Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Tension of Adjustment

Last weekend I experienced something profound… something I was not expecting, something that totally overwhelmed me and left me feeling both very appreciative, but also left me with a lot of questions.

I couldn’t tell you how many movies I’ve cried in… there are too many to count, I could probably think of a few that have left me in tears… usually sad tears that come out fear of shared experience or potential futures… but until last week, I don’t think I could have told you about a movie that left me uncontrollably sobbing in appreciation… it’s just never happened… not joyful, heartfelt appreciation.  But that’s what happened, and jeepers were the ugly tears… now there was probably a lot of contributing factors… I’ve been tired, Isaac has been a bit under the weather, we are adjusting to a new season of life in the George household and there are a lot of emotions around… just under the surface waiting for their chance to show… but I think these tears were that and more… the more being a true and deep appreciation of what those who have gone before me have really sacrificed and fought for so that I can whinge about it now in my 2019 reality.

So what did I see? I hear you screaming… Dave and I saw ‘On the Basis of Sex’ a movie about the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  Who it turns out is a hero of mine… She is a woman who has spent her whole life standing up for herself and later the women of America.  She is a woman who despite being constantly told, she can’t, she shouldn’t, and she is unwelcome preserved and persisted.  A woman who knew her worth and that women in general were more capable than the lives they were encouraged and pigeoned holed into leading.  It is thanks to her that discrimination on the basis of sex is no longer just accepted in American law… and in many way, thanks to women like her that I can do all of the things that I do, have the jobs that I have and expectations on my life that I do.  It’s because of women like her (and many many others) that I can expect to co-parent and share the workload of my house, that I can work and not feel guilty about not being the full time carer for our son.

It’s no secret that I like to think of myself as an advocate for womens rights.  I would like to think that I actually do advocate… not just think about it.  But increasingly in my life I have found myself standing up against the female stereotype, that despite our modern age, continues to persist.  However, even though I would like to think of myself as progressive, I often catch myself longing for what many refer to as a ‘simpler time’ when all I was expected to do was stay at home and keep both the house and the children under control. A time where I would have known my role… to marry well and be satisfied… where my choices were limited.  But I know that for me this wouldn’t have been enough.  I am a terrible decision maker, but I like having options… I like that I get to choose whether or not that is the life that I want.  Now don’t hear me saying that being a stay at home mum isn’t a job… because it is more than a job… or that it is a bad choice, because it isn’t.  It’s only a bad choice when it’s your only choice… especially if that choice is just assumed and not actually chosen by you.  I know that I have more to offer than to be seen and not heard… and that I would never have been able to conform the way I would have been expected to had the ’1950s housewife’ expectation remained.

In watching ‘On the Basis of Sex’ I felt like I was able to get a glimpse into what it must have been like for so many women that have paved the way for me.  I often feel like I am still fighting the proverbial white man in many areas of my life, but let me tell you my fight is nothing in comparison to the fights that have gone before.  The overwhelming appreciation I have for Ruth and her counterparts I very hard to put in to words.  However, the movie also left me wondering… why hadn’t I known her story before this… who else should I know about, why don’t I have more female heroes in my life… where can I learn their stories… because there must be so so so many more.

This season we are in at the moment is hard… it’s not our hardest season, and it has not been made difficult by one particular thing, it’s just a season of adjustment.  Adjusting to new jobs and increased working hours for Dave, adjusting to picking up more days of my own work and returning to pre-baby work as well.  Adjusting to not being around Isaac all day everyday and learning how to deal with childcare… saying goodbye, organising drop offs and pick ups and allowing him and I to rest (me occasionally while he is at childcare and him after childcare because playing all day is very hard work).  Finding balance with work, money, fun, family and all the things that make up life.  Finding the balance between wanting to be everything for everyone and knowing that I can’t.  But these choices and these battles are also a privilege… these are choices that many women didn’t and still don’t have.  And why balancing all these options has been something I have really struggled with especially since becoming a mum, I have to remind myself how blessed I am to live in a time where I can do what I want to do, where my husband expects to play a role in our household and parenting which is more than just occasional dinner guest and sole provider.  And that my privilege still outweighs that of many people I encounter daily.  Nevertheless, there is still a tension here.  There is a tension between reality and expectations, tension between what was, and what is… and tension between what can be and what I want.  It’s the reality often seen in a good old Facebook quote… “You can do anything, but you can’t do everything” which is very true but hard to remember all of the time, and not always fun to live.  There has to be sacrifices eventually, but sacrificing time with Isaac to work doesn’t make me a bad mum, nor does sacrificing work to look after Isaac make me a bad feminist.  It’s all just about finding balance.

So my challenge in this season is to seek out some more information and wisdom from those women who have gone before me and those that are still around me, who have made this thing called motherhood work… to learn more about women like Ruth… because seriously what a boss!  But also to cut myself some slack… to be ok with the tension and growing pains of adjustment.  To be ok with feeling both happy and sad that Isaac is at childcare.  To embrace my ‘me’ time when I can so that I can be a better mum to him and a better person in general.

Our Curious Life: Week 52… Kind of.

