Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Double doctors

Today we visited two doctors. First in the morning, we visited Dr Anthony just to check up on Sophie who'd had a croupy night. I still had some of the medication left from her very scary croup in March, so I gave her that at midnight and then did the steam, but she took ages to quiet down. She was fine by the morning but I took her in anyway (hey, we haven't seen Anthony for months, it was about time). He just said to give her another dose of the meds tonight and otherwise she seemed fine. Also told me off about not having got her vaccinated just yet.
The funny thing was going into the surgery, and finding Nicole there waiting to see him. She was the appt before us.
The second appointment was finally Hannah's ENT specialist. He was very nice. Hannah had been certain he would be a girl, despite me telling her otherwise. Even when Anthony said earlier in the day that she would like Dr Krishnan as he's a very nice man, she remained convinced he was tricking and the dr would really be a girl. While we were waiting to see him, he came out about four times to call other patients, but when it was our turn, she was still hoping he would turn into a girl. When he came out and called her and was still male, she threw herself on the floor screaming. He was very good though, told her all about how good he looks in a skirt. :) He was very patient at distracting her and buttering her up. Apparently the referral letter said 'please take good care of Hannah as she is my best patient'. She liked that.
She let him look in her ears and nose, and remembered in great dismay later that he had forgotten to look in her mouth like I'd said he would. As we expected, he is going to put grommets in and take adenoids out. He is also going to cauterize her nasal passage which sounds really fun. He said she will still get some mucus production, but not so much like she gets now, and that will help prevent the fluid build-up in her ears.
I asked about her tonsils, but he said that most likely once he gets rid of the chronic infections (oh yeah he also mentioned clearing out her sinuses), her tonsils will reduce in size, but he'll keep an eye on that over the next few months, and if they still give her problems he'll take them out too.
So she is going to have the surgery at Central Districts on Saturday 25 November.
The neatest thing about that, is that we now are basically looking at the home run into when mum and dad get back - we just about have plans for every weekend between now and then, and it doesn't seem so far away. Pageant this weekend, village fair next weekend, garage sale probably the weekend after, Hannah's surgery, Christmas street fair thingumy (doing some catering for that), then they're back! Woo-hoo! Not that we miss them or anything...


Halloween today here. After last year where all the families in the street got organised and went trick or treating together, my kids wanted to do it again. None of them understood that because it hadn't been organised (due to the prime organiser being away on holidays) and the neighbours forewarned, there would most likely be no lollies to be had. I tried to impress on them the fun aspect of wandering around in fancy dress, never mind the lollies. We (well I) thought it might be nice to do a reverse trick or treat, where we gave lollies out to people. The kids dressed up as a rabbit (Hannah), a unicorn (Bethany) and a zombie (guess who). The zombie outfit was created at the last minute, with a too-small shirt and holey kneed jeans destroyed in the making. Paul played face-painter, painting a beautiful bunny face as well as a ghoulish zombie face and guts hanging out. We wandered around giving out lollies to the neighbours, only scoring lollies back from the three houses closest to us. Despite discussing/arguing about the whole 'why are we bothering if we're not getting lollies?' attitude, we had fun, and I hope the message penetrated a tiny bit. Later we had a trick-or-treater come to our door so that was exciting too. Never mind he was lamely dressed in just a fake plastic Crows guernsey, and I suspect was out more for the lollies than the experience.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Full house

