Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Chinky Pixie - A quick & easy book week costume!

Like a million other children this month, my kids have celebrated "book week" by wearing costumes to school today, dressed up as their favourite book character.  The kids have known about this event for quite some weeks.  And admittedly - so have I.  Cadyn decided from the day he knew, that he would be going as Specky Magee, basically because he is not a fan of getting dressed up, God forbid he would draw any attention to himself!  So, his costume was easy - his football gear already sitting in his wardrobe.  Chelsea, on the other hand, could not decide whom her favourite character was, because she reads so many bloody books it's almost impossible.  BUT, Sunday afternoon she decided on Chinky the Pixie - from The Magic Wishing Chair book, by Enid Blyton.

Let me paint a picture for you......  It's 2pm Sunday afternoon.  We begin googling images of Chinky.  By 2.15pm I'm admitting defeat, and telling Chelsea she will have to find something else, because there's no way I'm going to have time to sort a bloody pixie outfit!  Come 3pm and I've got some ideas from my sewing group on FB, and I'm in the car on the way to the shops.  Half an hour later I'm home with supplies and making a bloody pixie outfit.  I thought I would share, basically because it had me stumped for a bit until my brain warmed up!  So here it is......A quick and easy book week costume.

MATERIALS USED - 1.5metres Homespun Cotton $9.00; 50cm felt $6.00; Tights on sale $1!  Cotton, pencil, pins, scissors, sewing machine!

1. Grab a good shorts pattern.  The one I use is actually the bottom half of the Bailey Romper pattern, and it is THE easiest shorts pattern EVER.  You can purchase the pattern HERE.  

2. The PDF pattern goes up to a size 5, I have upsized it to a size 7, as shown in this photo, but given that Chelsea is a size 8-9, I upsized it a little bit more!  You can see my post about upsizing HERE.

3. To change your shorts from regular to Pixie style, just draw some jagged lines at the bottom and add a little length if needed.

4. If you have pinking shears (jagged edged scissors) cut your edges as shown above.  This will lessen any fraying.  I made the edges uneven on purpose!

5.  Two pattern pieces required now done.

6.  I was directed to THIS FREE PDF for a pixie/elf hat.  It's super simple!  I used felt for the hat as it has a little more stiffness/body than the homespun cotton.

7.  The PDF is for a toddler size hat, so once again I upsized it a bit more to fit Chelsea's head.

8.  Cut out hat pieces.  Then just a matter of sewing all around the edges, trim the curves and turn right side out.  Then hem the bottom.  

9.  Done!

10.  Shorts all sewn up!

11.  For the top I used another PDF pattern, this time it's the  Whimsy Couture Easy Peasant Top, which you can get HERE.  This takes very little time to whip up!  

12.  Instead of hemming the bottom and sleeves, I got out the pinking shears again and did the same jagged effect.
The End Result!  And yes - I know there's now a red hat - further googling yesterday found that Chinky in fact wears a red hat, so thankfully my good Mother had some red felt and I was sewing that at 9pm last night!  Phew!

One very happy Pixie!
Chelsea was very happy to report this afternoon there were NO other pixies at school today!  

Do your kids have dress ups for Book Week?  Are you a last minute costume gatherer, or far more organised than me??

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Fun Police Free Weekend

I've come to the conclusion just recently that I am, in fact, the Fun Police.  Thou shalt not have silly, crazy fun - for thou may just annoy me and not allow me to do what I want.  Well, the fun police left this house Saturday morning - at precisely the same time my darling husband departed for two days away, and I was left holding the babies.  I wanted to prove to my kidlets that I CAN in fact be lots of fun, and not the uptight, stressed out, do-your-own-thing-without-annoying-me kind of Mum.

This is how I did it......

I worded the kids up - got them intrigued as to how Mum was going to keep them amused all weekend.  I asked them Friday night what they wanted for dinner Saturday?  Nachos was the vote.  Also asked what the breakfast request was for Sunday - pancakes and raisin toast.  Not a problem.  Successful trip to the supermarket that evening.

