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So now I’m a mummy of three little ones. It hasn’t been that much of a transition from two. I think I’ve probably been giving myself a lot of grace again. We’ve had a few days where I’ve just stayed in bed most of the day with little Gracelyn and cuddled and fed while I’ve utilised the TV as babysitter. I normally hate to do that, but at the moment I think we all need the downtime.
I’ve been using my phone with the alarm on it as a time keeper for Nathan who can’t yet tell the time. I can send him and Eli into their bedroom with the alarm sent for 20 minutes and they will play until the buzzer goes off. It’s actually been quite effective.
Gracey is a darling. She is super sweet, and I’m convinced that those little smiles she gives me are real. I just cannot believe that they so coincidentally occur when I’m smiling and talking to her and are just ‘gas.’ She sleeps a lot, cries very little and is just happy and content most of the time. She has decided in the last half a week that she likes being walked around and cuddled by mummy or daddy, which is very understandable, so that has made her a little bit more ‘work’ so to speak, but she’s just such a perfect and healthy little baby.
The boys adore her, a little too much I think sometimes. They have invented a new form of affection which we have dubbed ‘hug wrestling’ and they seem very keen on bestowing this upon her. Nathan is loving his role as the ‘big kid’ of the family. He is often coming out with statements such as ‘Both of the kids are asleep now,’ or ‘You can go out and I’ll look after the kids.’
I’m a bit more watchful of Elisha who hasn’t got that role. He’s needing lots of hugs and attention. I’m glad that he comes to me for that though, rather than just feeling lonely and overlooked. He’s very good at coming and asking for you when he needs you.
We went out camping at my parents block on the weekend for my birthday which was last week. Gracey was in the portable bassinet in the double swag with me, while the boys were in a tent. It was very wet when we were setting up, but the rain eased up after a few hours and the weekend was actually delightfully cool. We roasted marshmallows, and the boys went on ‘adventure walks’ with some of the other kids that came down on Saturday. Even the campfire managed to be lit despite the pouring rain. My highlight was grabbing a half hour sleep in the hammock in the shade while the others looked after the boys. It was simultaneously relaxing and tiring, as holidays generally are.
I just love watching Tim and the boys in that environment. It’s so natural and there’s so much joy and peace. Nathan and Elisha were making ‘soup’ in the bucket of water that we keep next to the fire, adding grass, leaves and rocks and mixing it with a stick. Our old dog Molly who lives with mum and dad now on the property came down with us as well. Everyone just seems to calm down when we’re out there. I miss having that.
Trying to capture that peace and calm is something that I’m working on trying to achieve here in the city now that we’ve moved. It’s something that God is walking and talking me through a lot, but is easier said than done with three kids under four.
We are proud to welcome the newest addition to our family, Gracelyn Tully Rose White. Born 12:18pm, 04/02/2014 weighing 3140 grams.
Welcome to our family Gracey
We arrived in Perth early Christmas morning after a luxurious 6 hour plane ride. As luxurious as it can get with two kids under three I guess. We were blessed enough to get one of the new fleet of Virgin aircraft, with individual touch screens in the back of every seat and comfy reclining seats. The boys finally fell asleep after about three hours of flying, only to wake up on arrival and not settle back to sleep until 2.30 in the morning, which happened to be 4.30 our time.
Christmas here was amazing. It finally felt like Christmas. Having been so sick for this entire month, as a family we have done very little that felt much like Christmas. I made rum balls with the kids and we wrapped some presents together and that was the extent of it this year, other than lots of conversations about Jesus’ birthday.
Nathan realised this year about Santa. He recognised that the ‘Christmas man’ appeared everywhere in shops with the Christmas trees at this time of year. When we asked him what the ‘Christmas man’ did, he informed us that he was there to let the big people know it was Christmas time. He’s such a gorgeous kid.
