26 April 2012

Week 17: My readers

This week I am grateful for those of you, my readers, who take the time to follow me here at Off to the Park.

While I don't have a huge group of followers like some of the popular blogs, I am grateful for those of you who find the time to read my blog or leave a comment. It means a LOT.

I started my blog back in August 2010 as a hobby and for a way to record my feelings, thoughts and moments as a Mummy to my special baby girl "Popette". Back then I didn't think too much about how I could attract more followers, or whether I should link it up to social media apps. I just thought of it as a creative outlet for me to express my feelings and a way of recording moments of my little family.

But, sometimes I wonder if blogging is the best use of my spare time. Lately, my house has been suffering from me not spending enough time in cleaning and tidying it. This time has been used up on writing posts or doing things with the girls. I've found that if I don't allocate time in making our house liveable it turns into a warzone/cyclone aftermath...I guess it's finding a balance that works for me.

When I receive a kind word from one of my readers, it makes me realise that the time I'm not spending tidying my house isn't a complete waste of my time...so thank you for letting me know you are reading my posts.

Over these past 4 months I have been writing a lot of posts, in particular the "52 weeks of grateful" journey posts which I enjoy writing, and working on ways to improve my blog. I've only just created a page for Off to the Park on Facebook, which has a tiny following...1 person, so please pop over and "Like" Off to the Park :)

I guess there are a lot more things I could be doing with my blog, but its finding that balance as well as deciding what I want out of Off to the Park.

While I am not publishing posts everyday, when I do write one, I try and write something that I think my readers will enjoy reading.

So to all of my readers out there, I am grateful to you!

25 April 2012

Wordless Wednesday: The Lighthorse man

This is a photo of my grandfather, who was a Lance Corporal within the 12th Australian Light Horse Regiment. He was one of the lucky ones and returned home.

For those men and women who didn't......lest we forget.

22 April 2012

Week 16: My parents

This week I am grateful for my parents.

A photo of my parents taken at my wedding in 1996

I am very grateful that I have a Mum and Dad. And that they are loving, caring, generous people.

They may not have told me that the loved me all the time, but I knew from their hugs and kisses that they loved me.

My two brothers and I grew up in the one house, which is a rarity in today's society. Back in 1970 my parents paid $11,000 for a block of land in Sydney's Western Suburbs where they built our childhood home.

My parents didn't have a lot of money, so couldn't always afford the best or latest toys, clothes, shoes etc. But they worked hard and saved their money so us kids wouldn't go without. No matter how small or little the present, we always received one at Christmas and on our birthday. And were never left hungry or cold.

So many people take their parents for granted, or don't appreciate them until one day it's too late, and they are no longer here.

Dad will be turning 85 soon. Last year he was diagnosed with Bladder Cancer, which came as a shock to us all. He is in remission now, but it still plays on his mind a lot. We are keeping our fingers crossed it doesn't come back.

He has various health problems, but suffers from terrible tinnitus, and industrial deafness the worst. The constant ringing in his ears and hammering noise his head, makes it very difficult for Dad to sit and chat to people, he now avoids large get togethers because of it.

Mum has been caring for Dad as best as she can, but has days when she is drained and tired.

Mum is turning 70 later this year. She has aged dramatically in the past 10 years, partially due to her being with an older husband, Dad is 15 years older, but also due to her own health problems. Being the only daughter, I have forged a close relationship with her. I hope that one day my girls will have a close relationship with me, like I have with my Mum.

It's sad seeing them age and not remember things quite as well as they used to, and only talk about their health problems.

There are some people who are so uncaring towards their parents, and who are so self absorbed with their own family, they forget about their parents and what their parents have done for them.

Unfortunately, this is something that has hit close to home for both my husband and myself.

For me, I will be forever grateful to my parents...they gave me life, they continue to give me love and support, and are there whenever I need them. When growing up they put a roof over my head, clothes on my back and food in my tummy. They encouraged me with my studies, and trusted me enough to let me go out with friends at night.

I love you Mum and Dad.

19 April 2012

Product review: Aveeno Baby

My little "Cherub" has been suffering from dried out skin and eczema on her face intermittently. Hubby & I have been tried several fragrance free body washes and moisturising creams, but found the lotions to dry out her skin. So when I was asked to review the Aveeno Baby products, I was only too pleased to see how they would work on our little "Cherub".

The Aveeno Baby's range are hypoallergenic making them suitable for newborns and babies with sensitive skin. Within the range is:
  • Soothing Relief Creamy Wash
  • Daily Lotion
  • Baby Wash & Shampoo
  • Soothing Relief Moisture Cream
Soothing Relief Creamy Wash - is a luscious, creamy lotion which lathered up beautifully when washing "Cherub" leaving her skin feeling soft. "Cherub" gets very excited when we use this product on her, and wants to rub her hands in it and wash herself. Unlike other wash products we've tried, this product is fragrance free and does not seem to dry her skin out.

