Saturday, 29 June 2013

Me & Mikey.....

Hubby works long, long you can't really blame me for turning to Mikey for a bit of company and a bit of creativity....

I mean Mikey is always there when I need him and he has the patience of a saint.  We have so much in common and  his voice is so calm and easy to listen to...  which is probably the best part of our liaison because if Mikey is going to teach me to crochet I am going to have to listen to his voice over and over and over again as I watch his YouTube videos and play them repeatedly, pausing and rewinding as I try to get the hang of this crochet thing!

After just half an hour with Mikey I was able to start my very own blanket....

And after only a few hours it has grown to this...

Crocheting a blanket like this is perfect for me as I don't have to count stitches or read a pattern and I can just put it down and pick it back up again which works well with all of the interruptions which are inevitable in my world!  I can also grab my crochet and take it with me to do a bit while waiting at school pick ups or at after school activities.

Now to try to find someone as wonderful as Mikey to help me improve my basic knitting skills!

I can knit plain, I can knit purl and I can sometimes even knit combinations of the two!  But I struggle with the casting on and reading the pattern...and should I make a mistake somewhere along the way then the whole project gets relegated to the back of the this moss stitch dress that I started for Miss 8 about 2 years ago!

My mum used to be my saviour in casting on with just the perfect tension and magically fixing any mistakes that I seemed to make from dropping stitches to somehow adding extra stitches along the way.  And in the event that I did eventually finish a project (think that has happened twice!!) she would sew all the pieces together for me. Sadly my mum passed away five years ago this week so it is now up to me to teach myself some more crochet and knitting skills and then to share them with my girls.

If that fails I guess I could just send them a link to Mikey xx

So as not to be's a link so you can have a little bit of Mikey in your life too!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

As Ready As I'll Ever Be....

Today is Parent/Teacher interviews at my eldest 3 daughters high school.

That equates to seeing some 18 teachers, spread over 6-8 classrooms in various wings of the school, in the allotted 5-10 minute time frames....that is over 3 HOURS in total !!!!!!

Oh my gosh!!  This is  my first  year with three at high school...I remember last year's parent teacher interviews when there were just two of the girls there and it seemed to take forever.  But now there is a new meaning to FOREVER.

And did I mention that along with Miss 15, Miss 14 and Miss 12 that Miss 4 will be in tow....eek!

Miss 4 is the epitome of unpredictable.  So far already this morning she had refused to wear the clothes that she decided upon last night, she refuses to leave until she has eaten all of her piece at a time....the list goes on.....

I feel a headache coming on already  :-(  

Well it's nearly time to go.....I guess I am as ready as I'll ever be.....

Plan A is to appear the good parent....healthy-ish snacks, wondrous assortment of activities....

Plan B is to try to leave with even the smallest shred of dignity intact .....whatever it takes ......crap snacks and ipad....

How long do you think it'll take til I'm onto Plan B?  Wish me luck!!!!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Getting Organised With a very DISORGANISED Mum of Five Girls #2 Fridge/Freezer Tips

So this week's organisational tips have been a bit delayed due to my state of disorganisation..ironic much!

An area of constant frustration is my fridge/freezer so this week I have decided to tackle this problem and see what solutions I could come up with.  

With 7 people constantly opening the fridge/freezer, rummaging around for food, moving things around etc... the fridge and freezer are always a disaster.  I clean it out and a few days later disaster again!!

Add to this the fact that grocery shopping is often done on the run so bags of cold items are shoved wherever they fit whilst I run out the door to pick up the kids or get to sport etc...  The disaster never ends!

Some of the main issues are that the condiments placed on the table for our evening meal are put back in the fridge with extreme haste by the children responsible for that chore....they seemingly cannot see if the sauce tips over and leaks down the inside of the fridge or if the salad dressing spills all over the fruit and veg....their main concern is to get their chores done and get the hell out of there!

Leftovers have become another area of contention.  Aforementioned children who throw the condiments back in the fridge can often be caught shoving leftovers into the dark depths of the fridge rather than face scraping, rinsing and washing the bowl or plate that the food is on...ingenious I know but frustrating none the less!!

So it was time to tackle the fridge/freezer (not literally of course!) and try to create some order that would last more than an hour or two.....

I can't believe that I am doing this.....but I am going to show you a before photo.....

tried a little photo editing to distract you from the mess in the fridge/freezer there...did it work!!??

Here are a few ideas that I have come up with...

Tip # 1...... Use Containers .....

I thought about some possible solutions to the condiments problem and decided that it might be useful to put the regularly used condiments into a basket/container of some description which can then be taken in whole to the table each night and after dinner it can be put back into the fridge housing all of the condiments.

