Thursday, 31 May 2007

My 15 year old niece is gorgeous

although I can't post a photo of her here without her parents permission.  Anyway, Imogen is a divine girl - the oldest of 3. She was born with a condition called Hirschsprung's Disease which involves the large and small intestine. Immediately - well almost immediately after her birth it was noticed that she did not pass her first stool. She was whisked away to another hospital for emergency surgery (this happened in Perth WA) and came away from that surgery with a colostomy bag which must be so so daunting for any parent let alone a first time parent. I mean, we ALL want the same thing for our children don't we? Good Health. Anyway, even though it seems that my brother is not talking to me, he called today and left a message - Imogen is in hospital having an operation. Oh no! I think so I call the hospital and ask to speak to her. I get her on the line and she is very croaky. Had an op today to expand the scar tissue in her intestine where they joined the large intestine to the small intestine. Poor thing has been ill for over a month and hopefully this will be ok. It was nice to speak to her. Lots of love to you Imo!

What a game!

Bronte has taken up Basketball as her preferred sport. A shame really seeing as I am a netball girl and have quite a few trophies to prove it...but yes! I KNOW it is not all about me!

She loves this game called Basketball. Tonight was their second 'real' game of the season and her team won again - this game was close - 14 points to 10.

Not much in it all the way and she was happy that she scored another goal this week - no $5.00 for that though thank goodness!

It was so close I nearly had a conniption! I mean I can't take the excitement of a close game!
I hope they don't expect to win every time but gee they have come a long way in the past 4 weeks. They have really gelled as a team.

Oh and what is it about Basketball uniforms being SO DARN BIG??

I mean the singlet is a size 14 - they all have size 14's - the girls are only 8 and 9 years of age! But I guess it kinda looks cute all oversized...weird though.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Getting ready for a big

step in Zachary's religious life....his Confirmation.

We belong to the Catholic faith and Confirmation is basically where a person becomes an adult within their faith. Zachary is 11 and very very excited at this next step.

He needs to have what is termed a 'sponsor'. Someone that he will be able to go to in times of need, someone that will be able to direct him within the faith and someone that he can trust.

This is a big step for him because he is not a very social person. Unlike Samuel and Bronte, he is a child of very few words but many deep thoughts. He is someone who thinks and watches and thinks some more before he will say/do anything. He is someone who has to feel comfortable before he allows others in.

So, of course, this narrows the field a LOT. Joyce is already Samuel's sponsor, so he is going to ask my good friend Simone. She doesn't know yet but she will be THRILLED.

I can't wait to see her face because she knows he struggles with social needs and she will be so touched. Yay on Zachary!

I am so delighted for him...

(disclaimer) even though I am not religious - this has true meaning to him and my family.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Having a break

from painting the kitchen architraves and doors...have I ever told you guys that I really don't like painting? Well it is not the painting that I don't like - in fact I
like painting - it is the preparation...the cleaning the sanding, the filling.

So, I am just about finished and it makes the kitchen look so much brighter.

We have an ex-war commission home. Originally 2 bedrooms and red clinker brick. Built in the 1940's on good sized blocks of land (for the city).

We bought this home in 1989 - October to be exact and it was when interest rates were at 18%! We figured that if we could afford repayments at that rate - it could only get better. That was in the days of no kids and two incomes. I think our initial repayments were $1450 per month.

We got married in February 1990 and we were both still working.

Even when the interest rates dropped and dropped - we kept paying at that rate and paying more when we could. I took a package from where I was working at Vic Roads and got a great payout - all bar $2000.00 went on the house and then, just before Zachary's 2nd birthday, Stan was retrenched from his work - and he had just been there for a year - he got a pretty good payout and all of this went on the house and we had PAID IT OFF! Yay - I think it took just 7 years for us to do it - we were pretty pleased with ourselves...

One of the owners before us put on a very long back room as an extension. We originally used this room as a spare room.

We found out when Samuel was 5months old that we were expecting another baby and besides going into panic mode, we decided to add another room. All Stan had to do was insert a wall and door across the long spare room and voila - two more rooms!

