baby J

Not a size 10 anymore

(Courtesy of Pinterest)
(Courtesy of Pinterest)

Type ‘post baby body’ into just about any search engine and you’ll get a ridiculous number of images, articles, blogs and opinions. Typing it into Google alone brings up 220,000,000 results in 0.4 seconds..! Type the same 3 words into Pinterest and you get all kinds of goodies – everything from ‘Diary of a Fit Mommy’ with an image of a giant belly next to an image of a 6 pack to ‘Best Foods for Weightloss While Breastfeeding’ to ‘Stay-At-Home SKinny’. There are so many voices telling mums – mums like me – that the ‘post baby body’ needs to be extensively worked on to get back to the before baby body that we once had.

First of all, my ‘before baby body’ wasn’t a 6 pack – so I can skip over that blog with ease (buh-bye!) and my ‘before baby body’ wasn’t due to a vegan non-GMO diet either, so what does that mean for me? How do I ‘deal with’ this post baby body? Like this:

(Courtesy of Pinterest)
(Courtesy of Pinterest)

Don’t get me wrong here – I don’t have a perfect, healthy, well-rounded view of my body – I never have. I used to hardly ever eat when I was in school. I’d throw lunches away, suck in my non-existent stomach and claim I was full from my tiny muesli bar at recess time. In Uni, I would make salad and tuna lunches almost every day and wouldn’t snack if people were around. I never thought I was ‘fat’ per se, but I definitely wanted to control what I looked like.

When I was pregnant, everything swelled – and I mean everything! Not only did my stomach grow due to the tiny human being created inside, my ankles doubled, my fingers doubled, my face puffed up and my thighs touched like they’d been separated at birth and missed each other terribly…and for most of those loooong months, I was ok with that. There was a small, new life being formed and that was why my body was looking the way it was. By the end I was over not being ale to wear anything but one pair of maternity leggings and one flowy dress with flip-flops, but over all – I’d been ok with how the person in the mirror had changed.

Now, it’s been 11 weeks since my Little E joined our team and I’ve been asked twice when my baby is due. Can I get a face palm here please? Little E, swimming in excess amniotic fluid, came into this world via a c-section, so not only does my body have months and months of settling down to do, it had recovery from major surgery to deal with too. So yes – I’m still wearing those maternity leggings and those maternity jeans and those flowy tops. So yes – my stomach sticks out and I do look 5 months pregnant still. So yes – my thighs are still loving on each other and my engagement ring still doesn’t fit back on my left hand…BUT one look at my Little E and all that disappears because she’s gurgling and smiling and grabbing her toys and that little body was housed in mine! My body was used to bring that little one into this world and of course I won’t have my ‘before baby body’!

In fact I’ve recently been thinking about it this way – I’ll never be 18 years old again. I’ll never be a high school student again. I’ll never be 21 again, I’ll never have my first driving lesson again, I’ll never travel on a plane for the first time again…so why should I get so hung up on the fact that I’ll never be like I used to be again? My life is forever different – my Little E has changed that without a doubt – so the desire for a before baby body for me (and granted, this isn’t for everyone, I get that) isn’t high on my prioroties list. I want to be healthy, I want to enjoy where we are in life and set good examples and rhythms for this little life that doesn’t care what I look like or that I don’t fit a size 10 anymore. To her, I’m just her Mama – her ‘Ima’ – and that’s enough for her, so I’m learning that it will be enough for me too. For me there has to be no ‘before’ or ‘post’ when it comes to my body, it has to just be the next stage, the next journey…just me.

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baby J

I have just met you…

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(Courtesy of Pinterest)

It’s been 6 weeks since our team grew by one – SIX WEEKS! I can distinctly remember 6 weeks before she was born – I was well and truly over being pregnant. 1000% done with that period, that ‘waiting game’…and now we’re 12 weeks on from THERE! I can’t tell you how the days go by…it’s not as if we actually do a great deal, realistically…the first few weeks were purely feeding, nappy changes, sleeping, burping and learning that anything more than about 5 hours in a row of sleep is a rare gem! 😉 But as the days have rolled on, we have gotten to know our little teamster – some of her likes, her patterns and her little quirks and in the last couple of weeks, we’ve even seen that gorgeous little grin get bigger and brighter!

