Sunday, October 31, 2010

The House of Plague and Pestilence

These last few weeks have been a blur. No, not the sort of blur I live my life in usually - if only it had been.

This was a blur, a haze, a waking dream, or nightmare, of illness and sleep deprivation.

It's been something no amount of coffee could fix. It's been that bad.

This house has continued to be the house of plague and pestilence.

Charlie has been sick for 3 weeks now, most of it with cold like symptoms resulting in a clingy whiny 2 year old. Made worse that he was unable to sleep at night as he would jerk violently awake every time he tried to take a breathe through his nose but ended up making a horrible snorting type noise that left him gasping for breathe.

Charlie being unable to sleep = mummy being unable to sleep.

But I could live with that. Temporarily.

Then I got sick too. That wasn't so good.

Then I got better. Then I got sick again.

Then Del got sick.

Charlie continued to be sick.

Life still had to go on. Though not quite as efficiently as usual.

Del and I are recovering, it seems to be a very slow process getting any semblance of energy back, no matter how many cups of coffee and sugar hits I have.

So whilst we recovered we watched Charlie get worse. And worse.

He developed a cough, one worthy of a pack a day smoker. The doctor (who I really didn't like) couldn't detect anything wrong in Charlie's lungs (???) but she did hear a heart murmur. Great. Something else to check out later. She patted him on the head (more like yanked him by the arm) and sent us on our way.

Over the next few days Charlie continued to worsen. High high fevers that wouldn't come down even with medication and he was having trouble breathing through his blocked nose.

It the midst of high fevers I noticed that scariest thing yet.

Well, two things.

1. The glands under his ears were so swollen they were disfiguring his face. (They measured an inch wide and two inches long!)

2. A RASH!

OMG! A rash. And fevers. Swollen glands. Irritability. Trouble breathing. OMG!

Time to give myself a stern talking to. Calm down now. I'm sure it's nothing. I'm just over reacting. Deep breath. Where's the phone? Doctor, I need to see you NOW.

The doctor (a different doctor who I much preferred) umm'd and ahh'd for a while, and was completely baffled.

It could be just a nasty virus.

It might even be glandular fever.

It has similar symptoms to Kawasaki Disease (OMG. Please no).

So off we drove calmly, oh alright, not so calmly to the Children's Hospital in the city, me continuing to talk myself into not freaking out. Thankfully when the triage nurse took one look at Charlie she prioritised us and we got straight in. Being prioritised is good as you get straight in, but it sure doesn't help the stress levels and shoots to pieces the 'stay calm, it's nothing' mantra I'd been using.

Lets skip straight to the diagnosis part, shall we? I know it's the part I wanted to hear immediately.

The diagnosis was... are you ready.....

..... they didn't know.

Good old health system. The best they could say was that it could be a nasty virus or it could be glandular fever.

And worst of all..... THERE WAS NOTHING THEY COULD DO.

Nothing they could do to help my darling boy, as he lay lethargic in my arms, his little body burning with fever as he struggled to breathe.But I was thankful that I knew he would recover.

After discussion we decided not to do the blood test that would confirm if it was glandular fever, as Charlie was so ill and it would be a traumatic thing to hold him down to take blood.

Traumatic for him and for me too I would imagine.

And even if they confirm it is glandular fever there is nothing that can be done for it. Just time and rest.

Two days after returning home, Charlie has definitely perked up. The fever has gone, the nose is clear, the glands are going down and he seems to be a little more like himself. In a subdued, clingy and sad to see sort of way.

I think he still has a way to go till he's back to his old self, it was the most horrible thing to see him so ill, but it's also terrible to see him so... so... I don't even know how to say it.... so not like himself I guess. I'm more thankful than I've ever been that he is over the worst of this virus, but the recovery could takes weeks or months till he regains his old level of high octane fueled energy again, and that's how we'll know if it is glandular fever.

Kaiden and Corey took him on his first ever expedition 'trick or treating' tonight for Halloween that isn't actually Halloween (a whole other post on this topic is coming I think!). I wasn't sure if him going out was even a good idea but it's something that all three of them had planned for weeks now, so I agreed to a brief outing. And although by all accounts he seemed to enjoy it all, he wasn't his usual self and all he wanted was cuddles with me when he returned.

