Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Nil by mouth

It is 6.30 am, I have been awake for 2 hours wanting a drink. Normally by this time I would of had 2 coffees, and at least 4 waters. GJ accidentally made me a coffee and brought it to me -torture. Surgery is at 11am, I don't care about that , I just want a drink!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Real estate photos of our home.

I had to go to extraordinary measures to get these photos. It is what you don't see that is the most interesting thing. I have shifted boxes, packing things, mess, toys etc to just outside the frame of the photo. I laugh when I see these photos as it makes my home look so glamours and tidy, yet we all know that it is not really like this. Ours is a lived in well family home with mess everywhere. One of the nicest things someone once told me was that my home looked well loved and you could relax in it. At first B.... thought she might of insulted me but I took it as a real compliment. I want people to come and feel comfortable enough to slouch down in the chairs and relax; and maybe even put up there feet on the coffee table.

Every one told us we were mad to paint such a big wall dark green, but we insisted and are so happy we did. We loved it so much we painted our bedroom this colour, and it looks just as good!
This kitchen has not looked like this since the day we moved in. It is a very functional, big kitchen that is the most horrible shade of blue/grey. I would love to be able to afford to replace it, I will have to buy a lottery ticket!
Unfortunately the pool doesn't look this good at the moment. This photo is about 2 years old and the drought has really taken its toll on the garden. It is not nearly as thick and lush as this photo shows.

Special things, part 1

We had a great day yesterday at my friends De house. We took down a trailer load of toys clothes and kids stuff etc for her and had a lovely lunch by the pool with some other friends.
The kids had a great day playing and swimming. We also exchanged Christmas presents for the kids, just in case we don't have time to catch up in December.
We have now cleared out a lot of the bags and boxes of stuff that have been piling up in the foyer.
We now have to order our storage container and when it arrives I will be able to stow all the things we are not taking to Jakarta. I have just found out that our local council needs to be notified if you put a container on your block (we live on 1.5 acres, 6000 msq) and a $165 fee.
Once all the storage things are packed we should have a few weeks of normal living. I have one more quote from a shipping quote to come through and then the company can choose which one to use. The good thing about the removalists is that you do nothing ( if you pack it can't be insured) you just leave everything and they go to work.
Our property has been listed on the Internet for rent, as they have listed our address I can't supply a link, but I will upload the photos I took later.

I am about to start on packing up my formal lounge room. I am not taking anything from this room. I have been guided by the thought of " could I bear to lose this". If something got lost or we had to leave suddenly, I could replace most things; they are after all just things.
A few things I want to have always and for the kids to inherit one day.
I am going to take photos of them to remind me of my treasures while I am away.

This is my Dad's mother's China cabinet. Catherine died when my dad was very young, so we have very little information about her. Mum had this china cabinet in her lounge for years and never really liked it. She gave it to me when GJ and I were first married. We changed the ugly original gold and khaki flocked fabric on the backing and have loved it.

On the top shelf is the beautiful Shelley coffee set that my Maternal Grandfather bought my Grandmother at the start of their marriage. It was bought just after the Depression and was considered to be wildly extravagant at the time. When we were little, very occasionally we would be handed one piece to hold and admire, but never to use. It is a art deco style. When we were packing up my Grandfathers house after he died, Mum turned to me and said "put this in your car". I was in shocked, delighted and awed all at the same time. I knew how much she loved this set, yet she gave it to me. It has had pride of place in my china cabinet every since. I have never used it. I firmly believe in using things, but this is too special to risk breaking.
The wine glasses on the sides at the top and bottom were engagement and wedding presents. They are hand painted around the edges.
The middle shelf has a lovely selection of lead Crystal that GJ'S dad has given us. GJ's mum loved and collected Crystal and when she died GJ's sisters inherited it all. My FIL has been giving us sets for special occasions.
The bottom shelf has GJ's collection of Carlton ware that he inherited form his maternal grandmother. I opened the cabinet the other day and left the door open for a minute...my little helper was straight in it picking everything up and pulling it out...My first reaction was to bellow across the room, but I didn't want to give Ben a fright in case he dropped something. I casually walked up and took the things off him, he was very sheepish, he new he wasn't allowed to touch.

