Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Bon's CC + sickiness

Had a ball last night. Totally neglected family for many hours of ME TIME!!

Firstly, Pj's Blind Challenge on Chatzy. Man, that was interesting and intense!! I didn't even get to finish my second glass of wine!!!!! There's no justice in that (heh) but at least I finished a page. Not allowed to show the whole layout yet - Mrs Pj's rules! Here's a sneak of a part of the title.

This morning I managed to finish Fran's Sketch Challenge. We had to find a song lyric for the title. Still working on Lil and Phil's Wedding Album. About one third the way through but I do like all the layouts for this album, which is a good thing.

It was worth it but now I'm paying dearly as poor Rainer is home today. Woke up this morning vomiting (no chunky bits, thankfully) and so he slept and puked until about 11am when suddenly....

FINE NOW MUMMY!! (no, he didn't actually SAY those words) Ate heaps - under my strict supervision, and has now finished his first DVD without one mishap. My heart jumped when he BURPED, but it was all okay.

So I only have Bon's and Sandie's challenges to complete! I have surprised myself so far and I'm enjoying it once again.

P.S. it helped that I had this sign over my computer all Sunday night and all day Monday.
That sign's going to get a lot of use this year PMSL!!

Monday, 25 August 2008

okay....another video...a must

we're having a lovely chat on chatzy with the girls from Bon's!!!!

This is for you GIRLS!!!


visual splendour...as promised


THE CARD USING THE CRAFT FINGER (story another day - hahahaha!!)

bought these from Anne

made these with Anne's help

and these....

and from hubby....just because....AWWWWWWWW!!

My scrap space is clean (shock horror)and BON is celebrating her birthday with a CYBER CROP tonight which I am very much looking forward to ... if hubby can get home in time!

Friday, 22 August 2008

being all things to all people....

I was prepared for a really insightful post. I had rehearsed the words and sequence in my head as I've been trying to be the LOTUS FLOWER while all these dark and mysterious events have been unfolding here and in the lives of some of my friends.

But then, as always, MUSIC has come and saved YOU all from that lengthy reading. And not only is it a band, but they're KIWIS and young little chums at that!!! Where do they get this material from?

I think the artists in us all can appreciate the video (there are 3 I found for this song..but this my favourite) and the chorus.

CUT OFF YOUR HANDS "expectations"

So I've been quiet this week. A friend has broken the cardinal rule of the "INVITE" and I don't think I'm ready to forgive her, consequently, it's been at the forefront of my thinking. Another friend has explored her....hmmmm, let's just say "darker" side of her personality and has come away wondering how that experience has enriched her life.

And here I am, listening, giving advice when it's been sought (not always followed, mind you LOL), trying to sympathise/empathise, coming up with alternative solutions, asking questions to let THEM find their own answers. It's been exhausting but I think they both have come out the LIGHTER side.

It's been a welcomed distraction from what goes on HERE everyday. But now I have a heady day of baking and cooking and freezing. HAHA!! It gets you somehow, doesn't it????

I made some earrings on Wednesday!! I don't have pics yet but I've just crossed something else of THE LIST of crap to do before I'm 40....

The canvas background has been adorned and I have 10 kits (I'm excited) of them to organise in 4 weeks. I think I can do that. No photos yet....the canvas was snaffled and displayed before I could. Next week maybe.

I hate to admit to this...but I actually liked this movie. Thankfully, the friends I completely "poo-pooed" this movie to (I can be a complete literary snob sometimes) don't read this blog (heh). We have this wonderful little cinema called "The Blue Room" in Rosalie. Seats 40 and like Gold Class can order food and alcohol to be served during the movie ... but it's only $10!!!!! Maybe I enjoyed this movies because of the 2 wines before it began and I was sitting next to Tess who is an ABBA tragic so her enthusiasm was a little infectious. Lena organised it and there must have been about 15 of us.

Another nice distraction in my week. :-)

It was nice seeing a few new "faces" visit here while Charm was crashing blogs all over the world.

Promise next post will have more LOOKSEY stuff and less ramblings by me....

brighter and buoyant....

Friday, 15 August 2008


10pm-ish update....

okay, last post, promise!!

Learned a great technique at Inkredible on Thursday and decided to replicate in on the canvas.

I've been keen to work on creating BACKGROUNDS. That's my creative goal for the next few months, so I may be doing some trippy (thanks Charm) things on layouts which may or may NOT look the goods.

THE DRAGONS WON 24-20. Amazing. Every game that Mackinley has seen at Suncorp, the Dragons have won!! He's one little good luck charm.

Last soccer game tomorrow. Then Michael and I will be going to Varna's 39th Birthday Bash. Taking loads of photos so will share as soon as I sober up!!

night all!!

busy ~ lonesome ~ need ventilation...

