Wear Green for Premature Birth Day

Today was a strange day for me…it’s a very special day, Wear Green for Premature Birth day. Being a mum to twins born at 29+2 weeks, I try to take every opportunity I can to give thanks for the fact that my babies are home and this day makes me stop and think about how far they’ve come.

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Pineapples, green singlet and green shoes…happy Green for Premmies Day!

A friend and I hosted a morning tea at the hospital that cared for our premature babies today.  We decided that we would do it a year ago and was fantastic that our schedules were good, my sister could look after my five kids and that neither of us were sick so that it all came together.  It was so nice to go in, bring coffee and tea, snacks and lollies, and see the doctors and nurses who looked after our twins for the time that they were in hospital.

Walking in the door, seeing the NICU units and hearing the all too familiar ‘beep beep’ of the machines brought back a flood of memories. Seeing some of the nurses again made me teary. Thinking about and talking about how far they’ve come with those that remember us was a happy feeling. It was like I was riding that roller coaster all over again.

I’ve been back a few times since the babies were born, my little guy has had many follow up appointments since his birth but for some reason today felt a little different. I think I felt a little more in tune with what was going on around me as I didn’t have the twins with me to take up my attention. The weirdest feeling was hearing a tiny prem baby cry and feeling like I was getting ready to feed, it’s been almost a year since I did that but I sure recognised the feeling! They brought in a new mum to twins to come have a talk to me today, I made sure I said congratulations as it’s, amazingly, something that people are afraid to say to someone going through NICU. It’s such an overwhelming feeling for everyone involved.  I assured her that her milk output was enough, told her how I helped increase mine, that eventually things would be more ‘normal’ and that she was doing a wonderful job. All I wanted to do was give her a hug, I didn’t even know her but, well, I just can’t describe what I felt looking at her and seeing myself when I was in her shoes.

So, if you can, pop on some green or just spare a thought for the parents and families going through a very stressful time at the moment with their babies as well as the doctors and nurses who care for them.

A few quick stats…

– Approximately 25,000 babies are born prematurely in Australia each year, and

– About 44,000 babies will require care from a NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) or SCN (Special Care Nursery) in Australia each year.

– Please visit http://www.lilaussieprems.com.au for information or to contribute.

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Yummy treats for the doctors, nurses and parents at the hospital.

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Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Are you wearing green? Do you want to know why we wear green today?

It’s St. Patrick’s Day today, the feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland and it’s believed that he died on this day in the year 461 AD.

It’s also a worldwide celebration of Irish culture and history, a national holiday in Ireland, and a provincial holiday in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

So, to celebrate, here are some little known St Patrick’s Day facts…

1) Chicago has been dying it’s river green for 59 years!

2) St Patrick was actually believed to be British. He was kidnapped as a young boy and sent to Ireland as a slave to tend sheep.

3) The shamrock came about as St Patrick apparently used it to explain the holy trinity to the Irish.

4) By Irish Law, it was a dry holiday from 1903 to 1970 and pubs were ordered to be closed for the day…no green beer for the Irish back then!

5) St Patrick’s Day really became a big holiday in America by the Irish-Americans to honor the saint but also to confirm ethnic identity and to create bonds of solidarity. Which explains why,

6) The very first St Patrick’s Day parade was not held in Ireland, it was in Boston in 1737!

7) The actual color of St. Patrick is blue. Green became associated with St. Patrick’s Day during the 19th century. In Irish legends, green was worn by fairies and immortals, and also by people to encourage their crops to grow. And,

8) Unfortunately, your chances of finding a four leaf clover are 1 in 10,000!

Don’t forget…if you are looking for gifts to buy online for that special holiday coming up like Easter or Mother’s Day, come visit us at http://www.theholidayshoppe.com.au

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Happy Valentines Day! Enjoy a few, possibly not so well known facts…

Happy Valentines Day! Enjoy a few, possibly not so well known facts...

*Stunning chalkboard print by Lily & Val (all prints original and copywrighted)*

Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day…quite a hotly contested holiday this one. I’ve seen some wonderful posts online from florists explaining exactly what men go through picking those flowers they might get you, posts about how it’s just a commercial holiday, posts from happy wives and girlfriends of the flowers they got and those happy to spread the love to everyone. I think that’s really what today is about, just sharing your love. My husband buys me flowers randomly and we tell each other that we love each other every day, today is more about just letting everyone know they are loved.

But, enough soppy sentiment…how about some Valentine’s Day (possibly) little known facts?! I’ve done some nerdy Valentine’s research via the History Channel so here we go…

1) Most of us know that this day began because a man named Valentinus was martyred way back in the 3rd century but did you know the details may actually may have been about two different men? St Valentine was a real person but the details around who exactly was martyred remains unclear! He was either a priest beheaded for illegally helping couples wed or the Bishop of Terni, both martyred by Claudius II outside Rome.

2) There was a Pope Valentine back in A.D. 827 who served a whole 40 days as Pope.

3) St Valentine is the patron saint of beekeepers, epilepsy, the plague, fainting, traveling, engaged couples and happy marriages. That is one busy saint!

4) The flower-adorned skull of St Valentine is displayed in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Rome. The rest of his skeleton can be found in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Scotland, England and France.

5) Valentine’s Day could actually have been invented by Chaucer in a poem he wrote back in 1375. I loved this medieval English poet when I studied English Literature in high school and he often stretched the truth a little when it came to history. There is no record of Valentine’s Day being celebrated until his poem “Parliament of Foules” gained attention! In it he refers to Feb 14 as when birds and humans come together to find a mate. And finally,

6) Why chocolate? Roses go back centuries with knights giving their maidens roses and celebrate with songs. There are a few theories about the links with chocolate but it could be that in England, back in the 1840s, Cadbury (yes, that Cadbury) perfected the art of making chocolate that actually tasted nice. Richard Cadbury, who was the head of the company then, saw a marketing opportunity and started selling his chocolates in decorated boxes that he designed and it’s thought that he may have been the first to produce the heart shaped box!

So, there are a few, maybe not so well known, facts about Valentine’s Day. Whether you celebrate the day or not, why not just give someone a hug today.

Mx