Friday, 12 December 2008

What those Romans needed

Okay, I know what I said, but promises are meant to be broken - or something like that. This is too good to keep to myself...

Still on the subject of Baby Jesus, myself, Little Man and Princess were having dinner, and once again discussing the concept of Christmas Day. Little Man went on to ask about how Jesus died - "Wasn't he killed? Who killed Jesus, Mum?"
"Well, it was the Romans" I replied.
"How did they do it again?' he asked. Princess pipes up, "And wasn't there a cross?", so I went on to give a very brief summary of crucifixion, to which Little Man commented "It's like torture, it must have been horrible", and happily skipped away.
I began to clear dinner. Princess was thinking.
After a minute or two, she said "Do you know what those Romans needed, Mummy?"
"No, what darling?"
"A good smack on the bum!"


Friday, 5 December 2008

All time favourite

While I'm on the subject of cute things my kids have said (I promise this will be the last one for a while), I may as well tell you my all time favourite, to date...

It was the day after I had given birth to wee Chuckles, and the whole newly expanded family was quite ceremoniously, if somewhat chaotically, leaving the hospital. The large glass doors at the front of the main building glided open for us to make our exit into a glorious blue sky day.

Little Man, then aged 5, enthusiastically grabbed at my arm, rendering Chuckles at more or less his eye level, and with a flourish of his arm and all the worldly experience a five year old can muster exclaimed "Look Chuckles! This is the world!"

I still tear up at it, even now.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Xmas Cheer

Naturally, Christmas is always cause for excitement in our household. The anticipation and festivity is consumed with gusto by my three kids.

We’ll be talking about shopping or fruit cakes or some such thing, and Princess pipes up with “Speaking of Christmas, let’s sing Jingle Bells” (or Rudolph, or Drummer Boy, etc).

In the lead-up to last Christmas we had a bit of a chuckle. Princess was going through the phase where she loved babies and anything to do with them. Was completely fascinated by the story of Baby Jesus, asking things like “Why did Baby Jesus have to be born in a stable?” or "Did Baby Jesus get cold?".

During one of these Q&A sessions, Little Man, hungry for a snack, was complaining for something to eat. I opened the fridge door and noticed a packet of Babybel cheeses.

“Darling why don’t you have one of your baby cheeses?”

There was a cheeky chortle from Princess.

“What are you laughing at, Miss?”

Princess, grinning wickedly, replied “Baby Cheesus!”.

What a giggle.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Someone call the Cute Police

I have already mentioned that our little Chuckles is a particularly cute kid.

I don't think I've mentioned his obsession with trains, more particularly the trains from "Thomas the Tank Engine". Chuckles already has quite a collection of the little wooden ones, and he plays with them and only them, it seems. He refuses to call Thomas Thomas, insisting on calling him "Twain" instead. Lately, Chuckles has been taking his little Gordon the No.4 Engine and James the Red Engine everywhere with him - won't be seen without them!

He and I were dropping Princess off at kindy, saying our goodbyes to her as usual, when Chuckles suddenly burst out "Byyeee! I love you! And Twain and Gordon and James...(his voice petered out a little here)...and Mummy."

At least I got a mention.

Friday, 14 November 2008


Princess' heart surgery went well. She now has a tiny little coil in her heart, plugging up the duct, and her heart beats as noiselessly as the next person's (if you'd heard the murmur she used to have, you'd know what I mean).

We are most relieved.

It all seems quite surreal now, almost like it was over in a heartbeat (oh, stop, my sides are aching!) - seriously, Princess was only in hospital for less than 30 hrs. She proved herself to be the brave, strong, stoic little soul she is - showed Darling Husband and I a thing or two about fortitude and patience, like she always does. She received excellent care and so did we for that matter. It all went like clockwork.

We owe so much to the expertise and care of the Queensland Paediatric Cardiac Services team, particularly Dr Robert Justo, Dr Bennett Sheridan and Susannne our care co-ordinator. Great job, and thank you.

As a postscript, I have to mention Little Man and Chuckles were so sweet when they visited the hospital. Little Man especially has a lot of room in his heart for Princess - he's not afraid to tell her or show her he loves her. 'Swonderful.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Lifeless? I don't think so.

I was carrying Princess through a particularly busy area at a special event at Little Man's school today - there was quite a crush of kids and parents, so I had Princess against my chest and was supporting her with my arms, with her facing forward.

