Shitty, the shitter, vaginal probes and more!

The Shitty
So, Chef came off his bike on the bends of Spit Hill on Sunday morning at about 7.10am. He was on his way to work, there was oil all over the road, his (motor)bike hit the oil and over he went.

He’s got a massive bruised knee on his dodgy leg (of course), his (uninsured) bike slid across the road and collided with a mercedes coming the other way.

The first person to stop was a doctor who thought he was going to run over Chef. He didn’t. Bless him.

The second person to stop was a firey who called the fire brigade to come and clear up all the bits of Chef’s bike off the road and clean up the oil slick.

The third person to stop was a woman checking he was OK, by which time Chef was throwing his helmet at rockwalls such was his pissed-offed-ness at the turn of events.
I found it deeply ironic that earlier in the week I, the one who never wins anything, won tickets to see the new Thomas the Effing Engine movie. So, as a special treat for the two little fellas I had arranged care for the bigger boys and was taking them in to Fox Studios to see this fine display of rampant consumerism. (I can’t help thinking just how appalled the Rev W Awry would be at how his puritanical didactic tales of punishment for anyone not doing what they are told has been corrupted.)

How convenient this was happening the morning of the bike disaster. So we collected Chef from the side of the road (stinking like oil), dropped him at work and then went on to the movie.

The best part, on seeing the Fat Controller introduce the movie Jasper turning to me, eyes as wide as saucers, saying, ‘he’s REAL’.

They of course loved it, scoring goodie bags with a Thomas DVD in it. OH GOODY. New Thomas DVDs.
I caught a few minutes of shut eye.

The shitter

On Wednesday I went with Jasper’s kindy class on an excursion to the Opera House and Botanic Gardens. The director was regaling us with all the dos and don’ts of being a parent helper as well as the multitude of toilet stops. Oh how we all chuckled when she was telling us about the quick run back to the Opera House for the child needing to do a poo. There is always one child who will need to do a poo.

Guess who scored the shitter? Bless this little fellow’s socks, the need to empty his bowels occurred at the festy toilets in the Gardens and after quite some time, when all others were toileted and on their way to the bus, I enquired if he was finished. He swung open the door and said with all earnestness, ‘well you see, there is this problem. The toilet is very dirty and I’m trying to…’ trailing off as I saw first hand his efforts to deal with the dirty toilet by placing beautifully perforated pieces of toilet paper around the seat which then confoundedly kept falling onto the even filthier floor when he would try to sit on the seat. I kind of hissed at him to just get on the toilet and when the director enquired as to his progress, mouthing to me ‘poo?’ she came to my rescue, muttering under her breath, ‘there is always one’.

Anyway, it was an awesome day and I felt really blessed to witness the amazing kindy in action. Very few pre-schools now take their children on excursions these days due to the mammoth DOCS checklist they have to meet, throwing the chance for children to have amazing experiences into the too hard basket.

A vaginal probe

So today Chef was jealous of an ultrasound probe. It’s been a long time between drinks for me and the white wand but today we met once again. Funny how I had not missed it once. It was all part of the exploration to determine what this weird burning sensation is on my right side. I am fairly convinced it’s referred pain from my lower back but my GP was fairly certain he had felt a lump when I coughed.

Anyway, two sonographers and much coughing and making my stomach protrude even further than it normally does there is no hernia. Not sure if there’s any issue with my ovaries but I could see the egg inside one of the follicles on my left ovary which will probably be the one to ovulate this month. Now there’s something to look forward to. It seems such a waste doesn’t it. That egg, sitting there, waiting for its little friend who will never ever arrive.

The good news is, there is no hernia. The CT scan may reveal something re the lower back but we’ll have to wait for the films for that tasty tidbit.

Tomorrow I’m off to Craft Camp! I can hardly believe it. In fact, I don’t think I will until I’m standing at Melbourne airport completely under-dressed and freezing my arse off.

See you all next week.


