Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Letter of the Week

This weeks letter of the week was B.

As the Little Man had been to a birthday party on the weekend and one of the prizes he had come home with was a pair of binoculars, it was a pretty easy week for me.  We did not even discuss options, but I suppose we could have done, bat, ball, bull dozer, bionicle, Batman, bugs or a bear.

I do love an easy week!  Next week is another treasure week thanks to the Pirate theme they have this term.  He has to take something that he treasures that he has had for a long time.  It should be interesting!!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Thursday, 24 May 2012

The Letter of the Week

This weeks letter of the week was N.

There were plenty of ideas for this week.  We thought about necklace, noodles, newspaper and nectarine.  We had decided on nickel.  Not the metal but a US 5cent coin.  The problem was, the jar with all the unchanged money from a variety of overseas trips was not unpacked at this house.  It is somewhere in an unpacked box.  So The Little Man and I decided it was down to nest or nut, as in nuts and bolts as his school is nut free.

In the end he took both.  The nest is in a local car park and the baby birds had hatched and we were all enjoying watching Mummy and Daddy finches looking after them.  The bolt the Workaholic dragged out of his hardware cupboard was a monster and too cool for a boy not to take for news!!

These are the sheets he took in for the news table.

Next week it is the letter B.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

The Letter of The Week

This weeks letter of the week was C.

With my new Mixer arriving as a Mother's Day gift, news starting with C was a no brainer. Cupcakes!!

They were delicious and iced with electric blue icing.

This weeks News sheet (note my new red baby)

There was no letter of the week last week as it was supposed to be Umbrella but instead it was a special week where they had to take in something very precious to them and talk about why they treasure it.  This is to tie in with this terms Pirate theme that they have going.  I'm guessing the teachers did not want to listen to 16 separate news presentations on Umbrellas!

My Little Man took in a Mickey Mouse necklace that he got when her was about 18months old and remains a favourite.  He is such a Mickey Mouse boy.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

How My To Do List Crippled Me So I Threw it Away

What do I need to do to get away for a few days?

Seriously it has come to me crying on the Workaholics shoulder declaring "It's just too hard to go away. I'll stay home."

I am completely tragic.  What a martyr!

This weekend is my annual SWANKY Gals scrapbooking retreat.  It starts after lunch on Thursday and goes through to Sunday afternoon.  It is the 10th anniversary, this year, so it has been a much anticipated event by all.  I love to go.  I get to relax, scrap and enjoy time with my friends, child free.

Last years theme was "Be a Sport"
I was a cricket ball...

This year I am wondering how I will even get there.

I have 3 baskets and a pile of washing to put away.

There's a massive list of instructions for the Workaholic as there are a stack of things on during this period and he needs to organise the lot.

No photos have been printed.

There's a costume to prepare for the themed Dinner on Saturday night.

I have an impossible assessment task due on the Monday after I return, so I need it done and submitted by tomorrow night so I can relax.  I also have a Quiz on Monday.  I am confident that I am ready for that but the assessment task is at 10% complete and it is worth 30% of my mark.  I have been working on it for 3 weeks.  Entire days at a time.  It is kicking my butt.  I have come to the realisation that I need to hand in whatever I have ready on Wednesday night and forget about it.

Up until this morning I have been paralysed by the mountain in front of me that I need to conquer before I get to have my weekend away.  I was honestly going to pull out.  It seemed the easiest option.  Then something happened.  I remembered why I go on this retreat each year.  I remembered that I am important and that my well being is just as important as the rest of the family.  I remembered that I wanted to study and if I am not enjoying it there is no point.  It's not all about the grades, it's about learning.

So, I wrote a new list.  A shorter, less OCD list with the priorities flipped around and I have attacked the shit out of it this morning.

I can't do anything about the killer assessment task but the rest I am going to get done.  If it is not perfect, then tough.  I'm not perfect either.  I'm pretty sure they will all fare OK with me away.  They can muddle through and hopefully appreciate the millions of little things I do for them that they don't notice normally.

So I am now sorting my photos so I can whip out and get them printed in the morning.  Tonight I am packing my bag and supplies.  Only once these things are done will I think about my assessment task and the instructions for the Workaholic.  I need to think about me and get on with it.

I love an AhhHaah! moment.

Are you ever crippled by the size of your to do list? How do you move forward?

Linking up with Jess at Diary of a SAHM for IBOT today.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Being a Soccer Mum

This year I have become a soccer Mum.

It has been interesting.

There are some really great things that have come out of the Little Man playing soccer and some stuff I could really do without.

So what does it involve being a Mum of an under 6 novice soccer player?  Well let me take you back to registration.

When two of his little pre-school friends told him that they were joining the same soccer team, the Little Man was immediately enamoured by the idea.  It was less about the soccer and more about playing with the two friends he misses from pre-school.  They go to three different schools.  In theory I thought it was a nice idea, but the logistics made my head spin and lets face it, he's not a very co-ordinated child and he had never even watched a soccer game let alone kicked a ball!

