About Me

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I am a mum to three beautiful kids and wife to a gorgeous man. We live on the fabulous NW coast of Tasmania, and this is a slice of my life - kids, adoption, family, dogs, chooks, God and more!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Four Years Ago Today...

we met the most beautiful little girl in the world. After almost three years of waiting, Alice Xiao Ying was placed in our arms for the very first time. I cried. She did not. We have come such a long way since then. She has changed from a scared, tiny, attachment-disordered little mite into a beautiful, sassy, funny and happy little almost five year old. God truly blessed us that day. This weekend we are off to St Helens to catch up with some of the other families we traveled with four years ago, which will be lots of fun. All the girls (the China sisters!!) are the same age, so it will be a busy, energetic and fun-filled time. I will post pictures when I get home, but meanwhile, here are some before and after shots. What a difference four years makes!!!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Wow, almost three months...

.........since I last updated my blog. What a slacker I am!!! I do have a excuse though - I started my Enrolled Nursing course on August 2nd and life seems to have become incredibly, crazy busy since then. I am just LOVING being back at school. In fact, I am pretty bummed at the moment because we are on school holidays!! Being back in learning mode is just wonderful - I had forgotten how much I enjoyed learning, and the buzz of finally studying to be a nurse still hasn't worn off. I can hardly believe how incredibly blessed I am to be finally pursuing a life-long dream. God is good indeed!!!
Aside from study, family life continues to occupy the majority of my time. Alice is SOOOO ready for school right now. I think the next few months will pass by very slowly for all of us - she wants to be at school NOW!!! Liam is also ready to move on. He has had enough of primary school and is very keen for high school. I have to keep reminding him that he does actually have to finish grade six before he can graduate to grade seven!! And Beth is busy planning her option subjects for grade ten next year. Wow, how did my curly-haired little toddler suddenly become a teenager going into grade ten????? Not only that, she is gung-ho keen to study medicine at Uni. I do hope that she is able to get in.
As for me, I have a little secret - I am having a significant birthday this weekend. Yep, that's right folks - the big 4-0!! I can hardly believe it. It doesn't seem that long ago that I remember being dragged along to my mum and dads friends' 40th parties. I clearly remember thinking that I could never possibly be THAT old, as I watched them careen drunkenly around, singing off key to that dreadful song 'Life Begins at Forty'. Well, my turn has come and I sure don't feel as old as I thought my parents' friends to be!! My birthday will be strictly free of all drunken renditions of that awful song, but perhaps I will drag out my old INXS CD"s and have a trip down memory lane. The Husband and I are going out to see a movie in the afternoon, and then he and the Big Girl are making me a gourmet dinner. Should be very enjoyable and not at all scary (I hope!!!)
Well, until next time, I sign off as a woman in her late thirties. My next post will be coming from my early forties - gulp........

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Off to the Theatre!!!!

Here in regional Tassie, good theatre is a true rarity. So that is why the Husband and I are off for a jaunt to Sydney on December 6th. The reason - Sam Mendes' production of Richard III with the luscious Kevin Spacey as the evil King. Be still my beating heart - anyone got some smelling salts??? Mendes directed Spacey in the Oscar winning (and utterly brilliant) American Beauty, and Spacey has starred in some brilliant films, including The Usual Suspects, one of my all time favourites. Roll on December!!!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

I GOT IN!!!!!!

After almost 12 months of preparing, written assessments and a nerve-wracking interview, I finally got the letter in the mail today that I have been waiting for - I GOT INTO THE ENROLLED NURSING COURSE!!!! Must admit I am feeling a little chuffed right about now, yet also slightly terrified about the fact that in less than three weeks I will be going back to school. I sure hope my old brain remembers how to work in a school environment, as it has been over twenty years since I started Uni (gulp - now I feel really old!!) Anyway, I am super excited to be finally fulfilling my life long dream of becoming a nurse. In two years time I will be a fully qualified Registered Nurse (Division 2) and will be able to go into my chosen field of work - aged care, with a special interest in palliative care. WHOOHOOO!!!!!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

