Friday, December 26, 2008

Fwee Fwee Fwee Fwee Fwee

The title is in deference to my nephew MrT... he's 16 months old and "Fwee fwee fwee fwee fwee fwee fwee" is his favourite utterance when he's happy and just generally running amock.

It has been great to have family visiting and just being able to hang out and do not too much. I think we have a household of people who generally are feeling the effects of low level sleep deprivation and lack of routine, but we're happy for the most part.

I know it is a bit belated, but I would like to wish everyone well for the silly season. For us 2008 has been an exciting year full of change and happiness, but we know that it hasn't be that way for everyone. I hope that 2009 brings you the best and that you thrive in every thing life offers you next year. We're waiting to meet Squiddley Diddley next year, and know that our curve of change will continue to dramatically increase, but hopefully, so will our joy.

Love to all.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Birthday BabyCakes!

I love you :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mind the Bump!

This is me at 19 weeks, 2 days. I wasn't overly happy with the bump picture at the time, so did not share it - might have also had something to do with being tired and having limited recreation time!

This one is me at 24 weeks and 5 days. Syill not happy with how fat I look, compared to how pregnant I look...

This is 26weeks and 4 days.

I'm now 27 weeks and 6 days, so this was taken just over a week ago.

I'm starting to feel like I have ceased to be me and have simply become the host of Squiddley Diddley...

These photos are not flattering at all - I don't feel as big as these photos make me look! In fact the scales agree - motherhood has been good to my body, mostly, so far.

Tomorrow I officially reach 28 weeks, which is officially the third trimester. As my Obstetrician said today, it is a big milestone.

My breathing is getting shallower as bubs is pushing up under my ribs (and getting in some good kicks too!). In the last few days the movements have been changing - I think there is less swimming and more co-ordination to the exercises - there is definitely more strength. She can take me sit up straighter, stop mid sentence or make me need to pee in an instant.

It is good though.

Every day I get to feel her and know her.

I'm looking forward to meeting her in about 3 months time!

Life has been moving on - BabyCakes had a big weekend a few back, and took over 300kg of green waste to the dump and found a new favorite toy on the process. We were loaned an amazing saw on a pole which BabyCakes loved so much he googled it, and found out it was worth about $700 - ouch! With the storm that has his this week we were very glad he'd attacked the tree he did, when he did. I'm sure it saved us work (and probably cost too).

I've applied for a full time government job. The job would offer some security and a pay rise - and a single employer! I submitted the application on the weekend ad don't have a clue when/if they will contact me - wish me luck!

Christmas is approaching, which is exciting and daunting both. I'm looking forward to the inevitable catching up that happens around the festive season, but the speed at which it is approaching is amazing. I suppose I'll have to look at Christmas shopping soon!

The baby shower was great - so much fun. I was also very lucky in the gifts that I received, a sewing machine, some gorgeous baby clothes, and some very cute Modern Cloth Nappies - but more about them anon!

Oh, and we discovered we have termites.... but we should be able to sort them out reletively easily due to catching them early...

and we bought a new washing machine. We must be domestic, because we weren't even close to temped to chuck in a wide screen TV while we were there!

I think that's enough for now... chat soon.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hey Look! Less Than a Week Between Posts!


Later today I'll be attending my baby shower. It's on the early side, but I knew a couple of people that were due to give birth in November and Christmas functions always tend to over run schedules later in the year, so we thought early would be good. It is somewhat of a pity that we didn't check in with baby R's schedule, because he decided he wanted his Birthday last weekend!

I'm still looking forward to high tea (cups of tea, but with food - yum!), and some baby inspired games (I'm told), and just generally catching up with the women in my life. I have amassed a surprising number of them. When it came to suggesting a guest list, I very quickly had to stop at family and the very closest of friends, because I do want to be able to talk to people, and despite what people might think of showers, it wasn't a gift grabbing exercise - I'd be happy not receive a single gift except to see people.

I've never had a baby shower, so it will be curious to report back on what happens!

In the mean time, this blog entry is brought to you by the fact that I should be doing a weeks worth of cleaning.... and obviously writing the blog is easier to do than cleaning!

I actually feel like I have energy today, so I shall start the cleaning soon - nothing like an impending visit from the in-laws to motivate one! BabyCakes is at work, having survived the Slipknot concert - and all it's pyros and stage effects that he got to see last night.

Squidley Didley is kicking up a storm - getting stronger and more co-ordinated now, but I've learned how to tune out the smaller movements so it is easier to cope with - quite cute in fact. Most of the kicks and punches visibly make my belly move, and I can imagine that soon enough (maybe in the next month to six weeks), that we'll get to see pointy feet, hands, elbows or knees stick out when bubs tries to roll around.

I have my next Obstetrician's appointment next week, and after that one they swap from monthly to fortnightly, so that will be a big chunk out of my schedule (and bank balance). I've booked my 32 week scan (about Christmas time), to see if my placenta has moved appropriately to allow for a vaginal birth - I don't know yet if that'd be a good or a bad thing... Despite how battered and bruised a vaginal birth can leave one, I do it is the optimum for mother and child given there is no medical need for a ceasarian section. (Major surgery is not something I could do just for the sake of it...)

We've also booked in for our one day ante-natal class at the hospital too - I wonder how BabyCakes will cope witht he child birth videos - for that matter, I wonder how I'll cope! We're both regularly having baby dreams... last night I dreamed I had octuplets... 4 boys and 4 girls.... and BabyCakes had a dream where a nurse decided to give me a c-section without anesthetic, and even over my screams he heard the baby's first cry, and then we both cried too...

Life is good.

I should do some dishes now though.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

An Update.

I was specifically requested to update news of bubs, but before I do, I am delighted for my friends S & A who welcomed to the world this morning a beautiful little boy, 5 weeks early but mum and baby are doing well. On top of that, My brother B turned 30 today, so Happy Birthday again B!

