Friday, 26 September 2014

The Magnificent Seven

My name is Catherine, and it has been 7 days since my last blog post.

Last weekend I was busy enjoying the fabulousness of life. This week I have just been busy.

As it has been seven days of not blogging, I thought I would share seven lovely things from the last week.

Lovely thing 1

My baby sister turned 21! And even though I say my baby sister she is the third youngest. All three of the little ones are referred to as my "baby sisters" to distinguish them from my "adult" sisters, plus I am their big sister so I can call them that if I want to.

... 21 ...

21. It still doesn't seem possible that the baby I carried around, and played with like a living doll, and taught her colours using M&Ms, and the little girl who took her baby nieces to school for news, is a a total grown up.

My next youngest sister turns 18 in December. This is even freakier because the next 18th in the family will be Buglet (she is older than my youngest sister by 10 months).

But back to Miss 21. She is kind. She is fun. She is beautiful. She has grown up to be a thoroughly gorgeous woman and I am so very proud of her.

To me she is also my measure of pure happiness. When I think about how happy something makes me, I compare it to the look on her face when I used to hold her upside down as a toddler. It was pure joy. I am smiling just thinking about it. If you ever find anything in life that makes you this happy, hang on to it! Interesting she's grown up to be a gymnast, and a teaches little kids. Happiness should last a life time, and I think this is where it all started ....

Cos this is how all the cool kids hang out :)
Her party was fun. She very cleverly had the family from 5pm - 8pm, and then her friends from 7pm. Just enough overlap to share cake. She is smart too. She gets that from me. Pixie thought this was sensible too. She was worried our family was a bit intimidating to others. We do sort of have the force of a small(ish) tornado when we are all together.

Lovely thing 2
I love catching up with people. I also love breakfast. Going out for breakfast is one of my most favourite things to do. When you get to combine the two and it is with super awesome friends who you haven't seen in forever it is even better. Plus I came home with beautiful artwork.

Collective artistic effort
Parenting tip: While you don't need to keep every picture they give you, value every picture they draw you, they stop drawing them way too quickly.

Lovely thing 3
The Princess Bride if you have not seen this movie you are either a totally different generation to me, or you as oblivious as my sister. She insisted she had never seen it. I know she had seen it. She is only 3 years younger than me and I know we used to watch it. Before you are too concerned about this obvious amnesia, I bought her the dvd and gave it to my niece and nephew last Easter. Tink has informed me it is one of my nephew's favourite movies now. Go Auntie Cath! Who said I wasn't useful?

I randomly bought a copy for us on a late night emergency trip to the IGA. It was a perfect way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon.

As a side note, this is one of the few books I have found where the movie is better than the book. I do own the book though! I was given it as a 30th birthday present!

Lovely thing 4
I had a dentist appointment on Monday, (this is not the lovely thing), so I was home mid-afternoon and managed to get some gardening done. I am plodding along slowly, and I am totally talking myself up about every single little thing in the hope that I actually keep myself motivated.

Unfortunately it lead to this:

Me: I am really sorry I was late. I was gardening and I thought it would be dark by six. The sun isn't going down as early as it used to.
Pixie: I think we should name the sun. He shall be called David. Then Buglet can tell [the dance teacher] that she is late because David wouldn't go down.

Me (praying I didn't hear giggles from the backseat): Don't ever say that again!
Pixie: Why?
Me: Just don't, ok? It is not good for my emotional health and well-being.

When I told the dance teacher later there was so much laughing (waves at her!).

It was worth being late to pick up the girl, and the few hours work that evening to know that I had actually got something done in the afternoon. I had scheduled in a gardening afternoon on Sunday but storms changed that plan. The girls were not disappointed.

This weekend .... I mulch!

Lovely thing 5
End of term at Guides. We had a party with party games. These included Pass the Parcel with challenges in each layer; one of which was to list three things you have learnt at Guides this term. Massive fuzzy feeling that they have actually learnt something.

We also had "egg" on spoon relays. I was on Pixie's team. She named our egg aka a malteaser "Stanley". She is not normal. It was very funny watching her freak out every time she dropped him though. At one point he was officially declared dead which considering how often he was dropped was probably a fair assessment.

