Thursday, March 31, 2011

Today I am thankful - working, snacks and puppy news

- for a vibrant day at the office - so many people in and out - mums needing help, mums meeting together, volunteers - some days it just doesn't seem possible that our vision became reality!

- for my yummy Harvest Box - second week in and I am hooked! Delicious, healthy snacking, mailed to my office desk! Perfect when having my actual lunch is not practical because I am up and down from my desk supporting a mum.

- for the news yesterday that last week's puppy emergency breast pump mission worked and pup is now feeding from his mum :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Leave our (knitted) nipples alone!

Aw, how cute! It's just like a Gumnut baby!
Um? Is that a ....?

Eww ... 'Anti-Breastfeeding' Facebook Now Bans Pretend Boobs

so i guess they would really find this confusing...
(That's disgusting!)
Men's BBQ apron
I suppose they wouldn't like these either?

We use them to teach new mothers ...


Because they didn't grow up learning that breastfeeding is normal ...

And they are often made by women who did ...

Even if it was quite a while ago ...
And they are greatly appreciated around the world ...
And have even been featured on BBC News ... follow the link to watch

And the challenge just gets bigger and bigger ... (need some of these at the Breastfeeding Centre!)
And - thankfully, most people get the joke ...


And want to share it with their kids ...

And it really is no laughing matter ...

Because we desparately need to change community attitudes to lactating breasts...

(This is promoting breast cancer awareness!)
Because some people just don't realise how they undermine women's confidence ...

via here and a booby beanie pattern

And, personally - this offends me a lot ...

See Mommy, we have hidden our scary boobies AND our scary babies!
And we need YOU to help!
Source and knitting pattern

With love and thanks to the "knitted-titty knitters" around the world :)

Today I am thankful - gadgets, clicking and voices

- for iPad envy - trademan came to measure up for some possible remodelling of the breastfeeding centre and Kintara and I fell in love with his iPad even more than his electronic measuring gizmo. If he had been selling iPads, he would have sold two on the spot! he could draw up a rough plan on-screen like paper and email it to his office. neither of us need that feature but we still wanted it!

- for not clicking. Two mums sat feeding their babies as Kintara and I sat at our desks. We both jumped at the sound of clicking, a sure sign baby might not be well-attached. "Sorry," said one mum, when we checked, "that was me tapping on my phone"!

- for hearing voices. "Is someone talking to you?" asked Kintara when we were chatting outside my office this morning. Took me a minute - "no, just the radio!". "He's saying you need to change!" she said.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Today I am thankful - productive, old-fashioned and snack

- for a productive day at work. You know when you get a day when you can focus on all those little things that get pushed aside by Urgent and Important? It feels good to spend time getting them ticked off your list.

- for a flashback at the supermarket. Staff trying work out if they can accept the $50 note presented by a customer: a paper one! It looked a lot bigger than I remember them! I wonder where it had been tucked away all these years?

- for my afternoon snack: strawberry and yogurt layered and topped with my yummy granola.Travels well to work and gets me past that afternoon slump.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Today I am thankful - granola, walk and moving out!

- for this incredibly yummy Olive Oil Granola with Dried Apricots and Pistachios which I made a batch of today. I used to make my own toasted muesli years ago but got out of the habit, but this - with good olive oil which I need to include in my diet - made me realise I must get back into the habit. Now, to pace myself eating it!

- for a lovely walk in the autumn sunshine with Molly - this is my favourite time of year, when I can go outside and not be too hot or too cold.

- for the 30th anniversary of my leaving home and into my very own flat! I can't believe how quickly that time has gone and yet how long ago it seems. I had this tiny dolls-house of a Bungalow out the back of someone's house and the rent was about $26pw! I lost my job within three months of moving and was determined to stick it out, which I did, eking out my dole payments to cover the expenses until July, when I turned 18 (!) and my dole payments went up. There was a glut of pears that season and boy, did I eat a lot of them, at 10c KG! And cheese on biscuits.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Today I am thankful - photo comp, market and pesto

- for this favourite photo of me and my girls, which is in the running for Image of 2010 in the competition of Susan D'Arcy, our wonderful family photographer :)

The competition is vote-based - the winner with the most votes can win a HUGE canvas print of their photo! (Pick me! Pick me!)

