Thursday, May 31, 2007

Zero Tolerance

Hi everyone I hope you are all well.

This post is something that I put up when we first started the blog and recently I thought it important to 'repost' this article.

I am always interested in net lingo (internet language) and mobile/cell phone speech, as it seems to be a language all to itself. I heard Dr. Phil talking about this language which made me realize that, although I'm interested, my knowledge is very limited in this area - so I decided to do some research on my own. I soon discovered that what I knew was limited to: LOL (laugh out loud), ta-ta-4-N (ta ta for now) and 4Eva (forever), BF (boyfriend), BFF (best friend forever), SO (significant other) and that about covers it for me. My own limited knowledge has probably already astounded some of you. I'm sure there are those of you out there who know very little about this new language.

Dr. Phil started me thinking about this and I was again challenged when I read something recently that included POS which to my surprise means 'Parents over Shoulder'. After reading that I decided that this needed a little more attention and research on my part so I did what we all do now, I got online and I found myself absolutely shocked at the language that is out there.

Dr.Phil believes that we should have ZERO TOLERANCE policies in our homes when it comes to communication.... I have to say, "I totally agree." This 'net lingo/mobile or cell speak' ostracizes parents from children (whatever their age) and allows our children/teens/young adults to enter into an unsafe world away from our protection. We have no idea who they are communicating with and what they are communicating about.

I encourage you to keep your computers in an open area in your home, limit access
time and check your history file regularly. In addition find something like Net Nanny or other protective software programs that will keep your family safe. As much as our children want their privacy (whatever their age) on the computer it isn't wise. We must adopt Zero Tolerance attitudes in order to keep our homes safe from predators and the like.

I thought I would give you a little sample and see if you are able to translate - just a test to see how much we all know and how much we can understand. Try your skills and see how you go with this language:

Hey how RU? RU MorF? RU SorG? LMIRL. WYCM. AEAP. Got2 go P911. PIR.


Hey how are you? Are you Male or Female? Are you Straight or Gay? Let's meet in real life. Will you call me. As early as possible. Got to go, parent alert. Parent's in room.

I’m sure most of you are shocked by what you’ve just read – so was I. I knew this language was out there but to the extent that it is I couldn’t believe. You could learn a totally new language through ‘net lingo/mobile speak’'s very, very scary.

For more information and to educate yourself on this language visit You’ll be surprised. Keep yourself informed and ahead of the game and do whatever you need to to keep your precious children safe.

I hope this has been helpful.

Susan xoxo

Monday, May 21, 2007

Our Exercise Journey Continues

Hello everyone I hope you are all well and enjoying whatever season of life you are in. I thought I would share something with you today about our journey towards health and fitness….we haven’t given you an update for awhile ☺

As you know Susan and I have become committed fartlekers (I still can’t get used to that word). We have been fartleking (regularly) for just over 3 months now and I can’t believe how much better I feel. My shape is starting to change and my weight is dropping (yahoo!!). I must admit, the weight coming off has been a little slower than I thought – I’ve heard it said that it’s much easier to put it on than take it off and so it is. Slow or not it’s coming off and that’s what matters.

I am so glad Susan and I made this decision and committed to this journey. You see, I have always been an extremely active ‘sporty’ person (you should see my before and after pictures) however after three large babies, taking care of everyone else’s needs before mine, eating without realising, no time (or energy) for exercise I changed. It was slow but it happened and I realised that I was no longer who I once was.

You’ve read earlier that we (Susan and I plus a few others) have decided that enough was enough and this year was our year to return to health and fitness. It’s taken time, its taken determination and DISCIPLINE but the rewards are great. The rewards didn’t happen immediately – in fact, no one really noticed change until just recently, over three months of pain and perseverance and no one noticed. I had to keep reminding myself that I was doing this for ME so it didn’t matter if anyone noticed. I must admit over the last two weeks I have had a few people comment on my change and it has felt good, more in terms of feeling good because I’ve seen something through – I’ve made a permanent change in my life.

I share this with you today to encourage you to get up and go. Make a decision today (or this week) to change, discipline yourself to make a difference in your health. YOU DESERVE IT! Get healthy. I love my husband and children and I want to live a long, healthy life with them. To do so I must keep fitness as part of my routine.

I encourage all of you already exercising to continue on and those thinking about starting go for it. IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

Belinda xxx

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Importance of Eye Contact

I was recently at a service station near my home and was served by a woman who refused to make eye contact with me. For those of you who know me you know that I was trying EVERYTHING in my power to make her look at me for but a second. This woman was not about to connect with me (or anyone else in the store for that matter) she simply refused and conducted our business successfully but without the necessary human connection.

Before I left I thought I would see if it was only me she avoided so I casually walked around the shop all the while watching how she interacted with other customers. To my surprise she did the very same to them, not even a glance at a cooing baby!

I left the service station puzzled, trying to figure out why this woman was so determined not to make eye contact. Had she been hurt, was her morning turned up side down by some tragic news, was she ferociously insecure or had she never been taught the importance of EYE CONTACT?