I also decided to group like items into various baskets/containers to stop them from straying to other areas of the fridge.  I put all of the breakfast type condiments, jams etc... into one container so the same principle breakfast time the container can be removed, the preferred condiment used and then the whole container goes back into the fridge.

So it has been 3 days and this system is working well so far (hopefully the novelty won't wear off!)

Here's a photo of the containers in the fridge.....

 and here are the regular dinner condiments at the table in their container....

The use of the baskets/containers has definitely helped to keep things in order to date and gives more items a designated home.

I have used the same container concept in the freezer when I do a big grocery shop and come home with loads of meat I sort them into various sized portions, put into freezer bags, label them (well usually!!) and then I put the steak into one container, chicken into another, sausages into another etc..  Makes it heaps easier to pull out the correct meat for that night and it all stays nice and neat in the freezer...rather than random blobs of miscellaneous frozen meats!

(If I could find my label maker I would even label all of the baskets/containers....might need to make stationery department a focus of my organisation soon!!)

Tip # 2...... Fridge Rules .....

The issue of leftovers was one that was a tad tricky....some nights I am happy for the leftovers to be disposed of or fed to the cat....other nights I can see an opportunity to refashion the leftovers into a meal the following night. So I devised some fridge rules.....

Rule #1  Any return of leftovers to the fridge must be approved my mum.  Then all leftovers must be placed on the bottom shelf in a sealed container....not half-heartedly covered in foil or glad wrap.

Rule #2  All condiments baskets/containers are to be placed back into the fridge in the exact same position where they can from (no excuses ....... refer to the photo below!!).

Rule# 3  If you cause a spillage or see a clean a spillage.

No doubt there will be more rules to come as I think of them!

Tip # 3...... Eye Level .....

Lastly I have tried to keep certain foods at eye level to Miss 4 that I would prefer she choose as an option....such as small yoghurts  cheese and other approved snacks!!  This way she will think she chose and perhaps she will be more inclined to eat it!

So here is the finished fridge/freezer....still looking good after 4 days!!  A huge improvement on the before photo I'd say!

Sadly with school holidays looming  it looks as though we are due for another grocery shop.....!!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Getting Organised With a very DISORGANISED Mum of Five Girls #1 School Tips

My husband would laugh so hard if he knew I was writing a weekly blog about being organised...but hey I wouldn't blame fact I admit to being the most disorganised person that I know. 

So here's to my weekly organisational tips...some that I currently already use...some that I plan to adopt....  Let's see where this organisation can take us!

Since it is a Monday morning and the rush out the door to school is still fresh on my mind I think I will start with school tips.....

Tip # 1...... Use a Weekly Planner.....

With 3 daughters in high school, 1 in primary school and 1 in preschool there is not a day that goes by that is not somebody's library day, news day, violin day, sports day...etc....etc... 

There is no way that I can commit all of this to my failing memory so I keep a Weekly Planner attached to the back of the front door.  This way I see it as we are leaving each morning, and provided that I can recall which day of the week it is, I can do a quick check that correct uniforms are on etc..

The weekly planner that I have is a whiteboard one and I use a non-permanent white board marker to write on it as sport days, news days etc... can often change each term.  It is also magnetic so if need be I can pop a last minute permission slip on there so that it can be grabbed on the way out the door.

Tip # 2...... Have a Central Location for School Bags, Hats etc.....

With 5 bags needing to be accounted for on school days it works best for me to have them all located in a central place.

I was lucky enough to come across this wonderful message centre complete with 5 chalkboards and 5 with 5 children it is perfect .  We have it hanging in our entrance way so that school bags are not left on the floor for mum to trip over repeatedly!!  Hats and library bags etc... can also be hung here so as not to be forgotten.

With the bonus of a small chalkboard per child this has also become a central communication area as well.  Generally at 3 pm I am  bombarded with "I need this...." and "By Friday I have to have...." and "I need money for ...."   Now I can pretty much guarantee that  I am going to forget 100% of this by the time I make it now the girls have a designated blackboard each and it is their responsibility to write up things that they may need for the week.  

So if Miss 15 needs to take materials for her tech project on Thursday she writes it up as soon as she finds out....if Miss 14 needs to make a payment for her Japanese trip she writes up the amount and the due date.... if Miss 12 needs fabric for sewing she writes this up.... if Miss 8 needs money for iceblock days this week she write what days....(ok Miss 4 generally just draws pictures but hey!!)....this way hubby and I can look at the boards, see who needs what and by when and we can save ourselves a lot of last minute running around.  And if it is not written up....then it won't be've been warned !!!!!

