Wednesday, February 25, 2009


This summer has been a particularly bad one for fires. We've had lots of 40 degrees + days that have really dried everything out. Combine this with windy days and it makes for bad fire weather! We had a fire threat a couple of weeks ago (in the national park up near the Belgrave shops, luckily the wind was blowing away from us and it was contained pretty quickly!) but on Monday we were faced with a pretty serious fire. It started in Birdsland reserve which is very close to our property and which kind of runs behind our property as well.

I had left to go out shopping and when I came out of the shops I heard about it on the radio. They were issuing an urgent threat message for our area and when I looked up to the mountain I could see heaps of smoke. I half panicked and headed back to our place to get the bag of important stuff (photos and stuff that couldn't be replaced) and the animals. Looking back it was quite stupid of me to go back but I couldn't stand the thought of leaving this stuff behind! And yes, we have contingency plans should this happen again, the bag of stuff will now be permantly located elsewhere during fire season! Anyway, I grabbed the stuff and our next door neighbour came round with a cage for the chooks. I tried to get the bunnies but was a bit stressed out and one of them jumped out of the cage while the lid was open :( Anyway, we headed to my Mum and Dad's. It took us over an hour to get down the mountain though as everyone was trying to leave at once.

We ended up staying the night at Mum and Dad's as they had closed our road and we weren't going to head back anyway with the fire threat still around (the wind had changed direction by this stage and was blowing the fire back towards us). The CFA worked hard on the fire and by 5am it was contained - we were happy to wake up to that news!! We headed home the next morning to a house that smelt like smoke, but we were just glad to still have a house to come back to! Now the yard has been raked and the gutters cleared. We just need to work on getting our roof sprinkler to work! Oh, and we were pleased to find Goofy the bunny still hanging around our property (just have to actually catch her now!!)

Friday is forecast to be another hot day with bad conditions for fires so fingers crossed that doesn't eventuate!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

ABA Conference

Last weekend saw Esme and I heading off to Ballarat for my first ABA conference, leaving Chris and Jacob at home by themselves. This was my first time away from Jacob and needless to say, I was a little nervous! Not just about leaving Jacob but also about looking after Esme by myself and how I was going to manage. Luckily I had Donna with me to give me some moral support (and to entertain Esme in the car LOL) We headed off Friday afternoon and arrived in Ballarat by about 6, stopping once to feed Esme along the way.

That Friday night I was so nervous, Esme was unsettled and getting tired so I had to head back to the room to get her to bed and miss the talk that was on. When I got back to the room I realised my mobile had gone AWOL. Argggh! That was meant to be my lifeline, so I could call Chris whenever I was having trouble. I came so close to getting back in that car and heading straight back to Melbourne right then and there!! But I didn't! I went on and survived two very full on days of talks and workshops, all the while having to juggle a sometimes unhappy little girl who only sleeps in the sling!! I have to admit though that Esme was really pretty good, she did have a few moments of being quite unsettled but this could be put down to getting two more teeth! She was also a little angel for me at night, going down to bed easily, waking only once during the night for a feed and a little snuggle in bed with me from about 6 in the morning :)

All in all, it was a pretty good weekend. Lots of learning and making new friends and I was very happy to sign off on another workbook too!! But gee, I was so glad to be home again (and this single parenting gig is definately NOT for me LOL)

P.S. Jacob usually feeds to sleep at night so Chris had a little trouble getting him to sleep without him having 'mulk' However, the second night he'd obviously had enough of not getting his milk so he pointed to Chris' chest and said 'Daddy. mulk?'

Phillip Island

Chris had a couple of weeks off work at the end of January so we decided to head off to Phillip Island for a family holiday. Chris' aunt and uncle have a holiday house at Rhyll there which they very kindly let us use. I have to say it beats staying in a tent at a caravan park with wakeful kids and constantly worrying about them waking up everyone around them!!!

The day we were to leave was forecast to be 43 degrees and when Chris went out to do some shopping that morning he discovered that the air conditioner in the car had chosen that particular day to stop working! There was no way we wanted to go anywhere on a day like that without air conditioning! Luckily we were able to get the car in to get looked at and the air conditioner was able to be fixed. So we headed off, abeit a LOT later than we had anticipated.

The whole holiday was really enjoyable and relaxing. We spent the first Saturday down at the Cowes' beach with mum and dad who had come down to Phillip Island for the weekend and had lunch with them the next day down at Rhyll. It was overcast and rainy on the Sunday so not much else to do! On the Monday we went to the Nobbies for a walk along the boardwalk. We all ended up getting really, really burnt as we stupidly hadn't put on sunscreen as it was overcast and almost cold! I'm so glad Esme was in the sling most of the time with the sleeping hood on. She did get burnt a bit but it could have been so much worse!! We went to the Rhyll beach in the afternoon where Esme dipped her feet in the water (and loved it!) and Jacob avidly avoided the water LOL. Talk about chalk and cheese!! On the Tuesday we went to the koala sanctuary, I can't say that Jacob was really interested in the koalas but he did enjoy the long walk we did there. The whole time we were away he just us to walk all the time! He must've walked kilometres over the days we were there (maybe that was why he slept so well at night while we were away, we didn't hear peep from him from the time he went to bed till the time he woke up - 12 hours or more later!)

We headed home on the Wednesday with the big task of unpacking!

Jacob at the unit cooking up shell and flower soup :)

The beach at Rhyll

The Nobbies

Koala Sanctuary

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