September 23, 2007

hols...don't you just luv em?

There's something about the first week of the school hols for me...I think it's called exhaustion...physical, emotional, intellectual maybe even spiritual... so I spend much of the first week sleeping or at least in a sleepy state. With Aaron around power naps are out of the question so I've basically been in go-slow mode as such there's not a great deal to report really.

I did a lot of washing today and some digging in the garden. The soil I've been turning over has been compacted down over time and didn't want me disturbing it, but once I got through the initial crust it wasn't bad at all, lovely sandy loam and just right for my newest garden bed. At this stage I'm just preparing areas and hoping that at some time I'll get round to putting plants in.

As for the rest of the week we were hoping to go away for a few days but medical experts have said "no" due to Aaron's current condition, we'll see how we go for next week. Tomorrow I'm going to tidy up the garage so I can put my car away again and do some more digging as I find that quite therapeutic.

See ya

September 22, 2007

So much for August

I vaguely remember promising awhile ago that I'd finish the August update but life has been rather hectic and getting near the laptop for anything other than work purposes (at work or at home) has been somewhat tricky.

I guess the major event in our lives has been Aaron's illness. He was sent home from work on a Friday night with a nasty tummy upset. We went through our usual "I'm taking you to the doctor's..." " you're not.." routine until Sunday when he finally decided he'd go. The doc of course sent him straight to the hospital. It being a weekend we sat down after triage expecting a long wait. The first shock was how quickly he was seen...never a good sign in an emergency department. Then before we knew it he was in a gown, on IV fluids and antibiotics and they were ringing around looking for a surgical bed. The opinion was that his appendix had ruptured and that's why he was septic. (I managed to resist the "I told you so!" urge). Aaron's face lit up when the MICAs came to get him instead of just normal patient transport!

He was admitted to Dandenong hospital where they observed him over night and stabilised him before his surgery in the morning. They said the surgery should only take about 20 minutes or so, maybe an hour if the appendix was enlarged and it should only require three small incisions as they were using key hole.

Aaron went in about 10 or 11 that morning, I didn't see him again till after 5 that evening. Things didn't go quite as planned... The good news I guess was that he had a very healthy (although somewhat redundant) appendix - the bad news was his bowel had ruptured due to a rather nasty, hereditary disease, and he was in danger of "shuffling off this mortal coil"!!!!

Aaron spent over a week in hospital - they only let him out when they did because he was being a little persistent (those who know him will know that this is the polite version - don't you the art of euphemism?) He has had a lot of time off work and we're not sure when he'll be able to go back. The road to recovery is obviously going to be a long one. On the positive front his near death experience has made him reassess his life style and although the bulk of the damage was done to his bowels during his teenage years he is now eating high fibre food, drinking lots of water and exercising daily so that it doesn't happen again. Hopefully his daughter can avoid this happening to her. Another positive has been the amazing support we've had from so many friends who have rang constantly, been to visit and offered to help in so many ways!

In the mean time I'm juggling work, nursing the invalid and cleaning up after Aaron and co so needless to say I haven't had much time to do much else. Ah well, can't complain (no one listens anyway) and when I realise how close I came to losing my boy I really don't mind the extra pressures as it's much better than the alternative. Not too sure how we're going to pay the mortgage on one income but I'm sure we'll work something out. There was a cabin for sale at the caravan park in Chelsea so we may just have to sell up and down scale - it could be quite cosy!

All I've done in terms of the house lately (apart from the usual hosework) is add pebbles and more mulch to the front garden. I would be nice to put more plants in but at least it looks respectable, I'm happy to take my time anyway so I don't have to water lots of new plants at once and I don't want it looking cluttered and overdone. It's a beautiful day today so in between washing loads I might pop out the back and do some work on preparing the vegie patch and other garden beds...afterall I now have two weeks at home to do as I please.

See ya

September 02, 2007

August been and gone

What a month...I'll start with the good stuff.

