Friday, August 24, 2007

Why does it always rain on me?

Wow, time has passed since my last update, huh? It's been a pretty horrific few weeks in the Rodgers household ... please don't feel obligated to read this, it's pretty sad and depressing. I'm really just posting it as a bit of an emotional purge for myself!!

A few weeks ago, Dennis got a phone call from Kieran's school ... he'd been hit in the head, was sitting up and talking ok, but they'd called an ambulance just as a precaution. At least, that's what we were told. He rang me at work, said "I'm on my way there, but it's no big deal". I just had a really sick feeling in my stomach, so went and spoke to the Deputy Principal, who let me go home early. I was on my way along the highway, heading towards his school, when Dennis rang me again - it was NOT quite as inane as it was first described to him. Dennis and Tayla had walked in to the quad, to find the paramedics putting a neck collar on Kieran, who was lying in a pool of his own blood. Another kid had gone nuts, king hit him from behind, and then kicked him in the head and back a number of times until he was unconscious, and only stopped kicking when a teacher got there. I beat the ambulance to the hospital, and saw my baby looking scared, immobilised and bloody, lying on the stretcher in the emergency room. Amazingly, he's fine physically - he ended up with some deep tissue bruising, but it's a miracle that there were no broken bones, no lasting head trauma ... thank God for that!! He's been back at school for a couple of weeks now - it's been really stressful for him, and he's getting a hard time off some total w&nkers at school, but he's coping a whole lot better than I would be! Thank goodness for the school counsellor, is all I can say - and petition your local member for more funding for counselling staff in schools!! There aren't enough of them. It's really been up and down though - some good days, some bad ... he keeps reliving the moment before he blacked out, when he thought he was going to die, and it's one of those times when I just wish I could bundle him up, run away from everything, and protect him. It sucks when life doesn't end up being what you planned, isn't it? Who expects this kind of thing when you spend so much time choosing a school for your kids??

Anyway ... yes, the school has suspended the attacker, and there are ongoing investigations ... he's been charged, and Kieran decided to apply for an AVO against him. I tell you, my boy was a total trooper at the Police Station filing his report - I thought I was going to lose it! We are still going through a lot of follow up stuff in regards to the school, and where we go from here.

The light in all of this? Kieran has wanted to go to Army Cadets for ages ... he would have prefered Air Force cadets, but it's a bit too far to travel to. So my mum offered to pay his fees for his birthday present. I took him along to check it out the monday after the attack - and it was EXACTLY what he needed. He started on Monday night this week, and he's totally in his element. It was so good to see him smile, and hear him talk about something with excitement in his voice ... I breathed a little easier that night. As much as the protective mother in me would like to see him take up a career that's a little safer (dentistry maybe??) the overwhelming joy he shows when talking about all things military is really exciting to see ... how spunky does he look in his greens??

If only that was the only tragedy in our lives ... my grandfather is in ICU as I type this. His lungs have collapsed a few times now, and he's not a good candidate for surgery, so we are basically playing a waiting game. I'm really not ready to say goodbye to him, you know? He's my rock ... when I had no father figure around, he's always been the stable man in my life. I can't envisage a world in which I won't be hearing one of Pa's infamously bad jokes any more. Yes, he's a fighter, and yes, he's beaten the odds many times before, but there can only be so many times that your body can fight through something like this before it just can't do it anymore, can't there? So, if you are the praying type, prayers for Reg would be much appreciated right now - I'd like him and Tayla, best mates that they are, to have some more time together.

What else? My mother in law is in hospital - thankfully, not as serious, and she should be home, touch wood, on Sunday. But she gave us all a scare! My sister has gone through some tests - she's pregnant, and her ultrasound and blood tests put her in a high risk group, so we are praying that they come back on Monday showing no problems. I really feel like I'm just holding it together ... and not very well, really!! Thank goodness for the LSBS weekend retreat last weekend - it helped me hold on to the last vestiges of my sanity!

On to the retreat - my shining beacon, my saving grace. I tell you, I didn't realise how totally awesome my best friends are - even those I hadn't met in person before!! These girls are the sweetest, funniest, craziest, most genuine people I've ever had the good fortune to meet, and I thank God for them. Cath, Nic, Tracey, , Michelle, Lisa, Helen, Sharon... love you all to bits! I'm waiting for some pics from everyone (I didn't take my camera, as Dennis needed it for a soccer gala day) so I'll share them later, but you can see some on Relsi's blog. I also got to meet up with some new friends - Amanda, Bon, Celeste, and the totally divine Narelle, who I just adore. I can't wait to catch up with her again - hopefully in a couple of months, if I get to Paperific in Melbourne to see her and Bon again! I can't wait.

Classes? TOTALLY worth it! The totally awesome, her royal marvellousness, Alison Shearer, taught along side the Divine Miss Lisa - 2 classes, 2 groups, 1 timeslot! They handled it so well, and had some great OTP projects for us to do!! Sunday was a cool class with Rebekka Erickson. As soon as I get any of the projects finished (they are in various states at the moment) I'll share them with you.