Busy Busy Busy

OK, so last I looked it was Wednesday, for which I spent most of panicking it was Thursday but now it is Saturday morning and according to some app on Chef’s iPhone my rag is due tomorrow and I ovulated on the 12th. You’re welcome.

So, Wednesday I hear from K – the friend about to drop her third and for whom we are choosing the name. No really, we are. – that the father of a friend of ours from school died on Sunday after a long illness. Dudes, this is the second Dad in our group of friends to die and to be moving into that cohort. You know, first you’re in the ‘we’re all having 18th and let’s kill our livers together!’, then you’re in the ‘wow, can you believe we’re in our 20s and “studying” something suddenly we’re not that sure we want to do anymore 21st-birthday-a-thon’ strata.  Then comes the ‘YOU’RE WHAT??? GETTING MARRIED???’ group where you haemorrage innordinate amounts of money on engagement gifts, hens night horrors, wedding presents, wedding outfits, wedding shoes, wedding haircuts, wedding waxing and therapy for the “I’M GOING TO DIE A SPINSTER”.  From there – and not necessarily in order with the last is the ‘YOU’RE WHAT??? YOU’RE PREGNANT???’ (what can I say, there’s a lot of yelling in my circle of friends) stage and from there it’s all babies and sharing maternity clothes and hand-me-downs of baby clothes then getting said baby clothes back when surprise number 2, 3 or 4 comes along and so on and so forth. The next phase – funerals – is not meant to come along for quite.some.time. And by that I mean not now.

The funeral was Thursday and I had every intention of going. Until I realised the meeting I had for this ‘little’ project I’m doing with my old employer on Friday required me to do what is technically referred to as a SHITLOAD of prep for it. My plan was to do a couple of hours Thursday morning, attend funeral, then a few more that afternoon. So I’m working away and then Chef says to me, ‘crap, it’s 1 o’clock already, I have to go to work’.

Another technical term for you: FAIL. How fucking useless am I. Cue guilt and remorse at not having my shit together.

So after that debacle Thursday post school pick-up featured haircuts for four boys with the rude and offensive  battle-axe of a hairdresser. you know exactly the type of woman I mean – thin lipped from smoking too many fags, crevices not wrinkles due to years of sun-baking and rakishly thin. As we walked in I jokingly said, ‘oh you must sigh when you see us coming,’ to which she replied, ‘no, cringe is more like it’.

You know I’m not kidding. This is the second major insult I’ve had about my kids in the last week and with this one I can do something about it. That was the last haircut there.

From haircuts to various errands. From various errands to groceries. From groceries to drinking habit.

So on the way home I think, ‘fuck it, let’s get take-away’. For the first time in months, probably this year in fact, we had take-away for dinner. Heaven.

Friday was into the city for meeting and then home and then kids pick-up and then Felix into a casting call.

Yes, you read that correctly. Last night, I not only drove into the city with three children in peak-hour on a FRIDAY afternoon of a long weekend, I faced one of my greatest fears – show parents. You know exactly who I mean. This is a world of contradictions – mothers either over-weight and who clearly decided that the fashions of the late 80s suited them just fine or mothers primped and preened to within an inch of their lives. They’re the ones you know are having a more intimate relationship with their GHD than their husbands. If you know what I mean.

A world where girls have long hair held back with sparkly clips. Where boys have gelled spiky hair. Where girls do that earnest wide-eyed thing when they talk. Where boys do hip-hop.

OH don’t get all uppity at me about making generalisations. YOU KNOW I’M RIGHT.

Well, we did it. We were there. Me proudly without a skerrick of make-up. Felix without an ounce of hair product on his head. Jasper and Grover in outfits that.did.not.match.

This was an audition process to get into this agency. Who knows what will come of it. Felix had fun, the two little guys were angels and I had an awesome time go-fugging the parents. That’s what I call a win win.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Mum took Oscar to his first session at the gym with the support service we use.

