Saturday, 28 June 2008

Next week ...

... will be my last week at work before my holiday!! I'm starting to get excited but there's still so much to organise. Clothes, food, entertainment .. and that's just for the boys!

Seriously though, I'm trying to work out which scrapping project to take, just how cold it will be so I know which clothes to take, if I can get internet down there and how much money I'm going to need. The money thing is probably the most important seeing as I have to drive past the Candy Cow on my way to Margaret River. Mmmmm .. fudge!!

Creamy Bailey's, cappuccino with baby marshmallows, St Clements (orange and lemon), double choc, rum and raisin, lemon cheesecake, jaffa (choc orange) and choc mint are the ones that spring to mind from the last time. Wonder if they've introduced any new flavours since I was there two years ago? (before drool shorts out the keyboard!)

About the scrapping: I don't know whether to take the boys' albums and try to get them a bit more up-to-date or start the photos from our 10,500km trip last year or do 2007. Better decide tomorrow and pack it all then so I don't give up and take nothing!

The boys are a bit concerned about what they're going to be fed for dinners while I'm not here. They usually make their own breakfasts and lunches (because I got sick of them being picky about everything) but dinner is totally different. Bradley is worried that they'll only get beans on toast or scrambled eggs on toast or just toast! I've told them that their dad knows where the supermarket is and that he has his own card for the bank account so they'll be fine.

On a totally different note though, can all you lovely people out there please give me some suggestions for an easy dress-up costume for work? Next Thursday is the start of our big toy sale and all the staff have been asked to dress up as their favourite kids character. I don't want to spend a heap of money hiring a costume for one day (especially as they won't reimburse us .. I have my holiday fund to think of!) but am a bit stumped about what/who to go as. Any and all help gratefully appreciated.

Oh, and a few prayers for some sanity while dealing with the ferocious, psychotic, feral, toy-buying public wouldn't go astray either! Thanks!!

Thursday, 26 June 2008

More retail therapy...

After a rather quiet (compared to yesterday) day at work, I spotted a couple of marked down items on my way out the door. Then I spotted another one, and another one, and another two until very soon I had almost a whole trolley full of clothes for the boys.

I kept picking up this one pair of pj's for me and putting it back because it wasn't marked down but then I figured that I have to have some decent pjs to wear on my holiday. Now they're not really fancy or silky or even "cool" but I liked them so I ended up buying them, another pair that did have satiny/silky pants and three tops. I didn't bother trying any of them on in the shop so I'm going to be taking back the three tops and the pjs with the silky pants. Nice pants; shame the top looks dreadful, but the other pair are so comfy and kinda cute. Here's the top .. what do you think? Just in case you can't read it, it says "GRUMPY ... but gorgeous!" There's another pair there with some pretty funky zebra-striped pants and something about "being wild" on the top. Might have to check them out tomorrow. Now if I could just find some winter shirts/tops that liked I'd be all set. There's always Saturday at Target and Miller's and KMart and ....

Wednesday, 25 June 2008


I haven't been on any excursions with Bradley in the three years he's been at his current school, so I took the day off work and went to the WA Museum with the two year four classes today.

Before I go any further, I would just like to thank the powers that be for giving me relatively quiet children who actually do as they are asked (most of the time anyway). I remember now why I changed my mind about becoming a teacher. I have nothing but admiration for someone in that situation all day, every day. The children were sooo noisy all the parent helpers had headaches by the time we got to the museum. 56 9-year-olds in the confined space of a school bus for 40 minutes is not a recipe for peace and quiet!

Apart from that though, it was a good day. Bradley loved having me there and I enjoyed myself too. The kids have been studying responsible water management and usage this term so the travelling display of "just add water" was perfect for them. They got to play with a whole lot of interactive exhibits (without actually getting wet) as well as look at all the usual stuff: dinosaurs, meteorites, crystals, the butterfly gallery and the megamouth shark.

After the bus arrived back at the school, I left the teachers to it and retreated to do a quick bit of retail therapy. (One crowd of noisy people obviously wasn't enough for the day!) The retail therapy thing worked out quite well. I managed to pick up two pairs of jeans that were normally $45 each for only $7 each. They are only KMart jeans but I'm still very pleased with that!!

