Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Number two

Now, I know it's been a long time since I wrote anything, with time, inclination, and sleep deprivation all standing against me. But I'm back. Kind of... :D

So, a brief update.

We have left Melbourne. For good. (Sorry all you Melbournites, but Victoria is not the place to be)

We are back near Moree, indeed, living in the very same house that we lived in two to three years ago. The second house on the property is undergoing heavy duty renovations, and when it is finished, we will be living in it.

And, baby No. 2 has arrived! (Alright, so I kept the best till last... )

We have just gotten back from a five week stint in QLD, the aim of which was to allow Cherith to have baby number 2 without having to deal with the rural hospitals, most of which couldn't have even taken her as a maternity patient, because she had had a cesarean last time around, which technically makes her 'high risk'...

So, little Josiah Nathaniel was born in the same hospital that Katherine was born in two and a half years ago. Location, location, location. QLD is the best state in Australia, so our children may as well have QLD on their birth certificates!

Isn't he just gorgeous?!

He was born on the 4th of August (over a month ago already?!?), with no cesarean needed this time around! That's the good news. He was born not breathing, due to his airways being blocked with mucus and whatever else. Heart attack time. For me that is... I had no idea how scary it can be to look at your newborn child, who is not breathing, to watch the hospital staff working on him, aspirating him, tying to clear out his throat, etc, and wonder if he was going to be alright. Admittedly it had been 36 hours since I'd slept more than ten minutes, but I think even with a good night's sleep under my belt I would still have been more than a little bit nervous. The hospital staff were great though. They were very calm and efficient. No panic or anything like that. Within five minutes after birth he was breathing more or less on his own, but those five minutes were probably the longest five minutes I ever want to go through!

But all is well that ends well. Little Josiah is healthy, mostly happy, drinks like a fish, is growing like a weed, getting nice little rolls of baby fat, and seems to be doing as well as possible.

Katherine is a doting older sister, who loves nothing more than holding the baby. She smothers him in attention at times, and when she prays, never neglects to thank God for the baby.

So, our quick trip to QLD ended up being a five week trip, with Cherith needing some extra time to recover before she could travel, and indeed, before she could even be up and about, looking after two kids, and trying to run a household while I go back to work. Thankfully some work found me in QLD, and with my mum happy and able to help Cherith out, I was able to get some work in while Cherith got the rest she needed.

But now our little family of four is back in NSW, I am back at work (about to leave for work actually), and Cherith is doing much better than she was. Life can go back to normal, at least, as normal as possible with two kids. Spring is coming, the weather is getting warmer, and we have clear blue skies and sunshine almost every day. Life is good :)

Sunday, 3 August 2014

A few months of my life

It has been as close to a year as can be, since I last wrote a word on my blog. It's been a very busy twelve months, but I'm still keen to keep my blog updated from time to time.

I'm not going to try to cover all that's happened in the last year. I'd still be writing this time next year.

Briefly, we went to Queensland for a month after Christmas. Queensland will always be home for me, even if I am living on the other side of the country. But it was awesome to go back, spend a month working with my brother who is a mechanic, and generally enjoy some scorchingly hot QLD weather.

Now, half a year later, we are almost about to go back to QLD for a week, in order to celebrate his marriage! So, once again, we will be trekking close to 2000km each way! It's going to be a long drive.

 The last 4 months I have been working away from home, about two and a half hours drive north of where we live. Coming home only for the weekends has been tough, and not something I am going to consider doing again for a very long time. We have been renovating a kindergarten there, extending the existing building and renovating it throughout. I thought I'd post up some pics so you can see what I do for a living most days...
This is the existing building after we had demolished the rear wall and framed some new walls. We have the long concrete pump there to lay the slab and footings for the extension.

There were a number of rooms inside that had to be demolished completely, and a few new rooms that had to be built, aside from the extension.

All the stumps and columns are in place, and the steel bearers are going into place.

Simply by looking at these photos, you might get the impression that we had nothing but lovely sunny weather. As a matter of fact, our job was made increasingly difficult because of the amount of wet weather we had, and delayed us by several weeks at least. Because we were working on such a limited time frame, we often had to push on in spite of the weather, working through rain, storms, frosts, and just about anything else. The only thing it didn't do while we were there, in spite of threatening to several times, was snow.

Laying the flooring sheets.

We often worked late hours in order to catch up to schedule, after rain had prevented us from making good progress, It was not a strange thing to still be working long after dark, (sunset here was about 5:00 - 5:30 for most of this job), and we were sometimes still at work at 7 or 8 PM.

