Archive for February, 2008

All’s well on the Hunter front

Two weeks can make such a difference in the Life of Hunter. Since I posted about her completely mind-bogglingly bad behaviour, things have improved considerably.

 I think my initial assessment that the whole issue was about swimming lessons was right. She’s had two swimming lessons since that thought occurred to me, and neither of them went well, but I think she’s faced her demons, so to speak. So, even though she’s still not keen on swimming, I don’t think the prospect of it is weighing on her so heavily during the week.

Anyway, I wouldn’t say her behaviour has been unfalteringly exemplary – that would be even more surprising than the outrageously bad behaviour of a few weeks ago. But, overall, it’s much better, and there have been a few days where it’s been quite remarkably good.

And preschool’s going better, too. She no longer cries when I leave and most days I think she’s actually genuinely okay with me going. In fact, she’s adapted to preschool far better than I expected. She did have some rocky times and some very rocky times, but right now, it’s all smooth. She’s made some friends (“I love Georgia!” “I love James”) and adores her teachers.

 Now we just need to decide whether to stick with swimming. The week before last was absolutely awful. Last week was awful but not to the same extent. Do we keep taking her and hope she continues to improve, or cut our losses and withdraw her??

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Because I have so much spare time

Over the past few days, in between feeding the baby and putting kids to bed and trying to edit documents at 10pm because I am too busy in the day, I have been thinking….maybe I should take up some study.

I keep thinking I should actually finish one of my several almost-complete qualifications. The problem is that I really and truly don’t have time to attend classes. I just can’t be away for hours at a time when Hugo’s so young and still breastfeeding. And I can’t do distance education because I can’t go away for residentials.

And on top of that, everything I look at will take so long to complete part time that it doesn’t seem worth it.

But on the weekend I had a flash of inspiration, and checked out the Open University website. There is a post grad writing program that links a postgrad certificate through to a postgrad diploma and then a masters.

I have just emailed to see what advanced standing they would offer me – I am hoping they’ll say I can skip the certificate subjects all together and take advanced standing in the grad dip and complete that then the masters (everything in the program is so well within the realms of my professional experience that they could probably just about hand me the masters but I suspect they won’t go for that!)

If they agree with my suggested path, then I would probably only have to complete about six subjects for the masters. I have missed the cut off already for the first study period but could start in July.

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My little helper(s)

Last week I was doing some work for a new client that included pitching a media release to a bunch of journos I have never worked with before.

By the time I got to the end of the contact list, Hugo was getting whiny and I was jiggling hin on my hip trying to keep him quiet while I made calls. He totally distracted me and I left a really dumb message on some journo’s voicemail, telling him who I was and what I wanted and then leaving no contact details.

So I decided to email the guy. I cut and pasted from an earlier email and was changing things here and there. The email was half done, with different fonts and sizes and spacing all out of whack when Hugo, now on my lap, leaned forward and pressed enter. And sent my half finished email.

Today I was talking with a client on the handset attached to the fax. Hugo was in the loungeroom playing with his toys. Halfway through the conversation I heard ‘click’ and then a bunch of goo goo, bah bah and slobbering. He’d found the cordless phone on the couch and pressed the talk button.

Did I mention that yesterday Hunter did something to the phone line so I had no phone or fax all day? And our printer’s not working since leigh tried to ‘fix’ the yellow ink printout.

Working from home is great.

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My comeuppance

Ordinarily I play by the rules. It’s not really so much that I feel a deep ethical obligation to do so, although that’s part of it. Mostly, though, it’s because I am a big chicken and don’t like to risk, well, anything.

Last week I had three items listed on ebay. My friends always put false bids on each others items to push the prices up. I haven’t really done that before, but this time I thought “everybody else is doing it!”

One of the items had no watchers so I decided to just see what happened with that one. No one bid and it didn’t sell.

One of them had several watchers who hadn’t bid but I was sure someone would with a little prompting. So I had my brother bid on the item. No one else bid. It sold to my brother.

The next item came up. There were three bids already and stacks of watchers. I thought for sure, at the very least, the current winning bidder would have an auto bid that would zip the price up a bit. So I used my sister’s log in and bid on the item. No one else bid. It sold to my sister.

So, three items listed. One not sold. One ”sold” to my brother and one “sold” to my sister. The worst part is that I will be paying commissions on the fake sales.

This all happened while leigh went for a lie down. I am not allowed to ebay while she is asleep any more.

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Why can’t things just be simple?

Our architect called this morning. He’s talked with a private certifier (like a privately operating council planner) who has said that our plans for our extension do not comply fully with council regulations.

This is not necessarily a problem per se. Councils have wide discretion to allow developments that do not fit entirely within their guidelines, so long as they are convinced that the development generally is appropriate in the location.

 But if we had been able to meet every guideline, we could have made a complying development application, which is cheaper (of course we couldn’t manage the cheaper option) and is determined more quickly.

