Tuesday, 12 July 2011

In the infamous words of Van Halen....

Here I go again!!! As you can see, there is a picture of a very gorgeous baby to the left. This is our latest arrival - Miss Indiana Ayla Benson, or Indi for short. For those who are long time readers, you will know that our very challenging (being polite here) 7yo has kept us more than a bit busy for a good few years now but as she has settled a bit, matured somewhat and we have found better strategies to deal with her, we have turned our attention to expanding our family. I have always felt there was "someone waiting", a prospect that has always excited me and terrified Doug, he believing we may end up with another child just like Caeligh. We love her to pieces but OMG she is hard work and definitely high maintenance lol Anyone with an ADHD child knows that it is a 24 hour a day job so we thought long and hard before deciding to pursue the "someone waiting" theory. My Dad was very ill last year with a life limiting illness that required surgery to reverse the damage. He was in hospital for weeks, went through a gruelling 8 hour surgery and had to stay with us for weeks afterwards until he was well enough to come home. Like so many things, as soon as we stopped thinking about trying for a baby, I realised weeks after Dad went back to his own home that I had skipped an important visitor! We were petrified but thrilled, and also apprehensive about peoples' reactions to our soon to be family of five, especially when a couple of our kids already have issues. On the whole, most people have been really good. We still get lots of "oh, you must be very busy" and the like, which is fine, because we are, but the reaction from the world in general has been great. Indi is a wonderful bub and she is very casual and easy going, which I think she somehow knows she needs to be to fit in with everyone else's chaos here lol! So I'm back to having a boob with a view, and a beautiful view at that. The kids all love her to bits and I can't imagine life without her. She's almost seven weeks now.

What else has been going on? Doug's mum fell ill very unexpectedly in April. We thought she was managing at home okay by herself at nearly 75 but it turns out this has not been the case. She ended up requiring a pacemaker and staying with us for a few weeks afterwards before we moved her back to her house, which was unfortunately in a state of unhygenic disrepair and mess due to her dogs. Yup, she is one of those "crazy dog lady" types that has her dogs living in the house, doing what they like where they like and because she has no sense of smell, the place, to me anyway, was virtually inhabitable! Doug has resigned from work to be her carer as it is clear she cannot manage the home alone and the cognitive problems that became shockingly apparent when she was in hospital have just continued to snowball. It's very sad as only a year ago she was completely independent, driving, managing her finances, etc, and now she cannot remember the day of the week and she is inclined to cut her own hair and leave the gas stove on if not supervised :( It won't be an easy road from here but we'd like to help her stay at home for as long as is safe and practicable so that's our goal right now.

Is there anything actually scrap related, you ask? Lol...well no, not really! I did put most of my stash into storage a couple of months ago, when we moved to stay with Doug's mum for a few months, so I've had to start purchasing a few things so I can scrap again. What is that saying?
"I, myself, am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions". I have never lost the desire to scrap or the inspiration to do so...it's always there I think, once you've been bitten by the scrap bug, but life gets in the way for many of us and for some of us, life just becomes overwhelming, with so much else to do that scrapping becomes a preoccupation for the mind but not for the hands...In the last three months we've moved house, put our whole life into storage, had a baby, become carers for an elderly Alzheimer's patient, I've continued to work, Doug has retired to become a carer for his mum, we've battled with his sister about what's the best thing for his mum, and we've continued to try and keep some semblance of normalcy and routine for the kids as best we have been able to. Not easy but important!

Our kids have managed better than I could have imagined with all of the unavoidable upheaval. Blayd is now 16, a strapping 6'5" almost-man who has just started learning to drive (yes, that is fear you hear in my voice!!!), Lachlann has gone through a very rough patch in the last six months, with aggression, anxiety, rebellion and misbehaviour being the order of the day for quite some time but he is now finally settling down (thank God!!!), James is enjoying living here at Gran's house and is slowly weaning off his sooky-la-la ways, and Caeligh keeps on keeping on, a huge enigma of a girl, a puzzle of sharp wit, incredible intelligence, out of control behaviour and a few other things all thrown in. Needless to say, they all love having a new sister and it has brought a positive influence to our family which is most welcome....

I saw a challenge blog looking for a new DT recently and it is one that I had participated in very occasionally in the past, so was suddenly struck with vim and vigor to try out. I have all of three days left and have not started anything yet lol. I had to purchase supplies, and would like to purchase more (lol), and need to get some photos printed tomorrow if I have any time at all. I have no idea whether I will have any luck with my application. Hell, I don't even know if I will have any luck remembering how to successfully scrap. I'm sure I can throw together dog's breakfast if I need to but to actually scrap, the way I remember being able to?, that's a different story altogether. I've been buoyed by the kindness of my FB buddies who have encouraged me to get back on the horse, and I really want to, so I will find my self a couple of hours in the next few days, a couple of hours to see if I can find myself again in amongst all of the other things I do every day. I'm also amazed at the confidence others have had in me, even though I've been on what could only be politely called an "extended break" from the scrapping world. I have had offers of guest and permanent DT positions since I expressed my desire to get back into the swing of things and I am completely humbled and grateful for the confidence others have in my ability, even though they've seen no evidence of it lately. I think it's the faith of others that will push me back into scrapping far more effectively than I could ever push myself lol I feel like I've missed the boat a bit though, as if I'm behind the eight ball so to speak, as those who were my peers when I started scrapping and getting fully immersed into the industry are now moving onward and upward, delving into the beautiful world of mixed media, canvas and all kinds of new things, whereas I feel like I'm trapped in a scrapping time warp, like I have so much more to do with paper and glue before I want to leave the art and move onto something more adventurous. Only time will tell I guess if that's true or not, but it's how I feel now. I feel like a kid repeating a grade while everyone else has gone up a level....I always was a bit remedial lol

So right now life is busier than ever, nothing new there, but with a few different challenges for us as a family. Doug is, as always, amazing...he looks after me, our family, his mother, with all of the fierce love and dogged determination he has always had, and with an optimism that swaddles me in a cozy blanket of "everything really WILL be okay". That is a feeling that can't have a price put on it, that holds me up when I feel down, that surpasses everything else going on, and that really does give me comfort that we are okay; as a family, we are always going to be okay. He's not a blog reader but if he happens to have a peek, love you babe!

I guess that's my update. There would be a lot more if I was a better record keeper throughout the last tumultuous year. ASI magazine proved to be a commitment I couldn't keep, like so many, and I feel like I really let people down there. Back to the saying about good intentions.... All I can do now is have a look at where I am, look back at where I've been, and turn to the future to see what that will bring...and take it from there.

Lu xx


Louise said...

Great to see you back in the blogger land :) WTG U :) xxx

Ariaella said...

Love the way you write.
Love your crazy life.
Love your (our) crazy family.

So glad you are getting back out there, I am proud to show all my crafty friends your work and say "She's my cousin". I hope to absorb some of your creative genius by association...lol.


Binxcat1 said...

From one remedial to another... see you in the special ed class chick... I reckon we've still got a bit of rockin' to do! ;)

lusi said...

Hi lovely :-) Indi is BEAUTIFUL! was great reading your update mate. sending loads of love to you all!
Lus x

Chantal Vandenberg said...

Oh what a beautiful baby! Love that photo!!! :D I'm your latest follower, chickee! :D

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