Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reflections of 2013

Another year is coming to an end. I like to reflect and give thanks before I look ahead to the next year.
January - school reopened with Joseph in Primary 2 and Joy starting kindy at the ripe 'old' age of 5. No crying, screaming or vomiting this new school year.
February - good news!!
March - Joseph and Daalin went on their first father-and-son camp. They pitched their own tent, cooked their own food and got all dirty. Boy stuff.
April - we threw a major (to my standards) dinosaur party for Joseph. It completely exhausted me!
May - I voted for the first time in my life
June - Joy started on the Worship Team at Children's Church. She has no stage fright and thoroughly enjoys this.

July - My first ever maternity photoshoot. It was a 'now or never' thing.

August - We spent two lovely weeks in Melbourne and I experienced snow for the first time.
September - preparing for Isaac's arrival.
October - Isaac is born! The girls had a bout of HFMD but recovered pretty fast.
November - school holidays begin and just before that, Joy is awarded Student of the Year for her class.
December - definitely my favourite time of the year. We had a baby dedication for Isaac and Joy danced on stage for the first time in the Children's Church Christmas Production. This is also our first Christmas as a family of 6 but our last Christmas with a baby in the house.
Looking back, 2013 had a lot of 'firsts' for us as a family. This is also my first year as a almost-full-time-homemaker and I'm glad to say that I've enjoyed every moment of it. Well, almost every moment. There were definitely many moments when I wanted to pull my hair out (that or the children's hair!!), tie them to the chairs or drug them to sleep.
But thank God for His grace and strength that sustains and enables. My very helpful husband makes an extra effort to take the children cycling, swimming and to the playground/park.
In the kitchen, I have very generous in-laws who supply cooked and uncooked food. It's a life-saver! Because while I do enjoy eating (hence the need to exercise!), cooking is not my forte, nor my passion.
Looking forward to 2014, I have some goals...
1. toilet-train Isabel.
2. Isaac to sleep through the night.
3. teach the children basic piano skills (did I mention we just bought a new 'toy'?)
4. Joseph to improve on his command of Mandarin.
5. lose 3kg to get back to pre-pregnancy weight and size.
6. bake my own bread.
and above all...to be faithful in my walk and service to the Lord.

My meditation this morning...

Psalm 33: 20-22
We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.
 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.

Blessed 2014 to you!

Monday, December 09, 2013

Dedicating Isaac

Isaac is 1.5 months old. It's been a very difficult and challenging 1.5 months for me. Sleep is a rarity. Some days I get by with 3 to 4 hours of sleep at night and hardly a nap in the day. The advice to "sleep when the baby sleeps" is applicable only for the first baby. Isaac is still very nocturnal - sleeper by day, guzzler by night.
Yes....he has a seemingly HUGE tank! He drinks 4oz formula at one go, right after breastfeeding. And then looks for the breast again. Yet that amount keeps him full for less than 2 hours. He has put on about 2kg in 6 weeks.
The most challenging part is handling a toddler that demands your attention and a newborn who wants your breast all the time! Like when I'm breastfeeding Isaac and Isabel poops.
 While the older two love Isaac to bits, Isabel is still grappling with the idea of being a big sister. She can say Isaac is her di di, kisses him and the very next moment smacks his head. Or pulls his fingers and hair.
So we had a baby dedication for him last night. For the uninitiated, a baby dedication is similar to infant baptism, minus the water since our church does not practice infant baptism. It is a public declaration of our commitment to bring up this child in God's ways. Witnessed by our family, cell and friends, they too commit to journeying with us and keeping us accountable. 

We took the opportunity to express our gratitude...
... to our parents for their love and support. Ah Mah & Ah Gong travelled up from Seremban weekly to supply food while Nana did the cooking for 2 weeks.
... to our siblings. KimKim took leave the day Isaac was born so that Nana could come over to babysit while I gave birth. AhKoh took good care of Joe in YongPeng and Singapore so he had a good holiday.
... our cell and friends for helping with whatever we needed, even running errands and helping to fetch the children to school.
Pastor Chris said :it takes a village to raise a child". I think it's true. Getting pregnant and giving birth is the easy part. Raising the child is the more challenging part. Thank God we are not alone. His grace is sufficient!