Friday 25 February 2011


As you may have gathered from one of the pictures below, Naomi had her first visit from relatives last week, as her Grandma and Grandad and Uncle Ian (my parents and brother) came for a visit. It was a bit of a squeeze in the house but it was a pretty good week and they all enjoyed meeting the new member of our family.

I also thought you might like this picture. Naomi is growing fast and it certainly feels like she's starting to develop a personality. When she's not sleeping or crying, this is the look she goes for - a kind of understated amazement at the world. Quite pleasing to watch her take it all it :)

Finally, last night I was at our church cell group. We've said before how the group's getting on really well together and how God's already working through it. Jay and I are taking it in turns for the next little while so Naomi has someone to look after her. Last night we were exploring what the Bible has to say about anger, a follow on from a fairly deep discussion that we'd had a couple of weeks ago. In particular we were looking at the different kinds of anger, in particular what the Bible says about the difference between righteous and sinful anger and how righteous anger is rooted in God's love for all of us. Deep stuff! I have to say I'm really appreciating the chance to delve into God's word in a bit more detail in the context of discussion with what others think about it. Last night I learnt a lot and it's been one of the most worthwhile explorations of Scripture I've done for a long time - well done to the rest of the group :)

Learning our new life

This post will be less about Naomi and more about how life has changed since she arrived and very much from my perspective (rather than also being from Sandy's) I hope you might find my musings interesting but will forgive you if you want to leave now seeing as this won't be about the latest cute thing Naomi has done and will feature very little in the way of photographic evidence of her existence.

One thing that has changed is that I have had to become much more relaxed about being late for things or about changing plans at the last minute.  Anyone who knows me will know that I HATE being late and that if I have told you I will be somewhere/do something I find it very hard to back out of that without an incredible reason for it!  Well, since Naomi came along that isn't quite as easy as it used to be, I have had to learn to be relaxed about getting to where I am going when it is time and about saying to people I *might* be able to help with that but it depends on Naomi and what she is like on the day!  Naomi won't care if I said I would be at your house at 3, if it is 2.30 and she is hungry, that will just need to be the priority!  Even finding time for blogging and other social networking type activities are harder for me now and I just have to be okay with that!

Another thing I am having to be more relaxed about is getting "stuff" done.  I would have always felt bad if I hadn't done the dishes by the time Sandy got home from work or if I had decided to throw the vacuum around the place, but now, as much as I decide I want to make a lovely dinner or write a letter to a friend I am just having to be okay with the fact that it might not happen!  Naomi might hijack my plans!  (For those who find it hilarious that I am complaining about not being able to clean/tidy, my standards may be lower than those of many, but they still exist!)

One of the biggest things I am learning as the days pass by, is about resting.  I am a do-er, I find it hard to sit still for too long, and my DNA discipler will tell you that resting to the extent of day-time napping is something I find next to impossible.  However, when your night-times all involve having to wake to feed the baby and you never really know when you are going to get to bed (Naomi settles anywhere between 9pm and midnight) and you don't really know how well you are going to sleep or even how much energy you will need to expend later (will she be good, or will she fuss?) you need to learn to grab every opportunity for rest and sleep with both hands.  I am learning not to feel guilty for sitting down with a cup of tea or even for pulling a blanket over me and shutting my eyes and remembering this is only responsible so I am going to be able to deal with the possible (though not probable) screaming fit that is just round the corner.

One of the biggest things changing for me though, and I am yet to negotiate my way through this change and don't even know how I will do it let alone have got to a point where I have come to terms with it is to do with how I relate to God and even how I relate to church.  I was musing about this just this morning and then went to the Mum's cell group I am part of and it came up there too.  I find great joy in serving, I love serving, it gives me energy and to be honest I end up doing it without realising (I remember someone on DNA making a comment about the fact I was helping with something having only walked through the door a few minutes before, I hadn't seen it as helping, not in a big way, I saw a job that needed done and was getting on with it) it just comes as second nature.  How do I serve though, serve others that is, with such a small baby.  Back in Aberdeen I would have given my time at projects like the Haven (giving meals to those living chaotic lives) or helping with the toddler's group, by being a Street Pastor or by setting up the chairs in the sanctuary.  In a more one-off kind of way one of the highlights of my year is serving on team at Imagine Scotland or even at the stand for DNA or any of these people at another event.  These things, though, are much harder with a little baby.  I could, I hear you say, give myself a break and let myself have some time off from all these things, but the problem is, that doing things like this gives me energy, I don't find it draining I find it brings and energy and vitality to my life and I also find, that I find it easier to be close to God when I am serving Him.  My service needs to look different now, and I am not quite sure how to make that change, partly because I don't really know what my service will now be.  Answers on a postcard please!

