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

Saturday, 26 November 2011

You called him What? Oh that's... um nice?

image from here

Here in the House of O there is always a detailed investigation into new babies names.  We test them out, a lot.

We say them out loud, we say them very fast or mumbled (it can reveal some future torture your child may be in for), we look at initials, we investigate short forms and we even google meanings and other people with the same names.


Well quite simply because the workaholic's initials are BO.  Do I need to say more?

Initials are often overlooked by new parents.  They can be a good thing or they can damn your cild to a lifetime of bullying and teasing.

Seconds after my friend told me her son's name I replied how cool it was because we could call him NRG and that's a great nickname for a boy.  It took her a few minutes but eight year on, guess what we call him?

My initials growing up were SLT and when I was being confirmed at age 10, I innocently chose St Ursula as my saint.  My Mum had a conniption when I got home and told her.  She then calmly convinced me to go with the family name of Catherine instead.  So my initials became SLCT.  When I was older I realised what she had averted.  I was pretty disappointed, as only a Catholic School educated teenager can be about such initials.

Then there is alliteration.  My own father is a TT and his best mate growing up is PP.  I'm not sure where I stand on this one, but I know for certain there will not be an OO in this house!!

My maternal Grandmother committed her own crimes of initials.  Both her and my Grandfather had the initials LP, so what did they do?  Named their three daughters LP.  Mail would come for Miss LP and there would be a war over who owned it.  Who knows someone who lives in...?  It was especially complicated when it started being bills that were coming in.  My uncle escaped the dreaded LP by being born on his sisters 15th birthday, which allowed her to demand that she named the baby.  He became PP.  It cracks me up every time I think about it, especially as my Grandmother always looked down her nose at my Dad and his mate for "having parents with no imagination"!

There are so many unfortunate name mistakes (in my opinion of course) out there.  There are hundreds of studies showing the effect names have on people.  I myself tried to have "normal" names with "normal" spellings that were common but not to the extent that there would be five kids with the same name in their class at school.  I wanted to make life easy for them.  Both of their names have multiple options for nicknames and one is quite rude and I don't doubt that he will relish that.  My Mum hates spelling her name every single time she is asked for her name, it bothers her a lot and it rubbed off on me.

Mum also has a name that works for either gender and that is another thing we often discuss in the House of O.  My besty from school days has a name that is used for both boys and girls but hers is quite obviously the female version because it ends in 'elle' rather than 'el' (it's a french name).  It drove her mad because she was forever getting mail addressed to Mr, even when she had indicated that she was female.  She was offered a cadetship with a leading accounting firm when she finished school (at our Ladies College) and the letter was addressed to 'Mr'.  She had been for several interviews, but she was worried they were expecting a guy and phoned them up to check.  How awful.  (it was her they wanted, just some dim typist who had made the mistake).

One of my sisters in law chose two VERY popular names for her boys (now 5 and 2 like mine) but she replaced an 'i' with a 'y' in one and added a completely redundant 'y' to the other.  I can't help but think these kids will be referred to as the "insert name here" whose Mum couldn't spell when they get to school and there are several other kids with the same name on the roll.  There are 18 grand kids on this side and she is the only one who made her kids names "individual".

People make spelling assumptions, of course they do.  We often get our surname spelled incorrectly on correspondence.  It can be spelled three ways and it splits fairly evenly in Australia between the three spellings.  My favourite was that when the Little Man was registered with Medicare they spelled it wrong (I didn't, someone made an assumption as they typed), so I went in and got it fixed.  They told me it was done in the Campbelltown office as the mail gets spread across the network to be data entered.  Almost three years later I added the Munchkin.  When the card came, guess what?  There he was last on the list with his name spelled wrong.  In to Medicare I toddled and explained to the nice lady behind the counter and as she fixed it, I recounted how funny it was that it had happened twice.  She then looked up the data entry and it had also been done at the Campbelltown office!  Someone there knows a family with the other spelling.

