Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I love my work

I honestly feel really blessed to be in a job where I wake up 90% of the time and think that I really do want to go to work.

I love....
..... being able to contribute to serious medical discussions and decision making meetings
..... making a difference to the lives of sick children and their families
..... learning new things every single day
..... smiling - and having a little person smiling back at me
..... going home and realising that although things in my house aren't perfect - they are a damned site better than what it could be
..... my job!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Crazy Times

I could bleet on about how long it's been, why I haven't blogged and all that jazz but I don't want to waste my time (or yours!!) Let's just say life has been crazy and lovely and wonderful but I haven't been online very much so the blog has been neglected.

Events from the past little while though.....

Nanna had a visit not that long ago and we got some lovely photos of the family. I know that our time together is limited so each time I see her I seem to take more and more photos. I am anxious about making memories for the kids about their great grandma - she's the most amazing, wonderful, resourceful woman and at time I've wondered if I really belong in this family because I am SO different to the rest of them but I talk to Nanna and realise that I belong. Completely. I love her so much it hurts. This would have to be my absolute favourite photo - this is my entire family - all 10 of us!

Gee.... forced much? This was at the park recently where the kids have really enjoyed riding their bikes now that the weather is getting a little bit warmer.

With the weather warming up we've also bought a blow up pool. Now, in my defence, maths is not one of my strong points, so converting feet to meters didn't really go so well - the pool takes up my ENTIRE back yard! I can't hang washing on the line now, thank goodness for drying racks! The kids have thoroughly enjoyed it though and have had plenty of pool play dates - this pic is of our little neighbour Katie. Hard to believe but Miss Katie is actually six months younger than Charlotte - she's a tall girl!! Both the girls are heading off to school next year so it's an exciting time for everyone around here ;-)
- Charlotte turned five and we had a nice quiet dinner at home with the family. I seem to be raising an amazingly responsible and socially aware little person as when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday I was told no clothes or toys because she has enough of those and other kids don't have any so it wouldn't be fair for her to get more. In some ways my little angel is so much older than her five years.

We've lay-byed her school uniforms for next year. I'm feeling so conflicted about her starting school - I'm excited and looking forward to it because she is SO ready and needs the extra stimulation and learning opportunities but at the same time I'm sad because she is growing up so fast and starting school is one of those big milestones.

It's that time of the year yet again and the kids had a great time putting the tree up - I need to get some better pics of the tree but I put the lights on and then let them go for it and I'm pleasantly surprised at how well they've done! The tree looks fab and it was so nice for me to see them co-operating, negotiating and just being nice to each other while they were getting the tree done! As they are getting older it seems like they are fighting less and less - it has been rather pleasant in my house of late although I'm conscious that it may not last so making the most of it!
Charlotte is graduating from preschool today so I've made the fairy bread, charged the camera batteries and put the waterproof mascara on and am off to see my little honey ;-)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Domestic Bliss - or something like that....

Remeber that day not so long ago that was the down side of the roller coaster? I think today must be the flip side then. Although I didn't sleep well (I'm dreaming alot lately and not in a good way!!) I found these when I opened the front door this morning... What a nice way to start the day! and considering they were accompanied by some mint chocolates I'd say it was an awesome way to start a Sunday. A few hours on and they are sitting on my kitchen bench making me smile ;-) I'm cooking dinner for the neighbours tonight and thought I'd go out on a limb and try something new (see I am getting there with my goals!!) so we are having twice cooked pork belly which smells divine and looks like this at the moment (excuse the dirty oven door!)....

