January 31, 2008

Trip to the park

I love my kids, but I get sick of having to be on call and doing their things for so much of my time. I did read about the commitment of being a parent before I started, but I had no idea what I was getting into, and I don't think anyone could have convinced me how much my life would change.

Today Mr 3 was at his caregiver for most of the day. I believe in him 'keeping his hand in' for this caregiving thing in the holidays. I think that if he was to go from full time home to full time at another caregivers it is too much of a shock to his equilibrium, so he goes to reduced hours in the holidays. It works in for me too, as it reduces my work at home. With the 20 free hours we get from the government these days it doesn't even cost me to 'keep his hand in'.

Mr 7 had a friend sleepover last night, and then not go home. He comes from a whole house away - so anything left behind is just picked up in a five minute trip home. This boy is a good kid, so it is no stress to have him come stay over. It was his first time though, and Mr 7 was very excited and very ridiculous.

Then today a friend (actually more the parent of one of Mr 7's friends) had to get rid of her children so she could look after her husband while he had some medical stuff done. So I had her two boys as well. They are okay but inclined to making put downs and being snarky.

So I was here, on my own with 4 young energetic boys. I immediately made plans to leave, and because I am responsible I took them with me. We went to Kowhai Park which is a large playground here in Wangas.

I parked and they ran away. I got out my crochet and ipod and passed the time pleasantly. They came back, and I pulled out my pre-packed picnic. They ate, and they left again. IT WAS FANTASTIC. I felt so relaxed I even volunteered to take them down to the flying fox and do the pulling part for them.

I felt like one of those American Superparents you see in the movies sometime. Organised, friendly and doing stuff for kids willingly.

I wish I was like that more often.

Posted by Toni at 07:51 PM | Comments (0)

January 30, 2008

Electronic things

A couple of days ago someone peeled a sticker off an ex-rental dvd, and put the disk in the machine. It stuck to the inside of the machine... so I took it to the shop and they got it out for me. No charge, so no worries. But now disks are starting to get stuck in the machine, so I think some of the stickiness has come off inside, and we need to clean it. Today I removed the cover and got a disk out, but the next one I have put in has got stuck again. And I have three or four boys to look after tomorrow, and I wanted it going. Bother.

I bought a hand held chess game, but couldn't see the pieces very well. Better batteries fixed that.

I am getting good with a philips screwdriver, and feeling competent, but I wish I didn't need to be good.

A friend tried to put extra memory into my desk computer, but that didn't work. I still have some way before I would feel confident taking the cover off the computer!

Posted by Toni at 06:51 PM | Comments (0)

January 29, 2008

Really Big Project

This holiday we have been learning how and practicing How To Paint The House. R being a perfectionist, we have to strip every piece of wood naked, prime and paint. Praise God we got a stucco house because everyone would be stark raving crazy if we were doing this to the whole house. It seems that nothing is finished but we have come a long way. We have done about 90% of the garage, which is a good place to practice your painting. We have stripped about 75% of one side of the house, and it is the hard side with the bay window, the recessed window and the two big gables. But NOTHING is actually finished. Everything is partly completed. Both of us are great starters but poor finishers of all sorts of projects, and painting is another one!

However I finished two cushions which have been waiting years for backs and stuffing (I flagged having zips and just sewed them closed - took about an hour each) and fixed the spiderman shirt and the visibility vest and the shopping bag. I love mending - no project too long! Now to label the school uniform...

Posted by Toni at 07:19 PM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2008

The lost one

We had a good time at Parachute, good enough that we have bought tickets to go again next year. We took both boys. Mr 3 was a real pest. He spent most of his time in the bouncy castle, and when we took him away from there he would wander off. We knew he would be like this so we had written his name and my cell phone number in vivid marker on his arm (the person we borrowed the pen from seemed concerned it wouldn't rub off, but that was our point!!). He was spotted on his own by a few people - but they would look round and I would wave and they knew it was long distance parenting. The place to report lost children was Information - the only time he really disappeared was while R was talking to the people in Information. Irony! But he wandered back of his own accord in under 5 minutes, just before R had heart failure.

Today R and I took Mr 3 to the supermarket to pick up a few well needed supplies. He always sprints off to check the fish counter, he loves looking at lobsters/monsters, and prawns. And today he didn't come back for a while, and then it dawned on us he had not come back. So I got the last two things and went and paid and waited by the checkout while R paced the supermarket, and the much scarier carparks. No Luck. So they paged for him (I was so proud of me - I KNEW WHAT HE WAS WEARING!!) and someone from meat or deli with gloves on brought him back. He had gone shopping for what he wanted - he'd collected chocolate yoghurt, cheese slices and a lollipop. He was TOTALLY unconcerned about getting 'lost' and almost ran off again straight away. Quite different from Mr 7 who used to never leave us in case he left without him. He still thinks we would do that. They are so different

Posted by Toni at 07:36 PM | Comments (0)

January 24, 2008


Tomorrow we are off to Parachute Music Festival at Mystery Creek. I don't know many other people going and the ones I do know are in the youth group section while we are in the family area. We don't know anyone going so we are bound to meet a lot of people. I hope it is fun.

