Rainy Day Fun

We are at our caravan this weekend. It is nice to be away but unfortunately the weather is pretty ordinary.

The kids were starting to be a little bored and restless. I was trying to think of something (besides TV) for them to do in a small space. Then I remembered something I’d seen on Pinterest.

So, we created this race track. My boys loved it and have spent lots of time reinventing it and racing their cars around. Not to mention a pit stop or two. And all it cost me was a couple of rolls of masking tape.

Kids Race Track


A New Tattoo

Today I got another tattoo. My inspiration for this one was a quote from Jack Kerouac‘s On the Road. The quote goes “the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars”.

Luckily the wonderfully talented Lucy was able to take a picture of a firework that I liked from an old 4th of July poster and turn it into a fantastic tattoo. I am really happy with the results.

So, what do you think?

Firework Tattoo

Happy Thursday!

My partner came home last night with a bunch of flowers. He presented them to me and said “Happy Wednesday!”

My birthday was on Monday and he didn’t bring me flowers then (although I was very spoilt all day long in many other ways). When he gave me the flowers I thought it was such a lovely gesture. It meant that I got to be appreciated for no other reason then it was today.

Earlier yesterday I was reading Rarasaur’s post about 11/12/13. You can read it here. When I read this post I was thinking just how special every day is. The flowers and my partners reason for giving them confirmed this even more.

So I wanted to share the feeling and remind you only live every day once and they are all as special as each other in some way. So,

Happy Thursday Everyone!


Why I Love Water Aerobics

I recently took up water aerobics. My friends think it is hilarious. Every time I mention it to a friend I am met with a sceptical look or sideways glance.

Why the scepticism? I guess it is because water aerobics has a reputation of being for grannies. It is the kind of thing that only geriatrics, disabled or injured people do.

Well I am here to tell you that this reputation is simply not deserved.

I will admit, in my day time class I am definitely one of the youngest participants. This at my not so young age of 33 (34 in a week but we don’t need to claim it until we have to).

However, my evening class draws quite a mixed crowd. There are other mums, mothers and daughters and a variety of people of all ages. The male population is somewhat lacking but we do have a few.

So why do I love it so much? It is a great work out that’s why. Last class I jumped for nearly 20 minutes straight. I worked muscles in my body that I didn’t even know I had!

Since starting the classes some time ago my fitness has improved dramatically and I have dropped a dress size. Sure, I do other exercise as well. I go to the gym from time to time and play netball once a week.

I credit water aerobics with most of my weight loss and improved strength. I have never found another group class that provides such an all over workout. We do cardio and muscle-building and unlike a boot camp or normal aerobics class it is all low impact. The water makes it possible for me to do things that I wouldn’t be able to do out of the water.

Before anyone laughs, I’d say give it a go. It might look funny but you will feel great!

LIR Water Aerobics Class

LIR Water Aerobics Class (Photo credit: Old Shoe Woman)

Poo Goes in the Toilet!

"Somehow it's more charming in black and ...

“Somehow it’s more charming in black and white.” Toddler seated on toilet with magazine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My 2-year-old (nearly 3 now) has been toilet training for a VERY long time. He is great at staying dry if I demand he visit the bathroom every hour or so. He can hold during his nap time and he even went through the night dry a few times. However, he still has LOTS of accidents.

One of our biggest problems is that he just won’t go poo in the toilet. A few times I’ve noticed him going quiet and disappearing into a corner. Suspecting what he is up to, I’ve thrown him on the toilet just in time.

The rest of the time, I don’t know he needs to go until it is too late. It isn’t until the stench fills the room (or  the change room I’m in, my friend’s house or the café while I’m having coffee) that I notice he has done poo.

We have the same conversation each time I change his bottom. I say “where does poo go?” He tells me, “poo goes in the toilet!” He is so proud that he knows the answer. But why doesn’t the poo go in the toilet? It would be much easier!

I’ve become so desperate that I’ve actually started throwing out his underwear after his soiled himself. If it is a quick, easy removal I’ll tip the contents into a bag and then wash the underwear, but that mushy stuff is all too much. I put him in pull ups for a while. Then I realised that I was paying something like $1.11 per pull up. A 4 pack of underwear at K-Mart only cost me $1. You do the math!

Anyone have any advice on how to get him to go poo in the toilet? My other son trained so quickly that this is all new to me and I am getting so fed up.

In an Instant

There are some moments that change our lives. Sometimes the change is small. Sometimes it is a complete change of direction. In my case it was both, with the biggest change being an indirect result of this catalyst.

We had been living in our new home for a week. I was still getting used to the new locations of my belongings and navigating the nooks and crannies of my new abode.

It was early. My youngest son had a habit of getting up before 7am. By 7.15 the whole house was awake.

In the kitchen, the kettle hissed. Blarey eyed, I pulled the mugs down from the overhead shelf. I needed coffee if I was going to get through the day.

I placed the mugs on the kitchen bench. I filled my coffee plunger. The sweet smell of coffee made me pause for a moment. It was going to be a long day. Then I poured the boiling water into my partner’s tea cup. I would let it soak before pulling out the teabag and adding the milk.

