Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A snapshot of today.

Sam was so excited for picture day today.  We bought her school dress uniform yesterday and she was just so happy to have one.
The kids have been enjoying Daddy's new iPad.  Poor Daddy doesn't get as much time on it as he once had.
James had play group and really enjoyed having other children and toys to play with...oh yes, and the paint and rice and play dough and parachute. 
Afterward we went to the shops and James got a meringue. When we first saw them I thought they are giant mounds of frosting. Many of the bakeries sell them in fantastic shapes and they are frequently dipped part way in chocolate. 
While at play group I received a phone call, I have a job interview next week.  It sounds like I'll have lots of work to do prior to it as I need to do all their online competences and fill out and sigh loads of paperwork prior to the interview.  On the interview day, I'll complete their CPR and manual we go!

After school the kids had doctor appointments.  How do you like the view while waiting for the bus?

James needs to get caught up on vaccinations prior to starting school in January. Many more of their vaccinations come combined prepackaged, so today he received his MMR and viracella (chicken pox) vaccine in one shot. I was so thankful that the attitude was 'here's what they'll want him to have before starting kindergarten...' And then allowed me to decide when to give them to him.  We'll be going back a few more times to get him caught up. 

When they checked James' eyes, his right was weaker than the left.  It's not at the point of requiring treatment; however, it's something we need to continue monitoring.

As for Sam, we got referrals for continued eye treatment and for a pediatrician to determine continued survivorship monitoring. At Children's, their protocol was yearly echocardiograms until the age of 21 as the chemo she received could affect the heart.  It'll be interesting to see what her plan of care will be here. 

Oh, and Mike saw the doctor again too.  He needed to have a health form filled out clearing him to drive.  Apparently there are a large range of health conditions that require doctor clearance and there are substantial fines if you are dishonest about your health. 

So, by the time we were all done, we had missed the bus by about five minutes.  We walked a short way to a different bus stop as we were hoping to go to the larger shopping centre for dinner; however, by the time we got there it was closed.  It was dark, chilly, and everyone was hungry and cranky.  Thankfully, we didn't have to wait long for another bus.  

Dinner came together quickly.  I'm getting the hang of cooking without a microwave. James didn't want to finish his, went to bed and fell straight to sleep.  I gave him the last of our Children's Tylenol before his shot and plan on giving him a dose if Panadol when I go to bed to help fend off the vaccination achy/crankies. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

"In remembrance of Me"

“In remembrance of Me” Of course that is what the communion table had carved into it!!!  I feel so silly that I couldn’t remember last week what written.  Yes, the Family went to the Presbyterian church yesterday.  The kids had been looking forward to it all week and ran to the church to say hello again to our new friends. 

This week the reading were Psalm 118: 15-24, Isaiah 53: 1-6, and Acts 3: 1-26.  We sang ‘This is the Day’, ‘Christ is Made the sure Foundation’, ‘Amazing Grace’, ‘No weight of Silver or Gold’, and ‘I’ve Found a Friend O Such a Friend. 

This week I came prepared.  I brought lifesavers, colored pencils with paper, and two Pixie books.  When I saw the Pixie books in the store it warmed my heart because they are very similar to the books that Robbie and I used to bring to church in our purses when we were little.  One of our new friends had also brought some gummy babies to give the kids. 

The guest speaker certainly had the gift of prayer.  The message was nice; although, I do miss hearing a message given by someone with theological teaching.  The members at this church are just lovely people with big hearts and a strong sense of community and love of Christ.  It makes my heart heavy to see them lack ordained leadership.  In a couple weeks they will be having a reverend come to speak.  We will return then.

After the service we were able to have a cuppa and some cookies.  I had brought some homemade Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies to share.  It was nice. Next week we will be trying a different church.  I do really like the Presbyterian church.  I do however; feel that it is important to try out a few others before making a commitment. Please pray that we find the right church family to join and pray for this lovely group of people at the Presbyterian church.
After church we stopped at Hungry Jacks to get lunch and allow the kids time to run and play with other children.  They had been so well behaved during church that I think they were about ready to pop.  Hungry Jacks, for some reason felt the need to have the air conditioning on, BURRRrrr!  I could barely stand having that cold air blow down my neck.  It’s chilly outside, but the sun is out and can  be quite warming when the wind lets up.

After playing there, we headed home.  I continued to attack my job search while the kids went outside to make fairy houses. 
They really had fun scavenging around the yard for just the perfect items to use to make a fairy house complete with TV and exercise room.

I spent several hours on my search and tried to attack some more questions for one of the positions I’m trying to apply for.  It’s frustrating because it asks very specific questions and refers to their website.  When I go to the site to ensure I’ve got the right answer, it doesn’t provide the answer, rather it points out that such a policy should be in place.  It’s quite frustrating, especially since this online booklet is in the exact order as the questions being asked.  I’m sure the answers are there somewhere….probably right in front of me…in that little blind spot. 

At any rate, I needed a break after so much computer work.  So I attacked Sam’s quilt. James kept busy measuring...until he discovered a small button stash. Gotta love the magic of Mom's forbidden sewing box. ;)
I only needed to sew seven more squares before working on the specific layout.  I’ve found that after the first couple are complete it goes fairly quickly as I can then figure out how to assembly line them.  The final ones went together without a hitch, only a bobbin refill.

Sam had fun working on the layout with me.  We arranged and rearranged and re-rearranged for about an hour.  Finally I said “I think it’s good enough” and she agreed.  It does get to the point where you just have to stop messing with it.  

I continued to sew after the kids went to bed.  Sam got up a couple of times to check on me and give hugs and kisses.  She then asked when she’d get a chance to sew on her quilt.  I suggested that we use the fabric remnants for her to sew a quilt for her dolls.  She smiled sweetly and excitedly nodded before heading back to bed.  

