Monday, February 29, 2016

5 Blog Posts on Parenting That I Can Relate To At the Moment

1. Ten Tips For Getting the Balance Right with Kids and Food - No Reading at the Breakfast Table
2. Slow Parenting - No Reading at the Breakfast Table
3. How I Won the Vegie War: Part One - The Key to the Door
4. How I Won the Vegie War - Part Two - The Key to the Door
5. A Question About Feeding Toddlers - In All Honesty

I wonder if you can guess which child is causing me the most grief right now....

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Duncan's Improved Beak

My darling husband had suffered from migraines since before I knew him, and they've been getting more frequent and intense during the past year or so.

One night I was listening to him breathe (because his snoring was keeping me awake), and was shocked by how erratic his breathing was. I began to wonder if he was suffering from sleep apnoea. Now, I'm no doctor, but I realised that all of his migraines began before he woke up in the morning. By the time he got up and out of bed, it was already full blown. He'd start vomiting and had trouble taking any pain relief. I wondered if a lack of oxygen, due to his erratic breathing, was a major cause of his migraines.

After much wifely nagging, he saw a doctor and got a referral for a sleep test, and also to an Ear Nose and Throat specialist. The sleep test showed he had mild sleep apnoea, and an X-Ray showed he had crooked nasal passages and a polyp next to his tonsils.

Last month, he had surgery to correct it. I'm pleased to say he has recovered well, his snoring has decreased dramatically, and he's yet to have another migraine (although he's had headaches).

This is the photo he put on Facebook after his surgery. Selfie of the Year, I reckon.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

5 Annoying Words/Phrases Which People Use Frequently on Facebook

1. I love you to the moon and back.
2. Cutie-patootie
3. Fam bam
4. Totes
5. Karma will get you/bite you in the bum.

What are some words/phrases which people use on Facebook that really annoy you?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Bible Verse of the Day

Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?  Though she may forget, I will not forget you.
Isaiah 49:15

Friday, February 19, 2016

Trusting God

It often takes a certain situation to motivate me to read a book that's been sitting in my bookcase for a while.  As I was packing to go to the MBU, I grabbed Trusting God by Jerry Bridges from the shelf.

Since my relapse with postnatal depression, I have struggled to trust God through it all.  I have raged and wondered why does He need to use such difficult circumstances to make me more like Jesus.  It's like I know He's good in my head, yet, when it comes to the crunch, I realise I still believe that all He wants me to experience is pain.

I can't speak/write highly enough of this book!  God really used it to speak to me while I was in the darkest valley.  I could post quote after quote, but I will restrain myself.  Here are just some of the things I learned from it.

  • It is easier to obey God than trust Him.  This is definitely an issue for me.  I can see that God's way of living is good and right, yet I struggle to trust Him as my Lord and God, who is sovereign over all things.
  • I often feel so angry at God because it is MY plans that have been dashed.  I struggle to accept that my carefully-laid plans for myself are nothing compared to what He has planned for me.
  • Sometimes we say that God is in the good, but not in the bad.  To a friend with cancer we might say that God ALLOWED their cancer to happen, but He didn't CAUSE it.  This makes it sound like God is not really in control.  Scripture clearly refutes this.  God brings prosperity and creates disaster (Isaiah 45:7) and both calamities and good things come from His mouth (Lamentations 3:38).  I admit, I struggle with this.  Even Christians often think as deists today.  Many accept the concept that God is sovereign, but believe that He chooses not to exercise His sovereignty in the daily affairs of our lives (page 29).  But God is always using these things for our good, even when we cannot possibly see how.
  • We have a God who is totally powerful AND totally good (something I know, but need to keep learning over and over).
  • It is not only an irreverent act to question God's wisdom, it is also spiritually debilitating.  We not only besmirch God's glory, we also deprive ourselves  of the comfort and peace that comes by simply trusting Him without requiring an explanation (page 140).  I was so angry at God that I had relapsed that I demanded He explain to me why this was happening again.  But God owes me nothing.  I just need to trust in His love.
This is just a small taste of the riches of this book.  There are so many encouraging Scriptures quoted throughout, urging readers to trust in our loving and all-powerful, sovereign God.  While I am by no means now perfectly trusting God, this book helped redirect me back to God's Word and how He has proved once and for all at the cross that He is both loving and sovereign, and completely worthy of our trust.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Bible Verse of the Day

Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love. For He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.
Lamentations 3:32-33

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

5 Reasons Why It Rocks Being the Eldest Child

1. The most fuss gets made over your birth. You get the most presents, the most photos, the baby shower, the baby milestone book filled in. Ok, so you won't be able to remember all that, but it's nice to see the many photos your snap-happy parents took. Subsequent children tend to get less fuss.

2. You get new toys, clothes etc. 

3. You get more privileges and get to do things first. It's wonderful watching your younger sibling/s stomp off sulkily to bed, while you get a later bedtime.

