To be fair…

I’ve got two little “minders” home for their Easter holiday as of today and I am determined to make it as good a holiday as possible given that they have done an awful lot of running around after me in the past three weeks.  We’ve brainstormed a list of “places to go” and “things to do at home” today and will do some more work on our list tomorrow.  Eric seems to think they should rank their ideas in order of preference next – I don’t know where he gets this from!

We’ll have to wait until after Monday afternoon to determine what will really be manageable because that’s when I’m seeing my specialist for the verdict on my ankles thus far.  I’m not too worried about the right ankle because it is doing well (for a sprained ankle) but the left (fractured one) is causing some grief.  It is still very painful, the splints rubbed against my skin when they first went on without socks so there is some major skin irritation gone on and worst of all my foot keeps cramping up.  According to the physio I saw today it is sort of seizing up (she called it a type of “dystrophy” but we won’t go there).  Apparently it doesn’t like being not used so the foot and calf are all very tight and uncomfortable which all helps to make me a bit more miserable.  The GP suggested a magnesium supplement which the chemist said would take 3 weeks to work (!!!) and a non-stick dressing for my wounded bit.  The physio massaged it all very carefully with me watching her every move.  I’m sure my howls would have given it away if she did something that hurt too much.

So it is lucky I have my Dan around.  After my post about Eric’s breakfast preparation efforts which could be used to, er, embarrass him in years to come I thought I had better share some of Daniel’s quirks.  He is insatiable in his quest for knowledge.  This leads to some quite startling questions ate any time at all.  The most recent I can remember is a few nights ago when he was eating dinner just with dh and I and he came out with, “What’s sexual assault?”  The boys and I watched about the last third of the Titanic movie this evening or rather Eric and I tried to watch it amongst the barrage of questions from Daniel.

Why are the kids on the life boats? What was wrong with this ship?  How many people on the lifeboats? How many fell in the water? How many got stuck on the ship?  Is this a horror movie? Why is it all slanting?  What is the captain going to do? Are those the other captains? (referring to ship’s officers)  Is Jack going to die?  They should look out for all that broken glass in the water because they could cut themselves couldn’t they Mum? Will that bad guy die? I think that bad guy should die! Why did the bad guy pick up that kid? Who’s the old lady? (referring to Rose at the end of the movie) And then to top it all off as the credits start rolling: “Do you think that if they made solar panels about 5c each that everyone would have them?”

He then announced that he and Harry (the stuffed toy horse) would be joining me in my bed because he might be thinking about the Titanic all night. Oh dear, parent of the year again – not!

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M.I.A

I have been quiet on here and almost everywhere else.  So quiet in fact that some of my on-line friends had started sending messages to ask if I was ok. (Thanks F!)  I am ok mostly but struggling with the juggle of work and home which is even more complicated now that the boys are on their long school holiday.

The other thing that has occupied my time quite a bit is the new improved Weight Watchers program.  I’ve been tracking my food and exercise, blogging on the Weight Watchers Site, taking part in challenges and in the first week on the program I even lost weight! Then I put it on again in the next week because I was supposed to work 12 days straight, I was running my first museum event and life got very crazy!  But that is ok.  I know it is a good program and I know that people are getting stunning results from it.  if I put my head down and focus on it a bit more I will also get stunning results and I am not exaggerating here.  It really will work if done properly.

In light of our financial issues and to use up some beautiful yarn that I had knitted into something I was never going to wear I embarked on a little project of selling coffee cup cosies on e-bay.  Or should I say, tried to embark – haven’t sold one yet.  But it is early days, I’m investigating the best ways of getting them out there because I have enough beautiful yarn to make lots and lots of them and now thanks to a lovely friend I have a good assortment of vintage buttons to use on them.  Please DO NOT feel that you must buy one just because you’ve read this but if you can help with any sales advice I would be grateful.  (I won’t be grateful if you are a spammer however!)  I’m not planning to go into business or start a market stall or anything grandiose like that but if I can make a little trickle of money flow in that is associated with something I love to do it will be a positive thing all round.

To make things “work for me” over the holidays I’ve made a list of suggestions on our kitchen whiteboard for the boys and they are earning stars (which actually turned out to be spots because I thought I had stars but I really had spots).  These will be converted into family oriented awards throughout the holidays and hopefully keep them practicing some of their skills which need work – think sentence construction, handwriting, reading, piano practice and you’ll get the idea.  But that can be the topic of another post at another time.