So, I am doing something I rarely do and asking ALL my social media friends to take a moment and vote our photo #21 as their favourite!

Here are the instructions:

Competition time!
I have created an album in facebook CLICK HERE to go to my facebook business page. You’ll need to click ‘like’ to view the page and images. (dont worry you don’t need to add me as a facebook friend for this) Once in facebook go the albums section and open the ‘Image of 2010′ album. Sit back relax and browse through the images there, find your favourite image of 2010 and then email me at or alternatively go into my website by clicking HERE and then place your vote through the contact page.

PLEASE put the face number eg: face89 in the SUBJECT line of your email. Yes voters too have the chance to win**! Up for grabs for voters are Susan D’Arcy Photography session/product vouchers.

- for the wonderful atmosphere at the Mt Eliza farmer's market this morning. It was a real dog's day out and dog people are so friendly! Molly and I had lots of stops to chat as we worked our way around the range of fresh produce and gorgeous goodies - including her beloved dog bickie lady!

- for the batch of pesto I whipped up when I got home, packed with wonderful fresh basil that arrived straight from the local school garden while I stood there! I was surprised their weren't confused insects buzzing around it, it was that fresh!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

image of 2010 melbourne photographer | Melbourne Portrait Photographer - Susan D'Arcy - My Photo Blog

Do you love this photo?

My favourite photo of my girls and I that was taken at Kaitlyn's Hens Day photo shoot is in the running to win this competition!!

image of 2010 melbourne photographer | Melbourne Portrait Photographer - Susan D'Arcy - My Photo Blog

The image with the most votes will win a whopping 16 x 20/24 inch CANVAS print of their choice* valued at $590

The image with the second amount of most votes will receive an 8×12 inch print of their winning image valued at $110

Either of these would look fabulous on my wall :)

Today I am thankful - twins, music and purple

- for the pleasure of being with parents expecting twins, with a whole journey ahead of them. Today's breastfeeding class had four out of five already having one child, so the conversation was really different to when they are all the first-timers (today's first-timer can never say nobody told her what it is like!). We also had a really keen student midwife attend and Megan and Andrew brought their 4mo boys to share their story. Great class :)

- for music memories. Driving home listening to 70s music and being taken back to teenage parties with old friends. I love how music creates a moment in time in the brain.

- for my new Intimo purple wrap top which goes so well with my purple LBD skirt - can see many years wear ahead!

My smoothie evolution

I first encountered Green Smoothies about six months ago. Up until then, I knew smoothies to be milk-based drinks, usually with banana or maybe strawberries, honey, yoghurt and that was about it!

But spinach???? Really???

I have come a long way since that first time I experimented by adding a few leaves into my fruit smoothie and was amazed I couldn't taste anything different. So I began adding more and more extra stuff, as I learned through blogs and websites of the endless possibilities.

Today, my smoothies are a densely-packed burst of nutrition at the start of the day, often sustaining me beyond lunchtime and are my go-to breakfast most days of the week.

I have been asked what recipes I use and, to be honest, I don't really! It is more of a process, drawing on a range of ingredients I keep at the ready. So, here is my "smoothie wardrobe":

In the freezer:
Fruit - mostly bought fresh and frozen by me, plus berries purchased already frozen - including: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, apricots ...

In the fridge:
baby spinach leaves, lettuce, organic yoghurt, flax seed oil, walnut or almond oil, green tea, juice, LSA and flaxseed meal

In the fruit bowl:
Bananas (when not affected by cyclones!), apples, pears, avocado, oranges, grapes, stone fruit and more!

In the cupboard:
walnuts, cashews, almonds, chia seeds, manuka honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, vanilla extract, raw cacoa

From these, I simply fill my blender to the top, add water (or green tea/juice) and whizz away!

