Category Archives: Brooke’s News & Views

New Site Coming…

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So it is a lovely day here in Townsville and it is currently coffee and (carrot) cake time. I have decided to move my blog and self host. The move is happening as I type this! My biggest concern is that when I move, my subscribers and followers will not get moved across as well. I am pretty nervous about the whole thing so I thought I would leave one last post here to say goodbye and I hope you will join me at the new site…

thebatchelorpaddiaries.com

Oh! I almost forgot! I am also setting up a Facebook page to send all the blog posts to. You will find that at facebook.com/TheBatchelorPadDiaries. It is only in its infancy as I try to get all of this in order but be sure to like the page so you never miss a post/update of any sort. I am hoping to become more reliable with all this blogging and we have some VERY exciting things in store over the next few years so I hope you join me in this journey.

Until next time… thanks for all the fun! 🙂

I’m BAAAA-CK!!!

So here I am. I am alive and back on the blogging scene. As usual, I have missed it terribly but unfortunately life got the better of me the past few months and I had to prioritise. This meant that the Batchelor Pad took last place. 😦

I guess I should get you all up to speed on what has been happening…

I completed a 12 week full time teaching placement which has resulted in me now becoming a fully qualified Primary Teacher! It was damned hard work and I am soooo glad it is over.

About 3 weeks into my placement, I fell pregnant… yup I am pregnant 🙂 I am now 20 weeks along and have just found out it is a lovely little girl (although very active little girl) who refuses to sit still for any photograph session so far. BTW… the new 4D ultrasounds… horrible! It did not assist the bonding at all… the sonographer said it looked like a baby gecko but my husband and I felt it was something more like a baby alien. Thank goodness they don’t come out looking like that! lol

I tried to toilet train my daughter last week but called it off after 3 days as she wasn’t coping emotionally. The thing is, she is sooooo ready for it physically and intellectually that it made sense to try BUT the emotional meltdowns we were having (that weren’t getting better with each day) only showed us that she is still a little too young. So nappies/diapers it is for another month when I will try again (if that fails, I’ll wait till after Podge, the new baby, is born). On a positive note however, she has learned to hold her bladder and knows the difference between doing a number 1 or 2 now. I’ll ask her if her nappy needs changing and she will reply with either of the following:

‘No Mummy. I clean.’
‘Yesh. I wet Mummy.’
‘No Mummy. Jus ffffart.’ (that one still makes me laugh)

The biggest thing I have been agonising over the past few months however has been whether to return to work or not. I know that every mother goes through this tough decision and every mother makes their decision based on their own circumstances. I am not one to judge anyone’s decision here!

My dilemma has been that whilst I don’t need to return to work, it would be nice to earn some extra cash so we could all live it up a little more (we’ve had to start a tighter budget recently). On the other hand, I keep reminding myself that I will never get these years back with my kids. I know I will look back in 20 years and think, ‘Why did you choose material things over your kids?’ I am sure I won’t see that it was worth it. I was stuck in a rut with it all and began applying for jobs ‘to keep my options open’ but realised the other day that in not making a decision but applying for jobs and unofficially being offered one, I was in fact making a decision to choose work over staying home. This made me very uncomfortable. The fact that I felt uncomfortable only told me I had made a decision that I did not like.

So a compromise was made.

I will be a stay-at-home-mum who does night shift on Friday nights and recovers on Saturday afternoons (after we have gone to the Farmer’s Markets as a family on Saturday morning). Now the question is… will I cope with that? I am pregnant after all! Time will tell.

How do you juggle family and work? Are you a stay-at-home-mum- was that decision a tough one for you?

The Immunisation Debate

T immunise or not to immunise?

Yes I’m weighing in on it… I have good reason too. I am not immune to Rubella which means I rely on herd immunity. My unborn children rely on me to protect them but how can I do it if people aren’t getting vaccinated and are putting themselves (and myself) at risk of spreading the disease?

There is too much scaremongering out there and it’s making me mad. I am a trained Immunisation Nurse so many would say I am biased but I just like to remind them that I am informed. When I was studying for this title, I had to look into the research that was both for and against immunisation. I was open to being challenged and proven wrong. Don’t get me wrong, there is certainly benefits to natural immunity however the diseases we are asking people to vaccinate against often severely disable a person or kill them. These are not diseases to be messed with.

Today on mamamia.com.au, they published an article that generated A LOT of responses both for and against immunisation. You can read it here. The rates of immunisation are declining in some areas with some rates as low as 80%. This means that herd immunity is ineffective and nurses and midwives are recommending parents of newborns do not leave their houses for at least 6 weeks. How horrible for these people! In a time that is already very isolating, we are advising them to go on lock down because their child is at risk of dying.

This practice of staying in doors until your child has received the required immunisations is something I took part in when I lived in Papua New Guinea (A DEVELOPING COUNTRY!). This is not something we should have to do in Australia where the immunisations are readily available and FREE.

