How to help a new mum…

So, three of my friends were pregnant all around the same time and finally, all their babies are here! The first one was born exactly 6 months (to the day) after Jacob was born, the next one exactly 3 weeks after and the final baby was born on Monday night. I can’t wait for all 4 babies to be together to take some photos together!

In the last few months, I have experienced so many new mums (and their new babies, of course) and there’s been so much trial and error on my part with giving them the support from my end. When I say new mums, I don’t mean just mums who have had their first baby – but any mum who’s just had a baby, be it their first, second, third or fourth child! From experience, these are some of the best things you could do for a new mum…

1. Cook for her
I’m not sure about Caucasians here, but us Asians LOVE a good clear soup when we’re not feeling our best – beef soup’s probably the favourite as it’s just so nourishing! In the Chinese culture, some mums have a ‘confinement’ period where they take it easy and have to follow a strict dietary plan which involves lots of soups! But what I found anyway is that soup is good to encourage breast milk production, so you should have some (even if you’re not Asian, haha!).

If you can’t think of anything to cook (or if you have your hands full), a fruit platter is always welcomed! Or just buy takeaway or treat her to a meal. She’ll thank you as that’s one less meal to cook!

20140408_083711_AndroidJacob my sweetheart is cooking some food for me (though I don’t eat plastic shapes)

2. Help her with cleaning
Even now, I still struggle with finding the time to clean the house – today I managed to vacuum the floor while Jacob was in his cot playing with this musical phone/remote that my parents gave to him. Now he’s mobile, he always finds something to mess up – and don’t even talk to me about eating. Yesterday we had egg yolk smeared all over the high chair and pieces all over the floor.

But yes, I digress – new mums have SO much to take in that the last thing on their mind will be to clean up the house, or at least the last thing they will get to do aside from rocking, feeding, changing, etc. So just offer to do a load of dishes before you go, or even pop their laundry onto the line or fold some clothes. :)

3. Offer to babysit
While I love Jacob to bits, there are times that I wish that I could put him away for one hour, just for some me time. I am sometimes wary about getting a babysitter for Jacob, and at times I’d rather not spend money on such things when I can just suck it up and take care of him anyway. But every mum needs a break – so babysitting is a great gift.

Of course, this all depends on your confidence and experience. Before Jacob was born, I admit I would never have offered to babysit for anyone because I’d be so afraid that I’d not know what to do. Even now, I’m happy to babysit babies but am not as sure what to do with toddlers and older kids. What you could just do is hang out with the mum and mind the baby while she can do what she wants to do – even that is a help.

4. Help her run errands
This is particularly handy for ladies who have had C-sections who can’t drive for 6 weeks! There will always be things to do like getting groceries, picking up other kids from school, etc. This helps if you can drive, of course, but even if you don’t, just do what’s in your power to do.

20140408_102116_AndroidJacob can’t drive but he can take out the trash! (Haha, don’t worry – I don’t let my baby touch trash. That’s just a bag of clothes!)

5. Help provide her with resources
I’m not sure about other mums, but I’m an Internet consulter – that is, I always consult the internet to find out information. I know in the first few months (and even now), I search about things like breastfeeding, immunisation, baby poo, etc. When I find good resources, I’m always happy to share with other mums. If you’re a researcher like me (or if you like to pick up brochures from here and there), pick something up for your new mum to read. Do keep in mind to not “push ideas” onto the new mum though – this information is just there for her perusal but in no way are you dictating the way she should parent her child.

6. Spend a bit more time together
One thing I found with motherhood is that sometimes it can be a bit lonely – when your partner is working all day and you’re stuck at home with the baby, it can just drive you up the wall. I know it’s hard for people who work full time, but if you do have time to spend with your new mum, just go over for a visit (or organise to go and have a coffee perhaps). She’ll appreciate the break (and you get plus points if you carry her baby for a while!)

7. Just be a listening ear
I think what’s been really good in these few months of motherhood for me is having people to talk/rant to about the big and small stresses. Like when you have a poo explosion, or when he has a “I want you to carry me all the time” day. Because sharing the burden just makes it lighter and soon enough, you’ll realise it wasn’t such a big burden anyway, and will find the grace to laugh about it.

