Thursday, 29 March 2012

Tiger Catch Up

Parent Teacher Interviews - the groan that escapes from parents across the country at this time of year could probably be heard from space.

At the new school they run in a 3 way format, with the child attending and having an input into the discussion. This was a first for me (maybe we were living in the Dark Ages before and I didn't realise?) and I found it much more rewarding than the old "Here's how your kid is doing, bye now."

The one thing I hate about PT interviews, is the ten minute time slot. It gives no room to move, and no chance to have more than a basic discussion. If you have issues you want to raise, you have to make an appointment again. Which at this late stage of the term can be frustratingly difficult.

I also get bombarded with notes and reminders that I MUST be on time... only to arrive and discover the people before me do not go in until four minutes into my interview time. I have an almost three year old loose outside your classroom, my iPhone can only keep her entertained so long!

Despite this we had a great interview, and had so many achievements to discuss.

Tiger struggles with being very clever, but at the same time very anxious and unsettled. We've seen this come out in bad behaviour, daydreaming, "forgetting" everything, refusing to do her work, and more. 

It took her a couple of weeks to settle into the fact that we were here to stay and no amount of acting up was going to make me pack the house up and move her back to Hicksville. She spent weeks insisting that this was the only option or she was going to make my life a living hell. She tried for a while.

After her birthday, things changed a lot. Her teacher and I can chart her effort and behaviour in the before and after of that weekend. Before -  poor work effort, constant emails back and forth between us, new wrinkles appearing on my face! Now, she's putting in a consistent effort, has lost the acting up, and is absolutely blooming in her new school.

We still need to work on her organisation, but it's getting better and she's trying hard.

Her scores were AH-MA-ZING! Top of her Year 5/6 class (she's in 5) in literacy, reading, comprehension.... and a spelling age of 16.4!! In the top bracket of maths, even though she never used to make any effort in this subject. And so very proud to have one of her compositions read out to the class as an example. 

I'm bursting with pride at the moment. Despite struggles at the start she is blossoming in the aftermath of our move. She's happy and shining and making new friends. She's positive about each day. 

This is what we wanted to achieve. We would rather have scratched our own eyes out than send her to the high school I attended, so she could become the fourth generation subject to mindless community wide bullying, with no rhyme or reason.

Tiger is singing as she brushes her hair right now, practicing as hard as she can for Choir tryouts today, hoping to be picked to sing in Adelaide. 

The sunlight is back in her face and I am so thankful it has returned. 

Onwards into the future.....

Linking with Kate Says Stuff for Thankful Thursday

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Doing anything with WonderMan is always an experience.

Cooking is no exception.

Yes, we are completely daggy.

No, we don't care.


Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Taking brave steps forward...

I'm a volunteer at heart. Sometimes I cannot justify the time, or effort required, whether it be because of work, family, or just plain exhaustion.

I give time when I can, I make an effort to be involved, to spread my skills, my smiles, my efforts across my community.

Volunteering has given me some of the best experiences of my life - I've been an assistant dance teacher, a local radio announcer, umpired hockey. I am a joint convener with my mother, taking care of the cookery at her local country show.

I never expected it to be any different when we moved here, and I spent a good amount of time deciding where I would start. 

I wanted to be involved in something that I was passionate about, that gave scope for a range of activities, that allowed me to use the talents and skills I already possess, and build my networks as we settle into the area.

It didn't take long for me to decide where I wanted to give. 

The biggest decision of my life as a mother has been sending my kids to daycare so I could go back to work. 

I love being mum. I love the days with my children laughing and "helping", I love listening to them play quietly when they think I'm not paying attention, I love the cuddles and being there when they need comfort. But I am not naturally good at being at home by myself, and I struggle with the monotony and the feelings of being cut off from the world. 

My balance is part time home mum, part time working mum, and it makes me a better mother, wife and person in the end.

But for me to find my balance I have to give my children over to others sometimes.

I've always believed that it takes a village to raise a child. But family units are getting smaller, urban sprawl means we don't often know our neighbours,  and many of those I am entrusting the care of my precious girls to are acquaintances at best, strangers for the most part.