9pm-ish FRIDAY

Michael and Mackinley are at Suncorp Stadium tonight watching their beloved Mighty Mighty Dragons attempt to score at least one try against the Bonks.

They spent the good part of Wednesday at the EKKA. The first year they stayed the whole day. Maybe next year they'll stay for the fireworks and the other night-time good stuff for kids.

So....I'm trying to stay busy. Finished this layout during the week. Mackinley comes home with this cracker of a story...just had to scrap it. The photo is a self-portrait and just cracks me up.

I'm working on a little canvas for the MY TIME I'm runing in a few weeks time. I'm playing with Texture Paste and Iridescent Medium and really should have a window open LOL!!! And when the fumes mix with the red wine.....I end up doing stuff I really hate....

like mixing colour in my mediums!!!! Man, I really hate that.

It's been 2 years since I "retired" from teaching. I remember listening to this song and feeling like I'd made the biggest mistake of my life.

Very sad and also great relief at finishing teaching. Ah, the metaphor of the ship...just love creative geniusessssss. Can't look back now..


many thanks + party time

I have to say I'm a little overwhelmed at the response to Rainer's story. I was on a real downer after posting and the comments I received here and at Bon's (sorry, didn't get time to post elsewhere :( ) just blew me away.

I've never considered myself "extraordinary" or particularly wonderful, especially as a mother. I just figured that you had to play whatever hand you'd been dealt and try not to "fold" (to extend the metaphor...). I try to keep the low points of my life private because when I get the opportunity to go out - I want to enjoy that time instead of thinking or talking about AUTISM. Blerk, can't think of anything more boring for another person.

But, you ladies have renewed my confidence and lifted my spirits. At his "neuro-typical" kindy, Rainer has been wholly accepted by the other children and their parents; he got his first party invite; his first "girlfriend" present (a cute egg carton decorated with a gold bow...awwwww), and has been invited on his first play-date!!!

I've been taken from a position of helplessness to a new height of hope and vigour. I need to do these things for my son - just as any Mum would and it's these times I need my friends to quietly tell me I'm doing GOOD.


And so in honour of my cyber friends....head over to Charmane's blog this weekend (link to the side). She's having a BLOG CRASHING PARTY!! That woman will do anything for attention LOL (she knows I love her)!! If I can stay awake long enough I'll be there too.
Here's some music for you Charm....(must be viewed after a few vinos...wino!!)

Thank you to my hero-Chiro Sean who today managed to separate my stomach from my diaphragm!! What a clever munchkin. What intense and interesting pain...hmmmm, don't recommend it to anyone.

SCALES DO NOT LIE!!!! I think I am now officially back to pre-pregnant-with-Mackinley weight. My scales say 56kg, but I'll hop on the gym scales in the morning. My new yummy jeans are too loose now (grrrrr...). Ah well, better buy a new pair (heehee).

definitely brighter and buoyant......

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Perspective....part 2 - Rainer's story (eek, long post)

Some know this story, but when AEIOU asked me to write Rainer's story for their website, I was a little honoured but it also brought up a lot of tears, sadness, guilt and frustration.

I don't think those feelings will ever go away. I read this again today and feeling a little low. I don't like to think about the past too much but it needs to be said so it might help other mums or friends of mums who are going through this.

Meet Rainer
Wed Jul 30 2008

Rainer seemed almost the perfect baby - Able to sleep for long periods and without much fuss. Breast-fed like a trooper and even put himself to bed when he knew his older brother was coming home from Kindy at 4.30pm, and woke at 2am for his next feed. I thought to myself, "Here's one special boy, who is bright, perceptive and will do great things in the world.”

Rainer smiled in photographs, played with some toys and watched “ABC Kids”, but never seemed to WANT to play with others. He began to develop repetitive behaviours and obsessions with particular toys - Thunderbird 2 is still a firm favourite after all these years. The dozen or so words he was saying, were slowly disappearing and being replaced by baby-ish shouting, as a 12-month-old would, to gain attention.

After Rainer's first birthday, I was looking to return to work and put Rainer in Day care one day per week. This was to become the start of the road to seeing Rainer’s Autism. He never played with others, became attached to one particular carer, would not sit at group time or meal times. He could feed himself with a spoon and open and close containers (which others in his group couldn’t) but the socialisation was not there.

He began to lash out at the other children if they simply stood next to him, touched his toy or if he had to wait his turn. His speech descended into nothingness and the calls from some parents to have Rainer expelled from Day care sent me into a combination of rage and despair.

I knew he wasn’t a BAD child, he just needed a different approach. Luckily a new carer began in his room and she started documenting what set Rainer off during the day – what caused him to bite another, fly into a rage and exhibit odd behaviours. Without this information, I don’t think we would have had the diagnosis as early or quickly as we eventually did.

