Saturday, June 30, 2012

{It's not goodbye, it's hello} For my dear readers an announcement.....

Many of you know that I write another blog and some of you may not. I've been in thought for some time about the future of my blogs, what I want, where I want to go. I have so many hopes and dreams for the future some of the dreams I've shared here, some I've shared over there (my other blog). The more I look at my future, my hopes and dreams within the blogging community and outside of it one thing I'm reminded of is doing what works for me.

I started this blog as part of my healing process after I lost my twin girls Elle and Meg, I've shared it all, all the nitty gritty, the heart breaking stuff. But I've also shared some glorious journeys as well here, through becoming a mum to my Cohen and Sarah. I've shared personal successes as well setbacks, again I've shared it all and all that has been put at my feet to walk through.

If you haven't worked it out, in the time you've been a part of this community, I'm a dreamer. I like to dream big for the future, I want to be so many things for me, but for my family, but I also want to help others, I want to relate, teach and be of service. With this blog I've had so many hopes and dreams, I've had a long term desire to create a space here that would be place for others to turn in a dark hour through pregnancy loss. I've hoped it could also be a place in time I could assist with breastfeeding stories and support and cover natural parenting topics. As well as being everything it is for me and more, and for you.

I've been assessing my goals lately and the vehicle for me getting to a place to achieve them, these aren't just blogging goals, they're life goals as well. It is an extremely emotional thing for me to be contemplating this, but I no longer feel that I can take Journey to Bliss in the directions I want to, all by its self, when I have attentions focused on My Vintage Vow too. But it works both ways, I feel as though my efforts over at My Vintage Vow are held back, by keeping two such huge parts to my life separate.

So what does that mean, to you, to me, to us? You've shared so much with me, you've supported me, cried with me, cheered me on and loved me. I don't want to say goodbye. What I'm working on is expanding and incorporating my blogging efforts, so that all my wonderful supporters here and at My Vintage Vow can get to know more of me, the whole me. The vehicle I will be concentrating on doing that with is My Vintage Vow.

I want to invite you to join me on the next step to my Journey to Bliss and come join me over at My Vintage Vow, as I try to incorporate my two worlds into one. It's going to be a lot of work, a lot of tweaking and rearranging but I'm sure I can do it. But I'm asking for your patience, because you're important to me. At this point in time I am also tossing up several options for what will become of all the content here.....that's the emotional bit, my baby girls are here, my Elle and Meg, my breastfeeding journeys, the birth of my children. I also want to honour these journeys and incorparate them where appropriate and have them continue to help others faced with the same or similar challenges I have faced.

In the initial stages of making this all happen and possible, I won't be continuing to blog here on as a regular basis as I have. I will keep you informed of developments at the moment, but the best place for you to see me starting to weave these two lives of mine together will be over at My Vintage Vow. When decisions have been completely made about the future and content of Journey to Bliss, you will be the first to know. I will be ever so thrilled and honoured if you join me over at My Vintage Vow and embark on this new journey in finding my bliss and balance in life and this bloggers world.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

{Failsafe} Preservative and Additive Free Pear & Anzac Crumble.....

With this cold rainy weather we're experiencing it's hard not to want a nice warm, sweet dessert for afternoon tea. With this house slowly preparing for Failsafe elimination, I've been brainstorming recipes and just the other day I was struck with sheer brilliance. So please bare with me because I'm not always an extract measurements kind of cook, but I'll do my best for you all.
Pear and Anzac Crumble
5 pears (more or less depending on your dish size)
1 cup wholemeal plain flour
2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup fine brown sugar
2 tablespoons of Golden Syrup
125 grams butter
2 tablespoons of boiling water
2 teaspoons bi carb
Thickened Cream for serving.......this is where the magic happens for this dessert, an unexpected surprise.

1. I simply sliced the pears and placed them in my cooking dish skin on and all (although true Failsafe would require you to peel them), none of this stewed fruit bizzo.
2. Next make up the Anzac topping for the crumble, in a bowl mix flour and oats together.
3. Melt butter and golden syrup together.
4. In a cup work quickly to add two teaspoons of bi card to two tablespoons of boiling water, once it makes a fizzy sound quickly add this to the warm melted butter and golden syrup mixture. Watch the two mixtures froth up and quickly add to dry ingredients and stir all together.
5. Cover pears with Anzac crumble mixture and place in oven until the top is golden brown......I have a fan forced oven and set temp at 180 degrees.

6. Serve warm with thicken cream poured over the top. The cream oozes its way through the crumble to the pear juices, the brown sugar and butter in the crumble topping along with cream come together to create a light caramel like sauce........ahhh perfection.

Let me know if you give this a try!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Loving the Library: Special Needs Services.....

Although we have never needed the use of a Special Needs Library, Loving the Library wouldn't be Loving the Library without giving credit and mention to such services in the community, that are helping both children and adults. Knowing and seeing the difference that such services has made to people in our lives, who have needed them over the years, certainly qualifies it to be something to be loving the library for, wouldn't you say?

These days amongst many councils and community groups throughout Australia there are Special Needs Libraries established to help with development and rehabilitation of adults and children either with disabilities or special needs, with a vast collection of resources and equipment and even toys on offer to borrow.

Generally these services allow any person with a disability, or their legal guardian or carer to be a member. Membership to Special Needs Libraries will often require a referral from a therapist or other appropriate professional.

These services are often invaluable to those requiring them, with many individuals and families facing financial struggles with health and or disability concerns and medical expenses. Special Needs library allow those who need them to access resources and equipment for enrichment, enjoyment and rehabilitation that could otherwise be quite costly if they had to outlay funds out of their pocket.

For more information about Special Needs Libraries in your community contact your local council.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Additives and preservatives, we're all at risk.....

So you might of caught my mentions about a lifestyle change of sorts happening here. If you didn't catch this mention you can read about the why's and so forth here. I've known about the risks and affects of certain food additives and preservatives for several years now. I've always tried to make a conscious effort to cook from scratch where and when I can, but I'm no super women.

Recently when I've been mentioning our decision to do the Failsafe elimination the responses have been varied amongst family and friends. Many people have tried to convince me that the behaviours that Cohen displays at times are just normal, normal three year old antics. I wholeheartedly disagree, I think in a world so full of processed and fast food and convenience options to help you in the kitchen, we are all on a additive and preservative overload these days.
Additives and preservatives are added to foods to extend their shelf life, make them tastier, more visually appealing through colour and so on. All of that comes at a risk to us and our children, so now people unknowingly accept that spikes in negative and problem behaviours in their children are normal. I'll tell you there is nothing normal about a child running around speaking in tongues, squealing and running no stop all afternoon without getting puffed and being aggressive. I know my boy, I know how sweet and funny he is when he isn't affected, so therefore in my opinion said negative behaviours are not normal.
Some of my recent doubters have been in the family, but when I got a call from my mum recently to explain that Today Tonight ran a segment on this subject featuring Sue Dengate from the Fed Up (Food Intolerance Network), her thought process and support seemed to of shifted. Perhaps it's because it was a source bringing this subject in the mainstream consciousness, but nonetheless I'm not complaining.
Here is a link to watch the Today Tonight segament.
Here is another interesting account from a family in an article.

If you're experiencing problem behaviours in your children and or you have on going health concerns and niggles, maybe it's worth considering preservatives and additives and even other things that occur naturally in some foods. I hope the links are useful to those wanting to hear and learn more. I'm also very interested to hear others journeys down this road, or if it's something you've been considering doing.