This morning had us at Special Olympics ten-pin bowling for Oscar, the third week of this caper. Imagine an entire bowling alley of around 20 lanes packed with people with special needs of all ages bowling. Oscar absolutely LOVES it. I keep forgetting to take some panadol before we go.

The funniest event at this morning’s round? Seeing a family of four mosey on in, clearly thinking their idea of a family outing ROCKED and getting there nice and early to beat the birthday crowds. Then watching their collective expression turn from one of smug righteousness to holy crap what the hell is going on here to dejected cluelessness by the time they departed. HILARIOUS STUFF.

We’re about to have a family lunch – MADE BY FELIX – of spaghetti Bolognese, garlic bread and a delightful display salad. You know, the salad you make to assuage any guilt at there being no green in a meal in the full knowledge no one will eat it.

Felix has drama this afternoon and Chef will head off to work.

And I will wonder why I feel exhausted and wish the children would just play quietly without needing my involvement. Then it will be wine-o’clock, dinner, baths and bed before we start it all over again tomorrow.


Ahhh, Mondays.

So today involved getting Felix and the bloody assignment to school. I almost said to his teacher that if she didn’t give me an A+ I’d be really pissed off but decided against it. 

Then there was taking mum to her follow-up appointment with her hip surgeon – to in part check on the latest new hip but mainly to discuss this pesky issue of there being a ‘weird’ lump appearing on mum’s other hip, the one she had replaced two and a half years ago. 
Dudes, this family? We’re all about being the statistic.
It turns out that the titanium rod that goes into her bone is not pure titanium but contains some chromium cobalt as well. I know! Who knew! Apparently there is a very small number of the population who have hip replacements whose bodies will reject the replacement due to the chromium cobalt. Of course there is! Of course that would be my mother! Let’s celebrate being an individual!
So on Wednesday she has to have an MRI then on Thursday she’ll be back at hospital for an arthroscope. We were viewing this as an inconvenience before we read the information sheets on it and FREAKED THE FUCK OUT. An arthroscope is basically just as bad – in terms of recovery – as a fucking hip replacement. In ABOUT EIGHT WEEKS the hip should feel normal again.
Holy crap people, the poor woman just had the other hip replaced and now will have the other hip – the one that is meant to be the good hip buggered up as well. 
The upshot of this fresh hell is that they will drain/whateverthefucktheydo some of this cyst/lesion/lump/paininthefuckingarse to see what it is exactly and if, IF, it reveals her body is rejecting the replacement she’ll have to have the thing done again. This time with a pure titanium rod. OH GOODY. 
Anyway, from this delicious outing I went on a truly delicious outing – lunch with two friends from mother’s group to celebrate a birthday. After hanging out two loads of washing mind you. But OH it was lovely sitting and chatting and not having to rush home (today is Chef’s day off). 
I then went for a swim. Last weeks efforts were arduous and hard, today I got in the pool and swam 50 laps in just under 40 minutes (I had flippers on). I KNOW! And I really did feel better for it. Amazing huh. 
Then I came home and while Chef had brought the washing in because it had started to rain he had not rehung it on the drying racks. He did then help me hang it on the drying racks, so there is that.  Then I started dinner by cleaning the kitchen. Which took an age. Then I started dinner.
Oscar was meant to be getting in the shower but came to show me this rash on his tummy. Which then happened to be in the same place on the same side but on his back. With watery little blisters on it. I figured a caterpillar or some insect had got inside his school shirt and bitten the crap out of him so gave him some antihistamine, put him in a Pinetarsol bath and then rubbed some Paraderm cream on it. Because I’m good like that. 
Mum came down hoping for dinner (sorry, that had got a wee bit delayed) and took one look at it and was all, “SHINGLES! GET THEE TO THE HOSPITAL!!! SHINGLES!!! THERE’S A TIME LIMIT TO THE DRUGS! SHINGLES!!!! GET THEE TO THE HOSPITAL!!!”. 
So off Oscar and I went for the second hospital trip in as many weeks. And meanwhile I was thinking, ‘probably shouldn’t have let the little guys get in the green (due to the Pinetarsol) bathwater after Oscar.’ AWESOME PARENTING MOMENT 356.
Apparently Mona Vale Hospital Emergency has been very very busy all day. I filled her in, mentioned that since his bath he’d been saying he was cold and lo, it came to pass, that YES! A FEVER! A RASH AND A FEVER! That’s like the hospital paediatric gold pass! 
The nurse put him in the triage system but also suggested we go and get in the queue to see the GP (you know, one of those whizz bang new GP clinics in the hospital scenarios) as they would send us back to emergency if they weren’t happy with him. Sure enough we got in to see the GP relatively quickly and yep, shingles. He’s now on some anti-viral drug you have to call Canberra to get approval to use and well, school holidays just started a whole three days early for Oscar. Of course, three days early with quite a sting in the tail. Poor kid. 
So now we’re home. Grover is still awake turning the tele on and off. Oscar went to bed happy dosed up on Panadol, anti-viral drugs and a serve of bread and butter pudding I’d made before the drama had unfolded (made with the AWESOME hazelnut and raisin bread from Bourke Street Bakery. OMG so good). 
And dudes, it’s only Monday. 



