Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Housekeeping...

This time last year I was busily making plans for the new year, writing wrap-ups of the best movies in 2010, the movers and shakers, there was even a mention of phoenix of the year (which I awarded to Kevin Rudd but someone picked up could easily have been given to Geoff Huegill).

This year there will be no 'best of's, not even a post about lessons learnt. Unfortunately, I just do not have the time to think these things through. So instead my final post for 2011 will be a list.

THE LIST
  • I keep failing to follow through on things. For example, the garage sale we had last month went pretty well. I sold 71 items and shipped the rest of the stuff off to the charity store. Made a few bucks and decluttered too. Win:win. All the preparation paid off. So sorry Mel that I failed to write a follow-up post. I hope you have forgiven me?
  • I am better at entertaining than I thought. Doo Dah had the best Scooby Doo birthday party at the weekend. I was proud of myself for pulling off a eviable party on a budget. Doo Dah has been insisting on wearing Shaggy 'whiskers' every day since. So easy and so cute (Dew Drop copies and is edible). We backed up on the same day with a Christmas gathering. Exhausting.
  • Kids grow up before your eyes. Doo Dah attended his final days at daycare as he transitions to big school. He is starting to read some words, puts together some spectacular constructions from blocks, colours between the lines and spends most of his time driving his siblings mad. God I am going to miss him next year.
  • Blink and you miss it. Nugget has successfully traversed another school year. The end of year celebrations included Musical Heights (where he surprised me no end with the improvement in his dancing abilities and how incredibly gorgeous he looks in blue eyeshadow). He survived the composite class that I so dreaded, losing teeth, renegotiating friendships and while there have been some very tricky parenting moments, be has grown up so much.
  • Love comes in many forms. Nugget and I developed a love affair with Harry Potter this year. His will go on hold for awhile but I will savour mine into the New Year. I bought myself the forth book for Christmas. Sneaky.
  • Time moves on. We do not own a cot, a high chair or a change table anymore. End of an era thanks to the Minx and Dew Drop moving into beds, sitting at the table for meals and getting themselves toilet trained! A big year for them.
  • Something needs to be done about the housing situation for this family. The Geege and I debated whether to move or renovate for much of the year. At this point we have swung back to "move", so we shall tackle that in 2012. Anyone know a good suburb on the Central Coast?
  • We still don't have chickens (or a usable compost). The chooks I have been talking about all year? They now have a coop and will be brought into our home in January. After our trip to Fibrotown for Christmas and up north camping with friends over New Year. The kids cannot wait. The naming game has begun. And I thought naming twins was hard?
  • There has to be a way of keeping track of all the books I read. I need to remember to write my book list from 2011 in 2012. I read some fabulous books that you should definitely check out. And Karen, you friend Torre is a lovely writer! I am completely enjoying Swept. Thank you so much for slipping me a copy.
  • I have enjoyed all the challenges I have set myself this year. I still have to reconcile my 52in52 list, which I will do in early January. There is a bit of time left to finalise a few things...
  • Christmas killed the BNN challenge. While I have been incredibly dedicated to the Buy Nothing New cause this year, the Christmas frenzy has got the better of me. I am disappointed with myself but unfortunately I have run out of time to make all the things I had planned. Don't worry. I have whipped myself (which I kind of enjoyed) and promise to be back on the wagon. Piss poor effort.
  • I will be having a giveaway! I will be tackling a new weightloss challenge (90 days) with the Food Patrol. The best bit is that one of you will be able to join me because they have agreed to sponsor an And then there were four reader too. More information to come, but if your New Years Resolution is 'get healthy', you need to tune in in January for the opportunity you have been looking for.
The next Weekend Rewind will be January 6th, 2012 hosted by EmmaK over at Mummy's Got a Headache. She is both fun and funny and I would love you to support her as hostess by linking up an old post for some new comment love.

Thanks a million for reading my blog this year. Thanks for all your comments and emails and Facebook interactions. Please come again next year when I return xx

Friday, 16 December 2011

Weekend Rewind - Rocktober edition

I have been so busy cutting out Scooby Doo masks for Doo Dah's birthday party tomorrow, that I forgot to sort out the Rewind for this week. So, there will be very little introduction as I get down to the business of opening up for business!

This week we will relive the magic of October. Please find a rocking post from your October archives and link it up here for some new comment love. The rules are the same as always - link up, comment to your heart's content, and use the power of social networking to spread the love to others. Simple? I think so. You need to be a part if the And then there were four gang to play along, so join me if we aren't already acquainted.

So, here is mine: Under the weather

Now show us yours...