20140406_080554_AndroidJacob is a great listening ear – plus, he doesn’t give unwanted advice!

New mums out there – do you think I hit the nail on the head? Are there other things that you appreciated when you were a new mum?

I admit that I haven’t done all of these things for the mums I know, but I have tried to do what I can to help them. And I know that little things count – I remember the little things that people did for me when Jacob was little, and I’m so grateful for it. My mum was wonderful with helping me take charge of the house too, getting all the other stuff done so I could just focus on the baby.

But anyway, congratulations to all the new mums I know and I hope that you are all having a wonderful time with your babies. Do enjoy this time lots because you can’t get it back. Photos and videos can immortalize the way your baby is, but he’ll be different every day and one fine day, you’ll look back and wish you were there again – just holding him or her in your arms.

Over and out! :)

Travel bug…

I’ve been busy with my parents, who have just left Adelaide for home sweet home.

ImageIt was wonderful for them to be here to share in Jacob’s upbringing. They watched him go from rocking back and forth to crawling and climbing up onto things. They watched him eating lots on good days and throwing food on the floor on not so good days. They witnessed him go from super friendly baby to slightly wary baby, as he just developed his stranger anxiety. But most of all, they just got to build a bond with him and I’m sure he’ll love to see them again when we head to Malaysia later in the year.

I’ve had the travel bug lately and have been dying to seek out another destination to travel to. I have actually been to quite a few places, but perhaps the more I travel, the more I feel like travelling! Anyway, here are 5 awesome places I’ve been to in the last few years (and would LOVE to go back to).

Image
Auckland, NZ (and surrounds- Rotorua, etc)
I admit Auckland isn’t the most interesting place, but I definitely want to go back to New Zealand to explore the great outdoors.

ImageJakarta, Indonesia
My dad used to work here so we used to visit him here.

Image
The Gold Coast, Australia
I loved the theme parks in Gold Coast, but will only go back when Jacob is old enough to enjoy them.

Image
Cairns, Australia
(and surrounds – Port Douglas, Cape Tribulation, Chillagoe, Innisfail, Great Barrier Reef, etc.)
I worked here and also went on some awesome road trips. Love this region!

Image
Phuket, Thailand
We went there for our honeymoon and it was awesome. Enough said!

Which of the following places do you like the best?

And finally, I won something – or really, Jacob won something. Remember the competition I posted about last week?

ImageYippie, we got a runner up prize! I’ll find out exactly what I win on Tuesday. Thanks again to Avalon City Imaging Photography!

Playtime ;)

Okay, I finished one article so I feel justified to put up another blog post. Haha! For those of you that don’t know, I write for a Melbourne-based Malaysian magazine (goodness, the alliteration!) called JOM Magazine – feel free to have a look at their online component (and you can read the previous magazine issues) here.

Anyway, yesterday was the hottest April Fool’s Day in Adelaide for 127 years! I know I’ve ranted quite a bit about the weather but we really are having a hot hot HOT time – not the easiest with a little baby!

But since it was just 36 degrees, it was actually really nice! (Am I sounding crazy yet?) We had a really fun day!

20140401_132746_Android

How could we refuse the perfect excuse for a swim? It’s so different now as Jacob can sit up and splash around. Also, he’s outgrown his swimwear! *sob*

20140401_132250_Android

Skittles loves to come and join us when we’re swimming out here. She doesn’t get in the shell because it reminds her of having a bath, but she does like to drink the water and try to steal Jacob’s toys.

20140401_124951_Android

We also had a costume party recently so the play weapons came out! Here he is wielding a sword… or biting the foam. Whatever you want to call it.

20140401_125117_Android

And this is the winner of all photos for the day! Caught red-handed with mummy’s pirate gun! He’s such a poser. Love him to bits!

Alrighty, over and out. I guess it turned out to be a bit of a photo post but don’t we just love photos anyway? :)

A quarter way through…

I woke up today and thought, ahh – April Fools’ Day! I can try to play some tricks on people – until, of course, I remembered that March has 31 days!