 

 

 

So, we’ve made it to the end of the year… how exactly I am not really sure, but here we are… and I’m calling it… I tried no. 27 and it just didn’t working for me… not at all, and despite my best plans, it is highly likely that I am not going to catch up on my weekly blogs… so I am not going to try anymore.  This list item seemed like a really good idea and the blogger that I pinched the idea from made it look pretty easy, but it turns out, right now, it’s actually really hard to achieve.  So in lieu of the missing weekly blogs I thought I would do an end of year list wrap up… because let’s face it, that what we all really want to know before the new list drops anyway.

So what have we crossed off this year… well lots… and like most of the updates before this, if it was lucky enough to make it into a blog of its own… well you can click the link… and if it wasn’t haven’t you can read it here… ok here we go, this could be a long one.

  1. Learn how to fold a fitted sheet – completed: 14/06/2018
  2. Learn how to make 3 different balloon animals – completed: 09/12/2018
    For my birthday this year my wonderful friend Pheebs included a balloon making kit in my birthday gift and while it took me almost all year to get around to I finally made some balloon animals.  I made an Octopus, a Giraffe, a Dog and a Fish… and to be honest they weren’t very good.  It turns out my fear of popping the balloon completely out weighed my desire to learn more.
  3. Watch the never ending story – completed: 20/07/2018
    This is pretty self explanatory… I watched it, I enjoyed most of it… it’s off the list
  4. Watch some ER… maybe a season or two – completed: 07/08/2018
    This is also pretty self explanatory, but I have to admit I found it a lot more confronting than I remembered.  Maybe its my new ‘mum hormones’ or maybe its our journey over the last couple of years, but sick people and medical emergencies are just a little to real for me and I get very involved very quickly… I have realised that I need to be a little more choosy with my television viewing.
  5. Spend a weekend in country vic – completed: 27/10/2018
    It’s probably not quite what I was imaging when I popped this on the list… I was certainly hoping for something like the wonderful weekend we had in Daylesford last year… but this year we have really only stayed in Inverloch and because we stay there fairly regularly it doesn’t really count.  We did however spend a full Saturday in Bendigo with the Big Band, we even got to go for a little drive out to Lake Eppalock between gigs and I got that same sense of returning home… there is just something magic about central Victoria.  I did a terrible job of taking photos that day… so the picutre is of Isaac during our night gig.
  6. Have some family photos taken – completed: 18/01/2018
  7. Go to a wedding – completed: 13/01/2018
  8. Get a full nights sleep – completed: 31/05/2018
  9. Go down to Inverloch – completed: 10/03/2018
  10. Go camping
  11. Remember to take Isaac’s milestone pictures – completed: 31/12/2018
    Some of these were a little delayed, but we have all photos to accompany all of the milestones we had a card for… and unsurprisingly, they are super cute!
  12. Get back to running – completed: 29/06/2018
    So this has happened a couple of times… but on the 29th I started running to train for the 10km I did in the Melbourne Marathon Festival in October… since then I have slacked off again… but I have big plans for next year so watch this space.
  13. Take Isaac to parkrun at least 5times – completed: 22/12/2018
    We have not been to parkrun anywhere near as much as we should have been this year, but Isaac came to at least 5 of the runs I attended.  We really thought he would love running with us, but it turns out he finds it a little boring… but he does enjoy the trips to the park after.
  14. Go swimming – completed: 26/01/2018
  15. Go to the zoo – completed: 14/07/2018
    I have had this on my list for years… It is something that despite being on the list I have actively avoided doing.  In previous years I have done fun runs around the zoo a couple of times, I have also stopped to have pictures taken just out the front of the zoo… but this year I actually went in!  We had a cousin fun day at the zoo and saw all the animals.  Turns out going to the zoo is better than I remembered and much much more fun with a child… I have a feeling this won’t be our last trip to the zoo.
  16. Have a play date – completed: 16/10/2018
    We’ve been getting better at play dates… but the one that crossed it of the list was a play date with Isaac’s friend Jaylen, I was so nice to watch them play together… It was also nice to catch up with Jaylen’s mum Julia and eat delicious treats, I think I am going to be a fan of play dates.
  17. Check out a mums and bubs session – completed: 05/12/2018
  18. Check out the local library – completed: 31/01/2018
  19. Have a picnic – completed: 20/12/2018
    I probably haven’t mentioned enough how great my mother’s group has been, I have loved making some new local friends and sharing my mum journey with them.  Our little group finished the year off the year with a picnic in the park and it was fun.  It’s been so nice watching the bubs grow and learn together and I am very excited to see all that they achieve next year.
  20. Wear some non maternity jeans – completed: 13/07/2018
    We had a weekend away in the city… and I thought it was time… so I wore them once… and then put them back in the cupboard and forgot about them.  A little while later my favourite pair of maternity jeans ripped… so I decided it was time… I brought some new jeans that were more comfortable than my old pre-baby ones, ones that fit my new body shape a little better… just one of the many things I didn’t really think about before having babies… just how much my body would change… but you will be please… maybe… I am please that I can now honestly say I am more often than not wearing my new and very comfy non-maternity jeans.
  21. Go without games on my phone for at least 2 months – completed: 28/02/2018
  22. Work on my mornings
  23. Cook dinner regularly – completed: 21/08/2018
    This has been a fun new addition to my life… and I have discovered the key to getting me to cook regularly is just planning… If I know what I have to do and when, I am all in… but I have also discovered the opposite is true… no plan.. no dinner, not by me anyway.
  24. Keep getting closer
  25. Work on my steps game – completed: 31/12/2018
    Look… it hasn’t been a great improve… but my daily average steps is more at the end of the year than it was at the start.  I would love to say that I am averaging over 10000, but that would be a lie… my current average is just over 8000… so not terrible, but some room for improvement next year.
