Thursday, January 27, 2011

Christmas Day!

Christmas Day was exciting in our household for one not-quite-seven-year-old boy.  You see, J was not all that excited about Christmas in the lead up to it, as he thought that Santa might not be able to afford to get him the present he was really after... a PSP.  Lucky for him, Santa knows how to shop for good qwuality second hand items on TradeMe, teeehee!!!!  I didn't take many pics, as I was still half asleep.  It WAS 6.30am after all.  The face says it all really....

He was suitably pleased.  He also got some games and a couple of movies to watch in it too.  My present hadn't arrived in time, but I knew it was coming in the post (Dancing on Ice highlights on DVD).  We got D got some bar risers for his motorbike, a stainless men's bracelet, and Ten Guitars Vol 2 on CD.

Then it was off to Nanny and Grandad's for breakfast and more present exchanging.  Paper everywhere, I tell family doesn't muck around with careful tape removal or anything!  Ha ha ha.

It was a shame that Sarah and Kelv couldn't come down with Tyler, but we did get to see this video of Tyler opening the presents that we sent him, here.  How cute is that!  Poor wee dude doesn't know what the hell is going on!  Another year or two and they'll have a very excited little man on their hands!

Lunch was at Ma and Pa's, with Nanny and Grandad, Gem and DJ, and us.  Nice relaxed barbecue.  Complete with barbecue fire.  And I'm talking REAL fire here people.  Talk about a bit of drama for the day!  Here's J with my Mum.  He just LOVES his Granny...

And here's me and my Dad.  You see, I did this canvas for his office last year for his birthday, and in doing so I realised that it had been YEARS since I had a photo taken of just me and him.  There are plenty of ALL the family, just none of just the two of us.  SO it had to be remedied!

The thing is, girls are always doing stuff with their Mums, like shopping, yapping, drinking, and in my case, crafting!  But they don't always do a lot with their Dads, you know?  So that's why I wanted this photo.  Love you Daddy-Jim xxx

Street Christmas Party

I decided that this year I wanted to try and get our street organised to have a Street Christmas Party.  I've heard of other streets doing it, so why not us?!  Besides, on 23 Feb 2011 we will have been in this house for 10 years, and I still don't know all the names of our neighbours.

We live in the cul-de-sac end of a three block street, so J and I put invites in the mailboxes of all the households in our cul-de-sac, suggesting that we meet (with deck chairs and food in hand) at the bottom of the street on the Saturday night before Christmas. 

In the end, only four houses weren't represented, three of those had alternative plans, and only one refused to RSVP.  Not a bad effort.  We ended up with 22 of us at the bottom of the street, eating and drinking, and introducing each other.  I got everyone to wear a sticker with their name on, and we all mingled and chatted, finally getting to know who was who and which house they belonged to.  We started at 6pm, and even had Christmas music playing from one of the houses near the bottom of the street.  We got home at 1.30am.  It was a GOOD night! 

I was so busy chatting etc that I never even got my camera out, but Derek took three shots which I have (very roughly) put into a panorama for you to look at....

Everyone in attendance kept saying that it was high time we organised this, and thanked me for doing so.  And they all seemed to enjoy themselves too.  Most of them stayed until 11pm, with only a few of us venturing into Darren's and breaking out the Karaoke - wahoo!!! Even I had a lash at Delta Dawn ;) Bring on the Christmas Party at the end of 2011, I say!

Christmas Cards

I was a bit slack with the Christmas Cards this year.  I started off with great gusto at the beginning of December, and got a bunch of these ones made...

...using a folded half circle that I learned from Deb McRobie.  Very simple but quite effective.  Yummy green velvet ribbon, and of course, a wee bit of bling!

Then I had another idea.  A more ME idea.  But it took a bit of faffing around to get it sorted.  And a lot of trawling through my scrap paper bin.  Here's the final result:

Not so traditional, but very quirky, and VERY pink!  These ones even mentioned a comment on Rachel Tucker's blog, here.  How cool is it that I inspired HER for a change?!

Backtracking now...

Righto - time to back track a bit and update you on some of the happenings of Nov/Dec/Jan that I havent' mentioned yet...

At the end of November we did a roadie up to Christmas in the Park.  It's the first time we've been since J arrived on the scene.  We cruised up late Saturday afternoon, found a possie amongst the 20,000-odd people already there, and settled in for some drinks, snacks and boogieing!  J really enjoyed it, although was a little scared of the fireworks - they are the first ones he has ever seen.

Here's the boys with their glow sticks under their shirts so that they can see them lighting up!  Idiots!

D and J:

Me and J:

Our view of the stage.  Luckily the sound was fab, and they have those big screens so you can see what the heck is going on....

Not a bad night really... got home about 1am, ready for a much needed sleep!

