We’re adding to the family…

With a new puppy!

(ha ha, tricked you 🙂 )

Meet Bessie:

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She is an English Springer Spaniel and possibly the most gorgeous doggy you’ve ever met 🙂

The kids thought we were getting her next week but Mum and I went and picked her up today to give them a lovely surprise.

And it worked! Little Miss burst into tears at the sight of her, she was so happy and overwhelmed.

We already love her to bits (well, except our cat, Popcorn, who was rather unimpressed).

She is so cuddly and happy and her tail hasn’t stopped wagging.

I just love puppies!

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A restful break

I have been on holidays for the past week and feel really refreshed, even though it’s only been 7 days. Here were the highlights…

A stay-cation

The past few months at work have been really stressful. It was so nice to spend the week at home not really doing…anything. Lots of sleep-ins, afternoon naps and coffees on the verandah.

The weather!

Autumn is always my favourite season, and last week proved exactly why. Gorgeous golden sun, just perfect for picnic weather, followed by cool nights where you can snuggle into your blankets and get a good night’s sleep.

Picnics

We enjoyed a few of these – with friends, family and by ourselves too. We rode bikes, ate ice creams and even squeezed in some water play in the fountains before winter sets in.

A sleep-over

My niece slept over one night – she is Little Miss’s age, they are in the same class at school and sit next to each other. They are cousins and best friends, and it was wonderful to have her come and stay. It was even more wonderful that they played perfectly and we hardly heard a peep from them. But what made it super-dooper wonderful was that Little Miss finally found someone able to match her in her craft obsession. They crafted all day and all night and I barely had to open a glue stick. Heaven help me when that girl discovers Pinterest.

Reading and writing

I read some books and wrote a few chapters of my book. Perfect.

I hope those of you who had school holidays enjoyed them too 🙂

You know it’s a bad day when…

…you slam your own face into the car door while you’re opening it.

Yes, I hear your sniggers. And I totally understand – I mean, how is it even possible to do that? Can anyone really be that spacially challenged?

Well yes they can, because I did it this morning and now I have a fat and grazed lip. It’s actually quite painful.

…the tooth that you’ve just paid $200 to get fixed starts hurting again.

It’s very depressing. I rang the dentist and I think he used the word “root canal” but I’m hoping I misunderstood. I just feel like a whole world of pain is headed my way  – physical and financial – and I’m in denial.

…the clock loses time

Poor Picasso. We were late to school and I totally blamed his last-minute dash back to his room to get news. I blamed him – quite loudly – for the entire car trip. And then I got back home and realised the clock was actually 20 minutes late.

…the printer runs out of ink

And OF COURSE this happens when you’re working from home on something super urgent and you need to print something RIGHT NOW and that stupid yellow exclamation mark pops up on the little printer screen. Frustrating doesn’t begin to cover it.

Anyway as you can see, I had a bad day this week. It really sucked.

But it’s the Long Weekend…so things are looking up 🙂

All in a day’s work

So this week at work has been the most challenging in probably my whole life 🙂

I work in government PR, and suffice to say after 70 questions from journalists,  2 TV interviews to organise, multiple radio interviews, a TV Op and multiple speeches, at the end of the week my small group of colleagues and I were barely able to state our names coherently.

Anyway it got me thinking about some of the odd jobs I have had over the years, and the various challenges each of them brought …

Ice Cream Scooper

My very first job, as a sixteen-year-old, was working at a Great Australian Icecreamery. It was all very exciting to have a job and money, but let me tell you, scooping ice cream is not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s really hard. Especially the rum and raison. And my wrists are horribly weak. I found it quite stressful and after an unfortunate batch of malformed waffle cones I didn’t last very long at all.

Party fairy

While I was at Uni, I answered an ad to be a fairy for children’s parties. It was kind of fun, but I only lasted two parties. During my first outing, the head fairy (I was just the assistant) was severely hung over from her antics the previous evening, and we kept having to stop on the way for her to vomit on the side of the road (yes, dressed as fairies). Then on the second outing her car broke down and we had to walk in the pouring rain for ages along a highway, dressed in our costumes. It’s not all tinsel and wings, I assure you.

