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The Family Bandwagon

Our family is spread out across the country and across the world, and what better way to keep in touch than a collaborative digital journal?

Friday, 24 May 2013

Gordon Street Gobbledygook

A busy couple of weeks for us! This week we toured a few of the primary schools in our area and we have decided on Specimen Hill for Oscar...so he'll get to see Trinity & Daria more often! Damien and I (thankfully!) both had the same thoughts on the schools that we saw. We found the staff at Speci to be very approachable and friendly, with a genuine interest in their students' well-being. The grounds are a good size with shaded play areas, there's a garden and plans for an outdoor classroom (it'll be completed by the time Os starts). We were very keen to tour Quarry Hill where my brother's kids go but found they had a very strong academic focus but possibly to a fault - lots of statistics that look good on paper but not that warm, friendly atmosphere of Speci. And Spring Gully... they are a school under development. A couple of great study areas, but then lots of concrete and steps everywhere. And a terrible canteen menu!
As well as school tours, I took Os (& Lil) to a drop-in speech pathologist. He is having trouble with a couple of sounds (S & L) and the pathologist thought it would be a good idea for him to continue having sessions. Just need to get a recommendation from kindy, and then a 6 month wait for an appointment :-/
Speaking of kindy, Os still really enjoys it. He told us he has a girlfriend! She is blonde and had a bunny on her t-shirt. He doesn't know her name ;) He knows Elliot from Lisa's playgroup, but generally he doesn't know names but is happy to play with everyone :)
Lil has her own special appointment next week- paediatric physio to assess her walking... she tends to be pigeon-toed when she walks quickly/runs. Looks like it is a hip-related thing which will hopefully correct itself  by around age ten.
Damien has been working hard, but was still able to look after the kids while I went to the school parent info nights :) And because he started stupidly early this morning he also had time to go out for lunch with us :)
We had Ann & Clive over for dinner last Sunday, and my parents are due back this Tuesday. My sis' boyfriend/our landlord looks like he's returned from his overseas trip, too, so very soon things will be "back to normal" ;)
That's about it I think. I'm sure Damien will fill in the gaps :)

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Church St chatter

Doesn't time just fly by.

Clive and I enjoyed dinner at Damien and Cheryl's on Sunday. He has given me an old tablet so I can see if I'll use it. Only problem was that I can't connect to my WIFI. I'll try again now that Carolynn has gone but she did turn her phone connection off.

Saturday I went to an Oasis party. Very overpriced bamboo wear. Carolynn is having a party since she took a lucky dip and 50% would get the book a party star. No one else took a chance.
I had a cold last week so took cold and flu tabs to dry up the nose when I went dancing. Clive was also not well so we skipped Kyneton on Tuesday and Castlemaine on Wednesday. Improving now.  We did go to Eaglehawk on Thursday, Kyneton on Friday and Spring Gully on Saturday so the dancing shoes are getting a work out.

I finally tidied up in front of the garage. The greenhouse is fuller now. Can't find a key for the padlock on the garage door so I'm looking for bolt cutters. The chiminea is still there since I haven't heard from Tracey again as well as an exercise bike and a heavy wooden bench.

I tidied my shoes as well so I could check on what boots I have.(many)A box of Lisa's is destined for the shed once she checks what is in there. Also pulled out Castle Greyskull and what figures are there. Can't find original He Man. Maybe there's another box up in the cupboard. Daria and Trinity have had fun with them.
Daria had a day here on Wednesday as Adam wasn't well enough for her to stay at home. She decided we'd had fun so I wonder if she'll be teary again if she comes tomorrow.

We have had some very chilly weather although I mostly got the laundry dry. Still trying to eat my way through the freezer so haven't been to IGA since I got back from Tassie. Did call at Aldi and at Coles.

Hope all are keeping well. Love and hugs from Mum

Friday, 17 May 2013


I just received a beautiful blue dragon brooch from Etsy in the mail. Thank you who ever sent it.

While cleaning up in the spare room, I found two parcels labelled Oscar and Daria. I think they are from Dayna and Bruce for birthdays. I also have Trinity's. Sorry if so I missed out on giving Os his but he won't mind a late present I'm sure.

Lisa rang to say I don't need to collect Trinity. The doctor came to Adam instead of him trying to get there. More prescriptions and a wait until Wednesday.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Gordon St Grapevine

"Grapevine" makes it sound like I have some juicy gossip to share, but alas, no, just a regular post ;)

I was going to just post a comment to Damien's post, but I  noticed with Lisa's post that it's saying there are zero comments (at least for me) even though there are four there now. So to be safe, I'll do a new one.

