Wednesday, 24 June 2009

You wouldn't want to be anywhere else ...

If you will be within flying distance of Brisbane on Saturday 4 July, you would have to have rocks in your head not to be beating a path to the BrisStyle Indie Designers Market. To read all about it, hop over to the BrisStyle blog where you will see what all the excitement is about. I am a little behind with my sewing schedule and am getting a tad anxious, but breathing into a brown paper bag every hour or so seems to help. Quality, not quantity - that's my motto (or at least it is until I build up my stock again).

We returned to Brisbane on Sunday after a week back in Sydney helping out while our daughter recovered from the birth of Daniel. Thankfully our tiny little grandson is coming along very well and should be home from hospital in another two weeks.

Looking after two very lively children - a four year-old and a two year-old - is quite a challenge at our age. I take my hat off to all those devoted young parents who cope so magnificently with raising their brood. My only advice is that you forget all the difficult bits as time goes by!

Despite the miserable weather, we were delighted to be able to catch up with friends and also our Daughter the Artist, who is frantically painting away for an exhibition in a gallery at The Rocks in August. Obviously deadlines and anxiety run in the family.

Sharing the Love

Two lovely BrisStylettes, the talented artist Amanda of Twinkle Star Art and the incredible Helen of Ruby 2 Go Go, have honoured me with this award. Gosh girls, I am blushing.

Now this award is bestowed on blogs that are "exceedingly charming" and passed on to eight other humble blog recipients from then on.

These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

7 things about me
  1. I hold the record at my old school for being the youngest student enrolled, at the age of three and a half. Now this was way before pre-school, prep, or any such classes. The reason was that my brother, 18 months older than me, commenced school at the age of five and I was devastated to be left at home. So the head nun advised my mother, "Let her come along for a week and she'll soon get sick of school and will want to stay at home." I left twelve and a half years later.

  2. I won a competition when I was 14 by naming the most items made from leather. I had picked up an entry form at the Royal Easter Show and over the next couple of weeks made up a list of around 400 items - yes, I know, I needed to get out a little more. But with a first prize of fifty pounds (shows you how long ago it was), I was determined to win and buy a horse.

  3. I was horse crazy in my early to mid teens, as can be seen by what I had planned to do with that prize money mentioned above. The only problem was we lived in a beach area with a back yard not large enough to swing a cat, let alone a horse. My alarmed parents suggested that I use the money to take horse-riding lessons in lieu - such wise parents.

  4. I spent nearly a year in Toronto, Canada sharing a house with four bachelors. OK, one of them was my brother, but what a fun year that was.

  5. After I got over the horse-crazy period, the stage struck period set in and I joined a Little Theatre group in Sydney. This was before NIDA and many well-known actors trod the boards there before they made the big-time. I was not one of them.

  6. My brother taught Russell Crowe at high school and, much to his horror, became something of a minor celebrity himself when Russ won his Oscar. They even sent out an American TV crew to interview him at school.

  7. I am a grandmother of seven - my greatest achievement.

Now I know that I am supposed to pass this award on to eight charming bloggers, but most of them have already been tagged, so instead, please visit the blogs I have listed at this right-hand side of my blog - you won't be disappointed.

I have also received another award - One Lovely Blog Award - from the multi-talented Rebecca of Edward and Lilly, for which I am most humbled and grateful. Why are people so kind to me all of a sudden? I don't have an incurable disease or something that I don't know about, do I?

Excuse me while I chain myself once again to my sewing machine.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday # 56

I have to admit to SSS withdrawal symptoms, as it has been some weeks since I last submitted an image. Mind you, while we were away in Sydney I kept up to date with Tracy's Shadow Shot Sunday posts and greatly admired the most beautiful shots that were collated from the four corners of the globe.

There we were last Saturday having a cup of coffee while waiting to see a movie when I noticed these wonderful transparent orange chairs basking in the winter sun. And where was my camera? Sitting on the dresser at home. I nearly cried with frustration when Hisself reminded me that we had our new you-beaut whizz-bang mobile phones which boasted having a reasonably decent camera. Good thinking, Mr Fudge.

I know the image is not top quality, but it's better by far than our old phone cameras.

It's back to Sydney in the morning (Sunday our time) to once again help out with child minding and driving duties. What a chore, having grandchildren to hug. And of course, it will be wonderful to see how our latest little arrival is coping now that he is out of his humidicrib.

Memo to self: take the camera!

Saturday, 6 June 2009

An early and dramatic entrance

I wonder what next week will bring?

Did I really end my last blog entry with that sentence? Serves me right. This is what it brought.

Our four year-old granddaughter in Sydney hit her head on a heavy timber coffee table last Friday week, resulting in a rushed trip to the casualty ward, where her scalp received a few staples.

Around midnight that night, her pregnant mother was rushed to hospital when her waters broke at a little under 32 weeks. The next day I was on a flight to Sydney to help our son-in-law care for their two children, a four year-old (she with the sore head) and her two year-old brother. Meanwhile, back at the hospital, our daughter was taken by ambulance to a larger hospital where she was to stay until she reached the full 32 weeks. Then it was back to the local hospital where her obstetrician and medical staff carefully monitored the situation in an effort to keep the baby in the womb as long as possible.

Trying to explain all this to two little pre-schoolers who just wanted the baby to arrive and for Mumma to come home was extremely difficult. Tony flew down on the Tuesday to relieve the flagging troops, thank goodness, and somehow we three managed to keep the household on a fairly even keel.

On Monday the baby showed signs of distress, so it was decided to deliver, as Justine had reached 33 weeks, considered these days to be fairly safe. And here is the cause of all the drama:

Daniel James was delivered by caesarian section on 1 June at 33 weeks. He weighed 1.805Kg (3lbs 15oz) and measured 41 cm, which is a little scary, particularly when we have had no experience of premature births in the family and our last grandchild entered the world a few months back at a hefty 11 lbs!

Now, I have a problem with weddings and births. I cry. So for the seventh time as a grandmother, I wiped away tears of joy and love.

Big sister Emily is absolutely over the moon, even if she had put in an order for a little sister.

Two year-old Chris is now the middle child, a position his mother and I know all too well. However, he's so happy to have a little mate and immediately introduced him to a model of "Daddy's car".

Mother and baby are doing well and Justine will be leaving hospital tomorrow, much to the children's (not to mention husband's!) delight. Little Daniel will remain in hospital for around a month until he reaches a reasonable fighting weight. He should be out of the humidicrib in the next day or so, which is another positive step forward.

Tony and I returned to Brisbane on Friday afternoon, swapping duties with our son-in-law's mother, who flew up from Melbourne to take over household duties for the next week or so. Then we will return to Sydney, as Justine will not be able to lift weights or drive for the next six weeks.

In the meantime, we were looking forward to hugging our four little Brisbane grandchildren today, but our son, a teacher, contacted us last night to advise that the school principal has "forbidden" teachers to come in contact with anyone who has travelled interstate over the last few days. Swine 'flu hysteria has now reached ridiculous heights. So we will have to keep those hugs on hold for another week.

To think that ten years ago I was lamenting the fact that I would never be a grandmother. And today we have seven beautiful, individual little darlings who bring us so much joy. What more could we ask for?