08 September, 2009

Smile restored

Chickie's chipped tooth has been repaired but the dentist has decided to send him off to the orthodontist early. Since he's chipped that same tooth twice now (and being a kid there's a high chance he'll fall over again at some stage in his life...), the dentist thinks it might be beneficial to start evening out his teeth a bit sooner than they usually do.

Particularly since Chickie has expressed a desire to learn to play basketball. On hearing this, the dentist (unsurprisingly) suggested a mouthguard.

Chickie looks like he's probably going to have the height for basketball. I've stood him next to some 9 year olds and he's about the same height. So, now I'm looking around for a place/team for him to learn. He's completely lost interest in karate though J and I still go. J will probably go for his orange belt in the next few weeks. Due to my knee problems, the physio suggests I wait until October to try for my orange belt. I will have to admit I'm a bit frustrated by this knee. I want to get in there and really push myself. I want to do more than one session a week. Not to mention I need to lose some of this weight I've put back on (*sigh*). Ahh patience... perhaps one day I'll be familiar with the concept.

Oh and I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't bother to unpack the suitcase whilst on holidays. For a while there I was thinking I must be the laziest person ever.

25 August, 2009

Home again

Ahh it was a lovely holiday. New Zealand is such a lovely place.

We flew into Christchurch and stayed the night. Then drove to Aoraki Mt Cook and had a night there. Explored the Sir Edmund Hillary Museum and Planetarium, after waking up to a spectacular view of the mountains (this is the view from our balcony).

The next day we drove to Queenstown and spent 5 days there. We did so many touristy things - visited a Kiwi park, went on jet boat rides, horse riding, explored an old gold mining town, took scenic helicopter flights to see glaciers (and landed on top of a mountain!), and of course, we visited the snow fields a couple of times. My knee has been playing up again so the physio recommended I skip the skiing unfortunately but it was fun playing in the snow anyway.

Plus I got to watch Chickie learn to snowboard (that's him in the picture, during his lesson). He's technically a bit young still, we were told. The instructors said kids' muscles don't really develop enough until they're at least 8 years old, but since he's tall for his age and it was fairly quiet they let him take a day long lesson. He did struggle a bit with his balance but we got some shots of him snowboarding on his own (even if it was just for a few seconds heheh). He really enjoyed it though.

After Queenstown we drove on to Dunedin. There we explored Lanarch Castle - apparently the only castle in New Zealand. It was a lovely place with amazing views over the harbour.

From Dunedin we drove back to Christchurch and spent the night and half the last day there looking around. J's mum particularly wanted to see the Cathedral there.

Last but not least was a looooong flight home again. It always seems like such a long trip when you're heading home - whether it actually is or not!! We thought it might end up much much longer when our last flight home was delayed because of the awful weather. So we sat down in the airport for a bite to eat thinking we'd be sitting about for ages but just as we finished eating the announcement came to say they'd been given permission to fly faster to make up the time. I guess it never occurred to me that there'd be speed limits for flights but I suppose there'd have to be.

In the end the landing here at home was a bit hairy. Stormy outside and a lot of turbulence. I will admit to grabbing the armrest a few times - all the while trying to look cheerful for Chickie's sake (he was looking a little nervous).

Travelling with the inlaws can be interesting. I think we get on great but there were a few things that struck me as so different to what I'm used to. One of them is that J's dad is very very organised. On occasion I found myself perplexed at the level of organisation. It made things run very smoothly but it's more regimented than I'm used to.

The other thing I found odd is that J's mum unpacked Chickie's suitcase and put all his clothes into the drawers in his room (we were staying at these apartments for 5 days or so). I probably found this odd because I've never actually done that myself - I can't think of anytime I've ever used the drawers at a holiday destination. I don't think my family's ever done that in the past either. At most I've hung up my jacket but, more often than not, I just live out of a suitcase. It made me wonder how many people do this (I'm wondering if I've been massively lazy all these years lol!) - so a question... when on holidays for more than a day or so, do you unpack your suitcase?

16 August, 2009

Greetings from New Zealand... again!

Yes, we're back in New Zealand. J and I loved it so much last year, we wanted to come back and this time bring the family. So, this year it's Chickie, J and I, as well as J's mum (M) and dad (P).

We arrived a few days ago - into Christchurch like last year. This time though, we've hired a car and we took a leisurely drive to Aoraki Mt Cook. Our hotel room there had a balcony that looked out onto the mountains and waking up to the view of the snow topped mountains, with a bit of low cloud, crowned by a sliver of a crescent moon was just awe-inspiring.

