Yet another birthday post for me.. but not so happy as the last one unfortunately.  Today would have been my momma's 56th birthday if she were still alive.    I don't even have a good picture on the computer to share, they are grainy scans and horrible :(   This March (she was buried on Sam's birthday which is something that will always be in the back of my mind as we eat birthday cake for him)  marks the second anniversary of her death from lung cancer.   

I have a lot of regrets... I regret not being able to be there before she died,  I regret the anger between us.   I regret most of all, that  SHE didn't stop smoking when HER mother died from the same disease in 1993.  She did, for a while, but started again.  I never stopped reminding her that I didn't want to go through what she did with her momma.   We hadn't spoken for months when she called in October (on a Sunday, thinking DH would be home to take care of me, he wasn't) to tell me her diagnosis and that she knew what it meant.   I knew what it meant too.

The biggest thing I regret is that she wasn't able to be here for so much.  She wasn't here when I sat by my sons bed hoping that he lived, I don't think  a momma ever needed HER momma more than I did then.  I regret that she didn't see him kick ass in his recovery and go back to work less than a year later.  I regret that she didn't see fences mended between my ex & I so that the kids (not that they are really KIDS anymore) don't have to deal with the anger that was there.   I regret that she didn't get to see my family in one peice at  last.  

I'll be off weeping over silly stuff like my boys playing Wii, or even just drinking a cup of coffee (something she did umpteen times a day) if anybody needs me.


**Before I get into my rambling, I'd like let you all know I'm participating in The Great Australian Internet Blackout  this week.  Which is why my blog was 'blacked out' with the linking window when you wandered in.  Legislation that is working it's way into being will mandate ISP level url filtering that will slow Australia's internet down by ridiculous amounts, which is uncool since our internet already lags behind much of the world for speed.  This legislation purports to be about child pornography, which there are already law enforcement organizations to handle, but it will also filter out many websites that have nothing to do with illegal activities.. while bring our usage to  a crawl.  They claim it's to prevent children from stumbling on x, y or z... well I'm here to say that is NOT the governments job!   Ensuring my childs net safety is MY responsibility as a parent and there are a variety of ways to do this without a nationwide ISP filter that is a ginormous waste of time & money.  And if some lonely guy wants to google big titted naked women from Idaho... well that's HIS business.  Now back to my regularly scheduled bliss***

Bliss is having the entire house to myself for an afternoon.   Today is Australia Day, and in true Aussie fashion.. I just can't be bothered LOL.  The family organized a get together at our cousins (who hath the new pool ;) for lunch & a swim.... but I just was NOT up for a housefull of people.  To be honest, I'm just generally overwhelmed at the moment and needed to NOT have to go anywhere just for ONE DAY.  So, my delightful husband... whom I spent the last 18hours being decidedly UNdelightful to :S, has taken all three boys and soldiered on to the pool party without me.   Break out the bubbly, it's 5pm somewhere! 

What do I have planned for the next several hours?  Nothing overly fab.. I'll go out & water my veggies, hang out a little washing and maybe fold the stuff that's on the line.  Then I plan to sit down with a homemade iced coffee and spend some quaility time with my cross stitch project.  I've had this project in the works for a LONG time, we're talking several years here, but it's been in it's pillowcase in a closet for about 2yrs and I just burnt out!   So now that the crafty burn out is gone, I'm going to get working in hopes that THIS is the year she is finished! (She is a lovely Goddess/angel type picture.. very looooong and a lot of work!)

 I've decided that lately far too much of my down time involves the computer, so that's coming to an end, as it has become a HUGE time suck for me!  I guess there's something about being able to blobb at a screen and do nothing much that is overly appealing to an overwhelmed &  sometimes stressed out mum!    So with that... I'm outta here to enjoy my peace & quiet!

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Thanks for the birthday wishes for Frodo :D   He has had a lovely weekend.  The mini cupcakes are long gone and he assisted admirably with bbq'ing (ok, for about 5minutes.. then running around the yard with his brothers won out).   He's most enjoyed his Links crossbow training for the Wii as well.

Saturday was our orientation with our Distance education school.  The kids had lots of getting to know you activities and DH hung out with Merry while the older two were in those, and while I was doing the boring paperwork end of things.  It did not go well for Strider.  I came out to find Merry in FULL ON meltdown mode, as he had been off and on (mostly on apparently) during the whole 1.5hrs of my absence.  Oh Dear.   It finally came down to the wire and I had to leave a msg for the organizer that we were having to bail ont he bbq, because Merry was melting down hard and was going to take us all with him lol.  After a doze in the car, and a swim in the pool upon arriving home, he was better... at least for a while.  