Saturday morning began bright and early with our first game of basketball at 9.15am.  Successfully got out the door with no issues.  Check.  I then bribed them with hot chips before the second game - WHICH I WAS COACHING!  Please note: I have NEVER coached a game of anything in my life - so was rather nervous.  Andrew is coach extraordinaire, so I had a bit to live up to.  Lucky for me we were playing the bottom team.  Lucky for me the five girls I was coaching knew what they were doing and all actually listened to what I did actually have to say to them.  WIN WIN!!!  19-4 Victors!

From that little victory we moved forward to more.  Hot dogs for lunch!  Can you see a little theme developing??  Thank the Lord above for sunshine!!  It meant they went outside for a while.  Well, half an hour.  I didn't complain.  Whilst I set to finishing a few sewing orders, they all found something quiet to do - in between asking for snacks - which I said yes to.  Every. single. time.  We searched iTunes for a movie to rent, but then realised we had one iq'd on foxtel.  Movie promised for after dinner.  Next thing I knew - NACHOS!  Discussion had over nachos that the football wouldn't be finished until 7.30pm, which meant it would be too late for a movie.  They all agreed!!!  WTF???

Nom nom nom

 Chloe retired to her kids channels, whilst Cadyn, Chelsea and I sat and watched the second half of the footy.  It was a super game and we were all cheering, screaming and holding our breath as we watched the Hawks beat the Swans!  It was a really nice hour.

Bedtime.  Phew.

I sat up until midnight.  Sewing.  As you do.  Clearly.

7.15am.  Sunlight.  Wide awake.  WTF???

Chloe joined me not long after and after a few quiet games of wordsearch on my phone, the other two were hassling me for pancakes.  Let me be clear on something - I am a cereal girl.  In fact, I would be what is commonly known as a "creature of habit".  That is, I eat the same cereal every.single.day.  And I eat it as soon as my feet hit the kitchen floor.  So cooking pancakes before I have eaten anything is not my idea of waking up wonderfully.  But I sucked it up.  We shook the shit out of that pancake mix (yes, I took the lazy way out) and smoked up the kitchen as we cooked up a storm.  A bench covered in lemon juice and sugar, mixed with happy children IS in fact rather wonderful.  I even skipped the cereal.

Nom nom nom - again.
And the rest of the day?  Well, I spent my time washing and cutting my little dog's hair (no more rasta poodle), dry wretching whilst emptying the cat litter (Andrew will not be forgiven for leaving that SHIT to me), listening to Cadyn and Chloe playing like maniacs and pulling all the blankets and pillows off the beds to make some sort of play equipment.  There was more time spent out in the sunshine and trawling the internet with Chelsea to find what on earth she would be wearing to Book Week dress up day on TUESDAY.  

The cause of my heaving.....Just when you think it's all gone - you're left with this foulness.

Her choice?  The pixie from The Magic Wishing Chair by Enid Blyton.  Of course.  This was at 2pm.  By 3.00pm I had received some ideas and links from my little FB sewing group and found myself driving to Lincraft.  Home by 3.30pm with a bunch of green fabrics and tights.  Impressed to say that by 5pm we had that bitch of a costume done and dusted.  Yeh.  Oh, and thanks to that same Lord above (or whoever it is) for my non-costume-loving son, who has decided he will go as Specky Magee!  Easy.

Leftover spag bog was all that was left of our bribery-through-food weekend.  Oh, and Alvin & The Chipmunks, just to top it all off!

I asked the kids at the dinner table if they'd had a good weekend?

They said Yes.

Which makes me a very happy Mummy.  I'd like to say that the Fun Police have been banished, but I would be fooling myself (and everyone else).  I'm trying to come to grips with the kind of Mum I am.  Although I may not be what I would consider a fun-lovin, easy-going kind of Mum.  I still think I'm a good one.  And it seems my kids do too.  Amen.

Did you all have a good weekend?  Do the Fun Police have a place in your home??  Two hours until Andrew gets home!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Smart Chart

After what I would call GIVING UP on Monday, it seems my brainy husband put some thought to the situation we had found ourselves in - again.

Last year, our youngest son, Cadyn, went through a pretty hideous time.  He hit a wall at school, which then reverberated through our home, as he hit not only walls but anything else he could possibly cry at, throw himself on the ground at or yell at.  It was a living hell.  We ended up getting some great help for him, and he was assessed for a number of things.  Turns out he is one of the millions in the world who suffers from lives with anxiety.  I crossed out the suffering part because I don't like to think that his life is going to be full of suffering - so we'll try to help him to live with it instead....

