‘Brickman Awesome’ -Everything is Awesome- Literally…

Melbourne Museum is once again hosting the Brickman fully interactive LEGO® exhibition, and this year it’s big!!! Literally huge because it’s home to the tallest LEGO® model in the Southern Hemisphere – a NASA SLS rocket standing at a whopping 7.5m tall and built from more than 450,000 bricks! It has to be seen to be believed! It’s… um…. Awesome..

In our humble opinion, this exhibition, created by Ryan McNaught and his team, couldn’t have been named anything other than ‘Awesome’. Ryan spent some time chatting to the kids at last years show, asking them what ‘awesome’ things they’d like to see made out of LEGO®, and here we are, standing in amongst it! There are so many incredible things to see. Great job kids!

‘Ryan has pushed LEGO® building boundaries by installing an in-built lighting system giving the effect that the rocket is blasting off into space’ – Brickman

Once again, my little people were taken aback when they walked through the doors. Monty dived head first into the trough of LEGO® surrounding the life size Harley Davidson Motorbike and set to creating his own Monty sized motorbike.  He is my mini master builder and the hands on LEGO® is by far his favourite bit of these exhibitions! Poppy gets straight to it, searching for all the mini LEGO® Mr & Mrs Awesome figures. If there’s a chance to win some LEGO® she’s on it, and has so much fun finding the mini figures in all sorts of obscure places!

Brickman Awesome has 38 never-seen-before LEGO® models, totalling more than 1.5 million bricks and clocking up more than 4,500 hours of build-time!

I swear my kids would be perfect for this job! We have about enough LEGO®, and I’m absolutely willing for them to be silently building for the next 4,000 hours. Ryan??

Brickman Awesome not only has a menagerie of ‘Awesome animals’, but it is also showcasing the largest ever LEGO® Caterpillar 797 dump truck, and a full-sized LEGO® Australian saltwater crocodile, weighing over 60kgs and built using more than 40,000 LEGO® bricks! There’s even a life size Toyota Camry with working lights… Unbelievable I know!!

If ever there was a show to inspire creativity in kids, and really push them to go even further than they ever have before, then this is it! Ryan and his team absolutely blew us all away. There is something for everyone. This is not just a room full of LEGO®, it’s a world of fascinating facts about each creature, machine and structure, building tips,  hands on learning, families creating together, and a lesson for our kids that anything is possible. Ryan and his team have gone further than just building a room full of ‘Awesome’, they have built an incredible learning experience for absolutely everyone, young or old..

*This year, I was determined to out build my kids creations.. Sadly, my penguin looked like it had been run over, so again, they won!  Don’t be disheartened when this show puts all the magical things you have ever built for your children to shame.  You’re off the hook now, because nothing you ever build again will live up to this LEGO® magic. Grab a cuppa and put your feet up!

Olivia x


All the details:

Where: Melbourne Museum Click here for more info

When: 21st March – 29th April

Cost:
Afternoon Specials –
$25 Monday-Wednesday 3-4pm only
Adult – $35
Concession –
$30
Junior (4-16) –
$25
Under 4s – FREE
Family (2 x adults and 2 x children) –
$95
Family (1 x adult and 2 x children) –
$65


Reviews

‘I loved it when we got to build stuff’-★★★★★ Monty Wilson, Head of the LEGO® Department, The Wilsons of Oz  

‘The rocket ship with all the lights and sounds was awesome’  -★★★★ ★ Poppy Wilson, Speed LEGO® builder, The Wilsons of Oz

Spectacular, even better than last year… I didn’t think that was possible’. ★★★★★– Mrs Wilson, terrible, terrible LEGO® builder

I want it alllllll’. –Mr Wilson Head of ‘Reliving your childhood’ department’★★★★★


 

Shop

The gang from Bricks To The World (LEGO® online retailer of the year) are there, selling all kinds of LEGO® imaginable.  Just take a deep breath and hand over your credit card, the kids will love you that little bit more than they already do! Hey, LEGO® created a lot of love yesterday. You may have spotted us building our new LEGO® kits on the wall outside the exhibition..

If you can’t face the shop and happen to ‘miss’ it (physically impossible, but I know some of you will try) you can head over to the website and order on there!!

