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.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

6 weeks

It's been about 6 weeks since my last post. Time flies. We have been busy, as opposed to the last 6 years, when we were just busy. But I must say that since moving into the house in October things are different. Still crazy, still often unmanageable, but better. Much better.
We have done all sorts of things, Kim went to Qld to pick up a new van, here he is arriving home after 2 nights away:


He bought a Delica 4WD diesel van, another bargain he couldn't resist & we sold the old ute for about the same price, so it was a good upgrade.

What have we done on the house? Well, we now sleep in it! We have completed another bedroom & moved into it, all 4 of us.

from an empty shell to lined:


and then this:


That's Finn's little bed on the far side, Ivy's is on the other side just out of the photo (oh for a wide angle lens!).

Then once that was done we had Kim's Mum & stepdad Barb & George visit for a few days & they helped install out heat source for the winter:


That's Grandma washing dishes, apart from laundry that's about all she did for 4 days & she hardly sat down! Thanks Barb!! (my laundry was so neat & organised when she left!!).


Their dog Bonnie keeping guard!


Kim put in an extra pier to support the heavy wood stove after we decided on a concrete hearth (I was hoping on a big slab on sandstone but it got too complicated just finding it & getting it so concrete it was).


Kim & Pop George had some help making concrete for the hearth (it cut the work load in half I'm sure!)


Finn had been sick for more than 3 weeks before this, you can tell he's lost weight. He had Guardia but the Dr's wouldn't treat him for it as it didn't show in 4 tests we did. We were in hospital with him twice & they wanted to admit him but that's a bit too hard for a boy with autism. They paediatrician tried to put patches on his hands to numb them for a drip & he got kicked by a screaming distraught Finn. We ended up going home.
I eventually pushed for antibiotics after he had vomited for 25 days straight. It was a bit of a trial at the time & we were very worried for a while. I just regret not being stronger in my initial belief that it was a bacterial & not viral gastro. Learn to trust your instincts!!


He's becoming more & more handsome (I know I am biased, but he's still handsome!!!)




pouring the slab!!


Someone had to trip & fall into it while it was drying (Ivy).


Plastering the wall behind the stove.


Kim & George fitting a piece we had made to convert the flue from a back fitting flu to a top fitting flue! It was a little fiddly but saved us about $200.


nearly there!


all done ( :
It's a Stanley, made in Ireland. they are still made today, ours is about 6-7 years old. They cost about $6000 these days, we got ours from a garage sale about 3 years ago for $800.


The first lighting!


Smoke from the chimney!

And to finalise, a couple of Ivy in our gorgeous lake we are so very lucky to have just a 10 minute drive away. We spent a lot of late afternoons here this very hot summer!!



We have so much going on, I will TRY & update again before another 6 weeks goes by!!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

what's in a name

We named Ivy "Ivy Paige".
When she was a newborn my dad used the middle name to do a play on words that I hated. Every time he did it I squirmed. Ever since, her name was wrong for me. I was beginning to think about changing her middle name, before she even knew what a middle name was. Then one day someone asked her what her middle name was. Without hesitation she said "Ivy Rose". Just like that. I thought, "wow, OK , problem solved". Except she keeps changing it. the other day it was "Ivy Flower Petal" or another time it was "Ivy Rainbow Rose", it changes every week. For now she will be my "Ivy Sweetheart" until we settle the matter sometime in the future.
But Paige she is NOT.

If you've been wondering where we are or what we're up to I will try & update soon. Finn has been very sick for 3.5 weeks. Before that he was reacting to a new a dairy free/gluten free diet, 2 weeks of gluten withdrawals (similar to taking drugs off an addict) which shook us all up. Tourettes presenting itself. No surprises there, other than it's intensity. So we've had 6 weeks of hard work.
Kim hurt his back which put him out of action (& placed him in pain) for 3-4 weeks. He's OK now & plastering another bedroom so we can start sleeping in the house & not the caravan. It's getting cold at night. We'll need to get the wood heater installed asap after we finish the bedroom. We are also moving my office out to the caravan, looking forward to that.
Not much else has happened on the house (sorry mum). Trying to keep up with basic daily needs and often failing. Wishing life wasn't so hard. Ivy doesn't seem to have a problem with it, so I guess we're doing something right.

