Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2009 - Be the Change You Want to See!

Been ruminating on new years resolutions since Box Day (I do this every year, LOL), and there are just so many things I want to resolve to do, I've been having a hard time coming up with a cohesive theme... Finally, it occurred to me that my biggest challenge is my own frustration, this nagging frustration I have over things not changing, or not changing fast enough...

Little things...

Like the house being untidy, Dave not doing the dishes completely, the yelling that goes on around here, me not starting on that blasted novel, being frumpy and overweight, spending money on things we don't really need, and the list goes on and on... Mostly, I just dwell on these frustrations and think, "I must do something about that..." But then I don't do anything because it feels too overwhelming, too much to throw myself into fully...

By why not do something right when I think about it. Why not "Just Do It" as Nike says? Seize the Day! Carpe Dium!!!

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE!!!

So, that will be my theme for 2009! Rather than wish things or other people would change, I'll EFFECT CHANGE by being the change I want to see. So, the next time I groan inwardly because there is so much yelling in this house, I will remember not to yell, to be that example to the other people in this house. The next time I see dishes I wish weren't just left lying around, I will pick them up and stack them in the kitchen or wash them and put them away. Rather than wish someone would make the change for me, I'll make the change IN ME!

I will endeavour to write 1000 words a day on my novel - even if it's utter drivel, just get it down on the page!

I will be the calm, respectful tone I want to hear in this house.

I will take care of what I eat and drink so that my body can be healthy.

I will put away some money every fortnight, instead of spending all my pocket money on impulse purchases.

I will be the changes I want to see in my life. I will think it, then do it!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Productive days...

Ok, before I start listing all the stuff I've done in the past couple of days, I first want to show you a couple of happy snaps...
Here are my three big boys ready for afternoon tea at Nanna and Pa's - handsome fellows aren't they? They all seem to look good in black, even though Luey looks a little washed out in this photo (did he really have two top buttons undone, I didn't notice that on the day), the flash on my new camera doesn't like him...

Little Ari boy having a snooze at Nanna and Pa's with his new lullaby Elephant (VERY soft, lights up, terrible synthesized melody)...

Here's Ari in his inflatable toy ring thingy yesterday afternoon - he likes it in short intervals...

Ok, so moving right along to how productive I've been in the past couple of days...

Yesterday I:

  • Took down the Christmas tree and all the decorations and packed them away (including all the cards on the dining room wall)...
  • Moved Bryn's table and chairs into the boys' room - the bigger boys had been asking for this to happen for a few weeks already...
  • Moved the change table back into the Master bedroom (not necessary out in the loungeroom now that I'm in the bedroom throughout the night)...
  • Moved the small desk from the hallway to where the change table had been standing, in preparation for starting work on my novel...
The today, I did two loads of washing, and tidied wardrobe in the Master bedroom, so that it went from this:




To this:




And from this:



To this:




And finally, from this:



To this:



Then I did a bunch of small jobs that had just been floating about for a while:

  1. I cleared out the paper tray on the microwave...
  2. Cleared out the "bits and pieces" from the glass crockery cabinet...
  3. Cleared out my paper holder above my desk...
  4. Put my brother's phone number and address in my mobile...
  5. Put a bunch of photos in an album...
  6. Filed away paid bills...
  7. Folded a basket of washing and put it away...
So, I'm pretty pleased with my efforts for today...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Two Months Old

Ari has reached the two months old milestone today, and already I can see so many changes in him. I have none of that mourning of infancy that so many mums feel; each day that passes becomes more enjoyable than the day that preceded it for me. As he grows and becomes more alert, interacts more with us, and is more content within his own body and it's wonderful to see!

In the past couple of weeks he's discovered his hands, focusing on them and then bringing them to his mouth. As a result of this, he now completely refuses to take the dummy, rofl! Oh well, easy come, easy go! I'm very grateful that he took it for the 7 or so weeks that he did, it was an improvement on the total rejection Luey and Bryn enacted!

In the past couple of days, he's shown that he can bring his hands to his mouth while laying down or sitting, and as a result of THAT, he is now left to his own devices during the night after the initial swaddling - that is, if he gets his hands out, I
don't rewrap him, I feed him when he wants to be fed and then left him sleep with his arms free. He still needs to be swaddled to go to sleep sometimes, but even that is becoming less required except when he's really fidgety (and then he'll grumble and complain at the boob until I wrap him, at which point he smiles at me and goes to sleep - I kid you not!)...

