29 June 2009

Worry over Nothing

We were driving 2 kilometres to Grandma's house. I repeat: 2 kilometres. That's around about 1.2 miles. Okay? That's all.

Me: Oh, look, we're getting low on fuel (gas) - we'll have to fill up soon.

Sonny Ma-Jiminy: Or will the car stop?

Me: Well yes, I guess so, but we have about 50 km left to go, so that's a long way before the car would run out. It's like ... oh, halfway to WARWICK!

SMJ: And then would we be stopped beside the road?

Me: If we were silly and forgot to refuel, yes, I guess we would.

SMJ: And we'd have to push the car all the rest of the way?

Me, hugely pregnant with the SIJ issue, placenta praevia and blood-pressure problems, recurrent tonsillitis and not getting much sleep: No way! We'd call someone to come and put enough fuel in so we could get to a fuel station, then we'd fill up once we were there.


SMJ in a worried voice from the back of the car: Are we nearly at Warwick?

Me: Son! We are not going to Warwick on an empty tank! We're nearly at Grandma's house. Two kilometres! We'll make it EASILY! Then I will go and fill up! Promise!

27 June 2009


Sometimes I leave a shop with the vague feeling I've left something behind ... something small usually, like my purse or -ahem- the item I just BOUGHT. Today I left the pharmacy with the same feeling. But today the item I'd left behind was one whole giant shopping trolley complete with the groceries I'd just gone to the bother to BUY. I'll post a picture to show you that it wasn't a small item.

Miraculously, I remembered the children.

24 June 2009

Is that an OTOSCOPE which I see before me?

I mentioned that Smoochy Girl has a phobia of the OTOSCOPE. That's the little light they look in your ears with at the doctor's.

Granted, she did have a raging ear infection soon after we moved here and the doctor did need to confirm this by doing the unthinkable: Looking In Her Ears. But her fear is excessive, and completely irrational. It's pretty cute too.

Scenario 1
Sitting in the doctor's office, Smoochy looks around and gradually becomes aware that it is, in fact, a doctor's office. She plants her hands firmly over her ears and wails, "No No No No NO!! Hurt-a ears!!! NO NO!!!" After the appointment the receptionists look sympathetically at her. "Oh dear, was it immunisations today?" "No," I reply, "They looked in her ears with a torch."

Scenario 2
Daddy is at the doctor's office, for ElbaPlague has claimed him and he is very sick. After an eternity of waiting, Smoochy Girl falls asleep lying in my arms like a little baby. She is hot and feverish herself. The nurse comes for Daddy who is so sick he is semi-passed-out on the bench seat in the waiting room. Daddy shuffles into the doctor's consulting room and as the nurse passes Smoochy, she gently brushes the tiny child's forehead and asks how she is. Smoochy wakes out of a fitful sleep and clamps her hands over her ears. "No! No hurt-a ears! No no no!"

Scenario 3
Mr de Elba and Smoochy came with me to my appointment with the doctor once we found out that I would be needing a caesarean (I usually go solo to all my appointments.) I looked across at Smoochy.

Hm. They are about to surgically de-pregnate me while I lie flat on my back like a beetle on a card, and she is worried they may look in her ears with a tiny little torch. Hm.

23 June 2009

My life keeps getting weirder

This one is sorta funny.

So I loved all your comments after I hit "publish" - wow you guys were quick off the mark! I do a "Not Me Monday" and you read, smile and pass on. I blog about sexy granny undies and the comments flood in rapidly! I think I know where to focus my bloggy efforts if I want maximum feedback.

So to Virtual Quilter, Hippomanic Jen and Swift Jan who all asked for photographic proof (though not necessarily modelled by me) I went to take pictures. They aren't black (which is what I was looking for) they are really quite lovely colours - rose, forest green and silver.

I took a few pics and then realised there was no card in my camera. So I can't blog the pictures.

Now of course I have to get the pictures off the internal memory of my camera, otherwise one day someone will be messing around with my camera and wonder why I have pictures of sexy granny undies on there.

And, predictably, I can't work out how.

Addendum: I worked it out. But for a while there, things were pretty embarrassing.

Wrapping my head around it all

I nearly had a "teary" today. (It's when you get all teary, okay?)

This teary I nearly had was nearly had in K-Mart.

In the change rooms.

There are a lot of reasons why sitting partially naked and hugely pregnant, white and wobbly in front of a few horribly-placed mirrors under fluorescent lights can make a woman teary.

But today, all that ghastliness paled into the background. The issue taking precendence today was that I was there to buy ...

... against my will ...

... against my judgment ...

