Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thermomix CADA Cookies

I have a sweet tooth. I love love love baking and sweet things and all that stuff. I'm also trying to watch what I put in my mouth at the moment but not feel like I am 'missing out' on noms either.

One thing I have been using to assuage the sweet tooth is CADA. I pop equal parts dessicated coconut, dried apple, dried pitted dates and almonds in the Thermomix and blitz them on 10 for about ten seconds. I sprinkle it on yoghurt or other foods for a 'treat'. It is sweet and delicious, but filling as well with a slower burn than refined sugar. I'm not doing the 'I quit sugar' thing obviously, but that doesn't mean I can't be a little more conscientious about it. 

So anyway I made up this recipe and the biscuits turned out pretty yum, even the kids like them! And look, cookies are cookies alright... they have butter and flour in them. But these ones also have lots of other yummy and lower GI things in them so that can only be a good thing. 

The recipe makes 36 and they work out at 61 calories per biscuit. For comparison sake a Tim Tam is 98 calories. I don't count calories, but thought I'd do the math for those who do.

You Need:

120g Butter
50g Rice Malt Syrup (find it in the health food section of your grocery store)
1 egg
130g CADA (ie 30ish grams of coconut, apple, dates and almonds each)
40g oats
40g All Bran
140g self raising flour

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

* If you haven't allowed the butter to soften (I never remember, am a spur of the moment baker) pop it in the Thermomix for 15 seconds at speed 5 to mush it up.

* Add the rice syrup and set time for one minute at speed 4. After 30 seconds crack the egg into the mixture. Stop and scrape the sides with a spatula if necessary.

* Add in the remaining ingredients and set for 40 seconds at interval speed.

* Drop teaspoon amounts onto a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 180 degrees. Recipe should make 36 biscuits.

* Allow to cool and gobble at will.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lost in translation

So I've been doing the C25K as part of my 12WBT efforts. I'm up to week 3 this week, it's killing me but the buzz afterwards is awesome!

Anyway I bought some running tracks from iTunes to help pump me up a bit. I didn't listen to them first and as a result as I slogged away this morning I was treated to some interesting and occasionally hilarious Japanese remixes of some classic tracks.

There were a few phrases that got lost in translation... My favourite was the 'new' version of My Sharona.

'Ooh you make my mother run, my mother run.'

Nearly spat my water from laughing! Strangely appropriate and very funny.

Have you got a 'lost in translation' funny to share?

Also, please direct me to some pumping running tracks because despite the funny I do like my music to be close to original if possible. Kicking it to 'Sexy and I Know It' and 'Pump Up the Jam' is getting boring ;)

Post run cuddles with Little Miss Thing. Because half an hour of not being
all over your Mum can be stressful when you are her. <3

Monday, February 27, 2012

Two steps forward...

I mentioned recently that our little mate has been making some huge leaps with his speech of late. Every new word he uses unprompted is so 'franchestic' to me.

But with this developmental leap (and others I have noticed) comes a noticeable behavioral change as well.
The past week my boyo has been nothing short of loopy. Hyperactive, endlessly spinning and jumping and running and flapping... He's developed a habit of bolting when we are out places as well which is not a fun one to me.

Sometimes during the quiet periods I wonder if he really and truly is as autistic as 'they' say.

Times like now are a glaring reminder that for all the leaps we have a long way to go as well.

And even though more than six months have passed since his diagnosis, I sometimes need to remind myself that 'improvement' does not equal 'getting better'.

Still, better two steps forward one step back than the other way around, right?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

All Apologies

Edenland's Fresh Horses Brigade

I'm sorry I can't fix you. I'm sorry I can't take away your pain and make it my own. I'm sorry I take your feelings and feel them too, but it doesn't diminish them for you.

 I'm sorry I can't make you take the medication, or seek other help. Sorry I react too quickly and take it personally. Sorry that after all these years I just can't leave you be when it's like this.

 I'm sorry life has dealt you blow after blow.

 I'm sorry I can't give you the part of me that contains all the hope and optimism. I'm sorry when that part of me is damaged by this.