This morning we had the boys swimming lessons, and Frodo was just beside himself because he was 'tested' and graduated up to the next level class!  He got a certificate and everything and has just grinned about it all day.  Nan took him out to pick out his birthday present, he had a hard time choosing between roller blades or a bike, but eventually went with roller blades.  Which didn't fit lol.  Nan will exchange them and if the next size up doesn't work.. they'll go bike shopping I suppose.   Which would be cool anyway, as our favourite new park has a neato bike area made up like little roads winding around... with traffic signs at the corners even hehehe.  It's terribly cute so we're planning a scooter day at the park soon.

Tuesday is Australia Day, sorta like our 4th of July.  Really it's just an excuse for Aussies to get together with mates & family, throw something on the bbq... and quite often imbibe that popular australian love... beer!  (I'll pass on the swilll myself, but you guys go ahead & raise a glass if you choose hehe)  So in additon to all the madness of starting schoolwork again, our first EC day, trying to bake and decorate a fabulous official birthday cake for Frodo (and having a wee gathering to admire & eat said creation)... we'll also be carting our crew over to The Cousins' place.   The entire family (and it's a BIG family lol) will be eating, drinking, generally being merry... and tossing themselves, and possibly each other, into the pool.  


Today, exactly 8 years ago, I was feeling rather miserable.  I was huge and overdue by a week, and just about DONE with this whole pregnancy thing.  We'd been in to the doc for ye olde cervical torture routine a couple of days ago, but it seemingly did nothing, and tomorrow would have been induction or possible csection (my oldest was a C baby).  We had done everything safe (and I do mean everything ;) to attempt to get this child in motion to join us in the outside world to no avail.  

But this morning 8 years ago, I felt crappy.  Not contractions, omgI'mgonnahaveababy crappy... just crappy.  Hubby made me eat a silverside sandwich around 11am (right about now actually!) and I laid down to have a nap.  Hubby played DiabloII lol.  I woke up feeling more than crappy about an hour later.   I hung out with hubby while he played and we watched the clock  timing 'cramps' taht weren't uncomfortable... until they WERE.   He called the midwife to let her know we were going to come on over and we headed to the car.  I remember having to stop 3 times to wait out contractions just in the couple of minutes walking to the garage. 

After we got moving I was just sure we were going to be those people you read about ... ya know the ones that had their baby on the side of the road in the car?  It was the most insane 25min trip to the hospital ever, but we made it.  Of course, immediately upon stepping into the hospital lobby, I promptly threw that nice silverside sandwich up all over their floor LOL.   At which point I was met with a wheelchair and raced upstairs.   I really liked the nitrous gas they offer as first line pain relief in labour.  I remember arguing with DH when he told me he could see Frodo's head... 'NO YOU CAN"T, NOT YET!'  LOL  as it was only 15 or 20minutes after we arrived.   But two minutes later, I was holding the sweetest little thing with the most gorgeous blue eyes.   He settled in for his first feed but never stopped staring at my face.  To this day I really do wonder what he was thinking?  Was he thinking the same thing I was... hello perfect person, I'm so glad to meet you!?   The nurses scowled as I wouldn't let them poke him for vitamin k or give him a hep b shot.. but brand new baby boys are not for poking!  They are for cuddling and dreaming about the future.

That future is here now... at least 8yrs worth of it ;)  And these days he's moved on to bananas and muffins for snacks... but he's still a pretty perfect person, despite his imperfections.   In a few months we're headed to a paediatrician for evaluation of his hearing and such, but for now, we're going into the kitchen to make chocolate mini cupcakes with rocky road frosting. PERFECT!   And I'll worry about imperfections another day...

Ok.. I don't want it for Christmas.. I want it NOW.   So if one of you kind people could parcel up some of your freezing weather and send it on down I'd be more than appreciative.  Today it is topping out at around 100F, 38C here.. and we STILL DO NOT HAVE AN AIR CON!!!!!  It's going to be nearly this hot all week, so if you don't hear from me, I have wilted in the heat or gone stark raving mad and made a break for Tasmania.    
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But the repair dudes are useless and must put in work orders and see what their boss decides to do about our non functioning air con... while we sit here in 34C heat (HOT.. somewhere in the 90s) and wait.   My guess is that their boss decides to do whatever is cheapest and gets the unit functioning until the 'oops you are no longer in warranty' date of mid April.  If I owned this house, I would be concerned with that.. but as I do not, I just want my damn air conditioner to WORK. 