Firstly, geez, Damo! Should have been Father's Day yesterday, I reckon! You have been busy busy busy! And still managed to help out with the kids! Better make sure I think of an extra special present for September :)

So yes, busy week for us, although after reading Damien's post I feel like maybe I could have done a bit more! Monday morning I took the kids for a "quick trip" to Big W to print some photos for my parents to show family in the Philippines. Os had kindy that afternoon.
Tuesday morning Damien took Os to kindy. In the afternoon I drove my parents to the bus stop and waited until their ride to the airport arrived. I then took the kids out to the uni to pick up my sister and she joined us for dinner.
Wednesday morning we went to Lansell Plaza. Os had completed his "toilet chart" and was due for a prize :) He wanted a Thomas toy from the vending machine and luckily he got a "good" one (I personally would have been disappointed if he got another set of boring tracks! ;).
Thursday was kindy morning again, so Damien dropped Os off and I went in an hour earlier for the special Mother's Day morning tea. Damien looked after Lil at home and it was really nice to spend time with my little boy. He brought me a scone that he had helped make and then we played in the sandpit. I'm sure you saw the photos of him buried in the sand! Unfortunately that did mean that there was a few little piles of sand on the carpet later on at home. Haha! In the evening Damien and my brother picked up some shelves from a friend- woo hoo! Shelves in the laundry and the office now :)
Friday was playgroup day. We're always late :p But after a busy week it's nice to let Os have a sleep-in. Os loves running around with Daria, and they both like playing with the toys :) We never seem to get there in time for craft, but to be honest that would be more for me anyway ;) Friday night we had my sibs and niece and nephews over for dinner. I made mini pies- beef Guiness & onion for the big people, and mince pies for the kids, with mashed potatoes and green vegies. My brother's wife brought over a fruit crumble. All of it was delicious (if I do say so myself!). We usually all catch up at my parent's place for dinner Sunday night, so it was nice to still eat together even though my parents are away.
Damien covered Saturday- Oak Forest and Castlemaine. It was a beautiful day! I ran into a primary school friend at the cafe. Haven't seen her for over ten years and it was great to have a chat. After lunch we looked through a cool store that had a lot of bits and pieces for around the house as well as antiques. It was quite a large store even though it looked like a tiny cottage from the outside (think TARDIS ;) Both kids napped on the way home. Yay!
Sunday I enjoyed a lovely morning with Damien and the chickens: breakfast and presents :) Then dinner that night where we ordered a little too much, so leftovers for lunch today. We don't go out for dinner as much as we did in Adelaide, so hopefully we're saving money, but it is always nice when we do. The Dumpling House is our current family favourite, although we really must try some other places for dinner! When we were back home I found another handmade gift for me in Os' kindy bag haha! He had forgotten about it :) All up, a really nice Mother's Day. The kids are at a great age where they can make/do things... it's very sweet :)

So, that's pretty much our week. In between those things I have been working on my resume and doing baking (nothing interesting.. mostly healthy stuff for the kids). The kids have been good. Os has been sharing his dreams with us, practicing writing, helping me with baking, and Lil has been... a cheeky little monkey :) She still likes to chat, sing, climb, play with her babies, mimic us and most importantly eat a LOT! :)

Hoping this week is a little less busy for Damien, with maybe lunch out and some quiet time to catch up on Game of Thrones & Downton Abby :)

Gordon St Gossip

These last couple of weeks have been a bit nuts for me. As I posted on Facebook, as a freelancer I don't get holidays (at least not if I want to get paid) and I can't really get sick. After a week of being sick, I could have really used a holiday ;) Unfortunately it was about then that a job I'd quoted on weeks back came through. In true form the client left it to the 11th hour to confirm the design, so on top of my usual 7.5 hours a day of GDD work I had to squeeze in another 8 hours of work for this guy. I also had an illustration job (2 hours) pop up, and a mail form (another 2 hours) due today.  Suffice to say I've had some late nights and early mornings but I've got it all done. On the plus side, at least I get paid.

Of course there's no point doing all this work if it causes me to neglect my family, so I had to work around the kids being awake and helping Cheryl out with them.  Most mornings I'll get the kids dressed and fed, and Tuesdays and Thursdays take Os to Kinder. Also Thursday I looked after Lil for an hour in the middle of the day so Chez could go to Ossie's Kinder for a special Mother's Day morning tea - I'll let her fill you in on that. Saturday morning we made the most of beautiful weather and went to the Oak Forest out near Harcourt for a bit of a look, then on to Castlemaine for some lunch. The food was exceptional.

