Monday, January 25, 2010

Australia Day

Quote of the day (Will): Can somebody stand behind me? Quick, I've gotta fart and I don't want to waste it.

There are milestones all around today.

I have been noticing for a while that Euey is a child now. Not a baby. Not a toddler. A child. A boy. In fact, a boy who is off to kinder this year and school next year. Today though, it really hit home that they have both hit that stage. They can now both play like kids, take direction and are really helpful. Finn seems like such a little tiny baby in comparison (especially now, as he sleeps off his nasty head cold, sucking his thumb).

Will is outside cooking an Aussie Day barbie - this is a skill he has mastered as of today, which is an excellent milestone to mark his one year anniversary as an Australian citizen. I love it. I love being in charge of my kingdom, he says. In a complete turn around, I am inside, cooking the potatos.

Will has been sending the kids in with requests and comments - ask Mummy for a plate; give this (small burger bit) to Mummy and tell her it's a starter. In they both came, dutifully handing over the burger and stating quite seriously It's a starter. They're not just repeating what they're told either, this new grown-up-ness comes with answers that I can't really argue with. About 10 mins after coming in and grabbing a 'couple of forks' (which was actually three because he needed 'one for each of us'), Euey was back, getting two more forks. I asked how come all the forks kept disapearing outisde and he replied: Cause Aoife lost hers and I lost mine so we're getting each other another one.

I have to go, the meat is done and the kids are eating it all!
Ahh, I feel so Australian. Lamb on the barbie. Cooked by the man. Salad by the woman (that would be me). All we need now are lamingtons and pav for dessert.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The 80s

I feel a little like I'm in a time warp. It is 2010 right? Read on if you were pre-teen in the 80s ...

I have discovered, along the way, that fashion goes in cycles. I first took note of this sometime in late high school. I heard Mum asking Charlie if she wanted a maroon woolen striped jumper (very 70s) and Charlie's NO! That's hideous. Then Mum's knowing reply: Well, I'll just put it away, obviously a bit early. About 6 months later Charlie sidled up to Mum's bedroom ... Mum, you know that maroon fitted jumper, did you happen to keep it?

So I get it. I understand that, hideous though they were (and still are in my opinion) ra-ra skirts, high waists with big belts, skinny jeans (ok, not so bad on the right person), side pony-tails (side pony-tails, really??) - basically everything 80s except shoulder pads - are all back. Hideous but comprehensible.

What I didn't expect was that television shows apparently also have fashion cycles. My kids are now watching (and loving) Inspector Gadget ('Spector Gadgek'), Scooby Doo, The Care Bears and ... leave the best 'til last - The Mysterious Cities of Gold! Awesome. No more computer games barely disguised as tv. No more killing sprees. No more ahh-ya, dinky-donk what-the-hell-are-they-talking-about bullshit shows. Back to the basics. Now all I need to find on good ol' Foxtel is Mr Squiggle and I'll be in tv heaven!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I have a vegetable garden. It has a wooden border that we can take with us when we move (yes, this is likely in the near future, we have to get near a good school for the kids). It will grow for us spinich, silverbeet, rocket, leeks and snowpeas. I am hoping it will teach the kids to love greens. Is that wishful thinking?
Pics soon. (I promise. I'm a doer remember!)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Not a doer

I'm wondering if I'm a Gana not a Doer or if I really do just have a severe shortage of time in my life. I have fantastic ideas. Big projects I'd love to do, even small projects I'd love to do but never seem to have the time for. I'm hoping, if I write them here, at least I won't forget them when I do have time to do them. Or, if I never find the time, at least I won't forget I had the idea.

  • Organise a street party to get to know the neighbours. After a few attempts at conversation with the next door neighbour (who has three kids similar to ours in age) that were completely shot down, I figure I better stretch my horizons a little.
  • Organise the Heidelberg West community to rally and support the re-building of a new playground that was burnt down only months after completion. (Yep, this is a Big Project. I have no idea where to start with this one.)
  • Plant a vegie garden with the kids. This is one I will definately do when we own our own house, but really, what's stopping me from doing it now?
  • De-clutter the house. I have started this project, but I think it may be a work in progress for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Media Callousness

There are some images that are inherently private. Everyone knows that, right? Apparently the media do not. Lately there have been so many examples on Australian tv that I am starting to think we need a movement. The public need to rise up and shout No, we do not need to know everything! Do not invade our privacy in the name of ‘news’.

