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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?

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Mum on Clive's computer

Almost two weeks since Mum had key hole surgery for carpal tunnel. She is doing well but I still need to stay here to help with dressing and undressing. Today we visited the eye surgeon because her eyes were watery. He will do a small op to enlarge the tear duct on 11th  October. We see the hand surgeon on 6th October  to hear when he will do her other hand. I think I'd prefer we wait until next January to let the right hand fully heal since I will need to be here for another month after that is done.
Mum goes to Denise's for the weekends so I have that time at home.and dancing. I can leave Mum for a few hours in the evening or afternoon now as she can manage to get a cuppa when she wants.
We are looking forward to visits from Dayna, Bruce and Millicent and Glenn, Dee and Jules in December.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Docklands Distraction

On Friday we packed up the kids and headed to Melbourne. I've been wanting/needing a bit of a break for a while now and it seemed like a good weekend to do it, while the kids were on holiday and there wasn't Iaido on Saturday.

We drove to Harbourtown in Docklands for lunch and a bit of a shop (and yes, possibly some churros), and then checked into our apartment. We'd booked a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom place, but they gave us 3 bedrooms which was nice. The whole place was pretty fancy, and as I'm sure you've seen on Facebook had a really nice harbour view. Cheryl took some photos of the rooms so I'll get her to post them up in the comments.

We had an early dinner on the esplanade, and a bit of a wander around. It was so nice to have a short walk from our apartment to good restaurants and the like. We did make the mistake of letting the kids have icecream - they're a bit like mogwai, except for sugar after about 2pm.

Saturday we hopped on the free tram (all trams are free in the CBD now!) to the Queen Vic Markets. I've been wanting to get a new leather jacket to replace the not-actually-leather one of Dad's that I have so I bought one, and the kids also spent some of their birthday money. Nobody had slept well the night before (I took a bed near Ossie who woke up at 2 thinking it was morning, and Cheryl shared the biggest bed with Lil who proceeded to kick her all night) so we headed back to the room, and then I went into the city to buy some comics like a proper grown up.

Everything is so close when you stay in the city, so I was done and back by about 2pm :) We headed to a bakery for afternoon tea, and then Cheryl went to the factory outlet place at Spencer St while the kids and I had a bit more of a walk around the harbour/climb on the weird red bald dude statues and then back to the room to rest up.

Another early dinner and really early night for everyone.

Sunday we dropped off the keys and headed to Highpoint, which was only about 15 minutes away. Continuing my trend of being an adult I bought some toys from a collectables place that was closing down, we had lunch, and then came home to Bendigo. Lil had reached her limit at that point so it wasn't worth sticking around any longer. Of course we did go to Daiso, because no trip to Melbourne is complete without going to Daiso.

So that was our trip. Some nice restaurants, a bit of shopping, but for me the best part was turning off my computer on Thursday night and not having to turn it on until we got back home again. That and the churros.

This weekend (weather permitting) we're planning on heading towards Daylesford to see a couple of the waterfalls and have a picnic. Apparently after the deluge we've had in the last few weeks they're particularly nice. No other birthday plans, but maybe we'll go out for lunch or dinner or something.

Lynwood life

sooky girl - still cute
Millicent is two months old now! Can you believe it? I can't.

She had her first lot of shots this week, as well as it being her second Wonder Week and she's had (she has) a bit of a cold. All of this together = unsettled, sooky and clingy baby! Daddy still doesn't cut it when she's really upset.. which means B feels helpless and I'm exhausted. Hopefully she'll be feeling better next week.

Last time I mentioned that we were going to stay in Swansea for the British Science Festival. You may have seen photos on FB - Millicent was a very good girl and coped with lectures, socials, and two days in a busy museum without too much fuss. Granted I fed her at the start of lectures and she'd sleep through the rest. And on Sunday we were on the couch in the museum's cafe for two hours (feeding & sleeping). It was a really tiring week for all of us but we managed without too much drama. 

B's chemistry fun fair
Milk for Millicent, bugs for d
Trying to stay positive like a proton

Just after the Festival, I had a day trip to London to renew my passport. That was an even bigger challenge because we didn't have the museum cafe to relax in! I think I was more exhausted than Millicent at the end of the day! Thankfully I don't have to do it again for another 10 years - of the 9 hours I was away from home, I was in the Australian High Commission less than 10 minutes! Just long enough to give Millicent a short feed - yes, I was feeding my baby during my "interview" and the only question asked was whether or not I actually had coloured tips or was it just a bad photo (my hair was tied up on the day, so it wasn't obvious).

