Saturday, June 30, 2012

Missing A Little

I have been away, what's that, you didn't notice, oh well nothing missed then.
I got to go to Auckland with Steve at the beginning of the week just gone whilst he attended a work conference. Me well I got to lounge around a hotel for 3 days on my own.....yep that is right no kiddies.
They were at home being spoilt with Grandma!

This was my room for the enitre time

Yep pretty nice and dreamy. The tv was normal stuff although seeing as we don't have Sky then it was nice to catch CNN whenever I wanted and also the odd movie.
I would have treated myself to a Pay to View movie, there were a few I wanted to see, but at $22 each I really could not justify it. So I skipped on the movies and promised myself that when they come out on DVD I will rent them for $6 instead.

We went out to dinner at a friends house the first night and when we came back this is what we found....

A bottle of water and a glass on the bedside table (each side of the bed!)

Chocolate on the pillow and slippers on the floor by the bed
I could get use to this service!
Wonder how I get this at home??

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


This is one of those precious moments in this household.
I know as a mother I can not be expected to get sleep but I can at least try.
Unfortunately there are several factors which always seem to stand in my way of sleeping, or at least disturbing my sleep. These factors do not always happen all at once and it may be a few days in between them occurring, but these are the factors I have to deal with on a regular basis that prevent me from having a great nights sleep, and let me tell you I love sleeping.

Factor 1
The children, yes I know, before we start I am well aware that by having children then I gave up all right to having a good nights sleep from the moment that little line turned blue!
It was as if your body turned on itself and said “let’s really show her what she is in for!” and I have not had great sleep since!
The boys do not tend to wake in the night much anymore, however when they did it was always, why I don’t know, me that they wanted. Not daddy…it had to be mummy! 85% of the time it was me they came to, always!
Eventually it got to the point where 50% of the time they came to me, it was as if Ben had a shift in who he wanted and suddenly he started always going to Steve at night, but Alex still came to me. Now I had no problem with this apart from the fact that what Ben would want at night compared to Alex, well lets just say I still lost out. Ben would wake for waking's sake and would come and find Steve because he couldn’t sleep or because he was cold. Simple to deal with, let him crawl in next to you and all go back to sleep. Simple, good night all.
Alex on the other hand would come and find me, stand next to the bed naked and proclaim “mummy, I’ve wet my bed!” Tell me…how is that fair?
If it was a simple I am cold or can’t sleep, then he would climb in with me and proceed to take over the entire bed! Thus still no sleep for mummy.

Factor 2
The 4 legged animals in the house.
Yes the cats can rank as high as the children when it comes to my sleep. We have 2 cats, one is great at night the other needs to be shot!
1 seems to have learnt that if you curl up quietly and sleep all night then you get to stay in and keep warm, the other has not learnt this lesson and still insists on playing at 3am.
The playful one will happily sleep the evening away on our bed or even on our lap whilst we watch tv. She will snuggle with me when I go to bed and then Steve will throw her out when he goes to bed otherwise she jumps at the door all evening because she can see a light on inside and this has to = someone still being awake!
However on the odd occasion that he has felt sorry for the cat because it is so cold outside he has left her snuggled next to me.
Great until she starts playing at 3am and then guess what….she jumps all over me, disturbs me, bugs me, until there is nothing left to do but pick her up and chuck her outside.
She never goes near Steve at night, so all his good intentions go out the window as I am the one that has to deal with her in the middle of the night.
The amount of times I have cursed him in the middle of the night and again the next morning when I am so tired because of him leaving the cat in all night!

Factor 3
An odd one but the weather, guarantee that if it is raining outside then I will wake in the night and listen to it. If the wind gets up then I will wake to that too, it blows the curtain and thus I wake up and if there is a thunder storm well I may as well get up and do housework…I will be awake until such time as it finishes.
I never use to be this sensitive to noise but since having the children (their fault again) I am more of a light sleeper, as I am listening out for them a little more.

Factor 4
My husband!
Enough said really………. he snores, usually at 2.41am, yea funny how it is always at about the same time of night.
He grunts and groans to himself as well. And as for the restless legs he gets, sometimes the bed bounces around as his legs jump and then he gets restless and turns over every 10 mins.
Makes for such a fun sleep……for me!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Devoted Mum's

I love reading about what other mother's do for their children on the wonderful world of blogging that we have all created.
I love the encouragement you give, the devotion you have and the support you offer.
I love learning from other wonderful people out there and learning things that will assist me in being a better mother to my 2 rat bags adorable sons.

