the menu (apparently the rest of the family’s opinions matter more than mine!) in April I said “I’m going to try and do a monthly Blogging challenge (tick) and a monthly art challenge where you do some form of art for a given prompt. (BIG ✅) not only did l do both the blog and art, I realised how much l’ve missed both of them!

So this month I’m going to try and do both again! So I’ve decided to try #kickinthecreative’s monthly challenge for May it’s called #bloomingmarvellousMay and each day of May you can produce a piece of art, any size, any medium anything goes and you post it and add the hash tag so that the gals Sandra and Tara from Kick in the Creatives can find your work. Some people take photos, some use real flowers in their submissions, some even write poetry on Blooms really anything is open. Does any one want to join me?

My first submission was called “Violet Avonia” these names as previously discussed are family names but l only found out yesterday that apart from Violet being a flower Avonia is a flowering succulent and her surname Campion is a flower as well! We have a bouquet of beautifulness!! So I thought in honor on Violets birth “I’m going to try and paint a Violet” despite only getting three hours sleep and being a bit like a zombie l think this turned out ok!

1st of May submission “Violet Avonia”

Then l wondered about the names of the other grandchildren and how l can make them into works of art for this challenge I’ve got some great plans.. follow along if you like! Today I’ll be creating for Violet‘s big sister Scarlett, then I’ll work my way through the rest of the Grandchildren that gives me a weeks worth of inspiration then l’ll be looking for suggestions so if you have a favourite flower yell out and l’m going to try and do a whole months worth! I’m not saying they’ll all be good! I’m not promising they’ll all be on paper or in water colour or paint, I’m going to try and mix things up!

I’m going to try and get back into regular writing and creating of art because part of me felt lost last year when it all went away! I’m going to try to find my way back!

#AtoZchallenge No Z but…

Welcome to the world
Violet Avonia Campion

Today my letter “V” arrived! How clever was she to be born on her due date. April 30th 2021. Weighing in at a good 8 pound 8 oz, head circumference 35.5 cms and a long 53 cms.

My daughter Amber was doing some family tree research during Covid lockdown and realised my Maternal Grandmother was named Violet Jane and her daughter, my Mother was named Eileen Avonia. So she took Violet and Avonia and created this bundle of joy!!

Only a few minutes old

We got to the hospital for a check up this morning at about 10:40am and up to delivery at 12:00pm. At 6:00pm she was 4 cms dilated and so they gave her some morphine at 6:50pm she was pushing and then at 7:46pm Violet was born. The last bit sped up really quickly.

5 minutes old being checked in the humidity crib

I can’t help but think that my beautiful Soul Sister was watching over us as Violet came into the world. From tears of sadness to tears of joy as l cut this little ones cord. Some one once told when one soul leaves the world another enters!

Five hours old, sleeping, well, like a baby!

Now it’s 3:00am and Amber and l have tried to sleep but l think adrenaline has kicked in so we stare at this new little being who has joined our family and thank Jehovah for how healthy she is.

Now you REALLY have met my whole family! Five children, in laws, Cousin, Husband and seven Grandchildren!

Remembering My Soul Sister…

Today my heart was shattered.

Today heaven gained a new angel with beautiful shining wings but us left behind are crying for her loss.

In 2012- I signed up for an art class called “Painting the Goddess within” and how lucky was l to meet my own Goddess! We met by commenting on art things and realised we thought similarly and then we were partnered in an art swap! We each had to do a piece of art and send it to each other and so l had to add her as a Facebook friend so that we could exchange addresses.

We became Facebook friends on 5th Feb 2013

Carrol was a very loving, caring and sharing lady. So when she told me that she was going on a cruise and it was leaving from Australia l jumped at the chance to have her in the same country and spoke to the Bloke about having a few days off work so we could fly to where ever they were going to be in hopes of meeting my Soul Sister in real life! Unbeknownst to me her beautiful husband Willie took an extra step and planned for them to come to Victoria my own state so we could meet in person! Carrol and l chatted often counting down the days, she was overjoyed when we welcomed Grandchild number four into the world and her favourite sign off was “I can’t wait to hug that baby girl!”

