Saturday, 31 December 2011

Friday, 30 December 2011

Santa Fail

We had a faulty gift from Sana this year.

The ELC easel I bought Santa left, had a broken bit that went unnoticed at 1 am when Santa was setting up the lounge room, but collapsed on Boxing Day while we were setting it up for it's first use.

Blow molded plastic failure.
ELC are great and have apologised and have offered me reply post replacement, in store replacement or a refund.  I'm going to do in store replacement, but it poses a little problem.  Well two actually.

Firstly the Munchkin is 2 and traumatised by the collapse of the easel and I don't think he is going to be going near it without a lot of encouragement.

Secondly, the Little Man has been all over the Santa myth since Christmas eve.  He's snooped around, talked about wrapping paper and boxes in the garage.  He wants to know what is happening with the easel and why I have the box for it.

I'm calling this the big Santa fail.  Sadly, I think the Little Man has lost all faith and it will be interesting to see how he approaches next Christmas.

Have you ever had a Santa Fail?

Polly Dolly New Years Eve

Polly Dolly New Years Eve

Joining Danimezza's Polly Dolly link up

Monday, 26 December 2011

Friday was the end of an era

And I cried most of the day.

If I didn't know better I'd swear I was pregnant!!  Emotional is not the word.

I started losing it on Thursday night while he and I wrapped pressies for the teachers and his 3 little besties.  It was the birthday card for his best mate that pushed me over the edge. 

"I will miss you every single day."

I'm crying now.  It's heart breaking.

He is going to school with one of the group but the other two are going to two other schools.  They have been a bit like the fantastic four.  They are a wonderful group of kids with lovely parents.  Early on the teachers were calling them "friends for life" because it is an attachment they see so rarely.

 I feel it has been something quite special and may never happen again in their school lives, I think that is what makes it so sad for me.  I know how rare friendships like theirs can be.

I have no problems with the Little Man starting school, he is ready and the possibilities for him are endless, that is exciting.  Leaving his friends is my Kryptonite.

How did you feel about your kids moving from pre school to big school?  Am I over the top?

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas Polly Dolly

Definitely won't be wearing this today.

It will probably be much more like this:

Have a Wonderful Christmas Day Everyone!!
Joining Danimezza's Polly Dolly link up

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Toddlers Out Shopping at Midnight

I have just returned from my last minute Kmart run for the few items that I did not want hanging around the house.  Namely a new sandpit shell and a seesaw, now both hidden away in the garage loo.  I have really taken advantage of our local 24hour Kmart since they changed to round the clock bargains, earlier this year.  It is a child free sanctuary in the evening.  A little wander never goes astray, they have some great stuff and do all their markdowns late in the evening.

Anyway this evening, the eve of Christmas eve, I was disappointed to find my sanctuary over run by toddlers.  I got there at 10 and left just before midnight and I am not exaggerating when I say there would have been 75 to 100 kids in that store when I left.

I know it is Christmas, but I can not imagine having my kids out at midnight, cruising my local Kmart.

What about you?  Is it OK? Normal even?  Or are you like me, just a little bit horrified and tutting under your breathe?

Happy Christmas!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Customer Service Is Not Dead

Today I had to cancel my missing Visa card and get a new one issued.  As it is so close to Christmas I decided the best plan of attack to ensure access to my money over the break was to go into the bank and sort it out in person.

Here I shuddered at the thought.  Shops? This close to Christmas?  Am I mad?

I bundled the boys into the car and drove in the direction of two local shopping centres that have St George branches, trying to decide which carpark had the potential to yield a spot for me.  I made the decision and told the boys to ask the parking angels to arrange a spot for us.  Do you know about the parking angels?  They are real and if you truly believe, give them enough notice and thank them profusely they ALWAYS find a parking spot.  You must be a true believer though.  In our case there were three true believers in the car.

The parking angels came through.  People driving around everywhere looking for spots and I drove into one moments after I entered the carpark and it was in my preferred area.  Score! Thank you parking angels.