It's definitely one day at a time around here right now.

I really didn't set out to write a long post about Charlie's illness, I had intended to mention more to explain the lack of activity around here over the last few weeks, but it morphed into a full blown, second by second account instead.

I'm not writing this for sympathy, or to make something big and terrible out of something small and not that bad.

I think I needed to just get it all out, purge all the worry that had built up inside me, whilst on the outside I had to keep it all together and stay strong blah blah blah. The happy face belied the worry and stress, the self blame and sleep deprivation, I have 3 children who need me, I can't crumble. But boy, does that take it's toll.

I'm ready now for a big long, uninterrupted sleep. Rest and recuperation.

But unfortunately I seem to have developed insomnia.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fashionable and Fabulous Friday

It's Fashionable Friday again.

On a Saturday.

And you all know what that means, don't you?

Yep that's right - I've been just too damn busy to actually manage to do this post on a Friday. Oh, and for most of Friday I didn't have my computer. But excuses, excuses......

Anyway, on to the topic at hand, what will I be wearing????

After having the Fashionable & Fabulous Friday challenge thrown at me by my delightful Soul Sister, I'm happy to say I can now cross the first thing off the list :

(3) Ethnic/folk/a little earthy

So what do you think?

This was a bit of an easy one that I chose to start with, as this is an outfit that I wear often when I'm in a Earth Mother type of mood.

Loose and flowing, yet comfortable and still a little stylish I hope.

I've even gone barefoot in these photo's just to add that authentic earthy touch! Either that, or I just couldn't be bothered finding a pair of shoes to go with the outfit.

This skirt deserves a close up shot of it's own as whenever I wear it I get many lovely compliments on it. It was one of my market finds in Hong Kong last year, and I just love this skirt to pieces. Literally. It's been worn so much that it's starting to show a bit of wear and tear.

It's worth a flight back to HK just to buy more of these skirts - one in each colour should do it I think.

I know it wouldn't be hard to convince my darling husband to take a little jaunt over to HK, we both love it there. And as a bonus, he's a man who loves to shop, and boy did we shop. Till we dropped!

Don't be jealous - I know how lucky I am.

And the divine necklace also deserves a close up. I love how it just works with the earthiness of the outfit, and really pulls it all together. It was a gift from my mum and dad, and I'm so thankful for my mum's wonderful taste in jewelry.

So there you have it - Earth Mother.

Done and dusted.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Evolution of Fashionable & Fabulous Fridays

After reading the latest Fashionable & Fabulous Friday post my wonderful 'soul sister' made the following comment on Facebook :

Okay Ladies, I've decided that Leiani should democratize her Fabulous Friday feature by letting her readers (that's us!) suggest some FF looks... What say you? My suggestions: (1) Breakfast Club (80s inspired), (2) Sporty Look: Daggy or Glam...? Convert me!, (3) Ethnic/folk/a little earthly, (4) Take me to the Melbourne Cup for November, (5) if I were a special guest on Oprah, (6) if I had to read the evening news, (7) Grease Lightning!, (8) if I were the First Lady or in your case, the Fisk Lady (I am so funny!!!)

I just love this idea, especially as my wardrobe isn't exactly inexhaustable, and neither is my budget, so there will come a time when I've shown you everything I've got. Outfit wise that is.

I just love the time and effort my Soul Sister put into this list, and the diversity! Oh my what a challenge.

So interspersed amoung my regular
Fashionable & Fabulous Friday clothes, I will attempt to create some of these interesting sounding outfits.

But there's a catch. Isn't there always?

I want you guys to play along too.

Now if you're the shy and retiring type then you can just add some more ideas in the comments section, or if you're bold and confident then get your camera out and pose away! Take pictures of your
Fashionable & Fabulous Friday outfit and post it on your own blog (if you don't have one, you can always just email them to me to check out).

I'd love for Fashionable & Fabulous Friday's to become more interactive, and for me not to be the only one on this crusade to inspire women of the world to dress pretty to make themselves feel good.

Put on your glad rags, ladies, and smile!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The "I'm Too Busy To Write So Here Are Some Photos' series

It's toilet training time around here.

Since I'm a girl and this is secret men's business, Daddy thought he would take over this one and explain to Charlie 'how it's done'.


