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Kins Slightly Cracked Dreams has a new home

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

So you don't miss any of my riveting posts and rantings, please update your feeds and bookmarks.

Come on over and say hi! The more the merrier!

The Weekend So Far

Saturday, December 15, 2007
I should start with the reason I haven't been posting. I blame Hubby, although in this case I'm sure he'd be happy to accept blame. After another restless sleep on Wednesday night, I was sent by Hubby to the cute pharmacist to get something to help me sleep. Unfortunately the cute pharmacist was busy, but the other pharmacist, also good looking, was happy enough to help me out.

So now I've had 2 nights of almost solid sleep, I feel like a different person. Plus I'm not often awake at midnight or 2am to write posts. Which is of course where the problem comes in. So why am I up at midnight tonight? We've got visitors. So let me take you back to Thursday, when I find out the visitors are coming. I start panicing a bit, because the house was in a bit of a shambles. Then I knew I was going to be out all day Friday. Friday was busy. I was out of the house from 9am to 2pm. Then in and out from 4pm to 6pm. Firstly I had to deliver the kids to daycare. Then an appointment at the bank. In the carpark I ran into mother-in-law, so of course we had to have coffee. After I delivered some Tupperware. Then I went to the post office and posted my Christmas cards, the solicitor to drop off some paperwork. Then I got to start Christmas shopping. Hubby joined me for lunch and I finally got home at 2pm. I collapsed for a while, dozed a bit, then got up to sort the latest load of Tupperware that had arrived. Arranged delivery of that, wrapped presents, delivered Tupperware, wrapped more presents, picked up kids.

Got home and ordered pizza.

While I don't suggest these tablets knock me out for 8 hours solid, or anything like that (I'm taking a half dose), they do make it easier to go back to sleep when I wake up. Which I did, many, many times last night.

Thus, today, I was able to face the day with some measure of energy. After sending the kids off to swimming lessons with Hubby, I headed off to deliver more Tupperware, then went to the shops to finish the Christmas shopping. Which I did. Then I did the grocery shopping. Came home with the kids while Hubby finished his shopping (oooh, the suspense is huge in this house...).

With an hours notice our friends would be on our doorstep, we managed to get the spare bedroom, living areas and bathroom presentable and clean. They decided to take up our offer of a bed for the night, so we juggled everything around with the girls daycare party this afternoon and Hubby's work party tonight and we spent a lovely evening chatting and making lolly bags for tomorrow's party.

So I was a bit late taking my tablet, which is why you're getting me at nearly midnight. But it won't last much longer, so I'd better finish up before I stop making sense. Like now, you should have seen what I just wrote.

Be prepared for a party update either tomorrow night or Monday, and I hope your weekend is proving more restful than mine.

Pregnancy Update

Thursday, December 13, 2007
Once again, not much to update. Baby is right size, head down, and very active

Her heart rate is good, as is my blood pressure. Apparently I just need to try and rest more. Ha! Joke and a half.

I don't need to go back for 3 weeks now, which will be nice to have a bit of a break from driving to the next town over 3 times a week (twice for swimming lessons and once for dr, hospital etc).

On the agenda today is Christmas cards, and a few other bits and pieces, getting invites otu etc etc. Oh, and getting the SINK FIXED, that I've just noticed is leaking all through my cupboard and floor. Waiting to hear from my plumber now as to how many weeks I won't be able to do dishes for. Probably a slight exaggeration, but oh well.

But first I apparently need to find the sticky tape to make a Swiper Mask for the little people.

To-do Lists

Wednesday, December 12, 2007
How long is your to-do list? Is it for today? This week? This month? Do you have more than one to-do list? One for work and one for home? Or one for your volunteering jobs? Or homeschooling?

The vast majority of the time, I find a single weekly or daily to do list enough to keep me focused. There are times, however, say, this time of year, when that doesn't quite cut it. And have you ever had that sinking feeling when you look at a list that's two, three, or even sixteen pages long?

What I've found is that not only prioritising those tasks, but separating them into different lists. I currently have 8 master to-do lists I'm running from. These change with the time of year, but they are currently (in no particular order):

  1. Kiki's Birthday Party
  2. House move
  3. Blogging stuff
  4. Baby/Pregnancy stuff
  5. Our after Christmas party
  6. Christmas
  7. Tupperware
  8. Tupperware Christmas party

Some of these lists only have a few items on them, some have more than a dozen. Each night I make a list from these lists of the highest priority tasks for the next day. For example, on my list today I have:

Order cake for Kiki's birthday party
Make appointment with bank manager
Register domain name for blog transfer
Hospital appointment
Print party invites for after Christmas party
Make list of Christmas presents I still need to get
Print Christmas letters to go in Christmas cards
Pay Tupperware bill
Post Tupperware Christmas Party invites

This is obviously on top of my regular Wednesday jobs, but rather than looking at a list of hundreds of items, I can choose one or two most important things from each list, and work through them today. I do keep the master lists handy during the day, so I can make additions and/or adjustments as necessary. At the end of today I'll sit down with my lists, mark off what I achieved for today, and make a list of priorities for tomorrow.

Another way I have worked it when I've been thoroughly pressed for time, is to compile separate lists as above, but then work out daily to-do lists for the time I have left. This allows me to spread out the jobs and make sure they're all done on time.

As it is, my current master lists have 3 columns, one with the item, one for a date if necessary (ie appointments/deliveries or deadlines) and one to tick when I've done it. Of course, since I only started these lists in the last few days, there aren't a great many ticks yet, but they are increasing every day, which is the most important thing.

How do you work your to-do lists when you have a lot on? Do you even have a to-do list?

Blogging Update

Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Ok, I seem to be getting back into the swing of things. I've caught up on all my favourite blogs, so things should be getting back to normal for me in that department. There's a lot going on around here as well.

Hopefully sometime in the next week or so I'll be making the move to Wordpress, with Snoskred's help of course. This is assuming things go to plan, which I'm sure it won't. So if I disappear bear with me. I'll keep you updated on any progress.

While I was away a lot happened. I was tagged for a couple of meme's.

Firstly, I was tagged by the Homemaker of the 21st Century, who was tagged by Amanda at "All About The Green". She was tagged by Heather from Home With Heather and apparently the original tag came from Tamara Wilson of

So without further ado:

1. What did you accomplish this past week?
What a great question! Apart from sorting and packing $5000 worth of Tupperware? I'd have to say being able to cope with Hubby's pay not going through. I haven't blogged about it yet, but so close to Christmas it was a real challenge. It doesn't look like it will be fixed until Thursday either. Not a nice way to prepare for Christmas. I was supposed to be done by now.

2. Did anything not go as expected?
Ha! See above. Christmas is now all out of whack. Due to the lack of income, even things like postage stamps for Christmas cards have been postponed, so many of those will likely not make it in time for Christmas. Ah well, people should just be excited to get one from me. It's been 4 years since I sent any (about as long as I've had children).

3. What was the highlight of your week?
Oooh, tricky. Probably swimming lessons on Saturday when M&M was happy to show off her new swimming skills to all and sundry. Isn't it amazing how the simple things provide the greatest joy?

4. Did anything exciting happen that you did not expect?
EVERYTHING that happens to me is exciting, so I have a hard time with this one. Umm, oh, I've got one! Yesterday I went to the Big City with my mother-in-law, and apart from catching up a friend (albeit briefly) we went to the Baby Shop, and physically put the three carseats in my car that I wanted, and THEY FIT! It's been a bit of a saga, I was initially thinking I'd need a new car, but it turns out I don't - hooray! That was pretty exciting.

So there you have it, now for the linky love! 5 people hey? I tag:

1. Kez

2. Our Patch

3. Angus Made

4. Lightening Online (check our her new pretty site too!)

5. Cellobella at Sultana Blog

There, that's a nice variety of people.

While I was away Kez also tagged me for the 7 Random Things Meme.

Here are the meme rules:Rules:
1- Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2- Share 7 random and or weird things about yourself.
3- Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4- Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Ok, 7 random or weird things about me that I didn't cover in 100 Things About Kin? Here I go:

1. I couldn't float on my back until I was nearly 16

2. I am over organised in some aspects of my life, and really not in others. For example I have a complete travel set of toiletries ready to go at any point in time, but my bills? In a pile on my desk somewhere!

