A diary of our family's house building project in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia. Also my ponderings on family life, living with Asperger's Syndrome, running an ebay business & a place to share my photography.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Ivy in Daddy's hat

Cherry juice all over her face.

I have a Christmas post coming very soon!

Saturday, 19 December 2009

New things

A new deck & a new car.
Deck is recycled ironbark, very, very hard timber & a lovely red colour. Not oiled yet but it looked lovely after some rain.
Car is a Saab 900i, 139 000 km on the clock, spotless inside & out, $1000 at a garage sale. Beautiful to drive!!
I'm loving them both ( :
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Friday, 18 December 2009

Christmas tree

Christmas tree in the window, new deck shining in the rain, sky aglow with summer colour, life is good ( :
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Saturday, 12 December 2009

blue tongue lizard

a lovely visitor this week.
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we are still here ( :
enjoying our house tremendously!!
time flies, where does it go?!
I did these for the kids last week:


So cute, they absolutely love them!
I'm going to try & do a few catch up blog posts in the next week or 2, they will be out of order of occurrence but I keep trying to find time to do a big long post & never find the time or have the inclination. So I figure little snippets are better than nothing!
We have had the electrician in to connect light switches & power points so we are no longer running everything off power boards on one circuit. We also got the over hooken up last week, so I am baking again ( :
We have the kitchen all organised, all temporary but fabulous, so spacious & light, I just LOVE it!!! Yesterday we had the plumber back to hook up the gas to the cooktop, we've been cooking on the BBQ & a single electric element, so we are thrilled to finally have gas to cook on. Kim put up a big stainless steel splashback (temporary) which looks great, all very clean & easy to maintain for the time being. I'm using the breadmaker again, using our new juicer for fresh juice, all the things that I found hard to do in a tiny kitchen.
Today is Brody's 16th birthday. I can't believe he's 16! He finished year 10 yesterday. He had friends over for the first time in months which was great! We hadn't met his new year 10 friends! He's doing well, just scraped through to get the scool certificate but at least he's done it. He is going back for HSC next year & will be doing photography! I'm excited, something I can help him with (I hope, or he could be teaching me things before long).
I bought myself this:

which I am loving! I took 3 purchases to get it right, the 1st arrived broken, the 2nd turned out to be a fraud in Thailand. There was also a wide angle I bought that arrived & the autofocus didn't work. That all happened in my first week in the house, when I was taking time off work & really wanted to do some photography. So I got a bit down in the dumps about all of that! The joys of buying on ebay! I got refunds for them all but it all took time.
Here are a couple of pics I took the day I got it:

I enjoyed taking photos for a few weeks when we first moved, even if I didn't have my new lens. You can see some of what I did here on Flickr:

I had a great photo shoot with a 6 month old but I haven't had a chance to edit them yet, they are about the best I've done to date so i'm excited about getting those done! I am doing another freebie for a friend with 2 girls age 3 & 6 in a couple of weeks but I think I am getting close to start charging people, something I am excited about.

Kim has been busy with the house wiring, running all the cables for the electrician. He has also done 2 weeks of paid work, giving me a welcome break from being the money earner. At the moment he is building our deck, hoping to have it done for Christmas.

Below is Finn dancing on the plywood in excitment the first night it was there!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

thank you Grandma

Thank you Grandma for our first credit card. We will have fun going shopping!!!
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Tuesday, 25 August 2009


I wrote this weeks ago. 2 installments, weeks apart.

Our news? We have moved in.


Sleeping in the caravan, but the house is now home.

We still haven't had a chance to really enjoy it, we are still clearing the old house, 3.5 years of accumulation to sort out! I am hoping to take a month (at least!) off work in 2 weeks when we end our lease, so I am ebaying like mad both to clear things I don't want to move & to cover the mortgage payment for a bit. The old house has been nicknamed the dungeon, cold & dark, compared to our house, going back to it every day to work is no fun but I am driven like never before ( :
We are having a garage sale all weekend this weekend & then getting rid of anything in the house apart from my designer clothing. I am closing my ebay store on the 22nd & having a huge clothing sale on Friday evening the 23rd Oct & Sat. 24th. Then we have a few days to clean the house & then we will stop. Or I will. Kim has promised me a deck on the house for Christmas, & my workroom needs to be finished so I can start work sometime soon before or after. But at least he won't have to wash dishes or do laundry for a while, I'm sure he won't miss that!!