How quickly has this year gone? It’s already a quarter way through! In this time, the following has happened:
- We did our first road trip with Jacob to Melbourne
- Attended 3 baby showers, 2 of which I helped host
- Dressed Jacob up in a Chinese fashion for Chinese New Year
- Our house floor has had a full refurbishment, from carpet/lino to tiles
- Survived a week with Jacob when Daniel was away at school camp
- Had Jacob’s baby dedication
- Had a getaway to Port Elliot (with my parents)
- Had my parents come over (and it’s nearly time for them to go home)

But what’s really been amazing is seeing the change in Jacob – three months ago, he could barely roll over and now he’s all over the place, climbing up and trying to walk now. Before, breastmilk was all he wanted but now he’d happy have a teething rusk, strawberries in a net or some veggie puree. One thing I know – he grows cuter every day and I love him to bits!

When my next blog post will be all depends on whether I’ll be able to finish my magazine articles in time for submission. I will work hard and try to post something towards the end of the week, but I don’t want to give false hope (as I have a long way to go, haha!). But I’ll just make this a bit of a photo post:

ImageSomebody likes going shopping. :)

Image

 He’s too eager to get into his bath… he love bubbles.

ImageI can sit up and I’m doing Thriller in the garden!

ImageI’m showing off just because I can…

ImageYou need to tidy up this change table, mummy…

Image

I want to have big feet like daddy!

I’ll end with just another quick reminder about the competition I entered Jacob into – it’s ending Friday and I’d really like to get as many votes as possible. This is the link to it… :)

Babies, babies, babies…

I grew up an only child. My father was the youngest in his family hence I was one of the “younger” cousins. My parents had me 10 years after they were married, hence I was also one of the “younger” ones among their friends’ kids.

As a result, I didn’t have very much exposure to babies. I didn’t know what babies liked or what they involved. For that matter, I didn’t know what little kids liked, because I didn’t actually remember what it was like when I was a little kid myself. The truth is, I was probably scared of kids because they made so much noise and just ran around. And I was even more scared of babies because they seemed so tiny and fragile, and I was so sure I’d drop them and they’d break into pieces.

The first newborn baby I ever carried was my niece, Esther, and I thought she was the tiniest thing I had ever seen! I was so afraid I’d crush her when I carried her, but she survived my little cuddle and she didn’t cry. She was probably thinking:

Image

Okay, I admit I did take care of ONE baby in my life (whom I found out later was actually considered a toddler, not a baby). He was my second cousin and was half Malaysian, half American and he was ADORABLE! I think I played with him for a bit when he was little, but I myself was only about 10 years old and honestly I can’t remember how I did it.

Anyway, when I first found out I was expecting, one of my first thoughts was “Oh no, what am I going to do with my baby? I know nothing about babies!”. Other thoughts included “Soooo exciting and happy!” and “What am I going to tell my boss?” (I’d just started a new job). I was happy being pregnant, but I was also a bit detached and unsure of what to expect.

Would I know how to take care of my baby? Would I even like my baby (and would he like me back)? What would I do with him and how would I bring him up to be a good person?

When Jacob was born, he was perfect. I just looked at him and knew that I loved him. As he lay in his little bed beside me, I just watched him sleep, with his little gentle breaths, his chest heaving up and down. He was the most gorgeous baby I had ever seen.

And that’s where it began… my love of babies. It didn’t help that quite a few people I knew (my sister-in-law, close friends, acquaintances) were expecting babies too. While I’m usually happy to go to church in the first place, I’m now even more excited to go to see their babies!

ImageI’m really comfortable with babies now, even newborns (as I still remember what Jacob was like when he was that tiny)! But I’m still working out how to deal with toddlers and older kids – so please bear with me! I think I’ll probably learn first hand from Jacob, and soon will be an expert. :)

Speaking of babies, I’ve entered my little one into yet another contest! I reckon that’s the main reason I go to the annual Pregnancy & Baby Expo here in Adelaide – to join contests!

Anyway, this is Jacob’s photo – please click on the link and like it (and proud mummy will be more than happy!)

Enjoy the weekend folks! :) Babies, babies, babies for me tomorrow.

