my joy of having a second child

Hi! It’s been so long since I’ve written. There are many evenings I want to write, but by the time 7pm rolls around, I am exhausted! I wanted to finally write to introduce Azalea Choun Pirotta to you all, especially if I haven’t had a chance to write or message you the news. She was born July 10 and is one month tomorrow! Wow! She is a tiny one, but nonetheless strong and equipped with functioning lungs. 😉 When Daniel announced we had a girl in the operating room, I was overjoyed! To now have a daughter after having a son, I am looking forward to the new adventure and the special mother-daughter bond. And of course the shopping sprees.

The journey to bringing A into the world was quite an interesting one for me. Having a child in a new healthcare system had its pros and cons since I was comparing it to the US system, namely with the doctors and hospital care I had access to in San Diego. Here in AU, I did not have a consistent doctor. I must’ve encountered at least six doctors during all my visits. The lack of consistency and retelling of my last birth story took away from my desire to form a relationship with a doctor during this meaningful and intimate journey. Further, the doctors were very cautious about the growth of A. No one could handle that A would be a small baby and that Daniel and I just make small babies. The minute my scans showed decrease in her growth and amniotic fluids (this happened on two different ultrasounds), red lights were flashing and removing A was time sensitive. Luckily we were able to wait two weeks before her due date to deliver her by cesarean. Despite the constant surveillance of the doctors and midwives, the many blood work, migraines, and one trip to the emergency room (when I had chest pains due to a vaccine), I felt very much taken care of and A is a blessing to have in our family.

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On a different front, before A’s arrival, I experienced a lot of anxiety about how I’d manage two children, especially with Zane not being in daycare or having help during the day. I must’ve had anxiety about it for a good month or two. I’m not an anxious person, so I knew I had to rid myself of it asap before I drove myself crazy. I prayed about it and changed my perspective and thanks be to God, a month before she arrived, I was overcome with peace. I got to enjoy Zane more and prepare for A. Even when I was told I needed to have an emergency cesarean one month prior to her due date (which didn’t come to fruition), I was calm and at peace.

It’s only been a month of adapting to life with two kids, and so far, so good. The peace I just spoke about has carried itself with me into this new normal. I have less time for myself, if at all, and every moment I’m always prioritizing and strategizing to achieve tasks, routines, and each kids’ safety. I definitely am thankful for the help I’ve received from family, friends, and especially my husband. Each helping hand helps. I also think I adapted better the second time around because I’m calmer about everything baby and haven’t cracked open a book or read too much online about their development. I’m more present with getting to know our new baby versus aligning her with what the books say. Additionally, because I’ve surrendered and embraced my role as a stay-at-home mom now, adding a second child to the home means more work but my job is still the same. I reckon adapting to one child and sacrificing oneself (with intention and love) was way harder for me.

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There will be, and has already been, tough days with two but since A has entered our lives, Daniel and I feel our family is “whole.” We are overjoyed with how blessed we are and are cherishing our family time. Zane adores his sister and has adapted well to embracing her in our family. Thanks all for your prayers and continued love.

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Posted in Family, Motherhood | 2 Comments

i can’t do it all

I have this continual area for growth that has to do with trying to excel in all areas of my life. I want to be a good wife, mother, sister, daughter, server in Christ, friend, and more. Then somewhere among serving others and running (and cleaning) a household, I want to take care of myself and preserve who I am. Lots of work I tell ya! And I actually don’t think it’s that possible to excel in all, especially if I’m taking care of Zane full-time, pregnant, preparing for baby #2, and have high standards. This has been my struggle for nearly a decade now. When it first surfaced I wasn’t a mom, but instead a university student and working outside the home. Now being a mom I find my energy and time has depleted drastically that I can no longer operate at the same level pre-Zane. So what exactly is my problem? I’m still trying to figure it out! Maybe it is people pleasing? Maybe it is my goal of being that exceptional Christian wife and woman that I study about? Maybe I’m trying to prove something? I’m not certain? All I know is, operating as such with less breaks, a husband trying to build a business and working long hours, and me suppressing my own need for self-care or self-indulgence inevitably leads me to a meltdown. (It also doesn’t help that I’m hormonal these days). So how do I address and take care of myself when I start going downhill?

A. Me time, doing something I enjoy. This past weekend I got to run errands to shops I don’t normally go to because having Zane in tow would make it miserable.

