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Date added: 20/03/2012 An emotional rollercoaster

Just 13 days ago my husband's job was made redundant, totally out-of-the-blue and without any warning. We experienced a lot of negative emotions - we were shocked, upset, disappointed, angry, irritated, gutted, outraged, fuming, scared, frightened, confused... the list goes on. This had totally taken us by surprise. We had, rather ignorantly, assumed his job was a safe one - he is an accountant. We were wrong.

As a wife, my role was clear to me from the minute my husband walked through the front door and told me the news. I had to be the positive one, the strong one, the optimistic one, the encouraging one, the confident one, the 'glass is half full' one. It was bloody hard. At the first opportunity I had away from my husband, I broke down in tears to my father, grateful for someone to tell ME that everything would be alright. That evening, I had my monthly meeting of my local womens business group - I sought advice from our director. She told me how my husband would be feeling - lacking confidence, low self-esteem, mistakenly thinking he had failed his family - and that I had to convince him otherwise. Her comments allowed me to see the situation from my husband's side, and I realised that paying the mortgage was not the most important thing. I was concerned about his health, more concisely, I was concerned about depression, and vowed to do anything I could to protect him. The roles were reversed.

To my husband's credit, he was amazing. Instead of curling up into the foetal position and hiding (for the day at least!) or going for a surf or a bike ride, he was on the phone within hours, calling recruitment agencies and researching both local and Melbourne based businesses. By the following morning, after a very sleepless night by both of us, he was off to Melbourne to meet with a recruitment agency. He certainly wasn't moving slowly!

(Image from https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150648037274813&set=o.329038711673&type=1&theater)

Within a week, my brilliant, talented, and clever husband had received no less than three fantastic job offers. I can tell you, the change in his confidence and self-esteem was something to see! One of these job offers was outstanding, and he accepted it. After only 6 working days without a job, my amazing husband commenced his new role.

I am so grateful. My husband's worth was proven to him. He became a wanted man. We, his family, know how fantastic he is. But now, not only do the businesses who offered him roles know how talented he is, he knows it too. My husband's demeanour has changed from one extreme to the other in the last couple of weeks, but believe me when I tell you that nothing could wipe the smiles off our faces once he made his decision.

We are so lucky, and we know it. The next time we hear of a company who is slashing hundreds of jobs, these faceless people won't be faceless to us anymore. They could be our family, our friends, our neighbours or the strangers in the street. Being made redundant affects a multitude of people and can bring out the worst in people. In our case, it brought out the best in my husband. He is my superstar.

Enjoy,

Kate x

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Date added: 13/03/2012 Week 10 - Photo of the Week

Last week was not the greatest week for my little family, in fact, it was one of the worst we've had. Out of the blue, my husband was made redundant from his job. And then, just a few hours later, a car ran into the back of our car. Thankfully, no-one was physically hurt in either case, however, our confidence, trust and faith certainly took a beating! Luckily, things are already looking up for my husband and he shouldn't be out of the workforce for too long. Although the redundancy took us by surprise and threw us into shock and panic mode, we know that we are fortunate - we all have our health, and as my husband is an Accountant (and a damn good one at that!!), he has our finances well-planned so we are in no risk of losing our home, unlike so many other families in this postion. 

As my career background in is Human Resources, I have unfortunately been involved in redundancies quite a few times, although on the 'other side'. One thing that I have always concluded is that generally, those who are made redundant go on to bigger and better things. Those who stay behind become frustrated, bored and unhappy. We are quite positive that my husband will soon find a role that he will find challenging and rewarding.

So, as we had had such a crappy week, you can imagine our delight and pleasure when our 5 year old, Molly, was awarded her first ever 'Star of the Week' award at her school assembly last Friday. Ironically, as my husband was not working, it was the first school assembly he had been able to attend! Not only did this award boost Molly's confidence, but it boosted ours too. We are full of pride for our eldest child, and she was pretty pleased with herself too... just look at that smile!

If anyone has any suggesions or ideas on how I can help my family through this time, I would love for you to share them with me!

Kate :)

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Date added: 05/03/2012 Week 9 - Photo of the week

Yesterday we headed off to visit the local Strawberry Fair. The little one stayed home with her Daddy to have a sleep, and my Mum joined us for some fun. As you can guess, there were certainly a lot of strawberries at the Strawberry Fair (so much so that I had to turn down some cheap punnets on the way out as I was convinced we had all consumed a month's worth of strawberries in one afternoon!). There was also your other typical sugar-laden Fair fare - fairy floss, snow-cones, pancakes, ice creams...

I snapped this picture as Miss Molly devoured some fairy floss, and Miss Grace dug into her strawberries and cream. You can tell by their smiles just how happy they are!

Have you had your strawberry fix for the week?

Enjoy,

Kate x

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Date added: 28/02/2012 Week 8 - Photo of the week

We made a quick trip to Melbourne on Sunday for a 1st birthday party. As we crossed the West Gate Bridge, our jaws dropped as we eyed a massive ship in the spot where the (somewhat smaller!) Spirit of Tasmania is normally docked at Port Melbourne. Seeing as though we were heading right near there, we did a drive by Station Pier for a closer look. The kids just couldn't believe the size of the ship... it was the Queen Elizabeth!