As for me, bubs has been dubbed "Squidley Didley" in the last fortnight or so. It very quickly went from "Is that a movement?" to BabyCakes feeling a kick to "My goodness child, please sit sill for a while!".

I've gotten much better able to cope with the endless bumps and squirms of baby working out how to move limbs and and how much strength she has. To start with it was like a neverending stomach upset, without the feeling ill, just the churning... and the knowledge there is a person inside me. It is as odd as it sounds. Very very cool, but pretty weird too! I think the constancy of the movement also took it's toll by way of some very vivid dreams, and the feelings stirred by the dreams impacting my day. I had a dream where someone completely dismissed me, which made me angry, so I told BabyCakes (in the dream) and he didn't take much notice. I then woke up, and told him about the dream, and guess what? At 5:30am, he wasn't that indignant that someone treated me that way - in my dream! I was grumpy all morning, until I told my boss at the first job of the day how I'd woken up in a bad mood due to a dream - he told me how his wife wouldn't talk to him for two weeks when she was pregnant, because she had had a dream he was having an affair...

This weekend I've discovered Braxton Hicks contractions... equally odd, and unsettling. I've done a bit of reading and it seems that it's all pretty normal for how far along I am. Through this though, Squidley Didley has managed to refine her kicking skills to find all kinds of organs and piece of the anatomy that don't usually get that kind of stimulus.... sharp pains and weird sensations seem to be the norm for these few weeks! Apparently this is all likely to continue to get worse, while bub's strength increases and she can still swim around... in another 6 weeks or so, the space starts to get a bit more confining and I can expect less swimming!

Life has continued it's hectic pace, lots of work, lots of family, and trying to make time to rest a bit in between. Today we loaded up the back of BabyCakes' car with 80 kgs or green waste and went on a tip run. It was satisfying to see how much stuff you can stack into a small space when you try! It is also good to see how much of a dent in the pile of branches we'd been collecting. We really need to give the yard some more attention - we've been ignoring it a bit too much of late. With the onset of the Birthday season in my family, I am very aware of how quickly Christmas will be upon us.

Oh, and for those that I told about my mobile phone dying.... I got a new one, my first ever Nokia.

Time to sit on the couch a while before dinner.

Hope you're having fun folks!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

A Challenge....

This was a challenge posted on a friend's blog, that had been challenged to her. The rules are if you want to find out why the names are on the list, you have to commit to the challenge for yourself (if you don't have a blog I'm sure you could facebook or whatever it).

If you want to give it a go, let me know and I'll send the list through privately to you.

It made me think. It is not a bad/mean spirited thing.

I don't usually use identifiable names on my blog, but given it is a simple list until you get the key questions, I figure most people are unidentified anyway.

1. Bob
2. Simon
3. I'm very glad to say, no one :)
4. Debi
5. me
6. Simon
7. Leigh
8. Caroline
9. Lexi
10. Anne
11. Probably me, before BabyCakes
12. I know so many...
13. Natalie
14. Lauren / BabyCakes
15. Anke (but not right now... and I have no idea why!)
16. Sean
17. Lexi
18. Maddy / BabyCakes
19. Anke
20. Leigh
21. Bob
22. Caroline
23. My bosses...
24. I'm very glad to say, no one
25. Anke
26. BabyCakes
27. Lexi
28. James
29. BabyCakes
30. Go on, admit it, you're curious as to why your name is on this list!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

CCB: Crazy Cat Baby!

Someone on a forum I'm on suggested the nickname and I think my bump can be referred to as the CCB :) I think it's cute.

The bump has started to make it's presence known more and more each day. I had quite a few people register surprise when I showed them pictures or told them we're expecting a girl - they hadn't realised I was pregnant, so it seems I was quite comfortably in the "Is she fat or is she pregnant?" zone. It makes it easier to take when the sonographer called me skinny!

I'm feeling good, and enjoying pregnant for the most part when I can ignore the almost instantaneous cravings one has when one is told "You shouldn't". Guilt is a powerful motivator and whilst I'm being far more liberal than some pregnant women, the risks I take are weighed against the size of the craving and or the size of risk itself. When you consider that poorly washed lettuce is quite a big risk of Listeriosis, it can impact a lot on one's desire to eat (in a moderately healthy fashion) in a public place!

I'm delighted to have a day off from any paid work today, to be able to do some of those unpaid things that tend to pile up during the work-eat-sleep-eat-work-eat-sleep cycle. Returning calls that can only be made in office hours, wedding the garden, tidying up the mountain of papers that accumulate through the house, putting away the baby stuff that accumulates, the list can go on and on (it certainly feels like it).

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Technology is an Amazing Thing.


It has been a while since I posted - but a lot seems to be happening. Next Wednesday will see the official half way mark of the pregnancy - how fast did that go??

We were delighted this week to get a chance to see bubs again, wiggling away in my belly. We even got a DVD of the whole scan so that we can show grandparents, and keep a record for bubs too. Baby was kicking and waving her arms, but abstained from flips (which is good from a sonography point of view!) I think the Ultra sounds might be a bit louder for developing ears - she (yes, she) kept kicking out at the scanner when we were trying to count her toes (10 - yay!) and kept turning away, and trying to cover her face with her hands (5 fingers each - yay!) /arms. She was at one point rolling away and was face down just to make things interesting!

The things they check for these days are amazing. Club feet, cleft palate, holes in the heart chamber walls, spinal condition, kidney/stomach function, lung development, cataracts, herniated diaphragm... the list goes on. Another instance where we were delighted to hear "average" and "normal" :) Our little girlie hid her genitals from us for quite a while, and it wasn't until the last 5 minutes of the 90 minute process that we were able to get a 99% confirmation of gender. BabyCakes was delighted to be proven right (he's said from the day after the pee-on-a-stick that it was a girl), and has already promised her a pink football.

The night of the scan we went out and bought little pink cot linen... and some pink ugg boots that were on special and too cute to pass up!

So, baby stuff has featured heavily recently, but as always, is not the whole of our life.