Thankfully, there wasn't too much on for the rest of the week. As we've mentioned on the Hangout, last weekend was Cardiff's tribute to Roald Dahl with the 'City of the Unexpected'. We didn't partake in the Saturday shenanigans (there were loads of 'events' in the city but also loads of people!) but we went into Bute Park on the Sunday. We saw Fantastic Mr Fox, caught by the farmers (we heard that he got away later); James' peach; a long table with people in the serving dishes (not sure what that's from); the BFG's chair; and loads of people! :-)
The Animal wall - with extras
Don't have too much fun..
Mr Fox - caught by the farmers!

We continue with massage class - she let me massage her back this week.. usually she won't let me take part at all! 

Bruce was in the pool for Millicent's third swimming lesson. Once again, she was falling asleep! There's a video here to give you an idea of what she gets up to in the lesson.

John and Gwen are visiting this weekend - it's their 40th anniversary today. We all went out for lunch at The Clink yesterday. Yes, it's in the gaol and yes, it's the inmates who cook, clean and wait on diners. Food was delicious - I had fig and falafel bruschetta, pumpkin gnocchi & a giant piece of coffee & walnut cake! Yum! Bruce had smoked haddock, rabbit with black pudding and a chorizo fritter, and then white chocolate panacotta. He also really enjoyed the food.

Millicent slept well last night (yay) and had a good morning playing on her mat & in her bouncy chair. I hope this continues for the rest of the week (but I won't hold my breath).
As always, I'll add some photos (and added to Millicent's album here)

B & his tiny pirate
Happy girl

Who else has news? Any news will do!!

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Lil's test results (all good!)

Just a quick update to let you all know that Lil's test results all came back good :)
She had had the two EEG's and two ultrasounds (abdominal and lower lumbar). We still don't know what caused the initial seizure, but her EEG was normal.
We'll still keep a close eye on her, especially when she's exhausted, but hopefully it was a one and only episode :)

Monday, 12 September 2016

Kris Kringle for 2016

Not sure who started this idea but I spoke to Aunty Denise today. We agree that just my family organise this among themselves. The Hamilton's always do Christmas this way with Rob's family.
I think that giving a family present to Hamilton's, Chatham's  and Flanagan's from all of you could work as long as they know the plan, so they can plan their gifts to you similarly. You could decide just to give to each of the children ( there will be an extra Chatham by then.)When sorted, let Aunty Denise, Josie and Chris  know what the gift plan is.
Consider is Jared an adult. If so is Riley?
Nana wants to continue her money gifts to all so leave her out of that.I also prefer to give each of my family groups money so they can get what they want.
Please let me know what you decide.

Family photo shoot

As we've been discussing in Hangouts, we thought it might be nice to get photos done while everyone is here in Bendigo. Joel Bramley http://www.joelbramley.com/ has done two photoshoots for us previously, and he's both patient and reasonably priced, as well as being quite talented so we've asked if he's available to do it.

We chatted to Mum, and suggest the date of Sunday 18th December, from 10:30 - 11:30.

If this date doesn't work for anyone, let us know, but we're somewhat limited in weekends with everybody here.

Right now we're thinking of using Canterbury Park, Eaglehawk, and then returning to Mum's place for lunch. That also opens us up to Lakes Neangar and Tom Thumb too, if we want some variety in background.

The photo shoot costs $160 for the hour. Joel then goes away, edits the photos and gives us a bunch of high res digital files that we can print ourselves. The suggestion is that each family group puts in $32, and then everybody organises their own printing. These are the groups:

Nana, Mum & Clive
Lisa, Carolynn, Jarrad, Jared, Trin & Daria
Dayna, Bruce & Millicent
Glenn, Dee & Jules
Damien, Cheryl, Oscar & Lily

Regarding outfits, it's generally good to wear plainer (unpatterned, solid colour) clothes. If we want the photos to look particularly awesome we can think about a colour range or temperature that everybody works around, but otherwise just avoiding complex patterns will be a big help.

It's also worth considering what photos we'd like, because over the course of the hour it's easy to forget. For example as well as a couple of whole group photos I would suggest we make sure we get at least one photo of each family group, one of all the kids with Mum, all the kids with Nana, and I'd like one of we four siblings. Anyone else have any requests? I know it can be hard to get nice couple photos, so that might be something to add as well. All the ladies and all the gents together? Anyone want a nice headshot of themself?

If we have a list to work to we can try to get Millicent's photos done first as well.

One last thing - for those of us with camera shy kids, I'd recommend talking to them about it and making sure they understand that we want to get a few really nice photos. We did that with Os and Lil and it made them more patient and more willing to pose, wheras they tend to run away from the candid shots.

Here's a couple of photos to help think about colour. For the first lot we went with blues with Lil as a highlight (since there weren't many of us), for the second lot there was more variety with greys, blues, browns and blacks (with Edith and Charlotte as highlights).

