Friday, 29 April 2011

This week I'm Glad for...

1. Not being born Royal or falling in love with someone who is.

 I'm by no means a private person but even I would be terrified of a Royal Wedding.

2. Roast Lamb Dinners.

They are so easy to cook, taste divine and everyone in the house eats them.
We had two over the Easter Long Weekend.  I cooked one and Mum cooked one on Easter Sunday.
Image from here.

3. Easter long weekend recovery days.

Man I needed them!

3 days at home with the Munchkin has recharged my batteries post the long weekend spent at home.

We normally go away.  We should have gone away.  Having the Workaholic home for 5 whole days threw the entire house into chaos and led to some rather heated moments.

Spending the end of the week with the Munchkin while the Little Man was at Pre-school has realigned the universe, well my universe.

Image from here

This post is part of the 'I'm Grateful For' link-up by hosted by Maxabella Loves. Click over and take a look.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Tick Tock, Tick Tock

Time has come to my four and a half year old Little Man's life.

I knew it would come sooner or later and I was not looking forward to it.

Call me selfish, but I purposely had not had many clock conversations with him, but I knew he was trying to learn how to tell the time on an analogue clock, but I wasn't encouraging it beyond a wooden Mickey Mouse clock he had coveted for the Christmas after his 2nd birthday and the absolutely necessary process of purchasing a digital Gro Clock to ensure he didn't get ME up too early! (A total MUST by the way, I must remember review it more thoroughly).  He also surprised me last Mother's Day with a big ornate, musical Clock *cringe* which I convinced him was best in the playroom where we could all see it. *wink-wink*

But I digress as usual, as it happened, tonight was the night.  I announced it was 10 minutes to bed time and we should start to clean up the playroom.  This took about two minutes, so I grabbed the opportunity to announce it was time for teeth, toot and bed.  He looked up at the clock and replied, "No Mum, there's about 8 minutes to go".  I blinked and thought Oh No!  I asked exactly why he thought that and he then proceeded to explain how to read an analogue clock.  He does this stuff periodically.  A couple of weeks ago he was using his brothers head to explain how important the circulatory system is for brain function!

This is major. This is huge. This is going to change my life. 

No longer can I send him for his day time sleep at the point where I NEED him to go to sleep.
No longer can I get him tucked into bed early when he is so tired, he really needs it.
No longer can I be late or early with lunch and dinner.

Oh, and of course, Yay! Well done Little Man!


My mind is a blank... (insert sound of crickets chirping here)

I have time to write a blog post.

The Munchkin is sleeping and the Little Man is at pre-school.

I am sitting at the laptop.

The cats are curled up next to me, one sleeping peacefully, one snoring for Australia.


Oh well stay tuned, I'm sure I will post something more entertaining tomorrow.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Again, it's not quite a Wordless Wednesday. One day I'll manage a totally Wordless Wednesday...

Today I thought I'd document the last evening of the L o n g W e e k e n d.
Thank goodness that the rest of the week are pre-school days.  The long weekend with The Workaholic in the mix has almost destroyed me!

A couple of spidermen dropped by...
and went away quickly thankfully.

A very long train,
(possibly longer than the available tracks on Sodor)
was coupled up on the playroom floor.

A cuddle began...

and became a rumble...

It contained lots of giggles...

and as quick as it began,
it was over and the train was being moved out of the station.

But of course the Hi jinks were not quite over,
I suggested they pack away, so the Munchkin decided to pack himself away

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

Thanks for dropping by.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The Workaholic has a few words on parenting...

Or possibly, how to get rid of unwanted friends...

OK, a while ago I mentioned the friend with the son who is a terrible bully and how the Workaholic Hubby wants them banned from the house.  You can read it here.

So anyway, they dropped in out of the blue over the weekend.  The Workaholic sat on the lounge and gave a very good impression of ignoring their arrival and visit until, he started hearing what was being said to the Little Man in the playroom (I was in the kitchen with the parents).  He went in said something to the kids that I couldn't hear and then slammed into the kitchen and sat down announcing he had something to discuss with them.  I looked at him, realised it was futile trying to intervene and turned back to the coffee machine.