Easter Fun at Boneo Maze – Mornington Peninsula

Easter Weekend is throwing up some serious fun in and around Melbourne. We are so lucky! If you are living in Melbourne or travelling here for the Easter weekend, you’re in for a treat! One of the many wonderful things going on over the weekend is the Autumn Fest at Boneo Maze! (30th March – 1st April 2018)

Autumn Fest is a 3 day event celebrating all the wonderful seasonal changes Autumn brings combined with mindful and sustainable family fun. It’s by far my most favourite time of year! The grounds at Boneo Maze are extra beautiful this time of year! We have visited a few times, you can read about our Father’s day adventure at Boneo here!

Autumn Fest will be three enticing days jam packed with different attractions, activities, music, light displays, art and food and more. You can check out each days events below, with a fire show, circus performers, Easter Bunny, workshops, wildlife displays and so much more, you absolutely want to get down to the Peninsula for this. The mini golf, mazes and adventure zone will be available everyday for you and the family to enjoy, which is awesome! My kids just love the mini golf!

Each day of the Easter weekend has it’s own theme and attraction, so it will be easy to spend the entire weekend enjoying the fun!!

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Tickets:

If the entire weekend sounds amazing to you, then a 3-day pass might be your best choice! Alternatively you can pick the day you simply can’t miss.

1 Day Pass (Choose any 1 day) Adult $25 Child/senior $20 Family (2A2C) $80 (SAVE $10)

2Day Pass (Choose any 2 days) Adult $35 Child/Senior $30 Family (2A2C) $120 (SAVE $10)

3 Day Pass (Enjoy the entire 3 day festival) Adult $45 Child/Senior $40 Family (2A2C) $160 (SAVE $10).


 

I hope you have an amazing Easter weekend, whatever you decide to do! Let us know how you get on at Boneo Maze if you do decide to visit!!

‘Easter egg hunts; proof that your kids can find things when they really want to!’ -Unknown

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Awesome Easter Adventures – Melbourne

Easter holidays are fast approaching and if you’re anything like me, you are totally unprepared and have already eaten the kids easter eggs. (Shopping trip round two coming up!) I’m here to give you some awesome ideas to make up for the gobbled chocolates, and earn you some serious Mama points! Melbourne has a plethora of awesome activities, as always, this school holidays, and I’m going to be sharing my favourites with you over the next few days! Good luck to all of you!! The school holidays are a struggle, and finding just the right balance of IPads, playdates, and days out is mind boggling. Here’s the first instalment to help ease your pain!!  *love the kids really, just… two whole weeks…..

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LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTRE

 Have you got space mad kids? This school holidays at Legoland Discovery centre, your budding astronauts can embark on a Space Mission! Yup, they can rocket in to outer space, and embark on a galactic adventure.  How awesome does that sound??? I know my two would LOOOOVE this! 

 Upon entry each child will be able to dress the part, with a super cool space mask! They will then head off to take part in a scavenger hunt in MINILAND Melbourne, and help a fellow cadet find the missing pieces to his spaceship!

Your little LEGO© lovers can then build their very own LEGO© spaceship in a creative workshop before defying gravity by learning how to fly on the popular Merlin’s Apprentice ride! The mission will then continue in a place out of this world – the Space Training Centre –  where cosmic travellers will be tested on their knowledge of the solar system’s planets.

Hurrah for awesome school holiday fun, awarding us mums with some SERIOUS brownie points!

What are you waiting for? Accept your space mission here: https://melbourne.legolanddiscoverycentre.com.au

All the info….

Where: LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, Chadstone Shopping Centre VIC 3148

When: Thursday 29 March – Tuesday 17 April 2018

Cost: Book online now – $45 per person for the Melbourne Big Ticket. Ticket includes entry to both LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne and Sea Life Melbourne


SEA LIFE MELBOURNE

 Paw Patrol at Sea Life Melbourne

Oh my goodness, not only can the kids see some awesome sealife this holidays, but the PAW Patrol pups are on SEA Patrol at Sea Life Melbourne! Have you got little pups at home who are crazy for Chase and his friends?

 This school holidays, the PAW Patrol SEA Patrol pups are going to be making a splash when they swim into Sea Life Melbourne for an all new adventure in Melbourne.

The interactive experience will take families on a ‘pawsome’ underwater quest throughout the aquarium to help find the missing PAW Patrol pups and save the day. No job is too big, no pup is too small! Yes, it’s going to be great!

As soon as you arrive, the children will receive a PAW Patrol pup pack including wearable puppy ears, a treasure hunt map and a PAW Patrol sticker sheet.

