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.
Um… excuse me… but did you know Brisbane is beautiful? Seriously it is amazing… and that’s not just my frosted Melbourne heart talking. 23degrees in winter, beautiful buildings, incredible public spaces and it’s so clean. I love Melbourne, but Brisbane, it turns out is pretty great.
Dave, Isaac and I have just spent the long weekend up in Brisbane with the Salvo Big Band, Dave playing his Alto Sax (and a little bit of Clarinet) and me singing. We also had my Mum come up with us to help us take care of Isaac when both Dave and I were needed in the band… she was a total life saver. This trip not only crossed number 8 off Isaac’s list but it was also my first proper band tour. Previously I had travelled with the band to Sweden for the Salvation Army’s World Youth Convention in 2010 where the band performed but we also attended the convention. Since then we have missed a couple of trips due to our untimely trips into hospital, so in the lead up to this weekend I had been playing it very safe… determined not to end up missing out again.
The weekend was full on, with back to back gigs, but just like any camp or trip when you get to spend more time with people than you usually would it was also wonderful. There is something really nice about seeing people all day everyday, experiencing new places and events with them and getting to share your gifts and talents in combination with theirs and present them to people for the first time.
I find it really hard to write blogs like this without it quickly becoming my dreaded grade 5 journal piece… so in an attempt to avoid that I have summed it up into 5 little highlights… 5 might seem like a lot, but it was actually pretty hard to do.
1. Catch ups with family
I am lucky enough to be part of a big family… my mum is one of 6 kids and for as long as I can remember I have had at least one uncle/auntie living interstate or overseas. My Uncle Ken and Auntie Marg live in Brisbane, so it was the perfect opportunity to have a quick catch up between sets.
2. Singing in public
Before our first performance on Saturday morning I hadn’t really given my role in the band a lot of thought. I had spent the week worrying about what I needed to take for myself and for Isaac. What the days would look like and what I needed to have ready for mum so that taking care of Isaac would be as easy as possible. I hadn’t thought about what I would be doing or where it would be happening from a personal performance perspective. I love to sing, really love to sing… and I love to sing with the Big Band, but I am often very quick to dismiss my contribution. I am not a trained singer as such, but have spent my life singing in church. Getting up in front of people I know and singing is usually more daunting that singing in front of those I don’t know… but when you put me out in the open… that’s another kettle of fish. Our first gig was in Queen Street Mall, right in the heart of Brisbane CBD. We performed after the Navy Band which made me a little more nervous than I would have liked, but I got up there and I sang, and more importantly I held my own. At the end of the weekend, after I had sung in the city, at a concert Fassifern, sung and lead worship at Carindale Salvation army and performed at both Westfield Garden City and Nudgee Secondary College, I was reminded that even just getting up to talk at many of these places is a huge deal for lots of people, for lots of reasons. Being able to sing, and sing well, is huge. I didn’t sing it all perfectly, and thankfully in jazz you can get away with some of that, but even just the fact that I had the courage to perform in such a public place is pretty amazing… and to my amazement, people seemed to enjoy it… I am pretty chuffed.
and his Nanna
Where do I start with this? A couple of months before we left my mum made a through away comment about coming to Brisbane with us to help with Isaac… Dave and I heard her and thought that actually that would be really helpful and rang her to find out if she was serious. Turns out she was… so up to QLD she came and my goodness me, was it great to have her there. One thing about having a baby that I haven’t quite adapted to yet is the fact that they need someone with them all the time… which means on a trip like this if Dave and I are both performing we need someone to look after him, or one of us doesn’t perform. Believe it or not, I can get very distracted by people, especially when I am in performance mode… which is not ideal when your husband is packing up his instruments and you are supposed to parenting. But having mum with us to fill the gaps, and more, was beyond amazing. Plus it was really nice to watch Isaac and her together… Isaac really loves his Nanna.
4. Nudgee College
On our final day of the trip the band spent some time at St Joseph’s Nudgee College. While we were we put on a concert and workshop for the grade 5 students. In the workshop the instrumental musicians from the band were dispersed through the schools grade 5 band to help them learn the new jazz techniques they were learning. It was so nice… actually I think pure joy is a better description to hear the difference in the band and watch the faces of the students as they achieved things they didn’t think they would be able to. Watching kids learn is one of my all time favourite things to do… wonder is an incredible gift.
