25 December, 2007

Merry Christmas everyone!

Hi all, sorry I haven't been around lately. With my mum and dad visiting, and now having all the family here, things have been very busy. It's been lots of fun - with a bit of tension thrown in. There's always a little bit of tension when you get that many people together in one place, I suppose.

For those that celebrate it, I hope you're all having a lovely Christmas day. We all trooped over to J's parents' place for lunch. It was lovely. Too much food though (isn't it always the way?).

The rest of the family have now gone to where two of my sisters, and families, are staying. They have a pool there, so everyone else has gone off for a swim while we give Chickie the chance to quieten down, play with his new toys himself and have an early night. The last few nights he's gone to bed so late and since he doesn't know the meaning of sleeping in, he's been over tired. An earlier night is sorely needed! Plus, it gives J and I a bit of a break too.

And finally, I don't want to leave things on a downer but if you can spare some positive vibes I'd appreciate it. A friend's father had a farm accident a few days ago and has lost one of his legs. They've rushed him to a big Sydney hospital to try to save the other and it looks good, but they say there's always the chance they won't be able to save it. Any positive vibes you can spare would be welcomed. My friend (T) and her family were our next door neighbours whilst growing up and we're quite close. T is very close to her dad and she was quite shaken when she called to let me know.

It was quite a coincidence really - just days before, a girl (that T and my sister D went to school with) was on Today Tonight before going to jail for fraud. Then the morning before T called to let me know about her dad, the rest of my family were discussing the story of the accident they read about in the newspaper. Since my home town is fairly small, they presumed they knew the person - even though the article didn't give any names. Was a bit of a shock to find out it was my friend's dad.

Anyway, hope everyone has a lovely holiday season - take care and have fun. I'm sure I'll be round to read everyone's blogs once everyone goes home again!

09 December, 2007

Day three

Yes, it's already day three into my holidays and I'm exhausted.

First day was spent being very very lazy.

I did nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Well ok, I tidied up a little bit (aka: toss Chickie's toys into his room and shut the door, to be dealt with later) and a few loads of washing (well I needed clothes for day two, you see...). Oh and I did play a bit of World of Warcraft.

Day two saw J, Chickie and I at the shops. Specifically the toy shops. On a Saturday. A few weeks before Christmas.

Were we mad???

Ok, so we were scouting out for ideas for Chickie and for my niece and nephews. Didn't really need to bother with Chickie though. All he wants is Star Wars stuff. Star Wars Lego specifically. I'm just glad we didn't have to go through any checkouts and that it only took us one and a half goes around the car park to get a spot. I'll go back during the week when (hopefully!) things will be slightly quieter. If I go this week, at least school is still happening so that's going to make things easier.

Then today, day three, saw us dealing with Chickie's room. Chickie comes from a long line of hoarders and for a long time wouldn't even let us throw out the boxes of some of his toys from last Christmas. His room was a mess. J was quite ruthless with the old toys though. Anything broken got tossed, anything no longer played with is in a plastic tub (with the view of seeing if a friend with a 1 year old wants any of it), and his room is a lot more spacious. On the other hand our lounge room is a bit of a mess. I moved all Chickie's old clothes out there to be sorted through. I'll keep a couple of sentimental pieces but the rest will be given to charity (if I can find somewhere with a charity bin that's not already overflowing). That will be my job tomorrow.

That, along with shopping, cleaning (my parents arrive this week), more washing, posting presents and relaxing (ah well, perhaps later).

29 November, 2007

Hand over fist

That's how our money is heading out of our household at the moment...

We've had a few upgrades to things furniture and pc-wise lately. Stuff we've been looking at getting for months really, but we finally just went ahead and bought what we needed (we have a new lounge!).

Then last weekend J's car had a bit of a fit. He found the motor is on the way out and has been contacting people for quotes on repairing or replacing the motor (that's cheaper apparently). Last night he was about 10 minutes from home when the motor had another hissy fit. He said there was smoke and oil everywhere. I'm glad he was so close to home when it happened since he had actually been nearly 45 mins from home at one stage. His dad was able to tow him home safe and sound.

Unfortunately now, we're looking at a minimum $1500 to replace the motor. Expensive things these cars...

It's going to be a bit of swapping and changing while organising around one car, a bit of a hassle when you're so used to having two. Thankfully J's dad works in the same area as J, so they can carpool. Plus I'm on holidays from Friday the 6th of December (did I mention I have a month off work at all? hehe), so that will make things a bit easier then. I've no idea how long it will take to get it fixed.

22 November, 2007

Grrr...

I am so annoyed at the moment.

Our work has a casual dress policy - we can wear smart casual clothes. It's company wide, however some parts of the company are customer facing so they wear business attire. Most of our callcentres are not open to the public though, so our clothing is more relaxed and comfortable. There's obviously certain rules - no inappropriate slogans on t-shirts, no revealing clothing, no ripped/dirty items etc. All fair enough if you ask me.

Now we've had a directive from management to say that no shorts of any kinds will be allowed. Nothing that shows the ankles will be permitted. This leaves the guys with one option - long pants. We're coming into summer and it's going to be a hot one I think. We've had some very hot days already and we're not even into summer proper yet. I really don't think that's fair for them.

Women can wear skirts apparently, but there's a few problems that I have with this - one is that the few skirts I own (I'm not really a skirt person) are the full flowing type of skirt. I just don't feel that I'd be business like enough in them. I feel more business like in my long shorts (capri pants). If I don't wear the skirts though, I'm going to be stuck with long pants (and the only long pants I have are jeans). I really don't want to have to wear jeans to work in 40 degree days!

To me, it feels that they want business wear policy back again so they're kinda doing it by stealth... When I started we had to wear business attire and it seemed so pointless. We never saw anyone but our workmates. We were thrilled when they brought in the casual dress policy. People still had the option of wearing business attire but hardly anyone did - in our building at least.

I'm not sure what's brought this on. I've never seen or heard of anyone wearing inappropriate shorts. It really doesn't seem fair on the guys - almost discriminatory.


I'm currently trying to convince the guys in my team to wear skirts/kilts to work...

19 November, 2007

more musical leanings?

A few posts back I asked a question about what age is good to start learning a musical instrument, in case Chickie is ever interested. Now I'm thinking perhaps I should look into some sort of musical type program - even if he hasn't actually directly expressed a wish to learn an instrument. Something that's fun with some sort of musical theme, if you know what I mean (I have no idea what's actually available).

Now most of the time Chickie will tell me not to sing - because I can't. I freely admit it - and still do it! He's 'allowed' me to sing along with the radio in my car, because well, it's my car and I'm going to do it anyway. He sings along too actually.

The only other time I'm 'allowed' to sing is when I put him to bed. He even asks me to sing him a song or two. Last night he started giving me musical direction...

He's watched the video clips of some of the songs I sing and was telling me that I need to sing lower at one point. Later he was saying I was doing it wrong because I wasn't starting softly and getting louder (lets forget the fact that I try to sing softly because I want him to get sleepy!). There were lots more 'suggestions' from him, but to be honest, I was concentrating more on just remembering the lyrics!

He's obviously got a better 'ear', than I have, for music.

14 November, 2007

Today is world diabetes day


From the World Diabetes Day website:

Today, more than 240 million people worldwide are living with diabetes. Within 20 years, this number is expected to grow to 380 million.

This is a huge number and a lot of people with type 2 diabetes don't know they have it. When I was diagnosed with type 2, I had no obvious symptoms. The only indicators I had were a family history and having gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with Chickie. I had to have insulin shots while pregnant and apparently this meant I had a 50% risk of getting type 2 diabetes within 5 years. Due to this my doctor sent me off for a yearly test and that's how it was picked up.

If you'd like more information about diabetes or want to see if you're at risk, try this page.

If you think you're at risk, I would strongly encourage you to see your doctor and get tested. The earlier you find it, the better.

13 November, 2007

fostering an interest in music

I don't know if I've mentioned this in the past, but when listening to the radio in the car, Chickie has to know the name of the song, who's singing and who wrote the song. Woe betide me if I don't know the answer...

I've taken to making stuff up, on occasion (hey, it's been quite a while since I worked in radio - I don't know every song out there any more!).

His latest thing is to ask what's making the music, so I've been trying to identify which instrument is playing at the time in the song. Luckily it's fairly easy with one of his favourites at the moment - Into the Night by Santana and Chad Kroeger.

So my question is, for anyone musical out there, if he expresses an interest in learning a musical instrument at any stage in the future, what age would you recommend to start? I don't want to push it all but if he ever does express an interest I'd like to start him at an age that encourages him rather than discourages because it's too much at that age - if you know what I mean.

11 November, 2007

back again

Hi everyone, break's over. So now you'll be subjected to all my trivial thoughts again... Did you miss me? (no, don't answer that - I'd rather keep my little illusion, that you did, intact hehe)

Haven't been doing much over the last month. The usual stuff at work, Chickie's doing great at school and I've been playing a fair bit of World of Warcraft (good to lose yourself in, when you don't want to think too hard ;) and I've made some very good friends there).