 

Food Glorious Food (and Date Night…)

Today we ate out for both lunch and dinner – a privilege I don’t usually have! We had a day trip to Hahndorf with my parents and then, Dan and I had a quick dinner out, just to ourselves!

For those of you who haven’t heard of Hahndorf, it’s a little German town about half an hour out of Adelaide city. It’s a touristy little place, with lots of local products, German souvenirs and a variety of food. I also took notice of the fact that they have a few Spa motels, which seem really quite tempting. Maybe on our next special occasion…

Image

I didn’t take many pictures on the street because I was pushing Jacob around in his pram (he was asleep the whole time), but I did take pictures at lunch. We had a pub lunch at the German Arms Hotel, which was nice – I had a nice fat chicken schnitzel and Jacob stole some of my veggies off my plate. He also put his hand into my dad’s beer but escaped with just a froth wound. :)

ImageJacob was quite intrigued (and maybe a bit scared) of the many statues of German men. In terms of heritage, he’s part German and I want to make sure he identifies with that. I’m tempted to make him learn the accordion – what a sight it would be! But really, I want him to identify with the German language and perhaps go for a ‘home visit’ to good ol’ Germany.

Anyway, back from one part of the hills and off to another! Dan took me out to dinner at the Inglewood Inn, which is only 20 minutes away from where we live. What a gorgeous view we had from where we were sitting:

Image

We drive out through this part of the hills every week to get to our church out in Birdwood, and I really love changing backdrop. Right now, the grass is green and the trees are painted with hues of green, red and gold. Soon, they will be bare and the brooks will run fast with the winter rains. Then come the blossoms of spring, followed by the tan colours of summer. I’m so glad to live near the countryside.

But anyway, on to the food…

ImageI didn’t feel like meat so I ordered gnocchi with pumpkin and pinenuts, which was delicious but got a bit boring after a while. Beef pieces would have been quite nice with it… I don’t think I’d make a good vegetarian. And, of course, how could we miss dessert?

ImageJust a simple pecan pie with ice cream and berry coulis. Yum! :) Overall a great experience. The Inglewood Inn is a really lovely place to eat – we’ve had breakfast there too, and that was delicious. They also have a function room overlooking a lovely garden area – perfect for a garden wedding! I almost convinced Daniel to marry me again there – he’s pondering it here, haha.

ImageBut really, date night ended in tears – not for us, but for Jacob. We came home to find him crying his heart out – apparently he was fine until they tried to sit him down for dinner. We are struggling a bit with him and his eating – he doesn’t like the high chair, doesn’t like being spoonfed, doesn’t like to drink water, etc. But we will get there!

Anyway, my little sook got his way (i.e. breast and breast alone) and is happily asleep. Sigh. Anyway, this is my favourite photo of the week – little boys should love their books.

Image

Over and out!

Lucky number 7…

It feels like only a moment ago that I was posting about him turning 6 months old, and now he’s already 7 months! To celebrate, here are some month by month pictures of him in a row:

0 months (newborn)

IMG_8127

1 month

WP_20130919_006

2 months

19

3 months

21

4 months

swimmer

5 months

20140124_194902

6 months

20140218_155744_Android

7 months

image-88f22a111e5701a42be498ac3e8298e4f42c1471393acdef3d65cbfa6688c48a-V

I measured his height and weight two days ago at the Pregnancy & Baby Expo, so here are his stats:
Height: 70cm (though he wasn’t really standing straight)
Weight: 8.5kg (with clothes on, so I’d estimate 8.4)

Milestones: I don’t know when exactly he worked out the crawling, though I have seen him doing bits and pieces here and there. I’m a bit mortified that he’s crawling so early because he gets into all kinds of trouble – yesterday he pulled a cup off soup off the table! Thank goodness he missed getting it on himself, cos that would have hurt! He also pulls himself up onto lots of things (and falls off sometimes) – a bit too eager to stand perhaps.

Likes: Prune juice (I put it in a bottle diluted with water and it’s almost always gone!), Toys that make noise, His play table (which he’s fallen down from quite a few times), Climbing onto things, Other kids playing with him (especially his cousins Isaac and Esther), Watching Praise Baby, Playing the Piano, Bath time, Cuddles.