It's daunting to walk in the door and cuddle my little girl goodbye, all the time with that voice that sometimes says "Are you sure she's going to be ok?" "What if.....?"

I wanted to know what I could do the be more involved in her care. So I trundled off to the Centre's AGM last night, with a vague notion that I was sure I could find somewhere to be involved.

Nominations came open and I studiously avoided the round of chairperson, secretary, finance... finally putting my tentative and shaking hand up for the role of Parent Voice representative. 

A quick idea of this role is to attend district wide events hosted by each centre and share ideas, concerns and knowledge, to give a voice to the parents and take on their ideas on how to make the centre fantastic for the families who use it's services.

I'm really excited about the opportunity this gives me to be as involved as I can in the way my child is cared for when I am at work. As a parent I have often felt very detached from daycare, with a limited flow of information about her days there. Sure I know she went to the toilet, and ate chicken salad for lunch, but I want to know how she's learning, how she is comforted, what the staff do to support the way we choose to bring up our children.

 This is how I'm giving back, and at the same time I know my children are being cared for the best way they can, because I am helping to shape it.

Are you a volunteer? Why were you motivated to give of yourself?

This post is linked up with Diary of a SAHM for IBOT.

Monday, 26 March 2012


I am not the world's most organised person, I have to work pretty hard at it.

As I've become more organised I'm also trying to become more efficient. Why do ten half jobs when you can do one properly? Why waste ten times the effort it required to do the job in avoiding it? 

It's something that has always got under my skin, and can make me niggly in the blink of an eye. I am often to be heard muttering "FFS just do it! Stop talking and DO IT!" 

Choosing to marry the Procrastination King was probably not healthy for my eye twitch.

Some days he can wind me up to the point where I'm not far short of homicidal.

Asking him to do a simple job (usually one that is his responsibility anyway) is a sure fire way to raise my blood pressure to the catastrophic level. And if the tv is on forget it. He will go out of his way to go through the lounge room so he can stand, slack jawed, in front of the idiot box, regardless of what's on. I regularly find him standing like a statue in front of such gems as In The Night Garden, or the SBS Weather screen. I KID YOU NOT.

He starts every job and finishes none. But only if he can't find some way to put off starting.

He's been home all weekend and all he's really done is some dishes, and as I look in my kitchen right now the benches aren't wiped, nothing is put away and anything that didn't go in the dishwasher must have turned invisible in his eyes.

He tried to tell me the reason he left a cake in the oven fifteen minutes after the timer went off was because I called him for dinner. Even though I'd been reminding him every two minutes that his damn buzzer had gone off while he was slumped in the lounge chair staring at the tv. Of course it was my fault, he couldn't be procrastinating getting up and taking it out. Never. (I still can't find a sarcastica font. Someone clever should really create one.)

This morning though, his inefficiency really started to have a clear impact on me. 

Our bedroom wall adjoins the carport, and despite the double brick noises echo. Not loudly, just enough to be annoying, to begin waking you from your sleep.

WonderMan is heading off early as he's going down the Yorke Peninsula for a couple of days.

He goes outside to put his bags in the car.


He opens the door. He shuts the door. BANG.

He opens another door, he shuts that one. BANG.

He opens yet another door, slams it shut. Again.... AGAIN..... AGAIN! 


He opened and slammed his car doors in quick succession more than THIRTY times. 

He had one bag, an esky, and a bookwork folder. 

He needed to open one door, put some stuff in, shut it again. 

I have no idea what he was doing but it became obvious he was opening and shutting every door in the car, going round and round in circles. 

Did I mention it was 4:30am?

He is so damn lucky he is going away until Wednesday because it will take me until then to get back down to a simmer. 

I'm surprised my eyes didn't shoot lasers at him when he came for his goodbye kiss. And I'm pretty sure he's gone away grumbling that I wasn't "sad enough" about him going away. 

If he went to Antarctica right now he could keep warm simply with the radiant heat of my anger.

