The first of many

We had our first “dinner party” in Mount Isa last night, with 5 doctors in attendance. I was a little nervous to be honest, as I hadn’t even met 2 of them, but I had a pretty solid 3 course meal planned, and as long as there’s wine, it’s always a success! I served bite-size tomato, bococini, basil layer thingies that Hubs and I are kind of hooked on at the moment. It’s such a fresh, light, tasty little something to have on the side or before a meal. I then served beef cheek stew which is Hubs’ favourite. It slow cooked in the oven in my chasseur for 6 hours! It was only supposed to be 5 but the kids took a while to go to sleep. I think the extra hour made it even better though 🙂

And of course for dessert, Hubs’ other favourite, chocolate mousse. The food was a real hit (yay!) and the company was just lovely. And the best thing? We mostly talked about everything other than medicine!!! I sometimes don’t really look forward to the conversation at these dinners, as I have very little to contribute to the conversation. Hubs always makes an effort to not talk shop too much, but it’s hard when you don’t have much in common with other people other than your work. But the people who came over last night were very interesting and it wasn’t hard to keep the conversation away from rashes and cannulas.

Unfortunately this morning, as I was getting dressed, I put my neck/shoulder out quite badly and couldn’t actually move. I’m so glad Hubs hadn’t left for work, and he was able to stay home and look after the kids. I was in quite a bad way this morning, but after some pretty strong pain killers, and lots of rest, I’m not too bad this evening. And I’m really hoping it settles down a lot overnight. It hasn’t been this bad in such a long time, but it’s been niggling all week, so it was only a matter of time before it snapped. Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery!!

Soothing the soul

Hubs warned me before we moved here, that Mount Isa doesn’t get much rain. When we arrived, I was really taken aback by how dry and dusty the town is, and thought “well, this is how it’s going to be.” The total rainfall for 2013 in this area was 69mm. For the whole year!!!

Just before Australia Day weekend, rain was predicted. Some locals were talking about how they’re “due for a good soaking”. But most were sceptical. Rain had been predicted before, and had never come. But it happened. On Monday the 27th, the clouds grew heavy and down it came. Not for long, but over the next 3 weeks, it rained every few days. And now, the grass is greener, there are flowers out (very few, but they’re there) and a plant in our garden bed is threatening to take over the courtyard. So far this year, the region has had 120mm fall.

The weekend just gone, it rained almost the whole time. What is it about rain that soothes the soul? I was happy and calm. I wasn’t irritable. I felt like myself. I mentioned recently that I was looking for something. Maybe it was the calm that washes over me when I feel like “myself”.

Today, the sun is out, and although it’s not too hot (yet) I already feel more energised from my weekend. The house is still a mess (where on earth are we going to find space for all this stuff???) and Chanbe has been getting in to bed with us EVERY NIGHT for the last 3 weeks which results in broken sleep for the 3 of us, but I feel calm amongst the storm that is settling in to a new town.

I’ve been going to the gym regularly since we arrived which has been great for my energy levels and my general mood. I have a plan of action today, and a to-do list with about 10 things on it. I’ve just had a lovely coffee (home made) and Chanbe is happily watching Despicable Me. I’m ready. I feel like Wifey again. It’s been a while, but I’m ready to get back on the ride!

Happy 1st Birthday Quinn!

It was rather a quiet affair for our little Quinndy, and a lovely time was had by all. I was trying to decide which cake to make her, and gave the cake book to Chanbe to have a look through. This is the suggestion he came up with:

Ummmmm. No. I don’t think so. We finally decided on the ladybird. I never had that cake growing up, and it’s a bit of a classic. Here’s the picture of the cake in the book:

And here’s how mine turned out. As usual, I couldn’t get that really rich red, but I was happy with a nice burgundy.

Chanbe was very happy to help lick the spatula!

I’m not sure what this face was about, other than just being funny!!
Then she decided on a demure pose:
Smile! Happy Birthday to YOUUUUUUU!
Oh yeaaaaah. Cake time!

 Mnarn narm narm… 

And present time! Hubs was convinced these pants belonged on  her head…
And in the next few days, Quinndy decided it was time to take some steps!

My dear baby girl. What a treasure you are. You have brought so much joy and delight to our lives, and I love getting to know you more every day. I’ve never seen such a happy baby, and I look forward to seeing what you have in store for us in the future.

