Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Hand magic , painting & a giveaway !

My boys love painting - especially as DH has been painting the entire inside of the house because we are selling soon. They are so keen to help.
Last week we used brushes and paper stuck to the fence for an easel ... till they stripped down to their body canvases.

Today we tried finger painting ; clothes on.

This is because painting with fingers can be carried out in a controlled manner.
Well that's the plan. I looked at these finger painting techniques ...a little hand magic but they had their own ideas immediately.

After getting messy artistic …

It was time to clean up ...QUICKLY before they touched anything ... the freshly painted walls or the new carpet.

A lovely lady from Dettol* offered us opportunity to try the new Dettol No-Touch Hand Wash System .The package also included some some paints, an art smock, and a canvas ...though we didn't use the canvas today as I needed two. .

My boys think it is magic and keep asking how it works.

I just wish we had motion activated taps or maybe not ;)

The lovely people at Dettol have offered to give one commenter the opportunity to have your own Dettol No-Touch Hand Wash System.

Personally, I love using it in the kitchen, it has a fresh cucumber smell and 'squirts' just the right amount of soft soap without touching the pump.

To enter ...

Tell me In 25 Words or Less: Your child’s messiest moment in the kitchen for a little fun. I'll still pick a random winner.

Giveaway finishes Tuesday 2nd November, 4pm Sydney (EST).

This Giveaway is for my Australian readers only.

*The Dettol No-Touch Hand Wash System and paints package was a gift .I was under no obligation to write this post nor was I paid.

See more play ideas HERE

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Monday, 25 October 2010

Boobies, Breastfeeding & Pink ribbons

Its Pink Ribbon Day and today sees the launch of Register4.org.au Australia’s 1st online community for volunteer breast cancer research participants. By joining us you could help researchers spend less time finding volunteers and more time to find a cure! Log on to www.register4.org.au and register today!

Answering a few questions about your lifestyle may help researchers find answers, a faster cure & save lives.

Today is a good day to come out and talk about my boobies ...Two weeks ago on 10.10.10 my twins breastfed for the last time.

It might shock or surprise people that I allowed my sons to breastfeed past their 4th year.
I know the idea of breastfeeding preschoolers wasn't on my agenda when I started 4 years ago.

When I started breastfeeding, my one month premature, twins, it was doubted by many I would establish BF at all. It was a tough start. It nearly didn't happen because I didn't get a lot of support in hospital.

Once home , I breastfed one and pumped for his brother who refused to attach to the breast . He didn't breastfeed for over 5 months. I was extremely relieved when he changed his mind.

So 'our' breastfeeding journey has reached it's final destination.It wasn't a deliberate choice to stop that day , it just happened that we were away for the weekend.My brother & his family were away with us, the next morning my boys hurried out of bed to play with their cousins.
They forgot ...I knew it.

The next morning back at home I was out of bed early; they liked to come and snuggle in with us and then BF .They got distracted because I was up already.

The third day I simply said 'No'.

It was hard when one especially cried and begged me please for "Boobie Nilky" , trying to convince me he was still a little boy and wanted boobie milk not milk from the cup/cow.
(I took this at the farm 9.10.10)

Over the last 2wks they have still asked every few days...the other day one tried to tell he was little because his legs didn't reach (...the bottom of the bed).
Today both asked as they cuddled into my chest. One softly murmured "Boobies, I can see your boobies" (I was wearing a singlet)
Am I sorry to end - yes - but I know it was time. I'll miss it in many ways and I 'm thankful that I had the support of my husband so I could breastfeed.
I have very lumpy breasts and I've had several mammograms over the years. Each time it is scary.
Breastfeeding for 6 months or longer is just one of preventions.
One in nine women will contract the disease by the age of 85 and about 36 Australians are diagnosed with it every day...1% are men.
I hope that one day we can cure all cancers.
I registered at Register4 for answers, cure, future,life ! Only takes 3 minutes.

*if you came here to see pictures of Breastfeeding twins or even my boobies sorry to disappoint ;)
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Saturday, 23 October 2010

That's Freedom ...