 I'm sorry I don't have an answer. So sorry.

 I'm sorry that the image we project isn't always the reality. I wish it was too.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fitness Friday: 12WBT Week 2

It's Friday again, already!!

I've had a bit of a challenging week. It has been a very emotional week but I've been taking our all my stress on the treadmill so that's a plus I guess!

I've not used the 12WBT meal plan at all this week, but I HAVE stuuck to making good choices foodwise. Mostly. Hoping to at least use some of the dinner plans next week but I'm happy to back into menu planning properly for my family and not having junk in the house makes it a lot easier anyway.

We had weigh in on Wednesday and to date I have lost 1kg. I am really happy if that's about it for weight loss for me, and actually hope to be putting on a few kilograms of muscle, I'm working hard for it. The best measure as to success for me will be when we do physical measurements rather than weight I think.

Now I have a question for you fitness gurus. I have a dodgy back and this week it has been pretty horrific on and off. I'm doing the C25K alternating with strength/weights work. Is running not a great idea for me?

I have to say as much as I curse and try to find excuses not to get on the treadmill on running days, the high afterwards can not be beat and I really do intend to achieve my goal of running 4km with my sister at the Mothers Day Classic in May. BUT I don't want to do anything that may be detrimental to my long term health backwise. Has anyone got some tips or ideas for me?

Fitness Friday is a Blog Hop hosted by myself and the lovely Natalie over at Mummy Smiles. We'd love you to join in whether you are participating in the 12WBT or doing it your own way, or any other program for that matter.

Feel free to grab our button and add it to your post or sidebar, and we have a Facebook page for chats and discussion during the week as well.

Just add your link here, copy the code and add it to your own post and voila, you're hopping along.

Please do try and pop in on some of the other hoppers and show them some comment love too. We really want to support and encourage each other here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thankful Thursday: From Stress to Strength

I'm changing it up a little this Thankful Thursday.

I asked on my Facebook page yesterday if anyone might like to join in some prompted writing this week. If it's something you lovely TTers like I'd love to make it a regular thing.

The prompt was to look back at a time of stress or challenge in your life and recognize the gratitude you have for that time now. Of course ALL Thankful Thursday posts are welcome to link up as always.

Many years and three children ago we lived in Queensland. We had a baby boy and moved up there chasing a dream when he was about 9 months old.

I truly loved living there, not least because it was the first year of my life that I didn't crack the SAD's over Winter. We made some amazing friends, a number of whom we're still in touch with today.

And then it all went to hell.

My husband was contracted as director of an advertising firm. He'd worked with one of the owners before, the other was an unknown entity. The very short version is that things did not work out. The long version includes absolutely disgraceful behaviour on their behalf to the extent of extreme bullying and even death threats to some of the franchise owners. Cowboys.

I was pregnant with our daughter by then and we just wanted to get out of there. We were scared and thousands of kilometers away from our families. Our home down here had been rented out for a year so we literally had nowhere to go once we decided to head back to Victoria.

Thankfully my sister-in-law very graciously took us in. My husband was not in a good place emotionally, I was a big bag of hormones and we had an energetic little boy running around as well. I don't know if I've ever expressed to her how grateful I am that she opened her home to us in a time of great need.

This was a turning point for all of us. The hubster had a truck license and our experiences had soured the advertising field for him completely. He started looking at jobs in the transport industry and a Supertrucker was born.

Our tenant moved out a week before our baby was due and we went home. I literally went into labour hours after unpacking the last of the boxes.

Life has changed so much since then, sometimes I forget just how awful that time really was. I'm glossing over it here but truly it was a very scary time for very many reasons.

I am so grateful that it is far behind us now and nothing but a memory. The entire experience of shifting our little family interstate and back again was fairly stressful in itself but through it all I learned that I possessed a strength I'd not recognized before. The time of unemployment during and after the move back home was horrible, but I worked hard at my manufacturing business and somehow we got through it with help from our families.

