Saturday, October 5, 2013

"Luca, Lola & Loren, three sister's with curly curly hair" - Martyrhood'...

All my life I've had a hairy little wog girl complex.

When I was a child I was called names like Hairy Spaghetti Legs, and often cried myself to sleep at night after I'd prayed to God that I would wake up with smooth skin like all the other girls.

As I grew older, I learnt to groom myself the way I wished to appear to others, so until I had children of my very own, I learnt to disregard those memories.

All until one day, my eldest daughter came home from school crying.

"Mummy, why am I so hairy? Why am I not beautiful like the other girls?"

Hearing these words come out of her mouth just about broke my heart into a million pieces.

That night, before bed, I overheard my daughter praying to God, asking him for blonde hair like all of the other girls.

It was at this point where I knew I had to do something.

I searched the market for an appropriate story book to teach her about loving herself and the tolerance of others.

Apart from a few generic happy bunny stories, I didn't find one that I liked which conveyed the message I wanted her to understand.

A message that she could educate her friends with, to stop her getting bullied at school.

At that age, with children, bullying occurs due to a lack of understanding.

I wanted to encourage knowledge, rather than perpetrate ignorance.

So with the help of my husband on the computer, we put together this virtual story for our beautiful, hairy daughter, to help explain to her without apologising, exactly why she looks the way she does.

So that she could move forward in life, and embrace her traits without apologising for them or feeling inferior because of them, in front of others.

Today I'd like to share with you all this story that we've put together, in the hope that perhaps it will help another hairy little spaghetti legged girl embrace who she is.

We hope you enjoy it.

Friday, July 26, 2013


Yes this is actually my family....and my daughter Lola striking a Mick Jagger pose.

She's definitely a character that one!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Dear Lola,

Dear Lola,

You’ve been waiting a long time for this moment my love, and today it has finally arrived! Today you turn five, little girl!!

Now, in your mind, life begins.

Ever since I can remember you’ve been asking me “When can I go to school like Luca, Mummy?” and my answer has always been, repeatedly “When you turn five.”

You’ve been planning your whole life around this milestone and now it is finally in your grasp. Granted you still have a good five or so months before you actually go to school, but the wheels are in motion, things are happening.

You are stuck in two worlds Lola. On one hand you are desperate to grow up to gain the approval of your bigger sister Luca, although on the other hand you are still such a baby at heart. This shines through when you are playing with your younger brother and sister.

When you play with Santiago and Loren, you don’t mind playing with them on their level. There is little to no competition involved. Although I can tell that this is because you feel a certain sense of leadership when you are around them (and Luca’s at school) because you are the oldest. You become mother hen and look after them like a caring big sister. It is so sweet to watch Lola. God I love you. You have such a caring heart, and it shines through. Lola, you have a personality that yearns to be loved. You need to feel as though the people, whom you love, love you in return. You are constantly seeking approval from Loren and Santiago to validate you almost. They absolutely adore you Lola. You needn’t ever worry about their feelings for you. You lift Minnie up and carry her around, you build forts with Santi, you have all the time in the world for them and for that they raise you up on a pedestal. You also try to teach them as you go along, and say quite profound things such as “Santi, the pictures we take with our eyes are called memories.”

They are lucky to have you as a big sister.


When you are with Luca, the two of you are competitive to the point of madness. It has pretty much always been this way between you girls and it drives me insane. You are hell bent on competing at her level that no matter how much I try to convince you that the 19 month age gap between you gives Luca an advantage on things such as reading and math, you still feel defeated when you can’t pass her ridiculous “tests”. She knows that she has the upper hand on you too, so this gives her a smug sisterly satisfaction. Even though you may not be able to read “level 11 books” or know what “1000 plus 1000” is (bloody Luca), you are actually extremely bright. You have a natural awareness that constantly keeps your dad and me in awe of you. Not only are you bright when it comes to age appropriate work, but you have analytical skills that surpass your years.
You’ve got street smarts little girl. If for any reason you were left to fend for yourself for a week, not only would you survive, but I think you would thrive…and gather a following…and possibly overthrow a MOB boss. That’s just the way your personality works. You are addictive. People are drawn to you. Little kids, big kids, you don’t discriminate because your personality is magnetic. One thing that drives Luca up the wall is that you will often claim her friends as your own, and she is quite adamant that her friends should be left alone. You are such a socialite that your need to have fun with people knows no boundaries. Secretly, I think it gives you satisfaction when you befriend one of Luca’s “people”.

