Monday, 28 April 2014

Faith in people: Restored

I'm a mum of three.
And I just flew, twice, in the space of 11 days.  With all three.

Single mums who travel with three?  My hat comes off to you, that is for sure.  It was a lot to juggle even with Ty there!

We flew Tiger Air amidst lots of well-wishes from friends - expect very little, I was told.  Hell, I was told to not even expect our flight to leave.  I was anxious.  Really, really anxious.  What if our flight didn't leave?  We couldn't afford to rebook with another airline, and well, who wants to explain to the 4 year old jumping out of her skin with excitement because she is mere hours from seeing her grandmother?  Her favourite person in the universe?

The stars all aligned though, and although we had a half hour delay (and we've had MUCH worse than that on other airlines), we were underway and headed to Melbourne.  With 4 very lovely cabin crew who were chatty and interactive with the kids and happily let me sway and rock the baby in the galley at the back of the plane until he zonked off in to a peaceful slumber.  

Coming home, that anxiety returned a little... I really didn't want to be stuck in Melbourne.  I desperately missed my pillows.   And my cat.  All good though - off we went, excited to see one of the same cabin crew from the flight down who had kept me company during my galley-sway-session on the previous flight.  The kids were CHUFFED to be on a plane again - they loved it.  And we had cabin crew who loved kids and babies.  And a half full flight, so less people to annoy hahaha.  

Taylah, Aaron, Jye and Mitchell - AMAZING FLIGHT CREW!  AMAZING PEOPLE!


These guys were amazing!  They bent over backwards to help us out as we juggled the kids and way too much luggage (bag of Easter eggs, anyone!), fell in love with Memphis, and gave my two very well behaved bigguns a hot chocolate each (much to their delight!)  It was amazing having people so interactive with the kids because it made the trip for them a whole lot more enjoyable.  

We were chatting about Memphis and his size, as he's small for his age - not a lot bigger than a newborn at almost 6 months old - and searched our phones for a teeny Memphis picture... of course we'd wiped our phones before heading down to ensure that we had them backed up and free storage space.  So we had a whole one.  But I showed the newspaper article/pic that Alexis and Memphis were in, because that's just what a proud Mama does!  They were all excited for Lexi, who was sitting at just over $2000 (towards her $2500 goal)... One of them decided they were going to tell the other passengers about it!  We weren't sure of the response we'd get but said sure, why not!  Every dollar counts!

Aaron held up a waving (totally adorable!) Lexi, whilst Jye got on the speaker and told everyone what Miss Alexis was up to!  She seriously was up there waving like she was the Queen or something.  Over the speaker they told everyone who she was, why she was raising money, and who she was raising money for.  Most of the flight had met little Memphis as the crew had stolen him for a wander and cuddle and to head up to meet the first officer!  Was a wee bit cute!
At the end of his little speech Jye told the passengers that if they wanted to donate, to press their calls bells and they'd come along and collect.

And then, the most amazing thing happened.



you get the picture....

Orange lights are call bells, and that wasn't even all of them!  Some had been turned off (collected from), others hadn't rung yet. It went on for ages!!!  Was amazing!

The call bells just kept dinging, the aisle lights lighting up.  Our plane was not full, there were HEAPS of spare seats/rows.  And yet nearly every single row that had a person/people in it, lit up.  People were getting out of their seats to open the overhead lockers to get out their wallets and purses.  One even sent Lexi back a chocolate with her change!!!  The crew walked Lexi down and they FILLED a bag with coins (mostly.. so it was heavy for her hehe) and notes.  $191.75 later - the passengers on flight TT572 Melbourne to Gold at 6:35pm Saturday 26th April, you are all AMAZING!!!

I can't even tell you the emotion when those bells started dinging.  The look on Lexi's face as she walked down and people encouraged her, praised her, and donated.  To a cause that is so close to our hearts, to a child trying to make a difference.  There's no words.  I cried, not going to lie.  Until Ty laughed at me for it, so I sucked it up.  But I couldn't stop smiling, and I will never ever forget.

As people disembarked that plane, instead of the usual rush and grumble, anyone who passed her spoke to her.  More encouragement, more enthusiasm.  People were happy.  As we stood waiting for the car we even had a few wave out, call out, honk their horn as they drove past us!  

It was an amazing and surreal experience.

So if you were ever wondering if anyone ever had a good thing to say about Tiger Airways?  The answer is yes.  I do.  And no I'm not sponsored to say that haha!

