Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Wordless Wednesday - In the rear view mirror

And objects in the rear view mirror
May appear closer than they are.

Full moon rising

sunset in the opposite direction

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What happened next -

Of course things never go to plan.
I could cry and rant about it but I save my tears and tissues for bigger issues.
It's not a disaster , not a catastrophe - just very disappointing.
Yesterday less than 24 hrs after we left Dubbo we got an urgent phone call.
An email was sent.
Our only major business client has changed the dates requiring our business 'services'.
They want it to happen Saturday instead of Monday.
I kid you not.
Worse timing ever ? possibly ?
DH needs to be back, in Sydney, Saturday morning early.
Blogopolis day ...

It's a big name brand and we are only a SMALL cog in their 'production' wheel ; important, none the less.
NO 'room' to move or option to say NO.
There could be other repercussions if we tried.

I plan on staying I will not miss Blogger's Brunch and Blogopolis.

I could tow the caravan but I have yet to learn how to reverse it or back it into position.
Strike that idea. It is a damn long way too.
Plus , DH was going to have our boys on Saturday.

Can I fly home by myself and find some where to sleep

 find my way around ? ... of course I can.

The answer is easy but inconvenient and stressful.
I don't like the unexpected , changes stress me out and I've never been alone traveling before interstate.

My DH is stressed about my stress and his own fragile stress levels.

It's time I tried something new since I do plan to have a good time - it's not all bad news.
I just need someone to hold my hand...
I need advice on flights that allow checked luggage (twitter has been helpful)
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Sunday, 24 July 2011

Melbourne , here we come !

After a late start we finally hit the road at about 4pm.
Things never quite go to plan, so I was so excited we made it out of Dubbo.

A mob of cows escaped to the hills yesterday during the 'muster and drench' mission.
They were located about 7pm last night, in the dark, and herded to the other side of the farm.
This morning DH went to help round up a few more stragglers and finish the drenching.

I busied myself tweeting packing and then drove over to the farmhouse to cook some large cupcakes for my FIL's birthday. Then back to our 'shed' to pack the final fridge food and stuff.

Finally Melbourne , Here we come (can you believe as I typed this last sentence, my son's book/audio CD of 'Cars - Lightening Mc Queen'  said "California, Here we come ! !"

We got to Forbes about 6pm. We are staying at a very friendly BIG 4 Holiday Park. They have a huge jumping pillow we hope the little monsters drummers will wear themselves out on, before we leave in the morning.

A little mishap with a broken drawer runner greeted us upon entry to the caravan.

No worries my Tool man fixed it.

(Ps There was a hitchhiker just down the road [to rear] and when I told DH to pull over for the photo he said the poor guy might think we are stopping for him ...so I was real quick) ...have you ever hitchhiked or picked up a hitchhiker ? 

This is not the caravan we are taking ...

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Saturday, 23 July 2011

Grateful for sunshine

Wow July has flown and it is only one week to Blogopolis, the Blogger Brunch and less to meeting up with a special URL friend.

Today I am grateful for sunshine because I am supposed to be packing the caravan ready to set off tomorrow. We are leaving from the farm.
Thursday afternoon we packed the caravan and car in the pouring rain at home , 100m down the driveway ...difficult much !

The men are mustering and drenching the cows today too so no rain is a good thing at the moment.

Grateful for the comments on the "How to help when a baby dies" post . To be honest I was unsure if people would read and/or respond.

Grateful to be typing my very first post on my Lenovo lap top, it has taken me 5 days to get this far . I am still getting used to the keyboard and my two finger typing. I had to because my old laptop keys are jamming and I had to type a post cut & pasting H & h yesterday plus number ' 1.'

Grateful that sometime in the next day I will have my new blog design up - once my uber designer installs it.

I expect I'll be a bit busy packing today so I better get a move on.

What are you grateful for ?

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Friday, 22 July 2011

How to help when a Baby dies ?

Firstly, I personally don’t know anyone who is entirely comfortable talking to the bereaved after the death of a loved one.Let alone, when it is a family or friend's precious baby who has passed away before birth , during birth or soon after.

I know ... losing a baby at any time is one of the most devastating experiences that any family can experience. Whether 12 weeks , 26weeks or a full-term baby, it's beyond tragic .

I know we had already prepared a lifelong place for ~Charlotte~  in our family before we met her. All parents have hopes and dreams for their baby and beyond.

