Seven months old

Our little daughter is seven months old.

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I can’t believe how fast she is growing. It is so exciting to see her learn new skills and try new things. She is such an adorable, happy, cheeky little baby.

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Madelyn is so sociable, and still so happy to go to anyone. The other day, I was running late to help teach a dance class, so I just put her on the floor in the waiting room (beside her babysitter) and ran in. Apparently the parents in the waiting room were surprised that I was able to do that, and that she didn’t even cry. She just loves being held and talked to, no matter who it is.

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She’s also starting to recognise her favourite people other than Angus and I, and she gets excited about seeing them. She laughs and smiles as they approach, and gets sad when they leave. It’s so cute that she has friends and favourites. And she has started doing the most wonderful thing – when she’s being held by someone else and sees me, she’ll reach out her arms and lean towards me, making it extremely obvious she wants me to hold her. It melts my heart every single time.

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She has started crawling, but prefers her own individual style. Every now and then she’ll crawl for a couple of seconds, but otherwise she pushes herself right up onto her hands and feet and then kind of flops forward. She gets herself quite high off the ground.

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We’ve started a bedtime routine, and she’s really taken to it. We have dinner, and then a bath (I get in the bath with her, it saves finding time to shower during the day). Then we read a story in the dim light, and then I feed her to sleep. I wasn’t sure if a bedtime routine would work to get her to sleep easier, but one night when we got home really late, I decided to skip her routine and she just wouldn’t settle down. So I read her a story, and then she lay straight down and opened her mouth, ready to feed. The past couple of nights I’ve also put her to sleep in her cot, leaning into it to feed her, and then getting her out when she wakes the first time once I’ve gone to sleep. She stresses out when I put her down in her cot, and starts trying to roll back over to me until I feed her, so I can’t tuck her in beforehand. I’m hoping she’ll start to get the idea soon. She does well at staying in her cot for a few hours at the start of the night.

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Her language and speech are really developing. The main sound she makes are “Roo roo roo,” “yee yee yee” and “Ga ga ga” (Update: Two days after she turned 7 months old, she started saying “Dad dad dad,” and two days after that she started saying “Mum mum mum”). A few days ago, her Uncle Isaac was staying with us, and she woke up ready to play at 6:30am. She climbed up on Angus, looked towards the door and yelled out “Ale yee yee!” in the exact tone that she would say “Uncle Isaac!” if she could talk, so Angus took her in to wake him up and she had the time of her life pulling on his chest hairs while Mummy and Daddy slept in. So now we call Isaac Ale Yee Yee.

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She is so delightful. Angus often smiles at her as she sleeps or feeds and says, “We have a nice baby.” We’re so thankful for her.

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Girl drama, cliques, and those who talk about you behind your back

I was 12 years old the first time I experienced girl drama in it’s purest form. Before then, I had been bullied, and I had had two little girls fight over me, but this was the stuff they write books about. I’d just gotten a solo, which in the dance world is a big deal, and I was very excited. Two of my friends at school thought I was being stuck up about it, and decided not to talk to me. Further to that, they told everyone else to ignore me too. At lunch time that day, I sat by myself where I thought they wouldn’t find me, but they did. So I went into the bathroom, where two other girls were hanging out. They knew what was going on, but were staying out of it, and they told me I was welcome to hang out with them, so I did. About 10 minutes later, my group of friends, all of whom were now ignoring me, came in, kind of apologised and told me that I could come and hang out with them now. As an adult looking back, I realise two things: 1) They only apologised for fear of my parents, the most involved of all our parents, calling their parents to tell them what happened, and 2) I should have stayed in the bathroom with the other two girls.

There had been a significant amount of girl drama going on with those girls that year, and my mum was really good at helping me through it. One piece of advice she gave me that really stuck with me was this:

“Don’t trust anyone who talks about people behind their backs, because you never know what they’re saying behind your back.”

As I went through school, there were many more instances of girl drama. When school finished, I thought that was the end of it. Months later, there it was again, in the form of a girl telling another girl I’d said something I hadn’t. And unbelievably, at 23 years old, there are still days where I need to recall that advice my mum gave me all those years ago. It feels yucky in my heart to hear what my friends are dealing with in their workplaces or at church.

I have learnt a lot over the years about dealing with girl drama, both in the child form and the adult form. I’m not going to pretend to have learnt everything, but here’s what I have learnt:

“He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God
Micah 6:8

This is my life verse at the moment. I have a situation in which somebody is attempting to discredit me professionally. I have gotten angry about this situation. I have felt it is unjust. I have felt it is unfair and unethical. One day, I prayed “Lord, what do I do about this?” and the answer I got was “What does the Lord require of you?” I already knew the bones of this verse, so I searched for it, and when I found it, I felt I had the answer as to what to do.

I must act justly. Unjust behaviour does not excuse unjust behaviour. I will not give false witness. I will not gossip. I will not attempt to bring the other person down. I will remember that I serve a just God, and that at the end of time, His justice will prevail.

I must love mercy. I will be merciful to those who have not been merciful to me. I will pray for them. I will be compassionate. When someone is cruel to me, I will respond with kindness.

I must walk humbly with my God. I am not to be prideful. Even though I may feel I am above them as I have not sunk to their level, I will remember that I am a sinner saved by grace, and I will rely on God to guide me.

I have a friend whose strength, humility and mercy in a situation such as this inspired me and encouraged me like nothing else. She did not allow the cruelty of others to determine how she lived her life. Her maturity and her faith in God through all she has been through with this situation astounds me. God has shown her what is good, and she has done what He has required of her. I hope that, when I face girl drama in the adult world, I will respond with half the dignity that she has shown.

The world is too full to talk about

Back in July, I went to the fish and chip shop with my husband, my brother-in-law, and two of my friends. We laughed a lot.

I forgot about it until now, when I came across the photos. It’s amazing how much of the little stuff in life we let fly by without a second thought.

 

 

 

It was very windy, being the middle of winter, and the tables and chairs all blew away, so we ran out to save them.

 

Guess which one is my husband… Tricky, right?

 

 

That one is my husband!

It was a fun night. And remembering it makes me very glad that I live in the community that I live in, with so many amazing people to share life with.

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.
“Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”
― A.A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh)