Monday, December 31, 2007

If wishes were horses

We played a game invented by Ryan yesterday. First we had to write down what we would buy if we had unlimited money and the person that wrote the most things won (always got to be a competitive element with him). Then we had to write down what we would wish for and again the person that wrote the most won. It amused us for about 15 minutes, but I really liked the wish lists - here they are:
Ryan - world peace; 1 trillion dollars; no poor people; everyone has computer; no-one dies a painful death; my room is permantly clean; no global warming; every non-living thing was made of chocolate or lollies, when you ate something it would come back; everyone was nice; I could see what the future would be like; I could see what the past was like; I am realy strong; no one breaks the law; I have super speed; I can go invisible; I can create forse fields; I can strech really far.
I love the way it starts well and then degenerates into superhero envy :)

Bethany - Sammy Sinead nice [even at six, girls can be right nasty at times]; me not to ever dye [this then crossed out - because, she said later, and Ryan agreed, that she didn't want to put this cos she didn't want to be alive at the end of the world]; be rich one day; Sophie never scratch; Sinead changes from Ms Gregory to Mr McKay; not be a drout [drought]; never dye [crossed out again]; me get the most counters [our reward system at home]; me grow up fast [no, please it's already happening too fast!]; tomorrow xmas again; we live in snowy place; me in guniss would record [guiness world records]; baby born do poos [ha ha!].
Bethany's is a lot smaller world, but an interesting insight into the mind of a six year old.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Charlotte's birthday tomorrow



I've been teasing my kids at bedtime, saying I can't wait until tomorrow because it's Charlotte's birthday. They're horrified I forgot it's Christmas as well. They worked hard to set up their little table for Santa - the photo is bad cos it's off my phone. There are some biscuits (we had intended to make letter biscuits today to spell SANTA but ran out of time so had to raid the cupboard), homemade eggnog (yum! a new tradition I think, only next time I'll remember the brandy to add to the adults one!), some carefully chosen ornaments, photos of the children (to make sure he knows he's at the right house) and a note (complete with pen for reply from Santa).
I have strict orders to remember to put carrots out for the reindeer (they forgot before bedtime) and to turn the lights on the tree and outside.
The other photo is the kids and our other tradition of new pyjamas on Christmas Eve. Normally they get them just before bed but today they opened them in the morning and made a good attempt at wearing them all day - Hannah even wore them when she went next door to play, but later came back and changed.
The children spent much of the day playing next door which helped the day pass quicker for all concerned, and had the added bonus of tiring them out for an easy bedtime. My wonderful parents called by with dinner (*that* can become a new tradition too, thanks!) which was exciting and noisy but also helped tire them out.
So a few more bits and pieces for me to do here (like put those carrots out!) then I have to be to bed early too so I don't keep Father Christmas away.
Merry Christmas to all, particularly those who are not here to share it with us. Talk to you tomorrow guys!

Yay for the interwebs!

How did we ever survive before there was such a thing as the world wide web? Specifically such wonders as Facebook. Recently, thanks to FB, I got back in contact with my friend Steve who I spent a lot of time with at university and then promptly lost contact with. We had lunch on Sunday which was a very cool and surreal experience. It was very strange to be chatting to someone who looked so familiar to me (he hasn't changed a bit, and was kind enough to say the challenges of all those children hadn't aged me either!), but who was also so unfamiliar, since a lot of things have happened in the last twelve years. Although, other than the catching up on what we've both been doing (only five minutes of course, I mean, how long does it take to discuss marriage (me), four children (mine of course), un-marriage (me again), various jobs (both of us, him more so) and traversing around the world (him, darn it)?), the rest of the time, it was like we'd been hanging out forever still. Talking rubbish and getting picked on, mostly. :P Oh and drinking chai lattes (yay, a convert!). It's a shame he lives a million miles away (what's not to love about Adelaide? some people...).

Running hot and cold

Sophie and Charlotte have a real hot and cold relationship. Most of the time they are best friends, but occasionally, a rift opens between them. Usually when we first get together, they size each other up to determine what mood each is in. Sophie has taken to asking me 'Charlotte not sick today? Charlotte not tired?' to help gauge the reception she'll get. If one or the other has that dark look in their eyes, the other steers well clear for a while, otherwise it ends up with pushes, scratches and sometimes bites. Never for long though, and soon afterwards they will be playing happily together again. It just means we all need to be on the watch, trying to prevent a serious injury suddenly occurring. The other day, Sophie somehow managed to draw blood from inside Charlotte's mouth... At Charlotte's party on Saturday, at one stage Sophie belted Charlotte with a plate causing tears, and then moments later, they were happily outside together setting the table with said plate. As they get more verbal, the arguments get more amusing. Again on Charlotte's birthday, one of them was cranky with the other. 'You're yucky' they started. 'No, you're yucky', back and forwards a few times until it escalated a little. 'I'm yummy, you're yucky'. 'No, me yummy, you yucky!' and finally, 'Nana yummy, Nicole yummy, Mummy yummy, me yummy, you YUCKY!' had all the adults laughing.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Calling Father Christmas

The kids sat down to write their Christmas lists the other day:
Ryan (typed up on computer with a Christmas tree border)
Christmas List
- drum set
- a sim card for our mobile phone [my old one he seems to have adopted]
- a battery for our mobile phone
- a helmet for cricket
- a thigh pad for cricket
- Epic Movie on DVD
- The Simpsons Movie on DVD
- All (or most) of the Simpsons seasons on DVD
- Ben Ten Season 3 on DVD
- The Simpsons Game, Sing Star and V8 Supercars on Xbox 360
- Another Xbox 360 controller

A boy of simple wants...

And Bethany's (handwritten in many colours and decorated)
Things I want for Chrismas.
Take Care of Your Pet from Girl Tech (some tamagotchi like thing I think)
Cat Alive
Big Bubbles
Tidy room
The whole set of the Pet Keper Fairys [books]
Two Beanie Kids
AND OTHERS

Hannah's (written out by Bethany, then copied by Hannah and the two pages stapled into a book)
What Hannah wants for Chrismas
High heel shoes
Kids cooking book [she already has a number of these, but wants more, just like her mum!]
Tidy room
New clothes and pjs
Bratz book
Alion like Ryan [a test-tube alien like Ryan got for his birthday]
AND OTHERS [this one is there to cover anyone else who wants buy presents apparently!]

Tonight too, the kids made me some Christmas cards. The girls want to give theirs to me on Christmas but I got a sneak peek (since they left it right here on the computer table). The words inside say 'Mum I love you for the beut you do. [I think this is meant to be beautiful things?] I love you however you are - but for this special day I am happy to say: Merry Chrismas and a Happy New Year. With a Chrismasy lot of love from Bethany and Hannah! And then a picture of Mrs Santa.