He proceeded to tell them how to fix their problem child.  He does this.  He thinks he can fix everyone's problems or their mental health issues and honestly believes it is his duty to do so!  I should point out at this point his lack of qualifications for this role.

Firstly he is a builder. Not a psychologist.

Secondly he comes from a family whose family portrait you would expect to see in the dictionary as the definition of "dysfunctional".

Thirdly he has completely abdicated his parenting duties to me and if he somehow does find himself in charge, the situation is similar to what happened here this morning when I stayed in bed for about 40 minutes longer than he and the two boys.  In that 40 minute period, the lounge in the playroom was drawn on, with blue crayon (a lot of blue crayon), the wall in the office (which is a child free zone) was drawn on with pink texta, weetbix was consumed out of the kitchen and smeared (and left for me to discover) into the playroom carpet, a can of lemonade was removed from the fridge by the Munchkin, dropped repeatedly, taken to the Workaholic in the lounge room to open for him, which he did and this just the stuff I know about and it was only 40 minutes!

Anyway, it was him telling them about their little shit of a son, them staring open mouthed in disbelief and me avoiding the whole thing by making coffees and frothing milk.

Eventually they came out of their state of shock and got rather angry, gathered up their child and belongings and stormed out.

He turned to me, said "Problem fixed, they won't be back" and wandered back to the lounge to watch TV.

Now guess who is going to have to deal with the fallout from this little episode?

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Saturday, 23 April 2011

This week I'm Glad for...

Long weekends (of course).

The Salvos Store.  I just sent four big tubs of toys to them and the playroom is almost manageable again (well, the floor is mostly visible).  The Salvos are brilliant actually.  I used to give all my charity items to St Vinnies, but they overprice everything and I felt they were trying to profit from my goods rather than helping out those who need inexpensive items.  The Salvos seem to do it right.

Go Salvos!

Maxabella Loves is not Linking up this week - Happy Easter!  Feel free to leave any grateful links in my comments for others to link up. My Little Drummer Boys has done the same if you want to click over for a look.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

It's not about the price of bananas

We eat bananas.

We eat lots of them.

Until last week I had not looked at the price.

I just buy them.

We just eat them.

So, you can imagine my surprise when a friend posted this on Facebook:

ONE banana - $2.86... I plan to smell it for a while and then eat it very slowly

It had not occurred to me that bananas would be expensive, even though I know all about poor old Queensland's rain.  I had been in happy oblivion.

The Facebook post has ruined my week.  I keep checking the price as I buy them, chastising my children for not giving them the respect they deserve and diving to catch discarded ends before they hit the floor.

My boys and I eat at least one each and if they are small it can be two.

I miss enjoying my bananas, guilt and neurosis free.  The truth is it is guilt.  I can afford to pay $3 a banana if that's what they cost, but I feel guilty that I can and don't even look a the price.

So really my enjoyment of bananas has not been ruined by the price of the banana at all.

I am still pondering exactly what the guilt is about.  Poverty consciousness from being brought up in a poor area by penny pinching parents?  Catholic Guilt (That's a pretty good catch all)?  A feeling it's ostentatious?  I do hate ostentatiousness (is that even a word?)...

Are you eating bananas at their current price?  Does it make you feel guilty, or is it just me?

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday

This week I had to attended the Little Man's Pre-school Easter concert and arvo tea.  He and the Munchkin had a ball.  I did not.  I am still a bit down on the pre-school after recent events.

Easter Concert and Afternoon Tea at the Little Man's Pre-School.
Unfortunately he couldn't wear his mask because the elastic didn't come in Boof Head size!

Now  both the Munchkin and I are sick.  We are also car-less and walking everywhere.  I've had it now and have just booked a rental car until the Workaholic prioritises getting the car insured/whatever the problem is (it's a company car, I have no control...).

The Munchkin
This picture captures exactly how he and I are feeling. Blah.