Inefficiancy and procrastination can be frustrating. Sometimes I think I will go mad trying to deal with it every day.

But when these stupid actions start to affect my well being I need to perform an intervention.

My only question is how???

Sunday, 25 March 2012

In which we go out to dinner....

We received our first invitation in wine country last week, and last night we spruced up and went out for dinner!

A progressive dinner to be exact, which we had never heard of before. (For those who don't either, it's dinner spread out over people's houses, with a course in each house).

I was so nervous, we've never been invited anywhere, unless you count the odd 21st birthday where everyone is swimming in beer by 4pm, and to dinner at my mum's which is pretty much like being a kid again.

I probably talked too much. By dessert the wine (and cocktail!) was really kicking in. But I had so much fun. And I didn't fall over, or do anything terribly embarrassing (I think).

The company was amazing, the food was divine, and the laughs were like food to a starving person. 

There are really wonderful people here. They are kind, and clever, and friendly. I have spent all my life believing that life was like this somewhere. We've found it.

We're home now.

Thankyou x


Friday, 23 March 2012

For Fucks Sake Friday

It's whine time (with a silent H, heh)

Time to air my grievances for the week and then drop them in the bin.

FFS Friday is brought to you by Dear Baby G who is awesomeness personified.

Dear Baby G

 So what's given me the shits this week?

Frog is Queen Contrary-Huffington. All. Day. Long. No matter what you say or do, she refuses on principal. I offered her a Cadbury Mini Egg yesterday and she shouted "Noooooo!" TWICE before she realised what she was saying. I feel like I'm living in the Red Zone... my day is full of random skirmishes and I just have to pray I don't trip the ITD (Improvised Tantrum Device) FFS.

 I've been trying to get Tiger to brush her teeth for the most part of ten years, doing it myself until she was five and the squirmy little shit sod darling little child could escape my clutches. One trip to Nick the Wonder Dentist and she's brushed them day and night for a week and keeps asking when she can go and have her next fluoride treatment. FFS.

 This week more than five people have blatantly failed to give way to me at one of the roundabouts, two doing so without even looking, obviously under some insane impression that they exist therefor they must go first. FFS.

 I may or may not have ranted about roundabouts and road rules until Tiger finally said "Yes, mum, I get it, nobody knows how to use a freaking roundabout. Can we put the radio on now?" FFS.

 I've been re-organising the stupidly huge pile of recipe clippings into a usable format, spent ages creating a balanced and delicious weekly menu plan, and it turns out I should have burned the whole lot to keep me warm because all my hard work has been met with such gems as "Where's the meat?" "I don't like it" "What's that green thing?" "It's yucky" "Can we have noodles?" and my personal favourite "Why did you make THIS?" FFS.

 It's a week until the Digital Parents Conference and my Twitter feed is FULL of #DPCON12 hashtags. I had to sell my ticket and give up the only two days all to myself in five years so excuse me if I ignore all of you lovely people and go and hide in my pillow fort while it's on, clutching my smarties and filling the moat with lava. FFS.

 Rant over. Please resume normal programming. Oh wait.... this is normal.... D'oh!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

The dinosaur in the room

The last few days keep falling apart. They start off wonderfully and then bits and pieces of them drop off until all that's left is the gossamer threads of my sanity being crushed in my tight fist as I hang on for dear life.

I had yet another evening meeting which I had to drag the kids to and they reenacted WWII style air raid sirens by screaming at each other a lot.

Frog is all kinds of contrary and even if I agree with her she pulls a huff worthy of a teenager. If I walk away she just comes and stands in front of my face to make sure I get the full force of her huffiness.

She must have seen the dark, stormy cloud hanging over my head last night because just as the raindrops were about to fall she brought me her "dinesaw"  to "Make you happy mummy?" and gave me a kiss on the nose before dancing away.

He and I stared at each other for a while.

And then those storm clouds burst.

The salty tears ran down my face and burst in clouds of steam.

From white hot anger to dull red heartache in a second.