Although the two of you are quite competitive with each other, there is tenderness between you both that cannot be denied.


I watch you play, observe you almost, and no matter how much you try to deny it, you girls have fun together. Real fun. You laugh with childish abandonment and really bond with each other. Sometimes the two of you get quite rowdy actually, but I try never to intervene when you are playing and getting along. I encourage any “nice” behaviour between you. Even if I know that you are getting up to no good together. I want that bond between you two to strengthen, and if the house gets torn apart while that happens, then so be it. What’s a house anyway, when it’s your laughter that makes it a home. Luca will never admit this Lola, but you are her best friend.

You are a bit of a dobber though Lola belle. Yes that’s right. I often have to stop you from telling me things that Luca has said or done to you. My response to you is always “I don’t care Lola. Either sort it out yourselves or keep away from each other.” Sometimes this stops you, but often you just cannot help yourself.

“Luca!! Mum!! Luca is getting chocolate for breakfast, she can’t have chocolate for breakfast, can she Mum?”

Luca’s classic response will always be “Worry about you Lola, don’t worry about what I’m doing.”

The two of you absolutely crack me up, if I’m not ripping my hair out, that is. I am looking forward to seeing your relationship evolve during the years. I can’t wait to remind you of your competitiveness once you are at an age where you are both over it.


Lola, you and Luca both have a yellow belt in Karate. Luca is quite dedicated to the sport, whereas I suspect you mainly go for the social aspect of it. You absolutely love running around and laughing with Chloe and Lauren (Luca’s school friends). Lola you love to enjoy life. You are every bit the tom boy and have your gears set at full speed ahead, at all times. This is both entertaining and draining!

Lola you go to preschool twice a week. There you have made lots of friends, mainly boys.  Your dad was telling me the other day that when he dropped you off, your friend Nate ran over to you, picked you up and spun you around. Apparently the pre school teacher Fran said “You better watch out for that one, all the boys love her.” Its true Lola, all the boys do love you because you are a little tom boy at heart. You have been invited to so many birthday parties this year and they have all been boy’s parties, bar one! Kids find it so easy to get along with you because you are always the first one to have your hand up for a good time. I’m not going to lie to you Lola, this has me worried about the future!


We’ve recently received your acceptance letter into Primary School. When we went for your interview, the principle at the end, remarked how incredibly bright you were “ and every bit the tom boy, isn’t she.” I remember crying during that interview because you impressed me so much with your knowledge of the alphabet, numbers, sums, shapes. Lola, every day you never fail to impress me. You are like a sponge. Seriously. Even if I don’t think you are paying attention, you are, and you are soaking up every ounce of information around you.

Lola, I have a little nick name for you. I call you Lola belle. Do you remember how that came about? You love Hootabelle. For a while there you slept with her every night. When you were sad or sick you would hug Hootabelle and would draw comfort from her. Well, one day I was sad and sick on the couch and you came over and gave me a big hug. I drew so much comfort from that, that I started referring to you as my “Lolabelle”.

Lola, you give me the best hugs. The thing that I adore about you baby girl, is how affectionate you are to me. You are often giving me kisses. Especially when you see that I’m feeling sad or sick, I can always count on you to be the first one to come over and give me a hug and a kiss. It’s that caring nature of yours that swells my heart up to twice its size. It’s the little things that you say and do Lola, that make you such a special little girl. Every night when I tuck you in and give you a kiss, you wait until you hear me going back to my bedroom and you shout out “I hope you have a good night’s sleep Mummy!!”


