Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What Works For Me Has Moved

I have moved this blog to WordPress. Please come and keep visiting me there!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Holidays work for me

Eric and I have returned from a wonderful week in Cairns with my dear friend Fiona and her two lovely kids.
Tourist highlights included:
  • Green Island - glass bottomed boat tour, walking in the rainforest, checking out the Crocodile Park and swimming
  • Daintree River - Boat Train cruise during which Eric got to drive
  • Port Douglas - lunch, shopping, coffee, sorbet, gelato - what more can I say
  • Mareeba/Atherton - Coffee Works with unlimited coffee and chocolate tasting and really interesting museum, Cheese Factory, Strawberry farm and banana farm
  • Kuranda - Train ride up there and Skyrail back - went to Bird park and Butterfly house which were both stunning
  • Muddy's water playground on the Cairns foreshore followed by lunch at Skippers
  • Dinner at Paddywhacks where I had Outback pasta complete with kangaroo and crocodile and got Eric to try both.
Highlights of being on holiday
  • no deadlines or appointments
  • very little housework indeed
  • having dinner cooked almost every night - brilliant effort on the part of our lovely hostess
  • sleeping in until Eric decided it was time for me to get up each day
  • freedom to read and read
  • time to knit
  • lots and lots of conversation about the past, the present for both of us and what the future might hold
It all seems like a bit of a dream now that I'm home with the ironing and the ashing and all the work but I'm so glad we had the opportunity to go and that we were able to see and do so much. Eric connected with Fiona's son in about 5 minutes and they had a ball - six nights of sleepovers!

Words aren't enough to say thank-you to my dear Fiona for her wonderful hospitality, flexibility and patience. We both had a brilliant time with many great memories. You rock!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Goal for November

Rachel Anne at Home Sanctuary issued a challenge on her blog today - to set a goal for November.
That is it. being out of bed by 7:00am every day. If I can do that it will make a huge difference to my life.
(On Thursday I'll be up way before this time because 7:00am is when our plane takes off for Cairns.)
To achieve this goal I'll need to get to bed at a more reasonable hour than I do now but I think I can do it. And to F who might be worrying about me stampeding around her house pre-7:00am if she is not up by then I promise I won't!

For Nine Years

That's our first ever "family" photo taken on Melbourne Cup Day 2000. Eric had been born on the Friday before. Today is his ninth birthday which makes us parents for nine years.
Nine years since we did everything in our power to fall pregnant and stay pregnant. I was diagnosed with poly-cystic ovaries in 1998 and at times in the ensuing months it seemed as if our dreams of parent hood would never come true. We had seven cycles of IUIs (inter-uterine inseminations) and by December of 1999 we were pregnant but sadly not for very long. We went back in early 2000 to try again thinking that we'd be in for another series of failed attempts but it seems our wonderful dr had got the "mix" of drugs correct and we fell pregnant with Eric.
Everything went swimmingly with the pregancy until 24 weeks. I had no morning sickness but I took a long time to realise that this could indeed mean our dreams were coming true. I remember one Saturday afternoon while dh was playing Bowls I drove to Spotlight to look for baby curtains and when I got to the roundabout at Indooroopilly I turned around and came back home again without even going into the shop. In fact before 24 weeks I'd bought about six singlets and we'd decided on a theme for the baby's room - Bananas in Pyjamas.
Then on a Monday morning in August I awoke to bleeding and as I drove to the dr's office the cramping beagn. I had an "irritable uterus" and it stayed cranky for the next 10 weeks. Dh took me from the dr's to hospital that morning where I was confined to bed, allowed up to use the toilet or have a shower and that was it. If I left the confines of my room I had to go by wheelchair. After three weeks I was allowed home but I think I only lasted there for one night. The Sydney Olympics were on. I watched the swimming finals. I got all excited. I started having contractions again. Back to hospital. Do not pass go.
So there I stayed for the next 7 weeks with contractions every 2-3 days until finally when I reached 34 weeks the dr decided to deliver Eric via c-section. It was about 6:00pm at night and no cameras were allowed. I remember asking "what is it? what is it?" and the dr saying "it's a baby!". We never found out the sex of the baby until he was born. The dr got him out and promptly dumped him on my face and I was left with no uncertainty as to whether we had a boy or girl! He weighed in at 5lb 3oz which was a very good weight for 34 weeks. All the weeks of ventolin, steroid injections and bed rest had paid off. He was soon whisked away to the SCN and a humidi crib where he had oxygen till midnight. After a couple of nights in the humidi crib he graduated to a plastic cot and from Special Care 1 to Special Care 2 where he would spend the first 4 weeks of his life - floppy and tired and not interested in feeding.
His name was decided when we were engaged and Anthony's Uncle Eric passed away. We sat having dinner one night and somehow decided that Eric James (the James for my Dad Jim) would be a great name for a baby boy. Even though I had a scan every week that I was in hospital we never found out the gender. The scan people used to see us coming in the end and say "we know, you're the people who don't want to know whether it's a boy or girl - you just want to know if it is alright." The girl's name was still being discussed on the day Eric was delivered so we know he was "meant to be".
I got sent home on day 7 and while it was wonderful to go home it was also one of the saddest days of my life, driving away from that hospital with our little Eric still there. He was finally home with us in early December wearing a newborn sized huggies with the whole waistband folded over and 0000 clothes falling off him.
From then on he progressed very well and was always a very contented baby who was easy to care for. The whole saga was very challenging and still challenges me to a certain extent even today. I remember being asked once about what hadn't gone to plan with Eric and I could truthfully answer absolutely everything. We learned to not have an expectation about anything set in stone and to accept what life dished up for us. I wouldn't change any of it because out of it we were gifted with Eric - a truly wonderful human being.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Blessings and Challenges

