Saturday, June 30, 2012

{It's not goodbye, it's hello} For my dear readers an announcement.....

Many of you know that I write another blog and some of you may not. I've been in thought for some time about the future of my blogs, what I want, where I want to go. I have so many hopes and dreams for the future some of the dreams I've shared here, some I've shared over there (my other blog). The more I look at my future, my hopes and dreams within the blogging community and outside of it one thing I'm reminded of is doing what works for me.

I started this blog as part of my healing process after I lost my twin girls Elle and Meg, I've shared it all, all the nitty gritty, the heart breaking stuff. But I've also shared some glorious journeys as well here, through becoming a mum to my Cohen and Sarah. I've shared personal successes as well setbacks, again I've shared it all and all that has been put at my feet to walk through.

If you haven't worked it out, in the time you've been a part of this community, I'm a dreamer. I like to dream big for the future, I want to be so many things for me, but for my family, but I also want to help others, I want to relate, teach and be of service. With this blog I've had so many hopes and dreams, I've had a long term desire to create a space here that would be place for others to turn in a dark hour through pregnancy loss. I've hoped it could also be a place in time I could assist with breastfeeding stories and support and cover natural parenting topics. As well as being everything it is for me and more, and for you.

I've been assessing my goals lately and the vehicle for me getting to a place to achieve them, these aren't just blogging goals, they're life goals as well. It is an extremely emotional thing for me to be contemplating this, but I no longer feel that I can take Journey to Bliss in the directions I want to, all by its self, when I have attentions focused on My Vintage Vow too. But it works both ways, I feel as though my efforts over at My Vintage Vow are held back, by keeping two such huge parts to my life separate.

So what does that mean, to you, to me, to us? You've shared so much with me, you've supported me, cried with me, cheered me on and loved me. I don't want to say goodbye. What I'm working on is expanding and incorporating my blogging efforts, so that all my wonderful supporters here and at My Vintage Vow can get to know more of me, the whole me. The vehicle I will be concentrating on doing that with is My Vintage Vow.

I want to invite you to join me on the next step to my Journey to Bliss and come join me over at My Vintage Vow, as I try to incorporate my two worlds into one. It's going to be a lot of work, a lot of tweaking and rearranging but I'm sure I can do it. But I'm asking for your patience, because you're important to me. At this point in time I am also tossing up several options for what will become of all the content here.....that's the emotional bit, my baby girls are here, my Elle and Meg, my breastfeeding journeys, the birth of my children. I also want to honour these journeys and incorparate them where appropriate and have them continue to help others faced with the same or similar challenges I have faced.

In the initial stages of making this all happen and possible, I won't be continuing to blog here on as a regular basis as I have. I will keep you informed of developments at the moment, but the best place for you to see me starting to weave these two lives of mine together will be over at My Vintage Vow. When decisions have been completely made about the future and content of Journey to Bliss, you will be the first to know. I will be ever so thrilled and honoured if you join me over at My Vintage Vow and embark on this new journey in finding my bliss and balance in life and this bloggers world.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

{Failsafe} Preservative and Additive Free Pear & Anzac Crumble.....

With this cold rainy weather we're experiencing it's hard not to want a nice warm, sweet dessert for afternoon tea. With this house slowly preparing for Failsafe elimination, I've been brainstorming recipes and just the other day I was struck with sheer brilliance. So please bare with me because I'm not always an extract measurements kind of cook, but I'll do my best for you all.
Pear and Anzac Crumble
5 pears (more or less depending on your dish size)
1 cup wholemeal plain flour
2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup fine brown sugar
2 tablespoons of Golden Syrup
125 grams butter
2 tablespoons of boiling water
2 teaspoons bi carb
Thickened Cream for serving.......this is where the magic happens for this dessert, an unexpected surprise.

1. I simply sliced the pears and placed them in my cooking dish skin on and all (although true Failsafe would require you to peel them), none of this stewed fruit bizzo.
2. Next make up the Anzac topping for the crumble, in a bowl mix flour and oats together.
3. Melt butter and golden syrup together.
4. In a cup work quickly to add two teaspoons of bi card to two tablespoons of boiling water, once it makes a fizzy sound quickly add this to the warm melted butter and golden syrup mixture. Watch the two mixtures froth up and quickly add to dry ingredients and stir all together.
5. Cover pears with Anzac crumble mixture and place in oven until the top is golden brown......I have a fan forced oven and set temp at 180 degrees.

6. Serve warm with thicken cream poured over the top. The cream oozes its way through the crumble to the pear juices, the brown sugar and butter in the crumble topping along with cream come together to create a light caramel like sauce........ahhh perfection.