We were all very keen to finish in the shortest time possible, as all of us had left families behind in order to do this job.

We stayed together in dormitory style accommodation, two bedrooms and a kitchen and bathroom in each section of the dormitory.

I have absolutely no photos of the middle part of the building project, as unbeknown to me, my SD card was having problems and did not save them.

After laying the floor, we started on framing the walls, putting up the roof trusses, rafters, battens, insulation, roof sheets, and the external cladding. Once the building was somewhat waterproof and dry inside, we could start putting plaster on the walls, sealing it, painting, and a myriad of other jobs that go into a completed building.

Close to the finished product. There are a few things left to do. A small amount of concrete to be poured, and lights inside to be installed. Probably about 2 days of work left there.
There is really no way of explaining how much work it takes to get a building to this stage.

After 4 months of pretty much non stop work, 10 + hours a day most of the time, 3 guys working full time on this project, plus subcontractors for electrical, plumbing, and painting, we have finally got the end of the project. The council is going to take care of landscaping, but the building itself is just about done. We are waiting for the interior lights to be delivered, as they were a custom order and were delayed. Apart from that, there is a little touch up work to be done, and it'll all be over.

Anyway, I'm not going to ramble much more. I know we went to bed exhausted, stiff and sore, more often than I'd care to admit, but I have to admit to a little satisfaction at the finished product. But I'm glad it's over, and glad I'll be able to spend a little more time with my family now.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Baby speak

Baby's make a lot of strange noises, and Katherine is no exception. But lately her sound are starting to gel into syllables, and perhaps into words....

Much to my chagrin though, the first word she has fixated on, is not, as I would have hoped, 'dada' or 'daddy', but rather, 'mama'.... She looks at Cherith, and bursts out 'MAMA'.... She has been experimenting with 'mamamamama', but not she is saying 'mama, and often when she is looking at her Mummy....

The up-and-coming virtuoso! :)
She is a cheeky rascal. She insists on walking places. And, with us holding her hands, she manages to get around. Her sense of balance needs a little honing, but she'll get there all too soon. Crawling still doesn't seem to be happening though.

Everything it seems, has to be subjected to the taste test. Her blanket, her toys, stray fingers, car keys, my unsuspecting feet, or her own feet. All get chewed. Her curiosity is unbounded. Everything has to be examined. Her favorite is still checking herself out in the mirror. No matter what tantrum she may be throwing, spotting her reflection is an instant ticket to gigglesville... She loves examining the inside of my mouth (a budding dentist perhaps), intrigued by my teeth and tongue....

This moment she is giggling at me, making up for all the times she is fussy and cranky. All in all she is a very happy little rascal.

Oh, and she likes playing the piano!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Laughter and tears

It's so much fun watching a baby's development....

    It never ceases to amaze me to see Katherine showing personality in some way or other. She is definitely getting to that age now where expressions really start showing in a hundred ways. I am discovering that she loves to laugh, (Who doesn't though), and even more importantly, loves to be tickled, thrown into the air (or at least given a zero gravity ride, which is as close to 'throwing her' as I get at the moment), teased, or splashed, flipped upside down, or given an airplane ride around the living area... Any one of those is usually enough to break her out in a cheeky grin at least, and most of them draw outright chuckles and laughter.

    I'm enjoying being home a little more often these days, (And potentially will be for a while, depending on which doors God opens or slams shut)... for the last 2 months I have gotten to see my little girl for no more than half an hour a day, and that usually just before bedtime, when, chances are she'd be tired, worn out, and a little on the cranky side. Now I get to see her when she wakes up in the morning and treats us to her cheeky good morning smirks. I get to see her play through the day, and watch the wheels turning in her head as she works things out. I get to watch her smile while she is taking a bath (Something she enjoys immensely, but only if she is holding the bath thermometer... Don't ask, lol, that's just the way it works).

    I get to see her grumpy and upset too. Sometimes she is overtired, or she's got a tummy complaint, or a tooth is being a bit sore, or any of the other things which add spice to the life of a six month old. There's plenty of blood, sweat and tears that go right along with being a parent. It's not the easy life. But it is the best life. Sometimes, when she has a really cranky session at 11PM, and nothing seems to help, I catch myself wondering whether it is all worth it. But then it takes just one of her smile to even the score for all the grumpy times she's ever had. That look of impish delight in her eyes is worth more than all the tears and crying. And when she laughs, that moment is pure joy. Nothing, ever, is more amazing than seeing her laugh... And so I tickle her lots... And give her 'airplane rides' through the house, and blow raspberries on her tummy, and anything else I can think of to have her in stitches. Because life is like that... There will always be the sad, miserable, sleepless nights, with wind, or colic, or teething.

