Thursday, 24 July 2014

Bundle Tales (2y8m)

Saying his memory verses Jeremiah 29:11, Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and James 1:5 too cute

Building towers, cherry pickers and boats out of duplo (werry pickers)

The "I love you Mummy" that comes out of nowhere, closely followed by "love Daddy too"

TMI but when you ask if he's pooed he's all "pees, no poos Mummy" and it's very cute

"In wummer wong" requesting the in summer song from Frozen as well as wet (let) it go and bill (build) a woe-man (snowman)

Saying the "go away onno" "nope" tongue clicking (of the ticking clock) and "don't you dare" spoken parts of songs from frozen

Requesting maccabeats and pentatonix songs - he has good taste in acapella my boy

Loving the books Tractor Trouble and Nursies when the sun shines so much that they (amongst many others) are memorised

Sleeping in his big bed (in the nursery) with Bugle Bunny and Flat Teddy

Loving his summer sandals (so much easier to put on than socks and shoes

Loving trips to Portrush to visit friends and the other grandparents at their (rararan) caravan

Enjoying telling us who is on holiday and that Daddy is working in England (so clearly enunciated) for a few days

Still loving playing with wicks (sticks)

Enjoying his nana nulck (banana milk)

Getting into eating sandwiches for lunch (so handy) and drinking through a straw (especially soup and smoothies)

Soup is whoop and it's adorable

"Play outside" is a constant refrain

Recognised the number four unbidden and we had a huge chat all about the letter w at his request the other night, loving all the learning by osmosis

*Updated to add about a week later*

Duplo builds now include that typical choice of wheelbarrow

Tow-bar (an item with which we are somewhat obsessed) has been rendered tool-bar for quite a while, despite many repetitions by Mummy and Daddy to the contrary. It is cute though.

Our missing sounds including the hard c/k previously heard us talk about the wangaroos in Oz but this is slowly correcting but our youngest auntie is gutted by this improvement.

We've just started to count unhelped and often with no prompting up to ten. He's been able to count up to twenty with some encouragement for a while but this was the first straight-through one to ten.

*Update #2 after another few days*

Bundle boy loves to be pushed over onto his back on the bed (has done for months upon months) and requests, "Mummy push *Bundle* over."

Previously he had enjoyed pushing himself backward from the bedhead and he's started to do that again, as he landed I always naturally said "boom" and now he says (very excitedly), "Bundle do booms," and proceeds to do a trust fall onto the bed time and again with a look of pure joy on his face.

Tumbles (sommersaults/forward or backward rolls) have been added to our repertoire in the last number of months and he tumbles backwards (with a little nudge) off the feeding pillow as he finishes his nursing and then enjoys some forward tumbles the full-length of the bed from standing with a little nudge to just tip the balance. "More tumbles Mummy!"

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Bundle Tales (31-and-a-half months)

(To the dog)
No eating a bone Betty
(The bone was the other dog's)

(On climbing up to stand on top of a small stool then immediately stepping back down)
Stand up, stand down

(Cuddling up to Mama)
B: I love you Mummy, I love Daddy too
Mama: Do you love anyone else?
B: I love big pipe
(A bit of excess piping that was lying around the yard)
(I laughed so hard)

(Couple of days later, about four AM after nursing)
B: Cuddle Mummy
Mama: Okay baby, come here. I love you
B: I love big pipe
(Bed shaking with laughter)

(Running into the kitchen)
Hide it under a buwel (bushel), no, hide it under a buwel, no
(Weeks after last hearing "this little light of mine" sung at bedtime for the first time in months)

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

"Haiku" Journal for March (Part Two)

11-15. Been absent in mind,
And body. Zoning out and,
Checked out. My poor kin.

16. Family together,
Wee one kicking off all day,
Interspersed with cute.

17. Parents home from Oz,
Joy abounds, happiness here.
Happy Saint Pat's Day!

18. Poor sleep, root canal,
Dizzy spells and jaw ache joy.
Family here for tea.

19. Jaw-ache, dizzy, worn.
Cancelled work, took to bed. Caught
Cold, strong sneezes, cough.

20-24. Sick, bad and bokey,
Feel rotten, dizzy, sneezey,
Coughing, in bed, at rest.

Hubby grumpy at,
My in-bed-ness but cares still,
Bonding him and babe.

25. Determination,
It works, am better. Sis and
BIL home from Oz. Joy.

Update (April.22.14)
Stepped away from this
Pursuit of diarising.
Sad so much time lost.

New Leaf Turns

A new leaf turns once again...

I am fat.

Just over three years ago I worked to lose weight, and I did. We conceived and I grew fatter, through pregnancy. We had our beautiful baby boy and I breastfed (I still do, 28 months and counting) and I lost ALL my baby weight and then I overate and grew fat(ter).

Since Bundle I have eaten a lot and I didn't exercise and didn't do anything except "baby" for a long time and I was anxious and depressed and barely functioning for a long time. It is only now that my anxiety is greatly reduced that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the tunnel is long people. The depression is ever present and I do a lot more but still so very little and the sugar addiction and overeating and general fatness and sloth and inertia is all consuming and well established.

This leaf to turn is a mighty big one.

On the plus side I still weigh less then I did when I started out almost 42 months ago, not by much, but a little.

So here's the three-pronged plan:

Plan A
Cut out all sweets, chocolate, desserts and excess sugar with exceptions for events (i.e. birthday cake at a birthday party). Make healthier choices. Reduce dairy consumption, no more drinking glasses of milk and much less cheese and butter.

Plan B
Measured portions for breakfast (cereal/porridge), lunch (egg/half tin beans on toast or cup-a-soup/bread) with smaller portions for tea.

Plan C
Daily walks, increased movement in general, cleaning with a vengeance and short exercise sessions (three intensive minutes on Mum's machine, dancing like a crazy person for the length of a song, stretching sessions, being active with Bundle).

