Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Dreaming of work

I've been asked to come in and work at the bank this week, which is particularly exciting because it's allowing me to go to my Primary-school-best-friend's wedding.

It's been a bit tough being the semi-useless one again.  There's surprisingly a lot to learn (and forget!) in this job.

I've enjoyed having the days race by, and conversing constantly with adults about adult things like home loans and savings accounts, as well as general "life stuff".

But as I was driving home this evening, it occurred to me that I don't want to do admin-style work for the rest of my life.

I'm good at administration (I get that from my Dad).  But ultimately it bores me, and doesn't seem to have any real purpose.

And then I started dreaming again.  Dreaming about helping people gain movement, relieving pain, building hope.

I know there will be boredom and stress and whatever else, because there are necessary things in life and work that just aren't fun or inspiring.

But the majority will be interesting, challenging and helpful.

I wonder what it will be like to really enjoy going to work?  And I wonder if I may be slightly ill, because who dreams of work????

Monday, 14 April 2014

School holidays - take one!

These are our first school holidays since the Little Big Fella started school.


It's the first time I've been used to him being out of the house for the majority of five days a week, and now he's not... for two weeks.

And it turns out that our Little Big Fella is pretty social, and doesn't really like being an only child at the moment.

And I really wasn't prepared for any of it!

I wasn't prepared to feel like I was being invaded by my own family, or to deal with the extra mess that appears just because they're home, or the persistent requests for friends to come and play or meet us at the park.

So I've suddenly had to do a big mind-shift.

After only 10 weeks of school, I've had to shift back to child-in-the-house mode and remember that he wants (and needs) at least some of my attention during the day.

I've had to shift back to playdate planning mode and arrange to meet up with friends, or have them here, because that is part of what he needs at this point in time.

I've had to remember to play games with him, and be patient about it.

And we've added learning to our holidays - learning small words and sentences, and remembering what sounds each of the letters make.

So, school holidays - take one has been a bit of a shock to the system.  But I think if I plan ahead next time, we'll all cope with it a little bit better, and maybe, just maybe even enjoy ourselves for most of the time!

Imagine that!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

A quick trip down memory lane

A wonderful friend of mine, from what feels like another lifetime, posted a photo of the two of us at my wedding on Facebook.  This afternoon some of my current friends mentioned that they'd seen it, and commented how different I looked with long hair.

So, I thought I'd do a quick little trip down memory lane.  I'd love to do a whole journey, but that would take a lifetime!  That, and scanning takes ages ;-)

I've been through my digital archive and selected these ones - me at different ages, and some of the people who've been an awesome part of my journey.

I'm going to start with my husband, the Big Fella.  He's my favourite!


This is one of the most awkward moments ever captured on film!  The Big Fella and I liked each other, but we weren't together, and our friend taking the picture kept telling us to get closer together for the photo.  Very uncomfortable at the time, fun to look back on.


And this is my best friend from Primary (Elementary) School at my 21st.

This is my family on my Mum's side.  We got together for a weekend to celebrate my Grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary.  That was eight years ago!

These are two awesome women that I got to go along the Great Ocean Road with one time.  That one in the middle has been my best friend for a long time, and is the only person who consistently keeps in contact with me.  She's pretty darn awesome :-)  And that one on the right?  She has the BEST name, and currently lives in Switzerland, I believe!

For a while before we moved from Melbourne, I was in a dance class with my youngest sister and a bunch of her friends.  We had heaps of fun!

This is our first dog, Rocky.  We got him from the RSPCA (rescue centre) and he was a bundle of energy (apparently quite standard for a Jack Russell)!  He loved squeaky toys and learned to destroy them within minutes of receiving a new one.

Here are some of the awesome people I worked and studied with at College.  We had a day where the students could throw cream pies at the staff :-D

These two are the kinds of people that you always love to catch up with, and no matter how long it's been, you always feel at home with them.

And here's the Big Fella's family!

Here's a handful of the people I worked with before I had the Little Big Fella.
Did you know I volunteered at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne?

And I have a Diploma in Ministry!

 Oooh!  Here's me as a baby with my GrandNan - my Mum's Dad's Mum!

And here's me with my siblings.  Absolutely love those three!

This is our first cat, Misty!  She was with us from when I was about 4 or 5 until my late-teens.

Awwww!!!  Here's one of my Little Big Fella's first ever photos.

And here he is with all the family at various times in his first 9 months.



This was taken before my first ever call to the Ambulance.  Not long after this photo was taken, the Little Big Fella fell off the chair, backwards, hit his head on the bin, then on the tile floor.

Thankfully he wasn't bleeding, but as a new Mum, I had no idea what to look out for in terms of concussion.  So the ambos came and checked him out and made me feel a bit less like an idiot for calling them.  (P.S. I love that ambulance cover is paid for within our electricity billing system!)

