Saturday, June 29, 2013

First World Problems

The other day when my dishwasher broke I posted about it on facebook (as you do) and got lots of sympathy and suggestions - even though it really only qualifies as a first world problem (FWP)  - not a real problem.

The very next day I suffered my worst FWP to date.  I was busting for a wee but couldn't use the bathroom as the cleaner wasn't finished cleaning in there yet.

Anyone else got a FWP they're game to share?

In case my sister doesn't fess up I am going to post her best one - falling into a ditch (or was it walking into a street sign?) whilst walking and texting on her smart phone.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thankful Thursday: 27th June

Today I am thankful for:

- my new spa sucker thingy:

I'm probably more excited than I should
be about this little baby... The spa was so
clean by the time I finished I wouldn't
let the kids get in it...

- the delights that I find in Ashlea's school bag:

- a cup of tea and a catch up with a lovely old friend;

- strawberries coming down in price;

- a swing ordered;

- discovering a way to access free wireless internet while at the children's hospital;

- a scoopon carwash deal - and a clean car for the first time in years;

- Audrey's first choir concert;

She might be my shyest but she loves
a chance to perform

- a new men's ministry at church - and the few hours peace it afforded me (no kids, no husband - NO ONE else in the house for 2 whole hours - luxury!);

- a bike delivered!!

Hopefully it will stop raining soon so we
can ride outside!!!

- and lastly I'm thankful that in the same week I started asking about wheelchair accessible van's this one popped into my inbox.  I haven't decided yet whether to get it as it is JUST SO BIG but I am VERY tempted.  Any thoughts???

Monday, June 24, 2013

Caring Takes Strength...

Does anyone else have the urge to throw their remote at the TV when the panadol ad comes on?

You know - the one with the mum and baby and the tag line 'caring takes strength...and sometimes it takes panadol'.


Seriously - they think panadol is going to cut it?

Apart from the irony that they're talking about how it's safe to give your one month old baby panadol - yet my babies had no choice but to start life with a solid dose of vancomycin, gentamicin, morphine, dopamine and indomethacin just to name a few - this ad drives me nuts.

Caring takes panadol?

Caring takes balls.

And wine.

It takes guts and determination and perseverence and a warped sense of humour.

Panadol doesn't come into it.

Anyone else got an ad that makes them want to punch their TV?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Wisdom of the Internets Needed...

Friends with accessible vans - and power chairs - please advise me!

Friends who know about money - please  advise me!

(I have a theory that people who have grown up around money or with money in their families know how to manage it.  Unfortunately I am clueless about these things).

This is my dilemma.  We are getting access to Murray's super soon - it's not enough to completely pay out the mortgage - but that is what we are going to use the money for - paying down the mortgage.


There is also the CAR question.

Our van is old and therefore is not worth putting a wheelchair lifter into.  It is also at that age that it is getting too expensive to keep repairing, but it probably (possibly) still has a couple of years left in it.  The biggest issue is getting Ashlea in and out of the car.  She is 20kg now.  I am 45kg wringing wet.  Lifting her up, twisting and then putting her into the car seat is no mean feat. I'm worried I'm going to pop out a hernia or something when I lift her (although i do admit to feeling a moment of smugness at seeing my gym-going sister struggle to lift Ashlea into the carseat...but I digress).

I just don't know what to do.

Is it wise to spend that money on a car NOW?  Or should we wait?  My brain says MORTGAGE not car - but my body says CAR.

What it really boils down to is this: Can I keep physically lifting Ashlea into the car?

At the moment I am leaning towards getting a Hyundai Imax with this type of converter ($40000 car with $10000 lifter as opposed to a $55000 Tarago with a $35000 conversion - the thought of driving an $80000 car horrifies me!).  I would also consider looking at second hand ones but know even less about buying a second hand car than I do about managing money!.

Hyundai Imax with Lifter.

Anyone got any thoughts???

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thankful Thursday 20th June

This week I am thankful for:

- Super Neighbour Kate's dedication to the cause of Tom by lining up at Aldi to be the crazy cat lady buying not one but SIX Talking Tom's (4 for Ashlea - do you think that's enough or should I go back for more???);

- a well stocked supply cupboard:

In Case of Emergency Tom's

- an appointment to discuss why Ashlea seems to have pain around her PEG site and an upper GI exam booked to investigate;

- last week's random temperature virus which meant I took Ashlea in for extra bloods which showed her tac level had gotten too low which meant we could increase her tacrolimus before her level dropped so low that she started rejecting her kidney (apologies if only other transplant patients understood that one);

- home modifications partially approved - the widening of the front door, lifter to access the front door, widening of Ashlea's bedroom door and the bathroom renovation have all been approved in theory - but because of the high cost we still need to go through several more levels of approval;

- the socceroos win that means Australia will be going to the world cup;

- these biscuits - I have a serious addiction going on:

Low salt chocolate biscuits!

- realising that the random payments into our account from Murray's work were a mistake before I had spent the money - so much harder to give it back after you've spent it;

And today I am going to request your prayers as well.  Last year when Murray was in hospital his immediate supervisor at work was very supportive - visiting Murray in hospital and at home and even organising fundraising activities so that they were able to give us a gift of $2500.  Sadly that man has had a serious mountain biking accident and is now himself in ICU.  Please pray for him and his family.

Thankful Thursday

Monday, June 17, 2013

Conversations with Ashlea...

Ashlea is a lovely little chatterbox.

We have many interesting conversations - here are a few snippets.

Me:  How was school today Ashlea?

