Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Fine Art Of Multitasking

Back in the 90's when I was in my corporate period, it was important to put 'multitasker' as one of your skills in your resume.  Way back then, the ability to do several things at the same time was considered a rare and impressive skill.

Except everyone put it on their resume.  So it wasn't rare at all.

And in fact, it's complete bollocks.

Apparently, and I'm not quoting anything but I read it somewhere, it's impossible to effectively multitask, and if you ever do try to do more than one thing at a time, you'll just do two or more things badly and probably slower.

Hence,  you're better off trying to do one thing at a time, doing it well, finishing it, and moving on to the next.

Nice theory.

Problem is, the habit of multitasking is hard to break.  And these days of multiple devices connecting us to each other, it's even harder.

I personally love nothing more than to chop the veges, plan tomorrow's playdate, check the weather and monitor homework at the same time.  And usually it works out ok.

This afternoon for example I was chopping the red capsicum for dinner when presented with a maths problem that was causing some difficulty.  Fifteen pieces of red capsicum later we managed to sort out how many pieces five people would get...problem solved, capsicum chopped, everyone happy.

Yep, if you had 15 pieces of capsicum to be divvied up between 5 people,  they each get 3.  Amazing!

Now that's multitasking at its best.

I know it's not fashionable any more, and doubtless a very inefficient way of operating, but I can't give up, I'm totally addicted.  The more things I have on the go at once, the better the high if I pull them all off.

Work wise, I could see why multitasking is now left off most people's CVs.  Probably along with rare skills like 'good communicator' and 'computer literate'.  On my work days I could definitely use a bit less multi in my tasking, I should turn off the email, the internet, and the phone and work in strictly measured blocks of time with brisk 5 minute walks around the block in between to help keep those creative juices a-flowin'.  Because that's what productivity theory currently says I should do.  

I don't of course, but I should.  

But in the mornings, do I multitask? Hell yeah.

So if one kid wants me making vegemite toast, and the other one wants me to pour the milk and the third needs her hair done, well what harm in attempting to do all three at the same time?  At least no one feels left out or second rate.  Throw in a load of washing and three lunch boxes and the adrenalin hit is amazing.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Domestic Sublime

Today I found two matching socks for odd ones in my odd sock stash.

If that isn't a moment of victory I don't know what is.  Finding one might put a smile on your face, but two!!!

I also put the winter doona on our bed which now looks all fluffy and inviting.  It mocks me every time I walk past because in my current slightly fluey state, all I want to do is climb in and sleep until Sunday.

Fat chance of that, hey people?
Mmm soft and fluffy.  And interesting wallpaper.  Thanks previous owners
I know, blue and red, not so good.  I am interiorly challenged. Sarah from a beach cottage I am not.  My only attempt at cohesion lies in hysterical splashes of red in every room (even if there's the wrong colour blue in it).  

I do enjoy looking at nice rooms in magazines and on pinterest, but I doubt I could ever create one, so I'll just depend on my most excellent friends who are talented.  You know who you are.  Prepare to be called upon when the time comes. 

And on a last note, leggings as pants?  Ok? Not Ok? What if you're nearly 5 and completely obstreperous.

Yes, that's backwards on the travelator at the Totem.  And I'm clearly not at all worried because I'm taking the photo.

That's all folks.  My last few posts have been a bit verbose, need to give youse guys a break.

Think today's world domination score is better than yesterday.  Maybe World 1, Me 1? A tie. Don't think I'm winning yet.

Ps.  Special thanks to Katy Abbott for the name of this post.  

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Today's Score: World 1, Me 0.

Today I was shouted at by a complete stranger.  

It was a bit of a shock.  I was puddling along in my own little world, just trying to get child A or B, or A,B,C,D and E as it was today, from point X to point Y.  Or X to Y to Z, as it also was today.

Mainly, as I said in my Car Pool post, I’m just trying not to lose anyone. 

It was the sort of afternoon where nothing whatsoever went to plan, two out of my three karate boys refused to attend, and I was useless in the face of their resistance, short of strapping them down and forcing the clothes on them.  Which is just plain wrong, and impossible anyway (they’re strong little fellas).  And lovely blokes, just inexplicably anti karate, when it’s not their mum taking them.  

