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01 April 2014

HMN MONTHLY

Ride for Autism Awareness By Amy Jansen

On March 22, a team of cyclists and support left Hobart Parliament Lawns for an epic fundraising and awareness raising trip around Tasmania! Their goal is to promote understanding of autism – a lifelong developmental condition effecting 1 in 100 Australian children – and raise funds for Autism Tasmania who support families touched with Autism.

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Ride Tasmania for Autism Awareness will cover over 1200 kilometres of road including many regional areas. Alongside the cyclists are a team of support personnel including Autism

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Tasmania’s CEO Terry Burke who will be setting up community information booths at key points. The riders will return back to Hobart Parliament Lawns on the 2nd of April (World Autism Awareness Day) which is celebrated internationally and it’s expected there will be quite a homecoming crowd to greet them!

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World Autism Awareness Day will also be celebrated locally through events such as Light it Up Blue – when both Town Hall and Parliament House, Hobart, will be joining buildings across the world by being bathed in blue lighting for

Autism Awareness (free kids entertainment on the lawns from 6-7pm).

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Autism Tasmania also has a family friendly event planned on the Queens Domain on Sunday, April 13th – the annual “Making Futures Brighter Walk” between 11am and 1.30 pm, which includes a jumping castle, balloons, face painting, “heroes 4 kids”, activities such as the bubble machine and sensory tables. Both the Light It Up Blue and Making Futures Brighter Walk are open to everyone in the community to enjoy and show their support.


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Ride Tasmania for Autism Awareness was initiated by Hobart husband and wife team, Clinton and Crystal Taylor. Autism Awareness is especially close to Clinton and Crystal’s heart as their two oldest sons were diagnosed as being on the Autism spectrum in 2012. Crystal is honoured to be sharing her experiences with the Hobart Mums Network. Here are her words from an interview with Hobart Mums Network mum, Amy Jansen.

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Interview with Crystal Taylor Amy: Hi Crystal, thank you so much for taking time out to chat with us. I believe you have a new addition to your family? Can you tell us what life is like in your household at the moment?

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Crystal: Life is amazing, challenging, rewarding & a blessing. Our baby Theodore is the perfect new addition to our family, he is such a joy and has developed so much in his six short months. Our two eldest sons, Brayden aged 5 & Oliver aged 4, are both very clever, funny, talented, amazing sweethearts and are both diagnosed with Autism.

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Amy: Can you tell us a bit about that diagnostic journey?

putting themselves forward this year to be integral in making this possible.

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Amy: Completely inspirational! What's the vision for Ride Tasmania for Autism Awareness for the future? Crystal: Our vision has always been to retain the core value of raising Autism Awareness! We hear so many personal stories of how a family is struggling with diagnosis, the amazing little children with Autism, a young Autistic teenager or an adult with Autism themselves, are touched by what we are doing -it drives us to keep going. Autism is such a complex issue with different challenges throughout all stages of life. Our key message this year is that people with Autism are Awesome!

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Amy: How can HMN and the families of Hobart help support that vision or the ride in general? Crystal: We would love you to follow us on Facebook, Ride Tasmania for Autism Awareness. You can welcome the Team of cyclists back to the Hobart Parliament Lawns on World Autism Awareness Day on the 2nd of April. Or tax deductible donations can be made on the Everyday Hero website.

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Amy: If a parent suspects their child has an Autism Spectrum Disorder, who do you suggest they contact?

Crystal: Our sons were both diagnosed very early and have received much early intervention thanks to people close to us who gently guided us while we were still in denial. Once we educated ourselves, the diagnosis of Autism, while a difficult & emotional journey, was a relief because then things made sense and it gave us a framework to work within to best help our children.

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Crystal: I would suggest contacting Autism Tasmania directly for both information and referral advice. I would talk to your child's GP or Paediatrician. I would contact support services such as St. Giles and the Early Childhood Intervention Service. And I would reach out to your network of family and friends to seek support and share experiences.

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Amy: Last year, I believe, you and your children formed the main support crew for the Ride Tasmania for Autism Awareness. What did that entail?

