Monday, March 22, 2010

mother's instinct

I need to write about this incident that occurred yesterday, Sunday afternoon, in the hope that I'll feel a little better about what happened. Not being selfish just working through this.

My beautiful seven year old little man was invited to a school friend's eighth birthday party. They have known each other since they started three year old kindergarten, many years ago. Kids love the opportunity to attend a birthday party. Mine are no different.

So excited was Master Seven when he pulled the party invite from his school satchel. Reading the details I immediately started thinking, this party is not aged appropriate - 'timezone'. I'm standing there reading the invitation and as eager as can be he is asking if he can go. I can't remember my exact reply but it was along the lines of needing to check mum and dad's work rosters. We both work some crazy hours at times and both the occasional weekend. He was happy with my response.

For the next few days, the party invitation kept popping into my head. Occasionally he'd mention it. I chatted to another parent who felt the same. I eventually made the decision (although my gut was clearly not hundred per cent happy with it) that he could attend in my presence. I was reluctant on the idea but he was so keen to join his friends.

Sunday arrived and we drove the 30 minutes or so to a part of Melbourne I am less than familiar with. Eventually finding our way to 'timezone'. Oh, I've just realised I haven't explained 'timezone', arcade type games and the laserquest games. It was a two hour party. I stayed on site with other parents.

The kids all seemed to be having fun, enjoying themselves. Master Seven particularly enjoying the ten pin bowling. With only about 30 minutes to go until the conclusion of the party it was time to play the laserquest game. I felt uncomfortable. I couldn't join him as he entered the dark room to play the laserquest game, at which point he was smacked on the head with a laser gun, in the dark. Me on the outside and unaware of his injury. I'm not sure exactly how long he was in there, about ten minutes at a guess. He came out white as a ghost, blood on his forehead. I'm not good around blood, immediately feeling faint and nausea. Some parents with much stronger stomachs than mine were brilliant in attending to him. Calming him, cleaning his wound and applying some band aids.

Not long after the incident we left, the party was over. Master Seven carrying a decent gash to his forehead. Driving away I decided we needed to see a doctor, I needed a doctor to have a look. He needed to give his opinion. To avoid hours in the emergency department at a public hospital I decided we'd head to a private hospital's emergency department. It was busy, it was Sunday night, about 6.30pm. We waited and we waited, as you do in an emergency department of a hospital. Master Seven was highly spirited, although thirsty and hungry. Following the nothing to eat or drink before seeing the doctor rule. 'Dad' came to join us. His presence instantly lifted my spirits. He was here to support us and be with us. What a difference it made having him there. He is so much better and stronger than I in his ability to cope with a variety of situations. Master Seven chatted and fired endless questions, as only he can, until after close to two hours of waiting we were called to the cubicle. Finally a doctor was going to have a look at this gash.

The doctor was just lovely. He did an excellent job at making Master Seven and I feel comfortable. His opinion, glue the affected area, cover with some medical strips and clear glad wrap like covering, keep dry for five days, no sport, no swimming and come back Friday morning for a reassessment. My main concern the scaring, the long term scar that could potentially be an unwanted reminder of what happened. The doctor's advice to give it a year and half to heal at which time if we aren't happy a plastic surgeon can be consulted. Time will tell. I know Vitamin E does wonders when it comes to repairing scars, I'll be applying it rigorously.

A number of things have left a bad taste in my mouth in relation to this incident. My instinct was that he shouldn't attend this party. As far as I understand it was a somewhat deliberate 'accident'. The mother of the other child hasn't approached me about the incident. I need to accept people are different and don't think the same as I would in this situation. I'm just hoping he isn't left with a nasty and obvious scar.

What a lesson this has taught me, next time if my mother's instinct tells me no, not suitable or not age appropriate I'm standing up to what I believe in, regardless of other parent influences and opinions and the demands of my children.

What a day! What a way to finish off the weekend.

Thanks for reading and (listening) to my story :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I learnt a new word today, a word I don't think I had ever heard of before. In my late thirties and still learning new words, how exciting!

My new word for the day 'ecru' the shade greyish-pale yellow or a light greyish-yellowish brown.

It is often used to describe such fabrics as silk and linen in their unbleached state. 'Ecru' comes from the French word écru, which means literally 'raw' or 'unbleached'.

