Friday, March 26, 2010

BLOG THIS CHALLENGE 38 - HOW I LEARNED.....Patience, Tolerance and Empathy for Others

This is a photo of my firstborn bub, Joshua, my precious little one who was too sweet for this world......

You see, Josh was born with a condition called "Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome". It is basically where the left side of the heart doesn't form properly. This condition wasn't discovered until he was 4 days old. It was never noticed on any of the 3 ultrasounds that I had when pregnant, twice the sonographers made comment that he had such a nice strong heart beat and looked so healthy....little did they know!

When Josh was born his oxygen levels were low and they put him in an incubator saying that he would come right within the next 24 hours. Well he didn't and on Day 2 they began to look for causes. They couldn't find any reason and just kept saying he would be okay. It wasn't until Day 4 when the head Paediatrician was listening to his heartbeat with his stethoscope that he heard a heart murmur, none of the others had picked it up because Josh used to scream every time they had checked his heart and so it had been missed. This doctor just heard it faintly in between the cries. On this day he got sent to the Children's Hospital for an Echocardiogram, it was there they discovered the terrible truth for his bad oxygen levels.

We were given the news that basically we could take him home to die. At the time the heart operations they do now weren't very successful at all in this country (even now way too many little lives are lost to this condition) and his only hope would have been a heart transplant which they said we had basically no chance of getting. We got told to treasure every moment and let nature take its course.

I wanted to scream and throw things around the room when they told could this happen, had I been that bad during my life to deserve this??

Josh lived for 10 days. Those are 10 days that I will never forget. The first 4 were filled with wonder and hopes and dreams for our little man we had just created, the last 6 were filled with clutching at every moment, every glance he would give us, every little windy smile, knowing that we would never get to see a real smile on his beautiful face.

On day 9 we realised that his breathing had become gaspy and we went back to the hospital, already knowing what they were going to say. He had gone into heart failure and now it was just a matter of time.

He managed to fight on for another 24 hours for us, our brave little fighter. But while we were in the special room at the hospital where we could stay together as a family waiting for the inevitable, he gave us this little look, it made his Dad and I laugh and within the next couple of minutes he began to really gasp and started to turn a strange colour. We hit the emergency button and one of the nurses ran in and just said to me "Hold him, just hold him honey". Our dear sweet little guy passed away in my arms, gone from this world but remaining forever in my heart.

His short life taught me to never take anything for granted. To be patient with others as you never know how much your smile or encouragement may mean to them. I look at the world differently now. I went on to have 4 more healthy boys, sadly my marriage to their father didn't last but I have remarried a wonderful man who himself has a stepson, a daughter and a son of his own.

I value every minute that I spend with my family and miss them so much when they aren't around. I think that is why I struggle when my husband goes away for work, I desperately hate goodbyes.

My Dad died when I was 17, I thought that was difficult enough to come through but losing your child brought a whole new meaning to the word devastation.

As you go through your life, never forget how fragile life can be. What we have today, may not be there tomorrow. Treasure every moment. I know reading my blog sometimes,it may sound like I don't, but my blog is my venting area where my frustrations come out. I certainly don't love my family any less. Every single moment spent with them is worthwhile, be they good or bad moments, its all an adventure in the game of life!!

Hug your family tight and never let the sun set on an argument!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Feeling down and lost.........Counting down the hours till my Best Friend Returns

I hate it when Hubby goes away to work,,,,HATE, HATE HATE HATE IT!!!!!

I feel so empty and lonely. We don't have close family or friends and I guess that adds to the emptiness I feel when he is away. He was in Melbourne last Thursday and Friday and then return Friday night at 9.45 only to have to be dropped back to the airport at 7.30am this morning. He won't be back till around 5pm Friday.

The days just stretches into oblivion, what do you do when your best friend, confidante, person you would give your life for isn't within reach of you?? I feel pathetic feeling like this, I'm not alone I have four boys here for the week that I need to nuture, feed, help with homework, run to karate, soccer etc etc but that just doesn't feel enough. I feel like I can't even be the mother I want to be without my Hubby here with me.

I feel like I am being ridiculous, geez I went through a divorce for heavens sake, I have been a single mother of four young boys and I fact I thrived during that time!! Now here I am five years later having been married for a little over two years and I feel like I can't function on my own,,,,what is wrong with me?????????????????