Ryan's was great:

Dear Mum,
Mummy, I love you
For all that you do
I'll kiss you and hug you
'Cause you love me too

You feed me and need me
to teach you to play
So smile 'cause I love you
on this fantastic Christmas day
------------
My mum is very sweet and always caring
She worries about me when I'm in school
She makes sure I get where I am going
On time so I don't feel like a fool
She cares whenever I pick on my little sisters
She cares when we get hurt
She cares whenever I hit a wicket in cricket
She cares about the buttons on my shirt
--------------------
But best of all, my mum loves all of us
who live with her, both when we're good or bad.
She makes me happy with a hug and kiss,
and holds my hand whenever I am sad.
So Merry Christmas Mum, like every child wishes.
--------------------
I love you and I know you love me, we both enjoy Christmas and the holidays, but thanks for comforting me at those times and I know you will this Christmas. Thanks for everything Mum and have a merry Christmas.
---------------------
Mum has four kids, works hard all day
Undoing the damage of time, wind and clay
Makes the whole world want to stop, sigh and stay.

[end]
So, wow. I was all teary by the end of that, such lovely sentiments and well written too. Then of course he adds 'I wrote some of that, the rest is Mother's Day poems off the internet'. Ha ha, still sweet though. He wrote the one that mentions cricket and the words about comforting him at Christmas (!).

Ah kids, love 'em. I'd upload some photos but I got shaped and my connection's waaaayyyy toooo slow to even consider it for another week or so.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Cycling fiends



In my attempt to get the children hooked into cycling as well, I took them on the Big City Ride last weekend. It was good fun. The ride was marshalled, well signed and off the roads for the most part, so Ryan was happy he could race ahead of us. People we know from school were also there, so Ryan rode with them a lot of the time. Bethany pedalled hard, but there was so much to see that it was hard for her to concentrate on riding a lot of the time (and 'KEEP LEFT!'). The ride was 19km (supposedly, though my bike computer said it was 16km), two hours or so, and mostly through the parklands and along the river. Very nice way to see a different side of the city. The kids loved it and are very keen to do it again next year, but with better bikes (cycling is a fun hobby, but expensive!). Beth's bike is a single-gear, and some of the hills were a bit steep (we walked up three I think, me only in sympathy with her).
The other part of the plan was for me to tow the two littlies in my newly-acquired bike trailer, but after a test drive the day before, they decided it was too uncomfortable for an extended period (and it's a bit frustrating for me too - the clamp that joins the trailer to the bike slips under too much exertion, like hills or bumps or if I decide to go fast, and then I have to get off and jiggle the clamp around). I might look into getting a different sort of connector thingummy.
The littlies ended up staying with mum and dad, and then they all came in and met us as we finished the ride.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sophie's birth story

As promised to Lee, here is Sophie's birth story, exactly as written just a few days after her birth. This is a long one too, another cup of tea is in order.

On Tuesday 15 June (when I was either just overdue, or a week over depending
on accuracy of dates) I had an appt with my dr. We discussed induction and
other options and decided to wait one more week before making a decision.
He did my first internal exam of the pregnancy and said I was just a
fingertip dilated, and did a sweep of the membranes.
That day too, I had run out of the naturopathic remedy I had been taking to
prepare for and help bring on labour so I was trying to organise getting
another bottle made up.
I had no reaction to the membrane sweep, no spotting, no cramps, nothing.
On the Wednesday, I had appts for chiropractic and a remedial massage. My
chiropractor also does acupuncture, so I got to sit with five needles in me
for 20 minutes (hands, inner ankles, pelvic bone, if anyone cares). She
said it should take effect in 1-12 hours. The masseuse was a bit nervous
about giving me an hour massage after I’d just had the acupuncture but I
promised not to go into labour for him. :-) Afterwards he predicted I would
have the baby by 10:15 that night (ie 12 hours after I’d had the
acupuncture). I didn’t, but at about 10:15, I did have my first
contraction.

I had a few contractions overnight, nothing regular, I wasn’t even quite
sure if they weren’t just stronger Braxton-hicks. When Paul got up for
work, I told him I’d had a few contractions and probably sometime that day
or night, something might start to happen. I found it hard to believe that
I was actually in labour as I’d never started spontaneously before
(inductions and c-section). I was very non-committal with the approximately
400 people who I saw at school and preschool as I dropped off the kids
(‘aren’t you sick of that baby yet?’ ‘when is that baby coming out?’). I
spent most of the day with my mum, we did some grocery shopping and other
bits and pieces. I was kind of keeping track of timings but they were quite
variable depending on my activity level. Sometime during the day I had a
big globby mucus show, which we figured was a good sign. While we were
shopping ctx were about 8 minutes apart, but I could walk and talk through
them. Mum said she would pick up the kids for me so I could try to
sleep/rest, since we thought I was probably in for a long night of labour.
I went home and laid down and the contractions stretched out to about 15
minutes apart, but I didn’t get much rest as I had to get up to empty my
bladder after each contraction. There were a couple of quite strong ones
while I was resting, I used the pressure point the acupuncturist showed me
(between thumb and forefinger), which seemed to take the peak off the
contraction (I experimented, using it with one, not with the next etc). At
this stage though, I was thinking an epidural would probably be a good idea
if I was going to do this all night. :-) About 4pm mum brought the kids
back home and we tried to decide what to do.

We decided to pack all their things and go to mums house, and wait for Paul
there and then maybe head to the hospital. After we got them all packed up
we headed out. As we were leaving the driveway I decided that maybe we
should go to the hospital straight away, and drop the kids off at my sisters
instead (I’m so glad we all live close by!). So we dropped the kids off
there, Bethany was very upset (she’s been finding it hard to separate for
anything lately). We debated whether to bring Ryan up to the hospital with
us, but figured mum could come back and get him a bit later. So we headed
up to the hospital and got there about 5.15pm. I let Paul know I was just
getting checked out and for him to meet us there. He was just heading home
from work. During the walk from the car to the hospital I had to sit
several times for contractions. Mum was surprised at how close together
they were. But they certainly weren’t very intense – I could definitely
still talk through them and could keep walking, it was just much more
comfortable to sit. :-)

We went into an exam room and met Michelle the midwife and Kate the trainee
midwife. While in the toilet (did I mention I went to the toilet about a
million times that day? Any pressure in my bladder was extremely
uncomfortable so I didn’t drink any water for the whole day either) I had a
contraction that felt a little bit pushy with some forward pressure.