He's started batted at toys. This started as just the occassional "accidental" hit of a toy while in his rocker, but in the past week we've seen him focus on the toys and then purposefully bat at them with stiff arms. This morning I've just
blown up the inflatable ring with dangly toy archs that we've borrowed from Jennifer. He hasn't been in it yet, but we'll see if he likes it when he wakes up later...

Sleeping now happens in our bed at night, and breastfeeding bed is going swimmingly after a rocky start. I was laying him on a palette of blankets and shifting him from head height to breast height and back again between feeds, but now he lays at the breast all night and I'm getting more confident with that now that he's physically bigger, as well...

He's becoming quite a smiley, chatty little boy, and the boys are convinced he says, "Hello", "Eik" (Erik) and "Loo" (Luey), LOL! I have to say, the "hello" actually does sound like a hello, and it wouldn't suprise me if he is trying to say hello as it's the word he hears the most from all of us!

He definitely clearly understands and responds to a couple of phrases, those being; "Do you want to be wrappled like a bapple?" (do you want to be wrapped up?) and "Do you want some meh in the chair?" (do you want boobie)... He also responds to, "Do you want Other Side? Ok, then you need to left go, open mouth" - at which time he'll usually release the nipple so I can swap sides.

When one boob is empty, he will kick like a donkey and grunt at me, rofl, as if to say, "Hey, where's my flow gone?" Also, if he wants boob and I'm holding him upright against my chest or over my shoulder, he'll launch himself to my left trying to get at the boob, rofl! He's a very determined boy already!

He searches for the boys if I say, "Where's your Erik/Luey/Bryn?"

I'm guessing that he's about 5kg now, which means he'll definitely have doubled his weight by three months of age, which just blows me away! Erik could never have done this, as he'd have had to gain 4.5kg in three months, rofl, but Ari had a good chance at it as he only had to gain 2.75kg, and he's definitely gaining weight hand over fist - he looks huge now compared to when he was born!

His hair is growing in again, it's nearly as long as it was at birth and is looking dark blonde/light brown. His eyes are still blue, but there's plenty of time for change yet, so we won't count on them staying blue just yet - though we found out yesterday that three of Dave's grandparents had blue eyes, and that includes both of Dave's dad's parents, even though FIL himself has brown eyes.

I'm happy to report that Ari did not develop colic, and at 8+ weeks, I'm considering us "Out of the Woods" on that score! We've faired pretty well with colic in our boys, only 1 from the 4 had it, that is pretty much what our odds are expected to be (on average 1 in 3 babies develop colic)... Ari has reflux like the other three had, but the painless variety that Erik and Bryn had, not the excruiatingly painful variety Luey had...

He is also mostly holding his head up now, though he gets a bit wobbly after a few minutes...

I just love that he's getting bigger, sturdier, and more interactive and each day reveals more of his personality!

I was discussing a tattoo design with my brother the other day and part of it will be four runes characterising the boys, Erik's rune is Movement, Luey's is Warrior, Bryn's is Joy, and Ari's - from what he has shown about himself already - is Strength!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Fun...

Ok, so the big days finally arrived!!! The boys were over the moon about their new trampoline, and even willingly lined up to take turns (the rule is, one on at a time, and luckily the warning card that came with the trampoline backs us up!)...

Bryn first!

Then Erik! See the cable in the background? When we first set up the tramp the night before, it was under that cable, until Dave realised Erik would be able to reach it if he tried - and we both agreed, he WOULD try, hehehe - so we had to rearrange the front yard to move away from the cable...


Luey's turn...


Bryn was pretty pleased with the trampoline, can you tell?


Here's our drowning Christmas tree... Please bear in mind we have four children...


Christmas dinner - these days it's a casual affair because we dress up to go to Dave's parents place, but in future we'll dress up for our own Christmas dinner... Oh, and I can't wait until next year, when Ari will be able to sit up to the table with us and we'll have a full table!!!


My two big posers boys and their news scooter and roller blades!


Masks were one of the presents from my parents, very popular here!


And this is one of my Dad's presents for Bryn, also very popular!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New Pram Liner...

Ari has decided he wants to be able to see more when in the pram and wants to be inclined more, which means I want him to wear his harness so he doesn't fall out of the pram (yes, I've had that happen once before, with Bryn)... In order to use the harness, I had to stop using the soft blankets I'd been laying in the seat to make it softer, and I couldn't use the lambswool that came with the pram because I suspect it gives Ari dry skin...