The two little people of the house and playing together quietly upstairs which, is itself, a miracle. Had to get a sneeky shot of them - if they see me they immediately turn on each other and then to me! They are delightful little ones at the moment - this week saw Izaak turn nine. We had a nice, small, family gathering and quite a low key birthday after last years big party it was nice. Charley is Charley as always ;-)

I'm spending quite a bit of time reading and re-reading parts of my book for this month and am really getting alot out of it. Strategies which I have started to use and slowly but slowly I'm feeling like I'm turning a corner. I'm not sure how much of it is the strategies, how much of it is thanks to my newly found homeopath and how much of it is time or a combination of all three but in any case I am learning alot.
I'm learning that it's okay for me to feel angry. It's okay to feel sad and hurt and upset. It's how I choose to deal with these feelings that is really the test of my character - I'm learning to take time to spend just with myself and my inner feelings. I'm *trying* to learn to meditate. Previously I started a gratitude journal (and even blogged about it!) but as usual life got in the way and it fell by the wayside. My book talks about the value of gratitude and I've re-started my journal - I'm sitting here right now feeling thankful for the beautiful flowers I recieved today, the peace of my children playing together, the love of my family, my skills in the kitchen and the lovely smells around me. On a recent trip to Civic my Mum bought me an electric oil burner and I'm loving it! Today I've got 'strawberries & cream' in there and it smells divine ;-)

There is alot to be thankful for - it just takes the time and mindset to find them and recognise them, a path that I hope I'm on!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

I'm a duck

I feel like a duck sometimes - above the surface it all looks good but underneath the surface I'm paddling like crazy to keep my head above water!! This week I'm determined to keep my head held high, think positive and be kind to myself.

We set off at 5pm for a quick ride/scoot/walk around the block and I was really taken by the blossom trees in our street. I love driving home in the mornings and afternoons and watching them bloom - they have been a crafting project for Charlotte at preschool as well so she is always on the lookout for them. They make me smile and realise that there is always another day.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Baking away the blues

I'm trying hard not to let myself go down the slippery slope into a big black hole so I've been keeping busy and doing a fair amount of baking. The family decided to have a morning tea get together for fathers day with each of us bringing something to share. I decided against the fool-proof one-bowl chocolate cake that I take EVERYWHERE and thought I would try something new.
I spotted these Portugese Custard Tarts over at Not Quite Nigella and I had all the ingredients in the house so thought I'd give them a try. I had never had one of these tarts until a friends daughters birthday morning tea and I fell in love with them straight away but tales of pastry woes and oven issues had put me off them.
This recipe uses puff pastry and they turned out beautifully!! I made a batch of 12 on Sunday for Fathers Day and then another one Sunday night for neighbours/lunches/desserts. It's now 12pm on Monday and I have none left!! Clearly they are a hit and definitely something I'll be including in the repertoire more often now ;-)


I'm feeling bleugh. Really bleugh at the moment.
There is alot from my past that has been reignited lately and I really am struggling to come to grips with things right now. It's hard to be objective and to think of what's best for my daughter as opposed to what is what I want.
I'm trying hard. I'm trying to be that smiling little yellow chickie but unfortunately the days lately seem to be more blue than anything else ;-(

Monday, August 30, 2010

Spring has sprung!

well it will be tomorrow so I thought it was a good chance to come and look back on August and see how I went with my goals.....

Work...... Well the transition has been CONSIDERABLY harder than I thought it would be and to be honest, I'm really not feeling the love. The standards and practices of the ward leave alot to be desired. I've also managed to get on the wrong side of one of the senior staff already so I'm pretty sure it's all downhill from there. I was asked to give meds to a patient through a tube feed but when I asked for a new syringe since the old one was crusty and disgusting I was told "it doesn't matter, he's leaving tomorrow, just use that one because they are so expensive". ARGH!! So many things that I've seen there go completely against my core values and what I see as being good quality nursing care. 32 shifts to go and then I'm out of there!! Bring on November 11!!

Housework.... I promise, other than doing this mornings brekky dishes this is the true representation of my house. I'm proud of myself for really keeping on top of things over the month. It makes me feel so much less cluttered in the mind as well as feeling happier and more in control of my physical surroundings.
This is my new kitchen island bench that my wonderful neighbour built for me which I am currently in love with! So much space now!! Plus it breaks up the kitchen area from being one big area into a clearly defined space. Love it and for the bargain price of $150 I couldn't be happier! The stain came out exactly as I was hoping and it matches the new bookshelf and TV unit really well. The house is certainly coming together and it feels great!!

