It is that time of year again. When we say good-bye to the things that we have done in the past year and say hello to the things we hope to do in the year coming. Therefore, it is time for me to reflect on what has happened to our little-big family in 2009. A lot has certainly happened, when I think about it! Here is a month-by-month reflection for my own good, as well as yours!

In January, we were still living in Gladstone, a little town in Central Queensland. We happened to be living at my Nana's house (she, sadly, passed away 2 years ago now) and having a ball, even though we didnt have much space inside the house. Fortunately, the yard is MASSIVE and the kids found solace in knowing that they had that to play in each day instead of spending their time inside. The summer was hot and sometimes unforgiving, but we got through it without a front door and the breeze that it would have provided, IF we were able to open it! Nana's stuff was in the front room, ultimately blocking the front door...bad mistake that one! I spent some time outside under the trees up the back crocheting a jumper for Weez - my first big crochet project, besides a blanket! *Once my old computer is fixed, I am going to HAVE to find you the photo of it! It is just gorgeous and Weez LOVES it!!*

January was also the month that I was accepted into university! Yep - I am finally on my way to my dream job - a nurse! I have hit a few bumps along the way (which will become apparent in just a little while), but I finished my first year with no failures and I am quite proud of myself and my family!

The beginning of February saw us packing up, once again, and heading off to greener pastures here in Rockhampton, Central Queensland. We lived with Pete's Mum for a little while in her little house while we looked for a house to buy up here. After a couple weeks of looking at run down pieces of crap that needed a heck of a lot of work, we stumbled across this house, which had just come on the market the week before and wasnt even advertised yet! I fell in love straight away (mainly because the boy's room was so big) and it took Pete a little to see it's potential, too. But we are here and we have many, many plans for this place!

But that is not all! Our move meant that the kids had to start a new school! One of the things I love about this place is that it is just across the road from a primary AND high school, so it was easy to just slot them in there. With us living this close to the school and the university, Pete also suggested that I should take on full time study! That meant 4 subjects per term! I wasnt sure how the kids would cope with the extra responsibility of picking up where I left off most mornings, themselves, but I thought it was worth a try, at the very least!

March saw Bubba Pete turn the big 4 and Will turn 1 (my babies are growing up!!). All the kids settled in well to their new schools and daycare and I settled into uni life as best I could (for a 'mature' student).

In April, I was half way through my first term at university (VERY excited!) when I suffered, for the first time this year, an 'incident' with my back. You see, in October last year I was struck with a problem, where I could not move very much at all. I thought that it was my sciatica playing up again and didnt think much of it, until I had to borrow my friends computer (I was doing the STEPS course through CQUniversity) and headed over to her house with 6 kids in tow and ended up perched on her couch while lying down...unable to move another inch because of the pain. The doctor that I saw in the emergency ward referred me to get a CAT scan done on my back, which revealed a bulging disc between L5 and S1 (down the bottom of my spine, between the freely moving bones and the 5 fused bones that eventually lead to the tailbone). This pushes on my sciatic nerve, causing the pain that runs down the back of my leg and up under my foot. Ultimately, this episode was caused from sitting on my butt and studying at the computer!

In May, my 'baby' girl turned 12 and I finished my first term at uni. The break between terms did not feel that long, however, since I had a couple of exams the 2 weeks following end of term! I did, however, pass all my exams (thank goodness) and I now look at my family in a different light - I no longer feel the need to exclude myself from 'life' anymore because of my kids - yes, I DO have a couple more than most, but they WILL get in together when needed and do things TOGETHER!!

June saw my other 'baby' girl turn 6 and, with renewed energy and faith in my family, I enrolled, once again, in full time study at university. This term, I started 'Prac', where I had to go to the hospital and 'work' a certain amount of hours in order to pass a subject. I was placed at the Mater Hospital on the other side of town and did not have the option of working morning or afternoon shift, like so many other students. Morning shift it was, so I headed off at 6:15am on my scooter (our new addition to the family) to make it in time for my 6:50am start. It was interesting, to say the least! I soon learnt the politics of a hospital is no different from anywhere else! My original placement was up in womens/maternity (why oh WHY do they make women who are in labour go UPSTAIRS to get to the labour ward???). I was told that I was basically useless there, because I could do nothing for or with them (we arent meant to do anything more than what we have been taught at the uni). A couple of times I was rostered on with a 3rd year student and, of course, she is able to do much more than I, but there was also a lot of women going in for 'women's' proceedures that I could have been helpful with! So I found myself taking blood pressures, emptying linen skips, etc, etc, etc......basically until I thought that I would die of boredom! All because they could not get out of their little box and give me a darn chance! Well....that is my thoughts, and that's that!

After speaking with my supervisor, I was transferred to the surgical ward, where they had HEAPS for me to do! I found myself busy making beds, taking blood pressures regularly and generally learning a heck of a lot more off those nurses than I would have up in womens/maternity! A couple of the nurses that I spoke to about my problems upstairs just looked at me and gave me a quizzical look. It wasnt until one spoke up and said, 'Well, they are a breed all their own up there.....they think they are special, because they bring life into the world and we dont' that I understood. Sort of makes me think twice about becoming a midwife. is late and I am rambling and making HEAPS of mistakes with my typing! I had better head off to bed and finish this tomorrow. Until then....Goodnight! And Happy New Year!!