Posts Tagged ‘Bandicoot’

Pyroluria

March 18, 2015

Possum is 8 years 10 months

Bandicoot is 6 years 8 months

Little Princess is 4 years 2 months

Well, it has been quite a time around these parts. 

Sadly, although I was becoming mobile in my last post (in August!), I still had a number of months of incapacitating pain ahead.  In January it looked like I was finally experiencing the carrot of remission from the pain.  (Really, any condition that is accompanied by words like “remission” and “mortality” are not things I want to have too much to do with.)

Instead of the hoped for 10 year window, I had less than two months of freedom from near continuous joint pain.  On the up side, although it is rather, um, unpleasant, I do have movement now.

But really, that is just the tip of the crazy iceberg.

Poor Bandicoot has spent his life with gut pains.  The doctors have done various tests over time, but found nothing.  One day I said to him, “You don’t talk about the pains in your tummy any more – have they gone away?”  He turned to me and said, “The doctors think I make it up, so I will just have to put up with it.  There is no point in me telling anyone.”  Doesn’t that just break a Mumma’s heart?

So when I discovered a naturopath who had helped some friends with similar issues, I figured I had nothing to lose.

The truth is, I am a bit on the fence with natural medicine.  This was all a big leap of faith for me.  However, she is a former biochemist and pharmacist, so I felt she would take the science seriously.

The good news is that Bandicoot was suffering from a parasite.  It was diagnosable with a standard test (ordered through my doctor, *ahem*) and relatively easily treated.  He hasn’t had the pains since.  I cannot imagine how much better that must make him feel.

The down side is that he was also diagnosed with pyroluria (or pyrrole, or krypropyrrole or, well, there are another couple of older names, too), which is a metabolic disorder.  Possum and I have also been subsequently diagnosed.

This is managed by a restricted diet and supplements of the nutrients our bodies are not metabolising from food.  Apparently we will all be new people.

I can’t wait.

Because right now, I am an exhausted wreck.  Some of the dietary changes did not agree with us and we had family wide “failure to thrive” – as good as it sounds.  It looks like it will take a lot of tweaking to find what works for us.  And in the meantime my life is food.  Every meal, every snack requires thought and recipe searching.  Do you know how often growing kids eat??

There is, of course, some kind of humour in this.  I learnt to cook as a preschooler.  (Not that we were called “preschoolers” back then.)  I read recipes for inspiration, but I really don’t know when the last time was that I actually followed one to cook.  I don’t like being that boxed in.  But now that my pantry is filling with all sorts of things I have never used before (chia, sorghum…) and so many of our staples have disappeared (tomatoes, ham), it seems I need a recipe to pour a glass of water.

I am so glad we decided to use a packaged curriculum this year to cut down on planning and recording time for me, although we had thought we would use that time for some other projects we had planned, not trying to work out what is for dinner.

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Meet the Students – 2013

January 30, 2013

See?  Isn’t that a hopeful title?  It implies that there will be other years.

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Firstly, here is Possum.

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He is our “official” homeschool student.  He is 6 years and 8 months and is starting out Year 1.  He is missing a front tooth.  He is going to be a MotoGP rider when he grows up.

 

Next is Bandicoot.

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He is our “part-time” student.  He attends a pre-school 2 days a week.  He loves it, but there is no way he will ever go without a protest.

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He is 4 years and 6 months old.  He is going to have a Christmas shop when he grows up.

And that is a shark on his picture.  Sharks, flies, snakes, spiders… they seem to appear on his pictures quite a bit.  I was very impressed with his colouring on this one.

 

And here is our Little Princess.

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She is 2 years and 1 month old.  Biologically.  She reckons she is a lot older, even if she refers to herself as “Bubby”.

 

So that is our little lot this year.  Amazing how much mischief three cute kids can get up to!

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Oh, and those ear protectors in the top photo?  Bandicoot came running out with those for Possum.  I can say that today they were not needed.  It was one of those days where the boys did a great job of not hearing me when I spoke anyway.

Grade One Minus Two Days

January 27, 2013

…or maybe five.

Possum is 6 years 8 months
Bandicoot is 4 years 6 months
Little Princess is 2 years

Tomorrow is a public holiday here for Australia Day.  I had planned to start school on Tuesday, thinking it was the day that schools went back.  I was mistaken on that one – they go back on Wednesday, but I thought that I would run with it anyway.

Possum, however, is adamant that school does not go back until 1st February.   He was (erroneously) told so by one of his mates. 

Hmm.

Actually, long term that could be a nice way for me to work it.

