Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cracking up

Well its the story of my life.  Feeling totally overwhelmed and like I'm going out of my mind.  Its my normal.

Both boys have "Hand Foot and Mouth Disease" its the Coxsackie Virus, a self limiting illness causing blisters on (surprise) the hands feet and mouth.  The ones in the mouth make it painful for little people to eat.  It apparently makes them VERY cranky with their mother.  My mum and dad looked after Ben for two days (he got it first) and supposedly he was wonderful.  Polite, playful, nice to be around.  For me... he's sooky, whiny, aggressive and very unpleasant to be around.

The other week when I was sick in hospital, they were delightful creatures for Connie and the grandparents.. but as soon as I arrived, tears, misbehaviour etc.  That's just Ben and to be honest Ryan isn't much better.

They see the cracks and then they push.  They fight like crazy, snatching stuff off each other, punching, kicking and today biting.

I'm going to a counseling session (I mean Maternal Health Nurse) session on Tuesday for Ben.  Behaviour and stopping those I wish to stop are at the top of the list of things to discuss.  A month ago I thought my problem was the dummy - now that's gone. Well I just don't cope with 2 year olds.

He doesn't have a calm down button.  Ryan loves the tv/tablet/phone.  Ben isn't technology based, he's not a sweet tooth, not a huge fan of drinks (although this week he's loving his milk)

I had a melt down (read cry) when I was doing the dishes and I'm very sad to say that there was no one there to tell me I was doing a good job.  I was very short with them today, one particular "naughty spot" was horrible and took almost half an hour and I was pretty close to losing my cool.

Anyway must hang in there, they are sick and need some leniency.

I am doing a good job!  There are three of them and only one of me.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

This is me - Part two

Growing up, early years:
*Where did you grow up?  Describe it.
*What was your earliest memory?
*What games did you play as a child?
*Where did you go to school?
*Who were your friends?
*Who were your favorite teachers and why?
*What were your chores? 


As mentioned in the previous post, I was born in Germany, lived there until I was one.  Then we moved to Canada my preschool years were there.  Unfortunately I have no memories other than what I have seen in photographs.  The winters were very cold and snowy, the summers were like here, warm.  When I was 5 we moved to Australia, dad was sick of the winters and my uncle lived in Melbourne so that is where we ended up. 

I started school when I was three, I'm guessing it was a kindergarten type program.  Caught the bus there.  Mum walked me to the bus stop and from what she told me, I would not get off the bus at the end of the day without holding mum's hand... just in case there was a dog.  My phobia of dogs was out of control, I was bitten by a dog when mum was babysitting when I was about two years old.  It drove a fear of dogs into me so great that to this day I still jump when I hear a dog bark and hate walking down new streets alone.

In Canada, I'm not sure what I did with my time, I'm guessing girlie stuff, as we grew older Jo and I loved Barbies.  We went ice skating in the winter.  Ummm.... a big gaping hole there.  Not sure what I did.

School... in Canada was a biggie, no idea what its name was, I've always said it was a kindy to year 12 school.  Not sure if that's true though.  In Australia, I went to Templestowe Valley Primary School.  I loved school.  My favourite teacher was Miss Bell (either grade 3 or 4) I thought she was so cool.  She taught us cursive writing and for some reason I thought it was against the rules and she was a rebel, probably why I liked her.  I was PAINFULLY shy as a kid, blushing red faces were the bane of my existence to the point that I wouldn't speak in class - ever.  In high school the thought and reality of an oral presentation was terrifying.

Friends for the purpose of this is entirely irrelevant.  The only person from my infant-primary school years that I am ever likely to run into again is Tanya, as she is a Facebook friend.  But I had a good group of friends.  

Chores - no specified ones (that I can recall) I guess we did whatever mum told us to do.

OOOH, my memory is not so good.  Not very happy about that.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

This is Me - Challenge.

Thankfully there is no time frame for this one.  Wasn't able to do the photo a day challenge... but

This is a history of me.  There are many parts to this challenge.  I found it on Pinterest (my newest obsession). 
The full set of questions can be found here.  Over the coming weeks and months and I will compile the answers and come up with a full history of me!

Your birth and family: 
*What is your full name and how did you get that name?  Do you have any nicknames?

*What are your parent's full names and birth dates and places?