You are such a sweet heart. You have such a caring nature that it makes me so proud to be your mum. There is something about you my love, which draws people in. I think it’s your pure heart. That untainted view of the world which makes me want to experience it through your eyes. Those gorgeous hazel eyes of yours, those eyes with the flowers on the inside.

You are very sensitive my love. You enjoy being around your Dad and I. You suffer from separation anxiety whenever you are away from us for too long.

Your Dad is so proud of you baby girl. He is always telling me how much he loves your spirit. He loves that you have a mind of your own and how you stick to your word. Dad goes for the Dragons, but from the very beginning you have always said that you go for the Rabbitohs and back the same team still to this day. He loves your natural sporting ability also.


Everyone who sees you always comments on how much you look like your dad, although a few weeks ago someone remarked how similar our characteristics were when we laughed. I love having that connection to you little girl. I want you to hold that dear to you. When you laugh, you look like me. You take on my spirit. So I beg you, keep smiling baby girl because as long as you smile, no matter where you are in this world, I want you to draw comfort that I will always be with you. In your smile, in your laughter. Although, hopefully you’ll be over your separation anxiety by then!

Lola belle, I love you with all my heart and then some. You bring joy to my soul.

Never, never change.

You have the world at your fingertips, go ahead and reach for the stars. With your charismatic nature, I’m sure you’ll even catch a few planets along the way.


Happy fifth birthday baby girl. You are amazing xx

Monday, July 1, 2013

Dear Loren,

Dear Loren,

Loren...that almost sounds strange because more often than not we call you Minnie. Today is your birthday Minnie, and today you turn two. I'm looking at you right now as I type this and my eyes swell with tears. It seems like only yesterday when  I held you in my arms for the very first time. I remember thinking how beautiful you were the second I saw you. Even covered in all the muck that is associated with childbirth, your beauty was the loudest thing in that room. To this day, that rings true. We call you Minnie, firstly because of the obvious reasons - you love Minnie Mouse. Secondly because you are so damn short!! Minnie you are tiny!! Teeny tiny!! You must have an extraordinary metabolism because you are the biggest eater ever! You will eat anything that is on offer and then ask for seconds and sometimes thirds.

You are a feisty little girl. When I say feisty, I mean I think you have short woman syndrome because despite your tiny package you pack a mean punch. To the point that sometimes you are a downright bully to your brother who loves you so very, very, much! He dotes on you and for the majority of the time you love that, although every now and again even though he is bigger than you, you push him around! Especially if he has a toy that you find attractive.
In saying that though, you two are the best of friends. Santiago is always looking out for you. He takes his role of big brother very seriously and your welfare is his main concern. You are quite spoilt little girl. You have three older siblings who absolutely adore you and aim to please you at every turn. Luca and Lola are quite competitive for your love and attention and even though you are young, you are quite savvy and have learnt to play them to your advantage. Lola, even though she is only taller than you by a smidge, picks you up and carries you around. You love it when she does that. Luca treats you as though you are still a baby. She really does feels quite older than you and allows you to get away with a lot more than she lets her other siblings get away with. You are even allowed to be in her room at times! That for Luca, says a lot. Although sometimes you rub her up the wrong way and the two of you go at it. It is hilarious to witness because she is six and you are two. You are a little parrot so all you do in that argument is repeat whatever she is yelling at you. It frustrates her, and is pretty funny I have to admit. You also have a little trick up your sleeve for whenever you feel you aren't winning an argument. You spit. Yes you heard me you feral little child. You spit! No saliva actually comes out, but the intention is there. It is very difficult not to laugh when you are doing this. You look like the sweetest, most innocent little child in pigtails who would never do such a thing as SPIT , but spit you do. I'm pretty sure you learnt that at preschool.

