Thursday, October 26, 2006


Team sports..

I'm not quite sure how it happened. One minute it was me reminding Marc that Caitlin was interested in getting a Touch team to play in - and he got her a team. Next thing my whole Wednesday afternoon has gone up in smoke.

I took Cait up to the first trial game last Wednesday, and saw the Kids Touch happening, and a few of the girls that Zoe knows from school and netball. "Where's Zoe?" I rang Zoe. "Do you want to give Touch a go?".... "Yeah, ok". So I signed her up. ( I love the attitude she has finally developed.. she now has the confidence to get in and have a go at all sports, and now considers herself to be 'one of the sporty ones' at school. And she wasn't a natural at it.. not like the other two.)

So, while I'm here, does Alison want to have a go in Juniors? Ah, yeah.. maybe... ok. 'I don't know how to play". "You'll learn.. if nothing else, Dad can give you tips." Turned up yesterday, Alison gets a team as well. So I now have the whole family, bar me, playing Touch. I'm the black sheep of the family when it comes to these team sports.. my role seems to be serving as recreation coordinator (and taxi driver)! If nothing else then I guess I am putting my Recreation programming studies from college into practice. With my kids.

I never really played team sports... still remember being mortified at primary school sport netball when noone would throw me the ball... and my loathing for netball festered from then on. (How ironic that I am now Secretary of the local netball association.)

The only sport my parents introduced me to out of school was tennis, and that was what I played all through my childhood and teenage years. They still have this idea that tennis is a team sport.. and yeah, sure you join a team, and play doubles.. but it's not really the same as a REAL team sport.

They signed me up to join their golf club when I was in about Year 11... As golfers they always had this idea that golf was a great leveller - you could "play" with anyone of any standard because of the handicap system. All I remember about golf was being sent out to play a round with the junior club champions, and being unbelievably embarrassed and humiliated as they watched me air swing several times, and hack my way up the fairways that they got up in a couple of shots. I don't think I ever went back again after that excruciating experience. And golf would be one of the least likely sports I am ever likely to play again in my life.

At college I had a go at softball, and soccer... (mainly because I was doing Rec units on Team Sports).. but by that age, I never really had the experience behind me to feel confident at playing any team games. I even did a 'research' project for one of my other Rec units on how people's experiences with team sports as a kid can either break or make their participation in team sports forever. I found others like me who'd had bad experiences, and it put them off the sport for life. I maintained that team sports can give amazingly positive experiences.. but also incredibly negative ones too for those who aren't nurtured with their childhood experiences.

Needless to say the Soccer mad Scottish lecturer didn't really place much credence in my hypothesis!! Because he lived and breathed football.

I am mindful of it all though, so I guess I am aiming to give my kids a range of positive team sports experiences. (The older two did have tennis lessons but lost interest. I feel that I should give Zoe a chance of playing tennis, but the weekly programme is getting insane.)

As for me.. Marc got me playing volleyball when we were first married (and I felt a certain security in being on the opposite side of the net to my opponents, but I was never that good at it.) More recently I had a go at women's 6 a-side soccer, but hated it because I didn't have a clue what I was doing (nor did the team.) If we'd been coached it might have made a difference.

So, I'm really happy for my kids to be trying all these team sports. And contrary to my parents' opinion, team sports do make for great socialisers in your adulthood. Marc has been able to join a Touch team wherever we have lived. I see the women netballers at our local association having a great time each Saturday afternoon.

So Touch it is for this season. And another afternoon with 2 hours for me spent on the sideline! Caitlin will be playing mixed netball as of next Tuesday in a social twilight comp. She's helped rope in a couple of guys from school..

Cross country is over for the summer... but all us girls will be swimming. Caitlin is going to swim in my adult squad on Friday arvos.

And of course we have our bike riding.

Think we are doing ok in the positive experience/healthy physical activity stakes. It helps that there are great things happening for kids in local sports associations.

Probably the only real achievement would be for me to do a complete turnaround and learn to play a team sport. (I am already working on an idea for a beginners netball clinic for grown ups! - I wonder if I can sell it to my committee?!!)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


One trip down, one to go...

(... well, till Christmas anyway...)

Back from our mad 1000km return trip to Sydney - for a 50km bike ride! Trying not to think of the greenhouse gases produced in order to participate in an event that is essentially promoting a non-Greenhouse gas producing pastime.

It was fun, especially because this year we caught up with a whole pile of other tandem riders that we met on the Big Ride. 50km was a snack (the only hard part was avoiding all the other riders.. many of whom are a bit erratic.) I think it's the car travel that makes you more tired than the bike riding. And the 'fun things' that happen along the way.

I'll be writing up the ride on my biking blog. Sometime this week. When I find the energy. (I seem to have lost a bit of blogging enthusiasm amidst the sea of laundry and gear I should be putting away.) Might double up on some stuff. Meantime there were a few 'highlights' to the trip worth sharing..

Unsurprisingly, we (meaning me and the kids) weren't really packed on Friday... what with Zoe's birthday, and swimming lessons for 3 of us from 3.30 till 6.30. Fortunately Cait had got over her 'unreasonableness' (for the time being), and she stayed home and made a cake for Zoe.

Marc pulled into the driveway behind us, at around 7pm (good timing, wot!) and we whizzed up a 'Zoe's choice' birthday dinner - of BBQ sausages, pasta, and 'salad with avocado in it' (which was the choice if I didn't have sugar snap peas!! - turns out, I discovered only last night, she is confused between sugar snaps, snow peas, and beans - and I could have given her snow peas, but anyway, avocado is a big favourite, so that was ok.)

Needless to say it was getting late, and noone had packed.. and we were hoping to get away around 8.30 in the morning! Sent them upstairs with a typed-up packing list, thinking that shouldn't be too hard for kids who are getting pretty used to packing for themselves. We have had the odd thing forgotten before, but I thought the typed list should cover that. I thought that was pretty clever of me, actually. Hmmm. Didn't count on the priority suddenly being given to getting music onto mp3 players - especially music from Zoe's new birthday CD. And the fact that Caitlin wanted to locate the second CD walkman (which appeared to be in hiding somewhere and still hasn't been found) so that she could listen to a CD of a Dr Who story someone had lent her.

They were finally sent to bed with orders to 'finish packing in the morning'.

I was probably asking too much of Zoe (especially on top of the distraction of all the new birthday presents) - so I had to pretty much do her bag for her in the morning. She'd been told a few times though, that it was up to her to make sure she had everything she needed for the car ride itself. Thought the other two should be sorted though.