Let me know if you give this a try!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Loving the Library: Special Needs Services.....

Although we have never needed the use of a Special Needs Library, Loving the Library wouldn't be Loving the Library without giving credit and mention to such services in the community, that are helping both children and adults. Knowing and seeing the difference that such services has made to people in our lives, who have needed them over the years, certainly qualifies it to be something to be loving the library for, wouldn't you say?

These days amongst many councils and community groups throughout Australia there are Special Needs Libraries established to help with development and rehabilitation of adults and children either with disabilities or special needs, with a vast collection of resources and equipment and even toys on offer to borrow.

Generally these services allow any person with a disability, or their legal guardian or carer to be a member. Membership to Special Needs Libraries will often require a referral from a therapist or other appropriate professional.

These services are often invaluable to those requiring them, with many individuals and families facing financial struggles with health and or disability concerns and medical expenses. Special Needs library allow those who need them to access resources and equipment for enrichment, enjoyment and rehabilitation that could otherwise be quite costly if they had to outlay funds out of their pocket.

For more information about Special Needs Libraries in your community contact your local council.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Additives and preservatives, we're all at risk.....

So you might of caught my mentions about a lifestyle change of sorts happening here. If you didn't catch this mention you can read about the why's and so forth here. I've known about the risks and affects of certain food additives and preservatives for several years now. I've always tried to make a conscious effort to cook from scratch where and when I can, but I'm no super women.

Recently when I've been mentioning our decision to do the Failsafe elimination the responses have been varied amongst family and friends. Many people have tried to convince me that the behaviours that Cohen displays at times are just normal, normal three year old antics. I wholeheartedly disagree, I think in a world so full of processed and fast food and convenience options to help you in the kitchen, we are all on a additive and preservative overload these days.
Additives and preservatives are added to foods to extend their shelf life, make them tastier, more visually appealing through colour and so on. All of that comes at a risk to us and our children, so now people unknowingly accept that spikes in negative and problem behaviours in their children are normal. I'll tell you there is nothing normal about a child running around speaking in tongues, squealing and running no stop all afternoon without getting puffed and being aggressive. I know my boy, I know how sweet and funny he is when he isn't affected, so therefore in my opinion said negative behaviours are not normal.
Some of my recent doubters have been in the family, but when I got a call from my mum recently to explain that Today Tonight ran a segment on this subject featuring Sue Dengate from the Fed Up (Food Intolerance Network), her thought process and support seemed to of shifted. Perhaps it's because it was a source bringing this subject in the mainstream consciousness, but nonetheless I'm not complaining.
Here is a link to watch the Today Tonight segament.
Here is another interesting account from a family in an article.

If you're experiencing problem behaviours in your children and or you have on going health concerns and niggles, maybe it's worth considering preservatives and additives and even other things that occur naturally in some foods. I hope the links are useful to those wanting to hear and learn more. I'm also very interested to hear others journeys down this road, or if it's something you've been considering doing.

Disclaimer: I know I am banging on about Fed Up and Failsafe, but this is on no way a sponsored post nor have previous posts been. This is all about our journey to find answers. I hope it helps those seeking answers too.

Monday, June 25, 2012

{Monday's Minutia} Apples and Audio Overload......

Today I'm linking up with fellow Queensland blogger Renee over at Nee Say. She is kicking off a linky - Monday's Minutia. Described as being a creative writing challenge where she takes a mundane topic and tries to make it mildly entertaining. I'm going to hop along for the ride and give it a go, and because I take inspiration from all things in life I will be drawing on my experience as a mother and my children's antics to hopefully capture a "mildly entertaining" post . To start off Renee has selected the letter "A" as the inspiration for this week, mundane topics beginning with "A".

So I bring you a weekend tale of Apples and Audio Overload.

They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Perhaps I should take the apples away so the doctor can come check this family for audio overload.
"Mummy, mummy I want a cuddle."
"Can I have a bed on the floor?"
"Mummy, I'm hungry, can I have an apple please?"
"Mummy where's daddy, is he at work?"
"Mummy can I have activities?"
"Mummy I get it, I want activities now."
"Mummy can I watch Blinky Bill please?"
"Mummy can I have an APPLE please?"
"Mummy I'm hung-ryyyy."

