Last week, our little family, The Mister, Ms 4 , Mr 2 and myself, participated in the 2015 Walk For Prems. It was a great day, and we all had fun! Although it was quite windy for much of the day, it didn’t seem to put anyone off and there was a great crowd gathered around Albert Park Lake in Melbourne. The Walk For Prems is a regular Walk, that raises funds for the Life’s Little Treasures Foundation. Life’s Little Treasures Foundation is Australia’s leading charity dedicated to the families of babies born sick or prior to 37 weeks gestation. This year, the aim is to raise $250,000 and the walk was held in six cities around Australia simultaneously. The major sponsor for the race, was Medela. Medela understands the importance of human milk in the NICU and know that the content of human milk makes a considerable contribution to the best possible development of premature babies. According to Medela CEO, Jarrod Percy, the organisation is looking forward to helping the foundation in the very valuable work it does to support the families of premature and sick babies.
We have been blessed with healthy, full term pregnancies with both our children, and feel incredibly grateful for this. When I was presented with the opportunity to participate in the walk with Team Medela, to raise awareness and funds, I discussed it with The Mister and we both agreed it would be a great way to support those that have not been as lucky as we have.
You see, this cause is also important to us, as we have friends who have experienced the roller coaster ride that comes with the premature birth of your baby. Their little man Thomas was born at 27 weeks. What followed was three months in the Royal Children’s Hospital with surgeries, IV tubes, humidicribs and more. The family received support from Life’s Little Treasures, and others throughout this bewildering and scary time. Eventually, they were able to take their wee little man home, where he received lots of early intervention in the form of physiotherapists and occupational therapists from the Royal Children’s Hospital. Thomas is now in primary school, and continues to work on his motor skills and is also learning keyboard, riding his bike and participating in running try outs. He is an amazing little man, who in the words of his mum “is a very caring boy who loves learning about the world he lives in and it has been possible because of the Royal Children’s Hospital including all the staff and availability of equipment”.
It’s amazing what babies and families can do when they have the right supports in place. The Life’s Little Treasures Foundation want to ensure that no family endures the traumatic and life changing experience of having a premature of sick baby without easy access to critical information and community support to help them through their journey. The Walk For Prems event continues to raise money, and in the last three years has raised half a million dollars. The actual Walk was great – there was such a fun atmosphere, with families walking with their babies and kids and even their dogs! There were prams and toddlers and lots and lots of teams walking for the little one in their life who made their way into the world too early. At the end of the walk, the kids enjoyed music and food and all sorts of fun activities. It was a great day!
If you would like to find out more about the work that Life’s Little Treasures do to support prem babies and their families, click here. And if you feel like you would like to donate some money, and help the Foundation reach their goal of $250,000 you can do so here.
Have your kids participated in a fundraising walk/run? How did they go? I would love to know!
We’ve hit the second week of the school holidays in Victoria and it got me wondering; are you looking (frantically) for things to do with the kids? Have you run out of ideas, or did you not realise just how awesome the weather was going to be here this week? Well never fear, I’ve got your back with a list of of last minute school holiday activities that cover the gamut of free to not so free, DIY to out and about.
With the Grand Final happening this Saturday, the AFL are putting on a Footy Festival, starting Wednesday and going through to Saturday. It’s free entry and there is a heap of things to do there. The kids zone includes Aus Kick activities, kicking competitions, free face painting (winner!) and a whole lot more. There is also a section where parents can get free coffee, snacks and mini massages whilst the kids are participating in some Auskick. Sweet! Check out the site – the trams are free from Wednesday through to Saturday and service the area of the Footy Festival, which is Yarra Park, right next to the mighty MCG.
The Gallery has a range of activities and exhibitions on for the school holidays for under 4’s to teenagers. Some activities/exhibitions are free, some have entry and booking requirements. I am planning on taking the kids to the Open House Tromarama For Kids exhibition. It’s free and located at the NGV International. It’s interactive, and is set up like a real house, allowing kids to move from room to room, experimenting with stop-motion apps and making films. It looks cool! I know a few kids who would just love it.