  26. Embrace life with the oxygen – completed: 30/01/2018
  27. Try weekly blogging – completed: 18/12/2018
    So I talked about this at the beginning of this blog… it just didn’t work the way I thought it would… I’ll have to come up with a new plan for next year.
  28. Keep the family in good supply of Isaac updates – completed: 31/12/2018
    It turns out this is more challenging that I had imagined… it’s a fine line to walk between super annoying and just enough.  I probably could have sent more, but I did send some updates fairly regularly… especially if we hit a milestone.
  29. Have a date night once a month
  30. Give Dave some time back – completed: 31/12/2018
    Well I asked him and he said ‘yeah, sure’ so I am taking that for a yep… and crossing it off the list.
  31. Embrace my independence – completed: 31/12/2018
    I haven’t always loved it, but I have been better at just trying things, going places and making the most of my time with Isaac… so technically not ‘independent’, but definitely ‘independent’ from Dave… so off it goes.
  32. Go without TV for a week
  33. Actually wash my car regularly
  34. Get the blue Kia repaired – completed: 20/02/2018
  35. Take Dex and Isaac on a walk, solo
  36. Walk to my MCH appointments – completed: 08/11/2018
    Our Maternal Child Health Nurse operates out of a centre about 500m from our house, so it is actually easier to walk to our appointments then get into the car and drive around… despite that, driving is always tempting… but don’t fret… I walked to them all.
  37. Thank the hospital – completed: 19/04/2018
  38. Do a fun run/walk – completed: 04/03/2018
  39. Play a game of some kind – completed: 07/01/2018
  40. Let something go – completed: 31/10/2018
    This was harder than I thought, I am a bit of a perfectionist, so letting things go isn’t a strong suit of mine.  This year I have tried my hand a few new things, mostly making things.  I have made some Christmas gifts and some things for Isaac.  During this process I have had to learn how to sew and stitch things, I have made things that I haven’t tried before and they are not perfect, but they are functional, I have had to learn to let the imperfections go and be happy with the progress I have made and the end products they have resulted in… I am pretty proud of my new skills…  and I will keep working on it… both making and letting things go.
  41. Remember Joshua – completed: 18/10/2018
    Remembering Josh is something that I find bitter sweet.  It’s hard to remember sometimes because there is now more that should have been than ever before.  It’s something that I want to do, but something that still carries pain.  This year he would have been 2… and we took Isaac with us to have pink donuts and turkish delight milkshakes, we let some balloons go and stopped to be thankful for what he taught us and what we have together.
  42. Celebrate the small things – completed: 22/05/2018
  43. Live oxygen free – completed: 24/12/2018
    Well we almost didn’t make it, but on Christmas eve we handed back all the Oxygen tanks and the concentrator.  We haven’t had the machine on or used a tank since October, but we had to wait and see before we handed it back, but now it’s gone and hopefully it doesn’t come back.
  44. Walk and have a mid week brunch date with Isaac at half half – completed: 12/12/2018
    I thought this would be super easy… so I left it for later in the year, for the middle months when it was harder to do other things on my list…. but then half half shut for months… and months… but good news, it reopened and Isaac and I went.  And in some listing miracle we ate our meals at the same time and no one cried.  It was actually really wonderful and something I am going to try to keep doing with him… turns out he can be a good cafe date.
  45. Join a mother’s group – completed: 30/01/2018
  46. Drink a bottle of water everyday
  47. Keep track of the things I am supposed to be doing – completed: 31/12/2018
    I am actually terrible at this, and could have done a much better job than I did, but I tried all year… man did I try… and I think it has been worth it despite the struggle.
  48. Plan at night
  49. Take a photo everyday – completed 31/12/2018
    You may have seen some of these across the year… (January, February, March, May, June, & October) and some of them didn’t make it…. but trust me they are all there in my phone… and they look good.
  50. Visit a museum / gallery – completed: 20/11/2018
    Just like the zoo, this is way more fun with kids.  We took Isaac to the museum, starting at the children’s section which he loved, but after a play we also checked out the rest and he seemed to also like that, lots of fun things to look at and explore.  I am really looking forward to taking him back her over and over again as he gets bigger.  I hope he loves learning as much as I do.
  51. Sort out my photo storage
  52. Scan the photos in
  53. Recycle the VHS tapes – completed: 25/09/2018
    This year I have found myself morphing into a bit of environmentalist… which I am actually really enjoying.  My own little war on waste is coming along nicely… with my new compost bin, our multiple bins for different types of recycling and our new found love of ‘Who Gives a Crap’ toilet paper.  But to make it even better we also found a local place that was willing to recycle our VHS tapes.  Unfortunately for them, they had to pull them all apart manually, but I don’t mind because as much of them as can be will be recycled.
  54. Read 6 books – novels… not picture books – completed: 17/11/2018
    I really wanted to be able to say I read way more than 6 books, but like my weekly blogs, it has been hard to find time to read… but I read 6 and I am reading number 7 at the moment… this will stay on my list and hopefully I will get better at finding time to read.
  55. Cross at least one thing off the list each month – completed: 05/12/2018
    Yep… at least one a month… this is a good thing to have on my list… I like the challenge and the spread.
  56. Be deliberate about filling the house with good thinks like flowers and music – completed: 01/11/2018
    I could have been better with this, but it’s a start, and it’s nice… I am also going to try and keep doing this.
  57. Edit and finalise Isaac’s logs and maybe publish them
  58. Make a photo book of Isaac’s 1st year – completed: 30/09/2018
    Again this was not quite what I had in mind when I popped this on the list, but I did make a book of Isaac’s 1st year, but I didn’t keep it, we gave it to Dave’s grandparents when we were in New Zealand.