Back to Monday......It had become very apparent, blatantly obvious actually, that Cadyn's anxiety had raised its ugly head again.  Who would have thought?  A new home, new school, new friends, ongoing renovations etc etc would be enough to do anyone's head in - but throw in some anxiety - and whallah! Melt-down!  Cue the giving up part.  Andrew was at the end of his tether too.  Except instead of him throwing his hands up in the air and crying, like someone I know, he must have stayed awake Monday night, and by the morning told me he had a plan.  Fabulous.  He would go to work and get together a routine/chores chart - with incentives.  Cool.

We have done rewards charts in the past.  With varying success.  But one thing we know about Cadyn is that he is rather goal orientated.  So why not give it another crack?  Later that morning, Andrew emailed me his "first draft".  I did giggle.  Past reward charts have been put together with some poster paper, textas, a ruler and some star stickers.  Nooooooo, not this one.

It's a spread sheet.........

I gave him a little of my input, but basically left it up to him to sort out.  What we were presented with (and I do not say presented lightly - it was a boardroom presentation, with the dining room being our boardroom - I was President) was a very well thought up and executed spread sheet.  On very big size paper.  Laminated.  Impressive.

Andrew dives in to his spiel explaining the dynamics of said chart and asks for the kid's participation.  Cadyn and Chelsea both eagerly start reading out the different parts of the chart, whilst I stood behind Andrew giggling at his spread sheet genius.  I did stop and ask the kids if they actually understood what the word "dispute" meant?  Nope.  A few small explanations later and the charts made perfect sense - even Chloe had some sort of idea!

One point I did dispute, was the monetary value put on receiving a day full of ticks - with no crosses (very technical).  Each child has the opportunity to earn a dollar for every day they achieve all of their possible ticks.  I queried Andrew's maths abilities and asked him if he realised how much money that adds up to over a four week period for four kids?  $112!!!!!!!!!!  He reassured me there was no way that all four kids could achieve perfection for four weeks in a row.  We shall see.

Our new system was rolled out Tuesday night.  And much to my amazement, there has been an almost full 360 degree turn around!  I have children offering their services left, right and centre.  I see the mechanics ticking over in their little heads as they begin to dispute argue/annoy me, before stopping themselves in their tracks and reverting to angels.  I am certain we will not be sent bankrupt by our scheme, but I am also very certain that it's something we will be sticking with.  Oh, and I CANNOT WAIT to see the look on Lochie's almost 14 year old face when he sees his delightful chart stuck on his wall when he returns from his Dad's house this week!

So - how do you reign in your kid's behaviours?  Are you a poster paper or spread sheet kind of parent?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sun Day Random

Sun Day?  Not in Melbourne.....More like Grey Day.  And not in a 50 shades kind of way.....  I've worked all weekend so have not really stepped foot outside except to transfer this lame ass body of mine from home to vehicle, vehicle to workplace.  Oh, I lie - we went over to our friends house last night for a relaxing bat-shit-crazy evening!  Celebrating children's birthdays is never relaxing, but I may say - hanging out with three of our closest families is fun none-the-less.  Last night it was eight adults and nine children.  NINE.  Would have been ten, but Lochie is with his Dad - he escaped the madness.  In the haze that is my head at present (currently on day 11 of an epic migraine/headache) I was able to sit back relatively quietly and watch the unbridled fun and madness unfold.  It's amazing how much joy can be gained from setting up a bean bag at the bottom of ONE step and continually running and jumping on it?  Lucky for all of us, this round of bean bag diving did not end in tears.

Tonight, I have arrived home from work to an empty house.  Bliss.  Kudos to the AFL big-wigs who schedule the odd 4.40pm game at the MCG, allowing me some contemplative peace and quiet, to think of the million things I have ahead of me this coming week.  And a big hi-five to Andrew, who so capably packs up the three youngest kids and jumps on a train to the city - all in the name of cheering on your team!

This morning was my designated "sleep in day"....... Fail.  The all too common sound of "Mummmmmmm" at 7.28am woke me from a deep slumber.  I pretended not to hear it, hoping (in vain) that Andrew would rise instead.  "Mummmmmmmmm" continued.  So I rolled out and trotted to Chloe's room, to find a wet and cold little girl in bed.  She hasn't wet the bed in  months, so me thinks she too is very tired.  Got her dressed and set up in front of the tv and crawled back to my bed.  Closed my eyes and just lay there for the next 30 minutes.  Fail.