I’m not an ogre am I?  Well I wasn’t until this afternoon anyway. 

So after much fruitless negotiation and much bribery related ingestion of confectionary and chocolate milk, I promised my two little karate waggers that I would return them to their Mum post haste, just as soon as I could get Joshie, who is, despite everything, completely gagging for and desperate to do his lesson, into the class with his other mates.  

I parked outside the school down the road where karate is held, and left the two boys and Issy in the car.  Sarah came with me because she likes to play with some of the big sisters who get dragged along to karate each week.   

There was not much of this going on this afternoon, but one out of three ain't bad. 
I was away for maybe, 3 minutes.

I got back to the car and see another school mum walking past it and we stop to say hi.  As we chat (briefly I promise) I see the two smallest kids have climbed into the front seat of my car and are sharing the drivers seat, with enormous grins on their faces. 

Seven shades of wrong right there.  Then the kids see me and start laying into the horn, big time, even cheekier.    

I quickly said goodbye to my friend, who eyed me with sympathy and a bit of “there but for the grace of god”, jump into the car, and start to reprimand the kids.   But before I can shut my driver’s door an irate woman on the other side of the road (holding a coffee cup so clearly a street resident) asked me if it was my car that had been beeping. 

I said yes, and was just about to follow up with an apology (it was a mighty antisocial thing to do in a residential street) which was one of the points I was planning to include in my imminent bullocking, added to never getting out of seatbelts, never hopping in the front seat, respect for other people, hasn’t it been a tough enough afternoon, etc etc.

But she was filled with her irateness and told me in no uncertain terms how appalling was the noise, how I should never leave kids in a car unattended, and I must have left them for ages if they were so upset they had to beep me to get me to return. 

Note: they didn’t even start beeping until they saw me, because for them, that was where the fun was.

Normally I’d blush, stutter, fume and stumble over my words.  Not this afternoon. 

I said: “Why don’t you just go and get on with your perfect life then.” and shut the car door.

Which I’m pretty happy with on the whole.

Perhaps if I’d had a bit more time to think I would have preferred:

“Why don’t you just go and get on with your perfect life then and I’ll continue with my obviously terribly flawed one?” but that didn’t come to me until later. 

Because she was right, their behaviour was awful and I shouldn’t have left them.  I should have schlepped them all out of the car, gone in with Josh, signed him in and returned to the car again.  But I didn’t, I gave myself a break and went child free, cause it had been a tough afternoon.  

I think perhaps, this is not so uncommon?  Is it?

And I had a pretty good backstory.  But it was long and complex and tedious (mostly they are).  And  there was no point in trying to tell her.  Talk about your waste of breath.

Shouty angry woman doesn’t care about my backstory.  Apart from the awful beeping, she’s probably angry because she lives across the road from a school, and has to deal with this sort of stuff every weekday morning and afternoon. 

But it’s not black and white or simple, because life doesn’t work like that, does it?  Introspective aren’t I?

Monday, 28 May 2012

This one time I should have said something and acted concerned.

This post is about the yin and the yang of customer service.  Because I'm so spiritual.

Every Monday morning I drop Mike's shirts off at the newsagency to be dry cleaned.  Not because I am under the mistaken impression that that's what a newsagency does, but they are in cahoots with the dry cleaners and it's not as far to drive and I'm lazy.

They are lovely people, and very kind to the kids, Issy especially always seems to some away with a little treat or useless toy left over from a promotion.

This morning an elderly lady was in there, very upset because her paper had not been delivered on Sunday or this morning, she had been away on holidays and had asked for delivery to be suspended and resume when she returned.

A sterling idea which I would do more often, if we ever went on holidays.

image photo : NewspaperThe staff said their advice came in via fax (aahh, so that's who's still using faxes) and according to their details she was not due to receive a paper delivery until the 29th, not the 27th.  She told them her email confirmation was for the 27th.  They were at a stalemate.

The lady was not being ultra nice, but she certainly wasn't being rude, she was more frustrated than anything else.

She asked if she could take a paper anyway, as to the best of her knowledge, she was due one and had paid for it.  And the staff (there were two of them by now) said no, because Fairfax hadn't paid them.