Knitting.... I cast on and cast off this neckwarmer made from Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran yarn which I was lucky enough to recieve in a swap on Ravelry. This yarn is super yummy and while I'm happy with my neckwarmer I think it needs to be re-blocked a little wider. I'm also heading to spotties in the next few days for buttons. What do you think??

Reading.... I was able to finish the power of one and I have to say I was somewhat underwhelmed. It wasn't as good as I had remembered it to be but I still enjoyed the writing style. This month I'm delving into the world of self-help with "Road testing Happiness" - I started reading it last night and so far I'm picking up a few things and have found myself nodding at quite a few parts of it!! I'm also going to read "The Time Travelers Wife" which I picked up at the oppy for the grand sum of one dollar the other day. I've heard good things about it so hopefully it will live up to it's expectations!!

Blog... Well the post count is up and I've enjoyed writing. I'm also starting a personal journal which is giving me another writing outlet. I feel somewhat lighter letting go of my head and getting it down onto paper.
Friends..... I've been spending a fair amount of time with the above-mentioned new neighbours and it has been lovely to share time with a family who has similar values and principles as mine, as an added bonus the kids get along swimmingly and have been bike riding/scooting/playing together quite a bit.
Menu planning..... let's just tide that one over to next month shall we.......

Monday, August 16, 2010

This is exactly what I was talking about

My day goes something like this....

Woken up by children fighting - crap
Settle them and go back to sleep - yay
Wake up and get them out the door - okay
Zoo trip - awesome
Pick mr up from school and hear about his day - okay
Wait over an hour to see the paed - crappy crappy crap
Talk to the paed while trying to ignore the children who appear to be trying to kill each other - crap
Get told he needs more meds and that I'm not meeting some of his needs - CRAPPY
Come home to find that the osso bucco I put in the slow cooker for dinner is inedible since I also cooked the plasticy things that are under the meat in the supermarket - CRAP
Find that we don't have enough cash for take away - SHIT
Fight with Izaak about homework - SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT

I'm tired, frustrated and sick of the ups and downs. And I think I'm drinking too much ;-( Argh!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Rollercoaster Riding

Sometimes life here feels like such a rollercoaster - we go from the highest of highs to some quite low points. I think this weekend has been a really good example of that - from yesterday morning where the house was cleaned to within an inch of it's life, the kids were happily playing together and I even did some baking!! - to tonight where I'm feeling pretty darn crap. Tummy doesn't feel right, children are cranky and fighting with each other, head feels cloudy and the house is less, alot less, than perfect. Yuck. Yuckity, yuckity, yuck. So I did what I do and abandoned the book and tucked myself up on the couch and watched telly.

I flicked between dancing with the stars (because I'm a sucker for the costumes - give me a sequin and I'm yours!!) and the offspring premier. I happened to be on DWTS when the elimination bit came on. David Wirrpunda eliminated himself and it was such a lovely example of true sportsmanship and grace that I've seen in a long time. He was scoring well below the other couples and really didn't seem to be in the same skill level and so decided to step aside for the sake of the remaining contestants. What a brave and couragous decision. They had footage of him going to a remote college for Indigenous students as well which I thought was really lovely - to see someone so involved and passionate about their community and the younger generations. I was impressed!

Anyone else watch offspring? Thoughts?

Sometimes life feels like such a roller coaster - the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in just hours.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Staying on track

It's now half way through August so I wanted to post about how well (or otherwise) my goals are going....

reading - I'm about two-thirds through my book and am thoroughly enjoying it. I must admit that it somehow seemed different (better?) in my memories but I am still reading every night and snatching moments here and there to get through a page or two. I know that I'm better when I'm focused and goal setting and this has been proven yet again over the past fortnight. I'm watching less TV in the evenings, going to bed earlier and sleeping better - all of which I am contributing (at least partly) to my reading. I'm wondering what I'll move onto next? Suggestions??