Disclaimer: I know I am banging on about Fed Up and Failsafe, but this is on no way a sponsored post nor have previous posts been. This is all about our journey to find answers. I hope it helps those seeking answers too.

Monday, June 25, 2012

{Monday's Minutia} Apples and Audio Overload......

Today I'm linking up with fellow Queensland blogger Renee over at Nee Say. She is kicking off a linky - Monday's Minutia. Described as being a creative writing challenge where she takes a mundane topic and tries to make it mildly entertaining. I'm going to hop along for the ride and give it a go, and because I take inspiration from all things in life I will be drawing on my experience as a mother and my children's antics to hopefully capture a "mildly entertaining" post . To start off Renee has selected the letter "A" as the inspiration for this week, mundane topics beginning with "A".

So I bring you a weekend tale of Apples and Audio Overload.

They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Perhaps I should take the apples away so the doctor can come check this family for audio overload.
"Mummy, mummy I want a cuddle."
"Can I have a bed on the floor?"
"Mummy, I'm hungry, can I have an apple please?"
"Mummy where's daddy, is he at work?"
"Mummy can I have activities?"
"Mummy I get it, I want activities now."
"Mummy can I watch Blinky Bill please?"
"Mummy can I have an APPLE please?"
"Mummy I'm hung-ryyyy."

Mummy, mummy, mummy.
That's all within five minutes of rising I kid you not (5.30am), a total audio overload and assault. This audio assault is everyday and constant, but this past weekend Cohen scaled a full on, all out audio overload war on our ear drums. He literally didn't come up for air all weekend. He sent us into fits of laughter over our efforts to make up creative games to have some moments of silence, that were all for nothing. If words weren't coming out of his gob it was noise, sounds, whimpers, whines, sighs......anything, everything. If for a moments grace his mouth stopped, his body stepped in with drumming, patting, flicking, banging, smashing, scraping anything in his hand against another surface. Why? To create noise, any noise, then his mouth would catch up again.
Don't get me wrong I love the little dude he is everything and more I dreamt for in a little boy. I was clearly very specific in telling the universe about this little man. Perhaps I should have also asked the universe for an apple orchard because it was only when he had one in his gob this past weekend that there was silence whilst he munched his way through then he was good to go for another round.

Now excuse me whilst I go and check on the apple seeds that Cohen so politely and pointedly told us he was going to grow on the weekend. He requests to see if they have grown big *waves hands in the air*.

Rain, Hail or Sickness.....

Wow wee it's been a full on time around here the last week or so with Sarah unwell. Although I'm happy to report she is all perked up now, I just discovered yesterday she is about to cut more teeth, and yesterday Cohen started coughing up a storm.

I guess it's the season for it, what can you do but love them and squeeze them (not literally squeeze them, you know what I mean), but goodness me it's a merry-go-round at the moment. My kids are never, and I seriously mean never sick this much or in cycling waves like this.

Despite the sickness and ups and downs, we've pushed on through to make the most of a weekend at home. We kind of needed a weekend at home, funny how the universe makes things happen. Ben and I both where able to achieve time spent working towards goals. Ben spent time working on the start of efforts to make our yard and barbecue area come into being what we hope. We've got so much to do, money and time are huge factors. But hopefully with time and crossed fingers (on the money side of things) we will be actualising big dreams, with it all sooner rather than later.
The newly built barbecue area.

As for myself, I've been plugging away at My Vintage Vow goals this past weekend. Listing selected Babies, Children's and Women's clothing, to make way for bigger plans I have. I've spent time over the weekend reading and preparing my paperwork to submit to the ABA to start my breastfeeding counsellor studies. Finally and excitingly I've made some steps towards developing some blogging development and management support not only around me but other bloggers. It's very exciting stuff, and for now I can't say much more than we are still at the planning stage. What I can say is that this will help not only me but others work towards their blogging goals in a collective like minded, inspired environment.
So it's basically been a weekend working on feeding personal goals, dreams, jobs with time and energy. Were you able to feed your desires this weekend? What did you do, I'd love to hear. Remember to leave a comment I always like hearing from you, and if you leave a comment I can reply back in the comments section directly to your comment (I recently changed the commenting system over).

May you have a wonderful and illness free week.......that's what I'm hoping for here.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Where have I been......

It's been a rough week or so here, so once again sorry for my lack of presence around the blog and on Facebook. Sarah has been rather unwell, in sixteen months she has never had much more than a cold, but this past week she has been the worst I have ever seen her. Until Wednesday I hd been uncertain to what actually has been wrong, teeth, cold, tummy bug, temps and then Wednesday bang out of now where a rash all over her chest, back and nappy region.

I rushed her off to the docs, to be told that she has a viral infection and keep fluids up and let her rest. Fluids haven't been a problem she has literally been breastfeeding non-stop and she is totally off her food and has barely eaten anything solid in four days. Then yesterday the rash started to creep up her neck and cheeks as well. The doctor said to take her back if she got worse, but generally she is all perky again but I'm left with a rash that is worsening.

Cohen has the sniffles a bit too at the moment, so I've been doing my best to keep them occupied, happy and warm. So it's been cuddles and snuggles, DVD's, pasting and crafting and building and playing with boxes in the sun.

I hope I can return to normal transmission here soon. But tell me what do you do for the kids when they're sick that's a little extra special or different?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Loving the Library: Guest Post: Domesblissity.....

I am so thankful to be having one of the dearest bloggers I know guest post for Loving the Library series this week. Anne is my blogging life saver this week, as I have a rather poorly little girl this week. This household is running on sleep fumes, literally at the moment. So I am ever so grateful to the dear and ever so sweet Anne from Domesblissity for stepping in the help me out this week. Please be sure to pop in on her blog, a treasure trove of all domestic and thrifty living ideas, thoughts, suggestions, recipes and more.......but oh the recipes, you must check her recipes many of which have become family favourites for us. You won't be disappointed with her delightful blog......one of my must reads every day. Thank you my dear Anne......and with that I hand it over to you.

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Loving the Library - Feeding the Body and the Soul from my local Library

I've been a great lover of the local library for years. I always feel like I'm 'buying' the books when I select them and when I get them home, feel like I've had a huge spend in the book store. When the kids were babies, I was buying books at every opportunity I could. From garage sales, op shops, reduced at book stores and department stores but when they outgrew them, I had boxes and boxes of them. How many copies of Snow White could one person have? I have kept all of the classics but passed on the rest and prefer to get the children's books all from the library. The kids get so excited when they see the new haul of about 15 children's books, all brightly illustrated and shiny pages. I get a kick out of reading them too.
My favourite things to get from the library though have been cookbooks and self help books over the years. There are some cookbooks I must absolutely, positively have to buy for the collection but if there's something I'd like to check out a few recipes from, for example Spanish tapas, then I'll get a book from the library. With the introduction of an online library catalogue, that can be accessed by all library members from the comfort of your own home, I can browse and 'hold' books for no cost and get sent an SMS when they have arrived. Sort of like a parcel awaiting pickup from the post office but for no cost at all.

I've also been on a health kick these last few weeks and in order to be a healthy person, I've been telling myself I need to think like a healthy person so I've been picking up a few healthy magazines instead of the usual latest Masterchef or Delicious cooking mags.

