Saturday, November 5, 2011
Sketch from Stuck!
"Play" is using Kaisercraft's tools paper (whatever it's called). The photos were taken in Sept 2011 and include one of Keegan all ready to help Dad renovate the laundry.
The second layout is a challenge from Scrap the Boys. The challenge was to include a photo of your boy in team colours. This layout is about Keegan's champion soccer team - they won all their games (bar one, when most of the team was sick) and usually by huge margins! The close games were played with more players on the opposing team to 'even' things up.
Monday, October 31, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
A couple of layouts (red and orange). Red seems to have gone sideways (stupid bug!), and orange has lots of photos representing the segments of an orange.
I might just get to the other 5 colours as the weeks go by, let's see....
Am slowly recovering from my operation. The bruises are fading, and my tummy cut looks much better, but is being stretched by the baby while it tries to heal, so it's quite tiring. Being a naturally energetic person, it's rather frustrating to be struggling for energy, but each day is better than the one before.
Monday, October 17, 2011
It’s an odd thing about life, one day you are happy being busy doing the usual things – work, family, planning for the future. The next day you wake with an indescribable pain in your side and rush off to the doctor. Not knowing that the next week is going to be solely focused on your internal organs and the fight to get back to normal.
Perhaps an experience like this ought to change your perspective on life, and maybe it will when it’s over, but while still in the midst of ‘recovery’ it is hard to see past that next step on the doctor’s list of achievements. Small steps become overwhelmingly important when just getting out of bed makes you feel like you’ve been to the gym for an hour.
It started on a Monday morning. At 4am, I woke with a huge solid pain in the side of my stomach. By breakfast time, I thought I was going to vomit from the strength of the pain and we rushed through the breakfast process to get the boys dropped off and myself to the doctor. When in the doctor’s clinic, the pain made me feel faint. So I took the precaution of lying on the floor to avoid fainting, but this set a giant drama in action. “Oh my, she’s collapsed in my office, call an ambulance”.
The ambulance arrived and took me to RPA Maternity – since I was 28 weeks pregnant and already booked in there it seemed like a sensible thing. The pain eased by now, perhaps I’d been given something? And a long process started at RPA. Ultimately I was sent upstairs to the antenatal ward with all the other pregnant ladies with complications to wait it out. Lots of scans (on baby and on stomach), antibiotics and pain meds and by Wed I thought I was doing better. Rather optimistically, I even said on facebook “antibiotics appear to be working, so signs are positive that i can avoid an operation. Dr says appendix will prob need to come out one day but hopes that can wait till after bub is out to reduce risk.”
Half an hour later, the pain returned much worse than before and had spread across the lower portion of my stomach. The surgical team was called urgently and decided that it was best if I went under a general anaesthetic while they put a camera inside to have a look around and see what the problem was.
I woke from the general a few hours later with a giant gash in my stomach from top down through my belly button to the bottom. Apparently when they put the camera in via a small hole, a bunch of pus flew out, so they split me open to clean everything out properly. There were a few anxious times waiting for the baby people to come and check the baby, but she did appear to have a good heartbeat if a bit sleepy.
After a few hours lying in the recovery centre, the team decided it was better for me to go back to maternity rather than intensive care, and so I was wheeled upstairs to be started on intensive antibiotics and morphine. Amazingly, the pain in my side was completely gone and replaced by new pain in new places. But the intensity was gone, or perhaps that’s just the morphine!
Time starts to blur around now, I vaguely recall a visit from my parents at some point, perhaps it was Wednesday or Thursday? Lots of unhelpful advice about lounging about in bed for a month. And the crazy scheme of flying Jacqui over to do the housework for Brennan. I talked to her on the phone about it and said, “don’t worry he has it under control, so only come if it’s going to suit your family, although of course we’d love to see you”. She said “I was in a total panic, I got a text from mum saying “have you got a current passport” and after reading on facebook that you were in hospital. Of course I thought, oh no Renee is going to die and I’ve got to rush over and say goodbye but it turned out just to be a big scheme. Brennan seemed as confused as me when we skyped about it later!”
