You know that moment that is always in the back of your mind when the kids are young – “when all the kids are at school”. Well in just over a week that is me !! We made it…we survived.
Scary, scary. Lucy is so ready. We had the little talk the other day that some kids (and Mums) might cry as they will be a little bit scared and they will miss their Mums. She looked at me as if I was insane and said “why would they cry, are they babies in 5 year old bodies” ha ha ha. I think she will be skipping away telling me to leave. She is ready and I am ready.
Books x 3
School holidays have been great – Tas was so lovely seeing all the family and just hanging out. Oscar loved his extra week with Mum, and it was nice to just have two kids for a week too. The boys are off to my Dads for a week today, so it is just Luce and I, girl time !!
I’ll add in a few of my fav photos from our holidays…
We happened to time our night out in Hobart with the first SYD-HBA yacht to arrive, such a great atmosphere
Grandpa and the kids
Making the Christmas Pudding with Grandma
A brand new school year and three new teachers, three kids at school, I am sure we are in for a busy busy year. I have spent the holidays organising myself so that the kids can easily pack their own togs, find their homework book, library bag etc. All good in theory….
My two masterpieces – storage for togs/towels/goggles and also pens/pencils/laptop/work books.
Surely no one will ask me where a pencil is ????
Swimming stuff is in the garage….a draw each plus towels.
I caught up with a few lovely PNG ladies for lunch a a week ago, it was so nice to see the girls and catch up on all the news, kids and happenings. It made me think of and miss a few people :( Maybe I will have to head over for a girls weekend ? Such a beautiful spot for a girls weekend, lol. Would certainly be visiting for the company not the surroundings !! Although I have heard that waterfront place is pretty special ;)
The Jetty – a lovely place for a ladies lunch
A very quick update as I have a zillion things to do, sleep is one of them.
Lucy is fine, totally recovered from her hospital ordeal (and me too). So much of Lucys hospital stays are just a distant memory and some of it flashes back every now and again. We had one of our old “regular” nurses (we had a few really) for a shift and when doing hand over to the next nurse she explained Lucy had spent a lot of time on the ward and in the past had some horrific admissions. I was very taken aback…but I guess when you really think about it, there were some pretty tough times. I am glad they are behind us. Lots of people popped in to say Hi, and marvel at how great Lucy looks :)
Lucy has taken to the new button very well and has no shame in showing anyone/everyone ? Results were low in iron, severely lactose intolerant and reflux, nothing we didn’t know before. We treat sporadically for low iron as both Lucy and Max are both prone to low iron levels. Both Lucy and Max are on a Lactose free diet so no changes there.
Moving right along, last week we had Lucys prep orientation – she totally loved it sat up the front like a goody two shoes and answered any questions (with her hand up), she promptly lost it after it was all done, firstly she wanted more classrooms to visit and then (of course I was chatting with all the other mothers) she stamped her foot and screamed “I want a drink from the tuckshop” as she was standing right next to the deputy – well played Lucy, well played (NOT !!). Especially as I have a meeting with her tomorrow, lol.
Also I recently volunteered at swimming club to help out with the race entries and time entries etc and one of the “old timers” has come over a few nights to show me what to do and how to do it, she is lovely. I spent the Friday night just gone in the office doing the time entries – the kids loved it, and we stayed until the end so they got a free swim…which they have talked about all weekend, lol. Max and Oscar both started a second swimming lesson this week and this week they both got a PB – Max for Backstroke and Oscar for Freestlye – go boys !! Lucy refused to swim the littlies race as it was too cold and then for the free swim – she was miraculously fine and jumped in. I think we’ve all really enjoyed swim club. I am sure the boys enjoy the tuckshop BBQ dinner as much as they enjoy swimming.
Next Friday I am off on a girls weekend – bring it on…can’t wait. I am well into the single parenting gig and we are managing fine mostly, but Peter flies in Wed (or Thursday) and I am out of here Fri morning, yay.