In the 1930s and before, 'ecru' was considered to be the same colour as the colour beige but since the 1950s 'ecru' and beige have been regarded as two different colours.

Am I the only one who learnt the meaning of a new word today?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

mother's guilt

Mother's guilt has swept over me this evening. Tomorrow it will have passed (I'm hoping). 2010 is the first year both my boys are at school. Both boys came home this afternoon with their 'parent helper' notice for term 2. Here is my issue. A small one at that but significant to the point it has bothered me this evening.

I'm one of those mums who likes to contribute to the school community. While they attended kindergarten for four years I had my stint on the parent committee. Personally I feel I get alot out of my involvement in contributing to the kindergarten and school communities, my assistance in some small way contributes to the bigger picture. The boys love mum being there to help.

Since starting uni again only 3 weeks ago, I've quickly realised and accepted the fact I can't be a yes person to everything these days, that is if I want to study, do well and pass. Already life is busy, family commitments, work commitments, writing commitments and now study. The time has come in my life where I need to think before I say yes. In the past I willingly said yes to plenty and along the way caused myself and the family unnecessary stress. Had I considered more thoughtfully what I was saying yes to, life at times could have been less stressful for us all I'm sure.

I've allowed myself to accept that from now on I will on occasion say no to a coffee with friends, no to a night out and no to some of the requests for parent help at the school. I've said yes to cutting fruit for the preps morning tea. I've said yes to contributing and assisting with the compiling of the school yearbook. I can't say yes to being a parent helper in both the boys grades. Even if it is only once a week, once a fortnight or once a month. Time moves fast these days, the week moves fast, the term is over before we know it.

Tonight I've made the somewhat hard call of saying no to helping in my big boy's grade 2 class for term 2. I'm feeling uncomfortable with my decision. I feel I am letting him down. But I realise I can't do it. I feel it is fair that I offer to assist with my younger boy's class, this is his first year at school. I did the same for my oldest when he was in prep. I always feel such a need to treat them equally, this decision is a first for me. An occasion where I am giving to one and not the other. I know I'll be asked why aren't I helping in the grade 2 class. This mum isn't superwoman and can't say yes to everything these days, I am sure left feeling guilty with my decision.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

farm day

May last year we enjoyed our first 'Farm Day' experience. Farm Day is when a farming family hosts a city family for a day. Farm Day is a fantastic opportunity, for children who live in the city and are so insulated from country life to enjoy first hand farming experiences.

Last year our family had the absolute pleasure of spending the day with a farming family who own a wool and cereal farm in Western Victoria. They were an absolute delight to spend time with. Lovely people, so very welcoming. We came home with home grown vegetables, beautiful homemade chutneys and relishes and a couple of bags of sheep bones and fleece for show and tell at school!

Registration for Farm Day 2010 (29th and 30th May)is about to open any day. For more information and to register your interest in participating click here.

I am so impressed by the concept of Farm Day. The day is such a rewarding experience and a tremendous success. What an amazing opportunity for city kids, to absorb real hands on farming experiences. An opportunity for them to develop a greater understanding of the day-to-day life of a farming family. To experience first hand how other kids live.

We can't wait to learn details of the family we'll be visiting this year.

Monday, March 15, 2010

cadbury family picnic and easter egg hunts

I was about to tell you about the Cadbury Family Picnic and Easter Egg Hunts to be held on Good Friday, thinking you might like to take the family, but unfortunately I've just discovered this event is already sold out! It sure is popular.

Fortunately I ordered our tickets a week or so ago. For those of you unfamiliar with the the Cadbury Family Picnic and Easter Egg Hunts at the magnificent Werribee Park, 30 minutes from the centre of Melbourne, this wonderful event raises much needed funds for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal.

This event is becoming a family tradition for us each year. It's how we spend our Good Friday. We enjoy family time and a picnic in the grounds of the beautiful Werribee Park . The boys take part in Easter egg hunts. Racing against a timer, with Cadbury bags in hand they fill their bags as quickly as they can with small solid eggs scattered across the lawn. Last year I recall they collected in excess of 300 solid Easter eggs!!