... against my sense of fashion ...


Which is what we Aussie girls call high-waisted full briefs that you have to wear after a caesarean.

I guess that many women wear high-waisted briefs every day and now you're mad at me for calling your knickers of choice "Granny Undies." I'm really sorry for that. Pretend I never spoke.

But I just wanted to tell you all:

  1. I bought 6 pairs to help me emotionally prepare for it all
  2. I nearly had a teary in the change rooms
  3. I didn't actually have the teary
  4. But in a fit of rebellion, I bought SEXY Granny Undies.

True story. They have a pretty little bow and some lace.

22 June 2009

Not Me!

I've never done a "Not-Me Monday." It's about time.

Welcome to "Not Me! Monday!" This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Well, here's what I have NOT been up to.

Well to start with, I did NOT lose my head when I learned that I have placenta praevia. Oh no, I kept my head and abandoned all those idealistic ideas of birth that my last two deliveries have tempted me to crave more of. And I did NOT cry about this, not once. What a waste of time that would have been.

But I did on the other hand receive much support and love from friends here and far away, in the form of comments. However I did NOT fail to thank them all individually and personally, visit their own blogs and show that I care about each and every one of the kind people who spend time making this Aussie gal a little bit cheery. No way, I would NEVER fail to do something like that.

I did NOT continue the DVD marathon, sticking my dear little children in front of the TV while I got my head around things, while I did housework, and while I needed a few quiet moments for myself. I just don't do that sort of thing.

I did NOT neglect the dog again. I think I must have exercised her every day, hmm, maybe I even did it twice a day. Oh yes, I'm sure I did NOT fail to do that.

I did NOT ruin my sister-in-law's new carpet by dragging a mattress with broken spring protruding across it. I would never be so clumsy.

I did NOT continue to use the dryer to dry loads and loads of laundry, when God provided perfectly good sunshine with which to dry them. Can you picture standing before God at the end of your life and hearing Him say, "You have been a good and faithful servant, but on the other hand, you DID use the dryer instead of the sunshine I provided. So depart from me." No? Neither can I. Build a bridge and get over it.

I did NOT wear the same clothes for too many days straight, despite the fact that nobody's very sweaty up here in Winter. Oh no, I had clean fresh clothes every day of the week. Cos yeah, I actually OWN enough clothes (that fit me) to do that and I'm so totally on top of my laundry.

Good on me for NOT doing those things. Head on over to MckMama, not least because she's a mystifying blogger with twice the number of small children I have (one of whom has a chronic health condition) yet she blogs four times as often with ten times the interest level and a thousand times the photographic quality than I've ever achieved, but also because it is she who hosts this bloggy carnival she calls "Not Me Monday" and she's cool.

21 June 2009

A Walk In The Forest

One of the coolest things about our new house is that we back onto a nature reserve. The kids call it "The Forest."

This is tree outside our back fence. Overhanging branches were cut off years ago making many knot holes in the trunk where native birds live.
And this is the gate in the back fence that leads out into our forest. From the other side it just looks like a high fence, you can't tell there's a gate in it at all.

Now here's a cool kid who likes to walk beside Daddy or lead the dog:

and so he gets his money's worth from "a walk in the forest" as we call it.

This kid, however, does not like to walk, and does a lot of this sort of stuff:

in order to:

get carried all around the forest by Daddy.

We love our little "forest" behind our new house!

20 June 2009

Conversation with a Two Year Old

2yo: Mummy, What's datt?

Me: It's the basket for the cutle-

2yo: Mummy, What's datt?

Me: It's the dishwasher baske-

2yo: Mummy, What's datt?

Me: It's the -

2yo: Mummy, What's datt?

Me: SWEETHEART, LISTEN, it's for the cutler-

2yo: Mummy, What's datt?

Me: A meat pie.

2yo: (pause) Meat pie?

19 June 2009

The Good News is it's DEFINITELY Bad News

Sometimes it's easier to definitely know that it's bad news, than to wonder if you need to worry in the first place.

Did you read YESTERDAY? If not, you're going to need to if you want to wade through TODAY.

Today I saw the obstetrician at the hospital. Here is what I learned, and what I achieved today:

I learned from the obstetrician that there is no other way to birth this baby - if I attempt to deliver naturally, there is a 100% chance this baby will die. He said, "I'm sorry, but your decision is taken away from you." In a funny sort of way, it was good to know I will never look back and wish I'd tried this one naturally.