They did a quick check on baby’s heartbeat and then were going to do an
internal. Kate the trainee had never done an internal and said she would
prefer to do her first on someone who had an epidural :-) particularly since
they would have to have another one done by a ‘real nurse’ afterwards. They
asked if I was happy to have her do it, I diplomatically said I would have
the real nurse do it, and if it was okay, Kate could have a go too. They
thought that was a good answer. :-)

So Michelle begins to do the internal and says ‘I can’t find the cervix. Or
the membranes. Here is an anterior fontanelle though.’ Hmm. I had a
contraction during the internal and she then could feel the cervix and bag
of waters. She said I was about 8cm. Mum quickly rang Paul to tell him to
hurry up, while I did a quick run down the hall to the delivery room. When
I was on the bed I had a contraction that was quite pushy-feeling. I had a
discussion with Kate about how pushing was like vomiting. Sometimes you’re
nauseous and not sure if you are going to vomit, sometimes you have no
choice in the matter. I said that I thought I could manage not to push but
I would have to concentrate very hard on it, so she called out to everyone
that I was ready to push. They ran around getting everything ready while I
had a nice strong pushing contraction. I called out that I could feel bag
of waters or head coming so they all started to pay attention to me. :-)
Mum came back in (she’d been running around frantic trying to find Paul) and
held up my leg (I was on my side). Paul came in and held my hand. Then I
had the only really painful contraction. I think it might have been the only
one I had to vocalise through (I pretty much whimpered loudly) – that ring
of fire!! Suddenly the pain/ctx stopped and all was silent and painless.
It suddenly dawned on me ‘did the head come *all* the way out then?’. Yes
it did! I was expecting quite a few pushes to get to that point. Her cord
was wrapped quite tightly around her neck so they got Paul to cut it. I
think he was a bit shell-shocked, he’d just walked in and now he was cutting
the cord! I don’t even really remember another contraction, but I guess I
must have pushed to get the rest of her body out, and at 6.03pm on June 16
Sophie May was here! She was pretty pale and limp so they gave her some
oxygen (her Agpars were 7 and 9 so it wasn’t too bad). I was just laying on
the bed going ‘oh my god, she’s out, she’s here, I can’t believe it!’ and
just generally being amazed and laughing that it had all gone so quickly.
They wrapped her up and gave her to me (all still shaking our heads and
laughing incredulously – ‘she’s out already’). We waited a little while and
then the midwife started to pull the cord to get the placenta out.
Unfortunately she managed to break off the cord and the placenta got stuck
inside. Oh, about this time, the doctor finally made it. He stuck his head
in for a minute, told the midwives they were doing a good job, congratulated
me on a successful trial of labour and went again. Anyway, the midwives all
took a turn to try and get the placenta out, boy that hurt! They got the
gas and air ready so I could have some for the pain. I didn’t end up using
it though. We got Sophie nursing in the hopes it would help the uterus
contract, but no luck. The placenta of course was too slippery for them to
get a good grip on. In the end, Michelle, who’d broken off the cord,
obviously was feeling terribly guilty and frustrated and basically stuck her
whole hand in and grabbed it out. Interesting feeling, that one! My dad
brought the kids into the delivery room about then so everyone had to have a
nurse of her. The midwives were so patient – they were probably itching to
get a good look at her and clean her up but they just waited while all the
kids had a cuddle. Because the cord had been cut around her neck, it was
still quite long. They let Ryan cut it to the right length, he was very
happy about that. The midwives really let the kids be involved. Kate even
held Bethany up so she could see Ryan cutting the cord better. After all
the chaos my parents took the kids home (it was about 7pm by then I guess
and they hadn’t eaten or anything). Paul stayed for a while longer and had
his first peaceful cuddle of Sophie (he’d held her for a little while
earlier but just before the kids got there). After they all left I was
ready to get up and have a shower but they took my blood pressure and said
it was very high (160/100). They dithered around for a while about what to
do (first guess was that I was bleeding too much, not the case though). I
really wanted to get up and walk around since the bed wasn’t the most
comfortable and my shoulders and back were achy, plus I had the shakes.
They figured it might just be I needed to go to the toilet combined with
shock so I had a long shower (although not the warmest), couldn’t believe
how much my bladder emptied, then got dressed. They took my blood pressure
again and it was much more normal for me (100/60 ?). We packed
up all my stuff and walked around to the ward. While we were in the
delivery room we’d overheard them discussing room allocation – ‘give Rachel
the big room, she’s earned it’. So we got the private double room with the
double bed and sofa. Michelle and Kate came in and asked how I was feeling.
I felt really great, no pain except a bruised feeling stomach. Michelle was
amazed ‘I had my hand in there…’ but I said that that head had just come out
of there so a hand was nothing! Kate thanked me so much for the lovely
birth, she’d seen some really crappy ones as part of her training and this
was the best one.
I really did feel hardly any pain, just a bit swollen and tender, but that
was gone by the morning. My stomach was quite sore though – the first night
I couldn’t move around without holding it, because it felt like it would
fall out! This was my stomach well above where my uterus was by then, so I
think it was just basically pulled muscles.

I still can’t believe how quickly and easily the labour and birth went. I
was so sure that the contractions I’d been having were too weak to do much,
and I thought the baby was still quite high so not doing much to get the
cervix dilating.
I realised this was the first birth I’d had with *no* medical intervention,
no pain relief, I didn’t even get an oxytocin injection to expel the uterus.

Today (day 4) I feel better than I did while pregnant – I feel totally
myself again (except for the milk coming in this morning, ouch!).
I came out of hospital on Saturday, later in the day than I expected, but
only because my mum and Ryan finished cleaning my house before they came and
got me. My mum sure is good value!! Sophie was kind enough to mostly sleep
that afternoon, so the kids and I got to get back to some sort of normality.
Paul has a long tough stretch at work (13 days straight, long days too) so
he’s mostly working and sleeping, but he has had some nice cuddle time with
his newest princess.

Oh, her stats – she weighed 3.78kg (8lb5.5oz), was 51.5cm (20.3 in) long and
head circ of 33.5cm (13.2in). She only lost 100 grams and is back over her
birth weight already.
We already had her first outing, to my cousin Bella’s 1st birthday party
yesterday, and then today (Monday) I had to do the grand tour of the school
and childcare showing her off to everyone.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Headless

Amongst much consternation, Ryan and his friends Lachlan and Mitchell went to Friday night rollerskating at the rec centre. It was a Halloween themed night and there was a chance to win a PS2. Of course the boys were keen as mustard for this! Lachlan's mum was quite worried about letting our poor innocent 8 and 9 year old lads loose for the night, but in the end we talked her into it (ah, peer pressure). I ended up staying for the evening (thanks mum and dad for minding Bethany and having her sleep over too!), and the other mums came along for a while too just to see what it was like (tame and safe, of course). Not everyone who was there dressed up, and those who did dress up, went mostly with the store-bought masks or skeleton outfits. Not my boy, of course. He thought about it long and hard and had a grand plan which he explained to me in great detail, several times. I thought it had no chance of working, but we ended up giving it a go the night before, and what do you know, it actually ended up looking okay. He stuck his head through the middle buttons of a shirt, put a pillow up his back and went as some headless guy.