I have four jobs, which as expected keeps me busy, and BabyCakes has been hard at work trying to keep the commissions coming in. We were very happy this week to receive a letter from our credit union saying they are passing on the RBA's cut in official interest rates - yay! That means our mortgage didn't quite get to the threatened high, and keeps the repayment under the round figure mark... small victories, but you have to celebrate them!

La Boite Theatre Company is currently hosting The Wishing Well, which has been very well received by those that have attended, but unfortunately, not that well attended. The show closes tonight, but if my shift late this week is anything to go by, hopefully the last couple of shows will fill up nicely. My in-laws went to see the show in week one of the season, and very much enjoyed the show.

I've promised to take BabyCakes out for a night out to see the next La Boite Theatre Company season show, Attack of the Attacking Attackers, which looks like a lot of fun (they've just upgraded the warnings of Medium level coarse language, Sexual References, Adult Themes, Depictions of Violence too... which should get some more bums on seats). In between the seasons there are also other visiting shows, which means more work for me... YAY!

I have a shift today, which means I probably should be getting ready for that instead of blogging ;)

We went camping last weekend, which was fun, I will tell you more about it anon.... I really do need to get moving!

It is my sister's Birthday today, so Happy Birthday L, if you are reading!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Time Flies When You're Baking a Bun

It's been a while between posts as I've been struggling to stay awake past 8pm! The sad thing is, I got really excited when I started sleeping all the way through the night again.. early on I was averaging about 3 loo trips a night thanks to pregnancy bladder. Building a baby is tiring work, but I think I've worked out why.

This time next week our baby should be fully formed, but tiny (about 10cms). How cool is that?? A tiny little person. After that, baby grows and matures, but nothing much gets "built".

Last week we went for a scan, and got to see our wiggly bub. One doesn't expect anything less than two arms and two legs, but it is heartening to see them. We also saw the stomach, bladder, brain lobes, skull thickness, heart chambers, spine and face (albeit a weird looking face so far), and I have to say, I've never been so glad to hear "average" mentioned so often in my life!

Here it looks like baby is sucking a thumb:

Baby wave? Or baby rubbing eyes?
In this one, the big white blob on the right is baby's shin, the little white blob to the left of it is the umbilical chord.
The same day the scans were taken my jeans started getting painfully tight... I either have to retire them for a while or look at getting a belly belt thingie.

Energy has become a precious commodity, and during the week nothing much besides work gets done, then on weekends, there is a mad catch up.

I started wedding thank you notes over a month ago, most are written but sitting in a pile, and some are still waiting to be written. Those expecting one, please be patient, I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just barely functioning as a human being.

Work is going well, routines are stating to be formed which is great. At this stage it looks like I'll be working about 38 hours a week across the 3 jobs, which is tiring - lots more travel time - but I'm getting paid more than I used to earn, so that is somewhat satisfying! Working at La Boite has been very cool - nice to be on a theatre payroll again and new skills are always welcome!

Last week I had a surprisingly emotional response to to a letter from the credit union - I cried! They decided to put our mortgage rate up again due to rising costs. I think I had emotionally invested in thinking that if rates stayed the same, we could cope... the rise was emotionally a kick in the guts... and I fell over. I think it has taken me nearly a week to get over/cope with it!

This post has taken me about two hours to write, so I might post what I have, and write again sooner if I think of anything!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Sharing is Caring...

Thought some of you might like to see this...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady


My posts have been non-existent for a while now as I've had a fair bit on my plate recently. Life changing "oh-my-goodness-I-can't-believe-this-is-happening-to-me" kinds of stuff happening.

I posted briefly that my job of nine and a half years doesn't exist any more, which in itself is not super stressful given the pay out etc. I'm a capable person, I should be able to find a job well before the money runs out... right? Right!


(Remember my post two posts ago? Get ready to laugh, or gasp - your choice)

Factor in the fact that I found out I was pregnant about a week before I found out I was redundant, and you get a "oh-my-goodness-I-can't-believe-this-is-happening-to-me" kinda moment. My (now ex-)boss was telling me how he'd tried hard to drum up business and what it means to him and his family that he has to wind up the business and stuff, and I'm crying, and crying.

I'm thinking about the mortgage, and the interest rate rises (I stopped counting when they went up over $250 a month from when we got the mortgage in November) and now I have no maternity leave and what the hell am I going to do about child care and what is a new employer going to say when after they give me a job they find out that I have to have time off and we can't pay the mortgage on one wage let alone eat, AND look after one more... and lots more.

I was 6 weeks pregnant. My learning curve had already been steep, and was getting steeper. I'd already been told by my GP (on a Friday afternoon) "Book an Obstetrician now - don't leave it till Monday, because they might not have any space left". I'd already had to change my health care cover, book a spot in hospital for February and answer all kinds of questions you had no idea you'd need to know the answer to within a week of peeing on a stick.

I'm crying as I'm typing this, reliving the memories - welcome to pregnancy hormones, they kick in pretty quick - as well as the need to pee a LOT! Thankfully, I'm at 9 weeks now and have so far dodged the morning sickness bullet - job hunting whilst not knowing when I was likely to puke would REALLY suck!

I've currently got two part time "temp" jobs, both should see me up to when I pop, and one possibly beyond that... so it is a good start - but still only about 22-25 hours a week. It looks like I'll have Tuesdays and Thursdays to fill in with more work. I'm seriously looking at applying for a casual Box Office job at La Boite (Thanks Rastas!), which might be able to supplement the hours enough to make ends meet.

We had our first Obstetrician's appointment last week (I ended up getting an obstetrician without any drama), which was nerve wracking and exciting. We had our first scan and heard and saw a strong heartbeat, and development measured exactly to my dates - heartening.

So, those are our first baby pics - can you see it?

It's a bit of a magic eye test at this stage, but as far as I remember, the baby is the grey bit between the crosses (where they are measuring how big it is - 7 cms long), on the right is the head, and the left is the butt. The white "smile" is the cord. The obstetrician got all excited when she saw the head move during the scanning process, and I think she was a bit miffed we didn't get more excited too - but we didn't know where we were looking - and to be honest, the blinking heartbeat was mesmerising for me. That was as big as seeing the two lines on the stick in the "OMG this is happening" stakes. I think it was for BabyCakes too.