Have you been here yet? Have you?! If you don’t mind a bit of chocolate, you should probably check it out. The chocolaterie is well set up for kids, with space to run the sugar high off outside, and kid friendly menus (of course) and activities. It’s in a beautiful spot in the Yarra Valley, an hour from Melbourne. There is no entry fee, and free tastings, but the fun comes in the cafe and the store, where all sorts of chocolatey goodies can be purchased. Currently, they are hosting Hop For Hope, an outdoor exhibition raising funds for the wonderful Alannah and Madeline Foundation. Check out their website for more information, including classes, menus and activities.
I’ve perused Pinterest for you (no need to thank me, I’ll take one for the team), and found a couple of cool things that we will be trying over the next week. Check out this easy volcano eruption you can do in the back yard, and will have the younger kids entertained, no doubt for hours.
Another fun activity, for the backyard or around the neighbourhood park is this scavenger hunt for kids. The post includes free printables! Awesome. And timely, given Ms 4 burst in this afternoon after talking to the kids over the back fence asking for a treasure hunt.
So what do you think? Will you try any of these or are you all sorted for activities? If you have some ideas, share them here, or over on facebook for everyone to enjoy 🙂
Have you heard of the delightful new book, ‘Too Busy Sleeping’? Recently, I had an opportunity to put my hand up to review this lovely, lovely little children’s book, through the Parent Talk Australia collective. I was very excited when the author, Zanni Louise, contacted me to say she would be happy for me to review her first book.
It’s just gorgeous! It is a little story about a new baby coming home – how will Eleanor, now a big sister, react? It is delightfully illustrated by Anna Pignataro, with a kind of vintage, crafty feel to the drawings. Ms 4 tells me every time we read it, that she thinks the first and last page looks like stickers and buttons, and she tries to take them off.
Both my kids love this book. Little Mr 2 just loves babies at the moment, and on every page points to Reuben and exclaims “bebe!” It’s a positive story, that looks at the arrival of a new sibling through the eyes of a little one eager to play and eager to love.
It’s a lovely book whether you are preparing your kids for the arrival of new baby or not. A little story about excitement, learning patience and love.
I love Too Busy Sleeping because it is positive and joyful, and shows that older kids, even preschoolers, can look forward to the homecoming of a new baby. Even if they’re not quite happy with the sleeping needs of said newborn!
If you would like to get your hands on a copy of the gorgeous Too Busy Sleeping, you can here*.
What books do your kids love to read? Is it the same one, over and over, or a new one every night? Let me know in the comments, I love to hear from you!
Linking up with Mamma Raj Says for #ReviewRoundUp!
*This is an affiliate link. If you click here and purchase, I will receive a percentage of the sale. This won’t affect the price you pay.
We’re well and truly into the pointy end of the footy season here in Melbourne. Yep, September not only brings spring, but footy finals too. We are definitely an AFL family, listening to most matches across the weekend and usually watching at least the Friday night match on the television, no matter who is playing. And we’ve been club members since Ms 4 was about 1 1/2. Which brings me to the question: Which club? Who do your kids barrack for? As in, if you and your partner support different teams, whether it be AFL, rugby, netball, soccer or basketball, who do your kids support?
Have you left it a clean slate, ready for them to choose when old enough? Or have you and your partner chosen for them? I’ve ‘surveyed’ a few friends to get a bit of an idea about this very important issue! We’ve done the old, one for me one for you. The Mister got to choose for the first born, because he seemed to care more, and second born was for me. Because, we do not support the same teams. Nope, The Mister is a Hawthorn man and I am North Melbourne. When Mr 2 is old enough to work it out, he may have some resentment toward me……… 😉
So of the 5 or 6 families I asked, I really got a mix of responses. One couple had a similar response as ours, although they aren’t too interested in the footy anymore. Another told me that they were going to let their offspring choose for themselves, and had provided scarves in both teams in order to provide a balanced approach. Although they had quickly removed the Essendon scarf placed in the cot by one grandmother, as and I quote “I ain’t having that shit go on in my house” (Love it!)
Another friend, and they don’t have kids at this point, advised that he isn’t a fan of the “one for mum and one for dad” approach and will respect any offspring’s decision, as long as it’s not to support Collingwood, or Hawthorn. Another decided to start supporting his wife’s team. He says because he just liked the song (he swapped to the Tigers, so fair enough. I hasten to add this occurred some time before the Tige’s current good form!)
