Monday, October 30, 2006

Sick again

Dan and I stupidly congratulated ourselves on Saturday for going a whole week without any ills (well, the kids, anyway).

Darn it.

We went out to a party on Saturday night - my work colleague's 40th birthday party. The kids had a great time. Dante ate chips and played with Stephen's 8 year old son (or is he 9 now?) and Atticus pretty much spent the entire evening inside on the dance floor, boogying away with a gorgeous smile on his face. The kids were happy, sociable and cute. We didn't even stay too late - we were home by 9:30pm! It was a really nice evening.

But, as it turns out, the flashing lights and loud music combined with the cold weather and over excitement must have just been too much for our poor second-born. He had another convulsion at 2:10am (or was it 3:10am? Damn daylight savings!). We checked his temperature and it was a little high (38.1°C) so I guess that makes this another febrile convulsion. Oh dear. At least I didn't panic quite so much this time. The fit was self-limiting which means that it ended by itself, so I didn't need to call an ambulance and we even managed to avoid having to go to hospital! Atti just went to sleep afterwards and I got my doctor brother to check him out the next day.

The only worry now is that the medication is not the right stuff, or the right dose. We've had some advice regarding our previous paediatrician (that being "Go see someone else!") so we've got an appointment with a paediatric neurologist in a month. But that was made last week, before this latest convulsion. It's a bit of a worry. Thank goodness our regular GP was able to give me the name of another doctor today, and after some fiddling of the appointments, the receptionist was able to fit us in next week. Still not as early as I'd like it but initially she was only able to give us one in five weeks' time! Blargh. Well, I think of it as a good sign that the doctor is busy - means lots of people are happy with her.

So hopefully something good will come out of all these appointments in the next short while. Atti's been sick so much in the last three months. I've used up all my "carer's leave" at work and am cutting into my annual leave now, which I've been saving up for next year to append to my maternity leave! I don't even want to think about the number of days of child care which we've paid for and not been able to use. Sob!

Well, enough complaining. I really should be grateful that I have such a wonderful support team around me (what would I do without them?), and work in a place that is flexible and understanding (oh so understanding!). And of course that generally both kids are really quite well - Atti spent the day playing and eating, and had a good nap in the middle of it. Now they are both asleep, after going to bed without any complaints and after eating a good dinner and having a lovely bath together. Dan and I are happily geeking out on our respective computers, and we're thinking about buying a new car. Things aren't really that bad at all. I'll stop the whinging now :)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Nine grandkids!

My dad is happy as larry today. We just found out that next year he will have nine grandchildren! That beats his brother (so far, anyway). My mother also has the most grandkids out of all her brothers (so far), too.

My brother Chris and sister-in-law Priscilla are expecting their second child! She is sporting a fine little bump and is sixteen weeks through already. They went overseas about seven weeks ago for a nice long holiday in Hong Kong and Singapore, and we saw them for the first time today. We all rushed to pay attention to their daughter Abi and didn't notice Pris' bump until Chris said "Hey Priscilla, stand up!"... The grins on all our faces said it all.

The best thing about this is that her bub is due five weeks after mine! Our current babies, Abi and Atti, are just six weeks apart (Abi being the elder). It's great that these two kiddies will also have a cousin the same age.

Yay! Congrats to you both!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Backup "Dawk"

Atticus has a favourite toy, his "dawk" (which is Atti-speak for "dog"). Dan took this picture this morning of the boy, prepared for action on his bike, with his dog and a frisbee.

The dog is great. At bed time if we are having trouble settling Atti, we just present him with the dog. He laughs (that relieved and overjoyed laugh when he gets what he wants) and he happily lies down quietly. He didn't used to need his dog. It all started in August when he first got sick (ear infection -> febrile convulsion -> night in hospital -> caught a nasty gastro rotavirus -> sick with vomiting and diarrhoea for a week)... My mother gave it to him one day when she was minding him and he liked it. Ever since then it has been his absolute favourite!

The only problem, and we experienced this last week when Atti picked up another tummy bug on Wednesday (hence my lack of posts last week - blargh) is that if dog gets dirty (such as being vomited on - eeyuck!) and Atti is sick, it makes for difficult sleeping time.

So, we need to get a "backup" dog. We've known about this for a long time - Dante's favourite toy is a cute bear "Brown Bear" which was given to him by some friends who'd bought it in America. We searched far and wide in Australia for another one, but failed. Our friends finally managed to source another one from the same shop in America but by that time Brown Bear was so ratty and old that Dante could tell the difference immediately. Brown Bear now has a "brother" called "Barry Bear". I'll post some pictures some time soon.

One problem with "Dawk" is that he was given to us by my Auntie from Cairns. It will be quite a while since we next get up that way so we did a search on the web. Thankfully he has a tag with the company name "Teddy and Friends, Sydney Australia" and we were able to find the manufacturers! Thank goodness for good websites and terrific customer service. They only sell to wholesalers, but we sent them an email and they sent me a list of local suppliers this morning. How cool! I'm so happy... if I can get a dog, though. He's a 34cm "Smooch" in beige, I believe. You should have a look at some of the animals they have, though - they are so cute! Especially the jungle animals!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Dan, your son is a nong.

