Monday, July 25, 2011

The many faces of Blake

Oh Blake you're such a funny boy with a very loving and cheeky character. You constantly have your Mumma in stitches and you're always looking to make people laugh. I'd say you're going to be the class clown in years ahead.

And you love to pull funny faces. Especially when there is a camera out and about. You're certainly not shy and you never shy away from attention.

You're so crazy.

Yet so lovable.

I love you so much my almost 3 year old.


Friday, July 22, 2011

I'm grateful for....

It is Friday night I'm tucked up in bed with a hot cup of tea and my trusty iPhone and I'm reflecting on the week that was. I have a lot to be grateful for this week and trust me I'm more than just a little bit grateful. I want to yell it out from the top of the highest building. But considering my current physical capabilities I guess I'll just have to join Maxabella and Baby Mac in this weeks dedication to all things Grateful.

This week I'm grateful for...
1. The brilliant neurosurgeon who operated on my back last Thursday.
2. The amazing staff at the Gold Coast Hospital who made me feel at ease with everything that was going on and made my stay a pleasant experience. Everyone from the anesthetist to the brilliant nurses who deserve far more credit than they get. Even the bubbly and friendly blood lady who loves her job of jabbing everyone on a daily basis. Right down to the lovely lady who brings you your cup of tea and biscuits. I wish I could have brought her home.
3. My amazing family who have been a pillar of strength for me and Mum especially who has helped me out immensely with school and kindy drop off whilst I was in hospital and 'nursing' me since I've been home. If only she got the memo about bringing me tea and biscuits every 3 hours.
4. My brilliant friends who I know I can always count on to be there for me when I need them the most. For the lovely cards, phone calls, hospital visits, text messages, flowers and even the support from afar it has meant so much to me. It's times like these when you can really tell who your true friends are. And boy am I lucky.
5. The boys father and his parents who have also stepped up so much over the past few weeks and I'm so grateful for your love and support especially after everything we've been through lately. It means so much.
6. I'm grateful for good books to
pass the time.
7. Cups of tea with my Mum

8. The beautiful wildlife and sweet little birds who sing to me when I'm sitting on my parents deck of an afternoon and brighten up my day.
9. The Blogging world for the lovely messages of support and kindness that I've felt. Plus being able to read what everyone is up too from the comfort of my bed has also helped pass the time.

And last but certainly not least.

10. The sweet kisses and cuddles from my darling boys. It has been by far the hardest part of this journey so far not having them around as much as I recover but they've done so well and have been so understanding. It breaks my heart when they say 'I miss you Mummy' as this had been the longest I've been away from them while I was in hospital but at least now that I'm out they get to see me every day. I'm always asked how my back is feeling today. I'm sure Blake thought I was going to come out of hospital doing cartwheels and able to run down the street because every day he has asked. 'Is your back all better now Mummy?'. I'm so grateful that I get to be their Mummy.

You see. I told you there was a lot I was grateful for this week.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

I'm back!!

Hello beautiful people.

I'm out of hospital and back home at my parents place to recover and feeling pretty good. Surgery went really well and so has recovery so far. I was scheduled in to hospital for the op on Tuesday but it was postponed till the Thursday which was very frustrating but it also worked out ok because I was battling a head cold so it gave me two more days to get completely over it and relax at my parents place without the kids and get myself in to the right head space.

Like most people I'm not a big fan of hospital and couldn't wait to get out of there. It's the longest I've ever stayed in hospital. I was only in for 24 hours when I had Cooper and only 4 hours when I had Blake so it was great when they let me go home on Tuesday. I was due to go home on the Monday but the Physio was still a little worried about the weakness I had in my left leg.

So I'm on the mend and looking forward to a future without pain. I've still got a long road of recovery ahead of me with physiotherapy and lots of healing to still go but I'm in a good frame of mind and feeling good about it all. I have to be super careful for at least 6 weeks whilst everything is still pretty fragile but I have some amazing support people around me and the boys have been great and very loving and understanding. The big test will be when I'm home by myself with the kids because I'm very limited with what I can do.

