Monday, 27 April 2009
On the topic of school holidays ... only three more sleeps until we're back on the merry-go-round that is getting children out of bed early enough to be fed, dressed and packed for school ... but not too early that they have time to complain about how early you got them out of bed. I reckon mothers are the best juggling and balancing acts in the world! (Then again, that brings to mind the saying 'too many freaks; not enough circuses' so I suppose it can be looked at many ways!)
Seriously though, it has been good to be home for the holidays and to actually spend time with the boys. Sure, I've wanted to kill them a time or two (or fifty!) but we've spent time together doing things away from the house as well as at home and they seem to have enjoyed themselves and surprisingly enough so have I. I say surprisingly because I was concerned with having them all at home, all day, every day for nearly three weeks. The weekends are usually bad enough with the bickering and fighting so I thought it would be worse because of all the extra time together. Most of the time they got along fairly well and the other times were relatively easily dealt with by removing one person from the mix .. and yes, sometimes that person was me!
We went out for a 'sausage sizzle' lunch at Bickley Reservoir on Saturday with Clare and Richard. I realised just how slack I've been in parenting these kids when they told me they didn't know how to play 'french' cricket .. the one where you stand in the centre of a circle with the bat and aren't allowed to move your feet as you hit the ball. My excellent (snort!) hand-eye skills were extremely helpful in ensuring I never got a turn at bat because I couldn't manage to catch a single ball! They all finally took pity on me and I got out on my first bat! Oh well, at least I got some exercise chasing the ball all over the place.
Then we went for a bush walk, led by Alex with me bringing up the rear. Clare had worn some lovely looking sandals while the rest of us were in runners. Poor thing got bitten about 50 times by the bull ants that were absolutely everywhere! When her hopping around trying to remove the ants started to resemble a cross between a Native American rain dance, Peter Garrett's efforts out front of Midnight Oil and Riverdance, we gave up on the walk and headed back to the car park. Unfortunately we ended up on a different track going back up the hill and there were more ants for us to contend with. I'd forgotten how much those little buggers hurt when they bite .. ouch! All in all though, a good time out .. I'll just remember to take the Stingose or bi-carb next time!
Sunday was very quiet with all of us managing some sort of sleep in followed by a lazy day doing nothing much at all, apart from finding out that Alex only has three shirts, two pairs of shorts and nothing much else in the way of clothes. Why did he put the rest of the clothes away in his drawers if he knew they didn't fit? Apparently, so that it looked like he had clothes. Huh? Yes, that was his answer!
Today I made them all come away from the TV screen and out to the backyard to help me do some gardening .. much to their disgust! We managed to fill the garden waste bag with all the weeds we pulled and all the trimming of trees we did and we, oops I mean I, also managed to plant the grevilleas and waxes I bought a couple of weeks ago. Now if I could just get the bore reticulation to work I'd be happy. I'll never have a display garden (I'm way too lazy for that!) but at least the weeds aren't taller than me any more.
I'm still looking for a job and you'll probably call me crazy (everyone else does .. it's OK to join in!) but I turned down a job last week. The original ad said it was part-time, 4 days a week. Turns out it was part-time hours five days a week and 1-in-4 weekends with 4 weeks of full-time training in the city first. I can understand having to be trained properly, but working weekends and every second afternoon until 5:30 wasn't going to be good for the homework situation .. or my mental health! I know, I know .. I'm being too picky but at least I know I can get another job now! Great boost to the self-esteem.
My scrapping mojo made a temporary appearance the other day to enable me to finish some UFOs (Un-Finished Objects) that were hanging around driving me insane. I don't know where he's gone now though .. probably back into the bottom of the laundry hamper. I have realised he only seems to make an appearance when the hamper is empty so I figure that's where he must live. I say 'he' because no self-respecting female mojo would live in a laundry hamper full of boys' sweaty underthings!
On that pleasant note, it's time to get some sweaty boys through the shower (with soap and shampoo, boys!) and get ready for dinner. Now what to have ....