Anyway we toddled into the bank and selected the non teller option on the ticket machine and stood waiting for a free person.  My number was not called (it was not that busy), instead Troy came out of his office and asked me what he could help me with and invited us in.  I explained the situation.  He pulled out a new Visa card, logged onto my account, cancelled the missing one, waived the replacement fee and activated my new card.  At the same time, my boys were being rather loud and one was spinning like a whirling dervish on a visitors chair.  He engaged them in conversation about Santa and how many sleeps etc while I set up a new PIN and signed the card.  He noticed that I am a newish customer and asked if I had accounts for them yet (smooth up selling, I liked it, he was very good) and said he could do it and give them a new account pack.  So without any fuss, no birth certificates or break in his conversation with my kids he set them up with new accounts and St George kids packs.  They were stoked.  I was impressed.


It was so simple and stress free.

I recently left my lifelong bank because of the crappy customer service I received.  They were so rude to me, I cried.  THEY MADE ME CRY!  Of course I left them!  I switched to St George simply because the Workaholic has an account with them and I needed an account fast.

Now St George are not paying me, this is just me telling you about how a St George employee named Troy at their Gordon branch has restored my faith in Customer Service and banks (well one bank) just a little bit.  Thank you Troy.  I really appreciated your help and patience.

Who knew a bank would make me feel all gooey inside?  Nice work, Troy.

Have you been the recipient of any good customer service lately?

Thursday, 22 December 2011

I went to a wedding and I liked it

I know, I hate weddings.

I swear I really do.  Last weekend though I went to one and I had a great time.

I found out about it just mere hours before the event as the Workaholic had not bothered to let me in on the fact that we had an invitation.

It was on a property and it was a Hangi.  It turns out the Workaholics first.  How does a person get to almost 41 without experiencing food cooked underground?  I was truly surprised.

The bride is from the UK, the groom from New Zealand.  It was an eclectic mix of guests, but it had a strong Maori presence and feel about it.

Both the Bride and Groom had been married twice before and have 9 children and 8 grandchildren between them.  What kind of hope and faith does that exhibit?  I am always amazed when people get married for a second, third or even fourth time.  I can not imagine being hopeful enough to marry again if my marriage did not work out.

Pulling up the basket

Preparing the buffet table

Bride, Groom and two of her daughters
Her dress was Beautiful.  I wish I had taken 360 degree photos
the back was as beautiful as the front and it had a gorgeous side detail.

Cutting the cake

I struggled to get a good shot, but there were lots of Kiwi songs.

I had a great time.  The food was fantastic and there was soooooo much of it!

The entire thing was just great.  It was casual but had a great style.  The bride looked beautiful and her bridemaids looked fabulous in their bright red with black thongs, even the one who was 9 months pregnant!  The grooms me were so elegant in black pants and cream untucked shirts.

The weather was spectacular, completely out of the current trend in Sydney.  Mother Nature is shining down on this union I think.  They seem so perfect together.

Look at that sky! Yes it really is Sydney!

So my new stand on Weddings is that if there is a Hangi or if I find out about it just beforehand, I am happy to attend!!

Congratulations Mick and Linda!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Things I know...

This week;

I know it has been a few weeks since my last things I know post.

I know it is Shae's last week hosting and I'd like to say thanks!  This linky has kept me writing every week.  I for one appreciate your effort.

I know that Christmas is next week and because I did my online shopping last week, I have everything  (except the trampoline, but it's coming tomorrow) and am feeling relaxed about the whole shebang.  Nice place to be.

I know that my pool filter crapped itself again this week and the pool went dark green overnight on Sunday night.  Spunky pool guy Angus came to the rescue and is getting it all ship shape by Monday for me.  Now we just need some Summer weather...

I know I love the slightly weird wedding dress in the Estee Lauder Beautiful ad.  Not being one for weddings or their paraphernalia, it surprises me that I have an opinion.

Best photo I could find.

I know that as well as that terrible 12 days of Christmas Bonds ad (so wrong in so many ways) I also hate that Choice ad with the psychotic smiling Mum who serves up melted ice cream cones but keeps smiling like the Joker from Batman.  Ewww.  What is this ad about exactly?  It's weird and I can't find it anywhere on the Internet.  Let me know if you can, I'd love to link to it.

I know that the Little Man's friends are all leaving pre-school next week, leaving him on his own for January while he helps the Munchkin settle in.  Makes me sad.