What does fung shui have to do with this? hehe  Not a great deal, except that I have picked up a feng shui book by Terra Collins, and have been Feng'ing my Shui around the house this last week (I just made that phrase up, and am hereby claiming copyright because it rocks, can I do that?)  I did some hardcore rearranging of the dining /family room (where said lump of plastic that is masquerading as an air conditioner lives) and it seems MUCH less like a bowling alley now. Here's a before and after :D 

 Before:  Behold the bowling alley... this room is 24ft long and 15ft wide., and I hated the way it was laid out as every bit of floor space was a part of the traffic path.   Lots of space and all of it useless!   There was a big space past the table, but it was a thoroughfare.  The energy of this room was of a hallway... and said 'get through here as fast as possible to get where you are going'  It wasn't the destination.

After:  MUUUCH better!  The dining table is in a bit of an unusual spot, it's against the kitchen peninsula counter.  The expedit shelving unit is forming a small room divider, because I wanted a place to put my treadmill that didn't feel like it was uglying up the whole room!   Walking through this room is now more like a leisurely stroll, whereas before it felt like an uncontrolled roll downhill lol.  It also creates several little nooks that are outside of the path of travel through the room.

Just to the right of the blue hutch is a good sized area in the corner where I want to put a small table for Merry to have an activity spot while brothers are doing schoolwork at the table.  To the left of the hutch is a nice sized area for reading or playing with small manipulatives and toys. Currently it's got a beanbag inhabiting, but I want to get a small rug and a couple of floor pillows. Just past the table is the large sliding door to our veranda and in the far corner is our ratties home.  And just on the other side of the expedit shelf, lives my treadmill.  And you can't even see it :D  So no ugly.   The art still needs to be rehung and I need to do something with the far wall and area.. I'm thinking another floor pillor or a chair for Sam to sit in while he cuddles the rats and such.  

The room FEELS so much better to be in already.  Strider & I used to take our coffee to the computer room, or the veranda .. but now we'll actually sit at the table and enjoy it because it doesn't feel like sitting in a hallway.  The energy of the room says 'slow down, relax, and enjoy' now!

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So today the boys & I finally got around to easing back into our history of the ancients (trying to get powered through it to start medieval times)  today.  Frodo read to us all about the  Celts, my personal faves, and we talked about all the pictures depicting every day life in ancient Celtic lands.  It also happens that our air conditioner is on the fritz, we are waiting for the real estate agent and repair guy to get their act together... but for now, we are HOT.   So, we managed to do quite a bit of reading and looking through the various books I got from the library, and Frodo even did his definitions (of Druid and Bard are the words of the day ;) before we decided it is just too hot to think, much less work!  Later when it cools off a bit, we're going to start a particularly cool Celtic shield craft project from this book.  

A command decision was made, by moi, to take a swim break!   So at this moment I am listening to the boys splash and giggle outside the window and I'm sure they will come back in MUCH cooler.  I love that we can take circumstances into account.. no kid should have to try to learn when they are sweltering,  there's just no productive way to go about it in Queenslands' heat! (man I'd hate to be in Melbourne at the moment.. it's been 43C/109F  there, we're sitting at a relatively comfortable 34C/94F  compared to that!)   A lot of schools here aren't air conditioned .. even the brand new school that Frodo went to prep at, had nothing but ceiling fans.  Thank goodness they're home, we can veg  and read, or watch a dvd or something and save anything requiring effort and brain power until the evening when it's cooler ;)  

(*totally no offence is intended to any readers who use the school system!  It's just days like this that make me appreciate the choice I've made ;) 


 This morning I had quite the revelation.   Actually *I* didn't make this discovery, the very nice director at Merry's kindy (daycare) beat me over the head with it like a blunt object.   (ok, not *literally*)  She was doing the new room assignments for the coming 'school year', which starts January 25th, and wanted to talk with me about it.  She knows we home educate, so she wanted to ask if Merry would be going off to prep (kindergarten) next year, or if he would be staying on with them in their preschool room.  I'm pretty sure she thought I lost it with the blank stare I gave her.. something akin to a deer in the headlights.  At least that is how I felt.   

