Showing posts from October, 2011

Kindy orientation

On one hand I felt really excited.  She was excited and wore a school uniform she found in the bottom of the uniform drawer.  I felt excited for both of us.  Me as I considered what I can do with a few extra hours a week.

But on the other hand, I was a little bit emotional in the depths of my heart.  What was I feeling sad about?  There's nothing to actually be sad about - this is all good, I tell myself.  She's going to love school.  My kids are growing and developing and I'm getting to be a part of it and see it happen.

But, I felt sad about me.  It's really about me (as per usual).  It's about me leaving a stage of life behind that I've enjoyed but then when I stop and reflect, I've also found super hard.  So what's this about?  Wacky.  I'm guessing it's about me wondering about the next stage of life.  It's about me working out how to be a mum (they still so need me around) but also to be my own person a bit.

So I've decided that …

Book recommendation: The Arrivals

Read this book last week.  Easy read.  The Arrivals (by Meg Mitchell Moore) is about a retired couple, Ginny and William, and their three adult children who all return home over the summer for a variety of reasons.  Lillian comes home with 3 year old Olivia and newborn baby, Philip, after discovering her husband has had an affair at an office party.  Stephen ends up getting stuck at home when his wife is diagnosed with placenta previa and she can't travel back to New York for the remainder of the pregnancy.  And Rachel comes home after a long term relationship breaks up.

It's really just a story of a family and the messiness of families regardless of the age of your children.  Good for a 'takes no brain power to read' type book but still enjoyable.

New book suggestions for 9-11 year old girls

My kids read a lot of the new books that come across my desk at my work.  This is handy for me, because they read them, tell me what they are about, whether or not they like them and then I look like I know what I'm talking about at work!

Here are a few of our recent favs, with the kid's 'verdicts'.
Btw, these aren't necessarily just for girls, but it's my girls who have particularly liked these.

The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon- Verdict:  Funny (they all liked this including the 13yo)

Halfing by Rebecca Lloyd.  Verdict:  Enjoyable (if you like adventure/fantasy)

The Golden Door by Emily Rodda.  Verdict:  Great (first in a new series by the author of the Deltora Quest, Rowan of Rin)

Give me four reasons by Lizzie Wilcock.  Verdict:  Loved it (great if you like books about friendships, transitioning to high school)

The Considine Curse by Gareth P. Jones.  Verdict:  Really enjoyed it (mystery book about a family)

Ruby Redfort:  Look into my eyes by Laur…

Things that (apparently) only I, and I alone, can do

1.  Pick up items and look under them and find ______ (lost sock, lost assignment, lost lego piece etc, etc)

2.  Turn lights off - the bedside lamp, the desk lamp, the main light (all blazing away at the same time), the bathroom light (at 9:03 am), the outside light (at 9:04 am)

3. Pick up slugs and dead cockroaches that can never just lie there and be avoided until I get out of bed.  They must be dealt with - NOW.

4.  Put the toilet seat down and flush it (probably don't even need to say this - you all know it)

5.  Pick up the one, lonely piece of cutlery that somehow can never quite make it's way to the sink after dinner.  Always one - just sitting there.  Waiting for me (and only me) to retrieve it.

6. Empty out the school bag, right to the very bottom, so that all the soggy rotten fruit mess that is mixed in with the old school notes/party invites (which I blissfully never found out about) gets cleaned out.  Eww...

7. Close drawers on the chest of drawers, linen cupboard …

End of week thankfulness

In what has been a week of anxiety for my family (and my brother-in-law is still very unwell), sadness over the death of a friend and the diagnosis of cancer for another friend, I still want to come to the end of the week and remember some of the lovely aspects of my week.  Thought I'd share them with you.

Recently I wrote about the need for me to have a bridal register because so much of my kitchen stuff was falling apart after 17 years of marriage.  I have been very overwhelmed (and a little embarrassed!) by my bloggy friends' generosity.

Firstly I get a tweet from Kath, who went and found me a new plate for my microwave from her local op shop!  And secondly my husband is handed a gift of money from a blog reader who wants me to spend it on kitchen stuff (I'm still dreaming - new knife that actually cuts, a decent grater, a proper chopping board ... enjoying the thinking at the moment!).  Incredible generosity.  Thank you friends!

On Tuesday my children had the most extr…

Working Mum: reflections on the first 12 months

It's just over a year since I started back in part-time employment after having kids.  I get asked a lot 'How's it going? I don't know how you do it.  Are you still happy?  Are you enjoying it?'.  So I thought I'd answer some of these questions.

I only work two days a week.  Once I'm AT work, it's fairly straightforward.  The challenge for me, especially since I'm new to the library world, is to contain my work to work hours.  I do sometimes find it hard to switch off mentally.  Even though I'm physically there two days, often in my head it ends being more like four.  There's the day before - when I psych myself up for it again and my brain begins whirring - and then the day after - when I'm processing all that's happened in the two days.  I have found that as I've got better at the job I'm not thinking about it as much which is nice.