3. I loved lego as a kid. So much so that my Dad built me a tray on wheels that I could build a lego city on, and wheel out from under the bed whenever I wanted. I hope my kids enjoy things like that.

4. I have discovered recently that despite my age (27 remember?) I have a really really conservative risk profile when it comes to investing. At this point all I can do with my money is put it in a term deposit. Even buying a home is too risky for me. I might have to work on that.

5. I shouldn't be allowed to name children. After my cat Anna, our second pet was a dog called Dog. Really imaginative hey? It did suit him though.

6. When reading, I have to read a book to the end. There's only a couple of books I can think of I haven't finished. One is Far from the Madding Crowd, and the other is Lord of the Rings. Oh the shame. I'm a big fan of the story/movies though

7. Once upon a time I could recite the entire movie of The Princess Bride. In fact, I probably still could, given half a chance.

Right, now to tag 7 people(!!) who haven't already done it? Man. I don't think I know 7 people who haven't already done it. Let's see how I go:

1. Homemaker of the 21st Century

2. Angus Made

3. Kelley

4. Ali

Oh I don't know who else hasn't done it. If you haven't done it yet, I tag you, so get cracking!

Man, I've got so much more to write, but this post is long enough already. If you're lucky you might get another one out of me later today, after all it is washing day!

It's begining to look a lot like Christmas!

Monday, December 10, 2007
At Kin's Home! The trees (finally!) went up last night,, with a lot of help from the kids. This is the "main" tree in the lounge room, complete with presents underneath, than's to my parents and sister-in-law who sent me home with a pile of presents from our holiday.

This is our "second" tree (yes Kelley, I only have 2) in the dining room.

That's all I have today, I'm off to the Big Smoke today to deliver some Tupperware and go shopping with my mother-in-law. Course I have a tonne of stuff to do before I go, which means I should probably get up and do it....

Some photos from our holiday

Saturday, December 8, 2007
So, I'm slowly getting organised with the photos from our holiday. First up is a veiw from the balcony shortly after sunrise:
This was the view from our balcony showing how close we were to the beach. It was pretty cool!

These are the photos of the planes I promised. They were very close and the girls got very excited every time one went over - which was a LOT

That's all for now. Nothing exciting. I'll get around to posting some pictures from Sea World over the next few days.
Hope you're all having a good weekend.

Have you ever wondered what $5000 worth of Tupperware looks like?

Friday, December 7, 2007
Well, personally I thought it looked like my kitchen, or garage, but apparently I don't quite have enough I don't think. Here's what my dining room looked like when I unpacked it all last night to check off the invoice:
Wow, that's a lot of Tupperware. I left a few bits in boxes because they came all sorted, so it was easier to keep a box of 8 things together than add them to the table, or the 32 calanders. You get the idea.

And with one tiny exception, everything was present and accounted for, so that made me a happy camper, and I only made one small stuff up which resulted in me doing an order twice, so now I have to decide whether I send it back or keep it.

My mother-in-law came over this morning and we spent two and a half hours sorting and packing it into party boxes and stuff. Here's what it looked like all finished:

Since that's one job off my list, I thought I was entitled to a bit of a rest, but of course I can't get going again. I'd like to duck down the shops but have no real reason to. I could probably justify it by taking a notepad and writing a list in a coffee shop somewhere, but I really need to make a shopping list first. Just wish I had a little bit more energy!

The Kin Has Landed

Thursday, December 6, 2007
And hit the ground running. I left this morning to travel home, and while I was incredibly relaxed after a week of six hands for two children, a plane trip home let me down. Then of course I didn't stop and am now almost as stressed as when I left.

The BIG news is that there is a contract on our house. See what happens when you leave town? Settlement is set down for the 14th of January, so I have a bit of time to organise myself, which is what I'm doing now. Making lists. I may share them with you at some point. Or I might not. They're quite scary.

What I have decided to do is keep running lists in each "category" of things I have to do, and then work on each of them each day.

For example three of the highest priorities at the moment are: Kiki's 3rd Birthday Party, Tupperware Xmas Sale and Packing & Delivering the 10 boxes of Tupperware currently adorning my dining room (pics to come).

So tomorrow I will focus on: getting invites out for Kiki's birthday party, collecting all stock for the xmas sale, and packing the orders and calling hosts to arrange delivery times. See how this works? Once I've done all that I'll look at other lists like: Moving House, and call and book the removalist.

It's a plan. I'll keep you updated on the progress.

In other news, our holiday was AMAZING, and I'll be posting pics as soon as I get myself sorted, and a bit more time up my sleeves (at this point probably next week). But by far the most exciting news of the holiday (apart from selling the house) is that M&M can SWIM! And Kiki is not far behind. I'm actually looking forward to swimming lessons this weekend so they can show off their new skills. M&M has been "practicing" all week to show her teacher, and yesterday she and Kiki both let me push them down to touch their hands to the bottom of the pool. Hundreds of times.

I also spent every night playing Jonola with my step-mother and the week actually ended in a draw. She normally beats me convincingly, and repeatedly.

That's about it from me. I noticed I've been tagged for a couple of meme's in the comments, so I'll try and get to those as soon as I can. I also have 375 unread posts in my reader, so I'll be ploughing through those as much as I can over the next few days, and catching up on all my bloggy friends.

And on that note, I'm off to my comfy bed, without Kiki. Ah, it's good to be home!

Just a quick one

Saturday, December 1, 2007
cause I literally have 7.5 minutes of internet time on the machine downtairs.

We spent most of the time in the water today, and M&M decided she could swim!! Exciting stuff. She and Berry were having races and they can both nearly swim the full width of the pool (about 10m). A very proud Mummy here - especially considering a week ago she wouldn't even put her nose in the water. She is also letting me push her down to touch the bottom. And Kiki's confidence is growing, to the point of jumping a couple of metres to get to the noodle and then kicking herself around the pool.

We're also in the flight path to Coolangatta airport, so I've got some great shots of planes coming in to land. I'll post those when we get home.

That'll do, still need to do a few other things in the remaining 5 minutes.

Enjoy what's left of your weekend!

Hello from the Gold Coast

Friday, November 30, 2007
Well, Dad to the rescue. He's turned up with not one but two laptops, and we have (very slowww!!!) Internet access in the room.

I just noticed logging in that this was my 150th post - wow! That's gone rather quick (well, for me it has, I can't say for any of you).

The flight down was uneventful, and the kids are over excited and over tired and still awake (at 10pm!!! Their cousin Bells arrived tonight so they're very excited (understandably). We've already been for a swim in the pool, and M&M's confidence is growing - she's happy to move herself around on her noodle with no assistance. Kiki is getting there.

Tomorrow morning we're off to the beach, which incidentally I can hear (and see if I turn around) from here. We're on the 12th floor and have a beautiful view. The beach is literally on the back doorstep of the resort as well.

We also stopped in to see one of my Dad's cousin's tonight. It's been about 10 years since I've seen him, so that was nice to catch up, and he was very excited to see the girls.

Best go and actually put the kids to bed now. Thanks for all the comments, they're very much appreciated. I'll keep you posted on our holiday (but no pictures til we get home - sorry)

I'm a distracted blogger

Thursday, November 29, 2007
And it's only going to get worse. The big week finished "officially" yesterday, and while my final sales aren't yet known, they're a good way past my unofficial target. Go me!

And in the midst of all that I've been organising our trip to the Gold Coast - and we're leaving this afternoon. So while I will have some internet access while I'm away, I can imagine my parents when I tell them I need to go update my blog. Hmm, that will go down well. I'll see how things go.

I'm SO looking forward to this holiday, it will be such a change of pace (I hope). Although the weather report is less than favourable. Which is a pity, but I'm sure there will be plenty of things for the kids to do. My brain still hasn't recovered well from the exam and weekend of Tupperware madness. I'm actually looking forward to a week without seeing any Tuppeware. Is that a bad thing to say? I hope not! Cause I'm going to be seeing a lot of it when I get home. Mother in law doesn't know it yet, but the day after we get home I will be enlisting her to help me sort the Tupperware. I'm guessing it's going to take all day.

So that's where I'm at. I'll try and get on while I'm away, but if I can't, I'll see you all when we get home next Thursday.

