Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ok, here goes the FULL update......

.....Ok, so my last decent post to you all was the Thursday before my exams, 16th October. Here's what's happened since:

Saturday 18th - Sunday 19th October

I spent the weekend before the exams hard out revising for my first exam. Not exactly a barrel of laughs, but it’s got to be done.

Monday 20th October

9am – my first exam. Quite frankly, I was crapping myself. It has been 14 years since I sat an exam, and back then I didn’t do so well. Luckily, I think all my preparation paid off, as I had time to answer all the required questions, re-read the questions and my answers again, and finish half an hour early. What a relief to have that out of the way. Now to spend the next couple of days revising for my second exam on Thursday. UNTIL Grandad has a bad turn and ends up having yet another ambulance ride to Hospital. They think he’s had a stroke. Not so great. Things are definitely a bit touch and go, and emotions are running high. So much for being able to concentrate on revision.

Tuesday 21st – Wednesday 22nd October

My days are split between visiting Grandad at the hospital, and trying to get my revision done. I have to say that my concentration levels are pretty much non-existent – I just keep seeing Grandad lying in his hospital bed, and to be honest, he doesn’t look so great. One of the visits I had, I actually thought he was dead when I got there, he looked that bad. I got a hell of a fright. Doctors have now told us that he may make a full recovery, which could take some time, but there is no way of knowing if there is another, more severe, stroke on it’s way. If it’s going to happen again, there will be no warning. Not a nice thought at all. And all the while Nan sits there beside him. My poor Nan seems to have gotten shorter again this week. When did my grandparents suddenly start to get old? I don’t think it should be allowed to happen. I know Mum is finding it hard coming to terms with the fact that her parents are getting older, and that they may not be around for a lot longer (as you would). I just feel bad for everyone at the moment. Life sucks some times. So as you can see, revision is obviously going swimmingly at the moment – NOT.

Thursday 23rd October

Unable to concentrate, I baked a banana cake for Ma to take to Auckland with her this weekend for Sarah. It’s Sarah’s birthday tomorrow – she’ll be 28. Where did THAT time go?

I did as much revision as I could manage in the morning, then anxiously headed off to work to sit my second exam. The exam finished at 5.15pm, and I THINK I did well enough to have passed anyway. We only have to get 50% to pass, but of course I would like to have managed more than that. Results don’t come out until a couple of days before Christmas, which is going to be a LONG wait.

So, I get home at half five, phone in an order to the Morgan’s Road F&C shop, and collect our fish and chips for a hurried tea. D and I have to be at our first Election Day training session by 6.30pm. Rush, rush, rush! Gem came round to look after J and get him off to bed while we were taught how to issue ballot papers and do the votes count, among other things. Training finishes at 9.30pm. By now, I’m a teensy bit tired. Surprised? Nope, me neither.

Friday 24th October

Sarah’s birthday. Ma is on a flight to Auckland early this morning to spend the weekend with her. My banana cake is in the air! Ha ha ha.

Jake and I pack all our stuff into the caravan (no small feat) and tidy the house, post-exams (it is not a pretty sight by this time, so again, no small feat). D came home from work at lunchtime, and we hit the road (in both vehicles as I can’t tow the caravan, and we don’t all fit in the ute of course) to Meadow Park, Christchurch…along with what seemed like a million other stupid cars, trucks, vans and motor-homes. Grrrrr. It took us two and a half hours driving time to get there. Double Grrrr. We are all a bit tired and cranky by the time we arrive. GREAT way to start a holiday! We nip down to the Northlands mall to grab some tea, got the groceries we need for our few days, then get settled into the caravan for the night.

Grandad got sent home today, but was back at 11.30pm that night with tummy problems due to a blocked catheter, which took a couple of hours to get fixed.

It’s a bit sad when the hospital is unfortunately so busy and so desperate for beds that they send you home when you maybe should stay, especially if its just before along weekend – they appear to try and empty out the wards before the weekend as a rule. I’m not blaming the staff – their job is not an easy one, and they are all lovely - but the hospital itself always seems to be extremely busy, often short-staffed and ill-equipped for the number of patients that rock on in, mostly due to lack of space/beds for them, but what can you do? I guess there’s just not enough money to go around.

Saturday 25th October

Ok,” I said, “Let’s go DO stuff”……and do stuff we did. There was a national Mustang Show being held at the Westpac Arena, so we took J along for a look. There must have been nearly 75 cars in there, all in pristine condition, shiny, sparkly, and tough-looking, all at the same time!


Jake was impressed, although the gloss wore off for him long before it did for this father. A 4 year-olds attention span can only stretch SO FAR! Back at Meadow Park, we cooked up some bacon on the free barbecues and had Bacon Sammies for lunch, and debated over what the weather was going to do….

In the end we decided to give it a shot, hoping the rain would hold off, and headed out to Orana Park. This was what J had been talking about for WEEKS before we went. It was great. I have to admit I think it looked almost exactly the same as it did the last time I was there about 15 years ago, and could probably do with a bit of a spruce up, but J had a great time. There were playgrounds for him to play on, and all sorts of animals that fascinated him.