Today I am grateful for so many things, well I am every day ;).
Maxabella ~says it's nice to pause to appreciate the things in your life that are positive and affirming, whatever they may be.

Today a nearby little village was celebrating their Bicentenary;two-hundredth anniversary of the naming of the town.The whole town was out in force (so was the RAAF with their Freedom of Entry marching parade yesterday).There was huge fair at the school , the local churches and everywhere there was a festival atmosphere.
  1. I'm grateful for the free kids activities the jumping castle,'Spiderman' (AKA Superman) face painting, plaster painting, balloons, pony rides and a baby animal petting zoo and free lollipops. My boys had a blast. The hay bale ride was a $2 donation; I didn't mind a bit.
  2. My roses are in full bloom except for the few I transplanted ...hoping they survive the ravaging ...they are my very special "Charlotte's" roses and my "Mother's love" !
  3. Smelling the best and the most fragrant of the red hybrid tea roses Mr Lincoln. They are beautiful, long stemmed roses; perfect for cut flowers and romantic red rose.Just finding time to stop and smell the roses calms my anxiety.
  4. My gorgeous little boys who say hello cheerfully to everyone and bring smiles all round.They mostly always get a positive reaction.Watching them run nekkid in the backyard when we got home and diving into the blowup pool with bike helmets on.(no photos because both camera batteries were flat and it was a sneaky way to get the red Spiderman face paint off without tears ...hubby was worried it would stain the new carpet)

  5. The caramel slice at the fair was yummy (choc topping was even ok after my 7 days without chocolate).I savouring some decent chocolate ...and grateful my 7 days is up.

  6. Imagining the free settlers 200yrs ago treading the grounds as I did today(& yesterday) and trying to grasp what their lives would have been like without running water, electricity, houses (even a roof), toilets, showers ...so I'm grateful for all my modern conveniences.(I recently read the book The Secret River by Kate Grenville and it gave me some insight into the experience of early frontier & poineer life in NSW OMG scary stuff).I wonder what life will be like 200 yrs from now...

I'm joining in the Grateful Saturday blog hop please visit other bloggers...

I have photos to follow but 'whah" my batteries are still charging before I can upload them.
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Thursday, 21 October 2010

So much ...but never enough


Don't we all wish we had more time LOL.

As in time measured by the a ticking clock (yes we have one sitting on the bench somewhere maybe that's my probleme -)

and the turning of pages on the calendar.

Time seems irrelevant when life is waiting to be lived , the other boring stuff just gets in the way.

Though our time is measured; like it or not.

I feel guilty , dis' or un'satisfied ? that I'm just not doing "enough" to make a difference to our home or my children.

I feel unfulfilled with everything happening or not happening and the uncertainty about our future (that is whole dozen posts) . I'm not contributing as much as I'd like to.

Well today , even though it felt like a " I'm wasting my life " kind of day...and I have the guilts - I needed it.

I have so much to write (thankfully not just today).

I have many great stories to tell (well in my opinion).

I have so many blessings to be grateful for.

Though truthfully ... I haven't had much time for anything I should be doing ...as they say the dust will wait . So will the housework, packing and the tax returns but eating and a bit of sleeping are still on the top of my list. Eventually I'll get to the former.

Today, I cleared by bulging goggle reader and I did read all a majority many some a few before marking all as read. I even commented on a few blogs *waves*

I am excited about completing my list 101 in 1001 days ...onward to the challenges.

Personally ...it is all about stretching myself and having something to look forward to...making good things happen.
Identifying my strengths and weaknesses (don't mention Chocolate please).
Paying it forward and looking for opportunities to have more fun.
Remembering it has to have fun elements ...a lot of them or it's not worth the effort.
Opportunities for personal growth and encouraging others , and being open to change along the way (it's not cheating to change tracks).