 The race is then on to follow the map (and the paw prints!) to find all of the PAW Patrol SEA Patrol pups who are hiding throughout Sea Life Melbourne. Everyone loves a treasure hunt!!

As honorary members of the rescue squad, children can also pose with the PAW Patrol pups at the photo wall to capture a memento of the school holiday escapade.

 Make sure you’ve signed up to join the PAW Patrol SEA Patrol rescue squad now! For more information or to purchase tickets for Sea Life Melbourne’s new school holiday experience, please visit:https://www.melbourneaquarium.com.au/

All the info

Where: Sea Life Melbourne. Corner of King Street and Flinders Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

When: Friday 30 March –  Monday 30 April 2018

Cost: Book online now – $45 per person for the Melbourne Big Ticket. Ticket includes entry to both Sea Life Melbourne and LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne

ARE YOU AUSTRALIA’S BIGGEST (JUNIOR) LEGO FAN?

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre on are on the lookout for some mini LEGO® builders for an incredible, dream opportunity!! Yes, it could be one of your little ones…

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The search is underway to find Australia’s three biggest (yet littlest) LEGO® fans!

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne has launched a competition to name its ‘Mini Model Builders’ for 2018.

Three little LEGO® lovers will receive the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be crowned the 2018 Mini Model Builders at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre. How awesome is that!!!!

The lucky winners will receive playground bragging rights (and a LEGO® trophy – of course!), plus some ‘bricktastic’ perks including VIP invites to preview events, exclusive one-on-one building classes with the Master Model Builder and a free birthday party hosting up to 20 of their friends OR a free school excursion for their class.

Their loot bag will also include a LEGOLAND Discovery Centre T-shirt, a personalised LEGO® badge and unlimited entry to the attraction for a year! OK OK I’m getting to the bit when I tell you how to enter your little LEGO® masters!!!

To be in the running,

Children aged between 4-12 years must create a 30 second video introducing themselves (and their most imaginative LEGO® creation) while answering two questions

1) “Why do you want to be LEGOLAND Discovery Centre’s Mini Model Builder?”

2) “What is your favourite thing about LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne?”.

EASY HEY!!!

With the help and permission of a parent or guardian, entrants must submit their video via the online entry form. Submissions will be evaluated based on creativity and enthusiasm and 36 finalists will be selected to compete in Australia’s first ‘LEGO® Masters’ event – a children’s LEGO® building competition that will be hosted at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne on Saturday 21 April 2018*. The finalists will participate in a number of LEGO® challenges that will be judged by the attraction’s Master Model Builder and will see him eventually declare the three grand final winners as the 2018 Mini Model Builders. Love LEGO®? Apply here!

Applications will be accepted until 8th April 2018 (5pm EST) and shortlisted finalists will be contacted directly with an invitation to compete in the LEGO® Masters competition*.

For full terms and conditions, please click here!!!

 

*Note: All entrants must be available to attend the ‘LEGO® Masters’ event on Saturday 21 April to be eligible

EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!!!!


 

Disney on Ice celebrates 100 years of magic – Tickets on sale now!

As an expat, it’s amazing how old “traditions” are quickly substituted with new ones.

Disney on Ice has absolutely become a fun family tradition for us. In fact, it’s my all time best bribe for the kids. “Are we going again this year mum?”….. I use it in all sorts of cunning ways. “Nemo won’t be too happy to hear you haven’t fed our fish all week Monty!” Works a treat!

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Hurrah for all us mama’s who love to bribe our kids, because Disney on Ice is winging it’s way to Australia, and this year it’s bigger than ever. Disney on Ice is celebrating 100 Years of Disney Magic this year, and boy are we in for a treat.

Disney on Ice

The ‘must see’ Australia tour, which is opening in Perth, will be running from 15th June to 23rd July 2018 and tickets are on sale right now

 “The 2018 tour of Disney On Ice will bring to life more than 14 timeless Disney tales including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, Frozen and more’ – Disney on Ice 

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‘Be dazzled by the magic of Disney’s Frozen with Anna, Elsa and the hilarious Olaf. Sing-a-long to over 30 of your favourite Disney songs including “Let It Go!,” “You’ve Got A Friend in Me,” and “Hakuna Matata.” Exciting moments from Disney Pixar’s Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Disney’s The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and more will leave the whole family with memories that will last a lifetime’ – Disney on Ice

Bedazzle the family with the celebration of the century when Disney On Ice skates into your hometown.