So, we've told family, because we knew they would be too excited for us to not tell them, and now we're telling our friends.

Take your time to get used to it - we won't be offended if you don't want to talk about it yet. This *is* our anouncement though, so we won't be making specific calls etc. Feel free to pass the news on to people you think might want to know.

We're happy (if not a little worried about money), but we're sure we can cope with this. It was ironic that life just exploded into a whole world of change for us, all at once. We thought getting married was the biggest change we would have this year!

For those of you that want the specifics, we're at 9 weeks 1 day, and the estimated date of delivery is February 11th 2009.

BabyCakes thinks we're having a girl... I have no idea - I'll settle for a happy, healthy baby :)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

A Dull Life Would Be Boring, Right?

Well, a lot has been happening since I last posted - including forgetting my password to log in - DOH! Obviously, I eventually worked out the password, and here I am.

My big news is that I was made redundant, which came as a bit of a shock. The boss is closing down his business which I imagine is very stressful for him.

I've found some part time temp work so far and am continuing the search.

Lots more has been happening but I can't get it out of my head yet!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Creating Space

Yesterday I created a new blog to document some home projects. I know I could have posted about them here, but I want to get fairly specific to be able to track some things and work out how frequently tasks re-occur etc, and I figured that is hardly riveting blog material!

If you want to read that blog, feel free, but hopefully, I can talk about different things in different spaces so as not to bore every one!

BabyCakes and I were delighted to hear of the safe arrival of our new niece this week, a healthy 3.3kg, 52cm girl was delivered via c-section on Wednesday 4th of June. Mum and bub are doing well. Her birthday should be easy to remember given that my eldest brother and an Aunt share a birthday on the 3rd of June - I hope you both had great days if you are reading!

Saturday night also saw us drive to the other side of town to visit with one of BabyCakes' cousins who was celebrating his 36th birthday this weekend... seems like June is a birthday hot spot!

We seem to be surrounded by babies and pregnancy at the moment - I guess that it was bound to happen at some stage. We've had a few people hint and not so subtly suggest that it will be our turn next.....

....don't hold your breath. Babies still scare the crap out of me too much to deliberately try for one!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Home, Home on a Plane....

It was a long flight, very long, but we made it home safely. Dog and cat have been most happy to see us, and mooch around us as often as possible... cat rarely lets a lap be un-sat upon!

I've updated some of the posts I made whilst we were away with some photos. The rest of the photos are on my facebook account, so those that don't know how to see them, leave me a note and I'll send you the details.

After some discussion, we decided to give into our wii craving, given it had not gone away and we both felt it, and bought one duty free on our way back into the country. It saved us about $30 - not huge, but better than a poke in the eye!

We also wanted a wii fit, but they didn't have any at the duty free shop, so had to settle for getting one from the local shops the day after we got back. Wii has been somewhat of a focal point of our attentions and energy since we got back especially with the rain we've had. Both Friday and Saturday nights we ended up having nights at home with family, and the wii.... they all want one now too!

We managed to spend some time in the garden on the weekend, doing some weeding, and scattering of some lawn seed in the hopes that it might take root in the midst of all the rain.

I've also started on my post-wedding project - the budget - or at this stage, just simply tracking how and where we spend our money. I really want to get on top of this so that we can set and meet financial goals so that we can do somethings around the house, and even save up for another trip. It was heartening to work out today that despite spending at will on our trip, we were a grand total of $42.07 over budget for it - it is worth the money to not worry about it for the duration!

It is good to be home, I'm looking forward to moving on with our lives together. :)

P.S. Wifey, if you read this, I completely forgot when you asked about cool wedding presents to mention the gorgeous hand-made quilt my Aunt made for us - it is stunning and is WAY up there - just have to work out if we hang it or put it on a bed!

Friday, May 23, 2008

The 4400 is not a sci-fi TV show, but the alleged number of Australians working at Whistler.

We took a drive up to the host villiage of the 2010 Winter Olympics yesterday and had great fun. I even threw a snowball, and had a few thrown at me.

It was a gorgeous 15 degree day in the villiage, the sun shining and glorious. Up the mountain it was about -2 degrees, and very chilly in the wind on the chairlift. The bottom section of the mountain had pretty much no snow on it and the locals have pretty much swapped to mountain biking - they hurtle down the mountain in helmets and crash gear flicking up lots of mud, and seemingly having a great time - they certainly pay for the privelege!

BabyCakes even managed to zero in on Ray Warren's voice to find a bar screening the state of origin... luckily NSW were 10-0 over QLD so we were allowed to leave.

We had a quiet day today doing laundry and such, and tomorrow we have another day scheduled with my Wifey! We don't have any plans beyond that, but it should be fun!

It's starting to feel like the end of the trip now, but it's a nice feeling. We've still got stuff to do, but equally going home doesn't panic us. We're certainly looking forward to petting the dog and cat.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Seattle = Sunburn - Who Would Have Thunk?

BabyCakes and I are now back in Vancouver at our trusty net café. We had a fantastic cruise, which was just long enough. We met some fantastic people and saw some amazing sights.

Yesterday we elected for early debarkation and managed to pick up our rental car before 8am. The rental agency upgraded us to a Camry hybrid car which has been pretty cool. We drove to Seattle with plenty of time to spare to catch our Seattle Mariners Vs San Diego Padres baseball game (having stopped by the space needle on the way).

We had hotdogs and beer and got sunburned. It was 21 degrees (celcius) and a gorgeous day - apparently there is about 10 months of rain in Seattle, so we got lucky! The Mariners even won the game, which made the local fans very happy.

Afterwards we took the Fiend's advice and went on the Seattle Underground Tour which was a very informative and interesting tour and a great way to learn about the early years of Seattle. I was a bit "tour group"-ed out by the end of it, and was glad to be left up to our own devices after that.

