Saturday, 22 December 2012

My Dad

Yesterday marked the 1 year anniversary of my Dad's death. He was 59 when he died. He fell from the top of a ladder while trimming a hedge for one of his friends. We aren't sure why he fell and why he didn't try to save himself by putting out his arms but the injuries he sustained on that day meant that my Dad is no longer with us. 

My Dad aged 55 on my wedding day

My Dad grew up in a little town called Terang, North East of Warrnambool in South Western Victoria. The family had been in the town for so long that I am the first generation to be born outside Terang for over 100 years. 
I grew up going to Terang for holidays to visit my Nana and Pa and later just my Nana. My Nana died when I was 12 and after that we didn't go to Terang as often as I think my Dad would have liked. He often would return for funerals of people that he knew growing up and sometimes just for the day. My Dad had said when he died he would like to be buried in Terang so that's what we did.

When we buried him on New Year's Eve last year, I decided that I would return each year with my boys to visit Dad. So that's what we did. In the great family tradition we packed sandwiches and water bottles and headed off down the back roads to Terang.

Matty having stolen Ben's Ted while he was sleeping
 We arrived in Terang and stopped at the Apex park to have our picnic and a play after the 2 hour car trip.
Enjoying our picnic lunch


Colourful lunch
Hiding in the fort

Climbing down
Up the top with Daddy

picking flowers

From the park you can see the cemetery so we explained to Ben that is where we were going next. He understood, as much as a 4 year old can, that Hooley Dooley (My Dad) was not there anymore but that this is a special place to come and say hello. 

View from the playground

I think my Dad thought he was invincible. I certainly think he didn't think he would die as early on as he did. He hadn't planned his plot or anything but as always it seemed to work out. My Dad was a farrier by trade and always loved horses (that's how him and my mum met).  So when we buried him in the plot that was the next available it over looked the pony club and the entire town, we thought it was a good spot. My Dad was keen into harness racing and on the drive way into the cemetery there is a paddock with 2 bay standard breeds. So I guess I'm saying it's a good place for him.
Our rocks
 I've always liked the Jewish tradition of placing rocks on the grave. I like the permanency of stones, flowers wilt but the stones are a permanent reminder that someone cared to visit. So we placed 5 rocks on the grave, one for each of us and one for uncle Nic who is away in Japan at the moment. 

We then went and found my grandparents, Ben's great-grandparents and their parents as well! Yep the family has some pretty serious roots in Terang. We walked through the sprinklers and tried to feed the horses some apples. Then it was time to leave but we didn't want to go home just yet so I decided to introduce the boys to Logan's Beach in Warrnambool. 

Logan's Beach Whale Nursery - We missed the whales by a couple of months
 Ben loved it as usual!! Matty wasn't as sure... Ben even tried to make friends with some surfers and was keen to touch their boards and wet suits but they were pretty good about this little boy wanting to join in. Both Trent and I said that would be a great way to burn off Ben's extra energy (might have to think about moving back down to the beach).

Loving the water
Not too sure about this sand

The drowned rat look
Don't care back in the water :)

 I have to say thank you to Trent, he was really awesome! Lots of hugs and lots of smiles :)

Mt Elephant on the way home

According to Ben Mt Elephant has a pooey bum

Going home

And home we came.


Monday, 17 December 2012

22 buttons and counting...

As I have mentioned Ben likes to chew especially at bedtime. So his pyjama tops have come under fire many a time. We have found currently 22 buttons in his bed that he has chewed off. This is obviously a choking hazard since he will also go to sleep with them in his mouth. Have you ever tried not to wake a child while you try and get an object out of their mouth. It is DIFFICULT!!
So we currently have 9 sad looking pyjama tops...

These tops were unwearable :( until my recent brain wave....
Why not just sew them shut? Bugger re-sewing the buttons back on that's not going to solve the problem just enable it to keep happening. I could go out and buy all new pyjamas for him (more money) or use his tshirts (less available for daytime wear) So to the sewing room - have I mentioned my small yet infinitely growing craft addiction?? 

And a simple straight stitch with backtacking at each end and you have some fancy, smancy, now very safe pyjamas! Here is Ben modelling his new buttonless pjs! 
As you can see, not a fan of the camera

 It seems like such a simple idea and I'm kicking myself I didn't think of it sooner. But I do feel proud that I am starting to go outside the box more and I have the sewing skills to actually accomplish it. It's nice feeling accomplished :) Good night!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Party Time!