It is a point that I would be willing to negotiate, but, to be honest, Friday (which is the 1st), doesn’t work so well for me.  For one thing, Mainly Music, the Little Ones’ music group, starts again on Friday.  It takes a huge chunk out of the day, and, more specifically, the morning.  It makes for an awkward school day at the best of times, let alone for first day back.

Also, DH commented, “The excuses will be coming thick and fast”.   Really, not many kids are chomping at the bit to go back to school.  Even the weirdos like me, who, despite it all, loved school, loved holidays more.

To be perfectly honest, I still like school holidays more.  I love having the kids around.  I also love no art class, no music, no Playgroup, no swimming, no gymnastics, no Sunday school…  All that starts again this week, too.  Le sigh.

But apart from all of that, I would be happy for an extra couple of days to get organised.  As well as waiting for some supplies to arrive, I also need to get some stuff printed for lessons.  I want, amongst other things, to do a daily folder – a simple set of activities that are repeated every day as a little warm up to the day and honing a few skills.  The idea is that this becomes almost independent work.  I also want to do something similar for Bandicoot, but with different activities of course, in a quest to provide him with a more ‘stimulating environment’.

I had planned to get that organised, if not for the year, or even the term, at least for the first week or two, this weekend.  Until Little Princess killed the computer.  Oh, okay, not the whole computer.  The mouse.  Or maybe the mouse driver.  Whatever it is, the computer is useless and a locked vault is holding my printouts.  (Does that make them printins?). DH is not highly motivated to look into the matter.  It isn’t his work – he has enough of that at the office anyway.  Besides, he is quite happy to wait until Tuesday when he can bring home his spare mouse and try that out.  Eek! Tuesday night does not work so well for me.

So much for a nice controlled start to the year.

Of course, I could start coercive homeschooling this week.  You know, extra reading.  Activities from my maths cookbook. Bird-watching.  That sort of thing.  But it isn’t so much what he is doing that I am concerned with in the first few weeks, it is the discipline of schoolwork.

Maybe it will be Friday before we start.  Or next week.

Australia Day 2013 (pic heavy)

January 26, 2013

Possum is 6 years 8 months

Bandicoot is 4 years 6 months

Little Princess is 2 years

 

This year, Australia Day fell on that all important day in our household – Croissant Day.  (On the last Saturday of the month, DH and the kids cycle down to the local bakery and buy croissants for breakfast.)

Just a little further down the road there was a community sausage sizzle for breakfast.  After much cajoling on my behalf, DH agreed to check it out.  Really, just how Australian are croissants?  And don’t talk to me about putting Vegemite on them….

Anyway, they returned full of excitement.  Bandicoot had caught and brought home this amazing bug:

IMG_7172

And the kids had all been tattooed painted.

IMG_7173IMG_7174IMG_7177

(And that slightly cool, slightly squished sausage sandwich they unexpectedly brought me?  It had bacon on it, too, and was super yummy.)

So, while Mummy and Daddy tried to relax a little after the strange weather, the kids amused themselves.  Yes, they are digging up the lawn.

IMG_7178IMG_7180IMG_7181

IMG_7182IMG_7186

IMG_7188IMG_7187

You know what he did next, don’t you…

IMG_7190 DH pretending he is really ocker and catching up on the tennis.

 

IMG_7194IMG_7198

IMG_7200IMG_7205

 

Then we went in to the city.  Little Princess found herself a special seat on the train.

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Her friend An-n-coot (Bandicoot, even though it is really a Bilby) came along.  An appropriate day for a Bandicoot to go out partying, yes?

IMG_7208IMG_7210

Too exciting to sit down on the train – might miss something!

 

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Oh – okay.  We’ll all sit down for lamingtons on Australia Day!

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The stairs up onto the Harbour Bridge…

IMG_7219

Cool pic, huh?

IMG_7225 Opera House

IMG_7226Fort Denison

IMG_7227Some boats flagged out for Australia Day

Checking it all out from the bridge IMG_7228

IMG_7231 Ice cream.  This is serious business – it is bigger than her!

William Bligh IMG_7235

IMG_7238IMG_7239

Cadman’s Cottage.  The oldest surviving building in the country.  Possum was pretty fascinated by it, but couldn’t believe how small it was inside.

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IMG_7245

The Tank Stream is a freshwater stream that runs into Sydney Harbour.  It was because of this water source that the first European settlement was built here in 1788.  I am sure aboriginal children played in the stream a long time before that.  It still flows beneath the city today and sources these fountains.

IMG_7244IMG_7249

IMG_7251IMG_7252IMG_7253

And for dinner?  Harry’s damper, barbequed snags and a pav with green and gold fruit.