Dante demonstrated great skill tonight. He was sitting on the toilet, and somehow... we don't really know how... managed to fall off onto the top of his HEAD.

There were great many tears afterwards. At first from Dante, then from Atticus because he was upset at hearing D crying (that's so cute!) and then from us when we sat down and thought about what had happened (laughing, that is).

I'm sure he must get it from his father. I'd never do anything like that, right?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Second big purchase in a fortnight

A couple of weeks ago we bought a new mattress. It cost us an arm and a leg, but it was worth it! I mentioned at the time that Dan and I have a list of things that we'd like to eventually buy... our "big things wish list" so to speak.

Today we crossed another thing off it! What amazing purchasers we are.

We went to IKEA this afternoon - out of the need to take my dad's ute for a drive (did I mention that my folks have gone overseas again?). A late start again - we got there at 4pm. (This morning was spent at Dante's friend Marco's 6th birthday party.)

We bought a bunch of small things, as we usually do - a stuffed hippo (he's so cute), a shoe rack for the back door, a laptop table for the lounge room (called "Dave"! heheh). And then Dan went to the bargain area - the "as is" section of the store for damaged/ex-display items. And there was our dining table. One we'd had an eye for a while. It had a few small dents and scratches but otherwise was in good nick.

I ummed and ahhed about buying it - it was damaged, and I wanted a shiny new one! But Dan was quite keen, and the price was just too good to pass up - 62% off! So we bought it. And now that it is in our kitchen/dining area, I'm so glad that we did. The scratches are barely noticeable. Same with the dents. It would have got dents and scratches soon enough with the kids, anyway. It sits 8 people without being extended (when it can sit 10 or 12 people). It looks nice. And I don't have to worry about it getting damaged (too much) since it came like that!

Friday, October 13, 2006

And the holidays are gone in a flash

Today was the last day of the school holidays. Already! These holidays have gone by incredibly quickly. Such a contrast to the other two holidays we've had so far. Well, I was in China for most of the first one and had to work for most of the second one.

Dante has spent the last three days at a Multi-Sport Camp at Uni - from 9am - 3pm each day they play a variety of sports (the usual basketball, soccer, tennis as well as more interesting sports like judo, lacrosse, tae kwon do, wrestling and fencing)! It goes for five days but we booked him in for three days instead so he missed out on lacrosse and judo... but he had a great time over all! His school friend Ewan went, too, so they were in the same group. I think having someone he knows there made a big difference.

We'll make a jock out of him yet :)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sleepy time bliss

Dan and I have a list of "big" things which we want to buy eventually... ≥19" LCD monitors, a nice dining table, new blinds for parts of the house (instead of large bits of cardboard in some windows)... you get the idea. We occasionally allow ourselves to purchase these items depending on how our bank balance is doing.

So, to celebrate baby no. 3's gender discovery, we decided to get one of the most important items on our list... it was added to the list last time I was pregnant, and moved to the top of the list this time. A new mattress! As long as Dan and I have been together we've had futon mattresses. We like the firm bed, but it is hard on hips when you've got a lot of extra weight on your body and can't sleep on your back, like in the second half of pregnancy.

We quickly looked up some bed shops nearby, found out the addresses and called one up to check their closing time. We needed to do that since it was 3:30pm and we still had to pile the kids into the car and drive to the shops. We drove down Parramatta Rd looking for that particular shop but ended up pulling into a different one - it was on our side of the road (no u-turns or right-hand turns necessary! Yay!). By that time Dante was fast asleep and it was after 4pm. We weren't sure that we were going to actually buy something. I thought it would be better to shop around first and see what we liked.

Dan asked if I wanted to take the first "shift" - what we usually do when one kid is asleep in the car. I responded "Nah. It's a bed shop! We'll just take him inside and plonk him on a bed!". Which is exactly what we did. Thankfully the sales person we had was lovely and didn't mind one bit. She showed us a bunch of beds, happily keeping an eye on Atti (who was climbing all over them) while we lay down to try the mattresses out. Of course we ended up buying one that we like - Dan and I are good at the impulse buying :) We were in the store for about an hour, and Dante did not stir the entire time we were there. They actually reminded us to take him with us when we had completed our transaction! Talk about good service! And even better, rather than waiting 10 days for it to come in, they had one in stock that we could come and collect today!

So this morning I sent Dan and my father off to the shop in the ute and they collected our most glorious new viscose-elastin queen size mattress that took a much bigger bite out of our wallets than we were planning on. At least it will last us many years to come.

After I put Atti down for his midday nap, I lay down on the new bed to see how it felt. Hmm... If you have watched Australian TV you might remember an advertisement recently where there is a kid jumping on one of two beds in his room - then he jumps over to the other bed and instantly falls asleep. It's meant to show you how comfortable their brand of mattress is. Well, I felt like I was in that ad. Not the jumping up and down bit, but definitely the falling alsleep instantly bit. I was asleep within minutes, and slept for about as long as Atti did - almost two hours. Talk about a long nap!