TOP TIP: Get there on time so that the kids can help movie favourites Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde from Zootopia, investigate an off-ice caper to ensure the show starts on time.

A recent survey of more than 8,000 people revealed the most treasured childhood memory for them was a ‘specific family activity’ (55%)…

Grab your tickets and make sure you and yours are there to celebrate the legacy of Disney in this ice skating spectacular! Trust me, you don’t want to be THAT MUM, who forgot to book….  There’s no excuse to miss out! Make this your annual family tradition, spoil the kids, watch them watching in wonder and keep the magic of Disney alive in their hearts!

Olivia xx

‘Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever’ – Walt Disney


 

Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic will open in Perth on 15 June 2018 and travels to Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Newcastle and Sydney through to 23 July.  Tickets are on sale now at www.Ticketek.com.au/DisneyOnIce.

2018 National Tour Dates

Perth – Perth Arena                                                                         15 – 17 June        (Fri – Sun)

Adelaide – Adelaide Entertainment Centre                          22 – 24 June           (Fri – Mon)

Brisbane – Brisbane Entertainment Centre                           29 Jun – 2 Jul        (Fri – Mon)

Melbourne – Hisense Arena, Melbourne                                5 – 10 July          (Thurs – Tues)

Newcastle – Newcastle Entertainment Centre                    13-15 July               (Fri – Sun)

Sydney – Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney Olympic Park          18- 23 July             (Wed – Mon)

 Feld Entertainment encourage patrons to source tickets through the authorised ticketing agents appointed by our Disney On Ice venues. The authorized ticketing agent for all cities is Ticketek (www.Ticketek.com.au/DisneyOnIce)There are significant risks in buying from other sources. 

‘Dubble Trubble’ is our favourite bubble!!

As you know we are all over ‘Aussie Made’ products, and when they’re combined with a charitable trust, and a lot of cool, we just can’t help but tell you all about them! We’ve been using these organic kids products for a while now, but wait till you see what they’ve just launched!!

Last week I had that message ping up on the school app! First week of the school year, and yes, the dreaded “Head Lice has been detected in your child’s class” message.

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It is so grim! In fact I’m itchy just thinking about it. Nits are just the worst! Every time one of the children so much as flicks their hair I’m on them like an Orangutan picking through her babies fur, to yelps of “Oh mum, get offfffff”. I just can’t help myself. Not just the thought of creatures crawling through the kids hair, but the little critters then jumping into mine, and the mammoth task of boiling EVERYTHING our heads could have possibly touched. Ewwww!

The amount of time I have spent armed with a nit comb and a bucket full of conditioner is just too depressing to think about!  Thankfully, touch wood, we haven’t had them for a while. Maybe it’s a lucky streak?  Whatever the reason, I am certainly not willing to take any chances.

**Enter stage left to a chorus of sweet little hummingbirds…

Detangling Lice Repel Spray 

We have been trying out some of Daniel Galvin Jnr’s new mild and gentle ‘Detangling Lice Repel Spray’ (200ml). It is made with organic ingredients and smells super good. *Already winning! If you need more than just sweet smelling & lice repelling, then carry on reading! This spray has been formulated to be gentle on delicate skin so parents can be reassured that even the most precious little peaches are safe and sound with this product! *Insert loud cheer!! No one is being left behind!!

The real magic for me is that this spray naturally repels lice!

 “Detangles and conditions wet or dry hair and naturally repels lice with a blend of Tea Tree, Rosemary and Mandarin leaving hair feeling silky smooth and smelling fresh”.

No more wrapping scarves round our faces as we try not to breathe in all sorts of terrifying lice repelling ingredients and no more blood curdling screams as I comb through the knots. All of a sudden keeping our kids lice free isn’t a chemical disaster! The pump is so easy to use; Poppy has been spraying her own hair and her brother’s in the morning. Another job I can leave to the kids! Hurrah! (This product is completely SLS, SLES and Paraben free). (Available in Woolworths – RRP $12.00)

‘Created and launched in response to the growing demand for organic children’s haircare and body products, but without the price tag, Dubble Trubble offers performance results with ethical integrity’

