Thursday, November 24, 2011

Moving House

We are moving house in a couple of days.

We returned from Queensland to find a note in our mailbox for an item of registered post that we had missed and had to collect from the post office. I didn't get around there till 2 days later. It was a notice to vacate (obviously we are only renting - desperately trying to save up a deposit to buy our own place). I was shocked and upset. We are good tenants. We pay in a timely manner and take care of the premises well. We have a good rapport with our landlords. Some inquiries to the agent revealed that our landlords were in fact retiring. They had sold their home and wanted to move back into this one. So of course, it's time for us to go. They were also quite sad at asking us to leave, and expressed that we were good tenants and that it was nothing we had done. That was a relief to know, because it meant that we would have a very good reference when looking for a new place. And a new place was indeed found in a very short time. And so, here we are.

Half the house packed and still lots more to go. We have way too many toys and more books than one family should rightfully own. Both hubby and I are hoarders. My daughters both seem to have got our genes, especially Big Miss (eek! She is BAD!), so it really is shocking how much stuff we have. The good thing is, I do occasionally get crazy and start throwing things out. But since we still have a little one in the house, I can't really get rid of the toys just yet.

My SIL and her hubby will also be moving in together with us - it is a big house, five bedrooms and double story. Big living areas. So there will be plenty of room for everybody. We will share the rent and utilities, and so this way, both families get to continue saving for our own homes. There are lots of positives with this move, and we are all looking forward to it, which is great.

Some definite perks for me....? A DISHWASHER!!! Yay!!! - and a sink with a double trough! So no longer will I have to wash a family of six's dishes all by hand in a single tiny sink, I will have a dishwasher. SO excited about that!

It has TWO well-designed pantries!! Currently, this is what I have to work with......

A horrid tiny little thing where most of the storage space is cramped behind a wall!! You know... one of those L-shaped designs? No wonder everything ends up on top of itself...with a family of this size and a mummy who cooks alot, there is just not enough room! It's a very poor design and I have expressed on many occasions how much I really hate my current pantry. So that's another thing I'm really looking forward to.

It will be some time I think before we settle in properly. There are some things that need to be done around the new place in order to make sure it is safe for Little Man. Some concerns I have are that he will escape out of the backyard due to fencing not being secure enough - we need to fix that. And that he will push his little sister down the stairs just by way of 'moving' her out of his path-pattern. Might put a safety gate in front of that one. And I think, given some of his more recent discoveries and habits, we may need to start considering locks on the fridge and pantry - and the big girls bedroom door.....

If you don't hear from me before we move, it will be hello from the new place :) Better get back to packing.....


Thursday, November 17, 2011

In The Hospital At Miles

The morning after we arrived in Dulacca, I was changing my son's clothes when I found some mysterious bites on his feet. There seemed to be a little swelling, a little redness - alot like a mosquito bite that has been freshly made. There were at least three or four on his feet. I didn't like the way they seemed swollen though, so I gave him some children's antihistamine, and decided to keep an eye on them.

As the day went on, the swelling slowly got worse. He spent alot of time just laying around on his bed. Most of the morning in fact. He didn't want to come out and play or eat at all. I would coax him out to play, and as soon as I'd finish a game, he'd just go back to his bed. After some time, I carried him out and sat him on the couch in the lounge room. He was happy to be in company, but - unusually for him - he remained seated on the couch. The swelling was much worse by now, but hadn't moved past his ankles. Being in the middle of nowhere, I was not convinced it was worth a trip to a hospital or doctor at this point. He had no problems breathing, and there were no other issues besides the swelling.

But then I saw him visibly uncomfortable when trying to stand on his feet... when I saw him very consciously and carefully climb back onto the couch to sit...something clicked inside.

He was in pain.

It's so hard to tell when he is hurting, not only because he simply can't tell me, but also because he just has a high threshold to pain anyway. So seeing him react this way to the swelling immediately triggered a panic inside me. He must be in agony to show this much reaction.

