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The insect bite

1 Jan

Last year (technically, the year before last, since it’s now 2014…), we attempted to camp at our friend’s property on New Years Eve.  The result was lots of screaming, lots of crying, not much sleeping, and going home to our familiar beds in the middle of the night.

Call us crazy, but we figured Daniel would be old enough this year (err…last year) to be ok with sleeping in a tent, so we gave it another go.  When kid bed time came around, once again, there was lots of screaming, lots of crying, and not much sleeping.  By Daniel, Hannah was loving the whole tent thing.  In the end, we let Daniel watch Thomas on the couch in the house until he was practically asleep, and then I laid in the tent with them until he was out.

He woke up in the middle of the night, stood up, and walked around the tent whilst crying until I laid him down in his bed (he had been sleeping with his legs on Hannah’s bed and his face on the bottom of the tent).

But we made it through the whole night without having to take the kids home, so that’s progress. Even Rosie (the puppy) quietly slept all night in her crate and only asked to go out for a potty break once. The kids slept pretty darn well too.  I, on the other hand, had a horrible nights sleep.  Clearly, 30 years old is too old for sleeping on a very thin Therm-a-Rest mattress.  I tossed and turned all night, with whatever body part I slept on getting sore rapidly.  I think it’s time we bought a thick, comfy, needs-a-pump-to-blow-it-up air mattress.

As we woke up in the morning, we noticed Daniel’s bright red ear.  We thought that sleeping with his face on the tent floor must have irritated it.  Maybe there was something hard under his ear as he slept for who know how many hours.

By 1pm though, it was still bright red.  It looked like a Santa coloured ear balloon.  Today is New Years Day though, so the doctors office isn’t open.  Instead, I called the after hours doctors, who told me they were full until 5pm and it could be a number of hours after that until someone could finally come to my house to see Daniel.  I called the medical advice line, who advised me that he should see a doctor in the next 24 hours, but didn’t think it warranted a visit to the hospital.  So we waited for the after hours GP.  And waited.  And waited.

At 7pm, the doctor came, and told me it was an allergic reaction to an insect bite, though he couldn’t say for sure what kind of insect.  In addition, he thought it likely that the bite was infected.  A bottle of antibiotics, another of anti inflammatory, and another of antihistamine later, and hopefully his ear will go back to normal.  If the redness spreads, he has to go straight to the hospital. We’re hoping that doesn’t happen because, obviously, that would suck for poor Daniel, but also because we’re driving for 4 hours tomorrow to go see Aaron’s dad and attend the funeral of Aaron’s Nanna.

Stupid bugs.

Daniel's freakishly swollen right ear.  I tried to get a photo of the front and side of the ear, but he moved his head too much. So sticking him in the swing and taking it from the back as he watched Rosie

Daniel’s freakishly swollen right ear. I tried to get a photo of the front and side of the ear, but he moved his head too much. So sticking him in the swing and taking it from the back as he watched Rosie

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A puppy for Christmas

31 Dec

We’ve been waiting 5 weeks to get our beaglier x mini foxy puppy. I had these day dreams of our family going to the park together in the evening with the puppy, all of us running around, laughing and having fun.  We will do that, in addition to taking her for runs, walks and play dates with other dogs.  It’s hard waiting, but puppies are vulnerable to the canine parvo virus, which is spread by faeces, and can kill young pups.  Going to the park, or anywhere else a puppy might come into contact with other dogs poop could be deadly until they turn 12 weeks and receive their parvo virus vaccination.  Right now she is only 8 weeks old.

I also didn’t realise that having a puppy would deprive me of sleep for a number of weeks.  They can’t go all night without needing to pee and/or poop, which means I also have to wake up to take her out to pee/poop.  It’s like having a newborn.  And like having a newborn, even though they are hard work, looking at her adorable face, and getting great cuddles makes it totally worth it.  I’m just glad this night waking thing should be over by the time university starts back up next year so my brain won’t be in a sleep deprived fog whilst I try to get good marks in chemistry.