SO nothing very interesting – 4 weeks and we will be in Tas…4 weeks and the 2013 school year is finished. Both boys have had fantastic teachers, I am hoping next year is just as good (x 3 !!) it could be Oscars last year at the school next year as he has been accepted to (not our first preference) another school for yer 5 entry…lots of decisions. A few years of an all boy education could be a very good thing !!
A quick break from some work I am doing to debrief my thoughts….
It’s been such a crazy week trying to meet work deadlines as I am having tomorrow and Friday off. Peter flies in, in the early hours of tomorrow morning and Lucy and I head to the Mater at 10am. It is a planned admission, Lucy is having a colonoscopy, gastroscope, and her button changed from a BARD to a MicKey (means it can be changed without a hospital admission).
I really thought 12 months ago the button would be being removed now, but we and she are not quite ready. We still have a lot of work to do with oral aversions. She needs to take medication without spitting it in my face and screaming and completely losing her mind (and me sitting on her) and we need to know how she is going to handle Prep, and how her stamina will go. If she doesn’t take reflux meds 2x a day she doesn’t sleep through the night and after taking more than 4 years to work this out – we are not going back to night after night of sleep torture (for me) in a hurry !!
This year would be one of Lucy’s sickest years – all fairly minor illnesses but she has got then all, one after the other and it means I have kept her home from school and me home from work. I was surprised to see today her kindy form had absences – 39, that’s a fair few days off…I knew it was high but not that high. The bonus of the button is she can be managed by me, with some assistance from our GP and the odd call/email to our paed and gastro. If her BSL are low or she won’t take enough fluid all is ok, straight down the button. Of course the button comes with its own set of dramas….to put it mildly.
I can’t actually remember the last time I did more than 2 weeks in a row of both my scheduled office days, thank goodness for flexible employers !!
So tomorrow we are back to the Mater. I rang to confirm our admission, the lovely receptionist was asking all about PNG and Lucy…it has been a long while since we had an admission (start of this year). I guess our early years still haunt us and it’s not like our surname is overly forgettable.
I am not looking forward to any of it, I am dreading it, but we need to get on and just do it and get out of there as quickly as we can. The week has already been drama filled when the button snapped off (oh my poor sleep deprived grey hair).
I need 10 weeks of sleep and we all know I am not going to find even one little second of it at the Mater.
Please keep Lucy Lou in your thoughts tomorrow and Friday and send all your sleeping vibes to me. Better not be noisy night nurses…I can be quite unfriendly when sleep deprived, or over emotional, neither are very good outcomes.
Bunny Hop Hop is coming to hold Lucy’s hand. Let’s hope Lucy doesn’t try button removal for bunny as she did earlier this week ;)
I have a big excuse as to why I am so slack with blogging – I have about minus 5 hours left at the end of each day. I am a single working parent to three kids. Life is interesting and busy. Peter is on Groote Eylandt (top end of NT) working for BHP at Gemco, he is really enjoying the challenge and the role.
I am working and doing it all. Some weeks I do it better than other weeks….ha ha ha. Last week was a bit tough we were all fighting coughs and starts of colds. I was the only one that seemed to get an actual cold so that was not too bad. I really have no spare time (as you can imagine) – I should be hanging up the washing, or packing bags for tomorrow, or organising something and not writing this, but all the other stuff will wait.
Work have backed off on my direct manager (I am guessing they have worked out he is not suitable for the role), and they have also agreed to less hours in the office so I finish at 2.30 on Mon and Fri which works very well. Our lovely after school girl is also doing 2 mornings a week for me so I really haven’t got it too bad.
The first weeks drove me crazy the kids asked every 5 seconds “when is Dad coming home” they don’t seem to ask anymore so they have worked out he will be home and will be going back and forth etc. Lucy keeps telling me “Daddy forgot to come home, hes at the airport” it’s funny how her little mind works.
So I am toughing out the holidays with no husband, no grandparents…just me. Lots of things organised to get us through – although the kids have been pretty good overall…Oscar is very good with Lucy and gets her ready in the mornings. Max is still trying his hardest to avoid anything that resembles any form of helping or work. I think he will make a great CEO one day.
