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It would appear that the whole returning to blogging thing is  going to take a leeettle bit more conscious effort on my part. Who would’ve thought?

Weeks just seem to disappear on me and I don’t know where I put the time that I used to make for semi-regular blogging, I shall have to find it again.

So I promised good and happy things.

One especially happy (and bitey) thing that came into our lives recently is this:

She is both a delight and a menace. I am particularly unimpressed with the holes in Gecko’s new summer clothes but then she does dangle them in front of Berry and giggle hysterically when she bites.

There was much debating about breeds and things, I favoured another lab because I love our big black girl and I don’t particularly like small dogs and Beefy was adamant that we have a smaller dog that sheds less hair. Gladdy the black lab sheds a ridiculous amount and we find it EVERYWHERE. In the end we settled on a Spoodle and, despite some bickering over which pup would be ours, Beefy and I agreed in the end. It was quite pain-free (considering that we are two very stubborn individuals), actually. We both liked Berry as we walked into the yard and although we got distracted by all of the cute and the puppy (so much divine puppy) we really knew that she was destined to come home with us. She looked very different from all of her mottled and curly coated siblings, favouring the cocker side of the family.  I’m not so sure that bodes well for her low-shedding qualities but we love her nonetheless.

Gladdy reacted very badly to the presence of Berry. She refused to look at us (or the pup) or come when called for the first week. I never knew she was so accomplished when it came to pouting. We bought the puppy in the hopes of bringing a bit of life back to our aging (8yo) dog but she steadfastly refused to play or interact at all with Berry. Even showing very uncharacteristic aggression towards her. We paid Gladdy lots of attention and kept pup from annoying her as much as possible but it took four full weeks for Glad to begin playing with and accepting her. I don’t think that was helped by Glad’s unfortunate vulva abrasions (injury by puppy)or the fact that Berry kept nipping at her belly in an attempt to get milk. Now though, they play loudly and often, Berry is even mimicking Glad’s behaviours. It’s lovely to watch.

Now if only she’d learn to pee outside consistently. She’s figured out that pooping inside is a no-no but weeing is a bit hit and miss still. Glad was so easy to train, she was horrified at the thought of doing her business inside after a week or so at home with us but Berry believes the world is her toilet.

So, there you go, a puppy – doesn’t get much happier than that.

I have a lot more to offload. I’m sure the two people who read this will be dying to receive a comprehensive update on my ever-intruiging clusterfuck of a body. Ooh, ooh, I’ve also got delightful tales of idiocy concerning the father of my eldest two children.

Stay tuned.

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Ouch, with Yay.

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So, um, it occurs to me that with the Christmas/New year business I forgot to tell everyone about my appointment with the Rheumatologist, I’m sure that you’re all hanging on the edge of your seat to hear about it. No? Tough luck.

Originally I couldn’t get an appointment with the specialist until March. March, I thought in November when it was becoming clear that my hands and other joints were only getting worse (don’t even mention the pelvis, just don’t), was not good. Straight away I asked to be placed on the waiting list for cancellations and miracle of  miracles on about the 18th of December I got a call to say that they could fit me in on the 23rd if I could make it. Um, hell yes!

The rhematologist was actually really sweet. She listened to what I had to say about my falling apart body. She took what I had to say seriously. She examined me thoroughly. She wasn’t surprised or indeed horrified when I said that I was still breastfeeding my toddler (as doctors seem to love being). All in all, it went well.

Numerous outcomes of that appointment were:

  • I am very, very flexible. Not quite as freakishly flexible as some people but apparently the resting position of my feet when I am lying down is not right. They flop down or something, who knew.
  • Multiple other joints and bits and bobs do things that they are not meant for. Things I didn’t realise they did, or at  least that what they did was wrong, until she asked me to show her.
  • That flexibility is kind of on a continuum, my level is not quite at the extreme end where connective tissue disorders reside but not really okay either and certainly contributing to some problems.
  • I have some sort of non-specific inflammatory arthritis in my hands. When she first saw them she inhaled sharply and said “oooooo”, which I took to mean that it wasn’t just me who thought they look a little strange.
  • She’s not sure about my pelvis. She thinks that, although she’d like to unify my problems under one diagnosis, there may be several things wrong with me that are not really related. Awesome.
  • She took my pain seriously and has placed me on two new medications to be taken every day, to reduce inflammation and pain etc.
  • She wants fresh pelvis x-rays and blood tests. No other doctor has ever wanted pelvis x-rays, I only had some done because a friend of mine is a doctor and she wanted to make sure I wasn’t dying of bone cancer while we were visiting her in Spain. This is a pretty big deal. She actually gives a crap about investigating my pelvis.
  • The original blood test results weren’t normal. Something or other was elevated, which it would be in arthritis, hence the new blood tests to see if it is worse.

I left feeling really optimistic. She’s not 100% sure that she can do anything for my pelvis but she feels she can do something for my hands and, you know, she is trying to help me, she listened, she heard.