The End is Near

Sunday, November 25, 2007
Gosh after watching Idol tonight I'm bloomin singing everything!

Today was a bit of a let down, my morning party cancelled, which meant I spent the 3 hours I would have been travelling, setting up, doing the party, and driving home lying in bed instead, catching up on some Jane Austin.

Feeling a little down about my chances of hitting my personal target for the week (I had only reached 40% of it by this stage) I headed out to the party this afternoon, thankfully a 5 minute drive away (remind me to add that to the list of Things I'll Miss...) to be STUNNED at the success of the party. In one afternoon (one party and a few outside orders) I have now hit 92% of my target for the week. I'm stunned! And proud of course *grin*.

With one party to go, and a few more orders to come in, I'm quietly confident of reaching my target. My manager is so confident she's lifted my personal goal (all unofficial like) by $1100. Normally that would be two parties for me. She wants me to do it in one. Well, I'll see what happens tomorrow. But I'm so close I can taste my personal goal (basically if I reach it I "win" from Tupperware a set of 4 lunchboxes, a gold rimmed platter, a set of 4 crystal red wine glasses and a 4 place gold rimmed dinner set) I can taste it. And I'm imagining eating Christmas dinner off my new dinner set. And drinking from our new wine glasses.

And on that note I'm going to go and get some sleep, since I'm supposedly leaving the house at 7:30 in the morning. That's like, eight and a half hours from now. Eeek!

Who was I kidding?

Saturday, November 24, 2007
I'm exhausted. Shattered. Dying for sleep. And yet here I am. Damn the election coverage! I need my sleep!

Who was I kidding when I thought I would be able to (at 6.5 months pregnant) manage a law exam, 4 Tupperware parties, an open house and packing/preparing for a holiday all within a 7 day period??

Apparently myself.

Still suffering brain trauma after the exam on Thursday afternoon, I turned around yesterday and had my hair done, then took the entire family (ye gads!) to do a Tupperware party. The girls wanted to help, but in reality - not so much. They did make very useful fetchers though.

But it meant we were all out late last night, and all tired and cranky this morning. And late for swimming lessons. That left 2 hours to clean the house and vacate 4 people and a dog for the open (which seemed to go remarkably well, considering the election and all). No offers as yet, but the agent seems hopeful after today. We've been talking strategy this week, so maybe something will come of it.

So what did we do while we were out? Well, first we went to the shops to see Santa, but apparently Santa arriving at 10am means he's gone for the day by 12pm, and not back again til Monday. Who knew?

So we distracted the children with lunch and ice-cream, and tried again to find the missing lay-by. We now have about 75% of it, waiting on 2 dolls and an encyclopedia to turn up. Anytime before Christmas would be good guys.

We grabbed a bit of food shopping, and then headed in to vote. Hubby actually listened to me, and voted below the line on the Senate ballot, so it took FOREVER!, but that's ok. Democracy at work ladies and gentlemen.

But I'm TIRED, and my back is sore, and I have two parties to do tomorrow, and did I mention I'm TIRED??

But on the plus side, the house is still tidy! Mostly.

Personal election coverage

Friday, November 23, 2007
So you don't think I'm completely caught up in my own little world, here's my personal election coverage in preparation for tomorrow's voting extravaganza.

Why I'm not voting Labor
  1. Despite promising to ratify Kyoto, there has been no funding allocated to do anything about reducing our greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Kyoto time frame.
  2. Kevin Rudd is backing down on a pledge to hold a referendum on Aboriginal Reconciliation
  3. Labour has not provided funding (that I could find) for more training places for Doctors
  4. Kevin Rudd's lip licking annoys me to DEATH (I would use harsher terminology, but I don't think I've sworn yet on this blog, so I'll try and keep it that way).
  5. I DETEST Julia Gillard.
  6. Wayne Swan is possibly the least qualified member of the Labor party to do anything, and he's supposed to be our Treasurer if Labor win? No thanks!

Why I'm not voting Liberal

  1. All the policies I read tonight were too complicated to pick anything out. None of them make much sense to me.
  2. Oh, plus, I don't have a Liberal candidate - I have a National one. But you know. It's late.

Why I'm not voting Green

  1. I'm sure there are many reasons to not vote Green, but it's late, and I'm tired, and I just don't want to see Bob Browns face on TV everytime a bill goes to the Senate as he tries to justify how it fits with his policy (if Labor wins) or how it doesn't (if the Libs win). Ugh.
  2. Their website is annoying

Why I'm voting Democrat

  1. They are the only party who have clearly made women's issues a priority.
  2. Plus, it's either that, Family First or the CEC (and people think the Lib's use scare tactics?).

And that just about wraps up my campaign coverage. I'm off to bed, and hopefully when I wake up I'll be able to put a coherent argument together.

Insert Happy Dance Here

Thursday, November 22, 2007
Oh yeah. It's all done. I could have done better, but I don't care because it's over.

Actually I probably will care tomorrow, but right now, on 4 hours sleep, caffine withdrawals and in the midst of a sugar crash, I don't give a damn.

We will now (hopefully) return you to your regularly scheduled blogging. And for me, hopefully sleeping.

Bah, who am I kidding?

What I'll Miss

Wednesday, November 21, 2007
There will be lots of great things about this town that I'll miss when we move. The water, the boats, the weather.

But something I will miss (despite not ever getting used to it) is walking into a hospital appointment and having a familiar face peer at you and say "didn't I deliver one of your babies?" Ahem. Yes, you probably did. So far every midwife and doctor I've seen at the hospital this time around has somehow been involved in the births of my previous two children. And the "new" midwife, who wasn't, was my lactation consultant with the second.

Of course the amusing side of all this is that they're more excited than I am - they don't have to take the child home with them. So they do their best to scare me by telling me about their rebel children born around the same time as this one is due. Thanks for the vote of confidence. I already have one "highly spirited" child (Kiki) and one "sensitive" child (M&M). I'm honestly not sure which is worse at this point. Surely there's something in the middle?

But the outcome of the appointment was.... nothing. Both bub and I are increadibly healthy. Everything is on track and oh that's right, her head is almost engaged already!! That would explain the bruising under my right ribs. Thanks. Is i t any wonder it takes me a while to bond with my children??

And now, it's back to study!

Study and Procrastination and, well, Study

Tuesday, November 20, 2007
You may have noticed I'm very quiet at the moment. My exam is coming up fast on Thursday, and today was the last day I had home alone to really focus. I'm pretty happy with how I'm going so far. I have comprehensive notes of everything I need to know, and am currently doing up the "correct" answers to some practice questions (I'm taking a break now) that I will the practice on under exam conditions over the next couple of days.

Tomorrow we're home all day (washing day!) and the girls are all excited about a full day of TV while Mummy works. I've hidden a couple of DVD's from the last stock up we did, so they'll even have something new to watch if they want. I hate doing this but really, one day isn't going to hurt them is it? Wednesday we're literally out most of the day, leaving the house at 9am, and home probably no earlier than 2:30pm. 3pm is more likely, so that pretty much rules out a whole day. At least the kids will be exhausted and go to bed early. I hope.

Then they're off to daycare on Thursday, so I can put in a few more hours study before my exam in the afternoon. We might even grab Pizza and head down the lagoon on Thursday night, just for something different.

So, if you don't hear from me for the next couple of days, you'll know why. I do have another hospital appointment on Wednesday, so I'll definitely update if there's anything to update. Although in big news, Hubby will be allowing me full naming rights from our shortlist. I've already picked, but I'm not sharing just yet. I might share the shortlist (if I ever find it again) next week if I run out of things to talk about (ha!)

And on that note, I'm going to go back to work. Yeah, I had a coffee at 10pm. I've got at least 2 hours before I could possibly crash.

Menu Plan Monday - 19th November

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ooh, I like the pretty new banner! Yes I'm very late. I blame study. Believe it or not I'm actually doing some. But that's another post.

Our menu s not exactly thrilling, because I'm trying to empty the freezer still, and studying, which means Hubby is doing a lot of the cooking. But it's getting there slowly.

Monday - Meat Pie, mashed potato & sweet potato, peas & corn

Tuesday - Sausage Casserole

Wednesday - Honey Mustard Chicken and rice (I'm cheating and using a jar)

Thursday - Takeaway, to celebrate the end of the study year!

