Sunday, 26 February 2012

Happy Birthday Nanna

Yesterday was my maternal Nanna's 91st birthday. Last year, for the big 90, there was a massive celebration with all that have crossed her path. This year, it was just a small BBQ with the immediate family that could make it. She has 5 children with 5 inlaws, 12 grandchildren with 8 inlaws and 9 great grandchildren. As always, it was bring a dish and own meat and the spread was amazing (if only I remembered the camera, I could have been a food blogger!). As with any of our family get-togethers, the thermomixes were working overtime.

Nanna loves being around her family, thrives on the hustle and bustle and gets a kick from the harmless ribbing among the family. At one point, after the mandatory 'candle blowing out' she thanked everyone for coming, the food that was prepared and informed us that she is happy knowing that when she does pass over, we will all have each other - and there was the suggestion that at least the wake will be well catered for.  

She has the song picked out for her funeral - not one I am familiar with, but something about the end of a rainbow - as she says that is where Grand Dad is waiting for her. She has talked a lot about this over the last 2 years and Grand Dad has started to visit her a lot in her dreams. She is well and truly ready to go and often says how surprised she is when she wakes up some mornings. Although she is still very physically and mentally well, she will often not let us make plans too many months ahead for her saying "No dear, I don't think I will be around by then". It is as though she is preparing us for the time she does go, she knows she will leave such a big hole in all our lives. 

She is a true matriarch. She keeps our family together and does not tolerate nastiness of any kind. She is a nurturer - not in the 'born to be a mother' sense, - but she has always provided what we have needed from her, when we have needed it - whether that be a meal, a roof over our heads, or words of advice. Many, many people outside the family have been taken in by Nanna and been given a home when they have needed it most. She always had an open door policy and whenever we visited her, there would most likely be a stranger staying with them who became part of the family.

Her generosity, compassion and giving nature is truly an inspiration.

Happy 91st birthday Nanna. Looking forward to celebrating your 92nd!

Chantel x

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Happy Second Birthday!

Dear Master Z,

I am a few weeks late with this post, but thought I would still put it on here, as a record of how things are in your life. I have been looking for some photos to add to this post, but you just can't have a photo at the moment without closing your eyes and opening your mouth. As soon as I say 'cheese', that's the face you pull.


This year has been a jam packed year for you, with some highlights being your awesome first birthday party, your christening, many holiday's 'down south' and your second birthday on Rotto. 

Let's just remind you of the awesome Iggle Piggle Cake your mummy made your for your first birthday party:

Yeah, and sorry, but your 2nd birthday cake was brought to you by Rottnest bakery - a lot less work for Mummy!

You love The Wiggles, Thomas the Tank and Bob the Builder. You have the cutest singing voice and walk around the house singing "Chugginton" and "Hot Potato". You are learning more and more words everyday, though I think you have inherited your Daddy's listening skills, as some of the sounds that come out are pretty way off. I think you also have your Dad's ability to tune your Mummy out - I have no chance!

You love spending time with your cousin's Z and little baby J. Your best friend is your big puppy sister Princess K - who you call Caeser - even though you are very wary of being struck in the face with her exuberant wagging tail. You love being outside, you love the water and love playing in the sandpit. 

You go to sleep with Ted Ted, a bottle of water and a sleeping bag. If any of these are missing from the equation, sleep will not occur. You are an excellent sleeper, sleeping from 7pm - 7am the majority of the time and you still have a 3 hour nap each day to let Mummy play on twitter clean the house.

You started one day a week at day care and have been a superstar there. You caught a new bug pretty much every week you attended for the first six months, but hopefully you are now over that, with a very good immunity. You have been at a new daycare this year and really seem to be enjoying it - particularly the slide.

You are a gentle, sweet, loving boy, who makes our world light up. You always have a smile on your face and you have an amazing patience and perseverance. You bring so much joy to everyone around you and it is a privilege to be your Mummy and Daddy. 
Happy second birthday Master Z, we love you to the moon and back.

Mummy x

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Fresh Horses and Funerals

This week for the Fresh Horse Brigade, Eden has asked us what song we would like played at our funeral.

I will admit, this pushes me a bit as I am not that comfortable thinking about my funeral - purely and simply as I am not ready, I don't want to die any time soon and my heart aches to think I would have to leave my boys behind. When I asked TBone about this topic, he was very quick to dismiss it also. La La La La, hands covering the ears, La La La.

I have been fortunate to only have ever attended 4 funerals in my life and have not really been that exposed to the sad side of death. I am touching wood with desperation as I write this. (The 11 yr old boy in me is giggling writing that line).