Now, I think if you have made it this far, you are a star, and as such I will reward you with a picture of our little treasure!

Monday 21 February 2011

Photos of the beautiful Naomi

Uncle Ian has just been to stay, we will do a separate postyabout his (along with Grandma and Grandad's) visit  but Ian has a beautiful camera and took some amazing shots of Naomi over the time, here are a few of our favourites

Wednesday 16 February 2011

Open Heaven Weekend Away

Naomi checking out what is happening at the weekend away
As many of you might be aware, Sandy, Naomi and I are all just back from the Open Heaven weekend away.  All three of us are pretty tired after the experience, Sandy and I both were very ready for bed last night and Naomi has been napping more than usual today!  The weekend was really good though, it was lots of fun to be away with our new friends and have an opportunity to make even more friends from within the church and on top of that there was some top rate teaching and times of worship to help us feel closer to God, which we both did by the end of the weekend (perhaps Naomi did too, but it was hard to tell!!)

Our room for the weekend
The theme of the weekend was "The world-changing story" and was broadly about engaging with scripture and how we do that better or more often but also how our own story fits in with that of God's story, which is, of course, what the Bible is about.  The main speaker was a chap called James Treasure, I had heard him speak a fair few times as he does a lot of the broader Bible teaching on DNA and he was just as good as I remember, and just as likely to get distracted by anything and everything that goes through his head!!  He is very funny but in it all is able to get across a point very well and leaves you at the very least thinking lots about what he has said.

Sandy and I have been to similar get ups before, with times of teaching, worship and just some free time to hang out with people and thankfully we had gone with the mindset that it would be very different to how it had been before because, we had Naomi, who wouldn't be willing to wait for getting her nappy changed or being fed or whatever the thing she wanted to cry about was.  She was also no more likely to sleep through the night, although the good thing about her being so young is that only being able to see about 12" in front of her, her Moses basket looks the same regardless of what room it is in and feeding works much the same whether you are on the Welsh/English border or in the heart of the East Midlands!

I attempt to do something (can't remember what) while Naomi chills out!

Naomi is also still young enough that she doesn't really mind who is cuddling her, so the weekend away was great for her as there were lots of people who wanted a cuddle and Naomi loves having some arms wrapped around her, it seemed to be a mutually beneficial situation for most people!  Although Sandy and Naomi were having a lovely cuddle when we got this photo

At one point Sandy took Naomi in her sling and they went off on a walk, it is the longest that she and I have ever been separated and I think it was more stressful for me than her.  I tried not to snatch her back when sandy returned but I really did miss her terribly, I think it was good for me to let her be off with her Dad though and good for him to get to have that time with her.  The walk took them just over the Welsh border, so although I have never been in Wales, Naomi now has!

This photo only to prove that Daddy is awesome and takes his share of the nasty jobs too!!
Naomi and Daddy having a walk!

Naomi and Daddy standing on an aquaduct that forms the border between Wales and England looking on to a viaduct (daddy really likes these things)


As with many babies, Naomi is particularly cute when asleep. For a bit of fun, would anyone care to offer a caption to go with the above?

Wednesday 9 February 2011


Much to Jay's annoyance everytime I heard the word "labour" I couldn't get this out of my head from about three months ago until the birth. Now I'm sharing it with everyone - it's from the earlier days of Harry Enfield's humorous television programme.

L is for Labour

Tuesday 8 February 2011


I've maintained radio silence for long enough, so here's a brief update from me.