Friday - Chicken Burgers (I'm working so Hubby will be home alone with the kids)

Saturday - Traditional English Breakfast (sauasages, eggs, bacon, mushrooms, baked beans, tomato yum!)

Sunday - Pot Roast (again I'm working so Hubby will likely do something spectacular with this one

So there you have it. Another week at Kin's House. For more menu's check out Organizing Junkie (and check out her pretty new look site!)

The Google Pagerank Saga

Friday, November 16, 2007
I don't often write about blogging, or blogs. It's not that I have no interest in it, it's just that other people do it much better than me. But today I feel compelled to.

I also don't pretend to know a lot about blogging, I just keep writing posts and get excited everytime more than 30 people visit me a day. Sad, isn't it?

See, Google uses pagerank to show the authority of a site. Using their algorithm (I think that's like a formula) and their rules. Break those rules, and Google will punish you by reducing your pagerank to 0, which has happened to a lot of people this week. So I'm joining Snoskred and saying goodbye to Google. It might take a while. Search engine is easy to change. Calendar? also easy (I mean I have Outlook here for a reason). Email and this blog may take some time, but rest assured the process has begun.

The article of Snoskred's I've linked to above talks about other services similar to Google's, and also has some great links to articles that explain better than I can what the hell's going on. Snoskred is also running competition to celebrate her Page Rank drop.

A two car family

Thursday, November 15, 2007
It's only taken us 7 years to get our acts together. Well, we didn't really, it was kind of handed to us by our wonderful in-laws. Have I mentioned lately how much I love them? Oh yeah, I have. Anyway. They offered us their second car for a bargain price, to be paid when the house sells.

So! We're a two car family. No more late nights dragging the girls from their beds to the car to pick Hubby up after a call-out. Or juggling work, study, kids and stuff with the one car.

Of course now I'm going to need to find the extra money in the budget somehow. But I'm sure the money's there. Somewhere.

In the meantime, we have two cars. YAY!

Washing Day

Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I wrote a post two months ago about a weekly washing day and I've been meaning to update you all on how it's going.

While there have been a few hiccups, generally it works well. On Tuesdays I wash 3 or 4 loads of clothes, depending on how feral the children have been. On Thursdays I wash either the kids sheets or our sheets (alternate weeks) and due to the house being on the market, Saturday morning now gets the last load of towels (I wash all our bath towels, hand towels and bath mats the morning of the open so we have fresh towels out).

Of course, with two swimming lessons a week, that's an extra two loads of swimming washing, one on Wednesday and one on Saturday. But because I don't get "behind" in my washing, this doesn't phase me. In fact, today, being laundry day, I had 3 loads to do (being as how last week I did the washing on Thursday due to numerous doctors appointments on Tuesday) and was looking around for more. I know I don't have to worry about clothes for a week, and it means if an extra load needs doing (sheets or towels or whatever) it doesn't mess up my system, or make me feel behind. I feel more prepared and able to jump in and get it done.

In reality there are only 3 days a week I don't wash, and I'm sure this will change when #3 arrives (what with all those lovely cloth nappies I'm slowly accumulating) but it at least gives me a starting point.

The Apricot Chicken Recipe

Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Since it's one of the top posts and I get requests every week (and plenty of Google traffic as well) I've added it to the left sidebar under Top Posts. Enjoy!

I Love Salads

I love salads. Pretty muchly all types. Potato, green, noodle, pasta, whatever. What I don't like is making them. I'm a pretty lazy cook to be honest, and all that peeling and slicing and dicing just makes me want to slit my wrists with the knife. Well, not quite, but you get the idea. Plus I HATE lettuce. Not the fancy kinds, but the regular, iceberg lettuce you get at the supermarket. I always end up wasting it.

Then I discovered those bags of leaves in the supermarket? Sure they're a little more expensive, sometimes. But the food actually gets used rather than thrown out because I can't be bothered making a salad or don't like the lettuce. And while shopping yesterday, I noticed the bag I bought (baby spinach leaves) was half the price of a regular iceberg lettuce. well that had me sold.

The problem comes with adding things to the leaves. I'm great at chucking a couple of leaves on my ham and cheese sandwich, but anything more advanced? Nup. But yesterday I grabbed a punnet of grape tomatoes (incidentally also half the price of cherry tomatoes) and a cucumber.

Of course, when it came to making a salad that night, those were the only appropriate vegetables I had that didn't require much preparation (I told you I was lazy). Hubby looked skeptical when I said we were having salad with our pork. In a fit of inspiration (and constant nearly 3 year old whinging) I chucked a handful of grapes in. And when I was finished I thought it looked so good I had to take a picture.

Doesn't that look yummy? Yeah I thought so. I then excelled myself and served up rockmelon, watermelon and grapes for dessert. I was feeling rather healthy last night.

Menu Plan Monday - 12 November

Monday, November 12, 2007

I still have 10 meals of meat in the freezer, so I'll see how I go using that up.
Monday - Honey Soy Pork Steaks & salad
Tuesday - Turkey Rissoles
Wednesday - Slow Cooked marinated Roast Chicken with veggies (probably mash and steamed greens)
Thursday - Meat pie and vegetables
Friday - Sausage sizzle at the lagoon
Saturday - Scrambled eggs on toast
Sunday - Apricot Chicken
Mmm, that does sound good. Must remember to get the chicken out of the freezer today though. I am trying to empty the freezer and pantry for the Christmas mayhem that will be upon us in a few short weeks. I do love a good Christmas shop.
For more menu planning ideas head over to Laura's new site.
Have a lovely Monday and a delicious week.

I have a plan!

Sunday, November 11, 2007
As this weekend draws to a close I look towards the next few weeks and grab the table in an attempt to ward off blind panic. It doesn't work.

In the next 17 days I have: an exam, 4 Tupperware parties to organise/do, another possible 2 parties, a hospital appoitnment, 2 open houses, a holiday to organise, a blog to keep updated (cause we wouldn't want y'all to get bored and go somewhere else now would we?), Chirstmas to plan, a 3rd birthday party to plan and a novel to finish.. Gee, it doesn't sound too bad when I put it like that. Except I made a list of everything I need to do for each one. Yeah. That's when I panicked.

But, as the title of this post suggests: I have a plan.

It basically involves a few things every single day (novel writing, blog posting, house cleaning and study) and a few extra things each day to get on top of the other bits and pieces. Oh, and did I mention my wonderful in-laws are away *sob* until after we leave on our holiday? So, no help there. Oh and did I also mention before they went away they "loaned" us their car, after putting it in the paper to sell? No? Well, there has been a bit of interest but my father-in-law promised us 2% commission if we sold it for him. Hmm: 2% of $3900 = $78. Yeah, those were my thoughts.

And what else did I add into this plan? ME stuff. At least once a week, something decadent, unnecessary, and all about ME!

I have also in the next 17 days: a nail appointment (cause you can't do a Tupperware party with yukky nails), a massage 3 days before my exam (cause you can't be stressed or sore during an exam) and a girly afternoon with some friends.

And for my next trick? Sticking to the plan.

A rather successful day

Saturday, November 10, 2007
Well, a it seemed all my careful planning worked. The day wasn't a resounding success, but everyone was where they needed to be, when they needed to be there, fed, clothed and ready to go. Which is about as much as I can expect at this point.

Of course now I'm too tired to even think about what happened today, so sleep will have to do.

Yeah, about tomorrow

Friday, November 9, 2007
Just one of those days. People going in different directions. Careful time scheduling is required and planning for the children etc etc. It's just one thing after another. And study? Keeps getting pushed back and back. Maybe I'll get to it on Sunday.

No, I will get to it on Sunday, this is getting a bit hairy now.

But still things keep popping up.

And all I want to do is sleep. Sigh. Which is SO where I'm going now.

Ahem, study, yes

Thursday, November 8, 2007
I am still studying. Honest. No really, I've done some... yesterday.

I really need to do more. Sigh.

I got my assignment back last week. Not good, not good at all. I sat down and went through my assignment when I got it back, and was still disappointed. I did technically get the correct answer, but via the wrong channels. And for that I nearly failed. Not many of the comments were helpful, and some were downright wrong (comments on referencing). Still, onwards and upwards. I still have an exam to get through.