Mummy, mummy, mummy.
That's all within five minutes of rising I kid you not (5.30am), a total audio overload and assault. This audio assault is everyday and constant, but this past weekend Cohen scaled a full on, all out audio overload war on our ear drums. He literally didn't come up for air all weekend. He sent us into fits of laughter over our efforts to make up creative games to have some moments of silence, that were all for nothing. If words weren't coming out of his gob it was noise, sounds, whimpers, whines, sighs......anything, everything. If for a moments grace his mouth stopped, his body stepped in with drumming, patting, flicking, banging, smashing, scraping anything in his hand against another surface. Why? To create noise, any noise, then his mouth would catch up again.
Don't get me wrong I love the little dude he is everything and more I dreamt for in a little boy. I was clearly very specific in telling the universe about this little man. Perhaps I should have also asked the universe for an apple orchard because it was only when he had one in his gob this past weekend that there was silence whilst he munched his way through then he was good to go for another round.

Now excuse me whilst I go and check on the apple seeds that Cohen so politely and pointedly told us he was going to grow on the weekend. He requests to see if they have grown big *waves hands in the air*.

Rain, Hail or Sickness.....

Wow wee it's been a full on time around here the last week or so with Sarah unwell. Although I'm happy to report she is all perked up now, I just discovered yesterday she is about to cut more teeth, and yesterday Cohen started coughing up a storm.

I guess it's the season for it, what can you do but love them and squeeze them (not literally squeeze them, you know what I mean), but goodness me it's a merry-go-round at the moment. My kids are never, and I seriously mean never sick this much or in cycling waves like this.

Despite the sickness and ups and downs, we've pushed on through to make the most of a weekend at home. We kind of needed a weekend at home, funny how the universe makes things happen. Ben and I both where able to achieve time spent working towards goals. Ben spent time working on the start of efforts to make our yard and barbecue area come into being what we hope. We've got so much to do, money and time are huge factors. But hopefully with time and crossed fingers (on the money side of things) we will be actualising big dreams, with it all sooner rather than later.
The newly built barbecue area.

As for myself, I've been plugging away at My Vintage Vow goals this past weekend. Listing selected Babies, Children's and Women's clothing, to make way for bigger plans I have. I've spent time over the weekend reading and preparing my paperwork to submit to the ABA to start my breastfeeding counsellor studies. Finally and excitingly I've made some steps towards developing some blogging development and management support not only around me but other bloggers. It's very exciting stuff, and for now I can't say much more than we are still at the planning stage. What I can say is that this will help not only me but others work towards their blogging goals in a collective like minded, inspired environment.
So it's basically been a weekend working on feeding personal goals, dreams, jobs with time and energy. Were you able to feed your desires this weekend? What did you do, I'd love to hear. Remember to leave a comment I always like hearing from you, and if you leave a comment I can reply back in the comments section directly to your comment (I recently changed the commenting system over).

May you have a wonderful and illness free week.......that's what I'm hoping for here.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Where have I been......

It's been a rough week or so here, so once again sorry for my lack of presence around the blog and on Facebook. Sarah has been rather unwell, in sixteen months she has never had much more than a cold, but this past week she has been the worst I have ever seen her. Until Wednesday I hd been uncertain to what actually has been wrong, teeth, cold, tummy bug, temps and then Wednesday bang out of now where a rash all over her chest, back and nappy region.

I rushed her off to the docs, to be told that she has a viral infection and keep fluids up and let her rest. Fluids haven't been a problem she has literally been breastfeeding non-stop and she is totally off her food and has barely eaten anything solid in four days. Then yesterday the rash started to creep up her neck and cheeks as well. The doctor said to take her back if she got worse, but generally she is all perky again but I'm left with a rash that is worsening.

Cohen has the sniffles a bit too at the moment, so I've been doing my best to keep them occupied, happy and warm. So it's been cuddles and snuggles, DVD's, pasting and crafting and building and playing with boxes in the sun.

I hope I can return to normal transmission here soon. But tell me what do you do for the kids when they're sick that's a little extra special or different?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Loving the Library: Guest Post: Domesblissity.....

I am so thankful to be having one of the dearest bloggers I know guest post for Loving the Library series this week. Anne is my blogging life saver this week, as I have a rather poorly little girl this week. This household is running on sleep fumes, literally at the moment. So I am ever so grateful to the dear and ever so sweet Anne from Domesblissity for stepping in the help me out this week. Please be sure to pop in on her blog, a treasure trove of all domestic and thrifty living ideas, thoughts, suggestions, recipes and more.......but oh the recipes, you must check her recipes many of which have become family favourites for us. You won't be disappointed with her delightful of my must reads every day. Thank you my dear Anne......and with that I hand it over to you.


