Underslept and overtired

Like with many other parts of The Girlie's life and personality, she did even her chickenpox with a fair bit of flair and extravagance.

She peaked her temperatures at 40+ C between full doses of medicine (we were getting readings of 40.5 C at times), had a plethora of spots including on the inside of her eyelids and the places where the sun don't shine, made sure that if she wasn't sleeping the others in this house weren't, either, and now that she's on the mend, it is welcomed with much gratitude and heavy sighs for we're not having to listen to screaming first thing in the morning for the first time today.

Except, now it's The Kid's turn. I am sure that even if it gets as bad as The Girlie's run was, we will have it much easier on our end for he's a gentle, considerate fella - as opposed to his sister ;)

I am looking forward to being able to go places with them again. Parks, playgrounds, the library. Places where people are and where we are asked to stay out of at the moment. Not to mention the doctors' appointments we are having to reschedule because we couldn't keep them with full-blown chickenpox doing its rounds. Ever wondered how long it takes to get a new orthopedic surgeon's appointment when you miss the first one? Yeah.

It has also pushed the whole school choice adventure further into the future. Hopefully next week we will start doing some visits, and talking to people again - this week we will just have to stay home, and mend.

I had a good long conversation with "our" school on Friday. For an hour we talked - me, the principal, the co-principal, the teacher, the special needs coordinator. It was uncomfortable, and challenging, and I did not enjoy the role of an advocating parent - but we got there, and Ithink we all learned things.

Afterwards the co-principal took me aside and thanked me for coming to meet the school like that. She said it showed integrity, for which she was grateful. She, also, had been in an advocating parent's role in the past - her son was born with a hole in his heart - and could appreciate the effort.

We're by no means good and settled (in addition to differences between schools we now have to work out the differences between me and The Man), but we're working on it, and we'll get there.

We're all tired, not just from the school saga but the chickenpox and the lack of sleep all around, but we'll get there.

We always get there.


Oh man...

It's a parental rite of passage, this is.


Invercargill Lego show

(Probably) One of the last warm days of the autumn

Oh that's why!

In hindsight, it makes sense now.

A child who had very little appetite for several days.
A cough.
Exceptional grizzliness - and I mean, exceptional! grizzliness.

We've been working hard on keeping people sane for how trying it's been.

And then yesterday the spots appeared. Today, it's pretty clear.


*breathe in, breathe out*

Here we go.

Visualising the changes in this house

I'm not in a mood (or feel like I have the time, anyway) to do any more fancy rendering than these quick sketches on Paint, but here's, basically, what we're thinking we'll do with the house in the next, say, two-three years.

The deck.

Similar to what we had in our rental property on Ness street, we are going to build a deck which is partly enclosed with clear plastic sheets, marked in blue. There's going to be a roof, and a wall which will protect us from cold Southwesterly winds and give me a good place to hang up washing.

On the outside corner and possibly the whole perimeter, there are going to be plant boxes - strawberries and herbs, probably. (Marked in green.) In the inside corner we are thinking of planting our lemon bush as it will be 1) protected from the cold winds and 2) warmed by the heat of the walls - and that, we hope, will help it survive the climate as lemons are not really meant to live in Invercargill, but we so loved! having them in Christchurch that we're trying to think of ways to have a lemon bush here. Short of having it in a greenhouse, that seems like the next best option...

In pink I've marked the future french doors, glass throughout, for easy access to the deck and to bring light inside the living room.

Living room french doors.

To be fair, we're thinking of putting two sets of french doors in the living room - one to the abovementioned deck for outside access, and another to the spare bedroom which we currently use as a storage space.

The idea is, with the doors wide open (the inside doors, I mean) the living room could be a large open space, for example if we have guests over and the kids need space to run around - but we could also just as easily close them, and then the rooms would technically be two separate rooms. There would maybe be a pull-out couch for guests to sleep on over nighttime, and in winter it would be a smaller space to heat with the doors closed.

Here, maybe this will help you understand: I've taken a copy of our house floor plan straight off our council property file (back in 2001 when the living room was expanded by taking off a wall, they submitted this drawing to the council who've given us a copy) and I've now used it in Paint to sketch on top of it.


Out the back we have five functional areas that we want to set up:

* a toolshed for The Man's wood store and tools,
* a chicken coop,
* a playhouse for the kids,
* a veggie patch and planter boxes and
* a firewood shed.

Again, here is another image I've copied straight off our council property file and sketched on top of:

As with everything else I've mentioned above, nothing is set in stone at this stage: all we're doing is talking and visualising, and seeing how we use this space so we can work out what changes we need to do in order for it to be comfortable.

The good thing is: we're not planning on going anywhere. There's no re-sale values we're bothered about, or investment margins off rental income, or anything else along those lines. We're working towards making this place a home for us, within the limits of our income and what we want to spend on it.

We visualise this place in three years time and ask ourselves, what's the house and our day like, and then we go from there.

Not fighting, exactly

The Man is showing the kids a video of scorpions mating on BBC.

"What are these doing?" The Kid asks, "Fighting each other?"

"Nooooooo," The Man replies, "Making babies!"

But it does look that way, doesn't it :)

Autumn in Invercargill - sometimes warm, sometimes cold

Checking out the pigs in the Queens Park animal reserve