I apologise I didn't post about this gem of an event earlier. It's definitely worth making a mental note that this event is held annually on Good Friday. Lots of fun and magic for chocolate lovers! And it's all for a very good cause!

all the reading that comes with study

I'm about to head into week 3 of my uni studies. Week 3 of 13 weeks, time is certainly moving fast. I'm living a new learning journey. Becoming accustomed to the world and requirements of online learning. Connecting with students all over the globe, literally, from an island off the Northern Territory to New York City and many places in between.

I've 'survived' the first two weeks and managed to submit two small assessments, each worth 5%, on time! Now eagerly anticipating my first grades. I'm still coming to terms with the amount of reading that is required of my. I'm enjoying being a 'student' again, I'm using my mind. Challenging myself. I'm feeling alot of personal satisfaction.

Our life has always been a constant juggle between family and work commitments. Now study is part of the mix and time for 'me' to pursue my own interests. There's a little voice inside my head encouraging me. So far, we are all coping and adjusting to this 'new' life remarkably well, early days, but off to a very good start.

I need to become far more self disciplined though in terms of my bedtime. My goal, when the clock strikes 11pm switch the computer off!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

new music to my ears

Friday the 12th of March 2010 had been marked in my diary for months. I waited ever so patiently for this day to arrive. Like an excited teenager, I couldn't wait for Angus and Julia Stone to release their new album Down the Way.

Finally the 12th of March was here, by lunchtime I had purchased the album through iTunes and was playing it LOUD on my iPod. Technology today! I've barely stopped playing it since. I'm a huge fan, enjoying this new album SO MUCH!!

What can I say, other than you must treat yourself to this new album. Click here for a listen. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

back to uni for me

Where have I been this week? Can someone please slow time down just a little for me, please? It's now March, Autumn and I'm back at Uni. It's now my time, with both the boys at school. Time for me to pursue my dreams. I'm back at Uni after 18 years. Yes 18 years ago I completed my first degree, a Bachelor of Arts at RMIT.

This week I started my first unit towards a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) degree. Studying from the comfort of home through Open Universities Australia. My first unit an 'introduction to university learning' will help me refocus on university learning. It'll help me understand the expectations and requirements of university learning and teach me plenty about online learning. Already I'm being introduced to students all over Australia and overseas. A diverse variety of backgrounds, ages and area of study. It's really interesting to learn about people and their reasons to take on university study. The majority, like myself, are feeling a little overwhelmed this week, I'm sure in time we'll ease into this new way of life and focus. It's only week 1, so new to us. You know what, when I completed my first degree, all those years ago, the internet did not exist!! Can you believe that?? I hand wrote all my essays and spent hours at the library. My oh my how times and technology have changed in such a relative short time.

I have two small assessments, each worth 5%, due in next Friday. Week 2 and assessments are due!! OMG I thought, what have I got myself into?? When I'm not working or looking after the family's needs, you'll find me studying these days. Until I'm comfortable with my online learning I may not be able to post here as regularly as I like. I'll be back and definitely not too far away. You know how much I like it here. My aim, to post here once or twice a week. When I need some down time I'll be sure to pop over to your blog.

Monday, March 1, 2010

italian cooking

I had such a great day today! Still recovering from my virus but well enough to take part in a three hour Italian cooking class. What a great way to spend part of my day. The things I can now do while the children are at school, divine indeed.

Local council is celebrating healthy lifestyle week with an excellent and diverse range of activities for community members to enjoy, at a subsided price! Today's class cost me a mere $5! I jumped at the opportunity to attend this class, so glad I read about it in the local newspaper.

I enjoy cooking and am fortunate to have grown up in a family where my mother and grandmother cooked a large variety of delicious mediterranean dishes. This is where my love of food and cooking came from. Even though I know how to prepare some traditional Italian meals, I'm always keen to learn something new. I enjoy my time in the kitchen and am passionate about preparing healthy meals for the family. I find my biggest challenge these days is time, I'm forever on the look out for quick, easy and healthy meals. Today's class was perfect!

The class was taken by the daughter of a traditional Italian 'cook'. Her knowledge, tips and love of cooking contagious. The class, a very small, intimate and relaxed group of keen cooks. We chatted, we shared, we listened, we asked questions, we watch intently, we finished the class taste testing what had been prepared. Simply delicious, eggplant pasta, an onion frittata and ricotta cannoli.

I enjoyed my time so much today that I've signed up for a three week Italian cooking course. Starting next week. The recipes use seasonal produce, are low cost and easy! I can't wait.
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