Daily Lotion - is a non-greasy, fragrance free, thin lotion that is easy to rub in to the skin, unlike other thicker moisturising lotions, which take a long time and causes "Cherub" to get upset. This lotion left "Cherub's" skin feeling smooth and moist. While the product mentions it moisturises and protects skin for 24 hours, we needed to reapply the lotion to "Cherub" again in the morning.

Baby Wash & Shampoo - is a lightly scented body wash and shampoo, that is hypoallergenic and soap free. It claims to be gentle on the eyes, well after "Cherub" brushed a handful of lathered soap into her eyes, she did not react, and her eyes were not red, hence we believe this claim is valid! As a shampoo it was easy to use, and lathered up well. We only used this wash once, as "Cherub" loves the "Soothing Relief Creamy Wash".

Soothing Relief Moisture Cream - is a luscious, creamy lotion which we found easy to rub in. It worked well on the highly inflamed areas on "Cherub's" neck, and unlike the "Daily Lotion", did not need reapplying in the morning. We also liked that it was non-greasy and fragrance free.

We would definitely use the "Soothing Relief Creamy Wash" and "Soothing Relief Moisture Cream" again, as we found it worked well on "Cherub's" dry skin.

Note: no payment was received for this review.

13 April 2012

Week 15: Technology

This week I am grateful for Technology...imagine the world if we didn't have computers to write our blogs!

My new toy at the moment has been my HTC Sensation mobile which Hubby bought me for Christmas. Its a smart phone, which gives me access to Facebook and the Internet. I didn't have this on my old mobile, so its a bit of a novelty at the moment, but oh so handy when out and about.

Another technology that I am loving at the moment is Skype.

I've had Skype setup on my computer for sometime, but never got to use it until recently. After months of nagging my penfriend, who lives in England (we have been penfriends for approximately 28 years), she has finally setup Skype on her computer. Woohoo!!!

Just last night we managed to be awake at the same hour (ok, well it was only 7pm our time) and spent an hour chatting on Skype. What's been great is that I can see her and her daughter, and she can see me and my little family. She's been to Australia twice, once for our wedding, and we've travelled to England once to see her...but that was before my daughters were born.

It's nice that she can see and talk to "Popette", and one day can talk to "Cherub"..."Cherub" has been asleep both times we've Skyped.

What technology do you love?

07 April 2012

Week 14: Having a break

This week my Hubby has taken a break from work, and spent it at home with myself and the girls.

"Popette" had been sick with highish temps, continuous runny nose and night time coughing fits for the past few weeks, so we thought we'd just have a few outings instead of going away.

On Wednesday we had an enjoyable day with the girls at Taronga Zoo. We were so lucky to have beautiful weather which let us see the animals we wanted to see. "Popette" had a wonderful time, and loved seeing the Elephants, Zebras and Giraffes.

On Thursday, Hubby, "Cherub" and I went to "Popette's" daycare for her Easter hat parade. It was great that Hubby was home otherwise he would have missed seeing his little "Bunny" and her daycare friends who had fun searching for little 'chicks' in a treasure hunt and taking part in the hat parade.

Later, Hubby and I got to enjoy a nice meal at a local restaurant for lunch, and spent some quality time with "Cherub" before picking her big sister up from daycare.

Over the past couple of days we have had our families over for lunch, and been to the park a couple of times which "Popette" enjoyed. "Popette" also had fun with her older cousin "Jeggs", searching for Easter eggs and hidden treasure that was planted in our garden and house.

For Easter day we have an Easter egg hunt planned for "Popette" and nice lunch, apart from that just a quiet lazy day at home.

As a full-time stay-at-home Mum, I don't earn leave like my Hubby, so I don't feel as though I really get a holiday 'per se', so I am grateful that I've had a little break from the day-to-day chores and usual routine while Hubby has been home.

I hope you have an enjoyable Easter!

03 April 2012

To drink or not to drink

Yesterday I picked up a Clear Skins bottle of red wine for a meal Hubby is making me later in the week, and noticed this little symbol on the back of the wine label.

Symbol on the back of our wine

I've never seen this advertised on wine before, and it made me wonder how many woman have drank or are drinking alcohol while pregnant.

With both pregnancies I didn't touch alcohol until I was well over my 1st trimester and halfway through my 2nd trimester. Every now and then, not every day or week, I would have a shandy (mostly lemonade with a little beer) or a very small glass of stout (smaller than the 'middy' size glass you are given at the local pub or club).

As much as I love red wine, I didn't touch it or anything stronger until after I had both girls.

What are your thoughts of women drinking alcohol while pregnant?

Note: I don't advocate heavy or excessive drinking of alcohol while a woman is pregnant. Pregnant woman should be aware of any potential risks that can be caused from drinking alcohol during pregnancy.