Three Girls Sharing

Over the last two months, my brother and his girlfriend have been staying with us. We have been blessed beyond belief to have them in our home, living life with us. It has been lovely to get to know Denae properly (she is from America) and for the girls to spend quality time with her and Uncle Bruce.

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We have two days left with them. Our hearts are all feeling very tender as we anticipate “the goodbyes” and Ryen and Mica are already playing up – sulking, tearful etc. In these moments I am reminded of how fortunate we are to have such a close-knit family. I don’t know of many other families who love each other as much as we do, who choose to spend as much time together as possible. I am so grateful to my folks for teaching us the value of family and so grateful to my siblings for embracing these values. We are the raddest (wink wink).

I do hope that I am modeling the same to my girls. That they see my friendships with my brothers and sister and strive to one day have the same with each other. I hope that I can one day visit at any one of my kids’ homes and happen upon my other children visiting at the same time. I hope we have family holidays and lunches and Christmases together.

Thanks Mom and Dad for your love and for teaching us such important values!

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Thanks Denae for these pictures!!! You are so talented!

With Denae and Bruce leaving we have some space opening up in our home. Ryen and Mica have decided that they want to share a room with Emme and nothing I say will sway them in their decision. They say I am mean to expect any one of them to actually sleep in her OWN room (which I thought may excite Ryen – being able to have a “big girl room”). I am so impressed with them for being so considerate of each other and for wanting to be together. That said, I have some moving and shifting around to do. Do I turn Ryen’s room (which Denae was using) into a guest room or a playroom? Or an office for me? Do I turn the playroom into a sitting room slash office?

One thing at a time. The shared room. Initially, Mica and Emme were going to share and I set about decorating with bold colours and patterns, to compliment Mica’s vivacious and outgoing personality. I added a touch of “pretty” to Emme’s side of the room and we were happy. Now with Ryen joining the mix I would love to give the room a little make over to incorporate all their not-so-little personalities. With this in mind, I am scouring the web for inspiration. What do you think? These pics are from Em’s blog (www.thebeetleshack.com). She inspires me so much!

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email me your ideas : nicolemaurel@gmail.com

Watch this new project unfold. I have a feeling it will take a little while. I’ll be doing some updates on Instagram and Facebook and of course here on the blog.

My Word, This No Internet Story Is Not A Joke

Friends. I know I promised more regular updates and more posts. I am desperate to keep the blog ball rolling. Our internet is wigging out and our reception has hit an all-time low (pretty much non-existent). Please bare with me as I try to rectify this unbelievably frustrating problem.

In the meantime, feast your eyes:

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This is our life. We are keeping busy with school and playing lots and cuddling the most gorgeous little 7 month old Emme in the world.

If I Had a Son

I love being a mom. I’m sure you may have picked that up. I especially love being a mom to four girls. I know girls, I can DO girls. I can handle the emotional outbursts (most days, I can), the drama, the singing and dancing and we-need-to-do-our-make-up-right-now-or-we-may-just-faint. I can take it in my stride when my wild child climbs up the window bars and my airy fairy walks into a door for the seventh time in one day. I can take it when my teen wants to be permanently attached to her blackberry. Why? Because they are not throwing things around, climbing all over my furniture, beating each other up, wrestling, shouting, breaking things …

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And yet, my heart longs for one of those too. I constantly find myself day dreaming of having a little boy. How would I dress him? What would his room look like? What toys would I buy him and what books would we read?

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Would he be a surfer like his dad or a skater or sportsman? Would he be musically inclined? Would he terrorize his sisters or follow them around like an adoring puppy?

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I love these day dreams. They make me smile. And who knows, maybe one day they will come true …

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It’s Love That Makes The World Go Round

I love meeting couples who are keen to use Lamplight as their photographers for their weddings. Obviously, it’s always nice to get some business. But, it’s more than that. It’s about seeing hope, trust and joy shining in someone’s eyes as they speak about their dreams for their day. It’s about enthusiasm reflected in the eyes of a groom as he hears his bride get excited about their future. It’s about rubbing arms with Love.

Sometimes a couple exude more love than others. When I met with Jan and Nick,I was riveted by their outgoing personalities, fun attitudes and mostly by their love for one another and for God. We set up an engagement shoot and are photographing their wedding in a few weeks time.

Here are a few pics of this incredible couple. Thank you, Nick and Jan for welcoming me into your lives and for allowing me to be part of your special love.

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Follow Lamplight Photography to see Nick and Jan’s wedding in a few week’s time.

The Playlist

As a doula, I always encourage my clients to make a playlist of their favourite songs to play during labour and their baby’s birth. It sets the tone for the arrival of a new life, for the environment babe is being born into and often, can be a useful tool in calming a newborn (they hear familiar songs and settle – proven fact).

Before Emme’s birth I put together a list of some songs that were either of significance to me, chosen by her sisters or were applicable to Emme herself. We listened to the playlist during school time and before bed in the weeks leading up to the birth. While on bed rest to prevent labour progressing (I started having contractions at 32 weeks and proceeded to have them for four more weeks until Emme was born, which is a story in itself), I played her playlist over and over. It became my link to my girl, my mantra that mingled with prayers for my unborn daughter – love, love, love.

I planned on having a natural birth. I was going to have her playlist playing, candles burning and a peaceful labour that would lead into a calm welcoming of my longed for little girl. While I waited, I painted my birth picture to the tunes that flowed from ‘The Playlist’.