For those who know me, they’ll atest to the fact that I’ve not ever really been a clucky person…a friend handed me her new baby once and I remember thinking “well…what now? what do you do with it now?” So it’s been such a random experience with my own new baby because – and wait for it now – I just literally met her and I already can’t really picture our family without her! In the words of Doug from ‘Up’

“I have just met you and I love you!”

There’s a deepness to that love that extends beyond the fact that she might be screaming in my ear at 3am…or pooping all over her onesie that I just changed her into…or clawing at my face with her needle-like fingernails…there’s a love that comes from somewhere else, somewhere bigger and greater than I am, that overrides any of the anxious or depressed or overwhelmed feelings I have.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s far from smooth sailing! I still struggle to truly distinguish between her different cries and teaching her to self-settle isn’t as straight-forward as books led me to believe. Breastfeeding is a b*%$# sometimes and the photos I saw in blogs or articles of ethereal women whipping the boob out with a placid little bub sucking away, now just make me laugh! I still haven’t got the whole nappy-change-new-onesie routine down and yes, it’s hard to remember to have tummy time AND read to her AND play with her AND go outside AND feed AND sleep AND burp AND everything else all the books and advice are telling you that you MUST MUST do in a day…!

BUT -> 6 weeks ago our lives changed dramatically and we are both still in awe of how this little person – complete with her own DNA, thoughts, emotions and personality – has weaved her way into our hearts! The fact that those gangly arms and legs, thick head of dark hair and sweet little smile was inside me not that long ago continues to blow my mind! 😉

Every day is filled with new or different experiences – new milestones or new challenges, but at the end of each day when we’re all climbing into our respective beds and bassinets, there’s not really any other way we’d have it!

baby J

‘Giving up’ isn’t giving up…

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Giving up isn’t the same as giving up.
Raised eyebrows? Hold up a second 🙂

I’m talking about transition, change or different directions when I say ‘giving up’ – the idea of releasing your grip on something in your life and ‘giving it up’ – surrendering your control over it – to an all-powerful God…and this is NOT the same as simply giving up.

‘Giving up’ – a verbal act of admitting defeat – yielding, relinquishing, renouncing…THIS kind ‘giving up’ isn’t what I’m talking about. When things change in life – whether it’s a positive change or not – sometimes giving something else up in order to embrace that change is necessary. Sometimes there are moments in our journey that are so essential to the pressing in of our God on our lives that giving something up in order to be more available to His calling is primary.

This doesn’t mean you ARE giving up – it doesn’t mean that dream is dead, that relationship is lost or that job is never going to be the same…it just means it might look different. It might be that your ‘giving it up’ actually re establishes it! It might look different but in His time, it might be stronger, yield more fruit or be more enjoyable and had you NOT given it up when you were asked, you might never have discovered that!

My encouragement for you is that you seriously consider ‘giving up’ whatever it may be to a loving God & waiting patiently to see the outcomes…they may not come straight away and they may look different, but He works all things together FOR GOOD.

I am learning this all firsthand and whole-heartedly with the latest member of our family unit – hubby and I welcomed team member #3 on the weekend and with little hands and lion’s eyes, she is such a sweet edition already! But with a new baby, change is 100% inevitable and 100% not always comfortable. Relationships have to change, commitments have to change, work has to change, priorities have to change and sleep habits have to change 😝

But with each new moment we spend with her, we see God’s handiwork and His fingerprint intricately woven into every fibre of her little being and the ‘giving up’ doesn’t feel like such a big deal when the gain is so much deeper.

Yes there are hard moments of missing the old days, but if I’m not flexible in life with the responsibilities God gives me, why would He ever give me more later?