My son and nephews had a few fun adventures in this bathroom!  They all love the water, and playing in it is especially awesome when there are bubbles!

And that's about when I started blogging, so you've seen all the best photos since then.  One day I'd love to get the old albums from Mum and Dad and scan in a whole bunch of oldies.

Like the one of my brother with an icecream bucket on his head, and dad's boots on his feet.

Or the ones from my tent sleepover in Sheahan Crescent.

Or the ones of my Nanna, Grandma and GrandNan at one of our McDonald's birthday parties.

Or the old Christmas photos, and the dress-up and colour dinners we had, and the people who've lived with us and visited us.

Life is full of great memories and most of them are great because of the people in them.  Thanks for being my best memories!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Melbourne, I love you!

Last week the Fellas and I went to Melbourne.  We decided that we'd stay in the city and make the most of what's available there, especially the food!!!

After we'd flown in, taxied to our hotel and settled ourselves in, we went for a walk just around the corner into one of Melbourne's famous little laneways.  It was FULL of food!!!  Not just cafes, but every kind of food you could think of was crammed into a 100 metre stretch of road!

We were already in heaven!

And that was only our first hour!

Throughout the week we caught up with friends and family, we ate like there was no tomorrow, we walked and caught trams around the city, we went to the museum, Aquarium, zoo, casino complex, movies... and by the end of the week we were pretty much exhausted!

I have heaps to tell you about it all, but it's going to take more than one post, and I want to edit a few (of the thousands of) photos first.  So for now, here's a quick collage or three of some of what we got up to:




We came home exhausted and happy, and it's taken me almost all week to finally put stuff away.  Well, there was also the Little Big Fella's birthday party in the park on Monday, so there was extra stuff around!

And now we're back home, in our quiet little town, with horses across the road and the sound of trains clunking together.

Melbourne, it was fun!  Thank you!

Monday, 17 March 2014

Invitations

I LOVE creating invitations on the computer!

You might recall my Ticketek invites to the Little Big Fella's 3rd birthday?

OMG!!!!  I just looked and discovered that I didn't post a picture of it!!!  Let's see if I can find a copy somewhere.


I was particularly proud of it because it looks so similar to a real Ticketek ticket, and it took me a bit of time to make it work properly.

This year, the Little Big Fella has decided that he wants a Superhero party (again!).  So I needed a good superhero invite.  Unfortunately I no longer have the program I used for the Ticketek invite, so I've had to fiddle around a bit to create this one:


For a quick, throw-together, I'm pretty happy with that!

Friday, 14 March 2014

Shopping Trolleys

I need to rant.

And given that this is my blog and I can write whatever I like, I'm going to do it here.

What is the deal with all the lazy people who won't put their trolley in the trolley bay???



I mean, how hard is it to walk up to 10 metres to put it away?

And then, once you're there, why wouldn't you push it into the other trolleys so that they don't run away or get all tangled up together?

Am I so strange that I think this is how it should be?

I've heard that some people say, "why should I do it?  I don't get paid for that!".

To which I say, "you lazy bum!".

Just because a store pays someone to come and collect them doesn't give you license to be lazy and leave your trolley in the middle of the car park, where other cars can run into it (if, for example, it's left between two parked cars and you don't see it), or where it can run away and crash into parked cars.

And what ever happened to being a part of the world community???  You don't get paid to put your rubbish in the bin, or keep your spit to yourself, or smile at others, or use your manners, or help someone out.

Bah!

Stop being so immature and pathetic and give 5 seconds of your time and a tiny bit of effort, and put your trolley in the bay!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Attack of the killer BluTack

I know I've mentioned it a few times before, but I've joined my local CWA branch.  Our hall has recently had some work done so it was pretty dusty and in need of a good clean.

So after our meeting the other day we got into it and cleaned the windows, some of the walls and the bathrooms.

It was then that we realised what a big job it is to clean a public hall.  We'd been going for about two hours and had only done that much!  There was SO much more to be done!!!

So, on the weekend I got a text inviting me to come and do another stint.  The Big Fella was at work so I got to take the Little Big Fella with me.  I packed a bag full of toys, and he decided to wear his Darth Vader costume.  We jumped on our bikes and went to the hall.

I got the joyous job of cleaning walls.  And I can tell you, I love cleaning walls about as much as I love cleaning windows!

I spent the next three hours cleaning one wall.

Yes.  You read that correctly.  Three hours, one wall.

As an experienced cleaner (ha!), why on earth would it take that long?????

BluTack, people!!!

OMG!!!  I swear some of that BluTack had been there since the hall was built!!!!  So it was solid and did not want to move to a new home!!!

My poor little fingers got cramps from pushing all that BluTack around to get it to come off.

And then there was the sticky stuff left behind by tape!  I ended up riding home to get my bottle of eucalyptus oil to get that stuff off!