I promptly finished my contract and began the exhaustive task of finding out why my boy was different. I began taking him to Playgroup and although the Mums understood, there was never a moment where I could sit and watch from afar. I spent every moment at Rainer’s side, helping him to interact with the other children and watch how he played in an unfamiliar environment. I noticed that he was NOT playing WITH the toys, rather, moving them around in an inappropriate way. Trains moved like planes and visa-versa, balls were collected not thrown and painting took on a whole new dimension!!

Something wasn’t “clicking” in Rainer’s brain but I persisted in exposing him to as much as I could. I became, however, more drained which made me less inclined to deal with any number of Rainer’s episodes in public. I shopped for groceries online and only went out of the house for emergencies. Rainer enjoyed the car and his stroller, but they soon became battlegrounds. Getting him into his seat sometimes became a battle of strength as he stiffened his body and I worked up a monumental sweat to seat him. He damaged a number of strollers due to his thrashing if he didn’t like where I was going or I stopped for a chat somewhere.

It was breaking point for all of us, including his brother. At some point I remember hearing the word “autism” but only had experience with student who has Aspergers (another type of Autism), and I knew this wasn’t AS.

The order of events are now a blur, but I do recall visiting Rainer’s Paediatrician who observed Rainer at her office (which I was dreading) and asked a series of questions and then completed a questionnaire with us. This was to be the breakthrough and possibly an acknowledgement that we weren’t BAD parents, and Rainer wasn’t a spoiled brat or neglected.

We immediately enrolled him into the Special Education Development Unit, but the idea of “early intervention” for a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder at age 2 ½ , was a couple of hours once per week. We began looking for another place to supplement this weekly playgroup but we had to negotiate an Aide and then find a Centre who would accept Rainer with the Aide. More paperwork and interviews, but it happened.

We had Rainer on the waiting list for AEIOU and with the gains he was making at the C&K with his Aide, happily leaving me in the mornings was a HUGE step, we were quietly hopeful but at the same time nervous due to the number of children with Autism and the scarcity of places in AEIOU.

Happily, in Term 2 of 2007, Rainer began his full-time early intervention at AEIOU. In that time since, he is beginning to say words, is more attentive and will sit to read a book or sing a song. These may seem like small things, but to a Mother of a child with Autism, they are overwhelming. Rainer sometimes whispers “I love you” but you have to be very quiet. He comes up to cuddle us and only recently has he played appropriately with his brother and most of his toys.

An ultra-light aircraft flew over our house recently, a common occurrence, but Rainer has never once looked sky-ward to show any interest in what was up there, even commercial aircraft. Last weekend, for the first time, Rainer looked skyward and pointed at the ultra-light. I think I cried…..I was too shocked to remember. I called for my husband and we waited for the craft to fly over again, which it did. But Rainer didn’t look up again. That’s okay. At least we know that he is aware of what is going on around him, and that even for a moment, he is interested.

Autism is a condition that did sneak up on us and Rainer. Maybe he already was Autistic but we haven’t located the one “lightning bolt” moment that made it reveal itself in all its frustrating glory; the moment we thought, “Oh, there’s the Autism!”. He will never be “cured” of his Autism, it is something that we manage now and he’ll have to do as he reaches adulthood.

AEIOU has given us the resources to begin that journey with comprehensive early intervention, and we are confident that Rainer is still bright, perceptive and will do great things in this world. How special he has come to be for all of us.

So, now it's all there - in the public arena. The reason I quit Teaching (most of my fellow staff members and students weren't told and probably still don't know) and became the full-time Mum I am today. The reason I cry every day and get very little sleep. The reason I am forever on this bloody computer, sending emails to specialists updating them on Rainer's progress, researching food, biomedical research, vaccine ingredients (that's enough to scare anyone) and cheap organic produce.

And it wears me down.

But I have my creative outlet!! And I'm forever grateful that I have this, to escape....really ESCAPE. So I don't do this scrapbooking and other bits and pieces for future generations....I do it for ME!!! This is my legacy, not others'. And it's the only time I can be truly SELFISH.

Well, the partying with my girlies also helps. I think it's the anonymity of it all. Be whomever you want and then close the book and go home. Ahhhh, what a luxury!

Look what I made the other week:

More on how and where later.
Thanks for reading to the end....needed to record this somewhere for all eternity (blah blah blah).

brighter and buoyant....onward and upward....
p.s. in the words of Sparkadia "if you just can't trust yourself more than anybody else, the kiss of death is only but a breath away...." thank the lord for luscious indie pop gods!!!!

Thursday, 7 August 2008

perspective...part 1 + little toot

perspective and hindsight are two things I wish I had before they became useful

(I know that makes sense to me...how about anyone else? LOL)

Poor Miss Ellen...also recovering from Splendour. No sympathy sweet girl, especially since you got to see the one-and-only Mr Paul Dempsey. Not fair....again, no sympathy!!!!!!!