I drink one 500ml glass for breakfast, mostly while I check my email and social media, sometimes as I drive to work. The other half either comes to work with me or goes into the fridge at home - it is the perfect afternoon hit of sweet energy and lasts several hours without drama. I have even frozen the second half and defrosted it successfully.

No two smoothies are ever the same but they always taste wonderful and give me a huge burst of energy. There is nothing like knowing you have achieved most of your recommended dietary intake at breakfast! The rest of the day is a bonus :)

Then, there are my lunches ...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Today I am thankful - puppy, glasses and hairdresser

- for Freecycle power - when the call came up on my local Freecycle list for a breast pump, I sighed and wished I could help, but there are health precautions about sharing milk collection kits between mothers, so the stash of odds and ends I have collected over the years cannot help. But when someone replied to the first request, asking for a pump for her dog - well, it was game on! The runt of the litter was struggling and it was touch and go. He struggled to stay on his mother's teat and so wasn't getting the energy he needs to grow. So I replied that I could help, went via my storage unit for an old Medela Mini Electric Plus I had been given ages ago and dropped around to give it to the breeder. She showed me a tiny bundle of four day old American Bull Dog and her son brought two siblings over to compare the size. Mum waddled out to see who was visiting her babies and I showed the breeder how the pump works: she grew up on a dairy farm, so knew the basics! I left them to it and got a message later to say they had success - 5mls - after they got the let down going by making a big fuss of mum :) and the pup drank it from the bottle. Here is the breeders website, so you can see what they will be like when they grow up:

- for multifocal glasses, which I collected on my way home - kind of weird but not as bad as I was expecting and I am sure I will get used to them in no time.

- for my kind of hair salon, where my colour developed while my hairdresser fed baby one side, then I jiggled his bouncer with my foot while she rinsed it out! And got him off to sleep! My hair is short and purple again :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Today I am thankful - reconnection, out of the office and TV!

- for reconnection! The office phone is back online, as is the home internet :) I hope the Moon is now over her hissy fit and we can go back to taking such things for granted!

- for an ABA out and about day! First up was a Teddy Bears Picnic in Dandenong, where we had a stand and then it was off to talk to midwives at a hospital. The hospital gave an adventure of its own when the power went off and my DVD was trapped in the player until it returned! So I went and had lunch at the cafe and read my Kobo :)

- for tonight's TV viewing - Turn Back Time: the High Street (which I am absolutely loving) followed by my favourite Alan Davies in Whites then Jo Brand in Getting On :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Today I am thankful - crystal, surprise and found it!

- for the crystal my daughter bought me on her travels, which will give me strength in the face of illness.

- for a surprise gift tucked in with an ebay purchase - a book called Baby Wisdom!

- for finding that which was lost - I take a medication to help me sleep which impacts on my memory of what I do after I take it (like writing this right now!) Recently, the other me put my USB cable, dongle and car reader somewhere new but I didn't know where! I just found them - tucked into my small camera case in my handbag (good idea, hey?) and that meant I can get online even though our net is down right now!*

* this is no surprise to me - we have all had a series of break downs, stressed people and things going pear-shaped this week, which we are attributing to the Super Moon!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Today I am thankful - cows, cherry ripe and silence.

- for the innocence of children :) Today, Alex came along with his mum and 3wo sister to the breastfeeding centre. A group of mums were talking about weaning and cows milk was mentioned several times. Little ears picked up on this and announced:  "At the farm, I milked a cow!" Ah, warm fuzzy moment with everyone smiling and giving Alex their full attention. "Did you!" I responded, "how did you do that?". "I squeezed his p@nis!" he answered! Oh! (Mummy and Alex were going home to have a little chat that would involve pictures of cows - and udders!) It made everyone's day :)

- for cherry ripe tea, which Melissa just made me a cup of! Spoils from her trip to Olinda and Sassafras yesterday.

- for a day's peace without the phone ringing - sadly because it wasn't working, but it was so lovely :) Ah the serenity.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Today I am thankful - optometrist, processor and lunch!

- for my lovely optometrist Terry (whose wife used to be an ABA counsellor) who I saw this morning. I am finding juggling distance and reading glasses more hassle than I need and am now getting multi focals!