The much anticipated arrival of my cousin Tony and his family was finally upon us. They landed on the day of parent interviews so while Ally met them at the airport I was working very hard at school.
That evening, Mum, Sarah and I drove to Rosebud to meet them. That in itself was a bit of an arduous journey, I haven't driven that way in a long time, the only time I have in the last few years was driving back from Sorrento having taken the ferry from Queenscliff so Iwasn't overly confident finding my way there. Add to that the weather and the darkness, an out of date Melways and an almost empty fuel tank (you always think there'll be another service station). Fortunately, I seem to have the luck of the Irish bestowed upon me afterall. Mum had told me they were staying at the Rosebud country club and I was feeling very lost so I pulled over. I realised we had missed a turn somwhere and had to go back. Where we were on the road seemed a bit deadly to turn around at so I drove on to the next big's the funny bit...that was the Nepean country club and that was where they were actually staying but mum had said Rosebud not realising there were two. Stroke of luck I'd say considering the Nepean Country Club wasn't shown on my map.
Now mum had visited the family some years ago when she stayed with her sister in Engand, but apart from Hayley who stayed in Melbourne about three years ago and Tony, who I had last seen in 1982 these people were all strangers to me. I'll give you the run down...
Tony has two daughters from his first marriage to Suzanne, I was bridesmaid at their wedding and Rebecca was born before we left England. (Rebecca wasn't able to come on this trip). They also had Hayley who as I mentioned came to Australia not too long ago. Tony then married Amanda and they have four children of their own: Beth, Emily, Jenny and William. Also on the trip was Pete, Hayley's boyfriend who she met in Florida despite the fact he is from Liverpool - he also once jammed with Paul McCartney AND went to school with Dave Gilmour's son...playing six degrees of separation just got a lot easier!
So as we find a parking spot I'm feeling increasingly anxious as basically I'm walking into a room full of strangers which isn't my strong point.
We had to sit in the car and wait for a particularly vicious downpour to pass and then we headed up to reception.

We thought maybe they had been asleep but I realised later it was a fair hike from their apartment to the reception area. Tony came down with one of the girls, he seemed a bit shorter than I remembered but I guess I was eleven at the time. We met the rest of the crew at the swimming pool as the girls wanted a swim. Amanda kindly got a spare set of bathers for Sarah which was great as before we knew it she and Beth had hit it off. Mum chatted away to Amanda and met baby William and I chatted to Hayley and Tony.
After a good long swim we headed up the hill to the apartment, it was so cold after sitting round an indoor swimming pool and I felt terrible for my family who had come all the way to Oz in one of the coldest winters we've had in a while.
Back at the apartment we had cups of tea and met Pete, great guy. I finally found myself relaxing more. At one point Hayley was talking about my grandma and about how Tony and I had been the favourites. Mum's mentioned this before but I didn't really remember it, but as Tony joined in the conversation memories came flooding back and we both agreed that Hayley would have been a favourite too, something about being the second born was our theory. I really relaxed after this and we chatted about all sorts of things and for a few hours I got the sense of what it would have been like had we stayed in England with the security of extended family around me and I felt sad that we left and sad that we don't have more family here.
We left them to have some R&R on Saturday and on Sunday we decided to meet in Olinda for breakfast. Our Peter had come for dinner on Saturday night so he joined us and we also aranged to meet Susan and Jeff at the Ivy as well. Ally and Dave drove down from Kinglake and mum and Deanne came up with the Adams' family. My goodness, we filled a massive table in The Ivy and once again I had that lovely sense of connectedness. This was Aaron's first time meeting them as he'd been at work when we met them in Rosebud. He got along really well and that made me relax all the more. It was a long breakfast and Ally and I decided we should meet in Olinda more often as it's half way between our homes.
Mum, Amanda and the little Adams went to visit the sister of a friend of Amanda's who lives in Nunawading. Deanne, Tony, Hayley and Pete went to the Essendon v Hawthorn match. Our Peter went to Milgrove for his birthday lunch (happy birthday Peter) Susan and Jeff had left to open the shop and Aaron, Sarah and I did our usual Olinda wander.
That evening they came back to our place for pizza.
On Tuesday I was tragically struck down with a mystery illness and couldn't go to work, however, sometime later I made a miraculous recovery and the crew met at our place for a bit of a convoy road trip. Our first port of call was the Todd Road service centre (pretty cool eh?) but after that it was over the Westgate and on to Geelong. We had lunch on the pier and once again we took a long time over the meal just chatting. Sarah and Beth had really hit it off, so that was good but I felt sad for Emily who seemed a little lost without her big sis. When we headed back to the car I had a great D&M with Hayley who may come back to Australia depending on the outcome of a job she's applied for. As we drove on to Queenscliff Aaron and I worked out a great career plan for her and Pete which started with them staying with us while finding work and ended with them opening another Elephant and Wheelbarrow style pub nearby.
We caught the last ferry back to Sorrento and watched the sunset over the water. It was lovely but very cold and windy.
By Thursday I was severly punished for taking a day off work unecessarily and the dreaded flu that's been rampaging across Melbourne decided to get me. We caught up with them all briefly on Thursday night as they were leaving early Friday morning and taking mum with them so we drove her to the country club. Saying goodbye was really sad and I cried a lot on the way home. Now I'm wondering what we can do so we can go to England in a few years to visit.

OK. Well that was part A of the August run down, but I've got lots to do and it is another stunning day outside so I will love you and leave you for the moment but stay tuned for another update.

See ya