I also got a message from one of our Guide parents saying thank you for what we have done for the girls this term. It made a massive difference to how I felt.

Warm fuzzies all around, and go Team Guide Leaders!

Awesome people tip: Saying thank you and acknowledging the work people do really does make them feel good.

Lovely thing 6
I have been going on a bit of a re-reading binge. For those of you read my post on my favourite books you would have noted that I struggled to find favourites. This week I have re-read Jodi Picoult's Plain Truth (a story about an Amish girl accused of infanticide), and The Storyteller (a story about forgiveness, the Holocaust, and perceptions on oneself with some interesting Polish folklore for an added bonus). I think these two are my favourite Jodie Picoult books along with Nineteen Minutes. If you ask me again in a few months this may have changed, so I am not being held to this.

Lovely thing 7
I have a new nephew!! I saved the best for last! I haven't seen him in person yet, but he is gorgeous and we are very much looking forward to meeting him.

My brother-in-law is Danish so we won't find out his name until this christening. Pixie is absolutely adamant that he is going to be called "Simon, because it is a good Danish name." This Little One's mind works in mysterious ways. My official guess is Kayden. No reason except I am expecting something a little less common. If either of us are right I will be buying a lotto ticket!

For those of you keeping count ... yes this is four new nieflings in four months, the loveliest of lovely things.

So they were the lovely bits of my week. There have been some not-so-lovely bits with all three girls being sick with man-flu (definitely man-flu based on the bickering, and the whinging. Is it really bad that it is making me a lot less sad that they are going away with DB this weekend?), and Flip-Flop who has decided sleeping is not on the agenda this week, and a super busy ... but overall it is has been a pretty lovely week!

There will be no blog posts this weekend. This weekend is dedicated to domestic goddessing. If I blog, this means I am distracting myself and this is not allowed. There will be a brag post early next week, with pictures. You all have to be impressed.

Happy Friday everyone xx

Friday, 19 September 2014

It be 10 yearrrrrs

10 years tomorrow since I started work at my current place of employment.

I was 24, and just about to finish Honours. The girls were 5, almost 4, and 15 months old.

The very idea of being in one place for 10 years was beyond foreign.

Today we celebrated! Three of us started on the same day 10 years ago. We had morning tea and, because it is also International Talk Like a Pirate Day, we dressed like Pirates. (As a side note, I am going to a Pirate Bar tonight and I am so super excited).

Disclaimer: The rest of the post is fairly boring and documents my career pathway in fairly vague terms. Just so it is on the official life record now I am blogging. I do not blame any of you for stopping reading now, but for those of you who say "I don't know how you do it", well this answers part of that!

Apparently when you are as "old" as me your desk is full of cobwebs!
(The one day I arrive at the office "late").

Ten years ago Tink was quite chirpy about me going to work, but she was very confused about a place where they were never going to go. She knew that Guides was sometimes just for Mummy, and sometimes they went. Sometimes it was "fun" Guides. Sometimes it was "adult" Guides where they had to sit and colour in while Mummy was at a meeting. She knew that sometimes they went to uni, and sometimes they didn't. It is hard to believe that they are now at the point where they can catch the train to see me and wonder in!

I was smugly pointing out to all the doubters that I had not only found a job, it related to my area of study (well one of them, but I had never really expected to find something that used my History studies specifically), and it was part-time.

I am in my fourth role since I originally started. 10 years ago I started three days a week in a part-time job share admin role. Within 2 months the (then) big boss was talking about me going back to study. Meanwhile in the exhaustion of post Honours and beginning work I laughed at her.

Within 4 months I had changed my hours slightly so that I could take the girls to school three out of five days, so I could do puzzles with Tink three mornings. I made sure I could do this until the Pixie finished Pre-Primary.

Within 8 months I had increased my hours to suit work, but I balanced the around the girls.

Within 2 years I was bored. I decided to go back to uni because I loved my colleagues and I enjoyed my work but needed a bit more of a challenge once the girls were all sleeping through the night. Plus, to be honest, it never really occurred to me I would get into Law so I thought it would take me a  bit longer to find something to do. (Yes, this time the big boss laughed at me.)

3ish years and a position change, followed by another one at 5ish years which evolved into my current role.

