Saturday, April 25, 2015

Be peaceful. And remember.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
                                      Lawrence Binion
Do something better today than getting piss drunk and calling that honouring sacrifice. Do something that helps us prevent this from happening again. Be peaceful. And remember.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Placement life

I've just finished my first week of teaching placement. I'm observing and teaching year 9s and year 12s and the experience is amazing and immense and crazy and overwhelming and exhausting.

Dear Boy's just finished his first ever full week of childcare. Luckily, they do yoga on Fridays, so he got a little respite from all that playing.

Throw in working my regular job at night to make sure the various balls over there stay in the air and it's been a cray-cray week.

One week down. Two more weeks to go. 

Then it's assignment time. Six due in five weeks, half of which Lovely Husband is going to be overseas, circumnavigating the globe in a string of research visits and conferences that ends in Hawaii.

Yeah, Hawaii. That one hurts.

In the meantime, the dishes are undone and what clean laundry there is remains in a heap on the lounge chair, and sometimes it's cereal for dinner because I burnt the good thing with actual veggies in it. The rain is falling outside the window and Dear Boy asked me tonight to lay down on his bed while he fell asleep so the monsters don't eat his hair.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Crafting for a cause: Bunnies for Mirabel

A few weeks ago we packaged up a pile of long-eared and red-cheeked bunnies and sent them off to Meet Me At Mike's and The Mirabel Foundation. It was an Easter Bunanaza, in the same vein as Softies for Mirabel at Christmastime, delivering homemade softies to Mirabel kids who have been orphaned or abandoned because of parental drug and alcohol abuse. Each year (on top of all the other good things they do), the folks at The Mirabel Foundation throw the kids and their families an Easter party with egg hunts and good food and lots of bunnies.

We've made softies at Christmas for a few years now but this is our first Easter Bunanaza. This time, Dear Boy helped. It's not child-labour if it's for charity, right? He stuffed bunnies full of filler and love, then gave them all big cuddles once they were stitched up. Because softies made with love in this house are delivered preloaded with cuddles. That's what softies are for, after all.

And once they were chock full of love, softies just gotta dance.


Thanks to Meet Me at Mike's and The Mirabel Foundation for all the work you do. And thanks for giving me an opportunity to show Dear Boy that there's joy in giving and helping other people.

You can catch a glimpse of our bunnies in the final line-up. Can you spot them? How awesome are a clutch of bunny softies?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Outdoor adventures: Fire!

We did a day trip into the hills for a bushwalk and lunch over a fire. We walked along a dry riverbed and collected bundles of sticks. I'll admit it: I nearly had kittens the entire time Dear Boy was near the fire. Part of the idea of these outdoor adventures is to build his sense of curiosity, his confidence and introduce more risky play into his thoroughly (sub)urban life.

He thought it was great; I had visions of him faceplanting into the flames.

It was very hard not to hold his hand, put out a barring arm, or pull him back. But how else does he learn his own limits and his own ways of being safe other than getting close enough to feel his eyeballs dry out or his skin feel uncomfortably warm? How else will he learn a stick will catch alight and he'll need to let it go? I can tell him, but the experience of it is much more powerful. It's certainly a powerful lesson for me in trusting him and letting him learn in his own way.

If anyone has any advice on providing risky play that's not going to end up in third degree burns, I'd love to hear it.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Outdoor adventures: Moomba Festival

I'm not entirely certainly why, but every time we plan to go to one of these festivals I completely forget about the number of other people who are planning on doing the exact same thing at the same time. I stupidly think 'oh, we can get lunch there' or 'we could arrive at 11:20 and go to the 11:30 show'. Oh, the naivete.

Moomba is a great festival with so many kid-friendly things to do, most of which are free. It's just that hundreds of thousands of people want to take advantage of all those awesome events and rides too.

After hitting the festival yesterday with not much besides a vague plan and a few spare pull-ups, here's my survival guide for a day festival/fun-fair.

  1. Don't trust the Bureau of Meterology. It will always, always be hotter or colder or wetter or drier than they say it will be. Don't be one of the thousands of hot, sweaty people in long pants and jumpers that I saw yesterday. Have clothing layers and sun and rain protection handy.
  2. Bring your own lunch. The queues are always going to hectic and unless you have a spare person to entertain a small child, don't even try. Bring your own food and some change for icy-poles or sweet treats after. There were quite a few ice-cream vendors around the festival and it was much quicker to get sweets than savoury. 
  3. Look at a map before you arrive. If you've brought a pram you might want to figure out where the non-stair paths are.You might also like to make sure you take a route via the toilets, just in case your toilet-training son is wearing undies.
  4. Arrive around an hour before any timed events. There will be people already ahead of you, so jump in a queue and wait. If you have a spare adult, let them queue so you can explore with the kids. If not, that might even be the time and place to have lunch.
  5. Take public transport but allow extra time. Everyone else will be on public transport too, so be patient and if you can, place yourself in the carriage closest to the ramps/lifts at your station if you have a pram.
  6. Bring cash. Rides, games and icy-poles were all cash-only.
Have you taken the kids to a festival/fun-fair lately? How'd they do?


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