Here are GJ's precious things LOL. We can not take any alcohol with us to Indonesia. GJ has been getting quality bottles of scotch and Cognac duty free as gifts for quite a few years. He enjoys a quality "scotch on the rocks". GJ is not much of a drinker though, he only drink 2-3 times a year, so his collection has been building steadily. I think it tastes like medicine, very uncultured I know LOL. Tan Tan and Robbie are going to help him taste test over Christmas, but the rest will have to wait for us to return.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thusday 23rd November 2006

We have been planning a night out for this Friday night for a few weeks. GJ had an annual awards ball, which he, as Queensland manager of a sponsoring company had to attend. I have been searching for a miracle dress for the last few weeks; a dress that makes me look slim and gorgeous and is really cheap – i.e. a miracle dress!!!!
We have just found out that the underling that had to book all the tickets forgot to get us tickets and the event is sold out.
We are not overly disappointed (I did not find a miracle dress) about the dinner; But we have arranged for the kids to be looked after and now this is in disarrays. As we so rarely go out at night with out the kids we usually ask the children’s godfather, Robbie to look after them. Rob has his works Christmas drinks on this night and has arranged to take the kids along. It is a family night at his boss’s house and their kids are similar age to ours so it would have been exciting for the kids. The girls have packed their favorite swimmers and after the party were going to put Robbie’s Christmas decorations up for him at his home.
Robbie pretends to not know about Christmas decorations so the kids have the fun of putting up everything for him. Of course I go and buy the tackiest, over the top decorations and help the kids go way overboard. The girls are very interested in Nativity scenes this year, the concept of baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph is very important for them and I will have to get some for Robbie’s house.
The plan for the night was for the kids to meet up with Rob and have a swim and party time at N… and L…’s home and then walk back to Rob’s house and wait for us. The girls have got to that certain age where they have informed me that they and Ben won’t go to sleep in Robbie’s bed until we return as they might get “boy germs”.
The kids are so excited about going to a party without us and spending time with Uncle Robbie. They have even decided to call him “daddy“as they walk in to embarrass him, and pretend to ask him when he is coming home!!!!
(These girls have limited TV time, with approved programs only, and extremely limited access to the computer, how do they know these things?)
So in order to prevent major disappointment, GJ and I will still drop off the 3 kids and we will go out to a restaurant, JUST THE TWO OF US ! It will be like a date night.

As soon as I posted my disgust at the lack of follow up from the removal’s companies they all rang back. (I had to eat my words!) I have had the 1st visits today, two more on Friday and the last on Monday.

I did not have much success at the Doctors (a few complications), so he has granted half my secret wish; I will be having day surgery on Tuesday with a general anesthetic. As I am so healthy and well the doctor would not let me have an overnight “rest” stay in hospital. So I will only get the day there. The Dr has ordered GJ to pamper me on my return.

If you did manage to read my previous post before I deleted it, I am sorry; it was way too much information for the internet.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

quick update for Tuesday 21.11.2006

I just have time for a really quick update. I am running around like crazy at the moment, and I don't think that this frantic pace will stop until March next year!

Chelsea has lost her very first tooth, she was so excited. The tooth fairy left $3.85!!!!

He is Ben playing with the Nativity scenes, and Santa figurines. Every time it goes quite I find him in the lounge playing with all the "Cwhrissmiss" things.

Isn't it amazing at what makes us happy at different stages of your life! GJ bought me this magnificent roll of bubble wrap home and I was ecstatic!! It is bigger than me.