Ashlea:  Miss C (her teacher) give me 3 try-harder faces :(


Ashlea:  I want a toy Elmo

Me: Well, you will have to do some good behaviours to earn the toy (she has to not chew her shirt at school and not get any try harder faces to earn Elmo)

Ashlea:  I got to be a haviour 


Me:  Ashlea what was the story about in Sunday School today?

Ashlea:   Jesus!  (she knows she can't go wrong with that answer)

Me:  What did Jesus do???

Ashlea:  Come down from that tree!  (pretty easy to work out that story - anyone want to have a guess?)


Day 1 of illness...

Ashlea: I got a sore head

Day 3 of illness...

Ashlea:  Mummy!  Get my ipad!  I sick.  I can't go to school.


I love our little conversations - even the ones that result in a 30 minute tantrum like the time I told her she wasn't allowed to go to the moon.

What a little delight she is.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thankful Thursday 13th June

This week I am thankful for:

- a lovely catch up with a lovely friend;

- a new pillow to solve all my worldly problems - well all my neck pain problems anyway;

- a special outing for Audrey to see Vivid with Aunty Carolin;

So exciting to be out late at night!

- our first dip in the spa for the winter;

Nice and toasty

- Thermomix sticky date puddings for Murray's birthday - they are too good - that thing really should come with a complementary gym membership;

- Ashlea's Second Skin appointment - I am really hopeful the suit will help with her posture and balance (at $2000 per suit it better!!);

- salt free bread;

- an appointment with Emma's psychologist to discuss 'strategy';

- panadol - Baby Duck has a temperature - I am thankful for easy access to medication and a fantastic hospital nearby if it comes to that;

- a school photo WIN for Ashlea - how good is this?  I haven't got the other girls pictures yet or the highly anticipated family photo - I am hoping it's as good as last year;

Best school photo ever!

- a Talking Tom WIN for My Sanity (and wallet).  Aldi are stocking Talking Tom's next week as a special item.  We are on our 3rd Tom since Christmas (they are not built to withstand Ashlea's intense love). The question is how many will I stock up with?  2?  3??  Is 4 too many???

Thankful Thursday

Monday, June 10, 2013

Winning friends and influencing people...

Ashlea has been winning friends and influencing people since the day she was born. She has a new rather effective method that she uses at church on Sundays.

She loves to walk around the new deck out the back of the church.  It is a big, beautiful, flat space to practise walking.  I have recreated the scene for you with the following photos - in these photos Ashlea will be starring as herself, Aunty Carolin will be playing the role of me and Murray will be playing the role of innocent bystander.

It usually goes something like this:

"I want to walk!" Ashlea says.

"With no hands!!" she says.

Me: "Wait!"

NO!!!  You can't grab people's butts!!!
This happens every week without fail.

As you can see she walks with her hands out in front of her to help maintain her balance.  When you're only just over a metre tall that means that your hands are just at right height that when you wobble a bit (which is often) you grab whatever is in reach .... which is usually other people's backsides.

I doubt there is anyone in the church who hasn't been quietly enjoying a cuppa on the deck after church without being surprised by a small hand groping their butt.

Like I said, winning friends and influencing people...

{I'm going to link this to Ellen's writing prompt which this week is I never thought I - because I never thought I would have to apologise to random  people at church because my child grabbed their butt}

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thankful Thursday 6th June

Today I am thankful for...

- my new slippers - I can't tell you how much I love them.  I promised my friend when I bought them that I would only wear them around the house...and maybe to school drop off....but in reality I have worn them all day every day since buying them;

Wearing slippers at the post office...after school drop off, and the
the RTA, the bank, the GP...

- a SWING WIN.  We finally had our FAF funding request approved.  They will be providing $2k towards Ashlea's swing and the Smile Foundation have given us $1k towards it.  Just in time too - at nearly 20kg Ashlea is getting a bit too chubby for the baby swing at the neighbour's house;

- Thermie has landed.  I promise not to become one of those thermomix converts who constantly posts pictures of their cooking but I at least had to take photos of my very first creations:

No Added Salt bread rolls...

NAS Pumpkin soup to go with the rolls...

Vanilla custard...just because it's delicious...

Gluten Free Dairy Free "Sponge Cake"

Chicken with cashew nuts...a bit scary to use ALL the functions of the
thermie in one meal when you're a newbie

NAS flat bread.  I made a gluten free version of this that didn't
work quite so well

- all of you who contributed to Project Thermie - which also became Project Tupperware - THANK YOU;

- our new parents of special needs prayer group that started at church last night;

- a cancellation at my hearing and balance specialist so I could get my hearing tested - my good ear has been making strange little noises - but as my hearing in that ear is still 'bat like' (that's the doctor's exact medical terminology) - he said not to worry at this stage;

- stable kidney function and an uneventful clinic visit for Ashlea;

- getting Emma into this workshop at the Powerhouse Museum these coming school holidays.  It is for girls her age to get together to make a minecraft music video - totally up her alley!

Thankful Thursday

Monday, June 3, 2013


We have been trying to get access to Murray's TPD and superannuation so that we can use that money to reduce our mortgage.  It looks like the payment has been approved and should come through in the next few weeks.

Here is the moral to the story though.


Murray set up his TPD and super over 25 years ago.  He just selected the most basic option - and trust me - we are getting the most basic of payouts.  Don't get me wrong - we are happy for any financial assistance  we can get at the moment.  But the truth is, if we had been smarter about it we could be getting a significant, life changing sort of payment.  The sort of payment that could pay off our entire mortgage, buy the new van that we need and leave some to live off or invest. Instead we will not even be able to reduce our mortgage by half.

Seriously.  Go check your super options.  Get more TPD insurance.  Contrary to what you think you might actually need it one day.

/end of community service announcement