Monday, May 30, 2011

Today I am thankful - hairdresser, fledgling and progress

- for social hairdressing: I love that my hairdresser became a friend and that I visit her home each month for my cut and colour. I love that I get to watch her lovely baby grow so quickly and that we can chat and share while I am transformed. I followed her from salon to salon and then from house to house and now she lives just down the road from me :)

- for fledgling: my eldest daughter is planning on flying the nest soon. today, I went along as she inspected rental properties. At 27, she is ten years older than I was when I left home, and she lived away from home for two years while back-packing in New Zealand. Yet still, she is taking baby steps.

- for progress: I added triangles around the circumference of my friendship blanket. They seemed to take forever to do and were then, suddenly, done! Now I am on my second round as I link them together into the circle, they remind me of individual friendships which have connected and become new circles.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Today I am thankful - rest, creation and planning

- for rest. Actually, I am reminding myself to be thankful for rest. On my third self-enforced bed-day, I feel more tired than when I began and a little over it all. But I keeping on top of this cold and storing up energy points, which is my goal.

- for creation: bed rest fits perfectly with crochet! I am steadily getting through my Red Project - hats and wrist-warmers for the girls and I for Sunday's MS Walk.

Yvette's hat

Melissa's hat
- for planning: my road trip is coming together beautifully. I have offers of beds in Canberra, Parramatta and Sydney and am plotting out my route. Looking forward to seeing family and friends as well as parts of Australia I love and parts I haven't seen yet (or, at least, in memory - I was born in NSW and came to Victoria as a three year old, so sometimes I think I haven't been somewhere, only for it to pop up in old family films!)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Today I am thankful - daughter, deciding and timing

 - for my wonderful daughter: As I started to get out of the car at work, I realised something was missing - I had left my laptop at home! I phoned Melissa, waking her on her day off, and asked if she could bring it over for me. My kids are such nice people :)

- for deciding:I have crunched some details and have decided I will make my road trip in October! I will fly to Canberra, where I can catch up with my aunt and local cousins, then hire a car and drive to Sydney the long way, visiting family and friends along the way and going into the Blue Mountains for the first time. Then I can catch up with family and friends in Sydney before flying home to Melbourne. Including the two-day conference, I figure ten days will let me do the trip at a pace I can manage and spent time with people. Here is my draft plan:

View 2011 Road Trip in a larger map

- for timing: I had already penciled in a quiet four days of rest and restoration - what I call health leave - this weekend, so while I am cross to have come down with a sore throat this afternoon, at least it comes at a time when I have no commitments. So my health leave might now be sick leave - but I am calling it crochet leave!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Today I am thankful - brainstorming, unravelling and fruit & nuts

- for brainstorming: I am attending (and even presenting!) at the ABA international conference in Canberra in October. So I have started thinking, I could just fly there and fly back or I could combine it with a littel family visiting - maybe a side-trip to see Aunty Becky in Wagga and a hop over to Sydney to see the new Laughlin baby due that month and maybe see cousin David for a cuppa.  Trains, planes or automobiles ... what shall it be?

- for unravelling: the thing I really like about crochet is how easy it is to reverse when it all goes wrong! I seem to be making super-size hats! Time to pull the wool out!

- for fruit and nuts: when the 4pm blahs hit I reached into my Harvest Box and pulled out a combo of ROAST HAZELNUTS, FLAME RAISINS, DARK CHOCOLATE! Gave my taste buds the same treat as a family block - who knew?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Today I am thankful - autumn, reading and radar.

- for autumn: I set up my workspace on the couch today and could watch the sun shining on the orange foliage and then the leaves scattering as a breeze interrupted. It was cold outside, but pretty!

- for reading hour! After wondering what to watch due to a program change on my preferred TV channel in the early evening, I decided to look at the change as an opportunity and use it to read each day!!!

- for radar: Our dog Molly has an uncanny ability to spot animals on TV - any animals - and bark at them and run up to the TV! I would have missed the piglet who appeared briefly on the news if she hadn't spotted it when she walked past my door!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Today I am thankful - remembering, red hats and deliveries

- for remembering: by chance, I needed to get to Southland to buy more bio-bags  for the compost at atomic green - and I remembered while I was at an ABA meeting in nearby Springvale :) I love it when my brain works ;)

- for red hats: I have decided to make we three girls crochet red hats to wear at the MS Walk in 2 weeks (everyone dresses in red on the day) - and when I popped into Lincraft, they had red wool on sale!

