Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What are you called?

As a child I would never dream of calling an adult by their first name. They were Mr and Mrs Smith or our few close family friends who I had grown up with were Aunty X and Uncle Y.

You waited till your friends parent invited you to call them by their first name, generally after you left school. Even then it took me about two years to call U2's parents by their first name. We now joke about how I called them nothing for that two years, an absence of any name I felt comfortable addressing them by.

But when my friends started having children it sounded strange to be addressed as Mrs and no one else was being so called and so they all called me by my first name. MiniMe in turn calls our friends by their first name.

I had always thought that when she started school that she would start calling all the adults in her life by their proper title. Now we are here I am not so sure.

It would seem strange if she started calling our friends Mr and Mrs as she never has, so why would we change it now. I grew up not knowing my Aunts and Unlces so it didn't seem strange to call non-family that but now that my girls have Aunts and Unlces who are very much part of their lives I wonder if it is taking away from that special relationship to be using it in other relationships?

Then is it weird if she calls her school friends parents Mr and Mrs but not our family friends. Do I want MiniMe's school friends calling me by my first name or Mrs MiniMe? I suspect I will just be called MiniMe's Mum for awhile!

I like that Mr and Mrs teaches children about respecting adults but has the practice gone out the window? Is this a good or a bad thing? Is Mr and Mrs doomed to only be used on our mail?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Made it Monday.....Change table mats

I once bought a white terry toweling change table mat cover and could never find another one again. So I gave up searching. There are only so many time you can walk down the Target baby nursery aisle and be disappointed!
So I decided to try making one using the help of a craft A load of craft. This pink stripey number was my first attempt. I made it out of U2's Granny's old night gown. Reuse, Re purpose! I didn't have enough for the back so I fashioned this little elastic number on the back as no one will see it anyway.

I then thought I would try and make some better ones as gifts, for my new nephew and for my one year old niece. The one for my nephew is made out of my brothers old baby wraps. My sister in law likes red so I thought I would make a red one for her. These two both have an opening at the back that you can slot the change mat into. Should you have the right shaped change mat.....

I have since discovered that not all change mats are like mine! Just as I had finished making SIL's I found out that her change mat is long and skinny! The drawback of making gifts!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Nothing new for a year...

On a 'quick' trip to the shops for groceries I would often return with a few extra little bags of little things. Nothing too expensive just little presents for the birthday box or crafty things for the girls or $2 shop bargains. Or I would come home with things, have buyers remorse and take them back the following week. It all seemed harmless, a bit of a waste of time but harmless.

Last week I went to the shops for the first time in awhile and I came back with only my groceries. I visited two other shops for items I needed but I did not verve off course. It was liberating! It felt good not to come home with clutter or guilt over my purchases.

What has changed I hear you ask? As of the 1st February I am attempting to buy nothing new for a year. MultipleMum spoke about not buying anything new for a year and I am going to try it out. So far so good.

The rules (directly from Compact the group that seems to be the originator of the idea and MutipleMum):

1. Don't buy new products of any kind (from stores, web sites, etc.)

2. Borrow or buy used.

There are a few exceptions using the "fair and reasonable person" standard -- i.e., you'll know in your heart when you're rationalizing a violation:
  • Food, drink, and necessary medicine (no elective treatments such as Viagra or Botox)
  • Necessary cleaning products, but not equipment (don't go out and buy the Dyson Animal, for example).
  • Socks and underwear (utilitarian--non-couture or ornamental) - Pajamas for the children
  • Utilitarian services (plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, veterinarians, dog/house-sitters, fire/paramedics, dry cleaners, house cleaners, etc.) but you should support local and encourage used parts (rebuilt transmission, salvaged headlight unit, etc.)
  • Recreational services (massage, etc.) & local artisanal items - Good sources for gifts, but should not be over-indulged in for personal gratification
  • Charitable contributions - a great source for gifts
  • Plants and cut flowers - Whenever possible, cultivate from free cuttings or seeds. But if you have to, purchase from local businesses (i.e., not Bunnings)--and again, within reason
  • Art supplies - First line of attack: SCRAP. When absolutely necessary (for the professionals and talented amateurs in the group), from local businesses
  • Magazines, newspapers, Netflix - renewals only, no new subscriptions. Even better to consume online.
  • DVD rentals and downloadable music files (non-material) -- freely shared and legal, please
(I am also giving us a pardon in December for a few weeks when my father is generously taking us on an overseas holiday - it is our first and last for awhile!)

A few weeks in and it is going well. Having said that I did buy a few things at the end of January, knowing what is ahead. Lets wait till a few months down the track when the present box is empty and I want a new pair of jeans.....

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Baking a birthday cake etiquette...

I like to bake and I like baking for other people. I also like birthdays. So baking a cake for someone else's birthday is a joy for me.

Two of my niece's have had their birthdays in the last week and I have made a cake for both. This was the first one. Unfortunately it was on one of those really hot days and so the icing didn't go tot plan so we had to change the colour scheme a bit! Today's was a butterfly. Myself and the girls had a great time making both.