If I never see sticky stuff and BluTack again in my life...

Well, after about two minutes of "helping" me clean the wall, the Little Big Fella discovered that sugar soapy water and a rag makes "slug tracks" on a wooden floor.


At least he was entertained for about an hour, racing around the "track" like Turbo (a Disney/Pixar snail).

Never mind that once it dried the floors didn't look as clean as they were when we arrived.  At least one wall was clean!

Not-so-quirky facts

I was going to write a random post with "quirky facts" about me, except that I don't think I'm particularly quirky, so it would have been misleading.  Instead, I'll give you a few "not-so-quirky facts".


  1. I'm the oldest of four kids - two sisters and one brother.
  2. My parents are still married and are about to celebrate their 37th wedding anniversary.
  3. I have a fairly routine bedtime of 10pm, and wake up at 6am.  Okay, routine is probably an exaggeration.  It's my goal and I probably achieve it about 80% of the time.
  4. I'm a mystery shopper - I go into stores and evaluate their products, cleanliness and service then report and make suggestions for improvement.  It's slightly ironic, because as a young worker I was mystery shopped many times!
  5. If I don't eat breakfast, I turn into a cranky-pants monster by about 10:30am
  6. I've only ever won a single ribbon in a sport.  I came 2nd in the 50m breaststroke in Year 8 at the school swimming carnival.
  7. I used to have a pretty good memory, especially for people's names.  Then I had a child and my brain capacity went out the window!
  8. Sometimes I want to cry for no good reason at all.
  9. I didn't drink alcohol until I got married at 22 years old.
  10. Ants drive me totally batty!!!  I'll literally chase them around my house and squish any that I see.
  11. Half the time I'd prefer to watch a good kid's movie (Toy Story, Frozen, Turbo etc.) rather than one intended for adults.
  12. I like almost all music, but my favourite is jazz.
  13. I lived in the USA for a year, and when I came home to Australia it took me several months to sound like an Aussie again.
  14. I get an absolute thrill out of watching my son learn :-)
  15. I hardly ever talk to my family on the phone, even though I love them to pieces and miss them like crazy.  I always think I'll be interrupting their busy lives, which is stupid, because even if I only get to say "hi", it's better than nothing, right?
  16. I've never named my vehicles.
  17. I don't really have a favourite colour.  Sometimes it's yellow, sometimes red, sometimes blue, occasionally purple.  I don't really like orange or brown.
  18. When we were growing up my brother would often say to me, "you're not the Mum".  Guess I was a little bossy :-)
  19. One of my strongest love languages is touch, but I'm really hesitant to instigate it with others.
  20. Before I go to sleep I usually lay on my back, then my side, then my tummy, then my other side, before finally choosing a side to sleep on.
So there you go!  All the stuff you never knew you wanted to know about me!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Ah! The serenity!

I was really lucky to have my best friend here last week.  Unfortunately life is busy at the moment, so for the first part of the week she got to follow me around and experience the chaos of it.

But Thursday we got to sit around and chat, and Friday we took off on a spontaneous adventure.

After school drop-off, we gathered some morning tea and water and jumped in the car.  I drove us up to the tablelands nearby.  There's a lookout up there where you can see the plains below, and the craggy sandstone cliffs of the tablelands around you.

It's the first time I've been there and not had other groups there at the same time.  And it was SO quiet!

We decided to go back to the car and get our morning tea.

As we sat there enjoying the view, an eagle soared by, in front of the lookout - probably only 10 meters away from us.  We watched it flying around in the thermals, rising higher and higher, before it headed off in another direction.

This was taken when the eagle had moved further away.  When we initially saw it, it was only a couple of metres from the railing.

It was so lovely and peaceful, and felt incredibly special.

Instead of heading straight home, we decided to go and have a look at the river (the Fellas and I went there another time).  Apparently we've had a bit of rain recently, because there was the definite smell of rotting vegetation, somewhat similar to seaweed on the beach, and we got a bit muddy walking up the tracks next to the river.


But despite the smell and mess, it was great to hang about for a while watching the water go by, looking at those amazing trees, and chasing butterflies like a lunatic.


We headed back home and had lunch before school pickup.

The day was such a lovely contrast to the busy-ness of the first half of the week, and it reminded me that, even when I don't have friends staying, I need to make the time to have spontaneous adventures, and find places of serenity in my home, my town and the surrounding area.

Friends and nature are just, plain good for the soul :-D

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Getting a head-start

As I wrote the other day, after pretty much a lifetime of working it out, I've decided to do a degree in Physiotherapy.  And while I'm super eager to get started, I'm also a little nervous.  The amount of stuff I need to learn, especially the scientific stuff seems overwhelming at this point in time.

But in the meantime, the Big Fella has bought me a massage table!

Of course, he had to be the first one to try it out.