The people organising the skating thought he was great, but the person picking the best dressed (just a parent they pulled from the crowd) didn't even wander to his end of the line and instead chose one of the generic mask-guys. Ryan was pretty bitter about that. And then they came so close to winning the PS2 door prize as well (well, the winner was green F96, and Ryan was green F45, that's close enough!).

Friday, October 12, 2007

How crazy am I?

When I agreed to Ryan having five (five!) friends for a sleep-over for his birthday, I forgot that not all boys are lovely well-mannered angels like mine. And certainly not once they reach a certain critical mass. Actually the boys have been generally well behaved although perhaps a little boisterous. We had one altercation during a game of lemonball. That's not the usual lemonball (which is like baseball only substituting lemons for balls), but the lemonball that's more like paintball. Which was all good fun for quite a while until one lad began throwing lemons a bit too hard and at too close range, so the others decided to all show him what it felt like. Up close and very hard. It all ended okay in the end, the one who started it apologised and they all ended up friends again. Right now they are all starting to quiet down, watching some show called Ben 10 that Ryan got as a gift. I will put a video up in a while of Ryan's cake.
The girls are off sleeping at friends and cousins, although Sophie stayed here - she is off tomorrow too with the cousins, while I take the boys to the movies (Underdog) and skate park.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Time flies

It's amazing how milestones seem to slip by without you really noticing it. All of a sudden you take stock one day and realise, say, that your baby is no longer a baby but really a little girl. Two things have happened lately with Sophie. During the current school holidays, Paul and I have been playing musical children, which is great fun as it's nice to have different combinations of children, you get a totally different interaction happening. Somehow, Sophie and Bethany ended up here, and Sophie slept in Hannah's bed, rather than her cot. She slept there quite well, and over the next few nights continued to do so. Next thing you know, we've assembled the spare bed, moved Bethany's stuff into the playroom and suddenly Sophie is sleeping in a big girl bed and sharing a room with Hannah!

Here's a photo of Sophie sleeping in the big bed the first night (the bed is meant to be the top bed of a bunk, hence the railings; the older girls argued one too many times about who was going to sleep on the top - neither of them wanted to! - so the bunks got disassembled)



Secondly, a few weeks ago mum asked when I was going to night-train Soph (she's been day-trained for months). I said I wasn't going to bother as she was still waking up very wet in the mornings. But as an aside, that night I suggested to Sophie that she shouldn't wet in her nappy during the night but instead should wait until the morning and use the toilet. And what do you know? She did! She's been dry every night since (although I still put a nappy on her).

Other photos:

It's school holidays! That means a stand selling fresh-squeezed orange and lemon juice was in order. They didn't sell any but we all enjoyed drinking it afterwards.




Bethany has a bath fully clothed.





Sophie finishes off a round of camembert, the kid has good taste!





Don't question why there is a wet naked fairy at the computer.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

When friends argue

A long time ago we bought a fish that moved in with Huck. They got along great. They seemed to even provide some companionship for each other. They would swim together and share the fish food we rained upon them. In general they would ignore each other. Until something changed. Several days ago a child called out 'the turtle is eating the fish!' and sure enough, the turtle had a grip on the fish's tail. I quickly threw some turtle food in the tank which distracted Huck. The fish ended up with a much shorter tail, but everything went on as usual (with me vowing to feed the turtle a little more frequently perhaps). Today another call - 'the turtle's got the fish again!'. Only this time it was too late. The turtle only had half the fish, the other half already being in its belly. The kids all watched in disgust as the turtle pulled the fish apart and ate it up. Beth was a bit sad for a little while, but the grossness of watching the fish get eaten was a decent distraction. They watched on and off over the afternoon, always commentating on how gross and disgusting it all was, but watching all the while. The coolest bit was when a thing that I assume was a flotation bladder of some sort was, well, released from the fish - it looked like a big bubble and it floated. Until the turtle ate it.
I still can't believe that Huck ate his buddy. [Photo added to prove it - note the half-eaten fish hanging out of Huck's mouth]

Friday, September 21, 2007

Where's that tooth fairy?

Bethany wrote this note today for the tooth fairy:

Dear tooth fairy, you didn't cellect my tooth last night and I feel bad (I don't want to be ruled [rude]). Please cellect my tooth. It's my 7th lost tooth. From Bethany.

That's right. The tooth fairy didn't come. Can you believe it? We figured that maybe lots of children lost their teeth last night and so she was running late. And sure enough, Bethany put the tooth out in the sunroom (so the tooth fairy wouldn't be scared off by us) with this note, and somehow she snuck in and took the tooth and left some money! Phew.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Good to see my subliminal training about how you can still love a person even if you don't like the particular thing they are doing seems to be working. The other day Ryan was really really angry at me. 'I hate your actions!' he screamed at me, and then stormed off. Too cute.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A new era

Something totally exciting today... I'm blogging from work!!! We just got all upgraded to new amazing computers running Vista, and best of all, internet to desktop! Way cool! Can I fit any more exclamation marks in this post?!!! I'm sure I won't really blog from work much, I'm not here often enough and I'm too busy when I am here, but by jingo, it's a cool thing.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Fat Bob rocks

It's been well over a week since the Cure concert, and I meant to blog about it much earlier than this. Oh well, what can I say? Life happens.
First, thanks to mum and dad for giving me the ticket and for mum for keeping me company.

Fat Bob is of course Robert Smith, who was not so fat this time as he was in 2000 (yes, it's been 7 years since they've been here). He also wasn't as boring as last time. In 2000, they played far too many songs from the albums of the time - Bloodflowers and whatever the other boring one is. Actually, I just checked the setlist from that concert and it doesn't really seem they played that much from those albums - I guess it was because I was pregnant with Bethany that I fell asleep (yes really!).
Anyway, this concert rocked! It was the first concert I've been to in a very long time (maybe the Cure was the last one too?). As you do, being Adelaide, we bumped into people we know - Tanya and Marco. Still together, happily building boats (and even selling them these days!). The strangest thing for me, not having been to a concert for many years, was seeing all the white illuminated squares in the audience. That would be people's mobile phones. Of course I also got sucked in to taking photos and videos. All very crackly and blurry, but still neat. I even captured the 'peaceful bit'! Aaaahhh......

