Showing posts from March, 2011

Ideas for a book that will make me famous

Today I picked up a book to read at lunch when I was at work.  It was about a guy who lost 40 kilos by cutting sugar out of his diet.  The ten pages I read were quite interesting.

So I started to ponder,  'Hey - what's my story'?  What's the aspect of my life that I could use to write a book and make my fortune (well, limited fortune anyway)?

I'm not a tiger mother.  I'm not a mother who had an amazing career and then became a mother and then discovered how hard and undervalued it is (like this is some kind of radical concept) and then discovered she actually liked being a mother so only ended up working part-time (as a consultant of course) in her amazing career.  I haven't run a marathon every day for a year (although most days feel like I have).  I've only had one husband - haven't left him to go and 'find myself' in three different exotic locations and get my story made into a movie starring Julia Roberts.  I still get on with my parent…

More tips for the 'So what high school is your child going to?' chat

Tip #2

When someone says to you, "Oh we're thinking of applying for a scholarship at X private school", don't respond with, "I can't believe you're deserting the public system".

It just doesn't help.

Tip #3

When someone says to you, "Oh we're thinking of sending our child to X public/private (but not full-on Christian) school", don't respond with "But aren't you worried about their faith?".

It also just doesn't help.

Tips for the 'So what high school is your child going to?' chat

Tip #1 - (I'm not even sure if there will be Tip #2, but here's today's tip for this conversation):

When I say "Oh last week we went and had a look at X school, I really liked it and my child seemed happy with the idea of going there" please don't reply with, "Really?  I've heard terrible things about that school, Mary Jo from down the road (you know her Jenny don't you?) told me that her neighbour's cousin's child has gone there and got in with the wrong crowd and it has been a TOTAL disaster for their family.  It will need to improve A LOT before I ever send my child there".

Just   doesn't   help.

My quiet and peaceful job (apparently)

OK, so if anyone else says to me, "oh, you work as a librarian - I'd love a quiet, peaceful job like that", I might scream or just reply with ...

- Today I heard of a library where they have to employ a security guard for the after school hours because the kids are so rude, disrespectful and threatening to the librarians.

- This afternoon I had to comfort a distressed eight year old girl who had her mobile phone stolen and she was in the library without her mum, who would be picking her up from the library after she finished work at about 6:30pm.

- My co-worker had to spend the day recovering from being yelled at by a mother because the children's librarian asked if the screaming (for 15 minutes), tantruming toddler could be taken outside the library while they were trying to run story time.

Just a few 'excitements' from my quiet and peaceful job!

Off to a conference

I'm very excited - I'm off to a training conference for work tomorrow.  It's so fun to get out and do something different to normal work.  I'm looking forward to getting some new ideas and talking to other children's librarians.  The free lunch is quite exciting too (sad and desperate times I know!).

Favourite birthday present No 3

So here's another favourite.  Friends from church got together and bought me a slow cooker.  It was very unexpected and kind of them.  I have been complaining a lot about being too busy so maybe they decided it was time to take action to help me!  It's also massive so it will cook two meals at once.

But it is a very cool present.  I like cooking dinner in the morning so a slow cooker works for me.  I find myself getting so weary in the afternoons when I'm supposed to be producing a meal that I can't even think straight about dinner.

I gave it a go this morning and put dinner on before school.  This is a bit pathetic really, but cooking this morning made me feel genuinely happy all day knowing I didn't have to worry about dinner this afternoon!   It also meant I could help the kids with all their homework, music practice, reading etc. without trying to juggle dinner too.

So the slow cooker is a worthy recipient of a mention on my blog!

The shy minister's wife

I was a nominator at our church for the past 12 months, which meant that if our minister left I'd be involved in the selection process for finding a new minister.
Occasionally through the year I would consider how the minister's wife fitted in with making a decision about a new minister (especially as I'm married to a 'potential' so this is an interesting issue to ponder when I could be on the other side of the nominating process).  Should I even be considering the minister's wife in this selection process?
I know that many churches quietly want a minister's wife who is dynamic and outgoing and willing to run every women's/children's/hospitality event for the church.  The unspoken hope is that she will be basically able to do everything her husband does, but for women/children/catering.  It's quiet and unspoken (in theory) but I know it's there - I've experienced it first hand ("you should be more friendly Jenny" or "But the…

Favourite birthday present No 2

This is the one that made me laugh the most.  The kids were so excited about my birthday - they told me when I was sick a few weeks ago that I'd had to get better because 'Mummy, it's only 9 days until your birthday!'

Favourite present No 2 comes courtesy of my youngest child who wrapped up her very own pink Zhu Zhu pet (the toy with the loudest, most annoying sound in toyland at present) in some leftover pink princess paper she found in her room.  She did wake me up on my birthday sleep-in to demand sticky tape to wrap up this present.  I don't know how long I've got it for - she hasn't reclaimed it yet.

She also asked me how old I was and I said '21'.  She replied with an awestruck 'Wow' and ran off to proudly (and loudly) announce to the other children her newfound information.  However, when the preschool teachers asked her how old I was (they hear all the goss don't they?) she told them I was '61' - they assured me that I di…

Hairdresser traumas

Here's a tip for hairdressers from a mother of five, working and studying and doing a billion other things.


It doesn't make her want to go to get her hair cut because she has to be all apologetic and feels the pressure to give substantial reasons for her slackness.  So she puts it off and off and then it gets worse so then the hair looks worse.

However, this woman finally decided that things were desperate enough that she'd crawl back and get a haircut.