In my usual flurry that comes with a 10.30am Sunday shift, I got ready for work and then decided it would be the perfect time to vaccuum the house.  Of course.  But before I could say "Pick all your shit up off the floor" to everyone, I pulled Chelsea's curtains back and audibly gasped as I discovered Chloe's version of Van Gogh's "Starry Night" on the wall.  Fab.  HOW on earth did I get through FOUR freakin kids before one of them decides she is an artist?  A wall artist?  This child will be the death of me.  As will the frickin fours!  Thank God for Gumption (that's not an ode to my inner strength or courage, it's a life-saving white paste that cleans almost everything off anything!).  Little turkey sat and tried washing it off like I asked, and then watched as the gumption magically scrubbed off her masterpiece.

The never-ending project that is our home is *hopefully* coming to and end.  Well, to a point.  The lovely fellow we signed up to do all the works for us got a job a week after we moved in, so it slowed all of the finishing off right down.  It has been a bit of a nightmare, mostly because we are all living in a half-finished home.  Doors missing, or not closing properly amongst some of the little things irritating me.  But he's assured us he only has a couple of days left, and fingers crossed, will be done by end of day Wednesday.  Hoorah.  NOW the other stuff begins.  We've just got the quote for the new driveway, and are pleasantly surprised with the price.  Hallefuckinglujah!  We can't park in our driveway at present because of the swamp disguising itself as a front yard.  It's mud central.  That's the other thing on the list - flying my retired plumber Dad down from Queensland to lay ag-pipe through the whole yard in the hope of reducing its bog-like resemblance.  Oh, and the cracked pipe.....the list goes on.....

Andrew is off to Sydney next weekend.  Each year he flies off somewhere with a mate or his Dad, to watch the footy.  I'm wondering if it would be inappropriate to secretly purchase flights for the kids to the same destination and meet him at the airport with their luggage?  Then I could just toddle back home and sleep for two days?  No?

Okay, I've successfully tapped away here for a little bit, now what to do with my last hour or so of peace before a week of bedlam begins.....all over again?  Do you sometimes feel like you are living a never-ending version of Groundhog Day?

P.s. The farking cat has not even gone near the freakin lounges!!!  So disappointed not to see her reaction to the sticky paws - I had a video camera set up so I could win a million dollars on Funniest Home Videos.....shame.  I, however, have been stuck to it numerous times........

P.s.s.  I didn't really have a camera set up.  But now I think of it......

Friday, August 17, 2012

Whose Bright Idea??

Was it to get another farking cat???!!!!  And who was the farking idiot that agreed to it????  Urghhhhh.......

SOMEBODY began campaigning for a kitten back in April.  This somebody had been suckered in by his then soon to be nine year old daughter and her promises of caring and loving a kitten like no other human being in history had before her.  The same somebody then convinced me that it would be a great idea to get above mentioned daughter a kitten for her birthday.  A series of events occurred that ultimately ended in us getting a kitten for free, which we then surprised said daughter with as an early birthday present.....

I will admit that the cuteness of this little black puff-ball was so huge that it didn't take long for me to fall in love with her.  In fact, I wrote quite positively about our Ms Bella's arrival HERE.  Oh, how times change.....

 Fast forward to today, when I entered good old Pets Paradise for the umpteenth time since Bella's arrival, looking to spend yet another small fortune on crappola.  Today's purchase (thankfully at half price, not so thankfully because poor Pets Paradise is in receivership - whoops) was ANOTHER scratching post (because the same birthday girl decided it would be a good idea to sit on the first $50 scratching post, causing it to snap in half - sigh) in an attempt to divert Bella's attention from the gorgeous new lounges we bought only one month ago.

I also asked the question - "Do you have anything to spray on furniture or fittings to stop cats wrecking shit?"  The young girl said "no".   Oh.  Thanks.  For.  Nothing.  

