Monday, 30 June 2014

Manic Monday (aka Part 1 of 'This is how I do it')

As someone who balances work, paid and unpaid, family and study if I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say "I don't know how you do it" I would be very rich and could possibly retire. I would also be very rich if I had a dollar for every time I had heard "starting them young", but that is a whole other blog post.

I got an email from my lecturer  today saying how close we were to finishing. This would have been much more encouraging if she hadn't have listed all the things we have left to do, but it is still nice that she cares.

As after an adult life time of being asked how I do it, and never having a good answer except "caffeine, napping and an amazing disregard for housework", I decided I would actually write down how I do it. To be fair, "caffeine, napping and an amazing disregard for housework" does help significantly, but it does take a little more than that. One day I might need to prove to the girls how impressive I was, and how much I am here when they complain about absent parenting (so far so good as previous posts will show). I am also thinking that writing it down will serve as a reminder about how hard it is, so I don't go back to study before the girls are self-sufficient. Don't worry, I will spread this out over the next few weeks, so you aren't all totally bored.

Today my alarm was set for 5.30am, I had intended to get to work early. Not to mention Monday is supposed to be one of my dog walking mornings and I am supposed to get up at 5am, but I was up late last night, I need some sleep, my back hurts I am great at making excuses ..... This would be more convincing if I hadn't had spent the snooze time contemplating how I feel like I've had more sleep if I wake up around the 2am mark (not unusual for me), because if I go back to sleep easily it feels like I've had two nights sleep. Early morning musings don't actually have to make sense.

I actually got up at 6.15am and ran around frantically.

Wins: having change for the girls to donate to some thing at school, having my clothes ready the night before, and remembering to have breakfast (I do try and eat breakfast at home to set a good example).

Fails: Not remembering what it is the girls are donating money towards, Tink telling me she needed money for the train home as I ran out the door (thanks to my mother for sorting this one), and being yelled at by the Pixie for being grumpy at her when she wouldn't get out of bed.

Could go either way: Not getting a seat on the train. Winning 'cos it means I can read a fun book; failing 'cos I can't study (personally I count this as a win because I have a bad attitude towards study).

The Day
I made it to work by 7:30am. This is a massive bonus because it is my busiest time of the year.

Wins: Remembering to buy white out after Pixie put a reminder in my phone. Organising lunch with a girlfriend next week, getting a whole agenda drafted. Sorting out for the big two to go on camp during the school holidays. Remembering to text a few people about random things. Leaving the office at 5.40pm and making it to the train on time.

Fails: A panicked phone call to Mum when I realised I hadn't heard from either her or the girls after school today. The number of phone calls I have to make tomorrow. Forgetting to do some Guide stuff. Stuffing my friend around working out a day I could do lunch.

The Entourage after school
On Mondays Mum picks the girls up from school and another friend who lives near us to ferry them all to confirmation classes (well except the Pixie, Mum drops her off at my sister's house). I don't feel too bad about this one, partly because Mum offered, and partly because it is as important to her as it is to me that the girls get this opportunity. Plus she is driving someone else too, and I get them all home. Mum drops them at one train station, and I meet them at another.

I love my train trips home. It is the quiet zone where I transit from work-mode to home-mode and gives me very precious reading time. I don't study on the trip home so it is always fun reading time, and reading is one of the things that makes me happiest.

Wins: Waiting at the train station to meet the Entourage plus one. Not traumatising our Monday passenger  too much (he puts up with the girls quite well!). Being at the right train station (Monday is the only day I use this train line).

I drop Buglet at her dance class, our passenger at his house, then bring my little two home. About an hour of driving gives us lots of catching up time which is sometimes nice, sometimes tiring, but it does make me feel like I am not missing out on so much! Mum feeds the children so I have a very lazy dinner (toast tonight, please don't judge me - I made sure I had a very big lunch), do some housework (I use this term loosely, but I usually get something done), shower, discuss homework and school and all those sorts of things, and pick the Buglet up at 8.30pm. Family rule is if I have to pick them up after 8pm from an activity, I get to wear pyjamas. I am the mother, I get to make the rules. I try to get there in time to watch her Buglet's last 20 minutes, and the trip home is a good chance to just talk to her. Luckily Monday night seems to have reality tv shows on which I do not like, but the girls do. This means the little two are happy, and I don't feel bad when I am doing other things.

Conversations today include Tink's badly studded leg from her soccer game yesterday, Pixie having a "man" vein in her foot (shaped like a man, not looking like it belongs to a man, it took me a while to work this out), our costumes and food and activities for Guides on Wednesdays, the fact Pixie is playing in a school sports carnival tomorrow which I am not 100% sure I knew about and which does mean I have to reorganise my usual Tuesday plans. Bonus is I will get a bit of a bit of a sleep in tomorrow!

Pick up the Buglet and shoo them all off to bed. Some nights I do housework, some nights I study, some nights I curl up on the couch to read.

Evenings all get thrown into chaos the one Monday a month I have a Guide meeting after work. An adult type Guide meeting where we do the behinds the scenes stuff for the state, not the fun unit stuff. Those nights I am very nice to Apple who usually fills in the parenting blank for me.

Tonight I have blogged (clearly!) and studied. I will be in bed by 10:30pm tonight! Tonight I am just tired.

Fail: having an assignment due on Friday, reorganising plans.

Win: Pyjamas, cuddles, Tink bringing me home muffins she made at school, and studying is much more fun with a cool pen.

Hope you all had a happy and productive Monday xxx

Saturday, 28 June 2014

A tale of two "puppies"

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness" .... and it was eventually the right time for us to add a dog to our house family.

The girls (and DB) have wanted a dog for ages. When Buglet was about 8 they had obviously been talking about it because I came home one day to the following proposal: "We need to get a dog, Mummy. You won't need to do a thing. Daddy will walk it,  Tink will feed it, I will pick up it's poo, and  Pixie will love it very much".

In case you couldn't tell, my argument for not getting a dog had been that I didn't need a pet, I had DB and the girls, and I didn't need something else to look after. I let them practice on crazy crabs, and they were the best looked after crazy crabs in the world.

Later, the girls got a rabbit and the friend who  gave them the rabbit got the girls to sign a contract saying they would look after her, which they have done and Misty is a very loved bunny.

DB got a budgie which eventually ended moving in with the girls and me, and we were all devastated when he died.

Then, Flip-Flop came into our lives. A friend of mine put on facebook that she needed to re-home her dog, and I decided it was the right time for us to get a dog. I was a bit nervous about having something else to look after, but it was the best decision I have made for a long time.

Buglet was pretty right with her prediction. The deal with the girls was that if we got a dog, she was going to be their dog and it was their job to look after her, and they do a wonderful job. They feed her and love her and clean up her mess. I walk her (which I knew would happen she is too strong for the girls, but walking her is good for me too), and I feed her when the girls are at their dad's house, and I love her too.