I’m here. I’m busy. But I need to be blogging so I’ll try and check in more often.


School Holidays – Staying in the Groove

The boys are on holidays and I am not, but we are dealing with it.  I did flex off from work today so I could take Eric and his cousin Emma to a “Softie” workshop at Threads and More.  It was really Emma’s 8th birthday present but we sent Eric along for company.  I know children should learn to make their own fun and be able to amuse themselves in the holidays.  But I think it is good to have some structured activity in there especially if it involves learning something new and producing something you are really proud of.

As for the rest of the holidays we’re farming out the boys to various different places and dh will have some time off.  But to keep our sanity we will still be going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time, trying to eat regular meals, trying to keep up with the laundry and the house.  Because we didn’t have sporting commitments last weekend I took the boys and two friends to work so that they could experience the event that I’ve been working so hard on and that took up most of Saturday.  It was  just marvelous to be able to stroll around after them and interact with all the different elements that I had been working on.  As it is a “Great Train Robbery” Daniel spent a total of two hours (in two different sessions) in the police station going through evidence and was thoroughly absorbed.  I’m going to have to make sure I keep his investigation sheet which was filled with wonderful Daniel hieroglyphics probably known only to him.  Eric was just as enthusiastic but was also keen to do the Blacksmiths tours and a few other things so I think I could safely take them up there during a non-event period and they would still be well occupied.

I’m planning another trip to the city museum on the weekend but we’ll have to fit it in with Eric’s sleepover plans.  I’d also like to see a movie or two with the boys.  I’m just getting used to the fact that we don’t have to do everything during the day and that they can handle some late nights if necessary.  Our holidays are going to be very different from now on but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun.


Driving in the other Direction

I’ve had some very exciting developments this week.  Life has taken a different direction and it is one that no one could have predicted.  After a big application, interview with assessment task two weeks ago and another follow up meeting this week I’ve been offered a job at one of our favourite places in the world. Here

After years of thinking I would never do anything other than teach in a classroom, I saw the ad for this position – Learning, Activities and Events Officer – a few months ago and immediately my heart leapt.  I could do that.  I wanted to do that.  There could be a place for me beyond the classroom, a place where I could still use my skills as an educator and work with a wide variety of people.  I love trains and railways and history.  When the boys were into Thomas the Tank Engine I reveled in the language and the images of that magical world.  We’ve been regular visitors to The Workshops over the years and held annual passes for four years running.

There will be many other changes apart from me driving west instead of east each day.  As a public servant of sorts I will be working longer hours officially but less hours unofficially.  I’ll have some measure of control over when I work, being able to accrue flexi-time etc.  I will be working on most school holidays because those are the busiest times for the museum – especially Boxing Day through to the end of January when Thomas comes to visit.  If I work on a weekend or public holiday I might be paid overtime (huge concept for a teacher!).  I won’t be having holidays for quite some time and when I do they will be during school time.  We think the boys will cope with a few weeks out of school here and there for holidays down the track – I can certainly “home school” them if necessary!  I wont have my own class but I will also be doing without playground duty, report writing and parent teacher interviews.  There are lots of things I’ll miss and lots of things I won’t miss.  There are lots of things about this position that I don’t even know yet and that is both exciting and a little bit scary but I am so ready.

I’m ready to belong somewhere again, to be doing something worthwhile and working hard.  I’m ready to know where I am going each day and where I’ll be going each week.  I’m ready to be challenged, to use my creativity and problem solving skills and I’m so excited!

After initially being skeptical about me working for the government (he never thought he’d see the day) Anthony is delighted.  The boys, after some confusion on Daniel’s part, are just about delirious.  When I told the boys that they might sometimes be used as “guinea pigs”, Dan didn’t relish the prospect of living in a box and eating grass.  But when it was all explained he was delighted of course.  With their new found independence they are getting used to traveling to and from school in a  number of different ways and are relishing the slightly increased responsibility.  The extended family are already booking themselves up for holiday care.

I worked my final days as a relief teacher this week in three different schools and then today we celebrated – Eric’s first communion and confirmation.  Now I have two weeks to get everything in order ready to start my next big adventure.  I don’t know all of what the future holds but I’ll certainly be putting my sunglasses when I drive in the other direction!


2009 – The Year That Was

I’ve borrowed this idea from the wonderful Ms Fifikins even though I haven’t forgiven her for forgetting certain house guests in her review of 2009!