We headed off around 9.00, which wasn't too bad, all things considered. Stopped at Coffs for petrol... and thought we were cruising. Realised that Zoe forgot to pack the earphones for the walkman. Last trip away she took the walkman and forgot to take any cds. This time she was armed with a new cd case for her birthday, so had cds, and a walkman, but had no way of listening to them unless she borrowed someone else's earphones. Then they realised the batteries had also died. Caitlin was also complaining for most of the trip that her earphones were dodgy, one ear would only work intermittently. Happy days... Maybe one trip everyone is going to be prepared, and cocooned in their own little world of the music of their choice, without bothering us in the front!!!

Stopped at Port for lunch (at the dreaded Maccas.. which I'm getting a bit 'over' these days)... and Marc realised that the aluminium extension to the bike carrier rack that has carried the green tandem over many kms (but mostly on the roof rack) had sheared through. The trailer suspension was obviously way too hard. Couldn't cope. Problem. No drill, no bolts... This was a job for Super Field Technician. (Lucky that's part of his job description - well, just one of the expectations of his job - troubleshooting fix-its in the field when you don't necessarily have every tool you could wish for.) We detoured into Port to Bunnings. He bought another bit of wood to slide under the back end of the rack - and lashed it on with rope. And a bit of gal pipe to lie along the aluminium, (and the join) - and taped that on with duct tape. My man. He is very clever. The jaws that clamped the downtube of the triplet had also fallen off!! (They have a problem too.. the 'padding' inside the jaws was wearing off.. and had actually scratched the paintwork on the bike - through some foam padding that didn't work. Eep. So, more padding with rags for that part on both bikes.. and taping them up a bit with good old electrical tape.)

While he was completing the fixit- job, the girls were mucking around in the car, and Alison realised that Zoe (who was wearing a short denim skirt) HAD NO UNDIES ON !!! (And she has just been down a slide in the playground in the hardware store - where there were boys!) We were all flabbergasted. She is now 8 - and she forgot to put undies on. With a skirt. And it didn't occur to her at any point that she had no undies on. With a skirt. No, I didn't think that that was something I needed to check on anymore. Lucky we were travelling away, so she at least had a pair to put on, and we set off again, still shaking our heads about that, and checking every 5 minutes on the bikes.

The patch up job had extended the travelling time, and I was really starting to stress about the arrangements I'd made with my sister to go to a children's art show at my nephew's school - (with his artwork in it of course). Couldn't see how we'd get showered and dinnered at my parent's place, out to the show, and back in bed at a decent time. Contacted her and she was able to pass on the tickets to some other relos, so we skipped that. At my parent's place we had to move a car out of the carport.. back the trailer up their driveway (only possible because of having the 4WD and he could engage low range) - while I propped up the branches of a tree that overhung the driveway. Mum and Dad were away, so we had the house to ourselves. Ate spag bol that I'd brought, and got everyone, including myself, into bed at a reasonable time.

Up at 5.30. (I always go through this 'why am I here and getting up at this insane time' feeling, which lasts till I get going and have a good time... I will just never ever be a 'morning person'.) We were aiming to leave by 6.30. Doing ok... till Alison approaches me. Borderline tears. "Mum. I've accidentally got two left shoes." (New joggers = same as old joggers, only a size bigger. Old joggers = not been thrown out yet, don't ask me why, just slack. - In her 'hurry' to pack (and organise her mp3s) she has picked up one of the old shoes. It couldn't have been an old one, but the other foot, would it?!)

Shit. (Probably said worse than "shit", actually.)

What the HELL are we going to do about this? Can't take the kid on a ride in thongs. Can't make her wear a left shoe on the right foot.

*Thinking... thinking....* OK. What if...? Caitlin wears my joggers. (I wear bike shoes to ride). And Alison wears Cait's shoes. *hold breath.*.Will Cait agree?... yes. Uh-oh.. not so fast. I wear orthotics, so I cut my inner sole, so only the front bit of it is in my shoes. Pretty uncomfortable for someone else to wear my shoes like that. Cait takes her inner soles from her shoes (after all, it's Alison's problem,...) Alison can put in one inner sole, but then of course then has the two left inner sole problem. She ends up cutting up the old one, and wearing double socks. Or something. We left her to it with instructions not to complain. It didn't seem to stop her running around (at the finish).. She just now has to contend with Caitlin saying "You owe me" for the rest of her life. (And believe me, that is the case, although this morning Alison has belatedly remembered a time when Caitlin accidentally took one of Alison's shoes to school - to change into for netball)... and Alison had to go to school in one of Cait's and one of hers, and I had to chase Cait up at school, and do a swap! - yes, seems we Schmidts have issues with shoes!)

After all that we made the start for our 8am meeting time.. after one of our famous navigational spats.. where I failed to deciper the on and off ramps of the expressway at North Sydney in the street directory when under pressure from the Driver. Last year he followed his nose, and got us there. This year he insists I figure out where to go from the street directory.. questions my call when I make it.. so I say ' ah.. oh... maybe not, I can't actually SEE where Alfred St is - if you think that's the more northerly off-ramp, then maybe there's one more'.. But there wasn't and we end up making an unnecessary (and toll paying) crossing of the Harbour Bridge. (We did get to see all the other bikes who had already started riding over the bridge, including a unicycle!!)

Same parking as last year, no worries. Getting everything sorted, and along comes one of the tandem riders from the Big Ride that we were arranging to meet at the start. This time his wife is with them on her single bike. She rolls up, looks at Marc, and says "I know you!" When she took her sunnies off, he recognised her. She knew both of us from working on the Sport and Rec camps, .. way back. (I had met Marc through the Sport & Rec camps.) I am struggling to remember her specifically - but then again I DIDN'T GO OUT WITH HER ONCE like he did. Apparently! LOL.

Small world. He is still pretty freaked about that coincidence, though.

So the ride went well... and we caught up with another family at the finish. And Marc caught the train back to North Sydney to get the car no worries... and we got back to Nana's (Marc's mum) at Tea Gardens for dinner. I'd had grand plans of getting away on Monday morning in time to make my 1.30pm swimming class, but I didn't have the heart to wake everyone up early. (Including myself.) Caitlin got STROPPY when the other two woke her up with their giggling and stuff (at around 8 am mind you!)... and immediately called in the 'You Owe Me' line, which Alison naturally rejected but also decided was reason to be more annoying . So Alison got a serve (for being annoying, but at least she hangs her head and doesn't answer back.) We spent about 15 mins with Caitlin, doing the 'what is reasonable' talk.. and the 'let it go - exactly how long are you going to milk this for?' talk (especially when Alison HAS been given a talking to, and what do you want me to do, ring the police and get her arrested or what?) ... and the 'don't ruin a good deed by attaching price tags to it' talk.

