Losing My Dad

Tuesday 21st February. It’s a day I will always remember. It’s the day my families lives changed forever, it’s the day my precious Dad passed away.

I still remember the day, clear as a bell. I was sitting at my computer as I’d just been talking to a real estate agent about buying a rental property. I glanced up to see a Policeman walking up my driveway, closely followed by my Mum. I knew as soon as I saw them that something had happened to my Dad. My first thought was car accident but I tried to push these thoughts to the back of my mind and hope that it wasn’t true. As they got to the already open door, I saw my Mum’s face and I knew without a doubt. “I’m sorry to tell you like this but your Dad passed away” the Policeman said. My Dad was 60 years old.

IMG_7588

Shock takes over in those moments. I’m not sure how I didn’t lose the plot right there and then but I was able to ask what had happened. My Dad was driving in St John’s after looking at a job for his business. He was the director of an air conditioning company. He pulled over, called 111 and told the operator he thought he was having a heart attack. They asked him where he was and he gave an estimate. Then he went quiet. They took 20 minutes to find him as he was slightly further along the road than he had described. They tried to revive him for another 20 minutes but it was too late. He was gone.

fullsizeoutput_a70f

I called my little brother and broke the news to him, one of the hardest phone calls I have ever had to make. We went back to my parents house and I started making phone calls to let people know what had happened. That was a really difficult task. Each time, I would break down, the people I was telling would break down. It was just an unbelievable thing to have to say. My Aunty and Uncle arrived and took us down to the Auckland Hospital Morgue as we had to identify Dad’s body. We met my brother there. Walking into the room and seeing my Dad was so upsetting but also so important. He just looked like he was asleep. His face was so cold but his body was still so warm. I kept expecting him to sit up and tell us he was ok, it was just a sick joke. But he didn’t. I’m really glad we spent this time with him.

Photo 24-02-17, 6 48 41 PM

This is where things get hazy. The next six days leading up to the funeral were filled with people and it’s all a bit of a blur. We spent most of the time at my parents house. So many people were coming and going. The house was absolutely filled to the brim with flowers. I’m not sure how I even looked after the kids during that time but they survived, as did all of us. There were so many people who blessed us. People turned up with food, people tried to look after us, people said so many kind things and offered their help. But none of it brought Dad back. One of the saddest things was knowing how much Dad would have loved being there during that time. He was a fantastic host so having a constant ‘party’  at his house  would have made him so happy.

Photo 24-02-17, 6 07 58 PM

Dad’s funeral was huge. They estimate about 500 people came. That’s how loved he was. We had it at the Red Beach Surf Life Saving Club, somewhere where he spent a lot of time. It was absolutely heartbreaking, it was funny, it was a wonderful celebration of his life. My Dad was an extremely generous man, he was loving, kind and smart. He was the type of person everyone wanted to be mates with, a top Kiwi bloke.

Photo 24-02-17, 6 02 03 PM

During that first week you are so protected by all of the people around you and by all of the things that have to be organised. In the weeks following, the real grieving begins. I thought that I would start feeling better each day but in a way, the longer we go without him in our lives, the worse it feels. I keep reliving his last day. Just that morning Mum had called me to invite us over for dinner as Dad wanted to have a BBQ and see the kids. We were a very close family, live very close by and saw each other all of the time. I ask myself questions about the event. If he had have stopped his car in the middle of the road and called the ambulance, would they have found him faster? Even though I know he was too proud to cause a fuss and he would have hated being responsible for an accident or anything like that. How long had he felt unwell for? Did he fall unconscious quickly? Did his life flash before his eyes? Did he know I loved him more than I love myself? It’s very hard to let things go but I just have to.

Photo 25-02-17, 10 18 52 AM

In the weeks prior to his passing, we had been to two weddings of very close family friends. It had just been the four of us; my Dad, my Mum, my brother and I. I’d seen him on Friday and he had seemed so well. So fit and healthy. Why??? Life can be so cruel. I’ve had people tell me it’s better he didn’t have to suffer through any sort of illness, that his was a quick passing. Although I do agree in a sense, what happened was so incredibly shocking that it takes such a long time to sink in. You don’t get to say your goodbyes and come to terms with what is going to happen, it’s like you heart is ripped from your body without any warning. This path is a hard one but it’s a journey we have to take.

One month today Dad. You’re still on my mind constantly. I miss you so much it hurts. I’d do anything to change what happened but I can’t. I hope I continue to make you proud. I know you’re in heaven, looking down on us all. I hope you are happy and at peace Dad. We’re trying our best to look after Mum. It’s very hard for her. She has lost so much but she will get through this. You’ll always be a part of my life, always be in my heart and I’ll always love you.

x April

fullsizeoutput_a6e2

 

 

Advertisements

Tips and tricks for beating the bugs

Hi guys,

I’ve been planning this blog post for a wee while and although we’re now heading into better weather and therefore less sickness in general, I still want to share my top tips and tricks for keeping our family pretty healthy and away from the doctors. Everywhere I look, there are families lurching from one sickness to another, it’s totally stressful and feels never-ending sometimes so I hope that you find this useful. I’m not saying we’re perfect at all and that we don’t catch bugs, we do, but a healthy immune system is more able to fight them off without the use of any pharmaceuticals or further intervention. Blake hasn’t been to the doctor in a year and a half, Leo has only been once in the past year for something quite minor and Marlie has been recently for her reflux which I’m confident that we’re on top of now. I’m planning to make this the first post in a series of different topics that I would like to cover in relation to health so feel free to suggest anything you would like to read about too!

