Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
So...that has all lifted my spirits. Sorry for whingeing.
The photo is of the girls at school last week. G decided to dress herself in gumboots, hand me down dress, hat and, most importantly, backpack and go to school. Her big sister was mortified when I got out the camera and asked for a photo in the school grounds. Sorry E!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
The new fence is here. A whole new chapter of my life is about to begin! Yes....the puppy can now spend most of his time outside in the yard doing all the stuff that puppies like to do, instead of shut up in the laundry when one of us can't supervise him outside. He had just become a bit more adventurous and started to gambol off chasing birds and running on the road so the fence has been built just in time. It will also be safer for the girls to play outside although I have realised belatedly that the fence may be dog proof but it's not toddler proof. I guess my children still have to supervised the whole time. Sigh! When does this phase come to an end? G has started climbing on the TV stand as well. Very scary. Perhaps my husband might get a new TV sooner rather than later as the one we have is pretty old and quite heavy.
E. took some great photos of Kipper yesterday. I think she is a better photographer than me. I can't get Kip to stay still long enough for a good photo. He is so much bigger now and is getting longer legs and some feathering of his coat. He still has his gentle nature and puts up with some amazing wrestle holds from G. when she is trying to "give him a cuddle". I'm surprised he hasn't nipped her yet and hope that never happens. I spend most of my day saying (or perhaps yelling) "Gentle! Gentle!". Still....it's all more love for the mix.
We seem to spend more time in the backyard lately which was the goal of creating some new garden beds and getting a puppy. It's so great to get the girls outside in the fresh air and away from the television. G. has started trying to ride on E's scooter now that E is busy with her new bike. She doesn't quite have the hang of it yet, but she is having fun practising.
We've been having some humdinger storms lately. Here's one brewing over our back neighbour's house the other weekend. We were working in the yard and had to quickly take cover when it broke. It only lasted about 10 minutes and then it was all sunny again so we went back out and kept on working.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
PS One of the photos is blurry because the flash didn't go off, but I sort of like it. Closest thing I'm going to get to creating an arty farty effect in my photography
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
We fronted up at the children's casualty area as directed to get the cannula in which involved putting on the helpful cream first and then filling in an hour while it worked. I was loathe to let her play in the little indoor playground in casualty as a few years ago, we tried that with E. and we were back at the hospital two days later for 5 nights with Rotavirus (very nasty gastro bug). But of course, G spotted the playground straight away and was desperate to go in so I gritted my teeth and checked that I had a pack of nappy wipes handy. Eventually, a gorgeous Irish registered nurse and a very young, pretty, doctor put in the cannula with a minimum of trauma (well...enough to make G. pretty upset but not too bad in the scheme of things). Then we waited for a volunteer to escort us to the other side of the hospital to do the next stage. G. was exhausted from a restless night with a temp and runny nose so of course wanted to doze on my lap. When it was time to set off, I grabbed my bag of food supplies, spare clothes, etc, hoisted G. on my hip and pushed the stroller with one hand down endless corridors with the elderly volunteer. Eventually I asked if she thought she could manage the stroller which she kindly did. Then, when we were almost at our destination, I realised with a sinking feeling that I had left my little black backpack on the chair beside me back in kids' casualty. When we arrrived in the Nuclear Medicine Department, they rang to try and locate my bag and were put on hold for 20 minutes. So....sitting there with a miserable toddler and waiting for a radioactive injection in my darling's hand, I imagined the phonecall to my husband at work.... "It's me...(stifled sob)....can you come and get us? I've lost my bag with my keys, mobile and $200 cash). I told myself, it doesn't matter as long as G. is ok but I sure was relieved when after an hour or so, someone rang to say they had found it. Of course, by then it was too late to come home for the three hour wait between injection and scan but that didn't really matter.
There was another mother with a very sick little boy (and his big brother) in the waiting room. I looked at his bald little head, the nasogastric tube in his nose and his skinny little arms and my heart went out to them. I only had one day at hospital with my little girl and all over the world there are families spending week after week enduring all sorts of misery. So...it all helped get my whingeing over puppy mess and sleep deprivation into perspective.
The main purpose of this post is to say how grateful I am for the kindness of the hospital staff. This is one time that I WILL actually buy a thank you card and send it. Because G. was unwell and dozy and I was stressed by the lost bag experience, a nurse who became my new best friend found an unused room for us with a big comfy reclining chair and brought us a jug of water, sandwiches and a blanket before turning out the lights and closing the door. Of course, G. promptly woke up before I could close my eyes so we filled in the next two hours reading Bambi ("Oh...that's a bit sad" she said) and Snow White and going for a big walk downstairs to buy "chippies". Eventually, my beloved little black backpack was delivered in a sealed brown paper bag (complete with $200 cash inside!).