- for deliveries: I got home to find the three canvas prints I had ordered through a Cudos special had arrived, as well as a small photo book from Snapfish and the photo print of Molly and her girls at the Million Paws Walk last week. The mail was full of fabulous family photos :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Today I am thankful - season, local and prepared.

- for season: at the farmers market, there were autumn leaves scattering about on the ground and shoppers wore scarves and hats as they bought supplies for warming meals and huddled over their take-away coffees. Not so hard to believe winter is only a few weeks away now.

- for local: I bought locally-made Parmesan cheese and locally-grown baby spinach to go in our dinner. Once you open your eyes to see local produce, you realise it is abundant. And buying it from the artisans and gardeners who produced it is a great feeling.

- for prepared: while I chatted on the hands-free phone with mums calling the breastfeeding helpline, I bulk prepared ingredients that came together as five work-meals for the freezer and a pot of chicken and pesto pasta for dinner. Life is so much easier when I have time like this to prepare food.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Today I am thankful - learning, sharing and babies

- for learning: each time I run a breastfeeding education class for parents expecting twins, I open up an invitation to everyone who has previously attended to come along for show and tell. It is from these parents I learn, to better teach.

- for sharing: sometimes, there is nothing I need say or do, just sit and allow the sharing magic to happen. Today, three mothers of twins shared their stories with four expectant couples. The energy in the room was palpable.

- for babies: everybody loves a baby! We had four today - a pair who were 3 months old today and another who were 11 months old today! (The nine month old set stayed home with Dad). When we took a tea break, babies were being passed from parents to parents-to-be and there were smiles all round. All were born pre-term, which was reassuring to those with a high risk of premature births.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Today I am thankful - Aunty Becky, delivery, sharing and memories

( I was thankful yesterday, but got distracted with my crochet and forgot to blog!)

- for my Aunty Becky, who reads my blog avidly and is prompted to send me her memories inspired by my posts! Thank you - I am hopeless at replying, because I set them aside until I can do so "properly" and then times flies by. But your recollections are precious and I am honoured to be their keeper.

- for delivery - yesterday the postman delivered my order from www, : several skeins of recycled silk yarns like these:


- for sharing: this morning we hosted a focus group at the Breastfeeding Centre, where half a dozen of us were asked about our experiences with hospitals and maternal and child health - good and bad!- to help with the development of evaluation questionnaires for patients! Like we needed to be asked twice!! And the bonus, they gave each of us a $50 Coles/Myer store card!!!!

- for memories: my old school Facebook group has brought together a select group of past students and teachers who attended in the mid/late 70s and early 80s. After sharing memories of students and teachers, discussion has turned to some of the places we hung out as teenagers, so of which would make our mothers grey overnight if they had known! And now all respectable middle-aged parents. grandparents and pillars of society ;)

And here, finally, is a photo of my Friendship Blanket crochet project in progress:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Today I am thankful -

- for progress: my crochet blanket is now large enough to cover a cat!! (There will be photos soon, promise!)

- for service: today at the Breastfeeding Centre was flat out. Of the four visitors we had, two spent much of the day with us and were really in need of the support we offer. We were able to offer lots of resources and support them as they worked on attachment issues, used a breast pump for the first time and reassured each other through their shared conversation. This is why we are here. This is what we need to do.

- for delivery: After much patient waiting, today I received from Mothers' Direct this DVD - and just in time for my twins & more BEC this weekend! Yay! No longer will I need to battle with streaming this bit of it online :) And the mums today were able to watch it, boosting their confidence too :) I find it is really useful for women expecting multiple births, with that higher risk of premature birth, to know how to maximise production by hand expressing and/or pumping. Feedback from those who saw it antenatally has been relief they had seen it before they needed to do it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Today I am thankful - kittens, humour and life.

- for cats who are still kittens: Frodo might be 11 years old, but he delights in my crochet wool! He sits watching it as the ball gradually unwinds and every now and then it becomes too much to bear and he reaches out a paw. He looks slightly embarrassed, like an adult caught playing with a child's toy.

