Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I am taking up some new offers

Is this the cutest image of 'help' ever? Sourced from here

Getting the kids looked after by other people hasn't really happened much here. Not for any real reason,  just no family close by, moving around a little, not originally being from the area, lack of funds for baby sitters at times, everyone having their own kids to look after, which when they are babies is hard enough.

But Popps starting school has made some management things tricky in the Huey Household. Mr H can not be relied upon to do a single drop off or pick up.

Prep kids need to be dropped at the class room and picked up outside the building, none of this sitting in the car and letting them walk to you business. No, no dropping them at the corner and making a mad dash to the next destination of work.

So it was that I reluctantly booked in to use the after school care program, there are 80 kids in prep. So far none of the kids in Popps' class are in after school care, the guilt at sending her was sitting there, but with a few meetings coming up we were just going to have to be the first.

But then some other Mums including some I barely know have offered their help.

"You can leave her with me"

"Drop her with us"

"I can do pick up on Friday"

Have all been phrases sent my way over the last month.

I hesitated.

I said I would think about it.

I wasn't sure.

Could I really pass over the responsibility of my child to other Mums, who had their own busy lives already, some whose homes I have never set foot in.

Yes, I could.

I have.

It is working well so far. Popps enjoys the visits at peoples houses. She and one of her new little friends have been bragging about how they are going to have breakfast together.

And the reason this came to be is simple. I am more than happy to help these Mums on my day off, or at Saturday dancing or swimming lessons or weekends when appointments need to be met.

This is Mummy Bartering.  An economic activity that has long thrived and prospered through all the GFCs of times gone by.

Are you a Mummy Bartererererer too (was that too many erers?)

Wordless Wednesday: Cross Promotion

Blatant Cross Promotion of my (paid) work. - Click the image to check out what I have been working on.

How cute is that baby?

Monday, February 27, 2012

My Exclamation.

Image from Pinterest

I know I do it.

It is a really bad habit and sometimes I go back and remove them or try and see if something can be altered to give the words the same effect.

But I love them.

One little sign that gives punch and humour and fun and power.

I overuse exclamation marks all the time.

But I am not really sorry.

I know I will continue to overuse them. But let it be known, I know that I do. I just can't help it. It is like a nail biting or smoking habit, one you know you should give up, but they just give you too much joy.

So my exclamation marks are here to stay!

But I don't do double exclamation marks, that is just wrong.

Is that okay?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I am going to be in the Movies.

I found this image on a blog post about backyard movie nights here.

Not really.

I wanted to play around with a stack of those little video clips that we have on our phones these days.

I wanted to actually try and file them in some way so that I could find them in  a few years time, or even, you know, watch them, have an old style slide night in the backyard (complete with white sheet hanging on the clothes line) with all the 30 second clips that are dumped on the computer. Somewhere.

I have no idea how to use the iMovie feature on the computer.

No idea what program I should use or where to start.

I even considered finding the cords to the real video camera, the one we just had to have apparently, the same one that has barely come out of the box.

It hasn't worked out so I am off to find a solution and to add this task to my things to do in 2012.

How do you arrange your video clips these days? And if you have a backyard like the one above, can I please come over, I shall bring the wine.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Getting organised and the importance of the hairbrush.

If you are after tips on how to organise your life, sadly, you have come to the wrong place.

The House of Huey generally runs on crazy due to complete lack of organisation and the disrespect Mr H and the kids give to any type of roster I even pretend to put in place.

But getting to work and school on time is important. It has to happen. So we do manage that and I was even able to write all about it and share it with the readers over at PLANNING WITH KIDS!

I was rather excited when I got asked to guest post at Nicole's blog. Nicole is an amazing woman, blogger, mother and public speaker (I have been lucky enough to hear her), she even has a book out. So go over, read my post, comment on it (go on, give it a try if you never have) and then take a look at all the other stuff Nicole writes about. If you follow even a few of her ideas you will have your life in order.

Hoooorooooo this is the link, in case you missed it up there.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What is going on at the school Canteen/Tuck shop these days.

What is going on at school Tuck Shops these days.

Over the years since I left school I have read all about the new fangled Canteen/Tuck Shop that schools have.

No Junk food, homemade food only, real food. Open on limited days only.

Not at our school canteen. It is open everyday and is filled with all sorts of treats.

We decided at the start of the year, all three weeks ago, that Tuesday was icypole day, or if it was really hot, it was icypole day.

However Popps has managed to get something from the canteen EVERY DAY.

Such items have included

 - Tiny Teddies
 - Chocolate Mousse
 - Jelly in a Cup
 - Slushies
 - SuperDooper Icy poles x 289000
 - Packets of chips

 She has also been given cupcakes and lolly pops from other friends that have brought them in especially for her.

