Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Eight very long years today since you've been gone baby girl.  I love my flickering lamp and the smell of strawberry lip gloss but we'd all much rather have you here with us.

Too long have you been gone from our arms but never will you be gone from our hearts.

Missing you always Miki Moo, love Aunty Lu xx

Monday, 8 September 2008

Inspiration from White With 1

I did this layout at Cass's place on Saturday night for the White With 1 challenge.  It was all about dads this month so I've used a photo I love of Doug holding James when he was a day old.  While James was my third child he was Doug's first and I love the look of pride in his eyes as he holds his tiny son in his arms.  I'm not very good at following rules so I didn't do a good job of making white the dominant colour because I found some great brown paper with white grid pattern on it and really wanted to use it.  My

Loving throwing myself back into the excitement of doing challenge blogs again, and even thinking about scraping up Everyday Garbage off the floor and seeing if we can't give it a bit of a refresher.  I'll let you know how that goes, but for now I'm loving being a participant and creating for the fun of it.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Happy Father's Day all the dads out there, those who have children, those who want to have children, those who have lost children.  It's a special day and I hope you have all been made to feel so special and valued today.

Father's Day in our house is always a bit bittersweet.  My two eldest sons go to their Dad for the day, while our younger two (whom Doug and I have together) spend the day with us.  It's hard because my older two came home in very different moods; my eldest (he's the autistic spectrum one) came home happy that he had seen his Dad, played a bit of catch with him and watched TV at Grandma's place, while my second eldest came home bitter, angry, resentful and tearful.  He felt he didn't get to do anything special with his dad and that his dad didn't want to do anything special with him.  Doug and I spent the rest of the evening trying to make it up to him with lots of attention and letting them watch a movie until late which is typically not allowed on a "school night" where they have to get up for school the next day.  It's also hard for Doug, who does his best 24/7 for my older two boys to direct them, teach them, help them learn about how the world works.  My eldest is eternally ungrateful (as most teenage boys are for just about everything) and still idolises his father no matter how many screw ups he makes.  My second son, Lachie, was the one who felt it most today and came home so sad.  It's hard because no matter how hard Doug tries,  he is not a substitute for their own dad's attention which Lachie felt he did not have today, and Doug felt like no matter what he did for Lachie when he came home, it wasn't enough to eclipse the bad feelings he had of spending the afternoon with his own dad.  It's a bit hard all round really but what can you do?  Not a lot... you make the most of what you have and you give them all you have to give them, and then you just hope they will somehow understand that you are trying your best in what are sometimes not the best circumstances.  

I rang my dad tonight and got his messagebank.  I don't have a great relationship with my dad.  I used to though, once when I was little.  He had a very bad motorcycle accident when I was only 5 years old - he used to be a motorcyle parking cop - yeah, he was the guy who would write you a ticket if you parked too long in the wrong spot.  His motorcycle got clipped by a car and he was thrown off.  Even with his helmet he still sustained a head injury that led to severe personality change in him and sadly for all of us - me, my mum and him - he was never the same and became an angry, paranoid, abusive man.  I prefer not to think about what I've lost and I just try to maintan a friendly relationship with him.  I ring every now and then to check that he is okay.  He rings occasionally to tell me of his troubles with his Filippino girlfriend who he has finally gotten rid of but not before she put him in debt for the first time in his life and almost cost him his house which he built with his own hands.  It's hard because he wants a sympathetic ear but I cannot forget his treatment of me as a child and teenager.  It's hard because now that I have a medical background after working in that field for so long as a typist I do understand that his behaviour/attitude/personality is not his fault.  It's hard because my mum is gone and there is no go-between for us, no line of communication, so we have to rely on our own very faulty selves to connect.  It's hard because he is the only link I have to the large Italian extended family which I grew up in and now have very little to do with, just because everyone seems to be fighting with or not speaking to someone else for whatever reason.  It's hard because without him I would just consider myself an orphan - stupid really, I'm 34 for goodness sake - but no matter how large my family, without him I don't have any other links to them.  Time and distance have estranged many of my numerous cousins, aunts and uncles.  It's hard because he doesn't know my children's names;  he knows my oldest son, because he was in a "good place" when Blayd was born, he had a nice Filippino girlfriend who took such good care of him, just like my mother would have, and he was happy then.  He doesn't remember Lachlann, referring to him as "the other boy", and James is the "the younger fella" whereas my daughter is "the little girl".  Sadly for them they won't have a grandfather, not at least what a "normal" grandfather is thought to be.  He keeps to himself, does not like contact.  He would rather sit alone without comfort or aid than have family around to help and take care of him.  That is who he is, and always has been;  a fiercely independent man, despite good sense and the best wishes of others.  Anyway, I left him a message, told him how busy my week had been, what Doug was doing at work, that the kids were all fine and sent their love.  I said I hoped he was okay and if he needed me to just call.  I told him I loved him and that I'd ring him later in the week to check on him.  The sad part is that he is old enough to have died in the house and nobody else would know....and he wouldn't have cared about it being that way.  So I will have to ring tomorrow now because he would normally be home at 7.30 on a Sunday night but he didn't answer the phone.  I don't know if he went to bed early because he was tired or unwell - he is getting old after all, late seventies now my dad is, and likes to insinuate that he has multiple medical problems but won't elaborate on them to his only next of kin - or if by some chance a friend came over and took him out for the evening.  Either way I will now have that worry in the back of my mind that somethinghas happened to him so I will have to call again tomorrow to basically make sure he isn't dead.  I know how callous that sounds but he has been alone - by choice- for so long and has so little contact with me, his only child, and his entire extended family, that really nobody would notice, not even the neighbours.  This is, however, a regular occurrance.  He won't answer the phone and if Doug stops by on the way home from work he might be out and then I have to go by myself and walk all around the house, looking in all the windows and then asking the neighbours when was the last time they saw him, just to make sure.  It's a sad situation because I know that any attempts at an emotional connnection with him will be met with rejection and indifference, and yet I worry about him because he is my last link with the adoptive family I grew up in.  I was raised an only child but had dozens of cousins, lots of aunts and uncles.  I feel like when my dad finally passes it will sever a connection with that family tree, even though I love each and every one of those people and have done all my life, regardless of whatever inter-family strife, trouble or arguements they had between them.  So here's to hoping he is okay for one more time and that when I ring him tomorrow he will pick up the phone and I'll say, "It's me, Cinda, just checking how you're doing," and he'll say, "I'm alright.  What's wrong?" like he always says....