  59. Return of the fit pig – completed: 31/05/2018
  60. Throw things out / recycle / donate – completed: 31/12/2018
    I am all over this, recycling, reusing and donating… I hate throwing things out and I have become quite the anti waste warrior.  This will continue long after this year’s list… the world needs it.
  61. Clean out the garage – completed: 10/11/2018
    Nothing makes me happier than when everything has a place and everything is in its place… and that’s how the garage is now… and it makes me happy… far happier than it should… there are even labels on all the boxes… it’s a magical thing.
  62. Finish the scrap books
  63. Finish Isaac’s room – completed: 16/01/2018
  64. Wear a real bra – completed: 07/04/2018
  65. Figure out how to be a working mum – completed: 10/08/2018
    As you can imagine this pretty much coincided with the end of my weekly blogs… just as I got us into a routine at home… I started working from home.  I am back 2 days a week this year and hopefully a little more next year… It’s been a strange adjustment, using my brain a little more regularly on things other than parenting and having a little more interaction with other adults.  I have really enjoyed going back, but I won’t lie.. 12 months without work was also really nice.
  66. Go somewhere with out Isaac – embrace the baby sitter – completed: 28/09/2018
    I’m still not totally comfortable doing this, but I know it needs to happen… and I have done it a few times…  I am sure it will get easier as time goes on and he gets bigger… but it’s still hard right now.
  67. Make a cake for Isaac’s first birthday – completed: 01/08/2018
    Oh man, was I proud of this… a blue monster cake for Isaac’s monster party… you should really check out the picture on the right… it looks pretty great.
  68. Go overseas – completed: 02/10/2018
    This really should have had a blog all of its own.  It was a wonderful wonderful trip where we got to hang out with family and Isaac was able to meet his great grandparents.  We went exploring, fed some ducks, touched the black sand and Isaac learnt to crawl while we were there… it was really really great.
  69. Make a Lolly cake – completed: 09/11/2018
    Inspired from our trip to New Zealand we had some more lolly cake… it’s a strange cake… super sweet and fun to look at… and it was made, and I still have more ingredients so we might need to make another.
  70. Keep the pantry and fridge under control – completed: 31/12/2018
    Except for perhaps the last couple weeks over Christmas, we have been pretty good at this… Dave should take most of the credit, but I have been trying… just like the garage, everything needs a place and everything should be in it’s place.
  71. Watch a Disney movie with Isaac – completed: 16/06/2018
  72. Add Isaac’s pendant to my necklace – completed: 22/01/2018
  73. Organise the casts we had done for Isaac – completed: 01/05/2018
    You would have thought this would have been an easy task… but it turns out the Lady that did these ones was much less helpful and reliable than the lady that did Josh’s casts… but we finally got them done and they turned out really well, despite the challenge… they aren’t hanging up yet… but they are framed and ready to go.
  74. Use the go-pro more
  75. Make my language child friendly
  76. Check out ArtVo – completed: 23/06/2018
  77. Finish the bible reading plan I started last year
  78. Exercise weekly… hopefully more, but at least weekly – completed: 31/12/2018
    Here’s the thing… it wasn’t every week… but on average it was weekly… there were some great weeks and some down weeks, but some weeks I smashed it… and there were less slack weeks than there were good weeks… so we are claiming this as a win.
  79. Make a key lime pie
  80. Purée some food – completed: 20/02/2018
  81. Have a spend nothing day once a month
  82. Make the most of our delivery saver – completed: 20/12/2018
    Only just, but we did save a tiny bit of money… turns out the bigger Isaac gets the easier it is to get groceries with him.. he can go in the trolley now… I am sure that it will probably get hard again in time though.  Either way, we used the delivery saver just enough to make it worth it.
  83. Get a mani/pedi and get a colour you’ve never had before – completed: 28/11/2018
    I love the idea of this… and all year I have been looking forward to it… but then I got stuck thinking about foot fungus and other people’s feet and couldn’t bring myself to go and get it done.  So I gave myself a foot spa at home and painted my toes… and decided that I could cross this off the list.
  84. Get a massage – completed: 21/12/2018
    Seriously I know I say this every year… but I should do this more often… it is soooooo nice.  Thanks pheebs for my voucher that made this happen.
  85. Do a Mums and bubs exercise class – completed: 19/04/2018
    Isaac and I attended a mums and bubs exercise class for most of the year and we loved it.  We stopped at the beginning of term 4 because it just got too hard to make work… but it was great while it lasted.
  86. Get some kind of routine – completed: 31/12/2018
    It keeps changing, but we do have a routine of sorts… we’ve worked out meals and naps and bed time all pretty consistently… and I won’t lie… I love the structure.
  87. Contribute – completed: 31/12/2018
    I would have been pretty ashamed if I hadn’t been able to achieve this… especially given that I have spent a lot of this year at home.  I think spending so much time at home has really helped me get on and do some house work because I have to live in the mess I create… and it turns out I am pretty intolerant of my own mess.  This item on the list that is a win win for Davo.
  88. Hang up the pump – completed: 08/04/2018
  89. Update some photo wall photos – completed: 04/01/2018
  90. Get the pictures framed
  91. Hang out with my besties – completed: 08/01/2018
  92. See Coco – completed: 06/01/2018
  93. Have a meal with all of our parents and siblings (separately) – completed: 31/12/2018
    I was terrible at documenting these meals… but they happened… you’ll just have to trust me.
  94. Have an ice coffee at 3 different places – completed: 03/02/2018
  95. Touch the ocean – completed: 10/03/2018
  96. Have a fun fight
  97. Fix my computer – completed: 02/01/2018
  98. Wear something other than a black T-shirt for a whole week – completed: 20/01/2018
  99. Keep our bedroom tidy – completed: 31/12/2018
    There was some contention over whether I achieved this or not… but I have actively kept the room tidier than I did the 12months before… but maybe not as tidy as I could have.
  100. Save some money