- for humour: My son is borrowing my credit card to pay for an online game. As I consent, he pulls my purse from my bag and my card from my purse - I comment he really doesn't need me at all. He pretends to make off with the whole purse and I say it won't get him far. He threatens to run up overdue books on my library card! Ouch - hit me where it hurts!

- for life: as a friend's husband loses his battle with long-term illness, I am reminded how lucky I am that the health issues I face still allow me to live my life. For this, I am thankful.

End of an era?

In my lifetime, we have seen so many new technologies - but I guess I was never expecting to also watch the decline of older ones.

Today I have heard discussion, online and on radio, of the impending doom of three things we would never have imagined life without: Newspapers, books and the home telephone.

Apparently, only one third of people list their land-line phone as their most important form of communication.  It certainly has little value or importance in my life anymore - the sole reason I keep it is to receive calls from the Breastfeeding Helpline. If you call our number these days, my message-bank tells you we rarely check it and you will be better off calling us on our mobiles. Most incoming calls tend to be people selling things - or my mother-in-law! At work, caller ID shows nearly all incoming calls are made on mobile phones and people rarely leave a land-line for me to return calls - unless it is a work number!

Growing up, I never knew a day without a copy of The Sun (later to incorporate The Herald and become The Herald-Sun) on the dining table of our home. My father read it every day at breakfast. I remember Jeff Hook's cartoons of political figures like Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser. Even in our non-football family, playing spot-the-ball was fun. The comics were essential. And I had an endless source of horse photos to cut out. I guess there was news in those pages too ;) But nowadays, I only scan the paper if it is available when I am in a coffee shop and most of the content is stale by then. Between news blogs, social media, radio and TV bulletins, my access to news is constant and it seems archaic to wait for a newspaper to arrive to keep in touch. And I am not alone. How sad, given my high school goal was to become a newspaper journalist, leading me to do work experience at the local paper and to unsuccessfully apply for cadetships once I left school!

But perhaps most shocking of all is the very real threat of printed books become extinct in my lifetime. When I read this yesterday, I was moved to write in the comments:
It is interesting to read this after a weekend away at an event almost totally dedicated to the sale and purchase of second-hand books (Clunes Back to Booktown). As a book tragic who has noticed a decrease in my own reading in recent years (finding it harder to embed myself uninterrupted in a story), this discussion rings true. My pile of books to read grows faster than my books read.
At the same time, as a newly converted ereader (I have a Kobo) I wonder about the social aspect of books and the future of sharing, swapping, fossicking and browsing. If we do reach the point when paper publishing moves aside for epublishing, where will this leave the book community? We are already seeing the alarming decline of actual bookshops - will we also lose the cosy world of the used book store? is that a world we want to live in?
I have been immersed in books since before I can remember and collecting them is a passion. But watching the rapid decline in bookshops (in my local shopping centre we had four only a few years ago - now it looks like only the independent store will remain and they on shaky ground) and the increase in online options - which I have readily embraced - and seeing the incredible growth in ebook sales in what seems like months, I am starting to believe the doom-sayers who predict the death of the book. And I feel very sad about that - and a tad guilty too.

So there we are - three major communication icons always taken for granted on their way out. Because of people like me who have so embraced digital technology. Not unlike the decline of the trade of my grandfather and his father - blacksmiths who must have felt the same when there were less horses to be shod and petrol stations took their place in society.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Today I am thankful - rest, yarn and connections

- for a rest day! Tucked up under the doona, with a sleeping dog at my feet (she was exhausted after yesterday - shall I tell her we do it again in three weeks??), I hopefully banked enough energy to get me through the week. A little reading, a little crochet, a little blog-hopping - and a couple of tea/food breakouts to the kitchen.

- for piles of yarn! As I began my blanket project, I had balls of various yarn scattered around me on the bed - and a little Cavalier snoring amongst them! Well, I did say I want to mainly use natural fibres, so that includes dog (and cat) hair, I guess!!!

- for connections: as I have been managing my commitments this past month or two, I have cut back on two of my circles - Buddies and Goddesses. But I know they are there for me, waiting patiently, and I am just about ready to enter back into their embrace. And being able to take a break, without guilt, just shows how special these circles of woman are.

Project Friendship Blanket

I am ready to begin!

After a few weeks researching, exploring and practicing, I am about to begin my crochet project.