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Three turtle doves

We are up to the 3rd day of Christmas aren't we? Three turtle doves? The closest I have come to a turtle dove is lugging Tommy the turtle potty everywhere I go. I have become 'the lady with the red potty'. Thanks Dew Drop and your refusal to wee anywhere other than the turtle.

I am a self-confessed Bah Humbug. Usually I spend all of Christmas bagging out Sister B for all of her festivenss, meanwhile putting off my Christmas shopping and refusing to 'catch up for Christmas' with people.
But things seemed to change for me last year, and I am now embracing Christmas with enthusiasm. Except the 'turtle' doves.

The home-made sock-style Advent calendar has been the centre-piece for Christmas cheer. I wrote little activities for each day and tucked them in the socks. We have been busily singing carols, visiting the Christmas lights, baking Christmas treats and making Christmas crafts.

Today's activity was writing Christmas cards and we used one of our Christmas crafts as the starting point.

The kids have been loving it. Each day they get out of bed bursting to open the sock. They have to wait for everyone to be up and Nugget proudly reads out the task. It sure beats dosing them with chocolate every morning and I have to say that this Christmas celebration thing has been lots of fun.

Tomorrow we have a knock-knock joke.

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Hanna.
Hanna who?
Hanna partridge in a pear tree!

I crack myself up. Have you got any good knock knock jokes? How is Christmas rolling for you this year?

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

I am bloody cold


This is what I *should* be wearing today. Image from here.  
 I am bloody cold. There. I have admited it.

I can't get used to this weather. It is December and it is cold. What is with that?

I have been cold every day for the past two weeks because I refuse to wear a proper jumper. It is Summer. You don't wear coats, scarves and beanies in Summer. It is just not right. A light cotton cardie in the evening, maybe, but not Winter clothes.

The morning sunshine really fooled me this morning and I have to admit that I am freezing. I had to wear the 'team cardigan' out of the office at lunch today because my outfit of choice was not warm enough. My colleagues asked my why I was wearing short sleeves on such a cold day. "It is Summer". I said. Okay then...

The kids are struggling too under my unhelpful attitude. As Winter dripped into Spring, I did the usual cull of their wardrobes, packed up their Winter woolies and pulled out their next size range. It isn't working out well for them. The Winter size threes are too long for the twins for example and the Summer outfits are too cold. We are all inappropriately dressed.

The Geege had the hide to put the heater on the other night. It *was* about 12 degrees, but you can't use a heater in December can you? I switched it off suggesting he get a blanket instead. It just went against my grain, although I had to admit that I was bloody cold once I had.

I don't know why I am in denial exactly, but I feel like if I give in and accept this extended Winter, then Summer won't come. So, I am holding tough. This weather will turn around and offer up a bit of sunshine at some stage. It *has* to. After all, it *is* Summer.

How are you handling the cold Summer weather if you are experiencing it? And if you aren't, boast about your sunny climate and remind me what a real Summer in Australia is like.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Doo Dah's first graduation ceremony

We received an invite to Doo Dah's graduation a couple of weeks ago. I cringed a bit at the thought. I mean, why the fuss? Don't you just get to leave because you are old enough? There aren't any competencies you have to meet. No performance-based benchmarks. You are just five, so you get to move on.

I warmed to the idea because Doo Dah was excited about it, so when the big day rolled around last Thursday, we all traipsed along. I made and effort getting the kids to look presentable; Doo Dah looked handsome in his 'business' shirt. But I felt a bit bad when the room was filled with parents accompanied by grandparents. I didn't even *think* to ask the grandparents.

There was a couple of skits and a couple of songs, all performed by the graduating class with cute little props and double entendres. Doo Dah got to introduce one of the songs and he was so proud of himself that my cheeks hurt from smiling at him.

Doo Dah beamed. He sang louder than anyone else. He laughed at all the jokes during the skits and his eyes twinkled every time our eyes met.

I watched as all the parents viewed the entire thing through their iPhones (videoing it for posterity -why do people do that instead of enjoying it in the 'now'?), while my eyes remained fixed on my prize. My son. Strutting his stuff. Taking the leap from preschool to school. The end of an era.

I hope it is the first of many graduation ceremonies for Doo Dah as he navigates the education system. I hope he is always are happy with himself as he is right now. Everyone deserves to love themselves without apology the way a child does. I wasn't expecting to learn that at the graduation ceremony.

Does your preschool have a 'graduation' ceremony? Are you as cynical as I was about it?

Sunday, 11 December 2011

The story of the Mini-figure

So Nugget has saved enough money to buy himself a Lego mini-figure*.

