Winter is coming and with it, the usual host of viruses.

Amy has been sick on and off for months. She perks up for a bit, then gets unwell again, and around we go. We’ve been backwards and forwards to the doctor lots, but until she has a period of wellness, we can’t do bloods to test for anything else.

Rock | Hard Place.

So we kind of just thought it was the usual stuff playing up when she was unwell last week with suspected tonsillitis. But then antibiotics didn’t help and she was getting worse, so back to the doctor we went.

Glandular fever.

We think Evelyn has it as well – same symptoms, similar miserableness, same amount of crying while laying in my lap.

Isaac however, remains a bastion of health. Small mercies.

I’m grateful for the small things while the girls are sick. The weather has warmed up enough to make the fire uneccesary. We have plenty of books to read. I can spend long lazy days on the couch cuddling children without feeling at all guilty.

It’s the little things.

I was making soap earlier using a new fragrance. Usually fragrances come with some extra information about how they behave in cold process soap. Do they speed up the process? Make things super hot? Cause problems? Cause discolouration?

My new fragrance however, had nothing. So I was probably being ambitious when I decided I really really wanted to do a three colour swirl in a column mould.

Sure enough, everything was going beautifully until I added the fragrance.

Things thickened up, fast. Luckily I was mostly organised and got everything swirled and in the mould.

Congratulating myself, I began to clean up, leaving the mould on the sink.

You can see where this is going, can’t you?

Over-confident, I bumped the pipe and it flung itself towards the windowsill.

I didn’t spill much soap batter, so that’s a bonus. But I did put a hole in the cling wrap and duct tape at the bottom which was holding all the soap batter inside the stupid mould.

I shouted for Nathan, who wasn’t nearly fast enough at coming to rescue me as I pressed the hole closed, thanking everything I still had my gloves on.

We got the hole sorted, but I think I wobbled and bumped the mould enough to probably muck up any prettiness. Probably going to end up with a mud brown soap. Boo, hiss.

On the subject of winter, wood fires and sick children, I have an article up at Money Circle today, talking about heating bills. I’m interested to know how you heat your house and how you keep costs down.


I had to walk up the road (200m) this morning to discuss an incident in which a neighbour’s dog killed a bunch of my baby chickens. By the time I got back, I was exhausted. It’s not a strenuous walk – the road is flat and easy. But my foot fell apart as I limped home, unable to quite work out which bone was out of place.

Yesterday I had one ulcer hiding in the bottom of my cheek. This morning, both sides of my mouth are ulcerated. My skin is breaking out, my brain is foggy and I am Tired and Run Down.

The school holidays were wonderful, but I’m wrung out. I need a week of laying on the couch reading books, drinking chicken soup and doing nothing.

My joints are flared, my shoulders keep falling out of place and I am feeling like my blood pressure can’t work out how low it wants to fall.

Look, this happens every few months. It’s actually been a while since I felt this terrible, and it’s nice to have had a break in the middle from the see saw that is my health.

But today I feel crappy, and exhausted. I have things I need to do, I have things I want to do. I have children to feed and watch and play with, but uuuuugh.


School is back, which is a bonus. Isaac began Kindergarten last week, and his first day went amazingly well.

Isaac first day of school 075

Isaac first day of school 098

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to this week, with 2/3 of my children at school, and Evelyn still napping regularly.

Hopefully, I can rest, recharge, and stop feeling like I’m being pressed into the ground by the sheer weight of the exhaustion I have.

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I was reading this article earlier, from the Journalists who travelled the path of asylum seekers, when Amy appeared over my shoulder, interested in the photo of the little girl curled on her father’s lap.

I explained a little about asylum seekers and why they were coming to Australia and how. Her face fell when I explained that our Government doesn’t allow asylum seekers entry to Australia any more.

“But they just want a better life Mum” she explained to me, “they should be allowed to come to Tasmania. It’s safe here!”

She thought about it for a little while, skipping away and going back to her drawings, before asking what she could do to help.

“Could I write a letter?”

“Of course.”

Amy's Letter to Tony Abbott

“To Tony Abbott,

Can you please stop sending people from other countries to Detention Centres. Can you please let them have a better life and future.

Please put a tick next to yes or no to Detention Centres.

Send this letter back to me.

From Amy

Age 7″

I read this week about the mother separated from her newborn son by bureaucracy and red tape. I read of asylum seekers who desperately want a new life here, in this, the Lucky Country, and I wonder what happened to our sense of shared humanity.

Where did we go so wrong.

What happened to us Australia?

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dark and light

Yesterday, I explained a bit to my seven year old about voting, and the process of an election.

She looked me dead in the eye and said “Mummy, don’t vote for Tony Abbott.”

I replied, “I won’t, but why not?”

“Because I just don’t think that he will do a very good job.”

Out of the mouths of babes.

We voted yesterday afternoon in a mostly empty room. Silent; the people handing out pamphlets had fled in favour of more trafficked polling booths, leaving their pamphlets behind, held down by rocks stolen from the garden. There were no fanfares or sausage sizzle as we cast our votes to determine the fate of this country.

Of course, we could have just been pissing in the wind for all the good it did us.

This morning, I let Amy know that Tony Abbott was our new Prime Minister. She looked at me in shock as her breath whistled out of her.

“Oh nooooo.” She gasped.  “Oh no! How could people in Australia vote for him? He’s going to do a bad job.”

My thoughts exactly.


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Amy turns seven. (WHERE DOES THE TIME GO?)

by Veronica on September 4, 2013

in Amy

Tomorrow Amy turns seven. It seems like a big leap; a cuspy age, bridging the gap between small child and big child, without leaving much wiggle room.

The house is quiet, but I’m sure if I wander down the hall, Amy will be awake in her bed, unable to fall asleep. It’s a hard time to be a child, on the night before your birthday or Christmas. There’s so much anticipatory adrenaline that sleep won’t come.

I remember one Christmas Eve, lying in bed, listening to my parents blow up balloons and talk about plans for the coming day. I scrunched my eyes closed. I changed position. I counted sheep. Nothing worked and I could not sleep. Later, when I did sleep, it was fitful, filled with half formed dreams and a sense of urgency.

It’s when I sit here, in my almost silent house, waiting for Amy to sleep, that I wish I’d had the foresight to wrap all of her presents a week ago. I’m tired, everything is scattered and hidden everywhere and I just want to go to bed, and yet, I’m typing this and waiting waiting waiting for everything to come together.

In the morning, she will awake to find a pile of pretty presents awaiting her. I’ll hide the impatiently wrapped ones on the bottom and she won’t care, the excitement of her birthday will cover any sticky-tape mistakes I make.

Last year, as she turned six, I slept in a hospital bed beside Evelyn, waiting tests and results, stretched paper thin as the new motherhood of three children tore me in different directions. It was a hard time, and we were all poorer for it.

This year, we will all be under the same roof, and that makes up for everything. We will eat cake, and bat balloons around, and let Evelyn eat the wrapping paper. There will be laughter and shrieking and it will be the very best kind of chaos.

For tomorow, Amy turns seven.

Amy growing up

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