*What is the date of your birth?  Where were you born?  What are some of the circumstances (when your mom went in to labor, how long, her doctor, your dad fainting, etc.) of your birth?

*What are your sibling's full names and birth dates?

*How was your relationship with your siblings and parents?

*What are some lessons you learned from you parents?

*How did you help in your home?  

Part one: 
* My name was originally Christy Dawn Lantz.  The history of the my name - that I know - is that mum was reading a book called "Christy" by Catherine Marshall, and fell in love with the qualities of the character.  She was a school teacher/missionary, so I've always had a lot to live up to.  Dawn was just a favourite name and surprisingly Lantz is my dad's surname.  Lantz was always problematic, the spelling is all wrong, everyone wants to do Lance, but its the peculiar spelling which I believe is German in origin.  Never had any real nicknames, Jocelyn calls me Reg sometimes and my high school friend Kellie always calls me Chris.  Otherwise my name is Christy or Mum.

* My mum was originally Rosemary Anne Lill, she was born in Ashburton in New Zealand back in the olden days in 1938.

My dad is Gilford Brian Lantz, but has always been known as Brian, never understood why people do that, give their kids a first name that will never be used.  The thing these days is slightly different.  Call their daughter Amelia, but always call them Millie.  Seriously call your daughter Millie if that is what you want to call them.  In Ben's swimming class there is - Maddison (Maddy), Ezekial (Izzy), Millicent (Millie) it makes for a confused bunch of kids.  Dad was born in 1942 in (I'm guessing) Nova Scotia in Canada.

* I love my birth story, its unusual and kind of cool.  My parents met in Germany in 1972, mum was on a working holiday around Europe with her BFF Betty (who just passed away last week), they were working in a canteen where the Canadian soldiers purchased their food.  Their eyes met and it was love at first sight.  My parents married in Bath in England (a very romantic setting).  Then they moved back to Lahr in Germany where dad was stationed and I was born in the military hospital there.  I don't know the full story of my birth, dad was not there - it wasn't customary for husbands to be there in the 1970s and mum had a difficult labour and I was quite unwell at birth, I was in the special care nursery for a week, which meant I wasn't able to be breastfed (an interesting point, how times have changed).  We stayed in Germany until I was about one year old when we moved to Canada.

* My sister, Jocelyn Fay was born 19 months after me.  She arrived in Nova Scotia in 1975.  We were very close as children, like twins.  We did everything together were each others best friends.  This lasted until I had Mark and then we drifted apart for some time. We are back to being very close but we are very different.

* I'm very close to my mother, sometimes is worries me how dependant I am on her.  I've been pleased that in the last two months we have spent quite a lot of time apart, unable to talk on the daily basis that we do and my life didn't fall apart.  My relationship with dad is different to mum, he's not a talker.  But he will listen to me when I get carried away (which is often)

* Lessons... oh I don't know.  My parents are gorgeous people, very generous, friendly and helpful.  If I could be half the person they are, I'll be doing great.  I'd love to know how mum controlled Jo and I growing up.  Goodness knows I need help.

* We had chores.  Always helped with the dishes, kept our rooms in order, I did the grocery shopping with mum on Thursdays evenings.  Other than that I can't recall.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

At the Farm

We spent the last two weekends up at Jamie's parent's farm.  Its 2.5hrs away.  Here are a select group of pics to sum up the two weekends.  This weekend 19th May was Zahli's Christening - full of drama leading up to it, but went off pretty good.  I actually missed it as my boys decided that sitting in church today just was not their thing.

This picture sums up my boys perfectly.  Mark - don't look at me - Ryan - photo ready at every opportunity - Ben - I'm too busy.

Little dudes in the park near Duckland just off the main drag in Nathalia.

I love this photo.  Jamie was being VERY animated reading a story and all the boys ran and sat around him to hear what all the fuss was about.  This is Jamie looking bashful once he realised I had the camera.

My two fellas now see the camera!

Ben loves Zahli

and I think Zahli loves him back.

A scene from the christening.  Gerald the minister and seated is grandpa Stan.

Friday, May 17, 2013

A very unexpected week.

Today is Friday 17 May... but using a technique often utilised by sitcoms.  Our story starts one week earlier.

