Trust.

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I’ve been contemplating what to write about this week and I found that I wasn’t really sure what direction to go in. We’ve had a busy week of doing lots of different things but none of them seemed like the subjects I could write much about.

I then realised that perhaps my post should step away from the norm of what I usually write about and step into talking a little bit about my relationship with God. For those who don’t know I am a Christian. I was brought up going to church every Sunday with my mum but I moved away from God when I was a teenager and turned back to him about five years ago because my life was a mess.

It hasn’t though been an easy journey. After the initial elation of turning back to God and surrendering my life to him I quickly realised in reality this is not as easy as it first seemed and my new found peace began to waiver.
Following God means doing what God asks even when you want to do something else or to follow your usual well worn tracks. It also means that the direction that you had in mind for your life to take may not be the direction that God wants you to go in. This means you find yourself in a situation of do I go my way, which feels comfortable and easy or do I go the way God wants me to go which means saying no to myself which at the time sometimes feels not easy and sometimes annoying.

I’m someone who likes to be in control, to know what I’m doing, where I’m going and how I’m going to get there. I’m also very independently driven and I like to sort all my problems out myself and move on, I don’t like talking about them and asking God for help, I like to deal with things myself, I’m usually a very private person probably because I don’t want people to judge the mistakes I make. The thing is that when you give your life to Christ your life is no longer your own and you have to trust that God knows you better than you know yourself and will always do what is best for you and that we usually don’t know what is best for us. He also asks us to bring our problems and worries to him for him to fix them. This all requires trusting God with your life and I have learnt I don’t trust God very well.

I think I have been playing a tug of war with God, I’ll follow you and do what you say when it suits me and what I want and what I think is safe and right for my life but I’ll pull away when you ask me to do something I don’t want to do or it seems too hard, or unfair.
I think we all like the idea of our lives being comfortable and easy, I certainly do, so when life isn’t as easy and as comfortable as I’d like it to be I don’t like it and I have a habit of trying to put it back into order myself rather than waiting to see what God might be about to do in the uncomfortable uneasy chaos.

The first year of having a baby is hard. I don’t know if it is hard for everyone but it was hard for me. I love Oscar more than anything, but I have to say that the first year of his life is a bit of a blur. I really felt the weight of responsibility of this little life and I wanted to get everything right. Which meant me taking control and trusting my own abilities instead of relying on God for help or handing over to him anything that felt too big or too difficult. Coupled with the tiredness the non stop busyness, the no time for yourself and the general feeling of I have no idea how to look after this little person and everything feels like it is just trial and error has meant that over the last year I have definitely become more distanced from God. I have lost that sense of peace inside.  Other things have just got in the way.

This has all got me thinking in the last week, maybe I’m not as anchored to God as I first thought. If I was strongly anchored I wouldn’t be as movable when the storms come along. To be anchored in God means to trust him with my life and not to see him as having the human capability to break trust but to be a firm solid rock that doesn’t change, that doesn’t move that I can trust will always remain the same and keep His promises.

I’m not sure why I had to write about this this week, it almost feels a bit depressing (which I’m usually not) and I  have put off publishing this post for nearly a week but it feels like this was something I was meant to share.

Illness and a baby…

This week has been challenging. Oscar and I  have been ill with a cold.
The first indication that he was going down with something, was that he started losing interest in food. It’s easy to identify that there is a problem but not easy to work out what the problem actually is. I thought initially he was teething (and it may have been that as well) because I could see a couple more teeth about to cut through, but then three days later he woke with a runny nose. He spent the day just sitting on our laps wanting cuddles. That isn’t like Oscar at all, he is usually a bundle of energy. He has never really been a cuddly baby,  he’s quite independent and likes to be off exploring. He usually comes to us for a 20 second cuddle and is then off again on an adventure. So we know he’s feeling really rough when he just wants to be still and to be held.

I don’t deal particularly well with him when he’s sick, I hate seeing him not feeling well, I worry. My husband Dave is far better at it. My motherly instinct was to just make him better by trying to get him to eat and drink and get him well quickly.

He was really poorly for a day and had a temperature but he bounced back so quickly, by the next day he seemed to be so much better. Then inevitably I went down with it. I felt really ill and because Oskey was now feeling better he had gone back to being a bundle of energy and I just wanted to go to bed.

It is really hard being ill and having a baby to look after. I have always liked wrapping myself up in a  duvet and being in bed when I’m ill and hibernating  from the world only to reappear when I feel better. You can’t do that when you have a one year old, they want to play and have your attention, there is also the need to feed them and change them. They don’t amuse or look after themselves.This is a part of motherhood I find really hard. I wanted to feel well so I could play with him, cook him good meals (especially as he’d been ill) and take him out for some fresh air but I couldn’t and that upset me. I had to ask for help from others. (I’m not good at that as I like to cope) but by the Wednesday I was bedridden and pretty much slept all day, I had to give in and ask.
I hate that conflict of wanting to have what you had before having a baby (the hibernating) but also wanting to be your usual self for your child and realising you can’t do either. You have to be there for them but accept it is at a lower capacity than normal and sometimes you just have to ask for help.