And I have to say, it was much easier to massage him at the right height than on the floor, couch or bed.

So now all I need to do is get myself some anatomy and physiology books and get myself a head-start so that I can ace my classes and become the most awesome Physiotherapist ever!  Lol!

Monday, 3 March 2014

Thanks for the love

My blog just passed 10,000 page views!!!!  SO blown away!!!!!

How is it that what essentially began as an online diary, and a way of allowing my family and friends from far away to keep up with what's happening in my life, has grown like this???

Thank you to everyone who reads this blog thereby making me feel extra special.  I'm glad you've found something entertaining or interesting or DIY-able here.

Thank you to all of those people that I don't even know personally that continue to read my random thoughts and projects.

And thank you to my family and friends, who continually encourage me, not only in writing, but in life.

Thanks for the love, readers!

Saturday, 1 March 2014

And then there was one.

Not long after we moved here the Big Fella decided that we needed a dog.  He saw that someone local had puppies they were selling and went to look at them.  We ended up with two.

Here's the link to the post about them, with photos.

The female, Choccie, let the Little Big Fella do just about anything to her.  He could pick her up and pat her and make her dance and chase her around.  And she'd placidly (although not always happily) let him.

Recently the dogs have been running up and down the front fence "chasing" cars (especially utes), motorbikes and people.

Unfortunately today Choccie got out the gate when it was briefly opened, chased a truck and managed to get run over, dying instantly.  Thankfully(?), the Little Big Fella and I were at a party so the Big Fella took her and buried her.

Obviously there's sadness in our household tonight.  Frankie (our male dog) keeps sitting watching out the front.  I'm pretty sure he's wondering where she is.

The Little Big Fella had a big cry and we talked about how sad it was and what we loved about her and that we'll have to make sure we play a lot with Frankie now because he'll be lonely.

The Little Big Fella constantly amazes me in how well he "gets over" things.  After his big cry and our talk he went on with doing whatever he was doing, and playing and talking.  I have no doubt that there will be intermittent tears over the next few days, and recollections for a long time to come, but he's accepted what happened and is moving on.

So we're down to one dog and no chooks.  I'm beginning to wonder if we're meant to have animals at all!!!

Choccie was a bundle of energy and excitement.  The character "Scrat" from the Ice Age movies could easily have been based on her!  Although her barking wasn't my favourite thing, she was a stereotypical loving and devoted dog.  All she ever wanted was food and love, and we were happy to give her both.

We'll miss you Choccie.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

I just want to get started already!!!

Blog?  What blog???

Yeah, I've been M.I.A. recently from the blog-o-sphere.  Sorry 'bout that!  We've been busy, the Big Fella has been out of action with sciatica, and I haven't felt like I had anything worth writing about.

As I've said before, it's my blog and y'all can just deal with it ;-p



Several people have mentioned how frustrating my post "Re-dreaming" was.  I apologise for the frustrating element of that.  At the time I was processing and needed to write it out, but wasn't ready to share the details.

When I was a child, my mum used to get very sore feet and she'd get me to rub them.  She told me to imagine how what I was doing to her feet would feel if it was happening to my feet.  In that way I learned how to do a pretty good massage.

By the time I got to late high school, I had to choose an occupation for "work experience".  I chose Physiotherapy, and got to see it in action in a hospital, rehabilitation centre, and in a hydrotherapy situation.  I particularly loved the rehab, but was completely scared off by the level of study required in both completing the degree, and the continuing education requirements for accreditation.

So I decided not to study Physiotherapy.

Life went this way (USA) and that way (Bible College), I got married, we moved states and had a child.  I worked in Customer Service and Administration, and pretty much floated along.

I met several Physiotherapists along the way - at College, on a trip around Kakadu, getting treatment myself.  And every now and then I looked into studying Physiotherapy again, but it was always too hard, or wouldn't fit with our family life at the time or whatever else.

On the day that I wrote the "Re-dreaming" post, I'd taken the Big Fella to see our local Physiotherapist.  I went in to his appointment with him as an extra set of ears, and to see if there was any way I could help him at home.

And it was like someone pushed a button in me!

I watched as the Physio assessed the Big Fella, and could see what she was talking about.  As she explained what was happening and how she could help him, I was honestly inspired!

When we got home I started looking up what options I might have to become a Physiotherapist myself.  Could I do some of it part-time?  By distance education?  Would I need to go to the campus?  Could that possibly work for us at this point in time?  Can I afford to study?  Is it even worth it?  Will I be too old?  Can my body physically do it?

I watched a short video on one of the University's websites and I was sold.  For the first time since high school, when I knew I wanted to go to the USA for Master's Commission, I actually had something I wanted to do!

I can't tell you how much of a big thing this is for me.  I'm a pretty laid back person.  I love being at home and just "bumming around".  And I've been basically happy to go with the flow as work options have come up.

