Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The world changed dramatically today..six years ago

December 1st 2005 at 9.58am Joseph Michael Kruse came into the world weighing in at 9 pound 3 ounces.
After a six and a half hour labour during which, when the midwife said push i said no, because I was still waiting for the bad bit to come.. (When the midwife said "Push next contraction sweetheart" I said "No thanks, it's okay"  She said "You need to push, your baby is ready to come out" Me "No, really not yet" Midwife "Humour me" Me "Alright... but... " and a very VERY short time later I was holding him!)

The very first hands he felt were those of his glowingly proud Daddy who delivered him, and placed him on my chest.
He was the most beautiful little thing I had ever laid my eyes on - and wonderfully annoyed at the disturbance to his previously wet and comfy world. 
It's so true that there is nothing quite as beautiful as your babies first cry.  It brings on a flood of emotions that you just cannot imagine, or prepare yourself for.

I have never felt the world to be so instantly changed as at that moment... It was suddenly both more wonderful, and more scary all at the same time.
Parenthood is both the greatest gift, the most rewarding thing I have embarked upon and also the hardest, most emotional thing I have ever attempted.
I have never been so challenged.  Never felt such elation at times, and at other times so defeated.  I have often wondered if I'm cut out for this role of motherhood.  But even when I feel I'm the worst parent in the world he still loves me...
I suppose that cuts both ways really though. Because even when he's driving me absolutely crazy and I am battling with idea's on how to combat his terrible new behaviour or he's just drawn on the wall or dug (another) hole in the middle of the lawn to play soldiers in... I love him right through it all with every fibre of my body and there is nothing I wouldn't do or sacrifice for him.
He is the greatest gift I have ever received and the biggest most wonderful part of my life.

Happy sixth birthday to the most important person in my world- My Joe xxx

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

They need your red stuff!

Did you know that in every state of Australia blood supplies are down?

Here in Tasmania, where they like to run at a 6 day supply MINIMUM we are now down to 2.5 to 3 days worth of stocks... provided nothing goes majorly wrong..

When you take into account the holiday season coming up and the accidents that happen during this time, combined with the fact that lots of people are off holidaying and not doing their regular trip to the donation point I find this a little scary - don't you?

So I've rounded up a few people to come with me to donate some of their red stuff.  Why don't you do the same?  Guilt a friend into coming to hold your hand.  Put on your brave face and take an hour out of your life to potentially save someone else's.

I needed a transfusion after my son was born.  Without it I would have been in quite a bit of trouble.  It is possible that Joe would have ended up motherless.  If that blood hadn't been available, my entire families lives would be different.

I'd like to repay the debt. 

There are lots of myths around blood donation so let me help dispel some of them.

1. You CAN donate if you have had a transfusion.  So long as it was within Australia and over 12 months ago (and you have the all clear from your GP)

2. You CAN donate if you have tattoo's.  They just have to be older than 6 months ago.

3. You CAN donate if you're 16 or over (in QLD you need parental permission if you are under 17)

4. You CAN donate if your baby is 9 months old.

5. You CAN donate if you are an absolute pussy -


I once punched a doctor when I was younger and he wanted to give me a needle (for good reason) I didn't mean to, I have a phobia...... this sometimes makes you a little crazy!!  I have had to have many MANY blood tests and shots in my life since and there is a point where it became something I was doing for my child... and that helps me get past it. 

I still feel squeamish at the thought of a needle. 
I sometimes cope wonderfully with my blood tests, other times I cry... it just happens, I can't help it. 
I don't mind admitting this because I'm human, we all have fears and things we don't cope with that well. 

This is mine. 

 I'm going to push past my frightened as hell because of the good it may do. I could let a mum have more time with her baby (like many people did for previously posted about Charlie and Steph)

That's better than any gift I can think of.  And it's certainly worth me putting myself through a little turmoil.

I'd like to give props to my Mum here.  She is one of the most selfless people I know and since my baby sister (now in her early 20's) came along she has found the time to donate over 80 times.  She now goes almost fortnightly to donate plasma which is a much more intensive and time consuming process. 

