Showing posts from December, 2010

School to holiday transition period

So hands up the parents who are suffering through the school to holiday transition period?  You know the symptoms.  Hours of grumpiness, fighting with siblings ('she's looking at me', 'he's not sharing', 'she won't play with me' and much, much more), cries of 'I'm bored, I've got nothing to do' (Mother: "You should play outside", Child: "No, it's too sunny/rainy/hot/cold, why can't go on the computer/Wii/TV/DS __________? (insert favoured electronic item here)").

This is the point at which you start to freak out and wonder how on earth you are going to survive the next six weeks.  Christmas at least breaks it up - there's the promise of new toys to distract for a few hours and hopefully some relatives to entertain the kids.  But past that, well, that's just a scary void.

Let me reassure you that it does get better.  Which is why I call it a transition.  The kids need to readjust to being with you a…

This makes me happy

While hanging out my washing this morning - I just felt at peace.  I love my hills hoist, I love the sun, I love the wind, I love the eucalypts and I love a temperature about 25C.  Incredible Sydney day.

Books for early readers

I'm always trying to find books that are good for kids who have just started reading, are desperate to read on their own, but can't cope with anything too difficult.  I like to find books that have short sentences, not many words to a page, illustrations and only a few complex words for them to have to work out on their own.

I've recently found these books by Sally Rippin called the 'Billie B. Brown' series which seem to fit my criteria.  They are for girls, but the girl is a tomboy who has friends who are boys.  They are a nice alternative to the painful (yet, so loved) Rainbow Magic books (which, as an aside, were enormously helpful in getting my girls going with their reading).

Darcey Bussell's 'Magic Ballerina' series are a similar reading level to the Rainbow Fairy books (a step above Billie B. Brown) and another alternative to the fairy books.

For the boys, some series that I like are Louis Sacher's 'Marvin Redpost' series, 'Zac P…

Almost doing it all

I know that I have officially reached my brain's full capacity.  I need to upgrade and get some more memory from the brain shop because I can't fit anymore in.

I know this, because I've stopped reading whole emails, or an entire birthday party invite.  Here are some examples.

I read the email that's about having dinner with friends.  Well, I get the bits of information that seem important to me.  Time, date, place - yeap - OK I think - all in my brain - that'll do.  However, the other details like 'park out the back, there won't be parking on the street' and 'bring swimmers for the kids, we might go for a swim' - did not at any stage entire my brain.  Totally embarrassing of course and when I went home and reread the email, sure enough, there was all this information. Sitting there. Right in an email in front of me.

Same thing happens with a kid's birthday party. Yes, I think, we can fit that in.  Friday morning - OK we're free.  This t…

A tale of hair gel

The tired looking Mum shows off her handiwork with the hair gel for her son's Year 6 party. 
He had such a lovely time - it's nice when they're still young enough to be appreciative of a nicely decorated school hall and a proper DJ.  The girls wore lovely party dresses (oh, except for the girl who got confused and thought she was at her Year 10 formal and wore a dress that left little to the imagination ... story for another day) and lots of the boys wore black.  
All very sweet and a few emotional parents by the end of the night - especially for those who have their youngest child in Year 6.  I, on the other hand, am just getting warmed up.

Busy week

Bit tired - has been a full-on week and it's not over yet.  Last week of school is always so crazy and tiring.  I'm not a girl who loves the craziness - I just long for it to end.  However, I'm trying to enjoy all the delights of this time of the year for my children.  It is so special for them as they celebrate their achievements, their milestones, getting to the end of another year.

On Monday I took my son to his high school orientation.  Even though we stood in the uniform shop queue for an hour, he had a great time.  It feels like it's actually going to happen for him and he's ready.  On the way home he said, "You know what Mum, I might not look excited, but I am super-excited on the inside".  Yesterday he had his school's presentation morning, and because he is school captain he had to give a speech, give gifts to invited guests and introduce items.  He also won a very special award and was able to be generous to his good friend when she won the …

I NEED exercise

I can't believe I'm actually saying that!  I was always the girl to get picked last or second last for sports teams at school.  Totally not my scene at all.

But I seriously committed myself to regular exercise about five years ago.  I was initially motivated by a desire to lose the large amount of weight I had gained during my No 3 pregnancy.  But as time went on I realised that exercise and going to the gym were keeping me sane.  Literally sane.  Without it I found myself going a bit loopy - getting anxious, over-processing every conversation, unable to feel calm, getting angry and grumpy with the family a lot.  Even Rowan now says, "I think you need to go to the gym - you really need to go (code for 'I love you, but you are a mental case').

After I had my fifth child I was so smashed tired - I felt pretty terrible at the 9 month mark and one of the things that got me through that time was pushing on with the exercise.  It helped that Rowan was very committed to…

Time to raise our expectations

My children are regularly rude to me and each other, but I'm always taken aback when children are repeatedly disrespectful of other adults.

I know I shouldn't be shocked (I was a high school teacher) but I have been astounded since I started back at work by the behaviour of the some of the kids I've met.  The high levels of blatant disrespect and rudeness.  Children who are ungrateful ("I hate this prize, I don't want it, it is stupid").  Children who ignore repeated instructions. Children who are just horribly mean to other children.  Children who run to the other end of the library and hide when their parents say it is time to go home.  Children who lie - over and over.  The list goes on - and all the school teachers go 'and yes, Jenny, so what's new?!

Now that I have my own children, I'm more confident than ever that kids CAN do better than this.  My children are so, so far from perfect (daily, first-hand experience) but I keep trying.  I kee…

Only children are happier - whoops!

Read in the paper on the weekend about an extensive UK study of families that indicates that only children are happier than those with siblings.
Well, all I can say is that my kids are STUFFED!  My apologies kids - study came out a bit late for us.

When does 'sharing' become 'gossip'?

Had an interesting (in the sense of - challenging - not actually new or exciting) day at work today.  The last two weeks have been really full on for me as we've headed into our summer reading program at the library.  I think I created a problem for our team with my 'hey, I'm a new graduate, here are my innovative ideas' and we had a massive workload in the last month.  I haven't had a proper lunch at work for the last few weeks (but, being perfectly honest, that's no biggy for me after the past 12 years of childrearing) and have worked late/gone in for extra hours on a day I don't work.

Thankfully, the pressure is off for the moment so we can get back to a more balanced work life.

So, it was disappointing to find out today that someone on our team has been complaining about how little we worked compared to other teams in the library.  They had been complaining to their friend on another team about how bored they were feeling because there wasn't much t…