Yesterday we had Ella and Charlotte over to play for the whole day, so Nicole and Raff could get ready for their inspection today. Of course they were no trouble at all, and everyone had lots of fun. I don't think we had any arguments at all. The injury count was way down too. One stubbed toe (Ella), one bumped head (Charlotte), one bitten finger (Ella - Bethany was biting her finger to make sure she wasn't dreaming (?!), and did it way too hard). Luckily Ella decided that auntie cuddles were just as good as mummy cuddles (but not better! can you believe it?).
The bigger girls took responsibility for the younger ones, with Ella and Hannah making sure Charlotte knew where the toilet was. They took her in, moved the stool into place, put her toilet insert on the toilet, helped her up, kept her company on there, and Hannah even wiped her afterwards! (then washed her hands of course). So funny. Ella slept over as well (Charlotte probably could have, she went down for a sleep in the afternoon very easily and probably would have at night as well). We had a little midnight drama, as I'd promised Hannah that when Bethany was asleep I'd move her (we'd had some sleeping position dramas). So Hannah came in to me at 11.30 saying I had to move Bethany, which I did. Bethany was sharing with Ella and had just about pushed her off the bed. Of course she woke up when I moved her, very grumpy saying she would move back, so we had a middle of the night argument about that. Then Ella woke up and started crying for her mum. No amount of cousins would make her happy, so she ended up coming into bed with me, where she promptly fell back asleep. Some time later, Bethany also wandered in to join us, sleeping at the bottom of the bed. To complete the trifecta, Hannah came in about 5.30. Then of course it was Sophie's turn. So it was a cosy full bed for a while there.
1. Hannah at gymnastics
2. Bethany at gymnastics
3. Ryan in tae kwon do uniform
4. Hannah and Ella helping Charlotte on the toilet

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Born optimist

Tonight at dinner, Hannah was eating out of her pony bowl with her pony spoon (her special My Little Pony set she got at Easter from Adam and Eva) and happily chattering away a mile a minute. Somehow she managed to knock the bowl off the table, sending rice pudding everywhere, and smashing the bowl into several pieces. Not even blinking, she exclaimed happily 'my pony spoon isn't broken!' and continued on merrily chattering while I cleaned up the mess. Now that is what I call looking on the bright side.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


I finally got organised and booked Bethany into gymnastics for this term. She's been wanting to do it since last school holidays. The first session was yesterday (Friday) at 4.30pm. She was already pretty tired from being back at school, so it was always going to be a big ask to make it through a new class as well. She did okay though. When we got there, I noticed there were a couple of kids who looked a whole lot younger than 5 (the class was meant to be for 5-9 year olds). I asked the lead instructor and she said the littlies had done kindergym and were there to try out to see how they went with the real stuff. She said if Hannah could listen and follow instructions she could join in too. Of course Hannah was extremely pleased with that. Sophie had stayed home with Paul and Ryan, so that left just me on the sidelines to relax and watch (and giggle). [Side note: Sophie was asleep when we left at 4pm, and didn't wake until 9pm, just to feed and back to sleep. She's been pretty sick with gastro, the vomiting has stopped and she's moved onto diarrhoea, apparently this hangs about for a week or so.] The girls did great at gymnastics; the leader split them up into three groups by age, so Beth and Hannah were in the same group. They got to use the tramp, balancing beam and mat. The all time best effort was watching them try to walk backwards doing backwards high kicks. Absolutely classic (try doing it yourself, it's not even that easy for an adult). Oh, and Hannah's jeans falling down as she jumped along the trampoline, but still holding her hands up high in the air as instructed. At the end, they said Hannah did great and could join in. She was rapt. Bethany said she didn't want her to as she was annoying, but that was definitely not the case. I did feel a bit bad for Bethany as it would have been nice for her to have an activity that was just hers, and I suspect Hannah will be better at it as well, but perhaps we'll find another activity for Bethany later.
They get a t-shirt with Starplex Gymnastics on it as well so they are pretty pleased with that. Next week I'll try and remember to take my camera.

I did my own version of gymnastics today too, when Nicole and I attended Jacki's yoga class. Jacki is being assessed as a yoga instructor so needed to put together a class to teach. It was good fun, very enjoyable. I thought she was very competent. Raff had all the kids as Paul was at work. As we left, he was trailing them all outside with plastic bags to participate in the fun activity 'getting all the dog poo off the back lawn'.