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Crystal: We embarked on a crazy adventure where we packed up a motorhome and travelled around Tasmania for two weeks. My husband cycled the entire way, I was pregnant and throwing routine right out the window for caring for my two little Autistic boys. Brayden had just recovered from an emergency open heart surgery just 4 months beforehand and Oliver was and still is completely non-verbal. I was scared, but we were determined, it pushed our boundaries but we all adapted.

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Amy: Wow! That must have been so challenging! How has the ride changed since last year - it seems to have gained a lot more support?

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Crystal: We always knew that the ground breaking year would be full of challenges. We learnt a lot, had so much support and had so many people that wanted to be involved this year. Most of all we saw how this event touched people, it was making a difference and it was inspiring others. Many more people have been great

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Amy: That’s wonderful advice, thank you! The positioning line for Autism Tasmania is "Making Futures Brighter". How do you view the future children and families touched by Autism? What gives you hope?

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Crystal: Autism Tasmania's mission statement is very apt, because the future is most definitely very bright for children with Autism. Early on I was afraid that by labelling my child as Autistic that I was somehow limiting their future or that their outcomes were less than I had hoped for. Now with experience and education, I see this is completely not true. Different yes, but not less! Autism is this amazing world full of highs so great my heart can barely contain the joy, learning moments and perpetual lessons in patience. Hope is in the faces of our dear children, whose potential is unlimited and whose lives are surely a gift to be loved. We are family.


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The Parenting Cafe and De-Stress & Refresh A HMN Business Connect Interview

By Kate Sward, HMN Business Connect Coordinator

Who is Sonja Preston? I am a woman who loves inspiring others – through educating, supporting, encouraging, role modelling and challenging them. I have a love of life, and am focussed on the positive. If things go wrong, I look for ‘how can I make this the best it can be?’ I am a Mum to three wonderful adult children.

It’s a time where you really have to confront your own belief in yourself and your capacity to follow through.

Tell us about your business and what you do. I have two businesses. The Parenting Café assists parents in the their role as their child’s first teacher. We help with understanding Child Development, brain development, and sharing tools for dealing with the issues around parenting eg fussy eaters; establishing good bed-time routines; and effective discipline – delivered through newsletters, home visits and shortly, webinars.

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De-Stress & Refresh offers 2 day Retreats for women, where they have an opportunity to relax, connect and to learn effective tools to enable them to find ways to have ‘me-time’; to set goals and create a Vision Board, to learn to release anger, and to believe in themselves again – to live a life where they feel fulfilled!

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What were you doing previously? I was a classroom teacher, and then a Parenting Consultant for NSW Dept of Education; a National Trainer for Macquarie University, which I still do, and part time worker at the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre. I also qualified as a Life Coach, and utilise those skills in my current work.

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What was the inspiration behind starting your business? My 30 years experience in working with children, parents and educators, as well as my own personal parenting experience. I love sharing, and enabling others to make their lives easier, so The Parenting Café was born!

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De-Stress & Refresh came from seeing so many women who were great at looking after their children, their partners, the house, the dog etc but not so good at looking after themselves. I saw women becoming dis-enchanted with their lives, and a bit ‘lost’ as their children started school. The Retreats have allowed women to find themselves and find their ‘mojo’ again!

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What was the first step in setting up your business? Deciding what I really wanted to do - ie having the courage to leave the ‘security’ of my teaching background, to step into the unknown field of being a business owner.

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Your biggest achievement to date? Raising my 3 amazing children – mostly as a single Mum, and also ‘shining’ through my breast cancer journey (5 years this May – yahoo!). Neither of these are business related, but both of them shaped me into who I am, which led to the businesses! Best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Plan. Take action. Review. Then do it again! Keep learning and embracing the unknown.

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Which person or brand do you admire? My daughter Anna. She has her own business in Sydney, a café’ and also has produced a Protein Bread which is now going Australia–wide. I’ve watched her amazing dedication towards achieving her goals, including working long hours, and how she keeps on fine tuning her procedures and systems. I’ve seen her persevere when many others would have given up and all because she believes in her goal. If I feel ‘stuck’ at times, I ask myself: “What would Anna do?”