And roughly 3 weeks worth of work to do in ... 15 days. eeek.

So here I am, procrastinating once again. At least I'm not playing solitaire... yet.

Picture me

Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Robin over at Simple Aussie tagged me for this meme.

Kate over at Our Red House originally started this MeMe..The rules are simple: post a picture of yourself on your blog. As some may feel uncomfortable posting a current photo, a baby or childhood picture is fine. Post the picture, tell us the story behind it, copy the logo, and tag three others (without forgetting to tell them that they have been tagged!)

I'm really struggling to find 3 people who haven't been tagged. If you haven't been tagged yet - consider yourself tagged :-P

So without further ado, here is me on my wedding day, nearly 6 years ago.

The picture was taken in the park just near our house, and the car was my bridesmaid's boyfriends pride and joy, which he kindly drove for us for the day.

Tackle It Tuesday - 6th November

Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Tackle It Tuesday Meme

I posted last week about my pottering attempts on the dining room. Are you all ready to see the finished product?

Just a reminder, this is what I started with a week ago:

And to prove there's a table under all that, here is the finished product:

The best part? My WHOLE HOUSE looks like that now. The only part that needs any sort of work is the garage. Which I will be working on on Thursday. I'm having two days off after the marathon cleaning effort I've been on this week. Maintenance only people!

I do have one, minor problem this week though... My house is so tidy, I don't have anywhere to tackle.

Menu Plan Monday - 5 November

Monday, November 5, 2007

Yes, it's that time of the week again, where I realise I'm NOT the worlds greatest cook, or even organiser, as I fumble through the pantry, freezer and recipe books to see what concoctions I can come up with.

Fortunatley for you all, I only have to cook 4 night this week. So without further ado, here's what we're eating:

MONDAY - Sausage Sizzle at Hubby's club
TUESDAY - Melbourne Cup Lunch/Dinner (it's a "late lunch" at around 2pm, but with all the leftovers and nibblies, no need for tea - hooray)
WEDNESDAY - Chicken Tikka, rice & green veg
THURSDAY - Meat Pie, mashed potato & vegetables
FRIDAY - Pork fillets & salad
SATURDAY - Small party here, everyone's bringing a plate. Kids are having toasted cheese sandwiches.
SUNDAY - Roast Chicken & roast vegetables. Because we all need comfort food occasionally

See what I mean? Hardly inspirational. I'm experimenting with the Chicken Tikka recipe, so if it works I'll definitely post it for you all. If it doesn't work, we'll never say another word about it shall we? Great.

To sticky beak at what other people are eating and to share what you'll be eating this week, head on over to Laura's site. Have a good week!

A Nice Phone Call

Sunday, November 4, 2007
As you are no doubt aware, we're up to our elbows in cleaning the house ready for open inspections this coming weekend. I've been working my little (or not so little) butt off this weekend. I don't feel like I've achieved much, but I know we have.

What made today that much more plesant, was the phone call around lunch time, from my mother-in-law, telling me to not clean the bathroom because she would do that when she came over. And that she was bringing dinner.

Now I don't say this enough, but I LOVE my in-laws. And this weekend has shown why. Yesterday afternoon they took the girls for six whole hours!! so we could clean. And today my mother-in-law comes and cleans my bathroom, feeds us and even cleans up after herself. Father-in-law was also on hand to help Hubby in the garden (which is looking lovely!)

Unfortunately we didn't make it to the laundry today, which is by far the dirtiest room, but I'm counting on the agent not wanting to take a photo of that to put on the internet, so it has moved down the priority list. Tomorrow's list consists of a mad morning running around with work/kids, and an afternoon (or 3 hours) of getting the house in final shape for photos.

I've decided I'd just like to sleep, and wake up when the house is sold, if that's ok?

Yes, I'm showing off

Saturday, November 3, 2007
But why not! LOL, my house has never looked this good. Fortunately these rooms are still in pristine condition as they have doors and little people don't generally spend a lot of time in there.
This is the office in all it's shiny glory:
And the spare bedroom:

The house is definitely improving. I'm not sure I could keep this up long term though. I'm exhausted!

Friday fluff

Friday, November 2, 2007
Phew, what a day. I didn't have anything prepared to post today, as I guest posted at Snoskred's blog Life in the Country. I had a lot of fun writing that post, and researching for it. It is great living in a small town, but I am looking forward to moving back to the city. Talking with a friend tonight about her daughter's school, the new shopping centre extension has me all excited.

I know it sounds strange to get excited over a shopping centre, but if you'd spent 4 hours at the same shopping centre I did today (long story but Hubby needed the car) you would understand. I was so bored after 3 hours I went looking at laptops. *whispers* Shhh, don't tell my baby that, he still thinks he's my favourite. I've had him just on 12 months now, and he's not let me down yet. *Kin gently strokes her laptop*

Ahem, yes. Where was I? Shops. Yes, a severe lack of shops. I did manage my Secret Santa shopping today, and a few other bits and pieces. And several cups of coffee at the coffee shop. And a magazine. I felt terribly spoiled, but also quite nauseous a lot of the day. I have been very good and eating well, drinking lots of water and resting a lot as well, so I will definitely be mentioning this to the doctor on Tuesday.

The house is officially on the market now, and The Nice Lady will be here Monday to take photos. Now everything is decluttered, I'm cleaning each room in turn, top to bottom, and then closing the door. So far I've done the Office and spare bedroom. Tomorrow will be the main bedroom and ensuite. Sunday the lounge and dining room. Monday the kids bedroom, main bathroom and kitchen. All things being equal the kitchen should be done Sunday too. I'll see how I go. So that's my agenda for the weekend, as well as the regular swimming lessons, and Hubby has lots of jobs to do in the garden.

Next week things don't look to be any simpler. Monday, thankfully, the kids will be in daycare while I clean like a woman posessed for these photos. Tuesday, for the Aussies, is Melbourne Cup Day as well as the day I book into the hospital, otherwise known as the day I spend 3 hours waiting around at the hospital. The traditional Melbourne Cup Lunch for Hubby's work is being held at the Boss's new house, 30 minutes out of town, which means we probably won't get home til quite late. The plus side? The house won't get trashed on Tuesday.

Wednesday is Swimming lessons. The girls are in the same lessons now and progressing very well. M&M is even voluntarily floating on her back on her own with her noodle - quite an improvement considering a week ago she wouldn't even float on her back with someone holding her. Kiki is still having some trouble, but is trying harder, which is nice to see. I am taking my uni work with me to the pool, and manage to learn a few things while waving from the side and chatting to other Mums. Wednesday afternoon, I think we'll collapse.

Thursday is the first open (I think) so expect another mad day of cleaning. Friday the girls are once again off to daycare, and I have a Tupperware meeting, as well as a party to organise for Saturday.

Saturday is another open, Hubby taking the girls to swimming lessons while I do a party, and then I am having a linen party here that night, and a friend staying over. Sunday will be a day of collapse. I mean rest.

So there you have it, the upcoming week at Kin's Home. Feel free to stop by for your daily dose of insanity, and I hope you enjoy your weekend.

$250 Savings Challenge - Update

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Wow, it's been a while. I've been collecting my change and putting it to one side. My groceries have been virtually fully spent lately, but petrol is still coming in under budget, despite 2-3 trips to the next town a week, and a big trip the week before into the "city"

Coin savings: $46.55
Petrol savings: $45.00
Total: $91.55

New challenge total: $160.45

A work in progress

Wednesday, October 31, 2007
My good friend Lightening has in the past given herself "permission to potter". It's one of those concepts that those "hyper focused" among us reject as useless. Until one day... I had a huge pile of ironing to do. Probably 2-3 baskets. I decided I would iron for 30 minutes, not full on, I would let myself be sidetracked, and at the end of 30 minutes I could stop for the day. I read email, posted on groups and even did some dishes in that 30 minutes. But at the end of it, I had 2 shirts left to iron. Needless to say I finished those two shirts, and caught up on the ironing in 30 minutes, without pushing myself.