Oh, have to shout out to Google and my ads on this blog. I think I earn a cent or something every time someone clicks on one of the ads. Since you don't get any money until you have $100 in your account, I think I'll be waiting a long time. Not even allowed to click on your own ads, darn it. :)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Visiting grandpa

On Sunday we went to visit grandpa to give him a copy of all the blogs. It turns out that David has been printing them out anyway so I didn't need to. But at least mine has the photos in colour.
Grandpa had just finished making strawberry jam so the house smelled great. We didn't get to take any home, but we got to pick a bunch of strawberries and eat them there, they are such great tasting strawberries. Ryan and Bethany had fun hanging out with David, picking beans and eating them from the garden, although I picked a bunch and brought them home and used them in dinner and Ryan ate everything but them.
A little while back we'd heard that David's car had caught fire while he was just sitting in it listening to the radio, but I hadn't realised it was actually at the house; I guess they were pretty lucky, the downpipe on that side of the house was all charred from the flames, and there was a little tiny bit of charring on the eaves. I think David put it out himself but then got the fire dept out just to double check no embers had gone up on the roof. The house insurance is going to cover the contents of the car as well as fixing the downpipe etc, so David's happy about that. Of course the car itself is not insured but he managed to pick up two (!) other cars cheaply somewhere so it all worked out in the end.
The sweetest thing was Hannah running up to Grandpa to give him a big hug when we left.

Photo: Bethany in Ryan's clothes doing 'Ryan' things

Fish frenzy

Today Hannah, Sophie and I headed to Big W. It was very exciting as it was Hannah's second only big ride on her bike. Every other time, we've not made it to the next door neighbour's driveway before her legs are too tired to continue. But something must have just clicked - on Sunday she rode down to the service station to get bread (not alone!) and then today she made it all the way into Gawler and halfway home before sitting in the pram. Anyway, as we headed past the aquarium shop, Hannah said we should get some fish to feed Huck. We got four feeder fish (Hannah chose how many). On the way home, I looked in the bag and noticed a couple of little tiny fish as well as the four bigger ones. I figured the fish lady must have scooped a few little ones in by mistake. By the time we got home, there were about 20 little fish, and they were bigger than before, almost growing by the second. One of the big fish must have laid them (or given birth, or whatever they do). We put them into the tank when the kids got home from school; I thought they might last a couple of days, but Huck made it his mission to seek and destroy. Two of the big ones found hiding places under the rocks, but that only meant they lived for an extra hour or so. We put in a plastic container to make a sort of cave but the silly fish didn't find it. Currently there are no big fish left and only about six of the littlies. These ones are smart and staying close to the bottom where it's hard to spot them amongst the stones. It will be interesting to see how long they last.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Facing the music

We had Paul's court hearing this week. He had wanted to apply for an adjournment for as long as possible, as he has his store's conversion in a few weeks time (when they close for a week and then re-open as, ta-da!, Coles Greenacres). We went and saw a lawyer who said it would be no problems, you just need to say you want to seek legal advice and they have to give you an adjournment, no guarantees on how long it will be though. The court day was one of those interesting spectacles, lots of people who know very well what they are doing (lawyers, clerks), and lots of people who have no idea (defendants). After the lawyers all had their turns pleading for adjournments for various people, Paul was the first (only?) defendant standing alone to request an adjournment. The magistrate essentially said 'All you're going to get is 12-15 months suspension and $700-$1000 fine, is it really necessary to see a lawyer?', which the lawyer had warned might happen, but Paul just repeated his request and got a new court date of 21 December. He was very happy with this, as it gets his conversion finished (they open Nov 27 I think) and also the bulk of Christmas trade. The lawyer we saw also said that to her knowledge, they are taking all the time since the offence into consideration when working out the suspension, whether or not you have been driving in that time. She also told us about the Alco-link or whatever it's called, where halfway through your suspension you can fork out $1500 and get a breatho fixed to your ignition and start driving again. With these two things in consideration, Paul will probably not spend any more time without a licence (if suspension of 14 months, 7 months since offence). He's pretty happy about that. His car lease also fortituously runs out on 20 December (the day before the hearing), so he will likely buy a new car (since he wouldn't be able to get the alco-link put into the lease car). In the end I guess it's worked out okay for him.