My Grandpa didn't have a funeral - that made me angry as I felt cheated out of an opportunity to say goodbye. He also donated his body to one of the universities. This upset me as well, as I have been an anatomy student and I know the lack of respect shown by many 17 year olds when they work with these donated bodies. At 17, you say things in front of your peers for a laugh and it saddened me to think someone might say something about him lying there on the cold metal gurney.

I have also had amazing opportunities to work in pallative care. To be allowed to work with people at the end stage of their life is the ultimate privilege. The work an OT does is simple, organisational, but it can make such a huge difference to a person having their last days the way they want them, on their terms. The work is heartbreaking, but so rewarding at the same time. It is an honor to be able to be part of someone's life at this very personal time.

I thought it would be easy to choose a song that I wanted to be played as a celebration of my life. In reality, it is really hard. You want the song to represent the memories that you leave for people - even though in truth, no-one is really likely to remember what is played.

I don't think I want 'funeral' songs per se, I think I would more like a 'mix tape' of the important songs in my life. I always said I wanted 'Hallelujah' - any of the versions - Leonard Cohen, Tim Buckley, Jeff Buckley or perhaps even the Tea Party version.

I would like 'Imagine' from John Lennon to be played.

I would like the acoustic version of Foo Fighters 'Everlong' to be played.

and I would like something from the Tea Party played. (Yep, 90's tragic strikes again - and yes, I am one of those saddies that is VERY excited they have reunited).  I thought choosing their song would be easy as most of their work is quite dark and about life and death, but nothing jumped out. Something that highlights Jeff's amazingly beautiful voice - perhaps 'In This Time'

or 'Release'

or 'Halcyon Days'

or are they a bit weird because of some of the lyrics? Perhaps one of their instrumentals would be better like 'The Badger' or 'Winter Solstice'

Whoah! That was a bit self-indulgent - but I suppose that is the point!
Definitely something that needs more thought on my part as I would hate to not have music as a major part of any celebration of my life. I would want my wake to be full of 80's indi and 90's grunge also, so might just have to make a more comprehensive list :o)

Head on over to Eden's page to see what other's have chosen.

Have a great weekend.

Chantel x

Friday, 10 February 2012

Say Goodbye to Fatty Boombah - Mark II

Some of you would have read my previous posts about Michelle Bridges' last round of 12 Week Body Transformation. I was posting each Friday, I went in gung ho, did great with exercise and eating for 6 weeks, 6 kilos lost, then had a weeks holiday away, became sick for 2 weeks and then *crickets*. Nothing. I went silent on the whole thing.

As you can imagine, it was because yet again, I had fallen off the wagon. Yet again, I had stopped allowing myself to feel wonderful and healthy and I went back into that horrible cycle of eating crap, no exercise and regretting every bit of my lack of will power. I get angry with myself, and then to make myself feel better, I eat. Then, I get angry at my lack of will power, so I eat. So then the cycle goes round and round and round.

It makes all the things I said here seem meaningless and full of shit. It makes me sound as though I am spineless, weak and can't even make the simple commitment to living healthy for my family. I have had some sadness over the last 10 weeks, nothing major, just little hills to climb, but I have found myself eating for comfort yet again.

This has to stop. If I want to have anymore kids and be able to leave the house on my own steam, and not with the help of the fire brigade, I need to get my shit together. I need to sort my head once and for all and commit to something for the long term. My relationship and my family is one of the few things in my life that I have managed to commit to. Usually, I lose interest, or sabotage things. I need to put my relationship with my body in this category too and commit to it for life. From now.

I know that you have heard it all before, that you don't believe me and that's a very fair attitude going by my history. I just have to prove to myself and to you that I am worth it and I need to do this for me, first and foremost and my family. I feel wonderful when I am fit and healthy - why do I think I don't deserve to feel like that every day? Some brain gremlins I need to address I think. 

I am linking up today with Kate and Natalie's new linky for bloggers that are doing the 12 week body (blogger) transformation. I hope to link up each week or every few weeks. Good luck to those starting Monday. Wish me luck! - things need to change........

Chantel x

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Friday, 3 February 2012

Time for Myself

The house is tidy and presentable, the washing piles are slowly going through the process from dirty to clean, so when Master Z has a nap this afternoon noon (please, please nap Gods make this happen!) I will have a few blissful hours to myself.

I am going to curl up in bed, with a cup of tea, and my laptop and read through the blog posts I have missed out on as time has gotten away from me this last week. I hate not having time to read and comment on my favourite posts. I am sure I will laugh, cry, commiserate, congratulate and nod my head in agreeance as I read through the amazing stories and opinions that get posted every week in the blogosphere.

 And I can't wait.

What do you do if you have a spare minute to breathe? Have a wonderful weekend.

Chantel x