Once the Pixie was in year 1, I made sure I worked all mornings (unless it was a uni day) so I could be home 4 afternoons a week after school with the girls. Yep, it was still part-time. But I did 0.8FTE over five days so I could do it (Yay for night classes). I still think this was a great decision. Mornings are not quality time in our house, but I treasured those afternoons with the girls and the opportunity to know that I was getting the best of both worlds (also the worst if you want to look at the amount of time available to do housework, luckily being domestic is really not my thing).

Work let me change my official work hours every semester around uni and the girls for the next six years. I went full time when it got to the point my role needed me to increase my hours. At this point the girls' only concerns was that they wouldn't have to miss any dancing/soccer/Guides.

For about three years I purchased leave so I could spend the majority of the school holidays at home with the girls.

Why I have I been here for 10 years? I think the above describes it pretty well. Plus I have awesome colleagues, who tolerate my insane life and my even crazier children. Also, it would take me way to long to clean my desk. And I have colleagues who will dress up as pirates, and celebrate any occasion going. Did I mention awesome colleagues?

There is an old saying "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life" (Confucius), and I would like to say that it is true! If I can teach the girls this, I will feel I have accomplished something as a parent. I don't care what they do: doctor, firefighter, stay-at-home mum, gardener, rock star, but I will be very grumpy if they turn into one of those people who sit around and complain about their life without doing anything about it.

Meanwhile, while I am celebrating how much I love my job and that I am not studying .... I really need to do something about the domestic side of my life. I don't hate it enough yet to go back to study to have an excuse.

Happy International Talk Like A Pirate Day Everyone! xx

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
Blues gonna win there's no doubt about it!

Conveniently they did or I would have had to think of a new title to today's post. This was also the source of much parental fail as both DB and I missed seeing the Pixie accept the shield as a faction caption.

Obviously it is about doing your best and having fun, this just happens to be my favourite chant from when I was a very enthusiastic cheerer at school sports days. So enthusiastic that I was awarded the Sportsmanship Award one year despite having no athletic ability whatsoever.

This year was my last ever primary school sports day as a parent. I was a bit worried that I might not be able to attend due to work commitments. The Pixie's response? "That is ok, its going to be boring anyway". Humph. Luckily I was able to go, and Pixie woke up on the morning of the sports carnival with "Mama! It's today? Are you excited?". This is much better! She also gave me a cuddle make sure that wasn't too sad. She has been told before that she is not allowed to ruin my being sad moments because they are getting too big. That is a parent's privilege.

The night before her enthusiasm levels were up. She messaged DB to make sure that he understood how these things worked.

Pixie: Remember I'm in blue faction so don't come in green red or gold Pixie G
DB: Ok green it is
Pixie: Dad! BLUE

He obviously teased her enough she was concerned about me.

Pixie: Do you want me to paint your nails? *looks at my fake nails in disgust* I can't paint those.
Me: You can paint my toenails?...
Pixie: Will you wear thongs?
Me: No.
Pixie: You can wear blue eyeshadow instead.

Sports carnivals are important. But I would like it on the record that I have never missed a sports carnival and I have always worn blue! DB on the other hand struggles a little. I blame him and his mostly blue Hawaiian shirt for the big girls banning me from the high school sports day. According to Buglet I am only allowed to go if I have a baby to bring and be cute. I don't want to go enough to have another baby.

We take faction colours seriously
While the important bit for the kids is that they are out there and having fun, the important bit for me as a parent is that is the one day of school year I have always been there for. I am there. I cheer enthusiastically (too enthusiastically if you ask the girls). I take pictures. To me this was particularly important when all three of them were at the school. I got to be there for all of them which was nice.

When they were little I somehow managed to be the parent-most-in-charge-of-walking-children-to-the-bathroom. The last few years it has been my annual day for assisting the P&C; I help on the sausage sizzle. It would not be far from the truth to say years of Guiding has helped with both these contributions!

I do appreciate that one day isn't much contribution to the amazing work that the P&C does. But it makes me feel slightly better. Other selfish bonuses: it gives me something to do when Pixie isn't doing anything; Pixie doesn't want to talk to me anyway she just wants me there; it means I don't have to listen to DB complaining about being bored or about Pixie not wanting to talk to him or me not wanting to talk to him. Joys of teenager(ish) people! Moral of the story: Everyone should help the P&C.