She walked out, pretty unhappy.  She will probably stew over it all day.

So here's the thing.  Should they have just given her the paper in the spirit of keeping a customer happy, for the sake of $2 Fairfax hadn't paid them?  Or were they right to refuse her?

And furthermore, it was on the tip of my tongue to suggest this to them as a bit of customer service advice (cause I'm like, an expert) but really, it was none of my business and I just stood there feeling uncomfortable with a bag of dirty business shirts.

Or was it?  I know what I would have done if I had been behind the counter.  And it would have been a small act which made a huge positive difference to the customer.

Instead, I handed my shirts over, and slunk around the corner to the most excellent Fruit Shop Guy.  He's called Pete.

But wait, there's a backstory (of course).

On Friday night I needed some dill for my smoked salmon nibbly bits, which I was taking to a party.  The IGA (hereafter known as 'The Robbers') had none, I ran across the road to Pete, who was closing,  and did a commando roll under the roller door as his pulled it down a la Indiana Jones (this is how desperate I was for the dill).

Not only did he have dill, he gave it to me for FREE!  I think he just wanted me out of there so he could have a beer and a ciggie.  And who can blame him really.

Xerochrysum bracteatum - mixed
These are the flowers I bought, they are called Everlasting Daisies.  
So this morning I went back and bought flowers and some veg from him.  And I will do that at least once or twice a week.  Because he deserves the business and he's working damn hard to get it.  I'll tell people about him too, like I'm telling you (helloooo out there).

image photo : Colourful fruit and veg
This is not the veg I bought, it is much more colourful.  
So there you have it, the yin and yang of customer service.  One unhappy lady with no newspaper and one happy fruit shop customer.  All in the space of 5 minutes.

I wish I could find that lady and give her a paper. For me, it's a no brainer.  So should I have said something?  Probably.  Damn.  Sometimes saying nothing and acting casual doesn't work.  Revelation.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Nemo has been found. In my hallway.

On Friday I had to take a fish home from school.  A big orange stripy, Nemo style fish...costume. 

Big, sequinny and extra shiny.  Hard to imagine.  So here is a photo.  

For Sarah's dance group.  For an act entitled: Gone Fishin'.  There are twelve fish and twelve fishermen.  The fish you see is just one of a series of sequin and colour combinations that would make your eyes pop, were you lucky enough to see the performance.  The fishermen wear green and orange overalls.  It's a fiesta of colour.  

Here is the fish, in action on the performer.  Our attractive green bathroom is in the background.  Classy.

Over the next four weeks she performs about 6 times in this costume.  I only hope something terrible doesn't happen to it in the meantime, because then I get to face the wrath of Mrs R the dance teacher. 

Oh lucky me.  

And to finish, completely off topic, is a picture of the view from Dobroyd Point this morning when I went for a run.  

To live about 500 metres from a view like this, blows my tiny little mind every time I see it.  I hope I never take it for granted.  

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Masterchef...not me.

Somewhere out there, a perfect family sits around a table, steaming, tasty looking dishes in front of them.  They all smile, perfectly groomed children pick up knives and forks and eat politely, staying in their seats, telling the creator of the meal (a smiling mum if we are to properly continue the stereotype), how delicious it is.

Dining Table
This is what my table looks like every night
After the meal is over, they take their empty plates to the kitchen, load the dishwasher themselves and go off quietly to finish their homework or do their music practice or....WAIT! STOP!

Can somebody slap me?  

Cooking. That day in, day out, do they really want dinner AGAIN sort of cooking, is not fun, it's seldom appreciated and it saps my (very limited) brain energy as I scramble, night after night to produce something, tasty, healthy, unprocessed, with all the five food groups in the correct proportions that five people will eat happily.


Really, who am I kidding, I'm not trying, because this is impossible.  I would go so far as to suggest I couldn't even do it for two consecutive nights.  I'd be lucky to do it for one.  I believe the correct terminology would be a fluke.

If it's got too many vegetables, it's a shit fight.  If it's got too much sauce, my beloved firstborn cracks a narna.  If it's remotely spicy it sends the drama queen into hysterics.

I can't win.