I have sad news about my Dads Christening gown, The rats have got to it. This is a hand made traditional gown for a newborn to be Christened in. The work was exquisite. The girls wore it and now it is ruined. I am going to send it back to Mum to see if she thinks it could be repaired. It is a plain side panel that was chewed. We think that the gown is over 70 years old. The gown that I was christened in is still perfect, thank goodness. I will also be sending it back to Sydney for Mum to safe keep.

School lunch box's
I could write a weeks worth of posts on packing school lunches. It is a challenge to get a healthy mix everyday and make sure that every one gets their favourites. This week Georgia likes ham sandwiches, grapes, a peach and savoury biscuits. Chelsea likes a nutella sandwich with the crusts removed, apricot squares and a peeled and cored apple (must be green) and sweet biscuits. Ben has a Vegemite sandwich cut into small squares with no crusts, grapes, sultanas, corn niblets, sliced cheese and crackers with cheesy dip. They all usually only have water to drink, one bottle for their desk and one in their lunch bags. On this day, as a treat they got a frozen poppa of juice.
Now this is all subject to change; they might love something one week and detest it another!
The rules we have are that they must always have a serve of fruit and it must be eaten! They also have to eat their sandwich before any of the nicer stuff. They don't get lollies, cakes, chips or any high fat or sugary foods. We have special insulated bags for the lunches. Queensland schools do no have fridges or AIR CONDITIONING, and even in winter the bags need ice bricks to keep things fresh. It will be a challenge in Indonesia to be able to keep the lunch box's interesting and filled with familiar things.

I have got up from my desk 9 times in the course of writing this. I feel that if I am disturbed one more time I will scream like a banshee and fall to the floor and have a good old fashioned tantrum!!!! Is it too much to ask for 10-15 minutes?

My laptop arrived last week it is beautiful, all silver and new. We have no time to set it all up and connect it; we also have no flat surfaces on which to do so-LOL

I am now ringing around trying to find overseas removalists. I would imagine that it is going to be a huge cost involved in packing, insuring and moving a 40ft container, some of this cost would convert to a profit. So why is it out of the 4 large companies that I have emailed and rung
only one has got back to me? I do not have time for inefficiency!!!!!

I am having a day surgery tomorrow; GJ is taking the day off work to come with me. I am going back to the ob/gyn that delivered Ben. A very nice LAID back Dr who has told me to take an nurofen (supermarket painkiller) 5 minutes before my appointment and he will do the procedure in his rooms. During my research on the Internet I noticed that a lot of women in USA get a general anesthetic for this! GJ reckons that if I can pop a 4.5kg (9'9") in 2 hours and 2 pushes with no drugs, this will be a cinch! I would rather the drugs!
At this particular second in time a small general anaesthesia, and over night in hospital (in my own room, with room service) and a good strong painkiller sounds like heaven!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The new Borders at Chermside, paradise!

I had a new experience yesterday, a Borders bookshop has opened at my local mall. I have heard all about these mega book shops, but had never been to one before. I drove past the one in Singapore, but didn't get a chance to go in.
I was blown away.....it was huge and filled to the brim with every imaginable type of book. I could spend a month in there, it was like paradise.
BUT....here is the cruel irony, we are moving in 5 weeks......
I only bought 3 books, 2 Indonesian travel/language books and another copy of The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold. I lent out my original copy and haven't ever received it back.
I am limiting my self to 100 books in our container to Jakarta. It is going to be so hard to narrow my library down to so few. At least when we eventually return to Australia, it will be nice to rediscover all the other books

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I have been meaning to answer Laurels question- " what is Vegemite" for a few weeks now.

I can't fathom how any one would not know and love Vegemite-LOL. I would imagine if you did not grow up with Vegemite, you would think that it is one of the most DISGUSTING things on the planet. In Australia it is a staple and an icon.

Vegemite is a thick dark brown salty paste that you spread on toast. You can also add it to stews and many other dishes. As a child I use to add butter and Vegemite to wheetbix!