Buglet also got one other thing right. We all love Flip-Flop, but Pixie and Flip-Flop are what we call "puppy-people twins". Since we got her they are inseparable. Tink described it as "it's like they are joined by a lead. Where one goes, the other follows, but I don't know who is holding the lead".

When you leave them alone for five minutes .....
There are some things they don't agree on however .....
  • Eating meat: Pixie doesn't think you should eat meat, Flip-Flop disagrees.
  • The trampoline: Pixie thinks it is for jumping, Flip-Flip thinks it is for sleeping.
  • Shoes: Pixie thinks they are for wearing, Flip-Flop thinks they are for eating (luckily she's mostly grown out of this one).
  • Who is the Boss: Pixie thinks she is the boss, Flip-Flop doesn't recognise Pixie as being any more senior in the pack.
  • Being a sneaky ninja: Pixie thinks they are sneaky ninjas, Flip-Flop doesn't understand this concept at all (Pixie isn't actually very sneaky either but that is ok).
  • Snapping: Flip-Flop doesn't snap, Pixie has started since we've had the dog.
  • Licking people: Flip-Flop knows they are puppy kisses, Pixie licks the air at people (this is a good thing!)

Time for me to go! Flip-Flop and I have a Saturday date with the beach!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Let's do the time warp again ....

.... and flash back to 11 years ago when I was in hospital, with the effects of the pethidine just wearing off, in awe of my beautiful new baby girl, now known as "Pixie".

One of her middle names is "Joy", because it is my mum's middle name and one of her great-grandmother's names was "Joyce". The girls love hearing the meanings behind their names and when Pixie was about four we were having one of those conversations. Pixie asked what joy meant my response was "happiness, and that was a lovely thing to call a very special baby". Pixie's very serious response was "that is because I was only a baby and you didn't know that I was 'naughtiness' yet". Oops! Parenting fail! I did call her naughtiness a lot.

But that conversation did make me think. While she was called "Joy" for other reasons, she has brought so much joy to my life. Pixie was my surprise package, and she most definitely makes our lives a more joyous place.

Birthdays are a big thing. Buglet's birthday is exactly one month before Pixie's and she is not allowed to make birthday plans until after Buglet's birthday, so that Buglet gets to enjoy the lead-up to her special day. I was in a little bit of trouble on Monday when Pixie asked if I was going to pick them up on Thursday, and I asked why? In my defence, I hadn't forgotten it was her birthday, I was just worried there was something else on I had forgotten. We tend to spread birthday celebrations out, so I don't usually pick them up from school just because it is their birthday. However today I am massively thankful for Apple for picking them up from school and for making Pixie's afternoon special while I was at work. It helps relieve the mother-guilt somewhat. There was even cake. I did not get cake (ok that is not quite true, I did get myself a cupcake at work in celebration of 11 years of Pixie parenting!)

This year Pixie has decided to commemorate her birthday in her own way. Last weekend she spent most of her time amusing herself by making a time capsule to be opened on her 21st birthday. While I think this is a fabulous idea there were lots of arguments about the suitability of materials for making the capsule as she was adamant it needed to be buried outside. Luckily Google came to the rescue and in her hunt to find out how to make a good time capsule, she found a site that said it could be kept inside. The compromise was that we would "bury" it in my walk-in-robe; this would not be as hard as you might think.

Pixie hasn't quite finalised what is going inside the capsule yet, but she has drafted this letter. She told me I could share it with you all, but you have to forget what it says in the next 10 years.

"Today 26-6-2014
So last Thursday I came up with the idea to make a time capsule. I decided I wanted to bury it in the garden, but I couldn't find any containers that would be suitable so I have to just put it in mums wardrobe. Anyway, I asked mum want to put in there and she said I can't put my puppy in a box for 10 years. So today I am going to put special things and little memories inside my box I made. Just to remind future me I am going to list the newest & best songs at the moments: Fancy by Iggy Azalea, Problem by Ariana Grande & Iggy Azalea and Wiggle Wiggle by SnoopDay. The biggest movie (even though I am not allowed to watch it), is 'The Fault in Our Stars'. Sadly biggest trend is jellies which are plastic sandals. Buglet is at the stage she wears heels at ever chance she gets. Tink is at that stage where she is definitely becoming an annoying teenager. It's my last year of primary school and the year 6's of 2014 are the first group of year 6's graduate primary school in year 6. It's Tink's first year of high school and Buglet's last year of lower high school. Yesterday I found out I got into the EaLS program. Anyway, Mum recently started a blog on Facebook called 'Philosophy Minors'. She also just started the 1st chapter of 'Elementals', but by 2024 it will already have been the  #1 best seller in the World. Also at the moment loom bands are the biggest craze. In the capsule there is a rainbow loom band".

Please note: all spelling, grammar and punctuation are as Pixie wrote it! I should also clarify that the puppy discussions was because I suggested she put things in that would remind her about what her favourite things are at the moment; Flip-Flop is her favourite everything. We are going to get a photo of Flip-Flop for it instead.

Pixie requested that I post one whole paragraph about her, I think I have that covered!

And now I am going to go to bed. Pixie has just told me that I read the first chapter of her new book "right now" so we can discuss it in the morning, apparently she has questions, and I want to cuddle my not-so-little-baby while she still lets me.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

It's too late Mummy ...

For those of you who read my last post about Pixie's career plans, tonight's post is on Buglet's progression of career goals.

When they tiny my favourite bit is that their plans always included being a mum and a Guide leader as well. In my good moments it is massively reassuring that they want to follow in my footsteps; in my bad moments I worried that this was the only way they thought they would see enough of me! These days they are much more articulate about being happy with my parenting/work/life balance.

My first recollection of Buglet's and job plans was when she was in year 1. They did a series of activities on all the different activities, and every day she came home with things: nurses bag, police officers badge, you know the things. Attempting to be a good parent I was telling her she could be anything she wanted when she grew up, and to prove my point I told her that I was going to be a pirate when I grew up. Buglet looked at me very sadly and said "It's too late for you to be a pirate Mummy. You're already grown up, but you can dress up and pretend to be one if you like". Seriously squashed by the child.

A pirate costume is still one of my favourite dress-ups though, and it is what I wore to a friend's 30th party a couple of years ago when the theme was "what you want to be when you grow up". Pirate costumes are much more fun than lawyer costumes.

Being supportive and making Mummy a parrot to go with her pirate costume :)

For ages Buglet's plan was to learn to be a life guard and that was going to be her job while she was going through uni learning to be a vet. On weekends she was going to teach dance. I love that there is not only goals, there are steps in place of what she was going to do when you are getting to those goals. They do say that a goal is a dream with a date, and think that same concept applies to dreams with a plan.

Late last year I had the revelation that these conversations with Buglet were suddenly real. Not just maybe ... one day ... you can do whatever you want conversations, but actual real conversations that are at the point where she is about to make big decisions. I have already blogged about freaking out over her selecting subjects for upper school. Me, not her; she is ok!

