Why we do it…

Last night the Barton family gathered for dinner at Kaine’s parents as we often do whether for someone’s birthday or just because. In this case the parentals have recently arrived home from a month overseas and we were all catching up while they regailed us with holiday tales. 

These family events are fairly chaotic nowadays with four boys under five to contend with. But after dinner we were all gathered in the lounge room and my mother in law played us some home movies. Recorded in the mid 70’s on reel to reel, they contained images of both of her parents. Kaine’s grandmother whom he never had the pleasure of meeting as she passed away when his mum was a teenager, and his grandfather whom we lost almost exactly a year ago. 

With no sound and a grainy picture we all watched on knowing just how special these keepsakes are to her. 

I turned to Kaine who was standing up behind me with a sleeping Jasper in his arms and I said quietly “this is why we do what we do”. He knodded knowingly. 

You see, some day we’ll be gone but I see our family gathered together in a room just as we were last night watching back on the legacy we’ve created. I see them laughing at the fashion and hair do’s, smiling fondly as they see mum and dad in their prime and themselves as children and maybe even quietly tearing up as the images come to life. 

I guess you could say we started documenting our life in video in 2006 when we got married. We invested in a JVC video camera which, by then, had shrunk from the ones you had to prop up on your shoulder like a tv news reporter to something you could hold in the palm of your hand. We filmed our wedding day and made video diaries on our honeymoon and then we edited together an epic saga and burned it to a DVD.

We did this again in 2009 and 2011 when we went overseas and then by 2014 when we went to Europe, we had started a YouTube channel and moved to daily vlogs to document our travels. We had also taken to vlogging other fun stuff in our lives (and some boring stuff too) as well as sharing our stories in writing and of course photos.

We never set out to become YouTube famous or make a name for ourselves in the blogging world. It’s always been to leave a legacy for our family and simply because we absolutely enjoy doing it. 

Occasionally we have been mocked or made fun of. Comments like “you’ve always got a camera in your hand” or the sarcastic surprise when we show up to something without the camera. But we’ve also had lots of people embrace it and love being involved too. 

I think somewhere along the way the art of the home movie got lost. Whether it’s because the technology was too expensive or now when it’s quite the opposite. We have a camera in our hands for so much of the day now that it’s become so mundane to send a snapchat of the kids doing something cute or posting a holiday snap on Instagram… but it’s just not the same. 

So while some may not get it. I ask you to find an old photograph, or better yet, a video of a loved one who’s passed or even of you from your own childhood. That warm fuzzy feeling you get is the reason we do what we do. 

And while our musings are a little scarce right now with the bustle of young family life we will continue to write, record and photograph our lives so that some day, when we no longer can, they might bring some comfort and joy to those we’ve left behind.

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Giggling Baby

So this video is a little old… but it is still definitely worth sharing. It is from the first time we were able to get Jasper to really laugh.

Daddy was being very silly… Jasper was being completely adorable… And the end result was this damn cute video of him cracking up laughing for the first time!

Remember to sit down, take a breath, and enjoy the simple things in life… like giggling babies!

The Multi-Tasking Myth

In today’s world multitasking is king. Women are commended for their ability to have a million things on the go at once and men are teased for their supposed lack of ability to focus on more than one thing at a time. 

But is multitasking really all that it’s cracked up to be? 

I hear from many women, mum’s in particular, that it is utterly exhausting and quite often ineffective to have so much on our plates. Just the mental dialouge and to do lists alone are wearing us out. We’ve been raised to believe we can have it all; a successful career, fulfilling family, a body like Michelle Bridges and a sex life out of an episode of Sex and the City. But can we really?

Maybe we can. Just not at the same time. 

I recently read ‘Happy Mama’ the guide to finding yourself again by Amy Taylor-Kabbaz. In the chapter on Grace, Amy talks about the ‘multi-tasking trap’ and it really struck a chord with me. She dared to suggest that multitasking doesn’t work and that it was actually the “source of most of my meltdowns, most of my tears and most of my shameful mummy moments”. 

As Amy went on to give some examples, it was as if I’d written it myself. The times when I have lashed out at my husband or kids is usually when I’m trying to do too many things at once. Cook dinner, send business emails, show interest in my husband’s work day, soothe a hungry baby and make a bottle for an impatient toddler all at the same time. Not to mention the internal dialogue that’s constantly screaming in my head, reminding me to pay that bill, put a load of laundry on, text my friend who’s had a rough day and what groceries we’re running out of.

Arrggghh….just writing it stresses me out.

In the book Amy says that she learned to be ‘mindful’ (isn’t that the word of the day!), to be aware of her thoughts and focus on one thing at a time. Giving that moment her full attention. She goes on to give examples of reaching for her phone while breastfeeding instead of soaking in the special time with baby or reading a bedtime story but not actually hearing the words you’ve read, as your mind is too busy thinking of other things. 

I’m reading this getting all geed up. Yes! I’m going to be mindful. I’m going to focus my attention on one thing at a time. I’m going to be present and available for my children. And then a thought hit me. How the hell am I supposed to get anything done!?!

If I can’t read while I’m breastfeeding or send emails while cooking dinner or write my shopping list while playing with my toddler then when can I? When everyone’s asleep at night? Then when the hell do I sleep??

Multitasking might be the enemy and cause of our stress but maybe it’s the only way to fit it all in sometimes?

I don’t have the answer to this dilemma. And maybe there isn’t one. I suppose it comes down to what’s important vs what’s urgent.  