5. Remembering why
This weekend has also been a really good reminder as to why I am in the big band. The Salvo Big Band has a really unique opportunity to meet people in places that other salvo groups may not be able to go. To witness and bring the gift of music to people from all walks of life and to share in worship with corps and salvationists in places and in a style that is different from the everyday. The Band’s purpose is to shine light… and that’s what I think we have done this weekend… shone light, in both dark places and light places, but still light.
So that was my long weekend… now I need some sleep… well at least I can hope for sleep… I still have to parent 🙂
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.
Um… May is over… and this year is flying… seriously flying… I wish there was a way to make time slow down, more so now then ever before. Of course there are some times I wish it would speed up… you know, like when Isaac is losing his mind… but on the whole getting Got to put the brakes on a just a little would be welcomed. I don’t know whether it’s having a small person… or just getting older, but I am really learning the truth of the saying ‘the days are long, but the years are short’… whoever said that is a wise wise person.
This is what May looked like at the George’s…
The last week of May and the first two days of June were spent mostly shopping… shopping for food and outfits for Isaac’s dedication, shopping for sneakers with my fit pig money and shopping for taps for our recently renovated laundry… which isn’t finished yet… hence no reveal… but it will happen… eventually… hopefully after the school holidays.
We also spent a lot of time walking… trying to get fit, but mostly trying to justify the amount of money I was about to spend on sneakers. I have very expensive and specific sneaker taste! And we practiced our selfie game… I think Isaac is getting pretty good at it.
On Friday we experienced the mother of all poopsplosions while Mum and I were at eastland and I was very very thankful to have mum there to assist in the clean up… but I guess these are just the experiences that you have to have at least once when parenting.
We finished the week with a very cold big band rehearsal ready for our weekend away next weekend… and I decided it was finally safe enough to cross no. 8 of my list… because Isaac is still sleeping though like a champion, so I think it is finally safe to admit that I am sleeping through the night. Oh and Isaac finally tried the Jolly Jumper he got for Christmas and he loves it!
Oh and just like every other end of the month blog so far… we get to celebrate Isaac being another month older… Isaac is now 10months old and he is very cheeky. He is very tolerant of Dave and I and all of the things that we take him to, but he also knows exactly what he wants and he isn’t afraid to tell us, very very loudly. He loves to talk and sing, and we are just so very very proud of him.
Alright… I am super behind on these and I will catch up because I am a structure lover and adamant rule follower so they will all need to be there eventually… and right now I don’t even know what week we are up to, but right now I am waiting for an appointment for Isaac and he is asleep in his pram so I am blogging in the foyer. But never fear, by the time I push post I will have worked out what week we are up to, and you will already know because it will have been the title of this blog….
UPDATE: The moment I finished the above paragraph… he woke up, and while happy to entertain himself in the pram… apparently it isn’t a good look to ‘be constantly on your phone’ with your child watching… I was about to write that I am at home and he is asleep again… but that’s a lie… I gotta go again…
UPDATE 2: I am yet another week behind… because I started this blog last week… but this week I have found my diary surprisingly empty, and poor little Isaac has a cold so he is having a bonus snooze… But right now I am feeling productive because I have just whipped up 2 slice bases for the choir concert tomorrow night, ready for the chocolate later tonight which will double as a delicious dessert when I get to lick the bowl. I have made my self a coffee, popped some worship music on… and now I am tempting fate by sitting down with my computer to try and smash out at least one blog… please please please.