Inspired by this, I plan to create a free-form blanket to nurture and comfort me for many years to come. I have decided to go primarily with yarn, rather than fabric, as I want something soft and snuggly to wrap around me when my body is struggling and my energy is low. However, I will add interesting scraps of fabric if they take my fancy. I will use natural and recycled yarns and incorporate interesting bits and pieces as I go - think beads, embellishments and interesting finds!

Because this is a friendship blanket, I invite you to contribute - perhaps by crocheting/knitting a piece to be incorporated, sending some leftover yarn or an interesting bead or other embellishment. Or maybe giving me instructions for a variation or stitch I can add or suggesting a colour or type of yarn to add.

The end result will be with me in colder months when my fibromyalgia sends me to bed and will inspire me visually during the hot weather when my MS fatigue does the same! And if I ever end up in hospital, it can come along to remind me I am always surrounded by friends. This will be an ongoing project, ideally never quite finished, like my life and my circle of friends.

So now I am putting aside my laptop and picking up my hook and yarn and begin at the centre ... with you alongside me as I go.

Friends are people who know everything about you
and they like you anyway

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Today I am thankful - Mud, lunch and home!

- for a wonderful end to our weekend away, as Melissa and I drove the hour and half back to Melbourne and hooked up with Kaitlyn and Molly for the Million Paws Walk at Albert Park. Words cannot describe the sight of hundreds of dogs and their owners trekking around the lake in the most gluggy mud!  Some dogs got carried, some reveled in the mess and an Irish Wolfhound in front of us looked embarrassed when he slipped into the lake! After the walk, we negotiated the mire to have our annual  photo portrait and then cut our loses and left for somewhere mud-free.

- for a Girl's Day Out: lunch in Albert Park, followed by shopping at Pets in the City and then - joy of joys! - we found a wool shop!!! Wool Bah! Came away with three balls of yarn which I have decided will be the beginning of my friendship blanket project!!!

- for more shopping: we headed over to South Melbourne, where Molly was amazed by the sights and sounds of the market outskirts. Then we headed for home, tea and recovery!!!!! All shall sleep well tonight.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Today I am thankful - travelling, Manse, books, food and bed!

(I tried to be thankful last night but Blogger was broken!)

- for travelling to Daylesford with Melissa yesterday - we got here in time for a couple of hours shopping, which we made the most of! Then we had Thai for dinner in nearby Hepburn Springs, at a restaurant suggested by Facebook Friends :)

- for The Manse, where we are staying: an Edwardian building in walking distance of the shops. Features an amazing cast iron bath in the room (behind a screen) and an open fireplace - perfect for the cold blast of winter we are having. We stocked up on bath salts and bubbles at a local aromatherapy shop, to make the most of the opportunity to stretch out in a deep bath!

- for our day at Clunes: books, books and books! We haven't added them up yet, but I managed to tick quite a few of my wishlist :) Melissa bought 20+ books etc!!!!! I also bought a cover for my Kobo - hand-made by an artist whose book-covers and notebooks I have adored at the Art Centre market in the City. A perfect way for me to have one of her creations.

- for food: we ate dinner early, to get back in time for Doctor Who!!!! Yummy pizza for me, while Melissa had pork.

- for bed! We need to be up and out of the door by 8am, the make it to Albert Park in time to meet Kaitlyn and Molly for our 5km walk!!!!! My legs are already thinking that doesn't sound like a great idea!!!!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Today I am thankful - cosy, crochet and escape!

- for a cosy day at the office: with it raining and miserable outside, I was glad to have such a warm place of work. Most of the work today was answering phone calls - everyone was also wisely staying indoors!

- for more crochet! I made another hat - they are so quick - and have made one of a pair of matching wrist warmers :) The way the weather is looking, we will need them!!

- for a weekend escape. The forecast might be wet, wet and more wet, with a topping of cold, but Melissa and I are looking forward to our weekend away. We head off at lunchtime tomorrow and will arrive in Daylesford in time for afternoon tea and shopping. We are staying the night in a B&B which promises an open fire and cast iron bathtub, which should make up for any coldness. Then Saturday we head to Clunes for Back to Booktown and intend to indulge our shared book obsession before heading back to the B&B for the night. Then, first thing Sunday, we have to head back to Melbourne to meet up with Molly and Kaitlyn for the Million Paws Walk at Albert Park, which will necessitate copious tea and coffee and cake at the nearby shops afterwards :) It is a hard life but we make the best of it ;)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Today I am thankful - crochet, wollies and tea.