I am all for people having an informed decision and the right to choose however I do feel that the majority of these conscientious objectors are objecting because of poor information or deliberate misleading statements. Take the Australian Vaccination Network for example. Their very name implies they are the organisation in Australia that offers all the information at hand with regards to vaccinations so that an informed decision can be made. They are however, an organisation that is anti-vaccination and touts debunked research as fact. A lot of the articles they promote are considered by many researchers as poorly researched, flawed in their data collection (therefore not a true representation of what they are trying to prove), and state facts that have been disproved in later research. Whilst they are entitled to their opinions, in my opinion, they need to be careful of how they are representing themselves.

So after I read the article (I wasn’t too shocked as I knew the trends) I began to read the comments… bad move. It got me so motivated to inform some unfortunately misguided people that I wrote a comment essay. Just look for the long comment by ‘Brooke’ at the end… you won’t miss it.

But one response that I found hard to swallow was by a lady called, Anonymous. Here is what she wrote (word for word, unedited):

“I have recently had to eat a MASSiVE humble pie .I have for the past 12 years been very vocal in my stance against vacinating my children, not due to the AVN ,but due to my son suffering a major adverse reaction resulting in a vaccination injury causing his life to not be what should have been.
My beautiful best friend lost her 9 week old baby girl 6 weeks ago to whooping cough, she was living in the states in an area known for its low vaccination rates .She came back to Austrailia to to bury her little girl , after her funeral she came to me and said yes your boy suffered but you can still touch him and hug him my girl is gone because of people like you .I have never been so hurt in my life , to see the pain in her eyes was overwhelming .My husband and i really had to take a good look at our decisions, after much deliberation we decided to seek the opinion of a few doctors we had contact with in the past , doctors who previously assured me vaccination would be safe for my younger children but at the time i was too angry with my sons outcome i couldnt /wouldnt listen.Long story short , under the care of an amazing doctor who addmitted my children into hospital over night after the first neddle for observation , we now have past the first hurdel with no incident , one childs arm was a bit red and that was that , we are due for more in two weeks , although i will be nervous of the out come i feel we have made the right decision . Its all well and good to have your belives , untill some one close to you actually dies from a preventable diease i think it changes your views somewhat.”

Enough said.

Image thanks to http://imgs.mi9.com/uploads/3d/16/with-a-big-syringe_1920x1200_224.jpg

The little maestro

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Admittedly this photo was taken after I applied a soft gumption equivalent 3 times but you can still see the lovely wall art that BG thought she would… is improve the right word? … the wall.

My next attempt will be the tougher gumption or even sugar soap. We live in a rented house so her scribble art needs to be removed.

Have your kids done this before? How did you remove it like it never happened?

Organic Skin Care here I come!

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I’m very excited today because my Kora Organics have arrived. I am new to the range as I was looking for something organic and was immediately drawn to Miranda Kerr’s products. From all that I have read and/or seen of Miranda, she is living by the same philosophies I relate to. Health, well being  caring for oneself and the environment, and thinking positive (may need to brush up on that bit… hehe! *snort*).

I’ve bought the 3-step skin care for Normal/Dry skin as well as the Recovery Eye Gel Cream. I did the regimen only 20 minutes ago and my skin feels great! 

I’m just one more step, 3 steps closer to the fully organic life. YEE HAA!!!!

I’ll let you know how it all feels in a month or so.

Salmon with Orange and Fennel salad

Salmon with Orange and Fennel Salad served on Brown and Black rice

Salmon with Orange and Fennel Salad served on Brown and Black rice

Things have been hectic again in the Batchelor household. We barely have time to relax in the evenings. I started my final teaching placement, the husband has started his teaching degree, and BG started childcare full time- not without the illnesses that come with starting childcare and not to mention the sleepless nights that accompany it. As a result I think I’ll be blogging my life in pictures for the next few weeks. It’s only taken me 2 months to come up with the idea! lol!

So here is our dinner last night. The recipe is from my father in law (the salad with salmon part). He normally serves it with white rice but I’m going through an all natural and as much organic as possible phase right now. The rice was surprisingly more tasty than I thought it would be! What’s your latest food find?

If you are after the recipe, just comment below. If I get 5 requests I will post the recipe 🙂

Take care

Unsettled but rearing to go

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The last 2 weeks we have been on the road figuratively speaking. It’s that time again where we pack up and move to another location. We make new friends, reconnect with old ones, find a new doctor, local market, chiropractor, and so on. I never really feel settled until I’ve found those things.

This time I’ve done it with Pebbles in tow. It’s the first time I’ve dragged a kid around and I’m she’s feeling it. I feel terrible for her as my mind is mostly elsewhere. All this time I thought she was adjusting well and she mostly is but I can’t shake that guilt of knowing she wants my attention and I’m struggling to give it to her.

Only a few more days I keep telling myself and I’ll be a great Mum again…

The winner of the coffee giveaway is Jo!! Anyone who is looking after 2 kids with a hubby on deployment sure deserves a good coffee and a huge hug for just being awesome 🙂 Thanks to those of you who entered!

Kiva Lending Day is here!

Well it’s that time of the month again! Don’t stress I’m not going to talk about a girl’s monthly visitor… just my monthly visit to kiva.org where ‘The Batchelor’s’ lend $25 to a person or group of people less fortunate than us.