Unfortunately the weather did turn cold, and by the time we had all had enough, it was starting to rain. Rather a lot. So it was back home to Meadow Park to make burgers for tea, and watch a bit of telly in the dining room.

I have to say that the facilities at Meadow Park are fab. It was SO clean. I was well impressed. The last time we took the caravan away we stayed in the Fairlie Camping Grounds, which was nice enough, but the shared showers/kitchen facilities etc left a little to be desired. Meadow Park makes Fairlie look like a dive. It’s a bit dearer, but the nice new dining room and kitchen facilities are awesome, the showers and toilets were cleaned at least twice a day, and there is a really cool playground for the kids. Highly recommended!


Sunday 26th October

It’s hailing heavily as we head over to the dining room to make pancakes for brekkie


Then off we go again… went to Animates to find a new toy for Buzz, then to G4M (Gifts For Men – gadgety gift shop for blokes) for D to have a look. We had a play in the $2K leather massage chairs – hilarious! Then we were off to Science Alive. None of us had ever been, but I had a good idea of what it would be like. It was awesome. J loved all the hands on play, and was fascinated by some of the displays. What a fab way for kids to learn about real life things. Very cool.


Then D dropped J and I off at The Bead Shop on Manchester Street while he had a look at Acorn Models for a bit…. J and I made a huge blue gecko for him (he chose all the beads etc himself, I was in charge of assembly!). It looks cute hanging off his bag!


Then it was time to head back to Meadow Park for a bit of a break. The sun had come out for a bit, although the air temp was still pretty cold. D had a nana nap in the caravan while J and I hung out at the playground.


I took a cuppa and my word puzzle book, and J played happily for about an hour and a half until it started to get real cold, and the two of us were pretty hungry! We watched some of J’s new DVD of The Best of The Zoo (from the program on TV1) while we ate tea, then J went to bed and D & I watched some of his new DVD set – American Chopper. Lovely relaxing end to the day, lazing around watching telly and eating lollies! Yum!

Monday 27th October

After a relaxed sleep-in, the boys went off to hire a tandem bike to ride around on – not bad $10 for an hour. It was a lovely sunny morning, and they had a great time, although not long into it, J decided he was able to drive it himself, so they had to go back and swap the tandem for two singles!


While they spent an hour driving round the camp ground, I cleaned the caravan and packed our gear into a pile of those reusable shopping bags (which are SO handy) so that when we dropped the caravan back to Kae and Ian’s at Kerrytown on the way home, all we had to do was transfer the bags into my car, and head home. Brilliant plan! I finished about the same time the boys did, so once we were all fed and watered (and toileted!) it was time to hit the road (“On the road again, Just can’t wait to get on the road again…..”!!)


It was a stinker of a day – real hot for travelling. Thank goodness for air-con! We got home mid-afternoon, unloaded the car, put on some washing, and then sat outside in the shade with long tall cold drinks and chilled out for a bit. Just lovely.

Tuesday 28th – Friday 31st October

The rest of our week was filled with work/daycare, and the usual unpacking/washing/finding new homes for things that follows after a holiday. Nice not to have to study though, I must say! D had a work thing to go to in Christchurch on the Friday, and wasn’t due home until about lunchtime Saturday, so I had a quiet night in where I fell asleep in front of the telly watching a movie – Step Up 2. My kind of movie too. Lucky I taped it!

Oh and I bought J’s first school sweatshirt and school sunhat today. He’s getting excited about the whole school thing. Awesome!

Saturday 1st November

J and I hung out at home in the morning – he was very tired all week this week after his exciting weekend away the week before. D got home just before lunch and we popped out to Kae & Ian’s to collect the last few things out of the caravan. J showed off his school sweatshirt and hat very proudly for Nana and Grandad – so cute! Then we had to go to Granny-Rose’s to do the same. He’s a funny boy!

Sunday 2nd November

We had Alex’s 3rd birthday party to go to in the afternoon, which was lots of fun. Unfortunately Alex wasn’t all that well, so they took him to the after hours doctor while we were there and the poor wee man had a nasty ear infection. We had a lovely afternoon all the same, and J played quite happily with his cousin Brianna.

We were rewarded for the lovely afternoon with an almighty temper tantrum from his nibs that lasted about an hour, which we think we can attribute to either the sugary food, or the food colouring in the raspberry jelly slice, which he ate rather a lot of. It seems that every time he goes to a party, if he has either raspberry coloured food/drink, or lots of lollies etc, when he comes off his ‘high’ he’s a little SHIT. I guess this means that Christmas is going to be fun then, huh? JUST LOVELY.

Unfortunately when he throws a tanty, patience goes out the window entirely for D, and then I get impatient with him being impatient, so everyone ends up grumpy. Fun fun fun!