- for crochet on the web! I have been attempting a hat these past few days - first attempt was more like a ruffle, until a kind Facebook friend took pity and let me know that US and UK terminology mean different things! Sheesh! My second attempt, I accidentally made too big - did an additional increasing row nobody asked me to ;) But my third attempt is a hat! Maybe slightly on the largish end of the scale but a hat nonetheless! It is the first object I have ever made that wasn't a granny square rug, so very happy! And now learning more stitches via Youtube - in the olden days you had to know someone who could do them and was willing to show you!!! Plans for my friendship blanket are starting to form in my mind :)

- for woolies: yesterday and today have been very cold (for us!) with morning drive temperatures of 4-6 degrees Celsius. So today I got to rug up and greet some of my winter wardrobe friends, because autumn seems only a memory now!

- for tea: the kettle was running hot today, as both staff and visitors were thankful for warm drinks - will have to start buying larger cartons of milk, we are really into cuppa season now! I have corrupted myy co-worker Kintara, who wasn't really a tea drinker before she started working with me ;)

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Today I am thankful - info, chiro and shoppo!

- for information: we had a great ABA meeting today talking about the "new" baby growth charts which are finally being implemented in Victoria. I found a great video online which explains how the charts were developed - fascinating stuff! 

- for chiropractor: " I thought you said you would rest" he says as he starts examining me. "I thought about it" I replied. He sighs and adjusts me - he referes to me as The Woman Who Does Too Much but he loves to hear about all I do!

- for shopping: Melissa abducts me after our chiro appointments - I had asked to stop at Spotlight to buy wool on the way home: she remembers they have a sale on fabric! I resign myself and find a courtesy seat and Facebook on my phone ;)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Today I am thankful - mothers, family and treats

- for motherhood: Mothers Day is the day I celebrate women who mother. My world is filled with mothers - some starting out, some moving into grandmotherhood. While my own mother is not part of my life, I am nurtured by a wide network of women who mother me. And my own three children make me proud to call myself a Mother.

- for family: today was not only Mothers Day but also a surprise celebration of my cousin's 50th birthday. As one of twelve siblings, any family occasion is a party but today they combined two. Today I was reminded I am a niece, a cousin, a sister and an aunt and there is nothing as novel for me as being in a room full of people, most of whom are blood-related and bear startling similarity to each other and myself! As nine out of twelve children gathered with their 83 yo mother, with assorted spouses, children and more, the energy of life was wonderful. Logistically challenging, we do not all meet very often but it is so great when we do. As my side of the family has only my sister and I, plus our combined six children, the novelty factor never fades.
Mother and children - plus a great-granddaughter on the run!
- for treats: I left before my kids got up (you know, just before lunchtime!) so my Mothers day began when I returned home. Melissa gave me a new Angel for my collection and Kieran gave me teas - bought when his siter dragged him to the tea shop last week :) So lovely.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Today I am thankful - photos, surprise and sling.

- for photo printing: today I got three 5x7 and 3 8x10 enlargements for less than we used to pay for just one! Sometimes we over-look those things which have become less expensive over time.

- for happy surprise: selling raffle tickets today, it was wonderful to hear "What are YOU doing here?" from people I know and "Lovely to see ABA here" from people I don't. Re-establishing a group in a community where NMAA/ABA once was strong means there are a lot of "old Nursing Mothers" out there who are really glad to see us back.

- for baby-wearing: amongst all the visitors to the shopping centre, who hail from all the corners of the globe, I spotted a tiny African mother wearing her little baby bound to her back in the traditional way. In a sea of prams and strollers it was a delight to see someone practicing the ancient art. Too many our migrants think they must get a pram to fit in.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Today I am thankful - sleep, supplies and Life!

- for sleeping in! Seems such a luxury recently. 

- for supplies: I bought crochet hooks and yarn today and I ordered some wonderful yarn online last night. I am reacquainting myself with the art in anticipation of starting my friendship blanket project soon.