If we didn’t support Kiva, we would have a child sponsor which would cost us $30 per month. I feel that I get to support so many more people this way because parents are able to borrow money to increase income which in turn feeds their kids and so on. Not only that, when the money is paid back, I can relend it so the money just keeps working for us all.

The question I face each month however, is who do I lend this money to when everyone is so deserving? This brings me to my set of criteria that I developed for myself to make the decision much easier.

Since children are my biggest passion (I feel I was put on this earth to nurture them and protect them), the person I am loaning to MUST have children in their care. They also get bonus points from me if they mention that they want to use their profits made to send these children to school (kudos all round here!).

I like the person to be asking for money that will be used to generate more income for themselves as I believe that microfinancing is the best way out of poverty. Being smart, in my opinion, with their money shows that they aren’t just going to go and spend up big with nothing in return. They must be entrepreneurs.

The final thing I look for (although I often overlook as it is of minor importance to me), I prefer to lend to single or widowed women or men. Meeting this criteria, I’ll admit, is just something that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy about the loan. I know that to live in poverty is tough but to live in poverty alone with kids in your care is even harder.

So if you were lending some money through Kiva, what sort of things would you look for when lending someone some cash?

Today it went to Mariam from Mali.

To check out Kiva and make a loan today, click here (yes I get a kickback- the ability to loan another $25 of someone elses money but that’s a win for everyone isn’t it?)

Image courtesy of: fairviewhs.org

The breakup

Mirena.

That is such a dirty name for me. I shudder just thinking about her.

She had made me suffer for the past 12 months in ways that totally flawed me. She interfered with my ability to breastfeed my daughter and caused me to suffer from depression and anxiety. I only realised 7 weeks ago what was causing all this! (aside from the breastfeeding bit which you can read about

I decided to remove Mirena from my life. I wanted her gone.

BUT… She was ‘lost’. She had ‘migrated’ apparently.

I began wondering, as anyone does when they’ve started a relationship they begin to regret, ‘Why? Why me? Why does she have to be so damned horrible to me?’

Mirena has an effect on people… women more directly, men more indirectly. You either love her or hate her. I used to be in the ‘love’ camp… that was until she turned on me. It was as if she had decided that having kids had changed me, you know the friends I’m talking about, the ones that feel you have ‘changed’ and you’re no longer the same person they grew to love.

She was the one that changed on ME! We had it all worked out. She had a purpose in my life and despite not needing her for about a year, I thought she had welcomed me back with open arms.

I spoke with my Doctor about our complicated relationship and he practically didn’t believe me! I felt like a little school girl pleading her case to the principal. ‘Please Sir! You must believe me! She isn’t as nice as she portrays. She is evil.’ No doubt I would have gotten an afternoon detention for that one.

After some convincing, the Doc agreed to help me part ways with Mirena. He slowly broke the news, ‘I think we will need to operate.’

The reality of the situation began to dawn on me slowly. I had to leave PNG. I had to go back to Australia to ‘deal’ with her.

The Doc offered to speak personally with a specialist back in Australia, who deals with these breakups regularly in the hope that he could fit me in. Stat.

Five days later, we embarked on the exploration. I woke up some 25 minutes later to be told the news.

They had found her!

I was ecstatic!

In my Fentanyl induced intoxication, I wanted to do the victory dance (which I pictured to be much like Flashdance with me singing, “What a feeling!” along with it).

Mirena was gone. kaput. dead. (to me).

I’m now 4 weeks post… her… and I feel great!

Have you ever had a difficult relationship with someone/something that you have had to end? How did it go for you?

Image thanks to: http://www.someecards.com

Goodness Gracious! Where have YOU been?

Dear Sir/Madam,

It has been a very. long. time.

I last spoke to you about 6 weeks ago and boy do I miss you!

I have a wonderful picture of myself being an avid speaker who will have something to say at least 3 times a week. It’s a great picture where all my readers love me and beg me to just post some more! more! more! And I get freshly pressed like every month week. *sigh* It’s lovely…

Oh.

Reality.

So here I am… I haven’t spoken to you in about 6 weeks. Possibly more.

And what do I have to say for myself… (little missy)?

I’ve had minor surgery. I’ll elaborate once we are reacquainted a little more (next week) but everything is mostly ok.

I’ve started job hunting. Writing cover letters takes all my blogging speaking time!

I’ve packed the house. The removalists have packed the house. I’m headed back to Australia in just 2 weeks exactly but who is counting?

As a result of the packing I have a 1 year old with very few toys and a teething temper to join it. My creative juices have had to be redirected and juiced in my living room. So far they have produced playdough (ok that’s easy), attempted bubble painting (epic fail), and homemade, edible paint.

I’m slowly sinking into the oblivion much like my time with you has.

What do you do with your kids on (4 weeks straight of) rainy days? I’d love to hear from you!

So hello (again) and I hope to see more of you soon.

Love Brooke xxx

Image thanks to: http://www.clipsoflogic.com/2012/10/busy-busy-busy