Completely manageable on the condition that I break the vicious circles of eating when bored, drinking more instead of eating, sitting down in the evening in front of the television with sweets, eating away my emotions. I'd be quite happy to replace a sugar/chocolate addiction with one to cleaning, tidying, crafting - our house is definitely a home now but there are hot spots where the clutter builds up, there are lots of hidden clutter spots and lots of boxes in the attic/barn to sort through; not to mention that whilst it may be "clean dirt" our home needs a really good (spring) clean (if I could do it for Pesach that would be amazing but even making a start would be great). Cleaning and exercising in one - can you say two birds one stone.

Sidenote: I have been battling a critical spirit my whole life but it has definitely gotten worse alongside my depression, anxiety and inertia. As I don't do I am so critical of those around me (especially my husband) as they do do. With God's help perhaps I can move forward and do more and criticise less. Fear has had me in its grip for too too long - "what time I am afraid I will trust in thee, in God I will praise His name, in God I have put my trust" or thereabouts, alas Scripture memory work has fallen by the way. Something else I need to do once again, along with Bible reading study (especially with Bundle), increased water consumption, better sleep patterns, more focused learning/colouring-in/Montessori style "work" with Bundle...

Okay okay let's end on a positive, I continue to keep on top of laundry, I have improved my meal planning/cooking (though I need to be a lot more budget conscious in this area), our household seasonal decorating has definitely improved and I've gotten better about changing our bed linen more frequently.

Onwards and upwards. Less thinking, more doing.

Monday, 10 March 2014

"Haiku" Journal for March (Part One)

1. Boys here, they brought joy.
Son happy, content, in midst.
A real family day.

2. Morning church en masse,
In baby corner, love filled,
Hope for more littles.

3. Family day. Dentist,
Filled sensitive tooth. Nerve hit,
Extreme pain - no sleep.

4. Dentist take two. Nerve,
Removed. Expensive. Hub off,
For work trip. Miss him.

5. Changing seasonal,
Decorations - spring has sprung.
Son a chatterbox.

6. Hubby home, bout time,
Mama not coping with babe,
Naughty and trying.

7. Awful day, not well.
Hubby sick, big arguments,
Baby naughty too.

8. Tidied up, finished
Off spring decorating. Out
For tea, baby bad.

9. Blue day, absent mind,
There but not present, bad headaches,
Tired, always, ever.

10. Stepped outside of me,
Not wanting to look inside,
Scared of what I find.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Wednesday Weigh-in, Weighing-out

I'm taking a break from the weekly disappointment until I get myself in the right head-space. Noting each week how I will work harder, do more exercise, eat less junk and eat less in general and then not following through is not productive. This series will return when some motivation and willpower does.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

7 Posts in 7 Days (Sunday) - Sabbath Rest

A lovely lazy day today - a lie in for all until half eight and then as Daddy and Bundle headed off for breakfast, Mummy turned over for two more hours!

All go then with Daddy bathing Bundle - naked baby cuteness (and screams at having to get out alas) and everyone dressing and Mama eating (including a leftover slice of pizza from last night - yummy).

Morning church and sitting together in baby corner with our two year old little man, a 2YO girl and her four month old sister, another four month old girl and a year old boy. With another almost two year old nearby there were delightful murmurings of chatter and babbles and it is such a joy to hear so many of tomorrow's church (we hope and pray) in attendance today. It was lovely also to enjoy being fed spiritually as a family along with our son's partcipation, with his Amens.

We returned home for a story, milkies and naptime and after some Mummy and Daddy time (ahem) we enjoyed a family nap and a relaxed evening of dinner (slow cooker stew) and a family movie (Fantastic Mr. Fox) before bedtime stories and then some Mummy and Daddy period drama viewing time (Mr. Selfridge).

Relaxed family time. Sabbath rest.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

7 Posts in 7 Days (Saturday)

A real family day - my four nephews were round from first thing until teatime. I couldn't have done it without Hubs, allowing me time to get dressed, prepare snacks and lunch, feed and waken the baa and feed and put the baa to sleep. My nephews were by and large excellently behaved and are so sweet to their little cuz, always dragging him along with them, stepping out of their games to play with him - they are a credit to my sister and my heart swelled to see our home so full of such fine young men.

My BIL is one of six boys, raised by a very men-are-men, women-are-women Dad and whilst I agree with the traditional masculine and feminine roles, my BIL's Dad take them to an extreme. At a family buffet birthday his wife has to get his food for him - enough said I think. Anywho as a result my nephews too have always had a sense of which toys, games etc. are for girls and which are for boys. My own FIL would have fairly similar ideas - I think I could find more things in his kitchen than he could! We got our two year old son a kitchen for his birthday, a gift chosen, purchased and built by us but paid for by both sets of grandparents, (my FIL was less than delighted). On the night of the birthday party, my second and fourth nephews took to the kitchen and weren't distracted from it. Today they returned to that play with a vengeance - my Hubby and I enjoyed numerous and varied courses from roast silverside beef to mushroom soup to artful salads - it was a restaurant of course and a primary-coloured play phone proved an adequate till for the day. Outside the play was continued with much movement of the woodpile creating rooms and beds and walls and there too I was fed and watered with sticks full of gourmet grub. It is a joy to see imaginative play, a pleasure to be included in it and as I see my son beginning in it (his toy characters having baths in buckets, riding on exotic toy animals and his mimicry of our behaviour in washing dishes and cooking in his kitchen) I see a new stage entered and another passed through. It is a privilege to witness their lives and I for ne am grateful for such a day.

Even if kitchen play is considered girly ;)

We rounded out Bundle's day with a first birthday party and an early bedtime. The party was a relaxed gathering of friends, family, love and finger foods.

Then we gathered to watch the last episodes of Firefly; I'm slowly turning my husband geek :) The Serenity movie will be our final view of this much mourned series - I look forward to it.

Friday, 28 February 2014

7 Posts in 7 Days (Friday) - 7QT

1. This is my first time linking-up

2. Today was not a good day, emotionally or physically; depression reared its ugly head, as did my previously-diagnosed-as-carpal-tunnel-but-think-it's-actually-arthritis pains. My left wrist wasn't allowing me any let up all day to the degree that moving a pillow or an empty cup led to my calling out in agony - not fun and didn't help my emotional control any.