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How do you balance home/work life? I just do whatever needs to be done, whether it’s writing an article, visiting a client, or hanging out the washing. After surviving breast cancer, I know that most of what we stress about is unnecessary… just do what needs to be done, and then it’s done!

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What do you do to relax? Yoga, walking, reading, creative sewing, gardening, cooking, catching up with family & friends, and I go away for a weekend every 2 months. I utilise deep, slow breathing to assist relaxation.

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Finish this line. “If I could accomplish…….. anything, it would be to: 1. Walk the Camino Trail in Spain, and 2. Write all the books that I have in my head!

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Any hot tips for aspiring Mumpreneurs? Take action! Talk is cheap – you can have brilliant ideas, but if you don’t action them, they are nothing. Start today, and everyday take at least one step towards the goal. And, look after yourself – otherwise you have very little to give others, whether it’s your family or your business.


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The Pros and Cons of Being a Frog A Book Review By Amy Jansen

The Pros and Cons of Being a Frog written and illustrated by Sue deGennaro tells the tale of Frogboy and his friend, Camille. They are the best of friends but they are very different – from one another and, perhaps, from other children too. Camille speaks in numbers (prime numbers to be precise) and Frogboy, well – he feels safer taking on the role/identity of an animal. Finding the perfect animal for him is not easy and it is Camille who suggests that being a frog might suit him best. But when Frogboy becomes frustrated with Camille, he is frightened he might lose his friend together. The book demonstrates (through word and image) how Frogboy seeks out Camille, literally and metaphorically, in order to first find her and then reconcile their friendship.

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When I first read Sue deGennaro’s The Pros and Cons of Being a Frog, I was so personally moved by it that I put it back on the shelf of the bookstore and kind of backed away from it in reverent awe. Gaining my senses some time later, I kicked myself for not having bought it and so when I had the chance to review it and have it in my hot little hands again, I jumped at the chance!

The Pros and Cons of Being a Frog is one of those rare picture books which tackle hugely important childhood themes without sounding “preachy or teachy”. The storyline and layered artwork pack a powerful message in a whimsical package (the colours, emotion and movement in the artwork are really something else). It is both a heart warming and thought provoking story about the importance of accepting and celebrating difference, and being willing to step outside our comfort zone in how we express ourselves and who we engage with.

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The Pros and Cons of Being a Frog is easily one of my favourite picture books of all time (don’t worry, I now have my own copy!). It is Sue deGennaro’s first book and frankly, if I ever meet this woman I am inclined to give her a huge Frogboy and Camille style hug. If you want a book which models to your children how to be a good friend AND at that same time that it’s ok to be a unique and accepting individual - this is it. I give it five (which is a prime number) out of five very cute croaks.


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Children and Families Activities in April City of Hobart

By Amanda Midgley

April is a busy month, Easter Holidays, Anzac Day and I am sure as the days are getting shorter and colder families are looking for some fun activities to do with their children in Hobart.

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I caught up with a few parents at the Haven this week to start planning for the Families Week Expo in May. Please mark Saturday 17th May in your calendar and come and celebrate families week at Mathers Place, Bathurst St Hobart with us!

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Bush Adventures Run by the City of Hobart, Bush Kids programs are designed for specific age groups from 2-10 years and include a variety of exciting nature based activities for kids attending with a parent or guardian. All programs cost $5 per child.

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Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery TMAG offers a wonderful program for children during the second week of the school holidays. Also look out for their Family Fun Day held on the last Sunday of the month 27th April. See http://tmag.tas.gov.au/ learning_and_discovery/families

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Youth Art and Recreation Centre The City of Hobart Youth Art and Recreation Centre is open for young people aged 12-25. They have an open access program Wed – Fri 3-6pm.