All of this whirred around me but somehow seemed mostly irrelevant as I was focused on sitting up, getting out of bed. A physio visited and told me I’d recover faster if I could walk every day, and off we went for a little walk around the ward. The walking itself wasn’t too bad, a little wobbly, but the getting in and out of bed with essentially no stomach muscles was much more difficult. Somewhere in here I came off the morphine and became unhooked from the multiple drips. The kids came to visit and were much less freaked out than the initial visit when I was all hooked up to machines – poor Vincent had a nightmare that first night and ring me early in the morning to hear my voice. I suggested he sleep with my pillow and hopefully it would smell a bit like me which might help.
Saturday was good, lots of walking, even out of the ward once, a long visit from the kids, and most of the day pretty active. Keegan even said “Mum, how come you are walking faster today” “I must be getting better if I’m faster than yesterday” “Ok, now look at me run!” I went to sleep feeling like I’d been doing crunches all day, stomach muscles were pretty sore from the work-out, but sleep seems to have cured that.
Now it is Sunday morning and I’m pretty mobile again. The baby team are happy with the baby who is back to her usual galloping about in there – she has recovered well enough to boot me in the cut on a regular basis! This morning brings the final lot of antibiotics, then home on Monday. Tomorrow, wow, I will have been here a whole week.
It’s a good thing I was fit and healthy when this process started, as it’s given me a great base to recover from. Although apparently with a cut like this, it takes about 6 weeks to feel ‘almost normal’ and 12 weeks to feel ‘completely normal’. I think there is a baby due somewhere in the middle of that, in about 10 weeks!!
The doctors say that about 1 in 1000 pregnant women get appendicitis, but it is very rare for the appendix to burst and require such a large incision. Most are easily dealt with using keyhole surgery.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
I created this clock (Kaisercraft) for Brennan for father's day. The photo was from an idea from the blog Be a Fun Mum; it's hard to see in this photo but the boys have "We (heart) DAD" written on the bottom of their feet.
The papers are October Afternoon. Oh, and the cogs are from Scrapmatts, and they move - which is cool, but took ages to put together.
Challenge 1 was to use BLUE and inspired by the Roaring Forties.
Challenge 2 was to do a group photo and use yellow, black and white.
And Challenge 3 was to use at least 3 circles.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
I spent last weekend among fellow creative types at the LSBS 2011 Retreat, and created all sorts of goodies. One is a present for my mum, which is up on the Tattered Inspirations blog (since I used one of their funky kits to make it). Some of the other creations I made:
Friday, August 19, 2011
I first encountered scrapbooking at playgroup. Another mum invited me and the boys over for a playdate and she had these amazing off-the-page albums. I asked about them and she said "oh you should totally start doing this". I was pretty ho-hum about it, I considered myself more of a logically brained person than a creative person. And felt I wasn't up to making anything like she had.
But the idea of doing something cool with my photos and not just storing them on the computer; and especially the idea of having the story with the photo; ... well, this idea rattled around my head for quite a while. And eventually I started scrapping in 'secret'. I bought a couple of magazines, some cheap papers and so forth and gave it a go.
And found that I really liked it. Ok, I was dreadful, uninspiring, bland and not creative. But slowly I got more confident and played more and occasionally I would produce a page that actually looked pretty good.
A couple of years of this 'secret' scrapping went by, and I eventually got enough courage to go to a retreat with other scrappers. The idea that I'd never done a class and had just, well, made it up by reading magazines was seen as a bit out there. I didn't really make any friends at that retreat, but I came away with lots more confidence and a huge improvement in quality.
I tried another retreat a year or so later and met loads of great people and by now was starting to get comfortable with my own style. It's not arty, not fussy (which seems to be in fashion at the moment), but it's fairly stylish, graphic and tells the story!
So I figured it was time to get on a design team, or get published, and stop being all secret. Get out there and show off my new-found creative confidence. And, man, did I get rejected!
I've still never been published, but I have done a few guest designer spots for a website or two. And am now on the design team for 2011 for Scrapping Shoebox. Mission accomplished.