I'm totally hanging out for December though. I will have a whole month off. I can not wait!

My mum and dad will be visiting for a fair chunk of it, and then the rest of my family (3 sisters and their families) is coming over for Christmas. I haven't seen some of them in years and some have never visited us here. I can't wait.

J and I are also trying to organise a quick trip to Melbourne to see Spamalot. I just love Monty Python and I've heard this is really good. Will be a bit of a rush but I hope we can organise it for when I'm on my holidays.

Now I plan on visiting everyone's blogs soon, but I'm going to just mark everything in my bloglines as read. It's just overflowing. So if I miss anything important, I'll apologise right now. Congratulations, commiserations, good luck etc for anything I miss. I hope you've all been well.

Oh and I don't know if I mentioned this but I'm really looking forward to my holidays in December...

15 October, 2007

Thanks and a short break

Thank you to everyone, for your kind comments after G's death.

The funeral was typical G, complete with Toni Basil's 'Mickey' and Robbie Williams' 'Let me entertain you' played at times. It was still sad though, hearing about other people's stories about her.

With all this, I'm feeling like I need a short break from blogging. I'm just not in the mood at the moment. I will be back soon though, I'm sure! Be well, and I'll come visit your blogs again soon.

05 October, 2007

There's one less wonderful person in the world today. G passed away earlier this morning.

Thanks to everyone for your kind comments on my last post. They were much appreciated and really helped me.

02 October, 2007

Down

Pardon me, but this will be a bit of a gloomy, rambling and probably self-indulgent post.

If you've read my blog recently, you may know that a friend (G) is currently in palliative care and has only weeks to live. I've visited her a couple of times and the last time I saw her, she seemed brighter but drifted in and out of sleep several times during the half hour visit.

I came away from the last visit in two minds. On one side it was good to see her brighter. She'd been able to have a 'bath' of sorts and the staff wheeled her bed outside since it was such a lovely day. Such small things, but they can bring joy.

Then the down side of things... G obviously doesn't have a lot of energy. It was hard seeing her drift in and out of sleep in such a short time. The conversation faltered as she drifted off to sleep and the other visitors (her nephew and his family) and I fell silent. We looked at each other with the sort of half smile you make when you're trying to be cheerful for someone else. Then a few minutes later G would resume the conversation - obviously unaware she'd drifted off.

Then today I received an email from a friend - K (who is more like a second daughter) and she said that when she'd talked to the nurses today, she was told that G wasn't doing too well. K said she'd let me know if it was anything serious and I haven't heard from her, so no news is good news at this stage, I guess.

The fact that G has weeks to live is so strange to me. She's always been so strong, even when she wasn't physically strong. It's like everything's on hold, and we're just waiting. I can't imagine how it must feel for G herself, or her family.

I'm not really that familiar with death either. I've been to a total of 3 funerals in my life - my grandmother about 10 years ago, a work-mate's father's funeral last year and my friend B's earlier this year. I've had other (usually elderly) relatives die but I've not been around before anyone actually died. It's all so... weird. I know this is all very self-indulgent - it must be ten million times harder for G's family. I feel almost guilty for feeling upset that G is going to die soon (god, that's hard to say).

Hey, if you got this far... thanks for reading my ramble. I like that blogging gives me a way to just get some of this out.

30 September, 2007

But muuuuuuuum...

The complaint from Chickie:

"Why do you make me do everything?"

The heinous crime:

I told him to get up and get his own drink bottle, when he was thirsty.

The kicker?

He was about a metre away from the drink bottle (it was a chair over from him in the lounge room), whereas I was 2 rooms away.

I'm such a mean mother...

27 September, 2007

ups and downs

You know, there's no way I'd be able to be bulimic. You'd be able to tell straight off with me.

I currently have splotches all around my mouth and eyes because I've been ill last night and today. I suppose it's broken blood vessels in my face, and it doesn't look very attractive. Not that I particularly care how I look right now. Heck I'm still in my pj's (and have been all day). Right now, all I care about is whether my stomach could keep down a little bit of chicken soup. I did manage to have some vegemite toast at lunch time so perhaps it will be ok.

Of course the annoying thing is that we may have to cancel a bbq with our friends. You see, we'd organised to have friends come over a couple of weeks ago. They had to cancel since their baby had conjunctivitis (which they didn't want to share - phew!), so we organised for them to come over last Friday. Again they had to cancel as one of them had a nasty case of tonsilitis. So, it was arranged for them to come over tomorrow. Now I'm hoping I'll be over this stomach bug, but given how queasy I still feel... I have my doubts. Oh well, we'll wait and see.

--

Chickie had a great time at his sports day yesterday. He even got a ribbon for third in the 5 year old boys race. He's so proud of it.

They had all sorts of cute stuff like the dressup race (yep, putting on clothes, bag, necklaces etc), the egg and spoon race, the water race and the sack race. I had to work, but J took the day off and Chickie's grandmother and grandfather dropped in for a bit too. So there were lots of photos for me to see.

25 September, 2007

call centres

Have you ever worked in a call centre? I'm sure most people have called one, but have you ever wondered what it's like on the other side? Have a read of this. Now our company is pretty good. We're paid well and while there are times where it's exhausting and stressful, I don't believe we've ever had things go to this extreme.

That said, though the story might be exaggerated (aren't most stories in the media exaggerated?), I can totally see it being true - because the same basics seem to apply all over. I've also heard similar stories from people who have worked in call centres for other companies.

It can be a tough job sometimes, especially when it gets busy. We're flat out at the moment and our team is getting offered as much overtime as we want. It's leading to burn out though. There are quite a few in our team feeling like they can't take much more. I must admit I broke down today, though I think it was a combination of the workload and stress - as well as the shock of my friend G having only weeks to live. It's so embarrassing crying in your cubicle.

On a more upbeat note, Chickie has a sports day at school tomorrow and he's so excited about it. He's in the yellow team, so please send all yellow vibes this way tomorrow!

Also, it's the last week of the school term, this week, and his class is having a little party on the last day. We have to bring a plate of something to share. Half the class has been asked to bring something savoury and the other half sweet. We have to bring savoury, but I'm suffering brain fade and can't think of a thing. Any suggestions?

24 September, 2007

Sad

I went to visit a friend (G) in hospital tonight. She fought breast cancer a few years back and thought she'd won. Then earlier this year they discovered she had a tumour in her brain that was inoperable. She had chemo again and was on the verge of coming back to work (just an hour a week to ease her into things), when things went downhill suddenly last Friday.

So now she's in palliative care and they're saying it's a matter of weeks. She won't be going home again.

G is one of the receptionists at work and she is one of the most lovely and loving people you could ever meet. Our building has hundreds of people working there and it's going to be hard when she does pass away. She's so loved in our company that the head of the division flew over to visit her.

I'm just torn up about this. I'm trying not to cry in front of Chickie but seeing G tonight was a shock.

19 September, 2007

back to everyday life

My 4 days off was nice - but it's back to the everyday again now. Work's as busy as usual and I'm looking forward to my usual weekend off this week - though that's going to be busy too!

Friday we have some friends coming around for a bbq. On Saturday night J's work is putting on a 10 pin bowling evening (their social club tries quite hard to organise fun stuff for the staff and their families). Good thing I've already seen the season finale of Doctor Who, otherwise I'd be going nowhere! Then Sunday after work, we're going around to a friend's place to celebrate his birthday.

Chickie's going well at school. He's been the 'Star of the Day' again and received more little certificates (latest was for 'getting along with others'). He's so proud of them, but also a bit jealous of one boy, who apparently has 'one hundred fifty million nine'* certificates.

His class went on an excursion to the zoo yesterday. Chickie was so excited - and so exhausted at the end of the day. He's been telling me all about endangered animals and also about how his best friend didn't get to see a turkey. I'm guessing his friend must have been really disappointed since Chickie's mentioned it several times since the excursion!

I was waiting at the school for the bus (it was running a little late) and overheard one of the other teachers talking about Chickie's teacher (L) and how she thought that L was crazy for taking the kids on an excursion. She was saying there was no way she'd put herself through it and that L would learn once she'd been in the job a few years. I don't know... taking a bunch of 5 year olds to the zoo wouldn't be something I'd want to do either, but I'm kind of glad L is relatively new to the job and had the enthusiasm to organise it. Chickie had a great time.

*direct quote from Chickie.

13 September, 2007

feeling relaxed

Day two of my 4 day weekend and I'm feeling a little tired. Well, playing World of Warcraft til 3am will do that I guess - even if I didn't have to get up at any particular time (I got up at 9 anyway since I was awake). Killing virtual monsters is quite therapeutic!