This morning we swung by the Pike place Markets and saw some fish being thrown about, saw the first ever Starbucks store, and bought some mugs, and on the way out of town we stopped at a Wal Mart - and bought nothing. We did look at the guns for sale - turn left at the tennis racquets, and the electronics and music/DVDs. We were surpised to see that on the whole there wasn't any real difference in price from those we get at home - sure there were a few things cheaper, but not a lot.

We then headed over the Canadian border and got settled at our new hotel. So far the car has just about used half a tank of fuel!

We're off to see if we can get tickets for a Missy Higgins concert tonight - the phone infoline was a bit ambiguous so we don't know if we can get tickets at the door... if we can, we figure the $22.50 price makes up for the whole "not seeing the local acts" guilt complex...

Hope you're all well and having fun - we haven't had any emails or phone messages so we assume that that is the case!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cruising is Cruisy!

We're on shore at beautiful Ketchikan, Alaska and it is breathtaking - hopefully the pictures will do it justice.

The internet costs a bomb on ship so we have declined to blog from there!

We are having a blast, we've met some lovely people and got dressed up each evening for fun.

This is a cute coin operated internet cafe - but the coins are running out so this will be just a short post to let you know we're still happy and well and having fun.

Monday, May 12, 2008

BabyCakes and CrazyCatLady went to White Rock...

Yesterday we finally got me meet up with my wifey! this is a fun shot of me with my husband and my wife! BabyCakes did very well to cope with our silliness and excitement, but he even seemed to enjoy the day too. My wifey took us to a place called White Rock which is on the south side of Vancouver and is very pretty. It is a seaside town, which has a white rock in the middle of their beach which has been there forever. We had a lot of space to explore given the cold and damp weather which kept the locals away. We chatted for a long time over lunch at MobyDick's before walking up and down the waterfront.

We then went for a car tour around Vancouver, with Wifey showing us where she worked, different places in Stanley Park and the view from the Lion's Gate Bridge. We headed back to the hotel for a drink and stuff, before quickly deciding to stay in and chat over pizza rather than having to share our time together with anyone else. We discussed life the universe and everything, and Wifey even shared a few things BabyCakes didn't know abotu (and probably didn't need to know about me)... it was great fun, and it was suddenly 11pm and Wifey had to head home especially seeing as though she has to work she has to work today!
Today we head off on our cruise which is very exciting! We have a few things to do before we head down to board the ship and before they are ready to accept us! Hopefully the internet access is reasonably priced on ship and I can update the blog, otherwise you'll have to wait a week or so!
Hope everyone is well!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Bikes and Breweries... a Surprising Match...

On our gift registry list we put the day trips that looked interesting while we were on the cruise. Some friends gave us a gift of money to make sure that we could go on a Bike & Brewery tour in Alaska. Today we decided to get some practice in (for the bike riding especially) and hire some bikes to ride around Stanley Park (which was beautiful) and afterwards we went to the Steamworks Micro-brewery and bar.

Babycakes preferred their Oatmeal stout and I liked their Double Double (double alcohol beer) - I think it was the tastiest - but it certainly has gone to my head! Their chicken tenderloins were yummy too!

Maybe the Jetlag was Jetlagged....

Yesterday we had a fun day walking around Granville island, which is not actually an island anymore.

Lonely Planet served us well again, in advising us to check out "Go fish" which is a small trailer-esque shop that sells very very tasty fish and chips. Lunch was followed by a tour of Granville island Micro-brewery BC's first micro-brewery. The tour was about $10.50 each which turned into great value when there were only 5 in our group and Kim, our guide filled up a jug to fill our small tasting glasses. One can't put the beer back in the tap, so we got to share it out between us. We got along well with the other 3 (older) poms that shared the tour. The lager and pale ale were the favourites of the group, but I did "taste" a fair bit of their limited edition small batch stout. We walked around and around the island stopping to look at the public markets and many of the art and craft galleries - all the walking made us feel better about the drinking!

The afternoon saw us very tired and we fell asleep in front of the TV in the hotel room. We thought it was a nap, untill I realised it was 9pm (daylight savings means it was still light). For the second night in a row we ate dinner at about 9:30/10 o'clockish, this time at a groovy little shop called nu-bar which was cheap and tasty (thanks again LP!).

We went back to the hotel room and had a few drinks while we watched "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" before bed.

This morning saw a sleep in (and a missed phone call from my wife - eeek!) before we started our day....

Friday, May 09, 2008

Let the Honeymoon Begin!

Hello world!

We have arrived safely in Vancouver, and are even reasonably refreshed! The flight was very long, but with the excitement of knowing where we were going and why, was managable. We dicovered this morning that standard business hours here are from 10am, so spent the early part of the moning walking around looking at things that either opened early or don't need to be open to enjoy.

We've done the obligatory visit to the steam clock which is not as old as it looks, or even powered by steam these days (so Lonely Planet tells us), but hey, what is a good tourist spot without a few tall stories?

Last night we ate at a Japanese restaurant recommended in the Lonely Planet guide, which really hit the spot.

I can't get over the amazing displays of tulips all over the city, but I guess that is what a brisk climate will get you! The city is peppered with an ecclectic mix of old and new buildings and the trees are just gorgeous.

We will try to remember to bring a download cable next time we come out to blog to try and include some pictures.

Net time is almost at an end, so we'll write again soon.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Well, I'm a Married Woman Now...

...and so far, married life is great!

BabyCakes and myself are really really really looking forward to our honeymoon. We fly out today!

We had a lovely wedding and lots of fun since. We've had so much family around us we sometimes feel like we have somewhat neglected them, but I guess we're allowed to as newlyweds. Thank you to all our family and friends who shared our day and made it the joy that it was. (Official pictures won't be back till towards the end of June)

I will try to find internet and time to blog, and download pictures as we can, but otherwise, we'll see you when we get back in a few weeks!