But what I've realised, most of all, is that it doesn't matter (which is probably easier to come to terms with since I achieved a goal!). I scrap for my own enjoyment, to tell the stories, keep the photos in an interesting way, to make the photos and stories more readily available to my family that stars in them.
I've also realised that scrapbooking is not the main part of my life. Being on a design team takes a lot of time, and I have a family and a burgeoning career that also need me to put in the time. Scrapbooking is a hobby that tells the story of my life, but it can't be life itself.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Tuesday 12 July 2011
An uneventful start to our Whitsunday winter holiday. Early train to the airport, flight at 10am, arrived at Hamilton Island on schedule. Checked into Holiday Home (Oasis #10) and received the keys to our little house and most importantly, our golf buggy. We threw our things into the house and meandered off in the buggy for a tour of the island that included a stop at the first café we found for lunch. We were starving by then, and ate WAY too much! A short explore, and home for a rest before it was time for dinner. The Steakhouse looked inviting, but had an hour’s wait. We decided to take a tour of the island in our buggy, but the dark of night made it difficult to discern any details! Back to dinner, with a buffet for kids (what a great idea, they could start immediately, while we waited for our order). We were pretty full after our big lunch, so ordered fairly small. Brennan and Renee shared a lamb roast.
Wednesday 13 July 2011
Our food order hadn’t arrived yet, so we were forced out for breakfast. The only place open was the ‘eat with koalas’ attraction. Brennan said “overpriced hotel breakfast, the usual crap”. Caro said “I can’t believe he (the chef) wasted so many eggs”. No wonder it cost so much, and of course the cost is further inflated by the people staying in the hotel who have breakfast included in their room charge.
Our food arrived, then we went for a glass bottom boat ‘look at fishes’ ride, while Caro and Andrew had some time to themselves (with the buggy) before they went snorkelling out on the reef. The glass bottom boat ride was better than expected, a bit tacky and the driver persisted in telling a long winded story about the cost of everything. $250k to join the Hamilton Island yacht club, cost to stay at qualia, cost of the bath tubs at qualia, how much the owner of the island bought it for, etc. But we did get to see a lot of coral and several fish. Keegan said his best bit was “seeing the fishes”. Vincent said “zebra fishes” and also that he saw “one hundred turtles with my tricky eyes!!” Brennan liked the section where the boat was left to drift in the strong current of the gap between Hamilton Island and the neighbouring island. Keegan also liked “going speedy, so fast, faster than I can swim”. Vincent’s imagination ran away with him and he also ‘saw’ “a shark so big under our boat”.
We swapped the buggy keys with Caro and Andrew and took the chance to have lunch at the pub. It was a terrible pub, bad music, no atmosphere and no interesting beers on tap. The lunch was adequate, but nothing special either. We went back to the house for a rest, Renee read a book, boys played rugby and watched a bit of tv, Fergus and Brennan slept.
Best part of the day. Vincent: “Rugby with Andrew. It was me and Keegan vs Andrew and we won 7-3” Brennan told Andrew that he should be more inventive with his application of the rules in order to beat the boys, who are starting to work as a team and thus getting better at winning! Keegan: “Boat ride, speeding along faster than I can swim”. Brennan: “3 hour day sleep!”
Andrew made BBQ dinner, boys to bed (they crashed to sleep!), and we stayed up drinking and talking till late.
Thursday 14 July 2011
Breakfast at home. The toaster made the smoke alarm go off – why is it that we could fill the house with BBQ smoke during dinner the night before, but a little piece of unburnt toast makes the alarm fill the place with piercing noise? Brennan’s height was an advantage as he reached up and turned it off. The boys were very impressed that he could reach and Andrew couldn’t quite reach. The couple of cm advantage that Dad has makes him superman!!
Caro and Andrew took the boys to the beach to play rugby and swim so the Brennan and Renee could have some time to ourselves. We wandered aimlessly about, up and back the beach, around the resort and so on. Laughed at ourselves for walking along the beach at a rapid clip – can’t slow down even on holiday! After an hour or so of that, we were bored and missing the boys, so went over to them to organise lunch. Did a bakery mission in the buggy, left them with some sandwiches and pies before high-tailing it off to a peaceful lunch in the sun by ourselves. Took our leftovers back to the boys and played for a while. Hide and seek was the game of choice for the boys! Then it was time to go back to the house for a rest.
