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Monday, December 31, 2012

The year that was

I have seen so many people over the last few days say that they can't wait for 2012 to be over. It's amazing the amount of people that always seem to want the current year to be left behind.  Yes, we all have bad things that happen in our life, but seriously, we need to be grateful for the good things that we have going on in our lives - and the fact that we still have a life that we are living.
For the year 2013, I say, please just remember to be grateful for all the good things that you have.  If you believe that you don't have one good thing, search, lift that book, move that piece of clothing, trust me, you do have

For the year 2012, the year that was for me, I have learn't a lot.

- that no matter what life throws you, you can get through it
- that change can be a good thing
- tears come and yes, they go
- friendships will and do grow stronger
- things happen for a reason?Mmmmmm, I'm still not convinced on that one!

As I sit here sipping a champagne, I am extremely grateful for everything that I have in my life. I know that the future is going to throw me some curveballs and some of those, I don't want to have to deal with.  The year 2012 really tested me at times, that's what life does.

This year was one of the toughest years for my family. When we found out that my mum was diagnosed with cancer, we really didn't know how hard the battle was going to be. My mum is a fighter, I know where I get my inner strength from.  To be hospitalised 7 times in 7 months because some horrendous disease decides to enter your body, there alone, you are a fighter. To listen to my dad on Christmas eve say how much he admires his wife for her inner fight, it brings tears to my eyes.  No one, no one, should have to go through that, but we do, that's part of the circle of life.

And as the fireworks continue to explode around our house and my youngest son can not sleep because he thinks it is Santa arriving again, I am grateful.  Grateful, that I am alive to see the year 2013 in! Even if I will have an extremely tired child tomorrow!!

For 2013, I wish you all, nothing but healthy lives, good times and the ability to look for those grateful moments in your life.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Time with one

Since Friday morning, I have been flying solo with one child. I've only got two children, but when you only have one to care for, it's almost like the days of pre children!
Will and Cooper headed off to my sisters holiday house to spend some time with them.  They were only going to go for one night, but have been having so much fun, they now won't be coming home till tonight.  I decided not to go as Charlie had been sick and it had been a busy week with my parents staying.  That's right - my mum and dad finally got to stay with us again.  It took a little bit of work from my mum to convince the hospital to let her go away, but they did.  I think they found the Christmas spirit from within to let her have some time away with her family.
Plus, I really wanted Will to just have some one on one time with Cooper.
These last few days, I feel rejuvenated.  I got to sleep in until 9am yesterday morning - Charlie is our one who loves to sleep in, whilst Cooper is our early morning riser.
We've played at the park, the beach, been on walks, coffee dates, shopped - yes shopped in Sorrento in the peak of holiday season, with a young child - gasp! And each day he has rewarded me with a three-four hour afternoon nap.  Time to myself where I haven't had to entertain another child while he slept. I've sat in the backyard in the sunshine reading a book, done some gardening, watched a movie. Such rare treats for me, relaxation time is bliss. At this present moment, the house is serene, with the hum of jetski's in the background cruising around the bay.
I never thought that my love for my youngest son could grow even more, but it has.  When given the time and energy to focus on one, it makes you appreciate everything that you have in life.
And at 12:45am this morning when he was calling out "mummy cuddles bed", I couldn't resist - I went and picked him up and bought him in to sleep with me. The joy of waking up to my baby saying "love you" made today start with a smile.
I've enjoyed the last few days of doing things differently.  It's been like a mini holiday without leaving the walls of my home.
All the same, I'm looking forward to the chaos of when my other two boys come home tonight.

Bring on those family wrestle times again!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

This year the little guys in our house are super excited for Christmas.  They like the idea of Santa, but to see him in the flesh, brings tears to their eyes.  A jolly fella dressed up in a suit, handing out gifts, surely that wouldn't make you cry? But then again, they are all different shapes and sizes, so maybe that freaks them out?
Cooper decorated our tree and he did a great job, we have even left some fake presents under the tree for Santa this year.  It's nice to have some festive cheer in the house, after what has been an emotionally trying year.  Below are some snippets of what our house is all about this Christmas.

 The paper tree decorated with pretty baubles.
 Charlies door decoration
 Coopers door decoration

More decorations will be going up before Christmas, we can't wait.

Do you have your house filled with Christmas cheer?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Determination and courage to see another birthday.

Today was my mum's birthday. Oh yes, she made it!
It was only about a month ago when mum said to me "am I going to be alive for my birthday?".
My response "of course mum!".  Yes, she made it!
After the last round of chemo, for the first time, mum has managed to stay out of hospital.  Fingers crossed she can stay out of hospital and make it till next Tuesday, when she will endure her last round of chemo.
I feel a relief coming, chemotherapy has been a huge struggle. But, have you ever heard of anyone referring to it as a walk in the park?
I know mum is dreading having it again, the severe muscle aches really knock her about.  However, she knows that it needs to be done for her best shot at killing off any cancer cells.
However, the treatment doesn't finish up next week, more like around March!
But chemo will be done and dusted, another operation to follow and then radiation.  I just hope that we can have her home for Christmas with us.
Baby steps mum, you have almost made it past the biggest hurdle you have had to face.
Through it all, you have managed to keep your cheeky smile and sense of humour.
I believe that you get your strong will for life and your ability to try and run the hospital, from your father.  Every time I see you, I see a part of him in you.
He would be so proud of you mum, just like we all are.
Happy Birthday mum, we look forward to spending many more with you

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Then you were two

Wow - Today Charlie you are TWO!
Two years ago you came into our world after a speedy 3.5 hour labour.
Two years ago you made our beautiful family complete.
Two years ago you started to form a special bond with your big brother.

