Saturday, December 31, 2011

With A Ton...

Just popping in to wish you the happiest of new years and share a resolution.

I resolve to try really, really hard not to let the money change me.

After tonight's supermegamillionaire Lotto draw I shall be known as
Mum on the Run with a Ton (of cash).

I may well be blogging from exotic locations, regaling you with my tales of my latest fantabulous fully funded school for underprivileged children or the delights of my own overprivileged brood - but I'll still be Shar.

Promise you'll still visit and share a laugh with me?

Obviously, you'll be envious.
It's only natural, but I'll be considerate of that.
Please don't beat yourself up over it.

My running shoes might well be white gold plated in 2012 but I'll always look back on my poor crappy blogger templated space of 2011 with fondness
(and maybe a smidgen of smug pity).

Have yourself a wonderful 'new beginning' of your own as we clock up another
year of wonderful worries, wisdom and wisecracks.

Thank you sincerely. It has been a pleasure.
I'll be sure to dedicate a page (or paragraph, anyway) in my
yet-to be-published-by-buying-my-own-publishing-company memoirs.


Shar :-) xx

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Silver Lining

I've had a sick little Magoo on my hands since Boxing Day.
It doesn't happen often around here, but when it does it's pretty vocal.

Whataya know?
The symptoms of 'spoilt-only-child-who-was-over-indulged-on-Christmas-Day' present very similarly to  'a-serious-throat-infection-that-looks-absolutely-hideous-(red raw, grazed and ulcerated)-and-feels-even-worse. 

I may or may not have threatened to confiscate Christmas gifts somewhere in the midst of my motherly misdiagnosis.
-Hangs head.-
It literally hurts my heart to see poor Magoo in so much pain.
It literally hurts my ears that the poor little man can't sleep for more than 15 minutes without screaming.

The silver lining?

The boy needs his Mummy.
For more than reading the hard words in books or cleaning his mess.

I've been reminded what it's like to be up all night with your baby - and, yep,  I still want one.

My house is spotless. For now.

The guilt I usually feel about us not spending enough time at home is all but gone.

I've made bunting for the playroom. (I admire bunting. I don't make it.)

The blender has been given a workout.

Ice cream is a genuine meal this week.

My wardrobe has finally been culled.

My cuddle stocks have been beautifully replenished.

I'm starting to think I'm a freaking (under appreciated!!) nurse.

Magoo actually thinks I'm a nurse.

The television has been reinstated in light of extenuating circumstances.

I don't have to cancel care/call off work/feel guilty about abandoning my sick child because it's. holidays. baby.

Think of the cash I've saved in fuel.

Hubby's around to share our pain - when he's not escaping for suspiciously long showers, very lengthy training sessions or apparently necessary trips to Bunnings outside of their opening hours. Weak!

The sun shines shamelessly around here at the moment.
All this extra washing is dry in no time.

I don't have to cancel plans with friends because we had none this week.
Our open 'come and swim/drink/eat' invitation to everyone we know has been revised though.

Magoo's aversion to doctors must be waning seeing as he wails 'I neeeeeeeed a doctor, Mum' every ten minutes or so. He even let the locum have free reign of his head.

Here's to a glorious impending new year - and a magic Magoo recovery.

Shar :-)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

52 Week Project : Wk 15

The copycat edition.
Aka Shadow Tag.

A couple of weeks ago I snapped my shadow at a friend's wedding.

Then Kate @ Our Little Sins shared her shadow last week.

I snapped another shadow shot down the beach on Christmas Day.

Now it's Kate's turn again, I believe!

Hope you are enjoying a fabulous festive season.
I'm even typing slower here!

The 52 Week Project
Wanna play?

Shar :-)

Monday, December 26, 2011

A a a a a a a a a h h h h h.

T o o.  R e l a x e d.  T o.  W r i t e.

H a p p y,  h a p p y  w h a t e v e r  d a y  i t  i s.
S h a r   : - )

Friday, December 23, 2011

From Mine To Yours

From my family to yours,
wishing you a magical Christmas filled with all that you hold dear.

Thank you for educating, inspiring and motivating me through your space
 or through your support here at mine.
Thank you for the tears shed.
For the wine, water or chamomile that has been shared here
- at times spilt or spat onto onto my keyboard at your wit and hilarity.

I look forward to learning and loving more out here in 2012.
The adorable Sonia from Life, Love and Hiccups 
kindly wrapped and gifted this little beauty for me this week. 

