Saturday, March 29, 2008

Two days to go....

Surgery has been confirmed for Monday. I am to be at the hospital at 1:30pm and I am #3 on the list. I can have a light breakfast before 7am, and a small amount of water before 9am but nothing after. (There goes my idea of sneaking in a pump and rpm class in the morning!!)

Am I worried about the surgery? The actual surgery no. I have complete faith and trust in my doctor that we're doing the right thing and I wouldn't have signed the forms if I had the slightest doubt in his ability or his recommendation. What I will admit to be worried about is losing my hearing, or damaging it further. But let's face it, that's a risk with any kind of ear surgery. I will just think positive and what happens will happen. My doctor isn't predicting anything because he said he really doesn't know til he gets in there (my ear) and has a look around. Again making it sound like there is "all this room" inside my ear!!

Having afternoon surgery fits in better with the kids as well. We were worried how we'd juggle getting everyone to school and taken care of at the same time as getting myself to the hospital. But it would appear that the afternoon will be the issue now, more specifically picking me up to come home. That should be easy enough to work around though with some help from my Mum. I think the plan is whenever it's time for me to come home, the kids will go down to my Mum's and then come home.

I worked a bit on my learning log today. I had to change 2 words in my glossary entries as I had picked words from my other subject (SGY110) and not the subject of the assessment (SSK12). That was easy enough to fix because one reading had 2 unfamiliar words so I used both of those.

I now have 2 reading reviews to complete, one in a mind map form, the other written - and the learning log is finished. I haven't yet started the 1200word essay but I'm not envisioning any problems with that.

I have unfortunately totally neglected SGY110 this week! I shall give it some much needed attention tomorrow.

Obviously still trying to work out that study balance!!

I put in a bit of extra effort this week at the gym with pump, 2 circuit classes, boxing and for the first time - yoga. I am sore to put it politely! But it's a good sore! It's the kind of sore that will make up for me not going at all next week (on advice from one of the trainers) after surgery. I wouldn't exactly say I'm losing weight at the moment, more like I'm yo-yo'ing because of the inconsistent gym schedule I've had the past few weeks. It seems like I can fit in a good week there but the next week something happens, or someone gets sick, and I can't get there at all.

Hopefully after next week off, everything settles down and I can get back to what my original (planned) schedule between home, study, gym was supposed to be!

We took some gorgeous photos of Ethan today. We had him out the front while the kids were playing and put him on a blanket with a few toys. Daddy was a bit 'snap happy' with the camera but we have some absolutely gorgeous photos. (of course that's just my bias opinion shining through there). I took a cute posed picture of Ethan sitting up. It was more of "Daddy quick sit Ethan up, let go, *SNAP*, topple over" but it was worth it! Ethan's almost but not quite sitting on his own. He's also a caterpillar! Head down, bum up, pushes forward, bum down, head up, head down, bum up, pushes forward, bum down, head up - and repeat! Very cute to watch! We saw him rocking on all 4s today - please let him NOT crawl for just a little bit longer!! I like being able to put him down and he stays where I leave him! (or close enough, seeing as he does tend to roll all over the place of late).

Wow. What a novel this turned out to be!

Signing off for tonight!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Plodding along

I received my result for my assessment from week 2. I was graded a 4/5 which translates into a HD (high distinction). I am quite happy about that! The assessment piece itself, like the first one, was only weighted as 5% of my final grade. Even though it is such a small weight, I'm still very happy with myself. Neither assessment piece was difficult as one was a library exercise and the other was a set of worksheets based on why are you studying, what are your goals and other similar questions. Still, to be graded as such for both pieces, I'm happy with that!

I'm currently working on my 3rd assessment for the same subject and I'm trying to get that finished early so I can move onto the 4th as both of them are due the same day. (Friday next week!)

In other news not related to study at all...

It is Rob's birthday today. We bought him a Parramatta Eels shirt because that's his football team. The girls baked him a (rather flat) mudcake after school and gave him a card.

Tayla received an award today for outstanding work in maths.

Turtle got through the day without whinging/crying/throwing a tantrum while at school.

And school photos were taken today. Rhiannah was in fits of giggles telling me she had to say "horsies" for her portrait photo, "puppies" for her photo with Tayla and the boys all had to say "stinky feet".

I can't wait to get their pictures! Usually takes 2months to come back so I will estimate we'll have them end May. I'd be (pleasantly) surprised if we received them back sooner.