I'm feeling quite relaxed, knowing I don't have to go into work. Guess the stress was getting to me. Even my blood sugar levels are lower on waking. The last 3 or 4 weeks they seem to be in the high 7's in the mornings (it's meant to be around 5.5), no matter what I did the night before - hard workout, snack before bed, no snack before bed, lowering the carb levels at dinner. Yet yesterday and today - 5.6 and 5.7. I need to win a lottery and become independently wealthy. For my health, don'tcha know...

Hmmm... what to do now... perhaps a nice relaxing bubble bath? I figure I've earned it since I've just done a workout on the exercise bike.

Oh and I'd just like to say that Nori Wasabi flavoured peanuts are delish and very addictive (not to mention quite hot!). Very good when you have the munchies but don't want to go overboard - I can't really have very many at a time.

11 September, 2007

A long weekend!!

Yay! 4 days off. I'm looking forward to doing very little the next few days. Think of me sleeping in, if you're getting up to work over the next few days. [grin]

We took Chickie to see Ratatouille today. It was pretty good and I loved the Pixar short film at the beginning. All three of us laughed a lot at that.

I still don't have a new mobile phone yet. Work still hasn't posted the new phone deals for the month - and we're nearly halfway through the month! I've decided I should get something with navigation/maps etc, a decent camera (2 or 3 megapixel will do) and something that's not too big. Some of the ones I've looked at are quite big in size and probably have more features than I really need (well want actually, all I really need is something for calls and text). Of course, if I decide not to bother waiting and just go buy something - odds are that it will be the next to go on special.

05 September, 2007

A better day today

because it's J's birthday! It's not been a real exciting day for him though. He took today off work but still had to go to TAFE this afternoon (he's studying computer programming). At least he had a relaxing morning. Hopefully we can do something special this weekend.

Chickie's not feeling so great though. Looks like he's got a cold, poor thing. I thought it might be allergies at first, since I've also had a bit of light hayfever lately, but no, I think it's a cold. He looked quite wrung out today.

As for me... I've organised to have a 4 day weekend next week. I'm feeling the stress a bit at work so decided I needed a bit of down time. I can't wait!

04 September, 2007

I'm in a bad mood

A Very Bad Mood, in fact.

I start work at 6.30am. I am so not a morning person. Getting up at 5.30am is a struggle for me. I do this so I can ensure I'm there to pick Chickie up from school in the afternoons (J takes him to school in the mornings). I will be putting in for after school care - when it becomes available because I'm finding it hard to get up this early (not to mention work is letting me start at 6.30 as a favour - it costs them, since I get paid at a higher rate if I start early).

So, why can't Chickie cooperate and not wake me up 15 minutes before my alarm is supposed to go off? I cannot stand being woken just before my alarm goes off. He wouldn't go back to sleep either, so I'm grumpy from being woken early and he's whiny because he's up too early. Heaven only knows what he'll be like after a full day of school. He's so tired afterwards, even when he has had enough sleep!

Of course, then I come into work (after cursing all the idiot drivers in front of me, on the way in) and the first calls I have are people whining or looking for an easy way out of the call they're on. I hope neither was psychic, since all I was thinking was 'Stop whining, because I don't care, just go do your job properly!'

It's going to be a long day...

31 August, 2007

The research continues

I'm still no closer to deciding on a new mobile phone. I do have a bit of an excuse though. One of the guys at work recommended I wait until next week as work will have a new lot of handsets on special. If I get it through work, I can get it cheaper (the perks of working for a telco!) - not to mention the staff plans are pretty good.

The down side is that there's a limited range on offer. So I'll wait and see. My supervisor used to work in the mobile department and he recommends either a Sony Ericsson or a Samsung. He doesn't think much of the other brands.

I did go have a look at a few handsets today and I've been asking friends what they have and what they like. A couple of my friends think I should get the Nokia 6110 Navigator. Apparently my knack for getting lost easily is well known!

Hmm... perhaps that's not a bad idea ;)

28 August, 2007

lunar eclipse

Are you in a spot where you can see it? If so, go outside - right now! It's so cool.

If not - take a look here.

--
Edited to add...

Check out my friend Ian's pic, of the eclipse, at splendor-solis.

27 August, 2007

Doin' research

So people, I need your opinions...

I'm looking into buying a new mobile phone. My current one is almost 3 years old now and it's starting to do weird things on me. The latest stunt it's pulling is disconnecting me in the middle of calls and then flashing on and off for a few minutes. It seems to be ok if I turn it off for a while but it's happening more and more now, so I'm looking around.

I don't really need anything too fancy - calls, text, alarm function, a camera and bluetooth are the only 'must haves' (and most of those are standard these days anyway).

So tell me about your current phone or a phone you covet. What do you like about it, what do you hate? What will you never buy ever again? Feel free to rave about various features you use all the time. There's probably lots I could use but have never just bothered with!

Oh and Americans... please don't talk to me about the iphone - I'd love one of those but they won't be available, here in Australia, for quite some time yet... /pout

25 August, 2007

A day at the museum

And nothing came to life. Life is never like the movies , is it...

It was pretty cool though. Our local museum has a giant squid in an old elevator shaft, so you can see it from all 4 levels. There's even a perspex floor at the top to look down on it. For some reason though, no one wanted to stand on it!

J took Chickie to the museum months ago while I was at a friend's funeral and Chickie's been dying to go back ever since. So yesterday I suggested we go this weekend. Turned out to be good timing too, since they were having a science day thing there too - lots of extra displays and stuff to look at. We fluked that one quite nicely.

One giggle of the day... at one point, I sat on a handy chair to re-tie my shoelaces, then looked up at the wall to see a sign labelled 'Antiquities' just over me. I banned J from taking a picture hehe.

One moment I wasn't sure what to say was when I came out of the ladies. Chickie ran up to me excitedly and dragged me over to see something. He pointed to a boy with two artificial legs (not the real looking sort) and said "Look mum, robot legs!! Cool!!". I just said "yeah! Oooh look over here, a skeleton!". I hope the boy didn't hear us. Chickie wasn't mean about it (quite the opposite) but I daresay when you're in that position, you're probably sick of comments at all.

Then on the way back to the car, we checked out one of the bigger book shops and I ended up buying lots of books for myself. I feel a bit guilty since they were all for me - and I could have bought way more, quite easily!

Oh and thanks to everyone who voted for my friend. She didn't win (in fact I think she probably came last unfortunately) but at least she won $1000 and she's our state winner. Plus as J says "that's better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick" (that saying always makes me laugh). I was personally hoping that the QLD entrant would win, if my friend didn't. The other two looked too tarty in my opinion.

20 August, 2007

Huh??

I got yelled at when I went through McDonald's drive thru yesterday. I was picking up a few orders for the guys at work, as well as my lunch, so it took a bit of time for them to hand me my order (probably didn't help that they had some trainees on). There were two cars behind me and one woman started yelling 'hurry up red car!'

Err ok, like got I've any control over how fast they work...

Not to mention it was 11am on a Sunday, so I wouldn't exactly call it rush hour.

Now, if you feel you can spare a vote for my friend in the Triple M Hot Mama's competition - please go visit their website here. From the front page, click on the 'View the hot mum galleries' link, then click on the picture to go to the finalist voting page. My friend is number 4 - Tricia. She's the underdog at the moment, so any votes you can spare would be greatly welcomed! She has a chance at $5000 - decided by a web vote.

I won't link directly to the gallery because it auto-detects my state and I don't want to mess up the link for others. I don't know if that means you won't be able to vote if you're outside Australia, but if someone would like to try and let me know, I'd appreciate it.

Oh and feel free to spread the word, the more votes, the merrier!

14 August, 2007

Cool!

Do you happen to listen to Triple M (if you're an aussie) in the afternoons? If so, you might have heard a friend on the show. One of my mum's group friends has been voted our state's 'hottest mama' in a radio competition. She was over the moon when she called me - particularly since the prize was $1000. She did say she's kinda glad that her hubby entered her now!

Next week she'll be running against the winners of the other states for a chance at $5000. It'll be a website vote, so if I find out the link I'll post it, in case you can spare a vote.

Funnily enough, I talked to my sister (in a different state) tonight and she said she heard my friend's chat and thought that she seemed to be the only one who didn't sound 'up herself' and was planning on voting for her - even before she found out we were friends!

12 August, 2007

hodge podge post

So I've been a little scarce lately. Things are very busy at work so I come home mentally wiped out. Found a good little diversion though. Anyway, here's a hodge podge post of what I've been up to lately.

A friend asked us to download some patches for World of Warcraft, since he was throttled and couldn't grab them himself, and gave us his guest account to play with. It lasts for 10 days so J and I have been having fun killing monsters etc. It's a good way to work out some frustrations of the working day (particularly when you get to deal with some very nutty customers - must post about some of the more bizarre customers one of these days).

J fixed the curtain. Just in time for when a friend brought her kids around to play with Chickie. It appears that school might be giving him more confidence. When he's played with these friends in the past, he's been kind of quiet - more a follower, than a leader. This time he was downright bossy!