Singles party organiser

I don’t know what on earth possessed me to answer an ad seeking someone to organise singles parties, but for some reason I did. It was very strange – firstly I had to pretend to be single myself (I have no idea why – you would think being happily married was a walking advertisement) and had to act as a conversation starter for the singles that came along. Imagine every worst first date scenario and multiply it by the number of people at a large party. I don’t think I did a terribly good job at it – at the end of my one and only party, everyone ditched me for the local nightclub.

So I think the lesson learned here is that my job might be stressful, but at least it’s the right one for me 🙂

Nature not nurture?

When you have kids you learn many things. Like how to yell in that quiet way so your child hears your insane threat at the shops but the lady in front of you (hopefully) doesn’t. Or that it really is possible to survive on 4 hours’ sleep a night. And that you are indeed capable of rocking a baby to sleep while cooking the dinner while playing fairies with your toddler while reading up for a uni assignment.

At the moment, Bookworm and Picasso are teaching me all about nature over nurture. My two boys are only 16 months apart, and while poor Bookworm copped the full force of my probably neurotic and crappy first-time-as-a-mum parenting, they have had a fairly similar experience. But no two different boys could you find! A couple of weeks ago I did the Myer-Briggs personality test for kids on each of them and was astounded at the accuracy of the results. While I know they are young and will change, I found it really helpful information. Anyway in the three categories (they only have three for kids) Bookworm got an E for Extrovert, N for iNtuitive and a P for Perceiving. Picasso, on the other hand, got an I for Introvert, an S for Sensory and a J for Judging. Yes, completely opposite on every scale.

It was reinforced for me as the school year began, and I watched them do their homework. Bookworm complains dramatically and when he finally gets his book out he dashes it off as quickly as possible. It’s barely legible and as one of the teachers pointed out to me this year, he’d write with his feet if he thought that would make it easier. Despite him talking the whole time it’s done in about 5 minutes. Now we come to Picasso. He is so painstakingly slow I want to tear my hair out, and I could, because it would actually grow again by he time he finished. Every word is perfectly formed, and rubbed out and redone the minute there’s a stroke of pencil out of place. And since his teacher told him to leave a two-finger gap between words, he has fully embraced the letter of the law. Two-finger spaces are carefully measured with a precision that would make an OCD sufferer proud. When I suggested he didn’t ACTUALLY have to be QUITE so specific his eyes welled up with tears so I hastily just left him to it.

Funny kids. It will be very interesting to see how things go as they grow up!

Life lessons learned through Lego

As I was playing with the kids this weekend I realised how many of life’s lessons can be learned through Lego. For instance…

There’s always a Plan B

There’ll never be enough of the flat three-blocks to go around, we all know that. So what do you do? You find a two-block and a one-block and you make it work. Can’t find the right red six-block? Use a blue. Picasso nearly came unstuck when he couldn’t find the right piece during building a racing car, but I wisely and sagely told him all about Plan B. The result? A cool racing car with a few multi-coloured blocks that add to the charm. And if Plan B doesn’t work – Plan C awaits!

There aren’t enough men to go around

This is a shout-out to all my single girlfriends out there who complain that there are literally NO MEN. There does seem to be a ratio of about 6:1 when it comes to available and attractive and young women and men. Well, nothing causes a Lego fight as surely as an argument over the little Lego men. I try to evenly distribute at the beginning of a Lego session to ensure fairness to all (shame this doesn’t happen on a cosmic scale) but there will inevitably be a fight over the “cool” looking ones as opposed to the Lego men with 70s haircuts (left over from my childhood). And I’m pretty sure the guy with the red necktie is gay.