This week
  • I am on day 5 of no chocolate for 7 days ( 7 of 101 ) ...(enough said)
  • I've been to the library both for my own book list and a change for the kids (rather for me to read to them). I learnt to use the Library online reservation system from home.
  • I have autobiographies of Dr Chris O Brien & Tracy Wickham, and DVD's and other books. (I have the Time traveller's wife DVD waiting to viewed too and the book on reserve)
  • I started my endeavour to get to bed earlier (by 10pm) - our 17yr has his first real job that starts at 6.30am and DH has been getting up to drive him ...so the fallout is I wake or get woken at a very ungodly hour (5.30am this morning and we all got up). I fall into bed exhausted just after 10-1030pm now.

The bonus is DH thinks he (WE) will get so much more done. The teen needs a few more driving lessons but in the MEANtime his push bike is now fixed so he can ride the 10kms or so ...from tomorrow. DH has a prior commitment and I can't drag 2 x 4yrs old out of bed at 5 30 am. I will get used to it too ... I was a Regsitered Nurse on shift work for 12 years and had to rise at 5-45-6am every week 2,3,4 days in a row ...Argh ! Once a week it was after going to bed after midnight or after.
  • I've got the info for my First Aid course ...just need the TIME factor to figure when to do it and people to encourage along with me.
  • I bought a little elephant charm to remind me you eat an elephant in Small bites ...it was the first pretty thing I'd bought myself in years.
All in all it is the small things that are making me happy this week.

I know hungry tired children will not wait much longer ...so carry on without me !
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Tuesday, 19 October 2010

A shoebox that could change a life ...

My boys love to play with empty boxes.

They especially love shoe boxes.They fill them with their treasures (cars, teddy bears, farm animals) or stack them and knock them down ...

Today we packed them.

It is just a humble empty, discarded shoebox ...


when a child opens a shoe box, they’re opening more than a present lovingly prepared just for them. They’re opening up their community to a world of life-changing opportunities.

Filled with treasures beyond their wildest imaginations it brings hope & a message of love from afar.

Today we started collecting things...gifts we chose and wrapping our boxes . We chose gifts for boys in 2-4 yrs age.

I am planning on making this a yearly tradition.Last year we did it too.

It is such a great and easy way to bring smiles to the many children out there that are not as privileged as our own. It also teaches are children about the joy of giving and bringing happiness to others.

My boys enjoy packing and selecting treasures (gifts). It was heartwarming to hear them want to give away their own toys telling me they don't play with them ... and to give their treasures (a much loved Buzz Lightyear figure) to the other little boys ... but Operation Christmas child needs new toys and practical items.

There is just under a week until the boxes need to be handed in...

The instructions are simple

    Teddy bear, doll, soft toy, etc.
    Exercise book, pencil case, pens, pencils, colouring pencils, sharpener, eraser, chalk, etc.
    T-shirt, shorts, underwear, cap, beanie, sandals, thongs, etc.
    Tennis ball, cars, skipping rope, marbles, musical instrument, yo-yo, slinky, finger puppets, wind up torch, etc. (No battery operated items)*
    Soap and face washer, toothbrush, hairbrush, comb, hair-clips, scrunchies, etc.(No toothpaste)*
    Carry bag, sunglasses, bangles, necklaces, craft kits, stickers, note or photo of yourself.

In 2009, teams in Australia and New Zealand delivered over 300,000 gift-filled shoe boxes to South East Asia and the South Pacific. Globally, Samaritan’s Purse distributed an estimated 8.5 million shoe boxes to children in 105 countries.

The target this year is 346,000 smiles.

Whose life will your shoe box change this year?
PS We still a have a few spaces we can fill with a comb, soap, toothbrush,pencils and a notebook.
Full details are here.
Visit The Operation Christmas Child website to find out more and to find out where to drop your shoeboxes call 1800 684 300. There are drop off points all over Australia.
Hurry the last day for Australia is 25th October.
It also operates in many other countries.

Join in over at Childhood 101 for more fun play ideas and inspiration.

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Friday, 15 October 2010

Wave of Light ...

Today is a special day

International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance.

Light a candle at 7pm for one hour to create a worldwide wave of light for 24hrs.
These candles burn brightly in memory of babies too precious for this earth.

Charlotte, Our tiny rose lent not given, to bud on Earth and bloom in Heaven.