Another annual tradition is Pixie getting Subway as my vegetarian baby doesn't eat sausage sizzles. I know I've posted this on facebook, but it still makes me laugh too much not to share again.

Me: I will drop you at school and then go to Subway. What would you like?
Pixie: Capsicum, tomato, lettuce, carrot, cheese. I wrote it down but I lost it.
Me: Is there anything you don't like?
Pixie: Figs.
Me: I don't think they have figs.
Pixie: You didn't say that. You said "is there anything you don't like" and I don't like figs.
Me: Have you ever had a fig?
Pixie: No. But I don't like them.

Sports carnivals also gave me one of my most valuable parenting lessons: Doesn't matter what you are there for, they will always remember the thing you missed. Deal with it.

I may still remember the fact my mum missed the time my sisters, best friend, and I won the Year 7 relay even though our team was made up of two year 7 students, 1 year 6 and a Year 4. That moment across the finish line was brilliant.

Officially, the end of another era.

Monday, 15 September 2014

It's a dog's life

Dear World,

The smaller human people and the Almost-Puppy [aka Pixie: I am sure Flip-Flop thinks she is a puppy too] left me alone for most of the last few days.

I did get to go to the beach, but that had a lot of other dogs at it. I met some nice humans, but I am not so sure about there being so many other dogs on my beach. Sometimes they seem nice, but sometimes they growl. The Almost-Puppy  didn't go with me today either so I had to make do with the Boss-Human. She did run with me though. Almost-Puppy asked if I found any dead fish to investigate but I didn't find any. I think they should be sniffed and and maybe chewed a bit. Almost-Puppy  does not seem to agree.

Then they left me alone over night. This made me sad.

Boss-Human came back. I was so excited that I ran around the house only pausing to kiss her. I looked for the smaller humans and the Almost-Puppy , but they weren't there. I then found Boss-Human again so I ran some more. This was so exhausting I needed to sleep.

I woke up in the night and tried to sneak into bed with Boss-Human. I thought we could keep each other company sine the Almost-Puppy wasn't there.

After Boss-Human left me again in the morning. Big-Loud-Human [DB] brought back my humans! They weren't going to stay though. I was too smart for them. I climbed into the car and I wouldn't get out. Big-Loud-Human too me with him to take the smaller human people and the Almost-Puppy to school. He also got me an icecream. Don't tell the Boss-Human.

Big-Loud-Human collected stuff from the backyard. I am too clever for him. He didn't lock up properly so I went across the road to visit one of my dog friends Boss. His human took me home, but I kept going across for a visit. Eventually she said I could stay for the day!

They even gave me dinner!
By the time my family came home, I was so tired I went straight to sleep. I didn't even wake up when Boss-Human ate a pie in the same room as me.

I love my family, but I had a wonderful day.

Flip-Flop xx

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Extreme Sports

Socialising is a sport right? If not I need a new name for this blog post.

This weekend has been dedicated to socialising, baby cuddles, eating, and walking (See! Walking! I knew I would get to an exercise bit eventually).

Part 1: Friday night
About three months ago I was chatting to a friend and we had the realisation that neither of us have seen Game of Thrones and that we both were often free on Friday nights. Since that conversation we acquired the series, and proceeded to become very busy on Friday nights. No, not watching the series, doing other things. Friday night we watched the first episode! I have read the first book, the other two haven't read it. Opinion was inconclusive, we decided we needed to repeat the experiment. There was also a super yummy dinner, cupcakes, and baby cuddles.

Food: Spinich & ricotta raviolli, cupcakes
Babies cuddled: Two (Friday night baby and I got long cuddles with a baby at work).
Walking: Very fast the the train station, because I was running late due to the brilliant idea to get cupcakes.

Part 2: Saturday morning
I collected the big girls from the train station (they spent last night at my mum's hanging out with my youngest sister after going to Youth Group), dropped Buglet off at dancing (she teaches most of Saturday), and picked up the Pixie from her sleepover (by picked up I mean I met her at the shopping centre where her friend's mum works), did a speed food shop, picked up Flip-Flop and dropped off the shopping, dropped the little two off at dancing, and took Flip-Flop to the beach. Are you keeping up?