You can’t have fun without ruining your fingernails

The kids are always impressed with my ability to pull apart the flattest and most stubborn of Lego blocks. The result? Torn, ragged fingernails that rip up your stockings and tear your contact lenses. Luckily, I’ve never been a girl who spends much time or money on her nails. There are so many fun things to do that are not compatible with nail care – gardening, playing with clay or playdough, fingerpainting, playing the piano, to name a few. My advice to Little Miss will always be to forget the nail polish and get your hands dirty.

The good things are sometimes hard to find

Let’s face it, there’s a lot of crap to sift through in this lifetime, and sometimes it feels like the good bits are few and far between. Like the endless supply of mismatched Lego pieces saved from mine and Souljourneyboy’s childhood, which don’t seem to fit anywhere. But then, right at the bottom of the box, you’ll find a tiny walkie talkie or a racing helmet or a flower bush that still has all its flowers. Nice.

How cool is Lego!

25 things about me

I posted a list like this a while ago on my Facebook account, but thought I’d share again. It’s just a list of 25 random things about me…it may or may not be interesting!

1. I love to eat Cadbury milk chocolate and drink full cream milk. Clearly Michelle Bridges does not allow this! But I will look forward to it as a treat once my 12-week stint is done.

2. I am absolutely passionate about books. My favourite store is the book store. You can read about my favourite books here.

3. I love shopping. I don’t really like this about myself, because I am anti-consumerist and don’t believe in unregulated capitalism or materialism, and I am very budget-conscious, but I honestly love to shop.

4. I think I misunderstood God for many years.

5. I often dream about spiders. I frequently wake poor Souljourneyboy up by yelling about spiders in the room.

6. I am mixed race. Half Sri Lankan and half Anglo-Australian.  Sometimes wish I identified more with my Sri Lankan background, and less with my Anglo side.

7. My second toe is longer than my big toe.

8. I love beauty. I love beautiful things: a bunch of flowers, a moonlit night, the ocean, pretty jewellery, the perfect colour green, a throw rug, a photograph or painting, a wonderfully-decorated room, a song, a garden, candles…it doesn’t have to be luxurious or expensive, just beautiful.

9. I am a morning person. I like to get up early and get things done…this is sometimes a source of frustration in my marriage because Souljourneyboy is so very much NOT a morning person 🙂

10. I am constantly surprised by the passion I feel for my children. I never thought maternal love would be so physical, so all-consuming.

11. I have been best friends with Soul Sister for 30 years.

12. I have the most eclectic taste in movies/TV shows of anyone I know. I like drama, comedy, sci-fi, fantasy, horror (despite my dislike of blood in real life), murder mystery, thriller, romance, even some westerns. My list of faves is here.

13. Souljourneyboy was the first boy to ever call my house to talk to me…it was on my 15th birthday (I was a late starter).

14. Like Miss Congeniality, I really do want world peace.

15. I have two dreams – I want to be a published author, and I also want to work for the UN. Sometimes I wonder why I want to do both these things so much, when they aren’t really related, but there you go. I just do.

16. I sometimes used to get my Mum to tell me I had to stay home when I was a teenager so I didn’t have to go out with my friends…I liked being at home! Still do, actually.

17. I like writing essays. So this combined with number 16 means I think I am probably a nerd.

18. I love cooking. I love making and sharing delicious food with good friends.

19. Like Jed Bartlett, I am a “lifetime holder of minority opinions”. It always seems that if everyone in the room thinks one way, I’ll almost always think something else. Sometimes this bugs me.

20. If I had to label myself, I think I would be a …Critical Theorist Post-Modern Feminist Christian. Crazy, much?

21. I like to design houses sometimes in my spare time. I am trying to design my perfect house, should I ever win lottery or something, but I haven’t perfected it yet.

22. I frequently have mood swings. Souljourneyboy thinks Sting’s song, “Four Seasons in One Day” was written specifically for me.

23. I frequently lose things.

24. I honestly believe a lot of the problems teenage girls have would be solved if they’d just read the “Anne of Green Gables” series when they were in primary school.

25. When I am reading I completely tune out. Completely. I honestly don’t hear a word anyone is saying. It often drives my family mad.