Thursday, 25 February 2010

So many things ...

  • ... running through my head. My mind will just not shut up and give me even five minutes peace at the moment. I need to find my relaxation/meditation CD and just do it.
  • ... to do! Where to start? "Start at the very beginning. It's a very good place to start." (You're welcome for the tune wedgie!) There's the usual housework (blech!), preparations for Bradley's birthday tomorrow (yum ... cake batter!), pre-holiday planning, homework police duties and the few small home improvement projects to get finished before aforementioned holiday. I think I should make a list and make it my new best friend!
  • ... to say. With so many things running around in my head, I need to get some of them out to the appropriate people. Note to self: find tact and diplomacy before attempting this!
  • ... to change. Bad habits, paint colours, sheets on beds, towels in bathrooms, furniture, attitudes and menu plans.
  • ... to get rid of. How do we manage to accumulate so much stuff? I am slowly working my way through a lot of the stuff we have amassed and am whittling it down to those things that are useful, look good or make me happy. Preferably all three but sometimes just one is enough!
  • ... (bills) to pay and never enough money to pay them with. Everyone is probably in the same boat with this one. It just continues to amaze me that with so much money coming in, there still never seems to be enough to go around.
  • ... to be thankful for. We have a great home, enough money for all the essentials (despite my whinge in the item above!), our health and, most importantly, each other.
  • ... I love. My boys are all such wonderful kids who are turning into lovely young men. Sure we have our moments, doesn't everyone, but they are good people who are trying their best. My husband, who loves me despite my failings and occasional rants. My family, who are always there for me, and my friends, who know all about me and love me anyway!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Thursday, 11 February 2010

At the risk of TMI ...

... my week has been crappy .. in the literal sense. (Warning, liberal use of quotation marks and toilet talk to follow!)

As many of you know, Bradley has ongoing bowel issues that result in him not 'going' regularly and getting quite, to quote the doctors, 'loaded'. This often results in 'accidents' (which usually weren't dealt with until he was called on it .. aarrgghh!), feeling miserable/embarrassed and just generally unwell. The constant laundry and replacing ruined clothes doesn't help my mood either!

After dealing with this problem for most of his life and consulting with several medical professionals (who all said there was nothing actually wrong with him; his bowel is just lazy and slow-moving .. like the rest of the family .. lol!), I had come to the conclusion that a significant portion of this problem seemed to be psychological. Straight-out talking and counselling didn't seem to help at all, so I decided to try turning him into a chicken hypnosis.

I had my doubts as to whether there would be any benefit but I talked the idea through with him and, upon receiving his very vehement assertion that he did want to try it, I made the appointment with a woman who only deals with children and their various problems.

So, on Monday afternoon we found ourselves in her very lovely house, having a discussion as to what Bradley wanted to achieve. Having dealt with many medical/psychological professionals in my time, I just sat there biting my tongue to make myself keep quiet. The results are partly dependent on the child wanting to make a change in their behaviour.

Once she was satisfied that he did indeed want to be there, was willing to try anything safe to fix this problem and assuring him he wasn't going to be turned into a chicken (unless that was what he wanted!), she hypnotised him. It was very strange seeing him 'going under' and then watching his facial expressions and body language change as she talked to him about what would happen if he continued down the 'low road', was all rather surreal. Then to see his face light up like a Christmas tree when she spoke about the 'high road' and having this problem fixed was absolutely beautiful. He came away from that session speaking very positively about the whole experience and the changes he was hoping for.

Here's where the TMI stuff really starts, so for those of you who can't handle bodily functions, stop reading now! You have been warned!!

The next morning (Tuesday), he came down to my room and showed me a 'huge lump' that had appeared in his belly overnight. Normally, when I palpate (feel) his abdomen, I can feel something like a solid sausage all the way across. That's what the doctors are referring to when they say he's fully loaded .. his bowel is full all the way across .. which in itself is not a major problem but this lump was a whole 'nother can of worms kettle of fish story.

It was about the size of an adult man's fist and, when pressed on, would disappear back into his abdomen only to re-appear a short time later. He wasn't in any pain, had no fever or vomiting but it just didn't seem right to me and if it's one thing I've learned over the years, it's to trust my instincts when it comes to one of my children and their health.

After dropping the other two boys at school, I decide to skip the middle man, in this case our GP who would have advised me to do what I did, and took him straight to the Emergency Department at our local public hospital. (With money being as tight as it is, I figured he would be taken care of under Medicare and I wouldn't have to fork out the gap payment for the private hospital ED).

