Showing posts from January, 2012

No tears (from either of us!)

She went off quite happily.  As I left they were all going to the toilet, so she just joined the line and didn't look back.  Very keen to just get on with school.  Great day!

My baby starts school

And my baby starts school tomorrow.  I was feeling cool as school about the whole thing and my husband was going to take her because I have a new job.

But I suddenly thought 'I can't do this.  I need to be there.  A little bit for her.  But mainly for me'.  My new boss is a lovely, generous lady who said, 'of course, you need time for these transitions'.

So I can be there tomorrow.  I can take lots of photos.  I truly can't believe this day has come - after all this time being at home with little people.

Don't think I'll cry.  I'm excited for her.  She's excited and school is such fun.  I just need to be there to sign off this era of my life.

Librarian happiness

Yesterday on the public holiday I relaxed by watching the cricket AND sorting the lego.  I found it so fun.  What I would want all of my life to be like but in microcosm and just so much more achievable.

Recycled post: Setting limits

I rediscovered this post from 2010.  I liked it so I thought I'd share it with you.

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…

Two days in ...

... just - so - tired.  How is anyone productive or creative when the process of starting a job is so emotionally draining?  I can hardly think about completing actual tasks because my mind is full of new names, faces and where to find who and when.  A school is a much bigger organisation than a public library.  Today my major achievement was getting a computer for myself, but then of course not actually being able to log in because the password didn't work.  Tomorrow's goal is to get a password that works.  Baby steps!

But it is going well and I am glad that this week school hasn't started for my own kids.  The next few weeks will be the full test run for us all as we sort out the final details of drop offs/pick ups, child minding, kid's music lessons etc, etc.  And I have to actually get my head around teaching on top of all of that (the old 'I think I can' mantra has returned!)

New job starts

I start my new job tomorrow so apologies if I drop off the planet a bit this week.  Like starting a new school I'm wondering if I'll get lost (yes!), will be wearing the right clothes (gee, school uniforms are handy) and who I'll hang out with at lunch (I'm sure someone will talk to me).  I only finished my other job on Thursday so I'm struggling a bit to get over the emotions of saying goodbye and to now get up the energy for a group of new workmates.  I'm also wondering how it is all going to go with the rest of my life which was already full enough without adding four days of work.

But I'm looking forward to a new challenge and this new stage of life.  My kids are excited for me, but understandably apprehensive about the impact on their life too.

I keep you posted.

This is how you do it

This is how I do it (in response to the question, 'How do you DO it all Jenny?').  No great secret.  Just my friend the freezer, plastic containers and a large pot.  I'm aiming to cook the base for 16 meals this week. Chilli con carne for nachos, burritos and tacos (Thursday night is 'Mexican' night at our place).  Bolognaise sauce for the Wednesday nights after piano lessons that finish at 6.30pm.  Marinated chicken for stirfrys (add veges) and rice paper rolls (add rice paper rolls/veges).  And curry.  Now I'm ahead with the cooking for the first few weeks of work.

I've also been trying to think about what lunch box food I could cook ahead and freeze.  Any ideas?  I'm going to try and be much more diligent about what my kids are eating at school this year.  It all fell apart at the end of 2011.

Mums not to blame for high c-section rate

Crazy times people, but for once, it has been found that mothers are NOT to blame for something. I say, for once, because every other societal problem can be traced back to terrible mothers (mothers not buying enough veges=obesity, working mothers=every social problem, mothers not cleaning enough=Ebola virus etc., etc.)

So I was surprised this morning to hear that mothers aren't to blame for the increasing number of c-sections in Queensland. Apparently (wow), they aren't actually 'too posh to push'. They are ill informed and feel pressured by doctors. So doctors have been found to blame for the increasing rate of c-sections in Queensland. You can read about it here

I haven't met any women who would have liked to have a c-section birth unless they really felt they had to. I had two myself. The unnecessarily large 5kg wonder babies and traumatic #1-3 natural births were the reason. But not without a lot of thoug…

The journey to 5

I suddenly realised recently when chatting to a friend struggling with infertility, that when you look at my family, it all looks so beautifully planned and organised.  My kids are all two school years apart and about two years apart in age, give or take a few months.  It does look pretty perfect.

And of course it is great.  But along the way, we had a few hiccups.  Not many.  And nothing like what a lot of my friends have been through.  I had a miscarriage at 7 weeks between our first and second child.  We also had a miscarriage at 14 weeks (just after we'd told everyone we were expecting another baby) between our third and fourth children.  Both times I had to have a general and a curette to stop the bleeding, which were both unpleasant experiences.  Not just physically but emotionally devastating.

I was very upset when we had the first miscarriage.  I didn't know at that stage that I wanted to have five children, but I did know that I wanted to have at least two.  Having…

If I was a proper mother ...

If I was a proper mother I would shop at Aldi, trawl catalogues for bargains, visit a variety of supermarkets for said bargains, go to the fruit market every Saturday morning at the crack of dawn, shop at Costco for giant pizzas and bulk toilet paper, sew my children's clothes and shop at factory outlets.

Instead, I hate shopping, go to Coles, buy it all there (including the expensive, but nasty fruit and veg), buy some children's clothes when desperate (most are hand me downs - lovely because it involves no shopping), can't be bothered driving all the way to factory outlets/Costco/fruit market and never look at a supermarket catalogue.  I've given shopping around a go in the past but I like people better.  They are more interesting than shops and if I have a choice I'd much prefer a chat than a shop.