3. This posting everyday thing is kicking my butt more than a little as this drivel can attest - I am literally typing what pops into my head. It's amazing how with the deadline of needing to write, I cannot expand on any of my blogpost ideas and no subjects of note will come to mind.

4. I have technically already posted today, the final installment of this month's gratitude journal - next month (i.e. tomorrow on) will see me keep a haiku journal. Definitely one of my better goals for the year, I decided to keep a different style of journal for each month. The different styles were chosen mostly in the hopes that I wouldn't become too bored and stop but also to help me develop my thought processes, writing, ability to reflect on the day - both bad points and good - and also to help me find which reflective practice best suits me. For January I kept a "my word in six days journal" and other plans for the year include: a "what I did today" diary format with only bare facts included, like the reflections offered by a counsellor to their client; a traditional dear diary; a "confessions" journal; a prayer journal; and a TV viewing journal.

5. Another goal for the year that I have been pursuing with a vengeance is that of donating 275,000 grains of rice through the World Food Programme "game" site The nerd in me must explain that I initially set myself the goal of a thousand grains a day donated i.e. 365,000 but I gave myself the out of cimpleting the task only 75% of the year or thereabouts (275,000 total). Anywho I may have become a little obsessed so I'm on 160,000 already and since you earn 10 grains per question answered that means I have answered a whopping 16,000 questions over the past 59 days or an average of just over 271 questions a day.

6. I have been loving on the DayZero project site once again this year to help me actually follow through on my many goals. It's the original home of "101 things to do in 1001 days" list though personally I prefer shorter term goals. I use the free portion of the site and really enjoy the accountability.

7. My other completely followed through commitment for the year has been faithfully completing my Moodscope test each day. It is a psychology test that gives you a score for how you're feeling (surprisingly accurate) and allows you to track your mood over time and also find possible triggers or things that boost your mood through the comments you attach to your graph. I've used the site sporadically since 2010 but this is the year I have really committed ti it and to using all the tools available to me to beat the black dog (depression) once and for all or at least house-train him :) Again I only use the free portion of the site but I find it so helpful, especially the daily (optional) email reminders which incude an inspirational blog post written by either the website staff or its users (I've even contributed which definitely boosted my mood).

Amazingly I've reached seven so if you've made it this far, bravo, now click back to Jen's to check out everyone else's.

"Gratitude" Journal for February (Week Four)

Listing things daily for which I am grateful...

Sat. 22nd
Hugs, love in a most comforting form.
Fresh air and space and light and the weather to enjoy all three.

Sun. 23rd
Rest when sleep is elusive.
A patient husband who shows me how to be better and sets a good example of a son.

Mon. 24th
Watching my baby spread his wings and blossom; trust his mama and step off the ledge into the foam pit; speak back the words of the books and the songs and finish off his line of grace; put on the shoes; take off everything (nake-eh, nake-eh) and squeal with giggles. My hearts swells with the love.
Friends and talking about nothing as the hours fly by.

Tues. 25th
Yummy treats from family and friends to buoy the spirits.
A praying boy.
Hearing my son repeat the nursery rhymes of my childhood that my Nanny taught me, knowing the rhymes will bring tearful smiles to my Mum and Granda.

Weds. 26th
Clean bedsheets.
Helpful husband.
My "big boy" baby, asleep at my breast (for the first time in ages), I'd forgotten the sweetness of it. Even his middle of night feeds tend to end with him coming off and saying "done" before turning over and snuggling in. I hadn't quite realised the loss of this stage until today. A sweet flight into the next stage as he steps ever more into himself.
Singing with my two-year-old, Mama attempts to carry the tune while Bundle is left gaps to fill with exuberance and increasing clarity.
Long-distance phonecalls being as clear as chatting in person as I got a quick word with my folks in Australia today.
Big sisters and little ones and chatting at ease with one another.

Thurs. 27th
Being able to make surprise visits to Daddy at work.
The use of my parents' washing machine whilst ours is on the blink.
Naptime, even if Mama doesn't sleep, are a sweet rest time to revive everyone until bedtime.
(Photos of) Family from opposite ends of the world coming together for fun and fellowship; including six siblings (my Dad's the baby) who hadn't met en masse for almost twenty-one years and watching my two nieces and two of my cousins' daughters all cavorting about in a giggling group.

Fri. 28th
God's provision.
Healing tears and hugs and kisses.
Date night.
Bacon, fried eggs, beans and chips (with salt and vinegar) for tea.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

7 Posts in 7 Days (Thursday) - Strike While the Iron's Hot

Strike while the iron's hot - I have no idea if this idiom makes sense internationally or even nationally but here in Northern Ireland it simply means - just do it. When everything's in place, when the mood takes you, when you find yourself with a pocket of time - go, get it done, get to getting.

This morning after the first night of sleeping through for my two year old, I awoke refreshed and ready for the day and Bundle and I let Daddy have a rare lie in while we headed to the other end of the apartment for morning play and breakfast. At the still early (for me) time of half nine, Hubs arose and headed out of doors to move around some of the outdoor planters so we could reposition the bins and our age old sharpening stone (still the best way to sharpen a knife that I know). Once dressed I carried Bundle out to join his Daddy and this, still fleecy-pyjama-clad, Mama started a load of laundry and then struck while the iron was hot and got stuck in to helping tidy up the yard area while Hubby hit the shower before work.

With Bundle playing happily with his toy lawnmower and carrying kindling (small sticks) around the place, I gathered up plastic buckets and plant pots and odds and sods strewn around the place with the idea that I would pile them up in my Dad's workshop that is Granda's (hoarder-tastic, layer-upon-layer, rat-frequented) workshop.

There was no floor to step onto as I slid open the door despite my having spent twenty minutes on it last week so I had to climb on top of other things as I found a place to add safely to the piles already there. This led to my rolling up my sleeves and starting at the door to clear the obvious rubbish.

I all but filled our wheelie bin with: gardening/work gloves with holes in; plastic bags that have been mouse/rat nibbled or ripped; scraps of sodden carpet; broken plant pots and containers; water bottles, milk jugs and yoghurt pots that if needed can be easily replaced; packaging that is now beyond reuse; and broken this and that and the other.