Photo taken on her 4th birthday at Wentworth Falls lake.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

My baby is 4

Age 4 is a bit of a milestone as far as I'm concerned. 4 is no longer a toddler. 4 is big kid status.

So I go through a bit of mourning when my babes turn 4.

When my last babe turned 4 (today) it is more profound & heart-wrenching than usual.

Ivy is more than 4. Ivy is 4 going on 400. She is older then the rest of her family members, or at least she would like to be.

She chose to spend some of her day at day-care. Even though it was a usual daycare day for both Finn & Ivy, Finn insisted on staying home. So Ivy went off to daycare with the carefully, thoughtfully prepared gluten free cupcakes I baked at 7am this morning. Finn has been gluten free for 3 weeks now. I'm sure none of the kids at daycare new or cared. Sigh.

Finn had a lovely day home with us while Ivy played with her friends at daycare.
We had a BIG party for her at home on Sunday.
I picked her up at 3pm today & we went to Wentworth Falls Lake for a play & BBQ dinner.
It was hot today so we thought we would swim but by the time we got to the lake the temperature had dropped & the fog was rolling in.

Finn has been on a roller coaster ride over the last 3 weeks, dragging us all along with him, as we put him on a gluten/dairy/soy/corn free diet. His withdrawals have been mammoth, major meltdowns & an onset of multiple Tourette Syndrome symptoms, very odd ones at that. OCD, SPD, APD, ADD also becoming obvious offshoots to his condition. Today he wasn't able to go to daycare but he was lovely company (most of the day anyway, only 2 meltdowns today!).
We had Brody with us for a while until he trotted off to his train to take him to one of his 3 weekly circus groups. Chelsea also joined us which was lovely.

Ivy had a lovely time today, running, chasing ducks & eating! She is very fiesty & moody lately but mostly straightforward in her needs. Let her play, play & play some more & she is happy! Add some friends & she is even happier, she's a social butterfly. Throw in some writing, drawing, reading & more writing & she is over the moon!

We are truly blessed by this little girl.

Ivy feeding the ducks, Finn playing with his remote control boat.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

stormy weather

Today we had a summer storm come over, & stop right over us for the afternoon.
We had a huge amount of thunder, lightening, rain & hail.
Ivy was off at day care, Brody was off at his 1st day of year 11 & Finn was home, having refused to go to day care, even though Kim & I really needed him to go so we could work, after losing a day care day to Australia Day.
When Finn decides, he decides.

The lightning hit about 35 meters from our house. It tore a tree to shreds. It was very impressive, although not at the time! I was working away on my laptop, secure in my knowledge that we had good quality surge protectors. I felt a strong tingle through my hand at the same time as I heard the incredible bang & Finn's scream behind me. I had him in my arms in a split second & we clung to each other like terrified limpets.
I saw smoke out the window & sent Kim out to check for fire, then thought , omg, is that safe? He assured me that lightening never strikes in the same place twice, well actually he assured me that that's what "they" say!!! Finn & I followed him out & took these photos of the shattered tree the lightening had hit:

I took this one not to show all our mess but to show how close it was to our house! You can see the raw split up tree in the background.

this taken from our deck.

10 meters from the kids cubby.

shreds of gum tree everywhere!

Finn with a shard of tree that was on the dirt road.

shards of tree everywhere!!

Finn playing in the rivers of water with his lightening offshoot.

We had so much more lightening, thunder, hail & torrential rain this afternoon, if was intense & quite draining! Finn was a basket case by the end of the day, ran around playing with Brody until he bashed his front teeth on a wrought iron chair. Then he was in pain until bedtime, even with a dose of Panadol. Hopefully we won't see black teeth in the next few weeks! He has such a high pain threshold, we know that if he's in pain & showing it it's bad ) :

Sunday, 10 January 2010

mud fight

Every now again I get to enjoy all 4 of my children hanging out at home with me.
I love those times so much.
Yesterday was hot. I decided to empty the paddling pool, which was dirty, filled with gum leaves & 2 weeks worth of rain water, so we could refill it & get the little people cooled down. Emptying large amounts of water into dry red earth creates mud.
This is what followed.

careful of Mum's new car!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where was Finn?? Hiding. Sensory overload, these type of activities are hard to cope with if you are autistic. After everyone calmed down, Chelsea & Kim went grocery shopping, Brody hopped in the shower & Ivy was watching a video, Finn went outside on his own & happily covered himself in mud for an hour ( :

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