Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Decision for Swimming Lessons

When we first started the children in swimming lessons at the beginning of February there is no way Naomi would sit at the edge of the pool like this. 

She wouldn't have let Bethany either.  In fact, if any of the other children went even slightly near the pool she would be crying, grabbing them around the waist and pulling them back.  What a change!

Let's rewind to December 2010.

Prior to Christmas we attended a get-together with 4 or 5 other homeschooling families.  We all met at the local Botanic Gardens for a picnic lunch.  There was a total of around 35 children between us, all running around and interacting happily.  It was a beautiful day, in beautiful surroundings and we adults were enjoying the relaxed atmosphere.

Most of the children had gathered together for a game of soccer and most of the adults were sitting on a picnic rug in the shade watching them.  Michael was sitting on a chair nearby.  Suddenly Bethany was at his side and she was clearly upset.  "What's wrong Bethany?" asked Michael.  "Naomi fell..."  She didn't even finish her sentence and Michael was up out of that chair and running toward to duck pond.

Bethany came to me and while I was comforting her, Michael was plucking Naomi from under the surface of the water.  She was okay.  She didn't pass out, but she had swallowed some of that horrible water.  I stripped her off, wrapped her in a blanket and cuddled her; and cuddled her; and cuddled her some more.  It was so scary.  And it could of been a LOT worse.

Bethany was okay too.  Although she did draw a picture the next day which, apparently, was, "...the duck that didn't save Noami".

Although we suspected Naomi hadn't inhaled much, if any of the water, a few days later she was still unwell.  So, we took her to the doctor.  He gave her a round of antibiotics and she picked up quickly.

Over the following week or so, this incident sparked some reflection about a few things in my spiritual life.  More about that in my next post.

Toward the end of January, I thought it was time to take Naomi back to the gardens.  I didn't want to allow too much time to pass without her needing to deal with any possible fear she may have developed.  She was fine in the shower or bath, but I wasn't sure how she'd be with a larger expanse of water.

It was all going well...until she decided that the lilypads were a good place to go for a walk!  She didn't go under this time, but she did get wet up to her waist.  And that was it.  It seemed she was destined to be afraid of water from then on!  And it was then we decided swimming lessons were a must.

We found the perfect set-up for us at a local pool.  We signed up for a 'family hour'.  We get one hour a week with a teacher just for our family.  We also get access to the pool any time during the swim term for no extra.  The first week all of the children were excited - including Naomi.  That is, until we got to the pool.  As soon as she saw the water her demeanor changed.  The other children couldn't wait to get in and Naomi was busily pulling them all as far away from the edge as possible!

But, by the end of that hour, she was sitting on the edge of the pool with her feet in the water.  By the end of the lesson the following week, she was playing in the water on the top step.  The next week, she was fully in the water with an adult (okay, she was clinging, but she was in!).  Now?  Well, take a look at her now:

Not only is she happy to be in the water, she's happy for the other children to be in there too!  She will go in with an adult without her floation aids.  She will blow her bubbles and even go underwater!  She has totally overcome her fear and Mummy is overcoming hers knowing that the children are learning a very valuable skill.

Only by His grace,

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Shave Day in Photos


Our friend, Tina, was really brave too!


Only by His grace,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

20 today!

Mandy turns 20 today!

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!

Only by His grace,

Monday, March 14, 2011

Newspaper Article

Michael was in the paper for his shave effort.  Click on the photo to see the article!

By the way, donations are still being accepted.  Click here to donate!

Only by His grace,
Please note the small mistake:  Michael actually had waist-length hair, not shoulder-length as stated in the article.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A minor emergency

We host the church Bible study at our home each Thursday night.  It's nice that we are at home, furthering our relationship with God and with friends; all the children tucked safely into bed...

However, last night as people were arriving, I was heading off to the hospital with Abigail.  Why?  Well, it seems I dislocated her elbow.

I was rushing about before people were due to arrive - picking up children's toys and clothing that had been left lying around, scooting older children off to bed and generally trying to make the house somewhat suitable for visitors.  You know the drill.  And sweet Abigail was tired and just wanted her Mummy.  She followed me around, got in front of me, stretched up her little arms for me to pick her up and comfort her.  You know - she generally got in my way.

And what do I do?  Pick her up by her left wrist with my free arm and move her out of the way.  Bad Mummy!  Bad, bad Mummy!

Immediately she cried.  Not a "that's not what I want!" cry.  A pain cry.  I stopped rushing around like a headless chook, picked her up and tried to comfort her.  But she didn't want to move her arm.  I gave her a breastfeed and dressed her (she had been running around in a nappy - only partly ready for bed), but she was still refusing to use that left arm.

So, leaving Michael to explain to our guests, I left to answer awkward questions at the hospital.  Questions that weren't so awkward after all.  Apparently it's a very common injury.  That didn't help me feel any better.  I still felt horrid, even after the triage nurse's kind words of encouragement such as, "This is child number 5? The oldest is only 7?  And you've never had a child with this injury before?  Don't feel bad!  That's quite an achievement!"  Nope.  Didn't help.  Still doesn't.  I still feel horrid.

After an initial examination a tall, kind-looking, fun-loving, smiling young man came in and introduced himself.  Dr. Ryan looked at me, explained that yes, it was a dislocated elbow and that the procedure was simple.  He took Abigail's little arm in his large, gentle hands.  Manipulated the joint slightly and after a small cry from Abigail, she was quite happy to use that arm to it's full capacity!  He smiled at me and said, "It's one of those things that is great to treat.  You can see the result immediately."  That gentle giant of a man then left the room and we were free to go.

So, in the end it all worked out fine.  We were away from home less than an hour.  I got back in time to join the last half of Bible study and most importantly, Abigail shows no signs of even having had an injury.  Does that make me feel any better?  Nope.  Not a bit.

So, let's just forget grand and go for World's Worst Mother.

Only by His grace,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I am grand

My repertoire of titles has increased to include grand

Yes - I. Am. Grand.


Oh, don't believe me?  I'll prove it. 


'Multigravida' means a woman who has been pregnant twice or more.  Precede it with grand and you get a woman who has been pregnant 5 times or more.

I qualify.

And it seems five is a significant number.  Turns out I'm grand in another way too.


'Multipara' is a term applied to any woman who has given birth twice or more.  Add grand and what do you get?  Yep.  A woman who has given birth 5 times or more.

So there you have it.  Proof!


Only by His grace,

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Our little Abigail is a package of pure joy!  She provides so many smiles in our home.  Here are a couple of videos of her - just because she is so sweet!  I apologise that they are poor quality (mobile phone). 

This first video was taken 28th December - just a few days before she turned one.

Note: This was BEFORE she learnt to walk!

Hear her frustration when she got to the top?  She wanted to keep climbing!  Prior to this, I had caught her climbing my clothes hoist...

Here is a little video of her after she started walking.  This was taken on the 11th February 2011.

 She had been walking a little less than a week here.

 I hope our little Abigail has brightened your day.  She brightens every one of ours!

Only by His grace,

Friday, March 4, 2011

Worlds Greatest Shave 2011

This month Michael is going BALD for a good cause!

Every strand is going to go!

Michael has signed up to be a part of the World's Greatest Shave 2011!  Please dig deep and sponser him to help the  Leukaemia Foundation "fund research and free services for people with blood cancer".

You may even like to take part yourself.  It's not too late!

Thanks in advance for your generous donation!

Only by His grace,

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

19 weeks, 1 day

Only by His grace,