rainy day II

June 28, 2013

not taking laptop on weekend away.  won’t write posts on smart phone.  no posts likely for next three days (much like the last three, sorry ’bout that.)



rainy day

June 28, 2013

friday 28th june 2013.

hope the rain stops.  we have a long weekend away starting tomorrow.  i know rafting down the grand river we’ll probably get wet from below, but it would be nice to not also get wet from above.

i’m slumping again.  reason being i was looking for a nice place the kids and i, and paul too when he’s free could hang out, be active or lazy and enjoy each other’s company.  i thought i’d found it at a nearby country club.  i don’t think i’m country club material but figured i could make an exception.  well, i liked the club and nichole who gave me a tour this morning.  north americans and their pools!  they are so funny.  anyways, seemed like a place that we could really enjoy.  i clearly didn’t understand their membership fees online.  was given the cost in person today.  no way ho-say!  additional to the hundreds of dollars a month was an “initiation fee” of over a thousand dollars, that’s in the very small print.  i get enough hazing from my kids at home, i’m not going to be paying for it too!  so i remain not-country club material.

i have a business idea for toronto.  think i’d make a million dollars in the first month.  a proper, big indoor kids play centre with an attached café that serves real food, including hot chips and real coffee and a proper outdoor pool with grass around it.  and ditch all the ridiculous rules that canadians make up for everything.  i don’t care if you don’t shower, with soap and shampoo, before you get in my pool- that’s what eye-stinging levels of chlorine are for!  (not serious about the eye-stinging.)  i don’t care if you don’t wear socks on my play equipment, that’s what a nightly hose down with bleach is for.  i do care if you are well fed and coffeed, that’s what cooks and baristas are for.  i do care that you have grass and trees around your large and fun pool, not concrete and a gazillion sun-lounger chairs.  grass and towels belong around pools, sun-loungers belong on a cruise ship.  if you are happy with supervising your kid/s it’s not my responsibility to keep them from drowning.  come in, play, be merry, eat, drink, don’t whinge, go home.

i may be home-sick.

or maybe canadians just don’t do summer so well.  or maybe i’m expecting too much.  or maybe i have too much time on my hands.  do i need a job?

i’m coming to the realisation that either i’m a really lazy parent, like even lazier than i thought or i’ve missed the memo that requires every kid to “do something.”  and not just do something but do it well and be trained and have lessons and aim for national representation.  what happened to just whacking a tennis ball against a wall?  or climbing trees?  or duck-diving for stones at the bottom of the pool? or kicking a ball to someone, not thru goal posts?  or reading the same story over and over because you like it?

i know percy did a lot of learning activities last year (piano, drama, swimming, dance, gymnastics) but i really did think she did it because she had a genuine interest and found it enjoyable.  tally on the other hand did nothing.  he had a go at gymnastics but it didn’t interest him.  he’s quite imaginative and likes playing with toys and sticks and dress-ups to his own rhythm.

the point i’m trying to get to is that to join in with an activity here kids seem to have join in a lesson.  yes, you can just take your kids to the park and do your own thing.  but do kids have to be ‘taught’ to kick a ball, couldn’t they just figure it out thru play with their peers?  maybe our/my problem is that my kids have no friendly peers yet.

did you read that bit up there about not whinging?  i think that’s what i’m doing now.  better stop.


June 26, 2013

second last day of the school year today.  thursday hardly counts as it’s only a half day.

then it’s panic stations for me!  what to do with the kids all holiday long.  nah, it won’t be that bad.  my plan is to spend tomorrow morning booking them into lots of camps.  hope i’m not too late.  we’re thinking some sort of martial art for each of them and then a general activities, outdoor play for tally and maybe a dramatic arts sort of thing for percy.

barring that we have a gazillion weeds that need pulling up outside.  the kids have their own gardening gloves, get to it!

tipping the scales

June 25, 2013

the bathroom scales tell me that since our arrival in canada, i’ve shed three or four kilos of weight.  this is a good thing.  i’m well over the ideal weight for my height.  dropping kilos from my frame is a goal worth aiming for.  i’ve not intentionally done it but i think i can pinpoint to what this satisfying result is due.  primarily, i can’t find good icecream!  well, icecream and a few other things i over-indulged in back home.  so instead of continuing the hunt i’ve resolved to live without.  it’s great.  if it’s not in the house i can’t eat it.  i have little to no will power around eating things, best if it’s just not attainable.  added to my inherent laziness which stops me from going to lots of different supermarkets and shops to find products i like and i’ve just cut my calorie intake with ease!

other things that have slipped away include fruit juice; replaced mostly by water, chocolate; replaced mostly by water a la the health food shop’s advice (and singing “la la la la…” as i pass the confectionary aisle in the supermarket), cookies; replaced mostly by nothing, fried breakfasts (not common to start with); replaced with porridge (which i love so not difficult) and various little munchings thru-out the day on various high calorie, low nutritional value things.