Loving the Library - Feeding the Body and the Soul from my local Library

I've been a great lover of the local library for years. I always feel like I'm 'buying' the books when I select them and when I get them home, feel like I've had a huge spend in the book store. When the kids were babies, I was buying books at every opportunity I could. From garage sales, op shops, reduced at book stores and department stores but when they outgrew them, I had boxes and boxes of them. How many copies of Snow White could one person have? I have kept all of the classics but passed on the rest and prefer to get the children's books all from the library. The kids get so excited when they see the new haul of about 15 children's books, all brightly illustrated and shiny pages. I get a kick out of reading them too.
My favourite things to get from the library though have been cookbooks and self help books over the years. There are some cookbooks I must absolutely, positively have to buy for the collection but if there's something I'd like to check out a few recipes from, for example Spanish tapas, then I'll get a book from the library. With the introduction of an online library catalogue, that can be accessed by all library members from the comfort of your own home, I can browse and 'hold' books for no cost and get sent an SMS when they have arrived. Sort of like a parcel awaiting pickup from the post office but for no cost at all.

I've also been on a health kick these last few weeks and in order to be a healthy person, I've been telling myself I need to think like a healthy person so I've been picking up a few healthy magazines instead of the usual latest Masterchef or Delicious cooking mags.

The library has never been short on offerings of self help books for me over the years whether it be studying the latest meditation techniques, learning how to get over a break up and 'healing your life' (in the form of a DVD), I can always find what I'm looking for at my local (library that is).

Besides that, the DVD selection for both children and adults is fantastic and I was able to catch up on the previous series of Downton Abbey before the new series started on TV a couple weeks ago. It's been a God-send for me offering so much for my children with toddler and preschool activities and now school aged children holiday activities. I'd be lost without it.
Thanks Trudie for having me on your lovely blog.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Testing Failsafe Recipes......

You might of read the other day that there are some lifestyle changes coming up for my family? Well I'm still smack bang in the middle of reading and educating myself on the whole Failsafe process before we get underway with the elimination side of things. But one thing I have decided to do in the meantime is trial some Failsafe recipes containing vegetables that the kids and Ben haven't experienced before (me, there's not much I haven had, I'm easily pleased). I figure it would be worth having some mock runs on dinners and see if they are a success or not, and where I might need to change things up to ensure success when we are in the elimination process when that comes around.

So last night I tried the Chicken and Leek Casserole from The Failsafe Cookbook .

How did it go?
Me - well I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was a simple easy meal to prepare
Ben - good, edible, I'd eat it again but I ain't going to gush over it, were his choice of words
Cohen - I don't like it was heard before we even sat at the inner table and then proceeded to take 40mins to eat dinner. Hmmm reminder I should share with you all about possible food sensory issues we are working on too at the moment.
Sarah - well she tried it, had a bit and then played with her dinner and refused to eat anything else offered to her. On further investigation this morning I discovered she cut a tooth over night, that may have something to do with her lack eating yesterday.

Final verdict as I see it:
I wouldn't say it was a loss. The fact Ben will eat it again is a win, although he would probably like me to find a way of flavouring it up more within Failsafe guidelines. As for Cohen perhaps the mixture in pastry like a little pie, rather than a wet saucy mix might yield more agreeable results. Sarah well I can always try her again. So as I see it, I'll be doing it again maybe with some adjustments before I call it day on this one.

Boy oh boy this is going to be a long run, all the above just to see if they would eat leeks!
Can you feel my pain?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lifestyle changes coming for this family.......

Forgive me for being away from the blog over the long weekend. I've been totally indulging in family time and catching up with friends. I've been enjoying it so much and soaking up being in the moment that I haven't even bothered to step behind the camera's been utterly delightful. Over the long weekend I also indulged in leisurely pursuits like reading, and that's kind of the crux of what I wanted to share today, what I've been reading. I've been reading Fed Up by Sue Dengate and flipping through one of her Failsafe cookbooks as well.

If you haven't heard of Sue or about Failsafe to put simply its all about the preservatives, additives, colour, salicylates and amines in foods that can cause children (and adults) to have behavioural issues as well as health issues. Since the day Cohen was born I have known he was a unique, high energy child and I adore it. However he comes with challenges in parenting him, being so high energy, intelligent and confident. Over the last few months we have had sever increases in negative behaviours and to put it nicely he has had me run ragged. I've been at wits ends some days to know how to feel like I was parenting him successfully at all.