friends - well there have been numerous lunches and a dinner date over the past fortnight with various friends and I am very much looking forward to lunching on Tuesday with twitchy fingers who I haven't caught up with for quite a while now. We are heading to Dobinsons cafe in Civic who have the most amazing lemon & white chocolate cheesecakes - yummy!! I've also had my new neighbours over for dinner which was lovely - I think Charley is really loving having another little girl so close by - the two of them giggle away at each other playing mums & bubs, dollies etc

blogging - 'nuff said really. Post count this month is significantly up on past months and I am enjoying writing and getting things out of my head and onto paper. I'm wondering, fellow bloggers, do you write posts and then not publish them? are some things just too sacred to get out there publically?

knitting - I've cast on yet another clappy - this time in bamboo and a scarf rather than stole. I want something quite summery for when the weather warms up and I love this pattern so much. This will be my fourth and each of these has been different and wonderful in it's own way so I have hope. So far I'm up to the straight sections so I'd say about a third of the way in.

work - let's not go there

housework - success!! the house is definitely looking quite different to what it did a month ago. We had the big clean and since then I've also made some cosmetic changes to teh place - bought & installed some might fittings, curtains and some new furniture. I'm enjoying the house more and more - seeing it now as a santuary where I can relax and just chill out. I'm giving the kids more and more jobs around the house which they are at times relishing in and at others resisting.
menu planning - uummmm...... let's stay away from that topic too!!
Considering there's two weeks left of the month I'm feeling pretty happy with myself. I'm on track. I like the feeling of being on track.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bloggers Book Club

I love to read. Really I enjoy finding a good book and getting transported into a completely different life/place/family etc. Unfortunately for the past three years or so my reading list and time have been completely dominated by textbooks and after I finished uni I sort of lost the desire to read and revelled in quite a bit of TV time. During lunch last week with Bron we were both talking about how much we love to read and how easy it is to get caught up in the washing, crafting, housework, kidlets (for me!) etc. So I decided to ammend my August goals to include some reading time each night and Bron and I came up with the idea of a little bloggy thingie (aka Bloggers Book Club) where we could post what we are up to in the reading department each month.

So we'd love you to join us - post about what you are reading, what you want to read, what you have read and whether it was good, bad or indifferent or just if you've read a review that you think we'd like to hear about. Clever Bron is thinking about a button and a link list so we can follow along with everyone. I'm excited to see/hear about what others are reading!!So.... This month I am reading The Power of One

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Food & Friends - the perfect blend

Today I met a wonderful friend for lunch at a local Turkish restaurant and it was delish! Service was good, waiters cranky as always but the conversation was easy, food was lovely and the bill was very reasonable. We wandered around the shops and contemplated dinner settings, books, fashion and shoes before going our separate ways. Then completed coincidentally I ran into another friend (while buying something naughty for dinner!) which led to wine, chocolate lava cakes and wonderful conversation.

And now as I sit here contemplating the meaning of life (haha haha) I feel so incredibly blessed to have such great friends around me. There have been a few parenting decisions lately that I have posted on facebook as well where I have had a wonderful response from people I know in real life and from my cyber friends too. I just feel so lucky that I have people around me who genuinely care about my family and myself. Just like my last post I guess, it's all about perspective.

So far I'm meeting the goals - I see you roll your eyes and look at the calendar - yes it's only four days into the month but I'm all for celebrating achievements, big or small!! I'm catching up with friends, the washing is up to date and I'm blogging more often. I'm planning (in cahoots with others) an amendment to the August goals but will post more on that later.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

More public ousting

So it seemed to work with the house so I've decided I'm going to publicise my goals for August. I've fallen by the wayside when it comes to goalsetting in the past few months so I figure if I put it down on paper (or the web!!) then I'm more likely to stick to it since others can see (and keep me on track!!) with what I say I'm going to do.

