Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Week That Was

I seem to have done a lot of "tail chasing" this week. My motivation levels are really up and down so I seem to have tackled small parts of many tasks without getting a whole lot done. So I've done part of the washing. I've been to the gym only once and I planned and cooked meals for part of the week. I feel a bit guilty about this because I certainly don't have work to get in the way of me getting things done at home but everyone keeps telling me that it will take time to establish a routine.
On Wednesday I went to a social Knitters group at Threads and More. It seems to be a very social group and I got a lot of knitting done. I also got a lot of knitting done last night while I watcher Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone with Eric (who has read the book!). I went to a Trivia Night at school on Friday night where I sat at the Prep parents table. We didn't do particularly well at the trivia but we certainly had a good time.
The biggest task was probably the Little Athletics Sign-On day yesterday where we signed up 77 athletes which is a bit down on last year's numbers but still promising. I was much less stressed this year as I know the registrar job now and I had spent a lot of time getting prepared. Eric came and helped as a "model" for the uniform and to hand out the extra water bottles and ticket books for families with more than one child. He was very useful to have around so I'm hoping to persuade him to do it all again next week when we are likely to be even busier.
We packed about 100 goodie bags to give out at the sign on yesterday and today I went back for a Little A's working bee where I packed about 100 more. It is good to have all of that "stuff" out of my house after only a week. 300 water bottles take up a LOT of room.
My goals for the coming week involve exercise - there's no reason why I can't go to the gym 6 days a week as it is only a 30 minute session and cooking - I've planned meals, something to bake and a salad that I can make and eat over a few days. I hope to be reporting in with some more progress next week!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Mountain To Conquer

Rachel Anne is conquering things in her "Home Sanctuary" blog today. There are many "mountains" around here that need conquering but during this week in particular I have the Little Athletics Sign On "mountain" to conquer. Saturday will be the first sign on day and I need to have at least 100 bags of goodies packed by then and be all organised ready to sign up people. I began work today by bringing up all the things from downstairs and out of my car. Next step will be organising the registration stuff and packing the goodie bags for the two sign on days. Luckily the boys think it is very exciting to pack goodie bags and will be a great help. However this year they are intent on earning pocket money to buy more lego so there may have to be some payment involved. Whatever I pay them will be more than worth it because it is an enormous job which thankfully comes but once a year.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Catching Up on the Week - Company Girl Coffee

I know I'm a bit biased but is this not one of the cutest little guys you've ever seen?
Five little cousins ranging in age from 8.5 to 7 months
D the Scientist - I love the concentration on that face!

The biggest event of the week was today with the baptism of our newest family member, our 7 month old nephew. Anthony and I were godparents and the little "man of the moment" seemed mildly amused by the whole thing and then fell asleep. 9kg of sleeping baby gets really heavy to hold after a while but is delightful at the same time. We got some lovely photos of the boys with their cousins. In other news, D will present his science experiment "Ocean in a Bottle" to his prep class tomorrow. Being a SAHM (for the next six weeks anyway) I get to go along and watch.
Join Rachel-Anne for more Company Girl Coffee Chat

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Perfectly Imperfect Life

I could have gone around my house and taken a whole host of photos like this one and that is despite Mum going on a vacuum cleaning rampage all over my house yesterday. I'm rather late in joining in the Perfectly Imperfect Life Challenge which I found on this blog. I don't have the SAHM thing together yet but it is a work in progress. I have have days and then I have days. Today has been one of those days. That's probably why I'm blogging when I could be hanging out washing, washing dishes, feeding the guinea pigs, folding washing or any number of other things.
However on closer examination there are some positive signs. I'm trying to drink my water. The pile of papers from school is right there in one spot waiting to be dealt with. My empty moisturiser jar is there and that did prompt me yeaterday to go out an buy some more of it because it is good for me. I can catch a glimpse of a handwritten letter sent to me by one of my colleagues. Even though it's tipped over I can see my cheery flower that I won during our day at the Ekka. The Post-it note on the left of screen is my MITs (most important tasks) from a few days agao but that is something I am aiming for each night. One the right of my screen I have another post-it with the times for Weight Watchers - another big priority in my life. There's two frames on the far left hand side with my Diploma of Teaching and my Bachelor of Education ready to be scanned in so I can create my on-line profile to get another job. So there's some progress. Not much progress today at all but I've been to QLAA to pick up all the requirements for Little Athletics Sign On days (do you know how many water bottles it takes to fill a Corolla?) and I've been next door and held a new born baby.
This afternoon is a play in the park and a farewell from my beloved class. I don't expect to get through it without tears but then it will be done and we can do even more moving on.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I planned and started cooking yesterday so the week is well and truly started. I also went and bought a load of fruit and veggies from Fruity Capers in Toowong Village with the boys last weeks so when I need to snack I've got the fruit on hand. If I can keep up my pace at the gym I should be getting somewhere.

Last night I made cheddar and corn muffins and potato, leek and bacon soup.