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They also have song writing workshops, photography workshops and art program. On Sunday 13th April 6pm there will be an event for National Youth Week – Light Up The Lane @ Mathers House 108 Bathurst Street - Hobart 7000 See http://www.youthartsandrec.org/

Hobart CBD School Holiday Activities Organised by the City of Hobart a range of activities have been planned for some fun in the city. There will Hobart LINC be art workshops, dance events, story time and science The Hobart LINC offers children and families a number fun. See http://www.hobartcity.com.au/Home of free activities, Rock and Rhyme, Story time and School Holiday Activities see http:// www.linc.tas.gov.au/event-search? Double Helix Club queries_category_query%5B2%5D=3 Join in the science fun and games with a range of great holiday activities at CSIRO's Double Helix Science Club. Check out what is happening this holiday at their website. 36 Church St North Hobart. 6233 7889

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Maritime Museum 'Fish for our Dish!' Maritime Museum of Tasmania Winter School Holiday Program. This family program focuses on Tasmania's fish and fishermen with craft and a visit to the fishermen's wharf. 11-15 June, from 10.15-12.30. Visit our web page for more details.

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Hobart Aquatic Centre Davies Street, Domain, Hobart. Phone 6222 6999 The Aquatic Centre runs holiday activities. During the April 2013 holidays they will run SPLASH program weekdays 11.30am - 3.30pm. Normal entry fees apply or Family ticket $20. *excludes public holidays. SPLASH has floating inflatable’s for the kids including a giant slide, obstacle course, and the log runner! Email or phone for details.

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Royal Botanical Gardens Domain, Hobart Usually has Holiday Activities. Contact the Learning and Community Engagement unit on 6236 3086 or by email at: marcus.ragus@rtbg.tas.gov.au for more details. You might also find details on their website.

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A Weed, Maybe. But a Feed for Me! By Penni Lamprey

I've been honest to date about my vegetable growing prowess, apart from every good intention, I have none. Partly due to being impatient wanting to harvest and cook it now and partly being to me so busy I can't actually get to the tap to water.  The children love water play but hate the idea I standing there watering for a purpose so that rules them out.. I know there are measures you can take to 'drought proof' your veggie patch and I utterly adore home grown veggies, but is lack of water really the only reason for 5 pears, one pumpkin and 3 inch corn cobs about to be harvested? 3 kg's of dutch creams, the birds wiped out the cherry tree, and the blueberries too. I think there was another pumpkin but the bandicoot has started to eat it and even the perennial spinach struggles if the chooks get out. I keep on keeping on in the garden, it's a lovely thing to do even if the yield is low. At times I wonder why bother, but when something does end up on our dinner plates, the babes are mightily impressed and I want to do it all over again, so I do. Unfortunately it appears I'm not learning from my ways....I figure by supporting my local veg shop, I'm supporting local right?

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It's not all bad news though, the one thing that floods our 15acre property this time of year is blackberries, yes technically a noxious weeds which I can't take the claim for growing, but my word I can harvest if it's presented to me. Currently gracing the surrounds of my hubbies tractor shed is blackberries, and oodles of them, he's a bit like me, too busy to slash and keep them under control.

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Masses of plump juicy blackberries that only I can get, not even the babes. I'm not risking life and limb by picking road side or by being chased away from farmer Joe wanting his own stockpile. Nor are they covered in fuel emissions.

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As a side note I was informed recently it's illegal to spray blackberries when they are fruiting. I'm assuming this is to avoid the risk of road side pickers having poisonous products.

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To date I've fermented some into jam, whipped up a number of batches of ice-cream, made kefir smoothies (firm family favourite), muffins for school and also frozen some down for winter puddings But what I'm most happy with is the Blackberry Shortcake, yyuummooooo with lashings of cream...........hot, cold, whatever, it's delicious.