My absolute favourite herbal products would have to be from the Kiwiherb range. Kiwiherb is a New Zealand based company, producing a unique range of herbal formulations at their specialised manufacturing plant in Auckland. We use the chest syrup frequently over Winter. Anytime either of my boys starts with a cough, out it comes. They absolutely love the taste and I’m pleased to say neither of them has ever had a chest infection. Another favourite is the de-stuff which I use if I notice one of them with a runny or blocked nose or complaining of a sore ear, along with the de-stuff rub which has completely replaced the use of Vicks in our house. There are more products in the range, including those for adults but these are our three favourites. You can buy Kiwiherb from a huge list of retailers but I have linked to their website in case you would like to buy direct.

img_0352

Another completely invaluable supplement in our household is Sodium Ascorbate, high dose Vitamin C. I wrote a blog post on it awhile ago which you can find here. But basically it fixes a huge variety of complaints if you use it right and at a high enough, frequently enough dosage. We also use lypo-spheric Vitamin C when we are fighting off something big. Basically this technology encapsulates the C molecules in liposomes made from essential phospholipids, which protect the Vitamin C from destruction in the digestive system. Within minutes of taking it, liposomes filled with Vitamin C are transported directly into your bloodstream, and into your cells.We get ours from here. Now this doesn’t taste flash but my boys are so used to it now they will take a sachet straight, especially if I offer them a treat afterwards.

Lastly I want to briefly talk about Aromatherapy. This is something that we touched base on during the first year of my Naturopathy qualification (which I have not and probably will not finish). I knew that essential oils were invaluable when it came to fighting off a variety of ailments but it wasn’t until I purchased an ultrasonic vapouriser that I started using them more regularly for the kids. I originally bought one from Farmers, but was given this one from Sleepytot not long after that I far prefer and use all the time with this Sniffles blend. The Sniffles blend is amazing and contains a mixture of Tea Tree, Eucalyptus and Lavender oils which have anti-bacterial, decongestant and relaxation qualities. I ran this pretty much every night in Blake and Leo’s room throughout Winter and I’m convinced it greatly helped. Not only are these oils wonderful for use in the vapouriser but if you purchase them individually  a few drops of Tea Tree oil in the bath is awesome for any skin infections or you can use a few drops of pure Lavender oil down the ear for ear infections.

 

ultrasonic-vapouriser-450x231

So I hope that this may help some of you out there who feel like they need to take control of their family’s health and have no idea where to start. These are all products I have purchased (except for the second vapouriser), this post is not sponsored. I just want to help people and I believe that knowledge is power.

Love from April xx

Sheep World

Hi guys,

It’s been a ridiculous amount of time since I last wrote a blog post so I thought I better pump one out now that Blake is back at school and Leo is back at kindy so I have a free day, woohoo!

We decided to take the boys to Sheep World last Saturday after buying a cheap family pass voucher from Group On. Usually for a family of four, it would be $69.00 but we all got in for $39.00 so it pays to keep an eye out on the deal websites.

Sheep World is just out of Warkworth and is a fab day out especially if your kiddies love animals. Apart from walking around the farm and feeding the animals, they have twice daily shows that explain all about sheep dogs, shearing and the wool industry in NZ. Theres also a shop where you can buy beautiful NZ wool products and an onsite cafe.

sheepworld-panoramic

When you first arrive before you go through the main entrance, there is a Cockatoo named Budgie. This was probably the kids favourite part, they thought he was hilarious and were trying to make him say all sorts of things, including lots of toilet words. We went through and bought the boys a bag of food each to feed the animals and off we went. The animals are all super keen for the food and come right up to the fence. Our kids were a little intimidated so preferred to throw the food through to them, rather than hand feeding. I however was hand feeding, getting covered in drool and other delicious stuff so I would suggest taking wet wipes.

IMG_1752

IMG_1772

IMG_1764

IMG_1810

Anyone else have a fear of birds apart from sparrows and other smaller breeds, oh and ducks of course? I may have passed on this fear to the boys who absolutely crapped themselves when we came across the roosters. Why are roosters so scary? Why do they make such a loud noise and why are they always so aggressive? Arghhhhhhhh. This was an all round fun moment.

IMG_1780

Apart from feeding the animals there is a cute little bush walk you can take the kids on. It only takes a maximum of 10 minutes so it was very convenient for this heavily pregnant mama.

 

IMG_1805

To finish we watched the show which went on for just over an hour. It started off with a bit of a chat about the sheep dogs and how they are trained. Then they showed us their stuff rounding up a bunch of sheep to use for the shearing demonstration. My favourite part was at the end when we got to feed some baby lambs. Leo was so impressed that they had ‘bot bots’ too.