Friday, 24 April 2009
2. I hope tomorrow is a sunny day.
3. 2009 has been very up and down so far.
4. That crashing noise I heard wasn't yet another bowl being broken. It was a new bird call ... yeah that was it.
5. For too long I've been worried by what others think about me.
6. I am not obsessed with reading anything and everything; I am not!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to some scrapping time, tomorrow my plans include a picnic lunch with Clare, Rich and the boys at Bickley Reservoir and Sunday, I want to rearrange more furniture in the house!
(Just to clarify: words in green are provided by Janet over at Friday fill ins.)
Friday, 17 April 2009
Probably way too sarcastic but I'll get better and more real as I go along. Unless that is the real me and then we're all stuffed .. lol!
Wednesday, 15 April 2009
Means: "Mum! There's still approximately 14.6 kilos of fat coated sugar in the form of Easter eggs in the fridge and I wish to consume all of it this very second!"
Said: "OK. I'll only have one egg."
Means: "I'll only have one egg .. the biggest one there. It's not that big really .. it would only feed a small African nation for a week."
Said: "Muuuuummmm! He took my (insert appropriate thing here)!"
Means: "He took my thing because I took his thing first and I'm counting on the fact that you're sick of hearing this already and will tell him off and not me. And if I look appropriately upset, I may even get another lot of chocolate out of you."
Said: "When are we going to do something interesting?"
Means: "I have absolutely no idea of how much anything costs and don't really care. Just sell a kidney and take me to the movies already!"
Said: "Mum. Muum. Muuum. Muuuumm!"
Means: "I like the colour your face goes when I do this 10 times an hour. It reminds me of the colour of my Easter egg wrappers."
Said: big thump, silence then "Aaaaaaaarrrrrgggghhhhhh! Muuuuummmm!" followed by loud sobbing.
Means: "You better have up-to-date health insurance because I think I just broke something!"
Said: "Mum? Did you know that set of candles on top of the bookcase don't fly very well? "
Means: "Mum? I managed to totally annihilate half the things on the top of the bookcase with only one throw of the tennis ball that you've told me about 1000 times today to stop throwing inside. Aren't I clever?"
Said: "I love you Mummy."
Means: Can mean many things:
- "Can I have another Easter egg/drink of hyperactivity inducing cordial/useless piece of plastic masquerading as a toy/shred of your sanity to add to my growing collection?"
- "Do we really have to go to bed now? It's only 10pm!"
- "I have broken something precious to you, have hidden the evidence in a very obvious place and have every intention of denying all knowledge of said broken thing, all while blaming my brothers."
- "I want something but haven't quite decided what yet, so I'll just stall until it comes to me."
- and last, but not least "I love you, Mummy!"
Said:"Yes honey; I love you too. Now get down off the ceiling and go to bed. It's midnight."
Means: "Yes honey; I love you too. Now if I could just find that taser I'd be able to better remember why! Where in heaven's name is the Bailey's? Mummy needs a nightcap!"
Friday, 10 April 2009
Alex: But I'm multi tasking.
Brad: Don't! Multi tasking is baaad!
Alex: But Mum does it just fine; why can't I?
Brad: Little difference there Alex .. Mum is a woman. Women can multi task. Boys don't cope with it!
The truth hurts, doesn't it boys? LOL!!
Thursday, 9 April 2009
Tuesday, 7 April 2009
It's me, the Universe, just checking in to find out whether you liked yesterday's version of 'Messed-up Monday'.
Some points for future reference:
- If you really are that tired that you feel you must go back to bed at 9am, may I suggest that you set your alarm for an hour later so you don't sleep the entire morning away, then wake in a panic thinking the children are still at home and now you have to .. shock horror .. drive them to school, even though they only have 3 hours of lessons left.
- While you are stressing about the above possibility, it would be good to check if the dog is lying on the floor next to the bed, before leaping out of it like a demented hippo and frightening him so much he barks at you in pure self defense. You really are lucky he didn't bite you considering he jumped further in the air than any poodle cross should be able to.