- for my new mini Breville food processor, because chopping nuts and similar stuff by hand is beyond my physical ability these days.

- for today's lunch, Skinny Chicken Waldorf Salad which was just what I needed :)

Green Smoothie Challenge

Green Smoothie Challenge

I have just signed up for this and you might like to as well!

I have really embraced green smoothies and there is no doubt I feel great when I have them regularly and I just love that I can cram so much nutrition into such a quick meal!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Today I am thankful - creek, food and autumn

- for the pleasant surprise I got on returning to the Seaford farmer's market after several months I had to miss: relocated to a grassed area alongside the creek, which has been recently landscaped and made "noice" with a boardwalk and seating. Now, just imagine if that boardwalk could be connected through all the way to Frankston Waterfront ...

- for getting all the food supplies on my list, so I can have a food-prep session to set me up for the busy week ahead.

- for the stunning autumn day we are having - a bit too warm but a sign of things to come. My favourite season of the year :) And with the equinox, time to switch over my wardrobe!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Today I am thankful - familiar, 80+ and laughs

- for working out that Sue at the MS support group is, in fact, the same Sue with MS I met about 14 years ago at an antenatal class I spoke to at the hospital! We remained in contact for a while, so nice to reconnect.

- for the inspirational woman, who turns 85 in May, who is also a part of the group. She makes being an octogenarian something to look forward to :) Not bad for a woman who has lived with the disease for 50 years.

-  for the ability to laugh at this unwelcome disease with others, because the group is no "pity party"!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Today I am thankful - RAK, Shady and O apostrophe

- for being on the receiving end of a Random Act of Kindness - a man driving out of the car park noticed me walking to the ticket machine and offered me his, which still had over an hour on it! I practice such RAKs and believe in paying it forward, so it was nice to receive :)

- for @Shady Botros, possibly the most popular chiropractor in the world! After my appointment, I was walking past one of my favourite cafes and one man was saying to another "And then I went and saw Shady - you know, the chiropractor up the road" "Oh yes, I see Shady" says the other man!

- for the conversation about our last name and the likely extinction of apostrophes in O surnames, with the man in the health food shop, while he trawled their computer to allocate my loyalty points when I didn't have the card handy.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Today I am thankful - doggy joy, green and goddess

- for the utter joy my little dog experiences when I arrive home from work. Molly bounces from her spot at the bedroom window onto the arm chair near the lounge room window and watches me get out of the car, then flies to the front door to greet me. Then she jumps on the bed requesting a cuddle. Then some days, I go get her a treat from the pantry - a smacko is her absolute favourite. Treats get thrown down the hallway, where she bounds after it. If you break it into pieces, she takes them one by one to her spot on the bed, eats it then bounces back for the next!

- for it being a great day to be Irish! Or, at least, have an Irish last name. Tis St Patricks Day, or as it was rechristened in our family years ago, Kieran Patrick's Day! To be sure.

- for gorgeous Goddess mail in the post, from the wonderful Goddess Leonie. A lovely card filled with with kind words and one of her little sketches. All on a beautiful card by her mentor, Ellanita, which you can view here:

Atlantis by Ellanita

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Today I am thankful - drop-in, napping and webcast.

- for a busy drop-in today at the breastfeeding centre, with several visitors in a short period of time. So Kintara and I still had ample time to do our admin stuff, therefore productive all round.

- for the lovely rest Roanna was forced to have, when her brief visit extended out by an hour or two, when Evie decided a feed then nap on mum's lap were in order! Sometimes, you just need to do what you need to do. And an extra breastfeeding counsellor trapped on drop-in day is never a bad thing :)

- for the amazing use of technology that allows me to watch the speakers at last week's seminar from the comfort of my laptop screen. It meant I could focus on what I needed to do on the day, knowing I wasn't missing a single moment.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Japan

