Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Christmas 2016

It's nearly March and I'm finally getting around to putting the Christmas pics up haha!

Last Christmas was spent in Dunsborough with the in-laws.  Due to harvest being nowhere near finished, it was a fleeting visit - over there on Christmas Eve and home again on Boxing Day.  We woke on Christmas morning to find that the gate on the chookyard had somehow got open and a lot of the chooks were out.  So, there I was at 6am helping Duncan's dad shoo his chooks back into their yard.

Our friends Isaiah, Harriet and Sarah hosted us all at their house for both lunch and dinner.  It was a low-key day with a great variety of cuisines.  Alas, going out for both lunch and dinner was a bit much for the little fellows.  It took them days to recover from it.

The boys' shared Christmas present from us....Kmart bargain.

Friday, February 24, 2017

5 Ladies' Fashions I Don't Like

This is bound to offend someone...but, again, it's my opinion. ;)

1.  Undercuts
So gross!  Why, oh why?

Image from here
Image from here

2.  Grey or purple hair dye
Why do young women want to look older before their time?

Image from here

Image from here

3.  Too many tattoos
Some tattoos look great.  I like cursive writing on feet, wrists or forearms.  But too many women just get the grossest tattoos (i.e. sleeves) that clash horribly with bridal gowns.

Image from here

Image from here

4.  Claw and African Butterfly hair clips

Image from here

Image from here

5.  Short Dresses
That is not a dress, that is a top.

Image from here

Monday, February 20, 2017

They're Not Parenting At You

I've been doing swimming lessons with Flynn on Tuesday mornings while Rory is at kindy.  The local pool doesn't do lessons for children under school age, but there is a lady who does small private classes in her own pool on her farm about half an hour's drive from here. Flynn did swimming lessons last term as well (as did Rory - but that's a whole other story) and he seemed to be ok in the water. We had a few grizzly days, but overall I had high hopes that these lessons would go smoothly, right?


We rocked up to our first lesson and I saw my neighbour there with her 11-month-old daughter, who is also her first child. Now, in the country, 'neighbour' doesn't necessarily mean next-door neighbour (next-door could even be several kilometres away) - it means anyone on a farm remotely nearby to you. This neighbour is probably about 5km away, but I hadn't seen her for ages.

Our experiences could not have been more different.

Her daughter is already walking before the age of one, has slept through the night consistently since she was a few months old, and had an absolute ball in the water. My neighbour was wearing a bikini, has pretty much regained her pre-baby body, and got back into sport a few months after having her baby. I remember seeing her in the supermarket when Flynn was a few months old and she said she was close to being due. I couldn't believe it, I thought she had months to go. She was TINY.

Flynn walked later (at 14 months), SCREAMED his head off for the entire lesson, I can count the number of times he's slept through the night on one hand, and he ends up in our bed every night - the only way we can get some sleep. I was wearing a faded old t-shirt I've had since I was 12 over the top of my tankini to hide the fact that I still look terrible thanks to abdominal diastasis. I haven't played sport in goodness knows how long and can't until I've recovered from my surgery mid-year.

It would have been easy for me to become very disheartened after this experience, but an article I read on Facebook recently really helped my perspective. When we're having a bad parenting day, it's easy to think seemingly perfect parents are parenting AT US, that they are deliberately trying to make us feel bad. I don't believe for a second that my neighbour was trying to be superior to me. She simply has a much easier baby and has therefore had a much easier time than me. It's also good for parents who do have a bit of an easier time of things to see parents like me, who very clearly HAVEN'T had an easy time of it and are battling along in the hope that their authenticity is an encouragement to others.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Alcoholic Prayer for Christians

When I get discouraged by the sin in my life, I look back at how God has grown and changed me over the years. In this way, every Christian has something in common with alcoholics wanting to be rid of addiction. I'm not there yet, I won't be until I'm with Him...but I'm closer than I was yesterday.

I am not the man I ought to be,
I am not the man I wish to be,
and I am not the man I hope to be.
But by the grace of God, I'm not the man I used to be.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Bible Verse of the Day

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Quote of the Day

This is my hope, prayer and desire for my boys as we start this new stage of life....school.

Don't become preoccupied with your child's academic ability, but, instead, teach them to sit with those sitting alone.  Teach them to be kind.  Teach them to offer their help.  Teach them to be a friend to the lonely.  Teach them to encourage others.  Teach them to think about other people.  Teach them to look for the good.  This is how they will change the world.
- Unknown

Thursday, February 02, 2017

The First Day of School Post Nobody Writes

Today was Rory's first day of kindergarten. I'm not trying to be a pessimist, but I haven't had high hopes for a smooth start since he attended orientation late last year.  During both orientation sessions he clung to me, didn't want to play with other kids, and didn't want to do any of the activities.  We've been trying to talk positively about school over the past few months, but he hasn't been very enthusiastic.  He's been going to daycare one day a week since he was four months old, and since around the time he turned one, drop-offs are painful more often than not.  But he ALWAYS has a good time there and plays with other kids, so I don't know what his problem is.

Even though I know him better than anyone but God, I struggle with knowing the right approach in parenting him.  There's no doubt he has issues with anxiety, but he's also lazy (just calling a spade a spade).  If he had his way, he'd still be in nappies and I'd still be spoon-feeding him!  I still have daily battles with getting him to do tasks I know he can do - eating, putting his shoes on etc. ("I caaaaan't do it!  It's too hard for me," is the common whine).  Due to this I swing between being too tough and unsympathetic to just doing things for him, or not forcing him to do things because I've just had enough.  There have been times where I've really done my block and regretted it afterwards.  Sometimes I feel distant from him, because I just don't know how to help him.  I know too well from personal experience at a young age that kids can be cruel.  I don't want him to have to endure what I did.  I want to help him overcome his fears NOW, so he doesn't have to face the ridicule.  At times I feel like I'm reliving my own childhood through his anxiety.  You'd think I'd be able to relate to how he feels, but sometimes I just can't.

So, today resulted in a meltdown when it came to putting on his school uniform and getting on the bus.  I thought the bus ride would be ok since his best friend was already on the bus (his best friend is going to the Catholic school unfortunately, while Rory is at the public school), but nope.  Duncan had to ride on the bus with him to calm him down.  I drove into town with Flynn and Rory's big bag of stationery and met them both at the classroom.  There were more tears when it was time to leave.

I spent the day sobbing...not because I'm one of those parents who can't let go, but because I felt so drained.  I cancelled swimming lessons for him, since I just can't deal with the way he screams throughout every lesson.  Dealing with school is enough for now.

Thankfully, he got off the bus this afternoon all smiles, and the comment from his teacher in his communication book said he'd cheered up after we left, played with other kids, did everything he was asked to do, and generally had a great day.

I'm grateful for other parents who have shared their own struggles with me.  My Facebook newsfeed has been littered with photos of happy kids in uniforms and comments from parents, such as, "Jimmy has been looking forward to school for months," or "Sally had a great day, no tears, and actually told me to leave."  It's a kick to the guts reading that and I've struggled with jealousy, raging at God about why, after everything I've been through, He has to give me difficult kids on top of that.

I love my kids more than all the hairs on all the bears, but parenting a sensitive, anxious child is just really hard work.  There are people who'll imply that you're too harsh, and others will think you're too soft, and somehow you've got to ignore them all, and figure out what's best for your child when you don't even know what that is.

Somehow we'll get through this together, my boy.