But since having the Little Big Fella, and especially as school came looming up on the horizon for him, I've wanted to do something more.  But I had no idea what!

And now I do and it's got me so pumped up!  I'm really excited about it!

Yes, I know study will be work.  I've done it before and I know I'll probably be in tears at the end of most semesters.

I know it will change the dynamics of our household, and cause financial stress at times.

And I know travelling for residential schools and possibly on-campus classes in the future will be a big fat pain in the butt!

But I want to do this!  And the Big Fella fully supports me!  He said the other day that it's great to see me with a direction for a change.

I spoke to the Uni the other day and it looks like I'm going to have to take a slightly different path into the course than I'd originally hoped.  But it's possible I'll be able to start mid-year.

Honestly, I just want to get started now!  I want to start learning and practicing and trying stuff out.  I want to be able to help people in pain, and to re-gain movement!  I wish I was already qualified so I could help the Big Fella with his sciatica.

But now I have to play the patience game and make the most of this stage of my life.  Because soon I won't have as much "free time" to help out at my son's school, and spend the day baking, and take an impromptu trip, and just sit and read a novel all day (definitely going to make the most of that one before I get sick of reading for a while).

I just can't wait!  Can I start now????

Monday, 10 February 2014

Re-dreaming

I'm reconsidering a very old dream tonight.  One that I have previously written off, several times.

I'm wondering if it's actually possible.  And if it is, if I actually want it enough to put all the necessary effort in.

What will it cost my husband and my son if I go down this path?  What would have to change in our lives?  Is it worth that?

What would I gain?  Is that worth it?

Am I brave enough to face it?  Am I too old?

Do I really want it?





I watched this morning, and I was fascinated.  I watched this evening and was excited.





Can I truly do this?

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Someone flipped the switch!

What a ridiculously crazy week!!!!  The Little Big Fella has finished his first full week of school (9 days, done and dusted), and I finally had a day at home, alone!  And yes, I thoroughly enjoyed it!  Although, I did clean the oven for the first time since we moved here (almost two years ago), and I hate cleaning ovens, so I guess saying I "thoroughly" enjoyed it is a bit of a stretch.  I do enjoy being able to see through the glass front and seeing that the racks are silver, not black.

Anyway, the Little Big Fella is definitely enjoying school.  He got up on Saturday morning and put his school uniform on, and was quite disappointed to be told it was the weekend and he wasn't going to school for two days.

Over the past two weeks it seems like someone (thank you Miss I) has flipped a switch in our son's brain.

On the first day he was writing his whole name (with a little reminder/help).  We'd been trying to get him to do that over the entire summer break!

From day one he started telling wildly imaginative stories that take 10 to 15 minutes to tell and are incredibly detailed.

He sat down and coloured in a page, choosing the right colours and basically staying inside the lines.  He has never done that before!  He'd always pick whatever colour he felt like at the time, colour a little bit, then scribble all over the page, then quit.

He drew a picture of himself, Daddy and Mummy for the first time ever!  Previously I've seen him draw eyes, nose and a mouth, but not whole people, and never specifically naming anyone.

Every time we pick him up from school, he's done something different and learned something new and wants to show us what he's done.  He's SO enthusiastic!

And then we get home and he wants to practice some more!

The other night we were reading a Spiderman book, and we worked out that he knows most of the letters!  Already!  In nine days!

We had a parent information session on Tuesday evening and his teacher, Miss I, showed us what the kids will be learning in one term (10 weeks).  I was floored!  I am amazed at not only the volume, but the depth of what they'll be learning in such a short time.  And that they have the capacity to learn that is simply amazing.

Although I know there are negatives, I'm loving that he's in a composite class.  There are 24 students in his classroom; 13 Preps, 8 Grade 1s and 3 Grade 2s (I think).  The biggest advantage is that that older kids are showing the new Preppies how things work and what they are aiming to achieve.  Which, so far, is absolutely inspiring my Little Big Fella.

The other night he sat at the desk and "typed" on the laptop.  Then he asked me to read it back to him.  He laughed when I read his gobbledegook.

He's had some of the older kids reading to him in class and he's so eager to be able to read himself!  And he's very keen for me to read to him each night (regardless of how tired I may be).

The one thing Miss I mentioned he needs to work on at this stage (when I asked her) was not interrupting others when they talk.  Which is fair enough.  As an only child, we've allowed him to interrupt us, mostly because it's easier.  So we've been making a point to help him learn to wait for a break in conversation at home.  He'll get there :-)

I'm still waiting for the day he says, "I don't want to go to school today", or, "I have a tummy ache".  I know it will happen sooner or later.  But I'm so stoked by watching him grow in front of my eyes, and simply be excited about everything.