So please if you have 5 mins, just pop on over here to 10 minutes 2 breath and read about her care for her gorgeous son.
Warning - maybe have a tissue handy, because you might just need to blow your nose at the end.

I need to find my enthusiasm to remember to support my kids just like that.
Have a great weekend and remember to hug your kids and tell them how wonderful they are.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Longest or Shortest

Depending on which website you look at, which you choose to believe or what your old encyclopaedia tells you, then we are slap bang in the middle of what I know as Summer Solstice.
To you and me that means either the longest day (Northern Hemisphere) or the shortest day (Southern Hemisphere) not that we would really notice anything special but for a second or 2 the sun was at its highest or lowest for more than the day before or the day after.

Of course in England everyone is descending on Stone Henge. The 1 place they seem to think it all happens, the one place that is magical to all involved.
I have been there but never for summer solstice (I'm not that mental)

Here down under in the green land of middle earth, which we like to call New Zealand, it is of course the shortest day of the year. We are in winter after all, well we are officially in winter now as the shortest day has just past and that is what it signifies.
But with having the shortest day means that we have had the longest night.
Yes, we have got an advert on the tv at present telling us about the joys of having the longest night and what we could get up to in that long night.
Would you believe the advert is by Durex, yes that Durex company.
Their latest advertising campaign has been about promoting the longest night of the year and the fun and joy you can have, obviously with their products in mind.

It just amazed me that someone thought about this whole thing and then managed to switch it from being about the shortest day to being about the longest night.
Great advertising, well thought up and it sure did bring a smile to my face watching their ad going on about the longest night.
Although it might lead to a baby boom next March/April time!

For all you in the northern hemisphere who think you might have missed something.....don't worry your longest night appears on Dec 21, just before Christmas. Have fun.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I have confidence in sunshine
I have confidence in rain
I have confidence that spring will come again
Besides which you see I have confidence in me

I have confidence in confidence alone
Besides which you see I have confidence in me!

Just as Maria sang in the Sound of Music, confidence gets you everywhere.

I have confidence, I know I do as I am a strong, stubborn independent woman.
However over the last few weeks my confidence has been shot to pieces and I have managed to question my ability to do my work!

I have resigned from the current position I am working in. I am being brave and do not have a position to go to. Not for lack of trying either.
I am currently, till Friday anyway, working at a desk job looking at the business side of the hospital. It has been interesting, I have learnt some stuff but it is not me.
I do not have the business knowledge to do the job and that has become apparent.
It was a little kick in the head to have them acknowledge this as well and they have been very nice in letting me take time to find another position before kicking me out on the street.
However it is very obvious that they don't have much confidence in me and I am therefore loosing confidence in myself. I know I don't know how to format a document in the way they require. I know I don't know how to word certain things how they would like it to be worded so it sounds and looks great. I don't have that business knowledge.
I am grateful for the time they have given me to secure another position but I can't keep sitting in an office where they seem perfectly happy for me to sit doing just about nothing, everyday.
It is knocking my confidence. It is knocking my confidence in my ability to achieve anything, to obtain anything to even have the ability to do my old job.

So I am out of there. I have walked. I have given them the paper required and taken my leave.

I currently have 3 job applications that I am waiting to hear on. All 3 jobs have closed and I am waiting to hear if I will be interviewed.
The waiting game is sometimes the hardest part.

So life is a little slow at present. My enthusiasms is a little low. Doesn't help that it is currently winter here and that can make you feel low and lifeless anyway. At the end of the day snuggling in bed and reading a book is great fun, but I can't keep doing that, there is more to achieve.

I am still here, I am still reading blogs and commenting, I just don't have anything to write about at present, although I do, I have an award to write about that I received. I have a post about the Fieldays that we attended last week. I have a swap that I took part in that I wanted to write up and several other things. But I just don't seem to want to at present!
Is that bad?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Growing Children

As you know I, with the help of my husband, are growing 2 awesome little boys.
We want to give them all the opportunities that we can, whether that is in education, sport or just plain old life.
One area that we are adamant on is their confidence.
We want them to be confident little individuals, we want them to feel they can do things, achieve things even give anything a go.

