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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

100 Things About Kin

Sunday, October 7, 2007
Hmm, where to begin?

1. I'm born on the cusp of Cancer and Leo, which means I'm bossy as all hell, but if you tell me that I'll cry. It also makes me a rather good organiser (of other people)
2. It takes me ages to fall asleep at night. It has ever since I was a child. Unfortunately it looks like the girls have inherited my trait.
3. I was born with jet black hair and dark brown eyes. My eyes never changed colour and are still dark brown (although do change a bit between dark and lighter brown).
4. M&M was born with brown eyes, and still has them. Kiki was born with blue eyes and at nearly 3 still has them
5. I have a Bachelor of Business degree with a major in Management and minor in Politics & International Studies.
6. I nearly finished my Education degree before M&M was born, but due to pre-eclempsia she was induced 3 weeks early, and I never finished.
7. My senior subjects at school were English, Maths B, Drama, Physics, Legal Studies & Chemistry for year 11, and switched to Economics for year 12.
8. I went to a rather exclusive, expensive private boarding school, despite having no money.
9. I am an only child
10. I have 4 step siblings, two step brothers (37 and 21) and two step sisters (34 and 23).
11. I spent 3 months in Germany when I was 15 on a student exchange.
12. In the first 17 years of my life, I lived in 3 houses.
13. In the last 10 years (yeah, I'm 27, oh, wait, I'll make that one it's own) I've lived in 9 houses,
14. I'm 27 years old.
15. I've had grey hair since I was 21. Shhh!
16. I've had 5 jobs in my lifetime: receptionist at a car dealership, check-out-chick at Woolies, Accounts at a charter boat company, typist at a law firm and executive assistant at a surveying company.
17. My first pet was a bitchy white cat called Anna.
18. Unless you count the fish I had when I was 13 - his name was Jelly and he lasted a whole 48 hours before I killed him.
19. I am NOT a gardener.
20. I really really dislike gardening.
21. Despite the fact I watched Burke's Backyard every Friday night when growing up.
22. I was born at the Royal Darwin Hospital
23. When I was living in Darwin, there were two channels, ABC and Channel 8.
24. We watched a lot of ABC.
25. There are 11 years between Hubby and me.
26. Our parents are roughly the same age (within 6 years of each other).
27. We both grew up watching classic English tv like 'Ello 'Ello, Bread, Open All Hours, To the Manor Born, The Good Life, Are You Being Served?, Yes Minister etc.
28. I still love all those old shows, but my favourite would have to be The Good Life.
29. Hubby and I would like to try one day to be self-sufficient.
30. I met Hubby while ballroom dancing.
31. My Dad met my step-mother ballroom dancing.
32. My Dad met my step-mother first.
33. My Dad met my mother at a ball, and they took ballroom dancing lessons together.
34. Hubby and I don't dance well together.
35. The last time we tried our teacher stormed out on us saying "I'm a dance teacher, not a marriage counsellor"
36. Hubby and I haven't danced in 4.5 years.
37. Despite this, we took part in a competition in Machester earlier this year.
38. We didn't win.
39. I wanted to be a stage manager when I was at school.
40. I'd still like to, in a volunteer capacity.
41. I prefer to be backstage rather than on-stage.
42. Despite this, I have had the lead in 2 local productions in the last 4 years, and performed in 1 other.
43. I have also directed a production, and produced another one.
44. I miss the work, but not the stress or dealing with egos in the theatre scene.
45. Including mine.
46. I am a drama queen.
47. So are my girls.
48. I did calisthenics from when I was 3 to when I was 11.
49. I competed twice at the national championships (1990 & 1991).
50. My mother was the wardrobe mistress for both competition teams, among others.
51. I don't sew.
52. Yes, I've tried.
53. I assume it skipped a generation.
54. My girls sound exactly like me on the phone.
55. I however, have a slightly larger vocuabulary.
56. I was never taught to cook
57. My husband is a better cook than I am.
58. I specialise in "basic" recipes. Apricot Chicken, Spaghetti Bolognaise, Sausage Casserole.
59. I like to read.
60. A lot.
61. As a child I read Baby Sitters Club books
62. It was an obsession.
63. I'll read just about anything now, but I prefer fantasy, historical fiction and anything that is a series with the same characters.
64. I don't read chick lit
65. Except Mills & Boon.
66. But only when I'm desperate.
67. My favourite series would either be Hitchhikers Guide, or the Axis Trilogy by Sara Douglas.
68. I also love David Eddings Elenium series.
69. But I don't like the follow on, Tamuli
70. I can't help but read them anyway.
71. Despite not liking chick lit, I'm a sucker for a good chick flick.
72. My favourite movies are hard to narrow down, but those I can watch over and over include: The Princess Bride, Love Actually, 10 Things I Hate About You, any Jane Austin movie, Notting Hill, Shakespeare in Love, The American President, Dead Poets Society.
73. I sleep on the left side of the bed.
74. With my back to Hubby.
75. Not because he smells, it's just how I sleep.
76. I also usually sleep on my stomach.
77. When I'm not pregnant.
78. I will probably be a perpetual student.
79. I enjoy studying.
80. My soft drink of choice is Lemonade
81. Except when pregnant, when it's Coke.
82. I have never smoked a cigarette.
83. I have never used drugs.
84. I drank regularly from the age of 16.
85. I blame my great aunt - she used to pour me a beer while we watched the cricket.
86. Yes, I watch cricket.
87. She would crochet while we watched. I would knit.
88. I have very few friends, but those I do have are very dear to me.
89. I am a very loyal friend.
90. Until you piss me off. Do I need a language warning for that?
91. I love my internet groups.
92. I spend way too much time on the internet.
93. I honestly don't know how to spend my time if I'm not on it.
94. I love Christmas.
95. I love celebrating birthdays.
96. I'm not a morning person.
97. I blame my mother for letting me sit up and watch car racing with her while Dad was on ight shift.
98. I have a slight Tupperware obsession.
99. I blame my mother for that too.
100. This post has taken me 10 hours to compose. I'm pretty sure that's a record for me.

