Monthly Archives: May 2010

Cinderella

“All you ever ask me to do is CHORES!”

Poor Cinderella.  She wiped her tear streaked face with dirty hands, filthy from having had to sweep up the ashes from the fireplace .. after scrubbing the floor with a toothbrush, and weeding the garden with her bare hands.

This outburst was prompted by the apparent heinous parental crime of  asking her to do her dishwasher unloading job.

Such cruel, cruel parents we are  – in her imagination.

The facts?  Ms Just About 17 was finally asked to empty the dishwasher at about 7pm on Sunday, after I had waited patiently for the “stressed” HSC student to time manage it herself, in between stints in her bedroom (presumably doing school work), and several “relaxation” stints of TV watching.

(Yes, I have probably overreacted to some experiences in our youth where I felt that parents were unreasonable about time frames…)

Didn’t we know how STRESSED she was? And how she needed her downtime. And she’s expected to do all these CHORES. We’re always nagging her to do chores, apparently.

We have this Roster, you see. It’s such a terrible roster.. each child has maybe one or two jobs a day, which translates to twice a week for each on each duty.  Sat and Sunday double up (to Ms 17s disgust, so I usually try to do the dishwasher one of those days. To keep it FAIR, you know.

Mostly, despite the fact that they requested a roster system in the first place, they don’t even manage to do what they are supposed to do.  (And I’m not very good at keeping on top of it.) I usually realise what’s not done once they are in bed.  Almost always I have to nag:

“And while I’m out do your jobs.”

None of it is Cinderella material either. Unpack the dishwasher is the most time consuming and “arduous”. The other meagre jobs are ’empty recycling’, clear table, fill up water bottles after dinner, put kitchen garbage in bin.

Occasionally I’ll ask for a bit extra – “Can you get the clothes off the line please.”  And taking turns on a weekly basis to do the bathroom vanity, which Ms 17 manages to skive off because she doesn’t use that one. (She uses ours.)

And they’re supposed to share the table-setting each night.

But apparently I had the hide to ask  Ms 17 last week (or was it the week before?) to help her sister get the clothes off the line  – AND demand it be done THEN (as it was getting dark and damp outside.)  My GOD, she was chilling out, de-stressing, watching TV.)

Occasionally I manage to get them to make a salad. Or chop up some veggies. Ms 17 specialises in avoidance tactics here, so much so that it’s usually less stressful for ME to do it myself, than nag. (And then shout.)

Somewhere along the line I’ve failed miserably at this part of parenting.

No sweeping floors, cleaning loos… (only occasionally, in one of the visitor-induced household freak out clean ups do they get asked to vacuum.)

This girl has it TOO GOOD. As I told her (in a very loud voice, numerous times).

“You don’t know you’re alive!”

“Ohhh, get over yourself.”

“Stop carrying on like a bloody Princess.”

So take note.. those of you with younger kids. Get in early, before they have had a chance to hone their avoidance tactics, and expectations, and get them used to the Cinderella treatment. Else you’ll end up with a Queenager with a Princess complex like mine.

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Filed under kidz, lost in procrastination, miscellaneous minutiae

Netball, netball, netball

THREE of them now, playing rep for our little association and too much netball is never enough round here right now.  It’s a busy term.

I got hold of some photies  from the carnival I..we… had to get up early for…

You could say that these images represent a pretty big portion of my life right now.  They are not always in the green … but there’s a lot of it going on. Let’s see… between the three of them there’s either training or a game Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and just about every second Sunday this term.  (Confession: I don’t watch all of that.)

Acknowledgment to friend and fellow parent, Renee, for the photos.

Thankfully it all starts to abate soon. Ms 17-in-a-few-days-time heads off to the State Championships on the June long weekend, and so then the training eases off for her.

The other two (and with Ms 17 coaching the youngest’s team!) will head to State Age the first weekend in July – at which their ever loving parents must somehow split themselves, over the three days, between venues that are nearly an hour apart!

Next term will be so much less manic.

Meanwhile, though, I am pretty chuffed to see them all enjoying their sport, AND having the opportunity to take it to the next level.

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Great Distractions

Well, yes, I’m a Procrastinator Extraordinaire – as some of you will have figured out by now. It doesn’t take much each day to derail me from my good intentions.  Pretty much ANYTHING on the computer will distract me from a new day’s resolution. Reading blogs – never mind writing them. Check Facebook. Check Twitter. Check email. (Lather, rinse, repeat.) Play around with netball photos and the website. Check the newspaper online. Check out my favourite Timewaster sites.