Scraps of wood that seem too small/sodden to be useful were added to the woodpile outside. Bags of newspapers and compostibles made it to the appropriate recycling bins. Whilst newspapers are usually firelighters for my parents there was a huge glut and keeping these was just hoarding especially as they had become wet and are also easily replaced (my Hubby reads our local rag each week and my Dad our regional one at the weekend).

An old (cheap and broken) telephone table was added to the firewood pile, as was an old past-repair rattan chair. A broken toolbox had a salvageable segmented tray removed from it for cleaning, whilst a gardening trug was also appropriated from the mess which with a minor repair will prove useful as I seek to make this a useable, calm space for my father, one that may actually be organised enough to allow the rest of us to find things we need too.

My father like myself suffers from depression and low concentration, poor memory and disorganised, overly cluttered spaces do nothing to help us. Unfortunately whilst I struggle with decluttering my own belongings, my Dad just can't. We have learned that the gently gently gets us (and him) nowhere and it is better to simply do what we can without him and try to engage him once some progress has been made. I know this undertaking of decluttering, tidying and organising the workshop (and then the many other outbuildings) will be a painful arduous process but the end result will allow my father greater use of the things he owns and of the tools and woodcrafts he enjoys.

I see a workshop emptied of everything, cleaned, made increasingly rodent-proof with better (and increased) lighting (cleaning the rooflight would make a huge difference alone). A sanded and repainted door and lintel, an epoxy painted floor for easy clean-up, whitewashed walls for increased light. The storage already in place, used better, smarter; afixed to the walls but up off the floor (for easier clean-up once again) with a place for everything and everything in its place. Continued use of wall-hanging as storage for frequently used tools, with the outline of the tool drawn right on the wall so that anyone could put things away. Lidded clear glass jars (of which I have many, also an easily gatherable form of storage) so smaller items (different sized nails, screws etc.) can be gathered like with like, easily seen from without and "handy."

Handy is my Dad's one requirement for everything - I want to show him that handy and tidy/organised/put away go hand-in-hand and that when things are put away in their defined space, they are handy to find each and every time you need them.

Letting go will be incrdibly difficult for my Dad but hopefully with our support he will have a workshop to be proud of but more importantly one he can work IN. Of late he goes in to find (if he can) what he needs and then works outside or in other buildings. How nice for him to be able to reclaim this space.

I envision the future of his workshop so much more easily today after only just a ittle more than ONE hour of work. I can see the expanse of floor as you enter and I can see the possibilities. I remember working alongside my father in this space and with cleared space (and therefore fewer places for rodents to congregate) I see my son and my nephews beside their Granda enjoying (supervised) play with the small hatchet, hammer and fretsaws of my childhood.

I hope this inspires you to strike whioe the iron's hot and reclaim your spaces.

Wednesday (oops Thursday) Weigh-in #9

ATM - The mini goal for this past week was to LOSE MORE! Check (a day late since I completely forgot).

First "ThingsIWannaDoList" Goal - Lose weight to reach thirteen stone seven (189 lbs)
Second "ThingsIWannaDoList" Goal - Lose weight to reach thirteen stone even (182 lbs)

Jan.1 - 13 st 9 lbs (191 lbs)
Jan.8 - 13 st 6 lbs (188 lbs)
Jan.15 - 13 st 4 lbs (186 lbs)
Jan.22 - 13 st 5 lbs (187 lbs)
Jan.29 - 13 st 7 lbs (189 lbs)
Feb.5 - 13 st 7 lbs (189 lbs)
Feb.13 - 13 st 9 lbs (191 lbs)
Feb.19 - 13 st 8 lbs (190 lbs)
Feb.27 - 13 st 7 lbs (189 lbs)

This week's mini-goal is to really buckle under with the walks and the not eating so heartily of the sweets and the chocolate and all the other food. More importantly to actually be more active in my day-to-day living: more standing less sitting; more active play with Bundle as oppposed to watching from the sidelines; outdoor work (clearing away leaves and general tidying and decluttering of the outdoor spaces around the farm); making more trips around the house putting things away rather than making piles and fewer trips; not forgetting some crazy dancing with my baby boy.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

7 Posts in 7 Days (Wednesday) - Virtual Clutter Clearout

Decluttering is something that we in this modern (developed) world must do all the time and virtual clutter is the worst. An invisible load on your shoulders.

My reading list on my ipad/iphone is out of control. My bookmarks! And don't mention my pins!

My focus this month though has been my emails. I follow most of the blogs I read through email updates, but with the low concentration joy of recent depressive periods the backlog of unread emails was overwhelming. So I set to work and followed a variation of the two basic rules of decluttering:

1. Is it USEFUL information that I do/will (be likely to) need?
2. Is it or is it likely to be BEAUTIFUL/inspiring/uplifting information?

Then I followed the two basic rules of organising:

1. Put like with like.
2. Sort things into separate containers (read folders).

Then I went to town!

I started with my inbox and "to read" folder and then siphoned off into newly created folders all emails from blogs I wished to continue reading (but had fallen behind on). I took this opportunity to unsubscribe from those blogs whose emails I just could never bring myself to read, no matter how worthy or seemingly useful the information. I stopped hesitating and moved on with my life. I didn't stop to read at this point, I merely marked all emails unread and assigned them a folder.

My inbox emptied of blog updates I then sifted through my actionable emails and either sent them to a new folder home or actioned them.

My amazon, paypal, ebay type folders were next as I deleted automated order responses going waaaay back and receipts for things I'd forgotten I'd bought.

Phew! I'm sure in all I deleted thousands of emails (I didn't stop to count, pretty big step for this slightly OCD girl I can tell you).

Next I chose a blog and caught up, deleting swiftly through manys a post and enjoying a revisit to a post I thought worthy of a reread. I did create a couple of keep folders (worthy of a reread / homeschooling information / recipes I'd actually attempt / uplifting posts to help combat my depression) but I was much more discerning about what entered these sacred spaces.

I still have many posts to read and delete but I'm working them through them with no pressure to "finish," I have a vague timeframe in my head of about six months, afterwhich any leftovers will just be deleted - no reading, no hesitation, just extra memory and much less clutter.