I learned the same from a very sympathetic, very natural-birth-oriented midwife. Having someone as natural-birth as I am saying -again- there is no other way to birth Thingamababy and the decision is taken away from me helped me realise it's not a case of Surgical Cowboys vs. Natural-Birth Midwives. It's real. That will help me accept it. And it's okay.

I cried like crazy in front of the obstetrician. He said, "You will have a caesarean section. Your baby will be healthy and completely fine. And you will be happy." And strangely I found that comforting. I joked with him, "You're going to make me be happy?" And he reminded me he'd just told me that my blood pressure was 130/75, and I agreed with him: he did have the power to force me to be happy.

He also said that I needed to stop being upset because when I am upset, the baby is upset, and that's not good. Well, perhaps he doesn't quite get how things work in the world of hormones and hard times and disappearing dreams. But I liked his approach. He was like that because we get along well. And I think he knew that I was not going to stop being upset just because he told me to!

I cried like crazy in front of the midwife. She was terribly compassionate as I cried, and she said things like, "I am so sorry. I am very, very sorry. I know how desperately you wanted a natural birth. I had two natural births myself, and the very thought of a caesarean scares me!" And she seems to really understand, deep down, how I feel.

And although I liked the obstetrician's bossy style, the midwife's style was even better for me.

I got to chat through some of my birth plan issues with the midwife. I don't have to lose control over absolutely everything. Just 98% of things. That's all.

I am not on bed rest! (But thanks so much Jen for your email.) "Taking it easy" is a good idea, but there's no need for me to stop doing everything I do just yet. I am SO RELIEVED!

Then I had a jab of steroids to develop the baby's lungs more, and will have another tomorrow. This is so that if I find myself in the next few weeks somewhere -say- lying in a hammock quietly sipping an iced tea with a little cocktail umbrella in it, and all of a sudden -KAZAM- I suffer a massive bleed and can get to hospital quickly for an emergency caesarean, the baby's lungs will be more developed and he/she will be better prepared. (For the Toowoomba Winter, presumably.)

Because all of you know how I like my births to be all quick and spontaneous and exciting.

And I also had a blood test so they can be prepared in case I do suffer a massive life-threatening bleed and require an emergency blood transfusion.

So that's all sorted too.

Geez, I DO like having things all neat and tidy and prepared.

Sorry. If you can't hear that I am oozing Flippancy & Sarcasm here, perhaps you should be reading a different blog.

Hmm. Do you think they could give me a leetle bit of lipo around the tummy and hips while they're down there? Perhaps pump some 'Selleys No-More-Gaps' into the sacro-iliac joint?

Sorry. Can't help myself!

Thanks for the jokes, people! Keep them coming! Better give it a rest right after major abdominal surgery, but until that happens (when?) I'm good to laugh! I didn't even need the maternity pad. Perhaps having a c-section allows your 'birth virginity' to ... umm, grow back?

Sorry again! I cannot turn the Flippancy & Sarcasm off! Someone find the switch!

18 June 2009

Lots of Grumpiness, and an Open Call for JOKES!

So there are worse things in life. Much worse things. But I can't stop crying, and I feel a total schmuck because of that.

I have had my ultrasound.

I have placenta previa.

And it's a pretty convincing placenta previa.

I will be having a caesarean.

I am devastated.

And I can't stop crying.

And that's stupid, because this dear little baby, the one who jumps around inside me all day and night, the one we have looked forward to for ages, the one I've been bonding with in between moving house and being sick and getting Sonny Ma-Jiminy to kindy - this baby will LIVE!

Not only that - I have met many good bloggy friends over the last few years who have stories much sadder or much scarier than mine. Right now, a good bloggy friend is going through a very difficult time in her much-wanted pregnancy. Six and a half years ago, another great friend lost her much-waited-for little girl, stillborn at 36 weeks. My heart goes out to them, in a less cliched way than I composed this stupid sentence.

How could I possibly waste time crying because more intervention was needed in my birth than I wanted?

They told me that I have to get as much rest as I can until the birth. I laughed. Do they not KNOW what even my Minimum-Standards Days involve? And anyway, my identity is wrapped up in what I achieve for my family on a day-to-day basis. How could I possibly outsource MY work onto my husband or my mother? (Sorry, Mum, bet you wished you stayed on holidays a little longer now!) Who do I become then?

And why am I upset about 4 to 5 weeks of rest when another great bloggy friend was put on complete bed rest for 14 weeks before (and probably 6 weeks after) her triplets were born? Jen, email me and tell me how "bed rest" even WORKS.

Then - wow. A caesarean. Don't wanna tell you my thoughts on that.

Then apparently, I will have to rest for 6 weeks after the caesar.

