Monday, June 28, 2010

Bathroom 2

My camera is broken so I've resorted to using my old mobile to take pictures. You can probably tell from the photo of my bathroom that my phone has no flash. Or maybe it does and I just don't know how to use it. 

You might remember that I showed you a picture of our upstairs bathroom. If you've forgotten the link is here.  One of our renovation casualties has been consistency between up and downstairs. However these things happen and I wouldn't trade my luxurious bath for another claw foot if you paid me.

It may look lovely and complete however the room is actually far from it. The tiles we used were from a cheap 'job lot' and hindsight has shown us the error of our ways. Never, ever, ever use floor tiles that have to be grouted in white, especially in the bathroom. They look great in the close up because I found the only area in the room where they look decent.

We tiled up to the half way line in the bathroom and promptly ran out of time, money and motivation. Thus, our walls are half-tiled, half gyprock. It needs something that I don't understand done to it before we can paint or wallpaper it. The mirror isn't even ours, it belongs to my sister and I found it at my parents' house when they were packing to move.

One day it will be glorious. For now it's just functional.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

School holidays

Big Boy has come home these holidays with the task of journaling everything he gets up to for the next few weeks. Of course that means I'm now frantically searching for activities to make sure I look like a good mum ensure he has fun over the holidays. This is what happens when you take two kids of different sexes and ages to the park. Each has to make sure they have their own favorite item with them.

Monday, June 21, 2010

One man's trash is another man's cubby house

The Gas Man was busy over the weekend trying to transform the half-built cubby into a functional play area for the kids. It's come up very well and will soon receive its finishing touches including a bit more paint, another window and a sandpit landing area for the bottom of the slide.

The entire structure is built from recycled materials including parts of our old pool ladder, a bulk lot of scrap building timber, old paint we found in the shed, our neighbours' old garage door (the roof) and a second hand slide which cost us $10 and was covered with graffiti. (For those interested chlorine removes graffiti on hard plastic surfaces.)

It might not be 100% level and it might not ever have any requisite kitchen equipment or shelving but our kids love it and that's all that counts for us.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Hey you look just like ....

I've survived my full week at work and most of my organisational plans worked well. I have to fine tune the cooking and freezing process but we're all fed, clean and happy so we made it through the week unscathed. I've even come home with a humorous tale to tell, hope you enjoy it.

So you already know I teach adults. This means that I meet tonnes of different people every year. It one part of my job that I love, the mix of people and the stories they tell are just wonderful. Because I meet so many people it's inevitable that every now and again I take a look at someone and I think 'wow, you really look like xx celebrity or xx business person.'

A few years ago I worked with a lady and each day I would look at her and not be able to put my finger on who she reminded me of. One day I was talking to her and suddenly the resemblance to a certain celebrity burst into my mind. I looked at her and she looked at me and just as I blurted out 'I know who you look like!' she also blurted out 'don't even say what you are about to say.' But it was too late. She knew that I knew, and everyone else was bursting with curiosity to know too. The problem was she looked just like.................

Yep, Bette Midler. Which was far from complimentary for a 30-something woman. Poor thing. I felt so bad.

So this week I delivered a course which lasted three days. On the first day a man walked in, who we'll call Frankfurt. Frankfurt was late and as soon as I saw him my inner voice was saying 'he looks like money' 'no wait, he looks like royalty. That's it, royalty.' Throughout the day I was debating with myself  'who DOES he look like? Why is he so familiar?' 'And why does he always seem like he is talking down his nose to me?'

So Frankfurt, as well as being late the first day, also didn't show up on the second day. Nor did he call or let anyone know. He just didn't arrive. This is a pretty odd occurrence, as most students whose employers have paid x thousands of dollars for them to come are far from happy with no-shows.

Fast forward to today and Frankfurt reappears. Apparently he was 'busy' yesterday. Then he decides that he simply cannot stay until the end of the course and must leave early. And just as he was walking past me to leave it hits me, and I open my mouth to blurt out 'I KNOW WHO YOU LOOK LIKE!' Thank goodness at that moment common-sense prevailed and instead I was bursting with internal laughter knowing that this guy looks exactly like a living, breathing version of .....

Ahh Lord Farquaad I presume. Could it be more apt!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Getting organised

I have to work this week, four full days. I know that probably doesn't sound like a stretch but for me it means I have to throw a few more balls in the air and make sure the week runs smoothly. I thought I'd share an insight into the level of organisation it takes just so that I can work this week.

I've already spent about an hour and half ironing. I used to be a committed non-ironer but with school uniforms, work uniforms and my work outfits to iron I've had to pull the iron out more and more this year. So far I've washed, ironed, folded and hung every item of school clothing my son owns. This means that I won't have to wash or iron anything through the week. It also means that he won't have to scrounge through the dirty washing pile on Friday looking for socks to wear. (Of course this never happens at OUR house it's just something I've heard about.....)

I've also ironed five work shirts for The Gas Man (who is working today on a Public Holiday so needs five sets for the week.) Once all that was done I was able to iron my own clothes so I have four washed and ironed pairs of pants to wear this week.