B. Communicate with Daniel about how I’m honestly feeling and letting him know concisely what I need from him (aside from cuddles).

C. Talk to a friend who ‘gets it’ and strives for the same goals as a good woman.

D. Indulge in yummy specialty food, snacks, and drink. :-)

E. Have a nice cry. Giving myself permission to sob like who knows what.

F. Pray to God and commit (again) to reading daily devotionals.

I’m definitely not done growing in this area because it’s hard to kick a habit of being an overachiever if it’s in my blood. However, I need to learn to let some things go (a tidy house 100% of the time), not serve everyone, and put me first sometimes. I hope if you can relate that this self-disclosure has helped you.

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Posted in Personal Growth | 1 Comment

living out our dreams: our move from the States to Australia

I realized the other day that I actually never wrote out why we made such a big move, but rather just announced it on my blog and in person to people here and there. It’s always hard to share our rationale in an elevator speech behind a decision of this magnitude. This will be my chance to write it out and for our children and others to know more.

It all started when I gave Daniel a challenge one evening: “Go be by yourself in the spare room, take the self-discovery curriculum I’m teaching, and tell me what you find out about yourself, your dreams, etc.” Off he went. And when he returned, to my semi-surprise he shared he really wanted to give being his own boss a go. The idea of having flexibility in the future to be present for our kids’ activities, not report to someone, and serve wherever he is called, all spoke to him. We were both not completely shocked by this conviction since it’s always been a desire of his to be a self-employed man; it was just about timing. As we sat on this idea for weeks, we each did our homework and reflections. How would this look? Can it be achieved in San Diego, a city we loved and called home? Financially how can it happen? Do I return to work to support his dream? The questions were endless. The best answer: move to Gold Coast, Australia, Daniel works independently in his family’s property management business, and I remain a stay-at-home mom. Simple answer, right? Not the least.

Preparing for the move took a year, and we chose to save thousands by doing the visa paperwork and packing ourselves to ship 30 boxes abroad. I sold everything else through craigslist and friends. Further, we had to sell our first home that we put so much elbow grease into to make it the beauty she was when she was no longer ours. As hectic and stressful the experience was, we give thanks to our friends for their help during the process and God provided and opened doors every step of the way. For such a big move, we felt at peace with our decision and there were no yellow or red lights that made us think otherwise. Here’s the break down of the reasons behind why us two crazy kids would leave an amazing community and comfortable life for something even better (in due time)…

A. Business/ financial opportunity: his parents have been running their property management business for 25 years. Daniel was offered the opportunity to start his own book of rental properties within their business. To have the opportunity to not have to start a business from scratch saved him a lot of time, money, and lessened the learning curve. Undoubtedly he still has to work hard to produce his own income. However, the great news is he can strive as much as he wants and earns 100% of his efforts. Hopefully in the future this will translate to living more comfortably for us, buying a house we desire, giving more generously, and vacationing more.

B. Work-life balance: the GC is extremely family-friendly. There are many parks and beaches nearby, many young families, and endless free activities to do altogether. It’s not a rat race here, unless you want to create one for yourself. We spend loads of time together as a family and because Daniel makes his own hours, we make sure he is present for the essentials.

C. Better schools: private education is a lot more reasonably priced here. We are looking to put Zane in preschool in a local Christian school. The annual fee is a fraction of what we would’ve paid in San Diego. Public schools are rated high in quality. As well, universities aren’t as expensive.

D. Affordable Healthcare: we don’t need to find a job just to get good healthcare here. Amen! As residents, we receive free healthcare and pay low copays for medicine and procedures.

E. Closer to family: we get to spend more time with Daniel’s parents and brother’s family. Zane gets to grow up with his cousins and be spoiled by at least one set of grandparents. And I appreciate the help we receive for childcare, meals, repairs, etc.

F. Serving abroad opportunities: Daniel and I both would love to do mission work abroad one day when we feel called. Being his own boss and once his business is doing well, we will have flexibility and money to raise our hands and say “yes” when God calls.

G. Leaving behind a legacy: moving here has been an adventure. No doubt we experience stressors and funks. However, we are following our dreams and building a business that serves others well and one that we can offer to our kids when we get older. We want our kids to know we took risks, loved with our hearts, enjoyed the ride together, and never had regrets.

Thanks for taking the time to read this! Hopefully this gives you some insights to why we are living here.

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