The world record-holder is...

Ryan got the Guinness book of records for his birthday yesterday (thanks Nic!). During the course of reading it, he shared the fact that the record for eating a raw onion is 1 min 29 sec. Paul, who loves raw onion, declared he could do it quicker. So, armed with a raw onion, bottle of water and stopwatch, he started. Much moaning and pacing and swigging of water later, we checked the stop watch. 1 min 25 sec! How exciting. Ryan was besides himself at the thought that someone in our family might be famous. He wanted to log onto the Guinness website straight away to register for the record, but Paul thought it might be a wise idea to see how the onion settled, to see whether he would be game enough to repeat the feat. Other than everything else tasting like onion for the rest of the day, and some fairly vivid belches, he survived okay.

Friday, October 13, 2006

"Best birthday party ever!"

Although it's not actually Ryan's birthday until tomorrow, we had his 'party' today. After much discussion and negotiation, we agreed that he could have two friends (Nik and Lachlan), since the activities he chose were free/cheap. We headed off pretty early in the morning, first stop Old Adelaide Gaol. I've never been there before, it was pretty cool actually. It's run-down and the displays are pretty lame, but it's interesting anyway.

Photo: Child prisoners at the gaol.

We were there fairly early and there was no-one else there so the kids got to run around and work off some of their excitement. Lachlan got a little bit spooked at going into some of the cells, and was sure the people were keeping secrets and there were really prisoners still behind some of the locked doors. We learned about the only woman hanged in SA (Elizabeth Woolcock, for poisoning her husband) and stood in the hanging tower on the trapdoor that drops to hang people. Yay.
After that, we headed into Adelaide itself for a space display at the museum. Only it wasn't at all what I (and Ryan) thought it would be. Fortunately he didn't get disappointed - rather than being space artifacts it was a hands-on Investigator Science thingy. Interesting, lots of things to play with, even for Sophie. We wandered around some more of the museum as well, there is a new Edicaria display (world's oldest fossils from Flinders Ranges). It's interesting the things that hold children's interest at different ages; Ryan was very interested in the different minerals this time. Sophie loved talking and growling at all the stuffed mammals.
We had lunch at DJs food court, since the kids all decided they wanted Subway (how exciting). I talked them out of it though as the line was very long, and the thought of trying to get four different subs made was just too much for me. Lachlan then chose sushi and the others pies. Bethany waited until last and then I was feeling game enough to brave Subway, so she got it after all. Sophie had sushi too. :) Funny how kids have different tastes - Lachlan loved his (raw) salmon and avocado sushi but wouldn't even look twice at the muffins I made this morning. Oh, the muffins, I felt like such a 'good' mother this morning when I realised we didn't have any snacks, so just decided to whip up a batch of muffins before we headed out. How Supermum of me. :0 They were tasty too.
After the museum and lunch, we headed home then out to the skate park (phew, exhausting just typing it all out !). The boys had brought their scooters (Lachlan's bought especially this week just for today), and Ryan had his bike. The skate park was the best part of the day. You know they had a good day, as we were leaving each thing, they said 'that was the best thing so far!'. But the skate park really did win. The girls climbed up and slid down things (even Sophie), and the boys scooted and rode and slid. After that, home to play Ryan's new computer game (from Lachlan) then off to Hungry Jacks for dinner (all the way to Elizabeth as Munno is closed for renovations). Then home for cake, then dropping boys off.

Photo: Ryan cutting his cake. His request: chocolate mud cake with a gooey caramel centre (cake cut in half and Top N Fill added), with a yin yang on top (last minute alteration from skull).