You don't mind going to preschool. Drop off is always heartbreaking - that's why I let your dad do that. I'm not emotionally strong enough to do drop off.  You have a little friend at preschool that you talk about. Her name is Olivia. It's adorable to hear you talk about her.

You are speaking more and more of late. You know how to count to twenty and you can sing the entire alphabet. You haven't been a baby for very long because you've always been in such a hurry to be like your older brother and sisters. You can do everything that they do and have that fiery determination in you that ensures you won't be left behind. You can see that determination in your huge brown eyes. Those eyes that help you get away with murder.

You love Dora and the Wiggles. This birthday the theme of your gifts has been Dora. You love watching Dora and I will often find you shouting at the television when prompted by her. You are a passionate child and by no means shrinking violet.  More like a shrieking violet!

You are quite spirited little girl, who likes to get her own way. Although for the majority of time you are well behaved. Although you do not know the meaning of the word "quiet" , especially when we are at Karate practise for your older sisters. You and your brother love to run a muck there. The two of you are thick as thieves. He loves to make you laugh and does so often. You give off those delicious deep belly laughs that makes anyone within a 50metre radius laugh along with you.
Your beauty is obvious. Every time we venture out I literally have people stopping me in the street to tell me how gorgeous you are. Although the best thing about your beauty Minnie, is that it comes from within.
You are so affectionate. We are joined at the hip, almost literally. You are always in my arms. Your legs are like that of an Orangutan constantly clinging to my waist. Sometimes you cling on for dear life and I cannot put you down. We are very close you and I, Min. You are an extension of me, and when I am at work I actually feel as though I am missing a piece of myself. I do everything with you wrapped around my waist. You're my little monkey. When you look at me with those big brown eyes of yours and call me Mummy, it's all I can do from picking you up and squeezing you till I hear that beloved belly laugh of yours. You are such a joy little girl.
Minnie, as much as I love you, I wouldn't mind if you went to sleep in your own bed sometime this century. Both you and Santiago have inherited this bad habit of kicking your father out of bed and sleeping with me of a night. I don't mind so much sleeping with Santi because he at least stays on his side of the bed, but you are a maniac to sleep with!! During the course of the night you will sleep in every direction possible - on top of me, then I'll have your feet in my face, then you'll be head butting me. You also sleep walk. One night I awoke to you saying "No dankyou" and then you put my nose in your mouth. I think you were dreaming that you were eating . It was hilarious, but I think you'd appreciate how confusing that was for me at 3am in the morning.

You love your Daddy, Minnie Mouse. As soon as you hear his car pull up in the driveway you start screaming "Daddy home!!!" and run around like a chook with its head cut off. You love to give him kisses and be his stand out girl. You are quite competitive with your siblings and don't like to share affection. When it comes to you little girl, you tend to wrap him around your little finger. You are his baby girl and will always be.
If by some miracle you happen to sleep in your own bed overnight you like to make an announcement once you've awoken in the morning. You stand at the top on the stairs with your little arms spread out wide and shout "My awaaaaaake!!!"  You love to make a grand entrance.

You love cake pops. Love them. So I didn't make your birthday cake this year. Instead I've ordered some of your favourite flavours in a Minnie Mouse theme. I can't wait for you to see them. I love the manner in which you get  excited.  You show it from the tip of your nose to the tip of your toes.

I love you so so so much Minnie. I can't even begin to put into words how much you mean to me.  You are a part of me.  When I have you in my arms I feel like I'm home. As though I'm at peace with the world. You do this heart melting thing when we are hugging, you pat me on the back with your little cupped hand. It's like you've been here before and are looking after me as much as I'm looking after you.
Ever since you were a baby we have always gone outside to look at the stars together. I'll hold you in my arms and we'll both look up at the sky. You'll always exclaim "WOW, Stars!!" in which I'll give you a kiss on your soft cheek and point at the brightest one. It's then that I tell you that star is shining that bright, just for you. You are my star Loren. No matter how old you get or wherever this world takes you, I want you to know that you can always look up at the night sky, find the brightest star, and know in your heart that it shines bright just for you. I want you to always remember that the brightest star in the sky will eternally be a symbol of my love for you.