The library has never been short on offerings of self help books for me over the years whether it be studying the latest meditation techniques, learning how to get over a break up and 'healing your life' (in the form of a DVD), I can always find what I'm looking for at my local (library that is).

Besides that, the DVD selection for both children and adults is fantastic and I was able to catch up on the previous series of Downton Abbey before the new series started on TV a couple weeks ago. It's been a God-send for me offering so much for my children with toddler and preschool activities and now school aged children holiday activities. I'd be lost without it.
Thanks Trudie for having me on your lovely blog.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Testing Failsafe Recipes......

You might of read the other day that there are some lifestyle changes coming up for my family? Well I'm still smack bang in the middle of reading and educating myself on the whole Failsafe process before we get underway with the elimination side of things. But one thing I have decided to do in the meantime is trial some Failsafe recipes containing vegetables that the kids and Ben haven't experienced before (me, there's not much I haven had, I'm easily pleased). I figure it would be worth having some mock runs on dinners and see if they are a success or not, and where I might need to change things up to ensure success when we are in the elimination process when that comes around.

So last night I tried the Chicken and Leek Casserole from The Failsafe Cookbook .

How did it go?
Me - well I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was a simple easy meal to prepare
Ben - good, edible, I'd eat it again but I ain't going to gush over it, were his choice of words
Cohen - I don't like it was heard before we even sat at the inner table and then proceeded to take 40mins to eat dinner. Hmmm reminder I should share with you all about possible food sensory issues we are working on too at the moment.
Sarah - well she tried it, had a bit and then played with her dinner and refused to eat anything else offered to her. On further investigation this morning I discovered she cut a tooth over night, that may have something to do with her lack eating yesterday.

Final verdict as I see it:
I wouldn't say it was a loss. The fact Ben will eat it again is a win, although he would probably like me to find a way of flavouring it up more within Failsafe guidelines. As for Cohen perhaps the mixture in pastry like a little pie, rather than a wet saucy mix might yield more agreeable results. Sarah well I can always try her again. So as I see it, I'll be doing it again maybe with some adjustments before I call it day on this one.

Boy oh boy this is going to be a long run, all the above just to see if they would eat leeks!
Can you feel my pain?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lifestyle changes coming for this family.......

Forgive me for being away from the blog over the long weekend. I've been totally indulging in family time and catching up with friends. I've been enjoying it so much and soaking up being in the moment that I haven't even bothered to step behind the camera either......it's been utterly delightful. Over the long weekend I also indulged in leisurely pursuits like reading, and that's kind of the crux of what I wanted to share today, what I've been reading. I've been reading Fed Up by Sue Dengate and flipping through one of her Failsafe cookbooks as well.

If you haven't heard of Sue or about Failsafe to put simply its all about the preservatives, additives, colour, salicylates and amines in foods that can cause children (and adults) to have behavioural issues as well as health issues. Since the day Cohen was born I have known he was a unique, high energy child and I adore it. However he comes with challenges in parenting him, being so high energy, intelligent and confident. Over the last few months we have had sever increases in negative behaviours and to put it nicely he has had me run ragged. I've been at wits ends some days to know how to feel like I was parenting him successfully at all.

Not only have I been struggling with managing him but Ben has been exasperated by such sever spikes in his behaviour and personality as well. Then just the other week after a relatively calmer 24 hours with him I had sent him to family day care on his normal scheduled day, something happened. At family day care one of the other kids was having his last day before moving, so bite sized cupcakes where made and decorated. Cohen was given a small one with a tiny amount of light yellow icing.

WELL..........come pick up time, by the time I got him home and inside I had navigated several stand-offs with him, including crazy screaming and squealing (not normal behaviour) and knocking his sister over. He wouldn't and couldn't stop and listen and was being utterly obnoxious. Ben arrived home not long after to utter chaos. He tried putting time in with Cohen straight away thinking daddy time would help, but it didn't, he wasn't listening to boundaries in play or instruction and continued to play rough and hurt Sarah on several more occasions. It got so sever that Ben took him outside in the freezing cold (rugged up of course) and made him run and run and run around the yard non-stop to work off the energy.....the kid didn't even get puffed.

Although I am short cutting a lot if detail in my explanation at the moment, the decision then and there was made that we would look further into his diet for explanations and answers for some of his negative behaviours. I've got so much more to explain and share with you about this journey, like explaining other behaviours we've had issues with and so forth. But for now I just wanted to get this out and share that, this is a new path we are on as a family. So don't be surprise as I share with you along the way what is happening, as this family is going whole hog together to support Cohen.

Have you heard of Failsafe? Are you a Failsafe family? Are you interested in knowing more?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Planning on breastfeeding? Do some planning!.........

If there was one piece of advice I could give to any expectant mum who believes in breastfeeding their newborn, it would be to do your homework, and get educated before baby arrives.

The more one can read, investigate, learn and understand what lies ahead the more confidence and understanding you will have in yourself and your baby. This will in turn give you and baby a greater chance at a successful breastfeeding relationship. So many new mums expect that although breastfeeding is a natural thing that it should come naturally and easy. They are often disheartened if they hit hurdles and when well meaning but ill informed people throw advice a mums way, often through lack of understanding and confidence mum will accept what is often damaging advice. Knowledge about breastfeeding and expectations will give you more power to fight for that feeding relationship if there are hurdles.

To any of my friends who approach me these days and say that they're wanting to breastfeed, often my first words of advice are to get along to an ABA (Australian Breastfeeding Association) meeting. It truly is one of the easiest and most supportive ways of surrounding oneself with others in a similar situation. I find that it's especially beneficial for those (including myself, of which I am) somebody who has not been surrounding or exposed to others around them with breastfeeding relationships or experience. My mother never breastfed, nor my mother in law, nor did the vast majority of my friends before I had children. The contacts, support and friendships I have made through attending ABA meetings and becoming a member has been invaluable.
{pic source}
I've been supported, sympathised, empathised with and encouraged by everyone through relactation, tandem feeding, feeding through pregnancy. I've received sage advice when there have been those times where I'm touched out and have thought for a moment it would be easier not to be breastfeeding. Attending ABA meetings allows you to learn about a wide variety of topics concerning breastfeeding and parenting as well. Local groups have many resources available to support you with a library full of all sorts of books, DVD's and the like, on array of topics, as well.

If you would like to know more about your local group or to become a member click here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Loving the Library: First Concepts Books......

Finding a heading for this weeks post was difficult in as much as today I want to talk about a book series as a whole. It is a series that we have found useful for young readers between one to three years of age learning some first concepts like toilet training, eating, sleep.

These books are:

On Your Potty
Eat Your Dinner
Be Gentle
Get Into Bed
Author and Illustrator: Virginia Miller

These stories use the teaching moments in a toddlers life and the likely conversations many families would have with their emerging toddler through these times to speak to and teach the child.

With warmth, familiarity and visual illustrations you follow Bartholomew (Ba) and his father George attempts at teaching a toddler self care issues.

What's great about this series:
We have used all four of these books at different times with both of our children so far, to help them relate what we are encouraging and trying to teach them. They have been very affective in having the kids understand what is expected of them in these self care situations with love and affection.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The weekend and it's moments....