Tip # 3...... Plan Ahead with Lunches and Snacks.....

Each grocery shop I would buy up on lunch box snacks, hand a few out each day and keep the rest in the pantry.  Faster than expected the supplies would diminish ...seems little hands, and some not so little hands, would help themselves to the treats when I wasn't looking.  

With a tight budget to keep to I had to find a better way to store these items so I went out and purchased some small plastic tubs and labelled on for each of the girls....and one for hubby too.  So whenever I would get home with the grocery shopping I would immediately get the tubs and I would distribute all of the snacks accordingly.  

I keep the girls tubs up high (which may have been somewhat more dramatic when they were younger but now that Miss 15 is some 163 cm tall and towers over me I am sure that it has lost its dramatic effect....but there is still the scary mummy glare to keep them away from the tubs!!)   

Each morning I simply grab the girls tubs from the top of the cupboard, line them up on the table, and pop their lunches on top.  The girls know that the snacks have to last the week so if they go too hard too fast they then go hungry later in the week!

I have used this system for probably 5 years now and it really works well for me.  It saves me money because the snacks are not being consumed other than for school lunches and I can customise each of their tubs with the things that they like to help reduce the amount of food that doesn't get eaten at school! 

Now that the girls are getting older a sandwich doesn't always cut it for lunch.  I still keep a stash of vegemite sandwiches in the freezer for Miss 8 and Miss 4, and also for desperate weeks where everything is going wrong....better than starving I say.  I also keep some buttered bread in the freezer as well....then I can quickly turn this into a gourmet cucumber and cheese sandwich which is Miss 14's  lunch of preference at the moment.  I also chop up extra salad stuff each night and hide it away in the fridge so that in the morning I can perhaps add a little leftover dinner or dice up a bit of chicken or ham to add to it to make a reasonable lunch for Miss 15 who is adverse to the whole concept of sandwiches!

Tip # 4..... Have a Spare....

No matter how many times you asked everyone if they had everything, and even if you went through it item by item there will undoubtedly be at least one child that declares that they do not have their hat or their news item on arrival at the school gates.....

Now hubby may just think that I like a messy car.....but in actual fact if you overlook cleaning it out on a regular basis you will be sure to find something that will suffice for news that day once you dust off a few crumbs!!

And always keep a spare hat in the boot and some spare change in the centre console as well!

Tip # 5......Check, check and check again.....

I am forever asking the girls if they have everything ready for school the next day....and the response is always the same drawn out 'yyyeeeesss'.  Then inevitably the sun rises and their school shoe has gone missing, their tights are not where they left them, they just need their diary, their blazer is get the idea !!

So huge note to self here.....I must physically check that each child has everything that they need.....I must see it all laid out.....right down to the socks and undies!!  

I must get them to check their diary for the next day and I must see them pack their bags....

Seriously what seems like a pain in the butt each night will be a ray of sunshine each morning when things run a lot smoother.

So always check and double check..don't just ask!!

So there you have my  5 organisational tips for week 1......I hope that they were helpful in some way.

See you next week for some more tips!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

What is my Sanity Worth ......

Miss 4 may be small in stature....but she is big in fact if we were marking her on her persistence she would get an A+ every time.

A few weeks ago she ventured out to the supermarket with hubby....a rare event that she leaves without me....

Anyhow she comes home with photo evidence on hubby's iPhone of all the things she saw at the shop that she now expects me to purchase over time.....that is over a very short space of time in her mind....not so in my mind.

Some of the things were negotiable, some she decided she didn't need or want, some she decided to swap for something else etc..

But sadly the one thing that she has not forgotten are the Monsters Inc soft toys which are currently adorning nearly every inch of shelf space  (at least I think they are Monsters Inc...I could be wrong!)...they are throughout the fruit n veg section, they are next to the milk section, far out they are just basically everywhere.

Every day for the past three weeks...EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. ... she has asked if we are going to buy the monster today.  Far out I don't even want to buy a Monsters Inc toy....ever.....and at $29 that is never ever.  So I have used up every excuse I can think of....we are not going to the shops today, they don't have them anymore, the shops are closed right now, perhaps for your birthday, maybe you could ask Santa, I don't have enough money.....oh and simply NO!!!

Well last night she took matters into her own hands.....she searched around the house and found her purse....dropped out all of her coins.....had Miss 8 count them for her....and then announces that she has money so we can go to the shops tomorrow and buy the monster.  Further questioning reveals that she only has $8.75.....