My inbox has stayed mostly clear ever since though complacency will inevitably set in, but I know the next planned declutter I do in April will be an altogether more simple affair (which won't take a week of evenings).

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

7 Posts in 7 Days (Tuesday) - Extended Breastfeeding

Extended breastfeeding - what my son would like you to know!

My son at twenty-seven months breastfeeds round the clock, is a happy, healthy, sociable little man, with a lot of love and plenty of passion (read tempers) though he is known throughout our church as the toddler who sits through church with barely a peep (except for very loud "amens") and shakes hands at the door (unless he's having a shy morning). He's been day toilet-trained since before two having been part-time pottied from five months old and is almost nap/sleep toilet-trained too (mostly dry naps and nights). He is very contented to play by himself or alongside his peers, enjoys at home days, trips to the park and church playgroups and he loves our once a month La Leche League group (lots of toys in the middle of the large circle of breastfeeding mamas with children from a couple of days up to around four or five years (though I know of a few older feeders and generally my Bundle is amongst the oldest at two).

I Was somewhat destined to be a hippy mama and so it was no surprise to my family (if a bit of a shock for my in-laws), but my husband has taken each day as it comes and whilst he never could have imagined us with a breastfeeding toddler (and the "weaning" conversation is on the table) he has enjoyed our breastfeeding journey and no one could fail to smile at my son's pure joy and excitement at the prospect of his having milkies. Even in a half-asleep daze he will sign for milkies and then beam as he knows it will soon arrive.

My view of the convenience, comfort-giving-properties and calming nature of milkies though is rather irrelevant for this post as this is about what Bundle would like you to know about breastfeeding. This has been a topic of conversation for us at our LLL meeting as our leader Vic is speaking on it at the upcoming LLL Ireland conference. Bundle will be contributing to the talk. At just over two his language skills are on target and by no means advanced, he is our little parrot of late and also likes to wander about repeating his current favourite words - "three, four" is definitely top of the list at the moment, I tell you this as an introduction to my expectations as I turned the audio app on and attempted to gauge his opinion of breatsfeeding.

Mama: What do you think milkies tastes like?
Bundle: .!@& (translation: we have no idea, we still haven't been able to decode this one but it sounded a lot like a rude word we don't say in our house, though I will add he said it with a big beaming smile)
M: What do you think of milkies?
B: Um (big smile and on-the-spot bounce)
M: Yum?
B: Yeah (nodding enthusiastically)
M: Do you like having milkies?
B: Yeeeeahhh (big smile, nodding and bouncing)
M: Would you like to keep having milkies for a little while longer?
B: Yeah (nodding)
M: what would you like to tell other babies and boys and girls about milkies?
B: Um (serious look on face)
M: Yum?
B: Yeah (nodding seriously)
M: What age are you?
B: (pause for a big breath) biiiig
M: What age are you?
B: Boy! (triumphant)
M: Oh, of course, you're a big boy!
B: (beams)
M: How old are you?
B: Twoooo (proudly)

My friend Stephanie's wee girl Tanzie said "bub-bub tastes like sunshine and rainbows."

Another girl Marie's son M (now six, who fed until he was four) said his little sister (currently one) is lucky because it tastes so yummy.

So ignore those voices of dissent who say your "little" one is too big, that they are x months old and should wean and ask your babe what they think or ask yourself what you think they'd tell you, if only they could. You might be surprised by their coherence (or yours on their behalf).

It might be the biological reasons that start you breastfeeding but I think it's the warm fuzzy ones that keep you going.

7 Posts in 7 Days (Monday)

Here goes nothing...

Seven things about my Monday...

The baby (must stop calling him that at 27 months) woke me way too early, albeit about 7am (in fairness anything the wrong side of ten o'clock was gonna be to early this morning, more insomnia joy). He snuggled in for milkies and did lie in until seven forty but thence the beloved scooped up the dry-nappied one (if I ever get my butt into gear and order the waterproof mattress covers for his bed and ours, we will rid ourselves of the nap and night-time nappies for good) for father/son toilet time while Mama rolled over for another fifteen blissful minutes.

Breakfast (wholegrain toast with butter and homemade rhubarb jam with a nectarine on the side) was had as I gathered up supplies for our first morning of "free-play" at the gymnastics centre. Brief interlude in brekky for the potty. We entertained ourselves with a science show on the iPad about the Atacama Desert (man, lady, sand, plane).

Washed and dressed, we are walking out the door as I realise that we are actually TOO EARLY! Retreat to watch two five minute science programmes until we head up the dual carriageway and take only three attemts and two sets of directions to find the place.

Two hours of fun with a friend and her two wee girls: lowering himself/being thrown into the foam pit; running around on the sprung floor at top speed; bouncing on the trampoline etc.; wearing the stepping "stones" as hats; climbing the mini ladder up to the parallel rings; giggling; dancing to the random selection of music; running, more running and barely stopping for breath.

Milkies, naptime (for Bundle), laundry, lunch, rest-time (for me), milkies, playtime, dinner preparations, saying grace together, welcoming Daddy home, keeping a bite of chicken in our mouth for fifteen plus minutes and then a surprise visit from my cousin Ali. She was quickly coerced into reading Bundle umpteen books so we didn't really get to catch-up but I think she was in her element as her babies have passed such stages and she enjoyed the moment of nostalgia.

Bedtime and Mama enjoying her fourth evening out since Bundle's birth (self-imposed). Post-milkies I abandoned ship and left a boy all cuddled up in his Daddy's arms and about to go to bed. A short drive into town saw me at a late-night coffee shop with a hot chocolate and a third of a (massive) traybake with two of my best friends. I have no idea what we talked about but the two hours until closing flew by and then I slipped home to my boys.

I decided to go for it and join the challenge of 7 posts in 7 days, a little late (it's now way after midnight with me though decidedly earlier stateside) and without much clue of what to write and so a bunch of waffle later I'm going to hit publish and go to sleep (I hope). Tune in next time for a post about breastfeeding beyond two or procrastinating and why it's done me no favours or my obsession with pinning but not doing crafts or the many interesting documentaries on medicine and architecture I've watched recently; it's pot luck or pot faith or just potty.