Flip-Flop is not so sure about having to share her beach with other dogs, but she was very good. Hopefully she will learn to cope. As the weather is warming our days of having the beach to ourselves is over until next year I think.

Food: One of those sticky bun thing and a V (my breakfasts are usually much healthier).
Babies cuddled: Mine!
Walking: Beach walking, and even some running. (And the girls' danced!)

Part 3: Saturday afternoon
Flip-Flop and I picked up the Pixie.

We had a two hour nap.

Pixie informed me that she needed a faction t-shirt before Tuesday, so there was a speed shopping trip before picking up Buglet and Tink from dance.

Food: Pixie very excitedly told me that she'd had "study food" (aka lollies and chocolate) with B when they had done their assignment the day before. Oops. Teaching my babies bad habits.
Babies cuddled: Pixie while we were napping.
Walking: Speed shopping counts!

Part 4: Saturday evening
We went for a sleepover at our friends' property in Serpentine.

Pixie and I went on a walk, but the big girl bailed as they both had sore ankles (Buglet from an ongoing dance injury which sometimes appears at convenient moments, but she had been dancing all day. Tink got hurt at soccer on Wednesday, and she looked v disappointed).

Pixie took lots of photos so we will break here from writing for a pictorial account ....

Look Pie! Mummy said there is a bunyip in here.

You know you are a trusted friend when you are allowed to cross a creek while carrying the baby!
(No babies were injured or got wet in the making of this picture. My sneakers got a bit wet)

Tink! Buglet! That's the forrest where I was chased by a wolf!
(Some exagerations were used in the making of this story)

Pixie managed not to get eaten by wolves, bunyips or cows.

See! Real extreme adventuring! Pixie also touched an electric fence (under her Auntie J's supervision). I will post the video to the facebook page.

We went back to watch the Docker lose what is now their last game of the season. We distracted ourselves with cooking, champagne, and marshmallows.

Food: I helped decorate rainbow cupcakes. They are so pretty. I am very messy with 100s & 1000s.
Babies cuddled: Lots with OJ, not so many with Pie (No Cath!).
Walking: Extreme adventuring cuddling the baby.

Part 5: Sunday morning
Woken up by Pie. I forget how early toddler wake up!

Buglet bought him into bed to wake up Pixie and me. Pixie's only comment was "that's my God-cousin" and she rolled over and went to sleep. Yep. She is almost a teenager.

We were honoured to attend the OJ's baptism today, and to witness him be surrounded by the love of his family and friends as he was welcomed into God's family.

Tink earnt her title as the Toddler Whisperer, and all three girls were super helpful at the morning tea afterwards. A total brag moment, but I am very proud of them.

Food: Soooooo much! And it was super yummy.
Babies cuddled: We had to share. I did get a cuddle with another toddler though and we discussed cake and favourite animals.
Walking: Um. I stood around in heels a lot?

Part 6: The rest of Sunday
The girls went to DB's this afternoon. I slept, and gardened, and folded clothes while watching The Block. Now I should be filing, but I am blogging instead!

Food: Takeaway - because no girls.
Babies cuddled: Flip-Flop - because no girls (she misses them too).
Walking: To and from the bin with weeds. I probably should have moved the bin. Also - because no girls (otherwise they could have carried them).

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend too! xx

Friday, 12 September 2014

And time goes marching on

When I told the Pixie that our facebook blog page had reached 195 followers she was very surprised. "I didn't know you had been writing on the blog Mummy, because I haven't done anything funny recently". Leaving aside the fact that clearly the Pixie does not suffer from low self esteem, you all know that she has been keeping us well supplied with facebook posts even if I was having a bit of hiatus from actual blogging.

But just in case anyone else was worried about a lack of material, when I was finding the picture of my bookcase for my last post I came across a few facebook updates from March before I was blogging.

Today we are wandering down memory lane and back to March 2014 for these special moments where I wonder where these children came from ......
Thoughts on the universe ......
Pixie: "Mama. Can I ask a question about a baby in it's mummy's tummy? Does a baby rhino's horn scratch it's mummy's insides?"
Pixie: "Buglet is the dancer. Tink is the singer-soccer-player. You are the mama-lawyer-type-person. Flip-Flop and Pixie are the awesome ones." ..... "I fell like a ninja. Did you see me fall like a ninja? Tell Apple. I am the ninja clumsy one!"