IMG_7257    IMG_7258

Australia Day 2013 (pic heavy)

January 26, 2013

Possum is 6 years 8 months

Bandicoot is 4 years 6 months

Little Princess is 2 years

 

This year, Australia Day fell on that all important day in our household – Croissant Day.  (On the last Saturday of the month, DH and the kids cycle down to the local bakery and buy croissants for breakfast.)

Just a little further down the road there was a community sausage sizzle for breakfast.  After much cajoling on my behalf, DH agreed to check it out.  Really, just how Australian are croissants?  And don’t talk to me about putting Vegemite on them….

Anyway, they returned full of excitement.  Bandicoot had caught and brought home this amazing bug:

IMG_7172

And the kids had all been tattooed painted.

IMG_7173IMG_7174IMG_7177

(And that slightly cool, slightly squished sausage sandwich they unexpectedly brought me?  It had bacon on it, too, and was super yummy.)

So, while Mummy and Daddy tried to relax a little after the strange weather, the kids amused themselves.  Yes, they are digging up the lawn.

IMG_7178IMG_7180IMG_7181

IMG_7182IMG_7186

IMG_7188IMG_7187

You know what he did next, don’t you…

IMG_7190 DH pretending he is really ocker and catching up on the tennis.

 

IMG_7194IMG_7198

IMG_7200IMG_7205

 

Then we went in to the city.  Little Princess found herself a special seat on the train.

IMG_7206IMG_7209

Her friend An-n-coot (Bandicoot, even though it is really a Bilby) came along.  An appropriate day for a Bandicoot to go out partying, yes?

IMG_7208IMG_7210

Too exciting to sit down on the train – might miss something!

 

IMG_7211IMG_7214

Oh – okay.  We’ll all sit down for lamingtons on Australia Day!

IMG_7215IMG_7217

The stairs up onto the Harbour Bridge…

IMG_7219

Cool pic, huh?

IMG_7225 Opera House

IMG_7226Fort Denison

IMG_7227Some boats flagged out for Australia Day

Checking it all out from the bridge IMG_7228

IMG_7231 Ice cream.  This is serious business – it is bigger than her!

William Bligh IMG_7235

IMG_7238IMG_7239

Cadman’s Cottage.  The oldest surviving building in the country.  Possum was pretty fascinated by it, but couldn’t believe how small it was inside.

IMG_7243

IMG_7245

The Tank Stream is a freshwater stream that runs into Sydney Harbour.  It was because of this water source that the first European settlement was built here in 1788.  I am sure aboriginal children played in the stream a long time before that.  It still flows beneath the city today and sources these fountains.

IMG_7244IMG_7249

IMG_7251IMG_7252IMG_7253

And for dinner?  Harry’s damper, barbequed snags and a pav with green and gold fruit.

IMG_7257    IMG_7258

Australia Day 2013 (pic heavy)

January 26, 2013

Possum is 6 years 8 months

Bandicoot is 4 years 6 months

Little Princess is 2 years

 

This year, Australia Day fell on that all important day in our household – Croissant Day.  (On the last Saturday of the month, DH and the kids cycle down to the local bakery and buy croissants for breakfast.)

Just a little further down the road there was a community sausage sizzle for breakfast.  After much cajoling on my behalf, DH agreed to check it out.  Really, just how Australian are croissants?  And don’t talk to me about putting Vegemite on them….

Anyway, they returned full of excitement.  Bandicoot had caught and brought home this amazing bug:

IMG_7172

And the kids had all been tattooed painted.

IMG_7173IMG_7174IMG_7177

(And that slightly cool, slightly squished sausage sandwich they unexpectedly brought me?  It had bacon on it, too, and was super yummy.)

So, while Mummy and Daddy tried to relax a little after the strange weather, the kids amused themselves.  Yes, they are digging up the lawn.

IMG_7178IMG_7180IMG_7181

IMG_7182IMG_7186

IMG_7188IMG_7187

You know what he did next, don’t you…

IMG_7190 DH pretending he is really ocker and catching up on the tennis.

 

IMG_7194IMG_7198

IMG_7200IMG_7205

 

Then we went in to the city.  Little Princess found herself a special seat on the train.

IMG_7206IMG_7209

Her friend An-n-coot (Bandicoot, even though it is really a Bilby) came along.  An appropriate day for a Bandicoot to go out partying, yes?

IMG_7208IMG_7210

Too exciting to sit down on the train – might miss something!

