Friday, August 24, 2012

Hard lessons Part 2: Saying goodbye

When David came home, after we had lunch and more tears flowed, we wrapped the nest in green fabric (Big's choice) and cut it down from the wire. We went outside to the butterfly garden and dug a hole. Bel wanted us to take photos to remember the baby bird.

David said a prayer and then Big helped him fill in the hole.

More tears fell at home when she noticed how forlorn the wire looked without the nest. But she said goodbye and hopes to meet the baby bird in heaven.

Hard lessons and the circle of life

I had actually been looking forward to this post until today. For weeks we have been watching Sun Birds staking out our deck and building a nest. There was much excitement when the mummy bird moved in permanently. We would watch her for ages and laugh as the blue chested daddy bird preened himself while looking at our windows or chattered to the ‘other bird’ in the toy toaster (it’s our old chrome toaster).

We watched closely over the weeks and were over the moon when we noticed the mummy bird bringing insects to the nest in her beak. Big learned so much about how to tell the mummy and daddy birds apart, why it’s important for the mummy bird to sit in the nest, how to be still and quiet so we don’t scare the mummy bird away. We loved their trilling song that sounded throughout the day.

Because the nest is above our play area, the mummy bird actually became quite used to our presence and would stick her head out of the nest and peer at us as though we were just a mild annoyance.

But then…

Last night we noticed the mummy bird’s absence as we ate dinner. David tried to tell Big that it was because the baby bird had flown away. We couldn’t hear the baby cheeping and hoped this was the answer.

But we came home from playgroup this morning and I could see the baby’s head peeping out of the nest. I called Bel over excitedly, noticing the flies too late. The mopping that I needed to do was temporarily forgotten as I held my distraught little girl and tried to answer her questions.

She cried so hard. I cried because I couldn’t take away her pain. I had been so fearful of this happening. But the questions were so hard. It started with her standard, “Why?” But she didn’t want to accept my answers. I told her the baby must have been sick. “But they are not apposed [sic] to get sick.” I then tried to tell her that everyone dies at some point. “Why?” So we can go to heaven. “I don’t want to go. I want to stay here. Will you die? And Daddy? Willow?” My heart broke over and over as I tried to make her understand.

She has calmed down, but every now and then she still asks why. “I don’t like it when baby birds die. If the mummy bird gives the baby lots and lots of kisses, then the baby bird will be happy.” (She saw the mummy bird trying to pull the baby out of the nest. I told her she was kissing the baby.)

I called David to give him the heads up. We are going to take the nest down, wrap it in fabric and bury it when he comes home for lunch. I’m hoping a small ritual will give her some closure.

All she wants to know right now is why it died and if the baby bird is happy.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The busyness continues

After we got over Hubby’s birthday, Little turned 1. We still can’t quite believe it! There was a big party planned and relatives arrived from Perth and New Zealand. But the spanner in the works was Big having a febrile convulsion one evening during dinner. An ambulance, emergency accommodation and a babysitter later, we got to the hospital. It turned out she had croup and was given medicine and discharged.

Big being so sick meant that we couldn’t have Hubby’s elderly grandparents and unwell sister come to the party. So it was a bit smaller than we hoped. But Little looked so cute in her birthday dress (fortunately I had made it before all of the family arrived so it was completed before the drama!). 

Grandad had made a cake and the afternoon was enjoyed by all whose immune systems were strong enough to attend!

It seemed that as soon as Big recovered, Little became mysteriously ill with ridiculously high temperatures. So when she became limp and lethargic and incredibly hot, we once again went to the emergency ward. In between temperature spikes, Little flirted with the nurses at 1am and had them madly in love with her! We finally got home at 5am with no answers. It wasn’t until a few days later that a rash indicated that she had a simple virus, roseola.

So, while we waited at home for the girls to recover, I received an interesting phone call. A while ago, I had filled out an application to be part of the Mummy Panel for the ‘Cairns Parenting Companion Magazine’ and I was one of six mums picked! So excited!! I had a very brief photo shoot (just a head shot) yesterday, and will have a couple of comments published in this coming edition.

But did I think with two sick children, new commitments with the panel and simply cleaning the house that I had enough to do? Of course not! I had sold a doll through ‘Earth Toys’ and was feeling pretty good about it. So Hubby said I should start a website. I figured that was too hard, so I launched a facebook page: . And it’s going brilliantly! I have actually fallen behind filling orders for my dinosaur softie, which is a bit stressful, but very exciting! Once I get the dinosaurs made, I’m hoping to have a chance to make some other ideas into a reality this week and post them up on the page. Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

It's been too long and I made a wallet

I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again, I am a really slack blogger! I do loads that I would love to blog about, but finding the time to sit and write it all out seems to escape me. That has been truer than ever this month!

In July, we had Hubby’s birthday. I want to preface this by saying that I completely and utterly adore him, BUT he’s not as emotionally exuberant as I am. So when I make things that I get excited about, he barely bats and eyelid. I have learned over the last decade + that, “That’s nice” in hubby speak equates to, “Wow, babe! That’s amazing!” in my language. But I still hold out hope that one day he’ll be as excited as I am…On top of this, I don’t seem to be able to find the perfect gifts for him. I have come across presents in clean outs that are still in their original packaging that I gave to him while still in our teens.

So when his birthday rocked around this year, I was stumped. He desperately needed a new wallet, but I loathe handmade wallets. I have no idea what it is about them, but I just think they look dodgy (sorry to any proud wallet makers out there!). But, in keeping with our handmade theme, I set about making him a wallet. I unpicked his wallet (he really moaned about being walletless too!) and painstakingly tried to recreate it out of orange fabric (his favourite colour). I got Big to handle the wallet with paint on her hands (she kept trying to touch the wallet without getting the paint on it, bless her!) and stamped ‘RAIDED’ across the front, because we all get to his wallet before he does!

I hated it! I still do! So, with children in tow, I braved the shops and bought him a leather wallet and a new ipod for ‘Angry Fridays’ at work (the day he plays heavy metal music in the workshop). Our shopping trip dissolved into tears when Big discovered that we would not be presenting Daddy with the wallet that she helped make. Needless to say, the store bought wallet is under our bed in its original packet, while Hubby carts around his one of a kind one.