Friday, February 17, 2012

A Whirlwind of a Month!

I can't even recall what I've shared over this past month so you'll have to forgive me if I'm doubling up on stories!
This is just a quick catch up post so that when I look back in time I remember that there was ALOT going on in the early part of 2012.

It kind of started snowballing with the renovations on the new house. I had a wisdom tooth removed which then turned out to begin a bacterial infection in my throat. I needed some quick working antibiotics for that one and two nights later had to take Zeeki up to A&E in the middle of the night as he wouldn't stop screaming in pain. Poor little bubba had an ear infection. We began schooling two days later and Brett once again headed off like a Trojan to do more work on the house. The second day of him being out there, my back went. Fully gone. Could barely walk with the assistance of my cane and could certainly not pick up Zeeki out of his cot or even change a nappy. I was in absolute agony and at the end of myself. I cried out to Yah to show me what to do.
He kindly sent me my next door neighbour once again who stayed one day from 7.30am until just before 5 at night! What a blessing she has been to me...and a great encouragement to my faith because I know that God has seen my pain and helped me through her kind hands.
There have been other beautiful helpers too!
My SIL of course being one of them; coming after working full time and then staying and making sure I'd eaten dinner while she bathed kids or read bedtime stories.
Donna, my lovely friend, heard about the situation I was in and jumped online, researched low salicylate meals and made one! She lives over an hour away and despite having 4 children herself (one who is still breastfeeding), one who has autism and all 4 who are constantly in her care since she is a fellow homeschooler, she STILL came to drop off food and give me a hug.
And it meant the world to me.

{my beautiful friend Donna. We met 4 years ago now at a picnic for homeschoolers that I wasn't even really going to attend! And we've been really good friends ever since}

She lovingly prepared a slow cooked meal of chicken and beans. The kids each had seconds!
She also even cooked rice so I didn't have to prepare anything at all.
She also made gluten free piklets which the kids and I ate for morning tea the next day!
Thanks again to the lovely Edwards Clan!

{Here's a photo of Stass and Lil taken when we went out to have a playdate at the Edwards' house in Jan. They are such great mates.}

We also had other friends and family further abroad praying for us and it really truly meant the world to feel so cared for and supported.

I had called my mum and dad and asked if they would be able to come up and help out.
Despite living 7 hours away from us now, they quickly packed their car and headed on up.

{Liji reading aloud to mum and dad. He is using his coloured transperancy sheet which helps him see and read much better. This was something we learned about when he was diagnosed late last year with Irlens Syndrome.}

My dear friends Pam, Amanda, Rory, Sarah and Sam kindly had flowers delivered to cheer me up!
Aren't these gorgeous? They sat in the middle of the table all week and really made me feel loved.

{Thanks Pam and fam! Love you all!}

My mum and dad had been planning on coming up anyway for Stassi's 10th birthday!
I can't believe that I've been a parent for 10 years now!
She honestly is such an incredibly beautiful and delightful daughter (who of course has her moments as we all do!).

She was so thrilled to also have my sister Dee and her partner Kit come and stay with us for 4 days; especially to celebrate Stasso's birthday!

It was lovely to catch up with them again. We had some very special times together.

So the low down for Stass' birthday....
She woke up and had cuddles with us all and pressie opening before brekky (as is our family tradition).

{We got her some new books from the Rose Years and a taped version of 'More of All of a Kind Family'}

{And here she is showing Zippi the little bead by number craft we got her which was more excited about than I had anticipated!}

She got to choose her brekky (eggs on toast) to be eaten in bed; cooked and delivered by daddy!