- for Life! I finally ordered the DVDs of the Life series - Life at One, Three and Five. I really enjoy these sorts of programs and now I can refer to them as I wish! They arrived today and along with my copy of The Kings Speech, will be good to watch while I crochet!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Today I am thankful - preparation, action and abducted!

- for preparation: my calendar next week includes a group discussion looking at the "new" growth charts; a talk for a group of health professionals about (at their request!) ways of talking to their clients about breastfeeding being normal and the risks of not breastfeeding and a refresher on breast pumps for an ABA volunteer "popping in" from Singapore! So time today on both my paid and unpaid time downloading videos and resources and planning for each.

- for action! After several months, finally the right person has set in place an investigation into the flooding that is occurring next to our office every time it rains. A plumber came in to check our wet areas - by holding a metal drill-bit against a tap and putting his ear to it! I kid you not! That made my day - and so did the relief that we are not considered the "source"! However, general agreement is it is somewhere underneath the concrete slab our six office suites are perched on, so I suspect interesting times ahead.

- for a phone call from Kieran, announcing he an Melissa would be home late. She abducted him today, he thought just to a "geek" shop, but she was planning on going up to the Dandenongs to a couple of new age and tea shops!!! When he rang, he was recovering from being attacked by leeches on a bush walk! Poor wee indoor man ;)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Call of the ... wool?

I have come to accept that the Universe leads me in strange ways to new things in my life, with repeat random exposure until I get the message.

These past few months, She has been whispering and muttering about knitting and crochet. In books I am reading, in blogs I am following and into the ears of those around me who are suddenly created with hooks and needles.

I have been both a knitter and a crocheter in the past - I granny-squared my way through an enomous afghan about 30 years ago and knitted baby clothes and even a large 80s jumper (sweater) for myself in glorious baby-pink! Last year I dipped my toe in the water with a scarf/snood thingy.

But this is what is putting out the siren call right now : (you must dismiss from your mind my Mount To Be Read and my lack of scrapbooking and just humour me!)

Kye describes her work "This is a rug I made of scraps and recycled fabrics several years ago.I have always loved workings with fibres,always freeform,I cant follow patterns,my brain just doesn't work like that.Its crochet,but i used scraps of fabric. i crocheted the circle,then crocheted triangles around the edge of that circle and built it up like that"
Uh-huh, right so I just .... what, exactly do I do?

I am putting it to the Universe to send me some guidance through my social network! What sort of fabrics would you choose? What size strips would you create and how do you join them? What size crochet hook would I choose? I don't even know if we have a decent wool shop locally anymore, with nice old ladies in pastels to guide me and i don't think rocking up at Spotlight will do much good!

I look forwarding to hearing from you all soon :) I would love to make this a friendship project and ask my cyber-friends to share fabric or fibre to be incorporated, but have no idea what to even ask for!!!!!

Today I am thankful - rainbow, busy and confident

- for my new rainbow scarf from Wunjo Crow, which arrived in today's mail. So lovely and colourful.*

- for a really busy drop-in day at the Breastfeeding Centre - including our youngest-ever baby at not quite 2 days old! A lotus baby, so we also played host to our first placenta! We had multiple babies learning the new way to attach, with baby-led attachment - and one mum cried because she had never felt her 2wo feed like that before. Another was in raptures at how easy it was and how her baby could just put herself back on over and over! One asked why they had all been taught a more forceful technique by the hospital midwives and I suggested they ask the hospital: in writing!

- for finally feeling confident with our new AV set up and being able to jump to and from different videos as envisaged! So much better than being bum in the air swapping disks and cursing different remotes!

* Yes Margie, I will photographer this and my other new rainbow goodness when I manage to be home in decent daylight!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Today I am thankful - quiet, sharing and Rhonda.

- for a quiet one: for every up there is a down and my body has spent the past 24 hours grumbling about the level of activity these past three days. So I was happy to be blessed by a quiet day in the office, where I could set myself up on one of the couches are work from there. I am also thankful for wireless technology that doesn't tie me to my desk :)

- for sharing: Lauren came in to the office and got to be the first person I spoke to about all the things I learned at yesterday's workshop.I think I was even more excited exploring all the new information than I was hearing it!

- for knowing Rhonda: a friend and past-volunteer with ABA, Rhonda sadly died on Sunday in a tragic accident in her driveway at home. She leaves behind three young children - and fond memories. It was her birthday. Rhonda was cousin to my dear friend Debbie and my heart aches for how the family must be grieving.

