Wednesday, 30 April 2008

SS Blog Challenge #15

Life Lessons - When was the last time you had a life lesson -- one that made you feel "BETTER" about "YOU"? It doesn't have to be a life altering lesson; it can be something small, it can be something very minor, but it must be a life lesson. And it must be a GOOD life lesson. What was it?

I don't know if this quite fits the challenge but I realised today that I am lovable and am doing a pretty good job of being a mostly 'single' parent (dh works away for two weeks out of three).

I went to pick the boys up from my Mum's house (she had them overnight and watched them today so I could have the skin cancer removed) and when I arrived, they all, even Alex, came running to give me a hug and tell me how much they missed me. They were only gone from 6:30pm last night to 4pm today but they missed me.

I had been beating myself up most of the night last night for yelling at them and just generally being a "bad mum" yesterday afternoon, but that was all forgotten. So I realised that I mustn't be doing such a bad job after all and that they do love me .. even if they won't pick their clothes up off the floor!


It seems I have reached 'that' stage in life - you know, the one where your doctor becomes the only person you have time to visit on a regular basis!

I have just had another skin cancer removed this afternoon and been left with five stitches in its place. I know the stitches are the better option but why can't they a least cut out some of the bits I really don't want anymore .. like the double chin and the horrendous belly. I can't really claim it as baby weight anymore .. the baby is 9 years old! Ok, no more whingeing (until next time lol).

I'll get the results of this one next Friday so if you are so inclined, please say a prayer that it's not anything serious.

PS the other one was just starting to turn into a nasty one but we got it early enough. Whew!

Friday, 25 April 2008

SS blog challenge #14

Blog Challenge #14 - "There's no place like home"
This week tell us about the places you've called home. Have you lived in one place all your life? Tell us about it and why you've chosen to stay there. Have you lived in many places? Where have you lived and what have you done to make each place feel like home? What has been your favorite place to live and why?

Wow, where do I start? We have lived in so many different house (and countries too) that all I ever wanted to do was put down roots and stay in one place.

I was born in Mackay, Queensland but moved to Cairns at a few months old. Then Dad was posted to Singapore when I was about two. After that, we went to England (where my sister was born), then on to Fiji, which is where I started school. Then we headed back to Australia, stopping in Cairns, Qld for a few months, then on to West Aus. Once in WA, we only moved 3 times before we settled in one house for the rest of Dad's year off. Then it was back to Fiji for another two years and into another new house. Another year back in West Aus, Fiji for 18 months then Hawaii for a year. Apartment living was a real eye-opener having only ever lived in houses with backyards! Once I hit high school, Mum and Dad made the decision to stay in one place, Maddington in West Aus.

Then I moved out of home with my now husband to Cloverdale, Thornlie and Maddington (housesitting for his parents while they travelled the countryside). Six months after we were married, we moved into our own home in High Wycombe where we lived for 7 years. The opportunity arose to buy the house we're in now (Huntingdale) so we jumped at the chance (twice the size of the old place for not much more). This is the place I've felt most at home; the most "permanent" place.

Dad was in the merchant navy and was posted all over the world. I can see, as an adult, that we were lucky to be able to go with him, but as a child it was really hard to always be the new girl in the school. I hated moving and always having to start over so I've tried to ensure my kids don't go through the same woes.

Even though I hated all the moving, I loved living in Fiji. Maybe it was just the ages and stages I was at at the time, but it was a really good place to be a kid. Ultimately though, home was wherever my family was and still is. Family makes a house a home.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Favourite things

Lita challenged me to do an ABC of my favourite things so here goes:

A: Agatha Christie - the author. I love immersing myself in her books with all their twists and turns.
B: Books - I have a need... a need to read!
C: Chips - Tasty Jack's plain salted ridge cut chips.
D: Donna - my name. It wasn't always this way (used to hate it with a passion) but I've grown into it.
E: Escalators - anything to save my knees from those stairs!
F: Friends - both "real" and the "internet axe-murderer" kind.
G: Green - one of my two favourite colours. (Blue is the other one).
H: Home - my sanctuary from the hustle and bustle.
I: Ice cream - rum and raisin in a cone with choc topping (the kind that goes hard .. YUM!)
J: Jeffrey Archer - another favourite author.
K: Kids - love my three boys (most of the time!)
L: Laughter - "You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing".
M: Music - no particular genre. Just whatever I'm in the mood for at the time.
N: Nature - I like watching the seasons change .. just don't like weeds!
O: Organisational stuff - things to help me get a bit more order in this chaotic world.
P: People watching - love to sit in a busy mall and just watch the people go by.
Q: Quiet - need more of that!
R: Reminiscing - love looking through photo albums and re-living all those experiences.
S: Scrapping - enjoy the process as well as the end result.
T: Tools - got to have the right tools.
U: Useful information - all those little facts to store away.
V: Vices - chocolate & books.
W: Wet weather - love listening to the sound of the rain on the tin roof.
X: Xanthophyllic leaves - autumn leaves that have turned yellow (and many other shades)
Y: Yolk - A fried or boiled egg with a runny yolk and warm toast to mop it up with. Yum!
Z: Zoo. I really enjoy going to the zoo (any zoo!) and just watching the animals.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Phone calls

Bradley rang me at work today. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Sales office. Donna speaking.
Brad: Can I speak to Mum please?
Me: This is Mum sweetie. What's up?
Brad: Oh that's right. You have another name at work.
Me: What other name?
Brad: You know... Sales office Donna.
Me: (stifling laughter) Sales office is where I work, not part of my name.
Brad: Whatever!
Me: What did you ring for darling?
Brad: Just to say I love you.
Me: What did you break?
Brad: Nothing .. yet. I don't think my brothers broke anything either but I'll just go check.
(puts phone down and runs to find brothers. Loud yelling and crashing ensues)
Brad: (picks up phone puffing from all that running) Nope. Nothing's broken.
Me: You sure? It sounded like it.
Brad: No. That was just Alex being loud.
Me: Oh. Ok. So what did you ring for?
Brad: Nothing. I just love you.
Me: Ok sweetie. I love you too. I have to go now and do some more work.
Brad: Ok Mum. Love you.
Me: I'll see you soon.
Brad: Ok. Bye.

(then just as I'm about to hang up..)

Brad: Mum, Mum, Muuum!
Me: What Brad?
Brad: I just remembered why I really rang. Can we have the chocolate biscuits in the pantry?

Kids .. gotta love 'em!

Thursday, 10 April 2008

SS blog challenge #12

Blog Challenge #12 - Getting To Know You

Copy and paste the following section into your blog and answer as best as you can. You can elaborate (I hope you do), you can post pictures, you can be deep, you can be funny. Whatever you choose -just be honest.Second part of the challenge - post a picture (from this week) of you at your computer. Don't worry about cleaning up - just post and have fun.

1) Right now I want: to hire a cleaner. The house looks like a bombsite!

2) I wish I knew how to: be myself. When I work out who that is, it might become a bit easier!

3) When I want to indulge myself, I: read a book or three with a cup of coffee and some good shortbread biscuits.

4) You’ll never see me: skydiving, bungee jumping or walking on anything high that I can see through. Yep, I don't do heights!

5) A childhood memory that I love: having lunch on Dad's ship. He worked for Cable & Wireless as an engineer on several of their ships and we got to go on board for lunch on Sundays if the ship was in port. All the kitchenhands, who were big burly Fijian guys, used to make me extra poppadums and save me the mandarin oranges from the condiments tray for sweets. I still love mandarin oranges to this day!

6) 2 things I do every single day: hug my kids and do laundry.

7) Happiest moment of 2008, so far: No one single moment stands out, so my happiest moments would have to be the times when the kids and I are all happy and laughing at the same time.

8) Describe yourself in 3 words: knowledgeable, introverted, caring

9) 2 scrap related goals for this year: finish 2006 & 2007 family albums and get up-to-date with the boys' baby albums.