So that was my list… not a bad effort really… 79/100… Not quite my best year… but certainly not my worst.  But how did Isaac go with his list I hear you ask… well lets take a look:

  1. Try some food – completed: 16/02/2018
  2. Ditch my oxygen – completed: 24/12/2018
    Isaac was also the beneficiary of our Christmas miracle… although he really ditched his oxygen in october, we couldn’t make it official until the tanks and machines were gone.
  3. Sit up by myself – completed: 22/06/2018
  4. Suck on my toes – completed: 30/12/2018
    And it was forced… turns out he just isn’t that interested in his toes… I thought all babies loved this, but I was wrong… maybe it was the time he spent in his brace… maybe he just doesn’t like his feet… who knows?
  5. Go to the park – completed: 07/10/2018
    We have been to a few parks this year, but the one that crossed this of the list was a special park in Whanganui, one that Dave went to as a little boy, an amazing park along the whanganui river… it is seriously epic and I think we will go back here as often as we can.
  6. Pat Dex – completed: 23/11/2018
    Dex and Isaac are still working each other out… sometimes they just want to be near each other… other times they need to be far far away.  Dex likes to visit and lick Isaac… but Dex does not like to be touched by Isaac… they’ll work it out eventually.
  7. Have a party – completed 04/08/2018
    This should have had a blog of its own too… it was an epic party with balloons and donuts, friends and family… but when your first year was a rough as Isaac’s, it’s worth celebrating!
  8. Visit my friends at Monash Children’s – completed: 10/04/2018
  9. Go on a fun run/Walk in my pram – completed: 04/03/2018
  10. Get around on my own – completed: 03/10/2018
    There is nothing that makes a parent feel more relaxed about being on holidays than a baby deciding its time to crawl the second you get off the plane… no baby proofing… no safe spaces… random hotel carpets… yep… it’s wonderful.  What makes it even more wonderful, is when the newly mobile baby also likes to lick the floor… we should just go ahead and insert a huge face palm right here.
  11. Go for a swim – completed: 27/12/2018
    We have been a bit slack with swimming lessons… we will get to it, but we haven’t yet, so instead we have had to wait until the weather warmed… after a few failed pool attempts, we finally won with a swim at the beach… he is not totally convinced… but we will get there.
  12. Try story time at the library – completed: 31/01/2018
  13. Make some baby friends – completed: 10/04/2018
    I know I have talked about Isaac’s baby friends… well my mother’s group a lot in other blogs…. but not in this context… Isaac is lucky enough to have lots of friends… and this includes the little gang of 7 we hang out with each week at mothers group.
  14. Go on an adventure with Dad – completed: 29/10/2018
    Isaac and Dave have been on a few adventures because Dave likes to run errands when he is in charge… but the adventure that crossed this off the list was a trip up the 1000steps… with Isaac in the baby bjorn…
  15. Sleep through the night – completed: 01/03/2018
  16. Get some teeth – completed: 26/11/2018
    I thought this might never happen… It feels like we have been waiting for teeth forever… but we had to wait until November for the first little tooth to pop through, now we have 3 with maybe more on the way… well hopefully a lot more… but I think another will be here very soon.
  17. Watch a Disney movie with Mum – completed: 16/06/2018
  18. Have brunch with my ladies – completed: 08/01/2018
  19. Go to the beach – completed: 10/03/2018
  20. Learn a word – completed: 23/11/2018
    About 5minutes after we left the pediatrician who would have liked him to have a least one word, Isaac said Dad in the car on the way home… he really likes to do things in his own time.
  21. Cuddle all of my grandparents and great grandparents – completed: 03/10/2018
    This was the main reason for our trip to New Zealand, for Isaac to meet his great grandparents… it was just as magical as we would have hoped.  Before we went overseas he also got cuddles with all his other grandparents… He has 11 grands and greats all up… he is a very loved little guy.
  22. Make a keepsake – completed: 11/05/2018
  23. Go on a plane – completed: 08/06/2018
  24. Try my jolly jumper – completed: 30/05/2018
  25. Grow – completed: 31/12/2018
    Lets face it, we could have crossed this off on January 2… this guy has been growing all year like a champ!

