The Post Triplet Tummy

Once you have had triplets, your tummy muscles just aren’t the same as they used to be. I think that is true for a lot of post-pregnant mothers. It certainly was after my first two singletons. But after the triplets. Sigh. I struggle.

I found out, a little bit late, that Style and Shennanigans was having a colour challenge. My friend Belinda from bbeingcool is doing it, and I thought it might be a little bit of fun.

Yesterday was pink. When I went to my wardrobe, I seemed to have a lot less pink then I thought I had! Then I remembered I had a very pink dress! An old favourite from Target, but as much as I love it, it is not good at hiding the post triplet tummy. I had to think twice about putting it on, but decided that I wasn’t feeling particularly fat yesterday, so teamed with my awesome shapewear underneath, I thought I could brave the day. (Motherhood hint: Get yourself some suck-it-in knickers, seriously, you will surprised how much confidence Granny undies can give you…)

The thing is, to a certain extent I have to just acknowledge and move on that my body is the shape it is at the moment. I don’t like it, and I try to hide the protruding tummy as much as I can. The extra unfortunate combination of having a post-triplet tummy is most of us, like me, have diastasis. This is where the abdominal muscles have separated during childbirth – it happens to everyone, although some people’s muscles repair very quickly after birth. However if the separation has been to great, especially after multiple pregnancies or pregnancy with multiples, you need to proceed with caution and know that the road to healed muscles is a long one – as in years, not weeks. It means traditional exercises to tone stomach muscles are out. No crunches or squats for example. They hurt not heal. The other unfortunate combo of having diastasis after multiples is that caring for the multiples can make exercising a lot more challenging.

If you don’t believe me, because I was trying my best to stand at a flattering angle in the first photo, here is a less flattering angle. (Although thankfully for you, I still have granny undies on.) I wish people could only see you at a flattering angle all the day, but the reality is, we can’t stay frozen smiling throughout our days. I know I’m not obese, and I’m certainly not trying to make others feel bad if you are struggling with body image even more than I am. I’m just documenting my feelings at a time that I’m not 100% proud of my body.

And so the fat days are frequent. My awareness of my own body image and is heightened at the moment and the quest to find flattering clothing seems eternal. And even still I constantly have people asking if I am pregnant. It’s always awkward and embarrassing. It started when the triplets were still in the special care nursery. I was travelling up in the lift to visit them and as we pulled up at the maternity ward a lady remarked to me, “It won’t be too long until you will be up here with your new baby.” I just nodded and walked out swallowing hard, not telling her I was heading to feed my babies that were two weeks old.

I’ve had people ask me at church, and then query me further when I said I wasn’t, as though I would be lying. Way to make an awkward situation more awkward. Another elevator experience where an old man kept talking about how sorry he is for ‘you pregnant women’ during the heat. The other day I went to a function for my husband’s work. I bought a new dress, I thought I looked great and that it was very flattering. But then someone came into work and asked Alex when our next baby was due. People in shops ask and my two big boys ask blunt questions like, “Why is your tummy still big Mummy? There’s no baby in it now.” Children of course are the easiest to forgive. Unless a woman is heavily pregnant, I think it just isn’t something you should comment on. But they do, so I just smile and get out of there quickly.

There is no sense beating yourself up about it. Today I’m wearing green. I’m even more aware of my protruding stomach today. I was tossing up whether to wear a vest to cover the muffin tops or a scarf to hide the bulge. I chose the vest, but I’m still not sure it was the right decision.

At the end of the day, I know that I need to work hard to fix this problem. I’m not entirely there yet, it’s a matter of priorities, and right now, I’m just smiling big and hoping people look at my face not my stomach and if all else fails put the triplets in front of me. Another attention diverting strategy.

I need to work my pelvic floor exercises (they are of vital importance to repair the diastisis) and remember to do them more and work them more into my routine. I need to eat better and find ways to do appropriate exercise. And I will. When you are not at your ideal weight, sometimes you need to accept yourself, but not excuse yourself.

And you find out the right way to stand when you take photos. Here’s a more flattering shot of todays green challenge, not to mention a bit of fun. My four year old photographer told me I had to do a silly photo! You can follow the remainder of my involvement in the challenge on my instagram. Feel free to start following! I love new followers! (Including on all social media, click away on the buttons in my sidebar!)

