Bits and Bobs - July 2017

How is that half way through the summer holidays already? By the end of the month Daniel will have started primary school! Our first and last weeks of July were full of appointments and the middle two weeks we were off on holiday at my parents’ home at the North Coast. So it’s been busy! And as always on a holiday month, the question is, where did all our money go?!

We also had the wonderful treat of going to a wedding celebration in England last weekend without children, yay! My mum and dad had the boys and we had a great time punting in Cambridge, climbing Ely Cathedral’s West Tower (my pelvis and right calf muscle not so happy about this!) and doing geeky non-child friendly things like going to an evening outdoor Shakespeare production!

I have written two posts this month – one on indoor activities for the summer holidays with wee ones, the second on outdoor activities.

My husband and his siblings now have a rota up and running for visiting his dad (who lives in a hospice) and with the normal term time activities off, I’m hoping to get some time to write in August. It feels like it’s been on the back burner the last few months with everything that’s been going on!

Oh, and I got the results of my Statistician exams - I passed WITH DISTINCTION. I am really quite proud of this achievement! 

Reading

Baby name books! Yes, in case you hadn’t heard we’re expecting Baby 3 in January and I can indulge once more in my favourite pastime. I have actually been reading about names since I was a child, I love their meanings and history. My husband has vetoed some of my favourites in the past but thankfully we still have plenty of names we both like. There’s a problem if it’s a girl though, and narrowing our long list down. I suspect a girl will get double middle named to use a few up!

Learning

We feel like we’re getting closer to a diagnosis of why our younger son Rory stopped growing normally at six months. His height growth has been plummeting down the charts since then and now he’s just about on the height growth charts, having previously been at the 91st centile. He is getting an upper GI scope (this is done under GA) and they will take various biopsies which will hopefully give us some answers.

All this has taught me not to be too hard on myself. I noticed his height stalling completely when he was about 9 months old but listened to others who said that he was clearly putting his energies into being an early walker (9 months old….I know!) or as an early teether his nutrients were going to that. And then when we finally took him to a doctor he was a ‘failure to thrive’ case and we were being seen by a paed consultant within a few weeks due to the urgency. Yet even with that here we are a year later none the wiser in many ways (although I do know a long list of things it’s not!). As parents sometimes we blame ourselves for not pushing things more or noticing things sooner. But we need to learn not to think everything is our fault. So if that’s something you need to learn this month, take it from me, it’s better to give ourselves a break!

Watching

I’m looking forward to the autumn when I have more to write here! I haven’t really watched anything this month. I did watch one episode of Nadiya’s British Food Adventure and wanted to make all the food and also be friends with Nadiya. How lovely is she? So personable and easy to watch. Will have to catch up on the rest of the series on iplayer!

Homemaking

Everyone knows I’m a bit of a clutterbug so I’m glad that I’ve started my (latest) decluttering project, starting with our kitchen island which I was able to use to serve dinner the last two nights. Result!

The first thing I did actually after I found out I was pregnant was make a big list of all the things I wanted to do around the house before they arrive – things like putting shelves up in some rooms, getting storage boxes, and going through old baby clothes. And I’ve actually got about a third of the list ticked off already. Well done me!

Parenting

Here’s something we learned about a year and a half ago, when Daniel was 3. Yet I seem to need reminded of it frequently. Daniel has a habit of asking a question, it being answered, then he immediately asks the same question again. Back then it was mostly “Where Granny Grampa?” or “Where Daddy?” I’d tell him, then he’d say again “Where Daddy?” for, well, what felt like for EVER.

His educational psychologist explained that what was likely happening here wasn’t that he didn’t understand our replies but that he wanted to have a conversation about Daddy, or Granny, or whatever the question was about, but he didn’t have the vocabulary or ability to engage in more complex conversation. With the holidays in full swing there’s a lot of this. The questions are now more advanced, maybe “What doing today?” or a comment like “Daniel go big school now”. It’s hard not to get frustrated and tell him I’ve already answered that. I have to remind myself to use the repeat questions to develop his conversational skills and make an alternative comment about the same topic. Maybe he wants to expand on one of the things we’re doing today, or talk about his new school or his worries or excitement about it.

Faith

I am exhausted at present. Struggling with a serious lack of sleep for months I am trying to realise I need to not try and get through this all by myself. In my tiredness my time reading God’s word has been put to the side and I need to remember that Jesus promises to give us rest if we just turn to Him. We don’t need to try and switch off by ourselves. He can lighten our load. And I love the words Eugene Peterson uses in The Message… “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

Matthew 11 : 28-30