The Geege was asked to buy it for him yesterday, but came home with the wrong thing.

I promised we would get to the shops so he could buy one before we went to our Christmas picnic today. We were running a bit late, as is customary, but he insisted. So I told him to pick a shop to visit, one only and we would give it a quick try.

So we visited the selected store. Not a mini-figure to be seen. Nugget's face was one of despair, so despite being late and having said "Just one store", we all trudged to another store. On the other side of the shopping centre. And guess what? Not a mini-figure to be seen.

Nugget's face told the story. His eyes pleaded.

"One more" I conceded, and we made our way to another department store. All the way to the back. Three mini figures left. Nugget selected one. I had to bite my tongue I was so surprised to find myself in the situation I was in. One bloody hour to find a mini-figure. What was wrong with me???

He paid his $5 and off we went to the picnic.

We arrived at 11.07. At approximately 11.10, Doo Dah came to tell me that Nugget had buried his mini-figure in the sand and couldn't find it! Ahhhh! I seethed on the inside - that thing was coming home no matter what!

I helped him search the giant sandpit and we rescued it, but then it was lost again when it played 'goalie' during the soccer match. Nugget found it. Its arms were dislodged, but they were replaced and in the end, it made it safely home.

There was more energy and effort that went into that mini-figure than is truly normal.

You can imagine my face as I strolled into the local corner store and found this!


When have you gone above and beyond for your children?

* We figure if the kids are buying their own stuff it isn't breaking Buy Nothing New policy?

Friday, 9 December 2011

Weekend Rewind: A little burst of Spring

A big thank you to Lucy for being such a stellar hostess last weekend. I appreciate your fine stewardship and may call upon you again, should my weekend be as busy as last weekend was. Does anyone else want a go at hosting? Let me know if you do... Anyhoo...

We are springing into spring with this edition. I'd like you to link a favourite post from your September archives. It can be this year, last year or whenever.

The rules for the world's easiest linky remain the same each week. Link up a relevant post, show the other linkers some comment love, and tweet/facebook/stumble the heck out of the meme. You also need to become my friend if we are not already acquainted. There is an official Weekend Rewind button up there at the top of this post that you can pop on your post/blog should you wish to.

Now, I will get us started this week with this little beauty from September...The Bridesmaid Effect.

Now show us yours...

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Learning to share

Image from here
It is a big time of year for new things coming into our house. We have three kids' birthdays as well as Christmas, so it is 'game on' for our massive influx (although not so much this year).

Our household rule when it comes to getting presents is that you get to play with it all by yourself for the first day, and then it has to be shared with your siblings (if they are interested).

The only thing in the house that is exclusively yours is your bed. Everything else has to be shared. As you can imagine, we are not the kind of family who has a 'seat' at the table, on the lounge or anywhere else which is yours alone to populate. We have a shared plate of snacks for morning and afternoon tea, rather than our own serves. We have hand-me-downs, shared toys, shared TV programming. You get what you get and you don't get upset.

I never know whether I am on the right track or not, but my reason for this is that I want my kids to learn to share and I don't want them to get attached to material things. Stuff is stuff. What is important in life isn't where you sit at the table, but who you sit there with. Life is about making space for others and sharing your time, experience, thoughts and games with them.

It is a hard lesson for anyone, but I am proud of how my kids are coming along with this.

How do you manage sharing at your place?

PS: Speaking of sharing... it is the final day for voting in the Circle of Moms competition. Please share the love and vote for me. It is just a quick click and you can do it even if you have before because it is a once a day thing. Thanks!! xx

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The toothfairy diaries: Second tour of duty

Image from here
After unveiling such a fabulous plan for her first tour of duty and executing it superbly, our household toothfairy got a bit haphazard for her second tour.

Less than a week after losing his first tooth, Nugget's second tooth kamakazed from his gum on Saturday morning.

He flopped it on the table and said "Another one. I guess I'll get another couple of bucks hey?"

I had decided, after all the tip-toeing caused by the original 'under the pillow' plan, that I would try a new tactic. One that my own parents used with our teeth when we were young.

I encouraged him to pop his tooth under a glass and leave it in the middle of the table. And so he did.

All day I saw that tooth there and thought, I must remember to slip $2 under the glass and dispose of the tooth when he goes to bed. Only I forgot. And so did the Geege.

The next morning, Nugget exclaimed that the toothfairy had forgotten to come. Oh God! I thought. The Geege and I immediately spoke over the top of each other trying to explain that she has a lot to do and sometimes she takes a few days to come.