Have you ever been asked if you are pregnant when you are not? What’s your coping skills when you are not at your ideal weight?

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Carpark Accidents

A few weeks ago I pulled into a car park at Aldi. All of a sudden I heard the heartstopping sound of metal on metal. 
One of the drawbacks of driving a minivan is that the steering is shocking. Car parking is such a trial these days, and normally I go slowly and carefully, take my time and avoid mishaps. I’m sorry if this means you have been one of the poor innocents who is caught behind me in a shopping centre carpark while I do a 50 point turn to get out of an awkward angle. On this particular day, it wasn’t even a difficult park, but for some reason I just completely misjudged the turning circle of the van until I heard it scraping the other car. Such a sickening sound.
I got out and assessed the damage. There was a scrape mark. I desperately hoped it was only paint from my own car that would rub off. I hunted in the van for something to rub the car with. I found a bib (charming, huh?) and rubbed away, and was relieved to see the paint disappear, but as I kept rubbing, there was unmistakably removed paint. And of course, this had to be on two panels of the car. I knew it was going to cost money to get it fixed, and I rummaged in my bag for a piece of paper to write my contact details on. As I was putting it under her windscreen wiper. My stomach sunk again as I noticed a pensioners card on the dashboard. I proceeded to do my shopping, but every old lady or man I saw inside I felt extremely guilty and wondered who owned the little red car I had just bumped into. 
I continued doing my errands until I got the dreaded phone call I was expecting. Sure enough I heard a little old ladies wobbly voice on the other end. She was a very direct old bird, even if she got easily confused. Her opening line was, “Are you the person who crashed into my car?” I accepted responsibility refusing to allow myself to justify that really, it was just an impressive scrape rather than a full on “crash”. She then bluntly asked, “Do you have insurance?” I assented that I did and then on the other end of the phone, there was some shuffling. Then a man started talking to me, he was very warm and compassionate. I assumed her son, and asked as much to which I’m quite sure he quickly agreed to before asking me about insurance and telling me that they would get a quote and get back to me. 15 minutes later I received a phone call back from him telling me that it would cost $792. I thought it was extraordinarily quick timing for a quote, but anyway, the elderly often want these things dealt with immediately, so I just accepted it. I didn’t have my insurance details on me since I was still out of the house, so I said I would ring her back when I got home.
Once home and after talking to The Accountant, who was surprised there was someone else involved, I thought he had taken the news very well when I had rung him earlier in the day, (he thought I had scraped it on a wall). The Accountant said to get the name of her repair shop so we could ring them up and see if we could get the damage fixed for a cash job and avoid using insurance, since this was a bit over our $600 excess. When I rang the number the old lady had given, it was a number which was no longer connected, (she had seemed confused and unsure when giving the number…). I rang the number she had previously contacted me via my mobile. The man I had been talking to answered it. As I started to explain my suggestion, it suddenly was revealed to me that he was a panel beater. It explained the quick quote. He said that the old lady was a good friend of his. He was happy to receive cash, and said he would do it for the same price as my excess, but I said there was a scratch on my bumper as well, so I may as well claim insurance and have this fixed also. He then said to bring the van into his shop and he would see what we could do. The next day Alex and I went in with the kids, and what do you know? Next thing he is saying he will repair the two cars for $500 cash! He was a lovely man to talk to, but I must say, I was astonished and a little suspicious that there would be such a large difference in price. However, I was grateful that it was going to be less then expected. 
He must have forgotten to contact the old lady, like he said he would, because she rang me in her abrupt style one Sunday while I was at church, and of course had forgotten to turn my phone on silent. (Oh the shame) In her directness, she said, “Hello. You crashed into my car and said you would ring me back and you didn’t.” Bless her. She didn’t mince words. I explained the situation to her, and she was astonished to hear she was good friends with the repairman, according to her she and her sister and just used his services before. (We will not make assumptions here. Although, admittedly, The Accountant has.) She was happy with the arrangement, and has since had her car fixed. Mine will be touched up today.
Yesterday, I received this lovely card in the mail.