I love cold toast (so the butter doesn't melt), lightly (truthfully-thickly!!!) smeared with real butter and then very lightly coated with Vegemite. All this is on wholemeal bread, and consumed just about everyday of my life!

We are one of those funny Australian families that takes Vegemite on holidays with us. We did get a few looks in Singapore and Jakarta when we arrived at breakfast with a tube of Vegemite.

Vegemite is similar to the British Marmite, BUT, all Aussies would agree that Marmite is horrible and no substitute to the real thing.

There was a story that made all the news programs about 5 weeks ago, about how Vegemite was being banned from the USA, as it contained Folate. There was a huge hullabaloo about it, but apparently it has all been sorted out and Aussies living or visiting the Unites States can now have their Vegemite. There was Lady interviewed on the TV who said if she couldn't take her Vegemite to the USA, she wasn't going (she probably wasn't going anyway) LOLOL.

Vegemite is one of several yeast extract spreads sold in Australia. It is made from leftover brewers' yeast extract (a by-product of beer manufacture) and various vegetable and spice additives. It is very dark reddish-brown, almost black, in color, and one of the richest sources known of Vitamin B. It's thick like peanut butter, it's very salty, and it tastes like - well let's just say that it is an acquired taste!

The kids often have Vegemite sandwiches for lunch at school, and if there is fresh bread I too will have it for lunch. We will be taking a VAT of it with us to Jakarta. I am pretty sure that I saw it for sale over there, but if not it is definitely available in Singapore.

Other Australian food necessities are Milo, Tim Tam's and Weetbix.

I have worked out a blogging schedule. An unfortunate side affect of all the activity surround me is that I am wide awake a 4.15 am every morning!!!!! I have time to blog before the kids wake up at 5.30/6am, and this time is guilt free!!!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Update 14th November 2006

Here is our Christmas tree, isn't it a riot of colour!
No lights until Dec, though. We haven't put up any other decorations as yet.
The other photos are of the packing,,
Had a very quick chat with GJ this morning, he will sign the Jakarta contract and find out more details later in the week. He has no phone coverage and limited Internet access
Here is my treadmill, hired until 1st week in Jan. I love it.
Ben is having a growth spurt and is exhibiting never before seen behaviours:-
He is constantly asking for food...."I'm hungry" is what he whines all day. So far today he has had 2 wheetbix, 2 tubs of custard, 1 packet of biscuits, 2 milk drinks and 2 slices of fairy bread and it is only 11am.
Ben lifted up his t-shirt to show that you can't see his ribs at the moment. We used to call him Cuppa Chup as he had a HUGE head and a skinny little body!
It is 35 degrees outside already, and the min last night was only 23 degrees. The weather is being nice enough to prepare me for Jakarta weather.

I have lots more to talk about, but if I sit in front of the computer I feel guilty that I am not packing, organizing or running ( LOL- walking) on the treadmill!

Friday, November 10, 2006

I need voice recognition software, and Alice Brady

I am going to have to blog like a business memo, so little time, so much to do and unfortunately the blog is counting the cost.....