I am currently attacking my dining room. It became the dumping ground earlier this week when the carpets in all the bedrooms and the lounge room were being cleaned. And when I say dumping ground, I mean dumping ground. Here's a couple of pics
I don't watch a lot of TV these days. I'd rather spend my nights on the computer. But I do love my House. So tonight, during the ads, I gave myself "permission to potter". The focus was the dining room, and the list I had of things I wanted to get done today, but I would allow myself to potter and see where I got to. Just during the ads mind.
After an hour of "pottering" during the ads (about 20 minutes in roughly 3 minute increments) this is what the dining room now looks like:

As you can see, definitely still a work in progress. A pile of rubbish at the front there to take to the tip tomorrow, and a fair bit of work to do, but 100 times better than what it was just an hour earlier. I also managed to cross another 3 things off my list in that time as well.

Sometimes though, it's important to realise what can be achieved in a short period of time, and that "going slow" and giving ourselves "permission to potter" can achieve a lot more than you think.

Election Campaign - Health funding

As a mother of 2.5 children, a law student, and a participator in the
Australian Economy, the main area's I look for as far as policy goes in an election campaign are:

  • Health and Aged Care
  • Education
  • Economy
  • Environment

As I contemplated what sort of election coverage to do on my blog, I immediately ruled out Environment and the Economy, because they are such highly specialised areas, I don't have the understanding to rationalise policy, and there are plenty of other people who are, and are doing the hard work for me.

I read ABC News online, and was struck today by a story which hubby thinks, shows someone is bugging our bedroom.

Before I go any further I will disclaim my political leanings: I am a swinging voter, but swing more towards Nationals/Liberals at a federal level, and Labor at a state level. When given the opportunity, I invariably end up voting Democrat. Does that help at all? LOL. In other words, where possible I vote Democrat, with preferences to Libs/Nats at federal elections, and Labor at state elections. What it also means is that I can and do vote labor at a federal level, and libs/nats at a state level, but they need to work harder to earn my vote.

The article that piqued my interest today is this one. Not two weeks ago, Hubby and I had a vigorous debate (read: argument) about the cause of the problem in the health system. We are in Queensland, which has suffered some high profile failures in the system over the last few years (Jayant Patel, Mohamed Haneef, Mohammed Asif Ali ) mostly relating to overseas trained doctors. We are also in a regional area of Queensland. Apparently not quite rural, despite the difficulties with attracting doctors.

When we first moved to town 4.5 years ago, there were two doctors surgeries. One was made up entirely of overseas trained doctors. The other, was roughly half and half. In the last 4.5 years, one other surgery has opened, made entirely of overseas trained doctors. But it is not fully staffed. Our hospital in the next nearest town has 3 doctors: one head doctor, and two junior doctors there for rotations. Some junior doctors are also overseas trained.

But it appears we've reached our "limit" of overseas trained doctors. Which begs the question: if they're the same standard as Australian trained doctors, which we all hope they are, since we're placing our families health in their hands, why is there a limit at all? The obvious answer is our inherant belief that Australian trained doctors meet stricter standards than those trained overseas.

Don't let that fool you, Hubby sees a Iranian doctor, my kids and I for routine jabs and illnesses see an American. But the trouble is there aren't enough doctors to meet the demand of this booming shire. And judging by what we hear, it's a common state of affairs. What's also telling is I can get in to see any overseas trained doctor the same day, but to see an Australian trained doctor I usually have to wait 3-4 days. There is obviously at the very least, a perceived difference in standards.

So while Hubby and I argued the cause of the problems affecting our health system (him: states and federal government blaming each other, me: lack of training places for doctors) we also solved the problem: The federal government needs to suck it up and fund the health system properly, and stop blaming the states for ballsing it up, the states need to reform health and try to eliminate beaurocracy, and the federal government needs to fund more places at tertiary institutions to get more doctors graduating.

It appears that the federal government heard us, and decided to run with our policy:

Under the four-year plan Prime Minister John Howard says the number of
university medical graduates will more than double to 3,000 by 2012.

Well that'll certainly help.

He has committed more than $100 million so that by 2011 there will be 900 GP
training places each year.

That'll help too. What the flow on effects will be is anyone's guess: small towns like mine having adequate access to GP's, a fall in waiting times for surgeries, specialist appointments and who knows what else. Of course, this is 4 and 5 years away. What is also needed is a short term solution and reform.

And the waiting game begins for Labor's counter offer. Although they have already pledged $600 million to cut waiting lists, part of a larger $2.5 billion plan to reform health and hospitals. Despite large promises and proposed outcomes, the policies are light on details, and don't seem to address the fundamental failure, rather they are throwing more money at a system on the verge of collapse, and taking responsibility's away from the Labor governed states that have failed to adequately meet the challenge, while ignoring the impact they can have constitutionally through funding educational places to increase the number of professionals.

Maybe I'm looking at it the wrong way, feel free to leave your views on the issue if you think I'm not looking at it the right way.

Tackle It Tuesday

Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Tackle It Tuesday Meme
This week's tackle was only small. It involved rearranging the linen cupboard. Not rearranging as such, but generally making everything fit a bit better. I didn't take a before shot (forgot) but here's an "in progress" shot:

The empty spaces were filled with "stuff" which has all now been packed away and taken by the nice removalists who came this week. When I finished this is what it looked like:

Wow, all that space! My favourite bit is all the boxes across the top. They hold (from left to right): excess cleaning/toiletries, Christmas/party extra's, Baby clothes & blankets, Emergency food storage (we get cut off from the main supply route at least once a year, so I have a week's worth of "essentials" like breadmix, milk, cereals etc on hand at all times). My second favourite part is the "old" towels on the second bottom shelf, for easy access by those who need them the most (ie the people in the house under 4ft tall).

Click on the banner above to see what other people are tackling this week.

Baby update

Monday, October 29, 2007
Well, there's not much to update really. The baby's still there, and still moving. Hopefully for another 96 days or so (not that I'm counting or anything. Really). I did have a tough time this morning. I did a party at a local Playgroup - 10 mum's, 20 kids. It was hot, and by the time I finished I couldn't stop shaking. I managed to make it home before depositing the contents of my stomach in the toilet, several times. Thankfully I managed to spend most of the afternoon quietly and am now feeling much improved, although very fragile and tender.

Of course I played this up and got out of cooking dinner and most of the cleaning up. Hey, I've got to use it while I can!

I just hope I'm presentable when both the carpet cleaner and pressure cleaner turn up on my doorstep at 9am tomorrow. Maybe sleep would help?

Menu Plan Monday - 29 October 2007

We have another busy week this week, so once again the menu is simple.

Monday Rissoles, mash & veg

Wednesday Sausage sizzle

Friday Homemade pizza's

Saturday Chicken burgers

Sunday Dinner at the in-laws

For more *ahem* inspiring menu plans, head over to Organizing Junkie and see what everyone else is eating this week.

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Sunday, October 28, 2007
Spaghetti Bolognaise is a favourite in this house. Actually in most houses I know of that contain anyone who's ever being under 10. Even my girls, who dislike tomato with an intensity only matched by their dislike of, say, going to bed, doing what they're told, or brussel sprouts, love the tomatoey goodness of Spaghetti Bolognaise. Even better, according to M&M, is when I make it with "Wiggly Spaghetti" (known to those NOT under 10 as Curly Fettuccine).

Kin's Spaghetti Bolognaise
Serves 4 (with some for the dog or lunch tomorrow)

1 onion, diced
500g mince
tin condensed tomato soup
tin diced tomato's
2 carrots, grated
1 zucchini, grated
2 sticks celery, thinly sliced
herbs and spices (I usually use: mixed spice, basil, oregano, parsley)

  1. Brown the onion in a hot frying pan (I use my big electric one, then I can make a double batch, sometimes triple). Remove from pan
  2. Brown the mince in the same pan. Add onion and mix. Add soup and diced tomatos and stir to combine. If necessary add half a tin of water.
  3. Add vegetables, herbs and spices to taste. Simmer until sauce thickens.

As with any recipe, if it has 3 or fewer steps I'm a fan. But my favourite part of this recipe is I don't just use it to make spaghetti bolognaise. I use this bas all.e for a lasagne, cottage pie and one time, when I was really desperate, I used it for taco's. The tomato soup definitely adds a creamy flavour to the sauce, without being too naughty.