As it turns out, even if we'd left by 8.00, I might have had problems getting to swimming. The trip was going ok, though Marc was still paranoid about how the bikes were faring on the trailer. At Kempsey, I took over the driving (boosted by the caffeine ingestion from the 'tall' cappuccino takeaway I'd brought with me from lunch.) He promptly went to sleep (as he always does when I drive, because the only time he doesn't drive is when he's too tired - and possibly he can't handle being aware of my driving.) I was under instructions to keep an eye on the bikes through the rear vision mirror. I was .. indeed I was. When I didn't have my eyes glued to the road, especially through some of the more notorious stretches of the Pacific Highway south of Urunga. At one point I'd woken him up to ask for his judgement on the bikes.. and whether the wheel wobbling was within the 'ok' parameter. He'd said yes, and dropped off again.

Just as we were coming into Urunga, (and I'd only just checked again), he woke up.. looked around, and then let forth with a curse. One of the aluminium struts he'd bolted on to each bike had sheared through. Of course the one from the Triplet. Couldn't I see the strut wasn't there? (Trust me, a minute ago it had been!!).... *sighs... why does this always happen to me?*

So, a prolonged stop at Urunga while he had to come up with a way of tying down the triplet.. by untying the lashings, using one rope for 2 sides for that, thereby freeing up a rope.

Needless to say he drove the rest of the way, and would have spent the whole time thinking about how to get the bikes back up on the roof racks again... where there is not such a force imposed on the bikes as there is bouncing around on an unloaded trailer.

And we had more of the 'you owe me' crap, over lending of earphones, the complexity of which is too daunting to go into even here.. but which summarises as Caitlin being manipulative, and doing the 'every good turn deserves payback even if you don't realise it at the time' thing. Which is all quite exhausting from a 'how the hell do I deal with THIS one' parenting point of view.

Within half an hour of getting home, I was driving Cait back into town for netball training... and shopping for something for dinner. Marc then headed off for Touch. And.. hey ho... we were home and back into the week.

And we're going to do it all again in a fortnight!! Well, more or less. We're riding the bikes nearly twice as far, and the Monday we'll be driving twice the distance home. I'll need twice as long to get over it.

Friday, October 20, 2006


Karma again.

Didn't I say someone would get sick? Probaby not exactly what I was talking about, but after a day of resolutions and yee-ha exercising, I woke up yesterday morning with a migraine-y kind of headache. [I hesitate to call it a full blown migraine as I don't suffer like real migraine sufferers do, but I get the nausea bit, which is not conducive to being at all 'with it' or capable of doing anything constructive.]

So I basically did nothing much all day. Took tablets that didnt' really work. Marc said he'd pick up what I was going to go to town for.. so I took myself off to bed. Dozed for a bit, though a storm was coming in (unusually in the middle of the day) and I was always aware of this grumbling sound, and then a short, light shower of rain while I pondered the few things I had hanging on the clothesline.)

I would feel better, then get up to do something, then feel crap again, so I'd sit back down, drink tea, and try to think myself better.. mostly to no avail.

Got Zoe to ballet after school... and when I picked her up, I made it to the local supermarket to pick up a few things.. and managed to make tuna pie for dinner. (An old recipe I used to do to death when I first moved out of home. Noone likes it that much.. but I do because of the yummy cheese biscuit base. Zoe picked out the capsicum (but then ate it when I asked her to - she tries so hard to be good!). Caitlin picked out the tuna!! and didn't eat it when I asked her to. (She doesn't try at all to be good.) Alison as always is a gem when it comes to eating. She's our eating machine. Marc's not that keen on tinned fish, but he eats what he's given at least.

And then all hell broke loose with the Diva. Some 'straw breaking the camel's back' incident (over her not putting dirty clothes in the wash), and both Marc and I cracked. Banned her from the computer, because it's her obsession with it that has pushed things over the edge.

Being the child/teenager she is (she has ADD - Attitudinal Defiance Disorder - I reckon.) she cracked back... and it was on.

Let's just say that it is as if she's read all the books about how to be a defiant little b****; and we've obviously been studying up on How to Do Everything Wrong as the Parent of a Teenager.

When you deliver "consequences".. punishment.. whatever you want to call it, you basically don't expect that she will return fire. Basically, you expect her to put up and shut up. Not this one. Hauls out the artillery, and it's retaliation time.. guns blazing. Her ammunition usually includes:

Having a reasonable discussion with her is not an option. Think the Brady Bunch style chats where Mum or Dad sit on the end of the bed and it all gets sorted out? Not that. Doesn't happen here. [It can and does with the other two, but has NEVER worked with her.... and I don't have a clue what I've done wrong or different with her....]

Marc did manage to talk for a little while this morning with her, before voices got raised again. He pointed out that both 'sides' needed to be more reasonable. That we would try to be more 'reasonable' about some things that we had cracked about, but that she had to realise the things she wasn't being 'reasonable' about.

It would have been nice if she had been more reasonable in terms of being 'involved' in her sister's birthday this morning. As I predicted, Alison went in to her to see if she wanted to be involved in getting up and giving Zoe the CD they'd talked about them giving her and got the response "No. Piss off." Nice. Later, Zoe got a terse "Happy Birthday". And that was it.

Lucky Zoe was able to ride through that sort of crap, and enjoy the limelight with the rest of the family. Our alarm went off around 7.00 but I'd sort of been awake, half expecting her to land on our bed reminding us about what day it was. All quiet.. so I started singing "Happy Birthday to you... happy birthday to youuuu"... and surprise, surprise, she was up the stairs in a flash.

Seemed happy with her pressies. A bedside light that will clamp on her bed. A big heart shaped, pink, fluffy cushion. Two (pink) bags.. one small for shopping (to fit her purse) and a slightly bigger one that she can fit STUFF in when we go on car trips, etc. A cd wallet that has a pocket for the CD walkman. A fluffy rug. And some notebooks and hair clips.

She seemed happy.

This morning I've made cupcakes and taken them up to school with candles and paper towels. (The teacher loves me because she doesn't have to cut any cake up.)

This morning I've also spent a while on quotations for home contents cover that will cover our bikes - here and away.

And I need to get up and get some stuff packed for leaving tomorrow. Still have swimming lessons this afternoon... and need to buy sausages (for BBQ birthday dinner).

Despite feeling like crap yesterday, I did manage to wash up everything after dinner. (My concession to FlyLady's polished sink mania is actually achieving the washing up of all the cooking stuff - all the time - that would be a BIG CHANGE in the right direction.)

I don't feel 100% terrific today, but there's no use complaining. Hopefully the HLEE's will fix me up after my swimming class this afternoon.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006


This is why I need a kick up the backside...

Being the slacko that I am (all very interesting and doing meaningful things with the family... that's me... )... I'm not the sort of person who gets stressed about unpacking all the shopping on the same day that I bring it home. Why do today what you leave till tomorrow... that's my motto.

Yesterday I picked up a few things at the supermarket. Two green bags.. not a big shop. Unpacked the cold stuff out of one.. plus the OJ I'd kept loose.