This past weekend has given wondrous moments once again, amongst some difficulties.
Despite some upsets from Friday night that carried on into Saturday morning. I am still filled up with moments like these:

* Sarah clearly saying "Mama"
* Ruby Shoes for Sarah
* Special cuddles with my little guy

* Half hour kid free and hubby free to indulge in an eyebrow wax and lash tint......the little things make the difference
* A hubby who doesn't mind painting my toes.....vintage vamp thank you very much
* Dancing crazy with the kids

Loving life, loving the moments, loving the difficult moments too, that when they pass offer clarity to move through and beyond them with new outlook and perspective.

What did your weekend deliver you?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Loving the Library: When time is limited for visits......

Sometimes schedules get full with play dates, errands, appointments and before you know it you've hit the weekend and you realise you've not been able to get the kids nor yourself into the library for a new stash of books and good reads.
Most libraries these days have a variety of opportunities available for you to collect and drop off borrowed items and even browse their catalogue. During particularly busy spurts in our schedules and in times of sickness I often make use of viewing the libraries catalogue online. Throughout that process I'm able search by title, author and subject and more. Sometimes sample pages can be viewed or reviews from other readers. But the handiest thing is being able to place a hold on items, including DVD's, CD's etc. Even if an item is at another branch you can request it be held and sent to your local branch. An email is sent approx 24 to 36 hours later advising my "holds" are ready to be collected. So all I need is five minutes spare when I'm in the area to run into the library, grab my books from the "holds" shelves, swipe my library card through the self-check out and I'm on my way.

If you're limited on time, or perhaps you're a working family, who's time is precious and limited but you'd like to give your children and yourself the gift of reading and good reads, if so it's worth investigating what borrowing options your local library has available to you. At the end of the day community and council libraries are there for you and other members of the community it's an all inclusive thing (obviously you need to hold a library card). So even if you are immobile to major illness or injury many libraries will have program's you can apply to, to have an in home pick up and delivery service available to you.

Basically the message is that, no matter your situation there are lending opportunities available. All it takes is a call to your local library to speak with someone about what services and program's they have available in your community that might benefit you. Give it a try today, you might be pleasantly surprised what's on offer to you.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Banana, Oat and Yoghurt Muffins.....

If you've been around the blog for awhile you will know I finally found some love for baking about a year to eighteen months ago. I think I found my confidence with baking when I started to relax (like I do with all my other cooking) and just only take a recipe as a guide and mix things up a bit. As a result I think I've come up with some winning combos and of course with my winning combos I always like to try and make kid friendly and healthy.
1 cup plain flour
1 cup wholemeal plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup
100g butter
3/4 Greek yoghurt
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 - 2 mashed banana
Place flours and baking powder into a bowl (sift if you like, sometimes I bother sometimes I don't). Stir in oats and raw sugar. In a saucepan melt golden syrup and butter gently. Take off the heat and add stir in yoghurt, milk and baking soda. This mixture will forth up a little, so quickly add it to the dry ingredients and add mashed banana. Mix until all ingredients are just combined, don't over mix.

After you fill your muffin tin set aside for 5 mins then pop it into the oven at 180 degrees for about 20 mins. Check at 15 mins though and if they are springing back gently to the touch, they're done.

These are so yummy and like mini banana cakes, and so moist. I don't always use the the full sugar amount, I sometimes swap some or all of it out for fruit juice instead of milk or if I'm using a flavoured yoghurt instead of Greek yoghurt.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Weekend of wondrous moments....

So many of our weekends lately have been peppered with unexpected plans and moments. It's been great. Sometimes even the weekends fall into a monotony of the same old, same old. But perhaps things are changing in our family, perhaps things are settling down and becoming easier....I don't know, either way I'm liking the lovely moments we're having.

Friday as many of you know was Elle and Meg fourth memorial, I had a good day. Probably the easiest memorial day so far (mind you the day beforehand was horrendous, but that's another story). I took the kids to a favourite little op shop of mine on Friday and they were so well behaved while I had a rummage around and I had a laugh and cuddle with the volunteers.

Saturday at a monster Lifeline clothing $2 sale at an indoor sports centre, I rummaged more for goodies. But the biggest thrill of this outing was watching the kids run up and down the grassy hills outside, they rolled down like logs and crawled back up. I chased them and raced them......it was so much fun, it had me smiling for hours. The day was made sweeter with a dinner guest, our lovely neighbour, who gave us a little grace taking Cohen for a walk before dinner. Dinner was chicken and mushroom risotto, made by Ben so I had the night off......it was yum, it's been ages.

Yesterday was full of more smiles and laughter, chasing the kids, playing games and reading. Ben and Cohen enjoyed an afternoon of fishing.......Cohen "caught" his first fish.
The story behind the the "alleged" fish is long winded but let's just say that this smile is priceless and we'll keep the tale of the first fish quiet......wink, wink. Whilst the men fished Sarah and I baked banana, oatmeal and yoghurt muffins and snuggled. A rather perfect weekend if I do say so myself.

I hope your weekend was full of wondrous moments too.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Mummy loves you: Elle and Meg's Memorial Post.....

Four years today.
I never pre-plan my memorial posts each year. I just let them free form. Four years, wow. Four of what has seemed to be some of the longest years and the shortest years at some points along this journey.

I had a session with my psych recently and she wanted me to consider and plan for today to be more than a day that sticks me with heavy emotion of all that has happened. I understood her, and I heard her when she said it. I agree with her......well mostly. I'm such an advocate for therapy, I believe in it, I need it, it's been my saving grace. I'm a willing participant in my healing, and generally speaking if I'm given a task or strategy I like to fulfil it and see where it leads me in my healing......for better or worse, I believe it's necessary.
It's because of you girls I have these blessing in your brother and sister
But I do find myself these days looking for answers to evolve organically to what I should be doing or feeling. I've known since my session I should logically be planning today. But I didn't know how or if I wanted to. You see for me today is a sacred day, it's a day of sadness and remembrance but it's a reminder of celebrations of joys, journeys and possibilities. It's a day of all possible extremes of emotions of which all or none can, would or will happen.

All I know in this moment is I am your mummy Elle and Meg I will miss you and I will think of you until my dying day, when we reunite. I feel your love, laughter and cheekiness in every day through your brother. I know he is a precious gift you guided to us. I see the purity of your hearts and love in the desires and needs of closeness in your baby sister. Most of all in each and every day I see you and I feel you, both of you.

Forever in my heart, my sweet angel babes, mummy loves you.
X

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Loving the Library: Pirates Don't Babysit....

This week I'm back on deck with a review of a family favourite the kids enjoy and so do we when reading it. As I've said throughout the series before, if you can stumble upon books for the whole family to enjoy, they are then definite books worth considering adding to your at home library. This weeks book is a story we borrowed from the library a while back and enjoyed so much it's now in our home library.

{pic source}
Author: Melinda Long
Illustrator: David Shannon
Publisher: Koala Booka

A hilarious story about a pirate crew that arrives at the doorstep of Jeremy Jacob's house. The boisterous crew wakes Jeremy's baby sister and they discover that looking after a baby is no easy task.

What's great about this book:
Simply the greatest thing about the book is the pirate talk, language and terms used. It gives the life and laughter to this story and allows the adult or parent reading the story to tell the story with gusto.

Verdict:
The suggested age group for this book is 4 - 7 years old. But once again at the age of 3 years Cohen loved this book and easily followed the storyline. I think there is a lot to be said for stories that can capture a child's attention with hilarious antics and laughs. If a writer can do that, you're onto a winner, in books anyway.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Letting go and taking risks.....