We are also going to meet the puppy who is joining the household in February.

Posted by Toni at 08:18 PM | Comments (0)

January 17, 2008

Great gifts

Today we got loaned another ladder thing that can also turn into a low bit of scaffolding. It is going to be Really Helpful to have another way of getting up to the windows.

The same people have given us about 10 jigsaw puzzles suitable for Mr 3 to play with and he LOVES jigsaws. And they had a good time keeping Mr 7 for a 24 hour sleepover. Which was a great break for us.

We went to a hardware store and spent our voucher from my parents, and to another shop and spent some more gift vouchers on Ratatouille, which is as good as we remember it.

And finally Mr Husband passed all of his external exams for NCEA. WHOOT!

Posted by Toni at 04:25 PM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2008

Scraping along the side of the house

This summer there has finally been a big push to paint the house. It needed doing when we bought the place nearly three years ago, and now it needs it even more.

I am married to a perfectionist - this means if there is an easy way to do something and a perfect way, we go to route B every time. The finish at the end is great but the process can drive me crazy! Its okay if it is his time he is using but I do get tired of my time being sucked into pointless extra work - or that is how I feel if I don't get enough sleep. Anyway, he did have a friend's son working with him before Christmas, and that kept him outside and making progress. When we came back from our trip to Auckland, B was off on his holidays. The fearless one seemed to suddenly lose all motivation.

So I am out there, scraping paint. Damn this summer is hot, and a lot of the paint is above my head so I will have fantastic shoulders by the time I get back to school.

Mind you the paint is coming off really quickly on the house, so we are very encouraged - there were visions of this job never getting done, but now it looks like a quarter of the house will be painted as well as the garage, and it is the hardest most complicated quarter with the bay window, cedar shake lined gables, porches and recessed window. After this side, the others look straightforward!

Posted by Toni at 02:52 PM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2008

Win at all costs

The littlest one, being three like he is, is obsessed with winning. I have just returned from taking him and the older one round the block with the dog. When the littlest one is in the front and winning he makes very good progress on his bike. As soon as Mr 7 gets in front he stops and weeps. Mr 7 is still young enough to have to win too - but I can pander to his ego by pointing out he could easily win if he chose to but a more mature person can let Mr 3 win...

Machiavelli no doubt practiced manipulation techniques on his children too.

Posted by Toni at 05:30 PM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2008

And then it fell down...

Once upon a time, R and I got married (14 yrs ago now so almost Once upon a long time) and his parent bought us a microwave for a wedding present. This worked well for 13 years, and then one day when I woke up and went in the kitchen there was this electrical firey smell, and I guessed right, and it was the microwave. It wasn't smoking or anything scary so I unplugged it and took it and the fumes outside. About a litre of water came out of it while I was moving it - perhaps leaving coffee in it too cool, or forgetting you have cooked vegetables and leaving them in there was a Bad Idea. Condensation may not in fact be good for microwaves.

I was too tight to just buy another one - R found one that cost about $600 that he liked, and I wasn't paying that and didn't care enough to look myself. We lived without a microwave for a while, but then got given his brother's old one.

Do not accept microwaves that are rusty or that have distorted panels in them. Even if they are free. This time there were flames, which fortunately went out when I turned it off. It must have been more like those sparks you get when you leave metal in microwaves...

This time I went out the next day and bought a new microwave at a Large Chain Store. I got 1000W because I hate gutless microwaves, and this one also came with convection cooking, a grill and a rotisserie cooker thingy. It was cheaper than just a microwave. It has a handle on the door, which fascinated the littlest person in the house. All previous m-ovens had the button push door openers. This was New.

So he opened and shut it till it moved in its cubby hole thing, and then it fell on him. I was in the kitchen at the time and managed to 'catch' it by pushing it on the door and his feet were missed and the oven wasn't broken either. We need a new drawer though - there are lots of sharp bits on those microwave things, and it has left huge scratches... The littlest one went white and stood very still, terrified. We did tell him off - he needs to know that it wasn't okay, and not funny (he does think some scary things are funny, like walking on the rafters in the garage)(yes HIM walking, not us).

It gave us a hell of a fright - who ever imagined the littlest one getting squashed by a microwave? But you know, I am so pleased with myself for my reactions when I saw it falling. I tend to stop and assess before moving in these situations, which would have been wrong. This time I moved straight away. Go Me.

Posted by Toni at 07:54 PM | Comments (0)