One Mum came and asked me if it was alright for her daughter to buy mine an icypole that day at school.

I was kind of stumped. We are friends with them. We don't require them to provide our child lunch. I already pack enough in her lunch box each day, and I include a treat item each day already. But is it rude and unnecessary to decline the offer, it is after all only a 50cent icypole? What is the harm? I said ok, but that this was a once off, reminding Popps and them that Tuesday was her Canteen day.

I have no control over this canteen shenanigans that is going on. I don't think I like it. But it is one battle I am just not going to bother with right now.

How is your school canteen? Do you buy other kids treats from the canteen all week (like mine)? Do your kids love the canteen as much as Popps?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Limited head space

This headspace is a little prettier than mine. Image from here.

Does anyone else ever feel as though their head space is just about to burst. That you just don't have space for anymore thoughts to fit in?

Maybe not. Maybe it is just me these past few weeks.

I don't mean the usual

 "Must get milk, petrol light will be on soon, must respond to that email, can't forget to call and cancel that appointment, must make hair appointment, kids sheets need changing this weekend, Immy needs pants as the others are too small, must get to dance shop for Immy's tap shoes, wonder if there is meat in the freezer for dinner..."

Lately there have just been a bit more than normal. Popps isn't settling at school, teacher has asked to see me twice, there are have been melt downs about not wanting to go and her behaviour has at times been nothing like we have seen before. Managing this is taking up my head space.

Mr H is having some health issues, he is not good with illness, one of us needs to remain calm and carry on while test results and appointment times need to be waited upon. He also needs to de-brief about work more than usual,  I have never been a set of good ears for this. Am trying more lately but still more of my limited head space is filling up.

Immy, always so happy, is refusing to get out the door on creche days, screaming when I leave her after we finally get there, her carers are lovely and I am confident that we will get to the reason why, but I hate leaving my kids crying so fiercely while I walk away.

My desire to be fit and healthy and following a strict training and food plan take up even more head space, pre planning meals for everyone, making extra time for six training sessions a week, keeping up with work and learning the ropes of the school system.

I have brain fatigue.

Anyone else? Ever? Please just pretend you do.

But also, while I remember, I do have good news.

The winners of my Careers Mums giveaway have been decided upon, come on down....or over or up...and send me your details please...

 - Natalie - for her great story about the Ostrich Farm

and because @Altait is a big softie she is also awarding one to:

Tam - who is thinking of heading back to the land of physiotherapy.

And if you lucked out here - chances are good in my other giveaway running this week - a personal chef to fill the freezer.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Giveaway: $175 of meals cooked for you!

Pork Belly, chorizo and haricot beans. 

Next time you're putting money in to buy for a new baby, ask yourself if you would prefer a freezer full of home cooked meals or yet more plastic to fill the house for the baby.

If (may god strike me down) I was ever to have another baby I can tell you now what I would want.

As Sarah from Vivenda noticed in my about me page, I hate cooking, and she has the answer for kitchen failures like me.

A service that does the grocery shopping (phew) then arrives at your house and cooks up a very neat and tidy little storm, fills the freezer with the food you picked from the menu, then cleans up and takes off. And I mean really cleans, she cleans so well it was like we paid a professional to do that too.

What is not to like here? Umm well, it was all good for me.

Any spare groceries are left behind for you too, so choose your meals wisely and you could even sneak this into a glass, sit down, relax knowing you don't have to cook and pretend you are living the life of someone with a full time chef. Hey, I am all for pretend play.

Sarah suggests the meal packs serve 2 adults, but we certainly had enough for a family of four, (see image above) and we followed the suggestions written on the top to add some crusty bread too. This was quite essential as it prevented Mr H from licking the plate.

The deal for this is $175 plus the food costs. This actually works out that we have nine nights worth of dinners, which could be considered pricey, but consider that every Friday we have takeaway after I have been working, often it is unhealthy fish and chips or pizza and it usually costs close to $50 once drinks are included. We now have Fridays covered for the next two months.

But this is not just all about me.

This is where you can also experience the fun.

Sarah is also offering one of my readers the chance to win this service for themselves.

You will need to be Melbourne based for this giveaway.

This is her spiel:

Vivenda offers a personalised pre-prepared meal service. They prepare the  meals for you and your family in your kitchen so the food truly is homemade. The meals are  tailor-made to your requirements; whether you have a preference for free range or organic or have specific intolerances; at a price that is not dissimilar to buying takeaway, but is a whole lot more wholesome. 
We are giving a lucky reader the opportunity to 
dip their toes into the Vivenda experience by partaking in a 
sample session valued at $175. The winner will be invited to choose 3 dishes from Vivenda's extensive selection and Sarah from Vivenda will prepare 6 serves of each in the lucky person's own kitchen. The session includes packaging, pantry items and grocery collection.