I am so grateful to both of our families for the support they gave us both financially and emotionally. I am thankful for all that we learned from that time, and I am thankful that when things are feeling hard now I can look back at that time and others we have gotten through together and know that we can get through this as well.

Strength is a funny thing. You don't know you have it until after you've used it sometimes.

Some housekeeping: I love reading all your thankful posts each week. When you link up here I would really appreciate a link back to this post so your readers might come and check out a few of the other blogs that have linked up as well. Share the love!

I'd also love it if you could try and comment on a few of your fellow thankful crew... Comments make everyone happy :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Miracles Happen

I had a post scheduled for today. It was a clever (I thought) and cutting diatribe about Real Estate Agents and how they promise you the moon and then deliver Uranus.

But then we had a meeting with the director of the company we're using who agreed our house was overvalued and is going out of his way to make up for it, including covering some of our advertising costs. We're feeling a lot better about them as a whole for now, so I guess my scathing witticisms will have to be shelved. Also I really prefer to focus on the good stuff here anyway.

And besides that I have the best good stuff of all time to share.

I have three sisters. One of them recently returned from her long awaited three week honeymoon. I'm not going to go into the specifics but will tell you that it had been heartbreaking for them and for all of us that upon their returning she was staring down a complete hysterectomy after years of illness.

Instead, she is having a baby.

She'd been so ill, not unusual for her sadly, but this time not due to insanely fluctuating hormones but due to pregnancy hormones!

Truly it is nothing short of a miracle and ecstatic does not go close to how I am feeling. As another sister said we were more excited learning of her pregnancy than some of our own!

So come late August I get to be an Aunty again, and my sister and brother-in-law will have the greatest blessing ever.

Happy Dance!
Tell me about your miracles!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Holland Revisited

There are beautiful and amazing people in the world.

I went to Uni with one. She was the most generous and loving person imaginable. She was even a bridesmaid in my wedding and I in hers. We spent a lot of time together over many years, and then we drifted apart. Not due to any falling out or anything, just life you know?

Every now and then we make contact again, and it always makes me smile to hear from her.

I got a letter care of my parents on the weekend. I'd had a fairly tough morning trying to get the house ready for an open with four kids running amok, the Supertrucker on the road and my little mate being the most stimmy hyper full on little boy you could imagine. If you looked up autism in the dictionary you would've found a picture of him grinning wildly.

I opened it as we left the house, read the note and promptly burst into tears. We're running on fairly extreme stress at the moment. For this woman to take the time to send this to me... To care enough... Just for me to know she is out there reading and thinking of us... It was nothing short of amazing to me in that moment and I am so grateful.

You may remember my post about Holland. If not pop over and read it first.

My friend sent me this response to that text:
_ _ _ _ _ _
Celebrating Holland - I'm Home
by Cathy Anthony

I have been in Holland for over a decade now. It has become home. I have had time to catch my breath, to settle and adjust, to accept something different than I'd planned. I reflect back on those years of past when I had first landed in Holland. I remember clearly my shock, my fear, my anger, the pain and uncertainty. In those first few years, I tried to get back to Italy as planned, but Holland was where I was to stay. Today, I can say how far I have come on this unexpected journey. I have learned so much more. But, this too has been a journey of time.

I worked hard. I bought new guidebooks. I learned a new language and I slowly found my way around this new land. I have met others whose plans had changed like mine, and who could share my experience. We supported one another and some have become very special friends. 

Some of these fellow travelers had been in Holland longer than I and were seasoned guides, assisting me along the way. Many have encouraged me. Many have taught me to open my eyes to the wonder and gifts to behold in this new land. I have discovered a community of caring. Holland wasn't so bad. 

I think that Holland is used to wayward travelers like me and grew to become a land of hospitality, reaching out to welcome, to assist and to support newcomers like me in this new land. Over the years, I've wondered what life would have been like if I'd landed in Italy as planned. Would life have been easier? Would it have been as rewarding? Would I have learned some of the important lessons I hold today?