My Mum is my hero.  She's MY lifesaver when ever I need her, she is always....just...there... 

My beautiful Mum xx

and I have no doubt through her constant selflessness that her blood has been a lifesaver to many other families.

If my Mum can do it 80 times.... I can do it too.

Will you?

Please call them on 131495 and book your appointment!

(I'd love to know if you do!)

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

G-Mae please put your hand up!!

Getting ready to write the names down.. c'mon I need a treat every now and then too ;)
Well the end Tally was $386.00.

Thankyou to everyone that shared, and to The wonderful few that added to my pot taking the donation far higher than I thought it would be.

As you can see I conned My Mum into helping with the draw :) Gorgeous isn't she :)

At the closing minute she threw in $50 which got it up to the end tally!
The lovely Georgina Ross is the lady picked from the hat and she has decided she'd like the money donated to Yasminah's gift of Hope... And I think that's a wonderful place for it to go xx

I've asked Bec from Yasminah's Gift of Hope (YGOH) to do a guest post so you can all learn about the wonderful things they do :)

Awesome people, you're all awesome!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The donation has grown... I'm so touched xx

You are all incredible.

Your support for this project is so appreciated.

For every "share" of my blog and page


This post is exciting... well.. I'm excited.. and touched.. and a little emotional..

I have another announcement, one which had me shedding a quiet little happy tear (I am very tired today.. I loathe hate detest croup and my poor little boys weak respiratory system.  Annnnyways...)

I received a message from ANOTHER wonderful young woman, Casey Lange who had been reading my blog and asked if she also could match my donation to the charity of choice from tomorrows hat picking draw...

Could she?

My good goodness YES!!

How incredible is that?  How beautiful!!

I am exhausted today, but the messages I've been receiving and the support for what I'm doing has me so uplifted.

I am so incredibly grateful to you all for reading, following, sharing, liking, talking about, supporting and encouraging my project.

This is just a little something to give back to everyone.

You ALL deserve this donation.

But it's okay...

I'm working on something else for a little later on ;)

Monday, 7 November 2011

Organ donor?

The things you wish to not think about, must be spoken of.

It's important.

There is a child in a hospital with their parents hovering over them.  Their mobile phone is always charged, it is always in their pocket, it is always on the loud setting.  Waiting.. and watching their child fade away, dimly hoping that someone will save their child.

There is a child in a hospital sitting beside her father.  Holding his hand while he lays there sleeping.  Every now and then she runs her fingernail across his palm, digging in sharply.  She is hoping that he still flinches.  She is dimly hoping that someone will save her father.

There is a baby who hasn't yet see the outside of a hospital.  Parents that don't dare make plans for tomorrow.  Relatives that ask tentatively..

"How is ..."

terrified that one day the answer will be.....


One uncomfortable conversation with your loved ones.

Five minutes of your life...talking of something you hope never happens...

Could give someone else days, weeks, months, years.. with their loved ones.

A child could be spared standing at their parents graveside.

A parent could be spared the pain of outliving their child.

So get over the uncomfortable selfish ignorance of thinking you will live forever and "someone else" will help these people.... Start the conversation.  Tell your loved ones if you wish to donate your organs.  Remind them every year or so (we have this conversation about once a year - at least!)
Then when your mother/husband/children has to make the decision....  When the tears are flowing and they can't think straight... they will KNOW what your wishes were.

My entire family are organ donors.  Myself and my husband.. and our son. 

THAT was a tough conversation.

We talked about what would happen to him if we were both killed.  We talked to the people we hoped would take him on and raise him with the love we have for him... then we made sure the legal documents with our Will's stated our wishes and talked to our families about this.  Everyone knows what the plan would be..

We talked about what we would do if we lost our precious boy. 

The decision was easy.  We would be shattered yes.  Unquestionably.  But we both agree that we would save someone else the pain of burying their child.  The gift of life.  Light from the darkness.

Our families know our wishes.

Infact, Joe even knows what would happen.  He's an incredible little boy... he said it was amazing that if we couldn't use our bodies anymore that we could save someone else's life. 

