Monday, August 29, 2011

And we think it's cold....

Simon has spent quite a few weeks away over the past few months doing his winter search and rescue training.

Here they are in May at Coles Bay - picture perfect weather. Even with perfect weather I don't think I could still bring myself to go backwards down a mighty big cliff!!!

Is it okay that Simon has let go of the rope to take a photo??? ;)

But as we all know, Tassie weather can change in a heartbeat which is why the S&R crew are kept so busy finding bushwalkers who get caught out by our ferocious mother nature down here.

Enter ferocious mother nature at Mt Field down near Hobart during June.

Looking and feeling very tired after walking all day in the snow. They walked about 10km a day, which would be extremely tiring in the snow and up and down hills.

The snow had melted a bit at Cradle Mountain in August, after a bit of 'warmer' weather.

But wait - they go to bed with their tents like this.........
But then wake up in the morning to this.............
Simon's tent

Next time I will take a photo of all the gear Simon has to take. Sometimes it takes longer to pack everything than it does to go on the trip. Just looking at all those ropes confuses me, let alone knowing what each of them does and how to work them to lower people up and down cliffs with stretchers to rescue people.

We certainly couldn't do without these guys and I can imagine people who are rescued must be VERY happy when they are found. Knowing a little about the personal sacrifice and physical/mental work that goes into being a search and rescue member, I am grateful for all they do to prepare for the inevitability of someone getting lost.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bears of Hope

I have a friend called Ande. We have never met although she is related to some friends I know. We have talked on facebook and I love reading her blog. I call her my friend because she has travelled a road that I can relate to and through her blog she inspires me to do better, to be better. Last year Ande lost her beautiful baby boy, Riley at 31 weeks. You can read about some of Riley's story here. and here. Ande and her family did a 'Run for Riley' last year to raise money for a wonderful charity called the Bears of Hope organisation. She raised enough money in the City2Surf run to purchase over 100 Bears of Hope. Ande continues to be involved in this amazing organisation (see here) and in a recent post encouraged bloggers to post about their upcoming charity ball being held on September the 24th in Sydney.

Bears Of Hope "offers support and guidance for parents who experience the loss of their baby during pregnancy, birth or infancy. Through the donation of a bear of hope, parents are provided with the comfort of knowing they are not alone from the very beginning, and offered significant ongoing support to heal their broken hearts. This includes support for all parents who experience miscarriage, genetic interruption, multiple loss, stillbirth, neo-natal & infant death throughout Australia".

I love the term genetic interruption. It made me realise that Charlotte's frequently coined, 'chromosomal abnormality' or as I like to call it, her 'magical extra chromosome' was just like a genetic interruption. Down Syndrome was for Charlotte, a chromosomal interruption that interrupted her life alot earlier than I expected it would, but the interruption is far from final. Our journey together is far from over.

Charlotte changed me forever on the inside, I suppose that is one of the gifts she left me, but lately I have been wondering what I could do on the outside. When I saw Ande's post about the Bears of Hope charity ball, I felt it was a wonderful opportunity for me to start my 'outside' and do something to not only remember my Charlotte but also in some small way help support other parents go through the hardest days of their lives.

Ande is one of the organisers of the charity ball and you can help out by doing the following 'donate something that can be put in our lucky dip or auctions. We are looking for items which are $40 - $100 in value for the lucky dips as you can buy a $50 balloon or $100 balloon and get a prize.' If people want to support the ball with a product donation, the email address is:

You can also make a donation in honour of an angel that has touched your heart. Just pop along to the website and see the amazing things that this organisation is doing and have a look at what you can do to help out. I am going to be doing something so if you know me personally and want to join with me, just send me a message.

We have nothing like this at the LGH, and if there was it certainly wasn't made known to me. One of the hardest things I had to do was walk out of that labour ward empty- handed knowing I had to leave my baby behind for a time until we had organised something for her. Among other things, Bears of Hope provide gift packs and gorgeous bears along with ongoing support for what to do both practically and emotionally in those first few numb days. I don't want other families to go through what I went through without any support other than a few government issued pamphlets so I feel a 'project' coming on. It's time for me to give back some of what Charlotte gave to me.

Thankyou Ande for your courage and for sharing a part of beautiful Riley with us.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

No wonder I DO sleep

Jonty is the exact opposite of Flynn in his sleep patterns. He started sleeping through at about 3 weeks and never looked back, never woke with teething and has always slept a solid 12 hours at night. You could even transfer him from the car to bed and he would stay asleep or if he woke, would just go straight back to sleep.

Jonty is still having day sleeps, about 2-3 hrs a day if we are at home, and until recently he was still sleeping 12 hours at night. Just recently I have noticed that if he has a big day sleep, he is not wanting to go to bed until about 9pm. So we are in the process of cutting day sleeps down to every second day. Sometimes this doesn't work and Jonty falls asleep wherever he is during the day.

The reason why I think Jonty has always successfully put himself to sleep is (a) he sucks on his finger and (b) his blankie, which goes absolutely everywhere with him. (a whole other post). :)

Sweet dreams little boy.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

No wonder I don't sleep

Flynn hasn't been sleeping very well, feeding 3 hourly 24/7 and cat napping. He goes to sleep easily enough but doesn't stay asleep for long enough. At night however, he does go straight back to sleep after a feed (most of the time) so that is one good thing but then he is awake 2.5 hours later for his next feed. During the day he loves a catnap of about 40-50 minutes every 3 hours.