P.S. We have a house sitter to look after the animals and he has emergency contact numbers for us... we won't be taking mobiles with us - it is our honeymoon after all!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

It Could Have Been Better, it Could Have Been Worse

Yesterday I went to the US Consulate in Sydney. I was not immediately denied a US Visa, but I wasn't approved one either. I have to got to a panel physician for a physical because my offense was less than 5 years ago. Thankfully, they have a panel physician in Brisbane. I called yesterday and made an appointment for today (which, I again have to pay for out of pocket). I also decided to go for a 5 year visa and pay the less than $30 fee, rather than opting for the free 1 year visa. I don't know if we'll travel again in the next 5 years... but a $30 insurance against the hundreds of dollars the process has cost me this time.... worth it! The guy at the consulate indicated that I have a very good chance of having my health (and visa) approved given my otherwise clean record.

Hopefully today's appointment will be fairly straight forward, and I'll be able to get a visa.

I also went to a corset shop in Sydney while I was there. It was somewhat odd. I called and emailed last week to make sure they would have the corsets I wanted to try on in stock. I got a response of "Yes, they are." But they weren't. I did get to try on one that was kind of similar... and one that fit around the body, and one that fit in the bust, but not one that was similar, that fit my bust and body... Given the slim pickings everywhere else though, I did order (a pretty much custom) one.

With any luck, it will be delivered to me late next week, and it will fit.

So, it was a positive day, but I did not get the task complete feeling that I was looking for. Life is never dull, and I don't think I want it to be either.

The most amazing part of my day was watching the sun rise at the airport, and the cliché clouds below and sun above views out of the plane window as I flew to Sydney. They were truly stunning and wonderfully peaceful sights, which made me very happy to feel alive and see the beauty in amongst the stress I'm feeling. I wish I could describe what I saw and do it justice. I might have to try.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Never Ending Lists

Lists are starting to move beyond being "good" to being "necessary".

Lists help me sleep at night. I write down what I need to do, see, talk about, look at, re-think. Then when I climb into bed at night, my heads slows down surprisingly quickly, and I fall asleep - though it might also have something to do with the near constant state of tiredness that I'm in too...

I put more stock in the lists than the tiredness, having had my share of insomnia moments.

BabyCakes and I seem to be spending surprisingly small abouts of time together, due to our diverse schedules. The time we do spend together we cling to, sometimes making parting very hard. I think we are both longing for our honeymoon holiday, and having a chance to just be us for a while.

The play is progressing well. As with most rehearsal schedules, now is the time when people don't really want to be there, but when they need to be there (myself included). We're dangerously close to the tech and dress rehearsals, and I feel under-prepared. I have deliberately stepped away from a lot of the organisational aspects both because I don't have time, and because I don't want to step on the Stage Manager's toes. Unfortunately, I've just discovered that the SM has never SMed before, and it shows in her confidence level, and her understanding of her role. I might need to have a quiet sit down with her and give some advice.

Tomorrow I go to Sydney and the US Consulate. I'm nervous as heck too. I know it shouldn't be a big problem, but it is off putting. I'll be glad to have tomorrow over and done with, be back at home and a lot more settled. Hopefully I'll also have a corset for under the big white dress too - that's been a stumbling block, given it is a FOUNDATION garment, so far I've not had the foundation required for building the rest of the garment! Before the corset aficionados out there get too carried away - the corset will be more of a girdle than a classic corset... I need a 50s look more than I need a new toy.

We're moving into the stage of organisation for the wedding where people are wanting their money... it is very nerve wracking to see so much money going out, with the money coming in not even close to matching it! Don't get me wrong, we've saved up to money to be spent.. but I don't like seeing so much go out when it has taken so long to save it! I guess that will probably stand me in good stead to save up for the next project and the next...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Drink and Drive, and it Can Haunt You Forever

......and you don't have to hurt yourself or others for it to haunt you.

I was really happy to read this news story on . Fosters have decided to drop their super high alcohol and guarana/taurine/caffeine fortified drinks. I'm not a wowser, but I'm really glad that one of the brewers has stepped up to take this one on. Printing "Drink responsibly" (in minute lettering) on the side of the single serve sized bottle with two and a half to three standard drinks in it does not end the social responsibility of these corporate giants.

I've been rethinking my relationship to alcohol a lot in recent times, triggered by the diet, general health consciousness, and the ever present "getting older" type thoughts, especially the morning after - the hangovers are getting much harder to deal with!

Socially, responsible drinking is not cool in Australia. If I stopped drinking at my second glass of wine (the healthy daily intake), I'd be pooh-poohed and made to feel like I was a party pooper, or a control freak.

We have a culture that tends to define being laid back with drinking until one's personality is altered in some way. Having a "couple of drinks" is rarely two drinks, it tends to be closer to four or five. For a woman, four drinks is a binge by health standards - that doesn't leave much room for a healthy level of drinking and socialising by Australian social standards.

That's not to say that I've stopped drinking, or that I only have two drinks at a time. I still get hangovers, but I'm aware of the toll they are taking, and I'm thinking in a much more holistic way these days.

I've been having a very stressful time trying to finalise our honeymoon plans.

We just made our final payment on our flights and cruise, when I innocently said "Just confirming we don't need visas, right?" to which was replied "Not unless you have a police record." Cue the drink driving charge rearing its ugly head once more.

I've had to disclose it to my insurance company, when I applied for a mortgage, advise it to the Blue Card authorities, and now, it could prevent me from going on the magnificent honeymoon we planned.

Thankfully, after a lot of research, and a few tears too, I've worked out that I *am* allowed to enter Canada, but only because my crime was not a crime in Canada (their drink driving limit is 0.08%, and my offense was under that) - if I had broken their laws, I would not be allowed in. Full stop. That's it. Five years after the completion of my penalty I could apply to be recognised as rehabilitated, but that process also takes time, and I'd have to demonstrate that I was in fact rehabilitated, and unlikely to re-offend.

