Monday, April 27

New Adventures

Today I played my first game of basketball - ever. I have never even played back in the olden days at school. I was a netball girl. I have, more recently, watched an awful lot of basketball and a lot of awful basketball. But today it was me putting on a show.

I was so nervous - like never before. I only knew one person in the team and where I should be. I also basically knew what to wear. I bought myself some black basketball shorts from kmart. They only set me back $5, but are extra large mens.... so a pair of spanx stepped in for skins or bike shorts just in case they fell down. I borrowed a pair of the kids socks and shaved my pits and knees - to look respectable.

Then I found myslef scrounging on the floor in the oldests room to find some contact lenses that I could steel  as mine are majorly out of date. I was of course running out of precious pre game prep time. Whacked in one contact, but the nerves were getting the better of me, so much so that I couldn't get my hand still enough to get the other one in. Whoops - lost the car keys- now in a dead set panic. Grab keys and jacket and make like the wind to the stadium. Driving in a permanent wink as still only one contact in. The other is drying out on my finger waiting for a red light.

I got there in the nick of time, popped that wicked lense in and was off. And man were we off. There was non stop running. After the first three minutes I was red faced and exhausted - but it was exhillerating too. Exercising without the thought is so much easier. Basketball however is not as easy as it has looked. I will have to rethink all those things I yell out to the boys and I now personallly understand why the boys seem so tired in that final quarter. They are not looking at the score, they are counting down how much longer they have to run for - as least that is what I was doing. We lost, but not by a lot. 29:21 and I actually scored a goal. I also did a few travels - bouncing and running are a bit new to me - but we are off on a great adventure. I will learn these chicks names who were all so welcoming and fun and look forward to next week. Maybe I'll also do a sneaky bit of training.

Sunday, March 1

$10 is a good motivator

Its the first of March, the first day of Autumn and with all these firsts it is the perfect time to make some changes.

We have all been in a bit of a rut and after 4 weeks back at school, I decided that if I wanted things to be different I had to feel and act differently about them. And here it is.

I have created a bit of a competition around 'looking after yourself' as competition seems to be a motivating force around here. We are always busy, and the boys are tired, but we need to increase the focus on doing the right things first, and the 'fun' things second.

The new plan is that the boys will each make their bed every morning, they'll get dressed in their school uniform, pack thier bag for school and sort out any other things that they need for the day. They are also responsible for their sports bags and making sure they have a drink bottle etc for these activities.

The twins are now in grade 3 and have started getting homework. They have 2 weeks to do it and already in the first cycle, they forgot about it and left it too long and then got really anxious about it. I have made them create a schedule so they know when they have time to do it and obviously I will help them to get it done.

The final implementation is a diary. I have bought the boys each an A4 diary with a day to a page. The instructions I have given them is to write about their day, what they have been doing and try to get them to reflect a little on what they have been doing. What I ultimately want them to do is simply get in the habbit of writing and be able to write more, and quickly. Even Xandy in Grade 6 struggles to fill a page, so hopefully this new habbit will improve that.

Each of these categories will receive a score out of ten each day and the child with the highest score at the end of the week gets $10. (we dont do pocket money as we figure we pay enough for all of their  extra curricular activities) So there it is - all written on the fridge so no one can say they didn't see it. We'll see how we go but from where we are the only way is up!

Sunday, October 5


Today I managed to get my stuff together and arrange for everyone to be somewhere so I could go out. As a sidebar, I have to say I find it really frustrating that if I want to do anything, it is my responsibility to ensure everyone else is sorted. Even if I am going out for dinner with the girls, I have to feed everyone before I go. I digress.

Today I attended the first of 5 motivational sessions and it was actually really good. It wasn't the stand up rah-rah of Stephen Covey but it was structured in a way that made me think. What am I good at and what am I not good at. Initial motivation probably isn't really my problem. I am the ultimate "Ideas Man". What I am not, very clearly, is 'Action Man'. Pun intended.