And one friend told me how they had one for each, but complications had occurred after they had separated and since re-partnered. The nature of the new relationships has meant that which ever parent the kids are with, one child is not barracking for the team that everyone else is. It can be a passionate, emotion filled experience, following a sporting team, that’s for sure.
There are not many games left now, in this year’s AFL season, another round of finals next week and then the big one. Which has, for the first time, bought a public holiday to the people of Victoria as well, thank you very much! No matter who is in, we will be watching the big game and enjoying the atmosphere it brings to Melbourne – please, please, let there at least be one Victorian side in!!! And there is a remote, vague chance that things could be tense here on the day – at this point, both Hawthorn and North Melbourne could still make it to the big game.
So now tell me – has the choosing of sporting teams been tricky for you? Let me know!
Anyone who lives in Australia can’t help but be aware of the commentary this week surrounding AFL player Adam Goodes and racism. It’s been an issue brewing for some time, and it boiled over this week into a seemingly unstoppable flood of outrage, denial, anger and hurt. For most of the week I’ve listened to and read a lot of people’s opinions. I’ve felt a rising sense of frustration and disbelief. I’ve nearly called ABC 774 several times! I’ve never called radio talk back! Frankly, the only thing stopping me calling in has been the two small children yelling for my attention every 2.3 seconds!
I’ve had a page of notes on my phone and my computer, waiting for me to form into a coherent post. And then yesterday, I decided to email my club, the North Melbourne Kangaroos. I wanted to know what they were going to do to support Adam Goodes. I’m a paid member, so I wanted to know. I intended to write a quick email, just to find out if anything was planned. But it became longer, as I explained why I was so concerned. And it clarified to me just why I have been so upset by the lack of respect shown to Adam Goodes. By the apparent intelligent people I know who have so easily dismissed him as a ‘sook’, as ‘thin skinned’. As someone who needs to ‘man up’. It’s for my children. It frightens me, that in this day and age, our country still struggles to address this issue, to discuss the matter in a mature fashion. So this is what I wrote to the club:
I wanted to contact the club today regarding Adam Goodes. I have become increasingly upset and I have to say angry at the way he has been treated. As a paying member of NMFC I was wondering if the club was planning or talking about ways to show support for Adam Goodes?
The current commentary and fan reaction to Adam has made me feel angry and upset, because it makes me question – can I take my small kids to live matches, when this behaviour is accepted and apparently encouraged (by ex-players saying he is a ‘sook’ etc). I want my kids to feel that AFL is a community that they will feel safe in, that they will feel AFL will give them opportunities, joy and a sense of team. I do not want them to learn that bullying is ‘normal’, that racism is normal or that men cannot express feelings or discuss matters that are emotionally important to them.
I really did not know where else to express this opinion at this point, but I figured as a member of NMFC I could start here.
I love this game, I love this club. I do not love this concerted campaign against one of the greatest players we have.
I’m pleased to say they got back to me really quickly, explaining that they were finalising plans and would be updating fans soon.
Today, I have felt slightly less upset by this, and a little more hopeful. Of course, some actual leadership by our politicians would be nice, but let’s not hold our breath for miracles. But perhaps now, this is a tipping point into a discussion that we need to have. Perhaps this will be a catalyst for broader understanding and acceptance. Let’s just hope we haven’t let an outstanding leader, advocate and person be broken in the process.
We love where we live. We’re in Melbourne’s outer east, nestled at the foot of the Dandenongs, and bordering the Yarra Valley. It’s not unusual for us to head out for a day trip on a weekend or a long weekend, to explore what’s around us. And let’s face it. We’re a one wage family at the moment, so we don’t have money to splash around. Turns out, our little corner of Australia is perfectly located for all sorts of day trips. So come and take a look at three of our favourite, family friendly spots to picnic.
Winter or summer, we love heading down to Dromana. It’s a 50 minute drive, give or take, from home, so it’s perfect for a day trip. Located south of Melbourne, it’s on the Mornington Peninsula. The beaches are smooth and great for kids, and finding a park is never too much of a problem – except maybe mid summer on weekends! We’ve done day trips and long weekend trips to Dromana and always enjoyed them. I think it was the first place the kids had their taste of the beach.