- On days you know you are going to need the car to run numerous errands, it would be wise to check whether 'Mr Nobody' has left the interior light on again! That way you can avoid the whole dismantle-the-battery-fixtures-so-you-can-charge-the battery thing, as well as the now-what-the-hell-should-I-do syndrome that follows soon after, as you resign yourself to at least another hour at home. You could have done housework but I can see how that would take second place to reading a book you've already read at least 6 times.
- Now I realise that you were kind of limited in your time frame for doing the shopping and errands, but heading for the biggest local shopping centre during the lunchtime rush and expecting to get in and out of there in under half an hour was really pushing it. Yes, I did arrange for Target and Woolworths to be full of dawdling, chatting, blocking-the-aisle kind of shoppers, as well as checkout operators moving slower than the wettest week in school holidays at just that time, all to help you learn this valuable lesson.
- Relying on the clock in your car to advise you of the time, on a day when you had important appointments, probably wasn't the best idea either. I just loved the look on your face when you finally realised that, far from being slow as you would expect after the battery being flat, it was actually 30 minutes fast! I just live for those sort of looks. "Smile you're on Candid Camera: Universe edition!"
- When attending your youngest son's parent-teacher afternoon, it is probably wise to make sure you read some of his self-assessment before answering the question "So does Bradley get his self-assessment skills from you?" I'm sure it delighted you no end to see such comments as: "I'm really a curious boy at heart, so I ask lots of questions." and (when asked about whether or not he was a risk-taker) "Well, making mistakes is how we learn. Right?" as well as "I'm a good friend but I only do the right thing about half of the time." I'm sure you'll get right on that 'half-the-time' business. After all, that's barely a D. Surely you can help him increase that to at least a B by the end of next term.
- On the topic of your youngest son, did you like the not-so-little surprise he left you .. in the bathroom, the toilet, the laundry, the linen cupboard and all down the hallway to the bedrooms? Bet you didn't think it was possible to flood half the house only using the shower, did you? Oh and didn't you just looove all those bubbles from the third of a bulk size bottle of body wash? Oh, come on! You know you needed to mop the floor. Bet you didn't think you'd have to do it four times though; one after the other! Think of the exercise you got then and the further exercise you'll get from washing, hanging out, folding and putting away just about every towel in the house .. all 26 of them! I know I could have got the middle boy to tell you before 8:30pm but where's the fun in that? You probably would have stopped the water before it got to the carpets in the bedrooms if I'd done that.
- Realising the dishwasher was feeling left out, I thought I'd better get it some attention too. Was two floodings in one night too much? Really? OK then. I'll remember that for next time. (Note to self: she really doesn't appreciate me trying to help her get the floor mopping done. Think of new things to try.)
- This last one probably was a bit cruel but technically, it was Tuesday. I mean, you know the bin is collected before 6 am every Tuesday. It's not my fault that you don't surface before 6:30 these days. And it's not my fault that I reminded you that you forgot to put the bin out at 1am; I was just trying to help. And it's most definitely not my fault that the dog got out the gate and led you a merry chase across the neighbour's yard resulting in you needing to have another shower before getting back into bed at 2am. And not my fault that the dog was then awake for the next hour, scratching at the back door, whining to get inside. Oh no, you're not pinning that one on me! Mind you, I suppose I just pinned that one on me, didn't I?
Think of it all this way, the week can only get better from here. I mean, you don't have that much to do. Just pack bags for the two boys going away with their father, finish washing all those towels, wash all the other mountains of washing, make 20 jelly cups with fruit for Bradley's school thing on Thursday, chase Alex to finish his S&E homework that was due last week, the usual housework, Easter shopping, arrange flowers from your MIL for her mother's birthday, sort out the bombsite that is your kitchen, have the two older boys at Midland train station by 6:30am on Thursday with the appropriate forms and bags and then drop the other one off at school with his 20 jelly cups and have morning tea with Debbie and Jackie on Wednesday. That last one should make up for all the rest! Enjoy your week and I'll be in touch soon!