Sunday morning the kids and I made Cheryl breakfast in bed (which, as all children do, they helped consume) and they gave her presents. Then after a trip to the supermarket and more work we headed out for Mother's Day dinner.  Again, I'll let Chez post about the Mother's Day stuff.

Anyway, the point of all this isn't to have a whinge, just to say it's been a bit crazy and I'm not entirely sure what we've done this week. Except I know I got all my extra work finished while still having time to play with the kids, so that's good :)

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Church St Chatter

Missed last week sorry. My only internet access was in Swansea where Brenda could access the free WIFI and we had takeaway fish and chips after a busy day of travelling. Glad to see Lisa and Dayna both posted. Well done.

My Tassie trip was much better than I had feared. Just before we left, I had Brenda, the driver telling me about how tired she was because her daughter and son in law had gone to Melbourne for the two night's previous to our trip and left her with care of three children including a five month old baby. She even asked if I would take my car instead on the day before we left. We drove to Diamond Creek to collect our third passenger then to the port. Brenda also refuses to use toll roads so James the GPS directed us through the city and we still made it in plenty of time. Met up with the other car load at the Port for coffee before the big queue to get on the ship. The Spirit is ok but there's not a lot to do unless you drink (expensive) or go to the cinema.after the buffet meal (also not cheap) Very early start the next morning as we docked at 6am and disembarked from 6.30.Crossing was a gentle rocking and even smoother on the return trip. Carol had agreed to drive if needed although she privately told me she wasn't really happy to do so. We took Carol to visit a friend in a nursing home at Port Sorell, and had a very pleasant morning. Headed to the raspberry farm for lunch. Carol took over the driving about 15 minutes before our lunch stop and most of the afternoon drive to Ross. I sat in the back with fingers crossed. Enjoyed our Ross stop where we had a three bedroom cottage and a bakery basket for breakfast. The other two don't do breakfast early and Brenda was on gluten free so I had most of the goodies.Off to Hobart the next day to join in the Hoot. You've seen photos on FB Enjoyed the Salamanca Market, a trip to Richmond and a winery and cheese tasting. Sunday's trip was to MONA., a very interesting Museum of Art donated to the Tasmanian government by a local billionaire.

Monday we packed up the car then took a bus into Hobart. Our more experienced Tassie travellers directed us to the Cat and Fiddle arcade. Shopped, browsed, found an op shop then four of us returned by bus to the casino to collect our cars. Carol caught a taxi to the airport as she had decided to fly home, but left most of her luggage for us to deliver.We followed the other car to the motel they were to call home for four days. Very cheap and looked like a dump from outside, but at $70 for the night and only 15 minutes from the city, it was clean and comfortable. We all drove to a flash pub for tea then back to watch some tele. Tuesday Brenda and I headed to Brighton to a wildlife park so she could see some devils. It is a rescue centre so we knew our entry fee was used for a good cause. We had a lovely morning there, feeding kangaroos, and patting a koala and a wombat as well as seeing the devils. Headed to Richmond and the Wicked cheese company for lunch. Next stop was to be Swansea for the night although we hadn't booked anywhere. A very pretty drive,. Brenda, who is English could stop exclaiming over how pretty it was and how much like Cornwall.We had a coffee stop and found the cafes closed at 3.30 or earlier in the small towns. Found the Swansea Motel, right on the beach. Brenda talked them down from $120 to $100 a night for a room with a balcony and ocean views. Best night's sleep I had for the whole time away. Next day we headed for Launceston, after a stop at the local Vinnies. Our accommodation there was in a heritage building that had been moved to the spot and had a water wheel. Third floor room and only outside steps to reach it. Very glad the weather was kind as the steps would be very slippery if wet I think. Room was lovely and after checking a local pub we had tea at the adjoining Tavern. A breakfast was included in the tariff so next morning I went down for breakfast and they kindly packaged Brenda's up with gluten free bread that I could take up to our room.