I'm a slack blogger

Saturday, October 27, 2007
Things are rather hectic around here at the moment, and with my impending exam coming up really quick, blogging is getting pushed further and further down the priority list.

I have been keeping up with everyone's writing, but not necessarily feeling up to contributing. I am putting in a plan of attack for the next week to ensure you don't miss out on my pearls of wisdom you've all come to know and love (let a girl live her delusions ok?, thanks).

I'll be doing many updates over the next few days, on things like the $250 savings challenge (bet you thought I'd forgotten!), the status of the move, baby, kids and their swimming lessons (oh the drama's) and the general non-tidyness of my house.

I may also be inspired to write my views on the, so far rather uninspiring, election campaign. You just never know your luck.

In the meantime, enjoy your weekend.

Tackle It Tuesday

Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Tackle It Tuesday Meme
Wow, I'm back for round 2. Unfortunately (or fortunately actually) I don't have a before shot of this weeks tackle. I do however have an after shot:

Let me just say that that is an improvement. I cleaned out clothes that don't fit, and shoes that aren't wearable anymore, and that is what I was left with. Actually, to be honest, if you can see the white sleeve in the middle, I can only fit into things on the righ to fit. Everything to the left could probably have gone away too.

Click on the banner at the top for more tackles.

Menu Plan Monday - 22 October

Monday, October 22, 2007
Wow, the month is nearly over. My freezer is bursting at the seams, so living out of it this week. I seem to be nesting, so hoping I can manage to actually cook something this week:

Monday - Chicken Kiev's, mashed potato & vegetables
Wednesday - Meat pie, mashed potato & vegetables
Thursday - Spaghetti Bolognaise & garlic bread
Friday - Cracker night at the local lagoon - picnic hamper of bread rolls, meat and salads (coleslaw etc)
Saturday - Slow cooker marinated roast chicken & roast vegetables
Sunday - Fish & Chips
As always, head on over to Laura's site to see more menu's.

Our bodies are smart!

Saturday, October 20, 2007
The one piece of advice I could never get my head around when I was first pregnant, was that your body knows what it's doing in labour, and that I should let it do it's thing and not fight it. It turned out to be pretty true, but very very scary.

Now here I am, coming up on the end of the apparent 2nd trimester energy rollercoaster, and my body is starting to prepare me.

I have not slept for more than 6 hours a night this week. So while I've been going to bed at midnight, I'm up at 6am, and virtually unable to sleep during the day. That's a combination of a) not having time, b) having difficulty falling asleep and c) having difficulty staying asleep thanks to my two, now slightly larger, babies.

So how thrilled was I, when I was falling asleep on the couch at 8:30pm last night, and took myself off to bed and turned the light out at 9:30pm? Really really excited.

Until I woke up at 3:30 this morning, convinced someone was in the house. Damn pregnancy dreams. I managed to toss and turn until 4, when the urge to empty my bladder became too much. Then the door handle fell off the toilet door. Sigh. You know when it's just going to be one of those days?

So I've been up since then, playing on the computer, posting to various groups, doing a load of washing. Generally preparing for what it'll be like to have a newborn around again. Watch closely, because in the next few weeks you'll see me descend further into the "lack of sleep neurosis" that come with having no sleep and no cute newborn to show for it.

Wishing you all pleasant dreams. Heaven knows I'm not getting any!

Community Blogger Award

Friday, October 19, 2007
About 3 million years ago (alright then, last Friday) Meg kindly awarded me the Community Bloger Award

Cellobella at SultanaBlog has created a Community Blogger Award, and Meg has very kindly awarded this to me.

Cellobella writes:

I wanted the award to say - this is a person who reaches out and makes my
blogger community a better one.

I also wanted to quote Meg's post here, because as she says:

I think community is one of the most rewarding parts about blogging. It’s the
people that come back time after time to comment, adding to the conversation,
making you feel like someone is listening and interested.

I'd like to pass the award on to the following people, who make me feel like I'm not talking to myself.



M&M's Birthday Party

Well, first off, yes, I'm slack. But I promise there's a photo of the cake. If I promise to share will you forgive me?

See, it all started when I stupidly left the kids birthday books on the table after I'd been looking for something to do for M&M's birthday. And she found them. And she wanted a butterfly. Soooo, off I trudge to the shops in this shop-forsaken town, and blow me down, find a heart shaped tin. Except it's one of those rubber things. That I've never used before. Successfully anway. I also saw next to it a set of 4 small, heart shaped tin's (made of actual metal) which I picked up because a) it was $7, b) it was small and cute and c) because it had a picture of cheesecake on the packageing. Yeah that's me, you can get me to buy anything if it's small and cute and has a picture of food on it. Give me a break, I'm pregnant remember.

So the time came on Friday night to bake the heart shaped cakes for the wings. In the rubber tin. Which didn't work. In fact it was a miserable failure. After a quick dash to Woolworths for 4 packets of cake mix (it's nearly 9pm by this stage) I decide to make "little butterfly's" using the little cake tins. Excellent call.
By 1am I had enough cakes to do 4 butterflies. ahem.

Saturday night was the night I used, for the first time, premade icing. Now, I don't know if you know this about me, but I'm rather short. As in, 155cm short. 5 ft. Our kitchen bench has been designed for someone, say, 4-5 inches taller than me.

So imagine me, 10pm at night, in the daggiest clothes I can find (playing with food colouring here) in my favourite, lime green, 4 inch heels (is that enough detail for you Kelley, or do you need more?), rolling premade icing on the kitchen bench. Hubby thought I looked a sight too.

Anway, I think by midnight I was done, and here is one of the finished butterflies:

The birthday girl was quite chuffed - even more so when I sent 3 butterflies to daycare on Monday to share with all the kids there. The funniest part is I still haven't given her the birthday presents, and she's got $50 from Oma to spend, which I might put away somewhere until after Christmas. Or else buy her some new clothes...

A Meme in time....

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Or something....

This is from Snoskred

The Actors Studio 10 Questions Meme -

1. What is your favorite word? mosey

2. What is your least favorite word? post-modernism

3. What turns you on [creatively, spiritually or emotionally]? organising someone else ;-)

4. What turns you off? ignorance and apathy

5. What sound or noise do you love? my kids playing together

6. What sound or noise do you hate? my kids fighting

7. What is your favorite curse word? * fudge - it's awful stuff ;-)

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? theatre direction

9. What profession would you not like to do? anything to do with maths

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? what took you so long?

I make you smile?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Well, apparently! According to Kelley anyway. Because I'm increadibly slack, I have only just got around to acknowledging it. So thanks Kelley!

Firstly, thanks to Kelley, because you make me smile as well.
Now, I'd like to pass this award on to the following people:
Marcia, at Organising Queen, because she's always around with a hint or two to keep me more organised. Ahem.
Snoskred, because she's so friendly and helpful to this new, struggling blogger. And her posts and comments always make me smile.
Meg, because her comments (and replies to my comments) always leave me feeling stronger.
And Kez, for her constantly encouraging posts.
And of course this isn't meant to discount Lightening, who Kelley also gave the award to! She always makes me smile.

Australian Election - 24 November 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007
The Prime Minister has called the election, and it's an vital part of democracy that we all vote. Recent changes mean you now have less than 48 hours to ensure you're enrolled.

Neerav has written an excellent post urging you to check your enrolment details online, and a good description of how to enrol before it's too late (and yes, it's too late to post the form in!).

Meg has also written a post with some great links that will come in handy. Unlike Meg, however, this probably won't end my eleciton coverage. We'll see what happens. It will certainly be an interesting few weeks.

Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day, (previously mentioned here).
On October 15th, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single
important issue on everyone’s mind - the environment. Every blogger will post
about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic. Our aim
is to get everyone talking towards a better future.

While an important issue, it's a scary one too. Any new statistic predicts doom and gloom and if we were to believe even half of them we might shrug our shoulders and conclude it's already too late.
Many people have listed excellent ways of reducing your own impact on the environment: Ali listed some great ones today, and Lightening has been conducting an electricity challenge and is always sharing her ideas for reducing her and her families environmental impact. I'm sure there are many others out there who do the same.

