Monday, 18 June 2012

I'll be back

I am working full time for the next 2 weeks and am breaking into a sweat thinking about it! I decided that as there was some new stuff I wanted to start doing on here, I would not roll it out until the beginning of July when things will hopefully be calmer. That will also give me time to get some posts up my sleeve and maybe start scheduling posts - whoa!!!!

I will still post on Tuesdays for IBOT (of course!), but otherwise I will be a bit quiet until the 1st July.

Stay classy people and see you in July!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Playing all day

As Occupational Therapy students we learnt about the role of play in all our child development units. We learnt about how it helps build physical skills, both gross motor and fine motor, it assists children with gaining knowledge of the environment around them and it helps with social development and provides opportunities for the development of self-esteem and confidence in their own abilities. 

I would day dream about my working life and imagined myself spending hours with each child, helping them learn skills through play - being paid to play puzzles, help them foster their imaginations and do fun activities all day - my idea of heaven! 

The reality of working with children in my experience was unfortunately not that. I worked as a locum in a paediatric development team for a time in the UK, but we were so understaffed, with such ridiculously long waiting lists that we were only able to use our allocated time with each child to do short, standardised assessments and then the follow up appointment was with their parents to work through a treatment plan that they would hopefully carry out. With such stretched resources, there was very little fulfilment of my idealistic view of what paediatric occupational therapy should entail. There was very limited time to develop rapport and no opportunity to work with any child on an ongoing basis to see them develop through their hardships.

I don't have first hand experience with the system here in Australia, but from hearing Mums talk and when I have looked into working in Paeds again, it seems very similar to the UK - long waiting lists, limited resources, little chance for therapists to do 'therapy'.

It has been such a wonderful thing for me to "put the theory into practice' so to speak, since becoming a mum. I have been able to dust off my 'developmental OT' hat and explore all aspects of play as Master Z has developed through the stages. He is now 2 1/2 years and I have finally had the chance to do the things my naive 21 year old self dreamt about all those years ago in the lecture theatre. 

The stuff Master Z and I do is what any Mum would do with their kids. It is about spending time with them, paying them your full attention and becoming immersed in their world. We do a lot of repetition of numbers, shapes, colours and naming objects - but it is all very incidental and not planned. He is a sponge for words at the moment, so we have a running commentary about everything that we do. 

He loves the outdoors, so weather permitting, we are there whenever we can be and he has just started to explore role playing and imaginary play. As a mum who likes to play, we are getting to a really cool stage! I do however, have to hold myself back (I am like an exuberant golden retriever sometimes) and allow him to play independently and give him space. This is just as important as being there to roll out the playdough when he needs me to.

I have been thinking about play a lot and now that Master Zeb is a toddler, it has a big relevance in our lives. I have decided I will start a weekly post relating in someway to the broad topic of play and child development. Watch this space!

Just snuck this in for Tuesday blogging with Jess at Diary of a SAHM. Head on over to check today's posts out!

Monday, 11 June 2012

I am me

This weekend, Eden has brought the Fresh Horses out for a run.
She has asked us to focus on 'who am I?'
Head to edenland to check out some of the wonderful posts that have linked up.

Edenland's Fresh Horses Brigade
I am Chantel,

I am 30 something,

I am a wife,

I am a mother,

I am a part time Occupational Therapist and a part time student.

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

I am passionate about play and its role in learning.

I love the stories we get from those who have lived long lives and have seen much.

I like lists.

I like stationery.

I love eating, cooking, wine, travelling and all things geek.

I don’t love frogs, coriander and ironing.

I am a romantic masquerading as a cynic.

I want the underdog to win all the time and I cry when they do.

I love the colour blue, in all its shades.

I say I am an avid reader, but in reality haven’t read anything over 100 pages since 2010.

My son was born in 2010.

I love heavy metal, guitar rock and 90s grunge.

I hit my peak in the 90s and see that as my benchmark of social achievement.

I aim to laugh every day.

I write about my life, my loves, the good times and the hard times.

I don’t apologise for my optimism or those days when pessimism wins out.

