Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Party preparation

Isabella has decided that she is having a circus, carnivale theme for her 6th birthday party. This has meant that we've gone to IKEA and bought a big top which she has had above her bed to sleep under for the last two weeks. We then went to Spotlight and chose some bright coloured material to be made into bunting. I've cut out enough flags to make two strips of bunting that will be about 3m each. It will look so pretty. We're going to decorate cupcakes on the day, play some games and have balloon animals made. Functions of Fun are sending us a clown for a couple of hours to help with games, cupcake decorating and making balloons. 

Bunting cut out and ready to sew.
Ironed and serged!
My machine in action.

Monday, October 29, 2012


A few of our no bake creations. Witches hats Bones Spider biscuits Some of our decorating fun. Entrance Creepy web everywhere Spiders creeping about

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Our introduction to Au Pairs

Holidays are almost upon us and the entertaining will need to begin. So before I even start thinking about that I guess I need to look at what has happened over the last 4 months!!

I guess the first thing to see is the completion of the office into bedroom make-over. The kids are already discussing who is going to have the extra bedroom when our time of au pairs comes to an end! I think that Bella is keen to live downstairs in Sarah/Signe's room. We'll see...

Bella standing next to Sarah's bed.
Queen bed, chest of drawers, bedside tables, lamps, mirror.
A small desk, CD player and now a TV and DVD player.
The bedroom has a queen size bed, two bedside tables, new lamps (not in the photos), a chest of drawers, shelves (not photographed), a wardrobe (not photographed) a small desk, chair and lamp, a cd and dvd player and TV. I think it is quite warm and inviting and hopefully both Sarah and Signe have felt that it is 'home'. Signe did say that the bed was very comfortable which is a good thing!

We've had two au pairs, both lovely girls who have loved my family like their own. It's made life so much easier to deal with knowing that Hamish is happy and well looked after. What is an au pair and where on Earth do you find one you ask? Well we went to aupairworld and put up our own little profile and then began the searching. What a funny way to find an au pair, but what a rewarding experience it's been for our family!! The older two kids have both seen that young people can travel the world after finishing school and NOT settle down quickly and have babies. I hope that they learn a little about how the world works, learn to live with people that are from different cultures and have an understanding that we are not so different from each other. Hopefully there will be lots of other lessons that they learn along the way.

Playing playdoh with Bella.
First we had Sarah stay for four months. A pretty young girl from Canada who taught us what it was to be an au pair and how to live with someone in your house that is there to help out with the kids. A steep learning curve if ever there was one. We all survived though and hopefully will continue to keep in touch!!
This is the first photo we had of Sarah on the left.
We took her to Canberra, Cockatoo Island and the Museum of Contemporary Art to see the Biennale. We went to the park, out to restaurants, visiting my family, grocery shopping, joined the local library and opened a bank account and I took her to my school to see the ducklings that were hatching. I even took her along to a teachers strike day in the city. I'm sure a very strange thing to see!
A picnic at Putney Park.

Meeting ducklings at my school.
We really enjoyed having her and were sad to see her go. It really seemed that after 4 months of having Sarah around she was really an integral part of the family and it was very strange to see her go. Even more so since Sarah and Signe had a week where they were both in our house. I wonder how they will both remember the time that they had with us when they have families of their own one day. I imagine when their children are twenty somethings that these funny stories of staying with an Australian family will come out!

Next will be the story of Signe...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Gifting books

Today while out and about I found a new little book store in my local shopping centre funnily enough called 'Your Bookshop'. I had some books in mind to get for my class and decided to buy some for each of the children. I got Josh (my reluctant reader, Artemis Fowl, Sammy got , The Hunger Games and Bella got Are We There Yet. Isabella was excited and had a quick look through her book, Josh gave a shrug and a grunt and my dear Sammy said "Yay" and has started reading her book already. Even the TV is not a deterrent for her. I can remember getting totally lost in a book as a teenager.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Term 3

Seeing 'TED' at Gold Class at Macquarie Centre.
School is back and so is the juggling act that is my life at the moment.

