Monday, 1 September 2014

Double Figures

Today Harri is 10.  I can't believe I have two boys in double figures!  He has been hanging out for his birthday for months.  He hasn't had a party with friends since he was seven, so had been asking if he could have a party this year.   I'm not a fan of parties, especially when I have to do them on my own, but I knew how much it meant to Harri, so told him that he could have one this year. 

He decided to have it at Zone 3 so he could play laser tag with his mates.  He has some lovely friends in his class at school and it was nice to have them celebrate with him on Saturday. 
He loved having a party with his friends, and all the stress was worth seeing him so happy. 
The lovely Cupcake Fairy, Nicole made him an awesome birthday cake.  He is so obsessed with basketball, so he asked for a Miami Heat cake. I was very grateful that I didn't have to worry about a party as well as the cake - thanks Nic :)
He woke up early this morning and came running into my room saying 'it's finally my birthday!'.   He couldn't wait for Jay and Kobe to wake up, so he could open up his presents.
The birthday person always gets to choose what we have for tea, so of course Harri chose Maccas.
On Saturday I realised I didn't have a card for him, so I told him I didn't have a card to see what he would say.  He cracked me up because he said 'well, that's disappointing! Usually a family at least gives their child a card to let them know how much they care!'.   Talk about make me feel guilty!  So I had to jump back in the car to get him a card, even though we had been out all day.  Kobe came home from school with a cute card he made for Harri, so I don't think he will have any doubts about whether Kobe cares :) 
Harri was more than happy to choose a mud cake from the supermarket for tonight.  
He went to bed very happy and told me it was his best birthday ever, because he got to have a party with his friends, and had a great day today.  Birthdays are really hard, so I'm glad he was able to have a happy day.  I'm just glad that it's over.   It's hard having to plan for birthdays by myself, and to put on a happy face so the boys have a good day.  It's days like today when I really wish Aaron was here. 

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge

How funny is the ice bucket challenge that is going around at the moment!? In Australia the ALS ice bucket challenge is known as the MND ice bucket challenge.  It's such a fun way to raise money and awareness for such a great cause, and some people have decided to use it to raise money for other causes.  I've heard a few people complain about the ice bucket challenge, but I think it's such a great way to raise awareness (I actually had never really heard of ALS before now), raise money and have fun and some laughs while doing it.    Hopefully everyone who is doing it, is actually donating to a good cause as well, whether it be ALS/MND or some other cause.

I first saw the ice bucket challenge a couple of months ago, when some people in Australia were doing it to raise money for my cousin Lanai's son - Lindsay.   He has a brain tumour and has needed a lot of money to pay for treatment in the USA, because medicinal marijuana is not yet legal in Australia.  He has had some amazing results being on treatment in the USA, and it's so hard for them and the whole family emotionally, financially and physically to keep going back and forth for treatment.  They were recently on the TV show 60 Minutes and you can watch it and read more about it here.  Before Lindsay was diagnosed I would've been totally against legalising it, but since his diagnosis I have learnt so much about how it can help so many people, and hope that anyone who is not sure about it, would also take the time to learn more about it. 


Lanai and Lindsay's friends who did the ice bucket challenge raised enough money to pay for a ticket for Lindsay to return to the USA again for treatment.
I was nominated about a month ago (thanks Kym...not!) and was under the impression that if you didn't do that ice bucket challenge, that you had to donate instead.  Hopefully people who are doing it are donating as well.  I thought that it was probably more beneficial if I made a donation, so I did that instead, even though the boys have been begging me to do the challenge, because they wanted to have a good laugh.


My boys have been hanging out to be nominated to do it, especially after a couple of teachers did it at school.  Finally this week they were nominated and couldn't wait to do it. 


Here are the videos of my boys doing their challenge.




Kobe cracked us up as he looked like he was about to cry, but acted all tough like he was fine with it :)



They each did it separately and then wanted to do it again, so Alison dumped a bucket over all of them at once, but surprised them as it was actually warm water :)

Friday, 22 August 2014

Kobe's Superhero

I'm not usually one to buy something on the spur of the moment, but I couldn't resist these t-shirts when I saw them in town today.   I saw them and tried to walk straight past, but couldn't help but turn around to get one.  I couldn't decide which one, so Kobe ended up with both of them.
I don't do sponsored or paid posts on my blog, but I wouldn't say no to Target sending me a voucher or something for promoting their cute t-shirts which are very hard to resist, especially if you are a widow of someone who is very much loved and missed by his boys ;) :)    Aaron is definitely their superhero and I couldn't have found a more perfect t-shirt.   
Kobe loves the t-shirts and said that 'Daddy would love them' too :)

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Book Week

I have a love/hate for book week - because it's stressful trying to sort out what the boys are going to wear, and I am not creative at all.  I can't sew and even though we have a huge bag of dress ups, the boys are never happy to wear whatever we have in it.  I also love it because it's so fun to see all the kids dressed up at school for the day. 