We got in to see a doctor within 40 minutes which is very unusual for this particular hospital (actually who am I kidding? It's unusual for any hospital!) and probably also due the fact that his stomach looked like an alien was about to burst forth at any moment, hopefully singing and dancing and generally entertaining the other patients. Either that or the clerks were scared he was going to burst in the waiting room and they would have to clean up the mess, so they pushed him through quickly.

The doctor came and examined him (1 hour wait), organised for an ultrasound (2.5 hour wait), waited for the results (another 2 hour wait) and then told me what I knew all along .. "his bowel is fully loaded." Swallowing back the retort of "Really? No shit Sherlock (no pun intended) .. I figured that one out myself!" I asked the all important question of "So what can you do about it?" His response was "I don't know. You have to wait to talk to our paediatrician. He should be available after 5pm."

By now, it was nearing school pick-up time for the other two boys and I had well and truly had enough of sitting there, waiting for them to tell me what I already knew. I asked if he was in any danger from this and, after being given a list of things to watch out for, went and picked the others up from school, resolving to take him to the other hospital in the morning.

After an unproductive and uneventful night, despite the medication in both ends of his body, I took the others to school and headed off to the other ED. Remembered halfway there that I was supposed to be taking the dog to the vet for his 6-week-post-accident checkup but concluded (rightly!) that the child was just slightly more important at the moment, especially considering the dog has absolutely no trouble pooping .. anywhere!!

We presented to the triage nurse and were classed as category five which usually means about an hour's wait on quiet days, but lucky us managed to pick a busier day so we got to wait for 2.5 hours!! Luckily I had thought to actually pack some entertainment for Brad this time and one of the lovely volunteer tea ladies made me a nice cup of tea to go with my catch up reading of last year's gossip magazines. The ED had changed their billing structure, in that you now have to pay the gap payment at the time of being seen so I dutifully forked over $165 (inflation is a bitch!!) and then went back to waiting.

To cut a very long story short, I know .. too late!, the doctor assessed him, organised an industrial strength enema and let it take its course. Upon seeing hardly any result, he ordered another to be administered 1.5 hours after the first, much to Brad's disgust.

After trying to encourage Brad to just let his body get rid of it all and listening to his laments of "I just want to go home", I was rather shocked to hear him come out with "I just want to die! Why did I have to be born with this?" We had a little 'come-to-Jesus' talk about counting blessings and stop focusing on the negative after that which seemed to work for a little while, then he just gave up and either lay on the bed ignoring me or sat on the toilet doing the same.

Just as I was about to call the nurse and/or doctor back to say it wasn't working, a noise not unlike that of a tsunami came from the bathroom. The look of relief on his face was almost comical as was the nurse's face when she came in to view the result. (Poor nurses .. having to look at all sorts of gross things day in, day out!) I said that she was probably going to have to arrange for a plumber to unblock the toilet as Bradley appeared to have given birth to his alien in there. She just laughed and pronounced it a nine-pound 'poo baby'. (No, I'm not making birth announcements for it!!)

So after all that, Bradley's lump had gone, he felt much better and we headed for home where he proceeded to have a nice, soothing, warm shower then fall asleep for three hours. All that effort really took it out of him .. literally!!

Overall, I'm glad that he's feeling better and it was nothing serious.

I'm glad that he has now been given the chance to help himself with the hypnosis without the physical obstacles.

I'm glad that I have my happy child back.

I'm glad that he is back at school and can freely play without worrying about having an accident.

I'm just trying to get my head around the fact that it just cost $165 for my child to poop! It would have been much cheaper at home child ... lol!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Ella sketch #3

I'm loving the six weeks of sketches over at Ella as they seem to have revived my motivation and are giving me inspiration at the same time.

I did sketch #3 almost as soon as it was posted but forgot to take a picture and post it here .. oops! So without any further ado, here is my interpretation:

I rotated it, mirrored it and changed the photo sizes a bit (and now it probably looks nothing like the original sketch!) but I like it! Wouldn't have a clue which papers are which because I don't keep track of all that .. sorry!

I also did this layout of Andrew:

It's very linear and started out based on one of Donna Januzzi's sketches in her "Stretch Your Sketches" e-book (Ella Publishing) but as is typical with sketches, it ended up looking nothing like the original! I'm still trying to decide if I'll cut the striped paper to the width of the blue as there's something bugging me about it. What do you think?