My dream about Prince William

Just for Kelley ;-)

Don't you just love pregnancy dreams? So vivid and memorable. Classic.

On Friday night I had possibly the most bizzare dream ever about poor Prince William. See, the Queen died, but before she did she left him a letter. She asked him to allow her mother to take the throne, because she didn't want him to be burdened with it before he'd found a wife. Not because she's old fashioned or anything like that, but because she wanted to make it as easy as possible to find someone.

Of course, lets assume for a momen the Queen Mother didn't pass away 5 years ago and get to the important part of the dream. See, for some reason the Queen died at my house. And while I was mentally cursing my grandmother for not ensuring I had a set of china fit for the Queen, it stood to reason (at least my pregnancy induced dream anyway) that Will would come here to make all the arrangements. Don't ask where Charles was in all this, I assume since he would live as long as his Mummy, Mummy didn't want him to mess up Will's life by being King for another 40 odd years.

And so, of course, it fell to me to comfort the grieving Prince. And, of course, he fell in love with me, and wanted to whisk me away to England and marry me. Naturally, being Prince he was able to deal with those pesky little details like my husband and kids, oh and the fact I'm 5 months pregnant.

Unfortunately at that point the phone across the road started ringing, and roused me from this most awesome dream.

It was odd in a few ways. Firstly I often have a similar dream, but it generally involves Robbie Williams. I'm not sure what the change in star tells me about my state of mind, but I'm not going to think too deeply about it. Just revel in the feeling of having Prince William in love with me for a few more days.

Before I crash back into reality.


Saturday, October 6, 2007
For my 100th post, I wanted to have something nice and profound to say. Alas you're left with this.

Today I had a Tupperware party. Nothing unusual about that, I tend to do 2 a month when I'm "active". What was unusual was that I dated 3 parties. I have never had much luck with dating parties. I don't know if it's my attitude, the fact that having failed several times I don't bother trying, or what. All I know is, I don't often have much success.

Speaking to the hosts before the party, I asked if they wanted to go for one of the host gifts, which required 2 dates to qualify. They were a little ambivalent, so I said I'd try and see what happens.

I cast my mind back to all my managers emails about dating, what she says, how she says it, and when she says it, and I DID IT ALL. Everything she said, exactly as she said. It sounds simple, but I'm (believe it or not) not a pushy person. To me it felt pushy, but the fact that by the 300th time I said "why don't I come to your house and show you, and you can have some friends over?" every single person there was hysterical with laughter meant it was done with the right attitude. And I still booked 3 parties. Out of 4 guests (I'm still working on the other one).

Now, while this sounds like a Tupperware lesson, it's really not. It's a lesson in life. We can accept that we're not successful in something, and carry on not succeeding at it. Or we can choose to listen to people who know the answer, implement it, and experience success. I can't tell you the pride I have today, because I WAS successful at something I didn't think I could do.

Obviously it doesn't work for everything, but in most cases, the only thing stopping success is our own self-doubt. I think about these 3 parties I've booked, and think about how successful they're going to be (not necessarily sales/dating wise) just because my self-doubt is gone. I CAN do big parties (today's was over $1200) and I CAN date parties.

And I CAN do all these parties in October. Umm. I'm going to be busy.

Another note, I will be flat out Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday this week, so pre-blogging it will be. And apologies if I don't keep up with comments. I promise to make up for it on Thursday.

Day 2...

