Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weekend fun - live animals and sleepover essentials

Yesterday we went out to Staglands, which is a wildlife-ish park about an hour or so's drive away. I've been wanting to take TLM there since she was a toddler, but wanted to wait until she was too old for daytime naps. Then we forgot about it for a couple of years...

Anyway I think I enjoyed it at least as much as TLM did - we oohed over the baby kune kune pigs, I was followed by vibrantly-coloured birds that made me think of flying fabric swatches, TLM got her photo taken with her head stuck in the stocks (that wooden thing that imprisons you by the neck and wrists), and I was butted by the head of a friendly retired Clydesdale horse.

The only negative thing about the whole trip was the wasp that kept buzzing around us while we lunched at the cafe. I was most annoyed at having to leave without finishing my nachos...

And today we went shopping for a new booster car seat for TLM, plus a bunk bed (so she can have a friend over for a sleepover). We ended up getting a metal-framed child's bed with a trundler instead, to allay my fears that whoever is in the top bunk might fall down the ladder during a midnight trip to the toilet and break her neck...

TLM was mightily distracted by the super-girly bed linen, but I promised we'd get her some of that if she'd only focus on the blimmin' beds.

Of course, now we'll have to get whole new sets of bedlinen and duvets etc, since the current stuff is only big enough for an American-sized cot (which I think actually means Texas-sized).

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Planned weekend fun - it's the woman's job

We seemed to be in a bit of a rut at the weekends. The boy would sleep in until 9.30 or 10; TLM and I would either go out in the morning and be back with lunch by the time he was up and about; half of the afternoon was spent waiting for TLM to have her quiet time (usually a DVD on the sofa); and by then we'd have only an hour or two to do something together before it was time for TLM's dinner-bath-bedtime.

I'd often suggest to the boy that we do something fun. Sometimes I even suggested a specific activity, like going to Staglands (a wildlife park/farm park). Then I'd be disappointed when the weekend came and went, with no mention of it from the boy.

Then I found out that he'd been waiting for me to organise these things.

So last weekend we all went to a gallery out of town and marveled at an exhibition of fantasy art (after which the boy went home while TLM and I stayed in town to watch some Chinese New Year performances).

This weekend we'd intended to go for a bush walk up the hill and take a proper picnic (by 'proper' I mean with fresh rolls and nice sandwich fillings, rather the usual box of biscuits and two bottles of tap water).

But it turned out to be my nephew's birthday (I'm a bad auntie), so instead we went shopping for his present and went to their house to give it to him. Tomorrow I'll probably take TLM to the watch the CNY parade, but the boy is not a parade sorta guy so he'll probably be at home working.

Maybe next week maybe we'll go to Staglands.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Reasons for cheer

I was brought up to look at the dark and scary side of life (and there's probably a bit of genetics in there too). Although this should have been an advantage if I were a blues singer or maker of indie movies - well I'm neither.
So I have been researching how to be cheerful on the 'Net and the first five minutes have actually been quite fruitful.

Out of the 11 reasons to be cheerful listed on the lifehack webpage, I actually score pretty well. I guess I just need to see this more often:
  1. I'm alive
  2. my health - I wouldn't be the ideal human specimen that every alien probe dreams of, but then I don't have any life threatening diseases and, no matter how much I've moaned about my various health complaints, at least I can pass for normal most of the time. 
  3. I'm in a relationship with someone I love and who loves me
  4. I have family - a child, a parent (apparently a plus even if she knows how to push all my insanity buttons), a sibling, an in-law who is amazing, and a great nephew and niece
  5. I am in full time employment (a plus just 'cos I can't afford not to be)
  6. I'm doing something that adds value to society (by working for a non-profit)
  7. I can look back on my life and be proud of certain achievements (my travels, my efforts at painting, writing and sewing)
  8. I have something to look forward to (the day the boy is secure enough in his employment that I can go part-time, a trip to the UK to visit the boy's family - whenever they may be)
  9. a plan for the future - not really
  10. financial security - only just
  11. friends - I have been sadly slack in keeping in touch with my friends, but have been working on that. I managed to call two friends last month which is better that I've done in the previous 6 months.
That's about 7/11 and nothing to be sneezed at.
None of the above are especially glamorous or exciting, but I read somewhere that it's the little stuff that keeps us glad to be alive. I'm all for that.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

If I could have just one belated new year's resolution...

it would be to go part time again this year.

I've become far to precious with my time as I've gotten older and busier, jealousy portioning out my non-working, non-chore-doing, non-sleeping hours like a lost mountaineer trying to survive on half a peanut slab last until the rescuers arrive.

Because there's not much point being stingy with the stuff if it's not enough to give you pleasure.

On the other hand, I don't want to give up any of my interests, nor deprive myself of time with the people I like to be with.

Something has got to give. I hope it can be my work hours.