Dislikes: The Aspirator (he’s had a blocked nose recently…), Being fed when he isn’t hungry or isn’t feeling like sitting still, Naptime when there are better things to do, Falling down.

Notable Achievements:
- Crawling! Yes, he can actually go pretty far and move quite fast now. :)
- Mastered sitting up – he’s very stable now and doesn’t fall down, unless he does a 90 degree turn to reach something directly behind him.
- Growing fully into size 0 (yes, had to put away all the 00 stuff).
- Raiding the change table and throwing its contents everywhere (and unraveling a roll of paper towel on the change table too)
- Making my cursor on my computer disappear (hubby had to restore it for me) & trying to set up an email account on my phone
- Saying “bababababa” – still can’t get him to say “mama” or “dada”. He says “maaaaa” when he’s angry though.

Love you my little Jacob. xoxo

I shaved my baby!!!

Happy Wednesday everyone! This is mainly a photo post because photos speak a thousand words (and also save a thousand minutes haha!)

Firstly, I need to realise never to leave Jacob alone on the change table (not even for a second to throw away the diaper). He loves sitting up and climbing now, and I usually find him sitting like this on the change table. Today I caught him turning around and when I reached around to get the cloth nappy, and when I grabbed him, he just burst out laughing. Funny child he is. :P

ImageThe post title speaks for itself… but no, Jacob isn’t bald! :P I love his locks but they were getting a little long, so we used an electric shaver. I’m still intrigued that you can’t actually cut yourself with it (how awesome!) though it can get a bit prickly. We shaved his hair on an 8/8 setting, and I really must say it looks alright!

Here’s the before shot:

ImageAnd after the ordeal – doesn’t my boy look handsome?

ImageThis is SO much cheaper than taking him for regular haircuts, and so much safer than using a pair of scissors. Only thing is that he squirmed a lot (he was in a bad mood anyway) and hair went everywhere – and he hated having the hair all over his body and face. It’s amazing how much hair sticks to a baby’s soft skin – took me ages to wash it all off! He did like being powdered after the bath though.

Finally, a brief report on my other baby, Skittles. Woke up to find her in this position – silly dog!

ImageEnjoy the rest of the week! :)

Liebster Awards!

Image

To tell the truth, I’d never heard about Liebster awards before, hence why I was so excited to be given one! :) I remember back in the day when we’d have to pass along questionnaire-type links via email or on Friendster (even before Facebook!) so this brings back memories. 

The Liebster Award is a blogger award given by bloggers to bloggers in order to broaden the blogging community. If you are nominated for the Liebster Award, you have a few rules to follow:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you
3. Nominate 11 other blogs with less than 500 followers
4. Post 11 questions for your nominees to answer
5.Tag your nominees & post a comment on their blog to let them know you nominated them
 
So a big thank you to Little Miss Prepared for nominating me and for leaving me a list of interesting questions to answer (and if you haven’t noticed, I’ve learned how to add a link. What a dumbo I was before, argh!) And here are the questions I was given!

1. Where is your ‘happy place’?

I guess I have a number of happy places (figuratively and literally), but I’d say my main motivations come down to three things:

1. Movies – Yes, I am that kind of person who can watch a movie and get completely immersed in its world. Particularly with epic movies like Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, etc. and some series like Game of Thrones. Call me an escapist…

2. Nature – I love nature – the more remote, the better. I love the sound of water, be it waves on the beach, rain on leaves or a waterfall gushing over. I love spring flowers and autumn leaves – and I’m sure I’d love the silence of snowfall, though I haven’t had much experience with it. Nature reminds me of my origins and of the Creator, and that’s probably the happiest place I could be.

3. Music – My happy place is somewhere between Comptine d’un autre été L’après midi and Divenire. Imagine a rainy day, with the wind blustering outside, and your fingers flying across the keys without even opening your eyes – because you’re not playing a piano, you’re singing it. It’s not just a song, it’s your soul dancing. :)

2. What is your favourite book?

Argh Bree this is a hard one!! There are so many books I love to bits. Probably my all time favourite is still Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I think I’ve read that over 50 times (from the time I was about 10) – when you are that age and you are reading Harry Potter for the first time, you will sit by the post box waiting for your letter from Hogwarts. It didn’t help that I had owls living in my roof then!

