Monday, January 30, 2012

First day = fail

Today was the first day of the school year. We didn't get off to a very good start.
I arrived home from Adelaide on Sunday morning. I planned on having Monday home with Tony and Carter to catch up on a bit of rest before Tony went back to school Tuesday.

How wrong I was!

I caught the train up from the airport and on the way home from the train station, we drove past Tony's school. I happened to glance up as we went past and saw written across the school noticeboard:

Welcome Back Year 1-6 Students: Monday 30th Jan 2012.

So my day of rest and preparation was out the window.

This morning I set the alarm for 6am, but when the beeping began, I turned it off and rolled over. Come 7am, I threw off the covers and ran into Tony's room and threw off his covers.

To save time I made him a breakfast he could drink - a banana smoothie.
We rummaged through his draws for his uniform and found his shorts and T-shirt.

I quickly woke up and dressed Carter and we were out the door.

After dropping Anthony at work, we headed to school. Carter and I walked Tony in and he ran off to play with some friends as he had some time until the bell rang.

Within about ten minutes, Tony had disappeared. He had fallen over and was already in the sick bay getting a bandaid for his grazed knee. I thanked the teacher who found him and headed out the office with Tony's hand in mine and as I reached out for Carter's hand, I found nothing but air - he was gone!

I scanned the crowd of kids but couldn't see the bright green shirt I strategically dressed him in, as I often do to help with easy identification in supermarkets, playgrounds, and...well, anywhere outside our little house.

I headed out the school gate to make sure he hadn't tried to make his way out to the car. I couldn't see him anywhere so I went back in and scanned the schoolyard. After a while I headed back to the office to see if anyone had handed in a 'lost boy'.

There was my Carter happily chattering away to the office ladies whilst sitting on the office couch, little legs swinging and all.

After all my children were accounted for, we were back where we started in the schoolyard. The bell rang and we said goodbye to Tony and watched him hobble off in his crinkled up uniform.

As Carter and I headed out the school gate, he informed me he was very, VERY hungry. I imagine this MAY have been because I forgot to feed him breakfast.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I only cast the best

I tend to blog whatever is on my mind. At the moment, it's my Nana. Since my last post, she passed away. It was peaceful and I am pleased for her as I know she is in a better place. This knowledge takes the sting out of death, but I am still sad though.

My Nana was 85 and has lived a full life. Her age and heart condition were clear indicators she was certainly in the later stages of her life, but it still feels too soon.

I am sad for me. There is a void in my life now, one that can't be filled, as no one can take her place.

Its as though my life is a movie. I am the director, and as the director I have also given myself the starring role. I have chosen the people I want to have major roles in my movie and I want to keep them there. They aren't just good in their position and play their part well, they are spectacular people. They are all key to my movie.

But now it feels as though I have shown up to the set one morning and one of my best isn't there. That one missing person makes the set feel bare and empty. When I ask around, the Head Writer tells me that characters isn't in these next few scenes.

My movie can't be right without her. I tested so many people for roles in my movie, and now I have found the best, it seems ridiculous to write them out. There are key scenes coming up that need her in them or it just won't be the same.

I vent my concerns to the Writer, and he assures me that he has the script all planned out, that I need not worry. Even though I can't see it now, she still has a role in the movie, its just our big reunion comes a few scenes down the track.

Even though there will be many 'scenes' in my life yet to come that will feel a little empty without my dear Nana, I eagerly await our big reunion.

Monday, January 16, 2012


This is my Nana.  She is remarkable.  She has raised five children, a large chunk of the time on her own.  She has twenty-five grandchildren.  Come every birthday, Christmas, Easter, anniversary, or trip to hospital, I know there will be a card in the mail addressed with her perfect handwriting.

Nana has been a big part of my life.  I saw her at least once a week until we moved states when I was nineteen.  Her room was always an exciting place to me.  It was full of treasures.  There were pearls, brooches, ceramic figures and all sorts of wonderful knick-knacks that tickle young girls.  As I have grown, come Christmas, birthdays and Mother's Day, I always keep an eye out for brooches as I like the idea that they too will have a place amongst Nan's treasures.

I love to hear Nana laugh.  She has the giggle of a young woman, despite her age.

I love to have little chats with Nana on the phone.  She fills me in on the news from her end in Adelaide, and I keep her up to date with our goings-on here on the Central Coast.  We discuss "our programmes" that we both like to watch and what episodes we have seen or missed.  At the end of our phone calls, just before we say goodbye, she pauses and I tell her I love her.  She then tells me she loves me very much and that I am very special to her.  She doesn't need to tell me this, because she has made me feel this way all along, but I love to hear it anyway.

Nana is very ill now.  She was diagnosed with terminal lymphoma of the brain just prior to Christmas.  It would be fast and not drawn out, for which I am thankful.  She is currently receiving palliative care and not doing too well, but she is constantly surrounded by family and friends.  She has spent her life loving others and has few moments alone as these same people want to spend their time with her.