He's even asked on occasion if we can save animals the same way....My mini Steve Irwin.

Make the decision easy for YOUR family.

Have an uncomfortable conversation.


Trine xxx

(Please check out my posts "I'm tired of 31 so lets get charitable" and "Upsize that donation!" - the draw is tomorrow and I'd love to get enough followers to put me over the $100 mark xx)

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Hospital Healing Hampers - Guest Post!

Please welcome Jen from HHH :)

Lets start from today and reflect back: You could say our parenting style is an interesting one, as our journey into parenting has been equally unique…Our sixteen year old daughter , Lucy, along with our son Luke 14 and Lilly 12 are having to make some big schooling decisions, basically ‘what do you want to do when you grow up?” Lucy comes to us as parents for advice, but what can we say when as 42 year olds we also don’t know what we want to be when we grow up!! The best advice we can give is to live for the day and do today what makes you fulfilled and happy, and to always respect, include, accept, embrace and enjoy your follow human kind and always think outside the square, being open to others opinions and acknowledge that there is often no right or wrong way to life.
Please explain why we do this you may ask.. ? Paul and I married 17 years ago, Paul being a mad football player , who had the privilege of making it to the top of his sport playing for the Sydney Swans, and I was working in the Insurance Industry plodding along, we built a gorgeous house in Fern Tree a beautiful bush suburb at the foothills of Mt Wellington in Tasmania, things were great.. Within a year we had Miss Lucy, stubborn as a mule and took 48hours of tough labour to finally arrive, but all well. Some 16months later Master Luke popped along, once again all good then 2.5years later Miss Lilly Bella arrived, once again all fit and healthy.  Then we outgrew our house and needed to be a little closer to schools and moved to another mountain suburb Mt Nelson, just a little lower in altitude to Fern Tree..  Some 18months into renovating we feel pregnant with our fourth, this is when our journey took a somewhat interesting bend in the road and by bend I mean a 90degree bend..A very sudden bend….
All was fine until our 18week scan, lots of people suddenly come into the room, then suddenly lots of people leave the room.. Paul and I sitting there in an empty ultrasound room sensing fear that we have never ever experienced, our intuition told us things did not look good. When someone finally did enter the room we were told our daughter had many issues and very sure she had Downs Syndrome.  WHAT, WHY, HOW… so many questions how could this happen, I truly cannot put into words the emotions we had to deal with in that first week of this knowledge, it was gut wrenching and made us question so many values, the meaning of life, and so many other questions.  We chose not to go ahead with any further testing, we wanted to best chance for our daughter and so in the oven she stayed until the time was right for Miss Josie to appear..But as a mother and to this day I still carry me a sense of guilt that maybe I did something wrong, I know the science tells me otherwise, but it is still there. I have learnt to put it away into the back of my mind and heart and focus on her strengths and her amazing ability to make us laugh, I thank her for that every day.
Appear she did , after a rather hasty delivery due to her small size and lack of movement, but she did eventually scream that was the best scream I have ever heard, although some 10 years later the scream still continues and I am over it now…! There is a lot of in-between emotions including the emotion of loss, yes my child is alive, but I still felt a sense of loss, I should be grateful , but yet loss was still there, why did this happen? She will never be able to run? Talk?  We then started the medical head spin journey but would need to put that all into a novel I feel.  Josie’s first main surgery was her open heart surgery, wow that was a big learning curve into the world of medical jargon, it was all such a blur, but we had so much trust in our doctors being so medically na├»ve at this stage.. This surgery was done at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne so it was so disruptive for our whole family and once again as a mother so hard to leave three other children behind and focus on just one.. During her stay in intensive care, we witnessed a young baby pass away and this was our turning point, I had never experienced such helplessness and loneliness, we had to find a way to empower ourselves to cope with all this emotion that was happening ,and yet to come.   Human strength and spirit is an incredible thing, that just cannot be explained but we truly believe its power is amazing. In this modern world we live in we often take time to slow down and  it can often to lead to a state of confusion , fear, and greed. This experience of Intenseive Care helped us to understand and acknowledge our reality we know had to face and establish a kind of motto or worldview to help us continue in our new world of hospitals, illness and medical lingo. 
  Josie has since then had over 15 surgeries including two lots of hip surgery to reconstruct her hips, two lots of knee surgeries to rebuild her knees, two eye surgeries, many oral surgeries and many more, plus she has ongoing kidney issues, is incontinent, has mental delays, (but one wicked sense of humour), immune deficiencies, and Austistic behavior patterns (which are very challenging), we recently also had another visit to Melbourne as she has multiple spine issues and will require a spine fusion, that’s the next medical issue to deal with.  Plus we are dealing with the joys of puberty… NOT! Must perhaps also mention that after many possible syndrome diagnosis, Miss Josie grew into Kabuki Syndrome, she is a Kabuki Kiddie..
The bulk of these surgeries have been in Melbourne and we travel to Melbourne around 4-6 times a year depending on the year… This disruption to our other children has been immense, but we have been supported by so many people and its our humour and acceptance of the situation that has made things manageable.