{she loved the special treatment!}

{the boys were gorgeous....they declared in their most Royal of voices that they would like to 'wait' on Stassi and provide her with some entertainment! So Ethi became asked if he could be her butler and Liji banged around on the drums! She LOVED that and they couldn't stop giggling about it!}

The other perk about birthdays in our house is a day off chores!
I took Stass out with me and Zeeki to do a couple of things up town and while we were there we stopped off for a milkshake together. Special!
The rest of the day was spent indoors (it was a very rainy day!) playing cards, lego and reading. Oh and watching some Little House!
As is tradition in our home, we always host a birthday dinner for both sets of grandparents (if they can make it!) and Dannii (my beautiful SIL). This year for dinner, she chose sausages, mashed potatoes, beans, peas, carrots, corn (for the adults) and gravy.

Here is Stass getting some lovely presents...
{The Anne of Green Gables boxed set from Nan Pop and Sull}

She also got pj's, swimmers, some shoes and a beautiful dress from my folks.
Then she unwrapped her last present and to her great surprise....

...she got the BBC Pride and Prejudice - she had been saving with her own money to buy this and so she was totally shocked that it had been bought for her and that now she could use her saved money to buy something else. When you are ten those sorts of things are HUGE, aren't they!
We always go around the table either during or after dinner and say something that we love and appreciate about the birthday person. We had a very full table with the 7 of us plus my parents, Brett's parents, Dannii, my sis and Kit too! Lots of people to shower Stass with loving words to edify her heart. She was close to tears many times.

These were photos that were taken of her with me and then with Brett after we had shared our words with her...
{We continue to be so thankful to Yah for placing Stassi in our family! She is our daughter and we honestly have a wonderful relationship with her. We pray this continues.}

Stass has read all of the Little House on the Prairie books plus received from us this year two new books from the Rose Years (at her request) which is part of the sequel to Little House.
In keeping with her love of all things prairie, she requested I make the Log House cabin from the Family Circle cake book.
I totally cheated by using bought cakes rather than baking them myself since our oven cooks so unevenly.
Anyway, she was really happy with her cake!...and so was I!

It rained pretty much the whole time that my family were staying with us which made things a little tricky for the kids. So we decided one arvo to go up and treat ourselves to some games at the local racing, punching bag, the chocolate machine and air hockey.

After being here for almost a fortnight, it was time to once again say goodbye to my parents.

Now this post is all over the place but before I sign off I wanted to include some other shots from around here from both Jan and Feb!

{Australia Day bbq...chicken, potatoes and salad...served with flags! lol}

{Liji made this great snowman and hat. The nose was an orange lead from a broken pencil tip. So creative!}

{The kids asked if Brett could PLEEEEEEASE teach them how to play a basic version of Monopoly. It is his least fave game in the world but he played it and was super patient with them which was so great! We were both surprised by how quickly they got the hang of it! He didn't introduce them to hotels and things just buying a property and having to pay rent if you land on it.}
Zeeki has been finding a little sleeping rhythm during most mornings and afternoons - not all but most.
He's still our crusiest baby at night; sleeping right in the bed with us feeding on and off during the night. Most mornings I wake feeling very well rested which is weird to say he even though he still wakes and feeds often in the night. It's something I am thankful for though.
{At 5 months Zeeki sleeps anywhere from 40 mins to 3 hours in the mornings and then the same in the early afternoon. He stays awak longer around dinner/bath time but then sleeps usually from about 8ish until we go into bed for the night. He loves the shower and water in general. He's our only baby that has never cried in the shower.

He's rolling ALL the time from his back to his front, puts his toes in this moth, giggles HEAPS (especially when Ethi does his rendition of 'Jack be nimble! Ezekiel smiles when he can see me across the room or even when he just hears my voice. His reflux has settled much more and his colic is non existant now - praise Yah! He loves holding his rattles and will often wake up happy now from a sleep.}
Poppy dropped by one day with a love-heart shaped potato for the kids!
Zippi is holding it in the pic below.

And a couple other faves from Jan-Feb...
Zippi trying to catch butterflies in her brother's gumboots whilst using a fishing net...

and lots of train play too...