Today I met with her teachers at school and freaked out again. Her social studies teacher (now called "society and environment" just to show I am up with the change in terminology) made me feel better when I was stressing about not pushing her into history just because it is my subject. Massively thankful for comment that I had my head screwed on right, and thankful that this teacher could see through the panic to appreciate that my concern is to support them make their own decisions and not to push them in a direction that I think they should be taking. My parents are very good role models for this, so I am thankful for them too.

Recently she has been thinking about teaching (dance and/or primary school and/or English and/or maths), or physiotherapy, or dance therapy ... I guess only time will tell. Now just to calm down, relax, and remind myself that it will all work out and that there are lots of different pathways to get where you want to go. These are all things I tell other people, now I just need to remind myself.

Monday, 23 June 2014

An Officer and a Pixie

Since she could talk, the Pixie wanted to be an archaeologist. Except for one year, when she was about 4, and she desperately wanted to be a mermaid, but even then I think it was her back-up plan.

Pixie had it all sussed. She was going to be an archaeologist because she liked bones and old things, and she was going to find them with treasure in the shallow water because she didn't like deep water. This last bit may have only eventuated after she decided that being a mermaid didn't seem likely to happen.

Her career had started. She had a bone collection, all carefully labelled in permanent marker with the year she found them. Having friends who are farmers massively helps in the collection of bones, just in case anyone is looking for tips.

As for clothing, Pixie had requested a high vis suit for when she got her real job: "A suit like you wear to work Mummy, but made out of high vis stuff like Daddy's work shirt". At least no-one would miss her!

But now we have had a change of direction .... in the last twelve months, Pixie has had a change of career goal.

Officer Pixie

Pixie has developed a love for the show 'RBT'. I blame DB. I don't let her watch it. Ok, I should re-phrase, I don't let her watch it but there may be times (ie before exams and when I have assignments due) where I may not be the most vigilant parent, but I am pretty sure one of the advantages I get to being a single parent is blaming DB when they do things like this.

Unfortunately, her desire to join the police is based on the fact that she "likes laughing at stupid people". As much as I have pointed out that this is not ok, and that not all cops are on tv. There is no budging her on this one. As she points out drink driving is stupid, so I can't really argue on that point.

I went through a RBT on Friday night after taking Tink and her friend to the drive-ins. Pixie was most upset I hadn't gone to pick her up from her friend's house where she was sleeping over to take her through as well. She was slightly mollified this evening when we saw a police car with flashing lights and even more so when there were two cars with flashing lights pulled over by the side of the road looking for something (someone?!) in the bushes.

I should say at this point that I think the police force do an amazing job in very difficult circumstances, I am just not sure I want to wish my ditzy youngest daughter on them. I liked the idea of her doing archaeology; academia seemed like a nice safe place to protect the world from Pixie and somewhere her eccentricities would be appreciated.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Ode to my nieflings

This post has been a couple of weeks in the making. I started it, and couldn't work out a way to say what I meant without sounding totally soppy and silly. I pretty much gave up and just wrote.

Niefling or nibling (or a few other spelling variations) is a gender neutral term for your nieces and nephews. It is also a very useful term when there is a new baby on the way and you don't know the gender. Discovering this word made me so incredibly happy that you cannot imagine. I do have fondness for fun words.

One of the joys of big families is lots of nieflings, and I have been lucky enough to obtain some of mine in unusual ways. Currently I have two nieces, seven nephews, and another niece and nephew on the way. I also have six god-children, and an assortment of other children in my life who I love.

This post was inspired by DB's step-sister's baby shower the other weekend. Due to unforseen circumstances I couldn't make it, but I had to laugh at the girls' stories when they got home! Buglet won the bottle sucking competition (I dread to think what this may imply for later years), and Tink won a baby-shower version of celebrity heads (all those years at Guides must have paid off). The Pixie was highly indignant that her clever plan hadn't worked. She had decided that if she measured around her Dad's tummy that would be the perfect way of predicting the girth of her pregnant aunt.

I have been lucky enough that I have come by my nieflings in some non-traditional ways. But every single time I have got the news that I was going to be an aunt again, the joy has been the same:
  • the phone calls from one of my sisters telling me that she was pregnant;
  • the phone call from my other sister telling me that she was fostering a little boy (twice), and the phone call telling me that she has him now and for the foreseeable future (twice);
  • the mimed actions of DB when he was on the phone to his brother saying that they were having a baby, and the term auntie being used after DB and I had broken up letting me know that I was still family;
  • the invitation to my nephew's christening addressed to "Auntie Cath" from DB's step-sister when I had no idea if I got to be auntie to her children too;
  • the news "you're going to be an auntie again" from two of my best friends (even if it took me a minute to work it out because I was too busy being annoyed thinking DB had told them about one if his siblings before me); and
  • the excited text message from my mother-in-law.
Regardless of how they are mine, and regardless of how often I see them, and I don't get to see any of them as often as I would like, I absolutely adore every single one of them and my house is full with photos as testimony to this!

One of the best things is that my three youngest sisters haven't had children yet and considering the youngest one is only 14 I am hoping that I will have a few more to add to the mix over the coming years. Not that I am greedy or anything. I might be done with having my own children, but I am certainly not done with other people having babies for me to play with!

I hope the rest of my life is filled with cuddles, and pictures and small people to love. Things like this are some of my most treasured possessions, and as long as I love them and they love me, I don't mind how I get them. The nieflings I mean, not the pictures. Although I do love the pictures too!

And in the theme of the post, a joke, told to me by Buglet. Buglet also told DB, who thought it was funny enough to tell me too. She really does have her father's sense of humour.

There was woman who fell into a coma while she was pregnant with twins. After the babies were born the doctors asked her brother to name the babies. When she woke up she asked her brother what he had named her daughter. He replied "Denise". "Fair enough," she said, "and what did you name my son?" "De nephew".

I promise you all now, that if I am ever in the position of naming any of my nieflings, I won't play mean jokes with their names.

Saturday, 21 June 2014


And no, this isn't a post about me being lazy, although I could write one of those.

Ironically this post is brought to you by late night blogging and a random sighting on facebook that it is sloth week (No idea if this is true. I probably could have googled it. Googling things pays off as you will read later).

Look Mama! I am a sloth! Quick. Take a picture for Daddy.

As I haven't posted today, here is an old story about Tink.

Tink was in about year 1 when this story happened, so it is slightly paraphrased now!

Tink: Your favourite animal is a starfish isn't it Mummy?
Me: Sure. Why not.
Tink produces a family coat of arms.
Tink: I thought it might be. I spent such a long time drawing Daddy's sloth that I thought your favourite animal would be a star fish. I can draw those quickly.

The aforementioned coat of arms took pride of place on our fridge for ages. Now it is a box somewhere and when I see it next I will share a picture with you. It has a painstakingly drawn picture of a three-toed sloth on it which is actually DB's favourite animal. My official favourite animal is now a starfish, because Tink knew it would be.