Not only have I been struggling with managing him but Ben has been exasperated by such sever spikes in his behaviour and personality as well. Then just the other week after a relatively calmer 24 hours with him I had sent him to family day care on his normal scheduled day, something happened. At family day care one of the other kids was having his last day before moving, so bite sized cupcakes where made and decorated. Cohen was given a small one with a tiny amount of light yellow icing.

WELL..........come pick up time, by the time I got him home and inside I had navigated several stand-offs with him, including crazy screaming and squealing (not normal behaviour) and knocking his sister over. He wouldn't and couldn't stop and listen and was being utterly obnoxious. Ben arrived home not long after to utter chaos. He tried putting time in with Cohen straight away thinking daddy time would help, but it didn't, he wasn't listening to boundaries in play or instruction and continued to play rough and hurt Sarah on several more occasions. It got so sever that Ben took him outside in the freezing cold (rugged up of course) and made him run and run and run around the yard non-stop to work off the energy.....the kid didn't even get puffed.

Although I am short cutting a lot if detail in my explanation at the moment, the decision then and there was made that we would look further into his diet for explanations and answers for some of his negative behaviours. I've got so much more to explain and share with you about this journey, like explaining other behaviours we've had issues with and so forth. But for now I just wanted to get this out and share that, this is a new path we are on as a family. So don't be surprise as I share with you along the way what is happening, as this family is going whole hog together to support Cohen.

Have you heard of Failsafe? Are you a Failsafe family? Are you interested in knowing more?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Planning on breastfeeding? Do some planning!.........

If there was one piece of advice I could give to any expectant mum who believes in breastfeeding their newborn, it would be to do your homework, and get educated before baby arrives.

The more one can read, investigate, learn and understand what lies ahead the more confidence and understanding you will have in yourself and your baby. This will in turn give you and baby a greater chance at a successful breastfeeding relationship. So many new mums expect that although breastfeeding is a natural thing that it should come naturally and easy. They are often disheartened if they hit hurdles and when well meaning but ill informed people throw advice a mums way, often through lack of understanding and confidence mum will accept what is often damaging advice. Knowledge about breastfeeding and expectations will give you more power to fight for that feeding relationship if there are hurdles.

To any of my friends who approach me these days and say that they're wanting to breastfeed, often my first words of advice are to get along to an ABA (Australian Breastfeeding Association) meeting. It truly is one of the easiest and most supportive ways of surrounding oneself with others in a similar situation. I find that it's especially beneficial for those (including myself, of which I am) somebody who has not been surrounding or exposed to others around them with breastfeeding relationships or experience. My mother never breastfed, nor my mother in law, nor did the vast majority of my friends before I had children. The contacts, support and friendships I have made through attending ABA meetings and becoming a member has been invaluable.
{pic source}
I've been supported, sympathised, empathised with and encouraged by everyone through relactation, tandem feeding, feeding through pregnancy. I've received sage advice when there have been those times where I'm touched out and have thought for a moment it would be easier not to be breastfeeding. Attending ABA meetings allows you to learn about a wide variety of topics concerning breastfeeding and parenting as well. Local groups have many resources available to support you with a library full of all sorts of books, DVD's and the like, on array of topics, as well.

If you would like to know more about your local group or to become a member click here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Loving the Library: First Concepts Books......

Finding a heading for this weeks post was difficult in as much as today I want to talk about a book series as a whole. It is a series that we have found useful for young readers between one to three years of age learning some first concepts like toilet training, eating, sleep.

These books are:

On Your Potty
Eat Your Dinner
Be Gentle
Get Into Bed
Author and Illustrator: Virginia Miller

These stories use the teaching moments in a toddlers life and the likely conversations many families would have with their emerging toddler through these times to speak to and teach the child.

With warmth, familiarity and visual illustrations you follow Bartholomew (Ba) and his father George attempts at teaching a toddler self care issues.

What's great about this series:
We have used all four of these books at different times with both of our children so far, to help them relate what we are encouraging and trying to teach them. They have been very affective in having the kids understand what is expected of them in these self care situations with love and affection.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The weekend and it's moments....

This past weekend has given wondrous moments once again, amongst some difficulties.
Despite some upsets from Friday night that carried on into Saturday morning. I am still filled up with moments like these:

* Sarah clearly saying "Mama"
* Ruby Shoes for Sarah
* Special cuddles with my little guy

* Half hour kid free and hubby free to indulge in an eyebrow wax and lash tint......the little things make the difference
* A hubby who doesn't mind painting my toes.....vintage vamp thank you very much
* Dancing crazy with the kids

Loving life, loving the moments, loving the difficult moments too, that when they pass offer clarity to move through and beyond them with new outlook and perspective.

What did your weekend deliver you?
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