Loren the world is at your fingertips. Even at the age of two I can already see that you have the drive and passion to be whatever you want to be in this life. I will always and forever be here for you to encourage you the whole way. I will dedicate my life to being your greatest support network baby girl. No matter how big you get Loren, you will always be my Minnie Mouse.

Happy second birthday baby girl, mummy loves you more than you could ever possibly imagine xxxx

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dear Santiago,

Little man, today you turn 3.

I’ve been struggling to write you this letter, because I simply don’t want it to be so. You are growing up way too quickly my love and I just wish you would slow down a bit. Each day that passes I notice a little something different about you that concretes the fact that you are indeed growing up. Whether it’s a new word that you’ve learnt, a new song, or even a facial expression, time is not waiting for me to be emotionally ready to let you go.

You are such a joy, little man. There is no other way to put it. I still get excited each morning to wake up to your little face beckoning me out of bed “Mummy!! It’s morning time!!...Mum….Muuum…Mum!!!”, or my personal favourite, “Mummy!! It’s coffee time!! Wake up!!” It never gets old.

You sleep in your bus bed, although every night you initially fall asleep with me as we unwind and watch television together in my bed (watching “mummy’s show”). It’s my favourite time of the night. We cuddle, and laugh and giggle and every night before your dad joins us, you lean over and whisper to me “Mummy, this is OUR bed, not Daddy’s”. Truth be told, it kind of is at the moment. Between you and Loren, I don’t remember the last time your dad and I have spent a whole night in our bed kid free!!


You have a security pillow that you sleep with every night. In fact you carry it around with you ALL THE TIME. It started off as just the red velvet pillow that you would cart around and treasure, although it’s now morphed into a whole new thing. Your main security pillow is your red velvet one, although you also have a “Yee ha” (Toy Story) one as well. That’s not all, you quirky little boy!! You’d think lugging two pillow cases around with you at all times would be enough, no? Well it’s not. You also MUST have your Wiggles “blankie” and a “Racing car” pillowcase (with no pillow in it) with you, or at least near you when you’re at home. You are a banana.


We have a special affiliation with the moon, little man. We often look out to the night sky from bed together. Or so you think. Sometimes you observe how close and “big” the moon appears. You seem so excited with your findings that I don’t have the heart to tell you that it’s actually the street lamp outside of our house that you are commenting on. It’s so sweet I can barely contain myself from covering your little face with kisses.

Santiago, you are almost fully toilet trained! During the day you wear underwear, although at night you still need a nappy. We have a few accidents here and there (Ready Set Play!!), but on the whole you are doing really well. So well in fact, you like an audience when you’re in the toilet (“Look at me mum!!”). Your dad has taught you to wee outside which you (and Lola) find quite fun. It makes you feel like a big boy (just like dad).

Even though you are the only boy with three sisters, you are really into all things masculine. You love cars, trucks, airplanes, trains, riding your bike and anything with a motor in it. Let’s not forget the WIGGLES, who you are still obsessed with. You don’t even mind the new WIGGLES. You’ll take them however you can! Luckily you have learnt the actual colours by name at this point and have stopped calling yellow – Greg, Red – Murray etc.  You occasionally still do it, but I’m in no rush to let go of your little baby idiosyncrasies just yet. Although you enjoy your boy toys, you still have a maternal side in you! I often see you rocking a “baby” to sleep, not to mention the way you are with Loren.


