Thursday, 28 June 2012

Are We Becoming Illiterate?



It was a rainy, cold day yesterday and we decided to go to the library.



Now, I don't know about you, but when I was little, a rainy, cold day meant that we couldn't go out to the park or beach. We couldn't play outside. It then meant that we would go to the library. Stock up on books. Take our treasured finds home and find a comfy, warm spot to read. To escape to another land! Another time! Another world!

I loved it!


Except for a few people on the computers surfing the net, the library was empty. I thought it was kind of sad. My kids all love books. I am very thankful for that. Perhaps because of me and my husbands' love of books, it has rubbed off on them. Like my mums' and dads' love of books and reading rubbed off on me.


When I was younger, not all that long ago, shopping centres had book shops. Lots of book shops. There was Angus & Robertson, QBD, Dymocks, Borders, Bookworld. As well as the local second hand bookshops.


Now Angus & Robertson and Borders have been bought up by Bookworld and they are only online now. To find a Dymocks I have to travel out of my way. There are only 7 in the whole of Queensland. QBD thankfully still have two stores close by.


In our local shopping centre there are absolutely no book shops. To a book lover like me, it is disheartening.


Are children all glued to their computers and mobiles now? 


I know we all lead busy lives. I would read a lot more if I had more time. Are you the same?


Given the time do you love to read? Do you love to read to your children? Do your children love to read? Please gentle readers, restore my faith in humanity.



Melanie

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Kegel Exerciser Giveaway


As mums we should all be doing our Kegel exercises.

We all know that it is important to take good care of our bodies. From eating correctly and exercising on a regular basis, to treating ourselves to manicures and pedicures at the salon - physical upkeep is not only important for self esteem, but for emotional well being and self confidence.

I remember the midwives in the prenatal classes and again after birth explaining the importance of exercising and strengthening our pelvic floor muscles.

But so many of us may 'squeeze' for a little while and then we sadly neglect our pelvic floor. There are so many more interesting things to do, like looking after our gorgeous new baby! Then we get a bit older and things can start falling apart, literally!

Fortunately, just like any other muscle group, these muscles can be trained and strengthened, with the best solution being Kegel Exercisers from Intimina. These help you to effectively gain pelvic strength in a comfortable, easy, and convenient way. It is an exciting new product just launched into the Australian market.

Kegel, incontinence, love muscle, intimate, pelvic floor
Kegel Exercisers are made from safe, smooth silicone and you simply start by selecting one of three weighted balls depending on your level of current pelvic strength. Its is worn discreetly during your usual daily activities. By using this, you will be able to have a solid object to contract around making strengthening more effective. You will also be able to locate and know your pelvic floor muscles, to ensure everything is being done efficiently and correctly. As your body strengthens over time, you can use a heavier ball to provide more resistance and keep training your muscles.
Kegel, incontinence, love muscle, intimate, pelvic floor
The Kegel Exerciser ball responds to your bodies movements and almost forces pelvic floor muscle contraction and release at times. Within each exerciser is a weighted ball that responds to your body’s movements, causing gentle kinetic vibrations to help prompt your pelvic floor muscles to respond as you walk around.

Kegel Exercisers are available in 3 different weights which can be used singly or combined to provide different levels of resistance.

A regular pelvic floor workout offers a range of benefits to women of all ages:

Prevent and treat continence problems
Prepare and strengthen vital muscles for a healthy pregnancy
Build muscles used in childbirth for easier delivery
Restore pelvic strength and tone to speed recovery after labour
Increase sensation during intimate activities for both you and your partner
Ease the symptoms of menopause

Kegel Exercisers are easy to insert and remove, and they naturally position themselves to target the correct muscle set.

Pelvic floor exercises can be performed before problems arise as a preventative exercise. In support of this, research indicates that Kegel exercises are 66% effective at correcting pelvic floor problems without the need for additional medical treatment (Cammu et al., 2000).

Strong pelvic floor muscles are absolutely crucial to our well-being.