Although I would be lying if I said we cope all the time, because we don’t, there are sometimes something like Home and Away, will make me cry for hours! Over what I don’t know… but it sets me off and away I go… I cant watch animal shows like animal rescue, RSPCA, …Then sometimes the pressure builds up like a pressure cooker and whoever maybe closet will get an earful if they tick me off, I remember one day screaming at a radiologist because he was rude to me, well that was it he got it… I truly cant even remember what I said, but it felt good, then I felt bad… ahhh such a roller coaster ride..  I find now when I feel the pressure cooker developing I go for a long walk and stop to remind myself about stopping to smell the roses, and choose your battles.. people walking past me must think I am one crazy lady, as I talk to myself whilst walking…! We have been profoundly affected by many of the relationships we have come across during these 11 years and the healthy relationships we have clung to as they have a tremendous power to nurture the soul and help heal the wounds.
We have also found ourselves having to become doctors ourselves and research so many medical issues and teach ourselves and also being open to new techniques, this often has resulted in us teaching the medical profession. This have often caused tension within the medical world, but I really need them to learn to respect us and families and that illness has not just about the patient it must involve the wider family unit and the impact it has on them must also be considered.  Not all medical decisions need be based on science and theory, often the inner knowledge of a family and the connection between them can make a decision based on the human intuition..Knowledge can be great but must be respected and used wisely taking a wholistic approach.
We strongly feel some 10 years down the track, that Josie is a wise old soul, who has been given to us to help us to all become stronger as a family and allow our other children to find professions where they can help others to become stronger , happier, healthier people.  She also chose us as her parents as we have been able to give her what she needs and that is humour, acceptance, love, boundries, and the ability to be herself.  We are all unique and should always feel able to be unique, without being judged or questioned..Our daughter has given us the eyes and ability to feel peoples pain, emotions, and joy, and the strength to share in all of those emotions without fear of negativity.  It’s the people in glass houses story, no one should ever through stones….
We didn’t choose to have a child with special needs but boy we are so glad she chose us, our life is so much more interesting for it, hard, both physically, emotionally and financially but also fulfilling, busy, and has given our family the ability to truly empathise and understand so many other people. Our network of friends is so inspiring and amazing and we all draw on each other to support when we are having lows and all share our highs..
Having Miss Josie and living and breathing special needs, I also have the joy of working with children with additional needs and their families supporting them and teaching them techniques of coping during their own early days journey.  Everyday these wonderful children and their families teach me about life and how we are often restrained by expectations.  Hence when my children what shall I be when I grow up, I just feel that it is their journey and what will be will be, but they certainly know that we accept any choice they make (within reason of course) and that they should embrace life with an open mind.  I truly don’t think you ever GROW UP, you just evolve..

