A Grumpy Birthday

Happy birthday to you Grumpy!

We celebrated (last Sunday!) with cheesecake, a bike ride, some model tank building, chocolate cake, and watching the Snoopy Movie together to top it all off. Not bad for a Sunday. Happy Birthday Dad. You truly are a wonderful Grumpy 🙂

When mix-masters go bad

Frith bought me a Kenwood Mix-master for my first mothers day. As I’m sure you can imagine, I have given it quite a workout in the last seven years. Lots of birthday cakes and yummy desserts and even the odd savoury treat.

Last year, it started to lose some mojo. It just wasn’t beating as fast as it should have been on the highest speed, so Frith and our neighbour had a look at it and tried to fix it. It was also slightly off centre so it didn’t pick up all the mixture on each rotation. They did their best but it didn’t really improve on performance.

It still worked fairly well, so I just put it on the list of “once it breaks I’ll get a new one.” And since my Mum has had hers for decades I wasn’t expecting anything to change any time soon.

Things changed on Friday when I was mixing the batter for Julius’ birthday cake. It’s one of those really runny cakes (and literally the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made) and it was on the very lowest setting while I was pouring in the hot water at the end. All of a sudden, it found the mojo it had been missing, and sped up out of nowhere, spraying me and the kitchen with cake batter.

I screamed and Dad came down to see if I was okay. I honestly nearly cried, but then decided it would be best to take photos instead.

It’s what bloggers do I guess 🙂 And you know, it does mean I get to put “new stand mixer” on my wish list! I’m lusting after a KitchenAid of course, but that might have to wait a wee while. In the mean time, I always have my trusty hand mixers to keep those cakes rolling out.

You can find me here

I’m making a habit of this. On a Tuesday, if my wonderful nanny and friend Vicky is available to have the boys, I’ve made my way to my favourite coffee shop, tethered my phone internet to my laptop, and spent a couple of hours catching up on this and that. Mainly replying to emails, looking at houses, working on wedding ceremonies, and blogging.

I’ve even officially become a regular, with the barista asking “the usual soy cap?” but I’ve been mixing it up a bit lately, and have been ordering a long black with hot soy on the side.

Gosh there’s a lot going on at the moment. But what’s new? I am appealing the fines I got the other day, so I’ve been drafting the letter for that. Plus I’m very close to buying us a “new” car (new to us) which I’m hoping will be finalised next week. Then I need to start thinking about our trip up to Rocky which is only five weeks away. The three boys have had ear infections and have been on antibiotics. I have made three trips to the doctors in the last week with them, with Chance’s flaring up again and another course of antibiotics starting yesterday.

I’ve been sick for over three weeks – well I haven’t felt sick (thankfully) but I’ve had a chest cold with a sore ear and in hindsight might have benefited from antibiotics as well. Everyone has been coughing and sneezing in our house for weeks, and of course mostly during the night. But having a “baby” I’m used to the constant sleep disruptions so it hasn’t made a huge difference to be honest. More of a nuisance than anything. And I haven’t gotten back into exercise since the school holidays. Once I feel better I have a plan. It’s always good to have a plan.

It’s Dad’s birthday this weekend which means cake and presents which is always nice. And then next week it will be June. That’s just how the year has been going. Flying by at warp speed. And we’re all just along for the ride.

What a weekend!

How was your weekend?

Mine? Glad you asked! Saturday morning was awesome while we celebrated Julius’ birthday!

I made another Lego cake which was delicious and slightly dodgy, but did I mention delicious!?

And today Chance rode his bike and was amazing!!! I got video footage that isn’t loading for me, but gosh I was proud. He resisted it for weeks but literally got on and rode off like a pro and can’t wait to go for another ride tomorrow. Yay!

And this arvo I got to see a dear friend who studied med with Frith and have remained close with ever since. Nearly 10 years Amy!!

And while I was driving Amy to the train station this evening, I was pulled over by a  friendly police officer.

Him: “Is there a reason you are driving an unregistered vehicle?”

Me: “Aaaaaaaaaah”

Him” Your registration ran out in March this year.”

Me: “Aaaaaaaaah yeah. My husband died at the start of the year and I moved down from Rocky and I mustn’t have received the renewal notice.”

He goes back to his car for 10 minutes and comes back.

Him: “Here is a temporary registration to get you home. You have to be home by 6pm tonight blah blah blah…”

Me: “Thank you for that, yes I will.” Phew, I thought!…

Him: “And now for the ugly part. Here is a $403 fine for driving an unregistered vehicle. And here is a $504 fine for driving an uninsured vehicle, since the insurance is attached to the registration.”

Me: “Aaaaaaaaaaaaah….”

Him: “Do you have any questions?”

Me: In my head: Do you have a soul? Out loud: “No.”

So yeah that was my evening! I know he was doing his job blah blah blah. And the way this year is going, I’m just not even surprised. I don’t know how the renewal notice didn’t make it to me with my mail re-direction, but I guess sh*t happens.

And boy does it happen!

Flashback Friday – Julius is ONE!

That’s right folks. Today I’m taking you back to the delivery room! Lucky you!

I don’t think I’ve shared the kids birth stories on this blog (g-rated obviously) but there is one thing I remember about Julius’ birth that I want to share. You see, the canulas they use in maternity are HUGE needles. In Mount Isa, Frith was introduced to the practice of using a tiny bit of local anaesthetic for any canulas he put in. Many nurses/midwives/doctors would say “why would you give them two needles when you can just give them one?” The thing is, for my last two births, they missed my veins and had to try for a second time anyway. Two needles. Two HUGE needles.

