One of the Kinder Guinea Pigs.

One of the Kinder Guinea Pigs

I spend on average, two days a term in Kinder this year, and so far its been great fun. 

We’ve made cookies, and face-masks, and painted and drawn.  But if I was one of the children for the day, I think I’d be playing with the guinea pigs and climbing all over the adventure playground.

I love watching Cailee playing with her friends at Kinder, she has a ball, and is very keen to try everything.  I just hope this continues when she starts school next year. 🙂

Blog Prompt – August 15, 2008: Blog Prompt: Today is National Relaxation Day. How do you plan to relax today?

Relaxation is a thing of the past – and hopefully the future, but right now is almost no existant.  Until Mark has his transplant out lives are a merry-go-round of continuous doctors visits – for both of us, lately.

We visit four different hospitals for Mark’s health and treatments. 

Monash Medical Centre for his transplant team visits.  The Alfred – for his peritonial dialysis education.  The Eye and Ear Hospital for the management of his eye problems and cataract treatments.  And lastly, Frankston Hospital Outpatients for his (and my) Diabetes Clinic.

Of course we also have regular visits to the Renal Specialists and then all the counsellor visits as well.

On top of that we have school things for the older kids, and day care for Cailee as well as my visits to physio, doctors and counsellors.  And then of course there’s the new puppy who is demanding as well. *rolls eyes*

I’m really hoping that all of these appointments will eventually fade to once or twice a year when Mark has had the transplant, but who knows? Something else always seems to pop up. 

Relaxation is saved for bedtime.  When I can zone out and sleep like the dead. LOL

Best Friends?

Blog Prompt – August 14, 2008: Today is Best Friends Day. Who is your best friend and tell why?

I have never had a Best Friend in the traditional sense of the word.  Not someone I could confide in completely, about everything, or even someone I could say, yes – such and such is definitely my best friend.  I have more a variety of friends who I would consider I am very close to.  That I can call at a moments notice and just sit and blab to. 

The first is my eldest daughter.  She and I have had a very special relationship since she was fourteen – we are closer than any of her friends are with their parents.  We can discuss just about anything.  Some things my husband blocks his ears to, or leaves the room for, because he thinks there are things a father (or mother) just shouldn’t discuss with their child.  But Mel and I do.

My second is my mum.  I can discuss a lot of things with her, more so now than when I was younger.  She still see’s me as her child, but no longer a little girl.  Mum would do anything to help me and she knows if its in my power – I will do anything for her as well.  We socialise together too.  And some of my friends have adopted her as their surrogate mother and grandmother. 

I guess with those two alone I can consider myself blessed.

Then the thrid and fourth I can’t place in any particular order, Vicki and Michelle are equally as close to me.  I’ve known Michelle for almost ten years, she has seen me through a lot of things – we go to the gym together and have gotten drunk together on occasion, as well as making friends with people online together. Whereas Vicki I only met three years ago, through Scrapbooking.  She owns the local scrapbooking store and I occasionally worked for her on Demo Days, as well as teach card classes for her.  She and I are very alike in many ways – we can talk for hours and spend most Saturday nights chatting during crop nights.  (Mum will sit at the ned of the table oblivious to half of our conversations because she’s almost completely deaf.)  The three of us will sit companionably and scrap together.

Last, but definitely not least, is Sandy.  I have known Sandy since Melanie first started school sixteen years ago.  So long, and though we don’t see each other as frequently any more, she and I are still close enough to open up to each other about our trials and tribulations.

So, though I don’t have one particular best friend, I consider myself a lucky person, as I have five amazing women I can call friend.  Five women I am lucky to have in my life – and who help make me who I am.

A new puppy for the family

Allie’s short time with us impacted us greatly.  We felt at the end of the week after her death that though we had expected a little puppy, what we ended up with was a poor little creature that needed some special love and attention for her alone before she died.  We hope she felt that was what she got.

But it still left us desperately wanting a new puppy.  So once more we went in search of…

Kaia on the day we chose her.

Kaia on the day we chose her.

We went to Werribee and had a look at a litter of puppies, and chose one.  They were only four weeks old at the time, so we didn’t bring her home with us, naturally.  The weeks seemed to creep by, despite our wait only being fourteen days it seemed interminable.  But finally the phone call came, and we packed up the car and headed back to Werribee to collect her.  I was filled with trepidation for the week or so after we brought her home, half expecting the illness that had hit Allie to visit Kaia as well, but its been three weeks since we collected her and she has settled really well into the family.

Of course poor Teaza was feeling just a little put out by her arrival – even more so when he went to be fixed.  Poor thing, being harrassed by this excitable little puppy – who was only an inch or so shorter than he was – and then having to face the indignity of having his manhood removed. 

He recovered quite well from the op, despite swelling and irritation from shaving rash. OUCH!