we think north american food is loaded with even more sugar than aussie stuff.  we’ve been buying a different type of bread nearly every week trying to find one that isn’t so sweet tasting.  bread, sweet?! yes. yucko.  food labelling is pretty consistent with aussie rules but we still find ourselves saying “is that really sweet to you?”  i think it may be the abundant, and i mean ABUNDANT use of corn syrup and palm sugar.  these ingredients show up in so many products… poor, fat north americans can’t help it, poor orang-utans losing their habitat to make americans fat.

as i age i find i’m turning into my parents in more than one way (which may form a whole post of it’s own.)  one of the more devastating traits being i don’t much like macdonalds anymore.  one cheeseburger and i’m done.  my mum couldn’t eat much more than that and now i think she scorns micki dees altogether.  as a child having a macdonalds meal was pure heaven-sent manna.  i probably could have scoffed it until i was vomitously ill.  never got the chance as there were very few macdonalds within a long, loud cooee of where we lived, and we never had money for anything but home made meals.  so the once a year i got it i was clearly left salivating for more.  that’s all gone now.  just not interested and certainly far from tempted.  another positive on the calorie counting!

i was joking with paul last week that when i get up in the morning i actually feel curvy and slinky and sexy.  (could three kilos account for that?)  it’s all meaningless come the afternoon when the morning svelteness has disintegrated into sweaty, fat bulges over clothes that don’t fit anymore.  dang it!.

rounding calculations show that i’ve lost about a kilo a month since setting up home in canada.  if this depreciation rate continues by the time we go back to oz, after 22 months here, i may be in danger of being too skinny!  wouldn’t that be an odd quandary to swallow?

sunday after solstice

June 24, 2013

no noticeable shortening of daylight hours yet.  ha ha.  the kids are still going to bed in broad daylight.  it starts to darken about 9:30pm and is fully dark around 10pm.  full morning light kicks in about 5:30am.  i like the morning light.  going to bed when the sun is still lighting our north-west facing bedroom is odd but not unbearable.  i’m sure i’ll be pining for more sun when the next solstice rolls around.

i find i’m very affected by sunlight.  the lack of it bothers me.  i get low.  then a full sunlight day boosts me up again.  it’s silly to let my environment affect me so much but there you have it.  what affects you?

dry air

June 21, 2013

the air in canada is dry, really dry.  so dry it sucks the moisture out of everything.  my skin is parched, my hair has split ends up to the roots just about, my nails are dry and oh gloriously yes, my nose is dry.  it’s really kinda odd considering the country is so soggy in general.  as paul and i always joke now when we are looking for a place on the map- “is it near a lake?” “yes, there’s always a lake!”  “THERE’S ALWAYS A LAKE!”.  look another lake, that’s a stormwater basin dear, it’d be called a lake in australia!

there are lakes and rivers and streams and ponds everywhere.  the country has an overabundance of water.  just not in it’s air.  this leads to very dry noses.  at least for imports like us who have acclimatised to moister environs.  the heavy use of forced air heating (as is absolutely necessary in winter) adds to the problem.  or should i say worsens the problem by lessening the moisture in the air even more.

as i’m sure you’ve figured out this post is actually about nose picking.  yup, you just can’t help yourself!  as the other aussie that has trekked over along with us remarked “it’s got to be a country of champion nose-pickers!”  that constant dry, scratchy, itchy, crusty feeling just cannot be eradicated by blowing.  and while i’ve loaded up on skin lotions and potions and have all sorts of conditioners for hair now i’m yet to find a moisturising nose spray.  jamming skin cream up there with your little finger has a positive effect for about 90 seconds.

we do have to be careful if we don’t want to be caught out indulging in this necessary, yet i’m sure less-than-attractive and probably unsanitary activity.  you know, waiting at the school gate to collect kids with 30 other grown-ups standing around, in the check-out aisle, stopped at traffic lights, out at a restaurant, or in paul’s case recently- while on a video skype call with the sydney office.  he was in one meeting, flicked (ha ha) over to another temporarily and just forgot the first lot of people had him up on a big screen.  busted!  that’s what he tells me anyway.

torontonians apparently complain about the humidity thru summer.  bring it on i say!  the humidity in sydney is the thing that knocks me about.  i don’t deal well with heat and humidity.  (one of the attractions of moving to canada!) now i’m wishing for more of it.  some people are never happy.  nearing the end of june and no humidity in sight.  probably i’ll just whinge about it when it does arrive, if it does.  our poor parched persons, particularly our proboscises are panting for it.

i hope we have adapted, or evolved even, enough by next winter not to be so dessicated and desperately digging about with our fingers up our noses!