So we have been happy to let the boys go and pay for things on their own, allow them to order things on their own.
If they want more sauce when at Burger King then they go to the counter and ask for it. We have shown them how to do it politely, how to wait their turn and how to say that ultimate word 'thank you' when the action is finished.
It gives them the ability to speak up for what they want, know how to talk to people whom they don't know, not strangers but people in a situation that is controlled...shops, restaurants etc.

At the Fieldays that we attended, Alex asked for a Hot Chocolate. We happily gave him the money, showed him where the stall was and stood back and watched him do the whole transaction himself.
He patiently waited in line and when he got to the front the lady ignored him!

She had served the older lady in front of him and presumed that he was with her. She never asked him!
The older lady had stepped to the side to wait for her order and Alex had still stood in front of the counter, now ok we are talking about a mobile stall here so they had to look out and down to see him but he was see able even at his little height.
It took the older lady to inform them that he was not with them for them to realise that this little guy with a $5 note in his hand was there to order something, on his own.

Do kids not order things anymore? Do kids not get given the opportunity to do things for themselves anymore?
My parents taught my brother and I to be independent confident people and I am going to make sure that our 2 boys have the same.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Kind & Caring

My father in Law is with us for a few days this week.
He has just turned 83, well yesterday actually so the boys sang happy birthday to him at breakfast.
Granddad is blind and a little fragile nowadays so even though he is slow at moving around the house a little assistance doesn't go a miss when available.

It is so cute to watch our 2 terrors be kind and caring towards him.
They are happy to guide Granddad to the table for meals, walking slowly so he can find his way holding on to their hand or elbow, although not so cute when they forget to tell him about the stair banister they walk him into or the wall they forget to tell him to mind out for!
They have learnt that we tell dad about his food placement etc by using the clock face reference. If we forget it is so cute to hear their little voices informing dad that there is juice for him at 11 O'Clock or that he has chicken at 3 O'Clock. They even tell him when all the food is gone off of his plate so he is not chasing air around the plate!
They are happy to guide him back to his seat afterwards and ensure he has his blanket etc that he may require.

It is lovely to see their confidence in helping him grow with each visit we have with him. I know that he will not be around forever so it is great to see them interacting with him and not be scared, but then after all this is how Granddad has always been to them so they know no difference and just accept what needs to be done.

I am growing kind and considerate kids and proud of them when they show what they know.

Go Away Pain....!

I have ear ache, have had for 3 days now. It is not totally unbearable but I know it is there.
I wandered all around the Fieldays yesterday with it (more on our visit to this later in another post)

Finally yesterday I could take no more and took myself off to the emergency doctor.
For the grand total of $73 they took my pulse, blood pressure and temp (all normal) asked me a few questions, felt the glands in my neck, looked in both ears and proclaimed that they could see nothing, no build up or pressure or even infection.

They laughed when they saw I was allergic to Codeine and Ibuprofen and said oh well Paracetamol or Tramadol is all you can take.
Oh and to feel free to come back to them if I feel it has got worse or I develop a temperature.

I knew it was a waste of time going, I felt fine apart from the pain, but unfortunately looking inside someone's ear is not something that anyone else can do except a doctor. And seeing as how I was really sick over Easter with an inner ear problem I was not tempting fate by leaving an infection to brew to cause more hassle than I currently needed.

Oh and on a even sadder note.......I resigned from my job today and do not have anything to go on to.

Isn't life exciting when you want it to be!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Friend Makin' Monday - Bedroom Habits

It is Monday again, well for me it is now actually Tuesday but it is still Monday somewhere in the world so it still counts.
Anyhow, that means it is Friend Making Monday over at All the Weigh.

If you've taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: All the Weigh so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome blogger's so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Bedroom Habits

1. Do you set an alarm clock? If so, for what time? My alarm is set for 6am on weekdays but this may vary on a Saturday and gets switched off on a Sunday unless we have an activity
2. How many hours of sleep do you get on an average night?  On average, I get about 7 hours sleep, I would love more but seem to find I can't sleep before about 10pm
3. Do you bring your laptop to bed? I don't tend to but have been known to in the past but only maybe 5 times in a year!
4. How many pillows do you require to sleep? I have 2 but find I only sleep with 1 of them
5. Do you sleep with socks on? I don't but when winter is here and it is freezing cold I have been known to sleep with socks on, but guaranteed they get kicked off during the night
6. How often do you change the sheets?  I would love to say more often than I do but I know they don't and that bugs me!
7. Do you remember your dreams? Sometimes, definitely if I have woken at 5am and then fallen back to sleep as I have entered that light REM sleep so have really vivid dreams
8. Which side of the bed do you sleep on?  When standing at the end of the bed looking towards the head then I sleep on the right.
9. How often do you take naps? Nap what is a nap? Only when I am really sick!
10. Do you sleep soundly?  I use to sleep through the night but now I have kids I can wake to most noises. I hear them move in their room, my husband snoring, the neighbour leaving in his very large truck, the road sweeper cleaning up. Sometimes I would love to sleep through with no disturbances! May have to get ear plugs!