Now, the pair of them race around the house chasing and attacking each other.  She’ll dominate for a while and then when she runs out of puff, as all pups do, he takes over.  It’s fun to watch.  So now, fears of another puppy dying on us, are starting to fade, but I won’t be happy until she has completed her shots and the vet gives her the all clear to associate with other dogs.

She is a lot paler than Allie was, especially in the face.  She will be a huge shepherd if she follows her parents.  Her father was a massive orangey/tan and black shepherd and her mother a honey/tan and black but both were huge.  Her paws seem to be growing faster than the rest of her. 

The day she arrived home with us.

The day she arrived home with us.

She will answer to her name and come on command, and this week I will start her training in earnest with the sit, stay, down commands one at a time.  Can’t wait until she has enough energy to sustain a decent walk. 

A Crappy Weekend

Our Little Angel

Our Little Angel

I wish I could turn back the last week and start again.

Our old lady Gipsie died back in April.  We had had her for fourteen years, she was a part of our family – a much loved part of our family, and it has taken a few months before we could even think about a new puppy – but last week we decided the time was right and started looking again.

On Saturday we went to collect our new baby girl – hubby, the two girls and I drove up to Chadstone to collect her.  She was a gorgeous little thing – well as little as a two month old German shepherd can be.  She stunk to high heaven – Con, the breeder, said she and her sister had been a little car sick on the way down from Kerang – a three hour drive away.

Well, when we got her home we took her out into the back garden for a little while, to relieve herself, and so she could have a wander and stretch her legs.  She had been a little sick in the car, but had spent almost the whole drive asleep – so when she got out into the garden she raced all over the place and became a little skittish with C, playing all over the place.

Then she started getting tired, like most little puppies do, and we weren’t surprised when she fell asleep and wasn’t too hungry.  During the night she started whinning in the bathroom, so I packed her into a large box and placed her by my side of the bed.  I’d just started dozing off when she started  throwing up.  I cleaned up the frothy white mucus and finally we settled back down again. 

Once more, a little while later she started throwing up.  This went on through most of the night, little sleep for any of us.  She had a bad bout of diarrhoea the next moring and had continued to throw up, so I called the vets and took her off to Dromana to have her checked out.

The vet wasn’t happy with how she looked, nor with the faecal test she did, saying she hadn’t seen so much bacteria in a pupy before.  A shot of antibiotics, a shot for the pain and nausea, and then more antibiotics for the following morning, in pill form; as well as an electrolyte formula for her and we were off home again.

She continued throwing up most of the night, and I called the breeder to let him know what was going on, so he could check up on the other pups.  The vet had mentioned parvovirus, so I wanted to make sure the other pups didn’t have an infection as well. 

Getting to know you...

Getting to know you...

Monday morning (no sleep again through the night), and I called the vets to say she still wasn’t doing too well.  They booked us in for a four o’clock appointment.

At two, I decided to give her another bath because she had been sick and still had diarrhoea – but she all but passed out in the bathtub – so badly lethargic that she was limp like a rag doll.  I pulled her out of the bath and covered her with a couple of towels, while hubby rang the vets.  We were told to bring her in immediately.

We did.  I bundled her into a washing basket, covered in a couple of towels, and she loosed her bowels again all through them by the time we got to the vets.  We were shown into a room, and the vet came in to check her – the same vet from the day before.

We were told she would be put on to a drip and that the next 24 hours would be the teller to whether she would recover or not.  We left the vets in tears.

We had only been home for about twenty minutes when the phone rang.  Allie had just passed away.  The parvo tests came through as negative, so all anyone can think is that she had a really bad case of enteritis.

The whole family has been devestated by her death.  Eight weeks – such a short life.

I rang the breeder and told him what had happened.  He was as upset as we were, and has refunded her purchase price in full.

We have a few photos from when she was out playing in the back garden; and a couple more from later Saturday night when she still seemed alright and was laying on C’s lap – I’d actually gone out to scrapping that night and used one of the better ones with Allie and C for a layout.

I intend on doing another layout, a memorial one for Allie sometime soon.  I want to be able to write her a letter – one that Cailee will be able to look back on in years to come when she has started to forget about the little puppy that was a part of our lives for such a short time.

Allie may have only been a part of our family for a short forty-eight hours but we won’t ever forget her and the impact her short life, and death, made upon us.

RIP Allie.

My Perfect Summer Day

Blog Prompt – July 9, 2008: Describe your perfect summer day?

Hmmm…. perfect summer day?  One that isn’t too hot, and by that I mean one below 30°c.

I hate hot weather and it hates me as well.  From the year we landed in Australia I have had problems handly the weather here.  That first summer, as soon as the heat got above the magic thirty, I ended up passed out in the middle of Main Street.

If the weather is mild, I will enjoy the day and be able to function – housework, taking the kids out for the day, having fun.  But when it goes over, I’m stuffed.  The weather will give me a migraine and totally enervate me so I can’t do much more than flake out on the bed with the fan going.

So basically, any summer day below thirty degrees celsius is perfect for me.