After a rest, we leapt back in the buggy to the high point of the island to enjoy ‘sunset cocktails’. Caro and Andrew were still feeling a little seedy from the night before (Brennan’s 10 year drinking advantage over them shows up here, as he felt fine!). Took lots of photos and the boys had a grand time running all over “one tree hill” and exploring the hillside. The name of the hill is about as silly as Auckland’s similarly named hill – Auckland’s version has no trees, Hamilton Island’s version has many.
Home for home made lamb burgers.
Friday 15 July 2011
Vincent came into our bedroom with a note he’d written. “to mum, we will make pancakes for 5+2=7 breakfast” Caro did the actual making, and Vincent helped by setting the table and waking everyone up!
After breakfast, the weather was less than ordinary, so we went to the sports club and played a round of mini-golf. Fergus had a great time chasing the balls and interfering with all the games by ‘catching’ the balls and moving them around! Near the end of the course, Keegan lost his ball and was sad. Renee went over to help him find it and discovered that he’d sunk it on the final hole and it had gone down the shute back to the shop. After adding up the scores, Brennan won on 49 shots, and Vincent and Keegan drew at the other end on 81 shots. Andrew pulled out a prize for each of them from his magic bag and they both had a ‘sticky hand’ to play with for the rest of the day. Until they got too much crap stuck to them and lost their sticky. But Andrew to the rescue again and a quick wash had them back to original stickiness.
Home for lunch of bacon and eggs leftovers.
Then slightly improved weather encouraged us back to the beach for more swimming and rugby. Everyone shot each other with water guns, before the cold seeped in and we went home to warm up and have a rest. Mad aunty Caro decided that since she didn’t swim at the beach, she was going to swim in the house pool. Being in the shade of the neighbours house, it was colder than the ocean, but that didn’t stop the boys from joining her for a dip. They had fun swimming with the rugby ball as a floatation device. But soon had to run inside for a shower to warm back up again.
Renee went for a walk to town for some peace and quiet, went a bit crazy in a pretty shop, purchasing a new perfume. Couldn’t decide between vanilla or ginger ‘flavoured’, but went for ginger because it had a prettier box. The decision making of a scrapbooker – this one has a nicer box, which would look lovely if I just added a few things to it!
Caro made her coconut fish risotto concoction for dinner. Yum! Boys to bed – all this holidaying is hard work, they have slept so well, almost instanteously as they hit the pillow!
We stayed up and played cards, an old Geelen family game that is a variation on 500, called ‘nominations’ or ‘up and down the river’ depending on who you talk to. Caro won.
Saturday 16 July 2011
Holiday is over. Breakfast and packing. Once packed, we checked out and dropped off the buggy. Then we wandered aimlessly about the island until it was almost too late for lunch. Had a mad fast lunch at the pool bar before a furiously fast walk to the airport so we’d be in time for our plane. We arrived to find that it had all been in vain, as the low cloud had forced the cancellation of all flights for the day.
Virgin (the airline company) put us on a boat to Daydream Island, a nearby resort, and left us to it. The communication with them was fairly incomplete, but we arrived after a 35 minute boat ride to find that if we waited for a couple of hours there was going to be a room for us. Unfortunately they had only one room, with two double beds, for all seven of us. So it was back to the line at reception to get another room for Caro and Andrew. Luckily the resort found one for them, and a cot for Fergus, and we all had a bed for the night.
By this time it was almost dinner time, but with just enough time for a walk around the island to explore a little. And since we might be leaving the next day at an unknown time, we thought it wise to make the most of it and see as much as we could. We discovered a really cool kids playground and the boys played for a while, a bit more walking, then back to the main section for dinner. The resort was struggling to cope with a plane load of unexpected guests, so it was room service for dinner. We ate in the main lounge, under the large plastic brightly coloured fish, and the quality was excellent.