Oh he's received another certificate at school - this time for organisation. The last was for persistence - these are two skills I wouldn't have thought were his strengths so perhaps they're trying to encourage things in those areas?? I'm all for it though :)

We went to a quiz night on Friday night. It was to raise money for the netball club that J's mum coaches for. We usually do ok (usually 2nd or 3rd) but this year we came equal last. We were down in numbers a bit though since we had half the numbers of the other tables (due to illness). It was fun though - we were feeding Chickie wrong answers and having him say them out loud. He thought it was hilarious! We won a couple of cool prizes in the raffles though - including a remote control car for Chickie.

Saturday, J and I went and saw an Indian movie - Chak De! India - loved the scene in the McDonalds. The rest of the crowd in the cinema were quite amusing. They were cheering and clapping at various parts.

Well, spose I'd better get off to bed. Another busy day at work tomorrow. Night all...

05 August, 2007

Grrr..

We only have half a curtain hanging in our lounge room tonight...

In our lounge room we have a rocker recliner chair. Chickie has a very bad habit of jumping on it and into it. He gets told off and put in time out for doing it. Still he keeps doing it. He's started losing privileges lately.

So tonight, he was doing it again. This time he did it when the chair was pushed up against the curtain, so basically pulled on the curtain and pulled the screw out of the wall and down came half the curtain rod and curtain.

Not happy Jan...

I feel so exposed. Even though we have canvas awnings covering the front verandah, so we're not completely visible from the front yard, it just feels wrong.

03 August, 2007

Time and place, people, time and place!

No sleep in today unfortunately, as J had to go on a trip to Brisbane for a meeting. I got to get up and take Chickie to school.

As we're getting out of the car just outside the school, we can hear two people having an absolute screaming match across the road. A man and a woman, several cars apart, yelling at each other about their kids - so presumably a former husband and wife. Thing is, the poor kids were right there, looking absolutely miserable. Chickie was a bit scared by the yelling as it was, so I just got him into school quickly, after reassuring him it was just an argument. He hasn't really experienced that much though, J and I don't really argue much.

Then after I'd dropped him off I was walking behind a lady who called out to a friend who was across the road and she commented that she was off to visit a shopping centre nearby. As a joke, the lady across the road called back "Don't do that, you'll get stabbed" (there was someone stabbed to the hands the other day when someone tried to steal her bag, at that shopping centre). Now this was right in front of the school - with kids still going in. For pete's sake people, 5 year olds do not need to hear that - even as a joke! Gah!

After that, I went and caught the Simpson's movie - gave me a laugh. If you haven't seen it, stay for the credits.

If you've visited House & Baby lately, you see she's doing a Flashback Friday. I've been feeling in the flashback mood today, only not with photos. I've been surfing YouTube for 80's music, so if you want to check out some of the songs I liked in the 80's, go visit my other blog Visual Parallax.

02 August, 2007

Is there something I'm missing here?

Ok, for those of you who are women and exercise, perhaps you can explain something to me...

What is the point of those 'shelf bras' in work out shirts?

Are you supposed to wear a bra with them or are you supposed to use the shelf bra only? I would have thought that a shelf bra wouldn't be enough support during exercise, even for the under endowed. But then, wouldn't you get too hot and sweaty having that extra layer in that area, if you're wearing a bra as well?? Or am I the only one who 'glows'* copiously in that area?

So what's the point of them - can anyone enlighten me?



* My mum always said 'horses sweat, men perspire and women glow'.

28 July, 2007

Of wizards, buses and stars.

Well, I've had a week off work (back to the daily grind tomorrow) and I must admit I haven't done a lot with it. I've mostly been reading the new Harry Potter book (loved it and now have plans to read the lot again from the beginning) to fill in time between dropping off and picking up Chickie from school.

I did schedule a few appointments this week too. A doctor's appointment for my regular HbA1c (I have a lovely bruise in the crook of my right elbow) and a cut and colour for my hair (looks nice, thanks for asking), not to mention going to see the latest Harry Potter movie. Still I don't feel like I accomplished much this week. It was pretty relaxing though.

On my way to the hair dressers the other day, I saw something for the first time - a two bus collision. Well, I didn't see the actual collision but but the police were there putting up traffic cones and the buses were still there. One had a smashed in front left corner and the other had the side of the bus smashed in. I've heard of plenty of cars try their luck at intersections, and t-bone other cars but I've never heard of buses doing it. Perhaps the drivers were playing chicken?

Chickie's loved the first week of school. On Thursday he was the star of the day and was the leader for their fitness class. He was so proud to show me his name in the big star on the board.

I didn't need to worry about what to feed him. He's mostly been eating ham sandwiches and his fruit (usually bananas) and usually finishes his Vita-weat crackers at home. He's still as hungry as a horse at home but it sounds like he's too busy to eat at school. I'm just glad he's enjoying it.

24 July, 2007

Day two

And Chickie was excited to go back to school. So, I figure he must have enjoyed himself. He didn't care that we were going yesterday and barely looked in our direction as we were leaving today. Mind you, after asking about his day yesterday, you'd think all he'd done all day was play in the playground and in the sand pit!

He must be making friends though. We went down to the shops afterwards to get a little celebration cake, of his choosing, for starting school (a choc mint mud cake from the Cheesecake Shop - well, a quarter of one really) and a little girl in a similar 'uniform' called out his name and said hello. He didn't know her name, mind you...

So, all in all he's fine. Me on the other hand... well, I still can't believe he's old enough to go to school. Yesterday, J and I came home and I had a tear or two and then J left for work. I tried to settle down to read the new Harry Potter book but just couldn't concentrate on it. So, I haven't got very far yet. I've got the full week off work and I've scheduled something each day (today I saw the new Harry Potter movie - loved it) so hopefully I'll actually finish the book sometime!

I'm glad I'm not working this week. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be much use there, while I'm this scatterbrained!

23 July, 2007

All growed up

Well, my sweet little baby is a big school boy now. J and I took him in this morning, found his spot in the classroom, put his water bottle in the basket with the others, his lunch box and hat in his tray, then hung his (now empty) school bag in the cloak room. We left him there happily drawing a picture and talking to the girl who sits next to him.

He was so excited to be all dressed up in his uniform (though I don't think he's going to like wearing the skivvies I got, he kept fiddling with the neck) and wearing his backpack. He barely waved when we left, so I think the visits a few weeks ago were a very good idea.

J and I got sniffly on the way out. You probably won't be surprised to hear I was more 'sniffly' though ;)

I feel at a bit of a loose end now (I have this week off work), but it's probably a good thing I have the new Harry Potter book to distract me until 3pm.

22 July, 2007

The countdown is on!

No, not the Harry Potter one - that one's been and gone and J's currently reading the book in the bedroom. The real countdown is that Chickie starts school Monday morning.

How is it possible that he's old enough to go to school now? I know he's ready for it. His teacher at the childcare centre tells me he's completely ready academic wise. They're doing this Letterland thing and he's just soaking it up like a sponge. They've only been doing it a few weeks and he spelt out the word Myer today, while shopping (and technically they're only up to the letter F!). She also says he's very social and will probably find it very easy to make friends.

We've bought clothes for him to wear. The school's dress code is navy, red and white. So far we have lots of navy stuff and a few red things. It was actually really hard to find stuff for him in navy, in his size. There was plenty of grey around but hardly anything in navy. I managed to find two pairs of navy school uniform type pants (one in size 4 which will only fit for a while, and one in size 5) and as a back up, he has two pairs of cord navy pants. This is just not the time to be looking for winter clothing - all the summer stuff is starting to come out!

Anyway, all the new clothes have been washed and hopefully it will be enough to keep him reasonably clothed.

We've been practising opening lunch containers. He's not finding that so easy - some of the new containers we've bought are a bit stiff still. Hopefully they'll loosen up soon and in the mean time we've bought some resealable plastic bags that he finds easier.

His lunch is probably going to be a bit boring to start with. He's decided all he wants on his sandwiches is either vegemite or ham. He likes the idea of Vita-Weat crackers with vegemite and either bananas or apples for fruit.

My sister suggested I don't get into the habit of sending muesli bars, sultanas or fruit rollups (basically any sort of 'sticky' type foods), since one of her boys ended up with 9 fillings in his first year of school. She said the dentist told her it's often because the kids don't always drink enough water to rinse the food from their teeth. Chickie doesn't seem to drink very much at home, to me (he does actually like water though, thank goodness), so I think perhaps I might take that advice and only send those types of things occasionally. Though, once he actually goes and sees what the other kids eat... things could be different.

So, am I ready for this? Um no... he's my little baby! He's too little for school!

17 July, 2007

A photo of me

I was sorting out some pics of Chickie's bowling party for my family and found a pic of me when I visited Japan. I was there 20 years ago now but it seems like only a few years back. Meggie's mention of creating a kimono outfit for a doll reminded me of the trip.

It was a fun 2 weeks, not to mention a great experience. My oldest nephew will be there this Christmas and I'm sure he'll have a great time too.