And while we are on the topic of sloths, Pixie's random day of googling "how to make an origami sloth" paid off at Guides when that was what she was asked to make by chance last year in a random challenge organised by one of the girls. Out of all the things I have ever seen the girls google, that was one thing I never thought would pay off. Funnily, Tink's team was asked to make an elephant which is her favourite animal.


So the morals for tonight's story is:
  1. Sometimes you just know things about your mother;
  2. You never know when random knowledge may come in handy; and
  3. If you're going to be up so late, don't expect sensible blog posts.
Sweet dreams everyone xx

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Hot 'n' cold

"Mama, mama, I went to town, inside, outside upside down!". Does anyone else remember this line from the Berenstain Bears' book Inside, Outside, Upside Down? I adore that line! It always pops into my head in the middle of the chaos when I am balancing a million emotions all at once.

Pixie is very into singing at the moment. Yesterday she declared the theme song was in Hot 'n' Cold in honour of Buglet. She is such a caring sister sometimes.

I had a horrible scare with Buglet. She came in before I was even out of bed crying and telling me her legs weren't working and she was burning up on the inside.

I panicked.

My first instinct was to throw her in the car (possibly even literally even though she is almost my size), and take her to the hospital.

Buglet said no.

Alternative panic plan I called my mum. Lesson here is it doesn't matter how old your children are, or how old their children are, you are still their mother. I really need to remember this!

Mum very sensibly told me to call Health Direct, who were lovely as usual. After a trip to the doctor, I am happy to let you know she is ok.

I stayed home with her yesterday. I was supposed to be keeping an eye on Buglet, but instead I slept on the couch, admittedly with her, for three hours. She may not have been the only one who was sick. While I was sleeping Buglet amused herself at one point by taking pictures of me when I was asleep. I have taught them well! Very politely she asked me prior to putting them on facebook. I told you I have taught them well.

The bonus to being at home was that I was here to get the letter saying that Pixie has been accepted into the academic extension program at the big girls' high school.

If you missed the post about Pixie's application click here. You will see why I was a bit worried.

Pixie wasn't worried. She has kept asking about when the letter telling her she was going to high school would arrived.

I have also been a bit concerned about how high school will cope with Pixie. When I asked her what they were going to do with her, she very calmly told me that "They will put me in a room by myself and lock the door". Um ... I suppose that would be one method!

It has been stressing me out a bit because we don't live in that high school zone anymore, and I didn't really have a Plan B yet. Yes I do realise I keep saying there is always a Plan B ... and I know there would have been, but I hadn't worked it out yet.

Pixie's only concern has been that I expect her to be like Tink.

"It's not fair Mama. Everyone will expect me to be like Tink. I am only going to do the academic program. And music. I am not going to do soccer and be on the student council as well. I am lazy and that is too much for Pixies".

There is only one Pixie and there is only one Tink, and thank goodness for both these things!

But they are all wonderful. My random happy moment was Tink and Pixie both being super excited and insisting on taking pictures when we saw a double rainbow on the way home from school.

Have I mentioned recently that I love rainbows?

And to round out tonight's post nicely and evenly. A Buglet quote on Pixie's singing.

"I keep thinking that Pixie will just one day start singing like Daddy. But I think she has your voice Mum, and that is a shame".

Harsh, but true.

But long may all my babies continue to sing like no-one is listening, and long may it keep us all happy when everything else is inside and outside, hot and cold, and up and down.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

I've got your back

Random story 1: A little while ago I posted this on facebook:

Dear Buglet, Tink and Pixie
I don't care how old you are, I will be there for every first and every last, in person or by proxy, cheering you on, laughing at you and crying with you. I am your mother and no-one will ever love you as much as I love you, and no-one will ever have your back like I do. So toughen up and smile for the photo! I will still be doing this when you're at uni (however many times you are there).
Mummy xxx

I wanted a picture on the last day of school, especially as it was Tink's last day of primary school, and I was going to get it! Similar arguments occurred on the first day of this year. You think they would learn.

Back to school picture ..........get it?!
Just in case you care, Pixie's bag lights up if you hit it. This makes me so incredibly happy.

Random story 2: I was trying to explain the meaning of the word "sacrifice" to the girls in a non-actually-killing-something-or-someone way. Pixie, being a ethical vegetarian, was not particularly happy when her sisters pointed out sacrificing didn't mean killing a person, sometimes it meant killing an animal.

I can't remember how it came up. I think one of them had read the term in a book.

My explanation did not go quite according to plan either. I was trying to explain that sacrifice can mean giving up something for someone else.

Me: Like some people might say I sacrificed family time and being home with you three for my career.
Insert chorus of angry protests from the Entourage.
Buglet *angrily*: Who said that?!
Me: No-one said that! It was an example.

I try again.

Me: Or to put it the other way, some people might say I sacrificed my career by working part-time so I could be home with you three when you were little.
Insert chorus of angry protests from the Entourage.
Me: No-one actually said that either! But I am glad you guys think I am doing a good job.

The bit where I link in these two random stories: We did get there eventually, but it is nice to know they have my back too.I must being teaching them something .... right?!

In a world where it is easy to let down the people you care about the most, either on deliberately or carelessly, I am just so glad that they realise they are my number one priority (97.5% of the time). I just hope that I am never the one that lets them down.

Attempt at a meaningful conclusion: One of my most favourite facebook memes that goes around says: "One day someone will come along and hug you so hard that all your broken bits will be stuck back together". I hope no-one ever breaks them, but if they do, I hope they know that someone will fix them.

As for me, I am so, so, so thankful for the friends who have been there to put me back together.

Random real conclusion: Aren't you all glad we talk in the car? I feel this blog would be a lot less "philosophical" without our car conversations. Some days I think we should stick to singing though. My brain isn't always up to parenting explanations after a day of work.

And now I need to go. Pixie has just come running in to ask do I think Flip-Flop has an opinion. I am not sure on what, but my current opinion is that the Pixie should be a sleeping Pixie and that I need to attack the pile of washing I left last night.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Soccer sleepovers

I am not exactly sure how I became the sort of person who lets her children get up in the middle of the night to watch the World Cup. I never thought I would consider sport this important!

But I have become that person.

8 years ago I only knew the World Cup was on because one of my colleagues had an Italian husband.

4 years ago the only reason I remember the World Cup was because of those annoying horn things that featured (This is different to my facebook status, but I only had this realisation in the middle of last night).

Thanks to Tink, how things have changed this year! I am pretty sure I get "Mummy points" for caring!

It started because, as a supportive mother, I am taking an interest in it this year. Tink is in the soccer academy of excellence at her school so it feels important to support her interest in the World Cup. In particular she is being encouraged to watch the games Germany plays as that is the country she drew for the project they are working on at school.

Yesterday she negotiated being allowed to wake up in the middle of the night to watch a game.