Picking up kids and dropping them off, feeding them, making sure that there's food in the house and clean clothes in the wardrobes, thinking about turning 40, planning lessons, presentations to peers, microphone duty, remembering what day library is and when to send Isabella to school with sneakers, putting money in her banking book, encouraging Hamish to walk, spending quality time with the kids and my beloved, having 'me' time, sewing, crafting, taking the older two to the orthodontist, organising Josh's birthday party, helping Sammy learn about skincare and grooming, watching Josh grow taller, surfing the internet, thinking about turning 40, doing yoga and chanting 'om' without laughing, being a taxi service to the kids, encouraging Isabella to do the singing class that I've paid for, going on date-night and not talking about the kids, cuddling Hamish, going to 'Zumba' class and feeling like I'm twenty again, seeing family, reading a story to Hamish without him tearing the pages, making sure we've been to the dentist twice a year, organising school resources at home, making a weekly dinner menu, eating together as a family, listening to Isabella read, thinking about turning 40, updating home and class blogs, Edmodo and school websites, reading school reports, paying for after school activities, cleaning Hamish's teeth when he stops biting on the toothbrush.

Well that birthday is coming up! I'm almost counting down the days, but trying NOT to think about turning 40. Does it mean that I'm finally a grownup? Do those little wrinkles already give the game away? What about the four kids and the husband? Do they all point to being a grownup too? Sometimes I'm not too sure! Luckily it's just a number and an excuse to spend money on me!!

So what do I want with this next decade...


let me see....

I do know exactly what I want with the next decade, but you'll have to wait and see.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Photo a day for July

I'm going to try and follow along with a photo a day - July from fatmumslim. I'm a little late starting, so forgive me, but hopefully I'll be able to catch up and keep going for the rest of the month.

So since it is the third here are the photos I can find on my phone from the past couple of days.

1. Self portrait: Hamish has been sick and finally fell asleep on me. Poor little thing was so worn out. Me too!
Self portrait#photoadayjuly
2. Here I am busy: The school holidays...
School assemblies#photoadayjuly

3. Best part of my day:...a chance for sewing, crafting, reading, surfing the web...after the kids are in bed!!
Best part of the day#photoadayjuly

School Holidays have begun

I can't believe that so much time has passed so quickly since I last posted...
A new fringe on my gorgeous daughter.

Brotherly love. Awww!

A trip to the beach.

How can Josh's foot be so much bigger than mine?

Eating at one of Isabella's school assemblies.

Isabella with a reading award.

Hamish with his Dad. Gorgeous boys!

My Dad, Mum and sister with Sammy.

Some of the boy cousins. Missing Henry.

All the cousins and Hamish with his cake. Happy Birthday!

A play day with Liam.

So what have I been doing and what has been happening here...

I've been back at work 10 weeks and have not only survived but have really enjoyed myself in the process of remembering students names, routines, breaks and retraining my bladder to only go during recess and lunch! We decided to get an au pair instead of sending Hamish to day care or family day care as I was only going back to work three days and for us it seemed like a better idea for Hamish while he is so young. He got to stay in his own familiar surroundings, get one on one attention and stay away from sick snotty children. The older children give him enough germs to build up his immunity to bugs. We found a lovely young girl (23) from Canada using a website called Au-pair World who has now been living with us for 10 weeks. Sarah has settled into our home and is well loved by Hamish. (phew!) We've gotten into a routine that works for us and everyone seems happy. We finally got her a wardrobe and some hangers. (I kept forgetting to buy these. Whoops!)  I've finally weaned Hamish from his last feed (the night time one)  as of a week ago and of course he's just got a nasty cold. I've spent the last two weeks coming to terms with both weaning him and deciding that we're done with babies! A big step for us and a bit of a mourning period for me. No more babies growing inside my body, no more kicks, no more new baby smell, no more breast-feeding. BUT hopefully sooner rather than later, no more sleepless nights, eventually no more nappies, getting my body back, getting more time to spend together, watching the kids growing up and experiencing new things as parents of teenagers. So because I've now got my body back I've decided to join the local gym (where a friend goes already) and have done my first yoga and zumba class with a girlfriend and have had a lot of fun and quite a lot of laughs. Sore muscles this week! I've been drinking too much coffee because I can! No worry about eating the wrong sort of foods anymore and making Hamish get a sore belly or keeping him awake.

Hamish has now got a new bedtime routine that goes along with weaning him. I managed to feed him for 14 months. The same amount of time as I breast-fed Sammy. Josh got 12 months and Isabella the shortest with 11 months. It's getting easier each day to put him to bed as he gets used to the new bedtime cues. First he plays while I cook dinner. We eat dinner together and then he gets a bath and dressed in his pyjamas and his sleep sack, has warm milk, teeth are cleaned, wave goodnight to everyone and get lots of kisses, a story and then lights out. I lay him in his cot and pat him gently until he's almost asleep and then creep out. Tonight he lay down straight away without trying to get up and cried twice, I wiggled my hand gently against his back for a minute and he was asleep. Poor little boy was very tired tonight.