Today, while doing my kitchen blitz, I tackle the other bag. Oh BUM. Package of yoghurt tubs. Not inexpensive. Like maybe even $5 worth. Still there. Overnight. Half of today. Yeah, it's the supermarket checkout person's fault for NOT PUTTING ALL THE COLD THINGS TOGETHER IN THE ONE BAG. Of course.

If Marc reads this, he will kick my backside for me. (If I try to do it myself, I will look like a dork and fall over and probably smash my head against the furniture.) The garbage truck hadn't been yet.. so I cringed and dumped it out the front in the bin. Along with a tray of frozen pork chops I did the same thing with.. oh... about a year ago, and froze, thinking I'd feed _them_ to the dog, only I left it so long, and now we have no dog.

A couple of weeks ago I ruined this really nice glass pot stand that Mum gave me (with pretty native flowers on it)... because I put it on one of the hot plates when it was off, and of course, put the wrong hot plate on, and melted the backing onto the hotplate (= one ruined hot plate).. and now the glass plate has a melted through coil pattern on it.) And Marc has said to me again and again "STOP PUTTING ANYTHING OTHER THAN SAUCEPANS ON THE HOTPLATES - YOU KNOW YOU END UP MELTING PLASTIC OR RUINING THINGS". But I still did.

I DO need to change. At least SOME things about me. I can humour myself all I like about being different, and interesting, and even slightly crazy... and go all "Ah HAH!" when I see or read things about kids getting more sick because of houses being too clean and them not getting the antibodies they should be getting.. and so of course that is why my kids don't have asthma, and probably get a below average number of stomach bugs (now that I have put that in print, never mind thought it, someone will throw up in the next week now, whether or not I "touch wood") because my house is 'CLEAN ENOUGH TO BE HEALTHY AND DIRTY ENOUGH TO BE HAPPY' ...

*gasps for breath....*

But the reality is that my house is a pigsty, and I waste money and ruin things. And I need to make some changes.

Baby steps... baby steps...

There are so many things I need to change with myself, that I get bogged down in it all.. wallow around, and don't change at all. (One day I tried to compile a mental list of things I liked about myself and what I do/how I do things, and I struggled to come up with much at all..)

Every now and then a friend makes a reference to FlyLady. I've checked her out before, and decided it's a bit too full on for me. I could never be that organised... and I'd never manage to get past her first step of polishing the sink!!

But as my friend pointed out yesterday, she just takes the bits that suit her. And I thought What a good idea! I was browsing the Flylady website, and one thing hit home. She said, get dressed and PUT YOUR SHOES ON in the morning.. ready for action. As I was reading it, I realised that I was indeed committing the 'inaction' error she was talking about. I had my slippers on.. so that meant I was putting off hanging out clothes, putting the garbage and recycling out, etc.

I resolved that that was one FlyLady strategy I could adapt. Easy. This morning I put my joggers on straight away, and I did indeed feel more ready for action. I got the garbage out, and, actually, I've taken the car to the mechanics for a service, and done a 45 min walk back down the beach home again. (And I got sand in my shoes, so I've taken them off, and I worked up an appetite, so I've been sitting here with coffee, eating snacks, and reading blogs ever since, but anyway... I'm about to get moving again...)

And it ticks two things off my SHOULD DO list for today. For ANY day. Exercise. And I got up and put my shoes on.

Now.. the question is.. do I read up more on Flylady... or get up, hang the washing out, cut up some green waste for the green waste bin... (which I might have just missed, I can hear a truck..)... clean up the kitchen (and the sink)... do the ironing, vacuum the floor, and walk back up to get the car sometime this arvo.?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Shopping missions, and moanings

Had a mission today. Dream up something for Zoe's birthday... which is this Friday. My baby is turning 8... which is scary in itself. What was also disturbing was that I really had no idea what to get her. Basically she doesn't really need anything in particular. As the third of 3 girls, she has plenty of books, games, toys, clothes. They all get bought stuff they need from time to time.. (it's not like she always wears or uses hand-me-downs) but birthdays (and christmas) end up being a time of trying to dream up something a bit special.

Zoe, out of the three of them, is the one most likely to wax lyrical about anything you gave her. She is the least materialistic... and is the epitomy of the child who appreciates anything. Every birthday is the BEST, BEST, BEST birthday ever, ever, ever... and her mum and dad are the best mum and dad in the WHOLE universe (fair dinkum!! ... well that's what she called back over her shoulder as she ran out the door to school this morning.)

But while you could get away with giving her anything, of course you want to give her something nice. 'Cos you love her and want to spoil her! And 'cos you want to treat them all evenly, and make her feel special and get a surprise, and feel excited.

But at the same time, I'm getting more and more jaded with the crappy toys out there. So much plastic junk! She doesn't need any more of it, and she has no space for any more of it! And the world is going crazy with materialism, and I am a part of the problem because I get sucked in to an extent every birthday and each christmas.

So I drifted around the shops for a couple of hours, and was no closer to a solution (and starting to get quite stressed)... and agreed to meet Marc for lunch on the condition that he come up with an idea.

To his credit he did. Nothing outrageous (I won't post here yet in case she happens to read my blog!)... but a sensible idea.

So I raced around, found one thing he suggested, and one thing that will do for what he suggested, and came away happy that she will love everything I got her. And so now I am looking forward to Friday morning.

In the meantime though, I have to contribute to my Shopping Gripes list... one I sort of started when I had a bit of a whinge about shopping for kids' clothes and shoes.

Here is another one:

UPDATE from yesterday.

There is a god. ;) .. or I was just on the receiving end of some good karma. It rained (which is always needed these days, so despite it being annoying, you never, never complain about rain anymore.) Marc's Touch was cancelled, so he was able to leave work, pick up the netball girls, who were finishing at 6.00 (instead of 6.30) because of the rain.. so the other two were only left for about half an hour. (And the hour it took me to drive the netball girls into town and pick up something for dinner on the way back.)


Monday, October 16, 2006


Back to school.

The end of the school holidays caught up with us, and this morning was a pretty dismal performance.

Alison and Zoe missed the bus (fortunately for them Marc was heading to work around 9.00 so was able to drop them off on the way.)

The only thing I got right was having ironed all their school uniforms on Saturday.. though I had to do a quick job on Cait's long pants (the day dawning rainy and cool again and I'd lazily passed on ironing those thinking they wouldn't see the light of day again till autumn next year and sent them unironed to be scrunched up in her wardrobe!).. and a school jacket.

Alison sat fiddling around with pencils and pencil cases, deciding what to pack to take back to school.

Zoe splattered toothpaste all over the front of her school shirt.

Zoe couldn't find even ONE hairband.. the one that was located promptly broke as I tried to put her hair in a pony tail.

Alison couldn't find the plastic lunchbox she usually sits in her soft cooler lunch box. I unearthed both hers and Zoe's soft cooler boxes from the laundry where I'd dumped them to wash/bleach but didn't. Caitlin pulled hers out of her bag, and found a cockroach in it. I think it is still outside where she threw it.