To be honest, the thought did cross my mind when the incident happened, that it would be very easy to drive away and pretend it never happened. It wasn’t an option for me. My children were not in the car at the time, but even still, what type of mother would I be if I didn’t admit responsibility and make reparations to my own mistakes. How could I truly teach my children important life principles that I was not prepared to follow through personally. The next day when we were driving in, we were honest and explained what had happened to the boys. Even though it is embarrassing to admit that Mummy is really not so wonderful at driving (particularly minivans, worst luck), I hope they learn a great lesson through my mistake about honesty and virtue. I hope one day they will also do the ‘nice’ thing to someone else one day, even if it costs them personally. Because the old lady is right – not many people do it these days. In fact our van already has multiplied in scratches since we have owned it, not caused by me, thankfully. But not once have we ever received a note. Writing a note is just being a decent human really. It shouldn’t be exceptional. It is such a shame that not enough people are considerate enough to consider how their actions can effect others.

Have you been in similar circumstances before? Have you had someone leave a note confessing to damaging your property, or have you been the note writer? Have you encountered large disparities between cash jobs and insurance quotes before?

I’m linking with Essentially Jess’s IBOT

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Imperfections in the Happy Heart

My husband and I have been doing a lot of bickering lately. It happens from time to time in a marriage. (For most people, if you never have any fights with your spouse, share your tips NOW!)

Last night, I was really exasperated with my husband once again not being able to see my point of view. In desperation I said, “What is it? What am I doing so wrong that you can never be nice to me lately?” (Not entirely a true statement, but when you bicker, it’s exactly the not entirely true type of statements that get uttered first.)

Of course, the ideal response from my husband would have been, “Oh, I’m so sorry darling. I’ve been awful. I’ll do much better in the morning. For now, let me finish cleaning the kitchen, you go have a hot shower and I’ll come in afterwards and massage your shoulders.”

Are you surprised that this was not his response?

Instead, he was brutally honest. His reply expressed his annoyance that I was always snappy and always reactive to whatever he said.

To tell you the truth. I was surprised. Mainly, because this is exactly the way I would have described him – not me! Therefore my first thought was to think if he stopped berating me all the time, maybe I wouldn’t be snapping. But just as quickly, micro seconds later, I had a Holy Spirit moment – you know when that quiet inner voice speaks the real truth to you?

The truth was, the truth is, regardless of who snapped at one another first, lately I’ve been being selfish. I have been placing my own agenda first. I have been boiling under the surface when I don’t get to do what I want to do. Silly little things like read a book or watch something on TV. I’ve been wasting time trawling the internet or playing Candy Crush. (I can’t believe how I’ve become addicted to this little game and I’m always finding a moment to try and pop a few more colourful little morsels. It’s at the point where I’m wondering whether I should delete the app altogether.) I’ve been distracted wishing that I could find time to write a blog and making up imaginary posts in my head, rather than living in the moment and enjoying the people who are right under my nose.

It’s all selfish. I’ve been all about thinking about what I want to do rather than how I can serve others. After all, being a mother requires sacrificial love. Too often these days you find encouragement to take some “Me time”. “You deserve it”, is the phrase that is whispered, seductive and tempting. And yes, there are moments of time we can use to do something for ourselves to refresh the soul.

In reality, there needs to be more encouragement for us to push aside seeking self pleasure, and laying down our own wants in order to make someone else happy. Playing in the sandpit with a child rather than sitting back and basking in the sunshine, spending a little more time to make a special dinner rather than whipping together the quickest meal possible. Taking the time to discipline by patiently and calmly correcting the behaviour rather than yelling in frustation. Tidying up before the husband arrives home so that he feels contentment as he walks into an organised home rather than checking facebook for the upteenth time. Choosing not to get angry about the mess that has just been made, but rather to be grateful for the little person who made the mess being in our life.

It’s all about priorities. If I say my family is the most important thing in the world to me, then I should have the actions to prove this sentiment. I don’t want my children and my husband to feel that I love them only when it is convenient to me. I want them to always know that they are always the greatest loves of my life.

I am not perfect. Already today I have fallen short. But I learn. I grow. I keep listening to the still small voice within and let the Holy Spirit guide and lead me, helping me to the best mother and wife I can be. It is in this service as a mother that my heart truly is happy. Caitlin’s Happy Heart is dependent not on fulfilling selfish desires, it’s by submitting to the higher calling, living my destiny to be a mother. Laying down my life in order to serve others. To do this is to follow the example which is in the gospels. And today I choose to follow it and be more Christlike.