Ethan has been an absolutely adorable baby the past few days. He's such a character already! He likes to pretend he's shy and then flashes his big blue eyes and grins like crazy! He also loves attention. He literally watches people until the notice him and start talking to him. Once they do, he flashes those eyes again, huge smiles and of course gets more attention lavished on him. Something tells me I'll be having quite a lot of teenage girls calling my house for him in future years!!

Anyway, I'm at the end of my tether this evening. All forms of tidying up can just wait til tomorrow morning.

I need sleep! (dozed off on the lounge this afternoon when I was meant to be reading!)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Late night ramblings

The 'catch up' study plan for the long weekend worked beautifully. I do admit I still have 1 lecture to listen to however that is the only thing left from my catch up to be done.

I'm also half way through the first submission assessment of my Learning Log. I have a 1000 word essay to write due the same day as the learning log but at the moment, I'm making great progress even if I do say so myself.

Apparently results from my worksheets submitted in week 2 will be availbable tomorrow so I'm very interested to know how I went on those. Grades for my essay submitted last week most likely won't be available for another 2-3weeks so I'll be patiently awaiting those.

My tutor for SSK12 is fantastic. He is not only very helpful but he's approachable, explains things clearly and is only too happy to answer any questions you may have. I hope I come across other tutors like him during the course of my degree.

Feeling rather pleased with myself right now.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A small sense of accomplishment

I have managed to get quite a bit of study done today and I have to say I am rather pleased with myself. I still have a little catching up to go and the aim for the rest of the weekend, aside from celebrating Easter, is to be caught up ready for week 4.

I submitted my first assessment for one subject today. It was a real struggle writing the essay required but I got there in the end, even if it was finished on the day of submission. Poor time management and a lot of stress, chaos and other things thrown in just for good measure are what lead to me leaving that assignment til the last few days before it was due. I also revised a lot of tutorial discussions to make sure I had the right idea and path way to down before I finished the assignment.

Now it's submitted all I can do is hope for the best!

Today I've managed to complete :

- essay
- readings from week 2 and 1 from week 3
- learning log exercise
- glossary words (list will be added to)

I'm on schedule for my catch up! At this point in time, I'm feeling good!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy 30th Birthday Chris

Happy 30th Birthday Chris.

I can only imagine you'd have been planning a big party for this coming weekend, or maybe the one before because of Easter. Your family would've been there, your friends and I'd have tried my best to come up for it.

Instead your birthday will be quietly remembered, possibly celebrated by some, with fond memories of you and wishing you were still here. I wonder how many still go to pick up that phone to say "happy birthday" to you.

I'll have a drink for you, wish you well and remember the fun times.

Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A bit of everything

First things first. Surgery. The ear.

After seeing my ENT Tuesday this week it is clear that this grommet must be removed. The tissue in my ear has all bar grown over the top of the grommet. So the big day is March 31st, which reminds me, I must take my admission forms over to the hospital at some point tomorrow. This little grommet removing expedition is not as straight forward as one would assume. I've had multiple grommets, some removed and some fallen out on their own accord. I've never had a problem with a grommet until now. But after having a foreign piece of plastic in your ear for some 15years, it's really a surprise it hasn't reacted badly before now! (Although having said that, my ears were in a nasty state when I first saw my ENT.)

Basically the ENT will have to dig around a little to remove the grommet. The way he explained it, he made it sound like he had a huge amount of room to be "digging" and "pulling" and "removing". At this stage it looks like a day surgery and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there are no hiccups, or any other unforseen findings in my ear!!

Secondly. Turtle. Behaviour. This week we are in the whiney stage. The hitting stage seems to have passed (for now) but we're left with incessant whining over every little, minute, fraction of a thing! So to combat this I now have a chart on the fridge, not just for Turtle but for everyone, and on it are times and things you should be doing. It's purely for the morning school routine but I'm hoping a bit of structure is just what this kid needs! Another reason I decided to do it is because the other morning I dared to ask him to get dressed before having breakfast (whereas normally it's the other way around) and boy didn't he put on a performance over not having had breakfast first! This lead to me think "Hmmm, routine, he's used to it, don't mess with it."

We are still no closer to an assessment date. I am being patient (and as understanding as I can be considering the ratio of caseworkers to children) and not kicking up a fuss over it yet. But let me just say that if there is no sign of a date come the end of April, then I will be very strongly asserting the disappointment in the "support" they seem to show for Turtle. Honestly, if we had a bit more support, not only from the department but also our own family members, then I think Turtle would be managable.