Friday, 21 February 2014

"Gratitude" Journal for February (Week Three)

Listing things daily for which I am grateful...

Sat. 15th
Plans, even when you don't follow them fully, they really increase focus and productivity.
Fresh air and the space to enjoy it. Sixteen times around my sister's house for a mile walk to blow the cobwebs off first thing in the morning.
Love: from and for God, from and for the Husband, the boy and the rest of the family and all my friends. I am loved and have love.

Sun. 16th
Laughing and how it brightens your whole outlook on life.
Listening to the laughter and chat between my Hubby and son.

Mon. 17th
Crafting, as a way of bringing friends together and creating a relaxed atmosphere and an overall calm.
Craic, the joy of togetherness and amicable chatter.
Daddy, having no anxiety as I wakked out the door, leaving a still awake but abed Bundle in the care of his beloved Daddy (I didn't even check my phone until I was leaving to come home again).

Tues. 18th
Chats with my sister T that start, continue and end happily.
Watching my son and four nephews play about.

Weds. 19th
Family playtime - going to the park en famille; watching Bundle climb up the block steps and stairs and slide down on his tummy "wheeee" and enjoying his chant of "three, four." Practising, always practising.
Hunger before meals and then the feeling of being sated not stuffed.

Thurs. 20th
A husband who never says "that's not my responsibility/job" or "why would I want to do that" or "I don't want to" but instead provides and does and is so selfless for his friends and family. Love that man.
The chitter chatter of a two year old who wants to tell you about everything he's discovering and enjoying.

Fri. 21st
Hot chocolate - a sweet milky warming yum at the end of the day, the accompanying gooey marshmallows are just the icing on the cake.
The sweet sound of breathing, as two programmes made me think of infants beyond help today (news and documentary including an incident of SIDS), I can only revel in the loud snore-like breathing of my two-year-old in the bed abreast ours. A bliss-filled calming sound to this fractious still ever-anxious madre.
Giggles as my husband pulls the "last one in's a rotten egg" competition as we retire to bed and I win - still wearing my slippers and unable to speak as I laugh so hard :) LOVE that man.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Wednesday Weigh-in #8

ATM - The mini goal for this past week was to LOSE. Woohoo! Check.

First "ThingsIWannaDoList" Goal - Lose weight to reach thirteen stone seven (189 lbs)
Second "ThingsIWannaDoList" Goal - Lose weight to reach thirteen stone even (182 lbs)

Jan.1 - 13 st 9 lbs (191 lbs)
Jan.8 - 13 st 6 lbs (188 lbs)
Jan.15 - 13 st 4 lbs (186 lbs)
Jan.22 - 13 st 5 lbs (187 lbs)
Jan.29 - 13 st 7 lbs (189 lbs)
Feb.5 - 13 st 7 lbs (189 lbs)
Feb.13 - 13 st 9 lbs (191 lbs)
Feb.19 - 13 st 8 lbs (190 lbs)

This week's mini-goal is to...LOSE MORE!

Friday, 14 February 2014

"Gratitude" Journal for February (Week Two)

Listing things daily for which I am grateful...

Sat. 8th
Support, in the form of a husband who compliments my cooking and parenting; a friend who probes and arranges a catch-up chat; a son who gives hugs and kisses with gay abandon.
Educational entertainment and the many and varied documentaries for adults and children alike.

Sun. 9th
God's provision as news of our rent doubling thus removing our financial buffer arrives.
Playdate plans and Bundle having friends within our congregation.
Vouchers to dine out and enjoy a family meal with the extra of a bouncy castle for Bundle to enjoy (pre-dinner only of course).
A faithful husband, who works hard to provide for his family so that I can be at home with Bundle and who proffers his working a second job rather than a "me going out to work/childcare situation."

Mon. 10th
Vulnerability with friends who nurture you and rebuild you (rather than family who devalue such openess and your feelings). Support and love and chatter to lift your spirit.
Forgiveness from gorgeous little people who love you despite yourself but won't always and so determination to do better.

Tues. 11th
Older generations who fought for our freedom.
Free dental care for children.
Transport and petrol to go and visit my Granda and extended family.
A husband who gladly gives up his day off to drive me to nowhere and accompany me to visit my grumpy old grandfather.

Weds. 12th
Grandparents as babysitters to allow me to contribute to our family's finances without fears for our son.
Increased ability at talking for our little boy as he manages three word combinations (consistently saying "Hello Great-Granda" yesterday) helping out with poems (Mummy "Daddy" Uncle "Dick," went to "London," on a "stick," the stick "broke," what a "joke," Mummy "Daddy" Uncle "Dick") and rounds out songs with the occasional word input when we leave a gap for him to fill.

Thurs. 13th
A good education (home and school) that opened me up to new information, a love of knowledge and led me to continue to learn. Whether about the propaganda, persecution and censorship in North Korea or the resistance requiem oerformed during the Holocaust or the history of medicine or everyday science or the age of enlightenment or space travel and life in micro-gravity (all subjects I've learned about through recent documentaries) my education is continuing and I'm enjoying it.
Financial and budgeting know-how; I am always amazed at how God provides me with much information on a topic, often long before it is required (I suppose to allow for my very slow processing abilities and assimilation of/to new paradigms of thinking). I have a workable budget (barely but with a slight increase in my income and some cuts) worked out for us and a husband trusting me as we forge ahead.

Fri. 14th
Mum friends who are willing to open up about their real lives with their toddlers/babies and reassure me that all is well, this too shall pass, it really is just a stage, his development is right on track, I'm not (entirely) crazy and life is sweet.
A mum who taught me the basics of hostessing skills and allowed me plenty of opportunities to practise; making hospitality at times much less stressful.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Wednesday Weigh-in #7

ATM - The mini goal for this past week was to LOSE as its own reward. I don't wanna talk about it.