Our new business venture Hospital Healing Hampers has been 11 years in the making, but is has been only the last 18months that this concept has been able to be completed, as the timing was right.. We provide beautiful Hampers that have been created to provide a natural healing feel.  Each hamper is hand packed to meet the needs of the receiver , such as a cancer patient, a child, a neighbor etc… Hospital Healing Hampers has had so much support from wonderful Australian suppliers who also make their beautiful products with passion and pride, and free from nasty chemicals. 
Together with such amazing passionate people we have created a tailor made hamper business whilst also providing $1 from each hamper sale to support families across Australia with much needed resources.   Whilst the diagnosis, or surgery or illness may be all different the emotional and physical journey is often the same, a roller coaster.. We just truly want to let you know we support you all, and to work in partnership with you to provide a hamper not only packed with beautiful products but to send a hamper that is packed with so many unseen emotions, but I am sure once the hamper is opened so too are many emotions, joy, sadness, gratefulness, love, appreciation and respect.....

You can find Jen and her HHH at or at the facebook page 

Have you heard of HHH before? Have you been the recipient of one? I have heard nothing but glowing reviews from people who have talked about theirs - Jen, you do a wonderful thing, and thankyou for sharing it with us xxx

If you are still reading please don't forget to actually follow my blog - only days till the hat picking money giving draw (did you see that every dollar will be matched by another donor? awesome right? Where would YOU want it to go?)

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Upsize that donation!! :)

You all know that On November 10th I'll be drawing one of my followers names from a hat and that person will decide where the dollar for every follower will be donated to.. So far, we have a small $43.00 destined for someone's not for profit organization.
This morning though I got a message from someone who heard what I was doing and they wish to double the donation I was planning on making!!
So, by that simple act of kindness we now have $86.00!!

Can you share this around?
Let's see how much we can give to a deserving cause :)

Hope your day is going wonderfully!

Trine xx

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Charlie Bears Gift

Tiny little piece of perfect right?

I am and always have been a huge lover of quotes and poetry.  When I was younger (because now I’m ancient of course) I had an entire wall in my cottage covered with them scribbled on pieces of paper and stuck up in a randomness that represented my life at the time.  Scattered in between them all were photos of people that I love and memories - moments in time that I still hold dear. 

 What does this have to do with anything?  Have I simply gone completely off track and forgotten what this whole blog and book project is about?  Due to the old age (it’s true! I’m ancient - ask the five year old!) it would be understandable that you may think this, but no… this is slightly relevant to this post.  Just be patient.

The young lady I wish to tell you all about is, in my mind nothing less than amazing.  I’m going to be honest, I had known this Mums name for a little while.  I’m not sure how we stumbled into each other – I’ve met so many people – I think perhaps it was in a closed group I was invited in to called Aussie Women Making a Difference.  I know, I know.. I’m not sure what they were thinking when they let me in either!  This lass most definitely deserves her place on the couch there though. 

I received an email on Saturday the 27th of August this year giving me the story of her little battler. 
His name was Charlie.
He was beautiful.

Charlie’s Mum is the beautiful woman I want to tell you about… but to tell you about Stephanie, I need to tell you all about little Charlie.  It’s important you get to know him.  He IS important (please note: present tense) 

Steph and Josh fell pregnant.  Until the 19 week mark they were blissfully unaware of any problems.  Babies are born all the time without complications and as two young, healthy people in love something going wrong just doesn’t even come onto your radar.  So when they went for their scan and discovered they were having a boy life seemed good.  Everything was right with the world…

When you have a baby, your life is changed the instant you discover they are growing inside you.  Already, before the test showed two little lines, Steph was a Mum and Josh a Dad.  Both with the fierce love and protective instinct that goes with those roles. 
Many of you will understand how they felt when they got a call from their doctor asking them to come in to discuss their scan results at the 19 week mark. 
Some of you know exactly how they felt when they heard the dreaded and life altering sentence….”Something is wrong with your baby”

There is much that went on after that discussion at the surgery.  But I’m choosing to skip forward some.  What happened during Stephanie’s pregnancy is important yes, but that can wait for the book.

At 34 weeks Charlie was born via c-section.  Half the medical staff in the world was there.  He weighted in at a tiny 3 pounds 1 ounce and the cry he let out was like music to his parents’ ears. 