So, I had to order a pram liner. I was pointed in the direction of Indi Bebe on ebay, and because I was in a bit of a rush to get a new liner, I organised privately to buy one the maker had prepared for a market stall last weekend. That meant I only had three to choose from (designed for my pram), and so I went with the colourful "Traffic Jam on Blue" fabric... It wasn't going to match anything else I had, but it was bright and cheerful and went with my red pram...



Well, it arrived today, and it's lovely, BUT even better is that the reverse side is covered with a cobolt blue dotty minky!!! I love the reverse side even more than the patterned side! So, I'll use the minky side while he's little and the patterned side when he's old enough to appreciate the cars!

Taking up Jayne's tag...

The stuff in bold is the stuff on this list I've managed to do already...

1. Started your own blog.

2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band.
4. Visited The Great Barrier Reef.
5. Stood under the stars in the outback, the real outback – think Uluru.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to the Gold Coast’s theme parks – anyone, you take your pick.
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sung a solo.
11. Bungee jumped, jumped out of plane, been paragliding or hang-gliding, hot air ballooning – you get the idea, you’ve been hundreds of metres about earth in a seemingly flimsy contraption.
12. Visited Melbourne.(lol not hard, I live here!)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.
15. Had a child. Raised a child. Worked with children.
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Been to the Snowy Mountains.
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Visited the Brett Whitely studio in Surry Hills, Sydney.
20. Slept on an overnight train or bus.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Been backpacking.
23. Taken a mental health day.
24. Been buried in sand with just your head and toes sticking out.
25. Held a possum, kangaroo or koala – or any other native Australian animal.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Been in a fun run.
28. Been on the Blue Mountain cableway.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Played, or watched, summer cricket.
32. Sailed, kayaked or canoed our beautiful waterways.
33. Seen the Daintree.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
35. Visited an Aboriginal settlement or mission.
36. Learned a new language.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Toured the Sydney Opera House.
39. Tried rock climbing (indoor or outdoor), abseiling or just simple bush walking.
40. Visit Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art.
41. Been to the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
42. Sunbaked at Bondi.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant.
44. Visited Broome.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance.
47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone fishing.
49. Seen Tasmania’s old growth forests.
50. Been to the top of Q1, on the Gold Coast.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkelling.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theatre.
55. Been in a movie.
56. Driven the Great Ocean Road.
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class.
59. Visited Norfolk Island.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Guide biscuits.
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Got flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma.
65. Gone jet boating.
66. Visited Port Arthur.
67. Bounced a cheque.
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favourite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Australian War Memorial.
71. Eaten Caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Federation Square.
74. Been on the Murray River.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Travelled, or climbed, over the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Three Sisters at Echo Point, Katoomba.
80. Published a book.
81. Visited St Mary’s Cathedral, in Sydney.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Been to Hermannsburg.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited Parliament House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox.
89. Saved someone’s life.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Saved a pet.
95. Been to the site of the Eureka Stockade.
96. Swum in The Whitsundays.
97. Been involved in a lawsuit.
98. Owned a mobile phone.
99. Been stung by a bee.
100. Read an entire book in one day.

61/100 - not too bad, LOL...

If you haven't been tagged yet, consider yourself tagged now!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dad's visit...

It was a lovely warm day today, so we started the day hanging out in the front yard before Dad came to visit...


Here's what I see from my fave pozzie on the front porch... Imagine the smell of lavender on the warm breeze and you're there!


The dynamic duo enjoy a peaceful moment! (can I just take a moment to point out the chapter book on the table there, it's Luey's and it's the first Harry Potter book, and he's reading it all by himself BECAUSE HE WANTS TO!!! I'm so proud, I could burst, but of course, I can't bring too much attention to it with him or he might become all self-conscious!)


Buddha boy playing in the front yard while the rest of us are "being boring"...


Tiny having a micronap!


And then Dad turned up and we all hung out some more, and chatted about all sorts of stuff until he headed home just after the boys went to bed. Got a couple of photos with him and the boys (look at how he's holding Ari, rofl, he's such a natural...). OMG, and then as he was leaving he gave me some money to buy the boys Christmas presents! This is a big deal! So tomorrow Dave will be off to Toy Kingdom to buy the pressies!


Oh and finally, the boys trampoline was delivered today, and they saw it being delivered so they know they're getting it, and are super excited and can't wait for us to set it up, LOL...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mike's visit...

Michael came for a pre-Christmas visit today. He needed to pick up Chrissy presents for himself and my parents, as well as pick up his travel itinerary for his trip to Adelaide tomorrow, and to have lunch with us, etc...