It is awesome.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Starting school

The day had finally arrived.  After weeks of asking, and marking days off on the calendar, and talking and preparing, it was finally the first day of school for my Little Big Fella.

At 6:30 a little head popped up beside me in bed.

"Mum.  It's school day today!"

Really, I'm pretty lucky he woke that late!

But thus began the interminable wait for 8:15, when the Little Big Fella could finally say "it's time to go, Mum!"

We took the obligatory photos, and a couple of videos (oh shoot!  I haven't sent those to Grandma yet!  Sorry Grandma!  They're coming as soon as I've posted this!).



I took several hundred photos (I love multi-shot!) but still couldn't get a single one with both eyes open!  Sheesh!

Side note: don't you think it's crazy that a school with a black and yellow colour scheme specifies white socks in their uniform????  Seriously?  Have you ever had a child who can keep anything white clean???

Anyway, following in my own mum's footsteps, I'd decided that the Little Big Fella would make his own school lunch from day 1.  So the afternoon before, he made his sandwiches (one with jam and one with honey), put some fruit and yoghurt and some snacks into his lunchbox and put it in the fridge, ready to go in the morning.

Obviously he needed a little help, but even in the four days that he's been going so far, he's significantly improved!  And I can see a day in the very near future where I won't be wanted or needed for lunch-making at all!

My mum is a very smart woman :-D

Amazingly, the Big Fella wasn't working until well after school started on the first day so the three of us walked (a whole block!) to school, with the Little Big Fella just about jumping out of his skin with excitement!

As we got closer to the school, the Little Big Fella's hand found its way into mine and I realised he was getting a little nervous, probably because of the large number of people hanging around.

But we found where to put his bag and books, then found and put on his name badge.  His teacher said good morning and the Little Big Fella responded without doing his faux-shy act.

Then we spotted his best friend and life was brilliant from that point on.  Another friend who will be in their classroom but is in Grade 1 (it's a composite Grade Prep/1/2 class) was asked to help them get settled.

The first bell went and minor chaos ensued.  Kids were running everywhere, parents were saying goodbye, teachers and helpers were trying to direct everyone to the right place...

The Little Big Fella gave us hugs and kisses and then he was inside, sitting on the mat beginning his learning career.

And I was so immensely proud of him!  He took to it like a duck to water.  He wasn't afraid.  He overcame his brief nervousness.  What more could a Mummy ask for?

And because I knew he was okay, I was okay too.  How could I not be okay when I was so proud?

Throughout the day I often wondered what he was up to and what he was learning and who he was playing with and if he had enough food and if he was still okay.  And when it got to 2 o'clock I started to get excited!  Only half an hour before I could go and pick him up and hear his stories and find out what he'd loved about school.

And he did love it!  He'd done some drawing, and he'd written his name, and he'd played with his friends.  He showed me the magnet toys in his classroom (ironically, he'd loved playing with those at Super Carer's place when he was so much littler), and where his table was with his name on it.

How could a mother's heart not melt?

After all the loooooooonnnnnnnggggg nights, the hard days, the tears, the struggles, and the laughter, the fun, the games, the highs... we have reached one of the points of evaluation of parenthood and we've done our job - our boy is ready for school and therefore this stage of life without us.  Good job parents!  :-D

We have just finished our first week (four days) of school.  We're a bit tired and overwhelmed by the changes this new life is bringing.  So Friday after school was party pie and movies time.

But we've seen our son super-excitedly showing us how he can write his own name (you could basically read it too!).  We saw some of his classwork (including a piece about the class rules, where his response was something along the lines of "class rules keep us safe otherwise we'd be dead").  We've learned about "mat manners" and the importance of doing what your teachers tell you.  And we found out there's a fridge to put his lunch and drink bottle in.

It's been a huge week!  And the coming weeks are going to be just as big, with the start of swimming (both through the school and privately), Kindysports, tuckshop, P&C meetings, and Show and Tell.

It's exhausting, but it's also kind of fun and definitely exciting too.  And watching the Little Big Fella grow in such a short time is amazing!  I'm loving this new stage of our lives.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

My little hospital adventure

Let me just say this upfront: DRINK YOUR WATER PEOPLE!!!!!  Seriously, it hurts if you don't!

Okay, so earlier last week the Little Big Fella had a bit of a temperature at night, then the next few nights had a bit of a cough.  So on Saturday morning, when I started feeling achy in my joints, I thought I'd either pushed too hard in my workout, or was coming down with a flu.  My throat was a bit sore as well.

Even with the aid of ibuprofen, by that night I was in a fair bit of pain.  The Big Fella's parents were staying with us for a couple of days (to hang out with the Little Big Fella before school starts) and his mum found me crying because of the pain and exhaustion.  Eventually I got to sleep and thought it would all be okay.

The next morning (Sunday) I woke up feeling okay.  The Big Fella's parents left and we went next door for a playdate.  I sat around talking with the other mums all morning and mostly felt fine.