Back to my Workaholic and his BO, his Mother did worry about this when they picked the name but my Father in law insisted that being BO himself, it had never bothered him so they went ahead and gave him the name.  It wasn't until his name was registered that she realised that his Dad always initialed things using his middle initial and never just as BO!

Do you look at people's names for their children like this?  Do you have any pet hates, mine is all those Y's replacing other vowels (and man they can replace any vowel apparently) or am I just weird and judgemental?  Heard any funny ones lately?

Friday, 25 November 2011

Things I know

The Nick Cave Edition.

I know that I have been a Nick Cave admirer for a very long time.

I know that recently I am having Nick Cave hour once the boys are in bed, more and more.

I know that even though his music is usually rather, ehem, melancholy, I find it cheers me up.

I know that I struggle to pick a favourite song but am pretty sure it's a three way tie between The Weeping Song, The Ship Song and Henry Lee.  If pushed to pick one, today it would be The Weeping Song, last week Henry Lee (I was loving the film clip) but usually it would probably be The Ship Song. 

I know that I chose to embed Henry Lee today because I think it would be the one fewer people would be familiar with.  Enjoy.

I know that Nick gives good duet. People love to work with him.

I know I was completely floored last week when the Workaholic announced that his favourite song is a Nick Cave song.  I had no idea that he even knew who Nick Cave was, I mean he's an Air Supply, Eagles or Chicago kind of guy (Hey I never said he had good taste).  On music we have very little in common.  Then he told me it was Into my arms and all was explained, very commercial.

I know that Nick Cave is a legend.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Don't forget to go over and check out what everyone else knows this week, over with Shae at YayForHome!

When are Shorts not Shorts?

I have a bee in my bonnet about shorts.

Tragic when good people go psycho over ridiculous things isn't it?

I just want to know why boys shorts are so long, I really feel like I'm lying when I call them shorts, but little girls shorts are so short they are indecently disappearing up their buts?

These are longer than alot I've seen

These are just a bit longer than most we have, but not by a massive amount.

Anyone have an answer?

Seriously, it is impossible to buy a pair of shorts for boys that is worthy of the name.  My boys hate it.  All shorts are too hot, too long, too big according to them.  They possibly hate it more when I offer to cut them off... But that is definitely more about my sewing than the shorts and a whole other post.

Then I look at my God Daughters and their shorts are so short my paedophile radar goes on high alert.  Why wouldn't some creepy guy hang around when these little girls have it all out on show??

Their Mother tells me that it is so frustrating shopping for shorts as they are all too short and the pairs they are wearing were the only ones she thought may be long enough. 

What is the world coming to?  Boys showing their knees is obviously not OK in this new world of long shorts, but girls get to show 2/3rds of their buts and all is OK.  I'm so confused by this one.

It goes without saying that the girls ones cost twice as much as my boys ones that have possibly three times the fabric in them.

Have you any thoughts on shorts?  Have you noticed this trend?

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Polly Dolly Challenge - Drive

This weeks Polly Dolly Challenge

Today I was inspired by the Drive Polyvore challenge, so I am linking up.

Visit Danimezza to see this weeks collections.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

When the Inability to Scrapbook is a Symptom of Indecision...

Do I want baby number 3 at 41?

I've been scrapbooking for a little over 18 months now.  My plan was to do the boys a baby book each.  I've pretty much done everything but this.  The time has now come, where I am up to date, scrapping as I get the latest photos printed.  It is time to bite the bullet and, ahem, start the boys baby albums.  Yep, I have not even started them.

I don't know why I can't get them done, OK I am lying, I have an inkling.

Three times at least I have planned out a list of pages for each of them and three times I have lost the list and worked on something else when I have have been to a workshop or made scrapping time at home.

It's starting to dawn on others that perhaps the issue is my own sadness at not having a baby in the house.  Once I've done their baby albums, it marks the end of their babyhood and my time as the Mum of a baby, in my mind at least.