So what do you know this week?  Check out the Linky over with Shae at Yay For Home!.

Everything has arrived...

Everything except the bloody trampoline, that is.

OK I admit I procrastinated just a bit about the trampoline.  I mean there were so many considerations.

The Springfree ones are "safe" but cost so much and we move, alot.  I'm not sure I could cope with the worry of moving one of those without damage!!

Then I looked at Vuly, which I call mid range price and I love their tent and the little designs on the mat.  That was my trampoline of choice. But then again, I remembered how often we move and exactly where the swing set is right now, four months after we moved.  So I decided to look for something else.

This is in the corner of the back yard thanks to the Workaholic. 
Charming garden feature? Why, yes it is, thanks for noticing.

So in the end I hunted around for the best value one with an internal net that is rated to 150kg and I struck it lucky.  I ordered one with free freight from the Trampoline warehouse and ended up with a larger one than I had been looking at in the more expensive brands, but with higher rates steel.  Score!

The only problem is that I was expecting it to be here Wednesday when the Little Man was at Pre-school.  Today is Friday and still no sign.

I just had a call from the frieght company telling me that box 1 of 4 was missing, so they did not want to deliver without all 4 boxes.  Then he told me that I should get onto the trampoline warehouse to make sure I got it before Christmas.  As we discussed this he found my missing parcel! Yee Haa!  So finally I can expect the trampoline to arrive tomorrow before 4.30pm, but not to worry if I'm not home as nobody is going to stalk off down the street with 90kg boxes... OKAAAAAY.

Have all of your online Christmas presents arrived?

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Wordless Wednesday

On Thursday, because it has been that kind of week OK?

Mainly Music Christmas Party 9/12

I'm joining in with My Little Drummer Boys & faith hope and a whole lotta love for Wordless Wednesday.

My Little Drummer Boys

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Just a tip...

If your child almost drowns three times in a single afternoon at a pool party, it is past time for swimming lessons.

Nothing more, just saying.

Where did all the Watermelon seeds go?

We had this discussion the other day about watermelon seeds.  My kids don't believe there ever was any such thing!

How do our kids recognise this as watermelon when
they have never seen black seeds in their watermelon?

It got me wondering.  Where did they go?  How do new watermelon grow without seeds?  Are we breeding watermelon into extinction by growing them seed free?

I have so many questions, but no answers.

Anyone know anything about this?

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


Today I am babysitting Miss 7.  She is home from school because she has run out of batteries after a big year of school, T ball and her dance concert on the weekend.  My boys are in heaven and to be honest it's a pretty easy job to have her here.

She and her sister Miss 5 are regulars.  I have been babysitting them since Miss 7 was 8 weeks old.  My boys love having them here and they slot into our routines without any disruption.  It's a good arrangement.

I've had lots of issues with babysitting since the Munchkin was born.  For a long time I could not get away from my kids and I was struggling with it.  I felt trapped.  The Workaholic was working even more hours than normal and the Munchkin would scream if I attempted to leave him with anyone.

Now my boys are regularly babysat by Miss S, who was a teacher at the Little Mans pre-school.  She is a gem.  My boys love her and she them.  In addition my lovely friend N who has her hands already full with her own three, steps in and helps me out, as does my cousin K.  Both are local and our kids all like each other.  It took the Munchkin a while to get used to being left with people, but he is happy with it now.  I am so grateful to have them to help out and happily reciprocate if required.

My parents are across Sydney and consider us a long way away.  It can be quite an effort to get them to drive over to us.  We don't find the drive excessive but the workaholic and I have both driven further for work than the 45minutes to my Mum and Dad's.  They think of it as a day trip.

When I had the Little Man I did not require help from my Mum or Mother in law as he was such an easy baby and went everywhere with us.  If I needed a break, the Workaholic took him to work with him.  Unfortunately this set a precedent that meant I had no offers of help from my Mum when the Munchkin arrived, in fact she used to come over and I would be running around looking after her!  My niece was born four months after the Munchkin and she spends two to three days with my Mum while my brother and sister in law work.  Now she doesn't even offer to help me with babysitting on the weekends because she needs a break and I feel like I am being unreasonable asking for help.  I can't blame her.  Looking after kids is exhausting!