First "ThingsIWannaDoList" Goal - Lose weight to reach thirteen stone seven (189 lbs)
Second "ThingsIWannaDoList" Goal - Lose weight to reach thirteen stone even (182 lbs)

Jan.1 - 13 st 9 lbs (191 lbs)
Jan.8 - 13 st 6 lbs (188 lbs)
Jan.15 - 13 st 4 lbs (186 lbs)
Jan.22 - 13 st 5 lbs (187 lbs)
Jan.29 - 13 st 7 lbs (189 lbs)
Feb.5 - 13 st 7 lbs (189 lbs)
Feb.13 - 13 st 9 lbs (191 lbs)

This week's mini-goal is to...LOSE

Friday, 7 February 2014

"Gratitude" Journal for February (Week One)

Listing things daily for which I am grateful...

Sat. 1st
Mercy, given freely by God, still hard to accept at times abd something I need to get better at offering.
Food, its flavour and texture, ability to nourish and comfort and the One who created it.

Sun. 2nd
Literacy, the Bible and books - the Word and the ability to read it, to be given insight into God's heart for us and to be able to enjoy many other works, from the sublime to the ridiculous to Enid Blyton and everything being simply wizard!

Mon. 3rd
Electricity and the mighty on/off switch. An albeit brief powercut being a great reminder to be grateful for that which we so often take for granted. Trying to fry a gammon steak in the dark is not easy, but Hubs swears it was delicious.

Tues. 4th
Forgiveness, of sins and grievances and judgements and grumps. I screamed and shouted a lot today, I felt unforgiveable, but as I sobbed with my head leant against the oven door, my Bundle called out Mummy and ran in to give me a full-body hug and multiple kisses. My need to my forgive my sister for her letting me down notwithstanding, I am forgiven whether I feel worthy or not and tomorrow is another day.

Weds. 5th
Maps, using google maps to calculate mileage reminded me of a better route (country roads, avoiding traffic and traffic lights) from my MIL's to my student's home.
In-laws, who love my son dearly and happily help out to allow me to tutor for an hour; despite my dropping him off after a shorter than normal nap at the end of their long day minding their grand-daughter.

Thurs. 6th
Pockets of joy, a published blog post submission to Moodscope; a sudden burst of giggles from Bundle in the back seat during an errand; a loving husband and his desire for me even in these depths of despair and carrying far too much excess weight; cuddles and hugs; Bundle's sheer delight and joy at his milkies during the day and night - literally giggles of anticipation.
Enough and more than enough to just nip to the shops for shoes, socks, groceries and not worry about the total.

Fri. 7th
Grandparents, the love they demonstrate and the love my son has for them.
Chatter, the huge rise in his clarity and the number of words he says with regularity as well as his willingness to try out new ones and parrot back to you.
Development of awareness, his new awareness or at least ability to communicate that awareness of the world, time, other people and knowledge. Kangaroos, koalas and kookaburras are all from Oz. Who made you? Jesus. Who made the workds? Jesus (he can't really say God yet). Where are we going to? Tots or Church or Granny's... Were's Daddy? Work. Where's Nanny? Oz. Whe do we go on Fridays? Tots. Where do we go on Sundays? Church...and on and on it goes and it just delights us.

February Goals

Bible Study - finish Ruth across the three translations (KJV, NIV, CJB), begin to read through James

Black Dog Goals - to be in bed by half eleven, to rest well, to be busy/productive, to complete Moodscope

Blogging Goals - weekly weight-loss posts, diary posts and writing up my learning goal post for January

Bundle Goals - first time obedience, focused craft/drawing/singing/learning times, further independence in dressing

Catechism Goals - learn up to Q28 and review the first 25

Day Zero Goals - to maintain my lists, to follow them as I'm able, weekly portraits

Decluttering Goal - 360 items including January's total, mostly decluttering of emails, packing up donations, glass recycling (including decluttering excess jars), Mum's fridge and larder (write her a shopping list)

Eating Goal - less, less to no sweets, chocolate and desserts, more fruit and vegetables

Exercise Goals - six miles of measurable walking, moving more

Financial Goals - to sort out my NS&I accounts, to maintain good tax records and set aside for tithe and tax Goal - 150,000 grains including January's total

Grooming Goal - cleanse, tone and apply nightcream weekly

Household Goals - clear the tops of the CODs in the bedroom and the nursery, pack away too small clothing (Bundle's), clean bathrooms

Learning Goal - thinking about and blogging about staying connected to loved ones

Marital Goal - have a planned ahead date night

Organising Goal - begin to organise the laundry/utility, handyman shelves and open shelving, Bundle's next two clothing sizes (cataloguing and listing glaring omissions), three drawer unit in the en-suite

Prayer Goal - to begin my day with prayer

Reading Goals - "third" and "fourth form" Malory Towers' books with Bundle, end of "SS" book, a chapter of "ten p's" with Hubby and fifty pages of "weaning" book

Relational Goals - email my parents, text my students, text Gerta, visit Granda, text Mimi, text A.Isa

Scripture Memory Goal - to reinstate daily Scripture memory work over breakfast/snack/dinner time

Social Goal - do something sociable once a week

Weight Goal - thirteen stone

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Wednesday Weigh-in #6

ATM - The mini goal for this past week was to lose or maintain, yay (said flatly). Emotionally not too good of late but I've decided to get better (HA). We shall see...

First "ThingsIWannaDoList" Goal - Lose weight to reach thirteen stone seven (189 lbs)
Second "ThingsIWannaDoList" Goal - Lose weight to reach thirteen stone even (182 lbs)

Jan.1 - 13 st 9 lbs (191 lbs)
Jan.8 - 13 st 6 lbs (188 lbs)
Jan.15 - 13 st 4 lbs (186 lbs)
Jan.22 - 13 st 5 lbs (187 lbs)
Jan.29 - 13 st 7 lbs (189 lbs)
Feb.5 - 13 st 7 lbs (189 lbs)

This week's mini-goal is to LOSE as its own reward.

Friday, 31 January 2014

"My Day in Six Words" Journal for January
































Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Wednesday Weigh-in #5

ATM - The mini goal for this past week was to lose something, anything so of course I gained two pounds. Not a surprise considering the copious amounts of sweets that I ate this week. It was a no good very bad week and therefore so was my diet.

