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 9

 

 

 

Let me tell you about week 9… just like all of the other weeks this year week 9 was a busy one. We started with a Teddy Bear’s picnic at Rippon Lea estate, where I got to sing a couple of numbers with the Salvo Big Band and Isaac and I got to brunch with Annie and then hang out with Auntie Ness and Grandad while Daddy played the rest of the charts. I also got to dress Isaac up in all his teddy bear themed clothes and he looked super cute.

This week actually had a lot of catch ups over food… we had dinner with Anna and Jed, Morning Tea with Hollie and Smith, and lunch with Nana and Great Auntie Lorraine.

We also did some boring tasks for future fun things… we applied for a passport for Isaac and I got my renewed… now were are all set to go on an adventure… hopefully soon…

Incredibly week 9 also brings us to the end of Feb… which seems ridiculous, but it is true… but just in case you missed a bit, here is what our month of Feb looked like in photos…

Finishing Feb also meant I was able to cross no. 21 off the list ‘Go without games on my phone for at least 2 months’ which was much harder than I care to admit… but has been good for my brain, and an important reminder that my time is precious and that I get to choose how I use it… but that if I am really honest with myself, as much as I love a good game on my phone, there are lots of better things I can do with my time.

Oh and… Isaac is now 7 moths old… and a total spunk! At 7 months he still loves to smile and is quite the crowd pleaser when we go out. He has also discovered that his hands are delicious. He loves a compliment and still thinks that splashing Daddy during bath time is the best thing ever. We are still slowly weaning down off his Oxygen and he is mastering his hip brace, in fact he has the best cowboy stance I have ever seen!  Isaac you are a superstar!

 

Our Curious Life: Week 5

Far out week 5, you have been busy… seriously busy!  This week has been full of people… which if you ask me is a great way to spend any week.  We started with the Thrive BBQ on Sunday, where we survived the crazy hot weather with 30ish other Thrivers swimming, eating and watching the tennis and we finished the week celebrating a beautiful bride to be. During week 5 we brunched and lunched with Mum, Lorraine, Clare, Jess, Dave and some of my work mates on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday… I love brunchy lunches the most, if my waist line and my hip pocket would allow all of my weeks would look like this. Oh and all that brunching meant no. 94 is off the list because I also love an iced coffee.

This week also brought some new ‘mum’ things for us… I went to my first mothers group (no.45), which I actually loved.  I had been so nervous about attending, because despite being fairly out going, I find new situations, especially new social situations quite unnerving.  I had also pinned a few local community hopes on having a good mum’s group.  When Dave and I moved house we moved to a suburb where we didn’t know that many people, and despite some intentional effort we have found that most of our life still exists back in blackburn… we have made some more local friends through Dave’s work, but this was my chance to find some more local community, which meant that mother’s group had a lot of pressure on it.  It had always been something coming… and now that it was here, I was really feeling it… it also didn’t help that they had given me the wrong date so I was joining on week 2… but now that it is done I am hopeful, it was good… and I think it will just get better.  My fellow mums were super lovely, and very understanding.  They were interested in how Isaac and I were going and hearing about his journey without making me feel different.  It was just really nice.

We also tried story time at the library this week, which after my mothers group experience was the total opposite… we didn’t love it, which was super disappointing because I had really been looking forward to it.  I think that there were a couple of reasons we were disappointed…

1. Our expectations were really high… probably too high, it was probably unfair to expect them to be met.

2. I don’t think I had really thought about what would happen at story time and the fact that I wouldn’t be able to explain the fact that Isaac is well and actually really good… instead people would just see me and a baby with oxygen prongs and a tank… People meant well, but there were lots of looks of pity, which we don’t need… we are smashing this…

3. I didn’t have a buddy… I should not have gone alone… also something that I didn’t think about… but at the end when all the other mums found their friends and went and got coffee… the fact that we weren’t the same was really just confirmed… we were outsiders… sure I was probably being a little sensitive, but it was pretty lonely… next week we will story time with some buddies

4. It was also the first time we went into a group where people hadn’t journeyed with us, they didn’t know our story, where we had come from, what had happened… they just saw Isaac’s bonus attachments and filled in the blanks.  We have been so blessed to have so so many wonderful people surround us over the past 2 years, who have just taken us as we are, loved us through the good, the bad and the really hard and who haven’t pitied us, or made comments or made us feel different… so I guess I just assumed story time would be the same… especially after being so pleasantly surprised by mothers group… but I guess the saying is true… you should never assume.