Sure, this journey has been more challenging and at times I would (and still do) stomp my feet and cry out in frustration and protest. And, yes, Holland is slower paced than Italy and less flashy than Italy, but this too has been an unexpected gift. I have learned to slow down in ways too and look closer at things, with a new appreciation for the remarkable beauty of Holland with its tulips, windmills and Rembrandts.

I have come to love Holland and call it Home.

I have become a world traveler and discovered that it doesn't matter where you land. What's more important is what you make of your journey and how you see and enjoy the very special, the very lovely, things that Holland, or any land, has to offer.

Yes, over a decade ago I landed in a place I hadn't planned. Yet I am thankful, for this destination has been richer than I could have imagined!
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 

I am looking forward to the day I can embrace Holland as fully.

Thank you so much Butterfly. Just knowing you are out there means so much to me. Bless your beautiful heart <3

Friday, February 17, 2012

Fitness Friday: 12WBT Week 1

What a week it has been!

We're now five days in to the 12WBT and I'm catching myself looking forward to exercising in the mornings. I hope that lasts!

I will admit I'm not following the nutrition plan very closely at all. The calorie level is far to low for me (tandem breastfeeding = sucking the life out of me ;)) and I had a couple of near fainting experiences early on. I have very low blood pressure so am using those dinners that I think will appeal to my family and making more mindful choices with other meals.

My whole family enjoyed the lasagne so that is going on the menu rotation!

The biggest change I have made so far (aside from daily workouts) is eating breakfast. For years now I have had a coffee or two and called it breakfast, then been starving by around 10am and eaten whatever I felt like. I get some serious sugar cravings while breastfeeding so you can imagine what I was grabbing!

This week I have had an egg or two with grain bread every single morning. It has made a huge difference to my eating habits during the day. I'm still having a snack mid morning but that's what it is, a snack. Usually yoghurt or a slice of banana bread.

Because I'm eating a decent breakfast I am also motivated to have a good lunch, so in that sense I've really overhauled the way our days run.

I've started the C25K running program and am doing that on the treadmill. On alternate days I've been doing Jillian Michaels 30 day Shred which is hard! But because it is a 20 minute program I can manage it and the little two cope with that okay so far. I'm looking forward to feeling a bit stronger though!

So how is your first week going? I'd love to hear about it in the comments, or if you are a blogger please do join in our blog hop!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Relief

I posted earlier in the week that we've come up with a contingency plan.

Since talking it all through and working out our options I feel like an enormous weight has lifted from me.
Our contingency plan isn't the terribly disappointing second best, it is just as exciting and gives us the benefit of time on our side.

I cannot express how grateful I am to not have the feeling of that deadline looming and it being the be all and end all. I was rapidly reaching the point of physical and emotional exhaustion.

This week I am so thankful for the time to actually sit down and talk things through with the Supertrucker. He's an awesome bloke. Srsly.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ten ways running is like giving birth.

1) You look forward to it.

2) Then while you're doing it it's not as much fun and heaps harder work than you thought it would be. But afterwards you feel freakin' amazing.

3) And exhausted.

4) You can do both at home, indoors or outdoors. Although running in a hospital may be frowned upon.

5) The last bit is the hardest, but also the most rewarding.

6) Both can turn you into a grunting, panting mass of sweaty limbs.

7) Many people look a bit like this afterwards:

8) Both leave you with a sore bum. Not quite the same type of sore, but still.

9) There are lots of ways to do both. Some people like to think they know the only 'right' way. They'd be wrong. The right way is your own way.

10) Very few people win medals for either.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Some facts.

We have put an offer on a house that is subject to us having an unconditional offer on this one by March 1st.

It takes a while to get the house inspection ready even though it is clean, and it is tricky with children 'helping'.

We have had 15 inspections (including via opens) over the past fortnight.

No matter how much we wish it, we can not create the perfect buyer.

The big 4 banks have all raised their interest rates in the past week, independent of the Reserve Bank's hold on rates. This makes the market even tougher, and makes me vow we will NEVER borrow through them again.