Do you struggle to overcome selfish ambition?

So blessed to have such a wonderful family. They will continue to be my motivation to being a better person.
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Multiple Stress

I am stressed.

I’m tired, I’m worn out, I’m exhausted. I feel like I’m fraying at the edges. For goodness sakes, don’t pull a thread. I’ll completely unravel.

So is The Accountant.

And he keeps pulling at my edges. Don’t worry, I’m doing some serious pecking back at him. In fact, do worry about that. It’s not doing either of us any favours. It results in a howling fight when something simple happens. Like when I went to feed the babies.

And I find that there is no container of homemade baby food that should be in the fridge.

Because The Accountant fed it to the dog.

Yes, that’s right. The dog. There were at least two meals there. That’s six meals for any one baby. A lot of baby food. Oh dear. Yell I did.

His disclaimer was that he checked with me first.

Which he did.

He had held up a container. “Should I throw this out?”

“Is it chicken soup?” asks I. “If so, yes. It’s old.”

“Yeah. It looks like something.” says he.

It was mashed pumpkin, choko and pear.

“Yum, yum.” says the dog.

“How did that look like chicken soup?” I storm at him next day.

“It looks horrible and smells bad.” is his defense.

But it’s more then crying over lost baby food.

After nine months of interrupted sleep. I’m so weary. And for the last week the babies haven’t been having long enough sleeps during the day. I’m trying to feed them more. Adjust sleeping times. Vary the routine. It’s just not happening. They are tired though. Which means extra grizzles from them. It seems that I’m constantly trying to settle down more than one baby at a time, and not able to settle down more then one baby because nobody is completely settled before I move to the next one.

I’ve people around all the time. I love and appreciate them all. But sometimes I just want my own space. And then, in the irony of life, I want to be with people as well. My regular groups that I’ve been a part of over the years and loved, like my church home group and my mother’s group disintegrated last year. Right when I need them. I’m still friends with the people. We still catch up occassionally. And if you are one of those people reading this, don’t feel bad. I know it’s life, I don’t blame you. I could be organising get togethers as well. But there’s just something about a regular meeting. You don’t need to organise catch ups. You just meet. It’s easy and it’s supportive. Of course the other irony is, often I’m relieved that there isn’t the stress of having to go somewhere consistently.

Meanwhile, I’m having massive problems with the two older boys. T-Star is throwing full on mega two year old tantrums. J Boy’s behaviour is truly atrocious. Completely abominable. I’m embarrassed. I’m upset. I’m at a loss and don’t know what to do. They are both are children with a strong will. It’s going to be a wonderful asset when they are men. If they get to that point. Right now, I have my doubts. I am so often saying all the wrong things. The experts. They’d eat me alive. There is so much room for improvement it’s not funny.

Yesterday I packed a suitcase for J Boy so he could move out of home.

It was the first time he had threatened to run away.

He had been completely naughty. Total meltdown when asked to do his homework. He had refused point blank to follow any instruction. Moments where you are at complete loss (happens often right now) shouldn’t be allowed to happen when one is so sleep deprived. All I could do was pray for divine guidance, because me. I was out of tricks.

And so he wanted to run away. I offered to pack his bags because I agreed. He needed to leave, he wasn’t participating as a member of our family. God had placed his Daddy and I as his leaders and he was rejecting our leadership and refusing to be considerate to his siblings. So it was time for him to leave our family. He started wailing. He really thought I was throwing him out on the streets. It broke my heart. He has no idea how deeply I love him. So I cried as well.

It had full dramatic impact.

He’s crying saying he didn’t want to go. I’m crying saying I don’t want him to go and I’m going to miss him. “Mummy,” he sobs, “I need to stay here for you to keep me safe.”
“I know,” sobs I, “What are you going to do now?”
“I don’t know.” Sobs him. “I don’t know where I’ll live. I’ll come back Mummy. I’ll come back when I’m good.”

We were able to sit down again and talk about what is necessary for him to be a part of our family. We hold hands and pray. He finally does his homework. And then in a tiny voice he asks. “Am I allowed to stay in our family now?” Break. My. Heart.

Anyway. That’s all I want to say for now. There are hard patches in life. I’m hitting one right now. If you are the praying type. Please pray for me. I really need it.

One of the many sad faces in our home of late.