She was cradled in my womb for six months, briefly in our arms and forever in our hearts.
Sleep sweet baby of ours in the Father's arms...till we hold you again.

Yesterday I wrote about my greatest loss being my greatest gain ...my rainbow babies. After they arrived the magnitude of losing ~Charlotte~ hit harder than ever before. Knowing what I'd missed and would forever long for ...

Today I feel mixed emotions, guilt, love, sadness and joy....sadness my boys will never know a big sister and my husband & I raise a daughter.

Today my heart goes out to anyone reading this today who has said goodbye to their precious baby all too soon . Those stumbling along the path of grief after losing a precious baby(ies) or child.

I am sorry for your loss. I know words cannot ease your pain nothing ever will but tonight at 7pm I will light a candle in memory of our babies. Please pass the message along.

"A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle."- Anonymous ...

A quiet moment for lighting a candle in memory of your baby . . .

"Dear baby of mine, please see this light as a symbol of our never-ending love for you. Please understand that this love knows no limits or bounds; it conquers even the hold of death. Let this light shine in memory of our love for you, in celebration of the life we shared together, however brief, and in the hope that tomorrow will be a brighter day. We feel your spirit with us even now, gently guiding and strengthening us. With this light we will remember the true gifts of the season: memories of joys past, hope for present peace and love to last a lifetime. We will forever feel your presence and love you always."

Hope is like the sun,which, as we journey toward it ,casts the shadow of burden behind us.

It is my sincere wish that those touched by the loss of a baby are well supported, able to process their loss and hopeful for the future...(not my words but heartfelt wish)

Please click below to add your story so we can support each other in remembering. The post doesn't have to be about today, please share any post telling your story (hugs) or memories.

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Thursday, 14 October 2010

Rainbow babies

Over the years I have discovered in some circles babies born after the loss of baby (during pregnancy, at birth or shortly after) are called Rainbow babies.

I found this somewhere (twice) ...

Rainbow Babies" is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope."
  • Christians believe that God sent a rainbow to prove there would be no more floods after Noah.
  • Some Aboriginal tribes celebrate the Rainbow Serpent as the creator of the all being and the rainbow a sign of fertility.

A rainbow baby or babies signify a promise - promise for parents, promise for the future, and promise for the world. Unfortunately , there will always be the pain of loss, but mostly there will also always be joy that follows it, just like the rainbow after the rain.

I honestly felt completely devastated, especially despairing that I would never see our rainbow baby considering our 14 years of infertility. It was my baby loss friends who taught me to hope again and encouraged me to try IVF.

Sometimes the rainbow appears soon after the storm , though sometimes we have to wait a while to see it. In our case it was after a 22 month long , rough storm.

When our twins arrived (a month early by emergency C/S) we were so looking forward to seeing our rainbow babies and hearing those first cries.

All over the world we see the same rainbows, the colours lengthen into the light, stretching as the sky beams a gleaming multicoloured arc of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

While I miss ~Charlotte~ immensely , I have to believe my greatest loss was also my greatest gain in many other ways. Not withstanding the dear friendships I have made , most significantly her two little brothers.

I cannot fathom life without them. Like in the dark, terrible, saddest days after we said goodbye to Charlotte I couldn't imagine life without her.

In the last few weeks I've read of many families joining the babyloss club. It's heartbreaking.
I was reminded yesterday of a great book I read after lossing Charlotte.

Always a part of me: Surviving Childbearing Loss

Author: Amanda Collinge, Sue Daniel, Heather Grace Jones
Publisher: ABC Books

It contains a collection of stories written by both mothers and fathers on surviving the loss of a baby.

My rainbow boys are my happy place and their laughter is music to a mother's broken heart.

I wrote this as part of October International Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month , Oct 15th is Internationalworld wide day of remembrance.