Pixie: "Flip-Flop has a puppy tail and I have a pony tail".

Pixie: "When Daddy was young and cool did he really drive a red car?"

Pixie: "Daddy has a six-pack. He just has it well wrapped with bubble wrap to keep it safe."
Tink: "I've been thinking. We have a rabbit who eats leftover fruit and vegies. We have Flip-Flop who eats most other leftovers. Flip-Flop doesn't eat 100s & 1000s though, or even fairy bread unless Georgia gives it to her. We need to get a unicorn to eat 100s & 1000s."

Life lessons ......

Pixie: "Don't kiss Flip-Flop when she is awake. She tries to lick you .... And don't lick her when she is wet."
Pixie: Next time you are stressed and can't sleep, Mama, you should flutter your eyes really fast until they are too tired to stay open.
Me *wondering why she doesn't do this*: If it works for you baby-girl.
 Pixie: This is what I do if I am going to have a big day. I saw Flip-Flop do it so I thought it would work for me too.
Explaining family structure to Buglet ie second cousins etc
Pixie: You should explain this at midday. It is too early in the morning and too late at night to understand.
*conversation continues*
Pixie: I had a wart once removed.
 Buglet: No you didn't.
 Pixie: Ok. That was a lie. But Tink has a wart twice removed.
Irony is the Pixie whispering to me that "mums must get sore ears" after observing some beautiful toddlers chatting to their gorgous mama.
Tink: I don't know what I did but my ankle hurts so [the dance teacher] said to take it easy.
Pixie: You need to pick another body part to break. Buglet's already claimed that one
Apparently we have a one broken body part per person rule.
Pixie on the Olave Program (Girl Guides aged 18-30): "You can make s'mores by yourself in your own oven and roast marshmellows, and no-one can tell you you have had too many. And if you eat a bug it's your own responsibility and you don't have to fill in paperwork".
Those special "only Pixie" moments .....
*runs in panicked at about 10.30pm*: Mama! Mama! I accidentally woke Buglet up like this *claps hands* "Time to get up! Time to get up!" Now she thinks it's morning. She said "I want to go back to sleep" and rolled over. What shall I say?!
"Who knew when we decided to get the Flip-Flop-puppy that she'd be just like an Pixie".
Me: I love cupcakes.
Pixie: Everyone loves cupcakes.
Me: You can't buy happiness but you can buy cupcakes and that kinda the same thing.
Pixie: Mother!!! "Kind of" not "kinda".
Me: Hmm. You are my rat-baby. I will never have another one like you.
Pixie: You can't get a Pixie, but you can get a Flip-Flop and that's kinda the same thing.
Me: You do realise you are not a dog right?
*Pixie snaps*
Me: Pixie! No biting. You are *not* allowed to bite.
 Pixie: That's what Apple says too.
Me: Oh good.
You know you are a mother ....
"When you have:
1. Burnt around the edge of a tea-stained poster to make it look authentically old;
2. Mediated at least two arguments;
3. Paid bills;
4. Reiterated to a child that she is not allowed to lick people, or snap at people, and that she is not a dog or a llama;
5. Co-ordinated four people going three different directions for a day;
6. Done a load of washing; and
7. Done half an hour study
All before making it to the office at 7:30am! Who said parenting doesn't have transferable skills?"
When trouble sleeping is not because of you ...
"Reasons Pixie is having trouble sleeping: her eyes are open.
 Reasons I am having trouble sleeping :Pixie's eyes are open*.
 *This means there is someone poking the site of the flu shot; someone singing Kum-by-ya at me, and somone patting me and complaining that "you are not squishy anymore Mama".
When you have to post facebook statuses like this .....
"Tonight's public service announcements:
If you get a text from my number from "the awesome one" it is most probably not from me.
I apologise for giving the Little One unsupervised access to my phone.
In case you were wondering, you are not allowed to text and fly".
Phone calls with my children ......
Me: How was you [first] clarinet lesson?
Pixie: Great.
Me: Did you make any noise?
Pixie *excited*: Yes. I sounded like a dying cat. The teacher said "good one, I am going to use that".
Me: Have my [car] parts arrived yet?
Tink: No *pause* it's been a while, you might want to follow up on that.
She has no faith in me and Buglet only loves me because I said she could have the last can of tuna
Conversations with the Pixie:
*How she resembles a llama.
*That she is planning on naming her daughters after Disney princesses.
*Whether bribing her with cupcakes counts as persuasive writing.
*T-rexes are carnivorous, but A-rexes are herbivores.
*I need to tell her she's not allowed to buy things from hawkers so she is never sucked in.
*Poverty and distribution of wealth
*teasing the girls about no-one wanting my surname*.
Tink: All good Mum. I will use your name too. Then I will have one first name, two middle names, and three last names.
Squashed by the Middling One ..... Again!!!!
And lucky last .....
Pixe: "I was born an original. You know like when you print on paper? I am the one with the smudge on it."
I love my babies and all their smudges! And I think I am pretty safe to have lots of blogging material for quite a while. Happy Friday everyone xx
Pixie's March picture: Hiccup




Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The Top Ten

I have been tagged in one of those facebook things were you are supposed to list 10 books that have influenced me.

It is no secret that I love to read, and I am often asked for book recommendations. I have been meaning to do a post on my most favourite ever books for ages so this facebook "challenge" seems like the perfect time.

These are my fail-safe books. The books I return to time and time again, just because I love them. Please note I use the term "books" broadly; I have cheated a bit to refer to authors and series where I just can't distinguish.

Some of the adult book selection.
Chick lit, Janet Evanovich, Clive Cussler, vampire, horror, and Virginia Andrews

So here goes (in no actual order) ....

Can you keep a secret? - Sophie Kinsella  I love this book. I laughed until I cried the first time I read it. And the second. And actually a few times after that. I only very rarely buy other people books,  it is such a personal thing, but this is one I have bought for multiple people. To quote my sister "I turned into one of those people you see at the airport reading and laughing to themselves". Pure chick lit and it is awesome.

Mists of Avalon - Marian Zimmer Bradley No idea where I got this book from, but it is one of the books I always take me when I go away. Mist of Avalon is an Arthurian story from a female position. I love Arthurian books but this is my favourite. It is part of a series too.

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea  - Jules Verne A childhood favourite. No idea why this particular book appeals to me so much, but it does.

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll  I love Alice in Wonderland too, but this one is on my top ten. Another childhood favourite.

The Ancient Future - Traci Harding I bought this book with a voucher I won as a prize in Year 12. I read it and re-read it and was beyond excited fourish years later when I discovered it was the first of two trilogies. Be warned! The sequels are different to the original, but very good. The first book is historical fantasy (a genre I love), the second a cross between fantasy and science fiction, and the third is science fiction.

Harry Potter  (Books 1 to 4) - JK Rowling I read these before the movies, and while I enjoyed all the books, the first four are the only ones that make my top list. For me, I think the series lost some of its magic when it became too adult. That said, I have read all the books probably once a year since I first started reading them (or since they were published for the later books). Buglet loves them. (Tink has never had any interest in reading them. Pixie started but I think has only read the first couple.)

Light a Penny Candle - Maeve Binchy I don't know if this is my favourite just because it was my first? I love all her books. Even the short stories and I don't usually like short stories. Mum introduced me to Maeve Binchy books to me in my early teens and they have remained a firm favourite ever since with me and my (adult) sisters.

Marion Keyes Picking favourite book written by Marion Keyes would be like picking a favourite child; it would depend on my mood. And it would be mean.

Abbey Girl (series) EJ Oxenham and The Chalet School (series) Elinor M. Brent-Dyer The beginning of my love for early 20th century girls' school stories. I have collected them since I was 8 (and moved on from Enid Blyton) and they are my fail safe comfort distraction when I am sick and tired and can't think.

The Magic Faraway Tree (series) - Enid Blyton I refused to read anything other than Enid Blyton until I was about 7. This series and all the school series would have to be my favourite, and have been loved by the girls too ....

...... One of my happiest parenting moments ....

*pick Buglet up from school one day in Year 1*

Buglet: Mummy! Daddy! Do you know Moonface, Silky, and the Saucepan Man?
DB: Huh?
Me: Yes, yes I do. And I love them.