There are no easy answers when a baby dies and your whole world is shattered.

As family or a caring friend, you might ask

"What do I say?"
"What can I do?"

The grief journey is very painful one for a baby’s parents. Nothing prepares parents for the separation from their baby.

I know we travel to a place not on any map and we don't know when we will arrive or leave. It's a place we have never been to (hopefully) and everyone has a different experience. 

Bereaved parents will need the support of their loved ones now more than ever before but seldom will they ask... for anything

So how can you help? here are a few things you might to consider from my personal experience.
  1. Use the Baby's name if named ...do not keep saying " The Baby   ". You can help bereaved parents by listening to them to talk about their loss, if they want and you feel able to listen. Ask them gently if they want to talk about {insert Baby's name}.Don’t try to protect them from their grief – help them face it and if you need to cry, do it. If they cry, silence is ok while they cry ; put a hand on them gently, hug them (if appropriate), pass the tissues, or if you feel too uncomfortable say "I'll put the kettle on to let you have a few minutes (?)." Respect their rights to express whatever they feel or think - regardless of how strange it may seem to you if they seem angry or calm or whatever.
  2. Bring them a meal *or simple groceries to cook (they may be too distracted to cook ).Offer to help with their house cleaning or offer to mind or occupy their other children , it will be appreciated even if they say   "NO thank you  ". Even offering to read their surviving child a story or play with them in their own home while they rest or take care of the cleaning *.
  3.  Phone, visit or send a card : if you don't know what to say a simple message, We love you and we are thinking of  you and baby {insert name if known} today. Especially remember the DUE DATE if the baby died in utero or was born alive early (before the due date). Even an email is some comfort especially if you don't know them too well, for example online or a co worker and don't have a physical address. (There is always Google to help with kindly worded sentiments)
  4. A gift is not necessary; some like to give flowers or a plant: nurturing a living thing can be very comforting for grieving. We were given roses for a memorial garden. A trinket , figurine, ornament or piece of jewelry etc may be chosen by family or a close friend especially, if it is something they know symbolises the baby ~ a Butterfly , an Angel or anything really.
  5. A sense of normalcy is very therapeutic for healing.It's okay to laugh and tell talk about other things, even your own children and theirs. We know life goes on, it just that ours has changed forever.
  6. If someone you know has experienced pregnancy or infant loss and is past the intense grief stage of their own loss, ask them if you can give their phone number or email to the newly bereaved parents. A note in a card is okay. Talking to someone who has been through a similar loss , not necessarily a professional counsellor ,can help to take the isolation out of grief and spare a spouse for a while. (Hospitals usually give plenty of bereavement literature to parents or there is so much available online now)
What not to say ?
  1. When a baby is lost families [and others] often have a desperate need to know why their baby died but now is not the time to ask...what happened .They probably won't know themselves.You can ask What did {baby's name} weigh and how long was {baby's name}?" etc
  2. Don't encourage them to be strong ...or say how well they are coping or ... "Don't be sad. Don't cry  " -    "It will be ok   " -   " It's for the best  "  (e.g.when you know it is genetic) 
  3.  Appreciate that they miss this baby, who can never be replaced by another child. If a twin is lost never say 'At least you still have one baby'.
  4. Understand they may not want to know who is newly pregnant or newly delivered in your social circle. It's difficult if you were part of an anti-natal parents group ...be sensitive when sharing such news in the early days.
  5. Don't compare their loss to losing your pet or say this happened to someone you know and it was caused by ..... because they did .....
  6. Remember, too that most people don't say too many insensitive or wrong things [common sense aside]. Above all you are caring enough to talk to them ! Ignoring their loss is far more insensitive.Your friend or loved one is very lucky to have you in their life.
This week I have read several stories about infant and pregnancy loss. It always breaks my heart. I am writing this in response, to maybe help someone help.I hope it makes sense.

I really don't mind being reminded at how fragile life is .Today my heart goes out to anyone reading this who has said goodbye to their precious baby, all too soon .

Kristie said a final goodbye to Avery yesterday ... her son, Avery a beautiful boy born sleeping a week ago.