PS : The term rainbow babies has other meanings too.
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Tuesday, 12 October 2010

I'm not ready

I feel a bit unmotivated today.
All around me is chaos because we were away at the farm for 4-5 days. I don't quite know where to start ...
  • on the washing & folding
  • or general cleaning
  • or tidy the rest of the mess & crap boxes from having de cluttering in progress
  • or to go shopping for food (we are out of everything)
  • or to the library (to collect my reserved book)
  • or to walk my butt off on the treadmill (because I ate too much on the weekend and I feel very sluggish)
  • or save water my precious wilting roses with Seasol . I tried to transplant a few from ~Charlotte's~ garden. (The garden I know I'm feeling heartbroken about leaving, already. I accept it has to happen but it makes me sad to think about it)
  • or just mopp about some more and eat more chocolate... I think not eating chocolate at the moment is going to one the harder challenges.
  • or pick up the 101 toys scattered about.
Nah ...nothing grabs me. I promise I will get to them in time.

I am unrepentant about doing nothing much but updating a few things on my blog, leaving a few comments and a little tweeting... while my DH is away catching up on a few work errands.

I did actually manage to do some monthly business accounts earlier this morning and send a few business emails.

I'm getting closer to finalising my Day zero 101 list.
I found this goal generator which will help me get started and a few other ideas to keep track of my projects/actions.

I just decided I must add a blog reading action to my 101 in 1001. My goggle reader must be ready to explode. It doesn't help I've added a dozen new Aussie blogs recently. I just wish I had more than 5 mins to read them all.

NEWSFLASH - my or rather 'the boys' DVD prize from Me & Boo arrived home by Daddy mail a short time ago (lucky I was working on a work email at the time). I can't wait to watch it with them .... another good excuse for a sit down later !!!

Tomorrow I have a plan of action ... I'm off to donate plasma again. This I feel passionately about because of Ivy the daughter of my friend Tiff @ Three Ring circus.

I'll be around to visit your blogs soon too and have a quiet cuppa while I catch up on your news creativity & writings.

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Sunday, 10 October 2010

Not quite 101 in 1001 days but a bit close.
One week in and I have completed a few challenges on my list and started on a few of the '101' ones...(read two books and one RandomActKindness).
The hardest bit has been actually thinking of 101 achieveable things and typing them all in one at a time LOL ...patient I am NOT !
I am up to 63...
You can't cut and paste !
Oh, you wanted to know a bit more about what 101 actually involves.
Plan. Create.Motivate. Achieve.

The Challenge:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple challenges such as New Year's resolutions or a 'Bucket List'. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips, study semesters, or outdoor activities.

Who runs this website?
The Day Zero Project was started in 2003 by New Zealander, Michael Green (personal website).
It is still whatever it means to you if you can't measure or clearly define it.
The cancer diagnosis of my husband's has certainly had us both thinking about our priorities in life.
We have a lot of changes in the wings ...the biggest being preparing to sell our family home of the last six years, virtually closing down our own business of over 15 years. It's keeping us very busy. So I am sorry I haven't had time to reply to all the comments.

Ps Had I started my challenge today (what an awesome date by the way), I would have finished on my birthday in just under 3 years time.
Still I am excited about eating the 'elephant'.
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Sunday, 3 October 2010

Q: How do you eat an elephant?

(I found this pic at the hospital fete on 28th Aug 2010 coincidently and I had to buy it )
A: One bite at a time...

Today is Day Zero !
Today marks the start of my epic 101 things in 1001 days journey.
I've thought about doing it for some time.
A month ago exactly on Sept 3rd, I saw it mentioned on twitter by Faeriesarie and I got excited I gave her a few ideas.
Super relish decided to join in too.
I knew I needed something else to focus on .
I needed goals and dreams to inspire me.
I said to myself ...I'll start in a month.
I went and registered ... I discovered October 3rd 2010 plus 1001 days is July 1st 2013.
S & J's 7th birthday.