But wait!  As I was about to walk off, she said they had something called "sticky paws".....ummmmm.  I followed her to the wall display where there was ONE packet of sticky paws left.  I was also followed by another woman who had overheard my request and was interested in finding a solution for her own damaged home.  What I discovered was that cats apparently do not like sticky surfaces!  So this solution is a trumped up version of double sided tape, which you can stick to any surface you do not wish your cat or kitten to demolish!  I snapped up the last packet (and did not look the other woman in the eyes for fear of being glared at) and went and paid for my bargain scratching post and sticky paws.  Sounds so wrong....

"Don't declaw....get sticky paws" - WTF??  Who declaws a cat?  

So this afternoon's quest was to cover my brand new, but already slightly tattered lounge in double sided tape.  During said quest I discovered that not only had the little shit of a cat (hear the love in my words?) attacked the corners of the lounge, she has given the whole side of it a good crack.  Little focker.....

I also sticky paw'd the side of the step that had been nibbled and clawed at.  I'm wondering if I could just cover the whole freaking house in double sided tape so the little turd can't wreck anything else??  Maybe the poor singular pot plant I own?  Yep, she's managed to almost kill that too!

Don't get me wrong.  I am not opposed to pets.  I  AM an animal lover.  But each and every time we get a new pet, I end up doing a lot of sighing, yelling, cursing and quite simply - regretting.

Our menagerie now consists of Bella - the now sticky paw'd kitten.  Ruby - the ten year old cat who it seems has decided will hiss at anything and anyone she pleases.  Tanza - the 11 year old corgi x bichon AND Hamish - the teeny tiny three year old toy poodle, who refused to toilet train and to this day will still cock his leg on anything he can possibly reach if let inside.  So he is now an outdoor dog and what you would call a Rasta Poodle.....just needs some reggae and a joint....

I digress.....  Tonight as I was picking up the cat food that Bella had so delightfully dragged on to the carpet to eat, I yelled out "I hate this fucking cat".......to which Andrew retorted "You hate all cats"....  Ummmm....... Look, I'm trying ok.

How on earth do people have patience to get past the kitten trials and tribulations?  Are all kittens bat-shit crazy, or just Bella?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

With freedom comes responsibility...sort of

The freedom that comes with your children wanting to walk home from school by themselves is rather liberating.  There's an extra 30 minutes in my day that I do not have to spend in and out of the car.  I don't have to stop what I'm doing, run around like mad looking for Chloe's shoes and making sure doors are locked and everything's turned off.  I don't have to grab my purse and phone and keys and run through all sorts of inclement weather conditions to make it up our muddy driveway and throw Chloe in to the car.  It's fabulous.


The responsibility that has now been given to my two middle children is great.  In fact, it's huge.  We practised the walk home a couple of times together before I took a big breath and agreed to their wish of walking home together.  I reiterated the importance of walking briskly towards the main road, so as to make it there whilst the crossing lady was still on duty.  I repeated myself more times than I care to remember, the importance of sticking together and crossing at official crossing points.  And I gave Chelsea the all important role of Key Holder.  She was so very proud that I had enough trust in her to hand her a key to the house.

Now it seems I must have failed in a couple of areas whilst preparing them both for not only walking home by themselves, but also arriving home to an empty house on occasion, when I have not yet returned home from work.  I DID tell them they had to call me as soon as they walked in the door, so I know they're safely home.  I DID tell them they are to lock the door behind them, and do not answer it for ANYONE.  Apparently, I did not make it clear that they weren't to take any detours on their way home.  And apparently, asking Chelsea if she has her house key as we are leaving in the morning, and her answering "yes", does not necessarily mean she has it.....as demonstrated this afternoon.

Last week, I was patiently waiting for my 4pm phone call from the kids.  I had just been telling a work mate about how well they were doing at their new school, and how they had been so very responsible.  4.05 came and went, so I called home.  No answer.  4.15 came and went, so I called home.  By the time they finally answered the phone at 4.25 I was less than amused and had quite frankly started having a little panic in the pit of my stomach.

Me: Cadyn, where have you guys been?
Cadyn: Ummmmm, I got kept back in class.
Me: For half an hour??
Cadyn: Ummmmmm, yeh.

I had a quick word with him about how worried I was and left it at that, for the time being.  I spoke with Andrew whilst we were both driving home from work and we both agreed someone was telling a porky pie.....

After dinner, we sat them both down and Andrew began his version of the Spanish inquisition.  He basically asked why on earth they took almost one hour to get home?