I think I love that book because that’s where the journey of imagination began – before all the sadness and darkness, it was just a simple story about a boy whose mother sacrificed everything for him, but there still being a whole world of hope ahead of him. 

3. How many children would you like (can be in your ideal world)?

Ideally I’d like 3 – though I’d be happy to settle for 2. As long as Jacob is not an only child, that’s fine by me. :)

By the way, here is my little Jacob doing pushups in his pirate tent! I can’t write a blog post without posting a picture of him, haha! 

Image

4. How did you meet your partner or husband?

People say we are a match made in heaven, and funnily enough, we met each other at church. On our first date, we had coffee/hot chocolate and talked, then had dinner and talked, and had dessert and talked… and I thought, man, this guy’s going to make me fat! Haha! :) We enjoy our indulgences. But honestly, I’m so glad we met at church because I wanted to be with someone who has the same beliefs as I do, and I’m glad we can bring Jacob up with this shared faith. 

5. What is your favourite part about being a mum/mom?

My favourite part would probably be having cuddles and smiles with Jacob. He has an infectious smile and no matter what’s happening, his smile makes me smile. I’m also blessed to have a teddy bear type baby, who is warm and cuddly all the time (plus he has soft fuzzy hair). My cuddle love tank is full to the brim and overflowing!

6. What is your favourite room/place in your house?

I actually really like my front garden, and the little staircase coming through it. We have lovely roses and lavender bushes growing, and it gets great lighting so it’s an awesome place for photos. Come to think of it, I took a photo there today! This is my new autumn outfit – okay, I admit that’s a spring skirt! I’m not very fashion savvy I guess, sigh…

Image

Okay, I know it’s not IN the house but I hope it’ll do! :P

7. What was your reaction when you found out you were pregnant?

We were on holiday in Tasmania when I started feeling funny, so I bought a double pack as I was going to test twice – because once isn’t enough to convince me. I was actually a little skeptical when the first test was positive. We’d only started trying and I was like “No way!”. But the next day, we tested again and that’s when we started getting excited.

8. Were you hoping for a boy or a girl (or both in twin cases) and what was your partner or husband hoping for?

I’ve actually got to ask Daniel that one – I think he wouldn’t have minded either but is happy that we have a boy. We both initially thought it was a girl but were still over the moon when we found out it was a boy. And come to think of it, I always wanted to have a boy first (and then a girl). :)

9. What is your least favourite chore around the house?

Probably the one(s) that I never do! :P Out of regular house chores, the one I dislike the most is vacuuming (though steam mopping comes a close second). The reason – I hate cords! Even with an extension cord, I always seem to pull the plug out of the socket, knock something over or just trip over the vacuum. When I used to work in hospitality, I used to love vacuuming, but that was because we had backpack vacuums which you just wear on your back!

10. If you had to eat the same thing every day what would it be?

Hmmm… that’s a tough one because I’m always in different moods where I want to eat different things. Potato chips always go down well (especially just the plain salted ones). I must admit that, as Asian as this sounds, rice would be a fave of mine. When I was a child, I used to go out and just eat bowls of plain white rice lol. 

11. If you could go anywhere where would it be?

I really really want to go travelling all over the world, particularly to Europe and Japan, but not just the tourist attractions. I’m the kind of person who likes to live it like a local. So, I’d like to see back streets, little local joints where you need to know the local tongue to even find the place, etc. I’ve been sorta longing to see Ireland again (probably because I’ve been listening to Irish music lately), but anywhere in Europe is awesome…

 

The reason why this post is a bit delayed is because I couldn’t find enough nominees lol! Silly me for not blogsurfing more often – and I realise quite a few blogs I follow have more than 500 followers so I couldn’t nominate them! But here are my nominees!!