He spent a week asking me "Can I play soccer with my friends Mum, Puhleeeease". Over and over again.  This culminated on the Thursday with "So Mum when does Soccer start?".  The Workaholic and I discussed it.  We have a long standing deal that when his schools compulsory Saturday sport kicks in in third grade, that the Workaholic will be responsible for taking him, but at the moment he is still working Saturdays, so it was up to me.  I gave in and logged onto the clubs site and filled in the forms and paid my $196, knowing full well I would fork out much more.

The team in action.

At the first training session he was puffed out by the mid point and spent the last part sitting on the edge of a hockey goal.  I thought, "Oh No! This is not going to happen and I've just bought shorts, socks, shin pads and ordered a jacket and training shirt, personalised with his name.  There's a $100 bucks I'll not get back."

Anyway we persevered and I noticed he started to like the training and by the first game was raring to go.  By the third game he had found his place in the team and makes it his mission to get the ball back from the other team and pass it on to one of the goal scorers.  He LOVES it.  I hate it.  It helps that they have won every single game by miles.  Last weeks score was 30-1!  They were regraded this week but still won 10-4.  I've been chatting to other Mums on the opposing sides, it turns out we are one of the few clubs who have a Kick-start coach as part of the program.  The results are obvious.  Training sessions are 15 minute blocks of different drills.  It's fast paced and fun for these little guys.  They love it.

He is benefiting from it a lot.  His self esteem is sky rocketing.  His gross motor skills have improved and with it his confidence to have a go at new physical activities.  His school teacher and occupational therapist have noticed a marked improvement.  I'm really pleased about this aspect.  It's a real bonus I had not really considered.

Now here's my side.

I do not enjoy being a soccer Mum.

Firstly, training is on a Thursday afternoon 4.30 till 5.30.  Thursday is one of my child free study days, so the Munchkin is at pre-school, so it starts out a good day, then afternoon soccer chaos kicks in.  I go and pick up the Little Man from school at 2.45, jump back in the car and drive 15 minutes away to pick up my God Daughters from their school by 3pm.  We then come home for him to dress for training (consisting of me stressing out and him dawdling) and if possible do readers (not often, it feels like a miracle when we do them).  Then we go to training.  I sit in the cold with my Kindle, somehow, reading, watching the training and still keeping an eye on the playground where the girls play.  We then sprint to the car the minute the post training meeting is over, struggle with seat belts because two boosters and a car seat do not fit easily into a Subaru Outback (in case you were wondering) and brave the traffic to get to the Pre-school  to get the Munchkin.  Thursday has become MacDonald's night, for obvious reasons.

Then Saturday mornings, I have to get up the same time as week days to get him to meet his team by 8.10am for the 8.30am game.  We have the same dawdling and me stressing about getting dressed.  The weather is mental.  Every week it is a drama.  It's either so hot we are all standing on the sidelines in gumboots and t-shirts with our jackets and cardigans strewn across the wet grass on the sidelines or like today, it looked warm.  It was warm.  Until we got onto the field where there was an icy wind blasting us.  Not enough clothing on today and of course the Munchkin sat in a puddle of water.  This clothing issue sounds like such a small thing, but I am finding it infuriating!!

On top of this weather, I am dealing with a bored 2 1/2 year old.  I sit him on a picnic rug and bribe him with muffins or cakes or anything to keep him seated and quiet.  He still whines for the entire time and hangs off me like a limpet.  It is exasperating!  Last week he wound my cardigan around me so tightly, it ripped!  I'm always so relieved when it is over and we are in the car on the way home!!

Munchkin with cupcake bribe.

Today was extra stressful as I knew I had an assessment task waiting for me at home (which I am now ignoring to write this post...).

So are you a soccer Mum?  Is it like this for you?

Friday, 11 May 2012

Urban Wildlife Leads me to Contentment

Over the last couple of weeks my boys and I have noticed two little finches hanging out in the carpark of St Ives Village Shopping Centre.  They are very sweet.  They have built themselves a nest on a service pipe above a car space I like due to only one side of my car being exposed to randon carpark scratches.

I love that my boys have this close up opportunity to view some urban nesting.  We are checking every couple of days for baby birds.  It has even meant I have changed coffee shops so we can check on the nest each morning.

Last week at home we left half a watermelon (getting too old for us to eat) out on the side lawn so that the local wildlife could eat it.  Each morning the boys would watch from the sun room as the sun rose and the possums would get in a last nibble before running off up their trees and into bed for the day.  Then during the day the parrots, cockatoos and lorikeets all came down to visit.  The local Kookaburras hung around to check on the fuss.  The boys just loved it.

I grew up in a terraced house on the edge of Newtown, Enmore, Stanmore.  We had a clothesline on a tiny patch of grass with an old dunny out the back.  There was no wildlife unless you count the rats and winos that sometimes slept on our front step.