So… we are not riding story time off just yet… but we will make some adjustments and try again… hopefully we will have weaned down the oxygen enough that we can leave it behind… we will find some story time buddies… and really even though it wasn’t quite what we had hoped it still crossed no. 12 off Isaac’s list and no. 18 and I think no. 26 off my list, as we did all of our outings this week with a tank attached (and we got an early delivery of tanks so I had to swap the regulator over before we left the house)… but I only have two pictures to show.. because Isaac and I have the same photo for no. 12 and no. 18.

In happier week 5 news… we survived a whole week with Dave at work and we started a new month which means January is over, here is what it looked like in pictures:

And… Isaac is now 6moths old… check him out… At 6 months he loves to smile and kick his legs.  He loves bath time and splashing with Daddy and he is slowly weaning down off his Oxygen and tolerating his hip brace like a superstar!  What a champion!

Thanks week 5

Our Curious Life: Week 4

 

 

 

Ok… so I am slowly getting the hang of this weekly blogging thing… I am still a little behind in terms of publishing, but so far I am really enjoying it.  So how did week four pan out… well let me tell you.

Week four started with some goodbyes… our NZ fam headed back across the ditch.  It has been so nice being able to catch up with them over the last couple of weeks.  They remind me why family is family, we can go years without seeing each other, with just phone calls, emails and of course good old facebook, but when we do catch up it is easy and lovely… it’s the way it should be.  It’s been really nice to watch them with Isaac… the beginning of the next generation of George… and it has shown me that there is a heck of a lot of George in him…seriously… just check out these four…

On Tuesday Dave went back to work and I got to re-try being at home with out him… and I am pretty proud of how we managed… yep it has only been three days because Friday was a public holiday… but it feels very different from the end of term four last year.  There have been no phone calls in tears wanting him to come home, Isaac has been feed and changed and I have pumped, showered and eaten successfully all three days which feels like a win to me.  Of course it also helps that he is a little more interactive this time, and I had 6 weeks over summer with an extra pair of hands to help me get used to it and build up some confidence.  But I am not as terrified about this coming week as I was this time last week.

We got spoilt on Thursday with the worlds cutest vans, delicious bakery treats, flowers and cuddles and good chats with our friend Pheebs… she is a winner and a half.

And on Friday I didn’t struggle with Australia day as much as I usually do… I still feel the same about it and we should definitely change the date… but I think the fact that I didn’t have the day ‘off” as a holiday, it didn’t feel any different from other days, so I could let my self relax as I wasn’t ‘celebrating’.  We did use the day to swim in the pool at dad’s again… and this time I remembered to take a photo, so I was able to officially cross it off the list!

Oh and this week I also added Isaac’s hand and foot prints to my necklace… no. 72 on the list.

So there you go, week 4 over and out.

Our Curious Life: Week 3

 

 

 

This third week of 2018 has continued to be filled with friends, family and the good things about summer… and just like last week it has also been another good week for the list.  This week also brought the return of appointments for Isaac and one last effort to get things done before Dave goes back to work.

I am still getting the hang of how to write these blogs without them sounding like a lame diary entry… so this time I think we will start with the list items that were achieved… This week we managed to cross another 3 things off… but only one of them has photos ready to go…  We had some family photos taken (no. 6) which I actually wore non-maternity jeans for, which is technically crossing no. 20 off as well, but they were only on for the photos and I am definitely not committed to making it a regular thing… maybe in winter, so we will leave it on there for now.  I wore something other than a black t-shirt for the whole week… yep… I did (no. 98).  And most excitingly, this week we finished Isaac’s room (no. 63) and I am really happy with how it turned out.