I think the word for this year is different.  And I’m hoping that 2010 will be different in a bigger and better way.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

Did a family farm stay in June, resigned from my job in July and visited Cairns for a week in November

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

It was probably something to do with losing weight in which case it hasn’t happened

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My sister Trish had Luke Robert on January 28

Lorraine gave birth to beautiful Mabel who has the best reasoning behind her name!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

I wasn’t really close but Mum’s brother Leo died in July and my cousin’s husband Fintan tragically was struck down by Swine Flu while working in Vietnam and died in September.

5. What countries/states did you visit?

Cairns, Gold Coast

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

a well balanced lifestyle

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

July – resigning

November – going to Cairns

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Learning to knit well

9. What was your biggest failure?

Weight loss and general organization

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Some ongoing anxiety and depression, high blood pressure

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Knitting stuff

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

My workmates at school who were so supportive of my decision to resign even though it was heart breaking

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

The people in the news for hurting others

14. Where did most of your money go?

Bills and debt

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Knitting.  I don’t sound very exciting do I?

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

Can’t think of anything right now

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:?

a) happier or sadder?
sadder

b)thinner or fatter?
fatter

c) richer or poorer?
poorer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

work – both paid and in the home

exercise

eating healthy food

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying.

Emotional Eating

Procrastinating

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With the family at SIL’s place

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?

stayed in love with my boys

22. How many one-night stands?

None! I’ve told you I’m not that exciting LOL!

23. What was your favourite TV program?

All Saints and I’m sad it is finished.  Watched lots of episodes of Cold Case and Without A Trace

24. Did you make a friend with anyone that you didn’t know this time last year?

I have knitting friends!

25. What was the best book you read?

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larrsen

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

The fact that Eric can play the piano

27. What did you want and get?

Time to knit and cross stitch

28. What did you want and not get?

A new job

29. What was your favourite film of this year?

Julie and Julia

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

39. Can’t remember. Already worrying about the next one!

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Getting stuff done

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Comfortable

33. What kept you sane?

Knitting

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Obama!

35. What political issue stirred you the most?

Global warming

36. Who did you miss?

Friends who live too far away…

37. Who was the best new person you met?

MIML – except that he isn’t the “man in my life” but Fiona’s however MIML is his Internet persona

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

Everything happens for a reason


Giving Thanks

A while back I wrote about blessings and it was good topic.  I’ve since found someone who likes to make it a regular habit. Ann Voskamp of the Holy Experience blog started a Gratitude community and she makes a habit of “counting her blessings” every Monday.  I’ve decided to join in because I believe a lot of good can come from it.  She initially set a target of finding 1000 things to be thankful for and she has gone past that number.  I wonder how long it would take me to get to 1000 things? 6 months? 3 months? I’m going to try it and see.  So this is my first Multitude Monday Post.  I’m not going to completely abandon Menu Plan Monday but I’ll try to do both whenever I can.

So, for the beginning of my list

  1. My family – who are all “unwinding” as we spend a lazy two weeks at the beach.
  2. Rainbow Bay.  I’m biased but I think it is one of the most beautiful spots in Australia.
  3. A new hair colour, foils and haircut.  I was pampered today and feel much better for it.
  4. A solitary swim in a saltwater pool this afternoon.  The boys didn’t follow me as expected so I got to float around in the balmy water for an hour on my own.
  5. Dinner with extended family and friends.  This was at the Rainbow Bay Surf Club and I must share what I had – Grilled Snapper on a salad of rocket, olives and Parmesan, on a crispy fried cheesy risotto.  It was superb!
  6. Walking on cool, soft sand looking for the tiny crabs that scuttle toward the light.
  7. My “puter” and being able to stay in touch with all those who give me strength and support.

And so it begins.  I’m going to keep this list in hard copy once I am at home or when I can but a special little book because I think it will be wonderful to look back on in days, weeks and years to come.


A Spectacular Night

Anthony’s birthday present this year was a family trip to see The Australian Outback Spectacular (including a tribute to the Light Horse).  And tonight was the night.  We joined hundreds of others, hooting and hollering, waving our hats, clapping our hands and stamping our feet as the spectacle unfolded before us.  I think the boys are just the right age for this sort of thing.  They could handle all the crashes and bangs and flashing lights without being too worried.  I did nearly fall off my chair when the first gun went off during the Charge of Beersheba but luckily Eric was there to take care of me.  I’d heartily recommend this attraction to people with kids of a similar age to ours.  It’s pricey but it is something you only do once and I thought it was well worth the money.