"Santa does it all in one night. For every kid" he said.

The Geege and I spoke over the top of each other coming up with excuses for the toothfairy. She is so small. Santa has helpers.

We had a cooked breakfast together and after cleaning up the table, I realised that the tooth was missing! Eek!

Nugget noticed. He said "My tooth has gone! Where is it Mum?"

"Maybe she has come?" I said. Loudly. Hoping the Geege was hearing me and working with me. "Right under our noses. She must have left some money for you somewhere. You had better start looking".

By the time he had gotten to his room to look under his pillow, the Geege had performed miracles!

Nugget and his entourage of brothers and sister came sprinting down the hall to tell me that the toothfairy had left money under the pillow. They discussed how amazing it was that she had come while we were all there and noone had seen her.

Smooth move Geege. Smooth.

Phew!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Sexy sailors

Image from here. Actual boat!
The Geege and I had the most decadent night on Saturday night.

A friend of ours turned 40 and through a series of connections we ended up being invited out on the most amazing boat for a night on Sydney harbour.

The glorious summer weather on Saturday created a beautiful canvas for the sparkling harbour. It was dazzling as we motored around on our party boat, exploring pockets of the intricate shore line. The spectacular sunset did not disappoint either.

The natural beauty of our landscape contrasted somewhat with the debauchery on board.

There was endless Moet served by a heavy-handed and overly attentive waitress; canapes that melted in your mouth; pole dancing demonstrations (with optional lessons) from a woman with an enviable body and guests dressed in sexy sailor attire (mine, acquired via eBay, was so slim-fitting that I had popped some of the press-studs off it by the end of the night! Talk about wardrobe malfunction!! Fortunately they were not 'crucial' buttons).

There was music and dancing and chatter and laughter and moments soaking in the atmosphere. Sigh.

It was a night to remember and one we will be hard-pressed to forget. Always nice to learn how the other half live.

Have you ever had a 'celebrity' moment? Tell us about it.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Weekend Rewind: The Diminishing Lucy edition

The adorable and generous Lucy from Diminishing Lucy is your hostess with the mostess for the Weekend Rewind this week. If you haven't met her before, be prepared to fall in love. She is awesome and so very inspiring. I will be out and about with all manner of stories to tell upon my return. Show Lucy and the other linkers some love won't you? We all know how special we feel when we receive comments. Off you go... xx

PS: Voting is still on for the Circle of Moms Top 25 Aussie Mum Blogs. I would appreciate your vote. It is just a quick click. Thanks in advance :-)

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Let's play {A-Z}

Image from here
A. Age: 38
B. Bed size: Queen
C. Chore that you hate: Folding the piles of washing!
D. Dogs: Our last was Ruby. We found her a new family when the twins came along. After years of having her ears pulled, being poked by two little boys and being forced to sleep outside, she is now adored and happy and living on a farm. It is better this way.
E. Essential start to your day: Alarm clock (often in human form with Dew Drop the most likely candidate)
F. Favorite color: Green
G. Gold or Silver: White gold.
H. Height: 172cm
I. Instruments you play: I learnt the trumpet at school, and the cello. I sucked at both. I often joke that I am the ultimate nerd because I can read music but not play it.
J. Job title: Mum, Education Consultant, Speech Pathologist
K. Kids: 3 sons, 1 daughter
L. Live: Outskirts of Sydney, in the bush
M. Mother’s name: Bev
N. Nicknames: Coo
O. Overnight hospital stays: Three times when having children
P. Pet peeves: I am not sure there is enough room here... um, my biggest one is when the TV is on as well as the radio/iPod and the Geege is playing the guitar and one of the kids is playing computer games with all manner of noises all at the same time, in the same room. Mind boggling!
Q. Quote from a movie:  "I wish I knew how to quit you" from Brokeback Mountain.
R. Right or left handed: Right.
S. Siblings: Two sisters, one brother
T. Time you wake up: Usually 6.00am (or earlier. See E)
U. Underwear: Bridget Jones style
V. Vegetable you hate: Brussel sprouts
W. What makes you run late: Have you tried clicking four children into carseats?
X. X-Rays you’ve had: I have had several dental x-rays (when I had braces and when the dentist stole my teeth during the twin pregnancy). I have also had a chest x-Ray when I returned to work, in line with their latest health policy. Does a CT scan count here?
Y. Yummy food that you make: I make a mean nachos
Z. Zoo animal: Giraffe. Hands down. Necks up.

I found this little game over at Faith Hope and a whole lotta Love. Play along too. Leave a note if you do so I can come and read your responses.
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