As of yesterday I'm back at work, at least in the physical sense as I was doing some at home last week. As Jay said I found it a bit odd yesterday, back at my desk. Diving back into the world of reading, writing and coding, I was back in to things pretty quickly. This is good as there's a lot going on and plenty more to do - not that I'd complain about that as it's all good stuff - however it was really strange to be where I was two weeks ago knowing that there's been a huge change in the mean time. I've got a picture of Naomi on my desk now and I feel a bit funny every time I see it.

Maybe it's because I've had plenty of time to get used to the idea - obviously about nine months or so, but also the planning before that - but the oddest thing has been how easily we've both adapted. It's hard to think what it was like before Naomi arrived. Other than I remember not being quite as tired as I am just now! There are some difficult bits but it's also pretty good how they don't really matter when you've got a beautiful little girl to look after.

Flying Solo

Sandy has had to go back to work, which means Naomi and I are taking on the daytimes together!  We knew this day would come but it makes us sad, we like having Daddy at home, however we tackled it for the first time yesterday and it went quite well.

It so happened that our first appointment with the health visitor was also yesterday, she seems like a nice enough lady and I was very pleased when she told us that Naomi has now regained the weight she lost from birth (this is perfectly normal) but weighs 3oz more than when she was born, so she is now 7lb 8oz and obviously the fact that she is gaining weight is all good news :-)

After the health visitor had been we went to meet Daddy at his work and had some lunch, Naomi loves being in her buggy so she enjoyed the walk there and back very much and even the detour to the post office to pick up a missed parcel!

By the time Sandy got home we were pleased to see him and he was pleased to see us, he had found it somewhat strange to be away from Naomi all day having been around so much up until that point on top of which, returning to work after 2 weeks off is always tiring even if the reason you were off doesn't keep you up at night!! (Although, she is still, by baby standards, an incredible sleeper, she isn't all that great compared to 2 adults!!)

I guess you are all wondering why I haven't cut to the chase and shown you some more pictures, so here goes!!

We are still working out exactly how to tie it but this is a very useful new sling we were bought by my big sister!!

Friday 4 February 2011

The madness that comes with parenthood...

Sandy and I often have slightly mad conversations, particularly in the evenings our discussions can descend into the quite surreal.  However, the sleep deprivation (that isn't really that bad) must have kicked in as we have just finished a lengthy discussion at the end of which we determined that it is a good thing that I now don't mind drinking water otherwise we would use more fruit juice in a month than we do gas.

We thought this might entertain others also, and so decided to share this with you!

Thursday 3 February 2011

Beginnings of a routine

Before I get on with the bulk of this post I just wanted to say thank you lots to everyone who has sent us lovely cards and presents, we feel a little overwhelmed if we are honest by all the beautiful things that have been showered upon us (before and) since Naomi was born!

However, I thought I would share with you a quick update on how we are doing.  We are just taking each day as it comes and playing most things by ear but we are very quickly developing a "sort of" routine that involves a lot of sleeping, eating and walks in the afternoon to help with that part of the day that Naomi isn't so keen on!

We were discharged by the midwife today, she is quite happy with Naomi and happy that Sandy and I are coping well.  We will meet our health visitor on Monday, well I will, Sandy will have gone back to work.  I can't decide whether it is good or bad that the health visitor will first see us on the first day we are left to cope without daddy!!

Noami continues to sleep pretty well through the night, at least by newborn standards and we are beginning to develop a bed time routine too, although it is still incredibly fluid, depending on what kind of nap Naomi has been having!

Soon we will start to attend some baby groups and things that are run here in Loughborough, I am keen to find some that are not run by the church, I don't want to start living in a "Holy bubble" but with a surestart centre round the corner we should manage just fine!!

So, all in all we are doing well, and for my parting quip I shall give you some more photos, we all know that's the only reason you have read this far!

I love how newborn she looks here

I may have taken a lot of photos of her sleeping!

Naomi in a very cute sleep suit trying to persuade me she should be allowed 5 more minutes of being asleep!
From where I was looking the cheek on hand thing looked even more cute than this!