On Christmas eve, I picked up our new puppy.  I got home long after the kids had gone to bed, upping my chances of concealing the puppy until morning.  She whined a lot over night, had to go to the bathroom 3 times, and kept us up for many hours.  We couldn’t really blame her though, we did take her from her mom and dad, we were strangers, and we completely changed life as she knew it.

In the morning, we woke the kids from their slumber (perhaps I was more excited about seeing their reactions to their presents then they were about getting them in the first place…), sat them in front of the Christmas tree, and then brought out the special present.  I’d wrapped the flip lid box  so that it was still a flip lid box, just a very Christmasy one.

Hannah and Daniel groggily sit in front of the tree

Hannah and Daniel groggily sit in front of the tree

I should have waited for the kids to wake up a bit first, but we were impatient, so their reactions were not exactly the over the top, screaming with excitement type we were going for, but they were groggily excited nonetheless.

Each day Rosie settles in more and more.  Hannah adores her and wants to cuddle and play with her all day long.  Daniel is a bit scared of her since Rosie thinks a human running means they want to play.  Daniel runs from her, which entices Rosie to run after him, which in turn scares Daniel, makes him run faster and then gets Rosie even more excited for play time.  He’ll get used to her though.

When she wakes up in the morning, Rosie is like a 6 year old who’s consumed a huge bowl of lollies.  Absolutely wild.  She tears around the house trying to chew on anything and everything like a tiny ball of energy.  Needless to say, she will be going for morning runs with me as soon as she has that vaccination.

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Fighting

22 Dec

“I’m playing with my balloon.” Daniel told me with a smile on his face.

“I WAS GOING TO PLAY WITH THAT!” Hannah said in that really obnoxious whingey, whiney voice as she bounded out of her room with her hands on her hips upon hearing Daniel’s toy choice.

“Well you weren’t playing with it, and you didn’t say you wanted to play with it, so Daniel can play with it right now” I told her.

“But I was about to go and get it.” She told me, as if I would suddenly steal the balloon away from Daniel and joyfully place it in her hands instead.

This scenario is played out many, many times every day.  Not just with Hannah wanting something Daniel is playing with, but vice versa as well.  It seems like every time one of them has something, the other wants it too, even if he/she was happily playing with something else.

I never used to understand why moms of twins buy two of everything.  Two of the same outfit, two of each toy.  When I only had one kid, I thought that was a total waste of money.  Couldn’t one twin play with one toy while the other played with something different?

Ha.  Not. Even. Close.  My kids may not be twins, but I suspect that with twins, this whole sibling rivalry thing starts much earlier and is probably more intense.  Considering Hannah and Daniel’s constant fighting makes me feel like screaming, or running away or something, I can definitely see the value in buying two of everything now.  After all, you can’t put a price on sanity.

It’s not even limited to actual toys though.  When we’re in the car, they fight over imaginary things too.

“Mommy, can I have Milo?” Daniel asks me.  As in Milo from Milo and Otis.  I hold out my hand and he pretends to take Milo from it, happy that he is in possession of his favourite cat.

“Can I have Milo too?” Hannah asks.  I repeat the process, handing Milo to her this time.

“I have Milo.” Daniel tells me happily as he pats his pretend cat.

“No, have Milo.” Hannah says grumpily.

“You both have Milo.  I gave one to each of you, remember.”

“I have Milo.” Daniel says, taking the fight bait that Hannah put out for him.

“I HAVE MILO!” Hannah yells.

“NO I HAVE MILO.” Daniel yells back.

Eventually Daniel starts crying as he shouts that he has Milo and Hannah’s grumpiness turns to anger.

It’s not always about Milo.  Sometimes it’s about Otis, or sometimes they argue about who Hannah’s imaginary friend Meet Lilly is sitting next to.  Sometimes it’s about which toy they will play with when they get home.  But it’s always something.  Every car ride.  Every day.