There is so much I should be doing, that I have pushed my writing to the side, and even been contemplating a blogging sabbatical . Hell, even an INTERNET sabbatical. (This house will never get cleaned, and the renovations never done otherwise.)

Today, though (while still procrastinating about my procrastinating)  I got completely sidetracked with making a Watermark for my photos. Oh BushBabe – it wasn’t a priority today, but I couldn’t help myself once given the instructions in your post. Suddenly the idea of doing a watermark on my photos gained the highest priority.

I even went font hunting. (Love this site – Abstract Fonts )

After much trial and error, I’ve come up with once I like.

I think.

Now I’m not so sure.

Does this look better?

Is it opaque enough? What else could I have done to it to make it watermark-y?

Or what about something like this…?

Actually, I like that last one. But how do I make it look good on a dark background?

Should it be bigger.. or smaller?

Should I even bother? I mean, my photos aren’t that good.

Well.. I’m now awaiting BB’s instructions on how to make it into a photoshop Action.   And hoping that somewhere down the track this photoshop experimentation leads to something worthwhile that doesn’t make me feel quite so much like I’ve procrastinated the day away!

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Images of an early start.

I don’t do mornings very well at all, so anytime I’m up before the sun requires some acknowledgment at the very least.  And I’m always after some sort of silver lining – something to take the edge off how hard it felt hauling my sorry backside out of bed in the dark.

The girls had a rep netball carnival yesterday at another country town. Google Directions reckoned on it being a 2.5 hour drive – although Mr Navigation here assured me it could be done in around 2 hours and 10.   He’s usually pretty good on estimating this sort of stuff – and I learnt from another carnival drive  a couple of weeks ago that Google Maps/Directions tended to be  overly generous on the time required.  (What did we do before Google maps? Actually look up maps, distances,  and do some mental arithmetic – allowing for slower speed limits through towns? To actually think?!)

So I’m thinking “Google says 2.5 hours –  Himself says a smidgin over 2 – let’s allow 2 hrs 15.”  Arriving by 8.15 for a 9am start seemed perfectly reasonable.

Of course the carnival draw changed a couple of days ago – now an 8.30 start for Ms 11’s team – meaning we needed to be there by maybe 7. 45 – well before 8am at the latest. Suddenly I’m looking down the barrel of a pre-5am wake up – something I’m not particularly good at.  (I don’t like seeing that “4” on the digital clock!) It’s also been a while since we’ve done this ‘getting up in the dark’ lark for our bike riding follies, so I’m quite a bit out of practice.

And then I didn’t get a good night’s sleep. Dreams. (Or nightmares, rather…)  I dreamt that we were heading to this carnival, but I stopped to buy a coffee at a town along the route. But the service in a cafe was really slow (and they ignored me!) – and the next thing I was buying tea towels (!) in another shop – tea towel designs I didn’t even like. Go figure.  The dream degenerated, as they do, into crazier and crazier things – and I would wake up, relieved that it was just a dream – but stressed that I was thereby not getting my precious sleep – and then I’d fall back into the same bloody dream again.

Needless to say didn’t wake up feeling particularly refreshed. Thank goodness Himself was driving.

He set a departure time of 5.45 –  though I tried (to Ms 14’s chagrin) to get us out the door a few minutes earlier.  (And she doesn’t believe in giving yourself even 30 seconds to spare when you get ready – you time it to the last nanosecond – with no contingency time allowed!)

Then, for some reason,  Himself, despite his knowledge of the route, brought the Sat Nav along. “Karen“.  And as we set off just before 5.45, and I entered in our destination,  SHE reckoned our ETA was 8.13.

!!!!

Despite all that I think about “Karen” – of course I STRESSED!

Mr Navigation played it cool, and half way into the drive, the ETA had been scaled back to around 8am. I did suggest that being booked for speeding would not only be a financial blow, but it would eat into the time he had just made up.

Of course, in hindsight it is obvious that Google Directions calculates these time estimations on a speed of around 80 kph rather than 100.

And of course we got there at 7.45!! – among the first people to arrive.

And I didn’t need to stop for coffee OR tea towels.

And those silver linings that I look for? Well, there are positives to early morning starts I guess. There was no time, of course,  to do a BushBabe and stop for photos! But I couldn’t help snapping a few through the filthy windscreen and hoping that some might turn out.

Half, of course, were blurry and useless. But I don’t mind these:


Now that’s something I wouldn’t have seen had I done my usual Sunday morning thing.

I didn’t get round to taking any photos at the netball – I left that to others with better zooms on their cameras for catching action shots.