Mango Mania 2 in 1 Shampoo and Bodywash   

Another beautiful ‘Aussie made’ product we have in the bathroom at the moment is the mild and gentle Mango Mania 2 in 1 Shampoo and Bodywash (500ml). Honestly, it makes the little people smell good enough to eat! I particularly like how foamy this is, perfect for making bubble monsters and great for styling some awesome soapy Mohawks in the bath too! As a mother, I love that all Daniel Galvin Jnr’s Dubble Trubble products, including this Mango Mania Shampoo & Body Wash are made with 70% organic ingredients. Why do I love that they’re organic? Well by using Organic products on our kids hair and skin, it means we are eliminating the risk of any adverse reactions for their little bodies. Whether they have skin conditions or not, organic is the best option! IMHO. Removing all the nasties from our homes (SLS, SLES and Parabens) is an important step that we should all be taking for ourselves and our children. Available in Woolworths RRP $8.00

So, bath time done and dusted with one bottle, the kids smell divine, and their hair is all swishy, swooshy and lice free! If you need a little reminder of why we love this range, here you go   ↓↓↓↓↓↓↓

  • Not tested on animals
  • All made right here in Australia
  • All sweet smelling, safe and gentle
  • All free of SLS, SLES and parabens
  • All free of animal products
  • All made with 70% Organic ingredients
  • Every time you buy one of the ‘Dubble Trubble’ products you are supporting The Princes Trust Australia

Princes Trust

The Prince’s Trust Australia supports the development and delivery of innovative, high impact projects that align with the charitable interests of his H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. The charity has a number of project areas including the following categories: Health & Wellbeing, The Build Environment, Rural & Regional, Defence Members and their Families, Young People, Environment & Sustainability, Arts and Culture.  A royalty of $0.10 for each unit of each product sold will be paid to The Prince’s Trust Australia

 


 

These products were gifted to us, however the words I use and the opinions I express are 100% my own. The Wilsons love finding great Australian Made products, and we genuinely love and use this Organic Kids Range! 

Olivia xx 

 

Handhorf – A little bit of Germany in the Adelaide Hills

Located just 25 minutes from Adelaide, Handhorf is Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement and celebrated 175 years in 2014. It still has a strong German flavour most evident in the small goods outlets, bakeries, pubs, restaurants and cafes that line the bustling main street’ – Adelaide Hills.org  

Handhorf is a truly picturesque little town founded by Prussian Lutherans in 1839. It is so close to Adelaide, you really don’t need to leave it out of your trip. We visited in January, and the weather was lovely. We have been told that Autumn is spectacular too because of the wonderful colour of the leaves on the trees.


 

Driving in to Handhorf, it hits you how German this little town really is.  The bakeries are pumping out freshly baked pretzels, there are sausages hanging in the windows of the butchers, German flags proudly swaying in the breeze, and souvenir shops selling all kinds of Germanic keepsakes including huge beer steins. We particularly liked the aprons which made the children look like they were wearing traditional German costume…Monty liked playing the accordion… The shop assistant didn’t enjoy it quite as much!

I always find it fascinating to think that people came to Australia, seeking a safe place to rebuild their lives, and they ended up somewhere like this. The journey must have been daunting, such a huge trip. Then, to build a town so much like home, a community and a brand new life, it’s incredibly brave.

We visited The Handhorf Academy which is the regional centre for art and heritage. Originally a boarding school, and later a maternity hospital, this 19th Century Heritage building could tell some phenomenal stories of courage, excitement and fear as early settlers built their new lives.

There are four galleries, a migration museum and a shop selling locally handcrafted products.  This is also the home of the tourist information office, otherwise known as the place where Monty left his shoes.

A visit is a must. Go in and be captivated by objects and stories relating to the lives of Hahndorf’s pioneering families. We particularly liked the outfits worn by the Lutheran children, the ladies ornate lace dresses, and the children were amazed by the furniture and an old pram.

After a bit of a walk and the purchase of some salami type sausages that nearly blew our heads off, it was time for a trip to the play park! We like to use Monkey Bars all over the world. No Monkey Bars are ever left out!