Triumphantly I announce that she doesn't have enough money so will have to wait until she does to buy the {gosh damn stupid} monster.  She thinks it over....goes away for a moment....... returns.....and announces that now she has enough and we can go and buy the monster tomorrow.....

OMG!!!!!!!  Maybe I should just buy the {friggin} monster before she does my head in and I completely lose the small amount of sanity that I have left. 

So it seems that my sanity is worth a grand total of $29...or more accurately $20.25 if I take Miss 4's coins into account !!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

The Weekend is Upon Us....

I have just been struck with the realisation that the weekend is rapidly approaching.....and if we have the energy that could mean a family outing on Sunday....'yay' you say....yeah well you have not seen that state of the family car....seriously it is sooo bad that I couldn't even bring myself to take a before photo for this blog.....

And we all know how hubby's hate a messy looks like my afternoon will be spent trying to return the car to some state of I go armed with more than a few plastic bags....don't hold your breath waiting for my return......

 :-(          :-(            :-(          :-(          :-(            :-(          :-(           :-(            :-(            :-(

Okay so I'm back....some hour and a half would have been longer if I could have maintained my initial high level of attention to detail...but my 'it'll do' level of attention to detail took over after a while....seriously it might even rain on Sunday....or flood, or we might all be sick, or we might all sleep in, so why be so pedantic when this outing might not even happen....

Ok it was pretty gross in there !!!!!  So this will remain a photo-less blog !!!  Here's a bit of what I managed to salvage from the car....

3 school notes requiring permission slips signed and returned...thankfully for three different daughters so that kinda shares the parental incompetence around a bit.

1 high school blazer.... at the price these things cost they should be mounted and framed...or at least hung on a coat hanger dear daughters.  I am sure I have no single item of clothing that even comes close to the price of these.

A considerable portion of Miss 4's wardrobe....some clean...some not so clean.

2 school drink bottles....looks like some people will be thirsty today!

Ah ha my shoes that I have searched the house for over the past few days.

2 violin music books.

2 blankets....well now that's justifiable surely...sometimes it gets cold at sporting activities.

4 teddy bears of varying sizes.

1 doll.

2 tupperware bowls and 1 spoon

4 pencils and 1 pencil sharpener.

2 pairs of pull ups....unused thankfully!

1 pair of scissors.

4 hair elastics and 7 bobby pins...treasure trove !

$3.85....great if you don't mind sticky coins in your purse!

1 Sewing machine...okay so it may sound a tad odd but there is a simple explanation...Thursday nights Miss 12 does sewing lessons which is BYO sewing machine...and given my laziness upon our return home at 9.20pm it stayed in the car overnight!

Crumbs....crumbs....and more crumbs....Hansel and Gretel would have been envious of the amount of crumbs we had.

A magnum no seriously I have no idea where that came from...really I don't  ;-)

There you have it....the car is now presentable.....if you don't count the fingerprints all over the windows...and that bird poop that I am hoping the next lot of rain will wash off.  But the house on the other hand.....well I now have 3 bags of rubbish, 2 extra loads of washing waiting in the laundry, a bunch of teddies and toys to put away.....

Tomorrow I might even take the car to the servo and tackle that big vacuum cleaner thingy...and even get a squirt of lovely air freshener....  whoa getting carried away....more realistically  that's probably not going to happen!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Taxing Time...oops I mean Tax Time...

In my little corner of the world today it is currently about 9 degrees ...chilly .......overcast ....raining .....and overall a bit miserable.

So what does one do with oneself on such an indoors only day...???

Sadly they start doing their tax....a job that I put off...and put off...and put off....until the deadline looms and I usually have to do a 36 hour tax marathon to complete our business and personal taxes on time.

This "tax evasion" on my part could have something to do with the filing system that I am currently using...

hmmm what do you think.....leaves a bit to be desired doesn't it.  Honestly I start every financial year with the best of's just that life (and laziness) gets in the way.

So no more procrastinating.....I am going to start as soon as I've turned on the heater, made a hot chocolate, washed the floor, baked a cake, oh and written a blog....... I promise !!!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

My Long Weekend In Pictures...and some words...!!

I love long them!!!

I love that the pace slows down from our usual frantic rush, rush, rush.
I love that there was no sport!!
I love that hubby didn't have to go to work on Saturday.
I love the sleep-ins and slow mornings.
I love that breakfast is served soooo late that it eliminates the need for lunch  ;-)
I love the chance to sit back, watch a bit of tv and relax.
I love the chance to do some baking.
I love the chance to catch my breath before the next week starts.
I love that we are all home together!
and I love that the kitchen is still clean after all of that!!!!

til the next long weekend xx

Saturday, 8 June 2013


Yes I have been cleaning the kitchen all day !!!

