Monday, May 30, 2011

Just another face in the crowd

Something happened this morning, and after a wonderful debrief with one of my best friends, its led me to wonder...

Now G is at school, is he just another face in the crowd?

At this stage of our boys lives, no one loves or cares for them more than my husband and I do. With G starting school - I have had to let go a little. Start to trust others more and generally start taking the first steps back to allow him to grow into a wonderful young man. Problem for me is, taking those steps and wondering what will happen to him when I do.

The incident this morning was when I was leaving after drop off. A had needed to use the toilet so we were leaving awhile after bell. While walking out the gates a little girl not much older G (so around 6) was walking in the gate. She was crying and walking alone. I stopped and asked her if she was ok (stupid question really.. obviously she isn't!). When she said no, I asked her if she wanted me to take her to the office, she nodded. I walked her into the office and told the ladies that she needed some help. The office ladies dismissed her and sent her on her way to class as she wasn't 'late' yet. Bell goes at 8.45, it was 8.59, 'late' is 9.00. She left the office and I asked her if she needed a hug, which threw her alittle I think, she declined (Good too I guess - stranger danger and all!) and I said goodbye and she left.

I would hope that if that was my child and another mother had brought them into the office that someone, anyone would care enough to find out why my child was upset. I felt ill that she was so easily dismissed.

She was just another face in the crowd to them.

Not that this child will ever settle for being 'just a face in the crowd'!

I know that part of growing up is to build resilience and independence, but at what cost - and at what age? To me, 6 is still young and in need of care. There are mum's who leave their Prepy's (so 4-5yr olds) well before the bell goes, drop them at the gate and trust that they will be safe and will get themselves to class. I can't do that. I can't even bring myself to even drop him off and wait in the car, I walk him up and wait with him until the classroom opens. There are no staff on duty at this hour, so I stay to make sure he safe.

Now my first born is out in the world. Starting to have all these new experiences that I can't control. I can no longer protect him from all the evils in the world. This scares the living day lights out of me. He is still so young, but for a large chunk of his day he is just another face in the crowd. There is no one there that has HIS best interests at heart 100% of the time. There is always going to be an element of risk where he isn't protected. His first few weeks at school he had already been picked on physically. But before today I was pretty sure that at least the ladies in the office would care if he came in crying... obviously not.

Its a hard job, being a parent. I keep reminiscing back to when they were newborns when I could bundle them up tight and keep them safe. As my mum says, they are my cubs and I am their mumma bear - I need to protect them. But as they get older, there is less and less that I can protect them from and this mumma bear is struggling.

Am I alone in this? Are you a parent who finds it easy to step back?

Meal Planning

The Organised Housewife

Oh dear, I'm so slack with this! Anyway, here is our meal plan - and a new one will be coming in the next day or so...

Slow cooked chili con carne w/ cheese dumplings

Bubble n' squeak

Slow cooked meatballs

Steak, jacket potatoes and veggies

Fish, mash and veggies

Dinner at Friends house

Roast pork, Jacket potatoes and veggies

Slow cooked Beef ribs

Chicken and bacon carbonara

Baking for lunches
Butterscotch brownies
Cheese and tomato muffins
Carrot muffins
Chocolate muffins
'Pizza' popcorn

We're up to Beef ribs for tonight (which I had better go and put on!). I've been jotting down ideas for use with the leftovers that I freeze, so in the next fortnight we will have:

Chilli con carne puffs
Bubble n' squeak w/ extras.

I've also jotted down any meal ideas from meat that I find in the deep freeze, so that when I write up the next meal plan it will be a simple one and I will spend less at shopping and use up some food from the freezer.

Cheap cleaning products

Gosh I love being frugal... :) I have no shame when it comes to discounts, discount stores or anything labelled as cheap. If it saves us a buck (hey, even a cent I'd be happy!) I'm there.

I had to stop in at the chemist today and get A some cough mix, and next door is Sam's warehouse. I went in looking for snaplock sandwich bags as G wants them for his lunches, and well I refuse to pay more than $2 for them... But what I found today was a whole smorgasbord of cheap cleaning products! I got everything I was going to get when I did the groceries this week, but mostly brandnames - and for less than I would pay for homebrand anyway!

What did I get:

Laundry liquid 5L - (Supreme brand) -$6.99 (Shelf said $6 though... Not happy Jan!)
Fabric conditioner concentrate (Clean Scene-  used this before and it has held a gorgeous scent in the clothes, even after been lined dried) - $1 x 2
Creme cleanser (Clean Scene) - $2
Morning Fresh dishwashing liquid - $2
Kitchen cleaner spray (Supreme) - $2 (Ajax ones there for $2.49, but I thought-  meh I'll save myself $0.49 just opting for the no name)
Radiant liquid (For linen and towels) - $2

I wasn't 'needing' the radiant liquid, but we have issues with our towels, so I figured for $2 I could see if its just a gimmick or if will help our towel clean better and stay nicer for longer.)

Notice that the one thing I went in for, I didn't get?! I couldn't find any :( Either they don't stock them anymore or they have moved them and I didn't find them. Oh well. Aldi ones should be cheap enough.

Can't wait to get cleaning now... I know - sad hey!

But always remember, something is only a bargain if you actually need it... otherwise its just wasting money!

Monday, May 23, 2011

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.... Today it isn't enough!

Before having kids, I had a magical view on the world of parenthood. Even when I babysat for friends it was by most a wonderful experience, one I presumed would flow over into my parenting experience.