And now I am looking forward to many years of blissful, comfortable sleep on my most wonderful new bed.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Pink, pink, pink!

Today's my brother's birthday. 40 years old! Happy birthday Mark!

It certainly has been a day of celebration. I had my 18 week fetal anomaly ultrasound scan today. It went extremely well - everything is fine with bub. The sonographer checked the brain, the heart, a bunch of organs, we saw the legs stretched out, the hands and fingers, the face (the baby looks like the Terminator!!). Most importantly (besides the health of the child, I mean), we found out the gender of the baby. Stop reading now if you don't want to know!


As you can probably tell from the title of this post, we are having a girl! I've been desperately hoping that this baby would be a girl, and gearing myself up for lifelong disappointment if I ended up with three boys (since this is our last child). Everyone I've spoken to has said, "I guess you'll want a girl" when I talk to them. Same with the sonographer. She asked "What have you got already?". When I replied, "Two boys!", she answered "So, you'll be wanting a pink one, then?". And then proceeded to make us extremely happy by affirming that this one was indeed "pink". I've never felt so elated in my life. Well, that's not entirely true. Seeing the boys after they were born was pretty special. But this time, I cried tears of joy, and squeezed Daniel's hand so tight! The grin didn't leave my face for the rest of the day.

We brought Dante along to the scan - he is old enough now to work out what is happening. He was able to see that the thing on the TV was a baby, even demonstrating to us how she was lying (by getting down on the floor and putting his arms and legs up). We saw her footprints and hands, and profile - I think she has the same profile as Atticus! For the rest of the afternoon he kept kissing my belly... "I'm saying hello/goodbye to my little sister!".

Now, pink's not exactly my favourite colour in the whole world, and I know that we'll be inundated by it after she's born, but I don't mind. I know that I won't have to buy any clothes - with four older female cousins there will be plenty of hand-me-downs, as well as her brothers' clothes. Thinking of girls' names is the next important task. We have one in mind but need to pick a middle name to suit it.

But anyway, I'm so happy with this news. The sonographer did remind us that they cannot give us 100% certainty with this, but she was pretty certain (and showed us - no extra bits between the legs, and we could see particular girly bits, too). Yay!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

School holidays are here

The time has passed by before I knew it, again, and it is school holiday time again! Last holiday we were twiddling our thumbs and having a hard time thinking of things for Dante to do. These holidays, I've got so much planned that we've run out of days to fit it all in! There are friends to visit or have over, movies to see, museums to go to, and I've booked Dante into a sport camp for the last three days (it's not a "sleeping over" type camp, as you'd expect from the name - just a day thing).

Last night one of Dante's school friends, Ewan, slept over. It's the first time we've ever had a kid stay over that's not a cousin. The boys were terrific, though. Ewan's had sleep overs at friends' places before, so he was accustomed to sleeping in a strange bed. Dante will be going to his place next week for a sleep over, too! I hope he'll be just as good, although he's familiar enough with Ewan and his family that it should be okay.

I can't believe the year's almost over, though, with only one more term to go. Next school holidays will be a challenge, I think, since they are longer and I will be extremely large and unwieldy (being heavily pregnant, in case you'd forgotten)!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Kids are funny

Dante comes up with some real gems sometimes.

Sometimes it's just variations of common words. E.g. we call soft drink "buzzy drink", except for the short period of time when he started getting confused between "buzzy" and "fizzy" and ended up with "fuzzy drinks".

The other day in the car he asked Dan, "Have you ever looked inside a volcano?". It was just out of the blue - I don't know what he was thinking about. We certainly had not been discussing volcanoes at the time. Dan replied in the affirmative, and it was about 14 years ago. "Was that before you were a human?" Dante wanted to know!


Monday, October 02, 2006

Back from Ceylon

Yay! My mother came back from two weeks in Sri Lanka this morning. She went with a group organised by a friend from her cake decorator's group. There were a 18 of them in all, including just two men! My father didn't go - he was still recovering from an operation when it was all organised. He told me that this was the first time since all the kids left home that Mama had gone away without him (not including trips to visit family). He was a bit lonely this past fortnight and we tried very hard to make sure he ate and looked after himself. It was cool, though - he was so happy to see me and the kids in the afternoons when we got home. And I was very happy for him to look after them while I crashed out for a bit!

My mother had a lovely time. She was quite tired after the flight via Singapore but the relief was obvious on all our faces when we saw her this morning. (Atticus wouldn't let her out of his sight for at least half an hour!)

The group toured all around the island, from Colombo to Galle, Kandy and I'm not sure where else! They ate lots of yummy (but spicy) food, rode elephants and visited the Dilmah tea factory. She brought back a kilo of tea leaves - ooh, it's the nicest, freshest tea we've ever had. Yum! They did a lot of shopping... t-shirts, batik, cinnamon oil, curry powder. Mama said that she did half as much as a lot of the other ladies. They visited a Mother Teresa orphanage, and the tsunami-affected areas in the south. Best of all, though, in my opinion, she came back relaxed and happy, and safe!