 

IMG_7211IMG_7214

Oh – okay.  We’ll all sit down for lamingtons on Australia Day!

IMG_7215IMG_7217

The stairs up onto the Harbour Bridge…

IMG_7219

Cool pic, huh?

IMG_7225 Opera House

IMG_7226Fort Denison

IMG_7227Some boats flagged out for Australia Day

Checking it all out from the bridge IMG_7228

IMG_7231 Ice cream.  This is serious business – it is bigger than her!

William Bligh IMG_7235

IMG_7238IMG_7239

Cadman’s Cottage.  The oldest surviving building in the country.  Possum was pretty fascinated by it, but couldn’t believe how small it was inside.

IMG_7243

IMG_7245

The Tank Stream is a freshwater stream that runs into Sydney Harbour.  It was because of this water source that the first European settlement was built here in 1788.  I am sure aboriginal children played in the stream a long time before that.  It still flows beneath the city today and sources these fountains.

IMG_7244IMG_7249

IMG_7251IMG_7252IMG_7253

And for dinner?  Harry’s damper, barbequed snags and a pav with green and gold fruit.

IMG_7257    IMG_7258

Australia Day 2013 (pic heavy)

January 26, 2013

Possum is 6 years 8 months

Bandicoot is 4 years 6 months

Little Princess is 2 years

 

This year, Australia Day fell on that all important day in our household – Croissant Day.  (On the last Saturday of the month, DH and the kids cycle down to the local bakery and buy croissants for breakfast.)

Just a little further down the road there was a community sausage sizzle for breakfast.  After much cajoling on my behalf, DH agreed to check it out.  Really, just how Australian are croissants?  And don’t talk to me about putting Vegemite on them….

Anyway, they returned full of excitement.  Bandicoot had caught and brought home this amazing bug:

IMG_7172

And the kids had all been tattooed painted.

IMG_7173IMG_7174IMG_7177

(And that slightly cool, slightly squished sausage sandwich they unexpectedly brought me?  It had bacon on it, too, and was super yummy.)

So, while Mummy and Daddy tried to relax a little after the strange weather, the kids amused themselves.  Yes, they are digging up the lawn.

IMG_7178IMG_7180IMG_7181

IMG_7182IMG_7186

IMG_7188IMG_7187

You know what he did next, don’t you…

IMG_7190 DH pretending he is really ocker and catching up on the tennis.

 

IMG_7194IMG_7198

IMG_7200IMG_7205

 

Then we went in to the city.  Little Princess found herself a special seat on the train.

IMG_7206IMG_7209

Her friend An-n-coot (Bandicoot, even though it is really a Bilby) came along.  An appropriate day for a Bandicoot to go out partying, yes?

IMG_7208IMG_7210

Too exciting to sit down on the train – might miss something!

 

IMG_7211IMG_7214

Oh – okay.  We’ll all sit down for lamingtons on Australia Day!

IMG_7215IMG_7217

The stairs up onto the Harbour Bridge…

IMG_7219

Cool pic, huh?

IMG_7225 Opera House

IMG_7226Fort Denison

IMG_7227Some boats flagged out for Australia Day

Checking it all out from the bridge IMG_7228

IMG_7231 Ice cream.  This is serious business – it is bigger than her!

William Bligh IMG_7235

IMG_7238IMG_7239

Cadman’s Cottage.  The oldest surviving building in the country.  Possum was pretty fascinated by it, but couldn’t believe how small it was inside.

IMG_7243

IMG_7245

The Tank Stream is a freshwater stream that runs into Sydney Harbour.  It was because of this water source that the first European settlement was built here in 1788.  I am sure aboriginal children played in the stream a long time before that.  It still flows beneath the city today and sources these fountains.

IMG_7244IMG_7249

IMG_7251IMG_7252IMG_7253

And for dinner?  Harry’s damper, barbequed snags and a pav with green and gold fruit.

IMG_7257    IMG_7258

A Brand New Road from Bandicoot

January 20, 2013

And just for fun, here is the story written for the “Weekend Adventure Book” at Bandicoot’s preschool.

Hello,

This Saturday my Mummy had to go out. When she turned onto KP Road she saw some interesting goings-on and rang Daddy so that he could take us for a look.

 imageThis is my big brother and me arriving at the scene.

See that really big truck behind me? It is digging up the road!

image The road works went all the way past our Kindy and on for about a kilometre. There was lots to see. This truck is dropping the new tar in the holes. It is really hot and soft now. The workmen used another truck to flatten it all out before it cooled down. Once it cools down it goes hard.