But the happy times are created. They are intentional...

Katherine loves the bean bag... Maybe I should get her one so I can have mine back! :D

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Little Children

Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of God.

The mothers, bringing their children to Jesus, eager for their little ones to receive a blessing from Him. The disciples, sending them away, telling them that Jesus had no time for the children.

But Jesus did. As a matter of fact, He showed by his actions that children were a priority with him. Much more a priority than preaching sermons anyway. What a lesson!

How often do parents dodge time with their children because they have more 'important' things to do? It is very easy for parents to imagine that what they have to do (working, cooking, cleaning, washing, church, etc) is much more important than time with their children... But is it? How can it be?

And then there are Jesus words, "For of such is the kingdom of heaven". Have you meet many children? There are some sweet ones, and then there are some that for one reason or another, go wrong. Why? When I read this text today, it dawned on me why.

These children, that Jesus referred to as children of heaven, had one thing that many, even most, children lack. They had mother's (maybe father's too!), who wanted Jesus's blessing for their children! To them, nothing, no sermon, not their daily duties, nothing, was more important than getting that blessing.

Of such mothers, come children fitted for the kingdom of heaven...

Of such fathers, come children fitted for the kingdom of heaven...

Sunday, 31 March 2013


So... Little Miss Katherine is asleep.

I wonder if all parents get a little thrill when their baby is asleep? I know I do.

In the last week or two, we have discovered that what she needed was more sleep... She has, it seems been a little overtired, and so have we! Since my wife has been enforcing regular sleeps, she has been a MUCH happier baby. That that's all good.

She's also growing at a rate of knots. I swear she is going to grow quite tall, she has such long legs...

Yesterday we went to the Botanical Gardens in Melbourne, with two other young couples we know. It was amusing to see three prams, with three babies in them, all within a few weeks of each other in age. It didn't take long to work out, that between the three little bubs, at least one was awake. I'd hate to have triplets... For all that, all three behaved themselves very well... The parents on the other hand, lol.......

Katherine loves to sit up and look around. I think she takes after me, very curious about everything around her... She also loves to be held. But she definitely goes through phases where Daddy just won't do, it has to be a hug from Mummy. She's so adorable though. I'm hoping we don't spoil her rotten, because I'm afraid it would be only to easy. We don't want to raise a child that is used to getting their own way with everything. Spoilt children are only too common these days, and unfortunatly, once the damage is done in early childhood, it is almost impossible to reverse...

I think she's waking up. The hammock she is in is starting to sway and bounce, and she is calling out to her Mummy...  It is so cute to see her wrapped up in a blanket and snuggled in her little hammock. It seems to be her favorite method of sleeping though. And the best part is, it can be moved from room to room while she sleeps...

Friday, 22 March 2013

I'll never let go of your hand...

This is the other poem I have been meaning to post up. In the last few months, it has had a special significance for me... God never lets go. He wants nothing more than to support us through the tough times. We may miss the things He has planned for us, we make mistakes, and mess things up, but He is just wanting us to walk with Him...

I'll Never Let Go Of Your Hand

1.  I know what you've been hearing
I've seen you hide your fear
Embarrassed by your weaknesses
Afraid to let Me near
I wish you knew how much I long,
For you to understand
No matter what may happen, child
I'll never let go of your hand

2.  I know you've been forsaken
By all you've known before
When you failed their expectations
They frowned and closed the door
But even though your heart itself
Should lose the will to stand
No matter what may happen, child
I'll never let go of your hand

The life that I have given you
No one can take away
I've sealed it with my Spirit, Blood and Word
The everlasting Father
Has made His covenant with you
And He's stronger than the world you've seen and heard

3.  So don't you fear to show them
All the love I have for you
I'll be with you everywhere
In everything you do
And even if you do it wrong
And miss the joy I've planned
I'll never, never let go of your hand

The life that I have given you
No one can take away
I've sealed it with my Spirit, Blood and Word
The everlasting Father
Has made His covenant with you
And He's stronger than the world you've seen and heard

4.  So don't you fear to show them
All the love I have for you
I'll be with you everywhere
In everything you do
And even if you do it wrong
And miss the joy I've planned
I'll never, never let go of your hand
I'll never let go of your hand

Don Francisco