Monday, June 11, 2012

New Zealand Blogging

I have been involved with blogging since 2005, just after my 2nd son was born.
I saw an article in a baby magazine that talked about blogging and why people were starting to blog. It went on the explain one or two of the different hosts available to blog via and it must have taken me a few weeks before I finally jumped in.
Unfortunately I only managed a few posts and then stopped for about 9 months, life just took over as I had a 2yr old and a new baby, but when I came back I came back with a vengeance and have been blogging on and off since 2006.
I started because my parents and in fact all my family were overseas, well no, they were all at home, I was the clever one sucker overseas. This way they were able to see what was happening with the boys without me filling their in box with emails that they didn't want to see etc, with blogging they could catch up when they wanted to.

In the beginning there were not a huge amount of blogs out there, when you found one you liked it was easy to catch up on what the person had written as most blogs were only a year old.
I do love going back to the beginning of someone's blog and reading about them and what they started with, if you are following someone it is nice to get a little better acquainted with them.
As much as I love the States it was always a shame I could never find too many blogs, if any by others here in New Zealand. I would always read about blogger's catching up with each other at meeting places etc.
How I wished there were more blogger's here.

And suddenly there are, daily I am coming across more blogs of people living in New Zealand. It is fun to read blogs by people experiencing the same life around them as I am, not because we are a like but because we live in the same country.
It is fun to come across blogs that are doing swaps and give-aways etc in New Zealand, no more of this 'would you like to win/swap this fabulous item but oh sorry no international entries!' 

So the world is getting bigger, the local world is getting even bigger still.
My list of blogs that I follow is creeping higher and higher, I may have to be ruthless and cul the list again soon, as I must be logical in the amount I follow, but then hey who's checking!

If you are new to this blog and just started following me then welcome, it is lovely to have you to here.
If you are checking me out because I have just starting following you then I hope I am suitable for you and that you might consider following me too sometime.
If you are just stopping by because you stumbled this way whilst surfing around one evening, then welcome too hope you stay a while.

Who ever you are, welcome, come in, grab a coffee hot chocolate and pull up a chair, lets make it last a while.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


It seems that the whole time we have been in this town I have been trying to find my fit in the employment world.
In Auckland I was working in the Operating Theatres and it was my niche. I have actually been doing it for about 16 years. It is what I love to do.
When we moved to Hamilton the boys were still little and with some changes the Government had just made to childcare, there was quite a waiting list if you found somewhere you wanted them to attend.
So for the first few months I didn't look for a job, but when I did I never really found anything great. The local public hospital does have a large Operating Theatre department but how it is run does not fit with my family or life, so I have never gone to work there. I did manage to find work (private hospital) but it was very part time, I got bored and after a year I moved on.
The position I moved on to was actually a position that only had a years contract so I knew it would end eventually. From there I secured a position at the hospital but after 18 months I realised that this department (Cardiology) was not for me, the work was ok but just not my speciality.
A secondment came up for a change management position and I managed to get one of the 4 positions available, however like a lot of things in the last few years, it was only for a set amount of time!
That time is now ending.....and so I am once again in that wonderful (!) position of looking for some more work.
I have the ability to go back to the department I came from, but I don't want to. I didn't enjoy it and I am now big enough and ugly enough to know that there is more to a pay check than just getting fed up and miserable.
It affects life, my family even my mood, so why not be happy.
Although I am well aware of the fact that I do need to work, sadly we are not in a position to be able to only have 1 pay check coming in, plus I know I would go stark raving nutty if I had to stay home all day every day!