Almost out of words this week. So I'm joining in with My Little Drummer Boys & faith hope and a whole lotta love for Wordless Wednesday.

Thanks for dropping by.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Taking back the house

Today I staked a claim on the playroom.  It's the best winter real estate in this house.  It has a gas point for a heater, it gets the winter sun through it's wall of 1960's glass and it has the most comfortable couch in the house.

The Little Man was excited this morning as I announced that "Today we are hitting the playroom".  His interest faded once he realised that toys were going into the cupboards, into a box for charity or into a garbage bag.  Then late this afternoon the penny dropped that I was rearranging the furniture to suit ME!

Anyway, I am more than happy with my new snug.  He's going to have a hard time getting me out of here this winter.

In fact, I doubt that the cats will be moved either.  5 minutes after I put the heater on, Marilla was looking for the best spot and Leon joined her minutes later.

Leon and Marilla (AKA Miss Kitty) staking their claim on the newly rearranged playroom.

The big positive is that by attacking this room today I am once again motivated to organise all of the stuff that bothers me about this house.  It's going to be a busy week on the home front this week and I am so happy about it!

Does cleaning, sorting and organising get you motivated to do other stuff?  Works for me every time. :)

Friday, 15 April 2011

This week I'm Glad my friend gives me lots of hand me down clothing

I have a friend who has always passed her son's clothes on to me.  She is really tight good with money and therefore doesn't buy more clothing than her son needs or spend massive amounts on individual pieces.  Yet somehow, I always love these clothes. They are in great condition (she tells me she throws away the crappy stuff so I don't have to) and they are always just right.

I've just spent 2 days getting out the winter size 2's for the Munchkin and a good chunk of these are from her now 8 year old son and were also worn by my Little Man, and the size 5's for the Little Man.   As usual I am not disappointed.  The Little Man is stoked (oh my bogan roots are showing!) because there are 3 Cars movie hoodies.  The Hoodie as an item of clothing is in great favour in our house and Cars has been played an infinite number of times.

Boy heaven is made of this...

It's costing me $0 in clothes this winter. Gotta love that!

Thanks for dropping by!

This post is part of the 'I'm Grateful For' link-up by hosted by Maxabella Loves. Click over and take a look.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Green Light

I went to see my IVF Doctor today.

Finally it feels like things are moving.

I still have eggs in reserve (Yay!) and my other tests were all normal.


We have the green light for one of our frozen embryos to be defrosted and transferred next cycle.

Can't wait.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Wordless Wednesday

The Little Man discovers the joy of big cousins over the Summer.
All out of words this week.  So I'm joining in with My Little Drummer Boys  & faith hope and a whole lotta love for Wordless Wednesday.

Thanks for dropping by.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

The Birthday Blog

It's my Birthday today,
I'm older than yesterday...

Today I am 40.

Happy Birthday to me. Yay!

What does this mean to me?  Not much really.
I am about to got through IVF again to attempt to have baby number 3.  Is this my midlife crisis baby?  I certainly feel like time is running out so...

I decided I should do a Billy Joel style list of the big moments in my life.  I got this far (in no particular order, just as they came out when I was brainstorming):

The Internet
Mobile Phones
A computer at every desk
Space shuttles & Challenger disaster
Reality TV
Collapse of the Soviet Union
1980 & 1984 Olympic Game boycots
International terrorism - IRA bombings, Munich Olympic Games, Rainbow Warrior.
East Timor
Designer bottled water
First Gulf war (1990s)
September 11
Gulf War
DNA and decoding the humane genome
Fall of the Berlin Wall
End of Apartheid
1970s Oil crisis
Star Wars trilogy
Cable TV
European Union
Exxon Valdez
Pope John Paul 2 assassination attempt
OJ Simpson trial
Michael Jackson trial
Diana Princess of Wales dies
Stem cell debate
IBM, Apple, Microsoft, Google
Indira Ghandi
Marcos (notably Imeldas SHoes!)
Faulklands war
Vietnamese Boat people
Bloody Sunday in Ireland

and then I couldn't remember why this was a good idea, so I stopped.