I got to experience quite a bit while there - Tokyo Disneyland, a Japanese wedding, karaoke in a karaoke bar, trying a kimono, visiting Mt Fuji, Tokyo trains and the Bullet Train, visiting a movie lot/theme park and visiting many many lovely shrines and gardens. I stayed with penfriends and their families and would love to go back again one day.

I've got heaps more photos of the trip and I really should get around to scanning them. When I do, I'll have to post some of the pics of the gardens. They really are stunning.

It really doesn't feel like it was 20 years ago...

12 July, 2007

How did I keep from giggling?

My float - when it comes to business speak, I feel your pain!

Today we had a presentation from some of our directors and project managers to keep us up to date on what's happening with the company (I work in a call centre for a telecommunications company). I seriously had to bite my tongue when I heard phrases such as 'drilling down', 'deep-diving' and 'disseminating the granularity'. Though I can't recall if disseminating was the word they actually used (it started with d, I know that much). By that stage I was too busy concentrating on keeping a straight face...

Has anyone got a clue what granularity has to do with working in customer service???

10 July, 2007

Future occupation for Chickie #2

Con artiste!

When I picked Chickie up from child care today, I had a quick chat with his teacher - she was asking me if Chickie was born overseas. She said he has convinced the kids in his room that he was born in Asia. The teachers weren't sure about it since they thought he was born at the hospital 10 mins up the road (yes, that is where he was born), but they were unsure enough to check with me.

Apparently he was very convincing...

--

Now, I have a request from the parents of any school aged children.

Chickie starts school in just over a week and a half(!) and I'm looking for some ideas. What do you put in your child's lunchboxes? Any tips you can pass on about stuff I should avoid?

Also, how do you label your child's school clothes? How many uniforms/outfits do you find necessary for the school week? Chickie's school has a dress code rather than a uniform so he can wear anything in navy, red or white, so long as there are no patterns or logos. Of course, I'm finding nearly nothing in those colours at the moment (though I'm not looking too hard for anything white - not for Chickie!). Navy trackpants seem to be the only things I can find without patterns/stripes or a logo. I have found a very nice navy jacket/anorak (which he wore to childcare yesterday and promptly got very dirty - I was not amused!).

07 July, 2007

Simpsons avatar

Thanks to robin for this one. This would be me if I were on the Simpsons.
I will admit to being a bit lenient on the waist size. Go make your own here.

06 July, 2007

I'm an idiot

Ok, I think I've used that title before...

So anyway, we trooped up to Chickie's school this morning for his final orientation visit... and... it was yesterday! We've branded ourselves as hopeless parents before he even starts school officially.

The teacher was still happy to have him stay until after recess so he's there right now, but jeez, I'm such an idiot! It had the correct date on the letter from the school but both J and I didn't see it properly - we both thought they were all Friday visits. Oh well... guess they won't expect too much of us now. Only way is up, and all that.

/shakes head.

I guess this also means I won't find out what was said last week. The curiosity is going to kill me!

Edited to add:

We've just picked him up and the teacher said she nearly made the same mistake as us. She was expecting the kids today and if it wasn't for a comment from the principal earlier this week that they were coming Thursday, she wouldn't have been ready! Phew!

She said Chickie will probably do really well at school. His colouring in is really good (apparently he's excellent at keeping inside the lines) and his writing is also very good. He's already making friends (one of the other kids has 'taken him under his wing') and as we were leaving several of the other kids called out to say goodbye to him. He said he had a good time, so it bodes well for July 23rd (his first proper day of school!).

The teacher did mention, in passing, that last week wasn't the best but didn't elaborate so I've no idea what actually happened. Oh well.

29 June, 2007

Hey big spender!

Guess what Wii bought today! It's pretty cool actually, and it would appear that Chickie is a damn good boxer. He's not so crash hot at bowling yet and we haven't tried the others so far. We've got the Wii sports, an extra remote that comes with some games and also bought a Shrek game (Chickie doesn't know about that one yet - one thing at a time!)

I love the fact that it suggests you take a break. We should perhaps make sure Chickie listens to that!

We've never actually had a game console in this house before. J had an old Playstation a loooong time ago but his sister borrowed it and we never saw it again. We weren't too worried anyway. Anyway, I liked the fact with this that you can get up and move with it. Chickie's already worked up quite a sweat with his boxing. Though I should note here that he was also performing many unnecessary moves such as kicking and spins.

I can see this is going to be very popular!

-----

Chickie had his second school orientation visit today. He was hanging back with us and not wanting to join in with the other kids, so J and I left rather than hang around (we had the option of doing either today). He seemed fine with us going - but I was a bundle of nerves! Heaven help me on his first full day...

When we came back later he seemed to be having lots of fun playing with the other kids on the playground, so I presume it all went well. I must admit I was quietly pleased with how well he was listening and following the teacher's requests. Some of the kids were running about like madmen. I definitely think I made the right decision not to be a primary school teacher (I did a year and a half at teacher's college after school).

At the end of the session I started to go up to the teacher to check how Chickie handled it but she was in tears. I didn't know why, but figured she wouldn't want to be bothered then, so we just went home. J and I couldn't work out what was going on.

Later (on the way to buy the Wii) I discovered that I'd missed a call on my mobile. I listened to the message to find it was the Junior School Principal saying she would discuss the incident next visit. From her message it sounds like one of the parents said something rather nasty and uncalled for to the teacher. If that's the case, way to set your child up for a positive school experience there mum/dad!

26 June, 2007

Arrgh!

Channel Ten's news just used the line 'The liberation of Paris" to describe Paris Hilton's release from jail. I'll bet they've been waiting for weeks to use that line.

Pardon me while I roll my eyes...

And what's with Sandra Sully's hair tonight??

Been a quiet couple of days in the caramaena household. Nothing really blog-worthy happening here. Saw Blades of Glory yesterday (typical Will Ferrell, liked it, don't leave as soon as the credits first roll), gave blood today and Chickie has his second school orientation visit this coming Friday. Will probably need some advice from other parents with school aged kids soon.

22 June, 2007

Orientation

Chickie had his first school orientation session today. He was looking forward to it (oddly enough he even appears to be looking forward to homework!). In the car on the way, he said 'I hope all my new friends are glad to see me'.

We rolled up at 9am and the kids and parents went down to the classroom (there's about 9 or 10 other kids starting at the same time). Chickie and the other kids sat down to listen to their teacher (L) read a story and then do some drawing, while the parents had a bit of a tour of the building with the Junior Primary Principal. It took a little bit of convincing for Chickie to stay with L so she suggested that J sit with him for a few minutes.

Later all the kids went out with the other classes and did some skipping for their fitness session (they do some sort of physical activity every day, adding up to about 100 minutes a week). Chickie just watched, which I wasn't surprised with. He's always been the sort of kid to sit back and watch unfamiliar things before participating.

Later the principal took us up to the library to get the rest of the details we needed and answer any questions we had. I couldn't think of any then, but I have a few now! We have two more orientation visits over the next two weeks, so I'm not too worried.

After that we went down and picked up the kids. Chickie had drawn two pictures and had received a star and a sticker, so he was thrilled.

All in all, he's decided he liked it. I anticipate that might be the attitude until the second full day of school ;)

18 June, 2007

One grumpy woman

You know that feeling where you're just fed up with things and just want to be left alone? That was me yesterday. I think I was just feeling crowded - particularly by Chickie but also by my cats - some days none of them will leave me be.

Yesterday, Chickie got up early, as he always does (gah), so J got up and left to go on his hike (he's been doing that the last few Sundays), while I tried to sleep a little longer. Chickie is usually ok to eat his toast and watch tv, but he seems to have this thing against sleep (ie: why would anyone want to sleep in?), so he'll come in every ten minutes or so. I had that yesterday, as well as the cats either jumping up on my bedside chest of drawers, knocking stuff off, or kneading my stomach (aka clawing me to death).

So, I got out of bed on the wrong side...

During the day, Chickie kept asking me if he could kiss me. Nothing wrong with that - except he wouldn't kiss me, he kept licking me! It was driving me nuts. When I refused to go near him when he asked for kisses, he started wrestling with me or sneaking up and licking me, then running off laughing. Ugh!

Combine all that with vague plans, to get out of the house and do something, that came to naught (J's mother's computer was playing up and it took longer than expected to fix) and you had one very grumpy woman in this house.

Luckily J had already organised to take me out last night. We had dinner at a Japanese restaurant and then went and saw a Bollywood movie - Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. I was feeling much better by the end of the night.

Then today, a nice undisturbed sleep-in, a relaxed day of doing little more than watching the latest Doctor Who (velcro - did you see it? Can't wait for the next one) and messing about on the computer, has put things right in the caramaena world.

So, how was your weekend?

16 June, 2007

Postman Chickie?

Chickie is getting a bit excited about starting school soon, I think. He wants to drive past it at least once a week, he talks about getting homework and can't wait for his orientation visits. One of the other children at his childcare centre has started doing his school visits too (he'll be going to a different school though), so Chickie was telling me all about what his friend had said.