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This traditional short cake/biscuit type base is layered with pear and blackberries then topped with some more shortcake to hold it all together nicely. Apples are a traditional match to blackberries, but I find pears work so much better, especially if a little lemon zest is added. Any fruit can be used, I also made this with the sixteen lonely plums I collected from my tree…

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Blackberry Shortcake Number of Serves:16 Serve Weight: 50g

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Ingredients 125g of Coconut oil or Butter 1/2 cup of Brown Sugar Vanilla bean or 1 tsp of essence 2 Eggs 1 cup of Plain Flour 1 cup of Whole Meal Flour 4 tsp Baking powder 1 Tb extra Sugar 1 Pear 200g of Blackberries 1 Lemon

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Method 1. Cream the coconut oil, sugar and vanilla essence till fluffy and the sugar is dissolved 2. Beat in the eggs, one at a time 3. Sift the plain flour and baking powder together, then add with the whole meal flour to the creamed mixture 4. Line a 20 x 20 cm slice tray with baking paper 5. Spread 3/4 of the mixture over the base, smoothing out evenly over the slice base 6. Quarter and slice the pear, placing evenly over the base 7. Zest the lemon over the blackberries, add the extra sugar and toss the blackberries gently to coat 8. Sprinkle evenly over the pastry base 9. Crumble the remaining pastry over the blackberries 10. Bake for 30-40 minutes covering with foil if the corners become to brown 11. Leave to cool slightly before removing from the slice tray if desired warm

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Penni Lamprey operates A Method of Cookery, a food & wellness consultancy in Hobart. Penni’s believes it starts with food and as such her classes are interesting, unusual in topic and only available with A Method of Cookery. They focus on simple, healthy and sustainable food choices to improve you and your family’s life. Giving you the skills, knowledge and confidence for optimum wellbeing. Contact Penni on 0416 220 833 www.amethodofccokery.com or info@amethodofcookery.com


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Small Steps By Sharn Hitchins

The Hobart City Mission has developed the Small Steps program to provide safe and secure accommodation for young mothers and their infants, whilst also providing around the clock support, education and understanding of child development and the application of parental skills. By doing this, the Hobart City Mission is providing assistance in the present, and a positive outlook for the future.

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The implementation of this program is a positive step for young women under the age of 25, who are at risk of homelessness, or having their children removed into State Care. An individualistic approach through the support services provided will ensure that these young women will transition into the community successfully.

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We are still in the process of trying to raise the final $300,000 for the project. You can help the Mission by donating to the Small Steps program, so together we can ensure these young women and their children get the support they require and the safe and secure accommodation they need.

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Small Steps Ambassador, Bernadette Black, is asking Hobart to get behind this vital project, stating, “you can make it possible for a young mum with nowhere else to turn to receive accommodation in a supported, nurturing environment. Please give generously to help launch this vital new program for Hobart.”

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The Hobart City Mission has been able to provide support to families for over 160 years. It is through the generosity of Tasmanians that enable us to provide this support when times are tough. Further information can be found via the Hobart City Mission’s Small Steps website www.smallsteps.org.au

The Glorious Treat Meal! By Lyndal Jolly

This week I've completed Week 8 of the 12, So into more detail, I thought I might delve! I've loved my big breakfasts of 2 eggs on toast, Tomatoes and mushrooms are added to boast! A nice piece of fruit is a sweet slice of yummy! Well after all that, I've sure filled up my tummy! You see, on this plan, even in many moods, I still can enjoy all the tastiest foods! One meal, I must tell you, is far from the rest. The 'Treat Meal', is truly and simply the best! One meal in the week where our stomachs are free, To eat what we wish (yet still moderately)! So then, I behaved, with my treat meal in sight. I just couldn't wait for that glorious night! A 'Date Night' of burgers! I'd planned it all out! 'I get to eat chippies!!!' I wanted to shout! My heart and my mind, joyous anticipation! To eat without guilt or my own condemnation! To think that a burger could cheer and excite?! Well NEVER have I had a tastier bite! By making wise choices and eating so well, A 'treat' tastes much better, more than words can tell! I savoured each mouth full, and just had a ball.

To end with an ice cream with choc, topped it all! It's strange to reflect that I truly did feel, I never had eaten a tastier meal. For in today's culture, I've now come to see, We 'treat' ourselves breakfast, at lunch and at tea! The snacks and rich foods do all add up quite quickly, Thus leaving our bodies much fatter and sickly. I've found that by losing this weight ounce by ounce, The energy boost has produced quite a bounce! But the feeling, however, that cannot be beat, Is the joy that's produced by my new weekly treat!