So I've stopped trying.  All I ask is that everyone eat their carrot because everyone seems to like it.  Josh likes broccoli.  Sarah doesn't mind green beans.  Issy likes complaining and falling asleep in her dinner.

And we have a few rules to limit the tears and tantrums (mine of course):

1. If I'm trying a new meal, everyone must make a reasonable effort to eat it.  The definition of reasonable is my decision.
2. Three out of five family members must like a meal for it to be repeated, (countless likely prospects have gone to dinner heaven due to dissent from the ranks).
3. Favourite meals can be requested only every fortnight (less often is preferable) at the risk of overdose and ceasing to be favourite.
4. On your birthday you get to pick your dinner, but it can't be McDonalds.
5. If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

Enough already
I'll keep trying new stuff, as recommended by friends, or complete strangers whose brains I pick, or found on websites or blogs, such as abeachcottage, or Babymac, because I can't spend the next ten years eating a relentless rotation of chilli con carne, stirfry and spag bol.

I drag out the slow cooker, I toy with soups, I loiter at the butcher.

Fruitless and soul destroying, yes.  But definitely a first world problem.

Recipes anyone?

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Fattening myself up.

Free Stock Photo: Close-up of feet standing on a scale

Aaah fat.  My ever constant companion.  Wrapping itself around my middle, flowing gently over the tops of my trousers.

I was a fat kid.  And a fat teenager.  Then I was a skinny teenager but I never realised it until I saw photos of myself and realised I had been skinny after all but I thought I was fat...damn.  

I am blessed (?) with a husband who just keeps on eating whatever he wants and looks almost the same as he did 20 years ago when I met him.  Bastard.  He loves to eat a whole packet of Smiths chips.  The big packet you'd take to a BBQ for ten people to share.

Fun Fact: If you ate one of those on your own, you'd have to do a half marathon to burn off the calories.  Unless you're Mike, then you don't.

Through my 20's I was a weight yo-yo.  

When I was pregnant, I ate for Australia.  Talk about embracing the eating for two thing.  It was my mantra.  And my downfall.  Because once 3kg Sarah was gone, there was still an awful lot of me left behind.  Even counting my enormous boobs.  

I never lost that baby weight, and when pregnant with Josh, I just kept on eating.  All the way up to 72kg.  

When he was 6 months old, I did Weight Watchers.  At first it was hell, then it was great.  It was so easy. I'd been eating so much crap, that once I changed my mindset, the kgs just vanished.  I was breastfeeding a very hungry boy too, and I kept on eating heaps, just fruit and veg instead of cakes and chocolate. 

All the way down to 57kg.  Which was a bit skinny and made me look a bit drawn.  I wasn't unhappy when I crept back up to 58 which is my official "goal weight". 

I cannot tell you how great I felt and what it did to my self esteem, and how much I loved shopping for clothes and how happy I felt when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and how supportive and admiring all my friends were.  

It. Was. Fabulous.  

And it stayed off.

For a while. 

Because when you have little tiny kids, you NEVER sit down.  Except to breastfeed, or driving the car.  And when you're on your feet, carrying, lifting, walking, dragging, negotiating (I do a lot of this, surely it's calorie burning?) for 12+ hours a day, the odd indulgence (ok chocolate every night after dinner) doesn't stick.  

But then they get older, and go to school, and instead of walking around the zoo, or chasing them around a park, or trawling the shops,  I sit on my bum every chance I get, and look at my computer screen.  Hello 3 kgs.   

These days I have to plan exercise around everyone else's complex timetables, so I jog (free, no fuss, no gym schedule).  I run and run to keep myself fit and help burn off some of this extra food I seem to be enjoying.

But that makes me hungry, so I eat and eat.  Taste test the dinner, eat the kids leftovers, plus my own (too large) meal.  Chocolate.   Cupcake/muffin/finger bun remainders. 

And of course, cheese and bickies and bubbles.  Who could forget those.  

Skinny jeans, my arse, fat jeans anyone? 

Tuesday, 22 May 2012


We have an excellent plumber, who is also our handyman. His name is Pete.  Mike is not handy.  Not at handyman things.  He's handy at complex financial analysis and board papers.  But he can't fix a dripping tap.  Or hang up a netball hoop.