First "ThingsIWannaDoList" Goal - Lose weight to reach thirteen stone seven (189 lbs)
Second "ThingsIWannaDoList" Goal - Lose weight to reach thirteen stone even (182 lbs)

Jan.1 - 13 st 9 lbs (191 lbs)
Jan.8 - 13 st 6 lbs (188 lbs)
Jan.15 - 13 st 4 lbs (186 lbs)
Jan.22 - 13 st 5 lbs (187 lbs)
Jan.29 - 13 st 7 lbs (189 lbs)

This week's mini goal is to lose or maintain and you know survive.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Wednesday Weigh-in #4

ATM - Up and down and emotional eating, tired and eating sugars to compensate. No exercise. Unsurprisingly a gain...still disappointing though.

First "ThingsIWannaDoList" Goal - Lose weight to reach thirteen stone seven (189 lbs)
Second "ThingsIWannaDoList" Goal - Lose weight to reach thirteen stone even (182 lbs)

Jan.1 - 13 st 9 lbs (191 lbs)
Jan.8 - 13 st 6 lbs (188 lbs)
Jan.15 - 13 st 4 lbs (186 lbs)
Jan.22 - 13 st 5 lbs (187 lbs)

This week's mini goal is to lose something, anything...

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Wednesday Weight-in #3

ATM - there has been no more exercise beyond walking around Ikea :) and no ket up in the chocolate consumption (I think the house is almost empty of the stuff). Mood has been very changeable with very low lows so I certainly haven't felt up to much but I was encouraged to see another loss and another mini-goal met.

First "ThingsIWannaDoList" Goal - Lose weight to reach thirteen stone seven (189 lbs)
Second "ThingsIWannaDoList" Goal - Lose weight to reach thirteen stone even (182 lbs)

Jan.1 - 13 st 9 lbs (191 lbs)
Jan.8 - 13 st 6 lbs (188 lbs)
Jan.15 - 13 st 4 lbs (186 lbs)

This week's mini goal is to lose another two pounds, a "healthy" weight-loss so "they" say and half-way to my next "ThingsIWannaDoList" Goal. More Some effort may actually be required;)

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Wednesday Weigh-in #2

ATM - not eating any better and still at zero exercise, not a good week - weather-wise, sleep-wise or mood-wise. I did take a slightly longer route back (through the park) to the car on my return from my podiatry appointment, big whoop! My aim for this week was to lose three pounds and woohoo! little effort and rather less chocolate (though still far more than the average bear) and I hit it with bells on (i.e. I weighed myself after I got dressed).

First "ThingsIWannaDoList" Goal - Lose weight to reach thirteen stone seven (189 lbs)
Second "ThingsIWannaDoList" Goal - Lose weight to reach thirteen stone even (182 lbs)

Jan.1 - 13 st 9 lbs (191 lbs)
Jan.8 - 13 st 6 lbs (188 lbs)

So first "ThingsIWannaDoList" goal met as well as this week's mini-goal.

Had a mile walk this morning so I've already startted off this week right and this week's mini goal is to lose another two pounds, the Christmas chocolate is almost gone and I WILL eat less and move more, here's hoping.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Wednesday Weigh-in #1

ATM - not eating very well, plenty of the good but far too much of the bad, zero exercise

First "ThingsIWannaDoList" Goal - Lose weight to reach thirteen stone seven (189 lbs)

Jan.1 - 13 st 9 lbs (191 lbs)

This week my mini-goal is to lose three pounds, which will also help me meet my first full goal - I will still be eating the Christmas chocolates ;) but I also hope to begin a better regime of walking a mile a day (for starters but also weather permitting as I'm a total wuss and today was just horrible and so didn't happen), eating less of the loverly choccy et al and just generally eating less, moving more. It will help that I'll usually weigh-in first thing Wednesdays in a born free style of dress, today's weigh-in was sponsored by half-past-ten-at-night-after-an-unhealthy-eating-day-and-a-family-dinner-out-of-almost-a-whole-Hawaiian-pizza-with-mushrooms-(yummy)-whilst--wearing-my-new-Christmas-fleecy-jim-jams-socks-and-slippers :) so setting a reasonably low bar I am hoping for a successful first week to set me off on this (not again) journey of weight-loss.

New Year, New Leaf, New(-ish) Goals...2014.Journal.Jan.1

It's January first and I'm still finishing out the many many goals and to do lists and well they are neverending and totally acheievable if I've a mind to it. If I've a mind?!

I'm tired after a few nights of less sleep and an up-and-down sorry for his-self baby with a bit of a dose. I've hardly seen my husband despite his being off and right now as I type, he is sat in the living room enjoying the new episode of Sherlock that I've been sooooo looking forward to while I am posting, sat up in bed with a snotty, tossy-turny baby failing to get over to sleep in his toddler bed next to ours (where he will no doubt finish out the night, assuming he ever starts it). Bliss, joy and thank goodness for iplayer.

So new year, new goals, new, new, new and yet nothing new under the sun and still the same old life and day-to-days and the same old body needing rejuvenated and downsized and definitely remoulded and redressed. The same wackadoodle mind and alas the same temperament despite two instances of very unusually calm me - Hubby obliterated my new (got it for Christmas) bottle of perfume and then sweet darling son who is NOT ALLOWED to play with Mummy's phone, picked it up, dropped it and well it does still work in all instances but the screen is shattered and rough (though a screen cover sorted that problem out) and doesn't allow for easy viewing of texts, emails etc. I didn't flinch even though as far as I was concerned, this was to be my phone for another two months. Hubby checked, I'm eligible for an early upgrade in ONE WEEK (he isn't until July bless him). Woo-hoo! New phone and I kept my temper!!!

Baby sleeping or should I say snoring and snorting!

We did share a lovely family meal out this evening (settled, quiet and reasonably obedient baby who ate okay and two loved up parents, mwah). Pizza and veg for the babe and myself. Thanks Mama for a great Christmas gift!

In wonderful brainwave style there will now follow a "my day in six words" and one for everyday of January thereafter (I hope):