My little Tony often reminds me that we don't need to be too sad about Nana.  He tells me that we will be a little bit sad because we will miss her for now but that she is lucky that she gets to go and be with Jesus, and that we will see her soon.  He has such certainty in his voice that it lifts me up and reminds me that it won't be goodbye for too long.

My Nana is everything I could have ever asked for in a Grandmother.  I know that soon she will leave this earth and that I will be sad for a while.  I will miss her cards, her phone calls, her sense of humour, and of course her giggle, but I know that it will be okay.  She will have plenty of loved ones waiting to greet her and this gives me something to strive for, that when my turn comes, I will have lived my life in a way that she will be there to greet me too.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jo the grouch

Yesterday I had a grump day. I just woke up that way.

 Normally when I realize I am grumpy for no good reason, I can just snap myself out of it, or I at least give Anthony a heads up that I'm cranky but he's not to blame (I have to say this helps a great deal as poor Anthony isn't stuck guessing what he's done wrong, and he gets me out of my funk pretty quick with a good hug).

 Yesterday though, I just couldn't shake it. I snapped at Anthony. I snapped at the boys. We went to the park to feed the ducks and have lunch and I couldn't even really enjoy that! I kicked my baby toe on the corner of a table leg, I dropped my veggies on the floor, I washed the window with oven cleaner, and somehow got bathroom cleaner from the bathroom floor into my mouth. It was overall a bad day.

 So now I am here lying in bed at 1am trying to figure out what my problem is.

 When I came up empty handed, it hit me that I have no reason to be a grump and it's stupid to dwell on it. The mere fact that I can't find a reason why I may have been in such a bad mood tells me I have much to be grateful for so I should just get over it and be happy. Tomorrow morning I will probably be a little grumpy again - but this time I will know it's from lying in bed awake til 1am.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A new resolve to do the exact same

I didn't really make any new resolutions this year.  I generally am not that big on them as I don't really see the point in waiting til a new year commences to make changes you see necessary, however I do understand that this point in the year is often a time for reflection for many and probably a time when we identify areas in our lives we want to change or improve.

Instead, I decided to stick with my goals for the previous year.  My goals for last year were to find opportunities to serve others, and to be more positive.

There is a wonderful woman I know who always seems to be cheery and helping others.  I used to think this was just her nature, that she was a positive, glass-half-full kind of person.  She always seemed to know who was in need of help or a friend and was there before anyone else.  I put this down to her being high up on the "social news" chain and she must get the info before the rest of us.

Turns out I am wrong on both accounts. I don't really know her well but this woman has a large family of her own and plenty of reasons she could be negative, but she is one of the kindest, most patient, giving, selfless people I know.  She made me realise that positive people aren't just genetically wired that way, it's a choice they have made and they work hard at it.  I have also learnt simply by observing her that she doesn't just act when she hears of someone in need, she seeks people out, and she makes a conscious effort to do it.

It's likely she would have absolutely no idea that I even think of her this way, but I wanted to develop the qualities I saw in her.

My Mum was ALWAYS in the kitchen making meals or baking cakes.  She was always making something for someone else, but was smart enough to make a double batch so our dinner was done or we had a treat as well.  As a parent now myself, I realise that this is very time demanding, but I also didn't really know any other way at the time.

I so admire this about my Mum, and she has made me want to be more thoughtful of others and to MAKE time to serve.

So early last year, I decided that I would find a way to do more for others, but being physically limited, I knew it had to be something that didn't take away from me looking after my own family too much.  I love to cook so I decided that once a fortnight (sometimes a week), I would bake something to give to someone else.  Sometimes I had a specific person/family in mind, but if I had no one I baked anyway and someone always popped into my mind.

This was a goal that I can say I genuinely enjoyed and it truly made me happy.  It made it easier to work on my other goal to be positive.  I don't think I am a downer normally anyway, but I still wanted to improve.  Making yourself be more positive has a strange effect - soon enough it becomes genuine.

As 2012 rolled around, I was thinking of things I wanted to improve on or change and instead I wanted to do what made me the most happy and strangely enough this came from my goals for 2011.

So just to put it out there and keep me goal for 2012 is to do the same as 2011 - what a challenge!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bringing in 2012

When midnight rolled around this New Years, everyone in our house was fast asleep. I knew we would be. In fact, I planned on us being asleep while everyone else rang in 2012. I was still tired out from Christmas!

I honestly cannot remember the last New Year’s Eve that I was awake at midnight. I guess I am kind of boring that way. Actually I am admittedly kind of boring in lots of ways, but I am boring and proud of it.

I appreciate the quiet days filled with the boring, mundane tasks of everyday life. I love a day when I don’t have to leave the house at all. I think this is because for us, life is full of normal life and then there is some sort of big hiccup that disrupts our normality. It’s generally Carter or I being admitted to hospital or something but it really makes me appreciate the boring.

As Anthony and I crawled into bed New Year’s Eve, he cheekily asked;

“So, do you want to celebrate New Year’s the best way I know how?”

I raised an eyebrow to which he called out;


Being the less ticklish of the two of us, I won. I win our tickle fights EVERY SINGLE TIME!!!