We had a good long chat about tattoos seeing as he's now started a new career as a tattooist (has never done this before in his entire life, but is an artist, so is good with the drawing/design aspect of it all)...

He showed me his new tatts (first ever, he's never been interested in having tattoos before, but I guess you can't work in the industry and NOT actually have your own ink done, hehehe)...

Here's one his boss did for him...

Three Runic symbols which basically stand for "Genuine Creative Energy"... This is only the first part of a bigger design that will take about four sittings to complete, and then he'll have a matching one on his other arm.


And here's his first attempt of doing his own ink - it's a bit wobbly, and he said if anyone had done that bad a job on him, he'd have to deck them, but he reckons it's all cool because he can (and will) clean it all up once he's had a bit more practice. He did all that work in 2 hours and that really impressed his boss (particularly because he was doing the work on himself, upside down)...


And then he wanted me to take some pics of himself to show Dad when he visits tomorrow... So, here is his everyday face...


His, "I'm being a tool" face...


Showing Dad his family inheritance, "Look Dad, just like you!"


"Yeah, man, I'm a tough ink'd dude, now!"

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Joyful, Joyful!


If you could see me now!

Sitting here in my pjs, crooning my little heart out!

This is actually why I LOVE Christmas... The legimate opportunity to sing Gospel. I LOOOOOVE singing Gospel. I miss my Choir days, seriously. It is a little known fact that I actually have quite a good voice. I'm not so great on my own when other people are in earshot because of my nervous throat (totally tightens up, rofl), but in a Choir... That's another story altogether, I'm great in a choir and have had the honour of being especially requested to come sing in a choir because they needed a "good soprano" to fill out the sound, aahhh, that was a proud moment...

So, I love Christmas because at Christmas I don't feel silly singing all my fave gospel hits. I swear, in a previous life I was a Gospel singer, I feel so at home with that genre of music.

Meanwhile, poor Dave, he really doesn't appreciate Christmas Carols or Gospel music, so has had to go hide in the study, rofl...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Finally!

Got a call late this afternoon from Target to tell me my order of an 8ft trampoline for the boys had fainlly arrived (hey, I ordered it in August for crying out loud!)... Unfortunately, even though the girly girl reckoned it could fit into a hatch back with the back seats laid down, she told me it was heavy enough to require two men to deliver it to my house, so that is going to cost me $60... I asked if they wouldn't forego the cost of delivery seeing as they'd made me wait FOUR MONTHS for the product to arrive in store... Hmmmmm, NO, that wasn't possible... Oh well, the boys will be very excited to get this particular present for Christmas, they have NO IDEA it's coming!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Little things that annoy me...

I'm sitting here with a phone to one ear because I cancelled my Visa card with the Nstional Bank a month ago - cut up my card and was assured the account was now fully closed - at today I received a STATEMENT on my cancelled card telling me I'd accrued $2 interest on the card. In other words, the credit card that was $1000 in credit before being CANCELLED, is now $1002 in credit... Nice to know, except that I DON'T WANT A CREDIT CARD, and I told the rather insistant chappy on the phone that a month ago, grrrrr....

The other annoying thing is that a garden seat I ordered through Deals Direct arrived today and when I went to construct it, I discovered that one of the bolt holes wasn't properly punched through the metal (so the bolt can't go through the hole)... Great, so now I have to organise to return the seat before it can be replaced (I'm telling you, that had better not cost me anything). That's not even the annoying bit. The annoying bit was that I can't RING someone to find out how to get it sent back to them, I can only email them or do "live chat", which means it's at their discretion when they respond to me, and there is a 30 day time limit for me returning this item, so they COULD just not reply to me if they wanted to... Now, they probably won't do that (it would be bad for business after all), but it's the not knowing, the not having talked to a "real person" that annoys me - geez, I must be getting old...

So, just finished a loooong conversation with another NAB guy, and he says my NEXT statement will be the last one, and did I want him to send me a cheque for the 2.78c that I'm in credit? Hmmmmm, no, I don't, just stop sending me JUNK MAIL and I'll be happy (and to think they used to charge me for sending statements...).

Oh, and one more thing annoys me... When my DH rings me to ask what we're doing for dinner because he has some leftovers for the boys and he has to go do shopping for his parents tonight, so I tell him something simple and he says, "Ok, if I have enough money..." In other words he doesn't have any money on him, so what he really was asking was if I minded eating "scratch" from the pantry... @##$%%^^%$^&&%$#@@

Just a little bit of self-control...

I need to work on controlling my impulses - this is a life long issue for me, I'll admit that much...