Even the most optimistic of optimists needs to face facts and have a contingency plan in place.

This does not mean giving up on the universe, but accepting that what is meant to happen will happen. Even if that means this particular house, this particular dream is not to be.

We have a fortnight left, there is still time.

But we have plenty of options as well, and we have each other. And that is all that matters.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Systems Junkie Sells a House. AKA wanna see my bedroom?

Okay so it hasn't sold as yet, but it will. I thought I'd share some tips and ideas for getting your home ready for inspection at a moment's notice and keeping it that way for those looking to sell. Or for those who just like to keep their home close to immaculate.

The first thing I did when we decided to sell was declutter. I wanted our place to look as big as possible. I removed a heap of miscellaneous furniture from the kids' bedrooms along with about two thirds of their toys. They haven't even noticed which speaks volumes! We've stored them at my parents place for the moment and it has made a huge difference to how those rooms present. Maximising space with minimal furniture and light colours can really change how a room is perceived. Also the less 'stuff' you have around the quicker it is to clear up for a snap inspection!

Things I love: fish channel and a fire burning. This photo is hilarious to me.
Also yes, we have an enormous couch. It fits all six of us!
Our dining/family area. All surfaces cleared and pretty fruit on the table. Noice.
Also that is a Tupperware tablecloth turned upside down so you can't see the logo.
Because that's how I roll.
I spent a few days washing walls. Not my favourite I'll admit, but I did find random names in odd places on walls (good on ya kids) and it was very satisfying once it was done.

We've rearranged furniture to try and demonstrate the flexibility of the rooms in our house. We only have one living area, but it's quite possible to move things around and create another. We want people to see not only the actuality but the possibilities of this property.

What will eventually sell this house I suspect is the lifestyle it represents. To that end I cleared off the deck area and washed our couch covers out there. I bought some cheap potted colour from Bunnings and some funky pots and placed them around the perimeter so it now looks like a great place to relax at the end of the day. I've been doing that a lot more myself too, should have done it ages ago! It is a lovely space with a great view.

How's the serenity? If you ignore the four kids screeching around the back yard.
They don't come with the house though, so that's okay.
We slogged our guts out did a bit of yard work as well. All the garden beds are freshly mulched with terracotta coloured pine bark and the colour and defined areas have given the whole yard a much needed lift. It was a relatively inexpensive way to change the way our large yard looks and we've had some great feedback about it.

I will admit that with each inspection I move our king size bed (which is on wheels) away from the wall and take down the bedrail so it looks like normal people live here rather than hippy la la co-sleeping types. I want people to be able to envision how their own furniture would place and I suspect not many would be sharing their beds with a couple of little buggers snugglers.

Yes, the bed is as big as it looks. It needs to be!
The key rooms I focus on polishing pre-inspection are the bathrooms and kitchen. I have a beautiful kitchen, only two years old and cleverly designed for both function and form. The right person will see that kitchen and fall in love with it I think. I will miss it a lot! Mirrors and surfaces are cleared and polished every day but deep cleaning regularly means that this actually doesn't take all that long. The sinks are sparkling whenever I walk out the door.

I adore my kitchen. Adore. Who wouldn't?
Kids bathroom. The laundry is the same colour. Happy :)
I've taken away a few of our photos too, just to increase the visual space. I have left a number because we are a family and we live here and it is still our home, but by just removing those few the rooms do look a little bigger again.

Our entry way is clear of clutter and I've been putting fresh cut flowers both there and in the living room once a week. I love cut flowers anyway and it's a habit I'd like to continue regardless, but I like that they add a splash of colour and make a welcoming first impression.

All this has made me think about the things we do to improve a house for sale. We did the same with our last place and it seems a bit wasteful that we don't do it for ourselves. I'd like to try and do this kind of 'upgrading' more often so that we can enjoy the benefits!

What are your hot tips for house presentation? And what do YOU look for in a property? Kitchen and storage space are my big sell points, what are yours?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Fresh Horses and Funerals

The amazing Eden has an ace linky going on right now. Funeral songs. Srsly.