You are independant, headstrong and stubborn
With a great love for the outdoors, your brother and Neo
You are a go getter and will give anything a try
You have a cheeky personality and are inquisitive
You have a great love for animals and food
You are learning more words each and every day
You try to entertain and make people laugh (or cry!)

I see so much of me in you
The love you have for your family and home
The strength you have when you fall to get up and keep going
Your determination to succeed from a small age

I am so proud of you my Charlie Chops
Grateful to have you in my life and a part of our special family
You bring so much laughter and joy
Please don't ever change, you are our unique little man

Happy 2nd Birthday gorgeous boy
Our tiny son is growing up

Sunday, November 4, 2012

One week............feels like an eternity

This past week has been a week full of extreme sickness for me and my loved one's. One of those weeks when you feel "why me", "when will this end", surely luck will come our way soon!
Then you get that small window to sit, think and try and recover.  Also realise, that "hey, this will pass and is it really that bad?".  Oh yes, it has been really that bad, but with each minute and hour that passes, we will get better.
It started off last Monday with mum being hospitalised with yet another infection. What should have been a few days in hospital, has turned out with her being on oxygen for 4 days and having antibiotics being pumped into her, along with two blood transfusions. Hopefully she is home before the Melbourne Cup kicks off tomorrow!  Cancer and its treatment is not an easy road.
This is mum when she was really sick. It's nice to know she is now up and about trying to run the hospital again!
This is the face of courage.

Amongst the sickness we had wild winds last week, which managed to cause our umbrella to fly down the back yard and it now has a tiny hole in it.  Plus a heavy pot fell off the deck and crushed one of my favourite plants.

Can't wait to get our pebbles for our fire pit area - to go where the dead grass is!

So, it comes in three's right? Only one more thing to go wrong?
Oh I wish!
Then Friday came around, it was 2pm and a friend and her little girl had just arrived for a cuppa.  Charlie does a little vomit, nothing to be concerned about (I didn't think!).  Then we are sitting chatting away and Sally says " He is vomiting again".  This was no tiny vomit, this was one to worry about.  It was like cottage cheese, all over me, him, the floor, Millie's shoes and foot! Second change of clothes for him, first for me.  After that, it was all over, I knew Gastro had hit the home. He continued to vomit until 9:30 that night, and left behind a trail of destruction of about three washing loads.  I was praying that the rest of us would not get it.  All was going well until 2am on Sunday morning, then it was my turn. I ended up sleeping on the bathroom floor under a towel, I had no energy to move backwards and forwards from bed to the toilet. Then all of Sunday was spent in bed.  Not a nice way to lose a couple of kilos. 

This Gastro story now continues, at 2am this morning, Cooper came into our room and said he felt sick - oh no, please no, I've had enough of vomit in this house.  He went off to sleep in our bed and I went and slept in the spare bed.  I had no energy and was still trying to recover from my bout.  I thought he was ok, until the morning when Will came and woke me and said "you need to take over, I need some sleep".  It has hit Coops and the poor little fella is still going.
"Look at my yucky mouth mum"
(his ribs don't stick out like that either, he was just breathing in)
So, I've been at the in laws doing another three loads of washing today. Oh, that's right, our washing machine stopped working on Friday too, so I've had to cart all the vomit washing to my in laws to clean.  Great timing hey?!
At least I got some cheering up today.  My mother in law picked up my shoes that I wanted and also some cute little flowers to decorate our home.

I am praying that this week is going to be a brighter one, that healthy bodies will return to us all and we can enjoy some ice creams.

How was your week? I hope it was a lot "brighter" than mine!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The fighting spirit of a mum

Well, it's been almost six months since my mum's cancer diagnosis.  What we all thought was a straight forward cancer to fight, has turned into a daily struggle for her to live.
You never can predict what the future holds.  What  doctors believe will be easy, cancer and the body put a different spin on it.
I want this journey for her to get easier, but we are still months off that.  Everything that the treatment can throw her way, it is. As the doctor explained tonight, her body is just taking a lot longer to recover. Each chemo round has bought with it an infection. I know more about the body now, than I have ever known. Neutrophil levels, iron levels, oxygen saturation, platelets etc etc.  What are each doing? How low are they? Where is the infection? When oh when will she come off oxygen?  What's the next plan? When do you think she will be home? Does this mean Chemo is delayed again? (YES!)
This week has been really tough - when mum ends up in hospital, there are an endless amount of flowing texts and phone calls between my sisters and I.  Who is seeing mum on which day, what is the latest update, has someone checked in with dad?
I'm so lucky to have three loving sisters to share this journey with.  It's emotional, it's tiring, but we do what we have to do to keep mum's spirits high.
I'm getting kind of used to the long, late night drives back from the hospital, listening to Richard Mercer on love songs and dedications.
Last night and today, mum has received two blood transfusions. I am eternally grateful to everyone that donates blood, you have played a part in keeping my mum alive.
Please tomorrow bring us some better news.  Bring us a mummy who has some energy. Let her blood results have some better figures.  Give us some hope.
As I sit her typing this, I still see the face of the lady who told me it would be an interesting journey.
My gosh, she was certainly right.
I just hope that it is a journey that brings us a healthier mum soon.