The Gwen Chronicles

Little Word Bites

Pianolearner

Great Little Stories

Grace

Don’t Smash the Piggy Bank

Small Steps, Big Picture

Voguezzz

A Few of My Favourite Things

Talking with your Mouth Full

Bump, Baby and Me

And the questions for you are:

1. Why did you decide to start blogging (and has this purpose lived on through your blogging career)?

2. What’s the weirdest thing someone has commented on your blog?

3. Who would you consider your idol?

4. Are you right handed or left handed (or both)?

5. Where were you born?

6. What is the most meaningful thing that’s happened to you so far this year?

7. If you were a cake, what flavour would you be?

8. What is your dream holiday destination?

9. What is your favourite nursery rhyme?

10. What would be your life motto?

11. If you had the choice of being born (again) into any family/place/circumstance, who/where/what would it be?

What a world we live in…

I’ve been dwelling on things that have been happening in the world and sometimes it just feels like this world is so sad.

I’m sure most of you have heard about the MH370 incident and, like me, are flabbergasted. I don’t know why it troubles me so much – perhaps because most of my Facebook friends are Malaysian and I get updates non-stop on my Facebook feed. I have friends who are pilots, who are quite vocal about the topic, and I also have friends inviting me to Candlelight Vigils in observance of this tragedy.

Perhaps because it is my home country’s national carrier, which I’ve used year after year without a moment’s hesitance. Perhaps it’s because I started to read about the profiles of the people on board – the pilots, the crew, the passengers… And then you don’t think of them as just part of a piece of news, but you see them for their roles – as a parent, as a child, as a colleague and as a friend…

It doesn’t help with all the speculation around the incident. I’ve read a number of theories that are really interesting but unfortunately don’t answer the question. It doesn’t help that one party says this and another party says another, and subsequently they retract their statements. Whether it’s poor leadership or irresponsible reporting, it does not provide closure for all the families waiting for news. 

I pray that answers will be revealed and that hearts will be comforted at this time.

Here is one of the ‘live update’ links, which I will be tuning into:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/mh370-live-deliberate-action-taken-3242322

This morning, we also heard more sad news that is closer to home. A family that we know was involved in a terrible accident that left a 14-year-old and a 4-year-old dead, and most of the family in hospital in critical condition. Dan actually taught the 14-year-old at school – he says she had a wonderful, bubbly personality and will really be missed. 

I went to a funeral last week of a wonderful woman who lived well into her years and left behind a beautiful family. I’ve been to a few funerals of older people, but never for one for a child. It just doesn’t seem right for a parent to bury their child. As a mother, I can think that it would be the hardest thing one could ever do. 

This is the news report about the crash:
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/boy-and-girl-die-after-horror-crash-at-port-wakefield-rd-lower-light-while-cyclist-critically-injured-at-west-lakes/story-fni6uo1m-1226855444297

It just makes me remember how precious life is, and how blessed we are to be safely in our warm beds with a roof over our heads. I love to watch Jacob sleep because he makes me feel safe and at peace (yes, he actually has two arms but only one wriggled out of the swaddle):

Image

The world is indeed a fallen place; full of tragedy and sadness. But it is also a place where love and beauty can blossom. Today I also met my friend’s beautiful baby girl Ruby for the first time – I didn’t hold her because I have the tail end of a cold, but she is a gorgeous little girl.

When I think of babies, I think of the hymn “Because He Lives” written by Bill and Gloria Gaither. For those of you who haven’t heard of them (don’t worry, I didn’t know who they were til a few years ago), they are country gospel singers and songwriters who wrote many beautiful Christian songs. 

The story goes that Bill and Gloria were going through tough times and they were expecting a baby as well. It was the time of the hippie movement as well, where there was an increase of sexual infidelity and drug use that made them think about what a sad world it would be to raise a child in.

It inspired one of the most famous hymns of all time, and the lyrics of the second verse particularly touch my heart:

How sweet to hold a newborn baby, 
And feel the pride and joy he gives 
But greater still the calm assurance 
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow 
Because He lives, all fear is gone. 
Because I know, I know, He holds the future 
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

I know not all my readers are Christians – but for myself, this song really grounds my faith and gives me hope. It reminds me that Jacob indeed has a life worth living and that I can show him that the world, amidst the sadness, is a world full of beauty and joy. 

And right now, he is my beauty and joy:

ImageHave a lovely weekend everyone!