"Dear Avery, please see this light as a symbol of the
 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 the love for you, in celebration of the life you shared together, however brief, and in the hope that tomorrow will be a brighter day. 
May they feel your spirit with them even now, gently guiding and strengthening them. With this light they will remember your true gifts : memories of joys past, hope for present peace and love to last a lifetime. May they 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's 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)

There is so much more I could write including about 'including siblings'...another day .
Edited to add a link to Martine @ The Modern Parent's posts on Grief : Helping Children Grieve

Please note *Gifts of meals ~ can in itself be overwhelming if they get too many meals all at once and no way to store them all... check if anyone can be responsible to organize a list of friends to alternate duties such as meals and visits to help.

(In our church they did this for one family via an organised roster initially while the baby was having surgery for her heart and then after she passed away)
Please share your own experiences and any other advice that helped you or your family or friends.

Linking up with Shae about Things I know ...but sincerely wish I didn't today.

Edited to add this further to precious Avery's story and HeartFelt
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how to be thankful

Every day I am reminded how lucky I am. I find it can be such a mood lifter to focus on the good things that you have in your life when you feel anything but ...

An attitude shift = mood lift.

Still, lately
I just never feel as if I’m 'winning' and that everything is in chaos.

Reflecting, as 'you' do, on the bad things does nothing but make me melancholy. I want to look forward and live in moment enjoying every day I can . I refuse to let life pass me by.

Yes, things still go wrong and I feel like sometimes I could scream or cry ... and of course , I do , (the famine in horn of Africa makes so upset). I feel awful and regret it when I yell and get cross with my little boys though. Some days I am stuck in the NOT the Mother of Year line.

Stress builds up in me. I get all 'woe is me' , till I tell myself I am so lucky. I have all I need today (well I wouldn't mind a personal assistant chef & cleaner a few more 0o's in my bank account) .
As I spend my life rushing from one thing to the next, I know I am missing so much and yet it is hard to slow down and be thankful for the small things some days. So right now

Today I am thankful for
  1. Random acts of kindness (RAKs) or acts of random kindness (ARKs) thanks to Gemma @My Big Nutshell for giving us a lift in the pouring rain yesterday.She is gorgeous and she is coming to Blogolpolis too. Gemma made me laugh so hard, it was almost a 'tena' moment as she helped push my b.utt over her rear car seat .   
  2. New technology ~now if I could just find time to set it up  properly. Then learn to touch type.
  3. The rain ~ I hope it is filling the dams somewhere... I know Sydney as had more than enough.It's not raining in Dubbo.
  4. Kisses & hugs," I love you' from small boys...followed by "Can I use your iPod, comm'on where is it ?"  Then 'virtual' cooking donuts with my boy- totally no fat version LOL.
  5. It's Saturday tomorrow and you know what follows...Sunday and we are road tripping to Melbourne.
I am joining in with thankful Thursday because I said I would... better late than never 
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Weekend rewind

Linking up a post from my archives My Status ...on blogging

Please check out my post , then link up a post from your archives all about the joys of blogging and get commenting. The more comments the merrier.
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Thursday, 21 July 2011

Win an HP Kung Fu Panda 2 Kids Room Décor Extravaganza

I confess my five year twins might watch far too many DVD’s and animated movies .Though it’s mostly in the car between Sydney & Dubbo; it is an endless loop of William the Wizard and Sparkles the Fairy on some trips which I do enjoy thankfully. (Lucky I can still switch off my hearing aid when I have had enough.)

They also have an older brother (18) who has introduced them to other DVD’s ~ the likes of Kung Fu Panda - HIYAAAAAHHHHH !!!!!!

They love the movie. It’s funny to see the twins imitate Kung fu moves from the DVD on each other too; till someone gets hurt. Maybe they should take up martial arts and learn to do it safely just Po!

My heart was racing last week when we went to cinemas and they saw the posters for King Fu Panda 2, lucky I already had tickets to another movie.

This is one movie Dad can watch too .I wouldn’t want Dad to miss learning Po’s moves and the fact Jack Black returns to voice the portly panda - 'Kung Fu Panda 2.
Kung Fu Panda 2 activities

 In conjunction , with latest hit, Kung Fu Panda 2 release, Hewlett-Packard (HP)’ s creative team has designed something unique for Kung Fu Panda fans. Visit the Kung Fu Panda 2 site, so your kids can get in on the fun with  range of printable activities and projects like, making peacock or crane flyers, creating masks, making 3D “fortune tellers” and making their own Kung Fu Panda 2 puzzles! There are several games to print and play perfect entertainment for rainy day activities (like today).