Thingamababy will live because I am fortunate enough to have a healthy growing baby in there, because I am fortunate enough to live in a country where I can nourish myself and my family, because I am fortunate enough to live in a country where Medical Care can say, "Aha! Placenta previa. We'll do a caesarean so that the baby doesn't bleed to death before it can breathe."

How fortunate am I?

And how thankless am I that I can't stop crying? That I can't see my keyboard for the tears, that I am devastated at the loss of another exhilarating birth scenario like the one I had with Smoochy Girl? That was better than winning big on a huge game show, more exhilarating than the biggest rollercoaster in the world, more satisfying than serving a massive dinner to huge acclamation. After Smoochy blasted out of me, I jumped off the bed, had a shower, put my comfy exercise gear back on and wheeled my baby right outta there.

This time?

I hardly know what to expect (even though I technically KNOW what to EXPECT.)

Just bear with me until sometime in August or September when I'm all healed and fully functioning again, holding a tiny-small Blue One or Pink One in my arms, wondering why I wasted these tears in the first place.

Just ... bear with me.

In the meantime - I have a need. A need that each one of you can help with. I need to LAUGH - I need to laugh out loud and the funniest, silliest jokes you've heard recently. Ask your spouses, ask your kids, ask your neighbours (but don't bother asking your Dads): tell them that crazy pregnant lady is in need of light entertainment and SEND THE JOKES MY WAY! Leave them in the comments or email me: ukulelefly AT gmail DOT com. If need be, I'll wear a maternity pad. I just need the laugh!

17 June 2009

I feel like such a swine

So, you know. You say stuff, it's sort-of in jest, it's half funny, and then you learn something that makes you wonder why you ever deviated from your never-say-anything-silly-in-jest policy.

I don't want to steal anyone's bloggy thunder (there we go, I just have), but five hours after posting about how I'd be better off with swine flu, I learn that one of our good bloggy buddies has ...


Sounds like a joke, right? We all check to see it's not April 1st, we all decide not to believe anything too soon, but we sadly realise that the tests have said that Swine Flu it is.

A few weeks ago, my good friend was saying, "I'm a bit nervous about going to Melbourne with all this swine flu around."

And I was saying, "You won't get swine flu."

And she was saying, "It would be really bad if I got swine flu."

And I was saying, "But you won't get it, and anyway, it's a mild dose of flu, and it really doesn't matter anyway because YOU WON'T GET IT."

And she was saying, "I don't feel 100% great about going to Melbourne with this swine flu around."

And I was saying, "Just go to Melbourne. You'll have FUN!!"

Then she went to Melbourne. She came home. She felt flu-ish. She had some tests. And they said to her, "You my dear have swine flu."

Now comes the quarantining of the whole family. You heard me, this is not a quarantine where a sick mother is alone, by herself, with nothing but a comfy bed and a few good books. This is where a whole family is cut off from the world, all together in a house, trying hard to infect nobody but each other. It's like a rainy beach holiday where you're all stuck in the apartment together with nothing but each other and the TV. But you can't even hit the shops. And you're sick.

Oh my. My lovely friend said she liked my last blog post (even had the good grace to comment: "I hope you feel better soon xoxo" what an absolute sweetie), so I leave it there. But now it's just there as a preface to this post, in which we all laugh at Givinya. We all point and laugh.

PLEASE GET WELL SOON, YOURSELF! I am so sorry you've got the sickness of having swine flu, and I am doubly sorry you have the inconvenience of your Family Quarantine and your Mister being off work, and... oh, everything!

Moral of the story: Never listen to me. Ever. For 9 months I thought Sonny Ma-Jiminy was going to be a girl, for 9 months I thought Smoochy Girl was going to be a boy, and for weeks I thought my wonderful friend was in no danger of getting swine flu.

Point and Laugh!

I'd be better off with swine flu

Dead Set.

Here are 10 reasons why I sorta wish I had swine flu:

1. I'd feel better than I do now
2. I'd recover quicker
3. There's even anti-viral medications you can take for it
4. I wouldn't have to trudge through the grocery shops with two small children - in fact, I wouldn't be allowed to, as I'd be quarantined
5. Same goes for kindy drop-offs and pick-ups
6. And everything else
7. I would not feel bad about neglecting the poor dog
8. I'd get some sympathy! Yesss!
9. I'd be forced to stay away from crowds and maybe even my dear little children, for fear they would get sick. And that would be a respite I have been desperate to achieve for years.
10. I would probably be on doctor's orders to lie in bed and read some good books.