And what’s important to me is that my husband and children feel valued and not constantly battling for my attention. 

On that note, time to put the phone down and turn off the internal dialogue for a few minutes. It’s time to go give my big boy a piggy back and make silly faces at my baby to make him laugh. 

You know, the important things ❤️

Just Another Parenting Blog?

“Oh no! Have we become just another parenting blog?”

We have started brainstorming some updates to our social media branding when I realised that, despite our best intentions, NSSLOU has basically become all about our life as parents. 

But you know what, this is the chapter that we are in right now and it’s all encompassing. It’s different and hard and fun and it’s who we are at this point in our lives. Mummy and Daddy. 

And I don’t apologise at all for that. 

We may not be out seeing the world exploring and adventuring, but we are having adventures of different kind. And we will get back to being those jet-setting, cocktail-sipping people again eventually. Hopefully. 


But for now I’m the Mum whose Insta feed is basically a shrine to my kids, whose shirt is usually spit-up or milk stained and who doesn’t venture too far from home because you never know how car trips are going to turn out. 

We are the 30-somethings spending most nights at home navigating bath time and dinner prep. And instead of partying or camping on weekends you’ll usually find us playing in the backyard or spending time with family. 


For now we are just ordinary people. A husband, a wife. And a parenting team just trying to raise exceptional children and keep our shit together as much as possible. 

So to all the other 30-somethings out there that are knee deep in nappies and whose lounge rooms look more like a day care centre than a Kmart catalogue. We get you. And hopefully our musings bring you some relief. 

We’ll meet you at the pool bar in say….15 years. 

Things I’m rediscovering with baby #2

It was only a couple of years ago that we had our first baby but my how quickly you forget things. Well, you never really forget but more so you get focused on the current challenges and milestones of whatever stage they’re in. But now we are in the thick of baby life yet again, and I am rediscovering all the things I’d forgotten about.

Like the endless rotation of clothing. This baby is constantly either shitting or spewing all over what he’s wearing! I swear he goes through about 4 outfits a day. Not to mention my constant need to change from being spewed or shat on! Ok, if i’m honest, you’ll often find me wearing vomit or milk stained clothes because there’s just no point changing AGAIN! And why is it that we always pack a change of clothes for them but never for us??

Then there’s those delightful car trips with a screaming baby. Yup, we’ve got one of those again. I feel like I’ve built up a better tolerance to it this time around but if we go somewhere as a family and Kaine is in the car too, cue extreme stress levels and arguments every time. Men just can’t seem to handle it can they? At least we now know that screaming bloody murder on car trips will eventually give way to 11pm drives to get the kid who now magically loves the car to sleep.

Perhaps my favourite is the little discoveries baby makes. Like finding his hands and feet. Jasper has been marvelling at his fists for a while now and is just starting to lift his beautiful chubby legs up in the air. He is also finding his voice and squealing with delight. Gosh I love this stage so much. 

I’m being reminded how sweet a sound baby giggles are and how you’ll do just about anything to win one. From silly faces and baby talk to tickling and singing made up songs. But it’s so worth it every time I hear his laugh and see his heartbreakingly cute dimples and puffy cheeks. 

 
I’m also remembering how frustrating and disheartening it is to have a crying baby you just can’t seem to soothe. It’s agony. But thankfully we haven’t had many times like that yet. 

I don’t ever want to forget these moments and I know just how fleeting they are. One blink and they’re suddenly having conversations with you and getting hair cuts and demanding mnm’s for breakfast. 

If only we could hold onto our little babies forever. 

Footage Friday: 3 Months Postpartum Update

I managed to get a few minutes to sit and record our three month postpartum update. 

It’s a little update on how mum and Bub are doing. And it’s only about a month late so we’re doing well!

*Yes, there is a bit cut out of the video about how Jesse is adjusting to the new addition. My bad! But rest assured he’s coping just fine. My editing skills however…

Photo Friday: World Breastfeeding Week

It is World Breastfeeding Week so we wanted to share some of our favourite photographs of feeding our boys. Some of these are very candid and not at all glamorous but they are real life. 

I am incredibly fortunate to have breastfed Jesse for 10 months and I’m now 3 months in with Jasper. It will always be really special to me. 


I think this photograph really showcases those first few days with a new baby. No top and squishy belly. 


Those first few weeks weren’t without challenges though. For the first 9 days of his life feeding Jesse often looked like this. Using a supply line to formula feed from a syringe tube. A finger in his mouth to help improve his suck. 


The formula ‘top ups’ we thought we’re temporary weren’t. But our tiny boy grew healthy and strong.


At about 20 minutes old Jasper had his first breastfeed. And unlike his brother, his latch was perfect and his suck was strong. I distinctly remember the elation I felt and how proud I was in that moment. 


One thing I am stoked about this time around is mastering the lying down feed. It has allowed me to get so much more sleep. I never did with Jesse. Partly because he woke much more frequently throughout the night and partly because I had to prepare formula bottles after every breastfeed.


And this one is one of my favourites. Breastfeeding forces us to slow down. To take a breath and be present in the moment. It gives us an opportunity to gaze at our Bub, stroke their heads and commit every tiny feature to our memory. This is sometimes difficult to do with a toddler also needing your attention but I love just sitting with Jasper and watching him while he drinks. 

I’m not going to lie, sometimes it can feel like a chore. But it really is a gift to be able to nourish, comfort, heal and grow our beautiful babies.