Thursday, January 27, 2011

Audrey and Eli at Australian Day Barbecue

Wednesday was Australia Day, celebrating the arrival of the first fleet in Australia in 1788 led by Captain Arthur Phillip. Unfortunately at the time of the fleet's arrival Australia already had a population of its own and that largely seems to be forgotten, but enough of that...

The four of us were invited to a really nice Barbecue and Audrey and Eli loved the pool. Audrey's swimming has become pretty accomplished and with the benefit of her back 'bubble' float she was happy to swim around on her own leaving me to catch Eli as he made death defying leaps into the water.

Here's some nice pics of our day

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Further update

I had appointments with the radiation oncologist and medical oncologist over the last couple of days. As suspected, I will have to have radiation treatment on my chest area to try to lower the chances of the cancer recurring in the same location. Unfortunately, there are also a list of side effects; some only have a 1% chance of happening, others are up around 30-40%. The most likely are bad burning of the area, fatigue and increasing my chances of getting lymphoedema. I figure though that I've got to throw everything I can at this thing.

At this stage, it's too early to tell if the hormone treatment is working (ie slowing the growth/spread of the cancer). The medical oncologist thinks that she will be able to assess this in a few more months. I go back to see her in late March.

In the meantime, I will undergo the radiation treatment and continue with the hormone treatment. I've also booked in to see a naturopath in March - she comes highly recommended and I'm certainly open to complementary therapies.

My spirits remain high and I'm thankful for all the support and good wishes I have been receiving.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Now I'm a believer!

I'm afraid to admit, but as a family we've never been the greatest fans of the Wiggles. I can't really explain why we've not bought into them, as they're pretty much unavoidable as a phenomenon. What makes our ambivalence towards them even worse is that we've got a friend in Canberra who has toured with them as a sound engineer.

The band's endorsements stretch across umpteen products in the supermarket, they have sold a staggering 17 million DVDs and 4 million CDs worldwide and have a couple of entertainment theme parks in Australia and the US (with more to follow). In 2009 they made $45 million and have been Australia's top earning entertainers for 4 years in a row. They're huge in the US, UK and in fact throughout the world.

Remarkably the success grew out of a defunct one-hit band called the Cockroaches and a couple of members of the band started their careers as teachers, progressing(?) into busking in Sydney's circular quay. Many of the kids that grew up watching their early career have now got children of their own.

They arrived in Canberra tonight as part of the Australia Day celebrations, and their own 20 year 'birthday party'. They were amongst the main attractions at a free concert to see them on the lawns of Parliament House. It was pretty big news really (especially for 2 certain children under 4) and their parents who had always resented paying out the big bucks required to go and see them at previous opportunities.

The night began with the Australian of the year awards (which the vast majority of the crowd shunned) but then at 7.15pm on the dot the Wiggles arrived on stage.

We'd got there pretty early to ensure our spot near the front and both Audrey and Eli had waited exceptionally patiently for the show to begin.

The 45 minute show was wonderful.

The Wiggles are absolutely non-stop on stage and even though both Amy and I commented that Murray (the red Wiggle) is looking decidedly decrepit after 20 years on the road the kids loved it. Their show is really action packed and they really involve the children. Even though we don't own any of their CDs somehow we knew a lot of their music (by osmosis?) and it was great to watch Audrey toe tapping and clapping along.

I'm not sure whether following our experience we're going to rush out and equip ourselves with a mass of Wiggles merchandise and then jet off to Wiggles World, but both Amy and I agreed that the frowns we had once reserved for Murray, Anthony, Jeff and Sam/Greg had been entirely misplaced. Toot Toot, Chugga Chugga Big Red car, sign me up for the Wiggles fan club!

We love Murray

Monday, January 24, 2011

Audrey and Eli what a Pair

7 large pears greet you outside of the National Gallery of Australia. Here's a couple of pics of Audrey, Eli and their Pop playing around the pears after a short trip to the NGA.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Audrey and I went along to watch Goldilocks and the three bears at Canberra Theatre while Amy took a well earned rest at home with Eli plus Nanny and Poppy.

It was a really nice performance. The courtyard theatre is only a small venue and the two of us were sat on the front row right next to the action.

Audrey was a bit overawed with Daddy Bear at first, but once the three bears started singing and dancing she was a lot happier. The rather sassy Goldilocks arrived and the crowd variously cheered and hissed (I guess depending on whether you had sympathy for Goldilocks or a dislike of people who break and enter then eat your porridge and sleep in your bed.)

At the end of the show you could meet with the stars. Audrey steered clear of Daddy Bear, but happily sat on Goldilocks' knee.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A little less sore every day

I've been back home for over a week now and diligently doing my daily physio' exercises to strengthen my right shoulder.

Every day the discomfort is lessening and I'm getting more movement in my arm, although it will be some time before I can pick up the kids (or do any housework!) The last couple of days our lovely neighbour Phil has helped getting Eli out of bed following his afternoon snooze (much to Eli's amusement!)

We've had a couple of trips to the hospital for treatment, physio etc but I won't see the doctor until later this month so will know more about my future treatment plan then.

A few friends have been generously providing us with meals which has been a great help.

People's wishes and kind thoughts continue to lift my spirits. Thanks!

Two little Wolfs..

Royal Australian Mint

I took the kids to the Royal Australian Mint today. Despite only being a coins toss from where we live and work we'd never been to the pretty extensive exhibition they have there.

All of Australia's coins are manufactured in Canberra and I was really amazed by how big the (free) visitor centre was. You also had the opportunity to look down on the factory floor where the money was being made. I did feel sorry for the workers though having a constant stream of visitors peering down on them - akin to a goldfish bowl. I'm sure there must have been the odd blind-spot though where they could still skive off or go to read the paper unseen.

Despite it all being a bit over their heads Audrey and Eli were both really well behaved. They liked watching 'Titan' the enormous robot which picked up barrels of 'blanks' prior to the coins being pressed and also liked the Sydney Olympic medals that had been made there. Interestingly(?) the bronze medal was made out of re-called 1c and 2c coins which ceased being legal tender in 1991 (all amounts are now rounded up or down to the nearest 5c).

Here's a pic of Audrey and Eli looking down on Titan.

Little and Large

Amy's nephew Camden (aged 15) is well over 6 feet tall. Here he is on the see-saw at Black Mountain peninsular with his cousin Elijah (aged 20 months) who is probably about 2 feet tall. The two of them got along so well.

After Camden left to return home to Darwin, Eli spent a couple of days saying his name - he clearly missed him!

Is this what it would be like if we had quadruplets?

Audrey and Eli enjoying the mirrors at Questacon...