The course is structured into blocks so as to deal with different segments as we go. It was great to have the opportunity and push to look introspectively at myself. What is my motivation and what drives me. What I did find that the person that I am nastiest to, the one who really gets all my mistreatment is myself. Things I would never do to a boss, in a workplace, I don't think twice about doing to myself.

Heres a classic example. Since Mum died I have cared less about mundane jobs - like the bills. They come in and I can identify them from the envelope. I know they are bills, I simply choose not to open them and pop them in a drawer. They all go in the same drawer. Then they start to change colour and come more regularly. Some of them that is, and they still go in the drawer. I assume with some of them they are beginning to threaten disconnection of the service. Thats what the phone, electricity and gas do. Its not that I don't have the money to pay, its really that I can't be bothered and don't want to deal with it. Ridiculous now that I write it down.

The radio went off the other day as the alarm for the big squirrel at 5:30am. You can imagine I was not at all impressed. I would usually roll over and go back to sleep, but this particular morning was an add about paying your car registration by month and not forgetting to pay it. I was not rolling over this morning as it reminded me that the car rego had not been paid. They do not send reminders just police cars that find you on the road and fine you double on the spot (sadly this I know from experience). Not only that but an unregistered car on the road does not have TAC coverage and is a big problem. It was this problem that moved me to action to pay that particular bill. The consequences seem to have to be insurmountable for me to take action.

It is for this reason that my homework will be addressing this area of my life. This roadblock that I use as an excuse to not do the things that I want to do because this is not done. I need to get control back, one baby step at a time.

Friday, October 3


 My eldest has returned triumphantly, albeit very tired and smelly, from Cuboree. Our family dynamic has been a bit off as he has been away from a whole week, so we are all pleased to have him back home.  I think just as pleased as he is to be here - and the thought of sleeping in his own bed!

Cuboree 8 was run by Scouts Victoria in Gembrook this year. It is a bi-annual event and this year was the biggest on record. 3000 kids aged 7-10 along with 1500 volunteers were camping for the week and along with feeding, watering and generally keeping them safe, they also had a myriad of activities to keep all these kids busy during the day. There were no electronics allowed - at all!

 They set up a Facebook page to keep us in touch with what was going on and this was filled with group photos like the one above. I scoured these searching in vain for my bespectacled boy. Yet, we get home and I learn he is wearing a fluorescent yellow hat - good to know. When we looked at the pictures from the closing ceremony, the ones I hadn't seen, here is he easily visible in about 10 shots! Typical.

It was so well run - such precision. From letting us know when the busses were arriving to managing to feed that many kids. Most of the adults were volunteers so a massive thank you for all of their hard work and helping Xandy have such an awesome week.

Thursday, October 2


I like giving presents. I like thinking about them and shopping around and really don't like taking hte easy option and getting a voucher. One of my jobs was to do the thank you present for the team manager for rep basketball.  She is a friend of mine so it was easier for me to do and she was on holidays so there was no real rush- until now. Now she's back and collecting some stuff, so I had to have it ready.

I ended up with lululemon sports pants and a cap. She is a golfer and also goes to the gym so both I thought would be useful. She likes pink, cropped length coming into summer - done.

She was happy to get them, and I was happy to have the job done. However I didn't realise how happy she was until I saw her tonight at a girls night in trivia. Apparently no one has ever given her pants before and not only did I get the size right (this is hard enough to get right for yourself in their store) but the style and fit are something she hadn't tried before but were awesome. Now I have to puff my chest out and strut around for a while because I'm so proud of myself.

Then on top of this, my table goes on to win the trivia night for the second year in a row. Two wins in one night! It is the trivia night I look forward too because its not intellectual questions, it is trivial trivia - the stuff I am really good at. Makes me feel like I am not wasting my time watching the Bachelor (which I missed the finale to be at the trivia night) but I am actually researching!!

Wednesday, October 1

Minecraft club

 While the cats away..... or more specifically with Alexander at the Cuboree it was the perfect opportunity for the boys to have a sleepover - or as they said an overnight meeting of the minecraft club. Two members joined us from about midday and had a lovely time. They did a bit of mine crafting and played outside (all are basketballers). Above they are making their club tshirts which my boys were determined to make me do. This time I had to buy some shirts, but they all did the rest by themselves and they came out great.