  • I am meeting one of my closest friends today. Trina and I are going to be child free and we are going to the new Ikea store that has just opened. It is the biggest in the southern hemisphere.
  • GJ has just bought me my first laptop!! Yippee. He can salary sacrifice(tax/financial mumbo jumbo) the cost which makes it half price.
  • I finally found a way to tell GJ that I have spent $300 on hiring a treadmill for 2.5 months. I told Georgia that it was a secret and not to tell Daddy; 8 minutes later he knew. I have a good gym membership, but no time to visit. And I now need to lose 11kg, not the 10 from last month.
  • I have discovered that when you are busy packing, the ironing still needs to be done and food still needs to be cooked. This is why I need Alice from the Brady Bunch to come and live with us.
  • Jakarta real estate agents must have CIA training; how else would GJ and I be getting calls on our home number and our mobiles. How on earth do they know who we are let alone how to contact us. ( the only thing we can think of is that the hotel (employees), that will be our temporary accommodation is giving out our info for a kickback.
  • The girls are being SOOO naughty. Well, I have to ask them to do things 5-6 times. They also can't walk past each other without poking and prodding the other. This of course leads to full on war......... I lost it yesterday and in a very calm, controlled, demented voice informed them that they had no further chances. It was wooden spoon time for the next week if behaviour were not perfect!!!! They have already lost all TV and computer privileges until the end of November for a previous infraction.
  • On a lighter note, Ben now copies me and runs around after the girls shouting, "Manners!" and "behaviour!"
  • I am pulling everything out and sorting it into 3 piles, Storage, Ship and Donate. As I go through things my little gorgeous cheeky boy, Benjamin John Nicholas helps. So do the girls when they get home from school. They are finding toys hidden at the back of cupboards and are so excited. We had a couple come over to look at my car the other day and as they walked through the house I saw it from their perspective. Oh my goodness we are ferals, or it looks like we are.
  • I need to take photos for the real estate agent for the web advertising. I now have to clean and clear then pack. I have included photos of the kids toy room and the family room to show that I am not exaggerating.....Every room in the house looks like a bomb has gone off.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

GJ's personality results

GJ's results, not too bad either!!!!

Stability results were very high which suggests you are extremely relaxed, calm, secure, and optimistic.

Orderliness results were medium which suggests you are moderately organized, hard working, and reliable while still remaining flexible, efficient, and fun.

Extraversion results were moderately high which suggests you are, at times, overly talkative, outgoing, sociable and interacting at the expense of developing your own individual interests and internally based identity.

trait snapshot:

social, outgoing, worry free, optimistic, upbeat, tough, likes large parties, makes friends easily, rarely irritated, open, enjoys leadership, trusting, dominant, thrill seeker, strong, does not like to be alone, assertive, mind over heart, confident, controlling, feels desirable, likes the spotlight, loves food, social chameleon, hard working, concerned about others

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Advanced Global Personality Test Results

I got this great link from one of the blogs I try to read regularly, Gina in China (A lovely person who is trying to make a difference in the world, with a GORGEOUS son).
It is amazingly accurate, you will all have to try it. GJ and I highlighted the things that we thought didn't match-only 2. I am now going to set up GJ so he can have a go........

Stability results were moderately high which suggests you are relaxed, calm, secure, and optimistic.

Orderliness results were high which suggests you are overly organized, reliable, neat, and hard working at the expense too often of flexibility, efficiency, spontaneity, and fun.

Extraversion results were moderately low which suggests you are reclusive, quiet, unassertive(wrong!), and secretive.

trait snapshot:
secretive, organized, clean, rarely worries, solitary, high self control, dislikes large parties, prefers organized to unpredictable, prudent, observer, tough, self reliant, very good at saving money, introverted, perfectionist, mind over heart, not controlling of others, hard working, confident, resolute, solitary, does not make friends easily, finisher, does not like to stand out(wrong!), very practical, intellectual, unsympathetic at times, honest, respects authority, follows the rules, cautious

I just found the link for this test and added it for a comparison.....(14th Nov 2006)

Your Five Factor Personality Profile


You have medium extroversion.
You're not the life of the party, but you do show up for the party.
Sometimes you are full of energy and open to new social experiences.
But you also need to hibernate and enjoy your "down time."


You have high conscientiousness.
Intelligent and reliable, you tend to succeed in life.
Most things in your life are organized and planned well.
But you borderline on being a total perfectionist.


You have medium agreeableness.
You're generally a friendly and trusting person.
But you also have a healthy dose of cynicism.
You get along well with others, as long as they play fair.