This tragedy is really shocking and we don't know if it was caused by human error or faulty design. There is a lesson for us all though, to take care around cars. I am posting a link to the story here, in the hope it may help prevent such an occurrence in the future, but please don't click on it if it will cause undue distress.

RIP Rhonda.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Today I am thankful - Christina Smillie, seat and friendships

- for a wonderful workshop today with the amazing Christina Smillie. Her DVD Baby-led Breastfeeding is my primary tool at the Breastfeeding Centre, as it helps mothers discover there is an alternative to the more aggressive attachment techniques they have been taught. A full day with Christina was just the most wonderful thing, as she shared the background of her approach and reinforced much of my own practice of it. I look forward to sharing what I learned with mothers, ABA volunteers and health professionals.

- for getting a seat on the train, because my legs are seriously complaining! I walked more yesterday than I realised and then decided to walk to the station this afternoon! Hopefully cancelling out the yummy food today ;)

- for friendships, old and new: today I caught up with some people I don't get to see often enough and met some new ones I hope to spend more time with! 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Today I am thankful - weekend catch-up

Weekend catch up!

- for community. I spent Saturday at a shopping centre in Endeavour Hills, selling tickets in the ABA raffle (hurry - ends Mothers' Day!), and it was great to get positive feed-back from so many people and introduce others to our services, our Breastfeeding Centre and their local (Dandenong) ABA group. It was a long day, which began with Plan B (they forgot to provide our table and chairs!) and ended with a shock when I realised my car keys had spent the day dangling from the boot of my car! The lovely cleaner retreived them for me - phew!

- for my Big Day Out today: we live an hour away from the Melbourne CBD and when I got a complimentary ticket to see Babies at a preview screening today and was already facing being in the City for a 7.30-8.30 registration at the workshop I am attending tomorrow, I gave in and booked a hotel for tonight.

- for Babies - the most wonderful documentary finally being released in Australia this week. I have been waiting since I saw the trailer last year and it was worth the wait. Without any narrative, we simply watch four babies in foour parts of our world in their journey from birth to toddler. The startling contrasts and incredible similarities between the children - from Namibia, Mongolia, Japan and the US - is the wake-up the Western world needs about its detached, yet helicopter parenting. By far my favourite is the baby from Namibia, who spends the entire time within close range to his mother (and her available breasts) yet gets into amazing mischief with his slightly older cousin - these two feature at the start of this trailer and really illustrate the film.

The screening I attended was put on by ABC 774 and the Babytalk podcast and the cinema was packed with babies, toddlers and parents. As the babies on screen learned to crawl and walk, the ones in the audience practiced on the stairs! When one baby in the film peels a banana, toddlers in the cinema announced "NANA!". 

- for free time. After a bit of an adventure getting to the cinema in time (the one hour train journey took 1 1/2 hours and involved a bus ride in the middle), I then had the luxury of the day to myself in the City. I walked to one of our lane-way cafes for lunch - "the world's best gnocci" the waiter promised me: it was great. Then I puttered around working my way up to the State Library. I love this building so much and head straight for the Dome Gallery. After an hour or so, I jumped a tram to my hotel in Carlton and checked in.

- for exploring: after a cuppa and a rest, I headed off and jumped a cab to Alice's Bookshop in Rathdowne St. I have been meaning to go there for years, having read and loved both books written by the owner, Anthony Marshall. I browsed and pottered and bought an old edition of Charles Dickens Dombey & Son, which has been on my wishlist!  Popping it in my bag alongside my Kobo e-reader ;) I set off on foot to work my way back toward the hotel, via Lygon St.

- for food: Italian-style. Carlton has been Little Italy since migrants arrived after WW2 and Lygon St is THE place to eat Italian. On the way, I stopped by Readings and Borders to browse more books and eventually stopped for a fabulous pizza for dinner. Followed by my weakness - gelati! 

- for an evening in: snuggled up in front of the telly, with sustenance by my side: Haigh's chocolate (today is their 96th birthday, I was told when I entered the store) and the most amazing wedge of cherry nougat from a deli in Lygon St. And in the morning - buffet breakfast (I love hotel breaky!) and then the workshop with Christina Smillie - my baby-led attachment guru!!!!!!!____