And as it happened, we needed both these jobs done yesterday, so I called Pete.  Pete is tall, dark, handsome, young (like under 30) and endlessly good natured.  He is faultless.  He always fits my little jobs into his next day, so I never have to wait, and he always turns up on time.

Except the b**stard broke his arm riding a motorbike.  But it's OK, after I made all the appropriate noises that go with being told about a broken arm, and then all the other appropriate noises about the news of his new baby girl, he said he'd send his brother JP.  Just as tall, not as dark or handsome but just as lovely.  The next day of course, as always.

Early the same morning I had an appointment at the Doctor.  It's the one we all dread, it comes around every two years.  I usually wait for about four reminder letters before I make an appointment.  And I usually change the appointment about three times before I actually go.  But yesterday was it.  I went.

And then when I came home I left all the paperwork, referral letter, pathology form in all its helpful, informative detail etc, on the bench.  Next to the sink.  Where the dripping tap was.

The doorbell rang, JP arrived.  I showed him what needed doing, we debated the relative appropriate heights of netball hoops and he got to work.  

By the time I realised he was privy to my...well, you know, he was in the kitchen fixing the tap.  There was no way I could go down and remove the offending (offensive) documents.  It was far too late, he'd either read it or he hadn't, and I'd never know which one it was. 

Cue a nervous breakdown and general embarrassment upstairs in my office.  Very quietly. 

And then, when he'd fixed the tap and hung the hoop, we said goodbye and thank you etc, and in a perfect example of how this blog name is so necessary in my life, I said nothing and acted casual like a champion. (What the hell was there to say really apart from thanks, and please go quickly)  He left, quickly and politely, saying his brother (damn you Pete) would send me an invoice.

I think it might be his motto too, because whether he read it or not, (and let's face it, he could hardly avoid it), he was impeccably casual.

And why would it have been any better if Pete had read it?  It would have been far worse because I have always had a bit of a cougary crush on Pete.

So if you've any need for a plumber/handyman to come to your house and read your intimate gynaecological paperwork, please contact Pete at Jetstream Plumbing.  He'll be out of the cast in about 4 weeks, but he'll send JP your way in the meantime.  And please, don't mention I sent you.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Lovin' themselves sick

Do you ever come across one of your kids just hanging about in front of the mirror? Striking a pose, bit of a hip wiggle, the occasional snatch of song (usually something inappropriate by LMFAO).

My kids, especially the girls, love nothing more than a good 10 minutes just admiring their own reflection.  Being naked is popular.  Sarah likes to see her own muscles and is developing an unwelcome obsession with her 6 pack or 2 pack as she calls it.  This has come from gymnastics where they are always comparing their muscle tone and so far, strong discouragement from me has been cheerfully ignored.

Note to self: get used to being ignored (even more than I already am).

Issy loves to sing and dance to herself, almost kissing her own reflection she loves it so much. She also like lots of costume changes.  Nothing like a bit of healthy self esteem is there?

This is the child who, when you tell her she's gorgeous, says simply, "I know".  So it's not surprising really.

I've got no idea where all this self love comes from.  Maybe telling them they're great all the time does work.  It's definitely not a behaviour I'm modelling.  Admiring myself in the mirror is not something I get up to much.  Normally I work very hard not to see my own reflection, especially when I'm getting changed.  Which isn't easy with enormous floor to ceiling mirrored wardrobe doors in the bedroom. The people who lived here before us renovated in the late 70's/early 80's and then just left the entire house in a time warp for 20 years.  It's quite scary.  On many levels, not just the mirrors.  Retractible stovetop anyone?

I love how pleased they are with themselves now.  I know it won't last.  Once puberty kicks in there will be terrible self doubt and hormonal anxiety, rendering them unable to see their own beauty until the cloud of uncertainly disappears, hopefully around 18 but for many of us (well me anyway), never.

It's going to be so hard in the face of all the manufactured, superficial beauty that surrounds us to convince someone to be happy with how beautiful they are naturally.  And I mean internal beauty as well as external, even if teenagers don't.

When they were tiny, all we had to do was look after their bodies.  It was so easy then and I never appreciated it.  Damn.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Good Energy

There's nothing like a hit of good energy.  This weekend I received a whole heap of top notch energy when we attended my bestie's 40th birthday dinner in the Southern Highlands.  This required the Christensens to pack up for a sleepover in a big old house filled with 14 of my favourite people.