At one point I sat on the end of the lounge, curled up almost into a foetal postion, and considered staying there all day.

Failure. Failure. Failure.

It's all because we went out all day yesterday.. on a bike ride.

I was so busy being pathetic the rest of the holidays, that I had no time to nag people to unpack school bags, and wash cooler bags. Did I.

The exercise yesterday helped me a bit, psychologically. I didn't feel inexplicably teary on the way back (just on the way down.) And maybe I've reached the critical point in my cycle where I might be capable of clawing my way out of my PMS excuse cloud - for a couple of weeks at least. Although I am sure I have documented in the past my belief that there is possibly such a thing as Post Menstrual Stress.

Tonight is another netball committee meeting, and, as with almost every other thing in my life at the moment, I am struggling to feel enthusiastic. Got the 'don't cares'. Got the the 'I don't even play this bloody game, so I don't really give a .....'s' It was a big year, and I could really do with a break from it, but the secretarial job doesn't really end.. and they are running a bloody twilight comp, and I have to be available for rego tomorrow night, and ..... blah...

Meetings at night are always a pain for me. Babysitting issues. Caitlin is often at netball training in town (getting a lift home by about 7pm). Marc is away half the time, and when he isn't, he plays Touch on Monday nights. I have used the president's husband for babysitting on numerous occasions, but it's basically a hassle packing them up to go there.. either eating by 5.30, or taking food with them. And having dinner for a ravenous Caitlin as soon as she is dropped off there after training.

Yesterday I looked up Marc's Touch game time in the paper, and, as it turns out, read it to be the time I wanted it to be, and not the time it actually was. I had it all planned that this time I'd take the younger girls with me when I dropped the netballers in town, drop them off with Marc, they could go with him to his 6pm Touch game, then come home. Cait could let herself in and eat. I decided the menu for tonight based on that plan. Something Cait could serve herself with quickly when she got in.

As Marc climbs into bed last night he informs me that I had it wrong. He plays at 7pm. D'oh. Had a sleepless half hour trying to decide whether to a) ditch the meeting altogether (but I am a control freak and don't want anyone else doing MY minutes, or making decisions without me); b) do the babysitting at friend's option (but that's a pain in the arse meal-wise, plus it makes the night even later for them) or c) leave the younger two at home, with Marc on the end of the phone and skype at the office till 6.45, by which time Cait will almost be home (plus they can ring me in the meeting, I don't care.)

Going with c). And will stress myself out while doing so.

Meantime, I have alleviated the stress of not having done the minutes.. they are done, and all I have to do now is refill the ink in my printer. (And there was no majorly important correspondence that I was supposed to have done and forgotten.)

My swimming class is back and happening this afternoon, so hopefully that will make me feel better as well. I woke up with a bit of a headache... so hopefully the HLEE's will all dance around gleefully and help me get my shit together by tonight.

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Saturday, October 14, 2006


Groundhog day...

Well, I'm in danger of making it so, because of my inability to get up and do anything.

Only difference is that it's a Saturday. Usually a weekend day is different, but Marc is at a Touch Footy tournament all day. Alison is at a party all day. It's me and the other two.

Cait is slothing on the lounge. Again.

Zoe is at the computer. Again.

So am I.

I didn't do any housework yesterday. One of those 'where the hell do I start?' issues.. so I didn't t start. I ducked out to the shops, and managed to produce a reasonable lamb roast for dinner. I did put a few loads of washing on the line, including washing the kids' bed sheets, so I had to make up beds at bedtime. (Wouldn't be me if I didn't leave it till then.)

As an illustration of how lethargic I feel, I didn't nag them to do much at all yesterday. Caitlin was still in her pyjamas at about 5pm. I got back from the shops and yelled at them to bloody well go outside because they had been inactive all day.

Zoe hassled me about what we were going to do for her birthday party. It is her birthday next Friday, but we will be going down to Sydney for the bike ride, so we will have to postpone it till the following weekend. I feel so guilty that I have no enthusiasm for it at all. That's a crime! She is only turning 8, and deserves her mum to be all 'into' making her birthday fun. This is me, of novelty cake fame... (one day I will redo those webpages) but it's like I've run out of fuel. I don't get much in the way of assistance from Marc. If he is here he will come along, but he's not one of these yee-ha party dads. She's had little parties most years.. not many kids (by her own choice), but I try and make them fun. Last year one of the boys she invited swung on the clothesline and broke it... and that was after he was being a pain in the neck anyway, and not participating in the games.

The older girls do help me with her parties, and have done for a few years. But I still just can't get into the mood for it. We are talking about going ten pin bowling, so I suppose we will do that. But I don't want to pay for the catered party - of crappy, fatty food. So I suppose we will go to a park afterwards, for cake, like we did for Alison. A platter of fruit, and birthday cake.

Should put Caitlin onto designing the invitation....

And pull myself out of this spin into Groundhog day.

Friday, October 13, 2006


And I planned to do what today?

Oh Procrastination Queen.

I was going to attack the house with gusto today. With a bit of discipline, I could be a Domestic Goddess for a day, surely. Just one day, I could achieve something and even feel good about doing so. So much that needs doing... so much that has gone beyond 'My house is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy.' (which was a plaque my paternal grandmother had on her wall, so my lack of housekeeping skills are patently genetic.)

The dust bunnies are cavorting everywhere.. and it is getting out of hand.

So I'll get stuck into it.

Just after this cup of coffee.

And another cup of coffee.

And now it's lunchtime, so I should eat first and then get stuck into it.

And after I read this, this, and.. oh... that... on the net.

And find it hard to not watch yet another Dr Who episode that Cait the Holiday Sloth has put on to watch.

And post in my blog about how I'm procrastinating.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


A good excuse for being crappy?

In early August I had a polyp removed from my cervix. Among other symptoms, my period had been a bit erratic.. and erring on the side of coming early - like every 3 weeks or thereabouts. I don't know if that particular part was related to the polyp (seems I also have a uterine fibroid, and an ovarian cyst, which will be checked up on again in a couple of week's time.)

But now I've gone to the other extreme. This time I've been at least 2 weeks overdue, till it finally started properly today. (I've recorded the dates (for the gyno) but they are in a notebook upstairs... but it's at least 2 weeks,I'm sure.) Thankfully I'm not too peturbed about the usual reason for being late. (Think in the last 7 years we've been able to prove that his contribution to permanent contraception for us has worked...)... But I've been wondering if the prolonged build up has, in a PMS-y kind of way, contributed to my general feeling of crappiness over the past few weeks. Because I've been feeling pretty crappy over the past few weeks.