The middle one became Samuel's, the other became my office. And of course Zachary went into the original room when he was a baby. Not long after, both boys were in the middle room with bunks and the new baby, Bronte went into the original bedroom which was next to ours.

Fast forward a year or so and the boys went back into the original bedroom as it was the biggest one and Bronte into the middle room. Then, when she went into a big bed we decided to put ALL three in the one room and made the middle room a playroom with TV and Video player and we had a sofa bed couch in there for visitors. It was great while mum and dad were still around as they could come and sleep in there.

Eventually, the visitors have stopped and the kids were getting bigger, so we decided to move Bronte back into the middle room - this was around October 2006 and it was not a great idea as far as Bronte was concerned.

She didn't want her own room. She wanted to stay with her brothers. Why does everyone ELSE get to sleep with someone and not her? Oh man, it was difficult.

Everynight Bronte would come into our room at 2am on the dot. It's scary, it's too dark, it's too noisy - any excuse she could come up with - we got it. At 2am, it certainly didn't work putting her back in her own room - who wants to listen to an 8 year old crying hysterically at that time? It was out of the question after the first few nights that she would actually join us in our bed...not enough room. So, she started to bring in her pillow and special blanket at 2am and lay them down at the end of the bed on the floor and snooze away. We often didn't even hear her come in...

After a while she thought she would prepare for this early morning ritual by putting her blanket and pillow in BEFORE she went to her own bed. I said no way to that one pretty quickly though.

My friend was saying - you have to stop this. You can't let it go on. During the day I would talk to Bronte about it and she would say she would try not to come in but every morning she was there.

We made her room nice, got her a lovely antique replica cast iron bed, painted the walls a sunny yellow, put hot pink accessories around and more. She loved her room - during the day - not at night.

Last night, I realised that she hasn't been in our room for a month. I knew it was getting good but a whole month and she is happy. She still doesn't like her door closed but she has a fabulous hot pink big flower night light that we got from Ikea that seems to have made all the difference. We leave it on (and it is high on her wall) all night and she said it makes her happy.

Well, I am now happy too thanks very much! Just goes to show that if you try and FORCE things like this - it just makes for unhappy inhabitants - if you take it slow it works out in the end.

Anyway - the reason I started this post was....while I was painting...I was much we have all grown and changed as a family. It is a work in progress. Mostly a really rough work and we are doing it by the seat of our pants but it is going ok at the moment...fingers crossed.

Anyway - he she is, relaxing in her room...reading, with the Jasper the cat!

Just a few more photos of

Samuel and Bronte taken on the 27th of May. Zachary and Stan are away for the weekend at a motorbike Trial so, we went out all day shopping...and then out for dinner by ourselves. Had a lovely time. Came home and watched 'Happy Feet' on DVD - that is a good movie - better than I thought it would be.

Here are some of the photos I wanted to share...

What a difference HAIR makes...

Samuel got his hair cut. But first, here he was just yesterday...has pink through his hair because a girl from school 'coloured' his hair for the School turned out she put a semi-permanent dye in and it still hasn't washed out after more than 10 I took him to the hairdressers today. My goodness...I loved his hair long but I think I love the way he looks with short hair better.... Wanna vote on it? Click on the images to see them larger....

Friday, 25 May 2007

I am now $5.00 poorer....

because of a new love of Bronte's!

She has joined a basketball team and they had their first official game of the season last night.

We won! 22 points to 14 points and the girls played so well.

They are in an Under 10 team and only 2 girls have ever played before and neither of those was Bronte. I told her last week in the Grading Game that when she got her first goal in a real game, I would give her $5.00. Well, she got her goal and the look on her face when she did it was priceless. It was so so nice to see.

Well, last night they just did everything right and surprisingly, worked really well as a team. Bronte had about 5 shots for goal all up which is a great improvement from 3 weeks ago when she said "mum, I am NEVER going to dribble the ball. I don't want to get caught for travelling." and "I am not going to EVER shoot for a goal, because what if I don't get it in?"