Friday, 5 September 2008

Some inspiration from The Art Is Found

This layout was done for The Art Is Found blog - I promised I was going back to challenge blogs to find my true mojo again and this is my first one.  I've been snowed under with work all week but had to stop in at Cass's place today and she was on her way home so she said "Do a layout!!!!" and suggested the music sheets inspiratin for this challenge.  So I threw this together in about half an hour and I'm happy enough with it.  It's a start anyway, let's call it that.  I can see a light up

Busy week this week with lots of work, Lachie's 11th birthday today (and his best friend is sleeping over), Caeligh's prep enrolment interview this morning (which went surprisingly well, no screaming, climbing walls or throwing anything at all), running around delivering typing work to clients and getting caught in a rainstorm this afternoon while picking up the kids.  Yep, got absolutely soaked and haven't even had time to change yet - I've dried out somewhat in a couple of hours!!! lol  

The weekend is a blur of work, some scrapping (hopefully) and going to the fleamarket to buy new plants for the garden.  I've really gotten into the gardening thing since I've managed to keep EVERYTHING I have bought within the last three weeks alive!!! Truly a miracle!!! lol

I have my eye on a couple of other challenge blogs - the new White with 1 looks okay and I'm dead keen on Category Stories as I can choose from all their previous challenges from the past year and there are some fab ones in amongst them.  

I'm off to organise pizza for the ravenous hordes in my loungeroom playing Wii.  Have a great weekend y'all!!!!  Love, Lu

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Something I am VERY grateful for!

Today I am grateful (and very thankful to God) for protecting my Doug as he drove to work and a massive crash happened right in front of him only 20 minutes ago.  He was just missed by an out of control car which veered across his path and then smashed into the side of a truck in the lane next to him and bounced off and slid back toward him, missing him in our car by only a couple of metres.

He rang me after doing the rescue thing and making sure eveyrone in the vehicles were all okay (which everyone was, another thing to be thankful for) to let me know because he knew if I heard it on the radio or TV Iwould have been worried.  The first thing he said to me was "Do you know I love you?  Really love you more than anything else in the world?".  I was a bit confused, said "I love you too babe, I just don't like your mother much"  See we'd had a disagreement about his mother before he left so we weren't on the best of terms, not fighting but a bit stand-off-ish with each other because we hadn't resolved the issue we'd been talking about.  So I figured he was ringing to smooth things over with me!  Then he said "No, forget her, forget everything else and all the bullshit.  I love you more than anything.  I've just seen the biggest accident of my life right in front of me".  Then he filled me in on all the awful details and my heart is still pounding as I think about it.  He was moments away from being taken away from us or very badly hurt.  He wasn't.  I am so grateful to God for watching over him and even if I can't write on my blog what I'm thankful for (because I'm a bad, inconsistent blogger) I do promise to take more moments to tell God that I am thankful for what I have.