Bummer of a trade off, really. What woman wouldn't choose a 6 week cycle over a 3 week one? But, apart from the uncertainty factor (I've been convinced it was just about to start for at least a week)... I'm not sure I'd choose to feel this PMS-y sort of stuff for this duration on a regular basis.

That's supposing my theory is correct. Maybe I really just do have some general depressive tendencies. Not sure whether close personal introspection over the next couple of weeks will count as an valid statistical sample, but it will be interesting to see if I get over myself for a little while.

And I will duly take note, and cross examine the gynaeocologist at my next appointment in a month's time. Normal? Early menopause? Or I'm just losing my mind?

Meantime, it'd be good to get these next couple of annoying days over and done with. Blokes just have no idea what it means to put up with all this stuff.... (And to think I used to think that PMS was just a furphy... )

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Eine kleine Nachtmusik

Still lost the plot. Had grand plans to get up and go for a walk straight after breakfast, but I lay in bed and finished the book I was reading instead. Stuff the guilt that Marc was getting up to go to work. He could quite safely use that quote that goes along the lines of "SOME DAYS I WAKE UP GRUMPY BUT MOST TIMES I LEAVE HER SLEEPING'.

I have been waking up fairly jaded these days. Heaven knows, I should be wishing my husband would go away more often, because HIS SNORING IS DRIVING ME INSANE! And he won't do anything about it. I admit I'm not really keen on the idea of him being diagnosed with something like sleep apnoea, even though, deep down, I know that it's a serious condition, and if he has it, then he should be treated. But having to hook up to a bloody machine to sleep?!! God knows, the denture 'retainer' thingy he has to wear each night (so he doesn't grind his teeth to the roots) is enough of a passion killer (as the dental prosthesist called it.) I don't think I could stand it if he had to wear a mask, hooked up to something as well. May as well organise a separate bedroom now. Never mind how impractical it would be with the way he has to travel for work.

He could try something else... chiropracter! naturopath... even... any gimmick, I don't care, but for god's sake, he has no idea just how appalling it is to lie there trying to sleep with it. Doesn't matter how much I complain, he does nothing about it. Ok for him.. he doesn't lose any sleep from it. (Well, so he thinks, anyway, but sometimes the sudden snorting freaks me out because it sounds like classic apnoea symptoms.)

It doesn't help that he is the type to fall asleep within.. oh.. about 15 seconds of his head hitting the pillow. Being the total opposite (I take ages to relax and drop off), I need to get an hour's headstart on him so that I am able to relax and fall asleep in peace.

Sometimes it starts sotto voce.. and any invisible, random observer would think I was a bit too too cranky, because I start shoving him, or thumping him almost immediately. But I know the pattern. It just gets louder.. and louder... and, let go, it builds to a crescendo.

"Oh for f*%#'s sake, roll over" I finally say. Or yell. It's a wonder I haven't accidentally pushed him out of bed as I 'assist' this process.

Sometimes it works. For a while. If I manage to fall asleep then, then I can usually make it through the night. Although it's not unheard of for me to be woken up by it. Last night, he rolled over, and after a while, it stopped. Bliss. But my mind was racing, and so I didn't drop off quickly enough. Damn... he shifts position. I hold my breath... Goddammit, off he goes again.

And so it goes.

And I wake up cranky because he has deprived me of sleep - or because I fell asleep feeling cranky.

It's not really an excuse for not doing what I intended on doing today... but it's not the best frame of mind to start the day in.

I had planned to go to town today to take bike wheels (that need spokes repaired) to the bike shop, but Ali told me that Marc had put them in his car. So I let Ali have 2 friends over... I really must sort myself out to do something active this afternoon. And clean up the kitchen after 5 of them were in there making their lunch. And do something for dinner....

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Struggling a bit.

It was a bit easier after Rattles died.. there was still Rags here.

Now the yard is empty. But there are the dog beds, the water bucket, the food dishes... the bone she didn't touch when she was 'off' on Sunday. The food container for all the leftovers... what do I do with all the crusts, and left over rice, pasta, etc etc, now?

She was only a dog, and she was a bit of an aloof sod .. but we still loved her. 15 years.

Have had a few tears today. It's going to take me a while to get used to it.

While we were waiting at the vets last night, Alison said she was going to miss not having a dog around. In other words 'are we going to get another dog?'.

That's a difficult one. Emotionally you want to. Practically it'd be a whole lot easier without. Easy to go away - weekends, longer holidays. Never mind all the training issues... barking, etc etc.

I said we'd wait till after xmas and see.

So meanwhile, apart from getting some washing on the line, and Alison going round to play at one of her friend's places, and Zoe having a friend round, and chatting to friend's mum for a while... having another slack day. But I suppose it doesn't really matter. I haven't had it in me to nag Caitlin for being a lazy sod ... but in between sleeping in, and sitting on the computer, and still being in her pjs at 1.30pm, she made some egg and bacon tarts for lunch. And is recording the last two episodes of Dr Who for a friend (so we are having another Dr Who fest)...

I'll go to the supermarket when I drop Zoe's friend home. And dream up something for dinner.

Monday, October 09, 2006


Godawful day of waiting...

Yesterday Rags, our stumpy tail cattle dog, went downhill rapidly .. she's 15 years old about this month.. and has been on an expensive cocktail of heart and arthritis medication for a while. (Like ninety bloody dollars a month kind of expensive.) Lost her sister at the beginning of last year. Despite a lifetime together as part of the Schmidt family, I don't think Rags missed Rattles terribly much, despite predictions that she might pine. You got the feeling that she was a bit 'Thank god I can eat my dinner in peace now.'

Since Rattles went to chase balls in Doggie heaven, it's been thankfully quiet around here. Rags is deaf, and used to just join in the barking when Rattles barked. Which was too often, really... making for an uncomfortable relationship with the neighbours.

So, it's been a peaceful 18 months.. despite being a bit strange.

Rags was always the more aloof one (Rattles was a soppy boofhead.) So she never came for pats and cuddles... She couldn't be bothered chasing balls. (Rattles would just run her over, so she lost interest in that early on.) She would come up and nudge you when she wanted something though... "Oi... there's no water left in the laundry." Or even... "Oi... let me out, I need to do a wee". Never had too much trouble communicating what she wanted.

She's found it harder to walk lately... despite the kickarse meds. You could tell she was stiff.. and she was also panting a lot, so even the joy of going for a walk had to be ditched over the past month.

Yesterday she got the staggers up... couldn't walk.

Took her to the vet this morning... and now it's a waiting game till he checks her out. I mean.. it could be a tick I suppose. (But if it is, how much longer do we keep her going for, for what quality of life?)...

Marc and the girls have said their goodbyes... (and there were a few tears this morning, including my own.) I am waiting for the vet to call me back.. and it's now 3 hours since I left her there.

So I can't face doing anything else around the house. (Can't even hang washing out, it's a windy, drizzly day)

I am just... waiting.