 The boys are obsessed with making potions, so I incorporated this into a drink of milk, with flavours and also food colouring which they loved doing in little plastic milk bottles.
The night finished with a movie (Lego Movie) in their sleeping bags. 
We'd moved matresses into the living room so they could all sleep together. All the boys except one were fabulous, but its inevidible that your own kids are the one that you'd have trouble with. Spence was so excited and trying to make everyone happy - that is with the exception of me, who was far from happy with him. I let it go, but then he'd worked himself up so much that he was having nightmares during the night. Ugh. Not only having to deal with him, but concious not to wake the other boys. Mission accomplished, but lack of sleep when they rise at 5:50am does not make me a highly functioning individual!!

Tuesday, September 30

Reverse sexism?

I am having a bit of an issue at the moment, grappling with the idea of feminism and equality. I know big thoughts.

I watched Emma Watson's speech to the UN and agreed with everything she said. Feminism isn't anti-men and I would probably label myself a feminist. I agree that women should have every opportunity to be equal with me. However I believe that there are some differences and we should also acknowledge those differences, and preserve them too. I worry that we are heading someway into an Animal Farm society, in a way where women want to be more equal than men. 

As background, my little world, well away from the UN. I am a woman. I went to a local primary school, followed by a girls school for secondary school. I also had the privilege of going to university (for which I paid). I started work as soon as I was legally allowed 14 and 9 months, and worked part time through year 10, 11 & 12. I had a number of concurrent jobs during uni and started working full time at 20. I am married and have three boys. I have not worked full time (by choice) since my first son was born and I currently choose not to work. 

I am lucky to have choices and I am happy with the choices I have made. I have no desire to be the Prime Minister. I have enough trouble running the house, let alone a country. But this is my choice and I am not putting down anyone else's choice. 

Alexander is at the Cuboree camp this week. There are over 4000 people there and I am watching their Facebook pages for updates. They are also on the news. My issue is that all the kids reporting and their photos are girls. His basketball team this year was also mixed. I'm not saying that it was bad, in fact the mixed basketball was really nice, a cohesive and balanced team but for Alexander and the girls, it was not their only team. 

Here's the thing, in a nutshell. There doesn't seem to be anything that is for boys only. I know that sounds exclusive but sometimes to have single sex is a good thing. In basketball for example there are girls teams, which the boys aren't allowed to join, and then there are the boys teams, which the girls are allowed to join. Again in Cubs, girls are allowed, and encouraged to join, but the boys are not offered the same in Girl Guides and Brownies. Football too, girls are allowed in the boys teams, but boys not on the girls teams. I cannot see the equity here. For all of the girls who don't fit the classic stereotype and feel a need to be doing what the boys are doing, are there not an equal number of boys who deserve the same opportunity?

I am sure that much of my confusion about this comes from my experience at a girls school. I had a great experience - loved it. As a child, I was a tomboy. I was always outside with dad - building, playing, climbing etc while my brother was inside being creative. Possibly at an early age both of us were outside these classic gender stereotypes and as adults this has certainly changed. I was physically bigger than the girls and most boys at a young age, and that changes how people, adults, treat you as a kid. Expectations of you being old, physically treated differently because you are bigger. All of those things go in to forming your personality. Then I went from an outer suburban primary school, to a prestigious private girls school and had to learn their ways. Yet, what I found at the girls school was all the competition was removed. 

With no boys to impress, or compete against, there was a sense of freedom. We were free to be. It was very firmly impressed upon us that there was absolutely nothing we couldn't do. This was an academic school and there was a certain expectation to achieve - to be a Doctor or a Lawyer. There was never any discussion that your gender could possibly get in the way. This message, whether it was explicit or implicit really sunk in for me. I have never looked at anything as out of reach because I am a woman, but on the flip side, I have have never expected things because of it either. 

I know that women here have freedoms not available to women throughout the world. We are not enslaved, persecuted or humiliated because of our gender. What I don't understand is why, with all the freedoms that we do have, are our boys not allowed to have anything that is just for boys?