Pebbles turns one! {Giveaway}

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I can’t believe that on Thursday my baby girl turns one! So much has happened in the last 12 months, good and bad, but through it all she has been an absolute blessing.

I plan to write a birthday letter to her which I will share on her birthday but I’m a firm believer in the “Festival of the Birthday” and always love to kick off the celebrations early. What better way to do that than with a little bloggy giveaway?  After all who doesn’t love presents?!

Pebbles and I thought we might share a few of our favourite things, while at the same time doing another of our favourite things – supporting awesome local mum’s build fabulous businesses!

Those that have followed my journey for a while, will know that when I found out Pebbles was a girl, I was a little apprehensive. Turns out all my fears were completely unfounded and I have totally embraced having a girl. Pink and pretty abounds!!

Pebbles isn’t a huge fan of me playing dress ups with her but she humours me on special occasions. Her birthday and Christmas are already sorted as I have ordered her the sweetest items from Velice!

Belinda from Velice is based in Brisbane and makes absolutely beautiful items for incredible prices. Her range includes bloomers, headbands, pettiskirts and her newest addition “Bear-Feet” sandals. Velice also print their own great range of wall decals.

To help us celebrate Pebbles’ birthday, Belinda is giving one lucky person a Velice bloomer and headband set of their choice!

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When she was born, one of Pebbles’ favourite “Aunties” gave me a beautiful wooden and crochet teething necklace.

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It continues to be one of our favourite accessories (mine for wearing, hers for chewing!)

The necklace came from Little Knox C, the business of Darwin-based mum Sam, who makes the cutest teething rings, blankets, necklaces, clothes and now, felt garlands.  I couldn’t help myself and had to get Pebbles’ a #1 tee and a beautiful garland for her birthday party. Sam has also given me a gorgeous Little Knox C teething necklace to giveaway to one lucky reader!

Little Knox C

 

Now Pebbles is at an age where she’s really interacting with things around her, I’m always on the look out for innovative toys. I love the range from Bryon Bay company Nic-Nac which includes an awesome selection of fair-trade and eco toys, as well as their own designs. You can buy directly from Kylie via the Nic-Nac website or in many great stockist’s across the country. I picked up some of their “Fairy & Dragon Eggs” for party favours and I’m very tempted to get Pebbles a felt crown for her birthday. And maybe a cute puzzle…

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It’s not a birthday party without balloons, and these balloon balls from Nic-Nac are the bomb! Well, they aren’t actually because unlike normal balloons, these ones won’t explode!! Perfect for little ones to play with and we are fortunate to have a set of 3 balloon balls up for grabs.

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So there you go! Everything we need for a perfect birthday celebration – prettiness and playthings!

For your chance to win one of these gorgeous prizes, simply enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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Terms & Conditions

Open to Australian residents only.  Giveaway consists of 3 separate prizes. One entry per person. Winners must meet all conditions.  Judges decision is final. Winner will be contacted via email and details published on this blog post. Giveaway ends midnight 27/9/2014

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Man Cancer Part 3 – Chemo

Today was chemo day.

We approached the day with relatively high spirits, and although I could tell The Man was nervous, we were both glad to be getting it over and done with.

As we sat in the room waiting to be prepped, I was once again reminded how absolutely, incredibly, undeniably fortunate we are that The Man caught his tumour early.

Yes, he had to have chemo, but unlike so many others, he only requires that one dose. His treatment lasted a matter of hours, compared to the weeks and months facing many of the others being treated today.

An added bonus is The Man’s oncology team are awesome, including quite possibly the nicest doctor I’ve ever met.

We even managed to jag The Man’s lucky number for a cubicle!

Dan chemo, testicular cancer, 2014

If you don’t laugh you’ll cry, right?

Because he only has to have a single dose of one chemo drug, The Man won’t experience a lot of the nasty side effects that most other chemo patients have to endure. Even with an additional cocktail of anti-nausea meds and immune boosters (which I get to give via a sub cutaneous injection tomorrow – woo!), he gets off pretty lightly.

By the end of the treatment, he was looking pretty pasty but it’s since we’ve got home that some interesting side effects have surfaced.

The best way I can describe his current behaviour is similar to a hormonal, pregnant woman! He’s lethargic and sooky one minute, ravenous and rather manic the next.

So far he’s insisted on a walk around the block, a trip to the butchers, talked very animatedly about potential solutions to national terrorism threats and has boiled up a pot of pork bones – FOR DESSERT!

Presently he’s quiet and watching the football, however I’m apprehensive about what the night may hold. The oncology nurse warned us that he may have trouble sleeping and may even be driven to writing lists!

If he’s up through the night I hope it’s at least at the same time as Pebbles ;)

I, for one, am exhausted and am very glad we’ve made it over this hurdle. Hopefully today’s treatment has nuked any remaining nasties and the rest of our cancer journey will be full of uneventful monitoring scans and blood tests.

I must run, the patient is now demanding ice-cream!

Here’s to being cancer-free.