When Isaac was born, Dave and I were very unprepared… because Joshua was only 24 weeks old when he was born we were desperate to make it to 26 weeks with Isaac.  At 24 weeks mums and dads have to make lots of really hard decisions, decisions about treatments, resuscitation, viability and quality of life… things that no one ever really thinks about when starting a family, and decisions that they are not really emotionally prepared to handle when they are asked at such an awful time… when you realise things are not going as you planned…  At 26 weeks, the babies are what the doctors term viable… that means they are more likely to live than die… it still doesn’t factor in quality of life… but because they can live, the choices are usually made by the doctors, rather than the panicked mum and dad…  So 26 weeks became our goal… but given our recent experiences, I was not willing to plan for him or make room for him in our house until after the 26week mark because I didn’t want to have to pack it away if we also lost him.  So… when Isaac decided 26weeks exactly was his cue… we had nothing… well not nothing, nothing, we had some clothes and nappies that we had been given or brought in preparation for Josh… but we had limited ‘big ticket items’, and the ones we had purchased were still in boxes in the garage.  We had a flat packed chest of draws and a chair… we had no cot, no change table, no car seat, no pram… nothing we actually needed when coming home from the hospital… Isaac’s room was still full of stuff… the overflow of our house… and I had not yet removed the old wall decal from the previous home owners or painted over the green and purple walls… we were not ready, because we thought we would either have no time… or lots more time.

So between hospital visits we brought the items we needed, cleared out the room, painted and then started putting it together… and then he came home from hospital… and it still wasn’t quite done… He has now been home for 66 days… and we have finally added the finishing touches, his shelves and the wall decal… and it is now my favourite room in the house.  I often just wonder in and look at it…  It makes the whole house feel more complete and in a small way, having this finished, feels like the proper end to waiting to bring home our baby chapter… that we can now really embrace life with him… because he is here and he isn’t going anywhere.

My favourite bit of the room is his bookshelf… I don’t know why I love it so much… but I really really do…

This week we also had to say goodbye to K as she headed back to London… we always hate doing this.  But we did get to spend some more time with our NZ fam before they head back this week… so this weeks been bitter sweet.

Oh and in Isaac news, this week we continued slowly weaning his oxygen yay!… but had to go and buy some bigger clothes, because he has a new accessory for a little while… a hip harness… but to make him (and by him I mean mummy) feel better, we extended our Disney book library…

Yesterday we finished our week with a garden engagement party for my little brother Jake and his fiancé Amy-Ruth… which is a pretty nice way to end a week. They had the garden looking magical… and what is not to love about love?

So there you go… week 3…

Our Curious Life: Week 2

Week 2 has been a week of friends, family and the good things about summer… It has also been another good week for the list.  In fact, even Isaac was able to cross something his first list.

We started this week with great food, beautiful sunshine and good friends as we learnt how to barefoot bowl at my sister in law’s Hen’s… and despite having a few family members that are quite good at bowling… my skills left a lot to be desired.  We then continued to celebrate Ness and our new skills (even if they remained poor) at a roof top bar with delicious tapas.  And… seeing as Dave was a Bridesman, our whole family was able to spend the afternoon together… it was a pretty great way to start a week.  Learning a new game also meant that we crossed no. 39. Play a Game of some kind, off the list.

I fully embraced the fact that my bestie has been home for Christmas, so we made the most of her presence with walks, dinners and a delicious brunch at our favourite local Half Half.   At brunch Isaac got to cross his first thing off the list as he hung out with his ladies and loved every minute.  He also got to wear his new jeans which match his Aunty K’s.  (I also got to brunch with my besties and given that one of them is hard to brunch with living in London… we both got to cross this off on the same day, so Isaac’s picture is with K).