Thirdly. Study. Lack of. Stress. Assessment. Essay. ARGH! Let's just say that this week I've been trying to focus on a 500word 20% weighted essay for one subject. I am roughly 300words into it now and have put it away for the night because I wasn't thinking clearly enough to finish it. It is due Friday afternoon so I still have a little time on my side for fine tuning, conclusion and anything else it needs. I am almost convinced that I won't get a fantastic grade on this one. I'll be happy with a pass, hell even a conceded pass! At least I have other assessments totalling 80% I can focus on and hopefully gain decent marks in.

And in other news....

Turtle and Rhi had their Easter Hat parade today. Both of them enjoyed it and resisted the urge to eat the tiny eggs off their hats! I don't think the school could've coped with more cotton wool though! It was on just about every single hat and some hats were literally covered entirely in cotton wool!

Tayla starts netball training tomorrow. Rhi starts the following week. We've been very lucky because both of them will train on the same day at the same time. I was hoping that their training schedule would be easy to manage. I was picturing having training for one and then having to go back an hour after the first one finished. So that has worked out really well for us. The tricky part will be what time they actually play once the season officially begins.

And saving the best for last....

Ethan has 2 teeth! Both front bottom teeth have finally emerged! The first cut through last Friday and the second cut through today. He soon will have that gorgeous toothy grin happening! I think he knows he has "new" things in his mouth because he pulls funny smiles and has already bitten his fingers and shocked himself.

And with that, I am off to bed knowing that I'm just a little bit closer to completing my assignment, feeling a bit above sinking level and damn tired!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Can it get any worse?

I would love to know what I've done wrong in a previous life to deserve this week!

I went and saw my ENT on Monday. That stubborn 15yr old grommet in my ear is now causing problems. The tissue around it was trying to grow over the top of it. So after some scraping and suctioning (which let me tell you is NOT the most pleasant experience), 2 days of $30 ear drops; the tissue has now grown OVER the grommet. Today the ENT could not see it!! Good thing he knows where it's meant to be!! Now I'm on different $23 ear drops (that's $53 on ear drops in 2 days!) and I go back and see him on Tuesday.

He was going to book me in for an operation on Monday but couldn't because he already has 7 people booked!!!! He needs to take the grommet out. We always knew the grommet would have to come out one day, they're not designed to be that permanent. (apparently the 'permanent' ones only last say 5yrs.) So yes, within 2 weeks I could be in hospital, having a grommet cut out from inside my ear and hoping like crazy that there are no complications during or after the surgery!!

Turtle is causing stress again! Yesterday he slapped Ethan across the face unprovoked because Ethan was wearing an old hat of Turtle's. Mind you this hat hasn't been worn in probably 12months, has shrunk and wouldn't even fit Turtle's head! But because he saw it, he wanted it, he slapped Ethan, he took the hat. I wasn't home at the time but when I was told about it, I was absolutely livid! I've talked to Turtle, and I've explained as much as I can that this is his last chance. If he hurts Ethan again I will call who needs to be called and he may have to live somewhere else. I went into this saying that the safety of my children comes first and I have to stick with that. We still are prepared to work with Turtle and get him the help he so obviously (and desperately) needs but if the safety of any of the other children is compromised in a serious way by him again, then I'm afraid we have to put their needs ahead of Turtle's. We have done a huge thing by taking him and Chipmunk into our family but we can't have anyone put in danger because of him either. We haven't given up on him, I can't stress that enough, but I'm stuck between a rock and a very very very hard place!!

I talked to my best friend tonight on the phone about everything going on lately and she said that I didn't sound like my usual self. We only talk on the phone say once every couple of months (life gets in the way!) but apparently I didn't sound as happy or upbeat as normal, and she's known me a very long time. I told her I was tired, buggered, and just 'over' everything.

I cannot wait for our QLD holiday in July!!!!

I'm not even going to comment on study this week. With everything else that's gone on, I've had limited study time but I do hope to catch up by the end of the week.

"Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, what do we do? Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swim, swim swim.................."

Monday, March 10, 2008

Off to a great start

The start of week 2 and we're off to a fine start!!

I have woken up with an incrediously sore ear! I don't know if I've slept with arm pressed onto it the entire night or if I have the makings of an ear infection so yes, a trip to the Dr is on the cards for me this morning. I've always had problems with my ears since I was little but for the past 2-3yrs they have been relatively stable. I've been seeing an ENT every 3-4months to keep an eye on things because believe it or not, I still have a grommet in my right here that was put there when I was 14! You work out the math! Anyway my specialist has always told me "any problems, give me a call" so I'll go see the GP first (easier to get into) and then call the ENT and let him know and he can decide if he needs to take a look.

