This year has been one of big change for our family, and really adjusting to family life together as it looks right now.
In January we saw in the new year sleeping in swags at a national park on our drive down to Adelaide for a party for Tim’s grandparents. The boys had a blast, and we had a really great time seeing different friends and family along the way. They got to spend time with their grandparents and great grandparents, both of whom they don’t get to see very often.
February was the beginning of a crazy semester of full time uni for Sara. Living in Laidley but doing shifts and being on call in Toowoomba meant there was a lot of travel, a lot of night shift, a lot of births and subsequently a lot of fatigue. I was sick for most of the first six months of the year with just one small inconsequential illness after the other which really started to add up. It was not a healthy period for me. But I did well academically during the semester and I was blessed to be involved in the births of about 30 babies.
During this time we also discovered that Elisha had a parasite which was the cause of his failure to thrive. Once we started treating that, he became an entirely different and happy baby. He was also started on formula at this time, ten months, and began to slowly but steadily put back on some weight. It was the first time he had started increasing in weight in six months. It was also the first time he started sleeping at night!!
April saw both of our boys have birthdays. They are both absolute delights. Nathan turned three and is racing ahead. Nothing is holding that boy back. He LOVES trains, and will spend hours in his room making elaborate tracks for them. He loves going on the train to see daddy at work, loves talking about trains. He also loves school and is begging us to let him go. We have a group of friends who homeschool their kids and they do cooking classes and different things together. Nathan loves it when he gets to be involved with this. He got an encouragement award at their break up for his “love of learning” which brought an enormous smile to his little face.
In May we headed to the Bunya mountains with this group of friends for a ‘family camp.’ This was so much fun! It was very cold, but we got to go on bush walks, make crafts and even ride on a horse and cart. My family headed up there as well. It was really good bonding time with the kids and their Grammy and Grampy.
Both Nathan and Eli did swimming lessons this year. That was our predominant commitment with them. Elisha has been swimming since he was six months and I think it shows. They both love the water but are very sensible around it, which was the result we were hoping for. Since moving to Brisbane we haven’t started back yet and I’m hoping they haven’t lost their skills when we hit the pools again.
We discovered in June that we were expecting our third little baby! It was a bit of a surprise to us as I was quite sick with the flu (turned out to be Influenza B). We literally took the test the night before going to the doctors with my huge list of health complaints just so there would be one less thing we could tell her I didn’t have. We were just shocked that we had fallen pregnant that quickly without trying when we spent so long actively trying to fall pregnant with Eli. This baby will be due in February, which will leave a gap of about 22 months.
We’re currently collecting guesses on the babies birth details (gender, name, birthdate etc.) if anyone wants to head on over and join in! Just a little bit of fun for us.
July saw Tim take up a nearly full time position as a systems admin with Scripture Union Qld in the IT department. For the six months until December he worked 4 days a week at SU, with one day at the church office to give them time to transition. He has finished that up (in an ideal world) and just this week has taken up the full 5 days a week. He adores his job, I’ve never seen him so happy in a workplace. He loves the team, loves the work he’s doing, and loves feeling like it has a purpose. He has found a way for his work to be his ministry, and is in his element. He supports chaplains around QLD & Australia, and maintains the infrastructure which makes camps, fundraising and all the awesome stuff that SU does possible.
Since Tim took up that position in July, I had to make the call between continuing full time uni and putting the kids into daycare for several days a week or dropping to part time and staying at home with them. After a lot of prayer, and God really leading me to make the decision, I chose to stay at home and dropped two of my clinical subjects.
In August, when I was about 13 weeks pregnant, I had a crazy week with a complicated birth of a close friend, some insane uni requirements and antenatal appointments. During this time, it was discovered that my blood pressure was high, dangerously high. The obstetrician prescribed me medication for it, I asked for a few days to try and get it together myself. The only lifestyle change I could see taking was to try and drop my stress levels. So I called the head of midwifery at Griffith and told her what was happening, and she was happy for me to drop my final two units. No kidding, the next day my BP was down to normal. The doctor was pretty much blown away. I don’t think anybody thought that stress could actually make that much of an impact or a change. But that’s how I changed from full time uni to being ‘on leave.’ I’ve decided to take a leave of absence for two years and focus on mummying. I still have time to get this degree finished in. As long as the remaining nine units are done before the end of 2020, I’m good.
At the end of August, Tim got the opportunity to travel to Vietnam with our church to work in a village school there. He also got to help the guy based there who does the IT with some stuff, which it sounds like he enjoyed more than anything. Nathan was very aware of what was going on, and spent a lot of time while he was away talking and praying about ‘the kids in the school’ and counting out money from his piggy bank to send to them.
We ended up in hospital in September with Nathan due to a very random hallucination incident which lasted just over 24 hours. He was absolutely terrified during this time, literally clawing his way up over our heads to get away from the crocodiles and mozzies. After many tests, an MRI, lumbar puncture, bloods, urine samples, there was no identifiable cause. It really shook him up. It took a while for him to settle back down after we got home. The first week was really difficult, getting him to adjust back to life without being terrified. To get him willing to sleep on his own sheets and bed again. Our friend who is a psychologist pretty much told us to treat it like a trauma, which was the best advice we were given. Three months later, he still talks about the ‘biting crocodiles’ and is very rational about it, but it is a clear memory for him. As far as his temperament goes, he tends to be a lot more cautious these days. The whole thing has made him love Jesus a whole lot more though. He talks about Jesus in terms of ‘protecting’ him all the time. His favourite bible story is Jesus calming the storm.
Since before Tim left for Vietnam we had discussed moving to Brisbane and after months of house looking and inspections we finally found a little unit to rent that we liked in Ferny Grove. We moved in the last week of October. It is a significant downsize for us, a little three bedroom place with barely any backyard, but the boys have a loft room/playroom which is awesome. It’s also close to the train station which means Tim can commute to work that way, one less car is a relief, and Nathan can sit at the park and watch the trains. Tim has become a much more pleasant person with the three and a half hour train and drive commute reduced to one hour on the train every day.
Since the move, I have been sick most of the time. Kidney infection, gastro bugs, cold & flu type thing. Tim and I headed to the Sunshine Coast in November to get a weekend away before the baby comes, and attempted to celebrate our five year wedding anniversary which is coming next March. By day two of our holiday, I was in hospital with appendicitis, resulting in surgery on day three of our holiday. All while 28 weeks pregnant. We got a cool MRI scan of the baby out of that though.
Elisha really started talking around this time. He absolutely loves animals and most of his first words have indicated this. Pig, Horsey, Dog, Cat, Cow, Mouse, etc. He can say most of his friends names now, but I still haven’t picked up his word for Nathan. He really is a charming little man with a head of curly hair. He has decided he is a big boy now, and will not take any babying.
And now it’s December. Christmas is fast approaching, and I’ve had to give myself a lot of grace about not getting much done. We’ve made one batch of chocolate balls this year, and that’s all the Christmas baking we’ve done. After a week, I managed to get everyone to help me decorate the Christmas tree, but since Elisha undecorated it, it has stayed bare. We are heading to Perth on Christmas Eve to spend some much needed time with Tim’s family. Nathan is over the moon to be seeing his cousins.