I'm slowly getting used to one of our closest family friends living an hour and a half (on a good day) away instead of a minute and a half.  It's not all bad, in fact, it's pretty fabulous, cause we get to visit, see the beauty of the country down there, let our kids run around with theirs on acreage, climb trees and play with the dog etc.

There's also a really scary pig.

The first class of bubbles (at 4pm) went down easily, followed by many (too many) more.  It was a huge treat, spending the evening with a group of people I love and can completely relax with and a wonderful celebration of my mate's 40th, which was nothing more than she deserved.

We were there for 24 hours of mad, noisy and chaotic fun.  And there was still lots of sitting around shooting the breeze in between chaotic moments.  I look forward to visiting them many, many times in the future.

The good energy, it should last me for quite a while.  Hopefully the hangover will be over soon.

Friday, 18 May 2012


Today I had the two school aged kids at home until 11am because the teachers were striking or meeting or something.  I think teachers are dreadfully underpaid for the amazing job they do, and I wasn't inconvenienced by the action, but I'm sorry for all working parents who were given another ball to juggle this morning.

But I digress.

I asked our fabulous babysitter Alex who is 18 and like all 18 year old boys? young men? funky hipster homies? not sure of correct terminology here and really am just embarrassing myself, is always keen for a bit of cash.  He came and hung out with the kids (threw them around the living room and watched Nickolodeon) for two hours while I did a run, and faffed about.

On reflection, I probably didn't need Alex to do that.  But he earned himself some beer money for tomorrow night.

Now I'll get to the point.

Sarah has a speech to perform next week in the public speaking competition held at her school.  The subjects are given to you, you pick one and prepare a three minute speech to present to the class. The two best in each class present to assembly and after that...welcome to the debating team.

The concept is excellent, it's the subjects that freak me out.  Here is a selection of topics my 8 year old can prepare a speech on.

Welcoming refugees
Every day is Harmony day
Multiculturalism at school
The Australian flag
Making a difference together
Sport brings people together

Can of worms anyone?

Seeing as Mike and I have had some of our biggest barnys over the first topic, I'd really like to see what's going on behind the scenes as parents try to "help" the kids write their speeches.  Or is that just our family?

While Sarah and I were discussing her topics, Alex (the babysitter-remember), put his two cents in and said they were the same ones he'd had to write on for his HSC!

What happened to Why I like panda bears or My favourite bird is the owl, or Joshie's winner from last year: My favourite game is Plants vs Zombies on Mum's ipad.

Sarah picked the first topic. Great.  So far, we've talked about boat people, Afghanistan, Somalia, people smugglers in Indonesia, desperation, loneliness and walking in other peoples shoes.  Because I'm a bolshie left winger.  And she hasn't written a word yet.  That's just her and I trying to get our heads around an enormous subject.  Mike will no doubt come home tonight and add his more right wing viewpoint into the mix.  And we'll probably have another barney.

I'm thinking we should perhaps pick "Sport brings people together" for her topic.  Less contentious?  Not quite as interesting, but I'm all for a quiet Friday night.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Car Pooling

Funny flowers picture

I am always car pooling.  Every day when I wake up, I take a few moments to remember what day it is and then I mentally drive everyone where they have to go, and home again.  Just to practice.  And mainly so I don't forget anyone.

I think the reason I am always so anxious about my car pooling responsibilities, is a constant fear of failing to collect someones child.  This did happen to me once. And once is more than enough, I can feel floods of angst and regret even as I write about it, 4 years later.  I was halfway down the Wakehurst Parkway, merrily on the way to a girlfriends house for afternoon tea, having volunteered (and then forgotten) to collect her four year old on my way past.  My dear friend rang me to enquire if I was anywhere near the preschool, because the staff wanted to go home and her child was the only one left.  I did a crazy u turn and screeched into the preschool car park 3 minutes later, but I've never forgotten, and I doubt my friend has either, even though she was very forgiving at the time.