Sorry not meant to be a big religious spiel or anything but I just thought I would share because our whole family's life could have changed forever today, just one moment, just a second, could have changed everything.  I'm now sorry for having a tiff with Doug this morning over something that doesn't really matter in the perspective of what's just happened.  And you know what?  I didn't even hug him goodbye before he left because I was cranky - that will never happen again.   Today was obviously meant to teach us both something and I think it has.  I promise to be more grateful, more thankful and more appreciative because what we have in life can vanish so quickly.  This is where the really warm, fuzzy bloggers tell you to go hug your kids a bit tighter.  I'll just say take a moment to think about how quick life can change and then you decide what to do with that.

Have a SAFE Tuesday, Lu xx

Monday, 1 September 2008

Back in the creative swing of things

I haven't had a whole lot of time to scrap lately so I've been really happy to be able to come up with anything I'm remotely happy with.  The mojo has been a bit battered and bruised for quite a few gals I know, including myself, but fortunately I can say mine has recovered somewhat and best wishes to those of you who are waiting for your mojos to be given a clean bill of health!!!

Singapore Fling was done with the Kaisercraft Everblooming range.  I really really loved it the moment I received it from the nice TNT man and it is probably my favourite Kaiser range ever.  I scrapped the delicious lunch Cass and I had at a restaurant in Sunnybank called Little Singapore on my birthday this year.  Very hot, very spicy, very scrummy!!!  

Now this layout above is a weird one.  Anyone who regularly visits knows this is so not my style - look at all that empty space!!!!  I'm not a "clusterer" normally at all and I like balance spread across the page.  I had every intention of making this a two photo layout and I thought I'd start at the top right hand corner but then suddenly changed my mind and decided to start at the  bottom left and work out from there.  Well that's as far as I got!!!! lol  I really tried to put things elsewhere, add another photo, incoroporate more of the paper lace red heart shaped doiles Cass got me but every time I tried to add more to the page the layout would scream "Nooooooooo!!!" and so that's all that ended up being on there.  I don't think it looks unfinished but I do think it looks a bit sparse to my eye anyway.  I did that one while sitting at the free crop at Hughenden on the Sunday morning, chatting and just playing around.  

This layout is of my lovely friend Jill's gorgeous boy Jonah.  I knew as soon as I picked up the photograph that I would have to match it with the new Basic Grey papers.  There's also some cool metallic red/gold mesh stuff that the v.lovely Kylie and Peta shared with me at crop on Friday night - well basically I saw it, begged and grovelled a lot and they let me have some.  Thanks girls!!!  The brown flourish thing behind the title is actually the brown paper backing of Cass's Prima felt border stuff.  Hey, it was brown, it was good!!!!  Even better, it was recycled!

So layout wise that's all I've been doing really, just the odd page here and there.  This week I'm very determined to have a go at some challenge blogs and a big thanks to Kayla Renee for giving me such a great list from my request on my last post.  There are some great ones there and I can't wait to get stuck in.  I think I've already mentioned that I'm planning on doing all my challenge stuff in A4 size so that will be something different too, something new to hopefully add to the appeal for me.

Doug and I braved Ikea on Saturday (well it's not really that bad, we didn't have any kids with us!) and had a look at options for an entertainmet unit for our loungeroom that could accommodate some not so obvious storage for my scrapping stuff.  Right now everything is still in boxes in my room after the painters finished up a couple of weeks ago and because my desk in my room seems to have been overtaken by my typing business and household paperwork etc, I decided I needed to scrap somewhere else.  Now I have a small house, a REALLY small house, with an eat in kitchen and only one living area, the lounge room.  It sort of doubles as part office as Doug's computer is in there too.  So we decided on a couple of these cool storage units which are white and have eight compartments and no back on it, and it can be stood upright or on its side to make a low line unit.  We bought two of them, lucky enough found them right at the end in the discount area, because they had a couple of scratches that won't be seen where we want to put them.  So that will accommodate the TV, the games consoles etc on the sideways one and the upright one will have storage boxes and a couple of doors fitted to the compartments and my scrap stuff will get stored in there.  It won't be obvious what's in the red leather look boxes but I'll keep all my stuff in them because I've decided to move my scrapping to the loungeroom.  That meant finding another desk but I couldn't have anything that takes up more than a bare minimum of room.  Doug's suggestion was to scrap at the coffee table - can anyone spell chronic back ache???  He obviously couldn't!!! lol  So Ikea to the rescue again with a fold out desk which looks like one of those old roll top ones but has a flat fold down panel on it to make the table part and room inside to store stuff I use a lot like pens, tools, etc and a shelf at the top for more stuff.  You can also buy a rectangular piano stool type padded seat that fits perfectly underneath it when the desk is closed up.  The seat comes off and has more storage underneath.  Gotta love Ikea!!! So that will be my new desk but not sure when that will get bought.  It's Lachie's birthday this week so maybe if I'm lucky and the finances permit I can get it when we go back to Ikea this coming weekend to get Lachie's loft bed.  He really wants his own bed (right now he has the bottom bunk underneath Blayd) so we figured we'd get him a single loft bed and put his desk underneath etc so they won't loose any real floor space that way.  As his birthday is Friday we figure he can wait until Saturday, come down with us and help us carry the damned thing!!! lol  Another Ikea job for Douglas - thank goodness he knows how to assemble anything with an allen key!  Anyway, the desk won't be huge, won't be a lot of room and won't be like having a whole room dedicated to my scrapping but I figure I don't actually need that much space.  I don't have time to scrap every day and when I do scrap right now I have to do it on the desk in my bedroom, away from the kids, the TV and Doug, so I think this will work out much better.  I was thinking about moving my typing to the loungeroom as there is less room/storage needed for that but I can't work with all the noise of the television or radio or kids around me so the typing has to stay in my room and the scrapping has gots to go!  I'll take a pic when I get it all sorted out and set up (and when I get another camera too, that would