So there you go… he finished his whole list… maybe it’s beginners luck… maybe he is just better at listing than me… I guess we will find out in 2019.

Seven Years with One Hotel

Let me tell you about a magical place… not the most magical place… that’s Disneyworld… but a close second for the George family, the Langham Hotel. It’s a place that we return to over and over and over again… almost yearly even adding some international visits (Auckland and London)… and it never gets old. It is as beautiful as it is elegant, and we have love it as much now as we did on our very first visit.

Our first date at the Langham was in preparation for our wedding, venue meetings, food tastings and trips to the foyer to dream about what was coming. Our most recent was visit was this week, with Dave gifting Isaac and I (and himself) a mid week city scape during the school holidays, and it was perfect.

Years at the langham

This is the first time I have stayed in the city in 2 years where I haven’t been terribly morning sick and super super paranoid about eating the wrong things. Now don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed our last couple cityscapes too… but this one was just better… it was relaxing and lovely. We ate delicious food… all of which I could eat without a care in the world, showed Isaac around Southbank, and generally lived the pretend highlife for 24 hours… totally wonderful.

Over the weekend I found myself reminiscing and reflecting on the last 7 years since Dave and I celebrated our marriage with our amazing Langham reception. Last week Dave and I clocked over 14 years together… which I think is pretty incredible. I have been with Dave for almost half my life, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I thought about the significance of bring Isaac with us to our favourite Melbourne get away and the journey of the last 2 years in particular, which feel like forever all on their own. The last time we were at the Langham we were telling my mum that Isaac was on his way… and now only 14 months later we have a healthy and happy almost 1 year old.

It’s been a crazy, 7 years… and last night as we sat in a room very similar to the very first room we ever stayed in at the Langham, I found myself in tears, feeling very overwhelmed by how blessed I am even with the heartache and anxiety of our most recent days. I was overwhelmed with love for Dave and Isaac, my little family, oh man… I am so blessed to call them mine. I was overwhelmed by all we have, and even though some of it may be humble, it is abundantly more than I feel I deserve. And there was hope, that the pain of the last two years is fading and that our days are good… there is space for relaxing, there is space for great food and company and that there are better things to come… that we have started a new chapter… a chapter of fun, of lighter life, and mostly of family, our family that feels just a little bit more complete.

Our Curious Life: Week 25

 

 

 

Every now and then, I think I am finally getting the hang of this parenting thing… I get through a few days in a row nailing the feeds, doing some exercise and even attempting some domestic life tasks during the middle of the day nap, that I am slowly learning how to make happen… and then comes a day that completely destroys the illusion of control… there are tears from Isaac and from me… there is no routine, no order and the house looks like a small hurricane has been through it as all the of the attempts for peace… toys, food, milk are scattered through every room of the house.  That was week 25.

It has been my third week in a row without an appointment… and it is very very very strange.  I suddenly have so much more time at home… I don’t seem to be rushing from one place to another… and although there have been times where I have felt isolated and a little lonely, for the most part it has felt empowering.  I feel like I can actually get on top of some of the things I need to do.  I have time to make food for Isaac and for Dave and I, I have time to go for long walks with Isaac, I have time to sit down and blog, because I had time to do the chores, so I don’t need to feel guilty about it.  I have also realised that for me, the secret to not getting lonely when I have a day or a few days at home, is to make sure I’ve planned for it… that I know it is coming.  That I have chosen to be at home… because if I am not ready for it, I hate it and that is when things fall apart… but when I plan for it… it’s the best.

In a strange way, now that I have been at home a bit more, I am beginning to feel like I am actually on maternity leave.  I am actually able to start working out how to mum and live…  I am finally finding my feet.  Before this point, I had been waiting for something… which I guess, now that it is here, is just time… time for me to choose what to do with.  Time to enjoy Isaac and not just survive between appointments.  Time to choose who we see and actually be able to offer to do things and go places without having to work out where to fit it in… This is what I had imagined it would be like when I was still pregnant with Isaac, and even though it will be a much shorter period than I would have liked, I am glad we made it to this point before I have to go back to work.

So what have we been doing with our gift of time? Well, Dave and I cleaned out the study, so that I have my desk back, which I means I can sit here and type in a fun purpose built space just for me, rather than on the couch where I get immediately distracted.  I finally used my slow cooker.  We were given the slow cooker as a wedding present over 7 years ago… Dave has used it… but this is the first time I have… and I love it… I am a slow cooker convert.  I have even started googling the best way to tackle some condensation mold we have on some window sills.  I have also been contributing a little more with all the other household chores… and even though it’s never my first instinct.  I like the feeling of accomplishing the tasks and the clean house it leaves behind… especially now that I am spending a lot more time here.