You are hands down the best big brother on the face of this earth. When I see you with Loren, my heart explodes. You are always looking out for her. Whether you are asking her if she would like a turn of your toys, or finding her “blankie” for her, you are always there when she needs you. If she’s hurt you are caring towards her:

“ You alright Loren?” you’ll ask with a furrowed brow. You are the big brother and you take that role very seriously. Don’t get me wrong you both have your moments where you want to play with the same toy and there will be fighting involved, but the majority of time you consider yourself to be her guardian. You two are thick as thieves. Add Lola to the mix and you are all best friends for life. You three spend a lot of time together, with Luca being at school – so naturally you have a special bond that delights me to see evolving. The relationships and dynamics between you four are constantly changing, and will change again once Lola starts school next year.

You absolutely love your sisters. Love. Can’t do without them. You cry when you aren’t with them. I asked you who you wanted at your birthday party this year and you said each one of your sisters names. Not your friends though, because they are naughty apparently!! You are really family orientated, and I absolutely love that about you. I soak it up now, because they all tell me that it will change once you become old enough to fall in love. All I ask, my boy, is that you stick by your sisters. It is a tough world out there and if anything were to happen to me at any point I want to know that both you and your sisters will look out for each other in life. Stick by one another. Your sisters absolutely love you. You are the glue that holds those crazy girls together

Lola calls you “Santi” at the moment. It’s super cute and I love it. I’ve heard you call yourself that as well, and with your lisp it is just the cutest thing. Loren is still struggling with your name. She calls you “Yago”, which is also really gorgeous. You have so many pet names that I’m surprised you remember them all! You mean so much to so many people that they all have a different and equally special connection with you. That is a great quality to have, little man.


Speaking of connections, the one you have with your dad is nothing less than ADORABLE. He recently went to Melbourne for work, and on the day you were expecting him home, you waited at the front door with a banana for him telling anyone that would listen to you, “This banana is for my dad!”

When asked who you’d like a play date with, invariably the answer will always be “I want to have a play date with my dad.”

I recently bought you a packet of underwear, and putting two and two together that you and your father are the only males in the house, offered to share the packet with him. “You want some of my undies, Dad? They have cars on them”. Seriously the cuteness is too much that many, many times your dad and I just look at each other and melt.

Santi, you have such a warm heart. You are giving by nature and you genuinely care about others. This makes me so very proud of you.

You hate school. You only have to go once a week, but that once is too much for you. Once you are there you are fine, but the tears start in the morning at home as soon as you realize where you are headed for the day. It breaks my heart. So much so that I cannot actually drop you off. Your dad takes you. Last time I was in charge of dropping you off at school, you said those heartbreaking words “Mummy, please don’t leave me.”, which saw me take the day off work to spend with you. We went shopping and had a great time together, so secretly I’m not complaining. Any time spent with you is time worth spending, little man. I will never leave you. Never.

You are addicted to chewing gum. So much so, that I constantly have a stash on me to sooth you when you are upset. It is the only thing that will stop the tears, or make you sit still (somewhat) when we are waiting for the girls to finish Karate.


You like me to spike your hair up like “Mr Maker”. Every day at bath time you want reassurance that I won’t be washing you hair. You hate washing it, unless you are doing yourself.

You are my absolute love little man. I cannot even express the feeling I get inside when I look at those big brown eyes of yours when you call me Mummy. I would turn the world inside out for you my love. Your smile reduces me to mush. You are so charismatic, but it’s your loving nature that makes my heart swell up to twice it’s size when I think of you. You’re funny. So funny. You are constantly making me laugh with your jokes or antics. You can be a little bit naughty at times too, well, not so much naughty, but lively. I pretend to get cranky with you, but secretly I wouldn’t want you any other way.

Recently I was trying to convince your father to have another baby. I desperately wished for another boy. I was positive that’s what would make my life complete. I tried for months to get your father excited about it, until I did some soul searching and realized it wasn’t what I actually wanted. I didn’t want another son. I wanted another you. That’s how much I love you little man. I would clone you if I could because to me, you are just perfect in every way. There is a ray of light in you, which shines so brightly on this world. Just as the moon lights the night sky. Or the street lamp illuminates the dark path. Don’t ever let anyone dim that light, my love. It is in you, and you are special.