I couldn't resist.

I introduced my big girl to this song (albeit the Doris Day version) just last week. There are so many songs I'd love people to remember me by, but this I think sums me up pretty well. Mostly.

The quality isn't the best, but I dare you not to get an earworm!

Also sign behind Sinatra = all win y/y?

Click the button up there and go check out some other funeral choices by some choice bloggers.

What piece of music would you want played at your funeral?

Friday, February 10, 2012

12WBT - Fitness Friday

Welcome to the first Fitness Friday blog hop for 12WBTers!

The gorgeous Natalie from Mummy Smiles and I have joined forces in what we hope will be a great way to share our 12WBT journeys.

We've also set up a Facebook Page 12 Week Blogger Transformation. Get thee over there and join in the conversation!

Each Friday we will be running a blog hop for you to link up your posts. All bloggers participating in the 12WBT are welcome... new, established, Mummy bloggers, fashion bloggers, beauty bloggers, Daddy bloggers, fitness bloggers... we want to hear from you!

If you are new to blog hops this is how it works. Each week both here and on the Mummy Smiles blog you will find a link to add your own 12WBT blog post to the list. You then click the 'Get the code here...' link below, copy the code provided and edit it into the bottom of your own post. Voila, you're now part of the hop!

Sounds like a great way to keep up with each other and show some support right?

So let's kick it off with a roll call and statement of intention if you're keen?

I'm in obviously.

Kate. 35 years old. 4 children (8, 6, 3 & 1).

I will admit I've been a bit epic fail with the preseason tasks, the fairly sudden decision to buy and sell houses has turned my life upside down of late!

But I am excited and ready to take on the 12WBT challenge. I'm also ready for you guys to kick my butt when I start coming up with daft excuses. I know myself pretty well.

I'm taking part to improve my diet and fitness rather than weightloss. I want some muscle and tone. I'm also going to do the couch to 5km program and I am going to run!

PS We have a button!! Grab it and add it! I'm linking it back to the Facebook page, feel free to do the same :)

Add your 12WBT post here, then grab the code using the link below if you'd like to host the hop on your own blog as well. Problems? Catch me via email or on Twitter.

Not a blogger but taking part in the 12WBT? I'd love you to tell me about it in the comments! What are you going to achieve in the next few months?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thankful Thursday: The diagnosis 6 months on

It's six months since our little mate was diagnosed with autism and a moderate intellectual disability. So much has happened in that time, and I thought I'd allow myself the time to reflect on my own emotional journey.

The diagnosis day itself was awful. I'm very good at putting a positive spin on things, but if I am honest with myself in the months that followed I came as close to depression as I have ever been in my life. For all the optimism I showed, on the inside I was confused and hurting and never far from tears. What would become of my boy?

The nightmare of trying to access services did not help. It is unbelievable to me that everyone bangs on about the importance of early intervention but that it is so very hard to access! Waiting lists are insane where we live (yes he is STILL on them with no admittance in sight, although when we move the new area has far better availability).

I would spend many insomniac nights worrying about his future. Would he ever attend a mainstream school? Would he ever achieve independence as an adult? What would happen to him if the Supertrucker or I were not around? Things that I will never have any control over ate away at me day and night and made me fairly unpleasant to be around I suspect.

I could not rationalise my feelings. I felt guilty for my sadness because a diagnosis of autism is not the same as a diagnosis of a terminal or chronic illness, but that did not change the sadness I felt.

As time passed and our boy displayed more and more mannerisms associated with autism that tiny hope that they were wrong disappeared. But along with that came an acceptance and a determination to do anything in my power to prepare him for the world, and protect him from it when necessary.

Six months on I have finally come to believe my own words. The labels have not changed who my son is. They did change how I perceived him for a time, but that too has passed and now I see only my beautiful, quirky, loving son.

Occasionally I have reason to explain to people that he has autism. I can do so now with confidence and pride. It does not define him, but it can help people understand him better. I no longer see the odd stares when he spins madly in the supermarket or counts up to thirty over and over and over again insisting I count with him. They are water off a duck's back. If people pre-judge him it is their loss for they will not know the wonder and happiness and love of my boy.