So the other day Chickie asked me what happened after he finished at that school. The conversation went like this:

Chickie: "Where will I go after I finish my school? Will I go to high school?"

Me: "Yes, high school is after primary school"

Chickie: "And then what happens?"

Me: "You can go to university if you want, or get a job. What do you think you'd like to do? There's lots of things you can do - doctor, fireman, teacher, plumber, rock star" (heh, he pretends to be a rock star with his toy guitar all the time - he's got the moves down pat!).

Chickie (after thinking for a moment): "hmmm... I'm going to be a mailman"

Then he thinks a bit more and adds: "I could get one of those bikes and ride around on it all day. I'd deliver letters to everyone but not bills, because no one likes those. And then if someone gets a package I could bring it to them and then help them open it!"

So, there you go. How would you like Chickie as your mailman? You'd never have any more bills or have to open your own packages ever again!

13 June, 2007

Two things

H tagged me for the two things meme!

Two names you go by:
- Mu-um (yes, that does have two syllables)
- Babe (J calls me that and even Chickie has called me that once or twice)

Two things you are wearing right now:
- pjs (pink and white if you must know)
- black, white and grey jigsaw patterned socks

Two things you would want (or have) in a relationship:
- friendship
- someone who can make me laugh

Two of your favourite things to do:
- beading
- watching a good (mushy) chick flick

Two things you want very badly at the moment:
- to be able to lose 10 more kilos - preferably without exercising or watching what I eat (why are you laughing?)
- to be able to sleep a full night without one of the cats meowing to be let out and then just standing at the door deciding it's too cold after all...

Two pets you have had:
- a siamese cat called Simon (can't recall why I called him that, it was a long time ago now, I was a kid - ok?)
- a (half siamese) jet black cat called Tiki

Two people I would like to do this (if you're not interested though, just say!):
- Steve
- Robin

Two things you did last night:
- played Neopets
- watched tv (I had a really really boring night last night!)

Two things you ate today:
- Vogel's Soy and Linseed Bran for breakfast (Chickie calls it my 'stickies' cereal because they look like little sticks)
- a very small slice of chocolate cake (naughty but one of my team-mates is off on maternity leave and brought it in as a farewell - it would have been rude to refuse...)

Two people you last talked to:
- On the phone: J's mother
- In person: J

Two things you are doing tomorrow:
- hoping to visit the friend that recently had the 9 pound baby (if she's up to it)
- going to work (way, way too early in the day)

Two longest car rides:
- Do bus rides count? If so, I spent a few days on a bus from the north coast of NSW to Perth WA. That was a loooong trip.
- Caboolture QLD to Dubbo NSW. I drove by myself and it took two days (I don't drive at night, if I have a choice, since my night vision isn't as good as it could be). I've actually done trips of similar lengths a couple of times.

Two favourite holidays:
- 2 weeks in Japan. In our family our 21st present is a plane ticket to wherever and all we have to do is save for spending money.
- Our recent holiday to the Gold Coast was fun.

Two favourite beverages:
- lemon pepsi. Though I don't think they make it any more. Shame really, it was yummy. Not that I should be drinking normal soft drinks now anyway, so these days it's diet coke with lime.
- a good old fashioned bloody mary

So there you go - now you know even more about me!

10 June, 2007

J is crazy

Why would you sleep outside in the freezing cold - well 7 (44) degrees, which is cold enough (it is winter here after all!)- in a swag on the cold hard ground when you have a perfectly comfortable bed in a nicely warmed house available? I don't get it.

J's been talking about taking Chickie camping some day when he's older. Chickie's now five so J was thinking of testing the waters a bit. He borrowed his dad's tent and set it up out the back yard with his swag next to it. He and Chickie were talking about it for days. So come Chickie's bedtime, off they went and spent, oh perhaps 15 minutes out there. Chickie got cold (not surprisingly) and was a bit scared so they came inside and Chickie went to bed in comfort and warmth (ie: his own bed).

A few hours later, J said he was off to bed and headed outside! Yes, he slept there all night. Yes, he was cold and yes, it wasn't too comfortable. His back was bothering him a bit today. I'm still shaking my head over it.

Guess I'm just not the camping type...

09 June, 2007

RIP fairsCaPe

I woke up this morning to this very sad news in my email:

Jean died May 31 of cervical cancer.

Please tell anyone who knew Jean.
Women: please don't skip your pap smear.

Jean's blogs:
http://fairscape.blogspot.com/
http://homecarevent.blogspot.com/
http://poerotica.blogspot.com/
http://evilinfluences.blogspot.com/
http://cybersapienhunter.blogspot.com/


I'm in tears and I will miss her very much. Many condolences to her family.

08 June, 2007

8 things

I've been tagged by KindaBlue over at Every Generation. So here are 8 things you probably never wanted to know about me!

1. People call me a bit of a daredevil, but I don't really agree. I've been tandem skydiving, gliding, had a joyride in a tiger moth plane, a hot air balloon and a helicopter - but you'll never see me bungee jumping or on a boat where I can't see the shore (I'm terrified of drowning).

2. I've been told I 'sound blonde' (yes, direct quote there!). I used to be a radio announcer and met a listener at a function. She had a slightly puzzled look on her face and then said I wasn't what she expected. I asked why and that's when she said I sounded blonde (my hair colour is dark reddish brown).

3. I realised, at about mid afternoon today, that I'd put my undies on inside out. This is not the first time it's happened, but I guess you'll get that when you're getting ready for work in the dark...

4. I cannot read Terry Pratchett's books in public. I find his books so funny that I laugh out loud and people seem to think you're strange for doing that.

5. I have absolutely no sense of direction. I've worked in the same building for over seven years now and I can only remember that my desk is in the west wing by linking it in my mind with the tv show. I joke about it and tell people I subscribe to the Zen method of navigation (find someone who looks like they know where they're going and follow them). Funnily enough - that method did actually work for me once.

6. I once had a stalker. It wasn't a huge deal but it did make me feel a bit nervous and creeped out at the time. I was a volunteer on the local community radio station and this guy used to call up all the time and tell me about how his wife had left him and taken all the furniture except a bed, a chair and his radio. Was more annoying than anything (was near impossible to get him off the phone without being rude), until he started sending me flowers and other things, then calling me at home. He started hanging around the station (he became a volunteer) but when I saw him hanging around the apartment building I lived in, I got really creeped out. My then boyfriend and I moved and got a new (silent) number in his name and we also made sure I was never alone in the studio. Not long after that the boyfriend got a job in commercial radio so we moved a long way away.

7. I'm a bit of a spelling and pronunciation nazi. It seems like my eye is just automatically drawn to spelling errors (though there are some words I just cannot spell to save my life!), so I'm very embarrassed if I make typos in my posts!! Oh, and if you want to drive me batty just constantly mispronounce a few words. My mum pronounces film as fillum and I just want to pull my hair out when I hear it. J mispronounces mayor all the time. Makes me want to send this link to him. He says it as may-your. I think they both do it on purpose now... gah!

8. I think I've killed my taste buds. Before being diagnosed with diabetes, you couldn't get me to even contemplate stuff with artificial sweeteners in it. I detested the after taste - especially diet drinks. I used to drink a 600ml bottle of coke every other day or thereabouts, so going from that to just water was hard to deal with. I tried a few different diet drinks but the taste was just blech. I found that I could handle diet coke with lime though and after several months of this I've found that I can also now handle coke zero and plain diet coke. In fact, I realised recently that I have a hard time telling the difference between normal coke and diet. Yep, I'm pretty sure I've killed my taste buds...

You know, I've been thinking about this post for a few days now. I thought I'd have heaps of trouble thinking of 8 facts about me, but I think I even have a few up my sleeve. Perhaps I'll talk about them sometime when I've run out of inspiration.

I'm supposed to tag a few people now. I always find this bit hard. You never know if people are interested in doing memes (and then the ones that are have usually done it already!). Let's see...

How about Tasha at Mommy Needs To Vent (she hasn't posted in a few weeks though), Tracey at Peppermint Patcher (she's just moved her blog over to Wordpress and reached 100 posts! Go say hi) and Kirsty at Two Lime Leaves (go check out the pear photo mosaic she has up at the moment - very cool). If you haven't been tagged yet and would like to do this meme, leave me a comment - I'd love to read yours.

06 June, 2007

Linky love

Want to win some really nice hand blown glass? Then have a look at gnat's site (link below).

Glass Blowing Pensacola Florida: Glass Contest Time...make your guess!

1st prize is one his new shells - and they're just lovely. I wouldn't mind one of those myself!

All you have to do is guess the number of marbles in the vase and if you come over from my blog and win - I get the large marble!

I've no idea if he's wanting to send stuff outside the U.S. just yet (I asked) but if not, have a look at some of his pics on the blog - very nice work.