Well, she has really taken to the game like a duck to water and not only is she dribbling, she is ducking and weaving and shooting at the board. It is great to watch.

So now, we have basketball training on Wednesdays from 4.30pm to 5.30pm and a basketball game on Thursdays. She loves the uniform and she loves the sport.

When I said, 'why don't you try netball instead? That is a great game, I used to love playing netball. You've seen all my trophies haven't you?' she looked at me and said, "mum, I don't have to like everything you like do I? Netball is boooooooring." How sad for me!

I will take a photo of her in her uniform and post it here later...

Your comments are just great to read

and I wanted to thank you all so much for taking the time and making the effort to actually post on here. I love to read them all.

I am feeling so much better within myself now that I have left an online group. I am laughing more and enjoying my family and friends who have already commented that I seem more relaxed now. Not quite as relaxed as the chick in the picture but I hope you all get the drift!

Sunday, 20 May 2007


there is something that I have been meaning to do for a while...

And I have started to do it...

Detoxing my life...

It feels great.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

I've Been Tagged!

Lynda from Lulu's Bay has tagged me for a meme but I am unsure what the word meme means!! LOL I do know though that you have to have a look at Lulu's Bay - the food and photos of the food are glorious!

So, anyway, back to the meme - I have to list:
1. Four of my favourite jobs
2. Four of my favorite local places
3. Four of my favourite foods
4. Four of my favorite international places and four people who I am tagging.

4 x Favourite Jobs:
1. Hmmmm - the first job I loved was as a Work Experience student at a Printing place. I loved it so. Picture this, I was a 16 year old impressionable girl. It was an all-male workplace and the the guys were gorgeous - well two were! They all took it upon themselves to educate me in the world of men! Little did they know I had three brothers - two of whom were in the navy so not much surprised me. They were protectors of me as well and I loved that. I learnt to work hard and to put in extra from that place. I learnt about the world of printing and I loved it. I learnt that guys like that are a lot of talk and bluster! I was offered an apprenticeship there but in the end, turned it down. Not sure if that was a good thing or not.

2. Another job I loved was when I joined the Computer Department at Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute here in Melbourne. I was just out of a re-training program and got an 8month tenure (maternity leave placement). Suited me fine as we were off on a backpacking trip around the world. I loved it there. It was rather an autonomous job yet I had to complete a lot of statistical data entry. The women that I worked with were fantastic and I still remember them today and this job was in the late 80's!

3. Working at Vic Roads when I returned from our jaunt overseas. I first got the job as a Temp but it turned into a 4 or 5 year stay. I loved it and was quick to ask if there were any full time positions. It was in the Payroll section and was a very high tensioned job. We ran two payrolls and both were worth over $1million a fortnight. By my final year there I had a position of responsibility that I loved. My boss was a good friend as were the fellow workers. We all loved the work. I met some wonderful people there!

4. No other favourites - oh hang on - my Paper Round that I did twice a week in the afternoon when I was 10! We lived in a small country town and my dog then was a labrador kelpie cross and he was a gorgeous chocolate colour. We used to do the paper round and to certain houses he would take the paper in his mouth and deliver it to the person! What fun! It wasn't fun however, when it was windy or rainy delivering those papers - no plastic wrap on them in those days!

4 x Local Places:
1. Rickett's Point - Black Rock - gorgeous to sit and sip a Latte overlooking Port Phillip Bay
2. St Kilda along the beach - going for a walk or a ride on the bicycle
3. Inverloch - a gorgeous small seaside town - perfect for camping
4. The City - Federation Square - love it!

4 x Favourite Foods
This one is tough:
1. Grilled Salmon on a bed of Rice
2. My roast vegies - nothing beats it!
3. Chicken Wraps with salad, garlic mayonnaise and avocado - toasted
4. Ice Cream - any!

4 x Favourite International Places:
1. Arles - in the South of France
2. Northern Philippines
3. Bali
4. Warsaw

4 x people I am tagging
No one - it is too hard!

Kids (and adults) behaving badly....

Thinking about the disco last night, I can equate it to some behaviour I see online...