How would YOU toilet train a 2 year old?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fashionable Friday

Yes, it's that time again. Fashionable Friday is here.

And this time, you're in for something a little bit different.

A departure from elegance, shall we say. Moving away from the feminine skirts and dresses I usually wear.

Today has now become Casual Friday.

As you can see. my trusty sidekick had to get in on the action.

You know how on the red carpet all those celebrities glibly recite all the items of designer wear they have on? I feel like I should be doing that too, as I walk down the terracotta tiled hallway that's currently badly in need of a vacuum and a mop.

(Perfect Stepford wife standards have been slipping around here lately. Really must get my act together).

Today I have on a pair of my oldest and most frayed jeans that have seen me through both good and bad times over the years.

Designer : Wrangler. One of the only designs that fit over my .... ahem... errr... 'curvy' bottom, yet fit snuggly around my much smaller waist.

The top is one that Del just this morning called my chain-mail. A metallic thread in loose weave material that's flowy enough to cover a slight muffin top when needed, but can sit off the shoulder to give it bit of an edge and not be too frumpy.

Designer : Hot Options (ie some crappy fashion school drop out who could only get a job designing for for a cheap chain store brand).

The blue singlet top I bought at the Hong Kong Ladies Market for next to nothing and that has been worn so much it's definitely seen better days. Shopping in HK is hilarious as it's the only time I have to buy clothes labelled 'Large'.
Here in Australia I'm a size 6, but I guess I'm considered fat by HK standards.

Designer : who knows? Would anyone lay claim to being a singlet designer anyway?

And although there isn't really a good shot of them, the shoes a really pretty yet comfortable pair of wedges, with lovely blue flower detail on top. I love it when something is pretty and comfortable, a rare combination when it comes to clothes.

Designer : As they were a gift from Indonesia I have absolutely no idea, but I love them.

So there you have it. Casual Friday.

And just to wrap up this post, here's a photo of how today's photo shoot ended.

Gotta love Friday photo cuddles.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thursday's Post which includes Parental Bragging

Ever since Charlie came into this world, he's been musical. He loved music the first time he heard it and hasn't stopped dancing and singing since.

I still think it's all the music concerts we went to whilst I was pregnant, all that loud music with lots of bass throbbing through my body straight to him as he bopped along in the amniotic fluid.

Whenever we put any cd's on he's right there, ready to get groovy. He sat entranced by Baby Beethoven on YouTube at 8 months old, and has now learnt the theme songs to all his favourite tv shows. He requests songs from cd's whilst we're in the car, and they're not kids music, it's adults music he loves best.

He sings from the minute he wakes up till the moment he reluctantly goes to sleep. He is constantly moving as if the rhythm of life flows in his blood and he can't help but dance to it.

This kid has the most amazing musical memory and if you ask he can sing any of the 50 or so nursery rhymes from his books. WORD PERFECT.

I gave birth to a freak.

I mean that in the most loving way. And if he's going to be a freak, at least he's a musical freak.

That could mean big money one day.

So me, not being overly musical, except for loving to sing though unfortunately not too well, decided that I was probably not the best person to develop whatever there is to develop in a mini musical maestro.

Today marked the first step in his musical career (the one in my mind anyway) and I took Charlie to music school.

He sang, danced and played instruments and LOVED IT! It was such a good decision to take him along. The main issue I had was keeping him still long enough to listen to the teacher's instructions, Charlie just didn't want to stop dancing.

Whenever the music was turned off momentarily, he would bold as brass walk up to his new teacher and politely ask for the music to "turn on pleeeeaaaaase".

At the end of class all the children got to have a turn playing around on the teachers piano. Now Charlie has never played the piano before all we have is a small keyboard that he's played with. All the kids crowded around the piano, banging their little hands on the keys making a lovely racket, and there is Charlie standing amoungst them carefully picking out each key to play and trying to actually play it. Not just banging it randomly. WOW.

After the other kids left, I stayed on to chat to the teacher for a few moments, while Charlie continued to play at the piano. We showed him that one end has high notes and one end has low, and each time we asked him to play high or low he got it right. I was so proud.