So, in August I am going to....
.... be kind to myself with the change of work areas - things are going to be very different and in the first few days there is going to be alot for me to take in and to learn so I'm just going to take it slow and steady and not to expect too much of myself
.... cast on and FINISH a knitting project. No idea what it's going to be - large? (doubtful!) for me? or the kids? or someone else entirely? accessory? homewares?
.... keep on top of the housework - trying not to let things get on top of me again
.... blog more diligently - I like writing. I like sharing what's happening in my life and what is going on with the smalls
.... make more of an effort to keep in contact with friends - I miss them ;-(
.... menu plan for at least two of the four weeks of the month
.... related to the above - try out some new recipes and not stick to the same old, same old.

I think that'll do me for now!!

Monday, August 2, 2010


It's really all about perspective isn't it?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Humiliation = motivation?

Thank you for the lovely comments, both here on the blog and in real life about my 'before' pictures. I feel strangely proud about posting them on here - I'm not too proud, too unrealistic or too unreal to show the 'real' me and my 'real' house. If they did nothing other than make other people feel less guilty about the state of their own homes then it was a good thing. It did much more than that though. A good dose of public 'outing' (for want of a better word!) does amazing things for the motivation so this morning I donned my oldest, daggiest trackies, cranked up the tunes and set to work. It really is amazing how quickly things come together in such a small space and now I'm sitting here writing this I am amazed at how just a few hours can transform my home. I'm also amazed at how much my clean, organised home can change how I feel - somehow more calm, less chaotic, more organised. I like it! Now just to keep it that way....

I had to post this - do you have odd socks? how do you cope with them? Clearly I need strategies since you are looking at the 47 odd socks that have accumulated at my house. I have sorted and made pairs where I can but Charlotte particularly is known for wearing odd sock pairs. I think it's a complete waste of time, money and resources to throw one-off socks out but I would like it if she had more matching pairs. All suggestions greatly appreciated!!!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Our weekend

.... was spent celebrating my sisters birthday.....

.... building lego

.... baking (and of course the obligatory bowl licking!!)

and just generally chilling out and enjoying each other. We've also met some great new neighbours who also have a little girl Charley's age so the girls have had a lovely time baking, playing, dressing up, stamping and juts getting up to all the fun, girly stuff that four year olds love getting into/upto!!
I've also spent a fair whack of time getting stuff done around the house and have filled up a wheelie bin and a half already plus there are a number of piles next to the front door ready for various deliveries to friends/neighbours/charities that I will get to in the rest of the week. The laundry is finished and is looking nice and shiny at the moment but I've decided I'll leave the 'after' photos until the end of the week when the whole place is nice and shiny!! Hope you've all had a great weekend too ;-)

Friday, July 30, 2010

The "before" pictures....

That I didn't want to post because I'm so ashamed and embarrassed that I have let my house fall down around my ears. At the same time I'm sick of reading the blogs of perfect women and mothers with perfect children and perfect lives. My life isn't. And that is the reality - these pictures are the reality of my house right now. I've got five days off and on Thursday I plan on posting the "after" photos to show you all. These go some way to a public-accountability of sorts and I'm sure will give me the extra motivation should I lack some during the next week or so!!
Recently I've had that unsettled feeling where I want things to change. I want to move to a newer/bigger house, wanted to sell my car & buy a bigger/newer car etc. Reflecting on 'why' and talking to my Nana I realised that these are 'wants' rather than 'needs' - our current accommodation and vehicle are more than adequate for our needs. I'm also reading a book about parenting heavily based on Buddhist philosophy and I'm currently working my way through the chapter on respect. It's interesting and thought provoking and while I sit here posting these pictures it is ever so clear to me that I'm expecting my children to respect what they have while I am clearly demonstrating the opposite. I'm hoping to implement change and hope to be modelling the behaviour that I want my children to develop in myself in the coming weeks/months.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Just an update...

... and a thank you to my wonderful friends for their kind words on my last post.