Pic from the internet - I certainly wasn't up to thinking of anything remotely funny and staging the picture.
Please do not comment if you plan to disagree with me. You would be wrong.

16 June 2009

More Than Minimum Standards?


Still. Tomorrow's another day.

15 June 2009

Minimum Standards

Today was a real Minimum Standards Day at my place. Mr de Elba left at 6:30am for three days away with work, and I've just kept my few small children alive since then. Alive, whinging and bickering.

My few attempts at Mothering Beyond The Minimum Standard included:

  • • making a healthy breakfast of oats with no cane sugar, but with grated apple, sultanas and cinnamon instead
  • • washing the backlog of dishes on the sink (but leaving all of today's. To rot, presumably)
  • • taking the little cherubs to the shops (only to come home as soon as the photos were developed, leaving most of the things on my list ignored.)
  • • watering the plants with Smoochy Girl in the afternoon.

That's not a lot. But I think that finally, this:

has turned into this:

and it hurts - a lot - to do things like stand, walk, sit still, and move. So you can imagine that shopping (with an impossibly GIANT crampy tummy, an armful of things to buy, one stroller and two small children who change their desire to sit in a stroller or NOT sit in a stroller according to whether or not there is a stroller to sit in) is pretty much out of the question for now.

The current problem for the de Elbas is that we need to EAT. And without my ability to buy -you know- FOOD, the de Elbas will not EAT. And they will waste away. This would provide a welcome reprieve from the whinging, but I am setting myself a goal of minimising the whinging while keeping small children alive.

As it is, if Sonny Ma-Jiminy suffers so much as 45 minutes of not-eating he begins to crawl around the house moaning that he is getting "so weak!" and that I need to feed him immediately. I of course recognise that as a symptom of boredom rather than of starvation, but I am physically incapable of becoming Mrs PlaySchool and setting up many exciting and messy activities for the children, and clean up after them.

(Aside: I can hardly bend down to pick up things off the floor at this stage. Putting my socks on and taking them off is a painful and difficult procedure, and I can no longer see my undies. If I don't feel my own bottom, I cannot be fully sure I have them on. I only discovered the lower half of my tummy has stretch marks by looking in a mirror one day. Hence I don't look in mirrors anymore.)

I plan to do better tomorrow. Tomorrow, I will Mother Beyond The Minimum Standard by doing the following:

  • • getting good sleep tonight
  • • taking the little cherubs to get some groceries early in the morning (though how I will clean my teeth without toothpaste tonight, I do not know. And don't come all bi-carb of soda with me, I'm a pregnant mother on the edge. Go suck a bar of soap.)
  • • being very pleasant and good-natured all day
  • • providing a variety of activities to small stir-crazy children who are largely caged-in by Winter
  • • not sleeping during their rest times, working on the realisation that getting more rest is not helping the 17-day-long odyssey of sore/swollen throat and glands. Instead I shall be startlingly productive around the house
  • • start writing that long-promised blog post on Smoochy's Otoscope Phobia. Which will be a let-down now, because you're expecting something hilarious.

That sounds so exhausting, I may just fall off the chair into a doze right here.

I fell short of promising to take my little cherubs to the town library to get books, because that sounds like it's way beyond me right now.

12 June 2009

The Anatomy Exam

Fifteen years ago, I had a weird moment in an Anatomy Prac exam, and it is haunting me to this day. I need to blog about it.

I know that some of you readers have more delicate sensibilities and others of you have none whatsoever, but I believe that although this post is about -here it comes- the penis, it will not offend as it is discussed in strictly anatomical terms. If however you are offended, please accept my apologies.

Anatomy Prac exams are bizarre experiences. Deep underground in the anatomy labs, about 60 stainess steel tables are set up with a specimen on each end. 120 specimens with 120 questions for 120 students to provide answers to.

The questions attached to each specimen are usually very detailed. So detailed in fact that a pin is stuck into extremely precise structures or blu-tacked to bone with the point of the pin indicating a similarly precise structure. You don't find any general questions: everything is extremely specific.

Imagine my surprise when I moved to a station in my prac exam and was confronted with the following: a pelvis, male, with a pin stuck into the penis, and with the question, "What is this?"

Now the thing that surprised me was that the pin was just ... stuck in. Anywhere. Not in any of the superficial structures, not anywhere special, just ... stuck in.

A penis question would most likely be about the proper anatomical name of a superficial structure or it could be referring to an internal structure as indicated in a cross section. Or even a cross-section with the question, "What fluid does this vessel carry?" Or "what is manufactured here?"

Not a pin stuck in any old place with the question, "What is this?"