10) You have $40 that you MUST spend on yourself – what do you do with it? Buy a new book, or some scrapping stuff. Then again, I've never had a manicure so I might do that instead.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Parent-teacher night

Last night was parent-teacher night for all three boys. It's really interesting to see how much they're growing and changing mentally as well as physically.

I wasn't sure what to expect because all three, yes all three, have had detentions in the last two weeks for not completing work or not handing in homework. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Andrew and Bradley's teachers are very happy with their overall progress and enjoy having them in their classes There were lots of comments about their lovely manners and willingness to help others so the regular beatings must be working (just kidding!) We just need to work on getting them more organised and improving their somewhat faulty memories! ("But I forgot it!")

Alex's teachers were, in general, happy with his attitude in class and manners but he definitely needs to improve his memory skills. He keeps "forgetting" he has homework (even though it's written in his diary), to actually do his homework and hand it in when he's finished (hence the detentions). The positive though is that all of them said he was very capable, intelligent and would go as far as he chose.

All in all, a very good result (considering the detentions!) Well done boys. Keep up the good work.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Happy news

Oh happy day!!

We're going to be hearing the pitter-patter of little feet again!

October 19 2008, or thereabouts, will herald the new arrival amidst much fanfare and rejoicing!

I'm hoping for a girl, but kind of expecting another boy. So long as they're ok, it doesn't really matter though, does it?

For those of you who know me, get yourselves up off the floor and relax. I'm not pregnant but Bec is! I'm going to be an aunty again and this time there's "only" one bun in the oven. (They had twins the first time with a few problems along the way, but everything has worked out ok. I can't believe the twins are nearly 5yo!)

This makes it all the more amazing that she managed to stay so calm during Mark's "little episode" in hospital. I would have thought with all those hormones flowing around she'd be a blithering mess. I know I would have been!

Congratulations Mark and Bec. Wishing you a happy, healthy pregnancy and an even easier delivery!

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Baby steps

I know what I need to do to lose weight but have just not had the motivation to follow through. Exercise just always seems like too much hard work and the numbers on the scale never seem to go in the direction I want them to. So ....

I have decided to focus less on losing weight and more on increasing my level of fitness.

It's the little things that are making a mental attitude difference. Things like encouraging myself to "move more" instead of "you must exercise"; giving myself permission to eat whatever I want and then finding out I usually don't want it after all; drink water before eating to see if I'm actually hungry or just thirsty; giving myself permission to not finish everything on my plate if I'm not hungry.

These things may seem rather simplistic or be something that others do normally, but for me this is a lightbulb moment. Hopefully these few small things will help to improve my overall attitude to food, fitness and my weight.

Baby steps .. you must walk (and buy a decent sports bra) before you can run!

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Invisible woman .. part 2

To the insensitive clod at work:

I know I am a capable, intelligent person and I know that most people who know me see me that way...

And I realise that I am finally becoming more visible as a person and not just as a resource...

...but it still hurts that I seem to have lost my identity somewhere along the line. I know I'm overweight but that doesn't mean that I'm not a woman or that I don't have any feelings.

There are just some things that you don't say to a woman, even if you consider her a friend, and especially not in front of a room of people. The statements may be true, but please think before blurting out things like:

"Even fat chicks need loving. Isn't that right Donna?" and

"Why would a guy marry an overweight woman? There's got to be something better out there somewhere."

I know in my head that this is reflection of you and your attitudes, not of me personally, but the emotional response is far more powerful than the rational response will ever be.

I am just grateful that I am now a bit stronger than I was a few months ago and managed to hold it together enough to give you a glare that should have melted the paint off the wall behind you. Hopefully some of the power from that glare has permanently sterilised you or at least caused some lasting pain in your nether regions! (Then again, maybe that was caused by the rather severe verbal emasculation you received from numerous sources after sharing your little pearls of wisdom).

After thinking it through (and banning you from setting foot in my office ever again), I have come to the conclusion that I actually pity you and your small mind. You don't seem to realise how much you are depriving yourself of with attitudes like that. I wonder if your wife realises just how shallow you really are. Best of luck for the future because you are going to need it.

Yours sincerely,

An intelligent, caring, capable, accomplished woman

(despite my weight!)