Now please note that part of this deal means you pay for the actual groceries yourself. I was more than happy to do this, as it is a cost that I would be needing to make anyway. The meals I chose meant the food costs came to $98. This would be less if you didn't have three meat dishes or choose cheaper meal options.

To enter just leave a comment telling me your favourite homemade dish that you would like to have cooked for you.

Fine print:
This will be open for the week.
Last comments 9pm Thursday 23 Feb.
Winner will be picked by Sarah, with the meal that fascinates her the most and announced a few days later (like when I get around to it). Judges decision is final.

For more about Vivenda, check out the Facebook page or website.


The winner of this competition, decided by Sarah from Vivenda is Melinda - who wins for being the most persistent and entertaining (and slightly stalkerish!) 

Melinda, Sarah will be contacting you asap, much faster than I was at getting this added up.

Happy eating, my fav is certainly the Pork Belly. (and I may have my porky belly still!)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Rude emails - do you write them?

Emails are one of those things that sometimes just come across all wrong.

When I started work with my first law firm I was petrified of meeting some of the lawyers after I got emails from them.

At the time I was writing away with manners and kindness, as was the norm at my previous job where people made extra effort in any communication.

I was sending emails like this:

Dear Jane
I would love to arrange a time to meet with you to discuss how I can assist you with blah blah. I understand you are extremely busy with whodunit and was wondering if perhaps Tuesday would suit when your diary indicates you are free.
Kind regards

I would receive an email like this:


No hello, no regards. I thought they were all rather rude and scary.

Eight years later and my emails would now be like this:

Please let me know when you are free to discuss blah blah,

If I am on my phone and sending the email it would be:

let me now (sic) when your (sic) free

Which is really bad, because the person receiving it is probably still at their desk, reading normal emails on a big screen and getting my rude emails. Which of course I don't mean to be rude, but typing with one hand and trying to multitask means somethings gotta give, and sometimes it's email etiquette.

I have started wondering if I just fell into the email culture of the firm and expected the world to follow, but maybe they haven't. Maybe they see my emails as poor form.

So tell me, where is the world at with emails? Should we be making more effort, or should I be? Do you find abrupt emails rude?

Image from Pinterest

Saturday, February 11, 2012

New buzzwords are entering our house.

There is a new buzz word in town.

Suits love a new word to try and keep them young, cool and hip, (you will be familiar with some from the 80s and 90s like Yuppies, DINKS, SKIs and my most hated, pro-active). Kids make them up all the time.

After starting school this week Popps came home to ask me what 'random' means. I knew she didn't mean the traditional meaning. She means the way that her older peers say 'yeah, random'.

The latest buzz words around here are not so fun, or so cool, nor are they hip, but they do work for the hips.

All the organised Mums are talking about this thing called 'meal planning'. Ohh, I shudder at the thought of finding an hour to plan my meals. I know the benefits of time and cost etc, but right now, it just doesn't work for me.

So I have joined that other buzzword. 12wbt.

To those of you still not in the cool gang, that is the 12 week body transformation. The program that makes me use a MEAL PLAN. The program that says it is going to get me fit enough to run the Mothers Day classic, something that I have always thought would be great to do but beyond my cardio limits.

The problem with all this buzz word talking and joining is it is taking up quite a bit of my time. Six exercise sessions a week, shopping to a list and ensuring I have it all, printing out all the recipes (of course the ink ran out as I did) measuring out 1km for me to do the first fitness test, measuring my lard. To be honest, it is already rather exhausting and I am yet to actually get started.

Monday is the day of kick off.

While the list said to stock up on low fat ricotta, I have stocked up on deep heat and voltaren.

I may end up wearing buzzy leg warms at aerobics dance classes, anything could happen.

I expect to struggle to stay on this wagon. I am relying heavily on friends and twitter to keep me on and wondering what buzzwords I will have at the end of this 'journey'...sorry, just had to throw that last buzzword in, hope it didn't make you LOL....

Images are from Pinterest

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Career Mums, the book. You can win it right here.


Once I thought I had heaps.

Then things happen and you have none, somewhere along the way you lose faith in your own abilities and skills.

Like returning to work after you have a baby. The job isn’t working out but you stay there anyway, miserable and hating it, because you have slowly been trodden on to the point where you have no confidence left.

You think this is as good as it gets for a Mum.

Then one day, you just resign and hope that maybe a retail store or someone somewhere will be so desperate to get someone that maybe they will pick you.

Sounds so stupid to think that I really thought that way, but I did.

When I saw a call out for stories about working Mums I put my hand up. I have come a long way from that time and one of the websites I used to get me back on track was the career mums website. I had a few interviews from the site and they were the kick start to get me back on track. Advertisers, as in real employers using the site, really wanted me. Part time. 