So finally the day came and we went to the airport bright an early to be sure we didn’t miss them! I worried “What if l don’t recognise her!” My Bloke said “You’ll know her!” And sure enough l knew her! We wrapped each other in a big hug and then wrapped Willie in one too. I apologised “Sorry Willie but lm a hugger!” We spent the morning at our home and then took Carrol and Willie around the corner to meet our daughter Jasmin, son in law Brett and grandchildren Chase and baby Aria. Carrol got her wish to hug “that baby girl”

Carrol and”That baby girl” Aria!

Carrol got on the floor and laid down beside Aria on the rug and just touched her hand and spent time chatting to her. We eventually dragged her away and went for lunch. Soon it was time for Carrol and Willie to check into their accommodation and so we delivered them safely into the City. I had to work on the Monday doing exams but we held a “Welcome to Melbourne” party on the Tuesday as it was a public holiday for Melbourne Cup, the horse race that stops a Nation. I invited all the family and my real life Bestie because she’s my first Soul Sister and she needed to meet our new “Sister”

My Besties!! Deanne and Carrol, all my best parties are in the kitchen and these two proved that point!

We had a great day getting to know Carrol and Willie and for them to get to know all the people we love, people we had so often spoken about. I made Carrol and Willie adoptive Grandparents to our baby girl Aria!

Aria has American Adopted Grandparents!!

Although we spoke some more during their stay in Australia that was the last visit l had as l had unfortunately had to work the rest of that week.

Carrol and l spoke regularly on Facebook messenger and l called a few times. Sadly not often enough.

In 2019 when Carrol’s health started deteriorating and she was feeling miserable we cried together. It was then l made the plan! I’m going to America to see Carrol, maybe an impending visit would cheer her up and l’ll time it so that l can be there for her birthday. So l asked my Bestie Deanne if she would like to come. And then l included a visit with two other soul sisters one also in North Carolina and one in Indiana! All these women had strong friendships with me all had the love of art in common as well as many other things, so l thought maybe l can get them all together. I introduced them all to each other in a group chat along with my Texan Soul Sister who was then living in the UK. These strong women all got on wonderfully and so we started arranging how we could all meet. In the end it was decided we, Deanne and I, would fly to NC and visit with Carrol, then drive over and collect Dea and then us four would drive to the Smoky Mountains and JoEllen would drive to there from Indiana they worked out it was about half way. We’d spend a four day “Soul Sisters retreat” and then Dea and Carrol would drive home and we’d continue on with JoEllen and fly out of Indiana.

So Deanne and l booked our flights, got our visas and made plans, all paid up, JoEllen’s husband booked our cabin in the Smoky Mountains and l had even prepared a song play list on Spotify, we were all set to go and then…


Lockdowns started our flights were cancelled, we were not allowed to leave our suburb a 5 kms radius, much less our State, or Country. And just like a puff of smoke there went that dream!

And now the whole reason for going to America is gone. The world is a greyer place today without my Soul Sister Carrol.

Willie, Carrol, me and Rob. Tuesday 1st November 2016
Carrol gained her angel wings today!

Carrol l’ll never ever forget you. But at last you are pain free! Sleep well my Soul Sister till we meet again!

It’s Sunday NO #AtoZ let’s talk about… ANZAC day!

Today is Sunday 25th April. In Australia it’s ANZAC day, where we pay our respect to those fallen in defence of our country. I use that day to remember all the loved ones that have passed. I don’t need a day to remember my Dad l do that every day, by remembering something silly or a book quote or a look on one of my Sons faces that reminds me of Dad, the way both my sons and one Grandson carry his name as their middle names. ANZAC day is not necessarily a day l remember my Dad until… the last post! It always makes me cry. They played that at my Dads funeral the worst day to date of my life.

ANZAC‘ stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. On the 25th of April 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula. These became known as Anzacs and the pride they took in that name continues to this day. https://www.army.gov.au › traditions

This is my Dad he was a proud Aussie Soldier.

He was only young when we signed up to go to war, his older brother and his Dad went so he lied about his age. In the end his parents signed the paperwork rather than risk him sneaking off.