She elaborated by telling me that she had tentatively placed him in the preschool room at the end of this month in case he was going to prep in 2011... since his turning 4yrs in June put him in the age range for it.  *insert jaw drop to go with deer in headlights look*   My baby can't POSSIBLY be old enough to go to school! (even home school dammit!)   He's not even fully toileting yet on his own, and he didn't even star talking using real words until just about 2.5yrs old... just 1yr ago.   Emotionally he just is NOT there yet either.  He's just a baby... and I like the idea of letting him stay that way until *he* is ready to change it.    

DH came home and I shared this gem with them.. he said well good thing he's not going then! ;)   

The picture above shows just about what was going through my mind (the caption, not so much, but it made me laugh ;) for a couple of reasons.  ZOMG my baby is growing up (he's not really), and then the big one hit... YIKES!  This means next year I am going to have THREE home schoolers?!   How on earth am I going to keep up with everything?  How am I going to give each of them enough of my time?  How am I even going to have time to plan for them all??  I think this cuppa coffee that dh made really needs a shot of baileys to calm my nerves.  

Is there anybody that stops by my teeny blog that home schools 3?   How in the world do you do it?!?!?!  Share your secrets please!

Yeah... bring on those desserts sister... I could use a big ass slice of mud cake right now.  For purely therapeutic reasons of course.   Cause "stressed" is exactly what I am.


(Jon coined that last phrase lol)  Update, my hip is a LOT better after a serious massage with Tiger balm last night by dh... plus a handy valium tablet to turn the muscle into mush so I could sleep ;)  I don't know how readily available Tiger balm is outside the pacific region.. but man that is some awesome stuff.  It's a chinese topical thing that just works wonders, and smells good too.   Anyway, still a bit sore, but I can get around more like a 60yr old instead of a 90yr old lol.  

Yesterday the radiology people sent the films home with me and said they were faxing the report to the doc as soon as the radiologist was done writing it up.  I found it amusing that on the flap of the envelope they seal it with a sticker that says "CONFIDENTIAL:  To be opened ONLY by referring doctor"   It's MY friggin hip!... confidential my arse.  So of course, I immediately opened it up to have a look (just as I did with my pneumonia xrays hehehe)  The ultrasound looked like... well not a damn thing honestly lol.  But the hip xrays are wicked cool!  Excellent shots if I do say so myself.  

Interestingly enough, our first Magic School Bus science unit is going to be 'Inside the Human Body'   and now I have rocking visual aids for the skeletal system when we get to it!  Hip and chest xrays.   Which brings us to masochism for knowledge sake lol.  I was chatting with Jon (must get him a nickname too, everyone else has one!) on facebook and he said wow.. you're such a devoted  mom,  you nearly crippled yourself to provide learning materials for the little dudes.  That's awesome...  I nearly died laughing.   The guy has a warped sense of humor.. yeah I'll take at least partial credit for that ;)    

So, sometime in February, my house will be decorated with sticky taped up pictures of my various internal structures... all in the sake of learning ;)


and men, go right out the window apparently!   Yesterday while I was out I did somethin funny to my hip, and have been in pain since.  I didn't fall, or get hit by a car or anything dramatic... I took a step... to the side.  And heard a little thunk :S    

So today we did not start doing a little easing into schoolwork.  Today we waited for dh to arrive home and we went to the doctor, and then the radiology place for an xray & ultrasound.  The highlight of the day was sitting in a small waiting room in a black paper bathrobe, that barely reached my knees, with complete strangers.. of both genders even.  We were not amused.  We also still don't know what the radiologist had to say, as it was 5pm before I left the place and the doc won't likely check her faxes until tomorrow morning.  

We shall see if we even make it to start anything by the end of this week the way I'm going right now!  

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Hard to believe, but us Aussies are getting ready to kick off the 2010 HS year already!   I guess times really does fly when you're having fun, because it hardly seems like half the holidays have passed!  Officially 'school' here starts on the 27th.. but I hate midweek starts, so we'll be commencing full studies on the 25th.    Between now and then we're easing back into schoolwork by doing one or two subjects a day.. most likely math and a little History. (to quickly cover the ancient Chinese and Aztecs, which we didn't get to before the holiday break)

We're going to continue using History Odyssey, but I'm not sure if I'll use the Story of the World with it again.  If I do, I'll pick & choose bits of it...and add in library selections that have more interesting info and pictures.  After a few weeks finishing up the last years ancients, we'll be on to Medieval times.  Hurrah for knights and castles!

We're also keeping MUS, despite it being pricey it really works well for the boys.   Sam will keep on with his Headsprout a few times a week, and we're adding in some Montessori type activities to go with it.  I got sandpaper sight words (in 3 levels even) and hope to get a movable alphabet so he can create words with it.  