The downfall is, it is hard work when you are tired and there is no other option – it is just you. I have no choice but to be extremely organised. Dinner is already out for tomorrows dinner and swimming stuff is in the car (I am working until 2.30 – boys are at vac care) for swimming tomorrow night.
On Friday night I got our trusty babysitter and went to the local mums night out at the bowls club and had a blast. A couple of the girls piked so we were only a small group…so we gate crashed the other group of local school mums (different school) and had a ball, great night, lots of laughs. Kids gave me a little sleep in…I managed to convince Lucy to join me and the boys just watched TV/played Xbox (their new obsession). I decided I wanted something a little greasy for breakfast (I was not hungover, it was just a bottle of champers) so I took the kids to McDonalds for breakfast, they thought it was for them, it was sort of for me, gee the orange juice and sausage McMuffin was good ;) Oscar ate a bacon/egg McMuffin and shared pancakes with max and 2 x hash browns and an orange juice asked if he could have something else (umm, no) that boy is hollow !!
I took them to Monsters University today – that was TOTALLY for them !
I have also finished off Oscars application for Grade 5 to a certain school, and we had to attach a passport size photo…he looks very grown up and handsome…
A couple of days and we will have been back a year. Sometimes it feels like PNG was a lifetime away, other times not as much.
It looks like Peter has a short term FIFO gig (to Gove)….still waiting on final paperwork. Not ideal, but good for him and some experience. Timing is good as Mum arrives for 2 weeks when he is supposed to fly out.
I am in work hell. I love what I do, I love the company…BUT they very recently put someone in as my direct manager who is pretty much incapable of doing the job (the person can not communicate and has never been a manager before). Makes life very difficult and very frustrating. Maybe I will head back to contract paraplanning…life was much easier and of course the flexibility is always a bonus. Who knows…I am very annoyed one bad decision has turned the perfect job into the not so perfect job. I’m too old to deal with office crap…
Kids are good, Lucy has recently seen a new gastro (Dr Emma – very good !!) and her latest stool results show there is inflammation in her gut. Have to do another few tests to see what is going on. She has elevated Calprotectin, I am glad we have a new set of eyes looking at this for us. Fingers crossed it doesn’t lead to ANOTHER endoscopy. I have talked to her that we will get her button out later on this year before she starts prep (Nov ??) and she is not happy about that at all, go figure.
I can’t believe she will have her prep interview soon, she is very ready and very excited about Prep. Being #3 she certainly will have lots of kids at the school to look out for her.
So I turned 38 this week, and Ben turned 35. Got to love siblings with birthdays so close. Funny story – I thought I was 38 for part of last year for some reason, so not feeling any older, lol.
I had a lovely birthday weekend. Started on Friday night with the lovely Lisa, a few bottles of wine and a cheese platter. Saturday was the annual local kindy’s mothers day lunch…was great fun. Sunday was Mothers Day and Monday was my birthday. So lots of lovely celebrations. Kids were very excited about Mothers Day and my birthday and I was suitably spoiled. It continued with yummy cupcakes at work and multiple coffee dates on Wednesday with the girls.
Not so fun was I spent part of my birthday for a skin check at the dermatologist – got 4 things cut off, and he wants me to use “the cream” for a tiny spot on my face – not so excited about that. But I can do two weeks, and MUCH better than having to have anything CUT off. Luckily all things cut off came back ok, a big relief.
Thursday night we took Oscar and mates out for dinner to celebrate end of Naplan, the boys have all been great mates since Prep and are such a lovely group of boys (and Parents !). They all sailed through it with no angst or issues and I think there was more concern on the parents behalf.
Have had a lovely social couple of weeks – if it wasn’t for my beautiful girlfriends listen to me whinge about work and question how will I cope with Peter not being around 100% I would be a basket case. Forever grateful for wonderful girlfriends that make me laugh until my stomach hurts.
Well the week flew and I am very grateful. Single mother/3 kids/working = not much fun. Stress levels were high…main issue was getting out the door early. Oh, and homework…this was mainly because L is insisting that once I test the boys spelling I then have to test her too (honestly – who the hell makes up homework for the sake of it !!) she makes me test her with sight words and she then copies them into her “homework book” that girl is driving me crazy :) 3 x homework = lots of time.