I'm not just talking about myself in the title, I'm talking about the kids too. There are so many terms or stereotypes around these days, for mums or parents who hover over their child's every movement accessing risk of injury or hurt. Although I'm what I'd say is fairly relaxed about kids will be kids play, I do get caught up in accessing every risk big or small from time to time. I know my concerns are mainly due to Sarah being the baby (although she's now 15 months) getting injured in play with Cohen. Smiles and laughter can turn a fun time into tears quickly with an exuberant three year old running about.

But there comes a time when you just have to sit back and take the risk that all thoughts and concerns of big or small injuries or hurt may not happen, or at least not today. Sometimes you've got to sit back and allow your child space to take risks. It's an integral part of building their confidence in accessing risks themselves, and yes I do mean that even for a 15 month old. My job is to minimise risks and but not stifle their enthusiasm.

The kids were recently playing on the fort and it was getting a little crazy, with Cohen leaping and bounding everywhere. I didn't want to call it quits on their play because of my fears, knowing Sarah was going to follow suit shortly. So I added to their play rather than take away or restrict play with further rules.

So I dragged the blanket and cushions from the outdoor cubby to the end of the slide. Of course not long after taking these pics Sarah followed suit by trying to run down and leap off the slide like Cohen. But to a lesser degree because of her size and ability of course. But thankfully what would of ended in tears on the bare grass, ended up in squeals of delight.

I realise some may read this and look at my pictures, and think I should remove all risk of injury. I don't want to see my kids hurt, are they going to hurt themselves? Maybe one day, maybe today, maybe another day, who knows. But I'm right there, if things do go wrong. Risks do have to be taken, cotton wool and bubbles aren't going to build confidences. I think sometimes as parents we do build rods for our backs with all this assessments of risk and removing it. Children can end with environments that don't test their abilities or stimulate them and then they are at your side whining because they are bored. Sometimes I think we just need to take the risk, sit back, trust our children's inner dialogue.......they will attempt feats if they feel confident to do so, just be there with watchful eyes, open arms and band aids if need be.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Little weekend and little people updates.....

Well Friday night was the night of entering into no nappy at night land for Cohen and Sarah's move to her own room.

How did we all go?
Cohen has had dry nights. He is pleased with himself and so are we.
Sarah has slept the majority of the nights in her cot and room, with two hour stints in the wee dusk hours each night, in our bed until I take her back to her cot. The move so far has gone better than we had expected it to. It's early days, but we are hopeful and happy.
How did I go?
Surprisingly well. Had Sarah moved to her room any time before now I don't think she nor I would have been ready. I'm certain I would have many more nights wakeful, compelled to check on her. It's been good timing we've all been ready for it. Sarah is still welcomed to our bed in the early hours, so it's not a end to co-sleeping altogether.
But a new era is slowly being herald.

Friday, May 18, 2012

An evening of big changes and firsts ahead......

Tonight will hopefully mark some bittersweet milestones in our house. Cohen will venture into the no nappy at night territory. He has been sleeping with no nappy at nap times for ages and he has been keeping his night nappy dry for ages, so it's time. The difficult thing is Cohen doesn't like changes to himself or his environment and it takes a build up of conversations and negotiations to have him realise everything will be ok. So we've struck a deal and hopefully tonight we pull it off.

The other milestone we face tonight is the transition for Sarah to her own room. As many of you know we have and still do co-sleep to a certain degree, we've bed-shared with her cot side car to our bed. But for some time now her cot has been on another wall of our room. Her sleep is on the improve and we've found a very gentle settling technique that works for her. She's on the cusp of change herself, but we go into it cautiously. She will likely still be bed sharing with us in the early hours of the morning, but that's ok with us.
Sneaky Peak of Sarah's room
As much as Ben and I follow many attachment parenting ways, we moderate it to work for us, all of us. We believe in our family not only do the kids need to be happy but so do we. So tonight is a big day in this house, I don't know if I will sleep all that well tonight with an ear open to attend to any disturbances......if there are any. But one thing I'm sure I will feel is those little twinges of sadness that one phase is over and new one begins.
My babies are growing up *sigh*.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day moments......

A simple but lovely day, with the people that matter most.
We visited the Mount Tambourine markets.
We wondered, we browsed.

We ate. Oh boy did we eat.
Homemade coconut ice.
Homemade russian toffee.
The worlds best popcorn.......seriously the best.
German sausages.
Cohen enjoyed feeding farm animals and playing on the jumping castle.
Patting horses and a donkey.

Taking in the colours.
Having moments.
Love.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The thing that makes me feel nuts....

As many of you will have picked up on in the past and recently with the odd mention of it here, I have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Then there is always the off hand comment about some OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) issues. I have never really elaborated here what my OCD issues really are. Why? Because more than anything else in my life when I talk about this issue it really does make feel NUTS, I mean really, really NUTS.

You see my OCD problems aren't what most people assume they are like having the overwhelming urge to have things clean and in order. Nah that's not me. My OCD issues are based in having ritualistic type thoughts that if I don't fulfill x, y,z message/action that my brain is telling me to do the result will be that bad things will happen.....to put in very basic terms for you.

I'm going to back track a little to explain how I discovered and was later diagnosed with this problem. Coming up four years ago now after I lost Elle and Meg, I read and article in a magazine about OCD I was sitting at my then work lunch table. It followed three different peoples stories with the disorder. One women's story talked about how she would have ritualistic thoughts like if she drove past a funeral home it meant that someone she cared about would die. She would then need to fulfil a counter thought/ritual to prevent that belief from coming true......again to put it basic terms for you.

I read the article and felt sick to my stomach because this story felt like me, it felt like I had been given an answer for something I had crazy thoughts about all my life even as a kid. I copied the article and hid it away for weeks trying to build up the courage to talk to Ben about it and hope that he wouldn't think I was a complete LOON in the process. I needn't of worried about Ben but he was insistent that I talk further with our grief counsellor at the time about the article and my behaviours, which at that point time only served as a temporary measure for this thought process and behaviours when they happened.

So fast forward through, Cohen's birth, two further miscarriages and Sarah's pregnancy, I had a sever spike in ritualistic thoughts and behaviours. For example my brain would tell me I couldn't wear red because it was the colour of blood and if I wore it whilst pregnant it would signify and mean something bad would happen to me but more so and primarily my baby. So not to tempt fate (that's my thought process) I would give in to these thoughts which sometimes resulted in me purging my wardrobe of anything red. Crazy, I know (I like red)! It's my crazy, my minds way of coping during peaks and spikes in emotionally difficult or turbulent times. But that's just a small, small example of the messages my brain sends me at these times, it has been much, much worse in the past.

Since my PTSD diagnoses and me coming clean with my regular psych about two years ago about these OCD thoughts. It's been a lot better managed, I can identify a spike in these stresses, I'm ahead of it rather already in the mix of these thoughts (well most of the time). However as I've recently mentioned some recent stresses and triggers have got ahead if me and I've lost my grip a bit in being ahead of this talk in my head. It gets louder with more stress and lack of sleep. I'm only starting to understand my OCD more now and where emotions for these behaviours stem from or are rooted in. After a recent session with my psych I have the logical and aware understanding that I give into these thoughts when my emotional stamina is low. So I need to work on keeping that in check. I also understand in an aware mind, that my thoughts are nearly always about the end result being something happening to my kids. The stem and trigger of that is clearly the traumatic events surrounding the loss of Elle and Meg.

