Showing posts from November, 2010

This time of the year does not agree with me

I quite like to have some level of busyness - but I like it when I have some control over how busy I am.

As each year passes I'm just finding Christmas more and more stressful.  And I was at this same point last year.  I currently have the small knot of what I call the 'December Panic' just sitting in the bottom of my stomach which will remain until about Christmas Eve.  Until then I have to juggle shopping (endless, endless shopping - I don't find shopping energising) with all the end of year events - school, church, preschool, work ...  Also in the next fortnight a high school orientation, a music exam, a piano concert (4 children playing), husband's birthday, daughter's 4th birthday party, Year 6 party to set up for, preschool concert ... there's probably more but my brain is starting to shut down! O and husband is going away for work too.

And, (now you'll know that I'm truly crazy) I have an essay due for uni on the 13th December.

So, I was ve…

Vote Now!!

My blog has been kindly nominated by a friend to go in the top Mommy bloggers competition.

So, vote now! on the alphabetical option and I'm on about page 5 of the list).

And nominate other mums in the competition - it would be great to see some Australian mums up there in the top 50.

Setting limits

So - I'm the unpopular mother at the moment because I won't let my son (12 1/2) see the latest 'Harry Potter' movie.  He understands that it is scary and that he's probably better off not seeing it, but he said that he just feels left out.  All his school friends are off to see it at the movies over the weekend (or so he tells me - whether that is reality or not is questionable).

I make him feel left out a lot because we won't let him watch 'M' rated movies.  He has seen a few - at parties, friend's houses etc, but in general we'd prefer him not to.  I also don't let him watch whatever he likes on TV - again, seems to be fairly common among his friends.

I was also presented with the famous, "But All the other Mums are Letting their Kids do It" award last week by my daughter.  This was over a sleep-over birthday party that I was saying no to.  We had a bad experience last year where the girls only got about 4 hours sleep and as a 9 …

Books for ten year old girls

I asked on facebook the other day for suggestions of books suitable for ten year old girls.  So here's the complied list from everyone's contributions.  The ones with ** are ones that my daughter has read this year and loved particularly.  Feel free to suggest any of your own ideas.

Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter
The Babysitter's Club by Ann M. Martin
**My sister Jodie by Jacqueline Wilson
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
**Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Amelia Dee and the Peacock Lamp, Darius Bell and the Glitter Pool, and the Hazel Green series by Odo Hirsch
Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
**When you reach me by Rebecca Stead
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
** The Phoenix Files Series by Chris Morphew
Alice Miranda Series by Jacqueline Harvey
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
** Cicada Summer by Kate Constable
The Never Ending Story by Michael Ende
Patricia St John books
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas…

Reading books in a series

Earlier this week I wrote a post about kids loving reading books in a series.

Today we spent ages searching for the first Harry Potter book because one of the kids wants to start the series again.  We kept finding the second one or the fifth one but not the first.

So Abbie says as she's going to bed, "Mum, I'm reading the first book - it's called 'Dig, Dig Digging' and then the second book is called 'P. B. Bear'". They are both stand alone picture books.

I think we must discuss books that are in series quite a lot.   'Which one are you up to?', 'Is it different to the second one?', 'I liked the fifth one the best' etc., etc.!

btw 'Dig, Dig, Digging' is a great book especially if you have a preschooler boy who loves cars/trucks/buses.

Abbie Standard Time

I'm instituting a new way of telling the time in our house.  It is called 'Abbie Standard Time' (AST).

Abbie is almost four and AST has come about because every time we leave the house, I have to adjust my watch FORWARDS by five to ten minutes.  This is to allow for the time difference between when I think we will have enough time to get where we need to go and the time Abbie adds to this estimate.  So when the clock says the time is 8:45am (time to go to school), it is actually 8:35 and there is still time left for the readjustment required.

How does she add to the time?  Well, on Tuesday morning, it was a last minute drawing that she had to do for her friend Emma which had to get put in an envelope.  Monday morning, we're walking to school and half way down the street she stops and starts going through her handbag.  She starts 'texting' a friend while chatting on her other phone and then starts fiddling around with her purse to try and put a five cent piece i…

Real Moms

Yesterday I picked up a book from the playgroup library called 'Real Moms:  Exploding the myths of motherhood'.  The book looked sensible enough as I flipped through it.

But then I turned the book over and had a look at the pictures of the authors.  Not so real now ladies.  Both author photos were glamour shots and looked more on the Angelina end of the spectrum (photo 1) than the end of the spectrum (photo 2) that I (and most mothers) live on.

Plus their blurbs share that they are directors/presidents/freelance writers/radio presenters etc, etc.  No mention of any actual 'real' offspring anywhere in their spiel.

All very strange.

Kids love reading books in a series

In Sunday's paper, the Australian writer John Marsden (author of the 'Tomorrow when the war began' series) said that he,  "has no doubt about why children are entranced by book series.   'It is very comforting to read a series; it is like going to bed with a security blanket'".
This is indeed very true in my experience.  Two years ago I just randomly picked a 'Ranger's Apprentice' book off the shelf for Aidan and he told me recently that he was very thankful that I picked that book for him because it was the beginning of a WHOLE series.  Much happiness abounded in the last school holidays as the girls enjoyed the 'Malory Towers' series and they keep rereading 'Harry Potter' over and over again.