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Photo A Day – "Your Sky" and "Childhood"

OK. So, I’ve been doing a photo a day for a bit of fun. However, the last two days haven’t felt fun. It’s felt like a chore. And it’s got me to bed late. I don’t get enough sleep as it is. And apart from that, I haven’t had time to take a good photo, so it’s been feeling a bit pointless.

I’ll show you what I mean. Yesterday, the subject was, “Your Sky”. By the time I realised that the daylight was almost gone, I still had a baby in my arms, so I headed out to take a photo of the sunset. Normally we get some spectacular sunsets from our backyard, but not this time. Plus, holding a baby and a heavy camera didn’t go well together. I snapped quickly, without even looking at the result and headed back inside to the unruly mob. This was the best. Honest.

It shows my mood. No time to accentuate the lovely or correct the flaws, such as the lopsided angle from holding camera so I didn’t drop the baby. Focus is on the ugly that I’m discontent with. Kids new trampoline. Love that my kids have fun on it. Hate the thing being in my backyard. Ugly, ugly, ugly. The neighbours roof. Ugly. It wasn’t there when we bought our house. It was a sad day when the scaffolding went up and blocked my view.

Today’s theme was “Childhood”. I quickly snapped a picture tonight, which is even worse. Childhood, means someone is there to pick up after you. Normally your mother. Which is me. This is the table and the floor beneath it after the boys finished eating. It gets worse, and it looks worse than the picture.

So, the photo challenge is a challenge. If it continues to be so, I promise, I won’t subject you to more bad photos.
I’m loving the increased traffic. Hello if you’re new! You’re the reason I’m continuing. (Although maybe not tomorrow – to photograph ‘where I sleep’ would mean making the bed and tidying my bedside table. Not high on my list of priorities at the moment. And it would also show you the lovely picture we bought in England that The Accountant didn’t centre above our bed, so it looks silly.

Oh, and if you’re new. I like to keep ‘it real’, hence the depressed tone today. But don’t mind me. I know all the answers. Yes, life will get easier, it’s just a season, the housework doesn’t matter, I’m still doing a great job, yada, yada, yada. It’s just that sometimes a happy heart is not so happy.

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Not So Happy Heart: Parenting Trials

My initial motivation for writing this blog was to record the amusing moments of parenting. Since I write better when I have an audience, a blog is a good fit. Having started blogging it seemed natural to include other titbits and the occassional word of advice, just in case I do have a real live audience! (Fingers crossed! I love it when I hear people are reading, so please feel free to comment, here or on facebook, for those I know in person!)

One thing I hope is that if other parents are reading, they can identify with my parenting moments, have a smirk, and perhaps feel better about their own parenting. (Either because you have been there, done that, or because you haven’t been there, you never intend to do THAT, because your little darling is far more evolved than my offspring.) Being the happy heart that I am, my stories do tend to celebrate the happy moments of motherhood, the ones, even though awkward at the time, are a great story to laugh about.

But let’s be real, parenting is never laughs all the time. In the interest of keeping it real, let me share today’s episode with you. A moment when my heart has not been happy and one of those moments in motherhood where you wonder what you are doing wrong, how you should do things right and desperately pray that your child is going to eventuate into a decent human being should he advance in years to become an adult.

We were having lunch when J Boy…

(I think I’m going to have to call him J Boy, because to call him “J Bomb” right now is too close to the truth, describing his explosive temper. I called J Bomb since he was a baby because I said he was ” ‘da bomb”, as in all things good. I also call him J—- Boy, kind of like Danny Boy, so in the tone of positive speech I shall continue.) 

J Boy pipes up. “I don’t want to be a left hander anymore. I want to be a right hander.”