There you go my confessional about something I really HATE talking about even to my psych. Why I have I decided now to share more of this with you all? Well I know there are readers here who have their own battles with the disorder or other mental health issues. I hope to offer strength and encouragement in sharing this with those readers and others in time who will come to visit us and join us. Although I may have my struggles one thing I know for sure through my ups, downs, dark days and bright days........things can and will always get better by sharing and accessing appropriate support. So please if you find yourself trapped and in darkness, get help, find your light and your bliss. Life is too short to live trapped by these and similar disorders.

See there you go, I hard post to share. I shall slink off now and probably feel totally cuckoo and nuts that I've put this out there now. Either way much love to all those that read. Thank you.
X

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A mummy slump...

I've been a little quiet this past week. The truth behind that is that I'm having a bit of a mummy slump at the moment. A few things have been building up and wearing me down, and I just knew that I needed to take action. On the weekend I had my first session with my psych since before Christmas. In all honesty when I wrote my update post, I was truly feeling that positive and had been for some time about my life at the moment. I still am in many, many respects. But what has got me in a slump is the tricky little "trigger demons" for my PTSD, they attack and assault you when you least expect it and I have been caught off guard and bombarded. Couple that with some VERY challenging parenting days, lack of sleep (Sarah's having a tough time of things again), sick kids, sick husband, family woes and my plate is overflowing like an all you can eat buffet plate.

So along with a psych session I've just stepped back a bit to claim some me time (as there is minimal at present) and instead of blogging in the moments during the day when I have peace like when I'm breastfeeding in the evening or morning, I've been opting for some mind numbing escapism. I've been watching episodes of favourite TV shows on my iPad, eating chocolate, painting my nails and the likes until my time is interrupted by the demands of an ailing family at the moment. Goodness knows why I don't get sick when they do, but at the moment I'm finding it a struggle with the spike in PTSD (and OCD but that's another post), that some self preservation has come into play right now to clear the plate and to allow me to feel my drive again.

I don't expect to feel this way long, I know me I'll probably start bouncing back since I've purged this out to you all, but I'm being kind to myself so if there is a few less posts a week than usual at the moment, you my loyal readers know why.

Tell me what you do though when you're caught in a slump, what do you do to escape?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Loving the Library: Let's Play.....

I'm excited about this weeks Loving the Library post because I'm sharing a book that Sarah is enjoying. It's rather exciting that it's only been in the last few weeks that she has developed an active interest in books. What I mean is that she is now selecting a book and bringing to me or her daddy and climbing onto our lap to indicate for us to read it.

So this week it's a simple, but sweet book.

{Pic Source}
Let's Play
Author and Illustrator: Deborah Niland
Publisher: Penguin Australia

Essentially a picture book about three animal friends and the fun they have at the park together. Introduces young readers to animals, colour and sharing.

What's great about this book:
The bright simple colours and characters are eye catching to a young reader like Sarah at 14 months. The sound words incorporated in the illustrations, introduced Sarah to new sounds that she tried to mimic the sound of.

Verdict:
A great choice of book for a short story time with very young readers. If it can hold the interest of a 14 month old I'm giving a total thumbs up.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Rainy Day Birthday Party....

As some of you may know this past weekend we just celebrated Cohen turning three with a birthday party. We had all sorts outdoor plans of fun ready to go, but what do you know, it rained like no body's business last week and even Saturday we were still having moments of torrential down pours. We were faced with prospect of cancelling for a fine weekend or roll with the punches and bring the party indoors. So if ever you're faced with the wet weather dilemma for a kids party and a house filled with family, friends and kid,s hopefully this will be helpful.

To save the day (and sanity, as well let's face it, it's true) we bought the outdoor plastic climbing set with slide/stairs inside and converted Sarah's room into a little mini play centre if you please, complete with porta cot convert to a ball pit and a activity centre for the wee little ones.

Cohen's room had loads of balloons in there and kids were welcomed to select toys to play with. Prior to the party, we put anything we really didn't want out away.
We also converted the garage into an art and craft area, I taped a really old blanket to the floor with packing tape, laid out glue, brushes, coloured pom poms, crayons, patty pans, cardboard templates and all sorts of other goodies. We also strung balloons across the garage and glow sticks to add to the party atmosphere, and let the kids go nuts.

Outdoors we strung balloons across the yard in case the rain held off and before the rain came back over the kids had a run outside playing chasie.

Overall I am really pleased how the afternoon went even though we had to make all these last minute changes. It was hectic for Ben and I attending to everyone inside, because we were packed in our dining and kitchen area. But honestly the main thing is the kids had an awesome time, not a single squabble with kids, they played well in three different area throughout the house we had set up, which actually allowed many parents to have a relaxed afternoon, without any worries.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Today you are three....


Last night I was feeling rather nostalgic, like many parents must feel when their child's birthday is imminent. I always spend time thinking about my children's birth and deliveries at these time. So last night I took to my personal Facebook wall (not something I do too much of these days with two blog Facebook pages) to share some thoughts with about 20 friends and family " liking" or commenting as I shared.

What follows is the status I posted last night and following comments, for privacy reasons for my friends and extended family I am referring to everyone in initials only.

This time 3 years ago Ben was finishing up giving me a massage when he heard the words "oh my waters just broke". We were on the cusp of meeting our first earthbound child, our son, and our lives were about to be further changed immeasurably forever.

GG commented - Nice memories Trudie. Very special.
I commented - CT you were here, witnessing my denial I was in labour.
I commented - Denial that this time I would have a sweet blessing to bring home. I realise now you were eager to reassure this mummy of yours, to get the show on the road, your earthbound life......two weeks early and keen as mustard.
AG commented - Ooh brings tears to the eyes.
CT commented - It's tomorrow though isn't it???
I commented - CT yes......this time 3 years ago you had just helped Ben get me in the car and waved us goodbye as we headed to hospital.
I commented - Two special angel souls guiding us through the night, waiting to deliver you to us.
Very eager and keen at 5.30am this morning, we only had time to grab our iPhones and get this quick snap.....he was shocked

Then this morning I posted this.....
Three years ago today at 4.16am we welcomed the most incredibly sweet boy Cohen John into our world. Happy Birthday baby, love you to the moon and stars.

I thanked friends and family for indulging me in my walk down memory lane last night. So many of my friends were witness to our heartbreak before Cohen and it was so nice to share my feelings last night, with them all and honour my sweet birthday boy.

Monday, April 23, 2012

For me, for him, my weekend.....

I have had another splendid weekend, with many things that have made it special and exciting. Saturday mornings here always means swimming lessons, which involves some logistical planning. Sarah being a mummy's girl needs for me to be out of sight and out of mind to have a relaxed lesson with daddy (their only one on one time each week). I'm missing out on seeing her confidence in the pool develop, but it does mean I get one on one time with Cohen during this time. So I usually take him to a nearby park in the area we live. On Saturday we were on our way to another park when the grasslands we were about to pass had a hot air balloon lingering closely above.

So I pulled into the car park, unbuckled Cohen and we ran off for a better view and to my excitement they were also coming down to land. We kept our distance, but once they had landed and were secured I was waved in with Cohen so he could have a close up look. Cohen was a little frightened by the size but I could tell he was in awe of it all at the same time. It was such a wonderful and unexpected surprise for our Saturday morning.