I was planning on another baby.  I have embryos in storage and this year we were going to transfer them but the stress of events in the House of O has not been conducive to this.  I am an emotional eater and have ballooned in weight and have not had a normal cycle since February.  Last night I broached the subject with the Workaholic because the new invoice for the continued storage of embryos is due in December and I am thinking that we should donate them or let them defrost.  I am on my way to 41 after all!  His reply is an emphatic NO!  He wants to try again.  I am definitely in two minds on this matter.  If I'm honest I want another baby, but the sensible side of me thinks of my age, the sleep deprivation and mundanely enough the school fees.

image from here

Several friends and acquaintances have recently had babies, the last on Saturday and their little squishy pink bubbies make me so clucky.  Then I say to myself, I'm older and I'm lucky to have my boys with no major health issues.  Mum's over 40 have a massive increase in risks for both Mum and Bub.  I see risks everywhere.

Perhaps being clucky is the key.  I am clucky.  I have embryos in the freezer.  Maybe I should just give them a go.  That's how the Workaholic sees it, which is strangely out of character for him.  We seem to have reversed our positions, he's always the one who sees the risks.

Am I finished having babies?  I am not sure.  Usually I think I would be of the opinion that it would be best to just give it a go and leave it in natures hands but I just can't get there.  Is this a sign that I don't want a third?  Is it possible that finishing their baby books may have the opposite effect and decide me on baby number three?  Perhaps my embryos wont defrost and baby number three is not even an option.  I know I am amazed that scrapbooking has led me to this blog post about theoretical baby number 3.  

I am never this indecisive.  It does not sit well on me.  I usually decide, do and never look back.  Why is this so different?

How did you know you were finished with having babies?  Is it always like this for everyone? 

I'm Flogging this post...

Make sure you go on over and see what everyone else is flogging this week!

Wordless Wednesday

The Little Man determined to get a good photo with Leon

Leon was not so into the plan

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

My Little Drummer Boys

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Today I am thankful for StEPS

Thank goodness for Statewide Eyesight Preschooler Screening.

Today was not a regular pre school day for the Little Man but because there was a vision screening today, I made the effort to get him in to be tested, even though I had no worries about his eyesight at all.

Man, was I wrong!

He could not read anything below the third line.  I took my glasses off and could see all but the bottom line quite clearly and my eyes are pretty pathetic.

His response?

"Well I can see small things up close, it's just silly expecting me to see small things that far away."

The lady sent him off with a teacher to have a very serious chat with me.  If I wasn't so pragmatic she would have scared the pants off me.  I guess that was the idea.  She informed me that they get about one child per centre referred on for further testing and 12% are discovered to have a serious undiagnosed sight problem.  At this point I was thinking, "OK, it's serious shes inferring that's him", then she went on to tell me that next week I would get the letter telling me to follow it up with either, an Optometrist who deals specifically with Kids, get on the waiting list for the free clinic at RNSH or get my GP to refer me to an opthamologist.  She then cleared her throat and suggested I take the last option, again forcing me to realise how serious this is.

The good news is that finding out at 4 or 5 increases the possibility that it can be helped by exercises.  Later discover would definitely mean glasses.

And to think, I had no idea and I almost didn't bother going in for the screening! 

Have you had your pre schooler's vision screened?

Today I'm participating in Thankful Thursday with Kate says stuff.  Check out what everyone else is thankful for today.

Off the Air, Mentally

I have no idea where I found this image, also a symptom of being off the air.

I am most definitely off the air mentally at the moment.

After many weeks off way too much stress in the House of O, it has finally abated but now I find myself unable function and plan.

My brain has just said, Enough and I am in a mental no mans land where I seem to get through each day but not achieve anything meaningful.

Blogging has fallen victim in a big way.  I like to try and keep my blog ticking over, be it with meaningless, trivial bits and bobs, but in my current state I am totally unable to even post a Wordless Wednesday photo or think of anything I know.

I'm hoping to do a hard reboot this Saturday and return to something like normal next week.

Stay tuned, I have not abandoned you...

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Slightly tragic Birthday Cake I made yesterday
(it was about 34 degrees in Sydney yesterday)
for my God Daughter's 5th Birthday

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

My Little Drummer Boys

Baby for the Duggars

I woke up this morning to the news that the Duggars are expecting baby number 20.