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Lyndal Jolly is mother to Benjamin (Bear), 1, and married to David, owner of specialty coffee shop Yellow Bernard. She has just finished Week 8 of her 12 week Sandy Bay Community Weight Loss Challenge with Anne-Petra Green, and will be sharing her experiences over the next 3 months. She's nervous and excited about openly sharing such a personal journey, but hopes that it will not only motivate her to stick to it, but might also inspire and encourage other Hobart Mums to make healthy changes.

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For more information on the Sandy Bay Weight Loss Challenge, contact Anne-Petra Green on 0435 153 734 or sandybaywlc@gmail.com


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A Youthful Rotary Club By Jill Brown

The Rotary Club of City Central Hobart has a unique demographic. It’s known around Tasmania as a club with an unusually young membership, but many people would be surprised to learn just how young that membership actually is. An average meeting looks quite standard at first glance, but that’s before you notice the crayons and colouring book alongside the meeting agenda. There’s likely to be a crying baby being soothed in the background, and you should take care on your way to your seat as there may be the odd ball, truck or book underfoot. City Central Hobart club members range in age from their late twenties to mid-forties – prime time for many to settle down and start a family. Faced with a possible exodus of members who found it difficult to keep up with the demands of club involvement while caring for their children, a unique program was born. ‘Rotababies’ – which has now naturally grown into Rotakids – was created in 2007 as a way to recognise members’ families as part of the club, and make it easier for members who are parents to continue to be fully involved. One such member is Tracy Dance. Tracy has been a Rotarian for ten years, and a Rotarian with young children for eight of those ten years. Liam, 8 and Esther, 6, were both inducted as Rotababies into the club. “Rotary is something I am very passionate about,” said Tracy. “Having Liam and Esther welcome at our club’s meetings and activities means I am able to be a lot more involved.” Rotary clubs contribute to national and global projects, and also work for our local community in many ways. City Central Hobart has a focus on running projects for children and young people, such as running First Aid courses for new parents, sponsoring local youth to attend development and leader programs, fundraising for organisations like CanTeen and participating in environmental work. Becoming a parent is a joyful experience but at times, it can be isolating. Members say they have appreciated social opportunities within the club more since having children. The club hosts regular guest speakers on many different topics and visits places of interest around Hobart, and holds plenty of social events including BBQs, progressive dinners and beach getaways.

Children are welcome at the majority of City Central Hobart club meetings, and most functions and social events are tailored to be child-friendly. A special induction ceremony is held for each child, and they receive a certificate, Rotary pin and hat to wear proudly at club and district events. Belonging to Rotary is a great opportunity to ‘pay it forward’ - to make a difference in the local community and throughout the world, while benefiting from great networking opportunities and making lifelong friendships. Rotary Club of City Central Hobart http://citycentralhobart.org.au


HMNMONTHLY 1 April 2014

Why Boys Need to Play with Dolls By Sonja Preston

How many women do you know who complain that their partners or husbands ‘never’ help around the house? Over the years as a mother and a Parenting Consultant, I’ve heard far more complaints, than praise about the men’s housekeeping participation. This also seems to be born out by researchers who claim that females still do the bulk of the housework.

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Why do you think that this is the case? I believe part of it stems from the early messages children take on board from their parents. We know young children are almost like sponges, picking up on all we, as parents, say and do. Children don’t filter the messages, they just see it as ‘the norm’ – meaning that this is how we should behave. Therefore, if we as children grew up with Mum doing all the housework, then I will believe that’s how I must behave.

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And, that’s what I will teach my children. So, our children will also have received the message that housework is for females!