Some days are very challenging. Most nights are incredibly challenging. But time moves on, the challenges we faced six months ago are not the same as they are today and they will change again in the blink of an eye. I am trying to embrace the now and not worry so much about a future that is not set in stone.

And sometimes I even spin with him at the supermarket. And it is fun.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Could you shave your head?

I am a vain creature. I never fully understood the implications of losing your hair (particularly as a woman) until a number of years ago when a friend underwent chemotherapy for breast cancer. Aside from the fear and the rigours of chemotherapy, dealing with losing her hair was a very traumatic thing. Happily she has been in remission for a number of years now but I will not forget the way her self esteem was impacted along with her body.

There is a wonderful blogger named Kim. She blogs over at Frog Ponds Rock. She is a mother, a grandmother, a woman, a photographer, an artist, and a brave and caring person.

This year she has committed to shave her very long hair off to help raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation.

I know one of my greatest fears as a mother is to have a desperately ill child. It is a terrible reality for many families.

Will you help Kim reach her $5000 fundraising goal? Every donation helps!

You can donate here. Once you have come and tell me so I can give you a huge pat on the back for your caring.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

From the mouths of Dads.

I have a guest poster today! Tork is a Dad that is fighting growing up whilst talking about his life as a father.  Sometimes things go right in his life, sometimes things go wrong.  His dad jokes are terrible, but they are always there through the good and the bad, and you can't help but laugh at them. You can read more at his dad blog.

Dealing with Child Health Issues

Thought I'd share with you my story.  Perhaps you may find it useful...

See, I have a son.  A wee little boy who is the spitting image of his mother but slowly growing to look like his Dad.  A special little guy who is the apple of our eyes, and who has been diagnosed with Tracheomalacia and Vocal Cord Palsy.

Don't be sad for him though, he's not sad.  He's the opposite. He laughs and smile until the cows come home, even though we haven't got any cows.

He laughs and we laugh now too, but first..

What is Tracheomalacia

Tracheomalacia is the symptom where the wind pipe is so floppy that it will constrict to 50% of it's diameter, therefore making it difficult to breathe.

My son's airways aren't as bad as 50%, so he technically doesn't have the condition, but was still diagnosed with this.

His trouble breathing would keep him awake at night.  He would make bird like noises when breathing. It's very common and can easily be pushed aside by unknowning parents thinking it's just baby noises.

It's fixed with age. As a kid becomes older their windpipe becomes stronger and less floppy. Until that time, he's on oxygen 24 hours a day and will be gradually weaned off with age.

What is Vocal Cord Palsy

Vocal cord palsy is the condition of the vocal cords not moving.  It can be either cord or both. It is yet to be confirmed on how it is caused, but it could be pointed towards trauma to the cords or brain dysfunction.  Eeep huh?

Again, it is a condition that kids can grow out of after a few years, but I remember almost passing out as soon as we were told he had Vocal Cord Palsy.  My immediate thought was "he will never speak?"

I remember turning white, sweating and dry heaving. I couldn't tell you what my wife was doing because I was too much in shock.

Fast Forward

Hitting the fast forward button on our parenting life, past the anguish of sitting through tests and in sick kid hospital, past the months of wondering if he has this condition or not, we reach a certain point in our child's life.


The sweetest words a father could ever hear, especially me. At four months old, for a child that isn't supposed to speak, I'm his first word.  Not even a plastic surgeon could wipe the smile off my face.

Ok, we might have had a few mumbles and wah's out of our boy previously, but that was the biggie that let us know he was incorrectly diagnosed.  Now, we can't shut the bugger up!

...and I love it.

He's still got oxygen attached to his face at night, but he'll be off it soon for good. But during the day those adorable cheeks are pinched, kissed and smeared with the food of the day.  And he loves it.

So I'll always think about how lucky my boy is. Even though he has health issues, he is growing out of them.