book recommendation

June 20, 2013

am most of the way thru reading “It’s OK to NOT Share… and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids”, by heather shumaker.  remarkably i’m going to enthusiastically recommend this book to everyone.  i’m not a person to recommend things.  i figure most people are smart enough to figure out what they want and need and how to get it, they don’t need an amateur like me making off-the-mark recommendations.

clearly i’m breaking a mold now.  i do really think it’s worth it.  the ideas in this book are great and annoyingly self-evident once you’ve had them pointed out to you.  i’m thinking of handing one over to tally’s kindergarten teacher along with him in september.  won’t that make me popular!?

percy has already taken one practice from the book to heart- “i don’t have to play with you if i don’t want to!”  gets her away from tally when she’s had enough of three year old boy for the day.

anyways, if you feel like reading it, it may make sense to you and may make your kids make a bit more sense to you and it may help you sort thru or accept some kid things that were troubling you or were difficult to manage.  i particularly like putting power and emphasis back in the hands and minds of the kids.  they more they can do themselves the lazier i can be!  that’s not true actually as parents need to be aware and involved, calm and ready to prompt, help and lead all the time.

there’s a few things in the book i’m not entirely comfortable with.  for instance i’m not going to be loading our house with toy guns.  not happening, not necessary.  overall, very pleased i stumbled across this.


June 18, 2013

being a parent doesn’t really allow for going awol.  i know that sentence doesn’t make sense; going awol isn’t an allowed thing in the first place, that’s why it’s awol.

sometimes it would be so nice to be absent.  absent from being constantly on call, needed, whined at, required, in attendance, on watch, alert (even alarmed), aware, present…  no-one can manage sanity and 24 hour vigilance.

particularly when you’re sick.

i got a bit of a head cold a week ago.  it largely cleared up by the weekend, but came back with a vengeance last nite.  i snorted and snuffled and snored and thrashed about so much i drove paul to the spare bed!  (suppose it’s lucky no-one is visiting right now.)  what sleep i did manage was not very restorative.  putting a brave face on, and a few pills in, this morning i told paul we’d be fine.  percy also managed to wrangle a day home from school.  she apparently had a sore throat and was generally poorly.  yeah, right!  taking advantage of me being too spent to drag her arse to school is what she was.

being rat-shit with two kids is demanding.  the pills only give me a one hour window of functionality, after which rat-shittedness returns.  and the packet says not to take them more than four hourly.  even my basic maths skills shows that’s three hours in every four where even making a vegemite sandwich is an ordeal.  probably needless to say the kids have eaten mostly packaged food today and the teev has been on nearly constantly- god bless you electronic nanny!

now, however is a.w.l time.  absent with leave.  paul has unexpectedly and fabulous arrived home from work at 3:30pm.  i’m outta here…  bedtime.

dropped the ball!

June 17, 2013

oops!  i missed posting yesterday.  saturday nite, hey?  you know how time flies on a saturday nite, when you’re out painting the town red?!  no? no, neither do i.  ain’t done that in a long time.

was lazy, snuggled on the lounge watching ‘sherlock’ with paulie.  good show.  ‘cept we didn’t realise each episode is one and half hours long.  then it was bed time.

nothing much happening this weekend anyways.  spent the time mostly with the kids at home, which was nice and good because tally still has a temperature and a cough.  poor little mite.  he’s up and ok for a good part of the day but is sleepy, needing a long nap in the afternoon.  which thankfully doesn’t mean he’s up half the nite.  so clearly he needs the extra sleep.  i think i will try to find a doctor to take him to tomorrow, that will be six days with a temp; getting too long for comfort.  given our lengthy battles to get a lot of things done here i’m hoping this particular activity is much more painless.

today is actually father’s day in canada.  (so if i don’t remember it for back home, come sept please forgive me.)  paul’s choice was to visit the royal ontario museum.  we were late getting going this morning so didn’t get there until 11am.  it’s a very extensive museum.  the dinosaur bone collection is awesome!  tally was superlatively pleased.  after three hours everyone was getting tired and we hadn’t made it beyond one floor of five!  we bought a years membership on the way out, so we can come back plenty to see the rest.

am investigating hiring a motorhome for our upcoming july uk holiday.  we want to visit a lot of places in the south and also in scotland.  rather than hiring a car and finding new accommodation every nite we figure taking a reasonable and compact home with us makes lots of sense.

off to keep juggling all those balls now.  good luck with your juggling too.  x p

i have spent over five hours today sorting credit and debit cards, overdrafts, limits, limit extensions, temporary extensions, ticketing websites, call centre morons, hold music and more frustration than one person should have to, all while looking after poor sick tally and getting percy to and from school on time.

i’m knackered.

on the upside, it seems 95% positive, cross-fingers, pretty darn sure, what else can stuff this up, likely that our holiday tix to uk are booked, and PAID for.

see you tomorrow…