Journalling reads:
The first thing most people see when they look at these photos is the lovely mess you have made of yourself with your current favourite biscuit, the humble ginger nut.
Not me. All I see are the gorgeous chubby cheeks, cute little button nose, the happy smile underneath all that mess and your eyes... those beautiful blue eyes.
I really hope you get to keep those lovely baby blues but I doubt you will, so I'll just enjoy them for now and look forward to watching them change as you grow. (Feb '98)

Friday, 5 February 2010

Am I being unreasonable?

I have been stewing on this overnight and most of this morning and I need to know if I am being unreasonable in expecting my husband to take our children shopping to get me, their mother, a birthday present?

He has never been big on the whole present giving thing .. he says he never knows what to get me, which is a totally different issue .. but couldn't he have at least taken the boys out and let them pick something little or encouraged them to make something from the multitude of options available in the house? The usual excuse of 'I didn't have time to go to the shops' really doesn't ring true as he took two extra days off work this time (without telling me first) so that he would be home for my birthday.

Now I do appreciate that he made arrangements to do that, but given that he dislikes where he is working at the moment and doesn't want to be there anyway, and he has even admitted that it was convenient for him to stay home, it feels like he did that for his benefit, not mine. Yes, we did go out for lunch at the local food court (my choice), but that is something we do almost every time he is home. Yes, I was the one who didn't really want to go see a movie, because there is nothing on at the moment that really appealed as a must-see (for me or him).

At the risk of sounding materialistic and greedy, my birthday is one of the few times times a year I expect some sort of present to be purchased/made, wrapped in something other than newspaper and given to me with a smile. I would have loved a home-made cake decorated by the boys, a coupon book of things they would do without me having to nag, a magazine served up with a cup of tea or coffee or something along those lines. He said several times that he was planning on taking the boys out after school but something else always seemed to come up. Yes money is tight at the moment, but anything would have been nice! To receive nothing at all and to then have to remind two of the boys that it was even my birthday, cut a neat little chunk out of my heart.

I think what it comes down to for me, is that it really hurts that they think so little of me and all I do for them all. Everyone likes to be appreciated and this feels like they couldn't even be bothered to exert the effort to give me a slap in the face. He thinks I am 'pissed off' at him, which I suppose I am, but the overwhelming feeling at the moment is hurt and disappointment, which I have verbalised but I can't even look him in the face at the moment. He had gone back to work this morning before I got back from dropping the kids off at school and running a couple of short errands, so it has just been left hanging.

Anyway, back to the original question .. do you think I'm being unreasonable?

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Happy birthday to me!

Yes, it's my birthday and according to this website, these are my current stats:

As of 4th February 2010 3:56:35 AM EST
You are 37 years old.
You are 444 months old.
You are 1,930 weeks old.
You are 13,514 days old.

Go check it out to see how old you are. It's one way to make yourself feel better. Yes, I do mean better because you have made it through all those years, months, weeks and days and are still here to check how old you are!!

Monday, 1 February 2010

They're baaack ...

... at school that is!

This morning was the first time in a long time that I have seen Alex happy to be going to school. He was up at 6am, ready by 6:40am (we don't actually leave home until 8am!) and was off like a shot as soon as I allowed him to get out of the car in the car park. I hope this is a sign of a good year to come!

Andrew was a bit nervous with it being his first official day of high school (because apparently last year wasn't really like high school because he had the same teacher for the four core subjects and only had other teachers for everything else .. "Jeez Mum. Don't you know anything?" insert eye roll as only a teenager can here). Alex actually realised that Drew was a bit concerned and offered to take him on a tour of the school to help him find the right classrooms once they get their timetables. Thank you Alex, for helping to de-stress my little stress head.

Bradley was very concerned that he was going to have the same teacher as last year, but luckily he doesn't. The look of relief on his face once he realised that he didn't have Mr C and that he was still in the same class as his best friend, was absolutely priceless. I'm surprised no-one reported his sigh of relief as a mini tornado!

I hope all your little and not-so-little ones have a great time at school and that there are few, if any, tears. If there are, remember that it's hard to tell the kids not to sniff and wipe their noses on their sleeves if they see you doing it, so pack some tissues for a cry in the car on the way home.

Anyway, it is very quiet around here and I have some time all to myself, so now I just have to remember what to do with it ... and if anyone says laundry, I'm going to curl up in the corner, in the foetal position of course, and just quietly melt down!!

Well, maybe not quietly ..

OK, OK, definitely not quietly!

Some things never change, do they?