Cadyn:  Ummmm, I got kept back in class and blah blah blah blah blah....

Andrew and I spot the strange look on Chelsea's face, and at this point, Andrew holds his hand up to Cadyn, swiftly turns to Chelsea and asks "What happened Chelsea?"

Chelsea:  We stopped at the park on the way home for a play......


The silence was then swiftly followed by many examples of what could happen to them whilst taking an unscheduled detour, without anyone knowing.  Nothing like a bit of scare tactics to make sure they get the point?  Takes stranger danger to a whole new level!

SO what did we learn from this exercise?  Well, I learnt that my kids are still quite naive.  Which is both a good and bad thing.  We never like to believe that our kids are growing up, but just when you accept they are, they do something that makes you realise they are still just babies.  I also learnt that they have not memorised any important phone numbers!  Whilst I was worried about some evil pervert snatching them from the park, Andrew pointed out that if either of them hurt themselves, and a good samaritan wanted to help - how could they if nobody knew our contact numbers?

Next step?  Writing our contact numbers in big black texta on the inside of their school bags!  Or alternatively, a trip to the tattooist......

How old were you when you were given such freedom and responsibility?  Do your kids you have tattoos?

Monday, August 13, 2012


Lots of holding on whilst google searching
pictures of water!
Amazing title yes?  Maybe no??

This may be a very dis-jointed post, basically because I need to pee what seems like every ten bloody minutes.  Since my crazy Bikram jaunt two days ago, I have been drinking like a frigging fish, and weeing like a pregnant woman.  Have no fear, don't even ask - I'm not preggers.  No, no, I have been HYDRATING oneself.  Because that is what one does when one sweats like the proverbial pig during 90 minutes of hell.  I have NEVER felt the need to drink so much water in my entire life.  And considering that I generally only drink a few glasses of pepsi max every day, it's a shock to my system.   BRB - going to pee.....

Following my class from hell, I sat at the top of the stairs as we were meant to be leaving for basketball and told Andrew I thought I would be sick.  He told me I needed an energy drink.  Fab.  So on the way he stopped at 7-eleven and got me a watermelon flavoured Gatorade.  Enter gagging noise.  Honest to God - who in their right mind drinks those drinks willingly???  Well, me.  I got through a whole game of basketball, scoring nonetheless, sipping on watermelon salty/sugary flavoured water.  And managed to hold on til half time to run to the loo.  I questioned the validity of drinking so much fluids when it only stayed in my body for such a short period of time?  Why drink all that water when it just ends up coming out the other end??

I continued my water marathon all. bloody. day.  And much to my amazement, drank a whole bottle of the stuff whilst watching Chloe's swimming lesson this morning, and just had another glass before sitting down to bang this baby out.  I'm in awe of myself.  Oh, hang on......gotta go wee again!

We went out for dinner with one of my besties and her new beau Saturday night, and she reiterated to me once again, that she cannot believe how many times I need to wee!  She has known me over 20 years, and giggles at the lack of accommodation in my bladder.  I dream of nights going to bed and not waking up until I've had a restful eight hours of sleep - and not having to make a trip to the loo.

Given - I've had four kids.  My bladder is not what it used to be.  Not even close.  And I can't say that I'm doing regular Kegel exercises.  In fact, I would do them now, but I need to go wee again.......sigh.

So it would seem that not only has Mr Bikram given my muscles a rude awakening (I shit you not - I had forgotten I had lower abdominal muscles until yesterday, when I woke with soreness in places I did not believe could be sore) it has also awakened my bladder, and the fact that I should probably start doing something about it, if I do not want to start sporting elastic waisted pants with a low crotch - allowing more room for my Tena lady.....

Do you drink water and does it make you feel like you are bordering on incontinence???  Help!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sweating my way to Health

Yesterday, I finally took the plunge and committed to doing a Bikram Yoga class.  I took the commitment one step further, and posted on Facebook my intention, so that I could not back out of it, and would have to answer to lots of people if I did!  Including the instructor, whom I happen to be friends with.  For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, here's the dictionary.com explanation.....

This would also be classed as the 

I leapt crawled out of bed at 6.40am and dragged on some of my gym gear from years gone by.  Put a couple of extra layers on because I knew I would freeze my arse off.  Jumped in the car and made the 20 minute drive to get to a 7.30 class on time.

