Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Raised pulse rate!

We recently went to Sydney for my nephews 6th Birthday party. It was at an indoor car racing track. Miniature cars on electric tracks that is, not life sized ones! The kids had fun racing their allocated car around the twists and turns of the track using their hand held controller.

Every time a car did a lap and went past the start line there was a "beep"

I couldn't work out why I had a very anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach as the races progressed. Suddenly it clicked. These beeps were happening at a random rhythm.


It sounded exactly like the beeps on our heart monitors in the hospital. If any of my patients had an irregular heart rhythm like that I would be calling the Doctor!
Even now back in work as I listen to my patients pulse I find myself smiling and remembering the excitement of the party!

*Disclaimer* No hearts we harmed in the writing of this blog post!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Holidays at last!

I love the first day of school holidays. We have two weeks stretching out in front of us and a list of 101 ideas that the kids want to squeeze in! We seem to have created a tradition of sorts for the first Monday of the school break. The kids emerge from lie-ins and get to slob about in pj's eating breakfast in front of the tv. Sounds perfect? Not for long! Once they are all fed I ask them to all work together as fast as they can doing a big tidy-up and cleaning blitz. The reward afterwards is a trip into the local town to a cafe where they can chose something sweet and I can have a coffee.

They start in their rooms and sort through all their school paperwork that has built up all term, file away important stuff and bin obsolete notes. Next they vacuum their rooms and help with a variety of house chores that normally are done by me each Monday while they are in school. Some jobs challenge them to learn new skills and gives me an opportunity to show them how to do things they normally take for granted.

One Baynham child (who shall remain nameless) made me crack up laughing. When teaching her how to clean the washbasin in the bathroom I told her to get stuck in and use some elbow grease to make it shine. She looked up and genuinely asked. "Where do we keep that?"

Gareth wanted to help get the wet washing out of the machine so Rhiannon could hang it on the line. He found it a challenge to get those last few socks but he managed!

It can be hard for me as a perfectionist personality to watch other people do my jobs in a not-quite-so-perfect way. I know that the washing was hung on the line a bit all over the place but in the end it was dry so I guess that's the important thing. I have to admit I found myself re-vacuming some of the rooms that Gareth had finished but if I don't let them try then they will never learn.

The cleaning blitz only takes a couple of hours and by lunchtime the house is gleaming and ready for them to invite friends to play or sleep-over during the coming holidays. The cafe always is a hit and the staff there make such a fuss serving them that it puts us all in a happy holiday mood.
Next stop is the local library to stock up on a tower of books each and then home to a calm clean house and the sound of nothing but the turning of pages over the afternoon as each kid sinks into a soft chair or beanbag in a shaft of sunlight and starts the relaxing that school holidays were made for...

Monday, September 17, 2012

New routines.

About 3 months ago I moved over from shopping at Woolies to shopping at Aldi. At first it was frustrating having a smaller choice of products. Often a recipe called for something that just wasn't stocked and I found myself going next door to Woolies to buy it. I decided to buy the Adli cookbook which only uses items stocked in their store. If I menu plan from this book and add some tried and tested family favourites I can have a weeks worth of dinners that don't require trips to two supermarkets.

Being a smaller shop means that it physically takes less time to work my way up and down each aisle. I can be in and out with a weeks worth of shopping in half the time it takes in a larger shop. I've also found a way to cope with the policy of no bags. I have three laundry baskets side by side in the boot and spread the shopping between them straight from the trolley. At home it is a simple job of bringing the three baskets straight in to the kitchen and unpacking them. Things don't seem to get squashed like they do in smaller bags and it is better for the environment too.

I think half the battle of making changes is adjusting to the challenges of a new routine. This change is worth it because it is working out well for our wallets. At one point recently I was contemplating returning to a three day work week to help cope with the increase of living costs. Whatever inconveniences shopping with less frills and choice brings I have to remind myself that it sure beats working an extra shift in the hospital each week! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A rose by any other name...

I was lucky enough to be given a bunch of roses by a friend recently. I tried to be vague about who gave them to me to see if I could spark a little jealousy in Mr B. Maybe make him consider the odd bunch of  "for no reason" flowers himself? All he did was laugh and give my friend a hard time for raising the bar too high! Although they lasted ages they finally drooped and were thrown out. I found this photo on my phone today that I had taken of them and it made me smile. Knowing that Mr B isn't really a flowers man I'm blogging it so I have a bunch of flowers on stand-by whenever I want them! 

Friday, September 07, 2012

It never ends...

Possibly prompted by our neighbour Rich's comments earlier this week I have been on a cleaning mission. 
I started with the part of the house seen by most people, the hallway. 
Today made me realise that I am never going to live in a perfect house. 
As fast as I can clean and tidy there is someone walking behind me making the mother of all messes... 
Combined with a face that says "What...? Me...?"

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Reality check.

For those who may be under the mistaken impression that we live a perfect life in a tidy and well organized house...

On Monday evenings we have a tiny time window allocated to eating dinner. Exactly 25 minutes from the time one child returns from swimming lessons and another is collected from music theory class we head off in the car again to tennis comp classes. In this time window I serve food and hope everyone gets time to eat it.

Last night the hallway was littered with dumped swimming gear, handbag, car keys, the abandoned vacuum cleaner hose and the non-refrigerated grocery shopping (still waiting to be put away since a couple of hours earlier) We were eating mouthfuls of hot dinner as quickly as we could blow on it to cool down.

That's when the doorbell rang.

It was our neighbour holding dangling leads and a laptop that had "crashed and died" Could Byron have a look at it? With promises to check it out when dinner was finished Byron returned to the table. Ten minutes later I was driving one kid to tennis and u-turning home again to help another with homework before jumping back in the car to collect tennis child. Somehow the groceries were ignored as Byron concentrated on the laptop and finally he cried out "Who's Da Man" and swaggered off next door to return their now working computer.

He had a funny look on his face when he got home. "You'll never guess what Rich just said to me... He said "Ignore the house Mate. Our place is a mess, almost as bad as yours!"

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Fathers Day

We spent Fathers Day today in Morpeth. A pretty town with wide streets and cute shops. We brought a bag with red apples and fresh pears and a Frisbee and soaked up the bright sunny Spring day. The smell of the woodfired pizza restaurant called to us and we followed our noses to a tasty and chilled out lunch in a hidden courtyard garden far from the chaos of normal life. 

We relished the simplicity of being a family. Of kids lucky enough to live under the roof of their father. Of a boy who tries so hard to be as fast as his dad, as strong as his dad, as clever... because dad is right there to be challenged and compared to. Of girls who have a good male influence in their lives. A man who loves them and shows them what it is to be a strong man without needing to resort to the physical. A man who holds their hands and hugs them close so they don't look for it elsewhere. 

On this Fathers Day weekend I followed behind these four people who make up my world and I captured them walking along, happy in each others company. I realise that although this was Byron's day to be fussed over and treated like a king it was me, the lucky mum,  who felt like I had won the lottery. 

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Spring has sprung!

t's been a long Winter and I am so ready for a little bit of warmth! 
Gareth sat down to eat his Weetbix in a patch of sun this morning while Betty looked on. 
I love lazy Saturday mornings when you still have the whole weekend stretching out ahead of you...
I hope wherever you are and whatever season you are stepping into you too have simple pleasures planned for the next couple of days.