As of midday today (28/04/2014) Alexis' fundraising total sits at $2880 ($500 of that in cash, the rest online donations).  She has exceeded her $2500 goal and is now powering towards $3000.  People are quite honestly amazing, we've had so many generous friends and family jump on board and donate, and we've had so many strangers, also.

I am so incredibly proud.

Click here to donate!

Thanks Tiger & Passengers! <3

Saturday, 26 April 2014

First Foods

It's official.
My baby is ready for food.

Sitting and eating with the family today he grabbed my sandwich and attacked it!  He wanted it!
So today he had his first try of food - a bit of turkish bread!
When we are home from Melbourne, we will start him on solids.

That came around quickly!

Loved it!

Thursday, 24 April 2014

(80)Random Act of Kindness (The First)

80. Do five random acts of kindness

As a family of 5 on a single income, we struggle from time to time.  One thing I want to teach our children however, is that no matter what we are going through, there are people out there who are having a worse time than us.  There are people who are having a worse day, a worse week, or their life is far harder than ours.  Not to discount their feelings, of course, when they are having a rough day... but I really do hope they can grow to realise that they are very well off, considering.  Hence, the Random Act of Kindness (RAOK) goal.  I will admit - this is stepping out of my comfort zone because I worry about offending people.  But it's something I really do want to really do and to get the kids involved in, too.  Although with our first RAOK they older two weren't with me when it was handed over, they did know about it.

There is a homeless man - Wayne - who sits out the front of Myer in the Melbourne CBD who does water colour paintings.  Another kind person prints his paintings so he can make gift cards, and he sells them in the street whilst he paints.  We've known about Wayne for as long as we've been travelling to Melbourne, as Ty's mother often buys him art supplies.  I knew that if we went to Melbourne during my 101 in 1001 time period that I wanted Wayne to be a recipient of a RAOK from us.  This man, was like us.  He had a job, he had a home, he had a wife and a family.  And now he is homeless and has very little to his name.  He is a very good artist, I give him that!  But it just goes to show that you never know how your life might end up, what may happen.  Every time I have seen Wayne, he smiles.  He is very humble and very friendly.
It wasn't a lot but we as a family, and Ty's mum as well, bought him some art supplies.  Paint brushes and art paper suitable for water colour painting.  He doesn't know us, and we don't really know him beyond his name and a little of his story, and an admiration for his art work.  But I do know that what very little money he receives from his cards, he now won't have to put towards paint brushes and paper for a wee while. 

In The Paper

My biggest and my littlest were in the newspaper today!

In case you can't read it here's the link!

Monday, 21 April 2014

(84) Catching up with friends

84. Catch up with five people I haven’t seen in a year (or more)

Yay Melbourne!  I haven't been in a couple of years and so I managed to knock off TWO people in one day for this goal.  Go team!!!!

Firstly - Travis!  We've been friends since Grade 8 and he's now living in Melbourne and working as a Head Chef at some fancy pants place, plating up meals that look like artwork!  (And that make me look like I'm poisoning my kids!)  It was SO awesome to see Travis.  As usual, he hasn't changed a bit.  Still cheeky, still funny and still my great mate from school.  I can't believe we've known each other 15 years now (and that he still pulls bloody faces when I take a pic!)  We had coffee and breaky at a nice cafe in Elsternwick!

Me and Travis!

Then for lunch Zavian, Memphis and I headed in to St Kilda to meet up with the beautiful Bec who I've known a number of years through online blogging communities and who I met for the first time in person 2 years ago.  Our boys, Zavian and Rowan, are about 6 weeks apart in age and I swear they are soul-brothers!  I am always laughing at her 'Rowanism' posts, because they're always things similar to what Zavian comes out with.  We went to a fabulous community garden called 'Vege Out' where the boys got to run around and water gardens, eat yummy goodies from one of the fab cake shops and just be boys.  It was great to see Bec, she's a beautiful soul and I'm so grateful that some way, some how, our paths have crossed.

Bec and the boys explore some of the garden plots
Zavian was a lot more enthusiastic as he looks, I promise!
This was probably my fave pic from our whole Melbourne trip!
It is rare for Zavian to find another little fella that he just 'clicks' with.
Watering the garden for "Grandma"

Monday, 14 April 2014

Project Memphis - 20 weeks

Project Memphis is definitely well under way!