Right now it is Tuesday the 29th of May… so rather than me attempting to tell you about this week… while it would be on time, would also be a guess seeing as the week has only just started… so let me tell you about last week… week 21…
Week 21 (see now that I know what week it is I am going to use it all the time!) saw the return of some exercise motivation (last week was a bit of a ride off after a pretty good start the week before). To date I have been eating like I have been breastfeeding, which I am no longer doing… and I have been a little restricted on the types of exercise I can do… my body is not quite the same as it was before 2 pregnancies… but a couple of weeks ago I started a mums and bubs exercise group and I have decided that I can definitely walk… surely I can walk… so that’s what we have been doing… Well Isaac rides in comfort and I walk and this week we have walked with lots of people… my mum, my sister-in-law, my friend Rachel, Dave and Dex. I have also decided that even though I might not always feel like it, actually getting out each day for some exercise is a good example to set and a good habit for Isaac and I to have together. PLUS… the fit pig is back (no. 59)… and I desperately need new sneakers… so I have to exercise, exercise, exercise earn some extra cash and buy the sneakers… On Friday we did our first solo walk for the week and the weather was glorious! There is a lake hidden about a 1km and a bit from our house which is so beautiful and every time I walk up there I am taken back by this little slice of perfection hidden in Knox. We should walk up to the lake more often…
This week has also been full of appointments, and this week we have had some wins and some loses… well not loses, just not wins. The ‘not win’ is that the Oxygen stays for a little bit longer… but the ‘win’ is that the hip brace is off… all the time… and it is great! Although, it turns out, that without the brace on Isaac is much longer in the bassinet which means he may soon have to go into his own room, and I am not sure I am really ready for that… I have decided that I am most definitely a clingy parent… maybe even a helicopter… Anyway… to celebrate being about to leave the hip brace off Dave and I decided to reenact a clip we had both been tagged in on Facebook. The clip with the baby with helium balloons attached to their limbs having the time of its life. We got the balloons and the baby… and a small amount of enjoyment from Isaac… he didn’t really understand what the heck we were doing… but the celebration was there… kind of… in our hearts anyway.
What else happened… We also visited my Gran in hospital who, thankfully appears to be on the mend which is such an incredible miracle and answer to prayer. We fixed the blind in our bedroom so now there is artificial light AND day light! Which is such a silly small thing, but it is so nice to be able to look out the window. Oo and we went to a park party for Isaac’s Auntie Hannah where we were able to catch up with Dave’s family… all of them!
So there you go… that’s week 21…. and ironically, even though it is finished and ready to publish… the internet is down at our place… so it has to wait a little longer…
Hello week 19…. and welcome home Davo. Over the weekend Dave was away with school, but on Sunday he returned and both Isaac and I were alive, fed and clean… which for my first weekend solo parenting is a pretty great achievement. We finished our solo parenting weekend today with a catch up with Auntie Ness and dropping almost everything we had brought with us to church on to the floor at some stage during the service.
Week 19 felt busy, with a mixture of appointments and catch ups… I was beginning to forget what it was like to fit all these medical appointments into one week, in fact, it feels like a long time since we have had a week quite like this one. Isaac and I spent the night at the hospital on Monday with a surprise sleep study opportunity, and I was reminded that you should always take your own pillow to a hospital… hospital pillows are so crunchy especially when you are trying to stay quite so the baby gets a good night sleep so he can show everyone how great he is doing. Isaac had his eyes tested and they are perfect which is great news for a baby that has spent his whole life on Oxygen.. (fun fact: Stevie Wonder has Retinopathy of Prematurity… which means he is blind because the oxygen he was exposed to as a premature baby). We made use of some beautiful weather to do some family walks and we also had our latest Maternal Child Health Appointment. Amazingly Isaac is now on the charts for his actual age and not just his corrected age! What a champion.
We brunched with my friends from Uni, Claire and Flic and we also got to meet Baby Jaylen when we caught up with Julia. He is super super cute and Julia is a super mum!
This week I also got my haircut… which might not seem like a big deal but this will be the third time since Josh passed away… so basically every 6months, and just like my last haircut, it was a gift from my mum. I love getting my hair cut and coloured but I find it hard to justify spending money on myself on things that are such a luxury when we are down to one income and there are some many other things we should be spending our money on. Thankfully it’s a pretty great practical gift and my mum is super generous. So thanks to her I feel like a new woman again.
We finished this week with a celebratory lunch for Ness’ birthday and early Mother’s day celebration with Dave’s Mum… it was delicious and Dave and Isaac wore matching outfits… because why the heck not.