Pixie convinced Tink to wake up and watch the French game with her. Pixie may not like soccer particularly but she does love all things French.

Pixie: Can I get up and watch too?
Me: But you don't like soccer.
Pixie: Oh yeah I forgot. But I don't like to be left out!
Goes running out of the room.
Pixie: Buglet!!! Are you going to get up at 2am and watch the French play soccer?
Buglet: You are kidding right?

That was last night. Apparently they missed the first bit, but watched the rest until the end.

This morning they were full of enthusiasm for what they saw. Tink was busily explaining to me how the whole thing works. I still don't understand, but she seemed to have her head around it. The World Cup I mean, not the actual game. She is going to draw me a diagram later; she thinks it will help.

Pixie is very enthusiastic about the number of yellow and red cards that were given out. Although, I don't know if she has any idea what they mean!

They came home and slept all afternoon, woke up for dinner, and are back in bed ready to watch the next game tonight. This will not be an every night think, but tonight is the German game Tink had originally wanted to watch. Buglet said they were amazingly ungrumpy this afternoon, I am pretty sure she would have told me if they were unbearable.

This how I watch soccer when the weather is nice. I am a bit more rugged up when the weather is cold ... but I must be developing some enthusiasm for the game in it's own right, and not just when Tink is playing, because I found myself watching the game that was on when I woke up with some interest.

Pixie is definitely a rat any time of the day though. One of the reasons I let them wake up last night was because I had an exam this morning so I could drop them off at school. This was her car chatter today ...

Pixie: Did you find my World Cup selfies?
Me: No?
Pixie: They're on your phone.
Me: I don't usually wake up and check my phone for random selfies.
Pixie: You should. I know your password.

As an added bonus, I have realised that the pile of washing I have to fold now today's exam is over will  have to wait another day. My babies have claimed the lounge for a soccer sleepover, and it is all in there. I would hate to wake them. Oh what a shame ;)

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Master Chef Minors

Sunday soccer bought an added bonus today. My mother-in-law and step-father-in-law came to watch and bought the girls a cookbook as a present, and ones with lots of vegetarian recipes which is a bonus because I am the world's worst vegetarian mother and I have no imagination.

This meant that Tink spent hours this afternoon picking out recipes and marking them. Buglet was out being a teenager, and Pixie was asleep so some quiet study time for me!

This was great until the Pixie woke up and had a massive tantrum because I had told her that she could make dinner. Oops. Study brain fail!

Peace was restored when Tink agreed that the recipe she had picked out would be a good alternative for Taco Tuesday, and peace reigned again.

Pixie picked home made pizzas for dinner, which to be honest was not in the book, but that is ok.

Super yummy! Tink and Pixie made them together. My vegetarian-baby will not touch meat. Her carnivorous mother does not feel it is really pizza without meat. I know I have said it before, but the fact I ended up with a vegetarian child is really one of life's great mysteries.

Pixie also has a very short attention span ... except when it comes to remembering rules that she likes, when it suits her. Buglet was greeted with a shouted: "You have to do the dishes all by yourself, because we made dinner!!!". Usually this is a major point of contention because Buglet does so much of the cooking, and Pixie does not understand the concept of sharing the workload.

This is especially ironic because we'd had this conversation a very short time beforehand.

Me: Pixie! I told you to pick up that lettuce that you dropped.
Pixie: It wasn't me.
Me: So it just magically appeared after you had salad, but it wasn't you?
Pixie: No. It was Flip-Flop. She dropped when she stole my bowl.
*repeat conversation five minutes later, possibly more than once*
Me: Why are you so much hard work?
Pixie: Are you made at me?
Me: Yes. I shouldn't have to ask you to clean up your own mess so many times.
Pixie: But not very mad. Because you lovells me. I will cuddle you. Then you will not be mad.

Luckily for her the hard work sometimes pays off.

In happy news, I am little bit excited that the little two are deciding to embrace cooking. As super awesome as it is that Buglet loves to cook, I am always worried that the novelty will wear off.

I also am sneakily trying to get them interested in gardening. That will be a good project for them to do with DB when I am not at home. Daddy-daughter time, and I don't have to worry about my garden.

As my final sneaky good parenting moment of the day, I was discussing with my father-in-law how awesome it would be if he could teach the girls how to do stuff on cars. He enjoys working with cars and the girls love helping him do stuff.

The secret of being a good manager is not knowing how to do everything yourself, but knowing how to delegate to the right people. This applies to parenting to right?

Saturday, 14 June 2014

When a Minion takes on a Mouse

Just a short post to reflect on how lucky I am to work in such a family friendly environment. I wouldn't have accomplished half the things I have in the last few years if I didn't have an employer and colleagues who support the importance of family, and education for that matter.

I am also very lucky they like my children. When the girls rock up at work everyone seems happy to see them. This is a bonus as they do tend to come in with the grace and impact of a small tornado.

In particular I like that my colleagues are often waiting to hear what the story is behind the half of the conversation they can here. (Waves at any colleagues reading this! If these conversations and/or my children drive you nuts please feel free to email and tell me. I wouldn't blame you, I promise).

The Pixie in particular has a special relationship with my team's Minion. We call her the Minion because I rocked up to work all excited after seeing 'Despicable Me' with the brilliant idea that we needed a Minion to do things like photocopying and filing and running around. My lovely colleague very gently pointed out that she was the Minion, and the name stuck.

At Christmas, the Pixie named her Boss Minion. I feel this is particularly apt as she keeps our team in line!

You Boss Minion - Assistant minions Pixe, Tink and Buglet - Mum (not minion like Gru)

The girls came in to help decorate our part of the office for the office Christmas decorating competition. I am not special enough to be a minion. I am "like Gru".

Boss Minion's last day at work was on Friday. She is off to have wonderful adventures at Disney World. That is right Disney World. Normal people would find this exciting. Not the Pixie.

Me: GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS! Boss Minion got a job at Disney World.
Pixie: But she won't be your Minion anymore.
Me: She got a job at Disney World.
Pixie: But that means she won't be your Minion anymore!
Me: But she got a job at Disney World!

The Pixie is the only person in the universe who things being my Minion is more amazing then working at Disney World.

When Pixie comes to visit me at work she always leaves her Boss Minion notes. About six months after the news she conceded enough to leave a note to the effect of "I am going to miss you, but I suppose you will have good time at Disneyland". Very gracious of her really!

Pixie made the goodbye card for her Boss Minion from the Entourage and me. Pixie's message wished her well and hoped she found lots of new minion friends.

Goodbye and good luck, Boss Minion! We will miss you. Our loss is Disney World's gain. Thank you for leaving me in safe hands at work .... I hope you warned her about the Pixie xxx

Friday, 13 June 2014

Liking v Liking

Despite how it might appear, I didn't take the decision to write about the girls in a public forum lightly.