Today had definitely had its ups and downs. I've been blessed by:
  • see Eric run his hardest in the 100 m and 60m hurdles in a the junior pentathlon
  • seeing Eric thoroughly immersed in reading
  • great company and conversation at my social knitting group this afternoon
  • Anthony tidying up the living area and vacuuming to give me a head start on the housework for the night
  • Scribing a letter for Daniel to his new pen friend in California
However there are also some challenges:
  • A very strained conversation about my work (or lack thereof) and how we can manage just on one much smaller income
  • The great unwillingness and mini tantrums being thrown by one son whenever he is asked to help out with anything.
  • Piles of laundry everywhere that must be dealt with before Thursday (when I'm leaving on a jet plane, la la la la la la la la)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Week That Was October 31

I think the "moral of my story" at the moment is that I need more structure in my days because I haven't got much done at all this week. I worked one day and drifted through the rest. Yesterday I had a routine dr's visit and was offered a swine flu vaccination so I decided to have it. I had a really sore arm last night and today I have had a few flu-like symptoms but I'm keeping up the fluids and trying to take it easy.
Of course, throw Halloween into the mix and I was creating two very "last minute" costumes this afternoon. We have a family in our street who come from Canada so they organised trick or treating for the street. The boys have a nice haul of lollies and we're having a late dinner. We're lucky to live in a very friendly street where we know a lot of our neighbours.
Tomorrow is a Pentathlon for Eric and in the afternoon he is going to a Sacramental workshop in the afternoon. Anthony is taking him to the work shop so that I can go to my once a month knitting group. I'm really looking forward to it.

Friday, October 30, 2009


A friend wrote on her blog today about things that she is thankful for or "blessings" and she was able to add some photos. What a great idea! This has inspired me to take more photos of everyday things and to "count my blessings" at the end of the day especially on a day like today when not much has gone right!
So no photos today because it is 10:27pm as I write this (after a Little Athletics meeting that ran LATE) but the following is what I am grateful for tonight:
  • My sore left arm because it means I've been vaccinated and am now safe from swine flu
  • The little boy curled up on the bed behind me watching his favourite Scooby Doo cartoons - his Prep class did an assembly item today about all the LetterLand characters they have learned this year and it was excellent!
  • The wonderful teacher that Prep boy has this year.
  • The other, almost 9 year old boy who has already passed out in his own bed and his wonderful love for reading. He's up to the 4th book in the Harry Potter series and just can't put it down. He was in the athletics clubhouse reading when it was time for his 400m tonight!
  • The Wii Fit because it meant I could squeeze in 15 minutes of exercise this afternoon even though I didn't make it to the gym.
  • The help that I get with recording at Little Athletics. I was really frazzled when I got there tonight because we were running late, I've mislaid the age patches that I'd ordered in the mail and the boys couldn't find their gear to put on but once I'd been there for about half an hour and had a chat to few people, registered some new athletes and started recording sprint times everything felt much better.