That is all.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Stroller Style - Polly Dolly Challenge

Stroller Style

After admiring the Polly Dolly challenge for ages and being too embarrassed to post my own attempts to publish, I have finally had a go!

Visit Danimezza to see this weeks collections.

Things I Know...

This week I know that I was not going to do a Things I Know post but somehow, here I am doing just that.  Somethings are just bigger than me and my plans, obviously Shae has woven a spell over me and I am unable to resist the allure of the Things I Know Linky!!

I know that I have a cold and the lounge is calling my name, very loudly.  I can see a couple of SG1 episodes in my afternoon while the Munchkin sleeps.

I know that I just love this photo.

I know that I am glad that both my Boys Birthday Parties are over till next August.

I know that even though it is 51 days till Christmas, I have not bought a single present.

I know that I have eight birthday gifts to purchase before Christmas.

I know that I am very Bah Humbug about Christmas this year and it is going to take a mammoth effort on my part to get motivated to even write a to do list.

I know that not having even done the basics around the house today will make for a busy cleaning day tomorrow, and I am actually OK with that.  This is a big achievement for me.  I like the house tidy and usually could not let it stay untouched over night.

I know that the Lane Cove Toy Library is not going to get its pirate ship back on time this week because the van is still at the mechanics.  Hopefully there are no other Pirate Parties planned this week requiring its use!

I know that ordering my green groceries online using Sydney Fresh and having them delivered to my door with a smile is fantastic and I have no idea why I stopped doing it a year ago.  We are regulars again now.  I love delivery night dinner.  The boys love eating everything raw, so it ends up being a simple and healthy meal.

I know that I have a heap of home admin to do this weekend.  My hint was the filing box collapsing under its own weight...

I know that if it's hot this weekend my newly repaired pool will be getting some serious use after being out of action for every hot day we've had so far this Spring.

I know that the small patch job turned into this...

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Don't forget to go over and check out what everyone else knows this week, over with Shae at YayForHome!

Blog Neglect

I have been neglecting this blog.

I like to blog at least 5 times a week.

I like to comment on comments I receive.

Lately it has all just become too difficult.  We've had so much on and I have not been able to get half of the every day things done so the blog has taken a backseat.

Today I am attempting to catch up on some blog reading, so you may get some comments on an old posts!  I may even get to respond to some comments  on my own blog. If I don't quite get there, thanks for commenting, I love comments and I always read them.

In the mean time, here are some more photos from the Pirate Party last weekend.  A friend emailed them to me last night.  I love them.

Pirate cupcakes thanks to Nanny

Birthday Cake

Brothers Blow out the candles
Pirate Daniel

Birthday Boy

More smiles

Balloon magic = Happiness to a 5 year old

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Man Flu

Today I am sick.

On Saturday I fell of a ladder while I was putting up Jolly Roger bunting and sprained my ankle (the Workaholic is still certain it is broken and upset that I have not been to the doctor or had an xray) but of course there was too much to do to stop and be ambulanced (is that a real verb??) to the local hospital to waste the whole night.  But I digress, this is not my issue today.  This is about Man Flu.

man flu
image from here

I knew it was inevitable that I would end up with the Munchkin's cold.  I held it off long enough to get through the birthday party and to function like normal for most of this week.  Now I am just wretched.  My throat is shredded, my nose is running like a tap, my ears are blocked and I am feverish.  It sucks..

It's times like these I wish I could, without conscience behave like a man and just collapse on the lounge and moan and snuffle and do NOTHING.  The Workaholic is an expert Man Flu sufferer.

The problem with Man Flu when you are a Mum (or even a just a female) is that it takes at least 3 days to clean up the mess the rest of the household makes while Mum is horizontal for a single day.  So I am battling on with the aid of Codral, coffee and chocolate cake.

Men with Man Flu pee me off, it is just pure, sheer laziness.  The fact that it appears to be hormonal just sounds like bunkum to me.

What's your opinion of Man Flu?