Why would children think it was ok to act in that manner when they wouldn't do such things at home?

Why do Adults on online forums think it is ok to call others names, cast aspersions upon character and judge people when they don't KNOW the people or their actual circumstances?

What is it that says to us 'it is ok to act inappropriately and bugger the consequences'?

I would dearly love to know why this can be seen as ok because to me it isn't. No matter what.

It was suggested today, that if I don't like something that has been said on the board or if I don't agree - I should ignore it. I will try that although I think what if I applied that same solution to the behaviour I witnessed at the disco last night - the damage would have been a whole lot worse.

What are we doing wrong here? Both with the children and online relationships? Where are our responsibilities? Maybe we should all just turn our backs and walk away when we witness behaviour or read something we don't care for. But then what message does that send? I know but do you?

I found this article online - it is very apt...

Bystanders play a part in bullying behaviour Medical Studies/Trials
Published: Friday, 3-Dec-2004

Bystanders play a part in bullying behaviour

While talk of bullying often focuses on the aggressor and the victim, research from the University of South Australia (UniSA) has found that bystanders play a part in bullying behaviour.

In an international study looking at bullying and harassment in primary and secondary school students, UniSA adjunct researcher, Professor Ken Rigby, says that victimisation most commonly occurs when other people are watching.

And he says that when bystanders step in and speak up, it significantly reduces bullying and harassment.
"Unfortunately, only on a minority of occasions do bystanders seek to discourage bullying, but when they do, it actually stops some 50 per cent of the time," Prof Rigby says.

And alarmingly, the study has also found that Australian students are less likely to tell the teacher than any of the groups of students in the five countries taking part in the project, including Bangladesh, England, Israel, Italy and South Africa.

"There's a culture against 'dobbing' here in Australia that needs to be addressed - students need to feel that they are doing the right thing by informing teachers." "These results shows us that anti-bullying programs need to teach students better bystander behaviour, including safe and effective ways of discouraging harassment, as well as informing teachers," Prof Rigby says.

"Anti-bullying programs are the most effective way in which schools and communities can address the problem."

In fact, Prof Rigby has found that when schools get wholeheartedly behind anti-bullying programs, the success rate can be as high as 60 to 70 per cent. "What we have found is that bullying programs can be highly effective, but there needs to be a high level of implementation from the school community - in the classroom, in the playground and at home.

"The programs need to encompass the entire school community, from broader school policy down to classroom interaction, such as discussions with children about bullying, how to access help and provide assistance to others if needed.

"It is clear that the best predictor of success is not the content of the program but the thoroughness of the implementation."

School Disco's Fun? Or....

Well the night of the school disco arrived last night with lots of excitement and anticipation. My two youngest were going and Bronte was doubly excited because it was her first year at the 'senior' disco.

She asked if I would help out on the night and I said sure! She had her bestest
friend come over for a sleepover, Zachary went to his best friends for a sleepover and Samuel had one of his best friends over for a sleepover.

I tell you - these kids have a great social life!

I should tell you - my daughter is 8 and so is her friend. The senior disco encompasses Grades 3 to 6 - so the ages are from 8 to 12 that go there.

Zachary went straight from school to his friends place so and got ready there so I didn't get any photos - a darn shame too because he looked so gorgeous I coulda squeezed his cheeks!

Bronte and her friend A, got ready here. 'A' has the most divine thick hair and I said I would curl it for her. As her mum doesn't do that kind of stuff, she was thrilled. Unfortunately, the gorgeous curls fell out pretty fast but she was still happy with the mascara I put on her! (No lippy!!)

Bronte's hair was a little more involved - I had to plait it in little plaits that morning after her shower. She wore it to school in little plaits and just before we were ready to leave I took it out. She loved it...all crinkly and fun!

Here are their photos...

Note the last one where Bronte is standing on her TIPPY TOES to try and be as tall as 'A'!! And 'A' is 6 months younger than Bronte! LOL

Now, these photos were taken before the disco.

We got there and all was well. Too much food, hyped up kids, boys who think dancing is so not cool so they run and jump instead.