Of course, the boys couldn't live further apart, Nik at Evanston Park and Lachlan at Hewett, but that's the way it goes. Ryan continued to thank me for the day, saying he didn't know what the strongest word was to use for how good the day was. It was brilliant, excellent, great, fantastic and terrific. So nice he had a good time. The kids were all great, the only little niggle was on the way home from town, the boys had a bit of an argument and Ryan sulked most of the way home but snapped out of it quick enough. Tomorrow Jeannie is coming for a visit, and Bethany is going to a birthday party (Claire's, at Starplex pool).
Photo: Ryan looking somewhat, um, unmasculine. The kids all swapped clothes and took photos of themselves being each other, here Ryan is dressed up as Hannah.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Hannah is sick again

Hannah has been doing pretty well lately - still congested sounding, but no runny nose and actually able to hear. The last few days though she got sick again, complaining about headaches, earaches, sore body, and having a raging temperature for a couple of days. Today she was supposed to go to childcare but I didn't take her - she had been in my bed all night and was really hot, so I thought a rest day would be good. Not that it was a rest day, really. The kids are on holidays so I had the day off work and we went rollerskating at the rec centre (also had a catering job in the morning so it worked out well that I had organised the day off already).
I mentioned before that Hannah spent the night in my bed. That's because she POOED in hers! That's right, I went to take her to the toilet at 1030, walked into the room thinking it didn't smell right, and her pj's and bed were, well, gross. Not diarrhoea, just normal, but she was so sound asleep and wiped out from being sick that she didn't even notice. I stripped her off and took her in the shower. She wanted me to come in, so there we were, in the middle of the night, standing in the shower. We stood in there for ages, I think it was nice for her headache and temperature (I think she was asleep standing up). Then, such a sweetheart she is, as I was sorting out the new sheets etc, she was trying to help, going to take the dirty ones out to the laundry to soak, wanting to help change the quilt cover, I fixed the sheets first and got her to lie down while I sorted out the rest, but then when I was done, she was still awake and wanted to sleep with me, and that's okay, of course. Poor sick baby. She is much better today though, no headache and a lot more energy.

Photo: Last week we went into town and did all the free fun things, including rolling down the steep grassy hills behind Government House

Sunday, October 08, 2006

We did it!

The Wedding was last night, and it went great. Thanks to Nicole and Lee, it went without a hitch (well, except the bit where the earwig climbed out of the toothpick holder and dived into the sweet chilli sauce while people were choosing food off the plate). We got lots of compliments on the food and there was more than enough of it (could have had at least 100 pieces less, I'd say) although there was that mid-service panic where all the first hot food had been served as well as all the cold food, and we were waiting for the next hot food and all the people were 'starving'. Like I said, in the end there was plenty of food though. We had an early drama when we couldn't get the oven lit, luckily the racecourse staff were around setting up for the Barossa Cup the next day and managed to get the thing going - it was very nice to have a huge double gas oven to work with (actually, Nicole worked with it - between her doing all the heating, and Lee doing most of the serving and dishwashing, I mostly got to just walk around looking lost). Did I mention how great they both were?
Kids all were okay - apparently Sophie was a bit difficult to get to sleep for Paul, but she slept through to 6am so that was nice for me. I was home in bed by 10.30 (one of the advantages of living 2 streets away from the function). I was very glad that Nicole was motivated enough to get us started doing dishes during the quieter times, as there was hardly anything to do right at the end of the night.
The food took a long time to serve, even with such a big oven. We served the first at 7, and were still putting food out after 930 (and that didn't even include the sweets).
It was extremely satisfying, as well as incredibly UNstressful for the most part (I was only stressing that I must have forgotten things because it seemed like there wasn't much to do).

Funny though, it's done now and it was such a mental milestone for me that I keep thinking that now it's time for mum and dad to come home. But they're only a third of the way through! But of course it will go quickly - Nicole and Raff are going to KI in early November so we will get Rufus then, which is two-thirds of the way through, and then next thing we know it will be December and they will be back! (sorry to speed it up that way, guys).

Friday, October 06, 2006

Invader makes the news

Well, the excitement last Friday at least made it onto the front page of the Bunyip.