Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Bubble wrapped babies

I am the sort of mother who believes children should be allowed to ride bikes, climb trees, eat dirt, experiment in the kitchen, play on trampolines, and explore the bush. I am vocal in my belief that I am bringing up confident, self-respecting, independent, happy women who contribute to society, not spineless, whingy jellyfish (No disrespect to jellyfish intended. I don't know any personally and I am sure that there are lots of non-whingy jellyfish. I also acknowledge that spines are not necessary for a jellyfishy way of life).

I am thinking about changing this philosophy. 

My children keep getting broken. I keep taking them to the hospital thinking it is nothing and turns out it is something.

In 2012, our dance teacher banned the girls from going to my parents' place after a cracked tailbone and a badly injured knee occurred at her place badly affecting Buglet's dancing. (Hey, there are lots of kids it happens. Not Mum's fault. I am not sure if the teacher was joking.)
Result: Dance Concert 2012 Buglet danced with a broken tail bone.

The next year this was the result of a slip in the kitchen (no running, nothing dramatic, just a fall).
Result: Dance Concert 2013 Buglet didn't dance, but helped backstage instead.

Broken Buglet - 2013
Ankle injuries were the big problem last year, mostly stemming from an accident at a camp in 2013.
Result: Dance Concert 2014 Buglet danced but did the pointe routines in demi.

Sidenote: I should also say here how proud I am of Buglet. She does all the right things when she is injured to prevent further issues, and she has made some pretty grown up decisions about dancing because of it.

This last week has been full of issues.

Pixie crying: Mama!!! I've burnt myself?
Me: How?
Pixie: I sat on hair-straighteners!
Me: How badly? 
Pixie: I don't know. It's on my butt, and I can't see my butt.
Me: Can you ask Buglet to look?
Pixie: Nooooooooo. I don't want anyone seeing my butt!
Me: Do you want me to come home?
Pixie: Nooooooo.
Me: Do you want Apple?
Pixie: Noooooo!
Me: Have a shower and then have a nap.

She did send a picture, but the picture is clearly not blog appropriate. It is the top of her thigh, rather than her actual bottom, and it is healing nicely after a few days of angst. Am I an awful parent because I was trying very hard to not laugh while she was on the phone? It was a very sad injury, but she was just so cute when I was dealing with her!

Over the Australia Day weekend Buglet and Tink went to camp. Late Saturday night I got a phone call saying that they were taking Buglet to hospital with chest pains and breathing problems. It was muscular, and she is ok. My feelings were bruised though, apparently a hoodie and denim shorts are not appropriate for hospitals if you want medical staff to recognise you as the child's mother. Buglet says its my own fault. I am pretty sure putting on the first clothes you see in those sorts of circumstances is appropriate. We agreed to disagree.

I pick up the girls from camp.

This is Tink's first status update: First thing I do when I get home from camp is accidentally punch Pixie in the face giving her a blood nose! Whoops sorry Pixie".

This is mine: "Happiness is having all my babies home again ... And all unbroken (Buglet was fine the rest of camp) ... Until Tink accidentally gave the Pixie a blood nose when she was woken up suddenly ... 'Cos nothing is ever boring aroudn here!". I think those quotes sum it up pretty nicely. The blood nose reoccurred at the fireworks that night just to liven up the night of the First Aid Officers.

So back to thinking that bubble wrapping babies is a great plan. It's not too late to change my parenting philosophy is it?

  • It is doubtful I am qualified to give parenting advice, there is still time for me to stuff up.
  • I am not even allowed to give legal advice without supervision.
I would recommend finding more reliable sources for any advice of any nature.

'It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.' ~ Ann Landers

Monday, 12 January 2015

Working hard to make a living

No. Not me.

Well, I do work hard, but this time it is not me.

I have had some "WTF are they really old enough?" realisations in the last week. I am trying to be a responsible parent and encourage my daughters to learn financial responsibility (and I have lots of plans, travel and otherwise, and they all need to be financed so it really is mutually beneficial).

Tuesday last week I posted this status update on my personal account:
"Slight flaw to my keeping the Pixie last night plan*: having to take her to work with me this morning for a couple of hours. Bonus being that I lent her out to take down Christmas decorations, and read out asset numbers. If she is going to be here she might as well be useful right?"