I am sure that lately, I have not been the best 'me' I can be. My mind is not on the game, I have snapped at Z when I shouldn't and I have not been totally present when he needs me. I have not been the best friend I can be, I have not been there when they have needed me. I feel like I am teetering on the edge. I have had 3 miscarriages in the last 6 months - my doctor has looked at my dates and numbers and said that it has actually been 5, but for my sanity, I am only counting those that I get a positive test for. They have all been early, and fortunately all been around 6 weeks. But they have all hurt my heart that little bit more each time.

I am lucky. I am not suffering like some people I know that go through fertility problems.
I am lucky I know why it is happening, and I know there are options if the 'luck of the draw' natural way gets too much for us. I know that one in every six of my eggs is a winner, one in every six is like me and Z (wonky genes, but normal?????) and four out of every six are not viable and will end in early miscarriage. I also know, that any pain and heartache is worth it, as each day I get to experience the joy of sharing life with Z, the result of what happens when it goes well.

I know I will get me back soon, I am sure that the annoying Pollyanna will return again soon.
I am strong and we will get there.

I am me.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012


As Australians, we don't tend to shout from the roof our personal triumphs like other countries do. In my travels, I have found that Americans, Germans, French and the Italians are very good at telling you what they do well. It is not about bragging, it is just having the confidence in their abilities and not being ashamed to promote it. Australian culture is getting better, but there still is that tendency to "cut down the tall poppy" and feel uncomfortable when you read about someone 'talking themselves up'. 

To that end, I have always felt very uncomfortable showing any pride in achievements. I know that's my own problem that I need to get over, so I am starting here - with something very uncharacteristic of me.

I am not a runner. To look at me exercising, you would see a mid thirties, fat chick running (a 'fat runner' as Kim from All Consuming puts it). It isn't pretty or graceful. I don't run, I tend to shuffle my feet. I try to exercise regularly, and I have talked here before about my weight battles - at the end of the day, I like food too much and don't manage the will power very well. 

So it was a surprise to everyone that knows me when I entered the "HBF Run for a Reason". I stupidly decided that the 4km was for wusses and that 14km would be a lot better suited to a novice runner like myself. 

I trained for the 8 weeks beforehand, slowly building up my long run each week and then last Sunday, in time for the event, I managed the 14km! I am so proud of myself that I finally did something I was talking up and not just give in because it was too hard and I wasn't the best at it. 

I certainly didn't break any records and if I am honest, many people walking passed my shuffling body, but I finished it.

I met most of my goals, I didn't require St John Ambulance attendance, I wasn't on the news that night for having a heart attack, I wasn't picked up by the bus that drove at the end of the course that picked up the stragglers that weren't meeting the maximum time limits and if I hadn't had to wait in a toilet queue at the 10 km mark, I would have gone under 2 hours.

I am proud of myself, proud that I finished something I never thought I would and proud that I raised money for Lifeline, a very important charity. 

It was a beautiful day in Perth and I really enjoyed myself. My legs ached for a few days after, but I really think I could get into this running thing.

What is something you are proud of? Shout it loud!
Linking up today with Jess @ Diary of a SAHM for I Blog on Tuesdays. Head on over and read some really really great posts!

Friday, 1 June 2012


This is what I did to my husband's iPad the other day at the airport

He was so good about it, didn't get angry, just rolled his eyes and said it was "such a Chantel thing to do". So I was going to write a blog post (as blogger's do) about how I took offence to a "Chantel thing" being a negative. I was planning to include reference to the episode of Friends where Monica's mum makes the comment about "pulling a Monica" and that was something the family used to say whenever anyone stuffed something up.

Then I thought about my recent form - we have 3 good wine glasses, 3 champagne glasses and 1 of those half bottle wine glasses left from a cabinet of about 60 glasses. My record was 3 glasses in a day - separate incidents though! I have lost my 2 most recent mobile phones as I dropped one in a glass of water and one in a cup of tea - the skill to be that accurate should be commended!

I am also known for my ability to knock my shoulder on the way through a doorway, Every. Single. Time.
I don't get PMT, I tend to get the drops at that time of the month. Last last few weeks of my pregnancy with Master Z, I dropped about 5 casserole dishes (many Christmas parties). I blame hormones for all of it. 

Then, that same night, I was reading the iPad in bed (still works if you are careful not to get glass shards in your scrolling finger).  And I fell asleep. And the iPad dropped. Onto our hardwood floor. TBone ran into the room because of the noise, shook his head and walked out without saying anything.

He probably has a point.