A Slice of Life

We are slowly settling into the 'new normal' without our beloved Pop. He has left a huge gap in our lives and I still find myself thinking about dropping in to see him, only to remember a second later that this won't be happening again in this world. The funeral went really well. I managed to read my Bible verses without cracking up and my cousin David gave a brilliant eulogy. So, life is moving along, as it has a habit of doing, and I thought I should upload some pics of our recent shenanigans. The first couple of shots are of the Husband and I, all dressed up for a dear friend's surprise 50th birthday party. Can you guess the theme???!!!!! And what I want to know is why the Husband's eyes are fine but mine are red IN EVERY PICTURE!!! The last pic is of my little treat I gave myself on our recent Melbourne trip. Yep. it's real!!! The meaning?? Check this link out. xxx

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

A Bittersweet Day

Today I got the phone call that I had been expecting for the past few days - my beloved Old Pop passed away last night at the Mersey Hospital. He had been admitted to hospital almost two weeks ago with stomach pains, and gradually became sicker until he went to meet Jesus in the early hours of this morning. He was 94 and had lived an amazing life. He was Devonport born and bred, left school at 14 and worked in his dad's bacon shop. He turned that little shop into an international meat exporting business, became Mayor of Devonport in the 1950's and was involved in many, many local service groups and organisations. He even received an OBE from the Queen in the early 80's. He was a beloved dad to his three children, adored pop to seven (me included) and Old Pop to eleven great kids. He outlived his wife Joyce by nine years, but they were married for over 60, which is an amazing achievement. Vale Pop - we love you and will miss you terribly, but know that you are with Nan and dancing with the angels.
On a much happier note, I had the great fortune of spending the day with my lovely friend Merian and her daughter Bo, at Boat Harbour Beach this morning. Merian and her husband adopted Bo Hua at the same time we adopted Alice and the girls see each other as 'China sisters'. They are very different kids, but love to play together and share a very special bond. Merian is a truly wonderful lady and I am very blessed to count her as a friend. So today we played on the beach, swung on the swings and generally had a wonderful time. It was the perfect remedy for my melancholy and a day well spent with a great lady and her girl. Thanks Merian for being there. So, some photos below of our fun day at the beach and one of my lovely Old Pop. I am sure I have better quality ones around but this is the first I found.
Bo Hua tickling Alice's feet!!!
Sliding with stick!   
Inspecting a dead puffer fish (with sticks, of course!!!)
Beautiful Bo Hua   
Re-positioning Whiskers the Bear
Beautiful girl!
Playing chasings
Ready to jump!!!!
Melrose 'Bill' Holman, my old Pop.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Two Sleeps!!!

Only two sleeps to go until the Big Girl and I head off for our exciting, action-packed holiday across the Bass Strait. I am a teensy bit excited!!! mind you, the excitement has been tempered a little by my Pop's failing health. He was admitted to hospital last Saturday and is still there, quite unwell. I guess he is 94 and his time on this earth has been good, but it is still sad. He is a great grandad, and I am very sad to see him so very frail and unwell. Nevertheless, Melbourne beckons, and we will be heading off Saturday morning. Yippee!!!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Coming Up for Air

Little One
Annabelle Clare

Whew!!! What a few weeks it has been . My stint as single parent is now officially over (yeehah!!) as the Husband started holidays on Friday. Mind you, he has spent most of today at the orifice/office tying up loose ends, but it is now all done and he is officially on three weeks holiday - yay!!!! In other news, the past fortnight has been pretty sad with our two lovely bunnies getting myxomatosis and having to be put down. I have never been with a pet before whilst it was euthanized and I can safely say I NEVER want to do it again. Very traumatic indeed. So R.I.P Annabelle Clare and Little One - two lovable bunnies who are greatly missed, especially by my Big Girl who was their mum.
In other, more cheerful news, the Big Girl and I are off on a bit of a holiday in less than a fortnight!! We are off to Melbourne for a girly trip, focusing on shopping, shows and fabulous food. I have also been conned into going to a football match at the MCG by my baby sister. Now those of you who know me well will be familiar with my passionate hatred for all things football, but the Big Girl convinced me that we should go for the experience - not to mention the fact that her team is playing her Auntie's team on the day we are attending!! We are also off to see King Tut at the Melbourne Museum, and to see a show at the Melbourne Comedy Theatre. We are going all out and staying in a beautiful inner city hotel, and for those of you who are interested, I will be revealing a special little surprise when I return - photographs will be posted, so keep watching!!
Must be off and conjure up some dinner for the starving troops. Catch you again soon xxxx