Friday, October 5, 2007
Today was day 2 of my monster October plan. Believe it or not I'm actually up to date. I conned Hubby into helping me do the spare bedroom before he sat down to watch TV, and it's all done, despite the fact it was expected to be a 2 day job. I'm thinking I might make a list and check it off in the sidebar as we conquer each room, so far we've packed the office and the spare bedroom. Remembering that this is packing excess stuff. I'm going to have to do it all again when we move, but the "stuff" will be greatly reduced, and hopefully tidier and thus easier.

As I go I've been tidying cupboards and drawers, so when the time does come it'll be easy. As I go I've been doing bits and pieces in the linen cupboard (by far our most "cluttered" space, not as in overflowing, but as in full of stuff, only 1/3 of it is actually linen). I've discovered these plastic boxes that are mostly useless (no lids) fit neatly on the shelves, so as I've sorted stuff I've put them in a box, so far I have a baby box (with new linen and clothes for the baby), a food box (with emergency food supplies) and a Christmas box (with obviously, Christmas stuff: tablecloths, disposable plates etc). I can fit 5 boxes across a shelf, so I'm going to keep plugging along at it, and hopefully by the time I'm done I'll have 2 complete shelves of boxes, and then 3 shelves of nice, tidy linen. Ok, maybe 2 shelves, and the other shelf can be suitcases.

Now looking at my list for tomorrow, it's very short (basically a Tupperware party and notes on a chapter for uni (short chapters thank goodness) so I'll try and start on Sunday's stuff as well if I get time.

I seem to be managing a lot at night while the kids are in the bath/going to sleep. It's that bit cooler (ie 23 celcius) so I dodn't feel so hot and bothered all the time, and Hubby is home to help.

It seems to be working...

Stress has hit

Thursday, October 4, 2007
I've been very quiet the last week. I have had 2 rather stressful nights, not to mention a sick kid (but finally Kiki has a tentative diagnosis rather than "bring her back if she's lethargic, can't keep water down, etc etc) on top of everything else. In stressful times like this, I find it helpful to do a "brain dump" I worte down everything I have going on. It only came to 6 items, but some of them are pretty huge. You know, like pack half of stuff and get into storage and clean the house for going on the market. Not something you can do in an afternoon.

So in true stressed Kin style, I made a monster list (generally 6-7 pages) of EVERY LITTLE THING that I need to do. Start with the non-negotiables on days like work, swimming lessons, parties etc, then add an item to a day. The next week is going to be very full on, but hopefully after that it should calm down a lot.

It even looks like I'll have a week to spare to play catch up, although I know if I think that way I'll need it. So, now I can know that everything is planned for and if something else comes up, I can check the day to see if I can do it. If not, it doesn't happen. Well, at least until November.

But until then, I apologise for the lack of comments on everyone's blogs. I have been very slack, mostly because I am reading in a rush, and I want to keep up with what everyone's doing. I think maybe I need a better plan for reading blogs.

So what do you do when you realise there's too much to do?

$250 Savings Challenge - Update

Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Wow, I did get behind in this. Last weeks figures were as follows:

Savings from petrol: $18.90
Savings from groceries: $14.30
Total Savings $33.20 bringing my new total to $68.90

Although I did discover something wonderful last week. At first I was a little disappointed when I realised I hadn't been paying for childcare weekly like I usually arrange to, but when I questioned the centre about it, the director told me I was in credit, and she still owed me 5 weeks of care. Do you think I should claim all $800 worth that I haven't paid as part of my savings challenge? No, I didn't think so either. Fortunately, any spare money is automatically in our offset account, so at least it's working for us.

I'm in a little bit of shock

Tuesday, October 2, 2007
First of all, I called an electrician yesterday. I called the home number and spoke to the Mrs, she said she'd get him to call me back.

Within 30 minutes!!! She called and said he would be here at 8:30 this morning.

At 8:30 this morning the phone rings. It's the electrician - "sorry, I'm held up at a job, is 9:30 or 10 ok?" Kin looked at herself still in jammies and in a feral pigsty of a house and enthusiastically agrees.

At 9:45 he turns up and is all done by 11am, for the bargain price of $180. I just can't believe it's been all fixed so quickly. I've had a run of bad electricians lately. Now ;et's hope the cleaner who's coming at 2pm to give me a quote is just as impressive.

Menu Plan Monday - 1 October

Monday, October 1, 2007

Where did the year go? I just can't keep up. And I'm still in denial that my big baby is turning 4 in 2 weeks. It's all just a figment of your imagination.

For this week we're kind of eating out of the freezer. It's a bit full so nothing new this week:
Monday - BBQ at the local club
Tuesday - Spaghetti Bolognaise
Wednesday - Lamb Souvlaki
Thursday - Quiche
Friday - Chicken Fried Rice
Saturday - Pot Roast
Sunday - Toasted Sandwiches
Best part? Grocery shopping came to $45. Nice!
To see what everyone else is eating this week, head over to Laura's site and have a peek!