They are available at selected Terry White Chemists and selected Blooms Pharmacies.



~~~~~~~~~~~~

G i v e a w a y

A Welcoming Hearth has five (5) Laselle Kegel Exercisers to Giveaway.

They are priced at $19.95 each.

Offer is available to Australia only.

To be in the running please

1. Follow my blog, either through Google Friends Connect or Email.
2. Leave a comment on this post or if you prefer you can email me directly on mjgreum@gmail.com. Be sure to leave your email address so that I can contact you if you are a winner!

I will draw the winners via Random.org on 5th July, 2012 at 10pm.




Melanie









Sunday, 24 June 2012

Free School Holiday Activities


It is the start of the school holidays here in Queensland. I love the holidays! I get to spend more time with my older two. I don't have to stick to such a strict routine. And thanks to my girls, who always wake up very early, I sometimes get to have a bit of a sleep in, as they get Joshua up and out of his cot when he wakes up. Bless their little cotton socks!

So that also means that I have to come up with some holiday activities that will keep boredom at bay. I have to keep their little minds and bodies active or else we may have some serious cases of cabin fever or an all out mutiny. Oh and they have to be very cheap. Preferably free!


Some ideas for these school holidays.

Library - This is a given. My kids love the library. I have even found one close by that has free coffee! Books and coffee! I could spend a lot of time there. Lots of libraries also have free school holiday workshops.

Stay and Play - This wonderful little playgroup continues through the school holidays. So the older children can play and enjoy some time out of the house.

Daisy Hill Koala Centre - Admission is free. Two different level viewing boardwalks allow you to see the resident koalas. 435 hectares of open eucalyptus forest. We will be taking a picnic.




Australian Koala




Parks - My kids love going to a park. I think it is great that it doesn't take a lot of money to make my children happy. They are quite satisfied with a few hours playing on the playground.


Playground in Park




Fantastical Creatures - Free workshop. Learn how to draw your own fantastic creatures. My two art loving girls will have a lot of fun here.




What are some good school holiday ideas? Where do you go with your children that don't cost a lot of money?


Melanie




Saturday, 16 June 2012

Obstacles are Like Stepping Stones



"The best way to treat obstacles is to use them as stepping-stones. Laugh at them, tread on them, and let them lead you to something better."




How do you deal with obstacles? Do you let them beat you? Or do you treat them as a challenge to overcome?


I must admit personally it depends a great deal on how I am feeling emotionally at the time. I can be a bit of a defeatist when I am feeling down. I really don't like that about myself. But then I just add it to the list of the things that I don't like about myself, which is considerable.


When I am feeling good, I feel that I can take on the world. Then I feel I can do justice to the opening sentence. This was penned by Enid Blyton in the book Mr Galliano's Circus, which was written in 1938.


So how can we laugh at obstacles and tread on them like stepping-stones that can lead us to something better?


I have thought of five ways that can help me and hopefully will be able to help someone else to overcome road blocks in their path.


1. Take it one step at a time. Keep moving forward, no matter how small the steps. Keep your goal      in mind.


2. Don't be defeatist about problems. Don't give up and say I can't. Tell yourself and tell that little       negative inner voice that you can do it and work on a way or make a plan to accomplish it.


3. Believe in yourself. Believe that you are capable of great things.


4. Keep a positive outlook and frame of mind.


5. Work hard to achieve the results that you want. Don't believe that your obstacles will disappear       all by themselves. Don't give up.


Butterfly on Flower




Melanie




Digital Parents Blog Carnival



Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Under 8s Activity Day ~ Wordless Wednesday



My little Hannah had an Under 8's Activity Day recently at school. Miss 9 was disgusted that she didn't get to go too.


The theme of the morning was Language: Actively Connecting Children to their World.  Younger brothers and sisters where welcome to join in and have some fun.


Angus getting a few tips
Joshua with his little serious face!
Puppet Show Time!



We all had a good time. Yes, even Joshua after putting on that face. Hehe!


Linking up with the lovely Trish from My Little Drummer Boys.



Melanie


Friday, 8 June 2012

Guest Post - My Cancer Struggle As A New Mom

My guest post today is from the inspirational Heather Von St James.


I learned the truth of the saying “It takes a village” shortly after the birth of my daughter Lily on August 4, 2005. Although she was born by emergency C-section, both of us appeared healthy.
Mesothelioma Cancer

Lily was indeed a happy, robust baby, but within weeks of her birth, I knew something was wrong with me beyond the usual new-mom exhaustion. Doctors subjected me to a battery of tests, and on November 21, 2005, only 3½ months after Lily’s birth, I learned I had malignant plural mesothelioma.

Also known as mesothelioma cancer, this disease attacks the lining of the lung. Its primary cause is asbestos exposure, which I must have encountered at some point in my childhood.

Given 15 months to live without treatment, all I could think about was Lily growing up motherless. The prognosis for mesothelioma is poor, so I opted for an aggressive course of treatment. My husband and I went to Boston, where on February 2, I underwent a treatment for mesothelioma known as extrapleural pneumenectomy, surgery in which my left lung was removed. I spent 18 days in the hospital following the procedure and two additional months recovering before I began chemotherapy and radiation.