There are loads of places that you can grab lunch or snacks – cafe’s, fish ‘n chip takeaways, restaurants. But it’s perfect for a picnic, with tables along the foreshore, grassed areas with play equipment and public facilities. And there are several good places for coffee. Because even when we’re not spending a lot, we can usually find coin for the good stuff 🙂
Collingwood Children’s Farm
Now you may have heard of the Children’s Farm, and with good reason. It’s a real farm, 5km from the city of Melbourne. It’s located in a gorgeous spot along the Yarra River, and is open to everyone – school groups, individuals, families and more. They host regular Farmer’s Markets and you can even have kids’ parties there! It’s a gorgeous spot, and whenever we go, it feels kind of surreal that it’s so close to such a major city. This one does have a fee – $18 or $10 conc for a family. But if you take your own snacks its a special treat. Our little ones go up close with chickens and horses and guinea pigs, and ran freely amongst the space. It is a lovely spot to visit. Although I think Peppa Pig has confused them a little – they found real pigs to be whole lot more intimidating!!
Warburton and Mt Donna Buang
I love heading further out into the Yarra Valley and the surrouding mountains. I was raised out this way and I know whenever I drive out through Wandin and beyond it feels very much like home. Mt Donna Buang is about 15-20 minutes further up from Warburton, a 45 minute drive from our home. Recently we took an impromptu trip to Mt Donna Buang and thrilled the kids with snow! It’s perfect for those not able to go to the snow and stay. Not too far from Melbourne means you can do a day trip. When we went, Queen’s birthday weekend, it was busy with lots of snow. There is usually tobogganing as well. And because it’s so close to Warburton, it’s perfect to take a picnic with you! Once you’ve been up and seen the snow, travel back down to Warburton and make use of the many picnic tables. I love Warburton. The way they’ve set out the public facilities is great. Along the river there are tables and access to bbq’s and toilets. Our kids loved the river! There are many ducks who are pretty comfortable near people, and very vocal. There is also a fabulous path along the river, where the kids were able to climb and scramble over big rocks, find almost hidden paths and swing on ropes left on the trees by previous kids. It was lovely.
So these are some of our favourite places to picnic around Melbourne’s east. Where are yours? Check out the #ShareAustralia tag for more inspiration from Australia’s bloggers!
Did you know, that in Australia each year 260 children die and 58,000 children are hospitalized from accidental injuries? These are big numbers! Would you know how to help a child who was unconscious and not breathing? That’s what the people at KidzAid want to know. I have vague memories of my first aid training, pre-children, and I keep putting a paediatric first aid course on my to-do list. I still haven’t completed one.
Here are some more stats for you. For every minute that CPR is not performed when needed, the chance of the child’s survival decreases by 10%. After 4 minutes without oxygen, your child can suffer irreversible brain damage. That’s scary stuff. So basically, what happens in the first five minutes holds the key to saving their life. Five minutes is not enough time to allow professional help to arrive.
We therefore need more people of all ages who are trained and willing to provide immediate CPR to our kids, while waiting for help to arrive. And that’s where KidZaid Paediatric First Aid Training comes in. And to highlight the issue, and raise funds for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal, the KidZaid team will convert the Palladium at Crown Melbourne into a large training centre, and offer training to parents and families, and break a world record at the same time! There will family fun day activities; celebrity CPR challenges, jumping castles, roving princesses and superheroes, toddler playzone and more.
We’ll be there – it should be a great day! We’ve never gone into the city on Good Friday and with all the family oriented activities happening with the Good Friday Appeal, it should be a really fun day. And I’m so pleased this opportunity to learn paediatric first aid has arisen, and in a way that provides support to the excellent Royal Children’s Hospital.
Details: Entry is free, with a $5 registration fee to complete the CPR training (all proceeds to the Good Friday Appeal). To make this even easier, there is a special $15 family CPR registration price, that allows parents to take advantage of the opportunity to have all the important adults in their child’s life trained for one low cost. Training sessions will run hourly throughout the day and to secure your spot, register today at www.cprchallenge.com.au. Check out the website for more information and follow along with the CPR Challenge on facebook, & twitter.
Tell me, have you completed a paediatric first aid training? Is it up-to-date? Are you going to attend the CPR Challenge?