For J’s birth, a midwife put the canula in, and after an hour or so my hand started throbbing. When we looked down, we saw it had tissued and was swelling up. Frith just took charge, asked for a canulation kit and some local anaesthetic, and got to work on my other hand.

I remember a wave of love for him rushed over me in that moment. He had my back. He protected me, and he got the job done with no pain. I felt fearless after that, knowing he was by my side for another birth. It also filled me with pride to be married to such an amazing doctor.

That evening, just before 6pm, we welcomed our little bundle of deliciousness into the family.

This year has been near impossible, but the joy he has brought to our lives has no limits. He is our little treasure and we can’t wait to see what the next year will bring for us all. We love you Julius xxx

A (mostly) Happy Mothers Day

I don’t know what it is at the moment, but to be honest my kids are fighting a lot and it’s kind of driving me bananas. I’d like to say that I had a lovely day with the kids, but some of it was spent breaking up fights, putting Darby in time-out, dealing with name-calling, and trying to reason with a stubborn 5 year old.

There were, of course, moments of magic, and that’s what I will choose to focus on.

I had a rough night sleep at Aunty Liesel’s, with all the kids waking up during the night at different times, but after the older three awoke at 6:30am (sorry Josie!) Julius and I slept until after 9, so that totally counts as a sleep-in, right?? 🙂

We had a delicious breakfast of bacon and eggs and pancakes, topped off by the most delightful giggles and smiles from Julius, who has been a little under the weather, but really put on a show that had us all belly laughing. Thank God for babies.

We headed home for some “quiet time” (see above) and I requested prawn sangas for a late lunch, at which time I also had a glass of bubbly.

And gifts! Chance and Quinn chose this lovely bead to add to my bracelet

And of course the lovely mother’s day treats from school and kindy.

And this one from Darby. Hmmm…

My Mothers Day photo, 2018

Then Uncle Kristian (up for the family wedding on Saturday) and I took all but Julius down to the water front park for a play. Chance found a cardboard box, and Kristian posed the question “do you think we can slide down the grass on this?

Yes. Yes we can.

They had a great time with this activity until it was time to head home and say good bye to uncle Kristian. I made myself some prawn pasta while the kids had pumpkin soup, baked beans and vegemite toast while watching a movie.

A great end to a (mostly) lovely day.

10 things on the 10th

Things that Frith never got to do. Some of them I might put on my to do list…

1. Go to PAX Prime – We went to many a PAX Aus, but Frith was always drawn to where it all began, in Seattle. We were making plans to go in the next few years as a family, and make a trip out of it with a medical conference or course as well.

2. Live in Canada – I was a bit unsure about this one, but was prepared to go over for a year, once Frith was fully qualified.

3. Do a TED Talk – I even bought him a book about how to deliver a TED Talk, such was my belief that he could do it one day. Choosing the topic would have been the hardest part.

4. Work in Antarctica – back in Wangaratta while he was studying, he attended a conference, and the keynote speaker at the conference dinner (I was very pregnant with Chance there!) was a recruiter for Doctors in Antarctica. As we were listening, I was watching Frith’s eyes light up. I told him he could definitely do it once the kids were a bit older.

5. Sail from Brisbane to Cairns and Cairns to Cape York – he read Jesse Martin’s story about sailing his hobie cat up the Queensland coast with his dad when he was a kid. Frith always wanted to do that, and we even started talking about the logistics and support crew at one stage.

6. Live in Perth – even visit Perth! Even though he’d never been, he used to tell people how awesome it was (it is!) and that he wanted to live there one day.

7. Have a 5th baby – he was chasing that prime number. (Note: I shan’t be adding this to me “to do” list 😉 )

8. Watch Rain Man and Jerry Maquire – two of my favourite movies that I would quote often, and after years of hearing my quotes, he started using them too, even though he had never seen the movies.

9. Be around for Incredibles 2 – I just saw that this is being released, and the first Incredibles movie was always one of his favourites. It will be bitter sweet watching that one with the kids.

10. Have a huge kick-arse man shed of his own – he was always hopeful, whenever we moved house, but it never eventuated. The rental I found for us in Toowoomba had a reasonable sized shed, and I know he was looking forward to using it if we’d been successful getting that house.

There are so many more things he will never get to see or do, but we will do our best to see and do them for him.

Finding Joy

I’m ready to laugh again.

I was at my friend’s family picnic lunch yesterday, and one thing I noticed immediately was there was so much laughter. About silly things, fun things, funny stories, banter between cousins and aunties and uncles and siblings; just so much laughter.

I wanted in on it. But it was really hard.

I still sometimes feel as though, if I’m seen to be having fun, it dishonours my grief for Frith. I feel like I’m not supposed to be having too much fun, or laughing too hard, or playing too silly with the kids.

I feel like I’m a prisoner to my grief, but it’s also mostly self-inflicted.

I still miss Frith every moment of every single day. No one denies that.

I still love Frith with my whole heart, and I ache for him. No one thinks otherwise.

I still wish with my whole heart that he hadn’t left us so young, and that the kids still had him around. Everyone knows that.

But the sadness is eating me up inside. It strips my patience and makes me constantly cranky with the kids; it has taken away my ability to laugh loudly; it denies me a light-hearted conversation about my beautiful husband, because I feel I need to inject some sadness, just so people still know I’m hurting.

You know I am. I know I am. But I’m ready to have some laughs. Frith made us laugh so hard and so often. It’s time to bring those moments of joy back to life.