Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Backyard camping

Unfortunately this post is going to be photo-less.  Which is a pity because the photos that go with it are awesome!  But you're just going to have to wait (nah, nah, nah, nah, nah).

The company the Big Fella works for have decided that our house (we rent it from them) is due for painting inside, and a new kitchen, and new flooring.  Which is all very exciting!

But it turns out that it's also rather inconvenient!

This week the painters are here so we decided that we needed to test out our new camper trailer.  We'd forgotten how large it is, and it only just fits between the mango tree and the clothes line :-D

Really, it's pretty lucky we decided to camp out in our backyard though, because the smell in the house yesterday afternoon was appalling!!!  I had to be in there for about an hour last night, making the Little Big Fella's lunch for kindy today and doing the dishes, among other things.  By the time I was done I had a ripper of a headache!

When we picked up the Little Big Fella from kindy yesterday I told him he'd be sleeping in a different bed.  When we got home he ran upstairs into his room and freaked out because everything was in the middle of the room with sheets over it.  Then I directed him outside and he flipped out!!!

"Mum!  There's a tent in our yard!!!"

He was so excited to sleep "in the tent" that he wanted to go to bed straight after dinner.  I convinced him to have a shower and get into his pyjamas first then we put him into his bed.  I sat with him and we talked for about 15 minutes, then I went upstairs to do dishes etc and by the time I came back (about 15/20 minutes later) he was fast asleep.  It was only just dark.

Surprisingly, the Little Big Fella slept until about 7 this morning!  The surprising part I guess was because he's been waking up around 5/5:30 the past few mornings, and I thought because he'd fallen asleep so early, and was sleeping outside where the sunlight was more obvious, he'd wake at sunrise.

This afternoon when we got back from kindy, the Fella's had a swim in our little blow-up pool.  I'm typing this while they're cooking on the gas ring/fire.  We've got the mozzie coils burning and the dogs are hanging around looking for a bite of something.

I've noticed that camping in the backyard, just like "normal" camping, is an awesome excuse to spend time with your family.  Talking with them, playing together, and not being distracted by technology (ironic, given what I'm doing right now, huh?).

Nothing quite like backyard camping :-)

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Proud Parenting

As a mum, I believe I am not alone in sometimes feeling like a complete failure.  With all of the information about what we should be doing, sometimes it can all get a bit overwhelming.

But then you get moments where you realise you can't be doing too bad a job because your little one/s show compassion, or behave brilliantly, or show you how super smart they are, or they use their manners without prompting, or remember to "catch your sneeze"!

Yesterday there was a big multi-cultural football event at the local footy oval. I was asked to help out in the canteen for a couple of hours but the Big Fella was working, so I needed to take the Little Big Fella with me.

There were rides and lots of things to do and look at, as well as the mini footy matches that were being played.  But my Little Big Fella decided that he wanted to be near me.  Given that a busy canteen/kitchen is no place for small child (you know, hot oil, sharp knives...) I grabbed one of the bar stools and popped him on it, at the side of the canteen counter.  He was really happy there and watched all the craziness of the kitchen (there were at least 5 of us in there at any one time and we were all crazy-busy!).

For two and a half hours my Little Big Fella sat there!!!  He had a bottle of water and a few snacks that I'd brought with us, and I bought him a snack from the canteen a little later as well.  And he just sat there!  Happily!

Several of the ladies commented on how well he was behaving and I was thrilled at being able to help out for so long.

When I was finally done in the kitchen we went outside and he had a jump on the bouncy castle then was happy to come home.  Of course, once Daddy got home from work I had to brag all about how well our son had behaved :-)

I love my little family.

Little Mates

We had a very social day on Friday.

One of the Little Big Fella's friends invited us to play at the park this morning with her.  It rained a little so we spent a bit of time under the shelter, but the kids also rode their bikes around and played on the skate ramps.

I've also been thinking about the Little Big Fella's best friend the past few days.  We haven't seen him much since starting kindy, so when we got home from the park I messaged his mum and arranged for an impromptu playdate.

The boys get along SO well - they love dressing up as super heroes and the Little Big Fella's friend had brought along an Ironman and Spiderman suit so they were set for several hours!

Throw in a little swim and a vegemite sandwich each and you've got a happy couple of friends :-)

There's something really special about watching your child making good friends.  I guess part of it is knowing that childhood frienships always remain special in your memory, even if you don't keep in touch that often as you get older.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Chook'n eggs!!!!

YAY!!!!!  We finally got our first egg today!!!!  (I'm just a tad excited, can you tell?)