So I am now one of those people who spends each day checking the situation vacant pages online. I would be happy to stay at the hospital if I could find a suitable position.
I also currently work 4 days a week and most of the positions I am seeing advertised are for full time! Looks like I finally have to bite the bullet and get back into the real world and finally go back to full time work, although I so don't want to, I love being able to collect the boys from school 1 afternoon a week, it makes me feel like I am still apart of their world and they are only 7 & 9 years old.
We never had the boys for someone else to always look after them, I want them to enjoy school, not have to be constantly tired from being out of the house each day by 7.30am and not getting home until after 5pm each evening.
However I do have a job interview tomorrow afternoon. In a position that I would like, well apart from the fact that it is full time!
It would be a good position to have, I think. The hours are very suitable with my family, so I can work out, no afternoons or nights at least.
So at 2pm on Monday I will be smiling sweetly and answering questions to the best of my ability.

Wish me luck

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Give-away and Washing

Last week I had a review and give-away on my blog.
The wonderful people at Stuck On You asked me to review some winter pyjamas for the boys.

Alex thought this was perfect as he wanted to switch from wearing summer shorts to long pant pyjamas.
So he happily helped me in the review, he got to wear them for me.
I also wanted to do a review of how they washed, as they have a lovely large motif on the front and I hate clothes with motifs that start coming off after just 1 wash.

Well, apart from the hot chocolate that Alex didn't tell me he had spilt down the front, they washed up really well. No signs of the motif coming apart or cracking after being washed. Wish I could say the same for the chocolate stain already on the front! (Left in the washing basket for 3 days)
So I was impressed with the motif and happy that my washing was not too rough for their products.

Now on to the give-away part of the post.
I have yet to get to grips with the random websites that chooses numbers or posts etc for you.
I instead just went with the old fashion way of choosing a winner by asking my helpful helper to assist me.
So I asked Alex what his favourite number was from 1-5 (how many entries I had into the give-away).
He chose number 4 so the lucky winner is Alexis over at Running away? I'll help you pack!

So well done Alexis, I will be in contact soon

Don't forget to go over to Stuck on You for all your labels and personalised items for the children.

Catch you soon

Disclosure: The product featured in this review was provided to me free of charge, by the representing company.
Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Things I'm Loving

Over here at MnM's blog she is once again holding the weekly 'things I'm loving series'

I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something you can be thankful matter how simple it is.  

Supporting Friends
I love supporting friends, cheering them on when they have had a bad day, being behind them with support when they are stepping outside of their comfort zone.
Some good friends has just had an offer accepted on a house they would like, yea for them, although not so fast as it could all go pear shape in the next few weeks and I just hope it doesn't, but we are here to support them and help which ever way we can.

Who doesn't love birthdays?

We still have banners up in the dining room from Alex's birthday on Monday. Ben has informed me twice now that they really should be taken down as it is not his birthday any more, yea sure, at the weekend, but for now I love remembering that it was his special day and what a special time it was for me 7 years ago.

Snuggle Blankets
Yes you read right, snuggle blankets, you know the ones, those blankets that have arms in them so you snuggle under the blanket but have your arms free but still warm.

I have always wanted one and Steve said he would leave me if I ever dreamed of buying one, and just to be clear he doesn't want one!
However how could I resist when K-mart had some really cheap ones on sale this week? $9 for an adult one and $7 for a child's one. So guess what......?
I brought 4, yep, one for each of us including Steve.
Sure it won't be too long before he happily snuggles under his one evening whilst watching tv!

Girls Nights
As a mother I love having the odd night out with the mum's from school to gain our sanity back, even just for 2 hours.
So girls night has come round again, just prior to the school holidays. Next Tuesday we are going out for dessert and a drink. Should be great fun, can't wait.

Don't forget, if you want to take part in 'things I'm loving' then skip on over here

Thursday, June 07, 2012


Whilst at my cousin's house this past weekend, she rented a DVD for the boys.
She got 'Hugo' and the boys started to watch this whilst at her house.
Unfortunately being the cruel mother that I am, I didn't allow them to see the end as they needed to sleep prior to their judo tournament the next morning.
We did though promise that when we got home we would get the movie from the rental store and watch it as a family.
So on Monday afternoon I got the movie (plus 2 others) for us to watch.
Can't say I was too impressed with the movie, it was very slow, nothing ever really happened and the way it was portrayed in the trailers I was expecting a little more adventure.
The boys however did enjoy it and that is all that matters.

image source

Hugo was due back yesterday and the other 2 movies due back today.
As we had finished watching all the movies then they all got returned on yesterday.

image source
image source
3 times I tried to return them, or at least 3 times I remembered that they needed to be returned, everytime I drove past the store without them in the car! So at 6pm on a wet night Steve kindly raced out after work and returned all the movies.