The resort at Daydream is like walking into ‘80s world. It’s full of mad bright colours, and great retro music. Which sure beats the rubbish pop covers they played at Hamilton Island’s bars. The kids loved it, it’s such a great place for kids, but oddly it feels under-utilised.
After the change in plans, which was not much of a hard-ship for us, but a big drama for Caro and Andrew, we had an early night. The cancellation of the flight meant that Caro missed her flight back to NZ on Sunday, and Andrew missed the first leg of his great international adventure. They spent a fair bit of time on the phone and the internet organising new flights and sorting out insurance dramas.
Sunday 17 July 2011
A bonus day in the Whitsundays! Breakfast, then mini-golf at the very funky ‘play around Australia in 19 holes’ course. A much more challenging and interesting course than Hamilton Island. A Fergus nappy drama at the tenth meant a walk back to our room for a change and a wash, while the others played chess. This had the added bonus of giving Andrew time to catch up, since he missed the first half as he was still on the phone sorting out his interrupted travel.
We finished the game and the winner was Andrew on 60, just pipping Brennan on 62. Vincent (76) smashed Keegan (94) this time around, but Keegan had the most shots! Keegan and Vincent have both perfected the drag shot during their two min-golf rounds and this substantially lowered their potential scores…
All this exercise makes you hungry, so we had lunch at the bakery before taking the long way back to the resort via the rainforest walk. We didn’t see any creatures during our journey, but with Vincent as leader and Keegan as ‘sign-spotter’ we read all the signs and learnt about several of the plants and animals that live on the island. The pram didn’t work on the 1km walk, so Andrew carried it, and Brennan carried Fergus. I think Brennan got the rough deal, as Fergus weighs more than 10kg and wriggles a lot!
The sun finally came out and we swam during the afternoon. The water wasn’t that warm, but at least we could all say that we’d donned the swimmers and taken to the water during the holiday! More water gun action to be had, then back to warm up and enjoy the resort’s bar.
Caro had the good sense to book us into the fancy restaurant (whether Virgin will cough up for the cost is another matter) and we enjoyed a gorgeous meal for dinner. Renee had to make do with ‘mocktails for the pregnant lady’ while the others enjoyed a bottle of fine red. The boys thought they were spoilt to be allowed icecream for dessert.
Monday 18 July 2011
The weather finally came out beautiful. And all flights were back on. We were up early to pack and get ready for a day of travelling. At breakfast, Brennan said “I bet Keegan gets lost today, he seems more dreamy than usual.” About ¾ of an hour before the boat to Hamilton Island was due, Vincent and I went to find Caro and Andrew. Keegan belatedly decided to join us, and proceeded to get lost. Vincent and I arrived back at the jetty without Keegan, Caro or Andrew. Brennan said “where’s Keegan, he chased after you”. No idea, so Vincent and Renee went hunting. Renee took the ground floor and Vincent went back to Caro and Andrew’s room. Vincent found him and said “his eyeballs were dripping, so I held his hand and we came back to Dad”.
Disaster averted, (Brennan proved right), all seven reunited (Caro and Andrew found us), and we boarded the vessel back to Hamilton Island. It may have been gorgeous, sunny and warm, but there was still a fairly violent wind to contend with. We arrived back at the airport with plenty of time to fill in, so left our bags with the Holiday Homes staff and wandered off to the beach for some tropical sunshine and, of course, lunch. This time it was at a more leisurely pace since our flight wasn’t till 2pm. We did manage to get on board a plane, but since Virgin had two days of backlog to cope with, we were flown to Brisbane before transferring to a Sydney flight. We finally arrived home at 7pm and took the train home. Andrew had a 3 hour wait before his flight to Greece and the belated start to his European adventure.