Nathan and Elisha both LOVE their cousins. They are enjoying both playing with and being babied by the older kids. Nathan is freely giving hugs to them all, and to his grandparents. I am actually quite surprised at how quickly Elisha took to everyone. He was happy to go for cuddles straight away. He has settled so much since I’ve stopped uni!
I wish these times could happen more often. I really want Nathan to be able to maintain this relationship with his cousins. It’s just so hard though. It feels as though we don’t get many family holidays ourselves, because any week break that we have tends to be an extended family trip. Whether Perth or North Queensland. But those family relationships are so important, especially now that we have kids. Two years to us is very little, but it’s half of their life at the moment!
We have about a week left, and we’re trying desperately to see who we would like and make the most of every day with the kids. It’s hard to keep in mind that making the most of a day with the kids sometimes does just mean letting them play and bond with their cousins at home. It’s also the first time I’ve had Tim around this much in about six months. I don’t want to waste that, but it’s not really the priority. It’s at the back of our minds.
We’re just really enjoying this time with family. It would be so lovely if we could meet our new little niece or nephew while we’re here!
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.
So, we seem to move on average every 10 months. And once again, we are moving!
For the last few months I’ve been commuting to Brisbane every day for my new job. At first the commute was ok, but it quickly became too much, and it felt like all I did at home was sleep, before once again starting the cycle. The commute was roughly 1 1/2 hours in the morning, and up to 2 hours in the afternoon depending on traffic.
So on the weekend, with some help from friends, we moved most of our stuff to a 3 bedroom townhouse in Ferny Grove. Surprisingly, we have a lot more room than I expected. We have a small enclosed courtyard for the kids to play in, and while probably not big enough to have the swing set and trampoline, it is big enough for the kids to play with bikes, toy mowers, tonka trucks, and balls. There are even tree’s in it which have already been used to make a blanket fort!
The boys are in a “loft” room, which is big enough for them to have the majority of their toys, and their beds, without it getting too cramped. I think they are already enjoying being able to have the trains setup with huge complex layouts and not having to pack it away every day. We have a fairly small bedroom with a built in robe, which will struggle to have anything other than our king size bed in it. Currently the bed is in the garage as we want to modify it so we can actually get it upstairs! Lastly, we have a small nursery room, which will be setup for the baby.
Our laundry is in the bathroom, which will take some getting used to. And our kitchen/dining/lounge area is all combined downstairs.
We are 2 streets away from the railway station, making for a very convenient walk in the morning. We have shops walking distance away. And church is 10 minutes down the road. This “convenience” will be nice, but is very different to what we are used to, so will take some time to get used to. It’s odd not having to have a freezer full of bread and milk.
Hopefully we’ll be here for awhile, we thought our last move was the last for a long time, and apparently we were wrong. Lets hope this is the last for a long time!
So this has been a really long week. I’m a little more ready to have a mummy break than I usually am by the end of the week. After a week of sleeping with a child on me while trying to protect the child in me, I was very physically exhausted.
But last night, Nathan slept the whole night through, in his own bed! We woke up at 4.30 to a massive thunderstorm, which was beautiful to lie and listen to, but the boys amazingly slept straight through it. When he woke up, he had a smile on his face and he went to the lounge room to get his slippers by himself. When he came back in, he was super happy. He said to us, “There are no crocodiles anymore! They’re all gone!”
So I think we have our kid back. No doubt he’ll still be cautious, but the joy in our family today just from having everyone home and lovely cool weather and two happy boys, is almost palpable (though I’m still ready for a mummy break!)
In other news, we had a check up for White 3.0 this week, and everything is looking great! Which is a massive relief after the hiccups at the start of the pregnancy. My blood pressure is fantastic, and the baby is growing really well, much more even at this point than the last two times. Everything is indicating a happy and healthy little one.
Now to start discussing names. This is the part that Tim hates the most. It is a massive struggle in our household! Nathan has announced that his favourite name is ‘Alanpie’ after hearing me suggest ‘Malachi’ in a long list of names. I’m not sure we’ll be taking his advice on this one.