Mummy: “Why is that?”
J Boy: Launches into a lamment that he wants to use a pair of right hander scissors with a lion on them, that I once gave him, forgetting he couldn’t cut with them. When I realised, I got him another pair of scissors, alas with no lion on them, and swapped the right handed scissors for a toy Bunnings forklift. Now that the forklift is an old toy. He wants to scissors again.
Mummy: In a very annoying grown up way explains that you cannot change being a left hander, that God made him that way, left handers are rare and special, we will check with his new kindy teacher that he really is a left hander and no he can’t have the scissors, and howling at the top of his voice is not going to make me give them to him.
J Boy: Starts reluctantly eating vegemite sandwich, while loudly stoping to whimper and protest every few bites.
The Baby: Is in a remarkably good mood, and is oblivious to all tantrums. (Is familiar with sounds, since he has been hearing them since he was in utero) Wanders over to check out J Boy’s lunch, to make sure he isn’t missing out on anything. Receives a wallop in the head with a monster truck by glowering big brother.
J Boy: Howls even more loudly when his mother applies some force back to him to make him consider that it is not nice to be hurt by somebody else. Runs into playroom, starts looking around for something to destroy.
Mummy: Recognises her sons volatile ways, follows closely, takes all things out of his hands so he can’t throw. Speaks soothing words, encourages J Boy to continue eating lunch.
J Boy: Returns to table. Starts eating calmly, gets up runs into the direction of toilet.
Mummy: Is relieved that crisis has been averted and is grateful that potty training days are over.
J Boy: Returns to table, staring down Mummy.
Mummy: Did you flush the toilet? (Knowing he did not.)
J Boy: No I didn’t.
Mummy: Go and flush it.
J Boy: I didn’t go to the toilet.
Mummy: (Faint feeling of apprehension appears.) What did you do?
J Boy: I damaged The Baby’s cot.
Mummy: Rushes into the nursery to witness our beautiful white sleigh cot has several deep gashes down the sleigh caused by a matchbox car. She starts yelling.
J Boy: Starts smiling.
Mummy: Is horrified that he could do such an act and be so proud that he has received this reaction. Calms down, (well tried to appear that way), Talks about how upset she is. Talks that she wanted her grandchildren to use this cot also. Laments that the gouge is too deep to be sanded back. Says that Daddy will give a smack when he gets home. Something that Mummy tries to reserve only for momentous occassions since she doesn’t want her child to dread Daddy’s arrival on a normal day. Also says no swim in the afternoon, no dessert, no TV today. Feels some level of guilt for heaping so many punishments on it, then remembers the weeks that she spent searching for the perfect sleigh cot when she was pregnant with him and all the money that she spent on it and then also throws no Nintendo DS into the list of punishments, feels guilty again, then remembers that he has continually tried to damage things when he is feeling angry, and decides to stay strong in the desperate hope that maybe her son will understand the gravity of being destructive.
J Boy: Pleads in vain for leniency. Eats lunch solemnly
The Baby: Continues to be incredibly cute. Mummy talks to him in general Baby chit chat.
J Boy: Tries to say something, I can’t remember what.
Mummy: J, Mummy is too upset to talk with you at the moment. Keep eating lunch.
At this point, I can’t remember how things disintegrated. The J Boy was ANGRY.
Mummy: Sent The J Boy to his bed, put on a CD player and said he needed to have some time to calm down and he could come out when the music stopped. Also gave stern warning he was not to get off his bed or throw things.
J Boy: Throws Books at wall. Increasing dent count in the wall of his bedroom. Receives a smack for his efforts.
J Boy: Throws picture from off his wall. Receives a smack for his effort. Presses pause on the CD Player.
Mummy: Presses Play. Is punched in the back for her efforts.
The Baby: Show signs of extreme tiredness. Cries if put down. Still smiling if Mummy holds him.
Mummy: Decides to ignore the upheaval in the bedroom. Puts Baby to bed. Amazingly, he goes straight to sleep, although there is clunking in the next room as more books are hurled at the wall. Decides that Baby is tired enough to sleep while vacuum hums. She vacuums in an effort to drown out the commotion The Boy is causing.
J Boy: Is extremely agitated that he is being ignored. Throws the CD player.
Mummy: Breaks down into big sobs. Cannot believe that the boy is still intent on damaging others property. Is desperately hoping that he will not be the type of man who throws and breaks things when he is mad, cries more because it appears that this scenario is entirely likely.
J Boy: Cries, because Mummy is crying. Then pulls the curtains down off the wall.
Mummy: Rings the Accountant. Hears his voice. Breaks down cries hysterically. Forgets to speak.
The Accountant: Arrives home 5 minutes later. Commences battle with J Boy.
Mummy: Cries some more because it’s not nice to listen to.
The Baby: Continues to sleep. It has been an excellent time for him to revise former habits of being a light sleeper.
J Boy: Begrudgingly apologizes while father stands at his shoulder, then promises that he still isn’t really sorry at all. Goes into battle with The Accountant for round two.