Today we drove to Queenstown. P is a keen skier so will be off to the slopes (probably Coronet Peaks) early in the morning. J wants to do a bit of skiing - and wants Chickie to give it a try (not sure when though). M isn't really into skiing and as for me... well I found out the knee problems I've been having are damage to my cartlege and my physio says I should skip the skiing for now. We're working on getting back into karate safely - hopefully to get my orange belt in September or October. I'm disappointed I won't get to ski this time, but at least my focus this year has always been more sightseeing and relaxing. I'm really hoping that this trip I'll get to see a glacier (would love to do one of the glacier landing tours too). Provided all goes well, that will be my expensive 'thing' this trip.

Unfortunately the trip has had it's downside already. Chickie has been full of beans so far and climbing on everything he's allowed. Yesterday it was a wet rock and (I think you might know where this might be heading...) he slipped. He ended up cutting his lips (top and bottom) and unbelieveably - he chipped that same damn tooth that he chipped last year.

My heart just sunk when he finally stopped crying enough to show me his mouth. A chunk missing from the bottom of his front (adult) tooth. I'm hoping like crazy that he's just lost the cap that fixed up the last mishap - but, for the life of me, I can't recall which corner of the tooth was chipped last time. If I'm honest with myself, I've got a horrible feeling that it's not the same corner. We haven't been able to check with a dentist yet at all - I'm hoping we can talk to one tomorrow. Heaven knows how much it will cost - I hope the travel insurance covers some of it.

Chickie himself seems fine though. He's not in any pain and aside from the chunk missing, the tooth looks like it always has. Amazingly he was wanting to climb stuff again today - this was quietly discouraged...

02 July, 2009

super school?

At the moment, J and I are faced with the possibility of Chickie's school closing and his (as well as a few other schools) combining to make a 'super school' located at the local high school around the corner. I have mixed feelings about this really.

On one hand there'll be newer, better facilities and the opportunity to do stuff his current school can't offer (eg: his current school really has nothing in the way of music/drama options) - not to mention that numbers are shrinking all over the area so funding for maintenance is barely keeping up.

On the other hand, I think Chickie's temperament suits a smaller school - I wonder how he'd manage with a really large school. I also wonder if having all the kids together means earlier exposure to things that he wouldn't normally see until he actually gets to high school (smoking for example). Not that he hasn't been exposed to smoking already but, as far as I know, he's only seen adults smoke (or am I being naive here?).

Then there's the traffic problem. The high school is around the corner and where my street is, is quite close to the traffic lights to get onto a main road here. This means its normally an absolute nightmare to get in and out of that end of the street between 3-4pm now - having the 'super school' up the road will only make it worse I'm sure (there isn't a lot of choice with main road access in this area). At least I can get home via the other end of the street - but it means driving through a bit of a maze to get there.

We had to put in a vote on whether we were interested in going ahead and it looks like the vote was in favour. At the meetings about it, they said if we do vote yes, then it will probably be 2-3 years before it starts to happen.

Has anyone had any experience with these 'super schools'? Can you pass on any thoughts or impressions you've gathered? This is one of those times I really wish I could see the future!


Should I be concerned? At work there's been three people diagnosed with swine flu - two of them in my team and one of those two sits at the desk next to me.

The first team member to be diagnosed found out last Friday, I think, and then the guy who sits near me let us know this afternoon (he's been off work the last two days). I've done some reading up and it sounds like there's a good possibility I've been exposed. I have a bit of a sore throat at the moment, but there's every chance that its just my inner hypochondriac escaping!

In other news, Chickie had his 7th birthday party and it went well. I had an initial panic with the RSVP's - only having a couple by the date I'd asked for replies. So I invited four extra kids (from our mum's group), one of those was a maybe due to a netball game (she ended up not coming) and another got sick the day before. All except one of the school friends that were invited ended up RSVP'ing yes. The one that didn't had his own birthday party at pretty much the same time (Chickie and at least one other of our guests were invited to that one too). Then at the party itself we had one that had RSVP'd yes, do a no-show. Not a problem in the end though, as one of the mums had brought her other child and they were going to go do some bowling while the party was going. So I invited her to be part of the party too. The kids had a great time I think.

Next year though - a maximum of three friends over for a sleepover I think. Or am I mad for thinking that I can handle four 8 year olds overnight?

21 May, 2009

More Chickie-isms

Driving home from getting Chickie's hair cut (finally! He didn't want it cut before as he wanted Anakin hair), we were listening to the radio. We heard a snippet of an interview the breakky crew did with Kevin Rudd (Australian Prime Minister) where he was talking about Twitter.