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Single Parenting in a Marriage

Ahh, back again! Sorry for the absence, but, as you can see by the title above, life has been just a little bit hectic. Just a warning - the post you are about to read will more than likely contain a fair bit of gratuitous whining and whinging, as I have nowhere else to vent.
Don't get me wrong, I love my husband TO BITS!!! He is a fantastic man. We met almost 18 years ago at Uni, and the first time I ever laid eyes on him, he was wearing a sassy little silver mini dress. Unusual I know, but he was the lead actor in an ancient Greek comedy, and I had gone to watch with my then (but not for too much longer!!) boyfriend. Sitting there watching the play, I thought to myself that he was a pretty hot ticket item, but well beyond my means. Fate, however, had other plans. Thanks to a last minute withdrawal from the next Classics' Society production, I was invited to join the chorus of 'Orestes' and the rest, shall we say, is history. It was lust at first (or for me, second) sight, and we embarked upon a deliciously illicit affair. Long story short, we married three years after, had our first baby seven months later (yeah, you do the math) and have been married fifteen years this August.
We have had our ups and downs, as all couples do, with a pretty spectacular turning-thirty crisis on my behalf, but our love has remained strong and secure. But right now, things are hard. I am pretty much a single parent at them moment and I am not enjoying it much. He has a supreme court trial starting tomorrow, combined with his usual caseload plus several other major business-related issues, so he has been pretty much camping out at the office, coming home only to eat and sleep. His patience levels with the kids are at an all-time low due to the massive amounts of stress he is under, and he can be pretty difficult to deal with when he is like this. So single-parenting is my lot right now and I can't wait until it is over!!! Handling three kids, being Mum's taxi, solo-disciplinarian, homework-helper, chief cook and bottle washer, as well as all the other stuff that goes on in an average week, is pretty exhausting. But it will all be over (I hope!!) on April 15th wen my lovely husband starts three weeks holiday - WHOOHOO!!! He is planning to spend a fair bit of time on the golf course, but payback for me comes on April 30th when my big girl and I head off to the north island (Melbourne) for a three night mother/daughter getaway. We are going to a show, checking out the King Tut exhibition at the museum and shopping til we drop! We are also splashing out on a beautiful hotel, The Marriott, and generally indulging ourselves for a 72 hour period. We are both pretty excited, needless to say!!
So, in a roundabout way I have had a bit of a grizzle about solo parenting and the challenges it poses, but all in all, I wouldn't swap my spot in life for anything. I am blessed with a hard-working, loving and dedicated husband who still loves me, gray hair, extra kilos and all!! I am also very fortunate to have three healthy, happy, beautiful children who never cease to amaze and inspire me. God is good indeed!!!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

The Grossest Ensuite EVER!!!

I have been surfing the net looking for ideas for our yet-to-be-decided-upon new ensuite and I found this picture. I mean, what WERE they thinking???!!! It looks as if the Jolly Green Giant has had a great big vomit all over the bathroom. Even the toilet and the bidet are giant-puke green. And the gold duck bath tap is one of the rankest things in existence. Rest assured, I will most definitely NOT be taking any decorating tips from these guys!!!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Rocking with the Wiggles!

Alice and I had a complete blast today, travelling to Launceston to see the Wiggles. She did not stop dancing from the moment they came on stage to the moment she tearfully farewelled them. Tearful not because they were going but because they weren't waving to HER!!! And unfortunately no I have no photos. Usually at these events cameras are banned so I didn't bother taking mine with me. I could have kicked myself when Anthony invited people to take as many pics as they wanted....

Sunday, 13 March 2011

What's Under the Bucket????!!!!