All of a sudden it all stopped. J Boy started talking normally and being cute. Trots off to the toilet to do a poo. Something that often needs to be done after such fights. It is an underlying cause, but we are unable to convince him that a movement is necessary in the days preceeding.

I’ve gone into a lot more detail here then I intended, but it’s been strangely theraputic. Plus, I’m going to keep this and show to J Boy when he is J Man, some of the grief he caused me.

I know that you can probably spot a whole heap of parenting errors. So can I.

There’s also that feeling of helplessness, and confusion as to what the right thing to do is. There’s so much parenting advice out there. I know I’m not using politically correct methods. There’s always the doubt that I should be. I have every confidence if I used such methods, there would still be conflict, and then I would be thinking I should go back to the methods of the past.

Put simply, there is no perfect parenting, there is no perfect child. The most we can do is love them with all our heart and do everything with their best interest in mind, pushing aside our own agenda. That and a HUGE dose of prayer and reliance on Holy Spirit guidance.

Later in the afternoon, J Boy shows that he is truly sorry by arriving in the house with a handful of sand.

Mummy: What are you doing in the house with all that sand?
J Boy: It’s to fix the cot up.

Remember I had told him that the cot was so damaged it would not be able to be sanded?

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Not So Happy Heart: Toowoomba Floods

I started writing this on Tuesday after the floods, but for some reason just haven’t been able to concentrate enough to write anything substantial. I feel it’s necessary to finish this post before continuing. For me and the people I do life with all conversations right now are centred around this event, it doesn’t seem right to ignore it, in any forms of communication.

I regard Toowoomba as my hometown. I live 20 minutes outside the city itself. If you live in Toowoomba, I would nominate that place as my base, but to everyone outside the region, Toowoomba is my town. It is where I shop, work, fellowship, take my kids to the parks, playgroups, swimming lessons and all the other stuff kids do, visit my friends and generally just live life with friends and family.

I have been following the flood news over the last few weeks. Particularly Bundaberg. I lived in Bundy for over two years when I was a teen. My father still owns farms up there, so we often go up there for a week or so at a time several times a year. I’m very familiar with the place, so when I saw all the footage of the floods there it was mind boggling. We were actually all set – I had my bags packed and everything – to go up to Bundy over New Year until we realised that the roads were all closing, so we abandoned our plans. The next day the flooding started.

Nothing prepared me for the shock of seeing my own town’s flooding. There’s something surreal about seeing the place where you do life be so damaged. To see photos, note obscure background landmarks, and instantly know where it is. It can be quite numbing.

On Tuesday morning I rang a friend. The J Bomb went over to her house to play and then we were going to meet up in town for a play session at and indoor play centre. It was bucketing down all morning and just as I was about to leave when the The Baby went to sleep. At the time it seemed inconvenient, I rang my friend and we decided to abandon the town plan. It is just as well, because we would have been driving right in the areas where and when the flood hit worst. Now I am grateful that I did not firsthand witness the devastation or be caught up in it myself.

The ‘inland tsunami’ that swept through our town is an absolute freak of nature. The reason it has been so devastating is because unlike the flooding in other areas, there was no warning, no time to prepare, no time to seek safety. Toowoomba is 700m above sea level. We sit at the top of the Great Dividing Range. We do not have a river running through our town. The water that caused the immense devastation was flash flooding from little creeks, that for the last several years, while we have been plagued with drought, has mostly run dry.

The flash flooding ripped up cars and tossed them around like matchbox cars. It destroyed businesses and homes. Most tragically, it has destroyed and taken lives.

I am grateful that all that I know are safe and sound, be it with some damage to some peoples houses. Our church also has been flooded, but everyone working there at the time is safe. My heart goes out to the families and friends of those who have lost their life due to this terrible incident.

But the great Australian spirit of mateship and solidarity continues. People are working hard to repair and build our community. People are being generous and giving and supporting those around them. This will not defeat us.

It is my sincere prayer that God will continue to be with the people of Toowoomba and Queensland. That through our trials, His name will be glorified. I pray this will be a time where people learn to rest in the hands of the Almighty and that this event will a marker in their lives of a time where they could come to God and receive from Him.

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