The Liebster (meaning 'dearest' in German)
is awarded to inspirational blogs with under 200 followers.
Before I pop it under my tree, I'm responsible for re-gifting it to five beautiful bloggers.
Cheers to -
Cherie from A Baby Called Max
Loz from Ninja Tales
Wishing you fabulous festivities.
Shar :-)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A First World Problem

First World problem...

First World solution...

I'm not sure if this giddy feeling is shame or joy.
Or shame at my joy.

Ikea, you complete me.

Shar :-)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Blame Game

The Blame Game.
An old favourite suitable for all ages and any number of players.
Go on, share the blame love with your family this Christmas.
I think it might be inherent to pass the buck, point the finger, lay the blame at someone else's feet.
I see it continuously as a knee jerk reaction in children.
"_____ made me do it."
"He did it first."
"I wasn't the only one."
"You didn't say we couldn't."

But adults don't have blame immunity.
I do it without meaning to, most of the time.

How many times have you stubbed your toe or knocked your shin and immediately looked around for the culprit who placed that offensive coffee table/bed end right where it has always been?

We love to blame.
Milli Vanilli blamed it on the rain. So do we.
We blame it on the weather, the traffic, our parents, the government, the youth of today, schools, the indigenous, the refugees, the cop who dared to fine me for breaking the law, Lady Gaga, those idiotic Supre ads...

Marriage has not seen me retire from the blame game but it has (slowly) taught me to play it more fairly and less vocally.

Age is teaching me that for every blame action there is an equal blame reaction.
Stones, glass houses and all that.
She who is without fault... doesn't exist.

As a society we're engaging more and more in the blame game.
Our elected leaders are highly accomplished players.

Make an irresponsible or unwise decision and unfortunately suffer the consequences?
Then sue somebody for goodness sake.
Surely there should have been a sign warning you not to climb up to that level and swing precariously from the edge?

We don't seem to want to man (or woman) up and take responsibility for our actions if we can pass the blame ball instead.

Own a dog and you never have to fess up to any bodily emissions ever again.
(I wonder if they turn the tables and blame us when they're down the park with other hounds - "sorry guys, it's my owner. Her house reeks and she puts those sweaty hands all over me."

Have children and you have your very own miniature blame scapegoat right there.
You can blame the state of your health, house, finances, relationships, mental health, liver or general life satisfaction on those babies.

But be warned - their teachers (and that cranky woman with the evil eyes at the check out) are blaming you!

And on it goes...

Life isn't fair.
Bad things, really bad things, happen to good people.
Sometimes there's no one to blame.
Most of the time, it doesn't change anything anyway.

We can't control so many aspects of our world.
But we can control our thoughts, words and (re)actions.

Do you play the blame game too?

Shar :-)

Monday, December 19, 2011

52 Week Project : Wk 14

Every now and then, you buy a special something
because it makes you feel a special something.
This dress does that for me.

(Not for others - as someone commented that it does
nothing for my figure, but that's a-ok.
 It wasn't my husband  - so they're entitled to their true opinion!)

For me, this dress ticked all the boxes for my school's Christmas lunch.

Pretty colour - tick.
Comfy - tick.
Doesn't closely resemble prostitution attire - tick.
(What is with 'fashion' these days??!!)
Favourite neckline - tick.
Reduced $ online - tick.
Can walk/drive/eat/breathe in it - tick.
No VPL or bra issues - tick.
Can get in and out of it without contortion or hyperventilating - tick.
No need to shave/moisturise legs if lazy rushing - tick.
Already own shoes, bag and nail polish to matchy match - tick, tick and tick.

(Now has undesirable candle wax motif thanks to my 
Carols by Candlelight clumsiness on the weekend - big ol cross!!)

Playing along with Fi's 52 Week Project @ My Mummy Daze
The 52 Week Project

Shar :-)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Point + Shoot : Loved Up

The road to happiness isn't always well paved.

Some people have to fight so much harder for the joys
that most of us can take for granted in life.

Those same people enrich everyone else's lives with
their spirit, determination and sparkle along the way.
It was a privilege to see a very special friend finally make that
much anticipated and harder-than-most-of-us-will-ever-truly-understand
walk down the aisle on the weekend.
It was also a pleasure to soak up such brilliant company
and bad dancing (mine) on a fabulous night of celebration.

We might be further down the road these days,
but we can still kick our heels up and party!