So there has been no celebrating or relaxing time to enjoy our hard work & acheivments, but internally we are jumping with joy. Still playing the waiting game but the light at the end of the tunnel is now shining brightly right into our eyes!


It's been a while.
A long while.
I look back over time & wonder where it goes but just need to look at every day to know.
Our days are filled with so much yet so little. Some days we are lucky to just prepare 3 meals, tend to 2 preschoolers needs & maybe wash some dishes (or not).
Other days, like today, work gets done on the house & clothing gets sold, the kids go to school & daycare, dishes did get done & some clothes were taken off the clothes line. And meals were prepared. Stories were read, clothing changed, showers taken, phone calls made, bills paid, shopping done, arguing, negotiating, fighting, pleading, laughing, joking, talking, whining & crying all took place.
We are "getting there". Slowly. The last couple of months has seen great progress but also long delays. The kids caught swine flu. Finn was very sick for close to 3 weeks. 2 weeks off daycare & 12 days straight with a fever. Ivy wasn't too bad. I caught it too but it was nothing worse than a normal flu for me. It took at least 2 weeks to recover from the 3 weeks of sleepless nights with kids coughing all night. So that was a month pretty much written off.

I wrote the above about 3 weeks ago & saved it as a draft. Good intentions.

Since then... we've had a father's day weekend spent sleeping in the caravan. Finn screamed in prostest for a long while at having to sleep anywhere but his usual place, but then came around to the idea & really enjoyed not having to leave our favourite place once the sun went down. We had such a nice time we stayed another night!
A few pics:

Finn with a father's day present:

Yes, we have cut his hair. His own choice, he decided everyone would stop calling him a girl if we cut it off. I was delaighted, I hated the daily moring battle of detangling
while he screamed at me in anger for hurting him, however gentle I tried to be . It's a bit of a girly bob cut, so everyone still thinks he's a girl, but he hasn't realised that
& I haven't had the energy to do it again, so a bob it is for now. I think it's pretty cute actually, but I'm his mum.
He's been incredibly difficult of late, more so than in the past. He has days when he's behaviour is very autistic, it's more obvious now than it's ever been. His hearing is still bad & he complained of an earache this week. Got to get rid of that fluid.
There is so much we could be doing for him if we had the time. Soon....

Father's day morning:

This one I enlarged & framed for a father's day gift:

Aren't they beautiful ( :

OK, now go to http://stores.shop.ebay.com.au/Clothes-On-line & buy something ( :
There are 500+ items to chose from, you CAN find something you like & you will be getting some bargains, helping me get rid of some GREAT gear as well as giving me some badly needed time off work. You will also be giving my children some down time with their mummy, something they haven't had much of for most of their lives.
I know a lot of readers of my blog like nice clothing, for themselves or their kids. So take a peek, everything is on sale & their are lots of bargains ( :
PS you could also save me the ebay fees by emailing me if you want anything ( ;

Friday, 3 July 2009

Another diagnosis

Yesterday Brody was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. No surpriseat all, it was actually a relief, in a way. Hopefully he will now get some help at school & some more understanding from people in his life.
He had a major meltdown this morning, his first big one for quite a while. It was as if he had been given permission.
For me, it is a diagnosis that fills me with mixed emotion. Hope for his future, now that he will be eligle for various programmes. Relief, as I said, that we have a confirmation of what we already knew but other's wouldn't acknowledge. Sadness that it hadn't been recognised a long time ago, even when he was 6 or 7, as it was so obvious if you know anything about Aspergers.
How different his childhood could have been if he had been understood.
And anger at a society that expects everyone to be "normal", to behave the same as each other & to blame & shame those that aren't. This diagnosis is now is "excuse" to not have to be like everyone else & to still demand some respect for who he is, not only in his small circles but in mainstream society. I hope.
I love him so much & I'm so, so proud of him.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Feeling Fine

Thanks everyone for the lovely emails ( :
I think I'm going to make a habit of having a really big whinge when I'm feeling low. I get this lovely imput of positive, supportive vibes that I am SO not used to, it's a a quick fix to my bad moods ( :
I am not used to asking for help or telling anyone who'll listen how tough things are, my experience has taught me that that's putting myself in a position for great disappointment. But the emails I've received in the last few days are teaching me that I'm wrong, I do have people in my life who care. Thank you all for that.
How awesome is Ivy in this photo!!?? She makes my heart soar. I'm going to try & be as happy as she is ( :
I have so much to be thankful for!
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Tuesday, 2 June 2009

new look

Firstly, thanks everyone for all your lovely comments lately.
It's lovely to hear from people & to know that there are people out there who care. It's a lonely life we are living at the moment so it really makes a difference when people take the time to send us a message.