I had the same problem with a party. Over the Christmas break the Workaholic and I discussed having a joint 40th Birthday Bash. His birthday went by in January and the days rolled on till today and I just can't get enthusiastic about a party.

In fact the theme runs even deeper through the thread of my life at the moment.  I couldn't give anyone an idea for a present nor could I decide on a weekend away (instead of the party).  The last minute decision (and can I just add sadly that I think this may be my Nirvana) was to let the boys have a sleepover at Mums so I could stay home and sleep in my own bed and get up whenever I like... I am sooooo tragic!!

Quite frankly, this would probably rank up there as one of the worst 40th birthday posts EVER.  I just can't be bothered and I am so hoping that it does not set the tone of my life for the next decade!!

I should add that I truly am Glad to be 40, even though it seems unlikely from this post!

My day was amazing.  I had a romantic dinner with the Workaholic last night, a lovely sleep in followed by a bunch of Birthday phone calls.  I then dragged the Workaholic kicking and screaming to a reflexology for two session at my favourite natural therapies place.  Best of all the afternoon was spent at my Mum and Dads with the Boys, my brother, sister in law and niece Lizzy which included prezzies, Lunner (Lunch/Dinner - duh!), Cake and Trifle. Yummo!

Friday, 8 April 2011

This week I'm Glad to be turning 40 and ...

for my two IVF (A.K.A. the little miracles of science) Boys.

The Little Man a few days old, in special care, he was born at 34wk +6

The Munchkin a few days old he was born 39wk +2.

Both of them now ages 4 1/2 and 19 months.

Fingers crossed for a successful embryo transfer in the coming months, resulting in a little brother or sister for them in 2012.

This post is part of the 'I'm Grateful For' link-up by hosted by Maxabella Loves. Click over and take a look.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

The mystery of the missing teacher...

For the last couple of weeks one of the best teachers (in my opinion) at the Little Man's pre-school/Daycare Centre has been noticeably absent.  It's unusual because they have amazing lines of communication. We get an emailed PowerPoint Day Book everyday that he is there and each month we get a calendar of events which includes holidays of staff.  I have been puzzled but too busy to follow it up, and besides as nothing had been said I figured she was probably on holiday.

This morning when I dropped him off, she wasn't there again and being the end of term things are calming down a little here, so I had five minutes to think about it and decided something was off.  I looked her up on Facebook.  There she was with another daycare centre listed as her employer.  Shock! So weird.  It's unheard of for an employee to leave our centre without fanfare, parties and notices up. Nothing. Not even a whisper that she had left.  I'm fascinated and annoyed.

I am also a bit worried. The Little Man hates change and has already commented on missing her, she was able to switch his mood in a look and a word.  Also I like her, she's down to earth and she has been at the centre since it opened two years ago.  She has been one of his favourites even when he was in the other room.  I liked to have a chat with her in the playground at pickup time.  I always found she kept me up to date on my Little Man's progress and problems.  The room leader is lovely but superficially friendly, which leaves me slightly uncomfortable and the other 2 regulars are just not friendly.  I feel like the place is losing the family feel I loved about it and was the reason I kept him there even though he was accepted into the local prestigious pre-school (that and the fact I didn't have to change my routine to school hours as his current centre is open until 6pm - sue me, I have a life).

We had a change of Director at the beginning of the year and I'm not the new one's biggest fan, I loved the previous one (maternity leave) she had a knack of making everyone feel welcome and involved. The new one doesn't have the knack at all.  In fact if I was asked by her boss how she was settling in, after 6 months as a teacher and now 4 months as Director I would honestly say I thought she was a bad choice as she is still using the excuse of "I'm new, I'll have to find out".  The previous Director started with a new centre, was younger and OWNED the job.  This girl appears to have no confidence in herself and I believe she is dividing the staff.  Alarm bells started ringing about her when, she refused to hold one of my sons friends places while he went overseas for a holiday and in the same week told me "Oh if we have a space for him" when I dropped a comment about the Munchkin starting before The Little Man went to big school.  Since we are a foundation family, I was pregnant with him at the time and it has been discussed frequently with everyone there, I was a bit shocked by that response.  (I followed it up a few days afterwards, I refuse to be treated this way and he is starting at the end of the year.)