Once we were too hot to swing, we headed into the Seasonal Garden Cafe which was heavenly. Fresh produce from their own garden, and juices squeezed right there for you to enjoy! We lazed in the sunshine sipping on green juice, until Mr W’s phone ran out of battery, Monty squealed and Poppy insisted we head off to our next destination! Bliss ruined…

Top Handhorf hints

  • Take a walking tour of Handhorf if you have the time. They take about 90 minutes, but you get to visit places that the general public can’t. We love a guided tour, as you learn so much more about a place, and the children have to be quiet too! Win win!!
  • The Handhorf Leathersmith is a great shop! And if you walk right to the back, they have the biggest bunnies you ever did see! The kids will be asking you to buy them one all the way home!
  • There are plenty of cellar doors in Handhorf, and a craft brewery there too. Gulf Brewery are a micro brewery, who offer tastings at the cellar door, or for those who have a little more time, they pair food with beer for another truly Handhorf experience.
  • Handhorf is a shoppers heaven. The high street is filled with local craftspeople making wonderful wares. You can find anything from hand crafted leather wares to cuckoo clocks to toys, books and candlemakers. We just bought food, (surprise surprise) but were tempted by so much more! 

     Close by: 

  • One of Australia’s most famous artists, Sir Hans Heysen’s home is nearby on Heysen Road. Visit The Cedars, explore his garden, home and studio.
  • The Prancing Pony craft brewery is about five minutes away in Totness. If you didn’t get chance to sample the beers in Handhorf this is definitely worth a visit.
  • Beerenberg Family Farm has ‘pick your own strawberries’ from November to April. There’s also a wonderful shop selling a huge range of jams, sauces and relishes. Their website if full of lovely recipes too! (drool)
  • Wineries surround Handhorf, so there is no possible way you could miss out on sampling some of the Adelaide Hills local wines.
  • The children will love the Hahndorf Farm Barn. It’s a farm/wildlife park and a great place to spend a few hours. They have picnic areas, tractor rides and the children get to try their hand at milking a cow or even holding a python!! Family tickets for 2 adults + 2 children is $47

 

The Adelaide Hills are like a treasure chest, full of wonderful food, wine, beer, and adventure. It’s a fabulous place to spend time together exploring. Head to Handhorf and wind your way through the surrounding area slowly, taking it all in as you drive! You won’t be disappointed!

Flights – We flew direct to Adelaide from Melbourne with Tiger Air. For all four of us the cost was approximate cost $450

Car Hire – We hired a car through Avis at Adelaide airport – approximate cost $179 for three days.

Hotels – Adelaide and the surrounding areas have so much variety when it comes to hotels. Whatever your budget, it wont be hard to find somewhere that fits!

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This photo caused a major tantrum “I’m not a girl and you made me the girl”….. Oh how we laughed… (not)

A chapter from my “real life story” – Dedicated to Joanne…

I’m bloody frustrated today!! The reason for my irritation is that I’m sitting here having a huge battle with an impending cold!!! I’m sniffing every 6 seconds, (I know… get a bloody tissue), thinking to myself, for god’s sake, just do one!! I will not put up with getting a darn cold, especially as the kids are back at school tomorrow and I have some free time on my hands… (*think dancing mum emoji next to sad looking kids emoji)

I have spent a long time now keeping relatively quiet about what essentially is a big part of me, and it’s the reason I kick myself when my immune system gives in to a simple cold. Moving to Australia and becoming an expat was a good chance for me to close the door on a chunk of my life and pretend that it never happened. Why do I rarely talk about it? Probably because I am generally very well, and I don’t want to be drowning again in that vat of “illness”.

Recently however,  I have had a lot of questions about my health, after I uploaded photos of myself in hospital.

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Instagram @the_wilsons_of_oz 12/01/2018

So, my little secret??

I have Transverse Myelitis. Whaaat?? Yeah I said the same thing when I was told. In a nutshell it’s a neurological condition in which the spinal cord is inflamed. The inflammation damages nerve fibres, and causes them to lose their myelin coating leading to decreased electrical conductivity in the central nervous system. (That’s about as ‘nutshell” as I could manage).

 

One day, I realised the pins and needles I had over the weekend weren’t going away. The next, I had numb legs. The next, my hands were tingling and the feeling in them was disappearing.

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The next…. I couldn’t get out of bed!! I was a human jelly! Not paralysed thank God, but no feeling from my neck down which made it incredibly difficult to move. You know the feeling you get when you have an anaesthetic? This led to an anxious trip to my GP who sent me straight to the emergency department. Phew, I was ok, I was told I probably had Guillain Barre syndrome and you ALWAYS recover from that. Off I went to the hospital for the doctors to do all sort of disgusting tests on me, only to be told three days later it was actually Transverse Myelitis! And no, you probably won’t ever walk again!