Mum told me about an interview Robert did where he said they were going to play all old songs, give the fans what they want, and they certainly did. I actually knew every song played (I was a bit worried there might be too much newer stuff as I haven't really enjoyed it so haven't listened that much). They played for three solid hours, coming back for two encores. I found a setlist here but it doesn't really capture the total rocking-ness of the concert. Because there was no keyboard player, and two guitar players (three if you include the man himself), the dynamics of a lot of the songs were quite altered. For the better. Of course the music was way too loud (and a little tinny at the top, I thought) but it was still great. Never Enough was just amazing - totally pumped up and freaked out. Way cool. Robert actually moved around the stage for that one!
He was his usual shy self, apparently there were lots of his Adelaide-based family members in the audience so maybe he was extra nervous. He only made a comment or two, always hard to decipher as well.
The encores were cool, especially the last. Who expects to hear Fire in Cairo live?! The whole 2nd encore was from that album (Three Imaginary Boys?) which was really neat.
There were even a couple of songs from Head on the Door, my favourite album, which was kind of him.
All in all, a fun night. Though I left shaking my head at the total waste of electricity and energy, pumping out that level of sound for three hours, never mind the shipping around the world of all that equipment. Tut tut.
But at the end, he did say 'See you again!' so perhaps I'll make it to one more concert...

Oh I almost forgot, worth the price of admission was watching a very drunk young lady diagonally opposite us totally get into the songs, acting them out when possible, and pumping her fist when not. Her boyfriend sat stony-faced through the whole thing, though another male with them faithfully and energetically played the air drums all the way through. Just great.

That crazy bag lady

Bethany's mind really fascinates me. Tonight, in the bath, she commented that when Andrea shouts her voice sounds kind of blurry. (Andrea is a friend of mine, we don't hear her shout all that often; it just sounds normal to me when she does). She said Andrea's voice sounds kind of blurry and it reminds her of Andrea's skin, which is kind of smooth and kind of blurry. (It's just normal skin). She said when Andrea shouts, she thinks of/sees grey, and blurry windows, and Andrea's skin. Totally peculiar. We did see Andrea today, but she didn't shout...
Oh, when I mentioned to Paul my comment about her being a great author or crazy bag lady, he kindly reminded me it's possible to be both. Great.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Some funnies

A couple of snippets of our conversations today:

Me to Ryan: I know it's important to you to invent a hovercraft, but not before breakfast please.

Bethany to no-one in particular: Oh, I just nearly had three pairs of knickers on! I was still wearing two from yesterday and then I put today's over the top as well.

Hannah: Blaze is so naughty.
Me: Really? Who calls him naughty?
Hannah: No-one, they just call him Blaze.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Surprise! It's my birthday

I turned 33 today. I still look forward to my birthday, such a kid I am. A birthday is always a time to reflect on the year that's passed and indeed your life so far. I'm so happy and settled at this point in my life, it's a lovely feeling. Happy with my achievements so far, looking forward to the future which offers so many opportunities, the everyday pleasures of my beautiful children, ah life is good!
Speaking of beautiful children, these guys have been so great about my birthday, Ryan especially. Paul took them shopping on the weekend and they chose presents (cookbooks, what a surprise!) and a card. Ryan wrote a cute poem for me:

Dear mum,
You've laid with us at night;
You've made our breakfast at light;
We're thanking you right now;
We're making a birthday cake,
Not missing a bit;
Happy Birthday!!
We love you mum!

PS We love you!!

He apologised for the poem not rhyming at the end, but I still think it's pretty darn good.
The other great thing Ryan did was decide to organise a surprise party for me. His organisation of it mostly consisted of coming up with the idea and then inviting my friends. He invited Andrea first (who also conveniently happens to be the mother of his best friend), who asked the usual details, like where, and what time. Ryan didn't have answers to any of that, so Andrea suggested he better talk to an adult about it first, like maybe my mum. So he spoke to mum who said it was a great idea. She asked how he was going to supply the food and what he was doing for a cake. He was a bit stumped at that. She kindly offered to help. :)
So between them (well, mostly mum) they came up with a great party. I did have an inkling it was happening as mum warned me he was planning something and then the big giveaway was a cranky Hannah this morning yelling 'No, I don't want to have a surprise party for mum!' when the kids were whispering away. I pretended to be deaf for a little while just then... Everyone else did a good job of keeping a secret, especially Vicki who sounded very surprised when I mentioned it was my birthday.
At very short notice, with not many free hours, mum whipped up plenty of delicious food as always, as well as a tasty cake (decorated with a bicycle, ha ha).
They all did a wonderful job of making me feel loved and special.
I also got some neat presents, some interesting books and Cure tickets!! Woo-hoo! I wasn't going to go to the concert because I couldn't justify the expense, but when my parents are paying, of course I'll go! It's next Monday which is great timing too.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Fourth time's the charm

Some tired snow bunnies.
Our snow kangaroo. Yes we really made it, not just posed with someone else's sculpture!

Four cute kids off to sight Mt Kosciuszko (Ryan thought we were going to climb it, bottom to top; perhaps a bit optimistic with a toddler in the middle of winter).
We saw lots of signs of the drought in our travels. This is one of the most obvious.
We made a slight detour on the way home to go through Glenrowan to visit the giant Ned Kelly. Cool, huh?

Back the third

The absolute highlight for me was learning to ski. We only skied for a day and a half but it was great! I could have stayed there for weeks. It took me a little while to get going; after the first day I was somewhat ambivalent but Ryan took to it like a duck to water and insisted we do it again the next day. I'm so glad we went back for the second day. Everything seemed so much easier (I guess we were less tired too). Neither of us fell down and we had so much more control over everything. And we had so much fun. The ski fields were pretty deserted (weekday during school term will do that) so we could pretty much do what we wanted. We were at Selwyn which is really geared to family and kids. We did a couple of really long runs and even made it unscathed down a blue run a couple of times (they go green circle (easy), blue square (medium) and black diamond (really scary)).

Photos of the kids skiing plus the view from the chairlift.


Back part 2





I wasn't sure how long I could make my blog before it fell in pieces around me. Although I've seen some mighty long blogs out there. Not naming names...




Ryan got all kitted up for the snow before brushing his teeth.


Our first glimpse of snow.


Four very happy kids.



Sophie hiding from something.



This is the Big Trout in Adaminaby, near where we stayed for the snow. Good trout fishing there in summer apparently.

We're back!

Back from our fun-filled, action-packed, non-stop adventure holiday. We really had a great time. The weather was great, the kids were great, everywhere we stayed and went was great. Most nights I went to sleep with a smile on my face, just feeling good about the holiday and life in general.
Ryan promised he will put up his own blog of the holiday so I will link to that when he does it. I'm not sure what I will put in here - I actually wrote a travel diary and kept it up for the whole two weeks, no mean feat for me... I could conceivably type it all in here. Or maybe not. I think I'll just put in some photos for now.

Bethany found this place in Mildura.

Our second night we stayed at Burrinjuck (or something) National Park, just outside of Canberra. The kangaroos were very friendly and came up to us as soon as we got there to see what goodies we had for them.