Thanks for all the lovely messages of support and emails. As always I feel very lucky to be a part of the blogging world.

These amazing flowers were sent to me by my beautiful friends from my 'May Mummies'. I'm such a lucky girl and I've been spoilt with love and beautiful friendships. Thank you to all my family and friends. I love you all very much.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Finally a surgery date, this time next week....

I just wanted to let you, all my lovely readers know that I found out yesterday that my operation will be next Tuesday. I'm still in shock but I guess I shouldn't be as I've known for months that the day would finally come. I'm relieved that I don't have to wait any longer and that I will finally once again be pain free. But the truth is I'm absolutely terrified. I've never had any kind of surgery before so I guess it's the unknown that scares me. And of course the pain and the recovery post surgery. There is so much going through my mind. One of course being how much I'm going to miss my beautiful boys. But they'll be in capable hands, as will I and that's what I have to keep telling myself.

I have my admissions appointment at the hospital on Thursday so I'll find out a lot more then. And I'll be able to ask all of the questions I need. I'll probably be in hospital for 3-5 days and then I'll be going home to my parents to recover until I'm capable of doing it on my own.

For those that I know have followed my journey with this stupid back problem of mine I thank you for all of your concern and thoughtful messages. Finally the light at the end of the tunnel. And for those not up to speed I'll be having a Microdiscectomy which is basically where they remove a disc bulge in my spine. I had a fall as a teenager which did the initial damage and last year my back finally had enough and the disc gave way. So it's been a long twelve months of pain.

Yes, ouchies!!

I'll be online to post again before I go in to hospital.

I hope everyone is having a lovely week.


Monday, July 4, 2011

50 free or cheap family activities - Guest post

I'm so excited to share with you today a special treat. That special treat being Kylie Ofiu with her guest post on 50 free or cheap family activities. You can find Kylie on her new site over here.

As a single Mum I'm always looking for things to do with my boys that aren't going to cost the earth. Especially these days family entertainment can be so expensive but following Kylie's fantastic tips and suggestions it doesn't have to be.

Take it away Kylie.

50 free or cheap family activities

As I mentioned I am going to be spending more time with my family. So last night I sat down and had a think about free and cheap things we could do together as well as ideas you might like to try.