The US Consulate has a different set of rules, which while not as black and white in their process, offers the perception of the potential for more discretion, and are far more rigid in the application of the rules. In short, Canada publish their rules, if you are inside of them, you're good to go, if you aren't, you aren't. The US doesn't publish the rules, and you have to apply in each individual case to see what they say. (There are big warnings though, that they don't like drug convictions, or convictions for terrorism ... ... ...) To make things even more involved, there is no consulate in Brisbane, so I have to go to Sydney, because one must personally attend the application interview. The free visa is also accompanied by all kinds of application fees and lodging fees and stuff. I'm hoping, that once again, given I did not break the American law, that I have a good chance I will get the visa, I'm especially hoping I get the visa seeing as though we've just finished PAYING for the trip... which of course, you should never do, until you have all your visas!

Live and learn. I'm just glad we aren't trying to go somewhere where they don't have alcohol in their culture!

I'm guessing, just like the conviction, this is the sort of hassle I have ahead of me for the rest of my life, every time I wish to travel. Fun hey?

Let me learn the lesson for you.

Don't drive home if you've had a few drinks.

I wasn't panicked as I drove up to the breath test - I wasn't drunk, I thought. I was curious to see what my percentage was. I was wrong. legally, I was drunk. It is my price to pay, I accept that, I broke the law.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I Love

I am a lucky person.

I have so many people that I love, truly and honestly love.

Thank you to each and every one of you.

Today was not an easy day, and it was harder for some of my loved ones.

Thinking of you and sending my love.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Time Ticks Away

Thank you Jigger for my title today.

Life is busy. The wedding is now just 54 days away, not that I'm specifically counting... "less than 8 weeks" is daunting enough for me, but the software I use does count, and it does come in handy. As expected at the 54 day mark, the wedding has become a very big focus and I spent last week compiling invitations, guest lists, updating addresses and putting together wedding favours. This week turns the immediate focus to table centre pieces and place cards, as well as many other loose ends that need tying and the continual budget wrangling.

I've also started rehearsals for "The Truth", another Pratchett inspired production being performed at the Brisbane Arts Theatre. As advertising materials are made available, I'll share dates and times and the like with everyone. The production is already shaping up to be a funny and rewarding experience, which is always handy when one has to juggle so hard to fit all the rehearsals in. This time round I've declined to Stage Manage, and am instead focusing on Assistant Directing, which is kinda fun, because it very much feels like an "all-care-no-responsibility" kind of role... there is responsibility of course, but not to the same degree a Director or Stage Manager needs. It is more of a fun than daunting role!

I've also been working half a day a fortnight doing a newsletter for BabyCakes' work, which has given us a bit more time together, rather than less, because I head into the showroom and work on a Saturday morning to coincide with when he has to be there to sell. It has been interesting so far, and the extra money is always handy.

With all these tasks and responsibilities, BabyCakes and I have seen each other in rather small bursts of togetherness, but it is all for a purpose so it is manageable. I can say without a shadow of a doubt, the honeymoon will be very nice to have some quality time together, while seeing some amazing sights.

The rain we've had has been welcome, but it is encouraging all the stuff we cut back in the garden to re-grow, so I'll have to find some time to wrestle them back into the shape we want!

BabyCakes and I have continued on the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet (albeit with some aberrations on occasion), but even with the blips, I was delighted to step onto the scales yesterday and find that I'd lost about 4.7 kgs in about 2-3 weeks, despite the tape measure not showing much change in that time. Mostly, we are both happy and healthy, and finding it relatively easy to make better choices when we do stray, and being more aware of what we have to do to make up for it. I feel happy about where we are, and where we are going.

I'd best be off now to get my candles out of the oven.....

Monday, February 11, 2008

Vale Simon The Carpet Layer

I was in the midst of writing a post when BabyCakes called.

He had just spoken with police as one of his sub-contracted staff was found dead on a building site this morning. He had been working alone on site yesterday.

BabyCakes' mobile number was one of a very few phone numbers stored in the man's new phone, and BabyCakes was one of the last people to recieve a call from him.

I met him once, he seemed like a nice man. My thoughts are with his family, and his fiancée, whom he was due to marry in two weeks time, and the young man who discovered his body when innocently starting his Monday morning at work.

What a sad and terrible thing to happen. Part of life, yes, but shocking nonetheless.

A Match Well Made

At about the same time as we moved into our house, a collegue of BabyCake's put his 4 bedroom house in the suburbs on the market and moved into a one bedroom inner city unit. This worked well for us, as we managed to buy all kinds of stuff from them at well below replacement cost - mostly tools.

It took a while, but the weekend before last, the pick up was effected and in the space of hours we had a beer fridge, lawn mower, more power tools than you can poke a stick at, spades, loppers, assorted hardware, an extra work bench, ladder and more. Given our exciting new (to us) toys, we planned a day in the garden for Sunday. Then it rained. Yesterday, however, it did not rain, and we had a huge day in the garden.

The pictures are some examples of what a couple of people with lopping tools (and an overgrown garden) can do in a few hours...

We have had a lot of fun making decisions about what happens in our garden, confident that we get the final say for everything we do - very cool after years of shared spaces and rental gardens where we've had to deal with other people's poor choices... now we can make our own poor choices! All with the added bonus of being physical movement, and a profitable way to get a sweat happening!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Some People are Scary!

I found this story today, and I'm glad I did.

I feel so balanced and sane.

The wedding is important to me to SHARE the day with my friends and loved ones, not to suject them to it!

As a bridesmaid I wouldn't sign an agreement like that if I were asked to sign one. Talk about people being the ultimate accessory!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


BabyCakes and I started on the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet on Monday. The first thing that hits you as you prepare to start (by going shopping), is how much food there is... It is hard to believe that one could feel hungry by following their plan - but I do. I think it is because I've been very carbohydrate heavy in my eating style in recent years and this is a low carb, low fat, high protein eating plan. I try to balance the occasional hunger pangs with drinking more water, and keep in the forefront of my mind not only my goals, but that it will take time to retrain my body as to what is enough food. BabyCakes is finding it pretty easy to cope with, and is only hungry in the lead up to dinner time.