Career Mums has just added another tool to the working Mums belt of weapons. A book. I wish someone popped it in my hands five years ago so that I was more aware that I wasn't alone and that I could make the changes I needed.

Career Mums (the book) includes all the stuff you need to read if you are thinking about working again. What you need to know, how to organise yourself, case studies of other people that have been through it all before, including me, you can read about me on page 116!

If you’re a Mum and thinking about work, or currently in a position and thinking of changing, you should really get your hands on a copy of this book, and for one lucky person, I have a copy to give away.

All you have to do is tell me (in as many words as you want) about your very first job. Tell me anything, how you got it, what you did, how badly you were paid. I will get the author Al Tait (who also writes a blog over at Life in A Pink Fibro) to pick a winner.  As for me, my first job was at the Meredith Sheep Dairy, where the papers were covered in sheep poo...I have come a long way baby.

Giveaway open to Australian people only. Entries will be accepted until 9pm Sunday 12 Feb. Judges decision is final. Please leave someway of me contacting you. PLEASE.

The fine print:

I was not paid for this post. Neither was I paid to be included in the book. Nor do I receive income from the book. But without the career mums site five years ago, I might not have the job I have now (and the income it brings). 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Me and handwriting, we are getting back together again.

Way back when I first started blogging, I was also still talking about how much I love handwriting, and especially handwritten mail.

I was reminded of it today when I read that Eden is doing a blog linky about handwriting. I love it of course and I am clicking around and checking out people's handwriting.

It doesn't have to be perfect, or neat even. Handwriting is just such a distinctive thing, I once chatted with a lady that analysed handwriting, she had worked for the federal police for over forty years. In hindsight, that would be the best job ever for me, just learning, studying, talking and reviewing handwriting.

Down below was my original post about handwriting.

I am going to start up again and send a letter or a card to a friend every week for the next six weeks.

Because I really still believe that Handwriting is the new black.

And for to be part of Eden's linky, here is my handwriting.

Post from the Past
Originally posted 18 August 2010

Everything comes typed these days, and its really getting a bit boring.

Time to get back to basics, originality, and character. Back to handwriting.

I love receiving something from a friend in the mail, but it hardly ever happens these days. I have a beautiful old hat box that I have filled with letters, cards, home made tapes(!) and notes from friends. They start from when I was about 10 and finish sometime in my mid 20s.

Recently, out of the blue I sent my good friend MissMeg a card, just to say hi. She loved it, I loved that she loved it.

So here is my new challenge:

Every week for the next six weeks I will be handwriting a letter or card and posting (remember that) the letter to someone fabulous.

If you feel up to the challenge, join in and let me know how you go.

Beautiful stationery may be desired, but not required, but it might be time to give my fancy pants pen a whirl.
Fancy Pants Pen, time for some action
I have had this ink pot for about 15 years, Mum found it somewhere, no idea how old it is, but I love to use it.

Time to get writing again.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A story about a Mole.

Home on maternity leave for the second time was when I made the decision to have two moles on my face removed. They were really bothering me. They made me feel ugly at a time when I was already not feeling so flash, baby weight, lack of sleep, still wearing maternity bras and clothing, all made me feel shabby.

So I got my referral and headed off with Mr H to the plastic surgeon to have them removed. Mr H was there as I was still feeding Immy and she came too, and also as I tend to faint with the talk of blood and needles it is best I don't drive there and back.

The surgeon talked about what we needed to do, the risks etc and that we could do it in the chair that day. I was nodding, I was keen to just get started.

He asked me if I was feeling ok. Sure I said, let's go.

No, he said. You are way too pale. You look like a ghost. One look at you and I know your blood pressure has dropped. Your fight or flight reaction has set in and your body wants to run you out of here.

He said the operation was not a biggie, but my reaction made it unsafe to do in the rooms, instead, he would admit me to the private hospital, in a year, when I was not a nursing mother and didn't have two under three to be looking after at home.

I went home with my ugly moles.

I still have them.

They are still ugly.

They still bother me, but not so much as they did at that particular time.

I will get them removed, but the cost is higher as I have to be admitted to the hospital.

I hate how my body reacts to anything at all that is about blood, gore, needles and cuts. But I can't control the reaction. My body takes over.

Can you imagine what I looked like at work yesterday when I was outside the morgue, in the wrong part of the hospital, desperate to find my way and walking in a little circle doing breathing exercises? I don't usually work anywhere near this building. The man who found me seemed to barely notice, but quickly sent me in the right direction, and finished with, "the doors at the end, they take you straight outside, if you need them'.  You can be sure that I used those doors, to ensure no trolleys came rolling past me on my way out.

How are you with such things? Piece of cake or woozy?