Believe it or not I am even counting down the hours......99 hours to go approx....I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.........................

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Challenge 36: Take us through your week - Blog This Challenge

Do you have a day of the week that is your favourite or you dread? Take us through the day or your week- what happens, what makes it pleasant/challenging - Do a mini-diary of your day - let your readers know what your life is REALLY like. Take photos if you wish...

Well a day or even a week in my life isn't overly exciting, not on average at least lol. Dull and mundane spring to mind to me a lot lately.

This Friday which has just gone saw my day turn into a very hectic type of one.

Last Friday went a little like this:

6.15am - Alarm goes off and I slam the poor alarm clock for being so rude, this giving us 9 more minutes of shut eye.

6.24am - Hubby's turn to hit the alarm clock, "just shut up" he grunts.

So on it went with neither of us wanting to face the day lol.

7am rolled around and we finally gave in to the fact that we had to surface and get children moving.

Hubby walked around flicking on lights to wake up four boys who didn't want to get up either (why is it on weekends kids are up and at it at sunrise but on weekdays they like to sleep in????)

I get up and pack lunch boxes while Hubby gets dressed and then he arrives in time to help the kids with their breakfast while I go and get dressed.

The kids get their gear organised for school and do their teeth etc then they have free time till 8.15 when we leave. Hubby and I have a coffee and toast together.

8.15am - Hubby leaves to go to work and I leave to take the boys to school, I drop off two to high school and then the younger two to primary school. I walk them in and sit with them chatting while waiting for the bell to go. I then walk them up to their classes and say my goodbyes.

Back at home I finish off the breakfast dishes and hang out the washing. I vacuum the loungeroom and quickly sweep the floors and mop the family room and bathrooms.

I then head in to Hubby's work to help him with some typing that he needed to get done (since I can type, it gets done much faster lol). I spent the day there till 2.40pm when I left to get the kids from school.

Mr13 was heading off to his friends house as it was their turn to do the soccer practice run tonight. So I took the other 3 home and the eldest quickly got changed ready for work (he works part time at KFC). He starts at 4pm so we have just enough time to walk in the door unpack lunchboxes and I normally throw the kids recess back in to the lunchboxes and stack them in the cupboard for the following day. Mr15 by this time had changed so I get everyone back into the car and take him to work. I then drove around to Mr13's friend's house to drop off his soccer boots, socks and shin pads for training.

I arrive back home put on some dough to bake to make cheese and bacon scrolls and jam scrolls for kids lunch boxes. I decided I would quickly whip up some cupcakes as well so mixed up a batch of chocolate and a batch of vanilla and got them cooking.

Hubby called me to say he was running late and so would go and get his two kids from after school care instead of coming home for his traditional coffee before he would normally go and get them. We then realised that we hadn't bought any pull ups for his Mr9 with autism so he had to detour to grab a couple of bags of those.

5.30pm - Hubby arrives back with his son and daughter and I quickly ran around the house realising that I hadn't childproofed yet. (When you have an autistic child in the house you have to lock up valuables and make bathrooms etc off limits!!)

6pm - I put the simple dinner of pies and chips on, thinking that would work in well as Mr15 was due to finish at 6pm.

The dough by this time was also ready so I quickly rolled it out and made two trays of cheese and bacon scrolls and put the jam scrolls into a baking tray and set them aside to rise for an hour or two. By this time it was now after 6.30pm and I still hadn't had my text message from Mr15 stating that he was ready to be picked up....
Time ticked by and it was soon 7.15 and still no word from him. We dished up the other kids dinner as it was soon going to spoil if we didn't. I jumped in the car and went for a drive over to Mr15's work as I was starting to get a little worried. The KFC he works at is in a shopping mall and I couldn't see him outside so I went for a wander into the almost desserted mall. The only shops open were Coles and Woolies. KFC did have one or two people out the back so I decided that he is probably still there for some reason that I guess I would hear about.

I wandered back towards the car and came across my son walking with a trolley full of rubbish shortly in front of me. At that moment my Hubby was calling me and told me "He's finished", I laughed and said yep I can see that.

He dumped his rubbish and joined me in the car saying that the place had been a total pigsty and it just took him a long time to clean up....glad we didn't have plans for that night!!

I took him home and he quickly got changed and we had dinner with him.