It is just one of those jobs that drives me crazy.....I start cleaning....then the girls want I pause my cleaning to whip up some pancakes (it would have been cereal or toast but we were out of a few basic staples this morning....superior parenting!!) then I have to clean up from breakfast and resume cleaning.

Before you know it the girls are requesting lunch.... seriously......I am trying to clean the kitchen!!!  So I grab a few random things and put them on the dining table in a self serve fashion and get back to my cleaning.

Afternoon tea, dinner...the interruptions to my cleaning just don't stop!!!!

But I am glad to say that I pushed on and have 99% finished the kitchen....I would have wiped up those last dishes but thanks to Miss 4's help with the mopping it may be a week before that floor dries.

Check out my before shots...

And my 8 friggin hours later shots.....

And sadly the breakfast, lunch, dinner thing will happen all over again tomorrow....and the next day...and the next...

Oh well tomorrow is a new day....and a new room to clean.....just great   :-(

I Chose.....

'C'....go back to bed !!  (Just in case you missed the compelling choices you can find them just below in the previous blog!!)

Once the 3 eldest were safely off to the bus stop this morning I quietly snuck back into was so warm and cozy!!  Sadly it was not long before I had to get up as I heard a van pull up out the front and knew it was a delivery hubby has been waiting on all week.  But still any extra time spent in bed is a bonus in my eyes!

But now in the light of day the overwhelming disaster in the kitchen can no longer be seriously needs some work if we ever plan to cook or eat again....

So sadly this is where the rest of my day will be spent.....  Here's a little photo evidence of the disaster zone....hopefully I can pop back later today with an update if my dishpan hands will be able to type :-)

Friday, 7 June 2013

A...B...or...C ??

Ok so tomorrow Miss 8 has a pupil free day and  Miss 4 has nothing once I get the older three off to the bus stop I am going out, no dropping off....nothing til I walk down to the corner at 3.15pm to pick the girls back up from the bus stop.

So herein lies the dilemma.....

When the girls are gone should I.....

A....sort the copious amounts of washing strewn all over the lounges and pack away all of the summer clothes...pretty sure we won't be needing them in a hurry !!

B....clean the kitchen from top to bottom....I mean a full overhaul...cupboards emptied and wiped out, pantry emptied and sorted, benches cleaned til the sparkle, fridge emptied of less than tempting leftovers !!


C....go back to bed....seriously I am exhausted !!!!!

Where would your vote go?  I am leaning towards C though I know I should be doing A or B...but bed is just so warm and cosy!!!!!!!!

We shall see what the morning brings!!!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Down Hill....

Okay so not that I have many posts to base this data on....but from what I do have I can clearly see that most of my posts come out early in the quite clearly it all goes down hill in my household from about Tuesday onwards !!!!

Every week seems to be the same....not enough hours, not enough energy, not enough organisation, not enough planning, not enough motivation......not enough of anything except mess !!!!!!

I try to start the week with some level of snacks are divided up for the week, lunches are planned and prepared ahead where possible, uniforms are all washed and ironed, the nightly meals are planned and shopped for..... sounding okay so far hey......

BUT!!!!  then every afternoon except Fridays we have after school activities, throw in a few meetings that I have to the last week I have been to a Yr 11 2014 subject choices meeting, a primary school P&F meeting (yep I'm the fundraising co-ordinator) and a meeting concerning the introduction of a program to make ipads compulsory for years 8 & 9 in 2014 (great I will have a daughter in each of these years...diminishing bank balance!)....throw a sick Miss 4 on top of that....and yes you have it....disaster !!!!

And I mean real disaster.....not just the 'oh please excuse the mess' comment that most people throw at you when you visit their pristine homes!!! 

I mean the... just wait while I move that pile of washing from the lounge chair so you can sit down....I'd offer you a cup of tea but the dishes haven't been done this week.... umm no it would be preferable if you didn't use the bathroom...and no there is nothing to see in the backyard.....DISASTER....!!!

And to top it off Miss 15's maths tutor comes on a off I go to clear a path from the front door out to the dining table....whilst closing all other doors where possible and hiding everything else that I can...fingers crossed he doesn't need to use the bathroom !!!

Somehow I have to turn this weekly state of disaster around....I need to stop the down hill slide that starts early every week.....hmmmm wish me luck !!!!!

Not a great blog.....just crazy ramblings from a busy busy mum wishing that the cleaning fairy would ready the house for this afternoon !!!!!!