Sunday, July 19, 2009

OMG I'm stamping!

Hard to believe, but I have done more stamping in the last week than I have in the last 3 months. Even more amazing is that I am doing it despite the kids being sick.

I don't participate in art swaps any more, and have only one monthly birthday club obligation which sadly I didn't always meet. I've really enjoyed the intensive stamping I've been doing and don't for a minute think I can maintain the same level of productivity longterm. I do think I can maintain a regular creative habit again.

I've subscribed to a couple more online art communities. I don't have immediate plans to return to swaps etc but I think surrounding myself with arty inspirations in going to help keep me on the straight and narrow.

I wish I could upload some pics of my recent creations ... but DH took the camera on his business trip to HK (sniff - wish I was there too!!)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

This time last year

In our final weeks in Singapore the kids had big things going on at school. MsA performed in her second "musical spectacular". She performed a solo on piano playing the Celine Dion song from Titanic. She then organised two of her best friends and the three of them sang the song to the music director's accompaniment.

Here they are with their Grade 3 teacher.

To think, if we were still in Singapore Amy would be graduating from Elementary school this week!

Thankfully DH made it back to Singapore in time to see MrT's Kindergarten graduation. Yes, I know it's silly to have a graduation ceremony from kinder, but I guess as the kinder program was 3 yrs, it's a pretty big deal.

I'm surprised to discover we don't have any photos of all the chaos that was packing up the apartment. Just goes to show how busy I was - no time for photos!

Monday, June 08, 2009

A weekend of small celebrations

Yay for the kids!
It's time to hold my kids up high and help them celebrate their recent achievements.

On Saturday MrT had a great soccer game and received the award for best on field. He scored the first goal with a powerful kick some distance from the goal, and spent the rest of the game following the ball intently. Sorry only Daddy got to see you play this week (I was home with sick kids!)

Then, Saturday afternoon, at Chinese school, MrT was due to change classes to a "beginner: non chinese speaking background" class, but at the last moment his teacher told him he would be placed in the "chinese speaking background class" because he has been doing so well, and keeping up with the native chinese speakers in his class previously. Wow! Don't know if this is due to his Chinese exposure in Singapore, because he had certainly forgotten everything before he started lessons here this year.

Not to be outdone, MsA was promoted in her swimming on Sunday. The kids have only been having lessons for about 3 wks in preparation for Nippers next summer. MsA has lessons twice a week, MrT once a week. MsA is so impressed, as she can see that obtaining (pool) swim proficiency (200m in 5min) at the start of nippers season is looking more achievable.

Not forgetting MrM, where everyday with him is the celebration of new skills. MrM, my late talker, is speaking like crazy now. New words are emerging everyday, and I love hearing his little sentences (which no one but family can understand - articulation can come later!). He is also developing an amusing sense of conscience, and has no qualms dobbing his siblings in if he thinks they have done something wrong.

I love you all, my gorgeous kids.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I've been here before

I started a new job a few weeks ago. It's only 2 days a week, which is about all I wanted. It all came together in a strange way. The job was only advertised in a limited arena and as a temporary position ... I decided to apply without telling DH - I guess just to prove to myself that I could still do it.

When I found out about the position I emailed a friend from uni that I recently reconnected with (the wonders of Facebook!) to ask her help with the application process. It turned out that the job was where she worked, and was actually the residual hours from her full time position (she now works part time).

I was so nervous before the interview - it's the first interview I'd had since 2001. In the end I didn't end up doing anything to prepare, reassuring myself that I am an experienced therapist and have good clinical reasoning - enough that I can talk my way through an interview. It all worked out! I actually found it the easiest, most relaxed interview I've ever done.

The work is familiar. I'm still trying to get my head around all the administrative processes that exist in government offices. I'm also getting used to the consultative service model used, which sees me spending less time "doing therapy" and more time developing program plans and resources for families/teachers to implement themselves.

I'm feeling confident. I'm fitting in.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Walking the tightrope

Life is such a balancing act.

I try not to beat myself up too much, but it's frustrating that I never seem to achieve the goals that I set myself.

I don't think it's that I aim my goals too high - I mean it's not like having an empty kitchen sink is unachievable!

I know I do distract myself with things like computer time and TV. I'm trying to think of it than rather than being rigid and task focussed I am flexible and responsive to changing family needs. As someone who used to be a total perfectionist and master of multi-tasking, a little voice of the me I used to be screams out "you're just avoiding things ... making excuses ... lazy"

It seems the more rundown I become, the louder that voice is, and the harder it is to ignore.

Well, it may be that using the "I'm too tired" excuse is not a cop out after all. For once in my life I actually went to the doctor for a physical. Like most mothers, I always put myself at the bottom of the list for things like that. I didn't expect anything to come of it, as I was feeling my normal, tired self. It turns out that I have low iron stores, even though my heamoglobin is OK. When the doctor explained the significance of the results, it made perefect sense. She described it as "running on empty" ... having enough energy to get through the day - just! It's all an effort!

As we are pretty confident that my dietary intake of iron is sufficient, tests are continuing and hopefully we will have some answers in 3 months.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Consumption issues

Have you ever noticed the more you have of something, the less you use it? Maybe it's just me.
I suffer this issue with regards to my art supplies.
I remember when I first started my paper arts journey years ago, I had few supplies (largely because the market was much smaller and fewer products were out there), but I was happily creating with them.

I was much more prolific with my art and enjoyed participating in the few small online groups that supported the craft.
Now there are hundreds of groups, thousands of products. The market has grown amazingly.