Ok - more coming soon (I have several draft posts loaded ready for editing)


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Auckland De-Brief...

Our trip up north was certainly over all too soon... we flew up from Christchurch, landing in Aucks at 9pm last Thursday.  By the time we got to my sister's place, wee man was already down for the night :(

I got to have cuddles on Friday morning though!  Here's Tyler first thing in the morning, all smiles for his mama:

He is SO cute, isn't he?!

And here's me, sneeking in a bit of Auntie Beck time...

Amazing how 'normal' it feels after so long, to hold a little bubba again.  And yes, he's adorable, but no more babies for this family.  That ship has sailed!

Anyhoo, to change the subject completely, the other reason for going to Aucks was to see this man on Friday night:

Now those of you that know us well, know that D has quite the talent when it comes to singing 'The Gambler'... especially if any alcohol is involved!  D has always been a big fan, and had never managed to see him in concert... until now, that is!  So you can imagine how awesome the whole experience was for him. 

We had seats only 9 rows from the front, so we had a pretty good view.  Talk about lucky, as we weren't allowed to leave our seats and stand near the stage, the grumpy security guys put paid to that :(

We took our little video camera, and I got some fairly ordinary footage, but at least it's a record of us actually being there...  Feel free to follow the links below to see the clips via YouTube.  I won't be offended if you don't - I know that he's not every one's cup of tea ;)

Kenny's opening performance - "Love or Something Like it"

"The Gambler" - a true classic!

He also sang a very nice song about his twin 6 year old boys (yes, you read that right!), which featured a slideshow on the big screen showing some fairly personal family photos... I thought that was quite special.  "To Me"

And here's a link to his final song... "Islands in the Stream"

So it was a great night out, which went way too fast.  Kenny might look a bit 'odd' thanks to all the plastic surgery and/or botox that he has had, but he still sounds the same, thank goodness. And he was very quick-witted with his banter in-between sets.  Not sure why, but I wasn't expecting him to be funny tbh.  His very talented backing band consisted of about 8 people (including two short fat hairy men named Chuck and Randy - how American is that?!), but he was also backed by the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra, so the sound was just amazing.  There is just nothing like LIVE music, huh?  Long story short, the concert was fab, and we have the CD and the T-Shirt to prove it!  Me thinks that D's 'Gambler' tee might be his poker night attire from here on in!

On Saturday we shot over to Ponsonby so that I could go to Milly's.  Definitely a very ME kinda store... loved it!  I bought a few more cake-decoraty type of items, and drooled over a lot more that I had to leave on the shelf :(  Then we did a little bit of mall shopping, and by then it was time to head back to the airport again for the trip home.  Bummer.  Thanks so much for having us, S and K. xxx  That said, I shall have to count the sleeps until my next trip up in June for SENZ with Mum.  More Auntie time, yay!

And finally, a post about Aucks wouldn't be complete without photos of the Auckland fur-babies. So here are Rumbles...


and Brutus.

And with that, I'm done (for now)...


Friday, January 21, 2011

We're Heeeere!

Yup, we arrived to a warm and extremely humid Auckland. As I type, the temp is still in the twenties. It was 22 degrees when we arrived. And as nice as that is, I am struggling to sleep, cos me and hot just don't go together. So here I am, blogging!

I had a peek at T while he was sleepin earlier. Looking forward to havin a cuddle in the morning tbh :)

So, what's in store for tomorrow? Kenny concert tomorrow evening, but not sure about tomorrow day yet. Obviously some nephew cuddles will be in order, but not sure what else. I am hopeful that I might get to Milly's (in swanky Ponsonby) for a look this trip, although we also have Saturday to do that.

In the meantime, I'll carry on updating, as there is still a heap to catch you up on...


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Guess where we're going tomorrow...?!

We're going to meet this handsome fella....

...which is a lovely added bonus to the trip we planned specifically to see this guy:

(Not too sure about all the plastic surgery though, Kenny)

Woop woop!  I'm getting EXCITED!!!

Nanny's Christmas Present

Ok, so again, I couldn't share this with you BEFORE Christmas (and I apologise for the crappy cellphone photos), but this is what I made for my Nanny and Grandad for Christmas:

It's a cute little topiary.  The ball on the top is made with folded kusudama flowers (which I learnt from LELIA, shock, horror!!!!)  The end result is fab.  I matched the shades of pink and green in the papers with a paint chart from Mitre 10 Mega, and got two large testpots for $9.  What a fantasticly cheap way to buy paint... I'll definitely be doing that again!

Ok, even MORE to follow, real soon ;)


Tyler's Christmas Presents

Ok, so I couldn't show you these before Christmas, cos I knew that Tyler's Mummy would see them.  And then, in my rush to courier them to Auckland, I forgot to take pictures myself!  Luckily S took them for me so that I could show y'all...