They stopped serving breakfast at 9am and that was too early for Brenda. Checked into Macca's for the WIFI but it wasn't working.We continued on the Tourist road rather than the Freeway to Deloraine where we found an internet connection place, a coffee stop and two op shops. Next stop was Latrobe, where platypuses can be seen in the wild at the right time of day. it wasn't but I enjoyed lunch here. Then on to Devonport for boarding after checking (and contributing to) another op shop. Long time sitting waiting for boarding after you go through the collection of boarding pass and quarantine. Smooth trip and a chance to sample some cider. We even had our photos taken as the first clients.Very tasty but I didn't buy any. The car was quite full and we'd worked out how to find it when it was time to disembark.Early morning drive to Diamond Creek where we arrived about 8am. Carol had a lovely breakfast ready and after that we headed for Bendigo. Brenda had found she had to drive back to Melbourne on Saturday so had thought of putting me on the train. Glad she decided against that. Yet to hear how she got on. She's now buying a home to be transported to her block and she wanted to take her builder to check it out and to get some times and prices. She has a week before she flies back to Birmingham for three months.She mentioned she may have a car to sell some time in the future so I asked her to let me know. Thought Dayna and Bruce might be interested in a second car if the price is right, especially if it's in Birmingham.

Rang Nana at Dot and Max's yesterday. They are moving next Friday ( a couple of weeks earlier than expected) so Denise is in pack mode.Clive and I went to the Market this morning.
Thank you for Mother's Day wishes and gifts. Lisa and the crew visited this afternoon with food and a present even tho I had the beautiful earrings a fortnight ago. I am very lucky to have such wonderful children and grandchildren. Love to all

Dancing Mum, Ann

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Brooklea Park babbling

The sun has come out this afternoon so we're sitting on the veranda making some much-needed vitamin D, drinking some vino and listening to random old music tracks on B's computer (remember Love Shack anyone?). :-)

So what have we been up to this week?

Monday I was in a school with SIAS. Tuesday was full of meetings. I worked from home on Wednesday but still had a full day. I was away early Thursday for a very important meeting in London about funding for the SIAS scheme in Wales (it went really well) but I didn't get home until late because I took the afternoon off and wandered around Covent Garden and Leicester Square. After the long hours I've worked lately I took yesterday off but met the girls after work for a quiet drink (or not so quiet.. we were out until after 1am!).

I still have work to do on the work-life balance but I do see a light at the end of my extremely busy tunnel. Another upside is that I've recently been given a pay rise. Yay! Think it's time to book some more holidays! ;-)

B hasn't done much - still working at the school and not really enjoying it. Keep your fingers crossed next Wednesday - he's got yet another interview.

This weekend is a long one - May Day holiday - so we're going to Caldicott Castle on Monday to see a random battle reenactment thing. :-) should be fun.

"Tin roof rusted!"

Friday, 3 May 2013

Shaft St Sh*t

Yeah, ok, so my attempt at jumping on the update bandwagon isn't as clever as the rest of you LOL  Of course, I'm pretty slack at doing this mainly because I don't think our lives are quite as interesting as the rest of you.

I'm working Monday to Wednesday, and I'm enjoying it. I just wish I had more time at home. Thursdays I shop with Tania, though I'm trying to get out of it occasionally. It's just so busy when we have tea with mum before Jared goes to karate while I set up playgroup, with Julie-Anne's help of course. Then we get home and have to get the girls in to bed. Friday is playgroup from 9.45am until about 12, though by the time we've packed everything up it's often 1pm before we leave. Trinity finishes school at 3.15pm but to get a car park I need to be there by 3pm, 2.45 to get a park in the side street, I usually miss out on one of those when I'm working.

This weekend is the Relay for Life so after picking Trinity up we headed out to the Flora Hill track to help decorate the BCA site and then I hung around for the opening. Carolynn and Jared walked the carer's lap on mum's behalf, hope that was ok :)  Then Trinity, Daria and I walked the 2nd lap before coming home. Carolynn tells me performances start around midday so I have tomorrow morning to get caught up on housework. That's about all I get done these days, catching up. I'd love to be able to get ahead of it and actually declutter. I'm waiting for the holidays, despite the fact that the last ones zipped by with very little accomplished. In terms of house-keeping that is. I chose to take the kids out to meet friends and check out stuff in town instead so I've no-one to blame but myself.

Adam isn't well. He's really breathless a lot. Hoping the doctor he sees next Monday will listen and send him off for some tests, I for one refuse to believe it's "just asthma".

So that's it here... busy but boring.

Something nice though... my boss is leaving us (that's not the nice part, we'll miss her) and she was going around talking about those in the office and about me she said that when she goes around to see people it amazes her how many people know me and speak highly of me. I thought that was nice :)  I said "I get around apparently" LOL