Sam wanted to make the Kung Fu Panda 2 Peacock Flyer. It flies well too.

As a part of the launch of Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) Kung Fu Panda 2 Print Activities, HP would like to offer one of My Little Drummer Boys readers a Kung Fu Panda 2 Kids Room Décor extravaganza (valued at $400).

Kung Fu Panda 2 Wall Art

With HP Wall Art, children can bring their bedroom walls to life featuring their favourite characters from Kung Fu Panda 2.. Kids pick which bedroom wall they would like to decorate, then create their own Kung Fu Panda 2 designs from scratch or put their finishing touches on a pre-existing template. Position ‘Po’ leaning against your door, perhaps have ‘Shifu’ crouching with a kung-fu kick beneath the window, or change the background – it’s all possible in transforming your walls into your very own work of art.

Once your design is complete, HP Wall Art is delivered direct to your door, and it is easily installed in manageable pieces. Don’t worry about any mess as HP Wall Art can be easily stuck on the wall, cleaned and removed with water and a sponge. Then the creative fun and entertainment can start all over again!
Want in ...of course you do or your Kung Fu Panda will - HIYAAAAAHHHHH !!!!!! you !

The Give Away Nitty Gritty:

Share in 25 words or less, which HP fun print activity King FU Panda (www.hp.com.au/go/kfp2 ) is your child’s favourite and why ?

This giveaway is open to Australian residents only.
ONE entry per family.

Giveaway closes on the 4st August 2011 11.59 AEST.

One winner will be picked by random. Org. After my last giveaway I decided everyone is way too creative. I had a difficult time deciding...3 hrs later.

HP is also giving everyone the chance to win a $20,000 holiday for the whole family! Visit hp.com.au/go/kfp2 for more information and be quick as this closes next week.

Disclosure: This is not a review or sponsored post though One of my readers will get the chance the win this amazing  Kung Fu Panda 2 Kids Room Décor Extravaganza . All opinions expressed are my own.


Aussie Giveaway Linky


Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Farm babes

We think this little calf is from Joel's cow, his grandpa gave him.

Joel - who's your Daddy ?

I love my automatic gate openers.

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Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Too many things in my head and the winners are ...

I can't believe almost 5 days have flown.
The last week has been flat out.
Where do I start ?

...Our big day out with the lovable Red monster Elmo .
.... Or a little update on everything.

We spent 4 -5 days at the farm last week came home late Friday night. Saturday, we had been invited to attend  Ready, Set, Grover ! with Elmo.( I'll tell you more about this later with a new giveaway.)

Credit Cameron Mills Photography.

This Thursday I am going to a Blogger's brunch in Sydney ...by train.

The same afternoon we are heading to the farm with our caravan in tow to help my Father in law  (almost 84yrs and still working) muster , then drench his cows and tag all the new calves . It means a slight delay in our departure to Victoria.

It will take two days ; one to muster about 150 cattle from over 1000 acres and the next to apply the drench. I just watch ...mostly.

We think this calf is one from the cow Grandpa gave Joel. It was so tiny and  freshly hatched by looks of it.
Then we will start our mini road trip to Melbourne, with our caravan, because I am attending Melbourne Blogger's brunch and the Nuffnang Blogopolis.

I am also planning on meeting up with a few URL friends bloggy / Internet I haven't had the pleasure of meeting in real life yet.

I am quite excited and very nervous.

Now ...

I guess you have all waited long enough for the winners of the giveaways...

Fisher Price Kid tough video camera

Skyelee @ Wherever the Day Takes you

The Lego Duplo Emergency Rescue Helicopter winners are 

Mumma Mini Mes I loved her creative comment on being rescued from the 'bog' because it happened to us last year. Though we had to rescue ourselves.

Baker's Delight Winners are

Suzi @ Under the Windmills

and Bec Sherman (FB)

Congratulations to all the winners.
Thanks for all the creative entries and participation. I couldn't do it without you.
I have more giveaways in the pipeline and a lot more to update but it is already after midnight.
I email the winners tomorrow unless they read this post first.

The last few days I have found it difficult to get started on writing any posts. I've had personal stuff to deal with as well.

I think I hit a plateau and everything all at once seems overwhelming but I am getting on top of it.

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