So it was with a rather odd look on my face that I read the text from the store this morning saying we had an overdue movie!
I called Steve to check he had returned 3 movies? Yep sure had.
Seeing as I was out and about I decided to visit the store rather than call on the telephone to see what the issue was.

I happily explained to the man that we had returned all the movies the night before, only 1 of them was actually due on that day so the other 2 were in no way overdue etc.
He kindly checked on his computer and then proceeded to show me the problem....

Turns out it was all my fault, which I will happily admit (quick someone note that down somewhere!) because yes we had returned all the movies, yes my husband had put 3 movie cases on the counter last night, yes they had all gone together but what would have made it even better is if 1 of the movie cases actually had the movie inside.
Yep that is right, we returned the box but not the movie, this was still happily sitting in the blue ray player at home.

So after smiling nicely at the man and accepting the empty case, I raced home and retrieved said movie from the machine and returned it back to him. I did however just check that there were no fines involved as the movie in question was not actually due back until later today so should never have incurred any fines at all.
Happily for us the man agreed and our account is still sat on zero charges.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Birthday Time

As mentioned here, we have just had a long weekend here in New Zealand, and it really wasn't much of a relaxing weekend for us! We had so much to do. Mainly all for the boys, looks like their life has finally gotten more exciting taken over our life!!

Monday was our youngest son Alex's 7th birthday. How he has ever got to this age I just don't know? But he managed so let's just hope he can make it to 8! Mischievous little monkey that he is!
He didn't seem to remember that it was his day because he went and watched tv in the morning with his brother, letting mum and dad have a small lie in. It was actually his brother that asked if Alex could now open his presents! Isn't it great having big brothers!
So we had a fluster of activity in the dining room whilst he opened his presents. He was a very lucky little boy, however the best present by his admission that he got was his new dressing gown.

Yes we are cruel parents who have absolutely no worries about giving our children practical needed gifts on their birthdays etc.

This gown stayed on him all day, and he was even dressed under it, almost like it was his smoking jacket! He looked so cute all wrapped up for the whole day.

It was on whilst he helped me decorate his cake

And it was even on after lunch when we had cake

His god mother and her partner came for lunch as they were passing through and she thought it was so cute he wanted to live in his gown all day.
The only time he took it off was when he told me we were going to the shops so he could spend the money he had received! Talk about being eager.

Shopping for gifts
Grandma sent him money to buy a soccer ball because it was too difficult to send through the post. So he wanted to buy it immediately.

We had to call into K-mart whilst in town and he found something he wanted too, so he used the remainder of his birthday money and some from his money box and brought himself a Sidley Jet (part of the characters from Cars 2)

Funny thing was that when we got home from the shops he immediately went upstairs, got his money from his money box and came and gave it to me, telling me that he would need change as this was a $20 note and that he only owed me $10!
I just about fell over. Ben would never have done that, but then neither would I have done that as a child either, I would just keep quiet and hope that mum and dad forgot that I owed them money! Maybe I have instilled so good qualities in this mad little monkey after all.
There is hope for him, looks like he might just see that 8th birthday after all....but then we do still have 364 to go! Keep watching this space

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Long Weekend

Hello Friends...
so great to see you all again. This past weekend has been a long weekend for us. We have been celebrating Queen's Birthday. Which just so happens to have fallen when they are doing all the celebrating in England. However just in case you don't know, here in New Zealand we have a long weekend to celebrate the birthday of the current monarch. They keep it the same weekend each year, regardless of when the actual birthday falls.
So as I write this post most people are enjoying the fact we have a 4 day working week this week.

the evening started with us coordinating all the activities we had for the weekend
  • soccer
  • staying at my cousin's house
  • Judo
  • Travelling home
  • Alex's 7th Birthday
  • Friends over for lunch
so despite a few protests from the lower ranks, we had a game plan in our heads as to what had to be achieved  when and possibly by whom!