These girls that drive me to distraction are also the glue holding me together. We are all hurting, they need their daddy back, and so do I. 

I know they are trying their best, and I'm so grateful for that little dinosaur.

He made my day.

I'm linked up with Thankful Thursday at Kate Says Stuff

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Lookit what I Did!

Combined with my social ineptitude, embarrassing shyness and a tendency to overshare I am a secret show off. 

And WonderMan doesn't do the whole enthusiastic excitement thing very well (although he is working on it).

So I'm counting on you to "ooh" and "aaah" in a suitably impressed manner. OK?

This week I:

Made a new handbag;

Finally sewed up a dress I've had cut out in the cupboard for weeks;

Whipped up a quick skirt with some of my vintage fabric;

Played around with a prototype design for coffee cozies;

Tried my hand at trifle;
Constructed a tower burger and ate it all;

and went meat free two nights this week including this new recipe (Red Rice and vegetables) which Tiger had TWO HELPINGS OF *faint*;

*Pause for your raptuous applause*



(If you are doing the slow clap right now I will be quite cross.)

*Takes a bow*
And now, I shall exit stage left, to the tones of your amazed "oohs" and "aaahs" as we discussed earlier.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Beauty for Beginners - Episode Two


I've linked up this post with Diary of a SAHM for I Blog On Tuesdays.

I wrote here about how being a girl is too much work. 

But deep down I secretly want to be a perfectly groomed, glamorous type person, so I thought I better get a move on before I hit the other side of thirty and gravity starts it's long slow slide.

I started with a leg wax. Being on a budget and clueless i stared at all the options in the supermarket aisle before going with something middle of the range and with some chance of not hurting myself too much.

It wasn't that hard, in the end.

Messy, yes, oh my god what a mess I got myself into!

But it worked! And with no bruising, burning or loss of limbs which is awesome. I'm getting better each time and hardly make any mess now.

I may even have a go at some slightly trickier parts later down the track *wink wink nudge nudge*

So I was on to my next challenge. 

It's been a lifetime since I coloured my hair. It was so dun and drab. While waiting for it to go properly grey so I can get myself a blue rinse, it's been looking lifeless. Like a fluffy dust covered mouse has settled on my head.

Woolworths were having a sale, I needed a pick me up, it was a match made in heaven!

I chose this one* - it claims to give "rich tones and contouring highlights" which means..... um.... lighter and darker tones that hair would naturally have I think. (Can you see I am new at this?) And it does this in a one step process which suits me just fine because despite doing my mothers lightened tips for years there was NO WAY ON EARTH I was going to attempt that crazy stuff on myself.

I can tell you it was -
1) Easy to use. Straight forward "tip that in there, shake it about, rub in and wait". I love simple things.
2) Good for solo-parenting beauty bloggers - I didn't make a mess or stain my countertops, even doing it at 11pm; considering I only have two unco-ordinated hands this is excellent.
3)Pretty - It developed exactly the same colour as on the box, my hair is soft and shiny, and I like the natural way it looks.

I would definitely use this product again, mostly for the ease of use and I like the rich golden brown.

I even reached outside my zone and tried a twist and pin hairstyle today using inspiration from Fox In Flats Hair Dare and the tutorials at Hair Romance.

Impressed with my pinning skills

I felt really pretty while I was running errands today, a little hard work and I can already feel my spirits lifting!

So what's next in my journey? I'm not sure but I would really like to have a go at doing my own french polish because I adore a pretty set of nails. 

Do you have any tips for getting the perfect polish?

*This is not a sponsored post, I bought this product with my own housekeeping money, but I wanted to share my experience with you. However, I would definitely welcome a delivery of products for me to try if you are interested in working with me ;)

Friday, 16 March 2012

For Fucks Sake Friday - the please don't annoy me edition

Oh the joy that comes with having a crack at my week and having one big whinge-fest so I can move the fuck on and enjoy the weekend.

Thanks to Dear Baby G for making this possible.

So what has given me the shits this week?