It’s been rather an exciting week around here! I’m getting through the unpacking and organising, and starting to feel a bit more at home. I’ve met some more mums and am hoping to catch up with them in the next week or 2. Mum and Dad are here until Friday week, so there’s a few more things I’d like to do with them around – the time will go too quickly I’m sure! – and I’ve already booked our first trip back to Brisbane for the year, in about a month. Like I said, lots going on!

And then it hit me…

The smoke stacks (or as Chanbe calls them, “smoke snacks”,) loom over the city. The ground is brown and bone dry, and it looks like it hasn’t rained here in years. Honestly, I started to panic a little. But then I saw the look on Hubs’ face. The look of recognition. The look of “coming home”. Hubs starts pointing things out to me; familiar places and new things since he left here 19 years ago. We drive past his old house, which I find lovely and exciting. He doesn’t feel it until a few days later, but he has come home. And I feed off that.

For the 2 weeks or so leading up to the move, Chance was going through his usual adjustment period, and it was especially hard work this time. It had been so hot (and horribly humid in Ingham and T’ville) and my patience was pretty thin. We had quite a few stand-offs and tantrums and lock downs etc etc. Nothing seemed to make any difference. I really tried to stay calm and give him lots of positive attention, but he was just out of sorts. On our final morning in Townsville, he completely lost it, and it broke my heart. This poor little boy. My poor little boy. We’ve moved him again and he’s finally cracked. I dreaded the days and weeks to come.

We arrived in Mount Isa, and I kept talking about how exciting it was going to be in our new home, and he agreed in his 3-year-old capability. We moved his aeroplane bed upstairs into his room, and hoped for the best that night. Not bad, not bad. Both kids slept well and we had a nice morning together. We then went to church and Chanbe was a bit of a handful, but no more than usual. The rest of the day passed without too much drama. And then Monday rolled around. We dropped Hubs off at work around 9am, and by 10am I was going crazy. Lots of deep breaths and hoping for the best. Hubs came home for lunch at which time I had a little cry and tried to move on. The afternoon and Tuesday were much the same, with lots of meltdowns (both of us) and negotiations.

We were both exhausted and I wondered how long this transition period would last. And then Wednesday came and Chanbe, my little trooper, turned a corner. We were having such a fantastic day, that at around 2:30pm I decided we could all go shopping together. I laid down the ground rules (no asking for food or toys), and off we went. It was one of those shopping trips where I walked around with my 2 beautiful children in the trolley, with my head held high, beaming with pride (and relief!) He was amazing. And he’s been his old self ever since.

Kids astound me. Chanbe surprises me every day with his resilience and his ability to adapt. I know I need to take lessons from him some days. We both need to take more deep breaths and just calm down and be still. We’ll get there.

23 days and 1000km (west) later…

Aaaaah…. sweet sweet internet. Moving sucks. And not having internet in the interim makes it even worse. We have signed up for our usual ridiculousGB per month deal, but it won’t be connected until the end of the week, so in the mean time, we’ve paid a ridiculous sum for 3GB of data to get us through.

It’s been too long.

Normally it wouldn’t bother us as we use the internet on our phones, but the connection out here is terrible with Optus, so we have (almost) accepted the fact that we have to change our mobiles over to Telstra. Ugh. The things we do for good phone and internet connections…

Moving on. SO much has happened! But in a nutshell (with photos to come soon, hopefully) I left Ingham with the kids on the 12th of January and spent a few days in Townsville catching up with friends and family and making purchases that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make in Mount Isa. We then headed back to Ingham on the Thursday to pick up Hubs and the trailer and pack the rest of the house up, then spent our final night in Townsville with friends, though our 6pm getaway from Ingham turned into 8:30pm, so we didn’t actually get to hang out much.

Friday morning we threw the last few things in the car, and started heading west. We had a rough idea about where we wanted to get to on day one, and it was a really easy drive. We stopped at Richmond for the night, but not arriving until after 5:30pm made our dinner choices somewhat limited. There was the pub, or the other pub. I went with the other pub and grabbed a few takeaway meals that turned out to be fantastic! We shared the lamb roast and garlic prawns – both restaurant quality! I was very impressed, especially considering the, shall we say, “rustic” appearance of the pub.

We woke up around 7am the next morning, which just happened to be my birthday, and set off again. It really is such an easy, albeit boring drive. No traffic, not many towns to slow down through, and some very interesting landscapes. We stopped for brunch in Julia Creek, and then we were in Mount Isa by about 3pm that afternoon.

And then it hit me…… We’re living in Mount Isa…… Happy Birthday to meeeeeeee!……

to be continued…….