Here is our 20 week photo, our 5th in the series!  I can't believe he is 20 weeks already!
At the moment we are keeping the photos in a cheap little photo album, but once this project is complete I think I'd like to make a really nice photo book out of it!

This is getting harder to do as he is going through a stage where e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g goes in to his mouth!  So he tried to eat the photo.  At least 4 times ;)

20 weeks old <3 

Memphis at 20 weeks old

- 4.9kg
- 59cm
- Size: 0000 for seperates 000 for full suits
- worked out how to bounce himself in the bouncer
- giggles
- smiles
- coos
- "chats"
- "calls out"
- ticklish
- chewing hands/fingers a lot
- pulls toys to mouth
- enjoys play mat time
- pushes himself up during tummy time
- loves nappy being off
- has rolled tummy to back 5 times
- rolling from back to tummy all the time
- 3-4 hourly day feeds / sleeps 8/9pmpm - 4/5am
- showing signs of reflux

Feel free to enjoy a couple of adorable out-takes ;)  This isn't as cute and easy as it seems (ok ok... it is as cute hehe)

My beautiful happy boy!
Customary tongue-poking... it's genetic, I'm telling ya!
Scrunch up (and eventually try to eat!)
HAHA!! I moved it!  I'm funnnnnnny!!!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

A balcony garden (55)

#55 - Start a garden

I never said anything about ensuring it lived?!  Hahah.  Summer killed it but we did get a garden started and we enjoyed cherry tomatoes, lots of fresh herbs in our food, strawberries and some pretty flowers!

Because we rent we can really only function with a balcony garden - it works well enough :)

Zavian harvests some cherry tomatoes
Basil - easily one of my favourites
Freshly picked strawberries
One each!  Check how dry the yard is!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Photo storage (4)

#7 - Organise loose photographs into one place

Nothing makes you clean out a room like having a baby.  My "office" had become the official dumping ground from hell... oh my god... cleaning it stunk of effort.  And whilst pregnant?!  Ugh!  But, we had to.  Lexi moved in to the office and Memphis got her old room (though he still sleeps in our room!)
This mass clean up called for me to do something about the random photos I have laying around.  Packets of prints that have never come out of the packets, school photos, santa photos, theme park photos, this that and the next thing.
Easy fix, I wasn't going for fancy - I was going for efficient.  A long plastic tub on wheels, that rolls under Lexi's bed?  Done.  $12 well spent.  And when it's full (ok so the not-to-distant future) I will get another that stacks on top.  Winning.

And no - this doesn't need a picture haha.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Easy scrolls!

I won't lie - I'm a fan of anything easy.
And things that don't require a million hours of kneading, rising, kneading some more...

440g Self Raising Flour
375g of greek or natural yoghurt (I use greek)

Mix it up, give it a bit of a knead to form a dough.  Wa-la.  Simple, easy, ready to use.  Dough you don't have to proove.

I use this for pizza bases and scrolls.  Top/fill as you please.  For scrolls, roll it out and top, roll in to a tube, slice, and pop together fairly close.  Bake at 180C until they are lovely and golden.

Ham, cheese, pineapple on a tomato base
Vegemite and cheese works a treat, too

Cinnamon!  Butter, brown sugar and cinnamon (to taste)
Top with icing (icing sugar, vanilla, smidge of water)

Please donate!

As I scrolled through my 101 in 1001 list today I realised I had for number 81 - Donate to an important charity or cause.  Oh my gosh, I thought... can so get that done!  I'd forgotten this goal until today.

In May this will be ticked off with the help of my four year old.  With us helping her to help out The Heart Foundation.  (Because she can't use social media and we will of course be digging deep to help her out).

My generous little preppie
Alexis is the main one behind this - people are generously donating to her for her participation in Jump Rope for Heart.  She's been fundraising since the beginning of March and and has raised almost $2,000.  Today it stands at $305 in cash donations, $1,540 in online donations.

She caught the attention of the folks behind Jump Rope who sent her page to a PR lady with The Heart Foundation who rang and had a chat.  They're pretty impressed by the drive of a 4 year old to raise money.  They sent an email to our local news paper who came to report on a nice community story.  Because a community is getting behind her and helping her out.  (Widely spread community!)  She'll be in next weeks issue!  Very exciting!   A photographer and reporter came out yesterday and whilst she wasn't exactly forthcoming in answering a single questions (let's face it, she is 4!), she was able to tell him that she is doing this for people with "sore hearts and broken hearts".  

