Friday, December 31, 2010
There's a couple of nice spots to go swimming and Ivor (Amy's Dad) and I together with the kids enjoyed a post-barbecue dip. It was a picture perfect day with a light breeze and temperatures just touching 30 degrees.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Thanks to everyone for all the messages of support. It really kept me positive. The nurses at Calvary Hospital were fantastic too and really looked after me, keeping my spirits up and offering a shoulder to cry on when I needed it. I hope I never have to be in there again though! ;)
Hurrah! So lovely to be home with the gang and back in my comfy bed.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Amy is still in hospital. She meets with the surgeon tomorrow (26th) to discuss a discharge date, possibly tomorrow or in the next few days. She's understandably still sore and feeling low.
As today was Christmas the nurse allowed Amy home for a few hours today (for good behaviour) I think they called it 'gate release!'. After visiting her this morning with Audrey and Eli, Amy came home with us after lunch.
As you can imagine it's difficult to recuperate at our place with Audrey and Eli leaping on you and Amy was exhausted when I dropped her back at the hospital at 6pm for her next injection. It was really nice for us all to be together at home. I'll keep you posted with any progress.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
The surgery all seems to have gone well although they've told her that in addition to the mastectomy the surgeon had to remove some of her lymph nodes which will make her more susceptible to Lymphodema after she recovers from the operation.
I'm taking the kids to see her in the morning, when I'm sure we'll know a bit more.
Thanks everyone for your kind words of support (along with all the other things) that you've sent us.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Amy goes into Calvary Hospital on the 21st for a mastectomy and because she's not going to be in the best of health when she comes out we decided to bring Christmas forward a week so we could spend the day as a family as happily as possible.
Our day began at 6.30am with the kids excitedly opening their stockings from Santa. It's great watching Eli as a 19 month old absolutely delighted at receiving a tub of Play Dough (at $1.74 a tub) and a colouring book. Life seems to get more complicated as you get older.
Audrey got a towel for swimming (with Tinkerbell on it) which works like an overhead cape. She chose to wear it for much of the day, alternating with her fairy wings which she'd received from my work Christmas party a couple of days earlier.
Lunch was the traditional Christmas fayre. I roasted a chicken (in our decidedly dodgy oven) and then dripped fat onto the element as I was taking it out resulting in a worryingly large fire at the bottom of the oven. Fortunately it went out pretty quickly, but not before Audrey had raced out of the kitchen shouting "Run away!" - she wasn't stopping for anyone!
Brussel Sprouts were met with a typical lack of enthusiasm, Audrey refusing point blank, Amy chasing a couple round her plate for 5 minutes and Eli literally throwing his off his plate. Despite trying to pass them off as 'fun size cabbages' I was left to eat 8 or 9 on my own - it was only a couple of hours later that the others suffered for their abstention and my over indulgence.
We went for a walk late in the day, luckily managing to dodge the rain clouds. We had another day of intermittent rain. People had forecast that the weather would be rainy up until Christmas, and in our case the prediction came true. At least it's not snow!
So that's Christmas over with for another year, or 6 days depending on your point of view...
Here's a few pics;
Saturday, December 11, 2010
There was a free sausage sizzle and a probably 200-300 hundred people showed up and sat and picnic-ed on the grass. It was a traditional Aussie Christmas, with Carol singers and kids at the back playing footy! Here's a picture of my beautiful wife and son and also one of Audrey with her good friend Tristan who we bumped into there.
The last couple of years I've always persuaded Amy to go for a real tree (here it is pictured). It doesn't look much like this any more as Eli can reach all of the lower branches and has removed all of the baubles, it's also looking distinctly more droopy with every day that passes.
We also had an amusing incident last week when Audrey opened the advent calendar sent to her by Grandma and Grandpa and exclaimed 'A fairy!' when she saw an angel underneath the 8th December. Wonder how the shepherds would have reacted to the "Fairy Gabriel" appearing to them?
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Once the doctors had diagnosed breast cancer (last Friday) my treatment plan did not take long to put into action. I had my first hormone treatment on Tuesday and some radiation therapy on my hip and upper back today.
I also visited the breast surgeon this morning and will be having my operation on 21 December. Not the best timing but then I don't think any time would be a good time and I'd rather just get on with it.
Trevor continues to be my pillar of strength and very supportive (even though he's had to sacrifice Ashes tickets for the Adelaide and Melbourne games!)
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
I think I’m still in shock but have burst into tears a few times. I look at my two beautiful children and my lovely husband and am determined to beat this thing but I know it will be a long journey; one that will (in the Dr’s words) “turn our lives upside down”.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
We were amazed by the throngs of people heading to the out of the way part of Canberra but managed to find a park in a nearby street.
There was loads of things on display from an old ABC Outside Broadcast van, to old computers, carriages, motor bikes and a pink caravan!
Because of the Black Country connection my personal favourite was the Bean 14 racing car which took part in a record breaking dash between Darwin and Melbourne in 1926 and the first overland drive between London and Melbourne in 1927.
I found an original picture of the car here (when it was manufactured in Dudley)
The 1948 Daimler landaulette six of which were built specifically for King George VI's tour of Australia (which was cancelled!)
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
One of a number of things he talked about in the presentation was how amazing it must be to see the world for the first time as if through the eyes of a 3 year old – he encourages people to embrace their inner 3 year old, and remember that they once saw or experienced things for the first time too.