Takeaway dinner from the Thai place in Ashfield, then crashed into bed! Caro was up again at 4.30am to catch her new flight home to NZ, and thus the adventure ends. Only 20 loads of laundry, general unpacking and sorting of photos to do.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
I don't remember my first flight - but I'm sure Dad has it written in his log book somewhere. Yip, my Dad keeps a log book of all his flights - has done since he was a kid. Even the big boring commercial ones. Type of plane, rego, everything
Growing up with a father that is a plane nut, I spent a LOT of time at airports as a kid. Very, very occasionally we were rewarded with a flight in a little plane around the airfield - a takeoff and landing usually (there is a term for it that my memory seems to have lost, bump circuit perhaps?). We spent far more time looking at planes than going in them!
But mostly we were stuck on the ground watching while he talked planes with old men for his latest book! http://www.nzaviationpress.co.nz/
The worst flight I did was Hamilton (NZ) to Sydney in about 2002. We were due to take off at 6am, so arrived at the airport at 4.30am having had a piece of toast for a quick breakfast. Went through customs, and waited. At 7am they announced that the plane was broken and a part had to come from Akl. So we had a 2hr wait while the part arrived and the broken one was replaced. They did this while we waited in 'no mans land'. Which at Hamilton airport is one very small room with one very small shop - nothing like Sydney with loads of shops and restaurants!! Read the book that I'd taken for the trip..... Eventually the powers that be decided that the new part didn't fix the problem and we were all going to put on a bus to go to Akl airport. So it's lunch time, and we haven't eaten since 4am and we had to go back thru customs and get on a bus for a 1.5hr ride.
The bus drove out the driveway of the airport, and about 1km down the road when a big bird (presumably a turkey) flew up in front of it and smashed into the windscreen! That poor driver. Everyone on the bus yelled out "keep on driving" and he drove all the way to Akl with a half broken windscreen! We arrived at about 2pm and were, thankfully, given vouchers for lunch at the pub. And told to wait for our flight at 4pm.
So we had 2 hours to get SMASHED at the pub before getting on our plane We did make it to Sydney, but the whole thing took more than 15 hours. There is a photo of us somewhere on arrival looking dreadful.
Friday, June 17, 2011
#1 sons birthday tomorrow (6 - wow). Soccer is cancelled, so the day is up to him really. He wants porridge for breakfast
Then we are taking them to the Tigers game at Leichhardt tomorrow - I'm not much into league, but live games are fun no matter the sport, so it should be good.
Spent the morning with the parents group at school walking around deciding on 'educational' paintings to go on the different paths. Alphabet snakes and hop scotch, big chess boards, etc. Should be good when they are done - apparently the parents group has cash to spend, and this was what they came up with. I'm hovering on the edges of the group, not sure if I want to get involved yet...
Scrapping has been non-existent lately, sick kids, too much work, plus winter in general is uninspiring. But perhaps tonight, hubby is off to the pub, so I might put these monkeys in bed early and actually do something...
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Friday, June 3, 2011
Here they are:
Anger (This Boy - makes me angry how he eats SO slowly, but at least he'll try anything even spicy stuff, so I shouldn't complain. And his antics make me laugh more often!)
Envy (to scraplift someone you envy)
Gluttony (is wanting lots of kids a form of gluttony?)
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Normally Vincent is a practical, empathetic kid, but being sick makes him surly. It's just the reality of it.
Of course, parenting as a competitive sport doesn't allow for reality. Either your kid is super-perfect or is super-terrible and you have 'such a hard time' as a parent. Give it up - some is good, some is bad, and everything is MORE! Kids give you more happiness, more frustration, more laughter and more moments of complete terror than life without kids will ever give you!
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
The idea is to write 250 words about a place that I have discovered in my current locality. And our family should be the ideal people to do this. We are, as friends once said, always having little adventures. I don't think it will be the drive to find the waterfall that the town of Waterfall was named after - that was somewhat underwhelming, plus it rained like crazy and we ended up totally soaked! Perhaps our favourite haunt for a rainy day, the Powerhouse Museum. Full of cool engineering things and a couple of fantastic playgrounds. Then there is that other cool engineering location, Cockatoo Island. We love to explore all the old machinery, run through the tunnels, and climb up to the top and look out over the gorgeous harbour. But I think I'll run with the Sydney Ferries - it's the cheapest way to get a harbour cruise and see all the sights of the most famous beautiful harbour in the world!