Instead we have to lodge a full development application, which means higher fees and up to six weeks to determine, assuming the council gets it done within the statutory time limit.

This is all because the roofline will be a few centimetres above the maximum in the guidelines. We meet every other requirement. It’s not possible to lower the roofline because of the gradient of our block.

The DA is likely to be approved, but it’s just one more annoying hitch.

Meanwhile, I am hoping desperately that the builder will issue a contract pending the council approval, and that our bank will approve the loan increase pending council approval.

Because if they don’t, we’re screwed. If we have to wait till the application has gone through council my redundancy date will have clicked over and I will be officially unemployed – don’t like the prospect of getting a loan increase then.

Why can nothing go smoothly?

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Let’s hear it for the boy

I feel like I am forever talking about Hunter’s achievements and challenges. It just happens that way because she is so full on. There are no half measures with Hunter. Things are either Very Good or Very Bad.

Hugo, on the other hand, is such a mellow little fellow, that he’s easily overshadowed.

So today, and especially for Aunty Shan, is an update all about my boy.

Where to begin! He’s doing so many things which I, in my unbiased, objective, mummy way, consider rather incredible.

I guess you all know he’s been crawling for about two months. He started pulling up the same day he crawled and has been cruising the furniture since then, too.

In the past few weeks he’s discovered how to lower himself down from standing instead of (a) falling or (b) crying for me to come and get him. And in the past two weeks he’s started standing unsupported – he hasn’t managed to let go for more than a few seconds, but we know it won’t be long.

He also learned to clap a few weeks back, though he’s only started doing it frequently in the past few days. And yesterday he started waving. Khye waved to him and Hugo delightedly waved back. It was so cute.

Today he really surprised us. Hunter waved and said bye-bye. Hugo waved and said bye-bye.

We thought it was one of those random things, but he’s done it a dozen times since. So, that’s his new thing today. Yesterday or the day before he started saying ‘ta’ (though it mostly comes out as “ahh”). He’s being shaking his head no and saying his favourite word – boob – for a while, too, and lately we’re hearing mum a lot more, especially when he’s tired or cranky and he needs a cuddle.

Oh, and he now has five teeth. And transient curls. Sometimes we think he’ll end up with a Tom Baker kinda hairstyle, other times it looks flat as a tack, so we’ll see.

And here endeth my utterly boastful post.

I luv my boy.

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A fairly fab day

We went to Fair Day yesterday (the big, um, fair, that is one of the main events of the Mardi Gras festival). The last time we went, two years ago, it was really disappointing, but yesterday was great and I feel like we’re actually meeting some two-mum families.

 We were supposed to be there at 11.30 for a meeting about the parade entry. Leigh designed the logos for the t-shirts and banners and the organiser particularly wanted us there to talk them through with people.

As usual, we were disorganised and running late, and then the printer wouldn’t work properly. So we arrived 20 minutes late with some not-quite-right print outs. We couldn’t find any sign of a meeting – maybe they were thinking we’d be the catalyst for the meeting to happen.

Anyway, a few people approached us about the designs and that was a good excuse to meet some new families. One mum is involved in a weekly group for families with kids up to four years old. She took my email address and is going to give me the details. I feel nervous about turning up to an event without leigh (they meet on mondays) but I think I will go because Hunter had a ball playing with this couple’s little girl and has been constantly referring to her as “my friend Ella”.

We also bumped into one of the women we met at the planning meeting a few weeks ago. I think she was grateful for the company because she said she doesn’t know anyone terribly well either and her partner doesn’t like to socialise so won’t go to events with her. Hunter really likes her daughter, too.

The kids’ section was great, with a jumping castle and play equipment and a few activity tables with craft, colouring and bubble blowing. Hunter loved it – especially the jumping castle, which she was talking about non-stop before we got there and has talked about non-stop since.

Outside the kids’ section were all the other stalls and talk about a mixed bag. The Mature Age Gays stand had home made preserves for sale. The Sydney Gay Nudist stand was manned by a fat hairy guy wearing nothing but a tiny little pouch (at least I think that’s what it was – I tried not to look).

I think we’ll need to steer clear of some of the stalls next year. There’s nothing explicit but there are some that I didn’t think were really appropriate for young kids – the ones advertising raunchy magazines and night spots, for instance. There wasn’t anything really overt but they were just a bit racy. I think next year we won’t wander far from the kids’ section and the food section.

We also bumped into Grandma while we were there. We actually saw her on our way in but we were hustling to get to the meeting so we didn’t stop. Leigh called her when I was watching hunter on the jumping castle and she came over to say hello.

All up, we had a really nice day, and as a bonus the weather was great. Last time we went it was a zillion degrees and the hike back to the car was horrible. This time we coughed up for a paid parking spot 10 minutes down the road and the walk back was nice.

Now we’re really looking forward to the parade and Hunter can’t wait to see her new friends again.

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