In other splendidness and of particular importance to me and "my" dreams and goals, I ventured out on the weekend selling some of my handmade wares and vintage collectibles and knick knacks. You can read about my day over at my other blog My Vintage Vow. I'm so pleased that I'm slowly tapping away at some major personal goals I've had for some time.
Exciting times. Exciting weekend, full of these splendours and more. Life is good.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Birthday party menu, the debate....

Cohen's 3rd birthday is next week and next weekend we are having his party. The party he told us he was having. I had some pretty big ideas for his party a few weeks ago, but with being sick for a week recently and Easter I just haven't followed through. Super fun invitations have turned into Facebook Event Invitations to friends and their kids, phone calls and text messages.

But with it being a little a over a week out to the party I'm trying to pull everything else together, make it look like I've been slaving for weeks planning this. I work well under pressure, I generally always have. So Ben and I have been discussing party food as the party is at 2pm. We figured it's after lunch and before dinner and if we put on mostly healthy food options parents perhaps wouldn't have to be so concerned if their kids fill up on food here and not eat dinner.

Yep this crazy curly hair boy is turning three

Ben and I are at odds with one another with the amount of food we should offer. I keep reminding him we have 9 kids at last count coming of various ages, some extra siblings, parents and some family members and friends. It's kind of got out of control, I know! But hey it's the first time hosting a kids birthday party here at home......we will learn from our mistakes I'm sure.

On my suggested menu is:
* Gow Gee Dumplings....either turkey or chicken. There are thirty Gow Gee wrappers in a pack and out of 500 grams of mince I could get ninety of them if I use three packs. Ben thinks sixty will be heaps, I don't think so.

* Organic sausage rolls.....organic sausages in puff pastry, cut up into snack size ones, I'm think I can get about sixty out of a pack of puff pastry. Ben is debating this with me too.

* Assorted sandwiches with healthy fillings....I'm thinking two loaves of bread. This option isn't being debated.

* Fruit and marshmallow kebabs....I haven't decided on amount yet.

And finally....
* Cake

Drinks haven't been considered much at this point but I am considering bottled water for the kids. We don't really do juice here. I'm a being stingy? Please help me, surely some of my readers are much more experienced in planning a three year olds birthday party. Am I way off the mark here, with amounts? Any suggestions? I'd appreciate feedback, I thought all my initial thoughts were all fine but now I'm doubting it since talking with Ben. So I'm going to hand it over to you all for advice.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Yesterday I cried.....

It's funny how just the other week I posted a Elle, Meg and Me update, about where I am in my healing and journey with my angel babes. I mentioned that between now and the end of May there might be moments with the girls fourth memorial coming up, where I might have some tough times.

Well something happened yesterday a trigger point was pushed and I had no warning, so yesterday I cried. You see I was awake at about 3am after putting Sarah back down in her cot after a feed where she had squirmed and squirmed so I hadn't been able to drift off to sleep again during the feed. Needing to tire myself again before trying to get more shut eye, I thought I would read on my iPad for 15mins or so and try make myself sleepy.

Sleepy I did not make myself, stressed, anxious and worried instead was the result. I had jumped on Facebook to see that our friends who have Little A, that I told you about here, who had surgery to remove half her brain, had been in an accident. You see Little A and family are still in Sydney under the care of the hospital, but were allowed to take her out on a day trip over the weekend. They were returning from what sounding like that most fabulous time they have had in ages (and without a doubt needed and deserved).

When.....

A "alleged" drunk driver who was swerving over the road hit them from behind resulting in Little A hitting her head and other passengers being injured. The driver who had collided with them apparently went on to have a collision with another car, and from reports totalled the other car. A day that had been loaded with much happiness, joy and smiles ended in a ambulance back to hospital, the same one they were trying to return to after their days leave with Little A.

So all I knew from this Facebook message was that they had an accident, that Little A had hit her head as a result and everyone would be kept posted. As you can imagine our friends Facebook wall went to meltdown with comments of concern.

Was Little A going to be ok? She and her family have been through so much and to have had major surgery where half her brain has been removed. Was this accident going to change everything? Was it going to change the positive results they had gotten since the surgery?

As a mum, a parent, a women a human being I started to worry. I'm a visual person by nature, it's a blessing and a curse. It's a curse since losing Elle and Meg because of my PTSD and flashbacks. I kept imagining and seeing in my mind our friend and her Little girl in that moment of impact and the instant horror and worry she would have for her daughter. A thousand things racing though her mind and then the question, how can we have been through all of this for this to now happen.......and to now have this worry?

It's hard to explain to others the intricacies of my PTSD and triggers (that are rooted in losing my girls and other life experiences and situations), but the best I can explain is that this news triggered a physical trigger of worry that was a reminder of the sort of worry I had when I was in hospital whilst pregnant with the girls. That worry, that dark cloud of what was happening to me, what was happening to them, that mothers worry. To be told everything is ok, and then......

Sorry it's hard for me to finish sentences sometimes, when I'm struggling for the words and I'm only getting pictures. Pictures in the mind, pictures that worry, but pictures that remind.

So yesterday I cried, because yesterday it hurt bad. I cried later feeding Sarah again and talking to Ben. I cried because it was hard. Then a little hand from a little body nestled at my breast, placed her hand gently upon on my nose. Elle and Meg I know you sent your brother and sister to us, I know you guide their spirits, just as you try to protect mine.

I cried yesterday girls, because I missed you.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

That moment in toddlerdom when....

I have never liked subscribing to the theory of the "Terrible Two's". Before Cohen hit two and even before he was born I had this belief that the "Terrible Two's" had more to do with a parents outlook in coping and dealing with this period of their child's development. Yes, I know, it was probably an ignorant and arrogant way of viewing things. But now that we are about to hit the big "3rd Birthday", I can declare "Terrible Two's" for the want of a better term like, "difficult development period in my emerging two your old" has and does exist.

I'm sure if you've been in the trenches with an emerging and growing two year old, you will of had days, weeks and even months where your thoughts wonder off to the future, aghast at the thought that all your efforts in raising your child until now will result in him being like this forever. Screaming, crying, meltdowns, tantrums, mine, mine, mine, it's mine, it's not fair, but why, pushing, biting, climbing, talking, talking, talking non-stop talking. Peeing, pooping everywhere, eating, non-stop eating, sibling rivalry, share, please share with your sister, pick me up, mummy, daddy, mummy, mummy, daddy, daddy, look at me, manners, where are your manners, listening, are you listening, what did I say?

You get the picture!

But there's a moment, and a glimmer when you say to yourself:
"It's going to be ok, we're doing a good job at this parenting gig".

Recently:
Sarah - *cry*
Cohen - it's ok baby, it's ok Sarah I still love you.

Recently:
Cohen - can I have Easter Eggs now?
Us - no, it's too early in the morning.
Cohen - but please I want to share them with everybody!

Recently:
Cohen - mummy!
Me - yes!
Cohen - hugs me and looks up whilst holding me says
"You are the sweetest girl in the whole world."

Recently:
Cohen: witnesses Sarah achieve a physical milestone, walks over to her, kisses her, wraps his arms around her and says "I'm proud of you Sarah".

Recently:
Cohen - I want to go say thank you to Mila (our next or neighbour and partner) for taking me for a walk (no prompting).