The Big Fella went downstairs this afternoon, just before we left to pick up the Little Big Fella from kindy, and there was this little egg, sitting on the grass at the bottom of the stairs!  Look at it!  It's so little!!!

So now we have the added task of looking around for eggs each day... woo hoo!!!!  Pity the chooks don't like the chook house.

The other hilarious thing that happened today was this morning.  The Big Fella and I were sitting on the couch, taking a little break before facing the next task.

I heard a noise and couldn't work out what it was.  I looked out the door and saw both dogs lying down.  Nope, not them.

I heard the noise again and still couldn't work it out.

A couple of minutes later I saw our female dog, Choccie go over to the dog house.  A moment later I saw a flash of feathers.  Our Rhode Island Red chicken had chased the dog into the dog house, pecked her and effectively kicked her out!

I nearly cried laughing!  Our chicken thinks it's a dog???  Hilarious!

So it turns out that the noise was the chicken pecking the dog house, probably looking for spiders and bugs I guess.

In other, non-chicken-related news, the Little Big Fella did great at kindy again today and then did really well in his swimming class this afternoon.  We've been asked by the teacher to practice his freestyle arms and breathing motion at home so that he can catch up with the other (bigger) kids in his class.  Am I a proud Mummy?  Yes, I am :-D

Friday, 8 February 2013

Times are a-changing

This week was the Little Big Fella's first "full" week (3 days) of kindy.

On Monday he cried when I left.  As in, bawled his poor little eyes out.  Gosh that's hard for a mother to take!  Even though you know he's going to be fine, and will probably stop crying as soon as you're out of sight, it tears at you.

Of course, by the time we picked him up that afternoon, the Little Big Fella was telling us how much he liked kindy and that he'd had a good day.

As we were getting ready on Tuesday morning, the Little Big Fella turns to me, with a quivering lip and says, "Mummy, I'm going to be shy at kindy today".

I turned to him and asked, "why?  You said you had a great time at kindy yesterday."

After a little discussion about the things he likes at kindy, and the kids he plays with, I suggested that he try not being shy at kindy and see how that goes.  He reluctantly agreed.

At kindy I signed him in and we put his things away.  One of his friends came over and obviously wanted to play with him, so I encouraged the Little Big Fella to play, said goodbye and walked out.  I didn't hear him cry, but thought there might have been a quivering lip.

On Wednesday morning at kindy I signed him in and we put his things away.  He dragged me over to the reading room, where another boy was doing a puzzle.  The Little Big Fella watched and then tried to help (I'm not real sure the other boy wanted help, but what's that got to do with anything???).  When the puzzle was done, my Little Big Fella turned around, gave me a kiss and a cuddle and said, "Mummy, it's time for you to go now".

Have you ever had conflicting emotions?  Right then, mine were an internal fist-pump, and my heart breaking (okay, I'm being a little melodramatic - but I did feel slightly rejected).

I think I might have found the right words to explain what's going on.  For almost four years, I have been everything to my Little Big Fella, and he has been almost everything to me (Big Fella not excluded, of course!).  Now, all of a sudden our lives are beginning to diverge.  Of course it's a necessary, healthy thing, but it's still a bit of a shock to the system!

On Tuesday, on a whim the Big Fella and I decided to go to our closest major town.  We got to spend almost six hours exclusively together!

There were no interruptions, there was no whining, there were no additional requests for the bathroom when we only went 5 minutes ago!

We even got to go to an Irish pub and have lunch together!  It was SO pleasant!  We even got to order food that the Little Big Fella probably wouldn't eat without complaining (and certainly not without making a huge mess!).  Bliss, I tell ya!

I attended a CWA (Country Women's Association) meeting this week as well.  The CWA is all about supporting people, especially women and children, in rural environments.  They do all kinds of things, depending on the area and the needs they become aware of.

After my stay in our old town in December, I realised that I need to be doing something that helps people in one way or another.  Because the playgroup will be using the CWA hall, a few of us decided we'd join the CWA and try to contribute through that avenue.

Speaking of the playgroup, I've been enlisted as Treasurer for this year.  And I'm looking forward to being a more formal part of that group.

I've also applied for work, and even if I don't get this particular job, I'll be looking more seriously for part-time employment.

Last year I feel like I was kind of treading water - waiting for the move, slowly getting to know people here, working out how things work around here, waiting for kindy to start.

This year I feel like changes are happening that mean I'm moving forward again.  And I think I'm ready for that :-)