  • the Japanese couple who my parents corresponded with in my childhood.
  • eating seaweed crackers on a "Japanese Day" at primary school.
  • tracing maps of japan for school projects.
  • making origami.
  • collecting stamps commemorating the World Expo.
  • learning about our sister-city, Susono.
  • listening to my children counting and singing "Mary had a little lamb" as part of their Japanese studies.
  • being mystified by their Japanese homework in early high school.
  • watching Japanese exchange students make their "debut" alongside my daughter.
  • enjoying Susono vistors contributions to community events.
  • admiring my aunt for her solo travel to Japan.
  • eating my first sushi.
  • being welcomed into the home of a Japanese mother and her baby for a photo shoot for ABA.
  • meeting up with that mother again at conferences in Hobart and Melbourne and her gleeful embrace.
  • hearing about my husband's experiences of work trips to his company's home base.
  • seeing my kids embrace the Japanese cultures of anime and manga
  • constant background music and dialogue in Japanese coming from my son's computer.
  • farewelling two of my oldest friends for a year living in Japan for his work.
  • meeting Japanese migrants coming to the Breastfeeding Centre.
  • regularly eating sushi.
  • disbelief at the devastation caused by earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power stations.

Today I am thankful - energy, birth and purple

- for feeling my energy getting back to normal: I am tired now, but end-of-the-workday-tired, not MS-fatigue-tired. Hubby is away for work, so hopefully I can get in some extra hours sleep.

- for the lovely baby who came to the breastfeeding centre today: in the midst of the news of death and destruction, new life is a blessing.

- for ordering a purple wrap to match my LBD - did I mention I love Intimo??

Monday, March 14, 2011

Self-portrait Sundays - March 13 2011

I know I missed last week because I just didn't have the energy, but here I am yesterday:

Today I am thankful - party, sunshine and lazy

- for the wonderful group of "young people" who came together last night at our home, for Melissa's vampire party. They had a great time, well into the early morning, and those who stayed over or popped back during the day were quite bright and happy (considering the post 4am bed time!)

- for the gradual return of our home from the dark-side, because such beautiful autumn weather should be able to brighten every nook and cranny (without threat to the undead from shafts of sunlight!)

- for a lovely, lazy day of blog reading, interspersed by healthy snacking and even getting the grocery shopping online out of the way for the month. Hope my energy reserves are refilled enough to keep me healthy for a while, so I can get my life management back on track - that means yoga on Wednesday and water aerobics on Friday :)

52 Weeks of decluttering - week ten

This is a catch-up post, because the past two weeks have not been conducive to decluttering. I am fine with this because, once again, I was able to appreciate how being organised reduces the stress when life takes over.

So, no projects tackled and no photos to share but I do have several prompts from the challenge site to respond to, so here goes!

week eight
1.  Do find cluttered surfaces make you a little crazy?
So much! I find disorganised clutter makes my brain fuzzy and even organised clutter gets to me. It makes it hard for me to think straight and focus on what I am doing, as my mind zeros in on where things are and where they should be.
2.  Are you managing to stay on top of your 52 weeks list?
When I started this challenge, I knew there would be weeks when decluttering would be an added burden, so as I reach those weeks, I accept them for what they are - times to live organised, not get organised.
3.  Are you being motivated by your successes yet?

week nine
1.  Do you know what your “good enough” is?
y-e-s ... functional even if not perfect-looking.
2.  What did you organize this week?
I did tackle the "junk" drawer - well, where I keep some hardware type stuff. But it was really just tidying, not decluttering.
3.  Are there areas you are struggling with in this challenge?
Other people's stuff. It is disheartening to work so hard and then see others just dump stuff.

week ten
1. What are your hot spot landing zones?
My scrapbooking table and my bedside table for me personally. For others in the household, the coffee table and kitchen bench where the fruit bowls are.
2.Think about ways you can tackle these flat surface areas to manage the stuff that continues to pile there.
Not be in a rush. When I rush, I dump. If I have lots of rush days, then multiple dumping occurs. Also, a clear knowledge of what lives in the space, so that decluttering is what we call "eracing the evidence" - what should not be there needs to go to its own home.
3. What are you most proud of so far in your 52 weeks journey?
The public nature of my quest and the positive feedback I am getting from friends online and also hearing how they have also been motivated.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Today I am thankful - Gothic, vegie and rain

- for my home being festooned in cobwebs, crawling with spiders, rats lurking in the corners and bats in the belfry! Melissa is celebrating this week's birthday with a vampire party! She and Kieran have decorated our house in gothic style :)

- for being able to assemble a range of food options for the visiting vegan/vegetarian vampires (!) from my store of food supplies and Plan to Eat recipes.