The next part of this post makes me both happy and sad.
Happy because my baby has started solids (led by him).
Sad because he is no longer exclusively breastfed and that season has passed me this time WAY too quickly!
Don't get me wrong, I love that it is a sign he is growing up to be a healthy bubba but I am floored by how quickly he is changing and already how independent he is.
He has been teething so badly for the past month. Poor little guy. Gums really swollen.
I started giving him some cold celery to rub against it and he LOVED it.
I was surprised by how quickly he would take it from my hands and hold it to him mouth.

Then this past weekend, he was sitting on my lap and as I put a spinach stalk in my mouth, he grabbed it out of my hand! He actually took it from my hand!!! We were all a little shocked as we watched him then take it straight to his mouth!

Nooooooo! I had already said to Brett that there was no way I was introducing solids before 6 months unless he strongly indicated that was what he was desiring.
Hello strong indictation!

Around the beginning of this week, actually the same night as the hail storm, he was screaming as he once again tried to shove his whole fist into his mouth. I was eating something and every time I opened my mouth to take a bite he opened his and then cried. Poor little man.
I had some ripe bananas on the bench so I decided to offer it to him and see what he would do with it. He began happily squishing it between his fingers and some made its way into his hair and other bits into his mouth! lol

We had been given by Amanda a little mesh food bag.
It was still in its packaging so I gave it a wash, filled it with banana and let him suck on it.
He absolutley LOVES it!
He's only had banana and avocado in it so far but when I say he LOVES it, I mean he reaaaaaaalllllly LOVES it!

I have a couple more posts planned to catch up on; one is of how we got our learning space ready this year. Another is of the castille liquid soap I made for the bathroom and another post is a peek into learning at our week this past week.
I may or may not ever get these done but the thought was there!
I'm thinking about making this blog private once again.
I'll keep you posted if this happens and if you want to continue to read along I'll invite you to email me.
Still thinking it all through.

I don't want to blog too much about the other stuff now but so I know when I look back, these past months were some of the hardest on record of us in terms of making appointments, getting plans in place and recognising and re thinking through what our kids' needs are (all of them!) and trying to put plans prayerfully and intentionally into place.
It's happening slowly.
We are seeing some postitive changes.
Something things still suck if I'm being completely honest.
But overall I feel we are getting there and that is good.
That is really, really good!
5 things to be thankful for:

1. Protection in the storm the other day
2. Positive changes
3. Getting some Ipod shuffles second hand at a song (lol) so that the kids can listen to worship music on long journey's and help block out any whinging/crying of the babies (as this can send Liji into sensory overload)
4. Great help from family and friends
5. Great times with my extended fam

More another time.
Lus x


singing mama said...

Wow Lusi, such a huge catch up post, lovely!!
It was my pleasure to make you the meal and Im so glad it was enjoyed!
Happy birthday to the beautiful Stassi, it looks like she had an amazing day surrounded by so much love! Lily wants to do something with Stassi for her birthday so we'll have to organise that soon ish :)
Zeeki is SOOO cute!! and praise Yah indeed that his colic is cleared up!! Thats so great! And I SO understand the bittersweet time of moving onto solids! I felt it too with each bubba and especially Zeph as he started taking my food out of my hand at 5 months. I am used to it now, but only recently, I had to mourn the exclusive breastfeeding relationship for a bit, but now at 7 months old ,I'm ok lol. Huge hugs to you dear lady and we will continue to pray for you all at this time!!! <3 Donna

kathy said...

Wow lusi, such huge things happening for you and your family! Will remember to keep you all in my prayers! What a beautiful relationship you have with stassi. So precious. And what kind hearted boys you have <3
zeeki is growing so fast and is absolutely gorgeous. Such fun times introducing solids! I'm thinking ezaria will start soon. I think babies that are 'overdue ' eat closer to 5 months?

Anonymous said...

(Did my last comment work?)

Lus, how I wish we lived closer to you guys! Much love and prayers for you and your precious family. xx DonnaW

lusi said...

Donna E, Stassi would love to do something with Lily :-) we'll organise something soon for sure! 7 months Zeph is now...far out!