To tell you the truth, I was disappointed in a lot of the behaviour I saw there...

First they were each handed a glowstick that could be used as a bracelet. Then they all went into the hall which was decorated with helium balloons. As the lights went off - I noticed knots of boys...didn't think too much of it until I realised that they were sucking the helium out of the balloons! Jeez! I put a stop to that really fast and made them clean up all the mess - strings and stuff from the balloons...they didn't like that much!

Next, I noticed some trying to break the glowsticks. Man! And then, I go over to the darkest corner and someone has sprayed the carpet, walls, curtains with the stuff! I did my nut - well not really but they all knew where they stood on that one. There was a dad standing near the boys, looked at me and said 'is that not allowed?' Ummm der?? I said sweetly 'NO!' LOL

Then a really naughty boy - I know them all - came up to me and said that this other boy who is naughtier than the first is in the mens toilets and it is covered in the stuff. So, I go there and march right in - turn off the lights and it looks like a divine starry night in the middle of nowhere! Or a bloodbath on CSI when they use the UV lights! So, the dad that was on the toilet door was informed that he needed to go in and supervise them.

I thought that was the end of the shocking behaviour but then it got worse. Kids throwing party pies at each other or just squishing them into the carpet for fun? And right behind me kids started getting cups of water and tipping them over their heads because they were hot? Never mind that they were in a carpeted hall? I spoke to one who I know comes from a really well to do family and asked him if he would dare treat his own home in such a manner? He said no and I said to him so what gives you the right to treat the school in this way? He teared up and said sorry. Oops!

Bronte came over to me half way through the night and said they wanted to go home. I asked why and she said because it was boring. No one was really dancing and the bigger kids were pushing the littler ones around. Meantime, Zachary had come up to me crying (and he is in grade 6) because he was hit in the face accidentally from someone running past like a maniac....I took the girls home 20mins early - I am sure the kids were glad to see the back of me but not as much as I was to see the back of them.

I was disappointed in the behaviour from the senior students - most of the problems were from Grade 6 students - boys in fact and I think I will be writing an email to our Principal about it...

When we got home the girls had fun doing Singstar and playing with Samuel and his friend. The girls got to sleep at about 11.30pm and Samuel and his friend 'I' snoozed off at about 12.

Then they were all up this morning early and bright as buttons...blah! Made pancakes and a video movie and had a ball...lucky ducks.

Monday, 14 May 2007

Mothers Day - gorgeous yet bittersweet

I do so love Mother's Day. It is the ONE day of the year that I am guaranteed a wonderful day - the WHOLE Day. There are two not so wonderful things about Mother's Day though.

1. It ends and all goes back as it always is...

2. I miss my mother even more

So, the day started being woken up by whispers, hearing directions being given and shuffling, giggling and lots of shushing...

The door opens at 8.30am and in they all come shouting HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!! And I look up and Stan has the video camera going...Oh No! They are all happy. All thrilled and excited. I get gifts...the latest Jodie Picoult book, Nineteen Minutes from Zachary. Robbie Williams RUDEBOX CD from Samuel, a gorgeous old fashioned looking mug from Bronte and a Womens Weekly 501 Low Carb recipe book from Stan. Yay. The cards the kids made were gorgeous...and I will always keep them.

Off they all went again to make breakfast. Can I tell you, the last thing I want to do when I first awaken is eat but what can you do? They made the most yummiest Banana Pancake (none of the shaker stuff!) and a Banana Smoothie and a cup of coffee (decaf of course!). I ate half the pancake - it was massive, drank half the smoothie and drank half the coffee. Then I was allowed to rest again...

I started my Jodi Picoult book and in the background I could hear dishes being done, the floors were washed and the house was vacuumed. I love it! This is the best present that Stan could give me really! It is awesome!

Then we packed a picnic lunch and off to the city by train we went. Got off at Melbourne Central and looked through the shopping precinct. Spotted Krispy Kreme's (I don't like them but I told the kids that I might get them one on the way back) and we went into a games place where they play a game called Warhammer. It was so fun. The young guy played a game with us and showed us how it all worked. Walked down towards Federation Square - a place we all love.