As the Little Man gets older it is getting easier to find babysitters.  He recently went to swimming lessons with a mate and his Mum when it was raining and my car was of the road.  He has a few friends that we can call on in such emergencies.

That's my village.  Do you have babysitters available or are you perpetually looking for options?

Monday, 12 December 2011

I need Summer Cothes

I am finding it impossible to think about shopping for Summer clothes while this weird Sydney weather is hanging around.  I know I am going to regret my malaise the minute we get an actual Summer day, but it does not change the fact that thinking about cool t shirts and floaty Summer dresses is bloody impossible while it is pouring with rain and well under 20 degrees.

Even having a pedicure holds no interest for me and I hate my toes in the nude!!

Is Summer going to come?  I am seriously doubting it as I sit here wearing Winter weight jodpurs that I didn't even wear during Winter and a cardigan over my tunic top.

Too shy to include a photo of myself today.

All of my Summer clothes are on the way out, and I do not mean in the fashion sense, I mean in the worn out sense.  Summer is not my favourite season and I am not a great shopper in  any case, so my Summer wardrobe is about 1/10th the size of my Winter one leaving most things in very high rotation.

Polyvore was my solution I thought.  A summer Polly Dolly set would do the trick, but guess what?  As soon as I started looking into clothes, I got sucked into the Winter clothing.  Boots.  Hats.  Yummy knits.  I'm tragic.  I can't even look at catalogue clothes, without focusing on seasonally inappropriate items.  I am a total disaster.  I fear I will be embarrassing my son at school drop off time next year with holey t shirts, sarongs and faded shorts.  I will certainly standout if I can go on the clusters of Yummy Mummys I see at the school gates most mornings.

Anyone have any suggestions on how to get myself motivated to buy some Summer clothes??

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Online Shopping Champion of the World

Yesterday I did 95% of my Christmas Shopping.  The only reason it was not 100% was that the Lego I want is out of stock everywhere online, but is available at Target, which I can do very early tomorrow morning before anyone else gets out and I need a trip to Bunnings for my Dads gift, which I will second the task to the Workaholic who love Bunnings and last minute Christmas shopping.

Online Shopping Champion of the World.  That's me.

Target and Bunnings will be done by Saturday evening at the latest and I am DONE.

If I forgot you, then tough titties because I am not doing ANYMORE.  I refuse.

My groceries are already booked in to be delivered on Christmas Eve as usual.  I am ready.

Did you guess? I hate shopping and Christmas Shopping in particular.

I don't understand the madness that prevails out in Shopping Centres across the world.  You can see it in their eyes.  If they ever had manners they are gone in the search for the perfect gift.  Argey Bargey reigns supreme.

Don't get me started on the carpark.  Those people who sit, blocking the way waiting for someone who may or may not be leaving. The ones who get nasty when someone drives out in front of you as you are innocently cruising around, thereby giving you a poll position spot (not my fault the parking angels tend to answer my kids requests).  Damaging cars on purpose because of some perceived injustice.  Please, people, GET A LIFE!

I fully expect at least one report of this... image from here

What's your position on Christmas Shopping?  Are you all about the experience or like me an online devotee?

Joining in with Jess at Diary of  Stay at Home Mum for her Tuesday Bloggers link up.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Pre-School Graduation...

was definitely the highlight of my busy week.  They go so over the top for pre-school these days!  It was at the Town Hall!!!

This photo just cracks me up!

Man I've been busy over the last week.

Sorry Internet I have not been paying you any attention.  Did you miss me?

It's all been happening.  Here's what I managed to write about;

We got our Santa Photo which I posted on Wednesday.  I was quite pleased.  They are so hit and miss aren't they?

I applied for my new Masters course at University, which I had a little whine about here.

Polly Dolly and I had an imaginary outing in a blue and white stripe bikini, that would not cover any of my bits in reality...

And here's what I didn't get too;

On Thursday my Mum and my niece came up to my place for a play date with the boys.  They had a ball and as always I sat back and thought how nice it is that my kids have at least one cousin that they see out of the total of 19 they have.  Later in the afternoon, my friend N dropped by with her three and mayhem ensued (the good kind).  It was a great day for the kids and they slept so well on Thursday night.