When I work I often don't get home until around 6pm. This means that we are often really pushed for time at night and end up making poor food choices. This week I've made a casserole which is in the freezer and I'm also double cooking tonight so that we have a second meal frozen and ready to re-heat through the week. The other two days we will be eating slow cooked meals. I'm so glad I planned this this week as I feel like a really bad mum if the family doesn't eat a lot of veggies through the week.

Teaching prep
Because I teach for a living (adults not kids thank goodness) I have to prepare my lessons. Four full days teaching means lots of lessons, so today I'm putting aside some time to read and prep my classes. Thankfully it's all content I've taught before so the task won't be that onerous. I will admit to sometimes not planning my classes and it just makes life so much easier for me if I've planned out what we will be doing.

Each week we have two sets of swimming lessons, one soccer practice, one soccer game and a netball game to prepare for. I have this preparation down to a fine art though, which makes it so much easier to get everyone out of the door on time, in appropriate clothing. I have one large bag which fits all our swimming gear. I add two clean, dry towels each week and then pop the bag back in the cupboard. This means that every time one child has swimming we can just grab the bag and go. Very easy.

I use a similar process for soccer and netball but these items are packed away into our dressing room in between uses. I always make sure I wash and hang the outfits together on the line (ie. soccer shirt, pants, socks) so that I can take them off together and put them away. This is great as it eliminates the frustration of trying to find one sock or a missing pair of pants.

To sort out Big Boy's school week I make sure I pack his lunch the night before. This weekend I've washed and put away all his tupperware boxes which means I will have ready access to them through the week. I've toyed with the idea of freezing five sandwiches each weekend but I'm not sure they would be nice enough to eat the next day if I did that.

School preparation also hinges around making sure we have enough fruit for the week and that shoes are cleaned and polished. Finally I have to make a note in his communication book to let the teacher know that he will be attending OSHC this week.

As I am the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) here at the house I also have to make sure everyone has money for the week. I spent a lot of time on Friday paying all our bills and I have already taken out money for our sport activities so that it is set aside and we don't have to go to the ATM (and pay $2 for the privilege) on the way. Big Boy needs money for a free dress day this week so I'll grab $2 in a minute and put it in his bag ready to go. I've also ensured I have money in an account to pay for my parking this week.

So that's about it. I'm doing a few more things today as well to get ready for the week but they are more mundane and not very interesting. I am also going to bake something for a party at work on Tuesday, take the kids to the park and sort out some admin tasks for The Gas Man's business.

So there you have it- just what it really takes for a working mum to go to work. Roll on the weekend.....

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Things to be proud of

We've been busy around here lately and we are now the proud owners of a soon-to-be-finished retaining wall. It's not yet pretty but it functions and every little step is one step closer to our goal of completing this house.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sideboard update

I've been busily photographing in the daylight and captured some more shots of the cabinet. The vote so far is in favour of painting it white. Any other opinions are very welcome. I think it would be too hard to fix all the ragged parts and I also think it would look great in white.

I've also suggested changing the handles, though I've met with some resistance to that idea! What do you think?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Monday's kitchen

I am meant to be putting the sheets back on our bed. I also have a pile of ironing and a dirty floor. So I bargained with myself. I'm allowed to blog once the dinner is on. So the slow cooker is preparing chicken as we speak and I'm getting on with the important work of blogging.

Thought I'd share two images today of my kitchen in its current state. I wanted to take this picture last Friday but  I forgot to insert the memory card in my camera. So you will have to enjoy my roses in their wilting glory. I've started buying myself flowers every shopping day because, let's face it, if I wait to be presented with flowers I'll be waiting forever. So flowers are my newest 'must have' on my weekly shopping list as a simple reward from me, to me. There's nothing nicer than fresh flowers. (Please ignore the kitchen clutter, I told you it's an 'in its current state' day :-)

The second picture is a genius idea I stole from Martha Stewart. There is nothing uglier than a huge bottle of dishwashing liquid on the drainer so i decant mine into a lovely glass jar. Coordinates well with the hand sanitizer too don't you think?

Friday, June 4, 2010

The family that pranks together ...

We're a bit of a family of pranksters, thanks in part to a cheeky 6 year old who likes to scare me. Here's what was 'standing' at the top of my stairs for the last few weeks. Without fail, each time I arrived home and saw it out of the corner of my eye I was startled. Because I didn't have to walk past him to get inside I would then promptly forget about him until the next day. I've since taken him down but it was fun while it lasted.

And the close up:

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Garden handiwork

I was browsing through our old pictures and came across this one. It's an old piece of farm equipment that The Gas Man and a neighbour pulled out of a run-down paddock. He then cleverly crafted up this piece of wood to serve as a seat. I call it our bush chair.

It's a lovely thing to have in the garden and I think it's turned out fantastic. It would complete the story nicely to tell you that this neighbour is a now a great friend and we regularly enjoy his company, however that's not the case! The neighbour in question fell out of favour pretty quickly once he invited us to join him on a risqué weekend away he had planned with his wife. The Gas Man learnt a valuable lesson that day- never, ever joke about being swingers because you never know what extra-curricular activities people might really be into!

(Neighbour in question is also from our old house, not this one.)
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