When the others had all left the Little Big Fella still didn't want to go and was invited to stay and play for a while.  I was chatting with my neighbour and suddenly felt quite faint.  I told her I had to go and practically raced over the fence and upstairs, dumped my stuff on the bench, told the Big Fella I thought I was going to faint and sat on the couch.

The next thing I knew, I was having a whole bunch of pictures flashing through my head and I was attempting to focus on the Big Fella.  Apparently I'd turned white as paper, my eyes rolled up and I passed out, stopped breathing, and my arms flapped around a bit.  I only knew I was really tired and just wanted to lie down on our beautifully comfy couch.

The Big Fella called the hospital and asked them about what had happened, then spoke to our neighbour, asking if the Little Big Fella could stay while he took me up to the hospital.

I felt nauseous on that drive!  And I'm pretty sure the Big Fella was speeding at least the first half of the way there.

We got to emergency and went in to triage where my blood pressure, heart rate and temperature were checked and all the standard questions asked.  He also pinched my skin in a few places, which apparently told him that I was dehydrated.

Then he went off to talk to the doctor.

We waited.

And we both fell asleep.  The Big Fella had done a night shift and still hadn't been to bed, so he was exhausted.  And I'd gotten straight on the bed and laid down as soon as we arrived.

We both woke up, possibly an hour later, because we were cold.  That room was kind of icy!  About another 20 minutes later the doctor came in, asked a few more questions, checked a few more things then told me that I probably had an infection in my liver, bladder or urinary tract and that I was dehydrated.  They were admitting me to receive antibiotics and fluids by IV.

"Okay", I said, "can I please have a blanket?"

But instead of a blanket, they took me to a room, with the heater on, and a relatively comfy bed, and a blanket.  My teeth kept shivering for a couple of minutes though.

Has anyone been in hospital recently?  They have these beds, the nurse called it an airbed, and they blow up and down in different places depending on how you lay/sit on it!  It's kind of freaky!  So when you lay on your back, it adjusts, then if you move your legs, it adjusts.  If you put the head up a bit or move it to sitting position, it adjusts.  And sometimes the adjustment isn't that comfortable either.  It's to help reduce the chance of bedsores.

Well, after I stopped shivering, the nurse came in to put in my canula (the thing they put in your arm that the IV fluids go through).  And let me say it again; DRINK YOUR WATER, PEOPLE!!!

Normally I don't have any trouble having blood taken for tests or whatever.  I don't like needles, but it's not normally an issue.  But because I was dehydrated, the veins were hard to find and kept moving around, so getting the canula in was really hard.

The first nurse tried twice on my right arm.  The second nurse tried twice on my left arm.  And then they got the doctor in, who got it in my left arm first try.  But each of these were more painful than the last, and when the doctor got it in, it really hurt.

The Big Fella headed home to get some things for me, as we'd been told I'd be staying overnight by this time.  He came back with the Little Big Fella after they'd had their evening meal.  The Little Big Fella had eaten jelly with berries in it.  I knew because it was all over him!

By the time they got there I was starting to feel much better.  I could even sit up without feeling dizzy!

After a bit of a chat and a big hug each, my Fellas headed back home.  Poor Little Big Fella started to get a little upset that I wasn't coming home with them, but settled well enough with another hug and a bit of a chat.

I put a status update on Facebook and immediately had half a dozen friends offer to help me, or look after the Little Big Fella, or bring whatever I needed.  I am honestly SO lucky to have found such wonderful friends in our little town.

The night was long and uncomfortable.  Keeping your arm straight all night is tricky, and led to me sleeping in pretty much the same position all night.  And despite my "air bed", it got uncomfortable.

During the night a helicopter landed outside my window (well, not right outside but it was definitely loud enough to seem like it).  And the old man in the next room was rather loud, with moaning and groaning and talking to the nurses.  Thankfully I was in a room by myself though, so that was helpful.

In the morning I got a visit from my Fellas, which made my day!  There's nothing like visitors in hospital, and nothing like your two favourite people visiting.

When the doctors did their rounds I was told that, as long as I drank at least four 600ml bottles of water a day, I could go home when my final bag of fluids was finished.

Unfortunately, the Big Fella had to start work before then, so the Little Big Fella went to his best friend's house and I got a ride home with another friend who happened to be in town having lunch.

Being home was SO good!  Being able to move around without having to ask a nurse to disconnect me and then drag the IV stand around was absolutely awesome!  And sleeping in my own bed... heaven!

So now I need to take some tablets for a few days and see my doctor next week to follow up.  And drink lots of water!!!!  I don't think the Big Fella will let me get away with not drinking water ever again :-)

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The sweet moments

One of the Little Big Fella's friends begged his mum to come and play here today.  He ended up being here for most of the day.  The boys played really well together and it was so easy!