Because the answer would have to be "penis" and that's an answer for Year 4 Primary School Sex Ed, not for 1st Year University Anatomy. I'd spent ages learning all the specifics of every bone, ligament, muscle, tendon, nerve, artery, vein and organ in the body, and in the exam, they are going to ask me to name the penis?

I looked at the student who had completed that station before me. He was buried in the next question and showed no confusion over the preceding question.

I looked around the room trying to find the Candid Camera. I couldn't see one.

I imagined a scenario where there was a specific point I'd missed, and the real answer to the question was precise and complex (like the other 119 questions on the exam) ... the lecturer marking my answer rolling around lauging, calling the other lecturers over and hooting, "Look what this idiot has written! Question 61! "Penis!" Ha ha ha! Didn't she learn that in primary school? Ha ha ha!"

But, due to the random placement of the pin, there was no other answer to the question. I shook my head, wrote down "penis" and moved to the next station.

After the exam as my friends and I were discussing and debriefing, I asked them about it.

"Hey ... about question 61?" Blank looks. "The penis. You know."

"Oh yeah?" they said.

"Was the answer really ... Did I miss something? I mean, was there something more specific than ... 'penis'?"

"It was 'penis'," they replied, looking blankly at me. Their looks implied, "Did she find that question difficult? What's the matter with her? Didn't her mother teach her anything?"

And after a brief, disbelieving pause, they went on with their discussion. Again, I shook my head and vowed to forget about it and move on.

At the end of the semester, students are only awarded a grade. There was no way of getting feedback on which questions I answered correctly and which ones I missed.

To my amazement, I received a Credit for the subject.

But fifteen years later, with my degree on the wall and some successful jobs to my credit, I still shake my head and wonder about that question.

Could it really have been that simple?

11 June 2009

Cold Turkey

My small niece, Peanut, is going through dummy withdrawal.

"dummy" = "pacifier"

I was talking via Google Talk with my brother-in-law, Constable Crazy, about this.

Me: Is Peanut managing without her dummy?
Const: The turkey is cold but living.

Oh dear. So what does a mother do when she has a number of dummies in the house and doesn't want to cave in and give them to her daughter in a moment of sheer desperation?

She sends them to her sister. Express Mail too, unless that round yellow sticker on the left is a breastfeeding joke.

I assume these were sent with the explanation that "the baby will need them."

Ah yes. Thanks. I will -er- keep them, and then I will -er- I will ... umm ...

Still. A kid sucking on a dummy is probably better than:

10 June 2009

ElbaPlague 2009 - Over and Out

You wouldn't think these people were the sickest I've ever seen them just a few days ago, would you?

Tonight after dinner, Sonny Ma-Jiminy mentioned the phrase "Pass the Parcel" and Smoochy Girl, who most probably doesn't even know what Pass the Parcel is, joined in the chorus. Soon, they were both clamouring for Pass the Parcel (?) and I wasn't prepared to put together a parcel to be passed! I'd done a full day and was completely exhausted, not to mention the fact that after I'd bathed them, cleaned their teeth and put them to bed, I was going to head off to do a very large grocery shop in peace and quiet.

But Daddy, oh wonderful Daddy, that man who not one week ago lay in his bed so sick he was barely lucid, came to the mythical party. While Sonny hid his eyes, Daddy quickly put together a parcel.

And this is how the game went:

1. The parcel is passed to the music "Funky Town" as sung by the cast of Veggie Tales.

2. Daddy wins a pair of his own socks.

3. Sonny Ma-Jiminy wins a lemon.

4. Smoochy Girl also wins a lemon.

5. Sonny Ma-Jiminy wins a second lemon.

6. Game over - and the children are still so small that they thought it was GREAT! Daddy is the hero of the hour. Him and his socks and his lemons.
I think we've got ElbaPlague beat.

09 June 2009


Thanks for all your well-wishes. Sonny Ma-Jiminy is back to normal, Smoochy Girl is nearly there, and Mr de Elba and I are 75% well.

Femina: Yes, torrid was an okay word to use!

Tracy P, Mimi and Joy: Thanks for your prayers. How special to have people from the other side of the world praying for us!

Cynthia K: Yes, we have been sicker than we've ever been since moving to our new town. I'm not going to read anything into it though ...

Crazy Sister: I love that you yourself are so off-the-wall, but it amazes me that you MEET people who are similarly crazy. Like that elderly lady who has to keep telling you the dimensions of the room in which she nursed her husband to death. Crazy begets Crazy. As you just posted.