This was Rattles with Rags back in mid 2004:

I think it was always more of a case of Rattles plonking herself on top of Rags, rather than the other way around!

About 5pm. Vet finally rang about half an hour ago, and though he could fill her full of more medication to get her by a bit longer, she really is in pain, so it's the kindest thing to let her go. Not a tick (and even if it was, with a dog her age it could be a problem anyway...) I said I would go back in to be there.. I feel I owe her that. Though it is hard to do after waiting all day... at least with Rattles it was done before lunchtime. I am going through the old 'do the same for one as the other' thing... When Rattles died we didn't even know if we'd be here .. we were in the throes of deciding whether to move to Canberra. I said goodbye and let them deal with it. I don't feel like I can in all conscience now go through pet cremations or any of that for Rags. (And our yard is too small for burials...) Saying goodbye and being with her when she slips off is what will have to do...
I don't think the kids want to be there... and Marc is still at work (great timing.. NOT.. important meetings today and tomorrow) and this sucks having to do it again by myself.

And I have just been on the phone to Marc's mum... and a combination of telling her about Rags, and asking her how she was at the moment, because Marc's dad died about 5 weeks ago. And I knew it was their wedding anniversary early October, and I askedwhen, because it's important to acknowledge it, and it's tomorrow, and she had to hang up because she was in tears.. so I feel doubly awful... because losing a pet isn't as bad as losing your husband.. and, coping with death is just bloody hard.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Baking disasters...

It's been a while since I've had something THIS bad happen. (In cooking terms, that is...)

Cait decided to make a cake. Unusually I had a packet mix in the cupboard (I normally prefer to make my cakes from scratch, but I'd bought this orange poppyseed one after a teammate made it for tennis one week.)

What went wrong? (Apart from it being a packet mix!) My theory is that it was because I 'helped' her and used melted lite margarine when I tried to do the 'right' thing by greasing and flouring the tin [Instead of using spray. I am normally a butter user, all the way (stuff the health issues) for the taste.] And it stuck, stuck, stuck to the pan. Big time.


Still tastes ok.. It's the frosting that really makes it taste good... so that's going to be an interesting exercise!



Zingy zing zing...

There... see how good you can feel when you prise yourself out of bed when the clock still has a 5 on it, stagger into your bike gear, force feed yourself some cereal, click your shoes into the pedals on your road tandem, and share 45 km riding with your dearly beloved.

Average speed 26.1 kph, highest speed 69 kph. (Yee haaaa). Included the 3km climb, and my few small solo bike rides helped I think. Marc said he could feel the 'afterburners' a couple of times, so that made me feel alright.

The only thing I didn't like was that the highway was busier on a weekday morning compared to the Sunday that we previously did. (Busier = frigging scary at times..) I think we might stick to weekend rides down the highway in future. The only other choice would be to go heaps earlier, and I don't think I could cope with that. Plus when daylight saving starts in a few weeks, it'll be dark!

Reckon I'd feel even better if I'd been able to get to sleep quicker last night. But hopefully it will kick my diurnal cycle back into a more sensible range... ie. earlier to bed than usual tonight.

Zoe was just getting up when we got back. The other two were still in bed, and Caitlin is still there. Her goal these holidays is (apparently) not to get up before 10.30 if she can help it. Good to know we are raising such a sloth.

I will have to come up with something for dinner.. and perhaps get to the shops for weekend meals. Yesterday I got lazy and didn't get to the shops. (Went to visit a friend with a newborn bub instead.)

Every now and then I like to challenge myself by producing a meal with what I have in the fridge, freezer and cupboard. Not everybody appreciates what ends up on the table, but I take a secret pride in being able to feed us thus. So last night, it came down to figuring out something to do with a tin of salmon. Tinned fish isn't Marc's favourite thing (so I avoid using it most of the time).. and Caitlin flatly refuses to eat fish. Whatever. I made salmon, kumara and capsicum fritters... grating orange and white kumara (and onion), and mixing it all together with egg, and frying them. I thought they turned out quite fine.

Caitlin decided to get her own dinner, and ended up making herself a cup of soup and toast. Not good. She got an earful about that not being appropriate (a cup of chemicals and bread and butter.... not good.) On top of all the other issues with her at the moment, I feel like Marc and I need to sit down and work out a plan of attack on how to deal with her.

It's all a reflection on the undisciplined approach I have to life in general. Outside the house we sort of carry it off (and our kids are well behaved, high performers) But at home it's a bit chaotic. I should be more on top of the everyday jobs they should be doing... but it's a bit hard when I'm a bit of a slacko myself. How can I expect them to make their beds when I don't always make ours!

We could probably all benefit from some self discipline... the challenge I have issued myself is to do so without turning the house into a pseudo school. While I know they work for others, I have resisted, so far, the sticker chart concept (and also tying pocket money to chores).

I am working on some sort of reward system tied to computer use time... still in the 'idea' stage, swishing around in the back of my brain... Maybe today .. with those exercise endorphins swishing around ... is the day...

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Thursday, October 05, 2006



I tend to run either on full throttle, or barely at all. I wish I could find the in-between; some sort of balance.

Tomorrow morning we have wild plans to get up before 6 am, and meet a friend to ride down the highway (Marc and me on the road tandem - a 44km return ride... like I said, tends to be all or nothing with me...)

It's school holidays, with nothing planned for the whole 2 weeks, apart from bike riding on the weekend. The kids and I are all lolling around, sleeping in, and spending far too much time on the computer. There is probably no reason why holidays shouldn't be like that.. but if that's the case, why do I feel guilty?!

I told myself that today I would at least do a walk up the beach. Looked up the tide times. Low tide was 12.20 or thereabouts. Perfect. Go at around 11.00. Sounds simple enough.

Conscience kicks in. Should get the kids up and at 'em as well, shouldn't I. Zoe should be doing some bike riding. They all should be doing something active. (Thing is, now they are old enough that I can leave them at home for reasonable periods in the day time.. so I should just be selfish and take myself. Maybe then I would have the HLEE's zipping around inside me, and I would come up with terrific ideas on how to get them a-happening as well.)

Caitlin emerges from the mother of all sleep ins (something she specialises in ).. and puts the TV on to watch shows she'd recorded last night. Like House. And (bloody) Simpsons. And so I watch out of the corner of my eye as well. Duh.

And now it's after 1pm. Lunchtime. (I made myself a healthy, grainy bread sandwich - one gold star in an otherwise pathetic performance.)

And they finally started on making a card for friends who just had a baby. (I'm a bit of a nutter when it comes to cards... I'm not a big fan of them - part of me doesn't even see the point of them... but when I give them I like to give homemade ones, particularly when I have such clever artistically inclined children... go figure...) And with Caitlin's art skills skyrocketing of late, I have, of course, high expectations!