OK, so I've been totally sick of the way my blog looks for months now. So I decided to add a little oomph. Not too much, being a non-glitzy person, but something to just brighten things up a bit. Add some colour, change the banner to something big & impressive maybe.
So I find a free easy to install background & now my text doesn't fit in right. So do I go back to being boring, or spend more valuable time trying to figure out how to fix it or.... how about I just ask for help?!
Can anyone reading tell me what to do? i'd appreciate it ( :
I'm so sick of boring.

We are getting better. Finn was good today. Very tired though.
Ivy slept in until 8am!!!!! (She almost never sleeps beyond 6). She must be sick.
I'm feeling run down & bored. I so sick of working. I've been in this place before but not for a while. I want to take photos of something other than clothing. I want to clean up my impossibly messy house. I want to spend a whole day doing nothing but play with my kids without feeling stressed out about what I should be doing. Actually even half a day would be nice. I want a holiday. I want to move house. I want a new life that's different to this one. The tunnel seems so long this week, I seem to have lost sight of the light at the other end.
 The kids on the other hand, never seem to have trouble with that, even when they're sick! 



Sunday, 31 May 2009

Feeling poorly

It's been raining for days. I've lost count how many.
We now have an indoor loo (that's toilet for you non Australian readers). It's in the house. With a door & a light. Fancy.
We have all been sick. ivy has a nasty cough that wakes her (& us) many times a night. Finn has had an ear infection that's had us very worried with a loss of hearing. The hearing loss started to present about 2 weeks before the infection. we eventually took him to the dr. last Monday "just in case" as his hearing was so bad & we were freaking out a bit. No sign of anything. Two days later he woke at 5am crying in pain. Coincidence or incompetant Dr? We had changed doctors so this was out 1st visit with a new one. To return or not to return?
His ear pain has gone with no medication, we are not keen to introduce antibiotics ever, due to the connection with autism & gut issues which have always been very obvious with Finn. His hearing seems to be improving over the last couple of days too, thank goodness. His behaviour is extremely challenging though.
Kim & I also are fighting the same cold they both have.

Today Brody minded the little people while Kim & I went to the movies together for the 1st time in over 5 years. I was pregnant with Finn last time we went.
We were going to see Mary & Max. http://www.maryandmax.com/
The story of a 40 yr old NYC man with Aspergers who had a penfriend in an 8yo Australian girl. Brody saw it & insisted we see it.
The add in he paper was wrong. Not showing today. All the effort of getting organised to go out. I had even put a skirt on! The anticipation of sitting at the movies for 2 hours holding hands with my gorgeous man who I hardly ever see. Too much disappointment, I cried.
I had a rant & asked for a free double pass. They took my details & said they'll see what they could do. I'll be waiting.
Not a good day.
No photos lately. Too busy, poor weather & not enough time each day to even think about it.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

The House

  This is what our house looks like these days. 

Both doors you can see are temporary. Kim will be making all the doors to match the windows. 
We had the big ironbark corner posts delivered this week so we are looking forward to getting them installed, it will make a big difference to finish those corners off! 

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The birds visit throughout the day. We love them!

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The photos above were taken at 7am one morning last week, the ones below at about 4pm. 

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the open window above is my workroom. I will be ebaying with a view in the near future! 

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We're still enjoying those Bilpin apples! 

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I had to include this one of Ivy! She is growing up  SO fast at the moment & turning into the most gorgeous lovable little thing. She is loving day care so much that she now goes 3 days as she is sad every day she can't go. Yesterday morning she asked me what day it is. At 3 she knows which days are which & when I sad "Tuesday" her eyes lit up & she yelled "Yipppeeeeee!!!". it was a Cottage day! She is so sociable, she has made lovely little friends & already want to have friends over to play all the time. She can't walk past flowers without wanting to pick some & then she has to pick one for herself, one for Emma, one for Charlotte (her twin friends) , one for Heidi, & on it goes. They then have to go into water to stay nice until she goes to the Cottage to hand them around. She loves all tings pretty, pink, floral, sparkly, shiny & bright. She gets so excited & enthusiastic about seeing or having anything pretty & is often exclaiming, "ohhh, it's sooooo beautifullll!!!!".  She hates seeing me upset & is always trying to make me happy. She really is a sweetheart, I am so lucky to have her! 