The girls loved the "Pixie quotes" on facebook, they helped choose the name, approved their alias names, and I was very pleased when Buglet and Tink liked the blog page on facebook. Tink has even shared a couple of stories.

A few nights ago, the Pixie and I went for a drive to pick up a trampoline from a friends's place. We are re-homing it.

Pixie is a bit excited to be getting a new trampoline.

I am excited how well Paris the Yaris held up to the strain! Little cars can be tough too!


I find car trips are a great time to chat with the girls; just in case you haven't noticed this. This particular car trip was where Buglet told me all about her rugby playing adventures including the "you can't put this on facebook but you are fine to put it on the blog" bit.

It seemed like a good time to ask the Pixie how she felt about the blog. She told me that Buglet had shown her the carwash post.

Pixie: I was amazing wasn't I Mummy?!
Me: Yes you were baby, but did you like the post?
Pixie: No. I was looking at it on Buglet's facebook. I am not allowed my own facebook. I don't know if Buglet liked it.
Me: No not facebook liking something, real liking something.
*confused look from the Pixie*
Me: I mean does it make you happy that I write about you and people can read it.
Pixie: Yes! I am amazing!

That counts as permission doesn't it? But talk about a generation gap. Back in my day, liking something was a feeling and not a physical action online!

I have certainly never said there are not an awful lot of confusing conversations that happen in the car.

Last night was a good example.

Me: You're not allowed to be sarcastic.
Pixie: But I am tone deaf.
Me: I don't understand.
Pixie: I am tone deaf. So I don't know if I am bring sarcastic, I can't hear the tone.
*awkward silence*
Pixie: Mama!! You could put air freshners in your bag! I am a genius! Are you proud of me?
Me: Always baby.
Pixie: I am going to make millions one day. Half for me, half for Mummy.
Tink: What about Flip-Flop?
Pixie: I am going to buy her a gold dog bowl.
Me: You loving her is all she will ever really want.

She really does have it all sussed out. As much as I hate driving, my life would not be nearly as intresting without our car conversations.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

A rugby playing Pixie

I am about as un-sporty as you can imagine. I would have been the person refusing to do Phys Ed at school if I hadn't also been such a model student ( you may read "model student" as "total nerd" and, while we are being honest, absolutely petrified of getting into trouble).

It has never ceased to amaze me that not only do my children like Phys Ed, they voluntarily do extra sporting stuff at school. Tink is the only one who plays a team sport out of school but in school they have all done extras; in their lunch breaks as well as interschool. Seriously.

Pixie's latest venture has been rugby. This has been an interesting experience.

Prior to the day
Pixie: Guess what Mama! I am on the rugby team.
Me: Oh really? Is it touch rugby or proper rugby where you can tackle?
Pixie *vaguely*: I don't know. I think can tackle. CHEEK TO CHEEK. But the boys are too scared to tackle me anyway.
Me: Maybe you should find out before the day.

On the day
Me: So is it touch rugby or tackle rugby.
Pixie: Oh. I don't know.
Me: Um you should probably check before you play?
Pixie: I am on the B team. I told Mr B I should be on the C team. He said I needed to toughen up because if I was on the C team I would tell him I should be on D team.
Me: Would you?
Pixie: Yes

After the game
Me: How did you go?
Pixie: Good we came third but it was a tie.
Me: I found out it was touch rugby.
Pixie: Oh yeah. I was one of the touchers.
Me: Did you have fun?
Pixie: Yeah. I almost scored a try.
Me: That is exciting!
Pixie: Yeah. I did an awesome ninja roll. It was very cool. But it didn't count because I was a toucher, so that was a bit awkward.
Me: Oh well. As long as you had fun.
Pixie: Yes! .... don't put that on facebook.
Me: Can I put it on my blog?
Pixie: Yes! You can call it "A rugby playing Pixie".

So there you go people! And the moral of the story is ... have fun, learn the rules, and always listen to your mother.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Happiness is the little things

I think this is especially important when you are stupidly busy.

You have to take the moments to appreciate the little things when they happen. As they say, in the end it is the little things that are really the big things (or something like that).

As I type I am enjoying a cupcake. Instant happiness.

I was given a car-warming present this week. I would like to introduce "Sir Hilton of the Paris Yaris":

He sits in my car guarding my Guide Hall keys and preventing me from putting junk there. More importantly he just makes me happy.

Yesterday was full of dramas. (If you missed the post and are interested ... click here!). But even amongst the insane stress levels I have had from every aspect of my life in the last fortnight, and really it has been one of those times where my work/personal/parenting/Guiding/study lives have all collided, there have been some magical moments.

In my adventuring with the girls in the late afternoon, we went via the carwash. Keeping Paris the Yaris in good condition is a number one family priority.

While we were sitting there Pixie decided to help me unstress.

"Sit still Mama, and pretend you're in a day spa. Look! You have Twisties and facebook".

Pixie shoves Twisties at me*.

"Look see that sign that says 'message box'. We are going to pretend it says 'massage box'. It's ok if I don't have my seatbelt in the carwash isn't Mama?"

Without waiting for a reply she proceeds to undo her seatbelt and starts massaging my shoulders.

"Now close your eyes and pretend you can hear the sound of waves at the beach. You are sitting on the beach".

Sound of the carwash changes.

"Oh listen a storm! Mama I don't like this bit. Are you still stresseled? Does that feel good?"

*Yes these were the same Twisties I had bribed her with earlier. Those Twisties really were the gift that kept on giving! Thank you Twistie Fairy.

Lesson of the week. You have to find your time-outs when and where you can get them, and remember happiness comes at the most unexpected times.

*Disclaimer*: This post was in no way sponsered by the Twistie company, but if they decide to donate Twisties to me I shall not refuse!

Wishing you all a day full of happiness and if you can't have sunshine, make sure you find your rainbow xx

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Bribery and corruption

Tomorrow I have two assessable practice hearings and that are worth a large percentage of my grades.

This is how I spent my day.

Morning was Tink's soccer. I only very rarely miss a game and that is either when I am away or I am driving another child somewhere. I figure if all I can do is be there, that is what I can do. I will learn the rules at some point so I know what is going on. Not until August though. Sometimes the games are for catching up with friends or family. Sometimes I study. Sometimes it is quiet time for me to read beforehand and during the breaks. It is always a chance to get some fresh air and often some sunshine.

Today the plan was to drop off Tink, then vacuum the car out and walk the dog while she warmed up.

In reality, I got there and realised we were early. Tink came with me to vacuum the car which was lucky because I forgot that Flip-Flop doesn't like vacuum cleaners. (In case you are wondering how I forgot, I never do the vacuuming. The girls tend to do that). Flip-Flop then got her walk, and I got a bacon and egg burger (another bonus to soccer days). Tink's team won 5-2. This is slightly awkward because I thought they drew 2 all. I was watching! I don't know how I missed that one. I do know what a goal is.