I love you more and more with each day that passes. I truly feel blessed to be your mother and witness the miracle of you growing up.


Happy third birthday Santiago, you will always be the little man of my dreams.







Monday, December 3, 2012

Dear Luca,

Dear Luca,

I've procrastinated writing you this letter. Partly because I can't believe you're already six, partly because every time I think of writing this letter, my eyes fill with tears. Time is going by way too quickly. Where on earth is the pause button?

On the weekend you turned a big six years old. We threw you a Disney Princess High Tea, complete with jumping castle and Ariel cake as per requested.

It was the first time you had an actual birthday party with friends from school invited. You were so excited, counting down the days months before. All of your friends came and it was truly a magical day. You were beaming. Positively glowing throughout the party. Partly because you were just so happy, partly because it was bloody 40 degree weather! Typical!

The jumping castle arrived at home at 7.30 in the morning which was incredibly exciting stuff for you and your brother and sisters. You were all out there jumping up a storm before you even bothered to open your presents! It felt so fantastic seeing you so excited. Made all the relentless organising so worthwhile.

You are currently obsessed with Ariel the mermaid, so the party was based on your love for her. I made the cake for you, which you loved (phew!). You can be quite finicky with details, so I was relieved when I saw that you approved of the colour schemes!

It is the end of the school year and I have noticed that you have really come out of your shell. You seem to choose your friends more wisely as well, which is a relief to me. At the beginning of the year you were a bit of a sheep, blindly following the stronger personalities. Now days, when you come home from school, we talk at length about the people who are always nice to you, and those who are only sometimes nice. You, all by yourself, have made the decision to distance yourself from those who are only sometimes nice. This makes me prouder than you will ever know. I love that you are wise beyond your years and are able to see through the popularity contest.

You love a boy called Ben, but he loves Isabelle with an E (not to be mistaken with Isabel without and E). This was deeply upsetting to you, so Lola suggested that you try to look more like Isabelle with an E so that Ben would love you instead. You shook your head at this and informed Lola that there was no way you could ever look like her because she is much shorter than you are. So Lola thought for a minute, and suggested that we chop her legs off. Lola is your little puppy dog and wants to make you happy at all costs. Clearly :-/

You are a great student. Very well behaved in class. You have received six merit awards this year alone, which is a phenomenal achievement. You try hard, which is beyond what I will ever ask of you. You get a reader folder for homework every day, which we tackle together when you get home from school. You have improved on your reading in leaps and bounds over the year. I'm so impressed. I was actually worried at the beginning of the year as I noticed that rather than read the book, you would just remember the story from when the teacher read it to you. Now you can pick up any book and start actually sounding out the words. This blows my mind.

You are so responsible that I often forget just how old you are. I always think of my children as "Luca" and "the kids". It's like you're my wing woman. If I want to go for a shower or something that will take me out of the picture, I can always rely on you to "just look after the "kids" for me for a minute". You enjoy  the feeling of superiority!

You currently attend swimming lessons with your dad and Lola. Lola is like a little fish in the water, whereas you are a tad more cautious. Initially when you began, it was quite a struggle to get you into the water. Then it was a struggle to peel you off the instructor, once you were in the water! You have improved immensely. I'm not going to say you love swimming lessons, because that would be a flat out lie, but, well, you don't scream like a banshee anymore at the idea of getting wet! Proud of you babe. I have to acknowledge your dad for that one. He is the one who persisted with you and kept taking you to swimming lessons. I was ready to give up, take you home and wrap you in cotton wool for the rest of your life. Your dad likes to push you to your limits, which is something that you need as you are cautious with your approach to everything.  You two have a very special bond that has been strengthened because of all these tests he puts you through. These tests have made you a stronger child mentally which I am grateful for. Your dad sees the potential in you and doesn't like seeing you bow out in defeat if being scared or too cautious is the only reason you're bowing.