05 June, 2007

tooth fairy time

Yup, it happened - Chickie has officially lost his first baby tooth! I got a call at work today because he was so excited about it. At first I was a bit worried since the childcare centre usually only call if he's sick.

It seems like it's happened rather quickly, but I suppose it has been loose a few weeks now. I had a look in his mouth a couple of days ago and could see the adult tooth coming up behind it, so I should have guessed it wouldn't take long. I'll tell you one thing though - his new tooth looks like it's HUUUUUGE!! Honestly it looks about 3 times the size of his baby tooth. I'm wondering how the heck his adult teeth are going to fit in his mouth.

So, what's the going rate for the tooth fairy these days?

On another exciting note, a friend has just had her second baby today. Another girl and another big one - 9 pounds, 15! The first was also in the 9 pound range so they were expecting it, but my goodness that's a big baby.

04 June, 2007

Post party wrap up

Well, I think it went well. It looked like everyone was having a good time. So, I think I'll call it a success.

I'd invited 15 kids (not including Chickie), 14 had rsvp'd with a yes, so I told the bowling alley a final count of 15. One parent called, in the morning, to say his son was ill and couldn't come. One of the other boys had brought his older brother (he and his mother were planning on bowling separately while the party was on) so I asked if he wanted to bowl with the kids too. So all in all, I didn't have to worry about paying for an unused spot.

We got there half an hour early and one boy was already there! Not a problem but I hope they hadn't been waiting too long. Didn't matter to Chickie as this was one of his good friends that had now started school, so they were excited to see each other.

We went up to the area they'd assigned us and the other kids started arriving. It was so funny to see the kids play together. At one stage they were doing this follow the leader thing around the place. During the bowling they were also play wrestling and mini-'racing' between the lanes. It's a good thing we were right off at the end, so no one else was being bothered.

Once everyone was there we started the food for the kids. There was heaps of food. The amount was probably more suited to older kids, rather than 5 year olds. They didn't eat a real lot to start with (probably too excited, but they all seemed to come back to pick at it while bowling). After they'd had a bit to eat we got them started bowling. We had three lanes with 5 kids in each, but only one ramp (the other ramps were taken with other lanes - the place was packed).

It was hilarious watching the kids bowl. One boy (I) knew how to bowl and apparently does it quite a bit. They put up the speed of the ball being bowled and I's were going at about 10 ks an hour. Some of the other kids were at about 1 k an hour. Many many times, the ball was going so slowly that it stopped half way down.

There was at least one strike that I saw and a couple of spares. The kids would get so excited when any pins were knocked over though. It was so cute!

The adult platters were served once the game started and then the ice cream cakes were served after the kids finished their game. After that, we all went home and collapsed in a heap!

Some random thoughts for the day:

* I should have had name tags for everyone. Some of the parents I didn't know at all - other than when they called to rsvp. So putting faces to names was a bit of a task. Plus some of them wouldn't have known many others, so thinking back it would have made it easier all round.

* I was really pleased that so many dads turned up. We had two where it was mum and dad, and four where it was just dad and their child/ren. I was initially worried that J would feel a bit 'odd man out' with no other guys there, so I'm glad it didn't turn out that way.

* I should have had Chickie wait to open presents until later or asked J to write the gift on the back of the card. While I said hello to the parent, J was helping Chickie open stuff and he grouped the cards with the right gift but at some point things were knocked over and neither he nor Chickie can remember who gave what. I did make a point of thanking everyone for coming at the end and thanking them for the gift but it was a bit embarrassing not knowing which gift!

* Speaking of toys, people are really generous! I was amazed at the generosity of the gifts. Chickie is thrilled with all his new toys.

* Some kids must find parties hard. One particular kid cried a number of times. I'm not even sure why, to be honest. J thought it might be for the attention but I don't know, to me he looked a little overwhelmed. One other girl cried as well, but that was because two other girls were playing with each other and she was feeling excluded. I think it was because the two girls turned out to be wearing the same outfit and they kept telling me they were twins.

* Stomper's recommendation of alcohol afterwards was spot on. J discovered about 3/4 of the way through that they sold alcohol there, so indulged in a Jack and coke (for his nerves!).

01 June, 2007

Chickie is 5 today!!

My sweet little baby boy is growing up. 5 years old today. He's such a boy now.

He got up at his usual time (6am...) and found two very intriguing parcels on the couch. I was already up since I had to work, so we got J out of bed and Chickie ripped into them.

J had taken him 'scouting' for present suggestions a few weeks back and one of the things he liked was the pull string Woody doll (from Toy Story). We found a double pack where for an extra $10 you also got Jessie. So now he has two talking dolls. We also got him a snakes and ladders game (he loves playing that and monopoly when he visits his grandparents) and some proper paints (his current set is useless, the paint is so watery it barely colours the page) and a Spiderman colouring/activity book and pencils set. He also got some DVD's and $20 from my mum and dad. It was so funny when he opened the card, he picked up the money by the corner, waved it around and asked if it was real!

I managed to croak a happy birthday to him. Unfortunately I still don't have much of a voice. I took yesterday off to see if a day of not speaking would bring it back. It's a little better but not enough that I can do much at work. I took one call - internal thankfully - and it was obvious that I'm not going to be able to do any calls at all. Not so good when you work in a call centre!

Anyway, tonight we'll have family and a couple of friends around for bbq and cake, one of Chickie's friends has a birthday party tomorrow and then Chickie's party is Sunday. Get set for a big weekend here! Hopefully I'll have my voice back for Chickie's party, otherwise that could be interesting...

30 May, 2007

I'm a little hoarse right now

Well, truth be told, I actually have very little voice left at all.

I told J I'd spent 45 minutes yelling at a customer and he got all concerned and wondered what had happened. It's very out of character for me to yell, let alone yell at a customer.

So, I had my little giggle and told him I'd actually been yelling to a customer. Long story short - the customer had emailed in about some username/password problems and even after questioning a fair bit, we couldn't work out if it was with the initial connection or his email (in case you're wondering - his Mac worked, his pc didn't). Eventually we asked him to call in and see if we could sort it out quicker. He said he would but commented that he was a bit deaf and the last time he'd called, he'd hung up in frustration because he spoke to someone with an accent and they wouldn't slow down even after he'd explained he couldn't hear and understand them.

Now, previously I've worked in radio and found that speaking slowly and clearly is one of my strengths, so I figured rather than have this guy take his chances, I'd call him (though it's not what we usually do). Well, we sorted the problem, even though it took ages - and many many many repetitions of commands. I was sitting there shouting down the phone line, with my team mates having a good laugh at my expense (heh, we all do it to each other). In the end the customer was so happy to have the problem sorted that he told me I should get employee of the month award!

I'm thinking now I should have warmed up my voice before I called (even though voice exercises are so very embarrassing to do in public)! My voice has just been getting worse and worse all day. I'm down to just whispering now.

I have to say though - the funniest thing was speaking with Chickie earlier. Once my voice was pretty much down to a whisper, he started whispering back to me. I explained he didn't have to but he couldn't seem to stop. The way he was acting, it was like telling him dinner was ready and to come have his teeth brushed etc, were all big secrets!

29 May, 2007

Just about sorted.

The numbers for Chickie's party are in with the bowling alley.

I ended up with 15 - not including the one that didn't respond, but the alley says they don't have a problem with adding at the last minute. Food shouldn't be a problem anyway since the kid's food is on platters rather than individual, plus I've ordered extra platters to feed the adults too.

So, now we wait and see how it turns out. I hope the kids have fun!

26 May, 2007

Actually... while I'm soliciting advice...

What are your thoughts on this:

Chickie will be 5 in less than a week (how the heck did that happen??!). On the Sunday after, we're throwing him a birthday party at the local 10 pin bowling place. We've invited our mum's group kids, a couple of kids from the childcare centre and a couple of kids who used to go to the centre with him, but have now gone to school. There's about 15 kids all up, including Chickie (am I mad? We'll find out, I guess).

Small dilemma is that it's at the local bowling place which means I pay per child and they want final numbers by this Tuesday. I asked for rsvp's by yesterday, but I figured I might have a few stragglers so wanted to allow a few extra days before the actual deadline. Now all but two have rsvp'd, so do I say yes for those two - just in case - or not? I'd be out about $30 if I say yes and they don't turn up.

Complicating the matter further, is that I can't just call the parents to confirm. I dropped off invites to the centre and they posted the invites for me (to the ones that have moved on to school). Of the two that haven't rsvp'd, one child still goes to the childcare centre but the other no longer does. I have asked the centre if they can pass on a reminder to the one who does still attend, but I'm not sure about the other. At least I still have a couple of days for them to contact me. If they don't though, do I say yes for them and hope for the best??

Fifteen 5 (and under) year olds sounds like an awful lot of kids but we haven't done a lot of parties for him. He had a biggish one (family and friends) for his first and then only little mum's group gatherings (ie cake etc at the usual mum's group meetup), so I'm happy to have something a bit bigger for the 5th birthday. Well, I say that now... but ask me again on Monday the 4th of June!.