So, all in all, it was a good day. My baby loves me for going on his excursion with him and I picked up a bargain!

Sunday, 22 June 2008


After another round of fruitless, disheartening discussion, I needed something to do. I wandered around the house for a while trying to decide which project to tackle and finally decided on weeding down the laundry side of the house.

Weeding is great therapy. You can vent all your frustrations on the weeds, you're getting exercise, you're outdoors getting fresh air and sunshine and there's a visible result when you decide you've had enough.

6 wheelbarrows full of weeds later, the laundry gardens are looking a lot better. I am thoroughly sore and tired but at least I did something instead of eating! Now I might actually try to scrap something. (Only 'cos I need to sit down for a while!!)

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Another version of circles

I was playing and being silly with Andrew when he stopped and very seriously asked me what language was I speaking. It wasn't really any language, just silly noises, but I told him I was being the Chef from the Muppets. "Who? From where?" Oh you poor deprived child you!

As a result, we have spent the last 25 minutes watching different clips from the Muppet Show on youtube. This was Andrew's favourite:

The circles part comes in here: my sister and I used to watch this show every chance we could and now my kids want me to get the DVDs so they can watch it too! Everything old is new again. (It's still funny to me but probably only because it was funny then).

I love youtube! Now I'm off to look for "Pigs in Space!"


That's what we are talking in .. circles!

He's home this weekend but is out today all day at a dirt drags race meet. I tried talking to him last night but it's going nowhere. Still a stalemate.

Oh well, there's always tomorrow!

Monday, 16 June 2008

SS Blog Challenge #22

"In honour of Father's Day and since mine has been on my mind of late: tell me, what is the greatest lesson you ever learned from your father?"

Even though Father's Day over here in Australia isn't until September, I decided to do this challenge anyway.

My Dad taught me so many things it's really hard to pick just one.
He was forever telling me to:
  • "Have confidence and just walk into the room like you own it."
  • "If you believe in yourself, everyone else will too."
  • "You never know what you can do until you try."
  • "You never fail until you stop trying."

And my personal favourite:

  • "The impossible takes a little longer."

But as great as all those things were, the most important thing he taught me was to take care of those you love and make sure you tell them you love them before it's too late.

He was the person we could always turn to in times of need or pain but also in times of joy. Dad would help us fix the problems or be happy for us. He was a rather no nonsense man who wasn't prone to sharing his feelings easily.

In the week before his death, he was more concerned about how my Mum was going to cope than his own pain. He called my sister and I into his hospice room and asked us to take care of each other and Mum. It was only when he was close to death that he realised how much my sister and I needed to hear him tell us in words how much he loved us. He had always shown his love by doing things for us and I know now that that was just his way of expressing himself but it was heartwarming to hear the actual words. "I love you and I'm proud of you and the person you've become."

So don't leave it until the last minute. Tell those near and dear to you that you love them and do it often .. even when the kids are embarrassed by it, they secretly take it to heart and keep it there. What better gift to give your child?

Sunday, 15 June 2008


I officially hate high school homework!

It was bad enough the first time round when I had to do it for myself. It's even worse trying to get my very unco-operative almost 13yo son to do it. It has taken three days to get three pages of writing out of him and that is only just scratching the surface. He still has a 30 point English poetry assignment, a weekly book report and a research project for SOSE to start and finish, all due this week after having had them for more than two weeks. Mind you, it's only the subjects that involve any sort of creative or expressive writing that he doesn't want to do. Science and Maths homework are always done the same night. Thank heavens for small mercies, I suppose.

Andrew has to make a model of the solar system. I dutifully went and bought polystyrene balls, wire and paint and we've managed to get it all together with some craft glue, which is refusing to dry in this dreadful weather. Maybe it will have dried by tomorrow so he can put the finishing touches on it. Apparently it's due this week too and he's had it for three weeks.

Bradly had to make a rain gauge and predict the weather and expected rainfall for the last week. But he kept forgetting to check it, record the findings and then empty it for the next day's rainfall. Oops .. oh well. And it's due tomorrow.