I think of how lucky we are to have a child where others may have trouble even getting pregnant.

I think how lucky I am to finally be a dad.

So what's the point to my story?

Knowing that a few of Kate's readers have differently abled kids, my story might be a story of hope.  A story that one day something will happen where you know everything is going to be OK.

A story that shows time can be a great healer.

So take each day as it comes, with the support of your partners, your family and friends, and with every smile your child gives you, you'll realise just how good things are.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Aussie Bogan

Around Australia Day there were lots of posts about the waving and wearing of the Aussie flag.

It has been suggested in many quarters that the popular southern cross car stickers along with the zealous flagging of homes, cars and people are great indicators of a particular type of redneck racist. The type who may also embrace the "F*#% Off We're Full" bumper sticker and be heard waxing lyrical about the more ethnocentric 'good old days'.

While these people certainly exist in our society (and truly they deserve pity because a person incapable of empathy or understanding is going to lead a pretty angry and disappointing life) I submit to you that a number of the cross loving flag wearers are in fact simply embracing their inner bogan on the best bogan day of the year.

Take our family. We wear our Bogue with pride. My husband has tattoos, wears Bonds singlets and is an interstate truck driver. And we all know without trucks Australia stops. There's a bumper sticker for that too.

I have tan lines on my feet from my thongs. I have a number of tatts too along with some piercings. I have bleached blonde hair. Bogan.

My 8yo son has an earring and is growing his hair long. He rides dirt bikes. I can't think of anything especially bogan for the other three yet but they are young, plenty of time yet.

My point is this. In honour of Australia Day the Supertrucker attached a flag to his old school F series ute. We have Reject Shop wide brimmed Aussie flag hats. My kids have a variety of Aussie flag themed stuff and loved the flags that were being given away at Bunnings.

We love the kitsch of the flag merchandise. We love the country we live in. And we are proud of our bogan ways. This does not make us racist. It makes us hilarious and fun to have at a barbecue. We think so anyway.

So before you judge, think about what that judgement says about YOU as well. By all means fight the good fight when it comes to equality and compassion for our fellow human beings, but try to spare a thought for the regular everyday bogan who may in their joy look a little like the more feral variety.

You'll know a feral bogan by the bullshit s/he espouses. A regular bogan can use words like 'espouse' while drinking a Johnnie and coke and smoking a Winnie Blue. And a regular bogan will know in their heart that we are all people and we all deserve to be respected and cared for.

Pass the scotch?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Stuff

I have lots of different things to be thankful for this week.

* It's the last day of school holidays. I love the hols and love having the kids home, but the last few days have been very challenging and we're all ready for a break from each other. When my school avoiding child says he can't wait to go back you know the hols have been too long!

* The Internet. Not only does it keep loads of my friends in it but as of last night it holds my house as well. And it is totally gonna sell my house. I am HANGING OUT for the week I can Thankful the sale of our house! Not least because it will spell the end of needing it to be immaculate all the time as well as relieve us of this ridiculous level of stress we are operating under.

* Amazing opportunities. I can't say more at the moment but I am doing something SO exciting (and nerve wracking) next week. Stay tuned ;)

* Miracles. Can't say more about this either but my faith has been restored of late and it is so wonderful <3

* The Supertrucker. He's back on the road after his long weekend and he literally worked on the yard around the clock the whole time he was home. Love him.

* Cruisy babygirl. I've been hauling mulch and other fun stuff for days and she has just happily played outside while keeping half an eye on me. It has made things so much easier that she has this little independent streak on and off. She's a keeper. As are the older three who are coping remarkably well with all the craziness!

Now before I throw in the thingy so you can link in your posts, I have a special request. I know how thankful I am for each and every comment I receive on this blog, and I'm sure most bloggers feel the same. So if you could take the time to pop in and comment on at least a few of the other posts that would make my day, and theirs. 

To those who comment on EVERY SINGLE POST every week, I know who you are, you know who you are, and we both know that you are AWESOME!

Also please do grab my button up there, and link back here to share the love.