Friday, 9 September 2016

Millicent's first swimming lesson

We're just on the way home from Millicent's first time in a swimming pool. ;-) As you can see, Bruce took her for her first lesson. She cried, she slept (almost) and she got dunked - once accidentally by Bruce (oops) and once on purpose by the instructor (an underwater "swim"). More photos here.

She's zonked now.. but we'll see whether or not that means she'll sleep well tonight. To be honest, she has been asleep a lot today - wonder if that means she's going through a growth spurt.. 

(Awake at 12:30am for first night feed)

We discovered "wonder weeks" recently - anyone else heard of them? They're essentially mental growth spurts and happen fairly predictably in the first couple of years. Bub gets ratty for up to a week whilst the "mental leap" occurs then has new skills (or a new perspective). 

We think Millicent has just gone through the Week 5 leap - they're calculated by due date so she's a week out...  After being a fairly good baby (some crying, lots of sleeping - except 4am-6am, loads of spitting up - usually down my cleavage), she had a couple of days where I struggled to put her down at all! If she wasn't being cuddled, she'd cry! And for at least a day, the cuddling had to be with me - Bruce wasn't enough! So tiring!

On the up side, yesterday she seemed much more alert! She was watching everything and everyone! It was good timing because we met up with my team from work and went to Sci Comm drinks at the British Science Festival. It was a change that she wasn't just sleeping or eating! :-)

Anyway, tomorrow we're having a "short break" - we're staying in Swansea for two nights so it's easier for Bruce to work the weekend. We're using this as a trial run for travelling with baby.. will we remember everything? (It isn't that far if we forget something important). We're planning another "trip with baby" around Halloween - popping across to Romania with Vicki and Steven (yet to be confirmed). Millicent's (British) passport turned up today - it's so cute! - so we can now take her abroad. Well, once I get MY passport renewed. :-) 

So we're slowly getting ready for our trip home. I'm excited to see everyone! And it's a bonus that it's for Xmas. Any requests for British stuff? Let me know asap because everything takes a bit longer these days. ;-)

And here's some more photos..

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Mum's new computer

Not sure why I made the decision I did. I'd planned on needing at least 8gb Ram and a 1 Tb hard drive. When the Centre Com salesman said these HP Pro's are great and so quick, I should have said, I'll check them out, Instead I said I'l take it. So no DVD drive and only 4Mb of RAM. It can be upgraded at a cost. It has a SSD drive that my computer guru has explained is a very large usb drive. He will put Family Tree Maker on it for me and my very old 2003 Office that has publisher and doesn't require more paying to use.
Certainly initially very fast since it rewrites on a new spot rather than deleting and rewriting.
Need to get a CD drive that will plug into the USB. Disappointed in myself.

Simon has now gone on holidays so when he returns he'll come back to see where I've got to. Need to work out how to get emails on the new computer.

Other than that, I'm modelling again next Tuesday so went to Castlemaine to check out clothes on Thursday, Five of us to model are all mature age, but I am feeling fat. Clothes are from Marion and me. I seem to think the new clothes are very old fashioned. Maybe that reveals my age?Three outfits each for the five of us.

Last Tuesday I took mum to see a specialist about her hands. Decided she needs a carpal tunnel release so it is surgical (hopefully keyhole and will happen on 15th September for her right hand. When it is recovered he'll do the left. Right is less damaged than left. I'll stay with her for Thursday and Friday night at least and we will probably need someone there for the week. At the surgery is info on Cool Sculpting where they freeze unwanted fat cells. Sounds too good to be true but I'll check on the price next time I'm there. (Just what I need, Non surgical tummy tuck)

On a lighter note, the Spinners are redisplaying the winning entry from the Wool Show at a Snugglepot and Cuddlepie live show next Thursday. Members will be spinning before the midday show and eight are attending the 2pm show.(including me). Will get more info next Wednesday. Last Wednesday Clive and I went to Swan Hill for his brother in law's memorial service( Jim was 88 and had lived a very full life.)

On Saturday Clive and I went to Melbourne to have lunch with his daughters. we caught up with one granddaughter but the other was working. Busy girls with part time jobs and boyfriends while dealing with Uni . Chloe has just been offered a research assistant job at the Uni she's attending. She is doing Psychology.

Good to catch up and Clive received some lovely Father's Day gifts from both of the girls. We were back in Bendigo in time for dinner and to get to the Spring Gully dance on Saturday night, Night off tonight.

I continue to remove weeds from the garden especially the very healthy stinging nettles. Much more to do but I thought I'd put wraps on my nails tomorrow so the garden will have to wait.Also a friend is calling for help with Facebook. I need to show her how to limit your audience to family or friends and to get rid of posts you don't want to see.

Great to know Dayna, Bruce and Millicent will be coming for Christmas. Plenty of time for me to make room and declutter a bit. Also need to be very organised for Christmas here..

Look forward to more posts. I see Damien had a successful Iiado seminar this weekend. FB is very handy.