Finally, we went in for the scan which involved strapping G. to a moving bed while a machine moved slowly in all directions around her. "Just like a ride at Chermie" I said encouragingly. My little girl lay perfectly still, holding my hand and watching a Hi 5 dvd for 45 minutes. I was a really proud mummy. Now...fingers crossed that the results are ok. I'll let you know.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Anyway.....my mate Le has another giveaway competition on her blog. This time you could win some of Carleen's arty photos for yourself. So click here if you want to check it out at Le's very entertaining blog, Third on the Right.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Here's a photo of my big girl with her puppy on her birthday, and the cakes she proudly decorated to take to school....and the treasure hunt for chocolate coins in the garden at her party.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Phew...I'm exhausted after all that tricky blogging cutting and pasting. Fingers crossed that it works.
Bye for now. (Hello big brother!)
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
First....the questions.....here goes...
1. Do you have the same friends since childhood?
I have an assortment. I have had my oldest friend, Kathy, since she could sit up and I couldn't. My other oldest friend is from grade 7. She moved into the next street and we were soon inseparable.
Now she lives in Sweden with her husband and two little girls. Hi Annie!
2. What do you value most about your friends?
Their patience when I moan about how hard my life is, when really I have a wonderful life.
3. Are your friends sounding boards?
4. What is your favorite activity to share with friends?
Eating chocolate (particularly if watching a good movie in a gold class cinema)
So...now I get to award my friendship blog to some other souls. As beginner blogger, I have made only a few cyberspace friends but that means I appreciate their visits all the more! Here's to you, girls!
Dee from Down Under - a very thoughtful "poster" and a welcome visitor
CGDK a friend of a friend who is generous with her help on all sorts of creative stuff
wee hour stitches my first blogging friend from halfway around the world!
Have fun passing this award along to your favourites. See you in blogland!
Friday, October 31, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
He has left his cardboard box, preferring to sleep on the old kiddy sofa that we put in the laundry so E. could cuddle him in comfort. I've moved the hot water bottle to the little sofa next to him and now all is quiet.
So...I'm going to clean my teeth and hit the hay. It could be a very long night.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
On route to work, I read "Brideshead Revisited" for 25 minutes on the train. Bliss....to escape to another world for a little while - especially 1920s Oxford. I was a nanny for a short time in the 1980s in Oxford so could picture most of the action in my head of which streets they were wandering down etc. Mind you, being a nanny was a slightly different experience from "reading English" at Oxford. I used to sit next to well spoken English girls on the bus coming back from London and try not to turn green with envy. It all helped to motivate me to head off to University myself when I got home.
After my sojourn with Charles and Sebastian on the 8.20am train, I spent the next eight hours happily researching old buildings at work. Although I have been doing this for some 13 years, it is still a thrill for me to sit down with only an address and a printout of a map and start the detective work. One of my favourite bits is looking at the old postal records and finding out who lived where and what they did for a living. Occupations have changed so much. (Not too many blacksmiths working the city these days)
I also had 30 whole minutes to eat my lunch in peace and time to wander down to the shops to buy fruit toast or a choccy bar or a Nudie drink (or all three) if I felt peckish. Plus I chatted about work, life, travel and puppies with grown ups and didn't have to do any cleaning, tidying or clothes folding. Or bottom wiping. Yep...it was a nice day. Then.... I came home on the train with my book and my (slightly frazzled) husband picked me up at the station with two little girls in the back seat who were pleased to see their mummy. And, best of all, Mummy had extra reserves of love and patience and their little faces seemed extra beautiful and their funny expressions seemed extra hilarious. And tomorrow, I get to do it for the second time this week and then enjoy a big weekend of puppy collecting. I'd better get to bed!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
E. particularly likes a song which we call "My baby lay dying" which I have always worried was slightly inappropriate but never mind - it has a lovely melody! Anyway....this day, E. asked "Mummy, why does he say 'she lives with the worms'?". Deep breath..."Mmmmm well....when you die, the real you goes to heaven and you don't need your body anymore so sometimes it gets buried in a garden and you can grow flowers on top". (I've always liked the idea of pushing up daisies when I die). I continued "And there are worms in the ground, so that's why Paul Kelly sings "She lives with the worms". The questions continued. "But why don't you need your body, Mummy?".
Luckily, for metaphor's sake, E.'s pet snail, Icky, had died a few days earlier. "Well... you know how when Icky died, his body disappeared and we just found his shell? Well, it's a bit like that". (I'm not terribly religious - more of a Mother Nature worshipper who keeps an open mind - but I can't help but revert to comforting religious images when talking to my children about death). E. continues "But...what's the real me, Mummy?" "Oh, all the bits about you that are special....your soul". "And my heart?". "Yep...that too". "But can't you come back to life?". "No one really knows, darling".