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A buggy was always a better option than sticks for me…

 

Ten days in a hospital room, a kind nurse by my side cutting up my food, lumbar punctures, MRI scans, neurological tests, intravenous steroids, lots of cards, hundreds of student doctors excited to meet me, weepy well wishers carrying flowers, and then I was sent home! That’s the start of the story! Now I’m almost 12 years down the road, the hardest road I’ve had to travel, I am like a walking pin cushion, have a dodgy thyroid but I’m actually ok!

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I was told I may never walk again, let alone ride around Tasmania on a bike!

The October before we moved to Australia, I was in a dark place. I was in a constant state of severe pain and fatigue, and forever left lying in bed with no energy! I felt useless and needed to escape! Don’t get me wrong, I had good days, where I felt almost “normal,” but they came at a high price. I would go out with my friends, knowing that the next day and the day after would be a complete write off. I would desperately want to take the kids for a walk on the beach, but end up in tears, lying in bed, listening to Mr W and the kids getting their shoes on. The reality of any neurological and auto immune condition is it’s debilitating in so many ways. For me, on the outside I looked perfectly normal, and on a good day, you’d probably have no idea there was anything wrong with me. On a bad day…. no words can describe that horror story to you!

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Enough was enough!

I felt I had missed out on 8 years of my life already, and I longed with every bit of me for just one more chance! I did heaps of research into diet, exercise, completely natural versions of medicines. I spoke to all sorts of experts in healing!  I totally overhauled every bit of food I put in my mouth, and we made the decision to move abroad if I could at least ditch the fatigue. Introduce the Whole 30; and an incredible three months of each day feeling a little bit more human. I began sleeping really well, I was walking a little further, I was staying awake a little longer. I got rid of the wrist supports I’d worn for years, and the stick I was using to walk with.  I eventually stopped taking medicine altogether!!

It sounds like a miracle I know. Maybe it was.  All I can say is after nearly 8 years of hell, 8 years of being unable to fully enjoy my children or my life; my dreaded fatigue, and my pain were dramatically reduced, so we made the decision to go on an adventure, quickly, before it all came crumbling down again. Mr W searched for jobs all over the world, we desperately wanted to go somewhere, do something exciting, and make up for the past 8 years!! A job offer in Australia came up,  we applied for visa’s, and we were off!!! From job offer to Heathrow was about 12 weeks. Expat life here we come!!

The Wilson’s of Oz was born!

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As soon as the trip began I decided not to write about surviving Transverse Myelitis, and I started to write about our Expat adventures. I wrote about our days out and all the wonderful things we were seeing Down Under. The more I wrote, the less I thought about my ‘old life’! I forgot about all those people who I had wanted to encourage, the TM warriors who I had wanted to give a huge shout out to. The ones surviving even though they felt terrible! I forgot about the message I wanted to send to everyone that it can get easier. I was having the most amazing time and I hadn’t once reassured anyone that it can get better.

I had once imagined I would become a “Recovery Role Model” for patients at the start of their journey, but in reality I was too frightened to even bring it up in public.  I was still running away from all those horrid feelings I had left behind me. I thought that if I was to say aloud how good I was feeling, I may jinx myself and end up back in a hospital bed, only this time I would be 10,000 miles from home. So, I haven’t really mentioned it.

Writing my blog, experiencing ‘living’ again, and ‘Turning life into an Adventure’ was exactly what I needed to do and I desperately wanted other sufferers of TM to see that feeling better tomorrow is possible no matter how far down the road you are.

‘You can look to the future, you can hope for something better, you can plan ahead.  People do come out the other side, albeit a little bruised and battered!’ 

Why bring it up now?

I guess now that more people are checking out The Wilsons of Oz, not just Grandma, I have more of a voice?!? (Does it work like that?)  I guess I’m in a better position to let people with a health condition to know that there is hope, and I’m no longer too scared to talk about it here. There is light at the end of the tunnel and sometimes we just need to keep holding on to that glimmer, and keep our minds open. Know your limits, set your goals, and you’ll amaze yourself. I promise!

Welcome to Vic

 

Just because something isn’t happening for you right now, doesn’t mean it will never happen – Unknown

Olivia xx

I’d like to dedicate this post to a true warrior! Joanne Lokwiya is a friend of mine who also suffers from Transverse Myelitis. She is brave, she is beautiful inside and out, and she is a true fighter! I want her to know that anything is possible! xxx 


Transverse Myelitis Society (UK)

The 9th June marks TM Awareness Day 2017. It would be awesome if you could support the Transverse Myelitis Society with just one click here!!!