This week we also used the last of the frozen breastmilk… I stopped expressing back in April, but thanks to a period of greater supply than demand while Isaac was in hospital, we were able to stockpile.  At one stage we had three freezers full of the liquid gold as it is often called.  But, now it has all been used.  The last bits were spread out over a number of months as Isaac only has the breastmilk when we are at home… and previously we hadn’t been home all that much… but now it’s over to solids and formula.  I am a bit sad that it is all gone.  It felt like it would last forever… but I am thankful that I was able to be able to make it and that he tolerated it… the female body is pretty gross… I mean great… it’s totally great!

We also farewelled Matt and Fee at their final service at Hobson’s Bay corps before they move.  Isaac and I caught up with my high school buddies and their kiddies, and I was reminded how blessed I am to be able to call this group of crazy strong women my friends.  We had dinner at Dave’s mum’s and I thoroughly enjoyed watching Isaac with his Grandma and Grandpa, Auntie Ness and Uncle Hugh… family is so so so good.  We practiced our sitting and rolling and I can finally say Isaac can both sit (no. 22 on his list) and roll*… (*at least in one direction).  And on Saturday morning Dave, Isaac and I tackled ArtVo at the Docklands… which is made by some supper supper clever people.  It is something that I have wanted to do for a while, thanks to all the fun photos I have seen on other peoples social media… so we finally made it out there and it didn’t disappoint… it was great and we have so many fun photos from it.  Plus it is now off the list.

So there you go… that’s week 25.

 

Our Curious Life: Week 24

 

 

Hello week 24, and thank you! You have been just what I needed. After getting back from Brisbane on Monday, I think it is safe to say that we were all stuffed! So this week has thankfully been very low key… I have been trying not to go out too much so that Isaac can sleep in his own bed during the day and we can focus on getting our solid meals in… three of them plus his milk feeds.

It’s been really nice to be a bit of a homebody… something I didn’t really expect. When I found myself in a similar situation last week, I found it all a little disconcerting. Having nothing planned felt uncomfortable, but this week it has been refreshing and restoring. I feel a little more on top of my motherhood list… the food situation seems to be improving and I am getting the hang of a couple of regular naps and I’m trying to make the most of Isaac’s awake time rather than just spending it wondering if he should be having a nap. One of the benefits of the big weekend has been a tired little boy, so the naps have been a little longer this week which has meant I have had some time to try and catch up on some blogging, which has also been wonderful.

But we haven’t spent the whole week at home, we also did a couple of fun things. On Thursday and Friday Isaac and I checked out the updated Glen shopping centre… firstly with mother’s group and then with my mum. After mother’s group on Thursday night Isaac and I went to the brand new woollies to grab some food for dinner, I also decided that despite having a loaded up pram with Isaac and the groceries I had already gathered, I could indeed manage a slab of diet coke as well, seeing as though they were on sale. When I made it to self serve to pay I started with the coke so that I could put it down ready to carry to the car once I had organised everything else. As I swung the slab up to the scanner, the side feel out and cans went everywhere. Some busted open creating small puddles of diet coke and showering Isaac and I in a fine diet coke mist… he thought it was hilarious… I was mortified and quickly asked someone to come and help… we went back and got a more secure box and thankfully made it home without another incident… but it wasn’t quite the quick shopping experience I had expected. But as a fun side effect, now every time Dave or I make the noise of a fizzing can Isaac giggles.

We also had dinner with two lots of very good friends, one as a goodbye, and the other as a welcome home. On Friday, we had dinner with our friends Rachel and Dustin… their’s was the welcome home as they have just returned from a holiday. We had such a nice night, delicious food, great company and an open fire… perfect for a freezing cold Melbourne Friday night.  Earlier in the week, on Tuesday, we had dinner with our friends Matt and Fee before they head over to Canada for a couple of years for work. Matt and Fee have been friends of ours for a very long time. In fact, I think Fee might have been one of the first people I confessed my love of Dave to when I was still a teenager, so it seems appropriate that she was the one that conducted our Wedding a few years later. They are the type of friends that keep you accountable and check in to make sure you are spiritually on track. Every time I hang out with them I come away thinking about how intentional I am in my faith and devotions and what I need/want to be doing better in that area of my life. Every time we hang out with them there is also a lot of laughing, they are super fun. This visit was no different, and while it might be the last one we will have on this side of the world for a while, I know that the distance and the change in chapter won’t really change our friendship. We will miss them a lot, but the world doesn’t seem that small any more thanks to the power of the internet (which I still think is kind of magic).

On Saturday we used some gold class vouchers to go to the movies and because it was an unplanned adventure, we took Isaac with us. We saw Incredibles 2, which means that Isaac and I, both got to cross seeing a Disney movie with each other off our lists (no. 17 on Isaac’s list and no. 71 on mine). He was a dream, watching at least half (the beginning and then end) and having a nice nap in the middle… seriously this kid is a superstar! I also crossed no. 1 off my list this week, using my time at home to conquer folding fitted sheets… so far I have only attempted Isaac’s cot and bassinet sheets, but they are still fitted and I feel like I have done enough that I could transfer my new skills over to a real size fitted sheet!

Thanks week 24 for letting us breathe again.

A Time to Weep and a Time to Laugh

Today is a pretty special day… well tonight really… tonight is a really special night, because tonight Dave and I dedicated Isaac back to Jesus.

