Sunday, October 27, 2013


a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2013 via Che and Fidel

He : still loves doctoring me. While at age 2 every issue was remedied by amputation, these days he is more holistic and tends to use his vast collection of healing crystals.

She : embracing "Crazy hair day" at kindy. With no tolerance for bows, clips or ponytails, she was however more than happy to be hairsprayed purplish orange. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

I had this little spot, it was small and not so funny

Sometimes you are tracking along with a plan in mind and then something pops up to make you change directions. Or in my case, derail perfectly good plans to paint the entire house.

About halfway through the reno a little voice started whispering inside my head about a spot on my leg. "I think that spot is a little bigger" it said.  "Really?" I replied, "it's quite hard to see given that I haven't shaved my legs for the entire reno". The voice added, "Yes, and I think it's a little darker too".

 I humphed and replied "You do realize that I am in the middle of a renovation and cannot cope with yet another problem to deal with?" (evidenced by the fact that I am replying to voices in my head). This dark spot had appeared with one of my pregnancies and had been checked two years ago by a skin specialist.

I added a skin specialist appointment to the extensive list of things to be fitted into that week after we moved home. The voices kept on right up until that appointment. "I think that spot really should go, no matter what the skin specialist thinks, just get her to whip it off, you aren't worried by scars anyway."

The skin specialist  agreed that it needed to come off and referred me to a plastic surgeon. She had voices in her head telling her it was probably a Melanoma. She felt it was likely to be at an early stage but we would only know for sure when it was removed. Waiting the eleven days for that plastic surgery appointment and another three days for results, was not a pleasant experience and the reason that blog posts have been thin on the ground over here. Considering the possibility that you may have an incurable cancer when your youngest child is still in kindy is sobering to say the least.

I am incredibly fortunate that while the spot that first appeared after one of my children was in fact a Melanoma, it was also found at an early stage and is very unlikely to have spread elsewhere. However, because of the location on my lower leg, the plastic surgeon was unable to do the full surgery that a melanoma requires at that initial visit. So now as this scar heals I am waiting  for a more extensive surgery that requires an overnight stay in hospital and a week or so with my leg elevated in bed.

As any mother with small children would know, that is like asking for the moon. So, time off work has been booked, extra kindy arranged, and family roped in for weekend help. Obviously, painting the house is not going to be happening anytime soon. But goodness, as if that matters when you realise the enormity of it all and thank your lucky stars that you did not delay seeing that specialist any longer.

I don't generally post personal issues on this blog, largely because many of the difficult issues in my life, are not actually mine and therefore are not mine to share. This one however, belonged to me and if reading this prompts even one other mother or father of young children to get their skin checked, or not ignore a spot that is changing then that is reason enough.  Do not presume you are safe because you are young and used sun protection. I never played much outdoor sport, was not a beach babe, and used sunscreen and hats.

Australia has the highest incidence of melanoma in the world and it is the most common cancer in young Australians aged 15-39. It is responsible for more deaths of young Australians ( age 20-34) than ANY other single cancer. If it is caught early and removed surgically it is completely curable. To quote Queensland surgeon Dr Neville Davis, "Malignant melanoma writes its message in the skin with its own ink and it is there for all of us to see. Some see but do not comprehend".

If you want more information on how to check your skin or signs to watch for, visit the  Melanoma Institute of Australia.

If you are looking for me, I'll be lying in bed for the longest stretch of time in about seven years. Any good books to read or crochet pattern suggestions would be most appreciated.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2013 via Che and Fidel

He : rediscovering old unpacked lego. Adding a few modifications like toilets, beds, extra computers crystal analysis chambers and  pet parrots.

She : is having a ball at swimming lessons in a class full of feisty little girls.    


a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2013 via Che and Fidel 

He : so happy to have my old desk in his room, a space of his own to draw and create. First item, a birthday card for Nonna, who obviously likes her floral bouquets with roots and all.

She : taking good care of me and my sore leg with cups of tea in bed.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


We have been home for three weeks now and finally we have managed to unpack some of those boxes of treasure that have been in storage for the last six months. The house is still somewhat resembling a tip shop with excess furniture lolling around the place but since we hit my stash of vintage glasses and pyrex, I am a happy girl.

Amidst the unpacking, there have also been some more bouts of painting. We made a start on the entry foyer, but it all ground to a halt when we moved home at the exact same time that school holidays started ( this was most definitely not part of our plan).

Instead, we spent a bit more time outside and Legoman borrowed our builder's jackhammer and dug out the random 70's slab under our macadamia nut tree.

While it was a very handy spot for cracking nuts, it will be much nicer to have grass. He did have some helpers,

until they discovered my raking pile.

The concreters came back to finish the decorative pattern on the driveway, to match the existing slabs.

And after much negotiation about which room to tackle next, we made a start on the other smallest room in the house, my sewing room.

Roboboy was not happy as he wanted his room done next but as it is a massive room and needs lots of preparation, we knew it would not be a fast room to complete. Also we were keen to cover all that new mdf which releases fumes, especially if the house is shut all day. And lastly, I did not want to unpack into unfinished rooms, only to have to pack it all away again to paint.

What we didn't realise when we started this room, was that I was shortly going to have minor surgery on my lower leg, which was really going to put a spanner in the works for all our painting plans. However, given that I am the sort of girl who thrives under pressure, I can say that having the deadline of a week to get this room finished, forced us to buck up and get it done.

So while half the house is unpainted, several rooms are half done and the kitchen company has still not finished the kitchen, we do now have TWO completely finished rooms in the house. And one of them is all mine. As soon as I have unpacked my vintage sheet stash, I will be back to share.


 a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2013 via Che and Fidel

They : are both very happy to be home. That old tyre swing is sure getting a workout - they go higher than this but I have to look away!

Saturday, October 5, 2013


a portrait of my children, once  a week, every week in 2013 via Che and Fidel

He : is no longer intimidated by the size of the book, or the number of words on the page. He has the reading bug and we cannot get back to the library fast enough to feed his habit. Oh happy days.

She : this is the face of child holiday labour. See the joy with which she flings those chunks of concrete into that barrow ( actually I think that one of these went more in her brother's direction).

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Goodbye Little house

We were extraordinarily lucky to find a short term house rental two streets away from Betsy at exactly the time we needed it. For five months this lovely little house became our home away from the demolition site that was Betsy.

 While we were relieved to find that it had enough bedrooms, floorboards instead of carpet (I have pretty bad dust mite allergies), storage underneath for an entire house worth of stuff and tolerance of our cat, we were not expecting it to be quite as lovely as it was.

 The entire house was painted white (how did they know?) and it had lots of light. It even had a big deck with a poinciana tree at the back. It really felt like a home away from home. Considering that the only other contender (that we missed out on) was slated for demolition, smelt like dog and had pink shag pile carpet, we felt like someone was looking out for us when we found this house.

We made the most of the sunny front garden and the awesome steep driveway.

And don't forget the backyard swing where if Dada pushes you, you can touch the roof ( very scary for Mamas to watch).

We befriended the magpies,

got through autumn in style,

turned winter trips to the bin downstairs into an excursion,

went to a few birthday parties,

built some creations,

embellished paper bags for kindy munch and crunch,

started using rulers for accurate architectural plans,

and celebrated some special occasions.

 So many memories tied up in this little house that took care of us through a busy, stressful winter. Goodbye little house and thank you for finding us when we needed you.