Just thought I needed to get that off my chest.  Sorry.  I'm just a fake dressed up in Mum clothes.

10 years on ...

Ten years ago my husband started his first job as a church minister.  Which means that for ten years I've been given the title of a minister's wife.  So, ten years on, what have have I learnt?

Frankly, ten years ago, I was a bit of a judgemental cow.  As we were finishing Bible college, I would sometimes look at older minister's wives and wonder why they weren't doing more.  Why weren't they doing more hospitality?  Running more women's groups?  Looking after their staff wives more?  Why didn't they seem keen to be involved anymore?

Oh dear.  If only I had, like, a small, tiny clue.  But I had very little.

In the past ten years my girlfriends who are minister's wives have dealt with the following:
Parents dying, babies dying, miscarriages, depression, their children's mental health issues, children with significant/long term disabilities, husband's health issues, broken friendships, their own chronic health issues, hurtful/ unresolved conflic…

Big week

Just returned from a great week at a missions conference in the mountains.  Very busy (I was helping with the baby creche) but encouraging and so, so challenging.

Here are some random thoughts from the week:

1.  I know lots of people at this conference.  I've been going since I was a little girl, so this is no surprise.  And I don't say it to brag.  I take great encouragement from attending year after year and seeing people who were my friends at 17 who are now off serving Jesus in Spain or older people who are now seriously old still attending and trusting Jesus.

2.  Gee, don't people ask some insensitive questions of the missionaries in public contexts?  "So, I'm not quite sure on why you decided to leave country X.  I'm not quite clear.  Perhaps you could spell it out a bit for me in front of 300 people?"  Nice work people.

3.  I worked with the best team ever in creche - and I've been on A LOT of teams.  The core team have done this together fo…

iPad fun Part 5

Ok - so this suggestion is one for grown ups too.  It's the app version of the board game 'Ticket to Ride'.  I've never played the board game so I don't know how it compares.  But I've enjoyed the app.  I've played against my 13yo son (and won, much to his frustration - getting beaten by your mum is so not cool) and you can also play against 5 different characters in the app.  There is another option of playing the online against other real people.  I've not tried that yet - I'm not brave enough!

It wasn't cheap at $7.99.  It was a Christmas treat for myself and a great present.

Book review: TCK books

This week I'm spending the week at a missionary conference and I'm chairing a session on the topic of taking your kids overseas.  As a TCK (Third Culture Kid) myself I'm always interested in these sessions so it will be fun to be chairing it.  In honour of this conference I thought I'd share two books with you that I read earlier in 2011.

They are both by Marion Knell, an English writer who has done a lot of work with TCK families.  These two little books are easy to read, and while none of it might seem like radical stuff to those who have thought a bit about the topic, they are still very helpful.  Helpful because they raise some of the broad issues that families face as they move cross culturally ('Families on the move' is good to read before going o'seas).  And also the issues that families face with 'reentry', the term given to families moving back to their home culture.

I found reentry a very difficult time in my life and I think it took many y…

iPad app fun Part 4

This one is free and is great for those die hard Lego fans.  Creationary is a board game where you use Lego pieces to build an item and the other person has to guess it (like Pictionary with Lego).  The app  builds the item using 'virtual' Lego and you have a short time (very short it felt like to me) to pick from four options.  The faster you correctly identify the item, the more points you get.

It is quite hard - my 7yo found it a little frustrating because you run out of time to guess so quickly.  However, he still liked it, because it gave him ideas on how to build some of the items in the actual Creationary game.  The older kids have enjoyed it more.

Summer joy 2

Fun at the pool - isn't it lovely to have some great Sydney weather?  Incredible city to live in.

And No. 5 child is still wearing floaties.  I know, I'm just embarrassed.   But all is about to be amended in the next few weeks (thanks to my dear friend who is taking her to swimming lessons for me). 

Summer Joy

Having a great summer break at home.  Seeing lots of friends, getting jobs done around the house, going on outings.  Sooo luxurious to have glorious time with my kids - even if (let's be realistic) there are still the usual tantrums, fights and whatnot of lots of time together!  And at night we're enjoying my Christmas present (the joy of the box set).

Book Reviews: Historical fiction

I've been having a lovely time reading away over the past month (and madly trying to make the most of easy access to all the lovely books I can borrow from the library before I finish up).  By coincidence they are all historical fiction - I'm going to move chronologically through as I tell you about them.

Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks is set in Martha's Vineyard in the early days of colonial life (1660's).  Bethia is the daughter of a English minister (ahh, always the minister's daughter, nothing new there - what is with the obsession with the minister's daughter?) and of course, is wayward (they always are - minister's daughters who follow the conventional path are so, yawn, well, nothing to go on with is there?) and develops a friendship with a local native boy, Caleb.  As with all of Brook's books, nothing is simple and the story has lots of deaths, fights, twists and turns and is quite the saga.  I still think Brooks likes to keep writing …

iPad app fun Part 3

And another app we've enjoyed is Dr. Suess Band ($0.99)This one is better for younger kids - a three year old might be able to enjoy the easy level.  But my older kids (11 and 13 have enjoyed it too).  I'm quite hopeless  at it, so I've given up!

You follow the colours on the screen, tap the colour coded keys and play a tune along to a backing track.  The better you get, the more songs you unlock.