No exciting prizes or giveaways, but I would love to hear your thoughts. I will let you know tomorrow if anyone guesses correctly!!!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Parenting a RADical kid

I haven't capitalised the first three letters of radical by mistake. RAD is an acronym for Reactive Attachment Disorder, and I am the mum of a little RADical. Parenting a RADical kid is challenging at times. The highs are high, but the lows can be very low. Thankfully, we sought intervention when Alice was very young (about 16 months old) and the therapy we did then made a HUGE difference to her ability to attach. Unfortunately though, RAD is something that often simmers below the surface and can rear it's ugly head when you least expect it. Since therapy back in 2008, Alice has seemed to be doing very well, but the past few months have seen a return of the RAD-ish behaviour, but in a different form. Whereas initially we had withdrawal and refusal of affection, now we have anger. This is not any normal anger - it is an anger that runs deep, and is almost primal in it's depth and expression. What triggers this monumental anger?? Not much!! Right now, she is unable to cope with me saying 'no'. A refusal to do what she orders is usually met with a scream of 'it's not FAIR!!!', accompanied by crossed arms and stamping. Further refusal to bend to her will is met with screaming, kicking, hitting, spitting and growling (like a wild animal). She also resists affection from her brother and sister, often hurting them in the process, or claiming (untruthfully) that they are hurting her. These episodes can be short-lived (a few minutes) or go on for much, much longer. When she is really having a 'screamer' she seems to lose all control and simply cannot stop the upwelling of anger. It breaks my heart to see someone so little so very, very angry. After she calms, I ask her what made her angry. More often than not, she doesn't know. I think that she is simply too young to realise that the anger comes from deep within her soul, and it is anger at her abandonment. She will probably not be able to pinpoint the reasons for her anger for many years yet, but it is still there, simmering under the surface. Sometimes I just wish that I could take it away and let her be just a normal kid without such extreme emotions, but I know that it is a cross she will have to bear. All I can do is be there for her, hold her whilst she rages, and let her know that it will be OK. I pray that, eventually, it WILL be OK. That's the thing about RAD - even when one phase passes, there are no guarantees that things are 'fixed'. And one of the most difficult things about RAD is that, on the outside, Alice looks like a perfectly normal, well adjusted and balanced child. When in public, she is, most of the time, angelic! It is only at home where she lets it all hang out.  Life with a RADical kid can be unpredictable, but it's not all bad. The feeling I get when this little, vulnerable person tells me that I am the best mummy ever, and that she never wants another mummy, is worth all the hard parts. She is my special little girl, and no matter what RAD throws at us, we shall make it through the other side.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

The Hounds

Snookie and my Dad
The Daisy chair
Just a couple of cute pics of the family hounds. Snookie is our latest addition, acquired from the Dog's Home about a  month ago. He is a seven-year old (or thereabouts) Labrador cross and is as sweet and gentle as can be. He is also very stubborn, occasionally naughty and a Houdini-wannabe. Fortunately we have a VERY secure yard, protected by a pet-safe electric fence, thanks to our number two dog, Daisy the Digger. Bella, the top dog, is also the smallest, smartest and cheekiest. I just LOVE the photo of her and Daisy - who needs a dog bed when you have a best friend???!!!!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Some Recent Photos

Alice's jie jie
Alice and her travel group buddy, Olivia
The husband looking cool!!!
Face painting, Australia Day 2011
Alice's ge ge on the waterslide, Australia Day 2011
The hounds - Snookie, Bella and Daisy
Blowing out the candles
Alice and her jie jie, January 2011
The awesome birthday cake, January 2011 (and no, I did not make it!!)
Alice doing her 'special' smile, CNY 2011
Alice and me, Chinese New Year 2011
Alice dancing at the travel group party!
Alice at her travel group combined birthday party, January 2011

For my friend Iso

THIS is a chook!!!
Chook, AKA the common chicken

I'm Baaaack!!!!

Well, many apologies for my unexplained and incredibly long absence. It has been a busy year since I last blogged, and in that time I have changed email addresses. This has meant that I can no longer access my old blog and thus felt motivated to start afresh. I can't promise regularity, hilarity, clarity or even anything of great interest, but I will attempt to upload some photos and get you all up to speed. No time right now to expand further but I promise I will catch up with photos very soon. Thanks for dropping by!!!!