So after yesterday’s mammoth efforts of building IKEA shelving, rearranging the back living area and holding a party for about 20 people for Jasper’s birthday today was Oscar’s botox day at Sydney Children’s.

But I had forgotten to ring the hospital on Friday afternoon at the (very) specified time to get his admission time as Chef and I were rushing home from IKEA to get the little boys from the inlaws and the big boys from school.

So this morning I just winged it, got up at 5, got Oscar in the car at about 6.45 and was at the hospital by about 7.30.

But then they didn’t have his file.
And there were lots of babies at admissions.
And I thought, ‘oh crap, we’re on the afternoon list’.
But then, the awesome staff made some calls and we were meant to be somewhere completely different!
So up we went to the different place and there was one other family waiting and it turned out we were meant to be there at 8am.
It was such a better set up – still stressful but the procedure was done in a theatre in the ward (it’s actually the cancer kids ward) so the kids wake up back in their room rather than recovery and don’t have to go into the big scary theatres with gowns, caps and all that stress.
It showed me just how grown up Oscar has become.
I had taken the wrong car so Chef was left with the car with no car seat.
I had forgotten my wallet.
So Chef had to come in anyway – which is no mean effort as the hospital is on the other side of Sydney.
We got home just before 4pm.

I was about 4.45 as I was getting dinner ready when I happened to look up and out the back window to see Grover grab his hand and really start to cry.
I saw Felix know it was serious and scoop him up and head towards the back door.
I called out if he was alright or did he need help but I was already halfway to the back door.
He said he needed help. That Grover had hurt his finger. Badly.
I took one look at the colour of the blood, the flow of it and the amount of it and said to Chef to get the keys.
Somehow the scooter had fallen on his finger and sliced right through the entire nail and part of the side of his middle finger on his left hand.
Oscar and Felix have both had nail bed injuries so I knew what we were looking at.

Mum sprang into action in looking after the other three and Chef and I were in the car on the way to the hospital within about two minutes.
Then we waited and waited in triage.
Then we went in.
The doctor tried to convince me it wasn’t on the growth bed of the nail but I knew.
We waited two hours for the senior hand registrar.
He took one look at it and said it would need surgery but wasn’t sure they’d do it at MV as he was so little.
But the hand surgeon who did Oscar and Felix’s surgery has a theatre list tomorrow.
He rang him.
Grover’s first on the list.

We’re back at hospital tomorrow morning at 10.