The standard refrain every afternoon is "But I've got heaps of time left before it's due. I'll do it tomorrow". And my standard response would make the Nike ad writers proud ...

"Just do it"

Saturday, 14 June 2008


My kids have never really slept in my bed. Even if they wake up in the middle of the night with a bad dream, I've always let them climb in with me for a cuddle then I put them back into their own beds. Last night I made an exception.

Andrew went to a birthday party at the decommissioned Fremantle prison. Because it was Friday the thirteenth, the birthday child had asked for a 'spooky' party like the 'ghost' tours that are done through the prison. The mother of the birthday child rang the organisers and asked if it would be suitable for 11 & 12 year olds and was assured that it was fine. I explained to Andrew that he might get scared and that he didn't have to go but he was determined to so I let him. (And I trusted the parents enough to not make him continue if he didn't want to).

Apparently when they all got there, one child refused to even set foot in the front gate and two others bailed early in, one of whom was Andrew. Luckily, the parents had expected something like this so the mother went with the tour and the father took the others to a local fast food place. Andrew reckoned he got the better deal .. "we got have chips while the others got to be scared".

He was happy as anything when he got home at 9:45pm but as soon as he put his pyjamas on, the tears started, so I let him sleep in my bed. Now he's not a particularly big child so you'd think he wouldn't take up much room in bed right? Wrong! This not much more than 4ft high child took up almost the entire queen-size bed and managed to get all of the kingsized quilt. He had rolled himself up in the quilt so I had to unroll him over and over to try and stay warm. In the end I had to get up and put thick winter pj's on so I wouldn't freeze.

He panicked when he woke up this morning. He looked at the alarm clock, saw it was after 7am and was struggling madly to get out of the quilt because he thought he was going to be late for school. Once he realised it was Saturday, he deigned to share the quilt and then asked me why I had wrapped him up in it in the first place!

Everything seems fine in the light of day, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens tonight. (At least he doesn't snore!!)

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Feel good moment

This may seem like a little thing to others whose children fit in well and who haven't been constantly picked on for being different. However, it was a really big thing for me as the mother of a child who has never fitted in and who is often ostracised by his peers for being awkward (physically and socially).

When I went to pick Alex up from soccer tonight, he was upstairs in the gym being shown how to use some of the fitness equipment by one of the slightly older boys. The team coach called him down and we were just about to head out the door when several of the other boys called out to him. I was expecting negative comments (isn't that dreadful?) but was over the moon when I heard them all praising him for trying his best and playing a good game. The team captain came down and did that boy thing of "punching" his shoulder with a "Well done mate. See you next week."

I was so happy for him I nearly burst into tears on the spot but I restrained myself so that I wouldn't embarrass him. He, however, just accepted it as his due, said thanks and headed straight for the door with only one thing to say to me ...

"What's for dinner?"

Negotiations have begun...

and they should be interesting!

I finally managed to talk to Pete tonight. Remember what I said about how he probably thinks that if he waits long enough I'll change my mind? I was right. He was thinking that. But after I made it perfectly clear that I wasn't going to, he said that he wasn't going to let me talk him out of it either.

So the short version of the long story is that he's investigating further details of the block with a view to buying it as a "getaway". I don't have a problem with that provided he doesn't stay at the "getaway" more than he's home. Financially we can probably afford to buy it so long as we don't have to build a house on it straight away. I think he said something about having four years to build a house but that's one of the details he's looking into.

So now it's just a waiting game. Que sera, sera.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Random stuff ...