But today I want to take the opportunity to discuss another way to contribute to the cause (for want of a better word).
In just under six weeks Australians will go to the polls. While the leaders try and make the election issues what they want them to be (traditionally health, education and the economy) this is one time we can have a say on major parties environmental policies. I'm not going to tell you how to vote, or suggest voting Green, but add the enviroment into your list of policies to consider when deciding how to cast your vote.
With the success of the Green candidate in the Queensland by-election on the weekend, you can bet the political parties are aware that the environment is increasingly a concern for voters - and that is the opportunity we have, living in a democracy. We can make topics into election issues, we can lodge protest votes (while still being valid), we can let the major parties know that the environment IS important to us, and that can force them into action.
So when you vote, consider environmental policies, along with others that concern you. When you write to your local member, include the environment and discuss your concerns. When you write to the local paper, talk about what you want the government to do.
You might be just one person, as I am, but if the success of Blog Action Day is anything to learn from, it's that many people, acting in the same interests, can create opportunities for global change. And THAT is what we need, in addition to our own concerted efforts at home.

Menu Plan Monday - 15 October

Happy 4th Birthday to M&M today. She's so excited and had a wonderful birthday yesterday. I'll post about that later this afternoon.

Did the shopping this morning and came in under budget again. The fridge & freezer are looking well stocked, in fact I found at least 22 meals of meat in the freezer this morning. I've even cut back on the meat I buy. On to the plan for this week:

Monday - Spaghetti Bolognaise, garlic bread and salad, with Apple Crumble and Ice Cream for dessert

Tuesday - Meat pie, mashed potato and steamed vegetables

Wednesday - Apricot Chicken

Thursday - Hubby & kids are eating at Grandma's

Friday - Sausages & coleslaw at the lagoon

Saturday - Roast Chicken & roast vegetables

Sunday - Roast chicken rolls (with leftover roast chicken)

A fairly average week this week, with all the swimming going on it's tough to keep up with the cooking sometimes.

Have a good week, and as always, sticky beak on what everyone else is eating at Laura's site

It's all happening..

Saturday, October 13, 2007
at Kin's this week. There's been loads happening. I'm mostly trying to keep my head above water at this stage.

1. We started swimming lessons. We're still suffering the usual "I haven't done this in the last six months, so I'm not going to do it now" blues, but I'm hopeful we'll get over it eventually. We may be swimming at the lagoon a lot over the next few weeks.

2. I gave in, and have booked the girls into daycare for a second day a week - Monday. And they start in 2 days. To be honest I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all this spare time. At least I know I'm not doing it for me! M&M is so desperate to go more, and after Kiki's face lit up on arrival yesterday and the fun she has there, I know it's the right decision for them. Here's me, most carefree mother I know, unsure about how to spend 2 WHOLE DAYS a week without her kids. I imagine sleeping will feature heavily. And study. Of course.

3. M&M turns 4 on Monday, and her birthday party is tomorrow. The party planning hasn't been too crazy, M&M made the list of people to invite, what food she wanted, what games she wanted and the cake she wanted. All I had to do was pull it all together. Bah! After a few altercations with the cake, I hope we've come to an understanding, and I'll post the pictures tomorrow night.

4. I don't have to tell most people who read my blog how important internet friendships can be, but it really hit home to me this week after an online friends son lost his battle for life after being born with VACTERAL Association. He was 5 months old. The support his family is recieving from online communities just blows my mind. RIP Christopher.

5. The adult daughter of a family friend drowned last night. Her poor mother was visited by police at 2am this morning with the news. Hubby's parents spent the night with her, I can't imagine how devistated she is.

I'm really hoping for a calmer week next week.

Is it Christmas already?

Thursday, October 11, 2007
As organised people all over the blogosphere start to deck the halls and play Christmas carols (ok I don't know that they're going that far), my attention has been turned to my decided lack of planning this year. Because our house is going on the market in 3 weeks (eek!) I have no idea where we'll be spending Christmas.

Hubby's family are notorious for their lack of planning. Which, as a result, makes me look like an over organised Martha Stewart. Ok, maybe not that bad, but I'm sure that's what they think of me.

So, what are we doing for Christmas? Traditionally we would head down to my family in the weeks preceeding Christmas, and then make a mad dash home between the family Christmas down there, and Kiki's birthday on the 22nd of December. Several things this year look to be preventing it: 1. The family Christmas looks to be actually ON Kiki's birthday, 2. Hubby has next to no holidays left after our trip to the UK and 3. We could possibly be, I don't know, MOVING in the weeks immediately prior to Christmas. Spread Joy and Laughter to your fellow man. Or something.

Whilst it is sad that I probably won't be seeing my family this Christmas, I can't help but feel relieved that all I have to think about is moving, and arranging something moderately festive for food. In fact, that's probably the easiest part of the whole deal. Traditions are wonderful at times.

Kin's family's traditional Christmas foods:

Christmas Eve
Traditional Christmas Eve fare was started one Christmas when the dear in-laws were visiting, and Hubby and Father-in-Law headed off to the fish & chip shop on Christmas eve, arriving home bearing a couple of kilo's of prawns. When searching through the freezer for something nice to have for dessert, I came across some Mango Weis Bars. Thus a tradition was born: Prawns & Mango Wies Bars

Christmas Morning
The Christmas morning tradition has been refined over the years, starting with a full cooked breakfast, then pancakes, and now onto our favourite: Blueberry & Cream Cheese Crepes I cannot describe how delicious these are. Sweet, sour, bitter, savoury. I dunno, but damn they're good.

Christmas Dinner
Christmas dinner depends a lot on who/where we eat. When it is hosted by us it consists of cold ham, cold turkey and cold chicken, served with cold salads like coleslaw, potato salad and a green/italian salad. Other incarnations have seen seafood platters, BBQ's or even Aunty Jenny's awesome entertaining skills on display. Complete with $300 bottle of champagne. Ah yes, Aunty Jenny's Christmas lunches are by far the most extravagent of my family. I only wish I could convince her to cook for me more often.

Over the coming weeks I hope to share some of our other family Christmas Traditions, if for no other reason than I probably won't get to experience them myself this year, due to the move.

The first swimming lesson of the season

Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Well, today was the first swimming lesson of the season. Despite the hideous cost I was rather impressed. Class sizes are limited to 6, and in the girls class today there were 3 in Kiki's class, and 2 in M&M's class. I got in with Kiki, but M&M was a big girl and went in on her own. Granted the pool is very shallow, and they can both stand up on their own, but that was quite an achievement. And hopefully in a couple of weeks Kiki will be happy with going in without me.

The teacher, Karen, is lovely, and the kids just love her. Already.

The best part was I was able to shower with Kiki while M&M had her lesson. The further away from her I am, the happier M&M seems to be. Although once again we need more practice at putting our heads under the water. Looks like a few more trips to the Lagoon will be planned over the coming weeks.

Ah well, we'll see how they go on Saturday.

My first ever "Tackle It Tuesday"

Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Tackle It Tuesday Meme

I've been meaning to do this for months, but never got round to it. My tackle this week was huge. I actually started tackling it back in July. It's finally done! With a couple of minor exceptions (trip to the tip and charity bin).

Here are some pictures I took at the start of the last day:
Oh goodness, how horrible is that? You can only imagine what it looked like 3 months ago! Anyway, after a lot of hard work this past week, this is now what our garage looks like:

Much better wouldn't you say? Our poor boat will now last much longer, and once the rubbish at the end of the second picture goes, and the exess boxes go into storage, we'll actually be able to get the car in. Won't that be exciting? Actually using the garage for it's purpose! Just in time to move!

Menu Plan Monday - 8 October

Monday, October 8, 2007
This week's menu plan is made easier by the fact I'm working today and tomorrow, and mother-in-law is feeding the family. It cuts two days out I don't have to think about.

Monday - Mother-in-law
Tuesday - Mother-in-law
Wednesday - Vegetarian Nachos
Thursday - Apricot Chicken
Friday - Meat pie, mashed potato & vegetables
Saturday - Spaghetti Bolognaise
Sunday - Tomato macaroni cheese

While on the subject, Hubby has decided something in rice doesn't agree with him, so doesn't want to eat it anymore. Any ideas on what to serve in it's place for him? I love rice, and so do the kids, so it's not going to disappear from the menu, but it might need some variation for him.

As always, stick your nose into what everyone else is eating at I'm an Organizing Junkie