Swift Jan: Thanks for the wishes, hope Connor's ears are on the mend! De Elbas being delirious with tonsils doesn't make ear infections any nicer for others! Have been meaning to email you to apologise if I sounded pompous on my comment about Swine Flu. I don't know heaps about it, I just haven't found major cause for alarm, that's all. I don't expect you'll get it in Melbourne, and if you do, I'll pass you the tissues til you're better! And I don't know about you, but for a Mum of nearly-three, a little time in enforced quarantine sounds about as good as a holiday to Hamilton Island right now.

Jen: Hope I didn't talk up the otoscope phobia too much. It's funny but probably not stand-up comdey routine material. Will work on it soon.

Hippomanic Jen: Yeah, I wouldn't want to go through it again. Especially once the baby's here. That'd about break me I think!

Musingwoman and GreenJello: Thanks for your thoughts. Last night was the first night in over a week that I was able to sleep straight through - nobody woke me up. Now why, when I've been stumbling around like a zombie in the enforced wakings of previous nights, did I lie in bed unable to sleep until after 3am last night, of all nights?? Hoping for everything to align for a great sleep tonight!

Alison: Thanks for the thoughts. Stay well over your side of the earth, and enjoy Summer for us okay? Our new town is renowned for cold windy winters - no snow or anything, just near-freezing temperatures and lots of biting-cold wind. (I think in non-snowy places, we're just not set up for real cold, like in our homes and wardrobes! We could learn from friends in the US about how to dress and how to build houses.)

Sassy B: I love that you said "Sheesh" - I said that a few days ago and Sonny copied me. "Huh," I thought, "I've taught him a new exclamation, I hope that's not a bad thing." Hmm. "Did you say, 'Sheesh'?" I asked him. "No," he replied. "I said QUICHE!!" So there's his new exclamation: "QUICHE!" Weird.

06 June 2009

ElbaPlague 2009 (condensed but still long)

Sometimes I don't blog for days because there's nothing to blog about. Sometimes it's because I'm just too busy. Sometimes it's because I'm just plain lazy.

This time, the reason I haven't been blogging is because the plague has come to our place. ElbaPlague 2009, we're calling it. The worst case of raging tonsillitis ever to hit one family at one time.

I have been writing it all down in a blog post, but it started to sound like a cross between a boring medical list of symptoms and a chat with an elderly person at a bus stop.

I am starting again, hoping to condense it. In order to achieve a condensed version, I will try dot points. Just like a uni student.

Sonny Ma-Jiminy - 6 days, 3 doctor's trips, 2 different anitbiotics and 2 over-the-counter medicines to lower temperature.
• Fever caused vomiting and hallucinations, poor Sonny swatting away imaginary mosquitoes in the night.
• Broken sleep and shouting out in the night, "Ah! Ah! So bad! I feel so bad!!"
• Slowly got better, currently back to normal! Many prayers were said, much thanks is now due!!

Mr de Elba - 5 days, 2 doctor's trips, 2 shots of penicillin, a course of penicillin tablets, one faint in the bathroom and a few mear misses
• Too sick for much talking, any TV watching, any walking out of the bedroom/ensuite area other than to get to doctors' appointments.
• Kept fluids and medicines down well, so declined the doctor's offer to admit him to hospital (it was just an offer, not a recommendation after all!) Good decision. More rest was had at home. And I looked after him well.
• But he was Scary-Sick for days on end, I won't sugar-coat that.
• Today he turned a corner. He walked to the kitchen! He had eggs for breakfast! We talked! Then he slept for the rest of the day again.
• He is still feverish. He is still sick. But today, he looks like a NORMAL sick person, not the death's-door sick person he has been.

Smoochy Girl - 9 days, varying levels of sickness, two antibiotics, 6 vomits and one midnight trip to emergency.
• Two problems have made the Smoochy Management difficult:
1. Her phobia of the otoscope. Remind me to blog about this when I'm feeling better myself. It's sorta funny.
2. Her aggressive resistance to taking her medicine. This has prolonged her sick time.
• For most of the week, she showed signs of having a mild tonsillitis. She has been mostly well.
• But on Wednesday her temperature skyrocketed and thence commenced the vomiting.
• Picture if you will ... a mother was mopping up pools of vomit on the right side of her body while vomiting violently into the mop bucket on the left side of her body. Smoochy having a great time in the shower. Sonny watching the farce.
• Scary black bits in vomit on Friday night, midnight trip to the emergency centre after a few phone calls making sure I was doing the right thing (Queenslanders - use the 13HEALTH phone service - it's awesome!!)
• All's well that ends well. Um, actually all's well that ENDS. Yes. Probably not blood, but some food item that has changed colour on contact with stomach acids. New antibiotic, and I must keep her temperature down with constant medication.