  • 3 weeks and 3 working days until I get to go on my holiday down south. I would say "but who's counting" but I guess it's kind of obvious that I am!
  • Andrew was invested into Scouts last Tuesday and is loving it. He just hasn't decided if he can handle going away for a whole week in October for CampWest with Alex and without us. He's got 'til the end of the week when applications close.
  • Alex has had another detention for failing to hand in homework. Funnily enough, he has been rather co-operative these past few days. I'm still trying to work out how he's managed to get three after-school detentions in just over a term when I managed to get through five years of high school without a single one. Am I boring or what?
  • I haven't been able to talk to Peter in the small window of time he has after work but am hoping to talk with him tomorrow.
  • We have a big sale on at work this week (starts Thursday) so the paperwork has been frantic as have the department managers. And we're losing another couple of managers to different stores. I know I'm dreaming but I wish the people who controlled all the transfers would grow a brain. Why move people who are obviously doing a good job and who want to stay in the store they're in? Logic is a swear word at Big W!
  • Bradley is being really cuddly so he must be about to grow again. He always seems to need more hugs and "Mum time" right before he grows. I'm not complaining about the extra hugs but I hope he doesn't grow out of his new clothes as well as the old ones!
  • I have once again realised that I'm not invisible at work. Several people have nominated me for a "Great Big Thank You" award. Sounds corny but it means a lot to me!
  • Enough for now. I neeeeeeed sleep!!

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Another update

We have come to a stalemate.

He hates the city and I won't move to the country so apparently now he has to "do some thinking". I think he's hoping that if he leaves it long enough that I'll change my mind. I've told him I won't, but he's stubborn like that.

Anyway, the screen is getting blurrier by the second so I'm off to try and get some sleep.

Friday, 6 June 2008

little changes..

In case you haven't noticed, I changed the title of my blog. Due to the previous two posts, "thinking happy thoughts" really wasn't fitting anymore. So I changed it.

Now we'll return you to your regular programming. Thank you for your attention.

Differences Part 2

Warning: another post full of rambling thoughts that aren't at all happy!

Apparently I have been in the dark for most of our 15 year marriage.

Apparently he has always wanted to move to the country. He just didn't push it before now because he thought he might upset me or that it would end up coming between us.

He was right. This is probably, no not probably, it is the biggest difference so far. Hiding something as fundamental as where you want to live for the rest of your life is a big deal, even if it was done with the best intentions.

Ok, a bit of perspective is obviously needed here (for me, not you guys!):

  1. He hasn't had an affair,
  2. He's not dying or seriously ill,
  3. He's not planning on leaving me,
  4. He's not an axe murderer (yet! Though I may drive him to it .. lol)
  5. He actually asked me instead of telling me,
  6. He has said that he will respect my decision (for a couple of months or until he finds somewhere else to hassle me about. His words, not mine).

Ultimately though, it is my decision and it's going to affect the whole family. I have wondered if I'm being selfish not wanting to go that far outside everything I know. I didn't want to just say no without giving it some serious thought because I didn't want to hurt his feelings. But after some serious thought and some rather deep soul-searching, I just can't do this at this stage of my/our lives. Given my fragile mental state at the best of times, I honestly can't see how removing all my support network is going to be better for me, our children or our marriage.

So, in a nutshell, I hope this doesn't cost me my marriage but I'm not moving ...

Wednesday, 4 June 2008


Warning: whinge fest and pity party follows. Proceed at your own risk!

I knew when I married him that we had things in common and things we differ on. I should have known that it was the things we differ on that would make the most difference.

I am a city girl. I thought he was a city boy, because he sure used to be, but I was apparently wrong. He has a need to move to the country and to take us all with him. I suppose I should be grateful that he wants to take us with him but I'm having a hard time appreciating that particular silver lining right now. He's even made a concession to my "moving to a country town" phobia by picking a "big" town. It has a supermarket, a coffee shop and, to quote him, "it even has a hairdresser".

I mean no offense to people who live in country towns but it's just not my scene. I'm quite comfortable here in suburbia on my own little patch of land with everything I want and need close by. Maybe it's just a matter of shifting my view of what I want and need but I like it here! (insert stamping foot and pouting lip).

Besides, I'm sure I'm allergic to red dust. He comes home covered in it every third week and I sneeze for days. (It always sounds better to say that I'm allergic to the dust because the only other option is that I'm allergic to him!) He knows that I sneeze for days yet he wants me to buy 5 acres of red dust and build a house on it and can't understand why I'm not jumping at the chance.

I realise that the world isn't all about me (shock horror!) and that marriage is a partnership with numerous compromises, but I don't wanna move!!! He won't make us move but I know he'd be happier if we did.

I've told him I'll think about it but that I refuse to let him guilt me into it. Stay tuned ....