Wednesday, October 31, 2007
other stuff to do with scrapbooking
So in the middle of making my Christmas cards I decide to sort out the last 5 years worth of birthday cards and Christmas cards, I have until now thrown them into these altered cigar boxes, but.... I am finding the cards are getting bigger!! and no longer fit. Lucky for me I have found yet more boxes to alter, bigger and better boxes! see the one on the bottom of the stack, what a beauty, even better is the one under the clipboard. I was going to decorate that one but I think I like the textured cardboard as it is.

I've never thought much about it before but I suppose saving the cards is a part of the whole scrapbooking ethos, to record and remember, I bundled all the sorted cards up and labeled them with tags, it was so cool to see where the kids had started making cards. I'm thinking of having Alec help make cards for his class mates this year. and this is the clutter and chaos that happens when I change direction mid project. I'm unsure whether I will cover the last 2 boxes for cards or finish the Christmas cards I have 1/2 done before moving on, this is one of the defining moments that influence how the rest of my day will be.

And this is Mac.. Michael made him and Gizmo a scratching pole because they were shredding the arms of the lounge I am trying to sell (anyone want a lounge, I'm tired of having two in my lounge room!) he likes to keep me company, in fact they both do, I think they are stalking me, right after this Gizmo pounced, mac hissed and they were off.

So that is what was on my mind this morning, I now have to go and fold washing, something I have put off since, ummmm last whatever you do today, enjoy it!!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
christmas stamps

christmas stamps, originally uploaded by Alli Paterson.

So a few months back (August I think) I went to a stampin' up party and I bought the Christmas set for cards. I am notoriously bad at sending chrissy cards, in fact no one was graced with a card from the Carroll/Paterson clan last year. This year I decided to remedy that, little did I know how much work went into stamping Christmas cards!

Next time I will buy the stampimagig...(this thing that lets you line up your stamp) because not only do my stamps go on the paper crooked they are crooked on the blocks.. a bad combination, but I am liking the cards, I have 16 done so far, I should have the next 16 knocked out by the weekend then we can start writing them out.

oh and you may have noticed I piked out on the simple layout, in firefox you could still see all the list markers and it was bugging me plus it didn't fix my archive list, that can all be for another day when I have oh 6 or 7 hours to spare, which will basically be...never!

Monday, October 29, 2007
Anniversary, weekend away, sleep overs
Michael and I celebrated our 7th anniversary this weekend. We had a night away at the Intercontinental at Burswood.

Weekend away

Saturday afternoon we took the boys to see my mum who has just had a knee reconstruction, from there we took them to the hotel with us, they were so excited, Alec loved the lift and Riley was hyperventilating clutching Michael's hand, I was right there with him, they were glass lifts, I faced the door! When we got in the room they saw the bath and stripped off, they loved it, the bathroom had screens so you could open it up and see right out the windows.

After a bath we gave them a big treat of room service, they had a milkshake and a bowl of chips, when they were done Alec says, mum, can you call them and ask them to bring up more chips please.

We dropped the boys at dads at 5:50pm then headed back and went to dinner at Sirocco's, very nice and very reasonable considering where it is, we shared a yummy pizza for starters then just had starters for our mains, they were huge so I was glad I didn't order anything else. After dinner we did a walk through the casino... shouldn't have bothered, but oh well it was out=r holiday.

Now daylight saving started Sunday morning so poor Michael had to get up at 6 to go and pick up the boys, even though the clock said 7, we knew it was still only 6am! When they got back we all headed down for breakfast, we just went for the continental but it was an amazing spread, a dozen different pastries, 2 dozen different breads and muffins, smoked salmon, fruit, cereal, the works.

After breakfast we went for a walk outside and let the boys run around, the centre garden is lovely and it had water, what more could 2 little boys need. Then it was off to meet friends for yum cha, it was delicious, I can see us doing that again!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
down grading
in an amazingly frustrating attempt to fix my archive list so it isn't a mile long (which as you can see was totally unsuccessful)I dumped everything even slightly fancy or altered, I like this template, I will keep it for a while if I can get rid of the list dots... I'm just tired of staring at it for now..
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Alec's duck
I don't know if I will ever get over the thrill I feel every time Alec achieves something he has struggled with. His most lasting difficulty will always be his fine motor skills, so he does tend to avoid drawing because it hurts his hands, but at pre primary they have it as activities. I don't know what makes me tear up more, the fact that you can tell it is a duck (and a duckling) or that he wrote the word duck.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Back from the bush
Super dooper tired today but awfully pleased with how the weekend went. The drive to Hyden was pretty stressful, I haven't done any country driving for a good 10 years now and this was a little taxing on the system, the car was a legend though (was a bit anxious about breaking down 100km from anywhere).