So be encouraged! Know that He knows what He is doing and don’t be afraid to give up once in a while!

baby J

dear Baby J…

 
 Dear Baby J…

Well, you’re halfway through being cooked in my oven! It has been one crazy journey to get to this point, but we are super excited to welcome you into our little family! You will bring such a fresh, new, vibrant and exciting life to our home & we already love you! 
You’ve been a long time in the planning; created and knit together for such a time as this and for such a family unit as ours & every day we thank The Lord for calling us to be parents and for bringing you into our lives.
You’ll be a challenging one – we have no doubt about that! We aren’t the easiest people to put up with sometimes ourselves – but loving and teaching and guiding you will be the best challenge so far. God doesn’t always call the equipped, He equips the called…and it’s our turn to be called parents!
I’m so happy that I get to be your mummy – I can’t wait to cuddle you, watch you fall asleep, go for walks with you and see how you grow. Your Tatay is just as excited as I am to meet you! You’ll bring such a smile to his face and he has so many things to teach you and show you…but don’t be surprised if you end up a basketball player!

We can’t wait for you to find your heart enclosed in your Creator’s hands too, and we pray that God gives us the right words and tools to teach you all about who He is.
Baby J, there are a lot of special people in your life already. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends and each and every one has so much wisdom to pass on to you. They already love you and can’t wait to meet you too!
Until that day comes, keep moving and growing and learning how to be a human as you sit cradled safely in your Creator’s loving hands…I’ll do my best to not get in your way 😉
Bless you little one…we love you 💕
brain farts

The first blank page of a new year…

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It’s January 1st. We rolled over the calendars last night with party poppers, amazing food, a pig on the spit, games, music and laughter.
It’s no longer 2014.
2015 has arrived in full force.

Happy New Year!

How quick did 2014 seem to race by? I know sometimes it felt like it dragged on – there were some crushing lows and some tougher days than others, but on a whole I feel like we really only just had New Year celebrations from 2013! It was a year ago our family was getting excited for a big trip to the Philippines. I was psyching myself up for my final 2 semesters of my post grad course and the looming placement experience. 2014 was an intense, busy and memorable year and it’s hard to believe that here we sit yet again. Another January 1st on the doorstep.

Last year, I made New Years resolutions. Yep – for the first time I made a conscious decision to set goals and attempt to follow through on them in 2014. Did I keep those resolutions? No. Am I surprised? No. Haha! How can I be?! I’m terrible at follow-through when it comes to habitual change for myself. It takes 30-60 days or something they say to change a habit…I barely last 3-6 DAYS! So unfortunately, I have no resolution accomplishments to celebrate today and I’m hesitant to set new ones for this year…

Nonetheless, I will. And I’ll keep it short, sharp and simple – spend more time with my Creator.

Out of that resolution I hope that other changes will flow…and that way, rather than forcing myself to keep track of all the things I want to change or do, my focus is where it should be and my motivation is shifted. Maybe then, other things I want for the New Year will happen in their own time rather than forcing them.

So my word for 2014 was ‘CRAVE’…and I’ve decided that my word for 2015 is ‘CHILL’. Sounds cliche, right? Silly, lame, impractical, childish? Well for me, this will be a very important word for my year. I struggled with the thought of 2015 approaching as I knew what sorts of journeys lay ahead…and now that it’s here, I don’t want to be bogged down for 12 months in apprehension and depression just because I’m so highly strung about it all. God is in control. God is in charge. God has gone before and He will walk with me. I simply need to chill out. Stress less. Shove the worries away. Focus on His strength, peace & truth and carry on as I have been called to do. Chilling out from all the concerns and ‘maybes’ of 2015 will be a big challenge, but I hope that this time next year, I can high five myself and know that God stretched me in the best way possible.

So I hope that as this new year unfolds for you, your resolutions are easy to keep, practical and important to you so that as you complete them and fulfil them and tick them off you know you are where you are meant to be. Many blessings for all the journeys and adventures and trials and tests and joys and excitements that await you this year – may God be the reason for EVERY ONE of your seasons.