I understand that baking is not everyone's thing and I by no means think my cakes are masterpieces but if offering to make a cake for another child's birthday should you just keep it simple? Cake with lollies on top.

When I made a cake for a friends child, she commented that it was hard to compete with the cake I made which was obviously never my intention. I just wanted to do something nice for her daugther. In hindsight I should have checked that it was ok and what other plans she had for her birthday. (It was a chocolate cake with meringue petals on it). I did tell SIL that I was making the princess cake and asked if she wanted to keep it simpler. Todays was a surprise as I knew she wasn't having other cake today. It was part of my gift to my lovely little niece who turns one today!

As a child I use to spend hours pouring over the Woman's weekly cake book deciding on a cake and then magically Mum would make it all come together. The cake was a big part of your birthday. I loved it and it was one way that Mum showed her love for us and that we were special to her. I guess I am just trying to carry that on....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

To be or not to be...

The call went out for volunteers to be class parents. Most of the Kindy classes has many parents put up their hand, our class had four. And yes, I was one of them. We only need two.

I saw it as an opportunity to get to know the school, the other parents, the teacher, the other children in the class. As I have said before I am am not the most extroverted person so I find having a job to do makes helps me to get to know people. As we will be at the school for many many years, I figure we might as well dive in at the beginning.

Part of it might be that I loved school and I want to do all that I can to help my children love it too. I also don't mind me a bit of admin to help out a good cause.

How hard can it be to be a class parent? Or am I totally underestimating what is involved? You don't do it alone so that has to help. Any tips for new players?

We have our parent teacher information night tonight so I guess I will find out then if I am or if I am not ..... stay tuned.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Made it smock.

Ages ago I picked up a Lincraft brochure on how to make an art smock (you can also find it online). Last week it came in handy!

This fabric is kind of like block out curtain fabric so I am hoping it wont leak through. I figure MiniMe is pretty good at not getting too messy when painting now. (Famous last words!)

I also know that the days of not wanting what everyone else wants are numbered too so I will home make things until she wants what the rest of the class has! She told me she really liked it so hopefully she enjoys having something made by Mummy!

Bring on the works of art now!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tiny Tots Tuesday.. I heard you...

It is time to adapt, to change, to work out how to live in this new environment I find myself in.

MiniMe now hears all and understands much.

No longer can U2 and I have conversations at the dinner table and not have MiniMe giving her two cents worth or ask lots of questions about topics that I thought she had no interest in, things I thought she tuned out to and got lost in her own daydreams instead.

Now I must be careful what I say to friends in front of her. I was talking to SIL. The kidlets were all sitting at the table a couple of metres away happily eating snow cones when MiniMe chirps up - "I can hear you!". Later I had to ascertain what in fact she had heard. While my conversation was innocent had the story been retold inaccurately it might not have appeared so.

My phone conversations are no longer immune to questioning either. 'I heard you say to Daddy that....' Luckily I can move JJ to another room with me and she cant understand what I am saying...yet.

So I find that there is yet another thing to think about before I open my mouth. Where is MiniMe?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Made it Monday....Fairy Wings...

I made these for my Niece's 3rd birthday last week.

They are three different colours of pink netting cut in a wing shape (and sparkle added with some glitter glue!), pleated and then sewn together. I then made two covers out of fabric for the front and back and sandwiched the wings and a piece of elastic (in a figure 8 shape) between the covers. Top stitched around the covers to join it all together and presto - fairy wings!

I hope she has many adventures with them!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Can I go tomorrow?

Its been a big week in our house this week...

MiniMe has started school and is LOVING it! When I picked her up on Monday I asked her how it was and her response - "Can I go tomorrow?". Definitely loving it. She was literally bouncing off the walls on Tuesday afternoon, mainly due to the fact that she and her new friend both got the first Mini Merits in the class. Big smiles all round. Already, there does seem to have been some whose-friend-is-whose negotiations but I am assured that everyone is happy with the current set up!

Goofy started preschool on Tuesday and while she does not show the same enthusiasm as her older sister she is enjoying preschool. She was upset that she couldn't go today so I take that as a good sign that she had a good time. She is loving being at home today and having a bit of Goofy time though!

JJ stayed in bed till 7am this morning! We heard from her a few times between 5-7am but she managed to get back to sleep which is a new feat for her! Can she do it tomorrow?!?

I am so impressed with how they have all gone this week, especially as it has been so so so hot. I am trying to get my head around everyone's rountines and have put together a timetable of the week so I can have it all in one spot. I am VERY thankful the SIL and I have been able to share the drop off/pick up as having to co-ordinate preschool and school seemed an insumountable task this week. It was enough to figure out what to put in each compartment of the Tupperware lunchbox each morning (I feel the pressure to fill each compartment with an appropriate sized peice of food)!

So all are happily dancing along .... gotta love that!