We decided to ring the hospital in Miles, the next town, for advice. They basically said to come in so they can observe him. It seemed like so far away, but in reality, it was less than an hour to drive. I guess it seemed far to me because where we live, we have clinics all over the place and a hospital barely 25 minutes away. (Having said that, we'd usually have to wait about 1 hour to see a doctor anyway).

When we got to the hospital, they immediately took him in to be checked. No waiting. It was wonderful. The doctor on duty didn't really know what to make of the bites. We were pretty sure they were not spider bites - I am still certain they were just mosquito bites. From little black mosquitoes. Different to the ones around home. But he seemed to be reacting to them badly. As we were inspecting, I noticed another huge lump on the side of one knee, one on his right wrist, and more lumps around his feet. The only thing that concerned the doctor was the formation of blisters at the site of the bites. Little Man's feet had swollen so much, that pockets of fluid had built up at the bite sites. This didn't seem to fit what she understood about allergic reactions, so she referred it to the regional paediatrician, in another town.

Honestly, the pictures here don't show just how bad the swelling was.
But it gives you some idea of what was going on at least.

So photos were taken and emailed off, and we waited for a response.

They didn't know what to make of them.

Another doctor was brought in to check his feet, someone more senior in position than the first doctor.

She didn't know what to make of them either.

By this time, Hubby and I were sort of looking at each other askance, wondering if these people knew what they were doing. Fortunately, our son was managing ok... especially given that it was way past his bedtime by now, and he was extremely tired, and in an unfamiliar environment. He cried and wouldn't stop moving long enough to get good photos. He fell asleep, then had to be woken for various checks every 20 minutes. Needless to say, he was not impressed. But given what we all know about kids on the spectrum and their tendencies for meltdowns, he was doing very well.

Some of the blisters had popped or wept and crusted over by now. And much of the swelling was reduced.

Basically, the conclusion was that although the source of the bites was unknown, it was an allergic reaction of some sort (ya think??). He was prescribed phenergan and prednisolone to manage the symptoms, and admitted overnight for observation.

And so my son and I spent a freezing night in a country hospital, (it turned out to be 3C that night, and the air conditioner was stuck at 'on' all night - freezing!!), with the loveliest hospitality but questionable abilities. I didn't panic anymore once we had been checked, but I was concerned about getting my son to sleep in a hospital bed. As it turned out, I didn't have to worry... the phenergan took care of that.

Waiting to be collected the next day was very stressful. He was well enough to walk around, and was no longer satisfied sitting in a hospital bed. He kept trying to abscond. We had tantrums and tears. I was starving, cold, feral and in desperate need of a shower.

Our ride finally arrived and we were discharged with instructions to keep his feet covered when outdoors to protect them, and continue with the medication, presumably until the swelling is gone - but they didn't actually specify how long to continue it.

I remember thinking with a strange kind of sick humour that I should be awarded a ribbon of some sort for my first night spent in hospital with a child, by someone who was far more experienced than I - my little sister. The experience wasn't entirely unpleasant, but it was very annoying and most inconvenient. I am very consciously grateful that it wasn't for anything more serious. And I am glad my son's feet are ok, and that he recovered from the swelling alot quicker than expected.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Red Egg & Ginger Cake

This cake was made for a friend who held a red egg & ginger party for her son. I had never been to one of these before, much less made a cake for one! So I was really pleased when she asked me to do a cake for her.

In keeping with the theme, the cake is ginger, sandwiched together with white chocolate ganache to add some sweetness in contrast to the spiciness of the cake. The giant red egg was nestled in a chocolate nest, and the iced writing was gilded with edible gold for the perfect finishing touch.

I fell in love with the sleeping baby on the egg.... so cute!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sons Of Anarchy Cake

I made this a while ago for a friend of ours turned 30. It was my darling husband who kindly volunteered me to do his cake. Please don't get me wrong, I LOVE doing cakes for people - especially good friends - but at 3 days notice!!? Aarrgh! So I had all of 3 days to design, plan and make this cake, which is why the logo and rockers are very, very simple.

The idea for the theme came from hubby, and judging by the reaction of the birthday boy's friends and family, it was just perfect.

It was chocolate cake with jaffa ganache - absolutely delish! And yes, he loved it :)