The pictures I’ve seen have mostly been of grief.
China: relatives on their knees having just been informed that their family members, though alive, were trapped in buildings too dangerous to enter, so the search was being called off. The picture cut from the women before they were told, already showing signs of distaste at being filmed, to the same women after the news, in total shock and attempting to hide their grief from the camera.
Australia: victim of a horrific boat accident grieving the loss of his friends while being carried off to an ambulance.
These people did not ask to be on tv. It was obvious (by their hands covering their faces) that they did not want to be on tv at a moment like that. Exactly how does it aid the public’s understanding of disaster scenes to witness such invasions of privacy?

The latest episode was not as graphic, there were no pictures, but it was equally heartless and unnecessary. This morning on Sunrise, a current affairs breakfast show, there was a discussion about reports that Angelina Jolie has had her twins. So-and-so entertainment news in the US is reporting she has, this-n-that other entertainment news reporting she hasn’t, you get the picture. Toward the end of the segment the presenter mentions Jolie’s due date was announced as August, then laughingly says ‘I guess we’ll have to wait for the million dollar photos to be sure’.

August. That’s right, they were having a light-hearted discussion about whether a Mother had just given birth to twins 2 months prematurely. Without even a mention that this may be a complete disaster for the twins and their family. No consideration that if those ‘reports’, that apparently provided for such an entertaining debate, were true then there is no guarantee the twins will live, let alone live healthy non-hospitalised lives.

I complained. By email and by phone. I hope more people disgusted by such callousness will complain. Maybe then the media will get the idea that the public doesn’t have a right, or a desire, to know everything.

Friday, February 1, 2008

New Year Resolutions

Hmm. I think there are too many things in my life. I am a collector. A collector of things and of things to do. The things make for clutter (and many many full shoeboxes) and the things to do, I'm coming to the realisation, make for nothing done that well. A Jack of all trades, master of none, that's me. I realise this every time I read bon's blog. Not only does she write prolifically, but it's always interesting, thought provoking and often heart wrenching. Writing is what Bonnies do betht you might say (but you might be wrong, 'cause I'm betting she's also pretty good at Mummying, Wifeying and I know she's great at Teaching). Anyway, I digress. Back to me. I do many things, none of which I ever seem to have time for. What I've been trying to figure out is why I never have time for them. Is it because there are lots of them or is it because I'm useless at time management? Do I waste time? I think, truthfully, the tv wastes a lot of it for me. I don't turn it on, but once it's on I seem to have a real problem not watching it. Even if it is something as stupid as Next Top Model.

So because I never seem to have enough time I feel I don't do anything well enough. I don't write enough posts. The posts I do write are usually just a couple of tidbits of Eulish or a whole heap of photos. I do okay at the keeping-track-of-the-kids side of things, but the producing-thought-provoking-pieces-of-writing bit lets me down. I must say, I think more reading would help on this side of things, but again, more reading is something I don't seem to have enough time for. Mostly I read the Bulletin on the toilet, but seeing as that Australian Institution has shut up shop I may be doomed to complete ignorance of the world outside Bundoora. Which leads me to another thing I don't do so well, keep up with current affairs. This one I can not blame entirely on not enough time. It has always been something I forced myself to pay attention to rather than was actively interested in.

There are numerous other 'things to do': scrap booking the family photos (Euey's album, Aoife's album and the family album, plus keeping all the digital photos in some sort of organised manner); creating and updating family trees for both my sides of the family and Will's side and putting them on the family website I created (currently missing large branches); correspondence with numerous friends in far away lands (also not so up-to-date); keeping baby books for both kids; researching potential jobs for when I finally finish this damn law degree; researching potential areas of interest for a potential honours thesis; sewing; facebook; and lots of little organising things that will hopefully give me more time to do the other things but often just end up eating away at the time I have got.

So. What to do? I don't want to stop doing any of these things. And besides, I have done this all my life, this doing of too many things. So I need to figure out where I'm wasting time and stop doing it. Tv is the obvious answer. If anyone has any ideas on how not to watch a tv when it's on (that don't involve turning it off or defenestrating it) they would be greatly appreciated.