For me, that is not a great thing. I have been sucked into the marketing and bought more and more. I spend more time looking at magazines and blogs etc looking for inspiration and new ideas (and then getting intimidated by what I see, or ending up woith long shopping listd of the latest must have products) than I do actually coming up with my own ideas and actually using the products I already have. I mean, how many black inkpads do you need???

This weekend CraftFest is on. It's yet another craft fair which is launching. I have decided NOT to go. I have also decided I will miss many of the other shows this year, only going to the Paperarts specific one in October.

This will give me time to use some of the supplies I already have in my craft room, and to be clear what are my "needs", come October.

Friday, February 27, 2009


Life goes on.

Both my boys had birthdays this month. We were good and took lots of photos, unfortunately they are stuck on the network PC and I can't upload them now.

MrT had a party with 9 friends from school. They had a blast, and I'm so happy for them.
MrM had a quiet bday and managed to blow out his candle this year. Yay!

So much more to say and do ... where to find the time and the words?? It's lucky that life goes on!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mother Nature

The worst bushfire disaster in Australia's history continues. Victoria burns. QLD is flooded. Madness.

Last I heard this morning the death toll from the fires surpassed 180 (with more expected, as search and recovery continues) with over 1000 homes lost. The tragedy is hard to comprehend, and for the most part I'm trying to ignore news updates as the news is too hard to take in. I've also been disgusted to see TV getting right in the faces of people during tearful reunions at evacuation centres. I guess I can understand that after all the bad news TV shows are hoping for exclusive good news stories. It just seems such an invasion of privacy.

I'm pretty sure all my nearest and dearest are safe. Mum and Dad were fortunate in that they had big fires come through the week before, as they had pretty much the entire state's fire fighting resources defending their town. I think about 30 properties on the outskirts of town were destroyed, thankfully no deaths. At the time it was horrific. Mum and Dad were one of about 6 families in the town that decided to saty and defend their homes. Apparently flying embers from the main fire front caused spot fires in the vacant land surrounding their house block.

Who would have thought that having such a fierce fire was actually a good thing, but it proved to be. It created a large firebreak for the town, so that while fires this week have been close there is nothing left to burn.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

and now, back to your regular programming

My impromptu trip to Anaheim is over. I got back home yesterday, and it's now back to normal life. DH did a pretty good job keeping the house organised and the kids entertained. There were a couple of minor tasks that needed to be done that were missed, but never mind.

I had a great time away. I thought I'd miss the kids more than I did, but I guess being so busy and tired had it's advantages.

The CHA show was much smaller and quieter than last year. I think maybe a third smaller. Lots of big players chose not to exhibit. I scary sign of the economy and the state of the industry. The only buzz in the whole event was the appearance of Paris Hilton as she launched her own scrapbook line called pariscreativity. Very much marketted at the tween market and destined to be found at mass distribution chains like Michael's in the US, and Spotlight in Aus/NZ.

The show finished on Wednesday. That evening I walked 2 miles (!!!) for icecream. It was a silly thing to do, especially as it was winter and not what you would call icecream weather. I partly did it out of a sense of obligation. DH had gone to much trouble finding the nearest store that had my favourite flavour, which is not available in Australia. Devouring a full pint of icecream in one night does sound pretty horrendous, but gosh, it was delicious!!

My icecream binge fuelled me for Disneyland the next day. A group of 5 of us went, but only Kristy and myself are fans of BIG rides. We had a blast, numbers in the park were low too, so we were able to have multiple rides without long queues. I was sad that I had to leave early to catch my flight home - missed the fireworks etc.

Glad to be home.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The CHA miracle

In less than 4 days I will be on a plane to LA. Who'da thunk it?
I'm off to CHA to help out Kristy and the gang at the Far Flung Craft booth. Last year I was there in "official capacity" as a partner in the biz. This year, as a result of the move I reluctantly withdrew from the business. I've tried to help out wherever I can, and act as a distribution point for Australia. I didn't think I'd be at another CHA in any capacity.

Quick rewind to last Thursday night: just before bed, DH checked his email and discovered that he had freq flyer miles expiring soon. He made some passing remark that if we had known earlier maybe we could have tried to work out a way to get to CHA next week. I'm sure he thought that was the end of that. Suffice it to say that by the time he got up the next morning I had itinerary all worked out. Thankfully he and Kristy both said YES.

So, I'm off on my first trip without the kids in years. Woo hoo!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Catch up time

Phew, what a busy time it has been.

* Christmas with the in-laws. So much fun, lots of people, lots of booze. The kids loved meeting their cousins and the freedom of being in the country.

* Brought the Stag home with us. Yay! All kinds of dramas with rego etc, but it is now sitting in our garage (the first car that has). We've yet to work out rego, repairs, club membership etc here and we may take our time with that as it all costs $$$$

* We have a puppy! As soon as we got back after xmas we started our puppy search. We were looking at rescue groups, and had found one puppy (Oliver), but that fell through as his rescuer discovered aggressive behaviour and said he wasn't safe to be rehoused yet. She recommended that as a family with young kids we reconsider getting a rescue dog with unknown history. Within a week we found Toby, a 4mth old border collie from a breeder down the coast. He has been with us for a week now, and has settled in nicely (despite trying to "escape" within 2hrs of arriving!). It is hard work though - worse than a baby I think! This is the first time I've had a dog in suburbia - very different from a working dog on the farm.

* The last few days (in between entertaining puppy or kids) I've been busy creating sample artwork for Far Flung Craft for display at CHA in 2wks. I was so glad I could sit down and make something to help out Kristy. Hope they are good enough to display. I was so excited and overwhelmed to be at CHA last year. A bit sad that I couldn't be there this time.