The hall was fantastic, lots of room and Karen had the shop set up and the girls were right into it when I arrived at around 3pm on Friday afternoon. I did my classes on Saturday, the girls are a pleasure to teach, so much enthusiasm. It is hard work doing a class of 30 but fun, I really do enjoy teaching and this is an ideal environment for it. Between Lis, Sharon and me the girls get 6 classes over 2 days, pretty intense but great fun.

For dinner we went to the bowls club (ok I think it was the bowls club) and had the most amazing reef and beef, the steak was divine, thinking of asking Lis to stop at the butchers on the way home.. imagine getting meat from 400km away! it would be worth it though, and also scrummy creamy garlic prawns.

Then Sunday I headed back to Perth around 9:30am, the drive home was a lot easier, I was far more relaxed, I tell you what though at a certain truck stop in Corigin I had the worst toasted sandwich I have ever had, which is such a shame because in March when we went through it was doing the BEST toasted sandwiches I had ever had... then this was followed by the most awful cup of coffee in Brookton. I'm going to have to source better eateries for next time!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
I'm off to Hyden tomorrow to teach at the Outback Scrappin' retreat, I find packing the hardest part. Not only do I need all my sample pages and teaching props but I need some stuff to do myself, then there are clothes, this time I will remember my shampoo and conditioner.

As I don't travel much anymore I really have no modular pack and go type stuff which always presents it's own challenges, I'm always the one struggling in with baskets and shopping bags.. so I'm traveling light, some paper, alphabets, tools and about 4 packs of embellishments.

So have a good weekend, I'm hoping to get a start on the pile of photos I have to scrap, I always seem to have more ideas for projects than time to do them.

Wish me and my car luck as we set out tomorrow morning.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
my how things change
Once, I was a computer nerd, I could converse knowledgeably about programming code, widgets and gadgets confidently with other nerds, I knew how stuff worked, wrote web pages in raw code, sadly this is no longer true.

I was doing a degree in multimedia studies when I fell pregnant with Alec, I swear within 2 months all I could do was sit and stare nothing made any sense any more, it was like someone snuck in and stole my nerd decoder ring while I was sleeping, which I actually did a lot of when I was pregnant.

I still know HTML back to front, only because I kept on with web design and worked in that field, customising blogger templates is about as far as I get these day.... so why is this an issue today, well I signed on to feed burner, you know one of those feed thingies for your blog, now see in the olden days I would know everything about feeds but i just don't get it, I feel a little defeated, I should know but I don't. True with babies interests change and time is at a premium, I just don't have the time for reading and research I used to.

That's ok though, because lets face it when I started in this field I was just 30, now I am just 40 and the kids doing this stuff today are well kids, I've moved on, the brain cells assigned to the nerdy bits of my brain have been reassigned to child rearing.

So there you go, my thoughts for the day... have a good one!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I was blog wandering the other day and found a link to pencil lines and it had sketches, #53 was by Ali Edwards and not too taxing to the brain so I did it on Saturday while our internet was down, along with a mini Album for Riley's 4th birthday, I am putting a bind it all on my Christmas wish list, I am over rings for my mini albums.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Blog action day - the environment
Michael has almost changed the entire house over to fluro low energy bulbs.

We are turning (within the next 6 months) the front yard into a vegie patch, I cringe a bit but I know it is a great thing to do, both for our budget and our kids.

I turn off as many light as I can (all day again and again)

The windows are open, I love my air conditioner but it isn't quiet time yet

The sprinklers have been off since May, we will hand water when it is needed until mid November if we can.

We recycle our plastic bags

We have reusable shopping bags but I still forget them too often

thanks Lissy for making me think of this today.
Friday, October 12, 2007
I don't know if you have seen my set up here but I like to be able to see what I have so everything hangs... well sometimes this doesn't work either, and while I was doing a reorganise today I saw the box my ipod speakers came in, you know what it was exactly the right size for all the alphabets.

All it needed was a few staples and some 7Gypsies gaffer tape and something that was in the throw out pile has been recycled.

So apart from the three posts I have streamlined the studio as much as possible, ever since I saw all the neat furniture in Ali Edwards studio I have been trying to control myself and not go storage shopping.. shame on you Ali for tempting me in this manner... nice to have someone else to blame for ones obsession.
you have to love
an afternoon sea breeze wafting through the studio window, full of lovely ocean smells
Some time during Riley's development his teeth missed out on something, fast forward 3 1/2 years and all of a sudden my baby has huge holes in his back lower teeth. Once I overcame the shame of being a bad mother I made an appointment at the dentist for him.