Because babysitting is just like parenting... right?


Its days like today that I'm left almost bald. I'm breathing so deep that I hyperventilate. I'm taking 'Mummy time out' and I'm reaching for the wine glass. Hell, if I smoked - I'd be chain smoking this afternoon. I'm counting to 10 to calm myself down, but when I get there I feel worse than when I started.

Thinking about the boys behaviour this afternoon, they haven't been over the top naughty... I guess... Its just that evil combination of Mummy in a bad mood and one or two wrong moves from the kids.... Its all downhill from here.

A has become this feral toddler at home. He has started backchatting, he is throwing his toys with a force that should have its own category warning system on it. He is hitting G, or sitting on his head, or stealing his toys, or stealing my money. Right this second, he was stealing my wool boxes from beside my bed - my best guess would be to make a web of wool for me to clean up later. I told him to put the box back, which he did. Begrudgingly. Serious attitude. He strutted back in, and threw it back on the pile! I smacked his hand for it, and now he is in the lounge screaming "I want my Daddy!". Number of hairs left on my head is rapidly decreasing! It is just general naughty 2 yr old behaviour really, but every time he does something its like nails down a chalk board. No, scrap that because nails down a chalk board doesn't annoy me. Its like hearing someone eat. The chewing sound does my head in and I feel like screaming. So yeah, his behaviour is like the chewing sound, and I'm at my wits end this afternoon.

J wants to deal with A's backchatting and disrespect, because obviously my discipline methods aren't working. Problem is, he only gets about 5 hours through the week with the boys, the rest is all me. The buck stops with me.

Where did I go wrong? G is such a lovely well behaved child... A, well A is A. A pain in the Arse! And I can say that, because I am his Mum, and I do love him - despite this rant!

Seriously, the one hour till bedtime seriously can't come soon enough!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kids birthday parties, A joyous occasion, or a test in strength of character?

We are now on the downhill stretch to G's 5th birthday. His first birthday where he has had school friends to invite, or in our case - not invite.
Poor G has been left out of about 70% of the birthday parties so far this year, and Ive seen how upset he has become over it so I endeavoured to spare other kids of this pain. Although even as I'm typing this I wonder why I bothered - other parents didn't take my sons feelings into consideration, why should I go so far out of my way to protect others.

Last night G and I sat down and wrote out the invites. I am super dooper proud of him, he wrote the guests name and his name on EVERY invite! First time too, no practice runs! All were legible too, well 4yr old legible handwriting anyway!

We put them into plain white envelopes so that when we put the few ones into the communication pockets at school, they just looked like normal school stuff.

The other invites have all been just the invite itself, placed into the pocket, so it stood out clearly which kids were invited, and which were not. Ok, maybe it just stood out to me because G rarely gets invited!

Its crazy when I think about it. A 10 kid party doesn't actually stretch out that far. Once you take out the birthday boy and his brother and 3 family friends, it only leaves 5 kids from school. How do these other parents afford to invite 10-15 of the class?! We'll be scrimping to pull his off!

The expense of birthday parties is a hidden one. I was thinking about having one at home or the park, to save some money, but once you factor in food, party bags, decoration your up already $50 - $100. Not to mention providing entertainment too! G's Hungry Jacks party is all inclusive (bar the cake, which I'm hoping a dear friend of mine will make, or I will), and only costs just a touch under $70 for the 10 kids - and whats best...? I don't have to entertain them, keep a hawk eye on them or clean up after! The last one is probably worth $70 by itself!

G has already learnt that you cant be invited to every party. I'm hoping he remembers that this by no reflection on him. So I pray the other children realise this too.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Talk about some bad luck!

Hide me.... 


This little household has had its fair share of bad luck. Ok, more than our fair share I think... More like someone piled the plate high with seconds and still asked for some more...

The reason I haven't been posting is included in this run of bad luck, but Ill get to that in turn.

So where did it all start?? I guess it was back with the washing machine dieing a month or so ago. I cleaned it after I had read a blog post from the The organised housewife and within days it had stopped working for no apparent reason. It was over 5 years old, so we figured it could just be its time.

My mind is in a jumble from it all, so Ill just list it all...

Fridge died on mothers day
One of the back stairs collapsed - while I was standing on it - at my own birthday party!
G's had a cough for about a month
The hot water system blew a fuse (we fixed it less than 6 months ago, so if its going to do this again we're going to have to replace it too)
We did everything by the book, and now being told we were overpaid after the floods.
I broke my little toe
A may have broken his nose
J's clutch failed yesterday
While using phone banking (because I had not Internet!) A computer glitch paid the same bill twice.

But the biggest to affect this blog, is that the computers died. Both of them. almost at once.
J has a music PC for his production and mixing, and we have a laptop. The music PC died, and he was looking how to fix it on the laptop when the laptop blue screened. Its taken almost a full spindle of DVDs to back up the laptop hard drive, and even that wont cover programs, so we're waiting on a external hard drive or something to be able to do a complete back up on it. Whatever the case, its been hard going around here!

All this computer free time has given me time to get some other projects done, so stay tuned for updates on those. Ive been asked to blog my shopping list and meal plan so others can see how I do it on the cheap, so hold on for that one.... and on the whole cheap options, come back when I put up the boys quilts, made from their old baby clothes! Very waste not want not!

So I might hang up the keyboard for today. Typing from the music PC is oh so uncomfortable! The keyboard is mounted on the wall, so my arms are about to loose feeling... actually my fingers have gone cold!