23 May, 2007

Speaking of things toothy...

For those of you with older kids, at what age did they lose their first baby tooth?

Chickie is 4, well ok 5 in a week and a half, and believe it or not, he has a wobbly tooth! Isn't that a bit early? I thought kids started losing them at about 6 or 7.

It's not hugely wobbly but I can feel it. Plus he's finding it a bit uncomfortable eating. Any ideas how long it will take to come out after it starts wobbling? I can't remember back that far... hehe

In other news, I had my yearly performance review at work yesterday. It went well - very well in fact. I got the second highest 'grade'! This has a direct effect on my bonus and payrise. If a bonus is paid, the higher the grade the more money you get (same with payrise). So I'm thrilled :)

Oh and finally - I bought the lastest Sims 2 expansion pack recently (Sims 2 Seasons). I installed it today, so if I don't visit your blog in the next few days, it will be because I'm hanging out in Riverblossom Hills (the new neighbourhood in the game)!

21 May, 2007

slack-jawed yokel


Ayup, that's what I feel like right now...

I've been to the dentist again and this time I did need to get some anaesthetic. Because the tooth worked on was sort of front right at the bottom, the needle was put in just down near my lip and now half of my bottom lip feels enormous. It's not moving very well either. I looked in the mirror and smiled earlier - damn near frightened myself to death...

20 May, 2007

Chickie-isms

A phrase often heard, from me, in our house is 'Can I please just go to the bathroom in peace?!' - usually uttered in quite a plaintive tone.

If it's not Chickie bursting in to 'chat' (or coming in and singing at the top of his voice - good acoustics you see), it's the two cats pushing open the door and hanging out with me (heck, one keeps trying to sit on my lap!). Shut the door you say? Well, I try. Unfortunately, Chickie's tall enough to reach the handle now and the cats have this very irritating habit of pushing a paw under the door and rattling it. Having them hang out with me is the lesser of two evils!

So today, Chickie opens the door and very nicely asks me to get a toy down from a shelf, when I've finished. I said I would and he (very solicitously) says 'thanks mum, now I'll leave you in one piece'.

Good thing he walked away then... I had trouble keeping a straight face!

18 May, 2007

Three posts in one night?

Well ok, two were YouTube videos - and this one will be short.

I picked up some chicken schnitzels from the supermarket tonight (quick and easy were the order of the day today) and found this printed on the back of the black plastic tray:

Serving suggestion:

Remove from packet before cooking.

Surely, no one has actually done that... have they?

17 May, 2007

David Tennant and Catherine Tate sketch

This is brilliant!

Doctor Who Spoof

Laura (see link for Laura's blog in my blogroll) posted a David Tennant video last week. She thinks he's a bit of alright (heck so do I).

So anyway, in the last week I've been trawling through YouTube and discovered there's a heck of a lot of fan stuff out there. It's unbelievable how many people have put various Dr Who scenes to their favourite songs.

Along with those, there are also a lot of clips, interviews, short films, sketches and even whole tv shows featuring him (Ready, Steady, Cook and Weakest Link). So even though Dr Who wasn't on because of the Eurovision Song Contest, I guess I've had my David Tennant fix for the week!

I've decided to post two of my favourites. Enjoy!

16 May, 2007

Oh, and one more...

I have a pair of el cheapo thongs (flips flops for those over the pond) that I keep in the laundry to wear outside when hanging clothes on the line etc. Anyway, it's been cooler lately and I've been wearing shoes and therefore socks. Socks don't work too well with thongs so I've been thinking of getting some of those Crocs things (well the Target, Big W ones).

We went shopping and got Chickie a green pair, because green is his favourite colour. I was feeling a bit frivolous, saw these and decided why not! Believe it or not but these are actually kids shoes. A size 4! My feet are smallish (ladies size 7) but I was surprised by this. I mean I know they're supposed to be a little big on you but the 6's and even 5's were way too big.

So anyway I think they're kinda cute :D

The reno pics

I finally got the photos off the camera, so here are some pics of the floor we recently did.

This is the green carpet, except for the stains, it doesn't actually look too bad in this pic. It didn't look this good in real life though.
Underneath the green carpet was this um... treasure. Hideous isn't it? Then the underlay underneath was glued to the floor. That apparently was a heap of fun to remove.
This is the floor afterwards. Looks pretty nice, I reckon.
These pics are the new bedroom closet. Not exactly new but once it gets a coat of paint and some mirrors on the front, it will look pretty good.

So, up next is getting a new lounge, then painting (bedroom and loungeroom)!

13 May, 2007

Happy mothers day

If you're celebrating mother's day - like we are - then I hope you have (had) a lovely relaxed day. I had a very nice day. A sleep-in - even though it wasn't technically my turn (J usually sleeps in Sundays and I get Mondays). Then we went to lunch with family - including Chickie's grandparents, great-grandparent, great-uncles, great-aunts and (2nd & 3rd) cousins. Afterwards we went to one of the cousins' home and all the kids had a great time playing together.

Then tonight I've been enjoying the Eurovision Song Contest. I love it! The stage costumes, in particular, amuse me. Though I will admit that they were pretty laid back and 'normal' this year. If it wasn't for the Ukraine (the lead singer was wearing a silver star on his head, like some sort of shiny silver christmas tree), Moldova (someone pull up the pants on that girl!) and Slovenia (goth-y opera type with a sort of flower light thing on her palm - actually it would make a handy booklight), I'd have been a bit disappointed. Congrats to the winners Serbia. Not a bad song.

Though, I have no idea how Switzerland didn't make it past the finals (last night) - how can you go past a song that lets us know that vampires are alive?

11 May, 2007

Chickie's favourite joke

Well, it's really his first and only joke so far (which, of course, means I've heard it numerous times!)...

Q: Why is six afraid of seven?

A: Because seven eight nine.

He thinks it is an absolutely hilarious joke. It's so cute just how into it he is. Sometimes he's so excited by it that he completely mucks it up. He's so proud that he knows it though. Perhaps he's a stand-up comedian in the making.

I think I need to look out for some joke books for him or something. Expand the repertoire and all...

10 May, 2007

uh oh

J and I are going to have to start talking in code...

Last night, just before dinner we realised that we'd forgotten to get something out of the freezer. None of the usual suspects from the cupboard appealed to either of us. So we started discussing alternatives. I suggested a bbq chook or some p-i-z-z-a. I spelled it out because, while we don't have it often*, Chickie loves it and I didn't want to suggest it in his hearing if we decided against it.

As soon as I spelled it out, Chickie piped up and said 'yeah! let's have pizza!' J and I both looked at him in amazement. We've only spelled it out once before and we didn't get it that time so I've no idea how he recognised what we were spelling. I suppose when you spell it out, it does sound like the word, but it had us a bit shocked for a moment.

We ended up with the bbq chook, roast potatoes and veg. Yum.



* J could eat it every day of the week, but I'm not that enthused by it, so it's a pretty rare thing in our household. J gets it for himself every now and then, but he's also trying to get into shape to go back to his stick-waving hobby, so neither of us has had it lately.

09 May, 2007

Good grief!

This petition of Paris Hilton's is the funniest thing I've heard of in a loooong time!

This is from the link above:

PARIS Hilton has urged fans to sign a petition to keep her out of jail because she "provides beauty and excitement to (most of) our otherwise mundane lives".

06 May, 2007

Unexpected


Every now and then you'll find something unexpected. Like this...

I found this in the car parking place today. Excuse the poor photo, the only camera I had with me was my phone. Not something you'd see everyday in a car park, don't you think?

We were there because we had Yum Cha today with some friends and had a lovely time. We had booked ahead of time, which was a good thing since the place was jam-packed. So much so, that there was a wait just to get in the door. We had to wait for our table for a few minutes and while waiting, I started to feel really really sorry for the people near the door and register. They can't have had a great dining experience with people trying to squeeze past them just to get inside.

Thankfully for us, our table was in a corner and we didn't have to worry about people trying to get past our table. Well, except for the wait staff with the food! Food was excellent too, but no, we didn't have the chicken feet. I've never tried them and I daresay I won't be able to bring myself to give them a go, in the future either.

On the way back we checked out a furniture shop that had been recommended to us. Found a lounge that will probably fit the bill. A three seater with a chaise lounge, the right size for our room, not too expensive and something I can live with for the short term (then we plan to get a 'good' lounge). Click here to see it. It's the blue one in the middle. We're actually thinking of getting it in a black (colour is described as midnight - that is black isn't it? A bit hard to tell in the shop) sueded material. Has anyone had a lounge in black before? Is it hard to care for? My cats are black and white so I anticipate we'll have some cat hair to deal with (I plan on getting the optional fabric protection that comes extra).

The fabric we're considering is a little extra, but it was the only one we could agree on. Heh, Chickie's name was like that too* - but it worked out well!

*No, I don't mean Chickie's name was extra, I mean that it was the only one we could agree on.