You get the picture!
It's all these little things, which are really all the the bigs things as parents we are hoping that are getting through.

Ahhh *exhale* I think we're going to be ok.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I'm guest posting come catch me over at......


Truth be known I was guest posting yesterday and I got carried away with Friday happenings here and forgot to share this exciting news.
So please pop on over and visit me over at Michelle's at Farmers Wifey, where she has launched a guest post series about:

See you over there.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Loving the Library: There's a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake

I don't know about your kids, but one thing that always goes down a treat here is a book with a crazy and silly storyline, sillier the better.
{Pic Source}
There's a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake
Author: Hazel Edwards
Illustrator: Deborah Niland
Publisher: Penguin Books

A story about an imaginary Hippo that can do what ever he likes. This imaginary Hippo can do everything that a little girl wishes she could. All those things a kid wishes they could do, she can't. She has to take a bath, the hippo takes a shower; when she has to go to bed, the hippo watches television on the roof.

What's great about this book:
Quite simply when it comes to young children the crazier a story is, the more ridiculous the antics of characters the better and the Hippo has that happening in this story.

Verdict:
A great, fun story, giggles just kept coming reading this one with Cohen, that's got to be a thumbs up.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Highlights...


I love this time of year, Easter break, for us there's no running around trying to squeeze everyone in the family into four days like Christmas is for one day. We have just had the most wonderful time these past four days. I didn't want it to end and have Ben back off to work today.

But there are always the memories and highlights:

* French Toast and Nutella cheekiness.
* Trains, planes and automobile fun.
* Like father, like son moments.

* Homemade Hot Cross Buns
* My special hot chocolate recipe.
* Ticking things off the odd jobs list.
* Gardening, new spaces.
* Water play and tea sets.

* Chocolate
* Family, friends and great neighbours.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

An Elle, Meg and Me update....

There have been a lot of changes here recently with the blog and more to come in good time, and as I get time. But the main reason I ever started this blog in the first place was to help me with my grief process after losing Elle & Meg. For those who are new to my blog Elle and Meg are my identical twin girls, they were my first pregnancy which tragically and traumatically resulted in the horrific loss of my darlings half way through the pregnancy.

We are coming up to their four year memorial next month, and I still occasionally have someone stumble across an old blog post about these events and leave me a comment or send me an email. So I thought I'd put a few words down and give you a glimpse into my world on this matters since its been awhile between those sort of posts.

One thing that will never change regarding this situation is that it will always suck. Having said that I am in a place these days where I can see all the blessings and opportunities I have in my life despite the tragedy. I'm careful to say I would swap my blessings for my girls, because two of the greatest blessings I have are Cohen and Sarah. To allow myself to sit in that feeling too long means I have to imagine a world and life without them, and honestly that is not a pain I want to fathom or experience.

My PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and OCD issues, are managed and under control, I don't know there will ever be a day they will be gone, but they are there. I do have flare ups, and I have had challenges in recent months. Flare ups come with lack of sleep, so if I have a week where things are rough with Sarah and it's been non-stop, I'm generally in for some difficulties. Stress, particularly stresses that come with my family can trigger episodes too. I have to be careful to manage contact and conversations with certain members of my family, but that is a whole other story of it's own......it's a complicated one and one I have vowed for my own ongoing sanity not go into here. Sometimes I get caught with a trigger or an episode and get frozen with flashbacks. It's been several months since a bad one, but the last one had me in a zoned out state in the shower with Sarah. When I had come out of it, it kind of scared me that I had lost myself for that time whilst this happened. In actual fact I was only in this state for 5mins or so, but still.....kind of dangerous with Sarah in shower with me.

Now having said all of the above, I'm actually doing really well. In fact I think I'm doing the best I have in a long time. I know and I am fully prepared that there might be some though days ahead through to the end of May with the girls fourth memorial day coming up. But it's jut that I might have tough days I may not, I don't expect to and I don't expect not to have tough times......it is just what it is and I'll ride whatever waves come or not.

Overall I am looking at my life despite my stress disorders as being in one of the best phases of my life yet, I have so much that I'm doing. I'm am inspired and being inspired by so much. I'm blessed with the most gorgeous earthbound children in Cohen and Sarah and Ben as their father and my husband. I'm living my dreams and hearts desires with my writing and creative desires and plans.......I'm pretty darned fulfilled if the truth be told. There isn't a day that goes by I don't think of my Elle and Meg, but it's because of them I can see how rich my life is right now.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Loving the Library: Rufus the Numbat....

It's rather convenient that we had borrowed this book recently as it has tied in well with Cohen's interest and talk about our recent visit to a wildlife park for a friends little boys birthday. Although we didn't see Numbats it adds to our conversations about Australian animals. She here I am with another great and unique suggestion for a read with your little ones featuring native fauna.
{image credit}
Author/illustrator: David Miller
Publisher: Ford Street

This is definitely a unique book, particularly in the way it has been illustrated with detailed paper sculpture. A minimal text storybook about Rufus the Numbat and what happens when he passes through a local town and the trouble he causes for the town people.

What is great about this book:
* introduces children to a lesser known Australian animal
* paper sculpture, it's really amazing need I say it again
* minimal text, allows pictures to tell the story and allows young readers to ask questions.

Verdict:
We certainly enjoyed this book, which was clear the first several times Cohen asked me to read it again. I do think the minimal text was lost on him, but the amazing use of paper sculpture illustrating this book had his eyes glued to the pages and asking questions which lead him to building his own stories about what he was taking in.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

When mum's sick.....

Sorry if the post title had you with thoughts or mental images of serious life threatening illnesses. That's certainly not what this post is about, its merely a post of my observations and ramblings coming out the other side of 4 odd days of a viral gastro type of horribleness. I started feeling unwell on Friday and wasted a weekend feeling blah and very un-engaging like over most things. But I have had plenty of time to think, ponder and question something I've often thought, pondered and questioned!

What are things like for you other mums when you're sick?

Over the years I've read studies that have noted that a mothers recovery with a sickness is often longer due to the constant demand we generally find ourselves under. Don't get me wrong I've got a loving a supportive husband in Ben, but when it comes down to our family dynamics, kids personalities, preferences, work commitments, business commitments and everything else I'm left to fly solo when I'm sick. You see Ben runs a business with his dad, dad's in the office and Ben's on the road every week day all day servicing clients. With the nature of their work and business it's very inflexible in these times of need like when I'm sick to call him in for reinforcement during the day. Nature of the beast I guess when you're in your own business. If I'm lucky and the stars are aligned (which is rarely) Ben will be able to shuffle partial workload to other days in the week and get home early to tend to me or family needs.

Due to family difficulties, health, work and business commitments and responsibilities we aren't in a position to call on family for a hand with the kids at these times either. If you're a stay at home mum, do you fly solo through sickness, even when you're literally death warmed up, because the sole breadwinner in the household just has to get out there day in day out. If you do, tell me what you do to get by, to cope, to manage the kids when it's just you and you're barely running on one cylinder. At the same time I'm left to wonder about those amazing mums out there who are single mums, I know your position is even harder when there isn't someone to walk in the door at the end of a working day to start their next shift looking after things on the home front.

As mums I know we have to get creative sometimes to find the peace, the calm, and finding a way to cope especially during difficult times. How do you make things work for you, when it's one of those times?
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