Since I'm not home on the days I'm working I have to fit everything into the other …


I'm worried tonight for my brother-in-law tonight who is very unwell in hospital. He's been quite sick since the weekend. It's not as bad as initially thought, but we're still not clear about what's going on. My sister lives in Adelaide and it is hard when these types of things happen to be so far away. I can't just get her to drop her kids over (all six of them - yes, I know it's a bit strange that we both have large families) so we can look after them. And I've got my own family to look after too. Tricky. I'd love to fly down and help, but we're so uncertain of his diagnosis that we don't know how it will all pan out. They can't even think clearly to know what help would be best.

Just sharing my worry with you my blog friends. Hope it's not too deep ...

Under $10 gift challenge: Presents for 2 and 3 year olds

Earlier this year my Grandma died.  She was a very precious and lovely Grandma.  One of her amazing skills was her ability to give age appropriate, small gifts to her many great grandchildren (19 when she died).  I assume that it was after so many years of practice that she had a good sense of what kids - boys and girls - of all ages would like.  So she's my inspiration for this series - and when I'm old and have a billion grandchildren - I would like to have this list to help me!  I'm going to go up until the age of 11 which is as far I've got with my own kids.  After 11, it all gets very specific AND expensive!  Especially for boys.

Two year olds
Bags - of all shapes and colours
Colouring in books and crayons
Pretend phone
Toy cars

Three year olds

Girls - more bags, anything pink, hairbrush set, baby dolls,
jewellery, fake milk/juice feeding bottles, thick chalk

Boys - balls, playdough, balls, thick chalk, anything Thomas

I would love any more suggestio…

Top 5 tips for fostering new friendships

I've talked to a few women recently who have admitted to feeling lonely. I've written about this before, but I'm back on it because the more I've written about it, the more conversations I've had and a sense of loneliness appears to be a common experience for many women.

My experiences with making friends, is, well, I've always managed to make a few friends wherever I've been.  I've moved around a lot - both as a child between countries and many different schools, and as an adult. I've been the newbie as both a child and adult many times. There have been some contexts which have been very hard - living in a suburb where all the mums worked full-time, made it very tough to make friends when I was at home full-time with small babies.

And I don't feel I'm great at it, because I've seen some women who are incredible at initiating friendships and I've often been on the receiving end.  However, for someone who is naturally shy, I'v…

Under $10 gift challenge: Part 1

My goal for kid's gifts is to aim for something under $10.  Five kids = A LOT of gifts over the year as they go to friend's parties etc.  I love giving gifts though - great fun.

So my challenge is to bring together a list of age appropriate presents for boys and girls, that cost less than $10 - preferably not related to a movie or brand (although there are exceptions to this on my list), items that will stand the test of time and items that don't require any effort on my part (ie. no sewing, cooking, packaging - homemade gifts are lovely and cheap but sometimes there are 4 or 5 parties on a weekend, so I'm being realistic).

To kick off this list, I want to share the present that I'm particularly excited about at the moment.  I think it will suit girls ages 5 to age 10 and boys until about age 8.  It costs less than $10 and will probably be the gift many of my 9 nieces/nephews will be receiving this Christmas (sorry to spoil the surprise folks).

It's called a &#…

Dangers of celebrating

Yesterday I handed in my last assignment for my Masters degree.  I feel so relieved and truly amazed to have got this far (although happier once I know I've passed).

To celebrate, Rowan and I went out for supper last night (courtesy of my Mum who is staying with us for a few days).  We celebrated in our usual outrageous style.  A trip to a bookshop followed by a coffee shop.  'Yes, let's get our own decadent chocolate fondant each', we cry, 'It's a celebration after all!'  And yes, with a pot of earl grey tea on the side (of course, what else?).

After 9 pm.  Bad, bad move.

I was awake until 1.30 am.  And had to get up at 6.30 am to get ready for work.  It was a looonnngg night. Followed by an even longer day.

Why couldn't I sleep?

1.  I'm really not used to eating rich food
2.  I can't cope with that much chocolate and caffeine so 'late' in the day
3.  We are just getting old.

Now, as I'm sipping my herbal tea at 8.30 pm, I've le…

Time for a bridal register

Recently my kitchen has been looking a bit sad.  We have an ordinary dinner plate in our microwave because the original glass plate broke in 2001.  For a while there, the only functional cooking implements I had were the electric frypan, my Chausser cast-iron pot and a medium size saucepan.  The handles had fallen off our fry pan and a few other saucepans months earlier.  This was all fine, until I wanted to do a big cook-up ... which frankly is every meal at my place.

Three years ago my brother-in-law got married and they had such beautiful things in their kitchen because of their bridal registry.  It got me thinking.  I need a bridal registry.  So it must be time for  'renewal of the vows' event.  We didn't have a bridal registry the first time around.  If you get an invitation to our vow renewal ceremony, don't feel anxious for our marriage.  Understand that I'm just using you for your buying power.