Monday 3rd November

Today Nan Scott (Dad’s Mum) ended up in an ambulance to Christchurch. She had been having nasty tummy pains and it turns out that from her dialysis she had a nasty infection. Initially they thought it was peritonitis, which is a bit more serious. The bugbear though is that Timaru does not have a renal specialist (ie anyone who can help with dialysis issues), so even when she gets out of hospital, and perhaps needs to go into care, she can't go into care in Timaru because no-one is 'qualified' enough to help assist her with her day-to-day dialysing. How bloody ridiculous is that? I bet that the nurses at the hospital help deal with far more complicated treatments than dialysis on a daily basis. Stoopid, stoopid, stoopid. Our health system really doesn't look after the elderly does it? Man that makes me mad. Poor Nan. Luckily (I spose) she is suffering with (or blessed with, depending on how you look at it) a bit of dementia, so she won't really know what's going on. If she knew, she'd be mortified, so it's for the best that she's not always able to remember what's going on. So, for now at least, she's in a renal unit at Christchurch Hospital.

Last lot of Election Day training tonight, 7pm – 9.30pm. Tonight is the training session for the Polling Place Managers, which is good because last time I had no special training, and effectively ran ‘blind’ at the end of the day. I am confident that this time things will run smoothly! I also had to collect, check and sign for all my supplies – do you have any idea how much stuff I had to cart home? Quite a lot, I tell you!

Tuesday 4th November

Tonight was my Beaded Bookmark Class – man what a laugh! Jo, Steph, Bev, Nic, Mum and I all had quite a giggle at the silly things each of us were doing. All in all a successful night, full of muttering, swearing, giggling, laughing, tears and, finally, completed bookmarks (thank goodness!) and supper (which incidentally I started baking at 9.50pm the night before when I got home from training). I didn’t expect it to be so funny, to be honest. Hilarious! Hopefully all the girls were pleased with their final products :)

Wednesday 5th November

Today was the day of J’s first SCHOOL VISIT. He was SO excited, I was worried it wasn’t going to meet his expectations, but I had nothing to worry about. He loved it. And he was SO good. I was very proud. He listened to the teacher (Mrs Woods) when she spoke, he didn’t yell out like some of the other school-visitors did, and he sat still the whole time.

The class was learning about the letter ‘h’, so he got to hear a story about Harry Hatman from Letterland, sing a song, do some colouring in, and practice writing the letter h. He did very well. At the end of the session they were signing the alphabet, which he learnt earlier in the year at daycare, so he joined in doing that with the bigger kids.

We got to spend the morning tea break outside watching the other kids play, although unfortunately it had been raining, so the playground was a bit soggy. Then we went to the office and bought a school polo shirt, and headed back to daycare.

On the way back to daycare he left a message on Daddy’s answer-machine to tell him how much fun it was, and then he wanted to phone Granny at work and tell her all about it too. When we got to daycare, he wouldn’t take his school sweatshirt off until he had shown it to all the daycare teachers – he’s so proud of it! When we got home that night, he put the polo on straight away, and wore it until bedtime. Funny little sausage! He also had to ring Nana after tea, and tell her all about school, then talked to Granny-Rose again just as he was going to bed, and after telling her again, he asked to speak to Grandad-Jim so he could tell HIM too!

Awww, oh to be so excited about something! It won’t be long and he’ll be complaining about having to go to school, so I shall make the most of his enthusiasm for now J

Thursday 6th November

Well, here I am, up to TODAY at last!!!! Ha ha ha. The school visit obviously left quite an impression on J, because this morning I got “I don’t want to go to daycare Mum, I want to go to school today”. However we did get out of the house without arguments in the end.

Tonight I am heading to Kathryn’s with Nic to do some scrapping, although I have no idea what I am going to work on tonight, so I’ll have to ‘go with the flow’ and see what I can be bothered carting with me before I decide me thinks!

Tomorrow we are going to call over to the Forresters and have a drink after tea while I help Rach with HER blog, then Saturday it’s Election Day, and Sunday I think D is going to enter a Motocross TT event in Ashburton, now that his bike is up and running. I suspect that this weekend is going to evaporate before it even gets a chance to get started! Oh well, nevermind!

I’m going to go now, and hopefully I will get the photos uploaded (as there are quite a few) some time over the weekend or early next week for you.

Hope everyone is happy and healthy in your families, let me know how you’re all doing yeah?

Toodles, B x

Miniscule update

I was hoping to update y'all last night, but D was hogging the computer, and then I decided I needed to get my election day supplies sorted out, and that took until bedtime!

However...... Yes, I am still here...... Yes, I have been slack..... but I HAVE got some great reasons/excuses, which I will fill you all in on shortly.

Bridgette - don't be so darn mean... you can criticise once you have a blog of your own you meanie!!!!!

Rach - yay you for starting your own one - ABOUT TIME!!!!! Ha ha ha.

Righto, back to doing that annoying work stuff I have to do in order to get paid, darn it. I am out scrapping tonight, so hope to update more on Friday night perhaps.

I hope you all get out there and vote on Saturday... I know that all politicians are wombles, and we basically have to choose the best from a bad bunch, but if you don't vote, you can't really complain about them! If you want to see a friendly face, come see D and I at Highfield School, we're there ALL DAY! (PS - Any donations of homemade baking/lollies/chocolate etc gratefully received! Ha ha ha)

Toodles, B x