It was a week of motherhood guilt, the kids went to BSC (before school care) three days, they don’t normally go at all these days and ASC (can you work it out) two days, with our lovely after school girl doing two afternoons for us. The kids weren’t complaining (they rarely do – they are two of the few children in the world that LIKE before and after school care). It was all internal guilt that I should be doing it all – I am not actually sure how the hell that would work – school drop off to the classroom, pick up and work ? This only would have worked if I reduced my hours, and work is so flat out that this is not feasible at present. Also the fact I LIKE my job has to count in there too….something that is often forgotten in my motherhood guilt battle. For me work is not just about going to work to earn money, it is building my career, at present ever expanding knowledge and the added plus of enjoying time all about me.
L put on a massive song and dance for me on Thursday. Our after school girl had bought home L’s sheet bag on Tuesday and I hadn’t realised so there were lots and lots of tears from L and guilt ridden cuddles from me. I should have gone home and got it but I was already running late. We picked some of the “special” (spare) sheets out and she settled a little. I then assisted to make some treasure for the pirate treasure box (and realised if I had gone home to just get the sheets it would have been quicker). I went to work knowing she was fine, but feeling like crap. Honestly – working mothers can’t have it all…all of the time.
On the other hand – long term stay at home parenthood is not for me. I did it when the kids were young I wanted to have at least a year off with each of them and I did, I had a bit longer with M and a bit longer with L. I really enjoyed it. The boys went to daycare 2 days a week once O was 1, M was 1.5 and I did some contract work, we did all the activities, gymbaroo, music, swimming, library story time, play dates, mothers group etc etc we were busy ALL the time. Life revolved around activities and sleeps. L’s situation was a bit different but I went back to work 2 days a week and we had a wonderful Nanny to look after her whilst I worked the bonus being I had no motherhood daycare guilt. I liked the balance, but I was also doing a lot of after hours work which constantly played on my mind….did I email so and so, I have to finish xyz, what plan am I working on next.
I made the decision when we came back from PNG that I wanted to work and I wanted to work IN the office. Since the kids were born I had only ever done 1 day in the office the rest of my work was from home, some consulting, some PT work. I didn’t want the constant overhang of things that needed to be done dangling over my head. After having another year off work in PNG (I had just under 5 years off in 8 years if you add up maternity leaves and PNG) I was SO keen to go back to work – it cemented the fact I was done with my stay at home Mum duties, it was time to get back to work and work on me for a while (oh, the internal guilt).
It is a very touchy subject working mothers and stay at home mothers – both roles attract much judgement, sadly woman don’t always support one another. It is such an individual decision, it is not black and white. It depends on whether or not you want to work – jobs, hours worked, travel involved, availability of care, cost of care and the other million things to consider. I have friends on both sides of the fence and what ever they chose to do is their call. Just like my decision is just that – my decision.
There are many positives for me, I come home at the end of the day (usually mentally drained) but ready to jump in and do homework and readers and sign permission slips and hear about who did what during the day. I feel I am teaching my kids a valuable lesson about the importance of education and employment and equality for woman. This year has been a big learning curve for them, P is doing less work but I am doing more, they see the partnership and realise that when P lost his job I stepped up and became the working parent (I wish we had the same earning capacity but sadly no). They know someone has to earn the money to pay the bills and to enjoy the luxuries of life. They know I enjoy working and they see the balancing act of it all. They know if there are school events there is a 99% chance that one of us will make it. Sadly this is not always the case but we do pretty well. My new office is a 5 min drive from home and a 6 min drive from school and I am lucky enough to be able to work from home on days that I request and pop out for assembly, sporting events etc. Flexibility is gold when you are a working mother.
Rightio – next topic, I had my normal Wednesday off this week as P was away and I had a lovely day…I had a JANE day, the lovely Jane S for morning tea and the lovely Jane V for lunch. Nice to have a mid week break again, I have this Wednesday off again as Lucy has an appt at the Mater with a new gastro – she has to be monitored as she is on losec ? So we will see what she has to say. This will be L’s fourth gastro…M has seen one that L hasn’t – I think we have seen pretty much all of Brisbane’s paed gastros. The one L was seeing was one of the best but so hard to get into – appt’s a year in advance, makes things a bit tricky.