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At 35 weeks, my doctor informed me that the contractions, although ineffective for labour were in fact, very effective in putting undue strain on Emme and on my own body. She gave me one week to deliver naturally and tentatively booked Wednesday 8 August 2012 for a c-section. I went home devastated.

I played ‘The Playlist’ over and over that week, begging Emme to make her way out. I pleaded with God to make it happen. I walked and massaged and pushed on pressure points. I rocked through HOURS of excruciating contractions, pain coursing through my body. I welcomed each contraction as a step in the right direction and focused on the music that was beckoning my girl to her mama’s outstretched arms (and heart). Tuesday 7 August arrived and after a call from my doctor, I resigned myself to the fact that this little soul was not coming by herself. Together we decided that Emme would be born via c-sec the following morning.

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My heart broke. I cried big, crocodile tears. I am a DOULA for goodness sake, I’m ALL about the natural birth experience. My playlist was ready, my experience mapped out in my mind to the tunes I had specifically put together for this momentous occasion. And now it was being ripped to shreds. Torn from my hands. Or was it?

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Marc and I made a fairly silent trip to the hospital at 6am on Wednesday morning. I was trying to be brave, trying not to be miserable. Inside I was crying. Marc tried to cheer me up. I left ‘The Playlist’ in my bag when they wheeled me to theatre. I couldn’t bare to have it playing during such a clinical and heartless ‘procedure’.

The radio was on in the background and I lay ignoring it and trying hard to come to grips with my disappointment. My baby was on her way, and even though I wouldn’t be able to use my own strength to push her out of my body, I would need a different kind of strength to welcome her as she took her first breaths. I closed my eyes, begged forgiveness for my bad attitude and woke up to the radio playing Ryen and Mica’s favourite song .

Emme’s head was birthed through an incision in my abdomen, her eyes opened and she blinked. “Love, love, love”. She stuck her little tongue out, opened her mouth and gave a big cry. “Love, love love”. The rest, of her little body writhed out in one fluid motion, as if coming out of the birth canal and my doctor placed her on my lower abdomen where her cord pulsed, giving her the benefit of all the goodness in her mamas blood. “Love, love, love”. Marc cut the cord when it stopped pulsing and my little girl was lifted up for me to see. “Love, love, love”. After the paedeatrician performed a routine newborn check and apgar tests, she was placed on my chest where our hearts beat together and she searched for and found the breast. “Love, love, love”.

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I didn’t have the birth I planned. I had a birth planned by Love. And though the playlist remained in my bag, a special song played while Emme taught me to embrace not my own plans, but the plans set out for us waaaaaay before time even existed. Emme had the perfect birth.

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We played her playlist in the days that followed. It was on repeat our entire hospital stay. We played it when we got home. Emme recognized it and was calmed by it. And now, almost seven months later I play it on car journeys to soothe my little car-hating munchkin. And sometimes, sometimes I just play it for me.

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Emme-Girl’s Playlist:
1901 – Birdy
Oh – Dave Matthews Band
Daughters – John Mayer
You and I – Avalanche City
Wake The Earth – The Honey Trees
Us Against The World – Coldplay
Up In Flames – Coldplay
To Be With You – The Hiney Trees
Tiny Dancer – Ben Folds
Strange and Beautiful – Aqualung
Skinny Love – Birdy
She Moves In Her Own Way – The Kooks
Quelqu, un M,a Dit – Carla Bruni
The Pacemaker – Magnet
Orchard – The Honey Trees
Not Myself – John Mayer
LOVE LOVE LOVE – Avalanche City
Love and Loss – The Honey Trees
Good Morning Fire Eater – Copleand
The Frog Prince – Keane
Friday I’m In Love – Fiction Family
Find Home – The Honey Trees
Escape – Kongos
Emaline – Ben Folds
Dragon – The Amazing
Don’t Fear – The Honey Trees
Crash Into Me – Dave Matthews Band
Closer To Me – Future of Forestry
Chicago – The Uglysuit
Bedshaped – Keane
Apartment – Young The Giant

A Fresh Start

I have decided to start over. I want to give Nibbi a new look, a new feel and some new content. If you are new here, welcome! I hope this will be the start of many new things. New lessons for me to learn, new ideas birthed, new friendships formed, new everything.

If you have been following my journey, welcome back. I hope the “new” Nibbi sees you come back more and more. My heart has always been to document my journey truthfully and with as much soul as possible. I am back and hoping to bring more of MYSELF, more of the ESSENCE of me to this blog. Previously, I focused on my parenting and only alluded to the other parts of me. I will still talk a LOT about being a mom and about my girls, but, I want you to know all (or as close to all as possible) of me. I hope I can inspire you with my stories, make you laugh a bit, encourage you, empower you and in doing so, grow as a person. Welcome to the evolution (sorry, I had to do that).

Over the last year and a half, much has changed for me. A new house, a new baby, a new lease on life in terms of my health. My marriage has grown, my capacity as a mother has been challenged and I have learnt to juggle (figuratively, of course) all the aspects of my life a bit better than before. I have new interests, new ideas constantly flying through my head. I feel enthusiastic and energized for a new season as a woman, a mother, a person! I hope you’ll stay for the ride.

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Under Construction

Ah, lovely readers. Nibbithenerd is undergoing major reconstructive surgery. I am dreaming big. This blog needs a new look, some exciting new content and a fresh new feel. I will be relaunching the blog in early February and will be making Nibbi a more frequent poster at the same time. Please post,in the comments section, any ideas or requests you might have for the blog. Alternatively, email me on nicolemaurel@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you! Until February … Dream Big!