I am not game to leave them right now in case the uneasy truce and nice 'working together' vibes shatter. (As they started I had Zoe crying at Caitlin: "Stop telling me what to do.. I'm not a baby you know.")

This morning I did register us to do the Sydney Spring Cycle.. and sorted our accommodation for the Gong Ride. (Took a whole 15 mins max, but I'll claim it as my main achievement for the day.)

the kids being arty crafty is a good thing.. right? So they are achieving something. And in a few minutes I am going to go get my joggers on, and power walk out that door. (Right after I've sorted out the 'situation' that has blown up in the time it's taken me to type this... #2 child storming off upstairs in a tizzy throwing emotional accusations back at #1 "You never let me do things!")

My fault again? Setting too high a standard for the card?

Sometimes you wonder if you can ever get things right...

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006


How do they do it?

I am always comparing myself (unfavourably, usually) to other people who seem to have it all together. Specifically, other mums who have it all together. How do they work - part time, fulltime, from home - and manage all the other STUFF ? All that stuff that I struggle with, and I'm not even working!!

As usual, when I contemplate this, I find that even those who I consider to be supermums are dealing with their own demons. This post (on WouldCouldaShoulda) is one of those... and both Mir's post, and the various comments, made me realise that we're all different, and we shouldn't compare ourselves to others. There is no right way!!

In many ways I think I have it easy. I'm still a SAHM - just a SAHM (and I've done the sob story on why that is still so, and why I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up).

Yet, I do get others who wonder how I do it, when they know just how often Marc is away... and the truth is, I don't know, I just do it. While I have it easy in that there is no urgent financial imperative for me to work, the switching between 'modes' (ie. Marc here, Marc away) modes, is no easy feat. Sometimes I think it only works because I am so disorganised, and that he can't upset the status quo (when he is here) because there is no status quo!

Being a part time single parent/part time normal family isn't easy socially.. It's hard to become a constant part of a social network. (I hate being the single parent amongst other couples.)

While we support each other pretty well in the parenting discipline department, I miss the back up when he is away... and, for an easier life, I might let some things go that are just not worth the battle. It leads to double standards, because he comes home and has the usual high expectations. So the kids end up having to work in two modes as well. (Hmmm - 'Lack of consistency with parenting' issues here...)

I was contemplating all this last night when I realised that my 'evening' behaviour was very different when he is around. Getting on the net and doing whatever I do is my daily escape. (I go through phases... for a while I spent my time on a particular bulletin board; now I'm blogging and surfing the blogosphere). "Stop looking over my shoulder" I said to him last night.. (in a pretty good imitation of Princess Petulant to one of her sisters.) I felt guilty for doing what I normally do... and then I wondered what to do with myself! (I actually washed up, so maybe that was a good thing...)

Him being away so much does make me feel a bit depressed about our 'not so normal' family life. Then I hear of one friend (married with children) who got so cranky with her husband not wanting to go on holidays, that she is taking the kids away herself this week. And another who pride themselves on their 'seachange' by having less high powered jobs, with a fair bit of day to day flexibility so they share the kids activities - yet they are so tied to these jobs they barely manage to get away on a holiday for 5 days in a year.

I realised then, that what I miss on the swings, I pick up on the roundabout (and that is a line I constantly deliver to the kids). Marc may be away all too much, but when he's here we get to do some pretty high quality stuff together. We have some great holidays, and are enjoying this latest mad tandeming passion together.

I don't know where all this is leading. Manic mutterings, that's all. Maybe time to remind myself of the profound conclusion I reached earlier. We all do what we do.. and there is no perfect, right way to do it.

Meantime, I could be just a wee bit better on the housework front. Plan of action for the day: dealing with the flow of (clean) laundry that has erupted from the ironing basket, and has flowed all over the expanse of floor in our room. A domestic goddess I am not.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Holidays, ho hum

Guess you could consider this the first 'official' day of the school holidays. I am a bit mixed up after a long weekend, and with Marc arriving home on a Saturday. Don't know what day it is. (As long as I remember to put the garbage out tomorrow, (Wednesday is garbage day) I guess I'll be right and back on track.)

Marc spent most of the weekend from the minute he arrived home putting together the new triplet.. which you can read about here on my family bike blog... if the nitty gritty of the putting together of a bicycle built for three enthralls you.

We had grand plans to go for a decent bike ride on the public holiday yesterday, but only got as far as test riding the new machine round the block. No exercise, therefore, which is not a good thing. Not for someone who wants to lose 10kg and look remotely like she belongs on a bike... (Plus I am sure we might go faster if were were able to jettison that much weight!)

We took a pile of photos of the various combinations of us on the new bike, and I was horrified to see how big I looked. My sporadic bouts of 'extreme' exercise just don't work in the weight loss stakes... but to comfort myself with this sad state of affairs, late afternoon yesterday, I grabbed a glass of wine, and stuffed myself with cheese flavoured rice biscuits. (And I refilled my wine glass a few times!) I could have chosen a more kilojoule-laden self-sabotage, I suppose, but it still doesn't help in the slightest. Ten minutes with the kids' skipping rope won't do much either! Happy little exercise endorphins, where are you?

I have filled in the entry form for the Sydney to the Gong ride (5th Nov), and made out the cheque, so, once I post that off today we are locked in to going on our next family bike riding adventure. It's just a matter of deciding, now, who will ride what bikes - and whether Marc will have ironed out any of the minor technical problems with the new one. The course has a couple of very steep downhills, so you want to be sure that it's in A1 working order. The worst thing is that me, and whoever draws the short straw, will be on one of the older tandems... which won't be quite so exciting.

It is only these sort of events that keep me going, give me a purpose, and something to plan and aim for. I'm not very good at the every day family and house stuff. (I could make a list of 100 reasons why I suck at housework and being a good parent.) I seem to have misplaced some of that passion somewhere along the line (or maybe it's been worn away with dealing with the teenage Attitude stuff as a part time single parent (ie. with Marc away so much.) I take my hat off to single parents everywhere.) Sometimes the only thing that keeps me going is the naive and innocent unconditional love that my youngest gives me. ("You're the best, best, bestest mum in the whole world". ) They say Love is blind... ain't it grand.

I did take one big step in the last week. My visit to the building designer happened, and I'll be dropping in a photo copy of the existing house plans to him today, along with a one page summary of what WE want. That was a challenging process (at close to midnight last night) with me announcing on more than one occasion "See, that's why I wanted to visit the building designer TOGETHER." I hate being the relay, the muggins in the middle, trying to relate to Marc exactly what it is the building designer wants us to give him.

I am determined, however, to get this show on the road. Who knows, it might put a bomb under me to get excited about cleaning up this dump. There is so much that is shabby, and crowded, (and thus messy) about our place at the moment, that it has completely leached any last vestiges of 'house pride' that I had in the first place.

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