Chickie was asking what they were talking about and I explained how some politicians liked to use Twitter and our Prime Minister was one of them. Chickie made a surprised noise and said...

"Wait... you're telling me our Prime Minister is a politician???"

Thanks for your kind comments about our break-in too. We have the insurance almost sorted and should have a new TV and the games replaced soon. We also now have a (very very loud) alarm system in the house. I'm concerned about Chickie a little though. He's having nightmares a bit and is resisting going to bed - often not going to sleep until several hours after he's put to bed (which I'm sure doesn't help with the nightmares). Anyone have any suggestions for relieving some of the anxiety about it all?

27 April, 2009


From dictionary.com:

–verb (used with object), -lat⋅ed, -lat⋅ing.
1. to break, infringe, or transgress (a law, rule, agreement, promise, instructions, etc.).
2. to break in upon or disturb rudely; interfere thoughtlessly with: to violate his privacy.
3. to break through or pass by force or without right: to violate a frontier.

In my world it means our house got broken into and our TV and Wii/Xbox games got pinched.

As things go it was a relatively minor burglary. Only the TV, games and a few Wii related items were taken. The computers are all here, Chickie's DS was still in it's docking station and it looks like it was a quick in, rustle around lounge room, computer room and my bedroom - then out again. Insurance will likely cover what was taken.

On the other hand, when they were in the bedroom they went through my drawers. My underwear drawers... ick. That feels like a real violation. I suppose they were looking for jewellery, but the light in the bedroom doesn't work and my beside chest of drawers is probably the only place they could really see properly. So, lucky me, got her knickers strewn around the bedroom.

One thing I'm quite nervous about is the fact that they didn't take any of the computers or laptops. We're computer people - we have a lot of computer stuff. While they may have thought the TV was the best option for now, what if they want to come back for the other bits and pieces that they couldn't carry? When J suggested he stay home tomorrow and get the paperwork and other bits and pieces sorted out, I was thrilled. I thought I'd sound silly suggesting it, but obviously J was thinking the same thing. The police officer who came round said she's done this job for 3 years and has only seen repeat break-ins about 3 times, so it's not a common thing. I still feel a lot more comfortable with J staying home tomorrow though.

One thing I'm angry about though, is Chickie's lost a bit of his sense of security. He went to bed saying he was scared, so I lay in his bed with him just cuddling him and talking about nice things. He then started talking about how his tummy didn't feel good, so I got J to take over and sit with him. He's asleep now, which is good. TV's and games can be replaced - I'm more angry they've scared my son.

Grrr... thieving bastards...

17 April, 2009

Oh my aching shoulders...

J, Chickie and I have been doing karate for a while now. We all have our yellow belts (J and I have our orange tips even) and I'm only a month or so from grading for my orange belt. J's a little behind me because unfortunately he's been sick a couple of times. I'll probably hold off grading until he's able to go too - not only because it's fun to practice together, but I'm not the most coordinated person on the planet, so a few extra lessons for me will definitely be useful!

During the school holidays GKR Karate often has special lessons and other fun events on. This week they've opened up the Sensei (teacher) classes to everyone. I went along to one last night and omg! Those guys are fit!! The Sensei from our dojo was there and she barely broke a sweat - she looked as cool as a cucumber while I was a puddle of sweat. The class went for an hour and a half - though it felt like I'd been there for 5 hours before we got a drink break. I think I downed about a litre and a half of water during and after the class (mostly after).

It was a lot of fun though. Seeing how well the moves can be performed, when the black belts do it, is amazing. It was also good to see that even the teachers mess up some of the moves sometimes (it warms my little uncoordinated heart hehe). The Sensei taking the class also performed one of the black belt katas. That was so cool to watch. I wonder if I'll ever be able to reach that level. It's certainly a looooong way from here though.

Anyway, I think my poor little achy shoulders deserve some TLC - so I'm off for a massage :)

09 April, 2009

Crisis averted

Well ok, I'm being dramatic - but I'm relieved.

Chickie's in first grade at school, in a grade 1/2 combined class. He's supposed to have one teacher on Mondays - Miss S, and then Mrs D teaches the rest of the week. Well, since school started in January, he's had Miss S a total of once. Every other Monday has been a substitute - and usually a different one each week. It's not really Miss S' fault though - she's also the Junior Primary Principal so she's very busy with that.