I don't know what has happened to our beloved Miss S, but I have sent her a message via Facebook. I hope she responds.  I know I need to approach the Director and the room leader about this but it annoys me that I am the one initiating communication.  Even if she left under a cloud, where is the communication?  I'm giving them till Friday pick up to let me know what is going on and if they haven't I'm going in as grumpy Mummy!!

There are just so many things that bother me about this.

Not all Older People have forgotten what it's like to parent young kids...

Crap Mamma reminded me of this incident and I thought I'd share.

Recently I had an old lady come up to me while I was having a coffee at Donut King with a screaming tanty going on in the pram next to me, I steeled myself for the disdainful comment or tut tut and put a smile on my dial...

She said "Would you like me to go into the chemist and get you some earplugs, Dear? I found they saved me when my kids were little. You've just got to let them scream it out. He probably doesn't even know why he is having a tantrum."

I could have kissed her!  How fabulous.  She just made my day.  She went on to regale me with a few stories from her own parenting nightmares list.  Pure Gold.  She's a Grandmother now and here she was telling me honest stories about her children misbehaving in public.  See, it's not new to our generation!!

This entire conversation was conducted while the Munchkin was screaming at the top of his lungs.  She didn't mind a jot, in fact she encouraged me to let him scream it out because he would sleep better at nap time.

So why don't most Older People remember what it is like to have kids?  Obviously no child is perfectly behaved at all times, surely some part of them remembers and can feel empathy or sympathy for the poor Mum of the screaming child in the supermarket.  I mean, how would a sympathetic smile be more difficult than judgemental tutting or grumpy glares?  It would certainly make the Mum feel a bit better.

A smile costs nothing but the benefits can be priceless.  In my case, the kindness and the willingness to share that this woman displayed, made my day and set me off with a bounce in my step.  It has even become a fond memory attached to the Munchkins tantrums.  And it cost her a moment of her time, I hope I see her again and can tell her.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Facebook Reunion Post Mortem

I'm usually so nervous about reconnecting lapsed friendships and you hear about all sorts of Facebook fails but in this case, once again I am truly Glad I made the effort to catch with my Facebook friends after a 22 and half year gap in Face to Face time! 

As is always the way when you are trying to get several people together the question is where to go?  It was supposed to rain on Monday, so being the only person with children coming along, I took the reigns and decided on Lillie's in Bicentennial Park so we would have cover from the weather and the Little Man and the Munchkin could get a run in the playground if the weather cleared enough.  Of course it was fine and we should have made the trek to Watson's Bay or the new free area of the Zoo so my new friend from Texas (Partner of school friend who is located in Perth these days) could get a little bit of picturesque Sydney.  Not to be this time, but truly the venue was unimportant.

It was really great.  Even the Little Man made a comment about visiting the Perth Duo sometime soon and once he heard that my other friend has a child his age he's wanting to visit Sydney's south to see them too.

From ambivalence, I'm team 'Facebook is Great!' all of a sudden, in fact I'm turning 40 on Sunday and am contemplating a party the following week for all my Facebook friends I haven't seen for years.  It just seems right when reaching a milestone age to reconnect with the people of your past.

If you are friends with people from your past on Facebook, I encourage you to get in some face time.  You may be surprised, and if not, you can always 'unfriend' them on Facebook!!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

How do you tell your friend their child is a bully

and do they want to know?

What do you do if your friend has a child who is a bully and becoming so all round horrible (a terrible thing to feel about a child) that your husband wants them barred from the house?

You know this friend well and they only hear what they want to.

Is there any point tackling it head on?  Or is it best to just phase them out of your life?

I'm torn.