Anyway putting that week aside we are now both feeling better apart from the occasional runny nose. We celebrated our wellness by eating a new food for both of us, boiled eggs and going for a lovely woodland walk.

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Introducing……

I thought that for my second post I’d introduce you to the second most important person in this adventure, my little boy Oscar, nicknamed Oskey. This is him.

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He is 13 months old nearly 14 and he loves life. He is into everything especially things he’s not supposed to be into, like the kitchen bin and chasing the cat, whom he adores, the cat though is not so keen on him.
Oscar has the most wonderful inquisitive nature, he notices when something interesting is happening and wants to see what it is and be involved. This goes along with his incredible sense of determination.He can crawl, incredibly fast, especially when I say “Oskey you need your nappy changing” which he hates having done.
He has a love for wheels of any size, which can be a dangerous hobby, especially when he is after the wheels on a car that another child is playing in.  He can find the tiniest crumb on the floor and push it around with his finger for ages and he loves small things that he can carry around and deposit all over the house.
He can stand and can take one step and he loves to talk his favourite words at the moment are “dada” “baby” “stinky” “ball” and “amma” which means grandma.
We are blessed with the most amazing little sleeper and he loves being outdoors and putting his hand out to touch any passing leaf.

And three days ago he mastered a new skill, feeding himself. We are very excited, I definitely had a proud mummy moment. Oscar absolutely loves food but feeding himself has completely elluded him (apparently according to my mum I was the same). Whenever we put finger food into his hand he would just look at us in disgust, cry and throw it on the floor, but three days ago I gave him a banana for his morning snack and when he seemed to not want anymore I put it on the arm of the chair and this is what happened…
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He came back over and picked the banana up and started to eat it. I couldn’t believe it. It was an amazing moment seeing him take the initiative to eat. I would never have thought I’d feel so much joy and pride at seeing my little boy pick up food and eat it himself.

I have to say that becoming a mum has turned my heart into jelly, every time he does something new or achieves something that he’s been trying so hard to do I turn into an overjoyed full of pride blubbering mess. I have to admit that even writing this has made me tear up and I’m not usually an overly emotional person, but becoming a mum has done something to me and I’m still very much getting used to this tidal wave of emotions that come unexpectedly with this new role. However I wouldn’t change it for the world, being a mum is messy but I love it.

The beginning….

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Hi readers this is me, my name is Claire. I have started this blog to document the cookery adventure that we have begun, introducing Oscar (my one year old son) to the wonders of food.
I started Oscar off on purees when he was 6 months old and he instantly took to food, he loved it and ate everything that I put in front of him. I had heard that weaning could be difficult but with him it was easy.

I love food and cooking and it felt like an exciting start of a new adventure introducing Oscar to all sorts of smells, textures and flavours.

It is very important to me that he develops a good relationship with food. I thought that if I introduced him to lots of variety he would, hopefully, not become fussy as time went on, this theory has worked so far, though I’m aware it may not be forever.

I read a lot of books on weaning and they said to introduce new foods slowly. I didn’t do that, mainly because he seemed to be enjoying it so much.
I started introducing a new food every day, different vegetable and fruit combinations to start with and then introduced proteins and carbohydrates later.
It was a lot of work initially but seeing how much he was enjoying it spurred me on. I made batches of purees, so that I kept the foods that he had already tried in the loop so he didn’t forget them. He also didn’t seem to be displaying any allergies to anything so this also made it possible for me to do it this way. I felt this was the best way for Oscar, not everyone would agree with the way I did it but I think we all know individually what is best for our babies.

After a couple of months of making purees I found baby led weaning which I wished I found at the beginning I think it would have been a lot less work for me as he would have been eating the same as me. I stopped the purees at this point and started to cook food for both of us. I cut up everything I made really small and he ate it. There were a few gagging incidents when I didn’t cut it up small enough, it was a learning process, but babies have a natural gagging reflex and he just pushed the offending food out of his mouth and this made me extra cautious to keep food chopped up small.

This has also been amazing for me, I began to eat so much better. I decided that anything I wanted Oscar to eat I had to model to him by me eating it first,  I couldn’t expect him to eat something I wasn’t going to. This meant I started eating eggs and fruit and actually trying new recipes I wouldn’t have bothered with before.
Cooking became more intentional because I wanted Oscar to eat good, healthy, nutritiously interesting food.
I already loved cooking but I only cooked for me. I have discovered it is so much more fun to cook for someone else and I realised that if I wouldn’t give my son something to eat why would I think it was okay for me to eat it.

So this adventure of feeding Oscar has become an adventure for me too and this blog will be here for me to document this ongoing journey and for anyone who may be interested to read.