IMG_1822

IMG_1814

IMG_1833

IMG_1842

So the verdict? Great half day out if your kids like animals. To be honest we wouldn’t have paid full price as I think it’s a bit much for what it is but if you can grab a bargain then check it out.

xx April

 

Cute things I’ve bought for my babes head

Hi all,

So this blog is pretty self explanatory from the title, haha! Since we found out that we’re having a girl,  I’ve been getting a wee bit crazy and buying lots of gorgeous pieces for her. I love supporting small businesses so it’s been a match made in heaven. Some of these stores I discovered through friends on Instagram, others I spotted on Facebook. Check out all the beautiful  accessories she will soon be sporting on her head.

IMG_1373 (1)

The grey pom pom hat is handmade by Little Lam-B Creations and is made from pure wool. The vintage pink pixie hat is handmade by Eversweet and is made from pure merino.

IMG_1388

The cream double pom pom hat is handmade by Maddie & George and is made from acrylic. The grey bunny bonnet is handmade by Lbs and Ozs and is made from merino with a cotton lining. All of these gorgeous wee hats are NZ made and can be ordered in a variety of sizes and colours.

IMG_1381

I never thought I would be the kind of Mum who put her baby girl in headbands but it seems I was wrong. The head wrap and headbands in the middle are handmade by Room 5 Design who are based in NZ. The four headbands around the outside are handmade by Mae and Rae who are based in Australia.

I hope you too will decide to support small and keep all of these lovely stores in mind when you next need cute stuff for you babies head!

xx April

Best Health Supplement Ever!

Hi guys, so I need to tell you about something that my family and I literally could not do without, especially over those nasty Winter months when it’s germ and bug central everywhere you go. Sodium Ascorbate for the win win win! Now if you’re asking yourself “what on earth is Sodium Ascorbate?”, I’m here to tell you all about it.

Sodium Ascorbate (or SA as myself and many others like to affectionately call it) is the most easily absorbed and safest form of Vitamin C out there. It is literally magic! As humans we don’t produce our own Vitamin C so it is essential that we get it from somewhere. Some will argue that we should be getting it from our food, fair point, but the way the environment is now, it is near on impossible to get enough purely through diet alone. Vitamin C has amazing healing properties, virus and infection fighting power, strengthens your immune system and is involved in many important biochemical reactions in our body.

So where can you get your hands on some of this incredible supplement and how should you use it? I order ours from iHerb (a fantastic American website) as they stock the Nutribiotic brand that it is not genetically modified and is CHEAP! A large 454g jar will cost you around $22.00, far cheaper than anything you will be able to source in NZ. It arrives super quickly and for those who have never been on iHerb before, it is a whole exciting new world! Make sure you check it out, you can get lost in that place for hours. If you have never placed an order with iHerb before you can follow this wee link that will get you around $10.00 off your first order too.

NBC-00451-4

So when your SA arrives, how do you use it? The most important thing is not to heat it (like put it in a hot drink) as this will destroy the Vitamin C. You can mix it in juice, a smoothie or water (if you don’t mind the salty taste). My kids are so used to it now they will drink it mixed in a little bit of water when they’re not well so it’s honestly not that unpleasant. Some people prefer to take it on a daily basis, others wait until they feel like they’re getting or are sick, this is all personal choice. If you’re going to use it on a daily basis then you find the amount you need by taking it until you reach bowel tolerance. Yes, that means until your body has had enough Vitamin C and it needs to get rid of it via using the toilet. I would say for myself that a healthy daily dose is 1/2 teaspoon, less again for a child and a pinch for a baby. When you’re sick or fighting something off, you will need more. It’s all about listening to your body (and your tummy). It is very important to take it regularly throughout the day when you’re sick as your body will be using it up quickly so don’t be afraid to take it in small frequent doses. You cannot overdose on SA, it will just come out of your body if you reach bowel tolerance so don’t be afraid!

So that’s all from me about this one, feel free to ask me any questions as I would love to help! I hope you learnt something new about keeping you and your family healthy.

XX April

 

 

 

 

 

The Blogging Bandwagon

Hi there! Welcome to my blog, Meet The Sawyers. My name is April and I’m stoked you’ve taken the time to read along. I’ve been wanting to get on this bandwagon for quite some time now and I’m happy that my procrastinating stopped and I’ve taken the leap…

So, a little bit about me and where I see this heading. I live on the stunning Hibiscus Coast with my husband Paul, our two gorgeous little dudes Blake and Leo and our snobby cat Poppy. I’m carrying the final member of our family in my belly as we speak and am eagerly awaiting her arrival in July. I am obsessed with natural health, my family, children’s clothing, trying to make our home beautiful on a budget, cooking (and eating!) and Instagram. So I guess it’s only natural that these are the types of things I see myself rambling about on here.

I hope you enjoy my blog posts, be gentle as I’m obviously new to this! Feel free to leave a comment or if you want to get in contact for any reason my email is april_sawyer@hotmail.com, I would love to hear from you.

IMG_1172
Blake and Leo