When we got closer we were surprised to find another massive cruise ship docked next to the Queen Elizabeth - this wasn't even visible from the West Gate Bridge, the Queen Elizabeth dwarfed it! The kids couldn't comprehend it when we told them that almost every person who lives in our town could actually sleep in this one ship at the same time - that made it feel much larger to them!

If you're interested is spotting another liner, the 'other' Queen, Queen Mary 2, will sail into Post Phillip Bay on March 5.

Enjoy,

Kate x

Date added: 21/02/2012 Week 7 - Photo of the week

Choosing my favourite photo was easy this week. It was quite the highlight of my week..

Without a doubt, my favourite flower is a frangipani - this is somewhat influenced by a part of my childhood spent living in Malaysia (and days spent gathering the fallen flowers...) and my adoration of the scent of frangipani. The problem is that I live in Victoria, where it can get quite cold, so there aren't that many frangpiani's down here. Despite of this, my husband bought me a frangipani plant over 3 years ago. Of course, it was flowering when he gave it to me (although I seem to remember a certain 2 year old 'picking' all the flowers off for me...). However, it has NOT flowered since!

So, for the past 12 months I have been heaping love, water, nuture and plant food onto this beautiful plant.I have been protecting it from my children and the dog. I have been willing it to give me a flower... even just one. This week, the impossible happened... I got my one frangipani flower!!

Isn't it perfect! And, to add to my delight, a closer inspection found a LOT more buds getting ready to bloom. Excitement plus! Oh, and you can bet that I have banned all children from even considering picking this little beauty!

Enjoy,

Kate x

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Date added: 14/02/2012 Week 6 - Photo of the week

It's been a couple of very exciting and busy weeks in the Whale Spout house. My eldest daughter started school one week, followed by my middle girl starting 3 year old kinder last week. Miss Grace is a living oxymoron - she is anything but graceful, and I affectionately call her 'my little bulldozer'. I clearly remember watching our girls dancing to some loud music one morning not so long ago, and my husband pointing to Grace and commenting 'she is the reason we have private health insurance'! Grace is a wild one, she's rough, she's incredibly loud ALL the time, and she loves to be the centre of attention. She is a laugh a minute and we all love her to pieces.

Last week, she confidently walked into kinder and proceeded to know what to (having watched her older sister at the same kinder 2 years earlier). She strided over to a table set up as a pretend hair salon and she was off... playing like a kinder kid! I was trying to capture the moment on camera for her Dad, and this is the best I could do - she was just too busy!!


I've certainly experienced some rather strong feelings of pride over the past two weeks, and this was another one... my little Gracie is growing up!

Enjoy,

Kate x

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Date added: 09/02/2012 Week 5 - Photo of the week

The girls and I were in the backyard in the late afternoon on a perfect summers day. I grabbed my iPhone and snapped some pics of the girls picking daisies for me, with the sun behind them - perfect! They are all gorgeous photos but I especially love this one of my 16 month old showing me the daisy she picked - she's loving being old enough to do stuff like this with her sisters now :)

Enjoy,

Kate x

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Date added: 06/02/2012 Art smock result

Last week, when I dropped off my eldest child at her first day of school, I experienced an attack of those dreaded 'mummy guilts'. As all the other organised, proactive, calm mums place their child's art smocks into the large tub clearly labelled 'art smocks', I realised that I had totally forgotten about an art smock - panic stations!

Being a sewer, I only considered buying an art smock for a fleeting moment before I remembered the piles and piles of fabric that I had at home - much of it perfect for an art smock. So, when I got home I jumped on the internet and found a fantastic free pattern at http://dontlooknow.typepad.com/dont_look_now/2008/09/kids-art-smock-pattern.html.

It's a great pattern and very easy to follow. I didn't have that much time to make it so I didn't bother with the appliqued flowers, I just replaced them with a pocket. The only issue I had was that you have to print out the pattern at a copy centre to get the exact size! I hadn't realised this before starting so, instead, I sat there and traced the pattern off my computer screen on about 12 sheets of paper and then taped it all together! I think this took just as long as it did to make the actual smock!

Here, is the finished product, with my happy daughter modelling it (and having a bit of fun!)...

    

Would love to see your pics too if you've made one for your child.

Kate x

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Date added: 30/01/2012 Week 4 - Photo of the week

OK, so I'm cheating a little this week. My photo of the week was actually taken a couple of week's ago, but it's just so sweet I have to share it!

A couple of weeks ago the Whale Spout family had a little break in Melbourne. On the Sunday morning we headed to the beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens where we were to catch up with friends. Before we met them the girls had a great little run around on the green grass. I snapped this photo of my husband and my 5 year old at the perfect moment. Oh, and I love the palm tree too :)

Enjoy,

Kate x

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Date added: 23/01/2012 Week 3 - Photo of the week

This week's photo has an Australia Day theme to it, just in time for our national day on Thursday. Nanna and Pa delivered a package to the girls that contained these 'Aussie Devil' headbands, and a few Australian flag balloons. All three girls immediately grabbed the headbands, put them on, and smiled... absolutely thrilled with their gifts. This is how I captured the moment!

Smiles all 'round from my three very Australian little girls! Thanks Nanna and Pa :)

Have a wonderful Australia Day, however you celebrate it. Aren't we so lucky to live in this brilliant country?!?

Kate x

 

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