So what can I tell you

It’s 5.17, raining and pitch black. The house is completely silent except for Oscar occasionally coughing up a lung and then continuing his quest to grind those massive horse-like teeth down to more acceptable stumps.
I’m up and awake because I fell asleep putting Jasper to bed (again) last night and Grover didn’t wake until 4.18 demanding some sort of beverage, preferably warmed to blood temperature and oh yeah, sure some of that formula would do just nicely. Mmmm. Burp. You can put me back to bed now.
So you now, that 7.5 whole hours of sleep only moderately interrupted by Jasper using me as a pillow or Chef coming to bed at some ungodly hour has left me feeling all kinda refreshed and whatnot.
So, what’s been happening?
Did you all take notes on my Idol commentary? Did anyone notice (or care) that I didn’t post about the last semi-final? That’s because even I didn’t care. Could we create television any more boring than what Idol has been this year? The blatant ‘vote for these two’ on the last show even shocked little ole’ cynical me and the notes I wrote on an envelope? in the dark? as I was putting Jasper to bed in our bed with the tv on low because white trash parenting? I have it down pat these days people. Are just not worth writing up. They could take a whole five minutes of my life I’d never get back.
So, Felix was home – off school – for five whole days with this virus that is griping children all over Sydney* and that I’m totally blaming on all those bright happy shiny cheery Catholics who descended on our city a few weeks back for some pesky misnamed event called World Youth Day which actually goes for a week and can cost your state government millions of dollars that could have gone to health, education, mental health, my bank account instead.
This virus involves – sporadic high fevers, occasional vomiting, general lethargy requiring almost constant watching of movies, and finally, like a great big fat-arsed cherry on top, a cough that is irritating to everyone else incessant and serious. At one stage I thought we’d moved from virus to bacterial and that he had bronchitis but then he started teasing, tormenting and dominating his brothers so I knew he was getting better.
Then yesterday? Oscar who’s been coughing a bit said he had a headache but he wanted to go to school because it was sports day and lifeskills day. (Sidenote: And people? The lifeskills program they’re doing with Oscar at school? Which involves cooking and going to the shops and other other stuff I can’t remember really beneficial outings and lessons has been so good for him and me. Last weekend he made me a cup of tea from beginning to end. Bless. And we made a muesli slice from a book he borrowed from the library which was nomnomnom delicious). So he arrived home looking pretty battered from a day he probably should have spent on the lounge. With a migraine and a temperature. And Jasper? he had a headache and a temperature too. And Grover? Found his hippo and tiger, told me to get my shit together, headed up to his room, started closing his own blinds and made me put him back to bed at 3.30pm.
Yeah, so one child home for five days of school and on the lounge for seven and now the other three are all going to be jostling for position. I sent Chef to the chemist last night and you know it’s Game On when the lsit consists of three types of panadol/pain relief medications for children. It’s going to be a fun-filled weekend around here, I.can.just.tell.
I’ve been a bit anxious and hand-wringing about our finances because even calling them finances is laughable. But you know, we’ve been here before and we have enough family we haven’t ostracised that I don’t think anyone will let us starve or end up sleeping in the car just yet.
Mum has – on total impulse – booked a holiday to Hawaii with two friends from school (who seem to go quite often) for the upcoming October school holidays. How cool is that?
One of the things that I am just so happy about in my life at the moment is that my relationship with Mum is back on track. Funny isn’t it, that in trying to hold everything together I actually was pushing people away and helping it all fall apart. We’re in a really good place at the moment and I am just consciously loving and treasuring each and every day of it.
I’ve also been going to the gym again. That place my friends, is just a book waiting to be written. For starters who the HELL are all these people and WHY AREN’T THEY AT WORK/SCHOOL? Yesterday I saw the most spectacular cougar specimen the only thing that stopped me staring at her highly erect fake nipples was that sensation that perhaps I was jusy about to die or at least hear some muscle in my body snap into eleventy gagillion pieces.

And now? If you’ve read this far, you deserve some pictorial rewards. From our recent bushwalking expedition** and other sundry items:

* That’s be our school and definitely one other which is a whole half and hour away.

** This is only 20 minutes from where we live people. Blessed I say. Blessed.