I miss being able to kiss you mum, but at least I can still hug you and tell you that I love you.
We are all so proud of your courageous fight through this very tough battle. You are truly inspirational, and we are so lucky to have you as our mum.

Sweet dreams

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Innocent childhood friendships

To say I am proud is an understatement.
When you hear your kids talk about their friends, all the fun things they do together, when they mention "new" friends names, it makes me smile.
Our little man Cooper, used to only ever talk about three friends at creche.  Now, he lists everyone there as his friend and I have to check out all the photo's and cross reference their names, just so that I know who he is talking about.
One of his newest friends runs up and hugs him when he arrives at creche.  He bear hugs him with a genuine love, his eyes light up when he see's Cooper. Cooper proudly yells "Mum, this is my friend Isaac".
My heart is warm and fuzzy, the innocence of childhood is wonderful. I'm proud that my boys are not judging their friends, they don't see any differences, they just see friendships.
Why am I writing this, and why am I proud?
Isaac has Downs Syndrome.
To me this does not make a difference.  To my children, this does not make a difference. To others, they see a difference.
I wish that innocent childhood friendships always remained, but I know that they don't.
All as I can do is hope that we raise our boys with the right values, with kind hearts, showing them that no one deserves to be treated differently.
That everyone is unique in their own way, that everyday a friend needs your hand to hold and sometimes they need a big bear hug too!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Reality is raw

Today for the first time since her diagnosis, for the first time in five months, my mum looks like she has cancer.
Her hair had started to fall out over the past week, a simple touch, and you had hair in your fingers.  It was floating down onto her clothes..... each morning when she woke up, there was hair on her pillow. When I walked through her door, I could not believe how whimsical her hair had become.
The reality was setting in, my mum was losing her hair, our "interesting" journey on the yellow brick road was taking a turn.
My sister and I had turned up to do some cleaning and gardening at my parents house.  When someone becomes sick for such a great period of time, household chores take a serious back burner.  We have all been contributing to try and get my parents home, back on track.
My sister took along her clippers to see if mum was ready to have her head shaved, she was.  She said that she had been crying in the shower about losing her hair, the inevitable was near. I have been dreading the day that she was going to lose her hair.  You know it is part of the process, but nothing prepares you for that moment. That moment when her hair is gone and she looks sick, she looks like she has cancer. She only looked at herself briefly in the mirror, no doubt seeing the reflection of a woman who did not look like her.
We could see that dad was struggling, sadness in his eyes as he had just watched the love of his life lose her hair.  He encouraged her to try on her wig, the one that he had chosen - we are so proud of how strong he has been on this journey. We helped her put on her wig, and it instantly changed her.  She no longer looked sick, and it brightened her up and made her feel better.  She left it on for the rest of the afternoon and still had it on when we all left.
I walked into the kitchen at one stage and mum and dad were there - dad said to mum "how you going sorty?". I said to dad, "do you think you have yourself a new girl now?" We had a laugh, you have to grab those light hearted moments whenever you can.
I took some photo's of mum today so she can reflect on them throughout her journey.  At this stage, these moments are only for my family, we need to respect mum's privacy at present.
As I said, reality is raw, sometimes so raw, you don't want to face it.  However, the upper hand is sometimes forced and no matter what you try and do, you have to face it at some stage.

My parents gave me my birthday card today, the most beautiful card that I have received from them. I know that it was hand picked with love, and they would give this card to all of my sisters if it was their birthday too.  We are all treated equally, so much love shared amongst us.

The words printed on it are as follows;

For our Daughter
If you could see yourself the way we see you,
you'd know how truly special you are
You're a loving person and a caring daughter
all the things that would make any parents proud
On your birthday and every day,
thoughts of you are filled with love
because you're such a wonderful daughter

To my beautiful mum, no matter what this journey brings, no matter what you are forced to face, your loving husband and four aces are right beside you, each and every step of the way.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Totally loving my birthday gifts!

A pampering voucher for Akuna Spa

Super cute clutch for our girls nights out!

New books to read

Bright jeans for summery days

Dolce and Gabbana perfume

Elwood work out tops

Make up and toilet bag and a scarf!

Plus a shopping voucher and a super cute porcelain owl - need to take a snap of him.

Spoilt or what?
Who is loving the bright pastel colours out this season?
Oh, and I wish it was my birthday everyday!!