For those unfamiliar with what a dedication is, it is similar to a child being baptised of christened in other churches. In the Salvos we have babies dedicated and it is actually a ceremony more about the parents than the child. Tonight Dave and I had the opportunity to publicly acknowledge the miracle that Isaac is and God’s provision and guidance through our journey so far. And we promised to do our best by Jesus and Isaac in how we raise him.

For me, tonight was also the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next. When Josh died, we had some of the elements of the dedication included in his funeral. Which is tricky because lots of the parts that we weren’t able to include were promises for the future which was a constant reminder of what we weren’t going to be able to do for him. We know that he is with Jesus, but having lived through losing him, for much of Isaac’s first 7 weeks, and even every now and then, still, I fear that we won’t get to keep Isaac earth side either. Isaac is thriving and doing all the right things, but in the back of my mind there is still a chance we might not get to keep him despite the prophecy that he is our keeper. I know that I will probably have some anxiety around this for a long time to come, and I think some of it is just because I am a mum… and mums worry… but it is something that I need to keep under control… something that I need to learn to trust with… and I think that tonight is the starting point.

Tonight’s dedication, being able to celebrate his life and to hope and make promises about his future in some strange way feels like we made it. We made it past the point we made with Josh. Which I know we did ages ago in an earthly, he’s alive, sense… but it feels like the scary chapter of ‘will he or won’t he’ is finally finished and a new chapter of parenting and Isaac growing has begun. That now we are back on the normal path and doing what we should have always been able to do. It almost feels like a fresh start. I think this has been helped by the fact that we are slowly reducing the amount of appointments we have to attend and the oxygen seems to be the last hurdle to jump… and even that hurdle is different and feels achievable with time, but there is also a real peace to this new season…

During the dedication Bram used a passage from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 which says:

There is a time for everything,
 and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
 a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
 a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
 a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
 a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
 a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
 a time for war and a time for peace.

For us, Joshua was our time to weep and our time to mourn, and I truly believe that Isaac is our time to laugh and our time to dance… after all laughter is in his name.

So tonight was not only special… but a time to start over, to claim the promises we have been given and a time to rejoice and hope for what’s to come.

Our Curious Life: Week 20

 

 

 

Week 20 has been intense… not a constant, full on intense… just an undercurrent of lots happening. It started with Mother’s Day… this Mother’s day wasn’t my first mother’s day but in many ways it felt like it. This time last year we had one angle in heaven and baby Isaac secretly growing. Last year we spent the day telling our mum’s about our new little one on the way, and to be honest it was a nice distraction from the reality of the day. I found it hard to feel like a mum when Josh wasn’t there… I received lots of well wishes but for most of the day I just wanted to pretend that I wasn’t a mum, because it was easier and I didn’t feel like I was. I know that having a baby earth side doesn’t make me any more of a mum now, but last year I just felt like a bit of a fraud… like I was celebrating a day that wasn’t really for me. This year it felt a whole lot more real… being able to carry Isaac around, almost like a badge of honour on the day.  It was such a different experience from before. We had brunch together, I got thrown up on a few times, and we had dinner with my mum.  Isaac also made some Keepsake for His Grandma, Nanna and Nanna Naz.

Monday was Dave and I’s 7th wedding anniversary… 7 years… and so much adventure. It’s crazy to think that we are still only really at the beginning and there will be hopefully many more lots of 7years to come. I have told you all many times how wonderful Dave is and it is still true. Marrying him is still the best decision I have ever made and the last 2 years have just proved this over and over again. On Monday we received some pretty scary news that my Grandmother was very very unwell and that she needed a miracle, so instead of meeting him for lunch at school, he came home in his lunch break and played with Isaac so that I could have moment to myself, shower and work out what to do next. Over the last 7 years I have truely learnt the meaning of many of the vows that we made 7 years ago… in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad… he is my go to, my best friend, my greatest supporter and the love of my life.

So all that happened in the first 2 days of week 20… the rest of the week remained busy… with a undercurrent of anxiety and fear that I couldn’t quite shake… but we did make time for some fun things, like ramping up our efforts on getting Isaac to try solids… I still haven’t mastered my home cooking yet and everything that I do make for Isaac is usually rejected in a generous display of fake gaging… so I am thanking Jesus for pre-made baby food at the moment because he loves it… well most of it… we will work on the home made stuff once he progresses past the puree stage. We also took a trip to costco which is always fun. We had a couple of appointments for Isaac and the biggest small thing we did this week was get the light fixed in our bedroom. We broke the light fitting when we tried to upgrade it… and while Dave was in Mt Gambier I broke the blockout blind and it has been stuck fully down… so our room has been very dark for what feels like forever… but has really only been a week and a bit… but now the light is fixed and it is magical… such a simple thing… so much joy… now we just have to get the blind fixed.

We finished the week with a 6km walk which was a fundraiser for World Vision held at Dave’s School. Why 6km… because that’s the average distance people in the developing world walk for water that is usually contaminated… While we weren’t so great with the fundraising ourselves the school did a great job and our registration fees provided clean water for one person each which is pretty great. We walked 6km so they wouldn’t have to anymore. It’s only a small thing, but again it brings a heck of a lot of joy to me… and the person with clean water.

Oh and Isaac graduated from the capsule to a real car seat… which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it means my tiny baby isn’t so tiny anymore.

So we made it through week 20… let’s hope week 21 is a little lighter on the soul.