Here's one for Miss V.....

It's 8 minutes long but oh-so-worth it. Actually it's their 2 latest songs joined by one very awesome clip/story.

i hear your words
they call my name
i won't go back
you must be out of head!!!!!

are you with me V??

I could play this band over and over and over....someone mentioned that lately I've been addicted to high energy!!!!

Well, yes, when you've been loaded with stress all day and into the night, I think you need someone/thing else to give you a burst of energy. Music is the cheapest and most socially acceptable/legal form of energy I know - available any time of day and completely portable.

The last in the long line of published layouts. My first in SC!!!

This photo was one of a group of Rainer with Dad before he passed away. Crazy to think it was only last November and these were taken in October. It was Dad's birthday on the 28th July and I put some of his favourite flowers on his grave last week. Crazy, crazy last couple of weeks!!

Well, I really feel like my life is complete now...nothing more to achieve....okay, well maybe a little more on the creative front, but I've been really good at not jumping at every DT comp and challenge. It's that Capricorn/Ambition streak that really feels like a wild animal that I have to constantly keep caged and sometimes sedated.

Which is why when I put the call out to the GIRLIES, they know it's ON!!!! Just have to decide how to celebrate busting out from domestic goddess to anyone goddess.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

the doctor is in....

I have been feeling like opening a psych practice the last few weeks. The amount of free advice (and very fluid and poetic advice at that!!) I've been dishing out has shocked me into realising that perhaps......

just perhaps.........

i have...........


I remember having this strange sensation at 19, then at 29, and now (dare I say it) at 39.

As one clever little munchkin so eloquently put it recently.....

my INFINITE WISDOM. (now I know you're sucking up!)

It's really, really unsettling.

I'm the irresponsible one of the family; I'm the one who makes really terrible decisions, who acts impulsively (sometimes with dire consequences), speaks her mind (often with dire consequences), hates being told what to do and how to do it (stop nodding so furiously girls) and generally is the thorn in everyone's side - but such a cute thorn!!

I'm scrapping too. M brought home a spare screen from work and I swear to God, it must be the first flat screen monitor EVER made. The depth of this thing is extraordinary!!!!!! I've had to chock the shelves onto the Yellow Pages just to fit it in!! Makes altering photos in PSE really tricky because the colours are a bit off, but I'm managing okay.

Can you see something different??? Apart from the fact that my and Trish's hair is long and we have fringes, and that all the girlies in the tree are blonde (pure coincidence!!)...

I've swapped sizes because now I have an idea to put all/most of these ones for publication and they'll be like a more updated "Book of Me/Us/We/Them". It really is a great size for 4x6 photos. See how I go.

And I've had no sleep. Rainer woke at 2am and wouldn't settle. Yep, here we go again. And because I've been playing "Cereal Box Therapist" to the girlies -- couldn't sleep anyway!! So like any decent human being, looked at the clock, it said 5.45am so I changed into my gym gear and RAN AWAY!! I really only got narky at bedtime, but it's amazing how effective the threat of bodily violence can do to little boys' motivation to slumber!!!

I have "Full Metal Racket" on in the background and it's so FULL ON, that I'm just giggling like a school girl. Love the variety on the Js.

More finished layouts soon and a little more PERSPECTIVE coming.....

Saturday, 2 August 2008

holy crap!!

Yes, I'm having wayyyyyy toooo much too much to drink at Varna's house tonight. My monitor has died and I'm having a "Girl's Camping NIght" at her place with Mackinley. The typing is way too bad and the spell check is going a million miles an hour!!!!


Have finished 2 layouts!! OMFG!!! yes, one even for publication (when they realise how good it is LOL) but of course, no computer, so no uploads....will have to wait for next post.

soooooo much to tell

i'm way too pissed to carry on .... but the pizza smells really good!!!

not quite sure about a lot of things, Varna thinks I should start writing again (as does Trish) - my wit is wasted on the minor/trivial things in life. I'm coming out with way too much good shit at the moment to NOT publish here. Maybe I'm missing my life's work. But then Michael tells me isn't that what journaling is for!!!

Hmmmmm. Good one honey!!!

Okay, Varna's giving me one of "those" looks.

Thanks for still being interested in one babbling/wine soaked/esoteric scrapper!!

Love to all (and I'll regret this post when I'm sober LOL lol LOL lol)

and to those uninitiated PMSL = piss myself laughing!! and I wish I was at Splendour in the Grass at Byron (a mis-spent youth). Shout out to Patty, Ollie and Kalen! Have fun, but not too much!!

I SOOOO wanted to see these guys..........

ouch...breed obssession... how awesome are these lyrics!!!

brighter and buoyant!!