This was meant to be one of our easier weekends of the sport. The boys, most conveniently luckily, for us had both their games at school.
Because of this I had stupidly happily in my helpful mode agreed to assist with the fundraising sausage sizzle we were running. This fitted in with what time we had to be at school for Alex's game so no worries.
The morning however did not work out too well, we had to remind the boys 3 times to ensure they had their soccer bags organised. We successfully left the house, arrived at school only to have them both inform us that they had in fact not put their soccer shorts in their bags!
To say we as parents were a little annoyed was an understatement! I think Steve was ready to contact CYFS and have them taken into care!

Consequently, the boys have lost the privilege of all things electronic in our house for a week.

As you can see it was a normal early morning winter day for soccer, yes that is fog!

There was some sun somewhere, however it was at least 10am before it shone through enough to clear the fog.

This however did nothing to stop our little soccer players.

Saturday afternoon
The boys decided a few weeks ago that they wanted to participate in the Waikato Bays Judo Tournament that was happening in Tauranga. We are fully supportive of their judo so were happy to attend, however weigh in started at 7.30am on Sunday, so we decided to stay with my cousin who lives 20 mins away from the venue rather than a 90 minute drive first thing in the morning.
So we took bedding and dessert and had an awesome relaxed evening with the family, eating gorgeous lasagne and apple crumble with ice cream, to say we were all stuff is an understatement, it was a great winter dinner that filled you to the top.
We did however sit and watch the movie "War Horse" which after watching I am not so sure of. It was an interesting story, although sadly I spent the whole movie waiting for something to actually happen. I found the whole movie a little jumpy, jumping from this part of the story to that part and then on to another part, no real flow to it! But hey that is just my opinion of it.

at 7.45am on a cold Sunday morning, we joined the ranks of several other families and had our little ones weighed, all 22 and 25kg of them!

Then we went and got breakfast to be back for 9am to watch them fight their hearts out.

Sadly their fights didn't quite go how they would have liked!
Alex had only himself and 1 other in his class. So they had a best of 3 fight. The other person won the first fight and then sadly went on to win the next fight too, so Alex walked away with nothing. He had to win 1 fight to get a medal. He was devastated and very annoyed.

 Ben had 3 others in his class so he got to fight 3 times. He won 1 and lost 2 thus giving him a bronze medal.

They both did extremely well in their fights, even if they did lose some, but at the end of the day they both went and gave it ago and tried hard. We are very proud of them for getting out there and trying.
Grandma even came and watched them fights, so they had lots of cheering from the stands when they were fighting.

Home time
After judo we called back at my cousin's house and collected our bedding and then hit the road for the drive home. 90 mins is not far but when you have had a long tiring day it can seem like forever.

We were on the road at 5pm and got the pleasure of seeing a wonderful winter sky as the sun went down.

I got the camera out and took 1 picture and then Ben suggested "I get closer!"
Steve and I just fell about laughing as we tried to ask him exactly what he wanted me to do, because there was no way I could get closer to the sky!
Turns out he wanted me to use the zoom button on the camera, man they come out with such cute stuff all the time. Although he did go on to inform us that because it was a nice red sky then the next day would be nice, think he has been listening too much to his dad when he says:
  • Red sky at night sailors delight
  • Red sky in the morning sailors warning

I took more pictures and we all ooh'd and ah'd over the pretty sky ahead of us

I am aware that this post has turned into a long one so will end for now and tell you about the last day of our long weekend which just happened to be Alex's 7th Birthday.
Catch you soon.

Monday, June 04, 2012

What's for Dinner

Do you get this question too? I am sure all households get it at some stage.
Do you always know what you are having? Are you super organised with a meal schedule?
I do have a menu and I do try to stick to it, but sometimes we need to jazz things up a little.

However having someone else make the decision for you is always much nicer, sometimes it just makes thing flow smoother having someone else make the decision and you just get on and cook it.

Turns out our local supermarket are trying to help in just that way.
They are suggesting a meal to make and also giving you a great special on the cost of actually getting the ingredients required.

Each week on a Wednesday they are offering a meal deal for $14.95. The Meal Deal for this week was a Corn Beef Meal with Dessert. For that price you got the following:

  • 3kg Corn Beef
  • 1kg potatoes ($2.99)
  • 1/4 of pumpkin ($1.49)
  • 500g bag frozen mixed vegetables ($3.49)
  • 1 pkt white sauce mix ($1.30)
  • 4 white magnum ice creams ($3.99)
The prices in red are what they normally cost. Adding them together it came to $13.26 so for $1.69 I got a nice piece of corn beef that actually did us dinner and lunch for Steve the next day. Corn Beef is usually selling at about $6.99-8.99/kg
Now I must admit that if I was doing dinner I wouldn't have brought all of that, although I was very clever and made sure that when they had items to choose from (pumpkin & corn beef) I got the biggest pieces. They were all the same price at the end of the day!