This year the theme was 'connect to reading' and the kids had to explain who they were and how they connect with that character.  Kobe was going to wear his footy gear at first, and that would've been easy to connect to, but then he decided he was going to be a pirate.  I have no idea how he connects to a pirate, but I didn't care and was just glad that he had a costume :) Luckily he could still fit into the pirate costume I bought for him last year.   

Harri had no idea what he was going to be, until I reminded him that he had basketball gear and he is obsessed with playing basketball. Thanks goodness that was an easy costume to come up with!

While I was going through the costume bag, I came across the hospital gown and cap that Aaron used to wear when he would be 'Docta Steve'.   I searched through Noah's special box and found the stethoscope we used to use on him, and went dressed as a Doctor.  I got a lot of comments from people who know about 'Docta Steve' that I was Docta Steve's wife :)    I said that I could connect with a Doctor because I'm always putting bandaids on Kobe.
If it isn't stressful enough working out what costumes the boys are going to wear, as well as myself, this year I had to scrape together six other outfits from my EAL students.  I didn't want them to feel left out if their classmates were dressed up, and I knew they wouldn't have anything at home.  I had some lovely school Mums and a friend, drop off bags of girl dress ups so that they could choose what they wanted to wear.  One of the boys chickened out, but it was nice to see them all dressed up and having so much fun. 

A few of the other teachers got dressed up as well. My friend Jacky dressed up as 'Where's Wally's' girlfriend.  Aaron actually used to teach Jacky, so it's been fun to hear about the days when she was one of his Prefects and how he would help her out.   He would love that we are teaching together now.  
Thank goodness Book Week is over for another year.  I wonder how many more years I can talk the boys into being a pirate and basketball player!? ;)

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Our Therapy Dog

Time is such a strange thing - it can go so slowly, but fly at the same time.  It's so hard to believe it's almost three years since Noah passed away.  Three years! That sounds like forever, and it also feels like forever since Noah and Aaron were here, but it doesn't feel like they have been gone for three years. 

When I look back and think about all the things that have happened over the past three years, I'm proud of where we've come.  It's been really hard, and it still is, but we are doing okay.  We are probably doing more than okay, considering what we've been through.   We have done so much in the last three years, and one thing Aaron would definitely be loving, and also laughing about is that we have a dog. 

It's now been a year since we got Milly.  I swear that every day I look at her and still can't believe we have a dog! The biggest dog hater has a dog! I've turned into a dog appreciator.  I still don't think I can say that I love dogs, but I do get why people do. I'm just not an animal person. I do love Milly, but still think that having a dog is a pain at times.  I just hate that we can't just pack up and go somewhere without having to wonder what we will do with Milly (thanks Alison for always being our dog sitter) and hate all the gross stuff that goes along with having a dog which don't even need mentioning.

At least a couple of times a week Jay will say to me how much he loves Milly and how grateful he is that we have her.  He says he doesn't know what he would do without her, and I can see how good she has been for all of us.   I have no doubt that the boys wouldn't be doing as well as they are, if we didn't have Milly. 

When I considered getting a dog, I was worried that I would end up doing all the work and of course it has ended up that way.  I know I could pester the boys to do more, but it's just easier to do it myself and she really isn't hard to look after.

I love that she doesn't shed and I think that's the only way I would ever cope with a dog.  The downfall is that she needs trimming regularly, and being a single Mum (and a cheapskate)  I would much rather do it myself, than pay someone every six weeks to trim her.   It's such a big job as I don't want to shave her (I figure why buy a cute dog if they look like a skinned rat half the time?!) so it takes over an hour to trim her with scissors, as I like to let her off her lead now and then so she can have a run, as I don't want to make trimming day too traumatic for her.
Aaron was always very affectionate so when Milly follows me around day and night, I joke with Jay that Milly reminds me of his Dad.   She is obsessed with me and has to be right where I am. If she's sitting near me, she has to have her head laying on my leg.  It is nice to have her around on my day off work.  She loves keeping me company, and I feel guilty if I have to go out and do jobs all day. 