By themselves, they are both sweet, lovely kids, but together they turn into little fighting monsters and I have no idea how to make it stop.

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What really happens at nap time

13 Dec

Daniel hasn’t been napping for a while now.  Sometimes the silence makes me think he’s asleep in there.  But then books start coming out from under the door and I know the silence is not due to sleeping, he’s just being quiet.  We wanted to know what he gets up to in his room during nap time, especially since it always looks like a bomb went off afterwards, so Aaron attached the GoPro to their closet door and set it to time lapse mode.

Most of the time he has quiet time with Hannah in the living room where they sit on the couch and watch a toddler appropriate movie while drinking a sippy cup of milk.  Mostly so I don’t have to clean up his room after “nap” time.  The mess has gotten worse in the weeks since we took the video.  In addition to reading nearly all of the books on the shelf and not putting them back, he now also enjoys emptying every single one of his drawers full of clothes.  Folding all of his clothes every day is not exactly my idea of a fun or useful time, and is really annoying.  Needless to say, he is now on the quiet time plan.

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The line

16 Nov

Princess dresses, fairy outfits, tiaras and handbags were being strewn about on the playroom floor as Hannah searched for a specific costume.

“I want to wear a purple skirt.” Daniel told me, eying the purple dress that landed at his feet.

He carried the item in question over to me and I helped him put it on.

Dressing up is fun for ALL little kids.

Dressing up is fun for ALL little kids.

“Here Daniel,” Hannah said as she put a purse over his shoulder.

He slipped his feet into a pair of Hannah’s plastic dress up heels.  “I’m walking, I’m walking!” He told us, excited that he could walk in them without falling over.

Hannah grabbed the hot pink wig and placed it on Daniel’s head.

“NO, I’M NOT HAVING PINK HAIR.” He told us disgustedly while flinging it off his head.

Dress: Fine
Purse: Welcomed
Heels: Super fun
Pink wig: Absolutely not.

The line has been drawn.

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one down, one to go

14 Nov

I’m almost finished.  Er…for the year anyway.  I still have 5 more to go.  Today’s final exam was pretty much my nemesis: math.  After what felt like millions of hours of studying, staring at the formulas I taped to the walls in the bathroom and kitchen and watching videos from Khan academy though, I think I did ok.  What a relief.  And I don’t have to do any more math classes ever again.

On Tuesday, I have my last exam for the year, and then a big summer break until the end of February/beginning of March.  Crazy as it is, I think I’ll get a higher grade in my math class then my food science class.

As soon as I finish my exam on Tuesday, I’m going straight to see a litter of beaglier (beagle x cavalier king charles spaniel) x mini foxy (which is apparently an Australian breed, so you probably have no idea what I’m talking about) puppies.

See how adorable beagliers are? (random photo from the internet)

See how adorable beagliers are? How can you look at this and not smile? (random photo from the internet)

If I like them (I’m sure I will), I’m going to buy one, and then pick it up on Christmas eve to surprise the kids on Christmas morning. They still have absolutely no idea.  I’ve been playing the “what would you name it” game with them to stealthily see what they’d like to name a puppy if we had one.

This is a puppy from the litter I'm going to see on Tuesday.  They are a few weeks older now though, and have their eyes open

This is a puppy from the litter I’m going to see on Tuesday. They are a few weeks older now though, and have their eyes open

“What would you name an elephant if you had one?”

“Rosie.” Hannah said.

“What would I name a goose?” Daniel asked me. “Dog.”

“That would be funny, a goose named Dog.” I told him.

“What would you name a dog if you had one?” I asked them, after naming heaps of other animals first, so they’d have no thoughts of actually getting a dog.

“Otis.” Hannah said, with Daniel echoing her a second later.

