Saturday, September 30, 2006

cute things about my maddy

I just can't believe my little boy is already 4 months old. Where did the time go?

He is SO adorable.

Maddy is at the age where he can manage a conversation. We talk to him and he talks back. When I read to him, he likes to finish the sentence with me.

Then he smiles when I copy his fake cough or made-up words.

Or I am his knight in shining armour when he is crying and I pick him up. His tears quickly become giggles, and he kicks his legs in excitement like he does before a feed.

He even nestles his cheek into my cheek when he wants to get extra close. And his little arm goes around my shoulder when he ‘mmms’ himself to sleep. His head rests on my shoulder and I feel his warm baby breath on my neck.

In the morning when he wakes, Maddy makes little moans to remind us he is there, and the moment he sees me, it’s just the cutest. He breaks out in smile and even a giggle when he is lifted from his cradle.

I love that he recognises me and his eyes follow me around a room. I love that he knows that I am there for him always.

So this is the feeling of loving till it hurts...

His kisses are open-mouthed and sloppy, and he likes to chew my chin in gratitude.

It just melts my heart.

We have children to love. And that’s it. Not to create “mini-me’s”; not someone to pass on the family name.

There is no other reason.


Well, I had another birthday yesterday. And despite trying not to think about getting older, birthdays have a way at niggling at you.

Sometimes I wonder where the last 35 years have gone, but when I think more about my life, it has been full and mostly exciting.

I have spent almost four years in Papua New Guinea, three years before that living in the remote Western Desert of Australia, and I have travelled extensively around the eastern states of Australia for work. Travels also include Indonesia, and parts of Europe. I have met many people and experienced wonderful and difficult times. It's hardly been boring.

But now I am in a new phase of life called motherhood, and I do confess to enjoying this new chapter. I have never been more tired, exhausted and busy, but it's been the most rewarding experience ever.

One of the biggest changes in my life as a result of motherhood is the fact that my life is not as important as the little bundle in which I spend most of my day looking after and nurturing. In fact, I realised that since Madison was born, I have barely had time to look in the mirror to fully assess the aging process. (Now, there's a confession). But yesterday, upon closer inspection those lines are making their way deeper into the eye sockets, brow and mouth area. But with surprise I was not disappointed.

I like that my face is showing the character of a person who has experienced life to its fullest. The wrinkles around my eyes show the many afternoons spent in the hot desert sun on outing with the "Karalundi Kids" in the bush. The dark shadows under them is evidence that I have a little one dependent on me for EVERYTHING. The wrinkles in my brow remind me that life is full of worries and troubles for all of us and will continue to haunt our lives. The smile lines are from the many special moments I have had with precious family and friends, and the times my face has been pulled by tissues when life has dealt its horrid blows.

Yes, this face is looking older, but it is like a book that can be read, discovered and ready to tell many an adventure.

And when I get time to look at it again, I will see what new stories it has to tell.

ADRA family moments

When Madison and I returned to Papua New Guinea in August, the guys at my work (the Adventist Development & Relief Agency aka ADRA) put on a welcome party for Madison. It was a lovely gesture and it's needless to say he enjoyed all the attention. The staff at ADRA just love him and every morning he is swiped from my arms when I arrive at the office.

"Bubu" (Nana) Lillie always comments on his outfit for the day and he just loves her. Aunty Kisung sings to him and Aunty Linda plays fun games. The driver or security guard on duty gets him out of his car seat when I lug his things in. In fact, until he is starving hungry or asleep, I actually don't see him until then.

In fact, I am not greeted by "hello" anymore. The first thing is: "And where is Maddy?" He is truly the star of this show! He is getting totally spoiled by them, but I know that he is happy with his ADRA family, and they love spending a little time with him!

As most of you know we return to Australia permanently in December, and so I have been quite reflective of our 3 1/2 years here and of the many friendships made. Its these sorts of things that I know I will miss.

Someone else that Maddy will miss is Agnes. She also looks out for little Maddy when he is in the office. The picture above is one of Maddy, me and Agnes cutting our 'welcome home' cake.

By the way, Agnes has been with ADRA for the past 15 months. She is truly an inspiration and one smart lady who has just been promoted - from Project Accountant to Finance & Property Manager. I know she will do a great job in her new role.

Steve and I are starting to make plans for our departure and I am even reading a self-help book called "Re-entry" which (hopefully) will help me to adjust to life back in "Western" culture. Mind you, going home for 4 months this year was a jolly good start in the re-entry process! Believe it or not, upon returning to your home after living in another culture is almost as hard as adjusting when first arriving in a strange land. Re-entry is also called reverse culture shock. So, there you have it. More on this later!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

can I backdate?

Hmmm, since I started this blog it's been 3 months without a new posting! So much for uploading regular installments. I guess this means I will have to work backwards. But for now a brief update is definitely in order.

I started this blog when I was still in Adelaide, South Australia just after the birth of Madison. My best friend Janine inspired me as she wanted regular updates on Madison when I returned to PNG. Well, the idea was just great, except I am still sending emails and not using the blog. New tricks are hard to teach an old dog.

And just so you know, I thought I was good at this technology thing, but it is obvious that my understanding on how to use this blog is limited as I had to go through the help files to remember how to add entries and post pics. How sad :-) Anyway, I am hoping I will get better at this with time... Oh, back to the update:

I am still so smitten by my little one that even in the middle of the night when he is crying and I am tired, all I have to do is look into his cradle and see this little creation my husband and I have made and I just fall in love with him all over again. So, I am still loving motherhood and all the wonderful (and not so wonderful things) that go with it.

For now, baby Madison has just hit the 4 month mark. He is still quite an easy baby, but has discovered the higher range of his vocal chords - otherwise known as squealing. Not so happy with this stepping stone, and Steve and I have tried to convince him that squealing is only for girls. But to no avail, as he is totally ignoring this bit of advice. So, while he is playing, he is happily high-pitched and trying out other new things with his voice.

The other new thing he is doing is this fake cough. I hear it is all part of the discovery phase and so am happy to humour him... but is is funny when he coughs as it sounds so fake! A bit of a laugh really. When I cough back, he laughs - so he knows it's a joke!