I continued talking to the teacher some more, then glanced over to see Charlie had pulled the stool back up to the piano, climbed on it and was calmly playing high and low notes then picking out a few specific key to play a little tune of his own making, as if he'd being doing it for years. Even the teacher was impressed.

I know Beethoven composed Twinkle Twinkle Little Star at age 5, but I think my boy can better that.

Just you wait and see.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Living our Lives

I've written before about my desire to live the 'simple life' which in my view also covers a living a more 'spiritual life'. A 'simple life' is getting back to living a healthy, natural life, and a 'spiritual life' is living a life where I am filled with contentment and love.

Lately I've been feeling the need to make changes to my life more and more. I think that being Spring I just want to jump start new things and spring clean many areas of my life and home, but I also feel that it's more than just that.

I'm sure other people feel this too. There is a restlessness, a feeling that there has got to be more to this life than what we have at the moment. A need to escape the daily treadmill and really LIVE OUR LIFE. But there is indecision. We are all so used to the life we live, the way our society lives, yet we're not satisfied by it. We want more. But we're not sure what this more actually is, let alone how to achieve it. We feel that we have lost something, but we no longer remember what that something was, only that it is missing in our lives.

I believe that our society is ready for a change, a re-emergence of the fulfilling life we all deserve. Not just deserve, that we are here to experience. That we were each born for. Life isn't about working hard to earn money to give to someone else so we can have a house and food, to pay the bills and to pay for prepackaged entertainment that comes in one of million different forms that we can choose from. How did our society become like this? So focused on things on the outside? Our lives are defined more by the education or career we have, or lack of it, than what we contribute to our family, community and world.

We only live ON this Earth. We no longer feel a PART of this Earth. We came from the earth, we once lived in harmony with it, which is what man was born to do. We were not born to dominate the Earth and other people, in a race to prove who is the best by twisted standards of power and greed.

We have become disconnected from ourselves, our families, our communities and most of all, our world. Perhaps this is what we have lost, what we feel is missing. Perhaps this is why we feel this restlessness, this need, to search for something. We are no longer really a part of this earth. We drive around in air conditioned cars, sealed off from the real world, work deep inside concrete and steel buildings with the only connection to the outside world being through a plate glass window if we're lucky, and we spend majority of our time at home inside, on the computer, watching tv, cleaning and cooking, with the occasional puff of outside air coming through the window, but only on nice days of course! The way we have sealed ourselves off from nature is amazing yet tragic, though no one even really stops to think about it as we just get on with our busy day, never questioning how we live.

Yet there is an unhappiness inside us, a restlessness, a need. Many people feel it on a sub conscious level, and it leads to both minor and major negative behaviours, from being grumpy with our kids, to road rage to more dangerous and terrible things. People just don't know what's 'wrong' but all we do is look at the surface issues - my kids are too hyper, I was late and they cut in front of me on the road etc. But what is really wrong with our society, and each of us? We're missing something.

We can read every self help and spiritual book there is on how to find it again, but I believe that just as each of us is unique, we must each find this something in our own way. Yet conversely, it will also take our society as a whole to change in order for things to change.

I have no idea what will happen, only that it needs to happen.

We each need to look inside ourselves, and at the same time look around this wondrous earth that has given us life and shelter and find that missing something.

Meaning to life?

I would love to hear your views on this in the comments.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fashionable Friday

I'm sure my loving and patient husband thinks I'm narcissistic.

Each time he uses our camera it has many, many of photos of me on it. In different outfits, in different poses.

It's ok, I say to him. It's for my blog.

Which, when I think about it, just confirms any narcissistic tendencies.

But really, I'm not doing it for me. I'm doing for everyone out there. It's a community service, I assure him. I'm trying to beautify the world.

Oh, that still sounds bad.

Well let's just ignore all that and get on with the task at hand, shall we?

Today's outfit for Fashionable Friday is actually from yesterday, as I've been a bad blogger and am posting this a day late.

It's one of my all time favourite outfits too. You know that no-brainer type of outfit, the fall back one, that you don't even have to think about. That's what this one is.

It's just a simple black sheath dress that I've had for years, that I team with different tops to mix it up a little.

When I spend my day chasing this gorgeous little monster around, I usually wear black ballet flats with it and it's an outfit that is just so comfy yet still stylish.