The other two don't always come with me. Pixie has to come if it is an away game, but usually the deal with Buglet is that if she doesn't come and watch her sister play if she does the dishes or something else that needs doing while I am out. I figure this is fair.

Pixie wasn't feeling well this morning so I left her at home with Buglet. This meant she slept in. She also had a nap with me when I came home from soccer. This meant she was feral this afternoon.

There is a fine line with our Pixie; too much sleep and she is impossible, and too little sleep and she is impossible.

That is how the following story occurred.

I had a naggy, whiny, annoying, bored child. I don't deal well with bored children especially when I am trying to study. I don't believe in being bored (except in exceptional circumstances) so they get very little sympathy from me.

The Pixie comes creeping up behind me, while I was trying to write submissions.

Me: You need to get out the house don't you?
Pixie: Flip-Flop just threw up.
Me: What?!
Pixie *sings*: Hush my Mama, don't you cry, Pixie's gonna make you feel better with pie. Not really but it rhymed. Pixie doesn't want Mama to be a stressaling.
Me: What happened?
Pixie: She just threw up. Grass and pancakes and stuff. Should puppies eat pancakes?

I bribed her with the rest of my study Twisties to leave me alone and be good for another hour, and clean up the vomit.

Pixie cleaned up the mess then proceeded to use some of the Twisties to try and bribe Tink to take her for a bike ride.

Tink: You just had to teach her about bribing didn't you.
Pixie *sternly*: Don't stressel Mama out or her assignment will go horribly wrong. Are you stresselled Mama?
Tink: If we walk to the shops can we pick out something for dinner all by ourselves? And then you can pick us up.

Tink took pity on me at this point. They walked to the shops so they could pick what they wanted and I met them there forty minutes later. I am not sure how they convinced Buglet to do it, but she is now cooking the dinner, and may I say it smells great.

Some days, this is how I do it: bribery and corruption, extreme sugar (for me) and whatever it takes to get me through.

Luckily I received a delivery package of emergency study supplies!

I know I keep saying it, but I am so, so, so thankful for the family and friends who are there to support me and keep me sane.

For those of you who are worried about my parenting, I am telling myself it is all about teaching them negotiation skills. I don't give in to whining. We also had a big conversation in the car about which vegies to get for snacks.

For those of you who are worried about my sugar levels, these are extreme study exceptions! I am not usually this bad.

For those of you who are worried about my lack of attention to concentrate on study, this is reasonable. Please keep your fingers crossed for me!

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Let them eat cake!

Today we finally had the Buglet's birthday party with her friends.

We went and saw Maleficent, and we all thoroughly enjoyed the movie.

There were some important life lessons learned though:
  1. Organising a party is hard work when you can't pronounce the name of the movie. Even writing in the blog posts because I struggle so much it was hard to even copy it.
  2. The Buglet has inherited her father's love of puns. So many "maligcifent" jokes. (If you don't get this, try pronouncing both words out loud. If you are still struggling refer to point 1 and know I am sympathising).
My proud moment of the day was predicting the end of the movie (clearly to myself in my head). I never get this right. This was also made even sweeter because DB had told the Pixie what he thought was going to happen and he was wrong. He is usually really good at not only predicting them, but also telling me just to make me mad. When he told me afterwards he'd picked the ending too, he was severely squashed by a Pixie pointing out that he'd been wrong. I will be claiming bragging rights about this one for a very long time.

Flashback moments
I had been looking forward to this movie a little bit more than usual, because Sleeping Beauty was the first movie I ever saw at the cinemas. Part of the reason I remember so clearly is because at the time we were living on a sheep station and Mum had given us the day of school so we could drive to the closest town to see it. Unfortunately she got her days mixed up and it wasn't showing that day. The story ends happily, we ended up seeing it in Adelaide when we went on a holiday. We sat in the front row and I still remember clutching my cousin's hand very tightly during the scary bits.

The girls were more interested in their first cinema experiences.

Dad took Buglet and Tink to their first movie. I am pretty sure it was to see Lilo and Stitch. They were 3.5 and 2 at the time and he took them with two of my sisters who were 9 and 6. I was little bit anxious about his ability to cope. I spent a lot of time reminding Buglet to tell her aunt if she needed to go to the toilet, and reminding Miss 9 to take her before they went into the theatre. I must have forgotten to explain what the movies were because Buglet's first comment when she got home was "Mummy! Did you know there is a big tv at the movies?!". Oops. I guess you can't cover everything.

Pixie's first real movie experience was Ice Age 2. The big two were going to their end of term excursion with Guides so DB and I decided to take Pixie too. Half way through the movies there was  a very loud exclamation of "Mama! Mama! Mama! There are two eflants!!!". There was lots of laughter. She was so excited. She loved elephants, but apparently hadn't really been following the story line! The rest of the cinema had realised there was two elephants about 10 minutes into the movie; if not before the movie started from seeing previews.

Facebook link in
Just in case you missed the Pixie's quote of the day, here it is .....

Pixie *big eyes*: I think Buglet is sad.
Me: Why is she sad?
Pixie: Because she didn't have a birthday cake.
Me: She did have a birthday cake.
Pixie *even sadder eyes*: Not with her friends.
Me: You wanting cake is not the same thing as Buglet being sad.

And just to be very clear, she has had cake! Miss 9 is now Miss (almost) 21 and made her a super yummy cake which we had at my parents' place. She requested icecream cake for at home on her actual birthday. Buglet also made cupcakes to take to dancing to celebrate.

Never let it be said that we don't take cake or birthday celebrations seriously. Now if you will excuse me, I am off to reminisce some more about my memories of my children and my sisters where they were little and cute.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Dear Universe, Take That!

Dear Universe,

The Pixie is right. Life is awesome, because we are awesome. Ok, she might only apply this to herself, but I am claiming it too.

This week we have survived:
  1. Two exams (Buglet);
  2. One high school application test (Pixie);
  3. Two oral assessments (me);
  4. A week of classes (me);
  5. An in-class performance (Pixie);
  6. An interschool soccer carnival (Tink);
  7. Two after school interschool soccer games (Tink); and
  8. Interschool netball (Pixie).
I should also mention its been an insane week at work and in my personal life, and it has also only been a four day work week here in WA.

I don't care, I am calling it. We are awesome! Tired, but still claiming awesome.

I have also discovered my darling youngest daughter has a favourite article in the UN Declaration of Human Rights. I am not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I am proud of her.

Driving the girls to school every day this week has had some advantages!

Buglet: We're doing World War II in history. Every time he says six million Jews died it makes me sad.
Me: And what makes it even sadder is genocide is still happening. Do you guys know what genocide is?
Pixie: I do! I do! Wait. I need the right voice *deep voice* Human Right 3: The Right to Life.
*stunned silence*
Pixie: What? It is
*proceeds to sing human rights UN song. Stops abruptly*
Pixie: My favourite is number 15 the right to copyright.
Me: I beg your pardon.
Pixie: It is one. It might not be 15, but it is my favourite.