For handwriting, we'll continue on with white-board usage for Sam.  His new personal white-board, complete with lines, has had him practicing all through the holidays!   Frodo has a white-board book with cursive practice.  Tis the year for learning cursive, especially since it must be ticked off on our state outcomes list by the end of grade 3 ;)  He WANTS to learn more of it though, so I think he'll fly through it.  

I've not picked exactly what we'll be doing for reading comprehension, but I think we'll continue working our way through First Language Lessons for grammar.  

I'm VERY excited about science this year.  I liked Mr. Q's Life science, but honestly I think it was a little TOO in depth at parts.  This year I have decided to create my own science curriculum, based around Magic school bus books!  The boys love the books, and they are readily available at the library as well as at (great site, free shipping worldwide!)  I haven't got it all worked out yet, but our main units will be 1.  The human body  2.  Space/the planets  3.  Earth!  and 4.  Forces of nature.

Each unit will have the MSB books that are related to it, plus I'll search our library for additional reading, dvd documentaries etc.  Then I'll round it out with activities/ experiments (either that I've found from my travels on the web, or self created) and activity sheets for things like labeling etc from places like Enchanted Learning.  I've already been asked by one person if I plan to share what I come up with either for a fee or for free!  I think that I will likely share it as a freebie once I get it worked out (since it's going to contain things that are reliant on memberships, and users may have to substitute books for some of the ones I use if they can't find them). 

When I have something somewhat workable, this will be where it shows up ;)  

This year I'm also testing out a new planning software.  I used one last year, but I discovered Homeschool Skedtrack and think that it is going to be great.  It's FREE,  and it's web based, so no matter where I am I can access it.  It has fabulous features like date projections (you put in assignments and it inserts them into the proper dates that match the days of the week you have set for that subject.)  If  you don't get something done, or feel your child needs more work on it, you simply don't tick it accomplished and the program bumps everything forward!  No manual rescheduling required!  We love this :D   

Off to the library now to pick up a pile of books for our history for the next few weeks... I even managed to snag one of the Horrible Histories books to try out!   The boys are excited to get started, as a 3 week break is about all they are good for ;)   And to be honest... so am I.


Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a fabulous one.  We welcomed in the new year with Striders' family by staying overnight, watching fireworks at midnight and just generally hanging out and enjoying each others company.    I was feeling particularly introverted from around 10pm onward, so I tossed on my lovely new black satiny jammies and wrap and retired to the balcony for a while.  The full (and Blue) moon was just amazing... it was so bright there were shadows dancing across the lawn.   I wish I'd gotten a pic of it.  The breeze was cool and wonderful (Gods I miss living by the Bay!)   

I had brought my journal with me...  I am not an avid journaler by any means.  I started it in September 08 and did keep it through my trip to the US when Jon had his accident. But I only write in it occasionally these days.  I figured NYE was a good time to record my thoughts.  And boy did I have some.. I think I rambled on for 4 pages or so!   I wrote about my goals for the year (see previous post ;) and my goals for myself, among other things.   I'll look back on that on NYE 2010 and see how my year has measured up.   I'd also like to try to keep up the conversation with myself that a journal provides.  I had quite a few surprise insights during that bit of writing and I enjoyed it.

As we speak I am undecorating the tree and putting the holiday season to bed for the year.  In it's place will go the treadmill, that has been residing (unused, due to incredible heat out there) in the garage.  I am going to commit to using it 4 times a week to start, hopefully working up to daily as my stamina builds.  I loved putting the ipod on at the gym and just walking to nowhere... but I just couldn't handle the heat, so air conditioning FTW!  I am going to have to budget for a new pair of walking shoes though... mine are just shot (they are ancient, so no big surprise there!) 

Also for 2010, I'm feeling myself drawn to creating another blog on an actual 'topic'.  (ya know, instead of this rambly mess that I so love!)If I do this, I'll still post my everyday stuff here, of course.  I am not sure yet if I want to link it to THIS blog though, as the topic makes me want to have a bit of anonimity.   It involves a lot of specifics about us that make the portion of my brain prone to tin foil hat theories (it's a small portion,  really it is ;) a bit nervous about people being able to identify us if they really wanted.    This is still just something I'm kicking around though, so I'm not at all sure where I'm going with this venture yet.   Not even completely settled on my blog topic yet ;)  

So fellow bloggers, what're you hoping to accomplish in 2010?