And I didn’t get one of Ms 11 playing for the first time in the association rep dress.  Or, a first time shot of the THREE of them in their rep dresses.  Or a shot of a very tired Ms 16 who played AND coached.

We arrived home after sunset, did lazy takeaway pizza for dinner, and had all the girls – including myself – in bed early.

And preparing to do it all again in two weeks time! Well, actually – that carnival is only a 20 minute drive away, so I may actually let the sun rise before me that Sunday!

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Filed under miscellaneous minutiae

Renovation ideas?

Thinking of putting one of these in with the renos.

Epic Kludge Photo - Wheeee!

Well, no, not really.

But how COOL would that be?

Whenever I need a laugh, (and I did yesterday  – yesterday seemed to have a succession of minor things that just really ANNOYED me)… I head to There I Fixed It. It never fails to induce a giggle. And I end up skyping links to Himself sitting across the room on his laptop.

So I went to bed last night in a much better frame of mind.

The staircase above doesn’t really qualify as a “kludge” – (like, where’s the duct tape?) It’s just super cool.

And, Ms 11, when I showed her today, has been jumping up and down wanting us to somehow include a spiral staircase AND slippery dip with the renovations.

Hmmm.

Just in her dreams, maybe. And mine!

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Miscellaneous woes.

We had a very quiet and lazy day. A day which also happened to be mother’s day – but seeing I’m not into the whole hype of it all, it was effectively just a lazy autumn Sunday – but a much needed lazy one nonetheless.  With rep netball carnivals pretty much every second Sunday, and of course Saturdays being taken up with netball, and netball or some other sport every other afternoon or evening during the week, it was just good to have a day in which noone had to be anywhere.

So I celebrated with a dull headache that wouldn’t quite go away. [I think I’ve been trying to skimp on chiropractor visits – I’m just going to have to bite the bullet and go again. Maybe he can sort out the weird pains in my left arm as well.]

Other than my stupid niggling issues, things have been a bit eventful otherwise – with Ms 11 injuring her wrist at netball the previous Saturday. Grand timing it was – the day before her first ever rep carnival.

Poor kid – she’s been dragged around to rep carnivals – watching her older sisters – for the past 5 years. This year was her chance – and our little association managed to pull together a 12s rep team at the eleventh hour – coached by our very own Ms 16. The excitement was building for their first ever carnival (they hasn’t formed the team in time for the first one)  and then – whammo – she has to sit and watch all day.

It’s not broken (we spent hours at A & E on the Saturday afternoon to get it x-rayed).  Things have been rather up and down with it this past week. It felt better when I strapped it on Sunday night  (instead of that compression bandage (above) issued by the doctor at the hospital.  And I have to say the most improvement she’s had since is when I again reverted last night to MY style of strapping, as opposed to that done and recommended by the physio when we went on Wednesday. Go figure.

More sitting on the sideline for her yesterday.

But there’s always shooting one-handed in the backyard to keep her eye in, I guess.

And we all have fingers and toes crossed that she’ll have come good by next weekend for the next rep carnival.

Late afternoon view from our bedroom verandah. Doubly nice to actually take a minute or two  to appreciate it.

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Socks and gender stereotypes.

This cartoon pretty much sums me up – with a slight adjustment:

That’s our bedroom floor.  And, in an about face of the stereotypes, I’m the one who gets lectured by the man of the house about what stage of the laundry process the sock pairing should be happening.  To humour him, I have been making a supreme effort to hang them paired together on the line. He thinks I should be making sure each sock of a pair is there before they get thrown in the washing machine!

Hah – that’s just NEVER going to happen when my default M.O. is definitely that depicted above.

Amazing how cartoons in the local paper just seem to know how I operate – and provide very apt metaphors for my life!

I guess I should take comfort in the fact that if there’s been a cartoon made about it, I’m not the only one like that – even if I tend to challenge all the gender stereotypes… a fact emphasised each year around Mothers Day when I eschew all the girlie girlie stuff that pervades school mothers day stalls.

Yesterday I volunteered at the school mothers day stall, even though I gave up long ago wasting my money, or expecting my kids to waste my money (or theirs) on them.  I’m just not into all that typical stuff, you know….

And, all you mothers out there from our school – I quite possibly wrapped your mothers day present for you.  Presents that your kids ‘chose’ in the blink of an eye, without any thought whatsoever!

Patently I’m just weird, because I’d rather be given a present that my kid put time into wrapping themselves, no matter how badly done.  I’d actually rather be given nothing, than something that they put no thought whatsoever into choosing.

Whatever. Nothing to do with socks, really.

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