Kathy, my other kids started a little earlier I think but Zeeki has definitely led this one all the way and just shocked us by his keen-ness! Lol. Thinking of you guys x

Donna W (as in A & D? Bretts cousin is Donna W too ao just checking lol!!!) You are lovely :-) thanks for your kind comment and your prayers. Did you get my message about the pressie? I hope so! Thanks so much for sending that; was so sweet of you! The kids appreciated it too!!! How are you all going? Sending our lOve x

Leah-in-the-Kia said...

lovely to catch up! please dont forget me if you go private! and happy birthday to Stassi, we had mine, Jake's and Britt's this past 3 weeks, cake overload big time!
Take care love Leah
PS: I love little house on the prairie! I still have all my books from when I was Stassi age! LOVE it, was my best childhood memory watching that show

Heidi said...

Wow, I would have loved Stass's birthday when I was ten. Our oldest will turn 10 in 3 months. I've been thinking of you often, and I'm glad things are coming together and smoothing out for you. YHVH is so good to each of us. :)

lusi said...

Leah! Happy belated birthday to you, Britt and Jake! Hope you each had special times and wonderful memories!

Heidi YHVH is indeed good! Thinking of you often too and I send my love x

Melanie B said...

Lus first happy birthday to beautiful Stass.
I just wanted to say that I think you are amazing, such an encouragement. I am continually amazed by your strength, trust & openness.
Praying for a great week for you with breakthroughs in many areas.
Mel xx

lusi said...

Hi ya Mel! Thanks for your birthday wishes for Stass and your encouragement for me. I am so thankful that God walks this journey with me...i'd be completely lost otherwise! There are so many times when I feel overwhelmed and upset but I know that Yah is with me through every step of the journey that is my life and man that is the BIGGEST comfort!
Love to you too sweet Mel and hope all is going well your way!
Lus x

caz1975 said...

Donna is awesome indeed, she arranged a whole bunch of meals for me after I had Elora and it was such a blessing!!! Loved Stass's cake and she is a girl after my own heart, Anne, little house, pride and prejudice, all faves of mine too :-). So glad you had so much support when your back went out, always so encouraging when God shows us so clearly we are held and looked after!!! And lastly your little boy is way too cute :-)

Melanie B said...

Lusi thank you for your kind words. I just have to tell you that sometimes when I feel overwhelmed about this homeschooling gig (which I love but it does come with its hardships) I read your blog & am instantly encouraged, uplifted & go to God a little more for strength.
Lots of Love Mel xxx

Anonymous said...

Fabulous photos here, thanks for sharing. Looks like lots of special moments and fun in your house lately, which is great to see.

I can't believe how fast your babies are all growing up nowdays. Happy 10th birthday to Stassi.

So glad you were all safe in the recent storm. They can be worrying when the weather gets wild.

Take care and have a great week.

From Susan McGuire (smiles1965) :)

Anonymous said...

yep, DonnaW as in A&D in Qld! :)

lusi said...

Thanks all for the comments. Mel B just wanted to say will try my best to email you back tomorrow . Sending my love x

Nat said...

What a busy month indeed honey! So nice that your family could be around, and so special for Stass to have everyone around to celebrate her b'day with her. What an amazing kid she is.

Zeeki is so gorgeous, and growing up so fast. I won't be dishonest, it was so hard to read about what he's doing. But I know I can always be dead honest with you. How much he sleeps, the baby-led solids. All so precious, but of course I can't help but think of my precious boy and how I can't watch him do those things too. So hard. I wanted to do BL solids too. Your little man is such a beautiful and precious gift from Yah.

Love you xx

lusi said...

Oh my sweet, even as I was typing this post up I was thinking about Sebby and that had he been here still he would be going through these developmental milestones. My heart aches for you and all that you are going through. I'm so sorry Natti. Love you always x

lusi said...

And of course you can be honest with me! You know that that's all I'd want. x


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