I am so proud of her.

Please donate if you can, or share her link to help her to reach (and hopefully bypass) her goal.  What an amazing cause.  The Heart Foundation is a cause close to our heart - our son Memphis was born with a hole in his heart and this has been the driving force behind our family rallying together to help Lexi raise this money.

Please click:  Lexi's Jump Rope donation page

Memphis and Lexi

Canvas of my own (2)

#2 - Print an image of mine to canvas

I take a lot of photos.
My kids can barely move without me shoving a camera in their face.  Yet, we have (had!) only one canvas in the house.  An image of Ty and I with the older two taken by someone else.
I have never actually printed an image of my own to canvas.

We don't have a lot of room for large canvas, the one we have in the lounge is huge, and well, we couldn't go much bigger!  We also rent so if I have to resort to using 3M hooks (which are shit in the heat I might add), I'd rather just have something lightweight - so small.

Using 123Cheese Photobooks, I ordered my first canvas - a happy, colourful picture of Memphis.  Smiling away in a bucket (he WAS meant to be asleep!)
I printed a 30x40cm canvas and I am really happy with it!  My new aim, by Christmas, is to have another canvas printed, slightly larger, of all three kids.  That is, if they let me get a decent photo (famous last words!!!!)

Smiley boy in his bedroom!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Australia Zoo (51)

51 - Take the kids to a zoo they haven't been to.

Oh my gosh we did this in JANUARY!  I am really rubbish at keeping this updated aren't I!!!  I have a few I really need to get crossed off of the list as they are complete (for instance my Penguin encounter... OVER A YEAR AGO.... ok I'll do that this week - I say now :P)

I love going to the zoo.  Have since a child.  My fondest zoo memories was a camp when I was 10 in New Zealand where our class went to see The Lion King (wow... that movie has been out 27 years!) and then we went to Wellington Zoo where we spent the night in a giant hall!  I still remember the sounds of lions roaring as we were all trying (pretending?) to nod off to sleep.

My three - chillin' with the Irwin's

Australia Zoo is on the Sushine Coast and conveniently located up the road from Ty's Godfathers house.  We headed up to visit rellies and chucked in a visit for our little family of 5.
We loved it!  Alexis and Zavian are at an age where that sort of experience is awesome to them.  They enjoyed seeing crocodiles and alligators, camels, tigers, koalas, kangaroos and a variety of other animals.  Both of them (and us!) enjoyed the hands on experiences with keepers who walked around with a variety of creatures.  Zavian was able to somewhat conquer his fear of scaley things!  He patted a snake, and hesitantly stood beside a baby alligator!
Lexi enjoyed every animal that she was able to touch but was particularly thrilled by being able to hand feed kangaroos and pose for photos with them!
Memphis even got to have a photo laying on a snake!!!

The only thing I was sad about was the fact there were no elephants.  Years ago I went and actually hand fed an elephant - amazing.  The three they had were the oldest in captivity in Australia.  Last year two of the three passed, so they moved the remaining elephant to her private land where she roams her final months/years without being in the public eye.  As much as I wanted to have a picture of Memphis and an elephant, I must say I am glad she is where she is.

Lexi says Hello to a blue tongue lizard
Having a rest on a tortoise
What else do you go for!?
Lexi was so excited to pat a koala!
She was also more excited about this than she looks!
Meeting a baby alligator is serious business!
My fave pic of the day!
The kids get to pat a sake and ask questions about him
Turtle spotting
Tasmanian Devil wearing it's cranky pants!
The baby animal patting zoo was a great hands on experience
My beautiful boy
Bird show in the Crocoseum
And a croc show!  Naturally!
Posing with famous Steve Irwin - Crocodile Hunter
This camel had a thing for Ty's beard (someone has to!)
She also really liked Memphis and gave him a kiss!!!
I adored the Africa section
Giraffes!  My fave!

Croc surfing, anyone?
It was a bit much for the wee-fella!
What an AWESOME job! 
Some sprinklers to cool us down on a cool day!
Kangaroo area was very much enjoyed by these two (the boys were asleep :( boo!)

Customary roo shot!
A quick ride to put a smile on his face!
Don't eat my baby!
Or my toddler!

Posing with Bindi!
My beautiful girl enjoyed her day!
**at some point I will scan in our photo of Memphis with the snake, and a photo of the whole family holding a python!