I only had her with me for an hour before she met Tink and my sister, but in the meantime a friend told me he had some jobs they could do in his office for a couple of hours. I initially thought he was joking. Turns out he was serious. That afternoon Tink and Pixie went and helped take down Christmas decorations and count stock for a few hours. They must have been useful; he kept them a lot longer than I thought he would. I have no idea how explained them. Pixie was very confused by the question on the basis that my colleagues like them being at our office. Well in her world they do, and she could not comprehend how she would not be an asset to any office.

Then Saturday afternoon I helped Buglet write her very first CV. (By help I mean I told her to Google a template, helped her brainstorm what to put in the blanks, and proof read it for her. See. Help. I didn't actually do it for her). And then I took her to drop the CV off. Seriously. Talk about being grown up. Fingers crossed she gets the job. The hours would fit perfectly around her dance schedule and that doesn't happen often.

Saturday night, the girls were hired as waitresses for a friend's engagement party. Once they stopped squabbling they did an awesome job. I was ready to throttle them to start with. This has no real point other than a gentle reminder that I do vaguely attempt to keep it real on here. They all gave that money to me for their Bali fund. Hooray! Maybe some of the "you need to save a certain percentage for yourselves" talk is finally walking.

Sunday we worked hard all day. Tink and Pixie are fundraising to go to a Girl Guide jamboree. Sunday was our first sausage sizzle and we were there from 8am until almost 4pm.

8am: all enthusasitc
Thank you for the support Bunnings!
It is funny watching my vegetarian child be all enthusiastic about squeezing the sausages and watching the fat come out. I suppose when you don't eat them it isn't as gross.

Other forms of amusement for quiet times included crab impersonations (Tink is awesome at this), Pixie pretending to squash peoples heads with tongs (like "holding" the Eiffel Tower type movements); and laughing at Pixie freaking out because Buglet was "squashing" her head. (I don't know, don't ask).

3.30pm: Sleeping Pixie
I think we broke her.
It was worth the long day though. We reached the target we were hoping to reach. Just a few more to go now. In addition to the fundraising making it possible to send the girls, it was also a good way for them to realise the value of working to earn what you do (and hopefully them working out the value of realise how hard I work to support them. I can live in hope.).

Meanwhile. While Buglet was completing her CV, I was finding more space to house books I have acquired and making a much needed start on the pile of "stuff" that has accrued from cleaning other rooms.

I am totally convinced that "ability to creatively find more bookshelf space" is a legitimate addition to my CV. Buglet rolled her eyes when I made that suggestion.

  • I am definitely not qualified to give financial advice.
  • I am definitely not qualified to career advice.
  • It is doubtful I am qualified to give parenting advice, there is still time for me to stuff up.
  • I am not even allowed to give legal advice without supervision.
I would recommend finding more reliable sources for any advice of any nature.
Except finding extra space for bookshelves, and extra space for books on existing shelves. I am great at that.

*rather then going to DB's house with the other two. We'd had a big week and she'd had a few sleepovers and needed some quiet time with Mummy.

Friday, 9 January 2015

The year that was ... and the year that will be

For those of you who missed the post on the facebook page, my infants have been abandoned for most of this week. This does make it a little hard to write about them. I thought I would write anyway. Just in case you were wondering what has happened to us.

The girls got me a super awesome cookie jar for Christmas. (Amazing op-shop find. I don't think I am supposed to know that, but I think it makes it even cooler).

"Whoo. Whoo. Whoo stole the cookies from the cookie jar?"
(It actually says this).
Despite the fabulousness of a cookie jar that talks and is an owl, I am not keeping cookies in this jar. Instead I am using it as a "Year of Awesomisation" jar (Pixie made me call it that). Basically the idea is that every day you write something-that-made-you-happy/a-nice-memory/something-that-you-are-thankful-for onto a slip of paper and you put it into the jar. At the end of the year you can look back and see all the great things.

So far I have written most days.

Pixie has pointed out very smugly that she did this last year, but no-one else did it with her. She lasted for two days.

Tink keep asking what the "rules" are. She wants to be sure she is doing it correctly.

Buglet grunted. She is happy for us to amuse ourselves, but has no interest in taking part.

You can't blame a girl for trying!