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Man Cancer Part 2 – Blue September

I must confess I’m a little surprised how difficult I am finding it to write about The Man’s recent Testicular Cancer (TC) diagnosis.  A myriad of emotions continue to assault me daily.

It’s important I make an effort to get my jumbled thoughts in order however, as this month is “Blue September” and never has a cause been more close to home.

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I really want highlight the importance of encouraging the men in your life to keep a check on their health. We were so very fortunate to catch the TC tumour early, and by doing so have spared The Man from extensive surgeries and treatments. Many men are not so proactive and we have been shocked by the tales of men who have not sought medical treatment until far too late, even though they suspected something was wrong for a while.

I’ve dubbed The Man’s diagnosis as “Man Cancer” as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the unique way most men approach their health. We are all very familiar with the concept of “man flu”…

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A little sniffle sends most men crawling under the doona and begging for chicken soup for days on end. How is it then when something potentially life threatening comes along; like a lump in a testicle, burning urination or ache in the lower back, it gets brushed off or ignored?

When you are diagnosed with cancer, doctors talk to you a lot about percentages. There is a percentage for malignancy, a percentage for cancer type, percentage for treatment success and so on and so forth. I wonder what percentage of men ignore symptoms that have serious health implications?

I’m so proud of my husband for manning up and getting checked out when he thought something was wrong. He’s usually a bit of a wuss bag when it comes to illness and isn’t keen on getting personal with strangers either. We are talking about a guy who 3 months ago scoffed at the idea of getting a massage because a stranger would be touching his back! As you can imagine, a lot of strangers have touched places far more intimate than his back since then.

On Friday we tackle chemo. Hopefully it will be the first and last time. If The Man hadn’t been so proactive and caught the cancer at stage 1, the story would have been much grimmer.

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Were you aware that prostate cancer is more common than breast cancer? Or that men in the 18 – 39 age bracket are at the highest risk of testicular cancer? Men are also more likely to suffer from bowel related cancers. (More eye-opening cancer stats can be found here).

The good news is that mortality rates from cancer have dropped with early detection the key to successful treatment and a good prognosis.

So, the moral of the story is, don’t let the men in your life take their health for granted or be too embarrassed to talk to their doctor!

Are the men in your life proactive about their health?

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Kicking off my 34th year

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A card from someone who knows me all too well!

Yesterday I turned 34.

In the lead up to my birthday I drafted a rather emo post listing all the things I needed to change about myself. Things I need to do better or differently. Things I need to stop doing or commence immediately.

I must say, the charge sheet of personal improvements was quite long!

However, a moment of absolute clarity came to me on my actual birthday. I attribute this little gem to the blissed-out state that only a day of coffee and op shopping with your bestie can bring.

What I realised is; I don’t really need to change a bloody thing!

Sure, I could be neater and more organised. Eat healthier and swear less. Have more patience and be more consistent…

But in all honesty? I truly am happy with the person I have become over the last 34 years.

I am practical, honest and real. I am trusting and loyal (to a fault) but also assertive and strong when the need arises. I like to make people smile, even if the joke is on me. Most importantly, I love well and I am well loved.

I live in a wonderful place with my beautiful, crazy family. We have been through some crap, but that is life. There will always be something.

In fact, I don’t think I do such a bad job in a crisis. Resilience has kind of become my “thing”. (Universe, please don’t take that as an invitation!)

What I do need to do is start making peace with some of my weaknesses and embrace more of my strengths. I am not perfect but I do rest easier knowing that no one else is either!

So the 34 year old me is going to try to ease up on herself, continue to focus on the good stuff and just keep on being Née.

Are you happy with the person you are right now?

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Man Cancer

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Since today is Daffodil Day, I thought it was a good opportunity to finally share our story of The Man’s recent testicular cancer diagnosis.

I’ve written a lot of words in the last two months. Private, emotive words. Words that don’t seem to fit in this space, right here, right now.

I just can’t seem to find the right “voice” to tell you the full story. It’s almost as if my emotions are completely burnt out. And it’s small wonder as they really have had quite a run of late!

To date we’ve had the tension and anxiety of the initial identification and testing of the lump.

Then the shock, grief and anger at the diagnosis of a tumour with a high likelihood of malignancy.

Surgery was quickly booked, enter more anxiety and hefty dose of fear.

This was followed by relief at the successful removal of the tumour and oddly enough, also relief at the confirmation of malignancy. At least we now know what we are dealing with.

Post-surgery has been fraught with more tension and A LOT of  discomfort for all parties involved. He is not a good patient. I am not a good nurse.

Two weeks on and The Man is getting back on his feet and the emotions are definitely flattening out.

FLAT.AS.A.TACK.

There is still a fortnight until he sees the Urologist again, then off to the Oncologist to plan out the next (and hopefully final) stage of treatment, most likely chemo.

That will be a whole new roller coaster ride.

In the meantime though, here we are waiting. Not fully cancer-free but a darn sight better than we were a month ago.

So, I guess right now what I should be feeling is a whole lot of grateful.

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