Sunday 12 May: We were up visiting Jamie's parents.  The kids were having a great time on the tractors, motorbikes, watching Mark be a pyromaniac.  They love the animals.  That morning I woke up with a tummy ache, it wasn't very pleasant, I don't think I had breakfast.  Spent a bit of time on the loo (if you know what I mean), excused myself to go and have a little sleep.  But the pain would not budge.  Around 11am, I convinced Jamie to take me to the little Nathalia hospital.  We arrived just as the doc  was about to leave so he saw us straight away.  I got some loverly panadeine forte, a shot of stemetil and a litre of fluids.  Pain ... gone..   We drove home that night, no further complaints.

Monday 13 May: My cold had taken hold so I took the day off, I have an awful cough, it makes people nervous and grosses them out.  As I work in a GP clinic, people don't want the girl working there to sound infectious.  All was good... cough cough cough.  Went to collect the boys around 4pm.  Got a wave of the pain again.  Wouldn't go away.  Thought to myself, I'm not putting up with this, so I made an appointment with Dr Hussain (my boss!), my plan was for Archie to be my doctor, I've stuck to that since leaving Medical One.  Don't like the idea of mixing work and my health care.  But I was in pain and considered it a bit of an emergency to to Ahsan I went (he's so much closer).  He is sooooo lovely.  Anyone in the north/west suburbs, make the switch to Dr Ahsan Hussain.  To continue with my story, I saw Ahsan he felt my tummy and said the dreaded words "I think its your gallbladder and you need to go to hospital"  WHAT? 

So super organisation had to take place, my tummy HURT. So I couldn't drive. We have 3 children at home, it was decided that Mark would stay home with the little boys with Connie on standby.  Why didn't I call my  mum?  Well she was on the way to NZ as her lifelong friend had just passed away.  My mum and dad ended up arriving at our place just after 7pm to help out.  Mum was due at the airport around 10pm and dad would stay overnight or until one or both of us came home.  Phew that worked.

Jamie and I headed into the Royal Melbourne Hospital just around 6.30pm, parked in the very expensive car park and went to emergency.  Yep they call it emergency but its a waiting area.  I got triaged, she said "I'll organise some pain relief soon for you".  Got administratively organised.  Sat and waited and waited and waited.  Around 9.30pm, I went back to triage and said "my pain is pretty bad, I'm very uncomfortable"  Would you like some pain relief?  I got some panadeine forte and within about half an hour it had settled. Jamie played games on his phone, I was reading a book on my phone.  We were enjoying the antics of two brothers sitting in front of us, one had broken/sprained his ankle and the other was a hyperactive bloke, they were texting, watching Game of Thrones on their laptop in a very cute way.  The admin girl asked if they were partners before thinking of brothers.

Finally 11pm and my name was called, felt like I had won the lottery.  I was essentially pain free at this stage.  Young Dr James examined me and blah blah, had to to blood tests (I'll do my rant about emergency rooms another day) and wait for the results.  Had an ECG, obs etc and more waiting.  After the results came back we were in for a BIG surprise.  "We're going to admit you"  WHAT????  I was positive it was going to another anxiety attack, but this time I had gallstones or hepatitis A.  My bloods showed *deranged* liver function tests that were a little contradictory and as we had been to Thailand recently without being vaccinated, they were concerned about hepatitis.

After a bit I was moved into a very STARK room in the ED.  A single bed in the middle of a very bare room, all the equipment was just behind me, nothing to look at and right next to the nurses station where there was a lot of noise, but the door was shut so nothing to look at.  Later the next morning I was told it was the psych behaviour room!  I thought I was well behaved. Hahaha, so funny.

Tuesday 13th May: 3am, still in the Emergency Department, two youngish doctors arrive they are from the surgical team.  They agree I need to be admitted and I require an ultrasound to see if there are gallstones.  Yep all good.

9.30am Jamie arrives, we watch the next episode of Game of Thrones on the laptop, there is a LONG section of it that I can't watch, the wilful torture scenes I can't tolerate.  Whoops that is beside the point - I love LOVE Game of Thrones, I'm reading it on my phone at the moment.  I digress.

Midday comes, I casually ask, any news on when I might go to a ward, or have my ultrasound?  Oh... I check....

2pm is transfer to ward time... lets think about this.  When I worked at the John Hunter there was a huge kerpuffle called access block when people were 8hrs in ED, I was there for 13 hours and no one appeared concerned.  Very weird.  BTW, no ultrasound yet!