So, does not wasting time end up on my list of New Year Resolutions? Nope. You see, I have never made resolutions before. I always thought they are just promises you make to yourself and then end up breaking, so I didn't bother making them in the first place. This year I decided I would make two small, simple, doable resolutions. Not wasting time, when you don't know where you're wasting it, or even if you are, is not a small or simple resolution, so this is what I resolved:

1. Do the dishes before I go to bed.

2. Write more snail mail (it's fun to receive, much more personal and the kids can help)

So far I'm doing well on both counts. I've done the dishes every night (and WOW does it make a difference to my mornings) and I've sent 4 letters. Although I'm not sure either will help with my lack of time problem.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Chrissy Questions

I've been working. Yep. And loving it. But it doesn't leave much time for much else (especially after the washing, dishes, lunch making etc). So I have just read the couple of blogs I try to keep in touch with and came across this list of questions on Catha's blog. Sounds like fun. I am a HUGE Christmas fan. The antithesis of Scrooge.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

Ahh. Questions written by a Nth American I see. A good cold beer for me thanks (or some of Cath's Dad's punch if I'm lucky enough ... and brave enough ... and not breastfeeding).

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

Puts them unwrapped in the Santa Sack.

3. Coloured lights on tree/house or white?

Lights on house for the first time this year. I've always wanted to do it but couldn't be bothered rigging up the electricity. This time, as I pulled the lights out I tripped over an extension cord, so up went the lights on the varandah. Oh yeah, they're coloured. And the ones on the tree flash differently when you press the button, and they're coloured too. And the ones over the door are white and the other ones are white but have little Santa covers on them (does that count as white or coloured? What a weird thing to ask anyway? Do people have a real preference on such things?).

4. Do you hang mistletoe?

Wouldn't even know where to get some.

5. When do you put your decorations up?

Not before December, but as soon as December starts I start gathering my thoughts and trying to find a tree.

6. What is your favourite holiday dish?

Ham. The ham that you can only buy around Xmas. Cold ham on the bone. I have already bought and eaten my first leg of ham this year.

7. Favourite Holiday memory?

My memory sucks. I love holidays while they last though!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

I have a vague memory of being in Mum and Dad's bathroom when it happened. Told you my memory sucked.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

No. Of course not. What a question. Is Christmas Eve Christmas? No!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?

With balls, lights and tinsel? How else do you decorate a tree? This year the balls, lights and tinsel all start about 2 feet off the ground so Aoife can't eat them.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?

I'm sorry, I just can't rival this answer from Cath so I have to copy/paste it. I haven't laughed so hard in a while - part in the writing and part in recognition of the picture the writing painted.

never much thought about it at christmas time ("6 white boomers" for me, no "i'm dreaming of a white christmas") until a few years ago when i was in korea for my first potential white christmas. in truth, it ended up being just plain cold. yeah there was snow... but snow isn't as romantic when it's been turned into brown sludge by the traffic and there's some korean dude at the bottom of the hill trying to dig his car out of the ice with his shoe. this year, i'm pretty much dreading it. but i'll be ok... sigh...

12. Can you ice skate?

Yep. Not well. Not like a Canadian. Not backwards. But yep, I can get around and have fun.

13. Do you remember your favourite gift?

Refer above. I tend to like anything that's wrapped up and a surprise so there's been lots of favourites.

14. What's the most important thing about Christmas?

Family. (Presents are a very close second).

15. What is your favourite Holiday Dessert?

I used to hate Chrissy Pudding 'til the Christmas I was first pregnant. That Christmas I hate 3 helpings and I haven't looked back since. Although, even when I didn't like it I still loved the tradition of putting the sixpences in it.

16. What is your favourite holiday tradition?

Handing out the presents from under the tree. It was usually me and one or two other of the cousins who did it.

16.5 What is your least favourite holiday tradition?

Who has a least favourite holiday tradition??? That is just a weird concept. Everything about holidays is fun, and if it isn't it certainly doesn't become a tradition.

17. What tops your tree?

This year it's a really funky reindeer. Usually it's some dodgy handmade vague star-shaped affair.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?


19. Favourite Christmas Song?

There's one floating around on YouTube about a Holden Ute to the tune of Dashing through the snow. I'm not a fan of Christmas music on the whole, but that one is gold.

P.S. Will has just located the song and informed me it's to the tune of Jingle Bells, which happens to usually have 'Dashing through the snow' as a first line - told you I wasn't really big on Christmas music.