For Christmas, I made Tyler a fabric rattle-ball-ribbon-thing.  Not sure of the proper name for it really!  I used motorbike fabric (seeing as his Dad is motorbike mad!), and put a small bell inside it, so that it makes a little noise.  I also appliqued the letters of his name round the sides.  The spare side I had left I appliqued on some sprockets, sticking with the whole motorbike thing ;)  The ribbons are meant to make it easy for wee man to pick up and play with.  Time will tell I guess!

And I also sent up a little album that I had made, so that S can fill it with photos of T, like a personalised brag book kinda thing.  I knew that S would like the cute teddy stamp that I had, so I made sure that each page had a ted or two on it (I had to cut and colour each one first!)...

I was pretty pleased with how it all turned out in the end, and S likes it, so that's the main thing!
  More soon...


Thursday, January 13, 2011

My heart goes out... those poor people in Queensland.  The news footage is awful.  I suspect that the death toll will rise once the waters recede.  Some of those small townships will never recover.  Families have been ripped apart and destroyed.  Just awful.

My Aunt and Uncle live in Bli Bli (on the Sunshine Coast).  They are away from the troubled areas, but one of their daughters lives near Toowoomba.  She and her hubby were away camping in Gympie when the floods hit, so they can't get home just yet, but think that their house should be ok.  I guess they'll find out when the waters recede enough for them to get home.

Makes you appreciate what you have, huh?

Time for an Update...

Well Happy New Year peeps!  Must be time for an update I reckon.  I have had a few internet and computer issues lately, but I think I have them all resolved now.  And we were away for a few days too.  Busy time of year this, isn't it?!

So, when I last left y'all, it was December 15th, the night before J's op on Thursday 16th.  I have to say that it is SO nice to have that behind us now, thank goodness.  It was a loooong day.  We had to be at Bidwill by 7am.  Then he went through all the usual admittance and pre-op procedures...

Having topical anaesthetic put on the top of his hands, preparing for the luer, by his nurse, Trish Farr.
Buttercrunch got bandaged up too!
Going through the pre-op check with the anaesthetist, Allan Robert 
Even at nearly 7 years of age, he's still CUTE!
Although, not being allowed to eat since the night before made for a grumpy little boy when he didn't go through to theatre until 11.45am.  

About to walk down to theatre
He was being very brave until he and I had to say goodbye to Daddy at the entrance to the theatre corridor.  Then we had tears.  Lots of them.  And a lot of apprehension, naturally.  I went with him into theatre and helped him get up on the gurney.  Then I had to try and help distract him while the anaesthetist put the luer into his hand.  He wasn't having a bar of that, I can tell you!  Not that I blame him.  D was several metres (and closed doorways) away from us, and he could hear him getting upset from where HE was.   

In theatre, just after being knocked out.  Theatre Nurse Philippa McKeown also nursed him the first time he was admitted for grommets, at the age of 17 months.
For the first time ever, I walked out of the theatre in tears.  And it's not like we haven't done this before - this was his third set of grommets, and he's also had tonsils out, and his adenoids for that matter.  This would be his fourth surgical procedure since the first one when he was only 17 months old.  And this time, I cried like a baby.  It was awful seeing him so scared.  And then I started to get concerned when the procedure that normally takes 20 minutes from start to finish took over an hour.  Turns out that he had a lot of 'gunk' in his ears that needed clearing out.  Had me worried though. When he came out of recovery at nearly 1pm, boy was he cranky.  He started hitting his ears and complaining that they hurt.  He settled down after a dose of codiene.   

FINALLY back from theatre, just over an hour later.  Look at that cheery face!
Within 30 minutes, he was wanting some food.  That's my boy!  I said he didn't need to eat the sandwiches, that he could skip straight to the jelly, but he insisted on having one of his club sammies (and making D and I have one each too), before he hit the jelly and ice-cream.  Swiftly followed by the piece of marshmallow slice on his tray. 

About to tackle the jelly and ice-cream...
Post-tackle - ahh, satisfaction!
Before we left he had polished off another pottle of ice-cream, and more marshmallow slice.  Talk about having the nurses wrapped round his little finger!  We got home about 3.30pm that afternoon, and spent the next day or so just chilling in front of the telly (Well, J and I did, D had to go back to work on the Friday!)

A photo with Trish, just before we left mid-afternoon.

I am pleased to report that by late afternoon Friday, J was complaining that we were yelling at him, and that the TV was too loud!  Problem solved, I reckon... fantastic!

Well, I have SO much more to tell you, so I will get busy sorting the photos, and get back to you again real soon.

Toodles for now,