Thinking of you often (as I laugh myself stupid!),
Drew: "Bruuutuuussss! Come here puppy." (all in a very high falsetto voice).
When Brutus looked at him, Drew then said:
"Don't you tilt your head at me. That's my signature move!"
'Signature move'??? Where does this stuff come from?
Sunday, 5 April 2009
I have been fighting with Alex all day to get a reading journal entry done (a whole 15 lines of handwriting) and I am at breaking point. I gave up the opportunity to go out and see friends, do what I want to do, listen to music at more than a whisper, all to stay home and try to get him to do his homework.
I have tried sitting with him, prompting him. He leaned on me and complained he was tired.
I moved further away and ignored him. He ignored me right back and still didn't write anything.
I tried the assertive approach (do it or else I'll remove privileges). He said he didn't care.
I went the 'bribery' route and promised some internet time if he could just finish it before the beginning of the next decade. The sarcasm went over his head like a 747 and he went to get a drink.
I followed him to make sure he didn't put himself back to bed (for the third time today) and was told in no uncertain terms to 'get out of his face'.
I am now sitting in the study, hiding from him (and the rest of the world if you must know!) and listening to this child who was so exhausted he couldn't even get off the floor (where he put himself mind you!), laughing very loudly at a conversation his brothers are having in the other room, all the while swinging on the very same chair he couldn't find the energy to even sit on 10 minutes ago.
Another one of those things that mothers don't tell their as-yet-childless friends.
"You know how you thought that cats invented passive resistance and passive-aggressiveness? Nope. It was teenagers."
I don't know who said this originally but it rings oh so true for me today:
"Some days being a mother is like being pecked to death by a chicken."
Amen sistah, Amen!!
Friday, 3 April 2009
(Which you probably don't 'cos I'm not making any sense right now and probably won't for some time to come, if the voices in my head have anything to say about it, which they won't because I'm currently ignoring them because they told me to eat too much today and I'm mad at them, at least until tomorrow afternoon. Don't ask me why tomorrow afternoon; it just seemed like the right thing to type at that particular moment in time. And now that I sound like a total nutcase, I had better clarify what all this gibberish is about.)
I'm starting to feel like I don't want to go back to work. I'm quite enjoying this supposed lady-of-leisure (leisure .. yeah right!) lifestyle and could very easily become permanently accustomed to it. Trouble is, my bank account is looking decidedly malnourished and needs feeding, especially as the ravenous appetites of the various utility companies have been depleting it rather faster than normal.
After much thought and discussion with friends whose opinions I really value, I decided against going back to the joy-sucking vortex that is Big W. As much as I miss (most of) the people, I just could not justify returning to a company that does not value its employees or their loyalty. They have gotten to the stage where everyone is just a number in the system and is supposedly replaceable in an instant (which was proved wrong by the fact that they still haven't filled my old job more then five weeks after I left .. hah!)
This leaves me in a quandary though. Now what do I do? I have been looking for positions and most of the ones that are advertised require skills, qualifications or experience I don't have and with the current economic climate, I am a bit concerned that I won't find anything appropriate.
Maybe I should stop being so picky. Nah, that can't be what's wrong. I mean surely there's plenty of jobs for part-time hours, 2-3 days per week, paying at least $18 an hour, not in retail, within 10-15 minutes drive from home, requiring no previous experience, that don't involve wearing some hideously unflattering uniform or dealing with morons day in, day out .. aren't there?
I should revise my expectations just slightly?
OK, so which criteria should I change? The morons one or the uniform one?
Maybe I should find some other way of raising money. Surely there are some non MLM/party plan home based businesses out there.
Anyone want to buy a kid? Slightly used, one lady owner, low mileage for it's age. I'll even throw in one really great guard dog. He'll guard you from trees, the wind, birds flying overhead and ambulance sirens. Strangers .. meh, not so much. Threatening trees in the park .. now that's a different story!
Going cheap ...