Such Happiness In Thought Happens

December 28, 2008

End of the Year

Filed under: Home Stuff — Duane @ 8:48 pm

Well … been awhile since I have had a chance to update this blog. Things have been extremely busy over the last month and a bit, both at work and at home. So thought I would take the chance to pop in, say hello (HELLO!) and give a bit of a run down of what’s happened in the last month or so. Also I have been doing some thinking about this blog and I think sometime in the new year it will change – I think I will have two blogs: one for home stuff (how the girls are, etc) and another blog with all the tech stuff. That side of the blog has been more popular with a lot of searches from people needing help with microsoft programs (esp MS Project), and while I haven’t posetd any tips/tricks for awhile, I think I will start that up again, when time permits. Also I have been giving some thought to writing a book on how to use MS Project correctly and efficiently and selling it through the blog. But that is just idle thoughts at the moment as time is severely lacking to accomplish something like that.

So the last post I made was about the girls being sick, and having storms. Well wasn’t that the week from hell? Boss away on leave, leaving me to look after things; starting important system testing the next week and having to help the rest of the team assemble their training/testing documents and not being able to be there to help. Oooo Duane, why couldn’t you be there to help? As I had to spend time at home caring for sick babies, then a sick wife, me sick, and a house flooded in the storms! As I said, one of the worst weeks of my life. The Wednesday night was the killer as we thought the girls were deteriorating and took them to hospital to have them checked out. That was roughly 10:30 pm. It was raining a bit, but not much. We left the hospital with an all clear from the doc around midnight and it was pissing down rain. It was so hard I had to slow down in parts to drive safely. We got home, fed the girls a bottle, settled them into bed and then I went around the house to make sure all was ok. Well it wasn’t ok. There was water on the floor of the garage. Checked the ceiling (no water there), checked the window (no smash, thus no water). So that left just the floor. So I opened the door to the laundry and there was a river of water flowing past. I stepped outside in the pouring rain, and it covered my foot with water. That was where the water was coming in from – via the weep holes. So got Agnes out of bed (she was ready to go to sleep), and we spent the next hour in the rain, brooming water down the side of the house so that no more water could get in the house. Our efforts were successful.

It seemed that the retaining wall to the house next of house had failed, and gushes of water were coming through the retaining wall. We called the insurance and they were going to get a flooring place to look at the cement floor in the garage and make sure that the wall dried out properly. We finally went to bed around 2:30am Thursday morning. 5:30 am the girls woke up. They woke up early the whole week due to being ill, but thankfully they didn’t wake up during the night like they had the other nights. We decided it would be best for me to go into work early, do the work that I needed to and then come home after lunch to help with the girls. That was a fun drive into work. Virtually no traffic as a number of people had issues on the roads. Oh I forgot to mention the amount of rain that fell Wed night – over 200 mm in Ipswich, and over 150 mm in parts of Brisbane. Ipswich copped the rain and flooding bad. The Brisbane river was full of debris and because of that the ferries did not operate for a few days.

Back to the story. I went into work extremely early (just after 7am), worked for a few hours completing what I needed to do, then drove home before yet another storm hit that afternoon. In total we had about five bad storms that night. The rest of the week I worked from home as I had to be there to help Agnes with the girls, plus find out what was happening with the minor flooding damage.

Since that week, things became extremely busy at work. And as my mind was not fully focussed on the job, I got a bit of a talking to from the boss. Well what do they expect? Sick kids, minor flooding, death in the family (one of Agnes’ grandmothers passed away), and uncertainity about whether we could make it for the funeral or not. In the end we didn’t go as it was going to be too expensive, unsure whether we would get there in time as we would have to wait to get passports for the girls and I was still on my probation period for work. Things improved at work when we finally got the go ahead to commence with training. I was focused, knew what had to be done and got in there and got it done. Everyone noticed “an improvement in my attitude and work”, of course not realising that I didn’t have other things to worry about.

At home after the illness, the girls’ routine was very irregular and it took awhile for it to get back on track. Instead of waking around 7 as they did before they were sick, Emma and Caitlin started waking between 5 and 6. This is still the case, but that’s ok. Then we had to get ready for Agnes’ parents to come over, and the naming ceremony. Parents arrived ok, naming ceremony went well. Catering went up the wazoo as money has been tight and we were unsure whether we would get the Rudd Christmas bonus or not. So instead of getting a caterer, we looked at doing it all ourselves for a lesser cost. In the end all sorted for a more reasonable price.

The naming ceremony went well and was everything we wanted it to be. Unfortunately not everyone could make it. First it was parents having to bail, as mum was taken to hospital and spent the night there. Then a friend’s mum couldn’t make it due to heart palpitations, and finally another friend was involved in a car accident. Nothing serious and no-one hurt, but they couldn’t get to the ceremony. My parents not being there put a big chink in the plans as dad had most of the paraphenalia for the lunch and marquee, etc. Thankfully one of his brothers chipped in and helped out, and all turned out to be a success. If time and bandwidth allows, we will upload the vid of the naming ceremony. The nicest part was the charm giving. Agnes and I, our parents, grand parents, siblings and mentors to the girls each gave them a charm with a wish for their life. These charms will eventually be added to the bracelets we got them when they were born. Another novelty was the well-wishing. In the invitation to the naming ceremony we enclosed two pieces of paper – one for each child. On them people could write their wishes for both Emma and Caitlin. These will be collated and bound into a book for the girls to read when they are older. Hopefully we might start a trend with the charm giving as a few people have thought it is a good idea and will steal it for their own ceremonies.

This week has been difficult at times. Both Emma and Caitlin have had troubles getting to sleep. Since their six month immunisations they have both needed help during the day to sleep. And for two night Caitlin had difficulties getting to sleep after their night feed. It looks like the night routine is once more ok, but the day time sleeps are a bit of a concern. We are unsure if this is because there are more people around (Agnes’ parents) or whether it is because they are more alert now and do not want to miss anything durung the day. We shall wait and see, give it a month or so and then take action if required.

The girls are growing so much! We had to purchase car seats for them as Caitlin doesn’t fit in the capsule anym0re. She is roughly 70cm long and just over 7kgs. Emma is a couple of cms less and just over 6 kgs. And of course I remember another concern the girls gave us during the last month. One day in early December, Caitlin had a fit. Agnes was feeding at the time and Caitlin started convulsing while breast feeding. This lasted roughly a minute. After the fit stopped she fell asleep immediately. She continued to twitch every now and then til she woke. Agnes called the ambulance and they turned up in the middle of another storm (what is it with storms and illness?) and they were all taken to the hospital. In the end there was nothing found. We left again roughly around midnight. Caitlin will have an EEG in mid January, but we don’t think it will find anything.

What else have the girls been up to? Rolling, putting their feet into their mouths, more talking and sound making, started solids and nearly crawling. So they are a lot more alert than they once were and we think this might be why they are having problems falling asleep.

So lots of fun and games here. I have the rest of the week off and won’t go back to work til the 5th. There will be a bit over a month of training for the new system and then we will have to wait and see what day to day work will be like. Agnes’ parents will be here til mid January. The girls will start child care towards the end of January, and Agnes will start work again shortly after that. Then towards the end of Feb, beginning of Mar I will start uni again. Unsure what exactly I will do with that – either go back to QUT or do external studies.

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