Home is a bit chaotic at the moment.  Blayd at 13 is turning into the hormonal grump monster who doesn't want to do schoolwork/homework/exist because life is so hard and awful and everyone is so mean to him.  Yeah, it's a bloody sad lament isn't it?!?!?  We're going to be organising some family counselling because his behaviour is getting worse and I don't think in all honestly  Doug and I know the best way to manage/help him through this stage in his life.  I'd rather be honest and say I don't know what to do than just keep muddling through and have him get worse, more distant from us and get into goodness knows what kind of trouble because he's not happy with his life.  I feel like a bit of a slacker mum because I keep thinking I should instictively know what to do for him but when I'm trying my best and still apparently not getting through to him or helping him it's time to call in the experts.  After all, I've never had to raise a teenager before but I know there will be great counsellors who will have a lot more to offer us than what I can come up with.  It causes a mass effect when Blayd hates the world as he fights more with Lachie who in turn is teary and cranky because Blayd's forever picking on him over meaningless crap, then Lachie takes it out on James who seriously overreacts because he is way babied by Doug's mother and seriously believes he is constantly persecuted by his half brothers (yeah, another massive issue that I am trying to sort through) and because Caeligh is such a strong willed brat (sorry but in the last week or two she really has been a brat - at least I didn't call her something else!!!) she sees everyone else going off and joins right in so it feels like every kid in my house is going off the rails all at once.  Yes, sadly I do realise that it's a reflection on how Doug and I handle these issues that contributes to how the children all cope and right now I don't think we're handling things very well thus the kids are all exploring their own ways of coping/acting out/expressing their feelings.  Iv'e had some good suggestions from the school counsellor as to where to look for help so I'll be doing that over the course of the next week or so.  I hate living in what feels like a giant pressure cooker where everyone is constantly yelling, fighting, exploding over the littlest things and taking out frustrations on each other.  How are Doug and I holding it all together?  Well, I wouldn't say we are actually.  We don't have screaming fights or anything like that.  We never have.  We just get snippy and snarky with each other which I hate too because we really should be backing each other up and being each other's best support right now.  I think counselling will be good for all of us and hopefully it will teach us a few things about how to manage stress and how to deal with things more constructively.  Fingers crossed it will make a big difference to the peace in our home (or lack of it at the moment!).

I don't think I have any other exciting news....oh, Caeligh is having her enrolment interview this week for school.  I'm wondering whether I should sedate her with Phenergan before we's so very tempting.  I'm terrified she'll show them what she's really like and they won't see a very intelligent girl with a fiesty nature, they'll see an undisciplined, out of control little beast that they won't want at their school.  She's just not great at self control and I can hardly blame her.  I was just as beastly at her age apparently so I can't say much at all...  I just hope she can behave long enough for them to see that she is more than ready for Prep and in fact I'm sure she will love the place.  Part of her behavioural issues I think come from boredom.  She likes constant attention and something interesting to do all the time otherwise she starts getting bored and that's when the trouble starts, either that or she feels she isn't getting enough attention so she does something to draw attention to herself.  She's not fazed by being in trouble though, not in the slightest, and working out a reward/punishment system has been hard with her.  I'm praying that she'll have a good day and things will go well at the school.

Typing is going well, nice and busy, but as you can see from this post, I'm here blogging instead of typing which means I'm having some real concentration issues of my own at the moment.  I'm so easily distracted and I'm not getting done as much as I could be.  That's something I'll have to address with myself though, not sure how just yet.

Now I really will go so I can get some of that work done.  I'll be sure to post up any challenges I get done and if you come across any good challenge blogs then be sure to pass the info my way!

Have a good week, love Lu

Mmmmmmm Slider Love