Was greeted by the lovely Mish (instructor) who was impressed to see I had kept my word and actually turned up.  She gave me some quick instructions and directed me in to the class room.

BANG - smacked in the face by the 39 degree heatwave.  And fear.

Took my place at the back of the room, and was pleased to see that I was joined by another first timer - Matthew - who was a rather "burly" looking bloke, who had a strange look of fear on his face also...

Next thing i knew, it was show time!  I somehow managed to remember to breath, and managed to get through the first few poses (DON'T think Madonna).  Then my body starting reacting to numerous factors:  

1.  It was early morning and I had not eaten breakfast - I am a creature of habit and usually eat as soon as I wake up.
2.  I had clearly not drunk even close to enough fluids yesterday to have any sort of decent hydration.
3.  I was just a widdle widdle bit out of my depth!

But I DID soldier on.  Whenever I felt the need to pass out, I just quietly slid to the floor and sat for a minute.  Whenever I felt the need to throw up, I just quietly slid to the floor and sat for a minute.  Paints a pretty picture yes?

Ninety minutes later -  I was done.  I survived.  And I felt pretty bloody proud of myself!!  I looked over to my new mate Matthew and said if I could actually move I would hi-five him.  He retorted that he would cut his hand off and throw it in my direction....

I have thought about doing Bikram Yoga for a few years now.  Have spoken to a few people about it, but never got the feeling it was something I wouldn't be able to manage.  Now that I have conquered that first class, I know what will work better for me next time.  I know, I know - I'm a nut bag for even talking about the next time...

Next time, I will go to a day time or evening class - when I have had plenty of energy food throughout the day and plenty of fluids.  And next time, I will be better prepared - mentally.  Because I will know what to expect.

Why am I doing this?  Well, the medication I was prescribed by my lovely neurologist, to help my daily headaches and regular migraines, worked wonders.  BUT (pardon the pun) it also helped to increase the size of my arse.  So I am trying to find a better, healthier option to managing and hopefully eliminating the pain that is my head.  Fingers crossed that all the pain I am going to put myself through, sweating like mad, will be beneficial for not only my head, but everywhere else!

Have you done Bikram Yoga?  Have I convinced you that it could be a good thing?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dis-Organised Chaos....

Many years ago, I worked in an office.  In a plumbing supplies, of all places.  Anyway, I was fresh out of my TAFE business diploma course and got straight in to a junior position.  Lucky me!  Over the following couple of years, I moved up the ladder (well, there wasn't far to move, but I did) and found myself doing a bit of work for the Managing Director.  It was around this time that the office manager pulled me aside and suggested I use one of those "Things to do today" notepads......  Not very subtle really.  But effective nonetheless.

I have never been a super organised human being.  It is the thing I dislike most about myself.  We have only been in this house for a matter of weeks, and it's beyond me how there is already a pile of crap sitting on my kitchen bench??  I've been so good since the move - directing crap to its appropriate home, but it seems you cannot outrun six people's crap!

This past week I have discovered the joy of CORFLUTE.  Cor-what????  I had heard of this magical plastic like board for the past year or so, but did not feel the urge to jump on it - until now.  Until I decided I had to work out this shoe box sewing room.  And this my friends, is how corflute has put SOME organisation in to my life....

I also have lots of lists.  Some written down, some just in my head.  I have lists of what needs to be done, what should be done and what I would like to be done.  There is never usually an order to how these lists progress, but they are there.  Here are some things currently on my lists:

Plant all the plants we bought on the weekend
Hem Cadyn's curtains and our sheers
Hang pictures on walls
Get Chloe's immunisations done
Get quote for driveway and carport
Find laundry storage/cabinets
Seal grout on tiles
Paint staircase
Assemble shelving in sewing room
Organise Dad to come to Melbourne to do plumbing
Make Cadyn and Chloe's quilts
Make Lochie's dental appt
Do our tax returns

And the lists go on and on and on......

I really need a better system to organise my life!  I feel like I'm passing on my disorganisation to my kids - especially Chelsea.  Two weeks I have been asking her where her reading log is for school.....and every single day she has left it at school.  I wrote it on her hand on Monday.  She still forgot.  Sigh.....