Kids love that sense of reading a book, loving it and knowing that there are many more of the same to come.  Authors now have websites that tell the kids when the next book in a series is due out (puts a lot of pressure on those authors tho…

Housework random thoughts

Here's a couple of things I actually HAVE learnt along the way about housework.

- You do get more efficient the longer you do it - and more strategic. 'What do I need to do to make it feel OKish?'

- There is hope for those at home with toddlers.  It gets easier to keep the house clean as they get older, simply because my kids aren't actually in the house during the day when they are at school.  I do find that the house gets pretty messy on the weekends/school holidays, but we usually do a big clean-up on Sunday afternoon - they get allocated a 'space' each - watching a favourite TV show is usually the incentive.

- The kid's bedrooms are the worst mess now.  It's where they keep all their 'precious' things (aka bits of junk, bits of craft, bits of whatever), the girls get changed multiple times a day and I'm reluctant to go through their stuff without them being around.  I feel like it's the only space they have any control over so I'…

Housework Questions

I've been thinking about housework quite a lot over the past few weeks.  I like having a tidy house and do enjoy the washing being put away (I even managed it again today).  But I don't spend hours and hours on it every day.  I find other things - well, being truthful - mostly anything else - more interesting.

If I could justify it, I'd pay a cleaner with money from my new job (but, I obviously can't, because I'm saving up for that holiday).

Anyway ... here's a couple of questions for you, my friends in blog land, to answer for me:

1.  Do those of you who spend many hours a day doing housework, really enjoy doing it?

2.  Would those of you who have very neat houses find coming to my less-than-perfect house stressful?  Would you be quietly thinking to yourself, 'gee, if only she spent a bit less time on her blog, and more time on this house...'?

Just curious (and you can be anonymous - I won't make fun of you).

Domestic Legend

So am feeling like a total legend because today I actually put OUT the washing, brought IN the washing, FOLDED the washing and by some amazing super power that is not normal for me, PUT IT AWAY.

Now, this may not be shocking to you.  In fact, this may be quite a normal process for you, but I just cannot get that last step done.

So I'm momentarily enjoying the washing free playroom and the empty washing basket. Very satisfying.

Now if I could only do it all again tomorrow, I'd be on a definite roll!

Movie: The Social Network

Being a fan of Facebook I was looking forward to seeing the movie 'The Social Network'.  I'm also a fan of the movie's scriptwriter Aaron Sorkin, who also wrote scripts for the TV show, 'The West Wing'.

I'm not sure how much of it was actually true but it was a good yarn.  It tells the story of the creation of Facebook intertwined with two lawsuits that were taken out against the creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, after it had taken off across the world.

I got into Facebook in the middle of 2007.  Why do I remember?  I was stuck at home for two weeks in the July school holidays because my daughter had her tonsils out and had to stay at home to recover.  No.  5 was six months old and I felt incredibly trapped and isolated being at home.  Facebook provided easy access with the outside world.  I could communicate with friends and see what they were up to.  I met up with old friends from across the world and caught up with all their news.  I could communica…

Marshmallow Joy

In the second part of my series on 'Material Things that Bring me Joy' (joke:  this is not actually a series), I'd like to explain why I am up so close and personal with a packet of marshmallows.

Had my braces adjusted yesterday and for about a week afterwards it always feels like someone has pummelled the inside of my mouth (which in fact, my orthodontist has).  And marshmallows are my friend and comfort through this week.  Carrots, apples and small children sitting up suddenly while on my lap and banging my chin, are the enemy.

Dishwasher joy

I know that material possessions are not meant to make you happy, but in all seriousness how is it possible that a dishwasher cannot create happiness?

I am particularly thankful for my dishwasher today because I have just stacked my third load for the day.  We had people for lunch and it is so luxurious to just put it all through the dishwasher.

Every night when I am tired and totally over the day, I take great pleasure in seeing how much I can load up the dishwasher.  It is a machine that creates daily joy.

Just thought you should all know this!

Highschool: Decision 2010

So friends ... let's launch back into the crazy world of schooling (am feeling robust today).
We're going to send our son to a public (government) high school.  In some circles (especially Christian) this is quite a talking point.  So I'm going to share the reasons why we chose the public system.  Just because I want to throw our thinking into the mix.  NOT to place judgement on other's decisions.  In talking to my friends this year about how they've made their decision about high school - it is very rarely a straightforward, easy decision.
I really want to emphasis that while schooling is an area that we are very excellent at judging one another on (experienced first hand in my earlier post), I can't see a clear right or wrong way to go on this decision.  All of us make a decision based on the information we have in front of us at the time - we can only do our best with that information.  Each of us are unique (as are our children) so the decisions we make and t…

Ladies' No 1 Detective Agency

Just finished reading the latest in this series, called "The Double Comfort Safari Club" by Alexander McCall Smith.  Really like these books. Easy reading.  Nice characters.  Funny.  And if you haven't read them, lots in the series now (up to eleven I think).