I was lucky though.  My grandparents retired to Huskisson in Jervis Bay.  My parents promptly bought a caravan on Currambene Creek.  My life was transformed.  Each Friday afternoon my brother and I would get picked up from school and travel down to Husky for the weekend.  We’d then come home either very late on Sunday night or first thing Monday morning.  I grew up in the bush.  We made cubby houses, BMX tracks and swam in the creek.  We fished, took the tinny down the creek to Callala and had sausage sizzles on the beach.  At night after dinner we'd sit by camp fires and tell stories or play sardines around the caravan park and surrounding bush.  I had an amazing group of friends, most from Wollongong, with like minded parents.  We had freedom.  It was an idyllic childhood.  It was the 1970s & 80’s.

Things have changed and as much as I would love my kids to have the freedom that I had growing up, it can’t happen.  The Workaholic needs to be in the city for work and usually works on Saturdays meaning a similar weekend plan just can’t work for us.  The Little Man had a fabulous time in Huskisson at the Workaholics family holiday house (yes, this is where we met) with his big cousins over Christmas 2010, he really blossomed experiencing a little of the freedom I had as a child.  It is such a pity we can’t do that more often.

I feel blessed though, to have ended up on Sydney’s Upper North Shore.  It is the best of both worlds in many ways.  Our yard is big and just a bit wild.  We get lots of wildlife in the yard and there are trees to climb.  The city is just a train trip away and the schools here are good.  I wish they could have more freedom to roam, but at the moment I am quite content with this urban wildlife they are experiencing.

It has been a long and winding path that has led us as a family to where we are, but today, while looking at those little birds making a home in a carpark, I realised how grateful I am to be just where we are.

The House of O is content and to be honest I had almost forgotten what that felt like.

Are you content in your little patch of the planet?

Take yourselves over to Maxabella Loves... for a bigger dose of Grateful.  It is very good for the soul!!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Seduced By a Kitchen Appliance

Recently The Little Man's school had their School Fete.  It was our first so I was eager to be involved.  I donated to the K-2 Tombola stall and dutifully collected my cake boxes and made cakes.

It just so happened that the week of the fete we had about 4kg of bananas going brown on the kitchen bench thanks to one of the Workaholics clients, so I decided to make banana cakes in addition to some cupcakes.

The thing is, I have never bought myself a mixer other than the cheapo handheld electric ones you pick up at the supermarket, so I mixed each cake individually, washing up in between.

It was long and torturous to my back.  Our kitchen benches in this rented house are not meant for tall people.

My cakes were a success and sold quickly.  I felt like a very good Mummy when I delivered 3 banana cakes and 4 dozen cupcakes to the stall on the day.

In the back of my mind an idea was forming.

Then, last week my very good friend N, was planning to make her Possum a birthday cake and cupcakes for his class, when she put out a call to borrow my mixer as hers had died, been replaced with a cheapo handheld one which had also proceeded to die on her.  I dropped mine down to her and started looking for a mixer for both of us to buy.

I looked online and checked out the options and decided I must have a Breville Scraper mixer.  I've loved the idea of them since the ads were first on TV.  I hunted around and there are some great Mothers Day specials, if I want Red.  Today I went and looked at it in real life.  I love the red!!  Mothers Day is just the excuse I need too.  I came home and got on the phone to the Workaholic and pleaded my case.  He agreed.  Almost immediately.  What a Man.  Now I just have to wait until Sunday to get my hands on my new baby.

My soon to be new love.

Expect something rather new for me very soon.  A post that may include a recipe.

Have you ever been seduced by a Kitchen Appliance? (A.K.A. Please tell me I'm normal. -  OK normalish then?)

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Well Hello There Internet!

Long time no see!

It has been a while hasn't it?  I've had a little unscheduled break from blogging.

Partly due to technical issues and partly due to being so damn busy I could not string a sentence together each time I attempted to blog!

Anyway I seem to have come through the other side of whatever was "blocking" me and here I am back again.

So what happened in the House of O since I last blogged?

I recovered from the bug that had me bedridden.

I gave up caffeine.

The Little Man went back to school.

I failed to submit a test to Uni due to a brain explosion. Yes I was too stressed to do it.

I studied a lot, but I talked about needing to study even more.

I aced a test.

I freaked out about an assessment that is total gobbledy gook to me (and I am still freaking out about it).

You be the judge - there are 6 pages just like this...

We had extra kids for a few nights which meant 3 different school pick ups and drop offs for me.

The Little Man found his "position" in his soccer team and they slayed every team they played. The last score was 30 -1. They have been re-graded thankfully.  Egos are out of control.

Occupational Therapy is showing immediate and massive results. And costing me a fortune.

We made it through our first school fete.  The cakes we made went quickly.

I'm on the final countdown to my annual scrapbooking retreat.  I cannot wait!!

My Birthday Kindle got a work out as did my new iPhone.  Thank you Workaholic.

The toys did not get culled and the sunroom is still strewn with them.

News for the letters L and H were completed.  I'll put those up later.  L was for lollies and H for Hiro.

The cold weather has hit and I am so happy to be in my winter wardrobe.  I love cold weather fashion!

I got addicted to Instagram.  Probably took over from the caffeine!!

So much more happened but my mind is not co-operating right now, but believe me I am back and I have lots to say!

Wordless Wednesday

There are still Easter Eggs left in The House of O

Linking up with Trish from My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.

My Little Drummer Boys