Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Back in the swing of things

(Big, long, proably boring, catch up post... feel free to jump to the next blog!)

Ahhhh, its good to be back! Gastro hit Liam on Wednesday afternoon, and hit me a few hours later. Brett took shelter in the spare room while Liam and I slept in ours... what sleep we got anyway. By Thursday the vomiting had stopped, but we both were just exhausted and wiped out, so I called in sick to work, and Liam missed kinder in the afternoon.

I'm a bit of a dab hand when it comes to gastro now. Liam suffered terribly with it for about 12 months (between 1 and 2 years old). Our basic rules are NO DAIRY until you have been back to normal for two days, and sticking to clear foods and plain starchy carbs. Liam loves a hot milo every morning and night, but he now understands that he can't have milk because it helps the bug grow and it will come back. So we lived on hot Ribena, or 'black milo' (hot water and milo), lots of water, quelch icypole tubes, jelly, toast with no butter and chicken noodle broth. I threw the broth together in the slow cooker this time and it worked great. Chicken thighs (with bone), ready made chicken stock, tiny bit of carrot and celery, and some spaghetti pasta broken into small pieces. Liam and I ate it with plain bread, Brett and Ethan, who both escaped it all, got to eat a cheesy herb twisted delight from Bakers Delight. My fussy eaters LOVED the soup, so I'll be making that again whenever anyone else is sick.

Friday night we had Brett's work Christmas party at the Rocks at Mornington Pier. I had a yummy fig salad, then some tomato based pasta. Pretty plain main, but I wanted to eat gentle food. Brett's dad came over to babysit. His mum was exhausted as she'd been nursing both her mum (B's nanna) and Sally, (B's sister) who both also got gastro. Luckily little Hannah missed it too.

Saturday I photographed a lovely family with two gorgeous little boys. Then we went to another Christmas party at Balnaring Picnic Races. It was HOT! We only stayed about two hours, then I wanted to get the boys out of the heat, so we headed home. Both boys fell asleep on the way home and we popped them straight into bed. Didn't hear from either of them, until Liam came running into my room at 1.30 am crying that he was about to be sick, then threw up all over my bedroom floor. - again I am very pleased we don't have carpet yet!!!!!!!!! Fixed him, fixed the floor, then Brett walked in the door a bit surprised to see us still up. He again took shelter in the spare room and Liam stayed with me. He was fine the rest of the night, then polished off three pieces of toast the next morning. That's HUGE for him. So I think maybe it was the heat?

Sunday we wagged church, as we just had to get some stuff done around here. The only time we have to work on projects like the garden etc is Sunday afternoon, and we needed more time. We have nine silverbirch trees around the perimeter of our block (corner block) and they have been neglected big time with the deck taking priority. They don't get watered, only by the rain, and even though we are allowed to water garden beds I feel guilty doing it, when the water storage levels are so low. I had a look around the internet and did a bit of research on deep pipe irrigation. It's basically a 50cm length of PVC pipe, that you drill small holes in, then dig into the ground vertically, leaving about 15cm above ground, next to the plant you want to water. Every few days you fill the pipe with water (less than 1 litre) and the water goes directly down to the roots of the tree. It waters equivelent to soaking the ground for an hour! Nothing runs off, nothing evaporates, and it encourages the trees to form deep roots. The little holes drilled into the sides of the pipe, let water escape to feed shallower roots, and because the surface doesn't really get watered, it's supposed to help prevent weed growth too.

So with the weather forcast for over 40 degrees we headed off early to pick up a trailer load of mulch, then off to DH's work to get some pipe. Then sat inside and watched DVD's all day until the cool change came through.

Oh did I say our deck is FINISHED! It started way back in April, but now, here we are in December, and finally, FINALLY, we have one, (or three as it happens to be) kick butt gorgeous decks! AND if that is not enough, now that we have the roof on it our house stayed SO cool. It has to have cut at least 15-20 degrees of the indoor temperature on Sunday. Even when it was stinking hot 42 plus degress outside, we just popped on a fan while we watched telly, and it felt like airconditioning. For those who haven't been here, our house is also built of Mt Gambier Limestone, which has amazing insulation qualities. Whooo Hoooo I am wrapt. OK, I may seem very over excited, but if you had to live though the past few summers here, with no shelter from the sun, and even being 8/9 months pregnant one year, you would be excited too!

OK back to life...
Once the cool change came though we put in 4 of the pipes, and mulched the garden beds. They were SO hard to get in. I started it, then had to get dh, who then had to get a sledge hammer and crowbar, and even then we couldn't get down as far as we needed to. Got them in as far as we could and gave the poor trees a drink.

Tonight, after watering them yesterday and this morning I convinced Brett to come and help me get the other five in. The ground was so much softer. They were all done within about 10 minutes. And the originals were able to be put down further too. Hopefully my poor trees will be thriving again soon. I gave them a nice drink of stinky seasol too. I used to love gardning before I found scrapbooking, but have hardly done any since. It's such a satisfying feeling to step back and see the difference you made with a few hours work.

It's amazing how well the pipes work. It takes less than one full watering can to water 9 trees! It only costs a few dollars, it's so easy. Why is it not more commonly known about? Even various neighbours walking past would stop and chat asked about it, so it's not just us that had never heard of it before. I would have thought the water companies would put out info like that in the flyers that come with the bill (on second thought, maybe they do... I never read them!). I mean 3 or so litres per tree per WEEK. That's a massive water saving on what most people would use. And once the trees are established you can remove the pipes as the trees should have nice deep roots. I think we'll leave ours in though.


Jody said...

Hi Katie glad to hear you are back into the swing of things and feeling better. Will have to try your chicken soup recipe the next time the family is poorly again.

I don't mean to sound ignorant, but I haven't heard of the pipes you are talking about. I would be interested in knowing more if you have any info on them.

Take care Jody

Anonymous said...

Hey! I'm glad everyone is feeling lots better! :o)
Oh my gosh, I can't believe you are talking about the sun shining and it being so warm! Over here it has rained every day for the past few weeks and I can't remember when I saw the sun last shine. But I don't envy you in extremely hot temperatures! Crazy how different our weather is though huh?! :o)

Lyn Dwyer said...

Glad you are feeling better Katie!
Hey.....the pipes idea sounds great. Katie....it's a bit like using a spike in the end of a 2 litre fruit juice bottle stuck in the ground around the base of the trees.We have used this method before when we were first getting our trees established here in YJ.
Gardening is something I love too....it gives you a sense of accomplishment when you see things growing from scratch. The garden is my haven at times.....I love it!

Sofi p said...

Katie, glad to read everone is OK. I think I may have to try your chicken soup recipe too (sounds really nice!)

Nic Wood said...

Glad your all feeling beter - just what you needed when you were feeling so run down - NOT!

Great idea with the trees.

Nic xxx