The last few weeks though, I've been wondering how the heck he can get any consistency with an arrangement like that. I've no real idea how it's impacting the class to have someone different every Monday (if you ask Chickie what he does at school, it's either 'craft day' or they sat at their desks and stared at each other for several hours lol!)

I've talked to another parent (she and her son do karate with us too) and she's been quite concerned about the effect on her son - she says he gets very naughty on Monday afternoons. I haven't noticed that with Chickie specifically, but since this parent often volunteers in the classroom, I'm inclined to think her concern is valid.

I was getting to the stage where I thought it was time to talk to Mrs D or someone! - but today Chickie came home with a note saying that Miss S would be replaced by Mrs P, from next term. I'm glad. Nothing against Miss S of course, it's just that I can't see how effective it can be to have a team teaching arrangement with one member being different every week!

Oh and in other good news - I won third prize in the easter raffle at work yesterday. The box of chocolate is huge!!

19 March, 2009

16 March, 2009

Chickie did it!!

Woohoo! My little boy is officially a yellow belt! We're so proud of him.

He concentrated pretty well during the grading (his concentration is not normally great so I was a bit worried about that). He did get a little over-excited at times and had to be reminded to wait for the count, but overall I was very impressed.

We went out to dinner to celebrate last night and had a Viennetta (ice cream 'cake') for dessert. He's very pleased about it all (well that and the various ships he's made out of Lego). He seems to be a little excited about learning some new moves.

So we're all yellow belts now... though J and I are halfway to our orange belts (but we have a lot of work ahead of us!).

12 March, 2009

Oh my aching back...

I have spent ages on the floor, with Chickie, putting together a Lego Star Wars Hyena Droid Bomber ship. I'm really not Lego oriented. Really really not...

Chickie's earned it as part of our push to work on his reading. We had a parent - teacher conference a week or so back and Chickie's reading is really not where it should be. I figured he wasn't great at it but I thought it was ok. Turns out... no.

We were doing his readers and his 'word walls' but good grief, it was a struggle some days. Focus is really not an area he excels in sometimes. So we worked out a reward system. The Lego ship was an immediate reward to get to the next level. He'll have smaller rewards for each level and then another larger one when he gets up to where he should be.

I'm hoping that focusing on his reading might also help with his focusing at karate. He's actually going to try for his yellow belt this weekend. I have no idea if he'll get it or not, but I have to say I'm very proud that he's prepared to try. He could have actually tried when J and I got our yellow belts last year, but I think he was afraid to give it a go. He's often reluctant to try new things. Believe it or not, he finally tried jam for the first time last week - and decided he loves strawberry jam sandwiches!

Wish us luck for Sunday. I really don't care if he gets his belt or not, but I have to say it would be a huge boost to his confidence if he does.

28 January, 2009

Too... hot... to... think...

Today it got to 45.6 degrees people! That's 114 degrees F.

And some parts of the state got to 47.5 (117.5F)!!!

What is going on?

The a/c at work did a beautiful job - it's always too cold in there but today - perfection! Chickie's school, on the other hand, isn't coping so well. Here they are, 2 days into the new school year and they're being advised to either stay home the next few days or only come in the mornings, as their a/c isn't coping. Luckily J has tomorrow off anyway and I'll have my usual Friday off, so that won't be too difficult to manage.

Anyone in the North Hemisphere want some heat? Would be more than happy to pass some on to you!

16 January, 2009

For those of you who like lolcats...

This from roflrazzi.com cracks me up:

PS: Zazzy, if you're thinking of getting a Roomba - go for it. Frogdancer's comment on that post was pretty close to how I feel about it!

Oh and Stomper - it appears the Lego-less floor means I now have Lego-full lounge... but at least there's no stepping on it in the middle of the night - sounds like Phos has done his fair share of that!

05 January, 2009

Another year...

Happy new year everyone. Hope you all had a lovely holiday season.

Ours was nice and quiet - a good thing after Christmas 2007's busy one with all my family here (way too hectic for me). New year's was pretty quiet too - I had to work at 7am new year's day.

I received some lovely pressies too - one big surprise from J and Chickie was a robot vacuum cleaner - a Roomba (looks like the third generation one shown in the link there). Normally I am not the person to appreciate whitegoods or household items as personal gifts. This however is like the best thing evah!! It cleans the floors - without me doing a thing (I don't even have to press the button since J and Chickie will be setting it off when they leave in the morning. So I can come home to a nice clean floor!

An added benefit is that all Lego has to be off the floor before they leave (cos it won't care what it picks up!). So not only do I get clean floors but I get Lego-less floors - bonus!