E.'s final thought on the matter was "I wish Icky could walk around on the clouds in heaven and fall back to earth again". Low and behold, a day or so later, there was great excitement when E. found a new snail in the garden. At first she thought it was Icky grown much bigger, but now she seems to think it is a new snail who needs a new name. Said snail is now living in a house made of princess lego and likes to escape regularly and perch on top of the turret. All is well in E.'s world and Paul Kelly is still singing...."My baby lay dying"...
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
So...as I write, G. is with her wonderful home-based day carer, who also takes care of her and three other little ones on the two days I go to work. Luckily, there were no tears when I dropped her off (unlike when Daddy does it!) and, after 20 minutes of hanging about, I left her happily playing with fluoro coloured lego blocks on a mat outside in the shade. I now have a precious few hours to myself. What to do????? The choices are overwhelming. I did have visions of going to the movies to see The Duchess with Keira Knightly, but that seems a little selfish when the house is an absolute tip and there is a month's worth of paperwork to do. So....I am happily pottering at home, putting on loads of washing, tidying the kitchen, writing cheques, getting quotes for a front fence so we can buy a puppy for our long suffering 5 year old, etc. Of course, I couldn't resist a little blogging fix. I was thrilled to find I had a visitor from Mexico to my blog. Thanks for dropping in! Always good to meet another L.M. Montgomery fan.
Time to go and hang out the washing. Then I might skedaddle to the shops to exchange a birthday present from the gorgeous Peter Alexander pyjama shop. What bliss to look at pretty clothes for me without children demanding sushi and balloons.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
When I set up this blog for fun on my birthday, I sort of forgot to save it in my favourites, so I googled "Hester's garden" to find it. (It didn't work!). By a strange and lovely coincidence, one of the Google results was a quote from the Anne of Green Gables series of books by L. M. Montgomery. By another coincidence, that weekend was the 100th anniversary of the first edition of the original book and there was an article about Prince Edward Island in the travel section of the weekend paper. Those books are old favourites and dear friends of mine. I often turn to them to reread favourite bits and, in my youth, when I had more time and pocketmoney, I used to trawl through second hand book shops and buy lovely old editions. I was fascinated by the way images of Anne changed as new editions were published over the decades. I have my own set of hardbacks from my 1970s childhood, a beautiful 1912 first edition of Chronicles of Avonlea with a watercolour plate of an Edwardian looking Anne, and some 1950s ones with Anne looking like something from an advertisement for household appliances. I also have a 1920s edition of Anne's House of Dreams where she looks like a flapper.
Anyway..... I think it was in Anne of Avonlea that Anne and Diana discover an old overgrown garden that once belonged to a girl named Hester Gray. I had forgotten all about Hester Gray's garden but maybe it was a subconscious influence on my choice of name for my new blog. I've just found the quotation so here it is for anyone who likes that sort of thing .....
Just before them, hemmed in by beeches and firs but open to the south, was a little corner and in it a garden...or what had once been a garden. A tumble-down stone dyke, overgrown with mosses and grass, surrounded it. Along the eastern side ran a row of garden cherry trees, white as a snowdrift. There were traces of old paths still and a double line of rose-bushes throught the middle.....Oh, how perfectly lovely!" three of the girls cried.
I feel inspired to go outside and weed my garden!
Monday, September 29, 2008
It was a beautiful place - with views down the mountain to our home town in the distance. The air was decidedly crisp (enough to give G. a mild case of croup at night) but Spring was in the air. We had a cosy cabin and a pot-bellied stove and enough Rocky Road to sink a ship courtesy of Fathers' Day presents from school and family day-care. Having spent several years roaming on friends' farms in my childhood, I was so glad to give a taste of it to my girls. Thankfully they didn't roam off by themselves like we used to do and play in the forbidden grain silos! All in all, it was a really special weekend.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
The highlight came when my family returned from shopping with a huge bunch of flowers (chosen by E aged 5) and two helium balloons (G aged 2 chose one with ducks which says "Baby girl"). E handed me a soft parcel wrapped in tissue paper and said with great excitement "Happy Birthday Mummy. It's a dress". My girl had taken her Daddy shopping to buy me a dress and chose one she thought I would like because "it is cream and that's your favourite colour, it has flowers and lots of other colours, it has frills on the sleeves and a sash AND a petticoat!". What could a mother say but "It's beautiful Darling. I love it!". So I wore it out for my date this afternoon with her father with the memory of her shining face still with me. The nice thing was.....the girl in the icecream shop who served me a gelato (two scoops - blood orange and papaya) said "I love your dress!".