Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fun Run 2012

SONY DSC

Dear Matt,

First of all, something is wrong with this Windows Live Writer (my most favourite tool), somehow the colour of the photo changed when placed into WLW. After importing the photo the colour became very washed out when compared to the original that was edited using LR.

Anyway, as a poor solution I had to use the tool within WLW to exaggerate the colour, and that is why the grass looks like carpet from Ikea, sorry, will try to find the root cause soon.

Ok, this was your first ever fun run at SHW (actually, first fun run anywhere). 1Km around the school, “did you enjoy it?”, you definitely did, but you didn’t smile like this at the finishing line though, haa haa haa.

I am glad your mother decided to run with you, otherwise it would have been me trailing behind you, :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Could you have had anymore fun?

SONY DSC

Dear Matt,

Your mother had taken this photo on your ‘swimming for parents day’, well sorry, I have just made that name up, the truth being I don’t have a clue what this event was called, eei eei.

I had to go to work and so it was your mother who took this wonderful (for me) photo of you coming up to your mother just to say hello before jumping into the water again :)

I promise I’ll try harder to be there next time :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

You can’t catch me :)

SONY DSC

Dearest Marcella,

I think even ‘Flash’ would have a hard time catching you :) You seem to be enjoying you new sense of freedom way too much, dashing here and there, although the favourite place is Matt’s bedroom, haven’t got a clue why though.

Your mother took you to a Little Gym class yesterday, the same place as where we took Matt (until he got bored and started being difficult). The exercises were challenging but your mother said you managed it fine.

When Matt was younger he attended the Gymboree classes, those were fun but less physical than Little Gym, personally for me Little Gym is more fun though, :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Worth a Visit: Smoking Kid

Thai Health Promotion Foundation: Smoking Kid
There are many communications and campaigns to decrease the number of smokers around the world, and there have been many good ones, however I think this is one of the best. It’s simple and very to the point.

The campaign was created by Ogilvy Thailand for the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, the title is ‘Smoking Kid’.

(found it on Google+ originally shared by Jeremy Cowart)

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Unexpected Blessing of Cancer (Guest Post)

428239_3381215656265_1445646098_3247364_1232567659_nLife throws things at you that you never expected.  Nobody grows up thinking; “I want to go through cancer during the most challenging and exciting time of my life.”  However, life takes twists and turns we never anticipate.  I have a wonderful and entrancing daughter who was born August 4, 2005.  The pregnancy was easy and uneventful and I was happy to have a new addition in our family.  Even with an emergency C-section, things couldn’t have been more perfect.  Lily was welcomed into the circle of our love by my husband’s family, my parents, and all of our wonderful friends. We were full of joy from our blessings. Then life changed.

I went back to working full time, but something wasn’t t right.  Within a short period of time, I began to feel uncomfortable and off.  I had very little energy compared to my usual self.  Suddenly, I was out of breath doing the simplest of things, like taking a short walk or doing the laundry. I was tired all the time and playing with my delightful little girl exhausted me.  I wanted to be the best mom possible and, even though this could be normal, I wanted to make sure. I went to the doctor and underwent a variety of tests.  Unfortunately, the problem was not something as simple as adjusting to being a new mother.  It was something much more alarming.

November 21, 2005 will live forever in my mind as the day my life changed forever.  A little more than three months after Lily was born – our blessing of a child – I was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma.  This is a cancer that attacks the lining around the lungs.  It is caused largely by exposure to asbestos.  What I did not know at the time was that I had been exposed to asbestos when I was a child 30 years earlier.  The exhaustion and other symptoms I had attributed to motherhood were really symptoms of mesothelioma.

Heather Lily 1That first appointment was terrifying.  I was told I had only 15 months to live if I did not get treatment immediately.  My first thought was to my darling Lily.  I thought of my husband raising her by himself.  I imagined their lives without me and knew that we had to do whatever possible to save my life.  My husband and I knew that mesothelioma is a cruel disease and the prognosis was not good.

We flew to Boston to see one of the top mesothelioma specialists in the country and on February 2nd, I had extrapleural pneumenectomy surgery where my left lung was removed.  I was in the hospital for 18 days recovering from the surgery and it took another two months of recovery before I was ready to start radiation and chemotherapy treatment.