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Finn looking out his bedroom window. Yes, he is wearing a dress. 
 I'm not one to say no unless it's important.  
He's exploring gender issues at the moment. If he wants to wear a dress so be it. He wasn't comfortable wearing it from home to the car to go to the block, so he undressed & then re-dressed when we got there. He gets called a girl a lot. It doesn't seem to bother him a lot, but it is bothering him more as he forms an understanding of the difference. Some days I'd love to cut his hair off, it takes too much of my time to brush & he's had lice which is a headache (excuse the pun). It's a constant threat, "sit still or I'll get the scissors". He yells "NO" every time. "Well sit still then" etc, etc. He's adamant he want to keep it. It's hardly surprising.
 I wonder about ADD these days as it is so common in AS kids. His concentration is still fabulous if he is interested in something but gets worse with the mundane things like getting dressed, picking up toys or listening to instructions. We will often be talking to him & end up saying "OK?" & his response is "Huh?".  There is also auditory processing disorder to consider, I have the symptoms of this so it's likely it will be a bigger issue for him. He is fascinating. Such a complex little soul. Last night at 3am Kim & I lay in bed with him between us discussing the meaning of the term "in the meantime". He's exlporing language & takes on new phrases & big words every week. this week he starting using "assume". I assume this is ....etc. He's not even 5 yet! 
We are letting him have time on the computer these days, he is absolutely fascinated with them. He plays games on the ABC Playground site as well as Nickelodeon (Dora & Wubsy). He is amazing at teaching himself how to navigate around & is very interested in how to fix computer problems (yayyy, my own computer technician!!). He is completely obsessive though & his computer time usually ends in tears when we tear him off it. He is also slowly learning to read through his computer time, books & a new interest in letters. He can write his name & wants to write more & is finally drawing in a very basic way. 
He's also exploring the idea of friendship. It's all a bit foreign to him so he has to ask lots of questions (I measn LOTS) & play around with concepts to get them. At the moment if Kim or I do something that makes him particularly happy he tells us that we ar ehis "best" friend. Kim was told the other day that he was Finn's best friend & Mummy wasn't his friend at all! I didn't take it personally. 

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Fastening the last of the cladding. 

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Early morning in our kitchen. I love this room. It gets sun all day.
The cupboards & benches are a mish mash of garage sale finds & donations. 
It will do for now. It's bigger than we have in our current house! 

We have had our frame inspection, a few minor changes have been made & we are now ready to get into the bathroom. The electrician will be called soon. Things are finally getting exciting, it's all coming together.  We are just focusing on whatever is needed to get us moved to the caravan. So much work still to do!  I'm hardly ever there, every spare moment is spent ebaying to keep the expenses paid. I'm trying to find some sort of balance between work, kids, housework & a little me time. That is minimal at the moment, my photography has been almost put on hold temporarily as I get too caught up in it & neglect the work & kids. 
  I had a major computer crash about 4 weeks ago, I nearly lost thousands of photos. I had 48 hours of waiting to see if the fix-it guy could restore them, which he did. I lost about 15 pics out of I'm not saying how many because it's too embarrassing. It cost $300 for repairs, $200 for the external hard drive I should have bought a long time ago & a weeks lost income. Plus about 2 years off my life & a few handfuls of hair (I lose hair when very stressed, which is often). I badly need a new computer!  Maybe I'll do something extremely rare & buy a lottery ticket this week! 


Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Mother's Day

I had a lovely Mother's day this year. 
I was treated to a sleep in til 9.30, was given chocolates & flowers & tea in bed. Chelsea arriving at 10am. We had a lovely brunch of smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, croissants, champagne & orange juice. 


We then took a drive to lovely Bilpin to pick some apples. The weather wasn't great but we managed to get an hour between rain to have some fun,

                                                                            eat apples,




try & avoid mum's camera,


juggle apples,


juggle & eat apples atthe same time,


wander aroud ,


find HUGE apples,

enjoy our big sister,

look beautiful in the orchard,



climb on the equipment,


play catch with apples ,


smile for the camera (OMG!),


pose for the camera (thanks Ivy!),


order people around,


be happy, 



and enjoy having the whole family together.



  We then had hot chocolates at a cafe & returned home where Brody cooked lasagne for dinner, while I soaked in the bath in candlelight. It was a lovely day, I felt very spoilt & blessed to be a mum to these 4 gorgeous kids!

  Stay tuned for a house update! 

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