I waited four weeks for a replacement charger for my laptop and the universe proved me completely right when it turned up four hours after I bought one for the grand total of $70. Ouch. FFS.

I had so many emails in my inbox when I opened it I considered shutting it off and hiding said charger in the hope they would go away. FFS.

After wading through I decided to start catching up on some blog reading..... but after two hours my google reader had zillions of posts still to go, so I took a deep breath and deleted everything after yesterday, meaning I've probably missed the most fantastic post of the week. FFS.

WonderMan is still away. FFS.

He has to take 24hours away from the truck every six days, so he has been coming home to spend Sundays with us. That 24hours just makes me and the kids miss him more. FFS.

Mum hasn't been talking to me all week and I had no idea why. I rang her last night and despite talking to her for an hour I still have no idea what she had the huffs on about. FFS.

I have had high hopes for the last couple of days but they seem determined to prove me wrong within minutes of getting out of bed, and then continue the downward spiral until even the best cheery outlook is seriously wavering. FFS.

I got ALL the lonely customers today, determined to tell me their life story, and my colleague got all the good looking men with sexy foreign accents. FFS.

I kept making silly, ridiculous mistakes and just couldn't shake off the stupid. FFS.

I put the bin out on Tuesday and managed to trip on the driveway (yes, talented, I KNOW) and split my little toe open. Thankfully no stitches... but I felt seriously stupid. FFS.

I'm not sure "I need him for bin duty because I'm an uncoordinated dipshit" will be enough to get WonderMan's work to keep him closer to home. FFS.

Never mind, tomorrow is a new day, and it may even have cookies in it.


Dear Baby G

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Back in the land of lunacy

Yep. Back again. 

Went out yesterday and spent $70 on a universal laptop charger.

At 1:30pm the delivery guy turned up with the one I've been waiting four weeks for.

I think it's best expressed thusly:

I've had a bit of a not-quite-so-domestic goddess week. I haven't cleaned the bathrooms, and picking up after the kids has been fairly touch and go. However I'm not climbing over the toys to get to the door, and have got away without having to do the laundry basket sniff test to keep us in clothes. 

This is a win in my books... there's only so much you can do when you're on a continuously extended solo parenting junket.

I pause here to thank any gods who may be listening that we picked a courtyard home. Because I will admit that although I am keeping up with feeding all the animals, getting the other animals children to school and daycare and making sure I turn up to work on the right day, if I had lawns to mow and gardens to weed they would be trying to smother us in our sleep by now.

Instead I have some pavement and an invisible gardener for the bushes that fill up the bit with no pavement. I say invisible because I haven't seen her since the first week, neither can I see any gardening happening. Or maybe it's because she is being politically incorrect and not wearing her hi-vis vest.

I do my part by poking at the bushes with a big stick and shouting to keep any stray squatters at bay. It keeps me (and no doubt my neighbours) entertained.

Amongst all this life is finding it's rhythm.

Despite the hiccups of the moment, and the struggle to keep it all going by myself, there's a calmness to my days and a feeling that tomorrow will come.

It might take some time, but we're getting back on our feet. Even if I do look as bewildered as he does a lot of the time.


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

1000 and counting

Thats how many emails are sitting patiently in my inbox awaiting my return to Internet land. I dont ven dare look at my Google reader... My patience has officially cracked and I'm off tomorrow morning to see if I can buy some kind of universal charger for my laptop so I can write, and read, and pay thirt dollars a month instead off the horrendous data charges on my iPhone, that come with a complementary squint. No doubt the one I have waited three weeks for will turn up on my doorstep that afternoon. I would give it 2:1 odds.

Friday, 9 March 2012

For Fucks Sake Friday

Normally I would be all over FFS Friday but I'm exhausted. And my laptop charger that was supposed to arrive "in five business days" TWICE, was only ORDERED yesterday. Because the ignorant and gormless seem to be the best breeders. WonderMan tells me he's got another three weeks away minimum. Over the last six months I think I've maybe seen him for a couple of weeks total. FOR FUCKS SAKE Me and the universe need to have a TALK.