In the spirit of positive reflection, here are 14 things we accomplished in 2014 ....

  1. We all survived the 30 insane weeks of me working full time and studying part time with assignments due almost every week.
  2. The girls (respectively) survived their last year of lower high school/first year of high school/last year of primary school.
  3. I was admitted as a lawyer.
  4. I painted my bedroom.
  5. I cleaned out my walk-in-robe (this is worthy of it's own mention. I also considered cleaning out under my bed as being its own thing, but I refrained).
  6. My pond is finally in, complete with water feature.
  7. I was admitted to practice as a lawyer.
  8. This blog came into existence (and Kris' Angels).
  9. I went on my first real holiday in over 10 years (no children, no Guide stuff, and no work ... well and only 1 facebook message to the office).
  10. I became an auntie again ... four times!
  11. I recruited three new Guide leaders to my unit.
  12. Buglet spent her first year helping to teach at dance.
  13. Tink was on the student council.
  14. Pixie was a faction captain.
And we survived all the usual life things that happen.

Right ... now on to 2015's challenges!

Happy Friday everyone xxx

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Christmas .... and beyond!

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! And all that jazz. (6 January, Epiphany, 12th day of Christmas so I am legitimately sneaking that 'Merry Christmas' in there).

I did mean to write over my Christmas leave. Clearly I did not. 

Instead I had managed to avoid the computer (well I used internet banking once, checked one urgent Guide email that I had received a text about, and used facebook on my phone), caught up with my family (especially my Northern Territory sister and nephews who were home for Christmas), and I slept. 

Oh, how I slept! I don't like hot weather. I especially do not like humidity. It makes me tired. I became nocturnal for the two weeks. I slept most of the day and did stuff in the evening and at night. We did something with people every couple of days, and spent the alternate days at home. I totally could get used to being a lady of leisure.  

The girls left this on my desk on the last day of work. 
Back to work, and diving straight back into the deep end (pool metaphor deliberate, my heart and mind are still on holidays). Ironically, my work computer didn't register my existence on the computer on my first day back. Apparently my ban wasn't self inflicted!

We went to church Christmas Eve. It is one of my favourite nights of the year. I love the Christmas Eve service. At our church it is traditionally carols and the children's nativity performance. Tink and the Pixie agreed to be in it again this year, even though they felt little old. Tink a lot more enthusiastically than the Pixie! 

Christmas we saw DB's parents and family (he was away), and then spent the afternoon/evening enjoying the chaos that always ensues when my family is all in one place at one time!

Nailed it! (not me!)

Boxing Day we hosted the NT contingent to a Boxing Day lunch, and Buglet outdid herself. Both with the food and with the table presentation. I am taking credit for the boxes though! Somehow I became the person responsible for organising my NT nephews' Christmas stockings (usually they come for lunch Christmas Day), but as they came to lunch on Boxing Day this year I mixed it up a bit. Yes, I am a little proud of my ingenuity! Can you see the boxes?

Everything was carefully coordinated.

I love having the boys home at Christmas! Auntie duty to squeeze a year's worth of kisses and cuddles into a few weeks! As an added bonus Master-almost-10 (who lives in WA) is much more agreeable to being kissed and cuddled when the littler ones are here too so that is an added bonus!

Our other tradition is that my girls go to my sister's New Year's Eve. If you are only available to babysit one night per year, she picks a good one! Lela and I went out NYE, We spent a very pleasant few days not doing a lot except chatting, watching movies, sewing (Lela) and sleeping (me), and making some travel plans!

The girls and I spent a night with Pie and OJ (and their parents). This is worth mentioning for two reasons. Firstly, I finally watched the first part of Lord of the Rings. As I am planning a NZ for January 2016 this seemed important. Secondly, I was reminded again how clingy my baby is. (Note to self: Referring to her as "the baby" probably doesn't help).

Pie was shouting out "Auntie Caff! Look!". I was super excited because he doesn't talk to me much (he is only 2.5), when the Pixie responds with "Look at me, Mama. You know, your child". I can assure you she was not being neglected in any way shape or form!

So in conclusion, the last few weeks have been blissfully "boring". Filled with friends and family and nothing dramatic to report. Perfect! I could not have asked for better holidays. Except for the bit where I still have glue on my eyelids from NYE.