Ain't love grand?
Shar :-)

Linking the love with

Friday, December 16, 2011

Grateful For... Holly Days, Holy Days & Holidays

Although Maxabella Loves is granting 'Grateful For...' a much deserved holiday,
I can't help but close my week with some gratitude.

I've gotta go with the obvious here.
I'm now in the throes of school holidays, soon Hubby will be jumping on the holiday bandwagon and Magoo will have himself a non-school-aged-kid version of holidays too.

This time of year seriously makes me giddy.
As a teacher, a sun worshipper, a cheesy Christmas lover, a parent, an early riser, a nibbles and wine constitute a meal believer...
it doesn't get any better than this.
My poor deck - she misses me.
For me, holidays mean letting loose. Literally.

-loosening the structure/routine around here as work, care and activities take a break
-loosening our belts as we (over)indulge
-loosening bedtimes to accommodate carols, Christmas lights, longer evenings and socialising
-loosening the dress code as bathers become a suitable outfit (for my boys, anyway)
-loosening the tedium of household chores as bbqs and outdoor living ramp up
-loosening the hold of mother guilt as I can slow down the tempo and be more Magoo led
-loosening the mother-of-dog guilt as we spend more time time at home and outdoors with our gorgeous four legged one
-loosening the "hurry the heck up" jaw clench as we can take.our.sweet.sweet.time

Have a fabulous loose weekend.
If you'll excuse me, we've got weddings, parties, carols and Ikea storage to attend to.
Wooooooo hooo!

Shar :-)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

No What???

No T.V.

It's okay - only for a week.
Well, that was the plan anyway.

On the back of replacing our old fatback television with a much bigger, slimmer and prettier model here, we went and called a 'no t.v. week' on Magoo.

We are hereby nominating for the 'Nastiest Parents of 2011' award.
One expensive mirror.
Young Magoo usually watches up to an hour of t.v./dvd off and on in the mornings while I do laundry or dishes, shower, email, clean up, pack bags etc. and maybe another half hour or so somewhere else in the day.

The morning viewing used to begin with his butt parked on the couch and usually ended in him losing interest or playing within earshot of it.

But last month, he had plonked himself on the couch with glazed eyes and serious couch potato posture for the entire time - and completely refused to move, make eye contact, get dressed, answer questions, brush his teeth, give me a decent cuddle...

Instead of him happily clicking the red button when t.v. time was declared over, t.v. shutdown had become a constant Magoo meltdown despite warnings, timers or incentives.

So, a couple of weekends ago the t.v. ban was threatened and then executed.

Apart from requesting a visit to Pumpkin Patch while we were out shopping (so he could watch the t.v. in there - devious boy!), he hasn't created too much fuss about the whole thing - and neither have we.

In fact, the 'week' morphed into a fortnight and then another week and it's a non issue here. (Except for me obviously, because I'm writing about it aren't I?!)

I have noticed that Magoo is playing with toys that he hadn't touched in ages, he is constantly role playing and getting up to imaginary mischief.
He is talking even more than usual and fitting extra performances into his much anticipated 'Magoo Concert Extravaganza' schedule.

I've noticed that Magoo is in my face (and shower) more.
That he is doing less mindless snacking (he seemed to think t.v. viewing and chewing were made for one another)
and he is tantruming less (we'll take less, it's better than more).

Soooooo, when does the t.v. come back on???

I'm not dead against television - at all.
'Play School' is all kinds of wonderful, 'The Wiggles' are the true awesome foursome and 'In The Night Garden' gives me insight into what I missed by avoiding drugs in years gone by. 'Fireman Sam' is a dead set hero and 'Peppa Pig' has infiltrated my soul.

But how do I find the balance between all(day) or nothing?

I'm thinking we subtly go back to only watching dvds to avoid the ABC2 ploy of enticingly advertising the next three hours worth of programmes - which all happen to be Magoo's absolute favourite, apparently.

How do you 'do t.v.' with your kids?

Shar :-)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

52 Week Project : Wk 13

Even I'm not cheesy enough for a (She's a) Ho Ho Ho joke.
This week I'm feeling all festive and getting my Santa on.

I love love love gift giving and love love love that Christmas
gives me an excuse to indulge in extra retail therapy (relatively) guilt free.

I get excited about finding suitable (or pathetic) gifts for others
and quite really enjoy the thrill of the gift chase!!

I'm love love loving wrapping up the spoils of the day
 and placing them under our tree ready for the give give giving.