Because of the amount of activity around us, Princess had no doubt gone to her 'factory default setting' as I call it, of having a slightly stunned, almost disconnected expression on her face. (Some background - if there's an expectation placed on her to show interest in something, and she's too busy listening and keenly observing it all, she will get this disinterested look on her face, and the effect can be easy to misinterpret. But don't be fooled - she's got a mind like a steel trap and a sharp tongue when she wants to use it!)

A dad we know only as a slight aquaintance walked towards us, looked at Princess, commented "Whoa. Lifeless!", and kept on walking. A little stunned, I asked Princess "Was he talking to us?" - apparently he must have been. And I wonder, what on earth made that man think it was okay to make such a comment at, and within earshot of, my daughter?

I try not to get indignant at stupid comments or ignorant people - why waste my time being worried about their problem? - but can't help wondering would this guy have made that comment if Princess had had a less stunned look on her face, if she'd looked like she was as alert and engaged as every other child in the room, which she in fact was?

What is it about kids with 'special needs' that seems to give anyone the right to comment or judge when they wouldn't do it to anyone else?

This dad missed an opportunity to learn something today. If he'd stopped to say hello, and if he took the time to get to know her, he would learn that our Princess is many many things, but certainly never lifeless.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Identity Theft

Some folks have been asking me why I haven't posted any pictures of my kids or why I'm not using their real names.

Well, call me paranoid (I'm actually probably more naive than anything else), but... I know a few people who HAVE posted photos of their families on their blogs, only to later discover the same photos of THEIR children are on someone else's blog, being masqueraded as someone else's children. And I find that worrying.

I can't work out what would motivate someone to 'make up' a family to blog about, and I can't work out why I feel so un-nerved by this, but I do.

So I won't be posting any photos of my kids until I work out a way of watermarking/theft-proofing them. But believe me, the wait will be worth it. They really are quite gorgeous - you'll just have to take my word for it for now ; ) .

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Heart ache

Princess will be having heart surgery in a week. I've been mentioning it to people occasionally, flippantly, like it's no big deal. And on the sliding scale of heart surgeries, it is a comparitively small thing.

And yet...

The reason she's having the surgery is this - when we're born, we all have a little duct in our hearts that usually closes by the time we're 5 days old. In our Princess's case, as is the case with many premmie babies, the duct didn't close. It hasn't been a major health issue for her, but it has been recommended that we get the duct closed up nonetheless.

We were offered the option of surgery through her chest - cutting through skin and muscle, prying open her fragile little 4-yr-old's ribcage, finding the wee little duct INSIDE HER HEART and then clamping it closed with a metal clip. Oh yeah, and a painful two-week recovery period. We politely declined that option - well, I think my response was something like "You WHAT?? Over my dead body!!!".

No, we have taken the less eye-watering option of having a thin tube (catheter) inserted into a blood vessel in her groin and threaded up to her heart, where, through the catheter, a plug will be inserted into the duct rendering it closed. And home the next day.

See? Simple.

Let's hope so.

(Princess isn't so keen on going to hospital. But really it's amazing what a good bribe will do. She even announced to her friends today "I'm having my heart fixed, so instead of going boom swish boom swish, it will go boom boom boom boom properly!". Bless.)

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Star of My Life

Little Man got a 'Star of the Week' award at his school assembly today!

This means a lot. He has been wanting to earn it all year. There have been times when he has felt his good work and behaviour has gone unnoticed at school, though he's dryly observed that his less-than-acceptable behaviour never goes unnoticed! Anyway, he's finally done it. And his chest is puffed out and he's smiling and he's proud.

Good on you, Little Man. You've certainly made your mother proud. You're so much more than a Star of the Week to me.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008


There's been a lot of to-ing and fro-ing going on with the bathroom building. It's reached nightmare-ish proportions. I don't want to exhaust myself or anyone reading this with all the details, but just wanted to give myself a little reminder to keep the big picture in mind.

Big picture.


Saturday, 18 October 2008

A fresh approach

Okay, here it is. I'm making a commitment right here, right now, to TRY and post at least once a week from this point on. Even if I've got nothing terribly interesting to say. So there. It's all about keeping things fresh. Keeping the blog alive. I don't want it to die before it's even begun!


So, at the moment we are having our bathroom demolished and re-built. We have to make our home more accessible for our Princess, so starting with the bathroom seemed like a good idea. It's going to make washing, toileting, toothbrushing etc so much easier for her and certainly less back breaking for us. We can't wait!

Now, the people I know who have had their bathrooms renovated in the past have all said it took a week to ten days to have it done. But that sounds waaaay too quick and easy for us. Only ten days? Yeah, sure! No, our builder has assured us that we can expect to not have a usable bathroom (the only one in our house, mind) for a good three to four weeks. Let's make that five weeks to be safe. I don't know about you, kids, but I'm going to Grandma's for a little while...