So, for the moment I am holding my breath and managing my pelvis pain and taking my pills until I next see her in March and even though the state of play is pretty much the same. I feel better. I do.

I'm blogging now because I know I will forget later.. Happy New Year!

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I don’t know where all of my time goes. I seriously have barely opened my computer since I last blogged. My reader is beyond clogged with everybody’s happy Christmas posting.

I read all of those vampire books. Just in case you haven’t read them. I urge you to steer clear. I should have known better, they were appalling, I really can’t see what people are going on about. I will do everything in my power to make sure that my daughters don’t read them. I can’t imagine a worse model for teen relationships than the one that’s presented in these books. So many things about them annoyed me, way too many elements to list here. Woefully written tripe, I say. Of course there was no need for me to read them all once I had discovered that the first one was awful – I know I have only myself to blame for that stupid little bit of obsessive behaviour. Take my advice though, spare yourself.

I have eaten (probably more than) my own weight in assorted choclates and biscuits and brownies after baking up a storm in the lead up to Christmas. We always over cater but this was beyond ridiculous.

I am always a bit shell-shocked at this time of year, it takes me at least until mid-January to register that it’s all over and there is no more planning to be done or presents to wrap or feasts to cook. I half expect another celebration to spring out from behind a bush and surprise me. It doesn’t help that Rhubarb’s birthday is on the 3rd of Jan. Do you have any idea how hard it is to think up presents to buy and muster up the energy to cook a special birthday meal and treats after the long haul of Christmas? Hard.

Anyway, I am planning on being a better, more consistent blogger next year and so I’m mounting a pre-emptive strike on blogging. See, I’m a planner, me.

Happy New Year everyone. Thank you to all those who have read and commented here this year. Blogging is such a joyous and rewarding part of my life, thanks to you.

I shall be having a leisurely meal with the kidlets and perhaps enjoying a glass of wine if I am lucky. I hope that someone out there is doing some hardcore partying in my stead.

See you in 2010.

Early Christmas present for me, squeeee!

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Today, when I woke up, I got to go to the post office to collect this platter:

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Here it is keeping my drac company.

Now my grainy Iphone photography does not do it justice, you can see a far better photo here.

Kim of Frogpondsrock tried to tell me that it might not be as lovely as I had imagined from her post. It is people, it is.

I even love the underside of it. I should have taken a photo but basically, it’s gorgeous.

There is actually no way that you can capture it’s beauty in a photo anyway, it is gloriously textural. It is a piece that needs to be held and touched and stroked.

I’m a little bit shocked that Kim gave it to me. She is extraordinarily talented and I can’t help feeling a tad unworthy of something that she has made.

Thank you Kim. I love it very, very much. I have put it in the hallway just outside my bedroom so that I may caress and admire it each time I walk past.

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The debt you have when you're not having a debt

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First of all, thank you so much everyone. Your lovely words made me feel so much better. That is the wonderful thing about this whole blogging community. People are just overwhelmingly supportive and kind and lovely. I feel very lucky to have such special friends reading my blog.

My face is very much improved. There are just a few faint red marks now, which is so hard to believe. You would never know that last Thursday morning I awoke to huge open weeping sores that looked as though they would never heal. At that point I couldn’t imagine getting away without scars but it seems that they will heal completely (Dr Google said that they would but they seriously looked so heinous that I just couldn’t believe it).

So, work preparation.

I knew that there would be a good deal of work involved in regaining my professional accreditation as it has been four-and-a-half years since I last worked. The standard for my profession states that I need to have worked at least 1000 hours in the past five years, which I might have had if I had initiated this process earlier but now do not. Also, as I only worked very briefly (about 6 months) before Pudding was giving my body such a thrashing that I was put on bed rest, it is unclear whether they will view my application as that of a new graduate (which actually means I had only three years for my qualification to remain current before I would need to do a lot of work to get it back). Complicated enough for you?

Anyway. I received the packet from the association yesterday containing all of the relevant forms. All that remains is for me to gather my “evidence” of skill and write a cv. This sounds much simpler than it is. The evidence part is a complete nightmare. They want a whole bunch of actual documents and things that I did when I was working and they each must be numbered and assigned to a relevant skill area. There are 70 skill areas for me to address. Luckily there is some overlap between skill areas and I can use the same piece of evidence for multiple areas. I also am not expected to have demonstrated competence in each area. I am able to use “inferred” competence in some areas. All in all though, it will be about as straight forward as bombing our house and then trying to glue the pieces back together with my own snot. I am tempted to just say to hell with it and apply to begin my degree again. Four more years at uni seem almost preferable to this process but I already have a massive HECS* debt so that rules that out.

No, truth be told I am actually really positive and optimistic about how this will go. I can put aside that the association woman responsible for re-entry was almost obstructive to my getting the process underway, which is odd as they charge a fortune for it. I am fortunate to have at least one very special uni friend who has been sending me lovely bolstering emails and has promised to go over my paperwork with a fine-tooth comb. She even threatened to come and pour wine down my throat if necessary so I think I am in good hands.