I've also been on the receiving end of Christmas generosity this week, being
absolutely spoil spoil spoiled by the students and families I have farewelled at school.

I'm link link linking with an excited Fi @ My Mummy Daze and her 52 Week Project.
Snap snap snap yourself and join us.
The 52 Week Project

How irritating are cheery Christmassy lovey people who repeat themselves??!!

Shar :-)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Old? Me? (Some More Signs)

You know you're getting on a bit when...

you hurt your back slicing cheese.
Not even particularly hard cheese either.

You actually utter the words
"what happened to good old fashioned manners?"

You prefer 'sensible' cute shoes
and scoff at the length of belts so-called skirts "these days".

You call pubs and clubs by their names from over ten years ago.

You think the music is too the shopping centre.

You draft an email of complaint about service standards - and send it.

The thought of three 'big' Saturday nights in a row scares you.

You can no longer get your head around lining up for over two hours to enter a bar
- and then waiting another half hour to pay ridiculous prices for a drink.

You no longer think you're invincible and half expect some new health 'issue' to pop up on a weekly basis.

You wish they wouldn't always resort to foul language and sexual overtones in every single pop song.

You think friends in their twenties are just beautiful babies with their whole lives ahead of them.

You find yourself hanging out for a cup of tea.
Actual tea - not 'code' for anything else. Just tea.

You shake your head at what you (and your child) hear on breakfast radio in the car.

The attendant at Santaland is an ex-student who is about to get married.

You type the words 'getting on a bit'.

Or so I hear, anyway.
Shar :-)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Point + Shoot : Fun Focus

One of my favourite parts of parenthood is striving to give this gorgeous little person memories to cherish, good times to look back on and laughs to remember long after the other stuff (like "no sorry, you can't mate" - cue meltdown) fades.

I know in my heart that the impromptu snuggles we share slumped on the kitchen floor in the middle of a busy day or the hilarious (?) jokes we make up in the car on any regular old day will be treasured in my mind (and hopefully Magoo's).

But some days - like today -  you can just sit back, smile with them and know that they're filing these kiddy-bliss moments away forever more.

My favourite childhood memories are of our Summer Sunday rituals spent with other families at various water parks around the place every week.

So, coming full circle and organising the same kind of Summer Sundays for my own family gives me a stupid amount of satisfaction.
I love that, unconsciously, my focus as a Mum is on the fun these little people are having.
That I'm quite content to spend my day at Adventure World trawling the kiddy slides with Magoo and his friends, being splashed in the pool, riding not so junior rides. playing paparazzi, traipsing to and from the toilets and revelling in their giggles at the smallest delight.
I love that I'll happily trade a big Saturday night for a bigger Sunday of family fun
- and that I'm sharing it with these two.

What was your focus this weekend?

Linking with
Life Love and Hiccups
A Little Space Like Home

Shar :-)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Grateful For... Traditions & Tears

This morning we enjoyed our annual 'Living Nativity' at school.
It's the event on our school calendar that I most adore and look forward to.

Each year, on the final day of school for our students, some staff recreate the nativity scene.

As the children and their families arrive and the sun is rising over the school, we form a tableau of the stable where Jesus was born - complete with a real live baby from our community, straw bales and disobedient farm animals.

The Christmas story is read from the bible and a beautiful hymn played. 
Then we change positions and the whole thing is repeated over and over. 

Four years ago, after a year of depressing diagnoses and fertility treatment, I played the role of Mary in our Living Nativity.

Within days our very own Christmas miracle occurred and one big belly later we welcomed Magoo into our family.

Get. Out.
I. Know.

A few hours into my first (of many) sleepless night after seeing those two glorious blue lines and not quite believing it, I woke Hubby up with a start.
"Honey. Honey. I was Mary. I was Mary.
Holy mother of God. I. Was. Mary."

Be it a beautiful coincidence or divine intervention - I'm thankful. Every day.

The following year I played the part of Mary again
- this time with my very own boy child in my arms.
I don't think Mary was supposed to let the tears roll the entire way through the morning, but I figure that was my interpretation of Mary's joy in God's handiwork.

Today was beautiful.
I'm definitely no angel, but I was this morning.

I'm grateful for the tradition of the Living Nativity that moves me (and many others) every year and the tears that remind me that some miracles do happen.

Linking with Maxabella Loves' Grateful For...