We won a donut wall to use to celebrate Isaac’s birthday later in the year… so keep an eye out for that…

We hung out with family for take out, afternoon tea and post holiday catch ups, making the most of the pre-wedding celebrations and hanging out with family that have flown across the ditch from NZ.

We finished the week off with Ness’ wedding.  The wedding was the perfect nod to her and her partner… now husband, relaxed, fun and a little bit surprising.  There is no one else I know that could have embraced a torrential downpour through your whole wedding as well as these guys did.  Not only did they just go with it, but the enjoyed it and helped us to enjoy it to… because who would have a thought that a wedding in the middle of January could be quite that wet.

We also made he most of the glorious… although occasionally way to hot weather, with lots of family walks… the fit pig is back… but I think I need to do a few more walks before I can actually cross it off the list.  So there you go week 2… a little bit like a primary school diary entry… but I will get better at it.

Our Curious Life: Week 1

Ok… a new year means a fresh start and a good opportunity to try something new… so this year on the blog I thought I would try a new method of weekly blogging, one that I saw on one of favourite bloggers, Shutterbean, and it seems super simple… although that’s usually a cue for me to totally over complicate it.

Anyway, it’s just a recap of sorts of the week that’s been… somewhere I could write about our listing adventures, share some pictures, and quickly recap. I am a little worried mine will start to read a little like a grade 5 diary entry… but hey, when it really all comes down to it, this is here for me… and if you love it too, excellent.

So the plan is at the end of each week… probably Sunday (which is technically the start of the next week) I will write this… which will help my regular blogging, help me to record some fun things… and maybe the not fun things, and give me a little “me goal”… which I already have way to many of… but maybe a “me goal” that I might actually achieve.

So here we go:

January is a funny time… a new year brings lots of potential… a little associated pressure and some really really big plans.  It fills me with hope, but also stress that this is the year that I have to fix/complete/try/achieve x y & z… some of which I bring on myself with a little thing I like to call the list but also for those things that don’t make it on to the official list.  The lists in my head, the lists on our bench, and the lists I didn’t even know I was keeping.

But so far so good… it’s summer and lets face it everything feels better in summer.   So this week, I was glad I posted the new list… but a little disappointed that I never quite managed to finish my recap of last years list, blog thanks to my computer breaking down… I will finish it, but it turns out there is even less time to blog now that Isaac is at home.  But we did manage to cross a few things off the new list…

97. Fix my computer – completed: 02/01/2018
My computer had a moment on new years eve… and after a few hours on the phone to apple support it seems to be back… although it’s probably time I really start saving for a new one… I think it could be on borrowed time.

89. Update some photo wall photos – completed: 03/01/2018
There are still a couple more that need updating, and it is unlikely that this is the only time I change some of the pictures, but we have updated 3, and I figure that’s enough to cross this off.

92. See coco – completed: 06/01/2018
Yep, but I didn’t take the baby… I finally have a valid reason to indulge my love of Disney… but I left him at home with his Dad and went with some of my besties instead.  And unsurprisingly I cried like a little baby.

We started the new year at the beach, and I got my first real dose of fomo… (fear of missing out, for all of those who are playing at home, who unlike me have embraced their age and don’t try to keep up with the cool kids).  It turns out, that even though I knew life would be different with a baby, I hadn’t really thought about what that looked like on holidays.  It turns out going to the beach and spending hours in the ocean without a care in the world will probably never happen again… we may be able to spend hours in the ocean… but we need a few years and a few hundred swimming lessons… and I will probably always be worried about Isaac.  So this summer we just walked near the beach… because our pram does not like sand and neither does oxygen tanks or tiny nose prongs.

When went for a few late night family walks…

Swam in the pool at my Dad’s place for the first time in year… why I have I not been doing this more often?

And Isaac turned 5months old… far out… how did that happen?   So we celebrated with two little photoshoots.  One on the actual day, and one a few days later, because I forgot to take the milestone card to the beach with me.  But at 5months, he is super smiley, starting to coo and getting bigger everyday… right on track for being 8weeks corrected.

So there you go… week one.