There are a few different things I am trying to break him out of his catnap cycle so hopefully it will all settle down soon. In the meantime, Jonty is doing his bit to help out........ not. ;)

Monday, August 22, 2011

What would you wish for.......

Today is the 22nd of August, exactly 2 months until the 6.4 km Run for a Wish fun run on Saturday, October 22nd at Aurora Stadium.

The money is being raised for the Make A Wish Foundation which grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

A very special friend of mine, Noah King, went on a Make A Wish trip to Queensland with his amazing Mum and Dad, Lisa and Aaron, and their boys back in 2006.

Noah recently celebrated his 10th birthday and you can see from his birthday photostory how much he is blessed with a family that loves him dearly.

Noah is not only blessed with a family that loves him so much but he also works to bless the lives of those around him. Noah helped me get through a tough time last year when we lost Charlotte. It's hard to explain and is quite personal but I found that at times when I was seeing Noah, like visiting him in hospital last year or having a chat with him at other times, I felt closer to Charlotte. And I know Noah knew that. And why not, they are second cousins after all. :). Noah, who cannot talk reached out and comforted me in a way that people who talk a mile a minute, (like me) could never have. I would have loved for them to meet, knowing that Charlotte with her extra chromosome would lavish lots of hugs on Noah - and cheekily know he couldn't get away. ;)

But as our life journeys go, Noah got to meet a beautiful second cousin after all, when he came to visit our gorgeous Flynn when he was born in April. (Although Noah looks like he is saying to Lisa here, "Mum get this screaming baby off my ear will you.") :)

So you can't use the excuse that you are too unfit to run 6.4km because you can push a pram like me, or a wheelchair or whatever, as long as you put foot to pavement, it doesn't really matter. Come on board and come for a run or walk. You can register here.

Let's help make the dreams come true for some very beautiful children, or in the words of Noah's Mum, Lisa, when she has described Noah, 'an angel here on earth".

Friday, August 12, 2011

4 months

Today I turned 4 months old. I am waiting with anticipation to enjoy my very first Spring and Summer so I can get outside some more and play.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Celebrating 63 with HP

On the 16th of July, we enjoyed a lovely day celebrating Mum's 63rd birthday. It just happened to correspond with the opening of Harry Potter 7 part 2 so we all decided to make a day of it.

We decided to come into town 2 hours early to get Hallie and Flynn's bloods done so we could be at the restaurant for lunch with Mum in plenty of time. The best laid plans of mice and men right??

We started off in pathology which I knew wouldn't work because although they are very good down there, they don't have enough experience in doing baby veins. Hallie was done in 5 minutes flat and as usual they commented on how good she was and how they love it when she comes in because she is so good and could show a few of the adults up with how brave she is.

She has definitely improved over the years. She still brings her photostory book that Mum made for her when she was little but now says we need one for Flynn.

Despite me telling them Flynn's best spot is in the back of the hand, they had a go at both arms and looked at the feet. Gee what would a mother know anyway!! :)

We normally go straight upstairs to kids ward but Dr A had said they could do it in pathology. I had already told him that it would be fruitless and they would send us upstairs yet again, like they always did with Hallie when she was a baby, but yet again what do mothers know. :)

After waiting...

And waiting...

And waiting... (how many times can you read a notice board) Note to self - do I need a flu shot? I've never had one? Do they really work?

...we finally got upstairs (where we always normally go anyway) and Flynn and Hallie's paediatrician Dr A did Flynn in 5 mins in the back of the hand, nothing fancy, just breaking off the end of a needle and putting it in the vein and letting the blood drip into the vial. Because this time we were doing plasma renin and 17-hydroxy progesterone, we needed two full tubes and Dr A is really good at doing Flynn's bloods and guess what he said, 'let's go back to the old way of coming straight upstairs to kids ward". I looked at him and smiled. In my head I was thinking, "it took 3 hrs of poking and prodding and waiting to realise that yes, sometimes mothers do know best".

Okay so that did make us late for lunch with Mum for her birthday but Simon left the hospital early and rang me with the menu so it was ready when we arrived.

It was a beautiful restaurant, called Tranquility Gardens, on the way to Legana, overlooking the Tamar River.

After eating a yummy lunch we went for a walk around the gardens at the restaurant.

This is a gorgeous photo Simon took of Em and Flynny

I love this one Simon got of Collette and Hayden, like he was the paparazzi hiding behind a hill.

Then to the best part of the day.........HARRY POTTER. We have been going to see HP every time a new one has come out, for the past TEN years. It has been a tradition and we were very excited to see the last one. And we were so excited that we were the first ones in line.

It was a little sad though because now we've watched HP for ten years, what on earth are we going to do now!!! I remember reading the first book on Christmas Day 2000. I was 6 days overdue with Sarra (she came on Boxing Day) so there was nothing else to do but read a book and from then I was hooked.

So although the day didn't start off quite the way we planned, we had a beautiful lunch and watched the end of an era in HP. I did also warn Flynn that having not seen any of the other 7 movies, he might not quite get the storyline, so feel free to take a nap. ;)