4. You get to have the best bedroom first because you need the space to study.

5. Usually you're physically bigger than your siblings for at least the beginning. All the better for letting them know who's boss.

What do you think are good things about being the eldest child?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Not Pretty Enough by Kasey Chambers

Since it was Valentine's Day yesterday, I thought these lyrics were appropriate.  I asked these questions of myself a lot when I was single, and I bet I'm not alone in this.

Am I not pretty enough?
Is my heart too broken?
Do I cry too much?
Am I too outspoken?

Don't I make you laugh?
Should I try it harder?
Why do you see right through me?

I live, I breathe, I let it rain on me.
I sleep, I wake, I try hard not to break.
I crave, I love, I've waited long enough.
I try as hard as I can.

I laugh, I feel, I make believe it's real.
I fall, I freeze, I pray down on my knees.
I hope, I stand, I take it like a man.
I try as hard as I can.

Lyrics from here.

Friday, February 12, 2016

5 Reasons Why it Sucks Being the Eldest Child

I'm the eldest child in my family and Duncan is the youngest in his.  We've had some interesting discussions over who is hardest done by.

Here's why it's tough being the eldest:

1.  You're the 'guinea pig', the 'experiment'.  Every mistake your parents made with you, they (hopefully) learn from with your younger siblings. What you suffered through, they get a cushier ride. When I finished high school and went to uni, I had to spend three years languishing in cruddy student housing.  By the time my brother started a bridging course (which he later dropped out of) to get into uni, my parents had bought a house in Perth and he got to live there by himself.  Although my parents pestered him to get a housemate to help them pay the mortgage, he refused and they eventually gave up.

2.  There are greater expectations placed on your shoulders and the bar is set higher.  You have to be the responsible one, you're the 'heir'. If I'd got the poor grades my brother got in Year 12, I would have got my butt kicked.

3.  You not only get blamed for things you do wrong, you get blamed for what your younger siblings do, too.  Younger siblings dob on you and your mum believes them, but if you dob on them, you get told not to dob.

4.  You have to be in charge when your parents are out, kind of like a third parent (hence #3).

5.  You have to watch your younger siblings get presents as well on YOUR birthday (because they'll throw tantrums otherwise), but you don't get any presents on theirs.

Are you the eldest child?  What do you think are the hardest things about being the eldest?

Stay tuned for '5 Reasons Why it Rocks Being the Eldest Child' next week.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Rory's Racing Car Birthday

Some photos from Rory's 3rd birthday...

This was the best cake I could manage in this season of life.
Everyone was singing Happy Birthday.
Pretending to be shy.

Trying out his new Thomas folding chair from Amanda and family.

Teddy having a turn on the chair.

I blinked and I have a three-year-old!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Christmas 2015

My brother hosted Christmas last year at his bachelor pad in Albany.  My mum still ended up doing most of the work though, he just pinched a lot of her Christmas decorations and kitchenware.  It was fairly relaxed, too much food, as usual, and Rory got VERY spoilt.

The downside was that I clumsily hit my head on a shelf and ended up with a massive headache and a big bruise.

Rory helping Nanny (my mum) put up her tree.
The shark laundry hamper was for Flynn.  What else do you get a baby
who already has everything he needs haha?

My scrumptious Christmas pudding.

Flynn got Flynn the Fire Engine.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

The Lord Gives and Takes Away

Before I was even discharged from the Mother Baby Unit, Duncan and I were on the hunt for a nanny. The reality was and is that I struggle to cope on my own and get to the myriad of appointments I need to attend in order to get well.

Ideally we wanted someone:

Without kids. I didn't want someone bringing their own kids over to our house, making more noise and mess.

Without a job. Or at least someone available a couple of days a week.

Local. I didn't want live-in help, if possible. 

With good English.

Able to keep up with young children - robust, energetic, no-one elderly or with a bad back etc.

I thought the chances of finding someone out here would be slim. After a possible candidate turned out to be unavailable, we found someone....a friend of ours from church. She's 24, married with no kids, not working since she's waiting to begin full-time external study, and was happy to come and help me out a couple of days a week.

Things were going well. It was great to have my hands free for a bit. She played with Rory so I could settle Flynn or get a few things done. Or she looked after Flynn so I could spend time with Rory and sleep in the afternoon while Rory slept (Flynn only catnaps still unfortunately). I got to go to appointments by myself. I marvelled and praised God for how He had provided when I thought the situation was hopeless.

But last week we found out that, due to unexpected circumstances, our nanny can no longer come. At first, I thought it'd be ok. I'd manage somehow. Now the reality has set in and it's a juggle and a hard slog. I'm still far from well, and I don't know how I'm going to find more help.

I don't understand why God has allowed this to happen when everything was going so well. But I will trust Him. He knows what He's doing. The twist in the tale may not be what I'd have written, but this is just a very small sub-plot, and God knows how this fits into His story.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Quote of the Day

When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.
- Corrie Ten Boom