The port-a-loo was delivered last week. It was plonked squarely in the most public part of our already very-open-to-the-street front yard. Our neighbors have been laughing at it ever since. Even people I barely know have been stopping me at the local supermarket or at Little Man's school saying they've noticed the port-a-loo in our front yard (how do all these people know where we live?) - are we having renos done?, then given me a grave and sympathetic nod or squeeze of the arm.

Should I be that worried?

Everything seems to have gone pretty much as expected so far, bearing in mind that my Darling Husband expects things to go wrong just about all the time. But to be fair, we seem to have a good team of builders on board, and they are doing their best even though communications have been going awry. But that will improve, I just know it.

My favourite bathroom building moment so far has to be meeting David the Chippie. David the Chippie reminds me strongly of the character Guy Pearce played in the hit Aussie movie"Priscilla, Queen of the Desert". Very strongly, if you get my drift. Except that he wears oversized 'VB' t-shirts, stubbies and Blundstone boots. He is so on top of everything that is happening with our bathroom, he keeps the lines of communication open beautifully. Even to the point of phoning me on Day Two of construction to let me know that they were about to turn the water off, but he'd noticed that I had a bucket of clothes soaking in the laundry and he didn't want me to forget about them, because they would get very stinky. ...I ask you, how many carpenters do you know that would even notice such a thing?

Bless David the Chippie. He's looking after us.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Off to a slow start

So the blogging hasn't happened as regularly as I'd hoped it would. Time is not my friend.

But let me tell you about the kids. They take up most of my time, so it's natural they should have even more of it here.

Little Man, he's 7. He's the one that coined the phrase that is this blog's title. He's a brilliant thinker, and to quote his Grade Two teacher, he "could talk under wet cement". Not exactly what you want to hear from your kid's schoolteacher. He's gorgeous, he's loud, he's annoying, he's sweet, he's compassionate, he's strong, he's serious. He came into this world quite literally with his eyes open, and he knows where he's going. I just wish he'd tell me sometime!

Then there's our precious Princess. Beautiful. Funny. Wickedly hilarious actually. Eloquent. Poetic. Patient. So patient. Sulky too, sometimes. I could write about her for days on end, and probably will, but in a nutshell... 4 years ago, Princess was born 12 weeks before she was due. She was born so early probably because I had an undetected Group B Strep infection in utero, and things were getting ugly for her. As a result, Princess has a brain injury resulting in Cerebral Palsy. For her, this manifests as a physical disability - severe quadriplegia - she has very little controlled movement and relies on another person to help her with every aspect of daily life. For us, we are so very very lucky to have her. Like all our children, she is a blessing in so many ways.

Finally there's Chuckles. He's the comic relief. Really. We didn't know we were ever going to have Chuckles until suddenly he was just here and making his presence felt. He'll be turning 2 soon, and he is without a doubt the cutesiest kid we have. Loud, belligerent, tender, chubby, insistent. Cute, and very funny.

Saturday, 26 July 2008



My first own blog post.

I've been thinking about this for a long time. Not what I'm going to post about, but just the idea of having my own blog. It's been a long time coming. I have a lot to say after all, or should I say, a lot to share.

I think I need to blog because so much happens in my head on a day to day basis, and I need to get all those thoughts out of there. My head, that is. So what better than to tell the whole entire world (well, the blogosphere at least) the piffling goings on in my life... read on at your peril (of being mind-numbingly bored)...

Let me begin by telling you a bit about me.

I'm a mother of three incredible and wonderful-most-of-the-time children. Unlike me, they are very young - 7yrs, 4yrs and 21mths. And my beautiful step-daughter who has recently celebrated her 20th birthday. My darling children ensure that my head spins from way too much stimuli, from the moment they rise to the moment they sleep. They're very thoughtful in that way.

I have a lovely and doting, and sometimes slightly neurotic, husband (sorry Darling, but I know you won't disagree). Being married to a neat-freak definitely has it's good points.

Apart from raising a family, I have a quite interesting job in a field I enjoy, but I feel I'm getting way too old for it, and don't really have any training to do anything else (this has been bugging me quite a bit lately). Hmm.

I sing. Once upon a time, BC (Before Children of course), I could say I had a teeny-tiny career as a performer, actually making money out of singing professionally. Ah, they were heady days...

Oh and of course there's a cat. Tilly. She's the longest-lasting one we've had, over 11 years old now. That's incredibly good going for a cat belonging to me. She used to get a hell of a lot more of my attention in the old days.


Of course.