Dad never spoke much about the war l guess who can blame him, from all accounts in books and movies l’ve read and seen it wasn’t a nice time in his life. So lm extra thankful he came home when so many young Aussie diggers did not!

In military tradition, the Last Post is the bugle call that signifies the end of the day’s activities. It is also sounded at military funerals to indicate that the soldier has gone to his final rest and at commemorative services such as Anzac Day and Remembrance Day. https://www.army.gov.au › traditions

The Last Post- https://youtu.be/B1Blw_hbp1o

Lee Kernaghan- https://youtu.be/rj1M0-6NeH8

This day is almost over and this challenge is coming to its end to, the remaining letters are going to prove tricky to tie in with my “Family” theme but l’ve so enjoyed April this year! Have a great Sunday wherever you are!

When l am old…

I read this poem once l found it on Google..

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Jenny Joseph

Well my Wishlist is much simpler.. l don’t do Brand names well.. mostly l don’t. I don’t drink fancy wines in fact l challenge myself not to! I’m not a wine buff l know nothing about the bouquet or the colour. I taste it if l like it l drink it and if it’s cheap even better. My go to wine is $5.00 a bottle if l am splurging or treating myself it’s the Brown Brothers Zibibbo $12.00 a bottle. I’m open to suggestions as long as it’s sweet and fruity!

I don’t wear brand name clothing of fact l am so not brand name- l shop at the charity shops and wear everyone else’s hand me downs. I always remind my husband “I am such a low maintenance wife” I don’t do false nails or any kind of enhancements because l think “I’m ok as Jehovah made me” occasionally l do get my eye brows waxed and coloured they tend to disappear otherwise but gosh l cannot even remember the last time l’m pretty sure it wasn’t 50th so that’s almost 4 years ago!

The only thing l do use “brand name” is Avon skin care products. I have been using Avon since l was 16 years old when my older sister used to sell it. I’ve been an Avon Rep on a few occasions but in my case it was never about making money it was for me discount on MY requirements and stocking up my bathroom shelves. So imagine my distress when Avon Australia ceased to be! Thank goodness l still have an unopened stash in my cupboard. What will happen when that runs out? I’ll be forced to try and find another suitable brand. I’ve had a few people tell me “You’re not old enough to have adult children or Grandchildren” or ask “You’re HOW old??!” I thank Avon for their service!

The other thing that l have used for my whole life and again thanks to my older sister is Tabu perfume and body sprays by Dana. My family all know that is a sure fire Mother’s Day, Birthday or Christmas present idea that l will always appreciate. My older Sister used to wear it and when l was thirteen she would often spray a little on me, l’ve been hooked ever since l’ve never worn another scent. One day Daughter number one was cold so she grabbed my “dagging around the house” cardigan and threw it on and suddenly she says “Oh this smells like Mum” I’m quickly, mentally thinking “oh does it need a wash! When WAS the last time l washed it?” And so with trepidation l asked her “and what does Mum smell like?” Secretly dreading her answer and she replied “Tabu and Avon face cream” phew! Yes that’s what this Mum smells like! Tabu and Avon Face cream. One time The Bloke came home from an overseas business trip and as he greeted me he said “hmm home! I smell Tabu!”

A few years ago l found my final “brand name” New Balance runners! My feet get a lot of use! I am an avid walker and aim for at least 12,000 steps a day, usually it’s more! So l needed new runners or sneakers or joggers whatever you call yours! These happened to be drastically marked down and the Bloke encouraged me to try them on, l swear to you it was like slipping my feet into clouds! So he brought them and l wore them for three years. He kept saying “time for new sneakers” and l kept insisting “my toe hasn’t popped through yet!” Putting those sneakers in the bin was the worst day of my life! Of course none were ever “cheap” again and so l settled for less and regretted it every day and those only lasted 12 months! So then l decided l would just settle for a combo hiking boot/sneaker hybrid thing and yes they’re comfy but they’re not New Balance. Yesterday my husband decided he wanted new runners and l should too. I didn’t of course! But he found some New Balance for $49.00 and decided l should try them. Again it’s like slipping my feet into clouds! Yes l love them! And he got some too when he said “these are the most comfy shoes” obviously he didn’t believe me all these years.