At the moment my car pooling roster is:

Monday: gym
Tuesday: karate
Wednesday: tennis
Thursday: gym
Friday: wine (actually this isn't a car pool, I do this every week and need no roster to remember to do it)

The benefits of these sorts of arrangements are extensive, mainly because when it's not your turn you kick up your heels and partay, while someone else ferries your offspring around, and hopefully doesn't forget them.  I assume they are doing the same when it's my turn.

Apart from me, I don't know anyone who has forgotten a child but I can assure you, after my first early fail, I am a rock solid car pooler.

So here are my top tips for the ultimate car pooling success:

1. If you can remember, text during the day to confirm.  Even if you feel like stalker and you've been doing it for weeks.
2. Do a roster if you can and send it out on email.
3. Always advise as soon as you can if you can't fulfil your responsibilities eg. sickness, holiday etc.
4. No child left behind.

Surely someone out there has done it too?  Or am I alone in my negligence?  Anyone?

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Busy and Important

Today I left the Northern Beaches and travelled over the Spit Bridge for two proper grown up appointments.  Before I left I had to peel my Joshie off me, who decided at the last minute he didn't want to walk the long way to school with his big sister (longer by like, 40 metres), but preferred me to deliver him personally, like a little blue and grey package, to his assembly line.

And because today I am very busy and important and businesslike, I refused to soften, peeled him off one last time and waved him off with Sarah.  Last seen he was sulking around the bend in the road (not a metaphor, an actual bend) with Sarah pulling on his bag to hurry him up, trying to get him off her hands as quickly as possible so he'd stop cramping her nearly nine year old style.

Am I too harsh?  Pushing him too hard to be independent? I certainly felt guilty.  Which is my default feeling mostly.

My first meeting I had stressed about all morning as I thought my client was going to go over some work I had submitted with a fine tooth comb.  Instead they just gave me a pat on the back and some more work.  Woot!

After getting lost driving from Chatswood to the city (note to self: get out more) I picked up Mike and we drove to our architect's fancypants office in an uber cool laneway in East Sydney.  We got to see our renovation plans in 3D and had to make some tough decisions about costs and the extent of works.  

The upshot is the Christensens may be moving out for a few months at the end of the year while the bulk of the reno is done.  Anyone need a house sitter?

And after all this fun stuff, I drove back over the bridge to my (unrenovated) haven.  Josh said he'd been a bit silly this morning and he wouldn't do it again.

So the score is:

One sleepless night due to anxiousness about client meeting...wasted.
One guilty day due to son not wishing to separate...wasted.

The reno will take its share of sleepless nights in the future but so far I am all serene on that front.

Anything on your mind?  Just tell Dr Bec and I'll help you put it in perspective.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


Today I resemble at best, a duck, you know the simile, all serene on the top of the water, paddling like s**t underneath.  And that's at best, if I'm honest, the frantic feeling shows on my face and in my actions.

And when I do get a few minutes to sit down and watch my beloved third child have her preschooler tennis (cause she so needs to learn tennis at 4), I will check my phone six times, text someone for no reason, read an article on email, all while chatting to the other mums.  No just sitting still and watching her miss the ball six times.  No sireee.

Tuesdays are messy in our house.  We have assorted errands to run, and three extracurricular activities, several costume changes, including a final one into pyjamas after swimming.  Dinner has to be sorted early because we don't get home until nearly 6:30.  Hello slow cooker.

I think this is why I struggle to settle when I do get time to write.  It's difficult to break the habit of doing several things at once and thinking of what's next and who needs to be where.

I know I'm not alone here.  In fact, I think I'm in pretty good company.  May be force be with you all.

Monday, 14 May 2012


Today I am amazed.  Mainly because I started this blog.  I'm also amazed by my kids who decided they were dinosaurs at the breakfast table and designed a menu consisting of such delicacies as 'leg on toast' and 'meat bix'.

I'm struggling a bit with The Voice and not in fact, amazed at all.  Clearly they've told everyone to be extra nice, no matter how questionable the performance.  I will name no names.  If you're watching it, you know who they are.

Finally I'm amazed at myself for running 8km yesterday in the Mother's Day Classic.  Today my quads hurt so much I can barely get down the stairs.  Apparently the second day is worse. Can't wait.

I wonder what I'll be tomorrow?