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If we want to ‘change the belief’, then we must do things differently. This includes teaching your children

(both boys and girls) how to cook, how to wash the clothes and the dishes, how to iron, to vacuum, to clean the bathroom etc. Raise your children to know that cleaning the house is part of all the family members responsibility. We all make the mess, and want to eat, so we all need to know how to clean up, and how to cook. I also believe that females need to be involved in the outside activities, which were once the domain of males – the gardening, and learning to use tools to repair broken items, for example.

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Young children love to help – they want to do what you do. We know that a young child won’t clean the floor as well as you, nor the dishes, but it’s the process of learning, and the participation which is important. Praise them for ‘helping to make our house clean’.

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At about 16 months of age children’s Social-Emotional capacity is developing, and it’s generally a time where they are very much into playing with dolls and teddies

– feeding them, rocking them, putting them to bed. Boys need to be involved in doll and teddy play too….. we want to raise men, who know what it is like to nurture, to be gentle, and to care for another, and it starts with nurturing play at 16 months of age.

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I’ve heard some people’s irrational fear that doll play will lead to a boy becoming gay. There is no evidence to suggest that this is true. A child’s sexual direction is not related to the type of play they engaged in.

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Parents – please foster and support your children to be caring, nurturing, contributing and responsible members of society – regardless of their gender!


HMNMONTHLY 1 April 2014

Should the Easter Bunny Visit Your House? By Kristy Alger

It's a scenario played out across Australia every year. Excited children wake up on Easter morning, rushing out to find what goodies await them. Yummy chocolate eggs lay hidden around the house shining in brightly coloured foils, promising sweet sticky goodness. But this year there's something more; a brand-new hutch, and inside it a tiny extremely cute baby rabbit!

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But this story rarely has a happy ending. After the chocolate is eaten, the shiny foil crumpled and thrown away, and the initial novelty of the bunny wears off, after one too many scratches, nips and sprays of very smelly wee, bunny is left outside by himself. Alone in his tiny hutch with no toys or company, and only seeing a human once a day for feeding time, bunny starts developing problem behaviours. He chews, he growls, he kicks on the rare occasions he is held. Then one day, a few short months later (or maybe years if he is lucky) he is found cold and lifeless having died alone of some mystery and likely preventable illness.

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Some rescue groups estimate as high as 95% of baby rabbits and chicks bought as Easter gifts will not see the end of their first year. Rabbits do not make good "starter" pets for children as they do not tolerate rough handling and loud noise particularly well. But if you are determined to buy a cute bunny this Easter, or any other time of year, these other things you need to know first to prevent your bunny becoming a statistic.

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1. Rabbits go through behavioural changes as they mature. They can become more destructive, aggressive and downright messy. Desexing your males at four months (or as soon as both testicles appear) and females at 5 to 6 months (once they weigh over a kilo) can help prevent the worst . Desexing also prevents testicular cancer in males and uterine cancer in females, as well as preventing more unwanted babies from being born.

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2. As a prey species, most rabbits dislike being picked up as it makes them feel threatened. Allowing them the choice of climbing into your lap for pats can prevent them becoming traumatised and you sporting some serious injuries from sharp

claws and powerful hind feet. They need daily contact either from human or another desexed rabbit friend, as they are extremely social creatures.

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3. Your rabbit should see a vet a bare minimum of twice a year for a checkup, nail trim, vaccination (annual) and dental check. Overgrown teeth are painful, and can cause a slow death by starvation and gastro intestinal stasis.

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4. There are a wide range of diseases which can kill your bunny. Calicivirus and myxomatosis are manmade viruses deliberately released to kill wild bunnies, but domestic rabbits will die if infected. Vaccinating against calicivirus is imperative, sadly no myxomatosis vaccine is currently available in Australia. Another common killer is gastro intestinal stasis, usually caused by an inadequate diet. Other diseases you should research are e. cuniculi, coccidiosis, pasteurella as well as parasite control.

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5. Tiny hutches, especially cheap a-frames, are cruel prisons. Rabbits need space to run, dig, jump and investigate. A hutch should only ever be used as a bedroom. Inside the house is the best place for your bunny to live as they litter trained easily once desexed and can be as enjoyable to live with as a cat or dog. Be sure to bunny proof areas you don't want them getting into and protect your electric cables from curious chewing mouths.