1.) At the beach – Build sand castles, go swimming, surfing or body boarding, investigate the rock pools, surfing, watch for dolphins, do a photo scavenger hunt for things like crabs, anemones, purple seaweed, shells and things. At some beaches they even have sand sculptures at different times of the year, or surf competitions you can check out.
2.) At a river or lake – go down water rapids, canoeing, jump off trees, make a rope swing, hire paddle boats, go fishing or feed the ducks.
3.) Go for a bush walk or hike. You could look up local flora and fauna before you go and see how much you spot.
4.) Borrow DVD from another family/library and make some popcorn to eat. You can actually pop ¼ cup of kernels in a brown paper bag in your microwave to make pop corn cheap and healthy.
5.) Visit the library. This might not sound fun, but they often have story time and a toy library for younger kids, sometimes author readings, there are magazines and DVD’s for older kids and often during school holidays they show different movies.
6.) Go to the local park, play on the swings, go down the slides and just play games.
7.) Bike ride. This is cheapest if you already own bikes if not you can usually hire them for fairly cheap.
8.) Go to markets. There are lots of different type of markets such as trash and treasure, farmers markets, homemade or outdoor markets. Sometimes there are street performers there, or you can taste samples of food.
9.) Gardening. This might not sound exciting but creating a garden as a family can be fun. I once created a fairy garden with my little sister and she loved it. If you create a vegetable garden not only is it fun to create and grow, you get to eat it too.
10.) Fruit picking. There are many areas you can go fruit picking for the day as a family and then purchase discounted fruit or get it for free. Some places where you pick grapes let you create your own wine the old fashion way by stomping it with your bare feet and bottling it for you. Of course, you won’t drink it!
11.) Kids cook dinner. This gives mum a night off and the kids get to have fun in the kitchen. If you start teaching them when they are young by the time they are 10 or 12 they should be able to make some simple dinners for you and they will feel special doing it.
12.) At home ice cream sundaes. Get nice ice cream, a few toppings, nuts, marshmallows, chocolate, whatever it is you like on your ice cream and let everyone go wild with their imagination and creations.
13.) Farm visit. Some farms are open for the public to come see the animals and have a look at farm life. Kids get to play with the animals and see where some of our food comes from.
14.) Outdoor cinema. These are often on in summer at parks. They are free, you take a blanket, a picnic and enjoy.
15.) Art gallery. There are many which are free and you can go see and appreciate some art. During school holidays there are sometimes classes run for kids which are free or cheap as well.
16.) Museums are the same. Many are free or you make a donation and there is so much to see. You could watch The Night At The Museum after you have been.
17.) Food fair. At different times there are different food fairs on which can be a great way for your family to try new foods from different cultures.
18.) Expos. There are different expos on all the time. Some are free others have an entry fee, but there are often samples and discount vouchers at them. Look up your local area to see what is on or Google something of interest then add expo and your city i.e. Travel expo Sydney
19.) Public holiday events – On Australia Day and many other public holidays there are things happening everywhere such as BBQ’s, face painting, horse rides and fire crackers in the evening. Your local paper will usually have advertisements showing what’s on in your area.
20.) Spring fair/festivals are usually held at the start of spring and can have everything from stalls, to rides, animals, show bags and demonstration, much of which is free.
21.) Factory tours can be fun as well as educational. You can see how something such as chocolate is made, taste samples and buy at a discount at the end.
22.) Astronomy – You can find constellations using the internet as a guide in your own backyard or visit a local observatory.
23.) Bird watching – Find out what birds are local to you and go bird watching. You can take pictures and look them up when you come home
24.) Sport - tennis/cricket/football or any sport you like to play can be a fun family activity. If you like to watch them but a professional game is too expensive you could watch a local team or see a professional team train. Some training sessions are open to the public and can be just as exciting for kids to meet their idols.
25.) Green st Patricks day. Have green pancakes for breakfast, decorate the house with green balloons and streamers, bake green cupcakes and eat green food and lime cordial the whole day.
26.) Halloween trick or treating is so much fun. Dress the kids up and go door knocking in your neighbourhood or arrange with friends and family beforehand to door knock their places so you know where you are going they are ok with it.
27.) View Christmas lights. It is amazing the effort some people go to each year. Drive around and look at the lights.
28.) Make Easter eggs – You can melt chocolate and make your own specialty eggs with chocolate molds and add things like sprinkles, nuts or honeycomb. Alternatively you could dye eggs for Easter.
29.) Heart attack – This is where you cut out a bunch of hearts on from cardboard or paper, write nice messages on them, stick them to skewers then when it is dark stick them in someone’s lawn. You can stick a chocolate or lolly to each heart if you like. Then you can leave it for them to discover later or everyone hide, then one of you knock and run. This is great especially if you know someone who could do with cheering up.
30.) Cook biscuits, wrap them up, leave them on someone else’s door step then knock and run. Children of all ages love to knock and run, plus giving to others makes you feel good.
31.) Go to the theatre. If a full on production is too expensive look for college or high school productions as they are usually fun and much cheaper.
32.) Camping can cost to set up initially, but once you have the basics which will be used over and over again it is great for a weekend away. You can find lots of places to camp for free too.
33.) Horse shows are often free to watch and can be amazing to see the tricks and jumps.
34.) Start a collection. It might be feathers or rocks or bottle caps. Whatever it is you could start collecting something as a family, then when you go out everyone can keep their eye out to add to the collection.
35.) Family picnic. This can be as simple as ham and cheese rolls with cake for dessert by a lake or at a park.
36.) Fishing if you have the equipment can be great fun. If you don’t have and rods, check with friends and family or you might be able to hire a one for a few dollars.
37.) Historical walk. Every area has some sort of history. Learn a bit about yours then take the family for a walk explaining about different areas, statues and things.
38.) Kite flying. You can make your own kites then go fly them.
39.) Collect and press wild flowers. There are so many varieties everywhere that you can collect, press, then display on a canvas. It is a free collection too. Just check you are allowed to pick wildflowers in you area.
40.) Cloud watching. Lay on your backs in the grass and make animals and things with the shapes of clouds.
41.) Roll down hills. The rolling down is the fun part, the climbing up not as easy, but you can race each other to the top. Kid seem to be able to do this over and over for ages.
42.) Botanical gardens are beautiful and have different walks you can take as well as plaques explaining more about the plants.
43.) BBQ either at home or at a park. All you need is some sausages or hamburgers, salad, rolls and drink.
44.) Visit a dam and see how they work.
45.) Multicultural night – Have everyone pick a country then one night everyone comes dressed as their country, with a food, something from the country and a little bit of information on it. Younger kids might need help with the food.
46.) Police station/fire station tours. Not all stations give tours, but sometimes there are open days where you can see how it all works, sit in a police car or fire engine and have fun.
47.) Build cubby houses. You don’t have to make a big wooden structure in the back yard. With some sheets, blankets and a table or chairs you can create a home for each of your children.
48.) Ghost tour you can go on one in your area or research the haunted areas of your town and make your own ghost tour.
49.) Glass blowing – there are different galleries around where you can go see how they create vases, beads and other things by blowing glass. At some of the galleries you can even create your own bead.
50.) Street performers can be seen in different areas doing things such as juggling, miming or magic acts. They can be great entertainment and the children love going up to put some money in the hat.