So - what can I do?  I need suggestions.  How do you get AND stay organised?  Or are you in the same predicament as me?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Don't Stress Over What You Can't Control

Talking to a lovely work friend today and stating the bleeding obvious - This past month has been one of the most fucked up of my life!

The medication my Nuerologist prescribed did in fact live up to his warning - it increased my appetite.  I am now busting out of my jeans.  A fact that my friends think is rather hilarious.  Me - not so much.  I'm now off said medication but am feeling an increased need to exercise......followed by an increased need to sit on the couch and eat......  New jeans incoming.

I packed up an entire ginormous house of six people, and "only" managed to lose about $800 worth of shoes.  Not bad really.....considering.

I unpacked an entire ginormous amount of crap, that I had only just packed, and realised I didn't need half of it.  Op shop winner.

I have developed an unhealthy habit of vacuuming and mopping.  Surely this will wear off in time?  These habits are classed as exercise yes?

I have settled two kids in to new schools.  I've overcome any anxiety I had about it, and am getting Cadyn through his anxiety....slowly but surely.  I've discovered a whole lot of freedom that comes with not having to walk into the school grounds to pick up your children.  And I've embraced my kids wanting more responsibility and independence by giving them the thumbs up to walk home from school by themselves.  Rather empowering for all of us.

I've dealt with a whole lot of varying tradesmen, and managed not to lose my shit.  And will hopefully continue to do so as the never ending saga that is the re-building of this house goes on and on...

I've faced unimaginable heartache.  The kind I literally never thought I would have to witness.  I've had it confirmed that the girls I work with ARE the most amazing group of women I have ever had the privilege of sharing so many hours with.  I'm trying to re-pay all of the time spent listening to me and my woes over the years, by just being the best friend I can be.  I still shed tears, daily.

But I'm still here.  And I haven't (completely) lost my mind.  In fact, the opposite has happened.  I'm feeling a little more "zen".  Just taking things in my stride.  What will be will be.

image thesurfbum.com
A very wise man (Andrew......Sssshhhhh, don't tell him) once said to me (ok, he says it a lot) - 

"Don't stress over what you can't control"

Thursday, August 2, 2012

How to make a Japanese girl Happy(er).....

This time last week, we were welcoming a delightful young lady in to our home.  Her name is Maiko.  Yep, we put our hands up were suckered in to having another Japanese exchange student!  If you've been following the story here for a while, you may remember the same time last year, when the painfully shy and quiet Yoshiki blessed us with his presence?  No?  Well, HERE and HERE are a couple of quick reminders!  Let's just say those two weeks of 2011 were quite difficult and we really weren't up for another challenge in 2012!  BUT (there's always a bloody but) the lovely Japanese co-ordinator at Lochie's school begged me to help them out due to a shortage of volunteers, so of course I said yes.....much to Andrew's delight horror....

There was one condition - the student HAD to be bubbly AND have a personality!


Maiko is the most gorgeous, effervescent (thanks for that word dear friend), compact package of happiness!  So much so, I emailed the above mentioned co-ordinator to let her know how grateful we were to have Maiko enter our lives!  This 16 year old girl, who only has one older brother living away at Uni, has taken the unfinished, half moved in to home; the four younger siblings; the crazy kitten and hissing old bitch of a cat and all the other craziness in this home, in her stride!  She has eaten every single thing put in front of her, helped out with chores, asked questions, answered questions, played with children and animals AND most of all - she has not shied away from getting amongst the family.  I couldn't be happier.

So tonight, I decided to make this gorgeous human being a little happier!  And this is how:

Thank you Woolies!

This is how you marinate the Yakitori Chicken!


Happy family!
Everyone gave chopsticks a crack - except Dad - he knows his limits.  And the meal was a hit!  Maiko was very keen to help me make the Yakitori, and put up with Chloe "helping" her.  And just before dinner was served, she brought out a bag of ingredients and declared she would be making sweets tonight!  I have forewarned the children to be polite, as I saw the look of horror and memories of Yoshiki's "cooking" endeavours of 2011......  But I'm being positive, and bracing myself!  They are all at basketball training presently, so I've snuck a look in the bag - and have NO idea what it will be!  Watch this space......

Have you ever had an exchange student?  Or Japanese sweets?
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