I then washed his uniform and put the jam scrolls in to cook. By this time the cheese and bacon scrolls had cooled and I wrapped them up individually ready for school lunches.

The jam scrolls finished cooking and I made the icing and poured it on them while they were fresh out of the oven. They smelled divine!! They cooled quickly so I wrapped them as well and put the whole lot into the freezer.

8.45pm Mr13 arrives home from soccer and he quickly showers and then grabs a bite to eat. He was going to a friends house for a sleep over. So he throws some things together and I jump in the car yet again and take him over there. By this time it is almost 9.30pm and I am feeling pretty exhausted.

We put the younger kids to bed, all grumbling because we didn't watch a movie with them. We soothed them with promises of a movie night for the following night.

MrAutism had gone to bed at about 8.30pm but had decided he would lie there screaming every minute or so. His screaming went on until 11pm when he finally ran out of steam.

We watched a bit of TV with Mr15 and then declared that we were going to bed,,,by this time it was midnight.

We fell to sleep very quick but it was short lived as MrAutism woke again at 1pm and had decided that it was time to get up for the day. We basically were then up and down to him for the rest of the night as he didn't really go back to sleep until 5.45am. We fell back to sleep only for me to have to get up at 7am as Mr15 had to start work again at 8am........and there you have it,,,,,,this Friday basically set the scene for the rest of the weekend.

It is now Tuesday lol and I still haven't recovered!!!!

Stealing from low can some people go????

While we were out on the weekend we drove past some charity op shops and saw to my horror two cars parked there, the people loading them up with bags of donated goods that had been left for the op shop. They were even ripping open some bags to see what was inside and taking what they liked.

Now I like most people, realise that this happens, I'm not quite that naive lol to think it doesn't, but to actually see them in action I was disgusted. They had station wagons and the backs were full of bags. They were just getting ready to leave as we drove past them, their stash complete.

How can people do that???? Charity shops are there for a reason and people donate to them in good faith that they are doing the right thing.

I made a promise to myself when I saw this happening that I would only be donating directly into the stores from now on. I won't even place things in the bins, as it wouldn't surprise me if they had been reaching in there too.

I sell my unwanted goods online like many people do, but now it makes me wonder when I am buying second hand goods, where they actually come from.....particularly when people have a lot of varying sizes etc listed. By buying second hand, even from garage sales, are we just aiding and abetting these criminals????

I really don't know why I am so shocked, but I think it was to see them there doing it in broad daylight in a very public spot that got to me. Some people have a real nerve!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Quick and Simple Dessert the whole family likes - Simply Amazing!!!

Now you think in a family my size that dessert at least would be something that you could pretty much find everyone agreeing to, but nope not in this house. I have one son who hates chocolate (he obviously didn't inherit my genes....or his father's for that matter lol, must have been some genetic thing that skips generations!!). My stepdaughter detests anything that has jam in it and she also hates sultanas and any type of dried fruit along with Mr "I hate Chocolate". So when it comes to deserts in this house we pretty much stick to icecream, jelly, milkshakes, or spiders and they are all happy with that.

At Christmas I decided I would make a Christmas Log and I was absoluttely astounded after I had bribed all the kids to just try a little bit, that they actually all loved it. So every so often this will be a dessert that I will make. Normally the Christmas Logs are made wtih chocolate biscuits so I changed it to the Butternut Snaps (I think that is what they are called!) and voila we have a dessert that everyone loved!

For those of you who don't know how to make it, here is a "recipe" of sorts, it is so quick and easy and no baking, particularly fantastic for those hot summer days.


You will need:

2 packets of Butternut Biscuits, or you can use the Chocolate Ripples (I also think it would taste pretty good with Gingernuts lol but that would depend on the kids I guess)

600ml thickened cream

Dash of vanilla essence

Icing sugar to taste

Lollies to decorate

Simply beat the cream until it is nice and thick and then fold in a dash of vanilla essense and a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar
(You can make this as sweet as you like I add a tablespoon of icing sugar and then have a little taste and add just a little more until I am happy with it)

Then it is simply a matter of sandwiching the biscuits together using the cream to form either a circle for a wreath or you could make some log shapes.

Once you are done, just spread the remaining cream over the outside and decorate with your marshmallows or lollies of choice. For the Christmas wreath I decorated it with glace cherries and spearmint leaf lollies to make it look festive.

Allow to sit in the fridge for a couple of hours and you are done!