Saw some fun things along the way. Saw some Jazz bands play in the square and watched a pretty average street entertainer while we had our picnic. Then into ACMI for a little look and back out to the square, watched another street entertainer called Andy Zapp. He was so great - I haven't laughed so much in ages.

After that we caught the City Circle Tram which is free. I have always wanted to do that.

On the way Zachary spotted a Hummer. It wasn't just ANY Hummer it was a super STRETCH hummer. He was so excited he yelled out WHOA! LOOK AT THAT HUMMER! The whole tram full of people stopped mid sentence and looked! It was very funny!

Then we continued on our way and got off the tram up at the top of Swanston Street.

We went across to the Victorian State Library and out the front is this fantastic monument. Of course they all wanted to climb it....

You have to click on the photo to appreciate the size and how hard the task was!!

And here is Stan...trying to do the same thing. He did get higher than these photos show but not any where near as high as Z!

Here are some more photos.

I love this one of the 4 of them...

And this one is too darn cute for words...check out Bronte's top - MY MUM ROCKS! LOL

How's this for a good photo - My Mum Rocks!! Ass! LOL It really says on Zachary's top BASS.

I think that you can all tell we had a wonderful day in the city and as a family. I want to thank Stan, Samuel, Zachary and Bronte publicly for showing such love.

When we arrived home, we went up to Joyce's for Mother's Day dinner and had some laughs. Even Jasper the cat came up.

Had a lovely lovely day. Full of love and joy. Of course, this made me think of my mum and just how much I miss her still.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

And another thing...

Hard rubbish abounded our area this past week and we picked up some goodies! Can't help ourselves really.

Here are the three kids out the front of Joycey's house on her old couch (it actually was Kiah's) and watching Telly on the footpath. They had a blast.

It was very sad to see the old couch go....another link to Kiah gone.

Biker Boy....

that I took of Zachary on Sunday at the motorbike track...

He is riding his new motorbike - a GasGas 200cc Trials bike (yep! no seats!) and loves it of course....

I wanted to show a little of what trials riding is about. It is about riding over obstacles, it is about balance and control. It is not a speed sport, it is a technical sport and can be really awesome to watch.

Monday, 7 May 2007

Reading a really good friends blog tonight

she posted a note that her daughter wrote - it is so gorgeous and one of the things that I love to keep from my children.

It reminded me that I had this from Bronte - she wrote it in Prep when she was 6 to her good friend (at the time) who had been away from school sick...
You have to click on the image to see it larger....

And, just tonight, she had to do a drawing of her family for homework.
Here we are - all in our favourite clothes apparently.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Zachary and I went for a School Tour on

Tuesday morning to the High School that Samuel is going to...just so that Zachary could get a feel of it on his own. Funny thing is, they handed us a card with the Information Night info on it along with the handbook and I popped them straight in my bag. Two days later, I am scavenging through my bag for a pen and I pull out everything...there on the table, I see Samuel 'fake smiling' up at me! And lo and behold there he is right on the information card! How fun! So here it is for all to see...

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

There's been some crazy thoughts

going on in my head the past few weeks....hard to put into words but I just feel a 'bit on the outside'.

Does it worry me? Maybe.

I think it is the culmination of a very emotional year so far for me, my family and friends.

There are online shenanigans recently that have really blown my mind with the level of nastiness that has been going on.

I belong to a closed forum but maybe I should say I am a 'member' of a closed forum - questioning lately whether I actually 'belong' there.

Things were said to and about others that really made me question the reason that I am there and this time, I was not really involved. Some people seem to enjoy, and even feed off such nastiness but me? I am so, so over it.

Friends have been commenting lately to me that I have 'lost my spark', that I don't have the witty comebacks that I used to....well I have been thinking about that and the above stuff has been getting me down.

So, I know what I should do...but don't want to as there are some ladies there that I really like but do I like them well enough to stay? Are they real friends that are worth staying for? Would any of these people, who are behind screens and keyboards even notice if I left? Does it really matter to me if they don't?