So far these holidays we've been to Cockatoo Island and saw art words from the Biennale which were amazing. The kids loved these and many of them were interactive. We also went to the drive-in and saw Brave. We ate over buttered popcorn, white chocolate, drank hot chocolate from a thermos and then drove home. The older two then got picked up by their dad for his engagement party. They'll stay there until the end of the week.

We got a call during the last week of term from one of Josh's teachers to tell us how well he'd done in his class. He got 100% for all his assessments for the year so far and is first in his year. We were and are so proud of him and let him choose a place to have a meal. He chose Ribs and Rumps and had a whole rack of ribs and then had room for dessert! He's a growing, eating machine at the moment!

Sammy turned 13 and enjoyed her 'Pamper' Party with some close friends. I think everyone had a wonderful time and felt really spoilt. Sammy and her friends had a chocolate fountain and went through 6 punnets of strawberries and 4 bananas, not to mention the cucumber sandwiches (high tea sandwiches - a big hit!) lollies, pop corn, mini cakes and cans of diet coke and champagne flutes (blue plastic ones) full of juice. They had nails painted, a pedicure and foot massage and a face mask. Kim (Sammy's step-mum) curled the girls hair while they were waiting.

Next week Sammy is getting braces and is so excited about it finally arriving. Her teeth are so overlapped and it will be good for her to have straight teeth that are easier to keep clean.

I will try and get this poor neglected blog up and happening again. I really do enjoy keeping a diary of my day to day goings on and it's a great way for me to keep all our families excursions, goings on, and just day to day life in one place. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Free Technology for Teachers: GoClass - Create and Deliver Lessons on iPads

Free Technology for Teachers: GoClass - Create and Deliver Lessons on iPads

So if my whole class had an iPad each I could use this!! I think I should get an iPad first though. If you build it they will come. So if I buy one will the education department follow?

Maybe not. But me having an iPad sounds like a marvelous idea though doesn't it honey?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Office conversion for our au pair

Sending Hamish off to long day care has caused me more and more angst the closer I got to returning to work. Hamish is just so little still and not walking yet and leaving him in the care of strangers in a new environment was giving me sleepless nights. Somehow I got onto the conversation of getting an au pair with a friend and after quite a bit of research I decided that this was going to make returning to work easier.

Finding an au pair ended up being an interesting exercise. We found a perfect match very quickly except our dates didn't match. In the end I decided that we'd go with our first choice and then find someone else to fill in until Signe gets here. That was all fine and good except we couldn't find anyone willing to only do four months for a long time. Then along came Sarah. We were so grateful to find another good match for our family.

That was fine, but the next thing that was needed was to turn David's office into a bedroom. He had just moved his business out of our home and so we had the space for an au pair but not any furniture to make a bedroom. It was actually a lot of fun setting up a bedroom. Here are some photos that show the change. We still need to get a wardrobe, but it looks nice and Sarah said the bed was cosy. I think that means we've done well.

There's a small desk as soon as you come in the room with a little lamp. As you look around the room you can see a queen size bed with a mirror above it and the wreath I made and then two bedside tables with a lamp on the first table. We need to get another lamp at some stage. Under the window is a dresser with some empty green Ikea boxes. In the corner is a heater that you can't see and then some shelves and the door our of the room. Behind the desk I've now cleaned up David's record (LP) collection and we will put a TV there. Hopefully that will be put there tomorrow. We're hoping to find a small wardrobe that will fit into the corner of the room to the right of the window.

Dining room table

The table has now been out of our house for nearly 2 weeks. Very frustrating. I just had to sand and paint it now didn't I. What a silly thing to do. We're now paying for my haste in starting the table when the weather was really not ready for painting. Luckily David has been out there today masking off the table top from the legs and then painting the table. He's managed two coats so far. I've only taken photos after the first coat, but it looks good so far. And the best thing is when its finally finished it will be all ours and the change of table will have cost us next to nothing.

Still reading...

There's been a lot going on lately with being back at work and looking for and finding and au pair and with that going on I've found reading helps quieten my busy brain. I'm reading whatever I can find in our house. That means some of David's books and also some of the kids books. Here's my growing list of read books. A good mix I think!