Knowing we were in a hurry, I decided to get breakfast started while I waited. I turned to the pantry to get the bread for my son’s toast.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my 15 month old son near the bench. I turned back just in time to see him pour the cup with the boiling water and teabag down onto his head. It poured over his blonde hair. Then he seemed to pause for an instance, fright in his eyes, before tilting slightly to the right and pouring the water over his shoulder, arm an torso.

It seemed like the moment happened in slow motion. I felt like my feet were frozen to the floor. My limbs felt heavy as I tried to move to him to knock the cup out of his hands. It didn’t seem real.

After an eternity, time seemed to come back to normal pace as I swooped him up and raced out of the kitchen. At the doorway, I ran straight in to my partner. Screaming, I managed to get out “Hot water!” and “Need to put him in the shower“.

My partner grabbed my baby out of my arms and turned to run. Being a new house, he got disoriented and started heading for the bedroom (which would’ve been the right way if we were in our old house).

“What are you doing?” I screamed.

He quickly realised and raced to the shower. We turned on the cold taps and stood our startled toddler under the cold water. Before long he was shivering and crying from the shock.

As our baby stood in the shower, the skin started to blister. It looked as if the skin was melting away and sliding down his arm. I gulped.

“This is bad,” was all I managed to say.

“You need to call the ambulance,” my partner managed.

I raced to the phone and dialed the emergency number. I was shaking as I tried to explain the situation to the operator.

Returning to the bathroom, I took over holding my trembling baby in the shower. My partner had only been in his dressing gown when the incident occurred and had no clothes underneath. He had removed the dressing gown to hold my son in the shower and was now naked. I sent him to get dressed while I held him in the shower.

I looked in to my baby’s eyes and could see the confusion and terror. I felt awful. It was all my fault.

The ambulance soon arrived and my son and I went to the children’s hospital. Fortunately our quick reactions had saved most of his body and the burns on his head, back and chest were now only superficial. The only problem was his arm.

The emergency staff dressed his arm and we went home. We then had to visit every week for about 6 weeks to have his dressings changed. For the first week, he wasn’t allowed to go to childcare as the sand might have aggravated his wound.

The week off meant that I no longer had any annual leave left for the Christmas period. It also gave me time to re-evaluate. I blamed my tiredness on my work hours and never having time to myself. Not only was I working four days a week in an office, I was also writing from home for two different companies to try and pay the bills. I knew that something had to give.

It was this experience that made me see that I had to slow down. I gave up my office job and decided to work freelance writing training materials. This gave me more flexibility so I could be there for my children.

My son’s arm is now healed and you wouldn’t even know that the incident occurred. There isn’t a mark on him. We were very fortunate. There were many children at the hospital who were less fortunate. Some would be terribly scarred for life.

I still blame myself. I was so focussed on making money and trying to do everything that I wasn’t paying enough attention. My partner blames me as well. He mentioned it the other day. I should have put the cups back further where he couldn’t reach. I see the advertisements on TV and at the health nurse offices all the time.

However I am glad that I took the time to re-evaluate my life. I just wish I didn’t feel so guilty about my catalyst for doing it.

This was written in response to this week’s Writing Challenge. To see more information about the challenge, go to http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/weekly-writing-challenge-in-an-instagram/.

I wish I were Mary Poppins

I wish I were Mary Poppins. I have many reasons.

There was a time when being Mary Poppins wasn’t cool. If someone told me of a desire to be Mary Poppins, I would think them mad. Afterall, she was an arrogant do-gooder who interfered in ways that are simply over the top.

Mary Poppins (character)

Mary Poppins (character) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yet I wish I were Mary Poppins. If I were Mary, I’d have children that respected me and listened to my commands. Instead of answering back and throwing tantrums, my children would sing and dance, happy to take medicine and clean their room. I would not face the challenge of stubborn insubordination. If I were Mary, my children would hang on my every word.

If I were Mary, I would fly. I would not have my feet always planted on the ground. I would float up chimneys and dance on rooftops. I would have no need for a car as my umbrella would get me where I need go. If I were Mary, I’d float through the sky like a helium balloon escaped from a children’s birthday party.

If I were Mary I would not lose keys in my handbag. I would not need to pack an entire suitcase for a trip to the shopping centre. Instead of a nappy bag, handbag and shopping bags, I would simply carry my carpet-bag. If I were Mary, I would travel light. A simple carpet-bag would be enough to furnish any room I visited.

If I were Mary, I’d escape this life by drawing my heart’s desires. A simple illustration would take me to tulip fields, scenic mountains or picnics withe delightful animals. I would draw my happy place and simply jump in. When life got tough and bills piled up, I would draw a peaceful beach setting on the pavement and jump to an afternoon of cool sea breezes.

I wish I were Mary Poppins. Life is a jolly holiday with Mary…

Note: This is my attempt for this week’s Daily Post Writing Challenge. It is my first attempt at the subjunctive mood. Hopefully I got it right. Let me know if I didn’t so I can correct it. I like to learn and this will help. For more information about the challenge see http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/10/29/weekly-writing-challenge-i-wish-i-were/.