If I finish work early, Milly is so excited to see me and can't wait to get inside to follow me around all afternoon.  She knows when school is about to finish as our street gets busy with cars, and she will stare out the window, waiting for the boys to come home.
She loves playing with the boys and will bait them to run around the lounge room with her.  She will jump at them and wait fort them to chase her and will then go crazy for the next ten minutes.  The other night I videod them as they were playing, and couldn't stop laughing.  I hate my voice and laugh, but it was too funny not to share.
video
Getting a dog was definitely one of those hard and big decisions I have had to make in the last three years, but it has been a good one.   She has been the best therapy for all of us.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

The boy's new Dad

A couple of weeks ago Kobe told me that he had a double Luke Hodge footy card.  He said that I should have it because I love Hodgey and I could put it in my bedroom near my photos of Daddy and Noah.  I laughed and joked that it was a great idea, since Hodgey is going to be his new Dad one day (I'm sure that he would marry me if he wasn't already happily married...right!?).

Harri was not happy with my little joke and said 'Mum!!  You know that Dad can hear everything you say, so you shouldn't say that!'.  I reminded Harri that Dad loved Hodgey as much as I do, and that I'm sure he would love him to be their new Dad.  He wasn't at all convinced :)

Yesterday a friend who is an aide in Kobe's class at school, told me that Kobe had to tell the class things about himself, because he has been the leader this week.  He got up and said 'I have a dog called Milly, I like Hawthorn and Harri is obsessed with Hawthorn, and Mum wants to marry Luke Hodge'.  They had quite the laugh about that!

P.S: I don't do sponsors or paid posts on my blog but I'm very happy to promote my brother Eden's building business. He has decided to branch out and join the world wide web and now has an awesome website, and also has a page on Facebook.   

If you are after a great builder in northern Tasmania then check out his sites.  Even if you aren't in northern Tassie, still check them out :) He has built some beautiful houses and is building my parent's new home at the moment.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The Positive Side

Last week Tasmania had some severe storms.  We aren't used to big storms like they get in other parts of Australia, but it reminded us a lot of the cyclone that we experienced in Queensland last year.  The winds were so strong one night that none of us could sleep.  Kobe ended up in bed with me, and I was awake for hours listening to the house rattle.

I really wasn't worried about it at all, as I thought our house was pretty strong so I went off to work the next morning having a little laugh about our garden arch which had been blown over during the night.  I was going to make a joke about it on Instagram and say that we had a casualty from the storm, but forgot about doing it (sorry about the dodgy photos off my phone).

As soon as I got to work I got a phone call from Jalen who I had just dropped off.  The power was off at school and all the kids were being sent home.  Because the winds were so strong, none of the students were allowed to walk home.  I couldn't pick him up, so he had to wait to get a lift home.  Later in the morning I rang to check to see if he had made it home, and he was at home and he told me that one of our outside windows which was part of a back patio was broken.

I told him not to stress because it could be fixed, and said that I would come and check on it at lunch time.  When I got home I could see why he was so stressed.    The winds were still strong that it was even scary running home, because I was worried that I was going to get hit on the head by a tree.   Many trees had come down at school and we had heard that there had been a fatality.   The window had been blown right out of the frame and the movement had caused all the glass in it to crack. 
Our friend Alison was at the house with Jay which was great, because he was pretty stressed.  We went outside to see if we could somehow (by a miracle!) get it back into place.  I kicked it a few times before I decided it was way too dangerous, as every time I would get it in a little, the wind would catch it again and it would just fly further out.  I had to leave and go back to work (as school was actually sending students home early as it just wasn't safe to be at school), so I had to leave Jay and Alison at home to deal with it. 

I knew Jay was really stressed about it, and I was worried it was going to flip right around and smash into my windows in the sunroom and break those as well. There was nothing that we could do at that time to fix it, because the wind was just too strong and wasn't going to die down any time soon. 

I told Jay to just get busy doing something to keep his mind off it as much as possible, and to know that the worst that could happen is that we would have a few broken windows, and if and when that happens, we would just deal with it.   I reminded him that it could be worse and hoped that he could not stress about it too much while I was gone. 
About ten minutes later I found out from Alison that the window just flipped right off and fell to the ground, with the glass intact! I actually didn't care at all that it had fallen down, but was just relieved that it was now down and didn't end up breaking any of our sunroom windows. 

Earlier this year I switched insurance companies and have been worried about how they would be, because they were a lot cheaper than the previous company I was with.  Since the window was damaged I have had many phone calls from them, they sent someone to clear it away straight away and have had three visits from people sent by the company to deal with it.  It's going to take a little while till it is fixed, but I told the guy who was sent by the insurance company today how I was just so glad that we didn't have any more damage. 


He actually seemed surprised that I was 'happy' about it and said 'it's good you can see the positive side' and I told him that it could've been a lot worse and really we were very lucky.  It's a pain as I  have to pay an excess to get it fixed, but really that's the least of my worries.  What I've learnt over the past three years is that things like broken windows really don't matter. 

People die.   People get killed by trees falling on them.  People have heart attacks right before your eyes.  That's hard.  I can deal with a broken window any day. 
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