So, this morning I've been working on opening a new savings account. Thanks to Mr Rudd's economy boosting payment to low income parents and pensioners, we're in a position to finally have some savings. Yeah, yeah, I know that's not what he told us to do with the money, but my understanding is that whatever we do with the money will help to boost the economy, so it doesn't really make any difference what we do with it, as long as we don't just set it alight...

We have spent some of it. We're all getting some very nice Christmas presents this year, that we might not otherwise have afforded ourselves, so we have succumb to the consumerist mentally a little bit...

However, now that the money is (rapidly) dwindling down to the amount I'd previously decided to stick into a savings account for us, I'm feeling anxious to get that money "put away"...

I was going to put it into a term deposit account, so that I simply could not access it for a set term, but a few things make me nervous about doing that... Not being able to access the money in an emergency, not being able to set up direct debit from a nominated account (if I understand things correctly) and term deposits not being covered by the government deposit guarantee - well, maybe they are, but my bank makes a point of stating that some accounts are covered and some aren't...

So, I've opted for an online saver account instead. I've also set up a direct debit savings plan to put away $100 a fortnight on top of the initial deposit. So, hopefully by the end of 2009 we'll have a night little amount accrued, yay!

The thing is, the online saver account is directly linked with my regular account, and at the click of a button (well, a few clicks) I can instantly transfer monies to my nominated account and then use them. Being somewhat impulsive (that's a bit of an understatement), I'm concerned that I might be able to justify accessing our savings in errant moments of lusting after stuff... I investigated having the online savings account "hidden" from my dashboard, so that when I log on, I don't see it there, and would have to seek it out to see it, but apparently that isn't possible.

Soooooo, in addition to dedicating myself to a savings plan in 2009, I now must dedicate myself to some self-restraint. Gosh, wanna wish me luck with that???

Also, this whole "saving without a clear goal" thing is totally new to me. I'm really very good at saving with a goal in mind, because I tend to be a very goal oriented person, but saving for savings sake alone is totally new to me. As I was telling someone last week, I tend to have a lot of faith that come what may, we will be ok - we always have been, so I don't tend to live in fear of insurmountable crises befalling us (and therefore needing emergency money)...

I guess this can be our "dreaming money", the money that allows us to do things we otherwise would just fantasise about, like moving house with short notice, if a great place became available in our preferred area, or maybe even buying that leather couch or that plasma tv (oooh, aaaah), or travelling to Iceland (ok, that might take a few years of saving to make happen, but you have to start somewhere)...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's been a great birthday!

First of, Ari let me sleep last night, woot!

I got to sleep in until about 8am (like WOW, man!)...

Then I was given some lovely pressies from Dave and the boys; a CD with the popular hits from the year I was born, some lavender/lime/lemon grass bath salts, a 700ml bottle of Baileys (YUM!!!), and a GORGEOUS set of SILK pyjamas (oooh la la!)...

Then after hanging out at home this morning, we went to the local shopping centre (so I could pick up Dave's Christmas present which was on hold) and the bus came pretty much on time.

When I went to pick up Dave present, I asked if the shop price matched because I'd seen the same item in another shop for $10 less... So, this shop matched that price, whoo hoo!

Then we went to the food court for lunch and even though the food court was packed, we happened upon a family leaving a table right in front of us - with 5 seats!!!

Then we went to JB Hi Fi and I found my Christmas present, a fantastic Nikon automatic camera with 8mp and ISO 2000 for under $200. The lady there said they were giving away free leather cases with that model, but then discovered they'd run out of the free cases, so she gave me a different (non-leather) for free, and then without telling me, knocked a further $16 of the camera, so that even with the case and the memory card I also bought, it only came to $203!

Then, as I was paying for that I spied something Dave has longingly told me about recently, so I bought that for his Christmas present, and he doesn't know about it or expect, so it'll be a real surprise, yay!!!

So, now Dave is cooking dinner, the boys are going to bed, and then I'll settle back with a nice glass of Baileys and milk!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Nostradamus would be turning 505 years old...

On the 14th of December - had he drank from the fountain of youth, that is...

I've always kind of been a bit thrilled that I share my birthday with that crazy old prophet... I'm sure that is why I decided NOT to be born on my EDD - November 22nd (though sharing a birthday with George Eliot wouldn't have been the end of the world, either)...

So, as I'm turning 37, I look back and wonder how I measure up to my own expectations of myself, at this point in my life...