Giant pears at the National Gallery.
Sophie very happy at an adventure playground in Tidbinbilla (or something) National Park. This area was devastated by the bushfires in 2003, it was interesting to see the way the bush has recovered.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

What am I doing?

Sometimes you have to just stop and ask yourself, what the heck am I doing?
Why am I sitting here, at 10:30 at night, freezing cold and sleepy, yet messing around with changing the style and colour of this blog? Why?! It's not like it's something I have to do, or something that needs to be done, just something that can be done. Why am I spending my time thusly?
If I could answer that, I would probably be a much more productive person in life!

No business like snow business

So very soon we head off for our long awaited 'snow trip'. We leave as soon as everyone is up and ready on Saturday morning. That could mean 5am, it could mean 9. We'll just have to see...
I think we're pretty much all organised (or at least as organised as I'm ever going to get).
A few weeks ago, we went to a secondhand ski wear sale and picked up mittens, jackets, snow suits etc. The weird thing is that earlier that day, I had picked up some cash for a catering job, $366 to be exact. Then we went down to this ski sale and spent $361 without even trying to match the amount. Here is a photo of the kids all decked out in their snow suits and mittens.

And then an amusing photo of Sophie licking oatmeal off the floor. It's often best not to ask why when you see photos such as this.

The last few days we have been working out what quilts or sleeping bags we should pack (space is limited in the van and there are lots of us with lots of stuff). The kids are testing the sleeping bags tonight on the lounge room floor (the last gloomy photo).

Most of my photos will be gloomy from now as the flash appears to have broken on my camera. Joy. But Paul did get some (unintentionally) speccy photos on Sophie's birthday due to the lack of flash (another post).

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

How did this happen?!

Sophie turned 2. How did that happen already?
She had a fun day, we had a little party at our house with the family after she scored all things Shrek for presents. A photo here of her in her new Shrek pjs and holding her new Shrek doll. On the cake you might also see a Shrek decoration. She continues to be the most adorable child. Today's cute word addition is 'holiday' which sounds unbelievably cute when a two year old says it!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Tonight's funny

Tonight we were talking about Hannah's day at kindy. For some reason Bethany started asking her about her friend Taylah (did I spell that right?!). 'Does Taylah ever not want to play with you?' (yes, sometimes she says only her and Ella can play). 'Does Taylah ever say mean things to you?' (yes, often). Bethany couldn't really tell me why she started asking these questions though, an interesting line of questioning to come out of nowhere though. Anyway, after answering the questions and thinking for a while, Hannah said 'I need Ryan to come to kindy and make her stop'. So cute to see the big brother as rescuer. When I asked what Ryan might do, she didn't have any ideas, just knew he could make it stop.
I told Ryan about it later and he laughed, pleased. His suggestion was that he would pay Taylah to make her stop. Five cents if she stopped for a year. Not sure if that's a workable plan though.

PS Glad to have mum and dad home!!!!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Farewell Kristine

I was shocked and saddened today to receive an email that my friend Kristine in the US died today. Kristine is one of the mums on my oct98 list that I joined when pregnant with Ryan, so I've 'known' her for 9 years or so. Kris was a loving mum to three great kids, Granger, Kayla (Ryan's age) and Walter (just a day older than Bethany). She was a thoughtful person who always had useful insights and advice whenever someone on 'the list' had a problem or question. She struggled at times to feel comfortable with herself but always her love for her kids shone through. I don't know yet why she died but she had been complaining of chest pains (although she had tests and they'd found nothing).
It seems a bit phony to be crying about someone dying on the other side of the world who I've not met, but I did know her, and I know her children through her emails. I am so sad for them - Granger, the teenager who will now grow up so much quicker than he should, and Kayla and Walter, who will never again get a cuddle from their mummy.
My children got plenty of extra cuddles tonight, that's for sure.

One nice thing is that Kris blogged, so her kids will always have memories of her and how important they were to her through that. Our list, I'm sure, as we did for Adele who also died, will make copies of Kris's relevant emails and make a little memento book for the family. This is difficult to do (re-reading all those emails) and I daresay it's something that they wouldn't be able to read for quite some time, but again it's a nice picture of the sort of person Kris was.

As Beth said when she let us know:
She was a wonderful person, a generous friend, a loving and playful mother. She was
always full of life and ready to help anyone, anywhere.

Goodbye, Kris. I'm so sorry for those left behind.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Queen of Cute

Oh, man, Sophie is so cute! All my kids are cute, but Sophie is really the Queen of Cute as we call her. Her latest cute thing is to sing 'Happy Birthday' or the Pooh Bear Song. They sound pretty much the same, although she invented the Pooh Bear Song. If you listen carefully you can distinguish them. The Pooh Bear Song goes 'da da da Pooh Bear, da da da Tigger, da da da Piglet' and so on, while Happy Birthday just goes 'da da da, da da da, da da da'. And she does a cute Stevie Wonder thing at the same time where she has her eyes closed and throws her head around.
She is also saying some really cute things at the moment. The latest ones are 'dank-oo mummy' for thankyou, as well as 'sorry mummy/Ryan/Hannah etc' and 'silly mummy', also 'puh-lee' insistently for please when she wants something. She also has this really attitude-filled way of saying yes at the moment. Even if it's to answer a question like 'do you want an apple?' the yes is just delivered 'yeah' with a total of course that's what I want attitude. It's so funny.

But the other kids are so cute too. The big thing here is space and the stars. Our numerous space books that we have accumulated over time are getting well used at the moment. The kids love looking at the stars and planets and have the funniest conversations. The other day they were having a very in depth argument about whether Pluto should still be considered a planet or not. After heatedly discussing all the reasons it got voted out, so to speak, the conversation ended when Hannah vowed she was going to become an astronomer and lobby for it to be re-included as a planet. So funny to hear them discussing such things while they get dressed in the morning.
Hannah told me yesterday that after we're all dead, the sun is going to turn into a red star and the Earth will get sucked into it. This is true of course, but it's something like 5 billion years after we're all dead. Lucky she wasn't too concerned about it.
She can also list off all the planets in order from the sun, and in size order, as well as read their names and identify each of them visually. She can also explain why Uranus (or is it Neptune?) rotates with its pole pointing towards the sun (a giant lump of rock crashed into it and knocked it sideways).
All the kids like spotting constellations in the sky and identifying particular stars. We were very excited to learn that through June you can spot several of the more distant planets. Looking forward to Sophie's birthday when you can see Jupiter!

They also have a planets song, jointly composed by daddy (of course).

Oh Venus, it rhymes with penis
Oh Moon, it doesn't rhyme with penis
Oh, Jupiter, nothing could be stupider
And it doesn't rhyme with penis.
Oh Uranus, I think I see Uranus [said the old-style way where it's much funnier even if the kids don't get it]
Then you finish the song with a big old 'I-oh!!!' for Io, one of Saturn's moons.