The big picture means 101 things in 1001 days ...almost 3 months short of 3 yrs
Broadly that means 1 challenge (I prefer it to thing) a minimum of every 10 days.
MY plan
  • 10% list is to be chosen by others ..asking for your help here on 5 things or else my husband gets 10 bits.
  • 10% is me things
  • 10% Altruism http://www.altruism.org.au/ principle of living and acting to help others http://www.altruists.org/about/altruism
  • 10% one of events
  • 10% I can finish within a 101 days
  • 10% I can finish in a year (any one year)
  • 10% achieve or finish within 2 years
  • 10% ongoing for duration of the 1001 days
  • 10% learning a new skill or renewing an old one
  • 10% achievable at home
  • 10% no monetary cost
  • 10% involve a series of steps or more than one task to complete (A -Z)
  • 10% physical basis ( actions )
  • 10% writing projects
  • 10% will be things I don't want to do ...but will do IYKWIM
  • 10% I want to do with/for my children
  • 10% things with my hubby
  • 10% things to watch /see\
  • 10% are whimsical one off things ( kiss in the rain, build a snowman, sleep under the stars, fly a kite, grow sunflowers )
Here are the top 1o things I don’t want to do:
  1. Don’t eat fast food for 2 weeks
  2. Don’t watch TV for a week
  3. Don’t swear for a week
  4. Don’t eat out for a month
  5. Don’t use internet for a week
  6. Don’t go on facebook for a week
  7. Don’t eat chocolate for a week (actually 101 days but I'm breaking it down into achievable segments LOL )
  8. Don’t speak a single word for a day (I may have to resort to anaesthesia or laryngitis)
  9. Don’t eat for 40 hours (ie World Vision 40 hr famine ...which I have done before)
  10. Don't drink alcohol for a week
If you are paying attention and doing the maths ...
It won't add up ...of course some will fit 2 or more categories
Overall I aim to achieve one challenge or piece of a challenge every 10 days.
It's like a puzzle where slowly it will all come together

So what’s your elephant?

When you know what it is ... how do you start?

1. Grab your cutlery: Tools, friends, whatever you think you may need for the job. If you don’t have the right ones, you’ll find out quickly and adjust as you go.

2. Choose a part you can reach. Tackle the easiest piece first. It will build confidence and you will gain expertise as you go.

3. Take your first bite. You may actually like it. (haven't tasted it yet ...)

4. Repeat #3 until finished.

When you see the elephant, commit to taking a single bite at a time.

“One day at a time.”

A friend recently told me all about swimming with elephants and riding one in Kuala Lumpa ....I won't be adding that to my list nor finding what one tastes like either

Some of my other challenges are

  • Update my CPR /First aid certificate
  • Roadtrip to Western Australia
  • Reach 101 blood/plasma donations ( I think I am at 46)
  • 101 randoms acts of kindness
  • Go to bed before 10pm every night for a week (this is very hard for me an ex nurse and longtime nightowl because I love to read or browse the internet now)
  • Spend only 101 dollars for a whole month
  • 31 photos in 31 days
  • 30 things in 30 days
  • Make a wish at 11:11 on November 11, 2011
  • Bake an Epic Rainbow Cake
  • ask 10 people to suggest their favourite book and read them all
  • Make a playlist of 101 of my favorite songs
  • Get a facial or pedicure
  • 10 candlelight dinners
  • Create a recipe book/folder for me
  • Go to an outdoor Concert
  • Take a picture for each letter of the alphabet
  • Build a blanket or teepee fort
  • Put away $10 for every goal completed (already started the account goal #1)
  • Run or walk a marathon
  • Watch 26 movies I've never seen starting with each letter of the Alphabet - including see 10 classic movies I've never seen or forgotten ;)
  • Wear a frock every Sunday in Frocktober
  • Grow giant sunflowers (I have before if I can find the seeds)

The biggest problem with anything BIG is starting.
If I look at the entire task, it will depress me before I even start.
I see it as no different to eating an elephant. (Not that I intend to add this to my 101 list)
I cannot contemplate eating it in one mouthful, I may never attempt it ...

However making the decision to do it one bite at a time, it does not even look like a BIG task at all.
So I'll relax sit 'back' , dig in and just realise that every mouthful is taking me nearer to my destination.
Ultimately I'll always have something to look forward too.
More on this and my 101 list later.

Also hand trunk holding with me on 101 things are Superrelish & Sarah. Tell me and I'll add you if you decide to join or are already eating your elephant.

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