This friend has been lending us copies of Zac Powers books.  Zac is a young spy who goes on missions and adventures, testing various spy gadgets and fighting against the evil spy agents.  They're chapter books with very few illustrations.

The Little Big Fella really enjoys them!  I was quite surprised when we first started reading them last year, because I didn't really think that the Little Big Fella's attention span was big enough.

Goes to show what I know, hey?

This evening he was quite insistent about me reading some of the new book to him at bedtime.  So we read the first chapter or three.

I noticed he was getting very sleepy and asked if he wanted me to stop but he said no.  And so I read my little boy to sleep.

That's such a little sentence; "I read my little boy to sleep" but it makes me all squishy inside.

It's one of the things that makes me feel like I'm an awesome mum, because it's something he enjoys, it's something that's good for him, and it means I stopped fussing about the busy stuff and made space for my son.

Those are the sweet moments!

And you know what?  I can make more of those!  Just by setting aside the task list and allowing moments of learning, fun and connection with my son.

And my husband, for that matter!  I have the power to do that!  Awesome :-)

Monday, 13 January 2014

Up the mountain

Yesterday we didn't have anything planned for the day, so the Big Fella suggested we see if someone could look after the Little Big Fella so we could go fora ride and give me a bit more learning experience.

One of my friends graciously agreed and (after a false start with the Big Fella's battery) we headed off.

We decided to go up to the Tablelands because it's a bit of highway riding, a bit of country road riding, and a bit of twisty-turney mountain riding.

I definitely need to get a full-face helmet, rather than the one I have, which only has the face-covering shield (or whatever it's called).  My cheeks get a little blown around and go numb after a ride on the highway!  And I got a butterfly stuck in it, which was rather distracting.

Oh!  And I almost ran over a couple of snakes!  One was slithering across the road (maybe 1.5 meters long) and the other we decided must have been dead because it was in the same position on the way back.

We had to avoid cattle, including crazy mother cows and their skittish calf babies.

It's a really nice drive up there, which you kind of notice a bit more on a bike.  You also notice the change in temperature much more!

The ride up to the tablelands reminds me of the drive up to Olinda in the Dandenong mountains (east of Melbourne).  They're different plants, and a different climate, but it has a similar effect and it makes me smile every time.

The Big Fella told me I was riding well and took the corners at good speeds, especially considering the lack of visibility.  So that was encouraging.

By the time we got home I was completely exhausted though!  I suspect doing a workout beforehand probably didn't help.  But it was definitely a happy exhausted - I really enjoyed the ride and I'm looking forward to getting my full license so that I can just ride whenever I don't have the Little Big Fella with me.

I got a call the other day from the place that does the Q-Ride course/test.  Apparently I'll need to do at least one lesson with them because they don't do automatic bikes in the Q-Ride testing, so I'll have to learn to ride a manual.  That's okay, and it's probably a good thing, but I'm pretty nervous about it.  Trying to keep a bike upright, while learning to change gears, and keeping everything else happening at the same time is a bit overwhelming.  But I learned to drive a manual car, so I'm sure I can learn this too!

So I'm hoping to get my full license before we go to Melbourne in March!  Look out Melbourne :-D

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Valuable friendships

I woke this morning...

Well, let's just stop right there.

I was aware of the world, but getting my eyes open was a significant struggle.  And when I finally did get them open, I had a tick in my eye for over an hour.

When I finally dragged my sleepy self out of bed I went into the kitchen and started to clean up the (small) mess left there from last night.

And it began.

The Little Big Fella wanted eggs (well, actually he wanted egg whites) for breakfast.  And he's much more of a morning person than I am, including almost constant chatter and almost zero listening.

"Mate, I'll make it for you in a minute, just let me clean up a little so we have some space for cooking."

He gets the eggwhites out of the fridge and took them into the lounge room.  Apparently he believed I would get rid of it, or something.

"Honey, please just wait a minute.  Bring those eggwhites back.  I'll cook them in a minute when I've made some space.  I won't cook them without you."  (Did I mention he quite enjoys participating in cooking?)

This kind of activity continued for a couple of minutes, before I raised the volume and snapped at him for not listening.

And so began a brilliant day in the household of ScooterShell and the Big Fellas!

For the next almost two hours I attempted to put myself in a better frame of mind, and hopefully wake up a bit.

In reality, I was in a bad mood and the prospect of the coming day wasn't good.

Then I got a text message.  The short version was "come and play".  And even though I didn't think I'd be good company, I agreed.

We spent several hours at this friend's house, and by the time we went home I was in a significantly better mood.

Which got me thinking.  I am a very lucky woman.  Not only do I have a wonderful, loving, fun husband, and a gorgeous, clever, interesting son, but I'm surrounded by good friends who understand my bad days and help me turn them around.

What more could anyone ask for???