What am absolutely excited about is the fact that the meal plan has been designed so as to include all one's vitamin and mineral needs without the need for supplements. It is nice to be able to think that I do not have to cringe every time one of those two-and-five ads come on TV, each time I hear another thing added to the seemingly endless list of things one *must* do each day to remain healthy/sane/whatever. I can be confident that some scientists have done my thinking for me on that front!

BabyCakes' dog also moved in on Monday (which was not especially coincidental), and he keeps us honest in so far as our 20 minute daily walk, to be ramped up as we all loose a bit of spare tyre.

We had a lovely gentleman named Mark build the last required fence for us which enabled the transfer of Dog to his new home. Dog was very disoriented on Monday eve, having only had one home since the pet shop, but seemingly is much more confident of his place as the time goes on. We also decided to try and create the illusion of more height on a worryingly low fence, and created with our own gloved hands and chicken wire and star picket height extension which seems to be doing its job thus far. I have to plant the passion fruit vines (one each of black fruit, yellow fruit and red fruit) once we get a shovel, to beautify and bountify it!

On Sunday evening we had a delightful dinner with BabyCake's parents and aunt. The roast lamb (those Australia Day ads work) was very tasty, the conversation was interesting

Saturday saw us put our wedding bands on lay by (mostly so they can store them in their safe, and we don't have to worry about them at home)... another tantalizing step closer to finalising all our plans.

I Intended to write more on this post... but got sidetracked, so shall post what I have anyway....

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Returning From the Hunt - Girl Style

Today I had a lovely day. I met up with My step Mum, two bridesmaids, sister in law and niece and spent a good part of the day in the city.

We met up to discuss the plans and needs of the impending wedding day and I thought to start the process of trying to find frocks for the bridesmaids. As it turned out, I showed them a picture I'd pulled from a magazine of a pretty frock. All thought it looked pretty - and well priced. We found the store and discovered the dress, on a sale rack no less! The girls tried them on, they fitted, they looked good, they were bought. All before lunch!!

We had lunch and I reeled off where the plans were at. Questions were asked from all angles. After lunch we moved on to a hunt for accessories. We found necklaces and earrings that worked for everyone. The hunt then stalled somewhat, but was still fun. We looked for gloves but didn't find any - we found a whole heap of hats to try on, which was enjoyed by everyone - little-miss-almost-two joined in with the hats she could reach and posed happily when the mirror was placed at her level - she also loved the shoe stores! She had a very cute mini purse bought for her, and toted that about for the rest of the day, having to stop alternately to put her new bracelet in the bag, and take it out again.

I'm so glad we managed to find dresses with the minimum of fuss!

BabyCakes is yet to return from Big Day Out, so I'm having a very restful night in this evening.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Wedding Minus Fifteen Weeks

How scary does that heading look? I can also tell you that it is 105 days away - and that's not because I counted, but because a piece of wedding planning software I have tells me.

This week I've really kicked back into thinking about wedding plans. I've ordered favor components, new return address labels (that's what a move does for you!), spoken to the dress maker, revisited the budget and guest list, confirmed the ceremony location, spoken to a chair supplier for the ceremony, and tomorrow I'm meeting up with most of the women who will be involved in the wedding to have a catch up, girlie day and planning session. I've decided to start BabyCakes and myself on the CSIRO Wellbeing Diet. It looks like a lifestyle option and is specifically balanced to ensure all daily guidelines are met... and comes with shopping lists too - how cool is that?

I've also taken to writing lots of lists. Having said all that, it doesn't particularly stress me. I keep wondering what I've not thought about that I need/want, and most of it is organised. Most of it is able to be organised and most of it is affordable. I'm glad that I have relatively simple tastes and sense of balance. I can see how easily everything could get out of hand if one was remotely extravagant.

Mostly, I'm glad to hear the reports of relatives buying their airfares. That makes everything that much more real. I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone, all together. It doesn't happen often.

I'm looking forward to the dress being made, that will be exciting - it's the first time I've had clothing custom made for me, and the more I go shopping, the more I'm glad I found a reasonable dressmaker, because off the rack just doesn't fit me at the moment (big boobs are not the joy most people expect them to be).

I'm getting married... and I'm looking forward to it!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

And I thought I Was Odd...

Monday, January 07, 2008

Biting the Facebook Bullet - Where it Leads

I resisted the Facebook monster for quite a while. On Christmas Eve I finally succumbed and created an account. Almost straight away I was drawn to the potential for linking in with my geographically diverse family.

Most of my Facebook "friends" are related to me, and it has been a lovely informal way to keep in contact with people, some of whom I would have met only a handful of times in my life.

I also managed to locate a school friend with whom I'd fallen out of contact with which was reason enough to join for me.

I must say that I've had fun with a lot of the games and applications that one tends to join up to willy-nilly in the initial euphoria of learning how it all works.

One that stood out for me as an application that helps identify family and create a family tree. I was however concerned about the potential for public access to it and the information it contains.

This is not the first time the lure of understanding and tracking family history through a computerised form has inspired me, but the last time (maybe 10 years ago), the software was not quite as sophisticated as I needed for my large and somewhat confusing family.

Today I revisited my search for a piece of family tree type software, looking for something that was (at least initially) free but sophisticated enough to cope with the gnarled and twisted family tree that is mine (the ability to assign more than one family/parent etc.).

I think I have found just such a piece of software.

I have inputted the 30 or so people that make up my only-just-extended family (siblings, parents, partners and children), and it seems to be coping fabulously. I also found a review that places it top pick of genealogy software, which is pretty cool, given that I already started using that one!

I think I'd like to do some more to follow the tendrils of all the tree, to learn about how easy it is to become interlinked with so many people. I know my Dad's uncle has done a lot to trace their family line, and I'd like to be able to digitise it help future generations search it and understand it more easily.

Mostly, I would like to know more about the people around me.