Ethan's also off to a fine start himself. Poor little guy has had his cold come back, just when you think he's over it, and was coughing so much after his bottle this morning that, let's just say, he now has an empty tummy and feels better for it. He's gone to sleep (on an empty tummy!) and has been sleeping for around an hour now. He is a bit phlegmy so I will have the Dr check him out aswell.

We can go months without having to visit our Dr, then as soon as one person in this family goes, it all snowballs from there! I had to take 3 of the children to see him last week (tonsilitis, immunisations & home sick from school), and here we are this week with myself needing to go and Ethan again. Thankfully our GP bulk bills!!

Depending on the outcome of the look inside my ear, I may not go to the gym this morning. I have a body pump class on but my ear feels "blocked" and we all know ear infections can affect balance. Combine that with lifting weights overhead and it may not be a good mix!! We'll see how we go! I may settle for an hour of cardio.

Til later........

Friday, March 7, 2008

The rest of the day

The rest of the day went like this....

Ethan had his 6month immunisations. He didn't cry much after the first one, but after the second he did. Poor little guy!! I have to say though, he handles his immunisations very well!! He had a sleep afterwards and has been fine ever since.

Chipmunk didn't get cleared to attend daycare today. Her tonsilitis is responding well to the antibiotics and she's on the mend. She has been cleared to go back to daycare from Monday.

I did manage to listen to both lectures today. Exactly how much of it sunk in I'm not too sure! I logged on to the unit and went to the tutorial discussion group with all intention of participating but didn't know where or how to begin! I think I need to read the reading again and re read the question and see how I go. I feel so behind already and it's only week 1.

Then again it hasn't exactly been a great start to studying this week!!

Rhiannah also came home sick from school today! Apparently she'd been asleep during the morning and I got a call around 11ish to go and pick her up. So another trip to the Dr's (figured he didn't work hard enough :oP) and another script for the same medication as Chipmunk. Rhiannah's throat is a little red, she had a temperature which has now come back down to normal, and she was very tired. The Dr said it looks like she may get tonsilitis but at this point in time, doesn't have it. The script is incase it comes out in force over the weekend.

Let's hope we get through this weekend without anyone getting worse, or others becoming ill aswell!! And let's hope next weeks study is far more organised than this week has been! I still have a few exercises to do over the weekend for my intro subject!! (oh and Rob is working both days for 6hrs each day but I'm sure that 6hours will turn into 8 or more but let's not go there shall we?)

Almost the end of the first week...

...and I've only just completed one reading for my 2nd subject!! I have decided that from now on I will be doing this subject FIRST! And spend 2-3days on it, then the remaining 2days on my first subject as it seems to be a lighter workload. I know with independant study they say you can "work at your own pace" but if I continue to leave this subject til later, I'm going to fall so far behind the tutorial discussion group. As it is, anything I contribute today and over the weekend will most likely have already been said.

So the game plan for today is :

* take the kids to school
* quick trip to the post office to send off eBay packages
* take Chipmunk to the Dr's and have her tonsilitis checked, if given the OK then drop her off at daycare
* Come home, put Ethan down for a sleep and then listen to my lectures. There's 2 of them to get through

By the time the 2nd lecture finishes, Ethan will probably be awake and that will most likely be the end of study til later in the afternoon.

So no more dilly dallying on here - time get people moving!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

It's what makes us "us"

Every once in a while you will come across someone who has been through something horrendous, life changing, terrifying or your perception of it. Every once in a while that someone will make you sit back and say "thank God I never went through that!" or make you think how awful it must've been for them and how you wish you could've done something. Every once in a while, that person you've come across, is all the while extremely thankful for you having been there in that instant. For your being there, you've given them strength, willpower, courage and the urge to keep on going.

At least that's what I can say for myself. Except I'm not the one who came across someone. I was the one who made someone thankful that it never happened to them, or to the same extent, and I was the one who will forever be grateful for having that friend be there when she was needed.

Every once in a while I'll reflect. It'll come up in a conversation, like tonight, and I'll be quite ok to sit and talk about things. Remember little things, or maybe something I hadn't previously told, and afterwards I can say "but you know much as I wish it wasn't part of my life experiences, it's what makes us 'us'."

Every thing that happens in your life, however small or great, has some impact on the person you become. There are the good things that bring us the positives of life, and then there are the absolutely horrible things we'd rather not speak of that put us in such negative places we think we'll never come away from. Those places, however dark, help shape us.

For me, those years of my life can never be rewound so I can start again. But if I could rewind them, would I? Sure I would. I'd give anything to not have that in my life history. But if I did erase it, would I be who I am now? That's the thing.

Every little thing leads to an even bigger thing and the final outcome is you. Who you are. Where you are. The choices you've made. The life you lead.