Shar :-)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Christmas Seven

Gorgeous Ironmum Karla has kindly gifted me a link in which I'm to share seven Christmassy offerings about moi.
I can't reveal Santa's true identity as he swore me to secrecy, but I can tell you...

I once spent Christmas Day alone. (Oh, that hurts to type.)
At home.
By myself.
Putting together an outdoor setting present to myself.
My family had moved back to Ireland by then and my boyfriend and I had broken up on Christmas Eve the night before.
I couldn't answer the phone when my family or friends rang because I didn't want them to know I was by myself.
I will forever be touched by the kindness of a friend who arrived unannounced Christmas night with her family's leftovers and something bubbly to share.
I feel sad remembering that one.
I'll try to keep the rest a tad lighter, hey.

I have to consciously ban myself from getting depressed about spending Christmas away from my own family.
I'm always disappointed in myself if I let sad thoughts cloud my day - especially since creating my own little family here.
The phone calls are tough, though.
Okay, lighter again maybe.

I love, love, love the Christmas Eve service at our Church.
As in I look forward to it all of December.
It's held outdoors on an oval behind the church.
There's real live camels, donkeys and shepherds and everything.
I find the whole thing so beautiful.
That's better.

Eating chocolate is absolutely perfectly acceptable before 7am on Christmas Day.
I consider it a tradition from my childhood.
(Just like the way my little brother would take a bite out of each Quality Street, rewrap them and place them back in the box for us to find.)

We hit the beach every Christmas morning with some friends.
Hubby's best mate was another boy-child born on Christmas Day, so we meet them at the beach for the Christmas bodysurfing comp and make a huge effort to greet him with birthday wishes before Christmas ones.
Magoo trying to take out the title -  Christmas 2010
6. I love being Mrs Claus.
Christmas Eve is even more exciting for me these days and I feel so connected to Hubby Mr Claus as we lay gifts out for a certain spoiled child.

I hate ham.

7 + 1.
And cherries.

7 + 2
One year I peeked at my wrapped presents sitting in Mum's wardrobe.
It sucked on Christmas morning.
I do not 'do' fake surprised well at all.
Kids, don't look. You'll regret it.

Time to give the re-gift that keeps on giving.
Feel free to join in -

Toni @ ChickChat
Loz @ Ninja Tales
Peggy @ Cake Crumbs& Beach Sand
Fi @ My Mummy Daze
Sonia @ Life Love and Hiccups                        or anyone in the festive mood!

Ho ho ho!
Shar :-)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Some Signs...

Some signs you may have over-involved your three year old in a recent bathroom renovation...

When you take him/her to the toilet at people's homes, he/she loudly critiques every aspect of their bathroom.

He/she role plays bathroom reno with plastic tools, steps for ladders and towels for drop sheets.

Mid shower/dinner/phone call, you are interrupted with questions such as "where you want yoo towel wail, Mum?" "Woo want the handle on the left or the wight?"

They complain that their own perfectly fine bathroom is getting very old and needs some work.

When he/she can sense they have made a mess/mistake they sweetly say "Your noo baffroom looks so nice, Mum."

When they are feel hard done by (read disciplined) they utter nasty things about "woo baffroom not good one" as they're walking to their room. (Is so a good one, Magoo.)

They don't want to leave the plumbing store.

They want their own paint roller and squeegee for "Kissmas".

He/she takes a leaf out of their father's book and accidentally locks him/herself in the bathroom they are working on while you natter on the phone.

Shar :-)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

52 Week Project : Wk 12

This week was our 'Primary Celebration and Awards Ceremony' at school.

Each year, it is tradition that the academic staff process into the ceremony
 in full academic regalia (daaaarling).
ie. looking (and sweating) like tools in the big black gowns, sashes and hoods

Some people find it poxy.
 I quite like it.
But I'm a sook who loves a tradition (and a good fancy dress party).

My boss's take was that it's a visual reminder to our (high fee paying!) families
that we are professionals who have earned the right to this gig and privilege.
I quite like that spin.

To some it's just a lot of pompous 'look at my degree' crap.
I get that spin too.

So, look at me and my degree
(and my old lady hands)...

I've seen your 'pompous' and raised you a 'pathetic' here.
I'm holding my twelve year old honours thesis in my hand!
(Can't fathom why it is in such pristine condition after all these years!)

Linking with My Mummy Daze and her most educational 52 Week Project.
The 52 Week Project

Shar  B Ed(Hons)