Great, huh. At least I've mostly got them out of singing it in public places.

Mum will like Hannah's latest smart-kid moment today, when she decided the puzzles at kindy were too simple and started doing them upside down so she couldn't see the pictures! Without any prompting from me, I swear.

I guess it's winter

It must be winter now. We turned on the heater for the first time tonight! That's a world-record for us. Last year we made it to May, this year it's well and truly June before we turned it on. We didn't even really need it on tonight (Ryan still had on just a t-shirt when he turned it on) but I wanted to check if it worked. Most nights we're too busy running around before dinner to bother with it, and then after dinner and bed I either exercise which warms me up, or I'm cooking, or I sit with a blanket on if I'm on the computer (and the heater doesn't reach there anyway).
The weather's just gotten really cold the last few days, although it's been sunny for a while, and I think that's helped the house retain its heat so well. We've had a bit of rain which is exciting but now I really need to mow my lawn unfortunately!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Vale Poppy Stan

Mother's Day here was a bit mixed. As I was in bed being treated to cold cereal made by Hannah, the phone rang. It was Paul, to tell me his dad had just died. This had not been unexpected - Stan had been in hospital for tests for a week after he deteriorated rapidly, and had come home on Friday to die in his own bed. Paul had been spending a lot of time there over the last few days, helping his mum to care for his dad. He had been very scared of how Stan's final days would play out, but in the end, everything turned out as well as can be expected (if you can say that of someone's death). They got to make some peace, Paul helped his mum, faced a lot of his fears and made sure his dad died in his own bed just as he wished.
Paul and Jeannie seem to be coping okay. Stan's death has been a long time coming, so it's not really a shock, more an adjustment period, I guess.
The obits in the paper today were very nice. Stan was a much loved and respected person. He fought his unwinnable battle valiantly, I wish the children had had the chance to know him before he was mostly bedridden and so wrapped up in his own pain.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Fishy update

On Saturday when I went to feed the fish, I noticed that Saturn, the little orange fish in with the yabby, was missing. Then I noticed half his body being chomped on by the yabby. So the yabby (Nipper, his name is) had the best plan - he ignored the fish after the first few minutes, lulled it into a sense of security for a few days and then had a feast!
Silver Dart is still going strong in with Huck.
We had a naming controversy over the fish too - Hannah wanted to name them Saturn and Venus (planets are the in thing here at the moment) but Ryan wanted to name them Silver Dart and Orange Something-or-other. Much tears and yelling ensued until we settled on the obvious compromise...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Fishy fun



Today Hannah wanted to buy some feeder fish to keep Huck entertained for a little while. We went to the fish shop but they didn't have any little fish. Hannah was keen in investing in some nice brightly coloured things but I figured it was a bit steep to pay $6 for one's days food for Huck.
After talking to the lady in the shop, we decided to get some comets (fast goldfish) as they can often survive with turtles. They were only $2.50 too, which was a more reasonable investment. The lady chose the biggest comet, which is actually pretty big (although not as big as the perspective in the photo makes it look!). We also got a smaller bright orange comet for the yabby tank.
Coolest thing, when we got home to put them in the tanks, I thought for a second the yabby had had a baby, but it had actually shed it's skin. I wish we'd seen it happening. I fished out the old shell and it's drying on the sink right now.
Watching Huck with the new fish was hilarious. They just did laps and laps around the tank for a while. I put a few bits and pieces in there for the fish to hide in, but it didn't really take the hint. And been a goldfish, of the famous 5 second memory, it would race frantically away from Huck - ah! a turtle! - then just sit and relax - 'this is a nice spot', then 'ah! a turtle'. 'this is a nice spot'. 'ah! a turtle!' and so on. Too funny.
The yabby also chased it's little orange comet frantically for a little while then realised it was far more hassle than just waiting for other food to magically rain down upon it.
So both fish have survived for about 12 hours now, here's hoping they last a lot longer.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Food photos



I keep trying to take photos of the food we make, but they never do it justice. I'm pretty happy with these though, of mini lemon meringues, and mini banana caramel tarts. Both have been auto-corrected with Picture Manager, they had real sepia tones before because of the reds and browns and the warm lighting, which looked nice, but I think they just look a bit more cheerful like this . I took about a million photos of some mini cottage pies I did too, but they just didn't work out the same. I couldn't get the camera to focus where I wanted - I think because there was too much white (I put them on a white plate).
The food was all yummy though of course!

Fruit salad of kings



The kids decided to make fruit salad the other day. It was a real team effort. Even Sophie got in on cutting up banana. They got one of every fruit in the house (and there was a lot!) and chopped them industriously. Then globbed yogurt all over it and ate. The whole process took about an hour, I reckon, from cutting everything, sorting it fairly into the bowls, adding yogurt and then enjoying it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Show us your knickers!

Today, with the slightest provocation, Sophie was dropping her shorts and showing the world her backside. Because she was wearing KNICKERS!! This is day 2 and it's gone well so far. Imagine, no nappies (or at least a lot less nappies, she still wears them at night). It's been 8.5 loooong years, but there's finally light at the end of that tunnel.

Easter of course


How could I let the chocolate fest pass unblogged. I'm sure it was less religious than, say, a Ghanaian Easter (and didn't we hear plenty from Ghana that day?!), but it was fun anyway. The kids had fun with their egg hunt and Sophie loved the fact that she could find and eat chocolate eggs to her heart's content.





We had a lovely day, we visited with grandpa first and then went to the other grandparents, where almost the whole family gathered, other than Tony and his mob, and the usual other dirty stop-outs. It was nice to see all Sandra's kids there (minus Scott of course) as well as Carmine's new girl Dee. Emily even ate a piece of cake! The weather was lovely, which was good as we could spread out into the garden, essential in that small house as everyone gets bigger. Grandpa was the most interested and involved that I've seen him in several years. He even took me aside to have a quiet word about Karen Carpenter. Do you think he thinks I'm too skinny??!!

We all ate way too much food and came home with way too much (mostly crappy) chocolate. Ah, Easter...

Tooth fairy strikes again


Bethany lost a tooth today. Her third. She was very excited because she lost it at school, which means she got a certificate. She wrote a little note for the tooth fairy and left a little display for her.
The note reads (in Bethany's best little tiny writing): Dear tooth fairy I had a wobbly tooth and I had a rollup. I took a bite and then my wobbly tooth was super wobbly. At home I got ready the tooth with a hat and a face. [mum note: the little tooth holder you can see at the left centre of this pic] You open up the hat and then you get my tooth out of it and put some money in it. In the morning I will get up ealey and go strat to the tooth and open it up. Love Bethany.
Anything you want to write write it here [ then in the space, the tooth fairy wrote, very small: thank you! your tooth was nice + clean]
(Sorry about the changing coler thing [mum note: halfway through the note it changes from blue pen to pencil]. It is just becuase the pen ran out of ink so I changed the pen.)