It struck a chord with me. Last weekend Audrey and I played with a worm which the two of us had found under a weed. She wasn’t squeamish as it twisted in her hand. She didn’t care that she didn’t really know what it was. She knew (somehow!) and told me that; ‘Worms don’t have bones’ and I thought that it’s so easy to get caught up with the hustle and bustle of life without necessarily taking time to embrace your inner 3 year old. It was a lovely moment.
Here’s a picture of her as a butterfly. Even though I used proper face-paint it hadn’t all washed off her face by morning...
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
In 1988 (after over 20 years) the BBC took a decision to scrap the programme. I'm not sure why they reached the decision, I guess it's pretty old fashioned in format and the more trendy CBBC that in part replaced it may (or may not) be more in keeping with today's generation of pre-schoolers.
In Australia however the show is still going strong. It's kept the format of Jemima, Big Ted, Little Ted and Humpty (the big four) and there's a host of presenters and songs.
As with the show I remember as a child, a lot of the things they do is based around home-made things (wooden spoons, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes etc) and sometimes you get the feeling they've thrown things together five minutes before the show goes to air, but to be honest it all adds to the charm of the programme.
On Sunday Play School came to Canberra. The ABC tour the show around the country and take the big four to the masses. Sunday's show featured guest presenters Teo and Abi. The two of them energetically danced and sang their way through 50 minutes of songs taking the packed hall of kids with them on an adventure to Humpty's picnic.
Audrey and Eli were enthralled. It was a really well put together show and the presenters hung around after the show to meet the awe-struck kids. As is the way with these things the merchandise table at the back took us for $30 for a Big Ted and $20 for a couple of Play School plates. Personally I'm sure any yellow teddy would have sufficied but even at 3 Audrey is wise enough to know the difference. Big Ted is now toy no.1, probably until next week sometime when something else catches her eye and both Audrey and Eli have taken to sweeping their food off the plates to see the picture of Jemima et al underneath. Still, it's a small price to pay for a good morning's entertainment!
Here's some pics.
Teo and Jemima look out into the audience
Audrey and Eli look back agog - expressions they maintained for 30 minutes or so
Teo and Abi meet Eli and Audrey.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
We've never really encouraged the pink outfits that seem to be de rigueur with 3 year olds at the moment, but I guess it's a sign of how little influence you actually have over your children that Audrey wears a pink fairy princess outfit almost every day.
She was joined at the party by throngs of other would-be princesses. We speculated where the cross over between angel/ballerina/fairy occurs, it seems a pretty universal outfit and the boundaries between each classification are fairly loose.
The party was monumental for lovers of all things fairy. A mass of pink sweets, favours, decorations even a pink fairy castle piñata which was joyfully smashed by the (older) boys at the party with a cricket stump.
I don't think either Audrey or Eli have eaten quite so many sweets(Aus:lollies) in the whole of their lives. They were absolutely wired on sugar by the end of it.
Audrey capped it off by winning the fairy princess statues dancing competition. It was funny to watch her disappointed reaction to winning the 1st prize (a make an angel kit) when the kids who had been knocked out in preceding rounds had all collected sugary pink "musk sticks". (Amy fortunately nicked one before the end for her)
Audrey eats her 15th lolly
...then devours a cake
Thursday, October 21, 2010
It's only a few minutes drive from our place and so I took the kids there while Amy enjoyed a trip to Coles supermarket!
The new galleries are great. We particularly liked the dingos in the North Queensland gallery.
The gallery also owns a version of Monet's Waterlillies (Nymphéas) click here if you don't know what it looks like. We looked at it for quite a few minutes until Audrey turned to me and said, 'There's no frogs', which I thought was a pretty decent observation.
We discussed that perhaps Monet wasn't all he is cracked up to be as an artist. It's tricky drawing the back legs of frogs, and perhaps he just didn't fancy it.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
We'll probably finish the decorating at about the same time that we pay off the mortgage in 2093.
We started last weekend with Eli's bedroom. Audrey was so excited to paint - she wasn't so keen about the lengthy preparation but sang happy little songs once she was let free with the roller.
Here's a few pics. This blog is likely to get filled up with DIY successes and disasters over the next few months - it'll probably be about as interesting as watching paint dry!
Eli is a great walker, but sometimes gets a bit clumsy. There’s an added complication too of the toys that are usually strewn around the floor making walking hazardous whatever your age or ability.
On Thursday night he went for a spill on the kitchen floor and cracked a third of his front tooth off. A visit to the dentist followed the next day, but being his baby tooth the dentist advised against any remedial work. It’s given him a bit of a crooked smile, but not in the same league as Shane McGowan.
While Mum and Dad were here we got Dad working hard in the garden which was very overgrown after being a rental property for at least 10 years. He and Trevor managed to clear it so that we can see the back fence and most of the side fence too. We probably will be cursing ourselves as it gets hotter as some of the shade has subsequently gone too but it will be nice once we get our citrus trees and some shrubs in and growing.
We did give Dad a bit of a break on the Monday when we all headed off to Floriade which was, as usual, beautiful and a very pleasant way to spend the morning.
It was great to see Mum and Dad and we're looking forward to catching up with them in Mildura over the Christmas/New Year break.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
I quite liked an article that I read the other day wondering why a football club from Prague has a kangaroo on its badge. Apparently it dates from a tour set up in 1927 for Prague's AFK Vrsovice to tour Australia. It took the Czech team 4 months to travel by boat to Australia via the suez canal and Indian ocean. They won the majority of their games (15 wins, 3 draws and 3 losses) and returned from their tour with two live kangaroos which were given to Prague zoo on the team's return!
Football (proper football) is subheaded 'The World Game' in Australia, and that's obviously been the case for quite a while!
To read the article click here