So l have decided..

“When l an old l shall wear New Balance sneakers and Tabu perfume and age disgracefully”

I’m not even middle aged yet!!

New Balance and Tabu

#AtoZchallenge “G”

G is for Grandparenthood

Today l’m going to share about my most favourite title of all “Grandma” being a Grand parent. l was 46 years old when l learnt really unexpectedly that l was going to be a Grandparent. Not once, not even twice then came a sucker punch! THREE within six months of each other!

I guess once l got over the shock of Amber and her “Food poisoning” l started getting excited. Imagine when only a few days later number one daughter (whom you’ll meet at letter J) came with a bomb shell. She too was pregnant. The girls were shocked but l firmly believe Jehovah doesn’t make mistakes and so we got on with things as best we could.

Grandchild-the first born was born in July. Her Father is my middle son, (You’ll meet him at letter J- that’s a busy letter four names so far!) after many long court cases and DNA and all the rest of it- all we wanted was a chance to get to know her. Alas sadly we have no contact with her. Her Maternal Grandmother has custody. My only consolation is that as she gets older and starts to search maybe she’ll come looking for us and we will of course welcome her with loving arms. I’ve met her twice and she is the image of her Dad. I received a phone call from a social worker to let me know in her exact words “Did you know today you became a Grandmother?!” Imagine my shock since l wasn’t expecting that until November. It’s sad to miss out on so much of her life. Maybe we’ll get a chance to share our side with her one day.

So although she’s Second born – Sweetpea (you’ll meet her in S) l call her my firstborn Grandchild. She has lived with me her whole life apart from maybe 9 months in a few seperate sections. Sweetpea is Amber’s first daughter. When Amber was looking for names she went through the baby journal l had kept and found a name l’d chosen for My first daughter but not been brave enough to use. Scarlett Olivia after of course Scarlett O’Hara but also my Dad’s middle name is Oliver so Olivia was in reference to my Dad. Amber chose to honour my Dad her Grandpa but choosing that name for her daughter.

Sweetpea was born 21st November 2013. Amber was having some troubles and so the midwife wrapped her in a towel and handed her to me and said “Here Grandma hold this!” And l have EVER SINCE! That first hour l welcomed her to the world and told her about her new family and how very loved she was and l promised her “l would love her till the day l died” she was such a tiny thing.

The midwives had asked me earlier in the day “What will your Grandchildren call you?” I was a young Grandma only just 47. So they were all shocked that l would choose to be called “Grandma” they all had their own suggestions one even went as far as to say “But Grandma sounds soooo old and you’re not old!” I thanked her and told her l was about to make Grandma trendy – time to bring her back into fashion! My Grandchildren called my first in-laws “Nanny and Pa” my own Mother was “Nanny” and before he died my Dad had been “Poppa” l said no thanks to Nanny it sounds like a goat!

Two weeks later l was back at the same hospital for Chase’s birth. You met him at letter “C” a cesarean this time and oh! One look at his squishy little face it was instant love! Daughter number one was in a shared house with friends and so l asked her to stay for a few days to get some rest and get used to her wound and moving around more carefully, so l could be on hand to help. So for one week l had two of my three Grand babies living with me it was amazing!

I cried so hard when she left and returned to her own home but luckily they didn’t live far and so we had plenty of visits and play dates for the cousins.

Daughter number one got married in 2015 with an almost two year old Chase as ring barer and his two year old cousin Sweetpea as flower girl, and l walked them all down the aisle. Little did we know- Grandchild number four was on board as well!