Well almost two weeks in and there are mixed reports. On the sleep front there has been a miraculous turn around and he is now sleeping between 8 and 10 hours a night and boy does it show. My little man, who for years has had dark purple shadows under his eyes, is waking up clear eyed and bright faced almost every morning! We are in a good routine now where he takes his meds at 7pm and then has a bath and reads to me and then normally he's asleep between 8 and 8:30. None of this midnight nonsense. For the first few nights I honestly didn't know what to do with myself. Interestingly enough, I didn't give him meds one night as we went out for dinner with my folks and I didn't want him nodding off at the dinner table. We were out from 6pm-9pm then got home and all went to bed - I checked on him at 01:30am and he was wide awake.

Not such good news on the mood stabilising drug front. He's had up days, down days, inbetween days. This was not the plan. There have been massive issues with behaviour at school and they have seen an aggressive, angry, mean side of thim that previously had been under control. Crisis talks with the school and our behaviour therapist and it's a wait and see approach. Fingers crossed the next week or so goes well!

As for me - well between work & kids there isn't much time for anything else. Would love to have some crafty things to share but there just isn't time lately - I'm living vicariously through buttontree lane, kuka and knitting sprout with their sewing/cooking/knitting achievements!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fork in the road

The past few weeks have seen us come to a real fork in the road with therapy for Izaak. He has previously been assessed for a program called The Extra Lesson and to be perfectly honest I don't think I would have known about the program if it wasn't for a friend who is a practitioner and is just getting herself set up after having time off to have her own babies.
During the assessment Izaak was his usual combative, defiant, non-compliant self. It was tedious. Anyway, the assessment basically showed all the things that I knew about him as well as a few extras. He has too much cranial pressure. And he has auditory processing issues. The cranial pressure is being worked on by a local osteopath who has made some interesting observations about my little man. His hips are not aligned and as a result his neck is compensating. We are progressing well and will see him weekly for a while to see if we can get it sorted out. Back to The Extra Lesson though - they recommend an auditory program to help him with his auditory issues which I'm okay with - until I heard the cost is upwards of $1000.00. I don't want to sound like a stingy parent and I do have the funds to cover the cost of this treatment but I am extremely wary of shelling out that sort of cash on a program that doesn't have main stream science or the ASD community behind it. This is along the 'alternative' therapies stream and while I am willing to try almost anything to help my little boy, I'm not sure that it is really the best option given that kind of money would buy us almost 20 occupational therapy sessions.
So totally opposite to that philosophy - we went to see the paediatrician yesterday afternoon who couldn't believe that we had made it this far without medications. He has prescribed Izaak a mood stabilising drug and a sedative. Given that he has really poor sleep patterns I'm all for the later - he goes to bed between 7:30 - 8:30 and at 11:30-midnight is still wide awake. So tonight I gave him the first dose at 7:30 and by 8:20 he was sound asleep. Amazing.

Although it's working (well it's only night one so I'm cautious of saying that but after so many of unsettled nights, even one is 'working'!!) I'm struggling with the social stigma and judgements of people in regards to medicating my eight year old. Effectively I am giving my child psych drugs. I don't like how that fits, how it feels but I am coming around to the fact that I have to do what is best for him. As the paed and my family have all said - there is potential that is being hid away behind all the behavioural issues. Hopefully, the medication plan will lessen the behaviours so we can get more of the learning in. Tonight he read me two home readers that I thought were at the level he needed. He read both without missing a single word. I need to get over myself. If only it were that easy!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Adventures - day one

We headed off from home early in the morning and drove up to Sydney to collect our Jucy van. Kids were over the moon when we finally picked her up and for the first few hours there was lots of jumping around, curtain opening and closing - just checking out all the great stuff!! We went past the dog on the tuckerbox at Gundagai which was cool although I have to say, as a single mother of two, taking pictures of all my family is rather difficult. However this task was made significantly easier thanks to this little gadget....
Screw camera in, set timer, smile and then done! I thought it was rather cool that mail posted from here gets a special stamp too!!

The kids played around on some old farming equipment that was close by as well.

We continued onto Albury/Wodonga and stayed there for the night after having some delicious pasta at a little place we found in a side street near the city. It took forever for the kidlets to get to sleep - emotions and excitement were at a high point. Finally after looking at the maps and talking about our plans a quiet settled through the van and we all got a well deserved rest!