But when I go out to the store, or to take the kids to school, I slip on a pair of killer heels and voila, instant elegance (and a little bit sexy too! hehehe).

Red is a colour I just love to wear. It's bold and confident and never ceases to make me feel like I can take on the world.

And the pearls? Well, they add a just bit of old world glamour.

There needs to be more glamour in a dreary world.

And there certainly needs to be many more kisses from cute guys like this.

Wow - has it really been a week? Bad me.

This past week has been eventful to say the least.

My once lovely haven has become a house full of pestilence and disease lately, I almost needed to put up a sign on the front door reading "Enter at Risk of Catching One of a Multitude of Horrible Illnesses".

I've had a a sore throat and aching body that has ended in my usual few times a year bout of laryngitis, which seems to come and go as it pleases in a very annoying bad timing sort of way. At least it gives the men in my family a rest from listening to my nagging. Though I must say it's made singing Charlie his bedtime song a very interesting experience.

Charlie also has had a nasty virus that manifested in a weird combination of ailments : mild temperature, conjunctivitis, hives and a what sounds like a pack a day smoker's cough.

Corey's been battling bronchitis for the last few weeks, till I could no longer stand listening to the disgusting descriptions of what he coughed up each morning, and took him to the doctor for anti-biotics, which we usually try to avoid until absolutely, positively necessary.

Kaiden even had to join in the latest craze of who can out-illness the other, and was throwing up last night. Though upon reflection, the fact that he's perfectly ok today combined with extra large thickshake and lemon sorbet indulgences yesterday, I don't think it would strictly be counted as an 'illness'.

So far Del is the only one not ill. Which is funny as lifestyle wise he's the worst out of the lot of us, yet he stays healthy. I guess someone has to be well enough to keep the rest of us going.

Even my trusty laptop got a nasty virus that sadly required emergency attention. Luckily I didn't lose any data, but our lovely computer guy had to wipe it entirely and start again. Though on the bright side I now have Windows 7.

Of course going the best part of a week with no computer was a blessing and a curse. I loved the time I suddenly found I had, I could stop to smell the roses, bake cookies (more than usual) and spend my time lazing around with a real paper based book. What you mean I actually have to turn the pages myself? You don't just click and it happens????

The curse was, that whilst I was having fun enjoying myself and being giddy with the freedom of not being able to work, said work was stealthily piling up, getting bigger and bigger, ready to jump up and attack me once I did get my laptop back.

So I've been busy being both patient and nurse, and still trying to get on top of work stuff and not succeeding very well at any of it. It's been a week I'd rather forget.

There have been so many things I wanted to post about but haven't had the time or energy to actually write, and at other times I didn't even have a computer to write on. I will try my very best to remember what they were and write some catch up posts. Things such as Kaiden's return from his Army Course so he'll be eligible to become a Junior Non Commissioned Officer (sneak peek: he passed with flying colours!), another post about all those damn cute things Charlie gets up to, and as I was kindly reminded by my lovely 'soul sister' I didn't do my usual Fashionable Friday post. (Which I did take photos for but didn't get around to writing yesterday. So I will post it today, but please don't hold it against me that it's a day late.)

Anyway, after all that rambling, here's to next Monday and a fresh start.

(It also helps that the kids are back to school next week after 2 weeks off!!!)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fasionable Friday

Ok, so we've had the ode to the 1950's, now we're moving on to the 1960's!

Yeah, baby!

(trying out my model poses for you all. Anyone know a good modelling agency? I'm the next Cindy Crawford, you know. What? Don't laugh, I so could be. Stranger things have happened.)

This is my modern take on a 1960's look. All I need now is for Woodstock to be revived, I'm ready to get groovy, man.

I did wear this particular dress to a concert starring a plethora of fabulous and famous aging 60's Motown singers, but it was teamed it with a pair of very high heeled, retro looking, knee high brown leather boots instead of the wedges I'm wearing here.

It was a decision I regretted.

But on the upside, I did get a lot of compliments that night. (hehehe!)

During this particular modeling session, someone decided to crash the photo shoot, so I couldn't resist including him here.

Is that an uncomfortable smile I see from Kaiden?

"Mum, you're embarrassing me in front of the whole of the world wide web".

What else are mums for, darling?