- for the downpour of rain which is bringing the temperature down to normal, because a hot, humid house of horror (!) is not really so much fun.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Today I am thankful - global - and local - community and lunch

- for the outpouring of despair around the world in response to the horror of earthquake and tsunami in Japan. It is very hard to find something to be thankful for in such circumstances, but recent disasters have shown that we can be a global community when it comes to these things and that is the one positive on which we can focus. There is no description for the feeling which descended upon me as I saw the footage of that water consuming everything in its path.

- for local community - in the midst of the horror of Japan and Libya, there was a pocket of hope in my very own neighbourhood. As I returned home from walking the dog, I joined a neighbour who had stopped his lawnmower and another who had stopped her car, to come to the aid of a disabled woman whose electric scooter had come to a halt just as she began crossing the road. Her battery was flat. But it was no big deal - her shopping was placed into the car, she was carefully and respectfully helped into the car and driven home, where the power cable was to be collected and brought back to where the scooter was being kept safely and would be recharged and returned to her. This is the world in which we all should expect to live.

- for my lunch - leftover Vietnamese Chicken Salad I made last night, inspired by that served at lunch on Monday at the breastfeeding seminar. A quick Google, import the recipe to Plan to Eat, shopping for ingredients and quickly assembled - that is tastes even better after overnight refrigeration was a surprise (Asian food usually best eaten as soon as possible). Will now get added to my work lunch menu!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Today I am thankful - sleep, food and meals

- for a good sleep last night, leaving me a bit more energised today.

- for a good shopping expedition, restocking my whole-food and other cooking supplies.

- for Plan to Eat, which I joined a month or so ago and am gradually getting set up. I especially like that I can add recipes I find online (thought it is disappointing that it can't pick up from most blogs) and then create a meal plan, send a shopping list to my phone and buy what I need. I am actually using it for my meals, not so much the family!

Smart phone shopping again!

It is hard to believe that my beloved Blackberry Bold is about to come to the end of its contract and it is time for me to upgrade my phone again!

And after all my research last time, when I was choosing between Blackberry and iPhone, this time I am very tempted to go over to the dark side and get an iPhone!

I have app envy - what can I say? The huge gap between apps available for the two is huge and seems to grow daily. My Google Reader throws wonders in front of me, temptingly, marred by that little word: Apple.

Last time around, it was the little QWERTY keyboard that swayed me - my experience of touch screen with my Palm PDAs had been so frustrating and I wanted to be able to text and email with greater capacity than: OK! And it has been so and opened up more efficient communications and it is good.

But I want more app magic.

So now it is time for me to get down to the nitty-gritty of looking at the options. And garnering unbiased opinions from friends and colleagues, which if a little like getting recommendations for a football team to follow!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Today I am thankful - sneaking, reunion and weekend!

- for the rare chance to sneak into the house without the dog noticing! And down to Melissa's room, where Molly was fast asleep on her bed. I whispered, I spoke, I finally had to gently tap her to wake her up! Then she gave me the full treatment I normally get at the front door :)

- for the reunion between a mother from the mum's group who meet weekly at the breastfeeding centre and Emma, our local ABA group administrator and trainee, who randomly met up this afternoon! The new mum had been Emma's teacher at school!

- for the prospect of a long weekend, although it will be a busy household, as Melissa is holding a vampire party here on Sunday night to celebrate her birthday! The house is gradually transforming into a gothic marvel!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Today I am thankful - Melissa, interpreter and electrician

- for 27 years of having Melissa in my life! Happy birthday to my first baby, who grew to be one of my closest friends!!!!!