Tonight, Monday - steak and vegetables - we're still eating parts of the meat tray Anthony won a few weeks back
Tuesday - Beef Tips over Pasta - in the slow cooker because I have a few things on tomorrow
Wednesday - Oven baked fish and chips
Thursday - Wholemeal Spaghetti with WW sauce for me, boys - take away after hockey training
Friday - Grilled Chicken with mushroom sauce
Saturday - Veal Strognaoff
Sunday - Beef, Vegetable and Parsely soup

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Day at the Ekka - never the same again

Someone commented to me on Friday that the Ekka (or Brisbane Exhibition to the uninitiated) is rather dated. Yes, it probably is and it is expensive but we still loved our morning there on Thursday. The boys scored some fluffy toys on the sideshow alley games, we rode the dodgem cars as a family. I had the comand yelled at me as I drove around with Dan "Put your arm around the little fella Mum - you can drive with one hand!!!!" We rode the chairlift for the last time as it is being dismantled for a large redevelopment that is being done on the site. I'm rather proud of the photo I took of Anthony and Dan riding behind us as I simply held the camera up behind my head and clicked!We also had a brief foray into the old Industrial Pavilion which is also being torn down. I don't know if we'll go next year especially given the prices but it was good to see all the old favourites for one last time and the boys think it is one of the best places in the world.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Little Things Add Up

I've got a lot of blogs in my Google Reader - probably more than I should try and keep up with but I sit down and read a bit at a time and I really enjoy keeping up with my fellow bloggers. I have my blog organised into categories -
Cross Stitch blogs - some very talented stitchers I've come across who show off their work and inspire me to keep on stitching
Friend Blogs - people that I've met on-line and known for years and in a couple of cases have met in real life as well
Homemaking blogs - there's a wide variety in this category from organizational to decorating to spiritual and almost everything in between. Some of these I keep reading so I can see what people's kids have been up to because they tell such wonderful stories.
GTD blogs - these are based largely on the theory of Getting Things Done which is based on a book of the same name by David Allen. I could also refere to this category as "personal development blogs"
Teacher Blogs - a wide range of blogs from fellow educators.
One blog that I've come across fairly recently is called Home Sanctuary by Rachel Anne Ridge. She focuses on the little things you can do to make you home better. She's not about long lists of jobs to do or complicated schedules to work out - just the little things one can do to make a difference. Rachel regularly issues challenges to her readers and even allocates points to tasks in case you want to keep a tally. She calls the people who join in her challenges and blog about them Company Girls.
I've had a lot of "little things" done for me in the past few weeks that have made a big difference. People have rung me, written e-mails and in one case a handwritten letter. One of my neighbours has had my boys plays with her boys at her house a couple of times. Our former cleaning ladies offered to do 2 hours for free so that I could get back on track. And many of my colleagues at school have offered to "keep an eye on" the boys. In fact the boys had better not do anything naughty at school because there is a large number of people watching.
So I've decided to be a "Company Girl" as well and join in Rachel Anne's challenges whenever I can. Her last challenge was to make a connection with some by letter, e-mail or phone call. I'm too late for points (but it isn't about the points for me) however I've answered 3 or 4 e-mails from people that were sitting in my in-box and I've starting making plans via e-mail for lunch with a former workmate. The social connections are just what I need at the moment because I am a bit lonely now that I'm not working.
I'm not going to get this whole house organised and every running smoothly in one week or even one month but if I keep doing the little things they will all add up.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Little Angel

I finished this last night. It was my ornament for July but events around here stopped me from getting it done till August 4!

Eric is home from three days with croup and is missing his class trip to the Ekka tomorrow. He and Anthony did a midnight hospital trip last night so we've all been pretty tired today.

I took him up the road earlier to buy a sausage roll for his lunch - as he was missing tuckshop! - and we've just got back from a trip to Threads and More where I bought some threads for my August ornament and a knitting pattern and wool for a vest made of squares. It is very funky wool so I've included a picture of it. I'd like to be the same size as the model by the time I've knitted it but I don't know if that will happen. I've been trying to sort out school stuff today and as a result I've got stuff everywhere!

Monday, August 3, 2009

When Working Isn't Working

On Friday I made a heart wrenching but necessary decision to resign from my position at school. I've come to a time in my life when I know I need to spend some time looking after myself and my family. I've been having issues from migraines, stress and being overweight and I need to do something about it because it is affecting my quality of life too much. And when my quality of life suffers so does that of my family. So I've changed from teacher to "stay at home Mum" for a time and I'm planning to do a year or so of relief teaching before looking for another full time position.

I'm feeling very fragile about making this move because I'm leaving behind a wonderful school community and being out on the big wide world on my own (aside from when I am at school in my "mum" role). I've been very anxious and my GP thinks I am actually grieving for what I've left behind.

Being a full time homemaker is actually a daunting prospect as I haven't done it for any great length of time before. Somehow I managed to get through a huge amount of work at school every day but I get very little done at home. Part of that is the distractions lurking around at home - it is very tempting to while away too many hours on the computer or to flop in front of TV. The routines at school are what help me keep going at school and the minimal distractions so I'm going to try to implement some routines at home as advocated by FlyLady. I've got a lot to get done to get our home and family running smoothly so I'm making lots of lists and hopefully I'll have a lot of positives to report on here.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with the nurse that I see to discuss my anxiety issues and I'm planning to get stuck into Little Athletics Preparations as well as doing some housework. Organising the food is another high priority. I need to have a good look at what we've got in the cupboards and fridge and start doing proper meal planning again.