(It was okay for me to stand just there to look, because no cars could use the road. Also, my Daddy and the workmen were watching me.)

image

This is me looking after my little sister. She wanted to see, too, but I wouldn’t let her go anywhere dangerous.

Bandicoot

Gecko Class

Hot Stuff

January 18, 2013

Possum is 6 years 8 months

Bandicoot is 4 years 6 months

Little Princess is 2 years

 

Today is hot.  I mean, fiery hot.  Firey hot, even, but thankfully, not just here.

It is currently 46degC at our house.  That is 115F.  It is the record for the hottest day ever recorded in our city.  It is also crazy.

I have been feeling nauseous for most of the day.  The kids have not been on their best behaviour – they are going troppo, too.  I have finally relented, and despite the extreme UV warning, have allowed them to play in the paddling pool in the shade.  Not the best option for their skin, but no point being a pretty corpse.

And, I have to admit, that as much as I am not fond of them, I am feeling a bit sorry for our guinea pigs.  Imagine wearing a fur coat in this weather!

%%%%%

But  you know what is amazing?  We did schoolwork today.  Well, sort of.  School doesn’t start for another week and a half, but in desperation, trying to entertain them indoors, we talked about, of all things, spiders.

You see, Bandicoot is fascinated by spiders.  Personally, I dislike them.  Would even say phobic.  Almost as bad as snakes.  DH is not much better and Possum is tending in the same direction.

Now, over a year ago, we went away for a weekend with some other friends.  One of them kindly bought the kids some activity books.  Bandicoot chose a spider book.  Yes, an entire book of spider sticker photos.  And not a straight forward one – these stickers go on this page type thing – no.  You have to read what the spider is on the sticker page, then go through the book reading about all the spiders to find in the paragraph what sticker goes with it.  Really, just what I have needed.

(I am NOT putting a picture of that book on my blog, but if you really want to know, it is called the “DK Ultimate Sticker Book – Spiders”)

This is not the kind of thing that a 3 – now 4 year old can do on his own.  Finally, today, with much prayer, I managed to sit down with him and read the book and put stickers in.  (NO, it is definitely still on the banned list for bedtime readers!)

Then I wondered what else I could do, to try and build his attention span (and get spiders out of his system).

I have been reading Karen Andreola’s, “Pocketful of Pinecones” in preparation for our new school year.  Her main character is forever referring to her handbook, Comstock’s “Handbook of Nature Study”.  While this sounds like and excellent book, I do not live in North America.  I do however, have this book:

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“The Wonderland of Nature” by Nuri Mass. (Read about it here).

This is set where I live.  In fact, part of what we read today talks of a bushwalk half an hour drive from our home.  But that is a bit of a spoiler.

imageimage

I dug out this book and read about watching a spider building a web.  I also continued to read at the boys’ request (Possum had been sucked in, now) about the Saint Andrew’s cross spider (I had never realised they had yellow, brown and white banded patterning on their bodies) and then about the leaf-curling spider.  Both these spiders frequent our garden.

And just to make it more poignant, later, when I finally got the courage to hang out the washing, what did Bandicoot find?  A leaf curling spider outside its leaf (very rare in the day time), as well as a couple of big, fat Saint Andrew’s cross spiders (so big that we could check out the patterns).  One of them was in the middle of a feast and another binding a fly.

The day has gone downhill since then – the heat eating away all our good humour – but at least I managed to spend some quality time with Bandicoot.

First Day Back

January 8, 2013

Possum is 4 years 6 months

Today was Possum’s first day back at preschool.  It is his last year there and he has moved into the “Big Kids’” room.  He is very happy to finally be a gecko.

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You can see he is not overly thrilled at the idea of going back to school.

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Not helped by his big brother being so keen to see the back of him!

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Much rather be checking out our agapanthas.

 

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Mandatory shots walking down the street to school.  No, he doesn’t go on his own.  Neither did I, but my Mum made me pose for these kind of shots, too.  I never understood why.  And now I do it to my kids.  Do I want to have memories of the heart-ache?  As though I wouldn’t remember without the photos?

*ahem*

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And here is the photo next to the kindy sign.  My plan is to take photos next to this so we can see how much they grow.  It doesn’t always work out…

IMG_3593 This was the best I could get last year…

 

Actually, I noticed that his FIRST first day is missing from the blog.  Poor kid.  The start of last year was caught up in an overwhelming whirlwind of Possum starting school (and foul, foul weather).  It seems poor Bandicoot missed his post.  To make up for it, here are some pics from 23 January 2012:

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Gosh, wasn’t he a tiny, little mite of a thing!  It breaks a Mumma’s heart…