Today was Georgie's 4th birthday. A bit of background on Georgie - she's Ben's longest friend. He doesn't have many being as though he's not really all that interested, as it is so hard for him to understand what is going on but with Georgie something happens. He wants to be with Georgie, he gets her and she gets him (well she tries as hard as she can but sometimes he gets distracted by running water :)). Whenever we even head in the direction of Georgie's house he wants to go visit her and her mum Janine aka Jean. Georgie even has her own car seat in our car and you best believe when someone else sits in it Ben is the first to say that it is GEORGIE'S. We have had to educate Ben that yes it is where Georgie sits but other people can too. His response was that they can 'Borrow' Georgie's seat. 

Anyway I digress, as an outlet after my hectic days with Ben, I have taken up craft. Originally quilting but now I do almost anything with fabric. So I made Georgie a doll for her birthday

It really is great having Georgie in our lives. She gives me an excuse to make girl things (she is a most girlie girl) without having to have a girl myself! 
Ben was excellent at the party only fading out when the other kids did. I'm getting to be really proud of him and the way he is learning to handle social situations. While he is not one for singing he does now join in for 3 cheers. We only had one broken pot which was purely an accident and one escape attempt.

So to our special girl Georgie happy birthday! and may we watch you grow through many more! :)

Thursday, 6 December 2012

A nice surprise

My husband is currently studying at university. Throughout his course he has to go away on placement. These placements have mostly been in Horsham 2.5 hours away from home. 
But luckily enough this time he is only an hour away and gave us all a big surprise last night by coming home!!! We didn't think we would get to see him for 2 weeks.

The boys were excited, I was overcome! I had been so tired all day and the boys had been especially fractious so I was really glad to see re-enforcements :) All I could do was hug him and cry.

I really don't know how I would cope being on my own for months or even a year like some of my friends do. I take my hats off to all the military, emergency services and mining wives/husbands. It is a tough gig! 

I know as the boys get older it will get easier for him to be away so I'll hold on to that. But that feeling when he comes home is magic! When he's away I really notice just how much he does and how much I rely on him. This Christmas we will have been married for 5 years. (I know we didn't really think the Christmas Eve Wedding through for when we had kids) I certainly hope that we will be married for another 45 years :) 

Anyway, after a lovely night, we put Daddy on the train to go back to placement. Matty didn't want to leave the station and Ben didn't want to leave the carpark so it was back to being a single parent. But Daddy will be back tonight! :)

Waiting for the train

Strike Snacks and a Sea of Red

Yesterday, we headed off to the AEU Half Day Stop Work or as Ben decided we were off to a picnic. 
We had packed our strike snacks and headed off to Simon Ramsay's office to give the man a growly face according to Ben. You can see Ben's growly face here: photo 28.
We were honoured to see Mary Bluett, a stawlwart of the AEU, give her final address of a 31 year long career with the Union. Ben gave a wonderful 'Yay Mary' at the end.
The boys enjoying their strike snacks

I have to say thanks to Victoria Police - Ballarat for letting Ben sit in the police car as his reward after the rally, he even got to turn the lights on :) 

To read more about the campaign click here

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Just enjoying watching

So when I am not at my paid job I'm at home with my boys....
When I first became a mum I don't think I realised how enjoyable just sitting and watching could be. I always had to be doing something like I was going to disappear if I wasn't in the middle of the mix all the time. 
But now almost 5 years on, I just enjoy watching my boys be together. Here is what I decided to watch today.....

My boys being in the same space not killing each other but laughing and talking together warms my heart!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Climbing to get to Grumpy

So my first post was full on! But I thought I'd share a bit of a lighter story....

So Ben likes to climb but not on play equipment only for a purpose. (Hello all part of the ASD)
Ben really likes to climb our next door neighbour's fence and throw toys over. I think he thinks he is sharing with the man who has become known in our house as Grumpy Man.
The grumpy man is forever bringing the toys back and giving me an earful about it. I didn't complain when I caught 18 of his feral cats he insists on feeding but not taking responsibility for but that's a story for another day....
So this was our solution.....

Our newly shade clothed fence

So Ben can't climb the fence anymore however I'm sure he'll find a way to get the Grumpy Man to play the game again.....