We finally found someone to see him, and all I have is the most amazingly high praise for Dr Tim Johnston and his staff, it was a wonderful experience for me and Riley. Turns out it wasn't my bad mothering but hyper mineralisation, all to do with the formation of the teeth and enamel and stuff.

So it meant surgery for my baby, the big day arrived and we set off at 6am for the hospital, it was a fantastic set up for kids, again the staff were wonderful and Riley couldn't wait for the ride on the bed to the theatre. When the time came he jumped on and once he was there he looked a bit apprehensive, one person distracted him while the others did the needle, all of a sudden he grabs the rug throws it off and gets up and says

"ok, I've had enough I'm going now"

then his eyes rolled back in his head and he was asleep.

I spent a lovely hour and 1/2 reading and being made cups of tea until he woke up in recovery, he was pretty distressed and wanted to get up and go home but after 5 minutes of mummy cuddles he settled right down, they put on a movie for him and he ate some icy poles and drank some lemonade had a little nap and by 12:45 we were on our way home.

He slept on the way home but by 3pm he was running around the backyard yelling, about 4pm he had a mini crash and got back on the lounge and asked for medicine, apart from that he has been great.

So that was my Thursday!
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
birthday's, play dates and holidays!

how did this happen!!! 4 is turning out to be quiet nice though.

Had a lovely day at Lissy's yesterday, love that the kids play so well with very few tears.. apart from when Riley defaced E's wrapping paper, I was just thankful it was paper and not a wall as it usually is.

Looks like I have killed the mystery snails.. again! I am figuring you shouldn't use quilting wadding stuff in the filter.. note to self stop killing the snails, the gold fish on the otherhand looks just fine.

Slack day today, gearing myself up for Wednesday and Thursday, off to see the anethatist Wed and then Riley goes in for Surgery Thursday, they moved it up 2 weeks, which is probably just as well. I haven't told him yet, how do you explain to a baby they are going to knock you out and put whopping great crowns on your teeth and I just know Riley and the subject of fasting aren't going to go well together!

I see Ali Edwards book has been released, went to the CK website and was repelled by the $25 postage and found that Amazon would send it to me for $25 including postage.. which would you buy?? LOL it is on pre-order at Amazon but I figure I will still prbably get it before it even gets loaded onto the boat for these far distant shores.

Well it is 9am.. back to bed time! I hear a book calling my name and the cats want someone to lay on.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Autism funding
Yesterday we went and listened to Julie Bishop MP at the autism association early learning centre, about a new funding plan for autism over the next 5 years proposed by the federal government. One of those initiatives is putting the diagnosis process, speech therapy and occupational therapy on to medicare. This is a good thing, we spent $5000 on private therapies over 18 months, so this is all too late for us which makes me wonder that while the government knew that speech and OT were the most required services they have always been omitted from the medicare list.

We were lucky we had financial help from family and cut our budget to the bone, did it have a negative impact, yes, our ability to save any amount was reduced to zero, we relied on our tax return to pay bills, things were tight but we came out the other side. I just worry about people that don't have financial support from family or are already doing it tough, how are they able to get the therapy their children need?

Yes we have the autism association, and the job they do is amazing, but they do not have sufficient funding to offer all the therapy these kids need, at the moment there are 102 children enrolled at the centre and 48 on the waiting list, to help these kids they have started opening the centre on weekends. The staff and especially the director Tasha Allach amaze me, they love these kids and in my opinion they work magic, we will forever be in their debt.

While I thought the governments package was very light on cash I could see some good and it gave myself and other centre families the opportunity to let it be known what it is really like for our children and our families. Many families experience social and financial hardship, 50% of marriages end in divorce that rises to 85% when you are dealing with an adult child with autism being cared for in the home. Creating playgroups isn't going to help this, support, respite , therapy and counselling are a start though. I know when Alec was first diagnosed we called the local area coordinator for disability services and they had nothing to offer us, that was a dark day, all of a sudden you are told your child has autism and yet there is nothing to help you.

We are almost at the end of our early intervention journey, that in itself is daunting, I feel as though my safety net is slipping away, I know there are other agencies that will step in but will they have the feel of family that the centre staff have felt like these past 2 years.

My hope is for more funding for the centre, more help for families and more awareness of autism.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Buzz and Bloom Competition!!!
This is an easy one! just tell Helene and Devorah what product you want.

Head over to the Buzz and Bloom blog and see what you have to do to be in the running for a stash of the new B&B chipboards...