You've lost quite a few teeth this year. The last one you lost was one of your front teeth. The other is wiggly, so I guess you'll be front toothless for Christmas. I so want that to happen because I would love to get you on camera singing, "All I want for Christmas, is my two front teeth." I'm cheesy like that. You always tell me I take too many photos of you, but I can't seem to help my paparazzi ways. I'm just so incredibly proud of you that I want to capture every single moment even if it annoys you, cause you look so pretty when you're annoyed! Click!

We have a very special relationship you and I. We joke with each other constantly. Always play teasing each other. I love how we can muck around like that. You are quite the comedian. Quite witty when you want to be also. You totally get that from me ;-)

One thing that irks me about you Luca, I have to say, is my goodness you take your time with everything child!

"Luca put your shoes on or we are going to be late for school."

"Luca, have you put your shoes on yet?"

"Luca, your shoes!"

"Arrgh Luca, put your fricken shoes on!!"

This happens more often than I care to admit. You can also trade the word shoe, for anything else that comes to mind. You're terrible like that!

You always look at me sheepishly, and say something infuriating like

"Oh, I forgot."


Luckily you make up for it in every other way.

You have battled with a few eczema issues this year. Some quite severe. We still are not certain what triggers the outbreaks, as the blood tests were inconclusive. It showed that you had double the number of allergens in your blood count that were considered normal, although were none of the common ones such as dog hair, dust (phew!), pollen , wheat, etc.

It's something we have to constantly keep an eye on, and never fully goes away, but we have a better understanding of it now which is helpful for both of us.

Luca, you love to be out and about. You love going shopping, out to lunch or dinner, or going on "holidays" over at your grandparent's house. Sometimes you enjoy the serenity of being without your brother and sisters for a day or so. You also enjoy being spoilt, and everyone enjoys spoiling you because you are just such a phenomenal kid.

You have a love/hate relationship with your siblings. Thankfully for the majority of the time, you love them. You are very caring and nurturing, until they get into your stuff. This frustrates you to no end. I completely understand, and am looking into a way where you can store all of your favourite toys and trinkets away from sticky fingers.

You love slushies, olive pizza, spaghetti Bolognese, and cheeseburgers (minus the pickles). You love strawberries for crunch and sip and you like your sandwiches crust less.

Luca, you are at school at the moment and just the thought of you makes my eyes well up with tears. It's just that I'm so incredibly proud of the little lady you have become, and at some level, have always been.  You have such a good heart that it shines through. You have gotten so tall as well, that it makes you look older than your six years. I sometimes have to do a double take on you to soak up the fact that you are still my baby. No matter how old or tall or mature you become Luca, you will always be my baby. That baby who would spend hours jumping on that jolly jumper. That baby who would flap her arms vehemently with excitement (you actually still do that, which is adorable). That baby who would twirl her dummy around her hair when she slept so tight, that I would have to end up cutting it out of your hair.

Luca, you are an absolute joy to be around. No trouble whatsoever. Whenever we can, you and I sneak off to lunches together, or to the movies. I love spending one on one time with you. It's an absolute pleasure. We also enjoy our cuddles on the couch. You and I are very close, little girl, and I will do everything in my power to ensure that we remain close throughout our lives. I want to always be your netting. I'm not going to lie to you, life is tricky, and there will be times when you will lose balance and fall. I will always be there to catch you baby girl. That is what I'm here for. That is my mission in life. That is what I was born to do. To ensure that you and your brother and sisters always have the support in life to be able to rely on the netting and go forth and soar to great heights. So that no matter how alone you may be or where you are in the world, that you may think of me and feel at home, and feel safe, and loved, and worthwhile and precious, oh so incredibly precious.

Luca, I love you beyond any measurable words. You are my life and you take my heart with you wherever you go. Happy 6th birthday baby, girl. God bless you always xx