I know the child is neglected at home, has no routines and lives in squalor (only a very few people know this secret - from the outside they appear well looked after and as many hoarders live, are very focused on appearances so nobody finds out).  No visitors can go to the house its so bad.  How can this child experience normal childhood or friendships and learn how to not be a bully?  Am I taking it out on the child by cutting off contact to protect my kids?

My kids should come first, but should I attempt to help this child or protect my kids from him?

A Facebook Reunion

Thanks to Facebook, I am catching up with a friend I haven't seen since 1988 tomorrow.

It's a little strange.  We have had an outrageous long distance Facebook relationship over the last 18 months or so, but she lives in Perth, I'm in Sydney. Safe distance!!

She has just been to the US to see her partner's children and is in Sydney to see her parents on her way home.  It seems like the perfect time to catch up... Is it?  I'm so nervous that I can't even make a decision on where to meet up.  I know I need somewhere my kids can run around, where I can keep an eye on them while having a chat and you'd think I'd have a repository of these places, I do.  I just can't get my brain to access them!!

I recently caught up with another school friend who I hadn't seen since 1986 and it has led to a fabulous friendship.  The last 9 months have been fabulous, our kids like each other and we live in the same suburb.  It's brilliant.  A Facebook success story.

Here's to tomorrows catch up being just as positive.  Fingers crossed.

Wish Me Luck!

Friday, 1 April 2011

This week I'm Grateful for...


I've been worried about the husband of a friend (Varying degrees of bad news), who is also the father of the Little Man's best friend.  The news has been upgraded to hopeful.  Hopeful is always a good way to be.

It has really had me down in the dumps.  Today, I started to pick myself up and drag my butt out of the hole I've been wallowing in for 2 weeks and just be Glad that there is hope for him and his family and that my own family are all healthy.

Thanks to Maxabella for hosting the weekly grateful post. Check out her blog for her own grateful post and more posts by other bloggers.

High Fructose Corn Syrup is invading everything

Sweetener, thickener
Corn syrup, which consists mostly of dextrose, is a sweet, thick liquid made by treating cornstarch with acids or enzymes. It may be dried and used as corn syrup solids in coffee whiteners and other dry products. Corn syrup contains no nutritional value other than calories, promotes tooth decay, and is used mainly in foods with little intrinsic nutritional value.
It's everywhere.  I can't get away from it.  They've taken the sucrose out of Arnotts biscuits and replaced it with Corn Syrup.  Now they taste like any other P.O.S. Biccie.  My consumption of Arnotts has declined to practically zero since this happened. SO disappointing.

I've discovered that the Little Man goes birko if he eats or drinks some things labeled citric acid.  Often this is the only additive. It had me perplexed for quite a while, I mean citric acid comes from citrus fruit, doesn't it?  Ummm Nooooo.  Apparently not necessarily.  Those "amazing" Americans have now perfected making it from the by-products of producing Corn syrup...

Yep it's a processed product of a processed by-product of something disgusting in the first place!! 

Oh, and they just label it 330 - EITHER way!  It is not a requirement to differentiate between the processed from citrus type and the processed from a processing by-product of a processed nasty...

In the U.S., High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is among the sweeteners that have primarily replaced sucrose (table sugar). Factors for this include governmental production quotas of domestic sugar, subsidies of U.S. corn, and an import tariff on foreign sugar; all of which combine to raise the price of sucrose to levels above those of the rest of the world, making HFCS less costly for many sweetener applications. Critics of the extensive use of HFCS in food sweetening argue that the highly processed substance is more harmful to humans than regular sugar, contributing to weight gain by affecting normal appetite functions, and that in some foods HFCS may be a source of mercury, a known neurotoxin.

Needless to say I have become one of those number watching Mums and I am trying (believe me it's hard work) to avoid Corn Syrup in it regular and High Fructose incarnations.  It's extremely difficult though.  The more our food is made overseas the less control we have over the contents.

My Gran was from Sugarcane country and had lots of relatives in the industry, used to say "Have sugar in your tea - support your family".  I say eat sugar not icky corn syrup!!