- for being able to help a mother with her breastfeeding problems today, even though I don't speak a word of Burmese and she speaks no English! The community service who brought her to us arranged an interpreter, who was also a mother of four breastfed babies, which made both our jobs much easier! And she sat and translated the narration of Christina Smillie's Baby-led Attachment as the mum watched! There are no barriers.

- for our electrician who came and replaced the blown light globes in BOTH our toilets today, because not only do neither Kintara or I have a ladder license, we also have no ladder! And it is a big ask for a woman who recently gave birth to use an unfamiliar toilet in complete darkness! (We know, we asked!)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Today I am thankful - Sheila, Mary and my Girls

March 8th is International Women's Day - the 100th anniversary. As I was educated through the 1970s, I was influenced by the women's movement - from the media, my teachers and the women in our family circle. I knew women could do whatever they wished and that nothing should be allowed to hold them back because of their gender. Any career was able to be aspired to. There was no need for modern women to be tied to the kitchen-sink by their apron strings.

So - I became a mother before I turned 21! (And on the day after IWD!)

And today, I am very thankful:

- for Shelia Kitzinger, the birthing and breastfeeding guru, whose writing inspired me to to question "because that is how it is done", who taught me it was my body, my baby - and who gathered me in her arms when I explained the circumstances of my three caesarean births when I met her in person 20 years later! (You can find my youngest child being born on the cover of her book Politics of Birth)

Yvette and Sheila
- for Mary Paton, the founder of the Nursing Mother's Association, who first inspired five other women and then led them to establish one of the most long-standing and successful women's groups in Australia. From her, I learned there is nothing that women cannot achieve and that mothers need mothers. She continues to inspire me today as she steers our Association to our 50th Anniversary commemorative book and I am proud to be part of her team.

Me & Mary @ Hot Milk 2007
- for my daughters, Melissa and Kaitlyn; my nieces Lynden, Sarah, Rachel and Diana and all my young friends of their generation, who have grown up secure in their equality, with futures ahead of them to do whatever they desire, with the same rights to aspiration to their brothers!
Melissa & Kaitlyn - sisters are doin' it for themselves!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Today I am thankful - network, moment and village

- for the wonderful network of friends I have established over the years within the breastfeeding support community. Today's seminar for health professionals reminded me of just how many midwives, lactation consultants and others I have worked with over the past two decades and of the warm friendships we maintain. I was greeted with so many smiles and hugs! The theme of the day was Breastfeeding: together we do it better and that just sums it up for me!

- for the moment I took a photo memory of as I looked across the room filled with happy, smiling faces bathed in glorious Melbourne sunshine, set against the backdrop of the City skyline through the windows. Good food, good friends and good conversation. (Photo memories are what I call those moments when I don't have a camera in my hand but see a picture I want to keep - I just take in as much detail as I can and file it away in my memory)

- for the description of our breastfeeding centre given to me by a local health professional "You have created a village for these migrant women" - which is exactly the vision I have always had in my mind :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Today I am thankful - sunshine, tickets and matching

- for the stunningly beautiful sunshine that has streamed into my bedroom all afternoon. Now that has to be bad for the cold germs.

- for my lovely son who walked to the shop to buy me some spinach leaves - and books of raffle tickets to use tomorrow.

- for discovering my new purple Intimo LBD is exactly the same shade as my Motto mesh top :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Today I am thankful - books, toast and growth

- for a reading day in bed. Books are how I have always gotten through sick days but these days it is often easier to browse online instead, So reminding myself to pick up books and switch off the laptop is good.

- for my healthy multi-grain sourdough toast with almond spread and apricot jam - comfort food :)

- for the abundance of green growth outside my bedroom window - all that rain has helped several plants in their recovery from the drought. I realised there is more shade than I am used to!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Today I am thankful - friends, banners and battle!

- for my kids having such great friends that they visit our home and just accept me lying in bed in the middle of the day, without questioning or judging or making a big deal about my health issues. Once we get past that first, awkward "this is my Mum" moment :) Our bedroom is just near the front door and my bed is just near the bedroom door, so heads just pop around the corner and say hello!