I haven't quite been to work out which one it is she actually means, but I am working on it. I suspect it is Article 19, but if anyone you enough to form an opinion please let me know!

Just to let you know, Universe, I have also have wonderful people on my side. So you can't squash us that easily. This week has been dedicated to all the people who have provided food, driving, ears, and a shoulder to cry on.

And I did get those flowers.

Cath and the Entourage

PS This is not a challenge. Let's call it a tie. xx

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Mama Bear and her babies

I survived my first day of this intensive week. Just. This will be a super short post.

I must have looked shattered when I made it home. Buglet took one look at me and told me to go to sleep. I curled up straight on the couch and went to sleep. Just staying awake long enough to have a cupcake shoved in my mouth by the Pixie. Buglet had made red velvet mini cupcakes this afternoon, and Pixie informed me later that she'd made very blue icing all by herself. It was very blue. Tink was all soccered out. She fell asleep on top of me about 30 seconds after I lay down. I love our couch! It is big enough for all four of us to snuggle on - and sleep!

Today's ironic moment was getting a frantic phone call from Pixie during a class on managing stress and work-life balance. A frantic phone call from Pixie either means something is very wrong or her she needs to dob on her sisters for something or she is not sure if she is allowed to eat some sort of food.

Me: What's wrong baby? Is it important? I am in class?
Pixie: No! Sorry. *slams down phone*

She wanted to know if she was allowed to have Guide biscuits. Luckily it was during a small group discussion. Since she did ring a few times a little more information would have been handy now. Apparently, Buglet made an executive decision in my absence. Some moments I feel like I have the work-life balance sorted, however fleeting those moments may be!

I did however still manage to make bear ears tonight. For some unknown reason Pixie knew exactly where the brown felt was that was left over from her mouse costume for book week 6 years ago. No idea where or how, it wasn't with the rest of the felt. As an added bonus, Buglet had been using the stapler, so that was where it was supposed to be.

Staplers are a point of contention in this house. There is never one around when I need one. I think I bought one per assignment for my first three years of law until I threatened to staple the girls' hands to the desk if I had to buy another one. That one stayed on the desk for at least 18 months. Potentially not my finest parenting moment, but I must have looked serious .... it worked!!

Daddy Bear ears and Baby Bear ears. Mummy Bear's ears were a point of contention. I thought they should go on a hat too. Pixie disagreed. I gave up. She is apparently going to stick them on using bobby pins.

Not the most artistic effort, but I think they will do! Sometimes your best is all you can do at the time. This is important. Feel free to remind me of this.

Monday, 2 June 2014


Literally and figuratively. I am good like that.

First figuratively, and a gratuitous picture of the Pixie and Flip-Flop helping me swish away some mental cobwebs over the weekend.

Secondly ... a story ... which possibly shows that I cannot blame all my girls' vagueness on DB.

I have been studying (as you know), and this is pretty much the only time I ever get an actual desire to clean.

While I am happily sitting at my desk (please note that the word 'happily' should be interpreted in the widest way possible), when I spot some spider-webs that just had to be removed then and there. All good. I got the duster, climbed on the desk, and got rid of the spider-webs. The sad part of this story is when I realised that I couldn't get down. I managed to get up without really thinking about it, but a dodgy back and a spinning chair made getting down much harder than would have been anticipated if I'd actually thought about it.

So I am standing on a desk, in my pyjamas, with a duster and I had to call for Apple to come and get me down. Apparently when I was shouting for help that was not what she was expecting. Luckily she'd been visiting to help the Buglet with her science study. Unluckily, Buglet had a friend here as well.

As a 34 year old mother of three teenage(ish) daughters and an almost lawyer, I feel I should know better.

I am also now wondering if blaming DB for all the Pixie's climbing habits when she was a toddler was a little unfair. I did have major flashbacks. Except that back then the Pixie was the one getting stuck on things calling out "Mama! Mama!". I like that scenario better.

Outcomes of this story:
  1. Luckily English and history are my subjects not maths and science;
  2. Housework is dangerous;
  3. I am adding "don't climb up on things unless you are sure you can get down to the list-of-things-to-learn-before-I-turn-forty.
And just to finish, a Pixie quote from a couple of Halloweens ago while we were getting ready for a party: "Mama, should I get rid of the spider-webs, or should we just pretend we were growing them as decorations?"

We kept them. I think we should stick to this plan. We like themes and parties, and it seems much safer.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

May Showers .... June Flowers?!

There is an old saying, admittedly from the Northern hemisphere: "April showers bring May flowers".

I love rain. Call it a hang up from growing up in the middle of the desert, but I really do.

I am less fond of the other interpretation of this saying, when you apply it to being about the hard work and the tears paying off later. I would like to point out that it is June so I want my flowers dammit!!!

Yes, I am still studying can you tell? I banned myself from blogging until after my assignment was handed in. Now I have handed it in I am sneaking in a quick post before my week of on-site assessments this week.

Buglet is also in the middle of her first exams.

I had one of those moments where you turn into your parents. The advice I gave Buglet before her first exam was pretty much exactly what my parents have always told me:
  1. Proof read;
  2. Answer everything;
  3. Time your answers;
  4. There are certain marks allocated to each question - see points 2 and 3 above;
  5. Show your working out - you can get marks for working out; and
  6. Never, ever leave an exam early.
I did just stop short of sharing Dad's ultimate words of exam wisdom which are "some of the greatest rugby players throw up before every match". I am really bad for pre-exam nausea.  Buglet was feeling fine, so probably lucky I didn't complicate the issue. In case anyone is wondering, I have no idea who those rugby players are, how Dad knows this, and no it never stopped me from being sick but it did make me feel a little better.

She survived her first exam, and I am super proud of her. Buglet has much better study habits than I ever have. My darling eldest daughter is one of those people who does her assignments on a Friday night so she isn't leave them for the last minute. Unlike her mother who, after three degrees, has yet to learn this. So much for my observation to DB the other day, that "monkey see, monkey do". Either that or DB and Pixie are most definitely monkeys and Buglet and I are most definitely not monkeys. I may just stick to this theory!

Thursday night this is what I came home to:

Promise I am a competent parent, even if I am not the best student.

Now I seem to somehow have managed to teach my girls to be good students by showing them what not to do, I am crossing my fingers and hoping this works for other parts of their lives too!

One more week and exam stress will be over for a little while .... but life goes on like normal, just in case you missed it on facebook. Here is the Pixie on exams:

Me: Don't stress Buglet out this morning. She has an exam and exams are important.
Pixie *cheerfully*: Ok. I will stress Tink out instead.
Me *glaring*: I would rather you didn't stress anyone out. If you stress Tink out that will stress Buglet out.
PIxie: But I always stress Tink out. That is how it works. I will stress Flip-Flop out instead *runs out* Flip-Flop! Flip-Flop! Come here. I will stressel you out!

They are all very supportive in their own way. Pixie's way is just a bit unique.