But I wasn’t just a cancer patient—I was a new mother as well. Without the support of our village, we wouldn’t have made it. We learned who our true friends were: some people we depended on were nowhere to be found, while others we didn’t even realize were part of our village generously offered their love, assistance, and prayers.

While my husband and I were in Boston, my parents cared for Lily back in my childhood home of South Dakota, where a village surrounded them as well. Girls I used to babysit now babysat Lily while my parents worked. Members of the church I’d attended and people I grew up with were there for my parents as well.

In Boston, my husband and I found support with new friends, many of whom were dealing with the same challenges that we faced. My mom emailed me photos of Lily’s milestones: moving from bottles to food, scooting, and rolling around. After my husband printed the photos, the nurses would pass them around and exclaim over them. I never lost sight of the fact that I was fighting for Lily.

Today, we live far from my parents and sometimes don’t see them for months, but they are deeply bonded with Lily. We all learned a lesson about the fragility of life and the importance of embracing the moments we have.


Mesothelioma Cancer


I try to embrace the good things that came from my cancer diagnosis. One of those good things was the awareness of my village, a network of love support stretching from Boston to South Dakota and beyond. I am so thankful for all the wonderful things people did for my family and me.



Heather Von St James is a 43-year-old wife and mother. Upon her diagnosis of mesothelioma, she vowed to be a source of hope for other patients who found themselves with the same diagnosis. Now, over 6 years later, her story has been helping people all over the globe. She continues her advocacy and awareness work by blogging, speaking and sharing her message of hope and healing with others. Check out more of her story at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog.


What a beautiful lady Heather is. I wish her and her gorgeous family all the best for the future.


Melanie




Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Squeeze and Stir Lunchtime {Review}



Product talk by Nuffnang 


Right! Joshua in bed for a nap. Angus firmly ensconced in front of the T.V. watching Bob the Builder. It is ME time at last.


It is blowing a gale outside today, cold and wintry. Just the right weather for some yummy, warm soup!


I am trying the new Heinz Squeeze and Stir instant soup today. This is a concentrated paste not a powder. You just squeeze into your cup, add boiling water and stir. It comes in flavours like Big Red Tomato, Mediterranean Vegetable, Ripe Tomato and Vegetable and Rich Tomato with Basil.


On the menu today is Ripe Tomato and Vegetable. Yummy!






The squeezy tube has a tear off section at the top, which actually worked really well. I am usually not good at opening those fiddly little tear off things! Put it down to being left handed. I looked at it and scoffed and looked around for the scissors. But then I thought well I have to try. But it worked! 






You squeeze the paste into your cup and then just add boiling water to cover paste and give it a good stir. Then fill your cup with boiling water give it another stir and enjoy.


I found when I did it this way it mixed really well and you get no lumpy bits.


For an 'instant soup' it was really delicious. I think I prefer the tube to cans. Safer with kids around. No tin can to struggle opening with a can opener (yes left handed thing again!) You can pop it into your bag to take to work for lunch.






There are no artificial colours or flavours. No preservatives and it is low in fat, 99% fat free. It is also suitable for vegetarians.


I think they might be onto a winner!


Mmmm lunch time .... So what are you having for lunch?









Melanie


Sunday, 3 June 2012

Meet the Family That Could Save Yours


Will your car save you and your family in an accident?


ANCAP stands for the Australasian New Car Assessment Program. ANCAP awards a star rating from 1 (poor) through to 5 (excellent) based on crash tests. To be awarded a 5 star rating a vehicle must achieve the highest international standards in all test categories.


The car you buy affects the safety and well being of your family. Be guided by the stars. It is so important to check that the car you drive is as safe as it can be.






The Crash Test Family is prepared to risk life and limb to make sure that your new car has a 5 star rating. The above link will take you to the ANCAP website and you can test out if your car achieves a 5 star rating. 




Make safety a high priority when you are choosing a new car for your family. Look for a car with a minimum of 4 stars. It could save your life.


Check out ANCAPs facebook page to see some more facts and stats.  



Melanie 




Saturday, 2 June 2012

Things I Know This Week



This week has gone by so fast. I blinked and almost missed it entirely. Do you have weeks like that? The whole year has been like that for me so far. It is June already! 




I know that this week I have been feeling quite low. My long time companion, the black dog has been sitting by my side all week. It is alright, we know each other very well. I understand him and he understands me.


This week I know that the well behaved, the quiet, the well mannered, need a champion in this rough old world. They are overlooked and for the most part ignored. 


I know that the squeaky wheel gets the oil or the noisy, annoying, in-your-face people get the attention.


I know that I will aways be my childrens' champion.


I know what one person considers to be dire circumstances and going without lifes' necessities is completely different to other peoples.


I know that acceptance play a very big part in your personal happiness.


I know that this post is deep and intense. I apologise but that is just how my mind runs sometimes.




So what do you know this week? 


Have you been pondering some of lifes' big questions? Or have you been skimming over the surface not letting anything penetrate too deeply?








Melanie

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