August of 2016 had us meet the pixie faced Aria Elizabeth who told me today “Grandma my whole name is Aria Elizabeth and her surname” l nodded and said yes that’s right.. she said “My Mummy named me Elizabeth after her!” Yes that is also right “but do you know why Grandma chose Mummy’s middle name of Elizabeth?” I asked her. She said No so l explained that the Doctor who helped her Mummy be born was called “Elizabeth” and that’s why. She was surprised. Then it was Chase’s turn to tell me his middle name is John. I asked him “Do you know why?” He shook his head and l told him he was named after MY Dad who’s first name was John” he sighed “That’s cool!” And both your Uncles have John as their middle names! “Wow” he said and then Sweetpea’s asked “What about my name Grandma?” I explained she had her Great Grandfathers Middle name.. “wow” they were all surprised! And then to celebrate we took this selfie!!

Scarlett, Chase and Aria with Grandma April 8th 2021

Next to join our growing brood was “Little Dude” You’ll meet him in letter (R with his Grandpa!) but he is the son of our eldest son Christopher (Kit) and daughter in law Esther. Our Little Dude was born July 28th 2018. We were hoping he’d come a little later to be born on his Great Grandpa’s birthday. Instead he wears his middle name! Kit and Esther and Little Dude live in Castlemaine about a little over an hour from us, but we go up or Esther brings him down every few weeks so he can get to know his cousins.

Lastly (For the moment) is our darling “Prince Charming” he was another surprise and daughter number one and her husband Brett and the children had just returned from a week away on holiday so we were hearing about the apartment and the theme parks and then Chase says “Oh and Grandma- Mummy’s got a baby in her tummy!” I don’t know who was more shocked Me or my Daughter lol apparently l wasn’t supposed to know just yet!

I remember as her due date got closer, we walked and walked, she tried all the mid wives old wives tales about drinking this tea and eating that even one day eating a whole pineapple 🍍 but Prince Charming wasn’t having any of that he’d come when he was good and ready and do we watched his due date slip on past.

Christmas Day 2018 Grandma’s doing Christmas lunch and remember Christmas in Australia is Summer it was hot! We had the house all cooled down to keep baby “Little Dude” at his first Christmas cool and Daughter number one just didn’t look good. She picked at her food and got up and walked a bit and finally decided at dessert time she needed to go to the hospital!

“Prince Charming” (You’ll meet him tomorrow in H) was born at 10 pm Christmas Day 2019. Our biggest Grand child yet 9 pounds plus! My daughter had hoped he wouldn’t be born on Christmas Day because it’ll be confusing for birthdays etc but as babies do they come when they’re ready.

Which brings us to Number seven. Technically she’s got three weeks but Midwives tell you week 37 is classed as term and so it’s a waiting game. Amber’s bags are packed, and the baby’s things are ready and hopefully she’ll come in time to make it into this Challenge her name begins with V! I will be a Grandma seven times. And l’m so excited as though she is the first!

I love being a Grandma learning all these very different personalities, their funny little quirks and their loveable little habits. While we were away recently we sent them postcards each week and by the time l got to the final one l felt really teary and realised l’m really missing those squeezy little hugs! I was ready to go home! Esther says Little Dude keeps his postcards on the fridge and as he walks past he touches it and says “Grandpa!” Because l made the Bloke write something! Why should l have all the fun?!

Sweetpea is loud and outgoing we always know where she is in the room. But if you get her at a certain time she tells the best most in depth stories. She wants to be a Vet when she’s grown!

Chase is more quiet and into his sport, he still puts up with my hugs and kisses just. Last week we went to watch him play Basketball and Football season is soon upon us.

Aria is our academy award winner in future years, she speaks with a fluent American accent thanks to Disney movies, she sings and dances and is a clown! Today l ran into them at the post office and she exclaimed “Oh Grandma!! What are you doing here!” Big hugs- l only saw her yesterday!!

Little Dude is cautious he likes to check out the place before committing. I always sneak kisses and he always giggles! But once he’s in his own surroundings he’s got such an infectious giggle.

Then we have our Prince Charming the Bulldozer! He only knows one speed FLAT OUT! It’s not unusual for him to be sporting a bruise or a bump on his head or a cut on his knee he just doesn’t stop! He’s only just learnt to say Grandma and l love it when he’s in his pram and holding my hand as we walk along, he’s such a kissable boy!!

I wonder what baby V will be like when she comes whatever she is she’ll have to learn to adapt to keep up with this crazy family.