I want to encourage you to USE YOUR EYES. Look people straight in the eye and give them your full attention. Teach your children to make eye contact with others. This is easily done simply by them seeing you make eye contact with them and others. Shift yourself so you are able to look your children or partner in the eyes, get at eye level with your child and hold their little face in your hands, position yourself with a friend so that they are in your line of vision and you aren’t distracted when talking with them. There is something spectacular about eye contact, it can warm the soul, can see truth, can tell a story without a word exchanged or in my daughter’s words the eyes can say, “I love you!”

Our eyes are powerful beyond what we know. As technology increases and our need to connect with the ‘outside world’ slowly diminishes eye contact may soon become a ‘lost art’. Use your eyes wisely and teach those in your world to connect with the world through their eyes.

Have the best day and as always, remember that the world looks better through smiling eyes…..:))

Susan xoxo

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Breaking Down the Mammoth Tasks

There’s an old joke I remember as I was growing up. It went something like this: How do you eat an elephant? I don’t know how do you eat an elephant? – Answer: one bite at a time. Actually, it wasn’t that funny, but it helps with the illustration.

The illustration of the elephant used widely at time management courses in the 80’s represented anything in your life that overwhelmed you. In my case, it’s the stuff like the work deadlines, the humungous washing pile, ironing stack, overstuffed pantry, kid’s bedrooms, and office disaster. So how do I tackle all of this? Answer: one job at a time.

You see ever since school holidays ended two weeks ago, I have felt completely overwhelmed by the number of jobs requiring my attention. My elephant was the clean washing that had piled up in the guest bedroom, leaving no room for any potential guests and the office with receipts, mail, paperwork strewn all over the floor. Oh, and did I mention the kids bedrooms and the toy room. My elephant was huge and getting bigger every day.

The more I look around, the more discouraged I became and the less likely I was to tackle these big jobs. Throw in a bout of sickness, a tight deadline and I had imminent disaster in my home. All I could do was shut another door, apologize to my husband for the mess and buy another pair of school socks for my daughter, because I couldn’t find the others.

Yesterday however, I turned over a new leaf. I figured the longer I left this, the worse it would become until my whole family will be buried alive under dirty socks, electricity bills and un-ironed shirts. If left untouched, we would eventually feature on that new TV reality show, “I shouldn’t be alive.”

Not wanting to put my family through this humiliation, I picked up my knife and fork and began carving up my elephant. A load of washing before breakfast – I feel better already. A handbag clean-out after lunch (I forgot to mention the state of my handbag). Then I really got adventurous put away the contents of my travel bag that had been sitting on the lounge room floor for two weeks. And the ultimate: I bravely tackled half the clothes that needed to be put away in the spare room.

Tonight – my house is not completely in order, but it’s getting there. And I feel so much better. My encouragement to everyone who finds themselves looking down the trunk of your elephant, don’t ignore it, don’t put it off – just tackle it – one bite at a time.

Nicki Partridge

Monday, May 07, 2007

To All Mum's and Future Mum's......Words from the Heart

Hey everyone I hope you are all really well.

I thought I would share the following story with you today. Like me, you may have already read this however it's one of those 'keepers' that are worth reading over and over again.

Enjoy ;)

To Be a Mum

We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband/partner are thinking of "starting a family." "We're taking a survey," she says half-joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?"

"It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.
"I know," she says, "no more sleeping in on weekends, no more
spontaneous vacations." But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her.

I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes.
I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking, "What if that had been MY child?" That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of "Mum!" will cause her to drop a soufflé or her best crystal without a moment's hesitation.

I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that every day decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's at McDonald's will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom.

However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother. Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself.
That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give it up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years, not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs. I want her to know that a caesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honour.

My daughter's relationship with her partner will change, but not in the way she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a partner who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with their child. I think she should know that she will fall in love with them again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving. I hope she will understand why I can think rationally about most issues, but become temporarily insane when I discuss the threat of nuclear war to my children's future.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real it actually hurts.

My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes.

"You'll never regret it," I finally say.

Then I reached across the table, squeezed my daughter's hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble they’re way into this most wonderful of callings – Motherhood.

I hope you enjoyed that. Take a breath now. For those of you who have children remember to hug them lots, for those of you yet to have children prepare your heart and BELIEVE.

Have the best day.

Susan xoxo

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Hello to the 'Bunnings Ladies Night' Crew

Tonight Belinda, Sam, Michaela and I had the privilege of spending the night at the 'Bunnings Ladies Night'. It was a great night and we met a stack of new people so this is just a quick hello to our new friends.

We hope you enjoy our blog spot and stay with us as we continue to grow and make a difference in families in Sydney and beyond. If you've never been on a blog before don't be scared, have a look around and I know you will find something that you will enjoy whether it be a great article, recipe, funny story, great quote or fun fact plus so much more.

So relax, put your feet up and spend a few minutes with us and why not leave us a comment so we know you've arrived safely.

Take care, stay in touch and love those in your world.

Susan xo

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