Went to the top Ward 9W, next to the helipad.  Thankfully it was only used twice.  Had my ultrasound around 4pm and it was confirmed gallstones with one stuck in the bile duct.  Crap, that is what was causing the pain and making my pee a very strange colour - dark yellow if you are interested and sorry if you are not.  So a stone was lodged in the common bile duct which means the liver isn't able to work properly either.  Hence jaundice.  No doctor came.

My dear family came to visit for about half an hour.  The boys were so cute, they love elevators so the fact I was on the 9th floor was fantastic.  Ben didn't like me being in bed, he wanted me up and to put my shoes on.  It was so nice seeing them and cuddling them.  But they are very loud and not very good at sitting still.

Tuesday late in the night I asked my nurse, any chance a doctor might come and talk to me about what is going on?  She said she had to call him for another patient, so will ask him to talk to me also.  This was about 10.30pm when he finally came.  He went through it all very nicely, said he wasn't a decision maker but very likely they'd be in to see me in the morning.  He was fairly certain they'd be doing either a lap-chole or an ERCP followed by a lap-chole at a later date.  It all made sense to me, but then I broke down, I cried and cried and cried.  I wanted a proper plan, I was VERY VERY hungry.  I had not eaten anything since 10am on Monday morning and it was nearly midnight on Tuesday. My night nurse was lovely she sat next to me, gave me a friendly hug and talked me through it.

Wednesday: Approx 9.30am the team arrived, a very proper looking fellow with a wedge of people (that is a Denny Crane quote from Boston Legal, I'm very important I walk with a wedge of people (or something like that) all senior doctors have a group of people following them in wedge formation and it always makes me laugh), I have no idea what this doctors name was.  He was a general abdominal surgeon, he does lap-chole's, but does not do ERCPs, he'll have to call his hepato-biliary colleagues to come and see me.  I said "Ok that is great but I have a question" he thought he was clever and said ohh can you eat... nope that wasn't my question.

I have three children at home, my husband works nights and has had to take the previous two days off to look after them, my family is crumbling with me being here, I need a plan and I need one quickly.  If the plan is for me to stay for another week, that is ok, but I need that plan.  He agreed, said he'd call him personally straight away and get it sorted.  Nice enough if he actually does it.  Within half an hour the EXTREMELY good looking hepato-biliary registrar was at my bedside, what a shock.  He said... ERCP tomorrow, lap-chole in 6 weeks time.  Signed the consent and then spent the day eating.  Jocelyn came to visit that night, nice little catch up with her.

Thursday: Yep, I'm still in hospital.  No work this week!  Connie had the little boys stay with her last night so Jamie could go to work.  And later in the day they all went up to the farm, Connie drove 4 kids to the farm in our truck.  WOW.  Back to me... Early breakfast and then my Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP for short) was scheduled for 2.30pm.  Lots of IV antibiotics and weirdly a GTN patch, which gave me an instant headache.  The nicest bunch of people ever was in that endoscopy room.  A gorgeous anaesthetist and nurse, they were so funny and friendly.  Met my surgeon Mr Ben Thomson (I still can't believe I didn't mention that I had a Ben, I always do that), anaesthetist said I'll put you to sleep now and a minute later I was in recovery... wow midaz is amazing.  Not a single recollection.  Stone had moved from my bile duct, but he still did the sphincterotomy.  All was good.  He came to see me on the ward around 7pm when Jamie and Mark were there.  He said he could do the operation privately as soon as Tuesday, but there is no reason not to wait and have it done at the Royal Melbourne publicly.   If I got pain at any time in the next six weeks, just give him a call and he'll have it done within two day!  That's service.

Friday:  Discharged home with no pain and a whole lot of bruises and needle marks.  What a mess my arms are.

People to thank this week is Mark the Magnificent for pulling up his socks and taking charge on Monday.  Jamie for being wonderful.  Dad for going out of his comfort zone and helping with the kids.  Connie for, well just being Connie, she's amazing.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Thursday - crazy Thursday

I have Thursdays off.  The little boys do not have daycare on Thursdays.
Thursday are full on.

We always go swimming on Thursday, the boys have lessons.  Jamie stays up until after their lessons and then he goes to bed.