- for getting our lovely new banners printed and collected from Officeworks in time to show them off at our seminar on Monday. From vague design to finished product in a week, thanks to several volunteers going the extra mile.

- for completing my annual "battle with Word about a straight-forward mail merge" to produce conference badges for Monday. One of us is not compatible with the other - and I am perfect ;)

52 Weeks of decluttering - week eight

Checking in very late on this one as I was interstate last weekend and hit the ground running on my return. So before week nine's prompts hit the web today, thought I should quickly check in on the decluttering challenge for week eight!.

I tackled a couple of small projects in the week ending February 24, mostly because I spent the weekend resting a cold. But even the smallest tasks can make the biggest difference!

First was to reclaim what was supposed to be our command centre but had become "the place you shove bits and pieces that might have a home, but you can't be bothered looking for it!" (Can I just remind you I share this house with three other adults, plus two more adults who used to live here!)

This sight was giving me heart palpitations on a daily basis! So I emptied it of everything and took the contents to my sick-bed and sorted it all. In fact, the mountain was really a mole-hill and (as always) the 20% that belonged there was just swamped by the 80% that need chucking out!

We do so little written correspondence these days, but this is nominally where we keep paper, envelopes and stamps: the stamps we have there are TWO price increases behind, so I shall take them and some 10c ones to use at work and just buy a couple of current postage for home.


Now I can keep my household notebook there, even though that is heading the way of the dinosaurs as more and more household accounts are paperless. One day, there will be no paper! (It does help that the last child finished school over a year ago - schools are the main source of excess paper!)

Another little task I managed from bed was tidying my bedside drawer, where I keep my medications and vitamins taken each day, plus odds and ends of nail care items etc. Shoeboxes work well to corral different items and stop the sprawl, but I prettied them up with some scrapbooking paper, seeing I look into this space every single day, it might as well treat my senses!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Today I am thankful - cleaning, pet-love and PURPLE LBD!!!!

- for the surprising pleasure of being left in peace and quiet at the office so I could do a really deep clean and vacuum around and under my desk!

- for arriving home and being deluged in a love-fest of feline and canine greetings! Both so sooky they were even being nice to each other (until they realised what they were doing!)

- for the arrival of my BEAUTIFUL new wardrobe treasure - the INTIMO LBD in PURPLE!
Relax, I won't wear it quite like this, but as a skirt and over pants or leggings, with the promised PURPLE wrap (coming soon, I am told - not sure if it is the long or the short but happy with either)

I wish they would do the pants in this colour too and maybe a cami or other top - at least they are starting to realise a large part of the female population wear PURPLE as a key colour!!!! (I have both the LBD and pants in black, they are my only black garments, also the pants in chocolate and a long-wrap in oatmeal. Both the girls have various components as well)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Today I am thankful - conversations, mornings and Kintara!

- for asocial drop-in day today, where the babies were all around 18 months and mums really motivated and wanting to learn. Some great conversation happens at the Breastfeeding Centre - it isn't all sore nipples, you know!

- for this treasure, which arrived in my blog reader from the wonderful Goddess Leonie:
I swear Leonie and I are tuned into the same life channel, as we keep doing the same things at the same time! Just last week, I wrote out my own morning routine (and the evening one) as reminders of how I prefer to start and end my day. Whilst these leisurely beginnings will have mothers of small children and those juggling paid work outside the home in stitches of laughter, even they could take tiny bits to incorporate into their own day. You can download this inspiration for free!

- for having Kintara here in the office on Wednesdays, to share the load. With our seminar for health professionals on Monday, I needed to box stuff up for the courier to collect in the morning and it was great leaving the phone to her and focus. Job sharing on the same day means we get twice as much achieved in the same number of hours!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Today I am thankful - home, food and bed!

- for getting home from work.Very tired, forgot to bring lunch-time cold tablets with me  - felt like I was dragging myself through wet cement all day. Luckily, a quiet taking calls to book BECs, which was about as much as I could manage!

- for making myself do some food prep before crashing, because not having good lunches won't make the next few days any easier on my body.

- for the anticipation of an early night, under the doona and jammies, here I come!!