I have been very proactive. I have emailed my last boss because I need her help. When I left I was a bit consumed with dodgy pelvisness and just getting the loose ends tied up. It never occurred to me that I should be safe-guarding my future career prospects by keeping examples of all my work. I have emailed her and begged to be allowed to come to the office to photocopy some of my stuff. This sounds simple but again is fraught with difficulty that I can’t really discuss here without giving too much away. Suffice it to say that there is a good chance that she will say no and if she does she will be perfectly correct in doing so and I shall have no recourse but to submit my portfolio with evidence such as “See, I was working in this place then and they do this so I must have done it, so that makes me competent. The end.”. I’m sure that will be sufficient. Yes?

Okay.  What was the point I was driving for? Ah yes. I will be busy, I have actually got several blog posts planned and half written but I fear that the blog will remain quiet while I get all of this taken care of. 2010 submissions opened today and I really want it done as soon as humanly possible so I must focus.

Of course, now that I have said that you know what it means, don’t you? I will be on here blogging every day just to procrastinate. You must all promise to beat me soundly (in a non-bruising, internet based and loving sort of a way) should I try and weasle my way out of working. Agreed?

Good. I will hold you to it.

P.S. New iphone comes tomorrow (hopefully), yay, yay, yay!!

*Government student loan program – it gets deferred until you are working and then they take it automatically out of your pay with tax. It’s the debt you have when you’re not having a debt because you can almost forget it’s there, especially if you don’t actually earn any money to pay it back.

Happy blog birthday to meeeeeee!

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One day,  I was reading a forum about a topic that was of interest to me at the time but now is not.

One of the other members of the forum happened to advertise their personal blog in a forum post.

I clicked over for a look.

It only took that one personal blog for me to become hooked. It was fantastic!

I have always been a bit of a people watcher. I’m the person who loves all of those dreadful reality shows that people complain about. Reading people’s personal musings amounted to the ultimate in voyeurism.

Pretty soon I was cruising for more blogs to read. It was actually quite difficult to find blogs at first, I didn’t know where to look. Eventually I stumbled across a blog that I liked to read and OHMYGOD they had this thing called a “blogroll”. How convenient! A list of other blogs to lurk around and to read. More blogs than one girl could ever need!

At first I was just remembering the names of the blogs I liked and checking back on a regular basis for new posts. Sometimes I would check several times in one day. Googling the blog names so that I could find them. Pretty soon  I had bookmarked several of my favourite blogs and I’ll admit, it was only a small step from there to a feedreader bulging with subscriptions. I was completely dominated by my addiction. Spending hours each day reading blogs.

It was about this time that I found I sometimes had something I wanted to say to the writer of the blog I was reading. One of those days, my need to make a comment won out against my shyness and need for anonymity. I could interact with people in this “blogosphere”. It only deepened my addiction.

Finally matters came to a head. Beefcake had noticed the obsession that had seized me. He knew he had to do something to help me. I think he considered holding an intervention but instead he chose to tease me. To goad me.

“You should start your own blog” he said, “It’d be fun”

“Naaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh, I’d be too embarassed” I would cry, “Anyway, who would want to read anything I have to say, it would be boring as shit.”

We went on like this for some time before I finally realised that I didn’t care if anybody read it. I realised that nobody would find it unless I wanted them to anyway.

So, on this day, one year ago, I wrote my first blog post.

I have been subjecting the world to my poorly thought out, incoherent ramblings ever since.

My blog really is as boring as shit and I am quite embarrassed by much of it.

BUT

My little blog has given me so much. I have made friends all over the world and close to home that I never would have made without it. It has become such a valuable support for me.

I know I am  lucky to have my blog and all of my wonderful bloggy friends.

Happy blogaversary to me!

Now you are four

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Today dear Pudding, you are four.

Wait, did I just say four? I can’t quite believe that.

Four means big things my darling. It means moving up to the “big group” for your swimming lessons, something which you are incredibly proud of.

Four means that we have entered the year that you will begin kindy. You will begin to be away from us for the first time. Four is the first year that we are not your whole world. These are big things, little one. I don’t know if we are ready for this, your Dad and I.

Four is about you finding out that you will be fine somewhere without us. That you can make friends on your own. You can have fun, you can unleash yourself onto the world.

I am both thrilled and frightened for you. Thrilled that you are my big boy now, you are growing and doing and being in so many wonderful ways. Frightened that your spirit might be cracked or crumpled in some small way. I’m terrified I might not be there to prevent that, no,  I know that I can’t prevent that.

You are such a remarkable, magically shiny creature, my son. I revel in all of your energy and shout and bounce.

You are sweet and caring and loving in ways that continually surprise me.

It has been a hard year for you. Learning to share your Mummy and Daddy with a new little person. I understand that it has been rough at times but we really mean it when we say you are the best and most loving of big brothers.

I’m so proud of you boy.

Love Mummy.

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