Hmmmm, I've been married for 10 years - always wanted to "be married", ever since I was very little. Thought that was something pretty special, it meant I was loved and cherished (at least in my ideal world, it did)... So far, that is living up to my expectation - so that a PLUS...

I have four fantastic kids. I mean, they're REALLY FANTASTIC!!! Gosh, but Dave and I can't believe we managed to make such handsome little boys (yk, being that we're not exactly oil paintings ourselves)... But not only are they lookers, they're all extremely bright and gregarious and people seem to really like them! They're such individuals too, we have an artistic type who draws and writes and muses on the world; a sporty type, who is also very sensitive to the feelings of people around him; a little diplomat, who is charming and reasonable and rational beyond his years; and a VERY CUTE baby, who is yet to reveal himself but already we know he's very special! The boys would have to rate as four big PLUSES...

I have achieve a great level of education - ok, as with the other things, this is very subjective and does not mean (at all) that I feel this is something everyone needs, it's just something that was important to me (I feel the need to categorically state that because I know that lording "education" over people is a sore point for many people... For a woman who, as a girl, wasn't expected to finish highschool - and let's face it, I didn't actually finish highschool, I just made up for not finishing it later - to have a Masters degree and be working (ever so slowly) on a second is a fantabulous achievement (and I believe that alone gives me the right to use a made up word like fantabulous!)... Another plus...

I've lived on different continents, in different countries and cultures and experienced different ways of thinking about and viewing the world - I have my parents to thank for this one, of course... Plus!

I've learned how to make friends, and keep friends (this only took the first three decades of my life, I was a s....l....o....w learner on that score)... Plus!

Stepping in from the "big picture" a bit... I'm debt free, I wasn't a year ago, and that was playing on my mind, but as I turn 37, I've achieved this year's goal of being debt free and starting to actually SAVE some money... Ok, I'm not exactly sure what I'm saving for just yet, but I'll figure that out as I go along...

Generally speaking, I feel like I'm a very good place in my life atm. There are things I'm still working on (achieving that first big publishing goal, getting to and maintaining a healthy weight range, rofl, finding a visual art I can excel at!), but without things to strive for, what is life?

So, I'm no Nostradamus, but hey, I'm doing ok for someone who has lived 37 years (especially considering I was pronounced dead three times while being born, rofl)...

Yay me!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Starting a new cycle of change...


So, if you look at my profile pic, you can see what I looked like when I got up this morning, and the picture above is what I look like now... Obviously, I've had my hair lightened. Organised for Dave to wander around the local shopping mall with Bryn and Ari (sleeping in the pram - I made sure he was well and truly fed before my appointment)... Took two hours and I'm really happy with it...

Not so happy with my wandering left eye though, and geez Louise my teeth look bad - but I can't do much about those things, so I have to focus on the changes I can make to make myself feel a little less like someone's matronly aunt and a little more like the young 37 year old mum I'll be in 48 hours time...

So, have played with my hair, and my next goal is to lose the excess weight - so keep an eye out in my link for my weightloss blog's reappearance in the next couple of weeks! Back in 2006, I embarked on a personal health plan that I dubbed "50 weeks of fabulous"... Beginning on January 1st, I aimed to make small changes in my life every day and week for the 50 weeks leading up to my 35th birthday. I went from 101.1kg down to 69.8kg in that time, it was indeed fabulous... Then 2007 I worked towards conceiving Ari, I did put on some weight during that year, then this year I gestated with Ari, and put on a bit more weight, and so next year I'm going to lose all that weight again...

I'm looking forward to it!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Trying to Catch Up...

Ok, I've barely had time to scratch myself since coming home, but thought I'd better get these photos up before even more photos fill my camera and the workl0ad expands to intolerable proportions...

So, the trip to the Barossa (to visit my parents) was fabulously relaxing, and honestly I could have stayed for another week, but all good things must come to an end...

Here's Ari saying hello to Amma Yja (aka my mum) on our first morning there...


A study of concentration...


And then it was, "Hello, Grandpa Lester!"...


As my parents had missed so many firsts already, we saved Ari's first bath for this weekend! He loved it!!!


Having snuggles with Amma, while she sings "horrible Icelandic nursery rhymes" (about bad, bad men who live in the mountains and steal sheep)... Put him to sleep every time!


Grandpa Lester building a pergola in the back yard...


The pergola is nearly finished! We spent most of our time outside sitting here, it was very peaceful!


Having a chat with Grandpa...


Family portrait...


So sleepy before heading home on the airplane...


It was good to be home with big brother Bryn!

Teenagers and the failing parent...