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6. Rabbits can live for over 10 years they are not merely a 3-4 year commitment. Therefore you must be sure you are able to provide a steady loving environment for at least a decade. Rabbits are not easily rehomed once they are past the cute baby stage.

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To sum up, those cute fluffy baby bunnies at the pet shop may seem tempting at first. But they are a complicated expensive and dedicated 10 year commitment. If you are not prepared or able to provide that level of dedication, please let the Easter Bunny pass by your house this year.

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-Kristy Alger Dilly-Dally Rabbit Rescue


HMNMONTHLY 1 April 2014

Metro and the Red Double Decker Bus from the Director

By Christine Jolly

Want to take the kids on an adventure? Instead of hopping in the car and driving to the library this week, why not take the bus to town. Your kids will LOVE it.

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You can take your time. Show up to the bus stop a few minutes early to enjoy looking at the time table and explain what all the numbers mean. As the bus approaches, let your little one feel the sense of importance by being the one to put his hand up to hail the driver. Give your little girl the money or Green Card to pay for the fare. Select a seat together and let your son sit by the window and watch his neighbourhood whiz by. At this stage, my youngest daughter enjoys playing I Spy or Name the Colour of the Cars. Let your son or daughter know when your stop is getting near and let them push the button to notify the driver. As you disembark wave to the driver and give him or her a warm Thank You. The next time your child will model you and enthusiastically wave and shout “THANKS!”

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Here’s my tip: bring a hat and water and “clean” snack (no crumbs) and be SURE to visit the toilets BEFORE you hop on the bus. The fare is $30 for adults and $15 for older kids. Give their office a call to find out age. My girls are 5 and 3 and rode free today.

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We so enjoyed seeing our city from the open top of the bus. The different perspective helped us see our city with new eyes. Your children will enjoy pointing out their favourite landmarks and telling other passengers their own memories of such places: they might point out a favourite playground, a place they once enjoyed chippies, their local supermarket, the spot your car ran out of petrol …….

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If you don’t already have a METRO Green Card you can obtain one here: https://greencard.metrotas.com.au/ For more info on the Red Double Decker Bus visit their site here: www.reddecker.com.au/

Today was my dad’s 60th birthday, so we did what all of your kids dream of doing: a 90 minute City Loop on the Red Double Decker Bus. Your kids eye it enviously every time they see one drive by. Why not enjoy an excursion on the red bus one day?

! Business Classifieds !

The Tasmanian Fatherhood Project Are you about to become a father for the first time? Would you like to discuss your experiences?

Re-Loved Market A place to buy and sell affordable, quality pre-loved clothing. Stalls are cheap and kids are welcome! Our next market is on April 6th. See you there! re-loved.wix.com/re-lovedmarket We are looking for male participants who are willing to share their experiences of becoming a father/caregiver for the first time. If you are at least 18 years old and live in Tasmania, we would like to invite you to take part in a research project that would involve two interviews (before and after birth) focussed on your expectations and experiences of becoming a father. For more information, please contact: Dr Eliza Burke (Research Assistant) University of Tasmania, Social Sciences, Private Bag 22, Hobart 7001 Email: eliza.burke@utas.edu.au Phone: (03) 6226 2715


Light It Up Blue

2 April 2014 World Autism Awareness Day To find out more & show your support for all Australians with autism visit

www.lightitupblue.com.au


HMNMONTHLY 1 April 2014

HMN Website Clickable Links loving our community

! Website Mobile App - iTunes and Google Play Hobart Mums Groups HMN Chat The Haven Swap Shop Cookbook Advertising Opportunities !! ! DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed within HMN Monthly are those of the writers only and do not reflect the views and opinions of the Hobart Mums Network. ! Would you like to advertise or submit your own story? Email Christine Jolly at hobartmumsnetwork@gmail.com

2014 April  

• Crystal and her family brave the challenges of Autism. • Sonja is a mother of adult children and runs TWO businesses. • Amy reviews The Pr...

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