How cute. Also in the pic you can see to the right the pen and rubber she left for the tooth fairy to use if she needed to. They have little paper labels: 'rubber' on the rubber, and 'thing you write with' on the pencil.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Farewell Lump



Yesterday we said goodbye to my little kitty Lump. It is so weird to be sitting here at the computer without her on my lap kneading her little claws into my leg.
We made the tough decision to get her put down after she was finally diagnosed with intestinal cancer. She has been losing weight and vomiting since December - xrays and blood tests previously gave no answers. When I took her back to the vet last week, the vet could feel the tumours in her intestines and in other places too. We took the cat back home and discussed with the children what options we had - do nothing and have her get sicker and die anyway, or put her down now and put her out of her misery. Ryan was the hardest hit - he was overcome by the unfairness of it and just wishes she never had cancer in the first place. Bethany was also sad, but started planning getting a new kitten, while Lump was still alive! Hannah was just supremely confident that putting the cat down was the right thing to do "because then she won't spew on us any more".
We had the weekend to discuss the options and spend some special time with Lump (and clean up a few last piles of vomit for old times sake), and on Tuesday we took her to the vet. All the children wanted to come to the vet. Ryan and Bethany at first wanted to stay in the waiting room, but then decided they wanted to come in. The vet and nurse were very nice and patient, explaining everything that was happening and treating Lump gently and with respect. Although her death was peaceful it was still sudden - the nurse was supporting her as she lay, but she still flopped down lifeless. Ryan and Beth started crying which started me off too. Hannah totally missed that she was actually dead, I realised later when she asked me as we were taking her home "so when will she get dead?".
We had morbidly dug the hole earlier in the day while Lump was with us, but the kids wanted to wait until Paul was there to bury her. He was real impressed with that, not being the best at dealing with death... But we made a little tombstone and said a few nice words about her. Bethany and Hannah both wanted to see her one last time (the vet had wrapped her in a towel and put her back in the cat carrier) so Paul and Ryan moved out of view while we had one last look and pat (and Sophie gave her one last whack for good luck), then we re-wrapped her and placed her in the hole.
We were all pretty sad last night and there have definitely been moments today too. As she had got sicker over the last few months, she had stopped doing a lot of things, and mostly either lay around or meowed at me to feed her (she was slowly starving to death as she was unable to absorb any nutrients due to the cancer and vomiting), so she had been a less intrusive presence in our lives over the last month or so (except the vomit piles of course). She didn't have the energy to jump onto my lap at the computer, or up onto my bed any more. She could still make it up to Ryan's bed, and slept with him most nights (except the one night she slept on Bethany's and vomited on her pillow, the joy).
Ryan is very sad. Many times in the day he misses being able to pat Lump and cuddle with her. He has a hard time at night, when he says he can't stop replaying in his head the moment that her head flopped down and she was dead. I am taking the opportunity to talk to him about strong emotions and how they do fade over time even though it doesn't feel like it at the moment, and also trying to give him some techniques for dealing with that recurring thought or vision. I feel so sad of course that he (and all of us) have to go through this, but I am extremely grateful for it too - I am glad to be able to be having these discussions about an animal and to have them as a point of reference for when a grandparent/great grandparent dies. The circle of life and all that.
He talked about how he's feeling so miserable and he hates how bad he feels. I asked him if he wished we never had the cat, then he wouldn't feel this way, but he said no, all the happy times definitely outweighed this sadness, which is a good way to feel I think.
The photos here are of me, Ryan and Sophie with Lump on her last day. Bethany and Hannah didn't want photos. There is also a photo trying to capture how skinny she was. I was almost afraid to pat her for fear I'd break a bone or something. Tomorrow Ryan wants to look at photos of her as a kitten (he thought she was only grey because she was old). I will probably scan one of those to put up here too. If I was techno-savvy enough I'd have her theme song by Presidents of USA playing in the background of this blog too...

I'm glad my little girl is at peace now, it was awful to see her so weak and unhappy. She was my shadow for so many years, ungraciously putting up with those four scary noisy intruders, and just recently enjoying their company as they grew old enough to treat her with respect and love, always ready to jump on my lap for a cuddle and pat (when there wasn't already a baby there) and just as quick to run and hide when other people were here.

Farewell Lump.

Monday, April 02, 2007

And Hannah evens up too




Hannah turned four the other day, leaving Sophie as the odd one out (literally, the kids now being aged 8, 6, 4 and 1).
Her day was fun as well, getting even more presents than Bethany as she opted to have a cheaper version of the desired Baby Born. Don't tell her the extra pressies were mostly garage sale finds anyway...
The day after her birthday we went to Snakes and Ladders with Nicole, Ella and Charlotte (and Mum until she went off to work). Hannah was very specific that she wanted to play there while the bigger kids were at school. Fair enough, I say.


We usually try to avoid joint celebrations of the girls birthdays unless that is what they want, and this year they were happy to have the extended family (but not Adam and Eva, sadly) around on Sunday and have two cakes.
Bethany wanted a sponge cake but without cream (where did my kids get this abnormal cream phobia from?!), so I sandwiched it with pink and white icecream and topped it off very elegantly with a picture of Dora the Explorer. Hannah's cake was carefully selected from the Women's Weekly Kids Cakes book after many weeks of poring over the pages. She opted for the 4 shaped cake but with the decorations from the 5 shaped cake. She must have reminded me of this approximately six hundred times before I actually made the cake. You can't see the decorations in the picture very well, but there were some very cool meringue grubs, and some spearmint leafed branches on a pink 4 shaped chocolate cake. The joy! We also had 'our favourite things' as the food choice for the party, so there were mini-hotdogs, tuna mornay and lasagne. Does it get any better than that!!??

Hannah is very excited now that pre-entry has finished and next time she goes to kindy (after the holidays) it will be full-time kindy (or 'four-time kindy' as she interprets it, which makes sense as she will go four days a week). Her and Ella get to share a term until Ella heads off to school!! How scary is that!
Hannah has really grown into being four and is currently the most centred and calmest child in this family. Ryan and Bethany seem to be permanently tired and crabby, and Hannah is just the quiet voice of reason, getting herself ready in the morning, helping out with Sophie, piping up with 'I'm being sensible, aren't I mum?' as often as she can without the other kids bopping her.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Watermelon

We eat a lot of watermelon in this house. I cut it into thin, skinny slices and leave the peel on for the kids to hold on to (and then throw randomly into the garden). The kids are always bugging me to cut the slices a bit thicker but the thought of the extra juice and mess always stops me. Then one time I thought I would make them as difficult as possible to actually eat, just to try and stop them requesting bigger slices.
It didn't work. They loved them this big. Even Sophie.