Did I mention I want to get a girl dog?  I don’t want  pee all over the kids’ swing set, sand pit, bikes, and all their other outside toys.  I’m not sure if neutered male dogs are supposed to stop marking their territory, but I’ve seen some that still do, and I don’t want to take that chance.

Looks like we’ll be stuck calling a female dog Otis.  I hope she doesn’t mind that much.

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The Christmas crowds

8 Nov

It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but walking through the aisles of any supermarket, I am alerted to Christmas’ near presence by the abundance of displays filled with Santa Claus, advent calendars, stockings, and tree ornaments.  Alright, most people aren’t expats, so they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving over here anyway.  But I’m sure even over there in the U.S., aisles are filled with Christmas stuff.  And Thanksgiving stuff.  And probably bargain priced Halloween stuff that didn’t sell out in time.

Daniel and Hannah on Christmas morning last year.

Last year I left my Christmas shopping until the last minute and had to go out two days before Christmas and brave the crazy Christmas shopping drivers.  Seriously, stuff gets wild that close to Christmas.

This year, I have a new plan.  I’m going to shop online - starting at Quicksales.  I’ve already ordered some of Daniel’s beloved Thomas the Tank engine characters.  That way, I don’t have to take the kids shopping with me, ruining their surprise on Christmas morning, I don’t have to buy everything all at once (which is good for the budget, obviously), and I don’t deal with crazy Christmas drivers.

For their main present, the kids (and I…) are getting a puppy. I’ve researched the best breeds for kids, and I’m getting very excited.  I grew up surrounded by animals, so it seems natural to me.  We were thinking about getting a cat, but settled on a small dog because they are less likely to scratch and bite when you pull their tail or annoy them.  Kind of important when you have a two year old and a four year old.  Even puppies I can shop for online (crazy, right? But breeders have websites, and since we want a particular kind of dog, that’s the way to go), from the comfort of my own home, while the kids are sleeping and won’t have any idea what their present will be.

I can’t wait to see the look on their faces when they come out of their room on Christmas morning and see a puppy with a bow tied around her collar.  This is the first year that Daniel is old enough to understand what’s going on at Christmas time, so I’m even more excited about Christmas this year. Plus this is the first year we will be waking up to Christmas morning in our own house. Hannah is going to be so excited about the puppy, but I wonder which Daniel will be more excited about, the puppy, or more Thomas trains.  He does love Thomas trains….

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Racing Daddy

28 Oct

Aaron has finally joined me in the no-longer-considered-young-adult club.  He turned 30 this week.  For his 30th birthday blowout, he rode his motorbike to Melbourne (which is at least 12 hours from here) with some friends, and went to the MotoGP on Phillip Island, a race that was shown on free to air TV.

“Who wants to watch a motorbike race?” I asked the kids. “Daddy is there, he is in the sitting in the grandstands watching the race.”

“Daddy is racing!” Daniel said excitedly.

“No, Daddy is watching the race.  See all those people sitting down,” I told them as I pointed to the grandstands in the background on the TV, “Daddy is in there somewhere.”

“No, Daddy is racing his motorbike!!!” Daniel exclaimed with glee, confident that somehow Daddy has been moonlighting as a motorbike racer.

This is what happened when the race started:

P.S. Check out my most recent review of Arbonne skincare.

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Maybe it’s Daniel’s

30 Sep

On the outdoor glass topped table in Grandma and YaYa’s back yard sat a colourful ball of thin yarn, attached to a knitting needle by way of a newly started scarf.

As Daniel sat on my lap, his eyes immediately darted towards the colourful ball, prompting him to throw himself towards the table top in a failed attempt to grab the mesmerising yarn.

“No buddy, you can’t have that,” I told him.  “That’s Grandma’s and you’ll ruin her knitting if you grab it.  Or maybe it’s YaYa’s.”

He looked at me, his eyes glistening with cheekiness, “or maybe it’s Daniel’s.”

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