P had a flat out week, he enjoyed Townsville, loved his visit to the mine site and also to Townsville. His consulting role is going really well, he is really liking the flexible lifestyle and he had fun in Melbourne although he said it was freezing.
This week is much more relaxing (except for a clients computer dramas that are going to keep me VERY busy tomorrow), P and I both have Wednesday and Thursday (ANZAC day public holiday) off. So this week should go much, much smoother.
I will leave you with a lovely picture from yesterday – M scored 4 goals and L has already asked me this morning if it is gynnastics today ? (it is going to be a long week). O starts basketball next Saturday.
We are now off to enjoy the sunshine, lovely day albeit a little bit chilly.
Whats been going on – well I have been a working girl, working full time. It has been crazy, but good crazy I love my job and the fact it is all so new and different. I revel in the fact I have such a steep learning curve every single day, and I find it really refreshing to be doing something so totally outside my comfort zone.
I am definitely not stay at home mother material, I really enjoy working. The whole motherhood work/life juggle is another story – I am sure you can not have it all, something will always suffer….usually me for trying to juggle too many balls.
Peter is currently doing some PT contracting work and liking it, there is a possibility of another contract on the horizon which could make life a little hectic, we currently have a very good balance going (a bit of a FT/PT role reversal). This week it will all fall apart as he is away on two work trips…2 x 2 nights. So this week the balance may require wine to assist in it all working itself out, oh and our after school girl is going to do an extra afternoon :)
Kids are good, same old same old – they have had a lovely relaxing school holidays, some days at Dads down the coast and at the beach (he is in the US) and just general school holiday stuff, scootering, screen time, movies, park plays etc all ready to head back for term 2 tomorrow. I did a day of working from home on Friday (yay to flexible employers) the boys are at a good age…they potter around and do their own thing and only interrupt if they need something or ask if they can have an Easter egg, lol (Lucy was at Kindy – she is not good at all at being quiet).
Peter is much braver than me he had a phone interview with all three kids at home during the week…but he sorted them all out, gave them strict instructions and they were fine, he was very brave !!
O starts basketball this term and is obviously hollow…the amount that boy eats !! He has less about 15 cms to go before he is taller than me and is busy getting picked up by random catholic school girls at our local park, that my friend is a story for another day…for those following the story – she stood him up on Thursday…trollop ;) He continues to talk non stop and amuse us and send us batty with his 50 zillion questions a day. He is now extremely helpful and his job in the morning is to get the breakfasts sorted and to make the coffees – life is good.
M starts soccer this term and is quiet the soccer pocket rocket, he can’t wait !! He did indoor soccer last term and has been itching for outdoor soccer to start. On the romance front – one of O’s year 3 classmates asked if M had a girlfriend as she thought he was cute. I am not ready for girlfriends….must enrol the boys in more sport, lol. To be honest they are not interested either, thank goodness. M has recently moved into mini squad for swimming and amazed us at his first squad session – he is a little pocket rocket in the pool too. M is still very good at dodging or declining any form of chore/helping etc.
L is L, she runs our house and keeps her brothers in line. Lately she has become fixated on learning to read names, she is totally self taught and and has been assisting her teachers in reading the class roll (these seem to be the names she knows). I have no idea how this started. She is too funny, her health is going really well (touch wood – nervous coming into winter) and the teachers say she is thriving at school and I am pretty sure she thinks she owns the place. I am so happy we kept her there. After being told when she was little that they thought her development would be probably be delayed she certainly has proved them wrong. She starts Gynnastics (as she says) this term and she just may be the most excited one in her class. We’re having a term off from ballet (sob sob). L is also very helpful and although her job is to make her bed and open her blinds every morning – she likes to make everyone’s beds…I am not complaining (and neither are the boys).
I hope to blog a bit more frequently now, as I have so much spare time :) fingers crossed.