You have high neuroticism.
It's easy for you to feel shaken, worried, or depressed.
You often worry, and your worries prevent you from living life fully.
You tend to be emotionally reactive and moody. Your either flying very high or feeling very low.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is high.
In life, you tend to be an early adopter of all new things and ideas.
You'll try almost anything interesting, and you're constantly pushing your own limits.
A great connoisseur of art and beauty, you can find the positive side of almost anything.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Nits and packing and Tokyo

We have 5 weeks left of the school year and I thought that we were going to have a nit free year.....Despite all the precautions I take, Georgie brought home a new pet; yes she named him Joe.
The girls and I have the softest, silky, fine, dead straight hair you can imagine, sounds nice but impossible to do anything with. I put heaps of stuff in to make it "bouffier" and coarse. If there is a nit within a 1 km radius it will find our heads. ( yes "ours" the girls always share with me)
  • I rarely wash the girls hair in Summer, the pool cleans it and I condition it a couple of times a week; Nits like clean hair
  • The girls never go to school without their hair tied back and plaited; nits like to jump from loose hair to another head.
  • The water spray has Tea tree oil added; nits don't like this smell
  • The girls hair is waxed, moussed and covered with hair spray every morning before school; nits don't like crunchy, stiff hair
So after I spent an hour treating all the heads in the house, I stripped all the beds and washed 4 sets of sheets and 18 pillowcases and lots of towels...........

Here is Chelsea in the midst of her comb through treatment.

This is the girls just before school, as usual there is not an escaped hair anywhere.

I will be repeating this whole process on Tuesday evening, Friday evening and again on next Sunday. I have learnt that if you don't keep treating and washing at least a couple of times that instead of finding 1 lice and 5 nits we will be infested with 100's of little critters. Are you scratching yet?, I am!!!!!! LOL

GJ has just found out he is off to Tokyo in about a week, for a week. I am SOOO jealous. I have never been to Japan and would really like to go. He will also need to fit in a trip to Germany and Singapore before Feb next year....its a hard life for some!

I have started sorting and packing. It looks like a bomb has gone off. Every time I turn my back Ben helps me by unpacking everything....... It is going to take me forever to go through our home. Every 380Msq (4100Fsq) is packed with toys and stuff and more stuff. I am finding it very cathartic, I am giving all my baby things to Lisa and De. I am being so ruthless.
I was asked if we were going to have a garage sale, but I have decided that I am going to give everything away. I think that I have got to the age where giving gifts is much more fun than receiving them. ( except for you GJ, I still love you giving me things!!! hint, hint)

As you have probably gathered we have verbally accepted the post in Jakarta. We are now waiting on the contracts to be drawn up, checked and signed. GJ would probably be starting the new job on the 1st of February2007. We will hope to arrive in very early January. The school year starts on Jan 22nd, I would like to be there for that.
We have found a great small school for the kids that we could afford and which will give us a discount in exchange for me volunteering there for a couple of days a week.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Jakarta negotiations

GJ just got a call, the first official offer is coming through this afternoon......Yippeeeeee
Apparently he got extra brownie points because we did not ask for an extravagant package or a pay rise, all we want is to maintain the same life style that we currently have with a performance based bonus. We feel that is an investment in GJ's career and will pay off in the future.
And we get to have a family adventure!!!!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Our First Halloween

Halloween is not a big thing in Australia. We have never had any one trick or treat us. Due to, I suppose the TV and Internet, Australians are all becoming more aware of it.
As GJ was away last night we decided to have a little Halloween party, just the four of us. We made a tablecloth and some covers for tea light candles. We had party lights over the table and pumpkin soup for dinner. Georgia was an evil witch, Chelsea was a good fairy, Ben was going to be Bob the Builder but ended up as a singer from the Village People. I was Doris Day, or Sandra Dee from Grease. Poor little Chelsea had trouble going to sleep as she was scared about witches!
If we do move, I hope we live near a community that does celebrate Halloween as we would love to experience a full blown" Happy Halloween".