Amazingly, we were able to still care for our daughter during all of this.  Our family and friends pulled together to give us all the support and love and care we needed.  Even people we did not ever expect to help us, reached out to provide support when we needed it most.  We were amazed at who stepped up for us and surprised by those who turned away.  Life challenges have a way of showing you who the important people are in your life.

Meanwhile, back in Boston, my husband and I met wonderful and amazing people.  We made new friends and discovered others who were going through the same thing. By surrounding ourselves with inspirational people who were meeting the same challenging with grace and strength, we were able to do it ourselves.

Back in South Dakota, my little girl was growing.  She was being weaned off of bottles and learned how to roll around.  She was learning how to scoot and do all those things that babies do as they become little people.  My parents would send pictures they took and my husband would print them on a black and white community printer. I would look at those grainy pictures and think about how wonderful my little girl was and try not to cry because I was missing so much.  She was the reason I was fighting to live, even if it meant sacrificing being with her right then.  She was being cared for by people who loved and cherished her as much as I did.

Life is funny. Cancer brought us even closer together as a family and we value and treasure each moment we have now.  We do the best we can with what we have, but sometimes we need to be reminded of just how much we have to be thankful for in life.

Heather Von St James is a 43-year-old wife and mother. Upon her diagnosis of mesothelioma, she vowed to be a source of hope for other patients who found themselves with the same diagnosis. Now, over 6 years later, her story has been helping people all over the globe. She continues her advocacy and awareness work by blogging, speaking and sharing her message of hope and healing with others. Check out her story at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My beautiful Mermaid :)

Marcella Swimming

Dearest Marcella,

Apparently you were absolutely brilliant, perhaps it was either through utter terror and fear or that you were enjoying yourself, because you didn’t shed a single tear, but positively beaming from ear to ear :)

The instructor kept using you as the Guinea pig, but you didn’t mind one bit. Unfortunately I was not there this time, will try harder to be there the next time na ja :)

Very upsetting :) haa haa haa.

Matt in kit-1

Dear Matt,

It’s Euro 2012 time, the traffics are light on the streets, all conversations somehow gravitate towards Football and rightly too :) and there is no doubt in my mind that England will be the champion.

Funny enough, everyone seem to think I am crazy believing that glorious England will survive the last eight let alone winning the tournament :)

Your mother is a die hard Italy supporter, so was I surprise when she sent to me a picture of you in full Italian kit? YES, I was shock more than surprise!

She even taught you to say “I love Italy” when I arrived at home, wow talk about a double kick to the head!

I am now searching for the England Kit, luckily I have plenty of time because England plays in the final on the first of July ;) Come on Eng-geeerrrr-land :) (by the way I think it’s time for a haircut).

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

We were Amazed :)

IMG-20120604-00661-1Dear Matt,

Ten points for you this past long weekend!

Your dentist appointment was long overdue, your mother managed to make an appointment this past Monday (public holiday), and to tell you the truth I was full of apprehension.

How can we describe the last time we took you to the dentist? Just imagine an octopus with a very itchy head, and this octopus was adamant on scratching it, but our job was to stop this very slippery octopus scratching his head… I think you get the picture, the octopus almost won the last time :)

But this time you were brilliant! You jumped onto the chair, laid back, opened your mouth even before the dentist asked you to do so :) (she was over the moon).

It started off great, she took this mini pointy hook thing and inspected each tooth with it, then used it again to scrape something off your teeth.

The next step got you all funny, and it was clear that you were a little scared. She took out this flat rubber tipped drill, dipped it into this green paste then started to polish each tooth, well that was fine with you, but when her assistant brought out the suction gizmo and put it in your mouth, that was when the octopus returned (but only for a short while) :) haa haa haa, you settled down soon enough.

The last thing you hated it, the lady dentist put some orange paste into this gum shield thingy (you’ll know what a gum shield is when you start to play rugby, oh I hope they have rugby at your school). One for the top teeth and one for the bottom teeth… each gum shield had to be in place for one minute… it was one long minute for me and the nurses… :) You cried a little but willingly kept the shield in its place, fantastic!!!

At the end you got a couple of balloons and a huge hug from the dentist ;) eei eei eei :) and I was a few bahts lighter, haa haa haa.