We didn't have this for dinner but I am now going to make a pumpkin soup out of it, so it will now do a few lunches for me and Steve.

The Magnums are definitely not something we would have brought for dinner, but they are now in the freezer for when we need a special treat sometime, cause we sure didn't need them after dinner on Wednesday.

It was just lucky that Wednesday was my day off and that I thought to go check out the special at 9am as that allowed me to put the meat in the slow cooker (crockpot) and leave it simmering all day, the house smelt lovely when we came home from soccer practice.
However, it wouldn't have made any difference because for a deal like that I would still happily have brought it and cooked it the next day, apart from the pumpkin, there really was nothing that was going to go off if not used within a day or 2.
So next week I will happily skip along to the supermarket and see what the special is, because unless it is something that we really don't like then it turns out to be a great deal.
I do know that last week they did a spaghetti bolognese meal and the week before a roast chicken meal, so will be interesting to see what comes out next week.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Checking Out a Deal

In this current climate, the economical one that is, there are companies out there constantly vying for your business.
Companies play against others and try their hardest to drag you in because they usually know that once they get you in they will be happy to keep you for only a year but at least they have you!

One such area that is trying its hardest to get you and retain you here in New Zealand, probably like other countries too, are telephone companies.

The other evening we had a seller arrive on the door trying to get us to switch to their company. They had a very good deal on offer:

  • phone line
  • broadband
  • 40Gb data
  • wireless modem
All of this could be yours for the healthy happy price of $75 per month.
On top of this they would give you 2 months free.

We have 1 or 2 little extras on our phone so I enquired about the call minder programme they have and also a set national call payment , we currently pay $20 per month and this allows us to call anywhere in NZ for as long as we want whenever we want and seeing as we have family and friends all over, then it is nice to know we can just pick up the phone and call and not worry about the cost. Some months we use this and more and other times we don't but at the end of the year it balances out.
So I got informed that yes it would be $20 more for the national call charge so the total went to $95 oh and with the call minder service it would go to $105.

Now that is currently $10-15 less per month than we pay and given that they will give us 2 free months then it was very tempting.
However, for that cost I would have to change our main family email provider, which I hate doing, I don't mind having a gmail account but I do also like having our main email account with our provider.
The other small little detail that caught my eye when he showed me the card with all the information on it was that it said in little letters down the bottom - for 12 months - so I asked him what happened at the end of the 12 months, would the price go up to what the plan should probably be?
I was informed that no it wouldn't, they wouldn't be able to do that.

I politely took all the information that he had to offer and told him I needed time to compare my plans and that I would be in touch if I required more details.

I then promptly called the company and spoke to a customer service rep to ask more questions.
I explained that I was interested in their current promotion and what happened at the end of the 12 month period?
He straight away told me that it would go to the normal price of $105. Ha got you!
So instead of $75 per month it would be $105, so add our little extras on top of this and suddenly our telephone bill each month would be $135, we currently pay about $115.

So with all their in your face immediate information, come to us we only charge $75 per month, look we will give you 2 free months as well so there is even more saving, their you will get double the probably current data you are receiving from your provider etc etc it turns out then they will sucker you in the deal at the end of the 12 months when you bill will leap higher than the sky but they will argue that you had it good for 1 year so why are you complaining?
I can see how people get suckered into deals, up front this all looked really grand and stood on the doorstep at 6pm on a cold winter evening I can see how the $75 would suddenly float in peoples minds and that they would sign up on the spot because it is indeed much less than they currently pay, although as mentioned I did immediately work out that we would only be saving $10 a month.

So next time someone wants you to switch to their company just take a day to think it over and really compare it, yes we all want our bills to reduce but are you actually saving anything?

Talking about savings, remember that I could save you some money this winter by giving you a free pair of pyjamas for you lucky child, grandchild or special child in your life. All you have to do is leave a comment on my Winter Give Away post and you are in with a chance of winning the draw when done next week, and remember it doesn't matter where you live in the world, the company is happy to ship internationally, I do love international give aways always so much more friendlier.