Moments like that are priceless. I don't know who was happier, me or Buglet. If this does not make sense to you, read The Magic Faraway Tree!!!

Bonus extras: The Divergent series, the Hunger Games series, Jodi Picoult, Nicola Thorne, Robin Cook, Dan Brown, Diana Gabaldon, Piers Anthony, the Percy Jackson books ..... have I mentioned that we love to read?!

Current I-am-so-happy-that-my-girls-love-to-read moment: Tink informed me that she finished the book that she got out of the library on Monday morning, but she is keeping it until next Monday so that I can read it too.

My childhood favourites (ok, and the girls' books too).
Half-filled from when I was re-doing the girls' playroom.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Happily Ever After .....

So after being distracted by being sick for a week, I then spent a week with a very pleasant distraction ... being bridesmaid for my primary school best friend's wedding! I love weddings and I was so honoured to be there beside her on such a wonderful occasion.

Since then I have been procrastinating from writing because I have be-yoo-tiful fake nails. I am not coping well with typing though, and considering that is what I do for a living it means I am a little sick of typing by home time. This will also mean that there will probably be a lot of typos in this post. Sorry.

Check out the picture! (Also because it was the only one I took all day. The other pictures in this blog are courtesy of one of the other gorgeous bridesmaids).

Limo, pretty nails, gorgeous dress, and champagne = feeling very glamorous!

Just so you know it isn't all about me, the Entourage was also invited to the wedding. This firmly shifted the focus to them. Much discussion must had when attending weddings to make sure (a) you don't clash with your sisters; (b) you are all wearing different hair styles; and (c) to determine if you are going to wear the same jewellery or not. For those of you not aware of the rules, apparently matching jewellery is an all or nothing thing. If only two of you agree it is not ok!

They were so good. Pixie was a bit anxious that she'd have problems with buffet and vegetarian food, but the venue staff came up asked if she was the Pixie and helped her. We were both very impressed with the service! Then they partied the night away .....

My bootscootin' babies
Confession time. I did have a bit of a bad-mama-moment. Buglet wanted to go to bed early, and I sent her off. Luckily there was one adult in her life looking out for her and his God-uncle duties and pointed out that was a bad idea. Oops. He also escorted her safely to her room.

I also had a bit of a panic at the end because I went to collect their place cards and they weren't there (Um, I may have my priorities a bit wrong compared to the Buglet bit of this story, but I love keepsakes).

Turns out that Tink had already collected all of theirs, and then gone to get mine, and my bombominere, and my bridesmaid flowers .... and the "wedding bouquet". Yes that's right, my most awkward moment of the night ladies and gentlemen  ..... I had told the bride in no uncertain terms that I was going up. I am divorced. I feel this should exclude me. I forgot to tell the groom this. I then also got a bit carried away in the heat of the moment.

Tink: Oh. That is awkward. Mummy said she was going to cry if she caught the bouquet.

Luckily I was laughing too hard.

6am to 2am, from the day beginning with a buffet (and Coco Pops!) to after reception drinks and snuggles with Tink and Pixie (Buglet got her own bed - long story, she got a bit grouchy when we woke her up at midnight), it was a fabulous day.

I did have a Pixie-is-my-child-and-not-just-her-father's-daughter moment. I was super excited that the buffet had Coco Pops on the Saturday morning. This was Pixie on the Sunday ....

Pixie: What is for breakfast?
Me: It's a buffet.
Pixie: Are there cornflakes?
Me: I had cocoa pops yesterday so maybe?
Pixie: That would make it the best buffet ever.

See! I am not the only one who is easily excited.

Massive thank you to DB for getting the girls ready in the morning, my sister for driving them to the ceremony and then dropping them at the hotel, J & S for hanging out with them between wedding and reception and for getting them to the reception, the awesome bridesmaids for a fun wedding lead up, the rest of the bridal party for a great day, and most importantly to "Auntie B and that Scottish Man" for having us all there, for letting us be a part of your day and for everything.

I will let the Pixie have the last say on weddings ... she will like that plus her argument for everything this wedding was "it's my God-mothe so I get to pick" .... "You might get wine, Mama, but we get chocolate .... And we get *five* each".

Wishing you all much love and laughter, and that you find your own happily every after xxx