However, doctors couldn’t give Steph and Josh any of the hope that many parents get a rush of at the moment of their child’s birth.  They themselves didn’t know how things were to pan out from this moment on. 

Charlie gave the world 10 weeks before he passed away in his parents loving arms.

Did you read that last sentence and wonder why I didn’t just say he gave his parents 10 weeks?  Well, this is where you get to know a bit about the amazing person that Charlie chose to be his mother. 

Charlie gave the world 10 weeks, he was here for only that long in the physical sense.  But in Steph (and Josh) he lives on every single moment.  His name is spoken many times each day, his memory is so well preserved.  Charlie is a baby that will never be forgotten – not just because his parents won’t allow it to happen but because of what Charlie’s short life inspired his parents to do.

There are numerous video’s celebrating this little guys life, as you saw above.  Did you watch it to the end?  Did it strike you how young the woman I’ve been telling you about is?  It shocked me.  After several emails back and forth, receiving Charlie’s story and reading Stephs interactions on AWMAD to have it finally dawn on me that she has only just made her 21st birthday (31st of October) 
To me, this makes her all the more amazing - so young, already doing such good in the world... and there are so many years left in her... my mind boggles at the awesome possibilities that lay ahead for Steph.
This young woman shows more maturity and more heart than most fifty year olds I know.  From what I know of Steph I would describe her first as extraordinarily selfless.  Want an example of this?  Okay, it’s not hard to find one without even truly looking --- For her birthday what was she wishing for? A car? A new leather jacket? A day spa voucher?
She has been relentlessly sharing the Charlie Bear’s Gift page and wishing for 2000 likers for the page – this I didn’t realize until after I’d already contacted Josh letting him know that I was planning to do this post.

I implore you to drop by and "like" her page Charlie Bear's Gift for RBWH
Help Steph to keep Charlie's memory alive. 
No parent should outlive their child, and the heartache of losing your baby is intoxicating.  Instead of crumbling and losing all direction this young mum has squared her shoulders and decided to - in Charlie's honor - raise money on a continual basis for the hospital that helped to give her 10 weeks worth of being able to hold her baby. 
Many of us would be irrationally angry at the world but instead of letting it take over she has used her passionate love for Charlie and her appreciation for the nurses and hospital to do unbelievable good.  How many families have been helped and possibly spared the pain that Steph has dealt with due to the work she is putting in here?

Countless is the answer...

Don't get me wrong, I have absolutely no doubt there has been - and will be - sessions of angry with the entire world for Steph, but through it she shines with hope and love.  Talking with her, watching the videos and flicking through her pages the things that stands out above all else is the love that these two people have for this tiny person.  In 10 short weeks, Charlie received more love, adoration and pride for his achievements than many children have in their entire life.

On the 23rd of November it would have been Charlie's 1st birthday.  It's been less than a year since Josh and Steph said goodbye to their angel.  What would you be doing on this day if it were you?  Yes tears are inevitably going to flow - this is certain.  But to celebrate Charlie's birthday on his page on facebook an auction will begin.  I have no idea how Steph and Josh are feeling about it, but when I read that there are THREE auction albums and that they will have to close the donations at FOUR HUNDRED ITEMS..... I had a little teary.  What an incredible response to the call out.... this is just a small indication of how many people's lives Charlie has touched. 

Without Steph, they'd never have known about him.
She is an incredible mother... one any child would be proud to have spent even a short amount of time with. 
Charlie showed everyone that when they said you couldn't or would never do something that even if you can't win all the battles in life, you can achieve amazing things. 
Things that you have been told you will never do, if you just have enough heart and the will behind it.  You, had plenty of that and your team continues in your spirit.  

Your Mum, is a gift you gave the world xx

You thought I forgot the quote business from the top didn't you?  Nup, no way... This quote, made me think of Steph and I wanted to share it.
"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget the way you made them feel"
- Maya Angelou

(The "Team" I mention include Josh and Aunty Katie who both deserve equal amounts of recognition and admiration xx)