Friday was my Mum's birthday and we rang her and sang Happy Birthday.  It was gorgeous because it is the first birthday that I have both kids who can sing along.  Very cute.  It was also pre-school orientation for the Munchkin and he surprised us all by taking to it like a duck to water.  We also had the opthamologist appointment for the Little Man.  They pushed us through in under two hours.  I was so appreciative.  The Little Man was great and actually tested better than in his StEPS session.  He is still not in the normal range, but the Doctor is giving him a few more months for them to get there, before he is prescribed glasses.  We have our fingers and toes crossed!  He had the drops to dilate his eyes, so he left the office wearing aviator sunnies, looking and feeling very cool!

Mates after graduation, the Little Man in his aviators

The big day was Saturday.  His pre-school graduation and Christmas Party.  It was fab and there were many teary Mummies in the audience.  He posed for pictures in the Sun in his aviators as his eyes were still dilated.  It made for some interesting photos.  After the party my Mum and Dad stayed for a BBQ and my Dad hacked back the vines that had overrun the pergola and pool area.  What a guy!  It is great to be able to actually see the pool again.  My Mum helped the Little Man put up and decorate the Christmas tree.  I'm so glad someone did, because I hate the task...

Dad refusing to be defeated by the pool

Some of the vines Dad cut back

The tree, decorated by the Little Man -
he's still tweaking it and it looks quite
different to this now but the lounge is too
far away this evening for me to get
a new picture...
My arm was not quite long enough
to get me in the picture... ;)

Birthday Cake for Mum

Today I managed to get some scrapbooking done.  I did an 8x8 album to send to my Aunt as an annual review of my boys.  She is going to love it.  I'm really pleased with how it came out.  I can't wait to pop it in the post.

So I have been busy doing everyday things with a couple of milestone events thrown in.   It's a crazy time of year.  What have you been up to this week?

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Polly Dolly - Navy Stripe

Polly Dolly - Navy Stripe

Polly Dolly - Navy Stripe by sam-o

Again this week I was inspired by the Polly Dolly Navy Stripes, Polyvore challenge, so I am linking up.

Visit Danimezza to see this weeks collections.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Is education about the bits of paper?

I'm returning to University in 2012, to do a post graduate qualification - if I can get my application lodged in time.

Along with the other ingredients in the stew of things to-do, sloshing around in my head, I have had trouble getting it done.

Today I sat down to do it and struck a couple of interesting roadblocks to my plan of doing it in a single sitting.

Firstly it requires my HSC information including a certified copy and my "score".  I have no idea what my score was.  It ceased to be important to me somewhere between my last exam on November 21, 1988 (I only remember this date because I went for my driving test at 7am the next morning so I could drive up the coast for the required post HSC break) and January 11, 1989, the day the post man walked the envelope up to my front door and was disappointed by me throwing said envelope, unopened onto the lounge and continuing my telephone conversation.  I knew I would get into university, so the details were not important.  But back to my application, I needed to put in a score on the electronic form, I did what I always do in these situations, I rang my Mum!  She had a stab at 479 (um, Go Mum!?) and we decided that since it really was irrelevant to a post graduate degree as I was obviously supplying my university transcripts,  I would throw in a random number and not supply a certified copy as I have no idea where to even start looking for that!!

While I had her on the phone I also asked Mum what dates are on my degrees because I forget when I did those, and to get my transcripts emailed over, because somewhere along the way they ended up hanging in her office, transcripts and all.  I never thought to hang them up myself.  She even had them framed, something I would never think to do.  That's what parents are for.

Anyway the whole thing made me ponder my attitude well that and how stupid the form is to require HSC details for a post grad course that has the prerequisite of an undergraduate degree.

I think education is important and I like studying and learning new things in general.  I expect my own kids to attend some form of formal education post school and to do some continuous learning throughout their chosen career. 

It's not that I don't value education, it is just the bits of paper I find meaningless.

What's your take on higher education?  Are the bits of paper the bits that count?

Wordless Wednesday

First easy trip for a Santa photo. Phew!

Post Santa visit morning tea.

I'm joining in with My Little Drummer Boys & faith hope and a whole lotta love for Wordless Wednesday.

My Little Drummer Boys