I had managed to get most of the squares sewn together.  It was in three pieces when I had to call it quits and head to bed.

This morning was Sam’s first day of school.  She had butterflies in her stomach.  I’ve got to go and pick her up now.  I hope she had a great day.

FOLLOW-UP:  Sam had a great day. She is already talking about new friends. She said they are learning cursive. They eat lunch outside everyday unless it's raining. She's looking forward to tomorrow. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Today's apple

Today we headed back to the Apple store to return the iPad dud we had gotten.  Personally, I enjoy riding the train.  There's a constant hum and the swaying will put me to sleep in spite of the frequent stops.  However, it is a completely different experience with children.

The walk to the station was long an painful.  As Sam is back in school they had to be sure to let the other sibling know that they were missed by fighting the whole way there.  Mike and I were nearly at our wits end my the time we reached the shopping centre.  I resolved this my insisting that the children hold hands until we boarded the train.  I know, I'm mean.  It seemed to work though.  Instead of trying to irritate each other, they worked together to get to me, problem solved...sort of.

Thankfully, we didn't have to wait long for the train to arrive.  They stopped holing hands and started fighting over who got to sit by the window, or by mom, or whatever.  Thankfully, I brought some yarn along that I had picked up earlier in the week.  I showed Sam how to do finger knitting.  Then James wanted to learn and to my surprise, he did quite well.  I'd put the yarn on his fingers and he'd carefully pull the lower loop over the top loop on each finger and then let me know he was ready for more.
Doesn't daddy look thrilled?
There was NO arguing once they started knitting.  About an hour later we were in the city.  I think it's really good that the investment has been made to upgrade the different platforms and the main station.  It's clean and inviting.  The next improvement would be if the metro mobile app was free instead of $3.99.  If I had a car and only a smart phone, I wouldn't be bothered to pay that much for a public transport app.  As it is, I only use public transport and can't see paying for the app as it should be free.  This is one of the pillars in the train station.   

After walking from the station we headed to Rundle Mall.  We were a bit early for our Apple appointment and let the kids play on the pigs.
Back in 1991, the only sculpture I remember is the balls of Rundle Mall.  Two large silver balls stacked on top of one another.  I think they moved them...they're doing a fair amount of construction to the walkways, so they may show back up, or maybe they wee moved.  I really don't know.

When we arrived at Apple, I was told we didn't really need an appointment since we only bought the device two days ago and it never worked.  I really just wanted to trade it in for a new one, so I was thrilled with that.  They took care of it lickety-split.  This time we tried it out before leaving the store.  I. Pushed the power button and laughed at seeing the little apple show up in the middle of the screen.  
We were able to restore everything they way it had been set up on the old iPad; although, it did take a while.  I then updated my apple account so that we could download some useful Australian apps; however, when I did this all of our US movies and apps disappeared.  A brief call to apple support from the apple store  resulted in me being told that all those purchases would be lost.  BUMMER!  

Thankfully, later in the day, Jake (my host brother from here who knows loads about computers and has traveled extensively) told me I just needed to change my apple info back over to US instead of AU and it seems to have worked.  I know for sure once wee get to a free wifi zone on a later date.  I can't see using my stipend of prepaid internet to download apps and movies for the kids.

Oh, and speaking of kids....
No arguing took place until we said it was time to leave.  They both wanted to stay at the apple store and asked when we would be able to return.  We'll see....

The next stop in our trip to the city was the fabric store.  I hd finished piecing Sam's quilt and needed to get additional fabric to frame and back it.  James was back to being a royal pain in the butt.  He pulled down fabric and pulled zippers off their display and unwrapped a zipper than had been on a large spool.  I was becoming unwrapped and was totally ready to inflict some corporal punishment on his butt, instead I got a shopping cart and buckled him into the seat.  Thankfully he didn't try to get out!  What a pill!

I was so tempted to get these little Christmas kookaburras.  They were only $4 per meter and do you see the little flowers with them?  Then when looking at the rest of the clearance fabric I  saw these other Aussie prints...
...again, they were only $4 per meter.  I just couldn't think of a project that I'd use them in and decided to leave them there taking a photo (for free) instead.  They sure are adorable though, aren't they?

Back to why we were there... I've found that when making a quilt it is necessary to buy the fabric in "installments" as then you can see what looks nice in completing the project.  Sam really liked a green pattern, so did I, I had the fabric at home and could never find nothing to use it with.  It didn't go with her quilt either.  We hmmed and hawed over some purples, pinks, and turquoises. It was brutal.  Of course the fabric Sam wanted to get for the back was $16.99 per meter and really would've been perfect, but I couldn't see paying that much for such a simple pattern that would be a quarter of that price in the US.  So we compromised on a solid salmon color, but then I decided to wait on buying the backing altogether.  After all, you never know what will be on sale next week.
We looked around at a couple other store before heading back home.  The kids finger knitted about half away home, then James lost interest.  Sam kept at it though.  Both kids gifted their finished works to women sitting around us.  

I found it ironic, on the way to the city a woman boarded the train with her daughter.  She looked so much like Grandma Lois, Sam agreed.  She kept watching the children with a subtle sweet smile on her face.  It made me wonder if she looked so much like grandma in her youth too.  Then on the way back home, we sat next to a couple of older women who were very amused by the children.  They talked about spool knitting/French knitting and were very interested in the finger it ting as neither one had seen it before.  They reminded me of the of sweet goose sisters in Disney's Aristocats.  They were both impressed that Sam had just learned and that James was managing so well.  It's fun to encounter new people on the public transport...well it can be, other times not so much, by so far we've had pleasant encounters.