There are many more things you can do as a family. Look up free things to do in your area or just use your imaginations.

Kylie Ofiu is author of 365 Ways To Make Money. She blogs about the ways she is making money and her goal to become a millionaire by 2015 at

Thank you so much Kylie for letting me a part of your blog tour and sharing your savvy tips with my readers. I wish you all the very best with your new book. I can't wait to get a copy myself and learn from the pro.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday to my blog

Today is my 1 year Blogiversary!

I still can't believe how quickly this last year has flown. I've really loved this blogging experience and I'm so glad I stuck with it because it has been very rewarding. You can find my very first blog entry here..

I started this blog as not only a way for family friends who live interstate or overseas to keep up with what is happening in our lives but also to track a very personal journey I was embarking on. This last year has brought upon many changes in my life, some good, some great, some bad, some down right terrible. It's certainly been probably the most troublesome year of my life so far. I've had more ups and downs than ever before but I guess this road to self discovery was never going to be an easy one. Going through a marriage separation was always going to be hard, heartbreaking and a roller coaster of emotions. But I could never have imagined with the added stress and pressure of my back injury just how hard it was going to be. This past year has definitely been a test of strength and at times I've felt very defeated by it all but then I always manage to pick myself up again. Being a single mum is by far the hardest thing I've ever had to do. Especially because of my constant pain but it's also been very rewarding to know I'm doing a great job. My boys are well adjusted, well mannered little boys who still have two parents who love them dearly and are getting along better now than we ever have. So I know we made the right choice when I see how well my boys have taken to the massive change in their little worlds. They know how loved they are. They now have two happier parents who are trying to move on with their lives.

I'm so grateful for my amazing family who have given me wonderful support when I've needed it. My beautiful Mum has been my rock. I've got some amazing and supportive friends who always know the right thing to say. One in particular who always knows how to bring me back down to reality when I'm feeling sorry for myself. He will never realise how much his friendship, spiritual guidance and love has given me this last year.

So this last year has not broken me. It really is just the beginning of figuring out who I am and what it is i want to do with this life. In fact it's opened my eyes through blogging to some amazing people and some for which I'd like to consider friends. I've had so much support and lovely comments over this last year and it's been very heartfelt.

So Happy Birthday to my 'Buddhaful Journey' which has really only just started. I can't wait to share more of our lives with you all. Thanks so much to all my loyal readers. You mean the world to me.

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