Today started with a bang.  Crying.  They both sooked, moaned, cried, whined and thoroughly drove me batty, and that was before 9am.  Jamie's mother wants to borrow Mark's keyboard to play at Zahli's christening next week, so Jamie got it out this morning.

Very serious Ryan, looks like Ben is trying to learn something off of him.

Now they are just jamming.

 Then it was off to swimming lessons, we are less than impressed with swimming this term.  Four kids to a class means you are getting no where fast.  Ryan's teacher still has him using 2 kickboards and he's just not keen.  Ben is bored out of his brain, he's still in the toddler/baby class and he's a bit beyond it, but he's too short (and very probably too young) to move up.  I think we'll see this term out and then take them ourselves - that'll take some discipline.

Next we headed off to the zoo.  I joined the zoo last year and it allows us free entry as often as we like.  Currently parking at the zoo is only $2 for the day and the toll to get there isn't too much.  Makes for a very economical trip.  Today was going to be a short visit and if I wasn't a member, I wouldn't have gone.  We only stayed a little under 2 hours.  The gorillas were not out and about.  We saw one tiger. The mandrills highly colourful backsides made us all laugh.  Some smaller monkeys were in fine form, jumping around and well.... doing something, so we stayed for ages watching them.  Ben kept turning around to me and saying "funny monkeys, did you see that?"  Then we went through to the elephants, took the standard photo.  Check out what difference a year makes.  By the clothing I would guess it was a similar time of year, although today was the warmest May day in 10 years, quite hot really.
Today - 9th May 2013
13 months ago - 2nd April 2013

This is a bird that Ryan thought was particularly charming, 
"you have to take a photo mum"

A little cart in the eatery part of the elephant zone of the zoo

Next stop was the park.  We went to Brimbank Park with Connie and her kids.  We took the bikes.  Ben can't ride his yet.  But we found a playground.  Now from the past couple of posts I have done, it may seem I'm favouring Ben in the photo department.  This is because when Ryan is with Toby, they run off and be silly.  So can't get a good pic.  Benno tends to stay closer to me and by jingo he's cute.

Very old playground.  Ben is driving the car.

A confused Ryan.  There was no slide to get down!  Needed to go back down the ladder. 

A cute little wooden motorbike.  Tailor made for Ben

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Ben the Magnificent

This is a little ode to our boy Ben.  

The new balance bike for a young boy's 2nd birthday.

I wanted to do it in collage, but after attempting it via three different programs/website and failing. You will have to put up with a long list of photos. 

Over the past week we have done quite a few things.  Sunday was Toby's birthday party at a play centre, I've chosen  some photos of Ben to highlight the day.  Didn't get permission from the other parents so am not using other kids.

"We" gave up the dummy this week.  What an amazing feeling (as a parent) to finally be rid of the blasted thing.  There were a troublesome few nights, but its currently day 4 and although a little late, he went to bed without an issue tonight.  Last night he screamed from 7.30 - 11pm, of course it was not the whole time, but it felt like it and it actually isn't' far from the truth.  He has stopped asking for it too.

We also "gave up" lidded cups, all drinks are now from an open cup and in the kitchen to avoid spills.  Ben is a dreadful spiller.  So its quite stressful not to have him with a lidded cup.

Ben also moved up rooms at crèche.  He is now a toddler, not a baby.  I love love love his new teachers, they are awesomely informative and seem to really like him.  Ryan will be moving up to the next room in the next two weeks as well.  He will be with his favourite teacher, Rachel. 

Very high up at the playcentre.

Toby's 4th Birthday Cake

My two and I think Patrick waiting for cake.

I'm a big kid at the bottom of a big slide


This was a huge slide and obviously was going very fast.

Still a little short for this bike, so his favourite thing to do is drop it and ask for help to lift it up again.  Four little tiptoe steps and then drop "uhoh, Daddy help"

Proud as punch

Notice the tiptoe?

Looking at a lovely pasting done at creche today.  Notice the egg developing?

Happy despite the bruise.  Contemplated taking him to the doc, but knew they'd do nothing, but my goodness it was big.  Jamie & Mark were in the garage. Ryan and I were out the front at the car.  Ben alone in the house for 2 minutes and that bruise is the result.  I asked him where he fell and he pointed to his head. So no idea how it happened.  Quality parents we are.