You can read my Whole30 story here

 

Legends in Concert was pretty Legendary!

Legends in Concert is in full swing at The Palms inside the Crown Melbourne! The Mr and I caught the show on opening night and were blown away! The Palms has a real “Vegas” feel to it; you get a real swagger to your step walking in, and once the show opens you really could be living it up on the Strip!!

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The title ‘Legends In Concert’ says it all, and it does not go back on its word! The stars of the show were incredibly talented, it was hard to believe we weren’t watching the real Legends at times!

Lionel Richie, Cher, Tom Jones,Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, Freddy Mercury and Elvis were all absolutely on point! From their singing, right down to the hand gestures and fancy footwork. Dolly Parton was a mirror image! The performers blew the crowd away; we were all on our feet remembering the good old days, dancing like it was 1983… (well, I’m obviously too young, but was loving it just as much as if I’d seen Freddie live in the 80’s!) Legends in Concert really is the best tribute show I’ve seen, and absolutely highlights some the biggest superstars of all time.

The incredible live band, the dancers in their tiny outfits (husbands words not mine) and the awesome venue all make this a MUST SEE show

Damian Brantley’s Michael Jackson was my personal favourite! (Am I allowed to have a favourite?) I was never allowed to see MJ when I was young, and Damian’s performance absolutely fooled me into thinking he was the King of Pop! His moves were unreal!!! Dolly Parton was the real deal and Freddie Mercury did not disappoint! Elvis closed the show and boy did the front row ladies love him! They couldn’t help but jump up and steal a kiss!! It must have been all the hip thrusting!

Melbourne is incredibly lucky to have Legends in Concert back this year, and as a LIC virgin I can finally see what all the fuss was about!!

You don’t think you’re a “tribute act kinda guy?” Think again!! This show will absolutely change that!!

Tickets are selling incredibly fast, new dates have been released so book now to save your spot!!


 

MJ

When: January 17-28
Show times: Tuesdays –Thursdays 8:00pm; Fridays-Sunday 7:30pm Saturday matinee performances at 2:00pm
Where: The Palms at Crown, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank, Melbourne
Tickets or by phone 136100
Prices start at $69.90
Website

 

 

Ancient Oceans – Sealife Melbourne

Sealife Melbourne has a new ‘Must See’ holiday experience and we’re so excited!!

Kit Haselden Photography - www.kithaselden.com

Say a big “Hello” to this new interactive experience which allows you and the family to journey back in time, dive into Ancient Oceans and meet the pre-historic giants of the ocean. You will be taken on an adventure to discover more about the magnificent ancient creatures of the sea and get up close to some remarkable animals that have lived for millions of years. How awesome does that sound!!

You and the gang will come face-to-face with the living history of the oceans, including mysterious Mudskippers and phenomenal Pig-nosed Turtles. Seen one of those before?? No, me neither!!

Kit Haselden Photography - www.kithaselden.com‘Visit the Sealife Centre Melbourne and enter the magnificent underwater caves of these incredible creatures and be submerged into the ancient seas’

This exciting new display features immersive lighting projections creating animal silhouettes teamed with sub-aquatic animal sounds, engaging digital games and an awe-inspiring display featuring jaws of the pre-historic Megladon, the largest predator to have ever existed. Wow!!

Your little junior explorers will receive a map to guide them through the exhibit which encourages them to hunt for clues and collect stamps whilst learning fascinating facts about the ancient oceans. What a wonderful keepsake for them!

Kit Haselden Photography - www.kithaselden.com

After all that fun, you can put your feet up and watch the brand new 4D movie – Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs – an epic and thrilling sensory cinematic adventure in the pre-historic era of the mammoth ancient creatures.

I know where we’re headed this week!!! Happy holidays!


Experience: Ancient Oceans at Sea Life Melbourne – NEW EXHIBIT

Location: Sea Life Melbourne Corner of King Street and Flinders Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

When: Now showing

Opening hours: Daily from 9.30am-6.00pm

Cost: Adults – from $33.60, Children – from $22.40 (Book online and save)

To find out more about Sea Life Melbourne’s new Ancient Oceans experience visit the website.

 

#sealifemelbourne #daysoutwithkids #schoolholidays #expatadventures #history #prehistoricseacreatures #teachthemwell #parentingfarfromhome #expatfamily