Me - ARGH! ME! I forgot there was such a creature.
• 9 days, mild sickness threatening to engulf me if I shut my eyes for too long. Countless trips to doctors and pharmacies, many different medicines in different doses at different times of the day for 3 sick people, and lists and charts and reminders to help me not stuff it all up. Lots of disinfectant. More shopping trips with two rambunctions half-sick kids than I'd care to remember.
• Pregnancy is an absurd strain on the body. But it is all fogotten in the bizarre day-nightishness of around-the-clock nursing of multiple sick people.
• I have had a sore throat, swollen glands and blocked eustachian tubes the whole time, but I am fighting it off - Betadine Throat Gargle (pharmacy) or the Nyal equivalent (supermarket) are both good things. Very good things. Also a snort of Vicks First Defence a few times a day goes a long way.
• Sleeping at the opposite end of the house, trying to stay well to look after everyone!
• Baby monitor comes in handy - it's sensitive enough to hear all three of my lovelies in the night.

My parents - rendered much service in the way of washing and drying and folding and ironing earlier in the week.
• Have now spent three days driving to Mt Isa to spend a week with my dear Wee Bro, my little brother, whose definitely-worse side is pictured here.

Mr de Elba's parents - rendered much service to us today, in taking out children for hours so that Mr De Elba and I could have some child-free time to SLEEP. We did.
• First, we had a hot breakfast together and talked without interruption, laughing at Smoochy Girls' otoscope phobia
• Then we slept. I had four solid hours of sleep before I dragged myself awake to await the return of the children, and make them dinner. Things have been back to normal crazy since they returned. And I love them.

It is too late and I am too sick to proof-read this post. Please accept any errors and my profound thanks for your thoughts and/or prayers, and for the grandparent's assistance over this week. It's not yet over for Smoochy, and I'm not sure whether I will head downhill or up, but whatever happens, I'm here, reading your blog posts whenever I can!

03 June 2009

All Dogs Go To Heaven ... Don't They?

This tickled my funny bone!

Mainly because I'm not fond of church signs.

As a Christian, I cringe to see my Lord being represented by signs saying critical things like "Dusty Bibles Lead To Dirty Lives" and thoughtless things like "Empty Cradle - Empty Christmas" and innocuous, empty things like "And Mary Stored All These Things Up And Pondered Them In Her Heart." All those travesties were perpetrated in my last town, and I saw them all with my own eyes.

This is an Internet hoax (but how FUNNY it is!) about a supposed face-off between a Catholic Church and a Presbyterian Church arguing about the eternal destiny of dogs. Apparently, these pictures were made with the Church Sign Generator.

The thing I found funny was IF they were real, and IF I drove past on some random day and saw

"Converting to catholocism (sic) does not magically grant your dog a soul,"

I would have crashed my car from laughing so hard!

02 June 2009

Shut the door, wipe it clean, make it tidy.

My little girl has some funny quirks. She has a thing for completion and tidiness. All cupboard doors and drawers must be shut, evidenced here in our Kitchen Game:

I get my wrists slammed in the drawers frequently when I am putting away the cutlery, and sometimes I open a cupboard, turn to take hold of a Very Large and Heavy Kitchen Object, turn back to put it way, and ... the door is shut.

Many of the internal doors in the house need to be shut (unless a parent needs them shut, when they must be open, e.g., when we are in the bathroom for some peace & quiet.)

It's good when things are untidy, because you can play on her need for tidiness and get a little help around the place.

But tonight as I turned to see the lists of things to do on my whiteboard, I realised she was taking things too far.

My lists used to fill the whiteboard. Now I've lost the lower half of them, including some important phone numbers.

Wiped clean. Up to Smoochy's reaching height. Great.

01 June 2009

You know your two year old is spending too much time with the dog ...

... when she throws library books at your head and shouts, "FETCH!"

Update on sick de Elbas: Three-quarters of us are okay, even if we feel a little down from time to time. Sonny on the other hand continues to be very sick. We're having difficulty managing his fever, and he will often wake from fitful sleep shouting, "So BAD! I feel SO BAD!!" And we know he does. We're off to the doctor most days and we're getting looked after well, but this thing is hard to shake. The primary problem remains nasty tonsillitis, but wow. The secondary stuff is getting a little worrying. If you're a praying person, we'd appreciate prayers for Sonny to get well (you can call him Nat in your prayers) and for me and Mr de Elba to have wisdom to know what to do. If you're not a praying person, all positive thoughs are appreciated.