Not the favourite thing to do - time-consuming (what is with that head massage? - just rinse out the conditioner already), inane chit-chat, getting a half burnt head by an apprentice blow drying the hair, and then the trauma of having to sit in front of the mirror that shows the rapidly ageing face in all it's glory.

Hair does look nice though.

Favourite birthday present No 1

It was my birthday on Wednesday.  I am of age - a significant age - but not a large zero age ... yet.

I had a fab day - this whole working thing paid off because they gave me an incredible chocolate cake which we enjoyed for morning tea (we do love a birthday at my work).  Even a little pressie from my co-workers on my desk.  Very sweet.

So here's my first favourite birthday present.  A porcelain eco-cup.  All for me and not for use by my husband drinking his stinky coffee.  It has flowers and a teapot on it - unlikely he'll be fighting to use it.

The question is.  How long will it be before I break it?!

Even though wearing the same outfit lots of different ways is cool and green, it just reminds me of being pregnant

I was thinking about a story I read last year about a lady who decided to wear a little black dress everyday for 365 days - and blog (of course) about how she did that.  It was a charity fundraiser and was inspiring for those who want to reduce consumerism and make do with what we have (I like this idea which is why I was drawn to the story).

However, what it did also remind me of was when I was pregnant.  Maternity clothes are all fun at the beginning of the pregnancy, but by the last few months I'd end up with one pair of pants that I liked wearing (comfortable, didn't fall down) and a top I looked vaguely sensible in.  You try to jazz them up with necklaces/scarves etc but after a while you just get sick of this one outfit. Of course, in reality, I couldn't wear the same clothes everyday and I'd have to wear something else on the off days and they were never comfortable and I looked/felt horrible. 
After you have the baby the problem continues on with weeks/months of…

Extreme books

I have a morbid fascination with books that are about the extremes of survival. My favourite book so far for 2011 has been 'The Road' by Cormac McCarthy.  It was made into a movie that, having now read the book, I have zero desire to see.  The book was stressful enough.

'The Road' is the story of a father and his young son who are walking - away from a disaster, towards somewhere else, to the coast, towards something, well, we don't really ever find out through the book.  It is a post-apocalyptic story - most of the world has been wiped out and there is almost no life left or ways of survival.  Those that are left are mostly mad - reduced to eating other humans - with a few that have still retained their humanity.  It is a totally depressing book - scary in some parts.

However the beauty of the book lies in it's ability to make small joys seem hugely significant in the midst of such destruction and devastation and hopelessness.  Not everything is spelt out to yo…

Hospitality Hiccups

During February we had quite a few dinners and lunches with staff on the team that Rowan works with at the uni.  For the majority of the time I don't get to have much contact with our short-term staff members, so inviting them over for a meal is an easy way to meet them and for them to meet me and the kids.

I've always thought hospitality was important.  I grew up in a family where we always had extra people for meals.  It just helps to strengthen relationships and get to know people faster.

In saying I think it is important, I don't think it is a particular gift of mine.  I'm not great at cooking (I've been doing it for a while now, so I CAN do it - I'm just not great at it) and we don't have a beautiful tidy house with a pleasing aesthetic environment.

However, I've always done it.  Wherever we've lived and however small or pokey the surroundings.  I always thought the value of it outweighed the things that weren't ideal.  I've always to…

still human

I've had a few discussions with real life people about the earlier post about my busy week.  I think it freaked out a few people (my apologies) especially those without kids or younger children.  I didn't mean to worry people so I might just keep my crazy life quietly to myself!

And just to assure you I'm really human - I've been sick since Tuesday, took a day off work on Wednesday and have been in bed for the past two days.  My usual strategy of 'just keeping going and I'll get better' hasn't worked.  It normally does so it's a bit of a shock to the system that I have to actually go to bed!

I am also married to a very patient husband who keeps the show on the road while I collapse in a heap.  I take the sickness as a loud warning - I will try to pace myself better (but I do get bored quite quickly!).

Still getting my head around the working and parenting gig

I really struggled over the summer holidays with work.  I found it hard that I was missing out on time with the kids. I also found it hard that I was running programs for kids at my library when my own kids were at home.  Now that school is back it's a lot easier - they are busy so I'm not missing out on time with them.  But I found it so hard - I felt genuinely sad.
There may be those of you who think that's a bit mad.  Especially those of you who would love to go to work to get a break from your kids.  Or those of you who have been juggling work and kids since you had babies.
I don't like feeling sad but also I don't think it's a bad thing. It stops me from getting consumed by work.  It gives perspective.  It helps me remember what's important to me in my life.  It stops me from having my sense of well-being tied up with how work is going.
I think working has also confirmed for me that staying at home with the kids full-time for a long time was the right thi…

That last push to the summit (of bedtime)

You know what almost kills me about putting the kids to bed at night on my own.  That last 20 minutes before the kids are in bed - or supposed to be in bed.  I can see the end, it is almost there.  They are almost in bed.  But it feels like I'm just chasing my tail.  They get silly.  They want to play in each other's rooms.  They want to have sword fights with their toothbrushes.  They want to giggle at each other going to the toilet.  They suddenly need to construct the last section of a lego masterpiece.  They have to read the last two pages of 'the most exciting bit in the story Mum' (which ends up being twenty pages that is read while 'I'm still on the toilet Mum' - yeah right).

And I can feel the patience draining right out of my body.  I can also see the lounge - I can see time on my own - it's coming, but it's not there.  Not even close.

But the tricky thing is that if you start losing the plot with 20 minutes to go it takes a whole lot long…