The highlight was definitely the PJ fashion parade - Relsi has a group shot on her blog (OMG check out my cleavage!!! lol) It was too funny - I don't remember the last time I laughed so much, which was EXACTLY what I needed. That was just after the most relaxing massage from Tracy, who'd joined us for the day to give us all some much needed stress relief - thanks Trace! I got about 3 hours sleep each night - I wasn't one of the brave few who managed to stay up all hours, but it was definitely the best sleep I've had in weeks and weeks. So BIG thanks to Cath for the best weekend I've had in a long time ... can't wait till next year!

Well, this weekend is either going to be great, or awful ... we are going to see how Pa is going tomorrow night, before I make a decision as to whether we take the kids for a drive down on Sunday to see him. I'd hate for them to miss out on the opportunity to get to see him again, just in case ... so again, big prayers for Reg!! We don't have soccer any more, so we all get a sleep in tomorrow morning - woo hoo! Oh, I forgot to mention - Dennis got a new job! He's assistant manager at a sporting goods and shoe store ... which is where his car broke down last week, and ended up costing us $500 to get fixed. Hmmmm. See? Told you it'd been a crappy month!!

Ok, I'm going to go and chase these kids off to bed, then get stuck into some scrapping. If you are still reading this, go and get yourself a drink and some chocolate - you deserve it!!

Hmmm ... pics aren't uploading - I'll come back later and add them. Trust me, they are worth waiting for!!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Back in the Land of the Living

What a busy couple of weeks! Just a quick update of what's been going on ... I'm too tired to write much at the moment.

Kieran turned 13 - I'm SOOO not in the head-space to have a teenage son, so I don't know who let that happen, but they'd better turn the clock back quickly! We decided to get him an electric guitar, and Target had an awesome one in their toy sale catalogue. I rang around the stores near us, the day before the sale started, and only Penrith had any in stock - and they only had 12. So, silly mum decided to head over to Penrith at midnight for the opening ... man, having faced that, Pamplona would be a piece of cake! I got knocked over by some psycho chick, who then ran over me with her trolley ... I kid you not, this is not some bizarre urban legend, this was my reality at 12.01am. Can you believe it?? What some people will do for the prospect of a slightly cheaper trolley full of toys that their kids will break in a day or so! I ended up getting the guitar, and headed back to the car, where I sat for about 10 minutes - I think if I had driven off, and seen the psycho walking across the street, I would have been seriously tempted to show her exactly how it felt to be run over!
Yes, Kieran loved the guitar - totally blown away, he was. So it was worth it. He got some great presents, and had a wonderful day.
The next weekend was the big one - dinner on friday night with some relatives from my side of the family, who were here from all over the country. Saturday morning soccer, which was our biggest game - Tay's team scored 2 goals!! WOO HOO!! Saturday afternoon and well into the night was an engagement party for Dennis' neice, and it was great to catch up with everyone, as exhausting as it was. It was at Tahmoor, which is just a lovely place!
Sunday morning brought the birthday party - and a trek into Milsons Point to Luna Park. We met a few of Kieran's mates at the railway station, only to discover that there was weekend trackwork, and we had to catch buses part of the way. Tayla was very excited, but also a bit nervous - it was her first train trip.
We arrived at Milsons Point, and OMG the wind was bitterly cold as we walked down the hill. It was fine for the rest of the day, but it was a scary start! Lots of rides, lots of laughter, and lots of fun was had. Kelsey, our shy quiet little girl, went mental - going on all the rides she could by herself, including the Wild Mouse and the Spider! Tayla, on the other hand, was a bit more reserved - it took her ages to build up the courage to go on the Ferris Wheel, but when she did she loved it! She also went on the Spider - screaming all the time "This bit is scary, and this bit is scary, and this bit is scary - the whole thing is scary mummy!" while she had the biggest smile on her face. I don't know how the girls were able to walk on the way back to the train - up the stairs for the slides at Coney Island about a million times. Man, you should all be very VERY scared when these girls get their licence too -you should have seen them on the dodgems! Kelsey was a little speed demon, darting in and out of traffic, chucking laps around everyone!

The special guest appearance for the day was Mr Chucky. Kieran has a love/hate relationship with fast big rides ... loves to go on them, hates what they do to his stomach!! lol The notable absence?? The digital camera, which was safely locked up in the car back at the railway station. Thanks to the lovely people at the gift shop, we now have 27 photos on a disposable camera to commemorate the day - I hope some of them turn out.

Then to the trip home. I don't know if you heard about his accident ...

This is just around the corner from us. The train/bus we were supposed to be on would have meant that we were getting home (or just here) at the time of the accident. We didn't know it at the time we were cursing the overcrowded all-stations bus we got pushed onto, but it saved us from either being here when this happened, or coming more directly upon the wreckage. As it was, we drove down the highway to a massive amount of flashing lights, and had to be redirected. It made me feel sick to the pit of my stomach. Someone was looking out for us!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ... how good was it? I'll leave my rant and rave post for another day (I had a totally crappy shopping experience when I headed off bright and early to get my copy of the book too!!) but I totally loved the end of the series, and had a number of gasp out loud, teary moments. Thanks for the wonderful moments, Harry and Co!

Ok, I need to go to bed - totally exhausted here, I have a bit of hay fever I think. Night all, take care, I'll try to update again soon with some pics!