So to my friend, who was there for me all those years ago, thank you! I know you still to this day wonder was there something you could've done, could you have found the right words to say to someone, wondering did you do enough. I want you to know you did more than I ever wanted or expected you to do. What you did; being there for me, keeping my confidence was more than I could've asked for. At a time like that, you'll never quite fully understand how having someone I could tell everything to set me free and gave me the strength to keep on going. I've never forgotten that, or what you told me in return (which is a confidence I've never broken to this day), and I never will.

Isn't it strange what a conversation makes you reflect on?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Day 1 of study.....

Today was the first day of my returning to study.

This is how the day went.....

6am - up with Ethan, first morning feed and cuddles, all the while wishing I had just 30mins more of sleep seeing as I was up with him at midnight because he was a little snuffly and in need of some mummy cuddles. Precious cuddles they are and of course Ethan is just too cute to deny them!

7am - Ethan went back to sleep bless him! So I got on with getting breakfast for the rest of the tribe.

Out the door at 8:45am to take 3 to school and 1 to daycare. Running a little late because I would normally go to daycare first but today I did it in reverse.

I get to my Mum's shortly after 9:30am, sit down and feed Ethan before we headed out. I was meant to go to an RPM class at the gym but I still had a bit of the headache I went to bed with the night before so I didn't think vigorous exercise was a wise idea. I'm sure the scales will reflect later that I really should have gone.

We were just about to walk out the door when the phone rings. It's Daycare. Chipmunk has a 38.2 degree temperature, she needs to be picked up ASAP. So a quick phonecall to the relevant people to cancel Chipmunks visit today with her bio-dad (spent a good part of 15mins on hold!) and we're off to pick her up.

Arrive at Daycare to find Chipmunk sitting at a table wearing a jacket WITH the hood over her head. Now keep in mind they called me saying she had a high temperature yet they let her sit there rugged up to the max! Bundle Chipmunk off to the car, forget to grab her bag, and we headed to "work" to say hi and exchange Ethan's outfit for one in a larger size. (this boy is growing too fast!). Oh I should say that Chipmunk didn't appear to be "sick" and actually brightened up when I picked her up.

Was met with the question of "When are you coming back to work? Are you coming back 5days?" and I keep on replying "I don't know yet, I'm still thinking about it" when really I know I'm not going to and probably will look into an extended trade type thing with them. Actually that's looking more and more like the best avenue to take and that would fit in (hopefully) with family, uni and everything else.

Chipmunk seems pretty happy she's out and about with us, she doesn't feel warm now and is happy to be walking along.

We head off to see one of my Mum's colleagues for lunch. Had yummy Garlic King Prawns for lunch. Actually I should say we just ate garlic and a few prawns! Overdosed on garlic today!!

After lunch we head home to my Mum's, have a drink and then pick the kids up from school and come home.

This was the first time I sat down to look at anything remotely uni related. I wanted to make sure I had access to both my units online and see where I needed to start with them. 20mins into looking I notice Chipmunk sitting on her chair shaking her legs. I thought she was being silly so just watched and she kept doing it. Poor thing was feverish and said she felt cold.

And off we go to the Dr's!

Chipmunk has tonisilitis! The poor kid!!! She now has antibiotics, will be off daycare for the rest of the week (she can possibly attend Friday if she's lucky), another cancelled visit with bio-dad that was rescheduled for Thursday. I do feel bad for her seeing as we had her out and about but she seriously seemed ok. She was a little tired which I put down to her waking up too early (which happens almost every morning) and aside from a cold, I didn't think anything was wrong, well not seriously wrong like tonsilitis.

Tayla missed her Karate class tonight because we were at the Dr's. Dinner was at Mum's because I left all the kids there so I could get Chipmunk's medication. We get home in time for bedtime and at 8pm I finally have all the kids in bed!!

So study wise, I've been able to see what assessments I have due and when (so far nothing clashes), I've found my tutorial group for 1 unit, I've had a quick look at one assessment which is a library learning exercise and a quiz related to it and I've checked my week 1 topics for both units.

Maybe tomorrow I'll move into the actual reading of prescribed readings, notes etc.

There will be no gym this week. I can't take Chipmunk there while she's sick so a few walks late afternoon will have to suffice. Rob has offered to not go in the evening so I can go to a couple of classes (boxing/pump) but the evenings are "his" gym time if he wants to go. I'll be happy with getting in 2 walks this week considering everything else that's going on.

Tomorrow's study plan will be readings for 1 unit during Ethan's sleep. And I'll look at the 2nd unit in the evening. In theory that sounds fine. We'll see how we go.